Illyricus to Wesley
Matthias Flacius Illyricus
Ecclesiastica historia, integram ecclesiae Christi ideam, quantum ad locum, propagationem, persecutionem, tranquillitatem, doctrinam, haereses, ceremonias, gubernationem, schismata, synodos, personas, miracula, martyria, religiones extra ecclesiam, & statum imperij politicum attinet, secundum singulas centurias.... [The History of the Church of Christ...]. Basel: Per Ioannem Oporinum, 1560-1574. 13 vols. in 7.
Matthias Flacius was the principal author of this monumental Protestant history of the church from its origins to 1400. Together with his collaborators, known collectively as the Magdeburg Centuriators, Flacius arranged this pro-Lutheran and anti-Romanist history by “centuries” (hence the name Centuriators). Shortly after its publication, the Magdeburg Centuries provoked a Roman Catholic rebuttal in Cesare Baronius’s Annales ecclesiastici. Presented here is the first volume of the folio edition printed in Basel in 1564.
The institution of Christian religion, written in Latine by M. Iohn Caluine, translated into English according to the authors last edition; with sundry tables to finde the principall matters intreated... London: Imprinted for Iohn Norton, 1611.
Few works written in the 16th century can rival the impact and influence of Calvin’s Institutes. First published in Latin in 1536, Calvin’s principal theological work went through many editions and was frequently translated (including a translation into French by Calvin himself). Although the arrangement of the Institutes changed over time, the fundamental doctrines, such as the absolute sovereignty of God and the authority of Scripture, remained the same. Included here is the 1611 English translation of this “most important doctrinal work of the Reformation.” It is opened to the beginning of Book 3 on “the maner how to receive the grace of Christ.”
Church of England
Liber precum publicorum… [Book of public prayers = Book of Common Prayer]. London: T. Vautrollerius, 1574.
Essential to liturgical developments in the English Reformation was the Book of Common Prayer, first printed in 1549. Displayed here is the 1574 edition of Walter Haddon's rather free translation into Latin. The marginal note indicates that James I had succeeded Elizabeth as monarch, and the prayer has been altered to reflect James's ascension to the throne. This book comes from Drew’s extensive collection of prayer books that date from the 16th century.
A collection of acts of Parliament, and clauses of acts of Parliament, relative to those Protestant dissenters, who are usually called by the name of Quakers, from the year 1688. London: Luke Hinde, 1757.
In addition to the “magisterial reformers” (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli), other Protestant leaders and groups emerged in the 16th and 17th-centuries. Some of these groups, such as the Swiss Brethren and the Mennonites, have been called “Radical Reformers” or the “left-wing” of the Reformation. In England, those groups and even denominations that dissented from the Church of England were known as “Nonconformists” and were often persecuted. One such group was the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. Distinguished by their refusal of military service and oaths and by the absence of set liturgy in their worship, the Quakers spread in the 17th century from England into the Continent and into North America, notably Pennsylvania. This book contains a collection of anti-Quaker acts that illustrate the theological diversity and complexity of the Reformation.
Principles of a Methodist. 2nd ed. Bristol: Felix Farley, 1746.
No exhibit on the Reformation at Drew could overlook Wesley and Methodism. Although an 18th-century movement, Methodism can trace its theological roots to 16th-century controversies, such as the controversy around Arminius and predestination. On display here is an early statement of Methodist principles by the movement's founder, John Wesley. This is but one small example of Drew's preeminent Methodist holdings.