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learned Christopher Dryer, who had been the disciples of that great man, were at little pains to conceal their attachment to the sentiments of their master. By this discovery, they drew upon them the resentment of their colleagues John Behmius and Celestine Mislenta, who were seconded by the whole body of the clergy of Koningsberg; and thus a warm controversy arose, which was carried on, during many years, in such a manner as did very little honour to either of the contending parties. The interposition of the civil magistrate, together with the decease of Behmius and Mislenta, put an end to this intestine war, which was succeeded by a new contest of long duration between Dryer and his associates on the 'one side, and several foreign divines on the other, who considered the system of Calixtus as highly pernicious, and looked upon its defenders as the enemies of the church. This new controversy was managed, on both sides, with as little equity and moderation as those which preceded it.
xxv. It must at the same time be acknowledged, to the immortal honour of the divines of Jena, that they And those of discovered the most consummate prudence, and Jena. the most amiable moderation in the midst of these theological debates. For though they confessed ingenuously, that the sentiments of Calixtus were not of such a nature, as that they could be all adopted without exception, yet they maintained, that the greatest part of his tenets were much less pernicious than the Saxon doctors had represented them; and that several of them were innocent, and might be freely admitted without any danger to the cause of truth. Solomon Glassius, an ecclesiastic, renowned for the mildness of his temper, and the equity of his proceedings, examined, with the utmost candour and impartiality, the opposite sentiments of the doctors, that were engaged in this important controversy, and published the result of this examination, by the express order of Ernest, prince of Saxe Gotha, surnamed the Pious." Musæus, a man of superior learning and exquisite penetration and judgment,
i See Christopher Hartkouch's Church History of Prussia, written in German, book ii. chap. x. p. 602. Molleri Cimbria Literata, tom. iii. p. 150. See also the Acts and Documents contained in the famous collection, entitled, Unschuldige Nachrichten, A. 1740, p. 144. A. 1742, p. 29. A 1745, p. 91.
k This piece, which was written in German, did not appear in public till after the death of Glassius, in the year 1662; a second edition of it was published in 8vo. at Jena some years ago. The piece exhibits a rare and shining instance of theological moderation; and is worthy of a serious and attentive perusal.
adopted so far the sentiments of Calixtus, as to maintain, that good works might, in a certain sense, be considered as necessary to salvation, and that of the erroneous doctrines imputed to this eminent man, several were of little or no importance. It is very probable that the followers of Calixtus would have willingly submitted this whole controversy to the arbitration of such candid and impartial judges. But this laudable moderation offended so highly the Saxon doctors, that they began to suspect the academy of Jena of several erroneous opinions, and marked out Musæus, in a particular manner, as a person who had, in many respects, apostatized from the true and orthodox faith.'
xxvI. These debates were suppressed, and succeeded by The rise of new commotions that arose in the church, and are the country commonly known under the denomination of the
pietistical controversy This controversy was owing to the zeal of a certain set of persons, who, no doubt, with pious and upright intentions, endeavoured to stem the torrent of vice and corruption, and to reform the licentious manners both of the clergy and the people. But, as the best things may be abused, so this reforming spirit inflamed persons that were but ill qualified to exert it with wisdom and success. Many, deluded by the suggestions of an irregular imagination, and an ill-informed understanding, or, guided by principles and views of a still more criminal nature, spread abroad new and singular opinions, false visions, unintelligible maxims, austere precepts, and imprudent clamours against the discipline of the church; all which excited the most dreadful tumults, and kindled the flames of contention and discord. The commencement of pietism was indeed laudable and decent. It was set on foot by the pious and learned Spener, who, by the private societies he formed at Francfort, with a design to promote vital religion, roused the lukewarm from their indifference, and excited a spirit of vigour and resolution in those who had been satisfied to lament, in silence, the progress of impiety: The remarkable effect of these pious meetings was increased by a book published by this well-meaning man, under the title of Pious Desires, in which he exhibited a
1 For an account of the imputations cast upon the divines of Jena, and more especially on Musæus, see a judicious and solid work of the latter, entitled, Der Jenischen
Theologen Ausfuhrlicke Erklaring, &c. See also Jo. Georgii Walchii Introductio in Controversias Ecclesiæ Lutherana, vol. i. p. 405.
striking view of the disorders of the church, and proposed the remedies that were proper to heal them. Many persons of good and upright intentions were highly pleased both with the proceedings and writings of Spener, and indeed the greatest part of those who had the cause of virtue and practical religion truly at heart, applauded the designs of this good man, though an apprehension of abuses retained numbers from encouraging them openly. These abuses actually happened. The remedies proposed by Spener to heal the disorders of the church, fell into unskilful hands, were administered without sagacity or prudence, and thus, in many cases, proved to be worse than the disease itself. The religious meetings above mentioned, or the colleges of piety, as they were usually called by a phrase borrowed from the Dutch, tended in many places to kindle in the breasts of the multitude the flames of a blind and intemperate zeal, whose effects were impetuous and violent, instead of that pure and rational love of God, whose fruits are benign and peaceful. Hence complaints arose against these institutions of pietism, as if, under a striking appearance of sanctity, they led the people into false notions of religion, and fomented, in those who were of a turbulent and violent character, the seeds and principles of mutiny and sedition.
XXVII. These first complaints would have been undoubtedly hushed, and the tumults they occasioned would have subsided by degrees, had not the contests that arose at Leipsic, in the year 1689, sic. added fuel to the flame. Certain pious and learned professors of philosophy, and particularly Franckius, Schadius, and Paulus Antonius, the disciples of Spener, who at that time was ecclesiastical superintendent of the court of Saxony, began to consider with attention the defects that
prevailed in the ordinary method of instructing the candidates for the ministry; and this review persuaded them of the necessity of using their best endeavours to supply what was wanting, and to correct what was amiss. For this purpose, they undertook to explain in their colleges certain books of holy Scripture, in order to render these genuine sources of religious knowledge better understood, and to promote a spirit of practical piety and vital religion in the minds of their hearers. The novelty of this method drew attention, and rendered it singularly pleasing to many ; ac
The commo. tions at Leip.
cordingly, these lectures were much frequented, and their effects were visible in the lives and conversations of several persons, whom they seemed to inspire with a deep sense of the importance of religion and virtue. Whether these first effusions of religious fervour, which were, in themselves, most certainly laudable, were always kept within the strict bounds of reason and discretion, is a question not easily decided. If we are to believe the report of common fame, and the testimonies of several persons of great weight, this was by no means the case : and many things were both said and done in these biblical colleges, as they were called, which, though they might be looked upon, by equitable and candid judges, as worthy of toleration and indulgence, were nevertheless contrary to custom, and far from being consistent with prudence. Hence rumours were spread, tumults excited, animosities kindled, and the matter at length brought to a public trial, in which the pious and learned men above mentioned were indeed declared free from the errors and heresies that had been laid to their charge, but were at the same time prohibited from carrying on the plan of religious instruction they had undertaken with such zeal. It was during these troubles and divisions that the invidious denominations of pietists was first invented; it may at least be affirmed, that it was not commonly known before this period. It was at first applied by some giddy and inconsiderate persons to those who frequented the biblical colleges, and lived in a manner suitable to the instructions and exhortations that were addressed to them in these seminaries of piety. It was afterward made use of to characterize all those who were either distinguished by the excessive austerity of their manners, or who, regardless of truth and opinion, were only intent upon practice, and turned the whole vigour of their efforts toward the attainment of religious feelings and habits. But as it is the fate of all those denominations by which peculiar sects are distinguished, to be variously and often very improperly applied, so the title of pietists was frequently given, in common conversation, to persons of eminent wisdom and sanctity, who were equally remarkable for their adherence to truth and their love of piety; and, not seldom, to persons whose motley characters exhibited an enormous mixture of profligacy and enthusiasm, and who deserved
the title of delirious fanatics better than any other denomination.
XVII. This contest was by no means confined to Leipsic, but diffused its contagion, with incredible celerity, through all the Lutheran churches in the different states and kingdoms of Europe. For, from this time, in all the cities, towns, and villages, where Lutheranism was professed, there started up, all of a sudden, persons of various ranks and professions, of both sexes, learned and illiterate, who declared, that they were called, by a divine impulse, to pull up iniquity by the root, to restore to its primitive lustre, and propagate through the world, the declining cause of piety and virtue, to govern the church of Christ by wiser rules than those by which it was at present directed, and who, partly in their writings, and partly in their private and public discourses, pointed out the means and measures that were necessary to bring about this important revolution. All those, who were struck with this imaginary impulse, unanimously agreed, that nothing could have a more powerful tendency to propagate among the multitude solid knowledge, pious feelings, and holy habits, than those private meetings that had been first contrived by Spener, and that were afterward introduced into Leipsic. Several religious assemblies were accordingly formed in various places, which, though they differed in some circumstances, and were not all conducted and composed with equal wisdom, piety, and prudence, were however designed to promote the same general purpose. In the mean time, these unusual, irregular, and tumultuous proceedings filled, with uneasy and alarming apprehensions, both those who were intrusted with the government of the church, and those who sat at the helm of the state. These apprehensions were justified by this important consideration, that the pious and well-meaning persons, who composed these assemblies, had indiscreetly admitted into their community a parcel of extravagant and hot-headed fanatics, who foretold the approaching destruction of Babel, jy which they meant the Lutheran church, terrified the populace with fictitious visions, assumed the authority of prophets honoured with a divine commission, obscured the sublime truths of religion by a gloomy kind of jargon of their own invention, and revived doctrines that had long before been condemn