Arnd or Arndt, Johann

Arnd Or Arndt, Johann, the first of the Pietists (q.v.), was born December 27, 1555, at Ballenstadt, at the foot of the Harz Mountains. He studied at the University of Helmstadt, and, devoted himself at first to medicine, but afterward applied himself to theology at Strasburg under Pappus, a theologian of the rigid Lutheran school. In 1583 he became pastor of the Lutheran church at Badeborn, in Anhalt; in 1590, at Quedlinburg; in 1599, at St. Martin's, Brunswick. His theological learning was varied and accurate; but his chief peculiarity was his heart religion, in which respect he was the Spener or the Wesley of his time. While at Brunswick he published (1605) the first volume of his "True Christianity" (Vier Biicher vom wahren Christenthum), designed to awaken students, ministers, and others to practical and experimental religion, and to mend, if possible, the loose morals of the age. The book created a great sensation, and was at once translated into several languages. Its revivalism also brought out the enmity of the scholastic theologians and of the "dry" religionists; a controversy of many years' duration was the result. See Scharff, Supplem. Hist. Litisque Arndtiance (1727). In 1608 Arndt was called to Eisleben, and in 1609 the three other books of his True Christianity were given to the press. No book of practical religion has been more widely circulated, not even Bunyan's Pilgrim or Baxter's Saints' Rest. The substance of the book is as follows: Book I is called the Book of Scripture: it seeks to show the way of the inward and spiritual life, and that Adam ought to die every day more and more in the heart of a Christian, and Christ to gain the ascendant there. The second is called the Book of Life: he proposes in it to direct the Christian to a greater degree of perfection, to give him a relish for sufferings, to encourage him to resist his enemies after the example of his Saviour. The third is entitled the Book of Conscience: in this he recalls the Christian within himself, and discovers to him the kingdom of God seated in the midst of his own heart. The last book is entitled the Book of Nature: the author proves here that all the creatures lead men to the knowledge of their Creator. New editions of the work are very numerous; those by J. F. von Meyer (4th ed. Francf. 1857) and Krummacher (4th ed. Leipz. 1859) contain biographies of the author. For a complete list of the new German editions of Arndt's work, see Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. s.v. Arnd. The work was translated into many different languages: Latin, Luneburg, in 1625; Frankfort, in 1628; and Leipsic, in 1704. It was printed in Low Dutch in 1642 and 1647, and translated into Danish and Bohemian. It was translated into French by Samuel Basnage de Beauval. The first book was printed in English in 1646; in 1708 the Latin translation was reprinted at London; an English translation was published in 1712, 8vo, dedicated to Queen Anne, by M. Boehm. A new English translation was published in 1715 by William Jacques-True Christianity, or the whole Economy of God toward Man, and the whole Duty of Man toward God (2 vols. 8vo, Lond.), and an American edition (Philad. 1842, 8vo). In 1611 Arndt was transferred to Celle, when the duke of Luneburg made him court chaplain and superintendent, and his last years were spent in promoting the religious interests of the duchy. He died May 11 1621. Among the charges brought against Arndt, one was that he was a member of the Rosicrucian fraternity;

but that has been disproved (Henke, Deutsche Zeitschrift, 1852, No. 35); yet his medical studies had undoubtedly led him to dabble in alchemy. Besides the True Christianity, he published a number of minor writings, which may be found in the edition of his works by Rambach (Leipzig, 1734, 3 vols. 8vo). See Arnold, Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie, II, 17:§ 6; F. Arndt, Joh. Arndt, ein biogr. Versuch (Berlin, 1838); Pertz, De Joanne A rndtio, etc. (Hanover, 1852); Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, i, 540; Hurst, History of Rationalism, ch. i; Morris, Life of John Arndt (Baltimore, 1853, 12mo).

 
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