And he said, A certain man had two sons:…
Martin Luther was worldly, not after the merchant's fashion, but after the scholar's. He gave himself to study, and became a Doctor in Philosophy. He was not without thoughts of God, which haunted him and marred his happiness, but they were not sufficient to turn the current of his life. Among his college friends there was one, named Alexis, with whom he was very intimate. One morning a report was spread that Alexis had been assassinated. Luther hurried to the spot, and found the report was true. This sudden loss of his friend affected him deeply, and he asked himself, "What would become of me if I were thus suddenly called away?" Some months after he visited the home of his childhood, and on his return to the university he was within a short distance of Erfurt, when he was overtaken by a violent storm. The thunder roared; a thunderbolt sank into the ground at his side. Luther threw himself on his knees; his hour, he thought, was perhaps come; death, judgment, eternity, were before him in all their terrors, and spoke with a voice which he could no longer resist; encompassed with the anguish and terror of death, as he himself relates, he made a vow, if God would deliver him from this danger, to forsake the world, and devote himself entirely to His service. Risen from the earth, having still before his eyes that death which must one day overtake him, he could be worldly no longer, he must now be godly. His whole soul went into the resolution, "I will arise"; and arise he did with singleness and earnestness of purpose, nor lingered for one moment until he found himself sheltered in peace under the roof of his heavenly Father.
(J. Kennedy, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said, A certain man had two sons: