He told Katie that she should make all the arrangements and join him in Zeitz. She could, if she liked, ask the town pastor, John Bugenhagen, to say farewell for him and inform Master Philip Melanchthon as well. But he would not come back. “My heart has become cold, so that I do not like to be there any longer”.*
He had grown disheartened both because of the stinginess of the town and the immorality of its residents. But what may have pushed him over the edge was that…
One of Luther’s own maids, who had worked her way into their household with a phony story, was now pregnant and abandoned by her lover. He [Luther] called the city Sodom after the biblical city that so displeased God.*
Who doesn’t understand that sentiment?
It seemed increasingly true that his long work, especially his preaching, had been in vain in the very place where he had labored the longest and the hardest.*
His friends were able to talk him out of abandoning the city. He would, however, be dead within a year. So he was able to leave anyway. Much to his relief, no doubt.
* Excerpts from the introductory chapter of Resilient Reformer.