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GERMAN RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHIFT FUR CHRISTLICHE WISSENCHAFT UND UND
In the annual preface to this journal, which is from the pen of Nitzsch, we find attention earnestly called to the peculiar dangers surrounding the church. The terrors of law have changed, it is said, their mode of manifestation. They first came with abstract rights and hollow generalities, and broke the thread of history; now they return with imprescriptible rights and traditions. But they are now invoked by many
as a guardian spirit. He next makes particular reference to one of the best evangelical magazines, that is, to the Kirchen Zeitung of Hengstenberg, and to the disposition evinced by it towards Rome. Nitzsch's Protestantism appears to more advantage than that of most German writers, and may be called a positive attachment to Protestantism, with somewhat too little of the old protest against Rome. He acknowledges the salutary effects of the Reformation on the Romish Church, and adds, that since the Reformation the Romish Church has been compelled, nolens volens, to improve and to moderate itself, and that it is not to be calculated how much it owes to Luther, Melancthon, Calixt, Spener; while, on the other hand, we have also received instructive and edifying examples in the Neris, the Sadalets, the Borromeos, the Vincentiuses, the Fenelons, the Sailers. He thinks that the power of Christianity displays itself in the midst of the anti-evangelical camp, and that the repeated recourse which the Roman Catholic Church has had to the Jesuits and to their measures has not been able wholly to eradicate its life-element. He then refers to what occurred at the Kirchentag at Bremen, but goes so far in his excess of charity, as to call Ledderose's honest expression of thorough Protestantism, in opposition to Hengstenberg's laxity, a calumny on the Catholic Church. He next refers to the liturgical question which is under discussion, and alludes to the conferences which in a confessional point of view, wide as the poles asunder, held at Saarbrück and Wittenberg.
Then follows, by Dr Hupfeld, two elaborate articles, spread over five monthly numbers of this journal, entitled Die Urschrift der Genesis in ihrer wahren Gestalt. In this attempt to define the original form of the book of Genesis in a very offensive form, we meet the higher criticism, or rather that presumptuous speculation and unproductive research which we had fondly hoped was abandoned for more fertile fields. The writer says the discovery that the Pentateuch, as well as the historical books in general, is compiled from different sources or documents, is indisputably not only one of the most important discoveries, and the most rich in results, for the view which is to be enter tained of the historical books of the Old Testament, nay, for all theology and history, but also that it is one of the most certain discoveries
which have been obtained in the department of criticism and of the history of literature. The whole of this learned trifling rests on reckless and irreverent assumptions, which are incapable of being proved, and which would be worse than nugatory even if they were proved. We cannot read such baseless speculation, which, as the poet would say, overleaps itself and falls on the other side, without asking, Is the time never to come for Germany, when in matters of theology she will act on the principles of the Baconian philosophy? Is the time never to arrive when she will come to treat the Bible as the man of science treats nature, and when she will question both the Word and the works of God on similar principles of induction? To draw the line between the knowable and the unknowable, to use the language of Chalmers, is in reality one of the greatest attainments in theology. If Germany would learn this principle, she would not waste time in such irreverent and baseless speculations.
Another article, by Lücke, entitled über die Geschichte und die richtige Formulirung sowohl des unterschiedes als der Vereiniging der Lutherischen und Reformirten Kirche, discusses a much canvassed question, the points of difference and of union between the Lutherans and Reformed. It is founded on Dr Schenkel's Essay on the Principle of Protestantism. Lücke admits with Schenkel that the idea of the Reformation was essentially the same in Germany and in Switzerland, conditioned partly by the natural and historically-determined individuality of the two reformers, partly by the diversity of the popular and civil relations, and of the ecclesiastical conditions in Germany and Switzerland. As to the separation, he remarks it has its last ground indisputably in the holy arrangements and designs of God, and on that account he acknowledges a certain relative necessity and salutary use in the divine economy of history. But this sincere confession, says the writer, does not prevent him from maintaining as decidedly, that, in the historical development of the Reformation, something must have entered to darken and to weaken the consciousness which the Reformers entertained of their essential unity. What was this? It was human weakness on both sides that prevented them from perceiving and keeping the golden rule of unitas in necessariis, libertas in non necessariis, caritas in omnibus. He adds, that their prejudices and asperities were, as Lange has recently said, the tragic element in their life. Every great man, every great work of man, has, in the drama of history, such tragic moments: they belong to the historical katharsis. He then sketches Luther's, Zuingle's, and Calvin's mode of action-how Luther was driven to his doctrinal position, and Calvin to his on government and discipline. He says, that according to Calvin, all the form that life assumes in the church was to proceed from genuine evangelical faith ; and he found that an essential element in this faith was the power and the impulse which it supplies to moral purity and to actual church-life. Did Luther think and speak otherwise? Did he not decidedly teach that faith is essentially an ethical power of God, pervading, purifying, or dering, and shaping all life? What says he in his well-known preface to the Epistle to the Romans on the ethical power of faith? Had he thought and taught otherwise, he would have been no true Reformer of the Church and of Christian life in its entireness. And, again, had Calvin and Zuingle intended to build up the new church only by the
church-government of the body and by discipline, and thus to restore the gospel by the constitution of the church, they would have been Reformers without a foundation and an aim. The republican government of Geneva, and the unbridled licentiousness of the mixed Pomanic population, a true sentina, compelled him to become ecclesiastico-political Reformer, and ecclesiastico-civil legislator, nay, disciplinarian,-to organise, for the preservation of the Evangelical Confession, the congregation according to the gospel idea of the universal priesthood, and to introduce a strict public discipline. The writer then speaks at large of the contrast between the two churches, and adduces Alex. Schweizer and Schneckenburger. Schweizer, he says, correctly states that Zuingle assailed an anti-biblical heathenism, and Luther an anti-evangelical Judaism. He then shows that the formation of the Lutheran system belongs to the first evolution of the Reformation idea, to the youth of the Evangelical Church, and bears altogether the character of youthful enthusiasm. Though Melancthon was the author of two of the confessions, Luther's spirit was predominant. The chief former of the reformed doctrine and church was Calvin; and he and his reformation belong altogether to the second evolution of the Reformation idea. From the state of the times and its dangers, Lücke would explain the twofold peculiarity of the Reformed system, which he thinks consists, first, in bringing the act of justification by faith, or the forgiveness of sin, and adoption-in bringing the ideal and real, the dogmatic and ethic as near each other as possible, in organically connecting them more closely, and in so far inwardly comprehending the divine and human; and, secondly, in the doctrine of the incarnation of God in Christ, as well as of the presence of Christ the God-man in the church, particularly in the sacrament. Luther thinks of no danger in a faith without the energy of love active in works, nor in the latter of the Eutychian mixture of the two natures. We have the full accurate expression of the truth of the gospel only when we fitly connect the two types of doctrine in the one as well as in the other, and limit them by one another. Lücke refers with satisfaction to the views which Luther expressed in regard to a gradation in the canon, and mentions his unfavourable judgment on James and the Apocalypse. Calvin and the Reformed Church acted quite differently. The Lutheran confessions, says he, have no where more closely determined and settled the canon; and the dogmatics of that church for a time held to a difference of grade in the canonicity of the New Testament books. The reformed confessions have for the most part particularly sanctioned the ecclesiastical Scripture canon of the New Testament. He then proceeds to show that the epoch of the Reformation had not only its ground in the apostolic age, but also its type. The first is the Pauline, the foundation-laying, to which the Lutheran is analogous. In the one as in the other the chief moving force is in the essentially antiJewish doctrinal definition of saving grace in Christ, of justification by faith in the atoning death of Christ. From this the apostolical system of doctrine takes its start; and Luther was right in considering this as the inmost kernel of the canon, to which the Reformation necessarily went back, both in Germany and everywhere. The second evolution of the apostolic system, he says, I find in the most general sense in the canon of the Catholic Epistles, so far as I reckon the Epistle to the He
brews also among them. Here the apostolic system develops more accurately the doctrines of Christ, of his person, of his office, and of his work of eternal predestination, as well as of the absolute coming of Christ's kingdom of grace. This second evolution begins by way of transition in the Pauline Epistles. But remark! The doctrine of the person of Christ first preponderately comes forth in the later Epistles of the Apostles, and Paul's doctrine of predestination, as the boldest problem of the apostolic gnosis, forms a sort of epilogue in the Epistle to the Romans. While Luther chiefly stands on the Epistle to the Galatians, and on the first eight chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, Calvin takes up also the later Pauline Epistles, along with the Catholic Epistles, and the problem of predestination in the Epistle to the Romans, and attempts, what Luther never came to overtake systematically, to demonstrate as a whole the entire apostolic system of doctrine. After a more detailed explanation of the peculiarities of the two churches, Lücke enters fully into the historical course connected with the attempts to cement a union, and into the union actually formed in 1817, which he wishes to be regarded as possessing droit de fait.
Then follows a valuable paper by Elster, repetent of Theology at Göttingen, on the importance of the PROVERBS in relation to the entire system of the Old Testament religion. He mentions that Mosaism is the centre of the Old Testament. On it, as on its firm basis, rests the real theocracy. The more we acknowledge Mosaism as the real foundation of the whole Old Testament religion, the more surprising is the phenomenon that in the Process, the origin of which falls into the flourishing time of the theocracy, there occurs apparently no reference to the Mosaic law, to the entire cultus which is appointed therein, and to the multitude of religious prescriptions there given. He then proceeds to show that the Proverbs, according to their import and character, and according to the entire view lying at their foundation, have their root in the law, only not in its outward forms, but in its spirit. He shows that in process of time, and in the progress of generations, the Mosaic law always more fully developed its transforming power, always passed in a manner into the flesh and blood of the people; and that the objective precept always became more and more custom, subjective faith, individual failing. He alludes to the idea of recompense, to the idea that it is well with the good and evil with the wicked, as a principal theme of the Proverbs, and adds, that this idea was expressed as the prevailing faith of the theocratic people. He next considers the relation of the Proverbs to the other principal side of the Old Testament religion-to prophecy. Prophecy had reference to the universal historical progress in the domain of religion: its doctrine did not bear on individuals, nations were to hear its voice. The Proverbs were different. They turn the view to the relations of individuals, to the heart of family life. He concludes a useful paper by adverting to the use of the Proverbs for the Christian theologian, and shows that they are decidedly opposed to all false religious sentimentalism, to all morbid quietism and mysticism. He adverts to their manifold variety of import, and to their manifold variety of forms. He then calls attention to the rich repertory of ideas they afford for sermons. The Christian preacher, it is said, should indeed be imbued with the feeling of the one thing needful, but he should not speak of it as of a remote
and misty image. He needs a many-sided knowledge of the human heart. When a preacher describes the everlasting truth only in an abstract way, either men will not be able to find the bridge from the pious feelings excited in them to the realities of life, and their Christianity will abide an actionless one, or they may be led astray.
The next article, by Professor Sack, reviews a Latin work, "De Convenientia quæ inter utrumque Gratiæ Instrumentum, Verbum Dei et Sacramentum Intercedat," by Sudhoff, 1852. The author, we are told, compares the effects and the powers of the Word with those of the sacraments, and finds that there is nothing which these supply which is not also in the Word. There is copious reference to Calvin's writings and views on the sacrament, which are embraced not only by Sudhoff, but by Sack. After fully describing the harmony between the word and sacrament, the author proceeds to point out an important diversity in regard to the effects of them both. He shows that faith is begotten only by the Word, not by the sacraments: of the latter it is to be maintained that they confirm faith. Professor Sack then refers to one hiatus or omission which the author of the work might have sufficiently filled up from his premises-that he has not sufficiently brought out the correlation of the ideas of sealing and of applying in reference to the means of grace. For in order to perceive their whole significance, in order to point out the harmony as well as the diversity of the word and sacraments, it is not enough that one ascribes both exhibere and obsignare to the two kinds of the means of grace-one must also show that the one can never be without the other in things which God has given and instituted. Without such a proof, one will be able, from different standing points, to say the one thing as well as the other— either that the Word seals indeed, or assures, but does not give, and that the sacraments alone give; or, that the word seals and gives, but the sacraments only seal or confirm. But such a separation will appear as unwarranted as soon as it is shown that a divine sealing or making certain absolutely cannot be without an imparting. He then concludes his remarks on this point by saying, because the word divinely seals, it also imparts the divine life of Christ; and because the sacraments apply the life of Christ, they fulfil the end of being peculiar means, namely, sensible means of sealing, that is, seals of the covenant. As to the other papers, we find one brief one, entitled "Melancthon on John xiv. 23." We find also a petition to the Oberkirchenrath, or supreme ecclesiastical counsel, in favour of the union, and another notice in reference to the union. Then follows, by Dr Julius Müller, a paper, entitled Verwahrung der Ansprüche der Union in der Evangelischen Landeskirche Preussens, gegen Dr Hengstenberg, containing severe reflections on Hengstenberg's tactics and conduct in reference to the union. He declares that, when the first general synod met in Berlin in 1846, the editor of the Kirchen Zeitung at once declared war; and that he assailed it, as Müller showed in a separate pamphlet at the time, with the weapons of passionate misrepresentation. He says that unrighteous deeds in literature, as well as in life, if not recalled by repentance and confession, have their inexorable, consequences; and that he is now so far ensnared in the net of his own making, that he is compelled to attempt further to make that side of the Evangelical Church and of theology against which he then directed his