Crypto-Calvinists, a name given to the followers of Philip Melanchthon (also called Melanchthonians and Philippists), as distinguished from the strict Lutherans, in the controversy (1552- 74) concerning the doctrine of the Lord's supper. Melanchthon desired a union of the Lutheran and Calvinistic divisions of the Protestant body. He himself inclined toward the Calvinistic view, as appears in the difference between the Augsburg Confession variata (1542) and the invariata (1530). In the latter it is stated that "the body and blood of Christ are truly present in the Lord's supper (in the form of bread and wine), and are there distributed and received; therefore the opposite doctrine is rejected." In the variata (Latin of 1540) the reading is cum pane et vino vere exhibentur corpus et sanguis Christi vescenti-bus in coena Domini; but the rejection of the "opposite doctrine" is omitted. This alteration Luther did not approve, although he tolerated Melanchthon's position. But many Lutherans were less tolerant, and Melanchthon was accused of being a concealed (crypto-) Calvin-ist. Melanchthon did not think that either Luther's or Calvin's view should be a bar to communion, but considered the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ's body, which was made an essential of admission by the church in Wur-temberg, unnecessarily introduced "in provincial Latin." He never quarrelled with Luther, but the controversy grew bitter even during his life, and after his death in 1560 became a violent strife.
It was opened formally in 1552, when Joachim Westphal, a preacher in Hamburg, proclaimed the Calvinistic doctrine of the Lord's supper heretical. It was especially violent at Bremen, between Tileman Heshusius, and Albert Hardenberg, the cathedral preacher, who defended Calvinism, and was dismissed from his place. In 1558 Heshusius was made general superintendent at Heidelberg, where he detected crypto-Calvinism in Deacon Wilhelm Krebitz. The persecuted doctrine, however, prevailed; Frederick III., elector palatine, went over to the Reformed church, and Lutheranism was expelled from Heidelberg and Bremen. Christoph, duke of Wtirtemberg, tried to allay the strife, and succeeded in 1561 in obtaining from the diet of princes the recognition of the altered Augsburg Confession. In 1563 Frederick III. incorporated the Heidelberg catechism into the state law, introducing thus a mixed doctrine of Melanchthonian tendency. In the Saxon electorate the Wittenberg and Leipsic theologians undertook a like combination, and were favored by many followers of Melanchthon. Jena, on the other hand, was the centre of extreme Lutheran views, and in a conference of both parties at Altenburg (October, 1568, to March, 1569), the most intemperate accusations were made.
A conference called by the elector Augustus of Saxony, at Dresden, Oct. 7-10, 1571, agreed to the Consensus Dresdensis and the Wittenberg catechism, which opposed the doctrine of ubiquity, but used Lutheran language. In 1574 an anonymous Calvinistic work, Exegesis perspicua et ferme integra Controversial de Sacra Caena, reopened the strife. The elector finally resolved to suppress Calvinism, and Peucer, Melanchthon's son-in-law and zealous disciple, was imprisoned for 12 years. In 1586, on the elector's death, his son Christian I. was induced to favor Calvinism. After his death again the duke Frederick William of Saxe-Weimar suppressed Philippism, even putting Crell to death in 1601. - See Heppe's Geschichte des deutschen Protes-tantismus (1852); Giseler's "Church History" (English translation, New York, 1861); and Hagenbach's "History of Doctrines " (English translation, New York, 1861-'2).