Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/387

This page has been validated.
On the Sword

body and over temporal things, but not over the soul. To him according to the divine order the sword is entrusted, not that he may fight, war, strive and tyrannise with it, but to defend the wise, protect the widow, maintain the pious, and to tolerate all who are distressed or persecuted by force. This is the duty of the magistrate, as God himself many times in the Scriptures declares it, which may not take place without blood and killing, wherefore God has hung the sword at his side, and not a fox's tail.


Let every man be subject to the magistrate and power, for there is no power apart from God. But the power everywhere is ordained by God; so that he who sets himself against the power strives against the ordinance of God. But he who strives will receive condemnation of himself. For the rulers do not make the good work fear but the evil. Wilt thou not fear? then do good, so shalt thou have praise from the same. But if thou doest evil, then fear, for authority bears not the sword in vain. He is God's servant, a judge for punishment over him that does evil. So you are obliged to submit, not alone because of the punishment, but because of conscience; wherefore you must also give tribute, for they are God's servants who provide such protection. (Rom. xiii., i-6.) This passage alone, dear brothers, is enough to sanction the magistracy against all the gates of hell. When Paul says plainly, "Let every one be submissive to the magistrate," whether he is a believer or unbeliever, you ought always to be submissive and obedient. He gives as a