Zwingli (Zwingle, or Zuingli; Lat Zwinglius or Zuinglius), Ulrich
Zwingli (Zwingle, Or Zuingli; Lat. Zwinglius Or Zuinglius), Ulrich the prime mover in the Reformation in Switzerland nearly as much as Luther in Germany, was born Jan. 1, 1484, in Wildhans, a village in the upper valley of the Toggenburg, in the Canton of St. Gall. Such was the precocity which he displayed in his youth that his father resolved to send him to Basel to be educated. He made such rapid progress in his studies that he soon accomplished the work upon the prosecution of which he had entered at Basel, and he was removed to Berne, and placed under the tuition of Lupulus, a distinguished scholar of his day, with whom he studied for some time. The Dominican monks in this place, attracted by his talents and rising reputation, sought to entrap him into their order; but his father, in order to remove him from the scene of temptation, sent him off to Vienna. Here he remained for a brief period and then returned to Basel, where he pursued his theological studies. Under the instruction of Thomas Wyttenback, he was led into a more liberal course of study than theological students had been wont to pursue. The charms of the classics were unfolded to him under the tuition of his learned master, and were cheerfully substituted for the dry husks of scholastic theology. In 1506 he became a pastor in Glarus, not far from, his native village. Here he devoted himself most diligently to the study of God's Word, copying with his own hand the original of Paul's Epistles, and transferring it to memory. During the same period he mingled in the strife of arms against the French. Influences which we will not stop to explain induced him to leave Glarus and become pastor in Einsiedeln, a famous spot in popish pilgrimage and superstition, where he preached doctrines which he had drawn from his study of the Holy Scriptures; and when, in 1519, he was called to the Cathedral Church of Zurich, he proclaimed the same truths which he had preached in the Church of the Virgin of the Hermitage in Einsieden. Multitudes flocked to hear him, attracted by the novelty of the doctrines he taught and the eloquence with which he spoke. He delivered expository discourses on Matthew and the Epistles of Paul and of Peter. The effect of his honest preaching of the Gospel soon became apparent in the city and country, and his general character and opinions produced a deep and universal sensation. While this state of transition was so marked, the orisis was hastened, in 1518, by the arrival of Samson, the seller of indulgences. The traffic in these "Roman wares" roused the indignation of Zwingli, and led to a keen exposure and a successful resistance. Luther's writings were, at the same time, largely circulated at the recommendation of the Reformer. The plague broke out, and, during its, continuance, though I weak 'himself' from exhaustion, Zwingli assiduously tended the sick and dying. His zealous labors grew in number and results, the simplicity of the Gospel was more distinctly apprehended by him; but the friends of the popedom were enraged, and Zwingli was tried, in January, 1523, on a charge of heresy. Rome gained nothing by the trial. Zwingli presented sixty-seven propositions, and defended them from Scripture. The Reformer gathered courage with growing difficulties, and in 1524 the Council of Zurich remodeled the public worship: according to the views and wishes of Zwingli. Pictures, statues, and relics were removed from the churches, and mass was abolished. Opposition to the Reformed doctrines was meanwhile gathering in the other cantons. The question arose, whether each canton was free to choose its own form of religion, or whether the Confederation should interfere; Zurich contended for its individual liberty and independence, but was opposed by the Waldstatter, or the primitive democratic cantons of Schwytz, Unterwald, Uri, and Lucerne. The triumph of the Reformation at Benle and other places threw those forest cantons into wilder commotion, and, in consonance with their views of their federal polity, they took up arms for Rome. Zurich encouraged by Zwingli, called out its troops and put itself into a posture of defense. Efforts were made to maintain peace, but it was of no long duration, and after various diplomatic negotiations, hostilities finally commenced. Zurich had also lost somewhat of its earlier evangelical purity, while the neighboring states were conspiring for its ruin. In the awful emergency, when the public mind was alarmed by a series of omens and prodigies, the Reformer maintained tranquility. The war began. Zurich was cowardly, dilatory, and far from being prepared; but the horn of the enemy echoed among their hills, and the devoted Zwingli monitored his caparisoned horse, took farewell of his wife and children, and went forth as a patriot and warrior to share in the common danger. His official position in the army, however, was that of chaplain, according to Swiss custom. The Zurichers marched to meet the Waldstatter, but were defeated at Cappel with great slaughter, Oct. 11, 1531. Zwingli was found, after the battle lying on his back and his eyes uptirned to heaven, with his helmet on his head, and his battle-axe in his hand. He had been struck near the commencement of the engagement, and then as he fell and reeled, he was several times pierced with a lance. According to some accounts, he was wounded while stooping to comfort a dying soldier. His last audible words were, "What of that? They can indeed kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul." He as living when discovered, in the evening; but the infuriated fanatics soon dispatched him. Next day his dead body was barbarously quartered and burned. Thus perished this hero a martyr. A plain monument in granite, erected in 1838, marks the spot where he died.
But the Protestant faith gained the victory not in Zurich alone, nor was Zwingli the only Swiss reformer. AEcolampadius did a good work at Basel. In Berne, also, the Reformation was successful.. The Reformation being not only a religious movement, but in some respects a political one, it attracted to its support many persons who were, contending for the spread of more liberal opinions throughout Switzerland Zwingli was a patriot, and those who were immediately associated with him were patriots, and he believed that there could be no influence so potent to reach and transform the characters of his countrymen as the Gospel. There was substantial agreement between Luther and Zwingli on all the cardinal doctrines of the Protestant faith. On the doctrine of the eucharist there was, however, a radical difference of opinion. Luther held to "consubstantiation," declaring that there were present, in some mysterious way, the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus in the elements administered at the Lord's supper; while Zwingli contended that the sacrament was designed to be merely a reminder of the sufferings and death of the Savior. The controversy was a bitter one. Neither party could convince the brother. All that could be done was to lay down fourteen articles of faith, which were to be received by both parties on the basis of the Augsburg Confession. But these minor controversies, for such they seem to us to be, must have lost all their interest in the presence of the grave dangers, which threatened the very existence itself of the Reformation in Switzerland. Zwingli led the Reform movement in the other German cantons of Switzerland, and attended the conference at Berne in 1528, which resulted in the abolition of the mass. He was invited to a personal conference with Luther and Melancthon at Marburg, September, 1529, to adjust the only serious doctrinal difference between them on them eucharistic Presence. He counseled energetic measures for the promotion of the Reform in his native land, but was defeated by the policy of hesitation, which prevailed in. Berne. He also entered into bold political combinations with Philip of Hesse for the triumph of the Protestant cause in Germany, and addressed the emperor of Germany and the king of France with a confession of his faith. Zwingli was a bold Reformer, an able scholar, in eloquent preacher, a patriotic republican, and farsighted statesman. He lacked the genius and depth of Luther and Calvin, the learning of Melancthon and AEcolampadius; but he was their equal in honesty of purpose integrity of characters heroic courage, and devotion to the cause of Reformation, and surpassed them in liberality is prominent intellectual trait was clear, strong common-sense. Zwingli's principal works are a Commentary on the True and False Religion (1525):— sermon on Providence (preached at Marburg, 1529): — his Confession of Faith, addressed to Charles V of Germany (1530): — a similar Exposition of Faith, addressed to Francis I of France (July, 1531, three months before his death). This last document is clear, bold, spirited, and full of hope for the triumph of the truth; warns the king against the slanderous misrepresentations of Protestant doctrines, and entreats him to give free course to the, Gospel, and to forgive the boldness with which he dared to approach his majesty. A few years afterwards (1536) Calvin dedicated, in a most eloquent preface, his famous, Christian Institutes to the same monarch, but with equal want of direct: success. Zwingli represents only the first stage the history of the Reformed Church. His work was completed after his death by 'his' successor, Bullinger, at Zurich, and still more by Calvin at Geneva. See I. Zwingli Opera, edit. Schuler and Schulthess. (Zurich, 1828-42, 8 vols); a popular edition of; his Works by Christoffel, (ibid. 1843 sq. 15 vols.); Biographies of Zwingli, by Myconius (1536), Nuscheler (1776); Hess -(1811; transl. by Aikini; Lond. 1812), Schuler (1819), Hottinger (1843; transl. by Themas. C. Porter, Harrisburg, 1856) Robins. (in Bibliotheca. Sacra for 1851), Roder (1855), Christoffel (1857; transl. by. John Cochran, Edinburgh, 1858) Gilder (in Herzog Real- Encyklop. 1864), and especially Morikoferi (Ulrich Zwinglinach den Quellen. [Leipsic, 1867-69 2 vols.]), On the theological system of Zwingli see Zeletr, as theol. System Zwingli's (1583); Siegwart, Ulrich Zwingli der. Charakterseiner Theologie (1855); — Sparri, Zwingli-Studien (1866). Compare also D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, vol. 4; Hagenbach, Geschichte, der Reformation (1870), p. 183 sq.; and Fisher, The Reformation (1873), p. 137 sq.