Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms

 

This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest, but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

 

The above paragraph comes from a lengthy defense Martin Luther made on April 18, 1521 at the Diet of Worms. Besides church officials, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, was also present. The pope had issued a Bull of Excommunication on January 3.  Luther traveled from Wittenberg to Worms under a letter of safe conduct. Along the way he had preached to overflowing crowds at churches and upon arriving in Worms on April 16, he received a tumultuous welcome.  When he left on the 21st, he was forbidden to preach on his return trip.  However, his supporters staged a kidnapping and took Luther to Wartburg castle for his safety.

Since Luther had refused to recant anything unless shown his error on the basis of Scriptures, on May 26 Charles V declared Luther an outlaw.  Luther was now under indictment by both the Church and the civil authority.

 

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