Philip Melanchthon's History of the
Life and Acts of Dr Martin Luther
translated by Thomas D. Frazel
and annotated by Ralph Keen
HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ACTS OF THE MOST REVEREND DR MARTIN Luther, Dr of true Theology, written in good faith by Philip Melanchthon
Certain poems have been added by John Policarius1 on the blessings which God through Luther bestowed upon the whole world. Including several distichs on the Acts of Luther, which were recounted in this same year. 1548.
Reverend Martin Luther gave us hope that he would relate the course of his life and the occasions of his struggles, and he would have done so if he had not been called from this mortal life into the everlasting converse of God and the heavenly Church. But a lucidly written contemplation of his own private life would have been useful, for it was full of lessons which would have been useful in strengthening piety in good minds, as well as a recitation of events which could have made known to posterity about many things, and it would also have refuted the slanders of those who, either incited by princes or others, fictitiously accuse him of destroying the dignity of the Bishops, or that, inflamed by private lust, he broke the bonds of Monastic servitude.
He would have published these things, wholly and copiously set forth and commemorated by himself. For even if evilwishers were to reproach with that common saying, He himself blows his own pipe, nevertheless we know there was so much seriousness in him that he would have related the Account with the utmost fidelity. And many good wise men are still living, to whom it would have been ridiculous for another account to be mixed in, as sometimes happens in poems, since he knew they were aware of the order of these events. But because his day of death turned aside the publication of so important an account, we shall recite in good faith about the same matters those things which partly we heard from the man himself, partly those which we ourselves saw.