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from Leipsic, where they began to be suspected of pietism. Theļi Though lew pretended to treat either with indignation or

contempt the intentions and purpose of these good men,

which indeed none could despise without affecting to apt be pear the enemy of practical religion and virtue, yet many s the

eminent divines, and more especially the professors and pastors of Wittemberg, were of opinion, that, in the execution of this laudable purpose, several maxims were adopted, and certain measures employed, that were prejudicial to

the truth, and also detrimental to the interests of the church. ir br

Hence they looked on themselves as obliged to proceed in br publicly, first against Spener, in the year 1695, and afterance

ward against his disciples and adherents, as the inventers and promoters of erroneous and dangerous opinions. These debates are of a recent date; so that those who are desirous of knowing more particularly how far the principles of equity, moderation, and candour influenced the con

duct and directed the proceedings of the contending parect of ties, may easily receive a satisfactory information.

xxx. These debates turned upon a variety of points ;

and therefore the matter of them cannot be com- the subject of vere ! prehended under any one general head. If we these deinates.

consider them indeed in relation to their origin, and the circumstances that gave rise to them, we shall then be able to reduce them to some fixed principles. It is well known that those who had the advancement of piety most zealously at heart, were possessed of a notion, that no order of men contributed more to retard its progress than the clergy, whose peculiar vocation it was to inculcate and promote it. Looking upon this as the root of the evil, it was but natural that their plans of reformation should begin here; and, accordingly, they laid it down as an essential principle, that none should be admitted into the ministry, but such as had received a proper education, were distinguished by their wisdom and sanctity of manners, and had hearts filled with divine love. Hence they proposed, in the first place, a thorough reformation of the schools of divinity; and they explained clearly enough what they meant by this reformation, which consisted in the following points; that the systematical theology, which reigned in the academies, and was composed of intricate and disputable doctrines, and obscure and unusual forms of expression, should

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be totally abolished; that polemical divinity, which com-
prehended the controversies subsisting between Christians
of different communions, should be less eagerly studied,
and less frequently treated, though not entirely neglected;
that all mixture of philosophy and human learning with
divine wisdom was to be most carefully avoided ; that, on
the contrary, all those who were designed for the ministry,
should be accustomed, from their early youth, to the peru-
sal and study of the Holy Scriptures; that they should be
taught a plain system of theology, drawn from these un-
erring sources of truth; and that the whole course of their
education was to be só directed, as to render them useful
in life, by the practical power of their doctrine, and the
commanding influence of their example. As these max-
ims were propagated with the greatest industry and zeal,
and were explained inadvertently by some, without those
restrictions which prudence seemed to require; these pro-
fessed patrons and revivers of piety were suspected of de-
signs that could not but render them obnoxious to censure.
They were supposed to despise philosophy and learning,
to treat with indifference, and even to renounce, all inqui-
ries into the nature and foundations of religious truth, to
disapprove of the zeal and labours of those who defended
it against such as either corrupted or opposed it, and to
place the whole of their theology in certain vague and in-
coherent declamations concerning the duties of morality.
Hence arose those famous disputes concerning the use of
philosophy and the value of human learning, considered in
connexion with the interests of religion; the dignity and
usefulness of systematic theology; the necessity of polemic
divinity; the excellence of the mystic system ; and also
concerning the true method of instructing the people.

The second great object that employed the zeal and at-
tention of the persons now under consideration, was, that
the candidates for the ministry should not only, for the fu-
ture, receive such an academical education as would tend
rather to solid utility than to mere speculation; but also
that they should dedicate themselves to God in a peculiar
manner, and exhibit the most striking examples of piety
and virtue. This maxim, which, when considered in it.
self, must be acknowledged to be highly laudable, not only
gave occasion to several new regulations, designed to re-
strain the passions of the studious youth, to inspire them

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with pious sentiments, and to excite in them holy resolutions; but also produced another maxim, which was a lasting source of controversy and debate, viz. " That no person, that was not himself a model of piety and divine love, was qualified to be a public teacher of piety, or a guide to others in the way of salvation.” This opinion was considered by many as derogatory from the power and efficacy of the word of God, which cannot be deprived of its divine influence by the vices of its ministers; and as a sort of revival of the long exploded errors of the Donatists ; and what rendered it peculiarly liable to an interpretation of this nature was, the imprudence of some pietists, who inculcated and explained it, without those restrictions that were necessary to render it unexceptionable. Hence arose endless and intricate debates concerning the following questions : “Whether the religious knowledge acquired by a wicked man can be termed theology;" “whether a vicious person can, in effect, attain to a true knowledge of religion ;” “how far the office and ministry of an impious ecclesiastic can be pronounced salutary and efficacious;" " whether a licentious and ungodly man cannot be susceptible of illumination ?" and other questions of. a like nature.

XXXI. These revivers of declining piety went yet further. In order to render the ministry of their pastors as successful as possible in rousing men from their indolence, and in stemming the torrent of corruption and immorality, they judged two things indispensably necessary. The first was, to suppress entirely, in the course of public instruction, and more especially in that delivered from the pulpit, certain maxims and phrases which the corruption of men leads them frequently to interpret in a manner favourable to the indulgence of their passions. Such, in the judgment of the pietists, were the following propositions: “no man is able to attain to that perfection which the divine law requires ; good works are not necessary to salvation; in the act of justification, on the part of man, faith alone is concerned, without good works.” Many however were apprehensive that, by the suppression of these propositions, . truth itself must suffer deeply; and that the Christian religion, deprived thus of its peculiar doctrines, would be exposed, naked and defenceless, to the attacks of its adversaries. The second step they took, in order to give efficacy

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to their plans of reformation, was to form new rules of life
and manners, much more rigorous and austere than those
which had been formerly practised; and to place in the
class of sinful and unlawful gratifications several kinds of
pleasure and amusement, which had hitherto been looked
upon as innocent in themselves, and which could only be-
come good or evil in consequence of the respective charac-
ters of those who used them with prudence, or abused them
with intemperance:

Thus, dancing, pantomimes, public
sports, theatrical diversions, the reading of humorous and
comical books, with several other kinds of pleasure and
entertainment, were prohibited by the pietists, as unlawful
and unseemly; and therefore by no means of an indiffer-
ent nature. Many however thought this rule of moral dis-
cipline by far too rigid and severe ; and thus was revived
the ancient contests of the schoolmen, concerning the fa-
mous question, whether any human actions are truly indif-
ferent, i. e. equally removed from moral good on the one
hand, and from moral evil on the other; and whether, on
the contrary, it be not true, that all actions, whatever, must
be either considered as good or as evil. The discussion of
this question was attended with a variety of debates upon
the several points of the prohibition now mentioned ; and
these debates were often carried on with animosity and
bitterness, and very rarely with that precision, temper, and
judgment that the nicety of the matters in dispute required.
The third thing, on which the pietists insisted, was, that
beside the stated meetings for public worship, private as-
semblies should be held for prayer and other religious ex-
ercises. But many were of opinion, that the cause of true
piety and virtue was rather endangered than promoted by
these assemblies; and experience and observation seemed
to confirm this opinion. It would be both endless and un-
necessary to enumerate all the little disputes that arose from
the appointment of these private assemblies, and, in gene-
ral, from the notions entertained, and the measures pur-
sued by the pietists. It is nevertheless proper to observe,

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n These debates were first collected, and also needlessly multiplied, by Schelgvigius, in his Synopsis Controversiarum sub pietatis prætextu molarum, which was published in the year 1701, in Svo. The reader will also find the arguments, used by the contending parties in this dispute, judiciously summed up in two different works of Langius, the one entitled, Antibarbarus ; and the other the Middleway; the former composed in Latin, the latter in German. See also the Timotheus Verinus of Val. Ern. Loscherus.

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that the lenity and indulgence shown by these people to persons whose opinions were erroneous, and whose errors were, by no means, of an indifferent nature, irritated their adversaries to a very high degree, and made many suspect, that the pietists laid a much greater stress upon practice than upon belief, and separating what ought ever to be inseparably joined together, held virtuous manners in higher esteem than religious truth. Amidst the prodigious numbers that appeared in these controversies, it was not at all surprising, if the variety of their characters, capacities, and views, be duly considered, that some were chargeable with imprudence, others with intemperate zeal, and that many, to avoid what they looked upon as unlawful, fell injudiciously into the opposite extreme.

XXXII. The other class of pietists already mentioned, whose reforming views extended so far as to change the system of doctrine and the form of These restor ecclesiastical government that were established in giro endere the Lutheran church, comprehended persons of present theater various characters and different ways of thinking. Some of them were totally destitute of reason and judgment; their errors were the reveries of a disordered brain ; and they were rather to be considered as lunatics than as heretics. Others were less extravagant, and tempered the singular notions, they had derived from reading or meditation, with a certain mixture of the important truths and doctrines of religion. We shall mention but a few persons of this class, and those only who are distinguished from the rest by their superior merit and reputation.

Among these was Godfrey Arnold, a native of Saxony, a man of extensive reading, tolerable parts, and richly endowed with that natural and unaffected eloquence, which is so wonderfully adapted to touch and to persuade. This man disturbed the tranquillity of the church toward the conclusion of this century, by a variety of theological productions, that were full of new and singular opinions; and more especially by his Ecclesiastical History, which he had the assurance to impose upon the public, as a work composed with candour and impartiality. His natural complexion was dark, melancholy, and austere ; and these seeds of fanaticism were so expanded and nourished by the perusal of the mystic writers, that the flame of enthusiasm was kindled in his breast, and broke forth in his conduct

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