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The Martyr

If the charge were sedition and not heresy, it is difficult to see on what decent pretext the lords of Lichtenstein could have declined to surrender for trial one whose offence was alleged to be flagrant. Had a question been raised at this time concerning the religious beliefs and teaching of Hübmaier, the barons might have been expected to make some protest at least, if not to resist forcibly. For their preacher was no greater heretic than themselves— no worse in belief, though perhaps more influential, than the other evangelical preachers. But it seems beyond question that not only the Lichtensteins, but also the other evangelical preachers of Nikolsburg, were not accused at this time. Indeed, they were treated with a lenity that would be most surprising, were it not so apparent that the immediate object of wrath was Hübmaier, and that Austria was willing to let the general persecution of the Anabaptists slumber until this arch-heretic had been dispatched.

But if everything thus points towards treason as the charge on which Hübmaier was surrendered, it is certain that when once Austria got her claws on him the charge of heresy was also raised and