On The Sword

The secular power is ordained of God for the peace of society — even if there were no Scripture about it to make us obedient to the government, our own conscience and knowledge tell us that. We should help, protect, defend the government, and pay service and taxes, so that we may remain in worldly peace with one another; for to have peace in this world is not contrary to a Christian life. Otherwise Paul would never have taught us through Timothy to pray for kings, princes, and governors; but to keep peace with all men, as much as in us lies, that is right and Christian. But if God pleases to send us the exact contrary, we must receive it with patience. Do you see now, dear brothers, that your own conscience compels you to recognise that it is wise and helpful to punish the wicked and protect the good? That is called, in good German, “a general land-peace.”

By Balthasar Hubmaier

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