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Chapter V

§ 100. Introduction

The historic review of Theology, which closes this volume, cannot undertake to furnish a detailed narrative of the process run by theology in all its ramifications during these eighteen centuries. This process forms, not the subject of an encyclopedic, but of a proper historical investigation, which directs itself to a single department, or to a single period, or finally, to theology as a whole (as with Von Zezschwitz, in his Entwickelungsgang der Theologie als Wissenschaft, Lpz., 1867). In Encyclopedia, on the other hand, only the result of these investigations can be taken up and put into connection with the encyclopedic course of thought. For the writer, especially, there is less occasion to enter upon details, for the reason that the history of Theological Encyclopedia, which runs so largely parallel with that of Theology, has elsewhere been treated by him more broadly than has heretofore been done, and too much detail in this chapter would only lead to needless repetition. The question whether this review should not have been placed before the chapter on the conception of theology is here answered in the negative. It is entirely true that the forming of the conception of theology presumes the knowledge of theology as a historic phenomenon, but the historic knowledge in that sense may be presumed as universally known, and Encyclopedia can accomplish its task of pointing out the right way in this historic process, only when it is ready with its conception. According to the logical course of thought, the history of theology would really have to appear twice. First, a history of the facts should be furnished which should include as fact everything that announced itself as a theological phenomenon, without discrimination or choice, not organically, but atomistically. Then, with these facts in sight, the conception, principle, method and organic nature of theology should have to be determined. And reinforced with this insight, at the end another historic review should have to be furnished, but this time under the criticism of the idea of theology. This double treatment, however, of first recording indiscriminately the "facts," and after that, of indicating with discrimination and selection the course of the process in these facts, could not be justified practically. No single science is capable of encyclopedic treatment, until it has obtained sufficient influence to make its appearance a matter of general knowledge, at least with its own students. This also applies to theology, "the leading facts of the manifestation" of which are to be found in every Church history, so that he who is to treat of them encyclopedically may accept them as being generally known. Encyclopedia discovers no new science, but investigates a science, the phenomena of which are everywhere seen. However much, therefore, such a review of phenomena may form an indispensable link in the course of logical thought, which must precede the forming of the conception, Encyclopedia need not furnish that link, since it is of itself present. The second review, on the other hand, may not be omitted, for that is to show how, in connection with the encyclopedic results obtained, the process is to be understood in the phenomena. In this second review, the outline of this process will differ according to the nature of the results obtained by encyclopedic investigation.

This critical review embraces six sections, each one of which covers a proper period. First, comes the period of naivety; then the period of internal conflict; then the period of triumph claimed too prematurely; then the period of multiformity ; after this, the period of apparent defeat; and finally, the period of resurrection. Let it be kept in mind, that this review does not concern itself with the history of theology as the knowledge of God, but with the science which has this knowledge of God for its object. Hence, this history begins where special Revelation is completed. If the word "Theology" is taken in the sense of science, then there is no theology of Isaiah, Micah, Peter, or Paul, but it arises only when special Revelation has reached its goal, and the task begins of introducing the content of this Revelation into the enlightened consciousness of regenerated humanity, and from this human consciousness to reproduce it. That this was the task imposed upon it, was not understood for a time by regenerated man. Had it depended upon primitive Christianity, intensely satisfied with her great salvation, she would have withdrawn herself in mystical enjoyment of the same, in obedience to the same impulse which, especially in those methodistic circles which originated with the JReveil, looks down upon theological effort with a certain spiritual self-conceit. But the Holy Spirit compelled her to undertake this task by the reaction, which in all sorts of ways, from the consciousness of the unregenerate, set itself to dissect and to destroy the content of Revelation, and the Revelation itself. And only when in this way the need had rendered this scientific effort a necessity, a taste was created for this work, after the rule of the discendo discere discimus (by learning we learn to learn), and the inclination was fostered which explains the later growth of theology. This, at the same time, exhibits the folly of the desire to explain theology from the instituted Church. As far as the instituted Church herself was concerned, she has almost never known the scientific impulse, but has ever preferred to devote herself to the still enjoyment of her great salvation. Theology, as a science, was, as a rule, more of an hindrance to her than a help; and theology owes its origin, its maintenance, and its guarantee for the future, not to the initiative of the Church, but to the initiative of the Holy Spirit, who was also its guide.

§ 101. The Period of Naivety

As soon as the Church had freed itself from the swaddling clothes of Israel's national life, the Christian religion went out into the world as a militant power. "Think not that I am come," said Christ, "to bring peace on earth, but the sword. For I am come to set man at variance with man." Also, "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" Which sayings but delineate the character of Christian heroism in contrast to a timid irenics, which fills in every gap, and covers up every difference. Conflict might have been in part postponed, if the world of that age had still been confined to the stage of infantile unconsciousness, or if a tabula rasa could have been made of all development attained. But this could not be, since the Christian religion was commissioned to appear in a world which boasted of a very ripe development, and spoke at times of the golden age of emperors, and which, notwithstanding its spiritual dearth, prided itself on great things. This placed the Christian religion as an opposing force over against the historical results of a broad, and, in part, a deepsearching development, which was sufficient unto itself, and which would not readily part with the sceptre of power over the spirits of men. Sooner or later the Christian religion was bound to conflict with the existing state of things at every point, and was forced at once to do this: (1) with the pseudoreligions, which were still dominant; (2) with the world of thought, which it first depopulated, and then undertook to populate with its own content; and (3) with the actual world, both national and social, the whole machinery of which it resolved to place upon another pivot. This threefold antithesis shows itself at once with the appearance of the apostles, who would have been utterly impotent but for their spiritual heroism. Which heroism also, for the most part, they sealed with their blood. From the very beginning the conflict assumed the character of a life and death struggle; on the one side being arrayed the ripest products which unregenerate human nature had thus far commanded, and the richest development the human consciousness had attained to without higher revelation and enlightening; and opposed to this, upon the other side, the " foolishness of the cross," which proclaimed the necessity of palingenesis, prophesied an entirely different condition which was to ripen from this, and at the same time announced a " wisdom" that was to array itself antithetically against the " wisdom of the world." The outbreak could not tarry. What existed and bore rule was rooted too firmly to allow itself to be superseded without a struggle; and the Christian religion, which was the aggressive force, was too heroic in its idealism to be silenced by satire or shame, by the sword or fagot. The conflict indeed has come; for eighteen centuries this strife has never come to a truce except in form; even now the antithesis of principles in this struggle is frankly confessed from both sides, and this contest shall be decided only when the Judge of the living and the dead shall weigh the final result of the development of our human race in the Divine balance.

It was natural that at first the Christian religion should stand most invincible in its attack on religion. In its strength of early youth, aglow with the fires of its first love, it presented a striking contrast to pseudo-religion, aged and worn out, maintained for the most part in forms only, and held in honor among the illiterate more than in the centres of culture and power. Within the religious domain Paganism has almost nowhere been able to maintain itself, and without exaggeration it may be said that almost from the very first the chances for the Christian religion as such were those of a veni, vidi, viei. Within the ethical-social and national domain, however, the struggle was far more serious, and it took no less than three centuries of bloody fighting before in Constantine the first definite triumph could be recorded. But much more serious still was the first attack in that strife within the intellectual bounds. Here at its first appearance Christianity stood with but a "sling and a stone from the brook" over against the heavily armed Goliath, and thanks to the providential leadings of the Lord, this Goliath also was made at length to eat sand. Christ Himself had drawn this antithesis in the intellectual world, when He said: "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." And since theology belongs to this domain, and to no other, it is entirely natural, that at its first appearance theology bears the character of naivety. Not as though there had not been given in the Revelation of the New Testament itself the clear and entirely conscious tendency of this antithesis also in the full sense of principles involved; but it was reserved for later ages to bring out in all its deductions what was potentially revealed in the Scripture. Even now this task is by no means ended, and our own age has been the first to grasp the antithesis in the higher intellectual world between science within and science outside the sphere of palingenesis.

Hence in this period of naivety there was no question whatever of a theology as an organic science, in the sense in which our age especially understands it. What the apostolic fathers offer is little more than exhortation, pious and serious, but as to principles very imperfectly thought out. From Quadratus to Hegesippus the apologists enter an accidental and fragmentary plea to parry assailants from the side of philosophy or invectives from the lips of public opinion, rather than place over against their world of thought a clearly conscious world of thought of their own. The education at most of prospective ministers of the Word, as well as of the youth of higher rank, was the leading motive at the schools of Asia Minor, Alexandria and North Africa. And in the pseudepigraphical literature tradition and the effort of diverging tendencies are both active to create for themselves an authority to which to appeal. If then, without doubt the attack was made from the side of the Christians in the religious domain, this was not the case in the intellectual domain. Here the pagans themselves took the initiative, either by combating the Christian faith directly, such as was done by Celsus, Porphyry and Hierocles, or, which was far worse, by introducing the Christian religion as a new phenomenon into their own pantheistic world-view. First with the Gnostics, and shortly after with the Manicheans, the Church of Christ suffered the severest strain, and it is certainly not because of her intellectual superiority that she came out triumphantly from this mortal combat. The strife indeed compelled severe processes of thought, and the deepest principles of life were freely laid bare, but the real character of this antithesis was still so little understood that, with Clement and Origen, the victory was bought at the price of weakness of principle; and the influence of "the knowledge falsely so called," which raises its head in heretical teachings, entered the very pale of the Church already in this first period. If, therefore, the decision in this strife had been reached by a hand-to-hand combat of intellectual powers, there is no doubt but that Paganism would have carried the day. Evidently, therefore, the Church owes the different result to the fact that it soon began to manifest itself as an organizing power, which ethically judged the pagan world, and finally enlisted the political power in its ranks. Hence the severest trial was suffered at the hands of the Manicheans, which is so impressive a phenomenon for the reason that in this an antipodal Church arrayed itself as a religiously organized power in opposition to the Church of Christ, and the false gnosis of Manicheanism assailed the Church with her own weapons. And this Manichean trouble assumed such wide proportions that for a time it seemed as though the Church were on the verge of being swallowed up alive. The flood of this church-like organized gnosis had forced its way from the heart of Asia to the most westerly parts of North Africa. Even Augustine felt the after-pains of it.

If it is asked whether in this first period there was no manifestation of an impulse to apply oneself in a positive sense to that intellectual pursuit in which theology finds its appointed task, then be it said that this positive element soon presented itself; for ministers needed to be educated, preaching necessitated exegesis and fixing of ethical standards, the organization of its own power gave rise to the problem of Church government, and, after some time had passed, the need of a review of history became urgent of itself. But for no single moment did these positive studies rise above the primitive water-mark; or where this was the case, as at Alexandria, they made too vain a show of feathers borrowed from pagan speculation, so that almost instinctively the Church perceived at once that this rich development promised more danger than gain. If it takes small pains to observe in this first period of naivety the first buds of almost all the departments of theology, it cannot be said that at that time theology had already matured as a selfconscious power in its organic unity. For this the needed data were wanting; the element of genius was too largely absent from the persons; and where this genius was unmistakably present in men like Origen and in a few teachers in the North African school, it soon showed itself top-heavy, and by its one-sidedness became heretical. The growth was too early and too exuberant, but there was no depth of soil, and because the development in the root was unequal, this element of genius soon outgrew its own strength. There was conflict between a twofold life- and world-view, which undoubtedly governed the general state of things, but the first issue in this struggle with Paganism is owing to other factors than intellectual superiority. And in this first period, which was entirely naive, theology neither attained unto a clearly conscious insight of its own position, nor to a clearly perceived antithesis in opposition to "the knowledge falsely so called." Hence, when, after Constantine's appearance, Paganism withdrew, there was almost no one to perceive that the real question of difference on intellectual grounds was still unsolved, much less was it surmised that fifteen centuries later the old assailant would again war against the Church of Christ, and, armed to the teeth, would repulse her from more than half the domain which, through the course of the centuries, had appeared invincibly her own. Naively they lived in the thought that Goliath lay vanquished once and for all time, and that the Lord would return before the antithesis had also been exhibited in the world of intellect, both as a conflict of principles in the lowest depths of our existence, and differentiated above in all the branches.

But however naive this first development of theology m.-y have been, even then it showed potentially all the richness of its colors. In two respects: first, although theology is no abstract speculation, but as a positive science has its origin from life itself, in this first period it furnished a so-manysided intellectual activity, that to-day there is almost no single department of theology which does not trace its beginnings to this first period. And, secondly, in that in this first period the several tendencies which henceforth were to dominate the study of theology delineate themselves almost completely. Even then dualism asserted itself, and tried to make the Christian religion shine by itself as a novum quid apart from the preceding development of our human life, and therefore made its appearance as a tendency which was partly mystical-religious, and partly pietistical-nomistic. In opposition to the one-sidedness of this dualism, which was for the most part apocalyptic, the monistic-syncretistic tendency gained a hearing in this first period, which, while it maintained the unity between the light of nature (lumen naturae) and the light of grace (lumen gratiae), ran the risk of abandoning the specific difference between the two. Similarly also, in this first period, there was seen upon the one side an attempt to find the point of support in the spiritual authority of the Holy Scripture, and, on the other side, to obtain a foothold in the consolidation of ecclesiastical authority. And in those early centuries also the tendency showed itself to combine whatever good there was in each of these four chief points of view in an eclectic and arbitrary way, by a compromise which avoided the conflict of principles. The conflict between the Judaistic and Pagan element should not be coordinated with that between these five tendencies as if it were similar to them, since it falls of itself under the antithesis already named. A separate mention of this specific struggle, however, should be made, in so far as it worked a permanent effect in the Christian Church, both in the pseudo-symbolic stamp of the Romish Church, in Chiliasm so prevalent again in these later times, and in Sabbatism and in all strivings after holiness by works that seek their point of support in the Old Testament. Under all these forms, the antithesis is the same between the real manifestation of Christ and what preceded this manifestation by way of preparation. And while this question, which first presented itself objective-historically, returned subjectively, later on, when Christ became real, to every one who was converted unto Him, it enters too deeply into the life of the Church itself not to be classified under a proper head.

§ 102. The Internal Conflict

The change brought about by the reign of Constantine the Great is vastly important also in the history of theology. Not that he personally exerted a dominating influence upon theology, but in so far as the change of the religion of the throne offered surest proof that the conflict against Paganism had reached a provisional decision, and had terminated in a complete triumph of the Christian religion. It is indeed noteworthy that, without any direct connection, the ecclesiastical events at Alexandria run almost parallel with the political events. In 313, the very year of the second edict of Milan, Arius was ordained a presbyter in Alexandria. In 321 Arius is condemned by the Synod at Alexandria, while Constantine is at the point of coming over to Christianity in 323. And in 325, at the council of Nice, Arius falls, Athanasius appears upon the scene, and the emperor of the Roman Empire, which was still at the height of its power, casts his influence in the scale of the worship of the Christ as " Begotten, not made, and of one essence with the Father." And with this all other relations are changed. The Christians become polemics, and compel heathen scholars to appear as apologists. Not the Christian religion, but Paganism, is now denied a starting-point in public life. The influence upon public opinion has now passed into the hands of presbyters and bishops. Pagan cult bleeds to death for want of financial support, while Christian ceremonial begins to exhibit pomp and splendor. Moral preponderance is turned entirely to the side of the Christian religion. Henceforth the higher classes follow after the Cross in ever-increasing numbers. Christian schools flourish in proportion as heathen schools wane. And, as is generally observed in such changes in the state of affairs, from now on, talent, the energy of personality, and the power of the word turn their back upon Paganism, and place themselves at the service of the newly arrived religion. And this explains the almost immediate transition from the naivety of the first period, to the almost midlife maturity that marks this second period. The fourth and fifth centuries are contrasted with the second and third almost as light and shadow, and this sudden blossoming of intellectual life and even of genius within the Christian domain is so overwhelming, that already in the sixth century unmistakable signs appear of deterioration, and in the seventh century the decline of the middle ages has already set in. The almost simultaneous appearance of the dominating Fathers in the East, as well as in the West, by which the heroic names of Athanasius and Augustine have been attached to the orthodox development of the Church and theology for all ages, — a fact which finds no explanation from history, nor from psychology, but only from the providential leading of the Creator of spirits and geniuses, — proves of itself, that the change brought about by Constantine marks the beginning of the fundamental period of Christian theology. All that follows after can only be built upon the permanent foundation laid by these gigantic architects. For both these cycles of Patres, which group themselves about Athanasius in the East, and about Augustine in the West, neither lean nor rest upon what went before, but stand entirely upon their own feet, with Atlantic strength to support the development coming after them. This appears most clearly from comparison between the meagre efforts of earlier apologists and the Civitas Dei of Augustine. With every earlier apologist it was a mere effort of hands and feet to protect the body against the assailant, but in Augustine we meet with a Herculean figure that destroys the monster with a stroke of the sword and makes the dragon retreat into his hole. Augustine is the Christian triumphator, before whose triumphal chariot are borne the spoils of Paganism and Manicheism as trophies. In him and after him the Christian religion is dominant, while nothing remains for Paganism but the convulsions of approaching death. Gloriously has Golgotha been avenged, and the cross, which was once an accursed tree, is now a symbol of honor.

By this, however, theology obtained an entirely different character. Whereas in the first period, it had been chiefly bent upon self-defence against the arch-enemy, that enemy was now vanquished, and thus the antithesis between regenerate and unregenerate human consciousness could no longer be the most conspicuous. When the school, at which Proklus flourished last, was closed at Athens, and the last supporters of classic tradition fled to Persia, there was no more need for a further conflict about this deepest and most incisive antithesis. As an intellectual power, Paganism no longer stood. All intellectual power was now withdrawn within the walls of the Christian Church; consequently, the antitheses which weVe to impel theology to action could not but have their rise in the heart of that Church itself. Hence it became a conflict within its own bosom.

If the question is raised whether the deepest significance of this conflict is not still stated by the antithesis between nature and grace, between Humanism and Theism, the answer lies close at hand. It continued of course always the same antithesis, but with this difference, that now the anti-Christian power made its appearance dressed in a Christian and even an ecclesiastical garb. After persecution had ceased and the Christian religion had been duly inaugurated in its career of honor, the transition to Christianity became so colossal, especially among the upper classes, and so largely a matter of fashion, that there could scarcely be any more question of an actual transformation of spirits. People were everywhere baptized, but as baptized members they brought their pagan world-view with them into the Church. Two classes of Christians therefore soon stood arrayed in a well-ordered line of battle over against each other: those who were sincere, who were truly participants of the new principle of life, and were but waiting for the propitious moment in which to work out this principle into a proper world of thought; and on the other side the pseudo-Christians, who from their natural, unregenerate lifeprinciple reacted against the Cross, in order to maintain the old world-view, now exhibited in Christian form. It is this conflict which compelled the Christian Church to awake from her mystical-practical life to energetic activity of spirit, and to create theologically from her own life-principle a correspondingly adequate world of thought. And this was done Christologically and Soteriologically. First Christologically, because the central starting-point of her activity lay in the Christ, so that the just relation between the Divine and human, between nature and grace, had first to be established in the dogma concerning Christ. And after that, Soteriologically, because in the application of the salvation which had appeared in Christ, everything depended upon a correct insight into the true relation between God's action and man's action in bringing about his salvation. In both these questions the sincere Christians proved the stronger, because the conflict was prosecuted from out their own life-principle. As long as it was merely the formal question between the Divine and human factors in the process of attaining certainty in Divine things, the philosophers were their superiors, and their defence could not be one of principle. From the scientific view-point, their apology was weak. But when called upon to formulate dogmatically who Christ was, and how grace operates in the Child of God, the tables were turned. The pseudo-Christians had to deal with a matter foreign to them, while those who were sincere handled what constituted a component part of their own life, the object of their love and worship, the cause of their eternal joy. Thus the sympathy of a holy love sharpened their intellectual capacities, and it explains itself, how these unexcelled Fathers of the Church have caused the stream of theologic life to flow from the rock as with a magic wand, and at the same time have given to theology its inner certainty. Theology could never have substantiated itself by any demonstration from without; and only by starting out from the Christ and the work of grace in the sinner, and, objectively as well as subjectively, formulating accurately the antithesis between the life of nature and the life of grace, did it clear for itself formally also the way to vindicate its view-point.

For this reason the antithesis between philosophy and the Christian religion could not be a stimulant in this period. Already theology feels herself mistress in her own home, and sees in philosophy nothing but a tamed lion, which she harnesses before her triumphal chariot. At Byzantium classic study had obtained a proper place of honor, from the days of Emperor Photius. Boast was made of Plato and of Aristotle. And it was in the footsteps of Aristotle that John of Damascus in his "E/e5o<n? printed an irremovable dogmatic stamp upon the entire Church of the East. But for theological studies in general, philosophy in all its ramifications offered none but subsidiary services. Centrally theologic development in this period is dogmatic, and the wide exegetical studies have no other tendency than to establish scripturally once for all the truth that had been found. Critically the work done does not extend beyond the content of Scripture, and formally what is attempted is at most to keep in hand good codexes rather than bad. Hermeneutics is established in order, after given rules, to overthrow false exegesis of heretical doctores, and the extent to which Hieronymus busied himself with isagogical questions had merely this object in view — viz. placing at the disposal of the coming clergy all sorts of things worthy of their notice. Thus everything was rendered subsidiary to the development of dogmatics, including even historical studies; and thus dogmatics appeared mostly in the form of polemics, to combat false representations. Time was not yet ripe for the organic construction of a system, which should include all the dogmatic treasures. Even Augustine did not ventr ure upon this. What Origen had too early attempted, served as an example to deter others, and what John Damascene accomplished for the Eastern Church has done much toward the petrifying of that Church; even though it may not be overlooked, that this very early check put upon dogmatic thought saved the Eastern Church from many serious errors, in which at a later date the Western Church lost itself.

But if theology triumphed over heresy in its own bosom during this period, it was not all gold that glittered. This intellectual victory had not been achieved except in union with the ecclesiastical organization; and the Church with her ban had anathematized whoever had been conquered by theology. This effected too close a bond between theology and the Church, which resulted after the death of the coryphaei in a limitation of liberty for theology as a science, even as in the Church everything was compelled to exhibit itself too largely in one mould and move in the same direction. Multiformity of life was lost in the uniformity of the traditional ecclesiastical type, and as soon as opposition ceased, theology lost the spur for action, and almost every reason for existence. Her practitioners were like an army dismissed, since victory had been achieved. The heroic period of the Fathers in the fourth and fifth centuries, therefore, is followed by a period of lassitude and deathlike stillness, which gradually turned into the barrenness of the Middle Ages. At first this baneful uniformity did not make itself so strongly felt. The schools of Antioch and Alexandria, of Nisibis and Edessa, of North Africa and of Rome, were strong with the vigor of youth, each having a theological tendency of its own. But when presently the Eastern schools lost their significance, and the West appeared in the foreground, and in the West Rome's preponderance assumed proportions which became more and more decisive, the distinction was gradually lost sight of between "heretical departure " and "difference of tendency among the orthodox." All differences were looked upon with envy. Unity in the most absolute sense had become the watchword. And when finally this unity was carried off as spoils, it seemed more easy to maintain this unity thenceforth by ecclesiastical decisions than by theologic debate. Theology had done her duty, now the Church was to have the word. Not theology, but the Hierarchy, as early as the sixth century, held the reins of power which are to maintain the principle of the Christian life. And though it is self-evident that there still remained certain variations, and that absolute unity has never been obtained, Rome, nevertheless, preferred to allow these variations sufficient playground within its own organization, and when needed to provide diversion by monastic orders. Especialty the removal of the centre of gravity of the Church from the East to the West, from civilized to the still uncivilized nations of the Germanic-Gallic world, materially aided this dismissal of theology from service, and encouraged the withdrawal of study into the convents, as in so many centres of learning in the midst of uncultivated conditions.

§ 103. Prematurely claimed Triumph

The long period extending across the four centuries which precede and the four centuries which follow the Dark Ages, is of importance for the development of Theology in its second half only. This is not intended to undervalue the rich development of intellectual life in the several monasteries, at the courts of the Carolingian princes, and under Alfred among the Anglo-Saxons, before the night of the Middle Ages set in, but merely to indicate that the great progress of learning rendered no material aid to the development of the conception of theology as such. It brought this development scarcely an indirect good. The study of the better Latin authors was continued, the Church Fathers were read and quoted, series of excerpts from the Fathers (catenae patrum) were compiled for exegesis, chronicles were diligently written, Alcuin prepared even some sort of a dogmatic compendium from the works of Augustine, entitled De fide sanctae et individuae Trinitatis libri duo, which was rapidly passed on from hand to hand; but however bright and clear this learning was compared to the night of ignorance that still rested darkly upon Europe's west and north, it produced no scientific results. There were fresh wave-beats in these waters, of momentary duration, as when Elipandus of Toledo and Felix of Urgel advocated adoptionism, Paschasius Radbertus constructed the theological explanation of transubstantiation, and Gottschalk undertook once more to assail the semi-Pelagianism that had crept in on every hand, and the conflict about the filioque became necessary as a defence against the Eastern Church; but these efforts effected no enduring results. The Church tacitly giving shape to public thought by her orthodoxy weighed too heavily upon the life of the spirit; and no question was settled scientifically, for after a brief trial it was dismissed by the authority of the ecclesiastical courts. Even an Isidorus Hispalensis, a Venerable Bede, Alcuin, Hrabanus Maurus, or Hincmar of Rheims left no single work of creative genius behind them. And when the ninth century produces an independent thinker in the person of John Scotus Erigena, he distinguishes between affirmative and negative theology (theologia Kara<f>ariKi] and airofarucrj), and thereby merges real theology into philosophy, and that, a philosophy in which the old sin of Pantheism renews itself in a way more serious than with Origen. So indifferent, however, was his time to these deeper studies that this pantheistical philosopher held his post of honor undisturbed at the court of the Carolingians, surrounded by an orthodox clergy, and his writings were condemned for the first time three centuries afterward by Rome at the mouth of Pope Honorius III. as "being full of the vermin of heretical depravity."

This does not imply that these three centuries passed by to no purpose and without important results, but whatever labor did more than protect the inherited theological treasure, directed itself almost exclusively to what was calculated to strengthen the Church in a practical way and civilize the nations of the West. First, the system of monasticism was deeply thought out, carefully ordered and clearly outlined. Then the development of ecclesiastical law took a higher flight, together with the ordering of civil relations, which were included in canonical law. No little effort was made to establish upon a sound footing the cathedral schools, which had been founded by the Carolingian princes, and to provide them with good material for study. And, finally, there was no want during these ages of edifying literature of a pious trend, mystical flavor and sound content. But none of these studies touched upon theology in her nature and being. No thought was expended upon her as such, and there was still less of an effort made to vindicate her relation to the non-theological development or to the reason. The Church was mistress in the entire domain of life. The opposition of ancient Rome's classical development had been silenced by the decline of the culture of the times. Germanic development was still too much in its infancy to renew the old strife, and thus of itself the struggle for principles came to an end; the more because the ever-restless spirit of the Greek came under the pressure of Islam, which prevented it from exerting an influence upon the Church of the West. The Dark Ages, which soon appeared, were but the natural consequence of what went before. The wind blew no longer from any quarter. It was a dead calm. On every hand nothing but stagnant waters were seen. And thus, for want of an animating impulse, the life of study waned.

It was very different, however, in the second part of this long period. In 1096 the first crusade was undertaken. This was an expression of Christian, chivalrous heroism, which not only aroused the peoples from their sleep of death, but also restored to the Church her sense of unity with the Church of the East, and exerted no less mighty an influence upon theology. Here we must retrace our steps to Emperor Justinian I., who closed by a decree the pagan school of Athens, and thereby obliged its scholars to flee to Persia. There these men tried to establish their classical school in safety, and to prosecute their studies; but however much they weie disappointed in this, it was nevertheless under Persian, and more especially under Syrian influences, that in the eighth century, under the high protectorate of the Abbasides, the classical studies came to Bagdad, in order there, and presently in Spain, to call into being a scientific life which far surpassed the civilization of Christian Europe at that time. By contact with this rich Mohammedan life the old classics were introduced again in Europe; and when, in competition with Islam, the classical studies were resumed in Byzantium, under Bardas and Photius, the old Greek-Roman world of thought entered Christian Europe simultaneously from these two sides, to recall it from its practical, mystical and ecclesiastically traditional life to a higher development of its self-consciousness.

The new theological activity which was thus called into being bears the name of Scholasticism, which name is derived from docere in scola, and for this reason Scholasticism is also connected with the rise of the universities. At first acquaintance the classical world did not stand high in the general esteem. The beautiful in the world of old Hellas and the virility in the world of old Rome was not loved by the Middle Ages and Scholastics. This love flamed up only when the Byzantine scholars fled from Turkish violence into Italy, and when, as a fruit of their activity, Humanism made its entry. No, the Scholastics cared less for Homer, ^Eschylus, Virgil and Horace, than for Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. On the first acquaintance with the works of Greece's great philosophers especially, it was soon evident that these men were profounder students than the clergy of the times. And since these Scholastics knew too little Greek to read Aristotle at once in the original, they obtained by their acquaintance with the thinker of Stagira about such an impression as a Zulu negro must receive from a visit to the arsenal at Woolwich. What were the weapons they had thus far used, when compared to the rich supply of arms from the arsenal of Aristotle? And as the Christian knights were inspired to high exploits by crusade upon crusade undertaken against Islam, the sight of this glittering arsenal in the writings of Aristotle made the scholars of those days quickly cast aside the sling and stone and immediately arm themselves with the lances of Aristotle's categories and with the armor of his distinctions, and so to gain trophies for their Christian faith. At the outset they foresaw none of the danger this implied. As yet they perceived nothing of what was to come to light in Abelard, in the Nominalists, and presently in the Humanists. They did not surmise that the Greek-Roman tradition held a spirit peculiar to itself, and that when once called out from its grave this spirit would soon prove able to enlist once more the sympathies of thinking minds, and for a second time let loose against the Church the old enemy which had spoken in Celsus and Porphyry. They thought they were simply dealing with the armor of a buried hero, and that they had a perfect right to appropriate this armor to themselves.

Even thus, however, there was something very beautiful in this impulse. If it lay in the nature of the case that the world of thought of unregenerated humanity must of necessity be different from that of regenerate humanity walking in the light of God's Word, the task of theology was not exhausted in a self-defence against this world of natural thought. She was called, in the first place, to populate her own world of thought and to regulate it. The content of the Divine Revelation had been committed to her, not to possess it as gold in a mine, but to delve it out of that mine, and then to convert that gold into all sorts of ornaments. The content of Revelation had not been given dialectically, nor had it been cast in the form of discursive thought. That which had been revealed of God could therefore not be taken up as such into the human consciousness. It had first to be worked over, and its form be changed so as to suit human capacity. What had been shown to the Eastern mind in images and symbols, had to be assimilated by Western thinking and reproduced intellectually. For this it was indispensable that the believing Christian should also learn how to think, and how to sharpen his powers of thought, in order to grasp the content of his faith, not resting until he had succeeded, from the root of palingenesis and by the light of photismos, in leading the human consciousness to a coherent, comprehensive world of thought entirely its own. And this they failed to do. In the period of naivety the struggle with Paganism had been broken off rather than fought out. Under the inspiration of the Fathers of the Church all the powers of thought had been directed to the establishing of the mysteries, to prevent heresies; but in the following ages they neglected to analyze the further mysteries of the faith to the root. Thus they failed of creating a Christian Philosophy, which should give to the Christian world, to the glory of God, what old Hellas had possessed in Plato and Aristotle, thanks to Socrates' initiative. This want has been felt by the Scholastics, if only feebly. They saw that Aristotle could teach them how to think. They were ashamed of the fact that the scholars of Bagdad and Cordova excelled the Christians in virility of thought. And then they, too, threw themselves upon the world of thought, they worked themselves into it, and became masters in it of the first rank, with a virtuosity which claims our admiration till this day. Suddenly they rise like cedars from the barren tablelands of the Dark Ages. And in so far as they, immovable in their faith, did not shrink before any intellectual labor, however gigantic, they are still our examples as intellectual heroes. He who refuses to consult with Thomas Aquinas weakens himself as a theologian.

However, we have qualified their labor as a triumph grasped prematurely. In the preface of the latest edition of Lombardus' Sententiae and Thomas' Summa, Paris, 1841, the editor wrote in a high-pitched key of these Sententiae and this Summa: "Stupendous works indeed, the former of which ruled all Europe for a century and a half and gave birth to Thomas Aquinas, while the latter, being assuredly the very sum of theology, has ruled all Europe for five centuries from the day it was brought to light, and has begotten all succeeding theologians." This flattering speech aims none too high; for after Thomas there has no one arisen who, as a theologian, has thought out the domain of sacred study so comprehensively from all sides, and who has penetrated as deeply to the bottom of all questions so heroically as he; and only the latest development of philosophy has given the stream of theological thought a really new bend. The very rise of this newer philosophy, however, has discovered how greatly Thomas was mistaken, when he thought that he had already hit the mark, when he placed the formal intellectual development of the Grecian world at the service of the Church. Undoubtedly it is since then only that theology within its own ground has come to a richer development, such as it had never known before, which has enabled it to assimilate and to reproduce no mean part of the treasures of Revelation; but the struggle for principles, which theology had to carry on for the vindication of her own right of existence, had scarcely yet begun. Theology and philosophy (taken now in the material sense) are too closely identified by Thomas. He takes too little account of the world of thought of unregenerate humanity as an independent whole. It is with him still too much a subtle gymnastic of intellect, which defends every part of the Church confession of that day by distinctions, and again by distinctions against objections, and vindicates the same as being in harmony with reason. And it was especially serious because thus the foundation of the building of Christian Doctrine was sought by far too much in the subject itself and for the subject in the understanding. For thus finally reason sat in judgment, and though reason appeared in favor of the doctrines of the Church when speaking from the mind of a Thomas, there was no guarantee that this same reason in another subject would not presently arrive at an opposite conclusion, and then where was the triumph of the Christian religion? In Abelard it had already been shown with what fire men were playing. That fire had been extinguished by the holy energy of Bernard of Clairvaux and by the ban of Innocent II. But what was to be done, when presently that same fire should break out again in wider extent and with greater fury? There was an increase of knowledge, but victory had not yet been achieved. The mystical Scholastics were already aware of this, for which reason they offered dialectical proficiency the support of the fervor of devotion and faith. But, of course, in this also there was no lasting security. That security could be regained only when return was made to the Holy Scripture.

§ 104. Development of Multiformity

The subject in hand is neither Religion nor the Church, but Theology as a science, and therefore in the period preceding the Reformation the emphasis falls upon the unfolding of multiformity. The return to the Holy Scripture as the sole principium was of far-reaching importance. Such men as Thomas Aquinas, etc., fully intended to base their confession upon the Holy Scripture, and on the other hand it is also known that while devoted to the study of the Scriptures, Erasmus held to the confession of Rome till his death. Similarly the motive of the newer development has been sought in the principle of free investigation, but only to be overthrown by the confession of the Reformers themselves, that they never pleaded for a freedom of investigation which lacked all foundation in faith. It is self-evident, moreover, that he who finds the motive of the new evolution of the science of theology too exclusively in the return to the Holy Scripture or too formally in freedom of investigation, excludes thereby Romish theology altogether, and arbitrarily contracts the domain of theology. That the labor of the Romish Church was at first disqualified, is readily understood; but this narrow view has been abandoned a century ago, and in theological circles the learned Jesuits especially are duly recognized again. It certainly cannot be questioned that the Romish theology of the last decenniums can claim the name of theology in the strict sense of the word with far more justice than what is still brought to the market under the name of theology by the men of the Science of Religion or by the speculative or ethical modern tendency. In view of this the point of departure for this period lies for us in the development of multiformity. Not as if such a multiformity were intended by Luther or Calvin. This is by no means asserted here. At Wittenberg, as well as at Geneva, the conviction was unassailable for long years that their own confession bore an absolute and exclusive character. Everything that contradicted this was a falsification of the truth, just as in both spheres of the Reformation one's own Church was held to be the purest, not merely by way of comparison, but so as to be actually looked upon as the only lawful continuance of the Church of the apostles; and Rome's Church was not only rejected as deformed, but, as a false imitation of the Church, was abhorred by the epigones of the Reformation as the Church of the Antichrist. And this could not be otherwise at first. Notwithstanding the fact that the schism of the Eastern Church had been continued for more than four centuries, men had still refused to consider it anything more than a schism. Age after age they were accustomed to the idea that truth, which of necessity must be absolute, was also bound to maintain this absolute character in the unity of form and expression. And while the rigorous maintenance of the unity of the Church rendered this result possible, the very thought of a certain multiformity for the life of the Church could not commend itself to any one. This conception of unity had entered so deeply into the public consciousness of those times, that while multiformity was already in existence de facto, and caused its effects to be felt, they still argued and acted as though there were never anything but the single, uniform Church. It did not enter into the common consciousness of that day that the uniformity of the Church had found its logical expression in the papal idea, and that with the refusal of obedience to the Pope that uniformity was broken forever, never again to be restored. In the days of the interim the dream was still dreamed, to restore by mutual consent, a unity which would also include the papal Church. The numberless conferences between Lutherans and Reformed, and between Reformed and Anabaptists proceeded without distinction, from the desire to unite in the unity of the faith everything that had broken with Rome. The Byzantine spirit, which had come upon the German princes, rejected the idea of all multiformity in the Church within the boundaries of each, so resolutely and definitely that at length the principle of cuius regio eius religio, i.e. "that the religion of the crown must be the religion of the people," could for a while rule as the leading thought. And when finally, yielding to the force of facts, and compelled by the EuropeanRomish league to political cooperation, the correlation of the Lutheran and Reformed elements could no longer be neglected, their mutual recognition resulted more from the impulse of self-protection than from the impulse of a clearly self-conscious conviction.

That this delusion of unity assumed with the Lutherans forms that were so much more sharply outlined than with the Reformed, — leading first to the rejection of the Reformed exiles on the coast of the North Sea, and finally to the decapitation of Crell in 1601,—cannot be attributed to the fact that the Reformed already occupied on principle a far wider standpoint, but was exclusively the result of their clearer insight in the liberty of the Church. They claimed an autonomous life for the Church under her only King, Christ Jesus, and though later they went so far in granting the State a civil right over sacred things (ius circa sacra), that this liberty of the Church became actually an illusion, yet from the beginning their standpoint was more accurately chosen. In Lutheran lands, the princes, aided by teachers of their appointment acting as eeclesia docens, took the guidance of the Church in their hands, while the Reformed demanded that all ecclesiastical questions should be decided by the lawful representatives of the churches, convened in Synod. This is the reason that the State, in Reformed lands, had less interest in the exclusion of those of differing opinions, since it found in these diverging groups a support over against the ever-bolder pretensions of the autonomous churches. Hence the principle, "that the religion of the crown must be the religion of the people," could never gain a foothold in the Reformed lands, the result of which was that from the beginning the ecclesiastical life in these lands exhibited a character of greater multiformity. Exiles, who were refused a shelter elsewhere, found protection in Reformed countries, and thus the idea of the liberty of conscience, which is an immediate result of multiformity, became of itself an established doctrine in the Reformed kingdoms much earlier than in Lutheran and Romish states. He who found himself in trouble for his religion's sake had no standing or chance^for life anywhere but in the Reformed lands, viz. in Switzerland and in the Netherlands.

But it cannot be questioned for a moment, that to Luther the honor belongs of having dealt the fatal blow to the false uniformity of the Church. When Luther burned the papal bull, that unity was essentially destroyed. He derived the moral right for this action from no canonical rule, but from the authority of God, by whose Word it was assured unto him in the deepest depths of his conscience. And by this the subjective-religious principle received its right as a power, which, if needs be, could defy churchly authority. And when Luther's initiative found an echo in the hearts of many thousands, and became the point of departure for a separate Church organization, multiformity of churchly life became thereby eo ipso, a fact. For if Luther held to the idea that every one who, like himself, broke with Rome, was bound to arrive at like results with himself, from the nature of the case this idea could not be maintained. For so soon as another effort made its appearance by the side of his, which showed itself possessed of the power to be even more efficient in founding churches than his, he might indeed write to Zwingli from Marburg: "You are people of another spirit"; but after the Pope had been renounced, and the State had no power outside of its boundaries, there was no authority to prohibit this third " Church-forming " power from making its appearance and from consolidating itself: 1517 made Luther powerless in 1529. That the Anabaptist and Socinian movements, in their dualistic-mystic and moderaterationalistic activity, have not produced like results, and still flourish in small groups at most, which have never obtained any universal significance, is not attributable to the fact that these Anabaptists and Socinians were refused the right of existence; for men would fain have treated the Calvinists in the same way, and the Calvinists also barely tolerated the Martinists; but it was the immediate result of their want of "Church-formative" (Kirchenbildende) power. Such then was the lesson of history, viz. that the Church of Christ was bound to reveal herself in more than one form, but, at the same time, that this multiformity of revelation did not depend upon an arbitrary whim or freak, but was determined by the spiritual and forming power which appeared, or did not appear, in the several tendencies that raised their heads.

Gradually, and of itself, this multiformity of the churches led to the recognition of four fundamental types of Church formation, apart from the Armenian, the Koptic, and other churches in the far East; viz. as the fruit of the Reformation the Lutheran and the Reformed, and by the side of these the Greek and the Momish. Four principal groups, each one of which exhibits a churchly character of its own, reveals a peculiar effort, assumes a proper form, and as such, also represents a special theological tendency. Without attracting at once attention to itself as such, this multiformity was sealed confessionally in the dogma of the visible Church as the revelation of the invisible Church. So long as the Romishpapal delusion of unity was maintained, it was entirely natural that the visible Church should be identified with the invisible. Where there is only one revelation of the essence, a graded difference may be viewed as an obstacle to the adequateness of the revelation. But Rome removed even this objection by the separation between the Clergy and the Laity. As soon, however, as other church formations arose, each of which pretended to be the revelation of the Church, while they lacked the courage to reject each other's baptism, or to deny salvation in its absolute sense to those of the other confessions, the essence and the revelation of the Church fell of themselves apart. From henceforth what one saw could no longer be the Church, the body of Christ, and hence of necessity, simultaneously with the multiformity of church formations, the dogma originated of the visible Church as not being adequate to the invisible Church, or to the mystical body of Christ.

With this an entirely different state of things entered in for theology. So long as uniformity maintained itself, there was no other theology conceivable than that which scientifically systematized the confession of the Church. It could take no other point of departure than in the instituted Church, and could arrive at no other result than had been found by the instituted Church. Investigation of the Holy Scripture had no aim when the instituted Church tendered an official Latin translation, and in exegesis prescribed the analogy of faith even to minutest particulars. Everything was known from the start; hence there could be no thirst after truth; to furnish a dialectic proof for the confession of the Church was superfluous for believers, and could serve no purpose for unbelievers, since these were bound to maintain silence for fear of the anathema of the Church. All the benefit, therefore, which one derived from Scholastic Theology Was the pleasure, noble enough in itself, which one enjoyed in exhibiting the shining brightness of the Church's confession in all its parts, even when seen by the light of the data of logic. But this, of course, became entirely different when the multiformity of the churches became an established fact. Apologetics over against Paganism, which had gradually become superfluous, was no longer sufficient to answer the needs of the day, but controversy with the confessions of the other Church formations now presented itself. The unity of the Church had to be maintained under the multiformity in its revelation. And no longer able to derive his point of departure from the Church, the theologian had to seek this elsewhere. Thus theology became free, not in the sense of ever being loosened from her object and principium, but so that each of the Church formations expected her to vindicate its effort, and thus from that moment on had to reckon with her criticism. It was self-evident that, resulting from the difference of spiritual disposition and spiritual sphere, the multiformity of the Church formations should also communicate its multiform stamp to theology. But theology as such could never dismiss the problem of how this multiformity was to be brought into harmony with the unity of the body of Christ. It had already been seen that the truth of God was too rich and the great salvation in Christ too aboundingly precious, by reason of the Divine character exhibited in both, for them to be able to reach their full expression in one human form. And though the several nations assimilated one and the same truth and the selfsame salvation, the disposition of the several groups of people was too many-sided not to adopt them in different ways, and to reproduce them in different manners. The claim could never be surrendered that each one for himself should accept and confess the truth in the way in which it appeared most accurate to him and satisfied his needs most fully. But human limitations were at least recognized; and theology could not rest until, together with all the care which she bestowed upon the treatment of one of her concrete forms, she at the same time allowed the relation between the ideal and concrete fully to exhibit itself. She also was not able to make the full content of Divine truth shine forth in a single deduction. She could not be studied except by men, and hence like the Church life itself she remained subject to human limitations. But since the churches could deal only with the concrete result, and thus incurred the danger of communicating a sectarian flavor to their life, and of losing sight of the catholicity of the Church as an organism, it was the mission of theology to raise herself on the wings of the idea above what was exclusively concrete, and from this higher vantage ground to vindicate the good and perfect right of the instituted churches to their confession and lifetendency.

This higher call inspired theology with a zeal such as she had not known since the fourth and fifth centuries. Again she had to fix her point of departure objectively in the Holy Scripture and subjectively in palingenesis, and in the faith awakened by this. Again free access to the Holy Scripture was accorded her. The Vulgate, as the sanctioned translation, fell away. Exegesis became a serious study by which to master the content of the Divine Revelation. In dogma, with the Scripture as the touchstone, distinction had to be made between truth and error. Church history was called upon to point out the several streams of Church life which had been held back under the false papal unity, and to exhibit them as still existing historically. The difference between formation and deformation of churches had become tangible, and it was the task of theology openly to make exhibition of the difference between the two. Thus theology became an independent power, with a task of her own, with a life-purpose of her own, and bound to the claim of truth rather than to any churchly decision.

However energetic and sparkling the life was which characterized this reformative development of theology, it would have been better still if she could have conquered her liberty, in the good sense, at once. But in this she only partially succeeded. Her growth outside of the universities is scarcely worthy of mention, and at the universities, because of the appointment of the professors by the State, she became too greatly subject to the influence of the State. Provisionally this was preferable to being bound to the instituted churches, but it entailed the subsequent loss of separating her too greatly from the life of the Church, and of allowing too great an influence to be exerted upon her by non-theological factors. Since the ministry was educated almost exclusively at the universities, theology, with her diverging tendencies and schools, has undoubtedly exerted a disturbing influence upon the churchly life. And as a reaction against this it has called the narrow-hearted sectarian stream into life, which would prefer to confine theology to an ecclesiastical seminarium. This measure would restore the Romish passion for uniformity, but now without the counterpoise which Rome still furnished in its world-wide organization and in its orders. Compulsion here is of no avail, and since the multiformity of churchly life goes and must go as far as it is postulated by the variations in the organic life of the Church, so likewise, in order to fulfil her mission, theology must be left entirely free, and cannot be limited by any boundary except by such as is indicated in the life-relations themselves. Not the State, as having authority in the sphere of the magistrate, but science and the Church are here to determine the boundary. Theology is inconceivable as a science studied for mere pleasure, and therefore every theological effort, which does not find a corresponding stream in the Church, is bound of itself to bleed to death. Hence for a while it progressed fairly well, i.e. as long as the stream of churchly life propelled itself with power. Both Lutheran and Reformed theology completed their first task when they explained systematically these two new tendencies in the churchly life and in the churchly confession, and thus vindicated them over against Rome as well as over against each other. But so soon as the pulse of the churchly life began to beat more faintly, foreign factors began to undermine the healthful vitality of theology as well. This became evident in the syncretistic and pietistic tendencies, even before Rationalism, as the train-bearer of Philosophy, threw down the glove to her.

In the seventeenth century Syncretism appeared as a natural reaction against the multiformity of churchly life. And it cannot be denied that George Calixtus was actuated by a spiritual motive. The controversy and the separation in churchly life had caused the instituted churches to lose too much from sight their unity in Christ and their sodality as revelations of the body of Christ, and it was against this that Calixtus raised his irenical voice. On the other hand, it must be said that this was accompanied by a certain humanistic indifference to the points of dogma which were in question between the churches. A man like Calixtus did not understand that one could really be concerned because of a controversy about Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, or the negation of Substantiation. And what was worse, he was not sufficiently acute as a theologian to construct his irenics theologically, so that he saw no other means than to go back to the councils of the first centuries. Hence his effort could not be crowned with success. This irenical wave went down as rapidly as it had risen. Not, however, without reminding theology of her vocation to maintain more faithfully the essential unity of the Church in the midst of her multiform tendencies. Holding itself too closely to the instituted Church, theology had departed too widely from the spiritual life of the Church as an organism.

This last fault avenged itself in the movement of the Pietists. Theology had become too abstract. She had found her foundations in the Holy Scripture, but she had taken that Holy Scripture too one-sidedly as a revelation of doctrine, and had thereby lost too much from sight the spiritual reality, and had forgotten that if Luther had found the rock-foundation on which he stood in the Scripture, he had also clung with both hands to that rock. In the end, the inspiring motive for theology must always come from the subject. Without the spiritual alliance between the theological subject and the spiritual reality of which the Holy Scripture brings us the revelation, a barren Scholasticism is conceivable, but no vitalized and living theology. This was felt by Spener; hence the reaction that went forth from him and from his followers against orthodox theology; a reaction, however, which, as is generally the case, wanted to throw out "mit dem Kinde das Bad," i.e. "the bath with the child." At heart Pietism became anto'-theological. However much of invaluable good it has brought to the life of the churches, it was unable to restore theology from its barrenness to new freshness. It rather cooperated with the syncretistic movement, and so allowed non-churchly factors free play to work destructively upon theology. Reformation theology has not known a second quickening {Slari) in the higher sense of the word. She has worked out more minutely what was at first treated only in vague terms. She has furnished rich detailed studies. With hair-splitting exactness she has picked apart almost every conceivable antithesis, with the Lutherans as well as with the Reformed. And especially in exegesis and in Church history she has continued to gather her laurels, but as theology she has remained stationary; and when the stream of churchly life has flowed away from under her, she has finally proved to be an expanse of ice that could not be trusted, and that broke and sank away the moment Philosophy threw itself upon her with all its weight.

§ 105. The Apparent Defeat

The reformation movement certainly succeeded in the sixteenth century in exorcising the pagan spirit from Humanism. Whatever gains this revival of the pagan spirit achieved in Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it was not capable of obtaining a solid footing among the nations of Middle and Northern Europe. And when the conflict which Humanism in league with the Reformation had undertaken against the papal power approached its end, it can be said without exaggeration, that the Reformation had become Herrin im Hause, and that Humanism had to adapt itself to the performance of all sorts of subsidiary service. Paganism in its humanistic form was bent too much upon the outward world, and was too little animated and too vaguely conscious of being a bearer of a special life-principle, to enable it to place a lifeand world-view of its own over against that of the Reformation. But if it subjected itself, this subjection was not sincere, and the theologians soon perceived that children of another spirit cooperated with them in the other faculties. The more Protestantism was interpreted from its negative side, and free investigation was taken as investigation without a spiritual tie, and the more the liberty of conscience, and gradually even that of the press, assisted in the publication of what was thought and pondered, so much the more did a spirit of free thought begin to develop itself among the well-to-do classes in the countries of the Reformation, which impelled individual thinkers to devise philosophical systems, and which among the great masses created an irreligiousness without ideals, that entered into an ever sharper conflict with the mystical and ideal character of the Christian religion. It has by no means been the thorough idealistic systems of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibnitz that have created the greatest commotion. Much more dangerous were the effects worked by Deism, which spread across the Continent from England; by the spirit of the Encyclopedists, which caused its power to be felt from France; and by the so-called "Aufklarung " (Illumination) which quickly asserted itself in Germany. To some extent the origin of these influences was truly philosophical, if philosophical be taken as antithesis to theological; but as a rule they were of too low an order and of too little exaltation to justify their claiming for themselves the honorable name of philosophical in the higher sense of the word. It was a low moralism, such as plain public opinion loves, which clips every wing, and knows no higher standard than the everyday and common one. Low shrubberies might grow; each oak or cedar, that wanted to lift up its head, was immediately cut down. For the ideal there was nothing to spare but mockery, poetry went down into sentimentalism, admiration was unknown, men were weaned from all higher impulses and laughed at the fools who still persisted in a desire to go up in the balloon. Of course such a time-spirit and the Christian religion stood over against each other as two antipodes. Too bad that ia just those days the Christian Church and Christian Theology lacked the holy fire and energy of heroism to withstand with righteous indignation this spirit of dulness and superficiality. But the churches and the universities themselves were caught in the meshes of this unholy spirit, and men soon saw in Rationalism the caricature of what Christian theology ought to be. And this in turn was attacked by Supernaturalism in such a way as to make the entire defeat of Christendom still more humiliating. Pietistic circles, to be sure, were maintained in Lutheran lands, and mystical and methodistical circles in Reformed lands, which hid the salt of the Gospel, lest it should lose its savor, but these spiritually attuned circles failed of exerting any saving influence upon official churches and official theology. The ground on which this Deism and this Aufkliirung offered battle was no ground on which the Christian Church or Christian theology could join battle. The thrusts given did not carry the sting sufficiently deep to reach the deepest life-consciousness. Thus it remained a mere skirmishing, a constant skirmishing on the outer lines, and no one seemed to realize into how shameful a corner they were being pushed. It was no longer the Church against the world, nor theology against the wisdom of Paganism; but it was the world in the Church, and it was theology irrecognizably metamorphosed under rationalistic and naturalistic influences into a caricature of itself.

But, however feebly, the antithesis continued to be felt. Rationalism over against Supernaturalism certainly implied that the scientific consciousness of unregenerate humanity refused to undergo the influence of Revelation, and therefore demanded that the treasure of Revelation should first be examined at the frontier by reason. And, on the other hand, the very appearance of Supernaturalism as such implied an effort to make certain demands for the scientific consciousness of regenerate humanity, by which Revelation might escape from testing by the reason. The deepest antithesis between theology and the wisdom of the world was certainly present in this almost fatal conflict; only it received no special emphasis as such from either side. Rationalism did not appear against the Church, but in the Church, and adapted itself, therefore, to forms which often did not fit in with its principle, and weakened itself by its utter want of piety. But Supernaturalism also was not able to array itself for a conflict of principles. It betrayed somewhat more of a religious sense, but of a kind which never reached the warmth of the mystical life of communion with the Infinite; which, therefore, scarcely noticed the psychological antithesis; and being almost more hostile to Pietism than to Rationalism, it, for the most part, sought strength in sesquipedalian words and in lofty terms; and deemed its duty performed by the defence of faith in the great facts of Revelation, independently of their spiritual significance.

As a result of this wrong attitude, theology lost in less than half a century almost all the authority it had exerted in the circles of science and public opinion. It was no longer thought worth while to continue a conflict which, from both sides, was carried on with so little tact and spirit. It soon became evident that the interval which separated Rationalists and Supernaturalists grew perceptibly less. He who was still bent upon making a name for himself as a theologian, withdrew into some side study of theology, in which at least there were historical and literary laurels to be gathered. The Church life went into a decline. The life of the clergy partook somewhat of the character of the times when "priest laughed at priest" in the days of Imperial Rome. And it was very clear, as early as the middle of the eighteenth century, that theology had nothing more to say with respect to the great problems which were presenting themselves. Thus the French Revolution came, without thinking it worth her while to assume any other attitude toward the Church than that of disdain. The "Italia fara da se," which was a proverb concerning Italy's future in the days of Cavour could then have been prophesied concerning Philosophy: Filosofia fara da se; i.e. "Philosophy will have her own way." Theology could exert an influence in three ways: at her frontiers she could give battle to the spirit of Paganism, or she could make a deeper study of the faith of the Christian Church, as had been done in the fourth and sixteenth centuries, or, finally, she could make the mystical and practical life of the Church express itself in conscious action. But when theology did none of these three, but squandered her time in a skirmish, which scarcely touched upon the first antithesis, which went outside of the mysteries of the faith, and had no connection with the mystical-practical life of believers, she herself threw her once brilliant crown down into the dust, and the opponent could not be censured for speaking of theology as an antiquity no longer actual.

§ 106. The Period of Resurrection

The nineteenth century is far superior to the eighteenth, not merely in a cosmical, but also in the religious sense. Here also action effected reaction. The bent-down spring rebounded at last. And it will not readily be denied, that in our nineteenth century a mystical-religious movement has operated on the spirit, which may be far from comparable to the activity of the Reformation, but which, leaving out of account the Reformation period, seeks to rival it in recent history. Revivals of all sorts of tenets belong to the order of the day, in Europe as well as in America. In spite of its one-sidedness, Perfectionism has gained a mighty following. Methodist and Baptist churches have developed an activity which would have been inconceivable in the eighteenth century, and which affords its masterpiece in the Salvation Army. Missions have assumed such wide proportions, that now they have attained a universal, historical significance. New interests have been awakened in religious and churchly questions, which make manifest how different a spirit had come to the word. Even negative tendencies have found it advisable, in their way, to sing the praises of religion. And, however unfavorably one may judge of Mormonism, Spiritism, etc., it can scarcely be denied that their rise and temporary success would not have been possible, if the problem of religion had not taken a powerful hold upon the general mind. If then, after the shameful defeat of theology in the period of the "Illumination" (Aufklarung), we may affirm an undeniable resurrection of theology in the nineteenth century, let it be said that this is owing, first of all, to the many mystical influences, which, against all expectation, have restored once more a current to the religious waters. A breath of wind from above has gone out upon, the nations. By the woes of the French Revolution and Napoleon's tyrannies the nations were prepared for a new departure in an ideal direction. The power of palingenesis has almost suddenly revealed itself with rare force. By the very radicalism of the revolutionary theory the sense of a twofold life, of a twofold effort, and of a twofold world-view has come to a clearer consciousness in every department. Moreover, it may not escape our notice, that it has pleased God, in almost every land and in every part of the Church, to raise up gifted persons, who, by Him "transferred from death into life," as singers, as prophets, as statesmen, as jurists, and as theologians, have borne a witness for Christ such as has not been heard of since the days of Luther and Calvin.

It would, however, be a great mistake to explain the resurrection of theology from this powerful revival alone. It may not be overlooked that this mystical-pietistical revival was more than indifferent to theology as such. As far as it called into life preparatory schools for ministers and missionaries, this revival lacked all theological consciousness, and undertook little more than a certain ecclesiastical training for its students; a sort of discipline more bent upon advancing a spirit of piety and developing a power of public address, than upon theological scholarship. It was more the "passion of the Soul," and the desire after religious quietistic enjoyment, that inspired general activity, than the purpose, cherished even from afar, to give battle in the domain of thought, or to maintain the honor of Christ in the intellectual world. The life of the heart, or emotions, and the life of clear consciousness were looked upon more and more as separate and distinct, and religious activity, which found itself strong within the domain of the emotions, but very weak on intellectual ground, deemed it good tactics to withdraw its powers within the domain within which it felt itself to be invincible. If this reveil had been left to itself, the vocation of Christianity to take up the content of Revelation also into the thinking consciousness, and from this to reproduce it, would readily have passed into entire forgetfulness. And it is Philosophy which has been used by the King of the Church as a means of discipline to force His redeemed once again to enter upon that sacred vocation.

It was only when the Christian Church had lost her authority completely and theology lay in the sand as a conquered hero, that in Kant and his epigones the men arose who, anew and more radically than their predecessors, resumed the ancient conflict of the Greek-Roman Philosophy against the Christian religion, which had been broken off rather than decided in the third century. The logic of principles demanded this. Where two contrary principles come to stand over against each other, it is of no avail that the conflict between them is abandoned after the manner of Constantine, or that, as was done in the Middle Ages and in the first period of the Reformation, it is suspended and limited by the preponderance of churchly authority. Such contrary principles but await the first favorable opportunity to take new positions from both sides, and to continue their inevitable conflict, if possible, still more radically. Cartesius, Spinoza and Locke began this conflict from their side at a somewhat earlier date, but without making the Christian religion feel that it was a conflict of life and death. And only when the "Illumination" (Aufklarung) had depleted the Christian religion entirely of her honor, did Philosophy obtain the chance to come forward in full armor. For though it cannot be denied, that with such men as Kant and Fichte, and especially Schelling, and in part also with Hegel, Philosophy did by no means tread the Christian religion under foot, but rather tried in its way to restore the honor of the Christian mysteries, which the Church had shamefully abandoned; yet it would but betray color-blindness if we refused to recognize how the gigantic development of modern Philosophy has revived most radically the ancient and necessary conflict between the unregenerate consciousness and the prineipium of palingenesis, and with ever greater precision places the pantheistic starting-point over against Christian Theism — even though its first ardor is now followed by a period of exhaustion.

The greatest step in advance effected by this consisted in the fact that Kant investigated the thinking subject, and thereby gave rise to a riper development of the organic conception of science. The principle and method of science had been made an object of study before, but in the sense in which at present we recognize an organic whole of science it was still entirely unknown, even in the days of the Reformation. At that time men still produced piece-work, each in his own domain, and effected certain transitions at the boundaries by the construction of temporary bridges; but the subject, as the organic central point from which went forth the whole activity of science as in so many beams of one light-centre, was not yet apprehended. Hence the earlier theology, however richly furnished within its own domain, makes an impression which is only in part truly scientific. Before Kant, theology had as little awakened to a clear consciousness of itself as any other science, and much less had the position of theology in the organism of science been made clear. However much Kant and his contemporaries and followers intended injury to the Christian religion, the honor is theirs of having imparted the impetus which has enabled theology to look more satisfactorily into the deepest problems that face it. Schleiermacher has unquestionably exerted the most preponderant influence upon this resurrection of theology. This, apart from his titanic spirit, is owing more especially to the fact that in Schleiermacher the mystic-pietistic power of the life of the emotions entered into so beautiful and harmonious a union with the new evolution of Philosophy. At however many points his foot may have slipped, and in however dangerous a manner he cut himself loose from objective Revelation, Schleiermacher was nevertheless the first theologian in the higher scientific sense, since he was the first to examine theology as a whole, and to determine in his way her position in the organism of science. That the result of his work has nevertheless been more destructive than constructive, must be explained from the fact that he did not perceive that the conflict did not involve the triumph of Theology over Philosophy, or the victory of Philosophy over Theology; but from each side a first principle was in operation, which necessarily on the one side gave rise to a Philosophy entirely naturalistic, seconded by a religion both pantheistic and mystical, while in opposition to this a proper Christian Philosophy must needs construct its conception of the whole of science, and in this organism of science vindicate the honor of a theistical theology. By this, however, the fact is not altered that Schleiermacher has given theology back to herself, has lifted her out of her degradation, has inspired her with new courage and self-confidence, and that in this formal sense even confessional theology, which may not hide the defeat of his epigones, owes to him the higher view-point at present occupied by the whole of theology, — a merit the tribute of gratitude for which has been paid to Schleiermacher by even Romish theology in more ways than one.

It is to be regretted, however, that with the awakened desire to orient itself in the orgauism of science, theology has suffered so greatly from the want of self-limitation. The intensive power with which theology studied and dissected the content of Divine mysteries in the fourth and fifth centuries, partly also in the thirteenth, but more especially still in the sixteenth century, was entirely exhausted. There have been many who could scarcely imagine how so much ado could have been made over the fjv ore owe of Aiius, or over the " This is my body," in the conflict over the sacraments. Is not that which one confesses in common with all Christians, at least with all Protestants, of tenfold greater importance? Moreover, would not the strength of resistance in defence of the Christian religion increase, in proportion as these interconfessional differences are buried deeper in the dust of forgetfulness? Thus, in a sense more dangerous than in Calixtus' days, there arose a syncretistic reaction against the multiformity which, under the ordinance of God, had unfolded itself in the Reformation. This reaction was certain either to force a return to the unity of Rome, or to lead to such an extinction of the conception "Christian," that at length even Buddhism becomes "Christian." It lay in the nature of the case that every " Union " was and could be nothing but a "machine," so that those of a more practical turn of mind could think of no other unity except that which had existed historically before multiformity came into being. While, on the other hand, when the conflict was interpreted as a defence of the good right of religion over against the intellect, piety had to be generalized, till at length all kinds of religious utterances were classed under one and the selfsame conception. The result of this has been that a certain Romanizing tendency has met with a wide reception, especially through Schleiermacher's emphasis put upon the Church, which led to Romanticism on a large scale in Germany, and in England to High-Churchism. A second result was that theology, which ever pursued an arbitrary "Conception of Union," involuntarily entered in the Vermittelungstheologie upon an inclined plane in which it would readily lose all mastership over itself. And as another result no less, a third tendency appeared, which transmuted that which was positively Christian into the idea of the piously religious, and thus prepared the transition of theology into the science of religion.

That this last tendency, even though it is still called theological, furnishes no theology, needs no further proof. The science of religion is an anthropological, ethnological, philosophical study, but is in no single respect theology. And when it presents itself as such at the several universities, it plays an unworthy, because untrue, part. Vermittelungstheologie also is more and more disposed to put away its theological character. We desire in no way to minimize its value, especially in its earlier period. It has furnished excellent results in many ways, and in many respects it has brought lasting gains. But in two ways it has lost ground. Not perceiving that by the side of theology a Christian Philosophy was bound to arise, it has theologized philosophy too greatly and interpreted theology too philosophically. On the other hand, it has sought its point of support too one-sidedly in the mystical life of the emotions, and thus it has deemed itself able to dispense with the objective foundation in the Word of God and in the instituted Church. By virtue of its character, therefore, it occupied no definite view-point. Chameleon-like, it has lent itself to all kinds of divisions into groups and individual variations. But it has never denied its general feature, of feeling stronger in its philosophical premises than in historic theology, and so it has preferred to turn itself irenically to the left, while it shrank from confessional theology as from an unwelcome apparition. It has also prosecuted no doubt the study of history, especially history of dogma, but ever with this purpose in view — viz. to dissolve it, in order presently, by the aid of the distinction between kernel and form, to put its philosophical thought into the dogma. This is the case with the more intellectual, while in other circles of the Vennittelungstheologie the dualism between the emotional and intellectual life has come to so open a breach, that the transition to the school of Ritschl, which has anathematized every metaphysical conception, is already achieved. However widely spread the influence of this Vermittelungstheologie may be, even in Scotland and in America, now that she more and more deserts her objective point of support in the Holy Scripture, sets herself with ever greater hostility against the Confessional churches, and continues ever more boldly her method of pulverizing Christian truth, she can no longer be a theology in the real sense of the word, but turns of necessity into a philosophical and theosophical mysticism. However much she may assert that she still holds fast to Christ, it is nothing but self-deception. As history slips away from her and the self-testimony of the Christ, Christ becomes to her more and more a mere name without a concrete stamp of its own, and consequently is nothing but the clothing of a religious idea, just such as Modernism wills it.

It is entirely different, on the other hand, with confessional theology, such as the Lutheran, Reformed, and Romish theologies, which are beginning to give more frequent signs of life. In its confessional type it continues to bear a concrete and a real historical character, and behind this shield it is safe against the attack which subjectivism in the intellectual and mystical domain is trying to make upon the Christian religion. It holds an objective point of support in the Holy Scripture and in the dogmatic development, which protects it from being overwhelmed in the floods of many waters. And what is of greater significance still, thanks to this very objective-historic character, it is in less danger of being involuntarily annexed by philosophy. It may even now be prophesied, that, while modern theology fades into a science of religion or into a speculation, and Vermittelungstheologie shallows into mysticism, or finds its grave in the philosophical stream, this confessional theology alone will maintain its position. Even now it can be observed how this theology will fulfil a twofold mission: first, a universal one, viz. so to investigate the fundamental questions which are common to all the churches, that the radical difference between the consciousness of regenerate and unregenerate humanity shall ever be more fully exposed to light; and, secondly, to raise the special form of its own confessional consciousness to the level of the consciousnessform of our age. But this confessional theology will only come to a peaceful process of development when the conviction shall be more universally accepted, that the radical difference between regenerate and unregenerate humanity extends across the entire domain of the higher sciences, and therefore calls for two kinds of science just as soon as the investigation deserts the material basis and can no longer be constructed without the intermingling of the subjective factor. The exact boundary-line between Theology and Philosophy must not be sought between Christian Theology and pantheistic or pagan Philosophy, but between a Theology and Philosophy, both of which, as Keckermann already desired it, stand at the view-point of palingenesis.