• Chelmius Martin

    Chelmius Martin


    Chelmius Martin or Chelmski, is described by Mosheim as "one of the most eminent and zealous of the Socinian teachers;" and is mentioned by him, in connexion with a summary of religious doctrine, which was printed at Cracow by Alex. Turobinczyck, in 12mo., A.D. 1574. "From this little performance," says the historian, "and from this alone, we may learn with certainty the true state of the Unitarian religion before Faust Socin ; and nevertheless, I do not find that it has been so much as once quoted, or even mentioned by any of the Socinian writers, by any historians who have given an account of their sect, nor yet by any of the Divines that have drawn the pen of religious controversy against their religious system." (Inst. Hist. Eccles. Saec. xvi. Sect. iii. P. ii. C. iv. § x. p. 715, Not. p.)

    This Catechism, which is extremely rare, is ascribed to George Schomann by John Adam Müller, in his Dissertation, " De Unitariorum Catechesi et Confessione Fidei omnium prima;" and is supposed to be the identical Catechism, mentioned in his "Will. It bears the following title. " Catechesis et Confessio Fidei Coetus per Poloniam congregati in Nomine Jesu Christi Domini nostri crucifixi et resuscitati. Deuterono. 6. Audi Israel, Dominus Deus noster Deus unus est. Johannis 8. dicit Jesus: Quem vos dicitis vestrum esse Deum, est Pater meus. Typis Alexandri Turobini Anno nati Jesu Christi, Filii Dei 1574," 12mo. pp. 160. In the beginning of the Catechism, the whole of Christianity is reduced to six points. 1. The Nature of God, and his Son Jesus Christ. 2. Justification. 3. Discipline. 4. Prayer. 5. Baptism. 6. The Lord's Supper. Each of these is defined, and unfolded in general terms, in a single question and answer, and is afterwards subdivided into several branches, in various questions and answers, in which its different parts are illustrated and confirmed by texts of Scripture. At the end is a piece entitled " OEconomia Christiana, seu Pastoratus Domesticus," which contains short instructions to heads of families ; and forms of prayer for morning, evening, and other occasions.

    A copy of this Catechism, which fell into the hands of Mosheim, was given by Martin Chelmius to Christopher Heiligmeier, in the year 1580, as appears by a long inscription, written by the donor, at the end of Mosheim's copy. In this inscription Chelmius promises his friend other productions of the same kind, provided he receives that one favourably ; and concludes with these words of St. Paul. "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."


    (Vidend. Moshem. Inst H. E. 1. c. Rees's Hist. Introd. to Rac. Cat. pp. Ixxii—lxxvii.)

     Didier Le Roux
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