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1523]
53
The Years of Preparation

door with the Host and blessed the clouds; at Easter and on other occasions, as when the Host was carried to the sick, he saw to it that everything was done with much pomp and state; he was particular that two communicants from the council should be present at the sacrament; to Mary and all the saints he paid great veneration.

But during these same two years a great change in his religious convictions was beginning, and perhaps these outward marks of zeal were only attempts on his part to confirm himself in a faith that was wavering. He was giving his leisure hours to the study of the Scriptures, in which, so far as we know, he was now beginning for the first time to take a real interest. How much he became absorbed in this study his letters prove. He devoted especial attention to the Pauline epistles, first reading the letter to the Romans, and then the letters to the Corinthians. There could be but one result of such study, and though we have no definite record of Hübmaier's conversion, his life from this time indicates that at about the end of the year 1522 he had come to see that the Catholic Church had departed, in doctrine and practice, from the