Calixtus, George

, an eminent Lutheran divine, was born at Medelbui, in Holstein, Dec. 14, 1586. His father, who was also a minister, intended him for the same profession, and sent him to study at Helmstadt, Jena, and Giessen, and most of the protestant schools of Germany. He travelled also with Matthias Overbeck, a rich Lutheran, who resided in Holland, and conceiving a high opinion of Calixtus, became his liberal patron, as he had been to Herman Conringius and many others. After travelling also in France and England, Calixtus returned to Germany, and was appointed professor of theology at Helmstadt in 1614, and there he died, March 18, 1656, after a long theological warfare, both with his brethren and the Roman catholic, excited by his endeavours to effect a comprehension | between the Roman and the Lutheran and Calvinist churches. According to Mosheim, Calixtus was the first person that reduced theology into a regular system, and gave it a truly scientific and philosophical form. As he had imbibed the spirit of the Aristotelian school, he arranged the substance of Christianity according to the method of the Stagirite; and divided the whole science of divinity into three parts, viz. the end, the subject, and the means. He was also the first who separated the objects of faith from the duties of morality, and exhibited the latter under the form of an independent science. These innovations rendered him the object of much censure and opposition. In his attempt to reunite the several bodies of Christians, and to comprehend " the different churches in one profession of religion, he was a principal promoter of that system which was called syncretism. The controversy which was thus occasioned, subsisted long after his death; and though he seemed, in his efforts for comprehension, to give advantage to the Romish church, no one attacked its tyranny and corruption with greater vigour. Mosheim has entered largely into his system and the consequence of it, but it appears to us to be in some parts inconsistent; and experience has shewn that all plans of comprehension are impracticable, without such sacrifices as the respective parties either cannot or will not make. His writings, which are extremely numerous, on various subjects of controversy, are enumerated by Freher, but without the necessary appendages of size, dates, &c. 1


Moreri.—Mosheim’s History.—Freheri Theatrum.—Saxii Onomasticon.