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History of the Christian Church, Volume VIII: Modern Christianity. The Swiss Reformation.
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§ 35. Reformation in Schaffhausen. Hofmeister.


Melchior Kirchofer: Schaffhauserische Jahrbücher von 1519–1539, oder Geschichte der Reformation der Stadt und Landschaft Schaffhausen. Schaffhausen, 1819; 2d ed. Frauenfeld, 1838 (pp. 152). By, the same: Sebastian Wagner, genannt Hofmeister. Zürich, 1808.—Edw. Im-Thurm und Hans W. Harder: Chronik der Stadt Schaffhausen (till 1790). Schaffhausen, 1844.—H. G. Sulzberger: Geschichte der Reformation des Kant. Schaffhausen. Schaffhausen, 1876 (pp. 47).


Schaffhausen on the Rhine and the borders of Württemberg and Baden followed the example of the neighboring canton Zürich, under the lead of Sebastian Hofmeister (1476–1533), a Franciscan monk and doctor and professor of theology at Constance, where the bishop resided. He addressed Zwingli, in 1520, as "the firm preacher of the truth," and wished to become his helper in healing the diseases of the Church of Switzerland.206206    Hofmeister’s letters in Zwingli’s Opera, VII. 146, 289; II. 166, 348. He subscribes himself Sebastianus Oeconomus seu Hofmeister. His last letter is dated from Zofingen (1529), and very severe against Luther’s writings on the sacramental controversy. He preached in his native city of Schaffhausen against the errors and abuses of Rome, and attended as delegate the religious disputations at Zürich (January and October, 1523), which resulted in favor of the Reformation.

He was aided by Sebastian Meyer, a Franciscan brother who came from Berne, and by Ritter, a priest who had formerly opposed him.

The Anabaptists appeared from Zürich with their radical views. The community was thrown into disorder. The magistracy held Hofmeister and Myer responsible, and banished them from the canton. A reaction followed, but the Reformation triumphed in 1529. The villages followed the city. Some noble families remained true to the old faith, and emigrated.

Schaffhausen was favored by a succession of able and devoted ministers, and gave birth to some distinguished historians.207207    Johannes von Müller, called the German Tacitus (1752-1809); Melchior Kirchhofer (1775-1853), who wrote valuable biographies of the minor Reformers (Hofmeister, Haller, Myconius, and Farel), and the fifth volume of Wirz’s Helvetische Kirchengeschichte; and Friedrich von Hurter (1787-1865), the author of the best history of Pope Innocent III. (1834-’42, 4 vols.). Hurter was formerly Antistes of the Reformed Church of Schaffhausen, but became (partly by the study of the palmy period of the mediaeval hierarchy) a Roman Catholic in 1844, and was appointed imperial counsellor and historiographer of Austria, 1845.



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