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….

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

Calvin: His Life and Times by Thomas Lawson on-line

The following book is now available for free download as a PDF.

Thomas Lawson - Calvin: His Life and Times
Thomas Lawson – Calvin: His Life and Times

Thomas Lawson, Calvin: His Life and Times, 4th edn. London: F. Kirby / Brighton / A.M. Robinson, n.d. pp.157. [Click to download]

Preface to the Fourth edition

In producing the following chapters, the object of the author has been to supply, in an attractive form, as much reliable information upon the life and labours of this remarkable man as possible.

The principles and practices of the Papacy, in which the Reformer was trained, have been, in all fairness and charity, contrasted with the doctrine and grace of Christ, to which he was converted.

Many admirable works, and some much more voluminous than the present, have since John Calvin’s day appeared upon his life and times. But it is to be regretted that some of his biographers have, through natural aversion to his doctrine, formed harsh judgments of his motives. This, however, is not surprising, for man’s dignified notions of the freedom of his own will, are so averse to the unconditional predestination of elect sinners to everlasting life, that although this truth shines as clearly in the Bible as the sun in the firmament, he is found constantly opposing it, and yet in his blindness he thinks he is doing God service.

While giving a faithful record of this remarkable Reformer, great care has been taken in the following pages to avoid ascribing undue honour to the creature. To glorify the God of grace, who delivered John Calvin from the power of darkness, translated him into the kingdom of His dear Son, and made him an able, faithful minister of Christ, has been the sincere desire of the writer.

Thos. Lawson


I. John Calvin

ll. His early days, appearance and practice-The laws of nature to be regarded – His natural piety and great talents – First principles of true Reformation – A.Pharisee of the Pharisees

III. James Pavanne, a youthful Martyr-The Hermit of Livry – Calvin’s convictions

IV. “There are only two Religions in the world” – Human Authority or Divine Revelation?-Dead Works – Confession – The Confessional has no Scriptural authority, and was unknown to the early Fathers

V. Jesus the Mediator – The Keys, or objections answered – Does the Confessional produce good results?

VI. The Sorrows of Death and the Source of Religion – The Redeemed Sinner’s Need – The Prisoner Released and Pardon Sealed

VII. Our Illustrations – A great struggle – Calvin the lawyer – Calvin the Gospel minister – His Father’s Death

VIII. Calvin visits his native city-He returns to Paris and labours as a Missionary-Roussel preaching in the Royal Palace- Light rejected, Grace communicated

IX. The Martyrdom of Alexander – The time for Calvin to come forward – His Oration read before the Sorbonne – The Assembly arose and the Storm burst – Calvin’s Escape – Calvin on the Worship of Images

X. French Reformers before Calvin – Le Fevre and Calvin contrasted – Reasons for protesting against Popery – Calvin administers the Lord’s Supper in both kinds – The Decree of the Council of Constance for withholding the Cup from the Laity – Tested by the Word of God and Reason – Calvin resigns his livings and secedes from the Church

Xl. A bold Adventure in the Dark – Morning and its Revelations – Bartholomew Millon – Superstition, Pomp and Barbarity

XII. Calvin and his work – Halfway men – Interview between Erasmus and Calvin – His distinguished Scholarship – Another John Calvin – Calvin arrested in Italy by the Officers of the Inquisition

XIII. Reflection after Deliverance-Calvinism – Life’s Turning Points – Geneva

XIV. Church and State – Geneva – William Farel – Froment’s school

XV. A True Church – Angels of Darkness and their Weapons of Warfare – Public Disputation – Spiritual and Political Protestantism – The Nuns of St. Claire – Nuns and Nunneries – All Bibles ordered to be burnt – Sham Pilgrims – God preserved the Reformers from being Poisoned – Protestantism established in Geneva

XVI. The Decree of the Creature and the Decree of the Creator – Seeds of Internal Discord – Calvin at the Gates of Geneva – Farel’s Denunciation and Calvin’s Surrender

XVII. Calvin’s first work in Geneva – The Theological Teacher not a Gospel Preacher – Calvin’s first Sermon in Geneva – Public Disputation and a Friar Converted – The Dragon and his angels – Divine Chastening in lovingkindness – Superstitious Consecration of Bells – The immoral fruits of superstition – The Lord’s Supper and the Romish Mass

XVIII. A Terrific Tempest – Reflection – The Shafts of the Almighty against Calvin’s Enemies

XIX. Calvin at Strasburg – The Genevese invited by the Mother of Harlots to return to her grasp – Macaulay’s reason for Men of Learning being found in the Church of Rome – Natural and Spiritual Knowledge contrasted – Geneva repenting – Calvin reluctantly returns to Geneva – – Moral Laws introduced

XX.-Calvin’s marriage and the death of his wife – The eelibacy of the Clergy-Marriage is honourable

XXI. An injustice done to Calvin – Servetus – Apprehension and examination – A Libertine conspiracy against Calvin – The trial

XXII. Toleration – A fresh indictment against Servetus – The Council release Berthelier and deprive Calvin of the power to exclude the profane from the Lord’s table – The snare and the Deliverer – September 3rd, 1553 – Calvin taking farewell of his flock

XXIII. The field of Calvin’s labour fixed by God – An Officer from Vienna demands Servetus-The Articles of Accusation – The case referred to the Churches and Magistrates of Switzerland – The Letters of Servetus – The Verdict of the Cities and Pastors of Switzerland – Now let us reflect on the whole affair

XXIV. A black spot from Rome’s fires – Truth revealed and truth sealed – Calvin’s letters to the Martyrs

XXV. The five young Martyrs of Lyons

XXVI. Calvin and Luther contrasted – The Libertines – Their utter confusion – The speedy rise and prosperity of Geneva – Cardinal Sadoleto’s visit to Calvin

XXVII. His literary labours – The Reformation in England – The nobility and dignity of the Church

XXVIII. The Reformation in France – The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s day – Silver lining to a dark cloud – A College and Academy at Geneva

XXIX. His last interview with the Council – His farewell address to the Pastors – Calvin’s will – William Farel and Calvin meet for the last time – The Reformer’s last moments – His Death and Burial – Concluding Remarks

T.H.L. Parker’s Supplementa Calviniana

Supplementa Calviniana by T.H.L. ParkerThe following hard-to-find monograph is now available for free download in PDF:

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.

My thanks to the Rev. Dr T.H.L. Parker for his permission to place this material online. It is the text of the 1962 Historical Theology Lecture given at Tyndale House, Cambridge in January 1962.

Supplementa Calviniana

Three editions of the Opera omnia of Calvin have been formed. The first, in seven folio volumes, was published at Geneva in 1617; the second, in nine folio volumes, at’ Amsterdam in 1667-71; the third consists of volumes 29 to 87 of the Corpus Reformatorum, published at Brunswick from 1863 to 1897. Geneva and Amsterdam contained only Latin works and no French – except that some French translated into Latin was included; most notably for our purpose, the sermons on 1 Samuel and Job. The Corpus Reformatorum improved on this considerably by publishing everything of Calvin that had already been published, whether Latin or French – everything, that is to say, that they could discover. They therefore included many sets of sermons that had been printed in the sixteenth century. But they did not include any works in manuscript. In preparing their edition, the editors, Baum, Cunitz and Reuss, noted the existence of certain volumes of sermons in manuscript in the Bibliotheque publique et universitaire at Geneva, and at first intended to transcribe and publish them:

‘A l’égard des sermons aussi nous sommes en mesure d’enrichir par plusieurs séries nouvelles les collections déja imprimeés ‘
(C.R, I, p. 2). In the course of the thirty years of publication, two of the editors, Baum and Cunitz, died, and it was left to their surviving colleague, Edouard Reuss, to apologize for the absence of the sermons: ‘ La seule exception que nous nous soyons permis de faire, concerne une douzaine de volumes manuscrits conservés à la Bibliothèque de Genève, et contenant des centaines de sermons recueillis par la voie de la sténographie pendant que l’orateur les débitait. Nous avons pensé que la postérité pouvait s’en passer, après tant d’autres qui sont compris dans notre édition….

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