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Johann Valentin Andrea


Another celebrated writer of this period, whose works belong to the newer school, is Johann Valentin Andrea. He was born in 1586, of a family already eminent for learning; he distinguished himself at the universities, and then for some years travelled all over Europe as tutor to various pupils of noble families. Returning to Wurtemberg he came under the influence of the pious and venerable Arndt, became an earnestly religious man and took orders. For many years he was the chief clergyman at Calw, where during the earlier period of the war, when Wurtemberg was as yet untouched, he organized a system of relief and succour to the sufferers elsewhere, which was so energetically carried out, that within five years 11,000 persons had received from it essential assistance. But Calw's own turn came ere long: in 1634 it was stormed and given up to plunder, and Andrea, who was particularly obnoxious to the Imperialists for the part he had taken, fled into the forests with some of his friends. They were hunted for days with bloodhounds, but finally, after undergoing fearful hardships, escaped by the aid of friendly country-people. As soon as the way was open he returned to his charge, where he was received with tears of joy; but in the next two years there followed the usual list of disasters which marked the course of the war,--famine, pestilence, and the passage of troops, until more than two-thirds of the inhabitants had perished, and the small remainder owed to the eloquent exertions of Andrea the scanty support which reached them from other cities. When the storm rolled away from that region of Germany, Andrea consented to leave Calw and accept the post of court preacher at 235 Stuttgardt. Here he had to cope with difficulties of another and less congenial type. He was a man of fervid and strict piety, with high ideas of church discipline, and the court of Wurtemberg was given up to luxury and amusement as if the country were not bleeding at every pore. He did contrive to make his own house a refuge for the poor, especially those of his own order, to found a theological college, and to inspire new life and better order into the churches more immediately under his influence. But the court disliked him and he had many annoyances and failures to endure, and at last his weakened health furnished a good excuse for getting rid of him by an honourable promotion. He died in 1654 as prelate of Adelberg. His greatest influence was as a Church reformer and a prose writer; he wrote many theological, controversial, and satirical works, both in Latin and German, which earned for him an important place in the prose literature of his day, and admission into the Fruit-bearing Society. But he also published in 1619 avolume of sacred poems called "Spiritual Pastime" (Geistliche Kurzweil), which have the merit of deep, pregnant thought in trenchant but often harsh and abrupt expression. We give one called

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