Luther was not dead.  His friends began to receive letters “From the Wilderness,” “From the Isle of Patmos.”  Frederick the Wise had decided to hide him, and gave instructions to court officials to make the arrangements without divulging the details, even to himself, that he might truthfully feign innocence.  Spalatin, however, might know.  Luther and one companion were apprised of the plan.  Luther was not very happy over it.  He had set his face to return to Wittenberg, come what might.  With a few companions in a wagon, he was entering the woods on the outskirts of the village of Eisenach when armed horsemen fell upon the party and, with much cursing and show of violence, dragged Luther to the ground.  The one companion privy to the ruse played his part and roundly berated the abductors.  They placed Luther upon a horse and led him, for a whole day by circuitous roads, through the woods until, at dusk, loomed up against the sky the massive contours of Wartburg Castle.  At eleven o’clock in the night, the party reined up before the gates.

From: Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton (Nashville: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1950), pp. 149-150.


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