Spengler, Lazarus

Spengler, Lazarus recorder, syndic, and councilor of Nuremberg from 1502 to 1534, and one of the earliest of Luther's friends, was born March 13, 1479, and qualified himself for the practice, of law at the University of Leipsic. He wrote in defense of Luther's teaching, and his name was in consequence included with that of Pirkheimer (q.v.) in the bull of excommunication which Dr. Eck procured for the destruction of Luther and his adherents. Eck also wrote to the Council of Nuremberg, urging the execution of the bull; and the two men were obliged to apply to him for absolution (see Planck, Gesch. d. protest. Lehrbegrijfs [Leips. 1791], 1, 332). Spengler was the representative of Nuremberg at the Diet of Worms in 1520. He endeavored to promote the interests of the Reformation in his native city by securing the establishment of an evangelical school; and for this purpose negotiated with Melancthon and visited Wittenberg in person. His wish was realized in 1525. He also participated in the Convention of Spiritual and Secular Councillors called by margrave George of Franconian Brandenburg (June 14, 1528) at Anspach, for the purpose of fixing regulations to govern a visitation of the churches. When Melancthon seemed to be yielding too much to the opponents of the Reformation at the Diet of Augsburg, in 1530, Spengler was commissioned to report the state of affairs to Luther, then sojourning at Coburg. He also drew up an able opinion on the response given by the Protestant deputies to the proposals made by their adversaries on Aug. 19, 1530. Spengler was esteemed by many princes and lords, particularly by the elector of Saxony; and also by many prominent leaders in the Church — e.g. Bruck, Jonas, Bugenhagen, Camerarius, and others. The: letters of Luther and Melancthon show how warm and intimate was their friendship for him. His health gave way in 1529; and, after repeated attacks of sickness, he died Nov. 7, 1534. He was married in 1501 to Ursula Sulmeister, and became the father of nine children. A hymn by his hand is still extant, and has been rendered into several languages, beginning with Durch Adam's Fall ist ganz verderbt. Others were composed by him, but are no longer extant. See Haundorff, Lebensbeschreib. eines christl. Politici, nehmlich L. Spengler (Nuremb. 1741). A list of his published and unpublished works is given in Planck, ut sup. p. 559-565.

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