“I Abominate The Babylonian Pest”

Lucas_Cranach_d.Ä._-_Martin_Luther,_1528_(Veste_Coburg)“Unless with all your hearts you abandon the Papacy,  you cannot save your souls. The reign of the Pope is so opposed to the law of Christ and the life of the Christian, that it will be safer to roam the desert and never see the face of man, than abide under the rule of Antichrist. I warn every man to look to his soul’s welfare, lest by submitting to the Pope he deny Christ. The time is come when Christians must choose between death here and death hereafter. For my own part, I choose death here. I cannot lay such a burden upon my soul as to hold my peace in this matter: I must look to the great reckoning. I abominate the Babylonian pest. As long as I live I will proclaim the truth. If the wholesale destruction of souls throughout Christendom cannot be prevented, at least I shall labour to the utmost of my power to rescue my own countrymen from the bottomless pit of perdition.”

~ Martin Luther, December 11, 1520, Sermon at Wittenberg. Wylie. History of Protestantism, Book 6, Ch 2, p 296