Obrazy na stronie

of the reasoning, but also the genuine, historical skill displayed in the invention and the arrangement of the points of comparison, as well as the newness of the results drawn from long established matters of fact, is considered as the best apology for Christianity that modern times has produced."

Those acquainted with the work in our own country, have also formed an exalted estimate of its worth, and long felt anxious to see it presented to the public in an English dress; and it was from a knowledge of their views in this respect, especially those of Prof. Stuart, that I was first led to think of translating it; and the fact, that every thing which throws additional light upon the Gospel and aids in reclaiming the wanderer, is of the utmost importance to the world, and must be, so long as a doubter remains, will, I hope, furnish a sufficient apology for my making the attempt. Few doubtless will appreciate the difficulties I have had to encounter in the progress of the undertaking. My object has been to present the author's meaning and spirit in English phraseology without any regard to his. That I have in part failed in some instances is to be expected. How far I have succeeded must be left for others to judge. Reinhard's style is clear, copious and flowing, and distinguished for simplicity and strength; but Ciceronian in its cast, thoroughly German, and often composed of long periods; and hence, of difficult construction in many cases for the translator. I have therefore often been obliged to make changes in the form of the sentences and the particular aspect of the idea, in doing which I have aimed at preserving the main current of thought. No other alterations have been made. Both the notes and the appendix are preserved as in the German, except that in regard to the former, I have sometimes referred to an English original instead of a translation, and occasionally added a remark of my own which is designated as such. I have also in the body of the work, inserted references to Heubner's appendix (which are Heubner's in other respects,) and for the sake of convenience, numbered the sections and added heads to the minor divisions. To those who have kindly aided in conducting the work through the press, and to the Rev. Professor Stuart for the counsel and encouragement which he has from

time to time afforded me, I here tender my grateful acknowledgements. That the fervent prayers of the author as well as those of his able German editor may be answered, and the work as it now is, made the means of directing some and strengthening others, is the earnest desire of the translator.


Andover, Theol. Sem.
Sept. 6th 1831.



FIFTY years have elapsed since the first sketch of the following work made its appearance in a Latin treatise. (Consilium bene merendi de universo humano genere ingenii supra hominem elati documentum. Prolusio, qua ad orat. auspic. Profess. Philosophiae extraord. Jul. 1780 publice recitandum invitat. F. V. R. 32 S. in 4to, printed in the Opusc. Acad. I. 234-267.) The interest which this sketch excited, both on account of the genius and the historical knowledge which it displayed, induced the author to undertake its execution in German, four editions of which were published from 1781 to 1798, each new one with considerable additions. The first contained 169 pages, the second 220, the third, which received considerable additions respecting the morality of Jesus and the means by which he intended to carry his plan into effect, in opposition to Bahrdt, contained 310, together with a dedication to" the author's old and intimate friend, Abbot Henke to whose suggestion this work is indebted for its existence;" and the fourth, 512 pages. In this last edition, the first part was worked over throughout, the second enriched with what is said respecting the founders of religions, while the third was changed but little, and in the conclusion, not at all. As Böttiger anticipated in his memoirs of Reinhard, the fourth edition is not to be the last. The want of a new one has long been felt, and the continued approbation in which the work has been held since its first publication, affords ample


[ocr errors]


security for it. Every reader would doubtless have preferred to receive this new edition from Reinhard's own hand, at least, to receive it with his own additions. Twelve short notes however is all that has been found among his papers, to which, by the kindness of Mr. Otto of Dresden his last amanuensis, I have had access.

Perhaps it was presumptuous in me to undertake the superintendence of the publication of this edition, burdened as I am with the twofold labor that comes upon me in attending to the duties of my office, and having only fragments of time left, and of course being in a very unfavorable condition, for scientific pursuits. This consideration, however, though I believe it ought to entitle me to the indulgence of the reader, would not allow me to shrink back from the undertaking, valuable as the work is, it having been one of my favorites for more than thirty years, and under a debt of respectful gratitude as I am to its worthy author; and with the approbation of the Lord, a blessing will undoubtedly be the result. The object for which Reinhard composed this work, and respecting which he so often and decidedly expressed his opinion, the advancement of faith in the Saviour of mankind, has been accomplished with regard to many readers, and some even of the more illiterate class, and, as we hope, will be still farther advanced; and my prayer is, that in this way, this work may contribute to renew our recollections of a man of whom an honorable memorial has been erected among us by the Chief Board of Directors in Ecclesiastical affairs, in that, they have had the goodness to purchase Graff's excellent original portrait of him for the seminary church in this place, in which Reinhard's able pulpit talents were first developed.

* Reviews expressing the most decided approbation of this work, have appeared in the Allg. Deutsch. Bibl. LI. 375. CII. 38. Neue Allg. D. Bibl. XLVII. 63. Gött. Anz. 1784. S. 964. Hall. G. Z. 1784. S. 337. A. L. Z. 1790. II. 689. Tübing. Anz. 1799. S. 290. Hall. Journal f. Pred. XXXVI. 217. Gabler, Neuestes Theol. Journ. III. 24. In addition to the Danish translation, a French translation also made its appearance, entitled: Essai sur le plan formé par le Fondateur de la Religion Chrétienne pour le bonheur du genre humain. Par- trad. de l'Allemand par J. L. Alex. Dumas. Dresden, 1799.

The text of the last edition remains unchanged in any respect; for it would have been unbecoming in me to undertake to work it over or make corrections in it, and probably in direct opposition to the wishes and feelings of every reader, for all are delighted with Reinhard's performance, and anxious to obtain possession of it again in its original form. The additions which I have made consist in part of notes at the bottom of the page, of an exegetical, historical and literary character, each of which is included in brackets; and in part, of an appendix containing such additional matter as is called for by the late investigations which have been made respecting Reinhard's work. Those critics who are thoroughly acquainted with the circle of science, and furnished with such a literary apparatus as I have at command, will find much indeed to add. I was obliged to be parsimonious in this respect to prevent the size of the book from increasing beyond due bounds.


Wittemberg, April 4th 1830.

« PoprzedniaDalej »