FRANCK, frank (FRANK), JOHANN: German lyric poet; b. at Guben (79 m. s.e. of Berlin), Brandenburg, June 1, 1618; d. there June 18, 1677. He studied law at Konigsberg, was a councilor in his native town, later on mayor and a member of the county council of the Niederlausitz. Under the influence of the Silesian School and of Simon Dach of Konigsberg he produced a series of poems and hymns, collected and edited by himself in two volumes (Guben, 1674), entitled: Teutsche Gedichte, enthaltend geistliches Zion samt Vaterunserharfe nebst irdischem Helicon oder Lob-, Lieb-, Leidge- dichte, etc. His secular poems are forgotten; about forty of his religious songs, hymns, and psalms have been kept in the hymn-books of the German Protestant Church. Some of these are the hymn for the Holy Communion "Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele" ("Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness"); the Advent hymn "Komm, Heidenheiland, Losegeld " ("Come, Ransom of our captive race;" a translation into German of J. Campanus's "Veni Redemptor gentium"); a hymn to Christ, "Jesu, meine Freude" ("Jesus, my chief pleasure"). The music for his hymns by the Guben organist Christoph Peter appeared first in the Andachtscymbeln, the oldest Guben hymn-book, in 1648. In honor of Johann Franck a simple monument has been erected at the south wall of the Guben parish church.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Jentsch, Johann Franck von Guben, Guben, 1877. On his hymns consult A. Knapp, Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz, ii. 849 Stuttgart, 1850; Julian, Hymnology, pp. 386-387.


His Peculiar Views ( 1).
His Literary Activity ( 2).
The Chronica ( 3).
Other Works ( 4).

Sebastian Franck, one of the popular writers of the Reformation, was born at Donauworth (25 m. n. of Augsburg) 1499; d. Basel (?) 1542 or 1543. He entered the University of Ingolstadt in 1515, and continued his studies at Bethlehem college, an institution of the Dominicans at Heidelberg, incorporated in the university. Here he met his later opponents, Martin Frecht and Butzer. Bethlehem was still dominated by the scholasticism of the closing Middle Ages, but influences of humanism also made themselves felt. Subsequently Franck became priest in the bishopric of Augsburg, and in 1527 he occupied a clerical position at Gustenfelden, a small borough near Nuremberg.

1. His Peculiar Views.

At this time his standpoint was strictly Lutheran, and he attacked the Sacramentarians and Anabaptists. But in his Turkenchronik (1530) his radicalism began to find expression. Here he treats of "ten or eleven nations or sects of Christianity" of which none possesses the full truth, and at the close he intimates that beside the three faiths, the Lutheran, the Zwinglian and the Anabaptist, there would soon arise a fourth, an invisible spiritual Church which would be governed by the eternal invisible word of God without any external means such as ceremonies, sacraments and sermons. Thus Franck appears as the representative of a mystic spiritualism which placed him in strong contrast with ecclesiastical Protestantism. In 1528 he resigned his position at Gustenfelden and went to Nuremberg and in the following year to Strasburg. In the free atmosphere of the two imperial cities his views underwent an entire change-- the theologian became a popular writer, the Lutheran an opponent of every Christian system that is bound by ecclesiastical rules. He searched for God's truth among all people, in nature, and history as well as in the Bible. In Strasburg he came into contact with congenial opponents of the ecclesiastical Reformation, especially with Servetus and Hans Bunderlin of Linz. Under the influence of the latter as well as of Schwenckfeld his spiritualism reached its full development. He held that the whole external Church and all its institutions were corrupted by Antichrist immediately after the time of the apostles. It is not God's will, he thought, that it should be reerected, the inner illumination by the spirit of God being sufficient. We must all unlearn what we have learned from the pope, Luther, and Zwingli.


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F omeat

married, he returned to England and went to Reading. There he was set in the stocks as a vagrant, but was released at the request of the schoolmaster of the town and went to London, where Sir Thomas More, the lord chancellor, issued a warrant for his arrest as a heretic. Frith sought concealment, but was seized at Milton Shore, Essex, as he was attempting to escape to Holland, and was committed to the Tower. His imprisonment was not rigid, however, and became still milder when Sir Thomas Audley became chancellor in 15$,3. Meanwhile Frith had formulated his views on the sacrament, holding the following four points: The doctrine of the sacrament is not an article of faith to be held under pain of damnation; the natural body of Christ had the same qualities as those of all men, except that it was free from sin, and it is therefore not ubiquitous; it is neither right nor necessary to take the word of Christ literally, for it should be construed according to the analogy of the Bible; the sacrament should be received according to the institution of Christ, and not according to the order in use. A tailor named William Holt obtained a statement of these views from Frith by pretending to be his friend, and gave a copy to More, who prepared a reply, of which the. prisoner managed to secure a written copy. He immediately wrote a refutation, but was attacked by one of the royal chaplains in-a sermon before the king. Henry VIII. ordered him to be examined, and he was accordingly tried, refusing a proffered opportunity to escape. He again appeared before the bishops of London, Winchester, and Chichester on June 20, 1533, but as he persisted in his denial of transubstantiation and purgatory, Bishop Stokesley of London condemned him to die at the stake as an obstinate heretic. Frith was therefore delivered to the secular arm and was confined in Newgate until he was taken to Smithfield for execution.

John Frith was a prolific writer, his chief works being Fruitful Gatherings o f Scripture (n.p., 1529 [?]; a translation of the Loci of Patrick Hamilton); A Pistle to the Christen Reader; the Revelation o f Anti Christ (Marburg, 1529; one of the first English attacks on Roman Catholicism); A Disputation of Purgatory (Marburg [?] 1531 [?]); A Letter unto faithful Followers of Christ's Gospel (n.p., 1532 [?]); A Mirror or Glass to Know thyself (1532 [?]); A Mirror or Looking Glass wherein you may behold the Sacrament of Baptism described (London, 1533); and The Articles wherefore John Frith he died (1548). Frith's complete works were edited, together with those of Tyndale and Barnes, by John Foxe at London in 1573. To him are also ascribed the Voz Piscis (3 parts, London, 1626-27), containing three brief treatises, including the Mirror or Glass to Know thyself, all said to have been found in a codfish in Cambridge market in 1626; An Admoni tion or Warning that the faithful Christians in Lon don dzc. may avoid God's Vengeance (Wittenberg, 1554) and the Testament of Master W. Tracie, Esquire (Antwerp, 1535), Tyndale being a collabora tor in the latter work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Life and 4Vartyrdom of John Frith, London, 1824; A. & Wood, Adenas Oxonieness, ed. P. Bliss,

i. 74, London, ISM; ADwnw Cantabrspienses, ed. C. H. THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 400

and T. Cooper, i. 47, ib. 1858; T. Fuller, Church His(. of Britain, ed. J. 8. Brewer, iii. 85, oxford, 1845; DNB, ax. 278-280.


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