« הקודםהמשך »
spent in throw of Christians were more esp many oe
sions and the contagious influence of pernicious examples. This sense of his mistakes corrected the vehemence of his natural temper and the turbulence of his party spirit, so · that, as we learn from witnesses worthy of credit, he became at last a lover of truth and a pattern of moderation.P
XXXIII. Arnold was far surpassed in fanatical malignity and insolence by John Conrad Dippelius, a Hessian divine, who assumed the denomination of the Dippelius. Christian Democritus, inflamed the minds of the simple by a variety of productions, and excited considerable tümults and commotions toward the conclusion of this century. This vain, supercilious, and arrogant doctor, who seemed formed by nature for a satirist and a buffoon, instead of proposing any new system of religious doctrine and discipline, was solely employed in overturning those that were received in the protestant church. His days were principally spent in throwing out sarcasms and invectives against all denominations of Christians; and the Lutherans, to whose communion he belonged, were more especially the objects of his raillery and derision, which, on many oecasions, spared not those things that had formerly been looked upon as the most respectable and sacred. It is much to be doubted, whether he had formed any clear and distinct notions of the doctrines he taught; since, in his view of things, the power of imagination domineered evidently over the dictates of right reason and common sense. But, if he really understood the religious maxims he was propagating, he had not certainly the talent of rendering them clear and perspicuous to others; for nothing can be more ambiguous and obseure than the expressions under which they are conveyed, and the arguments by which they are supported. A man must have the gift of divination to be able to deduce a regular and consistent system of doctrine from the various productions of this incoherent and unintelligible writer, who was a chymist into the bargain, and whose brain seems to have been heated into a high degree of fermentation by the fire of the elaboratory. If the rude, motley, and sarcastical writings of this wrong-headed reformer should reach posterity, it will be certainly a just matter of surprise to our descendants,
p See Coleri Vita Arnoldi. Nouveau Diction. Histor. et Critique, tom. i. p. 185.
VOL. IV. .
tions and re
that a considerable number of their ancestors should have been so blind as to choose for a model of genuine piety, and a teacher of religion, a man who had audaciously violated the first and most essential principles of solid piety and sound sense.?
xxxiv. The mild and gentle temper of John William The inven. Petersen, minister and first member of the eccleveries and re- siastical consistory of Lunenburg, distinguished tersen. ' him remarkably from the fiery enthusiast now mentioned. But the mildness of this good-natured ecclesiastic was accompanied with a want of resolution, that might be called weakness, and a certain floridness and warmth of imagination, that rendered him peculiarly susceptible of illusion himself, and every way proper to lead others innocently into error. Of this he gave a very remarkable specimen in the year 1691, by maintaining publicly that Rosamond Juliana, countess of Asseburg, whose disordered brain suggested to her the most romantic and chimerical notions, was honoured with a vision of the Deity, and commissioned to make a new declaration of his will to mankind. He also revived and propagated openly the obsolete doctrine of the millennium, which Rosamond had confirmed by her pretended authority from above. This first error produced many; for error is fertile, especially in those minds where imagination has spurned the yoke of reason, and considers all its airy visions as solid and important discoveries. Accordingly, Petersen went about prophesying with his wife," who also gave herself out for a kind of oracle, and boasted of her extensive knowledge of the secrets of heaven. They talked of a general restitution of all things, at which grand and solemn period all intelligent beings were to be restored to happiness, the gates of hell opened, and wicked men, together with evil spirits, delivered from the guilt, power, and punishment of sin. They supposed that two distinct natures, and both of them human, were united in Christ ;
q His works were all published, in the year 1747, in five volumes in 4to. and his memory is still highly honoured and respected by many, who consider him as having been, in his day, an eminent teacher of true piety and wisdom. No kind of authors find such zealous readers and patrons as those, who deal largely in invective, and swell themselves, by a vain self-sufficiency, into an imagined superiority over the rest of mankind. Beside, Dippelius was an excellent chymist and a good physician; and this procured him many friends and admirers, as all men are fond of riches and long life, and these two ciences were supposed to lead to the one and to the other. r Her name was Johanna Eleonora a Merlau.
one assumed in heaven before the reformation of this globe, the other derived upon earth, from the Virgin Mary. These opinions were swallowed down by many among the multitude, and were embraced by some of superior rank; they met however with great opposition, and were refuted by a considerable number of writers, to whom Petersen, who was amply furnished with leisure and eloquence, made voluminous replies. In the year 1692, he was at length deposed; and, from that period, passed his days in the tranquillity of a rural retreat in the territory of Magdeburg, where he cheered his solitude by epistolary commerce, and spent the remainder of his days in composition and study.
Xxxv. It is not easy to determine, whether John Caspar Schade and George Bosius may be associated Schade properly with the persons now mentioned. They Bosius. were both good men, full of zeal for the happiness and salvation of their brethren; but their zeal was neither directed by prudence, nor tempered with moderation. The former, who was minister at Berlin, propagated several notions that seemed crude and uncouth ; and, in the year 1697, inveighed, with the greatest bitterness, against the custom that prevails in the Lutheran church, of confessing privately to the clergy. These violent remonstrances excited great commotions, and were even attended with popular tumults. Bosius performed the pastoral functions at Soraw; and to awaken sinners from their security, and prevent their treating, with negligence and indifference, interests that are most important by being eternal, denied that God would continue always propitious and placable with respect to those offenders, whose incorrigible obstinacy he had foreseen froin all eternity; or that he would offer them beyond a certain period, marked in his decrees, those succours of grace that are necessary to salvation. This tenet, in the judgment of many grave divines, seemed highly injurious to the boundless mercy of God, and was accordingly refuted and condemned in several treatises; it found nevertheless an eminent patron and defender in the
s Petersen wrote his life in German, and it was first published in 8vo. in 1717. His wise added ber life to it by way of supplement, in the year 1718. These pieces of biography will satisfy such as are desirous of a particular account of the character, manners, and talents, of this extraordinary pair. For an account of the troubles they excited at Lunenburg, see Jo. Molleri Cimbria Literata, tom. ii. p. 639, the Inschuldige Nuchrichten, A. 1743, p. 974. A. 1749, p. 30-200 et passim.
d. Rechenbelg, promote. who appeared note that di
Seliau VIOKE VULL
Contests concerping the omnipresence of Christ's fesb, between the doctors of Tubingen and Gi ssin.
during his mediatorian of these attributes"
learned Rechenbelg, professor of divinity at Leipsic, not to mention others of less note, who appeared in its behalf. XXXVI. Among the controversies of inferior note that dis con- vided the Lutheran church, we shall first mention
those that broke out between the doctors of Tubin
gen and Giessen so early as the year 1616. The Tubingents and principal part of this debate related to the abase
ment and humiliation, or, to what divines call, the exinanition of Jesus Christ; and the great point was to know in what this exinanition properly consisted, and what was the precise nature and characteristic of this singular situation; that the man Christ possessed, even in the most dreadful periods of his abasement, the divine properties and attributes he had received in consequence of the hyposa tatic union, was unanimously agreed on by both of the contending parties; but they differed in their sentiments relating to this subtile and intricate question, “Whether Christ, during his mediatorial sufferings and sacerdotal state, really suspended the exertion of these attributes, or only concealed this exertion from the view of mortals. The latter was maintained by the doctors of Tubingen, while those of Giessen were inclined to think that the exertion of the divine attributes was really suspended in Christ during his humiliation and sufferings. This main question was followed by others which were much more subtile than important, cons cerning the manner in which God is present with all his works, the reasons and foundation of this universal presence, the true cause of the omnipresence of Christ's body, and others of a like intricate and unintelligible nature. The champions that distinguished themselves on the side of the doctors of Tubingen were, Lucas Osiander, Melchior Nicolas, and Theodore Thummius. The most eminent of those that adopted the cause of the divines of Giessen were, Bal. thazar, Menzer, and Justus Feverborn. The contest was carried on with zeal, learning, and sagacity; it were to be wished that one could add, that it was managed with wis. dom, dignity, and moderation. This indeed was far from being the case; but such was the spirit and genius of the age, that many things were now treated with indulgence, or beheld with approbation, which the wisdom and deçency of succeeding times have justly endeavoured to dis
The latter was
See Walchius's Introductio ad Controversias, n. 1. cap. iv.
countenance and correct. In order to terminate these disagreeable contests, the Saxon divines were commanded, by their sovereign, to offer themselves as arbitrators between the contending parties in the year 1624; their arbitration was accepted, but it did not at all contribute to decide the matters in debate. Their decisions were vague and ambiguous, and were therefore adapted to satisfy none of the parties. They declared, that they could not entirely approve of the doctrine of either ; but insinuated, at the same time, that a certain degree of preference was due to the opinions maintained by the doctors of Giessen." Those of Tubingen rejected the decision of the Saxon arbitrators ; and it is very probable, that the divines of Giessen would have appealed from it also, had not the public ca. Jamities, in which Germany begun to be involved at this time, suspended this miserable contest, by imposing silence upon the disputants, and leaving them in the quiet possession of their respective opinions.
XXXVII. Before the cessation of the controversy now mentioned, a new one was occasioned, in the year 1621, by the writings of Herman Rathman, mi- 7 nister at Dantzic, a man of eminent piety, some hach learning, and a zealous patron and admirer of Arndt's famous book concerning true Christianity. This good man was suspected by his colleague Corvinus, and several others, of entertaining sentiments derogatory from the dignity and power of the sacred writings. These suspicions they derived from a book he published, in the year 1621, Concerning Christ's Kingdom of Grace, which, according to the representations of his adversaries, contained the following doctrine : “ That the word of God, as it stands in the sacred writings, hath no innate power to illuminate the mind, to excite in it a principle of regeneration, and thus to turn it to God ; that the external word showeth indeed the way to salvation, but cannot effectually lead men to it; but that God himself, by the ministry of another, and an internal word, works such a change in the minds of men, as is necessary to render them agreeable in his sight, and enables them to please him by their words
The controversy occasioned by the writings of
u Jo. Wolf. Jaeger. Histor. Eccles. et Polit. Sæc. xvii. Decenn. iii. p. 329. Christ. Eberh. Weifmanni Histor. Ecclesiast. Sæc. xvii. p. 1178. Walchius, loc. cit. p. 206. See also Caroli Arnold, and the other writers, who have written the Ecclesiastical Hisse tory of these times.