The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli
by Johann Hottinger
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
Home - Random Browse

Two new events occurred, to make her condition only the more critical. The biennial term of the governor-general of St. Gall expired with the close of the year 1530. A Luzerner was to take the place of the retiring Zuricher. Before she would give her consent to the change, Zurich demanded of him a public avowal, in favor of the Reformation, and an oath to protect the people of the abbacy. Luzern entreated her to dispense with such an avowal, and be content with that oath, by which he was pledged to maintain the Landfriede, on the ground that this of itself would serve to protect the Reformation, wherever introduced by a majority of votes. Zurich persisted in her demand. She wished all others to put the same construction on the Landfriede that she did. In consequence of this, the governor-general Frei not only refused to leave Wyl, but marched also at the head of an armed troop of the abbey-people, beyond the limits of his jurisdiction, to compel two parishes in the Rheinthal, where strife had arisen, to accept the Reformation. Vainly had Bern, on complaint of the Five Cantons, implored Zurich to keep faith and admit the Luzernese governor-general, on the strength of the pledge required by the Landfriede, thus giving his administration a trial. No escape being left for the Five Cantons, except an appeal to the Confederates, a General Diet was assembled in Baden, on the 8th of January. The unanimous instruction of the Five Cantons at this Diet shows the position which they were resolved to maintain, as well as what was expected from their federal associates.

"We had hoped," so said their deputies in accordance with their commission, "that all our Confederates had been sufficiently convinced by deeds, of our firm purpose to uphold the peace and all treaties. But to us of the Five Cantons, in general, and each in particular, such manifold injury has been done, since the treaty of the Landfriede, so many innovations exacted, and so many attacks made upon our rights, that to detail all this would be an endless and perplexing task. Something, however, shall be presented, to show that we do not complain without reason.

"In the first place, we have to speak about the governor-generalship of St. Gall. The place fell by right, on last St. Catharine's day, to our Confederates of Luzern; but you, Confederates of Zurich, prevented the governor from entering on his office, brought up new articles, which you required him to receive beforehand, and demanded an oath to the peasants; and when we justly complained, you sent in return detailed missives, without any color of law, (which may be examined, if necessary), and formally refused in the end to respect our rights. We are highly aggrieved that any canton in our Confederacy should lose all regard to justice, and that 'new contrivances should be found for twisting and glossing over our covenants and treaties,' so that no one may be bound to let law be law. Of such 'glossing over,' our forefathers knew nothing; in their time also everything went better than now. Then, too, our Confederates of Schwyz have been denied justice in another case. But, though you may think, Confederates of Zurich, that you have good reasons for acting thus, it yet does not become you to be yourselves the only judges of the validity of these reasons.

"Moreover, the government of the Territories has already been often discussed here in Baden. We believe, that the present resolutions would be valid; as soon as passed by a majority of the ruling cantons. For if the majority of votes is of no avail among those possessed of equal rights, how can treaties ever exist? Leagues and covenants are then made in vain. From rulers we become servants, if we must do that only which is commanded by a majority of one or two cantons. Indeed, in this way, we would by force and against law be driven out of all the bailiwicks, in which our forefathers won their share honorably and honestly, by the sword or by other means; and should we brook this from those who call themselves our friends and Confederates? God forbid! and with His help we will not suffer it.

"Touching that which you, in connection with Glarus and Wallenstadt, did there against our rights, an impartial court has been appointed according to your own request; but you have threatened, that if the judges do not decide in your favor, you will compel them so to do. Your governor in St. Gall, instead of taking leave, at the expiration of his term of office, has stirred up the people of the abbacy and led them into the Rheinthal, where neither you, nor yours, nor the governor have any right to act without us. There he has surprised and maltreated two poor congregations, because the majority have resolved to remain true to the Old Faith. Who can live with such friends, that do them more harm than enemies? Though we have suffered much from you hitherto, yet is our manhood unextinguished. We are lovers of peace. God is with such. He grants victory to the despised, and truly, he has not yet denied it to us.

"We do not wish at this time to relate minutely all that we have experienced at your hands in the Thurgau, Sargans, Baden and the County of Toggenburg. Because, up to this time, we have been everywhere deprived of our rights, we now send this last message to you and all the Confederates. The deputies shall especially inquire, whether, in the future, you and your adherents will keep the federal compact and Landfriede with us, let a majority be a majority, act fairly, and whether deeds will go hand in hand with your promises. If this happen, then we will pledge ourselves also to do all that becomes honest Confederates. But if you, Confederates of Zurich, and whoever agrees with you in these affairs, will not desist from your undertaking, nor return to the federal compact and Landfriede, do not conceal it, so that we, on our side, may know what to do. And, if you are neither willing to do the former, nor make known to us the latter, then shall our deputies appeal to our dear Confederates of Glarus, Freiburg, Solothurn, Schaffhausen and Appenzell in the following manner:

"Dear Confederates, you have now heard how we have been treated, since the conclusion of the Landfriede. You know, moreover, how, just lately at a General Diet in Baden, when we paid down the money required by that treaty, Zurich and her adherents gave us a promise to abide faithfully by the federal compact and the Landfriede, and particularly to respect and obey the majority in the bailiwicks, as far as worldly affairs are concerned. How they have kept this promise, we leave you to judge. Though we do not now know, what may be done by others, we yet feel bound to uphold the Landfriede, which we indeed have never violated, but always observed, for you are aware how urgently we were solicited to pay over the money alluded to, lest further disturbance might arise therefrom—and hence we demand and exhort you, by our federal compact and the Landfriede, of which you yourselves are parties, to aid and support us in teaching the Zurichers and their adherents, that they must observe these treaties, according to their plain letter, and let a majority be a majority, as they are bound to do by all law, human and divine, and that you proceed therein with such earnestness, as becomes good Confederates; for we will no longer endure any more violence of this sort. If no improvement takes place, we will seek out ways and means, to protect ourselves from injustice and abide by our own people. In this may the Holy Trinity aid us! Now, we desire from you a final answer, whether you will help us to our rights. If not, we will attend no more sessions of the General Diet, and with the best feelings do not conceal it from you."

Of all the charges made by the Five Cantons, Zurich applied none to herself. She had never violated nor attacked their rights in worldly things, even in the remotest manner. How could she then pledge herself to restore these rights? The whole dispute had arisen from an incorrect, forced interpretation of the Landfriede by the Five Cantons. The governments did not stand opposed to each other in religious matters, and the freedom of the Gospel or its limitation was not to be decided by a majority of the ruling powers in the Territories. The Landfriede itself guaranteed the former; therefore Zurich maintained, that she stood here also on perfectly legal ground; and, in respect to the governorship of St. Gall, had acted likewise in the spirit of this Landfriede, so that, if the Luzernese governor was not willing to comply with the conditions of Zurich, it was not her fault.

From these declarations of the parties, it is evident that the task of mediator was not an easy one. A new event occurred, to render it still more difficult. At the north-eastern extremity of Lake Como, stood the strongly-fortified mountain-castle of Musso. It was then occupied by Jacob Midicis, a bold and skillful adventurer, who had played an active part in the earlier Italian wars. Supported by his hired bands, he frequently sailed forth from his hiding-place, to the great disturbance of his neighbors in Valtlin and Graubuenden. He even ventured to interrupt the commerce of Graubuenden with Milan, and surprised and murdered two envoys, sent with complaints to the Duke, on their return home. Yet more dangerous plans of his, in union with the Austrian authorities, against the Reformed Confederates, were talked of, and the report received some color of truth from the increasing preparations for war, as well as an attack at Morbagnio, upon the Graubuendners, who had marched out to secure their possessions, and whom, after a stout defence, he compelled to retreat. An appeal was now made to the Confederates for armed assistance. They all promised, and dispatched 5,000 men; the Five Cantons only persevered in refusing to furnish their quota.

"Here you see," said Zurich to the mediators, "their fidelity to the federal compact; here you perceive with whom they have secret intercourse—here, whether we were wrong in powerfully opposing the hypocrites." But it soon transpired, that Austria was not at all concerned in this affair, and rather disapproved the action of Medicis; and the Five Cantons sought to justify their inactivity by the necessity of defending their own borders in such critical times.

The states of the Confederacy, favorable to peace, now supplied the place of Schaffhausen, who had taken a decided stand with the cities of the Buergerrecht, by calling in the French embassy. The latter immediately turned to Zwingli himself. "Dear highly esteemed man," they wrote to him, "we have once before expressed our urgent wishes to thee, and thou hast not answered us. Very lately the King sent one of his nobles to us with another earnest command to do all in our power in aiding to restore and strengthen peace and concord between the Confederates. In this spirit we addressed ourselves to the deputies (of the cities of the Buergerrecht) present at Aarau. Since we learn that they will soon assemble again in Zurich, we write to thee also. We beg, we implore thee, if, as we doubt not, the peace and welfare of Helvetia are near to thy heart, to do all in thy power to prevent any hostile act against their Confederates from these men, whom we honor and esteem, and aid in bringing about a reconciliation. Indeed this is very urgent, for reasons which make it necessary, but which we have not now time to communicate, they are so many; and if thou knowest them thyself, thou wouldst esteem thyself happy in such a work, and must hereafter in the opposite case unavoidably condemn thyself; and that thou canst produce either the one or the other, of that we are convinced. If you push it to a war, not six months will go by before it will take such a turn, that the Zurichers will be sorry enough for what we now know and foresee. We pray thee think over the contents of this letter; perceive therein a proof of our sincere regard; inform us what can be done on your part to give the business a happy direction. For ourselves, nothing will gain us greater thanks from the King. On the contrary, if war breaks out among you, the victorious party must in the end be just as much weakened as the other. And beforehand already, must they, who should be afraid to cause it, be forsaken by their friends, because the latter, engaged to other allies also, must condemn such cruel, reckless and passionate conduct."

Zwingli did not suffer himself to be moved by this letter, and Zurich likewise persevered in carrying out her fundamental principle, to do everything for the freedom of the Gospel, even where she did not rule alone, or had but a small share of the sovereign authority—to do it also in the way of armed interference, if negotiation did not suffice. In vain did the advocates of peace redouble their labors; in vain did the warnings of Bern become more and more pressing. The governor-general Frei still prolonged his official term at Wyl, stirred up the people of the abbacy and conducted their affairs. A bill of purchase for the monastery was made out by the city of St. Gall, and a release of the Toggenburgers from all allegiance to the abbey for the sum of 15,000 florins, which was ratified by Zurich, and through her exertions by Glarus also, in spite of protests from Luzern and Schwyz. In the Thurgau, Zwingli succeeded in applying the revenue, arising from fines in the lower courts, to purposes of charity, against all opposition of the magistrates, who had hitherto appropriated them to their own use. All this increased continually the number of his enemies and the complaints at the confederate assemblies, and among the advocates of peace. The language of the Five Cantons became more threatening; the subjects of Zurich, whom business led into the interior, were obliged to hear words of bitter reviling, and were even personally attacked; one of them had his horse killed in AEgeri. Much was reported about the rude speeches and rough manners of certain prominent individuals. By all this, on the other hand, Zurich sought to justify her conduct, and in fact the displeasure of the remaining cities of the Christian Buergerrecht was kindled anew against the Five Cantons, who were not able to quell the growing barbarity of many of their subjects; a proof of general corruption in morals, just where the greatest boast was made of ancient simplicity. The Reformer meanwhile had aided in establishing synods in the Thurgau, in Toggenburg and in St. Gall, and was frequently present at their sessions. Everywhere he saw the resolution of a majority of the people to fight, if necessary, for the Gospel. His presence inspired confidence and respect. In St. Gall he was honored by a musical festival, projected by one of his numerous friends, and in other places he preached to great crowds with general applause. Zurich should be true to herself, was his continual exhortation, and must persevere to the end. In order, therefore, to exert a new and powerful influence upon the cities of the Buergerrecht, Zurich invited them to hold a conference; which, with all in attendance, was opened on the 6th of March. A detailed list of the vile calumnies to which influential leaders in the Five Cantons had given currency was presented, the declared resolution of Zurich not to suffer them any longer, and the petition for aid to prevent and punish them in the future. Bern regretted the calumnies, and acknowledged that Zurich had sufficient reason to be angry, but pointed to the mighty preparations for war, which the enemies of the Reformation were making in the Empire and Italy. The Five Cantons may be well aware of this, had perhaps received secret promises of assistance, and hence their leaders behaved more rudely of late. Then the guilt of this abuse, though so provoking in and of itself, should not be charged upon the cantons as a whole, but only upon certain individuals. Besides, the present scarcity of provisions should be thought of, and the very last means for peace exhausted, before arms should be resorted to. Hence her deputies proposed to send an embassy to the Five Cantons, from the collective cities of the Buergerrecht, even without Zurich, if she did not see fit to join it. Earnest expostulation and at all events a hint about prohibiting the export of provisions, in case a hearing were refused, could not remain without its due effect. Basel said that sending embassies and letters were useless. The overbearing disposition of these people, as well as their rudeness, was well known.—Deputies could easily meet in such a way as would only widen the breach. Let us once more call a Diet at Baden and bring up there our common complaints. Together we will demand a speedy remedy. If they promise, it is well; if not, our honor is preserved, though we break asunder. Schaffhausen and St. Gall expressed the same opinion, and Bern likewise fell in with the invitation.

Meanwhile, the latter had not been wrong in her conjecture. There were yet many undoubtedly in the Five Cantons, who were neither guilty of such rough sayings and doings themselves, nor approved of them in others. Indeed, the majority of the rulers saw well that their position, hitherto not unfavorable, would be endangered thereby; and willingly would they have put away all such things, had it been possible to change the nature of the people. Hence their deputies, to secure whose attendance Bern had made great exertions, appeared in the General Diet at Baden with a tolerable degree of modesty.

They desired a copy of the complaints of Zurich, answered them as they were brought forward, point by point, as far as they could do this beforehand, declared the willingness of their lords to punish yet more severely after due investigation, and excused their people by the fact that they also were obliged to hear many a bitter speech among the Reformed, and one rude word begets another. Their faith too had been frequently assailed by the preachers, the mass spoken of with contempt, and they themselves called 'blood-sellers' and 'money-eaters,' in the pulpit. The sooner the cities would find out that such things were also punishable, the more ready would they on their side be to deal likewise with the unruly, and if their sentences would sometimes be less severe than the cities had expected, they were at liberty to treat the perpetrators according to their own pleasure, whenever they came within their jurisdiction. At this juncture, the neutral cantons earnestly exhorted the one party to fulfill its promises, and the other to be satisfied with them. But when the deputies of the Five Cantons wished to speak yet about the state of the Territories, the Zurichers declared that they had no authority to touch upon these things, and so they parted, Zurich and the Five Cantons; neither put in a right position, nor brought nearer to each other.

But the former and Zwingli, in chief, were not at all inclined to be satisfied with what was done. They saw increasing danger in the continued postponement of all active interference. His sermons became warlike. Help must be extended to the oppressed in the Five Cantons; the multitude of those, who desired the freedom of the Gospel, but from whom it was withheld in the most unjust and violent manner, against the plain meaning of the Landfriede. "There is no longer any safety," said Zwingli in the pulpit, "till the Reformation is thoroughly carried out. Its enemies would long ago have given way, had we only banished from our own midst all lukewarm, indifferent persons, and all secret traitors. Against these we must now proceed with untiring zeal and unfaltering purpose, even in the cities of the Buergerrecht. Our allies must be brought to support us in this, and not drag us down with them into the abyss through their culpable negligence." A deputation was now sent thither, composed of members of the Council, who visited Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen and St. Gall, and communicated an enlarged list of grievances, the warnings that had arrived from abroad, and a review of the conduct of the Five Cantons in the affair with the tyrant of Musso, in which they were accused of breach of covenant and a desire to bring about the ruin and destruction of the city of Zurich, as well as the dismemberment of a glorious Confederacy. "We can no longer, in any way, keep quiet and yet justify ourselves before our own people. We can, may, and will no longer let the matter drop, but undertake everything, which the high and serious nature of the case demands, everything which may be needful for the maintenance of Divine truth, and the deliverance of all who adhere to the same." The answers of the collective cities were asked for with all possible dispatch.

They arrived after a few days. Bern wrote in a grave and moderate tone; she greatly deplored the continued disturbances of the peace; yet, "since matters had come so far, and out of regard to their dangerous course," she prayed Zurich for this time to use no violence against the Five Cantons, but remain quiet till the next Buergertag (diet of the cities) in Aarau; to which she had summoned her, Basel, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Biel and Constance. She said also, she was now compelled to declared positively, that if her Confederates and Christian co-burghers of Zurich should ever employ any actual force, they need count on no help from her; and might shape their plans accordingly. Basel and Schaffhausen showed far more sympathy, but likewise wished for a general consultation before further steps were taken. St. Gall begged Zurich to try peaceful measures once more; and if in vain, she then pledged herself to abide true to her obligations.

Zurich promised to attend the appointed diet, but did not suspend the preparations for war, which she had already begun. Her deputies, the burgomaster Roist, the banneret Schweizer and Jost von Knosen, appeared in Aarau with binding instructions. They were to surrender nothing, hear no more plans of mediation, and consent to no longer delay of punishment. Bern persevered just as decidedly in protesting against any breach of the peace. By the urgent solicitation of the others, the Zurichers were at last prevailed on, to give the decisive answer in their own city, whither the collective deputies now went with them, in order to lay the matter before the Council itself. They were already agreed among themselves in no case to go further than consent to proclaim and execute, in common with Zurich, a decree against the export of provisions, as proposed by Bern, and that only when all other milder measures were exhausted.

With one accord they began to entreat the Council to lay aside all warlike preparations, not wantonly to disturb the internal peace, whilst danger threatened from without, not to carry bloodshed into the rural districts, where so many innocent people were yet living, not to destroy the ripening harvest, the only hope of the poor, of so many widows and orphans; but Zurich vehemently resisted and would not give way in the least. Once before, said the Councils, against our convictions, in order to please others, we consented to a peace, which has only resulted in our greater injury. Shall we now do it again, and let slip out of our hands the advantage which we at this moment possess? To wait till the Emperor, till Austria comes to their aid, or perchance lends secret support to Medicis—to hope for truth and faithfulness among those, to whom nothing could be more welcome than our total destruction? The proposal also to lay an injunction on the export of provisions found no favor in the beginning. This remedy was thought more hateful than war itself. An honorable war was not contrary to the Word of God; but it would be unchristian to cut off bread from the mouths of the guilty and the innocent—thus completely destroying the old, the sick, pregnant woman, child and those otherwise oppressed by the tyranny of the Five Cantons. Bern endeavored to show the contrary, and the others joined her. Bloody deeds once done could no more be recalled, whilst the enemy at any moment could put an end to the want occasioned by the prohibition, by simply giving satisfaction. At last Zurich submitted, although, as it runs in the record, "reluctantly and sadly, only for the honor and pleasure of the allies."

But Zwingli was so highly displeased with the resolution, that, according to Bullinger's narrative, he censured it even in the pulpit. "He who is so bold," said he, "as to call another 'liar,' to the face, must let word and blow go together. If he does not smite he will be smitten. Ye men of Zurich, have cut off the supply of provisions from the Five Cantons as evildoers. Then ought ye now to follow the blow, and not leave the innocent poor to starve. But since you sit still, as though you had not sufficient reason for the punishment, you will oblige them to beat and punish you, and this too will be done."

Immediately after the passage of the act, on the 21st of May, Bern issued her declaration to the Five Cantons, in the following words: "Although, at the time of its ratification, it was everywhere published and forbidden by the Landfriede, that one party should attack the faith of the other, or do them injury in person, honor or property, or revile or abuse them; although we, on our side, have obeyed, and punished our people in case of transgression, and although your deputies, a short while ago at Baden, gave pledge that the same would be done by you; nevertheless it has never been done. We, our neighbors and our subjects, contrary to all justice, in defiance of the federal compact and sworn treaties, have been reviled as rogues, heretics, villains, in every insulting manner, and accused of scandalous crimes, by you and yours; of which we gave you notice in writing, in March of this year. We have borne it with patience, overlooked it, and urgently exhorted you to punish the evil-doers according to their deserts. It has never been done, and we must believe that you yourselves take pleasure in it. Indeed we would have more than enough of right and authority to proceed against you at once; but, that the innocent, the widows and the orphans may be spared, we have chosen a milder remedy, which we are permitted to use by the Landfriede itself, in case you refuse to obey its stipulations. Therefore, from the coming Whitsunday, neither you nor yours shall approach our lands and territories in any manner, or carry away from them anything, by which man must live, until you have punished, according to the weight and magnitude of their words and deeds, according to their desert, in person, honor and property, the insolent, wanton revilers and abusers, whom we have pointed out to you, and whom you will soon discover for yourselves; till you once go earnestly to work, and have put away such unmanly and unchristian doings, so that we and ours may remain secure in the presence of you and yours; for such downright injustice, such words of scandal and shame, we are no longer able to endure. Take your measures accordingly." On the 27th of May, followed the declaration of Zurich still more ample in its details and more severe.

What Zwingli had correctly, and what the well-meaning advocates of peace still more correctly anticipated, became more and more evident from day to day. The cities of the Buergerrecht who had mutually pledged themselves "to persevere together and not lay aside the prohibition, except by the common consent and knowledge of all," could neither retreat nor advance. It did not, as they hoped it would, rouse up every power, hurry along the cautious and irresolute and unite them all together. Instead of this, it gave them time for reflection, time to consider the matter on all sides; censures were heard; the feelings were appealed to, especially pity, which found eloquent advocates in the frontier districts. On the other hand, the exasperation of the Catholics increased from week to week, and overpowered gradually those who were hitherto peacefully inclined, and as want penetrated their abodes, even the secret friends of the Reformation. "It is barbarous. Our forefathers never dealt thus with each other. If individuals have sinned, is it fair that innocent woman and children should suffer for it?" Skilfully was this disposition made us of, by those particularly, who were conscious of their own guilt. They did everything to represent the measure in its most hateful light. "No giving way, till the prohibition is raised," was heard in all parts of the country, resounded from every quarter against the advocates of peace, who still did not relax their efforts, but wrote letters, and traveled from place to place with unwearied zeal. Courage rose with the pressure of want. "We must go and fetch the food, which is so inhumanly denied us." So far from opposing, their Reformed neighbors frequently aided them in these attempts. Provisions were concealed in bales of goods, which were allowed to cross the line, and very often the Bernese authorities were deceived by their own subjects to the advantage of the needy. And we do not find, that, when discovered, such proofs of brotherly compassion, and perhaps even of a secret leaning toward the old system, were severely punished by them.

On the other hand, the prohibition, once declared, was sternly carried out by Zurich. With the rest, it was only form; with her, reality. By an embassy to Glarus she induced the Landsgemeine (commons) of that canton, with a majority, it is true, of only about thirty votes, to adopt it as a principle, and as soon as this was accomplished, she demanded of Wesen and the inhabitants of the Territory of Gaster, subjects of Glarus, but at the same time also of Schwyz, to execute the prohibition against the latter. At this, Bern was highly displeased, and wrote to Zurich: "We beg you to consider how hard it is for a subject to refuse provisions to his lord, and therefore to act moderately and not be too rash, remembering how willingly you would receive it from your own, if they were to deny you saleable commodities; think well over the matter." This remonstrance had little effect upon Zurich, and henceforth the hateful features of a measure, which she had originally opposed with all her power, and only adopted, because no other way of escape stood open, became more and more visible.

At this juncture, envoys from Freiburg, Solothurn and Appenzell, along with the two ambassadors of France, appeared again in Zurich with offers of aid in new negotiations for peace. The Frenchmen declared, that the people of the Five Cantons had asked for their intercession, and although their statement before the Council was ill-received, on account of certain allusions to the passionate behavior of Zurich as not strictly evangelical, still the latter consented to attend another General Diet of the Confederacy, to be held at Bremgarten, because Zurich and Bern refused to appear in Baden, which they blamed for an offensive partiality toward the Five Cantons. The meeting took place on the 14th of June. It was attended by all the States, by deputies from the city of Chur, from the Three Leagues (the Grisons), from Wallis (Valais), from Rothweil, from the landgraviate of the Thurgau and the nobility there, and from the district of Sargan, as well as by the French ambassadors, and those of the Duke of Milan, and the Countess of Neuenberg. Gervasius Schuler and Henry Bullinger preached sermons in favor of reconciliation and concord; but how could the negotiations proceed, when the Five Cantons demanded the raising of the prohibition, before a single word should be spoken? To own thus publicly that they were wrong, and had acted hastily, was too much even for Bern, and hence she united with Zurich in requiring, before any promise to raise the prohibition could be made, a declaration on the part of the Five Cantons, that they would abide by the Landfriede, so interpreted, that the free preaching of the Gospel would be secure not merely in the Territories, but in districts also immediately under the rule of its adversaries. By this means the breach became yet wider, and the humor in which the deputies of the Five Cantons took their leave, led those of the burgher-cities to look for speedy and dangerous results. Before parting they consulted over the most urgent measures. Zurich affirmed, there were certain indications, that the Five Cantons were arming and would appear on the frontiers under pretext of carrying away grain, but at the same time with the determined purpose of making a formal invasion. It would be prudent to anticipate them; at any rate to appoint leaders and a place of rendezvous for soldiers at once, and to agree upon a plan for a campaign in case of necessity. The deputies, with the exception of those from Basel and St. Gall, said that they had no authority for going so far. If Zurich were attacked, the Bernese thought she should "not be too ardent, and overshoot the mark, but wait for an advantage and not make assault, until well assured, though obliged to restrain one hamlet, or two or three together, and then she should hasten to inform us and the other Christian co-burghers of it, and then we of Bern will send quickly such a number of people as we think advisable, and with the rest, because we have to keep an eye on the Wallisers, will press against the Luzerners and Unterwaldners, so that the Five Cantons will be compelled to keep themselves apart."

Meanwhile the advocates for peace were unwearied in their efforts. Already a second meeting in Bremgarten was appointed, and the French ambassadors, on the 4th of July, addressed Zurich and Bern once more. "Some days ago," they wrote, "several respectable men from the Five Cantons were with us, not, it is true, in an official capacity. They gave us a lively picture of the distress in their country, and exhorted us to beg you to exercise that charity toward them, which is due from one Christian to another. They assured us, that by a voluntary raising of the prohibition, you would so win upon the heart of the Five Cantons, that any reasonable demand of yours would readily be granted, and the most obstinate even would be obliged to give way. Therefore, mighty lords, we have consented, for the honor of God, for the sake of the King, and in obedience to that precept of the Gospel, which you profess: 'Love not your friends only, but your enemies also', urgently to beseech you: Do away with this misery! Remember, that they are your Christian brethren, your neighbors; that they speak your own language; that you are one nation, friends, kinsmen—were united in old times, and must be again in the future. Show love and mercy toward them, as you would wish them to do toward you. Withhold not from them that blessing, which God has bestowed on you. Regard not the words of abuse, nor anything else, by which they have injured you. Thousands among them are innocent of these things; as was indeed abundantly shown in Bremgarten. Truly you will follow the command of God, you will act as the Gospel teaches; in future generations it will bring you honor. Wise and beloved lords, we write in haste before the Diet meets again. We wish to put an end to the famine as speedily as possible. Fulfil our prayers, and we pledge you our King will remember the favor and repay it gladly, as far as in him lies."

It is not surprising, that upon a portion of the councils at least, some effect should be produced by such appeals, and no less by the reports concerning the disposition of their own people, which reached them from time to time. One of these was communicated to Zurich by the commander of Hitzkirch, Albert von Muelinen. It related to an event, that occurred in a popular assembly at Lenzburg. The government of Bern had called it together, partly to correct false rumors by a special deputation, and partly to explain the reasons of the prohibition and exhort the people to perform their duty in case of need. When now they were formally enjoined so to do, one cried out: "Where is it written in the Gospel that we must deny food to our neighbor?" another: "We will have no war for religions' sake; if they are not willing to believe in God, let them stick to the devil!" Another wished a delegate to be sent to Bremgarten, and others still referred to a declaration of the government made at the opening of the Reformation, that it should begin and end in peace. The resolute behavior of the Bernese deputies was scarcely able to prevent an actual outbreak on the part of the malcontents.

Under such circumstances, the inactivity of some, the perplexity of others, and the ill-humor of a third class, rendered Zwingli's situation more difficult from day to day, as the number of those, who blamed him with all the evil, and pointed him out as an unceasing author of mischief, continued to increase even in Zurich. Fierce was the anger of the Nobles' Guild, because six of its members, accused of hostility to the Reformation, had been obliged, chiefly through his exertions, to withdraw, part from the Great and part from the Small Council. The majority of the millers and bakers also opposed him, because they attributed the fact, that the authorities had of late become far more strict in their supervision, to his preaching. "For, from the most ancient times," Bullinger, who narrates this, adds, "preachers have had to bear the blame, when obliged to preach against anything done contrary to the Word of God." To the burgher of the town, it was pretended by his enemies, that he was seeking the favor of the country-people, in order by their aid to keep down the cities; to the country-man, who, in the present condition of things, saw his cottage, his undefended property, the life and fortune of his family in continual peril, that he alone stood in the way of peace with the Five Cantons. Intrigue, mistrust, disunion reigned in the Council itself. It became more and more difficult to find suitable persons to execute important missions. Several of the most experienced statesmen endeavored to withdraw. The well-meaning sighed over the inextricable confusion.

Matters had already come to such a pass, that a feeling of his own forsaken condition took hold of the Reformer himself. "Hence he came," as Bullinger informs us, "before the Council and burghers, on the 26th of July, and told how he had now preached the Gospel for eleven years, and warned them with the fidelity of a father, and thoroughly and often and abundantly pointed out, amongst other things, what evil would ensue to them and the Common Confederacy, if the Five Cantons, i.e. the crew of pensioners, should get the upper hand. All this had no effect upon them. It could easily be seen that there were yet those in the Council, who did not disdain the wages of blood, and were the best friends of the Five Cantons and enemies to the Gospel. Further, the city had managed ill and could expect little good to come of it. And because she would not follow him and the truth, and he was continually blamed for every disaster that happened, he would now bid them farewell." He said this with tears, according to the testimony of Werner Steiner, one of his friends, and then left the council-house.

The alarm was general; much was said here and there. At last the two burgomasters and several of the most prominent members were commissioned to persuade him to retract his resolution. The meeting took place about noon of the same day. Zwingli asked time for reflection; and on the 29th of July appeared again before the Council to say that he would not abandon the post, in which the city had placed him until death. The effect of this declaration was soon manifest in the reviving spirit of the Council. None of its members were permitted to resign, and on the 6th of August the following ordinance was published: "That for some time past manifold discord, anger and contrariety have arisen in the Councils and among the burghers, so that certain individuals have frequently refused to execute the business and commands imposed upon them, and thereby encouraged others to purpose the same, is well known to us; and we desire that every one, be he of the Small or of the Great Council, when entrusted with an embassy, on horseback or otherwise, will dutifully perform it, unless he make oath that he could not do so, without the sacrifice of his life. If any fail in this duty, he shall be arraigned, and an inquiry held as to the proper punishment."

Zwingli, seeing the chief danger in the vacillation of Bern and her lack of energy, resolved, since, just at that time, another meeting in Bremgarten had been brought about by the advocates of peace, to use all his personal influence with Jacob von Wattenwyl and Peter im Haag, the Bernese deputies there. He entered the city at night-fall, accompanied by Peter Collin and Werner Steiner. The consultation took place immediately, in the house of Bullinger and in his presence. They all agreed that it was now too late to recall the prohibition, except the Five Cantons would first yield. Such a step of weakness would only render them more overbearing. But to carry it out, and yet remain at peace, was still more doubtful. The oppressed would rise up, and then all the injury, resulting from the invasion, and every kind of reproach, would be heaped upon them. Whether Zwingli gave any further counsel, is not stated in Bullinger's narrative. He simply adds, "the Bernese promised to do their best." At all events, the Reformer departed with a heavy heart. As if conscious that he would never meet again on earth the friend, who went with him as far as the city-gate, he took leave of him with weeping eyes, repeating three times the words: "God keep thee, dear Henry, and be thou faithful to the Lord Christ!"

This scene occurred on the night of St. Laurence's day, and just at that time, according to Bullinger, the famous comet of 1531 first became visible. Zwingli gazed at it from the churchyard of the Great Minster. "What can it portend?" was the question put to him by the abbot George Mueller of Wettingen, in accordance with the belief of the age. "It will cost me, my George, me and many an honorable man his life. The truth and the Church will suffer calamity, but God will not forsake them!" In the pulpit he spake in a similar strain: "Thou wilt not punish pride, Zurich. Well then! thou wilt be punished thyself; a hedge of thorns will bristle about thy head. The chain is forged, which will twist my neck and that of many a pious Zuricher. Still, God will maintain His Word, and pride will have its fall."

It seems that he was already familiar with the thought of an early death. Indeed, who knows if he did not desire it? What could vindicate him in the face of his accusers and enemies raging on all sides, like perseverance to the end, like death in defence of his cause, the freedom of that Gospel, from which alone he could hope for a better future, the regeneration of his fatherland, of humanity? He may indeed at this crisis have glanced back over his past life, and examined himself, whether he was as blameless as he was steadfast, whether the good spirit had not forsaken him. A clear conscience could bear witness that he had never sought anything, save the truth and the welfare and honor of his country. Perhaps in solitary moments the question may have come up before him: "Art thou equally content with all the means which thou hast employed?"

This was the serious question. The answer could be more or less satisfactory, just as the Reformer understood the mission of his life. "The years of our life are three score and ten, and by reason of strength they may be four score." As a rule, the half of this period may be devoted to active duties. He, then, who does not shrink from laying before the world the results of honest research and conviction; he who breaks a path and removes obstacles, that stand in the way of others; he who wishes not only to sow but to reap, to behold the rich fruits of his labor, can neither be idle nor reflect too long, in every case, about the choice of means. These are often, in and of themselves, by no means blameless, and yet the only ones by which the end can be speedily attained; for usually adversaries are to be dealt with who are not all scrupulous themselves. They must be beaten by their own weapons. Such in all ages, has been the policy of men, especially those whom history calls great. The Jesuits were neither the first, nor the only politicians who adopted the maxim, that the end sanctifies the means; although they perhaps have given it the most damnable application. If a man is fully bound by his calling to act with promptness and decision, if the present generation, or his fatherland, suffers or gains by his action, then his task is doubly difficult, and cases may be supposed, where he is not left free to choose between means that are censurable and those that are praiseworthy, but only between those that are less censurable and those that are more so. Such is the unenviable position of the statesman; and it will thus continue, until public life is so transformed, that fair and pure measures will suffice for its maintenance; in other words, until the visible revelation of the kingdom of God here below, which Christ proclaimed, which he foresaw, and for which he himself scattered the seed in the earth.

This kingdom of God is that of universal freedom, truth and love. It is built only upon a faith not imposed, upon a personal conviction. Hence, to promote it is a very different mission, one that belongs to the preachers of the Gospel. They should employ none but the purest means, since their aim is altogether pure and holy. Whether its coming will be slow or rapid, is not for us here to consider. They are to seek greatness not by ruling and domineering, but by serving and waiting, like their Divine Exemplar. He who labors in His service, before whom "a thousand years are as one day," full of unshaken trusty leaves it to Him, to fix the time when His harvest shall be ripe. To-day the seed falls among thorns; to-morrow it drops into a fertile soil, and in the end fruit, sixty and a hundred-fold, will not be wanting. But then a laborer in this kingdom, since it often has to do with the wants and wishes of governments, or the peculiarities of states, will be drawn by necessity to take part in secular affairs, to exert a direct influence upon political life; yet he durst not swerve from those fundamental principles, which must guide his course; he cannot sacrifice the higher calling to the lower. That in the bosom of the Reformer, along with the peaceful review of all his labors and sufferings for evangelical liberty, such a consciousness may have awakened, in the last year of his life, some regret in regard to certain events in his political career, is quite probable from the deep seriousness and melancholy, which we observe in him at this period, as well as from the fervor with which he cast himself into the arms of the Supreme Disposer of all human destinies. He was not at all angry, when reminded of the duty of forbearance and love, whenever he perceived that the exhortation came from a heart that wished him well. To the end of his life he continued on friendly terms with Valentine Tschudi, his successor in Glarus, who, though cherishing all honor toward his former beloved teacher, did not approve of his frequent rough manner of proceeding, and without fear reminded him of the patience and mildness required by the Gospel. At this very time, when Zwingli was powerfully urging the use of compulsory measures against the Five Cantons, Tschudi wrote to him: "There is an old proverb, dearest teacher, 'So many heads, so many minds.' If from this source discord often arises about trifles, need we wonder, should it become yet more violent, where the most important matters are concerned? In a time, when the most learned are at their wits' end, I do not believe, like many others, that we should fan their passions into a general blaze by always accusing our enemies, but that the more care should be taken, lest we slide from the common foundation of our faith—love. Here only can we stand firm; all else is wavering, dependent on accidental circumstances, as all earthly things are. I cannot understand, how, though the old building be so rotten, we can erect a new one, solely on the foundation of the letter, without love, without the communion of saints. How many congregations did there not formerly flourish in Asia, in Africa, in Greece? What became of them, when their leaders quarrelled, when under the mask of science, ambition arose, and like Icarus, would soar with waxen pinions toward the sun? Human science is one thing; wisdom, kindled by the breath of God, another; and that is love. I see this love forsaking even the most learned, and in its stead appear indifference toward God; contempt of authority, a trampling upon law and judgment, a life of ungovernable passion. Exert your utmost strength, honored teacher, to prevent it from vanishing altogether. The mere knowledge of the Word cannot protect us, if every one is allowed to interpret it as he pleases, if the spirit of concord, the Holy Spirit does not dwell in them, who use it. The generosity, which breathes through your last letter, and of which in earlier days I received so many proofs, deserves my warmest thanks. It may easily happen, that I will yet be obliged to take refuge with one of my friends; for some are angry at my slow progress, and others at my slight disposition, to apologize for the old order. But I cannot abstain from aiding the weak and comforting distressed consciences. I will rather endure reproach for too much lenity, than render the breach incurable by untimely violence. Little salvation as I expect from ceremonies and external acts, I look for just as little in science also, until the spirit of concord return to our bosoms, and its peaceful culture be made possible. Indeed drag-chains even can become indispensable to the wagon, when it rolls in its rushing course down toward the abyss. God be with us! May his Spirit lead us into a secure haven! Do all that in thee lies, to attain this end."

But what could Zwingli do in the circumstances by which he was surrounded? To hold back the wagon, or to guide it, was no longer in his power. A higher Hand had already seized the reins, to direct it according to a plan, which, though dark and mysterious to the men of that age, succeeding generations, who are able to see all the events in their connection, have learned to admire for its wisdom. We again draw near one of those periods in the lives of nations, when everything must be ventured for the cause of truth and liberty, the rights of conscience preserved by death, past errors atoned for by a glorious expiation, and the censure of posterity disarmed by the magnitude of the sacrifice.

The Reformer continued firm as a rock. About the end of August he wrote to Conrad Som of Ulm, after giving some notice of the appearance of the comet: "I stand unshaken prepared for everything, seeking my help in God." He heard without alarm, how people in one place were terrified by monstrous births, and how in another reports were afloat concerning portentous signs, a shield and banner seen in the sky; ships manned by spirit-warriors crossing Lake Luzern; and the shooting of guns by night, that wakened from slumber the neighbors on the Reuss. Ulric Meier, vogt of Schenkenberg, wrote to him a long letter, telling how the inhabitants of an entire parish, he himself, the preachers and a proprietor of that district, had seen blood ooze from the earth, after a stormy night, more dreadful than any he had ever before witnessed; he gave him this accurate information, so that he might not believe, if others should tell him yet worse things; and had written moreover to the government of Bern. Whether God had spoken, or whether it was delusion or magic, may perhaps be discovered hereafter. But why should stories like these, which undoubtedly produced a fearful commotion in the trembling multitude, daunt him, who was fixed in his faith, his action, his purpose—reconciled even to the assurance of an early death? One thing alone could cause him pain—the thought of leaving behind his wife and children, a growing family, destined perchance to feel the consequences of every change of fortune. He desired for them an easier life, than he had led; that they might not sink before their time beneath a load of trouble and toil. "Spare your young folks," he wrote to Berchtold Haller and Megander of Bern; "they, who are now fairer than milk, redder than roses, should not stalk along pale, withered, bloodless, with corpselike faces, slain in their bloom by the unnatural severity of excessive toil? My shoulders are not granted to you all. I trust in God, such times will not last forever. Spare yourselves also. The future needs you; for what will remain, if all the good die?"

In such a mood he beheld the last effort of Zurich. It was the 9th of September, 1531. From all quarters came in reports of warlike preparations and movements in the Five Cantons. Schwyz and Uri at last consented to join the others in an attempt to carry off the food denied them, by force of arms; the Catholic landvogt in the free bailiwicks had already seized on a wagon of salt at Bremgarten. A troop of auxiliaries, obtained by Luzern through the mediation of the Nuncio and paid by the Pope, was known to be on the march from Italy. In a long manifesto, addressed to the Confederates, and especially her own subjects in city and country, the government enumerated her just grievances against the Five Cantons, replied, as far as she was able, to their complaints against Zurich, offered once more to accept the Landfriede, in the sense in which she understood and could only interpret it, and to raise the prohibition, as soon as the insolent calumniators were punished, absolved herself, if this were not done, from all the consequences, and concluded with these words: "We live in the firm and assured hope, that you, our dear subjects, will be equally concerned with us about the above-named scandal, abuse, contempt and despising of our faith and of the Divine Word, and other injuries done us, contrary to the federal compact and the Landfriede, and that you will honestly and fairly fulfill, as a loyal people, the offers and promises you have made us; moreover, do not doubt that we, your lords and rulers, will act toward you in all honor, friendship, fidelity, love and kindness, and not forsake you in the hour of need; because we are not seeking our own advantage, but the honor of God, and after that, of the Common Confederacy, of our city and canton, and then the honor, fame, profit and welfare of you all." Rudolf Lavater, landvogt of Kyburg, was appointed commander-in-chief, called into the city and full authority given to him, the banneret Schweizer and T[oe]nig, captain of the artillery, to admit, if they saw fit, others into their council, to call out the soldiery, and to march to battle, as soon as they found it necessary; in short, to do everything needful "to protect and save the interests and honor of the canton." A commission to this effect was handed over to Lavater. But with that effort all power seemed to be exhausted. As if with the commission all responsibility had been shifted from their shoulders to those of others, neither firmness, promptitude, nor unanimity were to be found in the Councils. Indeed there existed traces of actual treason. Scarcely did an order go forth from one side to the rural districts, before it was followed by a countermand from the other. Troops, who were summoned, received on the way notice to return home. Unwilling to see himself frustrated at every point, Lavater retired, for a while, to Kyburg. The inhabitants of the frontiers toward Zug and Luzern, were partly intimidated and partly incensed by a flood of disparaging reports, which were sent thither. Petitions from Bern, not to be too rash, not to make the first attack, were continually arriving. These were supported by a majority of the members of both Councils, who, paralyzed by fear, by a criminal regard to their own private interests, or buoyed up by a haughty self-confidence, affected to consider the step taken by the adverse party as a mere show, or as greatly exaggerated by public rumor. A hearing was granted to the ever-busy advocates of peace, whose numbers were now swelled by a delegation from Strassburg; and through their entreaties and promises, every decisive measure was postponed. Meanwhile, the courage of the Five Cantons so increased, in view of the helplessness of their opponents, that early in October, their deputies assembled in Brunnen, in order to take final action. Here the treaties were first read, and then all were questioned, upon oath, by the bailiff Richmuth of Schwyz, whether they had been so violated by Zurich and Bern, that war could be lawfully declared against them. It was decided unanimously in the affirmative, and on the 9th of October, after a long explanation of all the motives that prompted them to this course, the campaign was begun.

On the same day, 600 Luzerners and 50 volunteers from each of the other cantons reached Hochdorf, and from thence, strengthened by 400 men from the upper free bailiwicks, advanced to Hitzkirch. From the latter place, the commander Von Muelinen fell back upon Bremgarten, and sent call after call to Zurich for aid. On the 10th, the chief force of the Five Cantons, each division under its own landamman and schultheiss, advanced to Zug, where they waited for the approach of the Zurichers. They brought with them a challenge against Zurich, to the following effect:

"We, the captains, bannerets and commons-at-war of the Five old Christian Cantons make known to the Councils and commons of Zurich, by this our letter: For a long time now, as regards our fair and honorable rights and desires, contrary to sworn treaties and the Landfriede concluded between us, contrary to Christian discipline and unity, contrary to Confederate loyalty, love and friendship, and contrary to all natural law and equity, have we been violently deprived and dispossessed of our just rights in the government of St. Gall and the bailiwick in the Rheinthal, not by you and your adherents only, but by our own people also, whom in defiance of God, honor and law, you have seduced from their allegiance. Not satisfied with the attempt to create disunion amongst us by cunning and intrigue, to drive us from our old, true Christian faith, you pretend that we are not willing to hear the Word of God, nor to suffer the Old and New Testaments to be read, and therefore call us ungodly, malicious sellers-of-flesh and perfidious reprobates; and because we do not attach ourselves to your newly invented religion, you refuse to sell us provisions, and undertake to crush us by hunger, and not us alone, but to destroy the very child in its mother's womb. You grudge us this, though God gives it, and it has not grown up as yours, nor upon your soil; for what good, honest people would gladly send us, you will not suffer to pass through your territories, which is an open and wanton violation of the federal compact and the Landfriede. And though we have made every reasonable offer for the sake of peace, quiet, and the perpetuation of our common Confederacy, and for this end appealed for aid to the other cantons, yet neither have you acknowledged our rights, nor has any one shown a disposition to help us, and for a long time now we have been obliged to suffer and endure this oppression and injustice; and since there appears to be no end to overbearing and violence, and we can look for neither right nor fairness, we are driven to complain to God's worthy Mother, to all the heavenly host, and to all good men, who love justice and equity. If we and ours were to suffer such scandal, shame, contempt, blasphemy and arrogance any longer, we would stand recreant before God and the world. Wherefore, for the honor of religion and truth and the glory of God's Holy Name, we are forced, by the aid of Heaven, to put down such crime and tyranny, compelled to take vengeance; and so much and so far as God gives us power, grace and strength, will we chastise you by the edge of the sword and no longer abide such haughty oppression and constraint; and we hereby boldly proclaim, that, against you and your abettors, we will uphold our own honor and that of our allies."

This decided movement on the part of the Five Cantons produced the greatest confusion in Zurich. The commander elect, the head of the board of war, was absent; the Councils were wavering and split into factions, the majority of the people without confidence or sympathy; and Zwingli, although calm, to the last moment true to the call of duty, full of unshaken faith in the justice of his cause, and certain that a better future would dawn upon his fatherland, had yet no hope for the present; none for a speedy victory; none for himself. Four days before his death, he said in the pulpit: "Our only true possession is the friendship of God, from whom, neither death nor any earthly power can sunder us;" and then again: "They achieve the most glorious victory, who are actors and not spectators merely. Hence, courage amid the perplexities and dangers through which the holy cause of the Gospel must be upheld! May others enjoy the fruit of our labors! We will find rest in Heaven."

In such a frame of mind, he was not surprised by the reports of his friend Bullinger, abbot of Cappel, whom Lavater had sent to the Five Cantons as a trusty spy. These were of the same tenor and spoke of the fixed determination of the enemy, the first step already taken, and the distress and prayers for help on the frontiers. At his request, or by order, of the government, Lavater returned to Zurich on the 9th of October; but just as the character of the news varied, an immediate dispatch of troops was talked of in the Council, or its order already communicated, recalled. Nothing was done that day, but to send several members to Bremgarten and Cappel, to reconnoiter. A restless night was passed; new warnings had arrived. On the morning of the 10th, the pastor of Rifferschweil and the landlord of the Albis made their appearance; the one an eyewitness of the flight of the people before the invading Catholics, the other, a messenger from the deputies of the government, with pressing entreaties to hasten the departure of the army. The Small and Great Councils were called together, but the meeting was by no means full. Perplexity, hesitation, and even secret joy at the confused state of affairs kept a portion of the members at home. Lavater had also summoned to the senate-house Zwingli, the banneret Schweizer, William T[oe]nig and Hans Daeniker, to whom the conduct of the baggage train was committed. They all agreed, that the alarm should be sounded immediately, and first in the more remote districts, so that their inhabitants might assemble under the banner simultaneously with those who dwelt nearer. They notified the councillors of their resolution, but again found opposition among them. In vain did Lavater appeal to his commission. The dispatch of some 100 men, under George G[oe]ldli, was only effected about noon, and that with the injunction, to venture on nothing decisive, but to secure a good position. The artillery, which ought to have gone with them, was not fully underweigh until evening. At last, as night set in, about seven o'clock, permission was given to sound the alarm, which was now done very irregularly throughout the canton, varying in proportion as they, who were appointed to the service, were well-disposed, or had, perchance, here and there, received secret counter-orders. About midnight Peter Fuessli reached the summit of the Albis with the artillery, for the draught of which he had found it difficult to procure teams. According to his narration, the alarm was sounded in several "kilchh[oe]renen" (parishes); commotion reigned in nature. Tschudi tells us of an earthquake on that night, "which mightily shook the canton, even mountain and valley." On the morning of the 12th, about six o'clock, the banner was hung out of the senate-house. But the commander-in-chief had to wait some time before any soldiers collected around it. There was nothing like regular division into companies or mustering beforehand. Whoever had courage to come as a volunteer, placed himself in the ranks. They were scarce 700 men, all told, councillors, clergy, and gray haired fathers in part, along with fiery youths; and so they hurried off, for word was brought, that G[oe]ldli had already engaged the enemy on the other side of the mountain.

Zwingli also, responding to the summons of the Council, of his own accord joined the departing troops. He had taken leave of his wife and children and of his friends in such a way, that, as Bullinger remarks, "they perceived he expected never to return home again." Even his horse seemed to have a foreboding of evil. He shied, as Werner Steiner relates, and as many saw with terror, backwards. Too sagacious not to observe that he must encounter contradictory measures, the lukewarmness of allies, and secret treachery, which he more than once predicted; too manly to retire now in the hour of need; too full of confidence in God, not to believe that He would protect His own Gospel, though it should for the moment call for its martyrs, he acknowledged the duty of abiding by his Zurichers, whose temporal and eternal welfare he desired from the bottom of his heart, in the defence of their native soil, even unto death; of proving by his own blood, that it was no mere selfish ambition or love of revolution, which had prompted him to speak and act, as in their blindness, his raging enemies had asserted. Not in sullen stupefaction, not in a fit of frenzy or of recklessness did he march forth, but with the earnestness of a man, who knows what may happen, and, not girding himself with his own hands, relies on the arm of Him, who is best acquainted with the human heart, and pardons the multitude of our errors, if only redeemed by faith, love, and a spirit of self-sacrifice. A Winterthurer, Hans Maaler, who rode one rank behind him, narrates that he heard him pray for himself and especially for the church of Christ with great fervency.

On the summit of the mountain the wearied soldiers were obliged to rest for a while. From the valley below, the thunder of cannon was distinctly heard in the neighborhood of Cappel. But how few in numbers, how motley was the host that here assembled once more around the banner! A part, consisting of the heavy-armed and the aged, were still climbing upward, and the artillery, again delayed for want of horses, lingered far behind. There was little to encourage a prudent general to venture rashly, with such fragments of an army, from ground, which he could hold even with these, down into the open field; at least, whilst he could count with certainty on a considerable increase in the course of a few hours, and could employ the interval in the most needful instruction and arrangement of his troops. There was reason also to hope, from the tenor of the commands, which he had received, that G[oe]ldli, as soon as he could no longer defend himself at a distance with his cannon, would rather fall back upon the mountain. It was, therefore, military experience, and not cowardice, which led William T[oe]nig to advise a halt, till the arrival of those in the rear. But Zwingli, whose thoughts dwelt only upon his last duty, and the distress of his neighbors, attacked by an invading force and anxiously waiting for help, immediately replied: "I will go down to the good people in God's name; to die with them, or to aid in their deliverance." Lavater, already perhaps despairing of success, but resolved to maintain his reputation for personal courage, likewise spoke in favor of haste, whilst the gray-haired banneret, T[oe]nig, withdrew his proposal to halt. "I am as stout as you," said he, "and you will find it so." The event soon proved his saying true.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon, when the banner reached Cappel. Only a few of the most active entered the battle-field with it. The rest of the soldiers followed in great disorder. For some time, G[oe]ldli and his men, strengthened by the inhabitants of the surrounding country, had sustained, with trifling loss, the fire of the enemy's artillery, and answered it with their own. Just as Lavater, Zwingli and the other leaders came up, a pause ensued, in consequence of a council of war in the hostile camp, which resulted in a change of position. The Zurichers also met to deliberate. The challenge of the Five Cantons was produced by G[oe]ldli and handed over to Zwingli. It was now evening. A renewal of the battle was no longer anticipated. Peter Fuessli proposed that the cannon on hand should be removed to a hill, lying somewhat in the rear, and a secure position taken behind it. The others, though differing in opinion, went along with him to look at the spot; but just at this most unfavorable moment, when deprived of their best leaders, the Zurichers saw themselves threatened by the enemy, who were close upon them. For whilst the Catholic captains were discussing their affairs to little purpose, and their main forces lay in the back-ground, the vogt Jouch of Uri had slipped unperceived with a number of marksmen into a little grove, which commanded the flank of the Zurichan army. Volunteers from the Five Cantons, Unterwalden especially, advanced in front. Against these, all of the Zurichers, who were most eager for the fray rushed, without waiting for orders, and never dreaming of an ambuscade. Then an irregular conflict arose. Lavater, Zwingli and the greater part of their companions returned to take their place in the ranks, as soon as they heard of it. At this very moment, the rest of the Catholics pressed forward, and all at once Jouch and his marksmen opened fire. The peril of the Zurichers was manifest. "How is it, Master Ulric," said Leonhard Burkhard, a member of the baker's guild, who were not friendly to the Reformer, "are the turnips salted? Who shall eat them?" "I," said he, "and many an honest man here with me, in God's hand, whose we are living and dead." "And I along with you, though it cost me my life," added the former. He too fell a victim. Lavater, seizing a lance, marched to the thickest of the fight. "Remember" cried he, "the honor of God and Zurich; quit yourselves like men." The banneret Schweizer did the same, and Zwingli, requested by Bernhart Spruengleir to encourage the soldiers, spoke with a loud voice: "Fear not; if we suffer, it is for God's sake. Call on Him. He will strengthen us and ours." In fact he inspired in the bosoms of the noblest among them courage to remain true to their convictions unto death, and leave behind for future generations an example of duty fulfilled and honor saved.[1] After a short and furious struggle, the half of the Zurichers present lay stretched upon the field of battle; the fourth part of whom either expired immediately, or afterward died of their wounds. Zwingli whilst in the act of speaking to a soldier falling at his side, was struck with such violence by a stone (as appeared from the deep dinge in his helmet, which was brought to Luzern as a trophy of war) that he also sunk down. In this prostrate condition he was stabbed a number of times in his legs. "The body they can kill; the soul not." These are said to have been his last words. Around him lay eighteen others of the most distinguished of the clergy—among them, Diebold von Geroldseck, who had formerly called him to Einsiedeln, Wolfgang Joner, abbot at Cappel, and the commander Conrad Schmid in the midst of 39 men of Kuessnacht. Seven members of the Small and nineteen of the Great Council had fallen. Besides these, there were sixty-five burghers of the capital, eleven of Winterthur, and 410 men of the canton. The banner, defended by Schweizer till he fell, was saved by the heroic exertions of Hans Kambli, Adam Raef and Ulric Denzler. By nightfall the Catholics had achieved a decided victory. They refrained from pursuit, and, collecting on the meadows near the houses, knelt down to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving. Many of them then sallied forth, torch in hand, to visit the scene of carnage, but with different ends in view; some to secure the clothing and the weapons of the slain; others, inspired by revenge or fanaticism, to deal a finishing stroke on those of the wounded, against whom they bore a grudge; but many also, prompted by the nobler motive of comforting and bringing help where it was yet possible. Salat of Luzern thus gloried in his fanaticism: "Some, when asked, as they lay struggling in the agonies of death, whether they wished to confess and receive the holy sacraments, answered. Yes! and were thus preserved, according to Christian usage, and died as good Christians. Others, when so asked, made the sign of No! These were then left to die like infidel dogs, or finished, perchance, by a stab or blow, so that they might the sooner he led off to the Devil, as they were fighting on all fours." Bullinger praises the humanity of the enemy in the following words; "On the contrary, there were not a few among the Five Cantons, who deeply deploring this sad business as a great misfortune, treated the captive Zurichers in a friendly manner, caused their wounds to be bound up, and placed them beside their campfires; for the night was cold, and a heavy frost lay upon the ground. They regretted that the prohibition of the export of provisions (without which the common people could not have been induced to take up arms) had been laid, and that such great injury had resulted from it, and honest Confederates set in hostile array against each other. A party of those who were searching through the field of battle, came upon Zwingli. He lay with his face to the earth. They turned him around and asked him, like the others, to confess. He repeatedly shook his head, by way of denial. 'Die then, stiff-necked heretic!' cried Captain Vokinger of Unterwalden, and gave him his death-blow. The news that his body was found, soon spread among the Catholics. Numbers went out to look at it—among them, Bartholomew Stocker of Zug, who had known and esteemed the Reformer in his lifetime. He often afterward said, that 'in the form and color of his face he did not appear to be dead, but alive, and, to his great surprise, looked just as he did when he preached.' Hans Sch[oe]nbrunner, formerly, the head of the convent at Cappel, could not refrain from tears. 'Whatever thy faith was,' said he, 'I know that thou wert an honest Confederate. God be merciful to thy soul!' But rage prevailed among the majority, who demanded that the body should be divided into five pieces, and one sent to each of the Five Cantons; others wished it to be burnt. Schultheiss Golder and the amman Thoss exhorted them to leave the dead rest, and judgment to God. They were overpowered by loud cries, and withdrew. At the tap of the drum an inquisition was proclaimed, sentence passed and the corpse quartered by the executioner of Luzern, burned, and its ashes mixed with those of a dead hog." What a religion, that could fancy such frenzy would be pleasing to God!

Terrible beyond description was the effect produced by the fearful reports, which now reached Zurich, blow after blow. Some, like Anna Reinhart, who received in succession the sad tidings of the death of a husband, a son, a son-in law, a brother, and a brother-in-law, submitted with Christian resignation.—Others acknowledged in the calamity a judgment upon their own sins, on account of the too little respect paid to the rights of their Confederates, the violation of treaties and the forcible introduction of reforms, which can only rest upon a sure basis, when the result of conscientious persuasion. These views were uttered in louder or softer tones. The most vulgar, cowardly and passionate gave vent to their secret hatred against certain individuals. But then also, not a few were found, who, instead of giving way to despondency, encouraged their neighbors, called for redoubled exertions and cast themselves into the breach. The government was roused. Directly after the receipt of the first news, then about midnight, and again in the morning, Bern was written to for speedy aid and the collective cities of the Christian Buergerrecht for an auxiliary force. As Lavater did not appear for a time, other leaders were sent to the heights of the Albis, in order to collect the fugitives and place them in the ranks of the new troops, who were coming up. It would have been yet possible to recover everything and wipe out the disgrace of defeat, by resolution and concord. Of the former there was enough; of the latter not. Indeed, the army of Bern, which approached, was strong in numbers. It had set out on the same day in which the battle of Cappel was fought, but under a leader, the schultheiss Diessbach, who, swayed by his personal dislike to the Reformation, wavered in his purpose and did not push forward with zeal and activity.

The Zurichers, with ranks swollen by the arrival of several thousand solders, were encouraged by Lavater, again in their midst, and the governor-general Frei, next him in command, to descend from the Albis and hazard another battle. They earnestly begged the Bernese to march up rapidly through the free bailiwicks and lend them support. The Five Cantons, threatened thus in front and rear, would be compelled either to fight, or to retreat. Diessbach refused. Even when Zurich, at his request, withdrew her troops from the Albis, forsook her own canton and joined the Bernese at Bremgarten, he still hesitated. The united forces, now exceeding in number those of the Catholics, occupied five days in advancing the distance of a few miles, where they again encamped. Frei could no longer endure such treasonable inaction. On his own responsibility, aided by the men of Basel, Schaffhausen, and St. Gall, he pressed on by night to the Gubel. The Bernese slept without concern. But the Gospel of Christ is not to be upheld by swords and lances. A second time Zurich was beaten, and her brave captain fell among the slain.

And yet the Catholics did not gain all they desired. Their faith, as well as their former just position in the Confederacy, were now secured, and the unnatural prohibition against the export of provisions done away; but the Reformation still survived, and their victories did not give them power sufficient to crush again the liberty of the Gospel, where it had taken root, or to limit Zurich in her territorial rights. This, however, they attempted to do, and directly after the defeat at Cappel invited all the parishes on the further side of the Albis, together with the entire population on the left shore of the lake, to abandon Zurich, swear allegiance to them and give hostages for their fidelity in the future; in return for which, they promised to guarantee their original liberties and "receive and treat them, as faithful, loving subjects should be by a mild and paternal government." In case of refusal, they were to be dealt with in "a hostile and warlike manner," without mercy. The offer was unanimously rejected, and information sent to the Council of Zurich, which was repeatedly assured, that they were resolved to abide by the Gospel till death. The latter government also remained unshaken, even by the new disaster at the Gubel; indeed, now for the first time, exhibited a degree of courage and activity, that was not looked for. And although the Duke of Wuertemburg had been informed that "the trade of our city is nearly ruined," orders were sent, only four days after the defeat at Cappel, to the Zurichan allies, who were still engaged in the siege of the castle Musso, on the borders of Graubuenden: "Persevere, do not break up, nor let our affairs trouble you, but prosecute the war boldly and earnestly, and give the enemy no rest till he surrenders." This reply was also made, when the Council of Bern, in contrast with the sluggish leaders of her army, referred the mediators, sent from Solothurn, Appenzell and Neunburg, to Zurich with the declaration that without her consent their could be no talk of peace: "It shall never be forgotten, but told to our children and children's children." Her town-clerk was authorized, the very day after the battle on the Gubel, to inform the soldiers on the Italian frontiers: "We are ready to pledge hide and fur and all that God has given us, not to abandon the field, till the religious rights of the bailiwicks are secured." Word was sent to the camp at Baar: "We wish to know what happened at the defeat on the mountain, who was to blame and who was innocent. You should remember every day the disgrace of our city of Zurich and seek means to recover our lost honor." Continually and repeatedly were the Bernese captains and the government exhorted to prosecute the war with greater vigor; and when the latter, in order to justify her irresolution, referred to the armed preparations on the Rhine and on her western borders, against which she was obliged to guard, when she communicated the fact that the Archduke Ferdinand had, immediately after receiving the news of the disaster at Cappel, sat more than half a day in council and, leaving the Imperial Diet, ridden off to Inspruck, the indignant reply was made. "We can get nothing more out of it than this, that all our friends are on the other side of the Rhine, and your reports and ours in no wise agree; and since these things are not half so dreadful as represented to you, we beg you not to be frightened at such bug-bears, but come manfully to our aid." The Landgrave of Hesse, who had offered money and a thousand men, and the Duke of Wuertemberg, who had placed at their disposal all his heavy guns at Hohentwiel, were warmly thanked; but as there was less lack of men than of concord in the camp, it was resolved to decline this foreign assistance, which could scarcely have been used.

In the camp itself undoubtedly lay the chief causes of the crippled condition of affairs, the confusion and the unfortunate results. Not only did a continual strife prevail between the Bernese and Zurichan commanders, but the latter stood isolated among his own people. He himself felt that he had lost the confidence of his troops, and although he could point to undeniable proofs of his bravery in Italy, and of his undaunted spirit and presence of mind in the popular rebellion at T[oe]ss, and although he was among the last to leave the battle-field of Cappel, and that only when all resistance had become impossible, yet an inner voice perhaps whispered to him, that among the glorious band, who had there laid down their lives, the name of the chief commander should not have been wanting. Intimidated and perplexed, he attempted no decisive measures. "Of Lavater many said," so Bullinger tells us, "that he was frightened, and durst no longer talk among and with the people. The constrained position of the general had its effect upon the army. Several of the cowardly and faithless began to desert, rain set in, and provisions grew scarce. In spite of every entreaty, to protect at least the Zurichan frontier, the army of Bern retreated to Bremgarten." "Why do you hesitate to follow?" said the ensign Hugi of Solothurn. "You shut your eyes on your own necessities, as your fathers before you in the old Zurich war. As they, so you are at variance; as they, so you have lost the hearts of your Confederate brethren; you have no power to make further resistance, and yet you will not give way."

And in fact the government did not consider it just then consistent with honor and duty. It was resolved not to entertain the proposals for peace made by the mediators; because one of the conditions of the Catholics was, that in the Territories it should be decided by a new vote whether they would return to the old or continue in the new faith. Bern also assented to this course. But now an army of 4,000 men from the Five Cantons, among whom were the lawless foreign mercenaries of Ab Isola, rushed upon the cottages and hamlets of the unprotected territory of Zurich, overran the left shore of the lake, and ravaged as far down as Thalweil. Terror seized the canton. Many fled to the city; all the roads were filled with weeping-women and children, mingled with lowing herds, and the alarm-bells resounded on every side. The councils were called together and the troops still lying at Bremgarten summoned by their honor and oath to hasten up without delay. They obeyed, but in vain were the Bernese, first by the treasurer Eddlebach and then by the burgomaster Roist and two associate councilmen, conjured by everything which they held sacred, this once to come to the rescue of their old confederate-sister, only to enter the city for its immediate protection, whilst the Zurichers would fight without the walls. The cold answer was, that they would think over the matter, and write to the troops at Zofingen and the government at Bern. Not all of Diessbach's army shared this feeling with him. Jacob Mai thrust his sword at the bear in the banner, as though he would rouse him up to action. The field-chaplain Kolb spake thus to the assembled soldiery: "Your forefathers in a like case would have swum through the Rhine to attack the enemy; at the slightest call they marched to battle; the Gospel itself does not move you." These words were uttered with impunity; but yet they produced no effect. The men of Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen, Biel and Muehlhausen also joined the Bernese. Captain Friedbolt of St. Gall alone declared, that by order of his superiors, he would place life and property at the disposal of Zurich, and a small troop from Bischoffzell followed him. The majority of the Thurgovians and Toggenburgers, who were still encamped with the Zurichers, returned to their homes.

Meanwhile, the Catholics retired again before the Zurichers, marching up the left shore, with a reinforcement of 1,000 Graubuendners, ferried over from the right shore of the lake. The army under Hans Escher, who had succeeded Lavater in the chief command, encamped above Horgen on the heights of the Zimmerberg. Zurich now stood unsupported, except by her confederates of Graubuenden and a few from St. Gall. The rural districts were sighing for peace, and the Five Cantons began also to desire it. The absence of all the able-bodied men increased the distress at home, which was already great enough by reason of the famine; the inclemency of an early winter gave few charms to a life in the field, and the hamlets on the frontier, crowded with soldiers, began to feel the pinchings of want. Under these circumstances a letter was addressed by the Five Cantons to the "Parishes general and special, who are subject to Zurich," requesting them to conclude a special peace with the Catholics, in case the capital would refuse to do so. This produced a great excitement. Deputies from various parts of the canton appeared before the government, with the earnest prayer, that some means might be devised to prevent further invasion and relieve them from the burdens of the war, which had now became almost intolerable. After a long and violent struggle, the peace-party triumphed in the Council. Negotiations were opened; but the decision on the side of the Zurichers, according to ancient custom, was transferred to the commons-at-war, to whom the Council sent several of its most influential members as deputies.

Whilst the latter were assembling, the leaders of the Catholics deliberated over the conditions to be proposed. Their views were conflicting. Several of the most violent asserted that now the time had come to compel the city and canton of Zurich to return to the old faith, and that the restoration of the mass should be made an indispensable condition of peace.—Zurich, the schultheiss Golder declared, would never consent to this. He was supported in his opinion by the landammen Froger and Toss. And they even succeeded in securing for the inhabitants of the Territories, with the exception of the free bailiwicks and the burghers of Rapperschweil and Wesen, the privilege of retaining the Reformation, provided all those, who henceforth might wish to return to the mass, should be permitted to do so. One solitary voice objected to this liberality. AEgidius Tschudi deplored the result. "The counsel was pernicious," said he, "and a great injury to the true Catholic faith, to which God had given the victory. Accordingly, neither the schultheiss, nor they who followed him, namely, amman Froger of Uri and amman Toss of Zug, and several others, lived many years afterward."

Meanwhile the consultation was opened in the Zurichan camp by Escher, with the exhortation neither to be too fearful, nor yet too passionate. He said that the position of Zurich was critical, but not at all desperate; and that God would undoubtedly defend his Gospel, in which we should persevere to the last extremity. So to do was the unanimous resolution. But then opinions varied as to what should be done in regard to the Territories. Several persons, and among whom Sergeant George Mueller was prominent, made strong appeals to the sacred duty, which bound them to act for the people of the Territories, who had been summoned to a common resistance and assured of protection and help, as they would for their own. Others, on the contrary, endeavored to uphold the right of the Five Cantons to name conditions of peace in this case. But the following speech of an aged amman, Suter of the Horgerberg, had the greatest influence in bringing matters to a conclusion.

"Our general has spoken for a long time, and exhorted us not to be in a hurry to make peace. This perhaps might suit our Lords in the city. They have less to lose than we. Their support and revenues are sure, but our houses and hamlets are exposed to destruction. We have now been beaten twice by the enemy, and suffered a great defeat. It is easily seen that luck is against us. And there is no use to comfort ourselves because we have an abundance of supplies and provisions and our enemies none. For the greater their need, the greater will be their desire to injure us. Necessity drives them. It has already stirred up fury and revenge amongst them, and wrought great mischief, not only that we have violated the federal compact and the Landfriede toward them, but also that we have denied them the right to take away provisions; hence God is now angry at us and fights himself against us. We cannot rely on the aid of the Bernese. What good has all their force done us? We have not yet been able to prevail on them, in spite of every prayer and entreaty, to defend the city of our Lords, whilst we of the Horger are willing to incur the risk of danger, notwithstanding, they can lie there in security, since our Lords have commanded us to encamp against the main body of the enemy. The Bernese marched up very slowly to the battlefield of Cappel, and helped us very little, and they would not consent to send their troops to the Zugerberg. Remember the old saying, handed down from our forefathers: 'the men of Zurich will suffer loss rather than dishonor; the men of Bern dishonor rather than loss.' When we of Zurich undertake anything, we stake our all upon it, and look for success or failure; but the Bernese are just the reverse, sharing the victory with us in every enterprise, without putting their own skins in danger.[2] Some one has said, 'A loss should bring a man to his senses.' Since then we have experienced loss upon loss, we certainly ought to stop and think."

After this the negotiations were prosecuted vigorously on all sides. The commander-in-chief, with a numerous guard, went over to the leaders of the Five Cantons; a second meeting was held the next day and a treaty of peace concluded, of which the following are the chief articles: The Reformation shall be guaranteed in Zurich and all her immediate dependencies, as well as in those parts of the Territories, where it has already been received; yet all those, who may wish to return to the mass, or to prove by a new vote, which is the prevailing party, shall be at liberty to do so. Church property was to be divided according to the census. Zurich pledged herself to abstain from any further intervention, where she had no claim to rule. The Christian Buergerrecht and the first Landfriede were abrogated. The few remaining articles were devoted to damages, or the restitution of property, which had been seized. During the formation of the treaty the name of "Confederates" was once more heard. And now, after its conclusion, the deputies dismounted from their horses and knelt down in prayer. Then Captain Escher stepped up to the schultheiss Golder and the bailiffs of the Five Cantons, and offered his hand to each of them. Tears stood in every eye. They gave each other their canteens to drink from, took a friendly leave and returned to their respective camps.

But then a hard destiny, fines, punishments, the oppression of soldiers, quartered upon them, and a partial loss of their rights, were looked for by the inhabitants of Rapperschweil, the people in Caster and the free bailiwicks, and especially the cities of Bremgarten and Mellingen. Zurich had attempted to do what she could, at least for the latter, and invited them, through Rudolph Stoll, to send deputies to her negotiation with the Five Cantons. They refused to do it, relying on the protection promised by the Bernese, a part of whose forces were yet lying in their neighborhood. But these retired, as soon as the Catholics turned against them with serious purpose, and prepared for action, after the conclusion of the peace with Zurich. Urgently and sadly did the two cities beg the Bernese not to leave them helpless—to make some proposals at least in their behalf. The schultheiss Mutschli rode to Aarau after the commander Diessbach. He could remember, he there said to him, that it was only with reluctance, and after repeated orders from Zurich and Bern, that Bremgarten had prohibited the sale of provisions to the Five Cantons—that the vengeance of the enemy was sure, and their destruction very probable. Thus also spoke the people of Mellingen, as well as those of the free bailiwicks. "We do not treat you in this manner willingly," answered Diessbach, "but under the pressure of necessity. Act according to circumstances; Bern must take care of her own rights." Then Mutschli turned away with the words: "Jeremiah, the prophet, has spoken: 'Cursed be he who trusts in an arm of flesh!' This has been fulfilled to us this day. You cast us off in our misery. How can we then ever respect your claims? God in Heaven judge between us!" Once more they came to Zurich with prayers for succor, and immediately five deputies were dispatched to the Catholics at Muri, to intercede in their behalf. "You shall ride night and day," so they were instructed, "and not give over till the oppression of the people is removed, and you have obtained peace for them." But the Five Cantons remained inexorable, and the best that Zurich could do for her forsaken allies was to open her own gates for the reception of the most needy. Richly did one of these fugitives repay her for that act of kindness. In Henry Bullinger, the canton found the most worthy successor of her reformer. His talent, his mildness of character, his wise limitation of himself to what belonged directly to his calling, appeased the wide-spread discontent with the clergy, especially those from abroad, to whose instigations the late confusion and disaster were attributed; whilst on the other hand, his ample stores of knowledge, his unshaken firmness, where duty was concerned, and his unwearied zeal maintained the freedom of the Gospel and the cause of the Reformation, as far as could be in the midst of the general exhaustion. Meanwhile there was no hindrance to the return of the old estate to the limits of the canton and outside of it. Numerous altars were restored. The Catholic church and her priests awoke to renewed activity. Into the desolate cells of St. Gall, Muri, Einsiedeln, Wettingen, Rheinau, Katharinenthal, Hermatschweil and Gnadenthal marched back their exiled, or fugitive occupants, and in the feeling of victory, arose to new and stronger power. And now, what does this history teach? What does it teach every succeeding generation? That in all centuries wisdom and mildness, as well as rashness and violence, are the same. The former are a blessing to the nations, full of light and warmth; the latter only lead to unfruitful reactions. Whatever the Reformers did and said for the liberty of the Gospel has remained and borne rich fruits. All attempts on the other hand, to help this liberty to a triumph, in the way of violence, have only wrought injury. So, too, in our times, no good is to be hoped for from any party, whether under civil or ecclesiastical form, the inspiring soul of which is not the divine breath of love. The stronger the independence of the individual and the power of national feeling rise along with the everywhere growing freedom of the press, that engine of reformation in the hands of the Almighty, the more indispensable does it become for those who would lead others, to win them over by conscientious persuasion. But he alone can produce any permanent impression, who along with the free, true and loving word unites the power of his own example. Thinkers, indeed, might be willing to listen to the former, but the latter, speaks more clearly than any mere doctrine ever can, to the very heart of the people. Henceforward, naked power can establish nothing. No longer can the strong mind (and this is the character of the coming age) rule the world; only the strong and good will be able to show, how God rules it; but the princes and nations, who recognize this the soonest, shall become the wisest, and they also will attain the greatest power.


Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
Home - Random Browse