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§ 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 Württemberg, and other distinguished persons.


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