Obrazy na stronie

the political opposition, because it could not otherwise be brought into operation, has once and again had recourse to them : but that in consequence of this the church-oppositions also have imbibed peculiar ingredients, which may well unfit them for unbiassed deliberations, aiming only to advance the interests of the Church; these however must gradually vanish, so soon as the enmity against the State disappear, and the purely political opposition, which has now obtained a free platform of its own, be withdrawn.

Besides the truth should not be disguised, that times of agitation in which ideas of a thousand different shapes have been cast into the midst of the ecclesiastical community, but have hardly yet been clearly ascertained with regard to their reasons, or their nature and value; times, in which the people has indeed arrived at the perception of its want, but not at its clear recognition or true expression, and in which parties are seeking to vindicate their own struggles as the people's will : that such times are not adapted to great mixt assemblages, in which deeply penetrating alterations in ecclesiastical institutions and relations should be brought under deliberation. Again ecclesiastical deliberations require above all others, calm and dispassionate thoughtfulness : it is equally disadvantageous, when on such occasions party determinations are past into law by agitation or by talent, as when a practical juste milieu fails to be attained by means of reciprocal limitations and concessions.

But in all such deliberations and determinations hereafter to be expected, history must not be disregarded as teacher and guide. She completes the short experience of life in the individual ; she displays the development of events down to the present time; she points out the effects of true and false attempts at this; and teaches how to distinguish the natural growth from the artificial creation; in fine she furnishes courage and hope in adversity, foresight and lowliness in prosperity. Aye and all this is necessary for us, for the knot in our development at which we have arrived, holds twisted together the most various threads. May the good unite to form a fair and enduring texture, and the bad be consigned to History, and therein to condemnation.


GÖTTINGEN, 18th November 1848.

« PoprzedniaDalej »