Niemeyer, August Hermann, Dd

Niemeyer, August Hermann, D.D., an eminent German theologian and educator, was born at Halle Sept. 1,1754. He began the study of theology in i771; became private tutor in the philosophical faculty of his alma mater, the university of his native place, in 1777; then successively professor extraordinary and inspector of the seminarists of the theological faculty in 1779; ordinary professor and inspector in 1784; and finally chancellor and rector perpetuus of the university in 1808. He resigned the last-named office at the reorganization of the university, at the close of the war of liberation, but remained its chancellor until his death, June 7, 1828. He rendered eminent services to the university during the wars, and was one of those who contributed most to its reorganization. As a theologian, at a time when scientific theology did not yet exist, he may be considered as belonging to the rationalists, but his was a mild and sincere rationalism. Says Hagenbach, "He combined a mild type of piety with noble humanity" (Ch. Hist. 18th and 19th Cent. 2:108). As a writer he was very prolific, having composed and published a large number of theological and educational works; but they are now laid aside on account of their want of system, and are merely mentioned in treatises on the history of modern theology. The most important of his works is Theologische Encyclopadie u. Methodologie, ein sicherer Wegweiserf. angehende Theologen, etc. (Leips. 1830, 8vo). Among the others we notice Charakteristik der Bibel (Halle, 1775-1782, 5 vols. 8vo; 6th ed. 1830), an excellent work in its day, and one that won for Niemeyer when yet a young man a wide circle of readers, and called forth the most enthusiastic plaudits, but which has been much surpassed since: — Handbuchf. christl. Religionslehrer (Halle, 1790, 2 vols. 8vo; 6th ed. 1827): — Grundsatze d. Erziehung u. d. Unterrichts (Halle, 1796, 3 vols. 8vo; 9th ed. 1834-6): — and especially his Geistliche Lieder, Oratorien u. vermischte Gedichte (Halle, 1814, 8vo), which, though not of the highest flight, are distinguished for their simple heartiness. See Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie, 10:327; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliographica, 2:2202; Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, xl, 942; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 38:51; and especially Jacobs u. Gruber, Zur Erinnerung an Niemeyer's Leben und Wirken (Halle, 1830); Rein, Erinnerungen (1841); Fritzsch, Ueber des verewigten A. H. Niemeyer's Leben (1828).

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