Preubler, Andreas (16th century)
Andreas Preubler, an Anabaptist leader around Steyr in Upper Austria. Little is known of his life and work except that he was a shoemaker, and the author of a booklet of "seventeen pages" on baptism, which has, however, not yet come to light. Its contents are known through a refutation by the Lutheran scholar Gall Steininger (in 1566 appointed as preacher in Peuerbach, Upper Austria, and in 1584 the author of a book on original sin, attacking the Flaccians), who indulged in violent accusations against the Anabaptists, using vulgar expressions, hardly to be duplicated in any other writing against them.
According to Preubler's booklet the Anabaptists taught as follows: the nations should first have the Gospel preached to them, and then, if they accept the Word, they should be baptized; since little children cannot be taught, they should not be baptized. The apostles first gave instruction in the mysteries of faith and did not baptize until that was done. The baptism of children should be postponed until they are grown and able to understand the doctrine. Those who let baptism precede indoctrination are not messengers of Christ, but of Antichrist. All who are to be baptized must first through the Holy Spirit acknowledge the forgiveness of their sins through the preaching of mercy in the New Testament, otherwise baptism has no value. Infant baptism was invented by men and was instituted and preserved by the spirit of Antichrist. Only through faith in the name of Christ is one saved, and not through infant baptism, nor indeed through adult baptism nor through other good works. Christ has given to all, while we were yet dead in sin, life with Him; by faith in Him one is born anew. If justification comes through Christ's righteousness, it cannot come through baptism. God accepts little children by grace, even without baptism or other service of the church, in case of early death. But the baptizers of infants wish to make children acceptable to God through baptism, which is a work of the law, thereby denying God's grace. By trying to make little children acceptable to God by baptism faith is extinguished and the Word, the office, and the work of Christ are weakened and blasphemed. The Jewish infants who died before they were circumcised on the eighth day were certainly not damned. Likewise our children are not damned without baptism. He who attaches his salvation to external ceremonies honors the creature more than the Creator; this is what baptizers of infants do, for they attach salvation to baptism. They thereby deny the finished work of Christ, who has won and sealed our salvation with His blood. The Holy Spirit alone is the assurance of our salvation, and not infant baptism. Christ says (John 15): Ye are clean through the Word; hence one is not made clean through baptism. Christ urges inner purification (Matthew 23); but infant baptism is only an external cleansing, a work performed by man. True inward cleansing and washing away of sins is done through the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6; Hebrews 8, 9, and 10).
Steininger expressed his opinion that such terrible blasphemies against Christ and His sacraments had never before been heard; such a devilish rascal should have his tongue pulled out of his throat; the Jews would not have tolerated such a blasphemer, but would have stoned him, especially since God has commanded it.
Beck, Joseph (Josef). Collection of (Joseph Beck’s papers in the Moravian Archives at Brno.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: III, 394 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 217. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wiswedel, Wilhelm. "Preubler, Andreas (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/preubler_andreas_16th_century.
APA style: Wiswedel, Wilhelm. (1959). Preubler, Andreas (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/preubler_andreas_16th_century.