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so much more therewith connected , must be more accurately known , investigated deeper , and exhibited in more connexion , before the theology aind church of Protestant Germany can be displayed in their real form ; and they would then certainly not appear so revolting and so offending as they are represented in Mr . R . ' s work . Should these remarks have now made it clear that the foundations upon
which the theology of Protestant Germany may be raised to a high degree of pure Christian and scientific elevation , are , through the blessing of God , already laid on the deep basis of her improved principles , neither can one share the great expectations which the author entertains from the introduction among ourselves of fixed liturgies , and an ecclesiastical constitution resembling that of the Episcopal Church . Be it here undecided how far the one or the other could in themselves contribute to a better state of things ; thus much at least is certain , that in a church accustomed , in the noblest
sense of the word , to so much freedom as that of Evangelical Germany , and which , without any external interference , is at this moment conscious of a voluntary return to the fundamental evangelical principles , ( a return in which all its earlier spiritual and scientific advances are comprised and guaranteed , ) political restraint can be neither necessary nor beneficial . Those , however , who conceive that they can observe in the theology and church of Evangelical Germany an internal formative ' principle , tending to realize a high Christian purity , while they do not ascribe the same value as the author
to the measure which he proposes , will attach themselves so much the more firmly to one which they regard as proceeding from the same principle , and of which the author speaks with an almost inconceivable suspicion . You will perceive , that I speak of the union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany ; and I must confess to you , that it is the judgment passed upon this which appears to me to fix the stamp of misconception upon every thing else which is unclear in the work . Had the author but
recalled to mind , that in the period of the greatest indifference to religion and church , the division of these two parties continued unregarded and unmitigated ; that the endeavour to remove it coincided with the renewal of a warm interest in divine worship and in the church ; had he allowed himself to be informed , that it originated with men very far removed from indifferentism , and promoted by that very evangelically-disposed King of Prussia from whom he himself anticipates so much , he could scarcely have ascribed the union to motives so bad . But had he ( which he at all events both could
and ought ) informed himself , that the one difference in doctrine between the two churches is of such a nature , that the distinction can scarcely be retained in the symbolical books of church even by a straw-splitting nicety , ( this is the case with regard to the doctrine of the Lord ' s Supper in the two churches , ) while the other , that regarding election , never existed in Germany , ( in that the strict Calvinistic doctrine is not at all expressed in the
symbol of the German reformed church , the Heidelberg Catechism , ) and that Brandenburg expressly refused to acknowledge the definitions of the Synod of Dort respecting it ; had he weighed this , he would have spared himself iJris hostility against a work , in its nature originating in Christian brotherly love , and which has already produced in many countries , especially in Prussia and Baden , the cheering fruits of reanimated interest in the
church . Yet enough ; for you , my worthy friend , I have made myself sufficiently intelli g ible ; and should I , through your means , perhaps , contribute to prepare a portion of your countrymen for a correcter view of Protestant Ger-
Professor Sack ' s View of Religion in Germany . 5 % 9
VOL . II . I P
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1828, page 529, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2563/page/17/