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SCHWELM—SCHWERIN, COUNT VON

SCHWELM, a. town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Westphalia, situated on the river of the same name, 4 m. E. of Barmen, with which it is connected by an electric tramway, and on the main line of railway, Dusseldorf-Hagen. Pop. (1905) 18,469. It has three churches and various schools and public institutions. Lying close to the Harkort iron and sulphur mines, and within the populous and rich mineral district on the lower Rhine, it carries on iron-founding, wire-drawing and the manufacture of machinery of various kinds, besides an active trade in iron, steel and brass goods. Scarcely less important are its manufactures of ribbons, damask, cord, pianos and paper. In the neighbourhood is a hydropathic establishment. Schwelm is said to have existed as early as 1085, though it did not receive civic rights until 1590.

See Tobien, Bilder aus der Geschichte von Schwelm (Schwelm,1890).


SCHWENKFELD, KASPAR (1490-1561), of Ossing, German theologian, was born in 1490, and after studying at Cologne and other universities served in various minor courts of Silesia, finally entering the service of the duke of Liegnitz, over whom he had great influence. The writings of Tauler and Luther so impressed him, that in 1522 he visited Wittenberg, where he made the acquaintance of Andreas Carlstadt and Thomas Miinzer. On his return to Liegnitz he helped to spread the principles of the Reformation in the principality and in Silesia, while warning his colleagues against the abuse of the doctrine of justification by faith. The Protestant controversy on the Eucharist (1524) revealed his disagreement with Luther on that critical point. He sought to establish a 'via media between the doctrines of Luther and Zwingli, and vainly hoped to obtain for it Luther's acceptance. He as vainly sought to secure Luther's adoption of a strict rule of church discipline, after the manner of the Moravian Brethren. Meanwhile the Anabaptists obtained a footing in Silesia, and suspicions of Schwenkfeld's sympathy with them were aroused. Letters and writings of his own (1527-1528) proved him to hold strongly anti-Lutheran heresies, and both Catholics and Lutherans urged the duke of Liegnitz to dismiss him. He voluntarily left Liegnitz in 1529, and lived at Strasburg for five years amongst the Reformed clergy there. In 1533, in an important synod, he defended against Martin Bucer the principles of religious freedom as well as his own doctrine and life. But the heads of the church carried the day, and, more stringent measures being adopted against dissenters, Schwenkfeld left Strasburg for a time, residing in various cities of south Germany and corresponding with many nobles. In 1535 a sort of compromise was brought about between himself and the Reformers, he promising not to disturb the peace of the church and they not to treat him as a disturber. The compromise was of only short duration. His theology took a more distinctly heterodox form, and the publication (1539) of a book in proof of his most characteristic doctrine-the deification of the humanity of Christ-led to his active persecution by the Lutherans and his expulsion from the city of Ulm. The next year (1540) he published a refutation of the attacks upon his doctrine with a more elaborate exposition of it, under the title Grosse Confession. The book was very inconvenient to the Protestants, as it served to emphasize the Eucharistic differences between the Lutherans and Zwinglians at a moment when efforts were being made to reconcile them. An anathema was accordingly issued from Schmalkald against Schwenkfeld (together with Sebastian Franck); his books were placed on the Protestant “ index ”; and he himself was made a religious outlaw. From that time he was hunted from place to place, though his wide Connexions with the nobility and the friendship of his numerous followers provided for him secure hiding-places and for his books a large circulation. An attempt in 1543 to approach Luther only increased the Reformer's hostility and rendered Schwenkfeld's situation still more precarious. He and his followers withdrew from the Lutheran Church, declined its sacraments, and formed small societies of kindred views. He and they were frequently condemned by Protestant ecclesiastical and political authorities, especially by the government of Württemberg. His personal safety was more and more imperilled, and he was unable to stay in any place for more than a short time. At last, in his seventy-second year, he died at Ulm, on the rcth of December 1 561, surrounded by attached friends and declaring undiminished faith in his views.

Schwenkfeld, whose gentle birth and courtly manners won him many friends in high circles, left behind him a sect (who were called subse uently by others Schwenkfeldians, but who called themselves “ Corilessors of the Glory of Christ ) and numerous writings to perpetuate his ideas. His writings were partially collected in four folio volumes, the first of which was published in the year 1564, containing his principal theological works. Erbkam states that his unprinted writings would make more than another four folios. His adherents were to be found at his death scattered throughout Germany. In Silesia they formed a distinct sect, which has lasted until the present time. In the 17th century they were associated with the followers of Jacob Bohme, and were undisturbed until 1708, when an inquiry was made as to their doctrines. In 1720 a commission of jesuits was dispatched to Silesia to convert them by force. Most of them fled from Silesia into Saxony, and thence to Holland, England and North America. Frederick the Great of Prussia, when he seized Silesia, extended his protection to those who remained in that province. Those who had fled to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania (1734) formed a small community under the name of Schwenkfelders; and Zinzendorf and Spangenberg, when they visited the United States, endeavoured, but with little success, to convert them to their views. This community still exists in Pennsylvania and their views appear to be substantially those of the Quakers.

Schwenkfeld's mysticism was the cause of his divergence from Protestant orthodoxy and the root of his peculiar religious and theological osition. It led him to oppose the Lutheran view of the value of) the outward fmeans of grace, such as the ministry of the word and the sacraments. He regarded as essential a direct and immediate participation in the grace of the glorified Christ, and looked on religious ordinances as immaterial. He distinguished between an outward word of God and an inward, the former being the Scriptures and perishable, the latter the divine spirit and eternal. In his Christology he departed from the Lutheran and Zwinglian doctrine of the two natures by insisting on what he called the Vergotterung des Fleisches Christi, the deification or the glorification of the flesh of Christ. The doctrine was his protest against a separation of the human and the divine in Christ, and was intimately connected with his mystical view of the work of Christ. He held that, though Christ was God and man from his birth from the Virgin, he only attained his complete deification and glorification by his ascension, and that it is in the estate of his celestial Vergotternng or glorification that he is the dispenser of his divine life to those who by faith become one with him. This fellowship with the glorified Christ rather than a less spiritual trust in his death and atonement is with him the essential thing. His peculiar Christology was based upon profound theological and anthropological ideas, which contain the germs of some recent theological and Christological speculations. See Arnoldt, Kirchen- und<Ketzer-Historia (Frankfort, ed. 1700); Salig, Historie der Augsburg. Confession; W. H. Erbkam, Gesch. der prot. Sekten (1848); Dorner, Gesch. d. prot. Theol. (1867); also R. H. Gri1tzmacher's article in Hauck-Herzog's Realencyklopddie; Robert Barclay's Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth (1876), and C. Beard's Hibbert Lectures (1883), ch. vi.


SCHWERIN, KURT CHRISTOPH, Count von (1684-1757), Prussian general field marshal, was born at Lowitz in Pomerania, and at an early age entered the Dutch army, with which he served at the Schellenberg and at Blenheim. In 1707 he became a lieutenant-colonel in the army of the duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and was present at Ramillies and Malplaquet, and with the Swedish commander Stenbock at Gadebusch. In 1713 he was with Charles XII. of Sweden in his captivity at Bender, and in 1718 was made major-general. In 1719 he opposed the Hanoverian army which invaded Mecklenburg (in the course of which he fought a brilliant action at Walsmühlen on the 6th of March 1719), and in the following year entered the service of the king of Prussia. At irst he was employed in diplomatic missions, but in January 1722/3 he received the command of an infantry regiment. In 1730, as a major-general, he was a member of the court martial which tried the crown prince of Prussia (afterwards Frederick the Great) for desertion, and in 1733, at the head of a Prussian army, conducted with great skill the delicate and difficult task of settling the Mecklenburg question. In the following year he became lieutenant-general and in 1739 general of infantry. During the life-time of King Frederick William, Schwerin was also employed in much administrative work. Frederick the Great, on his accession, promoted Schwerin to the rank of general held marshal and made him a