Chemnitz, Martin

, an eminent Lutheran divine, and one of the reformers in Germany, was born at Britzen, a town in the marquisate of Brandenburg, in 1522. His father was a poor wool-comber, who found it difficult to give him much education, but his son’s industry supplied the want in a great measure. After having learned the rudiments of literature in a school near home, he went to Magdeburg, where he made some progress in arts and languages. Then he removed to Francfort upon the Oder, to cultivate philosophy under his relation George Sabinus; and to Wittenburg, where he studied under Philip Melancthon. Afterwards he became a school-master in Prussia; and, in 1552, was made librarian to the prince. He now devoted himself wholly to the study of divinity, though he was a considerable mathematician, and skilled particularly in astronomy. After he had continued in the court of Prussia three years, he returned to the university of Wittemberg, and lived in friendship with Melancthon, who employed him in reading the com-mon-places. From thence he removed to Brunswick, where he spent the last thirty years of his life as pastor, and commenced D. D. at Rostock. He died April 8, 1586. His principal works are, 1. “Harmonia Evangeliorum,” Francfort, 1583 and 1622, Geneva, 1623, 4to. 2. “Examen Concilii Tridentini.” 3. “A treatise against the Jesuits,” wherein he explained | to the Germans the doctrines and policy of those crafty devisers, &c. His “Examination of the Council of Trent” has always been reckoned a very masterly performance, and was translated and published in English, 1582, 4to.

Chemnitz, according to Thuanus and many others, was a man of great parts, learning, judgment, and of equal modesty; and was very much esteemed by the princes of his own communion, who often made use of him in the public affairs of the church. Some protestant writers have not scrupled to rank him next to even Luther himself, for the services he did in promoting the reformation, and exposing the errors of the church of Rome. Blount has an ample collection of these encomiums. His son of the same names, who was born at Brunswick Oct. 15, 1561, studied at Leipsic and Francfort, and became successively syndic of the council of Brunswick, professor of law at Rostock, chancellor and counsellor at Stettin, and lastly chancellor at Sleswick, where he died Aug. 26, 1627. He wrote several works, and among them “Historia Navigations Indiae Orientalis.1


Melchior Adam in vitis Theolog. Freheri Theatrutn. Fuller’s Abl Redivivus. —Saxii Onomast. Blount’s Ceusura. —Moreri.