Matthias Loy

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Matthias Loy (March 17, 1828 - January 26, 1915) was an American Lutheran theologian in the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio.

Loy was a prominent pastor, editor, author and hymnist and served as president of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.


Matthias Loy was the fourth of seven children of Matthias and Christina Loy, immigrants from Germany who lived as tenant farmers in the Blue Mountain area of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. In 1834, when Matthias was six years old, the family moved to Hogestown, a village nine miles west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. When he was fourteen, he was sent as an apprentice to Baab and Hummel, printers of Harrisburg. Here he worked for six years, all the while attending school. He received a classical education at Harrisburg Academy and graduated at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 1849.

In 1849, he entered the Lutheran ministry and became pastor at Delaware, Ohio. In 1865 he resigned his pastorate to become professor in the Theological Seminary of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. In 1881 he was elected president of Capital University. Following a critical attack of angina pectoris, he retired as professor emeritus in 1902.

Loy edited the official periodical of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio, the Lutheran Standard, from 1864 until 1890. In 1881, he founded the Columbus Theological Magazine and managed it for ten years. He was President of the Ohio Synod from 1860 to 1878 and again from 1880 to 1894. In 1887, Muhlenberg College gave him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He wrote twentyone hymns and also translated a number of German hymns into English. He also edited a translation of Luther's House Postil (3 vols., 1874–1884).



  • The Doctrine of Justification, (1862)
  • Life of Luther, translated (1869)
  • Essay on the Ministerial Office, (1870)
  • Sermons on the Gospels, (1888)
  • Christian Prayer, (1890)
  • Christian Church, (1896)
  • Story of My Life, (3rd ed. – 1905)
  • The Augsburg Confession, (1908)
  • The Sermon on the Mount, (1909)
  • Sermons on the Epistles, (1910)


  • The Law of God is Good and Wise
  • The Gospel Shows the Father's Grace
  • An Awe-full Mystery Is Here
  • Jesus, Thou Art Mine Forever
  • At Jesus' Feet Our Infant Sweet


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