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April 2, 1521: Departure

Luther: In Real Time

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.92K Ratings

🗓️ 2 April 2021

⏱️ 9 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


It's April 2, and the herald has arrived to escort Luther from Wittenberg to the Diet at Worms. Today, Martin Luther begins the 250-mile journey, leaving the relative safety of Saxony far behind.

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It's the morning of April the 2nd of 1521, Kasper Sturm, the herald who delivered the


Emperor's summons, is ready to escort Luther from Vittenburg to the Diet at Verms, 250


miles away, and far from the relative safety of Saxony.


Mounted on a warhorse, Sturm is regaled in the red and yellow of his Imperial Majesty


Charles V. He wears a tabard bearing the seal of the Habsburgs. Its crest is the crown of Austria


supported by the black Imperial Eagle and the pillars of Hercules. The shield in the middle


carries insignia from all across Europe, a reminder to everyone of all that this 21-year-old emperor


commands. His herald Kasper Sturm also holds a banner bearing the same coat of arms.


It snaps impatiently in the spring breeze as he looks down at Luther from his horse.


Luther by contrast is wearing his monk's habit. Greeting the herald warmly,


good-much, Luther steps into a two-wheeled wagon. His staunchest friend and supporter,


Nicholas von Amstorf, steps in behind him. Only a few weeks younger than Luther,


37-year-old Amstorf is Luther's fellow professor at the University of Vittenburg,


and had been there with Luther at the Leipzig debate against Johann Eck two years previously.


Bringing his horse alongside the carriage, Sturm has a warning for Luther.


Here's Imperial Majesty has vouched safe to you, Martin Luther. His promised safe conduct.


I am instructed to say safe conduct provided you do not preach or stir up trouble on the journey.


Martin Luther stir up trouble, impossible, quiet Amstorf.


Thank you. Yes, of course. Go on.


The Emperor's herald there sent to escort you, as God asked, safely to worms, seems a stout fellow,


but he's one man against a band of people assassins. That broadsword's not going to do as much good.


My friend, you know this is the Lord's course. I commend myself to God.


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