Osiander, Andrew

, a divine of considerable eminence, was a native of Bavaria, and born in 1498. He studied at Wittemburg and Nureinburg, and began to preach at the latter place in 1522. He is generally numbered among the worthies who promoted the reformation and among other services of great importance, contributed very much to enlighten the mind of the celebrated Cranmer, who became acquainted with him while abroad negociating some matters for Henry VI II. The unrestrained conversation of Osiander appeared to our countryman, at first, as a kind of libertinism it sounded harshly in his ear: and he would ask,“if such an opinion were false, how could it possibly possess itself of the minds of the greatest and most learned men of all ages, through such a tract of time?” But Osiander carried him boldly still higher into antiquity. “Tell me not,” said he, “what Austin says, and Jerome; but what Peter says, and Paul. Read your Bible; and say honestly, whether such and such doctrines are not plainly repugnant to such and such passages of Scripture?” Osiander, however, in the end did not in all things adhere to his own advice, and became the cause of great disturbances in the Lutheran churches.

At the conference of Marpurg, in 1529, between Luther and the Swiss divines, and afterwards, he maintained the following doctrine, viz. that a man is justified formally, | not by the faith and apprehension of the justice of Jesus Christ, or the imputation of our Saviour’s justice, according to the opinion of Luther and Calvin; but by the essential justice of God."

This doctrine was opposed by many eminent divines; but Osiander persisted, and drew up a confession of faith, which was printed by order of the duke of Brandenburg, but highly disapproved by the Lutheran divines assembled at Augsburg. He was a studious and acute divine; but disposed to adopt novel and mystical opinions, and much disliked on account of his pride and arrogance. He shamefully treated the excellent Melancthon in his old age, who bore his insolence with a truly Christian spirit. Osiander died suddenly at Konigsberg, where he was minister and professor, in 1552. He wrote “Harmonia Evangelica” “Epistola ad Zninglium de Eucharistia;” “Dissertationes dure, de Lege et Evangelic et Justificatione;” “Liber de Imagine Dei, quid sit.” His son Luke was a Lutheran minister, and wrote an institution of the Christian religion, and other works. He died at Tubingen in 1604. And there was another Luke Osiander, who was chancellor of Tubingen, who died in 1638, and who left behind him a treatise “On the Omnipresence of Christ as Man.1


Melchior Adam.Dupin. Miluer’s Ch. Hist. Gilpin’s Life of Cranmer.