Hossbach, Peter Wilhelm, Std

Hossbach, Peter Wilhelm, S.T.D.

A distinguished German theologian, born in Wusterhausen, Prussia, Feb. 20, 1784, was educated at the universities of Halle and Frankfort on the Oder. He was a regular attendant at the lectures of Knapp and Niemeyer.

After his graduation he studied with great interest the works of Schleiermacher, with whom he was intimately associated the greater part of his life, and through whose influence he obtained the position of preacher to the Prussian military school for officers (Kadettenhaus) at Berlin. In 1819, while in this position, he published Das Leben Joh. Val. Andreas, which was highly commented upon by Tholuck (comp. the article Andcre:1 in Herzog. Real-Encyklop. 1, and Supplem. 1), and which at once assigned him an eminent position in the ranks of the Church historians. In 1821 he became pastor of the New Jerusalem Church. His opening sermon, which he published, led to the publication of an entire volume of his sermons (1822), which he dedicated to his friend Schleiermacher. Other collections of his sermons were published in 1824, 1827, 1831, 1837, 1843, and after his death another collection, with an introduction by Pischon, in 1848. Hossbach published his most important work in 1828: Spener u. s. Zeit (2 vols. 8vo). The second edition, which was published in 1853, contains also, as an addendum, an introduction to the history of the Evangelical Church and theology of the 18th century, a portion of a work on which he was engaged the latter part of his life, and which was left uncompleted. He died April 7, 1846. Hossbach was a popular preacher, but his published sermons enjoyed even greater popularity, and established his reputation as an able divine. He held a midway position between the strictly orthodox and the liberal theologians of Germany, 'and his great endeavor was to effect a compromise between these two antagonistic elements. A very fine autobiography as a minister Hossbach has furnished in his last sermon of the sixth collection, delivered to his congregation February 5, 1843, after a successful treatment of his eyes, one of which the physician was obliged to remove. See Herzog, Real- Encyklop. 19, 655 sq.; Theol. Univ. Lex. 2, 371. (J. H. W.)

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