If Wittenberg was from the first the principal centre of the Reformation in Germany it was not long before Strassburg, the imperial free city on the upper Rhine, became an important tributary source, starting with the pioneer work of Jakob Sturm, a local magistrate, and Matthaus Zell (1477-1548), a priest at the cathedral, who in 1521 began preaching evangelical doctrine in a side chapel there, followed by the appearance some two years later (May 1523) of Wolfgang Fabricius Capito, formerly chancellor to the archbishop of Mainz and a professor in the university of Basel, versed in law, medicine and theology as well as a noted Hebraist and friend and collaborator of Erasmus, 1 and then, a month later, of a man at the time but little known, Martin Bucer (1491-1551), previously a Dominican friar at Heidelberg but now a warm admirer of Luther. A little later these were joined by Kaspar Hedio (1494-1552), a scholar and theologian from Mainz, and by Francois Lambert, subsequently leader of the .reform in Hesse, whither he was called by the Landgrave Philip. Of this group of adherents of the 'new learning' Bucer was to become easily the most prominent and influential, a man whose concern for the unity of the church was certainly no less than Melanchthon's, and whose mediatorial activities in this respect we have already had occasion to mention. Indeed after the death of Zwingli Bucer's personal abilities marked him out as the most effective leader of the reformed churches of Switzerland and south Germany, tireless in his efforts to secure not only Protestant cohesion but, as the successive conferences at Hagenau (1540), Worms (1540) and Ratisbon (1541) prove, to bring about accord between Protestants of both Lutheran and Zwinglian complexion and the best representatives of the old religion. To promote religious peace he showed himself ready to enter into discussion with anybody, whatever his views or his learning or his status. In fact he was a genuine ecumenist, for whom the cause of truth was never well served by the spirit of mere dissidence. Towards the end of his life he was to playa not insignificant part in the English Reformation during the reign of the young king Edward VI, particularly with his interesting treatise De regno Christi; but of this more will be said in the appropriate place." At present

we shall confine ourselves to the earlier phases of his work as a reformer, having especially in view his humanist aptitude and his influence upon Calvin, to whose extraordinary career Bucer's own provides a suitable introduction.'