« Antitrinitarianism Anton, Paul Antonelli, Giacomo »

Anton, Paul

ANTON, PAUL: Lutheran; b. at Hirschfelde (near Zittau, 50 m. e.s.e. of Dresden), in Upper Lausitz, Feb. 2, 1661; d. at Halle Oct. 20, 1730. He studied at Leipsic, became tutor there, and helped to found Francke’s Collegia biblica (see Pietism). In 1687-89 he traveled in southern Europe as chaplain to the future Elector of Saxony Frederick Augustus, and on his return became superintendent at Rochlitz. In 1693 he was summoned as court chaplain to Eisenach, and two years later was appointed professor in the newly established university at Halle. With J. J. Breithaupt and A. H. Francke, Anton gave to the Hallensian theology its pietistic character, and he helped largely to make the university one of the leading schools of Protestant theology in Germany. He adhered more closely than his colleagues to the orthodox Lutheran doctrine. His peculiar activity was in the field of practical theology. As professor of polemics, he sought to ground that study upon psychological principles. “Every one,” he was accustomed to say, “carries within himself the seeds of unbelief and heresy; and introspection is a more fruitful means for ascertaining the true principles of belief than personal or sectarian controversy.” The Lord, he taught, would forgive a thousand faults and transgressions, but not hypocrisy or unfaithfulness to duty. The consciousness of sin was always present with him, and he impressed himself upon his auditors by his evident sincerity. Anton’s lectures were edited in part by Schwenzel in 1732 under the title Collegium antitheticum. His devotional works—such as Evangelische Hausgespräch von der Erlösung (Halle, 1723) and Erbauliche Betrachtung über die sieben Worte Christi am Kreuz (1727)—attained great popularity.

(Georg Müller.)

Bibliography: An autobiography to 1725 was published in Denkmal des Herrn Paul Anton, Halle, 1731.

« Antitrinitarianism Anton, Paul Antonelli, Giacomo »
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