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Portrait_of_Martin_Luther_as_an_Augustinian_Monk

Posthumous Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustine Monk by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Martin Luther originally wrote these words as part of the preface of Georg Rhau’s Symphoniae iucundae in 1538: 

And you, my young friend, let this noble, wholesome, and cheerful creation of God be commended to you. By it you may escape shameful desires and bad company. At the same time you may by this creation accustom yourself to recognize and praise the Creator. Take special care to shun perverted minds who prostitute this lovely gift of nature and of art with their erotic rantings; and be quite assured that none but the devil goads them on to defy their very nature which would and should praise God its Maker with this gift, so that these bastards purloin the gift of God and use it to worship the foe of God, the enemy of nature and of this lovely art.*

* Translated by Ulrich S Leupold, in Martin Luther, Liturgy and Hymns, Luther’s Works 53 (Phildelphia, Penn.: Fortress Press, 1965), 324.

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