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An Evangelical Reformer

one could ever be more ready and willing than I am to give all men an account of my doctrine, as I have preached it these two years past. If I have taught only truth, why abuse me? If error, any man may set me in the right way with the spiritual word. As man I may very well err, but will be no heretic. I am conscious that in the whole two years past I have not preached a single letter that is not grounded in God's word. I herewith further pledge myself, where the necessity of this my defence presses me, here at Schaffhausen, I will before the court give and receive justice. Only one should not offer violence, either to me or to the pious city of Waldshut. Moreover, I beg you to permit neither me nor other Christian teachers to be urged and compelled, but hear me in the face of my opponents, who accuse me so shamefully. But should this prayer of mine find no hearing, which once I would not have expected of Turks, and I should be tortured by prison, rack, sword, fire, or water, or God otherwise withdraw from me his grace, so that I speak otherwise than now, then do I herewith protest and testify that I will suffer and die as a Christian."[1]

The plea found favour with the council, which returned but one answer to the numerous demands made for the surrender of this now notorious heretic. Nevertheless, it was a position of much uncertainty regarding the future in which Hübmaier found himself. Schaffhausen's attitude in this matter, though doubtless approved in secret by

  1. Dated September 9th. and quoted by Loserth, p. 51.