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"He did his Master's work, my young friend," says old history; "and if you would like to be as Luther was, on the Lord's side, you cannot do better than to read and study most attentively the life and character of the great German Reformer.
How little could we have thought that God was going to make a great soldier and champion for his truth out of a little boy, the son of parents who were very poor, and had to work hard for their daily bread! Luther says, "My father was a poor woodcutter, and my mother often carried his wood on her back, to earn support for us and her children." And yet if you will read the after-history of Martin Luther, you will see that God poured such light and wisdom into his mind, and gave him that power and strength, that he was able to give Popery, which is God and man's greatest enemy, such heavy blows, that it has never
recovered from the writings and the doings of Martin Luther.
"Well, but," says my young reader, "what is Popery, and what did Martin Luther say and do that he has left such a great name behind him?"
I cannot tell you better what Popery is, than by quoting what D'Aubigné calls it," An enormous wall built up between man and God." God tells us in the Bible, that "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoso believeth in him should have everlasting life." Now, this precious truth the Pope and the priests of the Church of Rome have always tried to destroy by making other saviours than the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus they have ever tried to keep poor sinners from coming to God. In every age there have always been some true and noble servants of Jesus, who have tried to obey God and to do as he has com
manded in the Scriptures; but Popery has always hated and persecuted them, and when it had the power it put to death these good men and women. Foxe's "Book of Martyrs," with its pictures and true stories of the cruel sufferings of many a holy martyr, will tell you what Popery was. In those days, if people thought and spoke differently from what the wicked priests of Rome taught, they were very soon put into prison, and not long after were led to the stake to be burned to death for holding fast the truth of the word of God.
When Luther was born all was darkness, for the candle of God's truth was not yet lighted. Luther himself became a priest of Rome, and tried very hard to serve God and to find peace for his poor troubled soul in all the false services of his church. But no peace could he find until he learned that Jesus is the only
Saviour for a poor sinner. Then Martin Luther began to receive that light from above, which shone more and more into his mind and into his soul, until he found out what wicked things the Church of Rome taught the people to believe instead of the truth of God.
You must read D'Aubigné's " History of the Great Reformation," to find out much that Martin Luther did for us by breaking the great power of the Church of Rome. Let me tell you of one great thing he did, by boldly attacking and destroying one dreadful error and sin of the Pope of Rome.
The Church of Rome taught then, as it teaches now, that it has power to forgive sins. We know that the Bible teaches that this is false, for " none can forgive sins, but God only;" but a priest named Tetzel came into Germany with a great many pardons for sins of all sorts, and which he sold at all kinds of prices.
There were pardons for people who had committed sin, and also for those who were going to do so; for he said, "Come, and I will give you letters, furnished with the seals, by which the sins even which you have a mind to commit hereafter shall be all forgiven you." And again he said, "the very instant the piece of money chinks at the bottom of the strong box the soul is delivered out of purgatory, and flies up to heaven."
All this wickedness Luther boldly attacked, and this was almost the beginning of the work of reformation in which he became such a champion for God.
Let not my young readers think that the Church of Rome is altered now from what it was in Luther's days. It has added to the long list of its dreadful errors and sins against God, and is so corrupt that no real Christian may have anything to do with it. It has not the