We all know that Martin Luther wrote and lectured so much that researchers can find something authored by him (or said by him and jotted down by one of his students) on just about any subject.
I was recently thumbing through a notebook one of my sons brought home from a Classical Education conference which included several pages of interesting Luther quotations focused on various aspects of education. Of course the one on History really caught my attention:
"Hence, too, historians are the most useful of men, and the best teachers. Nor can we ever accord too much praise, honor, or gratitude to them; and it should be the work of the great ones of the eart, as emperors, kings, and the like, to cause a faithful record to be made of the history of their own times, and to have such records sacredly preserved and set in order in libraries. And, to this end, they should spare no expense, which may be needful, to educate and maintain those persons whose talents mark them out for this task.
But he who would write history, must be a superior man, lion-hearted and fearless in writing truth. For most manage to pass by in silence, or at least to gloss over the vices of the mischances of their times, to please great lords or their own friends; or they give too high a place to minor, or it may be, insignificant actions; or else, from an overweening love of country, and a hatred toward foreign nations, they bedizen or befoul histories, according to their own likes or dislikes. Hence it is that a suspicious air invests histories and God's providence is shamefully obscured; so the Greeks did in their perverseness, so the Pope's flatterers have done heretofore, and are now doing, till it has come to this, at last, that we do not know what to admit or what to reject. Thus the noble, the precious, and highest use of history is overlooked, and we have only a vain babble and gossip. And this is because the worthy task of writing annals and records is open to everyone without discrimination; and they write or slur over, praise or condemn, at their will.
How important, then, is it, that this office should be filled by men of eminence, or at least by those who are worthy. For, inasmuch as histories are records of God's work, that is, of His grace and His displeasure, which men should believe with as much reason as if the same stood written in the Bible, surely they ought to be penned with all diligence, truth and fidelity."