He took up the task with the greatest zeal, although Berengar had been his personal friend; he was the protagonist of orthodoxy at the councils of Vercelli (1050), Tours (1054) and Rome (1059).
Though still comparatively young, Gerhard had already come to be regarded as the greatest living theologian of Protestant Germany; in the numerous "disputations" of the period he was always protagonist, while on all public and domestic questions touching on religion or morals his advice was widely sought.
It was perhaps the most wanton of all Mary's acts of persecution; Ferrar had been no such protagonist of the Reformation as Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper and Latimer; he had had nothing to do with Northumberland's or Wyatt's conspiracy.
The Czechs came under the sceptre of the Habsburgs after the battle with the Turks at Mohacs (1526), through an inheritance treaty confirmed by the vote of their Estates; an unsuccessful rebellion which they made in 1621 against the ruling house as protagonist of the counter-Reformation, brought them under the power of a ruthless conqueror, who wished to crush both their faith and their national independence.
Until the end of his life he remained a protagonist in theological controversy and a keen fighter against latitudinarianism and liberalism; but the sharpest religious or political differences never broke his personal friendships and his Christian charity.