Andreas, or Andreai, Johann Valentin

Andreas, or Andreai, Johann Valentin grandson of Jakob, was born at Herrenberg, Aug. 17, 1586. After completing his academic course at Tubingen, he traveled for some years as tutor. In 1614 he became deacon at Vaihingen, where he labored zealously six years as preacher and writer, directing his efforts mainly against formalism and mysticism. Himself a practical Christian, he mourned over the frivolous learning and pedantry of the time, and directed his life and labors against it. But instead of attacking them in the usual way, he adopted wit and satire as his weapons. He wrote Menippus, sive Satyricorum dialogorumn centuria against unpractical orthodoxy, and Alethea Exul against cabalistic theosophy. His Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis (1614), and Confessio fraternitatis R. C. (1615), were an ironical attack on the secret societies of his times. Those who did not understand the mystification ascribed to him the foundation of the Rosicrucians (q, v.). He wrote again, and book after book, to show that his first work was fictitious, and designed to teach a useful lesson; but nobody would believe him at first. But finally he was understood, and "no satire was probably ever attended with more beneficial results." His real object was to overthrow the idols of the time in literature and religion, and to bring the minds of men back to Christ; and no writer of his time did more to accomplish this end. He removed to Caly in 1620, where, after the battle of Nordlingen, 1634, he lost his library and other property. He died at Adelsberg, June 27, 1654. For a further account of him, see Hossbach, Andrea und sein Zeitalter (Berlin, 1819); Hurst, History of Rationalism; chap. 1; Rheinwald, Andrea Vita ab ipso conscripta (Berl. 1849); Hase, Church History, § 380.

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