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By Harold S. Bender

"Judged by means of the reception it met by the hands of these in energy, either in Church and nation, both in Roman Catholic and in Protestant nations, the Anabaptist move was once essentially the most tragic within the heritage of Christianity; yet, judged via the rules, that have been placed into play via the lads who bore this reproachful nickname, it needs to be said probably the most momentous and demanding undertakings in man’s eventful spiritual fight after the reality. It collected up the earnings of prior activities, it's the non secular soil out of which all nonconformist sects have sprung, and it's the first simple declaration in smooth heritage of a programme for a brand new form of Christian society which the fashionable international, particularly in the United States and England, has been slowly realizing—an completely loose and autonomous spiritual society, and a kingdom during which each guy counts as a guy, and has his proportion in shaping either Church and State." those phrases of Rufus M. Jones represent the best characterizations of Anabaptism and its contribution to our glossy Christian tradition to be present in the English language.

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Albrecht Ritschl, Geshichte des Pietismus (Bonn, 1880). Cf. R. Friedmann, "Conception of the Anabaptist," Church History (December 1940) IX, 351. 16. Ludwig Keller, Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien (Leipzig, 1885). Cf. also Friedmann, op. , 352. 17. Max Göbel, Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens, etc. (Coblentz, 1848), I, 134. Ritschl, op. " Ritschl (op. " 18. Horsch, op. , 289. 19. Letter of Conrad Grebel to Thomas Müntzer, Sept. 5, 1524, Thomas Müntzers Briefwechsel, ed. H. Böhmer, and P.

Upon these things my mind was bent. I waited and hoped for a year or two, since the minister had much to say of amendment of life, of giving to the poor, loving one another, and abstaining from evil. But I could not close my eyes to the fact that the doctrine which was preached and which was based on the Word of God, was not carried out. No beginning was made toward true Christian living, and there was no unison in the teaching concerning the things that were necessary. And although the mass and the images were finally abolished, true repentance and Christian love were not in evidence.

26 The Anabaptists could not understand a Christianity which made regeneration, holiness, and love primarily a matter of intellect, of doctrinal belief, or of subjective "experience," rather than one of the transformation of life. They demanded an outward expression of the inner experience. Repentance must be "evidenced" by newness of behavior. "In evidence'' is the keynote which rings through the testimonies and challenges of the early Swiss Brethren when they are called to give an account of themselves.

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