Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/395

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Much of the earliest Anabaptist literature is in the form of hymns, often crude in expression and halting in metre, but full of spiritual fervour. It would be surprising if so fertile a writer as Hübmaier had contributed nothing to this sort of literature; and still stranger, if he did write hymns, that none of them should be preserved. As a matter of fact, several of the old Anabaptist documents contain a hymn that is attributed to Hübmaier. It is not unknown, being printed in full, but anonymously, in Wackernagel's great collection,[1] vol. iii., p. 126 sq. The title there given is, "Ein preiss lied göttlichs worts" (A song in praise of God's word). As to the authorship, the editor contents himself with remarking that the hymn has been attributed without satisfactory reason to Erasmus Alber. Beck, Hoschek, and Loserth agree that the hymn is undoubtedly Hübmaier's. The text is herewith reprinted from Wackernagel, with a metrical translation, in which the attempt has been made to follow the original as closely as the exigencies of English versification would admit—at any rate, to represent fairly the spirit of the original.

  1. Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, three vols., Leipzig, 1870.