« AnteriorContinuar »
Art. I. Johann Henry Jung-Stilling's complete Works, 13 vols.
II. Memoirs of Queen Hortense and the Imperial Family, by Mademois-
elle Cochelet, 4 vols.
FOREIGN QUARTERLY REVIEW.
FOR JULY, 1838.
Art. I.-Johann Henry JUNG's, genannt woe into every region where no other per.
STILLING, sämmtliche Shriften, in 13 son ever went before them. We know Bändern. Stuttgart. SCHEIBLE. 1835—now almost universally that Immanuel 1837.
Kant is not a mystic, and that Göthe is not Vol. I. Stilling's Leben. (English, oy a whimpering sentimentalist, as little as he Jackson.)
is a god. But thore remains behind those II. Scenen aus dem Geister.Reiche. vulgar prolegomena a wide unbounded re. Chrysaon.
gion of German thought, descending deep III. Die Liegesgeschichte der Christ. into the abyss of metaphysical questioning,
lichen Religion in einer gem- and rising high into those loftiest regions meinnützigen Erklärung der of religion where we are invited to drink of
Offenbarung Johannes. the waters of the river of life that flow IV. & V. Das Heimweh unil der from beneath the throne of the Everlasting.
Schlüssel zu demselben. This region is as yet untrodden by the most VI. Theobald der Schwärmer, und of us; and so far as we can judge from the
Theorie der Geister-Kunde. echoes of strange Babylonic voices, and the VII. & VIII. Der graue Mann. dark shadows of gigantic distortions that IX. Romane.
have thence wandered over to our coasts, · X. & XI. Des Christlichen Menschen- there seems to be no sufficient reason why
Freunds Biblische Erzählun. we should disturb the peace of our souls by gen.
launching forth into this new voyage of XII. Erzählungen.
perilous discovery. So far as we, from our XIII. Schatzkästlein. Gedichte, f-c. point of view, can perceive, German theo.
logy, or German metaphysics, (for they are By the favor of more than twenty years' at bottom the same,) is a waste howling peace, and with the assistance of an under- wildernes of hopeless scepticism-an åßatos standing which by its general soundness épuia more wild and wintry than that in and vigor more than compensates for which Prometheus was rock-bound by the what it may want in profoundity and com- anger of Jove-a province of Cimmerian prehensiveness, we English have now ar- darkness, where there is only light enough rived at a pretty satisfactory solution of the to see long dismal rows of cold intellectual common problems of German literature. faces prying curiously into the dissected Many things are known now and form body of the dead Beautiful. Nor do we indeed part of the common atmosphere in allow ourselves to be deceived by the num. which cultivated ininds breathe-that twen-ber of wandering lights that ever and anon ty years ago were either altogether unknown, perform strange evolutions through that ator known only to those few “extravagant mosphere of darkness. We see that these and loving spirits” that will at all times luminaries have no healthy permanency like make a conscience of going for weal or the sun; and we know that the fields do VOL. XXI.
not grow green beneath them. And if at ologian there is no life of Christ at all; the any time some calm dignified shape (a No.' hole is mythis, allegory, epos; the miravalio priaps), with the carriage of an cles, if they are not old wists' tales, are angel, sails sulemnly through the inextri. mere magnified and glorified pictures of cable tumult of vain opinions, we are more nature's most common common.places; and confounded than consoled by such appar. to be a Christian is merely to live in the ition; we have not heen accustomed to deal God-begotten idea of moral perfectionution, with religious phantasmagoria; at all of which the name of the Messiah doubtless events a little floating poetry in the air will is the enduring type—but the name of Plato not compensate for the cold barren reality as much so. The Tilanic architecture of of the earth; the Englishmanas yet sees no.the Old Testament evaporates by a like thing that can invite him to the serious process into smoke. As Wolf taught a study of German theology.
new catechism to the scholars of his counThere can be no doubt that the English try, so that we now hear no longer of Homan in thus concluding, is acting in perfect mei's Iliad and Homer's Odyssey, but only conformity with that sound for of the Homeric ballads ; so he also seems which above all the races of men he is so lo bave lenta watchword to the theologians, remarkable. A genuine Englishman (we and we hear no more of the books of Moses, speak not of the few who delight in playing but merely of the Mosaic legend, the Mosiac mountebank tricks) will not embark on a mythus, the Mosaic epos; and that which journey, merely for the pleasures of sailing was late a mystical volume, out of whose in a balloon; he must know where he is pages flowed fountains of living water, has going and he must also know that the ve. now become an ancient scroll for the curihicle in which he travels will convey him ous in read, a Hebrew parchment for the thither in the most direct and expeditious learned to comment on. The finger of God manner. Now, what does Gernian theolo. moves no longer visibly, writing bright logy offer to us by way of useful helps and hopes upon the walls of our prison-house; aids in the perplexed journey that we all like Homer's ghosts (ciowla dyarpa)we wan. travel to the grave and to tue undiscovered der melancholy, dark amid darkness; and country beyond it ? Has Immanuel Kant we hear nothing but confounding voices of with his searching analysis and his com foolish opinions, and infantine babblings, of prehensive grasp-has Herder with his which, whether coming from ourselves or restless spirit of investigation and his fiery others, we had long since been sick even heart that literally raged with humanity- unto the death. The anchor of certainty has Schleiermacher with all his pure Pla- has again been torn from the intellect of tonism of sentiment--has Gesenius with all man; our brightest hopes, which Chrishis Hebrew-or Wegscheiden with all his tianity made to shine like the stars in the reason-been able more clearly than we do firmament, are now a second time sent to tosee through that rent in the coffin of mor- float as loose bubbles on the ocean of bottomtality beyond which the star of the Christ. less speculation; we cannot even look de. ian's hope shines benignly? Not they voutly for the second advent of Christ to On the contrary, the tendency of all their convince is that there ever was a first; for doings seems to have been to undermine Immanuel Kant has made every man his the foundations of Christianity and to leave own legislator and the Categorical Imperaus (with the exception of some smooth piousftive will not submit to be taught even by the phraseology) exactly where we were when Epiphany of a God.* Tacitus denounced the “exitiavilis superstitio” and the “odium humani generis" that
* In confirmation, or rather attestation, of distinguished the vulgar sect of the Naza.
these general views, wbich we have ventured to The fact is undeniable. The Ger- Christianity in Germany, we beg to submit two
express on the subject of the present state of mans are not an irreligious nation-far from interesting and very characteristic specimens of it; but they certainly have succeeded most religious criticism from one of the first literary effectually, so far as their own national be papers of the day—Mentzel's Literatur-Biati. lief is concerned, in evaporating all that is paper, because the state of religion is always to
We make the extract purposely from a literary solid and substantial in Christianity, in be sought for more among the laity than taking away from beneath our feet all that the clergy, who have an official character is real and historical in the faith of centu- a caste than the sentiments of a people.
to preserve, and represent more the opinions of
The ries. If to the English theologian the life first extract is in the shape of a criticism on Bokof Christ is sometimes little better than a len's exegetical work on Genesis, Königsberg, mechanical series of miracles, here at least 1835. The second expresses some general views we have a frame-work into which a soul on the state of Protestantism in Germany, that may be breathed; but to the German the.lihat we have been led to use on the suject :
fully justify any expressions, bowever strong,
Why therefore, it will be asked, do we sceptre of the world in my hand, if all the tempt God, by opening up this shoreless sea while I am haunted with the suspicion of doubt, and throwing the helmless barks that it is the mere bauble of a child ?' And of human souls abroad upon its waves ? thus in religious matters especially it is of the Are we envious of the fate of Pliny and de. utmost importance that what a man believes sirous to throw away the precious gift of he believe with his whole soul ; for certainly existence, for the idle curiosity of contempla - not so much upon the quantity as upon the ing with nearer gaze this smoke and fire of quality of his faith does his salvation depend. a burning mountain ? If this analogy were If a man, therefore, has any
doubts perfectly appropriate in all points, the course ligious subjects, and German theology comes of every wise man would be clear-to keep in his way, it is in vain for him to say to his out of harm's way. But if God has thrown difficulties :-Get ye gone for this time i the dark valley of the shadow of death in the when I have a more convenient season I direct road between us and Heaven, it is not will call for you. If the faith in which the relifor us 10 turn aside from that perilous pas- gious man seeks to live is to be any thing betsage, because the light on the road which ter than a floating cloud, he must examine we have hitherto travelled has been uniform- and question ; and no one ever examined ly pleasant and comfortable to the eye; and and questioned to any purpose who had not most certain is it that doubt and perplexity first learned to doubt. If our religion is to are the portals of Faith, as sorrow and an be anything better than a mere garment, a guish of soul and honest self-reproach are mere piece of heraldic blazonry—it is of esthe beginnings of Sanctification. True it is sential importance that we should know exthat human nature in its present frail estate actly where we are. If there be any suspi. can scarcely afford to lose the glorious hope cion about the matter, let us make minute of immortality for any thing that Kant, or inquiry whether it be mid-day or mid-night, Hegel, or Göthe, have to offer in its stead; or merely the "morning-rednesse” of a day but still less can human nature afford to lose that shall be. And if the Devil be abroad truth, and the love of truth, and the search" any where, let us by all means see him; for of truth, and the constraining power of real. the prince of the power of the air” works ever ity. What avails it to me that I hold the most dangerously in the dark.
“We think the author has treated the histori- world, and the immeasurable population of Rome cal contents of the book of Genesis somewhat ran in' rivalry after the worship of Egyptian and too cavalierly. We are far, indeed, from wishing Syrian idols, more for curiosity's sake ihan from to conceal our ignorance behind what is called an real pious motive, amusing themselves also orthodox exegesis We give up the whole form learnedly in the accommodation of these several of this book to the sharpest grammatical and systems to any philosophy that might happen to historical criticism. It is to us a matter of the be fashionable for the day-so the German Chrisutmost indifference whether one author or two tians are now hovering in uncertainty between have composed it, or whu that author was. But
every different Confessio of Religion, without the Mosaic legend of the creation has an internal seriously adhering to any.
The Catholics march significancy which raises it far above all other in the van of modern enlightenment, and become mythological representations of the ancient as sober as any Protestant; the Protestants begin world. It is at once more simple, and more pro- to think they have gone too far, and draw back found than all the rest. T'he manner in which the from their original stout reliance on private mysterious separation of the sexes, and the ori- judgment, and have commenced a public coquetgin of evil are explained, sufficiently attest this. ry with Catholic ideas, and Catholic forms. We ought accordingly to place the superior (The Oxford tracts among ourselves !) The excellence of the book of Genesis, not in difference between Lutheran and Reform-d is no the merely external circumstances of its age, more heard of. A whole herd of North-German of Moses' authorship, but in the weight of its con- poets and philosophers, born Protestants, have tents, and the depth of its ideas. To estimate made a pilgrimage to the Catholic world, and this properly, to penetrate, so to speak, the mys- thence, metamorphosed into the most wild ultratic kernel of the narration, it is far more edifying montanes, they have sent forth a new crusade for the purposes of philosophy and religious con- against the ancient brethrer. Among the Cathosolation, than occupying ourselves with a mere !ics again, we have a whole party, the Anti-Ceshell. It is the thing, not the author that concerns libatists, between whom and the Protestants there The eternally true and beautiful requires exists really no essential difference.
Then we no documents to prove it; as little can it be quib- have the fashionable philosophies succeeding bled away by sophisms and subtleties. It aliests
one another, or co-existing, and these philosoitself, and asks for no outward witness. A sub-phies possess a wonderful flexibility by which lime' idea remains the same, from whatever they can be adopted to any of the existing creeds, brain, and in whatever region it had its birth." as easily as they can be made the instrument of Literatur-Blatt, redigirt von Dr. Wolfgang Men- creating a peculiar religion, each for itself. In zel, 28 Norbr. 1837.
the midst of all this confusion, the majority of the Christianity with us seems to stand pretty people find it most comfortable to remain in indifmuch in the same position that Heathenism did ference, and where one thing seems as good as in the days of Hadrian. As in those days foreign another, generally remain in the religion of their gods were greedily adopted from all parts of the l fathers.”- Literatur-Blatt, 7 Novbr. 1836.