Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/421

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Heroes of the Reformation


Professor of Church History, New York University.


A Series of biographies of the leaders in the Protestant Reformation.

The literary skill and the standing as scholars of the writers who have agreed to prepare these biographies will, it is believed, ensure for them a wide acceptance on the part not only of special students of the period but of the general reader. Full use will be made in them of the correspondence of their several subjects and of any other autobiographical material that may be available. The general reader will be pleased to find all these citations translated into English and the scholar to find them referred specifically to their source. The value of these volumes will be furthered by comprehensive literary and historical references and adequate indexes.

It is, of course, the case that each one of the great teachers whose career is to be presented in this series looked at religious truth and at the problems of Christianity from a somewhat different point of view. On this ground an important feature in each volume of the series will be a precise and comprehensive statement, given as nearly as practicable in the language of the original writer, of the essential points in his theology.

It is planned that the narratives shall be not mere eulogies, but critical biographies; and the defects of judgment or sins of omission or commission on the parts of the subjects will not be passed by or extenuated. On the other hand they will do full justice to the nobility of character and to the distinctive contribution to human progress made by each one of these great Protestant leaders of the Reformation period. The series will avoid the partisanship of writers like Merle d'Aubigné, and, in the opposite direction, of the group of which Johannes Janssen may be taken as a type.