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SOME LEADERS OF THOUGHT. A. Berthoud. Among French-speaking Protestants this author is one of the foremost Christian apologists, having written no less than five apologetic works since 1886. His latest work on this subject is his greatest, and is entitled Apologie du christianisme (Christian Apology), Lausanne, Bridel, and Paris, Fischbacher, 1898. The work is devoted to what Berthoud calls the “Christian fact," that is, the Gospel or the intervention of God through Christ for the redemption of man. In the first part he shows the demand of the human soul for this Christian fact; in the second part, under “Christianity and Science,” the possibility of the Christian fact; and in the third part, under “Christianity and History," the reality of the fact. There is nothing particularly new in his development of the subject in hand, although it is well done. He is interesting, however, as marking a stage of change in theological thought. No man can wisely write apology to-day as it could have been and was written even twenty-five years ago. Works on apology must vary with the needs of the age for which they are written. But, in addition to this, there are few who would venture to defend positions which twenty-five years ago were almost universally held by evangelical Christians. Berthoud is professor in the Ecole de théologie de l'Oratoire, in Geneva. Among his predecessors were d'Aubigné and Gaussen, the latter of whom defended the verbal inspiration of the Bible. From this position Berthoud has receded. He makes a clear distinction between revelation and Scripture, which he holds to be a record of revelation. He recognizes the right of historical criticism in the investigation of these records, and admits that the Bible lays no claims to authority outside the realm of religion. He does not hesitate to acknowledge errors and irreconcilable divergencies in the biblical traditions. His conception of the miraculous is also quite modern, since he characterizes that conception of miracle which makes it a violation of the laws of nature as senseless and godless. When it is remembered that this school in which Berthoud is professor was founded as a result of a religious revival, and that it stands for the most strenuous conservatism of our time, the concessions which he makes to modern thought are the more remarkable. It may almost be said that they are to-day theological commonplaces.
Christian Rogge. It is one of the striking features of German theology that so much of the most scholarly and valuable of it emanates from pastors. The fact is a splendid commentary on the excellence of the course of preparation required for the ministry in Germany and also on
the possibility of uniting accurate and comprehensive learning with the details which devolve upon the pastor. Rogge has recently illustrated afresh these facts. In a work entitled Der irdische Besitz im Neuen Testament: Seine Beurtheilung und Werthschätzung durch Christus und der Apostel (Worldly Possessions in the New Testament: Their estimate by Christ and the Apostles) Göttingen, Vanderhoeck und Ruprecht, 1897, he has given to the student world a monograph of much value on the subject of Christian • sociology. Rogge holds with many others that the Gospel of Luke is distinctly opposed to riches and favorable to poverty. But this he regards as in part due to its failure to reproduce the exact spirit of the teachings of Jesus relative to worldly possessions. He thi the gospels, properly understood, show that Jesus lived as much with the rich as with the poor. Although Jesus demanded that his apostles should leave all to follow him, he did not make this forsaking of wealth a universal condition of discipleship. He thinks that while the later Jews vigorously opposed the powerful and the rich, Jesus took a different course, confining himself strictly to the domain of religion and making no difference between the rich and the poor, but holding such distinctions as having no relation whatever to the kingdom of God. The attitude of Jesus toward wealth was settled by his law of love, and when the rich showed no compassion for their poorer neighbors he was driven by his love to denounce them. At most riches are a hindrance to genuine participation in the labors and blessings of the kingdom. Jesus warned against wealth, not out of considerations connected with the salvation of its possessor, but on account of its uncertainty and its tendency to choke out the good that is in the heart. He was not opposed to wealth, but to covetousness. Rogge even goes as far as to say that Jesus taught a beneficent use of money, which was well pleasing in God's sight. Many of these positions are not new. Yet they are well argued and drawn from the text itself. The principal difficulty with Rogge's views is founded on their separation from the more general consideration of the ethical teachings of Jesus.
RECENT THEOLOGICAL LITERATURE.
Erlauterungen und Ergänzungen zu Janssen's Geschichte des deutschen Volkes. Luther's Lebensende. Eine kritische Untersuchung (Elucidations and Supplements to Janssen's History of the German People, Luther's Last Days, A Critical Investigation). By Dr. Nikolaus Paulus. Freiburg i. B., Herder, 1898. The excitement caused in Germany by the original publication of Janssen's volume dealing with the effect of the Reformation under Luther upon the German people has even now scarcely died away. Janssen took the position that the Reformation brought to an end the golden period of the Middle Ages in Germany. He spared no pains to misrepresent everything and everybody connected with the Reformation, if thereby he could glorify the Roman Catholic Middle Ages and show the alleged evils of Protestantism. Already Romanists themselves are beginning to retract some of the slanders published by Janssen. In Paulus's book we have an instance of how Roman Catholics first slander the dead, and are thereafter compelled by the most unequivocal testimony to confess their wrong. So with reference to the manner in which Luther came to his death. He did not die by his own hand. He did not die cursing God and man. He did not die in a drunken revel. All these things are now demonstrated by this work of a Roman Catholic and by others equally unassailable. Still, whether intentionally or not, Paulus has not escaped the Romanist prejudice in dealing with Luther. He calls attention to the custom of the later Middle Ages, according to which all manner of evil was spoken of the dying hours of theological opponents. There can be no doubt that such was the case, and Protestants were by no means guiltless. They told the most fearful tales of the death-bed scenes of Jesuits and other champions of Romanism, and attempted to show that the judgment of God was upon Roman dignitaries, clergy, princes, and statesmen. The Lutherans told such stories of the Zwinglians and the Calvinists of the Lutherans. Forty pages of the book are given up to the illustration of the sins of Protestants in this direction, and but eleven to that of Romanists. This is a wholly perverted proportion. But the worst feature of Paulus's book in this direction is that he appears to make Lutherans responsible for this execrable custom. A careful examination of Luther's works shows that he was, considering his times, almost a model in this direction, though 'censurably violent in the use of denunciatory language regarding the living. The time will come when this slander of Paulus also against Luther will be taken back.
Martin Luther in kulturgeschichtlicher Darstellung. 2. Teil 1. Hälfte, 1525–1532. (Martin Luther Portrayed in Relation to his Times, Second Part, First Half, 1525–1532.) By Arnold E. Berger. Berlin, E. Hoffmann & Co., 1898. The greatness of Luther is apparent from the fact that the literature relating to him continues to grow. Three monumental biographies of Luther have been undertaken in very recent years—those of Köstlin, Kolde, and Berger—to say nothing of the works on his personal opinions, his relations to various interests and the like. The world never forgets those who have done it a real service. The portion of the Berger biography of Luther here noticed has some virtues which distinguish it from all others. True to the general title of the work the author omits nothing which seems to him necessary to shed light on the events and spirit of Luther's times. For example, we have eighteen pages devoted to an account of the beginning and progress of the Reformation under Zwingli. He gives us twenty-seven pages on the differences between the emperor (Charles V) and the pope on the tendencies of the Reformation in Spain, and on the policy of the emperor with reference to the world at large. These are specimens of the fullness of the material afforded the reader for the estimate of the times in which Luther lived and of Luther's relation to them. Berger has been criticised for the introduction of so much matter apparently aside from the purposes of a biography. It has been claimed that one forgets he is reading a life of Luther, in the midst of so much which has no direct bearing on the subject. The justice of such a criticism must be judged differently, according as the standpoints of readers differ. If one wishes pleasant reading, the sense of a continuous story of thrilling interest, this book will hardly answer. If one wishes to study the life of Luther in its conditions, its manifestations, and its wide-reaching effects, the work is unsurpassed. Judged also by the intention of the author, this peculiarity of his work must be commended, since it is exactly what he proposed. Nor can he be justly criticised for not always consciously and clearly pointing out the connection of the material he supplies with the purpose he has in view. Something may safely be trusted to the intelligence of the reader. It must be reckoned a decided advantage from the standpoint of the study of Luther in connection with his times that abundant material for the illustration of his times is furnished. The only criticism of moment that we offer is that Berger makes Luther too much a representative, an offspring, and not sufficiently a molder of, his times, as he preeminently was.
Einleitung in das Neune Testament (Introduction to the New Testament. Two volumes). By Theodor Zahn. Leipzig, A. Deichert, Nachf., 1897–1899. Zahn's vast learning in the field of history of the canon of the New Testament, and his decidedly conservative attitude on all questions of biblical criticism, lend to this work a singular importance. It is doubtful whether it would be too much to say that it is the greatest work on the conservative side yet produced. Zahn defends the genuineness of all the New Testament writings. In this, indeed, he does not differ so greatly from Harnack, his great rival, who says that there is probably in all the New Testament but one truly pseudonymous document, namely, 2 Peter. According to Zahn all the gospels were written after 60 A. D., and in the order in which they stand in our New Testament. He thinks that Matthew was written originally in Aramaic, before the year 63, and Mark in Greek about 64, while the Greek Matthew originated about 85. Concerning the relation of Mark to Matthew he
says: “Since we know nothing of the date of Matthew's gospel, except that it was written before Mark, and that Mark began his gospel at the earliest in 64, and since there is nothing in the two gospels to show that the gospel of Matthew was written before or after 61-63 and that of Mark before or after 64–70, it is not improbable that Mark, during his journey in Palestine in 62, 63, became acquainted with the newly-written gospel of Matthew, took a copy of it with him to Rome, and soon thereafter employed it in the writing of his own gospel.” He thinks it also probable that the Greek translator of Matthew's Aramaic gospel employed the gospel of Mark to aid him in his difficult task. These suppositions Zahn proceeds to substantiate by a comparison of the text of Matthew and Mark. As to the third gospel, Zahn thinks it probable that in its composition Luke employed Mark but not Matthew. This also he confirms by a comparison of the text. Zahn is very strong, as far as his use of tradition is concerned, but his treatment of the synoptic problem is, nevertheless, somewhat unsatisfactory. For example, he dismisses the relationship of Matthew and Luke with two pages, though the many points of difference, on the one side, and of similarity on the other, make the problem one of the most difficult known to biblical criticism. The source of this weakness is, undoubtedly, due to Zahn's dependence upon early tradition. This dependence, unfortunately, is dangerous. For most of the early writers who speak unquestionably on this subject lived a hundred years or more after the gospels are supposed to have been written. More attention should, therefore, have been given to the critical method.
RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL.
Cremation and the Church in Würtemberg. In 1894 the Consistory issued a decree permitting the clergy to conduct certain exercises in the home of the deceased, but forbade any participation by them at the time when the ashes of a cremated person are deposited in their final resting place. This many of the clergy feel to be a hardship, since they are thus deprived of their accustomed privilege even in the case of honored and beloved members both of the Church and community, while the exercises at the grave have to be turned over to unconsecrated persons. Recently, however, it has been decreed that, if the friends of a person about to be cremated request the privilege, the church bell may be sounded during the exercises in the home. It is believed by many acquainted with the circumstances that this must lead at length to the recognition of cremation as a legitimate Christian method of disposing of the bodies of the dead. The friends of this new practice claim that the clergy are not now permitted to show as much respect to the memory of the most honorable person who is cremated as to the most depraved whose body is regularly buried.
A New Departure in Genevan Church Life. The churches of Geneva are composed of two principal parties, distinguished by their adherence or opposition to the newer theories relative to the Bible and theology in general. For a long time this condition of affairs has led to what all recognize as unseemly results. In the choice of new pastors one party or the other is defeated, or else the election is a compromise which suits