Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/232

This page has been validated.
162
[1526-
Balthasar Hübmaier

an end; the two-edged sword of God's vengeance would soon be put in their hands. It was a curious feature of the teaching of these fanatical Anabaptists, that while they denied the right of the sword to magistrates and denounced all war as "carnal," they believed that when Christ should begin his millennial reign it would be not merely the right but the duty of his subjects to take up the sword and put the ungodly to slaughter.

Even before Hut's coming, a small party of fanatical Anabaptists had found refuge in Nikolsburg, holding views differing from his, but harmonising with them wondrous well—a remnant, perhaps, of Münzer's following, who escaped the slaughter of Mühlhausen and wandered from place to place until they reached Moravia. The leading spirit among these was Jacob Widemann, and his pet vagary was community of goods among Christian brethren as a cardinal principle of the gospel. He had taught an extreme form of non-resistance, insisting that Christians are forbidden to use the sword in self-defence or as magistrates, and, as a corollary to this, that Christians ought not to pay taxes, since these are used for the support of