Wigand, John

, a learned divine of the reformed religion, was born at Mansfeld in Upper Saxony in 1523. His parents, who were of the middle rank, perceiving his love of learning, gave him a good education at school, whence he was sent to the university of Wirtemberg, where he studied the arts and languages for about three years; attending, at the same time, the lectures of Luther and Melancthon. He became also acquainted with other contributors to the reformation, as Gruciger, Justus Jonas, &c. | and heard the Greek lectures of Vitus. In 1541, by the advice of his tutors and friends, he went to Noriberg, where he was made master of St. Lawrence-school, and taught there for three years; but being desirous of adding to his own knowledge, under the ablest instructors, he returned to Wirtemberg again. There he commenced M. A. before he was twenty-two years old, and begun the study of divinity, which he engaged in with gr/eat assiduity, until the events of the war dispersed the students of this university. He then was invited to his native place, Mansfeld, where he was ordained, and is said to have been the first who was ordained after the establishment of the Protestant religion. He soon became a very useful and popular preacher, and on the week-days read lectures to the youth in logic and philosophy. While here, at the request of the superintendent, John Spangenberg, he wrote a confutation of Sidonius’s popish catechism, which was afterwards printed both in Latin and Dutch. He wrote also a confutation of George Major, who held that a man is justified by faith, but not saved, &c. He was one of those who strongly opposed the Interim.

His great delight, in the way of relaxation from his more serious engagements, was in his garden, in which he formed a great collection of curious plants. Haller mentions his publication “De succino Borussico, de. Alee, de Herbis Borussicis, et de Sale,1590; 8vo, which Freher and other biographers speak of as three distinct publications. In 1553 he was chosen superintendant of Magdeburg, but the count Mansfeld and his countrymen strongly opposed his removal from them, yet at last, in consequence of the application of the prince of Anhalt, consented to it. At Magdeburg, by his preaching and writings he greatly promoted the reformed religion, and had a considerable hand in the voluminous collection, entitled “The Magdeburg Centuries,” which Sturmius used to say had four excellent qualities, truth, research, order, and perspicuity. In 1560, on the foundation of the university of Jena by the elector of Saxony, he was solicited by his highness to become professor of divinity, and performed the duties of that office until some angry disputes between Illyricus and Strigelius inclined him to resign. He was after a short stay at Magdeburg, chosen, in 1562, to be superintendant at Wismar. He now took his degree of doctor in divinity at the university of Rostock, and remained at Wismar seven years, at | the end of which a negociation was set on foot for his return to Jena, where he was made professor of divinity and superintendant. Five years after he was again obliged to leave that university, when the elector Augustus succeeded his patron the elector William. On this he went to the duke of Brunswick who entertained him kindly, and he was soon after invited to the divinity-professorship of Konigsberg, and in two years was appointed bishop there. He died 1587, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. He wrote a prodigious number of works, principally commentaries oa different parts of the Bible, and treatises on the controversies with the popish writers. He was esteemed a man of great learning, a profound theologian and no less estimable in private life. He ranks high among the promoters of the reformation in Germany. 1


Melchior Adam.—Freheri Theatrum.—Saxii Onomast.