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SPENCER

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 639 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SPENCER, a township of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 11 m. W. of Worcester. Pop. (1890), 8747; (1900), 7'627, of whom 1614 were foreign-born; (1910, U.S. census), 6740. Area, about 34.1 sq. m. The township is served by the Boston & Albany railway and by inter-urban electric lines. The Richard Sugden Public Library, founded in x888, had 12,oOo volumes in 1908. Bemis Memorial Park and the Samuel Bemis Monument were dedicated in 1901 . in honour of the first settler of Spencer. There are three other public parks. Among the township's manufactures are boots and shoes, woollens, muslin underwear, wire, and wooden and paper boxes. Spencer was 'a part of the Leicester grant; was first settled in 1721; was the " West Parish of Leicester " in 1744-1753; and in 1753 was incorporated as a township, under its present name. In one house in Spencer were born Elias Howe, jun., the inventor of the sewing-machine, and his uncles, William Howe, inventor of the " Howe truss " bridge (see BRIDGES), and Tyler Howe (1800-1880), inventor (in 18.55) of the spring bed; in 1909 a memorial was dedicated to these three inventors. See Henry M. Tower, Historical Sketches Relating to Spencer, Mass. (4 vols.., Spencer, 1901-1909). to the study of philology, history and philosophy, and won his degree of master (1653) by a disputation against the philosophy of Hobbes. He then became private tutor to the princes Christian and Charles of the Palatinate, and lectured in the university on philology and history. From 1659 to 1662 he visited the universities of Basel, Tubingen and Geneva, and commenced the study of heraldry, which he pursued throughout his life. In Geneva especially his religious views and tendencies were turned in the direction of mysticism. He returned to Strassburg in 1663, where he was appointed preacher without pastoral duties, with the right of holding lectures. Three years afterwards he was invited to become the chief pastor in the Lutheran Church at Frankfort-on-Main. Here he published his two chief works, Pia desideria (1675) and Allgemeine Gottesgelehrtheit (168o), and began that form of pastoral work which resulted in the movement called Pietism. In 1686 he accepted the invitation to the first court chaplaincy at Dresden. But the elector John George III., at whose personal desire the post had been offered to him, was soon offended at the fearless conscientiousness with which his chaplain sought to discharge his pastoral duties. Spener refused to resign his post, and the Saxon government hesitated to dismiss him. But in 1691 the Saxon representative at Berlin induced the court of Brandenburg to offer him the rectorship of St Nicholas in Berlin with the title of " Konsistorialrat." In Berlin Spener was held in high honour, though the tendencies of the court and the government officials were rather rationalistic than pietistic. The university of Halle was founded under his influence in 1694. All his life long Spener had been exposed to the attacks and abuse of the orthodox Lutheran theologians; with his years his opponents multiplied, and the movement which he had inaugurated presented increasingly matter for hostile criticism. In 1695 the theological faculty of Wittenberg formally laid to his charge 264 errors, and only his death on the 5th of February, 1705, released him from these fierce conflicts. His last important work was Theologische Bedenken (4 vols., 1700-1702), to which was added after his death Letzte theologische Bedenken, with a biography of Spener by C. H. von Canstein (1711). Though Spener has been justly called " the father of Pietism," hardly any of the errors and none of the extravagances of the movement can be ascribed to him personally. So far was he from sharing them that A. Ritschl (Geschichte des Pietismus, ii. 163) maintains that " he was himself not a Pietist," as he did not advocate the quietistic, legalistic and semi-separatist practices of Pietism, though they were more or less involved in the positions he assumed or the practices which he encouraged or connived at. The only two points on which he departed from the orthodox Lutheran faith of his day were the requirement of regeneration as the sine qua non of the true theologian, and the expectation of the con-version of the Jews and the fall of Papacy as the prelude of the triumph of the church. He did not, like the later Pietists, insist on the necessity of a conscious crisis of conversion, nor did he en-courage a complete breach between the Christian and the secular life. Spener was a voluminous writer. The list of his published works comprises 7 vols. folio, 63 quarto, 7 octavo, 46 duodecimo; a new edition of his chief writings was published by P. Grunberg in r889. See W. Hossbach, Philipp Jakob Spener and seine Zeit (1828, 3rd ed., 1861); A. Ritschl, Geschichte des Pietismus, ii. (1884); E. Sachsse, Ursprung and Wesen des Pietismus (1884); P. Grunberg. P. J. Spener (3 vols., 1893-1906).
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