By Harry Gerald Haile
This paintings introduces us to the nice chief in his fifties, a character that used to be probably the most pungently alive in all history."
Originally released in 1983.
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But Luther became restless as conversation settled down to seriousness. He broke in to assert that there ought to be two fast days every week, not just one. And on the fast days people should abstain from food entirely, not just from meat. 19 Vergerio was able to understand this sally only as further evi dence of the man's unstable judgment. 20 As he walked with Luther to the waiting horses he congratulated him self for the coolness with which he had handled this quite unpredictable fellow. It would be a good thing now if his tri umph could be made explicit here in the presence of his own company, with the assembled Saxons looking on.
But the carrot he held out did not fail of its effect. Vehement and fierce, quite in accord with his natural tendencies, we are told, was Luther's answer. He said he took no account of the esteem he might enjoy at the court of Rome; he neither feared their hate nor regarded their benevolence. He only served the divine will as best he was able, and when he had done all he could he was still but a useless servant. He did not see how Christian efforts could be joined to those of the papacy, any more than darkness might be joined to light.
Our only sure knowledge is that he obtained a recommendation from a Venetian merchant to George Spalatin, the influential confessor to Frederick the Wise of Saxony, who had protected Luther during the early, dangerous defiance of Rome. The letter was dated 29 October 1521, or just about a year after Luther had become—and been officially declared—notorious for a ceremonious public burning of canon law (intriguing for a Padua law graduate). If it was Luther's activity attracting the young Vergerio, it was precisely Luther's teachings that also frustrated his ambition to study in Wittenberg.