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the Roman Church ignored, and in the Lutheran was only brought out as the necessary result of the doctrine of Justification by Faith, but which there stood in such singular disharmony with consubstantiation and the slavish mechanical adherence to the forms of the old Mass-Cultus. Much that was said which seems to undervalue the Sacramental side of Cultus, was said in controversy with extremes, and must be so interpreted. If this mode of explaining strong language is not kept in view, it would be easy to make even Luther undervalue the Sacraments in favor of the Word; as, for instance, when he says: “If God's word is not preached, it is better that there be neither singing, reading, nor assembling together!" How unjust, however, would it be to represent Luther's estimation of Sacraments in the light of such strong expressions. As it would be impossible to understand any individual fully by viewing his acts in any one position, so we cannot judge the Reformers correctly from what they may have said under certain circumstances, and in certain positions, where there was much to bring out only a partial and onesided aspect of their mind and spirit.
The Lutheran Cultus separated too much the Holy Ghost from the Sacramental-did not do justice to the great fact, that Ile is in the worshipper, as well as in the Sacraments and ordinances. The Reformed held the Sacramental more in the power of the Iloly Ghost, by virtue of which the Sacramental and Sacrificial, instead of acting upon each other, were active together as one living whole. The Lutheran views the difference between these two, the Reformed looks at their union. The prominence which the Reformed gave to the Holy Ghost as active in the worshipper, while it did not make the Sacramental less real, caused its prominence somewhat to disappear, as do the limbs and trunk of a tree when it is covered over with foliage.
The Reformed Cultus held also the Sacramental more in the power of the Mystical Union. This connected the saints with Christ's divine-human life, at least germinally, in order and time, before the Sacraments—making Baptism the birth of life already at hand by the mystical union, and the Lord's Supper, the feeding of life also already so at hand. As Christ became incarnate, and thus united himself with humanity before he instituted the Sacraments; so still the same order is to be observed-by the Mystical Union we are united to Christ, by the Sacraments our life in him is evolved, and completed. The Lutherans, who were averse to this doctrine of the mystical union, made our union with Christ to rest rather through the Sacraments upon Christ, making our union with him wholly subsequent to the Sacraments. Hence they bound the sacramental power more to the outward form—to the word of the minister in the consecration to the elements—to the magical force of the promise and the institution. The Lutheran held a gross sacramental presence in and through the Sacraments; the Reformed a real mystical presence not so much in the Sacraments, as by them— perhaps we may say, they regarded them as the indispensable condition, not cause of the mystical union. Their Sacramental in Cultus was the life of the new humanity brought into the world by the incarnation, signed and sealed to us by the Sacraments, and unfolded in us by the Holy Ghost, whose power is active from Christ, from the Sacraments, and in and from us.
The Reformed also, on this ground, held to the idea of the universal priesthood of saints; thus making the Sacramental complete itself in the Sacrificial act of the worshipper. He for whom the Sacramental has offerings is himself priest! In short, we may add, the Lutheran Cultus too much regarded the Sacramental as something already finished for the worshipper; the Reformed looked upon it as something completing itself in the Sacrificial in the worshipper.
It cannot be denied that there is much ground for the view of Cultus in the Reformed Church which gives prominence to the Sacrificial. Let some considerations be briefly presented, without illustrating them at length. God has done, we must now do. The kingdom of God is at hand, and this is to be at once the warrant and the life of our own activities in its bosom. The divine acts and movings of grace, as they come to us in the Sacramental of Cultus, are not to be a mummery before us, but the exercise and exhibition of a power in us and through us. In the receiver, not the giver, the greatest, or at least the most ostensible, activity will show itself. The altar, which is the centre of Cultus, is for offerings—the activities are in those who offer. Effects are always more ostensible than the cause, though the cause is first, and stands highest in dignity. The worshipper both receives and gives back to God, and many and divers activities are involved in both. Moreover, Christ, and the Spirit, and the functions of prophet, priest, and king, are in us, and through us they do their work. Let these principles be well considered ; let the range which they take in their details be thought of, and it will not be regarded a ground for either censure or regret that the Reformed Cultus hangs so strongly to the Sacrificial side.
3. The Lutheran Cultus is more heavy and complex ; the Reformed more simple.
By way of connection with what has just been said of another difference, we may remark that the fact of the simple character of the Reformed Cultus is no proof that no Sacramental character was attributed to it. Rather the contrary : for the fact of their strong opposition to additions show that they regarded them as the products of the human, and therefore as destitute of Sacramental power. Because they believed the functions of Cultus to be Sacramental they desired them to be kept pure. As they valued highly, and regarded with reverence, the divinely gracious acts, so much the more was their horror for that which, even in the best sense, must be regarded as mummery.
The history of Cultus will show that the trouble has always been that liturgies became too long, and rites too burdensome and complex. This is seen in the Roman, and was felt as a grievous evil in the early Lutheran Cultus. Two causes wrought toward this evil. One was the principle that the resources of Cultus are not finished and at hand, but must be reproduced at each service. The other the error agreeably to which much was put into the Liturgy, and brought forward in the service,
which more properly belongs to the private exercises of Christians, either in personal private devotion, or in social Christian exercises in smaller and more familiar circles of worship. This trouble the Reformed Cultus avoided, by simplifying their Cultus, and encouraging private and social worship.
We greatly err, if we, after the Lutheran objection, regard the simplicity of the Reformed Cultus as a poverty and weakness. Professor Ebrard has well remarked on this point: 6. That which is simple is not necessarily poor. There is a majestic simplicity. The Dome of Lausanne, for instance, with its unadorned architectural beauty, produces a far more elevating impression than would a church of the same style, every column of which should be hung round with flags, figures, lamps, and every variety of splendid ornament for the gratification of the
Only that which is in itself uninviting and weak need resort to ornament and appendages. As unadorned beauty is the brightest beauty, so unadorned power is most efficacious. As the simplicity which characterized our Saviour's life and acts, affects us more directly, and commands our reverence more potently, than could have been done by any amount of appendage for effect; so a Cultus which proposes to perpetuate his power and grace in the world, will come nearer to us, and affect our spiritual life with more direct power, when it is constituted after this simple type, than can be done by any amount of well
meant liturgical ornament and appendage, the effect of which is lost upon the senses, leaving the life of grace unreached beneath them.
It may well be considered whether the tendency to depart from simplicity in Cultus is not owing to forgetfulness of the great truth that the kingdom of God is to be received as a little child! The child-like spirit must also make itself known in child-like manifestation. The holiest men are the most child-like. The “beauty of holiness,” like all beauty, is simple beauty. When we are most devotional we are most simple. The Reformed Church seems to have favored a Cultus that resembles John; and we hope it will ever say by its Cultus to those who are nurtured in its bosom, in the words of that child like and beloved disciple: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols !"
Here we must reluctantly stop for the present, on account of the length which our article has already reached. Our design goes farther. We must yet exhibit the divergences from the fundamental principles of the true Christian Cultus as laid down in this article, in the various sections of the post-Reformation Cultus, outside of the two Reformation Confessions. Then, by way of making the whole profitable to the German Reformed Church with reference to its present Liturgical movement, we must give a more detailed historical exhibition of the Reformed worship in the different provincial Churches, with a critical examination of its different parts, followed by such suggestions as may grow out of the whole bearing upon our present Liturgical wants. Lancaster, Pa.
THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE UNITED STATES. Two discourses by Dr. Philip SCHAFF, Professor of Theology at Mercersburg, Pa., delivered before the Evangelical Union at Berlin, March 20, 1854.
[First Discourse.] Not without embarrassment, and with an earnest desire for your kind indulgence, do I appear before you in this metropolis of German science and of the highest intellectual culture, to speak upon a theme that is truly worthy of a much longer and more thorough preparation than was possible for me to make during the few days since my arrival, amidst the distraction and excitement incident upon a visiting tour in my beloved German father-land, and in seeing again so many dear friends