Matthias Loy - The Doctrine of Justification

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I started these 19th Century Lutheran texts because in my opinion, the Brief Statement is a product of the controversies in 19th Century Lutheranism.  So far I have put up various texts from various East Coast figures - both General Synod (Schmucker) and General Council (Mann and Krauth).  But I have not provided any texts from the Midwest Synodical Conference, which is the actual background for the "Brief Statement".  There are many reasons for this.  I attacked this chronologically and at that time most of the Synodical Conference wrote in German rather than English.  Some has been translated into English, and actually Concordia has released some Walther for Logos already, but many of the translations are not clearly public domain.

But I have been hearing the call to go west and give you some writings from the Synodical Conference.  Matthias Loy was one of the giants of Ohio Lutheranism, especially in his Joint Synod of Ohio.  As a youth he was initially attracted to the American Lutheranism of Schmucker, but for health reasons he had to put off seminary and went west to Ohio.  There he found that there was already a Seminary, where he was introduced to the works of CFW Walther.

Loy wrote this originally in the 1869, when he and Walther saw eye to eye.  Ohio was an intitial member of the Synodical Conference with Missouri and others in 1871.  This text, however, is from a bit later - the 1881/2.  At this time Ohio and Missouri were in a theological war about predestination.  More than a part of me wants to see what if any differences exist between the two editions, since when this 2nd edition came out, Missouri was accusing Loy of being soft on Justification and being a synergist.

The terms "predestination" and "election" - terms used quite a bit in the controversy - are absent from this work.  On the other hand, he speaks elequantly on what we Lutherans teach.  A brief quote from page 11:

That we are justified “freely” implies that there is nothing in us which could furnish God a motive for declaring us just. That we are justified “by His grace” implies that the cause is in God alone, who pities us in our lost estate. That we are justified “through the forbearance of God” implies that there is abundant reason to condemn us, but that divine mercy triumphs over justice in setting the sinner free. It would be trampling upon the words of Scripture to assume that justification is an act which merely gives man his due.

To my ears (who hates some of the things he DID say in the controversy) this does not sound like synergism.

Editorial notes - the source for this text is I have provided links to all but one of the Luther quotes (it is from a Sermon I don't think is in the American Edition) for which Loy gives any reference.  For the Galatians Commentary, I linked it to the American Edition, in spite of the fact that the wording was closer to some other editions I have of this commentary in Logos. I did not bother to search down the source and add references when Loy didn't either.

In the original book, there are itallics for most references.  Since they were already emphasized by having links, I didn't bother to add itallics for emphasis.  There are some typos and repeated words that I left in.  However, if I figured that it was possible to read a text "correctly" I went with that reading instead of just what I (or an OCR) would initially guess.


Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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