Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/268

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196
[1524-
Balthasar Hübmaier

Scripture passages that bear on the subject, and makes plainer than before his desire to give reality to the preaching of the gospel. The doctrine taught by Luther and his followers was that in spiritual things the unregenerate man is wholly blind, unable to work the righteousness of God, and his will has become utterly hostile to God, so that he cannot by his own powers give any assistance or co-operation towards his own salvation. He is as a man in the rapids of Niagara, being swept towards destruction, not only unable to do anything to help himself, but unable even to grasp the rope thrown to him by a friendly hand,—nay, not even desiring to be saved, and must against his will be dragged ashore, kicking and struggling against his rescuer to the last. It was thought necessary to teach such a doctrine of the will in order to magnify the divine grace in man's salvation, and to represent man as having any power of co-operation was thought to be a minimising of God's grace and a bringing back again of the idea of salvation by works. But to Hübmaier it seemed clear that God's veracity and good faith were no less at stake in this matter than the might of his