“God Has Written This Article of the Resurrection in Trees”: Luther on the Second Coming and Eternal Summer

In an ongoing effort to get people to read this essay, I continue to catalog instances of historical figures who agree with meeeeeeeeeeeeeee and the essay’s thesis.

A little over a month ago I gave a bit of Minucius Felix’s Octavius in support. Here’s another one, from Martin Luther’s House Postil sermon on the Gospel text for the Second Sunday in Advent (i.e. this past Sunday), Luke 21:25-36. In verses 29-30, Jesus says this:

And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Luther comments:

Such comfort is also imparted in the beautiful parable of the budding trees, which He gives them that they may all the better appropriate to themselves this consolation. In spring, He says, when winter ceases and the whole earth becomes new; when the cold departs and the warmth takes its place; when the dry trees become green and blossom again, tell me, how does all this begin? Is it not true that buds first begin to swell, then to open? Then every one says that winter is past and summer will soon be here. Let this parable be your teacher, and the trees in the field your book, that you may learn to know how to await the last day. For God has written this article of the last day and resurrection of the dead not only in books, but also in trees and other creatures. As summer surely will follow when the sap rises in the trees, and they put forth cleaves; so when the earth shall quake, the heavens tremble, and the sun and moon look dark and gloomy, then be no more afraid than you are when the young leaves appear and summer is about to come. Such signs shall be to you like the sap and leaflets on the trees, that you may with joy look for the eternal summer, and know that there shall now be an end of your distress and anguish. For this wretched life on earth is like the unfruitful winter when everything dries up, dies and decays. But it shall then have an end, and the beautiful, eternal summer shall come, namely, the kingdom of God, by which the kingdom of the devil shall be destroyed, on account of which you have had to suffer so much in this world. For in this world you must live among ungodly, wicked, false, penurious people, who blaspheme and slander the gospel, and seek to bring about all manner of misfortune. This you must see and hear every day, and may expect it to become still worse. From this I will redeem you by my coming, that you may no more see and suffer such things.


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