which stands to the judgment day. Examine the Scriptures, Christian reader, Is. i., Jer. xxi, xxii., Ps. lxi., Mi. vi., Na. iii., Prov. iii., Zach. vii., Habakkuk throughout. This command binds the ruler up to the present day, as well as those five centuries ago. For Christ says to you, "Thou shalt obey the secular king and call the ruler gracious Lord. Not only so, but the greatest among you shall be as the least, and the foremost as the servant." If one is conscious that Christ here commands those who would preach his gospel to serve, they ought not to undertake any foreign office, nor entangle themselves with secular business, as hitherto our Pope and bishops have become the first and last in all secular business—yea, even in the business of war. So that when two cocks in Germany or Italy have pecked at one another in a scrimmage, the Pope and his cardinals have taken sides with one of them. This Christ cannot suffer, and so he says that the preachers of his gospel must be free of secular affairs, as also Paul writes to Timothy. (2 Tim. ii.)
In the second place: the text clearly points out that each of the disciples desired the pre-eminence, and they were quarrelling which among them should be greatest. Jesus could not see such a quarrel. It belongs to no Christian, out of lust for authority, to contend to be a ruler, but much rather to flee it. For if there is a frightful post to be found, outside of the sphere of the preacher, it is the post of magistrate and secular ruler. Christ speaks to this effect: "The kings of this world lord it and are called Gracious Lord." [Luke xxii., 25.] But
- The Pope has forbidden conflict between two men, and yet he has put eighty thousand men in the field and made them fight, and added his benediction and indulgence.—Marginal note by Hübmaier.