Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

disposed for its part to accept with confidence its separation from the State when the Government shall deem it necessary for all religious bodies, the Synod deems it well to urge the Church to prepare for this separation."

The synodal presbyterian form of government was decided upon. The pastors are to be nominated by a presbyterial council. The consistory is to have the right of veto. When this right is exercised, the case may be referred to the provincial synod, and to the General Synod, as the highest authority. A rule prescribing the ability to read and write as an essential qualification of voters after the 1st of January, 1875, was adopted unanimously.

The Synod was visited by representatives of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, who congratulated it on its resuming its ineetings under a liberal Government.

It is represented that the Unitarian party is stronger in the Churches than it appeared in the Synod.

The second of the Protestant State Churches of France, the Lutheran, received, like the Reformed Church, the permission of holding again a General Synod. It was convoked by the Government to meet in Paris on July 23, and consisted of thirty-three members, twenty-two laymen, and eleven clergymen-fifteen representing the "Inspection " of Paris, and eighteen that of Montbéliard or Mompelgard. The special task to be accomplished by the Lutheran General Synod was the re-organization of the Lutheran State Church of France, which has nearly been destroyed by the loss of Alsace and Lorraine. Before the war the Lutheran Church numbered forty-four consistories, with two hundred and seventy-eight parishes. Now, only six consistories are left, with sixty-four parishes, of which eight are in Paris, forty-seven in the district of Montbéliard, one in Lyons, one in Nice, and seven in Algeria. The establishment of three more parishes-two in Paris and one in Algeria—has been promised by the Government. Besides this overwhelming majority of its consistories and parishes, the Lutheran Church has lost its supreme ecclesiastical board, its theological faculty and theological seminary, all of which were located at Strasburg, as well as an evangelical gymnasium, and a number of rich dotations in the same city. Thus this Church has been reduced to about one fifth of its former dimensions. Soon after the conclusion of peace, the Minister of Public Worship wished to convoke a Synod for the re-organization of the Lutheran Church; but the Inspection of Montbéliard showed a decided opposition to this step. The great majority of the pastors of this Inspection belong to the Liberal party, and desire to separate from the Inspection of Paris, which is orthodox, and to unite with the Reformed Church, in whicb, for a long time, no confession of faith had been regarded of an obligatory character. This party established a religious paper, called “La Situation Ecclesiastique,” the outspoken aim of which was to bring on a union between the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches, with entire absence of any official creed. On October 18 a general assembly of the Inspection of Mompelgard took place. Of the seventy-eight members

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

who were present, fifty-nine voted for the union, and only nineteen against it. Both the majority and the minority sent delegates to Paris, to ask the Minister to adjourn the re-organization of the Church. The Minister agreed to leave every thing in its former condition until the clergymen would arrive at a better understanding with each other. Soon after, on November 29, the General Synod of the Reformed Church was convoked, and the Lutherans generally concluded to wait until the close of this Synod before taking new steps with regard to their own Church. The strictly Lutheran minority of Mompelgard closely united with the Inspection of Paris, and thereby gained new strength. The majority, which was in favor of a union with the Reformer, split on the doctrinal question, as those leaning toward Pietism were dissatisfied with the attacks, by the champions of the Liberal party, upon the authority of the Bible and the Apostolical Creed. After the majority of the General Synod of the Reformed Church had declared in favor of an obligatory confession of faith, the Rationalistic Lutherans were shaken in their longing for a union, and the Pietists remained the only advocates of a union. The Inspection of Paris, on the other hand, took a decided stand in favor of preserving the independence of the Lutheran Church. Their organ is the paper “ La Temoignage,” of Paris. A minority in Paris favors a union with the Reformed Church, but in view of the grave dissensions in the Reformed Church prefers to make no advances in this direction at present. Moreover, the emigration of large numbers of Lutherans from Alsace and Lorraine appeared to make it more necessary than ever to preserve

the Lutheran Church, The congregations of Lyons and Nice also strongly urge this view.

The Lutheran clergymen of France appear generally anxious not to fall out with their co-religionists in Germany.


GERMANY. UNDER the title of Deutsche Zeit- und Streitfragen, a series of pamphlets has been begun in Germany, each of which will discuss one important question of the age on which the opinions of mankind are greatly divided. The editors of the collection are Professor Von Holtzendorff, of Berlin, and Professor W. Oncken. Important religious controversies fall within the scope of the new enterprise, as well as literary, and others. The very first pamphlet, which begins the series, is one on the Life of Jesus and the Church of the Future, (Das Leben Jesu und die Kirche der Zukunft. Berlin, 1872.) The author, Heinrich Lang, a clergyman of the Reformed Church of Switzerland, has long been known in the theological literature of Germany as one of the leaders of the extreme Rationalistic party. He gives in popular language a brief summary of the results of the critical school of Tübingen, and the books of the New Testament are, in his opinion, not an unbiased record of the life of Jesus, but they are all written in a bitter party spirit, from the stand-point either of the liberal Pauline party or of the Judaizing Christians. He regards it as the mission of theological science to evolve from the parti-colored statements of the New Testament writers the true picture of the Great Founder of the universal Christian religion. Another of the pamphlets of this collection, which have already appeared, is by Professor Schulte, of Prague, the learned writer on Church law, and present champion of the Old Catholics. It treats of the monastic orders and congregations of the Roman Catholic Church, with particular reference to Germany, (Die neueren kathol. Orden und Congregationen besonders in Deutschland. Berlin, 1872,) and warns the German Governments and States against the davgers with which they are threatened by the ultramontane tendencies of the Jesuits, and other orders. Among the pamphlets of the collection, which are announced as soon forthcoming, are the following: Prof. Stahl, History of the Labor Question ; Prof. Baumgarten, of Rostock, Protestantism as a Political Principle; Prof. J. B. Meyer, of Bonn, The Reformation of the German Universities ; Prof. Bluntschli, of Heidelberg, The German Empire and Science. Contributions on theological or ecclesiastical questions may also be expected from Prof. Frohschammer, of Munich ; Prof. Hinschius, of Berlin ; Prof. Huber, of Munich ; Prof. Schenkel, of Heidelberg; Prof. Wasserschleben, Prof. Zeller, and many others.

A pamphlet, by Dr. Gustav Eberty, “On the Relation of the State to Popular Education,” (Ueber das Verhältniss des Staates zur Volkserziehung. Berlin, 1872,) gives an outline of the history of the relation of the State to public education from the earliest times to the present age. The duty of the State to legislate on and to superintend the education of the youth was, even before Christ, advocated by Plato and Aristotle. The Roman Catholic Church denies the right of the State to medille with education ; but the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century established the public school, the great institution of modern civilization, upon a firm basis. The school question is at present the subject of a more animated discussion than at any previous period, and the author calls on all the educated classes to take an active interest in this question.

“The Philosophy of the Earl of Shaftesbury; with an Introduction, and a Critique of the Relation of Religion to Philosophy, and of Philosophy to Science,” (Die Philosophie des Grafen von Shaftesbury. Freiburg, 1872,) is the title of a book published by Prof. Spiker. After a biographical introduction and a literary review, the main portion of the work discusses, n four sections, the relations of the famous English freethinker to religion and Christianity, to morality, to philosophy, and to art and literature.

Dr. Kamphausen, Professor in the Faculty of Evangelical Theology at the University of Bonn, has published an exegetical and critical monograph on the Lord's Prayer, (Das Gebet des Herrn. Elberfeld, 1872.) The author delivered a lecture on this subject to the Pastoral Conference of Bonn, and, at the request of the Conference, published it as a book. It

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


is especially intended as a scientific aid for the clergymen and teachers who explain the Lord's Prayer in a course of religious instruction.

The Catholic publishing house of Herder, in Freiburg, announce the forthcoming publication of a “Theological Library," which is to contain a new manual of every branch of theological science. It is based on the same plan as the theological library published in this country by Prof. H. B. Smith and Prof. Ph. Schaff. The following volumes, among others, will form part of the series : “ Encyclopedia," by Prof. Hagemann, of Hildesheim ; “ Apologetics,” by Prof. Hettinger, of Würzburg; an Introduction into the Old and New Testaments,” by Professor Kaulen, of Bonn;

“ Church History," by Prof. Hergenrother, of Würzburg ; “ Dogmatics, o by Scheeben ; “History of Christian Doctrines,” by Wildt; a manual of “ Church Law," by Prof. Vering, of Heidelberg ; Pastoral Theology, Catechetics, and Homiletics," by Kleinheidt ; " Pedagogics," by Hirschfelder. Some of the authors mentioned in this list are well-known as able scholars; others have thus far only been known for their fanatical zeal in behalf of the Church of Rome. The volumes of the series are, therefore, likely to be of very unequal value.

Another new Catholic publication, of probably considerable value, which is announced as forthcoming, is an Encyclopedia of Christian Antiquities, (Real-Encyclopedie der Christl. Alterthümer,) likewise to be published by Herder, of Freiburg. It is to be edited by Professor Kraus, of the University of Strasburg, with the assistance of Bishop Hefele, of Rottenburg, A. von Reumont, and others. The name of the chief editor and of bis contributors are a guarantee that this encyclopedia will contain a number of valuable articles.

The German translation of select writings of the Church fathers, which is edited by Prof. Thalhofer, of Munich, (Bibliothek der Kirchenräter,) and to which we have occasionally called attention in former numbers of the Methodist Quarterly Review, contains, besides the Latin and Greek fathers, also translations from some writers of the ancient Syriac Church. A large portion of the literature of the ancient Syriac Church has only recently been discovered in Oriental convents, and it is expected that many additions to this literature will yet he found. As but few persons have a sufficient knowledge of the Syriac language to read these works in the original, translations into one of the principal modern languages will be welcome to many theologians of all Christian denominations. The alıove “Library of the Church Fathers,” after giving, some years ago, several volumes of translations of the Church father Ephrem, of Edessa, the best known of all Syriac writers, has recently published a volume of “Select Poems of the Syriac Church Fathers, Cyrillonas, Balæus, and Isaac, of Antioch,” (Ausgewählte Gedichte der Syrischen Kirchenväter Cyrillonas, etc. Kempten, 1872,) now for the first time translated into German, by Prof. G. Bickell, of Munster. The translator is generally regarded as one of the best-perhaps the best--Syriac scholar now living; and although he shows himself biased in favor of the Roman Catholic

[ocr errors]

doctrines, his introduction and notes to the three writers mentioned are declared, even by the most competent Protestant reviewers, as very valuable, A second volume will contain poems of Jacob, of Sarug.

An Arabic work on the doctrines of Mohammedanism concerning the future life has been translated into German by a Jewish rabbi, Dr. M. Wolff, (Mohammedanische Eschatologie, Leipzic, 1872.) The work gives what even now all the Mohammedans believe with regard to the future life, much of which cannot strictly be called Mohammedan doctrine ; for, according the Mohammedan creed, nothing is necessary for salvation but a full belief in all that is contained in the Koran, and in all that a well-authenticated tradition proves to have been taught by the Prophet Mohammed himself. The translator has added potes, investigating the relation of the Mohammedan creed on this subject with Jewish notions.

Prof. H. Schmid has begun a publication of a History of the Catholic Church of Germany, from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present age, (Geschichte der Kathol. Kirche Deutschlands. Munich, 1872.) The work is to be completed in two volumes. A work on this subject was a great want in Germany, but the author appears to have thus far not satisfied the expectations of scholars.

[merged small][ocr errors]


Religion, Theology, and Biblical Literature.
Suggestive Inquiries concerning the Resurrection of the Dead, as taught in the New

Testament. By D. A. DRYDEN. 16mo., pp. 215. Cincinnati: Hitchcock &
Walden, for the Author. 1872.
We agree with Dr. Briggs in his brilliant Introduction to this
little volume, that an honest discussion of our ordinary beliefs,
which “does not impair the force of Christian motives," must,
though freely handled, be liberally accepted. Yet we regret to
say that there are in this book not a few slants at “the theol-
ogies” and “cherished creed,” which better become what Dr.
M'Cosh calls the “ Boston Theology” than an evangelical Meth-
odist preacher, whose heart is in sympathy with the Christian
consciousness of the great body of the true Catholic Church of
all ages. Doctrinal tradition is not to be our master, but still

eserves respectful treatment as one of our guides in attaining the true sense of Scripture, and the vague depreciation of “creeds” and “theologies” is rather new in our Methodism. This general evangelical Church has made the word of God its guide; the “central creeds” are her historic doctrinal records; and when a writer claims that his individual comment on the

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »