« PoprzedniaDalej »
which came to him as an ecclesiastical and consistorial councillor of the kingdom, the second ; the oral and written advice requested by hundreds who looked to him for direction and instruction, the third ; and his business as an author, as delightful as either of the others, the fourth. Dr.Tittmann was his only spiritual colleague,-a man equally honored by the church, for his rare learning and fervent piety. Both, having unitedly to oversee the churches, schools, and universities of the country, had their hands full of business, though they found able coadjutors and enlightened promoters of their plans in the public ministers and others, upon whom the execution of ecclesiastical affairs in Saxony, depend. Of Dr. Tittmann we may say, so great was his labor, that nothing but his acquaintance with business and firin attachment to the performance of duty, could have carried him through it all.
Saxony has always been noted for her aversion to basty measures and reforms, and hence, often accused of adhering to the old system of things. Whenever the improvements proposed, however, have been of a solid character and have originated in conscientiousness, wisdom and integrity, they bave readily been introduced into the constitutions of the church and state with which people had long felt themselves satisfied, but yet with silent, cautious, considerate steps, and feelings, which chose to act rather than to speak. Her movements might indeed be looked upon as slow in the judgment of anticipating_rashness, but they closed the door to every wicked Epimetheus, while they effectually opened it 10 every man of real knowledge, judgment and information. And such a man was Reinhard. He himself had doubted, examined and grasped, at every thing worthy of man. He tolerated, respected, and treasured up, the thoughts of others. In a certain sense, he honored the genuine Rationalist. He treated none but hall enlighteners with contempt. Merchants and money changers he would not have in the temple of God, and to them all be applied the words of the angel to the Church at Laodicea. In this and several other respects, he took the first great reformer at Wiitemberg for bis pattern. He was never guilty in any respect, of persecuting or harshly treating those who thought differ
ently from himself. To every one who learnt his own lesson well
, he showed kindness, while he left God to judge the heart. Hence, his influence and authority in Saxony are to be estimated as much by what he prevented, as by what he effected; for few have exbibited equal Christian wisdom and forbearance. He gave his support to Protestantism, but he hated every thing like polemics, and believed they always embitter without ever converting.
It is true, he was averse to all those attempts at union which have been so loudly and so often talked about of late years, but the reason was, that he could see nothing in the signs of the times which gave bim any hope of discovering a genuine henoticum, while in the greatest approximations to such a state, he perceived only a rigid indifference, or a thoughtless sportiveness of the imagination. He united in his labors with those Catholics who were devoted to the cause of truth, wrote a recommendatory preface to Leander Van Ess's translation of the Bible, and frorn the pulpit, charged his people to conduct with Christian forbearance towards those who thought differently from themselves,* and he enjoyed the high satisfaction of having pious Catholic writers and ministers from a distance, call to see him and hear bim preach. He was not ignorant of the fact, that his printed sermons and his Moral were called for as much by Roman Catholics, as by his own denomination, and that his works were read in the Ecclesiastical Seminary at Vienna. Having always defended a fire rule of faith and the doctrines of the Bible as contained in the symbolical books of his church, without refining upon them or lowering them down, he was of course, preserved from difficulties, in which many honest Protestants, by giving themselves up to speculations, have been involved. In this respect, however, this persevering man, severely handled as he had been in some critical journals, for a sermon he preached a few years before, † had the
* See his sermon upon toleration, Jahrg. 1807. Th. II. S. 169. ff.
+ This sermon which has been repeatedly referred to, and was translated into French by Dr. Blessig, produced a very great sensation when delivered, and called down severe censures and remarks upon its author, It is from Rom. 3: 23-25, and entitled : Our church should never forget that she owes her existence to the resuscitation of the doctrine of salvation through the free grace of God in Jesus Christ. Set yhe Sermons of 1800, Th. II. S. 270,
exalted satisfaction of seeing the erring, and those giddy. with new doctrines come back to a more sclid basis, and the periodicals of the day animated with a better spirit.
He expressed his opinion with undisguised boldness whenever piery required,or he thought it would prove the means of warning the unreflecting or improving the wicked; but, in all other cases, spoke with the greatest caution and reserve. Hence, he was always an excellent inediatur and businessman, for exercising his talents in which respects he had almost daily opportunities in attending to numerous appeals made to him by able men connected with the universities and schools, in settling difficulties and balancing accounts with other persons, in overseeing these institutions, in specially superintending the two semivaries in NeustadtDresden and Weissenfels for country school-teachers, in making changes in the liturgy, in giving the opinions and plans required of him by Protestants in foreign countries with reference to new regulations and ecclesiastical improvements, and in maintaining a very extensive and highly valuable correspondence. To educate youth in such a manner as to make them better for better times, and render them useful citizens, was one of the objects which lay nearest bis heart; and it was not seldom that his labors were productive of important effects in this respect. He rejoiced at the growth of the serninaries in Saxony for country school-teachers, and encouraged those, who either by calls or personal consecration, were actively engaged in their service. To this a Dinter and a Frisch could bear public testimony. The salaries of many of the country school masters were silently increased, while a remedy was provided for the inexcusable negligence of parents in sending their children to school, and by express approbation and sudden promotion, the co-operation of the clergy was every where secured ; in the performance of which duties, he was often.pained to discover the want of alacrity and conscientiousness with which many officers and magistrates conducted. With respect to the citizen schools as they are called, in the larger and smaller cities, which were under very bad regulations, he used to express himself without reserve.
There were then at least a dozen cities in Saxony, whose Lyceums and Latin schools
were in a wretched condition and needed remodelling after the well organized citizen schools of Leipsic, Dresden, and Naumburg ; but which, owing to the jealousy with which the right of patronage was guarded, it was impossible to touch. He rejoiced greatly on beholding the new fabric in Zittau, and the improvements made in female education in the captital and province. Thus this benevolent man continued to labor, hope and love ; faithful to the sphere assigned 10 bim, but limited only by bis opportunities and talents in bis efforts to do good, and his zeal continued with unremitting diligence until death. His king acknowledged his merits; for, in 1808, when Reinbard had received a very flattering call from the Prussian Court, he wrote to bim declaring in the most positive terms the entire satisfaction he felt with the manner in wbich he had performed the duties of bis station. In short, wiibin the bounds of the most bonest truth, we may say, that he made it his constant aim to beconie according to the old saying of Simonides, a square man in head, feet and bands.* Hence, be was a firm and unchangeable friend ; and the case must have been severe indeed, which made him withdraw from one with whom he was well acquainted, and who:n, as he supposed, he had thoroughly tried.
V. Reinhard's Habits, CHARACTER, &c.
· Reinhard,' says Tzschirner, ' presents us with a rare instance of glowing eloquence, combined with deep, extensive learning, and continued to the end of life. The question, therefore, how he became wþat so sew have become, the powerful orator, while he was the thorough scholar, well deserves attention. Some suggestions may be made by way of answering it. Nature bad endowed him to an almost equal degree with the powers of thought and imagination, so that he was capable both of intense thinking and deep feeling. These powers were cultivated by close and ceaseless application to the most improving studies. His education was strictly of a philosophical tendency. He read the Bible, history, and the ancients, and attended to philosophical theology. He also applied himself closely to poetry, both the ancient poets and those of his own native country, and read them more or less to the close of life. While philosophy, therefore, the mother of eloquence, guided his investigations, nourished his powers, and extended his points of observation, poetry, to which like all glowing minds, he was thoroughly attached, though like Plato, he was wise enough to relinquish the poetic laurel, exerted her benign influence upon him, animated him, and warmed his heart. It should also be recollected that Reinhard studied pbilosophy by profession, and hence, practically, and not as a mere closet-scholar. Besides, he was always connected with the practical world and had a circle of learned and sympathizing friends around him. Of course, he was thus preserved from the gloom, inactivity, and dulness, so peculiar to closet-scholars, furnished with freedom of mind, and made acquainted with men and human affairs. All these things produced beneficial effects upon upon him, and served to develop his oratorical powers, expand and enrich his mind, and render him in almost every respect what Cicero requires an orator to be.* Much of his celebrity is no doubt to be attributed to the manner in which he was associated with his father in early life, initiated into the classics, and made acquainted with the choicest specimens of eloquence in antiquity. It is true, there were many defects in the education he received, both at home and abroad. Had not a providential circumstance thrown Haller's poems in his way, he would hardly have ever become master of his own native language. At the university too, he failed to attend to some of the most necessary studies. All this, however, only goes to prove the natural vigor of that mind which enabled him to supply all these defects and to become learned, eloquent and useful, to a degree seldom attained.'
* See Plato's Protagoras, c. 72.
The answer to the question, By what means did Reinhard, weak and sickly as he was, succeed in accomplishing so much? must be sought for in his self-control, temperance, regularity, and careful attention to business.
Always very severe towards himself, he bad acquired ** De oratore, 1. I. var. loc. in the person of Crassus.