Nicholas Hausmann (c.1478-1538): A Report Concerning the Zwickau Prophets (1521)

[Quotation from Nicholas Storch, one of the prophets]: Those in authority live only in lust, consume the sweat and blood of their subjects, eat and drink night and day, hunt, run, and kill. . . . Everyone therefore should arm himself and attack the priests in their fat nests, beating, killing, and strangling them, because once the bellwethers are removed, the sheep are easier to handle. Afterward the land-grabbers and noblemen should be attacked, their property confiscated, and their castles destroyed. . . . The external, audible divine word which is preached by the priests in the daly mass for the bvlizg and the dead is sbeer tonlfoolery because they [the priests] celebrate it after overloading their bellies with good food and their heads with fine wine, not to mention their frolicking at night with "Frau Venus." . . . Like magicians they dress up in silk and velvet of all colors, make gestures like monkeys when they take the bread and wine in the sacrament of the altar, and, to top it off, speak in Latin so that the poor layman does not know at all whether he is betrayed, sold, or what, and doesn't know what it is all about. If he [the layman] does not give them [the priests] his purse, heaven is closed to him.. . . You can receive the forgveness of sins without all this nonsense, in your own quiet home or wherever you are, if you believe in the revelation of the Spirit. . . . Don't you believe that God has another word which he will reveal to you through the Spirit? Why should God be chained to the creature? . . . He is absolutely free. He does what he wills. Thus the external, audible word of the priests is not the word of God but their own. . . . No child should be baptized with water In the church because all you see in such baptisms is wet water; it is the same as if one would sprinkle or immerse a dog in it . . . because children have no faith. But without faith it is impossible to please God. Accordingly, one should not baptize infants with water, because the water remains what it is, water.