Luther on The Pharisee and The Publican

All quotes from his Church Postils for Trinity 11 (Luke 18:9-14).

For what else is it, but to blaspheme and defy the lofty majesty of God, when he prays and says: I thank thee, God, that I am so holy and good, that I never need thy grace; but I find so much in myself, that I have kept the law, and you cannot accuse me of anything, and I have deserved so much, that you are bound to repay and reward me again for it in time and in eternity, if you would keep your own honor, and be a just and truthful God.

Now see, what a disgraceful, monstrous devil is in such a beautiful saint, who can cover himself with a thin appearance of a few works which he performs before the eyes of the people, and what he does in his worship, thanks, and prayers, whereby he blasphemes and dishonors the high majesty with outrage and defiance….

Further, since he has now blasphemed God and lied to him, because he is unwilling to confess his sins, he falls further and sins against love to his neighbor…. Hence he is so full of hatred to his neighbor, if God allowed him to judge, he would plunge the poor publican down into the deepest hell.

For when he sees and knows that his neighbor sins against God, he does not think how he can convert and save him from the wrath of God and condemnation, that he may reform; he has no mercy or sympathy in his heart for the distress and affliction of a poor sinner….

And what is the worst of all, he is glad and of good courage, because his neighbor is under the power of sin and the wrath of God…. For of what use can such a man be in the kingdom of God, who can still rejoice, yea, laugh and be heartily pleased at the sins and disobedience

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