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in the correctness of his opinion, what is the use of send. ing book after book upon it into the world ?" It is singu. lar that Mosheim did see that this sharp reflection would apply with equal force to himself and his friends, as to his opposers.
But another work presently appeared in which the tract before us seems to have been reviewed. This was, " A fundamental exposition of the eternal love of God in Christ towards all fallen creatures; or an express proof that the doctrine of the restitution of all things is incontestibly founded in nature and revelation, and is an ancient apostolic doctrine, and no opinion misleading to security. By Christian Pagenkop. Freystadt, 1726." 8 vo. Of this work and its author I have no definite knowledge. Mosheim calls Pagenkop "a friend of the well known Dippel,” and deemed his work worthy of an extended notice, but not in the form of either review or reply, but in a long letter to his friend Goenner, which appeared as an appendix to the second part of his sermons. What particularly stung Mosheim was a remark of Pagenkop implying that it would be well for the learned advocate of endless mis. ery to examine himself a little more in the light of the gospel, to practise himself in the way of self-denial and of the cross, and to offer up his own life to Christ in simple obedience of faith. " That is to say," replies Mosheim, " that the author of the thoughts on hell punishments is an unconverted and an unenlightened man. He knows nothing of the power of God, and has not been born again. The proof of this is, that he does not believe in the restoration.” It is refreshing to see how tender of his own Christian character Mosheim is, while he denies to almost the whole race of Universalists either common sense or common honesty. But Mosheim is not alone in this. Every advocate of endless torments seems to regard faith in that purifying doctrine as conclusive proof of his piety and orthodoxy, and while it should completely shield him from every unfavorable insinuation, it gives him full warrant to assail the character of every man that does not chance to possess so cardinal a virtue, so distinguishing a grace. Mosheim's letter to Goenner is bitter and abusive, and yet he boasts throughout of his mildness and charity. The world has been largely blessed with such mercies.
But the year 1727 brought forth another examination of Mosheim's tract, or rather the work seems to have contained a notice of it. This was Ludwig Gerhard's “ Systema anokataotanews : that is, a complete system of the everlasting gospel of the restoration of all things; together with the unfounded opposite doctrine of endless damnation; with an appendix consisting of a Christmas sermon, on the spiritual birth of Christ within us, preached in St. James' Church at Rostock," etc., etc. Gerhard seems to have been a Professor of Theology in the University of Rostock. He was a man of learning and talents, but exposed himself to the censure of the Theological Faculty there, by advancing sentiments in that Christmas sermon in 1718, which were regarded as heretical. Walch says that he introduced the principles of the fanatics on the subject of Christ within us. He also gave great offence subsequently, by dividing the orthodox into two classes, “ the orthodox in the vulgar, and the orthodox in a more excellent sense."
Of Gerhard's work, which may be regarded as an important contribution to the doctrine of the final salvation of all men, Mosheim took particular notice in a special preface to the second edition of the second part of his sermons which appeared in the autumn of 1727. But he was more vigorously attacked on other sides. His work excited a good deal of attention. Walch in his "Introduction to the religious controversies in the Lutheran Church," mentions no less than fourteen volumes which it called forth in a short time.
In 1729, George Klein-Nicolai, þetter known to us as George Paul Seigvolck, published a volume entitled, “Solid but modest Thoughts on Mosheim's unfounded Thoughts on the eternity of hell-punishments.” It took up not only the tract before us, but also Mosheim's letter to Goenner, and grouping his positions together, under various distinct heads, replied to them at large. KleinNicolai's style is unfortunately clumsy and often obscure, but his views are generally sound and clear. As a logi. cian he is far superior to his graceful opponent, and in the domain of Scripture there seems to me to be no comparison between them. As a scholar, too, if we may fairly judge of the men by these portions of their labors, Klein
Nicolai stands above Mosheim. On this subject he at least has great advantage. He was familiar with it, while Mosheim's views of it are superficial, and unsatisfactory.
In his preface to the third part of his Sermons, which appeared in 1731, Mosheim takes notice of this work of Klein-Nicolai, but declines more than offering some un. important observations upon his style, temper and the like. Indeed throughout this controversy, our learned author seems unwilling to descend into the arena and grapple manfully with what he deemed error.
From 1731 to 1747 we hear nothing more of Mosheim's Thoughts on Hell Punishments; but during the latter year there appeared a work which renewed for a time the controversy. This was J. G. Schlitte's "Scriptural and rational Consideration of the proof both for and against the final happiness of the transgressors of God's law, and their ultimate restoration and re-establishment in holiness; occasioned by Mosheim's thoughts on endless hell-punishments, and set forth with all modesty out of love for the truth and the deepest reverence for the infinite merit of Christ. Frankfort and Leipsig, 1747.” 8vo. 272 pp. In a short time this modest work had called out four or five replies, so that not only Mosheim, but the doctrine of endless torments, were valiantly defended. And we are told in the Acta Historico-Ecclesiastica, that Mosheim himself promised, in the fourth part of his Moral Philosophy, to give his attention to his new opposer. But this I suspect was no more than a notice which appeared probably in the preface of some new edition of his sermons. So much indeed is indicated by Theiss, who says that Mosheim defended himself in the second volume of his sermons ; yet possibly he here refers to no more than the above-named letter to Goenner.
I will only add that the period I have here mentioned, is very
rich in the fruits of an earnest controversy between the advocates of endless torments on the one side and those of universal salvation on the other. With a very imperfect knowledge of what was passing then, I am acquainted with no less than thirty works on this subject, which appeared between 1725 and 1730. The works which appeared in Germany in this controversy during the first half of the 18th century, would alone make a respectable library.
T. J. S.
God, the Answerer of Prayer.
We think that no reader of the Scripture, will feel the slightest besitation to admit, that very numerous, and plain, and pressing, are the passages in which it urges us to pray to God, and in which it assures us that he will promptly and actually answer us. We therefore cite but two of them, as instances of what we mean ; two so clear and pointed, that all explanation of them were superfluous, and all attempt to dissipate their force by rationalistic interpretation, ridiculous. The first, is that in Matt. vii. 7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” And the other, is in 1 John iii. 22, " And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments,” &c. And adding to these, the assertion in the 14th verse of the succeeding chapter of the same apostle, “ And this is the confidence we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” we think we have given a fair and sufficient sample of the teaching of Scripture on the topic indicated by our title. We say, a fair and sufficient sample, for we presume that no candid person will regard it as a specimen of arbitrary quotation, for the purpose of obtaining a mere textual show of sanction to our statement, but that all who read the New Testament, with an implicit faith in its authority, as absolute in matters of religious doctrine, will admit our collocation to be one in true and harmonious keeping with the tenor of Scripture, and therefore, as of course decisive of the question it involves. That question is, May we go to God in prayer with entire confidence that he will hear and an. swer us, if we seek him in a proper spirit, and solicit him for benefits suitable to our wants ? God's word certainly teaches us, that we may.
And yet, against this clear and distinct assurance of Revelation, there lurks in the minds of many Christian
men, an impression which seems to us subversive of all faithful and hearty prayer, a persuasion that this holiest of all spiritual offices is designed mainly, if not merely, to charm the soul of the suppliant into a temper of thankfulness and piety, to lift it into a state of religious exaltation, to rule it into a tone of submission to the divine will; that in short, the true, perhaps the only results we are warranted to expect from it, are to be found in the better frame of mind, the tranquil and trusting disposition it excites, and leaves behind it. We are aware that this is an opinion entertained by many, for we have heard it, we regret to say, from the lips even of clergymen of our own communion, and we suspect that with many more, who do not hold it as a distinctly recognized opinion, it yet operates as a latent impression, to check the full flow of petition, to dissipate in vague and general aspirations the point and speciality which lend to Christian prayer all its force and vitality, to diminish their confidence in God's ability and willingness to grant every request for things agreeable to his will”-as the shorter catechism has it—and to efface all the distinctive characteristics which separate prayer from meditation. Are then the results which we are encouraged to expect from prayer, only such effects upon our hearts and tempers as the exercise itself was suited to induce ? Must we really look for no more direct response to our requests, than such as we work out for ourselves in the very act of beseeching? Is it then, not God, the hearer and the answerer, but we ourselves, who realize the ends and objects of our supplications? If so, then let us henceforward abjure the hypocritical invocation of his name in our solicitations, and substitute our own. Let us pray to ourselves, and so impart to our ungodly mummery an appearance of consistency at least.
But if the above explication be the true rationale of prayer, why do we intercede for the absent, for friends in distant distress or peril, for the brother on the sick bed, in secret quest for our children and the members of our households, yea for foes, and for all mankind ? How absurd and preposterous the imploring cries for the gal. lant fellows before Sevastopol, which, at the moment at which we write, are rushing up in tumultuous importunity from hut and hall in the mother land, to a shut heaven,