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Anecdotes of Church History

    In the early days of the German Reformation it was mistakenly believed that Martin Luther, especially after he was abducted after the Council of Worms (he was “imprisoned” in the Wartburg Castle), had been martyred for Christ. Devastated by the rumors of Luther’s demise, and to express his profound grief and misery, the renowned Albrecht Durer, painter and printer (1471-1528), famously bemoaned in his diary:
    “I know not whether he lives or is murdered, but in any case he had suffered for the Christian truth. If we lose this man, who has written more clearly than any other in centuries, may God grant his spirit to another. His books should be held in great honor, and not burned as the emperor commands, but rather the books of his enemies, O God, if Luther is dead, who will henceforth explain to us the gospel? What might he not have written for us in the next ten or twenty years?” (my emphasis) but that was not the whole story. So profound was Durer’s unhappiness that he even hoped that Luther (emulating the pioneering work of the Lord Himself) might be resurrected. He wrote: “O Lord, who desirest before thou comest to judgment that as thy Son Jesus Christ had to die at the hands of the priests and rise from the dead and ascend to heaven, even should thy disciple Martin Luther be made conformable to him.”
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