Zollikofer, George Joachim

, an eminent German divine, was born at St. Gall, in Switzerland, August 5, 1730.- His father, a worthy practitioner of the law, withheld no expence in his education and, after the usual progress through the school of his native town, being designed for the church, he was sent first to Bremen, and thence to the university of Utrecht, where the divinity professors are said to have been in high repute. Zollikofer was not, however, says his biographer, one of those who adhere pertinaciously to every thing instilled into them in a lecture-room, and are incapable of advancing a stej> beyond the routine of opinions, to which, from custom or articles, the tutors themselves are bound to accede. He was obliged, indeed, to attend lectures, as he once mentioned to a friend, on a systematic theology, resting solely on “unproved formularies, sophisms, technical and scholastic terms of the compendiums at that time in general use, instead of a sound exposition of the Bible, in connection with a strict investigation of ecclesiastical history:” but his sermons and books of devotion did not receive the least taint from the theology into which he became thus initiated. “The little that I know,” said he, “I was obliged to teach myself chiefly after I was come to years of maturity; for I had but a miserable education.

Leaving the university, he became first a preacher at Murten in the Pays de Vaud, whence he was translated to Moti stein, in the Grisons, and soon after was invited to Isenburg. Kone of these places enjoyed him long; for, at the age of eight-and-twenty, he was appointed to the office of preacher to the reformed church at Leipsic. This was a theatre worthy of his abilities; and his church was soon crowded with the chief people of the city, and the | members of the university. His attention was not confined to the pulpit. Psalmody and prayer formed, in his estimation, an essential part of public worship; and his selection of hymns, in which the productions of the most esteemed modern poets of Germany Gellert, Cramer, and Klopstock, were not forgotten, appeared in 1766. He was twice married; but both marriages were childless. After having fulfilled the duties of his place till within a year of his decease, he formed the resolution of resigning his office; but, at the united request of his congregation, who acceded to his preaching a discourse only once a fortnight, he was still induced to remain in his situation. A short time only elapsed before he was called from them, after an illness extremely painful, which he bore with the patience of a wise man, and the resignation of a Christian. He died Jan. 22, 1788, aged fifty-eight. The whole of his numerous congregation, together with some hundred students of the university, attended His body t6 the grave on the 25th, with every token of unfeigned sorrow.

Zollikofer, from the time that he quitted the university, studied the best models of composition, and was particularly attached to Cicero. At the same time, no part of moral or political knowledge escaped hinij and to continual study and meditation on the scriptures, he added an intimate acquaintance with profane history. His social and domestic conduct corresponded with the doctrines he taught from the pulpit. Entirely free from affected gravity, he was easy of access to all. The poor and indigent beheld in him a father and a friend; and his bounty and his kindness were not confined within the limits of his own ohurch and his own sect; they were extended to all who stood in need of his assistance. Cheerfulness reigned in his heart; his conversation was animated and entertaining; and his raillery, in which he very rarely indulged, the mildest possible. Above all, he paid the strictest regard to veracity. “Whatever he said was true; every word he uttered might be relied on, as conveying the real sentiments of his heart, and never did he commend or approve from complaisance any thing that was contrary to the conviction of his mind, or that he saw could not be approved upon the strictest rules of morality.

Eight volumes of Zollikofer’s “Sermons,” which are in the highest estimation in Germany, have lately been known in this country by a translation, of great purity and | elegance, by the rev. William Took e, F. R. S. who has prefixed some memoirs of the author to the “Sermons on the Dignity of Man,” published in 1802. In these sermons there is no display of the theological learning of their author, and little that is explanatory in regard to peculiar texts of scripture; they discuss not human creeds and systems of divinity: their aim is to explain the nature and grounds of Christian morality, and reconcile it with the best dictates of philosophy to reveal man to himself; and they discover a talent seldom possessed a knowledge of the human heart. 1


Memoirs as above.