Andreas, John Valentine

, grandson, or according to Saxius, nephew, to the preceding, was born at Herrenberg, in the duchy of Wirtemberg, in 1586. After studying at Tubingen, and travelling in France and Italy, he was promoted to several ecclesiastical offices in his own country, and at the time of his death in 1654, was abbé of Adelberg, and Lutheran almoner to the duke of Wirtemberg. Being much concerned to see the principles of the Christian religion employed only in idle disputes, and the sciences subservient only to the pride of curiosity, he passed much of his life in contriving the means by which both should be rendered of more practical utility to mankind. In particular, he employed the influence he had with his sovereign and with the duke of Brunswic-Wolfenbuttel, in procuring a reformation of the state of public instruction in their dominions. The propensity to mysticism in all these patriotic efforts, his extensive knowledge, and his more extensive correspondence, and the frequent mysterious allusions, capable of many senses, which occur in his works, have occasioned an opinjon that he was in reality the founder of the famous order of the Rosicrucians. The late M. Herder has discussed this question in the German museum for 1779, and determines against Andreas; but two learned Germans, M. Chr. G. de Murr (in his history of the origin of the Rosicrucians, printed at Sulzbach, 1803, 8vo), | and M. J. G. Buhle (in a dissertation read in 1803 before the Royal Society of Gottingen, on the same subject, and published in 1804, in German), are of opinion, that if Andreas was not the founder, he at least gave that new organization to the Rosicrucians which identified them with the free-masons, in whose societies the memory of Andreas is still held in veneration. And if we find no proofs of the fact in the life which he left of himself, and which Seybold published in 1799, in the second volume of his Autobiography, it must on the other hand be confessed, that in the works which he published in his life-time, he is perpetually reasoning on the necessity of forming a society solely devoted to the regeneration of knowledge and manners/ The question, however, is not yet absolutely determined, nor, except in Germany, will it perhaps appear a matter of much consequence. There is nothing in the history of the Rosicrucians to excite much respect for its founder, or for those who fancied they improved upon it by the late more mischievous society of the Illuminati.

The works of Andreas are said to amount to a hundred, the titles of part of which are given by Adelung, and the whole by M. Burk, pastor of Weiltingen, and printed in a pamphlet at Tubingen, in 1793, 8vo. Some of the principal are, 1. “De Christiani Cosmoxeni genitura judicium,” Montbelliard, 1612, 12mo, a satire on astrology, 2. “Collectaneorum mathematicorum decades XL” Tubingen, 1614, 4to. 3. “Invitatio ad fraternitatem Christi,1617, part II. 1618, 12mo. 4. “Rosa fiorescens, contra Menapii calumnias,1617, 8vo. This defence of the Rosicrucians is signed Florentinus de Valentia, a name some-' times given to Andreas, as well as that of Andreas de Valentia, but it is not quite certain that he was the author (See Walch’s Bibl. Theol.). 5. “Menippus: Dialogorum Satyricorum centuria inanitum nostratium speculum,” Helicone juxta Parnassum, 1617, 12mo. It is in this work that Andreas is said to display a mind superior to the age in which he lived, by pointing out the numerous defects which prevent religion and literature from being so useful as they might under a better organization. 6. “Civis Christianas, sive Peregrini quondam errantis restitutiones,” Strasburgb, 1619, 8vo. 7. “My thologiae Christiana?, sive virtutum et vitiorum vitae humanae imaginum, libri tres,” Strasburgh, 1619, 12mo. 8. “Republican Christiano-politanae descriptio; Turris Babel; Judiciorum de fraternitate | Rosacece Crucis chaos; Christiana societatis idea;” published together at Strasburgh, 1619, 12mo. They contain very evident proofs of his design to establish a secret society. It is impossible not to perceive that he is always aiming at something of the kind, and this, with some other works attributed to him, seem to confirm the opinion of Messrs. Buhle and Murr. Some also appeal to his frequent travels, as having no other object. Whatever may be in this, Andreas is allowed a very high rank among the writers of German. At a time when that language had received very little cultivation, when most learned men wrote in Latin, and when the idiom of the country was only to be heard in familiar conversation, he gave his verses, for he was likewise a poet, a particular ease and grace. They are not perhaps remarkable for elegance, correctness, or harmony, but they frequently discover a poetical fancy, and a very happy use of the dialect of Suabia. 1

1 Biog. Universelle. —Saxii Onomasticon.