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From Here to Forever

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    Zwingli Called to Zurich

    After three years Zwingli was called to preach in the cathedral at Zurich, the most important town of the Swiss confederacy. The influence exerted here would be widely felt. The ecclesiastics proceeded to instruct him as to his duties:HF 111.3

    “You will make every exertion to collect the revenues of the chapter without overlooking the least. ... You will be diligent in increasing the income arising from the sick, from masses, and in general from every ecclesiastical ordinance.” “As for the administration of the sacraments, the preaching, and the care of the flock, ... you may employ a substitute, and particularly in preaching.”6Ibid., bk. 8, ch. 6.HF 111.4

    Zwingli listened in silence to this charge, and said in reply, “The life of Christ has been too long hidden from the people. I shall preach upon the whole of the Gospel of St. Matthew. ... It is to God's glory, to the praise of His Son, to the real salvation of souls, and to their edification in the true faith, that I shall consecrate my ministry.”HF 111.5

    The people flocked in great numbers to listen to his preaching. He began his ministry by opening the Gospels and explaining the life, teachings, and death of Christ. “It is to Christ,” he said, “that I desire to lead you—to Christ, the true source of salvation.” Statesmen, scholars, artisans, and peasants listened to his words. He fearlessly rebuked the evils and corruptions of the times. Many returned from the cathedral praising God. “This man,” they said, “is a preacher of the truth. He will be our Moses, to lead us forth from this Egyptian darkness.”7Ibid., bk. 8, ch. 6.HF 112.1

    After a time opposition arose. The monks assailed him with gibes and sneers; others resorted to insolence and threats. But Zwingli bore all with patience.HF 112.2

    When God is preparing to break the shackles of ignorance and superstition, Satan works with greatest power to enshroud men in darkness and to bind their fetters more firmly. Rome proceeded with renewed energy to open her market throughout Christendom, offering pardon for money. Every sin had its price, and men were granted free license for crime if the treasury of the church was kept well filled. Thus the two movements advanced—Rome licensing sin and making it her source of revenue, the Reformers condemning sin and pointing to Christ as the propitiation and deliverer.HF 112.3

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