Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

give way to the Lutherans nor vice versa, but both will become one new and quickened Evangelical Christian church. . . .

But however I may wish that the Reformed and Lutheran churches in my dominions share my well substantiated conviction, I respect their rights and freedoms. Accordingly, I am unwilling to force things or to decree or order anything on the subject. Besides, this union has true value only when people are neither prevailed upon nor indifferent, when the union is not merely one of outward form but one with roots and vitality in unity of hearts according to genuine Biblical principles.

Just as I shall myself celebrate the approaching tercentenary of the Reformation in this spirit by joining the existing Reformed and Lutheran Court and Garrison churches of Potsdam in one Evangelical Christian church and take holy communion with it, so also I hope that my own example may wholesomely influence all the Protestant congregations in my realm and inspire universal imitation in spirit and in truth. I leave the unifying structure of the union to the wise guidance of the consistories and to the godly zeal of the clergy and their synods. I am confident that the churches will gladly follow them in the true Christian spirit and that where attention is earnestly, sincerely, and unselfishly fixed on the essential issue and on the great and holy design itself, the form will easily be found. Thus, with simplicity and dignity the external form will issue from within. May the promised moment be not far off when all will gather into one flock under a common shepherd in one faith, one love, one hope!

Source: Carl Immanuel Nitzsch, Urkundenbuch der Evangelischen Union mit Erläuterungen ( Bonn, 1853), pp. 125-127.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

A. L. Drummond, German Protestantism since Luther ( London, 1951), pp. 184-213.

H. Geffcken, Church and State ( London, 1877), II, 168-187.

J. B. Kissling, Der deutsche Protestantismus 1817-1917 ( Münster, 1917- 1918), I, 1-67.

K. S. Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age ( New York, 1958- 1962), II, 79-85.

K. D. Macmillan, Protestantism in Germany ( Princeton, 1917), pp. 164-217.

New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge ( Grand Rapids, Mich., 1956), Vol. VII, Lutherans, Part II.


74
Petition of Berlin Clergy and Cabinet-Order of 1834 (Extracts) March 1, 1826; and February 28, 1834

The liturgy controversy became the burning issue in Prussia after 1822 and elicited the following two documents. The king's liturgy was based chiefly on older German liturgies and narrowly regulated the conditions and forms of worship. It was to be followed by all Protestant churches in Prussia. Distrusted as an administrative regulation lacking genuine reli-

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