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Term used in philos., biology, physics, and psychol. to denote a theory which holds that natural processes, esp. those of life, are mechanically determined and are to be explained by laws of physics and chemistry; it has no fixed meaning; its meaning was often modified by its antithesis (e.g., supernaturalism,* teleology,* vitalism).


(Mekhitar; other variant spellings; “Consoler”; name adopted 1691 when he became a monk; bap. name: Peter Manoug [Manug]; 1676–1749). B. Sivas (Sebaste), Turkey in Asia; RC priest 1696; founded Mechitarists 1701 at Constantinople; worked for educ. among Armenians (see Armenia) and union of Armenian Ch (see Armenian Churches) and RCs Works include a commentary on Mt; Armenian catechism, grammar, and dictionary; Armenian Bible tr. See also Anthony, Orders of St., 12.

Mechthild of Hackeborn

(Mechtild; Matilda; also “of Helfta”; ca. 1240–ca. 1298). Mem. of the family of the lords of Hackeborn; Cistercian nun and mystic; trained by her sister, Gertrude of Hackeborn (see Gertrude, 2); dir. cloister school at Helfta [Helpede], near Eisenach, Ger.; teacher of Gertrude the Great (see Gertrude, 1), who ed. Liber specialis gratiae, an account of Mechthild's alleged revelations emphasizing devotion to the sacred* heart of Jesus.

Mechthild of Magdeburg

(ca. 1210–ca. 1282/94). Mystic; b. Saxony; became a Beguine (see Beghards and Beguines) at Magdeburg 1230; collected works, entitled Das fliessende Licht der Gottheit, exerted strong influence on Ger. mysticism.

Mede, Joseph

(Mead; 1586–1638). Angl. Biblical scholar; b. Berden, Essex, Eng.; educ. Cambridge; fellow Christ's Coll., Cambridge, 1613. Works include Clavis apocalyptica; The Apostasy of the Latter Times.

Mediating Theology

(mediation theol.; Vermittlungstheologie). Term occasionally used loosely for any theol. that tries to est. contact bet., or to fuse, diverging tendencies. In a specific sense the Ger. term is traced to Theologische Studien und Kritiken, a periodical est. 1828 by K. Ullmann* and F. W. K. Umbreit,* together with J. K. L. Gieseler,* G. C. F. Lucke,* and K. I. Nitzsch,* to mediate bet. modern science and concepts of Christianity, the free scientific spirit and the peculiarly Christian spirit. The philos, of G. W. F. Hegel* and theol. of F. D. E. Schleiermacher* were prominent in the early period. Mediating theol. was criticized for its support of the Prussian* Union and unsatisfactory conclusions, but it stimulated study in many areas and affected subsequent Ger. theol. See also Dorner, 1.

Medical Missions.

1. Med-evangelistic work is a fruit of faith (Gl 5:6; 6:10).

2. LCMS resolved 1965 to “affirm that the church is God's mission to the whole man. Wherever a Christian as God's witness encounters the man to whom God sends him, he meets someone whose body, soul, and mind are related in one totality. Therefore Christians, individually and corporately, prayerfully seek to serve the needs of the total man. Christians bring the Good News of the living Christ to dying men. They bring men instruction in all useful knowledge. They help and befriend their neighbor on our small planet in every bodily need. They help their neighbor to improve and protect his property and business by bringing him economic help and enabling him to earn his daily bread in dignity and self-respect. Christians minister to the needs of the whole man, not because they have forgotten the witness of the Gospel but because they remember it. They know that the demonstration of their faith in Christ adds power to its proclamation” (Proceedings, p. 81).

3. Med. missionaries hold that all good gifts and abilities are from God and that all believers are called into the work of the ch. Thus the ministry of healing can and should be practiced in many forms, e.g., through Christian physicians in private practice, in govt. service in overseas countries, in full-time ch. work as med. missionaries; through first aid work by wives of missionaries. The aim and purpose of med. miss. work is the same as that of any other special Christian ministry: witness to Christ (Acts 1:8).

4. The Tambaram report (see Missionary Conferences) of the section on the Christian Ministry of Health and Healing, dealing with the basis of the medical ministry, begins: “The sanction and compelling motive of this ministry are found in the very nature of God, which is revealed in Jesus Christ as redeeming love. God's redemptive purpose embraces the entire range of man's spiritual, mental and physical need, and offers the one sure hope for a world in which sin and suffering abound. Through the Church, which is His body, the living Christ ministers to the needs of men. … As He identified Himself with the need and suffering of the world, so must His disciples identify themselves with that need and suffering, that the redeeming love of God may be mediated through them to the lives of others. … The ministry of health and healing belongs to the essence of the Gospel and is, therefore, an integral part of the mission to which Christ has called and is calling His Church.” (Quoted in P. V. Benjamin, “A New Outlook in Christian Medical Work,” The International Review of Missions, XXVIII [1939], 562–563)

5. The Division of World Mission and Evangelism of the WCC held a consultation on the healing ministry in the mission of the ch., in Tübingen, Ger., 1964, at the request of the Dept. of World Mission of the LWF and with its collaboration. The Report of the consultation, p. 2, describes the relationship of Christian understanding of healing to salvation: “The Christian understanding of healing begins from its place in the ministry of Jesus. There it was a sign of the breaking into human life of the powers of the Kingdom of God, and of the de-throning of the powers of evil. The health which was its fruit was … an involvement with Jesus in the victorious encounter of the Kingdom of God with the powers of evil.” (Quoted in C. H. Germany, “The Healing Ministry: Report on the Tübingen Consultation,” The International Review of Missions, LIII [1964], 471)

6. Modern med. missions go back to 1730, when Dr. Caspar Gottlieb Schlegelmilch (b. Sagan [Zagan], Silesia) was sent by the Dan.-Halle Miss. (see Missions, 5–6) to Tranquebar, India; be died August 30, 19 days after arrival. Other doctors followed. But the real upsurge came ca. 100 yrs. later under leadership of J. Scudder,* P. Parker,* D. Living-stone,* et al.

7. LCMS resolved 1911 to allow its For. Miss. Bd. to arrange for placing suitable doctors in med. missions, as means permit, and to exercise its judgment as to time and place (Synodal-Bericht, p. 128). Under sponsorship of LCMS women's socs. L. E. Ellermann* went to India 1913 and est. a dispensary at Bargur (Barugur), Madras. Other clinics and small hospitals in miss. fields have been made possible by special gifts from individuals, congs., et al., e.g., LWML and Wheat* Ridge Foundation.

8. Most LCMS med. miss. work has been done in New Guinea, S India, and Nigeria; other fields include the Philippine Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, and Guatemala.

9. Luth. chs. in the US give med. missions prominence in their work. WRB

See also Lutheran Medical Mission Association.


It. family active esp. 14th–18th c. in Florence, Tuscany; merchants, bankers, art patrons, civil and religious leaders. 1. Cosimo (Cosmo; 1389–1464). Father of 2; formed the library which later grew into the Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana. 2. Lorenzo (1449–92). “The Magnificent”; father of Catherine* de Médicis (1533 m. Henry II; see also France, 8, 9) and Leo X (see Popes, 20); initiated movement for revival of nat. It. literature. 3. See Clement VII, 2.

Medler, Nikolaus

(Nicolaus; Nicholas; 1502–51). B. Hof, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg; teacher Arnstadt and Hof; school rector Eger ca. 1524; teacher and preacher Hof ca. 1527/29–31; tutor and preacher Wittenberg 1531–36; pastor and reformer Naumburg 1536; supt. Brunswick 1545–51; court preacher Bernburg 1551. M. Luther* is said to have regarded him, V. Dietrich,* and J. Spangenberg* as his 3 true disciples.

Medley, Samuel

(1738–99). Bap. cleric and hymnist; b. Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, Eng.; pastor Watford 1767 (ordained 1768), Liverpool 1772. Hymns include “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”; “Awake, My Soul, to Joyful Lays.”

Mees, Theophilus Martin Konrad

(July 13, 1848–July 25, 1923). Educator; mem. Ohio* Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of and Other States; b. Columbus, Ohio. Educ. Conc. Coll., Fort Wayne, Indiana; Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; Berlin and Leipzig, Germany. Prof. Capital U., Columbus, 1875–88, 1903–23; Ev. Luth. Theol. Sem., Columbus, 1903–23. Pres. Teachers' Sem., Woodville, Ohio, 1888–1903. Asst. ed. Theologische Zeitblätter-Theological Magazine; other works include Dogmengeschichtlicher Beitrag zur Entwickelung der Lehre von der Gnadenwahl innerhalb der lutherischen Kirche von 1522 bis 1580.

Megander, Kaspar

(Grossmann; 1495–1545). B. Zurich, Switz.; educ. Basel; Zwinglian; taught at the exegetical school founded by Zwingli; prof. Bern 1528; dismissed 1537; cathedral dean Zurich. Helped write 1st Helvetic Confession (see Reformed Confessions, A 6).


(d. not later than 768 AD). Co-worker of Boniface*; became bp. Würzburg ca. 751/754.

Meinardus, Ludwig Siegfried

(1827–96). Composer, teacher, musicologist; b. Hooksiel, Oldenburg, Ger.; teacher at Dresden Conservatory 1865; teacher and music critic Hamburg 1874; court organist Bielefeld 1887. Works include choral ballades, 2 symphonies, and oratorios: Simon Petrus; Gideon; König Salomo; Luther in Worms; Emmaus.


(Meinhart). See Estonia, 1.

Meinhold, Johann(es) Friedrich Hellmut

(Hans; 1861–1937). Son of K. H. J. Meinhold*; b. Cammin (Kammin), Pomerania, Ger.; educ. Leipzig, Berlin, Greifswald, and Tübingen; prof. Greifswald and Bonn. Collaborator in Kurzgefasster Kommentar, ed. H. L. Strack* and O. Zöckler*; other works include Die Weisheit Israels in Spruch, Sage und Dichtung.

Meinhold, Johann Wilhelm

(1797–1851). Half brother of K. Meinhold*; hymnist; b. Netzelkow, Usedom Is., off the coast of Pomerania, Ger.; educ. Greifswald; school rector Usedom 1820; pastor Coserow 1821, Crummin 1828, both on Usedom; pastor Rehwinkel, near Stargard, Pomerania, Ger.; resigned 1850, partly in protest against the 1848–49 revolution in Ger., partly because of his increasing leaning to RCm Hymns include “Guter Hirt, du hast gestillt”; “O Bethlehem! O Bethlehem!”

Meinhold, Karl Heinrich Joachim

(1813–88). Half brother of J. W. Meinhold*; father of J. F. H. Meinhold*; b. Liepe, on Usedom Is., off the coast of Pomerania, Ger.; educ. Greifswald and Halle; pastor Kolzow, on the is. of Wollin, Pomerania, 1838; supt. Cammin (Kammin) 1851; helped strengthen Lutheranism in Prussia.


(late 8th c.-861). Hermit; b. Sülichgau, Württemberg, Ger.; Benedictine monk and priest Reichenau, S Baden, Ger.; eventually settled at the place where the abbey of Einsiedeln, Switz., of which he is patron, was founded 937.

Meiser, Hans

(1881–1956). B. Nürnberg, Ger.; pastor Munich 1915; dir. Nürnberg sem. 1922; bp. Luth. ch. in Bav. 1933; took part in Kirchenkampf*; championed Luth. Confessions; leader of VELKD 1949.

Meisner, Balthasar

(1587–1626). B. Dresden, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg, Giessen, Strasbourg, and Tübingen; prof. ethics 1611, theol. 1613 Wittenberg. Works include Philosophia sobria.

Meisner, Johann(es)

(1615–84). B. Torgau, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg; rector Torgau; prof. theol. Wittenberg 1649; irenic theol.; his distinction of fundamental and nonfundamental arts. led to controversy with A. Calov(ius).*

Meister, Christoph Georg Ludwig

(1738–1811). Poet; b. Halle, Ger.; educ. Halle; rector 1761, preacher 1763 Ballenstedt; Anhalt-Bernburg consistorial assessor, and pastor, Waldau, 1770; at Altenburg, Anhalt, near Bernburg, 1772; pastor 1774, prof. 1778 Duisburg; in Bremen as preacher and Gymnasium prof. theol. 1784, pastor 1796, Gymnasium rector 1802. Hymns include “Heil ihm, dem Todesüberwinder”; “Lass mir die Feier deiner Leiden.”

Meister Eckar(d)t

(various other spellings). See Eckhart, Johannes.

Mel, Conrad

(1666–1733). Ref. theol.; b. Gudensberg, Ger.; educ. Rinteln, Bremen, and Gröningen; preacher 1690 Mietau (Mitau; Mitava; Jelgava; Yelgava), Courland (Kurland), Latvia, and 1692 Memel, Lith.; court preacher 1697, prof. 1702 Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Prussia; followed pietistic methods of P. J. Spener*; noted as devotional writer.

Melanchthon, Philipp

(Melancthon; Melanthon; Schwar(t)zerd; Schwarzert; February 16, 1497–April 19, 1560). B. Bretten, Lower Palatinate (Baden), Ger.; educ. Heidelberg and Tübingen; ed. classics and served as corrector in printery of Thomas Anshelm at Tübingen 1514; gained praise of D. Erasmus* for style 1515; became known as a humanist (see also Humanism, Sixteenth-Century German); wrote one of the prefaces to J. Reuchlin,* Clarorum virorum epistolae, engaged in subsequent controversy, and was cited in Epistolae obscurorum virorum (see Letters of Obscure Men); issued Gk. grammar 1518; recommended by Reuchlin for U. of Wittenberg and arrived there August 25, 1518; won by M. Luther* for the cause of theol.; abandoned plans to issue an edition of Aristotle; studied and taught theol. and other subjects; his lectures were attended by hundreds and sometimes outstripped Luther's in popularity. The movement of the Zwickau* Prophets and the Peasants'* War emphasized the need for an educ. program to implement the Luth. Reformation.* Melanchthon was prominent in devising methods and planning an educ. process incorporating classic languages and philos, as basic for specialized vocational studies. The princes were the patrons of the organized program of instruction. Melanchthon was prominent in the preparation of Articuli de quibus egerunt per visitatores in regione Saxoniae. Every parish in electoral Saxony was surveyed and religious and moral life supervised. Melanchthon strongly opposed H. Zwingli's* doctrine of the Lord's Supper at Marburg 1529. Guided by Luther, Melanchthon prepared the AC and the Ap (see also Lutheran Confessions, A 2, 3; B 3; C 1; Union Movements, 3).

In 1521 Melanchthon issued Loci communes rerum theologicarum sea Hypotyposes theologicae (variant titles: Loci communes theologici; Loci theologici; Loci praecipui theologici; see also Dogmatics, A 3); the 1535 and later eds. increasingly reflected synergism.* Melanchthon had a prominent role in formulating the Wittenberg* Concord. The Colloquy of Worms* further revealed Melanchthon's trend to concession, evident also in his approval of the Leipzig Interim (see Interim, II). But he joined others against A. Osiander* (1498–1552) in the Osiandrian* Controversy. RRC

See also Adiaphoristic Controversies; Bible Versions, M; Lutheran Confessions, A 5; Pack, Otto von; Philippists; Praeceptor Germaniae; Regensburg Conference; Synergistic Controversy; Visitations, Church.

G. Ellinger, Philipp Melanchthon (Berlin, 1902); H. Engelland, Melanchthon, Glauben und Handeln (Munich, 1931); K. Hartfelder, Philipp Melanchthon als Praeceptor Germaniae (Berlin, 1889); P. F. Joachimsen (Joachimsohn), Sozialethik des Luthertums (Munich, 1927); C. L. Manschreck, Melanchthon: The Quiet Reformer (New York, 1958); Melanchthon on Christian Doctrine: Loci communes 1555, ed. and tr. C. L. Manschreck (New York, 1965); Melanchthon: Selected Writings, ed. E. E. Flack and L. J. Satre, tr. C. L. Hill (Minneapolis, 1962); W. Maurer, Der junge Melanchthon zwischen Humanismus und Reformation, 2 vols. (Göttingen, 1967, 1969); C. Schmidt, Philipp Melanchthon (Elberfeld, 1861); J. W. Richard, Philip Melanchthon, the Protestant Preceptor of Germany, 1497–1560 (New York, 1898); G. Kisch, Melanchthons Rechts- und Soziallehre (Berlin, 1967).


(“Black Islands,” so called from the color of the natives). Islands NE of Australia, including Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon* Islands, Santa Cruz Islands, Banks Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands, Fiji Islands (see Fiji, Dominion of); New* Guinea sometimes included. Belief in mana (see Primitive Religion), animistic spirits, magic, ancestral ghosts, and sorcery dominates religious life. Meth. missionaries came to the area 1834. The Melanesian Miss. (Angl.) was founded 1849. Presbs., RCs, PEMS, et al. are also active.


1. The Elder (ca. 345–ca. 410). Grandmother of 2; Roman aristocratic lady; adopted ascetic life; helped found monastery on Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem. See also Rufinus, Tyrannius. 2. The Younger (ca. 383–ca. 438). Granddaughter of 1; founded convents.


(Melkites; from Syriac malka, “king,” and related form meaning “imperial”). Christians of Syria and Egypt who rejected Monophysitism* and remained in union with the imperial see of Constantinople. Gk. Uniate chs. of Syria, Egypt, and Palestine are also called Melchites.

Meletian Schisms

(Melitian). 1. Egyptian; arose ca. 305; its effects lasted till the 8th c.; resulted from encroachments of Meletius of Lycopolis (Melitius; fl. 303–325; d. ca. 325; bp. Lycopolis, Egypt) on metropolitan rights of Peter* of Alexandria. 2. Antiochian (362–ca. 415). Originated when followers of Eustathius* of Antioch consecrated Paulinus (Paulinos; d. probably 388) counter-bp. to Meletius* of Antioch. See also Mark, Liturgy of Saint.

Meletius of Antioch

(Melitius; d. 381). B. Melitene (Malatya; Malatia), Lesser Armenia (Cilicia), Turkey; at first Arian; after election as bp. Antioch ca. 361 professed Nicene orthodoxy; pres. Council of Constantinople* 381. See also Acacius of Beroea; Antioch, Synods of; Meletian Schisms, 2.

Melin, Hans Magnus

(1805–77). B. Swed.; prof. theol. Lund; opposed D. F. Strauss.* Works include Den Heliga Skrift, i en fraan grundtexten utförd, efter Lutherska Kirkobibeln lämpad öfwersättning; Föreläsninger öfwer Jesu befwerne.


Belief that the world tends to become better and that man can contribute to the betterment; seeks a middle course bet. optimism and pessimism.


(d. probably before AD 190). Bp. Sardis (Sardes); Gk. apologist. Most works lost, including an apology addressed to Marcus* Aurelius; remaining fragments include a homily on the passion of Christ. See also Apologists, 7.

Melius, Peter

(grecized from Hung. Juhász, “shepherd”; ca. 1536–72). Ref. theol. and reformer; b. Horhi, Somogy Co., Hung.; educ. Wittenberg; supt. Debrecen 1558, which he made center of Ref. activity; active in exegesis, Bible tr., and writing of confessions.

Melville, Andrew

(Melvill; Melvin[us]; 1545–1622). Presb. reformer; b. Baldovy, near Montrose, Forfarshire (Angus), Scot.; educ. Saint Andrews, Scot., and Paris and Poitiers, Ft.; taught at Geneva, Switz.; principal Glasgow U. 1574, St. Mary's Coll. (St. Andrews) 1580; prof. Biblical theol. Sedan, Fr., 1611. Helped reconstruct Aberdeen U. 1575 and encouraged study of languages, science, philos., and theol.; imprisoned 1607–11 for opposing Episcopalianism. Helped write 2d Book of Discipline (see Discipline, Books of, 2).

Melville, Herman

(1819–91). Novelist; b. NYC; brought up in Dutch Ref. Ch. Works, which include Moby Dick, portray disillusionment and skepticism, ending in frustration.

Memling, Hans

(Jean; Jan Memlinc; Jan van Memmelynghe; Hemling and Hemmelinck now gen. regarded as false forms; perhaps ca. 1430/40–ca. 1494). Flemish painter; b. probably Seligenstadt (some say Mainz; or Mömlingen, near Mainz and Seligenstadt [though that may be where the family came from]; or Constanz; or Bruges); reputation rests mainly on portraiture and on representations of Mary; his art is more one of religious conviction than earthly realism. Works include Last Judgment: Adoration of the Magi.


(pl. Menaia; from Gk. men, “month”). In the E Orthodox Ch., the name given to all or each of 12 liturgical books (1 per mo.) containing the variable parts for immovable feasts, with the annual cycle beginning in September See also Menologion; Synaxarion.


(ca. 3d-4th c.). Egyptian martyr whose story was probably fused with that of a Phrygian soldier martyred 296 under Diocletian*; cult spread to Constantinople, Rome, Gaul, and Ger.

Menasseh ben Israel

(ca. 1604–57). B. Lisbon; brought up in Amsterdam; rabbi there from 1622; teacher of B. Spinoza*; active in England from 1655. Works include El Conciliador, an attempt to reconcile apparent OT discrepancies; Vindiciae judaeorum.

Mencel, Hieronymus

(Menzel; 1517–90). Luth. theol.; b. Schweidnitz, Prussia (later Swidnica, Poland); supt. Mansfeld 1560; first supported M. Flacius* Illyricus; later, influenced by J. Wigand,* opposed Flacianism. Works include Lehre von der Erb-Sünde; Hochzeit Predigten; Erklerung der Weinmarischen Bekentnis halben.


(Chinese Meng-tse or Me´┐Żng-tzu; ca. 372–ca. 289 BC). philos.; b. state of Lu (now Shantung province), China; studied under grandson of Confucius*; professional teacher; served briefly as govt. official; traveled ca. 40 yrs. from state to state advocating reform and expounding Confucianism.* Taught original goodness of human nature endowed with feeling of love, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom. Filial piety is basis of virtue. Govt. (which comes from God) should serve the people (most important element in nation). Works include Meng Tsu Shu (Book of Mencius), one of the Four Books of Chinese classics. See also Chinese Philosophy, 3.

Mendel, Gregor Johann

(1822–84). B. Heinzendorf (Hyncice), near Odrau (Odry), Austrian Silesia (now Czech Republic); abbot of Augustinian monastery at Brünn, Austria (now Brno, Czech Republic); discovered Mendel's law, a principle in genetics.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Jakob Ludwig Felix

(1809–47). Grandson of M. Mendelssohn*; composer; b. Hamburg, Ger.; his father's brother-in-law, Jakob Salomon, had adopted the name Bartholdy on acquiring land formerly owned by a man named Bartholdy; when J. L. F. Mendelssohn's father became Luth. and had his children bap., he, at the suggestion of Jakob Salomon Bartholdy, added Bartholdy to the name Mendelssohn, to distinguish the Christian Mendelssohns from those who adhered to Jewish belief. Child prodigy at 9. Led revival of works of J. S. Bach* 1829. Works include 5 symphonies, including Reformation Symphony; symphony cantata Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise); oratorios St. Paul and Elijah; organ sonatas.

Mendelssohn, Moses

(Moses ben Menahem Mendel; Moses Dessau; 1729–86). Grandfather of J. L. F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy*; b. Dessau, Ger.; Jewish philos.; friend of G. E. Lessing.* Tried to win the educated class among the people for rational religion, tolerance, and good taste; popularized the philos. of C. v. Wolff*; interpreted Judaism with Eur. philos. concepts; held that unity (as beauty) is only enjoyed in feeling and experience; developed “moral theol.” proof for immortality of the soul; tried to show the rational character of Judaism; held that God gave the Jews only a law, not a religion, and demands works, not faith. See also Haskalah.

Mendicant Friars

(from Lat. mendicare, “to beg”). Religious orders (including Franciscans,* Dominicans,* Carmelites,* Augustinian* Hermits, Servites*) which originally renounced common as well as individual possessions. The Council of Trent* (Sess. XXV, Concerning Regulars and Nuns, chap. 3) permitted most mendicant orders to hold goods in common (“exceptis domibus fratrum sancti Francisci Capucinorum et eorum, qui Minorum de observantia vocantur”: “except the houses of the Capuchin brethren of St. Francis and [the houses] of those called Minor Observants”); papal concessions have been extended also to Franciscan conventuals.

Mendota Resolutions.

Resolutions adopted by the ALC October 1942 Mendota, Illinois 1. One reads in part: “Whereas, though these documents—the Pittsburgh Agreement on the one hand, and the Brief Statement and Declaration on the other—differ in wording, yet both express the true position of the American Lutheran Church; and

“Whereas, the United Lutheran Church in America has adopted the Pittsburgh Agreement; and the Declaration of our Commissioners in connection with the Brief Statement has found acceptance within the Missouri Synod …

“Therefore Be It Resolved, that the American Lutheran Church declare its readiness to establish pulpit and altar fellowship with either or both of these honorable church bodies on the basis of their full and wholehearted acceptance of and adherence to either of these documents, in the hope that the existing obstacles may be removed and that such pulpit and altar fellowship may be declared at an early date; and therefore that the Commission on Lutheran unity be continued.”

2. Another supported formation of an All-Am. Luth. Conv. which would avoid the problems of pulpit and altar fellowship but would provide joint testimony “for the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the true Christian faith as confessed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church”; foster Luth. unity; promote cooperative efforts in missions, higher educ., welfare and charity work, and pub. Christian literature: aid Luths. in distress; defend its mems. against encroachments on religious and civil liberties.

See also Louisville Resolution.

Ménégoz, Louis Eugène

(1838–1921 [1920?]). Fr. Luth. theol.; b. Algolsheim, near Breisach, Alsace; educ. Strasbourg, Erlangen, Berlin, Halle, and Marburg; vice-pres. Luth. theol. Sem. Paris 1866; prof. dogmatics Sorbonne, Paris 1877; exponent of fideism.*


(Mêng-tzu). See Mencius.

Menge, Hermann

(1841–1939). Philol.; b. Seesen, Brunswick, Ger.; educ. Brunswick and Göttingen; dir. Gymnasium Sangerhausen and Wittstock; tr. Bible into Ger. See also Bible Versions, M.

Mengering, Arnold

(1596–1647). B. Halle, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg and Jena; loyal and conscientious Luth. pastor; writings give insight into soc. and pol. conditions during Thirty* Years' War.

Mengs, Anton Raphael

(1728–79). Artist and critic; b. Aussig (Ústí), Bohemia; neoclassicist; worked at Vatican 1769–72. Works include Holy Family; Nativity; Annunciation.

Menius, Justus

(Jodocus [Jost] Menig; 1499 [1494?]–1558). Reformer of Thuringia; b. Fulda, Ger.; educ. Erfurt and Wittenberg; early follower of M. Luther*; supt. Eisenach 1529; took part in ch. visitations, the 1529 Colloquy of Marburg (see Lutheran Confessions, A 2), the February 1537 meeting of the Schmalkaldic* League, and the 1540 Hagenau* Colloquy; signed the 1536 Wittenberg Concord and had F. Myconius* sign the Schmalkaldic Arts. for him; wrote extensively against Anabaps., his treatment becoming standard for Luth. polemics; defended G. Major* and taught that beginning of new life in believers is necessary for salvation. See also Lutheran Confessions, B 1.

G. L. Schmidt, Justus Menius, Der Reformator Thüringens, 2 vols. (Gotha, 1867).

Menken, Gottfried

(1768–1831). B. Bremen, Ger.; educ. Jena and Duisburg; Prot. pastor Uedem (near Cleve), Frankfurt, Wetzlar, and (since 1802) Bremen; influenced by J. A. Bengel* et al.; developed a biblicism (Bible as hist. harmonious whole) in opposition to moralism of enlightenment* and ecclesiastical confessionalism of orthodoxy; kingdom of God was prominent in his theol.

Mennonite Churches.

1. Mennonites (named after Menno* Simons) are spiritual descendants of 16th-c. Anabaps. (see also Baptist Churches, 2). Early Anabap. groups related to Mennonites were known by various names. Anabaps. in Switz. and S Ger. came to be called Swiss Brethren; leaders included G. Blaurock,* K. Grebel,* F. Manz,* P. Marbeck,* and M. Sattler.* Official name in the Neth.: Doopsgezind (Doopsgesinde; Doopsgesint; Doopsgezinden; Doopsghesinde). They have also been called Wederdoper (Wiedertäufer). Followers of J. Huter* are called Hutterian Brethren (Hutterites; Huterites). United Missionary Ch. is the name adopted 1947 by a US and Can. group called up to that time Mennonite Brethren in Christ Ch. Other groups have other names.

2. Mennonites entertain widely divergent doctrinal views but agree on theol. principles summarized in the 18 arts. of the 1632 Dordrecht* Confession.

Formal Principle: Acc. to Mennonite theol., the source of Christian knowledge is the Bible; but at the same time the true understanding of saving truth is said to come from a mystical experience of Christ.

Mennonites strongly emphasize the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit (enthusiasm*), who is said to “guide the saints into all truth.” The Holy Spirit is viewed as “the inner word” enabling Christians to understand the Bible. Mennonites insist that without this inner word, or inner light, the Bible is a dead letter and a dark lantern.

Material Principle: The cen. doctrine can probably most appropriately be called “mystical pietism.” The pronounced mystical spiritualism, which seems to dominate the whole doctrinal system, appears most clearly in emphasis on the outward purity of the ch. Mennonites often claim affinity to Novatians (see Novatianism), Paulicians,* Albigenses,* Waldenses,* and similar groups, because these stressed abstinence from the world and advocated a life of self-abnegation. Mennonites believe that the ch. must be a visible organization of regenerated persons and that it must be kept holy by the strict exercise of the ban.

Mystical pietism becomes the mother of a paradox: complete tolerance of conflicting and even mutually exclusive doctrinal views, and violent dissensions in matters of cultus. Mennonites offer shelter to “enthusiasts” of the Quaker type; to Socinians, who deny the doctrine of the Trin. and teach that personal piety is the essence of Christianity; to Pelagians and Arminians; to spiritualists and mystics; and to Quietists, who see in faith an intense consciousness of God without a definite knowledge about God.

3. The many schisms among Mennonites were occasioned largely by divergent views on discipline. But in recent yrs. the separate bodies or agencies have moved toward closer cooperation. Am. Mennonites may be grouped: conservatives, a cen. group, and liberals.

a. Conservatives are represented in Am. esp. by the Old Order Amish Ch., named after J. Amman* and derived from Amish who came to Am. beginning ca. 1720; they use hooks and eyes instead of buttons, hold worship services in private houses, and use the Ger. language. The Conservative Mennonite Conference (called Conservative Amish Mennonite Ch. till 1954) separated gradually from the Old Order Amish Ch.; they introd. meetinghouses and the use of Eng. in worship. The Church of God in Christ (Mennonite) was organized 1859 in Ohio to reest. order and discipline. The Old Order (Wisler) Mennonite Ch. traces its origin to an 1870 separation of Mennonites in protest against use of Eng. in services and the introd. of Sunday schools. The Reformed Mennonite Ch., organized 1812 Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, tries to hold closely to the NT and believes that there is but one ch. of believers united in love and doctrine. The Beachy Amish Mennonite Chs. separated from the Old Order Amish Ch. over a period of yrs. The small Stauffer Mennonite Ch. was organized 1845 Lancaster, Pennsylvania The Ev. Mennonite Ch., Inc. (formerly Defenseless Mennonite Ch. of N. Am.) separated from the Amish and organized ca. 1865 Adams Co., Indiana Hutterian Brethren, named after J. Huter,* have groups in South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, Alask., Sask., and Man.

Mennonites settled in Eur. Russ. as early as 1789, in Crimea (Russ. Krim) beginning 1862. The Ev. Mennonite Brethren Conf. (formerly Defenseless Mennonite Brethren of Christ in N. Am.), organized 1889 Mountain Lake, Minnesota, are derived from 1873–74 Russ. immigrants. Ev. Mennonite Ch. is the name adopted 1952 by the Kleine Gemeinde Mennonite Ch. in Man., Can., derived from 1874 Russ. immigrants; another 1874 Russ. immigrant Kleine Gemeinde group settled at Jansen, Jefferson Co., Nebraska, moved to Meade, Kansas, 1906–08, dissolved 1944; many mems, of the Kleine Gemeinde in Can. moved to Mex. in the late 1940s. Two 1874 Russ. immigrant groups to Am. merged 1960: the Gen. Conf. of Mennonite Brethren Chs. and the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Conf. (Krimmer Mennoniten Brüdergemeinde).

b. The cen. group is represented by the Mennonite Ch., founded 1683, largest Mennonite body in N. Am. Many who seceded from it reunited with it. It engages in educ., philanthropic, and miss. work. The Cen. Conf. Mennonite Ch. (till 1914 the Cen. Illinois Mennonite Conf.) joined The Gen. Conf. of the Mennonite Ch. of N. Am. (see c) 1945, lost identity 1951 in merger with the Middle Dist. Conf. of the Gen. Conf. Ch.

c. Liberals are represented by the Gen. Conf. Mennonite Ch., organized 1860 in Iowa as The Gen. Conf. of the Mennonite Ch. of N. Am. (name changed 1953). FEM EEF

See also Netherlands, 4.

See Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography of.

Menno Simons

(ca. 1492/96–ca. 1559/61). B. Wittmarsum, near Bolsward, Friesland, Neth.; father's first name: Simon, which became the son's patronymic: Simon's (zoon); RC priest Utrecht 1524; in doubt regarding transubstantiation and under reform influences; priest Witmarsum 1531–36; left RC Ch. 1536; joined Anabap. movement 1537 and became its leader in the Low Countries. See also Mennonite Churches.

Menochio, Giovanni Stefano

(Joannes Stephanus Menochius; Johann Stephan; 1576–1655). Jesuit; b. Pavia, It. Works include Brevis explicatio sensus literalis totius Scripturae Sacrae.


(pl. Menologia; from Gk. men, “month,” and logos, “word”). Term variously used usually in reference to E Orthodox liturgy or cultus of saints. 1. Propers of saints in Menaion.* 2. Martyrology arranged acc. to calendar. 3. Lives of saints arranged acc. to calendar. A noted Menologion is that of Symeon* Metaphrastes (MPG, 114, 293 to 116, 1426). 4. Private nonliturgical collection of lives of saintly persons.


(Lat. “table”). Top or cen. slab of altar.* See also Church Furniture, 1.


(d. ca. 311 or 307 AD). Bp. Carthage; during Diocletian persecution opposed voluntary and needless martyrdom. See also Donatist Schism, The.

Mentzer, Balthasar, I

(1565–1627). Father of B. Mentzer* II; b. Allendorf, Hesse, Ger.; educ. Marburg; pastor Kirtorf; prof. Marburg and Giessen; rector Marburg; involved in Crypto-Kenotic* controversy; gained reputation as polemicist though more concerned about positive statements.

Mentzer, Balthasar, II

(1614–79). Son of B. Mentzer* I; prof. theol. Marburg, Rinteln, and Giessen; court preacher and supt. Darmstadt; helped rebuild the ch. after the Thirty* Years' War.

Mentzer, Johann

(1658–1734). B. Jahmen (or Jahma), near Rothenburg, Silesia; educ. Wittenberg; pastor Merzdorf, Hauswalde (near Bischofswerda), and Kemnitz (near Bernstadt); hymnist. Hymns include “O dass ich tausand Zungen hätte”; “O Jesu, einig wahres Haupt.”

Mercadante, Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele

(Raffaelo; 1795–1870). Composer; b. probably Altamura, It.; studied at Naples under N. A. Zingarelli*; lived in It., Austria, Sp., Fr., and Port. Works include masses, psalms, cantatas.


(from Lat. Ordo Beatae Mariae de Mercede, “Order of the Blessed Mary of Mercy”). 1. RC order for men said to have been founded by Peter* Nolasco (hence also called Nolascans) at Barcelona, Sp., to care for sick and rescue those taken captive by Moors; spread through W Eur.; est. houses in Lat. Am. 2. RC order for women founded 1568 at Seville, Sp.

Mercersburg Theology.

19th c. school of philos. and theol. developed at the Theol. Sem. of the Ger. Ref. Ch., Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; leaders included P. Schaff* and J. W. Nevin*; tried to revivify Calvinistic doctrine by emphasizing the Christocentric idea. See also United Church of Christ, II A 2.

Mercerus, Johann

(d. 1573), B. Usetz, Languedoc, S cen. Fr.; Prot.; prof. Heb. Paris ca. 1546/47.

Mercier, Désiré Felicien François Joseph

(1851–1926). B. Braine-l'Alleud, near Waterloo, Brabant province, Belg.; RC priest 1874; prof. Mechelen (Fr. Malines; Eng. Mechlin) 1877–82, Louvain 1882–1906; abp. 1906; cardinal 1907; founded Institut Supérieur de Philosophie, Louvain; played important role in neo-Thomism*; tried to unify Angl., Prot. Episc., RC chs.; presided over Malines* Conversations; founder and ed. Revue Néo-Scolastique (de Philosophic).


Compassion, forbearance, clemency, kindness. God's mercy is abundant (Ps 103:17; 108:4; Is 49:13; Mi 7:18; Tts 3:5). Men should also be merciful (Mi 6:8; Mt 5:7; Lk 6:36). See also Grace; Love; Loving-kindness.

Merensky, Alexander

(1837–1918). B. Panten, near Liegnitz, Silesia, Ger.; led miss. activity of Berlin* Miss. Soc. I in Transvaal, S. Afr., with headquarters at Botshabelo (“refuge”) 1859–82; inspector Berlin city miss. 1883–86; supervisor of missions of the Berlin soc. 1886; led an expedition and began work in E Afr. 1891. Works include Erinnerungen aus dem Missionsleben in Südostafrika [Transvaal]; Deutsche Arbeit am Njassa, Deutsch-Ostafrika.

Mergner, Adam Christoph Friedrich

(1818–91). B. Regensburg, Ger.; educ. Erlangen; pastor Ditterswind (Lower Franconia) 1851, Erlangen 1874, Heilsbronn (Middle Franconia) 1880; supt. (Ger. Dekan) Muggendorf 1870; tried to restore the old Luth. liturgy and its music. Issued Paul(us) Gerhardts geistliche Lieder in neuen Weisen; Choralbuch, zunächst zu dem Gesangbuche der ev.-luth. Kirche in Bayern.


RC theol. distinguishes bet. condign merit (meritum de condigno; meritum condigni) and congruent merit (meritum de congruo; meritum congrui); condign merit is merit to which reward is due in justice; congruent merit is based on the liberality of him who rewards. Accordingly, good works of the regenerate, in so far as they proceed from free will, are meritorious de congruo; in so far as they are done in the state of grace, they are meritorious de condigno. The Ap rejects this distinction as a screen for Pelagianism* (IV 19) and as a device which robs Christ of His honor and gives it to men (IV 316–318) and leads to doubt and despair (IV 321).

Merkel, Paul Johannes

(1819–61). B. Nürnberg, Ger.; prof. Germanic jurisprudence Berlin, Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Halle; Luth.; opposed Prussian* Union.

Merkle, Sebastian

(1862–1945). B. Ellwangen, Ger.; RC ch. historian. Ed. journals of Council of Trent*; other works include studies of Reformation period and 18th c. RC Enlightenment.

Merle d'Aubigné, Jean Henri

(1794–1872). Ref. Ch. hist.; b. near Geneva, Switz., of Fr. ancestry; pastor Fr. cong. Hamburg; court preacher Brussels; prof. Geneva 1831; helped organize Société* évangélique de Genève. Works include Histoire de la réformation du seizième siècle (various Eng. translations).

Merry del Val, Rafael

(Raphael; Raffaele; Raffaelo; 1865–1930). B. London, Eng., of Sp. descent; educ. by Jesuits; priest 1888; apostolic delegate Can. 1897; titular abp. Nicaea 1900; secy. conclave 1903; secy. of state 1903 under Pius X (see Popes, 30); cardinal 1903; secy. Holy Office 1914–30; opposed modernism* and Angl. ordinations.

Mersch, Émile

(Emil; 1890–1940). B. Marche, Belg.; Jesuit; priest 1917; prof. philos. Namur 1920–35; tried to fashion a synthesis of the doctrine of the mystical body of Christ. Wrote Le Corps mystique du Christ (tr. J. R. Kelly, The Whole Christ).

Mersenne, Marin

(pseudonym Sieur de Sermes; 1588–1648). B. (La) Soultière, near Bourg-d'Oizé, Dept. Sarthe, Province (Le) Maine, W Fr.; philos., theol., scientist; friend of leading Fr. scientists and philosophers; fostered new scientific movement and helped keep it from becoming antireligious.

Merula, Angelus

(Engel de Merle; Engel Willemsz; van Merlen; 1482–1557). Reformer and martyr; b. Brielle (Den Briel; The Brill), Neth.; educ. U. of Paris; ordained priest 1511; accepted ev. doctrine of justification; opposed worship of Mary and saints, other abuses; arrested 1553; imprisoned at The Hague, Louvain, Bergen; d. as he knelt in prayer at the place of execution.

Merz, Georg

(1892–1959). B. Walkersbrunn, Upper Franconia, Bav., Ger.; educ. Leipzig and Erlangen; pastor and educ.; contributed to development of dialectical* theol. Ed. Zwischen den Zeiten.


(Mesrop; Mastoc [Maschtotz]; probably ca. 345/361–ca. 440). B. Hasik (variously spelled), Taron, Armenia; educ. probably Antioch; monk; scholar; said to have invented Armenian and Georgian alphabet.

Messengers of Christ, Inc.

Organized May 4, 1964, North Hollywood, California, primarily to recruit and train lay men and women for language analysis, literacy work, and Bible translation. The alternate name “Lutheran Bible Translators” was added 1968.


(Heb. mashiach, “anointed”). Word used in various forms in OT in reference to anointing with holy oil (e.g., Ex 28:41; 1 Sm 9:16; 1 K 19:16). The NT word is Christ (Gk. christos; e.g., Mt 16:16; Jn 1:41). See also Judaism; Messianic Hope.

Messianic Hope.

Distinguished from hope for the Messiah* in this, that it refers to every type of Jewish thought which looked for God's deliverance and salvation. The OT offers hope of a messiah-king after the image of David (e.g., Ps 2; 18; 20; 21; 45). It also refers to Messiah in such terms as the coming Judge (e.g., Is 42:1–4), Ruler of Israel (e.g., 2 Sm 7:13; Zch 9:9; Ps 2:6; Dn 9:25), Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Is 9:6; cf. Ju 13:18). in the intertestamental* period, messianic hope developed and changed. By the time of Jesus' birth the average Jew had a messianic hope different from that sketched above. One form emphasized the messiah as the Son of Man, a heavenly, powerful figure in the spirit of Dn 7 (cf. pseudepigraphic Book of Enoch, esp. chs. 46 and 48). Another form pictured him as the mighty pol. king of Israel, in the image of David. Some looked for a messiah from the house of Aaron, others awaited him from the tribe of Judah. Some looked for 2 messiahs, 1 from the house of Aaron, I from Judah. Under Gk. and Persian influence the conviction grew that this world was totally evil and corrupt, beyond redemption. The function of the messiah then became that of announcing a new heaven and a new earth; or of serving as God's herald to announce the end of the present age; or of being the agent for ending the old and beginning the new age. For many the hope of the new age was nationalistic and materialistic: Jerusalem would be the cen. of the world; Palestine would yield fantastic crops. Intertestamental writers gen. excluded heathen from any share in the messianic age and do not speak of a messiah who would suffer and die in his mission. This probably explains the disciples' shock and confusion when Jesus announced that He was on the way to the cross (Mk 10:32–34; Lk 18:31–34). Is 53 was either changed in meaning or ignored. A personal messiah was not an essential part of the messianic hope for some. The age of the messiah would be preceded by great calamity, a cosmic struggle bet. forces of evil and of the messiah (some said at Armageddon). The intertestamental messianic hope might be expressed in summary form as the hone of restoring on a higher level the unity of nat. life broken at the exile.

O. Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, tr. S. C. Guthrie and C. A. M. Hall, 2d Eng. ed. (London, 1963): J. Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel, tr. W. F. Stinespring (New York, 1955): T. W. Manson, The Servant-Messiah (Cambridge. Eng., 1953): S. O. P. Mowinckel, He That Cometh, tr. G. W. Anderson (New York, [19569?]). HTM

Metaphysical Society, The.

Organized 1869 by Sir James Thomas Knowles (1831–1908; b. London, Eng.; architect. Ed. Contemporary Review; founded and ed. Nineteenth Century) to foster debate bet. exponents of science and religion; last meeting held 1880; mems. included H. Alford,* A. J. Balfour,* W. K. Clifford,* W. E. Gladstone,* S. H. Hodgson,* T. H. Huxley,* H. E. Manning,* J. Martineau,* J. F. D. Maurice,* J. B. Mozley,* H. Sidgwick,* A. P. Stanley,* A. Tennyson,* J. Tyndall,* J. Ward.*

Methodist Church, The.

Formed 1939 at Kansas City, Missouri, by union of the M. E. Ch., the Meth. Prot. Ch., and the M. E. Ch., S, on basis of Plan of Union drafted 1934. Merged 1968 with the Evangelical* United Brethren Ch. to form The United Meth. Ch. See also Methodist Churches, 1.

Methodist Churches.

1. History. Meth. chs. owe their origin to the religious experiences of J. Wesley,* C. Wesley,* and their co-workers. Spiritual indifference prevailed in the Angl. Ch., but the Wesleys were concerned with personal piety. C. Wesley helped organize the Holy Club at Oxford, Eng., 1729. The miss. activity of the Wesleys and their co-workers resulted in great revival (see Great Awakening in England and America). Their unconventional methods, esp. field preaching, watch-night meetings, and use of lay preachers, did not appeal to Angl. clergy. At first the Wesleys did not intend to form a new ch., but Angl. opposition led to organization of “methodists” into socs. under tutorship of lay preachers. Several such congs. were placed under the care of 1 lay preacher. In 1744 J. Wesley called a conf. of lay preachers; later the conf. became an annual event. In 1784 the Conf. was legally defined in a deed of declaration. Secessions included Meth. New Connection 1797; in 1805 Meths. mainly in N Eng. who later became Indep. Meths.; 2 groups in 1810 who joined 1811 to form the Primitive Meths.; Bible* Christians 1815; Wesleyan Meth. Assoc. 1835; those excluded by the 1849 Manchester Conf. who then formed the Wesleyan Reformers. These groups gradually reunited into larger groups: the Wesleyan Meth. Assoc. and the Wesleyan Reformers united 1857 to form the United Meth. Free Chs.; the Meth. New Connection, Bible Christians, and United Meth. Free Chs. joined 1907 to form the United Meth. Ch. In 1932 the original (“Wesleyan”) Meth. Ch., the Primitive Meths., and the United Meth. Ch. joined to form the United Conf. of Meth. Chs.

Methodism in Can. lost its identity in the United Ch. of Can. (see Canada, C). See also Union Movements, 5.

Methodism had its greatest expansion in the US The 1st annual Am. Meth. Conf. was held Philadelphia 1773. At the 1784 Christmas Conf., regarded as founding the M. E. Ch. as an ecclesiastical organization, F. Asbury* was ordained supt. In the late 1780s the term “bp.” came to replace “supt.” This led to schisms: J. O'Kelly* organized the Rep. Meth. Ch. 1792; the Meth. Prot. Ch. was organized Baltimore, Maryland, 1830. Lay delegates were elected to the Gen. Conf. 1870 for the 1st time. J. Wesley opposed slavery; James Osgood Andrew (1794–1871; bp. 1832; worked chiefly in the S confs.) was a slaveholder; this led to crisis 1844 resulting in the M. E. Ch., S, organized Louisville, Kentucky, 1845 (1st Gen. Conf. at Petersburg, Virginia, 1846). The M. E. Ch., the Meth. Prot. Ch., and the M. E. Ch., S, united 1939 to form The Methodist* Ch., which merged 1968 Dallas, Texas, with The Evangelical* United Brethren Ch. to form The United Meth. Ch. See also Bible Protestant Church; Evangelical Church of North America, The.

2. Doctrine. J. Wesley's theol. was a modified Arminianism.* He and his followers stressed Christian activity. The 25 arts. he prepared as a doctrinal guide are patterned after the Thirty-nine Arts. of the Angls. (see Anglican Confessions, 6). It is significant, however, that the real standards of Meth. doctrine are Wesley's “preached sermons,” in which great emphasis is laid on sanctification (see Democratic Declarations of Faith, 6). Christian perfection may be viewed as the cen. doctrine of Methodism. Wesley differed from J. Calvin* in holding that Christ died for all (universal salvation). He held that all men who are obedient to the Gospel acc. to the measure of light given them are in God's kingdom. Man is free to reject or, by the grace of God, to accept salvation (free salvation). The Holy Spirit assures man of his salvation directly (sure salvation). The real heart of Wesley's theol. was the doctrine of the pure heart. Christian perfection in Meth. theol. is man's ability to overcome evil and reach perfection (full salvation). In the 1st quarter of the 20th c. large sections of Methodism became modernist (see Modernism). The transition from Wesley's individual perfection to modernism's soc. perfection was comparatively simple. The Meth. Fed. for Soc. Service was formed 1907. The Gen. Conf. of the M. E. Ch. adopted the Soc. Creed of Methodism 1908. Doctrines and Discipline of The Methodist Church 1944 and The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 1968 make it the duty of the ch. to help soc. solve such problems as class tensions, racial inequality, agricultural problems, economic insecurity, industrial accidents, liquor traffic, internat. strife. See also Social Gospel.

3. Polity. The gen. lines laid down by J. Wesley developed in different directions in Eng. and Am. In Eng. the conf. remained supreme; in Am. the superintendency became an episcopacy. When the episc. form of govt. was adopted by the 1st Annual Conf. 1784, govt. by conferences was not abrogated, but actually made an integral part of the episc. system. The Meth. system operates under conferences: the Gen. Conf. for the whole ch.; Jurisdictional Confs. for the ch. in the US and Can.; Cen. Confs. for the ch. outside the US and Can.; Annual Confs. as the fundamental bodies of the ch. and, if necessary, Provisional Annual Confs.; a Charge Conf. for each ch. or charge. The ordained ministry of the United Meth. Ch. consists of elders and deacons; qualified laymen may be licensed to perform certain pastoral functions; bps. are elected by resp. Jurisdictional and Cen. Confs. and consecrated in the hist. manner. The Council of Bps. consists of all bps. of the United Meth. Ch.

4. Separate Bodies. (a) The United Meth. Ch. (see par. 1).

(b) Ref. Meth. Ch.; founded 1814 Readsboro, Vermont, in protest against episcopacy; by the middle of the 19th c. most of its socs. merged with the Meth. Prot. Ch. (see par. 1); what remained in 1952 merged in that yr. with the Churches* of Christ in Christian Union. The Wesleyan Meth. Ch. of Am.; founded 1843 at Utica, New York, in protest against slavery and episcopacy; merged 1968 with Pilgrim Holiness Ch. to form The Wesleyan* Church. Primitive Meth. Ch., U. S. (A.); est. 1812 in Eng. after Lorenzo Dow (1777–1834; b. Coventry, Connecticut; M. E. Ch. preacher; on his own initiative made several trips to Ireland and Eng. beginning ca. 1799) introd. Am. type camp meetings; brought to Am. by immigrants by 1829; Gen. Conf. organized 1889. Congregational Meth. Ch.; organized 1852 in protest against polity and itinerancy of the M. E. Ch., South. (First) Cong. Meth. Ch. of the USA; organized Forsythe, Georgia, 1852. New Cong. Meth. Ch.; separated from M. E. Ch., S, 1881, as result of conflict over consolidation of some rural chs. in Florida and Georgia; includes footwashing. Free Meth. Ch. of N. Am.; organized 1860 Pekin, New York, by B. T. Roberts*; fundamentalist; emotional in worship. Holiness Meth. Ch.; organized 1909 Grand Forks, North Dakota, as Constitution Northwestern Holiness Assoc.; name changed 1920. Fundamental Meth. Ch., Inc.; withdrew from The Methodist* Ch. in protest against modernism; formed 1942 Ash Grove, Missouri, as Indep. Fundamental Meth. Ch.; name changed 1956. Southern Meth. Ch.; organized 1939 by a small group in dissent against the merger that produced The Methodist Ch. and as continuation of the M. E. Ch., South. Cumberland Meth. Ch.; withdrew from Cong. Meth. Ch. in protest against certain features of doctrine and polity; organized 1950 Laager, Grundy Co., Tennessee. Ev. Meth. Ch.; organized 1946 Memphis, Tennessee, in protest against episcopacy and modernism. Bible Prot. Ch.; organized after some mems. of the E Conf. of the Meth. Prot. Ch. withdrew 1939 in protest against the merger that resulted in The Meth. Ch.; name adopted 1940.

(c) The African* M. E. Ch. was organized 1816. A. M. E. Zion Ch. is the name adopted 1848 by a ch. that traces its beginning to 1796 (when some Negroes withdrew from John St. Meth. Ch., NYC) and that held its 1st annual conf. 1821 under the name A. M. E. Ch. in Am. Christian M. E. Ch.; organized 1870 Jackson, Tennessee, as Colored M. E. Ch. in Am.; parallel of M. E. Ch., S.; present name adopted 1954/56. Union Am. M. E. Ch.; traces its roots to the beginning of the 19th c., its organization to 1875. Ref. Zion Union Apostolic Ch.; broke from the A. M. E. Zion Ch.; organized 1869 Boydton, Virginia, as Zion Union Apostolic Ch.; disrupted 1874; reorganized 1881/82 under present name. Ref. Meth. Union Episc. Ch.; broke from A. M. E. Ch. over disputed elections of Gen. Conf. delegates; organized 1885 Georgetown, South Carolina; adopted episc. and connectional polity 1896. Afr. Union 1st Colored Meth. Prot. Ch., Inc.; also known as Afr. Union Meth. Prot. Ch.; traced its beginnings to the Ezion M. E. Ch. erected 1805 by Negrees at Wilmington, Delaware,; after several divisions and realignments the Afr. Union First Colored Meth. Prot. Ch. of the U. S. of Am. or Elsewhere was formed 1865/66 at Baltimore; apparently ceased to exist ca. 1969. The United Wesleyan Meth. Ch. of Am.; founded 1905.

(d) Lumber River Annual Conf. of the Holiness Meth. Ch. See Evangelistic Associations, 9. FEM

See also Holiness Churches; Itinerancy; Ranters, 2; Whitefield, George.

See Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography of.


(Eubulus; Eubulius; d. ca. 300/311). E Ch. theol.; bp. Olympus in Lycia; probably martyred in persecution instituted by Diocletian*; opposed Origen*; held bodily resurrection. Works include Symposium (in praise of virginity; includes hymn to Christ as Bridegroom of the Ch.); De resurrectione (against Origen); De libero arbitrio (against Gnosticism*).

Methodology, Theological.

Practical application of theol. encyclopedia.*

Metrophanes Kritop(o)ulos

(Critopoulos; Critopulus; 1589–1639). B. Beroea (Veroia), Macedonia; Gk. monk; sent by Cyril Lucaris* to study in Eng.; traveled in Eur.; metropolitan Memphis, Egypt, 1633; elected patriarch Alexandria 1636, enthroned 1637; signed anathemas against Cyril Lucaris for his Calvinism.* See also Eastern Orthodox Standards of Doctrine, B 2.


1. Title hist. borne by bps. of capital (mother) cities of Roman provinces or of fictional provinces; such bps. presided at provincial syns. and exercised gen. supervision over other bps. of the province; title first occurs in acts of the 325 Council of Nicaea (see Nicaea, Councils of, 1). 2. In E Orthodox Ch., head of an ecclesiastical province.

3. Abp. in Ch. of Eng.

See also Archbishop; Polity, Ecclesiastical, 3.

Metropolitan Community of Churches, Universal Fellowship of.

Est. 1968 in Los Angeles, Calif includes outreach to the gay community.

Metz, Christian

(1794–1867). B. Neuwied, Prussia; leader of Community of True Inspiration 1823–42; to Am. 1842; head of Amana* Soc.

Metzger, Max Joseph

(Josef; 1887–1944). RC theol.; b. Schopfheim (Schopfloch?), Ger.; after WW I devoted to cause of peace; active in soc. and ecumenical work; opposed Nazism (see Socialism, 3).

Meurer, Moritz

(1806–77). B. Pretzsch, near Wittenberg, Ger.; educ. Leipzig; private tutor Wittenberg; taught at Weissenfels 1833; held various ministerial positions at Waldenburg 1834–41; pastor Callenberg, near Waldenburg, 1841–77. Works include Altarschmuck; Der Kirchenbau vom Standpunkte und nach dem Brauche der lutherischen Kirche; Luthers Leben aus den Quellen erzählt; ed. and coauthor, Das Leben der Altväter der lutherischen Kirche.

Meusel, Karl Heinrich

(1837–89). B. Wiederau, Saxony; educ. Leipzig; vicar 1863, subdeacon 1865 Dresden; teacher Gymnasium at Bauzen 1867, Gymnasium at Dresden 1871; pastor Grosshennersdorf, near Herrnhut, 1873; supt. Rochlitz 1885. Ed. 2 vols. of Kirchliches Handlexikon.

Mexican Indian Mission.

Founded 1930/31 by James Gary Dale (1870–1960) and his wife Katherine Neel Dale (1872–1941; med. doctor); he had been in Mex. since 1899, she since 1898, as missionaries of the Assoc. Ref. Presb. Bd. The 1st miss. station, opened 1931 at Tamazunchale in the heart of the Huastec country, E Mex., is the center of this work.


(United Mexican States).

A. Historic Formation. The arrival of Hernando Cortes (Cortez; Hernán Cortés; 1485–1547; b. Medellín, Estremadura, Sp.; conqueror of Mex.) in 1519 ushered into modern hist. that vast section of the W hemisphere mainland known today as Mex., but then called New Sp. by its conquerors. The fall of the Aztec empire 1521 sealed the conquest of the indian civilizations and brought the entire area under Sp. colonial rule for 3 centuries. In 1821 Mex. became indep. of the Sp. empire. Its most southerly state: Chiapas, which broke away from Guatemala 1821 and became one of the original 19 states of Mex. 1824. Present N border est. after secession of Texas 1836 and Mex. War 1846–48.

B. Gen. Description. Area: ca. 761,600 sq. mi. mostly mestizos of mixed Sp. and Indian descent; pure Indian descendants of various peoples (e.g., Aztec, Maya, Olmec, Tlascala, Toltec, Zapotec), some of which had highly developed preconquest cultures, are now concentrated mostly in cen. highlands and S Pacific area; others include Creoles (of Sp. descent), N. Americans, Blacks and Asians.

C. Soc. and Pol. Aspects. Independence intensified inherent soc. problems, rooted in an agricultural economy largely based on communal land tenure, bequeathed by the colonial period, and complicated by vast landless Indian pop. The 1857 Reform and const. separated ch. and state, creating a secular, fed. govt. in which all ch. property was nationalized, religious orders dissolved, educ. secularized, and ch. tithes abolished. Land reform was also attempted. The Revolution that began 1910 led to the 1917 Constitution and full reform. Today Mexico's govt. is a blend of soc. and capitalist pragmatism under a one-party system. Principles of the Reform are applied and objectives of the Revolution are pursued through varying emphases by a strongly centralized govt. No religious organization can own real estate. Educ. is under state control. Businesses in the pub. interest are nationalized, but private investment, including for., is at a high level. See also D 1.

D. Religion.

1. Preconquest Indian cults still exist in remote interior regions, often blending with old Sp. forms of RCm Acc. to tradition, Mary appeared to Indian Juan Diego 1531. A shrine to mark the event was erected ca. 1533; over the yrs. it grew into the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Guadalupe Hidalgo (Gustavo A. Madero), Fed. Dist., cen. Mex. The RC Ch. exercised strong pol. power in the colonial period and controlled much arable land; this led to reaction against ecclesiastical domination and privilege reflected in the constitutions of 1857 and 1917 (see C). Mex. is mainly RC, but for many the connection is only nominal. Evidence of spiritual awakening has followed Vatican II (see Vatican Councils, 2). With relaxation of some laws, the relationship bet. ch. and state has improved. Missions are still hindered by restrictions against for. clergy.

2. Protestantism entered Mex. in force after religious freedom was permitted by the 1857 const.

3. The 1st Ev. service in Mex. was held 1861 in German. Ger. immigration favored establishment of the Ger. Speaking Ev. Luth. Cong. This parish has Heilig Geist Kirche (Holy Spirit Ch.) in Mex. City with sister congs. and many preaching stations throughout the country. It is served by a multiple ministry. This parish also shares in the work of the Soc. Service Center erected with help of funds allocated by Ger., Swiss, and Austrian interests. The Mo. Syn. began Eng. work 1922, abandoned it 1931, began Sp. work 1940. This work, now assoc. with the Caribbean Miss. Dist. of LCMS, led to organization April 1968 of The Luth. Syn. of Mexico (Sinodo Luterano de Mexico). ALC Sp. work in Mex., begun in the middle 1940s, led to founding 1957 of Iglesia Luterana Mexicana, a mem. of LWF Eng.-speaking Good Shepherd Ch. (LCMS), organized Mex. City 1949, and Ascension Ch. (ALC), organized 1958, united 1963 into a cong. recognized by both parent bodies. The Lat. Am. Luth. Miss., founded in the early 1930s by Myrtle Nordin, a mem. of the LFC of Lake Lillian, Minnesota, is supported by contributions of stateside chs. The World* Mission Prayer League began work in Lower Calif. ca. 1944, on the mainland of Mex. ca. 1950. The Scand. Luth. Cong., Mex. City, has operated with Swed. services. Augsburg Luth. Sem., founded in the 1960s as Augsburg Center (Centro Augsburgo) in Mex. City, trains pastors for Luth. groups in Mex. and elsewhere in Lat. Am. and is part of Mex. Theol. Community, formed in the late 1960s by sems. of various Prot. groups. RFG

Meyenberg, Albert

(1861–1934). RC theol.; b. Zug, Switz.; prof. in sem. at Lucerne 1891; apologist and homiletician. Works include Homiletische und katechetische Studien.

Meyer, Adolf William

(Adolph[us] Wilhelm; July 20, 1860–May 26, 1937). B. Australia; educ. Conc. Coll., Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri Pastor Rader, Webster Co., Missouri (mem. The Eng. [Ev.] Luth. Conf. of Missouri) 1885; Winfield, Kansas (mem. The Gen. Eng. [Ev.] Luth. Conf. of Missouri and Other States) 1888; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (mem. The Eng. Ev. Luth. Syn. of Missouri and Other States) 1891. Pres. St. John's Coll., Winfield, Kansas, 1895–1927; The Eng. Ev. Luth. Syn. of Missouri and Other States 190–105. Pastor Long Island, New York, 1927, Taught at Conc. Institute, Bronxville, New York Ed. The Lutheran Guide.

Meyer, Carl Stamm

(March 12, 1907–December 17, 1972). B. Wetaskiwin, Alta., Can.; educ. Conc. Sem., Saint Louis, Missouri Studied at State Teachers Coll., Mankato, Minnesota; U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis; U. of Chicago; Washington U., St. Louis; U. of London. Pastor Rochester, Minnesota, 1931–34; instructor Bethany Lutheran Coll., Mankato, Minnesota, 1934–43; pres. Luther Institute, Chicago, 1943–54; acting supt. Luth. High School Assoc., Chicago, 1950–52; prof. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1954–72 (dir. of its School for Grad. Studies 1960–69); ex. dir. Foundation for Reformation Research 1969–72. Ed. Sixteenth Century Journal; Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly; Cranmer's Selected Writings; The Lutheran High School; Moving Frontiers; Walther Speaks to the Church: Selected Letters; Lutheran Secondary and Higher Education for Effecitve Action; Luther for an Ecumenical Age. Coed. The Caring God. Ed. and tr. Letters of C. F. W. Walther: A Selection. Coauthor A History of Western Christianity. Other works include Elizabeth I and the Religious Settlement of 1559; Pioneers Find Friends; Log Cabin to Luther Tower; The Church: From Pentecost to the Present; A Brief Historical Sketch of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; A Catholic President?

Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm

(1800–73). B. Gotha, Ger.; educ. Jena. Pastor Osthausen, near Kranichfeld, Thuringia, 1822; Harste, near Göttingen, 1831. Pastor and supt. Hoya, near Verden, 1837; Neustadt, Hannover, 1841. Mem. consistory 1841, high consistory 1861. Works include Kritisch exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament (in collaboration with others).

Meyer, Herman Edward Ernest

(June 30, 1881–April 4, 1920). Brother of J. P. C. Meyer*; b. Caledonia, Racine Co., Wisconsin Educ. Northwestern U. (called Northwestern Coll. 1910), Watertown, Wisconsin; teacher-training school (Dr. Martin Luther Coll.), New Ulm, Minnesota; Conc. Coll., Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Wisconsin Syn. sem., Wauwatosa, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Pastor successively Eden Valley, Buffalo and Pelican Lake, and Goodhue, all in Minnesota, 1904–13. Principal Milwaukee Luth. High School 1913–15. Prof. sem. at Wauwatosa 1915–20.

Meyer, Johannes Peter Carl

(February 27, 1873–November 10, 1964). Brother of H. E. E. Meyer*; b. Zittau, Winnebago Co., Wisconsin; educ. Northwestern U. (called Northwestern Coll. 1910), Watertown, Wisconsin, and at the Wisconsin Syn. sem. at Wauwatosa, near Milwaukee. Pastor Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, 1896–1902; Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, 1915–18. Prof. Northwestern U. 1902–03; Dr. Martin Luther Coll., New Ulm, Minnesota, 1903–15. Pres. Dr. Martin Luther Coll. 1918–20. Prof. Wis. Syn. sem. at Wauwatosa till 1929, then at Thiensville (Mequon) till 1964; acting pres. 1937, later pres., of this sem. till 1953. Works include Ministers of Christ.

Meyer, Johann Friedrich von

(1772–1849). B. Frankfurt am Main, Ger.; theol., jurist, statesman, poet, Bible tr.; pres. Bible Soc. in Frankfurt 1816; first influenced by rationalism, later turned to mysticism and theosophy. Works include Zur Aegyptologie; Inbegriff der christlichen Glaubenslehre.

Meyer, John Herman William

(Johann Hermann Wilhelm; May 25, 1866–May 7, 1949). B. Baltimore, Maryland; educ. Conc. Sem., Springfield, Illinois; miss. Fresno, California, 1889–90. Pastor Canistota, South Dakota, 1890–93; Waltham, Minnesota, 1893–1900; St. Paul, Minnesota, 1900–06; St. Louis, Missouri, 1906–11; Town Rost, near Lakefield, Minnesota, 1912–42. Pres. Minnesota Dist. of Mo. Syn. 1918–30. Works include Dein Reich komme!; ed. Die Missions-Taube 1908–11.

Meyfart, Johann Matthäus

(Mayfart; 1590–1642). B. Jena, Ger.; educ. Jena; prof. Gymnasium at Coburg 1616; dir. there 1623; prof. Erfurt 1633. Devotional works include Tuba novissima, which contains the hymn “Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt.”

Mezger, Johann Leonhard Georg

(Metzger; December 18, 1857–November 3, 1931). B. Brunswick, Ger.; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri Pastor Waterloo, Iowa, 1881–85; near Okawville, Illinois, 1885–95; Decatur, Illinois, 1895–96. Prof. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1896–1923; prof. at sem. in Zehlendorf, Berlin, Ger., 1923–31. Ed. Denkstein zum fünfundsiebzigjährigen Jubiläum der Missourisynode; other works include Lessons in the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther; Entwürfe zu Katechesen über Luthers Kleinen Katechismus.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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