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the German Philosophie are two different things. Natural Philosophy and Natur-Philosophie differ as much as day and night. Translate Mechanical Philosophy by Mechanische Philosophie, and your translation will be the greatest non. sense, and probably move the risibles of a whole nation.
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, allgemein, (all-common, or universal,) and sometimes, gemein christlich, or allgemein 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 Churchwhich, without a miracle, would be impossible—but then, it is neither Lutheran nor Reformed, 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 ubiques, et ab 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 Reformation, 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 Con. fession 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.
“Four of these places stand in German, gemein christlich, or in a modernized form, allgemein christlich; in the fifth place the words Catholicus Episcopus are rendered ordentlich gewählter Bischof, (lawfully chosen.)”*
Now, as the German text of the Augsburg Confession is annexed to many editions of Luther's Catechism, or even Hymn Books, it must be presumed that its contents are known among those who did not forsake entirely the religion of their forefathers. And it may not be very difficult to make it apparent to such, that the Church of America is, in fact, a national branch of that very gemein christliche Kirche, to which the Reformers intended to return, and of which the Churches of England, Sweden, Prussia, etc., are other national branches, either in fact or intention.
For these and similar reasons, we would prefer the expression gemein christlich, or allgemein christlich, to any other term which had been employed hitherto.
It will be easily perceived, from the whole drift of this Article, that the masses to be evangelized are supposed to be Protestants ; for it is our conviction, based on the experience of several years, that the harvest is much more promising among Protestants than among those who have been Roman
* The Augsburg Confession is not the work of Luther alone. Most of it was shaped by the mild and pacific Melanchthon, and all of it bad to be approved by ibe chief leaders of the Protestant party of that day, (seven princes of the empire and two free cities.) As the German copy was read before the assembled States, it is regarded as of equal authority with the Latin.—The first part of it contains twenty-one Articles of Faith, in the conclusion of which the Reformers say: “This is the substance of our doctrine, from which it may be seen, that it contains nothing different from the Bible, or opposed either to the Catholic or even the Roman Church, as far as this is known by the writings of the Fathers. This is the first place where the word Catholic occurs. The second part of it treats on the corruptions, corrected by the Reformers, in seven Articles. In the preamble to this second part, the Reformers say: “They do not dissent in any article of faith from the Catholic Church, but only reject some of the abuses introduced against the Canons," etc. This is the second place where the word Catholic stands. The third time it occurs in the VIL Art of this second part, headed de potestate ecclesiastica. There in the words of St. Austin: Nec Catholicis episcopis consentiendum est sicubi falluntur, (Nor ought we to consent to Catholic bishops whenever they are deceived or mistaken,) the word catholicus is translated ordentlich geuählt, as has been observed already. The fourth place is among the concluding sentences of the same VII. Art. Part II, and its meaning is this: “They (the Reformers) only require that they (the bishops) would relea-e unjust burdens which are novelties, and introduced against the custom of the Catholic Charcb." The fifth and last place is in the epilogue, wbero
say: "We enumerated only such matters as we had needs to say, in order that it might be understood that neither in doctrine nor worship (ceremoniac, the German copy has Gebraruche) we received any thing contrary to the Scriptures or the Church Catholic." Still stronger is every thing, relating to the subject in discussion, expressed in the varied confessions, for instance, in the Confessio Variata of 1540.
ists on the other side of the Atlantic. These latter are not as numerous in this country as the Protestants; and they either cling tenaciously to their mother Church, or become Atheists of the worst kind. Some few, indeed, may be found who do not reject every thing Christian—but even these would abhor the word catholic, and prefer, in every particular, the Protestant forms.
Another question has been touched above in regard to Vater unser, or Unser Vater. It has been remarked already that it is the first of these forms which found its way into the American translation. But then it is the usual Romish form, although received even by Luther, (namely, in his Catechism, not in his Bible translation,) and still used in some places of Germany—a form forgotten in other regions, and regarded as a mark of Romanism. It is the decided opinion of the writer of this article that the words Vater unser should be replaced by Unser Vater, as giving offense to nobody, or that every congregation should be allowed to use either of these forms. There are also large parts of Germany where the mass of the people never heard of a Litany to be used among Protestants —and who by the word Litany understand what they have heard to be said in Ronnish Churches. Would it not be better to strike out the word Litany from the German Prayer-Book, and leave only the words General Supplication to be used on such and such occasions ?
But we shall not insist on these minor matters. What we intended to show, is, that our German Prayer-Book needs revision, and this we have shown sufficiently: at least this is our own view of the thing, and may be that of many of our readers.
The missionary work among our German population is a work beset with numberless and great difficulties. Why should we not smooth the path of those who are destined to labor in this field? Is it not enough that they have to overcome such a degree of indifference, or rather aversion, to the Christian religion as is never met with among other races ?
Let us conclude this article with a few facts : 1. The Germans openly pride themselves of their being five
Op SIX MILLIONS in this country; and in order to secure their national continuance,
2. They have upwards of two hundred Journals and Newspapers.
3. They maintain many private and parochial schools.
4. They have formed public and secret societies for fostering their nationality, and to hinder their being Americanized, etc.
What the churchman can not but regret is, that infidelity and gross sensuality are reckoned among their national peculiarities; that the great mass of their Journals and Newspapers are conducted by Jews or Infidels, and that these Jour. nals and Newspapers, and some of their secret societies, purposely undermine Christianity; that most of their private schools exclude religious teaching; that by the agency of several religious papers and tracts, the few believing among them are continually exhorted to cling to their native semi-rationalism, and warned against the American Sects, etc.
The Church has missions among the Africans and Chinese. Can she overlook such a multitude of heathen at her own doors ?
Art. V.-CONTEMPORANEOUS LITERATURE.
This is an original work, and worthy of the reputation of its distinguished author, a gentleman eminent for ability and scholarship. The early career of Mr. Palfrey, both clerical and political, was the best general preparation for the successful performance of the difficult task he has undertaken. His familiarity with Puritan theology and provincial as well as state politics, his knowledge of New England life and society, all these are important elements in the character of one who would write well and truly the history of New-England,
By John GORHAN PALFREY. Boston ; Little
* HISTORY OF NEW-ExGLAND. Vol. I. Brown & Co. 1858.