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Relation to the Hierarchy.


that the jealousy which afterwards watched for the least indications of defection, was not yet awakened.

There was no want of faithfulness or plainness in Zuingli's dealings with the leaders of the church at this time. Even before the sermon at Einsiedeln, he had written to Hugh of Landenberg, bishop of Constance, to urge him to put an end, in his diocese, to puerile and dangerous practices, which would otherwise produce incalculable mischief; and to inform him of the course which he himself felt constrained to enter upon, in disclosing the truth, opposing errors, and assailing abuses. The legate, he says, conversed with me four times upon this subject, (the corruption of the church,) and I obtained from him the most brilliant promises. I freely explained to him what must be done, and added thereto, that by God's help I was going forward to preach the Gospel, by means of which, popery would become not a little shaken and weakened. He also gave up his pension at this time, and consented to receive it for three years more only at the urgent request of the legate, so that he might not seem to have come to an open hostility with his highness the Pope. But he adds, "I will not for any money, suppress a single syllable of the truth."

To cardinal Schinner, with whom he had long been on terms of political intimacy, and with whom he had frequent opportunities of consultation at Einsiedeln, he spoke with a plainness deserving the highest praise: "The new lights which have been diffused since the revival of letters, have lessened the credulity of the people, are opening their eyes to a number of superstitions, and will prevent them from blindly adopting what is taught them by priests equally destitute of virtue and of talent. They begin loudly to blame the idleness of the monks, the ignorance of the priests, and the misconduct of the prelates, and will no longer give their confidence to people whom they cannot respect. If care be not taken, the multitude will soon lose the only curb capable of restraining its passions, and will go on from one disorder to another. The danger increases every day, and delay may be fatal. A reformation ought to be begun immediately, but it ought to begin with superiors, and spread from them to their inferiors.

"If the princes of the church would give the example, if they would return to themselves and to a conduct more conformable to the Gospel; if bishops were no longer seen to handle the sword instead of the crozier; prelates to put themselves at the head of their subjects, in order to wage inveterate war against each other; ecclesi

astics of all ranks to dissipate in scandalous debauchery, the revenues of their benefices accumulated upon their heads; then we might raise our voices against the vices of the laity, without fearing their recriminations, and we might indulge some hopes of the amendment of the people. But a reform in manners is impossible, if you do not get rid of those swarms of pious idlers, who feed at the expense of the industrious citizen, and if you do not abolish those superstitious ceremonies and absurd dogmas equally calculated to shock the understanding of reasonable men, and to alarm the piety of religious ones."

In reference to his efforts with Cardinal Schinner and others, he writes to Valentinus Compar, in 1525, "Hear, my Valentinus, what I say to you, and can prove by living witnesses: Before a separation in religious matters was effected, I conversed with the leading men in the church, cardinals, and bishops, and expostulated with them upon the errors that had been introduced through human traditions, and admonished them to make a beginning of removing the multitude of abuses and errors; for, if this be not done, the already overpowering burden threatens to overwhelm them with a terrible crash. Eight years ago, (1517,) while I was yet at Einsiedeln, I spake upon this subject with the Cardinal of Sion, and afterward during the first part of my abode at Zurich, and plainly and clearly pointed out to him, that popery rests upon weak and almost failing foundations. I substantiated it by plain and undoubted passages of the Holy Scriptures. Geroldseck, Zingk, and Sander, who are all yet alive, can bear witness that they have often heard me talking thus with him. Yes, I can assure you that the cardinal more than once expressed himself as follows: When, by the grace of God, I shall be again reinstated in my former dignity and power, and be quiet and firm in my position, (he was not at that time in favor with the Pope, and the majority of the cardinals), I will use all my influence to bring to light the arrogance and deceit of the Pope, (he spoke in anger at his own want of favor with him,) and a true reformation shall everywhere be effected." He often, Zuingli adds, talked with me upon the doctrines of the church, and the Holy Scriptures, and expressed his knowledge of, and opposition to, the errors of Rome. These assurances of the cardinal were probably in a measure sincere, but both he and the Pope were too much occupied with their ambitious schemes, and their projects for personal and family aggrandizement, to give much heed to the spiritual abuses and wants of the church. Yet, Zuingli labored on, and was instant in season and out of season, 2 Schuler, 257-8.

1 Hess, p. 65 sq.


Preacher at Zurich.


in the performance of the work assigned him. In the meantime his reputation for learning and piety increased day by day. He was in constant correspondence with such men as Erasmus, Faber, Henry Lorit, or Glarianus, Gasper Hedio, Wolfgang Capito, Beatus Rhenanus, and many other of the literary men of the age. Their letters are filled with commendations of his learning, and value to the church, his faithfulness and ability in the discharge of his ministerial duties, and the expectations that had been awakened in his friends, in regard to the results of their labors.

His Appointment as Preacher as Zurich.

His fame was indeed beginning to be too much noised abroad for him to remain in his quiet retreat at Einsiedeln. His two years of study and investigation, with occasional practical duty, had not been lost in settling his views and giving him confidence to go forward in the work of reforming the church. He had been gradually coming to the conviction that this reform must proceed from him and other friends of the Gospel, and not from the hands of the church itself; and if the preachers of the Gospel would not exert themselves for reformation, the preachers of violence would have recourse to revolution. It was now plain that his master had need of him to labor in his vineyard in a more public capacity. And an ardent desire filled his soul to diffuse the light which had shone upon his own darkened mind. He however did not go forth from the quiet of the monastic walls without many regrets and many forebodings in regard to the combats and struggles and opposition which would beset his new faith, but his confidence was not in an arm of flesh. His love and gratitude and his pecuniary interest would have inclined him to yield to the urgent solicitations of his friends at Einsiedeln to remain with them; but he was influenced by higher and more enlarged desires of usefulness.

Among the persons with whom Zuingli had been on terms of intimacy while at Glaris and Einsiedeln, was Oswald Myconius, now a teacher of the Latin and Greek classics at Zurich. This man had been laboring with assiduous zeal, for several years (since 1516), first at Basle where Zuingli first saw him, and then in Zurich, to diffuse the light of learning, which had but just dawned in Germany

1 See Schuler, S. 267. The truth of this was but too literally verified in the history of the Peasants' war and the Anabaptists.

2 See page 587.

The choice of the chapter October 29, 1518, Myconius wishes of many at Zurich,

and Italy amidst the darkness which had so long brooded over Europe. A vacancy in the situation of preacher in the cathedral at Zurich gave him the hope of drawing his friend into his immediate vicinity, an object which he had long earnestly desired to accomplish. This was the more easily effected as Zuingli had by previous visits become favorably known to the inhabitants of Zurich, and the clergy in some degree appreciated his talents and learning, as well as his boldness in attacking the current vices of the age. was not, however, without opposition. wrote to him in accordance with the to urge him to come to them: 'I will,' he says, 'neither advocate the case nor argue against it. It is doubtless perfectly understood by you. Revolve it in your own mind. But if you can give a favorable answer, then I shall not know how adequately to express my joy at the prospect of seeing my friend Zuingli pastor at Zurich. How very much I desire you to be in a position worthy of you. Farewell; listen to me.' Zuingli answered him: 'In a few days I will come to Zurich myself and talk with you in reference to this matter. In the meantime, make diligent inquiries about this place; whether the pas tor must hear confessions and visit the sick; what sort of superiors and what compensation he has. And if you understand these and other things, I will in accordance with your counsel either act in the case, or relinquish all thought of it.' Among those who were rival candidates for this important post was one Laurentius Fabula, a Suabian by birth. A report went abroad and reached Zuingli, but was, however, immediately contradicted, that Fabula was elected. Zuingli gave to his friend Myconius a frank exhibition of his feelings on the occasion. "Is it still true," he says, "that the prophet is not honored in his own country; is a Suabian preferred to a Switzer? I had not indeed considered him as one to whom I should yield the precedence." "Act thou now for me! I confess I begin to be more desirous of this place, since such a wight is striving for it, and what I had else given up without regret, I now look upon as a reproach. I had designed, if elected, to preach upon the Gospel by Matthew in course, a thing yet unattempted in Germany. But if they prefer this Suabian, they must see what he will bring forth from his wallet. Commend the matter also to Utinger, and you yourself take counsel as shall be for the best. But excuse my letter; it is written in haste, and more in accordance with feeling than reason." An answer was returned on the following day by Myconius: "Fabula," says, "will continue to be fable. For my lords heard that he is



Circumstances of the Election.


already father of six boys, and has very many benefices. I have done all I could, and perhaps have thus made myself too troublesome. You have both friends and enemies; of the latter, few; of the former, many, and those who are on the side of right action — still, there is no one who does not praise your learning. I will speak to you all things freely. With some your love of music is an objection; hence they call you a voluptuary and worldly. Others find fault with your earlier life;1 you have had too much to do with people of pleasure (qui voluptatibus studuerint). I have refuted them, and so refuted them that you will no longer suffer in this particular. First I made the burgomaster Roust acquainted with your doctrine; you are pleasing to him. Then I was questioned by Hofman, who as you perhaps know, preached so pointedly and plainly, not in reference to your doctrine, to which he finds nothing to object, but concerning your life. I commended you, as both truth and friendship required, and gained the man entirely for my Zuingli." Myconius proceeds to speak of his influence with others, and of the encouragement he has to believe that Zuingli will be the final object of their choice. No answer of Zuingli to this letter is found.

A letter written by Zuingli to Utinger cannot be omitted in this connection. "I assure you," he says, "if theologians would not become mataiologians (babblers) or perverters of the truth for this place, I would relinquish it. I am surrounded here by most favorable circumstances. The baron of Geroldseck seeks to retain me here by great promises, and I have not yet explained myself to him fully on this point. Therefore let no one be too importunate with requests in my behalf. If my character will bring dishonor upon Christ, I will remain here; for I will not bring reproach upon his cause. And if my enemies thus go on in their calumniations, the Zurichers would hear my sermons unwillingly, and thereby the cause of the Gospel receive detriment. I therefore entreat you to consider the matter well, whether I shall thus be a greater injury than benefit to the cause; and then, you must regard God rather than man. They object to my love for music. Now indeed such fools do not deserve a thought," etc.2

A letter of D. Sander, agent of Cardinal Schinner, shows that he favored the choice of Zuingli. Two or three days before the election he writes: "Those who favor the appointment of Zuingli excel the others in number and worth. Be of good courage. Their calumnies,

1 With reference to the earlier years of his ministry at Glaris.
2 Schuler, S. 300.

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