Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/139

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An Evangelical Reformer

became increasingly great, and it was at length evident that if the town persisted in upholding him the Austrian Government would resort to force to maintain its authority. As the one contention of that Government up to this time had been that the city should dismiss their heretical preacher, Hübmaier was brought to face the question whether he should not sacrifice himself for the sake of giving peace to the city. His townspeople would defend him to the last extremity, that was evident; but ought he to bring the horrors of war against Waldshut, when his withdrawal would remove the cause of controversy with Austria? We cannot wonder that he decided that it would be best for him to leave the city, at least for a time, and he evidently won the consent of his more influential friends to this course. On the 1st of September, 1524,[1] he left the town, three armed knights escorting him to the frontier, where some knights from Schaffhausen met him and conducted him to their city. These precautions not only indicate that the withdrawal was carefully planned, but that his friends

  1. Hoschek says August 16th, but this is an error of computation, as Loserth shows, p. 48.