Luther had a parable or dream of how on one occasion the devil sat upon his throne listening to the reports of his agents and ambassadors on the progress they had made in opposing the truth of Christ and destroying the souls of men.
One spirit said: "There was a company of Christians crossing the desert. I loosed the lions upon them, and soon the sands of the desert were strewn with their mangled corpses."
"What of that?" answered Satan. "The lions destroyed their bodies, but their souls were saved. It is their souls that I am after."
Then another made his report. He said: "There was a company of Christian pilgrims sailing through the sea on a vessel. I sent a great wind against the ship, which drove the ship on the rocks, and every Christian aboard the ship was drowned."
"What of that?" said Satan. "Their bodies were drowned in the sea, but their souls were saved. It is their souls that I am after."
Then a third came forward to give his report, and he said: "For ten years I have been trying to cast a Christian into a deep sleep, and at last I have succeeded."
And with that the corridors of hell rang with shouts of malignant triumph.