Musculus, Wolfgang

, a celebrated German divine and reformer, was the son of a cooper, and born at Dieuze, upon Lorrain Sept. 8, 1497. His father being unable to furnish him with education, Musculus was obliged to provide for his own subsistence, as was the case with poor scholars at that time, by singing from door to door; and his talents having attracted the notice of a convent of Benedictines, they offered him the habit of their order, | which he accepted, applied himself to study, and became a good preacher. He embraced Luther’s principles, and so strenuously supported them upon all occasions, as to induce many of his brethren to forsake the order. When this, as may be expected, raised him enemies, he made an open profession of Lutheranism, fled to Strasburgin i 527, and the same year married. Having now no provision whatever, he was reduced to the necessity of sending his wife to service in a clergyman’s family, and of binding himself apprentice to a weaver, who dismissed him in two months for discovering part of that zeal which had already induced him to make so many sacrifices. He then resolved to earn his bread by working at the fortifications of Strasburg; but, the evening before he was to begin this drudgery, he was informed that the magistrates had appointed him to preach every Sunday in the village of Dorlisheim. Having complied with this offer, he lodged during the rest of the week at Strasburg with Martin Bucer, and increased

his poor pittance by transcribing the works of that reformer for the press. Some months after, when this resource failed, he was obliged to reside at Dorlisheim, where he continued to suffer the rigours of poverty with great constancy. His only moveable was the little bed he brought from the convent; which, however, was soon occupied by his wife, who was ready to lie-in. At this t me he lay on the ground upon a little straw, and must have perished through want, if the magistrates of Strasburg had not at length assigned him a sum out of the public treasury. He was then invited again to Strasburg, as officiating deacon in the principal church, and, after he had acquitted himself in this character for about two years, he went to preach at Augsburg in 1531. Here, after sustaining many controversies with the papists, he by degrees prevailed upon the magistrates to banish popery entirely, which was finally accomplished in 1537. Musculus served the church of Augsburg till 1548; when Charles V. having entered the city, and re-established popery in the church of Notre Dame, he found it necessary for his safety to retire to Switzerland, his wife and children following soon after; and was invited by the magistrates of Bern in 1549 to the professorship of divinity. Here he was so successful in his ministry and teaching, and so kindly treated, that he never would accept of any other situation, though several were offered him elsewhere, He died at Bern, Aug. 30, 1563. | His talents occasioned him to be employed in some very important ecclesiastical concerns: he was deputed by the senate of Augsburg m 1536, to the synod at Eynach, for the re- union of the protestants upon the doctrine of the supper he was deputed to assist a*the conferences which were held between the protestant and Roman catholic divines, during the diet of Worms, and that of Ratisbon, in 1540 and 1541 he was one of the secretaries of the conference at Ratisbon, between Melancthon and Eccius, and drew up the acts of it: and he was sent to the inhabitants of Donawert, who embraced the reformation in 1544, to promote that design.

He was a man of great application and deep learning, and a considerable master of the Greek and Hebrew languages, although he was at the least thirty-two when he began to study the latter, and forty when he first applied to the former. He published several books, the first of which were translations from the Greek into Latin, particularly the “Comment of St. Chrysostom upon St. Paul’s Epistles to theRomans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians,“printed at Basil in 1536 the second volume of the” Works of St. Basilthe” Scholia of -the same father upon the Psalms;“several” Treatises of St. Athanasius and St. Cyril;“and the” Ecclesiastical History of Eusehius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Evagrius, and Polybius.“He published” Comments upon some parts of both the Old and New Testament;“and father Simon says, that” he was acquainted with the true way of explaining the Scriptures, but had not all the necessary accomplishments to enable him to succeed perfectly in it, because he was not sufficiently exercised in the study of the languages and of critical learning. However,“he adds,” Musculus examines the ancient Greek and Latin translations without prejudice; and he has shewn well enough, that the points which are now printed in the Hebrew text, were not used at the time of the Septuagint and St Jerome.“He was the author of some original works, both in Latin and German, particularly his” Loci Communes,“or” Common Places," which, with other tracts by him, were published in English during the reign of queen Elizabeth, along with the writings of the principal foreign reformers, and contributed not a little to strengthen, the principles of the reformation. 1


Melchior Adam. Gen. Dict. Bezas Icones, &c.