, one of the supporters of the reformation, was born at Wile in Suabia,
, one of the supporters of the reformation, was born at Wile in Suabia, in 1499, a city of which his father had been mayor for many years. He was educated at Heidelberg school and university, and when only fifteen years old commenced bachelor. Such was his thirst for learning, that he usually rose at midnight to his studies, which became afterwards so much a habit, that he never slept longer than midnight. At eighteen he took his master’s degree in arts, and about the same time the perusal of some of Luther’s writings induced him to change his mind in many important points, which he endeavoured to communicate to his fellow-students by lecturing to them from the gospel of St. Matthew, and his auditors increasing, it was objected to him by those who were jealous of his talents, that he was not fit for such a work, not being in orders. To remove that, he entered into orders, and became a very popular preacher. He was then called to be pastor at Hall in Suabia, where he gave such satisfaction that the senate confirmed him in the office, although he was only twenty-three years old. When Muncer and his adherents rose in arms in Germany, and threatened to besiege Hall, he not only wrote against these enthusiasts, but encouraged the citizens to defend the place, which they did with great bravery. We find him aftersvards attending a conference of the reformed clergy for the purpose of reconciling the contention between Luther and Zuinglius, respecting the real presence; and in 1530 he was at the diet of Augsburgh, where the celebrated confession of faith was drawn up. When Ulric, prince of Wirtemberg, meditated the introduction of the reformed religion in his dominions, and particularly in the university of Tubingen, he employed Brentius in that seat of learning, who accomplished the purpose to his entire satisfaction. In 1547, when the emperor Charles V. and his army came to Hall, Brentius found it necessary to make his escape; and some letters of his being found, in which he justified the protestant princes for taking arms against the emperor, he became still in more danger; but on the emperor’s removing his army, he returned to Hall again. In 1548, however, when the emperor had published the Interim, Brentius declared himself so strongly against it, that the emperor sent a commissary to Hall, charging him to bring Brentius to him, alive or dead. The magistrates and citizens would have still protected him, but, as the emperor threatened to destroy their city if he were not given up, they connived at his escape, and presently after Ulric prince of Wirtemberg afforded him an asylum, until he got to Basil. He remained^ in this kind of banishment until 1550, when Christopher duke of Wirtemberg, in room of his father Ulric deceased, resolved to restore the ministers who were driven away by the Interim, and to complete the reformation; and therefore sent for Brentius to his castle at Stutg&rd, where he might have his advice and assistance. Here at his request, Brentius drew up a confession of faith, including the controverted points, which the duke intended to send to the council of Trent; and the year after the pastor of Stutgard dying, Brentius was chosen in his room, and held the situation for life. In 1557 he went to the conferences at Worms, which ended unsatisfactorily, as the popish representatives would not admit the authority of scripture in deciding their controversies. A more important service he performed in his old age. As there were many monasteries in Wirtemberg, from which the friars had been expelled, he persuaded his prince to convert them into schools, which was accordingly done, and Brentius visited them once in two years, directing and encouraging their studies. He died in 1570, and was buried with every mark of public respect. His works were printed together in 8 vols. fol. at Tubingen, 1576 i)0: most of them had been printed separately at various periods of his life. His opinions coincided in general with those of Luther, except on the subject of the real presence, in which he held some sentiments peculiar to himself, although perhaps essentially not very different from those of the Lutheran church.