Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/296

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Balthasar Hübmaier

friends for a time, who, though powerless to protect him, might be able to alleviate his confinement somewhat.

In our ignorance of all the facts, the lords of Lichtenstein necessarily lie under the odious suspicion of having surrendered their chief preacher with altogether too much alacrity, for it does not appear that they made any attempt whatever to save him. It is possible, even probable, that it required all their power and social standing to secure their own immunity from prosecution. But the suspicion may, after all, do them an injustice. Much was made in the preliminary accusation, and throughout the process, of Hübmaier's alleged disloyal conduct at Waldshut. It was no uncommon thing, in those days, to arrest a man on a charge of sedition and condemn him for heresy, or vice versa. It may well be the case that the demand sent to Nikolsburg for the surrender of Hübmaier specified sedition as the chief offence—it may even have been the only offence then named.[1]

The circumstances all confirm this hypothesis.

  1. So Loserth (p. 173), who says persecution for heresy did not begin in Moravia until March, 1528.