Life Of Zuingli. -- By: R. D. C. Robbins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 008:31 (Jul 1851)
Article: Life Of Zuingli.
Author: R. D. C. Robbins


Life Of Zuingli.1

R. D. C. Robbins

Birth-Place, Lineage And Childhood Of Zuingli

The first day of January, 1484, was the birth-day of Ulric Zuingli, the pioneer of the reformation in Switzerland. Not quite two months before, on St. Martin’s eve, in the cottage of a poor miner at Eisleben, Luther was born. The place of the birth of Zuingli was a lowly

shepherd’s cot in the little village of Wildhaus in the country of Tockenburg. The name, Wildhaus, given to this small hamlet, seems to have fitly characterized its position, in a valley more than 2000 feet above the Lake of Zurich, with surrounding mountains and overhanging cliffs, toward the north-west of Switzerland. The river Thur has its source in this valley, and the little stream finds its way out at its eastern extremity, where the morning rays of the sun gain entrance to this secluded spot. Far away through this cleft in the mountains, some of the lofty peaks of the snow-capped Alps may be seen painted on the eastern sky. In this elevated region, garden vegetables, corn and fruit-trees are scarcely known, but the thousand cattle upon the hill sides give evidence of, as well as furnish a beautiful contrast to, the living green with which the earth is everywhere clothed. A little higher up, verdure gives place to barrenness, and rugged piles of broken rocks with threatening mien brood over the life and freshness beneath them.

At a short distance from the parish church of Wildhaus, there was standing but a short time since, a house by a cow-path leading to the pastures beyond, where the Zuinglis long resided, and where Ulric with his brothers and sisters, “a virtuous household,” received their first impressions of this goodly world which we ‘inhabit/ The father of the reformer was the bailiff of the village and honored by all who knew him. Indeed, his family was an ancient one, and in high esteem among the mountaineers for hereditary services to the tillage, and for active virtues,

“Pure livers were they all, austere and grave,
And fearing God; the very children taught
Stern
self-respect, a reverence for God’s word,
And an habitual piety.”

Their occupation, as that of their neighbors, was the care of cattle, almost the only wealth of the district.

—“On a small hereditary farm,
An unproductive slip of rugged ground,
His parents with their numerous offspring dwelt.”

A brother of the bailiff, however, had been appointed first curate of Wildhaus after it had been constituted an independent parish, which office he held until 1487, when he was preferred to ...

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