Thursday, July 4, 2013

Three cheers for Lutheran princes!

On this July fourth, spare a thought for Ernest I, the Confessor, Duke of Brunswich-Lüneburg, signer of the Augsburg Confession, and great-great-great-great-grandfather to George III of the House of Hanover.



  1. The confessing Duke's motto "aliis inserviendo consumer" ("consumed in service of others") seems splendidly applicable to our dear Lord Christ, does it not.

    And as an aside, I have to say there's something about a physician named "Wolf Cyclop," that makes me uneasy. Frankly, I was not greatly surprised to learn of his entanglements in Zwickau enthusiasms.

    It reminds of being been assigned years ago by the University to a psychotherapist named Phyllis Payne, for outpatient supervision, and I'm inwardly groaning "Okay Anderson, steel yourself for an onslaught of Rogerian schmaltz."

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor

    1. There's something not quite right about the Latin, perhaps because it has been "auto corrected" by a spellchecker that doesn't recognize foreign languages. Perhaps you meant "consumar" (the future indicative or present subjunctive of consumere, either of which would make good sense)? One website ( that I found that had a picture and brief biography of the duke had the following version of the motto, along a similar theme: "aliis servio; me ipsum contero" ("I serve others; I wear myself out.") However, I prefer the gerund construction in the version you found.

    2. On further inspection, it seems that the German version of the Wikipedia article has the version I cite, while the English version has the version you cite. There is no attestation given for either variant, although the English seems to be largely pirated from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia.

    3. Actually, now that I have had a chance to look more carefully at the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, the author writes "consumor" (present indicative), which again would make a lot of sense.

    4. Egad. Thus, I am led into temptation: "A lot of sense, yes; but how do you feel about all this?"

      Actually, after witnessing the elaborately detailed dissection of Winkepedia's pedagogy, this old guy's beginning to think that the ever-humorless (albeit ever-right-brained) Carl Rogers may make sense ... which is a huge concession.


      Your (unworthy) servant,
      Herr Doktor

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  3. Here's an elegy from Lucas Lossius's "Luneburg in [Lower] Saxony," a poetic history from the late 16th century. It talks about the good Duke and Urbanus Rhegius, the Lutheran theologian he brought back with him to help reform his territory when he left Augsburg. Luther famously said Rhegius was the "Bishop of Lower Saxony." Rhegius was present to sign with his fellow Lower Saxon Superintendents at Smalcald.

    De instaurata Ecclesia in inclyta Lunaeburga, et summis eius gubernatoribus quatuor, et consensu docentium in tradita et accepta a D. martino Luthero, D. Philippo Melanthone, D. Ioanne Pomerano, D. Casparo Crutzigero, D. Paulo Ebero, et aliis in celeberrima Academia Vviteburgensi olim, et adhuc docentibus, vera et incorrupta doctrina Legis et Evangelii.

    Annis post Siloh de casta Virgine natum,
    Exactis mille et quingentis et triginta,
    Comitia Augusta Regem celebrantur in urbe,
    Dogmatis his Christi concensu forma recepta
    Est, Latii imperii, sancto contenta libello.
    Inclytus hac etiam Dux Lunaeburgicus Urbe,
    Princeps Ernestus magna est pietate professus
    Doctrinam Christi constanti pectore veram.
    Augusta rediens Princeps post urbe, solutis
    Comitiis, secum magna pietate verendum
    Doctrina et scriptis cuius celebrata per orbem
    Iam fuerat multis, Urbanum duxit in aulam,
    Et fecit terrae post summus Episcopus esset.
    Urbs etiam primum Christi tum dogmata Phoebes
    Coeperat amplecti, summo ast Doctore carebat.
    Princeps eximio pietatis motus amore,
    Et studio Christi spargendi dogmata late,
    Urbanum Phoebes Doctorem mittit in Urbem,
    Constituat coetus et in hac etiam ille piorum,
    Ordinet, et vero confirmet dogmate Christi.
    Quod facit is magna cura, pietate, fideque,
    Vera docens, falsos cultus, et dogmata falsa
    Extirpans, non ulla novans, facien sue tumultu,
    Omnia consilio peragit, nil plebis ad aestus
    Mutans, aut tribuens cuiquam, non civica tollens
    Iura, predem in templo ponens non, atque Senatum.
    Annis hinc actis binis, a Principe claro
    Urbanus cessit Cellam revocatus ad Urbem,
    Nostra, memor, virtus fuerit, quam sermo benignus,
    Quanta viri pietas, fidei quam plurimus usus,
    Praeteriit Cellis nuper cum moesta sepulchrum,
    Hos elegos tenuis lachrymosos Musa canebat.

    1. Sean (vel melius dictus, Johannes, quia Scoti Sean pro Johanne dicunt), gratias tibi multas ago. Hoc carmen Lossii mihi valde placet, sicut omnia carmina eius semper mihi gaudium dulce sunt.

  4. thank you for your information !


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