Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/374

This page has been validated.
290
Balthasar Hübmaier

pious, there would be against us no law, sword, fire, stocks or gallows. But since we have continually sinned, it must and will be so, and neither rebellion nor anything else can deliver us therefrom. For God's word is Yea and not Nay. But if we heap disobedience upon disobedience, and increase sins with sins, in his wrath God will give us kings, and children for princes, yea, he will let the effeminate rule over us, and if we try to escape Rehoboam we shall run into the hands of Jeroboam. All this befalls us because of our sins, according to the common and true proverb, "Like people, like king." "A stork gobbles up the frogs, who were not willing to recognise and receive as king the harmless log."

Wherefore, it is most necessary, O pious Christians, with greatest diligence and most earnest devotion to pray Almighty God for a pious, just and Christian government on earth, under which we may live a peaceful and quiet life, in all godliness and honesty. When God gives us such, we ought to receive it with special thankfulness. If he does not give, it is certain that we are not worthy of another and better, because of our sins. Of this case the Bible in the Old Testament gives us many histories as examples.

See now, dear brothers, that these two offices and commands, of the ban and the secular sword, are not opposed to each other, since they are both from God. For the Christian ban frequently has place and authority, as for example in many spiritual offences against which the sword may by no means be used, when according to the occasion of the sin there should be punishment. That Christ teaches us very clearly, when he says to the adulterous woman: "Woman, hath none condemned