Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Angelus Silesius

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ANGELUS SILESIUS, a German philosophical poet, was born in 1G24 at Breslau or Glatz, and died at Breslau in 1G77. His family name was Johann Scheffler, but he is generally known under the assumed name which marks the country of his birth. Brought up a Protestant, and at first physician to the duke of würtemberg, he embraced, in 1G53, the Roman Catholic religion, and took orders as a priest. His peculiar religious faith, founded on his early study of the works of Tauler and Bohme, as expressed in his hymns (Cherub inischcr Wandersmann), is a mystical pantheism founded on sentiment. The essence of God he held to be love: God, he said, can love nothing inferior to himself: but he cannot be an object of love to himself without going out, so to speak, of himself, without manifesting his infinity in a finite form; in other words, by becoming man. God and man are therefore essentially one. A selection of his hymns, which are very popular in, Germany, was published in 1820 by Yarnhagen Yon Ense.