Preface to ’Theologica Germanica’

Theologica Germanica

by an Anonymous Author 
translated by 
Susanna Winkworth 

scanned from the 1893 Golden Treasury Series edition
John H. Richards

and presented as a Public Domain file on the Internet
March 1995

This work was discovered and published in 1516 by Martin Luther, who said of it that 'Next to the Bible and St. Augustine, no book has ever come into my hands from which I have learnt more of God and Christ, and man and all things that are.' It has since appealed to Christians of all persuasions.

  Chapter 01 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of that which is perfect and that which is in part, and how that which is in part is done away, when that which is perfect is come.
  Chapter 02 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of what Sin is, and how we must not take unto ourselves any good Thing, seeing that it belongeth unto the true Good alone.
  Chapter 03 ( 21-9-2002 )
How Man’s Fall and going astray must be amended as Adam’s Fall was.
  Chapter 04 ( 21-9-2002 )
How Man, when he claimeth any good Thing for his own, falleth, and toucheth God in His Honour.
  Chapter 05 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we are to take that Saying, that we must come to be without Will, Wisdom, Love, Desire, Knowledge, and the like.
  Chapter 06 ( 21-9-2002 )
How that which is best and noblest should also be loved above all Things by us, merely because it is the best.
  Chapter 07 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of the Eyes of the Spirit wherewith Man looketh into Eternity and into Time, and how the one is hindered of the other in its Working.
  Chapter 08 ( 21-9-2002 )
How the Soul of Man, while it is yet in the Body, may obtain a Foretaste of eternal Blessedness.
  Chapter 09 ( 21-9-2002 )
How it is better and more profitable for a Man that he should perceive what God will do with him, or to what end He will make Use of him...
  Chapter 10 ( 21-9-2002 )
How the perfect Men have no other Desire than that they may be to the Eternal Goodness what His Hand is to a Man, and how they have lost the Fear...
  Chapter 11 ( 21-9-2002 )
How a righteous Man in this present Time is brought into hell, and there cannot be comforted, and how he is taken out of Hell and carried into Heav...
  Chapter 12 ( 21-9-2002 )
Touching that true inward Peace, which Christ left to His Disciples at the last.
  Chapter 13 ( 21-9-2002 )
How a Man may cast aside Images too soon.
  Chapter 14 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of three Stages by which a Man is led upwards till he attaineth true Perfection.
  Chapter 15 ( 21-9-2002 )
How all Men are dead in Adam and are made alive again in Christ, and of true Obedience and Disobedience.
  Chapter 16 ( 21-9-2002 )
Telleth us what is the old Man, and what is the new Man.
  Chapter 17 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we are not to take unto ourselves what we have done well: but only what we have done amiss.
  Chapter 18 ( 21-9-2002 )
How that the Life of Christ is the noblest and best Life that ever hath been or can be, and how a careless Life of false Freedom is the worst Life...
  Chapter 19 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we cannot come to the true Light and Christ’s Life, by much Questioning or Reading, or by high natural Skill and Reason, but by truly...
  Chapter 20 ( 21-9-2002 )
How, seeing that the Life of Christ is most bitter to Nature and Self, Nature will have none of it, and chooseth a false careless Life, as is most...
  Chapter 21 ( 21-9-2002 )
How a friend of Christ willingly fulfilleth by his outward Works, such Things as must be and ought to be, and doth not concern himself with the rest.
  Chapter 22 ( 21-9-2002 )
How sometimes the Spirit of God, and sometimes also the Evil Spirit may possess a Man and have the mastery over him.
  Chapter 23 ( 21-9-2002 )
He who will submit himself to God and be obedient to Him, must be ready to bear with all Things; to wit, God, himself, and all Creatures, and must...
  Chapter 24 ( 21-9-2002 )
How that four Things are needful before a Man can receive divine Truth and be possessed with the Spirit of God.
  Chapter 25 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of two evil Fruits that do spring up from the Seed of the Evil Spirit, and are two Sisters who love to dwell together. The one is called spiritual...
  Chapter 26 ( 21-9-2002 )
Touching Poorness of Spirit and true Humility and whereby we may discern the true and lawful free Men whom the Truth hath made free.
  Chapter 27 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we are to take Christ’s Words when He bade forsake all Things; and wherein the Union with the Divine Will standeth.
  Chapter 28 ( 21-9-2002 )
How, after a Union with the Divine Will, the inward Man standeth immoveable, the while the outward Man is moved hither and thither.
  Chapter 29 ( 21-9-2002 )
How a Man may not attain so high before Death as not to be moved or touched by outward Things.
  Chapter 30 ( 21-9-2002 )
On what wise we may came to be beyond and above all Custom, Order, Law, Precepts and the like.
  Chapter 31 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we are not to cast off the Life of Christ, but practise it diligently, and walk in it until Death
  Chapter 32 ( 21-9-2002 )
How God is a true, simple, perfect Good, and how He is a Light and a Reason and all Virtues, and how what is highest and best, that is, God, ought...
  Chapter 33 ( 21-9-2002 )
How when a Man is made truly Godlike, his Love is pure and unmixed, and he loveth all Creatures, and doth his best for them.
  Chapter 34 ( 21-9-2002 )
How that if a Man will attain to that which is best, he must forswear his own Will; and he who helpeth a Man to his own Will helpeth him to the...
  Chapter 35 ( 21-9-2002 )
How there is deep and true Humility and Poorness of Spirit in a Man who is ’made a Partaker of the Divine Nature.’
  Chapter 36 ( 21-9-2002 )
How nothing is contrary to God but Sin only; and what Sin is in Kind and Act.
  Chapter 37 ( 21-9-2002 )
How in God, as God, there can neither be Grief, Sorrow, Displeasure, nor the like, but how it is otherwise in a Man who is ’made a Partaker of the...
  Chapter 38 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we are to put on the Life of Christ from Love, and not for the sake of Reward, and how we must never grow careless concerning it, or cast it off.
  Chapter 39 ( 21-9-2002 )
How God will have Order, Custom, Measure, and the like in the Creature, seeing that He cannot have them without the Creature, and of four sorts of...
  Chapter 40 ( 21-9-2002 )
A good Account of the False Light and its Kind.
  Chapter 41 ( 21-9-2002 )
Now that he is to be called, and is truly, a Partaker of the Divine Nature, who is illuminated with the Divine Light, and inflamed with Eternal...
  Chapter 42 ( 21-9-2002 )
A Question: whether we can know God and not love Him, and how there are two kinds of Light and Love -- a true and a false.
  Chapter 43 ( 21-9-2002 )
Whereby we may know a Man who is made a partaker of the divine Nature, and what belongeth unto him; and further, what is the token of a False Light...
  Chapter 44 ( 21-9-2002 )
How nothing is contrary to God but Self-will and how he who seeketh his own Good for his own sake, findeth it not; and how a Man of himself neither...
  Chapter 45 ( 21-9-2002 )
How that where there is a Christian Life, Christ dwelleth, and how Christ’s Life is the best and most admirable Life that ever hath been or can be.
  Chapter 46 ( 21-9-2002 )
How entire Satisfaction and true Rest are to be found in God alone, and not in any Creature; and how he who Will be obedient unto God, must also be...
  Chapter 47 ( 21-9-2002 )
A Question: Whether, if we ought to love all Things, we ought to love Sin also?
  Chapter 48 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we must believe certain Things of God’s Truth beforehand, ere we can come to a true Knowledge and Experience thereof.
  Chapter 49 ( 21-9-2002 )
Of Self-will, and how Lucifer and Adam fell away from God through Self-will.
  Chapter 50 ( 21-9-2002 )
How this present Time is a Paradise and outer Court of Heaven, and how therein there is only one Tree forbidden, that is, Self-will.
  Chapter 51 ( 21-9-2002 )
Wherefore God hath created Self-will, seeing that it is so contrary to Him.
  Chapter 52 ( 21-9-2002 )
How we must take those two Sayings of Christ: ’No Man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,’ and ’No Man cometh unto Me, except the Father which hath...
  Chapter 53 ( 21-9-2002 )
Considereth that other saying of Christ, ’No Man can come unto Me, except the Father, which hath sent Me, draw him.’
  Chapter 54 ( 21-9-2002 )
How a Man shall not seek his own, either in Things spiritual or natural but the Honour of God only; and how he must enter in by the right Door, to...