Von de[m] Ban[n] ein fast nutzlich predig

Basel: Adam Petri, 1520.

Price: $2,800.00

Quarto: 18.5 x 13.8 cm. [20] pp. Collation: A4, B6

TENTH EDITION (printed in the year of the first edition.)

Modern patterned boards. Light dampstaining, some small spots, small ink blot on 2 lvs., a few side notes shaved. One of numerous editions of this treatise on the Church's abuse of the ban (excommunication) published in the year of the first issue (1520). Bound in modern half morocco and marbled boards. Title set within an elaborate, four-piece, white-on-black woodcut title-border with scrolling vegetation, angels and grotesques. The leaves of this copy are clean and have good margins. A small number appears in the upper corner of the title page and there are a few minor tears in the outer margin.

"Luther's 'Sermon on the Ban' was motivated by his pastoral concern for proper ecclesiastical practice. In a Lenten sermon preached in Wittenberg on March 17, 1518, he had already attacked the misuse of the ban. 'So far has this childish veneration and holiness gone,' he complained about the use of ecclesiastical power, 'that they have started this game of excommunication, and the letters are flying about like bats, all because of a trifling thing.' According to Luther, the ban, like the letters of indulgence, was no longer used for the edification of troubled Christian consciences. Instead, it had become a means to enforce the fiscal policies of the church. Many a Christian community had been 'banned' because it had not paid ecclesiastical dues in time or was unable to raise the money.
"Luther's sermons on excommunication caused much consternation among the ecclesiastical authorities because Luther had incited people to defy the ban in the name of a righteous cause. … Since a public debate on the ban was not possible, Luther continued to warn Wittenbergers about the misuse of the ban. The 'Sermon on the Ban", probably preached in December of 1519 and printed in 1520, repeated much that Luther had said a few months earlier. It is intimately linked with his discussion of 'The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ and the Brotherhoods', which dealt with the question of what it means to take part in the fellowship (communicare). Here, he discusses what it is 'to put under the ban' (excommunicare). …
"The 'Sermon on the Ban' reveals the full intensity of Luther's pastoral concern for the plight of the layman: the ban, like the sacrament as such, is only an external means to maintain discipline in the Christian community. A man is not condemned because he violated external ecclesiastical laws; rather, he is condemned on the basis of his own sin and unbelief. Sin is lack of trust in God's grace, not disobedience to ecclesiastical laws. … In his sermon on the ban, as in his sermons on penance, baptism and the Lord's Supper, Luther tried to show that individual and communal faith in God's grace was more important than external dependence on the mechanics of a sacramental system." (The Concordia edition of Luther’s Works, Vol. 39, pp. xxii, 5 ff.).

Benzing 579