First Interrogation of David Altenstetter (December 4, 1598). [ . . . ]
Q. What is his name? Where is he from? How old is he?
A. He says that he is a citizen here and is forty-eight years old.
Q. How does he make his living?
A. He is a goldsmith and practices that trade.
Q. Of what religion is he, and to which confession does he adhere? He shall answer this honestly and truthfully.
A. He has heretofore been unattached in religious matters, for although born in a Catholic place, he later moved to Switzerland, where the Zwinglian faith is established. But after he came to Augsburg, he sometimes heard the preachers of the Confession of Augsburg [i.e., Lutherans] and sometimes the Catholic preachers. He nonetheless joined neither religion, but if he has to join one, he will become a Catholic, though he will first need proper instruction in that faith.
Q. How has it happened that for many years he has not attended the churches of the Confession of Augsburg? What, in his opinion, is the matter with them?
A. He repeats what he said before. He has gone occasionally to the churches of the Confession of Augsburg but more often to the Cathedral, because the Catholic religion seems more forthright, and he likes the Cathedral preacher better than the Confession of Augsburg's preachers.
Q. For what reasons does he despise rather than approve of the churches, teachings, and ceremonies of the Lutherans?
A. As far as he is concerned, the churches, teachings, and ceremonies of the Confession of Augsburg may do as they please and remain as they are. He is of a mind neither to praise nor to blame their ministry here. In the past he has remained unattached in religion [ . . . ].
Q. What is his understanding of the Holy Sacraments, especially Baptism?
A. At the present time, and until God grants him grace and more understanding, he believes that there are two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Baptism is especially necessary to acquire salvation. He was baptized once as a boy and never again, and, since God has granted him children, he has reared them in the same way. In general, he believes that the Holy Sacraments are God's mysteries.
Q. Since he attends neither divine services nor sermons, what does he do on Sundays and holy days? Where does he hear preaching?
A. He repeats what he said before. It is true that for a time he has attended neither the one church nor the other on Sundays and holy days. Instead, he stays at home, or in summertime he often goes walking in- or outside the city with some companions [ . . . ].
Q. Is it not true that not many years ago, conventicles and meetings were organized and held nearly every Sunday or holy day in Altenstetter's house, sometimes in the garden [ . . . ], between seven and eight o'clock in the morning?
A. No conventicle or meeting of the type specified was ever organized or held in his house or garden [ . . . ]?
Q. Is it not true that such groups have met annually in April or May and again in the autumn in the woods outside of town and that strange sermons were preached from above in the trees? Where did this happen? Who did such things?
A. He knows nothing of such things [ . . . ].