29 APRIL 1899, Page 12

Martin Luther. By Henry Eyster Jacobs. (G. P. Putnam's Sons.

(is.)—This is the first of a projected series of " Heroes of the Reformation," and is to be followed by studies of Erasmus, Zwingli, Cranmer, and others. Professor Jacobs holds the balance evenly ; he does not seek to make out his hero faultless, but he believes in his general integrity of purpose, and makes out a very strong case for him. Some of the most sharply criticised passages ( of the Reformer's life are made to wear a different aspect. In the " Peasant Revolt" he at least acted consistently, and did his best to conciliate until he was compelled to take a firm stand. His marriage could not have seemed so utterly blameworthy even to his adversaries, when the Archbishop of Mayence sent a wedding gift of 20 florins to the bride. The famous declaration about the Epistle of St. James is modified by the words "In comparison with these" [the Gospel of St. John, the Epistles of St. Paul, Ise.] And the expression "It has in it nothing whatever of the Gospel" is only a strong way of putting what orthodox theologians mean when they speak of the "imperfect Christology " of the

Epistle. He refused his hand to Zwingli, it is true, but that only meant to refuse a doctrinal alliance. He was perfectly friendly with him. "They all mingled cordially round the Landgrave's table, and spent a day in social intercourse with candid and informal comparison of views." The simple fact is that the irreconcilable enemies of Luther are really enemies of the Reformation.