History of Protestantism Vol. 1 by James Aitken Wylie

“It is true no doubt, that Protestantism, strictly viewed, is simply a principle. It is not a policy. It is not an empire, having its fleets and armies, its officers and tribunals wherewith to extend its dominion and make its authority be obeyed. It is not even a Church with its hierarchies and synods and edicts; it is simply a principle. But it is the greatest of all principles. It is a creative power. Its plastic influence is all-embracing. It penetrates into the heart and renews the individual. It goes down to the depths and, by its omnipotent but noiseless energy, vivifies and regenerates society. It thus becomes the creator of all that is true, and lovely, and great; the founder of free kingdoms, and the mother of pure churches. The globe itself it claims as a stage not too wide for the manifestation of its beneficent action; and the whole of its terrestrial affairs it deems a sphere not too vast to fill with its spirit, and the rule by its law.” — James Aitken Wylie

Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.

James Aitken Wylie LL.D. (1808-1890) was a Scottish historian of religion and Presbyterian minister. His most famous work is the four volume History of Protestantism. Other important books include _The Great Exodus, or “The Time of the End”, Rome and civil liberty: or, The papal aggression in its relation to the sovereignty of the Queen and the independence of the nation, The Papacy: Its History, Dogmas, Genius, and Prospects, The Jesuits: Their Moral Maxims and Plots Against Kings, Nations, and Churches, The Papacy is the Antichrist - A Demonstration.

This is the the first of a 4 volume work. Lord willing, the next volume will appear in Spring 2021.

Book Contents

  • Publisher’s Preface

Book 1. Progress From The First To The Fourteenth Century

  • 1 Protestantism
  • 2 Declension Of The Early Christian Church
  • 3 Development Of The Papacy From The Times Of Constantine To Those Of Hildebrand.
  • 4 Development Of The Papacy From Gregory VII. To Boniface VIII.
  • 5 Mediaeval Protestant Witnesses.
  • 6 The Waldenses — Their Valleys
  • 7 The Waldenses — Their Missions And Martyrdoms
  • 8 The Paulicians
  • 9 Crusades Against The Albigenses
  • 10 Erection Of Tribunal Of Inquisition
  • 11 Protestants Before Protestantism
  • 12 Abelard, And Rise Of Modern Skepticism

Book 2. Wicliffe And His Times, Or Advent Of Protestantism

  • 1 Wicliffe: His Birth And Education
  • 2 Wicliffe, And The Pope’s Encroachments On England
  • 3 Wicliffe’s Battle With Rome For England’s Independence
  • 4 Wicliffe’s Battle With The Mendicant Friars
  • 5 The Friars Versus The Gospel In England
  • 6 The Battle Of The Parliament With The Pope
  • 7 Persecution Of Wicliffe By The Pope And The Hierarchy
  • 8 Hierarchical Persecution Of Wicliffe Resumed
  • 9 Wicliffe’s Views On Church Property And Church Reform
  • 10 The Translation Of The Scriptures, Or The English Bible.
  • 11 Wicliffe And Transubstantiation
  • 12 Wicliffe’s Appeal To Parliament.
  • 13 Wicliffe Before Convocation In Person, And Before The Roman Curia By Letter
  • 14 Wicliffe’s Last Days
  • 15 Wicliffe’s Theological And Church System

Book 3. John Huss And The Hussite Wars

  • 1 Birth, Education, And First Labors Of Huss
  • 2 Huss Begins His Warfare Against Rome
  • 3 Growing Opposition Of Huss To Rome
  • 4 Preparations For The Council Of Constance
  • 5 Deposition Of The Rival Popes
  • 6 Imprisonment And Examination Of Huss
  • 7 Condemnation And Martyrdom Of Huss
  • 8 Wicliffe And Huss Compared In Their Theology, Their Character, And Their Labors
  • 9 Trial And Temptation Of Jerome
  • 10 The Trial Of Jerome
  • 11 Condemnation And Burning Of Jerome
  • 12 Wicliffe, Huss, And Jerome, Or The First Three Witnesses Of Modern Christendom
  • 13 The Hussite Wars
  • 14 Commencement Of The Hussite Wars
  • 15 Marvellous Genius Of Ziska As A General
  • 16 Second Crusade Against Bohemia
  • 17 Brilliant Successes Of The Hussites
  • 18 The Council Of Basle
  • 19 Last Scenes Of The Bohemian Reformation

Book 4. Christendom At The Opening Of The Sixteenth Century

  • 1 Protestantism And Medievalism
  • 2 The Empire
  • 3 The Papacy, Or Christendom Under The Tiara

Book 5. History Of Protestantism In Germany To The Leipsic Disputation, 1519

  • 1 Luther’s Birth, Childhood, And School Days.
  • 2 Luther’s College Life
  • 3 Luther’s Life In The Convent
  • 4 Luther The Monk Becomes Luther The Reformer
  • 5 Luther As Priest, Professor, And Preacher
  • 6 Luther’s Journey To Rome
  • 7 Luther In Rome
  • 8 Tetzel Preaches Indulgences
  • 9 The “Theses”
  • 10 Luther Attacked By Tetzel, Prierio, And Eck
  • 11 Luther’s Journey To Augsburg
  • 12 Luther’s Appearance Before Cardinal Cajetan
  • 13 Luther’s Return To Wittemberg And Labors There
  • 14 Miltitz — Carlstadt — Dr. Eck
  • 15 The Leipsic Disputation

Book 6. From The Leipsic Disputation To The Diet At Worms, 1521.

  • 1 Protestantism And Imperialism; Or, The Monk And The Monarch.
  • 2 Pope Leo’s Bull.
  • 3 Interviews And Negotiations
  • 4 Luther Summoned To The Diet At Worms.
  • 5 Luther’s Journey And Arrival At Worms.
  • 6 Luther Before The Diet At Worms,
  • 7 Luther Put Under The Ban Of The Empire.

Book 7. Protestantism In England, From The Times Of Wicliffe To Those Of Henry VIII.

  • 1 The First Protestant Martyrs In England.
  • 2 The Theology Of The Early English Protestants.
  • 3 Growth Of English Protestantism.
  • 4 Efforts For The Redistribution Of Ecclesiastical Property.
  • 5 Trial And Condemnation Of Sir John Oldcastle.
  • 6 Lollardism Denounced As Treason.
  • 7 Martyrdom Of Lord Cobham.
  • 8 Lollardism Under Henry V. And Henry Vi.
  • 9 Rome’s Attempt To Regain Dominancy In England.
  • 10 Resistance To Papal Encroachments.
  • 11 Influence Of The Wars Of The Fifteenth Century On The Progress Of Protestantism.

Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2021
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0
James Aitken Wylie

Scottish historian of religion and Presbyterian minister.