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Balthasar Hübmaier

you to recognise that it is wise and helpful to punish the wicked and protect the good? That is called, in good German, "a general land-peace." So, says Paul, to further and preserve this peace we must pay taxes, customs and tribute.

Here mark you, dear brothers, if government is so unchristian that a Christian may not bear the sword, wherefore do we help and preserve it with our taxes? If we are not under obligation to prevent wrong to our neighbour as well as to ourselves, why do we choose a magistrate? Or are those in the magistracy not our neighbours? If we desire to live in peace under a heathen government, why not much more under a Christian? Since we are under a Christian government, the ordinance of God should appeal much more to our hearts than under a heathen. To what conclusion does that lead, dear brothers?

But Paul takes us farther and says: "The power is a servant of God," who shall use his protecting power for the good of our neighbour and the preservation of a general land-peace. Where is it written then that a Christian may not be such a servant of God as fulfils the command of God to the good of all men? Or that he may not undertake such a divine work (as Paul himself calls it) according to the ordinance of God? God surely wills that we should share his grace with all, until we come to the real prohibition of his Holy Word; and that we should remain and persist in the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. The peace of God be with you all. Amen.

TRUTH IS IMMORTAL