TO JOHN LANGE About Erasmus. March 1, 1517.
I am at present reading our Erasmus, but my heart recoils more and more from him. But one thing I admire is, that he constantly and learnedly accuses not only the monks, but the priests, of a lazy, deep-rooted ignorance. Only, I fear he does not spread Christ and God’s grace sufficiently abroad, of which he knows very little. The human is to him of more importance than the divine. Although unwilling to judge him, I warn you not to read blindly what he writes. For we live in perilous times, and every one who is a good Hebrew and Greek scholar is not a true Christian; even Dr. Hieronymus, with his five languages, cannot approach Augustine with his one tongue, although Erasmus views all this from a different standpoint. Those who ascribe something to man’s freedom of will regard those things differently from those who know only God’s free grace. From our desert Wittenberg. MARTIN LUTHER, Augustinian. (Lindner’s Selected Letters.)