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AUGUSTUS HERMAN FRANKÉ,
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY,
FOUNDER OF THE ORPHAN-HOUSE IN HALLE.
Translated from the German of
LICENTIATE, AND PRIVATE TEACHER OF DIVINITY IN HALLE;
BY SAMUEL JACKSON
WITH AN INTRODUCTORY PREFACE
RECTOR OF WATTON, HERTS.
PUBLISHED BY R. B. SEELEY AND W. BURNSIDE ;
AND SOLD BY L. AND G. SEELEY,
The Editor of the Christian's Family Library introduces the Memoir of the celebrated Augustus Herman Franké to his readers with much pleasure. When Lutheranism was sinking into mere abstraction and formality, Franké was graciously raised up with others, who preceded and followed him (to whom the name of Pietists was given in reproach) to press on men's minds the valuable and unspeakable importance of the life and power of godliness. Fixed, from 1691 to 1727, at Hallé in Saxony, in the very centre of Germany, his works and labours of love were such as to attract universal attention to those great principles which led him to this devotedness to our God and Saviour, and thus many were brought to know, enjoy, and walk in the light of the Gospel of the grace of God.
The testimony of Weisman to Franké js condensed and valuable. I give it in his own words. '
Dona viri ad invidiam usque laudata, prostant ab ingenti eorum numero, quibus erat omnino notissimus, ac inter eos forte a non. nullis quoque quibus sola veritas, hujusmodi encomia extorsit. Erat vir doctus, theologiæ solidæ et salutaris amantissimus, concionator
“ The gifts of a man, praised even to envy, are manifest by the vast number of those to whom he was altogether most known, and by some perhaps from whom only truth extorted encomiums of this kind. He was a learned man, greatly attached to solid and sound theology, a plain and familiar preacher, but hearty also and pathetic, a most laborious administrator of things committed to him, and most ready from long use and experience of things ; and whose memory (from the arduous and large business which bis zeal, love and indefatigable care for doing good imposed on himself, faithfully and boldly administered) will endure to a late posterity. But his acts have passed, it is not to be denied, through good report and evil report, and this is usual in our age especially. But in this all things return to God's judgment of bis servants, and not to man's judgment, who in praising and censuring not seldom errs from the right rule of judging. This excellent man died in the year of our Lord 1727.”
There is much that is very instructive in the account of his conversion, and in the description which he gives of that faith by which he was led to the knowledge and enjoyment of the true and living God; and the Editor hopes that the reader may find real help from this statement of Franké's spiritual experience.
planus et facilis sed cordatus simal et patheticus, administrator rerum ipsi concreditarum laboriosissimus, ex longo rerum usu atque experientia, exercitatissimus cujus memoria ex negotiis arduis amplisque, quæ ipsi imposuerat zelus, charitas, et infatigabilis cura bene faciendi quam plurimis fideliter et intrepide administratis, ad seram usque posteritatem durabit. Quin acta illius per Evonuias et dvopnulas transiverint, nullum plane dubium et moris est nostro maxime sæculo. Sed in his omnia redeunt ad judicium Dei de servis suis non ad diem humanum, qui non raro in laudando et censendo a legitima aberrat judicandi regula. Diem obiit supremum vir optimus. A. D. 1827.
Franké,-- by the translation of his Guide to the Scriptures, his Nicodemus, his Pietas Hallensis, and his Sum and Substance of the Scriptures,-is already well known to many English readers, and they will be gratified to see here more in detail, the springs and course of that river by whose waters they may have been heretofore refreshed.
It might have been well to have opened more the struggle between our fallen nature and divine grace, which it is very clear from his own confession, Franké deeply felt, lest any should think too highly of a man whom God so greatly honoured with extended usefulness; and either be led to despair, or to glory in man. O how important it is to rise through all the excellences which God gives to his people, to the great Giver, the only true life and happiness of all men, and to the truth of all having free liberty constantly to drink of the same fountain of life!
The whole history of the Orphan-House is full of instruction. From what small beginnings did that mighty principle, faith in the living God, bring out ultimately a blessed building of mercy, for which thousands have for ever had to thank God. “Let none despise the day of small things." The way in which Franké overcame evil with good is a very observable part of his course. While his enemies were warning the Church against his supposed errors, he, by his well-doing, put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
The very character of the Orphan-House was wholly