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Reviews.

We have just received the Eclectic Review for June last; from which we extract the following short article, as serving to give a compendious view of the state of religion in Germany.

An die Evangelische Kirche zunächst in Sachsen und Preussen. Eine offene Erklärung von D. August Hahn, der Theologie ord. öffentl. Professor in Leipzig. 12mo. pp. xii. and 140. Leipzig. 1827. A Publick Declaration, ad

great in arousing the publick mind, and in aiding the re-action which, from almost every quarter we hear, is powerful and increasing, on behalf of truth and holiness.

In this publication, Dr. H. writes with the most respectful temper towards his opponents, some of whom had been his college tutors and early friends, and in the tone goodness of his cause, and who of a man who is conscious of the knows how to defend it with talent and fidelity. After the preface and introduction, which we have found dressed to the Lutheran Churches in Saxony, Prussia, and the neigh-work into three chapters: 1." The very interesting, he divides the bouring States: by Augustus Nature and History of RationalHahn, D.D. one of the Professors ism;" which, by the induction of of Divinity in the University of ample proofs, he shows to be the Leipsick. identical system, with some artful disguises, of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and the other English deists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Chap. II. "The various efforts of the Rationalists to overthrow Bible Christianity." In this chapter, we have a disclosure of the art and management by which the disciples of the self-called Rationalist divines are first humoured as children, and kindly indulged to be "Faith Christians, the elementary pupils in religion;" are next improved into "Reason Christians;" and in the third and last stage, become "the Purer Christians, or the finished," whose essential principle is a perfect indifference to all doctrines and opinions, all systems, churches, and parties; and who place the highest point of religious wisdom in regarding all religions as alike good, alike true, alike false. The author pursues and examines the different modes and shapes under which persons who substantially reject every idea of Divine authority in Jesus and his apostles, represent themselves and get accredited as "Christian and evangeli

The awful corruption of Christianity which has taken place in Protestant Germany, its character and operations, and the honourable, manly, and scriptural repulsion which has arisen against it in that very country, form a subject to which it is scarcely possible for us to pay an attention adequate to its importance. The pamphlet now on our table is the production of a gentleman who, a little more than a year ago, maintained a publick disputation at Leipsick, in favour of the truly evangelical and orthodox doc trines of Christianity, against Professor Krug, who came forward to support the Antisupernaturalist, or falsely called Rationalist opinions. We have been informed, that this disputation was attended by many persons who felt a profound interest in the subject, among whom were some of great eminence in station and learning; that it was conducted in a mutually respectful manner; that the advantage in point of argument and impression, appeared to remain with Dr. Hahn; and that the effect has been very

cal" [the current term in Germany
to designate the Lutheran, as dis-
tinct from the Reformed or Calvin-
istic church] teachers. The fun-
damental principle of the theory
varies. Some lay it down, that Je-
sus and his disciples knew no more
about the objects of religion, than
other able and well instructed men
among their contemporaries. Others
say, that the doctrine of Jesus was,
no doubt, the perfection of truth
and reason; but we have no sure,
satisfactory, and perfect documents
to inform us what that doctrine
was. The scriptures, therefore,
must be made out to be partly my-
thical, or allegorically fabulous,
partly legendary, like the old his-
torical stories of every people;
or, the writers of particular books,
suppose the gospels or the epistles,
had mistaken the true meaning of
Jesus their master;-or, whole
books, or important portions of
books, are cashiered as spurious, by
the most unfair and wanton play-
ing with pretended historical and
critical arguments. "It is not a
very long time since a man deem-
ed himself to have attained no emi-
nence in the literary world, if he
had not made the attempt to show,
that some one book at least, or
some principal passage in a book,
of our sacred writings, was not
genuine." A more numerous and
recent class, aware of the futility
of these methods, set aside all the
doctrines which are disagreeable to
them, by supposing that Jesus, and
perhaps some of his apostles, had
better views and superior know-
ledge; but, perceiving that the age
was incapable of understanding, or
too gross-minded to receive, pure
and simple truth, they accommo-
dated themselves to the infelicity
of their circumstances, and deliver-
ed the doctrines of reason in a
dress and adorning derived from
popular superstitions, old sayings
and traditions, and national par-
tialities. And thus, after millions
of men, for seventeen hundred

years, have been totally on the wrong scent for the genuine sense of scripture, Immanuel Kant, the restorer and reformer of Rationalism, has taught us how to strip off the shells and husks and pods, now no longer needed, and to obtain the fructification of pure and simple truth! These and similar subterfuges, Dr. Hahn impartially states; briefly hints at the evidence of their unreasonableness and falsehood; and though he never loses his respectful and amiable manner, yet occasionally allows to break forth the strong expression of a holy abhorrence. The statements of this chapter abundantly confirm the representations which we gave in a former article.*

Chap. III. "The faith of evangelical Christians, placed in contrast with the opinions of the Ra tionalists." This is executed in a striking and effective manner, by stating, in one series of the pages, the declarations of the Bible on the most important parts of revealed truth and obligation; and on the opposite pages, a selection of paragraphs, principally from Wegscheider's Institutiones and Röhr's Letters, which exhibit in their own terms, the opinions and professions of the Antisupernaturalists. The contrast of these opposite paragraphs is so strong, and the conclusions are so inevitable and so solemnly important, that the author deems it not requisite to enlarge much further. He adds a few concluding pages, in the spirit of reverential love to the truth of God, and of tender compassion for those unhappy persons whose errors and impieties he has faithfully laid open. Of this peroration, we are rather disposed to say, that, with respect to those "vain talkers and deceivers," those "wolves in sheep's clothing," his language is too mild

(Vol. xxviii. p. 1.)-[In our number for • See Eclec. Rev. July, 1827. Art. L October last, we gave the substance of the article here referred to.-ED. C. A.]

and gentle. Without doing violence to his own kindness of disposition, or his feelings of personal friendship, or to "the meekness of wisdom" which the Christian advocate should never lay aside, he ought to have brought forth a more powerful array of "the terrors of the Lord," against persons who, how decent and estimable soever may be their external characters, are plainly marked in the word of God as "men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth,-false teachers, who privily bring in damnable heresies, scoffers, walking after their own lusts,-wresting the scriptures to their own destruction," betrayers and guides to hell of the souls whom they pretend to lead to "God, virtue, and immortality." This is one of their favourite phrases!

With peculiar pleasure we subjoin the following extract from a letter of an American Lutheran clergyman, who visited last year the land of his ancestors, the Rev. B. Kurtz. For this interesting document, we are indebted to a new American periodical, which has also done us the honour to extract largely from our former articles upon the Neologism of Germany.

"Erfurt, Kingdom of Prussia;

Augustine Monastery, Luther's Cell; May 14, 1827. "Dear Brother S.-From the heading of my letter, you will perceive that I have selected a very interesting place to write in. Yes; it is a fact, that I am at present in the Augustine Monastery in Erfurt, seated in the monastic cell of the immortal reformer, at the same table at which he so often sat and wrote, with his Bible lying at my left hand, his ink. stand at my right, and manuscripts of him and Melancthon his coadjutor suspended in a frame to the wall in my front; and several other Lutheran relics, which are carefully preserved in the cell to gratify the curiosity of strangers and travellers, who, when they come to Erfurt, never fail to visit this little room

"The Spirit of the Pilgrims;" [i. e. the original English settlers in America;] page 106. Boston; February, 1828.

with one window, and record their names in a book which is kept here for that

purpose.

"-In Germany the religion of the Redeemer is gaining ground. Rationalists so called, by which is meant a large and learned class of people in this hemis phere, somewhat similar to our Umitarians,-yet, whose principles are even more objectionable than those of the rankest Socinians, are beginning to be ashamed of themselves; and, though they formerly gloried in the name of Rational ists, they now entirely disclaim the appellation, and their ranks (a few years ago so formidable) have of late been considerably thinned by the increasing and overpowering influence of true evangelic religion.

"In Berlin, where I spent seven weeks, and therefore had an opportunity to become acquainted with the state of religious matters, the cause of Christ is triumphant. A few years since, this great city was in a most deplorable condition, both in a moral and a religious point of view. Christ was banished from the pulpit, as well as from the desk of the professor; unbelief and scepticism were the order of the day; and he who dared to declare his belief in the scriptures as the inspired word of God, was laughed at as a poor ignorant mystic. And now, the very reverse of all this is the fact. In no city have I met with so many humble and

cordial followers of the Lamb. In the

University a mighty change has taken place and from almost every pulpit, the cause of the Redeemer is ably vindicated, and the efficacy of his atoning blood is held forth and proclaimed, in strains at which the very angels cannot but rejoice, and which the stoutest heart is often unable to resist. We also meet with Bible societies all over Germany; and in Saxony, the Lutheran church is, at this mo ment, forming a missionary society for the evangelization of the American Indians."

Should our English prudence whisper, that possibly the impressions made upon Mr. Kurtz's mind may have been from data too limited, and that the change described is too sudden and too extensive to be fully credible; or that his affection for the land of his fathers and his American ardour may have disposed him to contem

* A flourishing University,—with about sixteen or seventeen hundred students, and a proportionable number of profes

sors.

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PHILADELPHIA, respecting the Proceedings of those who have lately separated from the Society: and also showing the Contrast between their Doctrines and those held by Friends. Philadelphia. Printed by Thomas Kite. pp. 32. 8vo. When controversies arise among the members of the same religious community, we think that so long as they are carried on only in oral speech, and not brought before the publick in any written or printed document, they ought to be regard ed as family disputes, with which none who are not members of that family have any right to intermeddle: And even when the press is employed to give publicity to the altercations which take place among the members of a particular religious denomination, we think it officious and to be regarded as justly offensive, for those who belong to other communions actively to take side in any controversy which relates only to the circumstantials, or peculiarities, of the litigating sect. It is far otherwise, however, when the contending parties come before the publick with discussions which involve any essential, or very important principles, of our common Christianity. This creates a common cause for all who name the name of Christ, because the prevalence of error in matters of funda

mental importance, no real Christian can regard with unconcern, even if it should be confined to the sect in which it is advocated. But as there is always danger of its extending farther, and as it is moreover a publick impeachment of the articles of faith held by other denominations, they are directly concerned in the controverted subject; concerned to guard those with whom they are associated against being fatally misled; concerned, as responsible to their final Judge, to do all that they lawfully may, to arrest the progress of soul destroying error; concerned, in a word, to obey the inspired exhortation to which was once delivered to the " contend earnestly for the faith

saints."

strikes more directly at the very Now we know of nothing which vitals of every thing which deserves to be called Christianity, than an open denial of the plenary inspiration, and the consequent supreme authority in matters of faith, of the holy scriptures; and a like denia! of the proper divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the necessity of the sinner's resting for salvation on the merit of his atoning sacrifice; and decrying as imaginary and unnecessary the renovating influences of the Holy Spirit. No system of religion which utterly and avowedly excludes these great principles, has any just claim to be regarded as a Christian system at all. By whatever name it may be called, it is in fact downright infidelity. Yet it is a matter of notoriety, that for some time past, the principles which have been specified, have been explicitly denied, and sometimes even treated with scorn, by a large party among the Society of Friends. We therefore not only feel ourselves at liberty to animadvert on these advocates of infidelity, but obliged in duty to do all in our power to prevent the influence and extension of their pernicious tenets.

We regard it as no evidence that the men of whom we speak are not infidels, because they pretend to spiritual illuminations and revelations. So did the Indian prophet, who not long since deluded nearly the whole of his unhappy tribe: And for ourselves, we would as soon be followers of Tecumseh as of Elias Hicks. It was indeed high time for those of the Society of Friends who have issued the pamphlet which has given occasion to these remarks, to disown all connexion and fellowship with these daring opposers of revealed truth: And in our judgment they have done well in distributing copies of this pamphlet among the members of the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and those of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, who lately met in Philadelphia. Although Friends differ from these churches in regard to some of the ordinances of the Christian system, it was highly proper to let it be seen that they agree with them in the essential doctrines of the sacred scriptures By doing this, they have saved themselves from sharing in the reproach of abandoning "the sure word of prophecy," to "follow cunningly devised fables."

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The pamphlet before us is ably, temperately, and perspicuously written; although sprinkled a little with the peculiar phraseology by which Friends seem desirous that their compositions should be distinguished. After stating that the "declaration" was prepared "at a yearly meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia, by adjournment from the 21st of the fourth month to the 28th of the same inclusive, 1828," a belief is expressed that it was "important to preserve a faithful narrative of the schism which has taken place" in their society, or as they say, "among some under our name." They then take a short previous notice of the rise of their "religious society, and of the trou

bles which befel it during its infancy," the design of which apparently is, to show that the present troubles, afflictive and threatening as they are, should not cause discouragement, or shake their steadfastness in their "faith and discipline." The causes are next mentioned, which they say "have been operating for several years, to prepare the way for the introduction of the opinions" which have produced the recent schism. Then follows an account of the visits, teachings, and devisive measures of Elias Hicks, which we shall not pretend to detail. To this succeeds an exhibition of "doctrines, from works acknowledged by the Separatists, and which they have widely eirculated for the purpose of disseminating their views:" this, it is said, is done "to contrast these doctrines with those which have been always held and professed by the Society of Friends from its rise to the present day." The doctrines of the Separatists, or Hicksites, are then stated, as laid down in their writings; and the contrast to them. is chiefly made by quotations from the publications of Fox, Barclay, and Penn. It appears that the Separatists deny the plenary inspiration, truth, and authority of the scriptures; that they think the miraculous conception of the Saviour is questionable and rather improbable that (says Hicks) "there is considerably more scripture evidence for his being the son of Joseph than otherwise;" that he was a mere man, and needing to obtain salvation in the same way as other men, and that he made no expiation for sin. But we may spare ourselves the trouble of making an epitome of Hicksite opinions. It is

done to our hand in the pamphlet before us, and is as follows

We are not left to conjecture the opinions of those who have separated from us, respecting our Lord Jesus Christ, nor lated expressions; their views upon the to draw our conclusions from a few isosubject are delivered in unequivocal terms,

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