1. Pet. II. 19.

Hoc consequetur praemium, si ob conscientiam Dei, tristia quis sufferat, injustaque patiatur.

Haec Nobilissimo D[omi]no Possessori benevolentissimam sui memoriam commendaturus scrib[ebat]

Jacobus Elsner Prussus

Amstelod[ami] die 5 Sept. 1719.

 * 1Pet 2:19. Vulgate: “haec est enim gratia si propter conscientiam Dei sustinet quis tristitias patiens iniuste”.


For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 1Pet 2:19. *

With this I recommend myself into the memory of the noble owner [of this album],

the Prussian Jakob Elsner

In Amsterdam, on September 5, 1719.








p. 363. Amsterdam, September 5, 1719

Elsner, Jakob
(1692-1750), German Reformed theologian

Jakob Elsner was born in March 1692 in Saalfeld, in a well-off bourgeois family. His father Georg Elsner had come from Bohemia, and wanted his son to be a merchant. Jakob learned in Saalfeld, then he went to Königsberg to study oriental languages. From 1715 for two years he was subrector of the local Reformed school, and court pastor of Count Alexander zu Dohna. In 1717 he went to the Netherlands, and immatriculated at the University of Utrecht. He studied Biblical hermeneutics and antiquity, and won a fame. In 1720 the Prussian King Frederick William I (1688-1740) appointed him professor of theology and oriental languages at the academy of Lingen in Westfalen, while the local church elected him pastor. His inaugural address was awarded doctoral title in Utrecht. In 1722 he was invited to Berlin as a rector of the high school of Joachimstal, for restoring order and discipline. Having completed this job, he worked as a member the ecclesiastical council and a supervisor of the school, and later he was elected a member of the supreme council of all the Reformed communities. After the death of Johann Daniel Schmidmann (1663-1728) he was elected second pastor, then first pastor of the Reformed community. From 1742 he was director of the department of liberal arts at the Learned Society in Berlin, and at its successor in right, the Royal Academy of Sciences. He died on October 8, 1750 in Berlin. He published his sermons; among his scientific works his book of 1737 exerted an enduring influence. His works are: De lege Mosis per angelos data. Leiden, 1719. – Oratio inauguralis de Zelo Theologi, dicta in illustri Athenaeo Lingensi d. 9. Jan. 1721. Utrecht, 1721. – Oratio inauguralis de eruditione cum pietate coniungenda. Berlin, 1722. – Observationes sacrae in Novi Foederis libros, tom. I, II. Utrecht, 1720, 1728. – Die grosse Glückseeligkeit der wahren Christen: in einigen Predigten über ausserlesene Texte vorgestellt. Berlin, 1729. – Neueste Beschreibung derer Griechischen Christen in der Türckey: aus glaubwürdiger Erzehlung [!] Herrn Athanasius Dorostamus, Archimandriten des Patriarchen zu Constantinopel … mit neuen Zeugnissen der berühmtesten Nachrichten … Berlin, 1737.

Jakob Elsner wrote in the album his consoling quotation in September of 1719, while in the Netherlands. He only squeezes in under his signature: Prussian (“Prussus”). Johann Daniel Schmidmann, who will be followed at the parochy of Berlin by Elsner, received Ferenc Pápai Páriz six years earlier in Berlin, and wrote in his album (p. 141).

• ADB • AlbUtr 119 • Jöcher-Adelung • Krollmann 163 • Michaud