Lutheran Church, Lutheranism, Lutherans
Lutheran Church, Lutheranism, Lutherans.
I. The name "Lutherans," as a designation of all those who were in sympathy with Luther's views, was, at the opening of the Reformation, first applied to them by Eck (q.v.) and pope Hadrian VI, and was meant as a term of depreciation, and at first and for a considerable time designated the entire body of those who opposed the corruptions of Rome. The official and proper titles of the particular churches on which the name Lutheran has finally been fixed are "Protestant" (q.v.), "Evangelical" (q.v.), and "Adherents of the Augsburg Confession." The Protestant Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession has not, as a whole, to this hour, by any official act, received or acknowledged the title "Lutheran," but has tolerated it because of the historical necessities of the usage. Like the name "Christian" itself, invented by enemies, it has been borne until it has become a name of honor. It became more and more the received term for the Protestant Evangelical Church in consequence of the struggles of that Church with the Zwinglian and Calvinistic-Reformed without, and the Philippists within. It marked Lutheranism in antithesis to Calvinism, and the thoroughgoing adherence to the faith of Luther, over against the changes furtively introduced and extended under the plea, true or false, of the authority of Melancthon (q.v.; also SEE PHILIPPISTS ).
The Lutheran Church is the ecclesiastical communion which adheres to the rule and articles of faith restored in the Reformation, of which Luther was the chief instrument. The acceptance of this rule (God's Word) and the confession of this faith are set forth in the Augsburg Confession of 1530, which is the common confession of the entire Lutheran Church. The major part of the Lutheran Church formally and in terms acknowledges, and the rest of it, almost without exception, virtually acknowledges the Apology of the Augsburg Confession of 1530, the Schmalcald Articles of 1537, the two Catechisms of Luther of 1529, and the Formula of Concord of 1579, as accordant with the rule of faith and with the Augsburg Confession. These confessions, together with the oecumenical creeds, form the Book of Concord of 1580, and are often styled the Symbolicol Bosoks of the Lutherans Church. The system of faith and life involved in the Church's Confession is Lutheranism, the Church which officially receives it is the Lutheran Church, and the members of that Church are Lutherans. The faith of the Lutheran Church is thus summarily presented by Dr. Chas. P. Krauth (Conservative Reformation, page 127): "We are justified by God, not through any merits of our own, but by his tender mercy, through faith in his Son. The depravity of man is total in its extent, and his will has no positive ability in the work of salvation, but has the negative ability (under the ordinary means of grace) of ceasing its resistance. Jesus Christ offered a proper, vicarious, propitiatory sacrifice. Faith in Christ presupposes a true penitence. The renewed man co-works with the Spirit of God. Sanctification is progressive, and never reaches absolute perfection in this life. The Holy Spirit works through the word and sacraments, which only in the proper sense are means of grace. Both the Word and the Sacraments bring a positive grace, which is offered to all who receive them outwardly, and which is actually imparted to all who in faith embrace it." The chief peculiarities of Lutheran doctrine, which have to any considerable degree become subjects of controversy outside of the body itself, relate to (1.) Original Sin, (2.) the Person of Christ, (3) Baptism, and (4) the Lord's Supper. These will be found specially treated under those heads. Luther's own views on the last point will be detailed under the art. SEE TRANSUBSTANTIATION. For a more complete view of the doctrines of Lutheranism, see Krauth, Conservative Reformation (Phila. 1871), and Prof. Jacobs in the Mercersburg Review, January 1872, page 77 sq.; Zöckler, Augsburische Confession (1870).
II. Origin and Extent. — The rupture with the dominant part of the Church of Rome, and the formation of the new communion, was made inevitable by the Diet at Spires in 1529, at which the solemn protestation of the evangelical princes was presented, in opposition to the imperial recess (decree) in its bearing on the great religious interests of the time. This event gave to the Lutheran Church the title PROTESTANT SEE PROTESTANT (q.v.), by which it is almost exclusively known in parts of Europe. The rupture was completed by the events connected with the presentation of the Augsburg Confession in 1530. The fundamental principle of the Lutheran Church prevented its formation into a new, concentrated, and united whole, like that which had grown to such enormous proportions and baleful power in the Church of the West. Nor was it Luther's object to form an independent Church. He hesitated as much in the establishment of an independent organization as do the leaders of the Old Catholic movement in our day (1872). Luther's single aim, like Dollinger's today, was the reformation and revival of Christianity, and the restoration of the whole Church, in its universal form, to primitive and scriptural purity. Denominationalism he knew not. His conception of the Church comprehended Catholic Christianity. In spite of himself, however, his peculiar views, which for convenience sake we will now denominate "Lutheranism," spread rapidly, especially after the Diet of Worms (1521), and though as late as 1522 Luther himself wrote, I beseech you, above all things, not to use my name; not to call yourselves Lutherans, but Christians" (Works, 18:293, in the 6th Leips. ed.; comp. also Gelzer, Life of Luther, pages 288, 291), national churches sprang up in every country where his followers constituted the majority. These state churches were all independent of each other, and were based much upon the same fundamental principles of polity, allowing, however, of great variety in the forms of application. Instead of the bishop of Rome, the princes of the different countries now assumed the rights of bishops, and the direct rule of the Church was conducted by the Consistories (q.v.). John the Constant, elector of Saxony, followed in the steps of his brother and predecessor, Frederick the Wise, in devotion to the work of Luther. The landgrave Philip of Hesse also became an adherent. In Prussia the Lutheran doctrine was introduced in 1523 by George of Polentz, bishop of Samland. Thus, at the beginning of the year 1525, the three princes of Saxony, Hesse, and Prussia were its defenders. The Reformed doctrine found an especially ready entrance in the free imperial cities, where the voice of the people was a power. In Würtemberg it was introduced under duke Ulrich in 1534; in the bishoprics of Magdeburg and Halberstadt in 1541; in Brunswick about 1545. The views which Luther had expressed at an early period in regard to a congregational constitution were thrown into the background by the disturbances of the Anabaptists and the insurrections of the peasants. The leagues of the evangelical princes were one of the earliest forms in which there was an expression of the unity of the different parts of the Lutheran Church. The conventions of the theologians for the adjustment of doctrinal controversies tended to the same end. In the political relations of the Church the unity found expression in the "Corpus Evangelicorum" (q.v.) at the Diets.
The rapid, and, for a time, resistless growth of the Lutheran Church received its first check in the "ecclesiastical reservations" of the religious peace of Augsburg. By the terms of this peace the transition of an ecclesiastical prince was attended by a loss of his secular power. The miscarriage of the attempt at reformation by Gebhard Truchsess in the archbishopric of Cologne in 1583 was a serious disaster to the Lutheran Church. The larger part of Germany was inclined to the Lutheran faith. The apostasy of several of the princes, as, for example, Pfalz-Neuburg, on political grounds, and the influence of the counter reformation conducted by the Jesuits in Bavaria and Austria, preserved a part of Germany for the pope; but the peace of Westphalia finally fixed the bounds of the Lutheran Church in Europe, and they remain, very much as they then were, to the present day. The transition of the elector of Saxony, of the duke of Brunswick, and of other princes to the Church of Rome, exercised no very marked influence upon their people. A large part of the higher nobility, which in the earlier movements of the Reformation had manifested, almost without exception, a drawing towards it, gradually lapsed again into Romanism. (On these perversions, and other losses to the Lutheran Church, see Lobell's Hist. Briefe; Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte, volume 7 .) At an earlier period than that of these changes, the Philippistic and Reformed churches of the Palatinate, and in Hesse, in Anhalt, and on the Lower Rhine, in East Friesland and Bremen, Lippe, Nassau, and Tecklenburg, had sundered themselves from the Lutheran Church. In the present century these churches have come together in the "Union." Beyond the bounds of Germany the Lutheran Church was firmly established in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and in the German Baltic provinces of Russia. In Poland it was suppressed (comp. Krasinski, Hist. of the Ref. in Poland). In the United States of America the Lutheran Church has won a new territory. SEE LUTHERANS IN AMERICA. In Hungary and Transylvania the German (Saxon) nationality accepted the Lutheran confession. The Magyars became Reformed. In Sweden, Olaf and Lorenz Peterson, pupils of Luther, preached the purified faith. Gustavus Vasa, king of Sweden, greatly promoted the interests of the Lutheran Church; and at the Diet of Westeras, in 1544, the last remnants of the papal system were removed. In Denmark, as early as 1527, Christian II had favored the Reformation. Frederick I was also a decided Lutheran. Christian III called in Bugenhagen to prepare and introduce a Church discipline and ritual. Riga and Courland entered into the League of Schmalcald in 1538. Apart from the vast Lutheran element within the "Union" in Prussia, the Lutheran Church is the predominant Church in the minor German lands: Baden, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, the principality of Reuss in Hesse, the Saxon lands, Schwarzburg, and Wtirtemburg; also in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; in Russia, in the departments of Livonia, Esthland, St. Petersburg, Finland, and Courland. Lutherans constitute a large body in Hungary, France, the British empire, and North America. They are, in fact, found the world over. There are not less, probably, than forty millions of them altogether. (Comp. Krauth, pages 124, 125.)
III. Organization and Constitution. — The first fresh impulses of the evangelical life of faith was not allowed to shape a complete congregational life in entire accordance with the pure principles which had been restored. Although the early Lutheran princes were, as a body, men of devoted piety, yet the interests of the Church in the particular state territories were subjected to political policy. The tendencies of the Romish ideas, which in every department had struck their roots too deeply into European life to be easily eradicated, put forth new vigor in the reactionary after-time. The Lutheran Church was repressed in one part of her development, and stimulated to the highest degree by her liberty in another, and by the doctrinal necessities which taxed all her resources. The result was that she matured abnormally — the strength of her polity bore no proportion to the perfection of her doctrinal system. In the organization of the Church an important part was borne by the Church visitation in Saxony in 1529, and resulted in assigning the oversight of the churches and schools to superintendents (q.v.). A Saxon Church Order of Discipline and Worship was prepared, which became, to a very large extent, the model in the organization of the state churches throughout Germany. The Lutheran Church held herself in principle remote from the two extremes of hierarchy, which absorbed the State into the Church, and Caesaropapacy, which absorbed the Church into the State. The princes and magistrates, in the time of the Church's need, took the position of provisional bishops. They were the supreme officers in the Church, its highest representatives. In the execution of the duties thus assumed they called to their aid Consistories (q.v.), an official board composed of clergymen and laymen. A condition of things which had been justified by the immediate necessity of the Church gradually became normal in the "Episcopal system." The provisional became legalized into the fixed, and the head of the State was in effect the chief bishop of the Church. Such a distinction as Rome had made between clergy and laity, and which ignored the great New-Testament doctrine of the universal priesthood of believers, was no longer recognized. The ministry ceased to be a self-perpetuating, independent order, and was regarded as a divine office, with a divine vocation, given by Christ's command, through the Church. A hierarchical division of the clergy, as of divine right, was rejected as at war with the Christianity of the New Testament and of the early Church; but the propriety and usefulness of grades in the ministry (bishops, superintendents, provosts), as of human right only, was acknowledged, and they are retained in some countries. Thus, in Denmark, in the very infancy of Lutheranism, evangelical bishops took the place of the deposed Roman Catholic prelates; while in Sweden the prelates embracing the Reformed doctrine were continued in office, and thus secured to that country "apostolical succession" in the High-Church sense. Very generally the rule of the Church is by consistories, but as these depend upon the instructions of the congregations, the ultimate power lies with the latter. SEE CONSISTORY; SEE SYNOD; SEE CHURCH.
IV. Progress. — The internal history of the Church became largely a process of the development of doctrine (see Hundeshagen, Beitr. z. Kirch.- politik); and in this progress, naturally enough, opposition was encountered, and gave rise to controversies with parties both from within and without. In the earliest period of the history of the Lutheran Church, her chief struggles were with Popery, the Anabaptists, and the Sacramentarians. These controversies drew the boundary-lines of her own territory, as biblical over against Rome, historical and conservative over against Anabaptism and the more radical type of Protestantism. To the fixing of the bounds of her territory succeeded a long series of efforts to bring that territory under complete and harmonious cultivation. To be consistent in general over against systems which, as systems, were indefensible, was not enough. The Lutheran system was to bring all its own parts into working harmony, and hence the various dissensions and difficulties when it was yet in its infancy. The most important of the internal controversies which arose during this effort are:
1. The Antinomistic, from 1537 to 1540, on the relation between the Gospel and the law, the use of the law, and its necessity. SEE AGRICOLA, JOHN.
2. The Osiandrian, from 1549 to 1567, on redemption, justification, and sanctification. SEE OSIANDER ANDREW.
3. The Majoristic, from 1551 to 1562: Are good works necessary to salvation? and in what sense? SEE MAJOR, GEORGE.
4. The Stancaristic, 1552: According to what nature was Christ's redemptory work wrought out — the divine, the human, or both?
5. The Synergistic, from 1555 to 1570, on the question whether there is an active cooperation on the part of man before and on his conversion.
6. The Flacian, 1561: Is original sin substantial or accidental? SEE FLCIUS ILLYRICUS. All these controversies had a common aim — they wished to define more perfectly the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith, to show what it presupposed and what it involved, to exhibit its objective and subjective aspects. All doctrines were viewed in these controversies in their relations to the central doctrine, and the great aim was to adjust them to it (see Dorner, Geschichte der Prof. Theologie (1867; in English dress, Edinb. 1872, 2 volumes, 8vo). A deeper impression was made upon the life of the people by the controversies which grew out of the interim in 1548, involving the mode of worshipping God. It touched matters which appealed to the senses as well as to the convictions of the worshippers. Out of it arose the Adiaphoristic controversy (q.v.) (1550-1555): Whether the Church could permit certain usages, in themselves indifferent, to be imposed upon her by force or civil policy. The vehement opposition of the Flacians to the Philippists also had a great influence upon the shaping of the Lutheran Church. Unfortunately, however, these divisions among the Protestants gave the Romanists many advantages: they tended at the Diet of Augsburg (1566) to change the political situation greatly in favor of the Roman Catholics, and protracted the strife for years (Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte, 7:63). SEE INTERIM. Against Calvinism, the controversy turned especially upon the doctrine of the Lord's Supper and the associated doctrine of the Person of Christ, and the doctrine of predestination. It involved the whole essential diversity between Lutheranism and Calvinism; also the Philippistic tendency, so far as it approximated to Calvinism in some features (Crypto-Calvinism). To compose these differences and close up these questions within the Church was the aim of the Formula of Concord, which after various ineffectual efforts in the same general direction at the Assembly of the Electors in Frankfort (1558), at the Assembly of the Princes in Naumburg (1561), and at the Altenburg Colloquy (1568), was finally carried to a successful completion at Cloister Bergen, near Magdeburg, in 1577. SEE CONCORD, FORMULA OF. The preparation of the Formula of Concord is the last act in the series of events which gave full confessional shape to the doctrines of the Lutheran Church.
During Luther's lifetime the Lutheran Church had taken a firm and final position over against the Roman Catholic. The Augsburg Confession was the rallying point of the friends of the revised faith. The Apology defended the Confession in Melancthon's incomparable manner; the Schmalcald Articles gave forth Luther's trumpet note of a battle in which no quarter could now be given — a battle for victory or death. The people had their Manual in the Shorter Catechism, and the pastors, in using it, had the Larger Catechism, the best commentary on the lesser. Yet these immortal documents did not exhaust the development of the faith. Even in the individual peculiarities of Luther and Melancthon there were impulses to conflicting tendencies. After Luther's death the Lutheran Church was threatened with a schism, which might have been followed by the complete triumph of Rome over the whole reformatory work. On the one side was the gentler, unionistic tendency of Melancthon and his party (the Philippists), yearning for union, and temporizing sometimes with Calvinism, and yet more frequently with Romanism. On the other side stood the stricter party, headed by Amsdorf, Flacius, and Wigand. Over against the Church of Rome on the one side, and the Reformed Church on the other, the Lutheran Church insisted earnestly on the doctrines which distinguished and separated her from both. She was unwilling that open questions should be perpetuated, and desired that the points of controversy should be adjusted and closed. Shall theology be simply a mode of thinking, or shall it be a system of faith? was the question involved. Shall it be a ball for the play of theologians, or a world for the firm footing of believers? The controversies which now arose took their root in questions which involved the relations of the two parties, on the one side to Romanism, on the other to Calvinism. Toward the Church of Rome the question in controversy had reference to the doctrines of redemption and justification. The intellectual centers of these struggles were the universities (q.v.). Wittenberg at this period was the home of the Melancthonian theology. Its great antagonist in the interests of the conservative Lutheranism was Jena, which for various causes — some of the subordinate ones, no doubt, being of a political character — had been founded in 1558 by the older Saxon line. It was the citadel of conservative Lutheranism until its exponents were driven from it for conscience sake. Their refuge proved to be Magdeburg. This period reaches its culmination in the preparation of the Formula Concordise, in which the Swabian tendency, whose great representatives were Brentius and Andreai, obtained official recognition (compare Schmid, Geschichte der Abendmahlslehre). The orthodoxy thus fixed was dominant from this time to the beginning of the 18th century. Its elaborate polemics were built up on almost impregnable doctrinal authority. The scholastic acuteness and dryness more and more supplanted the freer and more vital faith of the Reformation. The religion of the heart was too much absorbed into the elaborate system of theology. The temple was solid and grand, but the hearthstones of the people were too often cold. George Calixtus (1586-1656) revived in Helmstadt the humanism of Melancthon. His school became involved with orthodoxy in the Syncretistic controversy (q.v.). It sought, in the interests of Church peace, to soften the asperities of dogmatic disputes and the exclusiveness of the doctrinal systems. The plan on which it proposed to accomplish this result was to distinguish between fundamentals and non- fundamentals, and to return to the yet largely vague and general expressions of the first five centuries, which, while they regarded a pure faith as necessary to salvation, endured, without deciding the conflicting opinions on various points. The most unsparing and one of the ablest opponents of this tendency was Abraham Calovius (q.v.). Spener produced a revival of religious feeling by pietism. This active Christianity was needed in opposition to the one-sided scholasticism which had grown up in the Church. So far it revived the truer Lutheranism of the first aera. But it soon deviated into an outward form of religious life. The Biblical theology of its representatives degenerated into arbitrary interpretations and applications of Scripture. Pietism (q.v.), in various shades, made good its footing in the Church. It wrought in its better forms a more earnest spirit in theology. Next to Spener, as a representative of the best type of pietism, was Aug. Hermann Francke (q.v.). Its most distinguished opponents were Johann Benedict Carpzov (q.v.) and Valentine Ernest Lischer (q.v.). The inflexible narrowness of the Church life was alleged as a ground of separation from the Church by the mystical fellowships which attached themselves to J. Bohme, Gichtel. and Dippel, and by the Church of the Brethren. By these movements, and by Bengel and the theosophy of Oetinger, the dominion of the mediaevalism of the seventeenth century was broken. Under the influence of rationalism, at the end of the eighteenth century, the points of distinction between the Lutheran and the Reformed churches, both in Church life and in theology, lost more and more their significance. Efforts at union, which were vigorous without being in any high sense earnest, were made, especially in Westphalia and on the Rhine. These efforts resulted in very little until after the Wars of Liberation. From that great series of struggles went forth an intense religious feeling through all Germany. It was felt alike in both the Protestant churches. It stood in strong opposition to the shallow spirit of rationalism, but was, in the nature of the case, more interested at the beginning in the great common principles of the religious life of the whole Protestant movement than with particular, and still more than with specific distinctive doctrines. Prussia now took steps for a "union" of all the Protestants. By the Lutheran conservatives this new movement was looked upon with distrust. The union, they held, depended for its moral power upon a depreciation in part of the confession. It had been made possible by rationalism; but its perplexity was that, if it remained true to what was in so large a part its original source, it lost its power on men in proportion as their convictions were heightened and intensified; if, on the other hand, it abandoned the mild laxity of rationalism, it at once helped to restore the way to a strict confessionalism. It is impossible for men to be intelligently earnest, either as Reformed or Lutheran, and regard the differences of the two churches as of little importance. Claus Harms, in his theses, treated the union as a rationalistic volatilization of the very substance of the faith. Among the people of conservative stamp also, the changes in the liturgy, the hymn- books, and in the Church usages of various kinds, were regarded with suspicion and dislike as an assault upon the religion of the fathers. Under these circumstances, the " Old Lutheran" movement, under the leadership of Scheibel, in Breslau, Huschke, the distinguished jurist, and Steffens, the natural philosopher, separated itself from connection with the State Church and formed an independent communion. SEE OLD LUTHERANISM. The religious life of the Church continued to suffer from the evils which in the course of her history had been fixed upon German Lutheran Protestantism. Prominent among them were the hampering of the congregational life — a life which was demanded by the principles of Lutheranism — and the repression of public life which characterized the first half of the nineteenth century. The newly-awakened religious life withdrew itself, in consequence, very largely into the smaller religious circles, and derived from them more or less of a pietistic hue. SEE PIETISM. These circles themselves drew more and more toward the ancient orthodoxy. To this they were impelled by the unionistic efforts, and the havoc created by infidelity and rationalism. The new theological tendencies were met by the system set forth in the Confessions. The feeling grew that without a restoration of the old relations of fealty on the part of ministers to the great Church standards there would be no internal harmony in the Church. This opposition to union first embodied itself in the Lutheran Conferences held at Leipzig in 1843, and subsequently. Rudelbach was the earliest leader of this movement. He was succeeded by Harless. It gained strength by the civil commotions of 1848, so that at that time it demanded of the members of the conferences a subscription to the symbolical books. Under this tendency were formed the provincial associations, which united with the Lutheran Conventions at Wittenberg in 1849 and 1851. In these conventions, as well as in a great variety of publications, a strong opposition to the " union" was developed. It was evident that the conservatives were a unit on the two points — the dissolution of the state union and the complete re-establishment of the Lutheran Church. The prevailing political current in Prussia from 1852 favored this tendency. (See below, under Ritual and Worship.) In the different lands and provinces of Germany, the efforts in the one direction of emancipation and restoration bore the common character of earnestness and vigor, but in forms and modes shaped by circumstances. In Bavaria the leaders were Lohe, Thomasius, and Harless. In Mecklenburg its great representatives were Kliefoth and Krabbe. In Hanover its chief organs were the Conference at Stade, and Petri, Mtinchmeier (Dogma of the Invisible and Visible Church, 1854), and Uhlhorn; on the Rhine itself, and in Westphalia, Ravensberg. The "New Lutheranism" was not, indeed, a internal unit in all its views. Among its great theologians, Hoffmann and Kahnis completely alienated their early friends. In Bavaria, Löhe (died 1872), in carrying through his principles, came into conflict with the government in the Lutheran Church.
Efforts were made to annul the union and restore genuine Lutheranism. Dr. Ferdinand Christian Baur, who will be considered above any suspicion of sympathy with the distinctive theology of Lutheranism, gives the history and characteristics of the two doctrinal tendencies, the unionistic mediating and the Lutheran, which come into conflict at this point: "The controversies arising from the question of the union have had this result in dogmatics, that no man can defend the Church doctrine without either taking position with the doctrines held in common — the consensus- dogmatik — or taking the strictly confessional position. As the chief opponents of the union are the Lutheran theologians, who, with all their strength, give force to their confessional interest, the main opposition to the dogmatik of the consensus is offered by the Lutheran dogmatik. On the side of the consensus the main representatives are theologians of the school of Schleiermacher, among whom are Nitzsch, Lücke, J. Müller, Dorner, and others. To relieve the union from the charge of lacking confessional character, they find it necessary to maintain a distinct dogmatical system.
But as it is essential to the idea of the union to set aside the particular distinctive doctrines which sunder the confessions. the system of the theologians of the union can only accept the ground common to both. In this spirit Nitzsch, in the Urkundenbuch d. Esvangelischen Union (1853), and J. Muller, The Evangelical Union, its Nature and divine Right (1854), have attempted to present, in the different articles, a formula exhibiting the agreement of the confessions. The consensus, however, can only be brought about by a limiting and tempering of the two doctrines to a medium in which the sharpness of the antithesis is lost. This method of union may be applicable to a certain set of doctrines, but it goes to pieces of necessity on the distinctive doctrines which can allow of no modification without loss of their essential character. The principle on which the theology of the consensus rests is that that alone is essential in Protestantism in which the two confessions agree. Schleiermacher was the first to maintain this, but his object was by it to neutralize and render indifferent both systems, in order to set them aside as antiquated, and to substitute for them a point of view in consonance with modern culture. With all the care which Schleiermacher takes to give himself the appearance of complete harmony with the ancient system, it is easy to see that the new form of consciousness breaks through the old, and that the old is retained simply to introduce the new, and to smooth the way for it. In the case of these doctrinaries of the union, however, the dogmatics of the consensus is a mere illusion, which has no ground except in their lack of mental freedom. They find the particularism of the confessional systems too narrow for them; they are urged by something within them to sustain a freer relation to those systems; and there is no ignoring the fact that they take a position which has gone beyond them. But they are not willing to confess this to themselves; instead of looking forward where their proper goal lies, they turn backwards. They are constantly recurring to the point on which the confessional differences originally rested. They desire to establish by the Church confessions what they hold to be the real substance of the evangelical faith. Yet they must themselves confess that they cannot be satisfied that they are throughout in harmony with either the Lutheran or the Reformed doctrine, and that on this ground they are wishing for what can be found in neither. The more the two systems are compared, the more do they show that the one excludes the other. This is the contradiction out of which there is no escape, the code in which there is a perpetual revolution between union and confession. The sympathy for the old system is lost, and yet there is lack of force and courage to rise to a new one. Men know in their hearts that they are no longer at one with the Church, and yet they are afraid to break with it outwardly. They hold fast to the union, and yet cannot let go of the confessional. Is it a matter of wonder that all the dogmatic products of this school of theologians have an air of feebleness, superficiality, and lifelessness? From the dogmatic position it is impossible to deny that the opponents of the theology of the union are right; from it we must justify the Lutheran theologians, whose system, with all the offensiveness of its particularism, has at least the advantages of character, decision, and logical consistency" (Kirchengeschichte des Neunz. Jahrh. [Tübing. 1862], pages 409-411).
Mecklenburg isolated itself by its exclusive statechurchism. Even the Hanoverian Catechism, with which the earliest agitations in North Germany had been connected, did not secure the unmixed approval of the portion of the Church with whose views it was in sympathy. New Lutheranism has been accused of manifesting a tendency towards Romanizing, especially in the doctrine of the ministry, of the sacraments, and of the Church. To the ministerial office it is charged with imputing a hierarchical priestly character. It is charged with holding that ordination confers a divine authority for the ministration of the Word and sacraments, and for the discipline and government of the Church. With this tendency has been connected a desire to restore private confession, which its opponents say is almost equivalent to auricular confession. With it has arisen a strong opposition to the presbyterial constitution. It is said to maintain that the sacraments derive their operativeness from the "office of the means of grace." In connection with this view, an exalted importance is attached to the sacraments. The Lord's Supper is made the proper center of the public service. The whole artistic sense has been developed in this movement; a higher interest has been excited in the proper performance of the ritual, and, indeed, of the whole liturgical service of the Church. The intoning and the whole musical element in worship has been assigned its old place of esteem. This school has been charged with maintaining that, in order to preserve the pure doctrine, a view of tradition in affinity with that of Rome is to be held. Subjection to the authority of the Church is to be substituted for individual faith. The most important literary organ of this tendency has been Hengstenberg's Ervangelische Kirchenzeitun, established in 1827, which maintains within the Prussian union, with immense force and success, the position of distinctive Lutheranism. This tendency separated itself from the orthodoxy which bore the tinge of pietism, and from the mediating theology, especially in the work of inner missions (q.v.), with which it refused to cooperate, on the ground that it was not churchly. In the Prussian Church it opposed itself to the regulations of the congregations, and to the constitution of the State Church. In the department of missions to the heathen (the term foreign missions has ceased to answers since it has become the fashion for one set of Christians to establish missions for the conversion of another set), the revised New Lutheranism has pursued an independent course. Against this Dorner expressed himself, in a memorial of the Prussian High Consistory in 1866, which did not, however, prevent the newly-acquired state churches (such as Hanover, etc.) from being placed under the care of the minister of cultus. The Lutherans outside of Prussia, the Mecklenburgers, Bavarians, and others, at the conference at Hanover in 1868, with the Hanoverians, and others in Church fellowship with them, made use of the seventh article of the Augsburg Confession (of the Church and its true unity) to keep up the agitation against all union with the rest of the State Church of Prussia. See Neue Evassgel. Kirchenzeitung (1868); Ritschl, in Dorner's Zeitschrift fur das Kirchen-recht (1869); Matthes, Allgemeine Kirchliche Chronik (1871).
V. Ritual and Worship (cultus) of the Lutheran Church. — The foundation for these was laid by Luther in his Formula Missae (1523) and his German Mass (1525). In these he proceeded upon the principle, which he expressed and defended, that the Church service was not to be abrogated as a whole; that the vital parts of it had a noble origin; that the great thing was to purge off its excrescences and defilements, and to restore to its true place in it the Word of God, which had been more and more neglected. In conformity with Luther's fundamental principles, the ritual was purified, the neglected elements replaced, and the more necessary parts developed still further. It was brought back to the standard of the Bible, and of early pure Catholic antiquity. The Lord's Supper, restored to its true position, became the grand point of culmination in all the chief services. The office of the Word was renewed. Preaching became a great indispensable element of the chief public services. The congregation took a direct part in the service in response and singing. The services were held in the vernacular of the country, though a certain proportion of the familiar old Latin part of the services was in many cases continued, mainly, however, in order to retain the noble Church-music, until time had been given to fit it to a vernacular service complete in all its parts. Luther insisted simply on an organization of worship which should preserve its rich treasures and resources. Services for the morning and evening, and for the days of the week, were retained or arranged. More than all, congregational singing was developed. In conformity with these views, there arose the service of the Lutheran type which we find in the agenda (q.v.) of the 16th and 17th centuries. In northern, eastern, and middle Germany the Wittenberg order was followed. and is maintained to this day. The service is of moderate length, and is rich liturgically.
The forms established in the aera of the Reformation were more or less broken through, or altered in a very wretched manner, in consequence of the theological revolution which marked the 18th century. With the religious life, whose reviving power was felt towards the close of the first quarter of the 19th century, came a strong desire for relief from these mischievous changes. To this desire, at least as one of its greatest motives, the Prussian agenda owes its origin; yet, alike in the mode of its introduction and in elements which pervaded it throughout, it involved a breach with the original Lutheran type, to which it claimed in large measure to conform. As this fact became more and more manifest, the effort was made to bring the forms of the agenda into harmony with the better elements which still survived in the congregations; yet, after all that could be done in this way, the result was imperfect and unsatisfactory. In consequence of this, in the most recent period, a still closer approximation has been made in Prussia to the original Lutheran ritual. One set of influential thinkers, as Hifling and Kliefoth, contended for an unconditional repristination of the worship of the Reformation time. Others held that various changes were necessary to adjust what was furnished by the history in Church worship with the well-grounded views of the present and the actual needs of the congregations.
The "agenda" became a source of special trouble in the controversy between the Unionists and the "Old Lutherans." The contest on the agenda raged particularly severe in Silesia. Among the most active participants in this struggle were the pastors Scheibel, Berger, Wehrhahn, and Kellner, at Hinigern. A pacific royal order of February 28, 1834, in regard to the continued force of the confessions, accomplished little. Nor was the conflict allayed by the rescript of the Consistory of Breslau, May 15, 1834, which demanded that the clergy who had not acceded to the Union should use the revised agenda of 1829, and forbade any public attacks upon the Union. In consequence of infraction of these orders the offending clergymen were suspended (1834). In Honigern the military were called in to force open the Church for the introduction of the State-Union service (December 24, 1834). Similar disturbances arose in Halle in connection with Guericke, professor in the university, who was removed by the government in 1836. But this opposition element was not to be seduced by flattery nor terrified by force. In a synod held at Breslau in 1835 they had resolved to exhaust all legal measures to secure for themselves purity, independence, and integrity in doctrine, worship, and constitution. Missionary preachers traveled from place to place, administering baptism and the Lord's Supper. In Berlin and Erfurt new congregations were formed. In the Mark and in Silesia a special apostolical Church constitution was adopted. Among the decided Lutherans, however, there were two tendencies. The stricter tendency demanded a complete separation from the State Church. The relatively more moderate party, with which Guericke stood, desired to carry out their Lutheran convictions within the State Church as far as the legal concessions allowed them to do so. These troubles matured a purpose in thousands of the oppressed confessors of the faith to leave their native land for conscience sake. In spite of various concessions on the part of the government, a great emigration to Australia took place under the leadership of Kavel. To these "pilgrim fathers" of our day were added many from Saxony, led by Stephan, and from Wurtemberg and the Wupperthal. From 1838, and especially after the advent of Frederick William IV to the throne of Prussia (1840), the tone of the government towards the Lutherans became milder.
VI. "Separate Lutherans." — A royal general concession was issued July 23, 1845, for the relief of those Lutherans who held themselves aloof from the State "Evangelical" Church. They were granted the right to form congregations of their own, and to have them united under a common direction, which was not to be subject to the control of the State Church. The congregation, having obtained the consent of the state to its formation, could call pastors, whose vocation was to be confirmed by the Direction, and who were to be ordained by ordained ministers. The baptisms, confirmations, proclamation of the bans, and marriages of these clergymen were acknowledged in law, and their Church registers were to be received in evidence. Their obligation as regarded the taxes and burdens of the parochial connection was to be determined by the common law. Under these provisions the Lutherans constituted a High Consistory in 1841 under the presidency of professor Huschke. This official board is the supreme ecclesiastical authority for the Lutherans in Prussia. It consists of four regular members; it is controlled by the Synod, and has charge of the purity of the Church in doctrine and life, of the reception of new congregations, the regulation of the parochial relations, and the appointments of clergymen; to it is committed the decision in complaints made by the officials of the churches and of the higher schools. It has oversight of the ritual, of the decisions in ecclesiastical cases, and of censures, the calling of synods, and similar matters. The clergy are supported by a fixed salary, and by perquisites. The processes of Church discipline are monition, temporary exclusion from the communion, the making of apologies in various degrees, and final excommunication. The Church service is conducted according to the agenda which have been in use; the preaching on free texts requires the permission of the Board of the High Consistory; the Lord's Supper is an essential part of the chief service. The Lutherans are not obliged to send their children to the United schools. Thus the Lutheran Church in Prussia obtained a definite independent foundation. In 1847 the High Consistory had in its care twenty-one congregations recognized by the state, and numbering about nineteen thousand souls. Of these the largest proportion was in Silesia — ten congregations, with 8400 members. The smallest proportion was in Westphalia and in the Rhine Provinces. In addition to these Separate Lutherans there was an immense number of Lutherans who, in consequence of concessions guaranteed by the government, remained in the State Church. Outside of Prussia, a Lutheran movement was felt in Nassau in 1846, in which Brunn of Steeten, near Runkel, was leader. The government and the deputies declined to authorize the formation of a separate Lutheran commission. The connection between the Lutherans was strengthened by the press and by conventions. Their literary organs were the Zeitschrift für Lutlerische Theologie, edited by Budelbach and Guericke; the Zeitschrift für Protestantismus und Kirche, edited by Harless and others; and various popular periodicals, such as the Pilger aus Sachsen, the Sonntagsblatt, and others. Conventions were held at Berlin, Triglaff, and Gnadau. The Lutheran Conference in Leipsic held its first session in 1843. With the great political movement of 1848 the interests of the Positive Lutherans entered on a new era. Of the urgent demands made at that time for the separation of Church and State, they took advantage especially in their struggle against the Union established by the State Church. Meanwhile the difference of conviction between the Lutherans within the Union and those separated from it was not completely removed. The Separate Lutherans urged the impossibility of a Lutheran clergyman's remaining with good conscience in the Union. The Lutherans who did not withdraw from the government Church nevertheless began to come into closer association under the leadership of Goschel, Stahl, Heubner, and Schmieder. Their views and claims were supported by Hengstenberg's Kirchenzeitung, and by provincial associations in Saxony, Pomerania, Silesia, and Posen. They agreed, at a meeting in Wittenberg, in September 1849, on the following principles: "We stand upon the Confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; our congregations have never justly ceased to be Lutheran congregations; we demand the recognition and adherence to the Lutheran Confession in worship, the order of the congregation, and Church government; first of all is to be insisted on the freeing of the altar service from everything that is dubious, and the giving of the stamp of the Confession to the entire service; furthermore, there should be in the government of the Church a management which would give security to confessional independence; finally, there should be a guarantee of Lutheran principles in the constitution of the congregations." These aims they did not, however, propose to secure by separation, but by contending within the State Church for the rights of the Lutheran Church in the districts belonging to it. This decision rendered more bitter the feeling of alienation between the Lutherans who remained in the State Church and those who separated from it. In addition to these internal controversies, there arose also differences with the civil government of the Church, especially on the part of Lutherans within the State Church. These differences were caused partly by the establishment of the High Consistory in 1850, and partly by the proposed Evangelical Order of Congregations, which was opposed on the ground that the Confession was not sufficiently secured. The High Consistory attempted to meet the opposition, and to harmonize feelings by various concessions; but, with a growing consciousness of need and of right, the Lutherans constantly rose in their demands. They asked for the abolition of the mixed boards, the institution of exclusively Lutheran faculties, the return of the Church property, and for other changes looking in the same general direction. The result finally was the issue of a cabinet order of July 12, 1853, which showed that the king, Frederick William IV, was determined to make no further concessions. The stricter Lutherans had shown themselves unwilling to cooperate in various movements of the time. Thus had they declined to cooperate in the plan of the Inner Missions (1849), and opposed the confederation of churches proposed at the Church Diet at Wittenberg in 1849. In other lands the struggles of the Lutheran Church for truth and right continued. The University of Erlangen was the center of the struggle in Bavaria, and Harless, the president of the High Consistory, one of its great supports. But at the General Synod at Anspach, in consequence of opposition on the part, of the congregations, the stricter Lutheran views could not be carried out in regard to creed, Church government, changes in the liturgy, confession, and Church discipline. Here also arose the stricter party, with the pastors Löhe and Wacheren, which took ground against fellowship at the Lord's Supper with the reformed, and favored separation from the State Church. This party was resisted by the High Consistory. In Nassau, the two Hesses, Hanover, and the Saxon duchies, the stricter Lutheranism had adherents. As a rule the mission festivals were their centers of union. In Baden, under pastor Eichhorn as leader, the conflict with the government resulted in a legal separation from the State Church in 1856. In Saxony, especially about Schönburg, the stricter Lutheran clergy were numerous. The emigration of Stephan injured the cause very much in the general estimation. During these public movements various questions of profound interest in scientific theology were discussed by the great divines in the Lutheran Church. Among the most important of these discussions was, 1, that between Hoffmann in Erlansgen and Philippi in Rostock on the doctrine of the atonement; 2, the controversy in Mecklenburg, which resulted in the deposition of professor Baumgarten in 1858. A convention of clergymen and laymen at Rothenmoor in 1858 represented the strictest Lutheranism, of which Kliefoth had been the especial promoter. See F.J. Stahl, Die Lutherische Kirche u. die Union (Berl. 1859). (C.P.K.)