Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/158

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Balthasar Hübmaier

His enemies busied themselves afterwards in making all sorts of charges against him, some of which are contrary to documentary evidence and others absurd in themselves. He confessed under torture at Vienna in 1528 that he had revised and commented on the peasants' articles, which were sent him from the camp for the purpose. The statement would imply a certain amount of sympathy with the general purposes of the uprising, and would at the same time restrict his actual connection with it to very narrow limits. It is now tolerably certain that those who credited him with the original composition of the articles were astray.[1] All that we know of Hübmaier's life, and the general tenor of his writings, alike point to the conclusion that he was, first of all, a preacher of the gospel, and that his interest in political and social reforms was slight in comparison with his zeal to teach men the true religion of Christ, as he understood it. To him the gospel was the one remedy for all the ills of man. It would not only save men from God's wrath and condemnation, but save them from sin. It would

  1. See Bax, The Peasants' War in Germany, p. 75 sq., London, 1889. For the opposite view, Stern, Ueber die zwölf Artikel der Bauern, esp. p. 89 sq.