The Fathers And Founders Of The Lutheran Church -- By: B. Sears

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 020:79 (Jul 1863)
Article: The Fathers And Founders Of The Lutheran Church
Author: B. Sears


The Fathers And Founders Of The Lutheran Church1

Rev. B. Sears

The author of these interesting biographies gave ample evidence of his fitness for the task in his admirable Life of Flacius Illyricus, noticed in a former Number of this Journal. The present volume is a collection of gems, abounding in the rarest knowledge, drawn freshly from original sources. To the theologian of historical tastes, to the pastor and to the scholar, we can scarcely conceive of more delightful reading than is furnished by this volume. To make good this assertion, we cannot do better than to select a few of these lives and endeavor to give the spirit of them as far as our brief space will allow.

The Life Of Justus Jonas, From Contemporary Sources. By Theodore Pressel2

It is a welcome sight to see such a pleasing personage as Justus Jonas moving about with the two great Reformers, Luther and Melanchthon. His bright, clear intellect, his genial temper and spirit, his pure and untarnished character, his legal knowledge and great skill in practical affairs, his firmness united with a spirit of toleration, his flowing eloquence in the pulpit, and his easy and clear style as a writer and translator of Luther’s works, combine to render him an attractive figure in the group of Reformers. He is a sort of Mercury by the side of Jupiter and Apollo, and other lesser divinities. While at Erfurt, a few years after Luther had gone to Wittenberg, first as student, and afterwards as professor of law, and as rector, he was an active and influential member of the society of poets or humorists, of which Mucianus was the head, and the poet Eoban Hess the chief ornament. Rarely, if ever, had a young man risen so rapidly to distinction in the university. When Göde, the last professor of the canonical law at Wittenberg, who resisted Luther and the Reformation, died, the Elector applied to Mucianus to recommend an eminent scholar as his successor. The latter had an interview with Jonas on the subject with a satisfactory result, and replied: “We have secured Jonas. He is just such a person as ought to be the successor of Göde. He is so at home in theology, so skilled in the law, so faultless in character, that

he cannot be sufficiently praised. His preaching is so attractive that the churches are crowded with hearers; his lectures are so prized that the students throng to listen to them. He is well known to the venerable Staupitz, and is highly esteemed by Luther...... I thought of Erasmus; but he can only write; Jonas has the gift of speech. I recommend him as the best man for the place.” During these negotiations, Luther arr...

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