BackContentsNext

MELDENIUS, RUPERTUS: The pseudonym of a German Lutheran theologian who, at the time of the Thirty Years' War, wrote a small tract in Latin, admonishing theologians in their disputes not to forget moderation and love. His tract bore the title: Paraenesis votiva pro pace ecclesiae ad theologos Augustanae confessionis auctore Ruperto Meldenio Theologo [Rottenburg, 1626]. The contents indicate that it was written after the death of Johann Arndt (q.v.; d. 1621), when there was a renewal of controversy over his orthodoxy. From the tenor of the closing words: "In a word, were we to observe unity in essentials, liberty in incidentals, and in all things charity, our affairs would be certainly in a most happy situation," Lucke (see bibliography) inferred the author to be the originator of the celebrated phrase In necessariis unites, in non necessariis libertas, in utrisque (or, in omnibus) caritas. The pseudonym "Rupertus Meldenius" resulted from transposing the letters of Petrus Meuderlinus, the Latinized name of Peter Meiderlin (b. at Oberacker, near Maulbronn, 26 m. n.w. of Heidelberg, in 1582; d. at Augsburg, 1651), ephor of St. Anne's in Augsburg, 1612-50. Meiderlin, in F. A. Veith's Bibliotheca Augustana (12 vols., Augsburg, 1785 96), is mentioned as author of the Paraenesis, hence Meiderlin is to be regarded as the originator of the phrase in question, since so far as is known it occurs nowhere any earlier than in his tract. All else known of him is eminently in accord with that utterance, as with the sentiments manifested in the Paraenesis. Richard Baxter (q.v.) refers to the phrase in his treatise: The True and Only Way of Concord of all the Christian Churches (1680), and speaks of the same as "the Pacificator's old and despised words."

CARL BERTHEAU.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Lucke, Ueber das Alter, den Verfasser, die urapranpliche Form and den wahren Sinn des kireh lichen Priedeneprurhes In neeessariia unites, etc., G5ttingen, 1850; idem; in TSK, 1851, pp. 905-938; L. Bauer, M. Peter Meiderlin, Augsburg, 1906; ADB, xxi. 293.

MELETIUS, me-li'shi-us, OF ANTIOCH AND THE MELETIAN SCHISM.

Personal History of Meletius ($ 1).
Origin of the Schism ($ 2).
Strengthening of Meletius' Position ($ 3).
Continuance of Schism after his Death ($ 4).

1. Personal History of Meletius.

In his personal history Meletius forms a curious complement to Eustathius of Sebaste (q.v.), having come into possession of a large part of the esteem which has been withdrawn from Eustathius. He was spoken of in Rome as an Arian as late as 377, and his first deposition was inflicted on him, according to Philostorgius (v. 5), after conviction of perjury, according to the Chronicon paschale (362 A.D.) "for godlessness and other History of evil deeds"; while to-day he is reckoned as a saint by both the Roman and the Greek Churches. It might be thought that this reversal of judgment was due merely to ecclesiastical policy, if our knowledge of his virtues were confined to the letters of Basil and the pulpit rhetoric of Gregory of Nyssa ("Funeral Oration on Meletius," NPNF, 2 ser., v. 514 sqq.) and Chrysostom (Hom. in S. Meletium). But fortunately this hypothesis is ruled out by the honorable acknowledgment made by Epiphanius about 376 (Haer. lxxiii. 35) in favor of Meletius, with whom he had little dogmatic or partizan sympathy. It is clear that Meletius must have been a man of ascetic strictness of life and generally upright and amiable character, and honored as such widely. He was born at Melitene in the province of Armenia Minor, held property in the northern part of this province at Getasa, and had a good secular education. He makes his first appearance in history soon after 357 as an adherent of the compromise policy of Acacius, with whom he opposed the Homoiousians Basil of Ancyra, George of Laodicea, and Eustathius of Sebaste; and when the last-named was deposed at a synod held in Melitene (probably 358) he became his successor. Possibly on account of the opposition of the followers of Eustathius, he resigned his bishopric and retired to Beroea, then, according to Socrates (Hist. eccl. II., xliv., NPNF, 2 ser., ii. 73), attended the synod of Seleucia in the autumn of 359 and subscribed an Acacian confession. Even after the synod of Constantinople in the spring of 360, unfavorable as it was to the Homoiousians, he still possessed the confidence of the court party; and when Eudoxius of Antioch was translated to the see of Constantinople (Jan. 27, 360) he was chosen for the vacant bishopric. He was received with enthusiasm in Antioch when he took possession of his new see at the end of the year; but he had occupied it only a month when he lost it. The cause is not certain, but the old tradition asserts that his theological attitude disappointed the party with which he had been acting: Epiphanius indicates, and the orthodox historians of the fifth century say positively, that the special cause was a sermon, the orthodoxy of which embittered the opposite party. It was preached in the emperor's presence and by his command on Prov. viii. 22, after Acacius and a certain George, probably George of Alexandria, not of Laodicea, had already discoursed on the same text. But this was scarcely the cause of his deposition; the most decisive evidence against the tradition is the sermon itself, still extant (in Epiphanius, Haer. lxxiii. 29-33), which, while not Arian, is certainly not Homoousian nor even Homoiousian, but just what might have been expected from a Homoian court bishop who was not a crypto-Arian. The conclusion which best satisfies the conflicting authorities is that the first expulsion of Meletius was not on dogmatic grounds, but caused rather by some action of his which embittered opponents could construe as illegal.

288

[Page 288]

289

[Page 289]

290

[Page 290]

291

[Page 291]

292

[Page 292]

293

[Page 293]

294

[Page 294]

295

[Page 295]

296

[Page 296]

297

[Page 297]

298

[Page 298]

299

[Page 299]

300

[Page 300]

301

[Page 301]

302

[Page 302]

303

[Page 303]

304

[Page 304]

305

[Page 305]

306

[Page 306]

307

[Page 307]

308

[Page 308]

309

[Page 309]

310

Menolottion Xeroersburg Theology THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG

named in the teat and that on Simoxe, MsxNo, also contain references to a rich literature. Consult further: S. Blaupot ten Cate, Geachiedenie der Doopegezinden, 5 parts, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam, 1839-47; R. Baird , Religion in U. S. A., pp. 593-594, Glasgow, 1844; B. Ely, %urzgefaaate Kirchen-Geachichte und' Glaubenelehre der taufgeainnten Christen and Menoniten, n.d., Lancaster, Pa.; the periodical Doopsgezinde Bifdmgen, 1860 sqq.; J. F. Funk, The Mennonite Church and her Accusers, Elkhart, Ind.. 1878; D. Musser, The Reformed Mennonite Church, Lancaster, 1878; F. Ellis and S. Evans, Hint. of Lancaster Co., Pa., chap. asvii., Lancaster, n.d.; A. Brons, Uraprung and Schickaale der Taufgeeinmten odor Mennonites, Norden, 1884; M. Schoen, Das Mennonitenthum in Weatpreusaen, Berlin, 1886; B. C. Roaeen, Geachichte der Mennoniten-0emeinde zu Hamburg and Altona, 2 parts, Hamburg, 188687; A. Mans, Unaere %olonien in Ruasland, Odessa, 1887; J. P. Maller, Die Mennonites in Oetfrieeland, Emden, 1887; H. C. Vedder, Short Hist. of the Baptiste, pp. 103-106, Philadelphia, 1891; idem, The Baptieta, pp. 24 sqq., New York, 1903; T. Armitage, Hint. of the Baptists, pp. 51, 366, New York, 1893; J. Loserth, Anabaptiamus in Tirol, Vienna, 1892; idem, Communismua der mahrischen Wiedertdtufer, ib. 1894; A. H. Newman, in American Church History Series, vol ii. passim, New York 1894 idem, Hint. of Anti-Pedobaptiem, pp. 296 sqq., Philadelphia, 1897; C. H. A. Smissen, %urzgefasete Geachichte der Tdufer, Summerfield, Ill., 1895; H. P. Krehbiel, Hint. of the General Conference of the Mennonites of North America, Canton, Ohio, 1898; G. Tumbolt, Die Wiedertdufer. Bielefeld, 1899; wedel, Geachichte der Mennonites, 4 vols., Newton, Hans., 1900-02; E. C. Pike, The Story of the Anabaptist&, London, 1904; C. H. Smith, The Mennonites of America, Goshen, Ind., 1909.

BackContentsNext


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely