Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/255

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Teachings of Hübmaier
himself would rather not have yielded. Since he then obeyed Eve rather than God, he lost the knowledge of good and evil, so that he cannot will or choose the good, and cannot reject or renounce the evil. Consequently nothing pleased him except that which pleased his Eve, that is, his body."[1]

Emphatic and absolute was his repudiation of the Romanist's contention that an infallible interpreter (the Church) is necessary, or else the Scriptures will lead men astray. The Church is only the collected Fathers and doctors, and if these individually do not know the Scriptures they do not and cannot collectively know them. "They well know," he says, "that a single woman—such as the pious Christian woman Argula von Stauff—knows more of the divine word than such red-capped ones will ever see and lay hold of." The humblest believer is able to understand the Scriptures, so much at any rate as is necessary to salvation, and it is his duty to learn this by his own study of the word, not to take it at second-hand from anybody. The possibility of error in thus interpreting the divine word is admitted, but this is due for the most part to the obscurity or brevity of certain passages. The remedy