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V.: REFUTATION OF THE TRICKS OF THE BAPTISTS BY HULDREICH ZWINGLI. * - 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).
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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:
On the Baptism of Infants.
I. The children of Christians are no less sons of God than the parents, just as in the Old Testament. Hence, since they are sons of God, who will forbid their baptism?
Circumcision among the ancients (so far as it was sacramental) was the same as baptism with us. As that was given to infants so ought baptism to be administered to infants.
II. But perhaps you have not read it, for in your superstition this is the first point, that he whom you wish to render doubly worse than he was may not unite with that church that has as bishops those who defend infant baptism. So I do not doubt that they have placed under interdict my books. My mention of the household of Stephanas, Lydia and of the keeper of the prison came about in the following way: I was giving you many warnings not to argue unskillfully thus: We do not read that the apostles baptized the infants of believers, therefore [infants] ought not to be baptized. First, because of the absurdity, because we might just as well argue, the apostles are nowhere said to have been baptized, therefore they were not baptized. And when you replied, it is most likely they were baptized long before they baptized others, then I replied: It was too true what Christ set forth, that some see a mote in a brother’s eye and are deceived as to the beam in their own. But when I had said that it was more likely than not that the apostles baptized believers’ infants, what laughter and mockery did not the faithless apostate Balthasar excite against me? Those are the columns, he says, and they bring no other Scripture but futile conjecture; we demand clear Scripture. See the crafty fellows! In the same matter they reply by conjectures and laugh at others who adduce conjecture simply as conjecture; nay, they falsely assert among themselves that we use conjecture as a foundation. After that I very properly adduced as exampes, which showed it was more probable than not that the apostles baptized infants, the families of Stephanas, Lydia and of the warden of the prison. And these examples you will never be able to do away with, as I shall clearly show. You then continue to answer my examples thus:
Catabaptists. We reply first that Zwingli says in his book that an act of the apostles can prove nothing, which is not true. Second, grant that it is true; the obscure testimony which he alleges concerning the act of Paul, 1 Cor. i. 16, and concerning Lydia, can therefore by his own admission prove nothing.
Reply: I myself recognize my own words, and I will not permit them to be twisted by your violent appropriation of them otherwise than as they were said. It was in this sense that I said that the act of the apostles proved nothing. Everywhere we read that they baptized; by that fact we cannot prove that they did not baptize those whom Scripture does not assert to have been baptized by them. For otherwise it would follow that the divine virgin mother was not baptized, for Scripture does not relate her baptism. I would say: By a fact a not-fact cannot be proved. We read that Christ was at Jerusalem, Capernaum and Nazareth; it does not follow that he was not at Hebron because Scripture does not say so. We read that Christ taught at Nazareth, therefore he did not teach at Bethlehem, for we do not read that he taught there. Again, who does not see that the acts of the apostles are most pertinent as a defence of our acts, provided we do them in the same way under the same law? Peter thought nothing external should be placed on the necks of the disciples; James allowed that something should be imposed, principally because of the Jews who had believed. It therefore follows rightly, if it can be obtained, that all ceremonies be abrogated entirely; if this can not be done with public peace, those can be tolerated on account of the weak which do not involve impiety. For while the apostles permitted certain small details, such as abstinence from blood and things strangled, they in no way permitted believers to be circumcised. For he who is circumcised becomes a debtor to the whole law; not so he who eats not blood or things strangled. It does not follow: The apostles are not said to have eaten pork, therefore they did not eat it. So our reasoning here is: It cannot be proved that believers’ infants were not baptized by the apostles because this is not written, for there are many things done, both by Christ and by the apostles, which were not committed to writing. The lawyers call this a question of law, not of fact. Something may exist in law that never issues in fact. It was lawful for Paul to draw bodily nourishment from the field where he sowed spiritual seed. For Christ had said that the laborers were worthy of their hire. Now as he did not use this lawful right, the reasoning does not follow: Paul did not receive remuneration for preaching, therefore no one should accept it. Where again, not to pass over this, your audacity ought to be considered. For when you cry out among the simple populace against the ministers of the gospel that they ought not to gain a living from the gospel: Paul with his hands provided support for himself and for others, in this, as in all other matters, you act with malicious unfairness. For he himself (Paul), I say, taught that it was right for those to receive support who in turn nourished by the word. The condition of affairs at that time admonished him, so that he did not do what was permissible, as the impious and the false apostles were assailing him. Read 1 Cor. ix. and you will learn how much Paul discussed on this matter of fact and right. You will see that it is not only foolish, but impious to argue thus: This is done, it is therefore done under warrant; this is not done, therefore it is not right to do it. I would say then by this expression nothing else than this: The acts of the apostles cannot prove anything more than that the apostles did not baptize infants—to grant for the time that they did not—but it does not follow that they are not to be baptized, or that a negative follows from the affirmative, as the apostles baptized adults and believers, therefore infants are not to be baptized. You may argue neither in divine nor in secular matters from the fact to the right; then only may a fact be adduced for the law when an act has been proved done by the law. For example, at Zurich it was permitted by the goodness of God to abolish all externals without compromising public peace. Since this was done legally it is not lawful to do away with all at Winterthur and Stein if only love as a judge permits it as right. At Jerusalem things strangled and blood were interdicted because of the weak. Now at Bern and Basel certain things which are not most wicked can be borne to a certain extent if love warns that this is right; impious things, such as the mass, idols, false doctrine, are not to be suffered. Therefore the acts of the apostles are to be a law to us so far as they were done under sanction of the law. So it is only things false and wicked that right forbids both them and us to do, apart from whether they themselves have ever done them. For when you have done that which was permissible you have done right, even though no apostle had done it. My words therefore must be understood as dealing with right and with fact. To wit, infants may not be denied baptism because it is nowhere expressly said that the apostles baptized infants. Also there is the consideration that, as we shall show clearly, the fact that they baptized may not have been put down in writing, and the acts of none may prejudice the right, much less acts not committed. So that if it were down in plain words somewhere: The apostles did not baptize infants, it would not (even then) follow that they are not to be baptized. The inquiry would have to be made whether they simply omitted the performance or whether it was not right to baptize. This we prove by John iv., where you read: Although Jesus himself did not baptize. Here you have an example of fact or non-fact. Christ did not baptize; must we therefore, according to you, not baptize? This would follow if you are to argue from a fact to a law. And you can not say: But it says in the same place that the apostles baptized. For we should at once reply: Oh, if the apostles rightly baptized, even though Christ himself did not, we, too, rightly baptize infants, though the apostles did not. There is no difference in the cases, or rather our case is the stronger; we have Christ’s not baptizing, yet the legitimacy of baptism; you have the apostles only, who did not baptize infants (supposing we grant that they did not), yet none the less, infants are to be baptized. For since baptism is legitimate, though Christ did not baptize, so is baptism of infants, though the apostles did not baptize them, unless it is forbidden by another necessity which prevents the baptism of infants. As to your reply in the second place to the examples and facts which I adduced, as follows: Grant that it is true (i. e., that nothing can be proved by the deeds of the apostles unless it is clear that they acted legitimately), the obscure testimony which he adduces concerning Paul’s act cannot therefore even in his own opinion prove anything. In this you have a fine answer; you turn the tables upon me beautifully. For if by acts one cannot prove legitimacy, but one must examine what is legitimate, then that Paul baptized infants in the families of Stephanas, Lydia and the jailor, cannot prove infant baptism. For I was not here intending by these examples to confirm as upon a foundation the baptism of infants, but showing how rash and false was your argument when you said that the apostles never baptized [infants], for you have no testimony to this; and then to prove that it was more likely than not that they baptized, I laid as the foundation the saying: The children of believers are as much within the church and as much among the sons of God as are their parents.
Catabaptists. Third. Just before this fundamental argument of Zwingli’s Paul says: Some of the family of Chloe tell me that there are strifes and contentions among you, etc. [1 Cor. i. 11.] As here infants announced and could announce nothing (for they could know nothing), so the infants of Stephanas’ family were not baptized, if indeed there were infants in that family. For Zwingli thrusts them into it, in spite of the testimony of Scripture?*
Reply. Who does not see that the church never had such impostors? They dare to reason as follows: No infant of the family of Chloe could make announcements to Paul, therefore no infant of Stephanas’ family was baptized. What is there here but imposture for those who are ignorant of argument? Who was ever so unskillfully malign or so malignly unskillful as to argue thus? It can only be that they rely upon the foolishness of men. As if I should argue: No infant announced to Christ about the tower that fell, or about those whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, therefore Christ embraced no infant. Or: It is written of a certain family that it announced certain tidings, so who could not announce could not be of that family. As if announcement or any other deed made one of a family. What insanity is this?
Catabaptists. Fourth. All testimony that mentions families excludes children. This is self-evident.
Reply. Therefore when Christ was a boy he was not of the house and family of David. Then why is the family of his fosterparent Joseph so diligently written down? So when peace was given to the family of Zaccheus, if there were infants in it, were they excluded from peace? Ex. i. 21: Moses asserts that the Lord had built a house for the children of Israel, i. e., given them family and posterity, when the midwives pretended that the Hebrew women had skill in helping on progeny. So those children were not children, or the women bore adults and men; for infants, according to you, are not of the family. Ex. xii. 30. There was not a house in which there was not one dead, therefore no infant was dead. But why do I plead with the aid of testimony, as if there were need to tear away with testimony of truth things said most foolishly? But that is fine which they add: This is self-evident. As if any ass ever gaped so at a lyre as to believe him who asserted that boys did not belong to the house or family.
Catabaptists. Fifth. According to the reason, opinion and sentiment of man no one ought to baptize or do anything else, but according to express Scripture or fact, as the mass of testimony of divine Scripture proves. Just as Zwingli himself has often exclaimed against the vicar* and other enemies of God, and will not admit anything which depends upon human judgment or the custom of the fathers. But now he hastens to do what the enemies of truth have thus far done.
Reply. I am always of the opinion you ascribe to me, and have never held or will hold a different one while life lasts. But when you impute to me what the enemies of truth have done until now, you speak from that spirit which has from the beginning been false and has not been based on truth. For what else have I ever done but confirm by testimony of Scripture all that I have given out? Not by authority, though I have some modicum of this; not with clamor or hypocrisy. This will appear to my readers in the progress of the discussion.
Catabaptists. Paul teaches that what is not in the gospel or in the discourses of the apostles is anathema.
Reply. Where, pray, does Paul teach this? I suppose you refer to what he wrote in Gal. i. 8: But though we or an angel from heaven preach to you otherwise than we preached let him be anathema. I will expose your words here a little diligently, for your ignorance and your malice will both be manifest. Your ignorance because you suppose that when Paul wrote this the gospel records and apostolic letters were already in the hands of the apostles and authoritative. As if even then Paul attributed to his own letters (for they are not the least part of the books of the New Testament) that whatever was in them was sacrosanct. Not that I would not have his productions sacrosanct, but that I would not have monstrous arrogance imputed to the apostles. As often as they, either Christ or the apostles, refer to Scripture they mean not their own letters or the gospel records, which were either not yet written or were then in process of writing, just as the times demanded; they meant the law or the prophets. You cannot escape by saying that you do not refer to the gospels or the discourse of the apostles in writing, for you say: Whatever is not contained [therein]. You use the word “contained.” And this must refer to documents [monumenta]. Here is stretched forth the finger of your malice and inconstancy. You have finally come to the point of denying the whole Old Testament, just as also at Worms Denk and Haetzer with Kautz deny in no obscure terms a full satisfaction through Christ, which is nothing else than trampling upon the New Testament; with us at Grüningen they deny the whole Old Testament, as I have seen with my own eyes.* For they have written to our senate: The Old Testament is antiquated and the testimony adduced from it is void, and so can prove nothing. Here I look for your spirit, I say, if you assert it to be a true one. For it at the same time takes away from us the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament, for at Grüningen you tread upon the Old Testament just as much as at Worms upon the New. If you admit it not to be true, what boldness is it to simulate the divine Spirit with such persistency and wantonness! But in vain do I offer you this alternative, for you will never admit your spirit to be a lying one. I will arraign it then by the very power of him who silences the kind of spirit in which you abound, so that it does no more dare to assert: Thou art the Son of God. For as falsely and faithlessly as you did they say: Thou art the son of God. For as often as you confess Christ (by “you” I mean your leaders) you make a confession worse than the demons. For pain constrained them, for they so experienced his power and might that sincerely they confessed that he is the Son of God. But if you ever confess him you do it with pretence, for as soon as you hope for such an increase of your forces that you may speak disdainfully of him without being called to account, suddenly you assail his kingdom and goodness. For does he who denies that Christ has thoroughly made satisfaction for the sins of the world by one offering of himself—does he say aught but: Christ is false, he is not God, he is not our souls’ salvation? Of this enough has been said above, I think. But it is time to prove your spirit. You openly teach that felicity can come to none but by works of righteousness. So Christ, whom the Father sent into the world to become a victim for the despairing, is made void. Of this victim you have no need, for you trust in your righteousness But do you truly trust? By no means. For not only does divine Scripture teach that all men are liars and that all things are under sin through the law; even the human reason of wise men reaches the same conclusion, so that it sees that man thinks and does nothing except by his favor. I have adduced the testimony of Cicero in my Commentary for this purpose—it would take too long to repeat this here.* So the oracle attributed to Apollo, “Know thyself,” makes clear to us that man within and at heart is worthless and evil. For man is not told to inspect himself that he may contemplate himself with pleasure, but that he may descend into himself and weigh both himself and his [works]. He will find such corruption that he will not rashly think highly of himself whom he finds so low, or have a low estimate of another than whom he sees himself no better. Since then even human reason perceives, when it is quite frank and thrusts itself into the hidden recesses, that man is altogether evil, with what boldness do you assert trust in human innocence? Or will you perhaps say that we must not trust at all? According to your opinion then we shall all be adjudged to ultimate condemnation. For if felicity must come by our innocence, and this innocence is wholly denied us, then felicity for us has perished. Then why do you simulate innocence? Why do many of you take to themselves these words of Christ and boast: Which of you convicteth me of sin? I therefore judge that this is the result, whether you assert that innocence is man’s and from this innocence (which the apostle calls righteousness) felicity [flows], or whether you deny it, your hypocrisy is made clear. For if you insist that felicity follows from our deeds, reason and common sense oppose. What have you to do with sacred Scripture, which you so hold as a supplement or appendage that you lay it aside whenever you please? If you deny that it [innocence?] can be obtained, why then do you pretend that what you see can pertain to no mortal, that you hold with both hands? Read again and again this refutation, I beg, and you will come to know yourselves, unless you are more obstinate than the demon. What then? At Worms you deny Christ, and lead the way back to trust in works, because the men there who have recently become interested in religion are little trained in the wiles of hypocrisy, and so are susceptible to your tricks. For when they see your squalor and hear also your sounding words about innocence they assert that you have assumed this squalor that you might the more put on God; they therefore receive you as men of God, and supply richly what they possess. For what chest is so firm that it will not yield to such sanctity, what pouch so close as not to open to so vehement a spirit? Worshippers of the belly! At Grüningen you deny the Old Testament, for you see there many who are not affected by a pretence of sanctity, and detest the boldness with which you talk about “spirit” when Scripture does not suffice. Since therefore you see that catabaptism, from which you hope as from a fountain to derive all your counsel, is proved by no Scripture; while infant baptism can be defended by the Old Testament, you reject the Old Testament. Since then you disparage part of the Old and part of the New, you only show that you are the very worst and most fickle of men, indeed atheists. For while you draw from the records which are written about Christ the matters that concern baptism, you make Christ himself of no account. So it is known to all that you do everything for contention’s sake, however much in hypocrisy you simulate sanctity and simplicity. Further, since you reject the Old Testament for the reason that you cannot endure what is deduced from it in reference to infant baptism, you clearly evince that you make of no account him who is God both of the Old Testament and the New. Let me not seem too immoderate, dear reader. You will see that in all matters the case of these people is worse than my pen can show. What hidden ulcer is that they cherish—but why do I say hidden ulcer, when it is not hidden that they deny both the Old Testament and Christ himself? Weigh a little carefully their words, which we copy here. Paul, they say, teaches that whatever is not in the gospel or discourses of the apostles is anathema. You see how openly they reject the Old Testament. You see them as wishing to appear to strive by Scripture, yet distorting Scripture as they do here by Paul, even making that Scripture lie which Christ called in as testimony. And have the apostles taught anything that they had not drunk in or proved from this Scripture? A fine and learned saying that: “Whatever is not in the gospel or in the discourses of the apostles, let it be anathema.” The oracles of the prophets or of the poets [i. e., poetical books of the Old Testament,] are not contained to the word in the gospel and apostolic commentaries, so they are anathema. Thus ought they to speak who make themselves masters of all. Who, pray, thus speaks? Do not all who base their speech on this axiom speak thus: Whatever is asserted without the testimony of the Old and New Testament, let it be anathema? But now I will restrain my chiding, for I think that you, most devout reader, see clearly this hidden ulcer.
Catabaptists. John xvii. 20 gives a good reason through the mouth of Christ as he says: Neither pray I for these (i. e., the apostles,) alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. The apostles have their word from Christ, but Christ has [his] from the Father.
Reply. Unite these words, reader, to those immediately preceding, that you may see how trained a sense they have in citing Scripture and how excellently they square what they thus caw out before an unskilled people. What will they of the authority of Christ? Is it that he is to be believed because what he has said and taught he has drawn from the Father and his disciples from him? Then why do they not believe Christ, who just beforesaid: For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth, i. e., really and truly sanctified? By which words he means only what Paul does when he says, Heb. x. 14: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Why do they not believe him when he says: God hath not sent his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believeth in him is not judged, etc. And: No one cometh to the Father but by me. Why do they not believe his apostles? Peter, e. g., saying: Ye yourselves are built up as living stones into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And Paul: Through him we have access to God. And: He is our redemption. In fact whither does the whole teaching of Paul tend if not to show that through Christ alone sins are done away and salvation is given. Why do they not believe John? Little children, he says, I have written these things to you that ye sin not. But if any man among you sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation, not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world. These people then have not the purpose of proving that faith is to be had in Christ’s words and his apostles’, for they have none themselves; if they had they would not assert justification by works.
Catabaptists. Sixth. By the same rule by which Zwingli thrusts infants into the family I thrust them out, but by Scripture; this Zwingli does without Scripture, for infants cannot be counted among the baptized families.
Reply. First, I ask by what rule do you think I thrust children into families. By none. Do you not see then that men are born of men, that parents support and protect children? You see how those angel messengers of the devil have put off all human sense. Their head in hell knows that a demon is not born of a demon. So having become his slaves they suppose that this has become obsolete among men viz., that man should beget man and foster what he has begotten. Hear therefore what I mean, and how I would say: It is more likely than otherwise that the apostles baptized infants. For in the sacred Scriptures we have whole families baptized by them, in which it is more than likely that there were children. So to you this does not seem the more likely? Show the reason, and teach us how it is more likely that there were no children in those households, of which we mentioned three. But I will throw them out by Scripture, he says. But who, pray, are you that throw them out? I throw them out, he says. He must be a man of great authority among you to promise that, yet he shows none, neither baton nor scourge. For however he promises, he furnishes no evidence by which he may demand that he be believed. . . Himself said it, forsooth! Children, he says, cannot be reckoned among the families baptized. Here is Scripture for you! That master of ours thinks they cannot be reckoned in; who will dare to contradict him? Zwingli, he says, thrusts children into the family without Scripture. What then if upon you, you raging wild ass (for I would not call him a man who I think was baptized among the shades on the Phlegethon,* both because it seems funny to strive with ghosts and because I am not sure, even though I am led by certain assured conjectures to conclude who is the author of so learned a confutation† )—upon you I should bring down loads of proof from Scripture, from which you may learn that children are to be reckoned in baptized families. In Acts ii. 44 we read: And all that believed were together, and had all things common. Here I ask: Did the believers have their children with them or not? If they did, were they not in their families? If not, how is it we nowhere read that they were anxious because he who believed could not have his children with him? Was the spirit that impelled them so cruel as to dictate the abandonment of their children? Oh! You do not mean that they did not have them and nourish them, but that these did not belong to the Christian family! I ask then what you mean by family? You will doubtless say: Those who had come to such an age that they knew what law is and what sin is, for he must repent who wishes to be baptized, but since infants cannot repent, they cannot be included in the family. Thanks to God that you have learned to make so fine a rope of sand, twisting out lie from lie. For having persisted in the statement that none is to be baptized but he who can repent, you will rightly assert that infants may not be baptized. But here there is need of a law forbidding, and you have no law. You therefore are the law, and where the lion fails you, patch on the fox. And why not? What one of your brethren weighs how correctly or incorrectly you reason? But we, who are accustomed to assert nothing not abundantly founded and supported by divine testimony, we know that Isaac, even when an infant, belonged to Abraham’s family so completely that he compelled his father to send forth the servant and the child born of her. Does not this seem so to you? But Paul joins Moses in saying: The son of a maid-servant shall not be heir with my son Isaac. He was heir, and doubtless of the family. For even they who are not heirs, such as slaves and freedmen, are of the family. I do not care to plead here that by lawyers this son whom you disinherit here is declared a member of the family. I hasten to this: Ex. xii. 48 we read—we who go to the Old and the New Testament as to two lights to prevent us from being deceived, while in the meantime you support yourselves on your own spirit—as pearls do on their own absorption when nothing flows into or moistens them from outside—we read, I say: And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee and keep the passover of the Lord, let all his males first be circumcised, and then he shall rightly keep it. Why is said here: All his males? Does this pertain only to adults? Why then the precept to circumcise every male on the eighth day? Yet infants are not of the family. To me the opposite seems true, for they possess heirship. But it is yours to prove by Scripture that they who received the sign of the church of God in accordance with the rite and religion of the parents belonged not to their parents’ family. But that you will as soon do this as cut through an isthmus I will show by other evidence. In Acts xxi. 5 Luke writes: And after some days we went on our way, all bringing with us wives and children, etc. Were the children here only adults? And if not adults, were they not of the family? What miracle is here, or what is the special attention, if the fathers of the family brought the apostle on his way with wives and youths or almost adults? This was the special attention, that fathers with their wives carried or dragged with them the children, as is customary during such eager times. Now they took with them not others, but their own sons; these were therefore in the family. There is no reason to admonish you, good reader, that I am exposing some trick or guile. For what difficulty will there be in discovering this to be malice, in that they do not reckon the infants of believers with the father’s family. For it cannot be foolishness, since they themselves are counted in the families of the Denks and Hetzers and Kautzs (wonderful flock) to their finger-nails.
Catabaptists. Seventh. Grant that there were infants in these families, the truth yet does not favor that those infants were baptized. But it follows with insult to truth and divine wisdom.
Reply. Who can wonder enough at the assurance of the man? He grants that children were in those families, but says they were not baptized. Yet in the first passage the words are: But I baptized also the house of Stephanas. In the second: But when she was baptized and her house. In the third: And he was baptized and all his house. How could he say in general, in the first place, that he had baptized the house of Stephanas, which he did not do if there were children in it whom he had not admitted? The same must be said about the second. But in the third case, when he asserts that the whole house was baptized, how is it that they do not see that in the beginnings the same custom obtained as with Abraham and his descendants, who circumcised the whole class of his servants, as well those taken in war as the home-born slaves and those bought, not to say the children, as appears from the passage just cited from Exodus? There it is expressly commanded to circumcise every male of the family, and there is never any mention of believing or knowing God, which yet ought to be the especial care of all It follows, he says, with insult to the truth and wisdom of God. Though they know neither, they affirm insult to both. But what contumely is it to either God’s truth or his wisdom that Hebrew infants were circumcised and included in the faithful families? But these words of theirs are high-sounding; this is their merchandise—bombast and words a foot and a half long. To words of this sort, which they use in great rotundity, the unskilled mob erects its ears and then applauds.
Catabaptists. Eighth. The last chapter of this epistle shows that the apostle neither knew nor baptized children. Zwingli dishonestly keeps this back; it makes against his foundation of glass. Paul describes this family to the learned when he says: Ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first-fruits in Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the service of the saints—that ye submit yourselves to them and to every one that helpeth with us and laboreth. A family of this sort pædobaptism and pædobaptists do not recognize; they do away with it, for it is against them.
Reply. As in many other places so here, we easily catch the author of this frivolous confutation, although the greatest proof is the Swiss tongue, in which it is so written that it has no foreign or imported words. Yet, as I have said, since the man now doubtless burns among the shades as much as he froze here through his catabaptist washings, I have concluded to omit his name.* What impudence is this, O shade, in that you assert that I wish to ignore these words of Paul. Were these words not cited by Haetzer in the first two debates? Did not I reply that they were synecdochic, like 1 Cor. x. 1: All our fathers were under the cloud? But there were infants also under the cloud, yet no individual mention is made of them. All crossed the sea. Yet the infants could not have crossed. Therefore they crossed who did not, but were borne by those who did. So in the family of Stephanas there were those who were the first believers of the Achaians; there were also those who at the same time belonged to the church, who in actuality, because of age, not yet believed or took part in the ministry of the saints. All were baptized unto Moses. He speaks throughout of the fathers, the ancestors and forefathers, by which we understand that they who were then infants Paul now calls fathers, for out of these was the people of Israel. Therefore not only adults, but infants also, were baptized unto Moses. For if they who were infants at the crossing of the Red Sea were not baptized, the apostle did not speak correctly in saying: All were baptized unto Moses, for they were, as I have just said, the fathers of their posterity. Whither do you turn now? Not to pass this by: Infants are written of by the apostle as then baptized. But you say it is a figure. Very good. It was a figure like this: As those infants then belonged to the family of their earthly and their heavenly Father and were sealed by their sacraments, so now also they who are children of Christians, since they are also sons of God, use the sacrament of God’s sons. You will find no crack by which you can escape. For you argue foolishly to the negative from facts and examples, or rather from neither fact nor example. For what do you but say: The apostles are not said to have baptized infants, therefore infants are not to be baptized? Does not your whole strength turn on this one hinge? But we cannot so strive, but only by facts, if only one has to stand and judge by examples, as follows: The Hebrew children were all baptized in the cloud and in the sea, just as are ours. Paul, in the passage cited, tends in no other direction than to prove that they are as much initiated by our sacraments as we ourselves. It follows therefore, first, that in Paul’s time it was the custom of the apostles to baptize infants; second, if any one contradicts it he vitiates the opinion of Paul. What does this man here than the like? He says we are not superior to them, and they are not inferior to us. He attributes to them then the same sacraments as we have, and to us the same as they had, as in Col. ii. 11. Those ancients could not all be baptized exactly as we are unless we were all baptized with our families. All these therefore being baptized and made equal with us, it is clear that as all their infants were baptized in the sea unto Moses, so also in the time of the apostle believers’ children were baptized unto Christ.
Now I return to the point, and assert that the children are spoken of by synecdoche in: All crossed the sea. For to be accurate crossing occurred only to those who were of an age and strength to cross, and that all ate the same spiritual food when those alone ate who were spiritual, yet none the less it is said of all that they ate. So also in this place, if Paul had used the word “all” and had said: All of Stephanas’ family have given themselves to the ministry of the saints, yet by the very force of synecdoche the infants also would be understood to be of the family, and [likewise] that they who then had believed had given themselves to the Lord. For this is the nature of synecdoche, that when as to any body that has different parts, and those parts are similar in some respects and different in others, anything is predicated of the whole body, it is understood of a part, and what is said of a part is understood of the whole. Here is an example of what I mean. All Judea went forth to him. You see that “All Judea” is put for those who went out, and the synecdoche is two-fold. One puts the container for the content and the other the whole for a part: the Judean region for the inhabitants, all the inhabitants for a good part of them. On the other hand see Is. iii. 16: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty. Here the daughters of Zion are a part of the whole, yet they are put for the whole people, especially for the princes who erected haughty crests wickedly against the Lord. Ex. xvi. 2: All the congregation murmured against Moses. But how did the children murmur? They were ignorant of what was done. But if they did not murmur the whole congregation did not murmur, for the children were also of the congregation. You see what sort of critics you are, laboring in logomachy and desperately ignorant of what you most trust in. For you cling to the letter alone, and are ignorant of what is of prime importance in expounding the letter. Tell me, pray, to whom was it said: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, and thou shalt not steal, and the like? Was it not to the ancients who were the people and church of God? But those things cannot be said to infants; are these then not to be of the church and people of God? God forbid! The children were members of the people of God, the fathers indeed of the people. Gen. xxv. 23. It is clear therefore that what is said with reference to some body or whole when there is a part of that whole to which what is said does not relate, that part none the less belongs to that body, even though what is said does not fit it. Again, if anything is said of a part of this body or whole which yet does not belong to that part at all, yet it so relates to the whole body that it touches and admonishes those parts that are subject to what is said, as is clear at once from the examples cited. “Thou shalt not steal” is not said to the infants, but to those who are under its responsibility. Again, the threat that Isaiah makes against the daughters of Zion pertains to all who oppressed men by their violence and haughtiness. So also I replied, though not in so many words, to that passage that Haetzer adduced from Paul, by which he would exclude the children from the family of Stephanas. Yet that family appears to have been pretty large, if we worthily weigh the generously ample words in which Paul treats of them. Children remain therefore till now in believers’ families and are baptized, and when mention is made of those families, or they are written or spoken of, whatever is said or told pertains to that part to which it is applicable. I might adduce numberless examples, for the Hebrews use almost no figure more extensively, but I think a taste has been given by which you will easily tell all the rest. “Israel my inheritance.” To whom was this said, if not to the Israelitic posterity? But children can not receive this. It does not follow therefore they did not belong to the inheritance or the peculiar people. But although there is a part that cannot understand what is said, that part none the less belongs to the whole body. So when Christ said: Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them, etc., the apostles taught all who were accessible to the doctrine, and they baptized all who were fitted for the sacrament of baptism.
Catabaptists. Paul, a man of truth, wished in this first chapter [of First Corinthians] to show that he had baptized but few at Corinth, but Zwingli and his witnesses make Paul a liar, and say that he baptized many when they assert that he baptized infants in the house of Stephanas.
Reply. Because we say that doubtless there were children in the families does it follow? Therefore they make Paul a liar, who asserts that he baptized but few. As if, though infants were baptized, they who were baptized by him could not be numbered still as a few! What, pray, can you do with such a stupid kind of men? What kind of a church do you think that which—I will not say believes, but—listens to a man asserting such things?
Catabaptists. Tenth. How the reality is, this text shows which says: Let no one say he was baptized in my name and thence be puffed up on my account. If infants then should speak and be factious (as those Zwinglians would have it) they were rightly baptized.
Reply. See how fine they are at a syllogism! Let no one say, says he, infants can not speak nor be factious, therefore they were not baptized. As if none could be factious but those who said they were of Apollos, Cephas or Paul! Then, as if we had not just shown that by synecdoche that is to be understood of any part which is suitable to it.
Catabapiists. Eleventh. It is not true that Paul baptized Corinthian children.
Reply. Gently, I beg of you.
Catabaptists. Why? Because he baptized believers alone or saw that they were baptized by others.
Reply. Now you argue finely, for it follows at once: Believers only were baptized, therefore children could not have been baptized—provided you can establish that exclusion, that believers only were baptized by the apostles.
Catabaptists. As we shall establish it from Acts xviii. aud xix., to the confusion and disproof of the misleading pædobaptist contention.
Reply. The mountain is laboring.
Catabaptists. It is thus in the Acts, xviii. 8. When Paul was at Corinth, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with his whole house, and many Corinthians who heard at the same time (I translate faithfully and literally, perverting nothing, however those fellows struggle and stammer even in the German tongue) believed and were baptized. Infants could not hear, they could not then believe, much less be baptized. For the hearing faithful were baptized. And here the whole house was rendered faithful, from which infants are excluded, and they were so excluded because there were none there, or if there were they were not counted in it and accordingly not baptized, for the faithful families were baptized.
Reply. Infants could not listen [to the word], but it does not follow that consequently they were not baptized. We have nowhere the prohibition not to baptize infants of believers unless they hear and believe. I require a prohibition forbidding. But you add beautifully: And here the whole house was rendered faithful. I grant it. You continue: From which infants were excluded. This I ask you to prove from sacred Scripture. I hear it said: Infants are excluded, but nowhere by a divine oracle. Here the whole dispute hinges. There was a strife among the apostles whether the gospel should be preached also to the Gentiles or not. This strife rested partly upon a false inference, partly upon probability. The fallacy was this: To us the Christ was promised, therefore not to the Gentiles. But who is so unskilled as not to see that it does not at all follow: The Messiah was promised to us Jews, therefore not to the Gentiles. For it may be that he was promised also to the Gentiles, and the Scriptures testify to this in various ways. So in the present passage: The writings of the apostles testify that they who heard and believed were baptized, but it does not at all follow that children were consequently not baptized by them. For it may at the same time be true that the apostles baptized believers, and the apostles baptized children. Just as it is true: The Hebrews circumcised adults, they also circumcised infants. For when adult, nay, decrepit, Abraham inflicted upon himself the wound of circumcision and upon the infants Ishmael and Isaac. You are mistaken therefore, O Catabaptists, when you make an indefinite proposition exclusive. An exclusive is either, no one ought to be baptized except he who first believes, or infants ought not to be baptized. But from: The apostles baptized believers, and from: The apostles are not said to have baptized believers, it does not follow. For “The apostles baptized believers,” and “No one may be baptized unless he first believes” are not equivalent. So also with: “The apostles are not said to have baptized infants, therefore these were not baptized by them and may not be by us.” For it may be that they baptized both believers and infants, and also either that they baptized infants, but the fact was not recorded, or that they did not baptize them, and still these were baptized by the ministers of the churches or may be rightly baptized. For [the apostles] were sent above all to preach, not to baptize. If you impute sophistry to me here, as the boldness of the calumniator suggests, recognize that the following is your syllogism, or rather paralogism: The apostles are not said to have baptized infants, therefore they did not, and these are not to be baptized. So that we are compelled to turn your weapons against yourselves. This is probably what led the apostles to think that the gospel was not to be preached to the Gentiles. In the first mission this interdict was given: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, from which it was possible for them to assert most strongly that it was intended by Christ that he should keep himself for the Hebrews alone. If you had had such a deliverance, ye gods, with what impudence would you have rushed upon us! Consider therefore these two commands: Go ye and teach all the Gentiles, baptizing them in the name of the Father, etc., and: Go ye into all the world and preach, etc. Here we have the abrogation and annulment of the interdict: Go not into the way of the Gentiles. For they had before taught and baptized. They who thus far then had been shut up to the enclosure of Judea found opened to them the whole world. Thus, I will say in passing, you find these latter passages opposed like an antithesis to and abrogating: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles.” You have not therefore yet proved the negative: “No one may be baptized but the believer.”
Catabaptists. So also Acts xvi. 31 has: Believe in the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And that his house was saved with him follows on: And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. Then further: And he was baptized, and all his, straightway. He heard the word of the Lord, and so he was baptized, and all who were in his house; they, too, heard and so were baptized. Where again infants are excluded, for they could not hear and believe, as follows on: And he rejoiced with his whole house, because he had believed in God.
Reply. To pass over some things translated into the Swiss tongue not with entire fidelity, I briefly say: This whole knot may be cut by the one axe of synecdoche. For if there were infants in that family, what is said about faith and doctrine we apply to those who could receive and believe, but what is said of baptism, to those who belonged to the family of the believing master, but through age or weakness neither heard nor believed. For when God said: Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God, he spoke to all who were of Israel. But because the infants neither hear nor understand he does not exclude them so that they are not of the congregation of the people of God or should not be circumcised with all who hear and believe.
Catabaptists. Twelfth. Philip preached to the whole city of Samaria, where doubtless there were infants. Yet Luke speaks in these insuperable words: And they were baptized, men and women. Men and women, says Luke. But if some sciolist should say, as a certain Wittenberg sophist lately did: Under the word women girls are also included, and under “men” males, this is fiction. For preceding these words we find: Philip preached, they believed. They, the men and women, I say, believed and were baptized. So here falls synecdoche, Zwingli’s other basis. This synecdoche is a comprehensive mode of speech to the effect that where Scripture speaks of believers baptized, infants, too, are included among them, as he strives to prove by perverting the Scripture passages that do not contain this.
Reply. I pass over, O shade, what that Wittenbergian did with you while you were in the flesh. But this is sure, that this passage does not exclude infants, even though it does not mention them. For that does not exclude which does not explicitly mention; for to pass over is one thing, to exclude, another. That may be omitted which is in no way excluded. The excluded can never come into the account. Since then the omitted, as well as those expressly mentioned, are included by synecdoche (as has been sufficiently shown), we are still waiting for you to prove that exclusion of yours by which you assert infants are excluded. For we have proved that by comprehension (i. e., synecdoche, unless the Latin word is less appropriate than the Greek,) they are included. In that you promise to show how I had asserted synecdoche only by twisting Scripture, again you are rich in promising, but poor in fulfilment. For when you would tear away synecdoche, you establish it most firmly.
Catabaptists. As in Acts ii. 44: All who believed were together and had all things common. Here, says Zwingli, if believers alone were there, whither had they removed the infants? If they had cast them off, they would have been fine believers to disown the children against the command of the Lord. So the children of believers were also numbered with believers and were baptized with them. To which we reply: Zwingli speaks rightly when he says that they would not have been believers if they had cast off the children. For how could it be that these who had all things in common did not have the children common nor educate them in common, according to the precept of the Lord? Infants then are not numerated or reckoned among the believers, but are included in this, that the believers had all things common.
Reply. You see, good reader, whither the lie turns itself. They would rather enumerate believers’ children with their animals and baggage than with the parents, lest they be compelled by synecdoche to include them with believers. For they will not include them with: All who believed were there, but with: And they had all things common. Among them therefore children are not like dear pledges, are not our flesh and blood. For what else will they when they deny that they are included among the believers, and put them in what all have common? What tiger, pray, is so cruel? Surely to this pitch of insanity ought they to come who have put off not only the sense of piety, but also all human sensibility. Here I beseech you, pious heart, not to take offence at what I am about to say. For here it must be put down (not that I yield so much to passion, but that those things ought not to be ignored by all which those people secretly perpetrate, like what Alexander the coppersmith did to the divine Paul), so that we may the more easily guard ourselves from this pestilence. In describing their deeds I shall be free and brief. They have their wives common in such a manner as to desert their own marriage partners and take others; so with the children, as to desert them and leave them for others to support. These fine fellows, when lust persuades, make common a brother’s wife, even his virgin daughter. Though the very force of nature requires that they cherish their children by the sweat of the body, they make them common to others.
We have a man named Figella (Hafner?), who lives about a mile from the city. He most contumaciously protected their teaching, and had got together for his house provision wherewith to spend the winter, and as often as meal-time came around the idle flies were present, prophesying finely about God, for they think their babblings worthy the name of prophecy. The father, wife and children were held fast by these wonders until the provisions were exhausted. The man then, least expecting what would happen, hoped to provide other food with the aid and assistance of his table companions; he warned them that it was time to get to work providing nourishment. He talked to the deaf, for when he was compelled to lay the warp and set the woof (for he was a weaver), and looked for their help in some part, they began to praise God that his providence prepared and promised all things for them as it were unsown and untilled, and laid hand to no work. Meanwhile he learned from his wife that they had attempted adultery with her under the pretext of piety, and [when] he saw that they were bellies, and not the angels he had a little before supposed them, he drove the scoundrels from his house, recovered his eyes and returned to the Church of Christ. Here you see how public they would have things. The lost fellows would have the goods of ordinary men common, but their own, if they have any, in no wise. If they have none they make all common in this way: they distribute the labor to others; they enjoy leisure so as to do nothing, then they eat in common. So with wives, not to do away with the Republic of Plato,* they make common not their own, but others. This is proved by the following: One of their leaders lived in a village about five miles out of the city,† a man of considerable wealth. His wife came to him in haste when he was going away that he might leave something for the children. She asked blood from a stone. Meanwhile the wife remained for the night, perhaps hoping that her blandishments would win something from him, and when the hour arrived she sought the couch of her husband, and the spiritual man replied to her: Did I not tell you that you came only for lust? He then cast her off, and called to him a Catabaptist girl. When the wife, foreboding evil, opposed this, he devoted her to evil. “You are carnal,” he said, “and so you think and suspect carnal things. You will be damned eternally.” Since her suspicion was in no way shaken by the maledictions, she came to us and told us what her husband, elsewise so impatient of lust, imposed upon them to believe—i. e., about spiritual marriage. For there was room for the suspicion, since he had gone with the same girl on several occasions to St. Gall, and alone with her had passed not only through groves and shady places, but had occupied her couch during the night. Now finally he disclosed the mystery—there was a spiritual marriage between them—to which statement the wife gave no credence. So this fellow would have left his wife common to others that he might leave something common (he never touched her afterwards), unless she had kept her marriage vows with better faith than he, and took a common girl, or rather, made her common.
I will give also another example. There were elsewhere also those who contracted spiritual marriages after a similar fashion; by silver rings they purchased of jewelers they bound girls and women spirits to them. There were such in the school of Valentine, as Irenæus testifies in his first book.* At St. Gall public charges were made against two girls who had been of unblamed modesty until they had gone over to the Catabaptists, but whose modesty had suffered shipwreck when their bodies were immersed in catabaptism. They affirmed that they were betrothed in spiritual marriage, the rings being accepted, and in one night on one couch two Catabaptists had so loosed their virgin belts that the couch, groaning for a long time, at length, impatient of the burden, threw on the floor with one crash the two marriages. Those who heard the downfall swore solemnly that those spirits made such a sound that it appeared as if four bodies had fallen from on high. I beg you, reader, not to go away before considering that the force of hypocrisy surpasses even the attack of lust. By which they may be the less self-complacent who, even if they were chaste (which I do not myself believe), yet were such in order to lay up for themselves this glory among mortals. For those very girls had before been tempted to the crime, but in vain. Hypocrisy is therefore more potent than the flesh, for under the pretext of the Spirit and by deceit it has carried the tower of virginity. Why should I speak of the open adulteries, which, although many, are few in comparison with those concealed by their skill? But who can fittingly tell of the awful murder which a brother perpetrated upon his own brother in St. Gall?† What ability in words can worthily set forth so great atrocity? Or who is so dull as not to see that God has set forth this example for the good of all, so as the more to deter from this pernicious sect? A brother calls in a brother who is thinking of no such thing into the presence of his father, mother, sisters and the whole family, and orders him to kneel in the midst. The fanatical fellow obeys, thinking his brother is going to show some wonder. Doubtless the parents had the same expectation, for almost daily among them something new is born, as in Africa. But when this one had kneeled, the other seized a sword which he had brought for this purpose, drove it through his neck and cut off his head, which rolled to the feet of his parents, and left him lifeless. From his trunk poured a great quantity of blood. All there fell and became [as] lifeless in madness. The murderer himself ejaculated: The will of God is fulfilled. Like a madman he came into the city and cried out to the Burgomaster: I announce to you the Day of the Lord. For at that time they were appointing as the day of the Lord that Ascension Sunday that passed two years ago. I cannot jest here at that murderous sect, for the deed was too atrocious to admit any mirth. They assert for many other, but especially for this reason, that a Christian may not exercise the magistracy, that a Christian may kill no one. And at the same time they all deny that they can judge that crime I have been describing. A parricide therefore is not charged among them, while a homicide is.
Now I return to the matter. Not without reason will they not reckon among believers the children of believers who live with the church; they put them among the things that are common, for they make a man as valuable as a beast—nay, a beast loves more truly a kindred beast than that murderer his own brother. What is there wonderful then about their using virgins and matrons as they do beasts and baggage animals? Among them it is no crime to lay murderous hand upon a brother; how much less will they hear an accusation of adultery and lewdness! Those who are rebaptized unite with a church that denies, if they themselves commit it, that adultery and harlotry is a crime. For to that purport once he who is now a shade said to me, when they were asserting that they were without sin: They would at once shut out from the church him who committed any wrong. I at once reminded him of the man who had committed adultery at Wesen;* he replied: Even though he committed adultery, he did not sin. They who are in our church cannot sin. Then I said: So adultery is not sin among you? There is no adultery with us, he said: I will not say whether [adultery] is sin or not, but that is not adultery which you think is. For since we have one and the same spirit nothing can take place with us which is sin, for as we have one spirit so also we have one body. This sentiment they now preach in open terms. Those who are rebaptized unite also with a church that does not know to judge parricide [fratricide]. But the most noble senate of St. Gall—a city that is most regardful of the glory of Christ—executed the parricide [fratricide] at the prayers of parents and kinsmen, and thereafter, a sign being given by the Lord, suppressed so prudently this evil that nowhere are there fewer Catabaptists, although in the beginning their number was very great. For that whole family had been immersed, and the house itself was the meeting place of the Catabaptists—the house where a brother dipped his murderous hand in his brother’s blood. From this one might rightly say that it was stricken with death by divine justice, both on account of the family and the Catabaptists.
Catabaptists. Otherwise Zwingli would be compelled to admit because of the following context that infants sold their goods and distributed them, which is impossible, and has nothing to do with them, for the property was their believing parents’. And from the context it would follow that the infants who are reckoned among believers, and so baptized, were obliged to celebrate the Lord’s Supper because they were baptized. Similarly they must have prayer with the other believers, for the preceding and following context is as follows: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayer. Who steadfastly continued? All that became believers. If then infants became believers, or were numbered with them, they also broke bread, which no reason can make out, and they were also not baptized. For if they were baptized, they also broke bread, which Zwingli himself will not maintain. Now see how synecdoche hangs together!
Reply. Why do you charge me viciously with a skill in arguing which I never assumed, but [which] is deceitfully attributed by those who cannot sustain the force of the truth on which I rely, since this whole paragraph is only vicious reasoning? For when you oppose synecdoche, you make clear that you do not yet see what synecdoche is. For you do not yet understand that there is no synecdoche where the words are received in their simple and true sense. For where this is the case there is no figure. That discourse is figurative which does not bring us the sense which the first aspect of the words carries. Synecdoche is a figure, so where synecdoche is some other than the open meaning is hidden. Hence when you thus infer: If infants were numbered among the believers, they broke bread, prayed, sold their goods and distributed to the needy, you take everything according to the letter. What then? Do you wish to eliminate synecdoche from the passage? Why not say then: This passage does not admit synecdoche, and then prove it by argument and evidence? But this cannot be done, since I have proved more than sufficiently above that infants belong to the family of the parents, and that you act not only impiously, but inhumanly, when you prefer to include believers’ infants among baggage and goods rather than among believers. If, however, you have come to the poin of confessing this discourse to be figurative indeed, but here require of synecdoche that whatever is said of the whole body be true of all its parts (as every one sees you do think when he looks closely into your teachings), you are wholly in error. For that is not synecdoche where, as we have said, what is said of the whole is true of each part, for then there is no figure. But that is synecdoche when a part of any body is received for the whole, or the whole for a part. I have shown this by the clearest examples. Still, that you may be supplied with all abundantly, hear this. In Ex. xxiii. 17 it is written: Three times a year all thy males shall appear before the Lord thy God. Notice this word “all.” Tell me, then, were infants in the cradle from all Palestine carried thrice a year to Jerusalem? If so, then according to your argument, they ate unleavened bread for seven days, sowed the fields and offered the firstfruits. But since they did not do this it follows that [all] males were not included. If they were not brought it is not true that every male appeared thrice a year before the Lord. “All males” is therefore synecdoche, and however on first appearance it seems as though every male is ordered to be present at the three feasts, they alone are bound by the law who were so old that they could receive the instruction or offer firstfruits or bear branches of trees, according to the variety of the feast or manner of celebration. So also when Deut. xxxi. 11-13 speaks of appearing at the reading of the law at the celebration of [the feast of] tabernacles it appears that those boys came who were beginning to understand what was read. So also Luke ii. 42 shows from Christ, who when 12 years old was a participant at the Passover, that they appeared who could themselves make the journey and understand what was done. At the feast of Pentecost it appeared that they alone went up who offered the firstfruits, a duty of the father or his representative. Here therefore is synecdoche. Again, Ex. xxxiv. 19: Every male that openeth the womb shall be mine. This can not bear synecdoche. For it so pertains to all the firstborn [males] that none is left exempt. I think you now see how crude and unlearned is your argumentation, since you do not deny synecdoche in the passage: They who believed were together, yet contend that all must be predicated of each part that is contained in the whole of which the synecdoche treats. But you do not consider the composition of the word itself—sun and ex with dechomai, as if you would say: When I take the whole body I understand something separate from among those things which are together included in that body. Or: When I take some part of the body I understand the whole body. So that the Latin comprehensio does not quite correspond with the Greek. Then when you contend thus: If then infants were counted among the believers, or were made believers, they also broke the bread, a thing that cannot at all be, and so they were not baptized. For if they were baptized, they would also have broken the bread. You reason wretchedly, so that it is clear to all who read your productions with judgment that you are all impostors. For since you leaders are not so untaught as not to see how wretchedly you reason, and since none the less you offer to the untaught vicious syllogisms, you cannot be saved from being impostors even by the Saviour himself. For what constrains it to follow here that they who were baptized also broke bread? Were there not among the ancients circumcised infants who yet did not tear the lamb nor eat unleavened bread? Or because thrice a year they were not present, were they therefore not of God’s people? Learn then that infants were counted among believers and were baptized, and that of believers those actually believed, prayed, distributed property, broke the Lord’s bread, who had come to such age and understanding as to be fitted for this and subject to the observance, as is clear from the examples drawn from Exodus and Deuteronomy. Every male was directed to be present at the feast, the women and boys at the reading of the law; but however the letter reads, by synecdoche is understood every class according to its manner and understanding. What have squalling [infants] to do with the reading of the law, or adolescents with the offering of firstfruits, unless the father directs them?
The thing itself compels me willy nilly, good reader, to cease to give the vain words of the Catabaptists and to draw to a close. So hereafter I will act thus: I will untie every knot, and whatever is said by them that has any force I will adduce with such fidelity as I have thus far in rendering it literally into Latin. And for this reason in particular, that what they have thus far adduced against the figurative sense has been in great part refuted. What they have argued about the Testament will be so treated and torn away when we reach the Testament.
The arguments against the synecdoche in 1 Cor. x. 9: All our fathers were under the cloud, they all crossed the sea, all were baptized unto Moses, all ate the same spiritual food—the arguments, I say, that they bark out against these synecdoches are so foolish and impure that they are not to be taken into account. For they say they know that they ate, drank, crossed the sea, went to stool and urinated, but it must be proved by us by clear Scripture that infants were baptized. After that they insult us this way: See now how Zwingli stands with his synecdoche, which he affirms with his own peculiar cunning and sophistry, lest by acknowledging the truth he may suffer the persecution of the cross of Christ. What can you do with these men? That I might expound synecdoche correctly I adduced these examples, which they are so far from tearing away that he who will may use them, not only as examples of synecdoche, but to show also that in the apostles’ time believers’ infants were baptized, as I have indicated above. They approach the matter with bitterness, since they can do nothing by the sharp energy of the word of God. They charge cunning and sophistry, which I so express my abhorrence of that all my writings can free me from the charge better than any oration prepared for this purpose. But I recognize and cherish the truth. And I should have to endure nothing if I should adopt your opinion, unless you are most mendacious, for you have promised oftener than I can say that all will eventuate happily if I join you. But you had to have recourse to calumnies and shouts when you undertook to overthrow synecdoche, for you saw this to be impossible. This remains, and will ever remain, synecdoche: The fathers were all baptized, the fathers all ate the same spiritual food with us, as was shown in the foregoing sufficiently and will be treated again in the following. Thus far I have replied to the first part of your refutation, to the rest I will do the same in the course of the disputation. Now I proceed to the second part.
[* ]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.
[* ]That is, Zwingli claims that there were infants in the family although there is no plain scripture proof of it.
[* ]Faber, vicar general of Constance. See note on p. 46.
[* ]These persons were prominent Baptists. Hans Denk, born at Heybach (Habach), Upper Bavaria, about 1495; was educated at Ingolstadt; and in Augsburg received into the circle of the Humanists (1520); in Basel was proof reader for Cratander and Curio, and thence in the autumn of 1523, on Œcolampadius’ recommendation, went to Nuremberg as principal of a classical school. But his stay was short, for his advocacy of the views of Münzer and Carlstadt made him so detested by the local clergy that he was driven out of the city on January 31, 1524, and ever after was a wanderer. He is found in Muhlhausen, St. Gall and in Augsburg (September, 1525-October, 1526), and there he met Balthasar Hubmaier, and there he was baptized and baptized others. He was now recognized as a leader by the Baptists, which meant that he was a shining mark for persecution. He went to Strassburg and made a stir, quite captivated many people, so the authorities requested him to leave, and he did, on December 26, 1526. On January 20, 1527, he is found in Landau holding a disputation upon Infant Baptism; the next few months he passed at Worms, and there in connection with Haetzer, another Baptist scholar, made a translation of the Prophetical Books, which is still esteemed (published by Peter Schöffer at Worms, April 13, 1527). Again the zeal of the Baptists in defending their views in a public disputation (June 13, 1527,) led to his expulsion from the city. He visited his brethren in South Germany and Switzerland, everywhere at the peril of his life. At last, wearied in body and mind from incessant wanderings and debatings, he came to Basel in the autumn of 1527, and threw himself upon the gentle and generous protection of Œcolampadius, who cheerfully received him and conscientiously, though vainly, strove to convert him. But soon he was attacked by a power no earthly protector could cope with—he fell sick of the plague and died in Basel, November, 1527. He was a pure, honest and noble man and fine scholar.
[* ]Allusion to his Commentary on the True and False Religion, see Works, iii., 171.
[* ]Phlegethon was one of the five rivers of Hades.
[† ]The document is generally attributed to Conrad Grebel, who had been converted by Zwingli from a licentious life, and who became one of his ardent followers. He joined the radical party in Zurich, and when Zwingli would not go their lengths he turned against him, and in letters to Vadian, his brother-in-law, abuses him. See Die Vadianische Briefsammlung, ed. Arbenz, passim. Grebel belonged to a prominent Zurich family. His father was beheaded as a traitor (November, 1526), and he himself was banished from the city for his Baptist faith in 1525, and died of the plague the next year at Maienfeld, in the canton of St. Gall and a couple of miles north of Ragatz.
[* ]The editors of Zwingli’s Works think that here, as on p. 155 and elsewhere, is an allusion to Balthasar Hubmaier because, as they say, Œcolampadius announced to Zwingli on July 19, 1527, that there was a rumor that Hubmaier had been burnt at the stake. The rumor was false and the editors made a slip, as this treatise of Zwingli’s is dated July 31, 1527, and the letter of Œcolampadius is really dated August 18, 1527. (Works, viii., 85.) But the allusion probably is to Conrad Grebel, as already stated on p. 155. To burn among the shades it was not absolutely necessary to have been burnt at the stake first.
[* ]Allusion to the teaching in Plato’s Republic, Book v.
[† ]This village probably was Zollicon, which was five miles out.
[* ]Irenæus, Adv. Haer., I., vi., 3. The passage is as follows:
[† ]Thomas Schinker upon his brother Leonhard.
[* ]At the west end of the Lake of Walenstadt, no mean rival of Lake Lucerne, some twenty miles southeast of Zurich. There Zwingli had passed his boyhood in his uncle’s house.