Gosse’s Biography of Zwingle

Ulric Zwingle from Gosse (1892)
Ulric Zwingle from Gosse (1892)

The following public domain biography of Ulric Zwingle (Ulrich Zwingli) is now available for download in pdf:

Robert Wilkes Gosse, Ulric Zwingle. London: James Nisbet & Co., 1892. pp.160.

CHAPTER I. Zwingle’s Birth and Early Life

“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;-
“Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.” – LONGFELLOW.

 Standing upon an elevated spot at dusk overlooking a city or town we see specks of light appearing here and there in the darkening streets below, as the lamplighters go their rounds, illuminating scenes which would otherwise be enveloped in darkness. A spectacle somewhat resembling this presents itself to the mind’s eye as we look back in thought at that period of deep interest to every devout student of the history of the Christian Church, the Reformation period. There is terrible widespread spiritual darkness overshadowing all-the darkness of superstition, idolatry, error, which takes possession of the human soul whenever it puts man in the place of God. That darkness, which has been gathering for centuries, is almost unrelieved by a single ray, till at length we observe one brilliant light appearing in our own island home, burning with a clear and steady blaze, its rays extending throughout the length and breadth of the land. Bishops, Monks, Friars, and Priests – yea, and Popes also – endeavour in vain to extinguish it. That light is the candle kindled by the great “Evangelic” or “Gospel Doctor” of the fourteenth century, John Wycliffe. Standing alone, until his labours began to tell in the conversion of others, he faithfully taught the truth, sacrificing everything to the Gospel, and laying all his talents, every power that he possessed, upon God’s altar, to be used by him in His most blessed and honoured service, and for the enlightenment of his fellow-country men by means of the Word of God, which he disseminated.

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