Amsdorf, Nicholas

, an associate of Luther in the reformation, was born in 1483, near Wurtzen in Misnia, of a noble family. After studying divinity, he became one of the clergy of Wittemberg, and preached also at Magdeburgh and Naumburgh. In 1527, he accompanied Luther, to whose doctrines he was zealously attached, to the diet of Worms, and on his return, was in the same carriage with that reformer, when he was seized by order f the elector of Saxony, and conducted to Wartburgh. In 1573, he concurred in drawing up the articles of Smalcalde, and was, in 1542, appointed bishop of Naumburgh by the elector John Frederick, who disapproved of the choice which the chapter had made of Julius de Pflug. But, five years after, when his patron was taken prisoner by Charles V. he was obliged to surrender the bishopric to Pflug, and retire to Magdeburgh. He afterwards assisted in founding the university of Jena, which was intended as a rival to that of Wirtemberg, and died at Eisenach, May 14, 1565. The principal thing objected to him by the popish writers, and by some of his biographers, is, that in a dispute with G. Major, he maintained that good works were hurtful to salvation: but however improper this expression in the heat of debate, it is evident from his writings, that he meant that good works impeded salvation by being relied on as the cause of it, and that they were the fruit and effect of that faith to which pardon is promised. He was one of the boldest in his time in asserting the impiety and absurdity of the principal popish doctrines, but from his bigotted adherence to Lutheran principles, had too little respect for the other reformers who were of different sentiments in some points. Moreri is wrong in asserting that he formed a sect called by his name. Thesame principles were held by many of the Lutheran | divinos. He wrote on the “Lord’s Supper,” and some other controversial pieces enumerated by JVlelchior Adam, Joecher, and Adelung. 1


Melchior Adam. Biog. Universelle. -Fuller’s Abel Redivirus. —Moreri. gaxii Onomasticon.