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whole order of presbyters (or priests) as the angels (or messengers) of God; but I abhor those whose god is their belly.' I bear, however, even with these, and suffer the tares to grow among the wheat. I exhort men to 'pray without ceasing;' but to do it with the spirit and the heart; 'in spirit and in truth,' as our Lord's words are; and to persevere therein with an importunity which might seem to be wearisome according to the parable of the widow."1

We cannot forbear to dwell a little longer on this part of the character and labors of one who must be acknowledged to have been the first preacher among the early reformers. There is abundant testimony from his contemporaries, who were best qualified to judge, of his power in the pulpit. Bullinger says: "His style was unaffected, simple and clear. There was nothing far fetched or unnatural in it. Everything was distinct and as it were presented on canvas before the eyes. There was nothing low and grovelling. It was full of animation and of a massive force, and it carried with it an irresistible loveliness. His exposition of Scripture was striking, acute, pious, incomparable. His skill in searching out the hidden meaning of a passage; his simplicity and naturalness in discussing it; his truth and accurateness in translating from a foreign language were incomparable.

How well he knew how to touch the heart with friendly words; how powerful was he in rousing the feelings; how naturally did he commend; how severely administer rebuke! All in him was great. In this man was a burning love of the right, unceasing exertion to advance the interests of his native country, and the most untiring zeal in opposition to vice and its adherents." Myconius says: "I never saw one administer rebuke with such dignity, or a preacher of the divine word who compared with him in zeal and strength of faith." The provost of Luzerne gives similar testimony. Thomas Platter describes, in the strongest language, the effect of Zuingli's preaching in causing him to forsake popery, and preach the Gospel. Before Zuingli went to Zurich, many of the principal men had ceased to attend worship, not feeling themselves benefitted by the preaching of those in whom, the poet and historian Füsolin says: "Avarice and voluptuousness are the only qualities I can discover." Such persons were at first attracted by curiosity to hear Zuingli, but as D'Aubigne says, left the church singing: Glory be to God; this is a preacher

1 Calvin and the Swiss Reformation, pp. 21, 22.

2 After describing in glowing terms the effect of his preaching, Myconius says: "Quod dixi, veritatem et authoritatem viri significat, contra quam palam ne mutire quidem muli fuerunt ausi unquam.” — Myc. Vit. 45.


Proceedings of Samson.


of the truth. He will be our Moses to lead us forth from Egypt.' They also gave warning to the magistrates not to oppose the preachers of truth; for in case they did, as fishermen were raised up after Christ was put to death, so now glass-workers and millers and potters and founders and shoemakers and tailors would be ready to teach in their stead.

The Mission of Samson into Switzerland, and Zuingli's opposition to him.

In the previous part of the same year in which Zuingli went to Zurich, Pope Leo X., in order to provide means for the aggrandizement of the papal seat at Rome, published a general indulgence of sin to all those in Switzerland who would aid by pecuniary contributions. The Franciscan monk, Bernardine Samson, to whom this business was committed, entered Switzerland in August, and executed his commission with "as much effrontery, indecency and extortion as the notorious Tetzel practised in Germany." Every artifice was employed which ingenuity could devise for the accomplishment of the object desired. When the confidence of persons of influence had been gained by flattery, intrigue or bribery, the most barefaced impudence was not concealed. When surrounded by a crowd of poor people, Samson would disperse them, by causing the attendants whom he kept around him, to proclaim with a loud voice: "Let the rich come near first, who can buy the pardon of their sins; after they are satisfied, the prayers of the poor shall also be attended to." The power of the Pope, whose vicegerent he was, he said “was unlimited both in heaven and on earth; he had at his disposal the treasure of the blood of Jesus Christ and the martyrs; he had the right of remitting both sin and penance, past and future, and that the sinner would participate in divine grace the moment his money was heard to chink in the box." 2

Zuingli, as is plain from previous references to his preaching, had long been an active opponent of the very things that Samson's mission was intended to cherish, namely, trust in any other than our Lord Jesus Christ for remission of sins. And his influence was such that Samson could not make much progress in the canton of Schweitz, where he first went, while Zuingli was in Einsiedeln. He then proceeded with more success to Zug, Luzerne and Unterwalden, although

1 Bullinger, Schw. Hebr. Chron. iii. B., quoted by Hess, 8, 9.
2 Hotting. Hebr. Kirch. T. iii. p. 31, cited in Hess, p. 89.

even in these cantons the leaven of the reformed doctrine was beginning to penetrate. Before he went to Berne, he sent emissaries forward to counteract the unwillingness that was felt there to receive him. And when this was in a measure accomplished, he “entered the town with a splendid retinue under banners displaying jointly the arms of the Pope and the cantons; exhibited his letters of credence with great pomp in the cathedral church; and celebrated high mass before a crowded assembly, and proceeded with a high hand to the dispensing of pardons to individuals and communities, for the dead and the living." Nothing could exceed the barefaced impositions of this vicegerent of the Holy See. "Here," said he, " are indulgences for the rich on parchment, for one crown; there, absolutions for the poor, on common paper, for only two batz." To a knight who presented himself before him on a beautiful, spirited, dapple-gray charger, he gave an indulgence for himself, for his troop of five hundred, for all his vassals on his domain of Belp, and for all his ancestors, on condition of receiving the horse on which he rode. He even granted absolution for all kinds of perjury, for thirteen florins.2

His entrance into the territories of the bishop of Constance, without his permission, as an invasion of episcopal rights, was followed by an order to all the parish priests to shut their churches against him. The bishop was sufficiently acquainted with Zuingli's sentiments, and his public hostility to indulgences, to know that he should have a supporter in him, not so much from his anxiety to prevent an infrac tion of ecclesiastical order, as to oppose the spread of error and superstition. He accordingly directed his vicar general, Faber, to write to him, to make known his high esteem for him, and promising him support in the good work which he had begun, adding an expression of his own strong feeling against Samson and the object of his mission.

In consequence of the efforts of Zuingli, there was a strong exhibition of feeling against Samson at Zurich, and he did not dare approach directly there, but went to Bremgarten, a town about four leagues from Zurich, where he was received by the magistrates; but the parish priest, Henry Bullinger, father of the reformer of the same name, refused him entrance into his church, as he came without the sanction of the bishop. Neither threats of the anger of the pontiff

1 In Zug, Zuingli's friends, Meiner, Stein, Kolin and Müller, and in Luzerne, J. Jacob, Zimmerman and J. Kilchmeyer were laboring for the reformation. Schuler, S. 277.

2 See Hötting. Helv. K. Gesch. III. 29, and D’Aubigne, p. 344.


Pestilence at Zurich.


and the cantons, where he pretended to have been everywhere graciously received, nor even a formal excommunication had any influence in causing Bullinger to retract his refusal. Zuingli, in the mean time, as the enemy approached, lifted up his warning voice with redoubled energy against trusting in any remissions except by the merits of Christ alone. "Go," he said, "if you will, and buy indulgences, but be assured you are in nowise absolved. They who grant the remission of sins for money are but companions of Simon, the magician, the friends of Balaam, the ambassador of Satan.

Samson, however, determined to visit Zurich. "I know," he said, "that Zuingli will oppose me, but I will stop his mouth." He now pretended a special mission from the Pope to the Diet of the cantons which was then assembled at Zurich, in order to gain admittance to the city. But the falseness of his pretext was soon discovered, and he was ordered by the Diet not only to take off the ban of excommunication from Bullinger, but to leave Zurich and the cantons forthwith. His fear of a detention of the money that he had already amassed, if he refused, influenced him to depart soon, and make a hasty retreat into Italy, with a cart load of gold, drawn by three horses, as the result of his eight months' peculation. Men now began to be ashamed of the imposition to which they had submitted, and the new pastor at Zurich received a fresh accession to his previous reputation. But the bishop of Constance had committed himself to Zuingli farther than he found it convenient to be committed in his position, and extricated himself as best he might. Zuingli says: "I failed not, with all reverence and humility, publicly and privately by written addresses, to urge him to countenance the light of the Gospel, which he now saw bursting forth, so that no human counsels could suppress it. But, from causes which I pretend not to assign, a change had taken place; and they who had lately excited me by their reiterated exhortations, now deigned me no answer beyond mere public and official communications, which bore no more resemblance to those that had preceded them, than a mite does to an elephant."1

The Pestilence at Zurich.

In the summer of 1519, the next year after Zuingli went to Zurich, a pestilence raged in Switzerland, and in Zurich alone carried off twenty-five hundred persons in a short time. When it first made its appearance, Zuingli had been ordered to the baths of Pfeffers, to re1 Quoted in Calvin and the Swiss Reformation, p. 28.

cruit, after the severe toil to which he had subjected himself. The students who had resided with him at his own house, and his brother Andrew were sent home, in order to avoid danger. He could not himself, however, remain away, when disease was making such ravages in his flock, but hastened back, and was unwearied in his atten tion to the sick, until he was attacked, near the end of September, and brought to the brink of the grave. He however after a time gave signs of recovery, and at the beginning of November, his friends were cheered with the intelligence that he seemed out of danger. At the end of this month, although yet feeble, he again appeared in the pulpit, and by the close of the year, was completely restored. During this sickness, he composed three short precatory poems expressive of his feelings at the beginning, middle, and end of his sickness. These poems were first printed by themselves, but subsequently were incorporated in the Zurich Hymn Book, and published in various other forms, sometimes accompanied by a melody, (in connection with two others for other lines,) also composed by Zuingli. One of the editors of his works' says of this poem, for the three parts may be considered as forming one whole, "It appears to us in every respect a true master-piece of spiritual poetry for that age, since it is equally distinguished by condensed religious thought and deep feeling, fittingly expressed, as by an artistic, labored, and correct external form." These poems have much interest as indicative of the effect of suffering and approaching death, upon his spirit. He now had occasion to put in practice some of the lessons which he had so often given to others, an implicit reliance upon Christ for pardon and consolation; and doubtless this sickness had a great influence upon his whole subsequent course as a reformer. He was thrown into the furnace of affliction, and came out seven times purified.

The solicitude of the friends of Zuingli for his safety, whilst ministering to the necessities of the dying, as well as when himself on the borders of the grave, shows the estimation in which he was held. Letters reached him from Basle, Tockenburg, and elsewhere, exhorting him to be careful for himself. At one time it was noised abroad that he had fallen a victim to the terrible scourge. The whole city of Basle resounded with lamentations. Hedio cried out in anguish of spirit, "Alas! the deliverer of our country, the trumpet of the Gospel, the magnanimous herald of the truth is stricken with death,

1 Werke, II Bde. Abth., 2, S. 259. And see a translation of them in Hist. Reform., pp. 348, 349.

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