The Reformed Church in Germany

Source: The Historical Handbook of the Reformed Church, 1902, James I. Good, Electronic version, © 2004, The Synod of the Reformed Church in the U.S.

SWITZERLAND was too small a land to retain the Reformed faith within her borders. It spread to other lands and soon proved a blessing to all Europe. France, Holland, England, Scotland, Bohemia, Hungary, and Germany all received it. Of these the land that interests us mostly is Germany, the land of our forefathers.

The Writing of the Heidelberg Catechism

In Germany the Reformed doctrines were late in gaining permanent hold. The early German Reformation was almost entirely Lutheran. Not until nearly half a century after, about 1562, did the Reformed doctrines gain a firm foothold in Germany by conquering the Palatinate. It is true the first Reformed congregation in Germany was organized as early as 1526 by Aportanus at Emden, a town at the extreme northwestern end of Germany. And there had also been certain movements toward the Reformed as at Strasburg by Bucer (1524-1549); and at the conference at Marburg (1529), where Lambert of Avignon, the reformer of Hesse, was led to embrace the Reformed faith, and the Presbyterian form of government had been introduced into Hesse.

The Church at Emden has an interesting history. {30} For it was there that John á Lasco became the first great Reformed reformer of Germany. Born in Poland, 1499, he was one of the most beautiful characters of the Reformation-“a soul without a stain,” as Erasmus said.[1] He it was who first laid the permanent foundations of the Reformed faith in Germany. He had a brilliant career as a student and a bright future before him in the Catholic Church, as his uncle was the head of the Catholic Church of Poland and he was in a fair way to succeed his uncle in his dignities and titles. But he gave up his honors and wealth and nobility to become a reformer; for while being educated, he had traveled westward from Poland to Switzerland and met Erasmus, and through him he became a Humanist. He returned to Poland and became Catholic archdeacon of Warsaw. But he was not satisfied. Humanism and its learning failed to satisfy him. Only the Evangelical doctrine, which he had once heard from Zwingli (1523), satisfied him, and so he became a Protestant. Having left Poland he came to East Friesland, of which Emden was the capital, and its ruler persuaded him in 1544 to become the superintendent of the Church in his land. á Lasco at once introduced the simple worship of the Reformed and organized (1544) the Coetus (a sort of synod), the oldest Reformed organization in Europe today, except the Venerable Company of Geneva. This Coetus is still in existence and holds its meetings regularly at Emden. Then he went to England to aid the Reformation there, but was driven out by the persecution under bloody Queen Mary. Those who accompanied him in his vessel were refused shelter by Denmark because they were {31} Reformed but he succeeded in finding his way back to Emden. Then he went to Frankford where he became pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. His anxiety for his Church at Frankford led him to go to Heidelberg to get the Elector of the Palatinate to intercede for him. Soon, however, he had a fine opportunity to go back to Poland, which was now opening up to the Gospel. He returned there and founded its Reformed Church and aided in translating the Polish Bible He died there in 1560. He was a prince-preacher-a reformer in three lands, Germany, England, and Poland.

But the most important event for the Reformed was the conversion of the Palatinate from Lutheranism to the Reformed faith. The Palatinate in western Germany, situated on both sides of the Rhine, and whose capital was Heidelberg, was one of the most beautiful and fertile parts of Germany. Certain events had been preparing parts of Germany to receive the Reformed faith. The main one was the conflict in the Lutheran Church. Luther was now dead and his followers split into two parties, a high Lutheran party led by Flacius and a low Lutheran, led by Melanchthon and his followers. While the Lutherans were dividing, the Reformed doctrines were becoming better known in Germany. So that a large part of the Melanchthonians, wearied of the attacks of the high Lutherans on them, went over to the Reformed. The first prince to do this was Elector Frederick III of the Palatinate, one of the best and most pious princes of his day. When he came to the throne he found four different parties in his Church-High Lutherans, led by Hesshuss; Zwinglians, led by Erastus; Melanchthonians, led by {32} Diller, and Calvinists, led by Boquin. Hesshuss, by his narrow bigotry, caused the Elector to dislike him and he was soon deposed. Reformed professors like Boquin, Erastus, and finally Ursinus and Olevianus, had been appointed so that in 1562 Frederick, having become fully Reformed, ordered Ursinus and Olevianus to prepare a new catechism. Who were these two young men, the one only 26 years of age, the other only 28, who were so mature as to prepare one of the most wonderful of creeds?

Zacharias Ursinus and Casper Olevianus

Zacharias Ursinus was born in eastern Germany, at Breslau, July 18, 1534. He was a pupil of Melanchthon at Wittenberg and was compelled to leave his native city by the High Lutherans because of his sympathy with Melancthonianism. He then went to Zurich, in Switzerland, where he came under Reformed influences, especially of Peter Martyr. When the latter refused a call to Heidelberg University, Ursinus was called in his place (1561). He there became professor in the Sapienz College, which was intended to prepare young men for the ministry. He was one of the strongest theologians of that second generation of reformers.

Casper Olevianus, the other author of our catechism, was from Western Germany. He was born at Treves August 30, 1536, and was educated at Bourges, in France. Here an event turned his mind to the Gospel ministry. He had at this university an intimate friend in the son of the Elector of the Palatinate. They were walking together along the shore of the river, when some students called to them to join them in their boat. The prince accepted, but Olevianus refused. A few moments after, the boat was upset and all thrown out. Olevianus rushed into {33} the water to save the prince, but instead found himself in imminent danger of drowning. While thus hanging between life and death he vowed that if God would spare his life he would become a minister. The servant of the prince then appeared, rushed into the water and saved Olevianus. True to his promise, he studied theology under Calvin at Geneva. But his heart burned to tell the Gospel to his own city, which was one of the most priest-ridden cities of Europe. So having gained a position there as teacher, he had the boldness one morning to nail up on the city hall a notice that he would hold an evangelical service that Sunday morning. The people came in crowds to hear this novelty, but the Catholic Elector of Treves, hearing of this, returned with his army, besieged the town, captured it, drove out the Reformed and put Olevianus in prison. Elector Frederick III, of the Palatinate, interceded for him and he was released and appointed as preacher and superintendent at Heidelberg.

These were the two men appointed by the Elector to prepare his new creed, in the latter part of 1562. It was published early in 1563, the Elector’s preface being dated January 19 of that year. Hence our Church generally observes the Sunday nearest to that date as Reformation Day. So popular did this new creed become that four editions of it were required in the first year (1563). It was introduced everywhere in the Palatinate and soon began to win its way into other lands.[2] But a storm of opposition to it began to gather over Frederick’s head. The Lutheran and Catholic princes of Germany joined hands {34} to suppress it. A conference was held at Maulbron, in Wurtemberg, near the Palatinate border, on April, 10, 1564, between the Lutheran and Reformed theologians, but they could not come to an agreement. Then the Emperor of Germany summoned Frederick to appear before the Diet (Congress) in May, 1566, at Augsburg, to answer for his catechism. It looked as if the Emperor would crush out the catechism and perhaps depose Frederick. So threatening did matters look that his brother warned Frederick not to go to Augsburg. Indeed a rumor came to Heidelberg after he had gone to Augsburg that he had been deposed from his throne because of his catechism. But Frederick had the martyr-spirit and said he was ready to suffer for his catechism if necessary. So he went to Augsburg to the Diet.[3] On the day appointed to him to answer for his catechism (May 14, 1566), he entered the room followed by his son Casimir, who carried a Bible. He defended his catechism, and asked that it be shown to be contrary to the Word of God. His address was so able, so convincing and so spiritual that it disarmed all opposition. The Elector of Saxony said: “Fritz, you are better than all of us,” and the Margrave of Baden remarked: “Why trouble ye this man. He is more pious than all of us.” The result of this trial was that Frederick was allowed to retain his catechism. It was a magnificent defence and revealed the true greatness of Frederick. He continued to rule the Palatinate until October 26, 1576, when he died. He was one of the most pious princes of an age that produced many pious princes. When asked why he did not {35} build more forts he replied in the words of Luther’s famous hymn: “A mighty fortress is our God.” The money that other princes spent in war or luxury he gave to churches, schools and hospitals. He was a true nobleman, a nobleman by character as well as by birth.

After his death his successor and son, Elector Lewis, re-introduced Lutheranism into the Palatinate and both Ursinus and Olevianus had to leave Heidelberg. Ursinus went with Prince Casimir westward to Neustadt, where the latter opened a new university (1578). Here Ursinus taught theology with great acceptance till he died, March 6, 1583. His epitaph says of him-“a great theologian, a keen-sighted philosopher, a wise man, a mighty teacher of the youth.”

While Ursinus went to Neustadt, Olevianus went northeast from Heidelberg, first to Sayn Wittgenstein and then settled at Herborn in Nassau (a district east of the Rhine and north of Frankford). There Count John of Nassau founded a new university and made him professor of theology. He taught there till he died, March 15, 1787. The “comfort” of his Heidelberg catechism remained with him till he died, for at his death when he was asked whether he was certain of salvation, he replied, “I am most certain.”

The Spread of the Reformed Church in Germany

The Reformed doctrine, like the banyan tree, sending forth its shoots, which rapidly grow into new trees, spread rapidly through Germany from province to province. The Reformed of Holland, who then found a refuge from their persecutions in Germany, {36} adopted the Heidelberg Catechism at the Synod of Wesel, 1568. The Reformed faith was introduced into Nassau in 1578, about 1577 into the northern Rhine region, into Bremen in 1581, into Zweibrucken 1588, into Anhalt 1597, and Lippe 1600. Two large and influential provinces received it early in the seventeenth century. The first was Hesse Cassel. There Landgrave Maurice, the ruler, weary of the attacks of the High Lutherans on the Melanchthonians, with whom he sympathized, ordered in 1604 that bread be used instead of wafers at the communion. This change was usually the first sign that a church became Reformed. He not only introduced it into lower or Eastern Hesse, but attempted to introduce it into upper or Western Hesse, and for this purpose went to the capital of the latter province, Marburg. After he left, on August 6, 1605, the people, who were strong Lutherans, became alarmed by all sorts of rumors about this and broke out into an open riot. They forced the Reformed ministers from the pulpit, drove them into a corner of the church, where they assaulted them. One of them, Schonfeld, thought they were going to kill him. As they struck him to the ground he cried out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” But he afterwards revived again. Another Reformed minister, Cellarius, was pursued through the streets until he escaped to the country to a place of safety. The Reformed faith was not, therefore, introduced into upper Hesse, although a few congregations were formed there, but lower Hesse became almost entirely Reformed.

But the most important addition to the Reformed ranks was the Elector of Brandenburg. On Christmas week, 1613, he called his councillors together and {37} announced to them that he had made up his mind to go over to the Reformed faith. His conversion created a great sensation, especially as he was not followed in it by his people, who remained Lutheran. On Christmas day, 1613, he celebrated the Lord’s Supper at Berlin after the Reformed manner, by the use of bread instead of wafers. His conversion was most important, for it gave to the Reformed two of the six Electors of Germany who elected the Emperor. And when the Elector of the Palatinate afterward lost his throne, or was no longer Reformed, it was this Brandenburg family of princes, who were always prominent as the great protectors of the Reformed. Many a time did they defend or intercede for their persecuted Reformed brethren. This Brandenburg family afterwards became the Kings of Prussia, who are now the royal family of Germany, and from them the present Emperor of Germany is a direct descendant. Thus the Reformed faith spread from Switzerland northward along the Rhine and to Bremen; and then eastward through Hesse and Anhalt to Berlin, so that perhaps one-fourth of Germany may be said to have become Reformed.

But although the Reformed faith had gained so much influence, it was not yet recognized by the laws of Germany. To gain that, a terrible war, the Thirty Years’ War, had to be undergone. The treaty of Augsburg (1555) had made the only legal Protestant creed to be the Augsburg Confession of the Lutherans. As the Reformed had not existed then as a distinct denomination in Germany, and the Heidelberg Catechism was not published till later than 1555, of course they were not mentioned by that treaty. So during their first century the Reformed existed only by sufferance in Germany, though not by law. {38} They had no rights that might not be taken away from them at any time, as they were not legally recognized. The Thirty Years’ War broke out in 1618.[4] Elector Frederick V., of the Palatinate, the grandson of Elector Frederick III., who ordered our catechism to be written, was elected King of Bohemia. This caused a war, for Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, who had just been elected Emperor of Germany, also claimed the throne of Bohemia. Frederick went to Prague and reigned as king for only a year, when he was defeated by a one-hour’s battle at White Mountain, near Prague, Nov. 8, 1620. He was compelled to flee and became an exile from his home till his death, Nov. 29, 1632.

With him suffered his beloved land, the beautiful Palatinate. For he was declared an outlaw by the Emperor, his land was confiscated, and at once Spanish armies appeared in it to take possession of it. The Reformed people before this time felt great anxiety for their future and spent much time in prayer. Owing to the scarcity of money, the ministers and schoolmasters were not paid. Colonel Obertraut took command of the Palatinate army, but General Tilly, the Austrian general, soon appeared in the land with a large army. For a very brief time Elector Frederick V. came back to his land, but he soon had to flee. His neighbor and ally, the Margrave of Baden Durlach, was defeated at Wimpfen May 6, 1622. Tilly soon after began besieging Heidelberg and stormed it on September 15, 1622. That day the cruel Croatians burst into the city, murdering men and women and also burning it. {39} The Reformed professor of theology, Henry Alting, started to escape through a back door of his house, when he was met by an Austrian soldier, who said: “With this club I have killed ten men today. If I knew where Professor Alting was, he would be the eleventh.” By a kind providence his life was spared. But the castle as well as the city soon after surrendered to the Austrians. Tilly having captured Heidelberg, besieged Manheim (near Heidelberg) which surrendered to him. He also attacked Frankenthal (also near Heidelberg) which bravely resisted him, and as winter was approaching Tilly gave up its siege. But the next year, Frankenthal was basely surrendered by the King of England without the loss of a drop of blood, and so the whole Palatinate lay at the mercy of its cruel conquerors. The sufferings of the Reformed became terrible. Their ministers, 250 in number, were driven away (1623). The new elector was a Catholic. He summoned (May 13, 1627), all the citizens of Heidelberg to the city hall and commanded them all to become Catholics. They absolutely refused to do so, whole trades declaring that they would give up property and everything rather than give up their Reformed faith. When Gustavus Adolphus made his victorious campaign through Germany (1630-32) there was a slight lull in their persecutions, but after his death their sufferings became ten times worse. Heidelberg, which had been captured by the Swedes (1633) was now again recaptured by the Bavarians (1635). The whole country was ravaged by marauding companies of troops of both armies, plundering and killing the people. Famine and pestilence came, one after the other, until (1636) there were only 200 farmers in all the rich Palatinate, while around Heidelberg there were more wolves than men. {40} The neighboring Reformed districts of Zweibrucken on the south and Nassau further north, also suffered very severely during this war. “When the enemy had marched through, it looked,” said a minister, “as if Lucifer or Beelzebub had passed by.” Houses were deserted, villages lay in ruins, the fields were covered with weeds and lay uncultivated for years. The Reformed districts of Nassau were also terribly devastated; and Hesse Cassel (also Reformed) was partly overrun by the enemy, but by its bravery and especially by the heroism of its ruler, the Landgravine Amalie, it suffered less, although the Reformed ministers were driven out of parts of her land. During this terrible war it seemed as if the Reformed districts were the ones that especially suffered. Her universities of Heidelberg and Marburg were closed, and those of Herborn and Frankford on the Oder suffered severely.

But although the war cost the Reformed so much, yet they gained more than it cost. Their religion was now recognized by law. This was mainly gained through the efforts of Landgravine Amalie of Hesse Cassel, and the young Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William, whose wife, Electress Louisa Henrietta, was one of the most beautiful of Reformed princesses, and the authoress of the famous hymn, “Jesu Meine Zuversicht” (“Jesus My Eternal Trust”). For when the peace of Prague in 1635 had threatened to close the war without recognizing the Reformed, Amalie refused to sign it and joined herself with Sweden and France to gain their rights. When the negotiations began, which closed the war, Elector Frederick William aided her efforts, so that the war closed with honor to the Reformed, as they were recognized by name in the Treaty of Westphalia. {41} And when the war was over, the Reformed religion revived again and rose phoenix-like from its ashes. The Palatinate and Nassau districts began to bloom again; Hesse returned to greater power than ever, and the Elector of Brandenburg became the great leader and defender of the Reformed. Thus the Reformed, having spread through a large part of Germany’s territory, continued increasing in influence until they were included in the laws and treaties of Germany also.

The Persecutions in the Palatinate

For nearly half a century after the awful Thirty Years’ War, the Reformed of Germany had peace. Then came more terrible persecutions than ever.[5] Two events united to bring this about. One was the death of the last Reformed Elector of the Palatinate, Charles, in 1685. After that its rulers, until this century, were Catholics. The other was the French wars (1688-1695). The King of France, Louis XIV., laid claim to the Palatinate after the death of the Elector Charles, because his brother had married Princess “Lize Lotte,” a Palatinate princess. And suddenly, without a moment’s warning, he precipitated an army of 80,000 soldiers into the Palatinate in the fall of 1688. In seven weeks he had changed that fertile land into a desert. On October 25, Heidelberg surrendered to his armies. Then an idea struck his mind more worthy of a barbarian than of a Christian king. “Ravage the Palatinate” was his command, and the awful work was begun. {42} Not Attila, “the scourge of Europe,” did such terrible work more thoroughly. On January 18, 1689, the ravage began. From the walls of Heidelberg could be seen in all directions the flames of burning villages. The children of the Reformed Orphanage at Handschuheim, near Heidelberg, had to flee almost naked over the snow to the neighboring village of Schonau, and two of them were frozen to death in the snow. The French shut up the almost naked magistrates of that town in the church in the bitterest cold for three days. This ravage was completed by the baptism of fire for Heidelberg herself. On March 2, 1689, the city was fired, and the beautiful castle, which it had taken six centuries to build, was blown up in a single morning. The city was then fired at many places. The French General, Melac, sat on his horse in the central square of the town, laughing, like Nero at Rome, at the sufferings of the inhabitants. Had it not been for the pity of some of the lower French officers, like de Tesse, the whole city would have been destroyed; but they secretly allowed the people to put damp straw in their windows, which, when burning, produced a great smoke, so that it looked as if the house was rapidly burning, although it did little damage. At Manheim the French so utterly destroyed the city, that in the rubbish the streets could not be deciphered. Thus twelve hundred villages and towns were destroyed by the French, and 40,000 inhabitants rendered homeless in mid-winter. Many of the Reformed churches were utterly destroyed, especially west of the Rhine. Often the Reformed children, because they would not go to the Catholic church, were beaten with rods or were sometimes driven into the woods in winter, where some of them perished. {43}

But the cup of the Palatinate was not yet full. In 1693 the French king sent another army into the Palatinate, to complete what had been left undone in the previous terrible invasion. In May they approached Heidelberg. Its commander treacherously surrendered. The poor Reformed people were then driven by the soldiers into the Church of the Holy Ghost, until it was packed so full that they were huddled together like sheep in a pen. Then the French locked the door and set the church roof and steeple on fire. Such a wailing arose from the Reformed within (who expected to be burned up in an awful holocaust), that “it was enough,” said an eye witness, “to make a stone weep.” But this produced no effect on the hearts of the enemy, harder than stone. When the steeple was in flames and the bells threatened to fall, then the French opened the doors and let them out; but some of them had already died of fright in the church. Then the French drove them into a neighboring square, where their sufferings were worse than death. The city was so destroyed by this attack of the French that it was little else than a mass of rubbish. Almost the only thing that remained were the churches, and of these sometimes only the walls were standing.

But the greatest sufferer of all was the Reformed Church. One hundred Reformed churches, mainly west of the Rhine, were in the hands of Catholics. Two hundred Reformed ministers and school-masters were driven out. The few who remained had such large parishes, or were so persecuted, that they could hardly attend to their duties. To Professor J. L. Fabricius, of Heidelberg, probably belongs the honor of saving our Church, so that it was not utterly destroyed. He sacrificed everything for her and went to other lands raising money for her. {44} The Reformed minister of Manheim, Schmidmann, did not desert his congregation even when the town was utterly destroyed. He preached in its ruins, and divided his last crust of bread with his starving Reformed people. In 1697 these terrible sufferings of the Reformed were finally brought to an end by the peace of Ryswick.

But, although the persecutions of war were over, those of peace remained; and sometimes the persecutions of peace are more trying than those of war. Now the great enemy of the Reformed was not foreigners like the French, but their own ruler, the Elector of the Palatinate, who was a Catholic. These Electors began to take away, one after the other, the liberties of their Reformed subjects. They first took possession of the Reformed cemeteries, then rang their bells for Catholic festival days, and finally took their churches for Catholic services. In vain did the Reformed protest. The Government kept back the salaries of the Reformed ministers and school-masters. Often when the Catholic “host” was carried through the streets, the Reformed would be compelled to kneel before it. In many places they were forbidden to work on Catholic feast days. Finding that their protests were unheard by the Elector, the Reformed appealed to the Evangelical States of Germany. These princes of the empire then took up the matter. Finding that protests were in vain, they began to retaliate on the Catholics in their countries. The Kings of Prussia and England and the Landgrave of Hesse closed up some Catholic churches in their lands until the Reformed of the Palatinate had their churches returned to them. This finally brought matters to a crisis, and on November 21, 1705, the Elector again granted the Reformed their rights. {45}

But they were not to have peace and toleration long. For a new Elector, who had been more bigotedly trained than any before, ascended the throne. Soon after he became Elector, the Jesuits adroitly called his attention to the fact that the Heidelberg Catechism, which was issued with his coat-of-arms on the front page, had in it the eightieth question, which says that “the mass is an accursed idolatry.” In rage he ordered the use of the Heidelberg Catechism to be stopped, and thus our forefathers would have been without a creed. The Reformed professors at Heidelberg, Mieg and Kirchmeyer, defended their Catechism, saying that it had been in use for a century and a half, and no one had objected before-even under Catholic rulers it had been used for a quarter of a century, and yet not one of them had objected to it. But the Elector, instead of receding from his position, advanced to greater persecutions. On August 29, 1719, he summoned the Reformed consistory to him and demanded of them to give up to him their largest church in Heidelberg, the Church of the Holy Ghost. As they did not do this by September 4, although the Reformed had locked the church and barricaded it, the Catholics forced an entrance into it through the tower and forcibly took possession. The division wall in it, which had separated the choir where the Catholics had worshiped, from the nave where the Reformed had worshiped, was broken down, and the Catholics took possession of the whole church. At the same time the other Reformed churches were again taken possession of by the Catholics. As the Reformed could not worship in the Church of the Holy Ghost, during that fall and winter they worshiped in the cold and storm in an open square near the eastern end of Heidelberg, called “the monks’ court.” {46}

The Reformed now became greatly alarmed. They appealed again to the Evangelical States of Germany to aid them. These had already found that the only way to deal successfully with the Elector was to retaliate. So the Kings of Prussia and England and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel closed several Catholic churches in their lands until the Catholics would return the Church of the Holy Ghost to the Reformed. The Elector became very angry at this. He declared that if he were ever compelled to give back the Church of the Holy Ghost to the Reformed, he would forever leave Heidelberg and make Manheim his capital instead; that he would shake the dust of Heidelberg off of his feet and let it become like an ordinary country village, instead of his beautiful capital. Finally, on February 29, 1720, the Church of the Holy Ghost, by order of the Emperor, was given back to the Reformed, and the Heidelberg Catechism was also again allowed (1721) to be used by the Reformed, although it was no longer printed with the Elector’s coat-of-arms on the title pages as before. But the Elector in anger forsook Heidelberg, which had been the capital of his land for centuries and removed to Manheim, where he built a new capital. The Reformed received back their churches and their rights; yet very often, owing to their lack of money, they were not able to rebuild their churches.

About 1750, the Elector, having failed to destroy the Reformed by persecutions, now tried to do so by corruption. He enlarged the church-court, which governed the Reformed, and intoduced men into it who were corrupt and who would take bribes. Thus they practiced simony or the sale of places (pastorates, school teachers’ positions, etc.) for money. {47} Against this abuse the Reformed ministers nobly protested. Then the Elector in anger forbade them any longer to hold the meetings of their classes. They again appealed to the Evangelical States of Germany, but by this time its princes had either grown weary or careless, and there was now no one to look after their case. So for 34 years (1755-1789) no synods were held. Finally, in 1799, they were again allowed religious liberty under the last Catholic Elector, Max Joseph, and in 1802 they again came under the control of a Protestant prince, the Lutheran Duke of Baden. It is a wonder that, after almost two centuries of persecution (1618-1800), there was any Reformed church left in the Palatinate, but in 1783 there were 240 Reformed parishes and 140,000 members in that land. These persecutions explain why our forefathers came to America.

[1]For fuller accounts of this interesting man, see The Origin of the Reformed Church in Germany, by Rev. James I. Good, D.D., pages 80-108.

[2]For the best commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism get Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism by Otto Thelemann, translated by Prof. M. Peters.

[3]For a graphic account of this most magnificent scene in our Reformed Church history see The Origin of the Reformed Church, by Rev. James I. Good, D.D., pages 193-216.

[4] For a fuller account of the sufferings of the Reformation during the Thirty Years’ War, see the History of the Reformed Church of Germany by Rev. James I. Good, D.D., pages 9-144.

[5] For a full account of the awful sufferings of the Reformed in the Palatinate see The History of the Reformed Church of Germany, by Rev. James L Good, D.D., pages 225-307.

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