The volume was put together from his lectures on the Catechism in Neustadt, Germany—lectures which he edited and prepared for publication, although the final publication was completed in 1584, posthumously. This version contains an introduction from the translator, a general prolegomena with reference to the catechism of the Christian religion, and a special prolegomena with reference to the catechism.
“The substance of our comfort therefore is briefly this:—That we are Christ’s, and through him reconciled to the Father, that we may be beloved of him and saved, the Holy Ghost and eternal life being given unto us.” (Page 19)
“The question of comfort is placed, and treated first, because it embodies the design and substance of the catechism. The design is, that we may be led to the attainment of sure and solid comfort, both in life and death. On this account, all divine truth has been revealed by God, and is especially to be studied by us. The substance of this comfort consists in this that we are ingrafted into Christ by faith, that through him we are reconciled to, and beloved of God, that thus he may care for and save us eternally.” (Page 17)
“But providence is the eternal, most free, immutable, wise, just and good counsel of God, according to which he effects all good things in his creatures; permits also evil things to be done, and directs all, both good and evil, to his own glory and the salvation of his people.” (Page 151)
“3. It is employed to signify the most extreme distress and anguish.” (Page 228)
“Faith, in general, of whatever kind mention is made in the Holy Scriptures, is an assent to, or a certain knowledge of what is revealed concerning God, his will, works, and grace, in which we confide upon divine testimony. Or, it is to yield assent to every word of God delivered to the church, in the law and gospel, on account of the declaration of God himself.” (Page 108)
Zacharias Ursinus (1534–1583) was born Zacharias Baer in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). Like all young scholars of his era, he gave himself a Latin name; he chose Ursus, meaning bear. He is best known as a professor of theology at the University of Heidelberg and the coauthor, with Caspar Olevianus, of the Heidelberg Catechism, included in Historic Creeds and Confessions.
When Ursinus traveled to Wittenberg to study, he met Philip Melanchthon, colleague and close friend of the late Martin Luther . Eventually Melanchthon befriended and tutored the young Ursinus. Parting ways after many years, Ursinus traveled for a year throughout Europe visiting the Protestant centers of learning in Germany, France, and Switzerland. He read the Hebrew lectures of Jean Mercier in Paris, sat at the feet of Bullinger in Zurich, and talked with Calvin in Geneva, who presented him with a gift of a complete, signed set of Calvin's works.
Finally on March 6, 1583, at the age of 49, he died in Neustadt, Germany, leaving behind his wife and child.