Birthdays on January 1
Birth of Philip Schaff, American church historian and scholar, at Chur, Switzerland. Coming to America in 1843, he became an outstanding leader in the German Reformed Church. His ecumenical leanings gave him opportunity to rise in religious stature, teaching at Mercerberg Seminary (Pennsylvania), a member of the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, chairman of the American Bible Revision Committee, etc In 1865, he was the English editor of J. P. Lange's Commentary on Scripture; from 1858 to 92, he produced his most famous work, the eight-volume History of the Christian Church, and in 1877, his three-volume The Creeds of Christendom. He died in New York.
Ulrich Zwingli, Swiss reformer, was born in Wildhaus, Toggenberg, St. Gall. He studied theology in Berne, Basel and Vienna. At 23 he officiated already as priest at Glarus, and the serious, unexcitable farmer's boy developed now into an enthusiastic fighter for truth and practical Christianity. It was his belief that the one and only basis and topic of all sermons should be the Bible. He replaced the mass with the Lord's Supper. He met with Martin Luther in 1529 at Marsburg, and while they agreed on most points of doctrine, they divided over the manner of observance of the Lord's Supper. When civil war broke out between the Catholics and the Protestants, he was killed bearing the banner in battle Oct. 11, 1532, at age 47.