Priest, scholar, and contemporary of Martin Luther, Zwingli spearheaded the Reformation in Switzerland. This remarkable biography, excerpted from d'Aubigne's 19th-century multivolume history of the Reformation, traces the development of Zwingli's thought, which caused him to reject Catholic doctrine and belief, as well as the events that led to his split from the church. An unusual blend of history and apologetics.
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For God and His People: Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Easy to read which is a big plus (regardless of how long it took me to finish!). He is excessively harsh on the Anabaptists, but not excessively laudatory of Zwingli, especially near the end when Zwingli forsook the cloak of a reformer and put on the garb of a statesman. "If Zwingli with his powerful voice had called on the people to humiliation before God, to forgiveness of trespasses, and to prayer, safety might yet have dawned on brokenhearted Switzerland. But it was not so. More and more, the Christian disappeared in the reformer, and the citizen alone remained" (p21). And again, "The Reformation had grasped the sword, and that very sword pierced its heart" (p217). I was pleased, yet surprised (perhaps unjustly so) to hear his analysis of the problem: "This unnatural confusion of church and state which had corrupted Christianity after the age of Constantine, was hurrying on the ruin of the Reformation" (p 217). D'Aubigné's opinion of the defeat of the reformed forces at Kappel is also refreshingly Biblical, "It is in the furnace of trial that the God of the gospel conceals the pure gold of His most precious blessings. This punishment was necessary to turn aside the church of Zurich from the `broad ways' of the world and lead it back to the `narrow ways' of the Spirit and the life. In a political history, a defeat like that of Kappel would be styled a great misfortune. But in the history of the church of Jesus Christ, such a blow, inflicted by the hand of the Father Himself, ought rather to be called a great blessing" (248). Zwingli was a strong man, greatly used of God. His zeal and courage are remarkable. But in the end, "this very power had been his weakness, and he had fallen under the weight of his own strength" (250). We are left with an ambivalent attitude toward Zwingli for he leaves us an example of both the glorious and the tragic. We see in him the great exploits that can be achieved by the preaching of the Gospel, and the truth that "he who lives by the sword will also perish by the sword."