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nate, the Reformed type was the more prevalent. But this union is by no means such as involves the excellences, but rather the defects of both Confessions—such as rather mixed the two types than associated them together in a higher unity. For from the Lutheran Church it did not draw her historical truth, and the fullness and life of her responses and her symbols; nor from the Calvinistic, the clear psychological order, but it combined with the plainness of the Reformed service the want of a comprehensive principle, which with some propriety may be objected against the Lutheran liturgy itself. Indeed, out of both branches of the Reformed Church, (the Swiss and the Calvinistic,) it had eliminated only the defects—from the church of Zwingle, the preaching service formed from barren fragments; from that of Calvin, the too much simplified communion service.
This tendency to union in the time of the Reformation upon the sphere of the liturgy, bears in one word, a negative, rather than a positive character; and the consequence is, that those liturgies, not excepting those of Baden and the Palatinate, fell far behind the prescribed liturgies of both churches, in intrinsic value and in edifying power.
We have, therefore, in these mixed liturgies an anticipation of the condition to which the Lutheran Church in Germany, as in some degree the Reformed Church abroad, was, in the following centuries, reduced.
The Lutheran Church had, as already, remarked, in unison with the entire development of the Primitive Church, adhered to the practice of making the Lord's Supper the crowning ceremony of every Sabbath day's public service. The same event, however, happened to her case as to the fourth and fifth centuries-communicants were not forthcoming at the service. In the Romish Church, adherence to this weekly celebration was made practicable by the change which was gradually wrought in the significance of the Supper—from that of an eucharistic offering to that of a sacrifice for sin ; for to the celebration of the mass sacrifice, the presence of communicants was not indispensable, as the priest alone could offer the sacrifice to God on behalf of the people. This expedient was of course a thing not to be thought of in the Evangelical Church. Were there no
communicants present, the communion must be passed over and the service be restricted to the acts of worship which had preceded. At first, as remarked above, the idea of the service was kept up at least as of something which ought to have been done, by introducing in place of the neglected communion, a discourse reprehensive of the church. This, however, availed not to alter the state of the case. After the thirty years' war, during which the practice continued to decay, an attempt was made, by the aid of church discipline, to restore as far as possible the outward service, but the inner life could not be roused. The re-establishment of the weekly communion was beyond the reach of that movement; only the ancient forms of the liturgy could be upheld.
From the pietistic movements of the subsequent period, a renewal of the spirit and form of public worship, carried forward in continuity with these efforts, was to have been expected; for the pietists were really instrumental in reviving the spiritual life of the Evangelical church. But they took a subjective course, somewhat at variance with the spirit of the Reformation. The established usages of worship were no more regarded as valuable for the religious training of the people, and as expressions of the popular religious life, but as means of personal inward edification. For reaching this object, a pungent exposition of Scripture, connected with hymns of a meditative cast, and with free extempore prayers, expressive of the existing wants of the pious heart, were viewed as most appropriate and most satisfactory. Affairs took no other turn, certainly did not improve in the subsequent era of rationalism, which required the eclaircising of religious things, and morality, as the grand object of public worship.
It is to these influences that Dr. S. ascribes the great changes and reductions which the German mass has suffered, and which he deeply deplores. The communion became a special service, designed only for certain fixed days, and in place of the usual sacrament, came the proclamation of the word of God, taking, in its subjective form, as the sermon, the highest place in the Sabbath-day services. Hence, too, the omission from the liturgy (through the influence of Pietism) of such portions as gave expression to that life of faith in the Church
which never varies; also, (under the influence of Rationalism,) of such as alluded to our need of saving grace—the Kyrie and the Gloria. What remained, received a character bearing especially upon the sermon, and indeed others were added at the close, carrying the mind back to the text appointed for the sermon.
The principles upon which Dr. S. proceeds in the farther discussion of his theme, are perhaps too much colored with the natural preferences of a Lutheran, to accord with the tastes and meet the views of a Reformed Church. Whatever of these may seem for edification will perhaps on another occasion be selected for our readers.
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
I. Germany; its Universities, Theology and Religion ; with sketches
of Neander, Tholuck, Olshausen, Hengstenberg, Twesten, Nitzsch, Müller, Ullmann, Rothe, Dorner, Lange, Ebrard, Wichern, and other distinguished German divines of the age. By Philip Schaff, D.D., Professor in the Theological Seminary, Mercersburg, Pa. Philadelphia : Lindsay & Blakiston. 1857. pp. 418.
We would characterize this book as valuable, containing much information, by a man of talent and cultivation, and yet as rather popular than esoteric. It does not go so deeply into the matter as scholars would expect from Dr. Schaff, but it gives every intelligent man a more complete view of its subject than could perhaps be obtained in any one book. The tone of the sketches is hopeful for Germany, and for the world. The phases through which theology has passed are most remarkable, and yet the plain, simple, old-fashioned truth is again manifesting its power. A book, which we presume Dr. S. is competent to write,-midway between this and the intensely metaphysical histories of opinion, which not one man in five hundred can understand—beginning with the first rationalistic tendencies, and carrying the matter through all the phases of philosophical and theological opinion again into the light of orthodoxy, would be most interesting. We copy a paragraph touching the darkest form of German philosophical theology:
The period of this false philosophy and theology may be said to have passed for Tübingen and Würtemberg. Dr. Vischer, a classmate and friend of Strauss, and an unusually smart and witty, but thoroughly irreverent and frivolous professor of aesthetics, received a serious rebuke some years ago from the government, and was suspended, although only for a season. He has now accepted a call to Zurich. Strauss has long given up, it seems, all interest in theology, and is an unhappy man, divorced from his wife, the former actress Agnese Schebest, and moving from place to place. His pseudo-theology or mythology ended in a theatrical comedy, and the comedy in a tragedy. Zeller and Schwegler have exchanged the theological for philosophical and philological pursuits, for which they are far better adapted, and the former left Tübingen, first for Bern, and then for Marburg. Dr. Baur, the patriarch of the hypercritical “ Tübingen school," and the most earnest and learned of them all, is declining in influence as he advances in age. The most popular professor of theology now is his complete antipode, Dr. Beck, who treats all modern novelties with the silence of utter contempt, and professes to know nothing but the Bible as the book of life. The other members of the theological faculty, Drs. Landerer, Palmer, and Oehler, although differing from each other on minor points, are without exception decidedly Christian and evangelical scholars, and promise a better future for the church of Würtemberg.
Dr. Schaff gives an interesting sketch of theological schools and church parties, which we condense. It will be seen that the church in Germany has become practical at last. The account is long, but we do not know anything so likely to interest our readers ;
To avoid confusion, we musi distinguish three phases in the German theology of the present century, the age of Rationalism and Supernaturalism, the age of Schleiermacher and Hegel, and the age of the revived denominational controversies, or the conflict of Unionism and Confessionalism. In the last stage of development, the theological schools coincide with the church parties that agitate the German State churches at the present time.
I. At the end of the last and the beginning of the present century, German theology was divided into the two hostile armies of Rationalists and Supernaturalists.
The leaders of Rationalism, properly so called, were Paulus of Heidelberg, Wegscheider and Gesenius of Halle, Röhr of Weimar, and Bretschneider of Gotha. The ablest defenders of Supernaturalism of the elder school were Reinhardt of Wittenberg, afterwards court preacher in Dresden, Storr, Flatt and Steudel of Tübingen, and Knapp of Halle. Between the two extremes stood those who styled themselves Rational Supernaturalists, or Supernaturalistic Rationalists, according to the preponderance of the one or the other element. They may be compared to the moderate school of English and American Unitarians. The most distinguished champion of an undecided medium-position between Rationalism and Supernaturalism, was the late Dr. De Wette, a man of eminent ability, fine taste, extensive learning and honorable character, whose translation of the Bible is a work of abiding merit for scholars.
II. During this controversy, the theological schools of Schleiermacher and Neander, and the philosophical systems of Schelling and Hegel arose, all striving to rise superior to the antagonism of reason and revelation, of faith and science, to reconcile the claims of both, and to point out in different ways the harmony of divine and human truth. They kept the German mind in a ferment of profound agitation for more than twenty years, (1820 to 1848.) Of Schleiermacher and Neander we had occasion to speak already, and shall have more to say in the third part of this book. They gathered around them the noblest minds and led them to the path of evangelical faith and piety, while a number of their younger cotemporaries, as Tholuck, Olshausen, Hengstenberg, Stier, Beck, Harless, Guericke, Rudelbach, were only distantly connected with them, and occupied, from the start, a more strictly scriptural or churchly position. The Hegelian philosophy, in its first application to theology, and in the hands of a Daub, Marheineke, and Göschel, treated rationalism with the utmost contempt, and promised to be a strong support of Christian orthodoxy. But with the appearance of the famous “Life of Jesus," by Dr. Strauss of Tübingen, in 1835, four years after the death of Hegel, it broke asunder into two hostile branches, named after the divisions in the French Chambers, the right hand and the left hand, the centre being occupied by the deceased master.
The left wing, represented theologically, by the so-called Tübingen School of Baur, Strauss, Zeller, Schwegler, developed, in a series of separate works, and in a Quarterly Review, the Theologische Jahrbücher, of Tübingen, the pantheistic elements of Hegelianism, and applied them to a critical dissection of the history of Christ and the apostles. According to their view, the absolute cannot be personal,--personality necessary implying limitation, and an absolute personality being a contradiction in terms—but becomes, or is perpetually becoming personal in the endless series of human beings. Consequently Christ also, being an individual, cannot be the bearer of the fullness of the Godhead, although he was the first in whom the essential or metaphysical unity of divinity and humanity, i. e. the entire human race, became conscious. Add to this pantheistic principle the rationalistic denial of the possibility of miracles as contradicting the divinely established order of nature, and you have the clew to the understanding of the destructive criticism to which all the supernatural facts of the New Testament were subjected by the Tübingen School of pseudo-divines.
In the meantime, the chief philosophical champion of the left wing of Hegelianism, Feuerbach, carried this logico-metaphysical pantheism into downright atheism, which explodes the idea of God as an objective existence, and resolves it into a sort of double vision and optical illusion of the subjective mind. Religion, therefore, according to this infernal gospel, is in fact the relation of man to himself considered as another, the growth of a morbid reflection, a grand hallucination, and that which man worships as God, is really his own soul projected on the outward screen, or his own gigantic shadow.
III. From the revolutions of 1848, or rather the reactions which followed in rapid succession, we may date the third phase of German theology, in which the church question under its theoretical and practical aspects occupies most attention. The conflict of faith with unbelief, of Christ with anti-Christ, of theism with deism and pantheism, has given way to the controversies between Romanism and Protestantism, Lutheranism and Reform, Unionism and Confessionalism. Many who started as enthusiastic followers of Ilegel, like Göschel, Martensen, Kliefoth and Kahnis, are now high church Lutherans; and others who formerly labored for the union of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches, as lengstenberg, use their influence for its dissolution.
Leaving out of sight the pantheistic infidelity described above, we may arrange the living divines of Germany under three schools and parties, the Unionists, the exclusive Lutherans, and the Reformed: