The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli
by Johann Hottinger
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Footnote 1: Which, according to the Gospel and Zwingli's views elsewhere unfolded, (see M. Huldr. Zwingli's Schriften im Auszug v. Usteri und V[oe]glin, Bd. I. Abth. 2, S. 387,) is one with Love.

Footnote 2: For the German translation of this passage from the Latin of Zwingli, the author was indebted to the above-mentioned work of Usteri V[oe]glin.

Footnote 3: All activity of the understanding is in its nature formal. Hence in order to pass over into reality, if it would become more than an exercise of the mind, which can be endlessly prolonged, it needs positive material. As soon as it transcends the positive and enters the region of so-called pure ideas, the dominion of the intellect, it runs into nothing, becomes a negation. The natural consequence of this dominion of the intellect, of which many now dream, is the popular doctrine: "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." To this the very wisest legislation of all nations has given too little attention.

Footnote 4: De Eucharistia. Zwingli's Works, by Schuler and Schultheiss, Latinorum scriptorum pars prima, p. 341.

Footnote 5: Thursday of Passion-week, 1525.

Footnote 6: Martin Luther's Works, edited by Pfizer, p. 600.

Footnote 7: Equal to 270 English miles.—Translator.

Footnote 8: Lingard's History of England, Vol. VIII. Ch. 3 and 6.



Zwingli's absence had lasted seven weeks, from the 3d of September to the 19th of October, 1529. On his return home, he did not find the country in that peaceful condition, which the well-disposed and the short-sighted had hoped for from the conclusion of the Landfriede (General Peace), and his arrival in no wise tended to lessen the agitation. The Landfriede granted the choice of their own ecclesiastical system to the inhabitants of the Common Territories. Where the mass had been abolished and images burned or carried away, according to its letter, they who did these things could not be punished, either in person, standing or property; but just as little, on the other hand, in places where they still existed, could those who preached a different doctrine enter, until invited by a majority of the parishioners. Special conferences between cantons were interdicted, in so far as they had reference to the affairs of the Confederacy, but allowed to those who were authorized to transact business for the Buergerrecht and alliances of like character. The following injunction was issued by the deputies of all the Thirteen Cantons: "In order that we may not be again plunged into disunion and greater discord, through reviling and recrimination, all and every one shall be specially forbidden, on pain of severe punishment, to deal in unbecoming scandal, wanton, useless and injurious words of shame, abuse, filth and insult, scornful expressions, disparagements and taunts, such as human ingenuity knows how to devise; no one shall any longer venture to pick at, assail or blacken his neighbor with slanders, books of libel, prints, sayings, songs, verses and other means of provocation; but each one shall suffer his neighbor to remain quiet, undisturbed and in every way unmolested in the enjoyment of peace." The summer of the following year was fixed upon as the time of payment for the indemnity to cover the additional expenses incurred by the war and the support of the surviving relatives of the pastor Kaiser, who was burned at the stake, and authority was given to the Reformed Cities to stop the export of provisions into the Five Cantons, in case of refusal. In regard to the rents, tithes and revenues of the monasteries and clerical foundations, they could either continue as heretofore, be allowed under changed conditions, or abolished altogether. Every one of these articles contained material for a future explosion. It was impossible to comply with them fully, because on the one side a conviction of their justice or expediency was wanting, and on the other they were considered as far too lax in their requirements—because individual cases usually occurred in such a shape that their conditions were not applicable in every particular, and finally, because the embers of passion still glowed in the bosoms of those who were in power; and among the leaders of both parties, the desire of carrying out their own ecclesiastical system or political plans outweighed their interest in the welfare of their common fatherland.

Since Catholic bailiffs ruled in the Territories, who could blame them for watching anxiously over those communities, in which the mass and images were still retained, and for striving to prevent the entrance of Reformed preaching, the influx of Zwinglian doctrines and writings? But who, on the other hand, could take umbrage, if individual members of congregations, in the wish to hear at least the new doctrines, endeavored to win over their neighbors and friends, and thus gain a majority, in order to call in a preacher? Such persons generally turned to Zurich, where they found support, whilst the bailiffs made complaint of it at the meetings of the Diet or to the Five Cantons; nor did they complain the less also of their fierce invectives, mutual strife and immunity from punishment. Here the will to punish was wanting; there the power, especially if the offenders belonged to the distinguished classes, as they frequently did. But the circumstances of the abbot and monastery of St. Gall afforded the chief material for a new quarrel; and these it will be necessary now to describe in detail.

The monastery of St. Gall, from its very origin, played an important part in the history of our fatherland; in the first centuries by its scientific reputation as a renowned and influential seminary of learning, and afterward on account of its increasing possessions, its political influence and the rank of its abbot as a prince of the empire. The abbot ruled over that tolerably extensive district, lying between Wyl and Roschach, on Lake Constance, under the title of the "Old Province," and also, from the year 1469, over the County of Toggenburg, under that of the "New Province." The abbacy of St. Gall constituted the first and most considerable of the so-called Allied Cantons; its deputies appeared at the sessions of the Diet, and its armed soldiery marched out with the other confederates in their wars. The County of Toggenburg enjoyed no mean privileges; it had the choosing of its own general council (landrath), the right of appointing lower courts, subject, it is true, to the sanction of the abbot, and for the protection of these privileges stood under one common law with the states of Schwyz and Glarus, to which, at a later period, the abbot also was admitted for the security of its rights. He had also formed an alliance with the four states, Zurich, Luzern, Schwyz and Glarus, on behalf of his possessions, by which these cantons were pledged to protect him and his abbey, with all his subjects, in their rights and liberties. For this service, half the fines accruing in the territories of St. Gall were paid over to them, and the dependants of the abbot were bound to obey their call in time of war. For the exercise of these rights and the performance of their duties, the Four Cantons, each every two years in succession, placed a governor-general at Wyl, who was ex-officio a member of the abbot's privy council, and took rank immediately after him.

This position had been filled, from the beginning of the year 1529, by Jacob Frei, a member of the Zurich Council. The abbot, Francis Geissberg, now for a long time an invalid, found it entirely beyond his power to make any effectual resistance to the attacks, by which he saw himself and his monastery threatened from the city of St. Gall, his own subjects and the Preformed Confederacy. Every day the doctrine of the unscripturalness of clerical dominion gained ground, and penetrated even among the brethren of the convent, a part of whom threw off their monkish garments. The majority, however, remained firm to their vows. The abbot, already far gone in dropsy, had himself conveyed to Roschach, where, in a fortified castle, he was more secure than in a cloister standing open to invasion from the burghers of St. Gall. There, on the 21st of March, he died, and this was the moment that Zurich and the city of St. Gall had waited for, to take measures against the monastery itself, but principally against its political rights. Meanwhile eleven of the monks, one month before, had pledged themselves under a solemn oath, even on compulsory removal from the cloister, to renounce none of the rights of the convent, but rather to uphold them in every possible manner. For six days, the death of the abbot was kept secret even in Roschach, and his food carried into him as though he were yet alive, whilst the monks assembled in Rapperschweil and there elected one of their number, Kilian German, in his stead. The news of this action awakened the liveliest displeasure among the Zurichers, who had relied on the power of the burghers of St. Gall to prevent it. But priestly cunning triumphed, and German afterward succeeded in obtaining an acknowledgment, first from two cantons of the protectorate, Luzern and Schwyz, and then with much trouble from Glarus also. Three months later, the election was ratified by Pope Clement the VII., and proofs of consideration and offers of any amount of help received from Austria.

The new abbot, a man of talent, descended from a branch of the distinguished family of the Toggenburgers, as soon as the choice had fallen on him, made known his purpose plainly, not to rest until he and his convent had come again into full possession of their rights; until the religious usages were restored, and divine worship celebrated after the old mode in the church of the foundation. But just as plainly did Zurich and St. Gall declare that this should not be. The subjects of the monastery were now roused up by Zurich, and many in Toggenburg began to hope even for complete deliverance from all foreign rule. Reconciliation had become impossible. In a letter of advice, drawn up by Zurich and St. Gall, it is expressly said: "Matters have come to this pass, that either our Lords, together with our confederates and christian fellow-citizens of St. Gall and the entire population of the abbacy (Gotteshauschente), to whom our Lords have pledged life and property, for the ministry of the Divine Word, or else Sir Kilian, the pretended abbot, must bend and break."

In this business Zwingli took a very active part. His plans in relation to it were so comprehensive that he did not look for entire approval in Zurich herself. Not only were the lawful claims of the two cantons, Luzern and Schwyz, to a share in the deliberations on the affairs of St. Gall, wholly set aside, but Glarus also was not to be heard, except in so far as she agreed with Zurich in the fundamental principle laid down by him. This principle, that all spiritual lordship is unscriptural, and therefore unjust—a principle, which he was ready to avow, defend and prove clearly on the field of science, he carried over, as already shown, into the sphere of politics and wished to apply it to a treaty made in times, when men knew nothing of it, and with parties, who did not even yet recognize it. Hence an opinion drawn up by him has this heading: "Advice how the deputies ought to treat, either with or without the deputies of Glarus, so that the monastery of St. Gall, its abbot and its monks may be surprised, overcome and put up at auction with their monkhood and lordship, and knocked down to the Four Cantons." On the margin is added: "Not to be read before the burghers" (Great Council).

It was then proposed, in plain language, to send full orders to the governor-general to call together the subjects of the abbey everywhere in their several parishes, and announce to them that Zurich was resolved, as far as lay in her power, to prevent the acknowledgment of the abbot elect and the choice of any successor; since there could be no concord between monkery and the Gospel—that she had no desire to invade the rights of the Four Cantons in their character of common wardens, and hence would act not merely in her own name, but in conjunction with Glarus, in case the latter were willing, with the proviso also of a full report to the other two cantons, "until God would make them of the same mind"—and, that it was just as much her intention to respect the rights of the people of the abbacy, with whom "she would cheerfully sit down, hear their grievances and judge therein with moderation and dispatch, as is becoming in such affairs, meanwhile pledging person and property not to suffer them to be injured or oppressed, so far as life and property can reach. Let it be known too in what a friendly and brotherly manner Zurich and Glarus have ever behaved toward their subjects, and that up to this time their rule has never been dreaded. Letters and seals should also be prepared, which, if God please, no one shall break in all coming time. All this done, the serious question should be put to the people of the abbacy, whether they will agree to break up the monastery, and if so, it shall be done promptly and peacefully, unless resistance is offered." It appears, however, that this was not anticipated, for several other doubtful points are added to the opinion, with the express injunction: "These must not be made known to the people of the abbacy, until the business is finished." But if peaceful measures did not suffice to carry out the plan, compulsion was to be used: "If any one wishes to fight, an appeal for help shall be made to our confederates of St. Gall and the people of the abbacy, and with God's favor the places shall be taken by force of arms." As soon as they are taken, Luzern and Schwyz shall be written to, and the proceeding justified on the score of necessity, the hostility of the abbot against Zurich, and the urgent need of the people of the abbacy. Meanwhile those monks, who can be caught, shall be thrown into prison, a thorough search made, inventories drawn up, and "if the treasure cannot be found, the monks who know anything about it, shall be further questioned upon oath, until the whole truth come to light. When everything is finished and sealed before the government at Zurich, the people of the abbacy shall take the oath of allegiance, whilst Toggenburg is silenced by hopes of greater freedom." In fine, the opinion gives it as the aim of all these counsels, "that the monk may no longer be a stallion to beget more of his kind, but bridled, harnessed and taught to obey the rein."

This plan was certainly radical, but not evangelical. It was not possible that Luzern and Schwyz; not possible that the Catholic cantons generally, could suffer these violations of Confederate faith, and of sealed treaties to pass by unheeded. And Glarus, although the majority of her people sympathized in Zwingli's views of the unscriptural character of spiritual lordship, and were by no means favorable to the abbot and his rule, nevertheless felt hurt by the arbitrary action of Zurich and the air of guardianship which she assumed even toward her.

Bern also was far from sharing in the unbridled zeal of her sister city on the Limath, whose intervention in the affairs of St. Gall was not the least among the reasons, that held her sword in the scabbard, during the first campaign, in the summer of the year 1529. But then Zurich endeavored to defend the steps she had taken against the abbot by the articles of the Landfriede; this treaty, it was said, would secure the city of St. Gall from punishment for what she had permitted in regard to the monastery, for its occupation, the disorders which had ensued, and the removal of the images from the churches, as well as confirm and guarantee peace to those parishes in Toggenburg, where the preaching of the Gospel and a synodical rule had been introduced by the advice of Zwingli. The political relations, both of the people of the abbacy and of the Toggenburgers remained in an unsettled state. Had the Five Cantons known it, they never would have approved of conditions, by which the abbot could be deprived of his territorial rights.

During the campaign he had fled to Bregenz and Ueberlingen, carrying along the archives and jewels of the monastery. With his conventuals, who had found refuge at Einsiedeln in Schwyz, he kept up a constant correspondence. Through his relatives he secured a devoted party in Toggenburg, and, by means of the monies at his command, adherents in various parts of Switzerland to undertake and further his cause. After the conclusion of the Landfriede (General Peace) he ventured to return home again, and even rode through a portion of the Zurichan territory in disguise. Zwingli's stay in Marburg was of great service to him. He furnished the different parishes in Glarus with his authentic titles. There was a powerful movement amongst the people, but the Reformed majority triumphed in the end. The deputies to a conference of the four protectorate cantons at Wyl received a commission to act in harmony with Zurich; but numbers of the opposite party withdrew reluctantly from the assembly, lamenting "that old letters and seals had no more value, since many a Saint Friedli[1] hung miserable, naked and bare on the rolls of parchment."

At this conference of the protectorate cantons held at Wyl, the abbot wished to conduct his cause in person. Zurich, to whom his absence was all-important, sent an order to the governor-general secretly to fill the castle with a garrison of trusty men. Kilian, learning this and fearing an ambuscade, staid away; but the people of the abbacy appeared before the deputies of the cantons with a petition, which showed that they knew how to carry out the doctrine of the unscriptural character of spiritual lordship to a further extent than was pleasant even to Zurich herself. "Accordingly, since the Holy Word of God does not direct or oblige us, we do not wish henceforth to have this or any other abbot; and because we are without court or council, and so exposed to outrage that no one scarcely is safe, we desire permission to have a chief-bailiff, a court, a council and similar officers of our own, so that crime may be punished, the peaceful and good protected, evil-doers suppressed, and a happy life led; for, as we pay rents and tithes we ought not to be left without law; and that you may see we do not ask for anything unreasonable, aged persons can yet be found, who remember that such a chief-bailiff and council, as we now desire, formerly existed among the people of the abbacy."

None of the Four Cantons was at all willing to grant this petition. The deputies of Luzern and Schwyz simply defended the rights of the abbot, complained to the Zurichers of the tyrannical proceeding of their governor-general and requested the removal of the garrison from the castle. Zurich and Glarus endeavored to quiet the people of the abbacy by promising to send home a report and afterward to communicate the views of their governments. The resolution now passed by the privy council of Zurich plainly unfolds its policy in this affair.—"Whereas you, our worthy deputies," so it reads, "cannot but see and regard the petition of the people of the abbacy as a desire, under show of a good spirit, to obtain the liberty of the flesh, to shake off authority, to lay hold of the rein with their own hands and appropriate to themselves power and rule, and the administration of the higher offices; and as you also cannot presume, that either you or we of the two cantons (Zurich and Glarus) have a right to act in this matter without the knowledge and approval of the other cantons; you will perceive that it is not advisable to grant them, just at this time, a chief bailiff, judge, council and high courts of dignity and appeal; we are only able, in order that they may have no reason to complain about justice and law, to allow them now, in the beginning, to fill the lower courts, as they have come down from antiquity, with honest, upright, sensible and God-loving men, but the principal posts of government, the high offices, to which sovereignty pertains, must continue as they are, until it is seen what course the abbot and the two cantons, who support him, will take." It was then proposed, to place the chief power in the hands of the governor-general for the interim, to associate with him for this purpose able men, and appoint them a court of appeal in judicial cases; but for the final settlement of affairs, to call together a second conference of the four protectorate cantons, and should Luzern and Schwyz refuse to take part in it, to signify to them, that they were determined to proceed without them. "It is then to be presumed," continues the letter of advice to the deputies, "if they thus see, that the abbot cannot be restored, they will quietly agree with us of the two cantons to take charge of the government. But should they persevere in their opposition and attempt to use any force on behalf of the abbot against our purpose and that of the honest people, it will then be our duty to curb force with force, until honest people, perchance our Confederates of Bern and others shall interpose and help to make a treaty of peace. And then indeed it will be discovered, whose shall be the rule and authority, and who shall be lord or servant, and thereby the desire for self-government among the people of the abbacy shall be broken and every thing rightly settled, ordered and secured by charter, how and in what form, henceforth, court, law, dignities, offices and all authorities shall be held, and how and what grievances shall be redressed for the honest people."

Zurich acted from this time forward, in accordance with these views, and at the close of the year, after Luzern and Schwyz had repeatedly declined to take part in a second conference, she issued, in connection with Glarus, an ordinance, of which the following is the substance: "Henceforth the governor-general is the chief ruler of the abbey-territory. As heretofore he shall be appointed for a term of two years by each of the four protectorate cantons in succession. He shall take an oath to favor the Divine Word and protect the same. Only then are his subjects bound to obey him. This governor is to be supreme judge, instead of the imperial bailiff. The high court shall consist, besides him, of twelve men, of whom he has the selection of four, and the territory of the other eight. In conjunction with these, or a majority of them, he shall appoint also the officers of the territory. The parishes shall be left free to choose their own preachers, who, however, must be examined and approved, either at Zurich, St. Gall or Constance. Only with the consent of the governor and the twelve can they be removed, or suspended from office. Rents, tithes and other lawful taxes, which are to be applied according to a former resolution, shall be paid over to a receiver, appointed by the city of St. Gall, who shall render a faithful account of the same. Whatever unchristian burdens have been laid upon the poor inhabitants by superstition or monkish rule, shall be abolished, and in order that the honest people may be the better able to help the poor in these dear times, the two cantons cheerfully authorize them to appropriate the ornaments and jewels of the churches to this more christian purpose."

In vain did the abbot protest against these arrangements; in vain did he threaten to look out for other protectorate cantons; in vain did he beg for active interference on the part of Luzern and Schwyz. Still discouraged by the untoward issue of the first campaign, they advised him to yield for a while, in hope that affairs would take a more favorable turn, and indeed thought it best that he should withdraw for a time. This he did, and went to Ueberlingen, where, in the beginning of the year 1530, amid much rejoicing, he found the object of his desires.

The proceeding of Zurich against the abbot and the monastery was carried on mainly by Zwingli; and that with increased zeal since his return to the fatherland. More and more, after the Marburg Conference, did he display the character of a politician—sometimes daring in the choice of his means. Thus he was to show himself to be only a man; and, as the most influential statesmen are very often obliged to do, as a vehement man; forever striking must the contrast remain between the greatest of all ages and all countries, and Him, who was indeed tempted in all things like as we are, but who alone was never overcome.

Without doubt the Savior of the world directed his attention to political life, and Christianity and politics are in no wise antagonistic. On the contrary, it is the aim of Christianity to elevate and ennoble even earthly relations; it is the true religion of the people. No saying is so misunderstood, so entirely twisted from its real meaning, as that uttered by Christ: "My kingdom is not of this world." This earth, the theatre of divine love and power, is represented as a vale of tears—a welcome doctrine to all secular and spiritual lords, who, through its spread, have only the less opposition to fear against their iron rule; and, only the more secure in the enjoyment of their state, agree in making it truly an abode of sorrow to millions of their subjects. There is no doubt that Christianity teaches us to bear and suffer; no doubt that it says: "Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also," and "whosoever shall compel thee to go with him one mile, go with him twain;" no doubt that it teaches the duty of submission to rulers, and has no sympathy with rebellion and self-aid, by resort to arms; yet far more strongly and impressively does this same Christianity speak to magistrates and rulers, and tell them? that men are not born lords and slaves, but brethren, and that they are the greatest who are the servants of all. Christianity wishes no forms of government, nor will it make them lawful, yea necessary, whilst overgrown wealth may find out means to chain down despairing poverty, by which reckless debauchery may riot in palaces, whilst in the hut, hard by, the restless laborer cannot earn bread enough to prolong his miserable existence. It will have the right to moderate enjoyment purchased by self-control and self-denial, and the capability to govern proven by the capability and practice of obedience; along with greater rights it places greater duties; with greater advantages it invariably connects greater burdens—and whilst it enjoins submission to God as an equal duty upon all, it does not make order in the state rest upon parchments or voluminous codes of laws, upon standing armies or public prisons, but upon the law written in the heart, upon love and a sense of duty.

Whether the time has ever arrived in any single country for such a transformation of politics, such a religious consecration of the forms of public life, is quite another question. That it did not exist in the days of Christ, that the seed was then only planted in the earth, to spring up afterward, when watered by the noblest blood, he himself has acknowledged and declared; but that the hour will yet come, when the grain of mustard-seed will grow up into a great tree and overshadow all the earth with its branches, he has also proclaimed; and happy the rulers, happy the law-givers, who have power to understand their great mission in the light of true Christianity. Why was the first appearance of the Reformers hailed with such universal joy, their annunciation of the Gospel with such hosannas, by the people? Because the presentiment had been awakened in millions of hearts that the day of freedom was dawning and the hour of their deliverance from spiritual and corporeal bondage had arrived. But what could liberty do for minors, who had been neglected for centuries, for the uneducated, for congregations without schools and incapable of comprehending the better religious instruction, which made but slow progress from the lack of qualified teachers? Fanatics, like the leaders of the Anabaptists, took hold of their excited minds and caused Luther and Zwingli to tremble at the consequences of their own boldness. The bands which were loosened, were partly drawn tighter again by Luther in monarchical Germany, in that he adhered the firmer to belief upon authority[2], and by Zwingli in republican Switzerland, in that, from the man of the people, he became the man of the government. Moreover the necessary enthusiasm among the people died away, till an hour of later trial, and it became an easier thing for the active enemies of the Reformation to awaken repentance in some, produce indifference in others, and win over individuals by means of promises. To the subjects of the abbot they used language like this: "What do you gain by casting off allegiance to your former sovereign, when you only get a severer one in his stead? Far more seldom does an ecclesiastical government call out its people to war; it gives a more efficient support to the poor; it does not lessen, nay rather increases the number of holidays; preaches no austere and gloomy morality; is patient and long-suffering, provided only no attack be made upon the faith." There were not a few, who lent open ears to such appeals. At a conference between their deputies and those of the Glarners at Wyl, the Zurichers were obliged to feel this. Envoys came also from Luzern and Schwyz, and the newly reviving party of the old faith rallied around them. Then arose a tumult among the latter, and for a moment the danger was so great that the Glarners meditated flight, but the Zurichers ordered an alarm to be sounded. The people ran in from all sides, and the majority was found favorable to the Reformation, at least not hostile to Zurich. This soon appeared in their language and behavior. A treaty was now concluded between the parties, and the provisional government of the Zurich captain acknowledged and guaranteed by a permanent garrison of trusty soldiers in the castle. But Luzern and Schwyz renowned their complaints before a conference of the Five Cantons, and it was resolved to appeal to Bern with a full representation of the faithless conduct of Zurich in the affair of St. Gall, and an earnest protest against it. Two skillful orators, the schultheiss Golder of Luzern, and Joseph Amberg of Schwyz, were commissioned to do this. They behaved with great propriety and moderation, promising, on their part, a careful guard over their own people, and a strict observance of the Landfriede: "Dear Confederates," so they said at the close of their speech, "we place in your hands our fate, as well as our rights. Both we believe have been grossly violated by the conduct of Zurich. If we are wrong, then point out to us the rule; if the men of Zurich, then will you not be willing to support them in it; but believe not us alone, hear also the men of Zurich; believe not them alone, hear us also. Indeed! we only desire to abide by sealed treaties." Haller, who immediately reported it to Zwingli, did not conceal from him the fearful impression, which this speech made upon public opinion. "They have not," he added with anxiety, "yet deceived us; but they will." But it was not merely the affair of St. Gall, which began to awaken discord in the relations between Zurich and Bern. There was something far more important still. And here it becomes necessary to give a general sketch of the political views, which Zwingli had brought back from Marburg.

The Emperor Charles V., after an absence of several years in Spain, returned to Italy in the summer of 1529. In Genoa, where he landed, he was met by an embassy from the landgrave Philip and the German Estates who had signed the Protest against the resolutions of the Imperial Diet of Spire. This they were commissioned to hand over to him with respectful representations. But so ill was it received, that the envoys for a time were concerned for their personal safety. Audacious in the highest degree must this step of a few princes and cities have appeared to the head of the Empire, to him, who, not many years before, had humbled, by the defeat of Pavia, the mighty King of France, whose sons he still held in a Spanish prison as hostages for the father, who was set at liberty—him, who had caused the Pope even to feel his power, but was now reconciled to Rome, and offered his aid for the more energetic suppression of all ecclesiastical innovations in Germany. Surrounded by Spanish counsels, by the clergy of that nation and Italians, he was busily engaged in forming various plans for future action, and only lingered yet in Italy, until he could be crowned Roman Emperor, by Clement II., which event occurred at Bologna on the 24th of February, 1530. Meanwhile reports, warnings of the coming tempest having reached Germany and Switzerland, produced an active correspondence between the Protestant princes, the landgrave Philip, Duke Ulric of Wurtemberg and the authorities of the more important cities. A personal interchange of opinions took place at Marburg, and the danger which threatened the free preaching of the Gospel and the Reformation was acknowledged on all sides, even by Luther and Melanchthon; but as in the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, so now also, on the field of politics, Luther and Zwingli stood decidedly opposed to each other, and so little did the former share in the bold views of the latter, that the enterprising landgrave wholly despaired of an understanding with Luther, and communicated his plan of resistance against the Emperor first of all to a narrow circle, composed of Zwingli, Sturm and a few trusty friends of like mind.

The Saxon Reformer had, it is true, approved of the protest, made by the princes and cities favorable to the Gospel, against the resolutions of the Imperial Diet at Spire, but to go further, to offer actual resistance, he regarded as unlawful. He saw in Charles the consecrated head of the Empire, to take up arms against whom appeared to him rebellion. It had first to be proved to him by lawyers, better acquainted with the Imperial Constitution than he, that the individual Estates of the Empire had full authority to preserve their independence in spiritual matters, in every possible way, and then only did he yield a reluctant consent to the league afterward formed among the Protestants at Schmalkald. He was strongly opposed to inviting the Swiss to take part in it, until they were reconciled to his view of the Lord's Supper. More genial than Zwingli, trained to implicit obedience in the monastery, in earlier life a hard student of the church-fathers; whilst the Switzer in those years, when the most vivid and lasting impressions are made, had devoted his attention to the history of the ancient republics, the study of Roman and Grecian authors; Luther, although he publicly and resolutely condemned the severity and arbitrary conduct of princes, and warned them with boldness and power, was yet far more inclined to the doctrine of passive resistance against evil, the disarming of the enemy by innocent suffering, submission to every existing form of government, even though unjust and tyrannical—a doctrine which lies in the spirit of the Gospel, and was not only preached but practised by Christ himself, and confirmed by his own example. It is worth our while to hear the two Reformers on this fundamental point. Their peculiar views of it have naturally influenced their judgment in political matters.

"It is the law of Christ," says Luther, "not to resist evil, not to grasp the sword, not to defend ourselves, not to revenge ourselves, but to give up life and property, that he may take, who will. For we have yet enough remaining in our Lord, who will not forsake us, since he hath so promised. Suffering, suffering—the cross, the cross is the law of Christ; this and nothing else. Will ye thus fight and not agree to let the coat go with the cloak, but try to get back the cloak again, though you should wish rather to die and leave the body, than not to love your enemies and do them good? O ye easy Christians! Dear friends, Christians are not so common, that they can be gathered in a heap; a Christian is a rare bird! Would to God the most of us were only good, pious heathen, observing the natural, to say nothing of the Christian law! Christians are not to fight for themselves with the sword or harquebusses, but with the cross and patience; even as their general, Christ, does not wield the sword, but hangs upon the cross. Hence their victory does not lie in conquest and dominion or power, but in defeat and weakness, as St. Paul says: 'The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but in God,' and again, 'His strength shall be made perfect in our weakness.' According to the Scripture, it is not proper for any one, who will be a Christian, to set himself up against the authority, which God has placed over him, be it just or unjust; but a Christian should suffer violence and wrong, especially from his sovereign; for although Imperial Majesty does wrong and violates duty and oath, his imperial sovereignty is not thereby abolished, nor the allegiance of his subjects, as long as the realm and the Electoral Princes regard him as Emperor and do not depose him. Yet though an emperor or prince break all the commandments of God, he still remains an emperor and prince, and is bound to God by oath in a higher, and then to man in a lower degree. Were it right to resist Imperial Majesty when it does wrong, then we might do so in all cases, and remain without any authority or any obedience in the world, since every subject could use this argument, that his sovereign broke the laws of God. How then shall we act? Thus shall we act: Let it be granted to Imperial Majesty, that no prince or lord shall defend us against him, but that the land and people lie open to the Emperor as his own, and God commands this, and no one should desire otherwise of his princes and lords. Every one should then stand for himself and maintain his faith at the risk of his body and his life, and not drag the princes into danger with him, or trouble them with petitions for aid, but let the Emperor do with his own as he will, so long as he is Emperor. But if the Emperor desire, beyond that, though the land and people lie open to him, to compel the princes also to attack, besiege, slay and banish their subjects for the Gospel's sake, and the princes know that in this the Emperor is wrong, and against God, then it falls back upon their own faith, for they should not obey the Emperor, in what they do not approve, nor help him, nor become partners of his sin; it is enough that the land and people are left unprotected and the Emperor unhindered, and they should say: If the Emperor wishes to persecute our subjects, as they are also his own, he may act according to his conscience; we are not able to prevent him. But we will not help him in it, nor approve of his course; for we must obey God rather than man."[3]

In regard to the impropriety of all individual resistance to authority, Zwingli agreed with Luther, and just as severely condemned everything that bore the character of riot or rebellion; but entertained, on the other hand, far more liberal views concerning the rights of the people, in their collective capacity, against their rulers; and here, supported by passages from the Old Testament, whilst Luther relied exclusively on the New, he developed a theory (an assemblage of propositions), which must have no doubt appeared suspicious to the German Reformers, living as they did under monarchical forms of government, and indeed, just as readily as his freer exposition of the words of the Lord's Supper, might have called forth that saying of Luther: "You have quite another spirit than we."

"Where a prince is overbearing and a wanton spendthrift," so he writes, "and the people undutiful and devoted to their own advantage, there tumults break out. But this also does not happen without that Divine Providence, which has numbered all the hairs of our heads, and by which the wantonness of the tyrant and the recklessness of the people are alike controlled. A seditious people are led only by wild passions; by rage and fury, not by reason. Rulers should then take care not to give occasion to the people to rebel. If they are truly wise and God-fearing, if they practice justice and equity, then God will not give them up to the wrath of the multitude; for He is mightier than they and does not forsake them, who trust in him and serve him. And we must warn the people also not to plunge themselves into ruin by sedition. Tumults are generally excited by those who aspire after honors and riches. Now, that it may not seem as if Christians care more for the human than the divine, they should obey even tyrants in things, that only oppress the body, and pay taxes to them, so that the Gospel may not be reviled on their account. A whole nation, on the other hand, can and should, in a lawful manner, with moderation and the fear of God, resist the unjust power of the tyrant, and if they do it not, then will they be punished by God along with the wicked prince. And how we may deal with such rulers, is shown by the clear example of Saul, whom God repudiated, although he had chosen him at first. Indeed if such wanton kings be not thrust away, the whole nation will be punished for it. Hence, when Manasseh, King of Judah, had done the most wicked abominations, 'thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.' In short, if the Jews had not suffered their King to riot thus unpunished, God had not punished them. We must pluck out the offending eye and cut off the diseased hand and foot. How this is to be done, it is easy to observe. Not by death-blows, wars, tumults, but by quite other means, for God hath called us to peace. Does the king or the lord of the common hand choose to do evil? then let the common hand put him away, or be punished with him. Has he been elected by a small number of princes? then let those princes know that his wicked life can be borne with no longer, and he must be deposed. But here the difficulty arises: the tyrant may rush forth and murder them. That matters not; it is far more glorious to be put to death for well-doing, according to God's will than afterward to be slain with the guilty by the hand of God. But canst thou not endure the way, nor venture on it? then suffer with the wanton tyrant and be punished at last along with him, and still the hand of God is stretched-out and threatening. Is the tyrant chosen by no one? Has he inherited the kingdom? I do not know what reason such kingdoms have to spare him; for suppose the born-king is a child or a fool, still they must take him as their lord. But how can he rule? It must follow, that he is not, according to the common proverb of a king's son, either a fool or a king, but both together, a fool and a king. Moreover, the kingdom must be governed by other wise ones. Were it not better then to make a wise man king? for 'wo to thee, O land, when thy king is a child!' They describe a tyrant as one who rules by his own power and after his own notion. Thus, I do not know whence it comes, that thrones are hereditary, unless from the common consent of the people. If now there be a tyrant, this or that individual should not undertake to kill him; a tumult would arise and the kingdom of God is 'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.' But if the entire mass of the people with one accord, or the greater part of them, though they may be far from anarchy, depose the tyrant, then God is with them."[4]

Now, in Zwingli's eyes the Emperor was a tyrant of this very stamp, especially since his reconciliation and close alliance with the Pope. From this he augured the worst results—the suppression of the Reformation and the freedom of the Gospel, all political liberty and even the subjugation of the Confederacy itself. "The Emperor," says he in a communication to his intimate political associates, "arrays friend against friend, or foe against foe, and then thrusts himself in between as a mediator, though all the while a partisan, ever intent on upholding the Papacy, and promoting, first of all, his own power and interests; and if he make war in Germany, he will do all he can to marshal the Castellan of Musso[5] against the Confederacy, the Bishops of Constance against the city of Constance, the Bishop of Strassburg against the burghers of Strassburg, the Five Cantons against Zurich, the abbot of St. Gall against the city, Duke George of Saxony against Duke John, to usurp his position as electoral prince, the Bishops on the Rhine against the Landgrave of Hesse, and similar enemies everywhere against the Evangelical Cities—and then he will march into Germany as a mediator, and with fair but hypocritical words befool the cities and lords, till they submit to him." To provide and arm against such plans he regarded as lawful, yea as an imperative necessity, desired a European alliance for this purpose, and publicly censured those who remained careless and inactive. "Ruined or lazy," he wrote to Conrad Zinck of Constance, a member of the Council, "are they, who look on idly and never trouble themselves about raising up a force sufficient to make the Emperor feel, that he will labor in vain to restore the dominion of Rome, occupy the Free Cities and conquer us Helvetians. Rouse Linden; rouse your neighbors to action. He is a fool who builds upon the friendship of a tyrant. Long ago Demosthenes observed, that nothing is so hated by such a despot, as the freedom of the cities." Ever since the Marburg Conference, his connection with the Landgrave Philip was very intimate. Their correspondence, relating more to politics than to articles of faith, was carried on partly by signs mutually agreed upon, the name Pharoah being used for that of the Emperor. Indeed Zwingli went a step further than the German prince himself. He seriously thought of the possibility of removing Charles, and even wished it. "So great," he wrote to Jacob Sturm of Strassburg, "is the wickedness and perversity of the Emperor, that I believe the whole world should join together to rid itself of such a burden, in any way possible," and to the Landgrave Philip, in a style full of dreamy hope: "Our kind, gracious Lord causes me to write thus freely like a child, to Your Grace, for I am confident in God, that he has appointed Your Grace to great things, which I may indeed think of, but not speak."

Such being the disposition of the Reformer, it was not to be expected, that after his return from Marburg he would confine himself to the sphere of theology, or even to political affairs within the limits of the Confederacy. More and more did he accustom himself to look beyond the boundaries of the fatherland, and gradually induced a portion of the Zurich statesmen to do the same. In Marburg already, the fundamental features of a close alliance, to check the growing preponderance of the Emperor, was agreed upon. The Landgrave undertook to advocate the cause among his own princes; Zwingli among the Free Cities in Southern Germany, by means of influential clergymen and councillors, of whom he counted a considerable number among his correspondents. Through Switzerland a bridge was sought to Italy. The powerful republic of Venice was to hold the Emperor in check there, at least to aid in preventing the employment of all his forces against Germany; but a progress so daring, so foreign to the peaceful and cautious policy of the Cantons, as set forth by Zurich herself, some years before, when the defensive alliance was concluded with France, could not but awaken suspicion and discord among the Confederates; hence it could only be discussed in the most confidential circles. Whether any one in the government of Bern knew anything about it, is uncertain. That it should be attempted is indeed almost incredible, did we not remember, how very easy it is for great minds, encouraged by former results, to persuade themselves that everything is possible to their own powers. In what a narrow circle the resolution to send an envoy to Venice was passed is evident from the fact, that he was not a statesmen who was appointed, but Professor Collin, Zwingli's intimate friend, and the companion of his journey to Marburg, a man of no political experience, yet one who, in various walks of life, as canon, tradesman, partisan and public teacher, had tried his fortune, and proved himself useful in all; and who, besides dexterity and boldness, was also possessed of a thorough knowledge of the Italian language. Provided with credentials, somewhat ambiguous in their form,[6] he set out from Zurich alone; on the 11th of December, put to flight luckily two robbers, who attacked him on the plain of Brescia, and was introduced to the Doge and Council in Venice on the 28th of the same month. In his report to the Privy Council of Zurich may be found his address on that occasion. He represented himself as a deputy of the Council of Zurich in agreement with the cities of the Christian Buergerrecht, communities living jointly under free constitutions, like that of Venice. Natural and common interests bound them to resist a universal, all-devouring monarchy, such as the Emperor aimed at. He expressed the wish that Venice would enter into correspondence with Zurich, who would act for the other allied cities, to communicate to them what happened in Italy on the side of the Emperor, or what transpired of his dangerous schemes. He excused the sending of a solitary, youthful, undistinguished man, to such an enlightened republic by the necessity of the case, the desire to avoid notice,—to conceal the movement toward a close alliance between two free states from the watchful glance of the Emperor and his assistants.

But Venice herself had just then concluded a treaty of peace with the Emperor. This was disclosed to the deputy, and a reply made to his offer in very general terms, so that the distrust, which a mission of such doubtful appearance awakened in the minds of the Doge and the Senate, could not escape his notice. He was strictly questioned as to what Confederate cities composed this Buergerrecht, what opposed it, and what remained neutral. Everything was written down. The ceremonies with which he was dismissed, and a present of twenty crowns show also that no great importance was attached to the embassy. Far otherwise did they receive the ambassadors, who in former years had appeared before them in the name of the whole Confederacy. Although an attempt was made to keep the matter secret, it yet became known, and produced indignation among those who were not privy to it, and chagrin at the sorry roll which such crooked dealings obliged them to play. Zwingli alone and his princely confidents were not discouraged. "The transaction with the Venitians," he wrote to Duke Ulric of Wuertemberg, "is greatly despised, but, as I observe from your letter, may yet turn to our advantage. For with my cousin (the Landgrave) there is no lack of devotion in person and property, as you can in some degree learn from his letters. Therefore he is willing to aid as much as possible toward a settled understanding, especially on account of the Venitians; for we may depend very much on the wheel of fortune to bring about, what we never have been able to accomplish hitherto with great cunning. Time and opportunity are gone; they will not wait. The raging hand also is not idle; he prepares one grave after another." Pursuing his design with unshaken resolution, Zwingli hoped in the end to make it intelligible to the Swiss cities, who had formed the Christian Buergerrecht, that the alliance must be increased, in order to array against the great powers pledged for the destruction of liberty, great ones for its maintenance. In fact, at the close of the year, Strassburg was also admitted into the Buergerrecht; but when this city along with Zurich and Basel proposed that it should be extended likewise to the Landgrave of Hess, Bern raised difficulties, and at last refused consent, with the remark, that she could not justify before her own subjects the admission of so remote a prince. Zwingli was highly displeased. "Bern always," he wrote to a friend, "sends bears to negotiate," and to another: "The Bear is lying in the pains of travail,—is jealous of the Lion (Zurich) and acts very unfairly towards him; but in the end she will have done with her tricks and take the manly resolution to bear away the victory." Certainly the Bernese government would have reason for anxiety in regard to the growing preponderance of Zurich in the Buergerrecht, if Zwingli could be supported in it both by Strassburg and the Landgrave; but its reluctance no doubt was just as much owing to its peculiar policy, which was always less concerned about the infusion of philosophical or theological principles into the national life, than about the maintenance of existing treaties and friendly relations as far as possible with all the Confederates.

The Anabaptists were still very active in Germany, but more so in Switzerland. In the countries favorable to the Reformation, the people were more violent, excited and difficult to rule and satisfy. Freedom of inquiry, of thought, had been applied to political as well as theological matters. If it was boldly proclaimed from the pulpit: 'The kingdom of the Pope is not of God, because he lays upon us unnatural restraint, loads our consciences and makes us carry unnecessary burdens,' the transition was easy to the question: 'Shall the rule of the prince draw the skin over our ears at his own caprice?' Only two remedies for this evil were available in monarchical countries; either wisdom and moderation on the part of the princes themselves—a paternal government, according to the demands and in the spirit of the Gospel—or, where the rulers, as was yet frequently the case, were not qualified or able to achieve this, a revival of the doctrine of passive obedience—subjection in worldly things, as Luther maintained it. It is clear, that to uphold this doctrine in a republic was a more difficult task, and we have already shown, that Zwingli could not be numbered among its advocates. On the political arena the difference between his reformation and that of Luther began to grow more and more visible, and so hateful did the former become, that the Landgrave of Hesse even was obliged to come back again toward Luther, and exhort Zwingli to greater prudence and caution, especially after a saying of Erasmus had found its way to the ears of the nobles, that the design was to bring in democracy under the cloak of the Gospel.

Meanwhile the Emperor Charles had arrived in Germany and opened the Imperial Diet at Augsburg in person, in the summer of 1530. Here they, who were supposed to favor Zwingli's views, were in very ill repute. "On all sides," Jacob Sturm wrote to him, "we are suspected, as though we were hatching with foreign nations some marvellously dangerous plot for the overthrow of the Emperor and the Empire; yea, we are regarded as open rebels. Thou knowest how thoroughly false this is; yet there are some who, therefore, wish also to hear nothing about our articles of faith, because, they say, the report goes;[7] that some of us have boasted, that we have provisions, arms and soldiers enough, not only to repel force with force, but also to invade the territory of our neighbors. There are those who affirm that we have already portioned out among ourselves the ecclesiastical principalities, before the victory, and I know not what other follies. In short, the Papists, and even those who otherwise have declared themselves for the Gospel, act against us here, openly and secretly, so that our destruction would be decided on, if it only depended on them. If the Lord himself does not pity us, does not stand by innocence and truth, then will our mighty and raging foes yet devour us alive. No one defends us more than the Landgrave, and even he does not venture to do it publicly, but only to advocate our cause in narrower circles. To us, ears and access are completely closed; we are crippled in all our members. From an appeal in person, or from thy servants here, whom thou couldst entrust with the Gospel, there is nothing to hope; should circumstances meanwhile take a more favorable turn, I will send you word." And yet the Landgrave of Hesse, in a special conference with the Emperor, had fearlessly defended himself and his friends, without however giving among them the name of Zwingli, a confession of faith from whose hand had just then reached Augsburg, and was viewed with the greatest displeasure. The ingenious Switzer had woven into it some passages of a political nature, which, though cautiously done, in his opinion, could not but produce an unfavorable impression in the Imperial Court, as it then stood. It contains among other things: "I well know that the ruler, chosen or appointed in a lawful manner, occupies the place of God, no less than the priest; but as the priest should be a minister of heavenly wisdom and goodness, to defend the faith and bring errors to light, so also should the ruler be a minister of divine goodness and justice; goodness, in that he listens to and cares for his subjects with fidelity and self-sacrifice, like God; justice, in that he holds in check the impious and wicked and protects the innocent. If he does this, then he preserves a quiet conscience, and has indeed nothing to fear; if he does it not, and thus surrounds himself with fear and terror, I cannot think that his conscience will be idle, only because he has been chosen, or placed there, constitutionally. Yet, for my part, I believe that a Christian should obey such a tyrant until the opportunity is offered, of which Paul speaks: 'Canst thou make thyself free? then delay not.' But this opportunity will be pointed out to him by God alone, not by man, and that not doubtfully, but as clearly and plainly, as when Saul was rejected and David chosen his successor." It is easy to see, that, amid the universal excitement then prevailing, language like this, so unusual in documents laid before the Imperial Diet, as well as him who employed it, would be styled dangerous. More than ever did Charles and his brother Ferdinand, King of Hungary, withdraw their favor from the Reformed party and incline toward the Catholics. But just in proportion as Zwingli was convinced, that the number and hatred of his enemies in the German Empire were increasing, his own earlier dislike to France and fear of an alliance with her, appear to have essentially diminished. Already, in the secret political conferences held at Marburg, he directed his attention to that country, and it may indeed have been through a French channel, that a portion of the news concerning the transactions of the Emperor in Spain and Italy, especially with the Roman See, reached there. Still the French monarch, Francis I., was not at all friendly to the Reformation. In his own kingdom he tried to keep it down by force. His queen, a sister of Charles V., did much to strengthen this feeling. Just at that time letters from her brother at Augsburg, full of bitter complaints against the spirit of the Protestants, so hostile to all civil and ecclesiastical rule, were received in France. But what the King was not willing to suffer in his own dominions, he beheld not without secret pleasure in those of his envied and hated rival, for so he always considered the Emperor, in spite of all ties of relationship. Out of policy, therefore, in order to weaken the power of Austria, he supported the German Protestants; and out of policy his envoys in Switzerland, Dangerant, seigneur de Boisrigault and Maigret, seigneur de Villequoy, sought access even to Zwingli. With Maigret it appears to have been equally a matter of spiritual interest; for he was inclined to the Gospel and in after life became a decided Huguenot.

We have seen how Zurich, as well as the other cantons, was formerly kept back from entering into a closer alliance with France chiefly through Zwingli's efforts. It is remarkable to observe now a total change in his views. Let us not condemn him unjustly, but hear him once more tell his own story. The true picture of the event will show that apparent inconsistency only sprang from an abiding enthusiasm, in behalf of the one great idea, to which he had consecrated his life. "The ambassadors of the King of France," he writes to Jacob Sturm, "have asked me for an opinion, as to how the power of the Emperor might be broken, or circumscribed, which I have written out in Latin; I had refused it twice, and only when they applied the third time, sent it to them with the knowledge of the Privy Council. It is now (Feb. 28th, 1530) the seventh day since Collin was despatched with it to the French embassy. I cannot tell whether my paper will be sent along with the messenger to the King or not." This document was in the form of a letter, addressed to the cities of the Christian Buergerrecht. "It is a known fact," so it begins, "that in former centuries no kings and no people offered a more steady resistance to the overgrown power and tyranny of the Roman Emperor than the most Christian kings of France and the people of Helvetia. Through them, not only their own liberties, but those also of other princes, nations and cities have been maintained. Hence this alliance of powers—the greater one of France and the lesser of the Confederates (which latter are not able by themselves to sustain so great a war) cannot be dissolved without injury to the cause of universal freedom. This the kings of France have always kept in view. And, although at present the Five Cantons continue to stand aloof from the cities of the Christian Buergerrecht, and this in fact does not the less grieve the King of France, than if (God forbid!) his two sons were at variance, still he preserves the feelings and the policy of his ancestors, who valued the friendship and attachment of no people more than that of the Confederates. Hence, if he cannot effect a treaty with all Switzerland, on account of the above-mentioned schism, he is yet at least willing to conclude one with the cities of the Christian Buergerrecht, as well as those cantons, which are not distant in their views, namely, with Glarus, Solothurn, Appenzel and the Toggenburgers; and it shall be of such a character, that even the Zurichers, who would not join the one concluded several years ago, can no longer have any reason to stand aloof, because it contains no articles contrary to the Divine law. For this purpose it shall also be submitted beforehand to the theologians and preachers of the Gospel in the Confederacy, since it is the dearest wish of the most Christian King himself, that the Gospel shall be maintained in its purity." The chief articles proposed by Zwingli are the following: Twenty years for the duration of this alliance, whose special duty it shall be to defend the Christian religion, and that against every man who may assail it, without exception. If one of the two parties is disturbed, because it has received the Gospel or for other reasons, then the other shall send aid at the first call; should it, on the contrary, make the attack, then authority is given, to help only, if the reasons of the attack be found lawful. The troops of the cities in the service of the king shall be paid by him. If they desire help, then the king shall send whatever of cavalry and guns the treaty calls for, at his own cost. The articles of the Perpetual Peace, already existing with France, are to continue likewise in full force.

In a private letter sent to his near acquaintance, Maigret, along with this scheme, Zwingli also proposed, if the King would consent, to open the alliance to the Landgrave of Hesse, who, though "a young man, was yet prudent far beyond his years, magnanimous and resolute," and said there would be no reason either to regret the admission of the Duke of Wuertemburg, "who, though driven from his country, was living in exile, but with a stout heart, and possessed of uncommon abilities, in union with ripe experience; and I may do much also among other cities near the borders of Switzerland. This I now say to thee, only in confidence."

It is evident that the Reformer had made himself familiar with the idea that his scheme would not be presented to the King in such a form. Indeed, how could the ambassadors have dared even to send it? The very form of the scheme—Zwingli venturing to speak in the name of the King, and demand, moreover that the public act, to be issued by him and the council of his own canton, should be first subjected to the censorship of certain preachers—would very probably have appeared to Francis extremely arrogant. For the Gospel he cared nothing. His heart was set upon Lombardy, for the possession of which he had already waged two wars with Charles. But to carry out his plans there, he needed the aid of the Swiss, and hence the allusion to a division amongst them in the scheme would have ensured it an unfavorable reception. Some days afterward, Zwingli received written notice from both the ambassadors, that the time had not yet come to entertain propositions of this nature. Dangerant used such ambiguous language as to leave it doubtful whether he anticipated similar communications in the future, or wished to ridicule the whole affair. Maigret, who was well-disposed, remained in constant intercourse with the Reformer, and, at a later period, seems to have made a generous use of a sojourn of several months in France, to kindle there a more friendly feeling on his behalf, of which indeed there was great need.[8] He it was, who, after his return to Switzerland, exhorted Zwingli to develope the substance of his religious doctrines in a personal letter to the French King, in the hope, that by this means much of the prejudice of that monarch against them might be removed. The Reformer consented. In June of the last year of his life, the writing was finished and sent to Paris, where it is still extant in the Royal Library, a striking monument of firm faith, as well as noble candor. As before, against the Emperor, he also speaks against the French King in regard to political matters. Here we can only quote the beautiful passage, which, though little apprehended in that age, and even violently censured by Luther, shows in the most vivid manner, how for he stood above his century, and how thoroughly he was penetrated by the conviction that Christianity is designed to be the universal religion—the kingdom of God, which must embrace all, who have an honest will. "I believe," says he, "that the souls of the faithful in Christ, as soon as they have torn themselves loose from the earthly hull, rise to heaven, enter into closer union with the Godhead and enjoy an eternal happiness. Here, most Christian King, thou durst hope, if only like a David, a Hezekiah, a Josiah, thou hast made a wise use of the power, which God has entrusted to thee, to see Him in his essence, his form, in his almightiness and goodness, to become the partaker of the fruits of his blessing, not scantily, but to full satisfaction; yet not to that satiety which produces disgust, but that which, in blissful fulness, like the streams that roll everlastingly down to the sea and out of the pores of the earth renew themselves again, water the landscape, cover it with smiles and adorn it with a rich growth of flowers. The happiness, which we enjoy, will be without end, can never be exhausted, for no weariness comes there; it is ever new and ever the same. Then durst thou also hope to be taken yonder into the communion, the society, the confidence of all, who, from the beginning of the world, have led holy, wise, believing, steadfast, brave and righteous lives. There wilt thou find the two Adams, the saved and the Savior, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, Phineas, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and the God-bearing Virgin of whom he prophesied, David, Hezekiah, Josiah, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul; there also Hercules, Theseus, Socrates, Aristides, Antigonus, Numa, Camillus, the Catos and the Scipios; there Louis the Pious, and thy forefathers, the Louises, Philips, Pepins, as many of whom as walked by faith. In fine, never has there been a noble man, never has there existed a pure spirit, a true heart from the beginning of the world till its end, whom thou wilt not find there, enjoying communion with the Father."

Let us now turn back to the Five Cantons. The Landfriede had operated to their prejudice, as compared with their Reformed Confederates. Still they strove in general to enforce its provisions, but according to that interpretation, which, at the conclusion of the treaty, they had put upon certain ambiguous articles. Special conferences among themselves, and with other co-religionists were not at all abandoned; but neither was this the case on the side of the Reformed. Yet when they met for the transaction of private business, the voice of moderation, especially in the beginning, was not seldom heard. Thus, at a meeting in Altorf, toward the end of August, 1529, Uri declared with warmth, "that, if any one of the Five Cantons were attacked contrary to the Peace, she would pledge life and property for its defence, but that in several cantons unbecoming language was used, and sundry markings done with badges (fir-twigs upon their hats), which was improper and a violation of the Landfriede; this they wished to maintain, and hence did not approve of such things, and it is their friendly request, that every canton will see it put away from among its people, though they have done it; for if war should come on account of such reasons above-named, she would promise nothing, and would feel bound to render no aid; the Emperor in the meantime should not be written to." A month later, at a another conference in Brunnen, Zug, in whose midst vehement passions were still alive, was warned in a similar strain, and "the deputy told of the unbecoming words which they used, that they should be put away, lest confusion might arise therefrom;" and again at Brunnen, in the beginning of the year following, it was resolved, that "words of reviling and abuse be put away, since they can lead to nothing good." They, who were guilty of these offences, were, for the most part, proud, insolent partisan leaders, dreaded on account of their lawless character and warlike propensities, or else, head-strong young men, sons of politicians and distinguished councillors, and hence it was the more difficult to apply a remedy. The Zurichers declared themselves little satisfied with fines, or the imprisonment of some poor fellow or obscure hot-head, dragged out of an ale-house, when, on the other hand, in a large company, in presence of distinguished members of the Reformed party, a man like Captain Sh[oe]nbrunner of Zug was allowed to read, with ill-concealed malice, a dirty libel in which Zwingli was accused of unnatural excesses and a loathsome disease; but, on complaining bitterly of this, they only received the answer: "Our Lords have told Henry Sh[oe]nbrunner, that his conduct does not please them." It was not the abusive language of an obscure individual, which created such a stir, but that of an influential man, one who, a short time before, had been sent to the Imperial Diet at Augsburg and there honored with a personal interview by King Ferdinand, the Emperor's brother.

But, as among the Reformed, so also among the Catholics, it was found very difficult to persuade the most prominent leaders to use measures of conciliation. The Zugers distinguished themselves by their wild passion and energy. In order to increase their influence, they sought and obtained admission into the old confederation of the Four Forest Cantons, and they were the first who broached the idea of another alliance with Austria. At the very time, when Collin was dispatched to Venice, bailiff Thoss of Zug set out for Genoa, and obtained an audience of the Emperor, whom he followed to Bologna, where he was graciously received by the Pope. Bern had informed Zurich of this occurrence, and expressed her anxiety. Perhaps it was through his reports, that the Five Cantons were induced to send a delegation to the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, in the summer of 1530. The delegation consisted of the landvogt of the canton of Luzern and the son of the then schultheiss, Hug, to whom Baptista ab Isola of Genoa was yet added. The latter, who probably accompanied Thoss on his return home, had received from Luzern the rights of citizenship and became the leader of a troop of Italian auxiliaries, which, in the subsequent war, the Papal legate enlisted for the Five Cantons. Besides the deputies, there went thither Captain Sch[oe]nbrunner of Zug, the schultheiss Hebolt of Solothurn and Rennward G[oe]ldin, a distinguished Zuricher, who, from indignation at the law against desertion, had left his native city and espoused the cause of the Five Cantons. The abbot of St. Gall followed. At the Imperial Diet they all sought assistance from the Emperor, or at least endeavored, for the encouragement of friends and the terror of foes, to make the impression that they would obtain it. For this purpose reports of their brilliant reception and the marks of honor bestowed on them were spread everywhere—how often they had spoken with the Emperor and his brother—how often they had been summoned to confer with influential and illustrious men. But, on the other hand, reports of quite a different character reached Switzerland from the observers of the Reformed party, of whom an unknown citizen of St. Gall appears to have been the most active. His long letters, full of details, were immediately communicated by St. Gall to the allied cities. Touching the abbot and the embassy of the Five Cantons, he expresses himself in the following manner: "Kilian, the pretended abbot of St. Gall, came hither on the 9th of July. I have seen him several times, and conversed with his chamberlain and his chancellor on the street, when they saluted me; yet they betrayed nothing. The chancellor told me, that his gracious lord was here only to receive a fief from the Bishop of Chur; item, to wait and see also what would be done at the present Diet and likewise how it would go with others of the clerical order, as well as himself. Indeed, his case is such, that even if the just-named abbot had received wise council, he could not, in my judgment, accomplish anything. The said Kilian lodges with one Fischer, at a hotel in some obscure street. On the 10th of the present month, he dined with the Bishop of Constance; and then on the 11th, in front of the Bishop's chamber, paced up and down, giving vent there to his sorrow, anguish and misery, and cries to the Virgin, for more than an hour, before he was admitted; then without doubt the words of the said bishop gave him comfort; though I hope their scheme will prove a gross failure, since I, by the help of God, as far as I can learn the issue of this business, will send My Lords the very earliest information thereof. Touching the embassy of the cantons: First, the deputies of Luzern arrived on the 5th day of this month (July). By the command of the Emperor, they are lodged at a respectable inn, not far from the court of the Emperor and King. The vogt of the canton has presented and delivered to the Emperor many letters, without doubt supplications and apologies for royal treaties and seals broken on compulsion and other similar things in writing. But I cannot see, that the Emperor can give them any special attention, till the decree of the Diet, in regard to the faith and other articles of like nature, are made known. Then, there are deputies from Zug, but I cannot see, that they do much business, except to curry favor with the men of Luzern and keep up appearances, by begging money for the sham-abbot Kilian and offering him a placebo (i.e. delusive promises of help); thus at no cost to themselves (but I forget—Kilian must undo his purse-strings and be his own treasurer and steward) they can see the Emperor, King and members of the Imperial Diet; therefore, if the Emperor, sometime ago, wished to form an alliance with thorn, which caused them to be regarded as very distinguished and useful; now, upon near acquaintance, he will possibly load them with costly gifts and marks of honor. Mark Sittich (Austrian governor of the frontier-province of Vorarlberg in the Tyrol) is laboring hard for this. Although, gracious Lords, great plans and schemes are devised for the persecution of the Common Confederacy, to wit, the evangelical cities—Bern, Zurich and their allies and Christian co-burghers, yet are they, in my judgment, only vain, proud and bragging fools, who busy themselves here, in a restless and violent manner, in these proceedings against us. On the fourth day of July, Mark Sittich made loud complaint to the Emperor about the Zurichers, how they withheld by force what belonged to him. The Zurichers should be written to on the subject. These things need looking after, and I now give Mark's scheme and plan of action with the names: Thus, the Christian cities in the three cantons are to be surprised, assaulted and taken; namely, by the Duke of Savoy, with the help of Wallis (Valais) and Freiburg proceeding against Bern; item, the Emperor against Basel and Constance, and Mark Sittich, with squadrons from the abbacy and over the Rhine, and the hostile countries beyond, against us. Then the city of Strassburg is to be besieged. In case the cities, bound by their burgher-oath, send forth troops to aid their comrades, these troops are to be suddenly attacked upon the road and no one left to tell the tale.—All this would perhaps take place, if the Turk had not marched against Vienna. I have good hope in God, our Redeemer, that these fellows will fail in many, yea more than half their plans. Therefore, you, my Lords, may be unterrified if such stories reach your ears, for our Savior does not bless such base designs. And though it should happen, it will only redound to His honor and glory."

From these and similar reports we may certainly infer, that the deputies of the Five Cantons, as well as the abbot of St. Gall, did their utmost in Augsburg, to win over the Emperor and individual members of the Imperial Diet to their cause, and found also zealous advocates. Yet no record of any formal resolution passed in their favor, or a revival of their alliance with Austria, is extant. On the contrary, they appear to have returned home not altogether satisfied, and toward the close of the year 1530, their general behavior exhibits more of despondency than hope, whilst Zurich assumed a still more hostile attitude; and Zwingli himself was little inclined to oppose it. Through his efforts, his exhortations, his correspondence, his travels the Reformed party grew stronger day by day. Zurich was everywhere ready with her mediation, or protection—with complaints, if the Five Cantons, with threats, if their subjects endeavored to prevent the preaching of the Gospel. Here, in the territories, in which the Catholic states also had a share, a monastery was broken up to-day, because the mass of its occupants so desired, and sometimes too, as happened at Katharinenthal, near Diessenhofen, because intimidated by force and terror, and there to-morrow, in a parish hitherto devoted to the old faith, the Reformation, after repeated voting, was carried by a small majority. Of course a preacher was immediately sent thither, and rarely did they stop, until they had obliged the ejected Catholic priest to retire. Some time previous, the Thurgovian landweibel (high sergeant), one of the most powerful props of the Old Faith party, when passing through Zurich in the retinue of a landvogt from Unterwalden, had been there thrown into prison and beheaded; and the landvogt Stocker from Zug, on complaint made to Zurich by the Thurgovians, found himself, through the assistance which the former granted to the people, compelled to flee the territory. The landvogt Kretz from Unterwalden met with the same treatment in the Rheinthal, but in this case without the aid of Zurich. It certainly cannot be denied, that a considerable portion of the clergy—of the monks, who were ejected from the Territories in consequence of the Reformation, were men without knowledge, often without morals and generally of little worth, and that the three civil functionaries just-mentioned, had, by their harshness, immorality and acts of violence, stirred up the righteous indignation of the people; yet the forms, under which Zurich proceeded, were not those of confederate law, but the offspring rather of an arbitrary will, whose continued assumption of power tended only to awaken the most bitter animosity amongst the Five Cantons, and found no approval with her own party, including even the cities of the Christian Buergerrecht. The good end could not justify the unlawful means. And still less was this the case, when, in spite of the decided protest of the other cantons of the protectorate, she allowed herself to make a one-sided scale of salaries, increasing the revenues of benefices in the parishes, which had accepted the Reformation, at the expense of the rest; and compel Catholics, who had resigned these benefices, to call in Reformed preachers and pay them more, than required by the treaties. In vain did the Five Cantons raise a voice of protest at all the sittings of the general Diet; in vain did they send embassies with complaints and prayers for redress to the other states. Zurich pushed forward, secure of support from the majority of the people in the Territories.

But more yet was in reserve, and principally through Zwingli's influence. He too sank under the weakness of our common humanity; as Luther and Calvin in solitary moments, as Borromoo and Francis de Sales, as the Apostles themselves. One alone never yielded, and proved by that very fact, that He had come from God. A writing of the Reformer, still extant, its margin covered with corrections, improvements and additions—signs of great mental agitation—shows incontestibly, that with him also, in hours, when his feelings may have been embittered by the unworthy attacks to which he saw himself more and more exposed, hatred had prevailed over love, passion over calmness of spirit, and earthly policy over the guidance of faith. It has this heading: "What, in the dealings of the Five Cantons, there is need for Zurich and Bern to ponder over." It affords us a deep glance into his inner life, and reveals to us the plans with which he was occupied; and whilst the cold-blooded reader, who sees in history only the results of human struggles, and declares those most successful, where the most comprehensive means have accompanied the grandest designs, may read these with admiration of Zwingli's political sagacity, he, on the other hand, who measures all things by the rule of the Gospel, will be obliged to condemn them.

Any one, who derives his knowledge of the history of that period from original sources, and has read the numerous bills of complaint, handed in, even at the recesses of the general Diet, by the people of the Common Territories, and the results of the investigations, which, in most cases, proved them to be just and well-founded, can imagine the indignation which Zwingli's view of the case called forth. But to an honest will other means of redress stood open, before resort to such extreme measures—to plans that would shake the Confederacy to its very foundations. But indeed, it is almost certain, that these plans were never formally laid before the authorities of Zurich and made the subject of official deliberation. They may have been communications to a narrow, confidential circle of friends, drawn up more as a frank confession of his own political faith, than with any hope that their complete execution was so easily possible in the coming age. Still, they afford us the necessary key to a right understanding of the part played by him in the affairs of the Confederacy, during the last two years of his life, and hence we cannot omit here the main ideas. "In ancient times," so he writes, "Zurich and Bern united as confederates with the Four Forest Cantons, Luzern, Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. The power of both parties was then equal and they held faithfully together, but the burden of the wars against their enemies on all sides was great. The cities were the bulwarks; they had not the mountains, the passes, for their defence. As their territory increased, the greater injuries fell upon them and the greater costs. With fairness they could have demanded a change in the relative proportion of right in the federal councils. But Zurich and Bern were content with some insignificant grants, respecting the division of booty according to the number of soldiers, which the treaty of Stanz allowed them; and the Cantons still kept twice as many votes as the cities, although the latter, yea even sometimes one of them performed as much as all the former put together. This produced arrogance among those who, in the beginning, were modest. They were the governors of the common bailiwicks; they acted often without consulting the cities. They have strengthened themselves in our times by the admission of a fifth canton. They concoct everywhere their schemes, before the meetings of the federal diet; for them the fruit must ripen, where they did not sow. Shall the two cities endure this any longer? They are confronted with the federal league, in opposition to the treaty of Stanz, which guarantees their rights, their number of votes at the diet, in relation to the Territories; but every claim, privilege or power, is dissolved or broken, according to divine and human law, when they are misused. The land of Palestine is an example. In eternity was it promised to the children of Israel. In eternity were they driven out from it, when they transgressed the commandment of God. Rome brought into subjection Alba Longa and the Sabines, from whom she herself had sprung, because they did not keep the peace and act fairly as neighbors. In history such examples are innumerable, and it is God's Word that says: 'Put away the evil from among you." Moreover, it is highly necessary for our union to lessen their power, or to separate from them. For years back, neither discipline nor order has been found in their midst. And where these fail, no government can stand. If it be said, they have their own rights, their own power, their own government, which must be left to them, and though these all be abused, we have no right to say anything, then the answer is: No compact can exist contrary to justice, and if the one party overlooks this, falls away from it, then the other should hold them to it, yea, compel them, and if the Five Cantons are henceforth lost to all sense of right, then it is "certain, that they must be punished and will be uprooted." So the eleven tribes of Israel slew the twenty five thousand Benjamites, and so the Romans punished the Carthaginians, until they brought them into complete subjection.

"Two things only are now to be considered—when and how we shall punish them. When? Truly it is best to attack them at once.

"France will remain neutral; the Emperor is entangled in the affairs of Germany; they can obtain no help either from Confederates or foreigners, are ill supplied with guns and other necessaries, and besides, there are also many good people among them, whose hearts are more with us than with them. Only, do not begin with prohibiting the export of provisions; this will not suffice, and prove rather injurious to ourselves. 'By destroying the bailiwicks (vogteien), by annulling the federal compact, and by invading their territory, we must force them to obey;' and if the latter will not do, because it seems too dreadful, then let us immediately lay hold on one of the other means.

"How so? The best is, for our two cantons in concert to seize on the bailiwicks, indeed to hold back their rights from each of the others, who have share in the government of the Territories. Then it may be the most advisable to divide the bailiwicks. But the division is not to be made according to the number of the ruling powers; their method is not to be established by a majority of votes; for, in that case, Zurich and Bern would be shamefully cheated, since the majority has always been on the side of the Five Cantons. No! if justice is to be done, let the ruling powers be broken into three equal parts—Zurich and Bern to form two, and the rest one. Indeed if real power, influence and importance were taken into account, Zurich and Bern would be entitled to six-sevenths. Fairness requires the division to be made according to the proportion of two to one. And this can and will happen, if both cities are united, if, in the prosperity of the one, the other seeks hers also, and desires no increase for herself without the increase and advantage of her neighbor. Each shall endeavor also to form alliances with foreign cities lying near; yet not alone, but in common, ever going hand in hand, pledging friendship for friendship, and neutrality for neutrality. In all the other cantons, sensible people shall be informed, what great injury may result to them from the continual mismanagement of the Five Cantons at home and abroad. Hence it will follow, that the other cantons will also let the Five drop; for their power now, since the introduction of artillery into all wars, is so small, that no danger need be apprehended from them. Then too, the cities are better armed than they, and will accordingly gain, if their power is broken or diminished. Moreover, the ignorance of the Five Cantons, in everything that belongs to government, is a reason why we must separate from them; for, if brothers keep house together, and one of them does nothing and only squanders, then they must divide, or the spendthrift will bring them all to poverty.

"But, that they cannot govern, is proved by all their proceedings in the German and French bailiwicks. In the French cantons they have ruined the bailiwicks by taking bribes for sentences and appeals and doing it so scandalously, that no honest man can see or hear it without great pain. It is fast coming to a rupture also in the German bailiwicks. Thither they send, either haughty and avaricious vogts, or those of loose character, who rob, break every thing to pieces, and so behave that every one grows tired of them, and if a separation does not take place, the general indignation will in the end be transferred to the vogts of the cities also; for already have several of the latter been imprisoned for following their shameful example. These riotous fellows drink, gamble and live with lewd women, to the great scandal of honest people. In short, if we be not divided from them, or their power be not so diminished, that they must stand in dread of Zurich and Bern, then surely a schism will be created among the cantons, as terrible as that between the Guelfs and Ghibelines in Italy. Summa summarum: He, who cannot be master shall be a miserable slave. This is written down hastily, in order that both cities may see what is the most pressing want of the time, and the more bravely lay hand to the work. No one should indicate the author, but say: God grant grace!"

God indeed does grant grace to every thing, which, out of a pure knowledge of it, happens according to his will, and falls back upon it. And God did grant grace to every manly, true, loving word of the Reformer, uttered in behalf of spiritual freedom, to the unmasking of hypocrisy and abominable priestcraft—grace to every thing that he did and suffered, to bring back faith in the Word of God to the only foundation, upon which it rests unshaken, purity of heart and will, and the personal experience of the blessing, which springs from all truly evangelical conduct. For this Zurich thanks him, and is bound so to do, as long as she exists. But God is also just. No departure from the right path can be long continued without injurious consequences, and least of all in the strongest and most highly gifted. The deviation from those plans, perhaps the greatest error of his life, and all that was done in the spirit of them—the servant of the Gospel, which requires kindness, patient correction of a straying brother, and in civil life the sacred observance of treaties, he and Zurich must mourn over.


Footnote 1: The image of St. Fridolin, in the cantonal seal of Glarus.

Footnote 2: Belief, at the command of the church, even without personal conviction.

Footnote 3: Luther's Works by Pfitzer. p. 795, 796, 829, 830.

Footnote 4: Zwingli's Works in the edition of Usteri and V[oe]gelin. Vol. II. Part 2. pp. 453, 455, 456.

Footnote 5: A powerful and dangerous enemy of the Reformed party in Switzerland, especially in Graubuenden, and he occupied the strongly fortified castle of Musso on the northern shore of Lake Como.

Footnote 6: On this point Collin himself says in his report: "The credentials could neither be read nor understood, for they were very badly written and in the most confused style; but I let them understand enough to satisfy them."

Footnote 7: A confession of faith, from the four cities, Strassburg, Constance, Memmingen and Lindau, which was especially presented to the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, but neither received nor read, like the so-called Augsburg Confession drawn up by Luther and Melanchton, and signed by the German Princes, even the Landgrave Philip, at least during any session of the Estates of the Empire.

Footnote 8: In a letter, written from France, by a German, in the year 1530, to the Privy Council of Strassburg—in order to urge them, by a delegation of skillful speakers, to the French Court, in the name of the German Protestants, to secure the entrance of the Reformation there, and to send along, if possible, a learned theologian—it is expressly stated: "Zwingli, [OE]colampadius, or Carlstadt should be sent by no means, for they are too much hated, on account of the Sacrament; others, except Lutherus, may come; yet, as before said one of the delegation should be able to speak French, in order to deliver the address before the King."



The more rapid the advance of Zurich, the slower that of Bern became. She could count less on the support of her own subjects than the former. In the Oberland, the fire yet glowed beneath the ashes; discontent prevailed among the mass of those, who were punished on account of the rebellion of 1528. With that rude people, the Reformation, hastily carried out, and not as yet rooted in their minds and hearts, had tended to weaken the bonds of allegiance. Signs of war appeared also in the west. Geneva, with whom she had formed a defensive alliance, was threatened by the Duke of Savoy, and not fully relying on her own citizens, called on Bern for help. The Government delayed, but finally asked the Confederates for their usual contingent. The Five Cantons refused it; and Zurich also, concerned for her own safety, hesitated about marching an army to such a great distance. Urged by the repeated demands of Geneva, Bern at last sent out 5,000 men, who passed through the Pays de Vaud, burning and pillaging, to the great terror of the inhabitants, and in the end became troublesome in Geneva itself, through their want of discipline. A treaty with Savoy, concluded at St. Julien, restored peace for a while; but the lack of zeal manifested by Zurich, in not coming to the succor, could not but dampen the sympathy of the Bernese in her affairs.

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