Jesus, Mark 13:11-13
And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit … And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
As I am a mere man, and not God, I will defend myself after the example of Jesus Christ, who said, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness against me.” (John 18:23) How much more should I, who am but dust and ashes, and so prone to error, desire that every one should bring forward what he can against my doctrine.
Therefore, most serene emperor, and you illustrious princes, and all—whether high or low—who hear me, I implore you by the mercies of God to prove to me by the writings of the prophets and apostles that I am in error. As soon as I shall be convinced, I will instantly retract all my errors, and will myself be the first to seize my writings, and commit them to the flames.
What I have just said I think will clearly show that I have well considered and weighed the dangers to which I am exposing myself; but far from being dismayed by them, I rejoice exceedingly to see the Gospel this day, as of old, a cause of disturbance and disagreement. It is the character and destiny of God’s word. “I came not to send peace unto the earth, but a sword,” said Jesus Christ. God is wonderful and awful in his counsels. Let us have a care, lest in our endeavors to attest discords, we be bound to fight against the holy word of God and bring down upon our heads a frightful deluge of inextricable dangers, present disaster, and everlasting desolations …
Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require of me a simple, clear and direct answer, I will give one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the council, because it is as clear as noonday that they have fallen into error and even into glaring inconsistency with themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from Holy Scripture, or by cogent reasons, if I am not satisfied by the very text I have cited, and if my judgment is not in this way brought into subjection to God’s word, I neither can nor will retract anything; for it cannot be right for a Christian to speak against his conscience.
I stand here and can say no more. God help me. Amen.