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quence before their eyes; and therefore it is not much to be wondered, if they dressed out their discourses with foreign and tasteless ornaments.
The charge brought against the universities, that they spent more time in subtile and contentious controversy, than in explaining the holy Scriptures, teaching the duties of morality, and promoting a spirit of piety and virtue, though too just, yet may also be alleviated by considering the nature and circumstances of the times. The Lutherans were surrounded with a multitude of adversaries, who obliged them to be perpetually in a posture of defence; and the Roman catholics, who threatened their destruction, contributed, in a more particular manner, to excite in their doctors that polemic spirit, which unfortunately became a habit, and had an unhappy influence on the exercise both of their academical and pastoral functions. In time of war, the military art not only becomes singularly respectable, but is preferred, without hesitation, before all others, on account of its tendency to maintain the inestimable blessings of liberty and independence; and thus, in the midst of theological commotions, the spirit of controversy, by becoming necessary, gains an ascendant, which, even when the danger is over, it is unwilling to lose. It were indeed ardently to be wished, that the Lutherans had treated with more mildness and charity those who differed from them in religious opinions, and had discovered more indulgence and forbearance toward such, more especially, as by ignorance, fanaticism, or excessive curiosity, were led into error, without pretending nevertheless to disturb the public tranquillity by propagating their particular systems. But they had unhappily imbibed a spirit of persecution in their early educa
this was too much the spirit of the times, and it was even a leading maxim with our ancestors, that it was both lawful and expedient to use severity and force against those whom they looked upon as heretics. This, maxim was derived from Rome ; and even those who separated from that church did not find it easy to throw off, all of a sudden, that despotic and uncharitable spirit that had so long been the main spring of its government, and the general characteristic of its members. Nay, in their narrow views of things, their very piety seemed to suppress the generous movements of fraternal love and forbearance; and the more they felt themselves animated with a zeal for the di
vine glory, the more difficult did they find it to renounce that ancient and favourite maxim, which had so often been ill interpreted and ill applied, that Whoever is found to be an enemy to God, ought also to be declared an enemy to his country."
xiv. There were few or no changes introduced, during this century, into the form of government, the method of worship, and the external rites and ce- and policy or remonies of the Lutheran church. Many altera- le Luberans. tions would indeed have been made in all these, had the princes and states of that communion judged it expedient to put in execution the plans that had been laid by I'homasius, and other eminent men, for reforming its ecclesiastical polity. These plans were built upon a new principle, which supposed, that the majesty and supreme authority of the sovereign was the only source of church power. On this fundamental principle, which these great men took all imaginable pains to prove, by solid and striking arguments, they raised a voluminous system of laws, which, in the judgment of many, evidently tended to this conclusion; that the same sovereign who presides in the state ought to rule in the church; that prince and ponțiff are inseparable characters ; and that the ministers of the gospel are not the ambassadors of the Deity, but the deputies or vicegerents of the civil magistrate. These reformers of Lutheranism. did not stop here; they reduced within narrower bounds the few privileges and advantages that the clergy yet retained, and treated many of the rites, institutions, and customs of our church, as the remains of popish superstition. Hence an abundant source of contention was opened, and a long and tedious controversy was carried on with warmth
ad animosity between the clergy and civilians. We leave others to determine with what views these debates were commenced and fomented, and with what success they were respectively carried on by the contending parties. Weshall only observe, that their effects and consequences were unhappy, as in many places they proved, in the issue, detrimental to the reputation of the clergy, to the dignity
I w It were to be wished that the Lutherans had not, in many places, persevered in these severe and despotic principles longer than other Protestant churches. Until this very day, the Lutherans of Francfort on the Maine have always refused to permit the reformed to celebrate public worship within the bounds, or even in the suburbs of that city. Many attempts have been made to conquer their obstinacy in this respect, but hitherto without success.
and authority of religion, and to the peace and prosperity of the Lutheran church. The present state of that church verifies too plainly this observation. It is now its fate to see few entering into its public service, who are adapted to restore the reputation it has lost, or to maintain that which it yet retains. Those who are distinguished by illustrious birth, uncommon genius, and a liberal and ingenuo:as turn of mind, look upon the study of theology, which had so little external honours and advantages to recommend it, as below their ambition; and hence the number of wise, learned,' and eminent ministers grows less considerable from day to day. This circumstance is deeply lamented by those among us who consider with attention the dangerous and declining state of the Lutheran church; and it is to be feared, that our descendants will have reason to lament it still more bitterly. xv. The eminent writers that adorned the Lutheran
church through the course of this century, were nent Lutheran many in number.
We shall only mention those whom it is most necessary for a student of ecclesiastical history to be more particularly acquainted with ; such are Ægidius and Nicholas Hunnius; Leonard Hutter; Joseph and John Ernesti Gerhard ; George and Frederic Ulric Calixtus ; the Mentzers; the Oleariuses ; Frederic Baldwin ; Albert Grawer; Matthias Hoe; the Carpzoviuses; John and Paul Tarnovius; John Affelman; Eilhart Luber ; the Lysers ; Michael Walther ; Joachim Hildebrand; John Valentine Andreas; Solomon Glassius; Abraham Calovius ; Theodore Hackspan; John Hulseman; Jacob Weller; Peter and John Mausæus, brothers; John Conrad Danhaver ; John George Dorschæus ; John Arndt ; Martin Geyer ; John Adam Shartzer; Balthazar and John Meisner; Augustus Pfeiffer; Henry and John Muller; Justus Christopher Schomer; Sebastian Schmidt ; Christopher Horsholt ; the Osianders ; Philip Jacob Spener; Geb. Theodore Meyer; Fridem. Bechman, and others.
The most emi.
C'x It has been the ill hap even of well-designing men to fall into pernicious extremes, in the controversies relating to the foundation, power, and privileges of the church Too few have steered the middle way, and laid their plans with such equity and wisdom as to maintain the sovereignty and authority of the state, without reducing the church to a mere creature of civil policy. The reader will find a most interesting view of this niee and important subject, in the learned and ingenious bishop of Gloucester’s Alliance between Church and State, and in his Dedication of the second volume of his Divine Legation of Moses, to my lord Mansfield.
v For an account of the lives and writings of these authors, ste Witte's Memorce
A historical view of the
xvi. The doctrine of the Lutheran church remained entire during this century ; its fundamental principles received no alteration, nor could any doctor of that church, who should have presumed to re- ride ourselen nounce or invalidate any of those theological Lutherans. points that are contained in the symbolical books of the Lutherans, have met with toleration and indulgence. It is however to be observed, that, in later times, various circumstances contributed to diminish, in many places, the authority of these symbolical oracles, which had so long been considered as an almost infallible rule of faith and practice. Hence arose that unbounded liberty which is at this day enjoyed by all who are not invested with the character of public teachers, of dissenting from the decisions of these symbols or creeds, and of declaring this dissent in the manner they judge the most expedient. The case was very different in former times; whoever ventured to oppose any of the received doctrines of the church, or to spread new religious opinions among the people, was called before the higher powers, to give an account of his conduct, and very rarely escaped without suffering in his fortune or reputation, unless he renounced his innovations.
But the teachers of novel doctrines had nothing to apprei hend, when, toward the conclusion of this century, the Lu
theran churches adopted that leading maxim of the Armenians, that “ Christians were accountable to God alone for their religious sentiments; and that no individual could be justly punished by the magistrate forhis erroneous opinions, while he conducted himself like a virtuous and obedient subject, and made no attempts to disturb the peace and order of civil society.” It were to be wished, that this religious liberty, which the dictates of equity must approve, but of which the virtuous mind alone can make a wise and proper use, had never degenerated into that unbridled licentiousness that holds nothing sacred, but with an audacious insolence tramples under foot the solemn truths of religion, and is constantly endeavouring to throw contempt upon the respectable profession of its ministers.
xvII. The various branches of sacred erudition were cultivated with uninterrupted zeal and assiduity Sacred philolo
Theologorum, and his Diarium Biographicum ; as also Pippingius, Goesius, and other writers of literary bistory. VOL. IT.
ky cultivated anjong the
among the Lutherans, who, at no period of time,
were without able commentators, and learned and faithful guides for the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. It is natural to mention here Tarnovius, Gerhard, Hackspan, Calixtus, Erasmus, Schmidt; to whom might be added a numerous list of learned and judicious expositors of the sacred oracles. But what appears more peculiarly worthy of observation is, that the very period which some look upon as the most barren of learned
productions, and the most remarkable for a general inattention to the branch of erudition now under consideration, produced that inestimable and immortal work of Solomon Glassius, which he published under the title of Sacred Philology, and than which none can be more useful for the interpretation of Scripture, as it throws an uncommon degree of light upon the language and phraseology of the inspired writers. It must, at the same time, be candidly acknowledged, that a considerable part of this century was more employed, by the professors of the different universities, in defending, with subtilty and art, the peculiar doctrines of the Lutheran church, than in illustrating and explaining the Holy Scripture, which is the only genuine source of divine truth. Whatever was worthy of censure in this manner of proceeding, was abundantly repaired by the more modern divines of the Lutheran communion; for no sooner did the rage of controversy begin to subside, than the greatest part of them turned their principal studies toward the exposition and illustration of the sacred writings; and they were particularly animated in the execution of this laborious task, by observing the indefatigable industry of those among the Dutch divines, who, in their interpretations of Scripture, followed the sentiments and method of Cocceius. At the head of these modern commentators we may place, with justice, Sebastian Schmidt, who was at least the most laborious and voluminous expositor of this age.
After this learned writer, may be ranked Calovius, Geier, Schomer, and others of inferior note.' The contests excited by the persons called pietists, though unhappy in several respects, were nevertheless attended with this good effect, that they engaged many to apply themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures, which they had too much neglected
2. See J. Franc. Budæi Iragoge in Theologiam, lib. ii. cap. viii. p. 1686