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A Most Beautiful Analogy

February 25, 2019
By Martin Luther

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

PSALM 12:6

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A Most Beautiful Analogy

The Gospel is called "silver," first, because it is precious, not according to the flesh, but because it makes the soul precious in the sight of God; second, because it is solid, that is, because it makes people solid and full, not like an empty reed and a carnal letter [nor worm-eaten like a twig or a rush]; third, because it is heard far and wide. Thus the sound of the Gospel has gone out through all the world (Psalm 19:4), and it makes the disciples sonorous and eloquent. Fourth, it is weighty, because it does not contain fables or superficial things, and it makes men serious and mature, as stated below, "I will praise Thee in a strong people" (Psalm 35:18). Fifth, it is white and shining, because it is modest and chaste and teaches modesty, it speaks modestly. Therefore because of this characteristic, when he had said, "the promises of the Lord are pure," he immediately called it "silver" altogether…. The preacher of the Word of God should also be like this, namely, first, valuable and genuine; second, solid and full of knowledge, not of the emptiness of opinions; third, eloquent; fourth, sober and steadfast; fifth, shining, reproving without malice and rage.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 12 (Luther's Works 10:103)

February 25

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