Table Talk

Author: Martin Luther

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Luther being informed of one that was fiercely tempted and plagued in his conscience, because he found not in himself a complete righteousness, that he was not so righteous as God in the law required, and that, in praying, he always felt blaspheming against Christ, said: It is a good sign; for blaspheming of God is two-fold; one activa,or operative, when one willfully seeks occasion to blaspheme God; the other, a constrained blaspheming of God, passiva,when the devil, against our wills, possesses us with evil cogitations, which we desire to resist. With such, God will have us to be exercised, to the end we may not lie snoring in laziness, but strive and pray against them. By this means such things, in time, will vanish away and cease, especially at our last end; for then the Holy Ghost is present with his Christians, stands by them, drives away the devil, and makes a sweet, quiet, and peaceable conscience. Wherefore, for his spiritual disease, let him take this my physic; that he trouble not himself about anything, but be of good comfort, trust in God, and hold on to the Word the devil, of his own accord, will soon cease from stirring up such temptation.

Concerning this tribulation, that he finds not a full and complete righteousness in himself, let him know, that no human creature finds it in this life; it is altogether angelical, which shall fall unto us in the life to come. Here we must content ourselves with Christ’s righteousness, which he fully merited for us, with his innocent and spotless life.


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Chicago: Martin Luther, "636," Table Talk, trans. William Hazlitt in The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther (London: D. Bogue, 1848), Original Sources, accessed March 29, 2023,

MLA: Luther, Martin. "636." Table Talk, translted by William Hazlitt, in The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther, London, D. Bogue, 1848, Original Sources. 29 Mar. 2023.

Harvard: Luther, M, '636' in Table Talk, trans. . cited in 1848, The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther, D. Bogue, London. Original Sources, retrieved 29 March 2023, from