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1. Strauss (Dav. Fred.), Das Leben Jesu kritisch bearbeitet. 2te Auflage, 2 Theile, Tübingen, 1839. 2. Weisse (Chr. Herm.), Die evangelische Geschichte kritisch und philosophisch bearbeitet. Leipzig, 1838. 3. Gfrörer (Aug. F.), Geschichte des Urchristenthums. 5 Theile, Stuttgard, 1838. 1 and 2 Das Jahrhundert des Heils. 3 and 4 Die Heilige Sage. 5 Das Heiligthum und die Wahrheit. 4. Gfrörer (Aug. F.), Philo und die Alexandrinische Theosophie, oder von Einfluss der jüdisch-egyptische Schule auf die Lehre des Neuen Testament, 2te Auflage, Stuttgard, 1835. 5. Bauer (Bruno), Kritik des Evangeliums Johannis. Bremen, 1840. 6. Bauer (Bruno), Kritik der Evangel. Geschichte der Synoptiker. 3 Theile, Leipzig and Braunschweig, 1841-42. 7. Feuerbach (L.), Das Wesen des Christenthums, vierte, vermehrte und umgearbeitete Auflage. Leipzig, 1849. 8. Neander (Aug.), Das Leben Jesu. Hamburg, 1837. 9. Tholuck (Aug.), Die Glaubwürdigkeit der evangelischen Geschichte. Hamburg, 1837. 10. Ullmann (C.), Historisch oder Mythisch? Hamburg, 1838. 11. Ebrard (A.), Wissenschaftliche Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte. Frankfurt a. M., 1842. 12. Dasselbe Zweite gänzlich umgearbeitete Auflage. Erlangen, 1850. 13. Guerike (H. E. F.), Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament. Leipzig, 1843. 14. Lange (P.), Das Leben Jesu nach den Evangelien dargestellt. Heidelberg, 1844. 15. Sepp (J. W.), Das Leben Christi. Mit einer Vorrede von Jos. von Görres, 4 Bde. Regensburg, 1843–45.



To every man who feels the need of religion, and cannot surrender his reason to the tyrannical and preposterous claims of the papacy, the four gospels, as we now have them in the New Testament, are of priceless value. The human soul, in its wants and sorrows and conscious weaknesses, in view of its brief existence on earth, and the dread unknown which awaits it beyond the grave, is greatly in want of some objective truth to rest upon; and without it, the only wise philosophy is that which says, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. If the four gospels be received as objectively true; if Jesus Christ, as therein described, be an actually existing personage, and our ever-living, ever-present friend and guide, then we have what we need; then the soul can rest and rejoice; then the spiritual can gain a permanent victory over the physical; our life on earth can be

1851.] Spirit with which the Gospels should be Studied.


made a time of usefulness and peace, and our death a season of triumph and joy. Moreover, having Jesus and the gospels objectively true, on their authority we have also the other writings of the New Testament, and the historians, the poets, and the prophets of the Old; and now, with an unmutilated, unimpeachable Bible in our hands, we, like our fathers, can march through the world with heads erect, and a joyous courage, bidding defiance to Satan, and sorrow, and wicked men.

But weaken our confidence in the gospels; let them be regarded as a jumble of traditions, partly true and partly false, then the chief effect of the Christian religion is, to raise our hopes only to sink us the deeper in despair; to increase our fears, without showing us definitely our danger, or teaching us how to escape it; our life on earth is equally unfitted for sensual pleasure and for spiritual enjoyment; and beyond the grave we have only just light enough to make the darkness visible. With the mere mockery of a revelation which is then left us, there are but two classes of men who can be satisfied with life as it now exists—namely, those whose desires and aspirations never go beyond the physical comforts of the external world, and the proud, cold, self-sufficient thinkers, whose chief pleasure it is to despise the weaknesses of their fellow creatures, and think them. selves above them.

Entertaining such views, I confess I never can read, or listen to a critique on the sacred writings, and especially on the gospels, without deep feeling. If indifference as to the result, be an essential qualifi cation for a good investigator of the Scriptures, then I must give up all hope of ever being one. To the result I cannot be indifferent if I would, for there are all my hopes. Who would be expected to be indifferent, if the object of the investigation on which he is obliged to enter, were to ascertain whether his father were a cheat, or his son a thief, or his wife false?

'But we must have a zeal for science; we must let truth work its way; we must be willing that every falsehood, and every mistake, however long and lovingly cherished, should be torn from our embrace.' Very true, so we must; but does a proper regard for science, a proper love of truth, a proper hatred of error, require the sacrifice of every humanizing and ennobling feeling? Is man, or is he required to be, all intellect and no heart? To honor the mind, must we crucify the soul? Is he the only anatomist who can lay bare to his knife the body of a beloved sister, with the same indifference with which he would hack upon the carcass of an unknown culprit just snatched from its dishonored grave? I believe no such thing;

and while Christ is to me more than father or mother, more than wife or child, or my own life even, I do not believe that sound philosophy requires me to see that holy gospel, which contains all that I know of him, treated by an irreverent critic, as the greedy swine would treat a beautiful field of growing corn. Nor do I believe that an irreverent, ungodly critic is the man to do justice to the gospels, or tell the truth about them fairly, in any sense. He may investigate their language, and examine their history, and give correctly the results of his verbal criticisms; but the real substance of the gospels is far above, out of his sight; he can have no sympathy with Christ; he can have no conception of the motives which influenced the apostles; he can have no idea of the feelings which animated the sacred writers; he is a total stranger to the whole soul of that which he criticises. When a man who has never seen, can accurately describe colors, or one who has never had the sense of hearing, can give a good account of sounds, or a horse with iron-shod hoofs can play tunes on a church organ, then I will not refuse to believe that an ungodly critic can write a reliable book on the New Testament. It is only the very lowest part of the work, that such a critic can perform; and when he comes to the higher criticism, the interior life of the word, he is wholly out of his sphere. How can a man with no poetry in his soul, review a poem? How can a man with no mathematics, properly estimate a treatise on fluxions? How can one destitute of the first principles of taste, be a critic in the fine arts? And how can a man wholly irreligious, be a fit judge of the most religious of all books? Let the gospels be estimated according to their real worth, and the writers upon them according to their real worth, and then justice will be done on both sides. We will refuse no help, and we will repel no truth, though it come from the most ungodly; but we will not idolize intellect which has no heart, nor allow profane hands to filch from us our choicest treasures.

There is a decided tendency, in our times, to award peculiar consideration and deference to profane writers on sacred subjects. If an author with the spirit and principles and talent of Voltaire, were to write a life of Christ, or a commentary on the gospels, or especially an introduction to the Old Testament, it would be just in accordance with the spirit of the age to study and quote such works with more profound respect than is awarded to the writings of Luther, or Calvin, or Bengel, or any other writer who loves and venerates the Word of God. This whole tendency is most particularly to be des pised or deplored.


Hegelian Philosophy.



The recent assaults on the gospels have proceeded almost entirely from the Hegelian school of philosophy. The influence of this philosophy extends far beyond the circle of its professed disciples. It is found where the very name of Hegel is almost unknown, and where not a syllable of his writings has ever been read. It invades Christian and even orthodox pulpits, and sometimes neutralizes the power of the Gospel under the most evangelical forms. It is a proud and a godless philosophy; and, like a cholera miasma in the atmosphere, often deals desolation and death where its very existence is unsuspected. Though the most abstruse of all speculations, it never exists as a mere speculation, but immediately proceeds to action—and its first acts are the annihilation of human responsibility, and of the spiritual world, and of God himself. While in some cases it retains the words and phrases of the most evangelical faith, it expels from them all their meaning, and leaves them the mere hieroglyphs of an atheistic mystery.

In thus describing the religious character of this philosophy, I am far from intending a personal attack on its great founder. In many of the qualities which make up a man, he was among the noblest of men, a fine physical organization, a prodigious intellect, and a generous heart; and he would probably himself be one of the first to protest against the atheistic extremes of some of his followers. Nor are his disciples all alike. There is the extreme right, the central, and the extreme left-or, as I would characterize them, the religious, the non-religious, and the anti-religious. On the extreme right was Marheineke, a clear-headed and sound-hearted Christian theologian and preacher, one of the best of historians and one of the most accurate of reasoners; and how he could be a Hegelian and the author of such works as his History of the Reformation and his Christian Symbolik was always a mystery to me. There, too, is Goeschel, a truly pious and eminent jurist; but inasmuch as he could find in Goethe an apostle of Christianity, and in the Faust a high develop ment of the Christian spirit, it is not so surprising that he can see in Hegel the Christian philosopher. Dorner, too, one of the best of men, one of the most learned, conscientious and reliable of writers, the author of that most admirable work, the Development-history of the Doctrine respecting the Person of Christ, is said to be a Hegelian of this class.

The assaults on the gospels have proceeded from the extreme left, VOL. VIII. No. 31. 44

represented by such men as the younger Feuerbach, and Strauss and Bruno Bauer. This, I suppose, is the legitimate result of the Hegelian philosophy, and these men, whatever Hegel himself might think of them, I regard as his true followers.

But what is the Hegelian philosophy? I have been admonished more than once to treat this philosophy with respect, to admire it at least as an "exquisite work of art if not a system of absolute truth." I shall do my best in this particular. I have acknowledged before, and here repeat the acknowledgment, that I have no very definite knowledge of it. It stands before me, in its bulk and its unintelligibleness, as a huge, shapeless, threatening spectre, most fitly described in the words of Virgil:

Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.

(A monster, horrid, hideous, huge and blind.)

But when I think of the tremendous influence it exerts, and the mighty mischief it is making, it assumes, to me, (in the language of Milton,)

"The other shape,

If shape it may be called, which shape has none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance may be called that shadow seems,

For each seems either; black it stands as night,

Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,

And shakes a dreadful dart; and what seems its head
The likeness of a kingly crown has on."

We speak here of the Hegelian philosophy only in its connection with religion, and as it now exists. Whatever of obscurity may rest over some of its speculations, its principal bearings on religion are perfectly intelligible, and are carried out to their extreme consequences with a cool audacity that is almost frightful. According to Hegelianism the subjective is not only more than the objective, but the subjective is the whole, it is the entire substance, and the objective has no existence except as the shadow or reflection or creation of the subjective. The great discovery boasted by Hegel and his followers, the great first principle of all truth, the honor of whose development Schelling in vain attempted to dispute with Hegel, is the absolute identity of subject and object, that is, I suppose, the thing perceiving and the thing perceived are one and the same thing.

Admitting this as a fundamental principle, what is God? Is God the creator of man, or is man the creator of God? The latter of course. The human mind is the only development of God,-only by the

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