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Evangelical. What is the Church of the Living God, but a place where Orphans are gathered by degrees out of that evil world in which they are in extreme danger of perishing. That house begins with a very few, but by degrees increases and extends, and embraces more and more. There they are freely received, wisely trained, all their wants provided for, and there they learn to be made blessings to their fellow-creatures. Oh the love of the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who leaves us not as Orphans in the world, but provides for all who apply to Him this house, and a Heavenly Instructor to guide them into all truth!
Reader ! have you fled here for refuge? Those only are safe, who win Christ and are found in him!
Herts, Jan. 21, 1837.
THE LIFE OF
AUGUSTUS HERMAN FRANKÉ.
Introductory Remarks—Frankė's birth and parentage
Primary instruction and Academical course— Removal to Lüneburg—Commencement and progress of his spiritual life-Confession of faith.
The light of the Reformation had not long dawned upon Germany, before it became obscured by the pernicious controversies which were carried on in the bosom of the Lutheran church; so that towards the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries, a formal and lifeless orthodoxy, and a mere historical belief, took the place of the true and living faith, which the Reformation had diffused. People contented themselves with a strict but merely outward adherence to the established articles of belief, instead of regarding, with Luther, the practical application of the simple doctrines of the gospel as the chief and primary object. The smallest deviation in doctrinal points from the creed of the church, was punished with an ardent zeal, which not unfrequently overstepped the bounds of propriety ; and in short, the substance was neglected and forgotten, whilst contending for the form. Every part of divinity received a polemical tinge; whilst biblical exposition, the chief object of theological science, was regarded as completely of secondary consideration. Olearius was unable to introduce an exegetical course of lectures at Leipzig, and the learned Carpzovius was compelled to conclude his lectures on the prophecy of Isaiah, with the very first chapter. The consequence of such a mode of study at the universities, was, that the preachers they sent forth, instead of expounding the Bible to the people, as the means of communicating instruction, edification, and sanctification, disseminated only scholastic dogmas and controversial sentiments, and being mostly destitute of feeling for things divine, frequently promulgated from the pulpit, things of a completely extraneous and ridiculous nature ; so that the Holy Scriptures were an unknown and a sealed book to the uninstructed people.
This corrupt state of the religion and divinity of the Lutheran church could not always continue ; and was necessarily succeeded by a new excitement to faith. The first impulse to this occurred even during the first half of the seventeenth century, by the efforts of George Calixtus of Helmstadt, who sought to re-direct the attention of the students of divinity to its historical department. But the chief renovation was of necessity to be of a practical nature. Many of the pious laity, who were unable