Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/312

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Balthasar Hümaier

As to his political conduct, he had always maintained that to be blameless, and he never admitted himself to have been guilty of treason or sedition, even in hope of saving his life. And in the end, as to Cranmer and Savonarola, strength was given him to meet his doom with a constancy and calm fortitude that moved the admiration of all beholders.

Ferdinand was very far indeed from being moved by any feelings of pity or clemency towards Hübmaier or any of the Anabaptists. On the contrary, it could not have been long after the reception of the above appeal—supposing that he ever really saw or heard of it—that he began to prod his officials, and require them to show more zeal in the prosecution of such heretics as they already had in prison, and to search actively for others. Accordingly, on March 4th, his regent for Lower Austria sent an apology to the King, in which he recounted what had been accomplished, in spite of great difficulties, towards the detection and punishment of the heretics. The following paragraph from this document especially concerns us:

"As to the case of Dr. Balthasar Hübmaier, through the bishop and several judicious theologians we have