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Balthasar Hübmaier

of the sect, and perhaps adopted from the Bohemian Brethren. Under this head there were in each community "ministers of the word" (generally, not necessarily, a plural eldership) and "ministers of necessities," or deacons. One of the ministers of the word was usually the "householder." Nobody might preach until he had been called to this office by the vote of the community, even though he had been an honoured preacher elsewhere, and this rule was rigidly enforced. The preacher was a man of much authority among them—indeed, he might easily become, and in too many cases actually was, a despot.

But though economically prosperous, these communities cannot be regarded as in other respects a satisfactory realisation of the Anabaptist ideal. Nor did they realise their own ideal of a perfect brotherhood; in proportion as the community prospered, the spirit of real brotherly love declined. Nowhere among Anabaptists, seldom anywhere among Christian people, has a more unlovely spirit developed. The selfish domineering of the "householder" preachers: the strife between those who wished to be preachers and those who, already