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Balthasar Hübmaier

have had a serious expectation of saving his life, even by a complete recantation. If he became reconciled to the Roman Church, and so escaped burning as a heretic, there remained the charge of treason, for which his head must answer. After all the provocation the Austrian Government had received from him, now that it had him safely in its power it was little likely to permit him to escape. If Hübmaier could not see this clearly, he must have been blind indeed. Yet the only rational explanation of this strange affair seems to be that in his suffering and despair he clutched at the vain hope of mercy, and now once more (as formerly at Zürich) was prepared to deny much that he had taught, if not all, to save his life. Though he still holds to his belief about the sacraments, his profession of willingness to submit to the decision of an Ecumenical Council even in this makes one suspect that a promise of release would have drawn from him a still further concession.

Hübmaier's conduct in these closing months of his life is far from heroic. The praise of unswerving constancy to the truth cannot be awarded him. It is impossible not to draw a parallel between him