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BALTHASAR HÜBMAIER


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CHAPTER I

THE ANABAPTISTS AND THE REFORMATION


FEW people have fared so hard at the hands of historians as the Anabaptists. Until a generation ago, writers of every school did little more than repeat the rash and unjust and often slanderous statements of the contemporaries of this sect. For these sixteenth-century denunciations there are some obvious excuses to be made. The Anabaptists were the most universally troublesome of all the anti-Catholic parties. They were most vexatious to the Romanists, because they were the most logical, consistent, thorough-going, and determined opponents of the Papacy and all its works. They were equally vexatious to those who conducted the reformations in the various states, because these

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