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theories that followed, whereby religion altogether was thrown aside, and man's own weak and baseless reasoning substituted in its place. This theory of Semler's became the most formidable weapon that was ever employed to destroy Christianity : for, when men could not understand any particular passage of Scripture, or when any doctrine appeared mysterious and unwelcome to flesh and blood, it was rejected, because it had been accommodated to the feelings of an age that had long since passed away! Every notion, therefore, not suitable to existing opinions, was considered to be a mere adaptation to former ones. In fact, Christianity itself was pronounced to be a wise condescension to the weakness of the human race in its infancy.* Such is a short abstract of some of the rash, wild, and unfounded hypotheses, of one who has been called immortal. Immortal, indeed, he will be in the annals of infidelity; but in the pages of sober history, his name must always be mentioned with sentiments of reproach, and condemnation, and abhorrence. But before I conclude this part of the subject, there is one individual connected with its history, respecting whom I deem it necessary say a few words: I allude to Kant. This celebrated philosopher was certainly a rationalist ; for though he admitted the possibility of a revelation, yet he maintained that such historical belief could be nothing more than a mere vehicle towards the ethical. He considered the Scripture as a glass in which every philosophy was to be reflected, --the dress that was to adapt itself to every shape which the taste and views of the human mind might dictate.
Sufficient, I trust, then, has now been said, to give a slight idea of German rationalism to the reader: and when I mention the names of Semler, Bahrdt, Cannabich, Henke, Bauer, Paulus, Damm, Schuster, Eichorn, Ammon, De Wette, Wegscheider, &c., we can see who were the principal characters in this unholy work. But however earnestly these individuals may have laboured to uproot the foundations of Christianity: however extensive and terrible may be the evils they produced, they also did considerable good to the cause of Christianity. For as they examined into every department of literature, in order to make it bear on their favourite doctrine, and thus as they have sounded
*“Quod ipsam legationis divinæ notionem ad infantiam generis humani obligarent." (Ammon. “Summa Theol. Christ.” p. 21. ed. 1816.)
+ See his work, “ Die Religion innerhalb den gränzen der blossen Vernunft.” (Königsberg, 1793. P. 150.)
# For a more detailed account, see Rose, or Mr. Coneybeare's seventh Bampton Lecture.
every stone of the Church of Christ, they have demonstrated to every candid mind, by their impotent and oft-frustrated assaults, the adamantine strength of that building, against which “the gates of hell shall never prevail.”
“ Bleibt stets von Gleichem Schlag,
Und ist so wunderlich as wie am erstem Tag." The Church, though persecuted for a time, in the end always shines with redoubled splendour and glory, as the sun appears more dazzling and beautiful when his beams are poured forth after a storm.
In those days of which I have been speaking, her prospects were indeed clouded and cheerless. “ But meanwhile,” says an illustrious writer, “ Providence was watching ; the sacred fire still burned in a hidden spot: there were still found those who had guarded it with care, and then others came by degrees to enkindle their torches at its light."* At length, therefore, a better and a brighter dawn appeared, to console the afflicted, and to pour balm into the wounded heart of those who had sighed over the miseries and spiritual blindness of their nation. The Almighty gradually raised up powerful vindi. cators of his truth. So far back as the year 1824, a professed rationalist thus writes:" The general tone in Protestant Germany has latterly, beyond all doubt, changed to the advantage of the Church. People are tired of infidelity, and declamations against superstition, priestcraft, &c.; they see there is no object gained by them.”+ Even several years before this period, it was evident some great reaction was at hand; and now we see it with our own eyes, and thank God that the days of sorrow and mourning have gone by: “peace is now within her walls, and plenteousness in her palaces.” I will not here speak of the great improvement that has taken place in the national literature of Germany :f I will not dwell upon the many surpassing beauties of Wieland, Klopstock, Lessing, Göthe, Schiller, Herder, Uhland, Tieck, &c., all of whom are now becoming so familiar amongst us ; f but there are many writers of another class, whose names stand high in literary fame, and whose works are more dear and more interesting to us, because they vindicate our holy religion from every unjust attack, and
* Görres. “ Athanasius." (viii. p. 118.) + Tzschirner. “Protestantismus und Catholicismus.” (P. 59, ed. Leipzig, 1824.) }
See “ Encyclopädie der Deutschen National Literature.” Von 0. L. B. Wolff, Leipsig, 1834-40. § For an account of these various writers, see Madame de Staël's “Germany."
unfold her many beauties for our respect and veneration : I allude, therefore, to modern Catholic writers of Germany.
And here such a crowd of venerable and illustrious writers rise before me, that I know not whom to mention first, or whom to praise. But before I proceed any further, a most remarkable fact must not be forgotten. Not only Catholic writers are defending our doctrines, but even several individuals of acknowledged merit, and possessed of great talent, who are Protestants, have, within the last few years, cleared up many points, on which, as Catholics, we have hitherto been obliged to hear many bitter and painful accusations. I can only refer to a few of the names and works of these individuals ; for to pass remarks upon them would be foreign to my subject, and would extend this article to too great a length. The first great work that presents itself to me, is Ranke's “Roman Pontiffs in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries."*
The author has fallen into some mistakes and inaccuracies; but on the whole it is a production most favourable to our cause. Soon after this, appeared Dr. Hock's work entitled “Gerbert, or Pope Sylvester II and his Age.”+ But so far back as 1815, another most interesting and learned work uppeared from the pen of M.J. Voight, Professor in the University of Halle. It is entitled “ Hildebrand, or Pope Gregory the Seventh and his Age."The celebrated historian of Switzerland, John von Müller, has also written a beautiful little work, which he calls “Travels of the Popes."$ In 1834 appeared another very interesting work, a life of Innocent III, one of the most calumniated pontiffs in the whole line of papal succession, written by Hurter, a Protestant clergyman.|| Such are a few of the many works that have been written within the last twenty years, by men who differ from us in religion, but yet whose minds are ever open to examine the truth, and to proclaim it to the world. And when to these we join those who have be
*“Die Römischen Päpste, ihre Kirche und ihr Staat,” &c. (3 vols. Berlin, 18341836.) This work is now well known in England, by the admirable translation of Mrs. Austin.
† "Gerbert oder Papst Sylvester II und sein Jahrhundert.” (Von Dr. C. F. Hock. Vienna, 1837.)
I“ Hildebrand oder Papst Gregorius der Siebente, und sein Zeitalter," &c. Von Johannes Voight. (Weimar, 1815.) This learned work has been translated into French by M. l'Abbé Jager. (2 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1838.) I hope that ere long it will appear in English.
§ “ Reise der Päpste.”
come Catholics, such as Dr. Höninghaus, Professor Phillipps, late of Berlin, now of Munich; Count Stolberg, F. Schlegel,* Veith, Molitor, Adam Müller, Beautain, Dr. Theiner, &c., we cannot but rejoice and thank God, for having at last looked down with mercy upon his afflicted Church in Germany, and raised up so many illustrious defenders of his faith.
The Catholic writers are numerous, learned, and deeply imbued with the holy spirit of their religion. Thus J. Görres, in his profound work entitled “Die Christliche Mystik,"+ bas displayed all the wondrous beauties of the Catholic Church, the sanctity of her children, and the influence her doctrines had on the institutions, the laws, arts, and sciences of the Middle Ages. In a word, his object was to reveal “the glory of God in his saints," and to explain and illustrate all the various supernatural phenomena of the mystical life. Thus this great genius gave a new quickening sap to literature, which now, with renovated beauty, has blossomed into a fair plant. Dr. Klee, Möhler, and Dr. Döllinger are other names also well known in Germany. The first, by his “ Manual of the History of Dogmas,” wherein with great clearness of arrangement, depth of reasoning, and solid and various learning, he traces the gradual development of truth, and the history of those divine traditions which were left to the Church. Möhler is now indeed no more, but his name is embalmed in our memory, by the beautiful and
* Dr. Wiseman pays a just tribute of praise to the memory of this illustrious convert : I proceed to record the sentiments of the late lamented F. Schlegel, a man to whom our age owes more than our children's children can repay-new and purer feelings upon art and its holiest applications. . . Above all, the successful discovery of a richer India than Vasco de Gama opened unto Europe, whose value is not in its spices, and its pearls, and its barbaric gold, but in tracts of science unexplored, in mines long unwrought of native wisdom, in treasures deeply buried of symbolic learning, and in monuments long hidden of primeval and venerable traditions. . . Death found him watching by his night-lamp over the best interests of virtue, and like the slayer of Archimedes, refused him time to work out his problem.” (“Connexions," vol. i, pp. 109-111.)
The last work that Schlegel wrote was entitled “ Ueber Philosophie der Strache und des Wortes." (Wien, 1830.) He expired whilst writing the word "aber,” but in his tenth Lecture. He was a great Sanscrit scholar, having published part of the “Ramayana,” and also the “ Hitopadesa,” together with Lassen. He wrote a work on Indian literature, entitled “Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier.” (Heidelb. 1808.) † Christian Mysticism.
See the Life and Writings of Görres in the "Dublin Review," No. XI, p. 31. 1839.
golden work* he has bequeathed unto us, which, when more generally known in this country, will assuredly be productive of the greatest good. Well may we pronounce it to be the most profound work on the philosophy of divinity, which our age has produced. Dr. Döllinger is no less distinguished than the two former by several profound works, and more especially by his “Manual of Church History” and his larger “Church History,"t which is distinguished for deep research, beauty of style, and clearness of arrangement. Dr. Kuhn, professor of theology in the University of Tübingen, deserves to be mentioned next, on account of his admirable refutation of the “Life of Christ” by Dr. Strauss,f an infidel writer of much celebrity. But perhaps the most extraordinarily learned work that has yet appeared, is one by Dr. Julius Höninghaus. The title is “The Result of my Travels through the territory of Protestant Literature." Although I have seen this work, I have not yet perused it, and therefore I cannot pronounce any judgment of my own upon it. A writer in the Dublin Review thus speaks of it: “Dr. Höninghaus is a learned convert to our Church, and his work has accordingly excited a great sensation in Germany.... Our readers may form an idea of the extensive reading and indefatigable industry of the author, when we tell them that his work contains upward of two thousand testimonies, and that not fewer than three hundred and sixty authors have been cited. This list includes the most eminent Protestant theologians, philosophers, and historians, that have flourished, not only in Germany, but in France, Holland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, and especially England, from the earliest period of the Reformation down to the present day. But let it not be supposed, that learning is the only characteristic of this able production. The immense mass of evidence which the author has collected, has been arranged with consummate analytic skill." ||
* “Die Symbolik, &c." It is a pity a translation of this work has not yet appeared in English.
f I need hardly observe that Dr. Cox is at present engaged in translating this valuable work, or rather both of them. Dr. Döllinger is now busily employed in writing a history of the heretics of the Middle Ages. He is Professor of Theology in the University of Munich.
| See an excellent article against Strauss in the “Foreign Quarterly Review," vol. xxii, 1839.
§ “Das Resultat meiner Wanderungen durch das Gebiet der Protestantischen Litteratur,” Asschaffenburgh, 1837.
| See “Dublin Review.” No. XI, p. 280.