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An Evangelical Reformer
saying, 'Fear not them that kill the body' (Matt. x., 28). 24. The [secular] power judges criminals, but not the godless who cannot injure either body or soul, but rather are a benefit; therefore God can in wisdom draw good from evil. 25. Faith which flows from the gospel fountain, lives only in contests, and the rougher they become, so much the greater becomes faith. 26. That every one has not been taught the gospel truth, is due to the bishops no less than to the common people—these that they have not cared for a better shepherd, the former that they have not performed their office properly. 27. If the blind lead the blind, according to the just judgment of God, they both fall together into the ditch (Matt. xv., 14). 28. Hence to burn heretics is in appearance to profess Christ (Tit. i., 10, 11), but in reality to deny him, and to be more monstrous than Jehoiakim, the king of Judah (Jer. xxxvi., 23). 29. If it is blasphemy to destroy a heretic, how much more is it to burn to ashes a faithful herald of the word of God, unconvicted, not arraigned by the truth. 30. The greatest deception of the people is a zeal for God that is unscripturally expended, the salvation of the soul, honour of the church, love of truth, good intention, use or custom, episcopal decrees, and the teaching of the reason that come by the natural light. For they are deadly arrows where they are not led and directed by the Scriptures. 31. We should not presume, led away by the deception of our own purpose, to do better or more securely than God has spoken by his own mouth. 32. Those who rely on their good intention and think to do better, are like Uzziah and Peter. The latter was called Satan by Christ (Matt. xvi., 23), but the former came to a wretched end (1 Chron, xiii., 10).