Zollikofer, Georg Joachim
Zollikofer, Georg Joachim a famous preacher of Leipsic, was born at Saint Gall, Aug. 5 1730. He attended the gymnasia of Saint Gall and Bremen, and afterwards the University of Utrecht; giving attention rather to literature than theology at the latter place, and cultivating a finished, diction. He became a family tutor at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1749. In 1753 he returned to Saint Gall and vainly sought employment there and in other Swiss towns; but earned in the meantime, a reputation which obtained for him a call to become the pastor of the Reformed congregation at Leipsic. He served that congregation during thirty years, and until his death, which occurred Jan. 22, 1788. Zollikofer's tendency was in some measure in harmony with the spirit of his times. He was given to the exaltation of virtue, and loved to discuss the dignity of man, the ways of righteousness which alone lead to God, and which Jesus opened by teaching and example. He asserted that persons who have always been virtuous need no conversion, but simply a perfecting of their characters. Christianity was to him God's own best means for the instructing, comforting, and improving of men, through which progress they may attain to blessedness. He was not, however, an exponent of the "enlightenment" of that period for Christ's resurrection, ascension and eternal glory were held by him as positive facts. Christ was to him the only begotten Son of the Highest; though the atonement was regarded as simply an expression of God's readiness to forgive. As a preacher he may be ranked with Reinhard though superior to him as an expositor and in the definite aim of his discourse, as well as in the joy his fervor with which it was usually pervaded. Leipsic regarded it as an evidence of inferior culture and poor taste not to prefer him above the contemporary preachers. He wrote prayers which are mere reflections preceded by an address to God; e.g. Anreden u. Gebete bei dem gemeinschaftl. U. hauslichen Gottesdienste (1777):— Andachtsubungen u. Gentet, etc. (New ed. 1804,4 pts.). He also prepared a hymn book, Sammlung geistl. Lieder u. Gesange (1766). His sermons were repeatedly published; in 15 vols. In 1798-1804. His personal character was thoroughly upright and manly, and also kindly and benevolent. He was self-possessed and of an equitable temper. The care with which he chose the precise word he needed made him eloquent in the pulpit, but reticent in ordinary intercourse with men.
The sources for Zollikofer's life are Firscher, A Memorial Discourse; Hirsching Hist. lit. Handbuch (Ernests's supplement, Leips. — 1815), 17,: 272 sq;. Döring, Deutsche Kanzelrednerd. 18. u. 19. Jahrhunderts (Neustadt an d. Oder, 1830), p. 586 sq.; Larve, Charakterization (Leips. 1788); Lentz, Gesch. D. Homiletik, 2, 327 sq.; Hagenbach, Kirchengesch. D. 18. u. 19. Jahrh. 1, 366 sq. See also Herzog, Real Encyklop. s.v.