|IIIM Magazine Online, Volume 1, Number 5, March 29 to April 4, 1999|
“He taught two or three times every day a variety of topics, including ethics, Greek and Hebrew grammar; he explained Homer, Plato, Plutarch, Titus, Matthew, Romans, the Psalms. In the later period of his life, he devoted himself exclusive to sacred learning” (Schaff, History of the Christian Church).Melanchthon was never seminary trained or ordained to the ministry. He never ascended the pulpit, but he did much private teaching of the Bible outside the classroom.
"I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike. I am born to fight against innumerable monsters and devils. I must re-move stumps and stones, cut away thistles and thorns, and clear the wild forests; but Master Philippus comes along softly and gently, sowing and watering with joy, according to the gifts God has abundantly bestowed upon him” (Schaff).Melanchthon’s strength was also his weakness. He was a man of moderation and amiability, and was always seeking compromise and peace as far as his honest conviction would allow. He opposed the controversies among the Christians of the Reformation, and grieved over the “fury of theologians.” Sometimes he went too far in his compromise.
“Had Luther been without Melanchthon, the torment might have overflowed its banks; when Melanchthon missed Luther, he hesitated and yielded, even when he ought not to have yielded” (D’aubigne).
“Without Luther the Reformation would never have taken hold of the common people: without Melanchthon it would never have succeeded among the scholars of Germany. Without Luther, Melanchthon would have become a second Erasmus, though with a profounder interest in religion; and the Reformation would have resulted in a liberal theological school, instead of giving birth to a Church. However much the humble and unostentatious labors and merits of Melanchthon are overshadowed by the more striking and brilliant deeds of the heroic Luther, they were, in their own way, quite as useful and indispensable” (Schaff).