Ellen G. White Writings

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The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, Page 148

itself, was fast sinking into confusion. The doctrines taught by Luther had not caused this evil; but throughout Germany his enemies were charging it upon him. In bitterness of soul he sometimes asked, “Can such be the end of this great work of the Reformation?” Again, as he wrestled with God in prayer, peace flowed into his heart. “The work is not mine, but thine own,” he said; “thou wilt not suffer it to be corrupted by superstition or fanaticism.” But the thought of remaining longer from the conflict in such a crisis, became insupportable. He determined to return to Wittemberg.

Without delay he set out on his perilous journey. He was under the ban of the empire. Enemies were at liberty to take his life; friends were forbidden to aid or shelter him. The imperial government was adopting the most stringent measures against his adherents. But he saw that the work of the gospel was imperiled, and in the name of the Lord he went forth once more to battle for the truth.

With great caution and humility, yet with decision and firmness, he entered upon his work. “By the word,” said he, “we must refute and expel what has gained a place and influence by violence. I would not resort to force against the superstitious and unbelieving.” “Let there be no compulsion. I have been laboring for liberty of conscience. Liberty is the very essence of faith.” Ascending the pulpit, he with great wisdom and gentleness instructed, exhorted, and reproved, and by the power of the gospel brought back the misguided people into the way of truth.

Luther had no desire to encounter the fanatics

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