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fierce persecution have risen to great distinction in other countries, especially in Prussia and the United States. The article “ La Rochelle Beyond the Sea,” treats especially of the fate of the Protestant exiles who are descendants of the citizens of the great stronghold of French Protestantism, La Rochelle, and gives in particular a biographical sketch of John Jay, who played a prominent part in politics in the early period of the United States, and finally was appointed Chief Justice of the United States.
In a brief article of the same number of the “ Christian Review” Pressensé calls attention to the literary productions of the new chief of an ultra-materialistic school, M. Zola. “It is a disgrace of our generation,” he says, “ that the utterances of the materialistic school attain a fabulous number of editions." I believe that the last but one novel of M. Zola, l'Assommoir, has exceeded its seventieth edition. Evidently it must have the entire world for its market. The materialistic school claims to paint nature, or, more correctly, real life all naked, all crude, without any attenuation. It purports to represent the hideous sides without excluding any thing, and in a brutal language which is, as it were, a photograph of its ugliness, the cast of its monstrous excrescences. The series which has made M. Zola famous is called Rougon-Macquart. He makes a cynical application to humanity of the law of natural selection and heredity. He follows through all their situations the descendants of one family, and shows them carrying along a first hereditary germ which gradually develops and is modified in a terrible struggle for life which gives no room to any pure, generous sentiment, to any remonstrance of conscience. The author paints to us, with an extraordinary relief, contemporaneous life, in the country as well as in the large cities, from the court of the Emperor Napoleon III. to the tavern where the workman becomes brutalized, under the purely materialistic influence of a gross existence. It is impossible for any one who has not read l'Assommoir to imagine a more odious abuse of a great talent. The language, purposely vulgar, surpasses all expectations. And such works are devoured by thousands of our contemporaries! M. Zola, however, has received a striking proof of the failure of his system in an artistic point of view. He must have seen that his realism will not bear being presented to a
large assernbly of men, and that it can only be relished in the solitude vhen one is alone to blush. When he has tried to bring l'Assommoir upon the stage, he has seen himself forced to come back to a quite ordinary drama, where vice is punished and virtue rewarded.”
Art. IX.-FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
TIE PROTESTANT CHURCHES OF GERMANY. The most important event in the history of the German Churches during the past year is undoubtedly the meeting of the First General Synod of the Prussian State Church. The German Churches have been for several years in a state of transition. From the Reformation until the present time they have been, on the whole, governed by the sovereigns and heads of the State, and self-government has been almost unknown. For some time there has been a steadily growing demand in all the States of Germany for the introduction of a synodal constitution, which would secure to the Churches, though not an entirely independent position, at least the right of representation, and of the co-operation of her chosen representatives with the State authorities in the administration of Church affairs. In nearly all the smaller States the synods have been in operation for several ye:ırs. The greatest obstacles had to be overcome in Prussia. An extraordinary General Synod of the Churches of the old provinces (those belonging to the monarchy before the acquisition of Schleswig-Holstein) was held at Berlin in 1873, and was on all sides regarded as an event of marked importance. The plan of estab. lishing a periodical General Synod, as a permanent institution of the Churclı, was generally concurred in, but the actual meeting of the first regular General Synod has been repeatedly postponed. It finally took place on October 9, 1879. It was composed of one hundred and ninety. four members, of whom one hundred and forty-nine had been elected by the provincial synods, thirty bad been appointed by the King, nine were Superintendents General, and six representatives of the theological faculties of the universities. Like its predecessor, the preparatory General Synod of 1873, it represented only the Churches of the old provinces of the monarchy. The Churches in the new provinces, Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, and Hesse-Nassau, have not yet been fully incorporated with the organism of the State Church. The religious complexion was different from that of its predecessors, and may have been a surprise to many outside of Germany, who have some vague idea of an entire relapse of the German Churches into rationalism and infidelity. In 1873 the majority of the extraordinary synod belonged to the so-called Vermittlungspartei, or party of mediation, which prevailed at the Prussian universitics, and, as its name indicates, tried to find a middle ground be
tween the orthodoxy of the Churches of the sixteenth century and the rationalistic schools of the present age. At present this party is in a minority, and the two pirties representing the theology of the sixteenth century are in : deci-ive majority. These two parties are: 1. that of the Konfessionellen, or the strict Lutherus, who stand up for the undiminislied authority of the symbolical books of the Lutheran Churchi, and desire to keep unimpaired the Lutheran character of that portion of the United Evangelical Church which at the time of the establishment of tliis Church was regarded as Lutheran; 2. that of the “ Friends of the Positive Union,” who claim an authoritative character only for the “ consensus," or the common doctrinal points of the Lutheran and German Reformed Churches, but would allow po further latitude for liberal or rationalistic tendencies. These two parties disagree on every ihing that is peculiar to strict Lutheranism, but they generally act conjointly in opposition to all propositions proceeding from the other parties. Togetlier the two porties numbered about one hundred and twenty votes, and they therefore formed a considerable majority of the General Synod. The middle party, which has assumed the name of Evangelische Vereinigung, (Evangelical Association,) had about forty-nine regular members and a number of sympathizers. The adherents of the Protestant Union who liold decidedly rationalistic views constitute the insig. nificant party of the Left, numbering no more than eight members. The members of the high nobility, which are very numerous, belong mostly to the strict Lutheran party; among them are Herr von Kleist-Retzow and Count Krassow, the political leaders of the party; Herr von Seydewitz, the President of the German Reichstag; the Superintendent General Dr. Büchisel; the Consistorial President, Dr. Hegel, a son of the celebrated philosopher. The Friends of the Positive Union constitute the most numerous party in the Ilouse, beciuse most of the members appointed by the King belong to it. The royal family before the establishment of the United Evangelical Church did not belong to the Lutheran, but to the Reformed Church and the personal sympathies of the present King, like those of his fither and brother, the late Kings Frederic William III. and Frederic William IV., are with the party of permanent union rather than with the Lutheran party, thic tendency of which is toward weakeping :und ultimately toward repealing the union. As some preachers of the court bave obtained considerable influence in this party, it has by its opponents been sometimes called the Court Preachers' Party. The most influential man of this party is the court preacher, Dr. Kögel. Among other well-known members are the Superintendents Gencral Dr. Wiessman, Dr. Erdmann, anı Dr. Möller; Professor Gess, well known by several theological writings; Dr. Wiese, the author of a mimber of educational works; Count Bismarck-Bohlen, and a number of high State functionaries. The party of the Evangelical Association counts the largest number of theological writers of note; among them are the Professors Beyschlag and Dr. Köstlin, of Halle; tlic jurist, Dr. Hölschner; and Dr. Schrader, a distinguished writer ou cducational affairs.
The General Synod elected as its President, by unanimous acclamation, Count Arnim-Boyizenburg, and the election appears to have given general satisfaction. , His experience in parliamentary regulations, bis extensive scholarship and familiar acquaintance with all the subjects dis. cussed, and liis thorough impartiality, are' acknowledged on all sides. The Vice-President, Rübsamen, who is a Superintendent in Pomerania, belongs to the Lutheran party. The present Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Herr von Puttkammer, a brother-in-law of Premier Bismarck, strongly sympathizes with the orthodox majority of the General Synod, while his predecessor, Dr. Falk, was supposed to share the views of the Lest, which is now but so feebly represented. The Government and the majority of the General Synod are fully agreed in desiring the restoration of the doctrines of the Reformation; they differ in regard to the position which is to be given to the claims of a strict Lutheranism. The resolutions adopted by the General Synod aim at the restoration of Protestant orthodoxy; the Lutheran question will come up for its solution at some future time.
The labors of the General. Synod have been very extensive. The Supreme Ecclesiastical Council has prepared nineteen bills for discussion and adoption; besides disposing of these, the General Council passed a number of other important resolutions. Of special significance is the position which the Synod bas taken with regard to the school question. The orthodox parties of the Prussian Church with great unanimity reject the principle of unsectarian schools, and favor the denominational character of the public schools. The General Synod has declared itself very emphatically in favor of a close connection between the State schools and those Churches which the State recognizes. Minister Puttkammer has publicly declared bis concurrence in these views, and designated the question of denominational schools as one of those in which he entirely dissents from his predecessor, Dr. Falk. Government and Church will, therefore, make a united effort to arrest the progress which unsectarian schools have begun to make in Prussia, and re-establish the direct influence of the Church upon the school. A great excitement has been produced among the laity by the demand of the General Synod that the professors of the theological faculties teach in harmony with the faith of the symbolical books, and that the Church, through its representatives, co-operate with the State in examining the candidates for theolog. ical degrees. Of course this would mean for the near future the suj)pression of all but the orthodox tenilencies at the theological faculties, and, in case the precedent of Prussia is followed by the smaller Prussian States, would give an entirely different complexion to German thcology. The present theological faculties of the Prussian universities greatly dislike this proposition, and the University of Berlin has been induced by its theological faculty to enter a protest against it as inconsistent with the freedom of academical teaching. Another resolution aims at tho introduction of a common Buss-und Bettag (day of fasting and prayer) for all the Protestant Churches of Germany.
The next General Synod is to be convoked six years from hence. In the ineanwhile a Standing Committee will represent the General Synod in all questions in which the Church or the Genernl Synod has 10 cooperate with the State in questions of administration.
The meeting of this synod may be regarded as a turning-point in the history of the Protestant State Churches of Germany. The period in which tliese Churches were completely governed by the Statc is at an end ; the new period of a synodal government has now been fully inaugurated in all the Protestant State Churches of Germany. If it is remembered that the Prussian State Churclı, with wliich a population of about twelve millions is connected, is, next to the Church of England, the largest Protestant State Church of the world, the importance of the Prussian Synod for the entire Protestant world cannot be doubted.
Art. X.-FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE,
GERMANY. AMONG the important theological works that are announced as being in preparation is a collection of the Greek writers who, in the early period of the history of the Christian Church, attacked Christianity. It will be published by C. J. Neumann, under the title Scriptorum Græcorum qui Christianam Impugnaverunt Religionem quae Supersunt. The importance of these works for a thorough understanding of the early history of the Christian Church cannot be doubted, for they alone can explain to us the reasons which induced educated pagans to reject Christianity. Unfortunately, complete copies of these works are no longer extant. It is not correct that, as is commonly believed, the Emperor Theodosius II., by his decree of Feb. 16, 448, ordered all anti-Christian books to be burned. His decree only referred to the writings of Porplıyry, which accordingly were completely destroyed. But all the others became soon very scarce, as they ceased to be copied, and thus are now likewise lost. Fortunately some of the Christian replies to the pagan attacks are completely extant; as the books of Origen against Celsus, the work of Eusebius against Hierocles, tlie αποκριτικός προς Έλληνας of Macarius of Magnesia, which has been recently discovered ; finally, ten books of Cyril of Alexandria against Julian. These works embrace numerous fragments of the anti-Christian writers ; other fragments are found elsewhere, as extracts from Porphyry in the Præpan. Evangel. of Eusebius, and in the commentary of Jerome to Daniel. All these fragments will be collected in Neumann's work. The first part will contain the true word of Celsus. A reconstruction of this work has recently been attempted by Keim in Germany, and by Aubé in France. But both have oply given transla. tions, not the Greek text. The publication of the latter requires a new critical edition of Origen's work against Celsus, which, therefore,