“Twice we heard Henry Watterson deliver his classical lecture on Abraham Lincoln. At the most dramatic point in the address the speaker discussed the problem, how to account adequately for the great president. After analyzing his ancestry and all his environments in a keen and discerning way, Mr. Watterson exclaimed: ‘The only explanation of Abraham Lincoln is’ — then pausing solemnly and impressively, lifting his hand and pointing upward, he repeated, ‘The only explanation of Abraham Lincoln is — God!
“Hitler’s Mein Kampf embodies all the aims and principles against liberal democratic processes reiterated in all the important papal encyclicals of post-Reformation Catholicism. It should not be surprising that the Vatican in our time, in exchange for benefits promised to the Catholic church, betrayed the forces of democracy, both inside and outside the church, and used its influence and power to foster allegiance to Fascism and Nazism throughout the world.
“…there are many people today who are wandering in doctrinal fogland, and do not know what they believe; or, if they think they have any real convictions, they have pared them down to what they call ‘the irreducible minimum.’ Many people of the so-called ‘modern mind’ have very small and short creeds. They are determined to accept as little on faith as is possible, and yet continue to have any faith at all.
Hutter’s Compend has been a beloved handbook of the Christian Faith for many Christians over many years. It’s well suited for people at all levels of knowledge.
The translator, Henry Eyster Jacobs, has this to say about it:
“Hutter’s Compend has been selected from among the treasures of our Lutheran dogmatic… Although it is not a full system of Theology, it cannot fail to give all earnest searchers after truth a more thorough acquaintance with the faith of our church, and a clearer conception of the System of Theology contained in our Symbolical Books.
“Criticism has reached certain conclusions regarding various Books of Scripture. The older narratives are declared to be mere legends, and the history generally is described as tradition tinctured by the time when it was put into writing. Certain Books of the Old Testament are said to fall below even this low level. They are declared to be fictions, the soothing epithet ‘pious’ being generally added, the representation being that evil was done by the writers that good might come!
“We have certainly great reason to be wide awake and watchful, if we would preserve the inheritance of the Lutheran Church Reformation. Strong are the delusions and temptations of these latter days, and you children and youthful Christians will doubtless see still more perilous times for the Church of Jesus Christ before you have grown old.
“If in the previous century men began to pick the old Bible to pieces, they will in the new century want a restated gospel.
“It is an unquestionable fact that the intimately related prophecies of Daniel and John contain seven divinely given interpretations, and it is evident that these must constitute the only infallible basis of exposition.
“In building on them, we build not on the shifting sands of human opinion, but on the stable rock of revealed truth. Without such a foundation no interpretation of Daniel and the Apocalypse can be secure and trustworthy, as resting upon divine authority, but can only stand on ‘begged principles and mere human conjectures.
“The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, is one of the most solemn, impressive, and important ordinances of our holy religion, instituted by Christ himself. It is intimately interwoven with the very existence and life of the church, and with the spiritual life of the individual Christian…”
Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.
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“If ever any man was competent to write on true Christianity, that man was John Arndt. It had become his very life; it entered into the very center of his own experience; it was an essential part of his being, and hence it was only necessary to let the mouth utter that, of which the heart was full. We need not be surprised that this book, at its first appearance, met with undivided approbation and an extensive sale.
“Nor will the careful student ever recall Lincoln without recognizing the Gettysburg incident as condensing within itself all that he elsewhere spoke and wrote and accomplished. The meaning of what had transpired on the first three days of July, 1863, with the thousands of lives that had been sacrificed, and the tens of thousands that were enduring untold physical suffering, and the countless homes throughout the land that were darkened because they mourned loved ones, so filled his heart that he compressed the convictions of a lifetime and the anguish of the responsibilities he was then bearing, into a two minutes’ address that has become the most highly cherished classic that America has produced.
“There are two things which Rome hates with an implacable hatred. They are the Bible and liberty. At any cost, Rome is bound to fight down these two things, till they are completely destroyed… Thanks to the betrayals of the politicians, and the delusions of the theologians, except God makes a miracle of it, the Bible and liberty are doomed in the United States…
“Whenever the Church of Rome has the power to do it she has persecuted the Protestants to her utmost capacity.
“The translation we offer from Guericke presents a comparative view of the doctrines of the various Christian denominations on that subject, which, more than any other, engages the attention of the theological world at present. We have given a literal version, but have disentangled the sentences, and broken them up into parts of moderate length. We have thrown the illustrations into the text, instead of ranging them below it, as in the original.
“Sincere believers of the truth revealed in Christ for man’s salvation have no reason to be ashamed of Luther, whom God sent to bring again to His people the precious truth in Jesus and whose heroic contention for the faith once delivered to the saints led to the establishment of the Church of the Augsburg Confession, now generally called the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
“The object had in view in the preparation of the book was not to make a contribution to theological science, but rather to serve the people by helping them to understand the faith and character of the Evangelical Lutheran Church… The whole purpose of the book is practical.
“In exhibiting the earliest and purest views of our church on the divine obligation of the Christian Sabbath, we propose to present first of all, the views of Luther and Melanchthon…”
A giant of the faith, Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823-1883) is one of the most prominent American Lutheran scholars, perhaps best known for his masterful and essential volume, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology As Represented in the Augsburg Confession and in the History and Literature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
“All evidence that Rome has presented for her Petrine claim is here considered, and the views of the leading scholars of different nations, with respect to the life and labors of the Chief of the Apostles, together with other matters cognate to the subject.” — From the Preface
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“The following translation of a manuscript letter of the venerable Patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, will constitute an acceptable addition to the valuable biographies which precede it. Its historic is not its only interest. Exhibiting the spirit in which the Fathers of our church labored, it furnishes useful lessons to the sons. O si sic omnes! [If only in this way all!]”
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“The book presents Christian doctrine and Christian character, as both are drawn from the words of the Bible. It sums up the Biblical teachings concerning divine truth and human life, and presents the principles of the Christian religion both for the guidance of faith and intellect and for the formation of character…
“Throughout the work the aim has been to draw the teachings of the Bible directly from the sacred record itself.
Nicholas Hunnius (1585-1643), a man of great learning, studied at Wittenberg and began to teach philosophy and theology in 1609. Elector John George I. of Saxony appointed him, in 1612, superintendent of Eilenburg, where he won the respect of his superiors and the affection of his congregation. He succeeded Leonhard Hutter, at Wittenberg, as professor of theology. In 1623 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church at Lübeck; the following year he became superintendent.
This book of brief and simple sermons are the result of a lifetime of study, thought and experience by a faithful pastor and teacher.
“The title expresses the chief purpose of the book — to follow ‘In the Redeemer’s Footsteps.’ Christ is the Redeemer; by His active and passive obedience He ransomed us from the just consequences of our sins. Therefore it has been the author’s purpose to show the vital connection of each gospel lesson with God’s great and holy plan of saving grace.
“The expositions of Daniel and Revelation in this Book are for the most part blendings of the eight great Historicist Expositors of the 19th and 20th Centuries, viz: Bickersteth, Elliott, Barnes, Prof. T. R. Birks, M.A., A. J. Gordon, D.D., Bishop Wordsworth, Rev. Dr. H. Grattan Guinness; and the Rev. E. H. Horne, M.A., of the Twentieth Century.”
On This Page Book Contents Publication Information Level of Difficulty: Intermediate: Some subject matter knowledge helpful.