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Balthasar Hübmaier

was, in fact, no reconciling these teachings with those of state churches, set up, as they often were, by unworthy princes and ungodly town councils — churches in which little or no attempt was made to discriminate between regenerate and unregenerate. These were reasons enough — these were the real reasons — why governments everywhere tried to harry the Anabaptists out of their lands.

Time, which works so many changes, is bringing about the vindication of these greatly wronged people. It is now known, and every year sees the fact more generally acknowledged, that they were treated with a cruelty as unjust, unnecessary, and unwise as it was brutal. The brutality may be excused in part as the universal sin of the age. The folly and injustice are not so easily forgiven, since many of those in places of influence and power sinned against light. The Anabaptists experienced the fate that usually befalls any man who has the misfortune to be out of joint with his times. Not all their teachings, it is true, have won their way to general acceptance — some of them may never gain such a victory — but many of their fundamental contentions are commonplaces of Christian thought