BEYER, bai'er, HARTMANN: Reformation preacher of Frankfort, where he was born Sept. 30, 1516, and died Aug. 11, 1577. In 1534 he went to Wittenberg as student of philosophy and theology, and received the master's degree there in 1539 and became private teacher of mathematics. He returned to his native city as preacher in 1546. The Reformation, introduced in Frankfort in 1522 by Hartmann Ibach, had been carried on in the earlier years by compulsion and rash zeal on the part of its adherents, and in later time was marked by doctrinal controversies between the Lutheran and Reformed tendencies. Beyer came with the determination to win the victory for Lutheranism, and to his activity was it due that by 1554 a compact Lutheran congregation stood opposed to all insinuations of Calvinism, while the earlier democratic and radical tendencies had been suppressed. In the year named, three congregations of Protestants from the Netherlands, who had first taken refuge in England but fled that country after the accession of Mary, came to Frankfort under the lead of Velerandus Polanus and Johannes a Lasco, bringing with them a Reformed creed and Reformed practises. Beyer was the soul of an opposition which induced the city council to deprive them of the church they had used for worship in 1561. In 1596 even the right of holding services privately was forbidden.

The success of the emperor in the Schmalkald war and the promulgation of the Augsburg Interim (May, 1548) brought the Frankfort Reformers face to face with dangers which for the time quieted doctrinal disputes. The council accepted the interim cautiously, but its attempts to forbid preaching against the new law and against Roman teachings and practises, to reestablish church festivals, to prohibit the eating of meat on fastdays, and like measures met with determined and courageous resistance from Beyer and his colleagues. The former repeatedly expressed his conviction that church ordinances could be established only with the consent of the congregation. The struggle went on till 1577, but the preachers gained the victory.

Beyer issued two pseudonymous writings against the Roman Catholics in 1551 and while in Wittenberg prepared a treatise on mathematics. His sermons are preserved in forty-nine volumes in manuscript in Frankfort. They are marked by a beauty and force of language which make them powerful even today.

(G. E. STEITZ†.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. E. Steitz, Der lutherische Prädikant, Hartmann Beyer, Frankfort, 1852.

BEYSCHLAG, bai'shläh, WILLIBALD: German Protestant; b. at Frankfort Sept. 5, 1823; d. at Halle Nov. 26, 1900. He studied at Bonn and Berlin 1840-44; became vicar at Coblenz 1849; assistant pastor and religious teacher at Treves 1850; court preacher at Carlsruhe 1856; ordinary professor of theology at Halle 1860; and after 1876 editor of the Deutsche Evangelische Blätter, an organ of the so-called Mittelpartei, whose leader he was till the end of his life. To oppose the ultramontane aggressions in Germany, he founded in 1886 the Evangelischer Bund (see BUND, EVANGELISCHER). Of his very numerous writings, besides sermons, the following are worthy of mention: Die Christologie des Neuen Testaments (Berlin, 1866); Die paulinische Theodicee Röm. ix-xi (Berlin, 1868, 2d ed., 1895); Die christliche Gemeindeverfassung im Zeitalter des Neuen Testaments (Haarlem, 1874); Zur Johanneischen Frage (Gotha, 1876); the biographies of his brother, F. W. T. Beyschlag (Aus dem Leben eines Frühvollendeten, 2 parts, Berlin, 1858-59, 6th ed., 1889), of Carl Ullmann (Gotha, 1867), of Carl Immanuel Nitzsch (Halle, 1872, 2d ed., 1882), and of Albrecht Wolters (1880); Zur deutschchristlichen Bildung (1880, 2d ed., 1899); Das Leben Jesu (2 vols., Halle, 1885-86, 4th ed., 1902); Der Friedensschluss zwischen Deutschland and Rom (Halle, 1887); Reden in der Erfurter VorConferenz des evangelischen Bundes (1888); Godofred, ein Märchen fürs deutsche Haus (1888); Luther's Hausstand in seiner reformatorischen Bedeutung (Barmen, 1888); Die Reformation in Italien (1888); Die römisch-katholischen Ansprüche an die preussische Volksschule (1889); Zur Verständigung


über den christlichen Vorsehungsglauben
(Halle, 1889); Erkenntnisspfade zu Christo (1889); Die evangelische Kirche als Bundesgenossin wider die Socialdemokratie (Berlin, 1890); Neutestamentliche Theologie (2 vols., 1891-92, 2d ed., 1896; Eng. transl., New Testament Theology, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1895, 2d ed., 1896); Christenlehre (Halle, 3d ed., 1903).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Consult his autobiography, Aus meinem Leben, 2 vols., Halle, 1896-98; K. H. Pahncke, Willibald Beyschlag, ein Gedenkblatt, Tübingen, 1905.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 05/10/04. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely