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varied. They were not by any means confined to the sick and poor that were to be found on the way-side, but were extended, in a missionary sense, to those that were in ignorance of spiritual things, as well as in worldly need. No great want of the race was neglected by Luther, in the course of his marvelous career; and he is, in one sense, the founder of the numerous institutions for the training of the young. He believed in the intelligent Christian home with a wealth of religious knowledge in itself; while in possession of the Bible in the vernacular tongue, thanks to his labors. To this end he insisted on the establishment of schools for the children, and especially for the female sex, until the Reformation almost totally ignored in the matter of instruction. Hence we may see that our essayist has a very wide field in the loving works that spring from Luther's spirit.
French Reviews. REVUE CHRETIENNE, (Christian Review,) May, 1883. – 1. BERNARD, Marguerite
Spoerlin. 2. SECRÉTAN, Vinet and Theology. 3. X., In Africa. 4. BIANQUIS,
An Attractive Project. 5. Monthly Review, by Pressensé. June, 1883.–1. SECRÉTAN, Vinet and Theology. 2. Vallette, The Gospel and
Morality. 3. M. B., Sister Dora. 4. Bibliography. 5. E. DE PRESSENSÉ, Month
ly Review. July, 1883.-1. DARTIGUE, The Primary School and Laical Morality. 2. REY,
About the Salon. 3. X., In Africa. 4. BRIDEL, Philosophical Chrouicle.
5. Review of the Month by Pressensé. In the May number of the Review, Secrétan commences an article on Vinet and his theology, which he extends into the subsequent issue. The learned and sprightly reviewer seems inclined to be an iconoclast regarding the great Christian scholar who has so long held a cherished place in the hearts of French Protestants; and he does not hesitate to bring him down from his pedestal and say some very plain things about him, which may not be acceptable to the most of our readers. But it may, at least, be profitable to know what is said regarding Vinet in the leading French religious Review to aid us in obtaining the status of the scholar as viewed by some French eyes. Dartigue reviews a recent work by Chavannes, bearing the title “ Alexandre Vinet Considered as Apologist and Moral
ist,” in one volume 8vo, published in Leyden, which can be obtained of the Protestant publisher, Fischbacher, in Paris.
Alexander Vinet has left no genuine monument, neither in the order of thought nor in that of art. His style, though admirable in eloquence, exhibits very grave errors. The arrangement of his two great works is faulty, and he approaches perfection only in a few speeches and critical essays, and especially in a smail number of pamphlets and journal articles. Presented at an auspicious period, his views on the part of moral conscience in religion, and the independence desirable in the Church toward the civil power, have had much influence, but they were not entirely new. And, nevertheless, during more than half a century, the name of Vinet has gone on growing. The youth of his country are now preparing to raise a statue to him, and the world will be astonished, moreover, that this duty was not performed long ago. This will honor only the littérateur and critic, leaving to others the task of glorifying the publicist and Christian.
And, with a few more pages in this line, as an introduction and explanation of his methods and aims, the author proceeds to treat of Vinet in a direction totally opposite to that of Astié, because, as he says, his object is a totally different one.
In regard to the “Attractive Project” of Bianquis, presented in the same number, we may say that at a little reunion of French Protestants, of which the leading members were Theodore Monod and M. Reveillaud, both now well known in this country, the subject of a sort of French Protestant head-quarters was discussed, which may eventually blossom out into a Book Concern. The French Protestants of Paris have long felt the need of some central rendezvous where they might more easily concentrate their workers and their works, and it is very natural that those who are practically acquainted with our methods should be al. most unconsciously affected by them. Therefore they say, let us now establish, at least, the germ of a “House for French Protestantism,” as they would call it. The great needs for such an establishment are now pressing and very potent, as we shall detail. One of the most urgent is that of a suitable location for the “Historical Society of French Protestantism.” This is now located in the Place Vendôme, in quarters entirely too small, and where the greatest care will not protect from dampness the treasures which the library contains. This common library for French Protestants possesses the most precious memoirs of the whole Huguenot race and families, and should
be well guarded and preserved. This “House,” therefore, should have its library lofty, spacious, airy, and well lighted, affording a worthy depository for ancient books and manuscripts, as well as a pleasant retreat for study and literary investigation.
Besides the library, this House should afford ample accommodations for all sorts of meetings in the interest of French Protestantism, reception rooms and offices for the various boards or bodies, and a large room that might answer for lectures, sacred concerts, and all the large assemblies for purposes pertaining to the general work, something like the famous "Hall of the Reformation” in Geneva. The audienceroom ought, they say, to accommodate from 3,000 to 4,000 persons, and be specially adapted to attract to religious gatherings those who would not be likely to be drawn to the Protestant churches, or "temples," as they are called. And, above all, this “Protestant House” should have another important destination for the accommodation of the pastors from the provinces, as they come to the great city, in which they are often lost, and feel as friendless strangers. Here they would be sure to find some of their brother pastors of Paris, who would naturally assemble in a reading-room where all religious publications of interest to them should be on file. And all this, let us say, though perfectly natural to us, because the outgrowth of our practical life, is, or will be, almost a revelation to the ordinary French pastor, who scarcely knows what it is to confer with any great number of his colleagues, or have much in common with them. It is another instance of the introduction of our methods in harmony with the practical tendency of the times.
Pressensé, in his Monthly Review of the June number, gives some interesting revelations regarding the separation of Church and State in France. It would seem that those who talk most loudly concerning it have the least confidence in effecting it. The greatest antagonists of the Church are quite willing to listen to some means of applying a remedy to the situation. One day Hyacinthe was conversing with Gambetta abont the matter, when the great orator and statesman, raising his arms, exclaimed, “The separation of Church and State! why, it would be the end of the world !” Even Hyacinthe hiniself, in one of his impassioned appeals, declared that if the State aid
were withdrawn from the Church the latter would need betake itself to its staff and wallet, as it, in former times, commenced. He was not opposed to this if the movement were animated by a Gospel spirit; but he would deprecate it if used to impose yet more strongly the superstitions of the Church. And he also declared that neither the Church nor the country was prepared for such a transformation, and he undertook to prove it by a series of considerations thus : “Does the separation of Church and State indicate that these two powers mutually ignore one another? Yes, in the proper sense of the term, such is the meaning of the proposed formula." But this reciprocal ignorance is, in the opinion of Loyson, a chimera and absurdity. In his view the priest has a mission in the state of which he cannot be deprived, and then he asks the question, " By what right can the state issue laws interdicting the religious marriage which is not preceded by the civil marriage ?” And the orator then goes off into a series of assertions, of brilliant stage effect, closing magisterially with the famous utterance of Victor Hugo: “Pity for those who have not a heart in their breast, and in this heart a God !” To all of which we say that it is quite difficult to know what these two great men mean when they talk about their religious or anti-religious convictions. Either one of them seems quite ready to risk an inconsistency, at least, in the absorbing passion to cast off some high-sounding phrase that virtually goes up like a rocket, and falls like a stick.
This irresistible tendency of French statesmen to run off into fine phrases is again illustrated in the article of the July number by Dartigue, on the “Primary School and Laical Morality.”
The plain, practical meaning of all this is an endeavor to introduce into the secular primary schools a system of morality to be taught by lay teachers, instead of the religious teaching formerly imparted by the priests. The aim is a very noble one, and the measure of great import, if genuinely and practically carried out. But behind this question, so apparently secular, there lies in reality a religious one which is found in the heart of all the questions now debated by the French Chambers. This“ Religious Question,” now holding the foreground, is like a Sphinx propounding enigmas to those who are least able to solve them. What is laical morality? is not very
easily answered, and “all the world,” as the French say, is unanimous in pronouncing it at least equivocal, as any question from the Sphinx might be supposed to be. Some pronounce laical morality to be the equivalent of independent morality, whatever that may be, though it is by its adherents defined to be “a morality which is fully sufficient unto itself, finding in itself alone its laws, its sanction, its authority, and its aim, without the aid of any religion or philosophy.” And in giving this we do not speak of those men who make of this expression a war-cry, a political watchword, or an electioneering manenver, but of men, serious and convinced, within the Chambers—and there are many of them—who hold this language: “Morality comprises two distinct parts—the one clear and the other obscure; the one, evident in itself, obtaining the assent of all minds, and the other which has given rise to interminable debates, and will continue to do so. The principles involved cause the division of men into parties; the applications ard the results are less a cause of discord, for on these most men are in accord.” The Liberals would render morality independent; they would separate it from religion and philosophy, and thus put an end to the conflict; that is, they would make their own morality, and thus virtually each man would be a law unto himself. History and experience reveal to us whither this doctrine would lead its adherents.
Art. IX.-FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
THE LUTHER CELEBRATIONS. The entire Fatherland will soon be absorbed in the “Luther Celebrations,” commemorating the fourth centennial of the great reformer. Many celebrations of like kind have taken place in past time, but this promises to exceed them all, as it will absorb all classes of the community. Already have the zealous friends of the cause been at work informing the people of the significance of this extraordinary jubilee in lectures and reunions of men of manifold interests. The feature of the day is the hostility shown by the Ultramontanism to these efforts and to the grand celebration of itself. Formerly Luther was regarded as among the greatest of Germans, and Döllinger, in spite of his opposition to the Reformation, nevertheless regarded Luther as a hero of the German