45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a man in need, and passes him by, and gives [his money] for pardons, purchases not the indulgences of the pope, but the indignation of God.
55. It must be the intention of the pope that if pardons, which are a very small thing, are celebrated with one bell, with single processions and ceremonies, then the Gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
When people were writing the year 1517, a preaching friar by the name of John Tetzel, a loudmouthed fellow, happened to appear on the scene. Duke Frederick had previously saved him from the bag in Innsbruck; for Maximilian had condemned him to death by drowning in the river Inn (because of his great virtue, you may well imagine). And Duke Frederick had this matter called to his [Tetzel's] attention when he began to slander us Wittenbergers. Tetzel, moreover, freely confessed the affair. This same Tetzel, then, carried indulgences about and sold grace for money, as expensively or cheaply as he could by the exertion of all his powers. At that time I was a preacher here in the monastery and a young doctor, brand-new (neulich aus der Esse kommen), fervent and zealous (hitzig und lustig) in Holy Scripture.
Then, when many people of Wittenberg ran to Jütterbock and Zerbst, etc., for indulgences, and I (as truly as my Lord Christ has redeemed me) did not know what these indulgences were, as indeed no one knew, I began to preach gently that one could do something better, something that would be more certain than the buying of indulgences. Such a sermon against indulgences I had previously delivered here in the castle and had earned poor grace with Duke Frederick, for he loved his foundation very dearly. But, to come to the real cause of the Lutheran disturbance, I let everything go on the way it was going. Meanwhile I hear that Tetzel preached terrible, horrible articles, of which I now will name a few, to wit: