Professor Hermann Hupfeld -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 023:92 (Oct 1866)
Article: Professor Hermann Hupfeld
Author: Anonymous

Professor Hermann Hupfeld

(Translated From The “Neue Evangelische Kirchenzeitung,” May 19, 1866.)

Professor Hermann Hupfeld, D.D., who died at Halle on the twenty-fourth of April of this year, was the first-born son of the clergyman Bernhard Karl Hupfeld, who died at Spangenburg, in the electorate of Hessen, in 1823, but whose widow died only two years ago, at the advanced age of ninety-two years, after having seen all her children except her eldest son pass away before her. This son was born March 31, 1796, at Marburg, in the house of his grandfather, to which place his father—then pastor in Doernberg — had brought his wife for security, on account of the unsettled condition of things in the former place growing out of the war. Hupfeld’s childhood was spent in that village; from the age of six to that of thirteen he lived in Melsungen on the Fulda, whither his father had been called as second preacher. Together with a younger brother, he pursued the study of the classics and other branches of learning under the tuition of his father. From this mild, paternal school, however, on occasion of a foot-trip to South Germany, undertaken with several acquaintances under the charge of their tutor, he was, after passing his thirteenth year, transferred to a vastly more rigorous one, taught by an unmarried maternal uncle, the pastor Sigel, at Siglingen, near Heilbronn. Here he found himself suddenly removed from a numerous circle of brothers, sisters, and playmates to a solitary room, alone with his books and tasks, and — since his uncle from lack of time attended merely to the general supervision of his studies — left almost entirely to himself. Thus Hupfeld early learned to teach himself. The subjects which he specially attended to besides ancient languages and religious studies, were mathematics, physics, logic, psychology (according to Reinhard’s Ethics, Vol. I.), and ethics (among other works, Garve on Cicero de Officiis), with which were connected various useful exercises, such as the sketching of plans of well-composed books, writing out sermons that he had heard, composition of written essays (which, however, seemed to him a real torture), and the giving of instruction in subjects familiar to him both in the public school and to private persons.

“The effect of this education on my mental development,” writes Hupfeld himself, in his autobiography (Justi’s “Fortsetzung der Hessischen Gelehrtengeschichte,” by Strieder Marburg, 1831, p. 279), “during a stay of two years was immense. The dreams and floating images that

play around the boy’s head had given place to the full daylight of a clear self-consciousness, and settled into fixed ideas; from a playful boy I had grown into an attentive an...

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