Then the deacons took care of the sick, the poor, the orphans and the widows, of needy people in general, of captives, because as the Roman Empire began to breakdown, pirates and lawless bands would take men for ransom, hold men captive. One bishop in the early church ransomed 15,000 captives. When Rome fell, for six centuries, the only courts of Europe were the church courts for arbitration. When Rome was gone, the government, the state was gone, but Europe had justice because the church provided it. This was the pattern through much of the Middle Ages. It was the pattern of the Reformation. I have written of Calvin and Geneva and of the work of the diaconate. There were two offerings taken every Sunday: one for the work of the deacons so that all of the needy were cared for so that apart from crime, the church through these diaconal courts and through various independent Christian agencies provided for the basic government of the community.