Thursday, December 19, 2013

Martin Bucer: Rulers that are Severe with Wolves are Merciful to the Sheep

Martin Bucer
In his famous work De Regno ChristiProtestant Reformer Martin Bucer urged King Edward VI to employ severity with wolves in his kingdom--for to refrain from doing so would be unmerciful to Christ's sheep: 

Let us be warned by those horrible punishments suffered by the priest Eli (1 Sam. 2:27-36; 4:12-18), King Saul (1 Sam., ch. 15), and the whole people of Israel because of an impious indulgence and unwise mercy toward those against whom, by the command of God, who alone is truly merciful and clement, they ought to have exercised severity lest we think that any indulgent concessions are to be made to anyone against God's precept and against the well-being of the churches. Christian mildness and mercy must be exhibited to the sheep of Christ in order to protect them from the wolves, and not to the wolves that they may scatter and destroy the sheep.  

Martin Bucer, De Regno Christi in Wilhelm Pauck, ed., Melanchthon and Bucer (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster John Knox Press, 1969), 276, 277.

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