197J Martin Luther      (1483-1546)

Vrsach vnd antwort. das Junckfrawen. Kloster. Götlich verlassen mügen.

Augsburg : Heinrich von Steiner 1523   $SOLD

Quarto 6 ¾x 5 ½inches. A4,B2 . Bound in 19thcentury boards.

The catalyst for this famous Luther letter was the escape of nine nuns from the cloister of Nimbschen bei Grimma at Easter in the year 1523. Luther supported this with a pamphlet giving the storyof a girl named Florentina, who had been taken into a convent at the age of six. At eleven she was forced to take the veil. When at age fourteen she told her abbess that she felt no calling for a nun’s life, the abbess told the girl that she was a nun for life and must make the best of it. Florentina tried to make her situation known to Martin Luther and later to her relatives, but each time she was caught and punished with severe penances. Eventually she was condemned to lifelong imprisonment in a cell. Later she escaped, and Luther published her story saying that he could tell many others like it.

To leave the cloistered life at that time was a capital offense. In 1522 twelve nuns were smuggled out of a convent in empty beer barrels. They were taken to Wittenberg, and Luther found husbands for eleven of them. When no husband could be found for the twelfth nun, Luther married her himself. The bride’s name was Catherine von Bora.

Luther names the nine, which include a sister of the Catholic theologian Johann von Staupitz (c. 1460–1524), Luther’s father confessor, and Katharina von Bora (1499–1552), who was to become Luther’s wife in 1525.


VD16 L 6882; Benzing. Lutherbibliographie; 1989, 1565; |B|Luther: WA T,; 11, 389; Druck E; |B|Kratzsch: Verzeichnis der Lutherdrucke, Nr.; 453; Kuzynski 3299.

171J Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)

Qvo pacto ingenvi adolescentes forma[n]di sint, praeceptiones pauculae, Huldricho Zuinglio autore.

IMG_1055Basileae : Apud Joannem Bebelium,1523                    $SOLD

Octavo 6 x 4 inches.[12] f. ; 8° A8, B4. The very rare, First Edition, bound in manuscript vellum with a long tie.

This Book has been referred to by W. Boyd in his History of western Education 1964, as :
“ The first book to be written on education from a Protestant point of: view”
“Whereas critics deem it a loose collection of personal observations about raising teenagers, the treatise in fact contains a clear summary of the biblical principles supporting Christian education. More precisely, it is one of the first treatises to discuss nurture of the young from an explicitly Reformed point of view. And “On the Education of the Youth” makes an eloquent case for the role of education in developing the moral as well as intellectual qualities of the young. Zwingli makes observations about the basis of IMG_1060Reformed instruction, the formation of an upright moral character, and the service to others that should result from proper nurture.” … Zwingli states that the object of learning is the universe and all that it contains. As the created order, the universe is subservient to the Creator. When we study the elements that make up the universe, “we learn that all these things are changing and destructible, but that he who conjoined them … is necessarily unchanging and immutable (104).” Thus the very things studied by humans reveal that there is someone superior to them and their learning, namely God. As human creatures fashioned by the eternal, omnipotent God, mortals should be humbled rather than exalted in their learning. In studying things brought into existence by the word of God, we are “taught that all things are ordained by the providence of God (104).” Wisdom is not to be sought in human philosophies, for they are as mortal and fallible as the people who conceive them. Rather, since all the objects of human enquiry are in the hands of God, “if we desire wisdom or learning, we are taught to ask it of Him alone (105)” and to seek it in His infallible Word. (Huldrych Zwingli on Reformed Instruction – Dr. R. Faber
Taken With permission from Clarion Vol. 48, No. 1 (1999)

Zwingli was during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly center of Renaissance humanism. He continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and later in Einsiedeln, where he was influenced by the writings of Erasmus.

In 1519, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zürich where he began to preach ideas on reform of the Catholic Church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass. Zwingli also clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution. Historians have debated whether or not he turned Zürich into a theocracy.

The Reformation spread to other parts of the Swiss Confederation, but several cantons resisted, preferring to remain Catholic. Zwingli formed an alliance of Reformed cantonsIMG_1061 which divided the Confederation along religious lines. In 1529, a war between the two sides was averted at the last moment. Meanwhile, Zwingli’s ideas came to the attention of Martin Luther and other reformers. They met at the Marburg Colloquy and although they agreed on many points of doctrine, they could not reach an accord on the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In 1531 Zwingli’s alliance applied an unsuccessful food blockade on the Catholic cantons. The cantons responded with an attack at a moment when Zürich was ill-prepared. Zwingli was killed in battle at the age of 47..

An English translation of this Latin treatise appears in G.W. Bromiley, ed., Library of Christian Classics Vol. 24: Zwingli and Bullinger (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1953), 102-118. Quotations derive from this edition.

VD 16, Z-855.


189J    Anonymous; attributed to George Joye (1495-1553)


Our sauiour Iesus Christ hath not ouercharged his chirche with many ceremonies.  


[At Zijrik] [i.e. Antwerp : Widow of C. Ruremond?], M.D.XLIII. in Febru. [1543]                                  $11,000


Octavo, First and only edition A-B8 C6 .   Bound in beautiful red Morocco.

IMG_1064Like Coverdale, Joye was probably also employed in the printing business as proofreader, translator, and author of religious books.

His first, now lost publication was a Primer, the first Protestant devotional book ever published in English Based on contemporary accounts, it probably contained the translation of the seven penitential psalms, “Mattens and Euensong” with the Commendations (Psalm 119). The book was criticized by Thomas More for omitting the Litany of the Saints, the hymns and anthems to the Blessed Virgin, and the Dirge.

After the publication of his Primer, containing perhaps as many as thirty psalms, Joye set out to translate the rest of the Book of Psalms, which appeared in 1530. Joye used Martin Bucer‘s recent Latin translation of the Hebrew text, which was published under the pseudonym Aretius Felinus. In the same year Joye produced a revised version of his earlier primer with the title Ortolus animae. The garden of the soule.

In 1531, Joye’s translation of the Book of Isaiah appeared, which seems to have been intended as a twin volume to Tyndale‘s translation of the Book of Jonah. In 1531 Joye also published a defence countering the charges of heresy put against him by Ashwell in 1527.

By 1532 he married. Butterworth and Chester suggest that Joye published the translations of the Book of Proverbs and of Ecclesiastes in 1533 in Antwerp, of which only later London reprints have survived It is now also believed that Joye is the author of an anonymously published treatise entitled The Souper of the Lorde, which was earlier attributed to Tyndale. In this Joye described his position on the Eucharist, based on that of Zwingli.

Joye’s translation of the Book of Jeremiah, of Lamentations, and a new translation of the Psalter followed (this time from the Latin Psalter of Zwingli, whose Latin commentaries and translations had also served as source texts for Joye’s translations of the other books of the Old Testament). All these translations were the first of these books ever printed in English.

In 1534 Joye undertook the proofreading of Tyndale‘s New Testament edition that had been reprinted three times without any English-speaking corrector by the Flemish printing firm of the family Van Ruremund. Joye, however, not only corrected the typographical errors, but he also changed the term “resurreccion” as found in Tyndale’s text by expressions such as “the lyfe after this” in some twenty occurrences of the word. Joye believed, as he later explained, that the original term in the Bible in those places did not refer to the bodily resurrection but to the intermediate stateof the soul At the same time, Joye retained Tyndale’s original formulation at the some 150 other IMG_1067occurrences of the word, where he agreed with Tyndale that the term did refer to the bodily resurrection. Tyndale reacted by bringing out his own revised version of his New Testament in November 1534, in which he inserted a second foreword attacking Joye and his editorial work. Tyndale accused Joye of promoting the heresy of the denial of the bodily resurrection and causing divisions among Protestants. After an inconclusive attempt to reconcile the parties, Joye published an apology to refute Tyndale’s accusations in February 1535.

STC (2nd ed.), 14556 Copies  N.America

Folger ,Pierpont Morgan  , University of Illinois

Much of this information is from “Charles C. BUTTERWORTH, & Allan G. CHESTER, George Joye (1495?–1553). A Chapter in the History of the English Bible and the English Reformation, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962” and Graham Hardy’s Wiki page on Joye.

187J      Martin  Luther(1483-1546

Ein Brieff D.M. Luther Wider die Sabbather : an einen guten Freund.



Wittemberg , 1538                    $6,000

[Nickel Schirlenz]
Quarto, 6 ¾x 5 inches A4-D4. This copy is bound in limp manscript vellum wrapper. From a 14th century Breviarium, forming a semi wallet.

This treatise was published by Luther in the form of an open letter. This is a responce to Luthers friend Graff Wolfgang Schlick. This Anti-Jewish polemic was to refute those who argued that Christians ought to observe practices of God’s covenant with Israel (the Old Testament, or Judaism) that Christians historically either had set aside or had changed with the coming of Christ, but which the Jewish people had continued to practice. One of these Old Testament practices, to observe the Sabbath on Saturday (rather than on Sunday, as Christians had done historically), gave rise to the name that Luther uses for his opponents: “the Sabbatarians.” In Part One of the work, Luther argues that God’s covenant with Israel, also called the Law of Moses, is not in force for
Christians. Yet he goes on below to say that those parts of the Ten Commandments that are based on the universal moral law remain in force for everyone because that law preceded the Law of Moses.

Benzing 2394