Hofacker, Ludwig

Hofacker, Ludwig a German divine and celebrated preacher, born at Wildbad April 15,1798, and educated at the University of Tübingen. While here he became very zealous for the cause of religion; and especially endeavored to encourage the study of the Bible among his fellow students. He formed Bible-classes which were largely attended; and his intimate acquaintance with the works of the orthodox commentators Bengel, Oetinger, and Steinhofer rendered him especial service in his sermons, which he frequently delivered at this time, always extemporaneously. After filling the vicariates of Stettin and Plieningen, he was appointed assistant to his father, preacher at St. Leonard's, in Stuttgardt. He was now only 28 years old, but his sermons attracted general attention, especially on account of his earnestness and piety. In 1826, after the death of his father, he was sent to Rielingshausen, near Marbach. It is said that his audience was composed not only of his own congregation, but that strangers came from afar to hear the young preacher. In the fall of 1827, urged by his admirers and many friends, he began the publication of some of his sermons: Predigten (1827; 27th ed. 1866). The rapid sale of these was really surprising. An edition of 1500 was exhausted almost immediately after publication. His sudden death, November 18, 1828, incited his friends to a publication of all his sermons., They have now been spread abroad in more than 100,000 copies, not only in Germany, but also in translations in France, England, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and our own country. Speaking of his ability, Knapp (Leben v. L. Hofacker, Heidelb. 1852) says that he was the greatest and most powerful preacher of the Würtemberg Church in this century. This opinion was confirmed by the celebrated F. W. Krummacher "The Suabian Land lost in him its most powerful preacher" (in his Autobiography, transl. by Easton, p. 207). A prayer book, compiled from posthumous works of Hofacker and from his sermons (Erbauungs und Gebetbltch fjr alle Tage, Stuttgard), appeared in 1869. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 19, 646 sq.

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