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Balthasar Hübmaier

of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. For Paul writes: "How does any among you, if he has a complaint against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? (that is, before Christians). Do ye not know that the saints will judge the world? If then the world will be judged by you, are ye not good enough to judge trifles? Know ye not that ye will judge the angels, how much more temporal affairs? If now ye have law-suits over affairs, name the most despised in the church and set the same to judge. To your shame I say that. Is it so indeed that there is no wise man among you, or not a single one who can judge between brother and brother, but a brother permits himself to go to law with another, even before the unbelievers?"

Hear Paul now, dear brothers, and see. If Christians wish to go to law over affairs, that is, over temporal goods, which is quite wrong, they should yet seek to be judged by a Christian and not by an unbeliever. Mark here, brothers, you have skipped over that. If Christians wish to go to law and not to be at peace with each other, they sin yet more, yea, they doubly sin, if they take their case before an unbelieving judge and not before a Christian. Therefore Paul mocks the Corinthians and says, "If ye will go to law, ye should choose the most despised among you to judge." He says that to them for their shame, since it is reasonable that they should be ashamed if they had not among them any pious and wise Christians, who might decide justly between them, but must run for an unbelieving judge.

Now a blind man can see, that a Christian may properly and with a good conscience sit in court and council, and judge and decide about temporal cases; although the wranglers and disputants sin, yet they sin more if