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Huldreich Zwingli

Huldreich (or Ulrich) Zwingli (1484 to 1531) was the leader of the Swiss Reformation and founder of the Zwinglian Protestant[?] churches. He began to teach Luther's doctrine in 1519.

Zwingli's Reformation was supported by the magistrate and population of Zurich (including the influential Abbess of the Monastery of our Lady) and lead to big changes also in civil and state matters in Zurich.

While the main direction of the Swiss Reformation was similar to the Lutheran Reformation, there are also some differences:

  • While Luther wanted to remove those religious customs which contradicted Scripture, Zwingli supported only religious customs supported in Scripture. This is visible until today in several areas:
    • church buildings: Lutheran churches retain "Catholic style" art, Reformed churches are sober and decorated only with Bible verses
    • church structure: Lutheran churches have an episcopal structure, the structure of Reformed churches is presbyterian, synodal or congregational.
    • liturgy: the Lutheran liturgy has some relations to the Catholic liturgy while the Reformed liturgy concentrates on Scripture and sermon.
  • The Lord's Supper is interpreted as symbolical act of remembering by the Reformed churches with no real presence of Jesus Christ in wine and bread: this lead to the definitive break between Luther and Zwingli.
  • Lutheran Reformation grew under the protection of German princes, while the Reformation in Switzerland began through convincing the republican magistrate and people of Zurich (and later of other town republics), who in turn adapted the civil laws according to Reformed tenets. Zwingli and, one generation later, John Calvin were not only religious but also political leaders, though neither held a political office.

Zwingli died in battle (as field chaplain) in a war between the Reformed and the Catholic states of Switzerland. His successor in the lead of Swiss Reformation was Heinrich Bullinger.

A party of believers known as the Anabaptists arose in 1523 among followers of Zwingli, rejecting Infant Baptism or pedobaptism, supporting the idea of Believer's Baptism and supporting the concept of Separation of Church and State[?]. Zwingli did not share their views.


Text to integrate from Schaff-Herzog Encyc of Religion:

Table of contents

1. Early Life and Education

Huldreich Zwingli was born at Wildhaus[?] near Zurich, in the valley of the Toggenburg, on January 1, [1484]]; and died not far away at Cappel[?] on October 11, 1531. His first name shows the variants Ulric, Ulrich, Ulricus, Huldricus, and Huldrych, while his last name, which appears in Latin as Zwinglius and in English as Zwingle, was originally Zwilling ("Twin"). His father, Ulrich Zwingli, was chief magistrate of the village; his father's brother, Bartholomew, was the village priest. His mother's maiden came was Margaretha Meili, and her brother, Johannes (d. 1524), was abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Fischingen[?], while a near relative was abbot of Old St. John's, near Wildhaus. Zwingli was the third of eight sons. In 1487 his uncle Bartholomew moved to Wesen on the Walensee[?], where he was pastor and dean, and took his nephew into his house and sent him to the village school. Noticing the child's promise, he determined to educate him for the Church, but in agreement with the new ideas; so he sent him to the school of Gregory Buenzli[?] in Klein Basel, in 1494, and in 1498 to that of Heinrich Woelfli[?] (Lupulus) in Bern. Like Martin Luther, Zwingli was a born musician and fond of company. These qualities induced the Dominicans to invite him to live in their monastery, but when his father and uncle heard of this, they sent him to Vienna. For the next two years he studied there, and in 1502 he matriculated at Basel[?], took his B.A. degree there in 1504, and his M.A. in 1506, teaching meanwhile in the school of St. Martin's Church. In 1506 he became pastor at Glarus[?], where he remained for ten years.

2. Initial Doubts

Zwingli soon evinced his capacity as a preacher, denouncing the evils of the time, the chief of these, to his patriotic mind, being the hiring out of the Swiss to any one other than the pope as mercenaries, an occupation whichoften resulted in their moral ruin. Because some of his congregation were carrying on this traffic, his opposition made his position so uncomfortable that he was glad to accept a call to Einsiedeln[?], only a few miles away, and the chief place of pilgrimage for Switzerland, South Germany, and Alsace. There he met many prominent men, and clarified his thinking on the burning questions of the day. He had a candid mind, and his faith in traditional orthodoxy had already received several shocks. Thomas Wyttenbach[?] was the first to question in his hearing the traditional base of the Church's teaching, in 1505-06, and later he came upon a service book containing the liturgy as used in Mollis[?], near Glarus, two hundred years before, and found that it expressly stated that the cup was to be administered to a babe after its baptism. When on a campaign in Italy as chaplain of the Glarus contingent in the papal army, he discovered that the Milan liturgy differed in many points from that used elsewhere. Meditation on these points showed him that the Church had not taught the same truths from the beginning, nor observed the same practices. Like all other Humanists, he read Erasmus, and from him learned that the source of doctrine was the Bible and not the Church. When he could read the New Testament in the original in 1516, thanks to Erasmus, he drank truth from the fountain rather than through the troubled stream of tradition. When he met leading men at Einsiedeln, and found that the corruption of the Church in clergy and theology was a common theme, he ventured to discuss these matters in the pulpit. He also exalted the Bible above the Church as the guide into truth, and Jesus Christ above the Virgin Mary as the intercessor with the Father, acting independently of Luther, for he had never heard of him. Zwingli always claimed to be ignorant of what Luther wrote, and it was his constant boast that he had started the Reformation in Switzerland independently of Luther. It was a drawback to the general cause of the Reformation that the two did not fraternize. Because Zwingli would not accept Luther's doctrine of the Lord's Supper, Luther declared him to be of a different spirit; and Zwingli found much in Luther's teachings and proceedings to disapprove.

3. Leut-priestship at Zurich and Marriage

It is not likely that Zwingli got into any trouble by his doctrine at Einsiedeln; it was welcome and increased his reputation. So, when the position of leut-priest (preacher and pastor) in the Great Minster in Zurich fell vacant in the latter part of 1518, he was suggested for the place. Then certain facts came to light. Like the clergy about him, he believed himself absolved from the obligation of chastity because bound by the vow of celibacy. Lapses from sexual purity were too common to be considered objections in a priest, but the charge against him was then made that he had seduced a girl of good family, and this was considered a valid reason for rejecting his nomination. His reply to the charge extant. He denied seduction, but frankly admitted the charge of habitual incontinence, and did so in a jesting tone which shows that he believed his offense a trifling one. The chapter of the Great Minster agreed and elected him, and it was, therefore, as a confessedly libidinous man that he came to Zurich, but the Gospel had not yet entered his heart. In his parish was Anna Reinhard (b. 1484), a Zurich innkeeper's daughter, widow of the patrician Hans Meyer von Knonau, who had died in 1517. Her son, Gerold, was in the Great Minster Latin school when Zwingli came to Zurich and made the acquaintance of the mother. When their intimacy passed the bounds of propriety is unknown, but from the spring of 1522 Zwingli and Anna Reinhard were living together in what a "clerical marriage." Such concubinages, while not put on a level with marriage, were entered into without stigma, as it was assumed that without extraordinary supply of divine grace it was not possible for a priest to live in purity; and in fact, very few did, hence it was better for the morals of the community that they should have nominal wives. They were expected to be faithful to these women. When, however, the relations between Zwingli and Anna Reinhard were formed, many Protestant priests had married their mistresses or other women, and it was expected that Zwingli, head of the reformatory movement in Zurich, would show equal courage and set a good example. His failure to do so has been explained by his reluctance to face the monetary and social complications involved in a burgher marrying a patrician's widow; but at last he married her, on April 2, 1524. Between 1526 and 1530 four children were born to him, but no direct descendants of his are alive.

Increasing Alienation from the Roman Church

Zwingli held the leut-priestship from 1519 to 1522, and till the end of his life retained the preachership in the Great Minster. His fame spread through German Switzerland and southern Germany. His printed sermons appear long, discursive, and dull, though clear and simple in style; in the process of expansion, their liveliness has probably been removed. Having uncommon Biblical and patristic scholarship, a frank, independent, and progressive nature, and a desire to advance the interests of his country in religious, political, and social matters, he won general approval from the start, not only as a preacher but as a man. When a preacher of indulgences[?] named Bernhardin Samson appeared in the canton (1519), Zwingli successfully opposed him-- a course which received the approval of the hierarchy, who recognized the abuses connected with the proclamation of indulgences (cf. the decree concerning indulgences passed by the Council of Trent Dec. 4, 1563). When the plague broke out in Zurich in 1520, Zwingli labored so assiduously among his people that, worn out, he fell sick himself and almost died. He used the position won by his devotion and independence to advance reform, but very cautiously and by attacking externals first. Thus he showed that fasting in Lent had no Scriptural support, a popular teaching; next, that tithes had only state and church laws to rest upon, but no Scripture, this teaching being heartily welcomed by those who paid taxes. He had his say in regard to the proper way to treat beggars, who were considered by the good people about him as aids in devotion and pathways to heaven, but whom he denounced and preferred to change into self-supporting members of the community. Next came simplification of the breviary and plans for a liturgy in the vernacular and a much altered service for the administration of the Lord's Supper. Proceeding step by step, with the assent of the Zurich magistracy, he nevertheless alarmed the local hierarchy, who appealed to their bishop at Constance. The bishop sent to Zurich an investigation committee which sat Apr. 7-9, 1522, but was powerless against the manifest satisfaction of the citizens with Zwingli's position.

5. The Final Rupture

After three years of preaching, Zwingli judged the time ripe for a bolder step. Consequently he prepared 65 theses, not at all like the 95 theses of Luther, which were on the single topic of indulgences and were intended primarily for a university audience. Zwingli's theses were for a popular audience and covered all the points of the "Gospel," as he called it. In accordance with the Swiss plan that before radical measures were taken in a canton there was to be a public debate as to their expediency, presided over by the burgomaster[?], a meeting was held in the town hall of Zurich on January 29, 1523. All the clergy were invited, and the frankest expression of opinion was courted. There was no real debate, only a dialogue between Zwingli and the vicar-general of Constance. The decision of the magistracy was that the doctrines Zwingli had preached were enjoined on all priests in the canton. This was the thin end of the wedge. Zwingli kept applying the "Gospel" to practical matters and began preparations for a second discussion, which was held Oct. 26-28, 1523. This was even less of a debate between the Old and the Reform Church parties, since it was almost entirely in the hands of the latter. Of special interest is the part which Zwingli's radical followers played. They accepted his whole program, but favoured the immediate application of its practical teaching, and wished Zwingli to accept some of its logical consequences-- this was hostile to his cautious nature. The decisions of the magistracy after this discussion were radical enough to suit any but a radical, for they removed the images and pictures out of the churches, made the vernacular the language of the religious services, and, more startlingly, stripped the mass of all its incrustations through the centuries and brought it back, as far as possible, to its basics. A third disputation was held Jan. 19-20, 1524, but this was a last desperate attempt of the Old Church party to stem the tide of change. By the end of 1524 church life in Zurich was quite different in many of its outward manifestations from that in any other Swiss city. The convents for men and women had been abolished, and music had been silenced in the churches, a strange initiative for one so fond of music as Zwingli, and defensible only on his theory that the Reformed Church should have no practice which recalled the Old Church as music did. The mass alone stood, and that was so wrapped up with the life of the people that he hesitated to destroy it before the people were fully prepared to accept a substitute. At last it was decreed that on Thursday of Holy Week, Apr. 13, 1525, in the Great Minster the Lord's Supper would be for the first time observed according to the liturgy Zwingli had composed. On that eventful day men and women sat on opposite sides of the table which extended down the middle aisle, and were served with bread upon wooden platters and wine out of wooden beakers. The contrast to the former custom was shocking to many, yet the new way was accepted. With this radical break with the past the Reformation in Zurich may be said to have been completed.

6. Peasant and Anabaptist Disturbances

No sooner had the Reformation been established than internal troubles nearly disrupted the State. First came the peasants with their undoubted grievances, although they did not give the trouble they made in Germany, both because their demands were less radical, and because the authorities, on the advice of Zwingli, were more conciliatory. But the other disturbing element, the detested, the dreaded, the misunderstood and persecuted Anabaptists, were the real trial. They did not originate in Zurich, but the earliest members of the party in Zurich were members of Zwingli's congregation. He had taught them to ask Scripture proof for doctrines and practices seeking church acceptance, and they accordingly asked him to give such proof for infant baptism. Because he could not, he was at first inclined to grant that logically the practice had no Scriptural support; but when they pressed him to declare himself plainly, they only stirred his anger by so doing. He fell back upon the assumptions of the Old Church, and for a man so radical on all other points he showed a singular reluctance to accept the consistent teaching of his Anabaptist friends. [It was only when it became manifest to him that rejection of infant baptism involved an effort to establish churches of the regenerates, and to effect the unchurching of all who could not make a public confession of an experience of grace and the abolition of secular authority in religious matters, that Zwingli felt compelled to oppose it with all his might. A. H. N.] He sought to silence them by sermon and treatise, and because they would not keep silence he became their persecutor. This attitude can be explained only by his acceptance of the propriety of suppressing what is deemed to be erroneous, even at the expense of life, on the claim that it is better that a few should die for their erroneous faith than that they should be allowed to live and propagate their errors. This doctrine was accepted by Protestants and by Roman and Greek Catholics in the sixteenth century, and the first alone have repudiated it. (For the experiences of the Swiss Anabaptists see ANABAPTISTS.)

7. The Conference at Baden

The years of Zwingli's life from 1524 to 1529 were extremely busy, and were passed almost entirely in Zurich. One occasion for a visit outside of it was very pressing. At Baden, a famous watering-place, only twelve miles northwest of Zurich, there was a disputation between the Old Church representatives and the Zwingli party from May 21 to June 8, 1526 (See BADEN [IM AARGAU], CONFERENCE OF). It was thought to be dangerous for Zwingli to go thither because the Old Church party meditated his death. But though not present in person, Zwingli had the closest connection with those from Zurich who spoke for him, and gave them daily instruction. The debates were probably as fair as such debates can be, but things were exactly reversed from what they were in the Zurich debates, for the speakers and the audience were overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Of course each side claimed the victory. In 1528 Zwingli was in Bern and played the most prominent part in the formal introduction, through magisterial action, of the Reformation into that city.

8. Eucharistic Conference with Luther at Marburg

To this period of Zwingli's life also belongs the debate with Luther over the Lord's Supper, one of the great misfortunes the consequences of which are felt to-day. As Luther said at Marburg, he and Zwingli were not of the same spirit. Zwingli taught that the sacraments were signs and symbols of holy things, but in themselves had no power to cleanse, so that in the Lord's Supper there is a bringing back to memory of the work of grace done by Jesus Christ, who lives before the believer, though there is no participation of grace through the sacrament itself. He had a clear mind upon this point, and the mystical view in any of its phases had no attractions for him. Consequently, the interchange of reading material between himself and Luther accomplished nothing, and only angered Luther. Thus baptism and the Eucharist, which were intended by Christ to be unifying practices, produced by their varied interpretation a breach between the Old Church and Protestants and between parties among the Protestants. Among the leaders of the Protestants was Philip the Magnanimous, landgrave of Hesse (see PHILIP OF HESSE), who desired to see unity among Protestants upon the Eucharist, and to this end arranged a meeting in his castle at Marburg between Zwingli and Luther (see MARBURG, CONFERENCE OF), which had one good result. Luther discovered that he and Zwingli had much in common. Although the territory through which Zwingli had to pass on his way to Marburg was, with the exception of a few miles, friendly to Protestants, yet so panic-stricken were Zwingli and all his friends at the possibility of encountering members of the Old Church on their own ground that the Reformer considered himself to be doing a bold thing in obeying the summons of the landgrave. He left Zurich by stealth, without permission of the government and with a false statement to his wife as to his destination, but nothing happened to him. As it was thought unwise to pit him directly against Luther, he was introduced to Melanchthon, but nevertheless the debate was between the German and the Swiss chief reformers. Both sides boasted of victory, and the usual interchange of disgraceful epithets followed the debate which the landgrave hoped would seal their union.

9. Unsuccessful Plans against the Hapsburgs and the Pope.

After his return to Zurich Zwingli prosecuted more vigorously those political schemes which were intended to result in a union of all Protestants, and also of states which were not Protestant, against the house of Hapsburg and the pope, in the interest of religious liberty. The time Zwingli gave to these negotiations must have been considerable, for he sought to unite in this "Christian Burgher Rights," as he called his league, bodies as widely scattered as France and the Republic of Venice. What might have come of this scheme if his life had been longer continued it is, of course, impossible to say, but in 1530 he saw the making of the Schmalkald League, which shut off Lutheran membership in the Christian Burgher Rights, and the final refusal of France and Venice to enter. Inside of Switzerland Zwingli's schemes for religious liberty were equally unsuccessful, since the Five Forest Cantons, i.e., the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Luzern, and Zug, all adjoining Zurich, refused to allow the preaching of the Reformed faith within their borders. War actually broke out; but at Kappel, ten miles south of Zurich, where the opposing armies were about to come to blows, a hasty and ill-considered peace was patched up. The Forest Cantons refused to ratify the action of their representatives, and so the bill for the war was left unpaid by them, and the gospel preachers were still excluded from their territories. Zwingli saw clearly that such a peace was transitory, but though he wished that the cantons might be forced to keep the promises they had made, he did not desire to have them forced by the cruel measures which the Protestant cantons adopted, namely, by preventing the Forest Cantons from buying necessary things, especially salt, by blocking their entrance into the lower levels where alone these things could be obtained.

10. Diet of Augsburg and Work in Zurich.

On June 30, 1530, the famous Diet of Augsburg convened. To it Zwingli sent a brief confession of faith and tried, probably unsuccessfully, to get it into the emperor's hands. It was a personal confession, but is one of the most interesting documents of the Reformation. In it he thus expresses himself respecting the Eucharist: "I believe that in the holy Eucharist-- i.e., the supper of thanksgiving-- the true body of Christ is present by the contemplation of faith; i.e., that they who thank the Lord for the kindness conferred on us in his Son acknowledge that he assumed true flesh, in it truly suffered, truly washed away our sins in his own blood; and thus everything done by Christ becomes present to them by the contemplation of faith. But that the body of Christ in essence and really-- i.e., the natural body itself-- is either present in the supper or masticated with our mouth or teeth, as the papists and some who long for the flesh-pots of Egypt assert, we not only deny, but firmly maintain is an error opposed to God's Word." Zwingli played a prominent part in Protestantism and made Zurich a prominent place. His educational work was important. He was a born teacher, and when at Glarus had pupils, some of whose letters have been preserved and show how well he had taught them. His little book which was his present to his stepson reveals the wise pedagogue, and so, as soon as his other engagements permitted, he accepted the post of rector of the Carolinum, the school of the Great Minster in Zurich (1525), and did much to improve the curriculum, besides teaching there in the religious department. But not education and instruction alone claimed his attention. He was the great man of Zurich, and was consulted on every topic by everybody from the chief magistrate to the lowliest citizen. His correspondence often compelled him to toil late into the night after the crowded days, and there came from his pen a stream of treatises, in Latin when he sought the widest public, or in German when he had his own nation more in view. These treatises were sometimes hastily written and are often of little present interest, but moat of them are still worthy of reading. They are polemical, as those in exchange with Luther's on the Eucharist; expository of his position on theology in general or upon particular points; practical, giving guidance to the preachers about him how to preach the Gospel; or patriotic, noble utterances against war and the mercenary service. These writings show the broad-mindedness of Zwingli, and give ground for the claim that if he were living to-day he would be in all respects a modern man.

11. Civil War, and Death of Zwingli.

But this life of strenuous endeavor in so many directions was drawing to its close, not through the weakening of its bodily powers, not because under a strain the brain had given way, but because the fratricidal strife which had been temporarily avoided broke out again. On May 15, 1531, the cantons which had accepted the Reformation assembled, and learning that the Forest Cantons, which were strongly Roman Catholic, had flatly refused to keep the treaty which they had signed through their representatives the year before, resolved to bring them to terms by preventing them from crossing their borders, as they would have to do if they would purchase wheat, salt, iron, steel, and other necessary things. It was a cruel measure, as already said, and Zurich resisted it, but was outvoted. As soon as this edict came to execution, it brought the Forest Cantons to warlike preparation, and since Zurich lay directly in their path as they descended from the mountains, they attacked it first. On Oct. 9, 1531, their troops crossed the Zurich border, which was only twelve miles from the city, and the news reached there that evening. Strangely enough, there seems to have been no apprehension that war was so near, and, consequently, there was no adequate preparation for it. It was a mob rather than a little army of the famous Swiss soldiers which rushed out of the city. Their objective was Kappel, and there they were joined the next day, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 1531, by the main army. With it was Zwingli, dressed in armor, it is true, though he was a noncombatant, but he staid in the rear of the battle, and was there because he was the chief pastor of Zurich. It was a foregone conclusion that Zurich would be overthrown. She had only 2,700 men against 8,000 and they were very badly led. Overwhelmed, it took only a short time to be almost annihilated, and the battle of Kappel was a repetition of Flodden Field (Sept. 9, 1513). Five hundred Zurichers were slain, among them representatives of every prominent family in the city. But the greatest of them was Zwingli. Wounded first by a spear, and then struck on the head by a stone, he was put out of his misery by a sword thrust. He lay unrecognized for a while, but when it became known that the corpse was that of Zwingli, it was treated with every indignity because he was held to be the author of the regulations which had brought on the war, which was not true, and also as the leader of the Reformation, which was true. The body was given over to the hangman, who quartered it as if it had been that of a traitor, and then burned it, as if that of a heretic. The war ended in a treaty which was, of course, favorable to the Forest Cantons, though not so harsh as might have been expected. But all Zwingli's plans for a league of princes, cantons, and cities against pope and emperor, and all his hopes of providing the Old Church cantons with Reformed Church missionaries were forever ended. Much that he stood for in church practice and in theology did not long outlive him. Music was restored to the churches (1598) and his eucharistic views were superseded among the Reformed by those of Calvin. Yet, as he becomes better known, his clear-headedness, his independence, and his progressiveness will gain him increasing fame, and men will put him beside Luther as a leader of the Protestant host.


Text to integrate from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia

Founder of the Reformation in Switzerland, born at Wildhaus in Switzerland, 1 January, 1484; died 11 October, 1531. Zwingli came from a prominent family of the middle classes, and was the third of eight sons. His father Ulrich was a district official of the little town of Wildhaus, and a cousin of his mother, Margaret Meili, was abbot of the Benedictine monastery in Fischingen in Thurgau. A brother of the elder Zwingli, Bartholomew, was pastor of Wildhaus until 1487, but then became pastor and dean of Wesen on the Walensee. Zwingli received his early education at Wesen under the guidance of this uncle, by whom he was sent, at the age of ten, to Gregory Bunzli of Wesen who was studying at Basle and also teaching in the school of St. Theodore, which Zwingli henceforth attended. For his higher studies he went to Berne, whither the celebrated Swiss Humanist Schuler was attracting many students for Classical studies. Zwingli's name is entered on the roll of the University of Vienna for the winter term of 1498-99, but he was excluded from the university. The reason for his exclusion is unknown. Zwingli appears, however, to have overcome the difficulty, for he was again matriculated in 1500. Two years later he returned to Basle, where, among others, Thomas Wyttenbach encouraged him to devote himself to the serious study of theology. In 1506 he completed his studies and received the degree of Master of Theology. Shortly before his graduation the parish of Glarus had selected him as its pastor, although he had not yet been ordained priest. Apart from his exclusion from the University of Vienna, his student life presents no unusual features, though his later friends and followers relate much that is laudatory about this period. His studies at Berne, Vienna, and Basle, where Humanism was eagerly cultivated, made Zwingli one of its zealous supporters.

As pastor of Glarus from 1506 to 1516, the continuation of his humanistic studies was one of Zwingli's chief occupations. He studied Greek, read the Classics and the Fathers of the Church, and entered into familiar intercourse with the Humanists of the time, especially with Heinrich Loriti (Glareanus), Erasmus,and Vadian. He also engaged in teaching, and the later chroniclers Aegidius and Valentine Tschudi were his pupils. In public life he was chiefly conspicuous for his political activity, in this respect following the example of many ecclesiastics of his day. In the Italian campaigns of 1513 and 1515, when the Swiss won the victories of Novara and Marignan, he acted as army chaplain. His earliest literary attempts - the rhymed fables of the ox (about 1510), "De Gestis inter Gallos et Helvetios relatio" (1512), "The Labyrinth" (1516?) - are all concerned with politics. These works, which reveal Zwingli as the devoted adherent and champion of the papal party, won him the friendship of the powerful Swiss cardinal Matthew Schinner and an annual pension of fifty gulden from the pope. So zealously indeed did he then espouse the cause of the pope that his position in Glarus became untenable when the French party became predominant there in 1516. Diebold von Geroldseck, the administrator and sole conventual in the Benedictine monastery at Einsiedeln, entrusted him with the position of a secular priest there, and at the end of 1516 Zwingli left Glarus.

As secular priest at Einsiedeln, the celebrated place of pilgrimage for Switzerland and South Germany, Zwingli's chief office was that of preacher. For the fulfilment of this task he devoted himself to the study of Holy Writ, copied the Epistles of St. Paul, and learned Hebrew, but did not meanwhile neglect the Classics, a fact which won him flattering praise from the Humanists. Erasmus was keenly aware of the laxity of ecclesiastical life (the abuses in external worship, the degeneracy of a large proportion of the clergy), and rightly agitated a reform within the Church, impressing its necessity on the ecclesiastical authorities. Zwingli worked in the same spirit at Einsiedeln from 1516 to 1518. In disputing Luther's priority, Zwingli later claimed (and most historians have supported his claim) that while at Einsiedeln he already preached against the old Faith. His claim is, however, negatived by the facts that he continued to draw his pension, that at the end of 1518, at his own petition, he was appointed by the pope acolyte chaplain of the Roman See (cf. the document in "Analecta reformatoria", I, 98), and that his friendly intercourse with Cardinal Schinner still continued when he was engaged at Zurich in 1519.

Towards the end of 1518, when the post of secular preacher at Münster became vacant, Zwingli applied for the vacancy at the invitation of Oswald Myconius (a friend of his youth), who was engaged as teacher in the monastery school of that place. Like many other clerics, Zwingli was suspected of offences against celibacy. These reports, which were current even in Zurich, made his position there difficult. When his friend Myconius questioned him on this point Zwingli wrote from Einsiedeln that it was not, as had been asserted, a respectable girl, but a common strumpet with whom he had been intimate. His friends in Zurich succeeded in suppressing these reports, and on 11 Dec., 1518, the chapter elected Zwingli by a great majority. He was then thirty-five years old, "in body a handsome and vigorous person, fairly tall, and of a friendly aspect". In his intercourse with others he was an agreeable companion, of pleasant address and gay temperament, a good singer and musician, and a skilled orator. Accused by his contemporaries of no slight moral offences, he made no attempt to clear himself of the charges. As a scholar he was a Humanist rather than a theologian. Under the influence of Erasmus, he saw clearly the defects of ecclesiastical life, but could not himself claim to be spotless, and his talents led him to engage rather in disputes concerning secular affairs than to devote himself to clerical reforms. So far he had no intention of introducing doctrinal innovations; such an idea occurred to him first in Zurich after 1519. Luther had already hung up his ninety-five theses against indulgences at the church of the castle in Wittenberg, 31 Oct., 1517.

On 1 January, 1519, Zwingli preached for the first time in the cathedral at Zurich. He began with the exposition of the Bible, taking first the Gospel of St. Matthew, and by going back to the sources showed himself especially a Humanist. Of doctrinal innovation he had still scarcely any thought. Even his stand against the indulgence preacher, Bernhardin Sanson, at the beginning of 1519, was taken with the consent of the Bishop of Constance. The transformation of Zwingli the Humanist and politician into a teacher of the new faith was facilitated by the ecclesiastical and political conditions of the people and public authorities at Zurich and in and in Switzerland in general. The populace displayed great religious zeal externally, e.g., in pious foundations and pilgrimages. This zeal, however, was insufficient to counteract the decay of morals, which resulted especially from the mercenary army system. The clergy to a great extent neglected their obligations, many of them lived in concubinage, and joined in the shameless pursuit of spiritual prebends, thus damaging their prestige. Worthy clerics, however, were not wanting. The Bishop of Constance, Hugo von Hohenlandenberg, was a man of stainless conduct; he endeavoured to do away with abuses, and issued various mandates, but unfortunately without permanent results. This failure was due to the lack of cooperation on the part of the civil rulers, who then enjoyed in eccleslastical matters very extensive rights acquired, especially by Zurich and Berne, from the popes and bishops in consequence of the Burgundian, Swabian, and Milanese wars (1474-1516). Rome, like France, had endeavoured to secure, by the outlay of much money, the services of Swiss mercenaries. In Zurich, the "foremost and supreme place", the council espoused the cause of the pope, and opposed the French party. Zwingli did the same and came into prominence first as a politician, a fact which makes his case essentially different from that of Luther. It was only in 1520 that he voluntarily renounced his papal pension. He then attacked the ruinous mercenary system, and through his efforts Zurich alone of all the cantons refused to enter the alliance with France on 5 May, 1521. However, 2000 mercenaries entered the service of the pope. On 11 Jan., 1522, all foreign services and pensions were forbidden in Zurich. By the publication, 16 May, 1522, of his "Vermahnung an die zu Schwyz, dass sie sich vor fremden Herren hutend", Zwingli succeeded in extending his influence beyond Zurich, although only temporarily.

Owing to his success as a politician his prestige and importance increased. From 1522 he came forward as sponsor of the religious innovations. His first reformatory work, "Vom Erkiesen und Fryheit der Spysen", appeared when the bookseller Froschauer and his associates publicly defied the ecclesiastical law of fasting, and a controversy concerning fasts broke out. Zwingli declared the fasting provisions mere human commands which were not in harmony with Holy Writ; and the Bible was the sole source of faith, as he asserted in his second writing, "Archeteles ". Through the medium of a delegation the Bishop of Constance exhorted the town to obedience on 7 April. On 29 Jan., 1523, the council, on whose decision everything depended, held a religious disputation at Zwingli's instigation, and agreed to base its action on the result of the debate. In sixty-seven theses (his most extensive and important work) Zwingli now proposed a formal programme for the innovations; according to his view the Bible with his interpretation was to be the sole authority. The arguments brought against this view by the most important champion of the old Faith, the vicar-general Johann Faber of Constance, who appealed to the teaching and tradition of the early Church, were disregarded; the council in whose hands Zwingli reposed the government of the Church, forthwith declared in favour of the innovation.

A second religious disputation in October, 1523, dealt with the practical institution of a state church, the veneration of the saints, the removal of images, good works, and the sacraments. No notable representative of the ancient Faith was present. Zwingli urged the adoption of his doctrines so successfully that even his devoted adherent, Commander Schmid of Kusnacht, warned him against the too sudden abolishment of ancient customs and usages. The first steps having been taken in 1522-23, the reforms were carried into effect in Zurich in 1524-25. About Easter, 1524, indulgences and pilgrimages were abolished, the sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction rejected, and pictures, statues, relics, altars, and organs destroyed, regardless of their artitic value. Sacred vessels of great value, such as chalices and monstrances, were melted into coin. Church property was seized by the State, which gained most by the suppression of the monasteries; the Fraumünster Abbey, founded in 853, was voluntarily surrendered to the secular authorities by the last abbess. Celibacy was rejected as contrary to Holy Writ, and monks and nuns were married. As early as 1522 Zwingli with ten other ecclesiastics as sembled at Einsiedeln and addressed a petition to the Bishop of Constance and to the diet asking freedom for priests to marry "Your honourable wisdom", they declared, "has already witnessed the disgraceful and shameful life we have unfortunately hitherto led with women, thereby giving grievous scandal to everyone." From 1522 the marriage of priests in Zurich became ever more frequent; Zwingli himself on 2 July, 1524, married Anna Reinhard (the widow of Hans Meyer von Knonau), who bore him his first daughter on 31 July. A new marriage law of 10 May, 1525, regulated these innovations. In the spring of 1525 the Mass was abolished; in its place was introduced the memorial service of the Last Supper.

The new doctrines were not introduced without opposition. The first opponents of the Reformers were from the ranks of their own party. The peasants could find no reason in the Bible, the sole principle of faith, why they should contribute to their lords' taxes, tithes, and rent, and they refused any longer to do so. The greatest unrest prevailed everywhere, and was only quelled after long negotiations and some concessions by the Government. The Anabaptists were not so easily silenced. From the Bible, which Zwingli had placed in their hands, they had deduced the most marvellous doctrines, much more radical than Zwingli's and questioning even the authority of the state. Zwingli persecuted them mercilessly with imprisonment, torture, banishment and death; their leader Felix Manz was drowned. The war against these visionary spirits was more serious for Zwingli than that against Rome. At first Rome allowed itself to be soothed by evasive words; the "Lutheran sects" were aimed at and the Zwinglians clung to the word of God, was the information supplied to Clement VII by Zurich on 19 August, 1524. Soon, however, the breach with the ancient Church was too plain to be doubted. The cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Lucerne, Zug, and Fribourg remained true to the old Faith, and offered determined opposition to Zwingli. They could not see that Zwingli was more favoured by God than the ancient saints and teachers; in his clerical life he was not superior to others, and he was inclined rather towards disturbance than towards peace.

The Catholic cantons, however, also strove to abolish abuses, issuing in 1525 a Concordat of Faith with important reforms which, however, never found general recognition. From 21 May to 8 June, 1526, they held a public disputation at Baden, to which they invited Dr. Johann Eck of Ingolstadt. Zwingli did not venture to appear. The disputation ended with the complete victory for the old Faith, but those who believed that the teaching of Zwingli could be driven out of the world by disputations deceived themselves; it had already taken too deep root. In St. Gall the Humanist and burgomaster Vadian worked successfully in Zwingli's interest - in Schaffhausen, Dr. Sebastian Hofmeister; in Basle, (Ecolampadius. For Berne which, notwithstanding the efforts of Berchtoid Haller, had previously maintained a non-committal attitude, the religious disputation held at Zwingli's suggestion, in Jan., 1528, was decisive. Zwingli himself came to the city, and the Catholic cause was but weakly represented. The new doctrines were then introduced as sweepingly into Berne as they had been at Zurich, and many places and counties which had previously wavered followed its example. Zwingli could also point to brilliant successes in 1528 and 1529. He ensured the predominance of his reforms through the "Christian Civic rights", agreed upon between Zurich and the towns of Constance (1527), Berne and St. Gall (1528), Biel, Mulhausen, and Schaffhausen (1529). To compel the Catholic cantons to accept the new doctrines, he even urged civil war, drew up a plan of campaign, and succeeded in persuading Zurich to declare war and march against the Catholic territories. The Catholic districts had endeavoured to strengthen their position by forming a defensive alliance with Austria (1529), the "Christian Union." At this juncture, however, they received no assistance. Berne showed itself more moderate than Zurich, and a treaty of peace was arranged, which, however, was very unfavourable for the Catholics.

In Zurich Zwingli was now the commanding personality in all ecclesiastical and political questions. He was "burgomaster, secretary, and council" in one, and showed himself daily more overbearing. His insolence indeed prevented an agreement with Luther regarding the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, when a disputation was arranged between the two heresiarchs at Marfurt in October, 1529. As a statesman, Zwingli embarked in secular politics with ambitious plans. "Within three years", he writes, "Italy, Spain and Germany will take our view". Even the King of France, whose greatest enemy he had previously been, he sought to win to his side in 1531 with the work "Christianae fidei expositio", and was even prepared to pay him a yearly pension. By prohibiting intercourse with the Catholic cantons he compelled them to resort to arms. On 9 Oct., 1531, they declared war on Zurich, and advanced to Kappel on the frontiers. The people of Zurich hastened to oppose them, but met a decisive defeat near Kappel on 11 Oct., Zwingli falling in the battle. After a second defeat of the Reformed forces at Gubel, peace was concluded on 23 Oct., 1531. The peace was of long duration, since the Catholic victors displayed great moderation. Zwingli's death was an event of great importance for all Switzerland. His plan to introduce his innovations into the Catholic cantons by force had proved abortive. But even Catholics, who claimed the same rights in religious matters as the people of Zurich, regarded him as the "governor of all confederates". Zwingli is regarded as the most "liberal" of all the Reformers, and was less a dogmatist than Calvin. His statue, with a sword in one hand and the Bible in the other, stands near the municipal library at Zurich, which has also a Zwingli museum.

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-75), Zwingli's successor, undertook the internal development of the new doctrines. His father (also named Heinrich) who was pastor at Bremgarten and embraced the Reformation early, sent Bullinger to Emmerich and Cologne, where he received a thorough Humanistic training. Even from his earliest activity as teacher in the Cistercian monastery near Kappel (1523-29) and later as pastor in Bremgarten (1529 31), Bullinger proved himself a zealous lieutenant of Zwingli's. In 1528 he accompanied the latter to the religious disputation at Berne. On 9 Dec., 1531, he was chosen as Zwingli's successor, pastor of the Grossmünster at Zurich, a position which he held to the end of his life (1575). Bullinger regarded union with Luther on the question of the Lord's Supper as his chief task. For this purpose he composed in 1536, with Myconius and Grynaeus, the "First Helvetic Confession", a profession of faith which was recognized by the Evangelical towns of Switzerland. In the same year also appeared the "Wittenberg Concordia". When Bullinger refused to subscribe to this agreement, which was brought about by Butzer, Luther burst out into abuse of Zwingli. The attempt to bring about an agreement between Bullinger and Calvin on this question at Geneva was more successful, the "Consensus Tigurinus" being concluded between them in 1545. As the expression of his personal religious conviction Bullinger composed the "Second Helvetic Confession", which was printed in 1566, and was recognized by all the Evangelical churches except that of Basle.

Besides discharging the office of preacher, Bullinger displayed great literary activity. He carried on a large correspondence with several crowned heads, with Lady Jane Grey in London, Vadian, Graubundenn, and many others. More than 100 sermons and theological treatises from his pen are known, as well as one drama, "Lucretia and Brutus". His "Diarium" and his extensive history of the Reformation are still valuable. It is an undecided question how far his history is independent and how far a compilation of other writings. In character Bullinger was particularly hospitable, and many fugitives from England and France found refuge with him. Although less overbearing than Zwingli and Luther, he was still intolerant; he approved the execution of Servetus at Geneva. He died on 17 September, 1575.

Zwingli's works were first collected and published by his son-in-law, Rudolf Gwalter, and entitled Opera D. H. Zwingli vigilantissimi Tigurinae ecclesiae Antistitis, partim quidem ab ipso Latine conscripta, partim vero e vernaculo sermone in Latinum translata: omnia novissime recognita, et multis adiectis, quae hactenus visa non sunt (4 fol. vols., Zurich, 1545; reprinted, 1581). The first complete edition was edited by Melchior Schuler and Johannes Schulthess (8 vols., Zurich, 1828-42). Volumes VII and VIII, containing Zwingli's correspondence, are especially important. A new edition of his complete works prepared by Emil Egli (d. 1908), George Finsler, and Walther Kohler is appearing in the "Corpus Reformatorum", LXXXVIII (Berlin, 1905); three volumes I, II, and VII, have already (1912) appeared.



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