Philip Melanchthon by George Wilson

George Wilson [d.1897], Philip Melanchthon 1497-1560.This short work on the life of Philip Melanchthon was the last written by George Wilson [1840-1897], who sadly died before the book was published. It contains a number of excellent prints which I am making available at different resolutions. My thanks to Book Aid for making available a copy of this book for scanning. This title is in the public domain.

George Wilson [d.1897], Philip Melanchthon 1497-1560. London: Religious Tract Society, 1897. Hbk. pp.159. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Editor’s Preface
  1. Memories of Childhood
  2. Heidelberg
  3. Tübingen
  4. Early Years in Wittenberg
  5. In Wittenberg – Luther’s Death
  6. Later Years in Wittenberg
  7. Philip Melanchthon at Home
  8. The Sunset
  9. Melanchthon’s Library
  • Index

Chapter 1: Memories of Childhood

When some pensive hour in later life, the thoughts of Philip Melanchthon would turn from his Wittenberg study to the days when he was a child, they led him, in imaginative memory, to a little town near the valley of the Rhine. A pleasant little town, reposing independently on its hilly slopes, and surrounded by vineyards and cultivated fields. The burghers are moving about the streets or standing at their doors in the sun ; there are children here and there ; and never long out of sight two or three comfortable ecclesiastics. The town has a serviceable wall round it, which more than once has been honourably defended. Within it and among the houses are open spaces and gardens; and, through the gates looking towards the country, there are glimpses of wooded hills. In all respects a place where honest labour seems ever alternating with rest ; while, in visions of · memory, a warm sunshine seems to fold it in the stillness of a dream….

English Bible Under the Tudor Sovereigns

Pulpit Bible

This book was written as part of the celebration of the Fourth Centenary of the “setting up” of th English Bible in Parish Churches. “Setting up” refers to the placing from 1538 of a large vernacular Bible in every parish church so that anyone who could read could have access to it. W.T. Whitley traces the history of English Bible and translators through the Tudor period. This title is in the public domain.

W.T. Whitley [1861-1947], The English Bible Under the Tudor Sovereigns. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, n.d. Hbk. pp.127. [Click to visit the download page]


I. Erasmus and His Double Testament
II. The Wycliffite Versions
II. Tyndale: The Translator
IV. Coverdale: Editor of the First English Bible
V. Matthew: The First Licensed for Reading
VI. Taverner: Official Reviser
VII. The First Authorized Version
VIII. The Bible in Daily Worship
IX. The Family Bible and the Church Bible
X. The Douay Bible, for the Old School
XI. Thus Far, and Farther


The following pages are based on direct study of early Bibles, begun a generation ago. At least one copy of every first edition has been examined. Reprints of most are on the author’s shelves. A deliberate re-interpretation of some persons and episodes will be found.

It is intended to commemorate the royal order of September 1538, that a Bible of the largest size be placed in every church. A national committee regards this Injunction as crucial in inaugurating the Reformation in England, and it proposes to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary. In preparation, several pamphlets and books have been chosen, others have been revised, others are being written. This is the first to appear.

Attention is drawn here especially to Thomas Matthew’s edition of 1537 for several reasons. First, because the editor was the first to give his name openly, a sign that in 1537 public opinion no longer compelled anonymity….

Merle d’Aubigné’s History of the Reformation Vols. 1-5

Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872)
Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872). Artist unknown – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, No. 270, November, 1872., Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia

Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872) was a Swiss historian of the Reformation, His writings reflect the thoroughness of his research and some are still in-print today. This title is in the public domain.

Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné [1794-1872], History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Vols. 1-5. London: Religious Tract Society, 1846[?]. Hbk. pp.867. [Click to visit the download page for this book]


  • Preface
  1. State of Europe Before the Reformation
  2. The Youth, Conversion, and Early Labours of Luther – 1483-1517
  3. The Indulgences and trh Theses – 1517 – May 1518
  4. Luther Before the Legate – May to December 1518
  5. The Liepsic Disputation – 1519
  6. The Papal Bull – 1520
  7. The Diet of Worms – 1521, January to May
  8. The Swiss. 1484-1522
  9. First Reforms – 1521 and 1522
  10. Agitation, Reverses, and Progress. 1522-1526
  11. Switzerland – Germany. 1523-1527
  12. The French. 1500-1526
  13. The Protest and the Conference. 1526-1529
  14. The Augsberg Confession – 1530
  15. Switzerland – Conquests. 1526-1530
  16. Switzerland – Catastrophe. 1528-1531
  17. England Before the Reformation
  18. The Revival of the Church
  19. The English New Testament and the Court of Rome
  20. The Two Divorces


I have been often requested to publish an English Edition of the first three volumes, of my History of the Reformation, carefully revised and corrected by myself, and which might thus become a Standard Edition in Great Britain.

I have acknowledged the necessity of this task. In fact, without overlooking the merit of the different English translations of this work; even the best, I am compelled to· say, have failed in conveying my thoughts in several passages; and in some cases this inaccuracy has been of serious consequence. I will mention one instance.

At the end of the year 1844, I received several letters from the United States, in-forming me that, besides 75,000 copies of my History put in circulation by different American booksellers. The American Tract Society had printed an edition of 24,000 copies, which they sold through the instrumentality of more than a hundred hawkers (colporteurs), principally in the New Settlements….

Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History. 9 Lectures by Charles Bigg

John Wycliffe, subject of Ecclsiastical History Lecture 5
John Wycliffe, subject of Ecclsiastical History Lecture 5. Image from William Henry Beckett [1847-1901], The English Reformation of the Sixteenth Century with Chapters on Monastic England, and the Wycliffite Reformation. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1890. Hbk. p.63.
Professor Bigg’s nine lectures on various aspects of ecclesiastical history were given a different times and to different audiences, Nevertheless, but he sees the common thread of the development of the church running through them. This title is in the public domain.

Charles Bigg [1840–1908], Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History. Nine Lectures with Notes and Preface. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1906. Hbk. pp.230. [Click to visit the download page for this volume]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Prudentius
  2. Paulinus of Nola
  3. Sidonius Apollinaris
  4. Grossteste
  5. Wycliffe
  6. A Kempis
  7. The English Reformation – I
  8. The English Reformation – II
  9. The English Reformation – III


One of the most notable events of the fourteenth century was the removal of the papacy from Rome to Avignon. It lasted from 1305 to 1378, and was followed by the Great Schism, from 1378 to 1414, during which there were two rival popes, one at Rome, the other at Avignon.

Avignon was in France though not of it. The city belonged to the King of Naples, who was also Count of Provence. The choice of this place of exile was determined by the struggle between Philip IV. of France and Boniface VIII., and this struggle was the direct result of the new temporal sovereignty of the Pope. Crushed between two formidable rivals, the Emperor and the King of France, the Pope put himself under the protection of the latter, and by this act became the bishop in the French political game of chess…

English Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by W.H. Beckett

William Henry Beckett [1847-1901], The English Reformation of the Sixteenth Century with Chapters on Monastic England, and the Wycliffite ReformationWilliam Henry Beckett [1847-1901] intended this book to be a sketch of the history of the English reformation. He covers John Wycliffe and the Lollards, the Oxford reformers and progress of the movement under Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I. This volume contains numerous portraits which I have made available at various resolutions. This title is in the public domain.

William Henry Beckett [1847-1901], The English Reformation of the Sixteenth Century with Chapters on Monastic England, and the Wycliffite Reformation. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1890. Hbk. pp.312. [Click to visit the main download page]


  • Introduction
    1. Destruction of Monasteries
    2. Attempts at Reformation
    3. Advance in Monastic Reform
    4. The Institution of the Friars, a Further Advance in Reform
    5. Bishops and Parochial Clergy
    6. The Spiritual Awakening
    7. The Great Plague and its Consequences
    8. The England of Wycliffe’s Days
    9. John Wycliffe
    10. The Early Followers of Wycliffe, or Lollards
    11. Lollard Literature
    12. The Later Lollards
    13. Oxford Reformers
    14. Contemporaries at Cambridge
    15. The Reformation Parliament and Convocation 1529-1536
    16. Reform of Doctrine
    17. Early Reformation Literature
    18. The Protectorate, 1547-1553
    19. Reformation Liturgies and Manuals of Spiritual Instruction, 1534-1553
    20. Reformation Preachers
    21. The Dark Days of Mary
    22. The Triumph of Spanish Policy, 1555-1558
    23. The Elizabethan Compromise
    24. Doctrines of the English Reformation
    25. ‘The Romanist Martyrs’
  • Chonological Summary
  • Appendix I
  • Appendix II
  • Appendix III
  • Appendix IV


When on the 29th day of April, in the year 1509, the young Prince Henry Tudor, at the ago of eighteen, succeeded to the throne left vacant by the death of his father, Henry VII., the country of which he became monarch was already in a transition state. ‘Old things were passing away, and the faith and the life of ten centuries were dissolving like a dream. Chivalry was dying, the abbey and the castle were soon together to crumble into ruins, and all the forms, desires, beliefs, convictions 0£ the old world were passing away, never to return.’ Had Henry VIII. never reigned, there would have been a history of religious reform in England. The notorious divorce question did but confirm and hasten tendencies which were already at work. [Continue reading]

Three Articles by T.H.L. Parker on John Calvin

John CalvinThomas Henry Louis Parker [1916-2016] taught for many years at the University of Durham and was a world-renowned expert on John Calvin. In 2013 I gained his permission to digitise his articles from Evangelical Quarterly.

This is what Dr Parker wrote:

Thank you for your email about the Evangelical Quarterly articles. My word! this is going back a year or two, but I well remember writing the first two, when I was in my twenties and trying to find my literary feet. The third was a paper I gave at  a conference [IVF of some sort] in Cambridge, in the company of various interesting figures – F.F. Bruce I remember and of course my great friend David Knox [Broughton in Australia].

Certainly you may have my permission to put them on line. Very gratifying, after all this time. But you must remember that I was then even more ignorant than now – although I think that I was on the right lines, walking as I did in the steps of Peter Barth and his more famous brother.

Here are the three articles, all downloadable as PDFs.

T.H.L. Parker, “The Approach to Calvin,” The Evangelical Quarterly 16.3 (July 1944): 165-172.

T.H.L. Parker, “A Bibliography and Survey of the British Study of Calvin, 1900-1940,” The Evangelical Quarterly 18.2 (April 1946): 123-131.

T.H.L. Parker, “Calvin’s Doctrine of Justification,” The Evangelical Quarterly 24.2 (April 1952): 101-107.

I also have this monograph available:

T.H.L. Parker, Supplementa Calviniana. An Account of the Manuscripts of Calvin’s Sermons Now in Course of Preparation. London: The Tyndale Press, 1962. Pbk. pp.23.

You can read Lee Gatiss’s obituary of Dr Parker on the Church Society website. The back-issues from the Churchman he mentions are available free of charge, together with hundreds of articles from The Evangelical Quarterly on the website.

History of the Reformation by Thomas M. Lindsay

Thomas Lindsay’s comprehensive introduction to the European Reformation and Counter-Reformation is now available on-line for free download in PDF. These volumes are in the public domain and so can be freely copied and distributed.

Thomas Martin Lindsay [1843-1914], A History of the Reformation in Two Volumes, 2nd edn. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1907. Hbk. pp.528+631.



Map Showing the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (1520-1580)
Map Showing the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (1520-1580)

Volume 2 has an interesting map hidden away in a pouch on the back cover. I have included images at varying resolutions on the main download page if you are interested.

Contents of Volume 1

Book 1: On the Eve of the Reformation

Chapter 1 – The Papacy
Chapter 2 – The Political Situation
Chapter 3 – The Renaisance
Chapter 4 – Social Conditions
Chapter 5 – Family and Popular Religious Life in the Decades Before the Reformation
Chapter 6 – Humanism and the Reformation

Book 2: The Reformation

Chapter 1 – Luther to the Beginning of the Controversy About Indulgences
Chapter 2 – From the Beginning of the Indulgence Controversy to the Diet of Worms
Chapter 3 – The Diet of Worms
Chaper 4 – From the Diet of Worms to the Close of the Peasant’s War
Chapter 5 – From the Diet of Speyer, 1526, to the Religious Peace of Augsburg, 1555
Chaper 6 – The Organisation of the Lutheran Churches
Chapter 7 – The Lutheran Reformation Outside Germany
Chapter 8 – The Religious Principles Inpsiring the Reformation

Contents of Volume 2

Book 3: The Reformed Churches

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – The Reformation in Switzerland Under Zwingli
Chapter 3 – The Reformation in Geneva Under Calvin
Chapter 4 – The Reformation in France
Chapter 5 – The Reformation in the Netherlands
Chapter 6 – The Reformation in Scotland

Book 4: The Reformation in England

Chapter 1 – The Church of Henry VIII
Chapter 2 – The Reformation Under Edward VI
Chapter 3 – The Reaction Under Mary
Chapter 4 – The Settlement Under Elizabeth

Book 5: Anabaptism and Socinianism

Chapter 1 – Revival of Medieval Anti-Ecclesiastical Movements
Chapter 2 – Anabaptism
Chapter 3 – Socinianism

Book 6: The Counter-Reformation

Chapter 1 – The Necessity of a Reformation of some sort of Universally Admitted
Chapter 2 – The Spanish Conception of a Reformation
Chapter 3 – Italian Liberal Roman Catholics and Their Conception of a Reformation
Chapter 4 – Ignatius Loyola and the Company of Jesus
Chapter 5 – The Council of Trent
Chapter 6 – The Inquisition and the Index

The Oxford Reformers – John Colet, Erasmus & Thomas More

Frederic Seebohm [1833-1912], The Oxford Reformers. John Colet, Erasmus and Thomas More

The 3rd edition of Frederic Seebohm‘s book on John Colet, Erasmus and Thomas More is now available for download in PDF. This material is in the Public Domain

Frederic Seebohm [1833-1912], The Oxford Reformers. John Colet, Erasmus and Thomas More, 3rd edn. London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1896. Hbk. pp.551. Click here to download.


Chapter I

  1. John· Colet returns from Italy to Oxford (1496)
  2. The Rise of the New Learning (1453-92)
  3. Colet’s previous History (1496)
  4. Thomas More, another Oxford Student (1492-6)
  5. Colet first hears of Erasmus (1496)

Chapter II

  1. Colet’s lectures on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1496-7)
  2. Visit from a Priest during the Winter Vacation (1496-7?)
  3. Colet on the Mosaic Account of the Creation (1497?)
  4. Colet studies afresh the Pseudo-Dionysian Writings (1496-7?)
  5. Colet lectures on ‘I. Corinthians’ (1497?)
  6. Grocyn’s Discovery (1498?)

Chapter III.

  1. Erasmus comes to Oxford (1498)
  2. Table-talk on the Sacrifice of Cain and Abel (1498 ?)
  3. Conversation between Colet and Erasmus on the Schoolmen (1498 or 1499)
  4. Erasmus falls in love with Thomas More (1498)
  5. Discussion between Erasmus and Colet on ‘The Agony ‘in the Garden,’ and on the Inspiration of the Scriptures (1499)
  6. Correspondence between Colet and Erasmus on the Intention of Erasmus to leave Oxford (1499-1500)
  7. Erasmus leaves Oxford and England (1500)

Chapter IV.

  1. Colet made Doctor and Dean of St. Paul’s (1500-5)
  2. More called to the Bar-In Parliament-Offends Henry
    VII. – The Consequences (1500-1504)
  3. Thomas More in Seclusion from Public Life (1504-5)
  4. More studies Pico’s Life and Works-His Marriage (1505)
  5. How it had fared with Erasmus (1500-5)
  6. The ‘Enchiridion,’ &c. of Erasmus (1501-5)

Chapter V.

  1. Second Visit of Erasmus to England (1505-6)
  2. Erasmus again leaves England for Italy (1506)
  3. Erasmus visits Italy and returns to England(1507-10)
  4. More returns to Public Life on the Accession of Henry
    VIII. (1509-10)
  5. Erasmus writes the ‘ Praise of Folly ‘ while resting at
    More’s House (1510 or 1511)

Chapter VI.

  1. Colet founds St. Paul’s School (1510)
  2. His Choice of Schoolbooks and Schoolmasters (1511)

Chapter VII.

  1. Convocation for the Extirpation of Heresy (1512)
  2. Colet is charged with Heresy (1512)
  3. More in trouble again (1512)

Chapter VIII

  1. Colet preaches against the Continental Wars – The First Campaign (1512-13)
  2. Colet’s Sermon to Henry VIII. (1513)
  3. The Second Campaign of Henry VIII. (1513)
  4. Erasmus visits the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham (1513)

Chapter IX.

  1. Erasmus leaves Cambridge, and meditates leaving England (1513-14)
  2. Erasmus and the Papal Ambassador (1514)
  3. Parting Intercourse between Erasmus and Colet (1514)

Chapter X.

  1. Erasmus goes to Basle to print his New Testament (1514)
  2. Erasmus returns to England-His Sa~ire upon Kings (1515)
  3. Returns to Basle to finish his Works-Fears of the Orthodox Party (1515)


  1. The ‘N ovum Instrumentum’ completed – What it really was (1516)

Chapter XII.

  1. More immersed in Public Business (1515)
  2. Colet’s Sermon on the Installation of Cardinal Wolsey
  3. More’s ‘Utopia’ (1515)
  4. The ‘Institutio Principis Christiani’ of Erasmus (1516)
  5. More completes his ‘Utopia ‘-the Introductory Book (1516)

Chapter XIII.

  1. WhatColet thoughtofthe ‘Novum lnstrumentum’ (1516)
  2. Reception of the ‘N ovum Instrumen turn’ in other Quarters (1516)
  3. Martin Luther reads the ‘Novum Instrumentum’ (1516)
  4. The ‘Epistolre Obscurorum Virorum’ (1516-17)
  5. The ‘Pythagorica’ and ‘Cabalistica’ of Reuchlin (1517)
  6. More pays a Visit to Coventry (1517?)

Chapter XIV.

  1. The Sale of Indulgences (1517-18)
  2. More drawn into the Service of Henry VlIl. – Erasmus leaves Germany for Basle (1518)

Chapter XV.

  1. Erasmus arrives at Basle-His Labours there (1518)
  2. The Second Edition of the New Testament (1518-19)
  3. Erasmus’s Health gives way (1518)

Chapter XVI.

  1. Erasmus does not die (1518)
  2. More at the Court of Henry VIII. (1518)
  3. The Evening of Colet’s Life (1518-19)
  4. More’s Conversion attempted by the Monks (1519)
  5. Erasmus and the Reformers of Wittemberg (1519)
  6. Election of Charles V. to the Empire (1519)
  7. The Hussites of Bohemia (1519)
  8. More’s Domestic Life (1519)
  9. Death of Colet (1519)
  10. Conclusion


A. Extracts from MS. Gg. 4, 26, in the Cambridge University Library, Translations of which are given at pp. 37, 38 of this Work
B. Extracts from MS. on. ‘I. Corinthians.’ – Emmanuel College MS. 3. 3.12
C. On the Date of More’s Birth
D. Ecclesiastical Titles and Preferments of Dean Colet, in Order of Time
E. Catalogue of early Editions of the Works of Erasmus in my possession
F. Editions of Works of Sir Thomas More in my Possession


Resources on the Counter-Reformation

Public Domain books on the Counter-Reformation are not easy to find, but thanks to a recent visit to Book Aid I have been able to add one to my on-line bibliography.

Arthur Robert Pennington [1814-1899], The Counter-Reformation in Europe. London: Elliot Stock, 1899. Hbk. pp.280. Click to Download in PDF.

You will also find Public Domain articles by Donald Maclean on this subject.

Donald Maclean [1869-1943], “The Counter-Reformation in Scotland: First Jesuit Assault 1580-1603,” The Evangelical Quarterly 2.1 (Jan. 1930), 46-69. Click here to download in PDF.

Donald Maclean [1869-1943], “The Counter-Reformation in Scotland: The Beginnings 1560-1580,” The Evangelical Quarterly 3.3 (July 1931): 278-296. Click here to download in PDF.


MacKinnon’s Luther & the Reformation online

James MacKinnon, Luther and the Reformation, 4 Vols.

James MacKinnon’s 4 Volume work on Martin Luther entered the Public Domain today, so here is the full text in PDF for free download.

James MacKinnon [1860-1945], Luther and the Reformation, 4 Vols. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1925-1930. Click to visit the download page.

Table of Contents

  1. Home and Education (1484-1505)
  2. Beginnings of Luther’s Monastic Career (1505-1507)
  3. Luther and the Scholastic Theology (1507-1512)
  4. Luther’s Spiritual Confliect (1507-1512)
  5. The Discovery of the Gospel (1509-1513)
  6. The New Theology amd its Development (1513-1516)
  7. Luther and the Mystics (1515-1517)
  8. Luther and the Humanists (1509-1517)
  9. The Reformer in the Making (1514-1516)
  10. The Reformer at Work (1516-1517)

Volume 2: The Breach with Rome (1517-21)

  1. The Indulgence Controversy
  2. The Developing Situation
  3. The Papal Prosecution of Luther
  4. The Sequel of the Augsberg Hearing
  5. The Leipzig Disputation
  6. The Sequel of the Leipzig Disputation
  7. The Condemnation of Luther
  8. The Reformation Manifestos of 1520
  9. The Diet of Worms
  10. Conclusion

Volume 3: Progress of the Movement (1521-29)

  1. Luther at the Wartburg (1)
  2. Luther at the Wartburg (2)
  3. Luther’s Return From the Wartburg
  4. Luther at Wittenberg
  5. The Empire and Luther
  6. Luther and the Revolutionary Movement
  7. The Conflict with Erasmus
  8. Consilidation of the Evangelical Movement
  9. The Disruption of the Evangelical Party

Volume 4: Vindication of the Movement (1530-46)

  1. The Emperor and the Protestants
  2. The Later Religious Radicalism
  3. Ecclesiastical and Educational
  4. The Emperor and the Reformation (1539-46)
  5. Final Controvery With Rome
  6. Luther and Theological Dissent
  7. The End and its Sequel
  8. Luther and His Work (1)
  9. Luther and His Work (2)
  10. National and Extra-National Influence