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seek for the true picture of Christianity which is at the present moment before their eyes. Virtually, the Church of each age is its Christ; that is, the Christ which is seeking the confidence and love of the world is more powerfully presented by the prevalent Christianity of the life of professors than by the doctrinal teaching of its preachers. Of course, we speak not now of atonement. But as our Lord prepared the way for the reception of his religion by living in the midst of men, and so winning beforehand the attachment and confidence of a few, by whose means that religion should be established in the world ; so, in the same way, we believe that the life of the Church is ever preparing the way for the saving reception of the Christian truth.
What, then, are the characteristics of the Christ which, by the life of the entire Church, is before the eye of the world, and is asking for its homage, its adhesion, its confidence, its love, its entire submission as to a King and Lord ? One striking fact there is, which ought to make our hearts sink within us, conscious of some great defect-it is, that whilst the true Christ gathered the masses round him, and the common people heard him gladly;' we, in our day, are deploring the almost entire defection of that great class which that term now designates. Surely, this contrast implies some sad difference betwixt the Church's life and that of Him it professes to follow. The poor gathered round him in crowds, drank in his words with wondering delight, following him to mountain heights, to hungry deserts, eager for the sunlight, the joyful inspiration of his words. The Pharisees derided or hated him; men in power laughed at the vulgar infatuation; the rich and honourable bestowed on him their magnificent contempt; but the poor did him homage in throngs wherever he went. How is it now? Let the metropolis of our land answer. Our kings and statesmen ride in procession to Christian edifices, and the crown is placed on the head of royalty by official Christian hands; our wealthy ones roll in easy state to church, and sit there in easy state to hear the voice of the Christian teaching of the age. Our Pharisees do honour to the once-hated name, and, in modern phylaciery, present that very Christ to the masses for acceptance whom once they derided the vulgar for admiring. Our powerful, wise, and wealthy ones, pay outward respect, at least, to the good thing which came out of Nazareth ; and it is the masses now whose feet tread not the courts of the Lord; who call not his 'Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord and honourable;' aye, amongst whom are found the most subtle, determined, and vengeful opponents of the religion of the Meek and Lowly. Surely the change is strange ! Some cause must underlie it, which may prove that the reason of the change is, because the Christ of this age appears as one with whom pomp and power, luxury and ease, can sympathize—one whom Pharisees may delight to honour, because he applauds their practices; and not one who, putting himself on a level with the poor, and espousing ever the cause of the oppressed and the sorrowful, irresistibly enshrines himself in their hearts, and by doing the deeds of a God, causes his words to be received as a divine message. Does not the history of Christianity prove this surmise to be correct? Is it not, at the present moment, in alliance with the pomp and power of the world in every land of Christendom? Have not its priests decked themselves in gorgeous apparel, and so removed themselves from the masses ? Are not its institutions, in by far the larger portion of the nominal Church, Pharisaic, formal, ritual ? Is not the religion of ceremony positively sanctioned by the law of this Protestant land? and throughout Europe, is it not almost the only form of Christianity that prevails? Further : Has not this very Christianity, by means of some sections of the Church, or at least which claim to be so, been the abettor of tyranny, and absolutism, and despotism? Has she not taken the side of the strong against the weak? Has she not wielded the civil sword with more than secular rancour and fury? Is the term 'proud ecclesiastic' one which can find no appropriate wearer in the present day? To descend into less exalted regions : Has not the profession of Christianity been seen, in numberless instances, irrespective of all Church distinctions, to be compatible with a licentious, immoral, and utterly worldly life with a spirit of determined recklessness, of speculation, and haste to be rich; with utter self-indulgence, with overreaching, puffing, griping, grasping, habits of trade? Have not theologic rancours become proverbial for their bitterness? Are any anathemas so terrible as those which church hurls at church, and Christian at Christian? And now, when great popular wants make themselves known, whether here or in neighbour-lands, is it not the case, that to rouse a public sentiment about it, instead of being an easy task, because it is a spontaneous thing which Christianity ever has at hand ready for use; it is, on the contrary, a very difficult thing to excite any enthusiasm, and what is so excited is confined to the few? Are not our philanthropies becoming, in great measure, things independent of Christianity? Where are the enthusiasts for liberty—the men that groan their inward execration upon tyrannies and despotisms? Are they in our Christian Churches ? Are all our communicants—whom the world sees as the representatives of Christianity, be it remembered -at active work in the midst of these masses? Do they know anything about them? Have they any sympathies with them? Do not many of them look down upon them from their lofty, luxurious heights, and see them in a dim haze-a moving mass without form or feature ? And can we, then, wonder that the multitude should not hear the Christ of this age gladly? Not that there are no exceptions-no churches which seek to have a simple and truthful form; to repudiate corrupting and destructive alliances. Not that there are no individuals in all churches who are following Christ in his humble, loving trackwho participate his wide sympathies—whose brotherhood embraces the world. We would by no means utter so sweeping a condemnation. But, on the whole, we fear greatly that a minute comparison of the life of the Church now, and that of her Lord, would reveal a terrible dissimilarity, quite sufficient to account for the comparatively slow progress of his kingdom.
If our space permitted, we could come to particulars, and draw the portraiture of different types of individual Christian life, too, which would show how this hindrance has worked in its smaller circles until it has become the gigantic evil we now deplore. But we must forbear. We have indicated what appears to us to be one great branch of the Church's mission to the world. She must look at her own life, and comparing it with that of her Lord, must seek to have a Christlike piety. Ere much can be done, we must all be penetrated with the conviction that we have a mission, and must be filled with the spirit of it. Every professor must be at work-doing something for the spread of Christ's kingdom, and doing it with his might. And we must bear about with us the remembrance of the truth that our life is either adding to or detracting from the success of such efforts. That the quality of our individual piety is a line in the features of the Christ of the age, giving it either winning attraction or repulsive deformity. That the spirit which is in us is helping to make up the spirit of the religion of the age by which men are being influenced. Making it either a strong, manly, noble, and at the same time, a tender, loving, generous, sympathizing spirit; or else a weak, sickly, inert, selfish, narrow, contracted spirit, which will win and deserve the contempt of the world; and instead of guiding its progress, and marching in the van of its advance, will be left far behind, to have its impotent pretensions derided, and its feebleness pointed at as its disgrace. We must seek to rid the Church of all its inconsistent reliances for support upon the fleshly arm of power; to induce it to put off the paltry ornaments of childish pomp : to throw down the ceremonial which cramps up its spirit, and hides its power. We must, in a word, cease to take mere theology as the inspiration of our life, and turning to Christ himself, labour at ourselves with untiring pains, until we bear about in our own persons some feeble portion of the influence which he brought into the world, and by which the poor were won to God.
G. W. C.
To a simple-minded disciple of the Lord Jesus, unversed in the disputes of the schools, Rationalism must appear a strange phenomenon. When he rises from the perusal of the New Testament, and hears of dogmatical extravagances which some half-fledged divine has thrown out in the parlour, or some lover of novelty has broached even in the pulpit, questioning the miracles or denying the sinfulness of sin, he may well feel surprise, and ask by what process professed expounders of the gospel can have been led to such opinions. What is Rationalism Rationalism is the recognition of human reason as the fountain and the standard of religious truth. By human reason is meant the reason of the individual-your reason and mine. And by reason is meant not man's intelligence, not his whole reasonable nature, but his logical faculty, the faculty whose special office is to compare ideas and draw conclusions. This is Rationalism in its principle and essence: the unqualified and exclusive reliance of each one on his own reasoning powers. Those powers may be untrained, half-trained, perverted; may be defiled by sin, tinged with Paganism, cramped by narrow experience. No matter; they are the masters, they the instructors, they the judges; for light sufficient; in authority supreme. To them are subordinated all man's other faculties; and they are the tribunal before which revelation itself must stand. The verdict
may be anticipated. And, in fact, Rationalism has pronounced condemnation on the New Testament; for as to its excuses and qualifications, we consider them mere sham; and, in the long run, we know, that if Rationalism prevails the religion of the New Testament has had its day. Well may a truly religious and unsophisticated student of the Scriptures wonder at the existence of Rationalism in the Church, and ask how the state of mind can have been produced. An answer to the question is very desirable. An answer in detail has been given from the press.* In this paper we give an answer in a sketch of the formation of the mind of a rationalist, one of the more moderate kind, a learned, virtuous, and amiable man.
Such an instance offers instruction the more reliable, because free from the polluting influence of sensualism and the distorting influence of such extremes as the lowest rationalism presents.
Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider, the son of the pastor Johann Gottlieb Bretschneider, was born at Gersdorf, in Saxony, on the 11th of February, 1776, the ninth of a family of ten children. The father, though accounted orthodox, remarked to a friend in Karl's presence, * We cannot deny that our proofs for the independent deity of the Holy Spirit are very weak.' Struck with the observation, the child seems to have not only retained the recollection of it, but to have received an impulse in a negative direction, which continued with him throughout life. The impulse might have been obliterated, had the father been as diligent in training his child's religious affections as he was in communicating to him the elements of secular, and specially classical learning. As it was, the influence of a moral life in the father was abated in its operation on his children by a severity and sternness which shrouded the father under the instructor, and failed to temper authority with the gentleness of Christian tender-heartedness. The unexpected sight of one of his deacons in a state of intoxication in public, brought on an attack of apoplexy, to which he was constitutionally inclined, and putting a sudden term to his existence, threw Karl on the charity of an uncle, by name Tag, a singer in
* A critical History of Rationalism in Germany, from its origin to the present time, by Amand Saintes, translated from the second edition of the French original, and edited by the author of "The People's Dictionary of the Bible." One vol. 8vo. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. 1849.
the church at Hohenstein. To the grammar-school in that town the boy was sent, in order, agreeably to a wish expressed by his father, to prepare for the university, with a view to the Christian ministry. Having, as a chorister at Chemnitz, and with charitable aid, passed through the classes of the high school there, Karl proceeded to the University of Leipzig, of which he became a student in the year 1794. There he spent four years in diligent study, free from vice, given to no gross pleasures, and finding his recreations in walking, in riding, in playing at billiards, or at tennis. Having finished his course in Leipzig, he became tutor to two sons of the Baron Von Kotzau, whom he accompanied to Altenburg, where the youths entered the gymnasium, or high school. He found the baron, with whom he occasionally went a hunting, an upright, kind, and well-disposed man. During the four years he passed in this office he discontinued his theological studies, and applied to the study of German poetry, composing many poems and verses, and so forming his taste and his style, which to the end of his life were of a very superior kind. Towards the termination of his tutorship, however, he resumed his theological studies, and in making himself master of Reinhard's lectures, imbibed a large draught of Rationalism.
In May, 1804, Bretschneider settled in Wittemberg, and began to teach for a livelihood in connexion with the university. Afraid lest his academical position might be put in peril by the then triumphant arms of Bonaparte, who had just gained the decisive battle of Austerlitz, he resolved to accept the office of a Christian pastor. By influence, and after much difficulty, he was ordained senior minister in Schneeberg, where he found himself in comfort, with an income of 600 dollars yearly. He was next promoted to the post of superintendent, which led to his settlement in Annaberg, where his income amounted to 1,400 dollars per annum. With a view, however, to a better post he took steps (1812) for becoming a doctor of divinity. The honour cost him above 300 dollars. In 1816, he was raised to the dignity of Superintendent-General in Gotha, with an annual salary of 1,800 dollars, with the prospect of an annuity for his widow of 450 dollars. In 1833, he received the honourable appointment of privy councillor to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, and in 1841 was named director of the upper consistory. He was thus elevated to the highest honours in the gift of the government. His official duties were, however, such as to leave him a large portion of time for literary pursuits, which he industriously occupied in preparing and publishing works, that added greatly to his fame, and placed him high in the first class of German theologians. He departed this life on Sunday evening, the 22nd of January, 1848.
The hue of Bretschneider's opinions is to be ascribed in part to the spirit of the age in which he began his higher life. That age was essentially negative and destructive. The mocking superficialities of the philosophy of Voltaire and his Gallic fellow-workers had given to the mind of Germany an impulse which led to the assailment of the recognised doctrines of the gospel. The work which France had done