[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Melanchthon

I'm surprised that no Congregationalist has leaped to answer
my trivia question about who was Melanchthon....

Phillipp Schwarzerdt (16 Feb 1497 - 19 April 1560) who was renamed
Melanchthon (which means the same thing in Greek, ``black soil''),
was a prominent reformer, scholar, educator, administrator, writer,
and politician.  He was Martin Luther's right-hand man, and the
author of the Augsburg confession.

Personally, he was a child prodigy, prodigiously well-read in several
languages including Latin and especially Greek, published in many
fields, physically sickly, and good at compromises.

He was one of the principal proponents and theologians of the Reformation,
and specifically of the Reformed tradition which led to the Congregationalists
and the Presbyterians.

Rev. Robert Quarterman thought enough of Melanchthon to name one of his
children after him.  Why?  We don't know.  We do know that that was unusual;
mostly the Rev. followed the usual convention of drawing middle names from
relatives' surnames (Myddleton, Way, Jones, Pratt) or first names.

(Rev. William George Myddleton Quarterman also moved to Florida where
some of his descendants live to this day, although they don't correspond.
Probably they're still smarting at Rev. Robert's comment about ``my poor
deluded son'' who joined the Methodists....  Some of them now have the
surname Brockington.)

It's not unusual that Rev. Robert knew who Melanchthon was; all Puritan
preachers were expected to be well-read in church history.  Why he found
this particular Reformer to be of such interest is the puzzler.  He didn't
name any offspring Luther or Calvin, after all.

John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>