Look what happens then: the suffering would be sweet and easy and no longer an eternal suffering, but only a modicum which lasts only a short time and soon passes away, as St. Paul [II Cor. 4:17], and St. Peter [I Pet. 1:6], and also Christ himself says in the Gospels [John 16:16–22]. For they look to that great, immeasurable gift, which is that Christ with his suffering and merit has become altogether ours. Thus the suffering of Christ has become so mighty and strong that it fills heaven and earth and breaks the power and might of the devil and hell, of death and sin. And then if you compare this treasure with your affliction and suffering, you will consider it but small loss to lose a little property, honor, health, wife, child, and even your own life. But if you refuse to regard this treasure and to suffer for it, so be it; go on and let it lie. He who does not believe will also receive none of these unspeakable goods and gifts. (Luther’s Works, v.51, p.200)
Offenbarung or Apoc. [Revelation] 18 v. 4 . 5
“Depart from their ecclesiastical Babel, that you do not become infatuated with their sins. The richness of their sin reaches to heaven, and God remembers your sacrilege.” (A short paraphrase by Wenceslaus Hollar.)
“4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5. For her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities.” .
[All of the pictures for this year’s posts are from an etching entitled “Augsburg Confession” by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) and found in the Royal Collection Trust.]