Category Archives: Zwingli

Erasmus Didn’t Appreciate Zwingli’s “Archeteles”, But He Didn’t Read it Either

“I have read some pages of your apology [Archeteles]. I beseech you for the sake of the glory of the Gospel, which I know you would favour and which we all who bear the name of Christ ought to favour, if you should issue anything hereafter, treat so serious a matter seriously, and bear in mind evangelical modesty and patience. Consult your learned friends before you issue anything. I fear that that apology will cause you great peril and will injure the Gospel. Even in the few pages that I have read there are many things I wanted to warn you about. I do not doubt that your prudence will take this in good part, for I have written late at night with a mind that is most solicitous for you. Farewell.”

Written from Basel, September 8, 1522


I like how Erasmus, like so many of our contemporaries, read a few pages and thought he graspsed the argument of the whole.  For being a learned man, Erasmus wasn’t very smart at times.

Reform of Poor Relief: Today With Zwingli

Zwingli manifested his independent and reforming spirit by criticising the department of outdoor relief in the city, and proposing on September 8, 1520, that the public alms should hereafter be given only to those who had been investigated, and could show actual need. One test of the “worthiness” of the applicants for relief was their ability to repeat the Lord’s Prayer, the Ave Maria, and the Ten Commandments!*

Now that’s a good rule! Forget ‘drug testing’ of welfare recipients- only provide assistance after they’ve been investigated, found truly in need, and demonstrate adequate piety.  Oh for the good old days.

*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (p. 157).

You Can Now Order a Copy of the Zwingli Film

It’s out in a couple of weeks!  Sadly, orders can only be placed for delivery in Switzerland or Lichtenstein.  😦

You can, however, obtain it from the Germans here- if you’re in Germany…

The Journey from Zurich to Marburg

The [first stage of the trip to Marburg for the Colloquy with Luther was the] journey to Basel [which] was made on horseback, the distance from Zurich being about sixty miles, and Zwingli and his friend arrived there safely, September 5. Thence, in company with Œcolampadius and others, he proceeded by boat to Strasburg, where he arrived the next day, September 6.  Here he tarried eleven days to confer with his friends and lay plans for the coming conference and also to await the arrival of Ulrich Funk, Zurich’s official delegate. Leaving Strasburg September 18, the company, consisting of Zwingli, Collin, and Funk, of Zurich; Œcolampadius, of Basel; Butzer and Hedio, of Strasburg; and delegates of the last named cities, was conducted overland by a strong escort of Hessian cavalry, through dense forests and dangerous mountain passes, to Marburg, where they arrived September 27. Luther, in company with his Wittenberg friends, Philip Melanchthon, Caspar Cruciger, and Justus Jonas, entered the city the day following.*


*Samuel Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1902), 187–188.

Against the ‘Invocation of the Saints’

zwingliI have seen meanwhile a pamphlet by a certain great theologian§ among the French (if you take him at his own valuation), but I have been prevented from reading it carefully both by my occupations and by pity for the pamphlet and its author. For the unhappy man is so ignorant of what is meant by God, by man, by faith, hope, saint, pilgrim, advocate, mediator, everything, that if I had never before had faith in the saying, “No man can come to me except the Father draw him” [Jn. 6:44], and that other, “Everyone that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me” [Jn. 6:45], I should, nevertheless, now be forced to recognize them as most true; since I see so great a theologian taking the Holy Scriptures in hand like a donkey running a solemn ceremony, as the saying goes.

I call God to witness that I am sorry for his efforts, which I have not seen. But why should I be sad? The ape is as proud as a peacock of his offspring. Certain good and learned men from France had suggested that I should write a reply to him by name; but when my brother, Oswald Myconius, had carefully examined the book, because I had not time to make a résumé of it, and had put the main points together, we both of us had to laugh, for there was such a complete absence of anything solid in it anywhere that we thought the author and his pamphlet quite unworthy of attention.

This babyish person does not know that “sancti” are not the same thing as “divi,” since those also are called “sancti” who are still on earth; as, “To the saints (sancti) who are at Rome” [Rom. 1:7]. He does not know what the church is, but thinks that by authority of the church it can be decided that “sancti” are to be invoked and to make intercession. Suppose the church should decree some time that they are all at one and the same time to come down to us!

zwingliDo things take place in heaven so exactly in accordance with the pronouncements of the church? The fact that Moses prayed, and Abraham, and others, he twists into, “Therefore the saints (divi) are to be worshipped.” The way he decks out a worship for them, you would think he had been Master of Ceremonies. He speaks of the saints in heaven as he would of a little brother. He makes no distinction between the promises to the fathers, which all pointed to Christ and concerned things to come, and the promises to us, which likewise point to Him, but have been already fulfilled and are immovable.

They had to remind God often of the fathers with whom He had made the covenant; we already enjoy the fruits of the covenant and have no need to pray to God through any save Christ. “For there is none other name under heaven wherein we must be saved but the name of Christ” [Acts 4:12]; and He Himself tells us: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, he will give it you,” etc. [Jn. 16:23]. But when he [Clichtove] tries to demolish the arguments of his opponents, he so sinks in with one foot while pulling out the other that in spite of his sweating and struggling he is forced to give himself up as lost. And when he brings in Jerome arguing thus:† “Stephen prayed here, therefore he prays in heaven also,” and when he does the same with Paul, he is as pleased with himself as if he were riding in a triumphal chariot. Yet meantime he is not equal to upsetting such a frivolous argument as this: If this is logical, “Paul prayed here, therefore he prays there,” this also is logical, “Paul wrote epistles here, therefore he writes them there.” For if he should send down from heaven to us epistles by which the biggest disputes between theologians could be settled, he would do quite as much good as by interceding.

But why ridicule with many words a man who ought rather to be wept over? The man who truly possesses and truly teaches faith will not need many words to refute such a notion; for by faith is learned disregard of the saints in this respect, and by faith is learned the true “worship of the saints.” We “worship” them rightly when we all cling firmly to that God to whom they also in their lifetime clung and taught others to cling. For how could it be that while they were still under the weakness of the flesh they should arrogate nothing to themselves, and now when they are utterly removed from all such weakness should have changed their minds, and having previously led men to the one and only God should now bid them come for refuge to themselves?

zwingliI want my friends, therefore, not to take it ill that I have not gratified them by reducing that pamphlet to pulp, for it was quite superfluous. Faith, as I have said, will of itself thoroughly eradicate the error; though every position that he supports in his whole pamphlet will be found so completely overthrown by these few considerations urged in reply to Emser, if only one will read and weigh them faithfully, that no one will want anything further. God is such that He is sufficient unto all. He is so kind a Father that He refuses nothing, so bountiful that He loves to bestow Himself. Whom, then, are we procuring as our advocates? Faith does not know this spurious foresight. Hence it is perfectly plain that those who still cling to the creature do not lean on the one true and holy God.

What, then, does their faith amount to? Would it not have been better to keep silent than to make such a shameless zwingli_laptopdisplay of want of faith? I know the Jeromes and the Augustines and the rest, but I know also Christ and the Apostles, and none of them ever taught any such thing. And what is gained by violently twisting Scripture to such purpose, or by refusing to understand the underlying allegorical sense when such sense is present?

Faith leans upon one God, clings to One, trusts in One, hopes on One, flies to One for refuge, knows for certain that it will find with One everything that it needs. May He who draweth hearts to Himself grant that we may cleave to Him alone, and may that hypocrisy which parades as piety be banished from the souls of all! Amen.

So the great and learned Huldrych Zwingli.  So, Mother Teresa, perhaps sick people praying to you isn’t such a good idea after all…

Today With Zwingli: A Letter from Oecolampadius

Pax Christi tecum, mi frater.

Non est, quod nos perturbet obsistentium nobis ferocia. Annon pacem, ut pręcepit dominus [Luc. 10. 5. 6], pręfati sumus? Nonne de gloria domini agitur? Quos parentes? quos amicos? quos doctores? quam creaturam agnoscemus? Nequaquam essemus veri nepotes Phinees.

Si vindicari cum mansuetudine poterit gloria patris, non patiemur, ut immites iure arguamur. Sin zelum docebit unctio, relinquemus spiritui suum impetum. Expectabimus tamen, quidnam scripturus sit Martinus, orabimusque, ne genio suo indulgeat.

Mitto hic, quę calumniis Fabri Capito noster feliciter respondit. Nescio, an Germanica legeris, quę multo feliciora sunt. Xylotectus hinc migravit post festum assumptionis die quarto, Christiane quidem, sed magno cum cruciatu.

Sępe illum invisi ęgrotantem, sed confuso sermone balbutientem ęgre intelligebam; imo plane  intelligebam, Christum in pectore ipsius inter dolores summos regnare.

Accepi tuos libellos, pro quibus gratiam habeo. In Petri Gynorii, quem Albanensem hic dicebamus, fasciculo nihil inveni pręter libellum Eccii, qui, qualis sit, statim et ego cognoscam. At nihil ille  dabit, quod non ipsissimum referat Eccium.


3. Septembris.
Tuus Ęcolampadius.
Hic tibi commendari cupit, qui literas reddit.
Hulrico Zwinglio, euangelii fidelissimo ministro apud Tigurinos,  suo dulcissimo in Christo fratri.


Zwingli Was a Self-Paced Reformer, A Man Who Didn’t Rush into Anything

As we learn, for instance, in the way he reformed the Mass-

In his treatise on “The Canon of the Mass,”—dated IV. Cal. Septemb. (i. e., September 2) 1523—the canon is that part of the mass liturgy in which the words of the institution appear, and is therefore doctrinally the storm centre of discussion respecting it—he enunciates the doctrine now so commonly associated with his name that the Eucharist is not a mystery but a ministry, the atmosphere is not awe but love, the result is not infusion of grace but of enthusiasm; we remember Christ, and the thought of His presence stirs us to fresh exertion in His service. He proposed a substitute for the Latin prayers which still more strikingly would set forth these teachings.

Yet, characteristically he made no innovation himself at once. His books, however, laid down principles which logically followed out would oblige a complete break with the Old Church. Yet, so slow was he to make changes that on October 9, 1523, he actually defended himself against the charge that he retained the Old Church ceremonies—the use of the cross, vestments, choir-singing, etc.,—because he liked them!*

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531); (New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 201.

Today With Zwingli: How Eck Faked Knowledge of the Biblical Languages He Didn’t Possess

On August 31, 1526, Zwingli wrote a very gossipy letter full of information, telling how Eck used at Baden the Complutensian Polyglot, which had the Latin version side by side with the Hebrew and the Greek, and so by apparently reading unaided from the Hebrew and Greek got a reputation for learning he did not deserve; and how poor Balthasar Hubmaier, in his examination before the Council, quoted Zwingli’s remarks about catechumens, as showing his former preference to have baptism follow instruction; how he recanted and then withdrew his recantation; and how generously Zwingli treated him, and how basely Hubmaier reviled him when escaped from the city. He closes with some slighting remarks upon Luther: “I think you are too solicitous in the matter of that man who is said to be writing against me in German and Latin on the Eucharist. In nothing do I promise myself a more certain victory.”*

There are a lot of people who pretend knowledge of the Biblical languages that they don’t possess.  And they all use interlinears.

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531), Heroes of the Reformation (New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 276.

Zwingli’s View of the Apocrypha

An interesting proof of the extent of Zwingli’s reputation is a letter written to him from Ghent by John Cousard, who signs himself in Greek, “Bishop of the Brethren of the Common Life,” lamenting that Zwingli wrote so much in German, and asking him to have his writings in that language translated into Latin! Zwingli replied to it on August 31, 1531, and makes these remarks upon the Apocrypha:

“There are certain considerations which you adduce from the Apocryphal Books. These, I concede, contain some things that are worth reading; yet they never attain to that measure of authority that the Canonical Books have. They are more diluted and feebler, so that they appear rather as imitations of the former Scriptures than written in the peculiar fervour of the fresh spirit.”*

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 339–340.

Today With Zwingli

H. Zwingli wrote a brief letter to Philipp of Hesse on the 30th of August, 1530, informing him that the requested publication of the sermon on Providence Zwingli had preached at Marburg and which Philipp appreciated so much was printed in Latin and would be on the way shortly.

The sermon was, naturally, greatly expanded.  It remains one of Zwingli’s most interesting and widely read books.

Zwingli on Hypocrisy

Zwingli astutely notes, concerning hypocrisy-

… those who are a prey to obstinate hypocrisy can never be persuaded by the most skillful argument to confess what they really feel and have in their hearts. Yet the more persistently they refuse, the more certainly are they understood by the spiritual physician. For “he that is spiritual judgeth all things” [1 Cor. 2:15].

Now – as a friend of mine says – ‘that’s some deep thoughts there dear heart’.

One More Salvo From Zwingli to Luther on the Mass

9187062The fact was that Zwingli and Luther could by not possibility be friends. Each was a pope in his way, only Luther ruled a nation and Zwingli a city. Each was absolutely sure of himself and that he had found out the truth. Each had no belief in the honesty or capacity of those who differed from him. Zwingli was jealous of Luther because he was so much more famous, and in his letters to him attempts to patronise him. Luther considered Zwingli a heretic. He compared him with Arius! Manifestly the best thing for both parties was to attempt no contact. Instead of doing so they carried on directly and indirectly a protracted and abusive controversy, disgraceful to both of them. What they both needed was good breeding. Their unhappy controversy was discreditable to both of them. Its practical effect was to divide and so weaken Protestantism.

The biographer of Zwingli remarks

Zwingli’s final conclusions on the matter appear in his Confession of Faith in the Appendix to this volume. Beginning on August 29, 1528, when he issued his Epichiresis (iii., 83–116) upon the canon of the mass down to August 31, 1527, when he replied to Luther’s “Confession” (ii., 2, 94–223), he published sixteen pieces, mostly of some length, upon the Lord’s Supper. His correspondence for the latter years of his life is also full of allusions to the matter.

You can read the Epichiresis here.

De convitiis Eckii: Zwingli Drops the Hammer on Johannes Eck

Huldrych Zwingli and Johannes Eck didn’t get along.  Obviously.  So when Zwingli published his ‘Reasonable Faith‘ Eck couldn’t control himself.  He had to lash out.  The present booklet, Zwingli’s response to Eck’s response to Fidei ratio lets Mr Eck have it both barrels (as we say down here).  De convitiis Eckii is addressed, however, not TO Eck but to the the German Princes at Augsburg.

Illustrissimis Germaniae principibus in comitiis Augustanis
congregatis Huldrychus Zuinglius gratiam
et pacem optat a deo patre
et Jesu Christo, filio eius, redemptore nostro.

As Zwingli proceeds it becomes apparent that he has clearly grown annoyed and asserts quite straightforwardly that Eck is nothing more than a heretic and that he, like all heretics, state their errors as though they were truths.

Not that Zwingli knew that Eck had attacked him again.  If it hadn’t been for Vadian’s passing along Eck’s rubbish Zwingli would have paid him no mind.   But Vadian urged him to respond, for the sake of the Germans.  And so he, as a ‘second David’ went out to the Philistine Eck with sling and stones to slay him.

Zwingli’s work lays Eck’s motives bare: he wishes to deceive the Princes and under the guise of ‘peace’ he urges them to remain in the Roman camp.  Zwingli counters that the Princes should in fact embrace Reform.  He concludes

Dangers threaten on all sides, but the Lord will dissipate them all, if you lay hold of the truth and of righteousness.  To take a stand against the truth is destruction itself whereas to yield to it is the first necessity of safety.  God Almighty grant that we may revere it and see it through a glass in this world but see it face to face and embrace it in the world to come!

Further information about this episode can be found in Hans Georg Rott’s Martin Brucer und die Schweiz: Drei unbekannte Briefe von Zwingli, Brucer und Vadian (1530, 1531, 1536) (Zwingliana, 14/9 (1978).

Fun Facts from Church History: Zwingli’s Description of the Catabaptists

drowning_anabaptistsThey are mostly a class of rabble, homeless from the want of means, who make it their business to win old women by pompous discourses upon divine things to extract from them the wherewithal to support themselves, or to gather in considerable alms. In general, they make pretense of the same holiness of which Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons writes in connection with the Valentinians and Nazianzenus [Gregory of Nazianzus] in connection with the Eunomians.

Then, in reliance upon this, they teach that a Christian cannot be a magistrate; that it is not lawful for a Christian to put even a guilty man to death even by process of law; that we must not go to war even if tyrants or godless persons and robbers resort to force and plunder, slay, and destroy every day; that an oath must not be taken; that a Christian should not exact duties or taxes; that all things should be held in common; that the souls sleep with the bodies; that a man can have several wives “in the spirit” (having, however, carnal intercourse with them); that tithes and revenues should not be paid, and hundreds of other things.

Nay, they daily scatter new errors like tares amid the righteous seed of God.*

Small wonder Zwingli and the rest of the Reformers and the civic authorities had little time for such anarchists.
*The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, Volume 2. (W. J. Hinke, Ed.) (pp. 272–273).

Zwingli’s Writing Habits

Zwingli, writing to Myconius on August 26, 1522, thus candidly describes his literary methods:

“I am rough and impatient of the time necessary for condensing and polishing. You know that my mind is felicitous in nothing except invention, if indeed that is not the greatest infelicity which is either not willing or not able to adorn and polish and so render worthy of immortality what one has done in the way of invention. Yet when I imagine I have studied enough, a disgust at my own performance presently seizes me, and I feel such a loathing for what I have thus far written that reviewing it is likely to produce nausea.” — (VII., 218, 219.)*

Durus sum ac castigandi morę nimis impatiens et expoliendi. Ingenium nostrum nulla scis parte quam inventione fęlix esse, si modo ea non est summa infęlicitas, quę inveneris nolle vel non posse consilio iudicioque ornare, venustare cedroque digna reddere. Cęlo tamen studuisse dum sat putamus, capit nos mox fastidium nostri, ac quicquid hactenus scripsimus, ita mox fastidivimus, ut respectum forte fortuna nauseam  pariat.

Zwingli was always his own harshest critic.

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901).

Zwingli In Einsiedeln

This is a fascinating essay.

Es sind nur ein paar Wörter, aber sie sind wertvoll. Wertvoller als so manches dicke Buch. Letzte Woche hat Urs Leu sie entdeckt – und damit eine Leerstelle geschlossen, welche die Schweizer Reformationsforscher lange beunruhigte. In der Bibliothek des Klosters Einsiedeln fand der Zürcher Historiker in einem Kodex aus dem 9. Jahrhundert drei kurze, mit schwarzer Tinte geschriebene Randbemerkungen. Für Leu war sofort klar: Das ist Huldrych Zwinglis Handschrift! Der Duktus der Buchstaben, die charakteristische Form des «d» mit dem lang heruntergezogenen vertikalen Strich – da war jeder Zweifel ausgeschlossen. Und was das bedeutet, war Leu bewusst. Er hatte entdeckt, wonach man bis jetzt vergeblich gesucht hatte: die Spur, die Zwingli bei seinem Aufenthalt in Einsiedeln hinterlassen hatte.

Then discussion about Zwingli’s studies and viewpoints during that period.  And

Zwingli nahm das alles mit wachen Sinnen zur Kenntnis. Und was er davon hielt, zeigt eine Randbemerkung in einem seiner Bücher. An einer Stelle, wo der Autor warnend schreibt, guter Wein und üppiges Essen würden selbst gefestigte Seelen zu sinnlichen Sünden verführen, hält er lakonisch fest: «Das mögen die Benediktiner sich merken.» Man glaubt deutlich zu spüren, dass er weiss, wovon er spricht.

Doch selbstverständlich wusste er auch sehr gut, was er dem Kloster Einsiedeln verdankte. Zum Pater pflegte er ein freundschaftliches Verhältnis, und vor allem: Er las sich durch die Bibliothek. Obwohl er als Priester für ein riesiges Gebiet mit rund 1500 Einwohnern zuständig war und dazu die Pilger geistlich zu betreuen hatte, nützte er jede freie Minute, um zu lesen. Und Zwingli war ein aufmerksamer Leser, dem nichts entging. Das zeigt sich an den Randbemerkungen in seinen eigenen Büchern, die heute in der Zentralbibliothek Zürich (ZB) aufgearbeitet werden. Bei der Arbeit an Zwinglis Bibliothek stiess Urs Leu, der an der ZB die Abteilung Alte Drucke leitet, auf die Spur, die ihn schliesslich zu seinem Fund führte.

Read it all.

Zwingli’s Foreword

Zwinglis Vorrede zu Schwenckfelds Schrift “Ein anwysunge, das die opinion der leyplichen gegenwertigheyt unsers Herrens Jesu Ohristi im Brote oder under der gestalt dess brots gericht ist widder den ynnhalt der gantzen schrifft was published 24 August, 1528.

Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Like the other Magisterial Reformers, Zwingli was often asked to write a foreword to this volume or that.  Such short works were basically little more than endorsements of the works of lesser known persons by widely known and respected ones.  As such, they introduced the views of others (although said views were always in line with the views of the great Reformers else they wouldn’t have agreed to a foreword).


The 23rd of August, 1522, was the day on which Archeteles was published in Zurich by Zwingli.

This is Zwingli’s reply to the admonition which the Bishop of Constance, the diocesan of the city of Zurich, addressed to the chapter of the Great Minster on May 24, 1522. Zwingli was not mentioned in it but rightly regarding himself as the chief agent in bringing in the new ideas which were condemned by the Bishop, he made this reply. His delay in doing so was probably due to his absorbing occupations in other directions. The treatise was written hastily, he informed Myconius, in sending him a copy (August 26, 1522).*

Point by point, Zwingli responds to the Bishop’s concerns. For instance

XIII. There is a class of men so shameless that though they are a constant stumbling block to the unhappy people through their unblushing sins, they will not listen to any sort of warning, far less to any correction or improvement. I wish, indeed, that they would strive to be other than they are reputed to be—nay, I exhort them for Christ’s sake to strive. And when this takes place, justly grounded criticisms will cease, or if they do not cease, they will no longer disturb them. For they will learn, meanwhile, that they shall be blest of whom evil is said, and they will try to show that the slanders poured out upon them are poured out upon men most undeserving of it. But what wickedness is this, despitefully to entreat him who is appointed to be an example unto the rest, and to refuse to listen to any warning? I admit, as far as I am concerned, that I have often said that a fair proportion of the bishops of our time are not real but counterfeit bishops, and I do not think I ought to be blamed for it either, since Isaiah calls such “dumb dogs” [Isa. 56:10], and Christ calls them “thieves and robbers” [John 10:1]. I am speaking of those who have not entered into the sheepfold by the door. For you will find few who fill the office of bishop to the best of their ability, and do not rather conduct themselves as rulers and satraps and kings. I would that all who have spoken in these days unrestrainedly had spoken passionately rather than truly. It is the duty of all and especially of the heads of the Church to see whether their ill repute is deserved or undeserved. For Paul teaches that an elder convicted of sin is to be rebuked publicly [cf. 1 Tim. 5:20].

*The Latin Works and The Correspondence of Huldreich Zwingli: Together with Selections from His German Works, (Vol. 1, p. 197).

Today With Calvin: Troubles with the Libertines

calv_luther_zwiCalvin and the libertines were frequently at odds.  Indeed,

The two parties became more and more enraged against each other. Calvin’s eloquence gave him a decided superiority in the little republic. On the 24th of July 1547 he wrote to Viret:

—“I continue to employ my usual severity while laboring to correct the prevailing vices, and especially those of the young. The right-thinking tell me of the dangers by which I am surrounded, but I take no heed of this, lest I should seem too careful for my personal safety. The Lord will provide such means of escape for me as He sees good.”

The families which belonged to the libertine party took a very formidable position; but Calvin remained master of the field, and never ceased to avail himself of his office as a preacher to attack his opponents. Somewhat later, that is August 21, 1547, he states in a letter to Farel that

–“letters were daily brought him from Lyons, from which he learned that he had been killed ten times over.” “Amadeus is in France; his wife is with her father, where she plays the Bacchanal according to her usual fashion. We besought the council that, if she showed true repentance, all the past might be forgotten. But this has not occurred, and she is so far gone as to have cut off all hopes of pardon. I will seek Penthesilea, when the season for administering the Lord’s Supper arrives.”*

Sadly Calvin eventually lost the war against the Libertines and so did Luther and Zwingli.  There are more of them than there are the faithful to this very day.

*The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (Vol. 2, p. 61).

Today With Zwingli

First, in 1524, on 20 August, Zwingli published his delightful REPLY OF HULDREICH ZWINGLI TO JEROME EMSER, DEFENDER OF THE CANON OF THE MASS and second, on 20 August, 1530, his justly famous SERMON ON THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD appeared in print.  August 20 was a momentous day on at least two occasions for our dear Huldrych.

The latter work is introduced in its English rendering thusly:

AD ILLVSTRISSIMVM CATTORVM PRINcipem Philippum, sermonis De providentia Dei Anamnema.
VENITE AD ME OMNES QUI LAboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Matth. XI.
Tigvri apvd Christophorvm Froschouer, Anno M.D. XXX.

160 octavo pages, numbered by leaves (2–80). Signed on p. 159: Tiguri XX. Augusti M.D. XXX. Opera Zwinglii, Tom. I, fol. 352a–379b; Schuler and Schulthess ed. Vol. IV, pp. 79–144. A German edition, translated by Leo Juda and printed by Froschouer in 1531, has the following title:

An den Durchlüchtigesten Fürsten vnd Herren, Herrn Philippen, Landgraff in Hessen, Von der Fürsichtigkeyt Gottes, ein büchlin inn Latin beschribenn durch Meister Huldrich Zwinglin. Vertütschet durch Leo Jud. Matth. XI. At the end, on p. 221: Getruckt zu Zürich by Christoffel Froschouer. M. D. XXXI. 224 unnumbered octavo pages. Finsler, Zwingli Bibliographie, Nos. 94 and 95.

The following English translation is based on one by Mr. Henry Preble. It was revised throughout by the editor.

The work of Zwingli “On the Providence of God” is a free reproduction from memory of a sermon, delivered by Zwingli at Marburg during the Marburg Colloquy, October 1–4, 1529. As rewritten by Zwingli the sermon has become a philosophical treatise. In his philosophy he follows principally Aristotle and the Stoics. The doctrine of God, starting from the conception of the Highest Being, is developed into a cosmological argument for the Being of God. Upon this basis the discussion of the Divine Providence proceeds, culminating in the question of Divine Predestination. It is the most abstruse as well as the most penetrating Latin work of Zwingli.

Even now it is a delightful read.