Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

From Here to Forever

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    The Courage of a Martyr

    As the Reformer proceeded, an eager multitude thronged about him, and friendly voices warned him of the Romanists. “They will burn you,” said some, “and reduce your body to ashes, as they did with John Huss.” Luther answered, “Though they should kindle a fire all the way from Worms to Wittenberg, ... I would walk through it in the name of the Lord; I would appear before them, ... confessing the Lord Jesus Christ.”10Ibid., bk. 7, ch. 7.HF 96.2

    His approach to Worms created great commotion. Friends trembled for his safety; enemies feared for their cause. At the instigation of the papists he was urged to repair to the castle of a friendly knight, where, it was declared, all difficulties could be amicably adjusted. Friends described the dangers that threatened him. Luther, still unshaken, declared: “Even should there be as many devils in Worms as tiles on the housetops, still I would enter it.”11Ibid., bk. 7, ch. 7.HF 96.3

    Upon his arrival at Worms, a vast crowd flocked to the gates to welcome him. The excitement was intense. “God will be my defense,” said Luther as he alighted from his carriage. His arrival filled the papists with consternation. The emperor summoned his councilors. What course should be pursued? A rigid papist declared: “We have long consulted on this matter. Let your imperial majesty get rid of this man at once. Did not Sigismund cause John Huss to be burnt? We are not bound either to give or to observe the safe-conduct of a heretic.” “No,” said the emperor, “we must keep our promise.”12Ibid., bk. 7, ch. 8. It was decided that the Reformer should be heard.HF 96.4

    All the city were eager to see this remarkable man. Luther, wearied from the journey, needed quiet and repose. But he had enjoyed only a few hours’ rest when noblemen, knights, priests, and citizens gathered eagerly about him. Among these were nobles who had boldly demanded of the emperor a reform of ecclesiastical abuses. Enemies as well as friends came to look upon the dauntless monk. His bearing was firm and courageous. His pale, thin face wore a kindly and even joyous expression. The deep earnestness of his words gave power that even his enemies could not wholly withstand. Some were convinced that a divine influence attended him; others declared, as had the Pharisees concerning Christ: “He hath a devil.” John 10:20.HF 97.1

    On the following day an imperial officer was appointed to conduct Luther to the hall of audience. Every avenue was crowded with spectators eager to look upon the monk who had dared to resist the pope. An old general, the hero of many battles, said to him kindly: “Poor monk, thou art now going to make a nobler stand than I or any other captains have ever made in the bloodiest of our battles. But if thy cause is just, ... go forward in God's name, and fear nothing. God will not forsake thee.”13D'Aubigne, bk. 7, ch. 8.HF 97.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents