HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH*
THE REFORMATION IN ZURICH. 1519–1526.
§ 10. Zwingli called to Zurich.
The fame of Zwingli as a preacher and patriot secured him a call to the position of chief pastor of the Great Minster (Grossmünster), the principal church in Zurich, which was to become the Wittenberg of Switzerland. Many of the Zurichers had heard him preach on their pilgrimages to Einsiedeln. His enemies objected to his love of music and pleasure, and charged him with impurity, adding slander to truth. His friend Myconius, the teacher of the school connected with the church, exerted all his influence in his favor. He was elected by seventeen votes out of twenty-four, Dec. 10, 1518.
He arrived in Zurich on the 27th of the month, and received a hearty welcome. He promised to fulfil his duties faithfully, and to begin with the continuous exposition of the Gospel of Matthew, so as to bring the whole life of Christ before the mind of the people. This was a departure from the custom of following the prescribed Gospel and Epistle lessons, but justified by the example of the ancient Fathers, as Chrysostom and Augustin, who preached on whole books. The Reformed Churches reasserted the freedom of selecting texts; while Luther retained the Catholic system of pericopes.
Zurich, the most flourishing city in German Switzerland, beautifully situated in an amphitheatre of fertile hills, on the lake of the same name and the banks of the Limmat, dates its existence from the middle of the ninth century when King Louis the German founded there the abbey of Frauemünster (853). The spot was known in old Roman times as a custom station (Turicum). It became a free imperial city of considerable commerce between Germany and Italy, and was often visited by kings and emperors.
The Great Minster was built in the twelfth century, and passed into the Reformed communion, like the minsters of Basle, Berne, and Lausanne, which are the finest churches in Switzerland.
In the year 1315 Zurich joined the Swiss confederacy by an eternal covenant with Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. This led to a conflict with Austria, which ended favorably for the confederacy.46
In the beginning of the sixteenth century Zurich numbered seven thousand inhabitants. It was the centre of the international relations of Switzerland, and the residence of the embassadors (sic) of foreign powers which rivalled with each other in securing the support of Swiss soldiers. This fact brought wealth and luxury, and fostered party spirit and the lust of gain and power among the citizens. Bullinger says, "Before the preaching of the gospel [the Reformation], Zurich was in Switzerland what Corinth was in Greece."47
§ 11. Zwingli’s Public Labors and Private Studies.
Zwingli began his duties in Zurich on his thirty-sixth birthday (Jan. 1, 1519) by a sermon on the genealogy of Christ, and announced that on the next day (which was a Sunday) he would begin a series of expository discourses on the first Gospel. From Matthew he proceeded to the Acts, the Pauline and Catholic Epistles; so that in four years he completed the homiletical exposition of the whole New Testament except the Apocalypse (which he did not regard as an apostolic book). In the services during the week he preached on the Psalms. He prepared himself carefully from the original text. He probably used for his first course Chrysostom’s famous Homilies on Matthew. With the Greek he was already familiar since his sojourn in Glarus. The Hebrew he learned from a pupil of Reuchlin who had come to Zurich. His copy of Reuchlin’s Rudimenta Hebraica is marked with many notes from his hand.48
His sermons, as far as published, are characterized, as Hagenbach says, "by spiritual sobriety and manly solidity." They are plain, practical, and impressive, and more ethical than doctrinal.
He made it his chief object "to preach Christ from the fountain," and "to insert the pure Christ into the hearts."49 He would preach nothing but what he could prove from the Scriptures, as the only rule of Christian faith and practice. This is a reformatory idea; for the aim of the Reformation was to reopen the fountain of the New Testament to the whole people, and to renew the life of the Church by the power of the primitive gospel. By his method of preaching on entire books he could give his congregation a more complete idea of the life of Christ and the way of salvation than by confining himself to detached sections. He did not at first attack the Roman Church, but only the sins of the human heart; he refuted errors by the statement of truth.50 His sermons gained him great popularity in Zurich. The people said, "Such preaching was never heard before." Two prominent citizens, who were disgusted with the insipid legendary discourses of priests and monks, declared after hearing his first sermon, "This is a genuine preacher of the truth, a Moses who will deliver the people from bondage." They became his constant hearers and devoted friends.
Zwingli was also a devoted pastor, cheerful, kind, hospitable and benevolent. He took great interest in young men, and helped them to an education. He was, as Bullinger says, a fine-looking man, of more than middle size, with a florid complexion, and an agreeable, melodious voice, which, though not strong, went to the heart. We have no portrait from his lifetime; he had no Lucas Kranach near him, like Luther; all his pictures are copies of the large oil painting of Hans Asper in the city library at Zurich, which was made after his death, and is rather hard and wooden.51
Zwingli continued his studies in Zurich and enlarged his library, with the help of his friends Glareanus and Beatus Rhenanus, who sent him books from Basle, the Swiss headquarters of literature. He did not neglect his favorite classics, and read, as Bullinger says, Aristotle, Plato, Thucydides, Homer, Horace, Sallust, and Seneca. But his chief attention was now given to the Scriptures and the patristic commentaries.
In the meantime Luther’s reform was shaking the whole Church, and strengthened and deepened his evangelical convictions in a general way, although he had formed them independently. Some of Luther’s books were reprinted in Basle in 1519, and sent to Zwingli by Rhenanus. Lutheran ideas were in the air, and found attentive ears in Switzerland. He could not escape their influence. The eucharistic controversy produced an alienation; but he never lost his great respect for Luther and his extraordinary services to the Church.52
§ 12. Zwingli and the Sale of Indulgences.
Bernhardin Samson, a Franciscan monk of Milan, crossed the St. Gotthard to Switzerland in August, 1518, as apostolic general commissioner for the sale of indulgences. He is the Tetzel of Switzerland, and equalled him in the audacious profanation of holy things by turning the forgiveness of sins and the release from purgatorial punishment into merchandise. He gave the preference to the rich who were willing to buy letters of indulgence on parchment for a crown. To the poor he sold the same article on common paper for a few coppers. In Berne he absolved the souls of all the departed Bernese of the pains of purgatory. In Bremgarten he excommunicated Dean Bullinger (the father of Henry) for opposing his traffic. But in Zurich he was stopped in his career.
Zwingli had long before been convinced of the error of indulgences by Wyttenbach when he studied in Basle. He had warned the people against Samson at Einsiedeln. He exerted his influence against him in Zurich; and the magistracy, and even the bishop of Constance (who preferred to sell indulgences himself) supported the opposition. Samson was obliged to return to Italy with his "heavy, three-horse wagon of gold." Rome had learned a lesson of wisdom from Luther’s Theses, and behaved in the case of Samson with more prudence and deference to the sentiment of the enlightened class of Catholics. Leo X., in a brief of April, 1519, expressed his willingness to recall and to punish him if he had transgressed his authority.53
The opposition to the sale of indulgences is the opening chapter in the history of the German Reformation, but a mere episode in the Swiss Reformation. That battle had been fought out victoriously by Luther. Zwingli came in no conflict with Rome on this question, and was even approved for his conduct by Dr. Faber, the general vicar of the diocese of Constance, who was then his friend, but became afterwards his enemy.
§ 13. Zwingli during the Pestilence.
In the summer of 1519 Zwingli went to the famous bath of Pfäffers at Ragatz to gather strength for his prospectively onerous duties at Zurich, in view of the danger of the approach of the plague from Basle. As soon as he learned, in August, that the plague had broken out in Zurich, he hastened back without stopping to visit his relations on the way. For several weeks he devoted himself, like a faithful shepherd, day after day, to the care of the sick, until he fell sick himself at the end of September. His life was in great danger, as he had worn himself out. The papal legate sent his own physician to his aid. The pestilence destroyed twenty-five hundred lives; that is, more than one-third of the population of Zurich. Zwingli recovered, but felt the effects on his brain and memory, and a lassitude in all limbs till the end of the year. His friends at home and abroad, including Faber, Pirkheimer, and Dürer at Nürnberg, congratulated him on his recovery.
The experience during this season of public distress and private affliction must have exerted a good influence upon his spiritual life.54 We may gather this from the three poems, which he composed and set to music soon afterwards, on his sickness and recovery. They consist each of twenty-six rhymed iambic verses, and betray great skill in versification. They breathe a spirit of pious resignation to the will of God, and give us an insight into his religious life at that time.55 He wrote another poem in 1529, and versified the Sixty-ninth Psalm.56
Zwingli’s Poems during the Pestilence, with a Free Condensed Translation.
I. Im Anfang der Krankheit.
In dieser Noth;
Ich mein’, der Tod
Syg57 an der Thür.
Stand, Christe, für;
Denn du ihn überwunden hast!
Zu dir ich gilf:58
Ist es din Will,
Zuch us den Pfyl,59
Din Haf63bin ich,
Mach ganz ald64 brich.
Dann nimmst du hin
Den Geiste min
Nit lass ein Stund
Mich haben weder Rüw60 noch Rast!
Willt du dann glych61
Todt haben mich
Inmitts der Tagen min,
So soll es willig syn.
Thu, wie Du willt,
Mich nüt befilt.62
Von dieser Erd,
Thust du’s, dass er nit böser werd,
Ald andern nit
Befleck ihr Leben fromm und Sitt.
II. Mitten in der Krankheit.
Die Krankheit wachst,65
Weh und Angst fasst
Min Seel und Lyb.66
Darum dich schybr67
Gen mir, einiger Trost, mit Gnad!
Die gwüss erlöst
Bin jeden, der Sin herzlich B’ger
Und Hoffnung setzt
In dich, verschätzt.
Darzu diss Zyt all Nutz und Schad.
Nun ist es um;
Mag sprechen nit ein Wort;
Min Sinn’ sind all verdorrt,
Darum ist Zyt,68Dass Du min Stryt69
So ich nit bin
So stark, dass ich
Des Tüfels Facht70 und frefner Hand.
Doch wird min Gmüth
Stät bliben dir, wie er auch wüth.
III. Zur Genesung.
Herr Gott, g’sund!
Ich mein’, ich kehr
Schon wiedrum her.
Ja, wenn dich dunkt,
Der Sünden Funk’
Werd nit mehr bherrschen mich uf Erd,
So muss min Mund
Din Lob und Lehr
Denn vormals je,
Wie es auch geh’
Einfältiglich ohn’ alle G’fährd.
Wiewohl ich muss
Erliden zwar einmal
Villicht mit gröss’rer Qual,
Denn jezund wär’
So ich sunst bin
Nach71 gfahren hin,
So will ich doch
Den Trutz und Poch72
In dieser Welt
Tragen fröhlich um Widergelt,73
Mit Hülfe din,
Ohn’ den nüt74 mag vollkommen syn.
I. In the Beginning of his Sickness.
Help me, O Lord,
My strength and rock;
Lo, at the door
I hear death’s knock.
Uplift thine arm,
Once pierced for me,
That conquered death,
And set me free.
Yet, if thy voice,
In life’s mid-day
Recalls my soul,
Then I obey.
In faith and hope,
Earth I resign,
Secure of heaven,
For I am Thine.
II. In the Midst of his Sickness.
My pains increase;
Haste to console;
For fear and woe
Seize body and soul.
Lo! Satan strains
To snatch his prey;
I feel his grasp;
Must I give way?
Death is at hand,
My senses fail,
My tongue is dumb;
Now, Christ, prevail.
He harms me not,
I fear no loss,
For here lie
Beneath Thy cross.
III. On Recovering from his Sickness.
My God! my Lord!
Healed by Thy hand,
Upon the earth
Once more I stand.
Though now delayed,
My hour will come,
In deeper gloom.
Let sin no more
Rule over me;
My mouth shall sing
Alone of Thee.
But, let it come;
With joy I’ll rise,
And bear my yoke
Straight to the skies.
§ 14. The Open Breach. Controversy about Fasts. 1522.
Zwingli was permitted to labor in Zurich for two years without serious opposition, although he had not a few enemies, both religious and political. The magistracy of Zurich took at first a neutral position, and ordered the priests of the city and country to preach the Scriptures, and to be silent about human inventions (1520). This is the first instance of an episcopal interference of the civil authority in matters of religion. It afterwards became a settled custom in Protestant Switzerland with the full consent of Zwingli. He was appointed canon of the Grossmünster, April 29, 1521, with an additional salary of seventy guilders, after he had given up the papal pension. With this moderate income he was contented for the rest of his life.
During Lent, 1522, Zwingli preached a sermon in which he showed that the prohibition of meat in Lent had no foundation in Scripture. Several of his friends, including his publisher, Froschauer, made practical use of their liberty.
This brought on an open rupture. The bishop of Constance sent a strong deputation to Zurich, and urged the observance of the customary fasts. The magistracy prohibited the violation, and threatened to punish the offenders (April 9, 1522).75 Zwingli defended himself in a tract on the free use of meats (April 16).76 It is his first printed book. He essentially takes the position of Paul, that, in things indifferent, Christians have liberty to use or to abstain, and that the Church authorities have no right to forbid this liberty. He appeals to such passages as 1 Cor. 8:8; 10:25; Col. 2:16; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rom. 14:1–3; 15:1, 2.
The bishop of Constance issued a mandate to the civil authorities (May 24), exhorting them to protect the ordinances of the Holy Church.77 He admonished the canons, without naming Zwingli, to prevent the spread of heretical doctrines. He also sought and obtained the aid of the Swiss Diet, then sitting at Lucerne.
Zwingli was in a dangerous position. He was repeatedly threatened with assassination. But he kept his courage, and felt sure of ultimate victory. He replied in the Archeteles ("the Beginning and the End"), hoping that this first answer would be the last.78 He protested that he had done no wrong, but endeavored to lead men to God and to his Son Jesus Christ in plain language, such as the common people could understand. He warned the hierarchy of the approaching collapse of the Romish ceremonies, and advised them to follow the example of Julius Caesar, who folded his garments around him that he might fall with dignity. The significance of this book consists in the strong statement of the authority of the Scriptures against the authority of the Church. Erasmus was much displeased with it.
§ 15. Petition for the Abolition of Clerical Celibacy. Zwingli’s Marriage.
In July of the same year (1522), Zwingli, with ten other priests, sent a Latin petition to the bishop, and a German petition to the Swiss Diet, to permit the free preaching of the gospel and the marriage of the clergy as the only remedy against the evils of enforced celibacy. He quotes the Scriptures for the divine institution and right of marriage, and begs the confederates to permit what God himself has sanctioned. He sent both petitions to Myconius in Lucerne for signatures. Some priests approved, but were afraid to sign; others said the petition was useless, and could only be granted by the pope or a council.79
The petition was not granted. Several priests openly disobeyed. One married even a nun of the convent of Oetenbach (1523); Reubli of Wyticon married, April 28, 1523; Leo Judae, Sept. 19, 1523.
Zwingli himself entered into the marriage relation in 1522,80 but from prudential reasons he did not make it public till April 5, 1524 (more than a year before Luther’s marriage, which took place June 13, 1525). Such cases of secret marriage were not unfrequent; but it would have been better for his fame if, as a minister and reformer, he had exercised self-restraint till public opinion was ripe for the change.
His wife, Anna Reinhart,81 was the widow of Hans Meyer von Knonau,82 the mother of three children, and lived near Zwingli. She was two years older than he. His enemies spread the report that he married for beauty and wealth; but she possessed only four hundred guilders besides her wardrobe and jewelry. She ceased to wear her jewelry after marrying the Reformer.
We have only one letter of Zwingli to his wife, written from Berne, Jan. 11, 1528, in which he addresses her as his dearest house-wife.83 From occasional expressions of respect and affection for his wife, and from salutations of friends to her, we must infer that his family life was happy; but it lacked the poetic charm of Luther’s home. She was a useful helpmate in his work.84 She contributed her share towards the creation of pastoral family life, with its innumerable happy homes.85
In Zwingli’s beautiful copy of the Greek Bible (from the press of Aldus in Venice, 1518), which is still preserved and called "Zwingli’s Bible," he entered with his own hand a domestic chronicle, which records the names, birthdays, and sponsors of his four children, as follows: "Regula Zwingli, born July 13, 1524;86 Wilhelm Zwingli, born January 29, 1526;87 Huldreich Zwingli, born Jan. 6, 1528;88 Anna Zwingli, born May 4, 1530."89 His last male descendant was his grandson, Ulrich, professor of theology, born 1556, died 1601. The last female descendant was his great-granddaughter, Anna Zwingli, who presented his MS. copy of the Greek Epistles of Paul to the city library of Zurich in 1634.
Zwingli lived in great simplicity, and left no property. His little study (the "Zwingli-Stübli"), in the official dwelling of the deacon of the Great Minster, is carefully preserved in its original condition.
§ 16. Zwingli and Lambert of Avignon.
In July, 1522, there appeared in Zurich a Franciscan monk, Lambert of Avignon, in his monastic dress, riding on a donkey. He had left his convent in the south of France, and was in search of evangelical religion. Haller of Berne recommended him to Zwingli. Lambert preached some Latin sermons against the abuses of the Roman Church, but still advocated the worship of saints and of the Virgin Mary. Zwingli interrupted him with the remark, "You err," and convinced him of his error in a disputation.
The Franciscan thanked God and proceeded to Wittenberg, where Luther received him kindly. At the Synod of Homberg (1526) he advocated a scheme of Presbyterian church government, and at the conference at Marburg he professed to be converted to Zwingli’s view of the Lord’s Supper.90
§ 17. The Sixty-seven Conclusions.
On the Sixty-seven Conclusions and the Three Disputations see Zwingli: Werke, I. A. 105 sqq.; Bullinger: I. 97 sqq.; Egli: 111, 114, 173 sqq.; Mörikofer: I. 138 sqq., 191 sqq. The text of the Sixty-seven Articles in Swiss-German, Werke, I. A. 153–157; in modern German and Latin, in Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, III. 197–207.
Zwingli’s views, in connection with the Lutheran Reformation in Germany, created a great commotion, not only in the city and canton of Zurich, but in all Switzerland. At his suggestion, the government—that is, the burgomaster and the small and large Council (called The Two Hundred)—ordered a public disputation which should settle the controversy on the sole basis of the Scriptures.
For this purpose Zwingli published Sixty-seven Articles or Conclusions (Schlussreden). They are the first public statement of the Reformed faith, but they never attained symbolical authority, and were superseded by maturer confessions. They resemble the Ninety-five Theses of Luther against indulgences, which six years before had opened the drama of the German Reformation; but they mark a great advance in Protestant sentiment, and cover a larger number of topics. They are full of Christ as the only Saviour and Mediator, and clearly teach the supremacy of the Word of God as the only rule of faith; they reject and attack the primacy of the Pope, the Mass, the invocation of saints, the meritoriousness of human works, the fasts, pilgrimages, celibacy, purgatory, etc., as unscriptural commandments of men.
The following are the most important of these theses: —
1. All who say that the gospel is nothing without the approbation of the Church, err and cast reproach upon God.
2. The sum of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has made known to us the will of his heavenly Father, and redeemed us by his innocence from eternal death, and reconciled us to God.
3. Therefore Christ is the only way to salvation to all who were, who are, who shall be.
4. Whosoever seeks or shows another door, errs—yea, is a murderer of
souls and a robber.
7. Christ is the head of all believers who are his body; but without him
the body is dead.
8. All who live in this Head are his members and children of God. And this is the Church, the communion of saints, the bride of Christ, the Ecclesia catholica.
15. Who believes the gospel shall be saved; who believes not, shall be damned. For in the gospel the whole truth is clearly contained.
16. From the gospel we learn that the doctrines and traditions of men are of no use to salvation.
17. Christ is the one eternal high-priest. Those who pretend to be highpriests resist, yea, set aside, the honor and dignity of Christ.
18. Christ, who offered himself once on the cross, is the sufficient and perpetual sacrifice for the sins of all believers. Therefore the mass is no sacrifice, but a commemoration of the one sacrifice of the cross, and a seal of the redemption through Christ.
19. Christ is the only Mediator between God and us.
22. Christ is our righteousness. From this it follows that our works are good so far as they are Christ’s, but not good so far as they are our own.
24. Christians are not bound to any works which Christ has not commanded. They may eat at all times all kinds of food.
26. Nothing is more displeasing to God than hypocrisy.
27. All Christians are brethren.
28. Whatsoever God permits and has not forbidden, is right. Therefore marriage is becoming to all men.
34. The spiritual [hierarchical] power, so called, has no foundation in the Holy Scriptures and the teaching of Christ.91
35. But the secular power [of the state] is confirmed by the teaching and example of Christ.92
37, 38. All Christians owe obedience to the magistracy, provided it does not command what is against God.93
49. I know of no greater scandal than the prohibition of lawful marriage to priests, while they are permitted for money to have concubines. Shame!94
50. God alone forgives sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord alone.
57. The Holy Scripture knows nothing of a purgatory after this life.
58, 59. God alone knows the condition of the departed, and the less he has made known to us, the less we should pretend to know.
66. All spiritual superiors should repent without delay, and set up the cross of Christ alone, or they will perish. The axe is laid at the root.
§ 18. The Public Disputations. 1523.
The first disputation was held in the city hall on Thursday, Jan. 29, 1523, in the German language, before about six hundred persons, including all the clergy and members of the small and large Councils of Zurich. St. Gall was represented by Vadian; Berne, by Sebastian Meyer; Schaffhausen, by Sebastian Hofmeister. Oecolampadius from Basle expected no good from disputations, and declined to come. He agreed with Melanchthon’s opinion about the Leipzig disputation of Eck with Carlstadt and Luther. Nevertheless, he attended, three years afterwards, the Disputation at Baden. The bishop of Constance sent his general vicar, Dr. Faber, hitherto a friend of Zwingli, and a man of respect, able learning and an able debater, with three others as counsellors and judges. Faber declined to enter into a detailed discussion of theological questions which, he thought, belong to the tribunal of Councils or of renowned universities, as Paris, Cologne and Louvain. Zwingli answered his objections, and convinced the audience.95
On the same day the magistracy passed judgment in favor of Zwingli, and directed him "to continue to preach the holy gospel as heretofore, and to proclaim the true, divine Scriptures until he was better informed." All other preachers and pastors in the city and country were warned "not to preach anything which they could not establish by the holy Gospel and other divine Scriptures," and to avoid personal controversy and bitter names.96
Zwingli prepared a lengthy and able defence of his Articles against the charges of Faber, July, 1523.97
The disputation soon produced its natural effects. Ministers took regular wives; the nunnery of Oetenbach was emptied; baptism was administered in the vernacular, and without exorcism; the mass and worship of images were neglected and despised. A band of citizens, under the lead of a shoemaker, Klaus Hottinger, overthrew the great wooden crucifix in Stadelhofen, near the city, and committed other lawless acts.98
Zwingli was radical in his opposition to idolatrous and superstitious ceremonies, but disapproved disorderly methods, and wished the magistracy to authorize the necessary changes.
Consequently, a second disputation was arranged for October 26, 1523, to settle the question of images and of the mass. All the ministers of the city and canton were ordered to attend; the twelve other cantons, the bishops of Constance, Coire and Basle, and the University of Basle were urgently requested to send learned delegates. The bishop of Constance replied (Oct. 16) that he must obey the Pope and the Emperor, and advised the magistracy to wait for a general council. The bishop of Basle excused himself on account of age and sickness, but likewise referred to a council and warned against separation. The bishop of Coire made no answer. Most of the cantons declined to send delegates, except Schaffhausen and St. Gall. Unterwalden honestly replied that they had no learned men among them, but pious priests who faithfully adhered to the old faith of Christendom, which they preferred to, all innovations.
The second disputation was held in the city hall, and lasted three days. There were present about nine hundred persons, including three hundred and fifty clergymen and ten doctors. Dr. Vadian of St. Gall, Dr. Hofmeister of Schaffhausen, and Dr. Schappeler of St. Gall presided. Zwingli and Leo Judae defended the Protestant cause, and had the advantage of superior Scripture learning and argument. The Roman party betrayed much ignorance; but Martin Steinli of Schaffhausen ably advocated the mass. Konrad Schmid of Küssnacht took a moderate position, and produced great effect upon the audience by his eloquence. His judgment was, first to take the idolatry out of the heart before abolishing the outward images, and to leave the staff to the weak until they are able to walk without it and to rely solely on Christ.99
The Council was not prepared to order the immediate abolition of the mass and the images. It punished Hottinger and other "idol-stormers" by banishment, and appointed a commission of ministers and laymen, including Zwingli, Schmidt and Judae, who should enlighten the people on the subject by preaching and writing. . Zwingli prepared his "Short and Christian Introduction," which was sent by the Council of Two Hundred to all the ministers of the canton, the bishops of Constance, Basle, and Coire, the University of Basle, and to the twelve other cantons (Nov. 17, 1523).100 It may be compared to the instruction of Melanchthon for the visitation of the churches of Saxony (1528).
A third disputation, of a more private character, was held Jan. 20, 1524. The advocates of the mass were refuted and ordered not to resist any longer the decisions of the magistracy, though they might adhere to their faith.
During the last disputation, Zwingli preached a sermon on the corrupt state of the clergy, which he published by request in March, 1524, under the title "The Shepherd."101 He represents Christ as the good Shepherd in contrast with the selfish hirelings, according to the parable in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. Among the false shepherds he counts the bishops who do not preach at all; those priests who teach their own dreams instead of the Word of God; those who preach the Word but for the glorification of popery; those who deny their preaching by their conduct; those who preach for filthy lucre; and, finally, all who mislead men away from the Creator to the creature. Zwingli treats the papists as refined idolaters, and repeatedly denounces idolatry as the root of the errors and abuses of the Church.
During the summer of 1524 the answers of the bishops and the Diet appeared, both in opposition to any innovations. The bishop of Constance, in a letter to Zurich, said that he had consulted several universities; that the mass and the images were sufficiently warranted by the Scriptures, and had always been in use. The canton appointed a commission of clergymen and laymen to answer the episcopal document.102 The Swiss Diet, by a deputation, March 21, 1524, expressed regret that Zurich sympathized with the new, unchristian Lutheran religion, and prayed the canton to remain faithful to old treaties and customs, in which case the confederates would cheerfully aid in rooting out real abuses, such as the shameful trade in benefices, the selling of indulgences, and the scandalous lives of the clergy.
Thus forsaken by the highest ecclesiastical and civil authorities, the canton of Zurich acted on its own responsibility, and carried out the contemplated reforms.
The three disputations mark an advance beyond the usual academic disputations in the Latin language. They were held before laymen as well as clergymen, and in the vernacular. They brought religious questions before the tribunal of the people according to the genius of republican institutions. They had, therefore, more practical effect than the disputation at Leipzig. The German Reformation was decided by the will of the princes; the Swiss Reformation, by the will of the people: but in both cases there was a sympathy between the rulers and the majority of the population.
§ 19. The Abolition of the Roman Worship. 1524.
Bullinger, I. 173 sqq. Füssli, I. 142 sqq. Egli, 234 sqq.
By these preparatory measures, public opinion was prepared for the practical application of the new ideas. The old order of worship had to be abolished before the new order could be introduced. The destruction was radical, but orderly. It was effected by the co-operation of the preachers and the civil magistracy, with the consent of the people. It began at Pentecost, and was completed June 20, 1524.
In the presence of a deputation from the authorities of Church and State, accompanied by architects, masons and carpenters, the churches of the city were purged of pictures, relics, crucifixes, altars, candles, and all ornaments, the frescoes effaced, and the walls whitewashed, so that nothing remained but the bare building to be filled by a worshiping congregation. The pictures were broken and burnt, some given to those who had a claim, a few preserved as antiquities. The bones of the saints were buried. Even the organs were removed, and the Latin singing of the choir abolished, but fortunately afterwards replaced by congregational singing of psalms and hymns in the vernacular (in Basle as early as 1526, in St. Gall 1527, in Zurich in 1598). "Within thirteen days," says Bullinger, "all the churches of the city were cleared; costly works of painting and sculpture, especially a beautiful table in the Waterchurch, were destroyed. The superstitious lamented; but the true believers rejoiced in it as a great and joyous worship of God."103
In the following year the magistracy melted, sold, or gave away the rich treasures of the Great Minster and the Frauenminster,—chalices, crucifixes, and crosses of gold and silver, precious relics, clerical robes, tapestry, and other ornaments.104 In 1533 not a copper’s worth was left in the sacristy of the Great Minster.105 Zwingli justified this vandalism by the practice of a conquering army to spike the guns and to destroy the forts and provisions of the enemy, lest he might be tempted to return.
The same work of destruction took place in the village churches in a less orderly way. Nothing was left but the bare buildings, empty, cold and forbidding.
The Swiss Reformers proceeded on a strict construction of the second commandment as understood by Jews and Moslems. They regarded all kinds of worship paid to images and relics as a species of idolatry. They opposed chiefly the paganism of popery; while Luther attacked its legalistic Judaism, and allowed the pictures to remain as works of art and helps to devotion. For the classical literature of Greece and Rome, however, Zwingli had more respect than Luther. It should be remarked also that he was not opposed to images as such any more than to poetry and music, but only to their idolatrous use in churches. In his reply to Valentin Compar of Uri (1525), he says, "The controversy is not about images which do not offend the faith and the honor of God, but about idols to which divine honors are paid. Where there is no danger of idolatry, the images may remain; but idols should not be tolerated. All the papists tell us that images are the books for the unlearned. But where has God commanded us to learn from such books? "He thought that the absence of images in churches would tend to increase the hunger for the Word of God.106
The Swiss iconoclasm passed into the Reformed Churches of France, Holland, Scotland, and North America. In recent times a reaction has taken place, not in favor of image worship, which is dead and gone, but in favor of Christian art; and more respect is paid to the decency and beauty of the house of God and the comfort of worshipers.
§ 20. The Reformed Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Zwingli, Werke, II. B. 233. Bullinger, I. 263. Füssli, IV. 64.
The mass was gone. The preaching of the gospel and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper by the whole congregation, in connection with a kind of Agape, took its place.
The first celebration of the communion after the Reformed usage was held in the Holy Week of April, 1525, in the Great Minster. There were three services,—first for the youth on Maundy-Thursday, then for the middle-aged on Good Friday, and last for the old people on Easter. The celebration was plain, sober, solemn. The communicants were seated around long tables, which took the place of the altar, the men on the right, the women on the left. They listened reverently to the prayers, the words of institution, the Scripture lessons, taken from the 1 Cor. 11 and the mysterious discourse in the sixth chapter of John on the spiritual eating and drinking of Christ’s flesh and blood, and to an earnest exhortation of the minister. They then received in a kneeling posture the sacred emblems in wooden plates and wooden cups. The whole service was a commemoration of Christ’s atoning death and a spiritual communion with him, according to the theory of Zwingli.
In the liturgical part he retained more from the Catholic service than we might expect; namely, the Introit, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Creed, and several responses; but all were translated from Latin into the Swiss dialect, and with curious modifications. Thus the Gloria in Excelsis, the Creed, and the Ps. 103 were said alternately by the men and the women, instead of the minister and the deacon, as in the Catholic service, or the minister and the congregation, as in the Lutheran and Episcopal services.107 In most of the Reformed churches (except the Anglican) the responses passed out of use, and the kneeling posture in receiving the communion gave way to the standing or sitting posture.
The communion service was to be held four times in the year,—at Easter, Whitsunday, autumn, and Christmas. It was preceded by preparatory devotions, and made a season of special solemnity. The mass was prohibited at first only in the city, afterwards also in the country.
Zwingli furnished also in 1525 an abridged baptismal service in the vernacular language, omitting the formula of exorcism and all those elements for which he found no Scripture warrant.108
The Zwinglian and Calvinistic worship depends for its effect too much upon the intellectual and spiritual power of the minister, who can make it either very solemn and impressive, or very cold and barren. The Anglican Church has the advantage of an admirable liturgy.
§ 21. Other Changes. A Theological School. The Carolinum. A System of Theology.
Other changes completed the Reformation. The Corpus Christi festival was abolished, and the Christian year reduced to the observance of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost. Processions and pilgrimages ceased. The property of convents was confiscated and devoted to schools and hospitals. The matrimonial legislation was reconstructed, and the care of the poor organized. In 1528 a synod assembled for the first time, to which each congregation sent its minister and two lay delegates.
A theological college, called Carolinum, was established from the funds of the Great Minster, and opened June 19, 1525. It consisted of the collegium humanitatis, for the study of the ancient languages, philosophy and mathematics, and the Carolinum proper, for the study of the Holy Scriptures, which were explained in daily lectures, and popularized by the pastors for the benefit of the congregation. This was called prophesying (1 Cor. 14:1).109 Zwingli wrote a tract on Christian education (1526).110 He organized this school of the prophets, and explained in it several books of the Old Testament, according to the Septuagint. He recommended eminent scholars to professorships. Among the earliest teachers were Ceporin, Pellican, Myconius, Collin, Megander, and Bibliander. To Zwingli Zurich owes its theological and literary reputation. The Carolinum secured an educated ministry, and occupied an influential position in the development of theological science and literature till the nineteenth century, when it was superseded by the organization of a full university.111
Zwingli wrote in the course of three months and a half an important work on the true, evangelical, as opposed to the false, popish faith, and dedicated it to Francis I., king of France, in the vain hope of gaining him to the cause of the Reformation.112 It completes his theological opposition to the papacy. It is the first systematic exposition of the Reformed faith, as Melanchthon’s Loci was the first system of Lutheran theology; but it was afterwards eclipsed by Calvin’s Institutes, which were addressed to the same king with no better effect. Francis probably never read either; but the dedication remains as a connecting link between the Swiss and the French Reformation. The latter is a child of the former.
§ 22. The Translation of the Bible. Leo Judae.
Metzger (Antistes in Schaffhausen): Geschichte der deutschen Bibelübersetzung der schweizerischen reformirten Kirche. Basel, 1876. Pestalozzi: Leo Judae. Elberfeld, 1860.
A most important part of the Reformation was a vernacular translation of the Bible. Luther’s New Testament (1522) was reprinted at Basel with a glossary. In Zurich it was adapted to the Swiss dialect in 1524, and revised and improved in subsequent editions. The whole Bible was published in German by Froschauer at Zurich in 1530, four years before Luther completed his version (1534).113 The translation of the Prophets and the Apocrypha was prepared by Conrad Pellican, Leo Judae, Theodor Bibliander, and other Zurich divines. The beautiful edition of 1531 contained also a new version of the Poetical books, with an introduction (probably by Zwingli), summaries, and parallel passages.
The Swiss translation cannot compare with Luther’s in force, beauty, and popularity; but it is more literal, and in subsequent revisions it has kept pace with the progress of exegesis. It brought the Word of God nearer to the heart and mind of the Swiss people, and is in use to this day alongside of the Lutheran version.114
The chief merit in this important service belongs to Leo Jud or Judae.115 He was born in 1482, the son of a priest in Alsass, studied with Zwingli at Basle, and became his successor as priest at Einsiedeln, 1519, and his colleague and faithful assistant as minister of St. Peter’s in Zurich since 1523. He married in the first year of his pastorate at Zurich. His relation to Zwingli has been compared with the relation of Melanchthon to Luther. He aided Zwingli in the second disputation, in the controversy with the Anabaptists, and with Luther, edited and translated several of his writings, and taught Hebrew in the Carolinum. Zwingli called him his "dear brother and faithful co-worker in the gospel of Jesus Christ." He was called to succeed the Reformer after the catastrophe of Cappel; but he declined on account of his unfitness for administrative work, and recommended Bullinger, who was twenty years younger. He continued to preach and to teach till his death, and declined several calls to Wurtemberg and Basle. He advocated strict discipline and a separation of religion from politics. He had a melodious voice, and was a singer, musician, and poet, but excelled chiefly as a translator into German and Latin.116 He wrote a Latin and two German catechisms, and translated Thomas à Kempis’ Imitatio Christi, Augustin’s De Spiritu et Litera, the first Helvetic Confession, and other useful books into German, besides portions of the Bible. He prepared also a much esteemed Latin version of the Old Testament, which is considered his best work. He often consulted in it his colleagues and Michael Adam, a converted Jew. He did not live to see the completion, and left this to Bibliander and Pellican. It appeared in a handsome folio edition, 1543, with a preface by Pellican, and was several times reprinted.117 He lived on a miserable salary with a large family, and yet helped to support the poor and entertained strangers, aided by his industrious and pious wife, known in Zurich as "Mutter Leuin." Four days before his death, June 19, 1542, he summoned his colleagues to his chamber, spoke of his career with great humility and gratitude to God, and recommended to them the care of the church and the completion of his Latin Bible. His death was lamented as a great loss by Bullinger and Calvin and the people of Zurich.118
§ 23. Church and State.
The Reformation of Zurich was substantially completed in 1525. It was brought about by the co-operation of the secular and spiritual powers. Zwingli aimed at a reformation of the whole religious, political, and social life of the people, on the basis and by the power of the Scriptures.119
The patriot, the good citizen, and the Christian were to him one and the same. He occupied the theocratic standpoint of the Old Testament. The preacher is a prophet: his duty is to instruct, to exhort, to comfort, to rebuke sin in high and low places, and to build up the kingdom of God; his weapon is the Word of God. The duty of the magistracy is to obey the gospel, to protect religion, to punish wickedness. Calvin took the same position in Geneva, and carried it out much more fully than Zwingli.
The bishop of Constance, to whose diocese Zurich belonged, opposed the Reformation; and so did the other bishops of Switzerland. Hence the civil magistracy assumed the episcopal rights and jurisdiction, under the spiritual guidance of the Reformers. It first was impartial, and commanded the preachers of the canton to teach the Word of God, and to be silent about the traditions of men (1520). Then it prohibited the violation of the Church fasts (1522), and punished the image-breakers, in the interest of law and order (1523). But soon afterwards it openly espoused the cause of reform in the disputation of 1523, and authorized the abolition of the old worship and the introduction of the new (1524 and 1525). It confiscated the property of the churches and convents, and took under its control the regulation of marriage, the care of the poor, and the education of the clergy. The Church was reduced legally to a state of dependence, though she was really the moving and inspiring power of the State, and was supported by public sentiment. In a republic the majority of the people rule, and the minority must submit. The only dissenters in Zurich were a small number of Romanists and Anabaptists, who were treated with the same disregard of the rights of conscience as the Protestants in Roman Catholic countries, only with a lesser degree of severity. The Reformers refused to others the right of protest which they claimed and exercised for themselves, and the civil magistracy visited the poor Anabaptists with capital punishment.
The example of Zurich was followed by the other cantons in which the Reformation triumphed. Each has its own ecclesiastical establishment, which claims spiritual jurisdiction over all the citizens of its territory. There is no national Reformed Church of Switzerland, with a centre of unity.
This state of things is the same as that in Protestant Germany, but differs from it as a republic differs from a monarchy. In both countries the bishops, under the command of the Pope, condemned Protestantism, and lost the control over their flock. The Reformers, who were mere presbyters, looked to the civil rulers for the maintenance of law and order. In Germany, after the Diet of Speier in 1526, the princes assumed the episcopal supervision, and regulated the Church in their own territories for good or evil. The people were passive, and could not even elect their own pastors. In Switzerland, we have instead a sort of democratic episcopate or republican Caesaropapacy, where the people hold the balance of power, and make and unmake their government.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Church and State, professing the same religion, had common interests, and worked in essential harmony; but in modern times the mixed character, the religious indifferentism, the hostility and the despotism of the State, have loosened the connection, and provoked the organization of free churches in several cantons (Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel), on the basis of self-support and self-government. The State must first and last be just, and either support all the religions of its citizens alike, or none. It owes the protection of law to all, within the limits of order and peace. But the Church has the right of self-government, and ought to be free of the control of politicians.120
Among the ministers of the Reformation period, Zwingli, and, after his death, Bullinger, exercised a sort of episcopate in fact, though not in form; and their successors in the Great Minster stood at the head of the clergy of the canton. A similar position is occupied by the Antistes of Basle and the Antistes of Schaffhausen. They correspond to the Superintendents of the Lutheran churches in Germany.
Zwingli was the first among the Reformers who organized a regular synodical Church government. He provided for a synod composed of all ministers of the city and canton, two lay delegates of every parish, four members of the small and four members of the great council. This mixed body represented alike Church and State, the clergy and the laity. It was to meet twice a year, in spring and fall, in the city hall of Zurich, with power to superintend the doctrine and morals of the clergy, and to legislate on the internal affairs of the Church. The first meeting was held at Easter, 1528. Zwingli presided, and at his side was Leo Judae. The second meeting took place May 19, 1528. The proceedings show that the synod exercised strict discipline over the morals of the clergy and people, and censured intemperance, extravagance in dress, neglect of Church ordinances, etc.121
But German Switzerland never went to such rigors of discipline as Geneva under the influence of Calvin.
§ 24. Zwingli’s Conflict with Radicalism.
Comp. Literature in vol. VI., § 102, p. 606 sq.
In the Staatsarchiv of Zurich there are preserved about two hundred and fifty documents under the title, Wiedertäuferacten,—*Egli: Actensammlung zur Gesch. der Zürcher Reformation, Zürich, 1879 (see the Alph. Index, p. 920, sub Wiedertäufer). The official reports are from their opponents. The books of the Anabaptists are scarce. A large collection of them is in the Baptist Theological Seminary at Rochester, N. Y. The principal ones are the tracts of Dr. Hübmaier (see vol. VI. 606); a few letters of Grebel, Hut, Reubli, etc., and other documents mentioned and used by Cornelius (Gesch. des Münsterschen Aufruhrs); the Moravian, Austrian, and other Anabaptist chronicles (see Beck, below); and the Anabaptist hymns reprinted in Wackernagel’s Deutsche Kirchenlied, vols. III. and V. (see below).
Zwingli: Wer Ursach gebe zu Aufruhr, wer die wahren Aufrührer seien, etc., Dec. 7, 1524. A defence of Christian unity and peace against sedition. (Werke, II. A. 376–425.) Vom Touff, vom Wiedertouff, und vom Kindertouff, May 27, 1525 (in Werke, II. A. 280–303. Republished in modern German by Christoffel, Zürich, 1843. The book treats in three parts of baptism, rebaptism, and infant baptism). Answer to Balthasar Hübmaier, Nov. 5, 1525 (Werke, II. A. 337 sqq.). Elenchus contra Catabaptistas, 1527 (Opera, III. 357 sqq.). His answer to Schwenkfeld’s 64 Theses concerning baptism (in Op. III. 563–583; Comp. A. Baur, II. 245–267). Oecolampadius: Ein gesprech etlicher predicanten zu Basel gehalten mit etlichen Bekennern des Wiedertouffs, Basel, 1525. Bullinger (Heinrich): Der Wiedertäufferen ursprung, fürgang, Sekten, etc. Zürich, 1560. (A Latin translation by J. Simler.) See also his Reformationsgeschichte, vol. I.
II. Later Discussions:
Ott (J. H.): Annales Anabaptistici. Basel, 1672.
Erbkam (H. W.): Geschichte der protestantischen Secten im Zeitalter der Reformation. Hamburg und Gotha, 1848. pp. 519–583.
Heberle: Die Anfänge des Anabaptismus in der Schweiz, in the "Jahrbücher fur deutsche Theologie," 1858.
Cornelius (C. A., a liberal Roman Catholic): Geschichte des Münsterschen Aufruhrs. Leipzig, 1855. Zweites Buch: Die Wiedertaufe. 1860. He treats of the Swiss Anabaptists (p. 15 sqq.), and adds historical documents from many archives (p. 240 sqq.). A very important work.
Mörikofer: U. Zwingli. Zürich, 1867. I. 279–313; II. 69–76. Very unfavorable to the Anabaptists.
R. von Lilienkron: Zur Liederdichtung der Wiedertäufer. München, 1877.
*Egli (Emil): Die Züricher Wiedertäufer zur Reformationszeit. Nach den Quellen des Staatsarchivs. Zürich, 1878 (104 pp.). By the same: Die St. Galler Täufer. Zürich, 1887. Important for the documents and the external history.
*Burrage (Henry S., American Baptist): The Anabaptists in Switzerland. Philadelphia, 1882, 231 pp. An account from the Baptist point of view. Comp. his Baptist Hymn Writers, Portland, 1888, pp. l-25.
Usteri (J. M.): Darstellung der Tauflehre Zwingli’s, in the "Studien und Kritiken" for 1882, pp. 205–284.
*Beck (JOSEPH): Die Geschichtsbücher der Wiedertäufer in Oestreich-Ungarn ... von 1526 bis 1785. Wien, 1883. Publ. by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
Strasser (G.): Der schweizerische Anabaptismus zur Zeit der Reformation, in the "Berner Beiträge," 1884.
Nitsche (Richard, Roman Catholic): Geschichte der Wiedertäufer in der Schweiz zur Reformationszeit. Einsiedeln, New York, Cincinnati and St. Louis (Benziger), 1885 (107 pp.). He gives a list of literature on pp. vi.-viii.
Keller (Ludwig): Die Reformation und die ältern Reformparteien. Leipzig, 1885, pp. 364–435. He is favorable to the Anabaptists, and connects them with the Waldensian Brethren and other mediaeval sects by novel, but arbitrary combinations and conjectures. He mistakes coincidences for historical connections.
Baur (Aug.): Zwingli’s Theologie, vol. II. (1888), 1–267. An elaborate discussion and defence of Zwingli’s conduct towards the radicals, with full extracts from his writings, but unjust to the Baptists.
The monographs of Schreiber on Hübmaier (1839 and 1840, unfinished), Keim on Ludwig Hätzer (1856), and Keller on Hans Denck (Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer, 1882), touch also on the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland. Kurtz, in the tenth ed. of his Kirchengeschichte (1887), II. 150–164, gives a good general survey of the Anabaptist movement in Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, including the Mennonites.
Having considered Zwingli’s controversy with Romanism, we must now review his conflict with Radicalism, which ran parallel with the former, and exhibits the conservative and churchly side of his reformation. Radicalism was identical with the Anabaptist movement, but the baptismal question was secondary. It involved an entire reconstruction of the Church and of the social order. It meant revolution. The Romanists pointed triumphantly to revolution as the legitimate and inevitable result of the Reformation; but history has proved the difference. Liberty is possible without license, and differs as widely from it as from despotism.
The Swiss Reformation, like the German, was disturbed and checked by the radical excesses. It was placed between the two fires of Romanism and Ultraprotestantism. It was attacked in the front and rear, from without and within, by the Romanists on the ground of tradition, by the Radicals on the ground of the Bible. In some respects the danger from the latter was greater. Liberty has more to fear from the abuses of its friends than from the opposition of its foes. The Reformation would have failed if it had identified itself with the revolution. Zwingli applied to the Radicals the words of St. John to the antichristian teachers: "They went out from us, but they were not of us" (1 John 2:19). He considered the controversy with the Papists as mere child’s play when compared to that with the Ultraprotestants.122
The Reformers aimed to reform the old Church by the Bible; the Radicals attempted to build a new Church from the Bible. The former maintained the historic continuity; the latter went directly to the apostolic age, and ignored the intervening centuries as an apostasy. The Reformers founded a popular state-church, including all citizens with their families; the Anabaptists organized on the voluntary principle select congregations of baptized believers, separated from the world and from the State. Nothing is more characteristic of radicalism and sectarianism than an utter want of historical sense and respect for the past. In its extreme form it rejects even the Bible as an external authority, and relies on inward inspiration. This was the case with the Zwickau Prophets who threatened to break up Luther’s work at Wittenberg.
The Radicals made use of the right of protest against the Reformation, which the Reformers so effectually exercised against popery. They raised a protest against Protestantism. They charged the Reformers with inconsistency and semipopery; yea, with the worst kind of popery. They denounced the state-church as worldly and corrupt, and its ministers as mercenaries. They were charged in turn with pharisaical pride, with revolutionary and socialistic tendencies. They were cruelly persecuted by imprisonment, exile, torture, fire and sword, and almost totally suppressed in Protestant as well as in Roman Catholic countries. The age was not ripe for unlimited religious liberty and congregational self-government. The Anabaptists perished bravely as martyrs of conscience.123
Zwingli took essentially, but quite independently, the same position towards the Radicals as Luther did in his controversy with Carlstadt, Münzer, and Hübmaier.124 Luther, on the contrary, radically misunderstood Zwingli by confounding him with Carlstadt and the Radicals. Zwingli was in his way just as conservative and churchly as the Saxon Reformer. He defended and preserved the state-church, or the people’s church, against a small fraction of sectaries and separatists who threatened its dissolution. But his position was more difficult. He was much less influenced by tradition, and further removed from Romanism. He himself aimed from the start at a thorough, practical purification of church life, and so far agreed with the Radicals. Moreover, he doubted for a while the expediency (not the right) of infant baptism, and deemed it better to put off the sacrament to years of discretion.125 He rejected the Roman doctrine of the necessity of baptism for salvation and the damnation of unbaptized infants dying in infancy. He understood the passage, Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," as applying only to adults who have heard the gospel and can believe, but not to children. On maturer reflection he modified his views. He learned from experience that it was impossible to realize an ideal church of believers, and stopped with what was attainable. As to infant baptism, he became convinced of its expediency in Christian families. He defended it with the analogy of circumcision in the Old Testament (Col. 2:11), with the comprehensiveness of the New Covenant, which embraces whole families and nations, and with the command of Christ, "Suffer little children to come unto Me," from which he inferred that he who refuses children to be baptized prevents them from coming to Christ. He also appealed to 1 Cor. 7:14, which implies the church-membership of the children of Christian parents, and to the examples of family baptisms in Acts 16:33, 18:8, and 1 Cor. 1:16.
The Radical movement began in Zurich in 1523, and lasted till 1532. The leaders were Conrad Grebel, from one of the first families of Zurich, a layman, educated in the universities of Vienna and Paris, whom Zwingli calls the corypheus of the Anabaptists; Felix Manz, the illegitimate son of a canon of the Great Minster, a good Hebrew scholar; Georg Blaurock, a monk of Coire, called on account of his eloquence "the mighty Jörg," or "the second Paul;" and Ludwig Hätzer of Thurgau, chaplain at Wädenschwyl, who, with Hans Denck, prepared the first Protestant translation of the Hebrew Prophets,126 and acted as secretary of the second Zurich disputation, and edited its proceedings. With them were associated a number of ex-priests and ex-monks, as William Reubli, minister at Wyticon, Johann Brödli (Paniculus) at Zollicon, and Simon Stumpf at Höng. They took an active part in the early stages of the Reformation, prematurely broke the fasts, and stood in the front rank of the image-stormers. They went ahead of public opinion and the orderly method of Zwingli. They opposed the tithe, usury, military service, and the oath. They denied the right of the civil magistracy to interfere in matters of religion. They met as "brethren" for prayer and Scripture-reading in the house of "Mother Manz," and in the neighborhood of Zurich, especially at Zollicon.
The German Radicals, Carlstadt and Münzer, were for a short time in Switzerland and on the Rhine, but did not re-baptize and had no influence upon the Swiss Radicals, who opposed rebellion to the civil authority. Carlstadt gradually sobered down; Münzer stirred up the Peasants’ War, seized the sword and perished by the sword. Dr. Hübmaier of Bavaria, the most learned among the Anabaptists, and their chief advocate, took part in the October disputation at Zurich in 1523, but afterwards wrote books against Zwingli (on the baptism of believers, 1525, and a dialogue with Zwingli, 1526), was expelled from Switzerland, and organized flourishing congregations in Moravia.
The Radical opinions spread with great rapidity, or rose simultaneously, in Berne, Basle, St. Gall, Appenzell, all along the Upper Rhine, in South Germany, and Austria. The Anabaptists were driven from place to place, and travelled as fugitive evangelists. They preached repentance and faith, baptized converts, organized congregations, and exercised rigid discipline. They called themselves simply "brethren" or "Christians." They were earnest and zealous, self-denying and heroic, but restless and impatient. They accepted the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice, and so far agreed with the Reformers, but utterly broke with the Catholic tradition, and rejected Luther’s theory of forensic, solifidian justification, and the real presence. They emphasized the necessity of good works, and deemed it possible to keep the law and to reach perfection. They were orthodox in most articles of the common Christian faith, except Hätzer and Denck, who doubted the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ.
The first and chief aim of the Radicals was not (as is usually stated) the opposition to infant baptism, still less to sprinkling or pouring, but the establishment of a pure church of converts in opposition to the mixed church of the world. The rejection of infant baptism followed as a necessary consequence. They were not satisfied with separation from popery; they wanted a separation from all the ungodly. They appealed to the example of the disciples in Jerusalem, who left the synagogue and the world, gathered in an upper room, sold their goods, and held all things in common. They hoped at first to carry Zwingli with them, but in vain; and then they charged him with treason to the truth, and hated him worse than the pope.
Zwingli could not follow the Anabaptists without bringing the Reformation into discredit with the lovers of order, and rousing the opposition of the government and the great mass of the people. He opposed them, as Augustin opposed the schismatical Donatists. He urged moderation and patience. The Apostles, he said, separated only from the open enemies of the gospel, and from the works of darkness, but bore with the weak brethren. Separation would not cure the evils of the Church. There are many honest people who, though weak and sick, belong to the sheepfold of Christ, and would be offended at a separation. He appealed to the word of Christ, "He that is not against me, is for me," and to the parable of the tares and the wheat. If all the tares were to be rooted up now, there would be nothing left for the angels to do on the day of final separation.
§ 25. The Baptismal Controversy.
The opposition to the mixed state-church or popular church, which embraced all the baptized, legitimately led to the rejection of infant baptism. A new church required a new baptism.
This became now the burning question. The Radicals could find no trace of infant baptism in the Bible, and denounced it as an invention of the pope127 and the devil. Baptism, they reasoned, presupposes instruction, faith, and conversion, which is impossible in the case of infants.128 Voluntary baptism of adult and responsible converts is, therefore, the only valid baptism. They denied that baptism is necessary for salvation, and maintained that infants are or may be saved by the blood of Christ without water-baptism.129 But baptism is necessary for church membership as a sign and seal of conversion.
From this conception of baptism followed as a further consequence the rebaptism of those converts who wished to unite with the new church. Hence the name Anabaptists or Rebaptizers (Wiedertäufer), which originated with the Pedobaptists, but which they themselves rejected, because they knew no other kind of baptism except that of converts.
The demand of rebaptism virtually unbaptized and unchristianized the entire Christian world, and completed the rupture with the historic Church. It cut the last cord of union of the present with the past.
The first case was the rebaptism of Blaurock by Grebel in February, 1525, soon after the disputation with Zwingli. At a private religious meeting, Blaurock asked Grebel to give him the true Christian baptism on confession of his faith, fell on his knees and was baptized. Then he baptized all others who were present, and partook with them of the Lord’s Supper, or, as they called it, the breaking of bread.130 Reubli introduced rebaptism in Waldshut at Easter, 1525, convinced Hübmaier of its necessity, and rebaptized him with about sixty persons. Hübmaier himself rebaptized about three hundred.131
Baptism was not bound to any particular form or time or place or person; any one could administer the ordinance upon penitent believers who desired it. It was first done mostly in houses, by sprinkling or pouring, occasionally by partial or total immersion in rivers.132
The mode of baptism was no point of dispute between Anabaptists and Pedobaptists in the sixteenth century. The Roman Church provides for immersion and pouring as equally valid. Luther preferred immersion, and prescribed it in his baptismal service.133 In England immersion was the normal mode down to the middle of the seventeenth century.134 It was adopted by the English and American Baptists as the only mode; while the early Anabaptists, on the other hand, baptized by sprinkling and pouring as well. We learn this from the reports in the suits against them at Zurich. Blaurock baptized by sprinkling,135 Manz by pouring.136 The first clear case of immersion among the Swiss Anabaptists is that of Wolfgang Uliman (an ex-monk of Coire, and for a while assistant of Kessler in St. Gall). He was converted by Grebel on a journey to Schaffhausen, and, not satisfied with being "sprinkled merely out of a dish," was "drawn under and covered over in the Rhine."137 On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1525, Grebel baptized a large number in the Sitter, a river a few miles from St. Gall, which descends from the Säntis and flows into the Thur, and is deep enough for immersion.138 The Lord’s Supper was administered by the Baptists in the simplest manner, after a plain supper (in imitation of the original institution and the Agape), by the recital of the words of institution, and the distribution of bread and wine. They reduced it to a mere commemoration.
The two ideas of a pure church of believers and of the baptism of believers were the fundamental articles of the Anabaptist creed. On other points there was a great variety and confusion of opinions. Some believed in the sleep of the soul between death and resurrection, a millennial reign of Christ, and final restoration; some entertained communistic and socialistic opinions which led to the catastrophe of Münster (1534). Wild excesses of immorality occurred here and there.139
But it is unjust to charge the extravagant dreams and practices of individuals upon the whole body. The Swiss Anabaptists had no connection with the Peasants’ War, which barely touched the border of Switzerland, and were upon the whole, like the Moravian Anabaptists, distinguished for simple piety and strict morality. Bullinger, who was opposed to them, gives the Zurich Radicals the credit that they denounced luxury, intemperance in eating and drinking, and all vices, and led a serious, spiritual life. Kessler of St. Gall, likewise an opponent, reports their cheerful martyrdom, and exclaims, "Alas! what shall I say of the people? They move my sincere pity; for many of them are zealous for God, but without knowledge." And Salat, a Roman Catholic contemporary, writes that with "cheerful, smiling faces, they desired and asked death, and went into it singing German psalms and other prayers."140
The Anabaptists produced some of the earliest Protestant hymns in the German language, which deserve the attention of the historian. Some of them passed into orthodox collections in ignorance of the real authors. Blaurock, Manz, Hut, Hätzer, Koch, Wagner, Langmantel, Sattler, Schiemer, Glait, Steinmetz, Büchel, and many others contributed to this interesting branch of the great body of Christian song. The Anabaptist psalms and hymns resemble those of Schwenkfeld and his followers. They dwell on the inner life of the Christian, the mysteries of regeneration, sanctification, and personal union with Christ. They breathe throughout a spirit of piety, devotion, and cheerful resignation under suffering, and readiness for martyrdom. They are hymns of the cross, to comfort and encourage the scattered sheep of Christ ready for the slaughter, in imitation of their divine Shepherd.
The Anabaptist hymns appeared in a collection under the title "Aussbund Etlicher schöner Christlicher Geseng wie die in der Gefengniss zu Passau im Schloss von den Schweitzern und auch von anderen rechtgläubigen Christen hin und her gedicht worden," 1583, and often. Also in other collections of the sixteenth century. They are reprinted in Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, vol. III. (1870), pp. 440–491, and vol. V. (1877), pp. 677–887. He embodies them in this monumental corpus hymnologicum, as he does the Schwenkfeldian and the Roman Catholic hymns of the fifteenth century, but under express reservation of his high-Lutheran orthodoxy. He refuses to acknowledge the Anabaptists as martyrs any longer (as he had done in his former work on German hymnology), because they stand, he says (III. 439), "ausserhalb der Wahrheit, ausserhalb der heiligen lutherischen Kirche!" Hymnology is the last place for sectarian exclusiveness. It furnishes one of the strongest evidences of Christian union in the sanctuary of worship, where theological quarrels are forgotten in the adoration of a common Lord and Saviour. Luther himself, as Wackernagel informs us, received unwittingly in his hymn book of 1545 a hymn of the Anabaptist Grünwald, and another of the Schwenkfeldian Reusner. Wackernagel is happily inconsistent when he admits (p. 440) that much may be learned from the Anabaptist hymns, and that a noble heart will not easily condemn those victims of Rome and of the house of Habsburg. He gives first the hymns of Thomas Münzer, who can hardly be called an Anabaptist and was disowned by the better portion.
Burrage, in Baptist Hymn Writers, Portland, 1888, p. 1 sqq., gives some extracts of Anabaptist hymns. The following stanza, from a hymn of Schiemer or Schöner, characterizes the condition and spirit of this persecuted people:—
We are, alas, like
The shepherd not in sight,
Each far away from
home and hearth,
And, like the birds of night
That hide away in
We have our rocky hold,
Yet near at hand, as
for the birds,
There waits the hunter bold."
§ 26. Persecution of the Anabaptists.
We pass now to the measures taken against the separatists. At first Zwingli tried to persuade them in private conferences, but in vain. Then followed a public disputation, which took place by order of the magistracy in the council hall, Jan. 17, 1525. Grebel was opposed to it, but appeared, together with Manz and Reubli. They urged the usual arguments against infant baptism, that infants cannot understand the gospel, cannot repent and exercise faith. Zwingli answered them, and appealed chiefly to circumcision and 1 Cor. 7:14, where Paul speaks of the children of Christian parents as "holy." He afterwards published his views in a book, "On Baptism, Rebaptism, and Infant Baptism" (May 27, 1525). Bullinger, who was present at the disputation, reports that the Anabaptists were unable to refute Zwingli’s arguments and to maintain their ground. Another disputation was held in March, and a third in November, but with no better result. The magistracy decided against them, and issued an order that infants should be baptized as heretofore, and that parents who refuse to have their children baptized should leave the city and canton with their families and goods.
The Anabaptists refused to obey, and ventured on bold demonstrations. They arranged processions, and passed as preachers of repentance, in sackcloth and girdled, through the streets of Zurich, singing, praying, exhorting, abusing the old dragon (Zwingli) and his horns, and exclaiming, "Woe, woe unto Zurich!"141
The leaders were arrested and shut up in a room in the Augustinian convent. A commission of ministers and magistrates were sent to them to convert them. Twenty-four professed conversion, and were set free. Fourteen men and seven women were retained and shut up in the Witch Tower, but they made their escape April 5.
Grebel, Manz, and Blaurock were rearrested, and charged with communistic and revolutionary teaching. After some other excesses, the magistracy proceeded to threaten those who stubbornly persisted in their error, with death by drowning. He who dips, shall be dipped,—a cruel irony.
It is not known whether Zwingli really consented to the death sentence, but he certainly did not openly oppose it.142
Six executions in all took place in Zurich between 1527 and 1532. Manz was the first victim. He was bound, carried to a boat, and thrown into the river Limmat near the lake, Jan. 5, 1527. He praised God that he was about to die for the truth, and prayed with a loud voice, "Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!" Bullinger describes his heroic death. Grebel had escaped the same fate by previous death in 1526. The last executions took place March 23, 1532, when Heinrich Karpfis and Hans Herzog were drowned. The foreigners were punished by exile, and met death in Roman Catholic countries. Blaurock was scourged, expelled, and burnt, 1529, at Clausen in the Tyrol. Hätzer, who fell into carnal sins, was beheaded for adultery and bigamy at Constance, Feb. 24, 1529. John Zwick, a Zwinglian, says that "a nobler and more manful death was never seen in Constance." Thomas Blaurer bears a similar testimony.143 Hübmaier, who had fled from Waldshut to Zurich, December, 1525, was tried before the magistracy, recanted, and was sent out of the country to recant his recantation.144 He labored successfully in Moravia, and was burnt at the stake in Vienna, March 10, 1528. Three days afterwards his faithful wife, whom he had married in Waldshut, was drowned in the Danube.
Other Swiss cantons took the same measures against the Anabaptists as Zurich. In Zug, Lorenz Fürst was drowned, Aug. 17, 1529. In Appenzell, Uliman and others were beheaded, and some women drowned. At Basle, Oecolampadius held several disputations with the Anabaptists, but without effect; whereupon the Council banished them, with the threat that they should be drowned if they returned (Nov. 13, 1530). The Council of Berne adopted the same course.
In Germany and in Austria the Anabaptists fared still worse. The Diet of Speier, in April, 1529, decreed that "every Anabaptist and rebaptized person of either sex be put to death by sword, or fire, or otherwise." The decree was severely carried out, except in Strassburg and the domain of Philip of Hesse, where the heretics were treated more leniently. The most blood was shed in Roman Catholic countries. In Görz the house in which the Anabaptists were assembled for worship was set on fire. "In Tyrol and Görz," says Cornelius,145 "the number of executions in the year 1531 reached already one thousand; in Ensisheim, six hundred. At Linz seventy-three were killed in six weeks. Duke William of Bavaria, surpassing all others, issued the fearful decree to behead those who recanted, to burn those who refused to recant.... Throughout the greater part of Upper Germany the persecution raged like a wild chase.... The blood of these poor people flowed like water so that they cried to the Lord for help.... But hundreds of them of all ages and both sexes suffered the pangs of torture without a murmur, despised to buy their lives by recantation, and went to the place of execution joyfully and singing psalms."
The blood of martyrs is never shed in vain. The Anabaptist movement was defeated, but not destroyed; it revived among the Mennonites, the Baptists in England and America, and more recently in isolated congregations on the Continent. The questions of the subjects and mode of baptism still divide Baptist and Pedobaptist churches, but the doctrine of the salvation of unbaptized infants is no longer condemned as a heresy; and the principle of religious liberty and separation of Church and State, for which the Swiss and German Anabaptists suffered and died, is making steady progress. Germany and Switzerland have changed their policy, and allow to Baptists, Methodists, and other Dissenters from the state-church that liberty of public worship which was formerly denied them; and the state-churches reap the benefit of being stirred up by them to greater vitality. In England the Baptists are one of the leading bodies of Dissenters, and in the United States the largest denomination next to the Methodists and Roman Catholics.
§ 27. The Eucharistic Controversy. Zwingli and Luther.
Zwingli’s eucharistic writings: On the Canon of the Mass (1523); On the same, against Emser (1524); Letter to Matthew Alber at Reutlingen (1524); The 17th ch. of his Com. on the True and False Religion (in Latin and German, March 23, 1525); Answer to Bugenhagen (1525); Letter to Billicanus and Urbanus Rhegius (1526); Address to Osiander of Nürnberg (1527); Friendly Exegesis, addressed to Luther (Feb. 20, 1527); Reply to Luther on the true sense of the words of institution of the Lord’s Supper (1527); The report on the Marburg Colloquy (1529). In Opera, vol. II. B., III., IV. 173 sqq.
For an exposition of Zwingli’s doctrine on the Lord’s Supper and his controversy with Luther, see vol. VI. 520–550 and 669–682; and A. Baur, Zwingli’s Theol. II. 268 sqq. (very full and fair).
The eucharistic controversy between Zwingli and Luther has been already considered in connection with the German Reformation, and requires only a brief notice here. It lasted from 1524 to 1529, and culminated in the Colloquy at Marburg, where the two views came into closer contact and collision than ever before or since, and where every argument for or against the literal interpretation of the words of institution and the corporal presence was set forth with the clearness and force of the two champions.
Zwingli and Luther agreed in the principle of a state-church or people’s church (Volks-Kirche), as opposed to individualism, separatism, and schism. Both defended the historic continuity of the Church, and put down the revolutionary radicalism which constructed a new church on the voluntary principle. Both retained infant baptism as a part of Christian family religion, against the Anabaptists, who introduced a new baptism with their new church of converts. Luther never appreciated this agreement in the general standpoint, and made at the outset the radical mistake of confounding Zwingli with Carlstadt and the Radicals.146
But there was a characteristic difference between the two Reformers in the general theory of the sacraments, and especially the Lord’s Supper. Zwingli stood midway between Luther and the Anabaptists. He regarded the sacraments as signs and seals of a grace already received rather than as means of a grace to be received. They set forth and confirm, but do not create, the thing signified. He rejected the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and of the corporal presence; while Luther adhered to both with intense earnestness and treated a departure as damnable heresy. Zwingli’s theory reveals the spiritualizing and rationalizing tendency of his mind; while Luther’s theory reveals his realistic and mystical tendency. Yet both were equally earnest in their devotion to the Scriptures as the Word of God and the supreme rule of faith and practice.
When they met face to face at Marburg,—once, and only once, in this life,—they came to agree in fourteen out of fifteen articles, and even in the fifteenth article they agreed in the principal part, namely, the spiritual presence and fruition of Christ’s body and blood, differing only in regard to the corporal presence and oral manducation, which the one denied, the other asserted. Zwingli showed on that occasion marked ability as a debater, and superior courtesy and liberality as a gentleman. Luther received the impression that Zwingli was a "very good man,"147 yet of a "different spirit," and hence refused to accept his hand of fellowship offered to him with tears. The two men were differently constituted, differently educated, differently situated and equipped, each for his own people and country; and yet the results of their labors, as history has proved, are substantially the same.
§ 28. The Works of Zwingli.
A list of Zwingli’s works in the edition of Schuler and Schulthess, vol. VIII. 696–704; of his theological works, in Baur, Zwingli ’s Theol., II. 834–837.
During the twelve short years of his public labors as a reformer, from 1519 to 1531, Zwingli developed an extraordinary literary activity. He attacked the Papists and the Radicals, and had to reply in self-defence. His advice was sought from the friends of reform in all parts of Switzerland, and involved him in a vast correspondence. He wrote partly in Latin, partly in the Swiss-German dialect. Several of his books were translated by Leo Judae. He handled the German with more skill than his countrymen; but it falls far short of the exceptional force and beauty of Luther’s German, and could make no impression outside of Switzerland. The editors of his complete works (Schuler and Schulthess) give, in eight large octavo volumes, eighty German and fifty-nine Latin books and tracts, besides two volumes of epistles by Zwingli and to Zwingli.
His works may be divided into seven classes, as follows: —
1. Reformatory and Polemical Works: (a) against popery and the papists (on Fasts; on Images; on the Mass; Against Faber; Against Eck; Against Compar; Against Emser, etc.); (b) on the controversy with the Anabaptists; (c) on the Lord’s Supper, against Luther’s doctrine of the corporal real presence.
2. Reformatory and Doctrinal: The Exposition of his 67 Conclusions (1524); A Commentary on the False and True Religion, addressed to King Francis I. of France (1525); A Treatise on Divine Providence (1530); A Confession of Faith addressed to the Emperor Charles V. and the Augsburg Diet (1530); and his last confession, written shortly before his death (1531), and published by Bullinger.
3. Practical and Liturgical: The Shepherd; Forms of Baptism and the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper; Sermons, etc.
4. Exegetical: Extracts from lectures on Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, the four Gospels, and most of the Epistles, edited by Leo Judae, Megander, and others.
5. Patriotic and Political: Against foreign pensions and military service; addresses to the Confederates, and the Council of Zurich; on Christian education; on peace and war, etc.
6. Poetical: The Labyrinth and The Fable (his earliest productions); three German poems written during the pestilence; one written in 1529, and a versified Psalm (69th).
7. Epistles. They show the extent of his influence, and include letters to Zwingli from Erasmus, Pucci, Pope Adrian VI., Faber, Vadianus, Glareanus, Myconius, Oecolampadius, Haller, Megander, Beatus Rhenanus, Urbanus Rhegius, Bucer, Hedio, Capito, Blaurer, Farel, Comander, Bullinger, Fagius, Pirkheimer, Zasius, Frobenius, Ulrich von Hutten, Philip of Hesse, Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, and other distinguished persons.
§ 29. The Theology of Zwingli.
I. Zwingli: Commentarius de Vera et Falsa Religione, 1525 (German translation by Leo Judae); Fidei Ratio ad Carolum V., 1530; Christianae Fidei brevis et clara Expositio, 1531; De Providentia, 1530 (expansion of a sermon preached at Marburg and dedicated to Philip of Hesse).
II. The theology of Zwingli is discussed by Zeller, Sigwart, Spörri, Schweizer, and most fully and exhaustively by A. Baur. See Lit. § 5, p. 18. Comp. Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 369 sqq, and Church History, VI. 721 sqq.
The dogmatic works of Zwingli contain the germs of the evangelical Reformed theology, in distinction from the Roman and the Lutheran, and at the same time several original features which separate it from the Calvinistic System. He accepted with all the Reformers the oecumenical creeds and the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, and the divine-human personality of Christ. He rejected with Luther the scholastic additions of the middle ages, but removed further from the traditional theology in the doctrine of the sacraments and the real presence. He was less logical and severe than Calvin, who surpassed him in constructive genius, classical diction and rhetorical finish. He drew his theology from the New Testament and the humanistic culture of the Erasmian type. His love for the classics accounts for his liberal views on the extent of salvation by which he differs from the other Reformers. It might have brought him nearer to Melanchthon; but Melanchthon was under the overawing influence of Luther, and was strongly prejudiced against Zwingli. He was free from traditional bondage, and in several respects in advance of his age.
Zwingli’s theology is a system of rational supernaturalism, more clear than profound, devoid of mysticism, but simple, sober, and practical. It is prevailingly soteriological, that is, a doctrine of the way of salvation, and rested on these fundamental principles: The Bible is the only sure directory of salvation (which excludes or subordinates human traditions); Christ is the only Saviour and Mediator between God and men (which excludes human mediators and the worship of saints); Christ is the only head of the Church visible and invisible (against the claims of the pope); the operation of the Holy Spirit and saving grace are not confined to the visible Church (which breaks with the principle of exclusiveness).
1. Zwingli emphasizes the Word of God contained in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, as the only rule of Christian faith and practice. This is the objective principle of Protestantism which controls his whole theology. Zwingli first clearly and strongly proclaimed it in his Conclusions (1523), and assigned to it the first place in his system; while Luther put his doctrine of justification by faith or the subjective principle in the foreground, and made it the article of the standing or falling church. But with both Reformers the two principles so-called resolve themselves into the one principle of Christ, as the only and sufficient source of saving truth and saving grace, against the traditions of men and the works of men. Christ is before the Bible, and is the beginning and end of the Bible. Evangelical Christians believe in the Bible because they believe in Christ, and not vice versa. Roman Catholics believe in the Bible because they believe in the Church, as the custodian and infallible interpreter of the Bible.
As to the extent of the Bible, or the number of inspired books, Zwingli accepted the Catholic Canon, with the exception of the Apocalypse, which he did not regard as an apostolic work, and hence never used for doctrinal purposes.148 Calvin doubted the genuineness of the Second Epistle of Peter and the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Both accepted the canon on the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, rather than the external authority of the Church. Luther, on the one hand, insisted in the eucharistic controversy on the most literal interpretation of the words of institution against all arguments of grammar and reason; and yet, on the other hand, he exercised the boldest subjective criticism on several books of the Old and New Testaments, especially the Epistle of James and the Epistle to the Hebrews, because he could not harmonize them with his understanding of Paul’s doctrine of justification. He thus became the forerunner of the higher or literary criticism which claims the Protestant right of the fullest investigation of all that pertains to the origin, history, and value of the Scriptures. The Reformed Churches, especially those of the English tongue, while claiming the same right, are more cautious and conservative in the exercise of it; they lay greater stress on the objective revelation of God than the subjective experience of man, and on historic evidence than on critical conjectures.
2. The doctrine of eternal election and providence. Zwingli gives prominence to God’s sovereign election as the primary source of salvation. He developed his view in a Latin sermon, or theological discourse, on Divine Providence, at the Conference of Marburg, in October, 1529, and enlarged and published it afterwards at Zurich (Aug. 20, 1530), at the special request of Philip of Hesse.149 Luther heard the discourse, and had no objection to it, except that he disliked the Greek and Hebrew quotations, as being out of place in the pulpit. Calvin, in a familiar letter to Bullinger, justly called the essay paradoxical and immoderate. It is certainly more paradoxical than orthodox, and contains some unguarded expressions and questionable illustrations; yet it does not go beyond Luther’s book on the "Slavery of the Human Will," and the first edition of Melanchthon’s Loci, or Calvin’s more mature and careful statements. All the Reformers were originally strong Augustinian predestinarians and denied the liberty of the human will. Augustin and Luther proceeded from anthropological premises, namely, the total depravity of man, and came to the doctrine of predestination as a logical consequence, but laid greater stress on sacramental grace. Zwingli, anticipating Calvin, started from the theological principle of the absolute sovereignty of God and the identity of foreknowledge and foreordination. His Scripture argument is chiefly drawn from the ninth chapter of Romans, which, indeed, strongly teaches the freedom of election,150 but should never be divorced from the tenth chapter, which teaches with equal clearness human responsibility, and from the eleventh chapter, which prophesies the future conversion of the Gentile nations and the people of Israel.
Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarian-ism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge. So far sin is necessary, but only as a means to redemption. God’s agency in respect to sin is free from sin, since he is not bound by law, and has no bad motive or affection.151 Election is free and independent; it is not conditioned by faith, but includes faith.152 Salvation is possible without baptism, but not without Christ. We are elected in order that we may believe in Christ and bring forth the fruits of holiness. Only those who hear and reject the gospel in unbelief are foreordained to eternal punishment. All children of Christian parents who die in infancy are included among the elect, whether baptized or not, and their early death before they have committed any actual sin is a sure proof of their election.153 Of those outside the Church we cannot judge, but may entertain a charitable hope, as God’s grace is not bound. In this direction Zwingli was more liberal than any Reformer and opened a new path. St. Augustin moderated the rigor of the doctrine of predestination by the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and the hypothesis of future purification. Zwingli moderated it by extending the divine revelation and the working of the Holy Spirit beyond the boundaries of the visible Church and the ordinary means of grace.
It is very easy to caricature the doctrine of predestination, and to dispose of it by the plausible objections that it teaches the necessity of sin, that it leads to fatalism and pantheism, that it supersedes the necessity of personal effort for growth in grace, and encourages carnal security. But every one who knows history at all knows also that the strongest predestinarians were among the most earnest and active Christians. It will be difficult to find purer and holier men than St. Augustin and Calvin, the chief champions of this very system which bears their name. The personal assurance of election fortified the Reformers, the Huguenots, the Puritans, and the Covenanters against doubt and despondency in times of trial and temptation. In this personal application the Reformed doctrine of predestination is in advance of that of Augustin. Moreover, every one who has some perception of the metaphysical difficulties of reconciling the fact of sin with the wisdom and holiness of God, and harmonizing the demands of logic and of conscience, will judge mildly of any earnest attempt at the solution of the apparent conflict of divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
And yet we must say that the Reformers, following the lead of the great saint of Hippo, went to a one-sided extreme. Melanchthon felt this, and proposed the system of synergism, which is akin to the semi-Pelagian and Arminian theories. Oecolampadius kept within the limits of Christian experience and expressed it in the sound sentence, "Salus nostra ex Deo, perditio nostra ex nobis." We must always keep in mind both the divine and the human, the speculative and the practical aspects of this problem of ages; in other words, we must combine divine sovereignty and human responsibility as complemental truths. There is a moral as well as an intellectual logic,—a logic of the heart and conscience as well as a logic of the head. The former must keep the latter in check and save it from running into supralapsarianism and at last into fatalism and pantheism, which is just as bad as Pelagianism.
3. Original sin and guilt. Here Zwingli departed from the Augustinian and Catholic system, and prepared the way for Arminian and Socinian opinions. He was far from denying the terrible curse of the fall and the fact of original sin; but he regarded original sin as a calamity, a disease, a natural defect, which involves no personal guilt, and is not punishable until it reveals itself in actual transgression. It is, however, the fruitful germ of actual sin, as the inborn rapacity of the wolf will in due time prompt him to tear the sheep.154
4. The doctrine of the sacraments, and especially of the Lord’s Supper, is the most characteristic feature of the Zwinglian, as distinct from the Lutheran, theology. Calvin’s theory stands between the two, and tries to combine the Lutheran realism with the Zwinglian spiritualism. This subject has been sufficiently handled in previous chapters.155
5. Eschatology. Here again Zwingli departed further from Augustin and the mediaeval theology than any other Reformer, and anticipated modern opinions. He believed (with the Anabaptists) in the salvation of infants dying in infancy, whether baptized or not. He believed also in the salvation of those heathen who loved truth and righteousness in this life, and were, so to say, unconscious Christians, or pre-Christian Christians. This is closely connected with his humanistic liberalism and enthusiasm for the ancient classics. He admired the wisdom and the virtue of the Greeks and Romans, and expected to meet in heaven, not only the saints of the Old Testament from Adam down to John the Baptist, but also such men as Socrates, Plato, Pindar, Aristides, Numa, Cato, Scipio, Seneca; yea, even such mythical characters as Hercules and Theseus. There is, he says, no good and holy man, no faithful soul, from the beginning to the end of the world, that shall not see God in his glory.156
Zwingli traced salvation exclusively to the sovereign grace of God, who can save whom, where, and how he pleases, and who is not bound to any visible means. But he had no idea of teaching salvation without Christ and his atonement, as he is often misunderstood and misrepresented. "Christ," he says (in the third of his Conclusions) "is the only wisdom, righteousness, redemption, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. Hence it is a denial of Christ when we confess another ground of salvation and satisfaction." He does not say (and did not know) where, when, and how Christ is revealed to the unbaptized subjects of his saving grace: this is hidden from mortal eyes; but we have no right to set boundaries to the infinite wisdom and love of God.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches the necessity of baptism for salvation, and assigns all heathen to hell and all unbaptized children to the limbus infantum (a border region of hell, alike removed from burning pain and heavenly bliss). Lutheran divines, who accept the same baptismal theory, must consistently exclude the unbaptized from beatitude, or leave them to the uncovenanted mercy of God. Zwingli and Calvin made salvation depend on eternal election, which may be indefinitely extended beyond the visible Church and sacraments. The Scotch Presbyterian Confession condemns the "horrible dogma" of the papacy concerning the damnation of unbaptized infants. The Westminster Confession teaches that "elect infants dying in infancy," and "all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word, are saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth."157
The old Protestant eschatology is deficient. It rejects the papal dogma of purgatory, and gives nothing better in its place. It confounds Hades with Hell (in the authorized translations of the Bible 158), and obliterates the distinction between the middle state before, and the final state after, the resurrection. The Roman purgatory gives relief in regard to the fate of imperfect Christians, but none in regard to the infinitely greater number of unbaptized infants and adults who never hear of Christ in this life. Zwingli boldly ventured on a solution of the mysterious problem which is more charitable and hopeful and more in accordance with the impartial justice and boundless mercy of God.
His charitable hope of the salvation of infants dying in infancy and of an indefinite number of heathen is a renewal and enlargement of the view held by the ancient Greek Fathers (Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa). It was adopted by the Baptists, Armenians, Quakers, and Methodists, and is now held by the great majority of Protestant divines of all denominations.
* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.
46 On the early history of Zurich, see Bluntschli, Geschichte der Republik Zürich, 2d ed. 1856; G. v. Wyss, Zürich am Ausgange des 13ten Jahrh., 1876; Dierauer, Geschichte der Schweiz. Eidgenossenschaft, vol. I. (1887), 171-217.
47 Mörikofer (I. 430 sqq.) gives a disgusting example of the rudeness and licentiousness of the Zurichers of that time.
48 He wrote to Myconius in 1522: "Statui proximis diebus in manus resumere literas Hebraicas; nam futuro Decembri ... Psalmos praelegam." Opera, VII. 145.
49 Christum ex fontibus praedicare, purum Christum animis inserere. Comp. his letter to Myconius (1520), Opera, VII. 142 sqq.
50 He did not elaborate his discourses on Matthew for publication, but we have fragmentary reports from the year 1525. See the extracts in Mörikofer I. 57-63.
51 See Asper’s portrait on p. 16, and the description of the Zwingli pictures in Mörikofer, I. 345, and in the pamphlet, Zwingli-Ausstellung, Zurich, January, 1884.
52 In Zwingli’s library are few works of Luther, and they have no annotations. (Usteri, l.c., p. 716.) His noble tribute to Luther is quoted in this History, vol. VI. 668.
53 Mörikofer, I. 65 sqq.
54 Merle d’Aubigné overrates the influence of this sickness by dating from it Zwingli’s conversion and entire consecration to God. There was no sudden change in his life, as in Paul or Luther: he developed gradually.
55 The original is given in Werke, II. 269-274, with a good modern reproduction by Fulda; also by Mörikofer, I. 72-74; and Hagenbach, 218 (5th ed. by Nippold). Abridged translations in the English editions of Merle d’Aubigné’s History of the Reformation, Bk. VIII. ch. 8 ("Lo! at my door gaunt death I spy," etc.), and in Miss Moore’s translation of Hagenbach’s History of the Reformation (Edinb., 1878, vol. I. 274). The structure of the poems is very artificial and difficult to reproduce.
56 These poems passed into the oldest Zurich hymn and tune books of 1560 and 1570, and are printed together by Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, vol. III. 500-503.
58 flehe, schreie.
75 Egli, Actensammlung, p. 77 (No. 237). Mörikofer (I. 97) gives a wrong date (March 19, 1521); but Egli’s printer made an error in correcting him by quoting vol. II. instead of I.
76 Von Erkiesen und Fryheit der Spysen (De delectu et libero ciborum usu). Werke, I. B. 1-30 a Latin version by Gwalter in Opera Lat. I. 324-339.
77 Egli, p. 85; Strickler, I. 428. I give it here as a fair specimen of the semi-barbarous German of Swiss documents of that period."Dass unser vätterlicher getrüwer rat und früntlich ernstlich pitt ist, ir wöllen die ärgenuss und widerwärtigkeit by üch selbs, den üwern und andern fürkommen und üch obgemeldten der hailigen kirchen ordnungen und guoten gewonhaiten in cristenlicher geainter gehorsami verglychen, die vollziechen und solichs by den üwern zuo gesche(h)en, sovil an üch, verschaffen. Das halten wir dem Evangelio, der leer Pauli und dem hailigen unserm cristenlichen glouben glychmässig. Ir tuond ouch daran üch und den üwern wolfart, von uns gnädigklich und früntlich zuo erkennen und zuo verdienen."
78 Opera, III. 26-76.
79 · Werke, I. A. 30-51; III. 16-25.
80 See the letters of Myconius from 1522, where he sends salutations to Zwingli’s wife, quoted in § 7, p. 28.
81 His letter to her bears the inscription, "Der Frauen Anna Reinhartin in Zürich, seiner lieben Hausfrau." Opera, VIII. 134. Others spell the name Reinhard.
82 A soldier of wild habits, who belonged to one of the oldest and richest families of Zurich, and died 1517.
83 It is as follows (VIII. 134): "Gnad und Fried von Gott. Liebste Hausfrau, ich sage Gott Dank, dass er dir eine fröhliche Geburt verliehen hat; der wolle uns die nach seinem Willen zu erziehen verleihen. Schicke meiner Base ein oder zwei Tüchli [Tüchlein], solcher Mass und Weise, als du sie trägst. Sie kommt ziemlich [sittsam], doch nicht beginlich [i. e., wie eine Nonne, eine Beghine], ist eine Frau von 40 Jahren in alle Weis und Mass, wie sie Meister Jörgen Frau beschrieben hat. Thut mir und uns Allen über die Mass gütlich. Bis [Sei] hiemit Gott befohlen. Grüsse mir Gevatter Schaffnerin, Ulmann Trinkler, Schulthess Effingerin und wer dir lieb sei. Bitt Gott für mich und uns Alle. Gegeben zu Bern 11. Tag Jänners. Grüsse mir alle deine Kinder. Besonders Margreth tröste in meinem Namen. Huldreich Zwingli, dein Hauswirth."
84 One of his friends calls her "eine Mitarbeiterin am Wort, welche dir, dem Apostel, behülflich ist." Finsler, U. Zwingli, p. 52 sq.
85 Comp. vol. VI. § 79, p. 473 sqq.
86 She married Rudolf Gwalter, Bullinger’s adopted son and successor, and first editor of Zwingli’s collected works.
87 He studied at Strassburg with Capito, and died with him of the pestilence, 1541.
88 He became pastor of the Prediger-Kirche, and married Bullinger’s oldest daughter, Anna.
89 Anna died very young, and her death is recorded in the same book.
90 See vol. VI. 582 sqq., 586 sq., 649. Comp. Bullinger, I. 76 sqq.; Haller’s letter to Zwingli, July 8, 1522 (Opera, VII. 206 sq.).
91 Zwingli means the worldly power and splendor of the pope and the bishops, and quotes against it the lessons of humility, Matt. 18:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-3: "Die Höhe nach der die päpst und bishof strytend, hat keinen Grund." See his Uslegung or defence of the Articles, Werke, I. 346 sq.
92 For this he quotes Luke 2:5 and Matt. 22:21.
93 In the Uslegung (I. 352 sq.) he explains Rom. 13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers." "Every soul," he says, "means every living man, and includes popes, bishops, priests, monks and nuns. Every power is from God; consequently, also, a bad magistracy, with which God punishes our sins (Isa. 3:4). Then we must also obey the pope, even a bad one, because he is set over us by God for punishment. This I believe firmly, but I believe also that God will lead us out of this captivity, as he led Israel out of Egypt through his servant Moses."
94 "Pfui der Schande," is added in the German text. In the Swiss dialect, "Pfuch der Schand!" (I. A. 156). In the defence of this article (I. 378 sq.), Zwingli strongly illustrates the evil effects of the lewd life of the unmarried clergy upon the morals of the laity. "It is easy," he says, "to command chastity; but no one is able to keep it without the grace of God." Concerning his own case, See § 7, p. 27.
95 An unofficial report of the disputation was published by Hegenwald, March 3, 1523 (Werke, I. A. 106-168). Faber issued, March 10, a counter-report. Seven Zurichers replied to him in, "Das Gyrenrupfen" (Geyerrupfen), 1523, and charged him with lying and claiming the speeches of others. Salat’s Historische Nachricht of the deputation is a "parteiische Verstümmelung und Entstellung" of Hegenwald’s report, and hence of no historical value (Schuler and Schulthess, in their ed. of Zw. I. 109). Comp. Aug. Baur, Die erste Zürcher Disputation, Halle, 1883.
96 Egli, 114 sq.; Bullinger, I. 103.
97 Werke, I. A. 169-425.
98 Füssli, II. 33-39; Egli, 176, 178.
99 The only German report of the second disputation, in Werke, I. A. 459-540 (Comp. Bullinger, I. 131 sqq.), is from the pen of Ludwig Hetzer, chaplain at Wädenschweil, then priest at Zurich, an ardent friend of the Reformation, who afterwards joined the Anabaptists, and was beheaded at Constance. Gwalter made an abridged Latin translation in Zw. Opera, II. 623-646. Zwingli took the ground that a truly Christian congregation was a better church than all the bishops and popes, and had as good a right to settle religious controversies as a council, where the Word of God was not allowed to decide."Ja, Höngg und Küssnacht ist ein gewüssere Kilch denn all züsammen gerottet bishof und päpst." Werke, I. 472.
100 Ein kurz christenliche ynleitung, die ein eersamer rat der statt Zürich den soelsorgern und prädicanten ... zugesandt habend, etc. Werke, I. A. 541-565. Gwalter gives a Latin version, Op. I. 264-268.
101 Der Hirt, wie man die waren christenlichen hirten und widerum die falschen erkennen ... sölle. Werke, I. A. 631-668.
102 The answer was written by Zwingli, and printed Aug. 18, 1524. Werke, I. A. 584-630.
103 I. 175. Bullinger justifies the abolition of church music (which took place in the Grossmünster, Dec. 9, 1527) with St. Paul’s objection to the unintelligible glossolalia without interpretation (1 Cor. 14:6-9). He must, of course, mean the chanting of a choir in Latin. The Swiss Reformed churches excel in congregational singing.
104 Egli, p. 269 (No. 614, Jan. 9, 1525); Mörikofer, I. 315 sq. Janssen (III. 84 sq.) dwells with circumstantial minuteness on the confiscation and robbery of these church treasures, some of which dated from the time of Charlemagne.
105 Egli, p. 893 (No. 2004, c. 1533). Uetinger declared that between 1524 and 1532 all the treasury of the sacristy was squandered, and nobody knew what had become of it. "Prorsus nihil supererat."
106 Werke, II. A. 17-59. Comp. Mörikofer, I. 269-274.
107 Werke, II. B. 237 sqq. I give a specimen from the Gloria in Excelsis:—
Der Pfarrer: Eer sye gott in den höhinnen!
Die Mann: Und frid uf erden!
Die Wyber: Den menschen ein recht gmüt!
Die Mann: Wir lobend dich, wir prysend dich.
Die Wyber: Wir betend dich an, wir verehrend dich, etc.
Shorter responses, however, occur between the minister or deacon and the congregation.
108 The first German baptismal service by Zwingli and Leo Judae appeared in the summer of 1523, the second in May, 1525. Werke, II. B. 224 sqq.; 230 sq.
109 Comp. Pestalozzi, Leo Judae, p. 76, and Güder on "Prophezei," in Herzog2, XII. 288.
110 Republished by Emil Egli, U. Zwingli’s Lehrbuchlein, oder wie man die Jugend in guten Sitten und christlicher Zucht auferziehen und lehren solle. Zurich, 1884. With an appendix of documents relating to the school at Zurich in Zwingli’s time.
111 Prof. Dr. Georg von Wyss, in his festive discourse on the University of Zurich (Die Hochschule Zürich in d. Jahren 1833-1883, Zürich, 1883), gives a brief sketch of the development of the Carolinum. The first theological faculty of the university consisted of three Zurichers, Hirzel, Schulthess and Salomon Hess, who had been professors of the Carolinum, and two Germans, Rettig and Hitzig. Besides there were five Privatdocenten, ministers of Zürich. See also Prof. Steiner’s Festrede zur 50 jährigen Stiftungsfeier der Züricher Universität, 1883.
112 Commentarius de vera et falsa religione, March, 1525. Opera, III. 145-325. Leo Judae published a German translation, 1526. When Erasmus received the book, he said, "O bone Zwingli, quid scribis, quod ipse prius non scripserim?" So Zwingli reports in a letter to Vadian, Opera, VII. 399.
113 Five complete editions of the Bible were printed in Zurich before 1534. Pestalozzi, Leo Judae, p. 77.
114 On the different editions see Metzger, l.c. 109 sqq., and Fritzsche, in Herzog2, XII. 556 sq. The versicular division was first introduced in the edition of 1589. The first thorough revision was prepared by Antistes Breitinger, 1629. Other revisions followed in 1665, 1724, 1755, 1772, 1817, 1860, and 1868. The last is pronounced by Fritzsche one of the best translations, based upon a conscientious use of the latest exegetical labors.
115 He avoided his family name Jud (Jew); and the Zurichers called him "Master Leu" (Leo). in all his Latin writings he uses the Latin form.
116 Pellican says of him, "Utilissima transtulit admodum feliciter."
117 On his Latin Bible see Pestalozzi, 76 sqq., 165, and Fritzsche in Herzog2 VIII. 463.
118 On his works see Pestalozzi, pp. 96-106. His hymns and versified Psalms are printed in Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, vol. III. p. 722 sqq. (Nos. 832-837).
119 Bluntschli (Geschichte des schweizerischen Bundesrechtes, Stuttgart, 1875, 2d ed. I. 293 sq.): "Zwingli wur von Anfang an und durch sein ganzes Leben hindurch kaum viel weniger darauf bedacht, politisch einzugreifen als die Kirche zu reformiren. Während Luther mit ganzer Seele die Wiederbelebung und Reinigung des christlichen Glaubens anstrebte und sich ausschliesslich dieser Aufgabe widmete, wollte Zwingli nicht bloss Kirchen-, sondern zugleich auch Staatsmann sein. Indem sich Zwingli der kirchlichen Reformation in der Schweiz bemächtigte und diese von Zürich aus über die ganze Schweiz zu verbreiten trachtete, ging er zugleich mit Planen um, die Schweiz politisch umzugestalten."
120 The government of the Protestant cantons of Switzerland tolerates and supports now, in the pulpit and the chair, all sorts of errors and heresies far worse than those for which the Anabaptists were drowned in the sixteenth century. In 1839 the magistracy of Zurich called the infidel Dr. Strauss to the chair of dogmatic theology in the university; but on that occasion the country people asserted their sovereignty, upset the rule of the radical party, and defeated its aim.
121 Opera, III. B. 19 sqq.; Mörikofer, II. 121 sq.
122 He wrote to Vadian, May 28, 1525 (Opera, VII. 398): "omnes pugnae priores lusus fuerunt pro ista."
123 Luther called them martyrs of the devil; but Leonhard Käser, to whom he wrote a letter of comfort, and whom he held up as a model martyr to the heretical martyrs (see Letters, ed. De Wette, III. 179), was not a Lutheran, as he thought, but the pastor of an Anabaptist congregation at Scherding. He was burnt Aug. 18, 1527, by order of the bishop of Passau. See Cornelius, II. 56.
124 On Luther and the Radicals see vol. VI. 375 sqq. and 606 sqq.
125 Hagenbach (p. 857), on the strength of Hottinger, states that the Council of Zurich, at the advice of Zwingli, by a mandate of Jan. 17, 1525, allowed a delay of eight years for the baptism of children. But this must be an error; for on the eighteenth of January, 1525, the Council, after a disputation with the Anabaptists, commanded the baptism of all unbaptized children within eight days, on pain of the banishment of the parents. Egli, Actensammlung, p. 276.
126 Their translation of the Prophets appeared at Worms in 1527 (and often), and preceded that of the Zurich Bible (in 1529), and that of Luther, which was not completed till 1532.
127 They derived it from Pope Nicolas II. (A.D. 1059-’61), whose pontificate was entirely under the control of Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VII. The reference shows the prevailing ignorance of Church history. Pedobaptism is much older than the papacy.
128 Hübmaier, when in Waldshut, substituted first a simple benediction of children, in place of baptism, but baptized when the parents wished it. See Gieseler, III. A. p. 210, note.
129 The Augsburg Confession (Art. IX.) condemns the Anabaptists for teaching "pueros sine baptismo salvos fieri."
130 Füssli, II. 338. The report of a Moravian Baptist chronicle, quoted by Cornelius (II. 26 sq.), is as follows: "Und es hat sich begeben, dass sie bei einander gewesen sind, bis die Angst auf sie kam und sie in ihren Herzen gedrungen wurden; da haben sie angefangen ihre Kniee zu beugen vor dem höchsten Gott im Himmel, und ihn angerufen, dass er ihnen geben wolle, seinen göttlichen Willen zu vollbringen. Darauf hat Jürg [Blaurock] sich erhoben und um Gottes willen gebeten, dass Conrad [Grebel] ihn taufe mit der rechten wahren christlichen Taufe auf seinen Glauben und seine Erkenntniss; ist wieder auf die Kniee gefallen und von Conrad getauft worden; und alle übrigen Anwesenden haben sich dann von Jürg taufen lassen. Hiernächst hat derselbe, seinem eigenen Bericht zufolge, damit die Brüder des Todes Christi allweg eingedenk wären und sein vergossen Blut nicht vergässen, ihnen den Brauch Christi angezeigt,den er in seinem Nachtmal gehalten hat, und zugleich mit ihnen das Brot gebrochen und den Trank getrunken, damit sie sich erinnerten, dass sie alle durch den einigen Leib Christi erlöst und durch sein einiges Blut abqewaschen seien, auf dass sie alle eins und je einer des anderen Bruder und Schwester in Christo ihrem Herrn wären."
Cornelius adds to this report: "Diese Dinge haben sich wenige Tage nach der Disputation des 18. Januar zugetragen, und rasch, noch ehe dieVerbannten ihren Abschied genommen hatten, ist, zum Theil mit ihrer Hülfe, der Gebrauch der Taufe und des Herrn Brodes nach Zollikon und über die ganze Genossenschaft verbreitet worden."
131 So Hübmaier testified before the magistrate at Zurich (Egli, Actensammlung, p. 431): "Da käme Wilhelm (Reubli) und toufte ihn (Hübmaier), und liessend sich uf dasselb mal mit ihm bi 60 personen toufen. Darnach habe er die Osterfirtag für und für und ob 300 menschen getouft." Nothing is said about the mode. Soon afterwards (July 5, 1525), Hübmaier published his book, Von dem Christlichen Touff der Gläubigen against Zwingli, but without naming him. Zwingli replied November, 1525. See A. Baur, Zwingli’s Theol., II. 137 sq., 141 sqq.
132 Nitsche, p. 30: "Wenn über jemand der Geist Gottes kam, beklagte und beweinte er seine Sünden und bat den ersten besten, ihn zu taufen; dieser bespritzte oder überschüttete ihn unter Nennung der drei göttlichen Personen mit Wasser. Einem förmlichen Untertauchen, wie es später wohl vorkommt, begegnen wir zunächst nicht …Meistens wurde die Taufe in irgend einem Hause vollzogen; aber auch im Freien wurde getauft: so Rudolph Breitinger bei Gelegenheit eines Spazierganges am Neppelbach, ein anderer beim Brunnen zu Hirslanden." Egli, p. 23 sq.:, Wie es scheint, war Blaurock der eigentlich populäre Täufer und wandte den Gebrauch allgemeiner an auf den ersten Besten, der weinend zu ihm kam."
133 See vol. VI. 608, note, and my book on the Didache, p. 41 sqq.
134 Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth were immersed, according to the rubric of the English Prayer Book. Erasmus says, "With us" (on the Continent) infants have the water poured on them; in England they are dipped."
135 In the trial of fourteen Anabaptists, Feb. 7, 1525, Marx Bosshard testified that Hans Bruggbach of Zumikon, after the reading of a portion of the New Testament in a meeting, confessed and deplored big sins, and requested, as a sign of his conversion, to be sprinkled in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; whereupon Blaurock sprinkled him. "Darauf habe ihn Blaurock bespritzt." Egli, Actensammlung, p. 282.
136 In the same suit Jörg Schad said, "er habe sich lassen begüssen mit Wasser, und syg [sei] Felix Manz töifer gesin [Täufer gewesen]." Ibid., p. 283.
137 Kessler, Sabbata, I. 266 ("in dem Rhin von dem Grebel under getrückt und bedeckt"). Comp. Barrage, 105.
138 Burrage, p. 117. I was informed by Mr. Steiger of Herisau (Appenzell) that the modern Baptists in St. Gall and Appenzell baptize by immersion in the Sitter; but their number has greatly diminished since the death of Schlatter.
139 As in St. Gall and Appenzell; see Cornelius, II. 64 sq.
140 A. Baur, who sides altogether with Zwingli, must nevertheless admit (II. 187) that "the majority of the Swiss Anabaptists were quiet and honorable people of earnest character and unblemished reputation as citizens."
141 Zwingli, Opera, III. 364.
142 Egli (Die Zürcher Wiedertäufer, p. 93) thinks that if he consented, he did it with reluctant heart, not, like Calvin in the case of Servetus, with a strong sense of duty. Keller (Die Reformation, p. 407, note) asserts, on the strength of Hübmaier, that Zwingli preached in 1525 that Anabaptists should be beheaded "according to the imperial laws," but there is no proof of this, and Baur (II. 180) denies it. Comp. the correspondence of Capito with Zwingli on the case of Manz, Opera, VIII. 16, 30, 44. Capito of Strassburg was disturbed by the execution of Manz, who had died so heroically, as reported (mortem obiise magnifice, p. 16); but Zwingli assured him that the magistracy condemned him to death reluctantly and from necessity (quam coacte Senatus judicis partem tandem usurpavit). This is, of course, unsatisfactory. Banishment in this case, as in that of Servetus, would have been severe enough.
143 Burrage defends Hätzer against the charges of immorality (p. 200 sqq.) but Keim and Cornelius (II. 59) sustain them.
144 Baur, II. 173 sq. Zwingli’s letter to Capito, Jan. 1, 1526, published by Rud. Stähelin, Briefe aus der Reformationszeit (Basel, 1887), p. 20.
145 l.c. II. 67 sq.
146 A. Baur (Zw. Theol., II. 811) says on this misunderstanding: "Luther warf von Anfang an Zwingli mit Münzer und Karlstadt zusammen. Kein Vorwurf und Vorurtheil gegen Zwingli ist ungerechter, aber auch kein Vorwurf glänzender widerlegt, als dieser, und zwar eben durch die Klarheit und Bestimmtheit, mit welcher Zwingli seine Principien gegen die Wiedertäufer entfaltet. Im Gegentheil; die maasslose Subjectivität die bei Münzer, Karlstadt, bei den Wiedertäufern zum Ausbruch kommt, und die solche Willkühr bleibt, auch wenn sie sich auf den Buchstaben der Schrift beruft, ist das vollständige Gegentheil der Principien Zwingli’s."
147 He called Zwingli "optimus vir," in a letter to Bullinger, written nine years later (1538).
148 He missed in it both the style and the genius of St. John."Non sapit os et ingenium Joannis." Zwingli and Luther were both wrong in their unfavorable judgment of the Revelation of "the Son of Thunder."
149 Ad illustrissimum Cattorum Principem Philippum Sermonis de Providentia Dei anamnema. In Opera, vol. IV. 79-144. Leo Judae published a German translation in 1531.
150 P. 114: "Nos cum Paulo in hac sententia sumus, ut praedestinatio libera sit, citra omnem respectum bene aut male factorum." He refers especially to what Paul says about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and hating Esau and loving Jacob before they were born. But this has reference to their position in history, and not to their eternal salvation or perdition.
151 De Providentia Dei (p. 113): "Impulit Deus [latronem] ut occideret; sed aeque impellit judicem, ut percussorem justitiae mactet. Et qui impellit, agit sine omni criminis suspicione; non enim est sub lege. Qui vero impellitur, tam abest ut sit alienus a crimine, ut nullam fere rem gerat sine aliqua labis aspergine, quia sub lege est." Zwingli defends this view by the illustration of the magistracy taking a man’s life. So a soldier may kill an enemy in battle, without committing murder. Melanchthon traced (1521) the adultery and murder of David and the treason of Judas to the Divine impulse; but he abandoned afterwards (1535) this "Stoic figment of fatalism."
152 P. 121: "Fides iis datur, qui ad vitam eternam electi et ordinati sunt; sic tamen ut electio antecedat, et fides velut symbolum electionem sequatur. Sic enim habet Paulus, Rom. 8:29."
153 He reasons thus: Nothing separates us from God but sin; children have not committed actual sin; Christ has expiated for original sin; consequently children of Christian parents, about whom we have an express promise, are certainly among the elect if they are taken away in infancy. "Defungi in illis electionis signum est perinde ac fides in adultis. Et qui reprobi sunt et a Deo repudiati, in hoc statu innocentiae non moriuntur, sed divina providentia servantur ut repudiatio illorum criminosa vita notetur." (P. 127.)
154 He describes original sin in Latin as defectus naturalis and conditio misera, in German as a Brest orGebrechen, i.e. disease. He compares it to the misfortune of one born in slavery. He explains his view more fully in his tract, De peccato originali ad Urbanum Rhegium, 1526 (Opera, III. 627-645), and in his Confession to Charles V.
155 § 27, p. 85 sq.; vol. VI. 620 sqq., and Creeds of Christendom, I. 372-377.
156 He often speaks on this subject in his epistles, commentaries, the tract on Providence, and most confidently at the close of his Exposition of the Christian Faith, addressed to the king of France. See the passages in Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I, 382, and A. Baur, l.c. II. 772. Comp. also Zeller, l.c. p. 163; Alex. Schweizer, Die Prot. Centraldogmen, I. 94 sqq., and Reform. Glaubenslehre, II. 10 sq.; Dorner, Gesch. der protestTheol., p. 284 (who with his usual fairness vindicates Zwingli against misrepresentations).
157 Chapter X. 3."Elect" infants, however, implies, in the strict Calvinistic system, "reprobate" infants who are lost. This negative feature has died out. See on this subject Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 378-384, and his Creed Revision in the Presbyterian Churches, New York, 1890, p. 17 sqq.
158 This serious error is corrected in the Revised English Version of 1881. It is an anachronism when a scholar of the nineteenth century denies the distinction between Hades or Sheol (i.e. the spirit-world or realm of the dead) and Gehenna (i.e. hell, or the place and state of the lost).
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