GEORGE III. OF ANHALT: Prince of Anhalt-Dessau; b. at Dessau Aug. 13 or 15, 1507; d. there Oct. 17, 1553. He was brought up with his brothers mainly by his devout mother Margaret; Duchess of Milnsterberg. At the instance of his kinsman, Bishop Adolphus of Merseburg, he was elevated to the rank of canon in that see in 1518, and attended the University of Leipsic, where Georg Held of Forchheim was his "highly beloved master." In 1524 Adolphus consecrated him as priest. That he might be able the better to refute the Lutheran sect, he made a thorough study of the Bible, the Church Fathers, and church history. The extreme tension of mind and the qualms of conscience into which his investigations brought him induced a violent illness, which left its mark upon him for the rest of his life.

It was only after his mother's death (June, 1530) that he could see his way to entire clearness of faith; but from the time of the Diet of Augsburg (1530) both George and his brothers are found allied with the Reformers. After the first Evangelical celebration of the Lord's Supper at Dessau, on Maundy Thursday, 1534, George visited the district churches, making the fewest possible changes


in the church practises, in accordance with his natural disposition and with Luther's acquiescence. Loving peace, he sought to deter Luther, in 1538, from publishing the tract Wider den Bischof zu Magdeburg; and persuaded him, in 1542, not to circulate his sharply worded tract on the feud of Wurzen. In 1544 the protector of Merseburg Cathedral, Maurice of Saxony, appointed his brother, Duke Augustus, administrator, but be cause the latter was not a cleric, designated George of Anhalt as his "coadjutor in spiritual affairs." In this capacity he forthwith proceeded, in com pany with Antonius Musa, just then appointed cathedral preacher at Merseburg, upon a visitation of all the cathedral parishes, exhibiting great patience, tactful discretion, and forbearance. He next conferred with Maurice in the matter of a prospective liturgy, which, in accordance with his suggestions and in virtue of the deliberations of the consistories of Merseburg and Meissen, was offi cially completed at Altenzelle in 1545. Thence forth twice a year George convened the cathedral clergy to a synod in Merseburg Cathedral, and on such occasions discoursed upon the questions and evils of the time, and upon proper official conduct. He based these concimles eynodica upon outlines furnished him by Melanchthon. Of the sermons which he delivered in the cathedral before many hearers, only a few have been preserved. They are distinguished by temperate and lucid exposition. When, in spite of his efforts to the contrary, the Schmalkald War broke out, George received under his roof the fugitive Camerarius and his family; interceded for Jonas, who had incurred Maurice's anger; and sought to restrain the clergy from " sus picious and frivolous words that might serve to cause discord." Although he " hated " the Augsburg Interim, he felt that he ought to lend a hand in the preparation of the Leipsic Interim, in order to preclude still worse results (see Interim). In 1549 the emperor's candidate Michael Heldingk (Sidonius) was postulated by the chapter as bishop of Merseburg. Until his arrival, George was to continue administering the diocese. To strengthen the Evangelical confession as firmly as possible be fore the threatening storm, he now delivered his powerful sermons "On the False Prophets," and " On the Right Worthy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of 'Christ," which are directed both against Rome and against the fanatics. Afterward he retired to his Anhalt estates. Sojourning mostly in Warmsdorf he continued to preach there, and when occasion offered sought to adjust the Osian drian dispute. He died unmarried after lingering sickness. His unfeigned piety, his gentleness and love of peace, his benevolence and freedom of serv ice, gained him the honorable title of the "devout" or "pious." His theology was that of Luther.

Wilhelm Walther.

Bibliography: His writings in German were edited by Melanchthon, Wittenberg, 1555, 7th ed., 1741, Latin edition containing the Conciones synodico, 157o; the Cc, ciones were edited by G. Stier in Germ. tranal_ 1895. For his life consult: Leben der Aitvdter der iulheried. %%rche, iv. 63 sqq., Leipsic, 1864 (contains lists of the older literature); M. Steffenhagen, Georg von Anbalt, Mereeburg, 1893; A. Romelin, Die Reformation in Des saa, Halls. 1895.


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