Front Page Titles (by Subject) ABOUT THE CESSATION OF MISUSAGES. - Selected Works of Huldrich Zwingli
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
ABOUT THE CESSATION OF MISUSAGES. - Huldrych Zwingli, Selected Works of Huldrich Zwingli 
Selected Works of Huldrich Zwingli, (1484-1531) The Reformer of German Switzerland, translated for the First Time from the Originals, ed. Samuel Macauley Jackson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1901).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
ABOUT THE CESSATION OF MISUSAGES.
LXIV. All those who recognize their errors shall not be allowed to suffer, but to die in peace, and thereafter arrange in a Christian manner their bequests to the Church.
LXV. Those who do not wish to confess, God will probably take care of. Hence no force shall be used against their body, unless it be that they behave so criminally that one cannot do without that.
LXVI. All the clerical superiors shall at once settle down, and with unanimity set up the cross of Christ, not the money-chests, or they will perish, for I tell thee the ax is raised against the tree.
LXVII. If any one wishes conversation with me concerning interest, tithes, unbaptized children or confirmation, I am willing to answer.
Let no one undertake here to argue with sophistry or human foolishness, but come to the Scriptures to accept them as the judge (foras cares! the Scriptures breathe the Spirit of God), so that the truth either may be found, or if found, as I hope, retained. Amen.
Thus may God rule.
The basis and commentary of these articles will soon appear in print.
ORDINANCE AND NOTICE. HOW MATTERS CONCERNING MARRIAGE SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN THE CITY OF ZURICH.*
We, the Burgomaster, Council and the Great Council, which they call the Two Hundred, of the city of Zurich, offer to each and all people’s priests, pastors, those who have the care of souls, and preachers, also to all over-governors, under-governors, officials and any others who have livings, homes or seats in our cities, counties, principalities, high and low courts and territories, our greeting, favorable and affectionate good wishes. I call your attention to what each one of you has noticed and seen up to the present time, that many kinds of complaints and errors have arisen in matrimonial affairs. Since the parties have been summoned before the court at Constance or other foreign courts again and again, and have been judged at considerable cost; since they, at that place, and in cases where the people were well off in temporal goods, have been detained without judgment, and, as far as we know, to their own danger, etc., and in order that such great cost, trouble and labor among you men and women having business with each other with regard to matrimony, and who live and are at home in our territories, high and low courts, may be put aside, done away with and avoided, and also in order that each may be properly judged with promptness, thus we have ordained the following common ordinances concerning marriage, and have given notice of them, and have undertaken to practice them for a time, with the understanding that they are to be decreased, or increased, or entirely done away with. And if any parties come from our true and beloved confederates, from whatsoever place, who desire to seek and make use of law with regard to matrimony on account of the small cost among us, bringing each from his local authorities letters and seals testifying that such right may be extended to them, then they shall be accepted for the sake of especial friendship, and they shall be treated with regard to this law in every way as our own, but we shall not otherwise burden ourselves with any one dwelling outside of the territories of the city of Zurich.
And in order that such legal business may be attended to promptly, as necessity demands, we have chosen as judges six men, two from the people’s priests in our city, who are taught in the Word of God, also two from the small, and two from the large council. Among these, each one shall serve two months as magistrate or judge, shall summon, order, collect, examine, practice and execute such court business as necessity demands.
Whatever they pronounce and judge, according to the contents of the following articles and ordinances, shall stand. If, however, any of our people, or others, wish to appeal, it shall be made to no other body than the Honorable Council in our city of Zurich.
The court days are, and shall be, on Monday and Thursday. The seat or place of the court the judge shall choose and announce. Accordingly, when it has struck one o’clock in the afternoon, then the judges, secretary, the court beadle, and whoever serves the court, shall be there, on pain of breaking their oath, and shall assist in the action, as is proper. But if any one cannot be there on account of business of the city, or other lawful cause, then the burgomaster shall, by means of the beadle, appoint another, and let him sit. And whoever is judge at a time shall have possession of the seal of the court, and shall, through the beadle, announce orally or by other notice the sessions and orders, always in good time. The cases which come before him, and which need consideration or deliberation, he shall not postpone or hold up more than a week, so that the people may be joined or separated promptly.
And here follow the articles and ordinances concerning marriage.
First, a general ordinance: That no one shall enter into matrimony in our city and country without the testimony and presence of at leat two pious, honorable citizens in good standing.
EXPLANATION OF THIS ORDINANCE.
No one shall marry, engage or give to another his son or daughter without the favor, knowledge and will of the father, mother, guardians or others, who are responsible for the young people. Whoever transgresses this shall be punished according to the manner of the case, and the marriage shall be invalid.
Now in order that marriage requirements may not be made lower than before, no marriage shall hold which a minor shall enter into without the knowledge of the above-mentioned, his father, mother, guardian, or other people responsible, as have been named, before the minor is fully nineteen years old. But if it happens before this, then the ones mentioned, the father, etc., can hinder it and nullify it. But in case these are careless, and have not provided for their children in the nineteen years, then the children may marry and care for themselves, with God’s help, unhindered by any one and without any payment. Neither father, mother, legal representative or any one shall force or compel their children to a marriage against their will at any time. But where that has happened, and is legally reported, it shall not be valid and the trespasser shall be punished.
Marriages that have been arranged for or already consummated shall not be hindered or disturbed, as is right and proper, in any degree, by anything, cause or reason, except the clearly expressed causes as are in the holy Scriptures, Leviticus xviii.
And what has heretofore been achieved by dispensations and money shall be done away with entirely, and cause no more trouble.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE LAW.
When two take each other who are free, and who had no one to whom they were under obligation or who took an interest in them, or two are engaged to each other, they shall stand by each other. But the girl shall be over fourteen and the boy over sixteen.
But where they are engaged, and have no references, according to the above ordinance, a marriage shall not be valid. Accordingly, let each one take care and avoid such disgrace and injury.
But if one seduces, disgraces or ruins a daughter, maid or young woman, who was not yet married, he shall give her a morning gift, and shall marry her. But if her father and mother, or the guardian, or other person responsible, refuse her to him, then the perpetrator shall give a dowry to the girl, according to the judgment of the authorities.
And if any one boasts to the danger and injury of another [matrimonially], and is convicted of such a thing, he shall be severely punished.
Likewise, in order to avoid suspicion, calumny and deceit, we desire that each marriage that is properly performed shall be publicly witnessed in a church, and provided with a license of the parish. Each preacher shall enroll and keep record of all such persons, and no one shall give those under him to another without his favor and will, publicly expressed.
WHAT CAN NULLIFY AND BREAK UP A MARRIAGE.
It is proper for a pious married person, who has given no cause for such act, to put away from himself or herself the other who is caught in open adultery, indeed to leave him or her, and to provide himself or herself with another spouse.
This we call and consider open adultery, which is discovered and proved, with sufficient public notice, before the matrimonial court, as is proper, or is so plain and suspicious in fact that the deed cannot be denied with any kind of truth.
But in order that adultery may not be condoned, and that no one may seek a cause to secure a new marriage by means of adultery, it will be necessary that a severe punishment be placed upon adultery, for it was forbidden in the Old Testament on pain of stoning to death.
The preachers to whom the Word of God and superintendence (of morals) are commended shall ban and exclude such sinners from the Christian parish, but the corporal punishment and the matter of the property shall be referred to the civil authorities.
But that no one for this reason may fear marriage, and resort to prostitution, these sinners, too, as is now announced, shall be excluded.
Since, now, marriage was instituted by God to avoid unchastity, and since it often occurs that some, by nature or other shortcomings, are not fitted for the partners they have chosen, they shall nevertheless live together as friends for a year, to see if matters may not better themselves by the prayers of themselves and of other honest people. If it does not grow better in that time, they shall be separated and allowed to marry elsewhere.
Likewise, greater reasons than adultery, as destroying life, endangering life, being mad or crazy, offending by whorishness, or leaving one’s spouse without permission, remaining abroad a long time, having leprosy, or other such reasons, of which no rule can be mdae on account of their dissimilarity—these cases the judges can investigate, and proceed as God and the character of the cases shall demand.
The ordinances shall be carefully and repeatedly announced by all clergymen, and their parishes warned against trespassing them.
Given at Zurich on Wednesday, the 10th of May, in the year 1525.
REFUTATION OF THE TRICKS OF THE BAPTISTS BY HULDREICH ZWINGLI.*
HULDREICH ZWINGLI TO ALL THE MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
Grace and peace from the Lord. It is an old saying, dear brethren, that success is the mother of evils, and this is profoundly true. For since even a little was conceded to the desires of certain ones through our idleness or blindness, these are now so incapable of limiting those desires that they prefer to perish themselves and to destroy others rather than give up what they have begun. An example of this is furnished during the life of Christ among men, and this is repeated now in our times when he has relit the torch of his word, doubtless though to our good. Then when he had not only endured the betrayer for so long a time, but also openly dissuaded or terrified him, the latter, so far from giving over the malicious design entered upon, of giving up master and parent, did not cease till he had placed the spirit in bonds.* So it is now, when the audacity of the Catabaptists has been suffered to proceed so far that they have conceived the hope of confounding all things; who are so untaught that by calling themselves by this name they would increase their estimation; so imprudent (while Christ would have the apostles prudent as serpents) that the confusion which alone they are eager for they suppose they will discover by means of their imprudence rather than find by any skill. This inauspicious race of men has so increased within a few years* that they now cause anxiety to certain cities.† And this in no other way than through unskilled and impious audacity. For while pious learning and discipline has no need of the ministry of hypocrisy (for it is sufficient unto itself through erudition, and by the very unaffected discipline of piety commends itself to others), yet men of this kind are so thoroughly ignorant of that which they boast they alone know (and), so pretend that from which they are farther distant than the hall of Pluto from the palace of Jove, that it is clear that they begin this web endowed with nothing but impious and untaught audacity. For as often as by the use of clear passages of Scripture they are driven to the point of having to say, I yield, straightway they talk about “the spirit” and deny Scripture. As if indeed the heavenly spirit were ignorant of the sense of Scripture which is written under its guidance or were anywhere inconsistent with itself. And if you rightly and modestly call in question their customs and institutions, even if you come as a suppliant and beg them to do nothing rashly, there is no abuse employed by the enemies of the Gospel these do not use, no threats they do not throw at you. What does all this mean, I ask, if it is not the sign of audacity and impious confidence? Since there is so rich a harvest of these—not men (for why must one call those men who have nothing but the human form?), but monsters of deceit—that now the good seed which the heavenly Father so lately sowed in his field must be on its guard, I beg this, that we watch, act, and not let the enemy overthrow us as we sleep. Let us judge soberly, lest we receive a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Let us labor, lest that evil that has arisen be attributed to our neglect. For there are, alas, not a few among us who are stricken and moved by every wind and novelty, just like the untaught rabble which embraces a thing the more quickly the more unknown it is. The Catabaptists speak in round tones of God, truth, the Word, light, spirit, holiness, flesh, falsehood, impiety, desire, demon, hell and all that kind of things, not only beautifully, but even grandly and finely, if only hypocrisy were more surely absent. If also you should investigate their life, at the first contact it seems innocent, divine, democratic, popular, nay, supermundane, for it is thought more noble than human even by those who think not illiberally of themselves. But when you have penetrated into the interior you find such a pest as it is shame even to mention. For it is not sufficient for them to abuse the Gospel for gain and to live at the expense of another, and to give themselves up to such base cunning for the sake of their belly, weaving plot out of plot, but they must not only assail, but even destroy, the faith of matrons and girls from whose husbands and parents they obtain hospitality. And not contented with all this, they refuse to pronounce and recognize as wicked the hand made bloody at St. Gall with a cruel parricide, so that you see without difficulty that the same thing is to be expected from their assemblages (which are both nocturnal and solitary), which once at Rome improperly idle matrons when they had gained possession of a certain paltry Greek perpetrated in their subterranean meetings. And although all those deeds are in part so wicked and unworthy of good men, in part so obscene and impure, and in part so monstrous and cruel, that they would hand this age down to posterity as infamous, even though there were no other calamity; nevertheless great as they are, they are insignificant in that they confined the contumely within human bounds, as compared with these which they are guilty of against the piety that regards both Christ and public morals. They deny that Christ himself perfected forever his saints in his one offering of himself. But what is this but drawing from heaven God’s Son who sits at the right hand of the Father? And when they have cast him from his kingdom, in whose name, pray, shall they be baptized? Does not the whole New Testament tend to this, that we should learn that Christ is our successful sacrifice and redemption? Out of what books do the Catabaptists draw their doctrine? When therefore they thoroughly deny the sum of the New Testament, do we not see them using catabaptism, not to the glory of God or with the good of their consciences, but as a pretext for seditions, confusion and tumult, which things alone they hatch out? With folly does he boast the baptism of Christ who denies Christ. It is to no purpose that they say after the manner of the Jews (some of whom we know do this) that Christ was a great prophet or a man of God, but not the Son of God, for he can be neither a prophet nor a man of God who brings a lie to wretched mortals—in which (lies) they abound to more than a sufficiency. But Christ asserted that he was the Son of God; on account of this he died; he therefore could not have lied when he said he was God’s Son if he was a true prophet or a man of God. How is it that the apostles baptized in Jesus’ name when he had given them the formula, “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit?’ Jesus must be equal, nay, the same as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For John, great as he was, and prophet and man of God, did not baptize in his own name. In brief, then, when they clearly deny that Christ is by nature the Son of God, it is through evil design that they rage about baptism, and not for zeal’s sake. Morals they corrupted in the following manner: No matter what crime they are caught in committing, even in the very act (for in their church so unstained shameful deeds, adultery, parricide, perjury, theft, evil, guile, and about all crimes there are anywhere, are more common than among those whom they call for contumely “the flesh and the devil.” I tell the truth, I lie not; there is none of these that I cannot abundantly prove if the occasion demands)—In whatsoever sin they are taken, I say, they escape in no other way than: I have not sinned, for I am no longer in the flesh, but in the spirit; I am dead to the flesh, and the flesh to me. Do they not betray what they are by this reply? For how can they who are led by the Spirit of God and are sons of God allure to adultery a matron’s chastity? With what face offer insult to a simple little maiden! What an insult to God is this! What a handle this for those who would already have given themselves from the lust of the flesh to all vice if shame alone had not opposed! Will not the homicide share with the rake and adulterer, when accused, the formula, “I am now of the Spirit; the wrong done here is not mine, but is of the flesh.” What shame, pray, will be left us? What regard for modesty? For they do not reply with the same mind as do we ordinarily who trust in Christ. For we frankly confess: I have sinned, I will correct the error, I will flee through Christ to the mercy of God, from this I will never fall. For they do not refer to Christ; they have put off all shame, and what will he correct who denies that he has fallen? O, the crime, the audacity, the impudence! What swine of the school of Epicurus ever thus philosophized? Or what difference is there between right and wrong, O heaven, between holy and crime-laden, man and beast? If you take away shame from humanity, have you not admitted to the theatre all obscenity, have you not eliminated law, corrupted morals? You are not ashamed at slaughter, adultery, harlotry; you are more a beast than the wolf, lion or horse, which have some shame. Against this class of men we must be on constant watch, all our forces and machines must be brought, my brethren, and the more because they rage so in their hypocrisy and perfidy. They excel in this Empusa, Proteus, the chameleon, or Tarandus,* or whatever is inconstant. By this they assert that the papal party will bring them aid—this openly. They assail far more sharply than do the Romanists all who stand by Christ, by which they evince to what purpose they spare those whom they so anxiously flatter. But all our material cannot and must not be sought elsewhere than from the armory of the Old and the New Testament. Do thou, Father of lights, illumine their darkness, that they may see their error, and as thou wilt sometime do, eliminate this error from the Church quickly, we pray! But thou, whosoever thou art, who boastest in the name or ministry of the Most High God or of the gospel of His Son, consider what and whence these matters are which we allege, and laying passion aside furnish the herb of truth. Farewell!
Zurich, July 31, 1527.
HULDREICH ZWINGLI’S REFUTATION AGAINST THE TRICKS OF THE CATABAPTISTS.
Thus far our preface. Now hear in what order we shall proceed. First, we shall reply to their calumnies, in which they assert they have confuted our fundamental arguments. Secondly, I shall overthrow the basis of their superstition. Then I shall discuss the covenant and the election of God, which abides firm and is above baptism and circumcision; nay, above faith and preaching. I shall add an appendix, in which, with the help of God, I shall refute certain errors recently wrought out by them. But all with a light hand. In the first two parts I shall always put their words first, faithfuly translated from German into Latin; after that the reply. Thus then they begin:
The Catabaptists. One of Zwingli’s grounds for advocating the baptism of infants is the family of Stephanas. For he says: It is more likely than not that the apostles baptized the children of the faithful, for Paul says, 1 Cor. i. 16, And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; a second is in Acts xvi. 15, when Lydia was baptized and her house; a third in verse 33, a little after, And he was baptized, he and his house, straightway. In these families it is more likely than not that there were infants. Thus far they.
Before I go to the regular reply, I would warn thee of one thing, O reader. This work is called a “Refutation of the Tricks, etc.,” because this class of men so abounds and works in tricks that I have never seen anything equally oily or changeable. Yet this is not wonderful. For add to their asseverations of holiness, which they are skilled in working up, their readiness in making fictions and scattering them, and (you see) how they deceive not only the simple, but even the elect, divine providence thus proving its own. The book containing the refutation of our positions* they had for a long time been passing through the hands of their brotherhood, who everywhere boasted that they could so tear up Zwingli’s positions that there would be nothing left. I had meanwhile been looking and searching everywhere to see if I could get it, but could find it nowhere, until Œcolampadius, a most upright man, and also most vigilant, found one somewhere and sent it to me. So the first trick was that they sent around their own writings, which through their seared consciences they knew could not endure the light, secretly by the hands of the conspirators, who are as purblind in their ignorance as they are blind in their desire to advance the sect. They did not allow it to come into other hands. But the evil-doer cometh not into the light lest his works be manifest. But how could they submit their works to the church when they have seceded from the church? For you must know, most pious reader, that their sect arose thus. When their leaders, clearly fanatics, had already determined to drag into carnal liberty the liberty we have in the gospel, they addressed us who administer the word at Zurich first,* kindly, indeed, but firmly, so that so far as could be seen from their appearance and action it was clear that they had in mind something inauspicious. They addressed us therefore after the following manner: It does not escape us that there will ever be those who will oppose the gospel, even among those who boast in the name of Christ. We therefore can never hope that all minds will so unite as Christians should find it possible to live. For in the Acts of the Apostles those who had believed seceded from the others, and then it happened that they who came to believe went over to those who were now a new church. So then must we do: they beg that we make a deliverance to this effect—they who wish to follow Christ should stand on our side. They promise also that our forces shall be far superior to the army of the unbelieving. Now the church was about to elect from their own devout its own senate. For it was clear that there were many impious ones both in the senate and in this promiscuous church. To this we replied in the following manner: It is indeed true that there would ever be those who would live unrighteously, even though they confessed Christ, and would have all innocence and therefore piety in contempt. Yet when they asserted and contended that they were Christians, and were such by their deeds—as even the church could endure—they were on our side. For who is not against us is on our side.
So Christ himself had taught in just such beginnings of things as were then ours. He had also commanded us to let the tares grow with the grain until the day of harvest, but we hoped boldly more would return daily to a sound mind who now had it not. If this should not be, yet the pious might ever live among the impious. I feared that in that condition of affairs a secession would cause some confusion. The example of the apostles was not applicable here, for those from whom they withdrew did not confess Christ, but now ours did. A great part of those would be unwilling to consent with us to any secession, even though they embraced Christ more ardently than we ourselves. By the continuous action of the word that alone should be promulgated which all ought to know, unless they wished to be wanting to their own salvation. I did not doubt that without disorder the number of the believing would ever grow larger by the unremitting administration of the word, not by the disruption of the body into many parts. That although the senate seemed to them to be of very varying complexion, we were not of that mind. Especially because, while nothing humane seemed alien to them, yet they frankly not only did not oppose the word, but they favored it equally with that Jehoshaphat who strengthened with his cohorts by the law itself the priests and Levites that they might the more freely preach the word through all Judea. Yet one should especially observe that there were ten virgins awaiting the bridegroom, but five of them were wise and prudent and five were slothful and foolish. Replies on this line we made to them as they urged us, and they saw they would not succeed. They brought up other matters. They denounced infant baptism tremendously as the chief abomination, proceeding from an evil demon and the Roman pontiff. We met this attack at once, promised an amicable conference. It was appointed for Tuesday of each week. At the first meeting the battle was sharp but without abuse, as we especially took in good part their insults. Let God be the witness and those who were present, as well from their side as from ours. The second was sharper. Some of them, since they could do nothing with Scripture, carried on the affair with open abuse. When they saw themselves beaten after a considerable conflict, and when we had exhorted them in friendly ways, we broke up in such a way that many of them promised they would make no disturbance, though they did not promise to give up their opinions. Within three, or at most four, days it was announced that the leaders of the sect had baptized fifteen brethren. Then we began to perceive why they had determined to collect a new church and had opposed infant baptism so seriously. We warned the church that it could not be maintained, that this proceeded from good counsel, to say nothing of a good spirit, and for these reasons: They had attempted a division and partition of the church, and this was just as hypocritical as the superstition of the monks. Secondly, though the churches had to preserve their liberty of judging concerning doctrine, they had set up catabaptism without any conference, for during the whole battle about infant baptism they had said nothing about catabaptism. Third, this catabaptism seemed like the watchword of seditious men. Then when they learned this in great swarms they came into the city, unbelted and girded with rope or osiers, and prophesied, as they called it, in the market place and squares. They filled the air with their cries about the old dragon, as they called me, and his heads, as they called the other ministers of the word. They also commended their justice and innocence to all, for they were about to depart. They boasted that already they hold all things in common, and threatened with extremes others unless they do the same. They went through the streets with portentous uproar, crying Woe! Woe! Woe to Zurich. Some imitated Jonah, and gave a truce of forty days to the city. What need of more? I should be more foolish than they were I even to name all their audacity. But we who by the bounty of God stood firmly by the sound doctrine of Christ, although throughout the city one counseled one way and another the other, we believed we should teach correctly the proof of the Spirit. Something was accomplished in this way, although they changed themselves into all shapes that they might not be caught. When the evil had somewhat subsided, so that the majority seemed likely to judge the matter impassively, joint meetings were appointed. But as often as we met, either publicly or privately, the truth that we had on our side ever came off conqueror. They promised then that they would prove by blood what they could not by Scripture. They did this with so great boldness and boasting that I do not doubt they were a burden to themselves. They practiced catabaptism contrary to the will of the senate and people, the public servants and police were turned back and some of them harshly treated. Finally a meeting was appointed* where each side should be heard to completeness, and when they were brought from the prison to the court or were taken back again one would pity the city and another would make dire threats against it. Here hypocrisy tried its full strength, but accomplished nothing. While some womanish breasts bewailed and turned to pity, yet the truth, publicly vindicated, came off best. For all were allowed to be present during the whole three days’ fight. When finally their impudence, though beaten also at that meeting, would not yield, an opportunity was again given them to fight.† In the presence of the church the contest raged for three whole days more, with so great damage to them that there were few who did not see that the wretched people were struggling for the sake of fighting, and not to find the truth. By this battle their forces were so cut up that we began to have much more tranquility, especially in the city, but they wandered through the country by night and infested all to the best of their opportunity. After that conference (the tenth, with the others public or private,) the senate decreed that he should be drowned who rebaptized another. Perhaps I obtrude these details upon you to your great disgust, good reader; but it is not heat or bias that has influenced me, only a faithful watchfulness and solicitude for the churches. For many of the brethren who had not discovered the character of these men thought that what had been done to them was too monstrous. But now when these people have begun to devastate their own sheepfolds, they are daily assailing us with letters and shouts, confessing that what they had heard was more than true, that they who have not had experience of this evil may now be rendered the more watchful. I think that the world has never seen a similar kind of hypocrisy. For as knowledge without love puffs up, so when conjoined with hypocrisy it is bolder than one of the people would think, and more adroit than even an astute man would apprehend The hypocrisy of the monks was crude, and they discoursed of divine things, if at all, in coldest fashion. But these men further act in such a way that they do not persuade or induce those whom they find thrown in their way; they assail and rush on them. So these wretched fellows just undertake I know not what beyond their powers; they assail the magistrates in terrible fashion; they devote to destruction the ministers of the gospel; on all sides they act like Alexander the false prophet—he would not have Epicureans or Christians at his tricky performances. For as those in the magistracy command great wisdom and kowledge of affairs, so also they who worthily preside over the ministry of the gospel ought to be established in sound doctrine, so as to be able to overcome the contumacy of those who contradict it. Now see the astuteness of these men. They revile especially the ministers, both of the church and the state, so that if ever one in accordance with duty even whispers against them they straightway are able to say they are hostile to them because they have assailed their vices. Now any one of the people who hears this will suspect the ministers of the church and the magistrates before he does these many-colored deceivers: aroused to fury they charge forward at their command, ignorant whither they are rushing or to what end they will come. Impudence and audacity increase, so that he who to-day is a simple hearer will to-morrow abuse the magistrate to his face. When it is seen whither their increase is tending and resistance is made, straightway he who is the instigator departs from the midst and leaves the miserable people to be mangled by the executioner. And they present a parallel to Ate:* whithersoever they turn all is woe; they overturn everything and change things into the worst condition possible. Some city begins to think more soundly about heavenly teaching; thither they proceed and bring confusion; they do not introduce the Lord to those which do not receive the word. Who does not discern from this whose apostles they are? Therefore establish your courage, good brethren. The hypocrisy of the Roman pope has been brought into the light; now we must war with hypocrisy itself. And you must do this with the less delay the more you see those apostles of the devil, although they promise I know not what salvation, seeking nothing but disturbance and the confusion of affairs, both human and divine, and destruction. So much about their division and betrayal of the church. They have gone out from us, for they were not of us. Yet I may add this one item: there is a small church at Zollicon† where the catabaptists set up their teaching under inauspicious beginnings. This church, though small (for it is a part of the Zurich church, only five miles out), is admirable in its constancy. For now they have about overcome the catabaptists born among them, having ever embraced the word with simplicity and placidity. This opportunity these [catabaptists] had eagerly looked for, hoping that on this account the men would the more readily yield to their hypocrisy because they displayed such great simplicity and eagerness.
Now I return to their tricks, and thus I respond: When you say that the family of Stephanas is one of Zwingli’s bases for insisting on infant baptism, you show great disingenuousness. For where, pray, have I ever postulated this, which you assert, as a foundation? Have I not written a special book to the unfaithful Balthasar,* the apostate, in which I briefly showed upon what bases I strive in defending infant baptism? In this book do you not read:
[* ]Printed at Zurich by John Hager. Zwingli’s Works, II., 2, 356-359. Translated from the original German by Prof. Lawrence A. McLouth. Bullinger expressly remarks that Zwingli was the author of the order of the canonical court.
[* ]Zwingli’s Works, III., 357-437. Translated from the Latin by Henry Preble and George W. Gilmore.
[* ]I. e., died by the halter; allusion to the death of Judas.
[* ]Since 1523.
[† ]Waldshut, Zurich, St. Gall, Schaffhausen, Basel, Coire, Constance, Strassburg, Worms, Ulm.
[* ]Empusa was a spectre of huge size, having one leg of brass and one like that of an ass, sent out by Hecate to frighten travelers. It ate human flesh. It sometimes appeared as a beautiful young woman. Proteus was the Old Man of the Sea, who rose at noonday from the flood, came on land and fell asleep among the rocks. If any one could catch him there and hold on to him, notwithstanding his efforts to escape by changing his form, he would be able to learn from him the future with infallible accuracy. Tarandus was a horned animal of Northern lands, perhaps the reindeer.
[* ]As appears from the letter of Œcolampadius to Zwingli, dated July 19, 1527 (Zwingli’s Works, viii. 80), it is probable that the writing which called out the answers of Œcolampadius and Zwingli had the title: “Ein Gesprech Balthasar Hubemörs von Fridberg. Doctors. auff Mayster Ulrichs Zwinglens ze Zürich Taufbüechlein. von dem Khindertauff. Die warhayt is untödtlich. Erd. erd. erd. höre das wort des herrens. Hiere.” Nicholspurg 1526 (quarto). Zwingli’s book on Baptism (“Vom Touf, vom widertouf und vom kindertouf”), appeared May 27 1525. It is in his Works, ii. 1, 230-303.
[* ]In 1524. Cf. for these matters Zwingli, Works, ii. 1, 230 sqq., 370 sqq. II., pp. 370 ff and 230 ff.
[* ]The first was held Jan. 17, 1525.
[† ]On March 20, 1525.
[* ]The daughter of Zeus, who induced gods and men to do rash and inconsiderate things.
[† ]On the north shore of the Lake of Zurich, and five miles from the city.
[* ]Balthasar Hubmaier was born at Friedberg, near Augsburg, about 1480, educated at Freiburg in South Germany, became professor of theology at Ingolstadt, and D. D., 1512. In 1516 he went to Regensburg as cathedral preacher and led the attack on the Jews, whose synagogue was destroyed. On its site a Christian chapel was erected, and he was its first chaplain. In 1521 he removed to Waldshut, near the border of Switzerland, and this brought him in contact with the Swiss Reformers. He embraced their teachings and introduced the Reformation into Waldshut, 1524. In that year Hubmaier came under the influence of Thomas Münzer, who confirmed him in the Baptist views he had previously independently imbibed from his Bible study. His accession to the ranks of the Baptists was a great gain of them. He was quickly recognized as their leading theologian. Driven out of Waldshut in December, 1525, when the city was captured by the Austrian troops and the Reformation suppressed, Hubmaier fled to Zurich. But his Baptist views made him suspected there, as the Baptists, or Anabaptists as they were commonly called, were charged with disturbing the public order and were under the ban of the State. Hubmaier was put in prison, tortured, compelled to recant, and finally driven out of the city. He went to Constance, to Augsburg and finally into Moravia, everywhere proclaiming with eloquence and success by voice and pen his Baptist views. There was in those times, when religious liberty was a term unknown to Protestants and Roman Catholics, and when Baptists especially were hunted to death by all non-Baptists, only one possible end to such a career as his. He came into the hands of King Ferdinand of Austria, was taken to Vienna, 1527, and there burnt at the stake, March 10, 1528. He died like a hero. His wife, who courageously exhorted him to firmness, was herself put to death three days later, only it was through the waves of the blue Danube and not through fire that she entered the presence of the Master who looks with pity and forgiving love upon His followers’ vain attempt to bring in His kingdom by the sword. The life of Hubmaier has been written from the sources by Johann Loserth, Brünn, 1893.