« EelmineJätka »
are in the process of publication under the editorial charge of Rosenkranz, and Schubart. Hegel's complete works are also publishing. Volume 8., published last summer, contains bis Lectures on Æsthetics. C. L. Michelet has published at Berlin a history of the systems of philosophy in Germany from Kant to Hegel. We are very glad to see a notice of the issuing of the third volume of Ast's Lexicon Platonicum, sive vocum Platonicarum Index. The edition of Plato's works by Ast in nine very convenient volumes, octavo, has long been out. The ninth was published in 1827.—The two Grimms late of Göttingen are preparing a very extensive dictionary of the German language. Jacob Grimm's German grammar is a book of the highest authority. The dictionary will be completed in about six or seven volumes. -The celebrated Lassen is preparing to publish a Sanscrit Manual, and a a manual of Indian Antiquities. The last named was to be in three volumes, the first volume to appear in the course of 1838.-A new edition of Tholuck's sermons on the principal points of christian faith and practice has been published in two volumes.-We collect the following notices of some of the German universities from a late number of the Allgemeine Kirchen Zeitung published at Darmstadt. Erlangen. This university contains 184 students, of whom 140 are theologians. Bonn. In this university are 689 students, of whom 184 are theologians, 186 attending on the Catholic faculty, and 76 on the Protestant. Heidelberg. 468 students, of whom 25 are theologians. Giessen, 'The following was the course of lectures, last summer, in the evangelical theological faculty of this university-Kuinoel on select passages in the historical hooks of the Old Testament, Credner on Job, on Introduction to the New Testament and on church history, Meier on the epistle to the Corinthians, and on history of doctrines, Palmer on Catachetics and on Symbolic, and Dieffenbach on Dogmatic and Homiletic. Breslau. In the evangelical faculty of this university, Schulz lectures on encyclopedia, methodology and on some of Paul's epistles, Knobel on Introduction to the New Testament, the minor Prophets, christian ethics and catachetics, Middledorpf on Introduction to the New Testament, and the Psalms, Böhmer on the Straussian controversy or the life of Jesus exhibited in his actual labors, christian antiquities, and church history, Hahn on Dog. matics in connection with ethics and symbolics, and the first part of church history ; Suckow on practical theology. The theological seminary is under the charge of Schulz, Middledorf, Hahn and Böhmer; the homiletic insti. tute is directed by Hahn and Suckow. Freiburg. Hug lectures on the Introduction to the New Testament; Wetser on Arabic, biblical Hermeneutics, and Hebrew language; Schleyer on Joel, Amos, Galatians and Ephesians; Vogel on modern church history ; Staudenmeier on dogmatics, and on the theory of religion and revelation ; Hirscher on christian morals; and Werk on pastoral theology and liturgies. Göttingen. Students in the sum. mer quarter, 1838, were 729, of whom 173 were studying theology.
SECOND SERIES, NO. II.-WHOLE NO. XXXIV.
WHAT IS Sın?
Translation of a passage from Vitringa's OBSERVATIONES SACRAE in
relation to this question, with introductory and other Remarks.
By M. Stuart, Prof. Sac. Lit. Theol. Sem. Andover.
There are times in every Christian country, when accurate definitions of important terms in theology are peculiarly needed. Such a time seems to have already arrived in our own. Disputes have recently arisen among our theologians, and they are so carried on as to assume a grave and somewhat threatening aspect.
There are periods, (there have been such in our country), when pastors and churches can walk together, with the full and quiet persuasion that there is no essential difference of sentiment among them, while they are still conscious that differences of opinion in regard to topics not fundamental, or modes of explanation, do actually exist. There have been times, when he that was deemed weak in the faith, was still received with cordiality by his brethren, who felt themselves, perhaps, to be more vigorous in their belief; and received, too, in such a way as “ did not lead to doubtful disputations.” Yet there may be different times, as we are now compelled to believe, which, like some comet portending disaster and filling the public mind with consternation, must pass over us, when every thing appears to be verging to jealousy and disputation. It would seem to matter SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. NO. II.
but little what the actual subject of jealousy and dispute may be, whether a pebble or a crown; it is enough that such a subject exists. The smallest trifle will sometimes, in certain states of the public mind, raise up a quarrel as effectually as the most important matter which can be named. The spirit of the day now and then becomes such as will lead on to a quarrel ; and nothing, it would seem, will appease this spirit, short of the very thing at which it aims, i. e. contention, carried on as vigorously and as far as the nature of the case admits.
The churches of our country, in the North and the South, (I speak now of the evangelical Presbyterian and Congregational churches), have, ever since the settlement of this country, walked together, until recently, on terms of amity and peace. It was once generally thought, and to all practical purposes was fully believed by most Christians, that there were not differences between them of magnitude enough to justify any earnest dispute or active disagreement. But those happy days, as it now seems, have passed or are passing away ; and what was once regarded, at the most, as being nothing more than a venial error in respect to faith, is now becoming, or has already become, in the eyes of some a dangerous, and of others perhaps even a damnable, heresy.
What can have been the cause of introducing such times as these? Is there any development of opinions which are altogether novel, or really heretical, in the North or in the South ? I know of none. There may be, indeed, now and then a solitary individual who is noisy and assuming, and who throws out paradoxical opinions, more, as I apprehend, to bring himself into notice, than out of any sincere and enlightened regard to religious truth. Such may be found, here and there, both in the North and in the South. But this is nothing new. It has always been so. Enthusiasts, and ignorant, and self-sufficient, and noisy declaimers of paradoxes, are not peculiar to any age or to any country.
Yet the times have been, among us, when phenomena of this kind did not excite any special commotion. Our peaceable and quiet pastors and churches looked on the glare of such meteors for a little while, as men are wont to look upon something new and strange; and then, turning away, went quietly on with their own great business, as usual. They did not once dream of putting to the account of a whole community, what here and there an enthusiast or an extravagant man either said or did.
They considered him as living and acting in, for, and by bimself; not as a federal head of a whole section of country or of a great community.
Who does not spontaneously utter a sigh for the reappearance of this feature of the past, whatever may have been the deficiencies of by-gone days in other respects ? Alas! It is difficult now to foresee what may ensue from the present state of feeling, which exists even more extensively, as I apprehend, than most persons appear to be aware of. The time seems to be approaching, when those who profess to be disciples of the same Master, and to love one another as Christian brethren, will not only refuse to support and patronize theological schools in common, but will not unite even in missionary efforts either at home or abroad, or in disseminating the holy Scriptures themselves. Yea, even more; the bonds of brotherhood are. not simply to be broken, but active war itself is to be waged, to the extermination, if possible, of one of the parties.
How can the impartial and considerate inquirer account for such an altered state of things ? No one cause, that I can name, seems adequate to the effects that have already been produced. Many causes, therefore, would seem to have been combined in the introduction of these threatening appearances ;-causes, which it may be the duty of some ecclesiastical historian hereafter to investigate and describe, but which it would be foreign to my design particularly to mention at the present time.
My object in the communication now to be made, is peace. “ Blessed are the peace-makers,” is a sublime and holy sentiment of the gospel-a very expressive portion of the Sermon on the Mount. It is a sentiment worthy of the Prince of Peace who uttered it. It should be engraven on the hearts of all his followers.
But although such is my definite object, yet I cannot agree in opinion with those, who think that peace is to be effectually restored and preserved, by quashing all investigation of controverted subjects, or by refraining from the expression of any opinion respecting them. Less still can I agree with such, if such there are, who cry peace ! peace! to both parties, and talk and write against all public and open discussion, while in their limited and private spheres of action they shew themselves to be devoted partizans, and labour with untiring diligence not only to inculcate their own particular views, but secretly to undermine those of their opponents. I cannot but think this course
to be unfortunate, because, where any thing is done on such grounds, it becomes of course a matter of suspicion and jealousy to the public. Men of an ardent and active temperament, who are usually all energy in regard to any object in which they engage, will hardly obtain credit for being actually silent and inert with respect to the controverted topics of the day, which are deemed to be of high importance. The reason of this is, their silence is unnatural. It is therefore construed as a mere ruse de guerre ; and for the most part, probably, it is right so to interpret it.
The effects, moreover, of such a suspicion may be easily conjectured. Jealousy, fear, offence, because there seems to be a want of plainness and frankness and sincerity, are the natural consequences of such a course; and one need not stop to say, how bitterly such feelings aggravate the animosity of disputants. The more honorable among contending parties are always disgusted with taciturn cunning and wily management, which strives to avoid all open responsibility. They will sooner bear with a man who is even rash, impetuous, and assuming, while they believe him to be sincere, than with one who says : “ Art thou in health, my brother?” while his dagger is in readiness for a thrust under the fifth rib, so soon as this can be secretly made.
In my apprehension, men appear most magnanimous in times of dispute, who take an open part; who do not pretend to any indifference as to controverted matters, nor to consider them as unimportant; but who, notwithstanding their openly professed views and sentiments, have an elevation of feeling and an illumination of mind sufficient to make them kind, and gentle, and forbearing towards those who differ from them. nanimity is there in overlooking that which is wholly a matter of indifference in itself ? None at all. But if a man can persuade himself to make a separation between things essential to religion, and things unessential; between the person and the dress; between the scaffolding and the building; and consequently not insist on making heresy out of secondary matters instead of primary ones; then he may very sincerely think it not by any means an affair of indifference, what kind of costume is worn, (for one kind inay surely be more graceful and becoming and comfortable than another), wbile he still thinks, that it would be rude and even criminal in him, to treat his neighbour with coldness and severity because he did not choose such cos