Crellius, John

, a once celebrated writer of the Sociriian persuasion, was born in Franconia in 1590, and after some early education received from his father, studied at Nuremberg, and other German schools or universities. He was brought up in the Lutheran church, but in the course of his reading, having formed to himself a set of opinions nearly coinciding with those of Socinus, he declined the offers of promotion in the Lutheran church, where he probably would not have been favourably received, and determined to go to Poland, where such opinions as his were no bar to advancement. In 1612 he went to Racow, and besides becoming a preacher, was appointed Greek professor and afterwards rector of the university. His theological works form a considerable part of the works’ of the “Fratres Poloni,” and he engaged in a controversy with Grotius, who had written against Socinus, and a correspondence, of great politeness, took place between them, which made Grotius be suspected of inclining too much to the opinions of his antagonist. He certainly carried his politeness very far, when he told Crellius that | he was, grieved to see so much enmity between those, who call themselves Christians, for such trifling matters,” these matters being no less than the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity and atonement of Jesus Christ. Crellius, we are told, like many of his descendants, would not be called a Socinian, but an Artemonite, after Artemon, who lived in the reign of the emperor Severus, and denied the pre-existence and divinity of Christ. Crellius’ opinions on other subjects will not probably procure him much respect, at least from one sex. In his “Ethics,” he is said to maintain that it is lawful for men upon certain occasions to beat their wives! Crellius died at Racow, of an epidemic fever, 1633. Father Simon’s opinion of him may be quoted as generic. “Crellius is a grammarian, a philosopher, and a divine throughout. He has a wonderful address in adapting St. Paul’s words to his own prejudices. He supports the doctrines of his sect with so much subtlety, that he does not seem to say any thing of himself, but to make the scriptures speak for him, even where they are most against him.1


Life in Bibl. Pat. Polonorum. —Moreri. Bnrigny’s Life of Grotiu. —Saxii Onomast. Simon’s Hist. Crit, des principaux Commentateurs du Neuv. Test,