Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.—Rev. 1.7

A Collection of Notes

On Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will.

Shared for the sake of other readers, or those who might find the references of useful service.

By Jeremy T. Kerr.

Martin Luther

The Bondage of the Will

Published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company.

Read first time 1996/1997, finishing while I was a student at Gettysburg College

This book is one of the most important writings in Christian history, presenting a formidible response to the legalistic errors of the time in which it was first published, and an equally important remedy to the great errors of doctrine which prevail among both theological Liberals and professing Evangelicals in the 21st century.  In the 1990s, the book was very important to me as a Gospel-believing Lutheran youth who needed to be led away from the Lutheran church of my childhood to find Bible-centered instruction among Christians who believed the doctrines of Predestination and Effectual Grace.  Whether you are Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Romanist, there is something very valuable for you in Luther’s Bondage of the Will.  Even beyond its stated themes there are several lessons of the Christian faith in which this famous Doctor of the Reformation can strengthen your Christ-centered convictions.

I apologize for the hints one may find that I was then using the NIV and/or Good News translation to cross-reference.  Soon after starting this book I acquired a NKJV, and some months later started using the KJV.  Beside the KJV, the only English Bible translation I would now encourage readers to use is the Geneva Bible.  If Luther were alive today, he would prefer to see Christians reading the Latin Vulgate, rather than flooding the churches, bookstores, and Christian homes with translations that mangle and footnote God's word into doubtful obscurity even more than what prevailed in his own day.

The notes which follow include both those I took in 1996/1997 as I read the Packer/Johnston translation, and those I took in 1997/1998 while reading the Henry Cole translation. Of these two translations, I recommend the former to anyone who needs some guidance into the historical context and theological questions of the discussion; but recommend the latter to those who already have a fair amount of knowledge in the history and theology of the Reformation.  Other translations also exist, but these are the two I have read.

--------- Notes ------------

[ The Packer/Johnston translation includes a 49 page historical and theological introduction. ]

PageNote / Info on Packer/Johnston Translation Published by Baker

[ Notes on Historical Introduction ]

15 Erasmus - Scorned the Catholic Church in much the same way as Luther
Erasmus - Was a good friend of Pope Leo X
Erasmus - Was most educated & suited to Lead Reform
18 Erasmus was “no theologian”
Luther's 95 Theses ended all hope for Erasmian Reform
21 Erasmus saw good in Rome - Luther saw bad
21 Staupitz greatly influenced Luther
23 Indulgences present 400 years before Luther
23 Power of granting Indulgences became confined to Pope!
24 The Indulgence for Basilica was to give complete remission of sins
Two types of Reform: Peaceful, (Undoctrinal) humanism \ Revolutionary, Augustinian Evangelicalism
26 (Erasmus said) Luther has done good but his rough manner will lose him many friends
27 Foes of Humanism said Erasmus was Father of Luther's Heresy
29 Erasmus finds nothing wrong with Luther [1519]
32 Erasmus seeks to protect Luther [1520]
33 Dec 10, 1520: Luther burned Papal bull in Public
34 Condemned at Worms - secretly taken to Wartburg; Rumours of being poisoned by Aleander
35 King of England urged Erasmus to write against Luther - Henry VIII
July 1523 - First Lutheran Martyrs killed at Brussels
38 Lutheran Reformation First historical movement to receive nation-wide publicity
38-39Fanatical Extremists, Peasant Uprisings, and Marriage prevented Luther from respondign to Erasmus' "Free Will" immediately

[ Notes page 1-V ]

39 Luther's Response 4 times the length of Erasmus' Diatribe
39 Erasmus responds in 2 lengthy volumes in 1526 & 1527
Luther said only De Servo Arbitrio and the children's catechism deserved to be preserved
41 Erasmus' Diatribe shows "much learning but little insight"
43 To Erasmus Christianity was merely morality
44 To Luther Christianity was a matter of doctrine & faith
46 The "Mistress Reason is the Devil's Whore"
46 [Luther] Condemned Natural Theology which used man's wisdom
47 Employs Reason in the Sense of Logick
50 All Erasmus has done is cheapened the price of Salvation
51 All of our actions are led by GOD
[The] creature cannot make the creator his debtor
55 Impossibility of understanding provides opportunity for faith
55 There is both "God Preached" and "God Hidden"
56 We are to be guided by His Word not His "inscrutable will"
56 Same GOD who condemns ungodly, mourns over their condemnation
57 Justice comes in the end
57 Lights of nature, grace, & glory
58 Line of thought in "The Bondage of the Will" is Calvinistic
58 Present Day Evangelical has semi-Pelagianism in his Blood
58 All Reformers stood on the same Ground here
58 Justification by faith only part of the Reformers' Doctrine of the sinner's salvation being entirely a free gift of God's Sovereign grace.
58 Most important Part of Doctrine is that even the beginning of the Faith comes from GOD
59 Arminianism turned faith into a meritorious work
60 Protestantism today has become more Erasmian than Lutheran

[ Notes page 2-R ]

[ Luther's Introduction ]

64 Did not respond to Erasmus because of "Disgust, Disinclination, and Distaste"
64 Now responding to prevent lost souls

[ Review of Erasmus' Preface ]

Unbiblical Assertions are stupid & Impious
67 Should have full assurance in Christ
69 Should also be certain about that which the Bible does not address
72 Christ has opened our understanding of Scripture
73 Scripture says that GOD is incomprehensible, not that Scripture is [incomprehensible]
74 Erasmus says Free Will is a useless doctrine we can do without
74 Papist would condemn Erasmus' writing except for the fact that it is against Luther
It is important to at least know what one believes
76 Erasmus never defines the limits to which our will acts
78 If I do not know what I can do for myself, then I do not understand what GOD can & will do for me
78 We know not GOD if we know not what he does for us
79 Must consider foreknowledge of GOD to consider freewill
79 Erasmus writes nothing about Freewill, which is his topic
80 God foreknows nothing contingently, but does all according to his Eternal will
80 God's nature remains unchanged to all Eternity
80 All that we do is in reality done in respect to GOD's will
81 Immovable GOD brings movement in all
81 Our will is not under any compulsion, does just as it pleases
82 God is the only necessary being — existing by necessity of His own essential nature
"My counsel shall stand, and my will shall be done": Isaiah 46:10
82 Even the Heathen (i.e. Vergil) speak of fate often — why not study
83 Necessary that all should believe GOD wills all things that come
"The LORD knoweth them that are His!" II Tim. 2:19
Salvation promised long ago: Titus 1:2

[ Notes page 2-V ]

84 Ask of Him, ye shall receive; ask of others, ye may not
85 Teaching of Scriptures is not a game or joke, Erasmus!
85 Sophists have defiled the gold with dung, but we should keep the Gold
86 Erasmus should save paper
88 God is with us in death and Hell
89 Erasmus would bring on us the Tyranny of the Papal Laws
90 All Erasmus seeks is Public Order
90 Seek to Fulfil the will of GOD [even if] all Earth is thrown into Chaos
91 Christ himself came to Bring disorder
92 Better to tolerate temporal war than continuance of Papacy
93 Confessions & Satisfactions are (vain) human traditions and laws
94 The Gospel does not bring wickedness, but brings wickedness to light
94 Christ is preached even when in envy.  Phil. 1.15.
95 WORD of GOD should be preached to All in its Fullness
96 Pope is unwilling for souls to be redeemed
96 Erasmus is writing this for a cardinal’s hat
96 Mens’ ordinances Bind Consciences    — The Spirit’s [ordinances] FREE consciences!
Christ’s WORD: “Many are called, Few are chosen”: Matt. 22.14.
98 Erasmus insincere when speaking of the majesty of GOD’s Judgment
99 “Who art thou that contendest with GOD?” (Romans 9:20)
99 Fear of GOD & Humiliation must precede true, saving grace
100,101Doctrines Published to bring us to humility and love and teach us faith
102 Unsaved do evil by necessity, not “compulsion.”
102 Outward force to do good does not change will
103 Bent of the will is still immutable, even when given by the LORD
104 Erasmus’ Free-will has great power but ineffective power
105 Free will is as unique [peculiar] to GOD as is His Divinity
106 Man may be ‘Granted’ the ‘Freewill of GOD’
107 Freewill is ‘overruled by the Freewill of GOD’
107 Erasmus’ objections are either blasphemy or they are worthless & without need
108 Hidden Wisdom has been revealed to us: Isaiah 64:4
All of us are like the unclean: Isaiah 64:6

[ Notes page 3-R ]

[ Review of Erasmus' Introduction ]

109 Erasmus promises to argue only from canonical Scripture
109 Luther has Wycliffe, Laurentius Valla, & Augustine on his side
111 Saints having the Spirit and working 'miracles' have nothing to do with “free-will”
112 Doctrines to be proved by GOD, Not Man
113 Promoters of Freewill have inconsistent Definitions
116 Pope & his men say: “Do as we say, not as we do”
118 Not all which Peter spoke was true: “That must never happen to you” [Matt. 16.22.]
119 Jerome suggests marriage for earth, virginity for heaven
119,120 Roman Catholic Church is not the true Church and GOD is not with her
122 Pope sets himself in GOD’s place by declaring saints.
123 All Doctrines should be tested & Judged by Scripture.
125 Moses says use laws to judge & make decisions — This cannot be done unless laws are clear & understandable.
Psalm 19:8: “The commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes”
126 Psalm 119:105: “Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my paths”
127 2 Peter 1:19: “WORD of Prophecy... take heed... shineth in a dark place”
127 John 5:39: Jesus says the Scriptures testify of His coming.
128 2 Tim 3:16: All Scripture is given by GOD
128 Luther’s Extreme Sarcasm
129 No part of Scripture is Obscure
130 Though they cannot refute us, neither shall they join us
131 Gates of Hell prevail not against the Church of Christ, Matt 16:18, But they do prevail against Papacy. (as said by Hus)
132 Men Confessing “Free-will” throughout history have been blind to the truth of Scripture to show how powerless Free Will is
133 What Cannot be Defended from Scripture is not our business
134 Our Failure to Grasp GOD’s WORD does not come from our own weakness of Understanding, but from the wickedness of Satan
134 Erasmus does not present a Biblical perspective but rather discusses ‘pros and cons’
134 Foolish to shed one’s blood over something obscure
135 Erasmus is trying simply to cause trouble for Luther.
135 Luther Asserts: (1) Scriptures are perfectly clear; (2) Those mentioned were wholly inexpert in the sacred writings when they asserted “Free-Will”

[ Notes page 4-R ]

[ Review of Erasmus' Arguments for 'Free-Will' ]

137 Definition of “Free-will”: Power of human will to apply oneself to those things that lead to salvation
137 One would not call a slave who obeys commands ‘free’
138 Erasmus is obscure in defining “Free-Will”
139 Cannot know anything about salvation unless Spirit has revealed it: 1 Cor. 2:10
140 Greater one’s Wit & Learning, The Greater one’s objection to resurrection
141 “Free-Will” is a Divine term signifying a divine power
141 “Free-Will” Applies itself to things it does not Comprehend! [according to Erasmus]
141 Erasmus contradicts himself when he says FW can apply itself to grace (Earlier he said FW was useless w/o grace)
142 Erasmus makes Holy Spirit to be Superfluous & Unnecessary
142 Luther does not Agree with Sophist’s view of “Free-Will”
142,143 Stones & Logs have Free Will [according to Sophist’s reasoning]
143 (ii) Luther does not accept the book of Ecclesiasticus
145 (iii)Erasmus Grants Free Will cannot will good: contradicts himself
147 Erasmus has attempted to create a Middle Ground concerning free will
151 (iv) Ecclesiasticus does not assert Free Will but speaks subjunctively
151 (v) Command does not mean we are capable of fulfilling
153 By the Law GOD brings us to awareness of our impotence
156 (vi) Satan was not in control of Adam (as he is us) but still caused him to sin
157 (vii)Hebrews use future indicative for the imperative often
165 (ix) If we cannot love GOD with all our heart, then we can do nothing
169 GOD promises things that we need, not just things we benefit from
170 (x) Antichrist can only be exalted above our view of GOD but nothing can be exalted above “GOD Not Preached”
170 GOD has kept himself free over all things
172 (xi) Diatribe suggests man can keep all the law with ease without grace
174 The Law is Near us & with us. We cannot claim not to know it
176 (xii)Man should occupy himself with GOD Incarnate (Christ Crucified)
176 All which was done by the prophets was done in the name of Christ
179 (xiv)Erasmus has sought to ascribe merit to free-will
180 NT: Promises & Exhortations.  OT: laws & threats
180 Ministry of WORD is highest point of Grace
181 (xv) Rewards come from God as a consequence — not by worthiness
182 One cannot merit that which has been prepared unto him since the foundation of the world

[ Notes page 4-V ]

184 GOD has given His Spirit through His WORD
185 (xvi)Works of “ours” are ours because we received them from the Holy Spirit
188 Free Will rejects even Grace because it is ruled by Satan
188 Diatribe’s only purpose was to please Pope by rejecting Luther
189 Knowledge of Sinfulness -> Humbleness -> Prepared for Grace
189 Christians are made to act by the Spirit of GOD

[ Notes page 5-R ]

[ Review of Erasmus' Treatment of Texts that Deny 'Free-Will' ]

190 (ii) Erasmus has incorrectly claimed various “figures” [of speech] to support his claims
All figures to be avoided save if absolutely required by Scripture
192 All heresies come from “hankering after figures”
(iii)Erasmus interprets “prettily” but not correctly
195 Few handled Scripture so clumsily as Origen & Jerome
197 Erasmus’ Prettiest thought: GOD’s mercy comes through endless punishment
199 Free-will is equally impotent in all men
No reason can be given why FW in some should attain to Grace but not in others
199 Without God’s power in election, God becomes the Idol chance, through which all things happen at random
200 Erasmus writes of Freewill filled & unfilled by works
201 WORD makes the reprobate worse
202 God would be good even if He destroyed all men
202 The LORD made the ungodly for the day of evil [Prov. 16.4.]
203 GOD’s best works, such as Hell, seem bad to man
204 (iv) God uses evil instruments (Satan & Man) but it is the blame of the instrument that he is evil & does evil
205 (v) God hardens man by depriving him of those desires which he deserves not to have fulfilled
206 God does not need to create “fresh evil” But only leave us to ourselves
206 God bid Shimei to curse David. 2 Sam. 16.10.
208 (vi) God knew Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened, because an evil will can only will evil.
208 God should not cease to be good simply so that the ungodly don’t grow worse
209 God’s will obeys no rules or standards — He is GOD!
211 Had Pharaoh had a Free-will, God could not have foretold his hardening
213 (vii)Luther says God is convicting the mind of Erasmus
213 If GOD be not mistaken in what he foreknows, then things must come to pass of necessity.
214 Some “sound sense in the diatribe at last”
214 Romans 9.19 Paul rebukes them who ask why God condemns those that He controls
215 Erasmus is seeking Ambiguity & Obscurity in the Scriptures
216 We have no rights against God’s Power & Will
216 (viii)Even the Gentiles ascribed to their gods “fate inevitable”
218 Law is written on the hearts of even the Gentiles. Romans 2:15
219 (ix) Comparison with potter’s clay in Rom. 9:21 is futile unless Free-will is nil
222 (x) In his sleepy-headedness, Erasmus answers not the questions he was asked
223 (xi) Erasmus would exalt Jerome’ word above Paul’s
224 Jacob attained that which Esau did not solely by the Grace of “Him that calleth”
226 From eternity He has either loved us or hated us immutably
229 (xii)Erasmus insinuates that Paul irresponsibly misquotes OT Scripture from Isaiah 45:9
231 The LORD knows His own: 2 Tim. 2:19
232 (xiii)2nd absurdity drawn from the “Mistress Reason”
232 Diatribe asking same question “Why does He find fault? Who has resisted?”
232-233 God Defines what is just and Good, let not man judge
233 It is not “absurd” to condemn one who cannot avoid deserving damnation
235 (xiv)Erasmus suggests no scriptures should be taken in their plain sense
235 Conditional statements are meant to exhort
236 God alone does all things --> Man does nothing [toward his salvation or in the interest of grace, etc.]
1 Cor. 12.6 [And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.]
237 Erasmus thinks that man can merit rewards
237 Luther: “If ‘free-will’ merits a ‘tiny bit’, and grace the rest, why does ‘free-will’ receive the total reward?”

[ Notes page 6-R ]

[ Review of Erasmus' Treatment of Texts that Deny 'Free-Will' II ]

240 (i) Genesis 6:3 "Flesh" does not merely mean weakness but evil lusts
240 120 years is time set until coming of the Flood
241 All are Flesh => Statement applies to all men. John 3:6
Carnal quality is ungodliness
Hebrew uses same term for 'flesh' & 'body'
242 (ii) God declares that men are evil before & after flood. [Gen] 6.5, 8.21.
243 "Why give any commands, if all passes of necessity?"
243 (iii)Jerome is a man of "no judgment or carefulness"
244 Jews believe God has appointed our time on earth.
245 Those who have thought to be at war against sin have been "sinners-militant"
248 (iv) Greatest part of man: wisdom, righteousness... is only 'flesh'
250 Erasmus will not accept unless a plain statement is given like the Jews & Arians [Luther here is framing a good argument against the Lutheran stubbornness concerning the Lord's Supper]
251 Body & Soul are both flesh and completely unrighteous
252 All one does is for his own glory if he knows not God
253 Man is ungodly if without the Spirit of God.  Bible says: Spirit is given to justify the ungodly
Erasmus has suggested that man's most excellent part does not need Christ.
255 One who has been born again through faith has first fruits of Spirit
255 (v) Jer. 10.23: "Way of man is not in himself"... not man who "directs his own steps."
256 Erasmus attributes to Necessity of events (outcome) which he ealier attacked [or rather, Erasmus attributes to necessity the outcome-of-things, though he condemned Wycliffes's doctrine of necessity.]
259 (vi) Whether God 'permits' or 'inclines' such actions involved pass by the will and operation of God still.
260 (vii)John 15:5: "Without Me, you can do nothing."  Erasmus would change "nothing" to "nothing perfectly"
261 Why not reinterpret all the 'nothings' and 'not's in the Bible
263 Luther uses term 'Lutherans'?
267 (viii)Freewill has nothing to do with co-operation of Man & God's will [rather the question is about the actual power and operation of Free-will itself]
270 Erasmus' conclusion as it should be stated: Against Free-Will
270 Erasmus asks Luther to allow "a very little to 'free-will'"
271 Must go to Extreme & Deny Free-will completely
271 (xi) Free-will is a non entity, a thing consisting in a name alone

[ Notes page 7-R ]

[ VII: The Bible Doctrine of the Bonmdage of the Will ]

273 (i) Luther will not bring in all resources against freewill because book [size intended] is too small
First argument from Rom 1.18: General judgment of wrath against all men
Freewill is pronounced ungodly and unrighteous.
274 'Against all ungodliness of men' actually means 'against the ungodliness of all men' because Paul always uses Hebrew idiom.
274 v16 proves Jews "differ not a whit from other men."
I Cor I:23: Free will fails botht he Jews and the Gentiles
277 How can freewill endeavor towards good when goodness & righteousness are a stumbling block and foolishness to it
277 The wise became vain in their imaginations & foolish heart was darkened [Rom. 1.21.]
278 (ii) We are no better than the vilest & we also fail to seek after God
279 If man’s reason & will - endeavoring was good, then he would not be "under sin"
279 Man is wholy evil in all his ways, entirely, and completely in rebellion against God
280 All men are ignorant of, and despise God. They go out of their way to sin.
282 Man's hate of God is the "fountain-head of all iniquities"... a hell of evil! This is the potency & glory of "free-will"
282 Rom. 3:19-20: Clear that Paul is speaking of all men. All are Guilty before God. By the law is knowledge & awareness of sins committed
282 Jer 23:29: WORD is like a fire... hammer... God is against those who prophesy falsely
283 The LORD will tear down all that the wicked build, including 'free-will'
283 When Paul condemns even the works of the law, it is sure that all are condemned
284 (iii)Error of Jerome caused by Satan: Works of Law only refer to ceremonial - Not True
284 Luther would never canonize Jerome or call him Saint. Rather send to hell.
284 Ceremonial works can be "screwed out of us by plain fear or self-love": How cheap we would make grace to be if this were all we needed.
[Whether it is possible] to perform ceremonial work without sinning.
286 There are those who work after the Spirit, and those who work after the flesh; -- but there is no middle ground.
286 All works of Law performed without the Spirit are condemned
286 That he is "of the works of the Law" is the finest thing that can be said of a man
286 "Free-will" does not even know what sin is, it must have the law to teach it
287 (iv) By the Law comes knowledge of sin -- this is purpose of the law
287 Law does not help a man, it shows him his sickness. The gospel heals
288 "As long as sins are unknown, there is no room for a cure"
288 How can free-will attain to righteousness if it does nto know what it is
289 (v) That righteousness of God which was witnessed by the law has been manifested without the law. Rom. 3:21-25
289 If righteousness exists without the law, how much more will it exist without free-will
289 Supreme concern of free-will is to exercise itself in a moral righteousness.
290 Only Christian faith is righteous before God.
290 What is not Righteous is Sin, there is no medium
290 Ungodly, unfaithful man sins even when he eats because he abuses God's creation
291 "The righteousness of God" Hebrew idiom, means: "A Righteousness we have from God"
291 God accepts the efforts of freewill only from those who have faith
292 "Free-will" is perpetually guilty of sin and unbelief
292 (vi) Endeavor & merit have no place with Grace given freely
292 As little as possible may be attributed to 'free-will' but [on such a theory] it is still that little bit that attains grace [so that it is not longer gracious grace]
293 They make God a respecter of persons when they say a man is without grace by his own fault
293 Free-willists set up condign merit more firmly than the Pelagians
296 (vii)Abraham did not have righteousness of works but righteousness of faith
297 Distinction between "Him that worketh" and "Him that worketh not" indicates that it is "Good" works that Paul condemns
297 (viii)If source of Grace is predestinating purpose of God then it comes of necessity
298 Original Sin becomes ours not by Imitation but by birth
298 (ix) Comprehensive terms of Paul have been ignored & altered to suit free-willists
299 Expresses his views by categorical statements & comprehensive contrast in affirmative & positive
It is the gift of the Spirit of God to turn men to recognize these things.
300 (x) Those who lack the Spirit are flesh, and are under Satan
300 But those who are in the flesh cannot please God, neither can they receive the things of God
300 There is Spirit & Flesh, no middle-man called soul as Origen dreams
301 (xi) Rom. 10:20 It was given to hear and know Christ to them that sought him not --- faith a gift
302 (xii)John 1:5 Darkness comprehended it not. World knew Him not. Cannot exempt any but [those who] have the spirit
302 "Freewill" does not know the light of the truth, it hates Christ & His
303 "World" refers to all accept that which was taken out of the world. John 15:19
303 Those who believe were not born of will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
304 The grace which we receive is bought with the Grace of CHRIST John 1:16, Rom. 5:15
305 When one asserts Free-will, he denies Christ ( => Thus an Antichrist, 1 John 2:22)
305 They use intercessions of Mary & saints since they are afraid of their Christ which is a dreadful judge rather than a sweet mediator
305 Free-willists shall be judged as they believe, and as they deserve
306 (xiii)Free will didn't do anything for Nicodemus who came to Christ but then did not believe
307 (xiv)Scriptures speak categorically — If freewill has nothing to do with Christ, then if has everything to do with Satan.
308 If "free-will" believes on Christ, then man does not need Grace
310 John 3:27: "Man can receive nothing accept it be given him from above" Free-will must be nothing
311 (xv) John 6:49: Man has no power to come to God but must be drawn from within
311 (xvi)It is sin not to believe. This sin comes from the reason & will. The world is in sin, with her will.
312 All Christians know Scripture proclaims Christ categorically & antithetically because there are 2 kingdoms in this world which are at war with each other.
312 We are compelled to serve in Satan’s kingdom if we are not plucked from it by divine power
313 * (xvii)Rom. 7:15, Gal. 5.  Regenerate man is so corrupt that the flesh controls despite [the] spirit’s will.  How then will unregenerate ever will to believe?  Even if he did will to do so, he still would not believe anyhow.
313 (xviii)[I] Would not want "freewill" if available: Could not stand my ground; gives no guarantee
314 Our salvation is not in our will, but is under the control of God’s will.  John 10:28-29
314 We please God not by reason of our works but by his merciful favour promised
315 (xix)Justice of God is incomprehensible, we must have faith that He is just when He damns.  Romans 11:33: "unsearchable are His judgments"
315-316 God governs the external affairs of the world, yet wicked prosper.  They prosper not in worldly, but rather perish.  Chance does not exist. Prov. 16:33.
317 Light of nature, light of grace, light of Glory. Light will make known all
318 Christ, by his blood, redeemed the whole of man, not [the] least valuable part [only]

[ VIII: Conclusion ]

319 Erasmus has many gifts: wit, learning, miraculous eloquence
Erasmus alone has attacked the real essential issue: hinge on which all turns, The Papacy, Purgatory, Indulgences, are trifles, not (vital spot) issues
320 Erasmus' lack of understanding indicated in saying he asserts nothing but makes comparisons.
Luther says he asserts, and urges all to submit.
Pray that the LORD would enlighten and make Erasmus a vessel to honour and Glory

See a few more notes from the Packer/Johnston translation (above) of Luther's Bondage of the Will in a Blog Entry at

PageNote / Info on Henry Cole Translation Published by Henry Atherton

[ Notes page: Additional Notes written on back inside Cover of H. Cole Translation ]

35 Impenitence in an unpardonable sin
151 Our will must be continually moved & increased by the Spirit of God or we will immediately fall
170, 173Offer Divine Mercy to the world
171 Discriminating Love
172 Antichrist
180-181Problem 1/ Matt. 23.  See Calvin's Commentary on Matt. & Mark & Luke, Vol. 3, pp. 108-109.
206 "This is my body"
210-212, 226Hardening
216 "By the same sun, mud is hardened..."
217, 218, 253"Double Predestination"
222 Things damnable to us are very good to God
223 Providence in evil
230 God's will [the] Standard of Right
236 Judas willed evil of Necessity but not by compulsion
237 Necessity of the Consequent Foreknown
241 Damned in Hell will complain eternally as Erasmus
243 Luther's "Desperation" --> Brings closer to grace
252 Let ["Jerome"] be anathema...
255 Malachi Passage
267 Against Single Predestination
293 Righteousness of men for their own Glory is worst unrighteousness
295-297Importance of Doctrine of Total Depravity. [Also, page 334]
299 External vs. Internal Call [Also, pages 316, 380-381]
304 Permission of God is Will
317-318Universal Providence
318 Sanctification / Preserving
340 Jerome
374 FreeWill - not Way, Truth, & Life
378 Doctrine of FreeWill leads to licentiousness
385 God Just to leave Reprobate in sin
387 God & Evil: Section 166 [See pages 387-389.]
389 God does good to Evil men
390 God Fore-ordains all things (as well as foreknows)
402 Unbelief in the Garden
407 Logic, the Instructor of teaching rightly
412 Do not use term fortune / fate
414-415Erasmus makes Christianity into Mythology

[ Notes page: Additional Notes written on front inside of bookcover for H. Cole Translation ]

124-125Define Obscurely
129 Lombard's Definition [of] Free will
139 Necessity of Bondage to Sin
142 Christian Freedom
143 * Moses [Also see page 150]
144 Logic
146 False Logic of Reason [Also see pages 268, 252, 147, 265, 182]
150 Original Grace
150 Must have Continual Grace
152 Future indicative for the imperative [or for] Promise
154 Knowledge is not Power
162 Law & Gospel
165 Offered Grace [Also see pages 170, 171, 181, 187, 198, 199]
171 Infra? [But see 267 top & button ~ Supra.]
173 Desires all to be saved [But see pages 375-376 of Concordia edition of Luther's Commentary on Romans]
181 What Secrets of the Divine Majesty ought we not to pry into [Also, see page 182]
183 Astrologer's Epicycles will us Free Will
189 Necessity of Immutability compatible with merit [See also page 304]
190 No legal Spirit in Sons of God but a working by Free-will
191 Supra - Heaven Merits
201 Christian is saw in hand of carpenter
212 Calling God's Mercy his wrath --- And He does good to whole world
218 Same Sun Hardens & Melts
222 Hell a good work of God
230 Creation vs. Traducian
236 Distinction on Necessity of Consequence Denied
242 Omnipotence of God works all in all
247 If foreknow --> Decreed

[ Notes page: Additional Notes written on back inside of bookcover for H. Cole Translation ]

275 Sons of men vs. Sons of God
285-6Regeneration / Spirit before Faith / Will
303 Proverbs 16.4
304 Permit -> Still Will
316 Synergistic Sanctification
318 Quotes James
323Harsh Words - Gall-dipped Darts
336 Paul would show grace necessary to all
339 "Condemns work of law themselves" - Explain
340 All Condemned who are of the works of the Law. Gal. 3.10. See p. 342.
341 Ceremonial Works Indifferent?
351 Glory of God... Hebrew <--> Latin... [Righteousness of God]
357 If something required from us - then no grace
357 Rom. 4.2-3.
360 If Grace come from Election & Purpose then of necessity & not merit
361 Original Sin
370 Baptist speaking or no in John 1.16?
371-2Assert FreeWill ~ Deny Christ
372 As they believe, so it is unto them
375 Establish FreeWill - Make Christ Void
380-381Effectual Calling
384 I do not want Free-will
384-5Perseverance of the Saints
385 Traducian?
389 3 lights