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absorbed by the general spirit. We do not mean by this that Neander wholly loses sight of the objective forces of history; on the contrary, he speaks very frequently of universal spiritual tendencies, revealing themselves in individuals; and the contrasts of idealism and realism, rationalism and supranaturalism, dialectic understanding and mystical contemplation, belong to the standing categories of his historical thinking. But he refers these tendencies themselves to a psychological basis only, to the peculiarity of the human nature, still in a certain sense thus to a simply subjective ground. The predominant view with him is, that the kingdom of God forms itself out of individuals, and so in some sense up from below, and that, as Schleiermacher once says, "the doctrine of the Church is composed from the opinions of single Christians." No theologian has had so high a conception of the worth of the person, so fine a feeling for individual peculiarity, as Schleiermacher; and what he brings out thus in a more speculative and doctrinal way, is turned to account historically by Neander. Hence he so often urges the thought, that Christianity, the leaven which is destined to pervade our entire humanity, does not destroy the natural capacities and peculiarities of men, but only purifies and sanctifies them; hence his great concern to secure for the personal, the individual and particular, the acknowledgment of its full right; hence the powerful impulse given by him mainly, also, through his monographies on Julian the Apostate, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Bernard of Clairvaux, to the culture of ecclesiastical biography, that most valuable species of literature, in which the mirror of a single great personality is made to reflect in concrete view the spirit and sense of a whole age.
Just in this preponderance however, which is allowed to the subjective interest, is found, along with its strength, the weakness also of the Schleiermacher-Neandrian school. It has an excessive sensibility, where the rights of the individual are laid under limit for the sake of the general welfare, and an undue repugnance towards all law, the distinct assertion of the principle of authority, whether in theory or in practice. In all this it sees at once "bondage to the letter," the "mechanism of forms," "dry scholasticism," "symbololatry," and the like. It does not always distinguish sufficiently the idea of freedom from that of vagueness and arbitrariness, and seems at times to forget that true liberty can prosper only in the sphere of authority, the individual only in due subjection to the general or universal. Christianity and churchdom are taken by it more or less for opposites, which explains how it is that the Rationalists have affected to find an ally in Neander, in their war upon the dogma of inspiration and confessional orthodoxy, although the fundamental principle of their theology is totally different. We
Baur and his School.
cannot deny, therefore, that over against these faults a relative and partial right belongs, in a scientific respect, to the Hegelian scholasticism, in a practical respect, to the unionistic church tendency of Hengstenberg's "Kirchenzeitung," and the rigid Lutheranism of a Harless, Rudelbach, and Guericke, particularly in these times of fluctuation, distraction and disorder.
§ 14. Baur and his School. Logical Pantheism.
In direct opposition to the Neandrian method of history, stands the new Tübingen school, in the most close connection with the Hegelian Philosophy. This philosophy, which properly carries out only and completes on all sides the principal views of Schelling, is characterized primarily in distinction from Schleiermacher just by its objective spirit. It was in a certain sense a philosophy of restoration, in full antagonism to the revolutionary, self-sufficient "aufklärung" of the previous century. In arbitrary self-will it opposed the earnestness of law, to subjective opinion the general reason, as being alone true. History throughout is, for it, something essentially rational, not the sport of accident and caprice; it sees in it, everywhere, the movement of higher powers, not indeed the Holy Ghost in the biblical sense, but a rational world spirit, that makes use of single men for the accomplishment of its plans. Christianity is recognized by Hegel as the absolute religion, whilst he ascribes to the ideas of the Incarnation and the Trinity, in a sense very different it is true from the church doctrine, a deep philosophical truth, comprehending for instance the whole universe, external nature as well as the human spirit, under his trinitarian view. These general principles, however, allowed room for wholly opposite tendencies, accordingly as true objective forces, from which the process of history according to Hegel, is derived and constituted, might be taken to be essential realities or mere abstract conceptions, accordingly as a living faith in Christianity or a one-sided philosophical interest might lead the way. We notice first the destructive tendency, which has proceeded from the pantheistic elements in Hegel's system.
Dr. FERDINAND CHRISTIAN BAUR of Tübingen, a man of imposing learning, bold criticism, surprising power of combination, and restless productivity, but we may say too philosophical to be a true historian, and too historical to be an original philosopher, has founded within the last twenty years a formal school, which in the negation of the positive has gone still farther than the vulgar Rationalism, and brought forward a wholly new view of primitive Christianity. Baur is totally destitute of the fairest ornament of the Neandrian style of history, its active
sense namely for living, practical Christianity. He is a pure theorist, and a true representative thus of a leading disease among German scholars, the one-sided unpractical intellectualism of the study. He has confined himself, accordingly, almost altogether to the history of doctrines, and particularly to such as possess a philosophical interest. Thus he has investigated Manichaeism, Gnosticism,23 the history of the dogma of the Atonement, still more the dogma of the Trinity and the Incarnation, (in three large volumes,) and produced works which make an epoch in their way, and altogether are uncommonly suggestive and instructive. Such dogmatico-historical monographies fall in with his taste much more than biographies, which require a living interest in real persons. Besides this, he has written a great many tracts on primitive Christianity, in which the process, (applied by his more consistent disciple Dr. DAVID FR. STRAUSS to the Life of Jesus, so as to turn the evangelical miracles into a mythical picture of the idea of the Messiah, as it grew from the unconscious imagination of the early church,) is so tried upon the history of the apostles and the age following, as wholly to revolutionize the view previously taken of the first two centuries. This new construction of early Christian unity appears most fully in BAUR'S "Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ" (1845), and in SCHWEGLER'S "Age after the Apostles" (1846). Christianity as we now have it is here taken to be a product first, from the middle of the second century. In the mind of Jews and the first Christians it existed simply as a perfected Judaism, or Ebionitism, or, what is counted much the same, in the form of Petrinism. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, first emancipated Christianity from Judaism, and apprehended it as a peculiar and new system. Of the thirteen epistles, however, which are ascribed to him, only four are genuine, that namely to the Romans, that to the Galatians, and the two to the Corinthians; the rest were fabricated, and put forth under his name, in the second century. The Acts of the Apostles, falsely ascribed to Luke, is written from an apologetic position, and misrepresents the apostle of the Gentiles. It is proposed namely to defend him against the reproaches of the Jewish party, and this is done by bringing Paul as nearly as possible to Peter, that is to Jewish Christianity, in the second part, and Peter as nearly as possible to Paul, that is, to the free position of Gentile Christianity, in the first. The final reconciliation of this antagonism of Petrine and Pauline Christianity, and with it the establishment of the church faith, is the work of the fourth Gospel, which, however, flows not from the
23 Under this term he understands, not merely the proper Gnosticism of antiquity, but all attempts to reduce Christianity to a philosophical form. Gnosis is, for him, thus the same as the philosophy of religion.
Baur's Logical Pantheism.
apostle John, although the author so pretends, but from some unknown person in the middle of the second century—the most profound and spiritual of all productions thus from an obscure nobody, the most sublime and ideal portrait of the Saviour from an impostor and is not to be considered an actual history, but a sort of philosophico-religious romance, the offspring of the speculative fancy!! The critical acuteness and constructive method of this panlogistic school has reached a point thus, where, by its contempt for all outward historical testimonies and by the most palpable extravagance, it confutes itself, so that nothing more is needed than a simple exhibition of this last result, to repel every unsophisticated mind from its method.
But wherein consists now the fundamental fault of this whole historical method of Baur? We find it in logical pantheism, the denial of the personality both of God and of man. Baur finds fault with Neander as recognizing the single only, and nothing general, in the history of doctrine, and claims for himself the merit of having raised it from an empirical to a speculative view, and of having found in the conception of spirit the ruling principle of the historical process.24 But what at last is this "spirit," the "dogma," which in his ever recurring terminology, "comes to terms with itself," (sich mit sich selbst vermittelt,) which "unfolds itself into the boundless multiplicity of its predicates and there gathers itself up again into the unity of self-consciousness?" Is it the personal living God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? Of that this philosophy knows nothing. Are the objective forces, which Baur declares to be the factors of history, substantial essences at all or living realities? No! They are bare forms of the understanding, abstract conceptions, shadowy phantoms. The entire history of doctrine is nothing more, according to this school, than a dialectic process of thought, which thinks thought itself, the tedious mechanism of method, "reeling off of a thin logical thread," that runs out always again at last into Hegelian pantheism. The efforts of the most profound and pious minds for centuries, on the incarnation and the atonement, result simply in formulæ at last of the identity of thought and being, the finite and the infinite, subject and object. Thus withers beneath the simoom breath of a purely dialectic process, the garden of the Lord, with all its endless wealth of flowers, its innumerable fruits of love to the Saviour, of faith, of prayer, of sanctification, the whole transformed into a metaphysical desert, without green oäsis or refreshing fountain. Of course this method fails most in those parts of church history, where practical interests take the lead, as in the apostolical and next following periods, falling over
24 Lehrbuch der Christichen Dogmengeschichte, S. 52 and 53.
hére from a pretended objectivity into the most wretched subjectivity of a hypercriticism, that rests on no ground and sets at defiance all the laws of history. But even the purely doctrinal investigations of Baur need a complete revision, as from his one-sided position he turns also the church fathers and the schoolmen, Calvin and Schleiermacher, into mere speculators on the dry heath," sunders their thinking from its religious life-ground, and so not unfrequently loads them with opinions that never in dream even entered into their heads.
§ 15. Merheinecke, Leo, Dorner, Ullmann and others.
Along with this however, the Hegelian philosophy, even before the appearance of the famous "Leben Jesu" by Strauss (1835), called forth other wholly different tendencies, which have sought to keep terms with history as it is, and with the Christianity of the Bible and the Church, though some of those Christian Hegelians, as MARheinecke, Daub, GÖSCHEL, have frequently spiritualized it, and at times inflicted arbitrary violence upon it by the logical process. MARHEINECKE, the theological head of the "right" wing of this school, exhibited the German Reformation under a purely objective form, from the sources, in genuine German nationality. This work, unsurpassed in its kind, is fortunately besides free altogether from the heavy dialectic accoutrement in which his "Dogmatic" is made to move. HEINRICH LEO, an original, vigorous mind, not without tendency also however to excess and rudeness, threw off it is true in later life the strait-jacket of the Hegelian logic altogether, but the influence of it is seen in his Universal History, where religion and the church are also very carefully noticed, but always with the entire subordination of the subject to objective powers, of the individual to the general. These objective powers with him however are not dialectic forms and conceptions, but concrete realities, laws and institutions of the personal Christian God, which to resist is sin and guilt, which to obey is man's true freedom, glory and honor. History in his view forms itself downward from above; God's will, and not popular will, least of all individual will, is its moving force. Hence his favorable treatment of the Middle Ages, and his unfavorable, nay, one-sided and unjust, judgment of the Reformation. Leo's view of history is out and out ethical, churchly, conservative, absolutely anti-revolutionary, we might say catholicising, did we not know that he has too much historical sense to believe in the possibility of restoring an antiquated position, and that just in relentless opposition to the unbound and dissolute habit of the present time he heeds it for his duty to lay the sharpest emphasis on the side of positive authority and law. In the