Bugenhagius, John

, one of the German reformers, sometimes, from his native country, called Pomeranus, was born at Julin, or Wollin, near Stetin, in Pomerania, June 24, 1485, and his parents being of some rank in the state were enabled to give him a very liberal education. He was sent early to the university of Grypswald, where he employed his time so assiduously in classical learning, that, at the age of twenty, he taught school at Treptow, and raised that school to a very high degree of reputation. The first impressions he | appears to have received of the necessity of a reformation was from a tract of Erasmus: this induced him to look with more attention into the sacred volume, and he proceeded to instruct others by lecturing in his school on various parts of the Old and New Testament. As a preacher he likewise became very popular, and chiefly on account of his learning, in which he exceeded many of his contemporaries. His knowledge extending also to history and antiquities, prince Bogislaus engaged him to write a “History of Pomerania,” furnishing him with money, books, and records, and this was completed in two years, but it was long unpublished, the prince reserving it in manuscript, for the use of himself and his court. It appeared at last in 1727, 4to. He was still, however, attached to the religious principles in which he had been brought up, until in 1521 Luther’s treatise on the Babylonish captivity was published. Even when he began first to read this, he declared the author to be “the most pestilent heretic that ever infested the church of Christ;” but after a more attentive perusal, he candidly recanted this unfavourable opinion, in the following strong terms, “The whole world is blind, and this man alone sees the truth.” It is probable that he had communicated this discovery to his brethren, for we find that the abbot, two aged pastors of the church, and some other of the friars, began to be convinced of the errors of popery about the same time. Bugenhagius now avowed the principles of the reformation sa openly, that he found it necessary to leave Treptow, and being desirous of an interview with Luther, went to Wittemberg, where he was chosen pastor of the reformed ^church. Here he constantly taught the doctrines of the reformation, both by preaching and writing, for thirty-six years. He always opposed the violent and seditious practices of Carlostadt, and lived on the most friendly terms with Luther and Melancthon. At first he thought Luther had been too.violent in his answer to Henry VIII. of England, but he changed his opinion, and declared that the author had treated that monarch with too much lenity.

His. public services were not confined to Wittemberg. In 1522, he was requested to go to Hamburgh, to draw up for them certain doctrinal articles, the mode of church government, &c. and he also erected a school in the monastery of St. John. In 1530 he performed the same services for the reformed church of Lubeck. In 1537, he was | solicited by Christian king of Denmark to assist his majesty in promoting the reformation, and erecting schools in his donrU nions. All this he appears to have performed on an extensive scale, for his biographers inform us that besides new modelling the church of Denmark, and substituting superintendants for bishops, he appointed ministers in the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, to the number of twentyfour thousand. He assisted likewise in 1542, in the advancement of the reformation in the dukedom of Brunswick and other places. At length, after a life devoted to these objects, he died April 20, 1558. He wrote a “Commentary on the Psalms;” annotations on St. Paul’s Epistles; a harmony of the Gospels, &c. and assisted Luther in translating the bible into German. He used to keep the day on which it was finished as a festival, calling it the “Feast of the translation.” His own works were principally written in Latin. 1


Melchior Adam. Fi’eheri Tbeatrum.M liner’s Ch. Hist, vol. V. App. p. 8. —Saxii Onomasticon.