Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536AD)

Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam

Engraved by H. Robinson from the drawing at Windsor

Dutch Renaissance Humanist and Biblical Scholar

DESIDERIUS ERASMUS was eighteen years older than Luther, and stood at the height of his fame when the reformer began his work. He differed from him as Jerome differed from Augustine, or Eusebius from Athanasius. Erasmus was essentially a scholar, Luther a reformer; the one was absorbed in literature, the other in religion. Erasmus aimed at illumination, Luther at reconstruction; the former reached the intellect of the educated, the latter touched the heart of the people. Erasmus labored for freedom of thought, Luther for freedom of conscience. Both had been monks, Erasmus against his will, Luther by free choice and from pious motives; and both hated and opposed monkery, but the former for its ignorance and bigotry, the latter for its self-righteousness and obstruction of the true way to justification and peace. Erasmus followed maxims of worldly wisdom; Luther, sacred principles and convictions. The one was willing, as he confessed, to sacrifice “a part of the truth for the peace of the church,” and his personal comfort; the other was ready to die for the gospel at any moment. Erasmus was a trimmer and timeserver, Luther every inch a moral hero. [from Philip Schaff's “History of the Christian Church”]

1. Times of Erasmus and Luther. Lecture 1 (79k) by J. A. Froude M.A.(1867) zip (27k)

2. Times of Erasmus and Luther. Lecture 2 (83k) by J. A. Froude M.A.(1867) zip (28k)

3. Times of Erasmus and Luther. Lecture 3 (75k) by J. A. Froude M.A.(1867) zip (28k)

4. Erasmus of Rotterdam. (39k) by Rev. Ernest G. Rupp. (1971) zip (13k)

5. Erasmus. (111k) by Philip Schaff D.D. (1888) zip (35k)

6. On Erasmus. (38k) by Merle D'Aubigne D.D. (1856AD edition) zip (16k)