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On the Sword

you hear this: Christ said to Peter, "Put up thy sword in its sheath." He did not say, Put it away, throw it from thee. For Christ blames him because he seeks it first, and not because he has it at his side—otherwise he would have blamed him long before, if that were wrong.

It follows further: "Who takes the sword shall perish by the sword," that is, he is brought under the judgment of the sword. Though he may not wish it, he will always be judged by the sword for his fault. Do you mark here how Christ sanctions the sword, that they shall punish with it, and suppress self-constituted authority and wickedness? And that they shall do who are elected for the purpose, whoever they are. Hence it is evident that if men are pious, good and orderly, they will bear the sword for the protection of the innocent, according to the will of God, and for a terror to evil-doers, according as God has appointed and ordained.

In the third place, Christ said to his disciples, when they asked him wherefore he was going to Jerusalem when the Jews had wished before to stone him: "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" As if he had said, They will not kill me until the twelfth hour comes, that is, the one ordained of God for my death, which Christ also calls the hour of darkness. But when the same twelfth hour was come, Christ said to his disciples, near the Mount of Olives, "Sleep on and take your rest. The hour is here that I should be given to death, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled." Mark, Peter hears that the appointed and fore-ordained hour of God had come, yet he would oppose, and draws the sword of his own authority. That was the greatest [error]. Therefore Christ speaks: There is no use in protecting and guarding me further. The hour foreseen