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Monday, 4 January 2010

Castellio on Calvin as a common despot

"Your words and your weapons are only those common to every despot; and they can give you but a temporal, not a spiritual, dominance--a dominance based on coercion, and not upon the love of God. Nor do I envy you your power or your weapons. I have other powers and other weapons--an imperturbable conviction of innocence, and a trust in Him who will help me and give me grace.

"Even if, for a season, truth is suppressed by the blind 'justice' of this world, no one can permanently coerce truth. Let us cease to heed the judgment of a world which slew Christ; let us ignore an assize before which only the cause of violence proves victorious. The Kingdom of God is not of this world."

--Sebastian Castellio to John Calvin, after Calvin used his authority to block publication of Castellio's book exposing Calvin's role in the brutal execution of Servetus (translated from the quotation in Castellio gegen Calvin oder Ein Gewissen gegen die Gewalt, by Stefan Zweig, 1936)

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