« ForrigeFortsæt »
has been refused, on the ground of the gravity of the offence not admitting of an interim liberation.
Thus the case stands at present, and what is now the principal thing aimed at is to obtain a decision one way or another. The interest of the opposing party is delay, and that both because severe punishment is all the while being inflicted without the same odium as would attach in the eyes of every man of humanity to a sentence, and because the continuance of the case is a source of gain to the lawyers and the law courts. And it is deemed by no means improbable that he may be kept in prison for years without his case being brought to an issue, unless such a design can be frustrated.
To the foregoing statement we may add that Martin Escalante is a man of unblemished character, and has already, on a former occasion, suffered bonds in the service of Christ. He is married, and his wife and family, for whom we bespeak the sympathy and prayers of those who can "weep with them that weep," are residing at Gibraltar.
We forbear to say anything of the strong suspicions entertained, that the priests are keenly active in the matter; he himself says, with much simplicity, and, perhaps, equal truth, that if the Inquisition still existed, his soul would ere now have been in paradise.
THE KINGDEATH OF VON RAUMER, LATE MINISTER OF ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS-DR, STAHL'S NEW WORK-THE FRIENDS OF LIGHT.
Berlin, Aug. 17, 1859.
INCREASED ILLNESS OF THE KING.
All Christians who know how to appreciate the efforts of our King for the advancement of Christianity, must take a deep interest in his present condition of deep suffering. It was on Sunday week that he took a walk in the park of Sans-Souci, when the heat was tropical, and afterwards went to a cool room in the New Palace to take tea with the Queen and some of his Royal relatives. After a little while the Queen observed that his face was altered, and asking him how he was, he answered, "A little ill." Unfortunately, no physician in ordinary was there, and two other doctors had to be sent for from Potsdam. Meanwhile his Majesty drove to Sans-Souci Palace and went to bed. It was not till midnight that he was bled under the direction of his own physicians. He grew worse the two following days, and on Wednesday, a telegraphic message brought the Prince-Regent from Ems to the chamber of his Royal brother. The King had in the interim been bled a second time, and on this occasion blood had been taken from the head. This, with God's blessing, averted the worst consequences, and since then his Majesty's condition has somewhat improved, so that he now takes notice of what is passing around him, and utters a few words occasionally expressive of his wants. It is said that at times he suffers much pain. His first chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Straus, is daily at SansSouci. We may devoutly wish, that if it
were the will of God, the days of our good King's sufferings may be shortened.
THE DEATH OF HERR VON RAUMER, formerly Minister for Ecclesiastical and Educational Affairs, is another sad event, and took place on the 6th inst. This high official was remarkable for the political system which he with others inaugurated in Prussia on his accession to power. There is no reason at all to extol his predecessor, Herr von Landenberg, who was a broad Churchman of the best description; neither can Herr von Raumer be said to have merited Evangelical praise, for his whole policy from the beginning (19th December, 1850), both political and ecclesiastical, was what is properly termed reactionary. He was a first-rate champion of the Manteuffel-Westphalen Cabinet, which excelled in nothing else but in humbling their country, fettering all liberal movements, and misleading and perverting the good intentions of the King. His ecclesiastical views were in harmony with his political, and when, through a kind of ecclesiastical independence which we have in this country, he was unable to carry them into full effect, he did his best to hinder-or at least, to render difficultany Evangelical enterprise. Thus he was one of the leading opponents of the Evangelical Conference in 1857, and did what he could to set the King against it. He promoted to high office, and filled the chairs of the Universities, and the vacant posts in his own bureau, only with persons of the same tendencies. How passionate a man he was is seen in his conduct towards the two
pastors who were the most beloved by him of any in this city. The Rev. Mr. Knak, whom I had occasion to mention in my last, was, for a series of years, his confessor, and he attended at his church every Sunday. But two years ago all this was altered, and for what reason? Because M. Knak did not sufficiently oppose the Evangelical and the Berlin Conference, M. Raumer quitted his old friend's church, and chose another pastor, who, as he supposed, was a stronger bulwark against English sectarianism, as he termed our Alliance. Henceforth he attended the ministry of Dr. Büchsel, who, in his view, deserved well of Lutheranism, because he warned his catechumens against the Berlin Conference. Alas! I am sorry to add, that M. Raumer cannot be held guiltless in relation to the present unhappy_condition of his Royal master, whose mind must often have been distressed by those contrary views and measures which the Minister enforced when he endeavoured to put his Puseyite fancies in the place of the Gospel.
Demonstrative of M. Raumer's character was also the course he pursued on the subject of the Congregational Statute for the province of Prussia. When the King had approved of it on the representation of the Evangelische Oberkirchenrath, the Minister of course could no longer oppose it; but in order to impede its progress, he obstinately withheld his co-operation, necessary in some secular affairs, and requested by the Oberkirchenrath, who, even to the present time, are waiting for the answer of the Minister. M. von Raumer was dismissed from office last autumn, when the Prince Regent nominated the present Ministry, and he has since devoted himself entirely to the duties and enjoyments of his family circle. At the funeral service, which took place at St. Matthew's Church, Dr. Büchsel showed a nice discernment, as he pronounced no eulogy on the deceased, saying that he himself would have disliked it; and that he left posterity to form their own estimate of his merits as a statesman. But he spoke of his domestic virtues, and concluded by addressing the seven children, the youngest being only three years of age, to the effect that they should be mindful of the piety of their dear father, who had placed all his confidence in the grace of his Saviour and walked in the faith of the Lord. The children were all seated round their father's coffin, and the scene affected many to tears. The German press, in reviewing the life of the late Minister, has exhibited much
difference of judgment. It may be easily understood that his friends would have much to say in his praise, and they have indeed extolled him as the hero of the Church, while by Rationalists he has been defamed as if he had not had a single hair that was good. Both parties are wrong. It must be admitted in fairness that M. Raumer loved our Lord Jesus Christ, laid to heart the welfare of the Church, and did much to promote it. But he did not do this in a right way. Had it been necessary and possible, he would have called dragoons to his aid in putting down all whom he did not consider as true Churchmen. Properly enough we may say of him in the words of the Apostle, them record that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." He wanted that tender and noble love towards his Christian brethren which is the fruit of single-minded faith. The means, therefore, which he used to promote God's kingdom, were not in harmony with the Holy Spirit; in short, he had no confidence in the strength and victory of Divine truth by itself. But on his death-bed, as Dr. Büchsel told us, he committed himself to the merciful Lord without reservation. May his friends do so too, and love their brethren as Christ did!
DR. STAHL'S NEW WORK ON LUTHERANISM
It might be allowed us to call Von
Reformed democracy, but by these blended with purified Catholic elements, and that, in this way, the true Catholic Church would come to be established. He wants, therefore, congregational representation and authoritative government united, and both based on Lutheran doctrine.
In the meantime, and regardless of Dr. Stahl and his followers, the Evangelische Oberkirchenrath is preparing to introduce the Congregational Statute, now established almost generally in one Prussian province, into the provinces of Brandenburg and Pomerania, which are the most impregnated with old Lutheranism. The Prince Regent has been discussing the subject with his Excellency Von Uechtritz, Privy Councillor and President of the Oberkirchenrath, and steps will soon be taken to carry the measure into effect.
THE FRIENDS OF LIGHT.
Let me close by mentioning that M. Uhlich, the leader of the so-called Free Congregations, and who resides in Magdeburg, has been travelling through the
eastern provinces to reanimate his friends.
THE PROTESTANT POLES IN PRUSSIA. Prussian Poland is a tract of land about eighty miles wide, extending from the south of Silesia to the neighbourhood of Bromberg and Thorn, and there branching off in two directions, to the north and north-east; thus, as it were, embracing the Delta of the Vistula and the Province of Prussia. Though there is a considerable German element here, yet the population is mainly Slavonic, and more particularly Polish; it forms the edge of the great Polish world lying to the east, which once penetrated into Bohemia, Thuringia, and Lower Saxony, but has receded, leaving the Wends in Lusatia and the Czechs in Bohemia like islands in the surrounding sea of German life. The number of the Polish inhabitants of this district amounts to about 2,200,000, an eighth part of the whole population of Prussia.
the cities, and people of education became Protestants, and for a time Poland had even a Protestant King, the Bible was translated and circulated, schools formed, and the country seemed lost to Rome. But the movement had affected mainly the higher part of the community, and they had neglected to instruct the people, so that a reaction took place, the Jesuits came in, the Court for political motives changed its sympathies, and the Thirty Years' War produced great devastations amongst the Protestants, and thus Poland became again a Catholic country.
Poland has always been the scene of warm religious strife. Christianity was brought to it from the East by Methodius and Cyril, but the Latin Church soon began to strive for the mastery. It had a hard conflict, and it was not till a short time before the Reformation that the last traces of the use of the vulgar tongue vanished from the order of worship, and when the time of the Reformation did come its effects were soon felt in Poland; the Court, the nobility,
The number of Protestant Poles in the Province of Prussia is about 250,000, who dwell in the district between Marienwerder and Goldapp. They have regular ecclesiastical order, with 100 parishes and 134 Polish-speaking ministers. Provision was made at the Reformation and afterwards for Polish students at the University of Königsberg. These Poles maintain their nationality and their language, although for 500 years they have been separated from their fellow Poles and united with Prussia; their character is that of simplicity, modesty, obedience, perseverance, and selfdenial; they are very observant of the outward forms of religion, perhaps superstitiously so; and in their public worship
and religious life all is liveliness and ac- and German at the Protestant church. The tivity. Protestant Church at Kalisch, of 5,000 members, consists one-third part of Poles. A number of Polish Bibles are smuggled yearly into Russia Proper; but there, for political reasons, preaching in Polish is not permitted. The reports of the Russian Protestant Bible Society from 1853 to 1857 give for these five years an account of the sale of only 116 Polish Bibles in Roman characters (Catholic), and 32 in German characters (Protestant).
In Silesia there are 70,000 Protestant Poles, of whom 60,000 live, for the most part, near the Russian frontier, 5,000 near the Austrian, the rest scattered. The former had the happiness not only of having Protestant princes at the Reformation, but also of being spared the counter-movement, which repressed Protestantism in so many places, so that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries they formed an active, useful, national body, producing many works, especially in hymnology and catechetics; and, further, they formed a support to their suffering and persecuted brethren in the faith who lived in Poland Proper, and whom they supplied with ministers. Amongst them have been such men as Behm, Cretius, Rohrmann, who have done great service to Polish literature.
In the Principality of Teschen, and in Pless, and Loslau, the Reformation made considerable progress. In Teschen there were fifty Protestant churches, in Pless twenty-seven, in Loslau twelve; in 1654, not one of these remained in the hands of the Protestants, and they were not permitted to build one in Teschen till 1707, and in the other two provinces not till later still.
The character of these Silesian Protestant Poles is much the same as that of their brethren in Prussia Proper. A clergyman writes: "It is incredible what an amount of work there is to be done by the minister of a Church composed of Poles and Germans. The work is almost doubled by the two languages. But one is abundantly recompensed by the truly pious and warm feeling of the Polish population. Most of the families have morning and evening prayer. No house is without a Bible, a Prayer-book, and the sermons of the celebrated preacher, Dambrowsky. One must hear them sing in order to know what it is to sing from the heart."
So much for the people. As to their religious literature, the first matter is the Bible. This was translated under the auspices of Prince Nicolas Radziwill in 1563, and this has remained the chief translation.
As to confessions, the Poles chiefly adhere to that of Augsburg. Luther's Catechism is the chief one used, though others are occasionally made use of. In hymn-books they abound; very many of their hymns, as in the case of the Germans, being as old as the Reformation. Some of them are translations, but many are original, and in these latter the national character is exhibited, in their cheerful, unconstrained tone; their love for dwelling rather on the redemption than the ruin of mankind; their proud exaltation of the kingly character of Christ; their martial delight in the conflict of the Lord with Satan, and the victory over him; and the joyful exultation with which they celebrate the saints' rule with God and Christ in eternal glory, as the inheritance of the peasant no less than of the noble. A peculiarity of the Polish psalmody is the predominance of the musical element, to which that of sentiment must yield. It is well known that, in 1530, it was not the hymns so much as the tunes of the Church. which procured for Protestantism so ready an entrance into Poland.
Many treasures of Polish religious literature yet lie hidden in manuscripts and old books, which are said to be classical, deep, and, above all, national; these should be The number of Protestants in the Pro- printed, that the cultivated portion of the vince of Posen is about 12,000, of whom people may see how unfounded is their pre11,000 live in four or five provinces at the judice of Catholicism being inseparably consouthern extremity of the province. These nected with their nationality. The people have never been able to be independent. at large seek more spiritual nourishment, In the former stormy times they existed and for the last ten years the activity of the only through the assistance of the neighbour-press has greatly increased, in the publicaing Silesia, whence they received preachers tion, not only of Bibles and religious books, and books, and they should be considered but also of other productions, popular hisas forming a branch of the Protestant Church of Silesia.
Very little is known of Russian Poland. In Cracow there is preaching in both Polish
tory books, school-books, &c. Also a Protestant Polish almanack has been published for several years. Still there is a great lack of the personal preaching of the Gospel;
here pre-eminently labourers are wanted, for the Churches and for the schools. The Protestant minister among the Poles has an arduous task. Generally of German descent, his national character is totally different
from that of his flock, and that flock is poor, so that there needs an entire and loving devotedness to his work. But if he gives this, his reward will be great.
SKETCH OF THE PROGRESS OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.
Although the Reformation abolished the abuses of Romanism and gave the nation the Word of God in the vulgar tongue, it did not introduce religious liberty. Several laws were enacted in defence of Protestantism. The people readily abandoned Popery, and the Reformed doctrine spread so universally that only a few poor monks remained adhering to the old faith. The Jesuits, however, employed all the means in their power to recover the lost ground, and especially endeavoured to seduce those young Danes who went to pursue their studies in foreign schools and universities. But apostacy was visited with heavy penalties; it was illegal to enter Roman Catholic colleges, and the country was closed against the Jesuits. This intolerance was not exercised towards Romanists alone, but against Protestants also of other communions.
In the year 1553, John à Lasco arrived in Copenhagen with many of the Reformed who were driven from England; but they were not allowed to settle in the country, and in the depth of winter were compelled, with their wives and children, to travel into Germany. To prevent the introduction of the Calvinistic doctrines, twenty-five articles (articuli pro peregrinis) were enacted in 1569, which all foreigners were required to sign before they were permitted to establish themselves in the country. By the law of 1663 and the Royal ordinance of 1665, the Lutheran Confession was the religion of Denmark; but permission was already given to dissidents to reside in the cities of Schleswig and Altona, and to Roman Catholics to settle in Copenhagen; and in 1682 Christians of all denominations were allowed to establish themselves in Frederica, in Jutland. Upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), the Reformed met with a kind reception, and built a church in Copenhagen, in which Divine service is celebrated to the present day, both in French and German. At a later period, liberty of worship was granted to the Moravians in some parts of the kingdom. Still, dissidents were
prohibited from making proselytes, and the exercise of their worship was restricted to two or three towns. Hitherto, however, they were always treated with kindness, and it is only in our own times that they have had to complain. Intolerance was provoked by the Baptists.
Previously to 1839 there were no Baptists in Denmark, except, indeed, a Mennonite congregation at Fredericstadt; but about this time many of the laity embraced their opinions, formed themselves into a Church in Copenhagen, and were zealous in propagating their views. Their zeal met with considerable success, and they soon had to encounter persecution. They were forbidden to leave the Lutheran Church, to propagate their sentiments, and to hold meetings, except with the permission of the minister of the parish. They were imprisoned, their goods were confiscated, and their infants were forcibly taken from them and baptized. Some of the clergy blamed these measures, and desired that the Baptists should be encountered only with spiritual weapons. One of them, the Rev. Mr. Kukegaard, now Bishop of Alburg, was suspended for some time because he refused to administer forced baptism. This persecution, however, did not last long, and the Government resolved that the Baptists should be tolerated.
In 1849 the law was passed which gives entire religious liberty. No one is compelled to pay for the support of any form of worship of which he disapproves (except the payment of the imposts on land, as the tithes), and all may follow their own religion so long as it does not militate against public order and morality. Dissenters by this law, moreover, are exempted from sending their children to the public schools, provided they give them a sufficient education. There is thus complete liberty-the only difference being that the Lutheran Church is paid by the State, a privilege which is purchased at the cost of her independence.
The consequence of this state of things is