The Anabaptists and their Stepchildren - by F.N. Lee
Pseudo-Clement, Pseudo-Isidore, and Anabaptist communism
Comments Harvard's sympathetic G.H. Williams:143 "The Hutterite coenibites...were a household of faith. Theirs was a communism of love and production.... The Hutterites also found substantiation for their communism in the Pseudo-Clementine Epistle IV...developed in Ebionite anti-Pauline circles. Neo-Pythagorean and Stoic ideas of a golden age were here conflated with the 'memory' of a primitive communism.
"In the ninth century, the [Pseudo-]Clementine letters were incorporated into the Pseudo-Isidorean Decretals.... [The Anabaptist Sebastian] Franck excerpted the letters, in his Chronica of 1531. It is quite probably from Franck that a later Hutterite article quotes 'Clement' -- supposedly writing in A.D. 92 [cf. Philippians 4:3]....
"The Hutterites believed that God from the beginning had commanded the communitarian way of life.... There was the eschatological paradisic interpretation of the community as the true church."
Even more important than the fourth was the so-called Fifth Letter of (Pseudo-)Clement. As given in the Pseudo-Isidorean Decretals, it contains the vital phrase: "without doubt all things and also wives ought to be common to friends."144
According to the sympathetic Williams and Mergal, in "Moravian communism...the Fifth Letter of [Pseudo-]Clement of Rome was no doubt influential."145 For "[Pseudo-]Clement is quoted in the Hutterite Article Book (1547)."146
Yet the above-mentioned Pseudo-Isidoreanized Pseudo-Clementine Epistles influenced not only the communism of both the Austrian and the Moravian Anabaptists. They infected also Early-Dutch and Later-German Anabaptism. As Williams and Mergal themselves have admitted, "by way of Campanus...Franck's evaluation of Pseudo-Clement reached Bernard Rothmann in Muenster."147
The article Campanus on that above-mentioned man -- in the 1882 Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge -- is most illuminating. "Campanus," it records, was born near "Liege in the beginning of the sixteenth century.... Differing equally-much from the Reformed, the Lutheran and the Roman-Catholic" viewpoints -- Jan Campanus was, "during his stay in Saxony, imprisoned on suspicion of antitrinitarian and anabaptistic heresies" during that time of great religious upheaval especially among the Saxons.
When Campanus was later released, "he caused great excitement among the peasants -- by preaching that the end of the world was speedily approaching." For thus sowing sedition anew, he "was again imprisoned -- and died insane. His antitrinitarian and anabaptist views he developed in...Against the World.... He held there were only two Divine Persons" ('Father' and 'Son').
Anabaptist polygamy and community of wives: its roots
Now this binitarian Belgian Campanus,148 a friend of Sebastian Franck, turned Anabaptist under the influence of Melchior Hofmann.149 Franck himself -- the excerpter of the Pseudo-Isidoreanized Pseudo-Clementine Letters150 -- was not only sympathetic to Anabaptists like Denck and Servetus, but also to the one he called his "dear Campanus." From Franck, to Campanus, and then apparently through Hofmann -- the practices of polygamy and of community of women reached Rothmann in Muenster, and then too also David Joris and the Batenburger Anabaptists.151
Melchior Hofmann, the Anabaptist mentor of Campanus, was a colourful Swabian. Already in 1525, while he was in Dorpat, there was uproar and iconoclasm.152 The same year he clashed with the Lutheran ministers there, began to show deviant views about political government, and rejected the oath. After he falsely predicted that Christ's second coming would occur in 1533, the King of Sweden forbad him to preach there. Lutheran ministers then attacked him, and Luther himself opposed him. Next succumbing to the influence of Schwenckfeld, Hoffmann slid even more deeply into the various heresies of Anabaptism.
Hofmann denied Christ's humanity,153 alleging that Jesus merely travelled through Mary 'like water through a pipe.' To Hofmann, the Saviour 'has not two but only one nature' and was solidified as heavenly dew in the womb of Mary -- like a spiritual pearl in a carnal oyster.
In April 1530, Hofmann was rebaptized.154 Understandably, his fanaticism then increased. For now he wrote155 that baptism "is the sign of the covenant God instituted solely for the old..., not for...immature children.... There is absolutely no order enacted by the apostles or Jesus Christ...about it.... It has not been discovered that they ever baptized any child, nor will any such instance be found in all eternity....
"Pedobaptism is absolutely not from God, but rather is practised out of wilfulness by anti-Christians and the satanic crowd in opposition to God and all His Commandments.... Verily, it is an eternal abomination to Him. Woe, woe to all such blind leaders who wilfully publish lies for the truth -- and ascribe to God that which He has not commanded and will never in eternity command. How serious a thing it is to fall into the hands of God! ... Their inheritance and portion, is rather eternal damnation!"
Hofmann next claimed that baptism was bridal: "The bride of the Lord Jesus Christ has given herself over to the Bridegroom in baptism...and has betrothed herself and yielded herself to Him, of her own free will, and has thus in very truth accepted Him and taken Him unto herself." This language is almost erotic. It doubtless played a major role in promoting the emergence of polygamy and even community of wives among many of the Hofmannites.
While preaching in the border region of Germany and Holland, Hofmann made many converts. They themselves later 'converted' the Dutch lechers Matthys and Beukels. Two of Matthys's own 'apostles' then rebaptized and ordained the Dutchman Obbe Philips as well as Muenster's Rothmann. Hofmann himself was then imprisoned in Strassburg, where he died in captivity.
Hofmann was a false prophet. His prediction that 144 000 would soon go forth from Strassburg and convert the world,156 never came to pass.
The Dutch Anabaptist Leaders Obbe and Dirck Philips
After the imprisonment of Hofmann in 1533, the Hofmannite baker Jan Matthys alias 'Elijah' emerged as the new leader. His 'commissioned apostles' Boekbinder and Cuyper then rebaptized the famous Dutch Anabaptist Obbe Philips in the same year -- before they then went forth to Muenster and rebaptized its cathredal's ex-priest Rothmann.
Obbe himself then ordained his own brother Dirck Philips, and then rebaptized and ordained the famous Anabaptists David Joris in 1534 and Menno Simons around 1536. So renowned did Obbe become, that the Dutch Anabaptists were then often called Obbenites.157
Obbe's brother Dirck or Dietrich later became the leading Mennonite theologian. As History Professor Dr. K.R. Davis pointed out:158 "Son of a Dutch priest, he...left the Franciscans and converted to Anabaptism in 1533.... His elder brother Obbe ordained him an elder in 1534.... He wrote extensively and systematically, and was probably the leading theologian of the early Dutch and North-German Mennonites. But largely because of his greater severity and rigidity, he was...responsible for schism within the Mennonite brotherhood."
Dirck Philips spurned the Old Testament, rejected the incarnation, and denied infant baptism. As the Mennonite Leonard Verduin has rightly maintained:159 "In the words of Dirck Philips, one of the most influential thinkers in the camp of the Anabaptists: 'The false prophets cover and disguise their deceptive doctrines by appealing to the letter of the Old Testament.... It is from this fountain that the sacrilegious ceremonies and pomp of the Church of Antichrist [alias Rome] and the deplorable errors of the seditious sects [alias the Lutherans and the Calvinists] have come.'"
The Hofmannite Dirck Philips' christology and sacramentology were not original. He derived both from the 'bridal baptisms' of Melchior Hofmann himself, and of Hofmann's convert Jan Campanus.
As Harvard's sympathetic Dr. Williams has explained:160 "In Campanus...we have a clearly-enunciated binitarianism which, in denying personality to the Holy Spirit as in the case of Servetus, nevertheless postulates an eternal binity of persons. God the Father and God the Son [are] in one essence and one nature -- just as man and wife are two persons but one flesh....
"Campanus saw in the 'birth' of Eve from the side of Adam...the nuptial-generative union.... One may compare here the baptismal-nuptial theology of Hofmann..., extending from the latter through Menno Simons and Dietrich Philips into the whole of Netherlandish and North-German Anabaptism.... The ancient heretical christology, originally developed by Valentinus and assimilated by Apollinarius...was variously communicated to the sixteenth-century Radicals...by the perpetration of the celestial flesh heresy in Bogomile and Cathar circles."
To Dirck Philips, there is no link between the infant circumcision of the 'carnal' Old Covenant and the adult baptism of the 'spiritual' New Testament.161 One who has been regenerated, as a reward for his obedience in following Christ's command, receives the forgiveness of sin -- so that "in baptism the regenerated children of God are washed through the blood and the Spirit of Christ."162 Synergism, proto-Arminianism and crypto-sacramentalism are all present in this statement of Dirck Philips.
The awful actions of Anabaptism in its 'millenium' at Muenster
News reached the Hofmannite Anabaptist Beukels in Holland that the cathedral priest Bernard Rothmann of Muenster in Germany had defended antipaidobaptism (but not yet adult rebaptism). So Beukels concluded that Hofmann's eschatological predictions were then being fulfilled in Muenster.
Matthys, the henchman of Beukels, therefore promptly resumed the rebaptisms previously suspended by Hoffmann. After two of his 'apostles' (Boekbinder and Cuyper) had rebaptized and ordained Obbe Philips to lead the 'Obbenite' Anabaptists in Holland, the Dutch Anabaptist Matthys then sent them to Muenster -- where they promptly rebaptized the ex-priest Rothmann.163
Matthys and Beukels and other Dutch Anabaptists then sped to Muenster, and supported Rothmann and Knipperdolling. Matthys proclaimed himself King of Muenster, and announced his intention of killing all his enemies.
When Catholics and Lutherans both fled the city, Matthys then and there introduced communism and confiscated all money and food and real estate -- on the basis of the Fourth Pseudo-Clementine Epistle.164
"By way of Campanus" the student of Melchior Hofmann, Williams and Mergal have insisted, the Anabaptist "Franck's evaluation of Pseudo-Clement reached Bernard Rothmann in Muenster..... See Hans von Schubert's The Communism of the Anabaptists in Muenster and its Sources."165
After Matthys was killed in one of the predictable skirmishes, Beukels immediately took over and proclaimed a yet stricter form of communism. He enforced the death penalty even for merely complaining, and then established polygamy.166 On this, we shall now let Harvard's G.H. Williams tell the story.
"John Beukels," explained Williams,167 "established polygamy.... All who resisted it were to be considered reprobates (and therefore in danger of execution).... Rothmann followed John's polygamous example, and eventually acquired nine wives.... Beukels had himself anointed, and crowned...as 'a king of righteousness over all'....
"Rothmann defended polygamy.... Since the only legitimate purpose of marriage was to be fruitful and multiply, a husband should not be held back from fructification by the sterility or pregnancy or indisposition of one wife." Mormonism -- here we come!
Continued the American Dr. Williams: "Rothmann, in a sermon in the Muenster cathedral, proclaimed enthusiastically it was the will of the Lord that the saints should multiply as the sands of the sea.... Rothmann may have come into contact...with a certain epistle [falsely] ascribed to Clement of Rome, which urges the community of goods -- including wives."
Rothmann taught this radical sharing of property and its public ownership -- in his 1533 Confession of Both Sacraments. Basing it on the pseudo-isidoreanized fourth and fifth Epistles of [Pseudo-]Clement, Rothmann's programme led to a community where the sharing of goods and wives was compulsory.168
While Rothmann had a mere nine wives, Beukels took fifteen -- and Knipperdolling seventeen.169 "Koning Jan" alias 'King John' Beukels had deserted a wife in Leyden; had next married the beautiful young widow of Matthys; and then soon had a whole harem. A 'law' was passed, forcing all women under a certain age to marry -- under pain of capital punishment. Quarrels among plural wives were also capitally punished. Finally, divorce had to be permitted -- which 'transubstantiated' polygamy into an even grosser licentiousness.170
Just like Melchior Hofmann before them, the Melchiorite Rothmannites in Muenster held both baptism and marriage to be an image of the relation of Christ to His bride (alias the community of the faithful). However, continued Williams,171 these "Rothmannites...could think of Christ with many individual brides -- and hence each husband with a plurality of wives. But since plural marriage was also bound up with faith, the marriage of believers with unbelievers was not true marriage but the equivalent of adultery -- and therefore to be annulled by a rigid communal discipline....
"The Anabaptist leader of Muenster [was next] to name Jacob van Campen 'putative bishop' of the 'new Zion in Amsterdam'.... Seven enthusiasts, men and women..., walked naked and unarmed, 10 February 1535, to proclaim the 'naked truth' of the new Eden.... The failure to secure public support in Amsterdam was signalized by the desperate behavior of the naaktloopers" or 'naked walkers.'172 Indeed, "this little coterie of wild visionaries proclaimed the 'naked truth' of an apocalyptic judgment and the coming of a communistic paradise."173
"The ecstatic prophet Herman Schoenmaker...had messianic pretensions and wanted to kill all monks, priests and civil officials.... Within beleaguered Muenster, John, to prevent surprise and defection, established in May twelve 'dukes' to guard the gates.... He make life wretched for his subjects, and also for his wives. One of the most spirited among them was beheaded by him.... He trampled on her body, while the rest of his harem looked on....
"After a fearful battle, the city was taken on 25 June.... [The Anabaptist leaders] Knipperdolling and Krechting remained loyal to their Anabaptist faith, but John Beukels made a partial recantation before his death and even offered, if his life were spared, to persuade the remaining Anabaptists to give up all thoughts of violence."174
History had repeated itself! Centuries earlier, the neo-circumcellion circuit-riders had rebaptized neo-Donatistically -- and then gone plundering and burning, murdering traditional Christians in many areas of North Africa. Now, revolutionary rebaptists rode again! A then-contemporary writer described it all perfectly. See U. Rhegius's Refutation of the Neo-Valentinians and Neo-Donatists of Muenster (Wittenberg 1535). See too the classic statement, by the modern liberal Roman Catholic scholar C.A. Cornelius (in his History of the Muenster Revolution).175
Interestingly, in his essay The Anabaptists and the Rise of the Baptist Movement, the modern Baptist scholar Rev. Dr. West of Oxford has rightly described Muenster's Jan Beukels alias 'King John' as "scarcely sane." Nevertheless, in all candour, West has then also honestly added: "It is certainly not right to divorce Muenster entirely from Anabaptism."176
Polygamy since Muenster: the awful aftermath of Anabaptism
According to G.H. Williams, "after the fall of...Muenster in June 1535 and the execution of King John in January 1536 a group of radical Anabaptists from as far away as England met in August 1536, at the still-tolerant town of Bocholt near Wesel [in the Netherlands] -- to attempt to come to some mutual understanding to unify the shattered and scattered Melchiorite forces. The meeting was attended by followers of David Joris, John of Batenburg, and by a group of former Muensterites."177
Ordained by the Dutch Anabaptist Obbe Philips,178 the revolutionary Flemish Anabaptist and Sabellian David Joris179 claimed to be the true Messiah.180 The Anabaptists acknowledged him as one of their most influential hymnwriters and prophets. Some of his followers -- the 'Adamites' -- trangressed all boundaries of shame. His own Miracle Book predicted the then soon destruction of the papacy -- and the abolition of marriage in favour of total 'free love.'181
"David Joris," according to Mergal and Williams,182 "regarded himself as the third David -- in succession to King David and Christ" the Davidic King. "David Joris...misled the more fanatic remnants of the Muensterite debacle from his new base in Basel, where he lived splendidly under a false name." Among his followers, there were some polygamists.183
Explained the Baptist Estep:184 "At one time a Muensterite also, Joris was...an extreme 'inspirationist' [alias an advocate of immediate ongoing inspiration by the Spirit of God].... He claimed that the Scriptures were inadequate, and therefore destined to be supplemented by his own inspired writings" if not also by his own verbal utterances too.
According to Williams,185 the followers of John of Batenburg -- the leader of the 'Sword-Minded Muensterites' -- were even more radical than the 'Davidjorists.' For the Batenburgers "believed that all who did not join with them, had to be killed. They sanctioned the plunder of churches, and divorce was obligatory for anyone whose spouse refused to join the group.
"They continued to practise polygamy, and held goods in common. With Batenburg as their new Elijah, they clandestinely waited for the belligerent second advent of the Lord. In the meantime, they allowed adult baptism to lapse, and attended Catholic services in order to escape detection and persecution.... Community of wives was the distinctive feature of the Batenburgers, drawing upon the paradisic speculations of the medieval 'Adamites' and emboldened by the restitution of polygamy in Muenster.
"Fleshly mingling as the true and sole sacrament, called Christerie or Christirung, was the distinctive feature...of Thuringian and Hessian 'Dreamers' or 'Blood Friends.'" These Anabaptists were "led by one Louis of Tuengeda, who around 1550 renounced baptism as the covenantal sign -- in favor of a sexual spiritualism that 'sacramentally' unified the fellowship by a single dream-inspired coition all around....
"Promiscuity cropped out in many places among the excesses of the 'evangelistic' revival, notably in St. Gall." It also occurred "in the group around Hut's deputy in Franconian Koeningsberg (Georg Volk)...and in the communitarian Sabbatarian Anabaptism of Andrew Fischer."
The repeated adultery and bigamy of Haetzer and the communism of the Hutterites and the 'marriage meaning' of Hofmannite rebaptism had produced a horrible harvest. There was the lewd lasciviousness of the lecherous Dutch Anabaptists Matthys and Beukels; the 'naked walkers' of Amsterdam; the popular polygamy in Muenster; and the community of women among the Batenburgers and other groups. One can certainly understand the embarrassment of many of their modern stepchildren. Yet there is no way the widespread occurrence of gross sexual immortality among the Anabaptists themselves can be overlooked.
Obbe Philips recants in his Recollections of the Years 1533- 1536
Long after the fall of Muenster in 1536, and indeed even until 1540, Obbe Philips continued to lead the Dutch Anabaptists: his Obbenists. Then, however, he became convinced that Anabaptism was fraudulent. Withdrawing from it at that time, around 1560 he published his Confession -- alias his Recollections of the Years 1533-1536. That is an account of what had helped to open his eyes to all of those deceptions.
Obbe's frank and honest Confession is of very great importance in exposing neo-Anabaptism (such as pseudo- Pentecostalism and other heresies) today. Consequently, we now present important excerpts therefrom.
Wrote Obbe:186 "The first Church of Christ and the Apostles, was destroyed and ruined in early times by Antichrist.... All who with us are called 'Evangelical' know that the whole of the papacy is a Sodom, a Babylon and Egypt, and an abomination of desolation -- the work or service of Antichrist.... Its ordinances...and teachings are false....
"Fieriness became apparent in some [Anabaptists] who could no longer contain themselves.... They presented themselves as teachers and envoys of God, professing to have been compelled in their hearts by God to baptize, preach and teach.... Among these were Doctor Balthasar Huebmaier..., Johan Hut, Johan Denck, Louis Haetzer, and Thomas Muenzer....
"Among these, Melchior Hofmann stood out.... This Melchior was a very fiery and zealous man, a very smooth-tongued speaker who...wrote heatedly against Luther and Zwingli concerning baptism and other articles.... I know of no one who has so much calumniated and damned in his writings, as this Melchior --whereby also we all taught many blasphemies.... All who did not say yes and amen -- were 'devilish and satanic spirits'; 'godless heretics'; and people 'damned to eternity'....
"Great dissension and insurrection daily broke out among the burghers.... Baptism came rapidly into vogue -- among many plain and simple souls. At the same time, Melchior had written from prison that baptism should be suspended for two years.... Thereafter, there also rose up two prophetesses.... These also prophesied and predicted remarkable things - - and had many visions, revelations and dreams....
"One of the prophetesses also prophesied -- and that through a vision -- that Melchior was 'Elijah.' She saw a white swan.... That, she interpreted to apply to Melchior as the true 'Elijah'.... She also saw a vision that...Cornelius Polterman, who was Melchior's disciple..., would be 'Enoch.' [However,] some among them held that Doctor Caspar Schwenckfeld should be considered 'Enoch'....
"It was also prophesied that Strassburg would be the 'New Jerusalem'.... After Melchior was in prison for a half- year...he would leave Strassburg with 144 000 true preachers, apostles and emissaries of God -- with powers, signs and miracles.... Thereafter, 'Elijah' and 'Enoch' would stand upon the earth as two torches and olive trees."
Obbe Philips on the Hofmannite Anabaptist Jan Matthys
Continued Obbe: "There arose a baker of Haarlem named John Matthys, who had an elderly wife whom he deserted.... He took with him a brewer's daughter, who was a very pretty young slip of a girl.... He enticed her away from her parents with sacred and beautiful words -- and told how God had shown great things to him, and that she would be his wife.... He professed to have been greatly driven by the Spirit; and how God had revealed great things to him...; and that he was the other witness 'Enoch'....
"Now when the friends or brethren heard of this, they became apprehensive.... They had also heard that Cornelius Polterman was 'Enoch.' When John Matthys learned of this, he carried on with much emotion and terrifying alarm -- and with great and desperate curses cast unto eternity into hell (and to the devils) all who would not hear his voice and who would not recognize and accept him as the true 'Enoch.' Because of this, some went into a room without food and drink, in fasting and prayer.... No one knew that such false prophets could arise in the midst of the brethren." Yet see: Deuteronomy 13 & 18 and First John 4!
"They attached themselves to John Matthys and became obedient. John Matthys as 'Enoch'...sent out 'true apostles' in pairs.... Some, such as Gerard Boekbinder and John [Beukels] of Leyden, departed for Muenster. Thereafter, through his corrupt activities, John of Leyden became king of Muenster -- all of which Gerard Boekbinder later told me in Amsterdam in the presence of Jacob van Campen ['putative bishop' of the 'new Zion in Amsterdam'] and several others.... Two of these commissioned apostles, namely...Boekbinder and...Cuyper..., said we should not doubt but that they were no less sent forth with power and miracle than the apostles at Pentecost....
"They also comforted us and said...no Christian blood would be shed on earth, but in a short time God would rid the earth of all shedders of blood.... Thus did we on that day almost all permit ourselves to be baptized.
"The following day..., they summoned us...and with the laying on of hands laid upon us the office of preaching.... We could feel the laying on of hands and...many loose words which had neither strength nor lasting effect -- as afterward we amply discovered....
"Three men...shortly thereafter -- through 'the driving of the Spirit' -- walked through Amsterdam [March 23rd 1534]. One cried out: 'The new city is given to the children of God!' Another called out: 'Repent ye, and do penance!' The third cried out: 'Woe, woe to all the godless!'
"Now, as they were captured in the midst of these outcries, they and some fifteen or sixteen other teachers and brethren were taken as insurrectionists and Anabaptists to Haarlem -- where they were all condemned and tortured to death.... Such was the reliability of their prophecies.... All they told us would come upon the world, the tyrants and the godless on earth -- that came upon us, and upon them first of all....
"After this, some others arose who were made teachers by the previous ones mentioned.... Such strange instruction was heard among them! One corrupted marriage. The second taught nothing but parables. The third would pardon no one nor recognize him as brother who fell into apostasy after baptism.... Others stood firmly by visions, dreams and prophecies.
"Some also were of the opinion that when the brethren and teachers were put to death, they would immediately be resurrected and would rule on earth with Christ a thousand years.... There were almost as many opinions as there were teachers -- each comforting himself with lies and false promises, visions, dreams and revelations. Some had spoken with God, others with angels --until they got a new trek under way to Muenster."
Obbe on the interaction between the Dutch and the Muenster Anabaptists
"The most prominent in Muenster, were John Matthys and John of Leyden.... Letters they daily sent to us -- of the great signs, wondrous visions, and revelations they had daily.... One may perceive of which spirit they were the children, and by which spirit they were led and driven....
"Diverse teachers from Holland...professed that Muenster and not Strassburg was -- the New Jerusalem. For Melchior was forgotten, with his prophets and prophetesses.... All his apostleship, prophecy, Elijah-role, and his despatch of apostles from Strassburg -- all went to nought and to shame.... Everything that he so boldly professed from the mouth of the prophets and prophetesses -- he, in the end, found it all falsehood and deception: in fact, and in truth....
"Just as John Matthys was truly 'Enoch' with the true commission and apostolic office -- so he also came to his end.... Melchior died in prison, and did not come out again, as the prophets and prophetesses had predicted [he would do]....
"John Matthys -- as an apostle and 'Enoch' -- was beaten before the gates of Muenster in a skirmish.... He was so fierce and bloodthirsty, that he brought various people to their deaths.... His enemies...did not just kill him like other people, but hacked and chopped him into little pieces....
"Yet some of the brethren insisted that -- following the prophecy of 'Enoch' and 'Elijah' -- he would be resurrected on the fourth day, and before all people he would rise up to heaven or be carried away by a cloud.... We have here the beginning and end of both 'Elijah' and 'Enoch' -- with their commissions, visions, prophecies, dreams and revelations....
"One insurrection followed another." Seven 'naked walkers' in Amsterdam during February 1535 proclaimed the 'naked truth' of an apocalyptic judgment and the coming of a communistic paradise. "There the 'godless' would meet their end, and be punished. All that, came to nothing. All 'prophecies' were false and lying.... Those who denounced others as godless, were such themselves. And those who would exterminate the others, were themselves annihilated....
"I am still miserable of heart today, that I...was so shamefully and miserably deceived.... I did not stop forthwith but permitted myself to bring poor souls to this -- that I through the importuning of the brethren, commissioned to the office: Dietrich Philips in Amsterdam; David Joris in Delft; and Menno Simons in Groningen.... It is this which is utter grief to my heart, and which I will lament before my God as long as I live....
"I shall be silent about all the false commissions, prophecies, visions, dreams, revelations and unspeakable spiritual pride which immediately from the first hour stole in among the brethren.... As soon as anyone was 'baptized' he was at once a 'pious Christian' -- and slandered all people and admitted no one on earth to be good but himself and his fellow brethren.
"Was that not a great and terrible pride? And who can express the great wrangling and dissension among the congregation -- of debating and arguing about...the thousand-year Kingdom of Christ on earth; about the incarnation; baptism; belief; Supper; the promised David; second marriage; free will....
"A reasonable, impartial Christian may truly say that it is no Christian congregation but a desolate abomination -- that it can be no temple of God but a cave of murderers full of hate, envy, jealousy, spiritual pride, pseudo-piety, hypocrisy, contempt, defamation. They could suffer neither the love nor benefit of another who was not of their belief."
The not-so-peaceful Anabaptist Menno Simons
About 1534, the priest Menno Simons had renounced Romanism. Around 1536, he was 'rebaptized' and '(re-)ordained' by the Anabaptist Obbe Philips.187
After Obbe withdrew from his own Obbenites around 1540, his brother Dirck and the Unitarian Anabaptist Adam Pastor and Menno Simons reorganized the Dutch Obbenites under the new name of Mennonites.188 Indeed, Menno promptly branded189 Obbe as "a Demas" (Second Timothy 4:10) -- but never denied that Obbe was the one who had ordained Menno!
Menno's first three books bore the titles Christian Baptism, Foundation of Christian Doctrine, and True Christian Faith. Together with Dirck Philips, Menno ordained Adam Pastor in 1542. Pastor taught that Christ did not exist before the incarnation. However, only after 1547 did the Mennonites excommunicate and 'shun' him because of his unitarianism.
As the Baptist Estep has admitted: "Menno was never quite able to shake off the memory of that unpleasant experience. Like himself, Pastor had been a priest.... In other respects, he was apparently a true Anabaptist.... Rationality led him to doubt the deity of Christ....
"Menno felt that the threat to the faith was so grave that he wrote a small book to counteract Pastor's influence, Confession of the Triune God .... Menno's own view of the incarnation, however, became a source of controversy.... Menno's position differed from the historic view, in denying that Christ received His human body from Mary."190
Simons not only forbad oaths, but also lacked love. Not only did he perfect the practice of 'shunning' and often wield the ban. He also untruthfully denounced paidobaptism as "nothing other than a ceremony of the Antichrist; a public blasphemy; a sin of sorcery; a graven image; yes, an abominable idolatry!"191
To Menno, infant baptism was "a human invention of which not one jot or tittle is found in God's Word." He condemned it as "a sin of sorcery; a graven image; a falsification of the ordinance of Christ; a work of superstition and idolatry; a public abomination; and a sacrament of the churches of the antichrist just as absurd as the baptism of church bells in the papacy."192
Let it not be forgotten that this Menno is the very man British Baptist Erroll Hulse has recently called193 "probably the most successful of the early Baptists."
Menno said194 Christians should regard the paidobaptist sacrament as "the baptism of the antichrist." Therefore "we must resist infant baptism not only with our mouth, but also unto blood and death." For "we must be baptized on our own faith." Infants cannot believe or share in regeneration, "because reason teaches they do not have ears to hear God's Word." Yet they do have ears and, as Luther pointed out, in our fallen world 'reason' is a whore!
As a false prophet, in 1536 Menno Simons also -- just like very many dispensationalists today -- mispredicted the second coming of Christ, when he alleged it was "imminent." So too did all of the other Anabaptists.195
Today, more than four-and-a-half centuries later, the second coming of Christ has still not yet occurred. Thus, even the uneminent Menno of the Mennonites stands 'imminently' exposed as a false prophet indeed. Deuteronomy 13:1-11 & 18:10-22.
The Antitrinitarian Anabaptist Servetus (or Miguel Serveto)
Miguel Serveto (alias Michael Servetus) was probably quite the most dangerous of all the Anabaptists. Even Harvard's Prof. Williams has described himself196 as maintaining "spiritual connections with Calvin's principal foe, Michael Servetus.... Servetus [w]as a Spaniard brought up in contact with Moriscos [alias ex-Moors] and Marranos" [alias 'pigs'].
The latter were respectively such Islamic Moors and Sephardic Judaists as had surreptitiously continued practising their cordial Unitarianism -- even after their own purely nominal 'conversion' to and baptism by the Church in Spain. Indeed, often before and sometimes even after their baptism -- they usually swore a secret oath to try to destroy the Church's Trinitarianism from within. So these 'pigs' were not the 'sheep' they pretended to have become.
Understandably, after Servetus published his own books On the Errors of the Trinity (1531) and Concerning the Trinity (1532) -- the whole of Christian Europe was deeply shocked. Then, in his 1553 Restitution of Christianity, Servetus also vilified infant baptism in the Name of the Triune God. No wonder that Calvin in 1556 denounced him as "that vilest of men" -- and "an Anabaptist and the worst of heretics."197
"Servetus," explained the sympathetic Prof. Williams,198 "repudiated as a 'philosophical sophistication' the claim of the Trinitarians that the mundane [or 'economic'] generation of the Logos-Son had been preceded by an eternal [or 'ontological'] generation of the Logos-Son.... For Servetus, the Holy Spirit was a power -- and not a Person of the Godhead....
"The Prologue of John was seen to be a parallel to the prologue of Genesis, and the identification of the Word with Light had now made it possible for Servetus to think of the Word itself (cf. Dietrich Philips)...before the mundane incarnation, as also a kind of 'celestial flesh'.... For Servetus, as of 1553, Christ was also the eternal idea of man in the mind of God....
"His basic proposition was...that there were not three intradeical Persons.... As for the continuous but invisible outpouring of the Spirit of God, Servetus was aware of it everywhere as the mundification of the divine substantia in all creatures, which could therefore be considered full of divinity. Hence, all things, from the heavenly bodies to the smallest flowers, could be looked upon as gods....
"According to Servetus, God's Spirit is present in a special way at baptismal regeneration or deification -- to clarify the mind of the convert." Thus Servetus coupled his repudiation of the Ontological Trinity and his confession of a purely economic 'trinity' to his repudiation of infant baptism and his advocacy of adult Anabaptism.
As the great church historian Rev. Prof. Dr. J.H. Kurtz has indicated199 regarding the viewpoint of Servetus: "Son and Spirit are only different dispositiones Dei [or dispositions of God]. The Father alone is tota substantia et unus Deus [the whole substance and one God]. And as the 'Trinity' makes its appearance in connection with the redemption of the world --it will disappear again, when that redemption has been completed.
"The polemic of Servetus, however, extended beyond the doctrine of the Trinity to an attack upon the church doctrine of original sin and the repudiation of infant baptism.... He denounced views opposed to his own as 'doctrines of devils' -- among other reproachful terms, applying to the church doctrine of the Trinity the name of triceps Cerberus (the three-headed dog of hell)." To him, the Holy Trinity was the hound of hell or the dog of Satan!
The influence of Servetus among Anabaptists internationally
The influence of the rabid antitrinitarian Miguel Serveto alius Servetus soon spread to Italy -- and then, also with that of the Unitarian Socinus, to Hungary and Poland. Soon Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was a centre of Anabaptism.200 There, the Calvinist Georg Weigel stated that the Antitrinitarian Anabaptists "tell their dreams and visions...[and] introduce plurality of wives, community of goods, contempt of the magistrate, of the courts, and of every rank."
As the Calvinist Rev. Prof. Dr. H. Bouwman has shown: "In Bohemia, Italy and Poland -- many still remained Anabaptists." There, "they intermixed especially with the Antitrinitarians..., absorbing themselves into the Socianians."201 Interestingly, even the American Baptist Rev. Prof. Dr. H.C. Vedder has admitted202 that "we find definite proofs of immersion only among the Anabaptists...in Poland" -- namely, among the Antitrinitarians!203
These Anabaptists included even what G.H. Williams has called "immersionist Trideistae" alias submersionistic Tritheists [cf. the later polytheistic Mormons]. Poland too had many Anabaptist Tritheists, but even more Anabaptist Arians. Through its crypto-subordinationistic denial of the Filioque alias the eternal procession of the Spirit from the Father and from the Son, the nearby 'Russian Orthodox' alias "Greek Orthodox formulation of the Trinity helped the proto-Unitarians." Such were "the antitrinitarian antipaidobaptist Radicals."204 Indeed, "their Protestant and Catholic foes called them 'Arians.'"205
These deadly heresies were then indeed quite general among Anabaptists. As the very eminent church historian Rev. Prof. Dr. Kurtz has explained:206 "It was agreed...to summon an Anabaptist Council to meet at Vienna in September 1550.... About sixty deputies...laid down the following doctrinal propositions as binding upon all their congregations: 'Christ is not God but man....; there are neither angels nor devil...; there is no other hell than the grave in which the elect sleep...till they shall be awaked at the last day...; the souls of the ungodly as well as their bodies, like those of the beasts, perish in death.'"
The Anabaptist Servetus spread his Antitrinitarianism to Italy, and his fellow-heretic Faustus Socinus then exported Unitarianism from Italy to Poland and thence to Holland and even to England. Walter Klaassen's Anabaptism: Neither Catholic nor Protestant -- and I.B. Horst's The Radical Brethren: Anabaptism and the English Reformation to 1558 -- help substantiate these facts.207
"The Anabaptists," claimed the Baptist Estep, "made the New Testament alone normative for the Christian life." Even the 'moderate' Anabaptist Pilgram Marbeck (alias Marpeck) held to "an absolute distinction between the Old Testament and the New."208
Too, the neo-Anabaptist Harold Bender stated209 the case quite rightly in the Mennonite Quarterly Review. "Anabaptism was not fully conformant to Reformation Protestantism, in that it refused to place the Old Testament on a parity with the New Testament...., relegating therefore the Old Testament to the position of a preparatory instrument.... Baptism is not the counterpart of circumcision therefore." However, the Bible teaches the very opposite! Romans 4:10f & 6:1f; Galatians 3:6-29; Colossians 2:11-13.
Candid assessment of the Anabaptists' faith and practice
The famous Swiss-American German Reformed church historian Rev. Prof. Dr. Philip Schaff has explained210 that "the early history of the Anabaptists exhibits...violent revolutions, separatism, mysticism, millenarianism, spiritualism, contempt of history, ascetic rigor, fanaticism, communism, and some novel speculations concerning the body of Christ as being directly created by God and different from the flesh and blood of other men....
"They rebaptized those baptized in infancy.... They themselves denied the validity of infant baptism...and regarded voluntary baptism in 'years of discretion' as the only true baptism."
To Schaff, the Anabaptist Thomas Muenzer was the "evangelist of the social revolution." He anticipated the later Marxists and Leninists (who praised him). Thus, as a 'revolutionary communist' he signed his pamphlets: "Muenzer with the hammer" [and the sickle] -- and "Let not the saint's sword grow cold from blood!"
Sympathetic even to the antitrinitarian Servetus,211 Harvard's Dr. G.H. Williams has admitted212 that among the Anabaptists in general "the imminent advent...was discussed and calculated with enthusiasm. Group confession led to disclosures that alarmed spouses.... Glossolalia broke out. There was lewdness and unchastity, and the extraordinary declaration of a deranged woman that she was predestined to give birth to the Antichrist."
According to the American Baptist Rev. Prof. Dr. M'Glothlin,213 it was not till 1527 that the first Anabaptist 'Articles of Confession' were drawn up -- inculcating, however, the teachings of communism! This was done by the ex- priest Michael Sattler -- at Schleitheim, on the border of Germany and Switzerland. The full title of that document is The Brotherly Union of a Number of Children of God Concerning Seven Articles.
Those Seven Articles of Schleitheim were the ecumenical 'basis of agreement' defining the Brotherly Union of German and Swiss Anabaptists. They consisted of: (1) the total rejection of infant baptism; (2) the rigid affirmation of the mandatory ban; (3) a heretical view of the Lord's supper; (4) an unbiblical doctrine of ministry; (5) a statement on the need to separate from political 'abominations'; (6) rejection of the state's sword; and (7) repudiation of the oath.214
The great church historian Philip Schaff has noted215 that "the earliest Anabaptist articles" in these "Swiss statements of 1527...bear solely on practical questions. Two of the teachings inculcate communism and that the Lord's supper be celebrated as often as the brethren come together.'"
For a refutation of this communism of the Anabaptists, see Francis Nigel Lee's Biblical Private Property Versus Socialistic Common Property.216 For a refutation of their overly-frequentative use of the Lord's supper, see Francis Nigel Lee's Quarterly Communion at Biblical Seasons Annually.217
It is very significant that the author of the Seven Articles, the Anabaptist Michael Sattler himself, felt obliged to write a revealing disclaimer in the Preface thereof. Acknowledged Sattler:218 "A very great offence has been introduced by some false brothers among us[!] -- whereby several...[attempted] to practise and observe 'the freedom of the Spirit'...[in] the lasciviousness and licence of the flesh. They have esteemed that faith and love may do, and permit, everything -- and that nothing can harm nor condemn them, since they are 'believers.'"
However, neither Schleitheim's Saddler nor the Hutterite Stadler ever softened their hatred of private property and their promotion of communal goods.219 So Calvin himself amply refuted220 Schleitheim, in 1544. Indeed, even the liberal American Prof. Dr. Henry Preserved Smith221 has rightly called these Anabaptists: Bolsheviks.
The Articles of Association of the Moravian Anabaptists forbad the Lord's supper to persons holding private property.222 Also those of the Dutch Mennonites upheld many heterodox beliefs. Thus the various editions of the 1580f Confession of Waterland223 still denied the guilt of hereditary sin (art. 4); taught that God predestinated all men for salvation (art. 7); rejected war, secular office-holding, and oaths (arts. 18 & 37 & 38); and repudiated infant baptism as 'unscriptural' (art. 31).
Significantly, the Mennonites in the Netherlands later called themselves Doopsgezinden (alias 'Baptist- minded'). This occurred even before the yet-later establishment of Baptist congregations in Holland.
Now while all of the Anabaptists attacked infant baptism, most of them 'rebaptized' adults by way of pouring alone. The first clear case of submersion among the Anabaptists -- thus the Baptist M'Glothlin224 -- occurred when the altogether-naked Ulimann got himself submersed in the Rhine. Only in the seventeenth century did the first English- speaking (Re-)Baptists baptize and/or rebaptize by submersion alone. Fortunately, they then did so only by way of non- naked submersions.
As Wheaton College's Rev. Prof. Dr. Donald M. Lake has very honestly insisted225 in his article on Baptism: "Only with the English Baptists about 1633 did the issue of immersion arise among the Particular Baptists. Prior to this, even the Baptists practiced affusion or sprinkling."
Most of the Anabaptists were intolerant and violent, although some of the later ones were pacifistic. Some Anabaptists killed all who refused rebaptism. Most affirmed soul-sleep and denied the existence of hell and of the devil. Many were communists, polygamists and/or advocates of 'group marriage' alias 'free love' (sic). The majority seem to have been a miscellaneous assortment of Antitrinitarians -- namely Binitarians, Modalists, Pantheists, Tritheists and/or Unitarians. Even the uniquely-trinitarian Anabaptist Simons denied Christ's incarnation; and the Anabaptist Servetus denounced the Holy Trinity as a 'dog with three heads.'
Already by 1534, Anabaptism had been exported even to England.226 Practising community of property and community of wives, the violent Anabaptists were the forerunners of the Red Revolutions of 1848 and 1917 -- and thereafter, even till today. Those Anabaptists in effect declared: "Communists of the world --unworking men of all nations -- ignite!"
Nature of the baptistic views of the Anabaptists
Appreciating that most Anabaptists did not immerse under water, we need not dwell on the maverick plunging of the noted Anabaptist Ulimann in the Rhine -- nor on the single submersionisms of the Unitarian Polish Anabaptists. Accordingly, we here confine our attention only to the widespread Anabaptist denial of sealing during baptism -- and especially their individualistic denial of household baptism (and thus that of covenantal infants).
The Anabaptists did not heed the Biblical statements about the sealing (or confirmatory) effect of baptism -- especially in respect of covenant children (Romans 4:11f cf. Colossians 2:11f). Nor did they understand that believers' children, even before their birth, are already to be regarded as being among the faithful.227
Thus the Anabaptists denied the possibility of regeneration and faith within unborn babies, and also in newly-born children.228 Consequently, they also denied that any newly-born children should receive baptism as the seal of regeneration and faith.
Holy Scripture, however, teaches that only those sinners who have been regenerated can enter into the Kingdom of God. See John 3:3-8. This clearly means that all unregenerates, even if still very tiny, are lost. Yet the Anabaptists held that babies are: neither lost; nor sinners; nor regeneratable. Denying the covenant of election, they maintained that all babies are 'innocent' -- as too, they said, were the unfallen Adam and Eve.229
The Anabaptists correctly saw that saving faith is not acquired by baptism. Neither is faith obtained for the very first time only at that sacrament's administration.230
However, that believers' babies should be seen as obviously residing already among the faithful even before their birth -- never dawned upon the Anabaptists. These heretics accordingly denied the possibility of regeneration and faith inside believers' unborn infants themselves -- and also inside just-born babies and other very young children.231
Following the heretic Pelagius, the Anabaptists quite wrongly held that all children -- even those of pagan parents -- were devoid of guilt.232 Sinless infants (said the Anabaptists) need neither repentance; nor faith in Christ; nor baptism. Indeed, they concluded that even the infants of believers can have no faith at all -- at least while still infants. Scripture, however, teaches quite the opposite -- Psalm 22:9f; Matthew 18:6; Luke 1:44 & 18:15f; Second Timothy 1:5 & 3:15f cf. Hebrews 11:6.
Butzer, Oecolampadius and the 1532 First Basle Confession on baptism
In 1530, the Reformed Tetrapolitan Confession appeared. This was drawn up by Calvin's mentor Martin Butzer alius Martin(us) Bucer(us) and others. It states233 that without faith, it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6].
Declares the Tetrapolitana: "Baptism is a sacrament of the covenant which God makes with those who belong to Him. There, He promises to protect them and their descendants and to regard them as His people.... It should be imparted even to the children.... Every promise applies just as much to us, as to those of old; 'I will be the God of you, and of your seed!'" Genesis 17:7-14.
Butzer also wrote to the Anabaptist Margaret Blaures in 1531 about the well-known Anabaptist Pilgram Marbeck. Asked Butzer:234 "What is the view of your Anabaptist of whom you write to me -- but that of the ancient Cyprian, who [wrongly] wanted to rebaptize all who had been baptized by heretics?"
Also Rev. Prof. Dr. Johann Heuszgen or Hausschein (alias Oecolampadius) -- Zwingli's friend in Basle -- firmly believed that regeneration often precedes infant baptism. In his Instruction Against Rebaptism, he urged Christians not to trust in baptism itself. For not the earthly water but only the Spirit of Christ washes away sins and brings about regeneration. Yet baptism is necessary, so that people can regard us as belonging to the number of the Christians. Infants too need forgiveness of sin, and regeneration. For they follow the sinful Adam.235
"If that were not so," explained Oecolampadius, "it would be incorrect to baptize them. For then, it would be a lying sign." For baptism indicates the forgiveness precisely of sin, through faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus. The fact is, however, that God "provides" the "Holy Spirit" to at least such of His elect who die in their infancy before receiving baptism. At the same time, He also provides that those who do not die before their baptism in infancy, but who live till early childhood and beyond, then have "further grace poured over" them. See Oecolampadius's 1527 Answer to Balthazar Hubmaier's "Little Book Against...Infant Baptism."236
Above, it should be noted that Oecolampadius advised "to baptize" even the infants of believers -- and then to expect them to have further grace "poured over" them. Very clearly, these words indicate his conviction that also the babies of believers should be baptized -- and indeed not by submersion, but precisely by having the water "poured over" them (alias by way of sprinkling).
It was probably Oecolampadius who wrote the 1532 First Basle Confession.237 That was subsequently revised in 1534 by his Zurich successor, Rev. Prof. Dr. Oswald Myconius. Significantly, it ends with a final section -- under the heading: 'Against the Errors of the Anabaptists.'
There, the First Basle Confession proclaims: "We openly declare that we not only do not accept -- but that we reject those strange erroneous teachings as abominable and as blasphemous. For these weird swarms (Rottengeister) also say -- among other condemned and evil opinions -- that one should not baptize children. We, however, do get them baptized -- according to the custom of the Apostles and of the Primitive Church, and also because baptism has come in the place of circumcision." Thus, the Anabaptists are Rottengeister!
The 1536 Second Basle or First Helvetic Confession on baptism
With this one should compare too the 1531 work Unashamed Wickedness (about Pfistermeyer and his followers). Written by Zwingli's successor Henry Bullinger, the latter said of those Swiss Anabaptists: "They be wholly given over to such foul and detestable sensuality.... They do interpret it to be the commandment of the Heavenly Father, persuading women and honest matrons that it is impossible for them to be partakers of the Kingdom of Heaven -- unless they do abominably prostitute and make common their own bodies to all men."
Again according to Bullinger, these Anabaptists further taught that "we ought to suffer all kinds of infamy or reproach for Christ's sake. Besides that, the publicans and harlots [held the Anabaptists] shall be preferred to the 'righteous' in the Kingdom of heaven.... [Furthermore, they also taught that] Christ was but a prophet -- saying that ungodly persons...and the devils also should enjoy the heavenly bliss."238
The Second Basle Confession alias the First Helvetic [or Swiss] Confession of 1536, was drawn up by the same Bullinger --in association with Myconius, Megander, Leo Judae, Butzer and Capito. Martin Bullinger was Zwingli's successor in Zurich. There, Myconius succeeded Oecolampadius as Professor of Theology. Megander was recommended by Zwingli for a Zurich Professorship. Leo Judae was Zwingli's co-worker in Zurich. And Butzer and Capito were Reformed theologians from Strassburg.239
This First Helvetic Confession is directed largely against the Anabaptists. It insists240 that Christ "has two different unmixed natures in one individual person.... He took our flesh upon Himself (yet without sin)...from the virgin Mary."
It further declares241 that the "sacraments...are not merely empty signs -- but consist of signs and the things signified. For in baptism, the water is the sign. The signified thing itself, however, is regeneration and adoption in the family of God."
The First Helvetica continues: "We baptize our children with this holy washing" -- literally, 'we tinge our infants' (in the original Latin). "It would be unfair if we were to rob those born from us [who are God's people] -- of the fellowship of God's people" [namely the fellowship of the parents of such infants]. For "our children are predestined through the divine Word -- and they are those whose pious election is to be presumed."
In the last sentence, the official Latin text reads: "infantos nostros...tingimus...de eorum electione pie est praesumendum." The official German translation here runs: "taufen wir unsre Kinder...von denen man vermuthen soll, sie seien von Gott erwaehlt." To prove this 'presumed election' of the infant children of believers -- the Confession itself then immediately goes on to cite: "Titus 3; Acts 10; Genesis 17; First Corinthians 7; and Luke 18."
Note here that the word 'presume' is used. The First Helvetica thus teaches not the false and hypercalvinistic heresy of irrebuttable and asserted regeneration of covenant infants. It teaches the glorious 'Calvinistic' (and also pre-Calvinistic) doctrine of the rebuttable yet nevertheless (pre)-supposed and presumed regeneration of covenant infants before baptism.
Later apostasy after infant baptism (and also after adult baptism) would certainly rebut this prebaptismal presumption! Wherever such apostasy then occurs to the point it cannot be denied, this proves the previous presumptmary123
ion to have been incorrect. Yet, until such post-baptismal apostasy might occur undeniably -- prebaptismal regeneration is indeed to be presumed -- as the proper prerequisite for the right administration of baptism.
The Helvetica then concludes with a warning against "all those who hamper the holy congregation and fellowship of the Church, and who introduce ungodly doctrines.... These are signs which in our time are displayed mostly by the Anabaptists.... They should be suppressed, so that they do not poison nor harm nor pollute the flock of God with their false doctrines.... The magistrate should punish and eradicate all blasphemy."242
143 Rad. Ref. pp. 430-33.
144 "Communia debere esse amicorum omnia...sine dubio et conjuges." So cited in Williams & Mergal's op. cit. p. 273 & n. 2. Compare too the fuller version in Williams's Rad. Ref. p. 512 n. 21: "Communia amicorum omnia. In omnibus autem sunt sine dubio et conjuges" -- 'All things of friends are common. In all things, however, even wives are, without doubt.' See too P. Hinschius's edition of the Decretals (Leipzig 1863).
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