Mathesius, Johann

Mathesius, Johann a German Protestant theologian, was a native of Saxony. He studied at Wittenberg in 1528, and was there for a while Luther's fellowboarder. He was appointed rector of Joachimsthal in 1532, pastor in 1545, and died in 1564. He had witnessed many abuses resulting from the misconception of the doctrine of salvation by grace: we learn from him that there were parties in the Church who claimed, on the strength of it, that faith alone was necessary, and that works were of no importance whatever, so that it did not matter whether the actions of believers were good or bad. Matthesius strongly opposed such heretical views, and thus became involved in controversies which embittered the end of his life. He is especially known by seventeen sermons on the doctrine, the confession, and the death of Luther (Nuremberg, 1588; in recent times the biographical portions were collected and published under the title, J. Marthesius, d. Leben d. Dr. Martin Luther, mit einer Vorrede von G. H. v. Schubert, Stuttgart). He wrote also various other sermons, a tract on justification, a catechism, and several hymns. His biography was published by Balthasar Mathesius in 1705. See Jicher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, and Dollinger, Die Reformation, 2:127; Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie, 9:160; Winkworth, Christian Singers of Germany, p. 140 sq. (J. N. .)

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