BLESSIG, JOHANN LORENZ: German Protestant; b. at Strasburg Apr. 15, 1747; d. there Feb. 17, 1816. He studied at the university of his native city; traveled extensively in Italy, Hungary, and Germany; began to preach, and was continually promoted till he was in charge of the principal Protestant church of Strasburg; became professor in the philosophical faculty in 1778, and in the theological, 1787. He was three times rector; his lectures covered Greek literature, history of philosophy, Old Testament exegesis, dogmatics, and homiletics, and in them all he made the practical dominate. His activities carried him into the field of politics also, and he was elected to the city council. The French Revolution brought upon him exile, a fine, and imprisonment for eleven months. Robespierre's downfall restored his liberty and he returned to his labors. Church and school were reorganized, Blessig's influence being felt everywhere. He left no great work, but not less than forty minor writings, including several memorial addresses, which were highly esteemed in their time. Worthy of special mention are: Ueber Unglauben, Aberglauben und Glauben (Strasburg, 1786); De censu Davidico, pesteque hunc censum secuta (1788); and De evangeliis secundum Ebræos, Ægyptios atque Justini Martyris (1807).
(A. ERICHSON †.)
Bibliography: C. M. Fritz, Leben Dr. J. L. Blessigs, 2 vols., Strasburg, 1819; A. Froelich, Dr. J. L. Blessig, Ein Vorkämpfer des religiösen Liberalismus im Elsass, in Schriften des protestantischen liberalen Vereins in Elsass-Lothringen, no. 36, ib. 1891.