Tzschirner, Heinrich Gottlieb
Tzschirner, Heinrich Gottlieb a German theologian and-orator, was born Nov. 14,1778, at Mitweida, in Saxony. He graduated at Leipsic, and in February, 1800, became an adjunct to the philosophical faculty at Witteliberg. His lectures were principally concerned with empirical psychology, and yielded fruit in thie works Leben .u Ende merkw. Selbstnmrder nebst Abhandl. lib. d. Selbstmord (1805): — Ueber d. moral. Indifferentismus: and VerwanSatschaft d. Tugenden und Laster. He was also associated with Manchart in the publication of the Neues Repert. f. empir. Psychologie. In 1801 the sickness of his father called him away from the university, and he became first assistant, and, after the decease of his father, deacon at Mitweida. At that time he began a history of apologetics, but published only one volume (Leips. 1805). In the same year he was received into the theological faculty at Wittenberg, and in 1809 he removed to Leipsic, where he remained until his death, with a temporary interruption occasioned by the war of deliverance from French domination, in which he served as chaplain and gained the decoration of the green cross (1813). The literary fruitage of his campaign is contained in the volume Ueber den Krieg, etc. (Leips. 1815). He died Feb. 17, 1823, regretted by the whole community of Leipsic.
Tzschirner's theological tendency was that known in his day as aestheticism, whose aim was the reconciliation of rationalism and supernaturalism. He regarded Christianity as being in its nature a religion of reason, though introduced by a supernatural revelation. See Briefi, veranl. durch Reinhards Gestdndnisse (Leips. 1811), and Briefe einzes
Deutschen an Chateaubriand, etc., published by Krug. His Dogmatik (published by Hase, Leips. 1829) is non-committal, and contents itself with merely stating the differences of the two great opposing schools of thought in Protestant theology (see Rohr, Krit. Prediger-Bibliothek, 10:1). He was rather a historian than a systematic theologian, and-disposed to hide himself behind his work. He added the two final volumes to Schröckh's Church History since the Reformation; but his principal work, according to his own judgment, is his Fall des Heidenthums, published by Niedner (Leips. 1829).
The period following the Napoleonic wars and beginning with the jubilee of the great Reformation (1817), developed Tzschirner into a foremost defender of Protestantism and popular freedom. Enthusiastically inspired by the study of the great past of the Evangelical Church, he yet refused to confine himself to the letter of Luther's authority, but insisted upon the exercise of the Protestant principle of intellectual liberty. In view of the fact that timid statesmen endeavored to repress the enthusiasm of the nation consequent on the defeat of Napoleon, and that Romanists and would-be perverts to Romanism charged upon Protestantism the originating and development of every revolutionary tendency and excess, he devoted his brilliant diction and incisive thought to the demonstration that Protestantism tends to mature the intelligence and fix the principles of peoples; and that it therefore tends to peace and quietness, and is more favorable to any legitimate form of settled government than Romanism. Numerous works, some of which became famous and were translated into foreign languages, were the result .of this effort-e.g., Katholic us. Potes ismu s . Prtes smus s dem Standpunkte der Politik (1822). He also wrote in behalf of oppressed Protestants in France, Sardinia, and Hungary (1824), and of the liberties of Greece (1821). — His Protestant contemporaries, for their part, gave him many tokens of their appreciation of his labors in their behalf, among them the king of Denmark, who in 1826 conferred on him the Order of Danebrog.
Tzschirner had taken Reinhard for his model as a pulpit orator. His sermons are occasionally models of pulpit eloquence. They were carefully elaborated and strictly memorized, sometimes pervaded with a poetic spirit and great freshness, and characterized by the frequent use of matter drawn from Church history. His personality, voice, and manner in the pulpit gave him great power over his audiences, despite difficulties he experienced with his respiratory organs. Five volumes and several separately published
Sermons by Tzschirner are extant. His views respecting the effect of rationalistic principles upon. the preacher are contained in the article Dass die Verschiedenheit d. Dogmen Systeme kein Hi-zde-niss des Zweckes d. Kische sei, in Magazin fui christl. Pediger, 1823. His theory of homiletics sets forth that homiletics "is the art of edifying by means of speech which: harmonizes with the forms of beauty and excites into activity all the faculties if the soul, subject to the purpose of promoting piety and virtue, for which the Church exists" (see Rohl, sup. 2, 2, p. 243, art. Tzschirner als Homiletiker").
Literature. — Krug, Tzschiriners Denkmal, etc. (Leips. 1823); H. G. Tzschirner, etc. (2nd ed. ibid. 1828); Goldhorn, Dr. H. G. Tzschirner, etc. (1828); Rohr, Krit. Prediger-Bibl. 1, 1, 126; Tittman, femoria Tzchirneri (Lips. 1829), and many others. See also Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v., where an extended list of Tzschirner's numerous works is given