Metzger (Antistes in Schaffhausen): Geschichte der deutschen Bibeluebersetzung der schweizerischen reformirten Kirche. Basel, 1876. Pestalozzi: Leo Judae. Elberfeld, 1860.
Illustration, Leo Judae.
A most important part of the Reformation was a vernacular translation of the Bible. Luther’s New Testament (1522) was reprinted at Basel with a glossary. In Zurich it was adapted to the Swiss dialect in 1524, and revised and improved in subsequent editions. The whole Bible was published in German by Froschauer at Zurich in 1530, four years before Luther completed his version (1534). The translation of the Prophets and the Apocrypha was prepared by Conrad Pellican, Leo Judae, Theodor Bibliander, and other Zurich divines. The beautiful edition of 1531 contained also a new version of the Poetical books, with an introduction (probably by Zwingli), summaries, and parallel passages.
The Swiss translation cannot compare with Luther’s in force, beauty, and popularity; but it is more literal, and in subsequent revisions it has kept pace with the progress of exegesis. It brought the Word of God nearer to the heart and mind of the Swiss people, and is in use to this day alongside of the Lutheran version.
The chief merit in this important service belongs to Leo Jud or Judae. He was born in 1482, the son of a priest in Alsass, studied with Zwingli at Basle, and became his successor as priest at Einsiedeln, 1519, and his colleague and faithful assistant as minister of St. Peter’s in Zurich since 1523. He married in the first year of his pastorate at Zurich. His relation to Zwingli has been compared with the relation of Melanchthon to Luther. He aided Zwingli in the second disputation, in the controversy with the Anabaptists, and with Luther, edited and translated several of his writings, and taught Hebrew in the Carolinum. Zwingli called him his “dear brother and faithful co-worker in the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He was called to succeed the Reformer after the catastrophe of Cappel; but he declined on account of his unfitness for administrative work, and recommended Bullinger, who was twenty years younger. He continued to preach and to teach till his death, and declined several calls to Wurtemberg and Basle. He advocated strict discipline and a separation of religion from politics. He had a melodious voice, and was a singer, musician, and poet, but excelled chiefly as a translator into German and Latin. He wrote a Latin and two German catechisms, and translated Thomas à Kempis’ Imitatio Christi, Augustin’s De Spiritu et Litera, the first Helvetic Confession, and other useful books into German, besides portions of the Bible. He prepared also a much esteemed Latin version of the Old Testament, which is considered his best work. He often consulted in it his colleagues and Michael Adam, a converted Jew. He did not live to see the completion, and left this to Bibliander and Pellican. It appeared in a handsome folio edition, 1543, with a preface by Pellican, and was several times reprinted. He lived on a miserable salary with a large family, and yet helped to support the poor and entertained strangers, aided by his industrious and pious wife, known in Zurich as “Mutter Leuin.” Four days before his death, June 19, 1542, he summoned his colleagues to his chamber, spoke of his career with great humility and gratitude to God, and recommended to them the care of the church and the completion of his Latin Bible. His death was lamented as a great loss by Bullinger and Calvin and the people of Zurich.
23. Church and State
The Reformation of Zurich was substantially completed in 1525. It was brought about by the co-operation of the secular and spiritual powers. Zwingli aimed at a reformation of the whole religious, political, and social life of the people, on the basis and by the power of the Scriptures.
The patriot, the good citizen, and the Christian were to him one and the same. He occupied the theocratic standpoint of the Old Testament. The preacher is a prophet: his duty is to instruct, to exhort, to comfort, to rebuke sin in high and low places, and to build up the kingdom of God; his weapon is the Word of God. The duty of the magistracy is to obey the gospel, to protect religion, to punish wickedness. Calvin took the same position in Geneva, and carried it out much more fully than Zwingli.
The bishop of Constance, to whose diocese Zurich belonged, opposed the Reformation; and so did the other bishops of Switzerland. Hence the civil magistracy assumed the episcopal rights and jurisdiction, under the spiritual guidance of the Reformers. It first was impartial, and commanded the preachers of the canton to teach the Word of God, and to be silent about the traditions of men (1520). Then it prohibited the violation of the Church fasts (1522), and punished the image-breakers, in the interest of law and order (1523). But soon afterwards it openly espoused the cause of reform in the disputation of 1523, and authorized the abolition of the old worship and the introduction of the new (1524 and 1525). It confiscated the property of the churches and convents, and took under its control the regulation of marriage, the care of the poor, and the education of the clergy. The Church was reduced legally to a state of dependence, though she was really the moving and inspiring power of the State, and was supported by public sentiment. In a republic the majority of the people rule, and the minority must submit. The only dissenters in Zurich were a small number of Romanists and Anabaptists, who were treated with the same disregard of the rights of conscience as the Protestants in Roman Catholic countries, only with a lesser degree of severity. The Reformers refused to others the right of protest which they claimed and exercised for themselves, and the civil magistracy visited the poor Anabaptists with capital punishment.
The example of Zurich was followed by the other cantons in which the Reformation triumphed. Each has its own ecclesiastical establishment, which claims spiritual jurisdiction over all the citizens of its territory. There is no national Reformed Church of Switzerland, with a centre of unity.
This state of things is the same as that in Protestant Germany, but differs from it as a republic differs from a monarchy. In both countries the bishops, under the command of the Pope, condemned Protestantism, and lost the control over their flock. The Reformers, who were mere presbyters, looked to the civil rulers for the maintenance of law and order. In Germany, after the Diet of Speier in 1526, the princes assumed the episcopal supervision, and regulated the Church in their own territories for good or evil. The people were passive, and could not even elect their own pastors. In Switzerland, we have instead a sort of democratic episcopate or republican Caesaropapacy, where the people hold the balance of power, and make and unmake their government.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Church and State, professing the same religion, had common interests, and worked in essential harmony; but in modern times the mixed character, the religious indifferentism, the hostility and the despotism of the State, have loosened the connection, and provoked the organization of free churches in several cantons (Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel), on the basis of self-support and self-government. The State must first and last be just, and either support all the religions of its citizens alike, or none. It owes the protection of law to all, within the limits of order and peace. But the Church has the right of self-government, and ought to be free of the control of politicians.
Among the ministers of the Reformation period, Zwingli, and, after his death, Bullinger, exercised a sort of episcopate in fact, though not in form; and their successors in the Great Minster stood at the head of the clergy of the canton. A similar position is occupied by the Antistes of Basle and the Antistes of Schaffhausen. They correspond to the Superintendents of the Lutheran churches in Germany.
Zwingli was the first among the Reformers who organized a regular synodical Church government. He provided for a synod composed of all ministers of the city and canton, two lay delegates of every parish, four members of the small and four members of the great council. This mixed body represented alike Church and State, the clergy and the laity. It was to meet twice a year, in spring and fall, in the city hall of Zurich, with power to superintend the doctrine and morals of the clergy, and to legislate on the internal affairs of the Church. The first meeting was held at Easter, 1528. Zwingli presided, and at his side was Leo Judae. The second meeting took place May 19, 1528. The proceedings show that the synod exercised strict discipline over the morals of the clergy and people, and censured intemperance, extravagance in dress, neglect of Church ordinances, etc.
But German Switzerland never went to such rigors of discipline as Geneva under the influence of Calvin.
24. Zwingli’s Conflict with Radicalism
Comp. Literature in vol. VII., § 102.
In the Staatsarchiv of Zurich there are preserved about two hundred and fifty documents under the title, Wiedertäuferacten, — *Egli: Actensammlung zur Gesch. der Zuercher Reformation, Zürich, 1879 (see the Alph. Index, p. 920, sub Wiedertaeufer). The official reports are from their opponents. The books of the Anabaptists are scarce. A large collection of them is in the Baptist Theological Seminary at Rochester, N. Y. The principal ones are the tracts of Dr. Huebmaier (see vol. VI. 606); a few letters of Grebel, Hut, Reubli, etc., and other documents mentioned and used by Cornelius (Gesch. des Münsterschen Aufruhrs); the Moravian, Austrian, and other Anabaptist chronicles (see Beck, below); and the Anabaptist hymns reprinted in Wackernagel’s Deutsche Kirchenlied, vols. III. and V. (see below).
Zwingli: Wer Ursach gebe zu Aufruhr, wer die wahren Aufruehrer seien, etc., Dec. 7, 1524. A defence of Christian unity and peace against sedition. (Werke, II. A. 376-425.) Vom Touff, vom Wiedertouff, und vom Kindertouff, May 27, 1525 (in Werke, II. A. 280-303. Republished in modern German by Christoffel, Zürich, 1843. The book treats in three parts of baptism, rebaptism, and infant baptism). Answer to Balthasar Huebmaier, Nov. 5, 1525 (Werke, II. A. 337 sqq.). Elenchus contra Catabaptistas, 1527 (Opera, III. 357 sqq.). His answer to Schwenkfeld’s 64 Theses concerning baptism (in Op. III. 563-583; Comp. A. Baur, II. 245-267). Oecolampadius: Ein gesprech etlicher predicanten zu Basel gehalten mit etlichen Bekennern des Wiedertouffs, Basel, 1525. Bullinger (Heinrich): Der Wiedertaeufferen ursprung, fuergang, Sekten, etc. Zürich, 1560. (A Latin translation by J. Simler.) See also his Reformationsgeschichte, vol. I.
II. Later Discussions
Ott (J. H.): Annales Anabaptistici. Basel, 1672.
Erbkam (H. W.): Geschichte der protestantischen Secten im Zeitalter der Reformation. Hamburg und Gotha, 1848. pp. 519-583.
Heberle: Die Anfaenge des Anabaptismus in der Schweiz, in the “Jahrbuecher fur deutsche Theologie,” 1858.
Cornelius (C. A., a liberal Roman Catholic): Geschichte des Münsterschen Aufruhrs. Leipzig, 1855. Zweites Buch: Die Wiedertaufe. 1860. He treats of the Swiss Anabaptists (p. 15 sqq.), and adds historical documents from many archives (p. 240 sqq.). A very important work.
Moerikofer: U. Zwingli. Zürich, 1867. I. 279-313; II. 69-76. Very unfavorable to the Anabaptists.
R. von Lilienkron: Zur Liederdichtung der Wiedertaeufer. Muenchen, 1877.
*Egli (Emil): Die Züricher Wiedertaeufer zur Reformationszeit. Nach den Quellen des Staatsarchivs. Zürich, 1878 (104 pp.). By the same: Die St. Galler Taeufer. Zürich, 1887. Important for the documents and the external history.
*Burrage (Henry S., American Baptist): The Anabaptists in Switzerland. Philadelphia, 1882, 231 pp. An account from the Baptist point of view. Comp. his Baptist Hymn Writers, Portland, 1888, pp. l-25.
Usteri (J. M.): Darstellung der Tauflehre Zwingli’s, in the “Studien und Kritiken” for 1882, pp. 205-284.
*Beck (JOSEPH): Die Geschichtsbuecher der Wiedertaeufer in Oestreich-Ungarn … von 1526 bis 1785. Wien, 1883. Publ. by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
Strasser (G.): Der schweizerische Anabaptismus zur Zeit der Reformation, in the “Berner Beitraege,” 1884.
Nitsche (Richard, Roman Catholic): Geschichte der Wiedertaeufer in der Schweiz zur Reformationszeit. Einsiedeln, New York, Cincinnati and St. Louis (Benziger), 1885 (107 pp.). He gives a list of literature on pp. vi.-viii.
Keller (Ludwig): Die Reformation und die aeltern Reformparteien. Leipzig, 1885, pp. 364-435. He is favorable to the Anabaptists, and connects them with the Waldensian Brethren and other mediaeval sects by novel, but arbitrary combinations and conjectures. He mistakes coincidences for historical connections.
Baur (Aug.): Zwingli’s Theologie, vol. II. (1888), 1-267. An elaborate discussion and defence of Zwingli’s conduct towards the radicals, with full extracts from his writings, but unjust to the Baptists.
The monographs of Schreiber on Huebmaier (1839 and 1840, unfinished), Keim on Ludwig Haetzer (1856), and Keller on Hans Denck (Ein Apostel der Wiedertaeufer, 1882), touch also on the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland. Kurtz, in the tenth ed. of his Kirchengeschichte (1887), II. 150-164, gives a good general survey of the Anabaptist movement in Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, including the Mennonites.
Having considered Zwingli’s controversy with Romanism, we must now review his conflict with Radicalism, which ran parallel with the former, and exhibits the conservative and churchly side of his reformation. Radicalism was identical with the Anabaptist movement, but the baptismal question was secondary. It involved an entire reconstruction of the Church and of the social order. It meant revolution. The Romanists pointed triumphantly to revolution as the legitimate and inevitable result of the Reformation; but history has proved the difference. Liberty is possible without license, and differs as widely from it as from despotism.
The Swiss Reformation, like the German, was disturbed and checked by the radical excesses. It was placed between the two fires of Romanism and Ultraprotestantism. It was attacked in the front and rear, from without and within, by the Romanists on the ground of tradition, by the Radicals on the ground of the Bible. In some respects the danger from the latter was greater. Liberty has more to fear from the abuses of its friends than from the opposition of its foes. The Reformation would have failed if it had identified itself with the revolution. Zwingli applied to the Radicals the words of St. John to the antichristian teachers: “They went out from us, but they were not of us” (1Jo_2:19). He considered the controversy with the Papists as mere child’s play when compared to that with the Ultraprotestants.
The Reformers aimed to reform the old Church by the Bible; the Radicals attempted to build a new Church from the Bible. The former maintained the historic continuity; the latter went directly to the apostolic age, and ignored the intervening centuries as an apostasy. The Reformers founded a popular state-church, including all citizens with their families; the Anabaptists organized on the voluntary principle select congregations of baptized believers, separated from the world and from the State. Nothing is more characteristic of radicalism and sectarianism than an utter want of historical sense and respect for the past. In its extreme form it rejects even the Bible as an external authority, and relies on inward inspiration. This was the case with the Zwickau Prophets who threatened to break up Luther’s work at Wittenberg.
The Radicals made use of the right of protest against the Reformation, which the Reformers so effectually exercised against popery. They raised a protest against Protestantism. They charged the Reformers with inconsistency and semipopery; yea, with the worst kind of popery. They denounced the state-church as worldly and corrupt, and its ministers as mercenaries. They were charged in turn with pharisaical pride, with revolutionary and socialistic tendencies. They were cruelly persecuted by imprisonment, exile, torture, fire and sword, and almost totally suppressed in Protestant as well as in Roman Catholic countries. The age was not ripe for unlimited religious liberty and congregational self-government. The Anabaptists perished bravely as martyrs of conscience.
Zwingli took essentially, but quite independently, the same position towards the Radicals as Luther did in his controversy with Carlstadt, Muenzer, and Huebmaier. Luther, on the contrary, radically misunderstood Zwingli by confounding him with Carlstadt and the Radicals. Zwingli was in his way just as conservative and churchly as the Saxon Reformer. He defended and preserved the state-church, or the people’s church, against a small fraction of sectaries and separatists who threatened its dissolution. But his position was more difficult. He was much less influenced by tradition, and further removed from Romanism. He himself aimed from the start at a thorough, practical purification of church life, and so far agreed with the Radicals. Moreover, he doubted for a while the expediency (not the right) of infant baptism, and deemed it better to put off the sacrament to years of discretion. He rejected the Roman doctrine of the necessity of baptism for salvation and the damnation of unbaptized infants dying in infancy. He understood the passage, Mar_16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” as applying only to adults who have heard the gospel and can believe, but not to children. On maturer reflection he modified his views. He learned from experience that it was impossible to realize an ideal church of believers, and stopped with what was attainable. As to infant baptism, he became convinced of its expediency in Christian families. He defended it with the analogy of circumcision in the Old Testament (Col_2:11), with the comprehensiveness of the New Covenant, which embraces whole families and nations, and with the command of Christ, “Suffer little children to come unto Me,” from which he inferred that he who refuses children to be baptized prevents them from coming to Christ. He also appealed to 1Co_7:14, which implies the church-membership of the children of Christian parents, and to the examples of family baptisms in Act_16:33, Act_18:8, and 1Co_1:16.
The Radical movement began in Zurich in 1523, and lasted till 1532. The leaders were Conrad Grebel, from one of the first families of Zurich, a layman, educated in the universities of Vienna and Paris, whom Zwingli calls the corypheus of the Anabaptists; Felix Manz, the illegitimate son of a canon of the Great Minster, a good Hebrew scholar; Georg Blaurock, a monk of Coire, called on account of his eloquence “the mighty Joerg,” or “the second Paul;” and Ludwig Haetzer of Thurgau, chaplain at Waedenschwyl, who, with Hans Denck, prepared the first Protestant translation of the Hebrew Prophets, and acted as secretary of the second Zurich disputation, and edited its proceedings. With them were associated a number of ex-priests and ex-monks, as William Reubli, minister at Wyticon, Johann Broedli (Paniculus) at Zollicon, and Simon Stumpf at Hoeng. They took an active part in the early stages of the Reformation, prematurely broke the fasts, and stood in the front rank of the image-stormers. They went ahead of public opinion and the orderly method of Zwingli. They opposed the tithe, usury, military service, and the oath. They denied the right of the civil magistracy to interfere in matters of religion. They met as “brethren” for prayer and Scripture-reading in the house of “Mother Manz,” and in the neighborhood of Zurich, especially at Zollicon.
The German Radicals, Carlstadt and Muenzer, were for a short time in Switzerland and on the Rhine, but did not re-baptize and had no influence upon the Swiss Radicals, who opposed rebellion to the civil authority. Carlstadt gradually sobered down; Muenzer stirred up the Peasants’ War, seized the sword and perished by the sword. Dr. Huebmaier of Bavaria, the most learned among the Anabaptists, and their chief advocate, took part in the October disputation at Zurich in 1523, but afterwards wrote books against Zwingli (on the baptism of believers, 1525, and a dialogue with Zwingli, 1526), was expelled from Switzerland, and organized flourishing congregations in Moravia.
The Radical opinions spread with great rapidity, or rose simultaneously, in Berne, Basle, St. Gall, Appenzell, all along the Upper Rhine, in South Germany, and Austria. The Anabaptists were driven from place to place, and travelled as fugitive evangelists. They preached repentance and faith, baptized converts, organized congregations, and exercised rigid discipline. They called themselves simply “brethren” or “Christians.” They were earnest and zealous, self-denying and heroic, but restless and impatient. They accepted the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice, and so far agreed with the Reformers, but utterly broke with the Catholic tradition, and rejected Luther’s theory of forensic, solifidian justification, and the real presence. They emphasized the necessity of good works, and deemed it possible to keep the law and to reach perfection. They were orthodox in most articles of the common Christian faith, except Haetzer and Denck, who doubted the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ.
The first and chief aim of the Radicals was not (as is usually stated) the opposition to infant baptism, still less to sprinkling or pouring, but the establishment of a pure church of converts in opposition to the mixed church of the world. The rejection of infant baptism followed as a necessary consequence. They were not satisfied with separation from popery; they wanted a separation from all the ungodly. They appealed to the example of the disciples in Jerusalem, who left the synagogue and the world, gathered in an upper room, sold their goods, and held all things in common. They hoped at first to carry Zwingli with them, but in vain; and then they charged him with treason to the truth, and hated him worse than the pope.
Zwingli could not follow the Anabaptists without bringing the Reformation into discredit with the lovers of order, and rousing the opposition of the government and the great mass of the people. He opposed them, as Augustin opposed the schismatical Donatists. He urged moderation and patience. The Apostles, he said, separated only from the open enemies of the gospel, and from the works of darkness, but bore with the weak brethren. Separation would not cure the evils of the Church. There are many honest people who, though weak and sick, belong to the sheepfold of Christ, and would be offended at a separation. He appealed to the word of Christ, “He that is not against me, is for me,” and to the parable of the tares and the wheat. If all the tares were to be rooted up now, there would be nothing left for the angels to do on the day of final separation.
25. The Baptismal Controversy
The opposition to the mixed state-church or popular church, which embraced all the baptized, legitimately led to the rejection of infant baptism. A new church required a new baptism.
This became now the burning question. The Radicals could find no trace of infant baptism in the Bible, and denounced it as an invention of the pope and the devil. Baptism, they reasoned, presupposes instruction, faith, and conversion, which is impossible in the case of infants. Voluntary baptism of adult and responsible converts is, therefore, the only valid baptism. They denied that baptism is necessary for salvation, and maintained that infants are or may be saved by the blood of Christ without water-baptism. But baptism is necessary for church membership as a sign and seal of conversion.
From this conception of baptism followed as a further consequence the rebaptism of those converts who wished to unite with the new church. Hence the name Anabaptists or Rebaptizers (Wiedertäufer), which originated with the Pedobaptists, but which they themselves rejected, because they knew no other kind of baptism except that of converts.
The demand of rebaptism virtually unbaptized and unchristianized the entire Christian world, and completed the rupture with the historic Church. It cut the last cord of union of the present with the past.
The first case was the rebaptism of Blaurock by Grebel in February, 1525, soon after the disputation with Zwingli. At a private religious meeting, Blaurock asked Grebel to give him the true Christian baptism on confession of his faith, fell on his knees and was baptized. Then he baptized all others who were present, and partook with them of the Lord’s Supper, or, as they called it, the breaking of bread. Reubli introduced rebaptism in Waldshut at Easter, 1525, convinced Huebmaier of its necessity, and rebaptized him with about sixty persons. Huebmaier himself rebaptized about three hundred.
Baptism was not bound to any particular form or time or place or person; any one could administer the ordinance upon penitent believers who desired it. It was first done mostly in houses, by sprinkling or pouring, occasionally by partial or total immersion in rivers.
The mode of baptism was no point of dispute between Anabaptists and Pedobaptists in the sixteenth century. The Roman Church provides for immersion and pouring as equally valid. Luther preferred immersion, and prescribed it in his baptismal service. In England immersion was the normal mode down to the middle of the seventeenth century. It was adopted by the English and American Baptists as the only mode; while the early Anabaptists, on the other hand, baptized by sprinkling and pouring as well. We learn this from the reports in the suits against them at Zurich. Blaurock baptized by sprinkling, Manz by pouring. The first clear case of immersion among the Swiss Anabaptists is that of Wolfgang Uliman (an ex-monk of Coire, and for a while assistant of Kessler in St. Gall). He was converted by Grebel on a journey to Schaffhausen, and, not satisfied with being “sprinkled merely out of a dish,” was “drawn under and covered over in the Rhine.” On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1525, Grebel baptized a large number in the Sitter, a river a few miles from St. Gall, which descends from the Saentis and flows into the Thur, and is deep enough for immersion. The Lord’s Supper was administered by the Baptists in the simplest manner, after a plain supper (in imitation of the original institution and the Agape), by the recital of the words of institution, and the distribution of bread and wine. They reduced it to a mere commemoration.
The two ideas of a pure church of believers and of the baptism of believers were the fundamental articles of the Anabaptist creed. On other points there was a great variety and confusion of opinions. Some believed in the sleep of the soul between death and resurrection, a millennial reign of Christ, and final restoration; some entertained communistic and socialistic opinions which led to the catastrophe of Münster (1534). Wild excesses of immorality occurred here and there.
But it is unjust to charge the extravagant dreams and practices of individuals upon the whole body. The Swiss Anabaptists had no connection with the Peasants’ War, which barely touched the border of Switzerland, and were upon the whole, like the Moravian Anabaptists, distinguished for simple piety and strict morality. Bullinger, who was opposed to them, gives the Zurich Radicals the credit that they denounced luxury, intemperance in eating and drinking, and all vices, and led a serious, spiritual life. Kessler of St. Gall, likewise an opponent, reports their cheerful martyrdom, and exclaims, “Alas! what shall I say of the people? They move my sincere pity; for many of them are zealous for God, but without knowledge.” And Salat, a Roman Catholic contemporary, writes that with “cheerful, smiling faces, they desired and asked death, and went into it singing German psalms and other prayers.”
The Anabaptists produced some of the earliest Protestant hymns in the German language, which deserve the attention of the historian. Some of them passed into orthodox collections in ignorance of the real authors. Blaurock, Manz, Hut, Haetzer, Koch, Wagner, Langmantel, Sattler, Schiemer, Glait, Steinmetz, Buechel, and many others contributed to this interesting branch of the great body of Christian song. The Anabaptist psalms and hymns resemble those of Schwenkfeld and his followers. They dwell on the inner life of the Christian, the mysteries of regeneration, sanctification, and personal union with Christ. They breathe throughout a spirit of piety, devotion, and cheerful resignation under suffering, and readiness for martyrdom. They are hymns of the cross, to comfort and encourage the scattered sheep of Christ ready for the slaughter, in imitation of their divine Shepherd.
The Anabaptist hymns appeared in a collection under the title “Aussbund Etlicher schöner Christlicher Geseng wie die in der Gefengniss zu Passau im Schloss von den Schweitzern und auch von anderen rechtgläubigen Christen hin und her gedicht worden,” 1583, and often. Also in other collections of the sixteenth century. They are reprinted in Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, vol. III. (1870), pp. 440-491, and vol. V. (1877), pp. 677-887. He embodies them in this monumental corpus hymnologicum, as he does the Schwenkfeldian and the Roman Catholic hymns of the fifteenth century, but under express reservation of his high-Lutheran orthodoxy. He refuses to acknowledge the Anabaptists as martyrs any longer (as he had done in his former work on German hymnology), because they stand, he says (III. 439), “ausserhalb der Wahrheit, ausserhalb der heiligen lutherischen Kirche!” Hymnology is the last place for sectarian exclusiveness. It furnishes one of the strongest evidences of Christian union in the sanctuary of worship, where theological quarrels are forgotten in the adoration of a common Lord and Saviour. Luther himself, as Wackernagel informs us, received unwittingly in his hymn book of 1545 a hymn of the Anabaptist Gruenwald, and another of the Schwenkfeldian Reusner. Wackernagel is happily inconsistent when he admits (p. 440) that much may be learned from the Anabaptist hymns, and that a noble heart will not easily condemn those victims of Rome and of the house of Habsburg. He gives first the hymns of Thomas Muenzer, who can hardly be called an Anabaptist and was disowned by the better portion.
Burrage, in Baptist Hymn Writers, Portland, 1888, p. 1 sqq., gives some extracts of Anabaptist hymns. The following stanza, from a hymn of Schiemer or Schoener, characterizes the condition and spirit of this persecuted people: —
“We are, alas, like scattered sheep,
The shepherd not in sight,
Each far away from home and hearth,
And, like the birds of night
That hide away in rocky clefts,
We have our rocky hold,
Yet near at hand, as for the birds,
There waits the hunter bold.”
26. Persecution of the Anabaptists
We pass now to the measures taken against the separatists. At first Zwingli tried to persuade them in private conferences, but in vain. Then followed a public disputation, which took place by order of the magistracy in the council hall, Jan. 17, 1525. Grebel was opposed to it, but appeared, together with Manz and Reubli. They urged the usual arguments against infant baptism, that infants cannot understand the gospel, cannot repent and exercise faith. Zwingli answered them, and appealed chiefly to circumcision and 1Co_7:14, where Paul speaks of the children of Christian parents as “holy.” He afterwards published his views in a book, “On Baptism, Rebaptism, and Infant Baptism” (May 27, 1525). Bullinger, who was present at the disputation, reports that the Anabaptists were unable to refute Zwingli’s arguments and to maintain their ground. Another disputation was held in March, and a third in November, but with no better result. The magistracy decided against them, and issued an order that infants should be baptized as heretofore, and that parents who refuse to have their children baptized should leave the city and canton with their families and goods.
The Anabaptists refused to obey, and ventured on bold demonstrations. They arranged processions, and passed as preachers of repentance, in sackcloth and girdled, through the streets of Zurich, singing, praying, exhorting, abusing the old dragon (Zwingli) and his horns, and exclaiming, “Woe, woe unto Zurich!”
The leaders were arrested and shut up in a room in the Augustinian convent. A commission of ministers and magistrates were sent to them to convert them. Twenty-four professed conversion, and were set free. Fourteen men and seven women were retained and shut up in the Witch Tower, but they made their escape April 5.
Grebel, Manz, and Blaurock were rearrested, and charged with communistic and revolutionary teaching. After some other excesses, the magistracy proceeded to threaten those who stubbornly persisted in their error, with death by drowning. He who dips, shall be dipped, — a cruel irony.
It is not known whether Zwingli really consented to the death sentence, but he certainly did not openly oppose it.
Six executions in all took place in Zurich between 1527 and 1532. Manz was the first victim. He was bound, carried to a boat, and thrown into the river Limmat near the lake, Jan. 5, 1527. He praised God that he was about to die for the truth, and prayed with a loud voice, “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!” Bullinger describes his heroic death. Grebel had escaped the same fate by previous death in 1526. The last executions took place March 23, 1532, when Heinrich Karpfis and Hans Herzog were drowned. The foreigners were punished by exile, and met death in Roman Catholic countries. Blaurock was scourged, expelled, and burnt, 1529, at Clausen in the Tyrol. Haetzer, who fell into carnal sins, was beheaded for adultery and bigamy at Constance, Feb. 24, 1529. John Zwick, a Zwinglian, says that “a nobler and more manful death was never seen in Constance.” Thomas Blaurer bears a similar testimony. Huebmaier, who had fled from Waldshut to Zurich, December, 1525, was tried before the magistracy, recanted, and was sent out of the country to recant his recantation. He labored successfully in Moravia, and was burnt at the stake in Vienna, March 10, 1528. Three days afterwards his faithful wife, whom he had married in Waldshut, was drowned in the Danube.
Other Swiss cantons took the same measures against the Anabaptists as Zurich. In Zug, Lorenz Fuerst was drowned, Aug. 17, 1529. In Appenzell, Uliman and others were beheaded, and some women drowned. At Basle, Oecolampadius held several disputations with the Anabaptists, but without effect; whereupon the Council banished them, with the threat that they should be drowned if they returned (Nov. 13, 1530). The Council of Berne adopted the same course.
In Germany and in Austria the Anabaptists fared still worse. The Diet of Speier, in April, 1529, decreed that “every Anabaptist and rebaptized person of either sex be put to death by sword, or fire, or otherwise.” The decree was severely carried out, except in Strassburg and the domain of Philip of Hesse, where the heretics were treated more leniently. The most blood was shed in Roman Catholic countries. In Goerz the house in which the Anabaptists were assembled for worship was set on fire. “In Tyrol and Goerz,” says Cornelius, “the number of executions in the year 1531 reached already one thousand; in Ensisheim, six hundred. At Linz seventy-three were killed in six weeks. Duke William of Bavaria, surpassing all others, issued the fearful decree to behead those who recanted, to burn those who refused to recant…. Throughout the greater part of Upper Germany the persecution raged like a wild chase…. The blood of these poor people flowed like water so that they cried to the Lord for help…. But hundreds of them of all ages and both sexes suffered the pangs of torture without a murmur, despised to buy their lives by recantation, and went to the place of execution joyfully and singing psalms.”
The blood of martyrs is never shed in vain. The Anabaptist movement was defeated, but not destroyed; it revived among the Mennonites, the Baptists in England and America, and more recently in isolated congregations on the Continent. The questions of the subjects and mode of baptism still divide Baptist and Pedobaptist churches, but the doctrine of the salvation of unbaptized infants is no longer condemned as a heresy; and the principle of religious liberty and separation of Church and State, for which the Swiss and German Anabaptists suffered and died, is making steady progress. Germany and Switzerland have changed their policy, and allow to Baptists, Methodists, and other Dissenters from the state-church that liberty of public worship which was formerly denied them; and the state-churches reap the benefit of being stirred up by them to greater vitality. In England the Baptists are one of the leading bodies of Dissenters, and in the United States the largest denomination next to the Methodists and Roman Catholics.
27. The Eucharistic Controversy. Zwingli and Luther
Zwingli’s eucharistic writings: On the Canon of the Mass (1523); On the same, against Emser (1524); Letter to Matthew Alber at Reutlingen (1524); The 17th ch. of his Com. on the True and False Religion (in Latin and German, March 23, 1525); Answer to Bugenhagen (1525); Letter to Billicanus and Urbanus Rhegius (1526); Address to Osiander of Nürnberg (1527); Friendly Exegesis, addressed to Luther (Feb. 20, 1527); Reply to Luther on the true sense of the words of institution of the Lord’s Supper (1527); The report on the Marburg Colloquy (1529). In Opera, vol. II. B., III., IV. 173 sqq.
For an exposition of Zwingli’s doctrine on the Lord’s Supper and his controversy with Luther, see vol. VII. §§ 85 and 111; and A. Baur, Zwingli’s Theol. II. 268 sqq. (very full and fair).
The eucharistic controversy between Zwingli and Luther has been already considered in connection with the German Reformation, and requires only a brief notice here. It lasted from 1524 to 1529, and culminated in the Colloquy at Marburg, where the two views came into closer contact and collision than ever before or since, and where every argument for or against the literal interpretation of the words of institution and the corporal presence was set forth with the clearness and force of the two champions.
Zwingli and Luther agreed in the principle of a state-church or people’s church (Volks-Kirche), as opposed to individualism, separatism, and schism. Both defended the historic continuity of the Church, and put down the revolutionary radicalism which constructed a new church on the voluntary principle. Both retained infant baptism as a part of Christian family religion, against the Anabaptists, who introduced a new baptism with their new church of converts. Luther never appreciated this agreement in the general standpoint, and made at the outset the radical mistake of confounding Zwingli with Carlstadt and the Radicals.
But there was a characteristic difference between the two Reformers in the general theory of the sacraments, and especially the Lord’s Supper. Zwingli stood midway between Luther and the Anabaptists. He regarded the sacraments as signs and seals of a grace already received rather than as means of a grace to be received. They set forth and confirm, but do not create, the thing signified. He rejected the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and of the corporal presence; while Luther adhered to both with intense earnestness and treated a departure as damnable heresy. Zwingli’s theory reveals the spiritualizing and rationalizing tendency of his mind; while Luther’s theory reveals his realistic and mystical tendency. Yet both were equally earnest in their devotion to the Scriptures as the Word of God and the supreme rule of faith and practice.
When they met face to face at Marburg, — once, and only once, in this life, — they came to agree in fourteen out of fifteen articles, and even in the fifteenth article they agreed in the principal part, namely, the spiritual presence and fruition of Christ’s body and blood, differing only in regard to the corporal presence and oral manducation, which the one denied, the other asserted. Zwingli showed on that occasion marked ability as a debater, and superior courtesy and liberality as a gentleman. Luther received the impression that Zwingli was a “very good man,” yet of a “different spirit,” and hence refused to accept his hand of fellowship offered to him with tears. The two men were differently constituted, differently educated, differently situated and equipped, each for his own people and country; and yet the results of their labors, as history has proved, are substantially the same.
28. The Works of Zwingli
A list of Zwingli’s works in the edition of Schuler and Schulthess, vol. VIII. 696-704; of his theological works, in Baur, Zwingli’s Theol., II. 834-837.
During the twelve short years of his public labors as a reformer, from 1519 to 1531, Zwingli developed an extraordinary literary activity. He attacked the Papists and the Radicals, and had to reply in self-defence. His advice was sought from the friends of reform in all parts of Switzerland, and involved him in a vast correspondence. He wrote partly in Latin, partly in the Swiss-German dialect. Several of his books were translated by Leo Judae. He handled the German with more skill than his countrymen; but it falls far short of the exceptional force and beauty of Luther’s German, and could make no impression outside of Switzerland. The editors of his complete works (Schuler and Schulthess) give, in eight large octavo volumes, eighty German and fifty-nine Latin books and tracts, besides two volumes of epistles by Zwingli and to Zwingli.
His works may be divided into seven classes, as follows: —
1. Reformatory and Polemical Works: (a) against popery and the papists (on Fasts; on Images; on the Mass; Against Faber; Against Eck; Against Compar; Against Emser, etc.); (b) on the controversy with the Anabaptists; (c) on the Lord’s Supper, against Luther’s doctrine of the corporal real presence.
2. Reformatory and Doctrinal: The Exposition of his 67 Conclusions (1524); A Commentary on the False and True Religion, addressed to King Francis I. of France (1525); A Treatise on Divine Providence (1530); A Confession of Faith addressed to the Emperor Charles V. and the Augsburg Diet (1530); and his last confession, written shortly before his death (1531), and published by Bullinger.
3. Practical and Liturgical: The Shepherd; Forms of Baptism and the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper; Sermons, etc.
4. Exegetical: Extracts from lectures on Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, the four Gospels, and most of the Epistles, edited by Leo Judae, Megander, and others.
5. Patriotic and Political: Against foreign pensions and military service; addresses to the Confederates, and the Council of Zurich; on Christian education; on peace and war, etc.
6. Poetical: The Labyrinth and The Fable (his earliest productions); three German poems written during the pestilence; one written in 1529, and a versified Psalm (69th).
7. Epistles. They show the extent of his influence, and include letters to Zwingli from Erasmus, Pucci, Pope Adrian VI., Faber, Vadianus, Glareanus, Myconius, Oecolampadius, Haller, Megander, Beatus Rhenanus, Urbanus Rhegius, Bucer, Hedio, Capito, Blaurer, Farel, Comander, Bullinger, Fagius, Pirkheimer, Zasius, Frobenius, Ulrich von Hutten, Philip of Hesse, Duke Ulrich of Wuerttemberg, and other distinguished persons.
29. The Theology of Zwingli
I. Zwingli: Commentarius de Vera et Falsa Religione, 1525 (German translation by Leo Judae); Fidei Ratio ad Carolum V., 1530; Christianae Fidei brevis et clara Expositio, 1531; De Providentia, 1530 (expansion of a sermon preached at Marburg and dedicated to Philip of Hesse).
II. The theology of Zwingli is discussed by Zeller, Sigwart, Spoerri, Schweizer, and most fully and exhaustively by A. Baur. See Lit. § 5. Comp. Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 369 sqq, and Church History, VI. 721 sqq.
The dogmatic works of Zwingli contain the germs of the evangelical Reformed theology, in distinction from the Roman and the Lutheran, and at the same time several original features which separate it from the Calvinistic System. He accepted with all the Reformers the ecumenical creeds and the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, and the divine-human personality of Christ. He rejected with Luther the scholastic additions of the middle ages, but removed further from the traditional theology in the doctrine of the sacraments and the real presence. He was less logical and severe than Calvin, who surpassed him in constructive genius, classical diction and rhetorical finish. He drew his theology from the New Testament and the humanistic culture of the Erasmian type. His love for the classics accounts for his liberal views on the extent of salvation by which he differs from the other Reformers. It might have brought him nearer to Melanchthon; but Melanchthon was under the overawing influence of Luther, and was strongly prejudiced against Zwingli. He was free from traditional bondage, and in several respects in advance of his age.
Zwingli’s theology is a system of rational supernaturalism, more clear than profound, devoid of mysticism, but simple, sober, and practical. It is prevailingly soteriological, that is, a doctrine of the way of salvation, and rested on these fundamental principles: The Bible is the only sure directory of salvation (which excludes or subordinates human traditions); Christ is the only Saviour and Mediator between God and men (which excludes human mediators and the worship of saints); Christ is the only head of the Church visible and invisible (against the claims of the pope); the operation of the Holy Spirit and saving grace are not confined to the visible Church (which breaks with the principle of exclusiveness).
1. Zwingli emphasizes the Word of God contained in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, as the only rule of Christian faith and practice. This is the objective principle of Protestantism which controls his whole theology. Zwingli first clearly and strongly proclaimed it in his Conclusions (1523), and assigned to it the first place in his system; while Luther put his doctrine of justification by faith or the subjective principle in the foreground, and made it the article of the standing or falling church. But with both Reformers the two principles so-called resolve themselves into the one principle of Christ, as the only and sufficient source of saving truth and saving grace, against the traditions of men and the works of men. Christ is before the Bible, and is the beginning and end of the Bible. Evangelical Christians believe in the Bible because they believe in Christ, and not vice versa. Roman Catholics believe in the Bible because they believe in the Church, as the custodian and infallible interpreter of the Bible.
As to the extent of the Bible, or the number of inspired books, Zwingli accepted the Catholic Canon, with the exception of the Apocalypse, which he did not regard as an apostolic work, and hence never used for doctrinal purposes. Calvin doubted the genuineness of the Second Epistle of Peter and the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Both accepted the canon on the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, rather than the external authority of the Church. Luther, on the one hand, insisted in the eucharistic controversy on the most literal interpretation of the words of institution against all arguments of grammar and reason; and yet, on the other hand, he exercised the boldest subjective criticism on several books of the Old and New Testaments, especially the Epistle of James and the Epistle to the Hebrews, because he could not harmonize them with his understanding of Paul’s doctrine of justification. He thus became the forerunner of the higher or literary criticism which claims the Protestant right of the fullest investigation of all that pertains to the origin, history, and value of the Scriptures. The Reformed Churches, especially those of the English tongue, while claiming the same right, are more cautious and conservative in the exercise of it; they lay greater stress on the objective revelation of God than the subjective experience of man, and on historic evidence than on critical conjectures.
2. The doctrine of eternal election and providence. Zwingli gives prominence to God’s sovereign election as the primary source of salvation. He developed his view in a Latin sermon, or theological discourse, on Divine Providence, at the Conference of Marburg, in October, 1529, and enlarged and published it afterwards at Zurich (Aug. 20, 1530), at the special request of Philip of Hesse. Luther heard the discourse, and had no objection to it, except that he disliked the Greek and Hebrew quotations, as being out of place in the pulpit. Calvin, in a familiar letter to Bullinger, justly called the essay paradoxical and immoderate. It is certainly more paradoxical than orthodox, and contains some unguarded expressions and questionable illustrations; yet it does not go beyond Luther’s book on the “Slavery of the Human Will,” and the first edition of Melanchthon’s Loci, or Calvin’s more mature and careful statements. All the Reformers were originally strong Augustinian predestinarians and denied the liberty of the human will. Augustin and Luther proceeded from anthropological premises, namely, the total depravity of man, and came to the doctrine of predestination as a logical consequence, but laid greater stress on sacramental grace. Zwingli, anticipating Calvin, started from the theological principle of the absolute sovereignty of God and the identity of foreknowledge and foreordination. His Scripture argument is chiefly drawn from the ninth chapter of Romans, which, indeed, strongly teaches the freedom of election, but should never be divorced from the tenth chapter, which teaches with equal clearness human responsibility, and from the eleventh chapter, which prophesies the future conversion of the Gentile nations and the people of Israel.
Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarianism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge. So far sin is necessary, but only as a means to redemption. God’s agency in respect to sin is free from sin, since he is not bound by law, and has no bad motive or affection. Election is free and independent; it is not conditioned by faith, but includes faith. Salvation is possible without baptism, but not without Christ. We are elected in order that we may believe in Christ and bring forth the fruits of holiness. Only those who hear and reject the gospel in unbelief are foreordained to eternal punishment. All children of Christian parents who die in infancy are included among the elect, whether baptized or not, and their early death before they have committed any actual sin is a sure proof of their election. Of those outside the Church we cannot judge, but may entertain a charitable hope, as God’s grace is not bound. In this direction Zwingli was more liberal than any Reformer and opened a new path. St. Augustin moderated the rigor of the doctrine of predestination by the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and the hypothesis of future purification. Zwingli moderated it by extending the divine revelation and the working of the Holy Spirit beyond the boundaries of the visible Church and the ordinary means of grace.
It is very easy to caricature the doctrine of predestination, and to dispose of it by the plausible objections that it teaches the necessity of sin, that it leads to fatalism and pantheism, that it supersedes the necessity of personal effort for growth in grace, and encourages carnal security. But every one who knows history at all knows also that the strongest predestinarians were among the most earnest and active Christians. It will be difficult to find purer and holier men than St. Augustin and Calvin, the chief champions of this very system which bears their name. The personal assurance of election fortified the Reformers, the Huguenots, the Puritans, and the Covenanters against doubt and despondency in times of trial and temptation. In this personal application the Reformed doctrine of predestination is in advance of that of Augustin. Moreover, every one who has some perception of the metaphysical difficulties of reconciling the fact of sin with the wisdom and holiness of God, and harmonizing the demands of logic and of conscience, will judge mildly of any earnest attempt at the solution of the apparent conflict of divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
And yet we must say that the Reformers, following the lead of the great saint of Hippo, went to a one-sided extreme. Melanchthon felt this, and proposed the system of synergism, which is akin to the semi-Pelagian and Arminian theories. Oecolampadius kept within the limits of Christian experience and expressed it in the sound sentence, “Salus nostra ex Deo, perditio nostra ex nobis.” We must always keep in mind both the divine and the human, the speculative and the practical aspects of this problem of ages; in other words, we must combine divine sovereignty and human responsibility as complemental truths. There is a moral as well as an intellectual logic, — a logic of the heart and conscience as well as a logic of the head. The former must keep the latter in check and save it from running into supralapsarianism and at last into fatalism and pantheism, which is just as bad as Pelagianism.
3. Original sin and guilt. Here Zwingli departed from the Augustinian and Catholic system, and prepared the way for Arminian and Socinian opinions. He was far from denying the terrible curse of the fall and the fact of original sin; but he regarded original sin as a calamity, a disease, a natural defect, which involves no personal guilt, and is not punishable until it reveals itself in actual transgression. It is, however, the fruitful germ of actual sin, as the inborn rapacity of the wolf will in due time prompt him to tear the sheep.
4. The doctrine of the sacraments, and especially of the Lord’s Supper, is the most characteristic feature of the Zwinglian, as distinct from the Lutheran, theology. Calvin’s theory stands between the two, and tries to combine the Lutheran realism with the Zwinglian spiritualism. This subject has been sufficiently handled in previous chapters.
5. Eschatology. Here again Zwingli departed further from Augustin and the mediaeval theology than any other Reformer, and anticipated modern opinions. He believed (with the Anabaptists) in the salvation of infants dying in infancy, whether baptized or not. He believed also in the salvation of those heathen who loved truth and righteousness in this life, and were, so to say, unconscious Christians, or pre-Christian Christians. This is closely connected with his humanistic liberalism and enthusiasm for the ancient classics. He admired the wisdom and the virtue of the Greeks and Romans, and expected to meet in heaven, not only the saints of the Old Testament from Adam down to John the Baptist, but also such men as Socrates, Plato, Pindar, Aristides, Numa, Cato, Scipio, Seneca; yea, even such mythical characters as Hercules and Theseus. There is, he says, no good and holy man, no faithful soul, from the beginning to the end of the world, that shall not see God in his glory.
Zwingli traced salvation exclusively to the sovereign grace of God, who can save whom, where, and how he pleases, and who is not bound to any visible means. But he had no idea of teaching salvation without Christ and his atonement, as he is often misunderstood and misrepresented. “Christ,” he says (in the third of his Conclusions) “is the only wisdom, righteousness, redemption, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. Hence it is a denial of Christ when we confess another ground of salvation and satisfaction.” He does not say (and did not know) where, when, and how Christ is revealed to the unbaptized subjects of his saving grace: this is hidden from mortal eyes; but we have no right to set boundaries to the infinite wisdom and love of God.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches the necessity of baptism for salvation, and assigns all heathen to hell and all unbaptized children to the limbus infantum (a border region of hell, alike removed from burning pain and heavenly bliss). Lutheran divines, who accept the same baptismal theory, must consistently exclude the unbaptized from beatitude, or leave them to the uncovenanted mercy of God. Zwingli and Calvin made salvation depend on eternal election, which may be indefinitely extended beyond the visible Church and sacraments. The Scotch Presbyterian Confession condemns the “horrible dogma” of the papacy concerning the damnation of unbaptized infants. The Westminster Confession teaches that “elect infants dying in infancy,” and “all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word, are saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth.”
The old Protestant eschatology is deficient. It rejects the papal dogma of purgatory, and gives nothing better in its place. It confounds Hades with Hell (in the authorized translations of the Bible ), and obliterates the distinction between the middle state before, and the final state after, the resurrection. The Roman purgatory gives relief in regard to the fate of imperfect Christians, but none in regard to the infinitely greater number of unbaptized infants and adults who never hear of Christ in this life. Zwingli boldly ventured on a solution of the mysterious problem which is more charitable and hopeful and more in accordance with the impartial justice and boundless mercy of God.
His charitable hope of the salvation of infants dying in infancy and of an indefinite number of heathen is a renewal and enlargement of the view held by the ancient Greek Fathers (Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa). It was adopted by the Baptists, Armenians, Quakers, and Methodists, and is now held by the great majority of Protestant divines of all denominations.