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Bible Encyclopedias
Meldenius, Rupertus

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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a German Protestant theologian of the 17th century, is known especially by his work entitled Pareanesis votivapro pace ecclesice ad Theologos: Augustance Confessionis s. 1, et a. Very little is known of his life, and it was even at one time supposed that the name was fictitious. Yet the existence of Meldenius appears now well established. He was a warm supporter of the Formula Concordice, and did not contemplate a union of the two churches, but at the same time he wished the spirit of scholastic controversy which then ruled the churches to give way to real, practical piety and peace. In the first part of his work he denounces the state of the Lutheran Church, and in the second he presents the remedy for it. He accused theologians of not distinguishing sufficiently between essentials and non-essentials, and maintains that, while they should always be ready to defend their opinions, they ought not to be ceaselessly engaged in controversies. He claims that in order to labor efficiently for the edification of his flock the minister must himself lead a holy life, and nothing, in his opinion, can be worse. than Pharisaical hypocrisy, which is the origin of φιλοδοξία, φιλαργυρία, and φιλονειχία . He ends his description of these besetting sins of the Church with the exclamation, Serva nos Domine, alioqui(n) perimus. In the second part he contrasts with these faults the opposite virtues of humility, moderation, and peacefulness which the Christian should possess. Want of Christian love he considers as the true cause of the state of affairs; there is enough of science, but a great lack of love. He cannot understand a minister whose sins have been pardoned by God not hiding under the shield of love the faults of his colleague. " Omnium vero norma," says Rupertus, "sit caritas cum prudentia quadam pia et humilitate non ficta conjuncta." He does not wish all controversies to cease, but to be conducted in a more moderate, charitable spirit. He then compares the actual state of religion with its state in the early ages, and concludes by saying, " Si nos servaremus il necessariis unitatem, in non necessariis libertatem, in utrisque caritatem, optimo certe loco essent res nostrae." As essentials, Rupertus considers those principles which refer directly to the articles of faith or principal points in the Catechism, or such as can be clearly established from Scripture, such as were held by the early Church, proved such by the acts of synods or symbolic works, and, finally, those which all orthodox theologians agree upon as such. On the other hand, he holds as non-essential such points as are not clearly demonstrated by Scripture, do not forma an article of the Catechism, were not held by the ancient Church, or considered necessary by the greater number of orthodox theologians. Rupertus openly declares that he does not hold the views of those who consider purity of doctrine as essential. The work is published by J. G. Pfeiffer in his Miscellanea Theologica (Leips. 1736); also by Liicke, Ueber das Alter, den Verofasser, etc., des Kirchlichen Friedenspruches: In necessariis unitas, in non necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas (Getting. 1850). See Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 9:304.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Meldenius, Rupertus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​m/meldenius-rupertus.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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