christian piety. Where is the German who could sing that beautiful and energetic psalm, “ Ein' veste Burg ist unser Gott," and not feel himself thereby strengthened for the highest efforts against spiritual and temporal oppression ? The psalm, with an English version, is here presented to you ; * and it will be perceived that Luther's performance has been rarely equalled for vigour and truly christian courage, whether we consider the spirit, or the irresistible power of its expression.

* [In order to bring the German original and the English version opposite each other, this Psalm is transferred to the following page.—Printer's Note.]

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A bulwark is our God, and he
Our sword and shield is found;
From dangers all, he sets us free,
That now our steps surround.
The old and evil foe
Prepares his deadliest blow:
Great might and matchless guile
Are his resources vile;
Herein, none like him earth can show.

And what though fiends the earth should fill,
And would our souls devour?
This wakes in us no fear of ill :
We yet shall overpower.
The prince of this world may
His direst force display ;
Yet is he judged, and thus
No terrors hath for us :
A word can scatter his array.

By our own strength is nothing done,
And we full soon must fall,
But that for us God's Chosen One
Is battling best of all.
Seek ye to know the same?
Christ Jesus is his name,
The Lord of Sabaoth,
The true and only God :
By him victorious must the field be trod.

The word they shall allow to stand ;
For this no thank have they :
God's blessing and his bounteous hand
Are with us on our way.
Then let them take our life,
Goods, honours, child, and wife:
Yield them these treasures vain ;
For nothing is their gain,
While still to us God's kingdom must remain !

We must now take leave of this splendid genius, and, in so doing, I should wish all such, as may intend to pursue a thorough study of modern German literature, to be assured, that they can commence with no better author than Luther. He stands at the beginning of the sixteenth century, like a beacon shedding its rays on the ocean of German literature, till the time of Lessing, when a bright and cloudless day begins to dawn. In closing my remarks on Luther, I cannot do better than corroborate them by an eminent authority—that of the most distinguished inquirer into the German and Teutonic languagesJacob Grimm; a man whose indefatigable researches will perhaps be better appreciated by posterity than by the present generation. In the preface to his German Grammar, he says:

“ The language of Luther, by reason of its noble and almost miraculous purity, and also on account of its powerful influence, must be considered as the kernel and the foundation of the settlement of the modern High German language ; from which, down to the present time, but little deviation, and that little to the detriment of energy and expressiveness, has been made. In fact, the High German may be designated as the protestant dialect, the freedombreathing nature of which has long since insensibly overpowered the poets and authors of the catholic persuasion.”

He goes on to say :-“Whatever has nourished the spirit and form of language, whatever has re

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vived it, and called forth the flowers of modern poetry, we owe to none more deeply than to Luther."

In the writings of Luther, but few obsolete words occur, and those easy to be understood by the student. I shall particularly recommend the perusal of a collection of choice extracts from his works, by Niethammer, in two volumes, entitled “ Weisheit Luthers ” (Wisdom of Luther), which was published at Nürnberg in 1817.


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