what mad folk we have so long been, who have wished to force the Turk to the faith with the sword, the heretic with fire, and the Jews with death

…what mad folk we have so long been, who have wished to force the Turk to the faith with the sword, the heretic with fire, and the Jews with death, to root out the tares with our own power, as if we were the people who could rule over hearts and spirits and make them religious and good, which God’s Word alone must do.

Martin Luther

Princes are not to be obeyed when they command submission to superstitious errors, but their aid is not to be invoked in support of the Word of God. Heretics must be converted by the Scriptures, and not by fire, otherwise the hangman would be the greatest doctor.

Heresy is a spiritual thing which one cannot hew with any iron, burn with any fire, drown with any water. The Word of God alone is there to do it.

Martin Luther

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