« Alber, Erasmus Alber, Matthæus Albert of Aix »

Alber, Matthæus

ALBER, MATTHÆUS: The “Luther of Swabia"; b. at Reutlingen (20 m. s. of Stuttgart) Dec. 4, 1495; d. at Blaubeuren (30 m. s.e. of Stuttgart) Dec. 2, 1570. He was the son of a well-to-do goldsmith, took his master’s degree at Tübingen in 1518, and was immediately called as pastor to his native city. On Melanchthon’s recommendation he received a scholarship, enabling him to continue his studies for three years longer. Dissatisfied with the scholastic theology at Tübingen, he went to Freiburg in 1521, but soon returned to Reutlingen, where he boldly preached Luther’s doctrine and established the new teaching. At Easter, 1524, he abolished the Latin mass and auricular confession. The same year he married, and when brought to account at Esslingen secured an acquittal by skilful management, although the bishop continued to trouble him because of his marriage till 1532. The Reformation made steady progress in 104 Reutlingen; and in 1531 a church order with presbyterial government was introduced. During the Peasant’s War Reutlingen was unmolested. The fugitive Anabaptists from Esslingen were won over by instruction and mildness. Zwingli endeavored to bring over Alber to his view of the Lord’s Supper, but the latter adhered to Luther, preserving his independence, however, and remaining on friendly terms with Zwingli’s friends, Blarer, Butzer, Capito, and others. In 1534 Duke Ulrich of Württemberg called Alber as preacher to Stuttgart with a view of introducing the Reformation there. In 1536 Alber went to Wittenberg, where he preached (May 28) and assisted in finishing the Concordia. In 1537 at the Colloquy of Urach he advised cautious procedure with regard to the removal of the images. As he opposed the introduction of the interim in 1548, he was obliged to give up his office and leave the city. For a time he lived at Pfullingen, protected by Duke Ulrich who in Aug., 1549 called him as first preacher of the collegiate Church of Stuttgart and general superintendent. He took an active part in the preparation of the Württemberg Confession and the church order of 1553, and he attended both the latter part of the Second Colloquy at Worms (1557) and the Synod of Stuttgart. Toward the end of 1562 he was made abbot of the reformed monastery at Blaubeuren.

G. Bossert.

Bibliography: J. Fixion, Cronika von Reutlingen, ed. A. Bacmeister. Stuttgart, 1862; F. G. Gayler, Denkwürdigkeiten der Reichsstadt Reutlingen, Reutlingen, 1840; J. Hartmann, Matthäus Alber, Tübingen, 1863; G. Bossert, Der Reutlinger Sieg, 1524, Barmen, 1894; idem, Interim in Württemberg, Halle, 1895; R. Schmid, Reformationsgeschichte Württembergs, Heilbronn, 1904.

« Alber, Erasmus Alber, Matthæus Albert of Aix »
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