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

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 009:35 (Jul 1852)
Article: Life Of Zuingli
Author: R. D. C. Robbins


Life Of Zuingli

R. D. C. Robbins

The Conference At Baden

Early in 1526, the proposition for a disputation to be held at Baden was renewed. It is not, perhaps, to be doubted, that the object with more than one of the movers was to deprive the reformed party of its head. They had tried flattery and threats in vain. As to reasoning, the man could not be found who could cope with Zuingli, especially where he had the Bible on his side. The grand vicar of the bishop of Constance, ever after the first colloquy at Zurich, had been looking out for some means to put down the fast spreading heresy. The only effectual method seemed to be, to induce Zuingli to leave the territories of Zurich, when it would be easy to have him arrested and condemned to death. Eck had been interested in this plan, and they were determined that their prey should not escape them. The diet of the cantons, influenced by Faber, Eck and others, demanded of Zurich to send Zuingli to Baden, to engage in a discussion with Eck upon important points of Christian doctrine. The council of Zurich, thinking that they had reason to suspect foul play,

entirely refused this request, but sent a safe escort to convey Eck to Zurich. But this would not answer their designs, and Eck declined. Zuingli then expressed his willingness to meet Eck at Schaffhausen or St. Gall, but the diet decided that a disputation should be held at Baden, which actually commenced on the 19th of May.

Some may be inclined to believe that an undue suspicion or timidity influenced the council of Zurich and Zuingli, in not yielding to the request of the diet. But in the circumstances, it would have been little better than foolhardiness, for Zuingli to have trusted himself among his enemies at this time. The five cantons that exercised authority at Baden, most devoted to the cause of the Pope, had heaped every indignity upon the head of his now most active opponent; they had declared that if he set foot upon their territory he should be seized; popular clamor had demanded his death; individual leaders in these cantons had not left it doubtful what his fate would be, if they could lay hands upon him. Only a few days before the disputation was to be held, two pastors in the diocese of the bishop of Constance had been condemned to death, because they would not renounce Lutheranism. The brother-in-law of Zuingli, Leonard Tremp, wrote to him from Berne: “I conjure you, as you value your life, not to repair to Baden. I know they will not respect your safe-conduct.”1 Oecolampadius, who at first favored his going, wrote to him from Baden: “I thank God that you are not here. The turn which matters have taken, makes me clearly per...

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