The Sword

The sword can make people do many things.

For fear of death, people will be coerced into all kinds of action, since they value few things above their own life.

The sword can persuade entire peoples to vacate cities.

The sword can persuade people to offer up all their possessions.

The sword can persuade people to do heinous things – to steal, to lie, and even to kill their fellow man.

The sword can persuade people to do great things – to act justly to their neighbour, to follow good laws and customs, to adhere to peace and order.

The sword can persuade people to walk where you tell them to walk.

The sword can persuade people to speak how you speak.

The sword can persuade people to pray how you pray

To kneel how you kneel

To bow to whom you bow to

To preach what you preach

But the sword can never convince people to believe what you believe.

For a person’s beliefs exist within the sanctity of their own mind, and may not be effectually touched by blade or bullet. The enforcement of doctrine has not been entrusted to war, nor to legislation, but is reserved solely to the office of discourse.

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