So much for the facts, and for Luther's change of attitude. What interests us here is not his personal psychology in this dark affair, but the change in his political theories. For the Reformer had become from the defender of liberty, freedom, and tolerance the preacher of “the new doctrine of the unlimited authority of secular rulers over their subjects”—a theory to which he consistently adhered, which was to become for over four centuries the new Gospel of the Reich, to the everlasting tragedy of mankind.


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