GERHARD, JOHANN (1582-1637), one of the ablest and most learned exponents of Lutheran orthodoxy, was burn of a good middle-class family in Quedlinburg, 1 7th October 1562. In his fifteenth year, during a dangerous illness, lie came under the personal influence of Johann Arndt, author of 1)us Wahre Cliristenarion, and resolved to study fur the church. Soon after entering the university of Wittenberg, however, in 1599, he began to waver iu this determination, and ultimately gave himself for two years to the study of medicine, but in 1603 resumed his theological reading at Jena, and in the following year received a new impulse from Winkelmann and Mentzer at Marburg. Having graduated and begun to give lectures at Jena in 1605, he in 1606 received and accepted the duke of Coburg's invitation to the superintendency of lieldburg and mastership of the gymnasium ; soon afterwards lie became general superintendent of the duchy, in which capacity he was much and usefully engaged in the practical work of ecclesiastical organization until 1616, when he found a more congenial sphere in the senior theological chair at Jena, where the remainder of his life was spent. Though still comparatively young, Gerhard had already come to be regarded as the greatest living theologian of Protestant Germany ; in the numerous " disputations " which characterized that period he was always protagonist, while on all public and domestic questions touching on religion or morals his advice was eagerly sought on all hands and by every class. It is recorded that during the course of his lifetime he had received repeated calls to almost every university in Germany, as well as to lipsala in Sweden. He died on the 20th August 1637. Personally lie is said to have exhibited a rare combination of all the best elements of the Christian character; the only failing imputed to him by any one decidedly leans to virtue's side - an excessive love of peace.
His writing,; are very numerous, alike in exegetical, polemical, dogmatic, and practical theology. To the first category belong the ComwnItarias in harmonium historic; evangelicce de pass-ione (1617), the Comment. super prio•em Petri Epistolam (1611), and also his commentaries on Genesis (1637) and on Rmteronomy (16,3). Of a controversial character are the ConpyNio (1634 - GS), an extensive work which seeks to prove the evangelical and catholic character of the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession from the writings of approved Roman Catholic authors ; and the Loci thcologiei (1629), his principal contribution to science, in which Lutheranism is expounded " nervose, solide, I•t copiose," in fact with a fulness of learning, a force of logic, and a minuteness of detail that had never before been approached. The Meditationes same (16:21), a work expressly devoted to the uses of Christian edification, has been frequently reprinted in Latin and has been translated into most of the European languages, in luding Greek. The English translation by R. Winterton (1631) has passed through at least nineteen editions. There is also an edition by W. Papillon in English blank verse (1801). A Vita Jule. Gerltardi was published by E. R. Fischer in 1723.