from ON THE FREEDOM OF A CHRISTIAN|
"Faith alone is the saving and efficacious use of the Word of God... The Word of God cannot be received and cherished by any works whatever but only by faith. Therefore it is clear that, as the soul needs only the Word of God for its life and righteousness, so it is justified by faith alone and not any works; for if it could be justified by anything else, it would not need the Word, and consequently it would not need faith."
"Now when a man has learned through the commandments to recognize his helplessness and is distressed about how he might satisfy the law -- since the law must be fulfilled so that not a jot or tittle shall be lost, otherwise man will be condemned without hope -- then, being truly humbled and reduced to nothing in his own eyes, he finds in himself nothing whereby he may be justified and saved."
"Faith works truth and righteousness by giving God what belongs to him. Therefore God in turn glorifies our righteousness. It is true and just that God is truthful and just, and to consider and confess him to be so is the same as being truthful and just."
"If works are sought after as a means to righteousness, are burdened with this perverse leviathan, and are done under the false impression that through them one is justified, they are made necessary and freedom and faith are destroyed; and this addition to them makes them no longer good but truly damnable works."
"Our faith in Christ does not free us from works but from false opinions concerning works."
from THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL
"... I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God."
"God governs the external affairs of the world in such a way that, if you regard and follow the judgment of human reason, you are forced to say, either that there is no God, or that God is unjust."
"For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and foreordains all things; that He cannot be deceived or obstructed in His foreknowledge and predestination; and that nothing happens but at His will (which reason itself is compelled to grant); then, on reason's own testimony, there can be no 'free-will' in man, or angel, or in any creature."
from THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY OF THE CHURCH
"... It is a self-contradiction to call a mass a sacrifice; for a mass is something we receive, but a mass is something we offer. But one and the same thing cannot be both received and offered at the same time, nor can it at once be given and accepted by the same person...
"Human nature in its infirmity and its consciousness of sin, finds it a most difficult thing to believe in the possibility of salvation. Yet, without believing it, men cannot be saved; and this just because they do not believe in the divine promise of salvation."
"Even if he wished, he could not lose his salvation however often he sinned, save only if he refused to believe. No sins have it in their power to damn him, but only unbelief."
"...Our Babylon has so nearly put an end to faith that it barefacedly denies the latter to be necessary in this sacrament [of penance]. With an antichristian impiety, it even defines as heretical any assertion that faith is necessary."
"Without doubt, confession of sins is necessary, and in accordance with the divine commandments."
"As for secret confession as practised to-day, though it cannot be proved from Scripture, yet it seems a highly satisfactory practice to me... What I reject is solely that this kind of confession should be transformed into a means of oppression and extortion on the part of the pontiffs. For they 'reserve' to themselves even the secret sins, and order them to be made known to confessors nominated by themselves, of course to the torment of consciences. They not merely play at being pontiffs, but utterly scorn the true duties of a pontiff, which are to preach the gospel and to care for the poor."
"For it is mean, iniquitous, and servile for a Christian man, with his freedom, to be subjected to any regulations except the heavenly and divine."
"Lo! how far the glory of the church has departed! The whole world is full of priests, bishops, cardinals, and clergy, not one of whom, as far as his official responsibilities go, is a preacher... O! the disgrace which these monstrous priesthoods bring upon the Church of God!"
"Formerly laymen used to administer the sacraments as often as priests do now. Yet the superstitious of our day regard it as a great offence if a layman touch the bare chalice, or even the cover of it. Nor is a nun, though a consecrated virgin, allowed to wash the altar cloth or the sacred linen. O my God! this shows how far the sacrosanct sanctity of this sacrament has gone! I expect the time will come when the laity will not be allowed to even touch the altar -- except with money in their hand."