by God is here, and even if there were twelve legions of angels here they might not help me against the will of my Heavenly Father. Therefore put up [thy sword]; it is useless. I have already said to you, the hour is here; the Scripture shall and must be fulfilled.
From that every Christian learns that one should not cease to protect and guard all pious and innocent men, so long as he does not certainly know that even now the hour of their death is here. But when the hour comes, whether you know it or not, you can no longer protect and guard them. Therefore the magistrate is bound by his soul's salvation to protect and guard all innocent and peaceful men, until a certain voice of God comes and is heard to say, Now shalt thou no longer protect this man—as Abraham also heard a voice that he should slay his son, contrary to the commandment, Thou shalt not kill. Therefore the magistrate is also bound to rescue and release all oppressed and persecuted men, widows, orphans, whether known or strangers, without any respect of persons, according to the will and most earnest command of God (Is. i., 17; Jer. xxi., 12; xxii., 3; Rom. xiii., 1; and many other passages) until they are called by God to something else, which they will not need to wait for long. Therefore God has hung the sword at their side and given it to his disciples.
THE THIRD PASSAGE
"Lord, wilt thou that we command that fire from heaven fall and consume them, as Elijah did. But Jesus turned to them and rebuked them, and said. Ye know not what spirit ye are of. The Son of man is come not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."—Luke ix., 54, 55.
Here my brothers make a great outcry, as if the devil were there, and say, "Now you see, Balthasar, that