Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556

By Carl R. Trueman | Go to book overview

5
John Frith

EARLY WRITINGS

FRITH'S earliest works consist of two translations of Lutheran tracts. It is impossible to know which was published first, but it appears that they were both produced in 1529. Patrick's Places is a translation of a short tract by the Scottish martyr, Patrick Hamilton.1 According to Frith, the work 'entreateth exactly of certain common places, which known ye have the pith of all divinity'.2 It consists of six sections on law, gospel, faith, hope, charity, and works. His other work, The Revelation of Antichrist, was published under the pseudonym of Richard Brightwell. It consists of three sections: An Epistle unto the Christian Reader, The Revelation of Antichrist, and Antithesis Between Christ and the Pope. Only the first of these was Frith's own work. The Revelation and Antithesis are translations of Luther Concerning Antichrist ( 1521) and Melanchthon Suffering of Christ and Antichrist ( 1521). The work as a whole is an attempt to contrast the work and salvation wrought by Christ with the work and teaching of the Pope. The underlying concern in both this work and Patrick's Places is the doctrine of justification by faith.


Law and Gospel

In Patrick's Places discussion of the law precedes that of the gospel, pointing towards the Lutheran nature of the treatise.3

____________________
1
Hugh Watt argues that the form of Patrick's Places indicates that the tract is not a translation of Hamilton's original theses but a conflation of these and notes on the actual disputation. No original text has been found: see H. Watt, "Hamilton's Interpretation of Luther, with Special Reference to Patrick's Places", in Patrick Hamilton: First Scottish Martyr of the Reformation, 28-36. The text of Frith's translation is in John Knox, History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland, ed. W. C. Dickinson, 2 vols. ( London, 1949), vol. 2, 219-29.
2
Work, 76.
3
Cf. Melanchthon, Loci Communes ( 1521), OM 21. 82-227.

-121-

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Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Note on Texts xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Historical and Intellectual Context 7
  • 1 - Five Roads to Martyrdom 9
  • 2 - The Intellectual Context 1 31
  • 3 - The Intellectual Context 2 54
  • Part Two - The Reformers Under Henry VIII 81
  • 4 - William Tyndale 83
  • 5 - John Frith 121
  • 6 - Robert Barnes 156
  • Conclusion to Part Two 198
  • Part Three - The Reformers Under Edward VI and Mary 203
  • 7 - John Hooper 205
  • 8 - John Bradford 243
  • Conclusion to Part Three 289
  • Bibliography 294
  • Index 303
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