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will hesitate to charge you with either secret or open Romanism. Quite different will be the case if you place the second American, or the London translation before him. He will at least distrust you, and be on his guard lest he be caught in the nets of Eomanism.
The case stands thus: 1. In the first American edition tbe word Catholic of the Creeds is always rendered by christlich, except in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick, where it is translated allgemein christlich.
2. The second or revised American edition differs from the first in tins, that in the Apostles' Creed in the Morning and Evening Prayer the word christlich is replaced by katholisch
ALL OTHER PLACES BEING LEFT INTACT.
The first edition, prepared by Rev. Dr. Cruse and Professor Tellkampf, is so far consistent as it translates five times by christlich and once by allgemein christlich: the second American edition has twice hatholisch, (in the Apostles' Creed at Morning and Evening Prayer,) three times christlich, (twice in the Nicene Creed immediately after the aforesaid places, and once in the Catechism;) lastly, once allgemein christlich in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick. All of which will be made clear by the following tabular view:
The London translator always writes katholisch, which shows clearly that he knows little about the great mass of German Protestants, and that his translation could not have been carefully revised by such a man as Chevalier Bunsen; for not even Bunsen, though the inventor of a new kind of catholicity, would employ that word without something modifying it
Such being the case, it will be evident that a second revision becomes necessary, if for no other reason, at least for the sake of consistency, and in order to remove every idea of doubledealing or secret leaning which might enter the minds even of the most candid of our proselytes.
In order to prepare the way for such a new revision, we propose now to show that neither christlich nor Jcatholisch, places us in the true light; but that allgemein christlich is the word that comes nearest to it.
"Waiving the question whether the word " catholic" should not be pronounced unessential to the Apostles' Creed, and especially if we retain the idea, or the thing itself, for the same reason as the words, lie descended into hell may be omitted; let us see first whether the word christlich be a fit substitute for it.
It is a curious circumstance that the word christlich was used by Luther from the outset, in his Shorter Catechism, and that Luther and his followers tenaciously clung to that word, making it equivalent to catholic, as may be seen in the later symbolic books of the Lutheran body, where we repeatedly meet the expression, Catholicus sive Christianus. Still more curious is the assertion of Lutheran theologians that already before Luther's times there was a German translation of the Apostles' Creed having heilige christliche Kirche. (See Chemnit. Loc. Theol. torn iii. p. 302.)
In what relation this old translation may stand to Luther's undertaking, we are now not prepared to say. One thing, however, seems to be certain, that Luther adopted that word christlich solely for the purpose of aiming one of his heaviest blows at Romanism. But while he did so, he predisposed the German mind to lose the idea of the true Catholic Church, of which some of his fellow-laborers, particularly Melanchthon, had a pretty good idea. The truth is, Luther, the Augustinian monk, did not hope to reform the higher orders of the clergy, and soon rose too high himself to find it desirable to reform the Church through her old catholic forms. Hence all his errors in regard to the constitution and government of the Church; hence his depreciation of the ministry or his idea of universal priesthood, (which forms so glaring a contrast with his high ideas of the Sacrament,) and other errors, which, while eradicating Romanism, made his Church a helpless society, to be absorbed by the secular power.*
The word christlich in the Creeds, it is true, would be no stumbling-block to the mass of German Protestants whom our missionaries should undertake to evangelize. But then it does not represent what it should express; besides, it would be very apt to confirm the Germans in their loose and erroneous idea of the Church; finally, it would be looked at with distrust by many English and American Churchmen. Hence it can not be suffered to remain, but must be exchanged for a more suitable one.
Neither is the word katholisch the most suitable. Although derived from the same source with the English word Catholic, its meaning, in Germany, is much narrower than that of the word Catholic in English, as has been remarked already. Sound, it is true, corresponds to sound, but not conception to conception.—And there is nothing strange in this. Words taken from the same source grow up to different meanings in different languages. This may be daily observed in regard to words of common use: but it will be remarked, although not so often, in relation to words of science, too. Philosophy and the German Philosophic are two different things. Natural Philosophy and Natur-Philosophic differ as much as day and night. Translate Mechanical Philosophy hy Mechanisohe Philosophic, and your translation will be the greatest nonsense, and probably move the risibles of a whole nation.
* The idea of a royal priesthood, common to all, and imparted to every one at his baptism, dates as far back as 1520. After the ground was prepared by the Thexis, Luther issued an Address to Germany's Christian Nobility on the twenty-third of July, 1520, in which he summoned that body to destroy the three bulwarks of Romanism, namely: first, the clerical order, endeavoring to show by 1 Pet. 2, that there iB no difference between clergy and laity, except that of appointment by the congregation; secondly, the interpretation of the Bible by the Pope; and thirdly, the right of summoning a General Council by the same Roman Pontiff. This Address may be regarded as the first step towards something like a general Reformation. It is a mistake to suppose that the apostolic order was broken from necessity. There was no necessity for that, except in the erroneous views of the Reformer himself. Luther never desired to be a Bishop. Consecration was nothing to him who, from an humble friar, had suddenly become a mighty prophet; and who, In order to show his contempt of Episcopacy, did not scruple to order Amadorfa Bishop, although in general be was satisfied to call the new overseers superintendents. What his view of ordination was, can be gathered from his letter ad Settatutn PraQtnfiem, 1623. The Bohemians, having fallen into confusion, in consequence of their adherence to Episcopal ordination, he advised them to choose their pastors and bishops themselves. "Prepare yourselves by prayer, and then assemble in God's name, and proceed to election. Let the most respected among you lay their hands on the chosen candidates, and when this has taken place in several parishes, let the pastors, in their turn, elect a head or Bishop to visit them as Peter vialted the first Christian communities/* How this democratic view was modified afterwards, does not belong here to relate. The people never knew much of the change.
Luther, as we have seen already, refused to apply the word Catholic to his "Church," and so did all the Reformers on the Continent of Europe. On the other side it was the Romish Church which resorted to every means to appropriate that appellation to herself alone. What wonder, therefore, if, at last, that conception of Catholicism, and no other, became prevalent, which was sanctioned by both Protestants and Romanists, at least when using the vernacular tongue and addressing the people? What wonder, if we find, that in the view of whole nations on the Continent, it is the word Protestantism that awakes the idea of a purified Scriptural Church; while "Catholic" means unscriptural, impure, corrupt ?—and what wonder, finally, that writers are accustomed to employ circumlocutions or additions in order to designate what we call the Church Catholic?
If it be true, therefore, that the word Katholisch, in German, would, and would not, be taken in that sense which the English word Catholic conveys; if it be true that it would only give rise to a deplorable misconception of our Church; then it should have no place in our German Prayer-Book—it should be removed from it.
The German Reformed used to employ the word gemein, (common,) and in a modernized form, attgemein, (all-common, or universal,) and sometimes, gemein christlich, or attgemein christlich—and in the judgment of the author of this article, this would be the most proper expression in rendering the Creeds.
The first thing to be remarked is, that the word allgemein in the Creeds was always well known among the Lutherans, and that it is known at present among those of the fusion bodies who lean towards Lutheranism, although they take it as equivalent to their own christian. As a word adopted by a great Protestant body, there is no prejudice against it; nor is there any against allgemein christlich, which is also met with sometimes in the United Churches—although many will take it for an unnecessary pleonasm.
It is not contended that the words allgemein christlich would be a fit means to convey at once a right idea of the Church— which, without a miracle, would be impossible—but then, it ia neither Lutheran nor Keformed, but something composed of both; it is something not very usual, but still not unacceptable; and above all, it is something which may prove very efficient in producing the right idea in the shortest possible time. The word common, or all-common, (universal,) easily leads to the old rule: Quod semper, et uhiques, et ah omnibus traditum est; it is a good link between the present and the past of the Christian communion, the oneness of which may be felt soon, and so the ground prepared for the reception of a truth of which there was no trace before.
But these are not all the arguments which may be offered for the adoption of the words allgemein christlich. There is another one which will be found of equal weight with those just enumerated.
There was a time, at the beginning of the Eeformation, when the Reformers had needs to express that very idea of which we are treating, and to express it in German in an official way. The Reformers could not begin their work and throw off all allegiance to the past of the Church without endangering the progress of their work or their own lives. They had to show that their Reformation was in accordance with the past of the Church; and this they did in their first public document, the Confession of Augsburg, in 1530.—This Confession of Augsburg is the first and fundamental Symbolic Book of the Lutheran Body; and its German text is in every body's hand; and every missionary among the Germans will do well not to lose sight of these facts, as often as the Church is his principal object
Now, in this Augsburg Confession the word Catholiacs is to be found five times, and found not in the narrow Romish sense, but in that wider one of the times of old. And there is no mistake about this, for the Reformers had to define that term, and they did define it in order to avoid misconstruction.