Martin Luther's Seal
The Luther Rose
While he was a professor at Wittenberg
University, Luther devised this seal which he declared was meant to be "expressive of
The following explanation is the gist of a letter written to his friend, Herr Spangler,
town clerk of Nuremberg, Germany.
THE first thing expressed in my seal is a cross, black, within the
heart, to put me in mind that faith in Christ crucified saves us. "For with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness."
Now, although the cross is black, mortified, and intended to cause
pain, yet it does nor change the colour of the heart, does not destroy nature- i.e., does
not kill, but keeps alive. "For the just shall live by faith," -by faith in the
But this heart is fixed upon the centre of a white rose, to show
that faith causes joy, consolation and peace. The rose is white, not red, because white is
the ideal colour of all angels and blessed spirits.
This rose, moreover, is fixed in a sky-coloured background, to
denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest beginning of heavenly joy to
come, as anticipated and held by hope, though not yet revealed.
And around this groundbase is a golden ring, to signify that such
bliss in heaven is endless, and more precious than all joys and treasures, since gold is
the best and most precious metal. Christ, our dear Lord, He will give grace unto eternal