Winckler (or Winkler), Johann

Winckler (or Winkler), Johann one of the most faithful, important, and judicious of the friends of Spener (q.v.), was born July 13, 1642, at Gilzern, near Grimma, and was educated at Leipsic and Tübingen. He had become acquainted with Spener before he entered upon his first pastorate at Hamburg in 1671, and received ordination at his hands. In 1672 Winckler became. superintendent at Braubach; 1676, court preacher at Darmstadt; 1678, pastor at Mannheim; and 1679, superintendent at Wertheim. He had already, at Darmstadt, begun to hold private devotional meetings, such as he had observed to be a useful means of grace in the ministry of Spener at Frankfort. On Aug. 31, 1684, he was, on the recommendation of Spener, chosen chief pastor of St. Michael's at Hamburg, and that city continued afterwards to be his home while he lived. Soon after his settlement in Hamburg (1686), he came into controversy with Dr. John Friedr. Mayer, pastor of St. Jacobi, respecting the theatre, which Mayer defended against Winckler's aspersions; and the dispute was renewed with greater acrimony when Dr. Schultz, the senior of Hamburg, submitted a formula, made 'binding by an oath, and directed against all fanatics, to the ministers of Hamburg for their signature.' Winckler and his friends Horb and Hinckelmann (q.v.) refused to sign the paper, and various theologians in other places, among them Spener, had written against its adoption, while Mayer became its impassioned advocate. Winckler ultimately felt constrained to discuss the matter in dispute in the pulpit, which he did in four sermons delivered April 25 to May 16, 1693. In the course of the dispute Horb was expelled from the city, but Mayer was thoroughly defeated. An amnesty was secured in June, 1694. In 1699 the death of Schultz transferred the office of senior to Winckler, and Mayer chose, in consequence, to remove to Greifswald. Winckler died April 5, 1705.

Winckler had few equals as a preacher, though his sermons are difficult to read by reason of the extraneous matter inserted when they were prepared for the press. Some of them extend over one hundred pages, and are theological treatises rather than sermons. He was eminent as a scholar in exegesis and Biblical theology, and had A. H. Francke for his pupil; he rendered meritorious service to the cause of education in the enlarging of a number of schools and- the founding of many others. He was from an early period of his life a supporter of the principles and methods of Spener, writing in their defence Bedenken iiber Kriegsmann's Symuphomnesis, etc. (Hanau, 1679): — Antwort auf Dilfeld's gründl. Erorterung der Frage von den Privatzusammenkuinften (ibid. 1681): — and Sendschreiben an Dr. Jannekenium (Hamburg, 1690); but he was not a blind supporter of Spener, and preserved an independent' character to the end, as is illustrated especially by his judgment in the case of the fanatical Fraulein v.d. Asseburg, expressed in Schriftnzmssiges Bedenken (ibid. 1693). Francke prepared for the founding of the Halle Orphanage at Winckler's house in 1688; and in the same year Winckler drew up the plan for a Bible Society, and began its work by the issue of several editions of the Bible at the expense of himself and a number of friends. He caused a new liturgy and hymn-book to be prepared for the Church of Hamburg, and devised a systematic plan for examining candidates. See Geffeken, Joh. Winckler u.

d. Hamb. Kirche in seiner Zeit, etc. (ibid. 1684- 1705; 1861). — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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