Christian Cyclopedia

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Wichern, Johann Hinrich

(1808–81). Founder of Inner* Mission; b. Hamburg, Ger.; educ. Göttingen and Berlin; S. S. teacher Hamburg; founded Rauhes Haus in Horn, suburb of Hamburg, as rescue home for boys; girls were included later. Emphasized love, freedom, and joy; est. training school for helpers, later called Brüderanstalt. Ed. Die fliegende Blätter aus dem Rauhen Hause. Other works include Nothstände der protestantischen Kirche und die innere Mission; Die innere Mission der deutschen evangelischen Kirche; Denkschrift. See also Charities, Christian, 5; Christian Socialism, 4.

Widensee, Eberhard

(Wiedensee; ca. 1486–1547). B. Hildesheim, Ger.; educ. Leipzig; Augustinian; began preaching Luth. sermons 1523; deposed 1524; preacher Magdeburg 1524, Hadersleben 1526; with J. Wenth* gave Luth. direction to Reformation in Haderslev and Törning, Schleswig-Holstein.

Widor, Charles Marie Jean Albert

(1845–1937). B. Lyons, Fr.; organist Paris 1870–1933; prof. of organ and composition Paris 1890. Works include operas; orchestral music; chamber music; organ music; a mass, 2 Psalms, and other ch. music; with Albert Schweitzer* coed. organ works of J. S. Bach.* See also Offertory.

Wiek, Amund Larson

(January 19, 1861–September 30, 1922). B. Rio, Wisconsin; attended Northwestern Bible and Mission Training School, Minneapolis, Minnesota Pastor Minneapolis, Cokato, and French Lake, Minnesota; Sisseton, South Dakota; mem. Eielsen* Synod. Ed. Den Kristelige Laegmand.

Wieland, Christoph Martin

(1733–1813). Poet, prose writer; b. Oberholzheim, near Biberach, Ger.; educ. Magdeburg and Töbingen; lived mainly in Weimar from 1772. Held that poetry should serve religion. Saw in the sovereignty of the people advocated in the Fr. Revolution a new pol. religion.

Wiener, Paul

(d. 1554). B. Laibach (ancient Emona; now Ljubljana, or Lyublyana, Slovenia, NW Yugoslavia); canon (or prebendary) and gen. vicar Laibach 1520; mem. diet Laibach 1530; joined P. Truber's* ev. movement ca. 1536; imprisoned 1547; released by the emp. 1548 on condition of emigration to Hermannstadt (now Sibiu), cen. Romania, Transylvania, where he became pastor 1549, city pastor 1552, bp. 1553.

Wieseler, Karl

(1813–83). Luth. theol.; b. Altencelle, near Celle, Hannover, Ger.; educ. Göttingen; prof. Kiel and Greifswald; fields of activity: OT and NT exegesis, isagogics, NT criticism, Biblical and early Christian hist.; effectively opposed the concept and treatment of early Christendom developed by D. F. Strauss* and F. C. Baur.*

Wiesenmeyer, Burchard

(Burkhard; 17th c.). Hymnist; b. Helmstädt (Helmstedt), Ger.; taught at Grey* Friars Gymnasium, Berlin, probably 1635–45; helped J. Crüger* prepare 1640 Luth. hymnal. Hymns include “Wie schön leucht't uns der Morgenstern”; “Das alte Jahr ist nun dahin.”

Wigand, Johann(es)

(1523–87). B. Mansfeld, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg; taught in Nürnberg 1541–44; preacher Mansfeld 1546; supt. and pastor Magdeburg 1553; prof. Jena 1560; deposed 1561; supt. Wismar 1562; returned to Jena 1568; deposed again 1573; prof. Königsberg; bp. Pomesania 1575, Samland 1577. Staunch Luth. in various controversies. Coauthor Magdeburg* Centuries. See also Adiaphoristic Controversies, 1; Altenburg Colloquy; Flacius Illyricus, Matthias; Gnesio-Lutherans; Synergistic Controversy.

Wikner, Carl Pontus

(1837–88). Swed. Luth. pastor, philos., author, poet; educ. Uppsala; taught at Uppsala; prof. philos. Christiania (now Oslo) 1884. Rejected the orthodox 2-nature doctrine and the liberal concept of Christ as ideal man; pictured Christ as “the friend.”

Wilberforce, William

(1759–1833). Philanthropist, pol.; b. Hull, Yorkshire, Eng.; educ. Cambridge; mem. House of Commons 1780; became ev. Christian ca. 1784/85; antislavery agitator; supported extension of miss. work in India. See also Thornton, Henry.


(Wilbrod). See Willibrord.

Wilbye, John

(ca. 1574–1638). Madrigal* composer; b. Diss, S Norfolk, Eng.; resident musician Hengrave, near Bury Saint Edmunds ca. 1595; spent last 10 yrs. at Colchester. Works include 2 sacred compositions.

Wild, Johannes

(Ferus; 1494–1554). Franciscan prior and cathedral preacher Mainz; inclined to Lutheran ism. Many of his works, which include commentaries on books of the Bible and sermons, were put on the Index* of Prohibited Books.


(Wilfrith; 634–ca. 709). Eng. prelate; favored Rome at Syn. of Whitby* 664; bp. York ca. 668; exiled when he objected to division of see; evangelized south Saxons; bp. Hexham ca. 706. See also Germany, A 1; James the Deacon.

Wilke, Christian Gottlob

(1786–1854). NT exegete; b. Badrina, near Delitzsch, Saxony, Ger.; pastor Hermannsdorf 1821–36; RC 1846. Works include Der Urevangelist; Die neutestamentliche Rhetorik; Die Hermeneutik des Neuen Testaments; Clavis Novi Testamenti philologica. See also Grimm, Karl Ludwig Willibald; Lexicons, B.

Wilkens, Cornelius August

(1829–1914). Ref. theol.; pastor Vienna 1861, The Hague 1879–81. Opposed rationalism, liberalism, and state ch. Works include biography of P. Abelard.*

Wilkinson, John Gardner

(1797–1875). Traveler, Egyptologist; b. probably Hardendale, Westmorland, Eng.; educ. Oxford. Works include The Mamners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.

Wilkinson, William

(d. 1613). Educ. Cambridge, Eng.; taught at Cambridge; opposed H. Niclaes.*

Will, Robert

(1869–1959). B. Assweiler, SE Saar; educ. Strasbourg, Berlin, Paris; pastor Masevaux 1894, Strasbourg 1901–22; prof. Strasbourg 1919–37, Clermont-Ferrand 1939–45; mem. consistory Ch. of the Augsburg Confession. Works include Tauler; La Liberté chrétienne; Der Gottesdienst Augsburger Konfession in Elsass und Lothringen.

Willaert, Adrian

(Adriaan; Adriaen; Adrien; Villard; Villahert; Vuigliart; Hadrian; Adriano Fiammingo; ca. 1480/90–1562). B. perhaps Brugge (Bruges) or Roeselare (Roulers), West Flanders, NW Belg.; maestro di cappella St. Mark's, Venice, 1527; founded a singing-school. Works include masses, motets, madrigals, psalms, hymns. See also Venetian School of Church Music.

Willard, Frances Elizabeth Caroline

(1839–98). B. Churchville, New York; educ. Northwestern Female Coll., Evanston, Illinois; teacher; pres. 1871, dean of women 1873 Evanston Coll. for Ladies; corresponding secy. 1874, pres. 1879 Nat. Woman's Christian Temperance Union; pres. World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Favored woman's suffrage as early as 1877; mem. Ex. Committee of the Prohibition Party 1884.

William I

(1533–84). “The Silent” because, though eloquent, he learned to hold his tongue; 1st stadholder of Holland 1579–84 (made hereditary 1581); b. Dillenburg, Hesse, Germany, of Luth. parents; succeeded to principality of Orange 1544; Charles* V required 1544 that he be educ. RC in the Neth.; count of Nassau 1559; led revolt against Sp. 1568–76; Calvinist 1573. The 7 N provinces of the Neth. concluded the Union of Utrecht 1579, followed 1581 by proclamation of indep. from Spain. William I was assassinated.

William I

(king of the Neth.). See Netherlands, 1.

William of Auvergne

(Guillaume de Paris; Guillaume d'Auvergne; ca. 1180/90–1248/49). Theol. and philos.; b. Aurillac, Fr.; taught theol. at Paris; bp. Paris 1228. Works, significant for the development of scholasticism, include De universo.

William of Auxerre

(ca. 1150–1231). Scholastic theol.; b. Auxerre, Fr.; archdeacon Beauvais; taught at Paris; formulated the concept that the minimum required for the sacramental intention of a priest (see Sacraments, Roman Catholic) is that he will to do what the ch. does. Works include Summa super quattuor libros sententiarum (also known as Summa aurea, “Golden Compendium”).

William of Champeaux

(Guillaume de Champeaux; Guglielmus de Campellis; ca. 1070–1121). Scholastic philos.; b. Champeaux, Fr.; studied under Anselm* of Laon and Roscellinus*; taught in the cathedral school of Notre Dame, Paris; archdeacon of Paris ca. 1100 (retired 1108); founded Order of St. Victor (see Victorines); bp. Châlons-sur-Marne 1113; differed with P. Abelard,* one of his pupils, over universals (words that can be applied to more than 1 particular thing); realist.

William of Conches

(Gulielmus de Conchis; ca. 1080–ca. 1154). B. Conches, Normandy; probably pupil of Bernard* of Chartres; taught at Chartres beginning in the early 1120s; pupils included John* of Salisbury. Works include De philosophia mundi; Dragmaticon.

William of Malmesbury

(Gulielmus Malmesburiensis; ca. 1090/96–ca. 1143/45). Hist.; b. perhaps Somerset, Eng.; educ. Malmesbury Abbey; librarian Malmesbury Abbey. Works include De gestis regum Anglorum (to ca. 1125/28); Historia novella (to 1142); De gestis pontificum Anglorum.

William of Newburgh

(1136–ca. 1198). Hist. b. Bridlington, Yorkshire, Eng.; entered Augustinian priory of Newburgh as a boy; apparently remained there the rest of his life. Works include Historia rerum Anglicarum.

William of Saint-Thierry

(ca. 1085–1148). B. Liège, Belg.; studied under Anselm* of Laon; abbot of the monastery of Saint-Thierry, near Reims, 1119; joined Cistercians* at Signy, in the forest of the Ardennes, 1135; friend of Bernard* of Clairvaux; opposed P. Abelard* and William* of Conches.

Williams, Eleazar

(ca. 1789–August 28, 1858). Probably b. Sault St. Louis (Caughnawaga), S Quebec, Can.; half-breed son of a St. Regis Indian; scout for Americans in War of 1812; appointed lay reader and catechist by an Episc. bp. for miss. work among Indians; led group of Oneida chiefs to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to est. an Indian empire; lost favor of Indians for various reasons; claimed to be “lost dauphin” of France. Tr. selected prayers from the Book* of Common Prayer into Iroquois. See also Indians, American, 9.

Williams, George

(1821–1905). Founder of YMCA; b. Dulverton, Somersetshire, Eng.; converted at a Cong. service; worked for soc. reform.

Williams, John

(June 29, 1796–November 20, 1839). “The apostle of Polynesia”; b. London, Eng.; LMS miss. to Society* Is. 1816; settled on Raiatea 1818; discovered Rarotonga (see Cook Islands) 1823, where he later tr. parts of the Bible into the native tongue; in Eng. 1833/34–38; returned to South Pacific with 16 other missionaries; killed and eaten by natives on Eromanga (Erromanga), New* Hebrides. See also Buzacott, Aaron; Samoa.

Williams, Roger

(ca. 1603–83). Founder of Rhode Is.; probably b. London, Eng.; to US 1630/31; active in Plymouth Colony and Salem; banished 1635 for criticizing civil authorities; founded Providence 1636, where obedience to the majority was promised by all, but “only in civil things”; Bap. a few months, then a “Seeker” or “Come-outer,” holding that no ch. had all marks of the true ch. Works include The Bloody Tenent (title occurs in various forms). See also Baptist Churches, 3.

Williams, William

(1717–91). Hymnist; b. Cefn-y-Coed, near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales, ordained deacon of the est. ch. 1740; served 2 curacies 3 yrs.; became Calvinistic Meth. preacher. Hymns include the one tr. as “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”

Williamson, Alexander

(December 5, 1829–August 28, 1890). B. Falkirk, Scot.; educ. Glasgow; LMS miss. to China 1855–58; to China again 1863 as agent of the Nat. Bible Soc. of Scot. (see Bible Societies, 4) and in connection with the United Presb. Ch. of Scot. mission. Sold Christian books also to Koreans on the Manchurian border of Korea. Founded Book and Tract Soc. for China, which grew into the Society* for the Diffusion of Christian and Gen. Knowledge Among the Chinese.

Williamson, Thomas Smith

(March 1800–June 24, 1879). B. Union Dist., South Carolina; educ. Jefferson Coll., Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Yale Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut; practiced medicine 10 yrs. in Brown Co., Ohio; studied 1 yr. at Lane Theol. Sem., a Presb. school in Walnut Hills, in NE Cincinnati, Ohio; ABCFM miss. to the Dakota 1835. Tr. most of the OT and the NT into the Dakota language; other works include The Sioux or Dakotas. See also Indians, American, 5.

William the Rich

(of Nassau-Katzenelnbogen). See Sarcerius, Erasmus.


(Wilbrord; Wilbrod; ca. 657–ca. 738). “Apostle of the Frisians”; b. Northumbria; perhaps Anglo-Saxon; miss. to N Ger. and Denmark (see Denmark, Kingdom of); said to have been abp. of the Frisians ca. 695, residing at Utrecht. See also Germany, A 1; Netherlands, 1; Suidbert.

Willkomm, Karl Martin

(1876–1946). Son of O. H. T. Willkomm*; b. Madura(i), S Tamil Nadu, S India; to Ger. 1876; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; asst. pastor Planitz, Ger., 1898. Pastor Mulhouse, Alsace, 1905–19; Planitz 1919–24; dir. theol. sem. at Klein Machnow, near Berlin-Zehlendorf, from 1923/24. Ed. Die Evangelisch-Lutherische Freikirche (alternate form: Die Ev.-Luth. Freikirche); Schrift und Bekenntnis.

Willkomm, Otto Heinrich Theodor

(November 30, 1847–August 5, 1933). Father of K. M. Willkomm*; b. Ebersbach, Lusatia, Saxony, Ger.; educ. Leipzig; taught 1868–70 in a private school; active 1870–72 at Leipzig* Ev. Luth. Miss.; in Leipzig miss. in India 1873–76; with C. M. Zorn* and J. F. Zucker* severed connection with Leipzig Miss. and Saxon state ch. for confessional reasons. Pastor Free Ch. cong. Crimmitschau, Saxony, 1876–79; Planitz, near Zwickau, 1879–1917. Pres. Ev.-Luth. Free Ch. in Saxony and Other States 1879–1907. Ed. Die Evangelisch-Lutherische Freikirche (alternate form of title: Die Ev.-Luth. Freikirche); Evangelisch-Lutherischer Hausfreund-Kalender. See also Germany, Lutheran Free Churches in, 5.

Wilpert, Joseph

(Josef; 1857–1944). Ger. authority on early Christian art, vestments; archaeologist; at Rome since 1884. Works include Die römischen Mosaiken und Malereien der kirchlichen Bauten vom IV. bis XIII. Jahrhundert.

Wilson, Robert Dick

(1856–1930). Presb. orientalist; b. Indiana, Pennsylvania; prof. in OT dept. of Western Theol. Sem.; prof. of Semitic philol. and OT introd. at Princeton 1900. Works include Studies in the Book of Daniel; Elements of Syriac Grammar by an Inductive Method; Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?

Wimmer, Richard

(1836–1905). Ev. theol. and writer; b. Altenburg, Ger.; pastor Weisweil, Baden, Ger.; published theol., devotional, and poetic writings. Works include Inneres Leben.

Wimpfeling, Jakob

(Jacob Wimpheling; 1450–1528). Ger. humanist; b. Sélestat, Alsace; educ. Freiburg, Erfurt, Heidelberg; held various positions including prof. of poetry and rhetoric at Heidelberg. Works include Epitome Germanicarum rerum.

Winckelmann, Johannes

(1551–1626). B. Homburg, Hesse, Ger.; educ. Marburg; rector Homburg; court preacher Kassel 1582; prof. Marburg; deposed; to Giessen, helped found U.; supt. Giessen; champion of Luth. orthodoxy.

Winckelmann, Johann Joachim

(1717–68). Classical art critic and archaeologist; b. Stendal, Ger.; educ. Halle; librarian Nöthnitz; became RC 1754 and lived at Rome. Works include Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums.

Winckler, Hugo

(1863–1913). Orientalist; b. Graefenhainichen, near Wittenberg, Ger.; prof. Berlin 1904. Wrote numerous works on Assyriology and related subjects.

Winckler, Johann

(1642–1705). Luth. pastor; b. Golzern, near Grimma, Ger.; educ. Grimma, Saint Thomas' in Leipzig, and Leipzig U.; pastor Homburg vor der Höhe 1671; supt. Braubach 1672; court preacher Darmstadt 1676; pastor Mannheim 1678; supt. Wertheim 1679; chief preacher Saint Michael's, Hamburg, 1684; senior minister there 1699. Friend of P. J. Spener,* whose conventicles he defended.

Wind, Henry Frederick

(January 2, 1891–February 24, 1966). B. Millard, Nebraska; educ. Conc. Coll., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; ordained 1916; pastor Brockport, New York; camp pastor US military 1917; institutional miss. Buffalo, New York, 1919–53; ex. secy., LCMS Dept. of Soc. Welfare 1953–66. Ed. Good News; Associated Lutheran Charities Review; Lutheran Hospice and Institutional Missionary Bulletin; Welfare Review; other works include “Towering o'er the Wrecks of Time”: Lenten Meditations; devotional booklets.

Windelband, Wilhelm

(1848–1915). B. Potsdam, Ger.; prof. Strasbourg and Heidelberg; held that science may ascertain facts but values must be supplied by philosophy; differentiated method in natural and historical science. Works include Die Geschichte der neueren Philosophie. See also Baden School.

Windisch, Hans

(1881–1935). B. Leipzig, Ger.; taught at Leipzig, Leiden, Kiel, Halle. Exponent of Religionsgeschichtliche* Schule. Works include Johannes und die Synoptiker.

Winebrenner, John

(Johann Weinbrenner; 1797–1860). B. near Walkersville, Frederick Co., Maryland; stud. theol. privately at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; ordained 1820 by Gen. Syn. of Ger. Ref. Ch.; pastor Harrisburg and neighboring rural parishes; excluded from ch. for Methodistic tendencies; itinerant preacher; leader in founding Gen. Eldership of the Ch. of God 1830 (name changed 1845 to Gen. Eldership of the Ch. of God in N Am., and in 1896 to Gen. Eldership of the Chs. of God in N Am.). Ed. Gospel Publisher; Church Advocate. Followers called Winebrennerians. See also Churches of God, General Conference.

Winer, Johan Georg Benedikt

(1789–1858). B. Leipzig, Ger.; rationalist, but later approached orthodox position; prof. Leipzig, Erlangen, Leipzig; noted for his Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms, a standard work for nearly 75 years and repeatedly tr. into Eng. See also Grammars, B; Robinson, Edward.

Winkworth, Catherine

(1829–78). Sister of S. Winkworth*; b. London, Eng.; cultured, devoted mem. of Ch. of Eng.; active, ardent supporter of societies for educ. and uplift of women. Her lifework was the tr. into Eng. of the best Ger. hymns. This work is embodied in her published Lyra Germanica and her Christian Singers of Germany. J. Julian* says in A Dictionary of Hymnology: “Miss Winkworth, although not the earliest of modern translators from the German into English, is certainly the foremost in rank and popularity. Her translations are the most widely used of any from that language and have had more to do with the modern revival of the English use of the German hymns than the versions of any other writer.”

Winkworth, Susanna

(1820–84). Sister of C. Winkworth*; b. London, Eng.; tr. Deutsche Theologie (ed. and pub. by Luther 1516; see German Theology, A) into Eng. 1854; tr. J. Tauler's* sermons 1857; completed (1855) The Life of Luther begun by J. C. Hare.*

Winnington-Ingram, Arthur Foley

(1858–1946). Anglican bp.; educ. Oxford; ordained 1884; leader of Oxford House in Bethnal Green, London; bp. Stepney 1897; bp. London 1901. Noted preacher. Works include Fifty Years Work in London.

Winnipeg Theses.

Eight “Theses on the Sacrament of the Altar” adopted by theologians of Luth. chs. in Canada at a free conf. in Winnipeg, Man., September 4–5, 1962.

Winterfeld, Karl Georg August Vivigens von

(1784–1852). B. Berlin, Ger.; jurist; among foremost musicologists of 19th c. His Johannes Gabrieli und sein Zeitalter (1834) and Der evangelische Kirchengesang und sein Verhältniss zur Kunst des Tonsatzes (3 vols.; 1843–47) are still regarded as monumental works. He underestimated the music of J. S. Bach* and of other composers of the Baroque era because he had come under the spell of A. F. J. Thibaut* and others who insisted that only a cappella music may be regarded as ideal choral music for the church.

Wischan, F.

(1845–1905). B. Ger.; Luth. pastor Philadelphia 1870; “the soul of the Board of German Missions” of the General Council; ed. Lutherisches Kirchenblatt.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

1. This body is a consolidation of several separate and indep. Luth. syns.: Wisconsin,* Minnesota,* and Michigan.* Organically it has passed through 2 distinct stages of development, an earlier one in which the constituent syns. retained their individuality and indep., being assoc., with one another only in certain phases of their work, and the present one in which they have reconstituted themselves as one syn. with a number of dists. The first assoc., was formed 1892, the amalgamation took place 1917.

2. The Joint Ev. Luth. Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States (name changed to Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin and Other States 1919; Wisconsin Ev. Luth. Syn. [WELS] 1959) was organized October 11, 1892, in Milwaukee. It united into one body the aforementioned neighboring syns. without destroying their identity, but provided for joint use of their several educ. institutions. Wisconsin was at that time replacing its old Milwaukee sem. with a new bldg. in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin This new theol. sem. now became the property of the Joint Syn., with G. A. T. F. Hönecke* as director. Minnesota's Dr. Martin Luth. Coll. at New Ulm, Minnesota, was converted into a teachers sem. under the directorship of J. Schaller.* Michigan's theol. sem. was supposed to be discontinued and reorganized as a prep. school (Progymnasium). Northwestern Coll., Watertown, Wisconsin (A. F. Ernst,* pres.), was relieved of its normal dept.. but provided the presem. course for the ministerial students of the entire body. Home missions were coordinated, but remained under the jurisdiction of the constituent syns. As a new venture the Joint Syn. undertook the evangelization of the Apache Indians of Arizona, first planned by Wisconsin alone. Wisconsin and Minnesota had both taken part in the founding of the Synodical* Conf., 1872. Michigan had joined 1890. Their doctrinal position and confessional declarations were those of the Syn. Conf. In 1904 the Nebraska Conf. of the Wisconsin Syn. was given the status of a Dist. Syn. (see also Nebraska, German Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of). In the meantime the Joint Syn. had suffered a loss. A majority of the congs. and pastors of the Michigan Syn. had not taken kindly to the thought of closing their theol. sem. Other internal difficulties led to a split within this body, and in 1896 the majority left not only the Joint Syn. but also the Syn. Conf. A minority remained with the Joint Syn. as one of its dists. Ten years later the two groups reconciled their differences, with the result that since 1909 Michigan resumed its old place as a member of the Joint Syn. and also the Syn. Conf. In the following year Michigan Luth. Sem. at Saginaw, which had been closed for some time. was reorganized under the leadership of O. J. R. Hönecke as a prep. school in the growing educ. system of the Joint Syn..

3. By this time the need for redistricting was becoming obvious. As a result a new const. was presented in 1915, approved by the several constituent syns. and dists. 1916, rev. 1917, finally accepted 1919, when the name Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin and Other States was adopted. The complete amalgamation which this new const. provided was a fruit of the ever closer cooperation that had been practiced by the member syns. and the mutual understanding which grew out of their joint work. In the new body the old Wisconsin Syn. accounted for 4 dists.: Northern, Southeastern, and Western Wisconsin, and the Pacific Northwest Dist. (formerly a Wisconsin miss.). Minnesota was made into 2: Minnesota and Dak.-Montana; Michigan and Nebraska (see also Nebraska, German Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of) each represented one dist.. The Arizona-California Dist. was added 1954, and the South Atlantic Dist. 1973. The special needs of the Dak.-Montana Dist. were recognized by the founding in 1928 of Northwestern Luth. Academy at Mobridge, South Dakota In the following year the theol. sem. was transferred from Wauwatosa to a new set of bldgs. near Thiensville (Mequon), Wisconsin, its present location. The educ. institutions of the WELS now represent a well-integrated system: academies and prep. depts. (on the high school level) at Saginaw, Mobridge, New Ulm, and Watertown; a 2-yr. coll. at Milwaukee, a teachers coll. at New Ulm, and a full 4-year coll. at Watertown; a theol. sem. at Mequon.

During the middle 20s a serious controversy occurred which grew out of some cases of discipline. As a result, a considerable number of pastors and congs, severed their connection with the syn. to form The Protes'tant* Conf., Inc. In 1961 the syn. terminated fellowship with the LCMS, and in 1963 it withdrew from the Syn. Conf. Since ca. 1965 the syn. has experienced vigorous growth, with expansion into all parts of the US and to other countries. The syn. is noted for its strict orthodoxy and its repudiation of unionism.*

4. Presidents during the first phase of the synod's existence were A. F. Ernst,* 1892–1901; C. F. W. Gausewitz,* 1901–07 and 1913–17; F. Soll, 1907–13. Since the reorganization of 1917: G. E. Bergemann,* 1917–33; John Brenner, 1933–53; Oscar Naumann, 1953–. Statistics (1972): congregations 990; pastors serving parishes 787; baptized members 385,077; communicant members 278,442; contributions for home purposes $26,587,709, for work at large $8,204,693 (for statistics on educ. see Parish Education, D 9, E 10, G 1). Official publications include The Northwestern Lutheran (established by Joint Synod 1913); Wisconsin Theological Quarterly (established in 1903 as Theologische Quartalschrift). The syn. also owns and operates Northwestern Pub. House, Milwaukee. Charitable institutions include homes for the aged in Belle Plaine, Minnesota; Milwaukee and Fountain City, Wisconsin; and Holt, Saginaw, and South Lyon, Michigan ER

J. P. Köhler, Geschichte der Allgemeinen Evangelisch-Lutherischen Synode von Wisconsin und andern Staaten (Milwaukee, 1925), tr., rev., and updated by author, “The History of the Wisconsin Synod,” Faith-Life, XI, 2–XVII, L (February 1938–January 1944), ed. L. D. Jordahl and pub. in book form 1970; A. P. Sitz and G. A. Westerhaus, “Brief History of the Wisconsin Synod,” Northwestern Lutheran, May 5, 1940; Martin Lehninger, Continuing in His Word, 1951.

Wisconsin Synod.

1. Pastors J. Mühlhäuser,* John Weinmann (perished at sea 1858), and W. Wrede (later returned to Germany) founded The First Ev. Luth. Syn. of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, December 8, 1849. It was formally organized May 1850 at Granville, a village near Milwaukee, as The Ger. Ev. Luth. Ministerium of Wisconsin The name was subsequently changed to The Ger. Ev. Luth. Syn. of Wisconsin and Other (Adjacent) States (Die Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Wisconsin und Andern [Angrenzenden] Staaten; constitution 1853). There were 2 other pastors present, the 5 serving 18 congs.. The founders were graduates of the Barmen Training School for Missionaries and were sent to Am. by the Langenberg Soc., for some years the chief source from which pastors were drawn. Mühlhäuser and his associates were Luths. and upheld the Luth. Confessions, as their first const. shows, but they did not espouse the strict confessionalism for which the syn. later became noted. Congregational delegates constituted the “synod” together with the pastors, but the “ministerium” reserved for itself certain privileges, for example, in the licensing and ordaining of ministers. The great problem was to secure suitable pastors. Mühlhäuser est. connections with Pennsylvania Ministerium (see United Lutheran Church in America, The, Synods of, 22) and with individual pastors in the E and also kept in close touch with the Langenberg Soc., which was soon reenforced in its Am. undertakings by the Berlin Society. The Barmen school furnished many of the early ministers. Others came from Basel. Among these pioneers were C. F. Goldammer, J. Bading.* P. Köhler,* W. Streissguth,* E. Mayerhoff, G. Reim, P. Sprengling, G. Fachtmann, E. F. Moldehnke,* T. Meumann.

2. As the tide of immigration spread and congs. were est. as far N as Green Bay and W as La Crosse, the need for trained men became increasingly acute. The syn., which had already shown a trend toward greater confessionalism, decided in 1863 to est. its own sem. and college. Bading was sent to Eur. to collect funds and a library. Though his mission was successful, the syn. did not reap the results; the money was retained by the Ger. authorities because the Wisconsin Syn. had clarified its confessional position to a positive and uncompromising Lutheranism which was distasteful to its former patrons, who belonged to the Prussian State Church. In the meantime the sem. had been opened in September 1863 in a dwelling in Watertown, with 2 students and Moldehnke as prof. In the following yr. 11 were enrolled and ground was broken for the first bldg. of Northwestern University, as the combined sem. and coll. was now called. A. Martin* was its first president. G. A. T. F. Hönecke* was called as prof. of theol. in 1866. The Wisconsin Syn. broke with its unionistic friends in Ger. by its declaration of 1867 and at the same time took a stand against the General* Council because of the latter's lack of a definite position on altar and pulpit fellowship. It came to agreement in doctrine and practice with the Mo. Syn. 1869. At this time a plan was worked out to simplify and strengthen the educ. system. Missouri was to furnish a prof. and send some of its students to Watertown. Wisconsin was to discontinue its sem. and send its students and a prof. to St. Louis. Under this arrangement F. W. Stellhorn* represented Missouri at Watertown from 1869 to 1874. Hönecke was called to St. Louis, eventually declined, however, when the agreement to exchange profs, was suspended by common consent. In 1878 the arrangement was terminated, when Wisconsin reopened its own sem. under Hönecke, this time in Milwaukee.

3. Having now settled its doctrinal position and found its place in Am. Lutheranism, Wisconsin cooperated in the founding of the Synodical* Conf. 1872. While not entering upon C. F. W. Walther's* plan for the forming of state syns., Wisconsin did lend its wholehearted and active support to Missouri in the controversy on election which in 1881 led to the secession of Ohio and a division in the Norwegian Syn. of that time. This controversy did not materially weaken Wisconsin; it lost a few congs. and pastors, but gained internal strength and also added a few pastors who shared its position.

4. Since the early 1860's relations with the Minnesota* Syn. had been friendly. Delegations at syn. meetings were exchanged. A working arrangement was est. whereby the Minnesota students were sent to Northwestern Coll. At the same time the Evangelisch-Lutherisches Gemeinde-Blatt (founded in 1865 by Wisconsin) was made the official publication of Minnesota as well. When Michigan severed its connection with the General Council in 1888, a closer approach became possible in that direction also and was sponsored particularly by Minnesota As a result Michigan first became a member of the Syn. Conf. and then in 1892 joined the other 2 bodies in forming the Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States, an assoc. in which the constituent syns. retained their individuality and indep. but pooled their resources in the field of higher educ. In 1904 Nebraska, previously a conference of Wisconsin, attained dist. status in the Joint Syn. (see also Nebraska, German Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of). This rather loose type of organization was eventually replaced by a complete amalgamation of these several bodies. A new const. was drafted 1915 and put into operation 1917. In this larger organization (Wisconsin* Ev. Luth. Syn.) the old Wisconsin Syn. lost its identity. Its presidents until 1917 were Mühlhäuser, 1850–60; Bading, 1860–64; Streissguth, 1864–67; Bading, 1867–89; P. A. von Rohr*, 1889–1908; G. E. Bergemann*, 1908–17. ER

J. P. Köhler, Geschichte der Allgemeinen Evangelisch-Lutherischen Synode von Wisconsin und andern Staaten (Milwaukee, 1925), tr., rev., and updated by author, “The History of the Wisconsin Synod,” Faith-Life, XI, 2–XVII, 1 (February 1938–January 1944). ed. L. D. Jordahl and pub. in book form 1970; A. P. Sitz and G. A. Westerhaus, “Brief History of the Wisconsin Synod,” Northwestern Lutheran, May 5, 1940.

Wisdom of God.

Wisdom is the attribute of God by which He chooses, disposes, and directs the proper means to the proper ends (Jb 12:13; Is 55:8–9; 1 Co 2:7). The greatest exhibitions of the wisdom of God are the plan of creation and the plan of salvation. But though these counsels have been in a measure revealed to us, there are many things which God has reserved, in His wisdom, to Himself (Ro 11:33–36).

Wise, John

(1625–1725). Cong. pastor at Ipswich, Massachusetts; upheld dem. ch. govt. in his The Churches' Quarrel Espoused; opposed a condemnation in a witchcraft trial.

Wiseman, Nicholas Patrick Stephen

(1802–65). Eng. cardinal; b. Seville, Sp., of Irish stock; educ. Rome; sought to win Eng. for papacy; rector of Eng. Coll. at Rome 1828; bp. London 1840; influenced Oxford Movement; confirmed J. H. Newman*; vicar apostolic 1849; cardinal 1850; archbp. of Westminster. Works include Lectures on the Principal Doctrines and Practices of the Catholic Church; Three Lectures on the Catholic Hierarchy.

Wishart, George

(ca. 1513–46). Scottish martyr; little is known of early life; in Switz. and Ger. ca. 1539–40; tr. Confessio Helvetica into Eng.; taught at Cambridge 1543; worked with J. Knox*; burned as heretic at Edinburgh, March 1, 1546. See Presbyterian Churches, 1.


1. The practice of occult arts by witches, or wizards, who perform their work with the aid of the devil. The Scriptures oppose witchcraft (Lv 20:27; Dt 18:10–12; 1 Sm 28; Gl 5:20; Acts 8:9–11; 13:8; 19:19).

2. In the early Christian ch. witchcraft of every kind was forbidden, either on the ground of the emptiness of the practice or that of its positive godlessness and commerce with the devil. In the ch. of the early Middle Ages special rules of penance were made for women convicted of witchcraft. But at the beginning of the 13th c., when the Inquisition* was introduced, the use of magic and witchcraft was everywhere suspected and immediately branded as a desertion of God for the service of evil spirits. In 1231 a bull of Pope Gregory IX invoked the use of civil punishment against every form of heresy connected with sorcery. Toward the end of the 15th c. the provisions which brought witches under the power of the Inquisition were enlarged, so that trials for witchcraft became very common.

3. After the Reformation the crime of witchcraft was again the subject of legal enactments, also under the influence of the ch. Thus Elector August of Saxony supported a decree against sorcery, making it a capital offense. An epidemic of witch prosecution that had broken out in Ger. at the end of the 15th c. spread into Fr., It., Sp., the Neth., and Eng. and continued through the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The number of its unfortunate victims, mems. of both the Cath. and Prot. chs., is estimated at many thousands. Some of the tortures and ordeals resorted to in the examination of persons suspected of witchcraft were almost of a diabolical nature.

4. In Am. the first witchcraft persecution broke out 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, the occasion being some meetings in the family of a minister by the name of Parrish. A company of girls had been in the habit of meeting a West Indian slave in order to study the “black art.” Suddenly they allegedly began to act mysteriously, bark like dogs, and scream at things unseen. An old Indian servant was accused of bewitching them. A special court was formed to try the accused, as a result of which the jails filled rapidly, many persons being found guilty and condemned to death.

L. Kittredge, Witchcraft in Old and New England, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1929); H. C. Lea, Materials Toward a History of Witchcraft (Philadelphia, 1939), 3 vols..

Wither, George

(Withers; 1588–1667). Eng., poet and hymnwriter; b. Bentworth, Hampshire; joined Puritans and wrote pamphlet for their cause; imprisoned for satire in Abuses Stript and Whipt; raised troops for parliamentary side in Eng. civil war; later imprisoned for Vox Vulgi against parliament. Works include Hymnes and Songs of the Church; Halelviah.

Witherspoon, John

(1723–94). B. Yester, near Edinburgh, Scot.; educ. Edinburgh; ordained Presb. pastor 1745; pastor Beith (Ayrshire, Paisley); came to Am. to be pres. of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) 1768; represented New Jersey in Continental Congress 1776–82; signed Declaration of Independence. Works include Ecclesiastical Characteristics; A Serious Enquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Stage; The Trial of Religious Truth by Its Moral Influence; Essays on Important Subjects; Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament.

Wits, Hermann

(Witsius; 1636–1708). Dutch Calvinist; b. Enkhuizen; educ. Utrecht and Groningen; pastor Westwoud, Wormer, Goes, Leeuwarden; prof. Franeker, Utrecht, Leiden; regent of state coll. Leiden; exponent of modified federal* theology and mystical pietism; opposed Cartesianism* and antinomianism. Works include De oeconomia foederum Dei cum hominibus. See also Dogmatics. B 5.

Witt, Christian Friedrich

(1665–1716). Author of Psalmodia sacra of Gotha (1715); wrote a number of hymn tunes still used today. Some attribute the tune “Es ist genug” (Lutheran Hymnal 196) to him.

Witt, Franz Xaver

(1834–88). Ger. RC priest and music scholar; b. Walderbach, Palatinate; founded Fliegende Blätter für die katholische Kirchenmusik 1866 and Cäcilienverein 1868. Works include Ausgewählte Aufsätze zur Kirchenmusik.

Witte, Johannes

(1877–1945). Ger. Ev. student of religion and missions; b. Silligsdorf, Pomerania; prof. Berlin. Works include Ostasien und Europa; Japan zwischen zwei Kulturen; Das Jenseits im Glauben der Völker.

Wittenberg Academy.

Est. 1901 at Wittenberg, Wisconsin; operated jointly by Norw. Syn., Wisconsin Syn., and Mo. Syn.; closed 1913. See also Homme, Even Johannes; Mueller, John Theodore.

Wittenberg Articles.

Outcome of Anglo-Luth. negotiations in spring 1536 when effort was made to reach doctrinal formula acceptable to govt. of Henry VIII and the Ger. Luth. theologians. The Eng. representatives at the conf. were Edward Fox, Nicholas Heath, and R. Barnes.* The Germans were represented by Luther,* Melanchthon,* Bugenhagen,* Cruciger,* and others. The Wittenberg Articles, agreed on by the conferees, were largely an explication of the AC with considerable borrowing from Melanchthon's Loci communes and the Ap Melanchthon appears to have been chiefly responsible for the writing of the formula. It was never formally adopted in Eng., but it did become the basis for the Eng. Ten Articles of 1536 and later became a chief source for the Thirty-nine Articles, the formal conf. statement of the Ch. of Eng. See also Anglican Confessions; Lutheran Confessions, A 5.

G. Mentz. Die Wittenberger Artikel von 1536 (Leipzig, 1905); F. Pruser, England und die Schmalkaldener (Leipzig, 1929); E. G. Rupp, Studies in the Making of the English Protestant Tradition (Cambridge, 1949). NST

Wittenberg Concord.

When Philip* of Hesse could not bring about agreement between the Luth. theologians and the Swiss (at Marburg 1529) or the south Germans (at Augsburg 1530), M. Bucer* persisted till he got some of the highlanders to travel to Wittenberg and sign the Wittenberg Concord on May 29, 1536. It is quoted in FC SD 7. See also Grynäus, 1; Lutheran Confessions, B 1.

Wittenberg Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ohio.

Organized June 8, 1847, by 8 pastors (“bishops”) formerly belonging to the Eng. Syn. of Ohio (East Ohio). Territory: NW Ohio. Among prominent men of the syn. were E. Keller* and S. Sprecher.* Joined General* Syn. 1848; approved “Definite* Synodical Platform.” In 1918 it entered the United Luth. Ch. and November 3, 1920, merged with E Ohio, the Miami* Syn., and the Dist. Syn. of Ohio into the Ohio Syn. of the ULC. It then numbered 55 pastors. 74 congs., and 12,590 communicants. See United Lutheran Church in America, The, Synods of, 19.

C. S. Ernsberger, A History of the Wittenberg Synod of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Columbus, Ohio, 1917).

Witter, Henning Bernhard

(1683–1715). B. Hildesheim, Ger.; taught Helmstedt; pastor Hildesheim; pointed out differences between Gn 1 and 2. Regarded Gn 1 as older document used by Moses. Forerunner of literary criticism.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig

(1889–1951). B. Vienna; fellow Trinity Coll., Oxford; prof. there; noted for his philos. of language. Works include Tractatus logicophilosophicus; Philosophical Investigations. See also Logical Positivism.

Wittich, Christoph

(1625–87). Ref. theol. B. Brieg, Silesia; educ. Bremen Groningen, Leiden; prof. Herborn 1650; pastor Duisburg; prof. Nymwegen, Leiden. Influenced by Cartesianism* and federal* theology. Exponent of scientific world view. Works include Consensus veritatis in scriptura divina et infallibili revelatae cum veritate philosophica a Renato DesCartes detecta; Theologia pacifica.

Witzel, Georg

(Vicelius; Wicelius; 1501–73). RC reformer; b. Vacha, Ger.; studied a semester at Wittenberg and came under influence of Luther and Melanchthon; pastor Wenigen-Lubnitz, Thuringia; preached against abuses in Roman Ch. and also oppression of lower classes; Peasants' Revolt brought him under suspicion; appealed to Luther for help and through him obtained position near Wittenberg. Felt there was a lack of piety and good works among the Evangelicals and concluded that their doctrine hindered works; favored Anabaptists and became friend of J. Campanus*; after latter became anti-Trinitarian, Witzel through patristic study and the influence of D. Erasmus* returned to RCm, which he sought to advance through reform; previous marriage brought him under suspicion of RCs; throughout remainder of his wandering life sought to gain adherence for his reform program which, however, was rejected at the Council of Trent.

Wizenmann, Thomas

(1759–89). Swabian theol. and philos.; shared views of J. K. Lavater,* J. G. Hamann,* and M. Claudius*; joined Collenbusch circle; wrote Geschichte Jesu nach Matthäus; Göttliche Entwicklung des Satans.

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

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