Friday, August 21, 2009

Mrs. Wright's Martin Luther

Over a century ago, a lady named Mrs. Julia McNair Wright published two sets of short children's biographies known as the True Story Library (this particular set was originally published in 1870). Now Master Poole Publishing is making one of those sets available again to 21st century readers. The first volume to be republished is Martin Luther, the story of the great reformer retold for young people.

As with each of these books, the story of a hero or heroine of faith is told simply and plainly with encouraging words directed to young readers. Two illustrations are included in each volume. The stories in this set include the following: 1. George Wishart; 2. John Knox; 3. Martin Luther; 4. Queen Margaret; 5. John Calvin; 6. William Farel; 7. Renee of Ferrara; 8. William Tyndale; 9. Richard Baxter; 10. John Huss; 11. Philip Melanchthon; and 12. Admiral Coligni.

Martin Luther's story is told with special emphasis on his childhood and youth, through his conversion, ministry and Reformation of the church, all the way to his last words on his deathbed.

The words written by Mrs. Wright certainly apply today as much as they did in the 19th century: "The world and the Church need a good shaking just now to wake them up to the work of the Lord, and where is the Luther strong in Jesus to do it? He may be some boy reading this book. God knows" (p. 14).

Truly, Martin Luther and the rest of this series will edify both young and old alike. My own children enjoyed reading and discussing Martin Luther's life as told by Mrs. Wright. It is a great family exercise to read these stories aloud. There is something for everyone in these precious Christian biographies that will reward all who read.

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