What is the Theologica Germanica?

My daily devotion recently featured a quote from the Theologica Germanica.  This is a work you may have heard of, but if you’re like me, you’re not really sure what it is.  I looked it up.  It was a mystical treatise believed to have been written in the later 14th century by an anonymous priest.  According to the introduction, he was a member of the Teutonic order (crusading knights who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Lands) and lived in Frankfurt, Germany.

It was not widely disseminated until it came to the attention of Martin Luther, who published a partial edition in 1516.  Luther suspected the author was John Tauler, a Roman Catholic priest and theologian. Originally Luther stated:

“Next to the Bible and St. Augustine, no book has ever come into my hands from which I have learned more of God and Christ, and man and all things that are.”

Later, he came to reject it as insufficiently grounded in Scripture.  Another reformer, Calvin, rejected it as well. It did become quite popular with the Radical Reformation(which included groups like the anabaptists and mennonites).  If you would like to read it for yourself, follow this link:

Theologia Germanica (onlinechristianlibrary.com)

In any case, here is my quote.  It speaks to the topic of surrender that I have been recently pondering.

“Many say they have no peace nor rest, but so many crosses and trials afflictions and sorrows, that they know not how they shall ever get through them.  Now he who in truth will perceive and take note, perceiveth clearly that true peace and rest lie not in outward things.  There liveth no man on earth who may always have rest and peace without troubles and crosses.  Wherefore yield thyself willingly to them, and seek only that true peace of the heart, which none can take away from thee, that thou mayest overcome all assaults.”

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