New PDF release: A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century

By J. W Allen

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Each of them, safe, to use a phrase of St. Teresa's, in his ' interior castle ', could afford merely to wonder at the folly of men. So far as the State exists for them, it is one with the Church, not that is, but that is to be. They look forward to the emergence of a community ruled by the inner light and by that alone. But this is the same with the Anabaptist 1 The 2 THE ANABAPTIST PROTEST POLITICAL THOUGHT IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY BooTe of the Seven Seals, 1539. Entfelden. Preface to Van ZerspaUungen.

It was indeed a protest against almost everything actual in the sixteenth century. ate Churches and Church States but against the current doctrine that the Magistrate could demand obedience as the representa­ tive of God. The Anabaptist did not obey the Magistrate as God's lieutenant, but because God had forbidden forcible resistance to evil. But Anabaptism was a protest, too, against the whole actual social order and the doctrine, strong in France and England, that ' divine right ' attached to that vJso.

G, outraging women and brutalizing innocence. ' For it. must . be admitted that in such monsters no one can perceive the image of God or any token of a divine ministry. Men have always hated such tyrants. But one must turn from the contemplation of their iniquities to the Word of God. ver they may govern, they hold their authority only from Him. They are responsible to God alone. Such Princes as act justly are Very mirrors of the divine goodness ; those who do inju$tice are raised up for chastisement of the sinfulness of the people.

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A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century by J. W Allen


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