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Balthasar Hübmaier

the sword none whom the judge had not commanded him? We read that Solomon commanded the honourable Benaiah to kill Shimei, Adonijah, and Joab (1 K. ii.). Saul commanded Doeg to kill the priests (i Sam. xxii., 18), and David ordered his servant to slay the slayer of Saul (2 Sam. i., 15). Since neither the judge nor the executioner kill the evil-doer, but the law of God, therefore are the judge, magistrate and executioner called in the Scripture servants of God and not murderers. God judges, condemns and kills through them, and not they themselves. Whence it follows, they who would not kill the evil-doer but let him live, even murder and sin against the command, "Thou shalt not kill." For he who does not protect the pious kills him and is guilty of his death, as well as he who does not feed the hungry.


"The kings of this world," says Christ, "lord it, and those in authority are called 'Gracious lords.'[1] But you not so."—Luke xxii., 25, 26.

What great maxim you make there, and especially of the words, "but you not so" I cannot satisfactorily tell. But I take pity on you as before. For you have not well seen either the preceding or the following words, for if you did you would understand them right and we should soon come to agreement. Well, then, we will begin this passage three lines farther back, and the meaning will then appear plain. Thus reads the text: "There arose a contention among the disciples, which of them should be ruler," who should have the authority in external and carnal things, since the secular authority is over flesh and

  1. Our English version has it "benefactors."