Kessler (Ahenarius), Johann Jacob

Kessler (Ahenarius), Johann Jacob was born at St. Gall in 1502, and studied theology at Basle. In 1522 he went to Wittenberg to hear Luther, and on his way fell in with him at Jena, yet without knowing him. In 1523 he returned to St. Gall, but his inclination to the reform doctrines would not conscientiously permit him to. enter the priesthood, and he became a saddler. At the request of his compatriots, he finally, in 1524, began Sunday evening meetings for the Study of Scripture, which, on account of the general interest, were in 1525 transferred to the Church of St.Lawrence. He was somewhat opposed at first by a few narrow-minded theologians, and at their request even discontinued his meetings for a time; but the public, determined to hear the preaching of Kessler, induced him finally to enter the ministry, and he became, in 1535, evangelical pastor of the Church of St. Lawrence, and dean of St. Gall in 1573. He died March 15,1574. Kessler wrote Sabbatha, St. Gallische' Reformationschronik. See J. J. Bernet, J. Kessler (St. Gall, 1826); Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 7: 518; Pierer, Universal Lex. s.v.

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