In that romantic old castle of Marburg which overlooks the quaint city, and the beautiful and fertile valley of the Lahn, the famous Conference was held on the first three days of October. It was the first council among Protestants, and the first attempt to unite them. It attracted general attention, and promised to become world-historical.
Euricius Cordus, a professor of medicine at Marburg, addressed, in a Latin poem, “the penetrating Luther, the gentle Oecolampadius, the magnanimous Zwingli, the eloquent Melanchthon, the pious Schnepf, the brave Bucer, the true-hearted Hedio,” and all other divines who were assembled in Marburg, with an appeal to heal the schism. “The church,” he says, “falls weeping at your feet, and begs you, by the mercies of Christ, to consider the question with pure zeal for the welfare of believers, and to bring about a conclusion of which the world may say that it proceeded from the Holy Spirit.”
Very touching is the prayer with which Zwingli entered upon the conference: “Fill us, O Lord and Father of us all, we beseech Thee, with thy gentle Spirit, and dispel on both sides all the clouds of misunderstanding and passion. Make an end to the strife of blind fury. Arise, O Christ, Thou Sun of righteousness, and shine upon us. Alas! while we contend, we only too often forget to strive after holiness which Thou requirest from us all. Guard us against abusing our powers, and enable us to employ them with all earnestness for the promotion of holiness.”
Amen, and amen.