Pareus, David

, a celebrated divine of the reformed religion, was born Dec. 30, 1548, at Frankenstein in Silesia, and put to the grammar-school there, apparently | with a design to breed him to learning; but his father marrying a second time, a capricious and narrow-minded woman, she prevailed with him to place his son apprentice to an apothecary at Breslau; and afterwards changing her mind, the boy was, at her instigation, bound to a shoemaker. Some time after, however, his father resumed his first design, and his son, about the age of sixteen, was sent to the college-school of Hirchberg, in the neighbourhood of Frankenstein, to prosecute his studies under Christopher Schilling, a man of considerable learning, who was rector of the college. It was customary in those times for young students who devoted themselves to literature, to assume a classical name, instead of that of their family. Schilling was a great admirer of this custom, and easily persuaded his scholar to change his German name of Wangler for the Greek one of Pareus, from wa^ice, a cheek, which Wangler also means in German. Pareus had not lived above three months at his father’s expence, when he was enabled to provide for his own support, partly by means of a tutorship in the family, and partly by the bounty of Albertus Kindler, one of the principal men of the place. He lodged in this gentleman’s house, and wrote a poem upon the death of his eldest son, which so highly pleased the father, that he not only gave him a gratuity for it, but encouraged him to cultivate his poetical talents, prescribing him proper subjects, and rewarding him handsomely for every poem which he presented to him.

In the mean time, his master Schilling, not content with making him change his surname, made him also change his religious creed, that of the Lutheran church, with regard to the doctrine of the real presence, and effected the same change of sentiment throughout his school; but this was not at first attended with the happiest effects, as Schilling was expelled from the college, and Pareus’s father threatened to disinherit him; and it was not without the greatest difficulty, that he obtained his consent to go into the Palatinaie, notwithstanding he conciliated his father’s parsimony by assuring him that he would continue his studies there without any expence to his family. Having thus succeeded in his request, he followed his master Schilling, who had been invited by the elector Frederic III. to be principal of his new college at Amberg, and arrived there in 1566. Soon after he was | sent, with ten of his school-fellows, to Heidelberg, where Zachary Ursinus was professor of divinity, and rector of the college of Wisdom. The university was at that time in a most flourishing condition, with regard to every one of the faculties; and Pareus had consequently every advantage that could be desired, and made very great proficiency, both in the learned languages and in philosophy and divinity. He was admitted into the ministry in 1571, and in May that year sent to exercise his function in a village called Schlettenbach, where very violent contests subsisted between the Protestants and Papists. The elector palatine, his patron, had asserted his claim by main force against the bishop of Spire, who maintained, that the right of nomination to the livings in the corporation of Alfestad was vested in his chapter. The elector allowed it, but with this reserve, that since he had the right of patronage, the nominators were obliged, by the peace of Passaw, to present pastors to him whose religion he approved. By virtue of this right, he established the reformed religion in that corporation, and sent Pareus to propagate it in the province of Schlettenbach, where, however, he met with many difficulties before he could exercise his ministry in peace. Before the end of the year he was called back to teach the third class at Heidelberg, and acquitted himself so well, that in two years’ time he was promoted to the second class; but he did not hold this above six months, being made principal pastor of Hemsbach, in the diocese of Worms. Here he met with a people more ready to receive the doctrines of the Reformation than those of Schlettenbach, and who cheerfully consented to destroy the images in the church, and other remains of former superstition. A few months after his arrival he married the sister of John Stibelius, minister of Hippenheim; and the nuptials being solemnized Jan. the 5th, 1574, publicly in the church of Hemsbach, excited no little curiosity and surprize among the people, to whom the marriage of a clergyman was a new thing. They were, however, easily reconciled to the practice, when they came to know what St. Paul teaches concerning the marriage of a bishop in his epistles to Timothy and Titus. Yet such was the unhappy state of this country, rent by continual contests about religion, that no sooner was Popery, the common enemy, rooted out, than new disturbances arose, between the Lutherans and Calvinists. After the death of the | elector Frederic III. in 1577, his son Louis, a very zealous Lutheran, established every where in his dominions ministers of that persuas.nn, to the exclusion of the Sarramentariane, or Calvinists, by which measure Pareus lost his living at Hemsbach, and retired into the territories of prince John of Casimir, the elector’s brother. He was now chosen minister at Ogersheim, near Frankenthal, where he continued three years, and then removed to Winzingen, near Neustadt, at which last place prince Casimir, in 1578, had founded a school, and settled there all the professors that had been driven from Heidelberg. This rendered Winzingen much more agreeable, as well as advantageous; and, upon the death of the elector Louis, in 1583, the guardianship of his son, together with the administration of the palatinate, devolved upon prince Casimir, who restored the Calvinist ministers, and Pareus obtained the second chair in the college of Wisdom at Heideiberg, in Sept. 1584. He commenced author two years afterwards, by printing his “Method of the Ubiijuitarian controversy;” “Methodus Ubiquitariae coniroversise.” He also printed an edition of the “German Bible,” with notes, at Neustadt, in 1589, which occasioned a warm controversy between him and James Andreas, an eminent Lutheran divine of Tubingen.

In 1591, he was made first professor in his college; in 1592, counsellor to the ecclesiastical senate; and in 1593, was admitted doctor of divinity in the most solemn manner. He had already held several disputes against the writers of the Augsburg Confession, but that of 1596 was the most considerable, in which he had to defend Caivin against the imputation of favouring Judaism, in his Commentaries upon several parts of Scripture. In 1595, he was promoted to the chair of divinity professor lor the Old Testament in his university; by which he was eased of the great fatigue he had undergone for fourteen years, in governing the youth who were educated at the college of Wisdom. Tossanus, professor of divinity for the New Testament, dying in 1602, Pareus succeeded to that chair, and a few years after he bought a house in the suburbs of Hei(lelburg, and built in the garden an apartment for his library, which he called his “Pareanum.” In this ru- took great delight, and the whole house went uitfrw;irds by that name, the elector having, out of respect to him, honouivd it with several privileges and immunities. At the same | time, his reputation spreading itself every where, brought young students to him from the remotest parts of Hungary and Poland. In 1617 an evangelical jubilee was instituted in memory of the church’s deliverance from popery an hundred years before, when Luther began to preach. The solemnity lasted three days, during which orations, disputations, poems, and sermons, were delivered on the occasion. Pareus also published some pieces on the subject, which drew upon him the resentment of the Jesuits of Mentz; and a controversy took place between them. The following year, 1618, at the instance of the States General, he was pressed to go to the synod of Dort, but excused himself on account of age and infirmities. After this time he enjoyed but little tranquillity. The apprehensions he had of the ruin which his patron the elector Palatine would bring upon himself by accepting the crown of Bohemia, obliged him to change his habitation. He appears to have terrified himself with a thousand petty alarms, real or imaginary, and therefore his friends, in order to relieve him from this timidity of disposition, advised him to take refuge in the town of Anweil, in the dutchy of DeuxPonts, near Landau, at which he arrived in Oct. 1621. He left that place, however, some months after, and went to Neustadt, where his courage reviving, he determined to return to Heidelberg, wishing to pass his last moments at his beloved Pareanum, and be buried near the professors of the university. His wish was accordingly fulfilled; for he died at Pareanum June 15, 1622, and was interred with all the funeral honours which the universities in Germany usually bestow on their members.

He left a son named Philip, who wrote the life of his father. Although Pareus was a great enemy to innovations, yet his “Irenicum” proves that he was a friend to conciliation, and his services in promoting the reformed religion were very extensive. His exegeticai works were published by his son at Francfort in 1647, in 3 vols. folio. Among these are his “Commentary upon St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans,” in 1617, which gave such offence to James I. of England, as containing some anti-monarchical principles, that he caused it to be burnt by the common hangman; and the university of Oxford also condemned it. It was refuted by David Owen, who was D. D. and chaplain to John Ramsay, viscount Haddington and earl of | Holderness, in a piece entitled “Anti-Paraeus, sive determinatio de jure regio habita Cantabrigiae in scholis theologicis, 19 April, 1619, contra Davidem Paroeum, caeterosque reformats religionis antimonarchos,” Cantab. 1632, 8vo. He had before published “The Concord of a Papist and Puritan, for the coercion, deposition, and killing of kings,” Camb. 161O, 4to. 1


Gen. Dict. Life by his son. —Moreri. Saxii Ononaast.