Saltzmann, Friedrich Rudolf

Saltzmann, Friedrich Rudolf, an eminent, and once very popular, Protestant author, was born at Strasburg, March 9, 1749. He studied in the gymnasium, and then in the University of Strasburg. After his graduation in 1773, he journeyed through Italy and Germany, and then took charge of the education of the young Baron (afterwards Prussian minister) von Stein. Subsequently he lectured on history in Strasburg, but without great success. He next edited a political paper, and thereby came into suspicion of aristocratic tendencies among the radicals and terrorists of the French Revolution. He was forced to flee and to live in disguise until the downfall of Robespierre, meantime suffering the seizure and appropriation of his large property in Strasburg. During this period of trials his religious life came to rapid maturity. Raised in strict Protestant principles, he now came into contact with French mystics and theosophists. At the close of the Revolution he returned to Strasburg, and began the publication of a series of religious and mystical works, which made him many friends, and which enjoyed a very wide circulation. Among these publications were, Das christliche Erbauungsblatt, which was issued for many years, from 1805 and on: — Es wird Alles neu werden (1802-10), a work in seven instalments, consisting of essays upon, and extracts from, the chief mystics and theosophists — Rusbroeck, Terstegen, Catherine of Sienna, Mesdames Bourignon, Guyon, Leade, and Browne, also Swedenborg, and Bromley: — On the Last Things (1806): — Glances at God's Dealings with Man from the Creation to the End of the World (1810), in which the author gives a survey of human history during the first six thousand years, and then, with the help of geology and astronomy, forecasts the consummat;in of all things, which will be preceded by the millennium and terminated by the restoration of Paradise: — Religion der Bibel (1811), relating largely to the millennium: — Geist und Wahrheit (1816), a work much esteemed by Schubert, and treating of the so called double sense of Scripture. In all of these writings Saltzmann manifests the highest reverence for the Bible and the most childlike faith in God. And yet, with all his Bible study, he seems to find confirmation only for the views of the writers of the mystical school. But he is a mystic of the milder type; and he was entirely free from the "occult science" of a Bohme and a Schonherr. During his whole active career, Saltzmann continued his political editorship, and it was but his leisure moments that he gave to his theological studies. In his last years, when Schubert visited him in 1820, he had ceased all outward activity, and was patiently awaiting his call into the spirit world. See La Revue d'Alsace, 1860; Herzog, Real-Encykl. 13, 337-341. (J.P.L.)

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