About a year after the historic victory for the Lutherans at the Diet of Augsburg, the father of the Reformation wrote a little-known pamphlet entitled Martin Luther’s Warning to His Dear German People (1531), in which he expressed a nationalist love for his own nation. The pamphlet was intended to supplement the Torgau Declaration of German Protestants, accepted in 1530, which affirmed the right of the Christian German people to an armed defense of their fatherland against foreign imperial forces.
Endorsing the Declaration, Luther now wrote in this pamphlet:
Oh ye unhappy men, who are now leagued with the Pope at Augsburg! your posterity will have eternal cause to blush at your names, and hear with shame, that their forefathers acted thus. Oh disgraceful Diet! such as was never held before, nor ever shall be, in all future time; an eternal blot on every prince, on the whole empire collectively, and one which has degraded the Germans before God and the whole world! What will the Turk and his whole empire exclaim, when they hear of such untold enormities in our country? What will the Tatar and the Muscovite exclaim? Who under the sun, will in future esteem the Germans, or regard us in any respect as honest men, when they hear that we have submitted to be made such fools and blockheads by the Pope and his maskers. . . . Truly, every German might well lament, that he was born on this polluted soil, or that he bears the name of German.
Luther placed an exceptionally high value not only on the national sovereignty of his own people, but made an explicit covenantal connection between posterity and their ancestors: Germans are to act with pride as Germans, so that their German descendants can have reason to honor and venerate them. Furthermore, Luther argued that his own nation must demand the respect of other nations, and he regarded the high estimation of his own race by others as vital. National shame and guilt are to be avoided and were presented as disgraceful by the German Reformer. Contrast these views of the father of Protestantism to the anti-white views regarding racial guilt expressed by modern Protestants.
Luther then continued:
I will, according to the duty of a faithful teacher, warn my beloved countrymen against their danger, and their ruin. . . . I seek not my own, but your welfare and salvation.
Luther desired his race and nation to continue to exist and prosper as such. He saw it as a calling to teach the true gospel of Christ to his German kinsmen in particular, because he knew that their long-term continued existence would be dependent upon true repentance unto the Gospel of Christ. Luther held a particular and special love for his own nation. He truly was a Bible-believing ethno-nationalist.
Part XIII: Hermann Witsius on the Dutch People’s National Election