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Anabaptists and the Reformation

Scriptures. In many other details these parties differ; in this they are a unit. This was the conclusion of the earliest of these parties, the Petrobrusians; as to that, the testimony of their great Roman Catholic opponent, Peter the Venerable, leaves no possibility of doubt. The same conclusions were reached by the followers of Peter Waldo — by those, at least, on the French side of the Alps, if we may accept the unanimous testimony of their contemporary Roman critics and persecutors. Neither of these bodies is called Anabaptist by their contemporary and hostile chroniclers. This may be because they did not commonly rebaptise adults who had (in their view) received a null-and-void so-called baptism in their infancy.[1] They may never have seen that logical consistency required this of them — we know that for a time such was the case with the Swiss Anabaptists — and they may have contented themselves with making their

  1. That some of the Petrobrusians, at any rate, rebaptised is proved by the fact that Peter puts these words into their mouths: " We wait for the proper time, after a man is prepared to know his God and believe in him; we do not (as you accuse us) rebaptise him, but we baptise him who can be said never to have been baptised."—Contra Petrobrusianos Hæreticos, Migne's Latin Patrology, clxxxix., 729. These words might be taken from a treatise of Hübmaier, so well do they express his ideas.