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THIS volume has been for some years out of print. After the publication of two editions, the opportunity of reprinting passed while my time was otherwise occupied. The interest awakened in Luther this summer led me to a renewed study of the subject;11   Dr Julius Köstlin’s ‘Martin Luther, sein Leben and seine Schriften,’ in two volumes, has appeared, as well as his popular ‘Leben’ in one volume, since the last edition of these sketches. The larger work is an ample and admirable monograph, but cannot be said to have added to our knowledge of the subject. The literature on Luther has been always ample, and its sources especially fresh and copious in the ‘Tischreden’—and ‘Briefe,’ De Wette’s ed., 5 vols. and I have described more at length some points in the career of the great Reformer, and especially the many-sidedness of his life and character, as depicted in the ‘Tischreden.’ The sketch thus enlarged may be welcome to many readers; and the contrast presented in the second sketch of the volume between the German and Genevan Reformers helps to bring out the characteristics of both. Besides the additions made to the chapter on Luther, I have carefully revised the volume throughout.


In some cases I have altered the spelling of the names; but others, such as “Wicliffe” and “Huss,” I have let alone, although well aware that the more approved spelling is now “Wiclif” and “Hus.” In a popular book it seemed affectation to change such well-known names. For the same reason, I have not entered into such minute questions as the exact form of Luther’s “memorable words” at Worms, and other points regarding which discussion has been recently raised. These matters are not unimportant; but they do not affect the estimate I have given of Luther’s career and character.

J. T.

St Andrews, November 1883.

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