Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/211

This page has been validated.
Becomes an Anabaptist

of administering baptism practised by the Anabaptists. Affusion was evidently the method on this occasion, and there is no good reason to suppose that Hübmaier ever changed his practice. His clearest reference to the subject is contained in his tract On the Christian Baptism of Believers, in which he says: "To baptise in water is to pour outward water over the confessor of his sins, in accordance with the divine command, and to inscribe him in the number of sinners upon his own confession and acknowledgment." The first baptism among the Swiss Anabaptists was that of George Blaurock by Conrad Grebel, and it is said that Blaurock fell on his knees and Grebel baptised him—evidently an affusion or aspersion. The next recorded baptisms were performed by Blaurock and Mantz, and in each case it is said that it was done from a dipper or basin (Egli, Actensammlung, pp. 282–284). These baptisms all occurred in late January or early February, 1525. But a few weeks later Conrad Grebel, at least, had obtained clearer light upon the subject. A contemporary chronicler say: "Wolfgang Uoliman [or Uliman, a native of St. Gall, and afterwards active among the Anabaptists there] met Conrad Grebel on the way to Schaffhausen, and in his company [or, by him, bei ihnen] was so highly instructed in Anabaptism that he would not be simply poured upon with water from a dish but entirely naked was pressed down and covered over in the Rhine." (Kessler, Sabbata, i., 262.) This is not merely a statement that Grebel immersed Uliman, which would be important, but also a testimony that, according to the writer's belief, such immersion was the result of complete instruction in Anabaptism—in other words, that immersion was the usual practice of the well-instructed Anabaptists.