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His Extraordinary Liberality.


have been reduced to actual want. Besides his salary, the income from his published works was large, but he never had anything in reserve. All the property that he left behind, exclusive of his books," amounted to two thousand rix dollars ($1400); while among his papers were found receipts for the fees remitted to poor students during his residence at Berlin, amounting to sixty-five thousand rix dollars ($45,500). He founded among the students a Union devoted to the care of the poor and sick among their own number, and gave to it the copyright of several of his works. It is now steadily pursuing its humane object under the name of the Neander 'sche Krankenverein.

His native kindness was manifest in the manner of his charities. "I was myself witness," says Prof. Jacobi, "of a case in which he entreated a young man with affectionate urgency, I may say even imploringly, to accept from him a gift of money in an hour of need. Seeing that the young man's sense of independence was so strong as to humiliate him in view of receiving such relief, he reminded him with touching delicacy, that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and entreated him to accept the gift for love's sake." Many of his charities will never be known among men. He sedulously concealed them. Here and there some of them come to light since his death. One of these instances relates to the youthful Rossel, whose glowing description of Neander we have quoted above, p. 395. He lay weak and suffering under an illness which proved to be his last. He was too poor to obtain all that was needful for his comfort in this condition. The friend who took care of him, went in his trouble with a heavy heart to Neander. As he approached the subject diffidently, Neander interrupted him, and begged to know precisely how Rossel was situated. The student named the sum which he needed. Neander wrung his hands in anxiety and distress. He had as usual no money at his command. He walked about the study looking upon his books, one after the other, as a father upon his children. Suddenly he stopped before a huge volume in gilt, one of the most valuable books in his library, the more precious, as but few copies had been printed and distributed by the author among his friends. He seized the book, put it into the hands of the student, and said: "I have no money, but take this and try to sell it. But I beg you, do it secretly; nobody must know it!" The seal is now removed from the lips which it held so long closed. Only he, as the narrator remarks, who knows

1 German professors are supported in part by a moderate salary, in part by fees received from the students who attend their lectures.

2 About four thousand volumes.

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what Neander's books were to him, how he, who spared almost what was necessary from his person, became a prodigal with regard to books, how a bond of love and gratitude bound him to them,―only he can appreciate the greatness of the sacrifice.

Such was Neander as he appeared to us; a great, a good, a lovely man. He was not indeed perfect. He had errors,― serious, dangerous errors. We have no disposition to conceal them. Who that has known Neander, his truthfulness, his humility, would dare to represent him as he was not? His views with regard to the nature and extent of inspiration, and upon some other points, were such as could not be approved among us. His Life of Christ, which has done so much good in Germany, and here too, has so much aroused independent thought, has yet exerted an evil influence upon some minds among us. It bears marks of the struggles that brought it forth. These deficiencies, though of little comparative importance in Germany, over against the sweeping, annihilating infidelity it opposed, greatly impede its usefulness here.

It is to be noticed farther, that the errors which in Neander and some of his eminent contemporaries have seemed to exert no deleterious influence upon their Christian character, will not remain so harmless among us. There, theory and life are in a great degree distinct. Here they interpenetrate and affect each other constantly. An error in the one, becomes at once vice in the other. Not that the lax views of German Theology have been without their evil effect upon German practical life. If in some cases not so immediately perceived in the individual, this effect is yet deeply and sadly manifest in the community at large. And many of the friends of Christ there are beginning to acknowledge this, and to feel and express their new gained but earnest conviction, that Germany cannot overcome her present social evils, her infidelity and vice so rife among the lower classes, without higher doctrinal views upon certain points.

It were easy to point to the tendencies in Neander which have doubtless led him into some of his peculiar views. As we have already intimated, his admirable attachment to the one essential point in everything, has sometimes passed over into undue neglect of minor but not unimportant particulars. So in his ardent desires for the union of all true Christians, his judgment may sometimes have followed his heart farther than was prudent or just, over the space which divided him from errorists. When he believed that fundamental truth was not at stake, he has been ready to waive all disputed points,


Concluding Remarks.


or to reexamine, to seek some common ground-anything, rather than be divided from those who are united with Christ. His unlimited confidence too, in the power and progress of Christianity, may sometimes have betrayed him. There is a certain carelessness with regard to the exact limits of truth, which naturally enough associates itself to the assurance that her territory is broad and secure. One is tempted sometimes generously to yield a disputed point, while sure that there is enough beyond candid doubt or dispute. Why contend bitterly for pebbles, while the rock-fortress towers impregnable?

These, and such as these, may be the reasons, to which we must attribute Neander's deviations in some points from views which we believe to be essential to the truth. His errors are errors of the head, not of the heart. This ought, in justice to him, to be fully understood. It ought to be acknowledged by those who dissent most from his views, as it is surely most deeply felt by all who have known him personally, that there was in him so far as man can perceive, not the slightest ambition to build up a school; no pride of opinion, no conscious unwillingness to bow to the word of God. His errors have not proceeded from these causes. They are those into which an humble seeker after the truth has unconsciously fallen. Let us remember with what humility he confesses to his 'Christian Brethren in America,' that he is "conscious of the dimness which surrounds him, growing out of the errors and defects of an age just freeing itself from a distracting infidelity." Notwithstanding his errors, his earnest love for Christ, and his unwearied labors have brought hundreds, perhaps thousands, to the truth as it is in Jesus. Through that labor, in that love, to his holy rest may we follow him! Ave pia anima!



An Inaugural Address, by Prof. H. B. Smith, Union Theol. Sem., New York.

IN addressing the Directors of the Union Theological Seminary and this respected audience, upon an occasion of such solemn interest to myself, and so closely connected with the welfare of the institution which they guard and cherish, I would, if possible, forget my own unfitness for the office to which I have been called, and accept its duties in the name and for the sake of the Great Head of the Church. It is the history of his church which I am to teach. And if the guidance of his wisdom is needed at all times by all his disciples, it is especially needed by his ministry; yet more by those called to train men for his ministry, and in some peculiar respects by one who is to narrate the history of his kingdom to its future preachers in our age and country.

The history of the church is not the straightforward narrative of the fortunes of an isolated community with inferior ends in view, but it is an account of the rise, the changes and the growth of the most wonderful economy the world has known, embracing the most comprehensive purposes which human thought can grasp. It has maintained itself in the historic progress of the race, as has no empire. It has been aggressive, attacked, progressive and diffusive as has no other community. It has moved through States, intertwined itself with institutions, changed politics, shaped national and individual character, affected all moral and social interests, and been interwoven with the whole web of human destiny. He who would know the principles which have really controlled human thought and action, will, if he be wise, explore the records of that kingdom which has had the longest duration and the strongest influence. On human grounds alone it may challenge the most earnest study of every thoughtful mind. But this history is invested with a solemn, a sublime interest, when it is viewed as the record of a divine economy, established in an apostate world, centering in the incarnation of the Son of God, and having for its object the redemption of the race, through the might of the Holy Spirit. As such, it contains the most antagonistic elements. For, though the origin of this kingdom be


Arduous Duties of a Teacher of Church History.


divine, and though its consummation will be the glorious and untroubled manifestation of God's grace and wisdom, yet, between the origin and the consummation there is a theatre of strife, where the strongest energies of good and ill, all the forces of a supernatural, and all the forces of a natural kingdom wage perpetual warfare. It is in the vanquishing of mighty and subtle foes that the kingdom of Christ has shown its superior and supreme authority. There is progress, but it is progress through conflict. There are the victories of faith, there is also the partial success of unbelief, there is advance in spiritual freedom, there is the exaltation of spiritual despotism; there are enemies without, and feuds within; there is the growth, there is also the perversion of Christian doctrine; there is the church separate from the world, and the church contending against submission to, and domineering over, States and empires; and all this, not in one land, or one century, but from East to West, through many centuries, in the most puissant nations of the earth. And if it is chiefly in the conflicts of the race that we are to read the destiny of the race, then through these, its mightiest conflicts, may we be taught, that he who would reach forth his hand to grasp the solemn urn that holds the oracles of human fate can find it only in the Christian church. And if Lord Bacon could say in view of the visible creation: "God forbid that we give forth the dream of our fancy as the model of the world, but may he rather vouchsafe us his grace that we may indite a revelation and true vision of the march and signet of the Creator impressed upon creation;" much more ought he, who explores the revelations of God in his new and spiritual creation, to feel the constant need of that divine illumination which can alone enable him to distinguish what is from God and what is from man, what is transient, and what is worthy of lasting veneration; which can alone enable him to get above all these contests, so as to read their meaning, and so to read their meaning as to see the march and signet of redemptive grace impressed upon the moral history of our earth.

While the position of a teacher of Church History is thus, from the nature of the case, always responsible and arduous, it is especially so to one who is called to discharge the functions of this office in our age and in our land. There are advantages, indeed, as well as disadvantages, but both the advantages and the disadvantages increase the measure of his toil. There is an accumulation of historical materials, and this is an advantage; but they are more than sufficient to task the freshest powers in the longest life. There are now better digests of the materials than were even imagined possible, half a cen

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