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opposes and repels foreign intrusions. Thus therefore, suppose the question to be decided is whether another doctrine had been formed through the Jewish-Alexandrian Platonism. The personal influence of a single individual could not avail to introduce this or that Dogma; it could only succeed, not by its arbitrary action, but as representing a general tendency. In the attempt to elevate personality above the general laws of development, History is degraded into a patchwork of individual men. This erroneous method originated in the age of Rationalism when the internal energy of Christianity and its relation to human nature were not understood. It satisfied neither the philosophic nor the religious point of view.
From outward causes we are therefore led to internal principles and their reciprocal operation. We must contemplate the essential characteristics of Christianity, and its relation to human nature; and the various peculiarities of times, nations, and individuals in relation to Christianity. It is true that in the development of Dogmas, a sound Christian spirit has not always conquered and expelled foreign admixtures; but even morbid phenomena may form a transition to a healthy Christian life; Truth makes progress by means of revolutions and re-actions. In this way Christianity verifies its power as the leaven of Humanity. This course of development pervades the whole History of the Church. Even when a tendency not resulting from the pure development of the Church gains the ascendancy, we shall find that this is not arbitrarily intruded, but corresponds to a certain stage of development. Thus the Catholic standpoint is not founded on the pure essence of the Gospel, neither has it been forced on the Church by individuals. This principle will always hold good, that nothing from without can be forced upon the developing process of the Church. The construction of a History of Dogmas according to such a Pragmatic method may be called the organic-genetic in contrast to Chronicles and mere outward histories, and as far as we regard the developing process of the Church not as an accidental aggregate, but as an internally connected Organism.
A one-sided speculative construction of History stands opposed to the outward Empiricism of a false Pragmatism. It is so far right that it seeks after an internal unity in the course of History, but it is wrong in the à priori method by which it would deduce that unity from an idea which can only
THE IDEA OF HERESY.
be learnt from the survey of events and the course of their development as it lies before us. It refers everything back to the identical contrasts of thinking without a reference to the diversity of the events. The various stages are presupposed which the idea must pass through in its development, and everything that takes place must be stretched on this Procrustes' bed. The religious contents of dogmatic phenomena lie in the very being of the Christian consciousness and only by means of it can these developments be rightly understood. This consciousness rejects any general scheme such as an ideal process would be, which resembles an arithmetical calculation in which minds are treated as numbers, and every thing is submitted to a logical necessity. If a superficial Pragmatism attributes too much to individuality, here it is all set aside since individuals only come under consideration as blind organs of an Idea and as necessary factors in its development. Still the importance of great personalities who are conscious representatives of a mental tendency must not be overlooked, but be understood in the connexion of their religious development. In historical developments a law, a divine necessity prevails which we have to study in the con templation of events, but there is at the same time a free activity, for it is the history of a world of free agents. In the free development lies an irrational principle, and necessity can only be regarded as hypothetical and relative. Hence, not everything, as is here assumed, is subject to an equal necessity; but we recognise in History the re-actions of evil and of error, and not merely what proceeds from pure Christianity belongs to the representation of the development of Christian doctrine but also many a corruption of it; and the perfect adjustment can only take place at the completion of the History.
This leads us to the idea of Heresy. Its History forms an important element in the history of Dogmas, since it has had sensible influence on the development of Christian doctrine. In the original idea of ages, which primarily means a choice, and next an opinion which a man adopts from free choice, nothing wrong or evil is implied, for among the Greeks the various principles of the Schools of Philosophy were so denominated. But the Christian consciousness understood this word in a bad sense. For Christianity presented itself
as divine Truth in opposition to arbitrary human opinion, and aimed at imparting by the truth a unity to the religious consciousness. Hence the word acquired the meaning of an arbitrary difference of opinion which stood at variance with the unity aimed at by Christianity, and denoted opinions which disturbed the unity of the Christian consciousness. Thus even in the New Testament the word aïgeois is applied to those arbitrary divisions which tended to break up the unity of the Christian community. (1 Cor. xi. 19).
In the application of this term we must distinguish the historic meaning according to which it denoted what was regarded at any time as heresy, and the dogmatic. In reference to the former, everything depends on the standpoint of those who used it. Not everything, which at any time was called Heresy, can be really considered as such. When men were engaged in striving after uniformity in the Church and in Dogma, it was possible to brand as heresy certain representations which rested on the same ground of Christian consciousness, and only differed in the scientific mode of viewing them. Or certain views which had a Christian basis, but contained some heretical elements, were called heresies. Even the pure Truth might be regarded as heresy when men set out with a mixture of error in their views of Christianity.
If we would develope the dogmatic idea of heresy, as it may be vindicated from the standpoint of the genuine Dogma, we must set out from that on which the Unity of the Christian cousciousness rests-the fundamental facts of the Christian faith, and mark that as Heresy which does not receive them in their integrity and blends a foreign element with Christianity. If we contemplate the appearance of Christ, we behold an unfathomable many-sidedness, and an inexhaustible depth. No one is able to comprehend his whole life in its entireness—each one apprehends it partially, one on this side and another on that. Such was the case with the Apostles themselves, and so through the whole course of the Church's development the partial conceptions of the Saviour complement one another. Hence it is that a variety of tendencies can co-exist. But when there is an exclusive preponderance in one direction when exaggerated and partial views are formed, then the Life of Christ becomes a one-sided fragment.
In a similar manner in the life of Christians, manifold
REQUISITES FOR THE HISTORIAN.
opposites balance each other and are bound together to form a higher Unity. But if we acknowledge only outward experience, the unity of the Christian consciousness is marred, and Heresies arise. The Truth indeed is not to be found by an outward adjustment of contrarieties, but it is in its very nature elevated above opposites and forms their reconciliation.
The earliest heretical influences found their way into the Church from Judaism and Heathenism, and those from the first-mentioned quarter not only opposed Christianity by direct conflict, but were attracted towards it, and by blending with it impaired its purity. These tendencies belonged not to one age only, but re-appear with corresponding results at various. times. It is therefore our business to distinguish in every age how far heresies partially agree with Christianity and how far they are absolutely heretical.
This discussion leads us to consider the special requisites for writing the history of Dogmas. It is justly demanded of the Historian that he should write with impartiality, sine irâ et studio. For if fixed to the standpoint of a party, he will present in glowing colours the representations that favour it, the bright side alone without any shadows; and on the other hand depreciate whatever does not agree with this standpoint. The injurious operation of theological polemics has been strikingly shown in the history of Dogmas. Thus a one-sided Catholicism has been able to see in Protestantism, not the Christian element, but only what it regards as impure additions, and as it looked at everything through the same prejudiced medium, what was historical has been branded as heresy, so that a great part of the development of the Church has appeared in a distorted shape. Protestantism stands on a higher stage of development, and thus is better able to judge of the preceding stages in a loving and equitable spirit; nevertheless there is a one-sided and narrow-minded Protestantism which is incapable of discerning what is Christian in Catholicism, though mixed with what is falsely Catholic; this is shown in the judgments passed by Protestant writers on the History of Dogmas in the Middle Ages.
But frequently the demand for Impartiality has been extended too far. The Historian has been called upon to repress his subjective tendencies so entirely as to render his
views and representations purely objective. But this is an impracticable requirement; a man cannot deny what he is; he cannot turn himself into a tabula rasa; the representation of any object must be conditioned by the standpoint of the observer. Such negativity and indifference would not suffice for the production of a chronological aggregate, for even this requires judgment in its arrangement. An organic, genetic arrangement would certainly be impossible, since there could be no cordial interest in the events, nor anything more than a superficial collocation and junction of them. Whoever would be correctly acquainted with the development of Christianity, must have a correct idea of Christianity and of its relation to other phenomena, as a man must have an idea of a State or of Philosophy in order to compose a History of a State or of Philosophy; complete indifference in a writer on such subjects is not possible; to enter into them he must have an analogous standpoint; and therefore for a History of Dogmas, he must have a dogmatic standpoint. And we cannot regard it as a blemish if the effect of this is visible in the historical representation. Only every writer must strive to free himself from prejudice and party-spirit. The more free and elevated the point-of-view, so much more complete will be the survey, since it will not be overcast with that obscurity which accompanies one-sidedness. We are not required to lay aside our Subjectivity, but to purify it more and more, and to surrender ourselves to Truth. Thus the historical representations will give evidence of the correctness of our dogmatic knowledge and convictions.
The question here arises, whether there is not a standpoint elevated above the history of the Church, from which we can understand the process of its development. Whoever finds himself on a higher standpoint of religious development, whoever has a purer acquaintance with the nature of Religion, will be able to judge more correctly respecting it, than the man who occupies a more prejudiced and corrupt religious standpoint. Thus we can better understand the heathen religions and Mohammedanism, than their own adherents, because we know how to distinguish the truly religious and the sensuous. And so a Philosophy of Religion will be formed by Christianity from itself, and in it the right standpoint will