Gerhard, John

, an eminent German Lutheran divine, was born at Quedlinburgh, in Saxony, Oct. 17, 1582, where he was partly educated, but in 1599, was sent to Wittemberg, and studied philosophy and divinity under the ablest masters. In 1601, by the advice of Rauchbach, a counsellor and vice-chancellor of Saxony (for his father died in 1598) he went through a course of medical studies, but about two years after, recollecting a vow he had made during a fit of sickness, he returned again to divinity, the study of which he farther prosecuted at Jena, to which he first went as tutor to his friend llauchbach’s son. In 1603 he took his master’s degree here, and in 1604 removing with his pupil to Marpurg, he continued his theological studies, and learned Hebrew. In 1605 he returned to Jena, took his degree in philosophy, and having been ordained, was appointed by John Casimir, duke of Saxony, to a church in Franconia, and at the same time to be professor of divinity in the Casimirian college of Cobourg. In 1616. by consent of his liberal patron, he accepted the professorship of divinity at Jena, and continued in that office during the remainder of his life. He was four times chosen rector of the university, and encreased his reputation by a vast variety of publications which made him known to all the literati of Europe, many of whom, both protestants and catholics, bore testimony to his extensive learning, piety, and usefulness, both as a divine and teacher. He died of a fever, Aug. 17, 1637. His works, which are written in Latin and German, consist of treatises on various theological subjects, critical and polemical; commentaries on various books of the Old and New Testament common-places, &c. &c. One only of these, his “Meditations,” is well known in this country, having gone through many editions, and having also been translated into most European languages and into Greek. He left a | numerous family, some of whom became distinguished as divines, particularly his eldest son, John Ernest, who was born at Jena in 1621, and studied at Altdorf. He was appointed professor of philosophy at Wittemberg in 1616, and in 1652 was nominated professor of history at Jena. Like his father he devoted mucli of his time to biblical and theological learning. He died in 1688. Among his works are, “Harmonia Linguarnm Orientalium;” “Dispurationum theologicarum Fasciculus;” De F.cclesiae Copticæ Ortu, Progressu, et Doctrina." There is a very minute and curious history of this family in the work from which these particulars have been taken, with much collateral information respecting the theological writers and controversies during the life of the elder Gerhard. 1


Historia Ecclesiastica Seculi XVII. in vita Jo. Gerhardi, Leipsic, 1727, 8mo.