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our arms every where to receive, to embrace, religious character are altogether number. and to hold fas: that which is positively less. What a fine exercise here to dispose good. No one indeed is called upon to en- all this into harmony for a soul vast enough ter at all upon this region of many strange to embrace its whole extent, and wise enough voices. Without a cool, clear head, and an to separate, with careful hand, the accces. open sympathising heart, it is indeed much sary every where from the essential, the better for the British Christian to read his ephemeral from the eternal! But where Bible quietly at home, and do as many good is the man, we ask again, equal to the task ? deeds as he can, before the roll of his short Shall a Churchman do the work? His eye earthly existence be closed. But if a man is not in the centre, and it is to be feared he will go as a spy into the land of the Canaan- will look at the whole matter through Episites, Canaanites though they be, he must copalian or Presbyterian spectacles; and bring back a true report, both of the land those will not only lend a false colouring, and of them that dwell iherein. He must but marvellously distort the shapes of things. not only tell us that there are mighty men Shall a philosopher do the work? There there, sons of Anak, but he must also tell are very few men who deserve the name us that it is a land Aowing with milk and in this island; and the chance is, that he honey. If a man will speak upon the sub- wants warm religious sympathy, and that ject of German theology, he must speak in his philosophy is too mechanical for the such a fashion that men may clearly per- theme. Shall a man of science do it? He ceive that he is in honest, reverent earnest is too dry, too square, too material. Shall, bound by a solemn oath to do justice to his in fine, the literary man do it 2 Here there theme: not conceiving the theme to exist might be some hope; but he is, for the most for the sake of exalting his folly, but him- part
, too sparkling and 100 superficial to be self, for the sake of exalting the wisdom of a fit questioner of the oracle of Trophonius; the theme. Now with one solitary, and besides, his publisher tells him that nothing that nascent rather than sull-grown excep- but an amusing novel, in three volumes, tion, (we mean Mr. Pusey,) there has as will sell. And yet we think that there is yet been no attempt made amonget us ra- one literary man in this country who could tionally, quietly, philosophically, and with do this, and might do it well, if he would a deep, revereni, all-embracing spirit of love, discard some extravagances.
We mean to develope the Fate of Christian faith and Carlyle, for Coleridge is dead. feeling and life in Germany. It will not The views which we have thus tentativedoto marshal forth a long array of neologic ly, as it were, thrown out on the subject of heresies, piercing with a thousand wounds German Christianity, have been suggested (Falstaff-like) the body of a warrior who is by the republication of Stilling's works in already dead, or only half alive. This style the uniform edition whose title we have preof criticism, which raises up the mummies fixed. The career of this singular individual of dead Titans, that the learned gentleman offers to the European reader something of may display his wonderful prowess in cut- a psychological, much of a religious, very ting off all their heads at one blow, is a little of a literary interest. What Stilling poor affair-very, very negative, as Göthe wrote did indeed, amid the barrenness of the would have phrased it. All criticism that last century, succeed in vindicating for itdoes not go forth from a creative re-concep. self no disreputable position in the elegant tion and reorganization of the thing criti- literature of the day. But much that the cised, (to which a principle of sympathetic Germans admired in those days of their vitality in the critic belongs,) is worse than first awakening from a long lethargy, they nothing and vainly. It is an ill.natured, or have now discovered to be very childish at least an idle bird, picking at berries which and very weak, the mere froth and drivel it cannot eat. But where is the man to be of a fermenting imagination, indicative of found within the wooden walls of these three motion and incipient life, but without stable kingdoms who shall gird his loins worthily organization, without the ripeness of health to the task of writing such a critical history -to a sound English taste altogether an. of the Christian religion in Germany? A palatable. Stilling, however, at no time, work like this would exhaust every possible even when his literary reputation stood cycle, and exhibit every possible phasis of highest in Germany, aspired to walk forth religious insight of which the human intel- before the public in the harlequin glitter lect may reasonably be supposed capable. of a great wit and a clever writer. His The diversity of religious opinions in that wine was Muttergottesmilch and Lachryme country is greater than any thing that has Christi, not champagne. To speak the ever been exhibited in the history of man- truth, God never gave this pious tailor any kind; the different shades and variances of of those talents that are necessary to pro.
duce the intellectual coruscations that de-| the understanding, was, from the beginuing light us in the epiphany of eminent literary 10 the end of his long religious career, characters. But He gave him something moved only by a deep inward emotional equally good, perhaps better ; a deep under- necessity; happy, indeed, on all occasions, current of pure Christian emotion, flowing to find a reconciliation with the argument. perennially through the holy caves of most ative intellect, but living and growing by Teverent thought. Perhaps, indeed, the the law only of its own organization. To French have perverted our notions with himn religion, pure Christian emotion, was regard to the true nature of genius; for the atmosphere of his spiritual existence.with them a " bel esprit” has always been to him Christian piety was an inward ex. a man of quick wit and lively tancy. With 'perienced fact; more certain than any matter this national notion in his head, the Abbé of outward occurrence that was ever settled doubtless asked the celebrated question, by the evidence of the most unexceptionable -"Est agréé un Allemagne peut avoir witnesses. To him the Christian revelation d'esprit ?'' and notwithstanding all that has was a sun, to which, by an instinct like that been advanced to the contrary, we think he of the sun-flower, his spirit unfailingly turnwas entitled to receive the answer he ex- ed. He fulfilled the celebrated condition pected. The Germans have no claim to of Hume, being conscious in his own peresprit, as the French understand it; (neither son of an eternal miracle. To such a man had the Greeks, for what we call a man of the most magniloquent wisdom of the neologenius, they, by a much more sensible gists was but the noisy prate of ignorant phrase, called avño cumuńs, a man of a sound and presumptuous boys. healthy nature;) but the Germans have a What Stilling opposed to the doctrives of national claim to a talent, not perhaps so the theologists we shall see anon more par entertaining, but more loveable than esprit, ticularly. In the first place, however, it we mean Gemüth, the poetry of quiet, pure may be interesting to hear from his own emotion. When this capacity is developed mouth a description of his adversaries, overin a state of high and energetic potency, we charged of course in some points, as these see no reason why it should not be entitled, things will always be ; but true in the gen. as much as the fervid brilliancy of wit, to eral character, and drawn from the life., the designation of genius; and if so, then the following passage is a description of Stilling is certainly a moral and a religious his early theological studies, by the princi genius of a high order; for in no man, per- pal interlocutor in one of Stilling's Chrishaps, was Christian emotion ever developed tian Dialogues of the Dead.* in a state more pure, more delicate, and more sensitive. In the simple and natural
“I am the son of a preacher in Germany. outpouring of this emotion consists
bis great lieved all that was in the Bible and in the
My father was a good orthodox man, who beand original merit as a writer. Pious edi. symbolical books, and wished me to believe fication, not literary amusement, was his the same. I followed his wish faithfully, did aim. He had no time, no inclination, to everything that he asked me to do, and be wander into the land of romance, seeking lieved everything without any rational ground combats with imaginary monsters. The of conviction. This unanimity of sentiment, one, living, many headed hydra of neology however, lasted only till I came to the Uni seemed too strong for the continued exer.
versity ; for I also was destined for the tions of a man whom Nature had never ly for the day when she should see me, a
church, and my mother was looking anxiousmoulded for a Hercules. The position of Stilling, in reference preach my first sermon from my father's pul
learned theologian and a pious Christian, to neology, was very simple. He believed pit. To the University therefore I went ; and with his heart what Baludt and Lemler de with the full expectation of learning a sciences nied, or attempted to deny, with their head. and returning with such a panoply of unan, Hamann and Herder and Richter
, Jacobi swerable evidences of Christianity as would the Faith-philosopher, and many other pro- no longer to be a child, but a strong man in found thinkers and noble-minded men, took the faith. Vain hope! The doctors who up the same position: yea, even the Pro- publicly expounded the divine law, seemed fessor of the Categories, after pulling down secretly to be giving themselves every posthe ancient Egyptian architecture of ontolo- sible trouble to excite in my mind suspicions gy, and cosmology, and theology, reserved against the Bible. The Old Testament conto himself the right to charm up a shape of sisted of mere popular legends of the Jews divinity from the deep ethic substratum of silly fables, and uncertain traditions : Moses the soul. But these men worked conscious. was a wise man certainly, and a great lawly and systematically. Stilling, while he seemed to be busy with an architecture oflii. p. 55.
Scenen aus dem Geister-Reiche. Werke,
giver, but also a great cheat,-at least, to a tradictory evidence of reality, that whatsosimple man it seemed almost impossible to ever I had deemed false is true, and all that reconcile his doings with common honesty. I deemed true is a lie!”.... And as to the Supreme Being, directly, at all events, God had nothing to do with the mat.
In another passage the new opinions are ter. All this they taught, not indeed totidem
described more particularly in reference to verbis, but by such clear implication, that a their historical genesis from France. man must have been stullissimo stultior not say historical, for we have already seen, that to perceive how the wind was blowing. The the inward germ of neology lay much deepprophetic books were called Hebrew poems, er. in which some past events were prophesied, sion;
France was merely the outward occain an elevated style, as future; and not a few things, at first but dimly imagined in the " King Louis XIV. of France, after him the mind of the bard, afterwards either actually Duke of Orleans, and then Louis XV. had, happened by accident, or admitted of a con- during the course of a hundred years, led the venient application to what did happen. French nation into a state of unexampled Christ was always mentioned with the great- luxury; a people sunk in licentiousness, and est reverence; but when one put himself to weakened by all the arts of over-refinement, extract the true sense of all their big hyper. receives the unholy wit of a Voltaire as phi. boles and vague eulogies, it appeared plainly losophy, and the sophisticated dreams of a that the Saviour of mankind was in their eyes Rousseau as religion ; by this means a na. nothing better than a virtuous, pious, and tional character arises, possessed of every wise man, who sealed his life and his doctrine charm by which the sensual outward man is by the death of a martyr.* That they called attracted, garnished too with all the formal many things in the Bible not fable but alle. equipments of a system, and glittering in an gory, was a piece of well-considered policy, intellectual polish that commands the attenand nothing more. After all this evaporation tion even of thinking men, and wins the apnothing solid remained of Christianity but probation of all cultivated minds. the morality, and this indeed seemed to be ! “ Hence came it that our German nobility, the aim and essence of all theological learn high and low, considered France as the ex. ing, everything else being a matter of abso- clusive school of refinement, cultivation, and lute indifference. • Do what the moral law good manners. The strong language of the commands, and then believe any thing you Germans was laid aside, and French became please, or, if you please, nothing at all!' the language of the higher-classes. French This is the sum of the theology that the adventurers, French friseurs, and French learned professors taught me; and indeed it pondescripts of all kinds became the chosen is quite plain, that as soon as the Bible be- instructors of our royal and princely youth, comes a common old chronicle, one believes and not seldom French milliners officiated as either nothing at all, or only so much as the gouvernantes of our princesses, countreason can comprehend. We have, it is true, csses, and fashionable young ladies. The a clear anticipation of a God, but he remains national character of the Germans, and with a stranger to us; we are utterly ignorant of it religion, were thrown into the lumber.room. his relationt o man. We anticipate immor
“ Our literati and learned men now joined tality, but what that immortality shall be, we the great march of improvement, and the have not the most remote conception. We theologians especially felt themselves called feel ourselves free; but when we 'examine upon to come forward. They had a difficult this freedom minutely, we appear to be bound part to play; they chose the system of ac. to an iron necessity, and yet are bound to do commodation; they exerted all their abilities what we cannot do. Such was my curricu- to establish a reconciliation between Christ lum of the logical study! I had conscience and Belial ; each party was to concede some. enough not to enter the church. I devoted thing, and meet the other half way. Christ myself to literature and philosophy; read was to give up the peculiar doctrines of Helvetius, Hume, and Shakspeare twenty Christianity, Belial the most offensive vices, times through ; the Greeks and the Romans and both united should acknowledge no funwere a world in which I lived. I expounded damental law of religion but morality; for morality, but how I practised it, discase and in this all were agreed, that good morals must rottenness soon proclaimed. I spoke from be publicly taught; as for the practice of the professional chair of the true, the good, morals, that was a matter betwixt every man and the beautiful; but took no cognizance of and his own conscience, and the philosopher the existence of such a thing as religion. I was not called upon to examine too curiously lived to see the great triumph of humanity into the quality of individual action. This in the universal diffusion of liberty and Christo-Belial system was par honneur de equality. And now I find myself suddenly lettre still to be designated The Christian in this other worlal, convinced by the uncon- Doctrine of Religion (Religionslehre); for
it was not wished openly to affront the pro*." And yet Christ represents himself without fessors of revealed religion. In this arose equivocation as the only begotten Son of God, the so-mach bepraised enlightenment of these who was with the father before all worlds. Could latter times, and the Neology of the Christian a virtuous, pious, and wise man have said this, religion. knowing that it was false ?" — Note by Stilling. '| "But let me not be misunderstood! I do
not say that all these newfangled teachers, ues to exist in glory and blessedness, sole or the majority of them, had any clear pur- governor of the kingdom of God, at least pose of forming a league between Christ and among men, and worthy to be worshipped Belial-jor most of them denied the existence of all. of the latter altogether-but the spirit of the " (4). That a truly repentant sinner, who age had with such a poisonous infection to the constant purpose of progressive melioworked itself into the bone and marrow of ration of character adds the honest endeavour these men, that they no longer saw biblical to indemnify all and each, so far as in him truths through a healthy medium; their lies, for the evil that his sins, whether of pur. French-educated moral principle found the pose or carelessness, may have brought upon most sublime doctrines of revelation, super- them; such an one has good ground of stitious, ludicrous, and absurd-new reason hope, that in the suflerings and death of took a jump over the circumvallation of old Christ all his transgressions shall find such prejudices—and the leading theologians of perfect remission as if they never had been the Lutheran Church applied themselves pub- committed." licly to that greatest work of all-A REVISION OF THE BIBLE. Here was the beginning of
Whatever the pious reader may think of that great defection which Christ and his these symbols of the Christian faith, he canapostles, and above all St. Paul, had so clear- not fail to admire the liberal and catholic ly foretold; what awaits now but the man of spirit in which they are drawn up. sin, the incarnated Satan, to walk abroad, harsh determination to exclude, but an anx. that by the sudden coming of the Lord he ious endeavour to include as many sincere may be plunged into perdition ?"*
inquirers as possible within the bonds of Let us now inquire shortly what ground Christian fellowship, is here a regulative Stilling took up against the Neologists, and principle. If the doctrine of the absolute by what circumvallation he fenced himself. corruption of human nature, the necessity of We have already said, that his opposition to regeneration ab extra, and the expiatory the intellectual scepticism of the age sprung virtue of Christ's death, are laid down in from a deep emotional necessity of the inner terms that cannot fail to come in collision man. He was a Christian by feeling and with the honest convictions of many Arminpractical experience of the power of the ian and Socinian Christians of the present Christian religion to purify and to sustain the day, we must bear in mind that Stilling had soul. This consideration supplits us with to do with men who had converted Christithe surest key to his creed. Not the curious anity into a pious-mouthed Deism within the speculation of Church orthodoxy, but the Church, and he was by this situation neces. experienced efficacy of certain doctrines to sarily compelled either to give up Christianity satisfy certain cravings deeply rooted in the altogether, or boldly and without mincing to religious and moral nature of man, dictated assert its peculiar character as distinguished to Stilling the following four essential articles from the philosophy of Socrates or Epictetus. of the Christian creed :
But how wisely on the other hand has the “ There are certain great Bible truths which pious German kept free from those vain sub. form the foundation of the Christian religion, tleties and unprofitable distincti 'ns, disputa. and are, in the proper sense of the word, the tions of science falsely so called, with which symbols (oupBoda) of the true Christian. He the conceit and rashness of phantasy has in who by a learned exegesis cozens these truths all ages perverted the simplicity of the faith out of the Bible, may make of it what he delivered to the fathers ! What an advance, pleases; but he has no vocation to put him. for instance, from the bigotry of Byzantine self forward as a teacher of the religion of faith, when an “eternally august ” TheodoChrist. These symbols are, that " (1). The natural tendency of human rea.
sius or Justinian could define a Christian to son, when left to itself, is to depart ever fur. be synonymous with an Athanasian,t and ther and further from true ho ss, and from stamp the minute differences between Ocòróxos the knowledge of the truth, and to lead man- and XPlototókos as the passport to heaven or kind into temporal and eternal perdition. hell! Not that Stilling was indifferent, or
(2). Every individual is bound continually to strive after a constantly increasing * Das Heimweh, Iter band, p. 663. Werke, sanctification; and this by means of a firın vol. iv. and unremitted faith in Jesus Christ and his + Χριστιανός έστι και πιστευαν μιαν είναι θεοτητα εν ίση plan of redemption, an unceasing watchful. εξουσια του Πατρός, του Υιού και του Αγίου Πνεύματος και ness and unwearied struggle against every the first words of the Basilicon. And in the Ne
γαρ παρά τα ειρημενα δυξαζων αιρετικός έστι. These are sinful inclination, and constant prayer and mocanon of Tholius, tit. xii. c. 2, we have the submission to divine influences.
same doctrine expressed in much stronger phrase: " (3). He must believe in his heart, and 'Our dočaswv siváyıav tpiada èv pia Osornti lovevratov without wrath or doubting, that Jesus Christ | ούτε Χριστιανός λεγεται, αλλά άφρων εστι και αιρετικός from his resurrection to all eternity contin- kai áriuos kai Tipwoltai. In plain English, whoso
ever is not an Athanasian, is not a Christian.* Das Heimweb, vol. i. Werke, vol. iv. Judge not, that ye be not judged."
would have any Christian man to be indif- | his own feelings he would never have dreamt ferent, to whatsoever is taught, or merely for a single moment of asking any other indicated in Scripture, of things however re. proof of Christianity than the instinctive as. mote from human comprehension, and how. cent of his own feelings heavenward; but he ever barren of any practical results ; bu: that had been early forced out of his native circle partly his true Christian humility prevented of pious freinds; he had studied at a Gerhim from being hasty to dogmatise on these man university, he had met with Göthes and subjects at all, and partly his true Christian Herders, and been moved by the mighty incharity forbade him to cast a rash anathema fluences of thought that emanated from their against a dissentient brother, who, wi h a neighbourhood; cold, cutting knives of Vol. few points of difference in matters properly tairean wit had early wounded his sensitive theological, was yet in the main an honest soul : being a German also he could not es. practical Christian “ fervent in spirit, serving cape from metaphysics, and the Leibnitzian ihe Lord.” How often do we observe, and philosophy which moulded the minds of his in this country especially, that those who are cotemporaries, seemed to establish the har. most eminent for the profession of doctrines mony of the universe only at the expense peculiarly evangelical, are at the same time of the freedom, and therewith of the religious the most eminent in exhibitions of wrath pe. existence, of man. Poor Stilling! for twen. culiarly bitter and malignant! How often ty long years had his pure Christia is superior piety only another name for supe. battled with the doubts of a head, not strong rior pride! The celebrated mystic prophet- enough to elicit truth out of its own workings, ess Bourignon (once well known in Holland but open always to see it when evolved by and Scotland), used to say "I am unable to the workings of another. For twenty long find one true Christian in the world; God years did the demon of determinism lie, like made me the first, and sends me out to create a night-mare, upon his soul, till at last the reothers.” Henry Stilling (though both a mys. demption came. And whence did it come? tic and a prophet in his way) would have When the reader bethinks himself that Stil. been the last man in the world to give utter- ling was born in the year 1740, and was thus ance to such a sentiment; he was the most a contemporary of Gothe and Immanuel humble and therefore the most tolerant of Kant, he will have little difficulty in perceive Christians, as Antoinette was perhaps the ing whence the redemption came. From most arrogant and over-bearing. He warned Göthe it could not come, for this man had against no sin so much as censoriousness. little or no connection with the religious Putting Christianity altogether aside, he was world. Kant was the other great prophet of too deeply read in the strange lessons of the the age, and metaphysics, as every body human heart not to know, that that pride is knows, supplies the only of theology. anything but the most dangerous which pa. This it does in two ways. It either reconrades in a coach and four, and a host of ciles faith and reason by showing, in a Thelivery servants. He knew that the heart of odice, their harmony and identity, which man is " deceitful above all things and des- was the fashion of Leibnitz; or it removes perately wicked;" and in the practical the necessity of reconciling them, by nicely knowledge of this truth, he was disposed to separating the domain of the sensible from place, if not a great part of Christianity itself, that of the supersensible, confining the actiat least the only soil in which Christian seed vity of reason to the one and giving up the could be sown.
other exclusively to the dominion of faith ; With regard to the evidences of revealed which was the effect of the Kantian philoso. religion Stilling is not likely to give satisfac- phy. Strange phenomenon indeed! that tion to any sound-headed British inquirer. In that philosophy which was set forward by its common with most German theologians, he author as an infallible safeguard against all is far more apt to dwell on the internal than Platonic dreamings and theologic specula. on the external evidences of Christianity. tions, should have supplied the most relig. So far indeed as our observation has gone ious Germans of the age with the longthere is such a radical difference between the sought solid ground-work of a mystic faith. German and the British mind in all matters But so it was : and when we consider it of reflection, that it would be almost impos- well the phenomenon is simple enough. It sible to find two thinking individuals of the is merely another edition of the “ Trailé de two nations who had arrived at a conviction la Foiblesse de l'Esprit Humain, par Danof religious truth in the same way. The iel Huet.” Once prove to a man that his legs Englishman here, as in every other difficulty, are not able to bear him, and he will thank arresting the practicality of his nature, builds you for any crutch however crooked. We a bridge to heaven; the German sails up in scarcely think that the great Immanuel hima balloon. Had Jung Stilling been left to self intendod his philosophy to be used in this