Arnold, Gottfried

Arnold, Gottfried, an eminent German Pietist and Mystic, born at Annaberg, Saxony, September 5, 1665. Educated at Wittenberg, he became a tutor, 1689, at Dresden, where he imbibed an ardent Pietistic tendency from Spener, who obtained him a situation as private tutor at Quedlinburg, where he devoted himself to the study of the mystic writers and of Church history. After condemning marriage, he married in 1700, and lost some of his fanatical views. In 1707 he obtained a pastorate in Perleberg, where he remained until his death, May 30, 1714. In spite of all his errors, Arnold was eminently pious, and was a faithful preacher. He wrote largely, but his most important work is his Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzergeschichte (Frankf. 16981700; repub. at Schafflhausen, with additions, 17401743, 3 vols.). This "Impartial Church History" was the first written in German instead of Latin. It makes personal pietyf the central idea of Christianity. But, while bent on showing fair play, as no historian before had done, to all sorts of heretics and schismatics, particularly to the Mystics, for whom he had a special predilection, Arnold fell into the most gross wrong toward the representatives of orthodoxy, ascribing to them the basest motives, and aspersing their character in every possible way. See Schaff, History of the Apostolic Church, § 30; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, i, 548. The number of works which were published against Arnold is very large. A list of them is given in the preface to the third volume of his works in the Schaffhausen edition. The most important among these is by Groschius, Nothwendge Vertheidigung der evangelischkn Kirche wider die Arnold:sche Ketzerhistorie (Frankf. 1745). Among the other works of Arnold are,

Historia et descriptio theosophias, 1702 (German, 1703); Das Geheimniss der gottlichen Scphia (Leipz. 1700). Some of the works of Arnold continue to be in common use among the German Pietists, and are still being published in new editions; as, D.e Erste Liebe (an essay on the life of the first Christians; new edit. by Lammert, Stuttgart, 1844; and with an appendix containing all the religious poems of Arnold, by Knapp, Stuttgart, 1844); Paradiesischer Lustgarten (a Prayerbook; with biography of Arnold, and selection of his religious poems by Ehmann, Reutlingen, 1852); Geistliche Esfahrungslehre (an essay on experimental Christianit-, from the beginning of the conversion to its completion; Milford Square, Pennsylvania, 1855). Complete collection of the religious.poems of Arnold ("Sammtliche Geistliche Lieder") have been published by Knapp (Stuttgart, 1845) and Ehmann (Stuttgart, 1856); a selection (" Geistliche Minnelier") by Ehmann, Stuttgart, 1856). See G. Arnold's Gedoppelter Lebenslauf (partly autobiography, 1716); Coler, Summarische Nachricht von G. Arnold's Leben und Schriften (Wittenberg, 1718); Knapp, Biographie G. Arnold's' (Stuttgart, 1845); Gobel, Gesch. des Christlichin Lebens in der rheinisch-westphdischen evangelischen Kirche (vol. ii, p. 698-753).

 
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