Conrad Grebel published a snippet contra Zwingli and his position on baptism on the 7th of December, 1524. On the 28th of the same month Zwingli let fly his own ‘Pearl Harbor attack’ on the ‘theology’ of Conrad Grebel in his Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr usw. Actually, the full title is Welche ursach gebind ze ufruoren. Welches die waren ufruorer sygind. Und wie man zuo cristlicher einigheit und fryden kommen möge. Durch Huldrych Zuinglin zuo Zürich, etc.
Zwingli delivers a lengthy full frontal attack not only on Grebel’s views but on the stance of the troublemakers as a whole. The opening lines tell the story-
Aller liebsten brueder in gott! Es ist nieman unerkant, wie vil widerstands und muesal erlyden muessend alle, die gottes wort anhangen wöllend, als ouch Paulus 2. Timmo. 3. [2. Tim. 3. 12] anzeygt. Daruß wol ze vermessen ist, das ouch ir vil verspottung, lestrung, tratz und tröuwen tragen muessend darumb, das ir in erkantnus der warheyt kommen, und die angenommen habend. Doch sol üch sölicher widerstand gheinen weg krencken, sonder ye me und me im glouben stercken; dann wir sicherlich an widerwertigheiten erlernend, was recht gegloubt, recht gebättet, recht geraten, recht gethon sye.
Brilliantly Zwingli suggests that the Grebel-ites are in fact persecutors of those who preach the truth and who are spreading the Gospel in its fullness.
Of the Anabaptists in general
“While the Reformers justified their opposition to the papacy by appealing to the Scriptures, or to clear and manifest reasons, it was not surprising that others, on the contrary, decidedly arrogated to themselves as individuals what the Church claimed for herself in general, and that fanatical persons mistook their passionate impulses for divine inspirations. …
These Anabaptists, who made their first appearance at Zwickau and Wittenberg, were nearly all put to death in the Peasants’ War, but in almost every part of the country a class of enthusiasts resembling them, but very unlike each other in moral and religious character, became the pioneers and freebooters of the Reformation. Some of them were persons who had renounced the world, and others were the slaves of their own lusts; to some of them marriage was only an ideal religious communion of spirit, to others it was resolved into a general community of wives; some did not differ from the Reformers with respect to doctrine, but others rejected original sin and the natural bondage of the will, denied that we are to be justified by the merits of Christ alone, or that we can partake of his flesh, and maintained that our Lord’s body was not from heaven, and not begotten by the Virgin.
As they acknowledged no call but that which came directly from God within them, they despised the ministerial office in the Church, and though they denounced all historical records, they justified themselves by isolated passages of the Bible for overthrowing all existing relations in social life. In their assumed character of men moved by the Holy Ghost, they were, of course, exalted above all law, and frequently exhibited a spirit of rebellion against every kind of government. Hence among both Catholics and Protestants it was thought right to punish them even with death.”*
S. Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer, pp. 145-147.