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235 have seduced and fettered us; and it seemed to us impossible that it should hereafter gain power over us. Far below lay the world; we were conscious of being citizens of the heavenly kingdom. On the eye of our mind beamed the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God; we saw his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. What had often seemed dark to us in the connexion of his works, now shone distinct and clear. What our thoughts had been wont to divide and scatter, now arranged itself into the most beautiful whole, as we recognized its soul to be the redeeming love of the Son of God to us poor and sinful men. Yes poor, if we looked only at ourselves, but immeasurahly rich in eternal possessions, when we recognized ourselves as the property of our Lord and Saviour, when we knew ourselves to be in fellowship with Him, who is Lord of all heaven; O in such holy knowledge, should we not forget the world with its pleasures and griefs!"
" Or does any one think that it was only Christ's peculiar glory on which it was allowed the disciples to cast a longing gaze? Whence have we the right to employ the event so directly for the happy perfecting of the Christian? O how little do such queries and doubts know of the divine fulness of love in Jesus Christ; love which thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but humbled itself and took the form of a servant and was found in fashion as a man; love which led him to count as nothing his Divine form, but to become wholly and inseparably one with as; love which rent the heavens and brought him down to us, in the deepest abyss of our misery, that he might raise us with himself to the throne of his divine majesty.
“No, faith, in him and love to him cannot so inquire ; for these are assured that all which Christ has, his friends shall share with him. Will he then be solitary in his glory? Was he alone on the mount of transfiguration? When transfigured there appeared as partakers of his glory, in company with his disciples, Moses and Elias, who talked with him. Moses, the lawgiver of Israel, once the most harrassed of men, called to lead to the promised land the people of hardened heart and iron neck, finally gathered weary to his fathers, now enjoying the most enlivening repose in the participation of the glory of the Son of God. Elias, the greatest of the prophets, sent to Israel in a time of trouble and disorder, when Ahab and Jezebel seduced the people to the cruel service of Baal,—whose whole life was a con
stant contest with the sins and idolatry of his countrymen, till God translated hiin to heaven, where his heritage is the happiest peace in communion with the Saviour. No, doubt not, disciples of the Lord; he will not only enjoy his own felicity; his loving heart will long to share it with you; because I live, ye shall live also, and where I am, there shall also my servants be.' •Father, I will,' he prays in the night before his death, that where I am, that they whom thou hast given me, may be with me, and I will give unto them the glory that thou hast given me.' No! ye dare not doubt; his transfiguration is to you also the type of your own future perfection and glorification. In the world, ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world? Here ye contend and are subjected to much toil and labor; but for you a time is coming, and who knows how near it is, when the dark shadows of the earthly life shall yield forever to celestial glory, when every conflict shall be swallowed up in victory, and all pains and toils shall end in the sweetest rest, when nothing more shall disturb your happiness in communion with the Redeemer."
RELIGION IN GERMANY.
Translations from the recent work of Dr. Tholuck," Dialogues
upon the principal questions of Faith of the present time, principally for reflecting Laymen who seek instruction." Halle, 1846.
By J. B. Lyman, Andover Theol. Seminary, now in Europe.
[The work from which the following extracts have been trans. lated, was written by the author, as the title indicates, to furnish a book suited to afford instruction to inquiring laymen. Hence its style is in many parts colloquial and idiomatic, and thus calcu. lated to bring home his thoughts upon the questions of faith to the hearts of the German people. It consists of six dialogues, with the titles: Reason and Rationalism; Reason and Faith; Faith and the Scriptures; The latest Progress; Progress and Confessions; and the Reawakened Faith. The speakers represent different religious parties of protestant Germany. Emil rep.
237 resents the friends of evangelical religion; and in him the author has probably intended in a great measure to express his own opinions and feelings. Charles is the representative of rationalism, but of inquiring rationalism; Julius, of modern unbelieving radicalism; and Gerhard, of those who wish to abide by the old confessional standards. The present work is but the first part of the whole, and the author states in his preface, that, if he should perceive a call to it, a second part will appear in answer to the question, Who was Christ ? alluding perhaps to an expression of Ulich, the leader of the “protestant friends,” or “friends of light” as they are sometimes called, in which he says, “who Jesus properly was, I do not know, to that the answer is wanting to me.” This question, What think ye of Christ ? the author designates as “ the question of all questions” at present in Germany. - Tr.
Emil to Charles.—I see that we stand already at the place of contest, and our first pass is to be made. You ask for the rights of our faith, I for the privileges of your reason. For you the highest appeal, in all questions of religion and morality, is to your reason. Hence you can let no one give you a result; not even him whom Christianity calls its own master. Independence of the word of Christ has become the fundamental article that now forms free churches; only it is strange, that they at the same time wish still to be called Christian or evangelical churches, or churches at all. I presuppose, that you know in all its extent the greatness of the office, which has devolved upon your reason. Your reason has the problem to decide, how much, that the master of the Christian world has spoken upon divine things, can still be valid and how much not. Let us make it fully clear to ourselves, what is meant by this. You then, the landholder N. N., born on the confines of two centuries, baptized and brought up in one of the christian States, the Prussian, educated at the gymnasium in B, and at the universities of B. and H, are with full conviction, certain before God, that the judgment which your reason passes upon questions of religion and morality, is more to be relied upon and nearer to the truth, than that of him, who was born in Bethlehem, the founder of that religion, which, for about two thousand years, the Europeans and a great part of the inhabitants of other parts of the world have confessed, after whom they bear the name of Christians, and from whose birth they date their new era ? If any irony offends you in this ques
tion, you will confess to me, that I have not put it there, but that it is there the irony of the idea itself.
Emil to Charles.--I can assure you, that, so far as we can judge from publie testimonies, among all the professors of theology, in all the German universities, not more than perhaps one single individual can be pointed out, who would undertake to declare all the Gospels not to be genuine. That I lay a stress upon the word all will be comprehensible to you, as far as expressions such as those that I have mentioned, are found in every one of our Gospels; and if one of them or if one miracle remains, and must remain, unimpaired, this is as good for us and as bad for you, as if there were a hundred. You know as well as I what is requisite, before all the German professors harmonize in any one thing, and that, on many questions, it might be easier for one to bring all the German rivers into one bed, than all the German professors to agree. And now all these theological professors of Ger. many, that play in all colors, and in all other questions diverge towards all the thirty-two points of compass, and all, with perhaps no more than one exception, united in this, that if not in four, at least in three Gospels, eye-witnesses without deceit, or at least their nearest friends, have given account of Christ's work and word! What shall we say then, when we hear the great mass prating about the Gospels, as if they were all nothing but chil. dren's tales from ancient times, of which no one any longer knew certainly, whence they came or who invented them.
Emil to Charles.-Consider besides, that this idea, which is expressed in the words of Scripture "God has appeared in flesh," the idea of a human personality, in whose self-consciousness divinity and humanity unite themselves, that this idea has first come to full consciousness in the human race through Christianity. Judaism was affrighted at the preaching of this doctrine, when its sound was first heard, for the distance between God and man appeared to them too immense; the heathen were astonished, for they knew indeed of men, who had raised themselves to the circle of the gods, as, for example, a Hercules, but not of a Deity, who froin condescension became man. And this most peculiar idea of Christianity, should even this be nothing but a flower-garland, which devout adorers of Jesus had hung up over his beautiful moral system?
Charles to Emil.-But why do you contend against me also, as * All things are committed unto me of my Father, I am the truth,-He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me.
The Influence of the Laity.
if you had to do solely with the insufficient reason of the individnal
, that has the pleasure of standing before you? Is not my reason that of the entire cultivated and uncultivated present? Why do you make me weaker than I am? Have I not the voice of all Germany on my side? If presumption lies on one of the two sides, does it not lie rather on that of the little handful, which, in opposition to the whole mass of the cultivated and uncultivated contemporaries, maintains, that it alone is right?
Emil. Do not lay hands upon the little band, for it stands not upon its own reason, but rather upon the word of Christ. But will you join yourself to those, who ask not what the best, but what the most say? For that you appear to me in fact too good. You talk of all Germany, but you speak, as it seems to me, only from the remembrance, still fresh to you, of the crowds of those that sound the alarm-bell, who pressed to the assemblies and protests, and of the daily renewed blasts of the trumpeting angel in the newspapers.
Charles to Emil.-Do you not also forget, that it was through fishermen, tent-makers and publicans, that the Lord once confounded the wisdom of the scribes?
Emil. You can scarcely say that in earnest, or have you forgotten, wbat intervened between their occupation, as fishermen and publicans, and the apostolic office; a great Pentecost with tongnes of fire !-"But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,” therefore not go out as apostles, “until ye be endued with power from on high.” Yes, if it were only children of Pentecost, that would lay well to the hearts of our people, who need so much to be re. minded of the invisible world, the simple truths of God and eternity, and of the holiness of conscience, how would I then en. treat the blessing of heaven upon their work! But have you not rather undertaken, and do not the laity, everywhere at present undertake to decree and ballot upon doctrines and confessions, and indeed those who, in matters of religion, have not advanced beyond the question of Pilate? And are these laymen not only in theology, but in the first elements of religion and of biblical knowledge, those who should have the decision on these subjects, and not rather the theologians? If there be one, who hates from his heart that priestly pride, that will not grant to the divinely enlightened layman, a voice in matters of spiritual experience, I am he. God is my witness, how gladly I receive instruction from every such layman. But there is a laical self-conceit, which forgets, that the word of God, like the Son of God, has taken hu