From:History of the Reformation: Of the Sixteenth CenturyFrom:Book 16. Switzerland - Catastrophe - 1528-1531
Two Great Lessons – Christian Warfare – Zwingle, Pastor, Statesman, and General – His Noble Character – Persecutions – Swiss Catholics Seek an Alliance With Austria – Great Dissatisfaction – Deputation to the Forest Cantons – Zwingle's Proposal – Moderation of Berne – Keyser's Martyrdom – Zwingle and War – Zwingle's Error
IT was the will of God that at the very gates of his revived Church there should be two great examples to serve as lessons for future generations. Luther and the German Reformation, declining the aid of the temporal power, rejecting the force of arms, and looking for victory only in the confession of truth, were destined to see their faith crowned with the most brilliant success; while Zwingle and the Swiss Reformation, stretching out their hands to the mighty ones of the earth, and grasping the sword, were fated to witness a horrible, cruel, and bloody catastrophe fall upon the Word of God-a catastrophe which threatened to engulf the evangelical cause in the most furious whirlpool. God is a jealous God, and gives not his glory to another; he claims to perform his own work himself, and to attain his ends sets other springs in motion than those of a skillful diplomacy.
We are far from forgetting that we are called upon to relate facts and not to discuss theories; but there is a principle which the history we are narrating sets forth in capital letters: it is that professed in the Gospel, where it says: THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT CARNAL, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD! In maintaining this truth we do not place ourselves on the ground of any particular school, but on that of universal conscience and of the Word of God.
Of all carnal support that religion can invoke, there is none more injurious to it than arms and diplomacy. The latter throws it into tortuous ways; the former hurries it into paths of bloodshed; and religion, from whose brow has been tom the double wreath of truth and meekness, presents but a degraded and humiliated countenance that no person can, that no person desires to recognize.
It was the very extension of the Reform in Switzerland that exposed it to the dangers under which it sunk. So long as it was concentrated at Zurich, it continued a religious matter; but when it had gained Berne, Basle, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Glaris, Appenzell, and numerous bailiwicks, it formed inter-cantonal relations; and-here was the error and misfortune-while the connection should have taken place between church and church, it was formed between state and state.
As soon as spiritual and political matters became mingled together, the latter took the upperhand. Zwingle erelong thought it his duty to examine not only doctrinal, but also federal questions; and the illustrious reformer might be seen, unconscious of the snares beneath his feet, precipitating himself into a course strewn with rocks, at the end of which a cruel death awaited him.
The primitive Swiss cantons had resigned the right of forming new alliances without the consent of all; but Zurich and Berne had reserved the power. Zwingle thought himself therefore quite at liberty to promote an alliance with the evangelical states. Constance was the first city that gave her adhesion. But this Christian co-burghery, which might become the germ of a new confederation, immediately raised up numerous adversaries against Zwingle, even among the partisans of the Reformation.
There was yet time: Zwingle might withdraw from public affairs, and occupy himself entirely with those of the Gospel. But no one in Zurich had, like him, that application to labor, that correct, keen, and sure eye, so necessary for politicians. If he retired, the vessel of the state would be left without a pilot. Besides, he was convinced that political acts alone could save the Reform. He resolved, therefore, to be at one and the same time the man of the State and of the Church. The registers prove that in his later years he took part in the most important deliberations; and he was commissioned by the councils of his canton to write letters, compose proclamations, and draw up opinions. Already, before the dispute with Berne, looking upon war as possible, he had traced out a very detailed plan of defense, the manuscript of which is still in existence. In 1528 he did still more; he showed in a remarkable paper, how the republic should act with regard to the empire, France, and other European states, and with respect to the several cantons and bailiwicks. Then, as if he had grown gray at the head of the Helvetic troops (and it is but just to remark that he had long lived among soldiers), he explained the advantages there would be in surprising the enemy; and described even the nature of the arms, and the manner of employing them. In truth, an important revolution was then taking place in the art of war. The pastor of Zurich is at once the head of the state and general of the army: this double-this triple part of the reformer was the ruin of the Reformation and of himself. Undoubtedly we must make allowances for the men of this age, who, being accustomed to see Rome wield two swords for so many centuries, did not understand that they must take up one and leave the other. We must admire the strength of that superior genius, which, while pursuing a political course, in which the greatest minds would have been absorbed, ceased not however to display an indefatigable activity as pastor, preacher, divine, and author. We must acknowledge that the republican education of Zwingle had taught him to confound his country with his religion, and that there was in this great man enough to fill up many lives. We must appreciate that indomitable courage which, relying upon justice, feared not, at a time when Zurich had but one or two weak cities for allies, to confront the redoubtable forces of the empire and of the confederation; but we should also see in the great and terrible lesson that God gave him, a precept for all times and for every nation; and finally, understand what is so often forgotten, "that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world.”
The Roman Catholic cantons, on hearing of the new alliances of the reformed, felt a violent indignation. William of Diesbach, deputy from Berne at the diet, was forced to submit to the keenest reproaches. The sitting, for a while interrupted, was resumed immediately after his departure. "They may try to patch up the old faith," said the Bernese, as he withdrew, "it cannot, however, last any longer.'" In truth, they patched away with all their might, but with a sharp and envenomed needle that drew blood. Joseph Am-Berg of Schwytz and Jacques Stocker of Zug, bailiffs of Thurgovia, behaved with cruelty towards all who were attached to the Gospel. They enforced against them fines, imprisonment, torture, the scourge, confiscation, and banishment: they cut out the ministers' tongues, beheaded them, or condemned them to be burnt. At the same time they took away the Bibles and all the evangelical books; and if any poor Lutherans, fleeing from Austria, crossed the Rhine and that low valley where its calm waters flow between the Alps of the Tyrol and of Appenzell, -if these poor creatures, tracked by the lansquenets, came to seek a refuge in Switzerland, they were cruelly given up to their persecutors.
The heavier lay the hands of the bailiffs on Thurgovia and the Rheinthal, the greater conquests did the Gospel make. The Bishop of Constance wrote to the Five Cantons, that if they did not act with firmness, all the country would embrace the Reform. In consequence of this, the cantons convoked at Frauenfeld all the prelates, nobles, judges, and persons of note in the district; and a second meeting taking place six days after (6th December 1528) at Weinfeld, deputies from Berne and Zurich entreated the assembly to consider the honor of God above all things, and in no respect to care for the threats of the world. A great agitation followed upon this discourse. At last a majority called for the preaching of the Word of God; the people came to the same decision; and the Rheinthal, as well as Bremgarten, followed this example.
What was to be done? The flood had become hourly more encroaching. Must then the Forest Cantons open their valleys to it at last? Religious antipathies put an end to national antipathies; and these proud mountaineers, directing their looks beyond the Rhine, thought of invoking the succor of Austria, which they had vanquished at Morgarten and at Sempach. The fanatical German party that had crushed the revolted Swabian peasants was all-powerful on the frontiers. Letters were exchanged; messengers passed to and fro across the river; at last they took advantage of a wedding in high rank that was to take place at Feldkirch in Swabia, six leagues from Appenzell. On the 16th February 1529, the marriage-party, forming a brilliant cavalcade, in the midst of which the deputies of the Five Cantons were concealed, made their entry into Feldkirch, and Am Berg had an immediate interview with the Austrian governor. "The power of the enemies of our ancient faith had so increased," said the Swiss, "that the friends of the Church can resist them no longer. We therefore turn our eyes to that illustrious prince who has saved in Germany the faith of our fathers.”
This alliance was so very unnatural, that the Austrians had some difficulty in believing it to be sincere. "Take hostages," said the Waldstettes, "write the articles of the treaty with your own hands; command and we will obey!"-"Very good!" replied the Austrians; "in two months you will find us again at Waldshut, and we will let you know our conditions.”
A rumor of these negotiations which spread abroad excited great dissatisfaction, even in the partisans of Rome. In no place did it burst out with greater force than in the council of Zug. The opposing parties were violently agitated; they stamped their feet, they started from their seats, and were nearly coming to blows; but hatred prevailed over patriotism. The deputies of the Forest Cantons appeared at Waldshut; they suspended the arms of their cantons by the side of those of the oppressors of Switzerland; decorated their hats with peacocks' feathers (the badge of Austria), and laughed, drank, and chattered with the Imperialists. This strange alliance was at last concluded. "Whoever shall form new sects among the people," it ran, "shall be punished with death; and, if need be, with the help of Austria. This power, in case of emergency, shall send into Switzerland six thousand foot soldiers, and four hundred horse, with all requisite artillery. If necessary, the reformed cantons shall be blockaded, and all provisions intercepted." To the Romish cantons, then, belongs the initiative of this measure so much decried. Finally, Austria guaranteed to the Waldstettes the possession, not only of the common bailiwicks, but of all the conquests that might be made on the left bank of the Rhine.
Dejection and consternation immediately pervaded all Switzerland. This national complaint, which Bullinger has preserved, was sung in every direction: Wail, Helvetians, wail, For the peacock's plume of pride To the forest cantons' savage bull In friendship is allied.
All the cantons not included in this alliance, with the exception of Friburg, assembled in diet at Zurich, and resolved to send a deputation to their mountain confederates, with a view to reconciliation. The deputation, admitted at Schwytz in the presence of the people, was able to execute its mission without tumult. At Zug there was a cry of "No sermon! no sermon!" At Altorf the answer was: "Would to God that your new faith was buried forever!" At Lucerne they received this haughty reply: "We shall know how to defend ourselves, our children, and our children's children, from the poison of your rebellious priests." It was at Unterwalden that the deputation met with the worst reception. "We declare our alliance at an end," said they. "It is we, -it is the other Waldstettes who are the real Swiss. We graciously admitted you into our confederation, and now you claim to become our masters!-The emperor, Austria, France, Savoy, and Valais will assist us!" The deputies retired in astonishment, shuddering as they passed before the house of the secretary of state, where they saw the arms of Zurich, Berne, Basle, and Strasburg hanging from a lofty gibbet.
The deputation had scarcely returned to Zurich and made their report, when men's minds were inflamed. Zwingle proposed to grant no peace to Unterwalden, if it would not renounce foreign service, the alliance with Austria, and the government of the common bailiwicks. "No! no!" said Berne, that had just stifled a civil war in its own canton, "let us not be so hasty. When the rays of the sun shine forth, each one wishes to set out; but as soon as it begins to rain, every man loses heart! The Word of God enjoins peace. It is not with pikes and lances that faith is made to enter the heart. For this reason, in the name of our Lord's sufferings, we entreat you to moderate your anger.”
This Christian exhortation would have succeeded, if the fearful news that reached Zurich, on the very day when the Bernese delivered their moderate speech, had not rendered it unavailing.
On Saturday the 22nd May, Jacques Keyser, a pastor and father of a family in the neighborhood of the Greiffensee, after coasting the fertile shores of this little lake, crossed the rich pastures of the bailiwick of Gruningen, passed near the Teutonic house of Bubikon and the convent of Ruti, and reached that simple and wild district bathed by the upper part of Lake Zurich. Making his way to Oberkirk, a parish in the Gaster district, between the two lakes of Zurich and Wallenstadt, of which he had been nominated pastor, and where he was to preach on the morrow, he crossed on foot the lengthened and rounded flanks of the Buchberg, fronting the picturesque heights of the Ammon. He was confidently advancing into those woods which for many weeks he had often traversed without obstruction, when he was suddenly seized by six men, posted there to surprise him, and carried off to Schwytz. "The bailiffs," said they to the magistrates, "have ordered all innovating ministers to be brought before the tribunals: here is one that we bring you." Although Zurich and Glaris interposed; although the government of Gaster, where Keyser had been taken, did not then belong to Schwytz; the landsgemeinde desired a victim, and on the 29th May they condemned the minister to be burnt alive. On being informed of his sentence, Keyser burst into tears. But when the hour of execution arrived, he walked cheerfully to death, freely confessed his faith, and gave thanks to the Lord even with his latest breath. "Go and tell them at Zurich how he thanks us!" said one of the Schwytz magistrates, with a sarcastic smile, to the Zurich deputies. Thus had a fresh martyr fallen under the hands of that formidable power that is "drunk with the blood of the saints."
The cup was full. The flames of Keyser's pile became the signal of war. Exasperated Zurich uttered a cry that resounded through all the confederation. Zwingle above all called for energetic measures. Everywhere, -in the streets, in the councils, and even in the pulpits, -he surpassed in daring even the most valiant captains. He spoke at Zurich, -he wrote to Berne. "Let us be firm, and fear not to take up arms," said he. "This peace, which some desire so much, is not peace, but war: while the war that we call for is not war but peace. We thirst for no man's blood, but we will clip the wings of the oligarchy. If we shun it, the truth of the Gospel and the ministers' lives will never be secure among us.”
Thus spoke Zwingle. In every part of Europe he beheld the mighty ones of the earth aiding one another to stifle the reviving animation of the Church; and he thought that without some decisive and energetic movement, Christianity, overwhelmed by so many blows, would soon fall back into its ancient slavery. Luther under similar circumstances arrested the swords ready to be crossed, and demanded that the Word of God alone should appear on the field of battle. Zwingle thought not thus. In his opinion war was not revolt, for Switzerland had no master. "Undoubtedly," said he, "we must trust in God alone: but when He gives us a just cause, we must also know how to defend it, and like Joshua and Gideon, shed blood in behalf of our country and our God.”
If we adopt the principles of justice which govern the rulers of nations, the advice of Zwingle was judicious and irreproachable. It was the duty of the Swiss magistrates to defend the oppressed against the oppressor. But is not such language, which might have been suitable in the mouth of a magistrate, blamable in a minister of Christ? Perhaps Zwingle forgot his quality of pastor, and considered himself only as a citizen, consulted by his fellow-citizens; perhaps he wished to defend Switzerland, and not the Church, by his counsels; but it is a question if he ought ever to have forgotten the Church and his ministry. We think we may go even further; and while granting all that may be urged in favor of the contrary supposition, we may deny that the secular power ought ever to interfere with the sword to protect the faith.
To accomplish his designs, the reformer needed even in Zurich the greatest unity. But there were many men in that city devoted to interests and superstitions which were opposed to him. "How long," he had exclaimed in the pulpit on the 1st December 1528, "how long will you support in the council these unbelievers, these impious men, who oppose the Word of God?" They had decided upon purging the council, as required by the reformer; they had examined the citizens individually; and then had excluded all the hostile members.
From:History of the Reformation: Of the Sixteenth CenturyFrom:Book 16. Switzerland - Catastrophe - 1528-1531
Free Preaching of the Gospel in Switzerland – Zwingle Supports the Common Bailiwicks – War – Zwingle Joins the Army – The Zurich Army Threatens Zug – The Landamman Aebli – Bernese Interposition – Zwingle's Opposition – Swiss Cordiality – Order in the Zurich Camp – A Conference – Peace Restored – Austrian Treaty Torn – Zwingle's Hymn – Nuns Saint Catherine
ON Saturday the 15th June 1529, seven days after Keyser's martyrdom, all Zurich was in commotion. The moment was come when Unterwalden should send a governor to the common bailiwicks; and the images, having been burnt in those districts, Unterwalden had sworn to take a signal revenge. Thus the consternation had become general. "Keyser's pile," thought they, "will be rekindled in all our villages." Many of the inhabitants flocked to Zurich, and on their alarmed and agitated features, one might, in imagination, have seen reflected the flames that had just consumed the martyr.
These unhappy people found a powerful advocate in Zwingle. The reformer imagined that he had at last attained the object he never ceased to pursue-the free preaching of the Gospel in Switzerland. To inflict a final blow would, in his idea, suffice to bring this enterprise to a favorable issue. "Greedy pensioners," said Zwingle to the Zurichers, "profit by the ignorance of the mountaineers to stir up these simple souls against the friends of the Gospel. Let us therefore be severe upon these haughty chiefs. The mildness of the lamb would only serve to render the wolf more ferocious. Let us propose to the Five Cantons to allow the free preaching of the Word of the Lord, to renounce their wicked alliances, and to punish the abettors of foreign service. As for the mass, idols, rites, and superstitions, let no one be forced to abandon them. It is for the Word of God alone to scatter with its powerful breath all this idle dust. Be firm, noble lords, and in despite of certain black horses, as black at Zurich as they are at Lucerne, but whose malice will never succeed in overturning the chariot of Reform, we shall clear this difficult pass, and arrive at the unity of Switzerland and at unity of faith." Thus Zwingle, while calling for force against political abuses, asked only liberty for the Gospel; but he desired a prompt intervention, in order that this liberty might be secured to it. Oecolampadius thought the same: "It is not a time for delay," said he; "it is not a time for parsimony and pusillanimity! So long as the venom shall not be utterly removed from this adder in our bosoms we shall be exposed to the greatest dangers."
The council of Zurich, led away by the reformer, promised the bailiwicks to support religious liberty among them; and no sooner had they learned that Anthony ab Acker of Unterwalden was proceeding to Baden with an army, than they ordered five hundred men to set out for Bremgarten with four pieces of artillery. This was the 5th June, and on the same evening the standard of Zurich waved over the convent of Mouri.
The war of religion had begun. The horn of the Waldstettes re-echoed afar in the mountains: men were arming in every direction, and messengers were sent off in haste to invoke the assistance of the Valais and of Austria. Three days later (Tuesday the 8th June), six hundred Zurichers, under the command of Jacques Werdmuller, set out for Rapperschwyl and the district of Gaster; and, on the morrow, four thousand men repaired to Cappel, under the command of the valiant Captain George Berguer, to whom Conrad Schmidt, pastor of Kussnacht, had been appointed chaplain. "We do not wish you to go to the war," said Burgomaster Roust to Zwingle; "for the pope, the Archduke Ferdinand, the Romish cantons, the bishops, the abbots, and the prelates, hate you mortally. Stay with the council: we have need of you."-"No!" replied Zwingle, who was unwilling to confide so important an enterprise to anyone; "when my brethren expose their lives I will not remain quietly at home by my fireside. Besides, the army also requires a watchful eye, that looks continually around it." Then, taking down his glittering halberd, which he had carried (as they say) at Marignan, and placing it on his shoulder, the reformer mounted his horse and set out with the army. The walls, towers, and battlements were covered with a crowd of old men, children, and women, among whom was Anna, Zwingle's wife.
Zurich had called for the aid of Berne; but that city, whose inhabitants showed little disposition for a religious war, and which besides was not pleased at seeing the increasing influence of Zurich, replied, "Since Zurich has begun the war without us, let her finish it in like manner." The evangelical states were disunited at the very moment of struggle.
The Romish cantons did not act thus. It was Zug that issued the first summons; and the men of Uri, of Schwytz, and of Unterwalden had immediately begun to march. On the 8th June, the great banner floated before the townhouse of Lucerne, and on the next day the army set out to the sound of the antique horns that Lucerne pretended to have received from the Emperor Charlemagne.
On the 10th June, the Zurichers, who were posted at Cappel, sent a herald at daybreak to Zug, who was commissioned, according to custom, to denounce to the Five Cantons the rupture of the alliance. Immediately Zug was filled with cries and alarm. This canton, the smallest in Switzerland, not having yet received all the confederate contingents, was not in a condition to defend itself. The people ran to and fro, sent off messengers, and hastily prepared for battle; the warriors fitted on their armor, the women shed tears, and the children shrieked.
Already the first division of the Zurich army, amounting to two thousand men, under the command of William Thoming, and stationed near the frontier below Cappel, was preparing to march, when they observed, in the direction of Baar, a horseman pressing the flanks of his steed, and galloping up as fast as the mountain which he had to ascend would permit. It was Aebli, landamman of Glaris. "The Five Cantons are prepared," said he, as he arrived, "but I have prevailed upon them to halt, if you will do the same. For this reason I entreat my lords and the people of Zurich, for the love of God and the safety of the confederation, to suspend their march at the present moment." As he uttered these words, the brave Helvetian shed tears. "In a few hours," continued he, "I shall be back again. I hope, with God's grace, to obtain an honorable peace, and to prevent our cottages from being filled with widows and orphans.”
Aebli was known to be an honorable man, friendly to the Gospel, and opposed to foreign service: his words, therefore, moved the Zurich captains, who resolved to halt. Zwingle alone, motionless and uneasy, beheld in his friend's intervention the machinations of the adversary. Austria, occupied in repelling the Turks, and unable to succor the Five Cantons, had exhorted them to peace. This, in Zwingle's opinion, was the cause of the propositions brought to them by the Landamman of Glaris. So at the moment Aebli turned round to return to Zug, Zwingle, approaching him, said with earnestness, "Gossip landamman, you will render to God an account of all this. Our adversaries are caught in a sack: and hence they give you sweet words. By and by they will fall upon us unawares, and there will be none to deliver us." Prophetic words, whose fulfillment went beyond all foresight! "Dear gossip!" replied the landamman, "I have confidence in God that all will go well. Let each one do his best." And he departed.
The army, instead of advancing upon Zug, now began to erect tents along the edge of the forest and the brink of the torrent, a few paces from the sentinels of the Five Cantons; while Zwingle, seated in his tent, silent, sad, and in deep thought, anticipated some distressing news from hour to hour.
He had not long to wait. The deputies of the Zurich council came to give reality to his fears. Berne, maintaining the character that it had so often filled as representative of the federal policy, declared that if Zurich or the cantons would not make peace, they would find means to compel them: this state at the same time convoked a diet at Arau, and sent five thousand men into the field, under the command of Sebastian Diesbach. Zwingle was struck with consternation.
Aebli's message, supported by that of Berne, was sent back by the council to the army; for, according to the principles of the time, "wherever the banner waves, there is Zurich."-"Let us not be staggered," cried the reformer, ever decided and firm; "our destiny depends upon our courage; to-day they beg and entreat, and in a month, when we have laid down our arms, they will crush us. Let us stand firm in God. Before all things, let us be just: peace will come after that." But Zwingle, transformed to a statesman, began to lose the influence which he had gained as a servant of God. Many could not understand him, and asked if what they had heard was really the language of a minister of the Lord. "Ah!" said one of his friends, who perhaps knew him best, Oswald Myconius, "Zwingle certainly was an intrepid man in the midst of danger; but he always had a horror of blood, even of that of his most deadly enemies. The freedom of his country, the virtues of our forefathers, and, above all, the glory of Christ, were the sole end of all his designs. -I speak the truth, as if in the presence of God," adds he.
While Zurich was sending deputies to Arau, the two armies received reinforcements. The men of Thurgovia and St. Gall joined their banners to that of Zurich: the Valaisans and the men of St. Gothard united with the Romanist cantons. The advanced posts were in sight of each other at Thun, Leematt, and Goldesbrunnen, on the delightful slopes of the Albis.
Never, perhaps, did Swiss cordiality shine forth brighter with its ancient luster. The soldiers called to one another in a friendly manner, and shook hands, styling themselves confederates and brothers. "We shall not fight," said they. "A storm is passing over our heads, but we will pray to God, and he will preserve us from every harm." Scarcity afflicted the army of the Five Cantons, while abundance reigned in the camp of Zurich. Some young famishing Waldstettes one day passed the outposts: the Zurichers made them prisoners, conducted them to the camp, and then sent them back laden with provisions, with still greater good-nature than was shown by Henry IV at the siege of Paris. At another time, some warriors of the Five Cantons, having placed a bucket filled with milk on the frontier-line, cried out to the Zurichers that they had no bread. The latter came down immediately, and cut their bread into the enemies' milk, upon which the soldiers of the two parties began with jokes to eat out of the same dish-some on this side, some on that. The Zurichers were delighted that, notwithstanding the prohibition of their priests, the Waldstettes ate with heretics. When one of the troop took a morsel that was on the side of his adversaries, the latter sportively struck him with their spoons, and said: "Do not cross the frontier!" Thus did these good Helvetians make war upon one another; and hence it was that the Burgomaster Sturm of Strasburg, one of the mediators, exclaimed: "You confederates are a singular people! When you are disunited, you live still in harmony with one another, and your ancient friendship never slumbers."
The most perfect order reigned in the camp of Zurich. Every day Zwingle, the commander Schmidt, Zink abbot of Cappel, or some other minister, preached among the soldiers. No oath or dispute was heard; all disorderly women were turned out of the camp; prayers were offered up before and after every meal; and each man obeyed his chiefs. There were no dice, no cards, no games calculated to excite quarrels; but psalms, hymns, national songs, bodily exercise, wrestling, or pitching the stone, were the military recreations of the Zurichers. The spirit that animated the reformer had passed into the army.
The assembly at Arau, transported to Steinhausen in the neighborhood of the two camps, decreed that each army should hear the complaints of the opposite party. The reception of the deputies of the Five Cantons by the Zurichers was tolerably calm; it was not so in the other camp.
On the 15th June, fifty Zurichers, surrounded by a crowd of peasants, proceeded on horseback to the Waldstettes. The sound of the trumpet, the roll of the drum, and repeated salvos of artillery announced their arrival. Nearly twelve thousand men of the smaller cantons, in good order, with uplifted heads and arrogant looks, were under arms. Escher of Zurich spoke first, and many persons from the rural districts enumerated their grievances after him, which the Waldstettes thought exaggerated. "When have we ever refused you the federal right?" asked they. "Yes, yes!" replied Funk, Zwingle's friend; "we know how you exercise it. That pastor (Keyser) appealed to it, and you referred him-to the executioner!" "Funk, you would have done better to have held your tongue," said one of his friends. But the words had slipped out: a dreadful tumult suddenly arose; all the army of the Waldstettes was in agitation; the most prudent begged the Zurichers to retire promptly, and protected their departure.
At length the treaty was concluded on the 26th June 1529. Zwingle did not obtain all he desired. Instead of the free preaching of the Word of God, the treaty stipulated only liberty of conscience; it declared that the common bailiwicks should pronounce for or against the Reform by a majority of votes. Without decreeing the abolition of foreign pensions, it was recommended to the Romish cantons to renounce the alliance formed with Austria; the Five Cantons were to pay the expenses of the war, Murner to retract his insulting words, and an indemnity was secured to Keyser's family.
An incontrovertible success had just crowned the warlike demonstration of Zurich. The Five Cantons felt it. Gloomy, irritated, silently champing the bit that had been placed in their mouths, their chiefs could not decide upon giving up the deed of their alliance with Austria. Zurich immediately recalled her troops, the mediators redoubled their solicitations, and the Bernese exclaimed: "If you do not deliver up this document, we will ourselves go in procession and tear it from your archives." At last it was brought to Cappel on the 26th June, two hours after midnight. All the army was drawn out at eleven in the forenoon, and they began to read the treaty. The Zurichers looked with astonishment at its breadth and excessive length, and the nine seals which had been affixed, one of which was in gold. But scarcely had a few words been read, when Aebli, snatching the parchment, cried out: "Enough, enough!"-"Read it, read it!" said the Zurichers; "we desire to learn their treason!" But the Bailiff of Glaris replied boldly: "I would rather be cut in a thousand pieces than permit it." Then dashing his knife into the parchment, he cut it in pieces in the presence of Zwingle and the soldiers, and threw the fragments to the secretary, who committed them to the flames. "The paper was not Swiss," says Bullinger with sublime simplicity.
The banners were immediately struck. The men of Unterwalden retired in anger; those of Schywtz swore they would forever preserve their ancient faith; while the troops of Zurich returned in triumph to their homes. But the most opposite thoughts agitated Zwingle's mind. "I hope," said he, doing violence to his feelings, "that we bring back an honorable peace to our dwellings. It was not to shed blood that we set out. God has once again shown the great ones of the earth that they can do nothing against us." Whenever he gave way to his natural disposition, a very different order of thoughts took possession of his mind. He was seen walking apart in deep dejection, and anticipating the most gloomy future. In vain did the people surround him with joyful shouts. "This peace," said he, "which you consider a triumph, you will soon repent of, striking your breasts." It was at this time that, venting his sorrow, he composed, as he was descending the Albis, a celebrated hymn often repeated to the sound of music in the fields of Switzerland, among the burghers of the confederate cities, and even in the palaces of kings. The hymns of Luther and of Zwingle play the same part in the German and Swiss Reformation as the Psalms in that of France.
Do thou direct thy chariot, Lord,
And guide it at thy will;
Without thy aid our strength is vain,
And useless all our skill.
Look down upon thy saints brought low,
And prostrate laid beneath the foe.
Beloved Pastor, who hast saved
Uplift thy voice, awake they sheep
That slumbering lie within
Thy fold, and curb with thy right hand,
The rage of Satan's furious band.
Send down thy peace, and banish strife,
Let bitterness depart;
Revive the spirit of the past
In every Switzer's heart:
Then shall thy Church forever sing
The praises of her heavenly King.
An edict, published in the name of the confederates, ordered the revival everywhere of the old friendship and brotherly concord; but decrees are powerless to work such miracles.
This treaty of peace was nevertheless favorable to the Reform. Undoubtedly it met with a violent opposition in some places. The nuns of the vale of St Catherine in Thurgovia, deserted by their priests and excited by some noblemen beyond the Rhine, who styled them in their letters, "Chivalrous women of the house of God," sang mass themselves, and appointed one of their number preacher to the convent. Certain deputies from the Protestant cantons having had an interview with them, the abbess and three of the nuns secretly crossed the river by night, carrying with them the papers of the monastery and the ornaments of the church. But such isolated resistance as this was unavailing. Already in 1529 Zwingle was able to hold a synod in Thurgovia, which organized the church there, and decreed that the property of the convents should be consecrated to the instruction of pious young men in sacred learning. Thus concord and peace seemed at last to be re-established in the confederation.