Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist
**Martin Luther **: “Of all the fathers, as many as you can name, not one has ever spoken about the sacrament as these fanatics do. None of them uses such an expression as, ‘It is simply bread and wine,’ or ‘Christ’s body and blood are not present.’ Yet this subject is so frequently discussed by them, it is impossible that they should not at some time have let slip such and expression as, ‘It is simply bread,’ or ‘Not that the body of Christ is physically present,’ or the like, since they are greatly concerned not to mislead the people; actually, they simply proceed to speak as if no one doubted that Christ’s body and blood are present. Certainly among so many fathers and so many writings a negative argument should have turned up at least once, as happens in other articles; but actually they all stand uniformly and consistently on the affirmative side” (Luther’s Works, St. Louis, MI: Concordia Publishing, 1961, Volume 37, 54)
*Note: This doesn’t actually portray Luther as teaching the Real Presence, though he really did teach such, and most Lutherans still believe thus in some form or another. This quote, on its own, only shows that Luther recognized the unanimity of the ECF’s on the subject.
If anyone does have pertinent quotes from Luther where he explicitly teaches the Real Presence, those would be greatly appreciated*.
ETA: I just found this quote, which is a different translation from above, but contains the prefeace to the above quote, and carries it through. Not only is the context preserved there, but I believe Luther comes across much more strongly in the first paragrpah of this quote:
"Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that *my body *is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.
Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”
–Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391 (emphasis in source)