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not fail to look beyond the letter to the spirit, to separate the central and absolute idea from the temporary forms with which it is surrounded. In this mode, Schleiermacher attempts to demonstrate the validity of the primary truths of the Gospel, in their relation to the religious consciousness of man, as they have been held in some form or other, by the great body of believers in the church from the time of its foundation.
now asked, whether Schleiermacher is to be classed among the Rationalists or the Supernaturalists, as they are arranged in German theology, we answer that he belongs to both, inasmuch as he admits the most valuable distinctions and principles of each of those schools. He holds, with perfect faith, to the supernatural character, the miracles, and the divine mission of Jesus Christ; and at the same tiine he would reinstate the authority of reason, and establish the claims of religion in harmony with those of a sound philosophy. He perceives, in the revelation of the Gospel, a fountain, which corresponds with the wants of our religious nature, and which flows directly from the throne of God; and at the same time he does not forget, that the streams which issue from this fountain must partake of the character of the soil and other accidental influences, to which they are exposed. He regards the spirit of Christ as having been filled with all the fulness of God, and, at the same time, he remembers the human relations in which this spirit was manifested. Schleiermacher thus reconciles some of the most perplexing antitheses between the two opposing systems, and lays a broad foundation for a faith which is equally in accordance with the results of science and the wants of the heart.
A question, perhaps, of still greater interest may now be asked by our readers ; With which of the two great religious divisions in this country, is Schleiermacher to be ranked? We answer, With neither. He occupied a station which has found no representative in our own theological progress.
We add, that his views are capable of doing service to both of the leading schools in this country. If in no other respect, he may inspire us all with a feeling of the importance of connecting philosophy and theology in ihe most intimate harmony, by pointing out to each its peculiar province,- of exercising a spirit of tolerance and charity towards the faithful strivings of every seeker of truth, and of recognising, in the nature of man, the same signatures of Divinity which authenticate the Gospel of Christ. The article which follows was written immediately after the decease of Schleiermacher, by Dr. Lücke, Professor of Theology, at Göttingen, who was connected with him in the relations of an intimate friendship, sympathy of opinion, and similarity of pursuits. It is written in a style, which we do not admire, and which makes it difficult to be converted into a form, to which we are at all accustomed in our own language. We fear that we have not succeeded in clothing it with a befitting English dress; but, on account of the interesting view which it presents of Schleiermacher's doings as a theologian and his character as a man, we venture to submit it to the attention of our theological public. It is taken from the work named at the head of this article, one of the most valuable theological publications of the present day, to which Schleiermacher himself was a frequent contributor.
A short sketch of Schleiermacher's life may be necessary to a complete understanding of the article, and we accordingly subjoin it. He was born at Breslau, the capital of Silesia, on the 21st of November, 1768, and consequently was in his 66th year, at the time of his death, which took place on the 12th of February, 1834. His early education was received at different Moravian seminaries, from which body of Christians he derived his first religious impressions, and to which he always manifested a strong attachment in after life. The tendencies which his mind received from the Moravian Brethren were never wholly renounced, but distinct traces of their influence may be perceived in his subsequent history. He separated from this community, however, at the age of nineteen, and became a member of the Reformed Church in Germany. His studies were continued at the University of Halle, which at that time, as well as the present, contained one of the most important theological schools on the continent of Europe.
Europe. Under the auspices of such teachers as Wolf, Eberhard, Knapp, and Nösselt, he laid a solid foundation for his progress in philosophy and theology. Having completed his studies at Halle, he spent a short time as private instructer in a Prussian noble family, and then became member of a celebrated seminary for teachers, under the care of Gedike, at Berlin. After receive ing ordination as a preacher, he officiated for a short time as assistant minister at Landsberg on the Warta, and then received the appointment of preacher to the Hospital of Charity in Berlin. He held this station from 1796 to 1802, when he
became court preacher at Stolpe, which office he soon left for that of University Preacher and Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Halle. When that University was suspended during the wars of Napoleon, he returned to Berlin, where he became established as minister at the Trinity Church, and, upon the opening of the University in that city in 1810, he received the appointment of Professor of Theology, in which office he continued until his death. He commenced his literary career with the translation of Joseph Fawcett's Sermons, and this was soon after followed by the translation of Blair's Sermons, which he undertook in conjunction with his friend Sack. From such a commencement no one could have augured the future position which he was destined to occupy. But he soon revealed the power and depth of his intellect in his celebrated Discourses on Religion, of which a further notice is given by Dr. Lücke. This established his character as a profound thinker and an eloquent writer. From this period he maintained an ever-growing reputation in the highest departments of German literature, which he has contributed to illustrate, in no small degree, by his numerous publications on philosophy, theology, and criticism, and on many of the inportant practical topics of the day. His activity as a scholar presents a beautiful specimen of the almost incredible achievements of the men of letters in Germany; and the influence of his character and writings has established a school, which numbers in its ranks many of the most brilliant minds to be found in the walks of theology, aud which promises to advance, with no insignificant progress, the essential interests both of science and of the church.
Dr. Lücke's Recollections of Schleiermacher.
SCHLEIERMACHER is to be numbered among those highly gifted individuals, who possess the creative power and presiding genius to diffuse new light and life in every department to which they are called by their circumstances or their taste. He was born with a commanding and kingly nature. ed in many different spheres, which demanded the most opposite talents, but in all of them he exerted a great and signal authority. He was a learned theologian and preacher of the
divine word, a philosopher, and philologist; he was known to the public at large, as a powerful writer on the most important interests of the day; and in the circle of practical affairs, in which he was engaged, he was the object of the highest esteem and love. It is not my purpose to give a full and complete description of the manifold endowments and merits of Schleiermacher. This is the province of a special biography, for which there will not be wanting, among the intimate friends of his later years, either the ability or the will. I shall confine myself to the department in which he was at home from the beginning, and to which he was destined both by his native inclinations and his official duties, — the department of theology and of the church. In this, few have exerted an influence like him. When Dr. Neander received the intelligence of the death of his beloved teacher and colleague, he announced it to his auditory in these words ; “A man has been taken away, from whom a new epoch in theology will hereafter be dated.” There will probably be those, who, from ignorance or petty jealousy or party spirit, will be inclined to call this in question. But I have no fear, that, the more his influence is developed in all its compass and relations, the judgment of posterity will not confirm the impression that was experienced during the first pangs of grief for his departure. Posterity, after an intelligent and unprejudiced examination, will pronounce him to be the individual, with whom a new direction in theology and the church took its effectual commencement.
To speak in general terms, Schleiermacher marks the transition of the Protestant church and theology in Germany, from the negative, critical, and destructive tendency, to the re-organic and positive Reformation, which is now going on around us. In this reformation there are two directions, a retrograde and a progressive movement. The retrograde movement consists in the resumption of positive Christianity with all the fulness and depth of religious feeling, the restoration of a strict and connected system of Christian thought, and the revival of the idea of fellowship and communion in the visible church. These are the unchangeable elements of all sound Christian life. Our Protestant theology and church are built on this foundation. They can never be lost in the church of Jesus Christ. But for a long time among us they were more or less darkened, scattered, deprived of power.
It is the problem of the present time to collect them again, and to clothe then with fresh life and strength. But this is impossible without the living progress of the science, which constantly separates all that is merely human, adventitious, unessential, all that is traditional and arbitrary, from the original word of God, and gives freedom and power to the inward spirit, which lies hid in the bondage of the outward letter. While it does this, it also preserves and quickens the original form; while it opens the meaning of the divine word in its height and depth, it shuts out from it for ever all contradiction and doubt. This science for the most part will proceed in a critical direction. But all criticism is not progressive and reformning. We have known a school of criticism, which, without the Christian spirit or experience, pretended to understand and to judge the fulness of the Gospel through mere barrenness, which explained faith through unbelief, and truth through fictions and fancies. There was no saving power in this, but only decline and corruption. The most painful experience has taught us, that genuine criticism can proceed only from the fulness and concentration of the Christian life, that Christian science has no power or right to judge of the truth of the Gospel, and according to this truth to pronounce sentence upon all forms of error, except when it has been baptized, with faith and humility, in the depths of the divine word.
The youth of Schleiermacher fell in the time when the spirit of criticism, — first awakened by Semler in Christian history, and by Kant in philosophy, - commenced its salutary contest with the tasteless and imbecile forms of an antiquated orthodoxy. It was the same time in which, after a long period of tranquillity, the elements of political, literary, and religious life were thrown into a tempest of commotion, and the ancient institutions and observances of our father-land fearfully shaken. Schleiermacher was brought up in a community which seemed, by its very nature, to be shut out from the revolutionary movements of the day, but it was impossible for him to regard them without interest, since he belonged to those independent and active spirits, who are destined to create progress where they do not find it, and the element of whose life consists in free investigation, inquiry, and doubt. In the dedication of his “Discourses on Religion” to his early friend Brinckmann, in Stockholm, who had been brought up with him among the United Brethren, he reminds him of the time," when the ideas of the - 30 s. VOL. II. NO. I.