Thursday, November 01, 2007
A Fitting Way to Remember the Reformation
Now that Reformation Day is over, I wanted to share this brief quote from Dr. Martin Luther's rejoinder to the papal bull, "Exsurge Domine," which had been issued against him. Luther's reply was called "Against the Execrable Bull of Antichrist." I first encountered it in Roland Bainton's excellent bio of Luther entitled "Here I Stand - A Life of Martin Luther." I laughed heartily then and am laughing heartily now.
I have heard that a bull against me has gone through the whole earth before it came to me, because being a daughter of darkness it feared the light of my face. If not spurious, Luther believed it would have been written by that man of lies, dissimulation, errors, and heresy, that monster Johann Eck . . . whoever writes this bull, he is Antichrist . . . I protest before God that with my whole heart I dissent from the damnation of this bull, that I curse and execrate it as sacrilege and blasphemy of Christ. This be my recantation, O bull, thou ***** of bulls.
There is some dispute over the word in asterisks. Bainton used a tame word, but this particular excerpt was a bit rough. Let's just say that it rhymes with witch.