Briesmann, Johannes

Briesmann, Johannes a Lutheran minister of Germany, was born December 31, 1488, at Cottbus in Lusatia. In 1507 he went to Wittenberg and entered the monastery of the Minorites. In 1510 he read his first mass in the monastery. The disputation held in 1519 between Luther and Eck was the turning-point of his life. He now joined himself to Luther, whose teachings strengthened him more and more in the truth of the Gospel; and the eleven theses which he published in 1521, in order to become a doctor of theology, were his first confession, and show a very clear perception of the truth. From Wittenberg he went, in 1522, to Cottbus, and preached there the Gospel. In 1523 he was appointed preacher at Konigsberg and on September 27 he delivered his first sermon, being the first of the series of reformers who evangelized Prussia. In 1527 he accepted a call to Riga, and brought about a new state of things in religious matters. In 1531 he returned to Konigsberg and caused the foundation of a high-school, which since 1544 has been known as the Kionigsberg University. He died October 1, 1549. See Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte (3d ed.), 2:54 sq.; Kostlin, Luther, 1:658, 661, 680, 709; 2:155; Erdmann, in Herzog's Real-Encyklop. s.v. (B.P.)

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