Ulrich Zwingli -- By: Edward Ulback

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:373 (Jan 1937)
Article: Ulrich Zwingli
Author: Edward Ulback


Ulrich Zwingli

Edward Ulback

Member of the Archaeological Institute of America

(Continued from the October-December, 1936, number)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 2–3, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–2 respectively.}

Still the Romish authorities believed that they should be able to gain him over, if they only offered a bribe of sufficient value. The dictum of Sir R. Walpole was long anticipated at Rome; for, where every thing was venal, it was not likely that a high estimate of the honesty of others would prevail. So late as January, 1523, the Pope addressed a brief to Zwingli, in which he expressed his especial confidence in the priest of Zurich, and his desire to advance him to the highest honors. This letter was brought by the nuncio, who was ordered to confer with Zwingli in private, and to make the most brilliant offers to secure his adhesion to the Roman pontiff. Another emissary who was employed with the same purpose, on being asked by Myconius what the Pope would give to gain over his friend, replied: “Every thing, most assuredly, except the Papal chair itself.” Whilst such influences were brought to bear from high quarters, far baser ones were at work, endeavoring to undermine his reputation. No calumnies were too disgraceful to be vented against him by the priestly party in Zurich. He had, they said, dissuaded from payment of tithes as tyranny. He had, in the pulpit, represented adultery as lawful. He wanted to be tyrant and Pope in one. He was the father to three bastard children. He was to be seen drunk at night in the streets of Zurich. He was at once in the pay of the Pope and the French king. Of course, these stories had effect in some quarters, and alienated those at a distance who could

not inquire into their truth. But at home these falsehoods only recoiled upon their authors. Then poison and murder were attempted, but God delivered him from all. Zwingli was to be deterred from his purpose neither by promises nor by assaults.

“Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed we entreat”-these words, we imagine, often recurred to Zwingli; and his private letters at this period show to what source he turned for strength to endure the many trials of his checkered career. “I know,” he writes to his brother, “that my own strength is not sufficient, and I know just as well how strong they are who contend against the doctrine of God. I can, however, like Paul, do all things through Christ strengthening me. For what is my speech, how could it avail to bring any sinners back to the way of life, if the power of the Spirit of God did not work with it?”...

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