Wollner, Untersuchungen fiber die Volksepik der Grossrussen (1879); W.
In 1781 Frederick William, then prince of Prussia, inclined, like many sensual natures, to mysticism, had joined the Rosicrucians, and had fallen under the influence of Johann Christof Wollner (1732-1800), and by him the royal policy was inspired.
It was described as a treacherous path.
Wollner, with his impressive personality and easy if superficial eloquence, was just the man to lead a movement of this kind.
As a Rosicrucian Wollner dabbled in alchemy and other mystic arts, but he also affected to be zealous for Christian orthodoxy, imperilled by Frederick II.'s patronage of "enlightenment," and a few months before Frederick's death wrote to his friend the Rosicrucian Johann Rudolph von Bischoffswerder (1741-1803) that his highest ambition was to be placed at the head of the religious department of the state "as an unworthy instrument in the hand of Ormesus" (the prince of Prussia's Rosicrucian name) "for the purpose of saving millions of souls from perdition and bringing back the whole country to the faith of Jesus Christ."
The opposition to Wollner was, indeed, at the outset strong enough to prevent his being entrusted with the department of religion; but this too in time was overcome, and on the 3rd of July 1788 he was appointed active privy councillor of state and of justice and head of the spiritual department for Lutheran and Catholic affairs.
The king, so long as Wollner was content to condone his immorality (which Bischoffswerder, to do him justice, condemned), was eager to help the orthodox crusade.
The "Wollner edict" of July 9, 1788, for the enforcement of Lutheran orthodoxy, and Teller's manly action, as member of the consistorial council, in defiance of it (cf.