“They claim that it is the church’s and the ancient fathers’ teaching, even though their own conscience bears witness to them that it is something else.
Truly, how others feel about this matter I do not know, but I feel this way about it: If I know that a person is fighting with and going against his conscience, then I do not have to be afraid of him, even if he at first puts on a bold front and looks cross or perhaps strikes a blow; for if the opposition [of his conscience] continues to plague him, the evildoer has to give way to his bad conscience, despair, and flee. For thus says my book: ‘The Lord will give you a trembling heart’ [Deut. 28:65], and ‘One chases a thousand’ [Deut. 32:30]. In this way, by God’s help, I have been able to avoid fearing the papacy until now; in the past they have been very much afraid of me, a miserable human being, and they still have to be afraid of me. Their conscience is on my side against them; they feel that the truth is contending against them and that they are protecting themselves solely with lies and brute force. They cannot continue like this indefinitely. Yet I have truly not wished them any evil or done them any evil, but I only wanted to point them to Christ, the truth” (Luther’s Works, v.38 p.231).