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innovators start up, and, under the influence of CENT. XVIII.
enthusiasm or of a disordered brain, divulge their
crude fancies and dreams among the people, by
which they either delude many from the communion
of the established church, or at least occasion con-
tests and divisions of the most disagreeable kind.
We mentioned formerly several of these disturbers
of the tranquillity of the church, to whom we may
now add the notorious names of Tennhart, Gichtel,
Uberfeld, Rosenbach, Bredel, Seiz, Roemeling, and
many others, who either imagined that they were
divinely inspired, or, from a persuasion of their su-
perior capacity and knowlege, set up for reformers
of the doctrine and discipline of the church. Many
writers drew their pens against this presumptuous
and fanatical tribe, though the greatest part of those
who composed it were really below the notice of
men of character, and were rather worthy of con-
tempt than of opposition. And, indeed, it was not
so much the force of reason and argument, as the
experience of their ill success, that convinced these
fanatics of their folly, and induced them to desist
from their chimerical projects. Their attempts
could not stand the trial of time and common sense ;
and therefore, after having made a transitory noise,
they fell into oblivion. Such is the common and
deserved fate of almost all the fanatic ringleaders of
the deluded populace; they suddenly start up, and
make a figure for a while; but, in general, they
ruin their own cause by their imprudence or ołrti-
nacy, by their austerity or perverueness, by their
licentious conduct or their intestine divisions,

XVII. Many place in this fanatical case the team
Brethren of Herrenhut, who were firet fritthen
into a religious community in the villay un risul,
in Lusatia, by the famous count Zinvadit, #
afterwards grew so numerous that, bir kun je
were spread abroad in alment all the ti
Europe, formed settlements in the Indik, n kyew
penetrated to the remoterk juarts & Etik, '

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CENT. XVII.call themselves the descendants of the Bohemian

and Moravian Brethren, who, in the fifteenth century, threw off the despotic yoke of Rome, animated by the zealous exhortations and heroic example of John Huss. They may, however, be said, with more propriety, to imitate the example of that famous community, than to descend from those who composed it; for it is well known, that there are very few Bohemians and Moravians in the fraternity of the Herrenhutters; and it is extremely doubtful, whether even this small number are to be considered as the posterity of the ancient Bohemian Brethren, that distinguished themselves so early by their zeal for the Reformation.

If we are to give credit to the declarations of the Herrenhutters, they agree with the Lutherans in their doctrine and opinions, and only differ from them in their ecclesiastical discipline, and in those religious institutions and rules of life which form the resemblance between the Bohemian Brethren and the disciples of Zinzendorff. There are, indeed, many who doubt much of the truth of this decla. ration, and suspect that the society now under consideration, and more especially their rulers and ringleaders, speak the language of Lutheranism when they are among the Lutherans, in order to obtain their favor and indulgence; and those who have examined this matter with the greatest attention, represent this fraternity as composed of persons of different religions, as well as of various ranks and orders. Be that as it may, it is at least very difficult to guess the reason that induces them to live in such an entire state of separation from the Lutheran communion, and to be so ambitiously zealous in augmenting their sect, if there be no other difference between them and the Lutherans than that of discipline and of ceremony; for the true and genuine followers of Jesus Christ are little concerned about the outward forms of ecclesiastical government and discipline, knowing that real reli

gion consists in faith and charity, and not in external cent. xvii. rites and institutions m.

we may

om It is somewhat surprising to hear Dr. Mosheim speak in such vague and general terms of this sect, without taking the least notice of their pernicious doctrines and their flagitious practices, that not only disfigure the sacred truths of the Gospel, but also sap all the foundations of morality. To be persuaded of this, the reader, beside the accounts which Rimius has given of this enormous sect, will do well to consult a curious Preface, prefixed to the French translation of a Pastoral Letter against Fanaticism, addressed by Mr. Stinstra; an Anabaptist minister in Friseland, to his congregation, and published at Leyden în 1752. It may not be amiss to add here a passage relating to this odious community, from the bishop of Glocester's treatise, entitled, the Doctrine of Grace. The words of that great and eminent prelate are as follow : “ As purity respects practice, the Moravians give us little trouble. If

credit the yet unconfuted relations, both in print and “ in MS., composed by their own members, the participants in “their most sacred mysterious rites, their practices in the con“summation of marriage are so horribly, so unspeakably fla

gitious, that this people seem to have no more pretence to “ be put into the number of Christian sects, than the Turlu“ pins of the thirteenth century, a vagabond crew of miscreants, « who rambled over Italy, France, and Germany, calling " themselves the Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit, who, “ in speculation, professed that species of atheism called Pan“theism, and, in practice, pretended to be exempted from all “ the obligations of morality and religion.” See The Doctrine of Grace, vol. ii. As to the doctrines of this sect, they open a door to the most licentious effects of fanaticism. Such among many others are the following, drawn from the express declarations of count Zinzendorff, the head and founder of the community : that the law is not a rule of life to a believer ;—that the moral law belongs only to the Jews ;—that a converted person cannot sin against light. But of all the singularities for which this sect is famous, the notions they entertain of the organs of generation in both sexes are the most enormously wild and extravagant. I consider (says Zinzendorff, -in one of his sermons) the parts for distinguishing both sexes in Christians, as the most honorable of the whole body, my Lord and God having partly inhabited them, and partly worn them himself.' This raving secretary looks upon the conjugal act as a piece of scenery, in which the male represents Christ the husband of souls, and the female the church. The married brother (says

he) knows matrimony, respects it, but does not think upon it • of his own accord; and thus the precious member of the covenant (i. e. the penis) is so much forgotten, becomes so useless, and consequently is reduced to such a natural numbness, by

CENT. XVIII. XVIII. It was the opinion of many, that the The state of succours of philosophy were absolutely necessary to philosophy stem the torrent of superstition, and stop its growing Lutherans. progress, and that these alone were adapted to

accomplish this desirable purpose. Hence the study of philosophy, which, toward the conclusion of the last century, seemed to decline, was now revived, established upon a more rational footing, and pursued with uncommon assiduity and ardor. The branch of philosophy which is commonly known under the denomination of Metaphysics, was generally preferred, as it leads to the first principles of things; and the improvements made in this important science were very considerable. These improvements were chiefly produced by the genius and penetration of Leibnitz, who threw a new light upon metaphysics, and gave this interesting branch of philosophy a more regular form.

This science received a still greater degree of perfection from the philosophical labors of the acute and indefatigable Wolff, who reduced it into a scientific order, and gave to its decisions the strength and evidence of a geometrical demonstration. Under this new and respectable form it captivated the attention and esteem of the greatest part of the German philosophers, and of those in general who pursue truth through the paths of strict evidence; and it was applied with great ardor and zeal to illustrate and confirm the great truths both of natural and revealed religion. This application of the First Philosophy gave much uneasiness to some pious men, who were extremely solicitous to preserve, pure and unmixed, the doctrines of Christianity; and it was

not being used, that afterwards, when he is to marry, and use it, • the Saviour must restore him from this deadness of body. And . when an Esther by grace, and sister according to her make, gets

sight of this member, her senses are shut up, and she piously pera • ceives, that God the Son was a boy. Ye holy matrons, who as wives are about your Vice-Christs, honor that precious sign with the utmost veneration. We beg the chaste reader's pardon for presenting him with this odious specimen of the horrors of the Moravian theology.

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accordingly opposed by them with great eagerness CENT. XVIII.
and obstinacy. Thus the ancient contest between
philosophy and theology, faith and reason, was un-
happily revived, and has been carried on with much
animosity for several years past. For many are of
opinion, that this metaphysical philosophy inspires
youthful minds with notions that are far from being
favorable either to the doctrines or to the positive
institutions of religion ; that, seconded by the warmth
of fancy, at that age of levity and presumption, it
engenders an arrogant contempt of Divine Revelation,
and an excessive attachment to human reason, as the
only infallible guide of man ; and that, instead of
throwing new light on the science of theology, and
giving it an additional air of dignity, it has contri-
buted, on the contrary, to cover it with obscurity,
and to sink it into oblivion and contempt.

XIX. In order to justify this heavy charge against The
the metaphysical philosophy, they appeal to the writ- translation
ings of Laurent Schmidt, whom they commonly call of the
the Wertheim interpreter, from the place of his
residence. This man, who was by no means destitute
of abilities, and had acquired a profound knowlege of
the philosophy now under consideration, undertook,
some years ago, a new German translation of the
Holy Scriptures, to which he prefixed a new system
of theology, drawn up in a geometrical order, that
was to serve him as a guide in the exposition of the
sacred oracles. This undertaking proved highly
detrimental to its author, as it drew upon him from
many quarters severe marks of opposition and resent-
ment; for he had scarcely published the Five Books
of Moses, as a specimen of his method and abilities,
when he was not only attacked by several writers,
but also brought before the supreme tribunal of the
empire, and there accused as an enemy of the
Christian religion, and a caviler at divine truth. This
severe charge was founded upon this circumstance
only, that he had boldly departed from the common
explication of certain passages in the books of Moses,

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