occupying that office, refused to share their power with others; the murmurings and bickerings and jealousies among the members; the harsh intolerance shown to those who failed to abide by the community rules; the unchristian severity with which the excluded were treated—these and suchlike things have seldom been paralleled, and they are the harder to forgive since they were done in the name of a more perfect Christian brotherhood. All Anabaptists seem disposed to a reckless use of the "ban," but these communities alone would, in Christ's name, expel an erring brother and leave him to starve, rather than give him food or drink. Their Roman Catholic persecutors were not more cruel to these "brothers" than they were to each other.
The success of these socialistic Anabaptists, and the shelter given to them in Moravia for some years, led to a great immigration of the brethren from the surrounding regions. Historians, not too favourably inclined towards the sect, estimate the total membership of these groups as high as seventy thousand. The noble landowners were glad to
- Hast, Geschichte der Wiedertäufer, p. 212.