Zwinglians a name given to the early Swiss Protestants from their leader Zwingli (q.v.). It is also used as a controversial designation of those who hold Zwingli's view respecting the mere memorial character of the eucharist. The theology of Zwingli is of interest as having influenced the English Puritans to a considerable extent, until Zwingli was overshadowed by Calvin during the reign of queen Elizabeth. Zwingli's innovations respecting the ministerial office began, like those of Luther, with the principle that every one, in virtue of the priesthood common to all Christians, is at liberty to preach, preaching being the chief function of the ministry. The irregularities of the Anabaptists, however, compelled him to have recourse to some form of mission from the Church. He lays down the necessity of a call to the ministry, notices three modes of election named in the Scripture, and states that it is proper for the election to rest with the body of the faithful, advised by learned men (Eccles. 2:52-54). But he rejected all notion of priesthood or holy orders. The Basle Confession places the election in the ministers and church deputies, and mentions imposition of hands. The Helvetic Confession decrees that ministers be called by an ecclesiastical and lawful election, either by the Church or its deputies. It adheres strictly to the Zwinglian principle that all ministers have one and the same power and function; but it departs from this principle in assigning them some power of governing, and in vesting in them some power of excommunication. Zwingli considered the exercise of the power of the keys to be nothing more than the general preaching of the gospel. His magisterial excommunication was only an external, not a spiritual sentence. The Helvetic Confession gives the same account of the power of the keys, and the excommunication which it restores to the ministers still belongs, therefore, only to the forum externum, not to the forum conscientiae.
Zwingli's doctrine of the sacraments is peculiar. He holds that they are mere signs of initiation or of pledging of continuance. They confer no grace; they do not free the conscience; they are not even pledges of grace. Every spiritual efficacy which has been attributed to them is denied. Baptism does not make sons of God, but those who are sons already receive a token of their sonship. It does not take away sin. The baptism of Christ and his apostles was the same as the baptism of John. The eucharist is regarded in the same way.
The liturgical forms of Zwingli and his followers were constructed on the basis of the doctrines held. The form of baptism in Zwingli's Works (2:98) has a prayer for the infant that God would give him the light of faith, that he may be incorporated into Christ, buried with him, etc. This refers all to a faith to be given to the child as he grows up to a capacity of faith. The form carefully avoids, either in prayer or declaration, any mention of remission of sins or of regeneration. The Liturgia Tigurina has the same prayer, and reads the same gospel from St. Mark. It adds the Creed, recited to the sureties as the belief in which the child is to be brought up, and the minister addresses the sureties: "We will bring unto the Saviour this child as far as it lieth in our power; that is, through baptism we will receive him in his Church, and give him the earnest of the covenant and of the people of God." The form of administration of the eucharist in the liturgy is the same as that in Zwingli's Works (2:563), and is adapted to the doctrine of sacraments already stated.
Theoretically, Zwingli did not view the community in its two capacities, civil and ecclesiastical, and recognise as belonging to it two independent jurisdictions, temporal and spiritual; the community to him was a Church, and nothing else. His magistrates were Church officers, deriving their authority equally with the ministry from the body of the faithful, and distinguished from them only by the character of the work which a division of labor assigned to each. Practically, however, the result was that the sovereignty in spiritual as well as in temporal matters was vested in the civic authorities of each community.
The system of Zwingli was in some measure modified by Bullinger, who introduced something approaching to a recognition of a clergy and of efficacy in sacraments; and, again, the influence of the Geneva ministers added to the Zurich doctrine of. the Lord's Supper something of that Calvinistic teaching regarding receiving the body and blood of Christ, which corresponds to the present accepted belief. It was Swiss theology, so modified by Bullinger, that found advocates in England. Hooper was a faithful follower of Bullinger. Peter Martyr, a Lasco, Dryander, and Ochino were on the same side, and with them acted most of the party of the Marian exiles, SEE ZURICH LETTERS, who had been received with great hospitality at Zurich. Hoadley's doctrine of then Lord's Supper is not distinguishable from Zwingli's. See Zwingli's Works, by Gualter (154445), especially the treatises Expositio Fidei Christiana, De Vera et Falso Religione, Ecclesiastes, Archeteles; also Basle Confession (1536), Helvetic Confession (1566), In Sylloge Confessio (Oxford, 1827), and Liturgia Tigurina (Engl, transl. Lond. 1693). SEE EUCHARIST; SEE REAL PRESENCE; SEE SACRAMENT; SEE TRANSUBSTANTIATION.