Fresenius Johann Phiipp

Fresenius Johann Phiipp, a Germah Lutheran clergyman, was born October 22, 1705. After finishing his theological studies at the University of Strasburg in 1725, he became tutor of the young Rhinegrave of Salm-Grumbach. In 1727 he succeeded his father as pastor of Oberwiesen, and in 1734 became second "Burgprediger" at Giessen. In the following year he also began to give exegetical and ascetic lectures at the university of that city. From 1736 to 1742 he was Hofdiaconus (aulic deacon) at Darmstadt; from 1742 to 1743 again preacher and professor at Giessen. In 1743 he accepted a call from the magistracy of Frankfort on the Main, where he remained until his death, which occurred July 4, 1761. In 1749 he received from the University of Gottingen the title of doctor of divinity. Fresenius enjoyed great reputation as a powerful preacher and experienced spiritual guide. From early youth he displayed a great zeal in the defense of Lutheran orthodoxy and of Lutheran prerogatives, and thus became involved in numerous controversies. In 1731 he wrote a work (Antiweislingerus) against a scurrilous pamphlet (Friss Vogel oder Stirb) against Lutheranism by the Jesuit Weislinger, and produced thereby so great an excitement among Roman Catholics that a plan was made to kidnap him, with the aid of an Austrian army then stationed on the Rhine. He had to flee for safety to Darmstadt. In that city he caused the establishment of an institute for proselytes, and became its director and inspector. In Frankfort he opposed the effort of the Reformed congregations to obtain the public exercise of their religion and the permission for building churches. He was, in particular, a determined and even violent opponent of count Zinzendorf and the Moravians. Zinzendorf regarded him as the most energetic opponent, and called him an "incarnate devil" (eingefjeischten Teufel). Some of his works are still in common use in the German Lutheran Church. Thus the Heilsame Betrachtungen ueber die Sonn-und Festtagsevangelien, which first appeared in 1750, were published in a new edition in 1845 (2d ed. 1854) by Johann Friedrich von Meyer (q.v.), and of his Epistelpredigten, first published in 1754, a new edition was issued in 1858 by Ledderhose. His controversial writings against the Moravians number 24 volumes (Streitschriften gegen die Herrnhuter, Frankf. 1748- 60). — Steitz in Herzog, Real-Encykl. 19:501.

 
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