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On the Sword

chosen thereto. Thence comes the election of burgomasters, mayors, judges, all of whom Christ permits to remain, if with God and a good conscience they rule well over temporal and corporeal affairs. But he was not willing himself to assume it; he did not become man for that purpose, and he was not appointed thereto. In like manner also, no one should use the sword, until he is regularly elected for that purpose, or called in some other way by God, as Moses, between the Israelites and Egyptians [Ex. iii., 10], Abraham for the deliverance of his brother Lot [Gen. xiv., 14-17], and Phinehas against the unclean [Num. xxv., 7-9].


"If any man wisheth to bring thee before the court, and take thy coat from thee, let him have thy cloak also."—Matt, v., 40.


" It is already a defect among you that you have law-suits with each other. Wherefore do you not much rather let yourselves be wronged? Wherefore do you not much rather suffer wrong and be defrauded? But you do injustice and defraud, and such things to your brothers."—i Cor. vi., 7, 8.

These two passages are announced by the brothers in so lofty and anxious a way, as if they believed they ought to offer themselves to the fire—a Christian may not be a judge. Well, we will search the Scriptures, thus we shall find a good answer. Suits, quarrels, complaints and wranglings before council or court, if one seeks them himself, are not right, as the aforesaid two passages very clearly show. But that, when the parties wish to go to law, a Christian may not without sin be a judge or decide justly between them, is not declared in the sixth chapter