Even If He Had a Thousand Heads


On Martin Luther after refusing to retract his writings when called before Charles V:

For Luther, it was the word of God that had freed him and saved him. He had no other security. But with it he had the courage to stand . . . When he got there [back to his quarters], he raised his hands, smiled and shouted, ‘I’ve come through! I’ve come through!’; then, turning to a friend, he told him that, even if he had a thousand heads, he would rather have them all lopped off than abandon his gospel.

– Michael Reeves in The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation

Here is the exact quote of Luther’s words referenced above:

If I had a thousand heads I would lose them all rather than to recant.