The Unanticipated Millennium. Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error in Paul Egard’s Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechtes (1623)
Paul Egard (c. 1578–1655), pastor of the village of Nortorf in Holstein, is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures in seventeenth-century Lutheranism.1 A devout minister praised widely for his pastoral skills, his mental acuity and his command of doctrine, Egard was also one of the first members of the Lutheran church to adopt a chiliastic view of history. Yet Egard’s chiliasm did not represent a break from the tenets of orthodox Lutheranism, or so he believed. Rather, Egard saw millenarianism as a potential complement and valuable addition to the spiritual armory of his faith. The centrepiece of Egard’s millenarian vision was his Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechtes (1623).2 This work was an ingenious, detailed interpretation of the controversial 20th chapter of Revelation, which, Egard hoped, would become the foundation work upon which he could construct an extensive new devotional program, and usher in a new golden age for an embattled Lutheranism. Egard’s advocacy of millenarianism in 1623 was remarkable, for it appeared in the midst of a polemical onslaught by fellow Lutheran divines
1 I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Jürgen Beyer (Tartu), who introduced me to a wealth of little-known sources containing important information on Egard. Prof. Dr. Manfred Jakubowski-Tiessen (Göttingen), Prof. Charles Zika (Melbourne), Dr. Catherine Kovesi (Melbourne) and Dr. Grantley McDonald (Tours) all read and commented on prior drafts of this article. The research was supported by grants from the Günther-Findel-Stiftung zur Förderung der Wissenschaften at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. The strange case of Paul Egard was first discussed in Johannes Wallmann: Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus. Reich Gottes und Chiliasmus in der lutherischen Orthodoxie. In: Verifikationen. FS Gerhard Ebeling. Hg. v. Eberhard Jüngel. Tübingen 1982, 187–205, here 197–200. 2 Paul Egard: Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechtes: Das ist/ Offenbahrung unnd Entdeckung des göttlichen Geheimnüß im Apocalypsi, von den tausend Jahren/ darinn die lebendig gemachten Heiligen/ mit Christo sollen herrschen. Oder Erklärung deß Zwantzigsten Capittels der Offenbahrung Jesu Christi [. . .]. Lüneburg: Stern 1623.


against chiliastic heresy. Defined very broadly, chiliasm is the belief that, before the Last Judgment, there will be a time of God-granted felicity upon earth.3 Such a belief ran contrary to the pessimistic convictions of apocalyptic orthodox Lutheranism. In glossing the key passages of Revelation 20, Luther himself believed that the millennium, that period of grace and happiness for the church, had occurred firmly in the past. The Augsburg Confession (1530), as well as later elaborations of Lutheran doctrine, defined chiliastic heresy strictly; usually as an expectation of a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. However, in the early seventeenth century, dissidents and New Prophets such as Paul Nagel (†1624), Wilhelm Eo Neuheuser and Paul Felgenhauer (1593–after 1677), as well as texts such as the Rosicrucian manifestos, began to propagate millenarian visions that did not rely explicitly on Revelation 20.4 In reaction to this development, several influential theologians, chief amongst them Daniel Cramer (1569–1637) and Johann Affelmann (1588–1624), broadened the definition of the error significantly, articulating a new category of the error called chiliasmus subtilis.5 In essence, the creation of chiliasmus subtilis opened the floodgates of interpretation. Its introduction meant that virtually any expectation of a felicitous future, be it worldly or spiritual, lasting a 1,000 years or only one, could be understood as an expression of chiliastic heresy.6 The millennium presented by Egard in the Posaune was limited in its nature. The pastor did not await a glorious earthly kingdom of Christ that would endure 1,000 years. Instead, he anticipated a millennium that would flourish for only a very brief period, and at that, only spiritually, in the hearts of true believers. It was a bold prediction that, under the contemporary theological definitions, was nevertheless an expression of chiliastic error. Given the effective outlawing of chiliastic expectation of any kind within Lutheranism only shortly before its publication in 1623, Egard’s Posaune presented an unexpected, and certainly unanticipated millenarian vision. The present article, the first to offer sustained attention to this important yet overlooked Lutheran figure and his work, is devoted to explicating Egard’s millennial prediction, paying special attention to identifying its sources, its contexts and its troubled reception. I argue that
3 I further elaborate the nature and necessity of this broad definition of millenarianism when considering the belief amongst Lutherans in the introduction to my forthcoming work; Leigh T.I. Penman: Unanticipated Millenniums. The Lutheran Experience of Chiliastic Thought, 1600–1630. (Studies in Early Modern Religious Reforms). Dordrecht, forthcoming. 4 Ibid., chapters one and two. 5 Daniel Cramer: De Regno Jesu Christi Regis Regum & Domini Dominantium semper-invicti. Stettin: Kelner für Eichorn 1614, 310ff.; Johann Affelmann (praes.) & M. Daniele Spalchavero (resp.): Illustrium quaestionum theologicarum heptas. Rostock: Ferberus 1618. 6 See Wallmann, Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus [see note 1], 192–195; See further Penman, Unanticipated Millenniums [see note 3], chapter four.


Egard drew on contemporary non-Lutheran and kryptoradikale sources in order to inform the nature of his chiliastic program, but, unlike contemporary dissidents, his intention in promoting a forthcoming millennium was never to lead souls away from the Lutheran church. Instead, having witnessed the success and excitement that the chiliastic expectations of the Rosicrucian manifestos and the New Prophets had aroused, Egard sought to combine these influential beliefs with an Arndtian devotional framework to create a new and invigorating Lutheran Erbauungsphilosophie. This was a philosophy, Egard hoped, that would bolster the hearts and minds of a population threatened by the hardships of war, famine, and pestilence, and even attract back to the fold Lutherans who had been tempted by dissident chiliastic ideas.

1. Egard’s Life Little is known about the life of Paul Egard, the Arndius Cimbrae or ‘Johann Arndt of the Northern Mark,’ despite his prolific literary output.7 He was born in 1578 or 1579 as the son of a church organist in Kellingshausen in the Duchy of Holstein. In May 1599, Egard matriculated at Rostock University, but was forced to abandon his studies shortly thereafter due to a lack of funds.8 The young man briefly served as deacon in Kellingshausen in 1600, before taking up the same post at St. Marien in Rendsburg, where he was also appointed teacher of the Latin school in 1601.9 In mid-1610, on account of his lucid and inspiring sermons, Egard was recommended by a local nobleman to King Christian IV of Denmark, and was thereafter appointed on royal authority to the pastorate of the village of Nortorf.10
7 The following account is based upon Johann Möller: Cimbria literata, sive Scriptorum ducatis utriusque Slesvicensis et Holsatici, quibus et alii vicini quidam accensentur, historia literaria triparta. Kopenhagen 1744, I, 151–154; ders.: Isagoge ad historiam chersonesi cimbricae. Hamburg: Bredenckius für Liebezeit 1691, II, 169f.; August Tholuck: Lebenszeugen der lutherischen Kirche aus allen Ständen vor und während der Zeit des dreißigjährigen Krieges. Berlin 1859, 397–408; Dieter Lohmeier: Art. “Paulus Egardus.” In: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Biographisches Lexikon 9, 1991, 102–104; Eduard Alberti: Art. “Paulus Egardus.” In: ADB V, 655f.; D. C. Carstens: Geschichte der Predigt in Schleswig-Holstein. In: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holstein-Lauenbergische Geschichte 22, 1892, 159–237, here 172–174. 8 Die Matrikel der Universität Rostock. Bd. 2. Hg. v. Adolph Hofmeister. Rostock 1891, 263a; Lohmeier, Egardus [see note 6], 102. 9 Alberti, Art. “Paulus Egardus” [see note 7], 655; Ernst Feddersen: Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins. 3 Bde. Kiel 1907–1938, I, 295. Concerning his teaching appointment see Paul Egard: Medulla SS Theologiae sive Meditationes piae & utilissimae in S. Catechesin propositae. Hamburg: Heinrich Carstens 1622, A3v, B1r. 10 See G. Reimer: Wie Pastor Paulus Egardus nach Nortorf kam. In: Die Heimat (Kiel) 33, 1923, 204ff.; Friedrich Freytag: Das Patronat der Kirche Sankt Martin in Nortorf. In: Die Kirche


There exists no illuminating account, nor reliable source of information concerning Egard’s life for the time spanning his appointment in Nortorf in 1610 and 1623, when he published the Posaune. During this period, however, the young pastor established a reputation as a zealous and exemplary preacher, who addressed his congregation both in low and high German, and whose ministry was coloured by an enthusiasm for Arndt’s Wahres Christenthum.11 Despite his evident popularity among the laity, Egard’s earliest printed works, amongst them the Agonia Christi (1620) and the Theologia practica (1622) were composed solely in Latin, for the benefit of an educated audience. Recognizing exactly whom Egard had to thank for his position in Nortorf, several of these works contained lavish dedications to the Danish royalty. Evidently, however, Egard himself never wished to leave Nortorf. For although his early works were widely read, discussed and praised in the corridors of power throughout Lutheran Europe, all invitations that were forwarded to Nortorf requesting Egard to establish himself as a court minister in Holstein, Denmark and elsewhere were rejected by this studious and committed preacher.12 Egard’s early publications detailed a practical outline for a good Christian life, drawing upon the examples of Jesus’ suffering during the passion as an example for the devout, as well as taking inspiration from Solomon’s Book of Wisdom.13 Other writings, however, provide evidence of Egard’s familiarity with marginally heterodox doctrines. This is especially true of his Gnothi Seauton (1621),14 an 800 page treatise concerning the microcosm and macrocosm and the interdependence of the human and divine realms. Egard apparently conceived the book as a Lutheran corrective to Valentin Weigel’s (1533–1588) 1615 text of the same name, although Weigel himself is not mentioned in the work.15 In any event,
St. Martin in Nortorf (Propstei Rendsburg). Eine Festschrift zur 50-jährigen Wiederkehr der Einweihung des neuerbauten Kirchenschiffs am 15. Oktober 1873. Hg. v. dems. (Sonderdruck aus: Bilder aus der Heimat. Neumünster). Nortorf 1923, unpag., Kap. 4. 11 Feddersen, Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins [see note 9], 454. 12 Feddersen, Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins [see note 9], 455. 13 Paul Egard: Agonia hoc est, Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, Explicata practicè et paraphrasticè. Hamburg: Heinrich Carstens 1621; ders.: Theologia practica sapientiss. Regis Israelitarum seu Salomon ecclesiastes exhibens microcosmum describens totum hominem, Qualis olim fuerit, jam sit, esse debeat, deo, proximo, sibi et tandem futurus sit, in lucem per lucem expositus Logicè, mysticè, practicè, paraphrasticè: adjecta sunt in fronte tabula synoptica totius tractatus, in fine index rerum. Hamburg: Carstens 1622. 14 Paul Egard: Gnôthi Seauton Sive Tractatus Utilissimus De vera Microcosmi Cognitione Tum Naturali, Tum Supernaturali, Vel De Scientia Illa Divina maxime necessaria, optima & difficilima: Qua Homo Seipsum Cognoscit Secundum tum Naturam, tum Gratiam, vel tum in Adamo, tum Christo, Expositus Et Propositus Theologicè & physiologicè: theoreticè & practicè, Cum perpetuis infertis suspiriis Et unicè directus. 2 Bde. Hamburg: Carstens 1621f. 15 Valentin Weigel: Gnothi Seauton = Nosce te ipsum = Erkenne dich selbst: Zeiget vn[d]


the content of Egard’s early work betrays a complex of distinctly Hermetic, Paracelsian and Weigelian influences.16 Egard’s interest in these matters, whatever their inspiration may have been, was not merely literary. In addition to a first-hand knowledge of heterodox literature, Egard was also personally acquainted with known kryptoradikale agitators from throughout the Holy Roman Empire, including the Husum Weigelian Nikolaus Teting (c.1590–c.1642), the ‘German Lazarus’ of Braunschweig, Hans Engelbrecht (1599–1642), the Böhme follower Johann Angelius Werdenhagen (1581–1652), and the Lübeck physician and collector of Hermetic, Paracelsian and Weigelian manuscripts, Joachim Morsius (1593–1644).17 In May 1622 Morsius traveled to Nortorf expressly to converse with the pastor. While there, Egard completed an entry in Morsius’s Album Amicorum with a short but lavish Latin dedication that made reference to Hermetic doctrines.18 This inscription indicates that the two men probably discussed Hermetic philosophy with each other, a conversation that no doubt encompassed Morsius’s interests in Rosicrucianism and Weigelianism. Be that as it may, an association with potentially heterodox ideas and Hermetic cosmology did not harm or detract from Egard’s impeccable early reputation as a pastor. In 1622, he was described in glowing terms by Johann Angelius Werdenhagen as
einen voernehmen, treuen und recht geisteifrigen Christen, der es heute mit dem wahren Christenthume gut meinet, auch ziemlich nach seinem talente, sich dahin bearbeitet, daß es auß dem leidigen Heidenthume, und schandlosen Babylonischen Gefangnisse, befreyet werde.19
weiset dahin/ daß der Mensch sey ein Microcosmus, das gröste Werck Gottes/ vnter der Himmel [. . .]. Newenstatt: Johann Knuber 1615. 16 Cf. Martin Brecht: Das Aufkommen der neuen Frömmigkeitsbewegung in Deutschland. In: Geschichte des Pietismus. Bd. 1: Der Pietismus vom siebzehnten bis zum frühen achtzehnten Jahrhundert. Hg. v. Martin Brecht. Göttingen 1993, 147. 17 On Werdenhagen and Morsius and their connection to Jakob Böhme, see Leigh T. I. Penman, “Ein Liebhaber des Mysterii, und ein großer Verwandter desselben.” Toward the Life of Balthasar Walther: Kabbalist, Alchemist and Wandering Paracelsian Physician. In: Sudhoffs Archiv. Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. Forthcoming. 18 See Heinrich Schneider: Joachim Morsius und sein Kreis. Zur Geistesgeschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts. Lübeck 1929, 45, 78, 86. Egard signed Morsius’ Commonplace book on 22 May 1622, p. 579. Although the original volume has been lost, his message to Morsius was preserved in Johann Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 443 (s.v. ‘Morsius’): “Bene te novi de nomine & animo, etiamsi non te norim de facie. Novi ego te optimorum studiorum amatorem, quod in te magnum; novi te amatorem divinæ sapientiæ, quæ in Macro- & Microcosmo, atque in ipso Christo, ob oculos posita, quod majus; Novi te amatorem Jesu, ejusque vitæ, quod omnium maximum & pulcherrimum. Prius redit te in mundo clarum & celebrem, alterum bonis, & sapientiæ studiosis, gratum & acceptum; sed posterius divinum & Deo proximum.” 19 Chilobertus Jonas [Johann Angelius von Werdenhagen]: Zwey Nützliche Vnd jetziger Zeit bey diesem leider sehr betrübten vnd bedrengtem Zustande des Christenthumbs hochnötige Erinnerungs Tractätlein [. . .]. O. O. 1622, 98.


Whether or not resultant of his interest in Hermetic ideas, during the course of 1623, Egard became convinced that an imminent change was at hand for the human condition. The circumstances behind the sudden arrival of this conviction remain unclear. A passage in the Gülden Christentumb des Himlischen Adelers (1623) suggests that the pastor of Nortorf experienced a powerful spiritual awakening, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, that granted him a new insight into the books of the Bible.20 There were certainly more mundane influences that might also have contributed to his expectations. Foremost among these was Egard’s long-standing dissatisfaction with contemporary literal (buchstäblich) interpretations of scripture offered by his fellow theologians, which, he contended, offered little insight into the true spirit of the Word. Secondly, inspired by his enthusiasm for the works of Arndt, Egard asserted that it was essential to provide practical inspirations for, and examples of, true Christian practice to his congregation. True Christianity, the pastor asserted, existed not in ‘titles, reputations or mere words, but in truth and in deed, in the true living recognition of Christ, in an active and living belief.’21 The many millenarian predictions for the period 1623–1625 which also circulated during this period might also have impacted on his newfound inspiration. The forthcoming transformation in the human condition, Egard believed, concerned both the worldly and spiritual state of Christianity. To promote his new beliefs, the pastor began to write exclusively in German, so that his works might reach the widest possible audience. Egard was prolific. He wrote ceaselessly, composing book after book in order to elaborate his devotional teachings, as well as to meet a burgeoning commercial demand for his works.22 Egard’s controversial Posaune, his commentary on Revelation 20, was to be the centrepiece of his pastoral mission. In 1624, Egard defended the doctrines of Johann Arndt in print, thereby joining the vociferous contemporary debate about Arndt’s orthodoxy and drawing the ire of Georg Rost (1582–1629), a cantankerous Mecklenburg theologian.23 A highlight of Egard’s later work, and indeed

20 Paul Egard: Gülden Christenthumb des Himlischen Adelers/ Das ist: Die Erste/ Edle und Geistreiche Epistel S. Johannis . . . Darin das Göttliche Liecht und Leben oder Ware Christenthumb/ aus Christi Hertz/ Sinn und Geist/ uberaus herrlich und lieblich wird beschrieben. Lüneburg: Stern 1623, A5r. 21 Egard, Gülden Christenthumb [see note 19], A4r–v. 22 See Lohmeier, Egardus [see note 7], 103. A practical example of this popularity is the surviving request by Egard’s Lüneburg publishers, the Stern brothers, for Egard to translate some of his earlier Latin works. See Paul Egard: Soliloliqua. Das ist: Acht und dreyssig schöne Andächtige Bekänntnisse. Lüneburg: Stern 1626, A2r–A2v. 23 Georg Rost: Amica ac fraterna Admonitio Super Controversiis De Vero Dn. Joannis Arndten, generalis in Ducatu Luneburgico Superintendentis, p. m. Christianismo, inter D. D. Lucam Osiandrum & M. Henricum Varenium, Dn. Paulum Eggardum, aliosq[ue] Theologos & politicos ortis. Rostock: Hallevord 1626.


perhaps his most well-known publication, is undoubtedly his bizarre commentary on the ancient Celtic-Germanic golden horns found in 1639 at Gallehus in Denmark. Despite the pagan provenance of these magnificent relics, Egard insisted the strange carved figures that appeared on the horns encoded the rites and practices of ancient Christians.24 This eccentric and intriguing text demonstrated the pastor’s creativity in adapting unusual sources and attempting to apply them for the spiritual benefit of Lutheranism. This same motivation, I suggest, also stood behind his appropriation of heterodox chiliastic ideas in the Posaune. His existence in Nortorf being otherwise uneventful, Egard continued to author beautiful examples of devotional literature until his death in 1655. The appointment in Nortorf was the first and only pastorate he ever occupied.

2. The Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechts (1623) The Posaune prophesied a future period of happiness for the Lutheran church before the Last Judgment, in which the Holy Spirit and the true teachings of Christ would flower and grow in the hearts of the devout.25 This purification and rebirth of the ‘inner’ Christian would be accompanied by concomitant purification of the ‘outer’ Christian. The assimilation of Christ by the devout thereby complete, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Reich Gottes, would be established in the hearts and minds of true Christian believers. Egard anticipated that this spiritual millennium would begin in 1625. It was to last for approximately three years, roughly to the beginning of 1629, following which time the Day of Judgment would occur. Egard’s prophecy in the Posaune that the true Christian would be transformed after 1625 was underwritten by an expectation of an ever increasing period of felicity for the church before the Last Judgment. Yet contemporary society itself stood at a crossroad. An element common to most of Egard’s work before the Posaune was his comparison of the present conditions of the world to those preceding Noah’s flood. ‘Just as the world lived before the great flood,’ Egard warned, ‘so too do we live before the Judgment Day.’26 Egard even wrote a tract dedicated to expli24 Paul Egard: Theologische und Schrifftmässige Gedancken/ Und Außlegung über das wunderbare/ köstliche und kunstreiche gülden Horn/ Des . . . Fürsten . . . Christiani des fünfften/ zu Dennemarck/ Norwegen/ [et]c. Erwehlten Princen/ welches nicht so gar vor langen funden/ und hierbey eigentlich abgebildet ist. Lüneburg: Stern 1642; another ed., 1644. 25 Egard, Posaune [see note 2]; Möller, Cimbria literata [see note 7] I, 153 also notes a ghost edition ‘Hamburgi 1623 in 8 °.’ 26 Paul Egard: Medulla SS Theologiae sive Meditationes piae & utilissimae in S. Catechesin propositae. Hamburg: Heinrich Carstens 1622, A5v.


cating this belief, Spiegel der Jetzigen Zeit (1623), which was printed anonymously.27 Egard vision was suffused with the patriotic conviction that, because of Luther’s reformation, the German people (uns Teutschen) were specifically chosen by God.28 Nevertheless, even despite the Reformer’s efforts, the Lutheranism of the 1620s contained no true spirituality: it had become nothing more than a ‘masque and charade’ (Larvenwerck und Affenspiel).29 Indeed, according to Egard the Germans were worse-off than the Jews, for the simple fact that they had rejected God’s teachings even after Luther had shown them the true path.30 As the title of his Spiegel der jetzigen Zeit suggested, Egard linked salvation intrinsically to time. In the Posaune, the connection was made all the more explicit. In the introductory preface, Egard declared that he had written the work not only to ‘increase the light and grace’ amongst his readership, but also to ‘unlock the prophecies’ and ‘to recognize and demonstrate (prüfen) the [final] age in which we live.’31 The Nortorf preacher was well aware that the decision to write on Revelation 20, the most controversial chapter of the most difficult book in the Bible, was fraught with danger. Egard anticipated, correctly, as it turned out, that the most negative reaction would come from his fellow theologians and the learned (Gelehrten). Wary of the negative attention attracted by ‘innovation’ in matters of religion, he therefore explicitly stated that, however it might seem to the reader, what he affirmed in the Posaune did not constitute a new, and therefore heretical teaching, nor did it contradict the crucial article XVII of the Augsburg Confession.32 Egard began the Posaune with an unequivocal proposition: whoever will truly understand the hidden mysteries of future things must be inspired by the light and grace of the Holy Spirit:
Wer nicht den geist der Weißheit/ Erkändtnüß und Weissagung hat/ daraus das Wort geflossen/ der wird den Sinn/ Liecht und Warheit GOttes nicht

27 P.E.N.H. [Paul Egard]: Heller/ Klarer/ Spiegel der Jetzigen Zeit/ deß Jetzigen Christenthumbs/ Glaubens/ Lebens/ und Wesens im Newen Testament so mit dem Judenthumb/ im Alten Testament/ gar richtig ubereinstimmet. O. O. 1623. Jürgen Beyer has further made me aware of a contemporary Swedish edition of this text, published in Riga in 1627, presently in the collection of the Uppsala University Library, which indeed identified Egard as the author on the title page. 28 P.E.N.H. [Paul Egard], Heller/ Klarer/ Spiegel, A2r. 29 P.E.N.H. [Paul Egard], Heller/ Klarer/ Spiegel, A5v. 30 P.E.N.H. [Paul Egard], Heller/ Klarer/ Spiegel, A5v: “Daher sind wir jetzt böser, härter und verstockter, als die Juden.” 31 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 7: “Ich habe kein ander warumb, oder ursache, denn dz Liecht und warheit, Gott zu ehren, möge nach der Gnade, die mir in Christo Jesu gegeben ist, erkant werden, unnd das Geheimnüß und Weissagung, die bißher verschlossen und versiegelt gewesen, eröffnet unnd ins Liecht gesetzt werden, zu erkennen und prüfen die Zeit, darinn wir leben.” 32 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 12.


sehen. Niemand weiß des heiligen Geistes Sinn/ ohn den heiligen Geist/ welcher ist der Schlüssel zu allen Propheceyen.33

While Egard’s declaration sounds rather like something that one of the New Prophets or Rosicrucians might have written, there was a twist. According to Egard, the true powers of the Holy Spirit and of prophecy could not be attained merely by anyone through personal illumination, as several dissidents asserted. Revelation through the Holy Spirit was instead collective; it could only be mediated through the offices of the Lutheran church. Making obtuse reference to the New Prophets, Egard stressed that what he was offering was not a ‘new,’ and therefore self-evidently oppositional doctrine to traditional Lutheranism, but instead a time-honoured interpretation of scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, and attained through Lutheran contemplation. His was no attempt at prophetic charisma or oppositional philosophy:
Hie ist keine newe Offenbahrung und Weissagung/ sondern eine Göttliche Erklärung und Eröffnung der H. Prophetischen weissagung und vorborgen Geheimnüß durch den Geist Gottes/ und ist nichts das wieder den wahren Glaube und einhelligen Consensum der Gläubigen unnd Heiligen in Christo läuffet.34

Consistent with the idea of illumination granted by the Holy Spirit, Egard’s vision of the coming millennial kingdom was entirely spiritual in character. According to the Nortorf pastor, the world was entering a distinctively Joachite third age, the time of the evening, in which a dim light would begin to shine, like an aurora (see Zach 14).35 This age was identical to the conclusion of the ‘time, times, and half a time’ described in Daniel 12, which Egard understood as describing the present rule and decline of Antichrist’s power in the physical world.36 As Egard’s interpretation of the aurora suggests, the idea of light is an important, and indeed persistent theme in his millenarianism. Its qualities encode and constitute the essential foundations of the Kingdom of God itself:
Gott seine Kirche nit bawe/ durch euserliche irdische gewalt/ krafft un[d] starcke/ sondern durch sein himlisch Liecht/ durch seinen Geist/ durch Schlüssel und Ketten.37

33 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], A2r–v. 34 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 7 35 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 25: “Die dritte Zeit, ist der Abend, an welchem es sol Liecht werden. Dieser Abend ist die letzte Zeit der Welt.” 36 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 83: “Die eine zeit ist der auffgang [von Antichrist], die zwo Zeiten die währende herrschafft, die halbe Zeit der Lauff zum ausgang und ende.” 37 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 43, here referring to Rev 20:1–2.


The true Christian must soak up this spiritual light, like light from the sun itself, and unchain himself from fleeting mortality, thereby allowing the seed of the true kingdom, which had been planted within his heart, to flower and grow to maturity.38 However, the light of God was also essential to chronology, the key element in Egard’s interpretation of the crucial verses of Revelation 20 concerning the forthcoming millennium. Egard supported his reading of Revelation 20:2 with a close examination of Daniel 12. By privileging Daniel as a key to understanding this difficult verse, Egard hoped to deflect attention away from the self-evidently controversial use of Revelation as the basis of his chiliastic vision. Given the regard which Daniel 12 was held as a key to prophecy by the likes of Paul Nagel, Jakob Böhme and Paul Felgenhauer, this attempt at obfuscation would have immediately alerted his fellow Lutherans to the possibility that Egard intended to communicate information of a heterodox nature.39 Yet while, as I have already stated, the pastor was well aware that his interpretation would be controversial, he added:
Ich hoffe aber denoch/ das nach der weissagung Danielis/ die Verstandigen es werden achten/ unnd ihr Hertz und Augen werden erheben/ und das Liecht GOttes in der Heyligen stille/ mit Verläugnung ihrer Vernunft wahr nehmen. Die Zeit wird alles geben. Diese ist die letzte Propheceyung/ die nu noch für dem Ende der Welt/ soll erfüllet werden.40

For Egard, the 1,000 years for which Satan was to be imprisoned was not to be interpreted literally, for in the eyes of God, ‘a thousand years are as a day’ (Psalm 90:2, Peter 3). One thousand was instead for Egard a secret number, filled with mystery. It was, above all, ‘a number of completion, into which all numbers are subsumed and contained.’ The millennium would therefore comprise a ‘long time’ or a time that would somehow ‘feel’ reasonably long.41 Although this was an interpretation that had already been advocated by Cramer in 1618, it was not one supported by the majority of Lutheran theologians.42 In order to connect his conception of the forthcoming millennium ever tighter with orthodox Lutheran expectations, Egard consciously connected significant prophetic milestones of Revelation to events in the history of the faith. Egard argued, for example, that in 1517, the world
38 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 45, also 62. 39 On Paul Nagel and Jakob Böhme’s prophetic use of Daniel 12, see Leigh T. I. Penman: “Repulsive Blasphemies.” Paul Nagel’s Appropriation of Unprinted Works of Jakob Böhme and Valentin Weigel in the Prodromus astronomiae apocalypticae (1620). In: Daphnis. Zeitschrift für mittlere deutsche Literatur und Kultur der frühen Neuzeit (forthcoming). 40 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 9f. 41 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 63. 42 Penman, Unanticpated Millenniums [see note 3], chapter four.


entered the final ‘half time’ described in Daniel 12.43 The Antichrist, in the form of the ‘Pope and a papist emperor,’ has already been revealed, and has relentlessly waged war against Lutheranism. The beast of Revelation 14, with its ill-matched body parts, reflected the influence of Antichrist and the disunity of the contemporary, war-torn world. Its fearful magnificence accounted for Antichrist’s seductive and seemingly irresistible qualities. It is only through the love of God that the Lutheran faithful have been able to withstand this unholy attack for so long.44 In order to gauge the duration of this third age and final ‘half time,’ Egard looked to the prophetic 1290 days of Daniel 12, which, the pastor declared, actually represented months, and therefore a duration of around 109 calendar years.45 Adding these 109 years to the crucial date of 1517 brought Egard, if only slightly testing the boundaries of acceptable mathematical calculation, to the year 1625. This would be the year ‘in which the new honesty and purification will be noticed, and the great light of grace (Gnadenliecht) will be seen everywhere.’46 In other words, this was the year in which the millennium of Rev 20 would dawn. However, the millennium, that time of ‘fulfillment and completion,’ would be only short. To calculate its duration, Egard once more turned to Daniel 12, specifically verse 12, where the prophet declared ‘blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.’ From this passage Egard concluded that the chiliastic age of spiritual happiness would endure only 1,335 days, or three years and nine months. The felicitous time would therefore only endure until sometime in late 1629.47 However, the millennium would not suddenly grind to a halt in that year. Indeed, Egard believed that the light of grace would actually be at its most brilliant at this point.48 Yet such days would not last forever, and Egard returned to a familiar trope of pessimistic Lutheran apocalypticism when it came to explaining the end of the millennium, and indeed the period before the Last Judgment itself:
43 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 83: “Jetzo ist er in seiner halbe[n] zeit sonderlich von Lutheri zeit an.” 44 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 82. 45 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 89f.: “Von nu biß auff die newe Läuterung und Reinigung nehmen oder zehlen 1290. tage, das sind so viel Monden, denn das ist in der H. Schrifft zu finden, das die Jahre für Monden, die Monden für Jahre, die Monden für Tage, und widerumb tage für Monden genommen werden.” 46 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 90f. 47 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 92: “Das ist 45 uber die vorige 1290 tage. Thue zu den 1290 tagen 45 tage, so hastu die 1335. Tage, das ist uber die vorige 107 Jahr, welche nach dem Zahl 1290. in das 1625 Jahr einfallen, 3. Jahr unnd 9 Monat, das ist, biß in dz 1629 Jahr, denn 45. Monden machen 3. Jahr und 9 Monat.” 48 Egard, Posaune [see note 2].


[N]ach dieser Zeit aber/ wirdt das Liecht sich je mehr und mehr verlieren/ und Finsternüß wieder einfallen/ das/ wenn der Sohn Gottes wirdt kommen/ er wenig Glaubens auff Erden werde finden.49

The light of grace, the time of the millennium, would therefore strike true Christians something like a bolt of lightning; quickly and brilliantly. After the illumination gradually faded, however, humanity would then be left to deal with the apocalyptic fallout. With reference to Matt 24:9, Egard explained the horrific conditions thus: ‘[Then] shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.’50 The sun represented the power of Christ, the moon the Lutheran church, and the falling stars its doctrines and teachings fading from a divine wisdom to a mere earthly artifact of this wisdom (zur irdischen Weißheit und Dingen).51 The shaking of the heavens would cause ‘evil to exist amidst the spiritual and worldly regiments, and supernatural wonders shall be seen everywhere.’52 This terrible period, however, was not to be feared, for ‘all of this will only endure a short time, because the Son of God will shortly thereafter return to pronounce judgment.’53 In a typically Lutheran fashion, Egard emphasized that the specific date of this final judgment was known to God alone. 3. The Unanticipated Millennium The chiliastic period predicted by Egard was purely spiritual in character, despite the fact that the predicted time was based on historicist reckonings derived from concrete events, such as the commencement of Luther’s Reformation in 1517 and the Jubilee year of 1617. ‘Diese tausendt Jah[ren],’ Egard argued,
sollen nicht verstanden werden/ nach dem ordentlichen lauff der Zeit und Jahren/ sondern mysticè, von einer sondern Gnadenzeit/ darinn das Göttliche Liecht und Leben sol herschen.54
49 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 93. 50 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 94: Egard, however, carefully omits the reference to a tribulation that precedes this verse, which might have compromised his interpretation. 51 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 94. 52 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 94. 53 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 94. 54 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 62f. Concerning the Jubilee Year of 1617, see Charles Zika: The Reformation Jubilee of 1617: Appropriating the Past in European Centenary Celebrations. In: Ders.: Exorcising our Demons. Magic, Witchcraft and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe. Leiden, Boston 2003, 197–236; Ruth Kastner: Geistlicher Rauffhandel. Form und Funktion der illustrierten Flugblätter zum Reformationsjubiläum 1617 in ihrem historischen und publizistischen Kontext. Frankfurt, Bern 1982.


Unlike contemporary New Prophets, several of whom also propounded chiliastic philosophies mentioning a Gnadenzeit, Egard did not want to heighten public excitement and enthusiasm over the promised future period of spiritual grace. Instead, he wanted to stifle and undercut anticipation of the event. Simply relegating the godly kingdom to a spiritual realm of belief, however, would not have been enough to achieve this end. The Torgau dissident Nagel, for example, had also proposed a purely spiritual millennium, and yet had thereby attracted a large following and was vociferously condemned by the Lutheran theologians as a dangerous chiliast.55 If he was to avoid charges of heresy, it was essential that Egard deconstruct and defuse the potentially dangerous heterodox elements inherent in his chiliastic vision. For if the Nortorf pastor wished to use the spiritual millennium as a vehicle for his devotional philosophies, he had to ensure that this vision was received by his audience in the right fashion. To this end, throughout the Posaune, Egard strived to make clear to the reader that the millennial period would come and go, without even ‘true’ Christians themselves noticing its passing. Discussing the Angel with the key and chains that would shackle Antichrist (Rev 20:1–3), Egard remarked that, although this prophesied period was nigh, many would not be able to comprehend the significance of what they were witnessing, for the identity of the angel, whom Egard himself believed was Johann Arndt, would remain a mystery:
[O]b wol etliche ihn werden vor solcher Zeit sehen und erkennen/ so werden sie doch nit wissen/ daß er eben dieser Engel sey/ welches wird erst im Jahr 1625. allenthalben durch die Göttliche Schriffte bekandt werden.56

Similar sentiments were expressed throughout the Posaune, which stressed that the millenarian kingdom and its downfall will not be recognized until it is already over: ‘when all this shall occur, however, shall remain hidden until the dispersal of the holy people.’57 Egard repeated the basic unknowability of the End Time throughout his text, underlining the fact that, although the worthy individual would certainly experience the millennium spiritually, they could not anticipate the millennial period, nor perhaps – even as it was in progress – enjoy it. As soon as the average Christian was actually able to recognize what was happening around him, the felicitous time would already be over:
Mercke hie/ das von diesem Göttlichen Wercke/ nicht aus Fürwitz zu urtheilen/ ehe es zum Ende gebracht/ denn CHristus sagt: Selig ist/ da der erwartet und ereichet 1335 Tage. Darumb muß das Ende erwartet werden.
55 See Penman, Unanticipated Millenniums [see note 3], chapter three. 56 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 91. 57 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 84.


Als dann kan man recht von einem Wercke urtheilen/ wann es vollendet ist.58

By nullifying expectation of the millennial period and submitting the very notion of prophetic authority and the actions of the Holy Spirit to the Lutheran church itself, Egard was therefore able to produce a chiliastic vision in service to Lutheran belief. Although several theologians before Egard had incorporated a low-level expectation of a period of respite for the church before the Last Judgment – often based on the medieval doctrine of the refreshment of the saints – these theologians were reluctant to link this period with the prophecy of Rev 20:1–3. Instead, they associated it, like Egard, with Daniel 12, or the brief period described by Rev 20:9ff, when the throne of God appeared in the sky immediately before the Last Judgment.59 Much like Egard’s conception of the chiliastic age, however, these views about the coming of the chiliastic age – even when the ‘respite’ offered by this felicitous time sometimes stretched to a potential period of several hundred years – were characterized by their inability to be anticipated or awaited with hope. These conceptions could not inspire revolutionary or dissident enthusiasm because the rewards of the kingdom arrived only after the horrors of the Last Days as prophesied in Revelation, Daniel and other apocalypses. However, the very fact that Egard went to such efforts to eliminate the possibility of his work inspiring heretics and enthusiasts begs the not unreasonable question of why he also found it necessary to include a series of precise chronological calculations within the work in order to demonstrate the rectitude of his vision. Egard’s stated goal in writing the Posaune was simply ‘zur Erweckung der Welt an das Licht.’60 I believe that Egard, aware of the contemporary appeal of chronological reckoning, was playing on the attractiveness of such chronological games in order to attract would-be dissidents and those who had read dissident works and been swayed by their internal logic and ‘scientific’ character. This approach was not at all unprecedented within Lutheranism. In 1619, Daniel Cramer had included a selection of chronograms and 2 Esdras in his edition of the Bible in order to dispel rumours concerning the ‘dangerous,’ ‘forbidden’ or ‘secret’ nature of such things.61 Egard’s strategy, however, suggests that he was intensely familiar with contemporary heterodox literature, which indeed numbered amongst the sources of many of his conjectures.
58 Egard, Posaune [see note ***], 95 59 See Robin Bruce Barnes: Prophecy & Gnosis. Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation. Stanford 1988, 123. 60 Reprinted in Hans Engelbrecht: Christlicher Wunderreicher Bind-Brieff auff S. Johannis Tag den 24. Junij ders vergangenen 1638. Jahrs gestellet [. . .]. O. O. 1639, K5v. 61 Wallmann, Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus [see note 1], 193.


4. Three Sources of Egard’s chiliasm Perhaps surprisingly, Egard’s recognition of the significance of the years 1625–1629, and his basic kabbalistic explications of Daniel and Revelation 20 were not unprecedented. They were not even unique within the Lutheran interpretative tradition. Indeed, Egard’s chronology was in fact adopted directly from a work by another influential author of devotional literature, Philipp Nicolai’s (1556–1608) Historia des Reichs Christi (1598).62 Contrary to Egard, Nicolai saw the period between 1625 and 1629 as one of great tribulation for the church, mainly because his vision was influenced by the fate of the two witnesses of Rev 11:3.63 For Nicolai, it would be 1629 that would mark the beginning of a new period of expansion and growth for Lutheranism, a felicitous age in which the true evangelical religion would be made mighty (gewaltig) before the Last Judgment, which Nicolai expected to arrive around 1670.64 Despite this, it was Nicolai, however, who introduced the 1,335 prophetic days as a tool of eschatological insight into mainstream Lutheran thought, a fact which confirms his Historia as one of the major sources for Egard’s chronology.65 Further sources employed by Egard are rather more difficult to identify. The pastor himself, however, provides us with two definite clues to the origins of his chiliastic vision, both of which derive from the Posaune’s preface. Firstly, he there stressed his indebtedness to Johann Arndt. Indeed, Egard declared that he wrote the Posaune specifically in order to honour and promote Arndt’s doctrines.66 Arndt himself was, of course, no chiliast, despite his knowledge of Paracelsus, Weigel, and, according to Friedrich Breckling (1629–1711), his admiration for the works of Paul Nagel.67 Nowhere in his writings did Arndt present a vision of an earthly kingdom of God before the Last Judgment, nor did he offer extensive calculations concerning the End Times. However, Arndt did provide two key elements that would prove decisive for Egard. The first was the idea of the Gnadenreich, the indwelling kingdom of God as the basis of an Erbauungsphilosophie. The second stemmed from Arndt’s untypical and unrelentingly positive view about the increase in prospects of the Lutheran church before the Last Judgment. Arndt wished that people would look forward to the End, rather than fear it. In his ‘Prayer
62 Philipp Nicolai: Historia deß Reichs Christi [. . .]. Lüneburg: Stern 1628. [11598], 551f. 63 Nicolai, Historia deß Reichs Christi [see note 62], 444. 64 Nicolai, Historia deß Reichs Christi [see note 62], 445, 459, 488. 65 Nicolai, Historia deß Reichs Christi [see note 62], 551f. for his reckonings. 66 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 13. 67 Friedrich Breckling: Catalogus testium veritatis post Lutherum continuatis huc usque. In: Gottfried Arnold: Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie [. . .]. Schaffhausen 1742, IV, 1096: “M. Paulus Nagelius ein Adeptus Astrologus, der viele wunderbahre schrifften zum verstand der mystischen Astrologie herauß gegeben, und darin von dem sel. Joh. Arnd hochgehalten ist [. . .].”


against the fear of the Judgment Day,’ printed in his Paradiesgärtlein, Arndt wrote:
Ach mein Herr Jesu Christe! Du wahrhafftiger Prophet, du hast uns das Ende der Welt verkündiget [. . .] laß mich alle tage auf deine Zukunft mit Freuden warten, denn du wirst plötzlich kommen wie ein Blitz [. . .].68

This exhortation to a spiritual positivity was linked conceptually to Arndt’s support for ideas of hope, optimism and confidence amongst the church community in the Last Days; an idea also zealously taken up by Egard. The second clue to the sources of Egard’s chiliasm is decidedly more obtuse, though no less revealing. In the course of his preface to the Posaune, Egard insisted that his interpretation of Revelation’s mysteries had nothing at all to do with the contemporary Rosicrucian enthusiasm:
Diß werck keine Verwandtnis mit dem nichtigen und ruhmrettigen fürgeben der brüder deß Rosen Creutzes habe/ Denn hie ist ein ander Liecht und Geist/ die nicht sich selbst/ sondern lauterlich Gott suchet und meynet.69

The content of the Posaune, however, suggests that although Egard did not wish his ideas to be connected with Rosicrucianism, he nevertheless drew on heterodox literature in order to inform his vision. For example, Egard’s prophecy of a spiritual kingdom of Christ that would commence in 1625 drew directly upon numerous prophecies relating to the forthcoming grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn which awaited a decisive eschatological event for the years 1623–1625.70 His adoption of 1625 as the crucial date evidently owed to his calibration of these expectations with Nicolai’s pious predictions. Indeed, unlike his many orthodox compatriots, Egard never hesitated to draw upon the writings of so-called heretics when he believed their work could demonstrate a profound truth which might further the spiritual health of the Lutheran community. ‘Truth is truth,’ Egard wrote, ‘and remains truth.’71 In his Ehrenrettung Johann Arndts (1624), Egard zealously defended Arndt’s use of Valentin Weigel’s writings in the Wahres Christenthum by citing, like Arndt himself, I Thess. 5:21: ‘Prove everything and hold fast that which is good.’72 Or, as Egard himself elaborated:
68 Cited in Arnold, Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie [see note 66]. 69 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 12f. 70 See Penman, Unanticipated Millenniums [see note 3], chapter one. 71 Paul Egard: Mundus immundus. Das ist: Das falsche Christenthumb der Welt [. . .] sampt [. . .] Eine Abbildung der gegenwertigen Zeit/ auß der heiligen Schrifft und Exempel der Jüden. Goslar, Lüneburg: Stern 1623, A4r. 72 Cf. Johann Arndt: Zwey Sendschreiben. H. Johann Arendts darinnen er bezeuget/ daß seine Bücher vom wahren Christentumb/ mit des Weigelij und dergleichen Schwärmer Irthummen/ zur uebgebühr bezüchtiget werden. Magdeburg: Johann Francke 1620, A8v–B1r.


Was denn nu ein Ketzer guts hat/ das kan man ja von ihm entlehnen/ nicht als es sein ist/ sondern als es gut ist/ und Warheit und dem Wort Gottes gemäß ist. Denn Warheit sol allezeit Warheit sein/ ohn ansehen der Person [. . .] Man sol mehr in acht haben was gesaget wird/ als wer saget.73

This passage might be read not only as a defence of Arndt, but also as an apologia for Egard’s own use of heterodox prophetic ideas. Indeed, Egard’s defence of Arndt opened with an argumentative vignette based on 1 Corinthians 16:9: ‘For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.’ Egard interpreted this verse as demonstrating the rectitude of anticipating a distinctly unorthodox, if not heterodox, notion of ‘a felicitous (glückliche) course of evangelism’ before the Last Judgment.74 However, I suggest that the Nortorf pastor’s interpretation drew not so much from St. Paul’s original epistle, as from its restatement in the Rosicrucian Fama fraternitatis (1614):
[D]ann gleich wie unsere Thüre [i. e., to the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz] sich nach so viel Jahren wunderbarlicher weyse eröffnet, also sol Europae / eine Thüre auffgehen (so das Gemäwre hinweg ist), die sich schon sehen lesset und von nicht wenigen mit begierd erwartet wird.75

Egard’s appropriation of Johann Valentin Andreae’s (1586–1654) exegesis of Paul in the Fama fraternitatis took this form:
Also da auch Gott in dieser letzten Zeit herrn Johanne Arndten erwecket/ das ware Christenthumb durch in wieder auffzurichten/ und diß edle und heilige Leben Christi in der Mensche[n] Hertz zu pflantzen/ hat er im eine grosse Thür in Europa auffgethan/ daß gar viel in allen Stenden der Welt zum Erkendtniß und Ubung des waren Christenthumbs sind gekommen/ unnd Gott für seine unaußsprechliche Gnade mit frewden haben gedancket/ wie ist am tage.76

As this passage indicates, Arndt was nothing less than a prophet in the scheme of Egard’s eschatology, akin to the second Elijah awaited by adherents of Paracelsian and Rosicrucian religiosity.77 Just as the first com73 Paul Egard: Ehrenrettung Johannis Arndten/ Das ist/ Christliche und in Gottes Wort wolgegründete Erinnerung/ was von D. Lucae Osiandri, Theologiae Professoris zu Tübingen Urtheil und Censur, uber Johan Arndten wahres Christenthumb/ sey zu halten. Lüneburg: Stern 1624, 32, also 76. 74 Egard, Ehrenrettung Johannis Arndten [see note 72], A2r. 75 Johann Valentin Andreae: Allgemeine und General Reformation der gantzen weiten Welt. Beneben der Fama Fraternitatis, Deß löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzes/ an alle Gelehrte und Häupter Europae geschrieben: Auch einer kurtzen Responsion, von dem Herrn Haselmeyer gestellet/ welcher deßwegen von den Jesuitern ist gefänglich eingezogen/ und auff eine Galleren geschmiedet: Itzo öffentlich in Druck verfertiget/ und allen trewen Hertzen communiciret worden. Kassel: Wilhelm Wessel 1614, 113f. 76 Egard, Ehrenrettung Johannis Arndten [see note 73], A3r. 77 See Georg Goezius (praes.) C. H. von Elßwich (resp.): Dissertatio Historico-Theologica, Er-


ing of Jesus was announced by John the Baptist, so too would the second coming be announced by Arndt, whom Egard saw as the angel who would bind Satan in Rev 20:1–3.78 Egard’s enthusiasm for the value of non-scriptural sources in explicating the events of the Last Days extended to his whole-hearted support for the prophecies and exhortations of the mysterious lay-prophet Hans Engelbrecht of Braunschweig.79 Engelbrecht’s notoriety and legitimacy derived partly from the fact that his visions first began following his temporary ‘death’ in 1622. When he miraculously returned to consciousness and to the world, he brought with him lurid and ostensibly first-hand visions of heaven and hell, using which he urged repentance and humility before God. His visions continued intermittently, and he travelled widely throughout the Holy Roman Empire, promulgating his message everywhere he stayed. Having interviewed Engelbrecht on several occasions in Holstein, Egard became convinced that the prophet used ‘no deceit or guile,’ but was in fact a genuine witness to the visions he pronounced, ‘moved by a good Spirit, and by God himself.’80 Such a remarkable man, Egard believed, could become a valuable servant of the faith, for he did not seek by his proclamations to lead people away from the Lutheran ministry, but instead to it.81 Ultimately, Egard concluded that Engelbrecht was, along with Arndt, one of the true ‘holy teachers’ (heilige Lehrer) who would announce the significance of the times, but who would be ridiculed and accused of heresy on account of their divinelyendowed, and misunderstood, insights and powers.82
rores, qvos Joh. Bannier, Sartor Stargardiensis, Lubeckæ an. MDCXXV. proposuit, exhibens & refutans [. . .]. Lubeck: Vidua B. Schmalhertzii 1707; Susanna Åkerman: Alruna Rediviva: Johann Bureus’ Hyperborean Theosophy. In: Rosenkreuz als europäisches Phänomen im 17. Jahrhundert. Amsterdam 2002, 329f.; Ehre-Gott Daniel Colberg: Das Platonisch-hermetisches Christenthum [. . .]. Leipzig: Gleditsch 21710, I, 227–232; II, 300. 78 August Pfeiffer: Antichiliasmus oder Erzehlung und Prüfung des betrieglichen Traums Derer so genannten Chiliasten [. . .]. Lübeck: Peter Böckmann 1691, 201; Cf. Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 153. 79 Feddersen, Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins [see note 9], 296. On Engelbrecht, see August Friedrich Wilhelm Beste: Hans Engelbrecht. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Mystik des 17. Jahrhunderts. In: Zeitschrift für die historische Theologie, NF 14, 1844, 122–155. 80 See Egard’s letter, reprinted in Hans Engelbrecht: Christlicher Wunderreicher Bind-Brieff auff S. Johannis Tag den 24. Junij ders vergangenen 1638. Jahrs gestellet. O. O. 1639, K6r: “Was anlanget Brieffes Zeiger Hanß Engelbrechten, so habe ich nun etzliche mahl mit ihme geredet, und befunden, so viel ich erkennen kan, das an ihme kein Betrug noch Fallschheit sey, sondern durch den guten Geist Gottes getrieben und geführet werde, und suchet die Fortpflantzung des wahren Christenthumbs, und Erbauung vieler Hertzen in Christo, das aber die Welt ihn nicht kan leiden ist nicht zuverwundern, denn sie nicht alleine ihn, sondern auch andre Heilige Lehrer verwirfft, verketzert und verflucht GOtt wolle ihn durch seinen guten Geist stärcken und erhalten.” 81 Engelbrecht, Christlicher Wunderreicher Bind-Brieff [see note 80]. 82 Engelbrecht, Christlicher Wunderreicher Bind-Brieff [see note 80].


Egard saw the emergence of such prophets and teachers, a vanguard of the enlightened, but not necessarily of the Gelehrten, as a crucial part of the final age, the age of true Christianity. In the Posaune, Egard stated:
In der letzten Zeit/ viel erleuchte Männer werden gefunden werden/ welche mit offnen Augen sehe[n] werden/ die so lange vorborgene und versigelte Geheimnüß/ unnd sie entdecken.83

While a scriptural basis for such a belief may be found, among other places, in Daniel 12:4,84 it also directly reflected popular prophetic expectations of the time, and ran contrary to the pessimistic Lutheran opinion on the conditions of the world before the Last Judgment. This sentiment also found expression in the Rosicrucian Fama fraternitatis, itself an attempt to gather the opinions of the learned before the Judgment Day. Indeed, the opening lines of the Fama declared:
Nachdem der allein weyse und gnädige Gott in den letzten Tagen sein Gnad und Güte so reichlich über das Menschliche Geschlecht außgossen, daß/ sich die Erkantnuß, beydes seines Sohns und der Natur/ je mehr und mehr erweitert, und wihr uns billich einer glücklichen zeit rühmen mögen/ daher dann nicht allein das halbe theil der unbekandten und verborgenen Welt erfunden/ viel wunderliche und zuvor nie geschehne Werck und Geschöpff der Natur uns zuführen, und dann hocherleuchte Ingenia auffstehen lassen/ die zum theil die verunreinigte unvollkommene Kunst wieder zu recht brächten, damit doch endlich der Mensch seinen Adel und Herrlichkeit verstünde/ welcher gestalt er Microcosmus/ und wie weit sich sein Kunst in der Natur erstrecket.85

The Fama went on to expand on the tropes of light and darkness that so defined Egard’s explication of the prophetic drama of the millennium, and, as this passage indicates, also mirrored Egard’s distinctly Hermetic encapsulation of the process of the building of the heavenly Jerusalem in the hearts of man: ‘Was in der kleinen Welt geschehen sol/ davon erinnert die grosse Welt/ durch Gottes Anordnung/ wegen der Verwandtnüß und Harmonie, zwischen der grossen und kleinen Welt.’86 However, as shown above, the boundaries of Egard’s millennial expectations – indeed the very notion of chiliastic anticipation itself – remained sharply defined, and always subject to the authority of the Lutheran spiritual Ministerium. It is for this reason that Egard felt secure in drawing upon extra-biblical, Rosicrucian and Weigelian material in sup83 Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 72. 84 In addition to explicating the verse in the Posaune, Egard also used it to open his Informatorum Christianum: Das ist/ Kurtze und nützliche Erinnerung / von der dreyfachen Schule/ als Der Göttlichen/ Der Menschlichen/ Der Teufflischen [. . .]. Lüneburg: Stern 1628, A2v, albeit there without chiliastic overtones. See the discussion below. 85 Andreae, Fama Fraternitatis [see note 75], 91f. 86 Cf. Egard, Posaune [see note 2], 28.


port of his chiliastic vision for the faith, while simultaneously denouncing the chiliastic ruminations of the Weigelian prophet of Husum, Nikolaus Teting.87 This is despite the fact that in 1625, both Egard and Teting had opened their respective works concerning the indwelling kingdom of God by citing Luke 17:22: ‘See that the Kingdom of God dwells within you.’88 Absent from Teting’s work, at least as far as Egard was concerned, was recognition of the authority of the Lutheran church in any consideration of the millennium. The prophet’s seemingly pious motto, Ex Christo, per Christum, in Christum,89 lacked the appropriate moderation that would be provided by the Lutheran ministry during the millennial period as Egard envisioned it.90 Because Egard crafted his own unique response to the conflicting ideas that surrounded him in an effort to save souls through the power of the church, what has been said about Johann Arndt could apply equally to the pastor of Nortorf: ‘[Er] ging seinen eigenen Weg zwischen Luther, der Orthodoxie und dem radikalen protestantischen Spiritualismus.’ 91 5. The Printing of the Posaune As Egard’s own careful qualifications concerning the character and intentions of the Posaune amply demonstrate, the author was aware that his text was inherently controversial, and fully expected it to attract the ire of fellow churchmen. Indeed, given the zealous watchfulness exer87 Egard’s letter/report to the head-pastor in Husum, Petrus Danckwerth, was reprinted in J. M. Krafft: Ein zweyfaches Zwey-Hundert-Jähriges Jubel-Gedächtnis, Deren das Erste In einer am Fest-Tage Allerheiligen 1722. gehaltenen Predigt vorstellet Die Reformation, so [. . .] 1522 zu allererst in [. . .] Schleßwig und Holstein von Hermanno Tasten in dieser Stadt Husum angefangen worden, Das andere aber Eine [. . .] Historie des von [. . .] Luthero verdeutschten [. . .] N. Testaments. Hamburg: Fickweiler 1723, 488–492. On Teting see ADB XXXVII, 570; Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 677–680; D. C. Carstens: Zur Geschichte der Sectirer Nicolaus Teting u. Hartwig Lohmann. In: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Schleswig-HolsteinLauenburgische Geschichte 21, 1891, 374–383; Dieter Lohmeier: Art. “Nikolaus Teting.” In: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Biographisches Lexicon IV, 1976, 216–218. 88 NTH [Nicolaus Teting]: Ein kurtze Sermon Vom REiche GOttes. Dediciert und offeriert hiermit. Allen Brüdern in Christo/ zum Zeugnisse/ Ihr Dienstwilliger und umb deß Zeugnisses Jesu Christi willen vertriebener Bruder in Christo. N. T. H. O. O. 1625, A1v.; cf. Egard, Geheimnuß des Reichs Gottes [see note 126], A2r. 89 Teting, Kurtze Sermon [see note 87], A4v. 90 One of Teting’s later works contained a spiteful appendix that claimed Egard’s teachings were so absurd that they did not require refutation. Teting himself cited a range of early Lutheran theologians in defence of his doctrines and to prove the legitimacy of his vision. See Nicolaus Teting: Abgetrungene kurtze, jedoch gründliche, vnd mit H. Schrifft vnd Lutheri, Philippi Melanthonis, Pomerani, Brentii vnd anderer Authentisirten Lutherischen Theologen schrifften mehr Wolbewehrte Verantwortung, Nicolai Tetings. O. O. 1635, 115f. 91 Berndt Hamm: Johann Arndts Wortverständnis. Ein Beitrag zu den Anfängen des Pietismus. In: PuN 8, 1982, 73.


cised by his contemporaries after the introduction of the chiliasmus subtilis category of the error, it is relatively surprising that the Posaune even appeared in print in the first place. Therein lies something of a mystery. Unfortunately, we are almost completely uninformed about the circumstances that surrounded the printing of the work. Direct archival evidence, be it in the form of censors’ reports from authorities in Lüneburg, Hamburg, Wolfenbüttel or Goslar, where the book might have attracted the most attention, remains to be located. As the title page of the first and only edition of the Posaune shows, the book was printed ‘In Verlegung Hans und Heinrich Stern, Buchhändl. in Lüneburg, 1623.’ 92 There is indirect evidence, however, to suggest that the printing of the Posaune was indeed controversial, and that the Stern firm suffered because of their decision to publish Egard’s work. The very fact that the Sterns failed to name the printer of the Posaune suggests that they attempted to withhold information from censors concerning the text. Established in 1614, the Sterns initially operated only as publishers. They would accept (or reject) works presented to them by individual authors, agree to finance the printing, and then allocate the job to a certain press. Often a publisher also possessed the right to determine specific conditions of sale, such as in which territories, or even in which shops particular works might be vended. The majority of books published by the Stern firm during the 1620s were printed by Johann Vogt of Goslar, or by the ‘technically inept’ Ratsdrucker in Lüneburg, Andreae Michelsen.93 The enduring economic health of the Stern publishing enterprise was secured by the firm’s connection to Johann Arndt and other productive authors of devotional literature, like Egard. Arndt contributed a foreword to a 1620 folio bible published by the firm,94 and soon followed after editions of Arndt’s Wahres Christenthum, Lehr- und Trostbüchlein and Paradiesgärtlein. Additionally, the firm published tracts written in response to the Rosicrucian furore,95 and in the 1620s, issued several editions of Philipp Nicolai’s influential De Regno Christi. Accord-

92 Martin Lipenius: Bibliotheca Realis Universalis Omnium Materiarum, Rerum et Titulorum, in Theologia, Jurisprudentia, Medicina et Philosophia Occurentium [. . .] in IV. Partes seu speciales bibliothecas [. . .] divisa. Bd. I. Leipzig 1685, 68, reports a 1620 edition which could not possibly have existed. Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 153, makes similarly dubious references to editions printed in Hamburg in 1621 and 1623, none of which are extant and which are almost certainly ghost editions. 93 Hans Dumrese: Lüneburg und die Offizin der Sterne: Der Sternverlag im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Lüneburg 1956, 16; Concerning Michelsen, see Christoph Reske: Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebeit. Auf der Grundlage des gleichnamigen Werkes von Josef Benzing. Wiesbaden 2007; H. Koch: Zur Geschichte des Buchdrucks in Lüneburg im 17. Jahrhundert. In: Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1972, 244–247. 94 Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Bibel-S. 2° 61. 95 Carlos Gilly: Cimelia Rhodostaurotica. Amsterdam 21995, nos. 190, 192f.


ing to Hans Dumrese, a historian of the firm, around 1623 the Stern enterprise became, in spite of considerable economic success, dissatisfied with the quality of the work of their printers.96 In May 1623 they therefore applied for a printing privilege from the Lüneburg city council, in a bid to bring a printing press in house.97 For some reason, however, the Lüneburg authorities were suspicious of the Sterns’ motivations. Before being prepared to grant privilege, they demanded a more extensive statement of the intentions of the new printing house.98 In July 1623, the Stern brothers replied with the requested statement.99 The submitted document is extremely interesting. It reveals that the firm promised to print works only from ‘good and approved Authors,’ and would not issue ‘forbidden Pasquills, frivolous jokes or Schartechen,’ which, as the Sterns recognised, was not only against the law, but would also ‘contravene the honour of the business.’ Additionally, the firm promised to present all materials printed for approval by censors.100 As the unusually stringent guarantees demanded by the council suggest, there seems to have been some questions raised concerning the trustworthiness of the Stern printing house and their intended undertakings. The council’s delayed reaction to the Sterns’ application eventually arrived several months later, in September 1623. Surprisingly, the privileges granted to the firm were limited. The Sterns were only allowed to print materials that they themselves published (Verlagswerke). Under no circumstances were job prints (Akzidenzdrucke) on behalf of other publishers to be carried out. The council again insisted that all Stern books had to be presented to censors for approval. Strangest of all, however, it warned that the firm’s already limited privilege could be revoked at any time.101 Such demands were not often found in privileges of the time, and, while the Lüneburg council naturally had to ensure the interests of the already-active Michelsen firm, who had been active in the city for some time, were protected, this seems to have been only one factor in the unusually limited nature of the privilege. Another factor seems to have been the somewhat dubious reputation of the Stern firm. This reputation might have had a number of origins. It might, for example, have stemmed from the firm’s decision to publish several Rosicrucian tracts during the 1610s. It is possible, however, that a wariness of the Stern firm amongst the Lüneburg authorities was the direct
96 Dumrese, Sterne [see note 92], 23. 97 Dumrese, Sterne [see note 92], 21–23. A copy of the application itself is preserved at Wolfenbüttel, Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv, [hereafter StA] StA IV Hs 11: 223, 4f. 98 Wolfenbüttel, StA IV Hs 11: 223, 5. 99 Wolfenbüttel, StA IV Hs 11: 223, 5–7. 100 Wolfenbüttel, StA IV Hs 11: 223, 7. 101 Dumrese, Sterne [see note 93], 23.


result of an intriguing publishing plan presented by the Augsburg Paracelsian Carl Widemann (1555–1635) to Duke August of BraunschweigLüneburg sometime during 1621. In that year Widemann, a key figure in the chiliastic underground in the Holy Roman Empire, with connections to many kryptoradikale and heterodox personalities, petitioned the duke with a plan to set in print a veritable library of Weigelian, chiliastic and other heterodox tracts, all of which, he envisioned, would be printed and published by the Stern brothers in Lüneburg.102 While Herzog August rejected the plan, rightly fearing repercussions for religious unity within his territories, Widemann’s project must have been formulated with the willing participation of the Stern firm, and is therefore evidence of the Sterns’ sympathy or tolerance for heterodox and marginal religious material.103 If the Lüneburg council had been informed of Widemann’s plan by Duke August – and it is certain they would have been instructed to keep an eye on the activities of the Stern firm – their caution concerning the Sterns’ printing rights seems entirely explicable. Concerns over Widemann’s project within Braunschweig-Lüneburg might also have directly impacted on the printing arrangements for Egard’s Posaune in 1623, which appears to have been published as the firm was in negotiations with the Lüneburg city council. Given the controversial nature of the text, the Sterns might have withheld this information deliberately, in order to avoid possible recriminations for their privilege application. But where was the Posaune printed? In the years before 1623, the Sterns were only known to have employed two printers to produce their publications. Based purely on the dating of the Posaune, Dumrese suggested that Egard’s text was probably printed by Michelsen in Lüneburg sometime before September 1623. In support of this hypothesis, he claimed that the firm’s relationship with Vogt in Goslar had already been dissolved by this date.104 This claim is, however, inaccurate, for Vogt was still printing books on behalf of the Sterns as late as 1624.105 If the controversial nature of the Posaune was indeed the reason why the printer’s name and location was withheld, it seems equally unlikely that the Sterns would print the book in Lüneburg, where the presses were being heavily scrutinized by local authorities.
102 Letter of 17/29 June 1621, cited in Carlos Gilly: ‘Theophrastia Sancta.’ Paracelsianism as a Religion, in conflict with the established Churches. In: Paracelsus. The Man and his Reputation, His Ideas and their Transformation. Ed. by Ole Peter Grell. Leiden 1998, 180. 103 Der Briefwechsel zwischen Philipp Hainhofer und Herzog August d. J. Hg. v. R. Gobiet. München 1984, 334: “[D]aß die Theophrastische und Weigelianische bücher dieser orten zu trucken nicht verstattet werden; alß die in unserer Theologia, grosse Verwirrung würden machen.” (Herzog August to Philipp Hainhofer, 16 June 1621) 104 Dumrese, Sterne [see note 93], 23. 105 See Die 300jährige Geschichte des Hauses F. A. Lattmann zu Goslar bis zur Jetztzeit. Goslar 1904, 11f.


The most likely candidate for the printing, then, is Vogt in Goslar. And indeed, a typographical comparison of 12 books published by the Sterns and printed by Michelsen and Vogt between 1620 and 1623 to the Posaune demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt that Egard’s text was indeed printed in Goslar. On account of Goslar’s distance from Lüneburg, the Vogt printing-house was an unusual choice for the Sterns, especially when nearby Hamburg offered abundant, and probably cheaper, opportunities.106 The choice of Vogt to print the Posaune, far from the prying eyes of local censors, therefore seems to have been a deliberate act of subterfuge on behalf of the Sterns. If this was intended as a strategy to avoid controversy, it worked. The Posaune appeared in print, apparently unmolested by any censorial authority. However, if Egard’s work did not excite the ire of potential opponents as it went through the presses, it would certainly do so after it had appeared on bookstalls throughout the Holy Roman Empire. 6. The Reception of the Posaune Although Wallmann, in his initial sketch of Egard’s chiliasm, claimed that the pastor ‘blieb mit seiner Lehre vom tausendjährigen Reich unbehelligt,’ this was not at all the case.107 That the publication of Egard’s chiliastic text caused a sensation and a backlash within the Lutheran church was attested to by Egard himself in a letter to an unknown recipient dated 22 August 1624, one year after his controversial book was first set in print:
Was sonst anlanget meine Posaune/ die ich zur Erweckung der Welt an das Licht gegeben/ so mercke ich/ daß dieselbe von Vielen übel außgelegt wird/ wie ihr ohne Zweiffel wisset/ und mir es von vielen wird übel außgelegt/ als sagte ich von einer neuen Lehre/ welches mir nicht in den Sinn kommen/ sondern zeuge daß das Licht/ welches itzt ist/ werde herrlicher und grösser werden/ und sonderlich was durch S. Johann Arenten ist angefangen/ werde herrlicher werden.108

The diary of Jacob Fabricius Jr. (1588–1645), adjunct Generalpropst and court preacher in Gottorf,109 provides several important references to controversy provoked by Egard’s Posaune.110 On 16 September 1624,
106 Ibid., 12. Concerning the Hamburg printers of the period, see Reske, Buchdrucker [see note 93], s. v. ‘Hamburg.’ 107 Wallmann, Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus [see note 1], 200. 108 In: Engelbrecht, Christlicher Wunderreicher Bind-Brieff [see note 79], K5v. The letter is dated 22 August 1624. 109 On Fabricius see Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 165; Anders Anderson: Art. “Fabricius, Jacob d. J.” In: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Biographisches Lexikon II, 1971, 135f. 110 Jacob Fabricius, Jacob Fabricius den Yngres Optegnelser 1617–1644. Hg. v. A. Andersen. Copenhagen 1964. References to Egard appear on pp. 239, 244, 250, 260, 263, 267, 282, 284.


Fabricius recorded that Johann Clüver (1593–1633), a promising young theologian and favourite of the Danish king, had recently spent some time in Rostock with the theologian Johann Affelmann, one of the major theorists on chiliastic heresy. Following this meeting, Clüver had declared his intention to write a tract directed against Egard’s Posaune.111 Evidently, during the course of their conversations, the two theologians had compared Egard’s statements to Affelmann’s definitions of chiliastic error, and determined that the Nortorf pastor advocated a kind of chiliasmus subtilis. Interestingly, both Clüver and Fabricius referred to Egard’s tract under the title Offenbahrung der göttlichen Majestat. This was the same title as Aegidus Guttmann’s influential heterodox work, and was evidently intended as a kind of disparagement.112 Clüver’s decision to seek Affelmann’s advice, however, was prompted by an earlier exchange with Egard himself. Namely, sometime in early 1624, after acquiring a copy of the Posaune and recognizing the thread of chiliastic error that ran through it, Clüver visited Egard and demanded he recant his opinions. He later wrote a revealing and intriguing account of the situation:
Scripsi ad ipsum Autorem [i. e., Egard] anno 1624, deque hujus expositionis vanitate multis argumentis admonui: Sed perstitit ille in suavi suo somnio, meque rogavit, ut quod minus mihi placeret, omitterem. Sibi enim integrum esse perinde atque aliis, suam de obscurâ hac prophetiâ sententiam publici juris facere. Sed tempus ipsam propheticam sat maturè redarguit, quantum quidem cordatiores judicant. Interim ne autor sibi & aliis de novo hoc regno imponere pergat, paucula haec subjicere volui.113

Following the meeting, Clüver began work on a much more thorough refutation of the pastor’s chiliasm, in order to set the matter before the eyes of the public and force Egard to relinquish his ‘obscure’ revelations. The controversy expanded. Shortly after Clüver’s declaration, Fabricius acquired a copy of Egard’s book, and, after reading the text in one sitting, concluded it was a mess of ‘hypocritical doctrines.’ ‘Truly I say,’ wrote Fabricius, ‘that either the devil possessed him and dictated these things to him, or he is a very learned hypocrite.’114
111 Jacob Fabricius [see note 110], 239: 16. September 1624: “M. Clüverus dixerat Rostochii, er wolte schreiben wieder Egardi Tractatum von offenbarung der göttlichen Majestat.” For Clüver see ADB IV, 352f.; Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 103; Erich Pontoppidan: Annales ecclesiæ Danicæ diplomatici, oder nach Ordnung der Jahre abgefassete und mit Urkunden belegte Kirchen=Historie des Reichs Dännemarck. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Owe Lynow 1747, III, 807. 112 Aegidus Guttmann: Offenbarung göttlicher Mayestat. 2 Bde. Hanau: Johann Wolff 1619. 113 Johann Clüver: Diluculum Apocalypticum seu commentarius in B. Apostoli et Evangelistae Johannis Apocalypsin. Hg. v. Michael Clüver. Lübeck & Stralsund: Schernwebel & Meder 1646f., 101. 114 Jakob Fabricius [see note 110], 26. September, 1624: “Perlegi scriptum Egardi super Apoc.


The waking controversy over the Posaune was furthered by suspicions that Egard had been fraternizing with known heretics and kryptoradikale personalities, such as Joachim Morsius, Johann Angelius Werdenhagen, Hans Engelbrecht, and in particular with members of the circle that surrounded Nikolaus Teting. On 4 September 1624, only days after Clüver had announced his intention to write against the Posaune, the Husum pastor Peter Danckwerth asked Egard to compose a theological report on Teting’s teachings. In this report, which otherwise rejected Teting’s Weigelian doctrines outright, Egard was forced to admit that Teting had once visited him several years previously, although, he claimed, the two men had only discussed their mutual admiration of Johann Arndt. While I have already shown that Egard wrote explicitly against Teting in the Posaune and elsewhere, the only plausible explanation for the inclusion of this information in an otherwise unremarkable theological report was that it is made in response to accusations that the two men had fraternized or shared heretical ideas. Egard’s positive attitude toward the visionary Engelbrecht, which coincided with the controversy over the Posaune, brought him under further suspicion.115 Engelbrecht had traveled to Husum in Schleswig in August and September of 1624, where he was hosted by members of Teting’s circle, such as Dorothea Hoyers, sister of the poet Anna Owena, and was thought to be trading in Rosicrucian writings.116 He was also known as a friend of the Bohemian émigré and chiliast Paul Felgenhauer. For a ‘devout and exemplary’ pastor, it certainly seemed to his disapproving colleagues that Egard had indeed been keeping some strange company. Clüver’s promised Meditari contra Egardum was already in the possession of the Stern print-shop in Lüneburg – the same firm that had published Egard’s Posaune – by early November 1624.117 It was, however, never printed.118 There might be several reasons for this. After 1623, Clüver
20. Nescivi prostare. Vere dico aut Diabolum illum occupasse ipsique hæc dictasse, aut doctissimum hypocritam.” The entry continues: “Novi aliquem ante annos 20. Dabant circumstantiæ esse Oligerum Rosekrantzium. Quæ illa explicatio? Ut et dicti Zach. 14 von tag weder nacht etc.? Evolvi omnia, tradidi Marschallo Podewilsio exemplar, cum peteret.” 115 Feddersen, Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins [see note 9], 296. 116 Jakob Fabricius [see note 110], 243ff. (19. September 1624) records a colloquium between several theologians concerning Engelbrecht and his trip to Schleswig. Johann Winter reported: “Dieser Mensch (Engelbrecht) ist nu Husii ind Suavesteti gewesen, ut videret Rosecreutzer, qui id optaverant jam pridem, idque hac occasione [. . .] Illud scriptum hat er in gratiam Saccorum zugeschicket denen Rosecruetzern. [. . .] Er ist jetzt bei Dorothea Höyers.” (246) For Hoyers’ sister Anna Owena and her connection to Teting, see Barbara Becker-Cantarino: ‘Biographie’ in Anna Owena Hoyers’ Geistliche und Weltliche Poemata. Tübingen 1986, 33*ff. 117 Jakob Fabricius [see note 110], 282: (2. or 3. November 1624): “Sternius ipsi scripsit Clüverum aliquid meditari contra Egardum.” 118 The text does not appear in any contemporary bibliographies, nor is it mentioned by Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 103, in his discussion of Clüver’s writings.


was pastor and professor of theology at the Royal Stift in Sorø, Denmark, and therefore, like Egard, under the nominal protection of King Christian IV. The king may have been reluctant to court controversy. Another explanation might have been simple popularity of Egard’s works. While controversial material was certainly present in the Posaune, Clüver might have thought would do more harm than good to refute Egard’s errors. After all, on balance, Egard’s other texts did more good than harm amongst the Lutheran community. However, as Egard’s later work, the Praxis Fidei Salvificae (1627) clearly demonstrates, the major reason Clüver’s text never saw print was because, by mid 1624, Egard had already decided to abandon the more controversial aspects of his chiliastic philosophy. Yet Clüver was not the only Lutheran theologian to take exception to the doctrines of the Posaune. Another of Egard’s opponents was in fact a colleague of Affelmann, the Rostock theologian Paul Tarnow (1562– 1633).119 In 1624, Tarnow delivered a fiery oration against Egard and other supporters of Arndt’s works, a group that he designated – in distinction to, but clearly in company with, the New Prophets – as the ‘New Evangelists.’120 These New Evangelists occupied themselves with questions of devotion and with ‘unusual opinions’ concerning the Last Days. Their teachings, Tarnow proclaimed, opened a veritable Pandora’s box of errors that actively led the faithful away from God. According to Tarnow, the fundament of Lutheran religion was the ability to approach God with a compliant heart, something which the New Evangelists hindered: ‘The result of this [hindrance] is that their teachings are also to be considered a reason for God’s fury and all the present unhappiness granted us.’121 Interestingly, Clüver’s condemnation of the Posaune did eventually appear in print, albeit posthumously and in a highly modified state, in his Diluculum Apocalypticum (1646–47), a lavish folio commentary on Revelation. In the form in which it was finally printed, the condemnation was rather soft, despite containing several pages of discussion of various errors and misconceptions offered by a (barely-disguised) ‘P. E. Holsatus’.122 It is important to understand, however, that, by 1646, Egard and his errors were no longer what we might call ‘news’. Indeed, not only had the Nortorf pastor already set aside the Posaune and its chiliastic ideas follow119 See Gottfried Arnold: Unparteyische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie. Leipzig 1742, II, XVII, 5, § 16, which briefly describes Egard’s dispute with Tarnow. 120 I have used the later German edition edited by Heinrich Ammersbach: Paul Tarnow: Pandora Tarnoviana. Das ist/ Beschreibung des Neuen Evangelij, welches eine Uhrsach ist alles Unglücks in der werthen Christenheit [. . .]. Quedlinberg: Ockell 1663. 121 Tarnow, Pandora Tarnoviana [see note 120], B4r. 122 Clüver, Diluculum Apocalypticum [see note 113], 101–107. The rather less-disguised name of ‘P. Egardi Posaune, anno 1623’ is amongst the entries in the Catalogus Interpretum on fol. [b8r–v].


ing controversies with Fabricius, Rost and Clüver, but the Diluculum itself appeared in print long after Egard’s prophesied millennium had ‘occurred’ between 1625 and 1629. In any event, except for Clüver and Tarnow’s efforts, Egard’s chiliastic ideas generally escaped scrutiny and condemnation.123 Egard was indeed mentioned briefly in Georg Rost’s tract concerning Johann Arndt’s works, where Rost linked Arndt and Egard’s ideas to those of Weigel, in addition to the chiliastic prophets Paul Felgenhauer and Paul Nagel.124 However, the issue of Egard’s chiliastic heresy was otherwise obscured by the chaotic shuffle of opinions concerning New Prophets, political disaster, raging war and the orthodoxy of Arndt’s Wahres Christenthum.

7. Egard’s Chiliasm after 1624 As I mentioned previously, almost as suddenly as Egard’s chiliastic vision appeared, it vanished from his social program of devotional Christianity. In 1627, when Egard and the Lutheran community should have been in the midst of the millennium that he himself had predicted only four years earlier, we instead find the Nortorf pastor distancing himself from the Posaune and its prophecies. In his massive collection of sermons, Praxis Fidei Salvificae (1627), Egard included a list of his earlier works in which he explicated his most important teachings concerning the Kingdom of God for the benefit of his readers:
Dieses nu zu beweisen und in der Menschen Hertz zu pflantzen/ habe ich bißher durch die Gnade Gottes/ und Kraft des heiligen Geistes/ etliche deutsche Tractätlein/ als das Göttliche Heiligthumb/ Christenthumb Davids/ Christenthumb Salomonis/ Gülden Christenthumb des himlischen Adelers/ Falsch Christenthumb/ und andere ans Licht gegeben/ und mich befleissiget vielen zu dienen in Christo/ wie ich denn mich schüldig erkenne.125

In what is otherwise a nearly complete catalogue of his German language works to 1627, glaring in its absence from this list is the Posaune, which, in 1623, Egard had declared was to be the ‘cornerstone’ of his entire German-language devotional program.
123 Cf. Feddersen, Kirchengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins [see note 9], 296; Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 153 contains details of later theologians who discussed Egard’s works, but provides no discussion of Egard’s contemporaries. 124 Rost, Amica [see note 23], [2]34f. 125 Paul Egard: Praxis Fidei Salvificae, Das ist: Ubung des Seligmachenden Glaubens/ un[d] Ernewrung des innern Menschen/ durch die Früchte des Geistes/ nach den Sontages Episteln [. . .]. Lüneburg: Johann und Heinrich Stern 1627, fol.) o (7r. For a bibliography of Egard’s works, see Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 153.


There can be little doubt that the major reason why the Posaune was not mentioned here was because of the controversy it had engendered amongst theologians upon its publication. But that Egard had already experienced a change of heart concerning his eschatological philosophy as early as 1625 is demonstrated by the content of his Geheimnuß des Reichs Gottes (1625), an Arndtian tract that defended the idea of an indwelling kingdom of God in man.126 Such an idea had been vociferously rejected by Lukas Osiander (1571–1638) and other hardline Lutheran theologians as a variety of Weigelian or Schwenckfeldian heresy, the very idea of which was an affront to the authority of the Lutheran church.127 In the Reich Gottes, Egard did not ask the question of when the godly Kingdom would dawn, as the prophetic context of his Posaune might have led us to anticipate, but instead, of how.128 Egard made it clear that although the seeds of the indwelling kingdom were planted in temporal reality (in der Zeit) by the Holy Spirit working through the Gospels and all of Scripture, the consequences of personal grace and transcendence, that is to say the kingdom itself, flowered in eternity.129 If the Posaune was not proof enough that Egard did not share in the pessimistic eschatology of his orthodox Lutheran counterparts, in the Reich Gottes he made it explicit. In the course of the text he cited Romans 4:18 to demonstrate that hope begets hope: ‘Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.’ Hope was, as part of Egard’s pastoral and devotional program, exactly what the Lutheran community, particularly the local community, needed during a time of war, inflation, famine and unrest. The major problem of rabidly orthodox theologians like Osiander and others of his ilk, Egard argued, was not that Arndt, himself, or other New Evangelists were actually heretics, Rosicrucians, Weigelians, Schwärmer or whatever other names they were forced to bear: but rather that they were not Osiandrists. That is to say, they did not share the exact same picture of orthodox Lutheranism as Osiander himself.130 The content of the Reich Gottes however, marked a subtle but important change in Egard’s eschatology at first not easily perceptible. Egard indeed spoke there of the necessity of hope before the Judgment Day, of a kingdom of God that began within earthly time, and of many other elements that, at first glance, seem similar to the material covered in the
126 Paul Egard: Geheimnuß des Reichs Gottes im Menschen [. . .]. Lüneburg: Stern 1625. 127 See Lukas Osiander: Admonitio de quorundam, ad præsentia hæc periculosa tempora spectantium vaticiniorum, per fanaticos quosdam [. . .] in publicum sparsis corruptelis. Tübingen: Eberhard Wild 1621, 39, 44. 128 Egard, Geheimnuß [see note 126], 13. 129 Egard, Geheimnuß [see note 126], 3. 130 Egard, Ehrenrettung Johann Arndten [see note 73], 24.


Posaune. However, by 1625, Egard had removed the broader prophetic and chronological contexts that had initially attracted accusations of chiliasmus subtilis and raised the ire of Clüver and others. The expectation of the end was much more subdued, and did not involve the expectation of a happy time between 1625 and 1629. By the time of the Praxis (1627), Egard’s eschatological thought had evolved even further. Although we know that the tract was printed in 1627, there is no clue as to when the sermons which comprised the collection were actually written. Based on content alone, it seems quite certain that most, if not all, the sermons included may be dated after 1625, or at least at a point after Egard had abandoned the millenarian statements of the Posaune. In addition to providing clues to the transformation of Egard’s eschatology, the book also offers important insight into Egard’s pastoral philosophy, and into how he transliterated the content and theory of his written works into active principles to be used for the benefit of his pastorate. I have shown in the prior discussion of the Posaune that Egard saw Johann Arndt and Hans Engelbrecht as ‘true teachers’ who would enlighten the church in the Last Days. In the Praxis, the abilities of such teachers were divorced from their inherently prophetic context, and instead cast in a much more mundane and pastoral light. Namely, Egard promoted such teachers as possessing an authority that existed independently of, but in association with, ministers of the Lutheran church:
Gott erleuchtet und ernewert den Menschen nach seinem Bilde/ nicht ohn Mittel/ sondern durch Mittel/ durch das heilige Predigampt und Wort Gottes. Er sendet trewe Lehrer/ und machet sie durch seinen heiligen Geist tüchtig/ zu führen das Ampt des Evangelij/ auff daß er durch sie viel Menschen bekehre/ läutere/ reinige und heile/ oder sie vom Wege der Finsterniß und Todts führe auff den Weg des Lebens.131

This formulation, which emphasized both the office of preacher and the Word as legitimate sources of inspiration, also left room for recognition of the likes of both Engelbrecht and Arndt. But in case Egard’s notion that the word of God, delivered by the Holy Spirit was a supreme source of knowledge attracted negative attention from other church members, the pastor was also extremely careful in delineating the role of the Lutheran church in relation to such communications and the subsequent authority they engendered:
Das heilige Predigampt ist eine Werckstete des heiligen Geistes/ zu der Menschen Seligkeit/ es ist ein heilsames Mittel/ dadurch der leib Christi erbawet/ und die heiligen zugerichtet werden zum Werck des Ampts/ bis daß
131 Egard, Praxis [see note ***], 660.


wir alle hinan kommen zu einerley Glauben und Erkäntniß des Sohns Gottes.132

In this clever passage Egard did not fully exclude the roles played by personal reflection and revelation from the work of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the pastorate was only one potential workplace of the Spirit. For someone who accorded Arndt, or the lay prophet Engelbrecht the highest praise, this was only natural for Egard. In the above passage, Egard underlined the idea that it was the responsibility of members of the church to counsel and guide such personal revelations – other Werckstete of the Holy Spirit – to conform to Lutheran belief. Despite his evident retreat from the chronological calculations and predictions of the millennium for the years 1625 to 1629, the end of year sermons presented in Egard’s Praxis – which traditionally focussed upon the Last Judgment – nevertheless suggest that Egard believed that the Lutheran church was experiencing a kind of spiritual Gnadenzeit, or period of millennial comfort. Egard even suggested a prayer to his community to encapsulate this idea:
Gib daß ich [die] gegenwertige Gnadenzeit recht in acht nehme/ und durch deine grosse Güte/ Gedult und Langmuth mich lasse zur Busse führen. Und weil den HERR Jesu Christe/ bald wilt in den Wolcken des Himmels erscheinen/ und kommen wie ein Dieb in der Nacht/ so regiere mich durch deinen Geist/ daß ich im heiligen Wandel unnd gottseligem Wesen/ dein stets aus dem Himmel warte und nach deiner Zukunfft ein Verlangen habe/ auff daß ich in dem newen Himmel und Erden . . . ewiglich möge seyn [. . .].133

This Gnadenzeit therefore, much as Egard foreshadowed in his Reich Gottes, existed outside the boundaries of time. This was a kind of eternal kingdom of God that constituted the idea of the ‘new heaven and the new earth’ (Rev 21) not as a prophetic possibility, but rather as a kind of inspirational pastoral example for the community:
Dieser newer Zustandt nach der Zeit ist verheissen von GOTT/ uns zum Trost und Frewd/ in dieser unser Unruhe/ Mühe/ Jammer und Angst auff Erden. Derhalben wir auch auff denselbigen sollen sehen/ dahin mit unsern Hertzen eilen/ und nicht zweiffeln/ sondern festiglich gläuben/ daß wir den newen Himmel und Erden sehen werden/ denn die Verheissung Gottes ist Warheit/ GOTT ist trew/ der uns zu geben das himmlische Wesen hat zugesaget. [Psalm 27].134

This was the pastoral element of Egard’s philosophy at work. In the majority of his written works, the pastor was loath to mention the events
132 Egard, Praxis [see note ***], 661. 133 Egard, Praxis [see note 125], 902. 134 Egard, Praxis [see note 125], 900.


of the Thirty Years’ War that was raging throughout the Holy Roman Empire, and indeed did so rarely. But presented above is the second effectus, or purpose, of Egard’s eschatology. The first effectus was to convert and unify people to the tenets of the Lutheran belief. The second was to provide a comfort (Trost) to the community during those chronically uncertain times. Such a comfort would have been especially necessary in contemporary Holstein, at the northern frontier of the Empire, where rumours from both the Scandinavian kingdoms to the north and the embattled territories to the south collided. This was a time of great doubt, for Christian VI, King of Denmark and Duke of Holstein had recklessly thrown his territories into the Thirty Years’ War in early 1625, without first securing binding promises of political or financial support from any other parties should his efforts meet with misfortune.135 As it was, Christian’s Danish troops were forced to engage in a series of crippling battles with Catholic forces led by both Tilly and Wallenstein, including the disastrous and infamous defeat at Lutter-am-Barenberg in August 1626. Catholic victory in this battle left Holstein in a dire position, indeed at the mercy of Tilly’s marauding imperial troops.136 Although Egard was probably not an eyewitness to any of these happenings, the worries and persistent anxieties of his frightened congregation, and indeed his wider readership, would not have been difficult to remark and to appreciate. In any event, evidence drawn from several of Egard’s tracts indicates that, during 1624 or 1625, the pastor had abandoned his millenarian expectations as originally outlined in the Posaune. At the very least he had ceased to express his optimistic eschatology with reference to the tropes of chiliastic literature. In its place, Egard confined himself to an Arndtian conception of an eternal inner Kingdom of God, a Gnadenzeit that existed in eternity, access to which was through the office of the Lutheran pastorate.137 Although such views were already subject to criticism from many theologians, Egard’s stress upon the essential nature of the Lutheran church as the means through which the godly might be accessed – and the lack of any overly zealous opponent – perhaps spared him from continued criticism. Still, with his abandonment of the Posaune, this surprising and little known attempt to create a mainstream Lutheran chiliastic expectation was, for the time being, effectively over.
135 Geoffrey Parker: The Thirty Years’ War. New York 21987, 75. 136 Parker, The Thirty Years’ War [see note 135], 78. 137 Egard, Geheimnuß des Reichs Christi [see note 126], 13, 16: “Das Reich Gottes kompt durch das Evangelium und Wort, denn es ist nicht Fleisch, sondern Geist, nicht Natur, sondern Gnade [. . .] Das heilige Predigampt ist eine Offenbahrung des Reichs Gottes, eine verklärung Christi, ein Mittel un[d] Weg zur Vereinigung und Gemeinschafft mit Christo, ein Zeichen und Zeugniß der Gnade und Liebe Gottes gegen die Menschen.” These sentiments are repeated in Egard, Praxis [see note 125], 900, 902.


8. Egard and the Pietists A result of Egard’s devotion to Lutheran spirituality in the mode of Johann Arndt and his widespread popularity as an author of devotional literature was his positive reception amongst the Pietists. Friedrich Breckling had nothing but positive words to say about Egard’s philosophy, so too did Gottfried Arnold.138 His reception was not limited to German speaking lands, nor even to Europe itself. The notoriously selective New England Puritan Cotton Mather (1663–1728) read and cited his works with approval.139 The most significant reader of Egard, however, was Philipp Jakob Spener (1635–1705). Spener, the man who introduced the subtle chiliastic concept of the Hoffnung besserer Zeiten into Lutheran thought and founded the Pietistic movement also edited a collected edition of Egard’s works, the Außergelesenste Schrifften (1679– 1683).140 This reception begs the question of whether Egard’s Posaune, although abandoned by its author shortly after its publication, might have influenced Spener’s ‘passive chiliasm,’ and thereby the melioristic character of much of later Pietistic eschatology. Although Spener designated Egard Arndii summus aestimator et hyperapistes, his assessment of the pastor of Nortorf’s writings was not universally positive.141 Spener noted that while he read some of Egard’s books with true zeal, there remained several that he did not care much for.142 One work by Egard that Spener derided in no uncertain terms was the Posaune. In a letter of February 1677, when discussing which of Egard’s works the Pietist intended to include in his edition of the Nortorf pastor’s writings, Spener wrote:
Ex omnibus autem fateor nullo minus me affectum esse, quam Explicatione cap. 20 Apocal[ypsis], in eo enim videbatur nimium sibi indulgere et pro
138 Friedrich Breckling: In Nomine Jesu. Mysterium Iniquitatis. Die Welt des Teuffels Reich, wie sie Christi thörichtem Creutz-Reich entgegen gesetzt wird; Was dieselbe für ein Antichristenthumb, Mördergrub, und Grewel der Verwüstung für Gottes Augen ist [. . .]. Als das Ander Theil des Christi Triumphantis. [Amsterdam ?] 1662, 51. For Arnold, see the references in Möller, Cimbria Literata [see note 7] I, 151. 139 Cotton Mather. The Christian Philosopher. Ed. by W. Solberg. Chicago 2000, 339, 367, 399. 140 Paul Egard: Pauli Egardi, eines weiland unverdächtigen, vortrefflichen und geistreichen Lehrers außergelesenste Schrifften. 3 Bde. Hg. v. Philip Jakob Spener. Frankfurt/Main, Gießen 1679–1683. 141 Spener, letter to Johann Conrad Hößlin, February 1676, in: Philipp Jakob Spener: Briefe aus der Frankfurter Zeit, 1666–1686. Bd. 2. Hg. v. Johannes Wallmann. Tübingen 1996, 309 epistle 66. 142 Spener’s forewords to the first and third volumes of Egard’s selected works (31 March 1679 & 31 Aug 1682) are reproduced in: Philipp Jakob Spener: Schriften. Hg. v. Erich Beyreuther. Band VIII/2: Erste Geistliche Schrifften (1699), Vorreden 1667–1698. Eingel. v. Dietrich Blaufuß. (ND der Ausg. Frankfurt/Main 1699). Hildesheim 2002, 113–157, here 132.


arbitro textum a nativa significatione flectere. Sed et eventus coniecturam refellit. Potest tamen venia facilis dari labenti in argumentio difficili.143

Granted, much of Spener’s distaste for Egard’s book stemmed from his own difficulties with reconciling the events of history with those described in Revelation 20.144 But Spener’s distaste for the Posaune also resulted from its perceived espousal of a subtle chiliasm incompatible with the Pietist’s own philosophy at that time,145 an incompatibility encouraged by tensions concerning the spread of chiliastic doctrines within Lutheranism during the late seventeenth century. The Posaune, deemed too controversial by its editor, did not appear in the printed edition of Egard’s Außergelesenste Schrifften. It was perhaps the very exclusion of this work that allowed Spener, perhaps with only a minor pang of conscience, to absolve Egard unequivocally from lasting suspicions of chiliastic error in his foreword to the edition:
Optimus ille est, qui minimis urgetur. Weßwegen wir auch seine [Egard’s] sonderbahre und zwar durch den außgang selbs widerlegte/ aber durch auß nicht mit der so genanten Chiliastischen meynung übereinkommende erklärung des 20. Cap der Offenbahrung Johannis/ ihm leicht zugut halten/ und wie ander alter und neuer Lehrer besondere verstoß/ die wir selbs an den lieben Vatern/ so doch in ihrem gebührenden werth bleiben [. . .] an unserm lieben Luthero und andern Lehren.146

Spener’s own doctrine of the Hoffnung besserer Zeiten stemmed from more concrete practices and less controversial scriptural passages than those selected by Egard as fundamental to the growth of the kingdom of God in man.147 But if there was any kind of continuity between Spener’s passive-chiliastic philosophy and Egard’s chiliasmus subtilis, it lay not in the expectation of a felicitous future, but another common aspect within the philosophies of both men. For it was because of the willingness of both Egard and Spener to remain open to the visions and opinions of heterodox authors that each reformer was able to develop his own unique vision concerning the future happiness of the Church, regardless of its scriptural basis. Thus while Egard drew upon Arndt, Weigel and the Rosicrucians, Spener looked to Böhme, Quirinus Kuhlmann, and Friedrich Breckling.148 In this sense, both men held fast to I Thess. 5:21: ‘Prove everything and hold fast that which is good.’
143 Spener, letter to Johann Wilhelm Petersen, 13 February 1677 in: Spener, Briefe [see note 141], 45 epistle 8. Cf. Heike Krauter-Dierolf: Die Eschatologie Philipp Jakob Speners. Der Streit mit der lutherischen Orthodoxie um die ‘Hoffnung besserer Zeiten’. Tübingen 2005, 74f. 144 Spener, Briefe [see note 141], 45f. 145 Krauter-Dierolf, Eschatologie Speners [see note 143], 74ff. 146 Spener, Vorwort [see note 143], 134. 147 See Wallmann, Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus [see note 1], 198. 148 See Krauter-Dierolf, Eschatologie Speners [see note 143].


9. Conclusion Paul Egard was the first member of the Lutheran church to incorporate chiliastic expectations into a devotional program as an official teaching of the Lutheran faith. His inspiration for so doing derived from his zeal to formulate a functional and effective pastoral and devotional philosophy for his congregation and readers throughout the Holy Roman Empire, which could provide comfort and solace in what were incredibly difficult circumstances. Egard’s reliance upon a chiliastic interpretation of Rev 20 resulted from his recognition of the inherent appeal that hope of a felicitous worldly future held. It was a vision that granted hope, comfort and happiness. The pessimistic apocalypticism of the Lutheran faith, on the other hand, with its promise of ever-worsening conditions before the end, provided no such support, and was therefore of limited value in relieving the anxieties of a tense congregation. While the pastor knew – even if he was not aware of the works of Cramer and Affelmann which developed the error of chiliasmus subtilis – that his decision to promote the idea of a felicitous future would be controversial, Egard was himself attracted to, and partly seduced by, doctrines and teachings on the margins of orthodoxy, such as the Rosicrucian manifestos and popular prophecies of a millennial period following the great conjunction of 1623. It was from his readings and contacts with heterodox and kryptoradikale thinkers like Joachim Morsius, Johann Angelius Werdenhagen, Hans Engelbrecht and Nikolaus Teting that Egard encountered, first-hand, the raw appeal of the millennial vision. With his Posaune, the pastor therefore attempted to subjugate chiliastic expectations, as well as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to the offices of the Lutheran faith. For his fellow theologians, however, Egard’s opinions were simply too much. By undermining the foundations of Lutheran eschatology and its soteriological implications – in other words, the key rallying points of confessional identity – Egard’s actions threatened to undermine the faith itself. There can be no denying that, according to contemporary definitions, what Egard preached in the Posaune was a subtle chiliastic position. No matter what its potential value as a work of devotional literature, and no matter the potential pastoral benefits that a hope for a felicitous future might have offered Lutheranism, there remained no place for Egard’s decidedly unanticipated millennium in the embattled Lutheran faith of the 1620s.