World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
17. In threatening let us threaten. Here may we see what a deadly evil power void of the fear of God is. For when that religion and reverence which ought doth not reign, the more holy the place is which a man doth possess, the more boldly 211211 “Audacius,” audaciously. doth he rage. For which cause we [should] always take good heed that the wicked be not preferred unto the government of the Church. And those which are called to this function must behave themselves reverently and modestly, lest they seem to be armed to do hurt. But and if it so happen they abuse their honor, the Spirit declareth there, as in a glass, what small account we ought to make of their decrees and commandments. 212212 “Quam pro nihilo ducendum sit quicquid decernunt et jubent,” that whatever they order and decree ought to be held as null. The authority of the pastors hath certain bounds appointed which they may not pass. And if they dare be so bold, we may lawfully refuse to obey them; for if we should, it were in us great wickedness, as it followeth now.