THE ITALIAN REFORMER: The Life and Martyrdom of Aonio Palearioand the Book "The Benefit of Christ's Death"
William M. Blackburn
AONIO PALEARIO (1500-1570) is a little known Italian Reformer and a teacher of Greek and Hebrew when he came to embrace the doctrine of Jusfificfation by faith alone in Christ alone. In addition to the exicitng life of Aonio Paleario and his friends, this edition contains his most famous book THE BENEFIT OF CHRIST'S DEATH, which he wrote to teach his fellow contrymen that "those who turn with their souls to Christ crucified, commit themselves to him by faith, acquiesce in the promises and cleave with assured faith to him who cannot deceive, are delivered from all evil, and enjoy a full pardon of all their sins." The book was soon sought for and eagerly read in all parts of Italy. Forty-thousand copies are said to have been sold in six years. Of course it attracted the attention of the Inquisition, and was speedily prohibited, and burned by the tens of thousands.
"The book of Paleario," says Jules Bonnet, "had none of the poignant irony or satirical tone of Savonarola. The author carefully abstained from all controversy, in order to make known the doctrine of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, the nature of which he explained and the fruits of which he described with the deepest feeling. 'The Benefit' is not so much a book as an outpouring of the heart."
"The Italian Reformer was burned at the stake for the teaching in this book and his riveting testimony before his persecutors rings down the centuries as a call to reformation and revival. A rare work by a rare author, now happily rediscovered for a new public." - Gordon Keddie
Vergerio, an old Italian writer quoted by the editor of the English edition of 1860, stated that "there is scarcely a book of this age, so sweet, so pious, so simple, and so well fitted to instruct the ignorant and weak, especially in the doctrine of justification."
William M. Blackburn (1828-1898) adds our indebtedness to him by this outstanding book that brings back a name nearly forgotten from the times of the Reformation. This book will stand alongside his books on Farel, Zwingli and Calvin and will once again cause his name to be known in our day as it was in the nineteenth century.
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Biographical Sketch of the Author