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important lectures had been continued for at least half a year. In order, therefore, not to lose the advantages of a university course begun in season, I spent the winter half of the year, from 1772 to 1773, still at Regensburg, as auditor.
Here, then, I also heard John Ludewig Grimm, the professor of theology, and at the same time a preacher, and as such, heard with great approbation. He soon conceived a great confidence in me, and gave me a commission for which I was but poorly prepared. He was obliged by the duties of his office, to preach during the week in St. Oswald's church. The sermons which he delivered there, were a kind of homilies composed of explanations of Genesis. As he was much pressed with business, he could not write these productions out in full, for want of time, though he was very anxious to do so. He requested me therefore to take his rough draughts, write them out for him, reducing them to the proper form, and then return them to him. My first efforts in this business were so successful, that the author recognized himself in what I gave to him, and requested me to continue my labor. Accordingly I worked out for him quite a series of these week-day sermons, in the manner just described; and as I increased my endeavors to render them agreeable and retain those expressions of the author which were the most worthy of the pulpit, this exercise probably exerted considerable influence in the formation of my style. I have only to add, that Grimm was a zealous pupil and follower of the theologian Crusius,* under whom he had studied in Leipsic, and respecting whose Plan of the Kingdom of Godt he delivered his lectures in Regensburg. You will not think it strange, therefore, my dear friend, when I tell you, that I went to Saxony filled with a deep
He was a
* [For a notice of Crusius, or Krans, as it is written in the German, see Memoirs of Goethe, &c. p. 309; also, Germ. Conv. Lex. He formed the bold plan of reducing philo-ophy to a perfectly consistent and rational system, and combining it with orthodox theology, for which purpose he sought to destroy the system of Wolf, as being altogether inconsistent with his own. deep and acute thinker, though now regarded as having been somewhat heavy. His philosophy at first produced considerable effect, but he outlived his influence, and the numerous theological works he wrote, are in general forgotten. In private life he was distinguished for integrity and rare piety.]
Vorstell. v. d. Plane Reichesgottes, Leips.
reverence for this philosopher and theologian, and that his philosophical system was the first I becanie acquainted with and studied. But of the years I spent at the univer sity, another time. Farewell.
Goes to Wittemberg-Resolves to devote himself to the ministry-Applies closely to the most important studies,-Hears Schröckh on church historyReads Saurin's Passion Sermons-Concludes to remain and prepare himself for teaching.
MY DEAR FRIEND
By circumstances, the explanation of which does not properly belong to this place, it was rendered possible for me to go to an Electoral Saxon university, instead of going to Altdorf or Erlangen which were far nearer, and the usual resorting places for students of the Upper Palatinate. According to a plan devised for me by Mirus in Regensburg, the Electoral Saxon Secretary of Legation, one of my patrons, I was to study a year or two at Wittemberg, when he hoped by means of the celebrated Crusius, his intimate friend, to contrive some way for me to go to Leipsic and complete my studies there under the eye of this philosopher. Here in the very outset, I must remark, that the reason of this plan's not being carried into execution, was the death of Crusius in the year 1775, united with the new connexions I had formed, which rendered it easy and advisable for me to continue my residence at the university in Wittemberg.
When I went to Saxony, I was so poor, that I had no expectations of being able to stay at the university more than two years at the farthest. My little patrimony would certainly not hold out longer with all the frugality it was
possible for me to exercise; and the fine prospects which had been laid open before me by the honest and pious Mirus, of early obtaining a livelihood in Saxony, had too little security to authorize me to put confidence in them or regulate my plans accordingly.
On my arrival at Wittemberg, therefore, I had resolved upon two things: First, I intended, as soon as possible, to make a trial at preaching in order to see whether my breast and body would permit me to study theology, or whether should be obliged to select some other profession. If the former should be the case, I was resolved in the second place, to pay no farther attention to preaching while at the university, but during the short space of time allotted to me for the purpose, to hear as many lectures as possible, and make myself acquainted with the indispensable sciences. It was very important for me to do so, as, from a predilection for the Latin and Greek authors and a dread of Danz, who was usually followed by those who taught the Hebrew, I had so entirely neglected this language as to be under the necessity of commencing it on my arrival at Wittemberg.
What I had resolved upon, I most punctually performed. I had passed but a few months at Wittemberg, and had begun to hear lectures upon the Hebrew language, upon philosophy, upon the New Testament, and upon doctrinal theology; when, on the sixth Sunday after the feast of Trinity, I delivered a sermon from the usual lesson of the day, in Dietrichsdorf, a small village connected with the parish in Wittemberg, but having a church of its own. The trial succeeded; for though I designedly exerted my utmost efforts, I felt not the least inconvenience at the close. The peasants also assured me that I had a clear voice and an excellent enunciation; and though I had never been in Dietrichsdorf before in my life, and was totally ignorant of every one in the place, yet the schoolmaster and the peasant, with whom, according to custom, I was obliged to dine, told me in the most perfect confidence at the close of divine service, that I had spoken some excellent truths to this person and that, whom they named. I have now lost all recollections of what I preached there. From the foregoing fact, however, it would seem at least,
that my sermon contained some practical observations, and such as were suitable for common life.
I now, my dear friend, immediately formed the resolution of becoming a minister. The ease with which my first trial at preaching was sustained, the attention with which the little assembly bad listened to me, and, perinit me to add, the by no means inconsiderable marks of approbation I received,-all these confirmed me in the hope which I had long secretly cherished, that I should not labor in this department without success, at some future day.
With far more particularity, however, was my second resolve carried into effect;-not to think any more at present upon writing sermons or preaching, but to apply myself to the sciences with which the preacher must be familiar, if he would do justice to his great calling. I now zealously attended, not merely to the acquisition of the Hebrew, but that of its kindred languages; and it was very well for me that I found a teacher in the now deceased, Professor Dresde, who was well acquainted with the first principles of the oriental languages, and excellent at imparting in
With still greater eagerness did I attend to philosophy, in which the deceased Dr. Schmid, nephew of Dr. Crusius, was my instructor. This man had great talent at awakening reflection by means of lively conceits and excellent remarks, though he was not careful enough to give his discourses the requisite clearness and connexion. Hence, I found it necessary to read the philosophical writings of Crusius for myself, and this, together with the oral explanations given by Schmid, enabled me at length, though not without great efforts, to obtain a tolerably correct apprehension of the system of this acute and consistent thinker. If, in addition to all this, I tell you, as was the case, that I attended exegetical lectures upon the Old and New Testaments and studied mathematics and doctrinal theology; that I carefully made myself familiar with all the lectures upon the sciences, and daily read my Hebrew Bible in order to acquire all the skill requisite in that language; that I took part in discussions upon theological and philosophical subjects, and finally, that I still sought to save many hours for reading the Greek and Latin: you
will doubtless believe, that, for the first two years of my residence at Wittemberg, I had no time to preach.
By various circumstances indeed, it was now rendered possible for me to remain longer at Wittemberg than I had originally thought of doing; but as an opportunity was presented me in my third year, of becoming more intimately acquainted with Professor Schröckh and bearing him privatissime upon church history, I was induced to embrace it; and of course, a new and wide field of study opened before me. My guide in it proved himself master of its knowledge, and pointed out to me its most interesting regions with such skill and captivating friendship as to fill me with pleasure, so that I resolved to delay awhile in it, and devote the principal part of my time to him. It is true, that during this and the following, or my fourth year, I was occasionally obliged by the relation in which I stood, to deliver a sermon, but so rarely, that it proved no hindrance to my other labors. Besides, I then had no opportunity for attending to those sciences which are most intimately connected with the business of the preacher. During the whole course of my study, I did not hear a single lecture upon theological ethics or pastoral theology, nor did I receive any instruction in homiletics, or hear a single lecture upon preaching. This is a subject of deep regret to me, but he who is well acquainted with the state of the university at Wittemberg from 1773 to 1776, knows that it was not altogether my fault.
It was about this time, or during the third year of my course, that I indulged in a reading which certainly exerted some influence upon my preparations as a minister of the Gospel, and which therefore deserves to be taken notice of in this place. An accident brought into my hands the Passion Sermons of Saurin, as translated by Heyer. Saurin had been mentioned to me by my father as one of the most excellent of preachers. In this case, therefore, I naturally found it a pleasure to make an exception to the custom which I had hitherto observed, of reading no sermons. I found them well planned, and accurately divided into heads, divisions and subdivisions. This was as I supposed every sermon should be. In this respect, therefore, I found them approximate nearer to the pattern of a