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cial to him in this respect, as he was induced to compare and balance their respective theories; that, being consecrated to the altar, he, under Divine grace, kept his eye fixed upon his high destination, and, in his wanderings with the poets and orators of antiquity, clung to the Bible, as the great depository of what is most sublime in composition and most admirable in sentiment. Some account of the plan of biblical reading pursued by this eminent man, cannot but be interesting, and we shall give it in the words of the author. Let it be remembered, that this picture of a student is not that of a man in the nineteenth century, taught by the example of millions to search for truth in the channels of Scripture, but of one who was, as it were, scooping out a channel for himself; or rather quitting the “cisterns” at which all the world were drawing for knowledge, and returning to those “fountains of living water” which all had “forsaken.”
* Zwingle had resided four years at Basil, when the burghers of Glaris, the chief town of the canton of that name, chose him for their pastor. He accepted this situation, which brought him nearer to his family, and repaired thither after receiving holy orders, which were conferred upon bim by the bishop of Constance, in whose diocese the canton of Glaris was situated. In order wothily to acquit himself of the ministry intrusted to him, Zwingle thought that he stood in need of deeper and more extensive learning than he already possessed. He accordingly resolved to recommence his theological studies after a plan that he had himself traced out, and which was very different from that followed in the universities. An assiduous perusal of the New Testament preceded his fresh researches. In order to render himself more familiar with St. Paul's epistles, he copied the Greek text with his own hand, adding in the margin a multitude of notes extracted from the fathers of the church, as well as his own observations, and this interesting manuscript still exists in the public library of Zurich. The attention of Zwingle was from this time directed to the passages of Scripture cited in the canon of the mass, and to those which serve as a basis to the dogmas and most essential Pre
cepts of the church. Their interpretation had long been fixed, but Zwingle thought it inexcusable in a man appointed to instruct his fellow-Christians to rest upon the decision of others on points that he night himself examine. He therefore followed the only method to discover the true sense of an author, which consists in interpreting an obscure passage by a similar and clearer one; and an unusual word by one more familiar; regard being had to time, place, the intention of the writer, and a number of other circumstances which modify and often change the signification of words. After endeavouring to explain the text of the Gospel by itself, Zwingle also made himself acquainted with the interpretations given by other theologians, especially by the fathers of the cliurch, who, having lived nearer the times of the apostles, must have understood their language better than the modern doctors. It was in the writings of the fathers that he also studied the manners and customs of the first Christians; followed them through the persecutious of which they were the victims; observed the rapid progress of the rising church ; and admired that astonishing revolution which by degrees elevated the new religion to the throue of the Caesars.” pp. 14-16.
But Zuinglius did not limit himself to works which were approved by the church: he read also those of wickliffe and of John Huss. The result of such an examination might be anticipated. The worship of images, of the relics of saints, of the Virgin Mary, and of the host; and the unbounded authority of the priesthood; together with many other errors of Popery, both in doctrine and practice, soon appeared to him to have no foundation in Scripture. But such was his moderation, that he divulged his suspicions, for a time, only to a few, well qualified either to resolve or to substantiate them. The account given of his ministry while under these, impres: sions, is very striking; and characteristic of the man.
“ without directly attacking the abuses authorised by the Rounish church, lie coufined himself in his sermons to the doctrines which he found clearly laid down in the scriptures, and to the moral precepts to bc. deduced from them. He took every oppotunity of repeating to his audience, that in matters of faith, we ought to refer ourselves to the word of God contained in the Scriptures, to regard as superfluous all that was unknown; and as false, all that was contrary to them. The time was not yet come for unfolding the consequences of this maxim ; it was necessary to prepare the minds of men to receive the new light, and Zwingle thought that this could not be done better than by insisting upon the practice of all the Christian virtues, while most of the preachers of his time recommended nothing to their flocks but the external exercises of devotion.”pp. 20, 21. Whilst resident at Glaris he was offered the situation of preacher to the convent at Einsiedeln, in the canton of Schweitz, which he accepted. At this place he sound several individuals addicted, like himself, to letters, and feeling the same spirit of hostility to existing abuses; among whom was the well-known Leo Jude, who translated the Bible into German. The description given of their daily conferences is very interesting. No Council, perhaps, ever assembled for a higher purpose, and none ever formed its plans, and executed them with more effect.
“* John Reuchlin, or Capnio, revived the study of Hebrew in Germany, which he recommended as necessary to correct the faults of the Vulgate. The enemies of letters, osfended at his zcal for the Hebrew, accused him of being more a Jew than a Christian; they even surprised from the Emperor an order, which happily was not executed, for destroying all the Hebrew books. Capnio composed in his justification an apology, which the universities of Paris and Cologue ordered to be burnt. The author would probably have undergone the same fate, had he not found powerful protectors at the court of the Emperor and of Leo X. Capnio died at Stutgard in 1523, at a very advanced age. !'. Hermann von der Ilardt. Hist. Lit. Ref. p. 2d."
their consequences, and subjected them to a severe examination. The new horizon which opened upon them as they advanced in their researches, produced different effects upon them, according to their different dispositions. One embraced with heat and enthusiasm all that appeared to him the truth; another, of a calmer temper, suspected the attraction of novelty; a third calculated the consequences te be expected from a chauge in received opinions. Each, in short, viewed the object in a different light: what escaped one was perceived by another; and thus they were mutually enlightened and assisted. All were animated by that ardour which is only found at those periods wheu men awake from the slumber of ignorance and barbarism.” pp. 57–59.
It was on the day appointed for the commemoration of the supposed miraculous consecration of the Abbey of Einsiedeln, that Zuinglius, imagining the minds of his auditors in a measure prepared for the attempt, struck the first public and decisive blow at the reigning evils. An immense crowd was drawn together to listen to the annual discourse. In the midst of this vast assembly Zuinglius mounted the pulpit. “. By an exordium full of warmth and feeling he disposed the mind to collectedness and attention;” and then, alluding to the cause of their present meeting, broke forth as follows:
“ Cease to believe that God resides in this temple more than in every other place. . Whatever region of the earth you may inhabit, he is near you, he surrounds you, he grants your prayers, if they deserve to be granted; but it is not by useless vows, by long pilgrimages, offerings destined to adorn senseless images, that you can obtain the divine savour: resist temptations, repress guilty desires, shun all injustice, relieve the unfortunate, console the afflicted ; these are the works pleasing to the Lord.’” p. 62.
“‘Did these chosen of God at whose feet you come hither to prostrate yourselves, enter into heaven by relying on the merit of another? No, it was by walking in the path of the law, by fulfilling the will of the Most High, by facing death that they might remain faithful to their Redeemer. Imitate the holiness of their lives, walk in their footsteps, suffering yourselves to be turned aside neither by dangers nor seductions; this is the honour that you ought to pay them. But in the day of trouble put your trust in none
but God, who created the heavens and the earth with a word: at the approach of death invoke only Christ Jesus, who has bought you with his blood, and is the sole Mediator between Gud and man.”
“ Language so unexpected produced inpressions difficult to describe: admiration and indignation were painted alternately on every face while Zwingle was speaking; and when at length the orator had concluded his discourse, a confused murmur betrayed the deep cmotions he had excited. Their expresion was restrained at first by the holiness of the place, but as soon as they could be freely vented, some, guided by prejudice or personal interest, declared themselves against this new doctrine; others, and those were the greater number, felt a new light breaking in upon them, and applauded what they had heard with transport. Some pilgrims
were seen to carry back their offerings.”
From Einsiedeln he was called to Zurich, where he received the appointment of preacher in the cathedral. At this post he spent the rest of his life, and here accomplished, under God, the work which has entitled him the Resormer of Switzerland.—On his arrival he found some, both in the council and chapter, not ill disposed to his enterprise ; but, as the author expresses it, “let'ters wanted a restorer, both the governors and governed an intrepid censor, who should dare to recal them to their mutual duties; and fainting religion an orator capable of rekindling its ardour and restoring its influence upon manners. Providence appeared to have destined Zuinglius to the task.” p. 83.
His first measure was to give notice that he should, in his sermons, instead of conforming himself to the “Dominical lessons,” or passages appropriated to the Sundays and Saints'days of the year, explain, in succession, all the books of the New Testament. On the 1st of January 1519, he delivered his first discourse to a crowd of auditors, attracted by the novelty of his plan. He availed himself of the opportunity: “ inveighed against superstition and hypocrisy; insisted on the necessity of amendment; thundered against idle
the respect aud submission of subjects for their magistrates: sometimes they represented him as a fanatic, whose unbounded pride led him to put his own reveries in the place of the decisions of the Church: sometimes they treated him as a man destitute of religion and morals, who
was sapping the foundations of piety
and virtue, and would end by destroying the state, unless silence were imposed upon him.” p. 87. An occurrence soon took place, in which he made his first public resistance to papal encroachments. Leo X. nearly at the same time in which he dispatched Tetzel to Germany, sent Samson to Switzerland, to offer plenary absolution to all who would assist in the erection of St. Peter's church. Luther in one country, and Zuinglius in the other, took the field successfully against the Pope's delegate, and by the first success paved the way for the final triumphs of Protestantism. Samson was driven with disgrace from Switzerland. The next evil to which he opposed himself, was the enlisting of his countrymen under the banners of the kings of France, or emperors of Germany, in their contests for the duchy of Milan. He succeeded in withdrawing the Zurichians from the league entered into with France by the other cantons. Had we space sufficient, we should rejoice copiously to extract from his address to one of the cantons. The language of peace eminently becomes the mouths of the ministers of the “Prince of Peace;” and we have
sometimes doubted whether the ministers of our own days touch often and strongly enough on the moral evils incident to a state of war, or teach with sufficient energy how much nobler it is to forgive than to punish. As a preacher, the labours of Zuinlius were unremittingly pursued. t may gratify our clerical readers especially, to see a sketch of the lan by which he effectually besieged the citadel of Popery.
“On my arrival at Zurich,” says he, “I began to explain the Gospel according to St. Matthew. I added an exposition of the Acts, to shew my audience in what nanner the Gospel had been diffused. I then went on to the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy, which may be said to contain the rule of life of a true Christian. Perceiving that false teachers had introduced some errors with respect to the doctrine of faith, I interpreted the Epistle to the Galatians; this I followed by an explanation of the two Epistles of St. Peter, to prove to the detractors of St. Paul, that the same spirit had animated both these apostles. I came, at length, to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which makes known, in its full extent, the benefits of the mission of Jesus Christ. In my sermons (he adds) I have employed neither indirect modes of speech, nor artful insinuations: it is by the most simple language that I have endeavoured to open to every one his disease, according to the example of Jesus Christ himself.” p. 119.
We know not that a better prescription has, in the progress of ages, been discovered for those to employ, who now inherit his office as the physicians of souls.
After a short period, the Bishop of the diocese, apprehending the influence of Zuinglius upon public opinion, addressed letters to the council, and also to the chapter of Zurich. In the reply of Zuinglius to these addresses we find the following striking passages: “I will now tell you what is the Christianity which 1 profess, and which you endeavour to render suspected. It commands men to obey the laws and respect the magistrate, to pay tribute, to rival one another in beneficence, to regard all mankind as
brethren. It further requires the Christian to expect salvation from God alone, and Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Master and Saviour, who giveth eternal life to them that believe on him.” p. 129. In a paper soon after addressed by him to the Swiss governments, he thus supplicates for freedom to preach the Gospel: “Fear nothing from granting us this liberty : there are certain signs by which every one may know the evangelical preachers. He who, neglecting his private interest, spares neither pains nor labours to cause the will of God to be known and revered, to bring back sinners to repentance, and give consolation to the afflicted, is undoubtedly in unison with Christ.” This definition may perhaps assist some individuals who, even in this more liberal age, have, with the title, shared the reproach of Zuinglius.
In the year 1523, in order to give greater publicity to his opinions, and to prove the scriptural basis upon which they rested, he solicited of the great council of his country a public colloquy, in which he should defend, and any others might attack, his principles. Our readers may be curious to see the articles which he proposed to discuss, as they contain a sort of summary of the controversy between the two great parties. The following extract contains the most important of them :
“"It is an error to assert that the gospel is nothing without the approbation of the church: it is also an error to esteem other instructions equally with those contained in the gospel.—The traditions by which the clergy justify their pomp, their riches, honours and dignities, are the cause of the divisions of the church.-The gospel teaches us that the observances enjoined by men do not avail to salvation.—The mass is not a sacrifice, but the commemoration of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.—Excommunication ought only to take place for public scandals, and it ought to be pronounced by the church of which the sinner is a member.—The power arrogated to themselves by the pope and the bishops is not founded on scripture.— The jurisdiction possessed by the clergy belongs to the secular magistrates, to whom all Christians ought to submit themselves. God has not forbidden marriage to any class of Christians; therefore it is wrong to interdict it to priests, whose celibacy has become the cause of great licentiousness of manners.Confession made to a priest ought to be considered as an examination of the conscience, and not as an act which can deserve absolution.—To give absolution for money, is to become guilty of simony.—Holy writ says uothing of purgatory; God alone knows the judgment that he reserves for the dead; since he has not been pleased to reveal it to us, we ought to refrain from all indiscreet conjectures.—No person ought to be molested for his opinions; it is for the magistrate to stop the progress of those which tend to disturb the public tranquillity.” pp. 147,148. It need scarcely be said that the reformer found little difficulty in maintaining the ground he had taken. We shall quote (for the edification, if he pleases, of the Archdeacon of Sarum) the delineation of the true Church of Christ, with which the speech of Zuinglius closes. “Certainly there is a church that cannot err, and which is directed by the Holy Spirit. It is composed of all true believers, united in the bonds of faith and charity; but this church is visible only to the eyes of its divine Founder, who alone knoweth his own. It does not assemble with pomp, it does not diclate its decrees in the manner of the kings of the earth ; it has no temporal reign; to fulfil the will of God is the only care by which it is occupied.” p. 154. The speech which he on the evening of the same day addressed to the Council is highly impressive, and is quoted for the express benefit of Professor Marsh. The Grand icar, his opponent, having object‘d to the difficulties of Scripture, Auinglius replied—“the Scripture explains itself, and has no need of *n interpreter. If men understand * ill, it is because they read it *miss. It is always consistent with itself, and the Spirit of God acts by so strongly, that all readers may find the truth there, provided they Meek for it with a sincere and humChaist. Observ. No. 123,
ble heart. Thanks to the invention of printing, the sacred books are now within the reach of all Christians; and I exhort the ecclesiastics here assembled to study them unremittingly.” p. 156. The course of Zuinglius, though always pursued with moderation, became daily more rapid. Another conference was appointed, in which he again conquered. Soon after he succeeded in obtaining a decree of the council, that all images should be banished from the churches, if approved by the o of members in each church. The other cantons now began to take alarm, and, in the general Council of the States, engaged never to permit the establishment of what they then (and Dr. Butler has recently) called the “new doctrine” in Switzerland. But notwithstanding this, Zuinglius proceeded. In 1525, he obtained from the council the reform of various abuses; and among the rest, the entire abolition of the Mass. The account of the first celebration of the sacrament according to the ideas of Zuinglius, will interest our readers. It was on Easter Sunday.
“A table covered with a white cloth, unleavened bread, and cups filled with wine, recalled the remembrance of the last repast of our Redeemer with his disciples. The first priest, who was Zwingle himself, announced to the faithful, that the religious act which they were about to celebrate would become to each of them the pledge of salvation, or the cause of perdition, according to the dispositions they might bring to it; and he endeavoured, by a fervent prayer, to excite in all their hearts repentance for past faults, and a resolution to live a new life. After this prayer, Zwingle and the two ministers who assisted him, presented mutually to each other the bread and the cup, pronouncing at the same time the words ut: tered by Jesus Christ at the institution of the last supper; they afterwards distributed the symbols of the body and blood of the Redeemer to all the Christians present, who listened with the most profound and reverent attention to the reading of the last words of our Lord, as they have been transmitted to to us by his beloved disciple. A second ** hymns full of the expression of