Geiler, John

, or, as by some called, Gayler Kei­Serspergius, an eminent Swiss divine, was born in 1445, at Schaffhausen, where his father was a notary, but he dying about three years afterwards, his son was adopted by a relation who lived at Keysersberg, and educated there in his infancy. He afterwards pursued his more serious studies at Fribourg and Basil. When admitted into the church he was invited to preach at Wurzburgh, where he became so celebrated for pulpit oratory, that Augsbourg, Basil, and Strasburgh contended which should persuade him to settle among them. At length he gave the preference to Strasburgh, where he resided thirty-three years, edifying the people by his discourses and his example. Here he died March 10, 1510. He is said to have been the first who proposed that the sacrament should be administered to condemned persons. He was much admired by Wimpheliugius, Beatus Rhenanus, and many of the eminent men of his time. His works, the principal of which are enumerated by Clement, as books of rare occurrence, are in German and Latin, and consist principally of “Sermons,” often surcharged with metaphors and allegories, and sometimes with facetious remarks, but in general they are learned, and serve very much to illustrate the manners of the time, which he had the courage to censure, when erroneous, before persons of the highest rank or power, with intrepid boldness. Oberlin published in 1786, a curious life of Geiler, which we have not seen; the preceding account being taken from the authorities below. 2


Melchior Adam in viVis Theeloj. Freheri Theatrum.- Dict. Brit. Clement Bibl. Curisuse.