November 9th is set apart to commemorate the great orthodox Lutheran theologian, Martin Chemnitz, sometimes known as "the second Martin." It has been said, "If the second Martin had not come, the first Martin would not have stood." The writings of Martin Chemnitz helped rescue Lutheran theology, which after Luther was being undermined by both Calvinism and Roman Catholicism. Under the tutelage of Phillip Melanchthon, Chemnitz accepted and defended Lutheran teaching, by both his lecturing and by his writings. One of his best known books, Loci Theologici, was a commentary on Melanchthon's theology. In it, Chemnitz strongly defends the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In other writings, Chemnitz defended Luther's teaching on the Lord's Supper and the church's ancient teaching that Jesus is both man and God. Another important work by Martin Chemnitz was his Examination of the Council of Trent. At Trent, the Roman Catholics restated and clarified their doctrines. Chemnitz replied to their claims with four volumes which were a strong Protestant answer to Roman Catholic claims. For Lutherans, Chemnitz' most important contribution was his part in drafting the Formula of Concord. This was an orthodox restatement of the Lutheran faith that was acceptable to different Lutheran factions. Due in large part to his efforts, the Formula of Concord was adopted by the Lutherans of Saxony and Swabia.
Martin Luther's hymn, "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word" seems like an appropriate commentary on the life of " the second Martin."
1. Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.
2. Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow'r make known,
For You are Lord of lords alone;
Defend Your holy Church that we
May sing Your praise eternally.
3. O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.