WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

German philosopher and statesman, was born at Camstadt in Wirtemberg, Jan. 23, 1693; his father was a Lutheran minister. By a singular hereditary constitution in

, an eminent German philosopher and statesman, was born at Camstadt in Wirtemberg, Jan. 23, 1693; his father was a Lutheran minister. By a singular hereditary constitution in this family, Biliinger was born with twelve fingers and eleven toes, which, in his case, is said to have been remedied by amputation when he was an infant. From his earliest years, he showed an uncommon capacity for study, joined to a retired and thinking turn of mind. Happening, when studying at Tubingen, to learn mathematics in the works of Wolf, he imbibed likewise a taste for the sceptical philosophy of that writer, and for the system of Leibnitz, which for a time took off his attention from his other studies. When entered on his theological course, he found himself disposed to connect it with his new ideas on philosophy, and with that view wrote a treatise, “De Deo, anima, et mundo,” which procured him considerable fame, and was the cause of his being chosen preacher at the castle of Tubingen, and repeater in the school of divinity. But fancying Tubingen a theatre too contracted, he obtained of one of his friends a supply of money, in 1719, which enabled him to go to Halle to study more particularly under Wolf himself. This, however, did not produce all the good consequences expected. When after two years he returned to Tubingen, the Wolfian philosophy was no longer in favour, his patrons were cold, his lessons deserted; himself unable to propagate his new doctrines, and his promotion in the church was likely to suffer. In this unpleasant state he remained about four years, when, by Wolf’s recommendation, he received an invitation from Peter I. to accept the professorship of logic and metaphysics in the new academy at St. Petersburgh. Thither accordingly he went in 1725, and was received with great respect, and the academical memoirs which he had occasion to publish increased his reputation in no small degree. The academy of sciences of Paris having about that time proposed for solution the famous problem, on the cause of gravity, Bilfinger carried off the prize, which was one thousand crowns. This made his name be known in every part of Europe, and the duke Charles of Wirtemberg having been reminded that he was one of his subjects, immediately recalled him home. The court of Russia, after in vain endeavouring to retain him, granted him a pension of four hundred florins, and two thousand as the reward of a discovery he had made in the art of fortification. He quitted Petersburgh accordingly in 1731, and being re-established at Tubingen, revived the reputation of that school not only by his lectures, but by many salutary changes introduced in the theological class, which he effected without introducing any new opinions. His greatest reputation, however, rests on his improvements in natural philosophy and mathematics, and his talents as an engineer seem to have recommended him to the promotion which the duke Charles Alexander conferred upon him. He had held many conversations with Bilfinger on the subject of fortifications, and wished to attach him to government by appointing him a privy-councillor in 1735, with unlimited credit. For some time he refused a situation which he thought himself not qualified to fill, but when he accepted it, his first care was to acquire the knowledge necessary for a member of administration, endeavouring to procure the most correct information respecting the political relations, constitution, and true interests of the country. By these means, he was enabled very essentially to promote the commerce and agriculture of his country, and in other respects to improve her natural resources, as well as her political connections, and he is still remembered as one of the ablest statesmen of Germany. The system of fortification which he invented is yet known by his name, and is now the chief means of preserving it, as he died unmarried, at Stuttgard, Feb. 18, 1750. He is said to have been warm in his friendships, but somewhat irascible; his whole time during his latter years was occupied in his official engagements, except an hour in the evening, when he received visits, and his only enjoyment, when he could find leisure, was in the cultivation of his garden. To his parents he was particularly affectionate, and gratefully rewarded all those who had assisted him in his dependent state. His principal works are 1. “Disputatio de harmonia praestabilita,” Tubinguen, 1721, 4to. 2. “De harmonia animi et corporis humani maxime prsestabilita commentatio hypothetica,” Francfort, 1723, 8vo. This was inserted among the prohibited books by the court of Rome in 1734. 3. “De origine et permissione Mali, &c.” ibid. 1724, 8vo. 4. “Specimen doctrinae veterum Sinarum moralis et politicae,” ibid. 1724, 8vo. 5. “Dissertatio historico-catoptrica de speculo Archimedis,” Tubingen, 1725, 4to. 6. “Dilucidationes philosophies; de Deo, anima, &c.” before mentioned, ibid. 1725, 4to. 7. “Bilfingeri et Holmanni epistolae de barmonia praestabilita,1728, 4to. 8. “Disputatio de natura et legibus studii in theologica Thetici,” ibid. 1731, 4to. 9. “Disputatio de cuku Dei rationali,” ibid. 1731. 10. “Notae breves in Spinosae methodum. explicandi scripturas,” ibid. 1732, 4to. 11. “De mysteriis Christianae fidei generatim spectatis sermo,” ibid. 1732, 4to. 12. “La Citadelle coupee,” Leipsic, 1756, 4to. 13. “Elementa physices,” Leipsic, 1742, 8vo; besides many papers in the memoirs of the Petersburgh academy, of which, as well as of that of Berlin, he was a member.

, or Borch, a very learned physician, son of a Lutheran minister in Denmark, was born 1626, and sent to the

, or Borch, a very learned physician, son of a Lutheran minister in Denmark, was born 1626, and sent to the university of Copenhagen in 1644, where he remained six years, during which time he applied himself chierly to physic. He taught publicly in his college, and Acquired the character of a man indefatigable in labour, and of excellent morals. He gained the esteem of Caspar Brochman, bishop of Zealand, and of the chancellor of the kingdom, by the recommendation of whom he obtained the canonry of Lunden. He was offered the rectorship of the famous school of Heslow, but refused it, having formed a design of travelling and perfecting his studies in physic. He began to practise as a physician during a most terrible plague in Denmark, and the contagion being ceased, he prepared for travelling as he intended; but was obliged to defer it for some time, Mr. Gerstorf, the first minister of state, having insisted on his residing in his house in the quality of tutor to his children. He continued in this capacity five years, and then set out upon his travels; but before his departure, he was appointed professor in poetry, chemistry, and botany. He left Copenhagen in November 1660, and, after having visited several eminent physicians at Hamburgh, went to Holland, the Low Countries, to England, and to Paris, where he remained two years. He visited also several other cities of France, and at Angers had a doctor’s degree in physic conferred upon him. He afterwards passed the Alps, and arrived at Rome in October 1665, where he remained till March 1666, when he was obliged to set out for Denmark, where he arrived in October 1666. The advantages which Borrichius reaped in his travels were very considerable, for he had made himself acquainted with all the learned men in the different cities through which he passed. At his return to Denmark he resumed his professorship, in the discharge of which he acquired great reputation for his assiduity and universal learning. He was made counsellor in the supreme council of justice in 1686, and counsellor of the royal chancery in 1689. This same year he had a severe attack of 'the stone, and the pain every day increasing, he wss obliged to be cut for it; the operation however did not succeed, the stone being so big that it could not be extracted. He bore this affliction with great constancy and resolution till his death, which happened in October 1690.

errific tales, was born in 1748, at Wolmerswende, in the principality of Halberstadt. His father was a Lutheran minister, and appears to have given him a pious domestic

, a German poet of considerable celebrity in his own country, and known in this by several translations of one of his terrific tales, was born in 1748, at Wolmerswende, in the principality of Halberstadt. His father was a Lutheran minister, and appears to have given him a pious domestic education; but to school or university studies young Burger had an insuperable aversion, and much of his life was consumed in idleness and dissipation, varied by some occasional starts of industry, which produced his poetical miscellanies, principally ballads, that soon became very popular from the simplicity of the composition. In the choice of his subjects, likewise, which were legendary tales and traditions, wild, terrific, and grossly improbable, he had the felicity to hit the taste of his countrymen. His attention was also directed to Shakspeare and our old English ballads, and he translated many of the latter into German with considerable effect. His chief employment, or that from which he derived most emolument, was in writing for the German Almanack of the Muses, and afterwards the German Musaeum. In 1787 he lectured on the critical philosophy of Kant, and in 1789 was appointed professor of belles-lettres in the university of Gottingen. He married three wives, the second the sister of the first, and the third a lady who courted him in poetry, but from whom, after three years cohabitation, he obtained a divorce. Her misconduct is said to have contributed to shorten his days. He died in June 1794. His works were collected and published by Reinhard, in 1798—99, 4 vols. 8vo, with a life, in which there is little of personal history that can be read with pleasure. Immorality seems to have accompanied him the greater part of his course, but he was undoubtedly a man of genius, although seldom under the controul of judgment. His celebrated ballad of “Leonora” was translated into English in 1796, by five or six different poets, and for some time pleased by its wild and extravagant horrors; and in 1798, his " Wild Huntsman’s Chase' 7 appeared hi an English dress; but Burger’s style has obtained, perhaps, more imitators than admirers, among the former of whom may be ranked some caricaturists.

a Lutheran minister, superintendant and professor at Helmstad,

, a Lutheran minister, superintendant and professor at Helmstad, was the author of an idle controversy towards the end of the sixteenth century. He started some difficulties about subscribing the concord, and refused to concur with Dr. Andreas in defence of this confession. He would not acknowledge the ubiquity, but only that the body of Jesus Christ was present in a great many places; this dispute, though laid asleep soon after, left a spirit of curiosity and contradiction upon people’s minds, so that in a little time they began to disagree and argue veiy warmly upon' several other points, Hoffman being always at th.e head of the party. Among other things in an academical disputation, he maintained that the light of reason, even as it appears in the writings of Plato and Aristotle, is averse to religion; and the more the human understanding i s cultivated by philosophical study, the more perfectly is the enemy supplied with weapons of defence. The partiality wh;ch at this time universally prevailed in favour of the Aristotelian philosophy was such, that an opinion of this kind could not be advanced publicly, without exciting general dissatisfaction and alarm. A numerous band of professors, though they differed in opinion among themselves, united to take up arms against the common enemy. At the bead of this body was John Cassel; whence the advocates for philosophy were called the Casseiian party. They at first challenged Hoffman to a private conference, in expectation of leading him to a sounder judgment concerning philosophy; but their hopes were frustrated. Hoffman, persuaJed that interest and envy had armed the philosophers against him, in his reply to his opponents inveighed with great bitterness against philosophers, and acknowledged, that he meant to oppose not only the abuse of philosophy, but the most prudent and legitimate use of it, as necessarily destructive of theology. This extravagant assertion, accompanied with many contumelious censures of philosophers, produced reciprocal vehemence; and Albert Graver published a book “De Unica Veritate,” which maintained “the Simplicity of Truth;” a doctrine from which the Casseiian party were called Simplicists, whilst the followers of Hoffman (for he found means to engage several persons, particularly among the Tbeosophists, in his interest) opposing this doctrine, were called, on the other hand, Duplicists. John Angel Werdenhagen, a Boehmeiu'te, who possessed some poetical talents, wrote several poems against the philosophers. In short, the disputes ran so high, and produced so much personal abuse, that the court thought it necessary to interpose its authority, and appointed arbitrators to examine the merits of the controversy. The decision was against Hoffman, and he was obliged to make a public recantation of his errors, acknowledging the utility and excellence of philosophy, and declaring that his invectives had been only directed against its abuses.

es 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

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.

dson of the preceding Andrew, was born at Blauberen, in the duchy of Wirtemburg, in 1562, and became a Lutheran minister; after which he became deacon of the church

, grandson of the preceding Andrew, was born at Blauberen, in the duchy of Wirtemburg, in 1562, and became a Lutheran minister; after which he became deacon of the church of Aurach, and pastor of the church of Gigligen. He was next appointed preacher and counsellor to prince Lewis of Wirtemburg, and in 1592 he received the degree of doctor of divinity at “Tubingen. After various other promotions and honours, he died in 1617. He was the editor of” Biblia Sacra, Latine vulgata, cum Emendationibus et Explicationibus superiorum Versionum, et Observationibus ex Thebl. Andreoe, Herbrandi," &c. which passed through five editions in a few years, and is highly commended by father Simon, in his Crit. Hist, of the Old Testament. He was like wise author of several theological works.