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CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Melanchthon the Theologian ROBERT D. PREUS Luther and Melanchthon ERWIN L. LUEKER Melanchthon the Churchman GILBERT A. THIELE Galatians 2:1-10 and the Acts of the Apostles ROBERT G. HOERBER Brief Studies Theological Observer Homiletics Book Review VOL. XXXI August 1960 No.8 "Melanchthon, Christ's Witness" This was the theme of a chapel address with which Prof. Henry W. Reimann in­troduced the observance at Concordia Sem­inary, St.Louis, on April 19-21, of the quadricentennial of Melanchthon's death. This issue presents three short papers read at this occasion; others are scheduled for later issues. The papers were not written for publication and are presented substan­tially as read, along with such documenta­tion as had been added to the papers. Some of the leading thoughts of Professor Rei­mann's address may fittingly introduce this little symposium. Philip Me1anchthon was Christ's witness in doctrine and in life. Even those Lutherans who find in Melanchthon tendencies toward sacramentarianism, synergism, unionism, or intellectualism also find in him a notable witness of Jesus Christ .... But Melanch­thon's was pre-eminently a theological wit­ness, and that means a very rational, schol­arly witness. At the same time his was a Biblical witness. He wanted only to lead more deeply and more truly into the writ­ten Word of God, fully cognizant of the fact that only Christ and His Spirit opened "men's understanding that they might un­derstand the Scriptures." The Holy Scrip­tures, not reason, even Christian reason, were the ultimate test of God's doctrine in the church .... This witness was to the glory, benefits, and consolations of Christ. "The one Christ, true God and true man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried" must not be buried again by scho­lastic views of merit. . . . Moreover, his was also a catholic witness. Far from pit­ting Scripture against tradition, Melanch­thon set Scripture and the Church Catholic against the false traditions that had cor­rupted the church. No matter what one holds about Luther's catholicity, Melanch­thon's catholicity cannot be expunged from the Lutheran Confessions. . . . And of course his is an ecumenical witness. In fact, he might be given the honorable title "Father of Ecumenicity." Throughout his life Philip Me1anchthon wanted to be a witness who promotes church harmony without sacrificing doctrine, who promotes the quest for theological precision without sacrificing the certainty of faith, who pro­motes some sort of synthesis between Christ and culture without denying the unique. ness of the Gospel. ... Finally, Melanch­thon's was also a pious, pastoral witness. To know Christ is to know His consoling benefits. Therefore Melanchthon was more willing to adore than to investigate the mysteries of the divinity. The theological topics of the Loci communes were the pas­toral topics of sin and grace, Law and Gospel. Christ truly rose from the dead to reign, but He has to be used as Me­diator. No one can love God unless re­mission of sins is apprehended through faith which justifies, quickens, and liberates through the Word .... Certainly Me1anch­thon's witness had flaws, perhaps we must say errors. No one was more conscious of his fallibility than Philip himself. But he was still Christ's witness, a special witness without whom the Reformation would not have been the same. . . . Ultimately our question is not: Was Melanchthon a faith­ful witness? but the question: Am I, Lord? We have received the same powerful Gos­pel. We live under the same crucified and risen Lord. We have the same command: Be My witnesses. The Son of God, risen to reign, sends us out too. Me1anchthon's witness helps us in that task. Luther once wrote Spalatin: "1 do not laud Philip, for he is a creature of God. I revere in him the work of my God." So do we. Melanchthon the Theologian IT would seem impossible that the theme "Melanchthon the Theologian," which is as comprehensive as it is indefinite, could be discussed satisfactorily in any brief pres­entation. The actual purpose and scope of this study is, however, narrower than the rather general theme might indicate. I pro­pose to consider Melanchthon's contribu­tions to that discipline which is now known as dogmatics, to trace the impact of his systematic bent upon Lutheran theology, to delineate some of his main ideas on theology, and thus to assess him as a the­ologian. First it must be said that Melanchthon wrote no dogmatics in the modern sense of the term. There were no branches of theology, such as exegetical, systematic, historical, and practical, in those days. There was only theology. For the Re­formers' theology, no matter what the occasion, was always oriented in Biblical study, whether the method was linear like exegesis today or topical like modern dog­matics, catechetics, or Biblical theology. It is somewhat of an anachronism therefore to call Luther an exegete and Melanchthon a dogmatician. Luther did systematic work in his catechism and disputations, and Me­lanchthon did exegetical work in Psalms, Matthew, John, Romans, Corinthians, and other books of the Bible. How did Melanchthon contribute to modern dogmatics? It was by his intense desire for system and order, not system in the sense of an alien synthesis being im­posed on revealed doctrine, but order and By ROBERT D. PREUS method for instructive purposes.1 This the­ological method is unique. In philosophy there is method, demonstrative in nature, proceeding from certain basic principles; in theology the only method called for is an adequate arrangement of revealed doc­trine.2 In philosophy certainty comes by way of experience and demonstration. Again theology differs: God's revelation offers us certainty, a revelation which is true and self-authenticating.3 This method is to be found in Scripture itself, where there is not only a historical order but also an order in the arrangement of the articles of faith.4 Melanchthon actually 1 CR 21, 601: "It is well to have definite and clear declarations of the individual articles of Christian doctrine arranged in order and set forth as on a blackboard, so that when we con­sider these things and tie them together {MJ­guntur}, certain definite thoughts come to our view by which troubled souls can be instructed, elevated, strengthened, and comforted." 2 CR 21,604. 3 CR 21, 605: "Philosophy teaches that we should doubt those things which are not given to the senses, which are not principles and which are not supported by demonstration. Thus we may doubt or suspend judgment whether the concavity of a cloud is the only reason for the rainbow being an arch. But the church doctrine which God has vouchsafed -this doctrine we know to be certain and immovable, even if we cannot discover it with our sense, even if it is not an innate principle with us, even if we can­not ascertain it by proofs. No, the cause of our certainty is God's revelation, which is simply true." 4 CR 21, 606: "Like an artist Paul speaks in his Letter to the Romans of the distinction be­tween Law and Gospel, of sin, of grace or recon­ciliation, and by the knowledge of such things we are restored to eternal life." 470 MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN identifies such method with exposition, in­terpretation.1i And this method of collect­ing in an orderly way the main points or topics (praecipui loci) so that doctrine may be presented in summary form (in summa) is nothing new. It is found in the ancient creeds, symbols, books, and treatises.6 And even though the later fathers injected phi­losophy into the discussion, still such method must be attempted.7 Two complementary emphases emerge rather persistently in Melanchthon's dis­cussions of theology: first, that all theology is based upon Scripture, and second, that philosophy and reason have no place as a source of theology. 'The first thing we must know is this," he says, "that to seek the will of God without the Word of God or in opposition to it is utterly wrong, for God does not wish us to know Him, neither can we know Him, except through the Word which He has accorded us, as Scripture everywhere teaches." 8 Again he says, "He who seeks the form of Christian­ity from any other source than canonical Scripture is utterly in error." 9 It was Lu­ther's forte that he recalled the church to Scripture, as even the adversaries must ad­mit.10 Concerning the sola Scriptura prin-5 He considers his Loci simply an orderly ex­position of Scripture. Cf. CR 21, 606 ff. Cf. his Loci communes of 1521 (CR 21, 84): "For I have nothing in mind but to aid in their studies those who desire to become acquainted with the Scriptures." 6 CR 21, 253. 7 And this method obtains in the epistles of Paul and in John, with their emphasis on cer­tain articles of faith. Ibid. 8 CR 14, 180. 9 CR 21, 82. 10 The sola Scriptura principle is excellently set forth in Melanchthon's Adversus theologo­rum Parisinof'um decretum pro Luthero apologia ciple Melanchthon is most insistent and never wavered,u although we may feel at times that he was not faithful to it. Like Luther, Melanchthon has a negative attitude toward philosophy.12 It can play no role as a basis for theology. Philosophy turns God's tmth into a lie.13 Therefore we must purge ourselves of philosophy by running with avidity to those things which are theological.14 Melanchthon is attacking philosophy in the concrete, Aristotelian philosophy, although he admitted that Aris­totle excelled the philosophy of all other sects.15 Melanchthon has some good things to say about philosophy, but we must un­derstand that he is referring only to the art (CR 1, 402 ff.) of 1521. Luther did not teach against Scripture, he insists, but only against the expositions which the Fathers and Councils pro­pounded. And just this was the nub of the trouble (controversiae summa). For Scripture must stand without the glosses of the fathers. Furthermore, it was ever the claim of the Fa­thers that they taught according to Scripture. And so it is by Scripture that we judge both fathers and councils. And the Scriptures are clearer than the glosses. Therefore Luther rightly opposes Scripture to the fathers and councils, although many, like Augustine, are on his side_ What has happened is that Luther recalled the church to Scripture and the Fathers, whereas the Paris faculty urges Seotist formalities and Oc­camist implications and thus makes the divine Word conform to the philosophy of Aristotle. 11 Cf. CR 3, 604 [De ecclesia et de autof'itate verb; Dei, 1539}: Sed addendum est, ut auditi iudicentur ex verbo Dei quod semper manet regula doctrinae. Cf. also CR 1, 127; 12, 604; 15, 188-89; 24, 271. Hans Engelland, Me­lanchthon: Glauben und Handeln (Muenchen, 1931) has shown that Melanchthon never changed his position on this matter. Cf. pp. 1-3, 68-69, 179-82, 470-4. 12 CR 1, 405; 21, 82; 23, 134. 13 CR 14, 563. 14 CR 1, 50. 15 CR 12, 691. MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN 471 of speaking or our knowledge of nature or of natural law.16 Rhetoric and dialectics are elementary for the understanding of Scripture as is a knowledge of nature; and philosophy as ethics is the very Law of GodP And with all this Luther concurs.18 16 CR 12, 689: "Philosophy embraces the art of speaking, the natural sciences, and precepts concerning civil ethics. Such teaching is God's creation and is good, and of all the gifts of God in nature it is the most excellent. Philosophy is a necessary concern to our bodily and social life, just as food, drink, public laws, and other mat­ters." Cf. also CR 13, 509 II. 17 Ibid. "Philosophy which concerns itself with behavior is the very Law of God concern­ing civil behavior." 18 WA Tr IV Nr. 5082 b: "Plures hodie scribunt dialecticas, sed unus Philippus scripsit dialecticam, ex quo fonte reliqui omnes hau­riunt sua, et nemo tamen assequitur Philippum, nedum ut superent eum." Luther then repeats what Melanchthon has written in his Erotemata. Cf. W2 14, 742 II. That natural law is the Law of God is something Luther agrees with too. Cf. W2 20, 152. Actually logic and syllogisms enter Melanch­thon's theological discussions primarily when he is refuting the false arguments of adversaries. R. Seeberg, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (Erlangen, 1920), IV, 2, 421, says that Me­lanchthon was the first Protestant to treat the new understanding of the Gospel systematically and with method, that his Loci is the first Prot­estant dogmatics, and that he brought Aristotle's method into dogmatics. I think that it is clear from the above that it is merely method that Melanchthon brought with him, and this is both natural and justified. Luther did the same, and so do we. Melanchthon in no way desires to make Christian revelation correspond to Aris­totelian or Platonic thought; the opposite is the case. In his philosophical works he attempts to make Aristotle and omers profitable by purging mem by means of revelation. Thus he will go along, working out, for instance, a system of epistemology (ct. his Erotemata dialectices, CR 13, 509 II.), patterned quite obviously after Aristotelian empiricism and with certain Stoic accretions (such as the doctrine of innate ideas). Whether these conclusions are merely convenient There are certain themes or motifs which recur frequently in all of Melanchthon's theological works, themes which indicate to us what was basic in Melanchthon's theology. 1. The Natural Man, Natural Law, and Natural Knowledge of God (Philos­ophy) God created man with intellect and will which are now both fallen. However, man is still above the brute. With his intellect he understands, counts, composes and di­vides, reasons, remembers, and judges.19 The object of the intellect is God and the entire universe of things. God has formed man that he might take all this in. Man gains certainty through e~erience, through the working of basic principles (principia), such as numbers and proportions and in-nominalistic abstractions to Melanchthon, or whether they express things as mey really are, is not always quite clear, although me latrer possibility seems more likely. But then Melanch­thon goes on, adding to Aristotle when this seems to be demanded by revelation. But it must be repeated, this is his practice in his philo­sophical works. His theological writings are re­markably free of philosophical jargon as well as doctrines. Melanchthon's downfall therefore lies not in his prolegomena, not in his avowed method and purpose in theologizing, surely not in his insinuating any alien synthesis upon the­ology, for in all mis he reveals an ardent desire to adhere only to Scripture, and he takes a dim view toward philosophy. His debacle may be traced rather to mis, that certain philosophical points of view are uncritically and unwittingly imposed upon certain theological discussions. Sometimes this practice -which I suppose no one can completely avoid -is quite innocuous (as when he divides the soul into two parts, d. CR 21, 86 II.). But on other occasions it is dreadfully serious, as when out of a fear of Stoicism he teaches mat the will of the un­regenerate man is a factor in his conversion. (CR 21, 658-9) 19 CR 13, 8 II. 472 MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN nate ideas (law), and through reasoning. In the church there is a fourth norm of certainty, namely, divine revelation.20 Two of the aforementioned principia are the 20 CR 13, 151: "In the church we have a fourth norm of certainty, viz., divine revela­tion, which was given with distinct and infallible testimonies and which obtains in the prophetic and apostolic books. Now although the human mind is inclined to assent more readily and firmly to those things which it perceives by natural light, still all rational creatures ought to assent with the same firmness to the judgments which have been revealed by God, even if we do not see by our own natural light that they are true and definite. Just as we assert without doubt that twice four h eight, we must be con­vinced that God will raise up the dead, that the church will be crowned with eternal glory, and that· the wicked will be hurled into everlasting punishment. True, many, such as Epicureans and others, brazenly resist these divine oracles. Nev­ertheless some part of the human race gives its assent, moved as it is by the testimonies of miracles. In these people the Holy Spirit kindles His light by the Word of the Gospel, bends their minds to assent to it, and then their minds submit to the Holy Spirit, embrace the Word of the Gospel, and strive against all doubt. This assent, which embraces the thoughts disclosed by God, we call faith, which actually is more firm in this matter than in others. Let us not make light of this benefit of God, which has proceeded from His hidden abode and which He has disclosed to us. By this disclosure He has declared that the human race is truly of con­cern to Him. Let this revelation be the most eminent light of our life, let it rule all our actions and counsels. And in our daily prayers let us reffect upon the testimonies of this reve­lation, that our faith may be aroused; and let us acknowledge and celebrate the goodness of our dear God. "It is well to consider at this point a dis­tinction. Certain things have been handed down by God which are known to nature, such as the precepts of the Decalog. But God wishes to add His own voice to this to show us that these natural notions have been instilled in our minds by Him and to confirm the Law by a new and fresh testimony. The confirmation of this truth is welcome to a ready mind when it realizes that the divine Word has been added to the natural innate recognition of law and the knowl­edge of God. The law of nature, which is often called philosophy,21 is equated with the Law of God.22 The obedience of this knowledge. Reason apprehends that the earth stands still and the sun moves. But when we hear that the same truth has been divinely com­municated, then we assent the more firmly. "But there are certain divinely given truths which previously were completely unknown to all creatures, such as the Word of the Gospel of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, or the Word of reconciliation, of reward and eternal punishment. He who believes on the Son has everlasting life. But he who does not believe the Son does not have life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the death of the wicked, but that he turn and live. Believe that your sins are assuredly forgiven for the sake of the Son of God, believe for His sake that your sighings, your prayers have been received by God. Such words should be grasped with firm assent. For the cause of this assent is divine authority, by which these truths have been vouchsafed to us and confirmed by clear testimonies, such as the resurrection of the dead and other testimonies. Let the mind, then, recognizing why these truths should be immovable, given attention to God, the Author, who in just such a way wishes to be acknowledged and invoked. Nor does He want us with our human brazenness to play with other opinions of Him, as heathens and philosophers have done." 21 CR 12, 690. 22 CR 23, 294: Itaque leges naturae sint di­vinae et immotae. Leges naturae sunt notitiae principiorum practicorum de moribus, et con­clusionum inde extructarum congruentes cum regula aeterna et immota mentis divinae, quae principia cernimus et amplectimur firmo adsensu, quia notitiae eorum nobiscum nascuntur divini­tus insitae humanis mentibus in creatione, sicut numerorum notitiae. Cf. also Melanchthon's Moralis epitomes libri duo, 1546 (CR 16, 20fI.). It is a true part of moral philosophy, he says, to recognize what is truly a part of divine Law, although "philosophy teaches nothing of the forgiveness of sins, nor can it show us how it happens that God receives the unworthy." The law of nature is the Law of God, he insists. This must be considered the MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN 473 law is civil righteousness and is in utter contrast to the righteousness of the Gos­peps Coupled with the natural knowledge of law is the natural knowledge of God, an important emphasis in Melanchthon's theology. In his commentary on the Ni­cene Creed 24 Melanchthon says that since all natural laws are embraced in the Deca­log, man has a knowledge of God, of His existence, and to some extent of His es­sence, e. g., that He is wise, true, beneficent, but also one who punishes wrongdoing by His Law. To my knowledge he never im­plies that such knowledge is saving, but it leaves man with a limited and distorted picture of God. In his Initia doctrinae physicae 25 he argues with Paul that from the physical world God can be known, but this knowledge is obsessed with many wisdom of God even though it has nothing to do with the Gospel. Such teaching is useful for the church (2 Tim. 3:16) in the following ways: (1) for discipline (paedagogia), (2) for jurisprudence. It must be remembered that this is a philosophical work. Thus we find Melanch­than leaning heavily on Aristotle for definitions and conclusions which go beyond Scripture (which only shows the danger and futility of the entire effort). For instance, p. 38, he de­fines virtue as a habitus which inclines the will to yield to right reason (following Aristotle). But then he concludes by speaking of the causes of virtue for the Christian: "Concerning Chris­tian virtues the following causes ought to be added: the knowledge of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit aiding and moving the human powers. And when we consider how great the weakness of these human powers, we will know what is . lacking in philosophy and will love our Christian teaching all the more, which brings help to such weakness." One can only wonder how Me1anchthon, who can make the preceding statement, could bother to work out a moral philosophy. 23 Cf. Apology XVIII 4, 93; II 12; IV 181. 24 CR 23, 336 IV EnMratio Symboli Niceni, 1550. 25 CR 13, 200 ff. doubts. He then offers ten arguments (mostly teleological but some ontological) to confirm honest minds. 2. Revelation in Contrast to Natural Knowledge What natural knowledge cannot supply revelation provides.26 Or to put it differ­ently, what philosophy cannot offer the Gospel offers -a gracious God, a forgiv­ing God. Those who worship God must know who He is.27 We know Him by recognizing what He does. Heathens and Jews can know certain things about God, that He is wise, that He is Creator, etc., "but they cannot know the true God, who has made Himself known in the church, who affirms that He is one Essence, yet threefold, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." They err because they do not know that God's Son is Mediator; they do not know God's promises. As constant as Melanch­thon's emphasis upon natural knowledge is his emphasis upon the limitations of nat­ural knowledge. 3. Law and Promise The former theme is intensified by the distinction between Law and Gospel (promise) , a distinction Melanchthon never tires of making. What is the Gos­pel? "It is the promise of a Mediator, a solemn promise given to men, a promise affirming the forgiveness of sins, recon­ciliation, the imputation of [Christ's] right­eousness, the Holy Spirit, and the inher­itance of life eternal, not because of the Law or our own dignity, but by grace on account of the Son, our Mediator, for this promise is to be accepted by faith and 26 Cf. n.20. 27 Explicatio Symboli Niceni, 1561, post mortem. CR 23, 355 ff. 474 MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN trust in the Son." This promise was given to Adam and Eve and all the patriarchs.28 And all who have ever been saved have been saved by the same Gospel. This Gospel has nothing to do with philosophy or law. "The distinction between Law and Gospel (or promise, which is the peculiar property of the Gospel) must obtain in the church and be intimately known by all, for if this distinction is lost, horrible dark­ness will follow." 29 4. Justification and Faith Melanchthon caught the urgency of Lu­ther's emphasis upon justification by faith, an emphasis meshing with the former stress on Law and Gospel. Justification is the sum of the Gospel, of Christian doctrine; it manifests God's wonderful benefits and brings comfort to troubled consciences.so It is the article which separates Christians from Jews, Pelagians, and heathens. Like Luther, Melanchthon stresses the forensic nature of justification as an imputatio ius­titiae,31 but it is more than a bare verdict. It brings forgiveness, reconciliation, life, and the Holy Spirit, for the Word of jus-28 CR 23,337: "And we must not imagine that the Gospel was unknown to the fathers and that there was only a new and better Law at the time of Moses, as many of the unlearned of all ages have supposed. Rather we must recognize that the one and same Gospel promise of a Me­diator and of reconciliation was known to the fathers, known from that very first proclamation of it in the words received by Adam and Eve: the Seed of the woman shall crush the head of the serpent. And it has always been the same. All who have been, are, or will be true mem­bers of the church have been and are saved by faith in the Mediator, from Adam to the resur­rection of the dead." 29 Ibid. 30 CR 21, 739 Loci praecipui theologici, 1559. 31 CR 23, 449. tification is a powerful Word. And it comforts.32 To be justified means to re­ceive the comfort of forgiveness.33 Faith clings to forgiveness, to the God who forgives for Christ's sake. It is as though Luther's voice spoke through Me­lanchthon: "When Paul says we are justi­fied by faith, he means by faith not only a historical knowledge, for devils also are acquainted with history and dogmas. No, he means that we assent to all the articles of faith, and of all the articles to this one in particular: I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting, that these gifts are bestowed not only on others but also to me. When with such an assent you believe that you are forgiven, this faith, which rests in God for the sake of the Mediator, lifts up your heart in the prom­ise of mercy. Such assent, which embraces the promise of the Gospel, enlightens the mind, and such faith in the Mediator and His mercy enlightens the heart." 34 This 32 CR 23, 451: "Haec dicta perspicue osten­dunt relationem, videlicet remissionem peccato­rum, et reconciliationem includi in verbo iustifi­candi. Haec ipsa autem acceptio remissionis, non est frigida imaginatio, sed fit, cum in vero dolere sentitur consolatio, quae est vivificatio, quae fit, cum Filius Dei simul est efficax cum verbo externo, et dicit consolationem in corde, et ostendit misericordiam Parris, et dat Spiritum Sanctum, sicut clare dicitur, 1 Johan. 5." This is a highly significant statement, illustrating the true Lutheran emphasis. And remember that it is the late Melanchthon who writes the Expli­catio Symboli Nicen; here quoted. 33 CR 23, 458: "Iustificamur, id est, accipi­mus remissionem peccatorum et reputamur iusti seu accepti gratis, ips ius gratia, id est, miseri­cordia gratuita propter Christum, quem propo­suit Deus propitiatorem." The themes Law, promise, sin, justification, faith are the recurring emphases in all of Melanchthon's writings. 34 CR 23, 451. ct. also the Loci praecipui theologici (1559), CR 21, 751: "Cum autem dicimus de assensu promissionis, complectimur MELANCHTHON THE THEOLOGIAN 475 doctrine of comfort Me1anchthon never wished to abandon. It is one of the great tragedies of history that his vacillation and his later synergism undermined this article.35 St. Louis, Mo. omnium articu10rum notltlam, et in Symbolo ceteri articuli referuntur ad hunc: Credo remis­sionem peccatorum, Credo vitam aeternam. Haec est enim summa promissionum et finis, ad quem ceteri articuli referuntur: Quia Filius Dei mis­sus est, ut Ioannes inquit, ut destruat opera D iaboli, id est, tollat peccatum et instauret ius­titiam et vitam aeternam." 35 The sadness, of course, is that his later synergism necessarily undermined his clear state­ments on justification and faith. Faith becomes a movement in the will which we perform, a virtus (CR 21, 751). Again, contrition which is prior to faith becomes something we do. There must be some contrition (aliquam con­tritionem), he says, and contrition is merely recognizing (agnoscamus) that we have doubts, greed, and other sins (CR 21, 884). This is surely a softening of his words in the Apology which call contrition "true terror of the con­science" (XII, 29) and a work of God in us {opus Dei in hominibus}, and of the words of Luther which say that contrition is not our work at all. Luther says (W A 39, 103-104): "Con­trition is not our work, but the work of God's Law, which incites hatred toward God and flight from God. Now what merit does a man have in fleeing and hating God? in not being able to hear God? What merit is there in Adam when he runs from the voice of God calling to him and looks for some shelter from it? And so God grabs hold of man while he is running away, and has mercy on him, and says, Thou shalt not die. . . . Contrition is the very suf­fering of hell fighting with the remission of sins. It is the thunder and lightning of God's wrath in the conscience. I am the materia and subject of this divine work." These words of Luther, which the later Melanchthon never could have uttered, offer the clue to his change of position. If Melanchthon yielded to philosophy and hu­manism, it was because he had never like Luther known Anfechtung, he had never like the pas­sionate Luther "probed and suffered in his own person every academic problem." (R. Thiel, Luther [Philadelphia, 1955), p.191)