Schwenkfeld, Kaspar Von

Schwenkfeld, Kaspar Von, founder of the religious sect named after him, Schwenkfeldians (q.v.). tie was born in Ossig, Silesia, in 1490; was a nobleman of ancient lineage, councillor to the duke of Liegnitz, and an earnest advocate of the Reformation. While holding the chief Reformers in the highest esteem, he differed from them on the following points:

1. Schwenkfeld inverted the words of Christ, "this is my body," and read "my body is this" — i.e. such as this bread, which is broken and consumed; a true and real food, which nourisheth, satisfieth, and delighteth the soul.

2. He denied that the external Word had any power to enlighten and renew the mind, but ascribed this power to the internal Word, which, according to his notion, was Christ himself. 3. He would not allow Christ's human nature, in its exalted state, to be called a creature or a created substance, as such a denomination appeared to him infinitely below its majestic dignity, united as it is in that glorious state with the divine essence. He died in Ulm about 1561. His character was never impugned by any of his opponents, and his numerous writings (including Bekenntniss und Rechenschaft von den Hauptpunkten des christlichen Glaubens [1547], and nearly 100 treatises) are among the most valuable sources of the history of the Reformation.

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