the Great Controversy: the Swiss reformer, Ulric Zwingli

November 3, 2023

…a 6 minute read

the Great Controversy
the Swiss Reformer

~ European Reformation begins ~

“In the choice of instrumentalities for the reforming of the church, the same divine plan is seen as in that for the planting of the church. The heavenly Teacher passed by the great men of the earth, the titled and wealthy, who were accustomed to receive praise and homage as leaders of the people. They were so proud and self-confident in their boasted superiority that they could not be molded to sympathize with their fellow men and to become colaborers with the humble Man of Nazareth. To the unlearned, toiling fishermen of Galilee was the call addressed: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. These disciples were humble and teachable. The less they had been influenced by the false teaching of their time, the more successfully could Christ instruct and train them for His service. So in the days of the Great Reformation. The leading Reformers were men from humble life—men who were most free of any of their time from pride of rank and from the influence of bigotry and priestcraft. It is God’s plan to employ humble instruments to accomplish great results. Then the glory will not be given to men, but to Him who works through them to will and to do of His own good pleasure.”

(internet image)

~ shortly after the birth of Luther in a miner’s cabin in Saxony, Ulric Zwingli was born in a herdsman’s cottage among the Alps
~ brought up amid scenes of natural grandeur, beauty, and awful sublimity, his mind was early impressed with a sense of the greatness, the power, and the majesty of God
~ the history of the brave deeds achieved upon his native mountains kindled his youthful aspirations
~ at the side of his pious grandmother he listened to the few precious Bible stories which she had gleaned from amid the legends and traditions of the church
~ with eager interest he heard of the grand deeds of patriarchs and prophets, of the shepherds who watched their flocks on the hills of Palestine where angels talked with them, of the Babe of Bethlehem and the Man of Calvary
~ Zwingli’s father desired an education for his son, and the boy was sent from his native valley at an early age
~ he was learning quickly, it soon became a question where to find teachers competent to instruct him
~ when he was thirteen he went to Bern, which then possessed the most distinguished school in Switzerland
~ here, however, a danger arose which threatened to blight the promise of his life
~ determined efforts were put forth by the friars to allure him into a monastery; the Dominican and Franciscan monks were in rivalry for popular favor. This they endeavored to secure by the showy adornments of their churches, the pomp of their ceremonials, and the attractions of famous relics and miracle-working images.
~ the Dominicans of Bern saw that if they could win this talented young scholar, they would secure both gain and honor
~ his youth, his natural ability as a speaker and writer, and his ability for music and poetry, would be more effective than all their pomp and display, in attracting the people to their services and increasing the revenues of their order
~ by deceit and flattery they endeavored to induce Zwingli to enter their convent
~ Zwingli’s father received information of the designs of the friars
~ he had no intention of allowing his son to follow the idle and worthless life of the monks and saw that his son’s future usefulness was at stake, and directed him to return home without delay
~ Zwingli obeyed his fathers wishes and returned home, but he could not be long content in his native valley
~ he soon resumed his studies, repairing, after a time, to Basel
~ was here that Zwingli first heard the gospel of God’s free grace
~ Zwingli was soon called from Basel to enter upon his lifework; his first field of labor was in an Alpine parish, not far distant from his native valley
~ he devoted himself with his whole soul to the search after divine truth

“The Scriptures,” said Zwingli, “come from God, not from man,
and even that God who enlightens will give thee to understand that the speech comes from God.
The word of God … cannot fail; it is bright, it teaches itself, it discloses itself,
it illumines the soul with all salvation and grace, comforts it in God,
humbles it, so that it loses and even forfeits itself, and embraces God.” 

~ In 1516 Zwingli was invited to become a preacher in the convent at Einsiedeln
~ here he was to have a closer view of the corruptions of Rome and was to exert an influence as a Reformer that would be felt far beyond his native Alps
~  Zwingli, greatly afflicted at the sight of the Virgin (Mary) which was said to have the power of working miracles, seized the opportunity to proclaim liberty through the gospel to these bondslaves of superstition
~ he proclaimed “Whatever be the country in which you dwell, God is around you, and hears you…. Can unprofitable works, long pilgrimages, offerings, images, the invocation of the Virgin or of the saints, secure for you the grace of God? … What avails the multitude of words with which we embody our prayers? What efficacy has a glossy cowl, a smooth-shorn head, a long and flowing robe, or gold-embroidered slippers? … God looks at the heart, and our hearts are far from Him.” “Christ,” he said, “who was once offered upon the cross, is the sacrifice and victim, that had made satisfaction for the sins of believers to all eternity.”
~ to many listeners these teachings were unwelcome, it was a bitter disappointment to them to be told that their toilsome journey had been made in vain – the pardon freely offered to them through Christ they could not comprehend. They were satisfied with the old way to heaven which Rome had marked out for them.
~ another class received with gladness the tidings of redemption through Christ
~ the observances enjoined by Rome had failed to bring peace of soul, and in faith they accepted the Saviour’s blood as their propitiation (appeasement)
~ they returned to their homes to reveal to others the precious light which they had received

to read more, click the link below

source: The Great Controversy: The Swiss Reformer by EG White

Events found on this timeline:

  • The Cross (timeline)
  • The Apostles (timeline)
  • Jerusalem destroyed
  • Persecution (first centuries)
  • An era of spiritual darkness begins
  • Reformation in Europe begins
  • The Mayflower

The Great Controversy timeline:

hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

2 Comments on “the Great Controversy: the Swiss reformer, Ulric Zwingli

  1. Great point. Many were surprised by how well spoken the Apostles were, and concluded that it was because they’d been with Jesus: Acts 4:13.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: