The Brethren of the Common Life, by Dr. Albert Hyma. Published by the Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.50.
This is a very interesting and worthwhile book, written by a scholar, yet accessible to every reader who is interested in church history. It describes a phase and period of church history of which we heard even in the Christian School in the old country. “The Brethren of the Common Life”, living in the latter part of the fourteenth and the first part of the fifteenth century belong to the forerunners of the Reformation. In a very interesting way Dr. Hyma pictures such men as Gerard Groote, Florentius Radewijns, Gerard Zerbolt, and John Cele. Especially Zerbolt, the best scholar of the movement, is esteemed very highly by the author.
The entire last part of the book is designed to prove that, while Thomas a Kempis is the compiler of the famous Imitatio Christi, yet not he, but Zerbolt is its real author. Of the truth of this we are not able to judge, though it must be admitted that the author offers some strong arguments in favor of his contention. Yet we cannot escape the impression that Dr. Hyma was somewhat prejudiced against Thomas a Kempis in favor of Zerbolt.