The wild doctrines of Thomas Miinzer and the Zwickau prophets, merging eventually into the excesses of the Peasants' War and the doings of the Anabaptists in Minster, first roused Luther to the dangerous possibilities of mysticism as a disintegrating force.
But admiration of his talents must not blind us to his moral worthlessness, nor is it right to cast the blame for his excesses on the brutal and vicious society in which he lived.
The public credit was pledged at home and abroad to fill the pockets of the adventurers, and the wildest excesses were committed under the guise of administrative acts.
Meanwhile he took care to curb the excesses of the Italian Jacobins and to encourage the Moderates, who were favorable to the French connection as promising a guarantee against Austrian domination and internal anarchy.
The brutalities of Austrias white coats in the north, the unintelligent repression then characteristic of the house of Savoy, the petty spite of the duke of Modena, the medieval obscurantism of pope and cardinals in the middle of the peninsula and the clownish excesses of Ferdinand in the south, could not blot out from the minds of the Italians the recollection of the benefits derived from the just laws, vigorous administration and enlightened aims of the great emperor.