Selneccer, Nicholas, Dr

Selneccer, Nicholas, Dr.

an early Lutheran poet and theologian, was born Dec. 6, 1530, at Hersbruck, near Nuremberg; and educated at Wittenberg. He was made court preacher at Dresden in 1557, but obliged to resign in 1561. because he was not in sympathy with the Melancthonian party, then in power. At Jena, where he obtained a professorship, the mildness of his views gave offence to the Flacianists, who governed the university, and they had him deposed. His next position was at Leipsic (1568). In 1570 he was charged with the conduct of the Reformation in Brunswick, and aided in the founding of the University of Helmstadt. His preference for an unmodified Lutheranism led him at the same time to attempt the work of restraining the growth of Crypto-Calvinism in Saxony, in which he succeeded temporarily by gaining the ear of the elector Augustus. He also took a prominent part in the settling of the Formula of Concord (q.v.), translating it (after the attempt of Osiander) into Latin and furnishing it with a preface. He thus excited further opposition from the Crypto-Calvinists, which resulted in his being again deposed on the succession of Christian I and the advent to power of Dr. Crell (q.v.). A brief period of literary activity now followed, first at Leipsic and afterwards at Magdeburg; but he was soon made superintendent at Hildesheim, and intrusted with the ordering of ecclesiastical affairs in other places as well. In the performance of such duties his health gave way, and when the fall of Dr. Crell called him to Leipsic, the journey proved too fatiguing and brought about his death, May 24, 1592.

Selneccer's writings were numerous, but most of them have been forgotten. The more noteworthy are an exposition of the book of Psalms, in various editions and revisions (last ed. Leipsic, 1593), and a large number of hymns. His poetical writings evince talent of no mean order, but are marred by the constant introduction of references to personal troubles, etc., an undue attention to details, and an incessant emphasizing of pure doctrine, though the latter feature is preserved from becoming offensive by the fact that it is in the main the expression of the writer's heart. See Wetzel, Liederhistorie, vol. 3; Götze, Septem Dissertt. de N. Seln. (1723); Koch, Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenliedes, vol. 1; Mützell, Geistl. Lieder der evang. Kirche aus dem 16. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1855, 3 vols.); Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, 2, 149-151.

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