Agricola, Johannes

Agricola, Johannes (called Magister Islebius), said to be the founder of the sect of Antinomians (q.v.); born April 20th, 1492, at Eisleben, in Upper Saxony. His real name was Schnitter or Schneider, which he Latinized, according to the custom of the time. He studied philosophy and theology at Wittenberg, where he was distinguished for his learning and virtue, and taught in the university for several years. At Eisleben he became distinguished as a preacher. In 1526 he was present at the diet of Spires, with the elector of Saxony and the count of Mansfeld; he also subscribed the confession of Augsburg, although he subsequently differed from it in many things. In 1538 he began to preach "against the Law," and, for a time, Antinomianism appeared likely to spread; but Luther opposed the new error with so much force that the sect was suppressed in its infancy; and Agricola, at least in form, renounced his heresy (see Nitzsche, De Antinomisino Jo. Agricole, Viteb. 1804). Having retired to Berlin, he became preacher to the elector of Brandenburg, in 1540. In 1537 he signed the Articles of Smalcald, excepting, however, the additional article on the primacy of the pope. Together with Julius Phlugius (Pflug), bishop of Nuremberg, and Michael Helden, titular bishop of Sidon, he composed the celebrated Interim of Charles V. He endeavored, in vain, to appease the Adiaphoristic controversy (q.v.), and died at Berlin, September 22d, 1566. His works are: 1. Comment. in Evang. Lucae (Nurem. 1525); 2. Comment. in Ep. Pauli ad Coloss. (Wittenb. 1527); 3. A Collection and Explication of three hundred German Proverbs (Magdeburg, 1526. The best edition, Wittenberg, 1592, contains seven hundred and fifty proverbs); 4. Comment. in Ep. Pauli ad Titum (Haguenan. 1530); 5. Refutation of Thomas Muncer's Explication of Psalm 19:6. Antinomia, with its Refutation by Luther (Wittenb. 1538); 7. Antinomicoe Theses; 8. Historia Passionis et Mortis Christi (Strasb. 1543); 9. Formulae Pueriles (Berlin, 1561); 10. Epistola de Caitibus Doctrinae Eccl. (Wittenb. 1613); 11. The Lives of the Saints, in German (Cologne, 1618). — Cordes, Joh. Agricola's Schr. moglichst verzeichnet (Alton. 1817); Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 16, § 3, part 2, ch. 25; Hook, Ecc. Biog. vol. 1, s.v.; Bretschneider, in the Theol. Stud. 2, 741. SEE ANTINOMIANISM.

 
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