1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jablonski, Daniel Ernst

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JABLONSKI, DANIEL ERNST (1660–1741), German theologian, was born at Nassenhuben, near Danzig, on the 20th of November 1660. His father was a minister of the Moravian Church, who had taken the name of Peter Figulus on his baptism; the son, however, preferred the Bohemian family name of Jablonski. His maternal grandfather, Johann Amos Comenius (d. 1670), was a bishop of the Moravian Church. Having studied at Frankfort-on-the-Oder and at Oxford, Jablonski entered upon his career as a preacher at Magdeburg in 1683, and then from 1686 to 1691 he was the head of the Moravian college at Lissa, a position which had been filled by his grandfather. Still retaining his connexion with the Moravians, he was appointed court preacher at Königsberg in 1691 by the elector of Brandenburg, Frederick III., and here, entering upon a career of great activity, he soon became a person of influence in court circles. In 1693 he was transferred to Berlin as court preacher, and in 1699 he was consecrated a bishop of the Moravian Church. At Berlin Jablonski worked hard to bring about a union between the followers of Luther and those of Calvin; the courts of Berlin, Hanover, Brunswick and Gotha were interested in his scheme, and his principal helper was the philosopher Leibnitz. His idea appears to have been to form a general union between the German, the English and the Swiss Protestants, and thus to establish una eademque sancta catholica et apostolica eademque evangelica et reformata ecclesia. For some years negotiations were carried on with a view to attaining this end, but eventually it was found impossible to surmount the many difficulties in the way; Jablonski and Leibnitz, however, did not cease to believe in the possibility of accomplishing their purpose. Jablonski’s next plan was to reform the Church of Prussia by introducing into it the episcopate, and also the liturgy of the English Church, but here again he was unsuccessful. As a scholar Jablonski brought out a Hebrew edition of the Old Testament, and translated Bentley’s A Confutation of Atheism into Latin (1696). He had some share in founding the Berlin Academy of Sciences, of which he was president in 1733, and he received a degree from the university of Oxford. He died on the 25th of May 1741.

Jablonski’s son, Paul Ernst Jablonski (1693–1757), was professor of theology and philosophy at the university of Frankfort-on-the-Oder.

Editions of the letters which passed between Jablonski and Leibnitz, relative to the proposed union, were published at Leipzig in 1747 and at Dorpat in 1899.