Horn, John

Horn, John Or, more properly, JOHN ROH (Cornu or Korn being a translation of the surname, which he assumed according to the usage of the times), was a distinguished bishop of the Ancient Unitas Fratrum, or Church of the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren. He was born at Yauss, in Bohemia, near the close of the 15th century. In 1518 he was ordained to the priesthood, and in 1529 consecrated bishop by a synod assembled at Brandeis, on the Adler. Three years later, (1532) he became senior bishop and president of the Ecclesiastical Council, which position he held until his death, governing the Unitas Fratrum with great wisdom, and furthering its interests with ardent zeal. Supported by John Augusta (q.v.), he inaugurated a new policy, which brought the Church out of its partial obscurity, and made it thereafter an important element in the national history of Bohemia. His immediate predecessor, Martin Skoda, had strictly abstained from all intercourse with the Reformers, following the principles established by Luke of Prague (q.v.). Horn, who had twice been a delegate to Luther (1522 and 1524), and who entertained a high regard for him and his work, reopened a correspondence with him, and induced the publication of a new Confession of the Brethren's faith at Wittenberg, with a commendatory preface of his own (1533). This led to a still closer fellowship, Horn sending two deputations to Luther in 1536, a third in the following year, and a fourth in 1542. In 1538 Luther published another and the principal Confession of the Church, again with a preface from Horn's pen. This Confession had been drawn up in 1535, and formally presented to the emperor Ferdinand at Vienna (November 14) by several barons and divines in the name of the Unitas Fratrum. Encouraged by his intercourse with Luther, Horn also sent an embassy to the Swiss Reformers in 1540, which resulted in a correspondence with Bucer, Calvin, and others. Thus the Brethren joined hands with the Reformers in carrying on the great work of evangelical truth, and gave the earliest tokens of those efforts to bring about a union among all Protestants, which afterwards resulted in the Consensus Sendomiriensis of the Polish churches. The most important literary production of bishop Horn was the authorized edition of the German Hymn book of the Brethren, published in 1540. He died in 1547. Bishop Blaloslav, the illustrious historian and grammarian of the Church, wrote his biography, which is, however, no longer extant. (E. de S.)

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