Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/167

This page has been validated.
1526]
103
Becomes an Anabaptist

but one answer: A church of Christ is a congregation of true believers, giving token that they have been born again of the Spirit of God by living in accordance with the precepts of their Lord. A church composed of the regenerate only was the ideal of this party, and they pressed upon Zwingli the adoption of this as his programme.

To Zwingli this seemed an impracticable ideal. His was an eminently practical mind, and he saw clearly what was likely to be successful and what would almost certainly fail. He had begun his work with the approval and support of the town council of Zurich; he reckoned the continuance of support by the council to be an absolute necessity to him, if he was to succeed; and he was certain that he could not carry the council with him in any such programme as that urged by the radicals. It is not necessary for any who, on the whole, agree with the radicals that to be right is even more important than to succeed, to question the sincerity of Zwingli in the course that he took. Though a zealous reformer and an ardent patriot,—or perhaps one should rather say, because he was both these,—he was not a radical; no policy of