were all more or less illogical, lukewarm, and inclined to compromise with the old order, for the sake of obtaining the support of princes and governments, without which support reform was believed to be, and perhaps would have been, impracticable. It was natural that such a party, a veritable Ishmael among the reformers, should come to be disliked, distrusted, feared by all, and that it should be denounced with commensurate warmth and energy.
Then, too, certain groups of this party, falling under the spell of preachers whose learning and sense were no match for their eloquence, and misled by a certain specious but false exegesis of Scripture, were betrayed into a fanatical expectation of the immediate Parousia and the founding of Christ's millennial kingdom. Under the stress of this fanaticism these Anabaptists fell into disorders and excesses, the stigma of which would in any case have fallen upon the rest, even had not their opponents eagerly seized upon this pretext to involve the whole party in a condemnation as fierce and bitter as it was undiscriminating and often unjust.
Certain groups among the Anabaptists, led astray by a too literal interpretation of Christ's words and