« IndietroContinua »
excellent introduction of Tholuck to his Vermischten Schriften, 1839, two vols., Stirm's Apologie des Christenthums in Briefe für gebildete Leser, second edit., 1856, deserves especial notice. It treads, indeed, in the old path of establishing, in the first place, the authenticity of the Scriptures, and of afterwards taking up the actual questions themselves, instead of following the more current method of discussing them at once; but it well and clearly exhibits a rich abundance of apologetic thoughts and matter, and has essentially contributed either to furnish or perfect the material which the apologists of the day employ themselves in manipulating. The small but very useful popular work of Ziethe, Die Wahrheit und Herrlichkeit des Christenthums, seven lectures, 1863, forms a sequel to the former. The warmth of the French mind lends a peculiar charm to the seven discourses on the Eternal Life delivered at Geneva and Lausanne (1863) Ly Naville, to which he has now added the discourses on The Heavenly Father (1865). Much warmth—but perhaps somewhat too much rhetoric—distinguishes the lectures on Christianity by Dalton, entitled, Nathanael, second edit., 1864. The lectures, too, of Auberlen and others at Basle, in vindication of the Christian faith, received, in the demand for a second edition 1862, that testimony of appreciation which they deserved. Among works on single subjects, Fabri's Briefe gegen den Materialismus, second edit., 1864—a work of acknowledged merit—has afforded me special assis-, tance in the matter of materialistic questions. And in the section, on the moral effects of Christianity, abundant material was furnished me by the excellent work of Schmidt of Strasburg, La société civile dans l'ancien monde romain et sa transformation par le Christianisme (1853). Many other works—by Held Düsterdieck and others—might here be named, but that I would limit myself to the mention of such as I have specially used or had respect to in these lectures.
To the above-named, I add certain works of Roman Catholic theologians, among which the bulky volume of Bosen, Dus Christenthum und die Einspriche seiner Gegner, second edition, Cologne 1864, a laborious work, but one too much pervaded by a tone of onesided reasoning, deserves to be brought forward. Its method and manner were, however, too little in harmony with my work to afford me an opportunity of making use of it. This, too, was still more the case with the Philosophical Studies on Christianity, four vols. by the French advocate, Aug. Nicolas, which have had the most extensive circulation, and have, to my knowledge, passed through fourteen editions in France, since their first appearance in 1842, and four in the German translation of Silv. Hester. If they are wanting in accurate arrangement and critical acumen, they are yet distinguished by an ardent enthusiasm, a lively perception, and an extensive acquaintance with ancient and modern literature, which has frequently made them a treasury for apologetic writers. It is to be lamented, that Nicolas should have subsequently devoted his talents and learning to the cause of an extravagant adoration of the Virgin, and an unjust controversy with Protestantism ! I have often had occasion to refer, in the notes, to the Philosophical Studies. Hettinger's Apologie des Christenthums, though the result of independent study and extensive reading, is nevertheless very evidently similar to this French work. Its first vol. Der Beweis des Christenthums, 1863 (which has just reached its second edition) is an excellent book, as valuable for the atmosphere of ardour by which the whole is pervaded, as for the thorough manner in which the separate facts are discussed. If the reader is almost overloaded with the many quotations which this book contains, its value, in an apologetic point of view, is but the more increased. Even in the first edition of my lectures, I acknowledged the essential service which this work, appearing shortly before my own, had rendered me. With so much similarity of subject and treatment, it could not fail, that, apart from individual passages, the two works should in many respects coincide. I have endeavoured in this edition to make my references to this work complete, wherever it seemed needful, and I take this opportunity of again expressing my pleasure at this friendly meeting with a theologian of the other church, in a sphere in which it concerns us both to defend with united arms our common possessions against a common foe. · The numerous references to modern apologetic writers in the notes to this book may be deemed wholly or partly unnecessary, it being more customary in such works, as are not, properly speaking, devoted to scientific purposes, to refrain from such references. But my aim was not merely to render to each the honour which was his due, but also to show, by quotations, the rich abundance of the common property already collected, that each might apply it after his own fashion, and convert it to his own The question here is not the fame of the individual, or the jealous conservation of his own share. Such littleness of mind corresponds neither with the magnitude nor the purpose of the task. Let the weapons have been forged or collected by whomsoever they may, everything depends on how they are wielded.
How long the conflict in which we are engaged may yet last, or what may be its issue, it is impossible to determine. But that it will be decisive of the
future of our nation is certain. We have no cause to fear for the truth itself of which we are the advocates, nor that it will ever lack friends upon earth. But whether the public life of nations will continue under the influence of that truth is by no means absolutely certain. Let us at least do what is incumbent upon us, and fulfil our duty to our race and to our country!
I am certain that to many the conflict of the present age will bear the fruit of a conviction that it is Christianity which delivers the lives and minds of men and nations from their falseness, and elevates them to the truth. And I venture also to hope that God may grant that this little book may help in bringing many a seeker to this conviction. To Him, then, it is again commended.
LEIPZIC, October 2, 1865.