“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. It was properly regarded as the first book of devotion in the protestant church, and soon established for itself the character of a masterpiece of unperishable value.
“The practical writings of Luther, Bugenhagen, Lorenz and Sarcenes were mostly written in Latin, and were limited to ministers or professors; hence the people had no devotional book, properly so called, until the publication of the first book of Arndt on true Christianity. It was not long before its fame was spread throughout all Europe, and to this day it is accomplishing its work of blessing and mercy in undiminished vigor. In all European circles of pious Christians, it continues to be the chief devotional book. It has led millions to a knowledge of the truth; a countless number of the ungodly to repentance; thousands of lukewarm believers to Christian activity, and afforded comfort and refreshment to a host of the weary and heavy laden. Without hesitation, next to the Bible, no book can be more properly recommended to those seeking edification, than Arndt’s True Christianity.”
Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.
John Gottlieb Morris (1803-1895) attended Princeton and Dickinson Colleges, and Princeton Theological Seminary and was a member of the first class of the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg. Dr. Morris founded the Lutheran Observer and was president of both the Maryland and General Synods. Morris was a frequent lecturer before the Smithsonian Institution and author of the Catalogue of the Described Lepidoptera of North America (1860), among other scientific and religious publications. He and his nephew founded the Lutheran Historical Society. [Source: William and Mary Special Collections Database.]