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Balthasar Hübmaier

unworthy of a place beside Erasmus and Melanchthon, preachers whose eloquence was not inferior to that of Luther or Zwingli. It was their misfortune to be on the losing side of a great controversy, and they were obliged to pay for their allegiance to truth and righteousness not only life and fame, but honour. Their very names are known only to a few curious scholars, and their writings — if any have escaped the zeal of rival persecutors, Catholic and Protestant — are to be found in dusty archives or the dark corners of libraries and museums.

It is with the hope of doing something to rescue from his undeserved oblivion one of the greatest Anabaptist leaders that this biography has been undertaken. The rage of persecution did not succeed, in his case, in destroying what his busy pen sent forth, and we have fairly adequate materials for a biography. Not quite every line, but nearly

    was not then a capital offence in Constance, and some other pretext must be found to put him to death. In later years Hätzer was accused of advocating polygamy, and of having as many as twenty-four wives! We find no contemporary attestation to these slanders where we should most expect it if there were any truth in them. For example, Capito's letters to Zwingli (Zwingli, Op., vii., 420, 422, 455, 456, etc.), though they accuse Hätzer of many things, do not mention immorality. Füsslin rejects the charge altogether. Neue und unpartheyische Kirchen und Ketzerhistorie, iii., 269.