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tion to the German philology of the Reformation as well as to a historical grammar of the same period. What Deutz and Kluge have done for Lather should be done for every formative author of that date; for outside of Luther and a few vocabularies of special works, dictionaries of individual theological authors do not exist. The general dictionaries have limited themselves mainly to the uses in Luther or the belles lettres authors. Here is a vast field for philologians. Among these we are persuaded that no one excels Schwenckfeld for either style or richness of vocabulary. He turned to the vernacular not only for worship but for official and social intercourse. The thoughts of the people should be expressed in their own familiar speech and that speech should be developed in all its phases to the highest degree of flexibility and vigor, that it may adequately set forth the character and culture of a great people. We want to vindicate the claim of Schwenckfeld to being a powerful factor in the formation of that tongue. Would it not be better then to stop making general dictionaries until a reasonable amount of detail work has been completed or at least the greater authors of the time have had a commensurate analysis? And especially would it not be well, to refrain from making hypothetic propositions as to the origin of the modern German speech until there has been some reasonable study of this vast body of literature?
Doubtless this analytic and commentative method is open to a number of criticisms. One may say you are in danger of constant repetition. If it is a danger, we would gladly incur it; for it is only by continuous reaffirmation that one can get a hearing under the stolid system of orthodoxy which has shaped historic judgment and style. After all the reiteration lies in the subjects which the author has handled again and again, for it is here a little and there a little; a teacher must always be saying his axioms over and over again or else the indolent ear will not hear; a sower goes out to sow and scatters the seed on all manner of soil, receptive and non-receptive. Apart from the instructional method, we regard repetition as essential in order to get a hearing for the principles of the Middle Way. The historian and the dogmatician keep on repeating their unintelligible interpretations of the inner Word and of the deification of man as if they had thereby disposed of Schwenckfeld. Unless one dins it into their ears annually that there is no such theory of the inner Word or of an apotheosis of humanity as they present, the books will go on singing the same stale song. We should like to be able to publish each treatise with the fullest analytic and repetitious commentary, if it were possible, just to give these matters no rest until they be readjusted.
We may also be charged with making onslaughts on this or that faith and be told that this is not science; it is not harmonious with the equanimity and sang-froid of the scientific method. But this balanced temper is precisely what we miss in the prejudgments which assume that the past is secure. But as with the Reformers so with us, it is not persons but systems with which we contend. Surely it is scientific to speak the truth as one sees it without any ill-feeling toward those who criticise you with inherited disdain, from their traditional points of view. When one deals with fundamentals he cannot be cold-blooded. One cannot sit still when the ages have been shoving him off his rightful seat! One cannot be silent when one sees others appropriating to their exclusive selves all the treasures and materials of grace that belong equally to him! Is he to keep abjectly quiet, when in addition to that they continually reproach him for not having a place to sit and for being poor? Is it not time that the houseless and homeless protest and speak their mind? By what right are we dispossessed? With what justice have you distrained our goods? To pull all one's teeth out and then charge one with his lack of an adequate dental outfit, what shall we call such toplofty airs but impudence and arrogance? If men appropriate to themselves the term evangelical, and one finds that there are twenty or thirty claimants to the same, can he hold his peace? When one after another persists in calling you a sectarian and writing you down under that category in his scientific text-books, shall you meekly endure while your presumptive Christian neighbor conceits himself to be the sole bearer of the seemless vestment, seeing that he is just as much a sectary as yourself? We profess with Schwenckfeld a sincere love for the brethren of every shade of Christian belief while we attack their unchristian establishments and batter down their separative walls.
It will be observed that we have tried not to overburden the pages with constant references and we shall doubtless be taken to task for the omission. In the attempt to be scientific, editors and historians have fallen into the reprehensible fashion of multiplying the vouchers for their integrity, whereas anyone who is a student of the particular period ought to look up the whole subject for himself. The man who is simply studying up the references is tempted to be a critic of just that sort; he will search out these sentences referred to and will crow lustily in some recension, if he thinks he has found an error. Usually it is a reviewer of this limited calibre who tries to set the pace for the general reader. No man is qualified to judge any work as a whole who does not exhaustively know the subject as a whole. The recensionist ought to find little apparatus to help him in this favorite abuse of science. It is deplorable to overload the pages with these constant interferences, jumping from this point to that point, especially if they be regardless of chronological or logical order. Even the cyclopedias are full of such blemishes. They mar the impression and prevent an exact research by the student, while certainly the scholar should have no need of them, if he be acquainted with his stuff. It seems to destroy the credence of research as though a man had to stop and swear an oath of faithfulness at each point, that he is telling the truth. Why is not the bibliography a sufficient guide? If the references are to be made, let them appear only in the emphatic or the doubtful places so as not to make the article or the thesis practically unreadable. All continuity of thought is broken up for the reader and he has no pleasure and little profit from this pompous massing of evidence. If the author's work is unworthy and inaccurate, it will soon enough appear without this mathematical menagerie let loose to save him. We ask at least for a moderate reform and propose in our work to abolish the frantic nuisance as far as may be possible.
The study itself purposes also to link Schwenckfeld with intermediate and modern thought, that is to set him before us as if he were now thinking and speaking and writing among us. For the kernel of modernity was in him. He had a prophetic insight into the requirements of the future life of the Church and we may justly claim that modern Christianity is approximating his views. If therefore we are accused of forgetting the age and commingling with Reformation times the phases and phrases of the present day, it would be true and it would also be justifiable because there is only a difference of a few words; the thoughts are precisely the same. This is essentially true of Schwenckfeld, for we believe that he saw further into the futuristic vista than most of his compeers. His radical thoughts underlie the deepened vitalism of our age in all directions. We are probably more like Christians ought to be than they were at the Reformation, because we follow the precepts of Christ with some more regard for their inner and relative meaning than did the Reformers. Schwenckfeld tried to get a broader acceptance of them into vogue and practice in his own day. One rejoices to see how much deeper literature is and how much more sincere art is and this in spite of all the vagaries of either. Poetry has become largely individualistic in order to a right feeling for humanity as a whole; philosophical idealism broods upon kindred themes. Politics is solidifying it for the international life more than some forms of national life like to see. Why not then point out the relationships? If truth is one, can the thoughts about it lie on such different levels? Surely its geography and its history will be much the same. The idealist of to-day is not much deeper than Plato, certainly his mind is no bigger; the rationalist of to-day is not much beyond Aristotle save in his dictionary, the weight of his brain is probably not so great.
It is our purpose to present a full history of the Middle Way. That will involve not only the biography and writings of its exponents hut its adjustment to the other currents which were in unchecked flow and the multitudinous springs that broke forth from every quarter of Europe. For Schwenckfeld came into nearer or more remote relation with every one. The correspondence with the princes indicates an acquaintance with the sources of political power. The works he read and quoted show his breadth of perception and contact with the manifold schools of thought. He writes to lawyers and councilors, to abbots, to abbesses, to nobles, to learned men near and far, so that the points of contact with almost all fields of development are very direct; in a few cases only are they indirect through the secondary reflexion of his followers. Nor could the schemes of repression limit the range of his correspondence and the widespread character of his interests and sympathies. Hence he must be ranked with the foremost sources from which to gain fulness for any picture of those wonderful and formative days. Great was the influence of every leader, and probably no one individual had a more direct personal influence than Schwenckfeld. Bnt his is a neglected river as a tributary of the ocean and as a source of fertility for the spiritual life as well as for the understanding of the times. Moreover the legendary aspect of the period still prevails; the predominance of this or that authority is still enveloped in glamour and mists, fascinating as fairy tales but no more trustworthy. It is difficult to separate oneself from the spirit of heroworship and the consequent exaggeration; so that every other person is dislocated from his service and position to make place for these few leading figures. Not only then is injustice done to the value of other leaders, but the entire history is put out of its true perspective. Really the Reformation history still wears this unjust hue; it is presented also from its geographical and political views rather than from the mere determination of the Spirit or the regenerate life of individuals and of Society. For the Reformation as it appeared in actual objectivity had in it many elements of deformation. It was not all gold that glittered. Nor were these clogs in the wheel solely the result of politics or the repressive measures of Rome; they also inhered in the liberal wings because of their almost instant relapse into scholastic method and into the unabashed intolerance which stifled freedom of thought and action. To represent other and nobler tendencies as if they were a hindrance and not a help to the general betterment is an arrant assumption by confessionalism and traditionalism. To depict those forces which made for a larger freedom and for a more spontaneous moral life, as the enemies of progress, is to reverse common sense. To portray the views which have proved themselves the incipient generators of the modern world as the bitterest foes of truth and righteousness, is equal to the lordliest intolerance of obscurantism. This like all other sins against progress must be repented of or else it will be violently overturned. Such false combinations and portrayments the history of the Middle Way will demonstrate to be the imperious antagonists of the liberty which Christ came to give. The rights and endowments of humanity have to be repeated by the Church even more than by the State. To pretend that the Establishments in their foundation and growth represent the most refined and the most spiritual ideas of the Reformation is an absurdity of the first water; it is the heaviest lead which is washed over by gilt and would pass off as twentyfour carat gold. The history of the Reformation has to be rewritten from a loftier and fuller outlook, and the History of the Middle Way shall be a contribution to that school of future reconstruction.
The Coat-of-Arms is taken from the portrait which was bound in some of the copies of the Great Confession in 1557; it therefore had the approbation of Schwenckfeld himself and is older than any we have, save the very indistinct ones on the seals. The painted escutcheon in the ancestral Church at Ossig and the united Schwenckfeld and Hubrig vom Buchwalde coats-of-arms at the Church of St. Maria Magdalena in Breslau are of later date and exhibit certain variations, as does also Ezekiel's emblazonry in his Collectanea at the Stadtbibliothek of Breslau. We have therefore chosen the one connected with his portrait in spite of the indistinctness of the supporters.
The most difficult and yet most pleasing duty remains of acknowledging the myriad helpful agencies and persons who have smoothed the arduous way to the appearance of this beginning of the Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum.
Gratitude binds us to mention first the institutional aid we have received from the members of the Schwenckfelder Church. That a communion of two hundred and fifty families should support such an undertaking so abundantly will challenge any similar sacrifice on the part of any people. It is an evidence of the fulness and vigor of the faith in their early teachers and in the validity and impulse of those stirring principles. One cannot restrain his admiration over the steadfastness and confidence which have born this fruit in spite of the seemingly insurmountable hindrances and protractions. The members of this communion have but repeated the works undertaken by the von Freyberg, von Tieffenau, von Landschaid-Steinach and other families. They follow in the steps of Theophilus Agricola, Adam Reussner, Daniel Friedrich and Daniel Sudermann. They resume the undertakings of three centuries ago and also carry out the desires of the later generations in Glatz and Silesia who under terrible stress courageously copied and recopied the manuscripts and the books that the memory of them might not perish from their