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Balthasar Hübmaier

protest against the baptism of infants. Or, it may be that they rebaptised, but the Roman writers were ignorant of the practice, or did not think it worthy of mention. Neither of the last two suggestions seems very probable.

These earlier evangelical parties, though severely persecuted, — perhaps in consequence of such persecution, — had spread themselves widely abroad. Originating in Southern France, they had not only made their way across the Alpine passes into Northern Italy, but had sent their missionaries throughout Switzerland and Germany. Roman Catholic literature testifies unmistakably both to the extent and to the success of this evangelisation. Communities of Waldenses were gathered everywhere, and the severest persecution did not succeed in utterly eradicating these heretics from the regions in which they once obtained a foothold. That a secret existence of the sect was maintained in many quarters is proved by the fact that the authorities occasionally lighted upon such a case. The possibility, the credibility even, of many such survivals down to the Reformation era, is sufficiently established by the history of the Unitas Fratrum, which