PORPHYRY: Bishop of Gaza; b. at Thessalonica c. 347; d. at Gaza Feb. 26, 420. After spending five years in the Scetic desert in Egypt, he passed an equal period in Palestine under privations which impaired his health, visiting the sacred sites and living in Jerusalem, where Bishop Praylius ordained him presbyter and made him custodian of the wood of the cross. Early in 395 he was consecrated bishop of Gaza, where he increased the scanty number of Christians, but at the same time met with bitter pagan opposition, so that he twice appealed to the court to close and destroy the heathen temples first (398) through his deacon Marcus, and second (401-402) in person together with the archbishop of Caesarea. The temple of the god Marnas was especially offensive to the Christians, and on his second appeal the intervention of the Empress Eudoxia secured the destruction of the shrine. On the site was erected a magnificent church, the Eudoxiana.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Vita, by the deaoon Marcus was edited with commentary by M. Haupt for the Berlin Academy, in the Abhandlungen, 1874, pp. 171-215, and published separately, 1875; it is also in ASB, Feb., iii. 643-461; MPG, xxxv. 849-694; and ed. by the Bonn society for philology, Leipsic, 1895; the dissertation of A. Nuth De Marci diaconi vita Porphyrii, Bonn, 1897, is important; cf. Dreaeke, in ZWT xxxi (1888), 352-374. Consult further: Tillemont, Mémoires x. 703-716; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, vi. 329-330; DNB, iv. 444-145.


PORST, JOHANN: German Pietist and hymnologiat; b. at Oberkotzau (28 m. n.e. of Bayreuth), Dec. 11, 1668; d. at Berlin Jan. 10, 1728. After completing his education at the University of Leipsic, he became private tutor at Neustadt-on-the-Aisch in 1692. Becoming deeply interested in the writings of Spener (q.v.), three years later he removed to Berlin, where he attended the lectures of the distinguished Pietist. In 1698 he was called to be pastor of Malchow and Hohen-Schonhauaen near Berlin, and six years later he became second preacher at the Friederich-Werdersche and Dorotheenstädtische Kirche, in both positions remaining true to the principles of Spener, and being a forerunner of certain later tendencies of the Inhere Mission. In 1709 be became the chaplain of Sophie Louise, the second wife of Frederick I, and the king invited him in 1713 to become provost of Berlin. After some hesitation, Porst accepted, and became at the same time senior of the Berlin clergy and inspector of the Gray Friars Gymnasium.

Porst's independent literary work was inferior in value to his practical activity as preacher and pastor., Although twenty-four books of his have been enumerated, many of these were only sermons, and others excerpts from larger works written by himself. He devoted much energy to the collecting and editing of edicts and enactments is the interests of church government. At the same time, he wrote several larger works, especially the Theologia practica regenitorum (Halle, 1743), and Theologia viatorum practica (1755), both ascetic treatises conspicuously Pietistic in tendency. Porst is best known, however, for the hymnal, prepared originally for Berlin but later used throughout Brandenburg, which is one of the chief repositories of hymns breathing the Pietism of Spener and the earlier Halls school. The hymnal first appeared anonymously with the title Geistliche liebliche Lieder (Berlin, 1708), containing 420 hymns. A second edition, with 840 hymns, including a special rubric " on the hope of Zion," pertaining to hymns of Chiliastic import,was issued as the Nun vermehrtes geistreiches Gesangbtuch (1711). The third edition, Geistliche and liebliche Lieder (1713), Porst issued in his own name. It contained 906 hymns. The latest revision was that of J. F. Bachmann , of the edition of 1728 (1855; last edition, 1901) from which sixty-two hymns of a false subjectivity were dropped, and as appendix containing 210 earlier or later good hymns was affixed.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: A sketch of the life of Porst was furnished by Staudt to his ed. of one of Porst's smaller works, Göttliche fürung der Seelen, Stuttgart, 1850. Consult further: J. F. Bachmann, Zur Geschichte der Berliner Gesangbücher, Berlin, 1856; idem, Die Gesangbücher Berlins, ib. 1857; E. E. Koch, Geschichte des Kirclesnlieds, vol. iv., Stuttgart, 1888.


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