Archive for the ‘zeal without discretion’ Category

Zeal without discretion

November 24, 2014

Among the (Anabaptist) preachers of repentance, George Cajacob Blaurock stands out. The first to be rebaptized, he was zealous to the point of hardihood in his preaching and baptizing, and was soon styled “the new Paul.” Nine days after his own  rebaptism, he was emboldened to enter the village church of Zollikon, block the path of the pastor-priest, and ask him provocatively what he had come to do. The good Zwinglian answered, “Not thou, but I, have been called to preach.” The pastor, who was acting on the authority of the canons of the Zurich minister, ascended the pulpit and tried to preach, but Blaurock interrupted and disturbed him so much that he stepped down again. Blaurock hoped, just as Grebel and Mantz had hoped earlier, that by getting the support of the people, he could persuade them to heed the Word of God and clear the temple of idolatry independently of the magistracy. The congregation was receptive and insisted that Blaurock continue, whereupon he began striking a board with a rod, saying, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” He created such a commotion that the magistrate intervened and threatened to put Blaurock in jail unless he desisted.

G.H. Williams, The Radical Reformation, 1962, p.125-6