REFORMED CHURCHES, the name assumed by those Protestant bodies who adopted the tenets of Zwingli (and later of Calvin), as distinguished from those of the Lutheran or Evangelical divines.
The work of Zwingli as a Reformer, important and thorough though it was, did not concern itself mainly with church polity.
Ecclesiastical affairs were, as a matter of course, wholly under the management of the cantonal and municipal authorities, and Zwingli was content that it should be so.
Zwingli and Calvin on the other hand prefer the positive view of law as instituted by God far back in history in the days of the Old Covenant; but,, when exegesis or controversy puts pressure upon them, they fall into line and reiterate the appeal to a Natural Law.
They taught the Apostles' Creed, rejected Purgatory, the worship of saints and the authority of the Catholic Church, practised infant baptism and confirmation, held a view on the Sacrament similar to that of Zwingli, and, differing somewhat from Luther in their doctrine of justification by faith, declared that true faith was "to know God, to love Him, to do His commandments, and to submit to His will."
He sought to establish a via media between the doctrines of Luther and Zwingli, and vainly hoped to obtain for it Luther's acceptance.
In theology he followed Zwingli, and at the sacramentarian conferences of Heidelberg (1560) and Maulbronn (1564) he advocated by voice and pen the Zwinglian doctrine of the Lord's Supper, replying (1565) to the counter arguments of the Lutheran Johann Marbach, of Strassburg.
They comprised two parties: (1) the followers of Capito, Carlstadt and Bucer, who at the diet of Augsburg presented the Confessio Tetrapolitana from Strassburg, Constance, Lindau and Memmingen; (2) the followers of the Swiss reformer Zwingli, who to the same diet presented his private confession of faith.
Among current serials may be mentioned Archives de psychologie de la Suisse romande (1901) edited by Flournoy and Claparede; Jahresverzeichnis der schweizerischen Universitatsschriften (1897-1898); Untersuchungen zur neueren Sprachand Literaturgeschichte (1903); Zwingliana: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte Zwingli and der Reformation (1897).
Luther, for instance, would not tolerate Zwingli's view on the Lord's Supper, while Zwingli was willing to fraternize with him notwithstanding this difference."
At the colloquy of Marburg "Zwingli offered his hand to Luther with the entreaty that they be at least Christian brethren, but Luther refused it and declared that the Swiss were of another spirit.
He expressed surprise that a man of such views as Zwingli should wish brotherly relations with the Wittenberg reformers" (Walker, The Reformation, p. 174).
Among the Reformers were, of course, Martin Luther and most of his German collaborators; the Swiss Zwingli, Bullinger, Farel and Calvin; the English Latimer, John Bradford, John Jewel; the Scot John Knox.
These cities were inclined to follow Zwingli in his sacramental teaching which was more fully expressed in the Confession of Basel (1534) and the First Helvetic Confession (1536).
But it was obvious that a permanent coalition could not be expected unless some definite understanding on the debated point could be attained; and on the very same day the landgrave despatched to Zwingli an invitation to a colloquy, and received his prompt acquiescence.
With Zwingli, who had arrived on the 27th of September, he had several interviews of considerable political importance before the Wittenberg divines made their appearance.
The proceedings opened on the 1st of October with conferences between Luther and Oecolampadius, and Melanchthon and Zwingli: then on the two following days the discussion proper - confined almost entirely to Luther and Zwingli - was held before the landgrave and his guest Duke Ulrich of Wurttemberg, in the presence of more than fifty persons.
The personal contact between Luther and Zwingli led to no mental rapprochement between the two; but in the following year the Articles of Marburg did good service as one of the preliminaries to the Augsburg Confession, and remain a valuable document for the fundamental principles common to the Lutheran and Reformed Churches.
Even before his acquaintance with Zwingli in 1521 he had begun to preach the Reformation, his sympathetic character and his eloquence making him a great force.
The religious ideas in South Germany were affected by the development of a reform party in Switzerland, under the influence of Zwingli, who claimed that at Einsiedeln, near the lake of Zurich, he had begun to preach the gospel of Christ in the year 1516 " before any one in my locality tion in had so much as heard the name of Luther."
But the league arranged by Zwingli was directed against the house of Habsburg, and Luther did not deem it right to oppose a prince by force of arms.
Moreover, he did not believe that Zwingli, who con ceived the eucharist to be merely symbolical in its character, " held the whole truth of God."
Never, theless, Philip of Hesse finally arranged a religious conference in the castle of Marburg (1529) where Zwingli and Luther met.
Meanwhile, they were to make no further innovations, they were not to molest the conservatives, and were to aid the emperor in suppressing the doctrines of Zwingli and of the Anabaptists.
In November the Protestants formed the Schmalkaldic League, which, after the death of Zwingli, in 1531, was joined by a number of the South German towns.
He heard Zwingli at Zurich in 1527, and next year accompanied him to the disputation at Berne.
After the battle of Cappel (11th of October 1S31), in which Zwingli fell, he left Bremgarten.
On the 9th of December 1531 he was chosen to succeed Zwingli as chief pastor of Zurich.
HULDREICH ZWINGLI (1484-1531), Swiss reformer, was born on the 1st of January 1484, at Wildhaus in the Toggenburg valley, in the canton of St Gall, Switzerland.
His uncle, Bartholomew Zwingli, afterwards dekan or superintendent of Wesen, had been elected parish priest of Wildhaus.
Zwingli, moreover, never knew anything of those spiritual experiences which drove Luther into a cloister and goaded him to a feverish "searching of the Scriptures" in the hope of finding spiritual peace.
Zwingli was a humanist, a type abhorred of Luther; and he was far more ready for the polite Erasmian society of Basel than for a monastery.
Luther never quite shook off scholasticism, whereas Zwingli had early learnt from Dr Thomas Wyttenbach that the time was at hand when scholastic theology must give place to the purer and more rational theology of the early Fathers and to a fearless study of the New Testament.
At the age of twenty-two Zwingli was ordained by the bishop of Constance (1506), preached his first sermon at Rapperswyl, and said his first mass among his own people at Wildhaus.
In the same year he was elected parish priest of Glarus, in spite of the pope's nomination of Heinrich Goldli, an influential pluralist of Zurich, whom Zwingli found it necessary to buy off at an expense of more than a hundred gulden.
Zwingli indeed seemed still to be devoted to the pope, whom he styled "beatissimus Christi vicarius," and he publicly proclaimed the mercenary aid given by the Swiss to the papal cause to be its dutiful support of the Holy See.
The ten years which Zwingli spent at Glarus laid the foundations of his work as a reformer.
Especially did he oppose alliances with France; but the French party in Glarus was strong, and it retaliated so fiercely that in 1516 Zwingli was glad to accept the post of people's priest at Einsiedeln.
Lindsay (History of the Reformation), clearer insight than the Lutherans, and Zwingli rather than Luther was in this matter Calvin's guide, and the guide of the reformed churches of Switzerland, France, England and the Netherlands.
All these set forth in their symbolical books the supreme place of Scripture, accepting the position which Zwingli laid down in 1536 in The First Helvetic Confession, namely, that "Canonic Scripture, the Word of God, given by the Holy Spirit and set forth to the world by the Prophets and Apostles, the most perfect and ancient of all philosophies, alone contains perfectly all piety and the whole rule of life."
Zwingli began to preach "the Gospel" in 1516, but a contemporary says that he did it so cunningly (listiglich) that none could suspect his drift.
Zwingli looked rather to the City Fathers than to the pope, and as long as he had them with him he moved confidently and laboured for reforms which were as much political and moral in character as religious.
Zwingli denounced the publication of plenary indulgence to all visitors to the shrine, and his sermons in the Swiss vernacular drew great crowds and attracted the attention of Rome.
Zwingli prevailed on the council to forbid his entrance into Zurich; and even then the pope argued that, so long as the preacher was still receiving a papal pension, he could not be a formidable adversary, and he gave him a further sop in the form of an acolyte chaplaincy.
Zwingli had never meant to remain at Einsiedeln long, and he now threw himself into a competition for the place of people's priest at the Great Minster of Zurich, and obtained it (1518) after some opposition.
Zwingli was heard in their defence and the accusation was abandoned.
Zwingli had joined in an address to the bishop of Constance calling on him no longer to endure the scandal of harlotry, but to allow the priests to marry wives, or, at least, to wink at their marriages.
Interfered and asked the Zurichers to abandon Zwingli, but the reformer persuaded the council to allow a public disputation (1523), when he produced sixty-seven theses 1 and vindicated his position so strongly that the council decided to uphold their preacher and to separate the canton from the bishopric of Constance.
In 1522 Zwingli produced his first considerable writing, the Architeles, " the beginning and the end," in which he sought by a single blow to win his spiritual freedom from the control of the bishops, and in a sermon of that year he contended that only the Holy Spirit is requisite to make the Word intelligible, and that there is no need of Church, council, or pope in the matter.
They were especially anxious to gain Bern, and Zwingli challenged the Romanists to a public disputation in that city.