TO GEORGE SPALATIN
Luther heard from von Schaumburg that one hundred Franconian knights were ready to defend him. July 10, 1520.
I herewith send the letter of the Franconian knight, Sylvester von Schaumburg, and should like it alluded to in the Prince’s letter to Cardinal St. Georgio, so that they may know, that although they banish me from Wittenberg with their ban they will only make bad worse. For, even in Bohemia, there are people who will protect me, if I am exiled, against the enemy’s thunderbolts. And then with such protection I might attack the Papacy still more vehemently than I can from my theological chair in the Prince’s domain. Unless God prevent, this will happen. So let them know that the reason I have not
yet attacked them is solely due to my great respect for the Prince and the interests of the students in the University. For me the die is cast, and I despise Rome’s displeasure as much as her favor. I shall never be reconciled to her, let her condemn or burn me as she will! But if I can get a fire I shall publicly burn the whole Papal code, this serpentine piece of treachery, and make an end of the humility I have hitherto displayed in vain, so that the enemies of the gospel may no longer vaunt themselves on account of it. The more I think of the Cardinal’s letter the more I despise those who, through cowardice and an evil conscience, breathe out defiance with their last breath, trying to hide their ignorance through violence. But the Lord, who knows I am a wicked sinner, will conduct His cause through me, or some one else.
MARTIN LUTHER. Wittenberg.