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168
[1526-
Balthasar Hübmaier

maintained the teachings that he had been propagating to be the truth and the plain sense of the Scriptures, and utterly refused to yield. The result was that Lord Lichtenstein detained Hut as a prisoner in the castle.[1]

As this action of Lichtenstein was apparently approved by Hübmaier, the accusation was at once brought against him, and has been repeated to this day, that he thus proved himself an inconsistent advocate of religious liberty, and was a persecutor when he had the opportunity. The action of the ruler, however, seems quite justified by the facts as we know them. Hut was plainly teaching sedition and murder—sedition as a present duty, murder as a duty in the near future. No principle of religious liberty requires that a government shall leave such a firebrand to go about in the community. There was so much excitement in the city following this action of the Prince, and so vehement charges were made against him for this action, and the conduct of the other preachers was so violently questioned, that Hübmaier was con-

  1. The insinuation of Hoschek (ii., 234), that the intention was "perhaps to have burned him at the stake," is quite gratuitous.