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In the beginning of the year, when I came to Zurich, no one yet knew anything of Luther, except that a book was published by him on indulgences, but it taught me little, for I had already been instructed concerning the fraud of indulgences by a disputation, which my beloved teacher, Thomas Wittenbach of Biel, held at Basel, although during my absence.
But now the period had arrived, when in the study of religious doctrine, the end and meaning of their future life began to dawn upon the minds of Zwingli and his friend. At the same time a teacher came to Basel, who was well fitted to waken their love for this science and give a right direction to their active zeal. That man was Thomas Wittenbach of Biel, hitherto professor at Tubingen.
Wittenbach knew well how to encourage his pupils to enter the lists and strive after its attainment. Leo Judæ has given authentic testimony to this effect in a letter to the council of Biel. "From your city," writes he, "came forth this man, regarded by the most learned men of that age as a the phœnix on account of his manifold acquirements.