Haller, Berthold

Haller, Berthold one of the Reformers of Berne, was born at Aldingen, Würtemberg, in 1492. At Pforzheim he had Melancthon for a fellow-student, and graduated bachelor at Cologne in 1512. After teaching some time at Rottwell he went to Berne, invited by Rubellus in 1513 (1518?). He became assistant to Dr. Wyttenbach in St.Vincent's church, and in his society, his knowledge of the Scriptures and his religious character were greatly cultivated. About 1520 he made the acquaintance of Zwingle, who was always afterwards his faithful friend and counselor. Shortly after he succeeded Wyttenbach as cathedral preacher, and soon began to expound Matthew, instead of following the usual Church lessons only. His eloquence and zeal made him extremely popular. When the strife began in 1522 Haller was a member of the commission, and distinguished himself in the conference by his opposition to the bishop of Lausanne. His hold upon the popular mind was so great that in the subsequent years of strife he held his place as preacher in spite of all opposition, and contributed greatly, not so much by his learning as by his personal force of character, to the establishment of the Reformation in Berne. Even with the Anabaptists, on their appearance in Berne, he obtained great influence. In. 1525 he courageously abandoned the Mass. In the Grand Council he defended himself so vigorously that he was still kept in office as preacher, though he lost his canonship. In 1527 a number of Reformers were elected to the "Grand Council." The venerable Francis Kolb, full of fire and energy, was now in Berne, ready to aid and stimulate the more prudent Haller. The "Mandates" of 1523 and 1526, the former for, the latter against the Reformation, were submitted to the people, and they decided for the first. In the "Conference" of 1528, at Berne, Haller took the leading part, aided by Zwingle, (Ecolampadius, and Bucer. It was finally decreed by the Conference that the Mass should be abolished. In 1529 he married. His labors for the Reformation extended to Solothurn, and to other parts of Switzerland; but his chief activity lay in Berne, where he held his pre-eminence as preacher and Reformer until his death, Feb. 25, 1536. He left no writings. See Kirchhofer, Haller oder die Reform. v. Bern (Zurich, 1828); Kuhn, Die Reformatoren Berns (Berne, 1828); D'Aubigne, History of Reformation, 2, 349; 3:336; 4:296, 308; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5, 479.

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