Ebel Johann Wilhelm

Ebel Johann Wilhelm,

a Protestant mystic and theosophist, was born in 1784 at Passenheim, in the province of Eastern Prussia. In 1809, while a preacher in the Established Church of Prussia, he attracted the attention of his ecclesiastical superiors on account of his connection with the theosophist Schonherr (q.v.). Subsequently he was appointed preacher at Koenigsberg, where he gathered around him a circle of enthusiastic followers, among them a few noble men and a larger number of noble women. Foremost among the latter were the countess of Kanitz and the countess von der Groben. In 1837, at the request of the Consistory of that city, a suit was instituted against him and his friend Diestel, which belongs among the most remarkable trials of the kind in modern times. He was in 1842 acquitted from the chief charge of the establishment of a new sect, but deposed from office for violating his official duties by communicating to others theosophic and philosophical views differing from the doctrines of the Church. He died in 1861, at the villa of his friend the countess von der Groben. Ebel wrote a number of works, chiefly of a mystic nature, among which are the following: Die Weisheit von Obesn (1822): — Der Tayesanbruch (1824):Die gedeihliche Erziehunq (1825) : — Bibelworte u. Winke (1827): — Die Philosophie der heil. Urkunde (1854-56). A full account of Ebel, his doctrines and followers, is given in Dixon, Spiritual Wives (London and Philadelphia, 1868), where is also printed for the first time a paper by professor Sachs, which was the chief evidence used against Ebel. See also Diestel, Das Zengenverhdr in d. Processe wider d. Prediger Ebel u. Diestel (Leipz. 1838), and Ernst count von Kanitz (follower of Ebel), Auqfkldrung nach Actenquellen, etc. (Basel, 1862). (A.J.S.)

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