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DAVID   S.    SCHAFF,   D.D. 







COPYRIGHT,   1897,   BY 

NorfoootJ  $«80 
J.  S.  Cushing  &  Co.  -  Berwick  &  Smith 

Norwood  Mass.  U.S.A. 

&o  JHg  Iflotfjer 








Among  the  theologians  of  the  last  half  century  in 
America,  Dr.  Philip  Schaff  occupied  a  unique  place.  To 
European  birth  and  theological  training  he  joined  a  thor- 
ough adaptation  of  himself  to  American  institutions  and 
modes  of  thought,  and  came  to  occupy  a  position  of  larger 
public  notice  than  any  other  theologian  from  the  Conti- 
nent who  has  made  this  country  his  home.  For  this 
reason,  if  for  no  other,  this  biography  may  be  expected 
to  have  a  place  of  its  own. 

The  materials  have  been  abundant,  and  an  effort  has 
been  required  not  only  to  curtail  the  matter  that  pertains 
to  Dr.  Schaff' s  personal  life,  but  to  avoid  entering  into 
elaborate  accounts  of  some  movements  with  which  he 
was  closely  identified,  especially  the  progress  of  German 
theology  in  the  middle  of  the  century  and  the  growth  of 
the  German  Reformed  Church1  and  its  institutions.  In 
addition  to  his  correspondence  and  journals,  Dr.  Schaff 
left  behind  him  a  series  of  Personal  Reminiscences  upon 
his  childhood  and  the  years  of  preparation  in  Europe. 
Begun  in  1871  and  continued  at  intervals,  they  have  been 
used  in  accordance  with  the  following  note,  with  which 
they  were  brought  to  a  close  :  "  These  Reminiscences 
were  intended  for  my  family  as  a  record  of  my  European 

1  Commonly  so  called  in  distinction  from  the  Dutch  Reformed  Church. 
Its  official  name  is  the  Reformed  Church  in  the  United  States. 

viii  PREFACE 

preparation  for  my  American  work.  They  may  furnish 
authentic  material  for  a  biography,  if  I  should  be  found 
worthy  of  one.  Providence  has  connected  me  with  several 
important  movements  in  the  church  of  this  age,  and  my 
life  is  not  without  lessons  of  encouragement  to  young 
scholars.  To  me,  it  is  marked  all  through  with  tokens 
of  the  merciful  guidance  of  our  heavenly  Father.  The 
nearer  we  approach  eternity,  the  less  we  think  of  this 
fleeting  life.  When  we  go  to  God,  the  world  vanishes. 
We  are  nothing ;  God  alone  is  great.  The  workman  falls, 
but  the  work  goes  on.  I  close  with  the  motto  of  St. 
Chrysostom,  '  God  be  praised  for  all  things.'  " 

Mindful  of  Dr.  Schaffs  own  judgment,  I  have  been 
encouraged  to  undertake  this  work  by  the  advice  of  his 
friends  Professor  George  L.  Prentiss  and  Professor  Thomas 
S.  Hastings.  On  my  last  call  upon  the  late  Dr.  William 
G.  T.  Shedd,  a  few  months  after  Dr.  Schaff's  decease,  he 
used  the  following  language :  "  I  have  often  said  in  the 
last  few  weeks  that  a  biography  of  Dr.  Schaff  ought  to  be 
undertaken.  I  know  of  no  man  whose  correspondence 
and  acquaintance  with  men  would  furnish  more  interest- 
ing and  valuable  information  for  a  biography.  His  im- 
pressions of  the  men  he  met  and  his  experiences  in  travel 
would  be  of  great  interest.  They  are  what  make  a  biog- 
raphy interesting.  For  example,  there  is  Baur;  your  father 
had  close  knowledge  of  him.  No  scholar  of  his  genera- 
tion has  interested  me  so  much.  He  was  broad,  powerful, 
a  man  of  great  genius." 

Where  the  paragraphs  are  translations,  it  has  been 
thought  unnecessary  to  call  special  attention  to  the  fact. 
During  the  European  period,  closing  with  the  year  1844, 


Dr.  Schaff  wrote  in  German  exclusively.  In  the  Mercers- 
burg  period,  lasting  till  1864,  he  used  German  and  English 
equally  in  his  correspondence  and  other  writings  of  a 
private  nature.  In  the  last  period  he  used  English,  except 
when  there  was  some  special  reason  for  the  use  of  Ger- 
man. As  far  as  has  been  possible,  quotations  from  Dr. 
Schaff's  published  works  have  been  avoided. 

A  biography  of  a  father  is  a  precarious  undertaking  for 
a  son.  While  the  familiar  intercourse  of  the  home  and 
the  study  gives  access  to  the  daily  habits  and  the  most 
intimate  thoughts,  a  son  is  prompted  by  natural  disposition 
to  mistake  matters  of  a  purely  private  interest  for  matters 
of  public  concern,  and  to  .dwell  upon  what  is  usual  and 
common  as  though  it  were  exceptional  and  distinctive. 
In  guarding  against  these  dangers,  I  have  given  large 
space  to  the  judgments  of  others  even  at  the  risk  of  seem- 
ing, at  times,  to  repeat  what  is  contained  in  the  body  of 
the  narrative. 

My  thanks  are  due  for  valuable  counsel  to  Professor 

George  L.  Prentiss,  Dr.  Schaff's  most  intimate  friend  at 

the  time  of  his  death,  and  to  the  Rev.  Dr.  Frederick  S. 

Hay  den  of  Jacksonville,  Illinois,  who  has  followed  these 

pages  one  by  one  and  given  to  them  the  benefit  of  his 

literary  judgment. 


Lane  Theological  Seminary, 
October  4,  1897. 




Early  Years.    1819-1837 1 

Birth  and  Parents  —  Switzerland  —  First  School  —  Meta  Heusser  — 
WUrtemberg— Rationalism  in  Switzerland  —  Religious  Experience  — 


University  Life:  Tubingen,  Halle,  Berlin.     1837-1840        .        .      17 

Tubingen  —  Theological  Tumult  —  Christian  Friedrich  Schmid  — 
Baur  and  Ewald  —  Dorner  —  Meditations  —  Struggles  —  Poetic  Ef- 
forts—  First  Sermons — Leaving  Tubingen  —  Hase  —  Tholuck  and 
Julius  Miiller  —  Mrs.  Tholuck  —  George  L.  Prentiss  —  Berlin  — 
Neander  —  Claus  Harms  —  Private  Tutor 


Travels  in  Italy  and  Sicily.     1 841-1842 38 

Dr.  Schaff  as  a  Traveller  —  Palermo  —  Agrigentum  —  ^Etna  — 
Rome  —  Thorwaldsen  —  Overbeck  —  The  Colosseum  —  Tasso  —  Jesuit 
Sermon  —  Passion  Week  —  Illumination  of  St.  Peter's  —  Gregory 
XVI  —  Leaving  Rome  —  Assisi  —  The  Waldenses  —  Geneva  —  Prot- 
estant Celebrities 


Call  to  America.    1 842-1844 63 

Privat-Docent  in  Berlin  —  Professor  Park  —  Monod  and  Godet  — 
"  The  Sin  against  the  Holy  Ghost  "  —  Private  Thoughts  —  Delega- 
tion from  the  United  States  —  Call  to  Mercersburg  — Marheineke  — 
Ordination  —  Krummacher  —  England  —  Oxford  —  Dr.  Pusey  —  Arri- 
val in  America 





Mercersburg.     1844-1845 92 

Through  Pennsylvania  —  Reception  in  Mercersburg  —  "  Little 
Jamie  "  —  Personal  Appearance  — Theological  Seminary  —  Dr.  Nevin 
Inaugural  —  "The  Principle  of  Protestantism  "  —  Trial  for  Heresy 

In  Lecture  Room  and  Study.     1844- 1863 122 

Fame  of  Mercersburg — The  Church  Festivals  —  Seminary  Strug- 
gles —  First  Endowment  —  Dr.  Schaff  as  a  Lecturer  —  Mercersburg 
Theology  —  Among  his  Students  —  Removal  and  Presidency  of  Mar- 
shall College  —  Marriage  —  Home  Sorrows  —  Student  Stories  — 
Friendships  —  Impressions  of  America 


The    German    Language    and    German   Thought   in    America. 

1844-1863 147 

Perpetuation  of  the  German  Element  in  America  —  The  German- 
American  Churches  —  The  Reformed  Church  and  the  Americanizing 
Process  —  Dr.  Schaff  as  Mediator  between  German  Theology  and 
American  Thought — As  Interpreter  of  American  Institutions  abroad 

—  The  Kirchenfreund  —  History  of  the  Apostolic  Church—  Reception 
of  the  Work  —  Historical  Development 


A  Year  in  Europe.    1854 171 

Failing  Health  —  Scotland  —  Maurice  and  Bunsen  —  Oxford  —  A 
Sunday  in  London  —  Paris  —  In  Germany  again  —  Dining  with  the 
King  —  Lectures  on  America  —  Hurter  and  Prince  Metternich  — 
Venice  and  Trent  — Switzerland  — The  Kirchentag  —  Manning  and 
Cardinal  Wiseman 

Latter  Years  in  Mercersburg.     1 855-1 863 197 

Mercersburg  again  —  Drs.  Wolff  and  Rauch  —  New  Era  in  the 
Reformed  Church  —  Attitude  to  the  Catholic  Church  — To  the  Epis- 
copal Church  —  Liturgy  and  Liturgical  Forms  —  German  Hymn-book 

—  Civil  War  —  Tercentenary  of  the  Heidelberg    Catechism  —  Mer- 
cersburg Theology 




First  Years  in  New  York.     1864-1870 221 

Denominational  Interests  —  New  York  Sabbath  Committee  —  Sec- 
retary —  The  American  and  Continental  Sabbath  —  German  Mass 
Meetings — Bishop  Coxe  —  Presentation  of  the  American  Theory  in 
Germany  —  The  American  Lange  —  Dr.  Schaff  as  an  Exegete  —  Qual- 
ifications of  an  Exegete  —  President  Lincoln's  Death  —  Visit  abroad 
in  1865  —  London  —  Father  Ignatius  — The  Matterhorn  —  Stuttgart  — 
Sunday  Schools  —  Berlin —  Lectures  on  the  Civil  War  —  Mercersburg 
again  —  Death  of  Dr.  Harbaugh  —  Elected  Professor  at  Hartford  — 
"The  Person  of  Christ"  —  Visit  abroad  in  1869 — Spurgeon  —  Dean 
Alford  —  Tregelles  —  The  Evangelical  Alliance  —  The  Engadin  — 
Pere  Hyacinthe 


Movements  towards  Christian  Union.     1870- 1876         .        .        .252 

The  Evangelical  Alliance  —  Proposed  Conference  in  New  York  — 
Dr.  Schaff  the  Organizing  Spirit  —  Franco-Prussian  War  and  the  Vati- 
can Council  —  Deputation  to  the  Czar  in  1871  — Tholuck  and  Hodge 
Jubilees  —  Visits  to  Europe  for  the  Alliance,  1869-1873  —  The  Jan- 
senists  of  Holland  —  Chiselhurst  —  Interview  with  Emperor  William 

—  The  Conference  in  Session  —  Dr.  Schaff  s  Estimate  —  Alliance  of 
the  Reformed  Churches  —  The  Baxter  Monument  —  The  Old-Cath- 
olic Conference  —  Dr.  Dollinger  —  The  Evangelists,  Moody  and 

Union  Theological  Seminary.     1 870-1 893 282 

Again  Professor  —  Union  Theological  Seminary  —  Its  Faculty  — 
Dr.  Schaff  s  Inaugural  —  In  the  Class  Room  —  Estimates  of  Students 

—  Anecdotes — Charge  to  a  Class  —  Charge  to  a  Pastor  —  Doctor  of 
Laws  —  Friendships  at  Home  and  Abroad  —  Home  Sorrows  —  Tour 
in  the  Orient  —  Egypt  —  The  Pyramids  —  The  Wilderness  —  Mt.  Sinai 

—  Vexations  of  Oriental  Travel  —  The  Mosaic  Records  —  Jerusalem 

—  Nazareth  —  Beirut  —  Reflections  on  Palestine  —  Constantinople  and 
Athens  —  "Through  Bible  Lands"  —  Oriental  Travel  and  Theologi- 
cal Study 

Councils  and  Men.     1877-1884 317 

First  Council  of  the  Reformed  Churches  —  Dr.  Schaff s  Address 

—  A  Consensus   Creed  —  Dr.  Muhlenberg  and   Henry  B.  Smith  — 


Pius  IX  —  Salt  Lake  City  and  the  Mormons  —  Yosemite  Valley  — 
Dean  Stanley's  Visit  to  America —  Berlin  and  Bismarck  —  The  Basel 
Conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  —  Tributes  to  Dr.  Adams, 
Nathan  Bishop,  Dr.  Washburn  — Literary  Work — The  Luther  Cele- 
bration in  1883  —  Ezra  Abbot  —  Europe  in  1884  —  From  Scotland  to 
Scandinavia  and  Russia  —  Deaths  of  Dorner  and  Lange  —  Von  Ranke 

—  Conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  of  Copenhagen 

The  Revision  of  the  English  Bible.    1 870-1 885    ....    354 

Origin  of  the  Revision  Movement  —  American  Cooperation  —  Dr. 
Angus  and  Dean  Stanley  — The  Episcopal  Bishops  —  The  American 
Committee  —  First  Meeting  —  Organization  Completed  —  Bishop  Mc- 
Ilvaine's  Judgment  —  Plan  of  Cooperation  —  Cooperation  Imperilled 

—  The  University  Presses  —  Final  Compact  —  Dr.  Schaffs  Concep- 
tion of  the  Work  —  His  Share  in  the  Revision  —  The  American  Ap- 
pendix—  Publication  of  the  Revised  Scriptures  —  Estimate  of  the 
Work  —  Standard  American  Edition  —  Dr.  Schaff's  Last  Words  on 
Revision  —  Estimate  of  his  Services 

German  Universities  Revisited.     1 885-1 888 390 

Roman  Catholic  Baptism  in  the  Presbyterian  Church — German 
Universities  —  Gottingen  and  Ritschl  —  Marburg  and  Giessen  — 
Zwingli  Festival  —  Bonn,  Berlin,  Greifswald,  Leipzig — Halle  and 
Jena  —  Hase  —  Heidelberg  Celebration  —  Spain  —  Renan  —  Henry 
Ward  Beecher  —  Drs.  Prime  and  Hitchcock  —  Lake  Mohonk  as  a 
Summer  Home  —  Professor  of  Church  History  —  Bologna  —  Doctor 
of  Divinity  again  —  St.  Andrews  —  Bishop  Hefele  and  Papal  Infalli- 
bility —  The  Death  of  Friends 

Rome  after  Fifty  Years  —  Ecclesiastical  Liberty.     1890-1892    .    415 

Last  Voyage  to  Europe  —  Rome  —  The  Pope  at  Mass  —  Life  of 
Dr.  Nevin  —  Switzerland  —  German  Universities  once  more  —  Stutt- 
gart—  Godet  and  Lightfoot — Revision  of  the  Westminster  Confes- 
sion —  Dr.  Schaffs  Endorsement  —  Calvinism  and  Arminianism  — 
Letters  to  Drs.  Van  Dyke  and  Morris  — The  Theology  for  the  Present 
Time  —  Dr.  Briggs'  Inaugural  —  The  Detroit  Assembly  and  Union 
Seminary  —  Dr.  Worcester  —  Liberty  and  Ecclesiastical  Authority  — 
Church  Schism  —  Inerrancy  Deliverance  —  Calvin  and  Servetus — 
Liberty  and  Peace 




Fifty  Years  a  Theological  Teacher  and  Author,     i  842-1 892     .    441 

Old  Age — Optimism  —  Godet's  Eightieth  Birthday  —  Dr.  Mann's 
Death  —  Paralytic  Stroke  — State  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  — Let- 
ter from  Godet  —  Semi-centennial  of  Public  Activity  —  Dr.  Schaff's 
Literary  Habits  —  The  Creeds  of  Christendom  —  Dr.  Schaff  as  a 
Church  Historian  —  Personal  Acquaintance  with  Church  Historians 
—  Bishop  Lightfoot's  Testimony  to  his  Influence  —  Historical  Study 
in  America — American  Society  of  Church  History  —  The  Semi-cen- 
tennial Epistle  from  Berlin  University 


The  Parliament  of  Religions.     1893 469 

Health  —  Resigning  Professorship  —  Seminary  Scheme  —  Last 
Words  to  the  Reformed  Church  —  Bible  Revision  —  Theological  Pro- 
pedeutic —  Theological  Position  —  Modern  Biblical  Criticism  —  The 
Old  Testament  —  Last  Summer  —  The  Columbian  Exposition  —  Par- 
liament of  Religions  —  The  Reunion  of  Christendom  —  Letter  from 
Dr.  Godet 


The  Last  Days.     1893 492 

Inauguration  of  a  Successor  —  Last  Lecture  —  Final  Sickness  — 
Funeral  —  General  Estimate  of  Dr.  Schaff's  Career  —  German  Learn- 
ing and  American  Scholarship  —  Dr.  Schaff's  Practical  Bent  —  Social 
Sympathies  —  Friend  to  Students  —  Religious  Faith  —  Tributes  —  At 
the  Funeral  —  From  Societies  and  Assemblies  —  From  Friends 


INDEX 519 





Life,  I  repeat,  is  energy  of  love 
Divine  or  human,  exercised  in  pain, 
In  strife,  in  tribulation;  and  ordained, 
If  so  approved  and  sanctified,  to  pass 
Through  shadows  and  silent  rest,  to  endless  joy. 


Birth  and  Parents  —  Switzerland  —  First  School  —  Meta  Heusser  —  Wurtem- 
berg — Rationalism  in  Switzerland  —  Religious  Experience  —  Stuttgart 

"I  am  a  Swiss  by  birth,  a  German  by  education,  an 
American  by  choice."  In  these  words  Philip  Schaff  was 
accustomed  to  express  his  threefold  indebtedness  to  Swit- 
zerland, Germany  and  the  United  States.  Each  of  these 
countries  made  permanent  contributions  to  his.  mind  and 
character.  His  warm  affection  for  Germany  and  Switzer- 
land continued  unabated,  and,  to  the  end  of  his  life,  he 
stood  in  relations  of  intimacy  with  a  large  circle  of 
German  and  Swiss  friends.  To  America  he  became  at- 
tached by  all  the  personal  affiliations  which  turn  a  strange 
land  into  a  home. 

He  was  born  January  1,  18 19,  at  Chur,  in  the  canton 
of  Graubundten,  and  was  baptized  a  week  later  according 
to  the  rite  of  the  Reformed  Church,  with  which  his  parents 


were  identified.  The  faded  baptismal  paper  is  signed  by 
his  father,  Philip  Schaf1  and  Margaretha  von  Salis  as 
sponsors.  In  his  Personal  Reminiscences  he  thus  recalls 
the  circumstances  of  his  first  home  :  — 

"  I  was  born  and  bred  in  poverty  and  obscurity.  I  can 
boast  of  no  illustrious  ancestors  and  kindred.  I  can  truly 
say,  that  by  the  grace  of  God  I  am  what  I  am.  Inesti- 
mable is  the  blessing  of  a  refined  Christian  home,  warmed 
by  the  sunshine  of  parental  care  and  brotherly  and  sisterly 
affection :  it  is  the  best  discipline  of  mind  and  heart  and 
the  nursery  of  every  virtue  and  grace.  But  poverty  has 
its  redeeming  features  :  it  stimulates  energy,  breeds  in- 
dustry, and  developes  the  spirit  of  self-reliance  and  manly 
independence.  It  often  proves  to  be  a  better  capital  to 
start  with  than  wealth  and  the  prestige  of  pedigree.  I 
have  nothing  to  complain  of.  What  my  parents  lacked 
was  not  their  fault,  and  God  has  overruled  any  disadvan- 
tages of  my  early  childhood  for  my  own  good. 

"My  father  was  a  carpenter  in  humble  condition.  He 
was  much  esteemed,  as  I  have  been  told,  by  those  who 
knew  him.  He  died  in  his  thirtieth  year,  when  I  was  a 
year  old,  and  lies  buried  in  the  graveyard  at  Chur.  My 
mother,  born  in  the  year  of  the  French  Revolution,  1789, 
belonged  to  a  large  family  of  farmers  at  Zizers,  a  small 
village  near  Chur,  and  had  several  sisters,  one  of  whom  I 
remember  as  having  been  very  kind  to  me.  She  married 
again  after  my  father's  death.  She  was  much  attached  to 
me,  her  only  child,  and  would  have  followed  me  to  America, 
had  she  not  been  bound  by  family  ties  to  Switzerland. 
She  was  a  woman  of  fine  appearance,  strong  constitution, 
good  mind,  independent  will  and  native  humor.  It  is  a 
great  comfort  to  me   that   I   was   able   to   contribute   to 

1  This  spelling  the  son  continued  to  use  for  some  years  after  his  arrival  in 

chap,  i  EARLY   YEARS 

her  comfort  in  her  declining  years.  When  I  visited  her 
in  1865  at  her  home  near  Glarus,  where  she  was  then 
living,  she  could  with  difficulty  realize  my  presence ;  and 
after  gazing  at  me  for  some  time,  she  fell  around  my  neck, 
exclaiming  with  deep  emotion,  '  Is  it  you,  my  son !  Now 
I  wish  to  die.  Lord,  take  me  home  ! '  When,  accompanied 
by  my  son  David,  I  saw  my  mother  again  in  1869,  she  was 
still  in  sound  health  and  firm  of  step,  although  eighty. 

"  Again  two  years  later  I  saw  her  at  Fiirstenau,  near  the 
Via  Mala,  and  found  her  in  good  health,  her  hair  still  only 
moderately  gray,  eyes  sparkling,  but  memory  shattered. 
My  last  visit  in  the  summer  of  1872  was  the  most  satis- 
factory of  all.  I  removed  her  to  a  more  comfortable  home 
in  Chur,  and  put  her  under  the  care  of  an  experienced 
nurse.  At  the  final  interview  she  expressed  the  desire  to 
receive  the  Holy  Communion.  The  nurse  provided  the 
bread  and  wine,  and  we  celebrated  together  the  dying 
love  of  our  Lord.  It  was  one  of  the  most  solemn  hours 
of  my  life.  I  left  my  mother  bathed  in  tears,  but  ready 
to  depart  to  a  better  world.  She  was  afterwards  removed, 
at  her  own  request,  to  Glarus,  and  there  she  died  May 
25,  1876,  aged  eighty-seven.  On  my  return  the  next 
year  from  the  Orient,  I  made  a  pilgrimage  with  my  wife 
and  daughter  to  her  grave  at  Glarus,  where  a  plain 
marble  cross  marks  her  resting-place.  Rest  in  peace, 
good  old  mother,  till  we  meet  again  in  the  mansions  of 
heaven  ! " 

To  his  mother  and  the  Swiss  mountain  air  Dr.  Schaff 
owed  a  rugged  constitution,  which  enabled  him  to  en- 
dure protracted  and  laborious  study  to  the  end  of  his 
life  with  little  of  the  feeling  of  fatigue  which  oppresses 
most  men.  His  affection  for  his  native  hills  increased 
rather  than  waned  as  the  years  went  on.  Here  is  his 
description  of  his  native  canton  and  Switzerland  :  — 


"  The  canton  of  Graublindten,  in  which  I  was  born,  was 
for  a  long  time  an  independent  republic  before  its  annexa- 
tion to  Switzerland.  It  contains  some  of  the  grandest 
and  most  romantic  scenery,  but  remained  comparatively 
unknown  to  travellers  until  towards  the  middle  of  this  cen- 
tury. I  well  remember  when  St.  Moritz  in  the  Engadin, 
now  thronged  every  summer  by  tourists,  was  visited  only 
by  a  few  Swiss,  who  put  up  with  poor  accommodations  in 
order  to  breathe  its  pure  air  and  drink  its  healing  waters. 

"  Switzerland  is  the  freest  country  in  Europe,  and  the 
most  beautiful  in  the  world.  Nowhere  on  the  globe  is 
there  such  a  concentration  and  profusion  of  all  that  is 
great  and  sublime,  lovely  and  charming  in  nature.  What 
the  philosopher  Kant  said  of  the  starry  heavens  above  us 
and  the  moral  law  within  us  may  be  justly  applied  to 
the  snow-clad  Alps,  which  fill  the  mind  with  ever-growing 
reverence  and  awe.  The  higher  I  have  climbed  on 
those  everlasting  hills,  breathing  their  bracing  air  and 
enjoying  the  panorama  of  beauty  beneath  and  beyond, 
as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach,  the  younger  and  stronger 
have  I  felt,  and  the  nearer  to  God  and  to  heaven.  God 
himself  has  chosen  the  mountains  —  Sinai,  Zion,  Tabor, 
Olivet  —  as  the  base  for  His  highest  revelations  and  the 
most  important  events  in  the  history  of  the  race.  As 
sang  Meta  Heusser, — 

"  '  The  everlasting  hills  !  how  calm  they  rise, 

Bold  witnesses  to  an  Almighty  hand  : 
We  gaze  with  longing  heart  and  eager  eyes, 
And  feel  as  if  short  pathway  might  suffice 

From  those  pure  regions  to  the  heavenly  land.' 

"  For  intelligence,  education,  love  of  freedom,  and  good 
morals,  the  people  of  Switzerland  compare  favorably  with 
any  in    the    world,    even    Scotland    and    New   England 

chap.  I  EARLY   YEARS 

scarcely  excepted.  They  have  now  maintained  their  re- 
publican institutions  for  more  than  five  hundred  and  fifty 
years,  and  have  outlived  the  changes  of  surrounding  mon- 
archies.1 Their  William  Tell,  Arnold  von  Winkelried  and 
Nicholas  von  der  Flue  will  ever  be  identified  with  patri- 
otism and  freedom  in  story  and  in  song.  Zurich,  Basel 
and  Geneva  were  centres  of  the  Reformation,  and 
Zwingli  and  Calvin  did  as  much  as  Luther  and  Melanch- 
thon  towards  forming  those  ideas  and  principles  which 
control  the  history  of  modern  times.  The  Church  of 
Scotland  is  but  a  daughter  of  the  Church  of  Geneva, 
which  John  Knox  described  as  'the  most  perfect  school 
of  Christ  since  the  days  of  the  Apostles.'  English  Puri- 
tanism, which,  more  than  any  other  agency,  laid  the 
foundations  of  New  England,  and  shaped  the  institutions 
of  America,  is  an  offshoot  of  the  same  Calvinism.  Swit- 
zerland has  also  contributed  directly  by  emigration  a 
goodly  share  to  the  scholarship,  statesmanship  and  the 
industrial  class  of  this  country.  Gallatin,  Guyot  and 
Agassiz  were  Swiss.  Few  historians  have  been  so  widely 
read  outside  their  own  country  as  Merle  d'Aubigne,  who 
wrote  on  the  shores  of  Lake  Geneva.  The  History  of 
Christian  Doctrine  by  Hagenbach,  likewise  a  Swiss 
divine,  is  still  the  best  we  have  in  English  dress.  Pro- 
fessor Godet,  by  his  commentaries  on  Luke  and  John, 
has  more  pupils  in  England  and  America  than  in  his 
native  land  and  language." 

The  share  which  his  Swiss  nativity  and  early  training 
had  in  preparing  him  to  identify  himself  with  American 
institutions,  he  acknowledges  in  the  following  words  :  — 

"In  many  respects  America  is  an  extended  Switzer- 
land.    On  my  arrival  here  I  found  it  much  easier  to  fall 

1  The  six  hundredth  anniversary  of  Swiss  independence  was  fittingly  cele- 
brated by  the  Swiss  population  of  New  York  City,  in  September,  1891. 


in  with  American  institutions  and  to  feel  at  home  in  this 
country  than  the  emigrants  from  imperial  Germany,  who 
are  apt  either  to  retain  a  preference  for  a  more  central- 
ized form  of  government,  or  more  frequently  to  run  into 
an  excess  of  democracy,  especially  on  the  Sunday  ques- 
tion. Restraint  of  individual  freedom,  regard  for  law  and 
custom,  self-government  and  discipline,  are  indispensable 
to  the  permanency  and  prosperity  of  a  republic.  Our 
Christianity,  our  churches,  our  Bible  and  our  Sabbath 
are  the  moral  pillars  of  our  national  fabric.  Take  these 
away,  and  our  liberty  will  soon  degenerate  into  anarchy 
or  military  despotism." 

The  lad  went  through  the  usual  course  in  the  schools 
at  Chur.  His  talents  and  frank  manners  attracted  the 
attention  of  his  teachers,  and  won  friends  who  were  able 
to  render  him  substantial  assistance.  The  Graubiindtners 
are  a  mixed  race  and  speak  Italian,  German,  and  the  Ro- 
mansch,  a  dialect  peculiar  to  their  canton.  Schaff  spoke 
Italian  and  German  on  the  street.  The  copy  books  have 
been  preserved  in  which  he  took  down  the  dictation  of 
the  teacher  on  the  religious  teaching  and  history  of  the 
Bible,  an  exercise  called  in  German  schools  Religion. 
Written  in  a  clear  and  regular  hand,  and  marked,  "  Win- 
ter, 1831-1832,"  they  show  the  nature  of  some  of  the 
instruction  given  at  that  time.  Here  are  several  ex- 
tracts :  — 

"  The  Creation  of  Man :  Whoever  has  worked  six  days 
and  looks  over  his  work,  and  can  say  that  it  is  good,  and 
thinks  of  God  who  has  nourished  and  blessed  him,  for 
him  the  seventh  day  shall  be  a  day  of  peace  and  one  full 
of  holy  joy.  .  .  .  The  Fall:  It  is  only  by  childlike  obedi- 
ence that  we  show  proper  confidence  in  our  Father  in 
heaven  and  love  towards  Him,  as  also  to  our  parents  on 
earth.      Whoso   has   lost   innocence,    can    no    longer   be 

chap.  I  EARLY  YEARS 

happy  in  any  paradise.  .  .  .  Adam's  Sons:  It  would 
have  been  a  pious  and  childlike  act  if  they  had  wanted  to 
give  back  to  God  something  of  what  they  had  received 
from  Him,  just  as  children  want  to  give  back  something  to 
their  parents,  and  thus  show  them  their  love  ;  for  have 
not  they  received  all  things  from  their  parents  ? " 

Leaving  the  lower  school,  he  spent  three  years  in  the 
classical  school  {Cantonsschtde),  made  rapid  progress, 
standing  first  in  his  classes,  and  skipping  several  of  the 
grades.  At  the  age  of  fourteen  he  began  to  support  him- 
self by  giving  elementary  instruction  to  the  children  of 
a  noble  family  with  which  he  was  distantly  related. 
The  friendships  of  his  school  days  were  maintained  in 
maturer  years.  Among  these  friends  were  members  of 
the  von  Planta  family,  three  sons  of  Antistes  Kind,  all 
afterwards  clergymen,  and  Dr.  Herzog,  city  pastor  in 
Chur,  who  survived  him.  He  frequently  met  them  in  later 
years,  and  he  was  accustomed  before  younger  people  to 
lay  stress  upon  the  friendships  of  childhood  and  youth  as 
the  most  disinterested  and  enduring. 

Of  some  of  the  Swiss  friends  who  took  an  interest  in 
him,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  :  "  My  best  patron  in  Chur,  whom  I 
shall  always  remember  with  most  grateful  affection,  was 
the  Rev.  Paul  Kind,  Antistes  or  chief  preacher  of  the  city. 
He  was  an  able  and  faithful  preacher  of  the  Gospel,  and  for 
this  reason  unpopular  with  his  colleagues,  who  were  either 
rationalistic  or  indifferent  to  religion,  though  universally 
esteemed  for  his  irreproachable  character.  It  was  a  pe- 
culiar satisfaction  to  greet  this  venerable  servant  of  Christ 
so  late  as  in  1869,  and  again  in  1871,  then  bowed  down 
by  the  weight  of  fourscore  years,  and  totally  blind.  He 
remembered  me  and  the  scenes  of  my  youth  with  the 
affection  of  a  father. 

"  I  cannot  omit  to  pay  a  grateful  tribute  to  Pastor  Pas- 


savant  of  St.  James',  near  Basel,  the  author  of  several 
ascetic  works  and  practical  commentaries.1  He  was  one 
of  the  most  devout  men  I  ever  knew.  Hearing  of  me 
through  friends,  he  entered  into  correspondence  with  me, 
and  while  at  Stuttgart  and  Tubingen  cheered  and  aided 
me  in  the  pursuit  of  an  education. 

"The  nearest  and  dearest  of  all  these  friends  was  Mrs. 
Meta  Heusser-Schweizer.  The  daughter  of  the  pious 
clergyman  Schweizer,  she  was  a  lady  of  rare  genius,  culti- 
vation, and  piety.  She  is  the  only  Swiss  poetess  of  any 
renown.  Her  poems  of  nature  and  the  spiritual  life  are 
faultless  in  form,  pure  and  tender  in  sentiment,  often  sub- 
lime, full  of  the  richest  Christian  experience,  many  of  them 
the  sweet  fruit  of  bitter  sorrows.  She  sang  like  a  bird, 
never  dreaming  of  her  songs  being  published,  and  shrink- 
ing from  any  suggestion  of  it,  till  at  last  some  friends 
brought  them  to  light  anonymously  in  Knapp's  Christo- 
terpe,  a  poetical  annual  begun  in  1833.2  I  read  them 
with  the  utmost  delight,  and  was  only  too  glad,  through 
a  mutual  Swiss  friend,  Pastor  Burckhardt  of  Schaffhausen, 
to  make  her  personal  acquaintance.  From  the  first  time  I 
met  Mrs.  Heusser,  as  an  unknown  student,  I  felt  drawn 
towards  her  with  filial  affection  which  grew  deeper  and 
stronger  with  advancing  years.  We  kept  up  a  constant 
correspondence  from  1837.  Her  letters,  written  in  a  most 
beautiful  hand,  are  full  of  bright  thoughts  and  religious 
sentiment.  They  are  the  most  beautiful  and  thoughtful  I 
ever  saw  from  woman's  pen.  '  She  died  in  peace,  Jan.  2, 

Following  the  advice  of  Antistes  Kind,  young  Schaff  left 

1  As,  a  commentary  on  the  first  three  chapters  of  Ephesians.     Basel,  1836. 

2  Two  volumes  of  Mrs.  Heusser's  poems  were  published  1858  and  1859 
under  the  title  Lieder  einer  Verborgenen.  A  selection,  translated  by  Miss  Jane 
Borthwick,  appeared  under  the  title  Alpine  Lyrics,  1875,  and  was  afterwards 
included  in  the  Hymns  from  the  Land  of  Luther,  edition  1884. 

chap,  i  EARLY  YEARS  9 

Chur  in  1834,  and  entered  the  boys'  academy  in  Kornthal, 
Wiirtemberg.  This  is  his  description  of  the  journey,  writ- 
ten forty  years  later :  "  It  was  in  September  that  I  left  my 
native  town  and  friends,  and  started  with  mingled  feelings 
of  sadness  and  hope  for  Wiirtemberg.  I  carried  all  my 
possessions  in  my  knapsack  {omnia  mea  mecnm  portans) 
and  travelled  alone  and  on  foot  down  the  valley  of  the 
Rhine  to  Rorschach,  where  I  took  the  boat  across  the 
Lake  of  Constance  to  Friedrichshafen.  The  sight  of  a 
lake  and  the  entrance  into  a  German  town  made  me  forget 
all  the  fatigues  of  the  journey  and  were  the  first  sensation 
of  my  life.  I  took  a  refreshing  bath  in  the  lake  near  the 
castle,  the  summer  residence  of  the  king  of  Wiirtemberg, 
and  continued  my  journey  on  foot  to  Tubingen  and 

Thirty-seven  years  later  he  visited  Friedrichshafen  a 
second  time,  but  under  circumstances  very  different.  This 
time  it  was  as  the  representative  of  the  American  branch 
of  the  Evangelical  Alliance.  As  the  chairman  and  spokes- 
man of  a  distinguished  delegation  from  different  countries 
of  Europe  and  the  United  States,  he  pleaded  in  the  pres- 
ence of  Prince  Gortschakoff  the  cause  of  the  persecuted 
Lutherans  in  the  Baltic  provinces,  and  through  him  pre- 
sented a  memorial  in  behalf  of  religious  liberty  in  the  Rus- 
sian empire  to  the  Czar,  then  on  a  visit  to  his  sister,  Queen 
Olga,  and  her  husband  King  Karl  of  Wiirtemberg. 

Of  Wiirtemberg  and  his  school  life  at  Kornthal,  he 
wrote :  — 

"  The  little  kingdom  of  Wurtemberg  is  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  countries  in  the  world  for  the  number  of 
great  men  it  has  produced.  Schiller  and  Uhland,  the 
most  national  of  the  poets  of  Germany,  not  to  mention 
other  poets  like  Wieland,  Schwab,  Kerner,  Knapp  and 
Gerok  ;  Schelling  and  Hegel,  the  greatest  philosophers  of 


the  nineteenth  century  ;  Kepler,  the  astronomer ;  Andreae, 
Bengel,  Storr,  Schmid  and  Dorner  among  the  leaders  of 
Protestant  theology ;  Mohler,  Hirscher  and  Hefele  among 
Roman  Catholic  divines ;  were  all  born  and  reared  in 
Wurtemberg.  From  the  same  country  have  gone  forth 
champions  of  the  orthodox  faith,  and,  in  strange  con- 
trast, the  chief  representatives  of  German  rationalism  and 
pantheism  —  Paulus,  Baur  and  Strauss,  with  a  number  of 
less  known  but  able  followers.  The  people  are  good- 
natured,  kind-hearted,  plain,  and  economical  in  their  habits, 
somewhat  slow  and  heavy  as  compared  with  the  people  of 
Northern  Germany,  but  reliable,  intelligent  and  well  in- 
formed, industrious  and  persevering,  fond  of  philosophy 
and  poetry,  and  possessed  of  a  harmless  humor  of  their 

"  Five  years  I  spent  among  this  genial  people,  whose 
country  became  to  me  a  second  fatherland.  I  look  upon 
that  part  of  my  youth  with  unalloyed  pleasure.  To  Wiirt- 
emberg  I  owe  under  God  my  spiritual  life  and  the  best 
part  of  my  education.  Had  I  remained  in  Switzerland, 
my  career  would  probably  have  taken  a  turn  very  different 
from  that  which  it  took.  Some  of  my  fellow-students  in 
Chur  became  respectable,  useful  men,  but  others,  no 
worse  than  I,  went  sadly  astray. 

"  Strange  and  incredible  as  it  may  seem,  there  are  now 
several  ministers  of  the  Reformed  churches  of  Graubiind- 
ten  and  other  cantons  of  Switzerland,  some  of  them  my 
fellow-students  at  Chur,  Tubingen  and  Berlin,  who  deny 
even  the  existence  of  a  personal  God  and  the  immortality 
of  the  soul.1  In  1839  tne  famous  Dr.  Strauss,  who  re- 
solved the  life  of  Christ  into  a  fiction  of  the  religious 
imagination,  was  even  called  to  the  chair  of  didactic 
theology  in  the  university  of    Zurich.     The  people,  how- 

1  Written  in  187 1. 

chap.  I  EARLY  YEARS  II 

ever,  prevented  the  consummation  of  this  choice,  and 
Dr.  J.  P.  Lange  was  afterwards  called  in  his  place.  The 
philosopher  Schelling,  just  before  his  death  at  Ragatz, 
August,  1854,  expressed  to  me  his  surprise  and  indigna- 
tion that  the  destructive  doctrines  of  Baur  and  Strauss 
should  be  disseminated  among  those  simple  mountain 
people.  This  antichristian  school  is  now  quite  strong 
in  Switzerland,  and  strives  to  control  the  national  church. 
I  can  see  no  escape  from  this  abnormal  state  of  things, 
except  in  the  complete  separation  of  church  and  state. 
True  Christianity  thrives  best  on  the  self-supporting  prin- 
ciple. Rationalism  will  soon  starve  to  death  without  gov- 
ernmental support.  Those  who  go  to  church  look  for 
spiritual  nourishment,  and  will  not  listen  for  any  length 
of  time  to  preachers  who  take  from  them  their  only 
comfort  in  life  and  death." 

Kornthal,  where  Schaff  spent  eight  months  at  school, 
is  a  neat  and  quiet  village,  resembling  in  origin  and  char- 
acter the  Moravian  settlements  of  Herrnhut,  Gnadau 
and  Konigsfeld.  It  was  founded  in  18 19  by  pietists 
who  were  dissatisfied  with  the  prevailing  indifferentism 
and  rationalism  in  the  state  church.  Securing  a  charter 
with  certain  immunities,  the  colony  flourished  and  has 
acquired  a  wide  reputation  for  its  literary  and  benevo- 
lent institutions,  as  well  as  its  religious  life.  The  village 
is  seven  miles  from  Stuttgart,  and  is  prettily  situated  in 
the  midst  of  vineyards  and  well-cultivated  fields,  and  in 
full  view  of  the  picturesquely  located  royal  summer  palace 
of  the  Solitude,  once  the  seat  of  the  military  school  where 
Schiller  spent  several  years  of  his  youth. 

"  Here,"  he  says,  "  I  studied  to  great  advantage.  The 
most  important  part  of  my  education  was  religious,  espe- 
cially the  catechetical  instruction  I  received  from  Dr. 
Kapff,  then  pastor  of  the  village  church  and  afterwards 


Prelat  and  cathedral  preacher  in  Stuttgart.  He  was  one 
of  the  noblest,  purest  and  most  amiable  men  I  ever 
knew,  a  true  disciple  of  St.  John,  the  disciple  of  love. 
The  peace  of  God  beamed  from  his  serene,  benign 
countenance.  He  preached,  from  out  of  his  own  experi- 
ence, Jesus  Christ  and  him  crucified  as  the  only  ground 
of  our  salvation.  He  confirmed  me  after  a  thorough 
course  of  religious  instruction,  and  from  that  time  I 
looked  up  to  him  as  a  spiritual  father." 

The  village  accepts  the  Augsburg  confession,  and 
Schaff  s  confirmation  was  according  to  the  Lutheran  rite. 
During  this  period  he  had  a  serious  attack  of  typhoid 
fever,  which  was  epidemic  in  the  school,  and  was  removed 
to  the  Solitude  castle  till  his  recovery.  In  1869  he  visited 
Kornthal,  where  a  son  was  then  attending  school,  and 
made  an  address  at  the  services  commemorating  the 
semi-centennial  of  its  existence.  On  that  occasion  he 
said  :  — 

"Thirty-five  years  ago,  a  youth  from  Switzerland,  who 
was  born  in  the  same  year  as  Kornthal  and  therefore  has 
a  twofold  share  in  this  festival,  entered  the  institution  for 
boys,  in  this  place.  At  first,  he  felt  lonely  and  discon- 
tented, and  was  seized  by  that  homesickness  which  is 
peculiarly  strong  in  the  Swiss,  and  which  no  one  can  ade- 
quately appreciate  without  having  had  the  experience. 
One  day,  at  three  o'clock  in  the  morning,  this  stranger 
went  away  to  the  neighboring  forest,  and  prayed,  crying 
in  intense  agony,  and  as  if  on  the  brink  of  despair.  His 
heart  was  without  rest,  because  it  had  not  yet  found  its 
rest  in  God.  But  God  had  mercy  upon  him,  and  heard 
his  cry.  His  homesickness  was  the  pain  of  a  new  birth 
from  above.  He  began  to  realize  for  the  first  time  what 
it  is  to  have  peace  with  God  through  the  atoning  blood 
of   Christ  which  washes  away  all   sin.      By  the  faithful 

chap,  i  EARLY  YEARS 

instruction  and  pious  example  of  Kullen  (then  headmaster 
of  the  school)  and  Kapff,  he  was  introduced  into  the 
mysteries  of  evangelical  truth  and  dedicated  himself  at 
this  very  church  altar,  from  which  I  address  you,  to  the 
service  of  God.  This  pupil  is  with  you  to-day,  from  a  far 
distant  land,  and  thanks  you  for  the  unspeakable  benefit 
which  he  owes  to  this  his  spiritual  birthplace." 

Writing  to  the  son  of  Prelat  Kapff  upon  the  latter' s 
death,  in  1880,  he  said  :  — 

The  pangs  of  homesickness  in  Kornthal  were  turned 
into  the  first  birth-pangs  of  the  new  life.  No  philosophical 
analysis  can  explain  that  religious  and  moral  change  which, 
on  its  divine  side,  is  called  the  new  birth,  and  on  its 
human  side,  conversion.  Most  Christians  can  only  say  in 
regard  to  it  that,  while  they  were  once  dead,  they  now  live, 
and  their  life  is  hid  with  Christ  in  God.  This  much  I 
know,  that  in  the  winter  and  spring  of  1834-35,  by  the 
grace  of  God,  and  under  the  guidance  of  your  father  and 
Professor  Kullen,  of  blessed  memory,  a  change  occurred 
within  me  which  determined  all  my  after  life  and  activity. 

From  Kornthal  he  passed  to  the  Gymnasium  of  Stutt- 
gart. The  course  of  study,  pursued  half  a  century  ago, 
now  seems  almost  painfully  severe.  The  age  for  begin- 
ning Latin  was  seven.  In  the  second  class  Greek  was 
taken  up,  and  select  pieces  were  read  from  Cornelius 
Nepos  and  Caesar.  A  few  years  later  the  pupils,  who  had 
the  ministry  in  view,  began  the  study  of  Hebrew.  From 
the  fifth  class  onward,  the  weekly  essays  had  to  be  written 
alternately  in  Latin  and  Greek.  Mathematics  claimed 
relatively  a  small  share  of  attention,  and  the  natural 
sciences  were  barely  touched. 

During  the  most  of  his  stay  in  Stuttgart,  he  was  an 
inmate  of  the  home  of  William  Julius  Mann,  —  his  life- 
long friend,  — and  shared  with  him  his  room.  The  father 
was  a  merchant  held  in  high  esteem  for  his  counsel  and 


piety  in  the  stricter  religious  circles.  The  following  is  a 
description  of  some  of  his  schoolmates  :  — 

"Among  my  fellow-students  I  was  most  intimate  with 
Mann  and  the  two  sons  of  Schwab  the  poet,  all  of  whom 
remained  my  close  friends  till  their  death.  Mann  and 
Gustav  Schwab,  like  myself,  came  to  America.  The  latter 
rose  to  be  one  of  the  honored  merchants  of  the  great 
metropolis  of  New  York.  I  know  no  layman  in  America 
of  German  antecedents  who  surpasses  him  in  intelligence, 
information,  liberality  and  genuine,  though  unostentatious, 
usefulness.  Dr.  Mann  filled  the  highest  positions  in  the 
German  Lutheran  Church  with  marked  ability  and  accept- 
ance. I  had  the  pleasure  of  dedicating  the  third  volume 
of  my  revised  Church  History  to  these  tried  and  lifelong 

Among  the  teachers  in  the  gymnasium  were  Schwab, 
who  gave  instruction  in  German  literature,  and  an  odd 
character,  Rheinbeck,  a  retired  actor,  who  had  rhetoric  and 
elocution.  The  latter  used  to  impress  the  boys  by  holding 
up  his  right  hand  in  a  dramatic  manner,  and  declaring 
that  it  had  once  held  the  hand  of  Goethe  at  Weimar,  and 
that  he  kept  it  unwashed  for  a  week  after  the  meeting. 

Among  the  friends,  whom  the  boy  won,  was  a  sister 
of  Hahnemann,  the  homoeopath,  Madam  Aubertin,  who 
did  much  in  the  way  of  superintending  his  studies.  She 
was  a  woman  of  much  culture  and  of  a  lively  and  active 
temperament,  then  in  advanced  age.  In  earlier  years  she 
had  been  in  charge  of  a  school  for  young  ladies  at  Mann- 

Through  the  pious  heads  of  the  Mann  family,  he  enjoyed 
the  best  of  religious  influences.  Their  house  was  a  place 
of  resort  for  the  clergymen  of  the  city  and  private  religious 
gatherings.  The  pulpit  of  Stuttgart  was  at  the  time  even 
more  than  ordinarily  strong  and  influential.     Dann,  a  man 

chap.  I  EARLY  YEARS  1 5 

of  tall,  erect  figure,  dressing  in  the  old  style  with  knee 
breeches  and  silver  buckles,  black  silk  stockings  and  tri- 
cornered  hat,  was  closing  his  distinguished  career.  A 
physical  infirmity  made  it  necessary  for  him  to  sit  while 
preaching.  His  rhetoric  attracted  actors  and  others  who 
cared  little  for  the  evangelical  treatment  of  his  themes. 
He  became  very  fond  of  the  boy,  who  had  access  to  him  at 
all  hours  and  who  at  his  death  in  1837  received  as  a  special 
mark  of  favor  a  lock  of  his  hair.  Wilhelm  Hofacker  and 
Albert  Knapp  the  poet,  who  were  in  their  prime,  he 
heard  regularly  at  St.  Leonhard's,  also  attending  Knapp's 
devotional  lectures.  In  later  years  he  mentioned  their 
names  with  reverence  as  having  exercised  a  permanent 
influence  upon  his  religious  life. 

In  the  spring  of  1836  he  made  his  first  visit  to  Switzer- 
land. The  account,  written  from  day  to  day,  reveals  the 
boyish  ardor  with  which  the  journey  was  prosecuted  and 
the  eagerness  with  which  every  opportunity  was  seized  to 
meet  people  of  local  or  extended  reputation.  The  journey 
was  made  on  foot  and  kindness,  received  by  the  way,  sup- 
plied for  the  most  part  the  daily  wants.  The  first  stop- 
ping place  was  Tubingen,  where  he  was  introduced  to  the 
professor  of  philosophy,  von  Eschenmeyer,  and  to  Professor 
Steudel,  and  shared  their  hospitality  at  table  and  over  night. 
His  journal  has  this  record:  — 

Of  course,  I  accepted  both  invitations  very  promptly. 
As  I  sat  at  the  side  of  Professor  von  Eschenmeyer  at  the 
table,  he  talked  with  me  in  the  most  familiar  way,  and  I 
was  amazed  at  the  extraordinary  condescension  of  this  dis- 
tinguished professor.  I  slept  warm  and  without  waking, 
the  night  through,  in  the  very  same  bed  that  Mr.  Ostertag1 
had  slept  the  night  before.  .  .  . 

When  I  got  over  the  line  into  Switzerland  [he  contin- 
ues], I  fell  down  and  kissed  the  earth  of  this  dear  land  of 

1  Subsequently  director  of  the  Mission  Institute  in  Basel. 


freedom,  my  own  fatherland.  Oh,  how  well  I  felt !  A 
pure  air  from  heaven  seemed  to  come  down  softly  upon 
me.  All  the  opening  landscapes,  every  object,  seemed  to 
be  clothed  about  by  some  pure  heavenly  spirit  with  a  supe- 
rior drapery  from  above.  And  then  how  I  delighted  in  our 
mountains  towering  up  to  heaven  !  How  they  take  hold 
of  the  deepest  feelings  of  the  soul,  and  how  clearly  they 
teach  us  our  littleness,  yea,  our  nothingness !  How  they 
inspire  us  by  their  solemn,  priestly  vestments,  their  heroic 
strength  which  no  storms  can  tame,  and  which  invite  us 
to  high  virtues ! 

The  social  and  religious  influences  of  these  school  days 
at  Stuttgart  left  a  deep  impression  upon  the  boy's  mind 
and  heart,  and  had  much  to  do  in  keeping  him  during  his 
university  career  from  being  drawn  away  by  rationalistic 
teachings.  He  always  retained  much  of  the  fervor  of 
Wiirtemberg  pietism.  The  debt  to  this,  his  second  home, 
he  repaid  in  after  years  by  various  services.  Its  first  Sun- 
day school  owed  its  origin  to  him.  He  frequently  brought 
messages  to  its  pulpit  and  to  the  platforms  of  religious  gath- 
erings from  his  distant  home  in  the  West.  He  maintained 
his  early  friendships,  and  as  the  old  friends  departed  one 
by  one,  he  took  delight  in  hunting  up  their  children.  Visit- 
ing the  city,  when  nearly  seventy,  he  attended  Sabbath 
services  at  St.  Leonhard's,  and  was  greatly  moved  on  hear- 
ing a  sermon  full  of  evangelical  fervor  by  Albert  Knapp's 
youngest  son,  then  city  pastor,  and  since  deceased.  Going 
out  from  the  church,  the  flood  of  memories  almost  over- 
whelmed him.  Walking  along  the  Hochstetter  Strasse 
with  his  son,  he  stopped  in  front  of  the  old  Mann  house, 
pointed  out  the  room  he  had  once  occupied,  spoke  of  the 
good  people  whom  he  had  come  in  contact  with,  and  then 
proceeded  to  recall  the  enthusiasm  with  which  he  had  pur- 
sued his  classical  studies  at  the  gymnasium,  and  the  ardor 
with  which  he  had  entered  upon  the  realm  of  German 
poetry  and  other  literature. 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE 




I 837-1 840 

Tubingen  —  Theological  Tumult  —  Christian  Friedrich  Schrnid  — Baur  and 
Ewald  —  Dorner  —  Meditations  —  Struggles  —  Poetic  Efforts  —  First  Ser- 
mons—Leaving Tubingen  —  Hase  — Tholuck  and  Julius  Muller  —  Mrs. 
Tholuck  —  George  L.  Prentiss  —  Berlin  —  Neander  —  Claus  Harms  — 
Private  Tutor 

In  the  fall  of  1837  the  studies  of  the.  university  course 
were  entered  upon  at  Tubingen.  Founded  by  Count 
Eberhard  in  1477,  this  institution  has  had  a  distinguished 
succession  of  teachers,  from  Reuchlin  and  Melanchthon 
down  to  Weizsacker  and  others  among  the  living.  It 
has  been  the  alma  mater  of  the  scholars  and  professional 
men  of  Wurtemberg,  and  has  sent  forth  to  other  parts  of 
Germany  some  of  its  most  learned  and  brilliant  biblical 
scholars.  Its  reputation  for  thoroughness  of  instruction 
and  for  the  industry  of  its  students  has  been  proverbial. 

The  second  quarter  of  the  century,  in  which  the  theo- 
logical preparation  of  Dr.  Schaff  fell,  will  stand  out  in 
the  history  of  the  study  of  the  New  Testament  and  the 
life  of  Christ  as  a  period  characterized  by  the  most 
remarkable  intellectual  acumen,  moral  earnestness  and 
scholarship.  Of  the  two  schools  of  theology  and  biblical 
criticism  to  which  Tubingen  has  given  its  name,  the 
earlier  had  lost  its  supremacy  and,  with  the  death  of 
Steudel,  closed  its   career.     It  was  strongly  evangelical, 


contained  an  infusion  of  mysticism,  and  was  represented 
by  men  like  Oetinger,  Storr  and  Bengel.  The  influence 
of  the  later  Tubingen  school  was  at  its  height.  With  the 
might  of  an  intellectual  giant,  its  founder,  Ferdinand 
Christian  Baur,  was  shaking  to  their  foundations  the 
traditional  theories  of  apostolic  Christianity  and  the 
composition  of  the  New  Testament  writings.  His  own 
writings  were  the  heavy  artillery  of  the  new  critical 
movement ;  the  Life  of  Jesus  by  his  scholar  Strauss, 
published  in  1835,  its  daring  and  hopeless  charge. 

Not  only  was  Dr.  Schaff  brought  from  the  first  into 
close  personal  contact  with  most  of  the  leaders  of  the 
evangelical  and  the  radical  schools  of  opinion,  from 
Neander  to  Baur,  and  from  Tholuck  and  Rothe  to 
Schweizer  and  Schenkel.  He  also  came  in  contact  with 
representatives  of  the  waning  vulgar  rationalism,  such 
as  Paulus,  Wegscheider  and  Vatke. 

From  the  intellectual  tumult  of  that  time,  sixty  years 
ago,  he  came  forth  with  his  faith  strengthened  rather 
than  shaken.  His  religious  antecedents,  as  has  been 
intimated,  prepossessed  him  strongly  in  favor  of  the  con- 
servative teaching  of  the  university.  His  favorite  pro- 
fessor at  Tubingen  was  Schmid.  For  Strauss'  position, 
it  would  seem,  he  felt  no  sympathy,  and  in  later  years 
he  antagonized  it  in  his  Person  of  Christ  and  other  writ- 
ings. For  the  genius  of  Baur  he  had  profound  respect, 
but  he  subsequently  combated  his  theories  of  the  irrecon- 
cilable difference  between  Paul  and  Peter  and  the  origin 
of  the  writings  of  the  New  Testament.  Of  his  Tubingen 
life,  he  thus  speaks  for  himself  in  his  Personal  Remi- 
niscences :  — 

"  The  philosophy  of  Hegel  ruled  without  a  successful 
rival  among  the  students,  and  filled  them  with  enthusiasm 
for  absolute  knowledge.     They  thought  they  could  recon- 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  jq 

struct  the  whole  universe  by  rethinking  the  thoughts  of 
God,  who  comes  to  His  self-consciousness  in  man. 

"Theology  was  divided  into  two  hostile  camps,  —  the 
evangelical  school  of  Dr.  Schmid  and  the  critical  school 
of  Dr.  Baur.  The  whole  theological  world  had  just  been 
stirred  to  its  depths  by  the  publication  of  the  Life  of 
Jesus,  by  Strauss,  then  repetent  at  Tubingen.  Schwegler, 
a  pupil  of  Baur,  who  subsequently  distinguished  himself 
by  his  Post-apostolic  Age,  was  my  classmate  and  an 
intense  student,  who  worked  himself  to  an  untimely 
death.  Baur  himself  was  then  in  the  prime  of  life,  and 
was  working  out  his  reconstruction  of  the  history  of  the 
apostolic  and  post-apostolic  ages.  I  confine  myself  here 
to  personal  reminiscences. 

"Professor  Schmid1  was  a  profoundly  learned,  pious, 
conscientious  and  estimable  scholar,  but  modest  to  a 
fault.  He  published  nothing  of  importance  during  his 
lifetime,  and  his  posthumous  publications  on  Christian 
ethics  and  the  theology  of  the  New  Testament  (as  I 
could  prove  from  my  notes  of  his  lectures)  do  not  do 
justice  to  him.  His  chief  power  lay  in  exegesis.  He 
combined,  like  Bengel,  deep  reverence  for  the  Word  of 
God  with  accurate  philology  and  critical  discernment.  He 
sympathized  with  Neander,  and  independently  wrought 
out  a  similar  reproduction  of  apostolic  teaching  under  the 
four  leading  types  of  James,  Peter,  Paul  and  John.  His 
like-minded  pupil  and  friend,  Oehler,  whom  I  likewise 
knew  very  well,  applied  the  same  method  in  his  Old 
Testament  Theology? 
"Dr.    Baur  filled   me  with   intellectual  admiration  for 

1  Christian  Friedrich  Schmid  (i 794-1852).  His  Biblical  Theology  of  the 
New  Testament  has  been  widely  used  in  its  English  translation,  Edinburgh, 

2  Beck  had  not  yet  been  called  to  Tubingen. 

20  THE  LIFE  OF  PHI  UP  S  CHAFF  1837 

his  rare  genius  and  scholarship.  He  had  great  magnetism 
as  a  teacher.  The  most  difficult  problems  of  higher 
criticism  he  handled  with  the  grip  of  a  giant.  He  elabo- 
rated his  lectures  with  conscientious  care,  and  read  them 
very  closely,  but  with  intense  earnestness  and  inspiring 
enthusiasm.  He  was  at  that  time,  next  to  Neander,  the 
most  influential  academic  teacher  in  theology  in  Ger- 
many. I  gained  from  him  my  first  idea  of  historical 
development  or  of  a  constant  and  progressive  flow  of 
thought  in  the  successive  ages  of  the  church.  He  made 
sad  havoc  with  the  literature  of  the  apostolic  age,  and 
transferred  all  the  writings  of  the  canon,  except  the  four 
great  epistles  of  Paul  and  the  Apocalypse,  to  the  post- 
apostolic  age,  as  elements  in  the  growth  of  the  catholic 
system  out  of  the  conflicting  tendencies  of  Paulinism  and 
Petrinism.  But  his  bold,  critical  researches  stimulated 
an  immense  activity  in  every  direction,  and  led  to 
many  valuable  results.  His  personal  character  was  above 
reproach,  and  among  all  the  modern  opponents  of  tradi- 
tional orthodoxy,  he  is  the  ablest,  the  most  honest  and 
earnest.  On  his  death-bed  he  is  said  to  have  prayed, 
' Herr,  macks  sanft  tnit  meinem  Ende*  [Lord,  grant  me 
a  peaceful  end]." 

On  a  visit  to  Tubingen  in  1888  Dr.  Schaff  was  taken  by 
Professor  Weizsacker  to  the  new  university  museum. 
Looking  at  the  portraits  of  the  rectors  and  distinguished 
professors,  he  tarried  before  the  fine  portrait  of  Dr.  Baur, 
examining  it  closely  and  exclaiming,  "  He  was  a  great 
genius,  a  theological  genius  of  the  first  order!  What  a 
stir  he  made  in  theological  circles,  and  what  a  mighty  im- 
petus he  gave  to  critical  and  historical  investigation !  His 
name  will  live."     The  narrative  continues:  — 

"The  most  celebrated  professor  at  that  time,  next  to 
Baur,  was  Heinrich  Ewald.     I  heard  his  lectures  on  Gene- 

chap.  II  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  21 

sis  and  on  the  biblical  theology  of  the  Old  Testament. 
He  was  brimful  of  genius,  learning  and  sublime  self-con- 
ceit. He  mastered  the  driest  details  of  Hebrew  syntax, 
and  yet  had  a  poetic  insight  into  the  beauties  of  Hebrew 
poetry  and  prophecy.  He  created  as  great  a  revolution  in 
the  higher  criticism  of  the  Old  Testament,  as  Baur  in  that 
of  the  New  Testament,  and  made  as  deep  an  impression 
on  the  age.  It  is  a  curious  fact  that  these  two  men,  the 
highest  of  the  higher  critics,  were  for  ten  years,  1 838-1 848, 
colleagues  and  antagonists  in  the  same  university. 

"  Ewald  was  as  bold  and  independent  a  critic  as  Baur 
and  as  fertile  of  arbitrary  hypotheses.  He  always  spoke 
and  wrote  with  oracular  self-assurance,  as  if  he  himself  had 
been  consulted  by  Moses  and  the  prophets,  by  the  Elohist, 
Jahvist,  Deuteronomist  and  other  writers  of  the  Pentateuch, 
real  or  invented,  before  they  composed  their  chapters.  He 
was  a  perfect  Ishmaelite  and  ignored  or  violently  abused 
the  labors  of  predecessors  and  contemporaries.  He  rarely 
quotes  other  books  than  his  own  and  the  primary  sources. 
1  See  the  History '  is  the  language  in  which  he  refers  to 
his  own  account  of  the  history  of  Israel  as  if  there  were 
no  other.  He  had  no  humor  but  an  unlimited  amount  of 
sarcasm.  He  lived  at  war  with  his  colleagues  and  left 
Tubingen  at  last  in  disgust.  In  speaking  of  the  younger 
Fichte,  professor  of  philosophy  in  Tubingen,  he  disparag- 
ingly characterized  him  in  the  exclamation,  '  Fichte,  whose 
father  was  a  philosopher ! '  Baur  was  to  him  *  no  Christian 
at  all  but  wofse  than  a  heathen,'  or  '  only  a  common  liter- 
ary Jew.  I  frequently  told  him,'  he  said,  '  that  he  was  no 
Christian.  And  what  did  Herr  Baur  do  ?  He  wouldn't 
believe  me,  and  calls  me  a  heretic-hunter  (Ketzerriecher), 
as  if  there  could  be  heresy  where  there  is  no  Christianity  ! ' 
Baur,  with  more  sense  and  dignity,  replied  by  calling 
Ewald's  Jahrbiicher  der  biblischen  Wissenschaft  (Magazine 



of  Biblical  Science)  Jahrbiicher  der  theologischen  Leiden- 
schaft  (Magazine  of  Theological  Passion). 

"He  wrote  a  public  letter  to  the  pope  in  1848,  and  per- 
emptorily called  upon  him  to  resign  his  triple  crown.  When 
asked  why  the  pope  never  answered  his  communication, 
he  coolly  replied,  '  He  does  not  dare  to '  {er  wagt  es  nicht). 
One  more  characteristic  anecdote  I  must  relate.  On  one 
occasion,  when  he  had  received  a  considerable  amount  of 
money  from  his  publisher,  he  remarked  '  This  is  too  much. 
What  shall  I  do  with  it  ? '  '  Put  it  at  interest,'  some  one 
said.  To  which  he  exclaimed,  'But  then  it  will  be  still 
more.'  Such  extraordinary  characters  are  inconceivable 
outside  the  world  of  German  scholars. 

"  But  all  his  eccentricities  aside,  Ewald  was  a  very  stimu- 
lating and  enthusiastic  teacher,  wholly  absorbed  in  his 
calling.  He  was  tall  and  erect,  with  a  full  suit  of  hair, 
flashing  eyes,  and  looked  as  solemn  as  a  prophet  of  old. 
He  had  a  profoundly  religious  nature,  and  whatever  others 
may  have  thought  of  his  ways  of  expressing  himself,  he  no 
doubt  considered  himself  very  religious.  He  fairly  trem- 
bled when  he  spoke  of  the  majesty  of  Jahveh  and  the 
grandeur  of  the  prophets.  The  highest  word  he  ever 
spoke,  he  spoke  to  Dean  Stanley,1  when,  holding  up  a 
Greek  Testament,  he  exclaimed,  'In  this  little  book  is  con- 
tained all  the  wisdom  of  the  world.' 

"  One  more  teacher  nearer  and  dearer  to  me  personally 
than  all  the  rest  of  my  Tubingen  professors  was  Dr. 
Dorner.  He  had  just  been  called,  and  I  heard  his  first 
course  of  lectures  on  apologetics  and  dogmatics.  He 
combined  in  some  measure  the  excellences  of  Baur  and 
Schmid,  the  speculative  and  the  critical  faculty  of  the 
former  and  the  Christian  piety,  and  the  Scriptural  sound- 

1  At  an  inn  in  Dresden.  See  Stanley,  History  of  the  Jewish  Church,  III. 
p.  x. 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  23 

ness  of  the  latter.  He  knew  as  much  of  history  as  Baur, 
was  much  more  sober  and  fair  in  his  judgment,  but  fell 
short  of  him  in  boldness,  originality,  in  force,  and  in 
mastery  of  style.  He  had  passed  under  the  training  of 
Hegel  and  Schleiermacher,  and  was  just  the  kind  of  man 
to  satisfy  the  wants  of  those  advanced  students  who 
wished  to  master  the  critical  and  speculative  problems  of 
the  age  without  losing  their  Christian  faith.  He  was  one 
of  the  purest  and  noblest  men  I  ever  knew,  and  combined 
the  highest  scientific  culture  with  Christian  faith,  simplicity 
and  humility.  I  shall  always  continue  to  be  glad  that  I 
was  able  to  induce  him  to  come  to  America  in  1873.  I 
never  lived  in  a  place  where  there  was  more  earnest  and 
intense  study  than  there  was  in  Tubingen  during  my  uni- 
versity course. 

"During  vacations  I  usually  made  a  journey  on  foot  to 
my  native  Switzerland,  and  once  to  Munich,  where  I  saw 
the  treasures  of  art  and  made  the  acquaintance  of  Schell- 
ing,  von  Baader,  Gorres  and  Schubert.  I  vividly  recollect 
the  impression  these  distinguished  men  made  upon  me. 
The  acquaintance  with  the  philosopher  Schelling  I  re- 
newed in  Berlin,  and  in  Ragatz  I  heard  from  his  dying 
lips  his  last  views  on  the  philosophy  of  church  history, 
that  is,  the  progressive  stages  of  development  as  marked 
by  the  apostolic  types,  Peter,  Paul  and  John.  He 
confessed  his  faith  in  Christ  as  his  only  comfort  in 

Dr.  SchafFs  note-books  of  lectures  and  his  manuscript 
papers  belonging  to  the  university  period  are  written  out 
with  faultless  precision  and  neatness,  and  indicate  untiring 
industry  and  the  wide  interests  of  his  mind.  Besides 
copious  excerpts  from  readings  in  various  departments  of 
literature,  they  contain  his  own  original  observations.  A 
few  examples  will  show  their  nature  :  — 


Philosophy  ought  to  be  a  living  and  deep  longing  for  the 
fatherland  of  truth.  .  .  .  Love  makes  the  Christian  ser- 
vant of  all  men,  faith  makes  him  master  of  all  things.  .  .  . 
Without  Christ  life  is  as  the  twilight  with  dark  night 
ahead ;  with  Christ  it  is  the  dawn  of  morning  with  the 
light  and  warmth  of   full  day  ahead. 

Every  genuine  and  deep  experience  is  a  moral  progress. 
Art  is  the  wine  of  life,  science  is  the  bread,  religion  is 
both.  The  law  has  in  it  the  need  of  the  Gospel.  In  the 
thou  shalt  of  the  almighty  and  all-loving  One  lies  the 
promise  of  the  thou  canst. 

The  best  authority  against  Strauss  is  an  honest  soul 
filled  with  Christ,  whose  life  of  faith  hid  with  God  shows 
that  Christianity  is  not  an  idea  hanging  in  the  air,  but  that 
forth  from  the  prophet  of  Nazareth  there  continues  to  go 
power  which  overcomes  the  world  and  also  life  for  all  sym- 
pathetic hearts.  The  Christian  life  is  the  child  life  with 
-/  its  faith,  hope  and  love  transfigured.     The  child  believes 

without  experience,  loves  without  wisdom,  hopes  without 
foundation.  The  Christian  believes  and  trusts  like  the 
child,  but  he  knows  in  whom  he  believes.  He  loves 
warmly  and  unselfishly  as  the  child  loves,  but  he  discrimi- 
nates as  the  child  does  not.  He  hopes  as  confidently,  but 
with  a  more  distinct  image  before  him  and  immovable 
ground  beneath  him.  Faith  is  his  foundation,  love  is  his 
dwelling  room,  hope  the  waving  flag  on  the  tower. 

The  religious  temper  of  his  mind  shows  itself  in  the 
meditations  he  recorded  from  time  to  time  while  at  Tubin- 
gen, which  abound  in  expressions  of  pious  gratitude  and 
of  longing  for  closer  communion  with  Christ.  On  the  last 
evening  of  the  year  1838  he  thus  unbosomed  himself:  — 

I  am  quite  full  of  the  blessed  nearness  of  the  Saviour 
which  I  have  felt  in  these  last  days  of  Christmas  week,  and 
especially  as  I  have  listened  to  preaching.  I  have  learned 
again  that  the  most  precious  of  all  experiences  is  the  ex- 
perience of  his  presence.  There  are  happy  hours  spent 
in  the  friendships  of  the  world  where  we  say  one  to  the 
other  "I  am  thine,  thou  art  mine."  But  those  who  feel 
the  secret  presence  of  Christ  know  that  these  pass  into 
the  shadow  before  the  experiences  we  have  in  his  com- 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  25 

munion,  when  we  rise,  as  on  the  wings  of  eagles,  through 
prayer  and  faith  to  him  the  highest  of  all  beings,  the 
beginning  and  the  end  and  the  moving  centre  of  all  things. 
Here,  one  has  answer  to  his  questionings  ;  here,  peace 
which  passeth  knowledge.  Our  faith  and  hope,  how  can 
they  fail  to  be  sources  of  blessing,  since  they  look  towards 
Christ,  who  is  not  a  hard  master,  but  the  Redeemer,  the 
Wonderful,  the  Prince  of  Peace ! 

Just  before  leaving  Tubingen  he  wrote : — 

I  confess  it  aloud  that  in  Christ  I  have  found  what  my 
soul's  deepest  needs  cry  out  for,  —  the  satisfaction  of  my 
longings,  the  calming  of  anxious  fears  —  turning  darkness 
into  day.  Earthly  goods  he  has  not  given  me,  that  I 
might  the  more  zealously  seek  after  heavenly  things.  He 
has  denied  me  the  sweet  joy  of  a  father's  care,  that  with 
all  the  devotion  my  heart  is  capable  of,  I  might  pour  out 
my  love  into  his  heart  and  find  in  him  the  truest  and  most 
trusty  friend.  He  has  been  wonderfully  present,  healed 
my  wounds,  and  shows  daily  his  kindness  and  faithfulness, 
proving  to  me  indeed  that  he  lives  and  that  his  holy  Gospel 
is  not  a  garland  of  myths  which  abortive  effort  has  sought 
to  bind  around  his  brow,  and  keeping  me  from  erring  in 
the  labyrinth  of  the  wisdom  of  the  age. 

Throughout  his  university  career  it  was  more  than  once 
a  question  whether  he  would  not  be  forced  to  abandon  his 
studies  for  want  of  means.  A  slender  support  was  secured 
through  teaching,  or  furnished  by  friends,  in  large  part  in 
the  form  of  loans.  In  subsequent  years  he  often  spoke  of 
the  liberal  financial  aid  extended  to  needy  theological  stu- 
dents in  this  country,  and  the  encouragements  given  to 
them  as  compared  with  the  students  in  Germany,  where  no 
societies  exist  to  aid  candidates  for  the  ministry,  except  as 
here  and  there  the  state  helps  one  of  unusual  promise. 
The  kindness  of  one  friend,  the  Rev.  Mr.  Passavant,  was 
most  opportune.  His  letters  are  full  of  fatherly  counsels, 
and  again  and  again  he  refused  to  accept  any  praise  for 
himself.  "You  should  give  thanks  not  to  me,  but  to  the 
Lord,"  he  wrote;  "the  great  giver  before  whom  we  should 


all  bow  down.  You  must  remember  that  you  are  a  poor 
sinner,  and  in  that  sense  the  Lord  makes  the  poor  rich." 
He  repeatedly  urged  his  young  friend  to  take  care  of  his 
health  and,  not  unmindful  of  his  bodily  comfort,  insisted 
upon  his  having  a  warm  drink  for  breakfast,  promising 
him  an  additional  four  kreuzer  (about  two  cents)  each  day 
for  this  luxury. 

In  his  school  period,  Schaff  developed  a  poetic  facility, 
and  was  encouraged  to  cultivate  the  talent  by  Knapp  and 
Mrs.  Heusser.  A  number  of  his  early  pieces  are  still  ex- 
tant. A  few  of  them  were  put  in  print.  He  was  fully 
convinced  that  he  was  born  a  poet.  Time  brought  an- 
other conviction,  and  he  abandoned  poetical  composition. 
But  this  early  habit  accounts,  in  part,  for  the  interest  he 
took  in  later  years  in  sacred  poetry  and  for  his  hymnologi- 
cal  taste.  He  early  stored  his  memory  with  the  treasures 
of  poetry  in  the  language  in  which  it  was  written,  from 
Homer,  Virgil  and  Dante  to  Goethe,  Schiller  and  other 
German  poets.  It  was  his  custom  to  lay  great  stress  upon 
committing  to  memory  the  best  pieces  in  youth,  as  one  of 
the  most  valuable  elements  of  an  education. 

His  first  sermons  were  preached  in  the  pulpit  of  Gustav 
Schwab  at  Gomaringen,  a  town  of  Wurtemberg.  The 
privilege  of  preaching  was  much  coveted  by  the  students 
who  did  not  dream  of  remuneration  for  such  services.  He 
went  from  village  to  village  on  foot.  His  early  sermons 
are,  in  part,  written  out  on  sheets  and  sewed  together  by 
his  own  hand.  The  first  was  preached  the  Monday  after 
Easter,  1838,  when  he  was  nineteen,  from  the  text  which 
he  afterwards  emphasized  as  the  epitome  of  the  Gospel 
message,  "  God  so  loved  the  world  that  He  gave  His  only 
begotten  Son."  A  few  weeks  before  his  death,  taking  one 
of  his  grandsons,  a  namesake,  on  his  knee,  he  had  him 
repeat  the  verses  which  begin  with  these  words  and  then, 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  27 

with  evident  emotion,  said,  "  That,  my  child,  is  the  whole 
of  the  Gospel.  That  is  the  highest  wisdom.  Whatever 
else  you  forget,  do  not  forget  that." 

The  third  and  last  year  of  his  university  studies  was 
divided  between  Halle  and  Berlin,  where  Neander  and 
Hengstenberg,  Tholuck  and  Julius  Miiller  held  command- 
ing positions  in  the  theological  world.  With  them,  the 
chief  leaders  of  evangelical  theology  in  Germany  were 
Nitzsch  at  Bonn,  Rothe,  Ullmann  and  Umbreit  at  Heidel- 
berg, Dorner  at  Kiel,  Lange  at  Zurich  and,  a  little  later, 
Ebrard  of  Erlangen.  Differing  in  phases  of  theological 
doctrine,  they  agreed  in  opposing  the  Tubingen  school 
and  the  older  and  newer  rationalism  represented  by  Weg- 
scheider,  Paulus  and  Strauss.  It  was  given  to  them 
to  regain  for  positive  and  historical  Christianity  the  con- 
fidence which  it  seemed  to  be  in  danger  of  losing,  and 
to  impart  the  courage  of  well-grounded  religious  con- 
victions, fortified  by  brilliant  scholarship,  to  a  younger 
class  of  men,  who  were  soon  to  be  called  to  places  at  their 
side,  and  to  become  their  successors. 

Tholuck,  who  had  gone  to  Halle  as  the  successor  of 
Knapp,  in  the  chair  of  systematic  theology  and  exegesis, 
was  then  in  the  fresh  vigor  of  his  powers.  Julius  Miiller 
had  just  been  transferred  to  the  university.  With  them 
were  associated  Gesenius,  the  Hebraist ;  Wegscheider,  the 
representative  of  the  moribund,  vulgar  rationalism  ;  Erd- 
mann  and  Ulrici,  the  philosophers ;  Leo,  the  historian  ; 
and  Witte,  the  Dante  scholar.  Wegscheider  had  out- 
lived his  reputation.  His  audiences,  which  in  the  days 
of  his  prime  had  numbered  four  and  five  hundred,  had 
dwindled  down  to  six  or  eight  students.  The  atmos- 
phere was  already  cleared  of  rationalistic  mists  by  the 
growing  power  of  evangelical  thought  under  the  instruc- 
tion and  example  of  Tholuck  and  Julius  Miiller. 


Dr.  Schaff' s  own  account  of  his  removal  to  Halle  runs 
as  follows :  — 

"On  a  fine  September  morning  in  1839,  I  fcft  Wurtem- 
berg  and  travelled,  partly  on  foot  partly  by  diligence  (for 
there  were  no  railroads),  stopping  on  the  way  at  N urn- 
berg,  Erlangen,  Eisenach,  Weimar  and  Jena  long  enough 
to  see  the  curiosities,  and  to  make  some  interesting 
acquaintances.  "^-7 

"  I  well  remember  a  brief  visit  on  Professor  Hase,  whom 
I  knew  through  his  admirable  manual  of  Church  History, 
and  found  to  be  a  charming  gentleman.  He  received 
me,  a  poor  student,  very  kindly,  with  the  words,  'Ah, 
you  have  not  been  prevented  by  the  darkness  of  the 
night  from  calling  upon  me.' *  I  saw  him  once  again  in 
1886  as  an  octogenarian.  He  was  then  engaged  in  pub- 
lishing his  lectures  on  Church  History,  —  a  work  he  did 
not  live  to  finish.  He  died  January  3,  1890,  ninety  years 
of  age ;  and  a  few  days  later  Dr.  Dollinger,  the  ablest 
Catholic  church  historian  of  the  century  and  the  leader 
of  the  Old  Catholics  (isolated  and  yet  a  member  of  the 
great  Church  catholic),  closed  his  life  of  nearly  ninety- 
one  years.  Ranke  had  preceded  both  in  1886,  and  at 
the  same  advanced  age.  All  three  were  engaged  to  the 
very  last  in  their  favorite  historical  studies,  which  seem 
to  be  conducive  to  old  age.  In  April,  1890,  Dr.  Kurtz, 
of  Marburg,  followed  them,  aged  seventy-eight,  after 
finishing  the  eleventh  edition  of  his  useful  manual  of 
Church  History,  which  has  been  twice  translated  into 

"  Soon  after  my  arrival  in  Halle,  I  called  with  letters  of 
introduction  on  Professor  Tholuck.  He  at  once,  to  my 
great  surprise  and  delight,  took  me  into  his  house,  and 
employed  me  for  a  while  as  his  amanuensis  and  librarian. 

1  Haben  Sie  sich  das  Dunkel  der  Nacht  nicht  gescheut  mich  zu  besuchen  ! 

chap.  II  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  29 

He  invited  me  several  times  every  week  to  his  table,  and 
showed  me  unwearied  kindness ;  and  his  young,  beautiful 
and  charming  wife,  then  recently  married  and  full  of 
enthusiastic  devotion  to  her  husband,  treated  me  like 
a  brother.  There  assembled  in  her  parlors  once  a  week 
a  number  of  accomplished  Christian  women,  and  at  her 
request  I  helped  to  entertain  them  by  readings  from 
Dante,  Shakespeare,  Augustine's  Confessions,  Thomas  a 
Kempis,  Lenau's  Savonarola,  Tholuck's  Sermons  and 
other  works.  As  for  Dr.  Tholuck,  he  was  then  in  his 
prime,  and  the  chief  attraction  of  the  university,  espe- 
cially for  students  from  England  and  America.  He 
could  converse  with  every  visitor  in  his  own  dialect.  He 
created  an  epoch  by  his  arrival  in  1827,  and  made  the 
revived  evangelical  faith  a  converting  power  from  the 
lecture  chair  and  the  pulpit.  He  had  at  first  to  encoun- 
ter much  persecution,  but  outlived  it,  and  became  the 
most  popular  teacher  and  preacher  in  Halle.  He  was 
a  man  of  genius,  extensive  learning  and  fervent  piety. 
His  lectures  were  fresh,  suggestive  and  stimulating. 
His  chief  power  and  usefulness  lay  in  his  personal  mag- 
netism and  devotion  to  the  students,  whom  he  loved  as 
his  own  children,  himself  being  childless.  He  took  daily 
walks  at  eleven  and  four  with  two  or  three  of  them  at 
a  time,  instructing  and  entertaining  them  by  easy  con- 
versation, anecdotes  and  sallies  of  humor.  He  took 
special  interest  in  honest  sceptics  and  inquirers.  He 
had  himself  a  sceptical  vein,  and  knew  how  to  deal  with 
honest  doubts.  Occasionally  he  was  baffled  by  an  un- 
expected answer.  He  once  asked  a  student,  who  never 
went  to  church,  where  he  worshipped  on  Sunday.  '  In 
nature/  was  the  reply,  '  God's  own  temple,  with  His  sun 
shining  brightly  over  me.'  '  But  what  do  you  do  when  it 
rains?'  said  the  professor.     'Then  I  put  up  an  umbrella,' 


was  the  ready  retort.  Tholuck  once  told  me  that  seekers 
after  religion  needed  kindly  attention  beyond  any  other 
class.  He  aroused  many  a  young  man  to  a  sense  of  his 
individuality,  and  was  truly  a  schoolmaster  to  lead  many 
to  Christ. 

"Professor  Tholuck  influenced  American  theological 
thought  by  his  contact  with  American  divines,  such  as 
Dr.  Charles  Hodge,  Edward  Robinson,  Henry  B.  Smith, 
George  L.  Prentiss  and  Professor  Park.  He  called  them 
his  American  pets.  Although  a  great  sufferer  from  in- 
somnia and  other  bodily  ailments,  he  prolonged  his  life 
by  rigid  regularity  in  his  habits,  strict  temperance  and 
constant  exercise,  till  he  reached  seventy-seven.  When 
I  called  a  few  weeks  after  his  death,  his  widow  led  me  to 
the  chamber  and  chair  where  he  died,  and  repeated  to  me 
his  last  words,  '  My  dear  child,  I  die  a  double  death,  but 
Christ — .'  She  supplied  the  unfinished  sentence.  'Christ 
died  and  rose  for  me.'  This  was  the  sum  of  his  theology, 
as  it  was  his  last  comfort.1 

"Mrs.  Tholuck  is  a  rare  woman.  She  was  the  young- 
est daughter  of  a  pious  family  of  the  nobility,  living  at 
Stuttgart,  von  Gemmingen  by  name,  who  were  originally 
Roman  Catholics.  The  baroness  recommended  me  to 
her  daughter,  which  accounts  for  my  favorable  reception. 
Mrs.  Tholuck  was  a  niece  of  Mrs.  Hegel,  the  widow  of 
the  philosopher,  whom  I  visited  often  in  Berlin,  and 
found  to  be  a  very  estimable  lady.  She  was  at  that  time 
much  disturbed  by  infidel  developments  of  the  left,  or 
radical,  wing  of  the  Hegelian  school,  especially  the  Life 
of  Jesus,  by  Strauss,  who  claimed  at  that  period  to  be 
a  Hegelian.     She   assured   me   that   her  husband  was  a 

1  Further  information  will  be  found  in  the  elaborate  sketches  of  Dr. 
Tholuck  by  Dr.  Schaff,  in  his  Germany  and  its  Universities  and  the  Schaff- 
Herzog  Encyclopedia. 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  31. 

good  Christian,  and  would  have  abhorred  such  a  work. 
She  often  tried,  she  said,  to  prevail  upon  him  to  go  with 
her  to  Gossner's  church  in  Berlin,  but  he  would  excuse 
himself  with  the  remark,  *  My  dear  child,  thinking  is  also 
worship.'1  This  is  very  characteristic  of  the  great 
thinker.  Mrs.  Tholuck  shared  her  husband's  affection  for 
his  students,  often  invited  them  to  her  hospitable  board, 
entertained  them  around  the  Christmas  tree,  and  pro- 
vided aid  for  them  through  friends. 

"It  was  at  Dr.  Tholuck's  house,"  he  continues,  "that  I 
made  my  first  American  acquaintance,  Dr.  George  L. 
Prentiss,  soon  to  become  my  intimate  friend  and  afterward 
my  beloved  colleague  in  Union  Seminary.2  He  was  then 
studying  in  Halle  and  boarding  with  Professor  Ulrici.  He 
was  handsome  and  a  model  gentleman.  He  often  came  to 
my  study  to  hear  me  play  on  the  flute  and  to  talk  philoso- 
phy and  theology.  We  were  both  intimate  with  Kahnis, 
our  fellow-student,  who  was  then  overflowing  with  spirit, 
wit  and  humor. 

"  Next  to  Tholuck,  Julius  Miiller  was  my  favorite  teacher 
in  Halle  and,  in  some  respects,  I  owe  him  more  than  I 
do  Tholuck.  He  was  less  widely  learned  and  brilliant,  but 
more  deep  and  solid.  His  work  on  sin3  is  one  of  the  most 
able  and  valuable  doctrinal  monographs  of  modern  times. 
We  called  him  Sunden-Miiller  (Sin-Muller).  For  his  Chris- 
tian character  I  entertained  profound  respect.  I  have 
never  known  a  more  pure,  humble,  conscientious,  kind  and 

1  Mein  liebes  Kind,  das  Denken  ist  auch  Gottesdienst. 

2  When  Dr.  Prentiss  met  Dr.  Tholuck  for  the  first  time,  so  he  informs  me, 
the  professor  was  walking  with  Dr.  Henry  B.  Smith.  "  Do  you  know,"  he 
exclaimed,  "  the  controlling  and  central  feature  of  the  theological  thought  of 
the  day  ?  It  is  Ent-wick-e!-ungy"  (de-vel-op-ment),  emphasizing  each  syllable 
as  he  answered  his  own  question. 

3  The  Christian  Doctrine  of  Sin  (Die  christliche  Lehre  von  der  Sunde), 
2  vols.  1 839- 1 844. 



Christ-like  man,  unless  it  be  Neander.  I  never  left  his 
room  without  feeling  better  for  having  been  in  his  pres- 
ence. The  last  time  I  saw  him,  in  1877,  he  was  scarcely 
able  to  speak,  having  had  a  stroke  of  paralysis,  and  I 
shall  never  forget  the  painful  struggle  of  his  lips,  the 
tender  expression  of  his  eye  and  the  hearty  pressure  of 
his  hand.  He  lives  in  my  memory  as  an  evangelical  saint. 
In  his  sincere  modesty  he  refused  to  publish  his  lectures 
on  dogmatic  theobgy  which  would  have  taken  rank  as  one 
of  the  very  best  systems  of  Protestant  theology,  and  he 
ordered  his  manuscripts  destroyed  at  his  death." 

After  spending  six  months  in  Halle,  he  decided  to  re- 
move to  Berlin.  The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to 
Mrs.  Heusser  bears  upon  the  change:  — 

I  have  now  resolved  to  leave  here  and  go  to  Berlin, 
where  I  have  been  spending  the  Christmas  holidays.  I 
met,  among  others,  Neander,  Hengstenberg,  Gossner  and 
Theremin.  Without  any  seeking  on  my  part,  Hengsten- 
berg offered  me  a  place  as  tutor  in  the  family  of  Mrs.  von 
Krocher,  and  I  have  accepted,  after  declining  a  similar 
position  in  the  family  of  the  Count  of  Mecklenburg.  Mrs. 
von  Krocher's  only  son  attends  the  gymnasium,  and  I  am 
to  oversee  his  studies  and  accompany  him  on  his  travels 
during  the  holidays.  I  dislike  the  thought  of  giving  even 
the  appearance  of  being  ungrateful  to  Professor  Tholuck 
by  leaving  here,  for  his  kindness  has  been  very  great.  But 
after  I  had  made  up  my  mind  he  told  me  that  from  the 
start  it  had  been  his  opinion  that  this  was  the  proper  thing 
for  me  to  do,  and  that  he  had  only  hesitated  to  say  so  as  it 
would  involve  my  leaving  Halle. 

He  first  became  known  to  Professor  Hengstenberg 
through  articles  he  had  contributed  to  the  Kirchenzeitung, 
of  which  Hengstenberg  was  editor.  His  buoyancy  of 
spirits,  bright  eye  and  easy  powers  of  conversation,  and, 
without  doubt,  his  Swiss  extraction  also,  attracted  atten- 
tion and  won  for  him  friends.  Of  his  removal  to  Berlin 
he  writes  :  — 

chap,  ii  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  33 

"In  Easter  week  of  the  year  1840  I  travelled  in  the 
company  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Tholuck  from  Halle  to  Berlin, 
where  I  proposed  to  complete  my  studies.  Dr.  Tholuck 
introduced  me  to  Baron  von  Kottwitz,  his  spiritual  father 
who  came  as  near  being  a  perfect  saint  as  any  one  I  have 
ever  known.  He  also  introduced  me  to  the  families  of  von 
Gerlach  and  Frau  von  Quast.  Hengstenberg's  mother-in- 
law  introduced  me  to  her  friend  the  Baroness  von  Krocher, 
in  whose  family  I  was  to  act  as  tutor. 

"  I  at  once  took  charge  of  my  pupil,  a  bright  and  amia- 
ble boy  of  fifteen.  Mrs.  von  Krocher  was  a  lady  of  rare 
accomplishments,  refined  feelings  and  whole-souled  gen- 
erosity. She  treated  me  with  the  affection  of  a  mother, 
gave  me  a  liberal  salary  and  left  me  ample  time  to  attend 
the  lectures  at  the  university.  I  remained  two  years  in 
her  service,  spending  the  winter  in  Berlin,,  the  summer  in 
her  castle  at  Cothen  near  Freienwalde,  and  a  year  in  travel. 
In  Cothen  I  saw  much  of  the  country  life  of  the  Prussian 
nobility,  and  dined  almost  daily  with  Mrs.  von  Krocher's 
favorite  brother,  Rittmeister  von  Jena.  He  exercised  an 
unbounded  hospitality,  and  his  large  family  combined  social 
refinement  with  Christian  character.  When  I  left  the 
service  of  Mrs.  von  Krocher  she  offered  me  a  handsome 
gift  in  money,  which  I  declined.  It  amounted  to  the  salary 
I  received  in  Mercersburg  during  the  first  five  years  of 
my  stay  there." 

The  university  of  Berlin  was  then  in  the  first  rank 
among  the  twenty-two  universities  of  Germany,  although 
one  of  the  youngest  in  age.  The  literary  atmosphere  in 
the  city  has' never  been  more  stimulating.  Hegel  and 
Schleiermacher  had  died  a  few  years  before,  but  had  left 
worthy  colleagues  and  successors.  Every  department 
could  boast  of  one  celebrity  or  more  of  brilliant  ability 
who  attracted  students  from  all  parts  of  the  world.     Schaff 


heard  the  lectures  of  Neander,  Hengstenberg,  Twesten, 
Strauss  (the  court  preacher),  Theremin,  Ranke,  Ritter,  Stef- 
fens  and,  later,  Schelling.  The  last,  in  his  advanced  age, 
was  called  to  Berlin  in  1841  to  enlighten  the  world  with 
his  matured  thought  on  the  philosophy  of  mythology  and 

"He  created  a  great  sensation,"  writes  Dr.  Schaff; 
"even  Neander  and  Alexander  von  Humboldt  attending 
his  lectures.  The  teacher  that  interested  and  helped  me 
most  was  Neander.  I  heard  only  his  course  on  Modern 
Church  History,  which  he  never  matured  for  publication. 
I  became  intimately  acquainted  with  him  as  a  student  and 
privat-docenty  and  often  enjoyed  his  plain,  cordial  hospi- 
tality and  that  of  his  devoted  sister,  Hannchen.  Berlin 
has  never  had  a  more  beloved  teacher.  His  character  and 
example  were  even  more  impressive  than  his  profound 
learning  and  original  genius.  It  was  impossible  not  to 
love  and  revere  him  for  his  simplicity,  purity  and  humility, 
and  his  unselfish  devotion  to  his  students.  He  was  one  of 
the  greatest  and  best  men  I  ever  knew.  He  had  a  most 
tender  and  conscientious  regard  for  truth  as  the  supreme 
object  of  knowledge.  He  sympathized  with  all  types  of 
vital  Christianity,  and  had  liberal  intuitions  for  a  free 
church  in  a  free  state.  Hengstenberg  was  more  ortho- 
dox, but  his  orthodoxy  was  angular  and  exclusive,  and  his 
advocacy  of  the  traditional  views  of  the  Old  Testament 
was  not  free  from  special  pleading  which  recalled  the  advo- 
cate rather  than  the  apologist.  Neander's  great  merit  is 
that  he  introduced  into  the  treatment  of  church  history  the 
spirit  of  evangelical  catholicity  and  transformed  its  periods 
into  a  book  of  quickening  and  life-giving  impulse."  2 

1  Dr.  Schaff  s  reminiscences  and  estimate  of  Neander  will  be  found  at  length 
in  his  Augustin,  Melanchthon  and  Neander,  New  York,  1885,  and  the  Ger- 
man monograph,  August  Neander,  Gotha,  1886. 

chap,  ii  '       UNIVERSITY  LIFE  35 

A  quarter  of  a  century  after  this  Dr.  Schaff  again  ex- 
amined Neander's  library,  which  after  his  death  had  been 
purchased  by  the  Baptist  seminary  at  Rochester,  New 
York,  and  transferred  to  that  city.  Under  date  of  July 
25,  1866,  he  wrote:  — 

"  I  have  made  a  most  interesting  visit  to-day  to  Nean- 
der's library,  which  is  kept  separate  from  the  other  books 
and  in  the  same  plain  binding  as  in  Berlin.  Here  are  the 
sacred  tools  with  which  he  worked  for  fifty  years.  I  greet 
many  old  acquaintances.  Some  of  these  books  I  used  my- 
self while  a  student  in  Berlin.  The  library  numbers  about 
four  thousand  volumes,  including  a  great  deal  of  literary 
trash  and  useless  editions,  together  with  many  valuable 
books,  among  which  are  some  good  editions  of  the  Fathers." 

In  1 84 1  he  completed  his  course  of  study  in  the  univer- 
sity, published  his  first  book,  passed  the  examination  and 
delivered  the  public  disputation  for  the  degree  of  licentiate 
of  theology,  which  is  equivalent  to  the  English  bachelor  of 
divinity  and  a  step  to  a  professorship.  Neander  examined 
him  in  church  history,  Hengstenberg  in  Old  Testament 
exegesis,  Marheineke  in  dogmatic  theology,  Twesten  pre- 
sided at  the  disputation. 

Among  his  fellow-students  in  Berlin  were  Erbkam,  Reu- 
ter  and  Jacobi,  and  among  his  fellow  privat-docenten  a 
few  years  later  Piper  and  Kahnis,  all  church  historians. 
An  incident  of  this  period  was  a  visit  at  Kiel  on  Claus 
Harms  (d.  1855),  the  fervid  evangelical  preacher  whose 
theses,  published  in  18 17  at  the  anniversary  of  the  nailing 
up  of  Luther's  theses,  made  a  great  sensation  in  Protes- 
tant circles  in  Germany.  The  conversation  turned  upon 
the  contrast  between  the  mountains  of  Switzerland  and 
the  level  plains  of  Northern  Germany.  Harms  went  to  all 
pains  to  displace  the  enthusiasm  of  his  visitor  for  the 
Alps  and  to  establish  the  superior  excellency  of  the  level 


expanse.  The  ice-mountains,  he  said,  "  evidently  bear  the 
marks  of  the  curse.  No  useful  plant  thrives  on  them, 
their  summits  no  bird  chooses  for  its  dwelling-place,  no 
animal  except  the  ugly  bear  or  the  chamois  shunning 
man  and  his  haunts.  There  only  ice  and  snow  are  found, 
and  the  bare  masses  of  rock  have  around  them  the  cold 
realm  of  death  and  solitude.  The  man  who  seeks  to  tread 
those  dreary  places  must  often  pay  dearly  for  his  temerity. 
The  blood  is  forced  through  the  pores  of  the  skin,  hands 
and  feet  tremble  at  the  severe  cold,  and,  almost  unmanned, 
does  he  reach  the  end  of  the  journey,  if  he  reaches  it  at 
all.  Or  he  falls  dead  through  faintness,  or  perhaps  slips 
into  a  starless  ice  grave  through  a  crevice  in  the  glacier, 
or  into  pitiless  death  over  the  yawning  precipice.  Here 
on  our  plains  the  sky  touches  down  at  every  spot,  and  we 
need  not  to  climb  up  to  get  to  God.  We  are  close  to  Him 
always  and  find  communion  with  Him  everywhere."  But 
as  his  young  visitor  remarked,  "  the  good  man  Harms  had 
himself  a  wonderful  originality,  which  in  him  it  is  very 
pleasant  to  approach  and  which  is  even  a  source  of  spirit- 
ual inspiration  to  others.  But  this  peculiarity  was  only 
edifying  as  it  was  his,  for  he  could  chain  the  hearer  to 
himself  and  his  words,  and  through  them  lead  him  up  to 
heavenly  altitudes." 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Heusser 
gives  an  insight  into  the  family  life  of  the  Baroness  von 
Krocher :  — 

On  arriving  in  Berlin  I  went  at  once  to  the  estate 
of  my  pupil  at  Cothen.  This  is  perhaps  the  most  beauti- 
ful spot  in  the  whole  of  Brandenburg,  a  real  oasis  in  the 
sand  plain,  and  deserves  the  name  of  the  Brandenburg 
Switzerland.  The  castle  is  very  attractive  in  appearance, 
and  the  park  is  most  beautiful,  with  natural  and  artificial 
waterfalls,  shady  avenues,  fresh  brooks,  arbors,  playing 
fountains,  picturesque   seats  and  some  hills,  from  which 

chap.  II  UNIVERSITY  LIFE  37 

the  Oder  may  be  seen  with  its  sluggish  current  and  white 

The  spirits  of  my  patron  do  not  correspond  with  the 
beautiful  surroundings.  She  received  me  with  a  counte- 
nance made  sad  by  the  sorrows  of  the  past,  —  the  loss 
within  a  year  of  a  father,  mother,  a  sister-in-law  and  an 
only  daughter.  .  .  .  She  has  now  taken  her  son  out  of 
school,  and  I  direct  all  his  studies  myself.  This  involves 
a  curtailment  of  my  own  studies.  But  Mrs.  von  Krocher 
gives  me  full  liberty  to  go  and  come  as  I  please.  .  .  . 
Next  spring  we  are  expecting  to  make  a  journey  to  South- 
ern Europe,  including  Sicily. 

A  richer  conclusion  to  his  studies  he  could  scarcely 
have  coveted.  He  had  enjoyed  rare  opportunities  during 
his  school  years  and  his  university  course.  He  had 
already  come  into  close  personal  contact  with  some  of  the 
most  distinguished  German  theologians  of  the  century, 
and  also  met  some  of  the  chief  literary  men  of  Ger- 
many, such  as  Uhland  and  Tieck.  The  impressions  of 
travel,  to  which  he  now  proved  himself  to  be  receptive, 
placed  his  mind  under  a  permanent  debt,  which  in  after 
years  he  was  quick  to  acknowledge  as  a  most  valuable 
preparation  for  his  life-work. 




1 841-1842 

Dr.  Schaff  as  a  Traveller  —  Palermo  —  Agrigentum  —  ^Etna  —  Rome  —  Thor- 
waldsen  —  Overbeck  —  The  Colosseum  —  Tasso  —  Jesuit  Sermon  —  Passion 
Week  —  Illumination  of  St.  Peter's  —  Gregory  XVI  — Leaving  Rome — 
Assisi — The  Waldenses  —  Geneva  —  Protestant  Celebrities 

To  the  end  of  his  life,  Dr.  Schaff  was  an  enthusiastic 
traveller  and  never  seemed  to  know  fatigue.  Whatever 
country  or  place  he  visited,  he  visited  it  as  a  sympathetic 
observer  of  men  and  things,  and  with  a  mind  intent  upon 
learning.  Although  his  eye  was  wide  open  to  the 
beauties  of  nature  and  the  monuments  of  history,  and 
although  he  had  a  keen  sense  of  the  humorous  and  amus- 
ing, he  seldom  travelled  merely  for  recreation.  He  took 
with  him  everywhere  a  restless  curiosity  to  find  out  men, 
especially  in  his  own  department  of  study,  and  by  con- 
versation to  discover  the  trend  of  current  thought  and 
scholarly  research. 

The  journey  to  Southern  Europe,  in  company  with 
Mrs.  von  Krocher  and  her  son  Heinrich,  lasted  fourteen 
months,  and  not  only  introduced  him  to  the  treasures  of 
Italian  art,  but  gave  him  opportunity  to  meet  a  number 
of  prominent  and  most  interesting  personages.  The  few 
pages  it  is  possible  to  give  from  his  detailed  journal  dis- 
play the  keen  ardor  of  youth  and  the  intelligent  eye  of 
a  mature  appreciation. 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  39 

After  spending  several  months  in  Northern  Italy,  the 
party  went  by  way  of  Pisa  and  Leghorn  to  Naples. 
Leaving  Mrs.  von  Krocher,  the  tutor  sailed  with  his  pupil 
for  Palermo.  From  there  they  made  a  tour  through 
Sicily,  lasting  more  than  a  month.  The  route  lay  across 
the  country  southwards  to  Sciacca,  thence  along  the 
southern  coast  to  Terranova,  over  the  mountains  to  Syra- 
cuse, and  then  northwards  to  Messina.  Here  are  some 
descriptions  of  Sicilian  scenes  :  — 

"  Nov.  13th,  1 84 1.  The  situation  of  this  city,  Palermo, 
is  charming,  but  the  situation  of  Naples  is  even  more 
charming  by  reason  of  the  proximity  of  smoking  Vesuvius 
and  the  enchanting  islands.  The  city  itself  is  not  nearly 
as  attractive  as  Naples,  but  has  more  the  appearance  of 
antiquity  and  in  some  respects  offers  more  of  interest.  .  .  . 
We  spent  the  afternoon  on  the  Monte  Pellegrino,  which  is 
covered  with  sharp  stones  and  which  Goethe  calls  the 
most  beautiful  of  all  hills  and  from  which  the  view  over 
the  city,  the  surrounding  hills  and  the  endless  sea,  is  en- 
chanting. A  good  road  leads  to  the  chapel  of  Santa 
Rosalia,  hewn  into  the  rock,  where  the  saint  passed  her 
solitary  life  and  where  her  bones  were  found  in  1624." 

The  first  day's  journey  extended  to  Alcamo.  It  was 
before  the  time  of  railroads.  A  guide  furnished  his  ser- 
vices, three  donkeys,  and  lodging  and  food  for  fifty-four 
carlins  a  day  (about  four  dollars). 

"  At  six  o'clock  we  started  off  with  the  guide,  who  took 
his  little  boy  along,  rode  up  over  Monreale  and  through  a 
stony  mountain  region,  which  might  be  better  cultivated 
than  it  is.  Again  and  again  we  turned  around  to  look  at 
Palermo  and  the  sea.  The  road  then  descended  to  the 
village  Borghetto,  with  a  charming  view  of  the  gulf  Castel 
a  Mare.  At  the  next  village,  Pertenico,  which  lies  in  a 
plain  not  far  from  the  sea,  we  had  a  tolerable  meal.     Then 


we  descended  further  by  a  passable  road,  till  at  half-past 
four  we  reached  Alcamo,  built  by  the  Saracen  prince, 
Alkamah,  in  828,  a  picturesquely  situated  town,  from  which 
a  pleasing  view  is  had  over  the  surrounding  hills  and  the 
gulf  Castel  a  Mare.  Most  of  the  people,  both  men  and 
women,  wear  a  long  black  mantle,  a  few  a  white  mantle, 
which  covers  the  head  and  conceals  the  figure.  We  had 
the  magnificent  spectacle  of  the  sunset,  after  which  I  had 
no  hesitation  about  giving  nature  the  preference  over  art. 
The  dark  clouds  were  draped  in  a  radiance  of  glory  just 
before  the  disappearance  of  day.  Why  should  not  all 
human  pain-clouds  also  be  irradiated  with  the  glory  of  the 
Son  of  grace  !  We  found  a  good  supper,  which  our  miser- 
able-looking inn  gave  us  no  reason  to  expect.  Greatly 
wearied  with  the  long  ride  on  my  not  very  good-natured 
donkey,  I  am  glad  to  retire,  after  commending  myself,  my 
mother  and  my  friends  to  God.  .  .  . 

"  Heinrich  has  just  told  me  that  the  guide  is  having  a 
fuss  because  he  cannot  get  any  milk  in  all  Sciacca.  I 
asked  our  inn-keeper  how  many  inns  there  were  in  the 
town.  He  replied,  '  there  is  one  good  one,  but  only  one, 
and  that  is  my  own.     The  other  three  are  poor.'  ..." 

At  Girgenti,  near  the  ancient  Agrigentum,  they  spent 
Sunday.  The  journal  runs:  "The  place  has  a  beautiful 
situation,  but  is  dirty  and  poverty  stricken.  The  cathedral 
must  be  old  and  is  as  unattractive  as  it  is  old.  We  hap- 
pened in  just  as  the  sermon  was  being  preached  in  Italian, 
with  all  too  many  hyphens  in  Latin  from  the  Vulgate  and 
the  Fathers.  The  friendly  priest  showed  us  the  baptismal 
font  and  opened  the  marble  sarcophagus  said  to  have  once 
contained  the  ashes  of  Phalaris.  .  .  .  Agrigentum,  one  of 
the  rich  and  flourishing  cities  of  antiquity,  is  said  to  have 
had  800,000  inhabitants,  or  as  many  as  the  Paris  of  to-day. 
Here,  Empedocles  was  born  and  here  was  the  residence  of 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  41 

Phalaris,  whose  brazen  bull  mercilessly  consumed  many 
victims.  The  city  lay  on  several  now  fruitful  hills,  and 
lower  than  the  modern  town  of  Girgenti.  We  stopped 
first  at  the  temple,  Juno  Lucinia,  which  is  sustained  by 
thirty-four  Doric  columns.  About  three  hundred  steps 
away  is  the  temple  of  Concordia,  bearing  an  inscription 
announcing  that  it  was  restored  in  1788  by  Ferdinand  I. 
Two  rows  of  columns  surround  it  and  two  stairways  lead 
to  the  upper  part  of  the  temple,  one  of  which  is  modern, 
the  other  ancient.  Close  by  is  the  temple  of  Hercules, 
with  only  one  of  its  columns  in  upright  position.  The 
others  lie  about  in  heaps.  From  here  you  see  the  tomb 
of  Theron  and  the  columns,  still  standing,  of  the  temple  of 
yEsculapius.  Then  we  went  to  the  temple  of  Jupiter 
Olympus,  according  to  Diodorus  the  largest  of  Sicilian 
temple-structures.  All  the  columns  lie  prostrate  in  colos- 
sal heaps.  Three  columns  of  the  temple  of  Castor  and 
Pollux  are  still  standing  and  two  columns  of  the  temple  of 
Vulcan.  Only  small  remains  are  left  of  the  temples  of 
Jupiter  Poliens,  Minerva,  Ceres  and  Proserpina,  which 
stood  on  much  higher  ground  and  further  back  from  the 
sea.  .  .  . 

"  We  ride  twenty-four  miles  to-day,  descending  con- 
stantly through  stony  and  desert  regions  until  we  come  to 
the  vicinity  of  Syracuse,  where  the  vegetation  is  again 
luxuriant.  Once  Syracuse  had  a  million  and  a  half  of  inhab- 
itants. Of  the  five  quarters  only  Ortygia  remains.  From 
the  land  side,  you  reach  the  city  through  fortifications  and 
drawbridges.  It  presents  a  good  appearance.  We  stop 
at  the  Albergo  del  Sole,  a  good  hotel,  and  visit  at  once  the 
cathedral,  which  is  built  on  the  foundations  of  the  temple 
of  Minerva  and  near  the  celebrated  spring  of  Arethusa,  in 
which  there  are  no  longer  any  sweet  waters  and  which  is 
no  longer  invested  with  the  charms  once  sung  by  poets. 


We  found  a  number  of  poor  women  standing  in  the  water, 
washing  clothes.  The  large  harbor  which  witnessed  the 
shattering  of  the  Athenian  fleet  is  very  beautiful,  and  it  is 
no  wonder  the  location  of  the  city  called  forth  much 

"  Nicolosi  on  Mt.  ^Etna  is  certainly  one  of  the  most 
interesting  spots  of  our  journey.  Fields  of  death  all 
around,  on  which,  however,  a  new  and  wonderful  abun- 
dance of  plants  has  grown  up !  Astounding  is  the  vent- 
uresomeness  of  man,  who  will  risk  his  life  and  build  his 
dwelling  at  the  very  foot  of  the  terrible  fire-hearth  !  The 
houses  of  Nicolosi  are  built  of  the  lava  of  ^Etna,  and  the 
village  presents  a  swarthy  appearance.  .  .  .  After  lunch 
we  climbed  Monte  Rosso,  which  at  the  eruption  in  1669 
rose  from  out  of  the  depths  and  spat  out  those  masses  of 
lava  which  covered  everything  down  to  the  lip  of  the  sea. 
The  view  from  here  is  most  grand,  and  suggests  how  mag- 
nificent it  must  be  from  iEtna  itself,  which  is  much  higher 
and  to  which  the  guide  pretended  to  be  taking  us.  .  .  . 

"  On  our  way  along  the  coast  to  Messina  we  see  the 
sunrise,  —  the  horizon  reddening  soon  after  six.  The  top 
of  ^Etna  glows,  then  the  castle  of  Taormina  is  enswathed 
in  rosy  light,  then  the  queen  of  day  herself  rises  out  of 
the  sea.  What  a  view !  On  this  most  splendid  day  we 
journeyed  on  as  if  on  wings  with  the  hills  of  Calabria  at 
our  right,  ^Etna  above  us  at  our  left  and  Messina  in  front 
where  we  arrived  only  too  soon." 

They  crossed  over  the  straits  of  Messina  to  the  main- 
land, and  joining  Mrs.  von  Krocher  at  Naples,  passed  on 
northwards,  arriving  at  Rome  in  January,  1842. 

To  the  relics  of  ancient  and  mediaeval  Rome,  the  young 
Swiss  brought  a  lively  historic  sense.  The  Colosseum  and 
the  catacombs,  so  far  as  explored,  the  palaces  of  the 
Caesars  and  the  ancient  churches  alike  made  a  deep  im- 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND   SICILY  43 

pression  upon  his  mind.  The  religious  life  of  the  modern 
city  and  its  treasures  of  art,  he  studied  with  no  less 
enthusiasm  and  lasting  profit.  The  Campagna  had  for 
him  a  peculiar  charm,  and  always  made  the  impression  of 
eternity.  The  classic  and  beautiful  localities  about  Rome, 
Tivoli,  Frascati  and  Albano,  called  forth  warm  outbursts 
of  admiration,  and  detailed  and  vivid  descriptions. 

Close  by  Mrs.  von  Krocher's  lodgings  in  the  Palazzo 
Caffarelli  on  the  Capitoline  was  the  Casa  Tarpeia,  the 
building  recently  purchased  by  the  Prussian  government 
for  the  use  of  the  archaeological  institute,  and  the  Protes- 
tant hospital.  For  several  weeks  Dr.  Schaff  had  charge  of 
the  religious  services  at  the  Prussian  embassy  during  the 
temporary  absence  of  the  chaplain.  Among  the  friends 
who  were  spending  the  winter  in  the  city  was  Dr.  George 
L.  Prentiss,  in  whose  company  he  passed  many  happy 
hours.  Of  persons  whose  acquaintance  he  formed  in 
Rome  and  of  some  of  its  scenes,  he  wrote :  — 

"  I  often  saw  Thorwaldsen,  with  his  white  hair,  his  cap, 
his  morning  gown  and  his  large  winter  slippers  in  which 
he  also  received  on  one  occasion  a  large  company.  He  is 
now  working  on  the  Apostle  Andrew.  His  gallery  of  art 
is  very  valuable,  his  personality  very  amiable,  and  he  wins 
by  his  cordial  and  modest  manner.  I  also  often  saw 
Overbeck  in  the  Palazzo  Cenci,  not  so  approachable  as 
Thorwaldsen,  but  nevertheless  quite  cordial,  somewhat  of 
a  mystic  in  his  appearance.  He  has  just  finished  a  car- 
toon of  a  fine  burial  of  Christ  which  he  is  making  at  the 
order  of  the  city  of  Liibeck.  Overbeck  is,  as  his  manner 
indicates,  a  thoroughly  earnest,  thoughtful  and  genial 
man.  His  art  is  a  handmaiden  to  religion.  All  his  paint- 
ings have  a  spiritual  earnestness  and  depth  and  a  spotless 
purity.  We  can  have  nothing  but  respect  for  such  a 
Catholic.  .  .  . 

44  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S  CHAFF  1842 

"  I  have  seen  the  Colosseum  by  moonlight.  The  custo- 
dian went  in  advance  with  a  burning  torch  which  filled  the 
awful  spaces  with  a  magic  light.  Into  the  gashes  and 
sockets  of  the  gigantic  structure,  the  moon  sent  its  soft 
radiance.  From  the  top  of  these  wounded  walls,  we 
looked  upon  the  ruins  of  the  palaces  of  the  Caesars,  the 
remains  of  Hadrian's  temple  to  Venus  and  Roma,  the 
triumphal  arches  of  Titus  and  Constantine,  the  Caelian  hill 
with  its  dusky  cypresses,  and  in  the  background  to  the 
east  the  towers  and  statues  of  the  Lateran,  and  to  the 
left  the  baths  of  Titus,  —  not  one  world  but  many  worlds 
at  once,  full  of  great  memories.  And  the  Colosseum  it- 
self, founded  by  Romans,  built  by  Jews,  the  arena  of 
gladiators,  the  platform  for  martyrs  to  die  on,  in  the 
Middle  Ages  the  fortress  of  bold  knights  or  the  shelter 
of  pious  orders,  in  Leo  X's  time  the  ancestor  of  noble 
palaces  and  a  quarry  for  the  construction  of  the  modern 
city ;  at  the  time  of  Sixtus  IV,  a  cloth  factory  and  now, 
the  longed-for  goal  and  a  source  of  wondering  admiration 
to  lonely  pilgrims !  And  the  holy  Benedict  XIV  turned 
it  into  a  Christian  temple,  with  fourteen  pictures  of  the 
passion  and  the  crucifix  erected  in  the  centre,  and  twice  a 
week  in  Lent  the  word  of  the  Crucified  is  proclaimed,  and 
the  Franciscans  from  the  neighboring  convent  Ara  Cceli 
pass  around  in  their  processions!  Thus  the  Colosseum, 
this  half-rent  wreath,  this  dumb  witness  of  the  Pagan 
world,  is  made  to  serve  the  Crucified  One !  How  many 
curses  of  toiling  Jews,  how  many  psalms  of  praise  or  Dies 
irae  from  dying  martyrs,  or  sighs  of  expiring  gladiators 
these  walls  did  not  hear !  .  .  . 

"  Here  in  St.  Onofrio  is  the  room  in  which  Tasso  died, 
and  the  library,  with  Tasso's  death  mask  in  wax,  very  much 
darkened  by  age  but  making  a  deep  impression.  Even  in 
these  features   of   the  great   and   unfortunate   poet,  who 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  45 

sojourned  in  the  cloister  in  much  pain  twenty-two  days,  one 
still  sees  a  noble  poet's  brow  and  a  gentle  grace  and  soft- 
ness. .  .  .  As  for  Tasso's  relations  with  the  Princess 
Eleanor,  the  recently  found  letters  bear  upon  them.  The 
two  lived  in  relations  of  fervent  love  for  six  years,  the 
princess  by  fifteen  years  the  elder,  holding  the  poet  and 
enthusiastic  youth  till  the  wrath  of  the  duke  struck  them. 
But  the  vain,  imprudent  poet  would  not  restrain  himself 
from  revealing  the  tender  relations  in  his  poems ;  and  the 
duke,  to  save  the  reputation  of  his  house,  demanded  of 
him  a  confession  that  his  poems  written  to  the  princess 
were  conceived  in  hours  of  insanity,  and  when  Tasso  re- 
fused he  was  put  in  confinement.  The  princess  pleaded 
for  him,  but  in  vain.  For  seven  years  the  poet  languished 
in  bitter  despair  and  under  dreadful  delusion,  from  which 
the  muse  was  no  longer  able  to  rescue  him.  Her  wings 
were  wounded.  She  whom  he  had  brought  down  into 
the  flesh  had  left  him.  But  who  does  not  feel  compassion 
for  the  tender  but  unhappy  bard  who,  in  the  afternoon 
of  his  day,  was  crowned  upon  the  Capitoline  before  he 
went  to  receive  his  reward  for  his  long  sufferings  in  the 
presence  of  another  judge,  who,  we  hope,  also  gave  him 
a  crown,  —  not  for  his  poems,  it  is  true,  for  which  pos- 
terity has  crowned  him  with  an  immortal  wreath.1  .  .  . 

"  I  heard  at  eleven  a  sermon  in  the  church  of  the 
Jesuits  on  forbidden  reading.  The  preacher  let  loose 
with  vehement  earnestness  especially  against  novels,  and 
closed  by  advising  the  reading  of  religious  books  such  as 
Thomas  a  Kempis,  but  made  no  reference  to  the  Bible. 
A  considerable  orator  and,  after  the  fashion  of  the  Catho- 
lics, very  religious.  The  sermon  was  full  of  life  and  prac- 
tical. In  the  delivery  the  preacher  showed  the  power  to 
carry  you  along  and  to  keep  hold  of  you.     In  gesticula- 

1  Tasso  died  April  25,  1595. 

4.6  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1842 

tion  he  had  extraordinary  ease  and  naturalness.  In  these 
externals  the  Italians  far  surpass  us  Germans.  He  had 
the  hearer  the  whole  time  directly  in  his  eye  and  did  not 
for  a  moment  let  him  off  till  he  had  made  his  impression, 
—  a  characteristic  of  a  good  orator,  and  in  this  respect  we 
Germans  have  much  to  learn.  ..." 

The  pomp  and  circumstance  with  which  the  festivities 
of  Passion  week  were  celebrated  fifty  years  ago,  and  which 
were  abandoned  with  the  triumphal  entrance  of  Victor 
Emmanuel,  have  a  historical  interest.  A  few  sketches 
are  taken  from  an  elaborate  and  graphic  description  : *  — 

"  Palm  Sunday.  At  eight  o'clock  I  preached  in  the 
Embassy  chapel  on  the  crucifixion,  dwelling  on  the  process 
of  crucifixion  which  must  go  on  in  the  heart  and  which  is 
followed  by  the  resurrection  and  true  life  in  God.  The 
Prussian  princes,  Friedrich  and  Wilhelm,  were  present  and 
communed.  After  the  service  I  go  to  St.  Peter's  to  see 
the  festivities.  The  pope  approached  the  throne,  wearing 
a  bishop's  cap,  and  robed  in  splendid  purple  vestments. 
After  kneeling,  cardinals  came  up  to  him  in  procession 
to  kiss  his  hand.  After  the  distribution  of  palm  branches, 
he  arose,  uttered  the  Dominus  vobiscum,  and  offered  a  brief 
prayer  to  which  there  was  choral  response.  Then  began 
the  procession.  The  pope,  with  the  palm  in  his  hand,  is 
carried  in  the  baldachin  by  twelve  persons,  and  followed 
by  a  great  company  of  clergy.  Then  came  the  passion 
music,  the  psalms,  stabat  mater,  and  last  the  mass,  which,  on 
this  occasion,  Cardinal  Prince  Schwarzenberg  celebrated. 
The  whole  service  makes  strong  appeal  to  the  senses  and 
the  imagination.  It  is  a  drama.  A  plain  pungent  sermon 
on  the  atoning  sufferings  of  Christ,  would  be  of  more  worth 
than  all  this  gay,  perishable  pomp.  ..." 

1  The  full  account  from  Dr.  Schaff 's  journal  was  given  after  his  death : 
"  Passion  Week  in  Rome  Fifty  Years  Ago,"  Homiletic  Review,  March,  1895. 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  47 

On  Wednesday  evening  he  turned  aside  to  the  small 
church  of  Caravita  near  the  Collegio  Romano,  to  witness 
the  scene  of  the  scourging.  "  It  is  enacted  three  times  a 
week  throughout  Lent.  After  a  priest  had  recited  the 
story  of  the  cross,  all  the  lights  were  put  out  and  the 
doors  shut.  A  chorister  boy  went  through  the  church 
offering  whips  which  consisted  of  two  moderately  thick 
thongs.  Then,  in  the  mysterious  darkness,  amidst  un- 
broken silence,  a  priest  went  to  the  altar  and  delivered 
an  impassioned  but  short  sermon  about  Judas,  painting 
him  in  dark  colors  and  declaring  that  his  hearers  were 
even  worse  than  was  the  faithless  disciple,  and  that  they 
had  often  betrayed  the  Lord  in  thought  and  word.  But 
continuing,  he  said,  '  So  can  and  must  it  not  be.  We 
must  all  drive  out  of  our  hearts  this  traitorous  Judas  spirit. 
Ye  who  are  burdened  with  sins  drive  out  Judas ! '  Thus 
he  cried  out  in  a  loud  voice  and  all  fell  at  once  to  scourg- 
ing themselves  lustily.  In  the  midst  of  this  noisy  pro- 
cedure the  priest  began  to  pray  a  penitent  prayer. 
1  Saviour,  Saviour,  have  mercy  upon  us ! '  After  the  scourg- 
ing, which  lasted  a  short  quarter  of  an  hour,  the  lights 
were  lit  again  and  the  litany  sung.  The  whole  scene 
makes  a  deep  impression.  The  poor  people,  mostly  from 
the  lower  classes,  who  scourged  themselves  are  certainly 
not  the  worst  offenders  in  this  Babylon.  The  service, 
indicating  the  heart's  discontent  with  itself  and  its  longing 
after  the  death  of  the  old  man,  represents  what  the  Protes-  1  > 
tant  doctrine  of  justification  stands  for. 

"To-day,  Maundy  Thursday,  I  was  early  at  the  Sistine 
chapel.  From  eight  o'clock  on,  a  throng  of  equipages, 
among  which  the  carriages  of  the  cardinals,  ornamented 
with  gilt,  stand  out,  and  a  mass  of  people  on  foot  of  all 
nations  pass  over  the  bridge  St.  Angelo  to  the  Vatican  — 
all  in  black  and  curious  to  see  the  spectacle  about  to  be 



offered.  The  great  circumstance  and  commotion,  the 
varied  aspect  of  the  foreigners,  the  number  of  the  noble 
and  beautiful  women  and  the  Swiss  guards  (clad  on  Good 
Friday  and  Sunday  in  armor), —  it  is  all  a  parade  for  the 
world  of  beauty  and  distinction,  a  spectacle  for  eager  and 
curious  visitors  from  abroad,  fond  of  the  world's  show  and 
glitter.  Here  splendid  balconies  are  erected  for  kings, 
princes  and  ambassadors,  while  the  people  who  have  not 
money  must  stand  in  the  outer  court.  No  wonder  that  the 
Roman  cares  only  for  the  benediction  of  the  pope,  and 
during  the  splendid  exercises  in  the  papal  chapel  carries 
on  his  usual  business,  retiring  perhaps  for  a  short  season  to 
a  small  church  for  worship.  Among  the  princely  person- 
ages I  have  met  are  the  Princes  Wilhelm  and  Friedrich 
of  Prussia,  and  I  have  seen  the  two  sons  of  Don  Carlos 
and  Prince  Luitpold  of  Bavaria.  .  .  . 

"  The  dispensation  of  the  papal  blessing  from  the  St. 
Peter's  loggia  is  also  one  of  the  conspicuous  services. 
The  large  balcony  in  the  middle  of  the  facade  of  St. 
Peter's  was  covered  with  a  red  carpet,  —  a  large  sail-cloth 
being  drawn  over  it  as  protection  against  the  sun.  The 
pope  remained  sitting  while  he  pronounced  the  indulgence 
and  absolution  of  all  sins  {indulgentiam  et  absolutionem 
omnium  peccatorum  vestrorum\  to  which  the  singers  re- 
sponded, Amen.  Thereupon  he  arose  from  his  seat  and, 
directing  his  eyes  to  heaven,  stretched  out  his  hands  and 
gave  the  blessing,  as  he  three  times  made  the  sign  of  the 
cross  and  said,  et  benedictio  dei  omnipotentis  patris  et  filii 
et  spiritns  sancti  descendat  super  vos  et  maneat  semper ! x 
Thereupon  the  pope  seated  himself  and  the  two  cardinal 
deacons  read,  the  one  in  Italian  and  the  other  in  Latin, 
the  formulary  of  the  plenary  indulgence  which  the  pope 

1The  blessing  of  Almighty  God,  Father,  Son  and  Holy  Spirit,  descend  upon 
you  and  remain  with  you. 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  49 

gives  to  those  present ;  and  then  they  threw  down  the 
two  formulas  into  the  crowd,  who  eagerly  struggled  to  get 
them,  while  the  cardinals  looked  over  the  balcony  at  the 
scene  below  and  laughed.  Then  the  pope  arose,  pro- 
nounced a  simple  benediction  and  was  carried  away,  and 
the  ceremony  was  at  an  end.  .  .  . 

"In  the  evening  I  attended  the  footwashing  of  the  apos- 
tles in  St.  Peter's  on  a  carpet  placed  there  for  the  occa- 
sion and  near  by  the  platforms,  erected  for  the  princes. 
By  rights  the  apostles  ought  to  be  leading  clericals  of 
different  lands  who  have  made  the  pilgrimage  to  Rome  for 
Holy  Week.  Instead,  such  foreign  clericals  are  chosen 
as  are  stationed  in  the  city,  and  for  a  number  of  years 
they  are  said  to  have  been  the  same  persons.  They  are 
dressed  in  white.  As  soon  as  the  pope  had  ascended 
his  throne,  the  account  of  the  footwashing  was  read. 
The  pope  then  kissed  the  carpet,  girded  himself  with 
an  apron,  and  on  his  knees  washed  one  apostle's  feet 
after  the  other  from  a  golden  basin,  dried  them  with  a 
towel  and  kissed  them.  With  this  act  of  humility  is  con- 
trasted the  service  of  the  two  chamberlains,  who  carried 
the  pope's  falday  as  well  as  the  elegance  of  the  washing 
apparatus.  V 

"In  the  evening  I  saw  the  ceremony  of  the  footwashing 
and  feeding  of  the  Catholic  pilgrims,  which  occurs  on 
Wednesday,  Thursday  and  Saturday  evenings  of  Holy 
Week  and  dates  from  St.  Philip  Neri,  1548.  For  the 
female  pilgrims  there  is  a  distinct  apartment,  to  which 
only  women  are  admitted.  The  pilgrims,  carrying  a  cer- 
tificate from  their  bishop  that  they  have  come  to  Rome  to 
worship,  are  taken  care  of  three  days  near  the  Trinita  dei 
Pellegrini  and  their  feet  washed  once.  Before  the  foot- 
washing a  brief  sermon  was  addressed  to  the  pilgrims. 
One  hundred  and  sixty  were  present  at  the  ceremony. 



The  number  of  the  women,  I  was  told,  was  sixty.  The 
pertinent  passage  from  the  fourth  Gospel  was  read  and 
some  prayers  were  said  by  the  Cardinal  Prince  Schwarzen- 
berg.  Any  Catholic  layman  or  cleric  may  assist  at  the 
ceremony  and  must  wear  a  red  coat.  The  pilgrims  sit 
around  the  wall,  each  with  a  basin  in  front  of  him.  The 
confratelli  draw  off  their  shoes  and  stockings,  wash  their 
feet,  dry  and  kiss  them.  Among  those  who  this  evening 
performed  the  service  were  Cardinals  Schwarzenberg  and 
Corsi  and  the  two  sons  of  Don  Carlos.  After  the  foot- 
washing  the  pilgrims  and  the  confratelli  passed  into  a 
large  hall,  where  they  were  treated  to  a  simple  yet  abun- 
dant meal  and  refreshed  with  wine." 

The  plaintive  music  and  dramatic  ceremonies  of  Good 
Friday  keyed  the  soul  to  such  a  sensitive  pitch  that  the 
quiet  of  Saturday  was  a  relief.  Then  followed  the  glad 
festivities  of  Easter,  which  again  lifted  the  soul  out  from 
the  depths  into  the  heights  of  spiritual  devotion.  This  is 
the  description  of  the  ceremonies  of  Easter  day :  — 

"Before  eight  o'clock  the  papal  dragoons  and  guards 
had  occupied  the  St.  Angelo  bridge  and  the  street  as  far 
as  St.  Peter's  square  to  preserve  order,  and  the  city  police 
were  drawn  up  on  each  side  of  the  nave  of  St.  Peter's  as 
far  as  the  tribune,  and  around  it  were  the  Swiss  guards  in 
armor.  The  pope  descends  by  the  stairway  of  Bernini 
and  to  the  equestrian  statue  of  Constantine,  behind  a  long 
line  of  generals  of  orders,  chaplains,  chamberlains,  papal 
singers,  confessors  of  St.  Peter's,  deacons,  abbots,  bishops, 
archbishops,  patriarchs,  cardinals  and  the  governor  of  the 
city.  Then  he  is  carried  on  his  throne  by  twelve  chamber- 
lains through  the  portico  and  chief  passages  of  St.  Peter's, 
and  behind  him  are  carried  two  peacock  fans,  to  represent, 
perhaps,  the  sun  and  moon  or  the  church  and  the  empire, 
with  the  picture  of  the  vicar  of  Christ  between  them.     At 

chap,  ill  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  51 

his  entrance  into  the  church  the  tu  es  Petrus  is  sung. 
The  church  is  packed  full.  The  throng  of  country  folk, 
in  part  in  picturesque  clothing,  in  part  in  torn  and  tattered 
garments  which  hardly  cover  their  limbs,  have  streamed 
here  to  receive  the  papal  blessing  and  to  see  the  sights. 
They  push  vigorously  and  crowd  to  get  at  the  statue  of 
St.  Peter. 

"  As  soon  as  his  Holiness  ascended  the  throne  on  the 
right  of  the  baldachin,  he  received  the  homage  of  cardi- 
nals, patriarchs,  bishops,  abbots,  and  other  dignitaries,  who 
kiss  his  feet  and  bend  three  times  on  their  knees.  Then 
follow  songs  and  prayers.  The  pope  proceeds  to  the 
great  throne.  The  altar  is  bathed  in  incense  and  the 
gloria  is  sung.  Then  follow  the  epistle  and  the  credo, 
the  tedious  preparations  for  the  mass  itself  and  the  carry- 
ing to  and  fro  of  the  vessels,  which  are  very  elegant. 
Censers  are  swung  and  the  sanctus  chanted.  Consecra- 
tion and  elevation  of  the  host  by  the  pope.  Communion 
by  the  pope,  the  cardinal  deacon,  Latin  subdeacon,  and 
cardinal  deacons  and  noble  laymen.  Then  the  confiteor  is 
recited  and  the  communion  by  the  cardinals  completes  the 
mass.  After  the  adoration  of  the  relics,  the  benediction 
is  given  from  the  balcony  of  St.  Peter's.  The  formula 
is  longer  than  the  one  on  Thursday,  and  runs :  — 

"  The  holy  Apostles  Peter  and  Paid,  on  whose  power  and 
authority  we  depend,  themselves  intercede  for  you  to  the 
Lord.  Amen.  God  Almighty,  through  the  prayers  and 
merits  of  the  blessed  and  perpetual  Virgin  Mary,  of  the 
blessed  Archangel  Michael,  of  the  blessed  John  the  Baptist, 
and  of  the  Apostles  Peter  and  Paul  and  of  all  the  saints, 
have  mercy  upon  you,  and  Jesus  Christ  forgive  all  your  sins 
and  lead  you  to  eternal  life.  Amen.  Almighty  and  merci- 
ful God  grant  unto  you  indulgence,  absolution,  and  remis- 
sion of  all  your  sins,  time  of  true  and  fruitful  repentance, 


a  heart  always  penitent  and  amendment  of  life,  the  grace 
and  cofisolation  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  final  perseverance 
in  good  works.  Amen.  And  the  blessing  of  God  Almighty, 
Father,  Son  and  Holy  Spirit,  descend  upon  you  and  remain 
with  you.     Amen. 

"  At  the  words  '  And  the  blessing,'  the  pope  rises  and 
makes  the  sign  of  the  cross  three  times.  After  the  bene- 
diction, the  formula  of  indulgence  is  read  in  Latin  and 
Italian  and  the  two  copies  are  thrown  down  into  the  crowd 
on  the  square.  At  the  last  Amen  there  is  a  salute  from 
the  cannons  of  St.  Angelo  and  the  bells  of  St.  Peter's. 

"  The  illumination  of  St.  Peter's  in  the  evening  is  really  a 
magnificent  spectacle.  Fourteen  hundred  lamps  are  lighted 
on  the  outer  facade  and  the  cupola  of  the  church,  and  on  the 
porticos  around  the  square.  In  their  soft,  mild  light,  the 
form  of  the  noble  building  stands  out  in  all  its  grandeur. 
Like  a  flaming  rose  in  a  fairyland,  spreading  out  its  glow- 
ing petals  into  the  blue  sky  —  so  appeared  St.  Peter's  to 
us  from  Mt.  Pincio,  where  I  went  with  Frau  von  Krocher, 
Heinrich  and  Herr  Passavant  to  see  it.  The  scene 
changed  in  a  moment  at  the  stroke  of  the  clock,  and  the 
motionless  lamps  were  full  of  glowing  light  and  rays.  The 
bride  has  celebrated  her  nuptials,  the  pale  lily  blushes 
with  fire,  and  the  sepulchral  walls  burn  with  soul  and 
blood.  The  building  remains  thus  illuminated  till  mid- 
night, when  the  lights  gradually  die  down.  Three  hun- 
dred and  sixty-five  men  are  employed  in  the  illumination, 
and  the  total  number  of  lights  is  five  hundred  and  ninety- 
one.  After  we  had  seen  the  transformation  from  Mt. 
Pincio,  I  returned  to  the  square  of  St.  Peter's  by  the 
Ripetta,  where  the  press  of  people  and  carriages  going 
to  Mt.  Pincio  was  so  great  as  nearly  to  crush  us. 

"  Arrived  at  the  square,  we  found  it  nearly  empty,  and 
we  enjoyed  at  our  leisure  the  splendid  spectacle.     At  close 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  53 

view  it  had  a  marvellous  beauty  and  made  a  more  over- 
whelming impression  than  from  Mt.  Pincio,  —  this  greatest 
of  all  churches,  with  its  two  arms  stretched  out  around  the 
square,  the  figures  of  the  Apostles  and  saints  high  up  on 
the  portico  and  the  colonnades,  looking  down  through  the 
magic  illumination  upon  the  spectators  and  softly  whisper- 
ing the  events  of  other  years  into  their  ears.  And  in  the 
middle  of  the  square  rises  dusky  —  but  full  of  presenti- 
ment—  the  mighty  obelisk,  with  its  suggestion  of  Egypt's 
priestly  wisdom,  which  is  like  the  dark  night  over  against 
the  bright  radiance  of  Christianity." 

An  audience  with  the  pope  is  the  culmination  of  a  visit 
in  Rome.  From  whatever  standpoint  we  may  contemplate 
the  see  of  St.  Peter  and  its  claims,  the  unique  office  of 
the  supreme  pontiff  is  one  of  the  most  august  institutions 
on  the  earth.  This  is  Dr.  SchafF s  description  of  an  audi- 
ence with  Gregory  XVI :  — 

"  At  first,  I  had  a  most  tedious  experience  and  almost 
felt  sorry  I  had  sought  the  audience.  I  had  to  wait  from 
ten  to  a  quarter  of  one  in  the  antecamera  nobile.  Two 
cardinals,  a  French  bishop  and  others  preceded  me.  While 
waiting  I  entertained  myself  with  my  friend,  the  father 
confessor  from  Strassburg,  about  the  Catholic  Church, 
vestments,  indulgences,  celibacy  and  other  ecclesiastical 
questions.  Finally,  we  were  summoned  by  a  fine-looking 
chamberlain.  Passing  through  a  door  we  found  ourselves 
in  the  beautiful  but  plain  sitting  room  of  his  Holiness, 
who  was  clad  in  white.  The  nostrils  of  his  capacious  nose 
were  soiled  with  snuff.  It  was  hard  for  me  to  kiss  his  red 
slipper.  He  looked  kindly  out  of  his  gray  eyes  at  me  as 
he  asked  about  my  birthplace  and  my  profession.  He 
drew  himself  back  a  little  when  I  told  him  I  was  a  Protes- 
tant and  said,  '  ma  convertito  '  (but  converted).  My  friend 
the  priest  said  'No.'     The  pope  replied  ' sard  convertito' 


(surely  he  will  be  converted)  and  related  two  cases  of  con- 
version, the  first  of  a  countess  of  Mecklenburg,  who  came 
to  Rome  a  thoroughgoing  Protestant  and  who,  as  she  was 
once  passing  through  the  Quirinal  and  talking  about  the 
pope,  exclaimed  to  her  companion,  'What  do  I  care  for 
the  pope ! '  But  afterward  she  repented  of  what  she  had 
said,  and  sent  to  the  pope  asking  for  information  on  three 
points,  —  purgatory,  the  primacy  of  the  pope  and  indul- 
gences. Then  he  sent  Cardinal  Lambruschini  to  her  and 
she  became  an  excellent  Catholic.  The  second  case  was 
that  of  a  teacher  who  was  travelling  in  company  with  a 
prince  of  Saxony,  and  while  in  Venice  was  converted  by 
a  relative,  went  into  a  monastery,  and  at  last  died  in  the 
arms  of  the  pope.  '  He  died,'  said  the  pope,  '  like  an 
angel  senza  tentazione!  I  had  little  to  reply  and  was  ill 
at  ease,  but  greatly  won  by  the  pope's  cordiality.  He  is 
certainly  a  good  man.  He  gave  me  his  blessing  and  I 
went  out  quite  satisfied  from  his  presence." 

The  record  of  the  last  day  spent  in  Rome  runs  as  fol- 
lows :  "I  spent  the  day  with  Prentiss  at  the  Sapienza  and 
the  Collegio  Romano.  At  the  Sapienza  I  heard  lectures  on 
the  Old  Testament  and  on  the  infallibility  of  the  church 
by  the  Dominican,  Modena,  who  spoke  in  Latin  fluently 
and  without  notes.  He  was  very  cordial  with  me  and 
said,  '  In  Germany  philosophy  has  too  much  influence. 
The  Germans  make  too  solemn  a  matter  of  study.  We 
are  more  cheerful  in  our  studies,  go  to  the  carnival,  go  out 
to  the  Campagna,  go  to  the  theatre.' 

"  At  the  Collegio,  which  is  at  once  high  school  and  uni- 
versity, I  heard  a  lecture  on  the  Trinity,  which  the  Jesuit 
lecturer  proved  from  the  Scriptures  and  from  tradition,  in 
good  fluent  Latin,  reading  at  times  from  Perrone.  The 
prayer  before  and  after  the  lecture,  offered  kneeling,  strikes 
me  as  a  very  appropriate  and  beautiful  custom." 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  55 

Dr.  Schaff's  impressions  on  leaving  the  city  are  recorded 
thus: — 

"  Yesterday,  May  6,  I  left  Rome  early  in  the  morning 
with  Heinrich,  after  reading  Paul's  farewell  address  to  the 
elders  at  Miletus,  and  offering  up  a  prayer  for  the  jour- 
ney. Steinkopf,  the  painter,  accompanied  us  as  far  as  the 
Ponte  Molle.  Rome  does  not  belong  to  any  single  people. 
It  is  the  burial  ground  of  the  world's  history,  the  tomb  of 
all  the  past.  There  we  find  from  youth  up  an  intellectual 
home,  an  inexhaustible  fountain  of  study  and  moral  coun- 
sel, of  wisdom  and  experience.  No  wonder  that  with  a 
heavy  heart  I  passed  out  through  the  Porta  del  Popolo. 
With  solemn  thoughts  and  burning  emotions  I  crossed 
over  the  Campagna,  which  can  seem  wearisome  and 
tedious  only  to  a  person  without  historic  feeling,  the 
arena  of  the  finest  and,  at  the  same  time,  the  most 
hateful  deeds  of  antiquity  and  the  Middle  Ages  at  their 
greatest  periods.  Everywhere  you  are  reminded  of  the 
sharpest  of  contrasts,  Paganism  and  Christianity,  the 
bloom  and  decay  of  the  first,  the  energy  of  the  latter, 
which  defies  the  powers  of  destruction." 

Passing  northward  on  foot  through  Spoleto  and  Foligno, 
he  visited,  with  his  pupil,  Assisi,  more  celebrated  for  its 
patron  saint  than  for  its  situation.  Here  is  a  description  of 
the  retreat  of  St.  Francis  :  — 

"  I  asked  a  priest  where  we  could  get  horses  or  mules 
to  take  us  to  the  convent  of  S.  Maria  delle  Carcere,  in  the 
hills  three  miles  off.  He  at  once  offered  to  go  with  us, 
and  took  me  first  to  his  house,  where  I  was  received  with 
the  greatest  kindness  by  the  canon,  Carlo  Ciminni.  Soon 
the  horses  were  ready  and  we  were  riding  towards  the 
famous  spot  through  a  lonely  and  bald  region,  the  path 
affording  beautiful  views  over  the  Umbrian  valley. 

"  Then  we  came  to  the  famous  gorge  in  which  originally 


there  was  a  stream  of  water  which  did  the  inhabitants 
much  damage,  but  was  dried  up  in  answer  to  the  prayer 
of  Francis.  A  wall  is  built  around  this  retreat,  and  the 
enclosure  is  planted  with  trees.  A  garden  is  built  on 
terraces  and  ministers  to  some  of  the  needs  of  the  monks, 
who  otherwise  depend  upon  alms.  The  monks'  dwelling, 
an  old  stone  structure  commanding  a  view  of  the  valley,  is 
now  occupied  by  eight  monks,  four  of  them  lay  brothers, 
who  practise  the  severest  rules  of  the  Franciscans  and  all 
look  haggard.  The  first  chapel  we  entered  gets  its  name 
from  St.  Bernard  of  Siena,  the  companion  of  St.  Francis. 
Adjoining  it  is  the  choir  of  the  saint,  with  scenes  from  his 
life.  Upstairs  there  are  three  small  guest  rooms  and  a 
library.  In  the  chapel  is  the  picture  of  the  Madonna,  who 
often  spoke  with  St.  Francis.  The  sacristy  is  so  small 
that  ten  persons  could  hardly  find  standing-place  in  it  at 
the  same  time.  Descending  into  a  chamber  cut  in  the 
rock,  you  see  the  bed  of  the  saint  and  a  piece  of  wood  he 
used  for  a  pillow.  You  must  enter  in  bare  feet  and  on 
your  knees.  Next  to  it  is  the  real  chapel  of  St.  Francis, 
also  hewn  out  of  the  rock.  From  the  door  of  this  chapel 
he  preached  to  the  birds,  and  opposite  is  the  tree  on  which 
they  perched  and  listened.  The  place  is  shown  where  the 
devil  appeared  and  was  thrown  down  by  the  saint,  as  an 
inscription  attests.  The  priest  who  acted  as  our  guide  was 
exceedingly  pleasant,  and  insisted  that  we  should  share  his 
humble  meal  in  the  convent  refectory." 

The  following  conversation  took  place  as  he  and  his 
pupil  were  about  to  take  a  caretta  for  Perugia :  — 

"  As  the  driver  was  hitching  up,  his  wife  exclaimed, 
'  May  the  blessed  Antonio  go  with  you  ! '  On  asking  who 
St.  Antonio  was,  I  received  the  reply :  '  St.  Antonio  is  a 
good  fellow;  he  is  the  patron  of  horses  and  teamsters.' 
Well,  where  is  he  now?     '  In  paradise.'     Does  he  come  to 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  57 

the  stables  ?  '  Yes  indeed,  Signore,  he  loves  horses  and 
all  beasts  and  men  very  much.  Be  sure  of  it  and  have  no 
concern  for  your  journey.'  Then  he  began  to  be  more 
earnest  and  told  me  how  '  God  had  divided  the  animals  off 
into  groups  and  distributed  them  among  His  angels  and 
saints  to  watch  over  them.'  He  pictured  to  me,  with  all 
the  movement  of  an  Italian,  the  earthquake  of  1833,  which 
threatened  to  destroy  the  whole  village  on  account  of  its 
wickedness.  He  himself  alone  had  deserved  the  earth- 
quake, for  he  was  the  chiefest  sinner  in  the  world.  But 
through  the  intercession  of  the  holy  Madonna,  the  valley 
was  saved.  When  he  came  to  a  figure  of  the  Madonna  or 
a  cross,  he  took  off  his  cap  most  reverentially.  When  we 
were  parting,  he  begged  us  not  to  forget  him  but  to  pray 
for  him.  On  expressing  the  wish  that  we  might  meet  in 
paradise,  he  replied,  '  May  the  Lord  bring  it  about,'  and 
kissed  both  my  hands." 

A  visit  to  the  Waldensian  valleys  forms  an  episode  by 
itself.  The  Waldensian  congregation  at  Turin  at  that 
time  numbered  five  hundred,  with  Bert  as  pastor,  whose 
support  came  in  part  from  the  Dutch,  Prussian  and  Eng- 
lish embassies.  An  edict  recently  issued  was  intended  to 
prevent  the  Waldenses  from  holding  on  to  their  property 
outside  of  the  limit  of  their  original  Waldensian  tracts. 
Determined  efforts  were  also  being  made  to  break  their 
ranks  in  the  valleys  by  the  construction  of  Catholic 
chapels.  Since  1870  the  enlightened  policy  of  the  Italian 
government  has  removed  the  restrictions  against  this 
brave  people,  who  have  spread  far  beyond  their  ancestral 
hills  and  built  chapels  as  far  south  as  Messina.  Dr. 
Schaff  kept  up  intimate  intercourse  with  their  leading 
pastors  and  felt  that  the  Waldensian  missions  were  the 
most  natural  agency  for  the  evangelization  of  Italy.  Here 
is  his  description  of  some  of  his  experiences  in  the  valleys. 


"We  start  at  5  a.m.  with  the  post  wagon  for  Pinerolo, 
a  four  hours'  drive  from  Turin.  The  road  runs  through 
well-cultivated  fields,  with  the  Alps  in  the  distance.  A 
conveyance  took  us  to  La  Tour,  the  seat  of  the  Walden- 
sian  schools,  in  two  hours.  The  region  became  more  and 
more  interesting  as  we  went  on,  assuming  a  Swiss  aspect, 
quiet,  dreamlike,  somewhat  wild,  with  only  this  difference, 
that  the  vegetation  of  Italy  remained  in  sight.  The 
ground  is  kept  under  fine  cultivation.  Everything  seems 
to  be  kept  in  good  order  in  these  valleys.  Especially 
noticeable  is  the  cleanliness  about  the  houses  and  hotel. 
It  is  as  if  one  had  been  transferred  to  quite  another  coun- 
try than  Italy.  The  aspect  is  such  that  you  feel  at  once 
that  you  are  in  Protestant  atmosphere,  breathing  a  clearer, 
purer  air,  after  being  shut  up  in  close  quarters.  The 
Swiss  would  say  es  hoimelet  mi  an,  it  makes  me  feel  at 
home.  The  Bear,  the  inn  at  which  we  alighted,  greatly 
excels  all  the  inns  in  small  Italian  towns  I  have  stopped 

"  The  college  or  Waldensian  high  school  is  a  large 
building,  and  has  to  thank  the  English  Colonel  Beckwith 
for  its  erection  and  maintenance.  He  is  the  great  bene- 
factor of  these  valleys,  and  for  several  years  has  been 
spending  the  winters  here,  occupying  a  large  house  oppo- 
site the  inn.  He  has  the  appearance  of  an  earnest,  kindly 
man  and  seems  to  live  wholly  for  the  good  of  this  region. 

"The  three  principal  teachers  are  Malan,  Revel  and 
Meille,  all  theologians.  Malan,  the  oldest,  is  a  quiet, 
earnest,  scholarly  man  of  perhaps  thirty-five.  Revel  is 
plain  in  appearance,  but  evidently  a  man  of  deep  piety. 
The  most  gifted  of  the  three  seems  to  be  Meille,  who  is  at 
the  same  time  the  youngest  and  has  not  finished  his 
studies.  I  listened  to  the  explanation  of  the  second  canto 
of   the   Inferno,  which    Malan  was   giving.     The   library 

chap,  in  TRAVELS  IN  ITALY  AND  SICILY  59 

consists  mostly  of  French  and  English  books,  and  they 
are  for  the  most  part  heretical  ;  but  by  an  old  law 
the  Waldenses  have  the  right  to  receive  and  keep  such 
books  for  their  own  use  on  condition  that  they  shall  not 
be  loaned  out  and,  of  course,  never  be  placed  in  the  hands 
of  a  Catholic.  .  .  . 

* 'With  the  three  teachers  I  took  a  walk  and  had  a 
splendid  view  up  and  down  the  Luserne  and  Angrogne 
valleys  and  over  the  plain  to  Turin.  Descending  through 
well-cultivated  fields  by  a  footpath  you  see  a  large  rock 
called  Castelluzzo,  under  which  is  a  cave  very  difficult  of 
access,  where  the  Waldenses  in  times  of  persecution  used 
to  flee.  Almost  every  spot  has  been  reddened  with  the 
blood  of  one  or  more  of  their  martyrs.  No  wonder  they 
love  their  valleys  and  regard  almost  every  spot  as  a  sanct- 
uary, and,  wherever  they  go,  feel  a  homesickness  which  is 
said  to  even  surpass  the  homesickness  of  the  Swiss. 
Where  many  suffered  unto  blood  the  grass  now  grows 
luxuriantly,  and  under  the  cool  shade  of  the  chestnut  trees 
we  rested  and  read  the  Scriptures." 

With  the  visit  to  the  Waldenses  the  Italian  days  were 
over.  Returning  to  Turin  the  party  crossed  the  Alps  into 
Switzerland.  It  was  early  in  June,  and  this  is  Dr.  Schaff's 
account:  — 

"We  left  Turin  at  three  in  the  morning,  four  mules 
drawing  our  carriage.  The  ascent  began  at  once  and  the 
landscape  became  rougher  and  wilder  until  we  reached  the 
snow  line.  The  zigzag  road  afforded  no  extensive  views. 
Arrived  at  the  top  of  the  pass,  we  looked  back  for  the  last 
time  upon  Italy  and  were  once  again  on  Swiss  soil.  What 
a  contrast  between  these  heights  and  the  warm  fruitful 
fields  through  which  we  passed  yesterday  !  .  .  .  But  these 
bleak  cliffs,  these  steep,  frightful  and  snow-covered  Alpine 
heights  have  also  a  beauty  of  their  own. 


"  In  descending  Mt.  Cenis  the  difference  became  even 
more  apparent  between  the  northern  and  southern 
slopes  of  the  Alps.  On  the  Swiss  side  the  snow  reaches 
much  further  down  and  the  vegetation  is  not  nearly  so 
luxuriant.  The  atmosphere  is  bracing,  the  winds  are 
rough.  On  the  other  hand,  the  villages  and  towns  are 
much  cleaner  and  better  built.  The  people  no  longer  have 
the  Italian  cast  of  countenance  and  speak  the  sweet, 
pleasing  language,  but  seem  to  be  more  genuine  and 
serious.  In  the  exorbitant  price  we  had  to  pay  for  lunch 
we  had  proof  of  the  close  proximity  of  Italy." 

At  Geneva  the  party  spent  six  weeks,  giving  Schaff 
opportunity  to  meet  the  leading  Protestant  divines  there 
and  in  Lausanne.  Malan,  Merle  d'Aubigne,  Gaussen  and 
Pilet  were  then  at  the  height  of  their  influence.  With 
Malan  and  Gaussen  he  spent  many  hours  at  their  homes. 
He  writes :  — 

"  Gaussen  is  an  earnest  man,  a  little  slow,  of  strong 
convictions  and,  as  it  seems,  narrow  views,  but  not  nearly 
as  exclusive  as  Malan.  He  was  exceedingly  cordial  to-day 
and  after  the  meal  took  me  to  the  oratoire  and  the  library 
and  then  to  the  rural  home  of  Merle  d'Aubigne  on  the 
left  bank  of  the  lake  and  quite  close  to  the  water's  edge. 
Merle  is  a  large,  powerful  man,  with  spectacles,  which  he 
places  at  the  extreme  point  of  his  nose.  His  presence 
cannot  be  said  to  be  prepossessing  and  he  does  not  seem 
to  be  as  cordial  and  as  approachable  as  Gaussen.  He 
speaks  German  well  and  was  for  five  years  French 
preacher  in  Hamburg.  I  returned  with  Gaussen  to  his 
home.  After  tea  he  read  a  chapter,  the  relatives  and 
servants  being  present,  and  accompanied  it  with  brief 
explanations  and  prayer.  I  went  back  to  my  lodgings 
greatly  pleased  and  in  a  happier  frame  of  mind.  .  .  . 

"  Malan  to-day  represented  the  church   at  Geneva   as 



declining.  He  held  me  to  the  subject  in  which  he  is  most 
interested  and  asked  whether  I  felt  sure  of  my  eternal 
salvation  and,  if  so,  what  some  of  the  evidences  were. 
When  I  answered,  the  testimony  of  the  Holy  Spirit  and 
the  Word  of  God,  he  wanted  to  know  my  proof  texts.  I 
replied  that  there  were  many  of  them,  for  example,  '  God 
is  not  willing  that  any  should  perish  but  that  all  should 
come  to  repentance.'  Hereupon  he  accused  me  of  heresy 
and  Pelagianism,  and  explained  that  in  this  passage  (2 
Peter  iii.  10)  the  Greek  word,  without  the  article,  does  not 
mean  'all,'  but  all  kinds,  as  the  context  proves,  and  that  in 
the  passage  '  In  Adam  all  die,'  the  emphasis  is  not  upon 
all  but  upon  in  Adam  and  in  Christ.  It  was  a  sin  to 
declare  that  Christ  died  for  all  men,  for  this  would  mean 
that  he  redeems  all  and  sanctifies  all ;  but  as  some  perish, 
all  are  not  redeemed.  He  then  gave  me  a  book  which  he 
had  just  written  against  the  Wesley ans  and  invited  me  to 
come  and  see  him  often,  and  with  a  prayer  and  much 
earnestness  expressed  the  hope  that  I  might  be  delivered 
from  pernicious  heresy.  He  is  a  man  of  much  oratorical 
ability  and  by  his  firmness  and  frankness  wins  esteem, 
but  the  way  in  which  he  put  me  under  examination  and 
passed  sentence  upon  me,  did  not  make  a  favorable 
impression.  ..." 

Of  another  visit  he  writes,  "  Madam  Malan  and  the 
daughters  were  at  the  table  and  proved  to  be  very  agree- 
able company.  After  breakfast  I  walked  about  in  the 
garden  with  Malan  and  his  son  Caesar.  Malan  was  smok- 
ing a  cigar  and  unfolded  to  me  his  system  at  length.  As 
I  accepted  the  predestination  of  believers  but  rejected  the 
decree  of  reprobation,  he  said  that  was  my  vitium  but  only 
a  vitium  quantitatis,  not  qnalitatis.  Malan's  chapel  in  his 
garden  is  very  plain  but  pretty,  and  over  against  it  is  the 
school  he  started  several  years  ago." 


At  Lausanne  he  met  Herzog,  a  lifelong  friend,  after- 
wards professor  at  Erlangen  and  editor  of  the  Herzog 
Encyclopaedia.  Of  Vinet  he  says,  "  I  heard  an  excellent 
lecture  by  Vinet  in  homiletics.  '  Le  style  active,  voild  le 
style  oratoire,  he  said.  'Beauty  should  be  sought  but 
beauty  that  is  useful.  Be  direct.  Don't  go  around  about 
a  subject.  Have  a  goal  clearly  in  mind.'  These  were 
some  of  his  counsels,  and  his  resemblance  to  Theremin  is 
apparent.  They  have  much  in  common  both  in  point  of 
character  and  of  style.  I  was  deceived  in  Vinet's  appear- 
ance. He  is  a  tall,  infirm-looking  man,  with  brown  com- 
plexion, blue  spectacles,  large  mouth,  bent  shoulders,  but 
of  much  gentleness,  earnestness  and  apparent  conscien- 
tiousness. The  evening  spent  at  Vinet's  with  Herzog,  the 
Waldensian  Meille  and  others  was  a  most  precious  experi- 
ence, one  ever  memorable." 

By  way  of  Bern,  where  he  met  Schneckenburger,  the 
party  passed  on  to  Stuttgart.  Resigning  his  position  of 
tutor  to  young  von  Krocher  and  declining  an  appointment 
in  the  seminary  at  Schiers  in  his  native  canton,  he  hurried 
on  to  Berlin  to  begin  his  career  as  a  theological  teacher. 

chap.  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  63 


1 842- 1 844 

Privat-Docent  in  Berlin  —  Professor  Park  —  Monod  and  Godet  —  "  The  Sin 
against  the  Holy  Ghost  "  —  Private  Thoughts  —  Delegation  from  the 
United  States  —  Call  to  Mercersburg  —  Marheineke  —  Ordination  —  Krum- 
macher  —  England  —  Oxford  —  Dr.  Pusey  —  Arrival  in  America 

It  was  in  the  fall  of  1842  that  Dr.  Schaff  began  to  lect- 
ure as  privat-docent.  The  following  is  his  own  account  of 
his  decision  to  pursue  the  study  of  theology :  — 

"  Many  men  seem  never  to  find  out  their  true  vocation 
in  this  world.  Others  start  with  a  clear  and  definite  aim 
and  pursue  it  with  unfaltering  perseverance.  Nevertheless 
Providence  shapes  our  calling,  assigns  us  our  sphere  of 
labor  and  gives  us  the  necessary  equipment,  sometimes  in 
harmony  with  our  wishes,  sometimes  in  direct  opposition 
to  flesh  and  blood.  Our  bitterest  disappointments  may 
be  made  our  best  opportunities.  I  am  sure  I  am  called 
to  be  a  teacher  of  theology.  I  would  not  exchange  my 
calling,  if  I  could,  no  not  even  for  a  crown.  Little  as  I 
have  accomplished,  that  is  nevertheless  the  best  I  could 
have  done. 

"  My  first  childish  ambition  was  to  be  a  soldier.  My 
next  and  stronger  passion  was  to  be  a  poet.  I  filled  my 
memory  early  with  the  lyrics  of  Salis,  my  countryman 
whose  venerable  form  and  whose  funeral  in  1834  I  well 
remember,  and  Schiller,  Goethe,  Uhland,  Ruckert,  Knapp, 


as  also  with  selections  from  the  ancient  and  other  modern 
classics.  I  wrote  many  verses,  German  and  Latin,  in  all 
sorts  of  metres,  ancient  and  modern,  and  sometimes  I 
imagined  myself  to  be  a  poet.  But  the  wish  was  father 
to  the  thought.  No  effort  can  supply  the  defect  of  nature. 
I  now  look  upon  my  juvenile  verses  as  attempts  to  fly 
without  wings.  Nevertheless  poetry  has  ever  been  to  me, 
next  to  religion,  my  richest  source  of  spiritual  enjoyment. 

"As  soon  as  I  awoke  to  a  sense  of  the  paramount  im- 
portance of  religion,  I  chose  the  ministry  for  my  vocation, 
and  adhered  ever  after  to  this  resolution  without  the 
quaver  of  a  doubt.  This  was  in  my  sixteenth  year.  My 
life's  work  has  been  as  an  educator  of  ministers  in  the 
class  room  and  through  the  pen.  I  was  strongly  encour- 
aged to  give  myself  up  to  teaching  by  my  beloved  pro- 
fessors, Drs.  Schmid  of  Tubingen,  Tholuck  and  Miiller 
of  Halle,  and  Neander,  Twesten  and  Hengstenberg  of 

"  The  road  leading  to  a  professorship  in  the  German 
and  Swiss  universities  is  steep  and  arduous.  The  prelimi- 
nary examination  and  disputation  are  a  severe  test.  Then 
follows  the  severer  ordeal,  the  career  of  the  privat-docent, 
the  necessary  forerunner  of  the  fixed  appointment  of 
extraordinary  professor.  Except  in  unusual  cases  the 
privat-docent  depends  for  his  support  upon  the  fees  of 
the  students  whom  he  can  attract,  and  upon  work  outside 
the  class  room.  He  often  submits  to  great  privation,  and 
fails  at  last.  Many  a  docent,  like  Erbkam  and  Ueberweg, 
has  waited  for  more  than  a  decade  before  being  promoted 
to  the  place  of  extraordinary  professor  with  its  modest 
income." 1 

Dr.  Julius  Miiller  wrote  to  the  young  teacher,  "  wishing 

1  For  a  detailed  sketch  of  the  administration  of  the  German  universities,  see 
Dr.  Schaff  s  Germany  and  Us  Universities,  pp.  27-49. 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  65 

him  from  his  heart  the  richest  blessings  of  Providence, 
and  declaring  that  the  theological  public  had  a  right  to 
expect  much  from  him."  Tholuck  sent  him  the  encour- 
aging word :  — 

I  have  received  through  Kollner  the  news  that  you  have 
ventured  upon  the  career  of  privat-docent,  —  the  academic 
ocean  —  and  that  the  beginning  promises  good  things.  I 
am  convinced  that  you  will  succeed,  and  that  God  will 
glorify  Himself  through  you,  if  you  will  only  seek  nothing 
else  than  His  glory.  And  what  a  life  you  have  behind 
you,  so  rich  in  experiences,  full  only  of  gracious  leadings ! 

He  chose  for  the  subject  of  his  first  test  lecture 
(December  3)  the  Apostolic  Types  of  Doctrine,  and  for 
his  test  lecture  in  Latin  (December  7)  The  Nature  and 
Aims  of  Theology  (de  no  Hone  theologies).  He  was  soon 
well  advanced  in  two  courses  on  the  Catholic  Epistles  and 
the  theology  of  Schleiermacher.  Summing  up  his  im- 
pressions of  his  class-room  activity,  he  wrote  at  the  close 
of  his  sojourn  in  Berlin :  "  Upon  the  whole  my  career  as 
privat-docent  has  not  been  brilliant,  but  when  I  compare 
myself  with  other  privat-docenten,  and  the  extraordinary 
professors,  I  have  all  reason  to  be  greatly  satisfied." 

Looking  back  over  an  interval  of  more  than  forty  years, 
he  wrote  as  follows:  "Among  my  hearers  were  several 
of  my  Swiss  countrymen,  and  even  an  American  professor, 
Dr.  Park  of  Andover,  then  sojourning  in  Berlin.  Being 
deficient  in  his  knowledge  of  German,  he  asked  me  to  give 
him  private  instruction  on  the  theological  system  of 
Schleiermacher,  but  as  my  knowledge  of  English  was  very 
scant,  I  could  not  be  of  much  use  to  him.  I  introduced 
him  with  no  better  result  to  my  friend,  Kahnis,  who  was 
so  worried  by  his  many  Yankee  questions  that  he  ex- 
claimed in  despair,  '  God  forgive  Christopher  Columbus 
for  having  discovered  America ! ' 



"  I  had  no  presentiment  at  that  time  what  an  important 
man  Dr.  Park  was.  From  him  I  first  heard  the  name  of 
Jonathan  Edwards.  He  praised  him  as  the  greatest  phi- 
losopher and  theologian  America  had  produced,  and  when 
Dr.  Herzog  in  1854  asked  me  to  take  charge  of  the 
American  celebrities  in  his  Encyclopaedia,  I  suggested 
Edwards  as  the  subject  of  an  article,  recommending  Dr. 
Park  or  Dr.  Stowe  as  the  writer.  He  chose  Dr.  Stowe  on 
account  of  the  fame  of  his  wife's  Uncle  Toms  Cabin.  But 
for  this  the  great  American  divine  would  not  have  had  a 
place  in  that  work.  I  afterwards  became  very  well  ac- 
quainted with  Dr.  Park  during  my  stay  in  Andover,  and 
greatly  enjoyed  his  company.  He  was  then  in  the  prime 
of  his  fame  and  influence,  and  a  most  genial  companion, 
full  of  humor  and  spicy  anecdotes  admirably  told. 

"There  were  iowx privat-docenten  in  the  theological  de- 
partment besides  myself,  all  of  them  church  historians,  — 
Erbkam,  Reuter,  then  a  Hegelian,  Jacobi,  a  favorite  dis- 
ciple of  Neander,  and  Kahnis,  a  strong  Lutheran.  The 
first  became  professor  in  Konigsberg,  the  second  in 
Gottingen,  the  third  in  Halle,  and  Kahnis  in  Leipzig,  all 
well  known  by  their  writings.  They  have  all  passed  away 
before  me,  and  I  am  left  alone.  I  saw  Jacobi  and  Kahnis 
for  the  last  time  in  1886.  Jacobi  was  still  in  active  ser- 
vice. Kahnis  was  under  a  dark  cloud  and  in  the  constant 
charge  of  a  nurse.  His  memory  was  almost  extinguished, 
but  he  recognized  me,  and  smiled  when  I  mentioned  Halle 
and  the  names  of  our  mutual  friends,  Henry  B.  Smith  and 
George  L.  Prentiss.     It  was  an  affecting  interview." 

Dr.  Schaff  was  brought  into  social  contact  with  the 
wider  university  circles  as  well  as  with  the  families  of 
the  theological  faculty.  He  spent  Saturday  evenings  with 
Hengstenberg,  and  attended  the  Monday  evening  con- 
ferences at  the  home  of  the  genial  president  von  Gerlach, 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  67 

whose  views  of  the  church  had  a  permanent  influence 
upon  his  mind.  Old  friends  and  professors  visited  him. 
Tholuck  "  to  his  great  delight "  spent  two  weeks  with  him 
in  his  lodgings'  Ullmann  of  Heidelberg  and  Dorner,  then 
on  his  way  to  Konigsberg,  paid  him  protracted  visits. 
Among  students  with  whom  he  came  in  close  contact 
were  Adolph  Monod  of  Montauban,  then  forty  years  old, 
and  Frederic  Godet  of  Neuchatel.  On  quitting  Berlin 
Monod,  with  whom  he  had  spent  "many  happy  hours," 
wrote :  "  You  have  been  very  useful  to  us,  and  your 
fraternal  love  is  very  precious  to  us.  Do  come  and  spend 
some  time  with  us  in  France,  that  you  may  unite  to  Ger- 
man Christianity  French  Christianity." 

Their  common  Swiss  origin  had  something  to  do  in 
bringing  Schaff  and  Godet  together.  In  after  years  they 
kept  up  a  correspondence,  and  Dr.  Schaff  dedicated  to  his 
friend  the  last  volume  of  his  Church  History,  treating  of 
the  Swiss  Reformation.  In  his  Personal  Reminiscences > 
he  writes :  — 

"  My  most  intimate  friend  in  Berlin  was  Godet.  He 
was  then  acting  as  tutor  to  the  ill-fated  Emperor  Frederick 
III  and  attending  the  lectures  of  Neander,  of  whom  he 
was  an  enthusiastic  admirer.  I  saw  him  almost  daily  with 
the  young  prince  in  the  palace  garden  or  in  my  own  room. 
He  was  a  charming  Christian  gentleman,  and  highly  es- 
teemed in  the  royal  palace.  He  has  kept  up  a  constant 
correspondence  with  the  prince,  who  spoke  to  me  at  the 
fifth  centenary  of  Heidelberg  University,  where  I  met 
him,  in  the  most  affectionate  terms  of  his  old  tutor." 

A  birthday  gift,  Jan.  1,  1844,  from  Godet  of  Bogatzky's 
Schatzkastlein  was  accompanied  by  the  following  note  :  — 

To-morrow  is  holy  day.  The  Lord  grant  unto  us  quiet 
meditation,  serious  repentance,  living  faith,  warm  love  and 
gratitude.     That  is  much,  but  not  more  than  He  can  and 


will  give  .  .  .  and  thou,  dear  friend,  be  thou  commended 
to  the  Lord,  the  almighty  and  ever-present  One,  the 
Mediator  of  sinners. 

During  the  vacations  he  took  occasion  to  extend  his 
acquaintance  in  theological  circles.  Besides  visiting  Halle 
and  Tubingen,  he  attended  the  one-hundredth  anniversary 
of  the  university  of  Erlangen,  spending  pleasant  hours 
with  von  Raumer  and  Ebrard,  sojourned  a  week  with 
Ullmann  in  Heidelberg,  met  Wieseler  and  Liebner  in  Got- 
tingen.  This  persistence  in  meeting  men,  as  will  appear, 
was  characteristic.  His  wide  personal  acquaintance  with 
German  theologians  gave  to  his  opinions  of  the  state  of 
German  theology  a  freshness  they  would  have  lacked  if 
they  had  been  based  exclusively  upon  books. 

Besides  the  contributions  of  an  active  pen  to  Hengsten- 
berg's  Kirchenzeitung  and  Tholuck's  Anzeiger,  he  pub- 
lished his  trial  essay  for  the  right  to  lecture  (Habilita- 
tionsschrifi)  on  James  the  Lord's  brother,1  and  a  volume  on 
the  Sin  against  the  Holy  Ghost.2  This  latter  treatise  has 
been  widely  quoted  in  Germany,  and  may  be  regarded  as  one 
of  the  noteworthy  tracts  on  the  theme  of  which  it  treats. 
The  subject  had  been  more  recently  set  forth  in  the  Studien 
und  Kritiken  by  Grashof  and  Gurlitt  in  1833,  Tholuck  in 
1836,  by  Olshausen  in  his  commentary  and  Nitzsch  in 
the  fourth  edition  of  his  System  of  Christian  Doctrine. 
Olshausen  had  advocated  the  view  that  there  were  three 
degrees  of  sin  against  God,  corresponding  to  the  three 
persons  of  the  God-head,  and  that  it  was  the  person  sinned 
against  as  well  as  the  inward  state  of  the  soul  sinning 
which  constituted  blasphemy.  Denying  this  threefold  de- 
gree of  sin,  Schafr"  contended  that  it  is  the  Son  of  man  in 

1  Das   Verh'dltniss   des  Jakobus,  Bruders  des  Herrn,  zu  Jakobus  Alphai, 
Berlin,  1842,  pp.  99. 

2  Die  Sunde  wider  den  Heiligen  Geist,  Halle,  1 841,  pp.  210. 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  69 

his  earthly  manifestations  against  whom  the  sin  of  blas- 
phemy is  committed,  and  not  the  Second  Person  of  the 
Trinity,  and  that  it  is  not  against  one  of  the  persons  of  the 
Trinity  that  the  sin  against  the  Holy  Ghost  is  committed, 
but  against  Him  as  He  operates  upon  the  soul.  The 
blasphemy  against  the  Holy  Ghost  is  the  rejection  of  the 
Divine  itself,  as  it  manifests  itself  to  the  soul.  It  pre- 
supposes a  higher  degree  of  Christian  knowledge  and 
enlightenment  than  is  involved  in  the  sin  against  the  Son 
of  man.     It  is  the  final  culmination  of  evil. 

To  the  critical  and  philosophical  treatment  of  his  sub- 
ject, the  author  appended  a  detailed  sketch  of  the  pitiful 
case  of  Francesco  Spiera,  who  believed  himself  to  have 
committed  the  sin  which  cannot  be  forgiven.  Summing 
up  the  evidence  of  this  famous  case,  he  pronounces 
Spiera's  experiences  to  be  a  fearful  instance  of  the  awful 
consequence  of  obstinate  resistance  to  the  Holy  Spirit,  but 
records  the  judicious  judgment  that  it  is  not  given  to  us 
to  say  with  infallible  certainty  when  the  sin  against  the 
Holy  Spirit  is  committed.  The  volume,  which  is  written  in 
a  flowing  style  and  shows  laborious  study,  received  strong 
commendation  from  trusted  theological  teachers. 

The  warm  faith  with  which  the  young  docent  went  into 
the  class  room,  he  carried  also  into  his  literary  work.  He 
had  more  than  a  literary  and  scientific  purpose,  as  an 
author  and  instructor.  He  regarded  the  spiritual  or  reli- 
gious sense  a  prerequisite  of  a  theological  teacher,  for  the 
absence  of  which  no  amount  of  scholarship  can  atone.  In 
later  years  he  used  to  say  of  a  certain  class  of  theologians  ^ 

that  they  seemed  to  have  no  more  spiritual  apprehension 
than  a  horse.  At  this  time .  he  wrote,  "  A  theologian 
without  faith  is  like  a  sky  without  a  star,  a  heart  without 
a  pulse,  light  without  warmth,  a  sword  without  edge,  a 
body  without  soul." 


The  following  extract  from  his  journal  transfers  us 
from  the  class  room  to  the  quiet  reflections  of  the  study 
chamber :  — 

I  spent  the  evening  of  the  birth  of  my  Lord  and 
Saviour  (1842)  quietly  in  my  room.  Yet,  I  am  not  alone, 
for  the  Lord,  the  best  and  most  faithful  friend,  the  best  of 
Christmas  gifts,  is  with  me,  stirs  and  comforts  me.  I  play 
to-night  with  sweet  memories  from  the  past.  Disappoint- 
ments also  have  borne  good  fruits,  even  where  all  has 
shaped  itself  in  a  way  different  from  what  I,  in  my 
short-sightedness,  wished.  What  God  has  done,  is  well 
done.  He  is  love,  and  love  abideth  forever.  It  is  stronger 
than  death.  May  the  Lord  strengthen  me  to-morrow  at  the 
communion  with  His  love. 

A  year  later,  in  1843,  with  his  approaching  departure  for 
America  in  view,  he  wrote  in  the  same  spirit  of  religious 
devotion :  — 

On  this  last  day  of  the  year,  a  Sabbath,  I  have  com- 
muned in  the  Louisa  church.  A  year  heavy  with  impor- 
tant events !  Everywhere  memorial  stones  of  divine  love 
and  cause  for  self-humiliation  and  thanks  to  the  Lord ! 
I  am  not  worthy,  Lord,  of  all  the  goodness  and  mercy  which 
Thou  hast  shown  Thy  servant!  If  Thou  wert  to  enter 
with  me  into  judgment,  I  could  not  answer  Thee  one  in  a 
thousand.  Continue  to  hide  me  under  the  shadow  of  Thy 
wings,  to  lead  me  in  the  way,  to  refresh  me  with  streams 
of  Thy  grace,  and  to  sanctify  my  life  that  it  may  be  a 
thank-offering  and  an  anthem  of  praise  to  Thy  love  for 
sinners !  Lord,  go  with  me  across  the  ocean  to  my  new 
sphere  of  activity,  which  Thou  hast  opened  out  for  me ! 
May  my  beginning,  my  continuance,  and  the  end  of  my 
work  be  in  Thee  and  redound  to  the  glory  of  Thy  Holy 
name !  May  the  edification  of  Thy  Zion  be  my  first  and 
last  thought !  May  the  Holy  Spirit  be  the  impelling  force 
of  all  my  activity  and  Thy  Word  my  good  weapon  and 
defence !  Jesus  and  Jesus  alone  be  my  watchword ! 
Amen ! 

It  was  the  combination  of  religious  warmth  and  a 
practical  aim  with  a  thorough  theological  equipment  that 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  J\ 

gave  to  Dr.  Schaff  a  providential  fitness  to  pass  from  the 
sphere  of  the  German  university  to  an  important  place 
and  work  in  the  church  in  America.  This  change,  which 
occurred  in  1844,  undoubtedly  introduced  him  to  a  career 
of  wider  usefulness  and  influence  than  Germany  would 
have  afforded  him,  and  resulted  in  his  doing  more  than  any 
one  else  of  his  generation  towards  the  naturalization  of  the 
evangelical  scholarship  of  Germany  in  the  United  States, 
and  in  fact  in  his  securing  a  unique  distinction  as  medi- 
ator between  German  and  American  religious  thought. 

The  occasion  of  Dr.  Schaffs  coming  to  the  United 
States  was  a  call  from  the  German  Reformed  Church. 
The  feeling  was  quite  general  within  its  pale  that  its 
interests  would  be  advanced  by  having  in  its  theological 
seminary  a  thoroughly  equipped  German  scholar,  who 
would  not  only  give  instruction  to  the  rising  generation 
of  preachers  through  the  medium  of  the  German  language, 
but  also  revive  and  strengthen  the  bond  of  union  between 
it  and  the  churches  of  the  mother  country.  Its  original 
constituency  as  well  as  its  ecclesiastical  symbols  and  tradi- 
tions were  derived  from  the  Palatinate  and  German  Swit- 

In  the  month  of  July,  1843,  two  clergymen,  one  the  Rev. 
Dr.  Theodore  L.  Hoffeditz,  and  the  other  the  Rev.  Benja- 
min S.  Schneck  called  on  Dr.  Schaff  in  his  study.  They 
had  been  sent  abroad  by  the  German  Reformed  synod  to 
place  in  the  hands  of  Dr.  Frederick  W.  Krummacher  a  call 
to  a  professorship  in  Mercersburg.1  Dr.  Krummacher  was 
then  in  the  fulness  of  his  powers  as  the  most  eloquent 
evangelical  pulpit  orator  in  the  German,  and  was  widely 
known  in  England  and  America  through  the  translations 
of  his  sermons.     After  considerable  hesitation  he  declined 

1  Dr.  Krummacher  refers  to  this  call  in  his  Autobiography,  2d  ed.,  Edin- 
burgh, 1 87 1,  pp.  193  sqq. 


the  invitation,  and  the  attention  of  the  delegates  was 
turned  to  the  young  Berlin  licentiate.  They  had  been 
directed  to  him  with  singular  unanimity  by  Krummacher, 
Tholuck,  Julius  M tiller,  Neander,  Hengstenberg,  Strauss- 
court  preacher  and  professor  at  Berlin — and  other  profess- 
ors. His  scholarship,  Christian  fervor,  and  attachment  to 
students  were  emphasized.  In  addition  to  these  qualifica- 
tions, Dr.  Hengstenberg  laid  stress  on  a  certain  adapta- 
bility of  his  nature  to  suit  itself  to  the  conditions  of  a  new 
country.  This  judgment  was  amply  vindicated.  Years 
later,  in  1861,  the  German  Reformed  Church  attempted  to 
secure  the  services  of  Dr.  Ebrard  for  its  theological  school 
in  Tiffin.  In  view  of  his  age  it  was  probably  well  for 
both  parties  that  he  did  not  accept.  In  1874,  Lane  Semi- 
nary extended  a  call  to  another  German  theologian,  Pro- 
fessor Christlieb  of  Bonn.  In  his  case,  likewise,  although 
he  had  spent  several  years  in  England,  transplantation 
might  not  have  been  followed  by  adaptation. 

At  a  second  interview,  the  delegates  secured  his  per- 
mission to  present  his  name  to  the  synod  on  their  return 
to  America.  The  mission  of  these  two  worthy  German- 
American  clergymen  was  novel,  and  excited  a  good  deal 
of  attention  in  Berlin  and  Germany.  The  king  of  Prus- 
sia, Frederick  William  IV,  who  was  much  interested  in 
religious  matters,  invited  them  to  an  interview  and  made 
them  a  donation  of  1 500  thalers  for  the  seminary  at  Mer- 

Returning  to  America,  Dr.  Schneck  found  the  synod  in 
session  at  Winchester,  Virginia,  October,  1843.  The  enthu- 
siastic testimonials  of  the  distinguished  theologians  were 
set  before  it,  and  copies  of  Mr.  Schaff's  work  on  the  Sin 
against  the  Holy  Ghost  distributed.  By  a  unanimous  vote, 
a  call  was  extended  to  him  to  the  chair  of  "  Church  His- 
tory and  Biblical  Literature  in  the  Theological  Seminary 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  73 

at  Mercersburg,  Pennsylvania."  It  is  interesting  to  re- 
mark that  the  call  was  signed  by  Dr.  J.  F.  Berg  as  pre- 
siding officer,  who  a  few  months  later  was  to  become 
the  prosecutor  of  the  new  professor  for  heresy. 

The  important  bearing  of  this  action  on  the  subsequent 
history  of  the  German  Reformed  Church  of  America, 
makes  it  proper  to  give  an  extract  from  a  letter  of  Dr. 
Schneck  written  in  German  upon  the  adjournment  of  the 
synod  (Nov.  1,  1843). 

The  synod  was  already  in  session  when  I  arrived  here 
in  Chambersburg.  I  started  off  at  once  for  Winchester, 
reaching  there  four  days  after  the  opening  of  the  session. 
Tears  of  gratitude  and  joy  were  shed  as  the  whole  synod, 
on  my  arrival,  arose  and  lifted  its  voice  in  prayer,  thank- 
ing God  for  the  safe  return  of  my  coadjutor  and  myself. 

As  Dr.  Hoffeditz  was  not  able  to  be  present,  the  duty 
fell  upon  me  to  make  the  report  of  our  mission.  I  was 
afraid  that  many  of  the  brethren  might  not  be  ready,  as 
Dr.  Hoffeditz  and  I  were,  to  see  clearly  the  hand  of  Provi- 
dence in  the  whole  trend  of  events.  We  also  feared  that 
the  same  earnest  purpose  would  not  manifest  itself  as 
before,  to  call  an  unknown  man  to  a  professorship.  What 
was  my  astonishment,  after  I  had  given  a  succinct  account 
of  the  whole  business  and  the  president  began  to  call  for 
expressions  of  opinion,  to  hear  one  after  another,  ministers 
and  elders,  declare  themselves  without  hesitation,  nay,  with 
firm  conviction,  to  be  persuaded  that  you  were  the  man  of 
God's  appointment. 

Professor  Nevin  was  the  last  to  be  called  upon.  Deeply 
moved  and  with  his  usual  dignity  of  bearing,  he  arose  and 
declared  that  in  all  his  experience  he  had  never  been  more 
willing  to  concur  in  the  opinion  of  his  brethren  than  in 
the  case  in  hand.  He  still  believed  the  synod  had  fol- 
lowed a  divine  sign  in  calling  Dr.  Krummacher,  but  it  was 
clear  to  him  also  that  the  Lord  proposed  to  direct  them 
through  this  path  to  another  man.  "We  have,"  he  said, 
"  much  more  evidence  that  Mr.  Schaff  is  the  man  adapted 
to  this  place,  than  we  had  that  Dr.  Krummacher  was, 
when  we  elected  him." 

The  choice  was   deferred  to  the   following  day  and  it 


gives  me  intense  pleasure  to  be  able  to  say  to  you  that 
you  were  unanimously  elected  by  the  synod  to  the  pro- 
fessorship. Dear  brother,  I  take  it  for  granted  you  will 
come  to  us.  I  will  not  attempt  to  measure  in  words  the 
expectancy  with  which  your  arrival  is  looked  for  at  the 
earliest  possible  moment.  Public  opinion,  even  among  our 
English-speaking  congregations,  regards  your  coming  with 
much  favor. 

When  Dr.  Schaff  decided  to  come  to  America,  he  had 
no  reason  to  entertain  doubts  of  a  speedy  promotion  to  a 
professorship  in  Germany.  At  that  very  moment  he  was 
being  pressed  by  Nitzsch  and  other  influential  scholars  for 
a  chair  at  Zurich.  He  was,  however,  always  convinced 
he  had  acted  wisely.  "  I  have  never  regretted,"  he  writes, 
"  my  decision,  and  never  doubted  that  I  followed  the  will 
of  God  clearly  indicated  in  the  recommendation  and  coun- 
sel of  my  beloved  teachers  and  friends  !  "  He  immediately 
took  up  the  study  of  English,  began  to  make  inquiry 
about  American  theology  and  literature,  and  with  a  copy 
of  Norton's  Evidences  of  the  Genuineness  of  the  Gospels, 
a  gift  from  the  American  minister  in  Berlin,  Mr.  Wheaton, 
laid  the  foundation  for  a  library  of  English  authors. 

A  considerable  enthusiasm  was  felt  at  that  time  in  certain 
circles  in  Germany  for  supplying  the  spiritual  destitution 
among  the  Germans  in  America.  A  society,  organized  at 
Langenberg  near  Elberfeld  for  this  purpose,  had  sent  out 
a  number  of  ministers  who  labored  successfully  in  differ- 
ent states  of  the  Union.  Dr.  Schaffs  call  strengthened 
the  hope  that  a  closer  bond  of  union  might  be  formed 
between  the  churches  of  the  New  World  and  the  mother 
church  of  the  Continent.  This  was  one  of  the  chief  con- 
siderations weighing  with  him  in  coming  to  a  decision  ;  and 
Eichhorn,  the  Prussian  minister  of  education,  in  giving 
him  temporary  release,  distinctly  alluded  to  this  hope. 

A  letter  from  Dr.  Dorner,  manifesting  the  same  zeal, 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  75 

evinces  also  a  generous  foresight  in  regard  to  American 
affairs  which  few  German  theologians  were  capable  of 
sharing.     He  wrote  :  — 

As  soon  as  I  heard  of  your  call  to  America,  I  had  the 
earnest  desire  that  you  might  accept  it.  It  is  most  impor- 
tant for  that  young  country,  not  only  that  colonists  and 
material  forces  be  sent  her,  but  that  her  intellectual  and 
spiritual  life  be  fostered  by  old  Europe.  Especially  do 
I  think  it  exceedingly  important  that  German  theological 
scholarship  be  represented  there.  Only  through  that 
channel  can  the  Germans  be  expected  to  make  that  full 
contribution  to  the  American  nationality  and  institutions 
which  they  are  able  to  make,  and  the  German-American 
Church  will  only  then  show  its  peculiar  strength  when  it 
yields  to  theological  science  her  rightful  place.  Sooner 
or  later  questions  will  arise  which  are  of  decisive  national 
importance,  questions  touching  the  relations  of  the  state 
to  religion  which  can  only  be  answered  by  such  scholarly 
culture.  But  why  should  I  say  more  about  the  impor- 
tance of  your  mission  since  you  are  full  of  it ! 

In  America  little  has  yet  been  done  in  the  department 
of  theology,  but  more  than  is  known  here.  Already  a 
number  of  new  phases  of  thought  have  been  developed 
and  heresies  begotten.  Its  literature  has  had  its  theologi- 
cal controversies,  which  have  been  logically  treated  and 
carried  on  at  length.  You  will  tell  Germany  about  them. 
Especially  do  I  ask  you  to  give  attention  to  the  trini- 
tarian  and  christological  controversies  and  the  develop- 
ment of  the  theory  of  the  Atonement. 

When  Dr.  Schaff  turned  his  steps  in  the  direction  of 
the  west  he  did  not  give  himself  up  to  the  thought  of  a 
lifelong  separation  from  Germany.  Eichhorn,  minister 
of  education  and  worship,  promised  that  "a  position 
would  be  open  for  him,  when  he  returned,"  and  Hengsten- 
berg  urged  him  to  keep  this  in  mind  and  to  carry  on  his 
work  with  an  eye  to  it.  The  following  extract,  written  the 
last  day  of  1843,  records  his  own  feelings :  — 

The  most  important  thing  that  has  happened  to  me 
this  year  is  my  call  to  America.     I  am  to  go  to  another 


part  of  the  earth,  to  enter  into  new  relations,  to  teach 
German  theology  in  a  land  with  a  great  creative  activity 
before  it,  which  breathes  the  fresh  air  of  spring  and  where 
every  tendency  can  develope  itself  unhampered  from  with- 
out. My  call  should  be  a  summons  to  a  connection  to  be 
equally  blessed  to  both  parties,  the  mother  churches  in 
Germany  and  the  brethren  who  have  emigrated  abroad 
and  who,  unless  help  be  soon  extended  to  them,  are  in 
danger,  either  of  sinking  into  irreligion  or  of  falling  into 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  which  is  very  active  on  the 
other  side  of  the  ocean,  or  of  being  swallowed  up  by  the 
numberless  sects.  Lord,  imbue  me  with  wisdom  and 
love  that  I  may  worthily  respond  to  this  call  which  by  Thy 
grace  has  come  to  me. 

The  novelty  of  the  call  involved  him  in  many  social 
engagements  before  his  departure  from  Berlin.  The  fol- 
lowing lively  account  is  of  a  company  given  in  his  honor 
by  Marheineke,  with  whom  he  had  a  bare  acquaintance 
and  who  had  the  manners  of  a  man  of  the  world  and  was 
a  pronounced  Hegelian.  Most  of  the  invited  guests  be- 
longed to  a  different  circle  from  that  into  which  he  had 
been  thrown,  and  occupied  a  different  theological  stand- 
point from  his  own.  One  of  his  articles  in  the  Kirchen- 
zeitung  had  attracted  his  host's  favorable  attention. 
Among  others  present  were  Zumpt,  Vatke,  Bopp,  Beneke, 
Couard  and  Bockh,  "  who  entertained  us  greatly  with  his 
humor,"  —  all  men  of  high  distinction  in  their  depart- 
ments. He  was  struck  with  Marheineke's  childlike  and 
jovial  demeanor  with  his  children,  something  hardly  to  be 
expected,  he  thought,  in  a  man  of  his  cold  dignity  in  public. 
The  conversation  at  the  table  took  on  a  personal  reference. 
He  writes  :  — 

I  was  seated  next  to  Vatke,  who  praised  my  treatise 
on  the  Sin  against  the  Holy  Ghost.  I  told  him  I  was 
surprised,  as  he  could  hardly  be  in  sympathy  with  the 
position  the  book  took.  To  which  he  replied,  "  Do  not 
think  that  I  am  so  blind  as  always  to  accept  the  miserable 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  JJ 

products  which  come  from  persons  occupying  my  stand- 
point, or  that  I  am  so  intolerant  as  to  overlook  the  good 
products  originating  in  the  standpoint  antagonistic  to  my 
own.  Your  book,  whatever  else  may  be  said  of  it,  betrays 
an  abounding  vitality  and  is  a  keen  and  thorough  study  of 
the  materials." 

Couard,  joining  us,  said  that  on  our  death-beds  only  the 
simple  truth  of  the  Gospel  expressed,  say  in  Gerhardt's 

hymn,  _  ,  __     ,  ,    .  „ 

J  "  O  sacred  Head,  now  wounded, 

would  satisfy  us,  and  it  would  give  a  peace  which  all 
the  philosophical  and  theological  systems  taken  together 
could  not  give.  To  which  Vatke x  replied,  "  That  is  true, 
the  reason  does  not  suffice  for  the  sick-bed,  and  so  long  as 
the  canonical  dignity  of  the  Scriptures  is  not  set  aside,  the 
orthodox  preacher  has  a  right  to  press  their  authority. 
The  real  subjects  in  dispute  in  the  theological  domain 
ought  not  to  be  taken  before  the  congregations,  but  the 
orthodox  men  were  to  blame  for  having  done  this.  Had 
not  Steudel  demanded  the  deposition  of  Strauss  and  had 
not  the  Evangelische  Kirchenzeitung2  lifted  one  cry  after 
another  against  Strauss  and  the  rationalists !  The  battle 
should  have  been  fought  out  in  the  highest  circles  of  rea- 
son." With  all  this,  Vatke  remained  pleasant  and  made 
upon  me  the  impression  of  a  man  who  had  for  himself  not 
yet  closed  the  discussion. 

The  last  evening  of  his  stay  in  Berlin  he  spent  with 
Neander,  parting  "  with  him  in  peace  and  with  the  bless- 
ing of  his  fatherly  love."  The  last  friends  whom  he  saw 
before  leaving  the  city  were  Godet  and  Mrs.  von  Krocher. 

Prior  to  his  ordination,  which  was  appointed  to  take 
place  in  Krummacher's  church  at  Elberfeld,  Dr.  Schaff 
made  a  trip  to  some  of  the  German  university  towns  and 
Switzerland.  In  Tubingen  he  stopped  with  Landerer, 
"this  dearest  friend  with  his  harmless  humor,"  heard 
Beck  preach,  was  much  with  Schmid,  "  who  one  evening 

1  Vatke  was  one  of  the  first  to  develope  the  modern  theory  of  the  Old 
Testament.  He  was  debarred  by  his  liberal  views  from  a  full  professorship. 
Couard  was  a  leading  preacher  of  Berlin. 

2  Hengstenberg's  organ,  belligerently  orthodox. 


rose  no  less  than  six  times  when  I  started  to  go,  and  hold- 
ing out  his  hand,  held  me  fast  by  his  gentle  and  amiable 
urgency."  At  Zurich,  Lange  assured  him  that  if  he  had 
not  decided  to  go  to  America,  he  would  certainly  have 
been  called  to  the  chair  vacated  by  Schweizer  and  then 
about  to  be  occupied  by  Ebrard.  The  parting  from  his 
mother  was  tender.  He  was  her  only  son.  At  Heidel- 
berg he  stopped  again  with  Ullmann  and  met  with  a  cor- 
dial reception  from  Rothe,  "  who  gave  him  an  insight  into 
the  artistic  texture  of  his  system  of  ethics  which  he  is  pre- 
paring for  the  press.  He  sees  no  help  from  the  emancipa- 
tion of  the  church  because  it  is  not  a  hair's  breadth  more 
Christian  now  than  the  state.  All  the  more  recent  signs 
of  life  have  come  from  the  world  or  from  Hegel,  and  not 
from  any  genuine  movement  in  the  church."  In  Bonn  he 
saw  Nitzsch,  "who  was  greatly  interested  in  my  call  to 
North  America,"  Bleek,  "  a  very  amiable  and  genial  man 
of  full,  fleshy  face,  a  German  Stuben-Gelehrter"  and 
Hasse,  the  author  of  the  Life  of  Anselm,  "a  finely  built 
and  cultivated  gentleman." 

At  Elberfeld,  he  was  for  several  weeks  the  guest  of  Dr. 
Krummacher,  whose  personal  appearance  and  power  in 
the  pulpit  he  thus  described:  — 

Krummacher  does  not  make  a  pleasing  impression  at 
first  sight.  He  is  not  good  looking.  He  is  built  like  a 
lion,  and  his  eloquence  corresponds  with  his  build.  An 
imposing,  strong  figure,  massive  facial  features,  a  wild  con- 
fused head  of  hair,  gray  eyes,  the  man  vanishes,  so  to 
speak,  in  the  pulpit  orator.  The  solemn  bass  voice  which 
pours  itself  forth  like  thunder  upon  his  congregation,  the 
rushing  torrent  of  his  figures,  the  bold  but  controlled  gest- 
ures, the  tossing  of  the  head  from  side  to  side,  the  con- 
tents of  the  sermon  itself,  which  is  always  original  and, 
clothed  in  splendid  garb,  unlocks  the  depths  of  sin  and 
grace,  now  breaking  to  pieces  the  fabric  of  the  old  man 
and  the  pleasures  of  the  world,  now  comforting  and  with 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  79 

magic  softness  wooing  to  the  source  of  salvation,  —  this 
all  is  adapted  to  make  an  overwhelming  impression.  And 
particularly  worthy  of  note  is  it  that  he  does  not  presume 
upon  this  magnificent  gift  of  eloquence,  but  writes  out  his  V 

sermons  at  length  with  great  industry  and  care,  yea  word 
for  word. 

The  ordination  services  were  held  April  12,  in  the  Re- 
formed church  in  which  Krummacher  preached.  They 
attracted  a  number  of  pastors  from  the  vicinity  and  an 
overflowing  congregation.  The  ordination  ritual,  used  in 
the  Rhine  Province  since  the  Reformation,  was  followed 
and  the  candidate  set  apart  to  the  ministry  by  the  laying 
on  of  hands  by  the  ministers  present.  The  charge  was 
delivered  by  Dr.  Krummacher,  who  founded  his  remarks 
on  Jeremiah  i.  17,  "Thou  therefore  gird  up  thy  loins 
and  arise  and  speak  unto  them  all  that  I  command  thee." 
He  held  forth  the  threefold  encouragement  that  the  candi- 
date weighed  anchor  at  the  call  of  God,  was  going  forth 
with  the  pure  Word  of  God,  and  had  the  promise  that  God 
does  not  fail  to  honor  them  that  honor  Him.  You  are  to 
go  forth,  he  said, 

as  the  bearer  of  a  pure  German  national  spirit,  to  assist  in 
restoring  to  new  life  a  German  population  whose  national 
character  is  already  half  destroyed  by  the  admixture  of 
foreign  elements,  to  rescue  it  to  the  consciousness  of 
its  original  dignity  and  proper  independent  existence. 
You  are  called  to  transport  German  theology  in  its 
thoroughness  and  depth  and  its  strong,  free  life  together 
with  the  various  branches  of  learning  that  stand  related  to 
it  as  a  family  of  full-grown  daughters.  The  many-headed 
monster  of  pantheism  and  atheism,  issuing  from  the 
sphere  of  German  speculation,  as  it  has  there  become 
flesh  and  broken  forth  into  actual  life,  in  concrete  form, 
spreading  desolation  and  terror,  you  are  called  to  meet  in 
the  armor  of  the  shepherd  boy  of  Bethlehem  and  to 
smite  with  incurable  wounds. 

The  congregation  sat  spellbound  under  the  words,  made 
doubly  impressive  by  the  orator's  own  connection  with  the 


call  to  America.  The  occasion  offered  him  a  fine  oppor- 
tunity to  display  the  stately  march  of  his  eloquence  and 
the  fervor  of  his  imagination.  The  day  after,  Dr.  Schaff 
writes :  — 

Every  word  was  a  two-edged  sword.  I  was  stunned  by 
the  eloquence,  and  would  have  fallen  to  the  ground  had  I 
not  held  on  to  the  table  where  I  was  standing.  After  the 
singing  of  the  134th  Psalm,  I  ascended  the  pulpit,  and 
worn  out  by  standing  and  the  personal  application  of  the 
eloquence,  and  trembling  before  the  great  audience  and 
the  most  renowned  preacher  of  Germany,  I  began  my 
sermon.  But  I  was  lifted  up  and  carried  along  by  the 
prayers  of  the  people. 

He  took  for  his  text  the  account  of  Paul's  vision  of  the 
man  of  Macedonia,  Acts  xvi.  8.  The  main  part  of  the  dis- 
course was  devoted  to  a  picture  of  the  religious  condition 
of  the  Germans  in  the  United  States.  He  fully  shared 
the  views  of  his  senior,  Dr.  Krummacher,  that  it  was  most 
deplorable.  Describing  the  irreligious  tendencies  in  Ger- 
many which  made  out  of  the  life  of  Christ  a  wreath  of 
fables,  he  looked  across  the  sea  and  saw  them  in  imagination, 
carried  to  their  last  results,  especially  in  the  far  West, 
where  "  men  thirty  or  forty  years  of  age,  descendants  of 
German  ancestors,  have  not  been  so  much  as  baptized." 
Three  foes,  he  said,  were  threatening  the  German  churches 
of  America,  — Paganism,  Romanism  and  Sectarianism.  Of 
the  countless  numbers  of  his  German  countrymen  who  had 
found  their  way  to  the  New  World  in  the  last  century,  the 
smallest  portion  resembled  the  first  pilgrims  to  New  Eng- 
land. These  left  hearth  and  home  for  their  most  holy 
faith,  and  took  possession  of  the  new  country  with  thanks- 
giving and  prayer.  If  the  German  emigrants  had  only 
half  the  seriousness  of  those  Puritans  and  the  pacific 
Quakers,  he  would  scarcely  presume  to  appeal  to  his 
hearers'  sympathy  in  their  behalf.     Nay,  he  would,  in  that 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  8 1 

case,  rather  hold  them  up  to  imitation  as  an  example  of 
men  whose  stern  morality  and  courageous  readiness  to 
sacrifice  all  worldly  advantages  for  conscience'  sake,  would 
present  a  glaring  contrast  to  the  Sabbath  profanation,  the 
growing  immorality,  the  worldliness,  and  the  other  forms 
of  sin  with  which  their  own  land  was  defiled. 

In  depicting  the  third  foe,  he  spake  as  one  who  stood 
appalled.  In  America,  among  Protestants,  the  distrac- 
tion was  more  complete  than  in  any  other  land.  Every 
enthusiast  in  whose  brain  has  engendered  over  night  some 
new  theological  conceit,  builds  the  next  day  a  chapel  and 
baptizes  it  with  his  own  name,  as  a  legacy  for  future  gen- 
erations. Their  hearts  must  bleed  in  view  of  such  deplor- 
able confusion  from  which  the  old  enemy  of  concord  is 
reaping  so  great  an  advantage.  In  conclusion,  and  breath- 
ing the  catholic  views  for  which  he  was  afterward  known, 
he  said :  — 

On  the  strong  pinions  of  hope  we  pass  far  beyond  sea 
and  land,  mountain  and  valley,  yea  beyond  all  space  and 
time,  and  sin  and  death  into  the  land  of  true  liberty  end- 
lessly manifold  and  yet  one,  the  realm  of  the  blessed, 
where  there  shall  be  no  Europe,  no  America,  no  Catholi- 
cism and  no  Protestantism,  but  an  undivided  Kingdom  of 
God :  No  old  and  no  new  world,  but  the  one  glorious 
church  of  the  redeemed,  resplendent  in  immortal  youth. 
Here  we  gaze  by  faith  into  the  ever-during  city  of  God 
and  behold  all  the  living  members  of  the  body  of  Christ, 
now  separated,  gathered  into  one  triumphant  throng  around 
the  throne  of  the  Lamb  that  was  slain. 

The  Rev.  Mr.  Schwarz  of  Boston  has  this  to  say  of  the 
sermon  :  — 

The  ordination  service  took  place  in  the  presence  of  an 
immense  audience,  singing  at  the  opening  Psalm  lxvi.  I 
am  probably  the  only  living  person  on  this  side  of  the 
Atlantic  who  was  present  on  that  grand  occasion.  Your 
father's  address  after  the  ordination  was  a  long  one  and 


brought  darkness  physical  over  the  congregation,  and  a 
most  remarkable,  close,  logical  sermon  it  was !  The 
church  became  so  dark  in  its  delivery  that  the  speaker  was 
only  seen  by  the  outline  of  his  person  in  the  big  pulpit. 

The  preacher  will  not  be  judged  too  harshly  for  the 
exaggerated  representation  of  the  perils  to  which  the  Ger- 
mans and  the  German  churches  in  America  were  exposed. 
His  views  received  the  unquestioning  assent  of  his  hearers, 
were  fully  accepted  by  Krummacher,  and  were  the  views 
current  in  Germany.  Printed  copies  of  the  sermon  reached 
America  and  brought  down  upon  him,  almost  immediately 
after  his  arrival  in  his  new  home,  virulent  attacks  from  the 
German-American  press. 

Setting  now  his  face  westward  in  good  earnest,  Dr. 
Schaff  spent  six  weeks  in  England,  familiarizing  himself 
with  the  various  phases  of  English  life  and  thought.  His 
first  impression  of  the  practical  Christian  activity  of  the 
English  people,  and  the  venerable  dignity  of  the  Church 
of  England,  were  deepened  with  the  wider  and  fuller 
acquaintance  of  subsequent  years.  The  daily  record  of 
observations  is  fresh  and  entertaining  and  such  that  the 
writer  would  not  have  felt  obliged  to  revise  much,  if  at  all, 
in  later  years. 

At  the  time  of  his  arrival,  the  May  anniversaries  were 
in  progress  at  Exeter  Hall.  He  was  struck  with  the  large 
throngs  they  attracted,  the  readiness  of  address  in  the 
speakers,  the  attention  paid  to  practical  questions,  and  the 
enthusiasm  of  the  audiences,  who  clapped  their  hands 
"when  anything  pleased  them." 

Writing  of  the  anniversary  of  the  Wesleyan  Missionary 
Society,  he  says  :  — 

The  sight  of  the  great  audience  was  very  inspiring. 
Many  of  the  speakers  were  in  ordinary  suits.  The 
greatest  freedom,  naturalness  and  tact  characterized  the 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  83 

speeches  and  a  certain  tone  of  assured  triumph.  In  Ger- 
many, there  are  no  such  speakers.  The  applause  seemed 
at  times  as  if  it  would  never  come  to  an  end,  and  hardly 
permitted  the  popular  speaker,  who  had  arisen  to  his  feet, 
to  begin  his  address.  ...  In  passing  compliments,  the 
English  are  experts.  An  English  digestion  is  necessary  to 
assimilate  the  sweet  things  that  are  said  by  and  to  the 
chairman.  One  or  more  celebrated  speakers  make  ad- 
dresses which  usually  last  one-half  or  three-quarters  of  an 
hour  and,  for  the  most  part,  are  based  upon  a  set  of  resolu- 
tions. In  such  speeches  the  English  have  a  tremendous 
force.  They  understand  the  difference  between  a  ser- 
mon and  a  speech  and  interject  anecdotes  and  humorous 

Dr.  Schaff  heard  some  of  the  celebrated  preachers  of 
the  day,  —  Baptist  Noel,  Hugh  McNeil,  Stowell  of  Man- 
chester, "who  made  references  to  the  Anglo-Prussian 
bishopric  of  Jerusalem,  recently  established,  and  declared 
that  Jerusalem  would  again  be  the  centre  of  Christianity 
as  Rome  was  of  Roman  Catholicism,"  and  King  of  Ireland, 
at  the  anniversary  of  the  Tract  Society,  who  urged  that 
"appropriate  tracts  for  eternity  be  printed  to  take  the 
place  of  the  Tracts  for  the  Times." 

He  has  this  to  say  of  the  Anti-Slavery  Society  anni- 
versary :  — 

While  the  report  was  being  read,  O'Connell  came  in. 
The  audience  had  no  sooner  caught  sight  of  him  than  a 
great  tumult  arose,  people  cheering,  waving  their  hats  and 
shouting  his  name.  The  confusion  lasted  a  quarter  of  an 
hour.  Then  O'Connell  took  his  seat,  a  man  of  large,  stately 
figure,  eminently  adapted  to  make  an  imposing  impression. 
What  a  sight  such  a  man  is  who,  with  the  power  of  words 
alone,  can  hold  a  nation  in  his  hands  and  play  with  it! 
When  he  arose  to  speak,  the  applause  was  tumultuous. 
He  bowed  three  times.  In  the  course  of  his  speech  he 
expressed  the  hope  that  the  meeting  would  record  its  dis- 
approval and  disgust  at  the  action  of  the  judge  in  South 
Carolina  who  had  condemned  a  man  to  death  because  he 
had  helped  a  slave  woman  to  her  liberty.     He  hewed  this 


man  to  pieces  and  called  down  all  the  thunders  of  the 
judgment  upon  him. 

I  have  attended  [he  continues]  the  services  of  the  Church 
of  England  often  and  have  listened  to  the  liturgy  to  my 
great  edification,  but  the  sermons  are  as  a  rule  not  as 
good  as  in  the  Dissenting  churches.    I  heard  a  most  tedious 

one  in  St.  Paul's  by  the  bishop  of .     There  was  not  a 

breath  of  life  in  it,  and  the  people  arose  and  went  out 
during  its  delivery. 

In  the  Congregational  church  at  Camberwell  I  heard 
Dr.  Irons,  who  had  a  large  congregation.  As  in  Malan's 
services,  the  preacher's  own  hymns  were  sung.  Instead 
of  the  liturgical  service,  a  psalm  was  read  and  comments 
and  a  free  prayer  offered  which  lasted  a  quarter  of  an 
hour.  If  I  had  my  choice,  I  would  have  the  venerable 
ritual  of  the  liturgy.  There  one  is  freed  from  the  subjec- 
tive personal  element  of  the  preacher.  The  sermon  was 
good,  but  too  long. 

Through  letters  of  introduction  to  Sir  Thomas  Ackland, 
Sir  Robert  Inglis,  Dr.  Jelf,  principal  of  King's  College, 
and  others,  opportunity  was  given  to  see  something  of 
London  society  and  to  meet  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury 
and  other  church  dignitaries.  He  was  delighted  with 
English  domestic  life.  Several  times  he  sat  at  the  table 
of  Maurice  at  Guy's  Hospital,  and  found  the  "  author  of  the 
Kingdom  of  Christ  a  man  of  deep  feeling  and  a  German 
temper  of  mind,  who  is  neither  an  Evangelical  nor  a  Pusey- 
ite."  With  him  he  called  on  Thomas  Carlyle,  "  who  has  an 
interesting  face  but  seems  to  have  a  good  opinion  of  him- 

The  quiet  of  the  English  Sabbath  called  forth  his 
favorable  comment. 

On  Sunday  the  terrible  noise  and  din  of  the  working 
days  have  given  way  to  an  almost  unbroken  silence,  and 
only  a  few  people  are  seen  on  the  streets  except  at  the 
hours  for  going  to  church.  ...  To  get  a  full  idea  of 
Sunday  observance  in  England,  you  must  be  in  an  Eng- 
lish family  on  that  day.     Yesterday  I  spent  the  day  with 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  85 

Mr.  Jameson.  At  dinner  we  had  only  cold  dishes.  No 
cooking  is  done,  that  the  servants  may  have  rest.  As 
far  as  possible,  all  occasions  of  worldly  thinking  are  with- 
drawn so  that  the  people  may  give  themselves  up  uninter- 
ruptedly to  religious  meditation  and  church  attendance. 
With  these  things  they  seek  to  fill  up  the  entire  day.  It 
is  truly  the  Lord's  day.  If  we  only  could  have  such  a 
Sunday  in  Germany,  I  would  be  contented  with  cold  meals. 

His  impressions  of  England  are  disclosed  in  the  fol- 
lowing letter  to  Mrs.  Heusser:  — 

Here  I  am  in  the  great  metropolis,  on  strange  soil, 
surrounded  by  strange  sounds  and  customs,  and  in  the 
midst  of  noise  and  tumult  such  as  Berlin  does  not  even 
suggest.  It  is  a  pantheistic  atmosphere.  All  individual 
and  personal  life  is  swallowed  up  in  the  universal.  That 
in  which  England  excels  the  other  nations  is  its  immense 
political  power  and  its  religious  and  churchly  life,  which 
has  developed  the  former  and  assures  its  continuance.  In 
respect  of  political  power  she  is  the  Christian  Rome, 
possessing  iron  strength  of  character,  splendid  genius  for 
organization,  bringing  to  her  feet  all  lands  and  all  peoples 
without  robbing  them  of  their  own  peculiarities.  I  saw 
into  the  machinery  of  the  political  system  when  a  few 
days  ago  I  stood  in  company  with  the  secretary  of  the 
Prussian  legation  in  the  Parliament.  The  rulers  of  the 
world  sit  there  in  great  composure.  Some  nod,  others 
pace  to  and  fro,  others  chat  together  when  a  tedious 
speaker  is  talking ;  but  when  an  important  man  rises  to  his 
feet,  they  open  their  ears,  as  when  the  present  prime- 
minister,  Sir  Robert  Peel,  Wellington,  Brougham  or  Russell 
speaks,  and  they  seem  never  to  be  weary  of  applauding  or 
crying  out,  "  Hear,  hear ! "  They  intermingle  humor 
with  the  transaction  of  business,  and  their  composure  is  a 
product  of  their  confidence  of  dominion  and  the  assurance 
of  the  indestructibleness  of  English  institutions. 

Much  more  than  in  this,  was  I  interested  in  the  religious 
side  of  the  people.  When  in  spite  of  the  size  of  London 
and  its  tumult  we  observe  the  rareness  of  public  misde- 
meanors, see  constables  and  policemen  without  arms, 
keeping  order  by  a  wink,  when  we  observe  the  sensible 
expression  on  the  faces  of  the  people,  their  respect  for 
custom   and   law,   when   we   see   how   on    Sunday   at    a 




moment's  notice  quiet  begins  which  a  minute  before 
would  have  been  pronounced  impossible,  all  shops  and 
theatres  closed,  women  and  men  going  in  long  rows  to 
church,  kneeling  down  there  and  listening  to  the  Word  of 
the  cross,  —  then  we  must  confess  that  the  moral  and 
religious  spirit  of  Christianity  has  struck  deep  roots  into 
the  soil  of  English  life;  then  we  thank  God  that  such  a 
nation  is  Protestant  and  that  for  the  time  being  it  makes 
Protestantism  invincible. 

Ten  most  interesting  days  were  spent  in  Oxford.  The 
English  university  was  a  revelation  to  the  young  Swiss.  He 
met  many  of  the  distinguished  persons  connected  with  the 
colleges.  He  speaks  of  Stanley  as  "  Arthur  Stanley,  fel- 
low, and  son  of  the  bishop  of  Norwich.  A  good  dinner 
with  him  and  a  better  conversation."  Of  the  late  Pro- 
fessor Jowett,  he  records  that  "  he  seems  to  have  more 
sympathy  with  German  theological  views  than  any  one 
else  I  have  met  here."  The  decorous  manners  of  the 
students,  the  churchly  reverence  and  the  historic  aspect 
of  the  buildings  made  a  most  favorable  impression  upon 
his  mind.  On  subsequent  visits  to  England,  it  was  his 
delight  to  return  to  the  classical  shades  of  Oxford  and 
Cambridge.  The  following  extracts  record  some  of  his 
impressions :  — 

In  passing  from  London  to  Oxford,  one  passes  from  the 
steaming  world-market  of  materialism  to  the  purer  atmos- 
phere of  the  church  and  the  sciences.  The  friend  of 
history  breathes  more  freely  as  he  is  thus  brought  back 
into  the  rich  past  of  the  Middle  Ages,  and  the  era  of  the 
Reformation  which  meet  him  in  Oxford  at  every  turn. 
Outside  of  Rome,  I  do  not  know  of  a  city  which  has  made 
upon  me,  in  such  a  high  degree,  an  historical  impression 
as  does  Oxford.  In  one  sense  the  pleasure  of  the  historic 
sense  is  purer  and  less  disturbed  here  than  there.  While 
in  Rome  you  cannot  get  rid  of  the  feeling  that  the  present 
generation  is  not  worthy  of  occupying  that  venerable  spot 
of  dusty  memories,  a  generation  whose  tired  hand  can  no 
more  drive  the  plough,  or  hold  the  sword,  here  you  find  in 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  %j 

Oxford  the  treasures  of  the  past  in  the  hands  of  conscien- 
tious and  worthy  custodians,  who  are  handing  down  the 
heritage  of  the  fathers  to  the  best  youth  of  England  whose 
intellectual  and  religious  earnestness  cannot  fail  to  win  the 
attention  of  the  German  observer. 

I  have  received  most  cordial  treatment,  and  have  felt 
myself  at  home.  The  Englishman  is  not  what  we  call 
genial  \_gemiithlich~].  To  his  idea  of  character  and  manli- 
ness, there  belongs  a  certain  reserve  of  the  emotions,  and 
an  intellectual  composure  bordering  on  coldness.  A 
steel  cuirass  is  strapped  over  his  heart.  He  who  in  Ger- 
man fashion  gives  vent  to  his  feelings,  exposes  himself,  in 
the  eyes  of  the  deliberate  and  sober  Englishman,  to  the 
charge  of  weakly  emotionalism  or  a  lack  of  self-poise. 
And  as  for  our  ideas,  we  had  better  leave  them  at  home 
unless  they  are  thoroughly  practical  and  easily  intelligible 
to  a  sound  common  sense.  Here  they  are  for  the  most 
part  looked  upon  as  useless  speculations,  fancies  and 
intellectual  balloonings. 

The  German  is  the  profounder  thinker,  the  Englishman 
the  sturdier  character.  The  first  rules  the  world  by 
thought,  conceiving  it  in  all  its  varied  relations.  The 
second  rules  it  by  politics,  making  the  world  subservient 
to  his  wants.  German  life  unfolds  itself  in  various 
systems  and  schools  of  opinion,  English  life  in  various 
sects  and  political  parties.  But  Germany  and  England 
dwell  in  the  same  ethical  sphere.  They  complement  one 
another.  Idealism  without  the  solid  basis  of  realism  turns 
to  airy  spiritualism ;  realism  without  idealism  to  bald 

The  engrossing  topic  at  Oxford  was  the  Tractarian 
movement.  The  last  of  the  tracts  had  been  written,  in 
which  Dr.  Newman  set  out  to  show  that  the  Thirty-nine 
Articles  did  not  exclude  the  distinctive  doctrinal  tenets  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  His  secession  from  the 
Established  Church  did  not  occur  till  a  year  after  Dr. 
Schaff's  visit.  Of  an  interview  with  Dr.  Pusey  he  writes 
in  part  as  follows  :  — 

"With  great  curiosity,  I  called  this  morning  on  Dr. 
Pusey  who,  within  a  short  time,  has  gotten  a  European 



reputation.  .  .  .  He  is  rather  thin,  of  middle  height,  pale 
and  serious,  but  of  friendly  countenance.  You  observe  in 
his  face  signs  of  protracted  study,  and  a  tendency  to 
asceticism.  A  cheerful  temper,  wit  and  humor,  he  seems 
not  to  have.  Discontented  with  the  present,  he  turns  with 
longing  eyes  to  the  first  six  centuries.  The  Reformers 
are  not  his  pets.  He  misses  in  them  sacred  reverence  for 
the  church  and  its  commands.  He  is  at  home  with 
Irenaeus,  Tertullian,  Cyprian  and  Augustine.  The  de- 
crees of  the  councils  are  the  rule  of  his  thinking.  The 
church  from  the  time  of  the  Apostles  to  the  division  of 
the  Orient  and  the  Occident  is  the  venerable  mother  to 
whom  we  must  yield  unquestioning  obedience.  .  .  . 

"He  knew  I  was  on  my  way  to  America,  and  spoke 
strongly  against  the  sect  divisions  there,  expressing  the 
wish  that  the  bishops  of  the  Anglican  Church  and  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church  alone  had  the  ground.  The  chief 
reason  for  the  pitiable  state  of  affairs  was  to  be  found  in 
the  renunciation  of  the  doctrine  of  apostolical  succession 
by  the  former,  and  its  abuse  by  the  latter. 

"  Having  no  desire  to  follow  up  this  discussion,  I  asked 
what  he  meant  by  apostolical  succession.  He  replied, 
'  I  understand  thereby  that  only  those  have  right  to 
administer  the  sacraments  who  have  received  the  ordina- 
tion appointed  by  the  Apostles.  This  ordination  God 
gave  alone  to  them,  and  to  the  bishops  their  successors.' 

"  I  asked  him  how  he  could  make  that  out  from  the 
Scriptures,  as  the  presbyter  and  bishop  was  the  same 
officer.  This  was  also  the  case  as  presented  by  Clement 
of  Rome  in  his  Epistle  to  the  Corinthians.  Pusey  said,  '  So 
far  as  the  New  Testament  is  concerned,  the  question  is 
one  of  words.  When  you  say  that  after  your  so-called 
presbyter-bishop  there  was  no  higher  officer,  that  is  an 
argument  ex  silentio  which  does  not  prove  anything.     But 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  89 

even  if,  according  to  Clement,  at  the  time  he  wrote  there 
was  no  higher  officer  in  Corinth,  it  may  have  been  that  he 
was  dead  or  that  the  church  belonged  to  another  diocese. 
For  the  whole  tradition  of  the  Roman  and  Anglican 
churches  speaks  positively.  Irenaeus  says  distinctly  that 
Paul  and  Peter  consecrated  Linus  bishop  at  Rome  and 
that  there  was  a  regular  succession  there,  but  that  this 
was  not  the  case  in  all  other  places.  Where  a  thing  can- 
not be  proved  from  Scripture,  then  the  testimony  of  the 
church  is  final  for  me.  We  may  rest  with  confidence 
upon  its  teaching  during  the  first  six  centuries.' 

"  I  replied  that  in  my  opinion  infallibility  could  not  be 
predicated  of  the  church  in  the  same  way  that  it  was 
predicated  of  Christ  and  the  Apostles.  She  is  the  ground 
and  pillar  of  the  truth,  but  has  held  in  conjunction  with 
the  truth  many  errors.  What  else  was  left  for  the  Reform- 
ers to  do  than  to  ordain  themselves  ?  All  Luther  wanted 
was  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel  and  the  dominion  of  the 
Word  of  God. 

"  Pusey.  Why  could  not  the  Reformers  have  applied  to 
England  for  ordination  ? 

"  When  I  referred  to  Luther's  unsuccessful  effort  through 
penances  to  secure  justification  and  declared  it  his  merit  to 
have  found  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith  in  God's 
Word,  to  have  held  it  up  to  the  light  and  to  have  defended 
it ;  Pusey  (smiling  and  shaking  his  head)  said,  '  Whatever 
of  truth  there  is  in  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith,  is 
found  much  better  stated  in  Augustine  and  the  other 
Fathers.  It  is  just  that  which  Luther  is  said  to  have 
made  more  clear,  that  which  is  to  him  peculiar,  which 
passes  beyond  the  boundaries  of  the  truth  and  leads  to  the 
most  serious  errors.  Luther  had  no  right  to  pronounce 
new  doctrines.  We  dare  not  go  outside  the  first  six 


"  I  replied,  Why  should  we  remain  in  the  child  period  ? 
Does  not  the  church  represent  the  continuance  of  the  life 
of  Christ,  and  must  she  not  go  on  developing  to  the  full 
maturity  of  Christ's  life  ?  Did  not  the  Lord  promise  to  be 
with  her  till  the  end  of  the  world  ? 

"  Pusey.  All  that  does  not  touch  the  doctrine  of  the 

"  He  then  went  on  to  attack  German  theology,  to  which  I 
replied  by  citing  Neander  and  Tholuck  as  its  best  repre- 
sentatives. In  the  whole  course  of  the  conversation  he 
declined  to  pronounce  judgment  upon  individuals.  He 
condemned  only  their  teachings.  When  I  arose  to  go,  he 
expressed  the  hope  that  God,  having  led  me  thus  far, 
would  lead  me  still  further.  I  replied  I  hoped  so  too,  but 
only  not  in  the  direction  of  Rome,  but  of  the  truth,  and 
expressed  the  hope  that  God  would  use  the  Tractarian 
movement  for  the  good  of  the  Church  Universal  and 
bring  the  leaders  to  an  appreciation  of  the  services  of  the 

This  conversation  proves  how  unjust  the  charges  were 
which  continued  to  be  made  against  Dr.  Schaff  for  some 
years  after  his  arrival  in  the  United  States  of  holding  the 
essential  views  of  Puseyism.  It  also  shows  that  his  views 
on  historical  development  were  already  well  formed. 

Enriched  with  the  experiences  of  this  delightful  sojourn 
in  England,  he  sailed  from  London,  and  after  a  voyage  of 
five  weeks,  the  ship  came  in  sight  of  land.  "  I  see  this 
morning  (July  28),  for  the  first  time,  my  future  home-land. 
The  sun  rose  bright  upon  the  hills  of  New  Jersey.  A  fine 
sight!  In  the  evening  we  passed  between  Long  Island 
and  Staten  Island  by  the  light  of  the  moon.  Fine  homes 
and  extensive  woods  are  in  view.  The  evidences  of  civili- 
zation are  here,  as  in  the  land  we  left." 

Two  months  before  he  died,  and  forty-nine  years  after 

chap,  iv  CALL   TO  AMERICA  9 1 

his  arrival  in  New  York  harbor,  Dr.  Schaff  made  a  trip 
with  a  son  and  grandson  down  the  bay  to  Bedloe's  Island 
and  Bartholdi's  statue  of  Liberty.  Standing  upon  the 
raised  platform  upon  which  the  statue  is  reared,  and  look- 
ing out  towards  the  ocean  and  in  the  direction  of  Europe, 
and  then  turning  around  and  looking  westward  to  the 
teeming  cities  of  New  York  and  Brooklyn,  he  exclaimed: 
"  How  I  should  like  to  come  back  fifty  or  a  hundred  years 
from  now  and  visit  the  great  city  and  the  country  to  which 
it  is  the  gateway !  No  one  can  dream  what  its  destiny  is 
to  be  and  what  great  chapters  in  the  history  of  church  and 
state  are  yet  to  be  enacted  in  its  borders." 




I 844-1 845 

Through  Pennsylvania — Reception  in  Mercersburg  —  "Little  Jamie"  —  Per- 
sonal Appearance — Theological  Seminary — Dr.  Nevin  —  Inaugural  — 
"The  Principle  of  Protestantism  "  —  Trial  for  Heresy 

Looking  back  over  an  interval  of  forty  years,  Dr.  Schaff 
has  this  to  say  of  the  influence  his  coming  to  America  had 
upon  his  career  :  — 

Had  I  remained  in  Europe,  I  would  have  had  a  more 
comfortable  literary  life  and  perhaps  accomplished  more 
in  the  line  of  mere  scholarship.  But  my  activity  in 
America  has  been  more  stirring,  more  practical  and,  I 
trust,  more  useful  than  it  could  have  been  in  Europe.  If 
I  was  not  born  here,  it  was  not  my  fault,  but  I  am  an 
American  by  the  call  of  Providence  and  by  free  choice 
with  all  my  heart.  The  United  States,  I  verily  believe,  is 
the  largest  and  most  hopeful  field  of  practical  usefulness  on 
this  globe  in  this  nineteenth  century  and  has  the  brightest 
future  before  it.  It  is  more  than  any  other  the  land  of 
freedom  and  the  land  of  promise.  The  aim  of  our  being  is 
to  do  the  most  good  we  can  to  the  greatest  number.  In  the 
end  we  are  all  unprofitable  servants.  If  only  we  are  found 
faithful  servants  in  the  work  which  the  Lord  in  His  all- 
ruling  providence  assigns  to  us.     To  Him  be  the  glory. 

On  the  first  Sabbath  spent  in  New  York,  he  occupied 
the  pulpit  of  a  Dutch  Reformed  church,  preaching  in 
German   from    Philippians   iii.    13,1  which    naturally  sug- 

1  "  Forgetting  those  things  which  are  behind,  and  reaching  forth  unto  those 
things  which  are  before,  I  press  toward  the  mark  for  the  prize  of  the  high 
calling  of  God  in  Christ  Jesus." 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  93 

gested  the  old  surroundings  he  had  left  and  the  new  sur- 
roundings into  which  he  had  come.  He  carried  letters 
of  introduction  to  Dr.  Edward  Robinson,  who  was  well 
known  to  German  students  through  his  biblical  researches 
in  Palestine  and  Sinai,  and  whose  chair  in  Union  Theo- 
logical Seminary  he  was  appointed  to  occupy  thirty  years 

The  synod  of  the  German  Reformed  Church  had 
deputed  the  Rev.  Bernard  C.  Wolff  of  Easton  to  welcome 
the  new  professor  on  his  arrival.  For  many  years  he  was 
one  of  the  leading  men  of  the  denomination,  and  at  this 
first  meeting  impressed  Dr.  Schaff  as  being  "  a  pious, 
well-balanced,  cautious  and  thoughtful  man,  with  the  story 
of  personal  Christian  experience  and  high  character  writ- 
ten on  his  face.  If  the  Reformed  Church  has  ten  such 
men  to  offer,  the  very  best  may  be  hoped  from  it." 

In  company  they  set  out  August  5th,  in  the  direction  of 
Mercer sburg,  going  by  train  to  Somerville,  New  Jersey, 
and  from  there  by  stage  to  Easton.  There  they  were  met 
by  Dr.  Hoffeditz,  one  of  the  delegates  sent  to  Germany 
the  year  before,  who  accompanied  him  further  on  his  way 
to  Reading.  Everywhere  curiosity  was  felt  to  see  the  new 
professor,  and  he  was  much  surprised  at  the  attention  he 
received,  people  both  Germans  and  Americans  pouring  in 
to  meet  him.  Dr.  Schaff  was  attracted  by  the  signs  of 
prosperity  in  town  and  country,  the  ample  farm-houses, 
the  large  and  well-cultivated  farms  and  the  kindness  with 
which  he  was  entertained.  Probably  nowhere  else  in  the 
world  is  a  more  generous  and  unstinted  hospitality  exer- 
cised than  among  the  farmers  of  German  descent  in  Penn- 
sylvania. Everywhere  he  heard  German,  not  the  German 
of  the  peasantry  or  of  the  educated  classes  in  Germany, 
but  the  colloquial  dialect  known  as  Pennsylvania  German. 
It  is  an  odd  mixture  of  German  and  English  words  and 


phrases,  combined  for  practical  ends,  the  English  words 
for  the  most  part  being  set  in  German  forms.  The  dialect 
perpetuates  itself  with  wonderful  tenacity,  and  in  rural 
communities  the  people,  accustomed  to  it  from  childhood, 
are  often  not  able  to  speak  either  pure  English  or  pure 
German.  Such  expressions  fell  constantly  on  his  ear  as, 
travellen,  starten,  breakfasten,  schmoker,  settlers,  trubbel, 
stoppen,  den  mind  aufmachen  (to  make  up  one's  mind). 
They  never  ceased  to  offer  Dr.  Schaff  food  for  merriment. 
He  was  quick  to  recognize  the  good  traits  of  these  people, 
their  implicit  honesty,  uncomplaining  industry,  thrift, 
domestic  fidelity  and  warm  hospitality.  For  twenty  years 
he  went  out  and  in  amongst  them,  finding  sterling  virtues 
not  excelled  in  degree  by  any  other  population  in  the  land. 

They,  on  their  part,  were  surprised  that  the  scholar  just 
from  the  German  university  should  be  so  simple  and  ac- 
cessible in  his  manners  and  enter  so  heartily  into  their 
social  life.  To  him,  however,  it  was  a  cause  of  surprise 
that  in  a  new  country  of  charming  hills  and  blue  moun- 
tains, of  forests  and  brooks,  which  seemed  adapted  to  in- 
vite romance  in  sentiment  and  expression,  the  signs  of  the 
ideal  element  were  all  lacking.  Where  he  expected  to  find 
poetry,  the  conversation  and  activities  of  the  people  were 
most  prosaic.  Continuing  their  journey  from  Reading, 
Dr.  Hoffeditz  and  Dr.  Schaff  stopped  at  Womelsdorf, 
where  the  aged  Dr.  Hendel,  a  venerable  figure  in  the  Re- 
formed Church,  then  on  his  death-bed,  rejoiced  to  see  the 
new  representative  of  German  theological  learning.  At 
Tulpehocken  he  was  entertained  by  Pastor  Leinbach,  whom 
he  found  serving  eight  churches,  —  a  thing  almost  if  not 
altogether  unknown  in  Germany,  and  one  which  struck 
him  as  most  strange. 

At  Harrisburg  he  found  the  Triennial  Convention  of 
the   Dutch  and   German    Reformed  churches   in   session 

chap,  v  MERCERS  BURG  95 

and  met  a  number  of  clergymen,  including  Dr.  Nevin, 
with  whom  he  was  about  to  be  closely  associated.  Writ- 
ing of  a  reception  given  by  Judge  Bucher,  he  speaks  of 
feeling  that  he  was  looked  upon  as  a  sort  of  curiosity. 
"  Most  of  the  people  have  nothing  to  say  except  '  How  is 
your  health  ?  I  am  very  glad  to  see  you.  I  hope  you  like 
this  country.'  "  On  the  Sabbath  he  preached  to  an  over- 
flowing congregation  in  the  Reformed  church. 

In  Chambersburg  he  was  the  guest  of  Dr.  Schneck,  to 
whom,  with  an  eye  to  his  stature  and  influence,  he  gave 
the  name  of  the  "  high  priest  of  the  German  Reformed 
Church."  A  delegation  of  theological  students  from  Mer- 
cersburg  now  took  him  in  charge,  George  W.  Aughin- 
baugh,  since  an  esteemed  educator  in  the  Reformed 
Church,  and  D.  A.  Wilson,  who  subsequently  died  as  a 
Presbyterian  missionary  in  Africa.  Accompanied  by  Dr. 
Schneck,  the  party  arrived  at  Prospect  Hill  overlooking 
Mercersburg  in  the  early  evening  of  August  12th. 

Mercersburg  has  secured  a  fame  far  beyond  its  immedi- 
ate neighborhood  and  the  state,  in  which  it  is  one  of  the 
smaller  and  remote  towns,  and  has  given  its  name  to  a 
school  of  theology.  It  became  the  seat  of  Marshall  Col- 
lege, the  first  academic  institution  of  the  German  Re- 
formed Church  and  of  its  first  theological  seminary. 
The  serious  disadvantages  of  its  remote  location  were  at 
the  time  supposed  to  be  more  than  counterbalanced  by  the 
natural  beauties  of  scenery  and  the  quiet  of  the  surround- 
ings, "  so  admirably  adapted,"  as  the  early  catalogues 
never  tired  of  repeating,  "to  promote  studious  habits." 
The  town  lies  in  the  midst  of  a  fertile  valley  in  the  Blue 
Mountains,  which  form  a  crescent  around  it,  and  is 
watered  by  one  of  the  confluents  of  the  Conocacheague, 
an  Indian  word  meaning  "indeed  a  long  way."  The  first 
settlement  was  made  in  1729  by  Scotch-Irish   Presbyte- 


rians.  Early  in  the  present  century  Germans  beg^n  to 
infiltrate  into  the  valley,  and  have  since  become  an  im- 
portant part  of  the  population.  The  region  is  highly 

Three  miles  away  is  Stony  Batter,  a  gap  in  the  moun- 
tains, reached  by  a  wild  gorge  through  which  a  mountain 
torrent  stream  drives  its  course  among  the  rocks  and 
dense  woods.  Here  in  the  latter  part  of  the  last  century, 
the  father  of  James  Buchanan,  an  immigrant  from  North- 
ern Ireland,  had  built  two  log  cabins  to  serve  as  a  trading- 
post  for  the  Indians  and  the  sparsely  settled  region  of 
Western  Pennsylvania.  The  family  afterwards  removed 
to  Mercersburg,  and  an  orchard  of  dwarfed  apple-trees 
and  a  cairn  of  stones,  reared  by  students  from  the  neigh- 
boring college,  were  all  that  was  left  to  mark  the  site  of 
the  president's  birthplace.  One  of  the  log  cabins  was 
removed  to  the  village,  where  it  is  still  to  be  seen. 

When  James  was  a  little  boy,  his  mother,  busy  with 
household  cares  and  at  the  counter,  used  to  hang  a  cow- 
bell around  his  neck  that  he  might  not  get  beyond  her 
hearing.  This  motherly  device  led  to  the  story  of  "  Jamie 
and  the  bell,"  which  as  told  by  Dr.  Schaff,  a  few  months 
after  the  inauguration  of  Mr.  Buchanan,  in  a  Sunday- 
school  address  in  the  Reformed  church  of  Carlisle,  ran 
as  follows :  — 

Three* miles  from  the  town  where  I  live,  a  little  boy 
was  born  in  the  mountains,  whose  name  was  Jamie.  When 
four  or  five  years  of  age,  his  good  mother  was  afraid  she 
would  lose  her  Irish  boy  amid  the  rocks  and  bushes,  or 
if  he  wandered  too  far  away  would  be  bitten  by  snakes,  or 
hurt  by  the  wild  beasts.  So  she  tied  a  little  bell  around 
his  neck,  and  thus  she  could  tell  if  he  were  near  by,  or  far 
off.     This  was  "little  Jamie  with  a  bell  around  his  neck." 

When  eight  years  old,  his  father  moved  to  the  town 
where   I   live.     There  he  studied   Latin  and  Greek,  and 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  97 

when  fourteen,  his  father  brought  him  to  this  big  town 
of  yours ;  and  to  this  big  college  [Dickinson  College]  ; 
and  here  he  graduated.  This  is  "  little  Jamie  with  a  bell 
around  his  neck." 

At  twenty-one  he  was  admitted  as  a  lawyer  in  Lan- 
caster—  then  was  sent  to  Harrisburg  to  the  legislature; 
then  to  Congress  at  Washington ;  and  then  he  was  sent 
to  Russia,  and  then  to  England,  to  represent  this  great 
government  of  ours  before  kings  and  rulers  of  the  great 
powers  of  the  world.  All  this  was  "little  Jamie  with  a 
bell  around  his  neck."  And  now  where  is  "little  Jamie" 
to-day?  He  is  at  Washington  in  the  presidential  chair, 
the  chief  magistrate  of  this  great  American  nation  !  This 
is  "little  Jamie  with  a  bell  around  his  neck."1 

When  Dr.  Schaff  first  caught  sight  of  Mercersburg', 
lying  in  peaceful  repose  within  the  crescent  of  mountains, 
it  recalled  his  own  Swiss  land  in  those  portions  where  the 
towering  Alps  have  become  softened  down  to  genial  but 
still  inspiring  hills.  Descending  Prospect  Hill  and  arriv- 
ing at  the  buildings  of  the  academic  department,  which 
were  brightly  illuminated,  the  stranger  found  himself  in 
the  midst  of  a  large  concourse  of  students,  citizens  and 
visitors,  assembled  to  bid  him  welcome.  Forming  in  pro- 
cession and  preceded  by  the  village  band,  the  company 
marched  down  the  main  street  to  the  public  square,  and 
then  up  Seminary  Street  to  the  college  and  seminary 
grounds,  known  as  Seminary  Hill.  Over  the  gateway  to 
the  campus  an  arch  of  evergreens  had  been  sprung.  The 
central  structure,  flanked  on  either  side  by  the  professors' 
houses,  was  brightly  lighted  throughout  its  four  stories,  and 
the  tall,  massive  Doric  columns  of  its  portico  were  fes- 
tooned with  green  branches.  Cordial  enthusiasm  was 
doing  its  best  to  bid  the  new  professor  welcome. 

Addresses  of   greeting   in   English  and  German  were 

1  The  incident  was  erroneously  told  of  Mr.  James  G.  Blaine  during  the 
campaign  of  1884  when  he  was  a  candidate  for  the  presidency. 

98  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

delivered  by  students.  In  the  reply  which  he  made  in 
his  native  tongue,  Dr.  Schaff  passed  from  the  scene  be- 
fore him  back  to  Switzerland  and  Germany,  expressed  the 
feelings  which  had  moved  him  to  cross  the  ocean  ;  ac- 
knowledged the  kind  reception  which  he  had  met  with 
in  Pennsylvania,  and  made  a  forecast  of  the  future  of 
Mercersburg  and  its  institutions. 

As  the  coasts  of  Europe  vanished  from  my  sight,  the 
waves  of  a  deep  and  poignant  homesickness  swept  over 
me.  It  is  true,  they  broke  upon  the  rock  of  my  conscious- 
ness that  I  was  following  a  call  from  God,  who  is  able 
to  turn  a  foreign  country  into  a  home;  and  the  nearer  I 
came  to  the  goal  of  my  journey,  the  stronger  became  the 
desire  to  reach  it,  and  for  the  pain  I  felt  at  leaving  the 
old,  came  the  joy  of  treading  the  new  land.  And  lo !  I 
soon  found  myself  transferred  to  an  American  Germany. 
I  was  walking  at  the  side  of  friends  through  fertile  fields, 
past  comfortable  farm-houses,  nourishing  villages  and 
towns,  and  now  my  eye  delights  itself  in  the  charming 
mountains  which  recall  vividly  the  land  of  my  childhood. 
I  have  heard  since  the  first  day  of  my  landing  the  familiar 
sounds  of  my  mother  tongue,  and  have  seen  myself  sur- 
rounded by  the  signs  of  a  European  civilization  growing  up 
most  rapidly  and  in  part  already  bearing  golden  fruits.  .  .  . 

My  call  indicates  that  our  church  has  some  longing  for 
the  literary  and  especially  the  theological  treasures  of  the 
heart  of  Europe,  and  wishes  to  have  them  transplanted 
to  the  fertile  virgin  soil  of  America.  .  .  .  Here  the  pro- 
found ideas  and  thorough  knowledge  which  the  German 
mind  brings  forth  in  the  sweat  of  the  brow  from  the 
depths  of  the  eternal  wisdom,  must  render  tribute  to  the 
practical  aim  of  a  religious  life  and  act  as  a  solid  founda- 
tion against  every  storm.  .  .  .  They  must  be  delivered 
from  a  one-sided  speculative  interest  by  the  practical 
spirit  of  the  American  people  and  be  transmuted  into  life 
and  conduct,  flesh  and  blood,  and  so  help  to  completely 
reconcile  thinking  with  living,  the  ideal  with  that  which  is 
real,  the  invisible  with  that  which  is  seen.1 

1  The  address  was  given  in  full  in  German  in  the  Christliche  Zeitschrift 
and  an  English  translation  in  the  Weekly  Messenger. 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG 


The  address,  while  fervent  with  feeling,  evinced  the  wise 
judgment  of  one  who  already  recognized  in  some  measure, 
at  least,  the  proper  function  of  German  learning  in 
America.  He  believed  in  an  adaptation  rather  than  trans- 
plantation, transfusion  rather  than  transportation,  of  Ger- 
man theology. 

The  remainder  of  the  evening  was  spent  at  the  resi- 
dence of  Dr.  Nevin.  The  students  sang  German  and 
college  songs,  and  as  they  withdrew  shouting,  Vivat  pro- 
fessor, the  voice  of  the  professor  was  heard  calling  in  re- 
sponse from  the  open  window,  Vivant  studiosi.  Writing 
in  his  journal  of  the  experiences  of  the  day,  he  exclaims, 
"  It  was  too  much  honor ;  I  do  not  deserve  it !  I  am 
humbled  by  it." 

At  this  time  Dr.  Schaff  was  twenty-five  years  old,  in 
robust  health  and  of  medium  size,  deep  chest  and  broad 
shoulders.  His  complexion  was  fair  and  ruddy,  his  eyes 
large  and  lustrous,  his  hair  black,  his  nose  prominent,  his 
head  large  and  broad  at  the  crown.  His  countenance 
indicated  vivacity  of  spirits,  energy  and  quick  powers  of 
observation.  His  knowledge  of  English  was  still  rudi- 
mentary. His  German  pronunciation  was  unmarred  by 
any  of  the  harshness  of  the  Swiss  dialect,  and  free  from 
the  long  and  involved  sentences  which  often  mark  the 
German  style.  People  went  to  hear  him  preach  and  lect- 
ure for  the  easy  flow  of  his  tones,  who  did  not  understand 
his  words.  An  aged  German  Reformed  minister,  the  Rev. 
Thomas  Pomp,  quaintly  likened  his  fluent  German  to  shot 
rolling  out  of  a  smooth  shovel.  His  appearance  and 
manner  in  the  autumn  of  1844  are  thus  described  by  the 
Rev.  Dr.  Benjamin  Bausman,  one  of  his  early  and  favorite 
pupils :  — 

As  I  think  of  my  dear  departed  friend  and  teacher,  two 
forms  arise  before  my  vision.     One  is  that  of  a  sprightly 

100  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

young  man,  faultlessly  attired  in  black,  with  black  hair 
and  a  face  as  fresh  and  florid  as  an  Alpine  rose ;  in  his 
lively  conversation  speaking  with  his  whole  body  abound- 
ing in  gestures,  graceful  and  unstudied.  Thus,  he  first 
greeted  me  fifty  years  ago.  It  happened  in  the  parsonage 
of  the  First  Reformed  church  in  Lancaster,  of  which  Rev. 
George  W.  Glessner  was  then  pastor.  My  mother  had  sent 
me  on  an  errand  to  the  parsonage.  For  months  we  had 
read  descriptions  in  the  church  papers  of  the  distinguished 
professor-elect.  I  had  my  rural  preconceptions  of  the 
man.  Surely  he  must  be  tall,  stately  and  unapproachable. 
His  cordial  greeting,  his  smiling  face,  his  lively  chat  and 
animated  manner,  soon  put  me,  an  awkward,  shy,  country 
boy,  at  my  ease.  At  the  side  of  this  picture  I  see  him  as 
he  appeared  a  few  months  before  his  death.  His  body 
slightly  bent,  and  more  fleshy  than  in  the  long  ago,  his 
hair  white  as  snow,  the  blushes  of  his  face  beautifully  sub- 
dued, like  the  tints  of  autumn  dahlias,  and  his  old-time 
vivacity  matured  and  mellowed  by  the  growth  of  half  a 

The  Weekly  Messenger,  the  organ  of  the  German 
Reformed  Church,  indicated  the  state  of  local  feeling 
when  it  stated  in  its  issue  of  Aug.  28,   1844:  — 

Never  before  has  so  much  expectation  in  the  Old  World 
been  embarked  upon  a  religious  movement  in  favor  of  the 
New  as  now  upon  the  mission  of  Dr.  Schaff.  And  we  may 
add  that  never  before  has  a  foreigner  from  Germany  made 
his  appearance  in  this  country  under  such  general  obser- 
vation and  in  the  face  of  expectation  so  large. 

The  paragraph  is  true  if  the  interest,  of  which  it  speaks, 
is  confined  to  the  Reformed  communion. 

The  theological  seminary,  in  which  Dr.  Schaff  was 
called  to  teach,  was  just  passing  out  of  the  period  of  its 
infancy.  As  early  as  18 17,  the  Reformed  synod  consid- 
ered the  matter  of  founding  such  an  institution,  and  three 
years  later  chose  Frederick  City  as  the  location.  But  it 
was  not  till  1825  that  a  theological  class  was  opened  with 
the  Rev.  Lewis  Mayer  as  professor,  at  Carlisle,  the  seat  of 


Dickinson  College,  then  under  Presbyterian  control.  The 
seminary  was  subsequently  removed  first  to  York,  and 
again  to  Mercersburg,  where  the  main  building  was  com- 
pleted in  1837.  It  was  thus  brought  side  by  side  with 
Marshall  College,  which  had  been  opened  two  years  be- 

The  faculty  of  the  college  were  Dr.  Traill  Green,  after- 
wards for  many  years  a  professor  in  Lafayette  College, 
Dr.  Samuel  I.  Budd,  William  M.  Nevin,  Theodore  Appel, 
the  biographer  of  Dr.  Nevin,  and  Jeremiah  Good,  who  a 
few  years  later  "  encouraged  and  especially  urged  thereto 
by  Dr.  Schaff,"  1  went  to  Ohio  and  aided  in  founding  and 
building  up  Heidelberg  University  at  Tiffin. 

The  first  president,  Dr.  Frederick  Augustus  Rauch,  a 
pupil  of  Daub  of  Heidelberg,  a  metaphysician  of  ability 
and  gratefully  remembered  for  his  services  to  the  cause 
of  education,  had  died  in  his  thirty-seventh  year,  when 
his  work  seemed  to  be  but  just  beginning.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded in  1 84 1  by  John  Williamson  Nevin,  who  had  been 
called  the  year  before  to  the  theological  seminary.  He 
continued  to  give  theological  instruction,  and  on  Dr. 
Schaff' s  arrival  divided  with  him  the  professorial  duties  of 
the  seminary. 

For  more  than  forty  years  Dr.  Nevin  remained  the  chief 
figure  among  the  educators  of  the  German  Reformed 
Church,  and  the  most  conspicuous  and  influential  personage 
in  its  public  discussions.  Born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1803, 
he  studied  in  Union  College  and  Princeton  Seminary,  and 
after  filling  temporarily  the  place  of  Dr.  Charles  Hodge  at 
Princeton,  he  was  called  to  the  Presbyterian  theological 
seminary  at  Allegheny.  Coming  to  Mercersburg  in  the 
prime  of  life,  he  devoted  to  the  interests  of  the  Reformed 
Church  the  virile  strength  of  his  intellectual  powers  and 

1  Appel,  College  Recollections,  p.  115. 


abounding  moral  earnestness.  He  was  a  man  of  vigorous, 
positive  and  independent  thought.  He  originated  no  sys- 
tem, but  whatever  subject  he  laid  hold  of,  he  grasped  with 
his  might  and  advocated  with  direct  and  drastic  statement. 
In  manner  and  address  his  appearance  was  imposing.  He 
made  the  impression  of  being  stern  and  unsympathetic,  and 
his  appearance  in  the  pulpit  called  forth  the  epithet  "  the 
marble  man."  Although  he  had  no  sympathy  with  the 
Puritan  theology,  his  nature  was  cast  in  the  Puritan  mould. 

The  wonder  is  that,  with  his  Scotch-Irish  antecedents, 
Dr.  Nevin  should  have  cast  himself  unreservedly  into  the 
work  of  a  body  whose  constituency  and  theological 
antecedents  were  German.  Yet  this  he  did,  declaring  in 
his  Inaugural  in  1840  that  the  Reformed  Church  had  a 
distinct  mission  of  its  own,  enumerating  the  salient  excel- 
lences of  the  German  character  and  announcing  his  cor- 
dial readiness  to  identify  himself  with  the  cause  of  the 
German-Americans  in  the  church  of  their  ancestors.  He 
cultivated  with  zeal  the  study  of  German  theology.  As  a 
writer,  his  style  was  energetic  and  his  writings,  though 
fragmentary,  contributed  much  towards  drawing  attention 
to  Mercersburg  and  developing  the  so-called  Mercersburg 
theology.  He  was  one  of  the  very  first  American  theolo- 
gians to  be  quoted  in  Germany,  Dr.  Ebrard  giving  to  his 
views  on  the  Lord's  Supper,  hearty  commendation  and 
wide  currency,  and  Dr.  Dollinger,  who  took  the  Mercers- 
burg Review,  being  attracted  by  his  original  power. 

As  a  church  leader,  he  stands  out  more  prominently 
in  the  Reformed  body  than  any  of  its  other  leaders  during 
the  century.  His  distinctive  views,  in  his  final  statement 
of  them,  have,  however,  not  been  adopted  by  that  com- 
munion, which  continues  to  be  Melanchthonian  in  spirit 
and  conservative  on  questions  pertaining  to  the  Lord's 
Supper.     Dr.  Nevin's  mind  was   in  constant   movement, 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  103 

and  while  he  was  positive  even  to  peremptoriness  at  cer- 
tain ecclesiastical  crises,  his  theological  system  was  some- 
what vague  and  remained  unsettled.  His  mental  habit 
was  speculative  rather  than  historic,  and  his  method  of 
statement  controversial  rather  than  judicial.  It  was  the 
quality  of  his  mind  to  divide  rather  than  to  heal.  He  was 
analytic  rather  than  constructive,  polemic  rather  than  con- 
ciliatory. For  this  reason  he  came  into  frequent  colli- 
sion with  representatives  of  other  ecclesiastical  bodies  as 
well  as  with  members  of  his  own.  It  is  proper  to  say,  how- 
ever, that  the  heated  party  spirit  in  his  own  denomination 
arose  in  part  from  the  nature  of  the  subjects  discussed, 
and  was  almost  unavoidable  at  the  stage  of  progress 
through  which  it  was  passing  fifty  years  ago.  While  Dr. 
Nevin  expounded  the  problems  it  was  engaged  in  solving, 
he  did  not  display  tact  or  skill  in  allaying  antagonisms  when 
they  arose.  Endowed  as  he  was  in  high  degree  with  the 
intellectual  qualities  and  moral  fearlessness  and  fervor  of 
a  great  controversialist,  he  lacked  the  faculty  which  builds 
up  a  consequential  system. 

Upon  entering  on  his  work  in  Mercersburg,  Dr.  Schaff 
formed  a  high  estimate  of  Dr.  Nevin's  vigor  of  mind 
and  moral  earnestness.  He  soon  wrote  in  his  journal : 
"  I  think  I  could  not  have  a  better  colleague  than  Dr. 
Nevin.  I  feared  I  might  not  find  any  sympathy  in  him 
for  my  views  of  the  church;  but  I  discover  that  he 
occupies  essentially  the  same  ground  that  I  do  and  con- 
firms me  in  my  position.  He  is  filled  with  the  ideas  of 
German  theology." 

The  quality  of  Schaff's  own  mind,  however,  was  very 
different  from  that  of  his  colleague,  and  fitted  him  for  an 
independent  place  and  work  of  his  own.  To  the  Ger- 
man spirit,  which  Dr.  Nevin  could  never  fully  assimilate, 
he   added   that   historic   temper  which,   sti^nothened   by 



familiar  acquaintance  with  the  whole  range  of  church 
history,  is  tolerant  and  irenic,  broadly  appreciative  rather 
than  local.  He  did  not  possess  the  gift  of  the  theologi- 
cal disputant.  His  was  the  power  of  the  constructive 
churchly  historian.  He  did  not  do  so  much  in  the  way 
of  developing  distinct  details  and  phases  of  theological 
truth,  but,  holding  firmly  to  a  few  large  underlying  prem- 
ises, he  went  on  to  broad  and  comprehensive  conclusions 
in  the  domain  of  doctrinal  theology  and  ecclesiastical 
practice  from  which  he  never  deviated. 

The  wonder  is  that,  with  their  sharp  differences  of 
original  temper  and  education,  these  two  men  should 
have  stood  together  for  a  score  of  years  in  friendly 
cooperation.  It  will  appear,  however,  that  this  very 
relation  put  Dr.  Schaff  more  than  once  in  a  position 
where  his  real  views  were  subjected  to  serious  miscon- 

On  the  last  evening  of  the  year  of  his  arrival  in  Amer- 
ica, he  wrote  down  his  reflections  thus  :  — 

So  the  twenty-sixth  year  of  my  life  draws  to  a  close 
with  to-night,  —  the  most  important  year  thus  far.  I 
have  taken  the  most  far-reaching  step  in  emigrating  to 
the  New  World.  The  pain  at  departing  from  the  old,  the 
joys  of  beholding  the  new,  the  splendid  reception  in  my 
new  home,  the  fierce  attacks  against  me,  crowd  one  upon 
the  other  in  my  memory.  What  evidence  I  have  had  of 
God's  goodness  to  me  in  Germany,  Switzerland,  England, 
on  the  Atlantic  and  here  in  America!  The  Lord  has 
been  with  me  and  given  me  a  pledge  of  His  future  care. 
I  am  not  worthy  of  the  least  of  the  mercies  which  Thou 
hast  shown  Thy  servant.  Abide  with  me.  Go  with  me 
over  into  the  new  year ;  let  all  things  serve  to  the  glory 
of  Thy  name,  to  the  good  of  Thy  church  and  to  the 
edification  of  my  own  soul! 

This  pleasant  introduction  to  his  new  field  of  labor 
was  quickly  followed  by  trying  experiences,  as  just  indi- 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  105 

cated.     The   first   of   these  was   due  to  the  exaggerated  ^ 
construction  the  Germans  of   this  country  put  upon    his 
ordination   sermon.     The   other   was   a   trial    for    heresy 
arising  from  opposition  within  his  own  denomination. 

It  has  already  been  said  that  the  dark  picture  pre- 
sented at  Elberfeld  was  adapted  to  give  great  offence  on 
this  side  of  the  Atlantic.  First  published  in  Krum- 
macher's  Palmblatter,  the  German  secular  press  of  the 
United  States  got  hold  of  the  sermon,1  and  German  papers 
from  New  York  city  to  Hermann,  Missouri,  and  to  Wis- 
consin in  the  Northwest,  attacked  it  with  vehemence  and, 
in  some  cases,  with  bitter  virulence.  So  inflamed  was 
the  feeling  that  the  Germans  in  several  localities  passed 
indignant  resolutions,  disowning  the  new  professor  as  a 
traitor  to  his  country  and  a  slanderer  of  his  countrymen, 
and  condemning  him  to  purgatory  without  any  prayer 
or  expectation  of  his  amendment.  Parents  were  warned 
against  sending  their  children  to  Mercersburg. 

While  the  meaning  and  purpose  of  Dr.  Schaff's  obser- 
vations were  either  distorted  or  altogether  lost  sight  of, 
the  vulnerable  points  of  the  address  were  so  manifest  to 
one  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic  that  a  successful  public 
defence  could  not  easily  be  made.  What  met  the  full 
approval  of  an  audience  in  Germany  was  a  firebrand  to 
the  Germans  here.  A  week's  personal  observation  would 
have  modified  the  tone  of  the  discourse  and  the  treatment 
of  its  theme.  The  singular  thing  was  that  the  very  ad- 
dress in  which  a  deep  interest  was  poured  forth  should 
have  called  down  an  avalanche  of  abuse  from  the  very 
constituency  towards  whom  it  went  out. 

Dr.  Nevin  wrote  a  defence,2  but  it  would  not  have 
allayed   the  excited   feeling,  even  if  it   had  reached   the 

1  An  English  translation  appeared  in  the  Weekly  Messenger,  Sept.  4,  1844. 

2  The  Principle  of  Protestantism,  pp.  5-7. 


offended  parties.  And  even  if  it  were  true,  as  he  said, 
that  "  perhaps  no  one  ever  came  into  the  country  with 
more  zeal  for  the  advancement  of  all  German  interests 
as  such,"  the  dominant  irreligious  temper  of  the  German- 
American  secular  press  prevented  it  from  pronouncing  a 
fair  judgment  in  this  case.  Men  who  had  a  thorough  know- 
ledge of  the  German  character  also  came  to  Dr.  Schaff's  aid 
with  their  sympathy,  like  Dr.  C.  R.  Demme,  the  leading 
Lutheran  pastor  of  Philadelphia,  who  wrote :  "  Your  whole 
personality  is  adapted  to  secure  for  you  a  beneficent  and 
extensive  influence  among  our  German  people."  As  no 
public  defence  could  be  made  satisfactory  to  the  people 
who  felt  aggrieved,  all  that  could  be  done  was  to  allow 
the  storm  to  wear  itself  out.  This  it  did,  but  Dr.  Schaff 
had  to  labor  for  a  number  of  years  before  the  distrust 
and  prejudice,  stirred  up  by  these  criticisms  in  German- 
American  circles,  were  entirely  counteracted. 

Not  so  fretting  but  more  serious  was  the  trial  for  heresy 
before  the  synod  of  the  German  Reformed  Church.  The 
occasion  of  the  trial  was  Dr.  Schaff's  inaugural  address  in 
Reading,  Oct.  25,  1844.  The  synod,  which  had  met  in 
October  at  Allentown,  adjourned  for  the  inaugural  services 
to  Reading,  a  city  occupying  a  strategic  location  in  the 
midst  of  a  large  German  population.  Dr.  Schaff  was  re- 
ceived from  the  Evangelical  Church  of  Prussia  upon  the 
basis  of  his  acceptance  of  the  Heidelberg  Catechism. 

The  subject  of  Dr.  Schaff's  address  was  the  principle 
of  Protestantism,  and  was  selected  after  consultation  with 
his  friend,  Dr.  Schneck.  Its  object  was  to  state  clearly  the 
fundamental  ideas  underlying  the  Protestant  Reformation, 
and  their  bearing  upon  the  posture  and  mission  of  the 
Protestant  Church  in  the  nineteenth  century.  Dr.  Schaff 
felt  that  a  somewhat  careful  statement  of  the  ecclesiastical 
views  he  brought  with  him  from  Europe  would  be  timely, 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  107 

but  he  sought  to  give  a  popular  presentation  of  his  subject 
in  view  of  the  character  of  the  audience  he  was  to  address. 
Only  an  outline  of  the  address  could  be  given  at  Reading. 
It  called  forth  some  murmurs  of  dissent  on  the  spot,  which 
were  destined  before  long  to  break  forth  into  sharp  ac- 
cusations of  Romanizing  and  Tractarian  tendencies. 

In  view  of  these  suspicions  and  whispered  charges,  the 
address  was  carefully  revised  and  enlarged  before  it  ap- 
peared in  print.  The  symptoms  of  suspicion  had  made 
such  an  impression  upon  the  professor's  mind  that  it  was 
coming  to  be  a  question  whether  his  work  in  the  United 
States  might  not  be  brought  abruptly  to  a  conclusion  by  the 
very  occasion  which  was  designed  to  mark  its  formal  inau- 
guration. The  address  was  published  in  German  and  then 
in  English,  early  in  1845.  The  English  translation  by  Dr. 
Nevin  contained  a  sermon  on  Catholic  Unity,  preached  by 
him  at  the  Triennial  Convention,  at  Harrisburg,  Aug.  8, 
1844.  An  appendix  is  added  to  both  editions,  containing 
one  hundred  and  twelve  theses  for  the  times.1 

The  Principle  of  Protestantism  may  be  regarded  as  in 
its  consequences  the  most  influential  literary  work  in  the 
history  of  the  German  Reformed  Church  in  the  United 
States.  The  author  was  never  conscious  that  he  had 
produced  anything  original  or  distinctive,  and  it  was  with- 
out any  forethought  on  his  part  that  the  address  involved 
the  church  irreversibly  in  the  doctrinal  agitation  which 
went  on  within  its  pale  for  a  quarter  of  a  century.  It 
did  not  strike  the  first  note  of  that  long  controversy; 
Dr.  Nevin's  tract,  The  Anxious  Bench,  did  that,  and  the 
controversy  was,  no  doubt,  in  that  period  of  awakening 
denominational  self-consciousness  inevitable.     Dr.  Schaff' s 

1  The  Principle  of  Protestantism  as  related  to  the  Present  State  of  the  Church 
by  Philip  Schaff,  Ph.D.,  translated  from  the  German,  with  an  introduction  by 
John  W.  Nevin,  D.D.     Pages,  214.     Chambersburg,  1845. 

108  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1845 

book  marshalled  the  heavy  forces  and  brought  them  on  the 
open  field.  Apart  from  this  influence,  the  address  at- 
tracted wide  attention  to  Mercersburg  outside  the  bounds 
of  the  Reformed  Church.  For  these  reasons,  it  is  proper 
to  give  a  somewhat  detailed  analysis  of  its  positions. 

The  address  consists  of  two  parts.  In  the  first  part  the 
author  sets  forth  the  preparation  which  was  going  on  in 
the  church  of  the  Middle  Ages  for  the  Reformation,  vin- 
dicates the  movement  on  historical  grounds,  and  defines 
the  two  principles  of  Protestantism,  the  doctrine  of  the 
supreme  authority  of  the  Scriptures  and  the  doctrine  of 
justification  by  faith.  In  the  second  part  he  discusses  the 
bearing  of  this  twofold  principle  upon  the  development  of 
Protestantism  in  the  past  and  its  mission  in  the  nineteenth 
century.  He  does  this  under  three  heads  :  the  diseases  of 
Protestantism  (which  are  stated  to  be  rationalism  and  sec- 
tarism),  Puseyism  and  a  Catholic  Protestantism  which 
stands  for  a  new  era  of  development  towards  which  Prot- 
estantism should  move. 

At  the  outset  Dr.  Schaff  distinctly  declares  his  stand- 
point to  be  that  of  a  Protestant  in  full  accord  with  the 
Reformers.1  He  then  proceeds  to  vindicate  the  Reforma- 
tion from  the  charge  of  being  a  revolution,  —  an  abrupt 
overthrow  of  an  existing  system.  Nor  was  it  a  simple 
restoration  to  an  earlier  condition  of  the  church.  The 
church  after  the  crisis  of  the  sixteenth  century  was  in 
living  organic  union  with  the  church  before  it,  and  at  the 
same  time  represented  in  some  respects  an  advance.  No 
iconoclastic  zeal  distinguished  Christ  and  his  Apostles. 
Christ  charged  his  hearers  to  do  what  was  commanded  by 
those  who  sat  in  Moses'  seat,  and  yet  his  watchword  was, 
"  Behold,  I  make  all  things  new."  The  same  twofold 
character  belongs  to  the  Reformation.     Its  motto  in  effect 

1  Principle  of  Protestantism,  p.  35;  Germ.  ed.,p.  xi. 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  109 

was,  "  I  came  not  to  destroy,  but  to  fulfil."  Protestantism 
is  not  a  mushroom,  growing  up  in  a  night.  Luther  simply 
brought  out  into  full  view  that  which  thousands  before 
him  and  in  his  own  time  had  been  struggling  in  various 
ways  to  reach.  His  work  was  that  of  the  herald,  called 
forth  to  announce  the  higher  stage  of  Christianity  in  a 
purified  church. 

Emphasizing  the  dynamic  force  in  Protestantism,  which 
involves  progress  and  development,  the  author  declares 
that  by  the  progress  of  the  church  was  meant  only  the 
advance  upon  the  previous  apprehension  of  Christianity, 
for  Christianity,  as  it  is  exhibited  in  its  original  and  norm- 
giving  form  in  the  New  Testament,  is  decisive  for  all  time. 
In  its  nature  and  content  as  a  new  order  of  life,  Christian- 
ity has  been  complete  from  the  beginning,  and  no  order 
more  perfect  is  to  be  expected.  It  is,  however,  proper  to 
speak  of  progress  in  the  church  itself  or  the  Christianized 
world.  But  this  progress  from  without  and  from  within  is 
never,  in  the  true  sense,  creative,  but  comes  only  in  the 
way  of  reception,  organic  assimilation  and  expansion. 
All  historical  development  in  the  church  consists  in  a 
cumulative  apprehension  of  the  life  and  doctrine  of  Christ 
and  his  Apostles  and  a  progressive  and  ever-increasing 
appropriation  and  manifestation  of  their  spirit  and  method. 

The  treatment  of  the  supreme  authority  of  the  Script- 
ures and  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith,  which  fol- 
lows, is  such  as  might  be  looked  for  from  a  discriminating 
Protestant  theologian.  In  addition  to  these  two  principles 
Dr.  Schaff,  at  a  later  period,  gave  a  third  and  distinct  place 
to  the  general  priesthood  of  believers.1 

The  second  part  of  the  treatise, .discussing  the  bearing 
of  the  positive  principles  upon  the  restless  and  divided 
state  of  the  Protestant  Church,  is  not  quite  so  clear.     The 

1  See  his  Christ  and  Christianity,  pp.  128-134. 

110  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1845 

author  was  struggling  with  a  great  question  which  occupied 
his  mind  ever  afterwards,  and  did  not  give  full  credit  to 
the  considerations  urged  in  justification  of  the  denomina- 
tional divisions  of  American  Christendom,  as  he  did  at  a 
later  period.1  He  says,  Protestantism  has  been  the  great 
moving  force  in  all  progress  during  the  last  three  centuries, 
but  we  must  not  close  our  eyes  to  its  defects  and  shadows. 
It  is  to  be  held  responsible  for  rationalism  and  sectarism, 
the  two  historical  foes  which  are  none  the  less  dangerous 
because  they  claim  to  be  legitimate  offspring. 

As  for  rationalism,  the  progress  of  which  is  traversed 
from  Semler  to  Strauss  and  Feuerbach,  its  fundamental 
position  is  un-Protestant,  as  it  blurs  the  distinction  of  sin 
and  holiness  and  knows  nothing  of  an  unconditional  sur- 
render on  the  part  of  the  sinner  to  divine  grace.  Sectarism 
thrives  most  perfectly  under  the  protection  of  free  insti- 
tutions. While  there  may  be  some  semblance  of  truth  in 
the  claim  that  denominational  divisions  serve  to  stimulate 
Christian  zeal  and  activity,  the  New  Testament  presents 
the  ideal  of  one  flock  and  one  Shepherd.  The  most 
dangerous  foe  of  Protestantism  is  not  the  Church  of  Rome, 
but  the  plague  of  sectarism  against  which  it  is  not  suffi- 
cient to  bring  forward  the  Bible,  for  to  that  all  sects  alike 
appeal.  We  must  plead  the  idea  of  the  church  as  the 
pillar  and  ground  of  the  truth,  the  mother  of  all  believers. 

The  author  next  takes  up  Puseyism,  which  he  regards 
as  a  reaction  and  a  protest  against  rationalism  and  secta- 
rism, but  as  offering  no  cure  for  them.  The  movement  is 
characterized  by  deep  moral  earnestness  and  a  certain 
spiritual  dignity  of  tone.     It  cherishes  a  filial  longing  for 

1  The  false  views  prevalent  in  Germany  on  the  subject  are  expressed  in  a 
letter  received  by  Dr.  Schaff  in  1845,  m  which  the  writer  says  :  "  I  appreciate 
what  an  important  mission  is  before  you  in  Mercersburg,  especially  in  view  of 
the  labyrinth  and  great  evil  of  the  sects  and  factions  of  which  here  in  Germany 
we  can  form  no  adequate  conception." 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  1 1  j 

the  Christian  past,  but  its  grand  defect  is  its  utter  failure 
to  appreciate  the  providential  significance  of  the  Refor- 
mation. Puseyism  looks  backwards.  We  look  forwards. 
Even  rationalism  and  sectarism  can  be  overruled  for  the 
church's  progress.  "  God  writes  on  a  crooked  line,"  as 
runs  the  Portuguese  proverb.  The  theory  of  historical 
progress  affords  the  only  true  principle.  The  final  form 
of  Protestantism  is  yet  to  come.  Christ  will  yet  appear  to 
gather  the  separated  members  of  His  church  once  more 

To  the  church  belong  the  qualities  of  catholicity  and 
unity.  Church  unity  is  not  a  vague  spiritual  unity,  but  a 
visible  and  attainable  reality.  Outward  unity  does  not 
require  one  visible  head  like  the  pope.  Nor  is  a  single 
organization  necessary,  as  the  Puseyites  dream.  Pro- 
ceeding as  it  must  from  within,  from  the  fount  of  religious 
life  itself,  it  will  provide  for  itself  a  suitable  external  form. 
What  this  will  be,  we  are  not  prepared  now  to  say.  In 
any  case,  a  living,  outward  intercommunication  between 
all  Christian  churches  must  give  practical  proof  that  they 
are  not  only  one  in  spirit,  but  one  body  also.  In  our  idea 
of  the  church  we  cannot  extend  our  view  too  far.  We 
may  not  exclude  the  Romanists  themselves. 

Examining  the  Principle  of  Protestantism  after  the 
lapse  of  fifty  years,  it  is  difficult  to  find  anything  in  it 
which  remotely  savors  of  crypto-Romanism  or  Puseyism, 
the  charges  brought  against  its  author.  It  bespeaks,  it  is 
true,  for  members  of  the  Roman  Catholic  communion  a 
place  in  the  church  of  Christ,  but  plainly  rejects  its 
fundamental  errors.  Finding  much  that  is  worthy  of  com- 
mendation in  the  Tractarian  movement,  the  author  clearly 
declares  he  can  make  no  common  cause  with  it.  He  is  so 
outspoken  in  these  particulars  that  Dr.  Nevin  in  his  Intro- 
ductory essay  felt  warranted  in  saying  that  "far  from  being 

112  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1845 

regarded  by  the  Puseyites  and  Papists  as  a  plea  in  their 
favor,  the  treatise  will  be  deemed  one  of  the  most  effective 
and  weighty  arguments  they  had  up  to  that  time  been 
called  upon  to  encounter  in  this  country."  And  four  years 
after  the  delivery  of  the  Inaugural,  Dr.  Nevin  said,  "  It  is 
our  deliberate  persuasion  that  no  word  has  appeared  in  our 
American  theological  literature  which  contains  so  fair  and 
able  an  argument  against  the  high-toned  pretensions  of 
Romanism."  1 

While  there  may  be  detected  a  tone  of  youthful  self- 
confidence  in  treating  conditions  which  avowedly  involved 
one  of  the  greatest  of  all  questions,  the  great  and  difficult 
question  of  the  church,  the  book  is  full  of  the  thoughts  of 
one  whose  faith  kept  him  close  to  the  Scriptures  and  whose 
mind  was  more  loyal  to  Christ  than  to  any  ecclesiastical 
theory  or  theological  dogma.  The  treatment  is  fresh, 
forcible  and  candid.  The  author's  heart  had  laid  hold  of 
it  as  well  as  his  head.  He  pursued  it  with  glowing  feel- 
ing as  well  as  scholarly  method,  and  the  conclusions  in  his 
last  utterance  on  the  reunion  of  Christendom  are  substan- 
tially the  same  as  his  conclusions  here,  but  there  the  sharp- 
ness of  tone  has  become  softened  and  the  spiritual  fervor 
is  intensified. 

The  Principle  of  Protestantism  was  Dr.  Schaff  s  first 
introduction  through  the  medium  of  the  English  language 
to  the  reading  public.  In  Germany,  as  was  to  be  expected, 
Krummacher,2  Tholuck  and  others  marvelled  at  the 
exceptions  taken  to  its  main  positions.  Here  the  work 
was  received  with  commendation  by  competent  critics 
outside  of  the  constituency  to  which  it  was  primarily 
addressed.     The  Lutheran   Observer,  in  an  extended  no- 

1  Mercer sburg  Review,  1849,  pp.  63-104. 

2  A  full  account  was  given  of  Dr.  Schaff  s  trial  in  the  Palm  blatter,  1846,  pp. 
130  sqq. 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  \  13 

tice,  pronounced  "the  discussion  to  be  characterized  by 
originality,  vigor,  and  thoroughness,  an  enlarged  spirit, 
fearless  candor  and  a  devotion  to  Christianity  which  rises 
superior  to  all  denominations.  .  .  .  The  time  is  not  far 
distant,  when  by  general  acclamation  Professor  Schaff  will 
be  assigned  his  fit  place  among  the  best  intellects  of  the 
land,  which,  so  auspiciously  for  it,  he  has  adopted." 

Dr.  Charles  Hodge  expressed  his  agreement  with  the 
work  in  its  statement  of  the  fundamental  principles  of  the 
Reformation,  and  declared  that  the  evangelical  character 
of  its  leading  doctrines,  the  seriousness  and  warmth  per- 
vading it  and  the  high  order  of  ability  it  displayed  gave 
ground  to  hope  that  Dr.  Schaff  would  prove  a  blessing 
to  the  church  and  the  country  of  his  adoption.1  An 
article  so  favorable  coming  from  such  a  source  could  not 
but  have  weight  in  counteracting  misapprehensions.  Dr. 
Hodge  was  already  easily  one  of  the  foremost  leaders  in 
the  Old  School  Branch  of  the  Presbyterian  Church. 

The  most  elaborate  review,  which  the  Inaugural  address 
called  out,  was  from  the  pen  of  Dr.  Tayler  Lewis,2  a  lay- 
man in  the  Dutch  Reformed  Church,  one  of  the  most 
learned  Hebrew  scholars  as  well  as  one  of  the  freshest 
critics  among  American  theological  writers  of  his  genera- 
tion. Commending  its  treatment  of  the  doctrine  of  justi- 
fication, he  said  :  "  Nothing  can  be  more  purely  evangelical 
than  the  manner  in  which  Dr.  Schaff  sets  forth  this  great 
article.  It  must  forever  place  an  impassable  barrier  be- 
tween him  and  both  branches  of  the  anti-Protestant 
party.  ...  As  for  divisions  in  the  church,  it  was  not 
necessary  for  Dr.  Schaff  to  show  the  cure.  It  was  suffi- 
cient for  him  to  point  out  the  disorder.  The  first  and 
great  thing  is  to  attempt  to  revive  a  true  church  feeling. 

1  Princeton  Review,  October,  1845,  PP-  626-636. 

2  Biblical  Repository,  January,  1846,  pp.  79-138. 


114  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1845 

When  the  heart  has  been  prepared,  God  may  provide  a 

Before  these  favorable  reviews  had  appeared,  certain 
individuals  in  the  German  Reformed  Church  scented  per- 
nicious heresy  between  the  pages  of  the  book  and  made  it 
the  occasion,  as  has  already  been  said,  of  a  formal  and 
public  indictment  for  heresy,  the  only  one  of  general  sig- 
nificance in  its  history.  Dr.  Schaff  was  accustomed  in 
later  years  to  say :  "  My  little  book  was  a  harmless  book 
and  I  had  not  the  remotest  thought,  when  I  delivered  my 
address,  that  I  was  out  of  accord  with  the  views  of  the 
Reformed  Church  in  this  country."  On  his  visit  in  Read- 
ing at  a  meeting  of  the  synod  in  May,  1893,  he  attended 
service  on  Sunday  at  the  First  Reformed  church.  After 
the  benediction,  which  he  pronounced,  and  standing  within 
the  chancel,  he  said,  "  Here  I  stood  fifty  years  ago  and 
flung  out  a  firebrand.     However,  I  did  it  unintentionally." 

It  was  the  Rev.  Joseph  F.  Berg,  D.D.,  who  sounded  the 
first  public  note  of  alarm,  and  made  definite  assault  upon 
Dr.  SchafFs  orthodoxy.  Dr.  Berg  was  pastor  of  the  First 
German  Reformed  church  of  Philadelphia,  and  also  editor 
of  the  Protestant  Banner.  For  some  years  before  the 
Inaugural  was  delivered,  a  vigorous  anti-Catholic  agitation 
had  been  carried  on  through  tracts  and  from  the  plat- 
form. Such  influential  men  as  Brownlee  and  Dr.  Robert 
Breckenridge  were  leading  champions  of  the  movement. 
The  language,  used  to  decry  the  Church  of  Rome,  was 
inflammatory  and  extreme.  She  was  pronounced  a  harlot, 
the  scarlet  woman,  the  synagogue  of  Satan,  the  master- 
piece of  the  devil.  The  declaration  of  the  Westminster 
divines  that  "the  pope  is  Antichrist,  that  man  of  sin 
and  son  of  perdition  that  exalteth  himself  in  the  church 
against  Christ,  and  all  that  is  called  God,"  was  emphasized 
and,  if  possible,  added  unto. 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG 


The  General  Assembly  of  the  Presbyterian  Church, 
Old  School,  in  1845  declared  that  the  Catholic  Church  had 
"long  since  become  utterly  corrupt,  and  hopelessly 
apostate,"  a  view  from  which  Dr.  Charles  Hodge  publicly 

The  same  feeling  prevailed  widely  in  the  Dutch  Re- 
formed Church,  and  to  some  extent  in  the  German  Re- 
formed Church.  The  Weekly  Messenger  in  1842  said 
that  Romanism  has  no  more  claims  to  be  called  Christian 
than  the  primary  apostasy  of  Satan,  in  which  it  had  its 
origin,  and  that  the  papal  confederacy  might  be  more  fully 
characterized  as  a  pandemonium,  than  a  society  of  Chris- 
tian believers. 

None  of  the  current  outcries  were  too  strong  for  Dr. 
Berg.  He  was  a  man  of  ability  and  of  popular  style, 
fluent  and  fervid  in  address,  and  had  held  up  the  supersti- 
tious and  impious  errors  of  the  so-called  Church  of  Rome 
in  public  lectures  and  in  print.1  He  had  heard  from  a 
converted  priest  whom  he  had  sent  to  Mercersburg  that 
the  professors  there  were  insidiously,  but  no  less  actually 
and  industriously,  instilling  Romanizing  poison  in  their 
class-room  teachings.  Here  was  the  scent  of  heresy,  and 
the  Inaugural  Address  put  it  beyond  a  doubt  that  Mercers- 
burg was  the  seat  of  crypto-Romanism  which  threatened 
to  corrupt  the  whole  Reformed  Church,  and  move  her 
from  her  ancient  faith. 

At  the  synod  of  Lewisburg  in  1842,  Dr.  Berg  had 
failed  to  have  a  deliverance  passed  against  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  and  the  papacy.  His  ecclesiastical  zeal, 
undaunted,  now  discerned  a  good  opportunity  to  extin- 
guish Romanizing  error,  and  to  deal  a  fatal  blow  to 
neology,  a  vague  term  for  pestilential  error  hailing  from 
Germany,  and  he  entered  the  list  against  the  new  Mer- 

1His  lectures  on  Romanism  were  published  in  1840. 


cersburg  professor  and  his  colleague.  The  preliminary 
attack  was  made  through  the  Banner,  which  arraigned 
Dr.  Nevin  for  breach  of  trust  in  propagating  errors  as 
against  the  Heidelberg  Catechism.  Dr.  Nevin  replied  in 
three  articles  in  the  Weekly  Messenger,  entitled  Pseudo- 
Protestantism  . 

As  soon  as  the  Principle  of  Protestantism  appeared  in 
print  it  was  taken  up  at  Dr.  Berg's  instigation  by  the 
classis  of  Philadelphia,  September,  1845.  Some  of  its 
positions  were  rumored  to  be  suspicious,  if  not  heretical. 
A  committee,  with  Dr.  Berg  as  chairman,  examined  the 
book.  Their  report,  without  specifically  condemning  it, 
embodied  five  resolutions  which  purported  to  define  the 
creed  of  the  classis  on  the  leading  subjects  which  the 
treatise  discussed  at  length,  or  casually  touched  upon ; 
namely,  the  authority  of  Scripture,  the  nature  of  faith, 
and  Christ's  presence  in  the  Lord's  Supper.  They  de- 
clared that  the  authority  of  Scripture  was  under  no  circum- 
stances to  be  derogated  from,  that  the  sacraments  without 
faith  are  unavailing,  and  that  Christ  is  in  no  sense  cor- 
poreally present  in  the  bread  and  wine.  A  sixth  and 
supplementary  resolution  was  added,  definitely  calling  the 
attention  of  the  synod  to  the  Principle  of  Protesta7ttism,  a 
book  in  which,  it  was  said,  many  found  opinions  set  forth, 
contravening  the  true  doctrines  of  the  church,  as  defined 
in  the  previous  resolutions.  To  the  last  resolution  a  pro- 
test was  filed.  The  first  five  defining  the  creed  of  the 
classis  called  for  no  dissent.  Still  a  further  resolution 
offered  by  the  Rev.  Jacob  Helfenstein  was  passed,  declar- 
ing it  to  be  the  belief  of  the  classis  that  the  papal  system 
was  the  mystery  of  iniquity,  "  the  great  apostasy "  and 
the  mother  of  abominations  on  the  earth.  This  was  in- 
tended to  be  the  most  unmistakable  blow  at  Dr.  SchafF  s 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  1 1 7. 

Among  other  omens  of  evil  import,  so  the  critics  urged, 
were  favorable  notices  of  the  Principle  of  Protestantism  in 
the  Churchman,  a  "  Puseyite  organ,"  and  the  Catholic 
Herald.  The  Christian  Intelligencer,  the  organ  of  the 
Dutch  Reformed  Church,  came  to  the  aid  of  Dr.  Schaff  s 
critics  in  the  sister  church,  declaring  he  had  proposed 
Puseyism  as  a  remedy  for  the  evils  of  Protestantism. 
Flaming  articles  appeared  from  correspondents  in  the 
Weekly  Messenger,  bearing  such  headings  as  the  "  Pro- 
testantism of  Mercer sburg  contrasted  with  the  Protestan- 
tism of  the  Bible."  1 

It  was  perfectly  well  understood  throughout  the  church 
what  the  purpose  of  the  Philadelphia  resolutions  was,  and 
they  were  soon  met  by  a  counter-blast.  At  a  special  meet- 
ing of  the  classis  of  East  Pennsylvania,  held  in  North- 
ampton County,  where  among  other  tried  men  present 
were  Rev.  Messrs.  Pomp,  Hoffeditz  and  Dubbs,  a  resolu- 
tion was  passed  declaring  that  the  professors  had  been 
unjustly  attacked,  that  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  had 
always  been  regarded  as  in  some  sense  a  part  of  the 
Christian  Church,  and  that  the  positions  of  the  address 
were  in  full  agreement  with  the  tenets  of  the  Reformed 

The  Protestantism  and  orthodoxy  of  Dr.  Schaff' s  In- 
augural were  now  the  absorbing  question  in  the  Re- 
formed Church.  A  storm  seemed  about  to  burst,  the 
hearts  of  many  waxed  faint,  and  the  judgment  of  some 
was  that  the  "church  was  on  the  eve  of  rupture.  It 
was  being  agitated  by  the  dissemination  of  views  and 
the  discussion  of  questions  which  no  one  a  year  before 
could  have  imagined  would  ever  disturb  our  peace."2 

Dr.  Schaff  was  amazed  at  the  tempest  which  he  had  inno- 

aOct.  15,1845. 

2  Letter  from  Dr.  Heiner  of  Baltimore. 


cently  stirred  up.  Never  having  doubted  his  loyalty  to  the 
Protestant  faith  himself,  he  was  astounded  to  wake  up 
one  morning  on  American  soil  and  be  told  that  he  was  a 
destroyer  of  that  way  and  a  champion  of  Romanism. 
He  was,  however,  not  left  to  conclude  that  this  was  the 
universal  opinion.  His  wise  friend  Dr.  Hoffeditz  wrote, 
(Sept.  3,  1845):  "In  regard  to  the  rumors  of  support 
from  Dr.  Heiner  and  Dr.  Zacharias,  I  do  not  believe 
that  a  single  preacher  in  the  whole  synod  agrees  with 
Dr.  Berg,  but  on  the  contrary  that  all  look  upon  him 
with  regret  and  pity.  .  .  .  As  for  the  Principle  of 
Protestantism,  dear  brother,  I  would  speak  out  my  praises 
of  it,  did  you  not  forbid,  but  I  do  boast  of  my  friend- 
ship for  you  and  of  having  had  a  hand  in  bringing  you 
to  this  country.  ..." 

Amid  intense  excitement,  the  synod  met  in  York,  Penn- 
sylvania, in  October,  1845.  The  action  of  the  Philadel- 
phia classis  came  up  through  the  report  on  its  minutes. 
Charges  affecting  the  standing  of  the  Mercersburg  pro- 
fessors, it  was  held,  could  not  regularly  be  made  before 
the  synod  until  they  had  been  previously  brought  before 
the  Board  of  Visitors  of  the  Theological  Seminary.  The 
professors,  however,  waived  all  constitutional  technicality, 
and,  at  their  request,  the  synod  ordered  the  prosecution 
of  the  case  to  proceed.  The  matter,  being  thus  fairly 
before  the  body,  was  referred  to  a  committee  of  eleven 
members  (one  from  each  of  the  ten  classes  and  one  from 
the  Reformed  synod  of  Ohio),  with  Dr.  Bernard  C.  Wolff 
as  chairman. 

The  report  was  decisive  in  tone  and  took  up  in  detail 
the  charges  implied  in  the  resolutions  of  the  Philadel- 
phia classis.  It  declared  "that  the  action  of  the  majority 
of  the  classis  was  marked  by  an  entire  absence  of  con- 
sideration  and  forethought."     It  vindicated  Dr.  SchafP s 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  119 

statement  of  the  use  of  tradition  and  the  Scriptures. 
As  #for  the  implied  charges  of  unsoundness  on  the  effi- 
cacy of  the  sacraments  as  institutions  conferring  grace 
irrespective  of  the  spiritual  estate  of  the  recipients,  they 
were  refuted  by  Dr.  SchafPs  own  treatment,  which  de- 
clared emphatically  that  justification  is  by  faith  alone. 
The  last  resolution  of  the  classis  touching  the  manner 
of  the  Lord's  presence  at  the  Lord's  Supper  had  advanced 
a  charge  not  justified  by  any  specific  statement  in  the 
Inaugural,  but  it  was  true  that  Dr.  SchafF s  view  was  the 
view  of  the  church. 

The  committee  concluded  by  giving  it  as  their  unani- 
mous judgment  that  there  was  nothing  to  justify  the  charges 
preferred  or  to  awaken  the  fear  that  the  professors  would 
abandon  the  true  Protestant  standpoint.  On  the  contrary 
the  professors  deserved  the  support  of  all  friends  of  the 

The  report  brought  as  the  main  question  before  the 
synod  the  orthodoxy  of  the  Principle  of  Protestantism. 
Dr.  Nevin  stood  at  the  side  of  Dr.  Schaff,  assuming  re- 
sponsibility for  the  views  with  which  he  was  charged. 
Dr.  Berg,  representing  the  classis  of  Philadelphia  for  the 
prosecution,  spoke  for  two  hours.  Dr.  Nevin  followed 
him  in  the  evening  with  an  address  of  the  same  length. 
The  following  morning  Dr.  Schaff  occupied  three  hours, 
the  main  part  of  his  address  being  in  German.  The 
next  day  he  again  spoke  in  his  defence  for  an  hour  and 
a  half  in  English.  More  than  once  he  was  obliged  to 
halt  for  want  of  an  English  word,  but  it  being  supplied 
by  some  one  conversant  with  German,  he  continued  with- 
out any  apparent  embarrassment.  The  facility  with  which 
he  spoke  English  surprised  every  one  present.1 

When  the  vote  was  taken  it  was  found  that  thirty-seven 

1  The   Weekly  Messenger,  Nov.  5,  1845. 


votes  were  cast  for  acquittal  to  three  against,  two  of  the 
dissenting  votes  coming  from  elders  and  the  third  from 
Dr.  Berg  himself.  Among  others  voting  in  the  affirma- 
tive were  Dr.  E.  V.  Gerhart,  Dr.  Zacharias  and  Dr.  Bom- 
berger.  To  this  action  Dr.  Berg  entered  a  protest,  closing 
his  address  rather  dramatically  with  the  words  of  Luther 
at  Worms,  "  Here  I  stand.  I  cannot  do  otherwise.  God 
help  me!  Amen."  A  reply  to  the  protest  was  prepared 
by  a  committee  with  Dr.  Bomberger  as  chairman.  Thus 
the  case  was  settled  so  far  as  the  supreme  tribunal  of  the 
German  Reformed  Church  was  concerned.  The  matter, 
however,  was  not  completely  dropped.  Attempts  were 
made  to  bring  it  to  trial  again  at  the  synod  of  Carlisle 
in  1846,  and  at  several  subsequent  synods,  but  without 
success.  A  year  later  Dr.  Berg  and  Mr.  A.  Helfenstein 
preferred  charges  in  writing  before  the  Board  of  Visitors 
of  the  theological  seminary,  and  asked  that  they  be 
placed  before  the  synod  about  to  convene  at  Lancaster. 
Dr.  Berg's  arraignment  was  confined  to  Dr.  Nevin's  work. 
The  attack  was  shifted  from  the  younger  to  the  senior 
Mercersburg  professor,  whom  Dr.  Berg  continued  to  as- 
sail in  the  press,  until,  finding  that  the  German  Reformed 
Church  felt  no  sympathy  with  the  contention,  he  withdrew 
from  its  communion  in  1852  and  entered  the  Dutch  Re- 
formed Church,  becoming  a  professor  at  Rutgers  College. 
The  Rev.  Jacob  Helfenstein  made  a  final  attack  in  a  ser- 
mon preached  at  Germantown,  March  27,  1853,  entitled  the 
"  Romanizing  Tendency  of  the  Mercersburg  Theology." 
He  singled  out  Dr.  Nevin  for  his  assault,  limiting  his 
reference  to  Dr.  Schaff  to  one  or  two  quotations.  The 
same  year  he  connected  himself  with  the  Presbyterian 
Church.  Thus  ended  the  agitation  over  Dr.  Schaffs 
historic  Inaugural. 

The   Principle  of  Protestantism  is  perhaps  as  clear  a 

chap,  v  MERCERSBURG  1 2 1 

statement  as  we  have  had  in  America  of  the  fundamental 
doctrines  of  Protestantism  and  a  broad  and  comprehen- 
sive presentation  of  Catholic  Christianity.  In  the  em- 
phasis it  laid  upon  the  person  of  Christ,  the  doctrine  of 
historical  development  and  a  moderate  churchly  tendency, 
it  embodied  the  principle  and  norm  of  the  safe  develop- 
ment of  the  Mercersburg  theology.1  Dr.  Nevin's  Mystical 
Presence,  and  his  reflections  upon  the  church,  which  found 
their  chief  expression  in  his  articles  on  Cyprian  in  the 
Mercersburg  Review  and  in  his  Anti-Christ  (1847),  went 
beyond  Dr.  Schaffs  positions. 

It  was  more  than  the  seed-plot  for  the  ecclesiological 
development  of  the  German  Reformed  denomination  and 
more  than  a  plea  for  a  more  tolerant  view  of  the  church. 
It  was  more  than  Dr.  Nevin  claims  it  to  have  been  as  an 
argument  against  Romanism.  It  marked  a  new  departure 
in  the  treatment  of  questions  in  ecclesiastical  history  on 
American  soil.  For,  while  the  treatment  was  not  always 
mature  or  calm,  it  represented  the  exercise  of  the  judicial 
attitude,  the  critical  method  and  a  tolerant  spirit  in  the 
department  of  the  church  historian.2  It  opposed  the  hos- 
tility to  the  church  of  the  pre-Reformation  period  as 
unreasonable  and  unhistorical.  Protestantism  was  the 
product  of  an  evolution  as  much  as  of  a  revolution.  Its 
fundamental  idea  is,  that  God  has  in  no  age  withdrawn 
Himself  from  the  church.  In  every  age,  He  has  mani- 
fested His  guiding  hand.  "  History  does  not  move  back- 
wards," Dr.  Schaff  used  to  say,  "but  forwards  to  a  goal." 

1  Appel,  Life  of  Dr.  Nevin,  p.  250. 

2  In  his  History  of  the  Presbyterian  Churches  in  the  United  States,  p.  145, 
Dr.  Robert  Ellis  Thompson  says:  "In  the  field  of  church  history,  Dr.  Schaff 
was  breaking  new  ground  in  the  face  of  much  ultra- Protestant  criticism  and 





Fame  of  Mercersburg  —  The  Church  Festivals  —  Seminary  Struggles — First 
Endowment — Dr.  Schaff  as  a  Lecturer  —  Mercersburg  Theology  —  Among 
his  Students  —  Removal  and  Presidency  of  Marshall  College  —  Marriage  — 
Home  Sorrows  —  Student  Stories  —  Friendships  —  Impressions  of  America 

The  Mercersburg  period,  stretching  from  1844  to  1863, 
divides  itself  easily  into  two  equal  parts  by  a  visit  to  Europe 
in  1854.  During  the  earlier  term  Dr.  Schaff' s  work  was 
chiefly  among  the  German-speaking  constituency  of  the 
Reformed  Church  and  carried  on  through  the  medium  of 
the  German  language.  During  the  latter  he  came  before 
a  wider  public  and  exerted  his  influence  chiefly  through  the 
medium  of  the  English  language. 

Throughout  these  years  he  devoted  himself  with  untir- 
ing industry  to  his  lectures  and  literary  labors.  The 
monotony  of  life  in  the  mountain  town  forced  him  back 
upon  his  books  and  manuscripts.  Especially  was  this  the 
case  after  the  removal  of  Marshall  College  to  Lancas- 
ter in  1853.  In  the  wide  fields  his  studies  traversed,  he 
prepared  himself  for  the  diverse  literary  and  professional 
activity  of  later  years  in  New  York.  Without  these 
studies  that  varied  activity  would  not  have  been  possible, 
as  Dr.  Schaff  himself  often  declared. 

The  heresy  trial  brought  Mercersburg  into  wide  notice 
in   theological    circles.     All   men   were   set   to   inquiring 

chap,  vi         /AT  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  123 

where  it  was  and  what  good  thing  could  come  out  from 
that  Nazareth.  The  two  professors,  acquitted  of  false  doc- 
trine, went  back  to  their  posts  to  vindicate  their  positions 
by  a  series  of  scholarly  publications  and  to  train  up  by 
their  class-room  instructions  the  rising  generation  of 
preachers.  In  Germany  attention  was  fixed  upon  it  and, 
while  scarcely  another  American  theological  centre  was 
known  even  by  name,  Krummacher's  Palmbldtter  and 
Schaff's  Kirchenfreund  and  correspondence  kept  Mercers- 
burg  before  an  extended  constituency.  The  "  Mercersburg 
movement,"  as  it  was  now  called,  was  also  watched  with 
interest  by  a  certain  group  in  England  belonging  to  the 
High  Church  party,  who  thought  they  discerned  in  it  a 
movement  akin  to  Puseyism. 

Although  he  had  little  sympathy  with  sacerdotalism, 
Dr.  Schaff  cultivated  a  churchly  spirit.  The  church 
festivals  had  come  to  be  very  generally  neglected  in  the 
Reformed  Church.  Good  Friday  was  passed  by  in  the 
seminary  unnoticed.  At  his  instance  and  with  the  assent  of 
Dr.  Nevin  and  the  other  professors  a  change  was  insti- 
tuted. The  "  ordinary  exercises  in  the  college  and  seminary 
were  suspended  on  Good  Friday  and  suitable  religious 
services  held.  A  student's  choir  sang  some  good  old 
German  chorals  and  Dr.  Schaff  preached  the  sermon, 
which,  of  course,  was  in  German.  He  had  prepared  him- 
self with  care  and  the  result  was  an  outburst  of  eloquence 
commencing  with  Ckar-Freitag,  Char-Freitag  (Good  Friday, 
Good  Friday). "  1  This  was  the  beginning  of  a  revival  of 
interest  in  the  leading  church  festivals  and  the  church 
year  among  the  Reformed  churches.  In  later  years  Dr. 
Schaff  followed  with  much  interest  the  change  of  feeling 
on  this  subject  in  other  communions. 

Mercersburg  was  at  the  antipodes  of  Berlin  with  its  uni- 

1  Letter  from  Dr.  Theodore  Appel. 

124  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

versity,  its  well  equipped  faculties,  and  its  unexcelled  liter- 
ary and  social  advantages.  But  Dr.  Schaff  threw  himself 
with  all  his  energy  and  abounding  hopefulness  into  the 
work  of  elevating,  if  it  were  possible,  the  seminary  to  a 
place  at  the  side  of  the  older  theological  institutions  of  the 
country.  After  a  few  years  it  became  evident  that  no 
effort,  however  strenuous,  would  suffice  to  develope  a  great 
institution  at  Mercersburg,  nor  would  it  even  be  possible 
to  meet  the  wants  of  the  Reformed  Church,  with  it  as  an 
educational  centre.  The  situation  was  barely  tenable,  not 
strategic.  When  the  suspicion  of  this  had  deepened  into 
an  unalterable  conviction,  the  professor's  position  became 
irksome,  a  mere  struggle  to  hold  a  handful  of  students,  a 
hopeless  attempt  to  develope  a  further  growth. 

At  times  the  very  existence  of  the  institution  was  placed 
in  jeopardy  by  the  want  of  means.  The  ample  buildings 
and  attractive  grounds  were  no  substitute  for  an  endow- 
ment. The  funds  for  the  professors'  salaries  were  drawn 
from  the  uncertain  and  precarious  contributions  of  indi- 
viduals and  congregations.  Similar  embarrassment  has 
been  experienced  by  most  of  our  literary  institutions 
established  by  denominational  or  private  enterprise  prior 
to  the  present  generation.  In  the  first  years  the  struggle 
has  been  for  bare  existence.  The  princely  donations  have 
come  later. 

The  first  gift  of  any  considerable  proportions  was  a 
legacy  of  $10,000  in  1853,  left  by  a  prosperous  Pennsylva- 
nia farmer,  Moses  Kieffer.  Comparatively  insignificant  as 
the  bequest  now  seems,  its  opportuneness  and  moral  force 
probably  far  exceeded  those  of  any  of  the  greater  dona- 
tions made  in  recent  years  to  the  institutions  of  the 
Reformed  Church.  It  inspired  courage  in  many  who  even 
among  the  leaders  of  the  body  had  been  brought  to  the 
point  of  despairing  of  the  very  existence  of  the  seminary. 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  125 

Later  Dr.  Schaff,  by  his  own  efforts,  secured  a  permanent 
fund  for  a  teaching  fellowship  through  gifts  from  Mr.  von 
Bethmann  Hollweg  of  Berlin  and  other  friends,  mostly  in 

It  would  have  been  altogether  natural  if  Dr.  Schaff, 
contemplating  his  immediate  surroundings  from  Seminary 
Hill,  had  at  times  felt  an  almost  hopeless  loneliness.  The 
first  flush  of  enthusiasm  could  not  be  maintained.  The 
strength  of  the  hills  was  there.  They  were  a  delight 
and  an  inspiration,  it  is  true.  But  one  cannot  live  upon 
scenery.  Men  are  more  than  hills.  A  teacher  can  get 
along  better  without  scenery  than  without  pupils  and  the 
stimulus  of  literary  companionship.  On  his  return  from 
his  first  absence  from  Mercersburg,  at  the  meeting  of 
the  synod  of  Allentown,  he  wrote  in  his  journal  (Nov.  5, 
1844):  "I  walk  from  Greencastle  [ten  miles  away]  to 
Mercersburg  with  Schwarz.  How  different  my  entrance 
into  the  town  to-day  and  on  August  12.  Then  a  large 
throng  of  professors,  students  and  people,  gathered  out 
of  curiosity,  pressed  around  me.  Surely  all  flesh  is  as 
grass.  The  Word  of  God  alone  abides.  God  be  thanked 
that  this  Word  is  my  light  in  the  darkness,  and  a  brighter 
and  purer  light  than  all  human  lamps."  At  times  he 
buoyed  up  his  spirits  by  recalling  the  results  such  men  as 
Ludwig  Harms,  Fliedner,  Wichern  and  Francke  had 
lived  to  see  come  from  small  beginnings.  In  the  same 
month  he  wrote :  "lamina  gloomy  mood.  What  faith 
must  August  Hermann  Francke  not  have  had,  whose 
orphans'  home  was  at  first  in  much  greater  financial  straits 
than  our  institutions  !  " 

Dr.  Nevin  resigned  his  chair  in  the  seminary  in  1850, 
and  Dr.  Schaff  was  left  for  four  years  the  only  professor. 
He  used  to  say  that  he  was  compelled  to  lecture  on  every 
branch  of  theological  study.     The  theological  course  cov- 

126  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

ered  only  two  years,  most  of  the  students  were  without 
careful  academic  training,  and  the  library  was  insignifi- 

To  the  work  of  the  class  room  the  professor  brought  a 
practical  interest  and  devout  spirit.  He  felt  the  force  of 
Neander's  motto,  pectus  est  quod  facit  theologum  —  the 
heart  makes  the  theologian.  His  method  in  his  lectures, 
which  were  written  out  in  full,  was  to  present  wide  and 
comprehensive  views  of  his  subject,  rather  than  to  enter 
into  details.  It  was  his  custom  to  have  a  lecture  before 
breakfast,  with  the  double  purpose  of  holding  himself  to 
the  habit  of  early  rising,  and  inculcating  the  same  lesson 
in  his  students.  His  lectures  were  at  first  delivered 
in  German,  but  so  few  of  the  students  were  sufficiently 
familiar  with  the  language  to  profit  by  that  method  that 
the  professor  was  constrained,  by  the  necessities  of  the 
case,  to  lecture  in  part  in  English  as  soon  as  he  acquired  a 
sufficient  command  of  the  language.  Before  many  years 
had  passed,  he  was  giving  all  his  instruction  through  that 
medium.  No  one  was  more  quick,  than  he  was  himself,  to 
discover  that  the  attempt  to  domesticate  the  German  was  a 

Dr.  Bausman,  who  graduated  from  the  seminary  in 
1852,  presents  the  following  picture  of  his  teacher:  — 

In  the  class  room  he  was  remarkably  fresh  and  fluent. 
His  memory  was  a  marvel.  Even  in  the  sweep  of  ani- 
mated utterance,  it  never  failed  him  in  the  matter  of 
dates,  doctrines,  facts  and  names.  Rarely  did  he  refer  to 
his  manuscript.  He  had  no  eccentricities,  like  Neander ; 
but  in  dress,  demeanor,  graceful  manners  and  simplicity 
of  nature  he  was  always  the  model  of  a  gentleman.  Im- 
mersed among  piles  of  books  and  papers,  his  multiplying 
labors  sometimes  led  him  to  forget  the  hour,  till  he  was 
startled  by  the  ringing  of  the  bell.  Rapidly  seizing  his 
manuscript,  he  would  hurry  across  the  campus  into  the 
class  room  with  evident  annoyance.     He  always  prefaced 



his  lectures  with  a  brief  prayer  or  the  singing  of  a  part  of 
a  hymn. 

The  distinctive  tenets  of  the  Mercersburg  theology  were 
discussed  with  much  enthusiasm  in  those  days  by  the 
students.  They  were  proud  of  the  name  which  the  semi- 
nary town  had  won  for  itself,  and  were  ready  to  defend 
the  professors  against  all  outsiders.  The  following  inci- 
dent is  an  heirloom  from  that  formative  period.  Some 
colored  men  ("  darkies,"  as  they  were  called),  working  on 
the  seminary  grounds,  overheard  the  discussions  of  the 
students  about  historical  development,  one  of  the  crucial 
questions  in  the  new  movement.  Greatly  perplexed,  they 
had  recourse  to  Brooks,  as  to  what  "this  here  devilment 
theory  meant  which  them  thar  students  war  talking  about 
so  much  on  the  hill."  Brooks  was  a  leader  among  the 
colored  population  of  the  village  and  also  a  constant  cham- 
pion of  Professors  Nevin  and  Schaff.  "  Devilment,"  said 
he,  "devilment !  I  guess  they've  been  in  enough  devilment 
already.  If  them  students  don't  look  out,  the  old  devil 
will  get  hold  of  some  of  them,  sure." 

Dr.  Schaff  sustained  close  personal  relations  with  his 
students,  engaged  with  them  in  their  recreations,  took 
long  walks  with  them  to  the  mountains,  and  entered  freely 
into  their  troubles  and  their  hopes.  "Towards  indigent 
pupils,"  writes  an  old  student,  "he  was  generous  to  a 
fault.  It  was  known  to  few  outside  of  student  circles  how 
much  he  did  for  them,  buying  them  books  and  clothing, 
and  taking  them  into  his  family  and  providing  for  them  for 
months."  Mrs.  Schaff  joined  him  in  these  sympathies  by 
throwing  open  her  home. 

"I  look  back,"  writes  another,  "with  peculiar  pleasure 
to  those  student  receptions,  where  host  and  hostess  vied 
with  each  other  to  bless  their  guests  with  the  graces  of 
genial  hospitality.     This,  too,  was  part  of  our  education, 

128  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

which  taught  us  the  amenities  of  refined  social  inter- 

The  same  qualities  won  for  him  the  friendship  and 
regard  of  the  community.  While  looked  upon  as  a 
learned  man,  he  was  found  to  be  accessible  to  all  classes, 
and  his  company  was  sought  by  all  who  could  appreciate 
laughter  and  a  good  story.  One  of  the  conspicuous 
figures  in  that  region  was  Dr.  McDowell,  the  family 
physician,  a  man  of  blunt  humor  and  large  physical  pro- 
portions. Of  Scotch-Irish  Presbyterian  antecedents,  he 
was  known  for  his  doughty  championship  of  the  Mercers- 
burg  theology,  and  the  cause  of  the  Mercersburg  profess- 
ors. He  ultimately  connected  himself  with  the  Reformed 
Church,  an  event  which  nettled  the  Presbyterians  of  the 
vicinity  not  a  little,  and  led  them  to  make  comments  not 
always  the  most  kindly. 

On  one  occasion,  when  the  Rev.  Theodore  Hoffeditz  of 
the  "  Corner,"  a  Presbyterian  neighborhood,  was  sick  and 
nearing  his  end,  Dr.  Schaff  in  bidding  him  good-bye  asked 
him  when  he  got  to  heaven,  to  give  his  love  to  his  father 
(the  delegate  to  Germany).  This  remark  to  the  dying 
man  scandalized  some  of  the  people,  and  they  reported 
the  affair  to  the  physician  as  something  quite  improper. 
"  That  is  all  right,"  was  his  bluff  reply.  "  Dr.  Schaff  knew 
very  well  that  this  was  the  only  chance  he  would  ever 
have  of  sending  a  message  to  heaven  from  that  neighbor- 
hood, and  thought  it  best  to  improve  the  opportunity." 

In  1849,  the  number  of  students  in  the  seminary  had 
risen  to  twenty-two,  and  two  years  later  it  was  twenty-six. 
In  1854,  the  chair  left  vacant  by  Dr.  Nevin's  resignation 
was  filled  by  the  appointment  of  Bernard  C.  Wolff,  and 
afterwards  a  theological  tutor,  the  Rev.  W.  M.  Reily,  relieved 
the  professors  of  the  drudgery  of  the  drill  in  Hebrew  and 
Greek.      Dr.   Schaff   followed  with  paternal  interest  the 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY 


careers  of  his  Mercersburg  students,  who  became  the  bone 
and  sinew  of  the  German  Reformed  ministry. 

Those  were  heroic  days,  and  the  time  of  high  hope.  A 
new  era  seemed  to  be  breaking.  Mercersburg  theology 
imparted  a  felt  individuality  and  importance  to  the  semi- 
nary. There  was  little  to  divide  or  to  distract  the  atten- 
tion of  the  students  from  study.  There  were  no  great 
preachers  in  the  neighborhood  to  vie  with  the  professors 
in  their  esteem.  There  were  no  amusements  outside  the 
games  on  the  campus  and  the  walks  to  the  mountains. 
The  memory  of  seminary  life  is  with  them,  first  and  last,  a 
reminiscence  of  Seminary  Hill,  with  the  great  trees,  the  in- 
spiring views  out  upon  the  mountains,  the  village  ensconced 
among  fertile  fields,  the  halls  and  class  rooms,  the  profess- 
ors and  their  families.  With  these  their  life  there  began, 
and  with  these  it  came  to  an  end.  In  the  years  to  come  the 
Reformed  Church  will  turn  back  to  the  memories  of  that 
period  as  to  something  sacred,  and  the  lover  of  the  past  in 
its  communion  will  make  his  way  in  reverent  pilgrimage 
to  the  venerable  buildings  in  Mercersburg,  once  the  seat 
of  its  first  school  of  the  prophets  and  the  earliest  of  its 
collegiate  institutions. 

When  it  came  to  be  generally  recognized  that  the  Re- 
formed Church  had  made  a  mistake  in  selecting  the  site 
of  its  educational  institutions,  the  eyes  of  the  denomina- 
tion were  turned  to  Lancaster,  which  had  originally  com- 
peted for  the  prize  of  their  location.  The  change  to 
Lancaster,  so  far  as  the  college  was  concerned,  was  con- 
summated by  its  consolidation  with  Franklin  College,— 
which  had  its  seat  there,  and  was  named  after  Benjamin 
Franklin,  — the  citizens  making  a  gift  of  #25,000  to  secure 
this  result.  Franklin  College  had  been  under  the  control 
of  trustees  composed  of  three  equal  groups,  representing 
the  German  Reformed  and  the  Lutheran  churches,  and  the 

130  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania.  The  Reformed  Church 
secured  the  rights  of  the  Lutherans  by  the  payment  of 
$17,000.  Among  those  who  gave  the  enterprise  active 
support  was  Mr.  Buchanan,  afterwards  president  of  the 
United  States,  whose  residence  was  in  the  city,  and  who 
served  for  several  years  as  chairman  of  the  Board  of 

The  greatly  superior  advantages  of  the  new  location  were 
promptly  sounded  forth  in  the  first  catalogue  of  Frank- 
lin and  Marshall  College,  issued  in  1852-185 3.  While 
in  previous  catalogues  stress  had  been  laid  upon  the 
seclusion  of  Mercersburg  as  most  favorable  to  uninter- 
rupted study,  "  the  whole  state  probably  not  furnishing  a 
site  in  all  respects  more  eligible,"  now  the  advantage  was 
claimed  for  Lancaster  "that  no  place  could  be  more 
central.  Telegraphs  and  railroads  place  it  in  near  com- 
munication with  distant  towns  and  cities  on  all  sides,  and 
in  point  of  health  the  location  is  all  that  the  most  anxious 
parent  can  wish." 

Into  the  project  of  removal,  which  through  opposition 
was  at  times  in  danger  of  failing  altogether,  Dr.  Schaff 
threw  himself  with  characteristic  energy.  Writing  to  Dr. 
B.  C.  Wolff,  he  said  :  — 

We  must  remove  our  institutions  to  Lancaster.  Such 
an  opportunity,  such  an  addition  to  our  funds,  such  a 
denominational  charter,  will  probably  not  be  offered  to 
us  again  from  any  other  quarter;  and  even  if  the  Lan- 
caster people  raise  but  half  the  proposed  sum,  it  would 
still  be  better  to  go  there  than  to  stay  here.  It  is  pretty 
certain  that  a  continuance  in  this  place  will  either  be  the 
ultimate  ruin  of  our  college  or  at  least  of  its  dwindling 
down  to  a  high  school. 

Following  up  an  elaborate  German  address  on  the  sub- 
ject in  the  court-house  of  Lancaster,  June  5,  1850,  he  said 
in  English :  — 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  131 

This  is  an  opportune  time  for  the  establishment  of 
a  high  literary  institution  calculated  to  help  in  deciding 
the  educational  character  of  the  state  for  all  time  to  come. 
This  is  to  be  something  original  and  independent,  produced 
by  the  combined  strength  of  the  English  and  German 
mind,  brought  in  this  region  into  close  contact  and  making 
their  contribution  to  the  new  leaf  in  history  which  is  being 
written  in  America.  No  place  is  better  adapted  for  the 
consummation  of  this  purpose  than  Lancaster,  in  the  heart 
of  the  German  population  and  the  garden  spot  of  the  state. 

The  removal  of  the  college  was  effected  in  1853.  The 
theological  seminary  was  detained  at  Mercersburg  for 
nearly  twenty  years  longer.  When,  after  weary  waiting, 
it  was  removed  to  Lancaster  in  1871,  Dr.  Schaff  no  longer 
had  official  connection  with  it.  The  action  of  the  synod  in 
holding  the  institution  in  Mercersburg  was  a  denominational 
blunder  due  to  shortsightedness,  and  to  Dr.  Schaff  it  was 
a  keen  disappointment.  Pending  these  changes  he  was 
called  to  the  pastorate  of  the  Salem  Reformed  Church  in 
Philadelphia,  the  strongest  German-speaking  congregation 
in  the  denomination,  and  two  years  later,  in  1853,  to  the 
presidency  of  Franklin  and  Marshall  College,  which  Dr. 
Nevin  had  declined.  Persons  outside  the  denomination, 
like  Dr.  Bowman,  afterwards  assistant  Bishop  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, urged  him  to  accept  the  appointment.  He  wrote : 
"  I  hope  you  and  your  friends  will  not  find  any  insuperable 
obstacle  in  the  way  of  accepting  the  post  to  which  you 
have  been  chosen  with  even  more  unanimity,  as  you  see, 
than  Dr.  Nevin." 

A  small  minority  who  still  associated  Romanism,  Pusey- 
ism  and  all  manner  of  other  doctrinal  evil  with  the 
Mercersburg  professors,  was  greatly  agitated  with  fears 
for  the  new  institution  and  opposed  his  election  as  it  had 
opposed  the  election  of  Dr.  Nevin.  It  became  clamorous 
and  made  disturbance  altogether  out  of  proportion  to  its 

132  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

numbers.  Secret  conclaves  of  ministers  were  held  in 
Lancaster  to  check  the  alleged  onflow  of  Romanizing 
tendencies.  The  most  unfounded  rumors  were  set  afloat 
and  were  spread  through  the  secular  press.  Here  is  one 
of  them  from  the  Pennsylvania  Telegraph  of  Philadelphia 
(September,  1853):  — 

Dr.  Schaff,  the  president  of  the  college  now  located 
at  Lancaster,  seems  to  be  gaining  many  converts  to  his 
peculiar  views,  in  this  country.  Dr.  Nevin  is  one  of  the 
most  prominent.  But  as  we  take  it,  the  views  he  holds 
bear  about  the  same  relation  to  the  creed  of  the  Reformed 
Church  that  Puseyism  does  to  the  Episcopal  Church.  We 
understand  that  Dr.  Schaff  uses  the  prayers  of  the  Catholic 
Church  in  his  family.  Of  course,  this  is  none  of  our  busi- 
ness, but  we  are  at  a  loss  to  comprehend  why  such  a  man 
is  permitted  to  be  the  big  gun  of  a  church  so  antagonistic 
to  the  Church  of  Rome. 

Dr.  SchafPs  name,  which  appeared  in  the  first  catalogue 
(1852-1853)  as  "President-elect  and  Professor  of  Mental 
and  Moral  Philosophy,"  did  not  appear  again,  as  the 
synod  again  declined  to  sanction  his  withdrawal  from 
the  seminary.  "  He  had  no  idea  of  disobeying  the  voice 
of  the  church,"  he  wrote  to  the  trustees. 

In  this  strain  he  expressed  himself  to  Prof.  Thomas  C. 
Porter:  "In  many  respects  I  congratulate  myself,  that  I 
am  free  from  the  great  responsibility  and  trouble  of  the 
station  to  which  I  had  been  called.  For  the  college  will 
necessarily  be  in  a  more  or  less  unsettled  condition  for 
several  years  to  come.  It  is  no  small  matter  to  remove  a 
literary  institution,  and  we  shall  long  feel  the  consequences 
of  it  for  the  seminary  as  well  as  for  the  college." 

What  Dr.  Schaff' s  success  might  have  been  as  a  college 
president  in  the  midst  of  a  great  and  congenial  German- 
American  population  can  only  be  surmised.  He  possessed 
executive  ability,  as  was  shown  by  his  subsequent  direction 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  133 

of  important  movements  involving  wide  interests.  The 
cares  and  duties,  however,  of  the  position  would  probably 
have  resulted  in  loss  to  his  influence  and  reputation  as  a 

Dr.  Schaff  was  married  in  December,  1845,  to  Miss 
Mary  Elizabeth  Schley,  a  daughter  of  David  Schley  of 
Frederick  City,  Maryland.  She  was  of  German  and 
Huguenot  ancestry,  her  forefather  on  the  paternal  side 
having  come  to  this  country  in  the  middle  of  the  eigh- 
teenth century.  The  family  had  lost  the  knowledge  of  the 
German  tongue,  and  the  marriage  brought  Dr.  Schaff  in 
an  easy  and  natural  way  into  familiar  contact  with  Ameri- 
can modes  of  thought  and  habits  of  life  and  forced  him 
to  the  use  of  idiomatic  English  in  the  domestic  circle.  Up 
to  the  year  1854,  his  journals  are  written  in  German ; 
after  that  in  English,  except  when  he  was  travelling  abroad. 
He  began  the  use  of  English  in  addresses  and  correspond- 
ence in  1845. 1 

In  his  home  he  was  simple  in  his  tastes  and  gave  vent  to 
the  exuberance  of  his  spirits,  with  his  children.  He  romped 
with  them,  delighted  in  telling  them  over  and  over  Grimm's 
Hausmarchen,  and  took  part  in  the  Christmas  festivities 
with  the  merriment  of  a  child.  The  favorable  impression 
he  had  received  from  the  observance  of  the  Sabbath 
in  England,  led  him  to  adopt  a  similar  practice  in  his 
own  home.  He  prepared  a  catechism  for  use  in  his 
family,  in  which  the  questions  are  grouped  successively 
around  the  Lord's  Prayer,  the  Apostles'  Creed  and  the 
Ten  Commandments  and  arranged  in  fifty-two  lessons  to 
correspond  to  the  weeks  of  the  year.2     In  the  introduction 

1  His  first  English  sermon  preached  before  synod  was  in  185 1,  on  Syste- 
matic Benevolence. 

2  Chambersburg,  1861,  2d  ed.,  1862.  The  German  edition,  by  gift  of  the 
author,  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Presbyterian  Board  of  Publication  and  the 
English  edition,  to  the  American  Sunday  School  Union. 

134  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

he  says :  "  I  was  led  to  undertake  this  work  out  of  regard 
for  my  own  children  and  without  thinking  of  its  publication. 
The  world  is  ruled  and  the  kingdom  of  God  is  built  up 
from  the  nursery  and  school  room.  Out  of  the  mouths  of 
babes  and  sucklings  hast  Thou  ordained  strength."  When 
the  German  edition  appeared,  three  thousand  copies  were 
disposed  of  at  once.  It  was  made  the  basis  of  a  work  for 
use  in  German  schools  and  gymnasia  by  Professor  J.  G. 
Pfleiderer,  then  head  master  of  the  school  in  Kornthal, 
under  the  title  of  Christliche  Glanbenslehre,  and  it  has 
been  translated  into  Bulgarian,  Syriac,  Arabic,  Chinese, 
Japanese,  and  other  languages. 

Dr.  Schaffs  home  was  frequently  the  scene  of  poignant 
sorrow.  Five  out  of  eight  children  preceded  him  to  the 
heavenly  life,  two  of  them  during  the  residence  in  Mercers- 
burg.1  The  death  of  one  of  these  children,  Philip  William, 
a  healthy,  happy,  promising  boy,  not  yet  three  years  old, 
was  singularly  touching.  It  occurred  as  the  result  of 
swallowing  a  chestnut  hull.  An  incision  was  made  into 
the  throat,  through  which  the  little  fellow  breathed  for 
three  weeks,  and  three  weeks  later  he  passed  away,  after 
great  suffering  endured  with  much  heroism.  The  father's 
deep  feeling  is  poured  out  in  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Meta 

Nature  round  about  me  is  in  her  gayest  dress,  but  under 
every  tree,  at  every  blooming  rose,  in  every  spot  in  my 
home  and  yard  the  innocent  form  of  my  dear  and  tenderly 
loved  Willie  daily  rises  before  my  soul  and  calls  forth 
sorrow  and  tears.  And  yet  I  know  I  should  rejoice  and 
be  glad  that  the  pure  little  boy  is  now  delighting  in  the 
eternal  spring  of  paradise,  on  the  green  pastures  of  peace, 
and  is  drinking  from  the  fresh  waters  of  the  fountain  of 
life.  And  I  ought  to  feel  that  the  death  of  every  loved 
one  is  designed  also  to  emancipate  us  more  and  more  from 

1 A  memorial  was  prepared  by  the  father  for  private  distribution  under  the 
title  Our  Children  in  Heaven,  New  York,  1876,  pp.  76. 

chap,  vi  IN  LECTURE  ROOM  A/VD  STUDY  135 

earth,  and  bind  us  to  heaven,  whither  our  Lord  has  gone, 
not  like  Elijah  in  a  chariot  of  fire,  whom  no  one  can  follow, 
but  as  a  real  mediator  and  trusty  bridge  from  the  earth  to 
heaven.  How  I  rejoice  in  the  thought  of  seeing  my  be- 
loved child  again,  my  little  angel,  so  inexpressibly  amiable, 
so  early  transfigured,  and  of  whom  I  was  so  unworthy  ! 
I  am  sure  that  over  yonder  he  will  also  greet  you  as  if 
you  were  his  grandmother,  and  laughing,  throw  his  arms 
about  your  neck,  caress  you  and  make  you  glad  with  his 
childish  and  innocent  thoughts. 

Dr.  Schaffs  study  was  the  scene  of  laborious  toil.  A 
stout  constitution  and  simplicity  of  diet  enabled  him  to 
endure  long  and  protracted  hours  at  his  desk.  Horse- 
back riding,  and  frequent  trips  among  the  churches  of 
Pennsylvania  and  more  extended  journeys,  brought  him 
physical  recreation  and  mental  relief. 

Whenever  he  entered  his  study  he  went  immediately  to 
some  fixed  task.  He  never  waited  upon  moods.  A 
maxim  he  often  repeated  was,  "  What  I  have  to  do,  I  do  at 
once."  He  seemed  always  to  have  some  definite  literary 
task  to  perform,  and  habit  gave  him  rare  power  of  concen- 
tration. When  studying  he  seemed  to  be  completely  ob- 
livious of  everything  beyond  the  matter  in  hand.  In  later 
years  he  was  not  disturbed  by  animated  conversation  or 
the  playing  of  his  children  in  the  same  room.  The  house 
was  filled  with  books,  the  number  of  which  he  kept  reduc- 
ing on  two  principles,  that  books  unused  by  himself  might 
be  of  use  to  others,  and  that  a  library  beyond  certain  pro- 
portions was  unmanageable  and  undesirable  for  the  private 
student.  During  his  lifetime  he  contributed  hundreds  of 
volumes  to  Mercersburg  and  other  theological  seminaries. 
Prominent  among  the  pictures  on  his  walls  was  the  familiar 
one  of  Neander  in  his  high  boots  and  long  coat,  leaning 
heavily  upon  his  desk,  absorbed  in  study. 

The  students  found  in  their  professor's  absorption  in 


study  and  in  his  fancied  lack  of  practical  sagacity,  fertile 
ground  for  humorous  stories.  One  day,  so  the  story  ran, 
as  he  was  proceeding  to  his  class  room,  engrossed  in 
thought,  he  failed  to  notice  a  clothes-line  left  stretched 
across  the  path,  which  gracefully  removed  his  hat.  Look- 
ing good-naturedly  at  the  offending  obstruction  as  if  trying 
to  decide  what  should  be  done,  he  deliberately  took  out  his 
knife  and  cut  the  line  in  two,  then  picked  up  his  hat  and 
walked  on  as  if  serenely  satisfied  with  his  solution  of  the 

On  another  occasion,  it  was  reported,  he  came  on  horse- 
back to  the  creek  at  the  edge  of  the  town.  Instead  of  let- 
ting the  horse  drink  from  the  stream,  he  rode  across  to 
the  opposite  side,  borrowed  a  bucket  at  a  farmhouse,  went 
back  to  the  stream,  filled  it  and  carried  it  to  his  horse. 
Such  stories  as  these,  it  is  fair  to  say,  had  their  origin  in 
an  active  academician  brain  rather  than  in  the  professor's 
lack  of  practical  sagacity. 

The  fame  of  Mercersburg  attracted  a  number  of  well- 
known  Germans,  laymen  and  clergymen,  visiting  this 
country,  such  as  Theodore  Fliedner,  Eduard  Hengsten- 
berg,  brother  of  the  Berlin  professor,  and  the  brothers 
Reihlen  of  Stuttgart.  Here  his  schoolmate  William  Ju- 
lius Mann  spent  the  first  months  of  his  life  in  America. 
In  May,  1845,  Dr.  Schaff  had  written  to  Dr.  Mann  from 
a  steamer  on  Lake  Michigan  :  — 

I  would  not  hesitate,  if  I  were  in  your  place,  to  come 
to  this  country.  In  Wurtemberg  it  looks  like  autumn, 
here  all  is  fresh  and  in  the  bud.  It  is  true,  with  us  great 
confusion  prevails  in  many  departments  of  the  church,  but 
there  is  a  vast  amount  of  material  here  for  a  grand,  new 
era  in  church  history.  In  these  last  days  and  weeks,  I 
have  been  travelling  in  the  West,  and  have  seen  Cincin- 
nati (where  there  are  twenty-three  thousand  Germans), 
St.  Louis,  Chicago,  and  know  from  personal  observation 

chap,  vi  IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  137 

the  crying  need  of  German  preachers.  He  who  has  the 
genuine  missionary  spirit,  is  willing  to  endure  hardships 
and  to  gather  the  scattered  Germans  into  congregations, 
has  here  a  limitless  field  of  labor,  and  may  become  a 
source  of  blessing  to  thousands. 

Dr.  Mann,  who  met  his  friend  on  American  soil  for 
the  first  time  during  the  progress  of  the  heresy  trial  in 
York,  was  a  man  of  sprightly  and  vivacious  mind,  full 
of  resources,  a  large  fund  of  humor  and  aesthetic  tastes.1 
He  came  to  stand  in  the  very  front  rank  of  Lutheran 
preachers  who  use  the  German  in  our  country.  The  two 
friends  differed  about  some  things.  Dr.  Schaff  often 
expostulated  with  Dr.  Mann  for  clinging  to  the  German 
in  the  pulpit  and  in  his  writings  to  the  narrowing  of  his 
sphere  of  influence.  He  was  of  the  opinion  that  had  his 
friend  cultivated  the  use  of  English,  he  might  have  taken 
a  place  as  the  peer  of  any  American  preacher.  Congrat- 
ulating him  upon  the  adoption  of  English,  in  writing  his 
Life  and  Times  of  Heinrich  Melchior  Muhlenberg?  Dr. 
Schaff  said  :  "  This  is  a  noble  monument  to  the  patriarch 
of  the  Lutheran  Church  in  America  in  the  language  in 
which  all  that  is  good  in  the  German  Church  in  America 
must  be  perpetuated  for  the  benefit  of  future  generations." 

Nor  did  they  agree  in  their  theological  standpoint. 
Dr.  Mann  came  to  occupy  a  conservative  position  on 
the  basis  of  the  Lutheran  confessions,  and,  in  spite  of 
all  the  urgency  his  friend  could  use,  he  stood  aloof  from 
the  Evangelical  Alliance  and  other  movements  for  church 
union.  He  did  not  see  how  one  might  be  faithful  to  the 
confessional  interests  of   his  own  denomination  when  to 

1  An  interesting  Memoir  of  Dr.  Mann  in  English  has  been  issued  by  his 
daughter,  Miss  Emma  Mann,  Philadelphia,  1893.  Also  a  biography  in  Ger- 
man, by  Dr.  Adolph  Spath,  Reading,  1895.  Tne  latter  devotes  a  chapter  to 
the  friendship  between  Dr.  Mann  and  Dr.  Schaff,  pp.  67-81. 

2  Philadelphia,  1887. 

138  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

be  loyal  to  the  Evangelical  Alliance  involved  "putting 
one's  confession  away  in  one's  coat  pocket."  Writing  to 
him,  during  the  controversy  which  grew  out  of  the  charges 
against  Dr.  Briggs  (April  7,  1892),  Dr.  Schaff  thus  ex- 
pressed his  mind :  "  What  right  had  the  sixteenth  and 
seventeenth  centuries  to  prescribe  to  future  generations 
all  theological  thinking?  We  are  as  near  to  Christ  and 
the  Bible  as  the  framers  of  the  confessions  of  faith." 

Replying,  Dr.  Mann  exclaimed,  "What  right  had  the 
framers  of  the  American  Constitution  to  lay  down  the 
basis  for  the  administrative  life  of  this  nation  ! "  But, 
in  spite  of  these  differences,  which  were  continually  find- 
ing expression  in  their  correspondence,  the  two  friends 
remained  closely  and  cordially  attached  to  the  end  of 
their  lives. 

With  such  theologians  abroad  as  Tholuck,  Krummacher, 
Julius  Miiller,  Dorner,  Erbkam  and  Jacobi,  Dr.  Schaff 
kept  up  a  diligent  correspondence.  An  extract  from  one 
of  Dr.  Tholuck's  letters,  written  in  Stuttgart,  discloses 
the  nature  of  some  of  this  correspondence :  — 

I  will  write  about  a  movement  such  as  we  have  never 
before  seen,  and  in  fact  is  only  possible  now  that  the 
American  motto  "  Help  yourself  "  holds  for  our  church, 
at  least  in  a  degree.  We  have  just  been  holding  the 
Kirchentag,  and  we  have  witnessed  an  assemblage  of  two 
thousand  Christians  such  as  Stuttgart  itself  has  not  seen 
before,  and  there  has  been  a  spirit  of  worship  and  brother- 
hood pervading  all  hearts.  All  those  questions  which  for 
a  long  time  have  been  agitating  the  minds  of  English 
and  American  Christians  have  been  here  taken  to  heart 
in  Germany  for  the  first  time,  with  reverent  and  careful 
attention,  such  as  Sunday  observance,  the  care  of  the 
poor, — laborers  on  the  railroad,  etc.  Impressive  addresses 
were  made,  and  great  influence  will  go  out  to  the  old 
Lutheran  brotherhood  which,  in  the  end  perhaps,  will 
force  it  to  direct  its  attention  to  that  part  of  Christendom 
which  has  fallen  away  from  the  church,  while  now,  unfort- 

chap,  vi  IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  139 

unately,  it  is  giving  itself  up  one-sidedly  to  theological 
issues  and  sharpening  ecclesiastical  distinctions.  The  very 
stiffness  of  some  of  our  Lutherans  will  pave  the  way  for 
the  approach  of  the  more  liberal  party  amongst  them,  as 
the  history  of  the  church  has  often  shown.  Narrow- 
heartedness  overreaches  itself  and  will  lead  the  moderate 
party  to  rise  up  against  the  extremists.  ...  At  the  last 
missionary  convention  in  Niirnberg,  the  rigid  party  de- 
clared it  to  be  a  sin  even  to  be  the  medium  of  conveying 
gifts  to  the  Basel  missionary  establishment !  But  the 
faculty  at  Erlangen  [strict  Lutheran]  rose  up  against  this 
narrowness.  Some  of  the  stiffer  Lutherans  of  Bavaria 
even  go  so  far  as  to  travel  to  Silesia  to  partake  of  the 
communion  with  independent  congregations. 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Heusser  lays 
bare  Dr.  Schaff's  lively  interest  in  the  questions  agitating 
the  religious  circles  of  the  Continent :  — 

As  for  the  controversy  between  Lange  and  Krum- 
macher,  it  is  plain  that  Krummacher  does  our  friend 
great  injustice  in  classing  him  with  the  rationalists  and 
pantheists.  But  it  cannot  be  denied  that  Lange  is  not 
seldom  tempted  away  by  his  poetical  imagination  from  a 
safe  scholarship  and  careful  argument,  and  from  a  whole- 
some simplicity,  by  his  intellectual  opulence  and  liking  for 
the  piquant.  A  little  pietism  or  conventual  sentiment 
would  not  hurt  our  amiable  theological  poet.  Where  others 
are  deficient,  he  has  a  surplus.  But,  as  you  well  know,  I 
do  not  mean  to  say  any  evil  of  Lange.  His  is  a  fresh 
and  beneficent  mind,  and  I  am  very  glad  that  in  his  Life 
of  Jesus  he  has  laid  such  emphasis  upon  the  human 
element  as  against  the  rigidly  orthodox  view  which  at 
times  comes  close  to  the  heresy  of  the  Docetists. 

To  the  same  correspondent  he  wrote  a  few  months 
later: — 

The  controversy  goes  on  here  over  church  and  sac- 
raments, and  over  Catholicism  and  Puseyism  which  my 
book  [the  Principle  of  Protestantism^  and  Dr.  Nevin's 
Introduction,  stirred  up.  They  are  the  subject  of  much 
radical  misapprehension,  some  of  it  apparently  intentional. 
Heretofore,  the  English-speaking  churches  have  been  in 


140  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

the  habit  of  looking  down  in  pity  or  contempt  upon  the 
German  churches  and  to  use  as  almost  synonymous,  the 
terms,  "  Dutch  "  and  "  vulgar,"  "  German  "  and  "  barbar- 
ous." Hence,  the  outcry,  that  from  such  an  obscure  nest  as 
Mercersburg  should  go  forth  an  assault  upon  the  popedom 
of  the  philosophical  system  of  Locke  and  rationalizing 
ultra-Protestantism.  But  with  all  the  belligerent  onsets 
upon  us  we  have  many  warm  friends  outside  the  Reformed 
Church,  among  them  some  leading  men,  especially  in  the 
Lutheran  and  Episcopal  churches  and  even  in  New  Eng- 
land. Where  the  controversy  will  lead  to,  no  one  can  just 
now  say.  A  book  is  about  to  appear  from  the  pen  of  my 
esteemed  colleague  Dr.  Nevin,  on  the  Lord's  mystical 
presence  in  the  church  and  in  the  sacrament,  and  it  is 
likely  to  prove  a  new  firebrand  in  the  theological  contro- 
versy. It  assumes  the  highest  sacramental  standpoint 
which  can  be  held  within  the  pale  of  the  Reformed 
Church  without  departure  to  the  side  paths  of  heresy,  and 
it  bears  the  stamp  of  German  speculation.  For  this  rea- 
son, if  for  no  other,  the  appearance  of  the  book  on  Ameri- 
can soil  is  an  event.  Dr.  Nevin  just  now  is  engaged  upon 
a  translation  of  my  tract,  "  What  is  Church  History  ? "  in 
which  I  defend  the  theory  of  organic  and  progressive 
development  in  history,  upon  which  American  theologians 
seem  to  look  with  little  favor. 

Writing  again,  January,  1847,  ne  gives  some  of  his 
views  concerning  the  separation  of  church  and  state :  — 

Protestantism  in  Germany,  Switzerland  and  England 
certainly  made  a  mistake  in  binding  itself  so  closely  to 
the  worldly  power  and  in  transferring  its  episcopal  rights 
to  princes  and  kings.  The  church  is  called  upon  to  bear 
no  other  yoke  than  the  easy  yoke  of  its  bridegroom.  It  is 
called  to  a  royal  estate  in  the  world.  An  American  cannot 
submit  to  the  theory  of  dependence  in  which  the  church 
stands  to  the  state  in  Europe.  But  the  church's  inde- 
pendence of  the  state  does  not  necessarily  carry  with  it 
true  freedom.  There  is  also  danger,  when  religion  is  left 
absolutely  to  the  choice  of  the  people,  that  masses  will  go 
astray,  who,  under  the  European  system,  might  remain  in 
some  connection  with  the  church.  At  any  rate,  in  order 
to  avoid  this  evil,  we  must  have  prevailing  among  us  here 
a  far  more  active  missionary  spirit  than  is  necessary  in 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  141 

Europe.  Beyond  a  question,  the  Americans  are  a  people 
thoroughly  in  earnest,  full  of  enterprise,  energy  and  tire- 
less industry.  Yes,  a  people  more  capable  than  any 
European  nation  of  spreading  Christianity  in  spite  of  the 
separation  of  church  and  state. 

Here  he  gives  to  Mrs.  Heusser  some  pictures  of  village 
life  in  the  Moravian  settlements  of  Pennsylvania:  — 

I  am  on  a  vacation  tour  to  this  place,  Bethlehem,  whose 
name  reminds  us  of  God's  best  gift  to  man.  As  you  will 
have  surmised,  it  is  a  community  belonging  to  the  Unites 
Fratrnm.  It  is  one  of  the  earliest  German  settlements  in 
Pennsylvania,  was  founded  by  Zinzendorf  himself,  and  has 
been  a  rallying  point  of  the  Herrnhuters  ever  since.  The 
town  is  prettily  built  and  is  distinguished  by  order,  quiet 
and  neatness.  You  feel  you  are  in  Moravian  atmosphere. 
The  German  language  is  spoken  in  more  purity  than  is 
the  case  generally  among  Pennsylvania  Germans,  even 
those  in  close  proximity  to  this  place.  But  here,  too,  it  is 
being  superseded  by  the  English.  I  find  also,  to  my 
regret,  that  the  original  kindly  and  genuine  customs  of 
this  most  amiable  of  all  the  Protestant  sects,  are  giving 
way  in  a  degree  to  worldliness  and  coldness,  which  it  is 
hard  to  conceal  under  the  forms  of  a  former  religious 
glory.  The  Unitas  Fratrum  certainly  had  a  great  work  to 
do  in  arousing  a  dead  orthodoxy  and  pointing  it  to  the 
atonement  of  the  Saviour  as  the  central  point  of  faith,  and 
stirring  up  the  spirit  of  brotherly  love  where  confessional 
narrowness  prevailed,  and  in  looking  out  towards  the 
heathen  world.  To-morrow  I  go  to  Nazareth,  another 
Moravian  community,  where  Dr.  Hoffeditz  lives,  one  of 
the  delegates  who  went  to  Germany  to  present  Dr.  Krum- 
macher  his  call.  This  is  the  first  opportunity  I  have  had 
to  visit  this  venerable  and  beloved  man  in  his  home,  where 
I  hope  to  enjoy  a  few  days  of  rest,  unless,  in  true  American 
fashion,  he  puts  me  into  the  harness,  which  is  quite  prob- 
able. The  Americans  have  a  most  extraordinary  stomach 
for  the  digestion  of  sermons,  and  indulge  in  that  sort  of 
diet  almost  to  excess,  although  in  the  matter  of  wine  and 
spirituous  drinks  they  are  conscientiously  abstinent. 

Allusion  has  already  been  made  to  Dr.  Schaff's  first 
introduction  to  the  Pennsylvania  Germans,  who  have  an 

142  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

individuality  of  their  own.  Social  by  nature,  simple  in  his 
tastes,  and  never  obtruding  his  scholarship,  his  was  always 
a  welcome  presence.  He  performed  semi-episcopal  func- 
tions among  them,  petitions  pouring  in  upon  him  to  offici- 
ate on  all  sorts  of  occasions,  secular  and  sacred,  from  the 
dedication  of  churches  and  the  installation  of  pastors  to 
addresses  at  holiday  celebrations.  Encouraged  by  him, 
Dr.  Henry  Harbaugh  published  his  poems  in  the  Penn- 
sylvania-German dialect,  the  Pennsylvanisch-Deutsch,  after- 
wards collected  in  a  volume  called  Harbaugh 's  Harfe}  Its 
most  pretentious  piece,  Das  Schulhaus  an  der  Krick,  he 
used  to  repeat  with  great  spirit.  It  is  said  that  the  first 
poem  2  in  this  dialect  ever  printed,  Margets  scheent  die  Sun 
so  send',  appeared  in  the  Kirchenfreund,  edited  by  Dr. 
Schaff.  Of  these  relations  with  the  Pennsylvania  Germans 
the  Rev.  Dr.  Bausman  writes  :  — 

His  ministrations  among  them  were  always  greeted  with 
crowded  churches.  The  simple,  unspoiled  life,  thrifty  hab- 
its and  the  unstudied  genial  hospitality  of  this  people,  and 
their  deep  reverence  for  sacred  things  and  places,  greatly 
pleased  him.  From  the  first  they  took  him  to  their  hearts, 
and  to  this  day  the  memory  of  his  visits  lingers  in  many  a 
farm-house  as  a  precious  tradition.  In  many  parsonages, 
tender  ties  were  formed  between  host  and  guest  whose 
sweetest  results  both  are  now  enjoying  in  the  perfect  fel- 
lowship in  heaven,  as  I  believe. 

From  the  beginning,  Dr.  Schaff  was  a  recognized  au- 
thority for  American  students  who  were  cultivating  the 
study  of  German  theology,  which,  introduced  by  Moses 
Stuart  and  Edward  Robinson,  was  then  in  its  infancy.  It 
was  a  widespread  belief  that  all  the  theology  of  Germany 
was  pernicious,  and  the  term  neology  was  used  to  express 

1  These  poems  first  appeared  in  the  Guardian. 

2  Abendlied,  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Rondthaler,  a  Moravian  minister,  Kirchcn- 
freitnd,  1849,  P-  3°6- 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  143 

the  feeling  against  its  speculative,  rationalistic  and  de- 
structive tendencies.  A  conservative  professor  expressed 
the  wish  that  German  theology  might  all  be  sunk  in  the 
middle  of  the  Atlantic  on  its  way  hither.  The  movement, 
however,  could  not  be  checked,  and  Dr.  Schaff  found  him- 
self consulted  from  all  parts  of  the  country  about  German 
books,  universities  and  schools  of  opinion.  Many  of  the 
inquirers  were  made  his  lifelong  friends. 

He  had  no  thought  of  leading  an  insulated  life  among 
circles  of  German  antecedents.  Soon  after  his  arrival  in 
America,  he  began  to  cultivate  the  acquaintance  and 
friendship  of  American  theologians  beyond  the  pale  of 
the  Reformed  Church.  He  had  been  in  the  country 
scarcely  a  month  when  we  find  him  in  Philadelphia, 
attending  the  General  Convention  of  the  Episcopal 
Church  (Sept.  21,  1844),  and  listening  to  a  sermon  by 
Bishop  Ives,  of  North  Carolina,  who  shortly  afterwards 
entered  the  Catholic  Church.  Before  a  year  had  elapsed, 
he  had  made  an  extended  trip  as  far  as  St.  Louis  and 
Chicago,  then  in  the  far  West.  These  were  the  begin- 
nings of  constant  journeys  out  from  Mercersburg  as  a 
centre.  His  social  propensities  were  as  generous  as  his 
theology  became  comprehensive.  He  found  friends  in  all 
denominations  and  in  all  theological  centres  from  Cincin- 
nati to  Andover  and  from  Newton  Centre  to  Princeton. 
The  Lutheran  seminary  at  Gettysburg,  the  Methodist 
college  at  Carlisle,  and  the  Episcopal  college  of  St.  James, 
near  Hagerstown,  were  the  nearest  neighbors  of  Mercers- 
burg, and  furnished  him  with  his  first  circle  of  friends 
outside  of  the  Reformed  Church,  in  which  were  included 
such  men  as  President  Robert  Emory  and  Dr.  S.  S. 
Schmucker,  Dr.  John  McClintock  and  Dr.  Krauth.  With 
the  last  two  he  stood  in  relations  of  intimate  friendship. 
Dr.  Krauth  was  from  the  first  his  warm  advocate.     And 



during  Dr.  SchafF s  first  years  in  Mercersburg,  he  met 
Professors  George  E.  Day  and  Calvin  E.  Stowe  at  Lane 
Seminary,  Dr.  Barnas  Sears  of  Newton  Centre,  Drs.  Hodge 
and  J.  Addison  Alexander  at  Princeton,  Professor  Tayler 
Lewis  of  Union  College,  Dr.  Leonard  Bacon  at  Yale,  Pro- 
fessor Park  at  Andover  and  Henry  B.  Smith  at  Union 
Seminary.  These  names  stand  for  an  intelligent  interest 
in  German  theology  at  that  period,  and  are  mentioned  to 
show  how  determined  Dr.  Schaff  was  to  identify  himself 
with  the  land  of  his  adoption,  and  how  far  back  dates  the 
broad  undenominational  and  unprovincial  spirit  which  was 
marked  by  all  who  knew  him  only  in  his  later  years.  These 
early  personal  contacts  contributed  materially  to  the  inter- 
denominational and  composite  literary  labors  which  after- 
wards engaged  his  thought. 

From  the  beginning  he  recognized  America  as  the  land 
of  the  future,  to  which  it  was  given  to  work  out  a  destiny 
in  its  own  way.  At  the  earliest  opportunity  he  became  a 
naturalized  citizen,  and  as  early  as  1850  he  was  constantly 
preaching  in  English  in  different  parts  of  the  country. 
He  did  not  stop  to  fret  over  little  national  differences  in 
modes  of  thought  and  social  custom.  He  did  not  condemn 
the  rush  and  hurry  of  America's  commerce,  the  freedom  of 
her  social  life,  her  experimentation  in  all  departments  of 
endeavor,  as  many  an  educated  foreigner  has  done.  His 
hopeful  nature  was  quickened  by  the  atmosphere  breathed 
in  the  New  World.  As  early  as.  1845,  he  wrote  to  friends 
in  Germany,  "  Think  of  America  as  one  may,  there  is  here 
more  personal  piety  and  practical  church  activity  than  any- 
where in  the  Old  World,  unless  it  be  in  a  few  limited  circles 
in  Germany.  Here  is  the  future  of  Protestantism,  the 
cradle  of  a  new  and  splendid  reformation." 

In  an  address  delivered  a  few  months  later  he  gave  it  as 
his  opinion,  that  the  United  States  would    be  the   chief 

chap,  vi         IN  LECTURE  ROOM  AND  STUDY  145 

arena  of  history  both  secular  and  sacred  in  the  future.1   He 
said  :  — 

History  pursues  the  course  of  the  sun  from  the  east  to 
the  west.  It  arose  in  the  Orient ;  then  directed  its  march 
over  to  Greece  and  Rome,  and  during  the  Reformation  to 
Germany  and  England,  whence  the  northern  portions  of 
the  New  World  were  principally  settled.  .  .  .  History  pro- 
ceeds with  wonderful  foresight.  It  prepares  the  soil  for 
its  future  developments  long  before  it  abandons  its  earlier 
field  of  action.  Such  a  preparation  is  here  going  on  before 
our  eyes  daily,  and  that  on  a  magnificent  scale.  On  the 
other  hand,  there  is  no  want  of  convincing  signs,  that  the 
stream  of  history  is  in  reality  directing  its  course,  more 
clearly  every  day,  from  the  Old  World  to  the  New. 

Again,  a  few  years  later,  in  1848,  he  said  :  — 

If  America  has  its  shortcomings  and  evils,  Europe  is 
probably  afflicted  in  greater  measure.  ...  In  hardly  a 
country  of  Christendom  are  there  relatively  so  many  con- 
verted people,  the  Bible  held  in  such  universal  reverence 
and   used   so  generally  as  the  rule   of   life,  the    Sabbath  f 

observed  with  greater  seriousness,  and  so  much  given  in 
free-will  offerings,  and  finally  evangelical  religion  has  such 
wide  recognition  as  here. 

His  first  opportunity  of  addressing  an  audience  in  Berlin, 
on  his  visit  in  1854,  he  used  to  express  the  same  opinions. 
"The  grandest  destiny,"  he  said, 

is  probably  reserved  for  the  American  people.  ...  If 
anywhere  in  the  wide  world  a  new  page  of  universal  history 
is  to  be  unfolded,  it  is  in  America.  Either  humanity  has 
no  earthly  future,  everything  is  tending  to  destruction,  or 
this  future  lies  —  I  say  not  exclusively  but  mainly — there, 
according  to  the  victorious  march  of  history  from  the  east 
to  the  west.2 

On  that  visit  in  Europe  he  was  on  one  occasion  seeking 
to  free  himself  from  the  charge  of  yielding  up  his  German 
identity,  when  Dr.  Krummacher  laughingly  declared  that 

1  Der  Anglogermanismus,  pp.  5  sqq. 

2  Schaff,  America,  pp.  258  sq. 

146  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

America  had  a  big  stomach  and  would  certainly  swallow 
him  up  and  still  have  capacity  left.  The  prediction  was 
verified  by  the  issue,  but  not  in  the  sense  that  Dr.  Schaff 
ever  abated  his  admiration  for  German  scholarship,  his 
warm  regard  for  his  German  friends  or  his  affectionate 
recollection  of  the  associations  of  his  early  years.  He  was 
fond  of  quoting  Bishop  Berkeley's  prophecy  :  — 

Westward  the  course  of  empire  takes  its  way,  — 

The  first  four  acts  already  past ; 
A  fifth  shall  close  the  drama  of  the  day  — 

Time's  noblest  offspring  is  the  last. 

chap,  vii       GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  147 



1 844-1863 

Perpetuation  of  the  German  Element  in  America  — The  German- American 
Churches  —  The  Reformed  Church  and  the  Americanizing  Process  — 
Dr.  Schaffas  Mediator  between  German  Theology  and  American  Thought 
—  As  Interpreter  of  American  Institutions  abroad  — The  Kirchenfreund — 
History  of  the  Apostolic  Church  —  Reception  of  the  Work  —  Historical 

In  coming  to  America  Dr.  Schaff  had  no  other  purpose 
than  to  labor  among  the  population  whose  antecedents 
were  German.  The  Reformed  Church  had  called  a  pro- 
fessor from  Germany  with  the  avowed  aim  of  meeting  the 
demand  for  clergymen  trained  by  the  methods  of  German 
culture  and  disciplined  in  the  use  of  the  German  language. 
Urged,  soon  after  his  arrival,  to  substitute  German  for 
English  in  the  lecture  room,  he  declined  to  comply,  on  the 
ground  that  he  would  thereby  be  defeating  the  very  object 
the  synod  had  in  view  in  calling  him  from  Berlin.1  Little 
did  he  dream  that  the  time  would  come  when  the  sphere 
of  his  activity  and  influence  would  be  predominantly 
among  the  English-speaking  population,  or  that  he  would 
become  a  mediator  between  the  theology  of  Germany  and 
American  scholarship. 

It  is  necessary  here  to  trace  his  serious  effort  to  follow 
the  line  laid  down  for  him  and  the  attitude  he  assumed 

1  See  Introduction  to  Principle  of  Protestantism,  German  ed.,  p.  vi. 

148  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

toward  the  movement  whereby  German  religious  thought 
and  church  method  have  come  to  mingle  in  the  new  stream 
of  American  church  life  and  culture. 

The  difficult  problem,  which  sprang  out  of  the  contact 
of  a  large  Teutonic  population  with  the  English  language 
and  modes  of  church  practice  on  American  soil,  Dr.  Schaff 
had  to  face  the  moment  he  arrived  on  these  shores.  The 
yearly  immigration  from  Germany  had  begun  to  assume 
unprecedented  proportions.  In  1846  it  reached  nearly 
100,000  and  in  1850,  573,000.  The  population  of  German 
extraction  was  estimated  at  that  time  at  four  millions,  or 
one-sixth  of  the  entire  population.  The  problem  was 
whether  the  German  people  and  German  ideas  should 
perpetuate  themselves  by  way  of  transplantation  and 
separate  existence,  or  become  identified  with  American 
social  and  ecclesiastical  institutions  by  way  of  transfusion 
and  adaptation ;  whether  the  perpetuation  of  the  German 
language  should  be  encouraged  on  the  street,  in  the 
school  and  in  the  church,  or  whether  the  Germans  should 
gradually  adopt  Anglo-American  institutions,  and  by 
fusion  contribute  their  share  to  a  new  type  of  national 
civilization  and  ecclesiastical  practice.  The  German  has 
resisted,  as  is  natural,  and  not  seldom  brusquely  resisted, 
the  call  upon  him  to  renounce  his  racial  identity  and  all 
the  usages  of  his  fathers.  He  has  resented  the  notion  that 
he  shall  be  so  completely  absorbed  as  to  carry  nothing 
with  him  from  his  ancestral  inheritance.  The  intense  feel- 
ing he  has  shown  on  this  question  has  often  been  mistaken 
for  obstinate  and  contemptuous  resistance  to  the  genius  of 
this  country.  On  the  part  of  some  it  has  been.  On  the 
part  of  the  more  intelligent  class  of  German-American 
citizens,  such  resistance  is  simply  a  reverent  affection  for 
the  traditions  of  their  fathers,  and  the  expression  of  an 
altogether  proper  self-respect.     The  demand  that  German 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  149 

life  and  usage  should  immediately  surrender  their  identity 
and  become  lost  in  American  institutions  rudely  ignored 
the  temper  of  the  German  mind  by  overlooking  the 
altogether  delicate  tenacity  with  which  a  people  holds  on 
to  what  it  has  inherited  by  tradition  and  has  learned  to 
love.  To  the  German  it  seemed  to  violate  the  theory 
of  freedom  which  our  institutions  boast  of  offering. 

The  feeling  of  German  emigrants  and  their  children  is 
well  expressed  in  the  remark  of  an  elderly  German  woman 
to  Dr.  Schaff,  on  hearing  him  preach  soon  after  his  arrival 
in  Mercersburg.  "  English,"  she  said,  "  is  like  cold  water 
poured  out  upon  my  heart,  German  is  like  balsam."  The 
feeling  on  the  question  in  Germany  finds  illustration  in 
the  conversation  the  writer  had  a  few  years  ago,  with  a 
professor  of  theology  in  Berlin,  one  of  the  foremost  in 
Germany.  He  was  strenuous  in  insisting  that  the  German- 
Americans  were  under  obligation  to  perpetuate  their  lan- 
guage and  preserve  their  identity  in  America.  He  could 
not  discern  any  middle  ground  between  complete  absorp- 
tion in  the  Anglo-Saxon  type  and  the  full  conservation  of 
the  German  language  and  customs,  and  failed  utterly  to 
appreciate  the  importance  of  a  single  language  to  national 
unity.  As  a  result  of  his  own  observations,  and  from 
patriotic  considerations  drawn  from  the  evident  destiny  of 
the  nation,  Dr.  Schaff  espoused  the  liberal  and  American 
theory.  He  did  not  thereby  mean  to  pronounce  judgment 
as  to  what  was  good  for  Germany,  but  to  define  what  he 
thought  was  best  in  America.  It  was  not  in  his  mind  a 
question  of  disparaging  the  customs  of  German  social  life,  or 
of  depreciating  distinctive  features  of  German  church  prac- 
tice and  theology.  It  was  a  question  of  fitness  and  expedi- 
ency. He  came  to  look  upon  the  Americanization  of  the 
Germans  as  inevitable,  as  it  was  desirable,  and  to  regard 
measures  intended  to  thwart  or  retard  the  process  as  unwise. 

150  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1844 

In  announcing  his  position  he  incurred  the  public  charge 
of  being  untrue  to  the  land  of  his  birth  and  to  his  kinsmen, 
and  called  forth  sharp  criticism  from  some  of  his  most  inti- 
mate German-American  friends.  Even  in  the  German 
Reformed  Church  there  were  some  who  parted  ways  with 
him  over  the  matter.  One  of  its  leaders,  using  the  German 
language,  wrote  as  late  as  i860,  taking  him  to  task  for  his 
Americanizing  spirit.  After  paying  due  respect  to  his 
services  as  a  representative  of  believing  German  theology, 
he  added :  — 

But  we  may  not  on  this  account  overlook  your  faults. 
With  deep  pain,  we  miss  in  you  the  German  national  feel- 
ing and  we  believe  that  you  sin  greatly  when  you  give  to 
English  the  preference,  as  you  do,  in  the  home,  the  school 
and  the  church.  But  it  is  with  much  more  pain  we  miss 
in  you  the  love  for  the  old  doctrines  and  ways  of  the 
church,  of  free  grace  and  of  a  simple  form  of  worship.1 

How  far  Dr.  Schaff  was  from  disparaging  the  usages  of 
his  fathers  or  their  language  was  evident,  as  from  public 
expressions  of  opinion  so  also  from  his  deep  concern  that 
his  children  might  learn  to  speak  German  in  the  home. 
His  feeling  on  this  point  may  be  dismissed  with  a  single 
quotation.  Writing  to  Mrs.  Schaff  from  Europe  in  1854, 
he  said,  "It  would  be  a  great  shame  if  my  own  children 
should  never  learn  German." 

The  principle  of  transfusion  and  adaptation  also  con- 
trolled his  attitude  to  matters  of  church  practice.  The 
beginnings  of  the  German  churches  in  the  United  States 
constitute  an  important  chapter  in  American  church  his- 
tory. The  German  immigration  began  in  the  middle  of 
the  seventeenth  century.  In  the  year  1742,  the  number 
of  Germans  in  Pennsylvania  alone  is  estimated  to  have 
been  a  hundred  thousand.     A  portion  of  these  immigrants 

1  The  reference  is  to  the  German  Reformed  Liturgy  in  the  preparation  of 
which  Dr.  Schaff  was  actively  interested. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  151 

crossed  the  ocean  from  religious  considerations,  such  as 
the  Tunkers,  the  Mennonites  and  the  Lutherans  of  Salz- 
burg, who,  driven  out  by  the  Jesuits,  settled  in  Georgia 
in  1734.  A  year  later  the  Moravians  came  over  with 
Spangenberg,  likewise  settling  in  Georgia ;  and  soon  after 
the  Moravian  communities  of  Nazareth  and  Bethlehem  in 
Pennsylvania  were  founded.  For  the  most  part  there 
was  poor  provision  for  the  spiritual  wants  of  the  new  set- 
tlers, whose  condition  was  thus  described  by  Dr.  Muhlen- 
berg in  1743:  "It  seems  as  if  God  were  about  to  visit 
America  with  his  special  grace.  It  is  certainly  high  time. 
Were  things  to  continue  a  few  years  longer  as  they  have 
been,  our  poor  Lutherans  would  surely  have  passed  away 
into  heathenism.  Their  state  is  so  pitiable  as  to  call  for 
tears  of  blood." 

In  1 741  Zinzendorf  visited  America  and  under  the 
guidance  of  Conrad  Weiser  of  Womelsdorf  and  others, 
made  journeys  among  the  Indian  tribes.  He  attempted 
to  unite  the  Germans  under  one  religious  organization. 

A  far  more  important  bearing  on  the  development  of  the 
German  churches  in  America  was  the  arrival  of  Heinrich 
Melchior  Muhlenberg  and  Michael  Schlatter.  Muhlenberg 
belonged  to  the  school  of  Spener  and  Francke  and  was 
sent  out  by  the  directors  of  the  Halle  Orphan  House,  in 
1742.  His  practical  sagacity,  his  warm  piety  and  his 
abundant  labors  entitle  him  to  a  most  honorable  place 
among  the  religious  founders  of  the  land,  as  well  as  to 
the  honor  of  being  the  father  of  American  Lutheranism. 

Schlatter,  a  Swiss  by  birth,  was  sent  to  America  by  the 
Reformed  Church  of  Holland,  in  1746.  With  three  other 
ministers,  he  organized  the  Ccetus  Pennsylvaniensis,  and 
became  the  founder  of  the  German  Reformed  Church. 
Considerable  sums  were  collected  by  him  in  Holland  for 
the  establishment  and  maintenance  of  schools  in  Pennsyl- 

152  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

vania  among  the  Germans.  It  is  highly  interesting  to 
know  that  these  founders  of  the  two  most  numerous  com- 
munions of  German  Christians  in  this  country  were  on 
terms  of  friendship.  Muhlenberg  wrote,  July  28,  1752: 
"To-day  the  Reformed  pastor,  Schlatter,  called  upon  me, 
and  embraced  me  in  the  old  genuine  way  of  friendship 
and  love.  He  arrived  last  night  by  ship  from  Holland 
with  six  new  preachers."  * 

The  labors  of  these  godly  men  were  followed  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  last  century  and  the  early  part  of  this 
one  by  a  period  of  spiritual  decline  and  torpor.  Some  of 
the  more  susceptible  elements  were  warmed  by  the  fervor 
of  Methodism  and  seceded  under  Albright  and  Otterbein, 
the  founders  of  the  Evangelical  Association2  and  the 
United  Brethren  in  Christ. 

A  third  period  in  the  history  of  the  Lutheran  and  Ger- 
man Reformed  churches,  beginning  with  the  second  quar- 
ter of  this  century,  was  marked  by  the  effort  to  revive 
their  distinctive  and  traditional  features  both  in  faith  and 
practice.  It  has  been  distinguished  by  a  more  general 
assimilation  with  the  American  spirit  and  church  usage 
on  the  part  of  the  Reformed  Church  than  has  been  the 
case  with  her  sister. 

It  was  in  the  early  morning  of  this  third  period  of 
revival  that  Philip  Schaff  arrived  in  Mercersburg.  The 
Reformed  Church  was  entering  anew  into  the  conscious- 

1  The  early  annals  of  Lutheranism  in  America  are  largely  derived  from 
Muhlenberg's  reports  to  Halle,  Nachrichten  von  den  vereinigten  deutschen 
Evangelisch-Lutherischen  Gemeinden  in  Nordamerika,  absonderlich  in 
Pennsylvanien,  1 750-1 787,  pp.  15 18.  Edited  by  Dr.  W.  J.  Mann  and  others. 
Allentown,  1886.  Schlatter's  "Journal  of  his  Missionary  Labors  in  Holland," 
in  Dutch,  was  translated  and  published  in  the  Magazine  of  the  German 
Reformed  Church,  1829. 

2  Not  to  be  confounded  with  the  Evangelical  Synod  which  corresponds  to 
the  Evangelisch-Unirte  Kirche  of  Prussia.  In  1894  it  had  766  ministers  and 
978  churches.     Its  chief  strength  is  in  Illinois  and  Missouri. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  153 

ness  of  its  historic  heritage  and  ecclesiastical  individuality. 
Its  fresh  life  expressed  itself  in  the  careful  study  of  the 
Heidelberg  Catechism  and  the  usages  of  the  Reformed 
churches  of  Germany  and  Switzerland,  and  in  the  earnest 
and  able  discussions  of  the  Mercersburg  theology.  After 
a  struggle  lasting  for  a  quarter  of  a  century,  a  well-defined 
position  was  taken  on  the  question  of  catechetical  instruc- 
tion, liturgical  worship  and  the  observance  of  the  greater 
festivals  of  the  church  year. 

The  proper  and  final  relation  of  the  German  element  to 
American  institutions  and  modes  of  thought  has  been  for 
a  century  one  of  the  most  difficult  and  troublesome  ques- 
tions the  Lutheran  and  German  Reformed  churches  have 
had  to  deal  with.  They  have  had  the  double  problem  to 
settle, — to  satisfy  the  first  and  second  generations  of  their 
adherents  who  used  the  German  tongue  exclusively  or 
chiefly,  and  to  retain  their  hold  on  the  succeeding  genera- 
tions in  whom  the  American  element  has  come  to  pre- 
dominate. A  constant  struggle  has  been  going  on  in 
families  of  German  antecedents.  The  parents  seek  to 
perpetuate  the  use  of  the  German  language  and  customs 
among  their  children.  The  children  feel  a  strong  impulse 
to  break  away,  and,  if  the  use  of  German  is  persisted  in 
at  public  worship,  wander  off  into  the  Anglo-American 
churches.  The  friction  has  led  to  many  a  heated  contro- 
versy and  to  serious  denominational  ruptures  and  large 

Dr.  Schaff  found  the  German  element  predominant  in  the 
German  Reformed  Church.1  The  work  lying  at  his  hand 
was  to  train  ministers  who  should  use  the  German  tongue. 
It  was  only  a  short  time,  however,  before  it  became  evident 

1  As  late  as  1826  at  the  Reformed  synod  in  Frederick,  Maryland,  a  young 
minister  was  openly  rebuked  by  the  president  for  attempting  to  make  an 
address  in  English. 

154  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

to  him  that  the  Americanizing  process  was  working  rapidly 
and  that  what  has  proved  the  actual  result  was  inevitable. 
Such  efforts  as  that  of  the  Rev.  Mr.  Lohe  and  the  Bava- 
rian Missionary  Society  in  Missouri,  to  build  up  a  purely 
German  church,  he  soon  came  to  regard  as  blunders. 

The  children,  or  at  any  rate  the  children's  children, 
would  speak  English  in  spite  of  all  efforts  to  the  contrary. 
He  did  not  choose  to  close  his  eyes  to  the  direction  in 
which  the  current  was  running.  He  also  soon  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  would  be  unwise  to  check  it,  if  that 
had  been  possible.  He  looked  to  the  future  and  saw,  as 
he  thought,  the  purpose  of  God  to  have  here  a  nation  of 
one  spirit  and  one  speech.  Natural  attachments  were 
to  be  respected  and  proper  provision  made  for  the  tem- 
porary use  of  the  German  language  in  public  worship. 
A  paper  written  so  late  as  1887,  commending  the  Ger- 
man Theological  School  at  Dubuque  and  bearing  upon  the 
point,  contains  the  words  :  "  The  evangelization  of  the 
ever-growing  masses  of  our  immigrant  population  is  a  most 
important  part  of  Home  Mission  work  and  can  be  carried 
on  effectually  only  by  German  ministers  of  our  own  train- 
ing in  German  institutions  which  are  in  full  sympathy  and 
direct  contact  with  that  population."  Nevertheless,  in  his 
judgment,  any  system  was  to  be  discouraged  which  sought 
to  perpetuate  the  use  of  German  indefinitely  and  bind  the 
children  to  it.  The  survival  of  the  German  element  was 
not  to  be  secured  by  the  perpetuation  of  outward  forms, 
but  by  the  power  of  ideas  and  the  force  of  moral  virtues. 

Of  the  same  nature  were  Dr.  Schaff' s  views  on  the  rela- 
tion of  German  theology  to  religious  thought  in  the  United 
States.  They  were  based  from  the  first  on  a  sober  regard 
for  the  situation.  He  said:1  " German  theology  should  be 
transmuted    into    flesh  and   blood,  into  life  and    activity. 

1  German  Literature  in  America,  Bibliotheca  Sacra,  1847,  pp.  503-521. 

CHAP,  vii        GERMAN-  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  155 

For  this  work  the  American  nationality,  which  possesses 
an  uncommon  practical  talent,  is  peculiarly  fitted,  and  if 
the  better  element  of  German  theology  were  transplanted 
to  the  soil  of  the  New  World  it  would  bear  much  richer 
fruit  than  it  has  in  the  land  of  its  birth."  The  policy  of  a 
free  reproduction  and  adaptation  he  applied  at  a  later  period 
in  his  treatment  of  Lange's  Commentary  and  the  Herzog 
Encyclopedia.  His  last  utterance  on  the  subject  was  given 
in  1893,  when  he  said  i1  — 

German  theology  is  becoming  more  and  more  an  impor- 
tant factor  in  American  theology,  but  cannot  replace  our 
systems  of  thought.  German  ideas  cannot  take  root  in 
English,  Scotch  or  American  soil  unless  they  are  freely 
reproduced  in  the  English  language  and  adapted  to  the 
practical  wants  of  a  free  church  in  a  free  state. 

These  views  on  the  ultimate  destiny  of  the  German 
element  were  developed  in  some  of  his  earliest  public 
addresses  and  writings  after  his  arrival  in  Mercersburg. 
In  an  address  on  Anglo-Americanism,  delivered  in  1846, 
he  said  : 2  — 

The  German  element,  unmodified  and  as  it  is  developed 
in  Europe,  cannot  maintain  itself  here  and  dare  not  ex- 
pect to  exert  a  leavening  and  lasting  influence  till  it  has 
become  Americanized.  It  would  be  as  unwise  as  it  would 
be  useless  to  attempt  to  perpetuate  the  German  as  an  inde- 
pendent organism.  We  are  living  here  in  a  new  world, 
which  has  other  tasks  than  Germany.  .  .  .  Germans  are 
masters  in  the  theory  of  things.  But  they  should  learn 
from  the  English  a  lesson  in  the  value  and  secret  of 
organization  and  enterprise,  in  strength  of  character  and 
self-poise,  in  respect  for  law  and  order  and  the  rational  use 
of  liberty.  The  English  and  Scotch  also  should  not  be 
content  with  merely  repeating  on  American  soil  the  life 
of  old  England  and  Scotland. 

1  Propaedeutic,  p.  402. 

2  Anglo- Germanism  or  the  Significance  of  the  German  Nationality  in  the 
United  States,  Chambersburg,  1846.  The  address  was  delivered  in  German 
before  the  Schiller  Society  of  Marshall  College. 


These  sentiments  he  did  not  hesitate  to  repeat  at  Ber- 
lin, in  1854.1     "Without  doubt,"  he  said, 

the  German  has  a  great  mission  in  America,  although 
he  can  hardly  be  said  as  yet  to  have  realized  it.  He  will 
not  fulfil  it  in  any  adequate  manner  by  rigidly  and  stiffly 
secluding  himself  from  the  Anglo-Americans  and  making 
it  his  purpose  to  build  up  a  state.  Rather  should  he,  in  a 
cosmopolitan  spirit,  energetically  appropriate  the  Anglo- 
American  nature  and  its  excellences  and,  as  far  as  possi- 
ble, penetrate  it  with  the  wealth  of  his  own  German 
temper  and  life. 

As  long  as  he  well  could  do  so,  as  has  been  said, 
Dr.  Schaff  followed  the  lines  laid  down  for  him  in  the 
call  of  the  German  Reformed  synod.  Having  resisted  for 
four  years  the  demand  to  substitute  English  for  German 
in  the  class  room,  he  finally  yielded  because  to  have  re- 
fused, would  have  been  hurtful  to  the  best  interests  of  the 
German  Reformed  Church.  The  effort  to  make  Mercers- 
burg  a  centre  of  German  culture,  as  at  first  proposed,  was 
conscientiously  made,  but  proved  a  failure  and  had  to  be 

The  maintenance  of  the  distinctive  confessional  charac- 
ter of  the  Reformed  Church  and  the  perpetuation  of  its 
historic  life  was  quite  another  thing.  Dr.  Nevin,  in  his 
inaugural  address  in  1840,  had  laid  stress  upon  this  and 
warned  her  against  "merging  herself  in  a  foreign  interest." 
Dr.  Schaff  took  a  similar  position  and  continued  to  main- 
tain it.     "  The  German  churches,"  he  said,2 

must  preserve  the  German  spirit  and,  in  larger  measure 
than  heretofore,  appropriate  the  intellectual  treasures  of 
the  mother  country  if  they  are  to  retain  their  original 
peculiarity  and  not  to  lose  their  identity  in  purely  English 
denominations.  On  the  other  hand,  they,  must  not  hold 
themselves  aloof  from  the  unmistakable  excellences  of  the 

1  Kirchenfreund,  1854,  pp.  322  sqq. 

2  Anglo- Germanism. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  157 

English  people  and  church  and,  if  they  wish  to  avoid  the 
danger  of  ossification,  must  enter  into  vital  sympathy 
with  American  life  and  keep  up  with  its  development. 

His  idea  was  that  the  German  Reformed  and  Lutheran 
churches  should  maintain  their  historic  individuality  at 
the  side  of  the  Puritan,  Presbyterian  and  Methodist  reli- 
gious types.  These  bodies  would,  however,  serve  their  own 
interests  best  not  by  pursuing  a  policy  of  ecclesiastical 
isolation,  but  by  coming  into  sympathetic  cooperation  with 
the  other  Christian  communions  of  America. 

For  the  Lutheran  Church,  he  always  expressed  warm 
esteem.  It  was  there  he  was  confirmed,  and  the  influential 
religious  friendships  of  his  youth  in  Wurtemberg  were 
within  its  pale.  In  later  years,  although  he  did  not  admire 
the  Formula  of  Concord,  he  pronounced  the  Augsburg 
Confession  "  the  most  churchly,  the  most  Catholic,  the  most 
conservative  creed  of  Protestantism." l  He  recognized 
that  through  the  systems  of  the  two  great  Continental 
churches  of  the  Reformation  a  pervading  difference  runs 
which  "  affects  more  or  less  their  entire  theology,  organiza- 
tion, worship  and  practical  piety"  ;2  but  in  spite  of  this,  it 
was  his  hope  that  a  German-American  church  might  arise 
uniting  both  confessions.3  He  hoped  and  labored  for  such 
a  consummation,  not  from  a  vapid  indifference  to  theological 
traditions  and  distinctions  but  upon  the  basis  of  a  common 

1  Church  History,  Vol.  VI.  p.  708. 

2  Germany  and  its  Universities,  p.  168. 

8  For  a  discriminating  statement,  see  "  Dr.  Schaff  and  the  Lutheran  Church," 
by  Professor  H.  E.  Jacobs.  Papers  Am.  Soc.  of  Ch.  History,  VI.  pp.  13  sqq. 
Dr.  Jacobs  says :  "  Dr.  Schaff  s  ideal,  after  coming  to  Mercersburg,  was  the 
foundation  of  a  German- American  church,  uniting  the  Reformed  and  Lutheran 
confessions.  This  was  possible,  however,  only  as  it  could  find  a  firm  historical 
basis  upon  which  to  rest.  ...  In  the  powerful  reaction  that  came  in  the 
Lutheran  Church  in  America,  leading  it  back  to  its  historic  foundations,  his 
influence  must  be  regarded  as  a  very  important  factor.  There  is  not  a  Lutheran 
scholar  in  America,  especially  among  those  who  use  the  English  language,  who 
does  not  owe  to  Dr.  Schaff  an  inestimable  debt." 

158  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

historical  consensus.  On  the  one  hand  he  trusted  in  the 
Melanchthonian  strand  in  the  Lutheran  system,  and  at  the 
same  time  exposed  the  departures  of  the  American  Lu- 
therans from  some  of  the  distinctive  doctrinal  features  of 
Lutheranism.1  On  the  other  he  expounded  the  Heidelberg 
Catechism  and  was  true  to  it  as  the  standard  of  the 
Reformed  Church.  He  felt  that  there  was  a  spirit  of 
comprehension  which  could  honestly  unite  both  types  in 
one  body  without  any  sacrifice  of  principle. 

When  he  arrived  in  Pennsylvania,  he  found  many  of 
the  church  buildings  owned  conjointly  by  Lutheran  and 
Reformed  congregations  ;  a  Union  hymn-book  had  been 
in  use ;  Union  Sunday-schools  were  held  under  the  same 
church  roof.  Familiar  with  the  Union  Church  of  Prussia, 
combining  both  confessions,  he  saw  in  America  the  oppor- 
tunity for  a  union  on  a  larger  scale.  As  for  his  friendships, 
they  were  scarcely  less  intimate  with  the  Lutherans  than 
with  members  of  his  own  communion.  The  Kirchenfreund 
was  established  as  an  undenominational  organ  to  serve  the 
common  interests  of  the  churches  of  German  ancestry.  If, 
as  Dr.  Jacobs  has  said  of  the  powerful  reaction  in  the 
Lutheran  Church  of  America,  which  led  it  back  to  its  his- 
torical foundations,  "  the  influence  of  Dr.  Schaff  was  a  very 
important  factor,"  it  must  also  be  said  that  he  strongly 
deprecated  the  spirit  of  ultra-Lutheranism  in  Germany 
and  in  this  country,  as  being  offensively  sectarian  and  out 
of  harmony  with  the  true  Christian  spirit  of  the  age. 

The  following  letter  to  Dr.  Mann,  written  in  1887  while 
Dr.  Schaff 's  History  of  the  German  Reformation  was  passing 
through  the  press,  bears  excellent  testimony  to  the  latter' s 
attitude  to  the  Lutheran  Church  at  this  early  period. 

1  Germany  and  its  Universities,  p.  169.  The  work  gave  a  chapter  (pp. 
167-177)  to  a  comparison  of  the  Lutheran  and  Reformed  churches.  For  the 
German-American  churches  see  his  America,  pp.  176-205. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  159 

You  persist  that  I  am  a  "  Gegner  des  Lutherthums  " 
(an  opponent  of  Lutheranism),  and  I  persist  in  being  a 
"  Freund  des  Lutherthums  "  (a  friend  of  Lutheranism).  I 
have  been  so  ever  since  we  both  received  our  theological 
training  in  Wurtemberg  without  any  known  difference  ex- 
cept that  you  were  a  Wurtemberg  Lutheran  to  the  manner 
born,  I  a  Reformed  from  Switzerland.  I  expect  to  continue 
a  friend  to  that  type  of  Lutheranism  (and  even  of  the  more 
rigorous  types  up  to  the  Missouri  school)  as  long  as  I  live. 
My  German  Reformed  friends  used  to  call  me  a  theologies 
LutJieranizans,  and  were  rather  displeased  with  my  eulogy 
of  Luther  in  the  Principle  of  Protestantism.  Now  who  is 
right,  you,  or  my  Reformed  friends,  or  I  ?  Perhaps  I  am 
confused  and  do  not  understand  myself.  It  is  impossible  to 
please  everybody.  Datum  aber  keene  Feendschaft  nekt  nnter 
uns  (but  we  will  not  have  any  ill  feeling  on  this  account). 
May  the  good  Lord  settle  the  quarrels  in  his  church !  He 
will  no  doubt  do  it  in  His  own  good  time  and  way,  and  it 
will  be  a  marvellous  surprise.  We  shall  not  live  to  see  it 
but  we  may  pray  for  it. 

Whatever  judgment  may  be  passed  by  his  fellow  German- 
American  citizens  upon  his  Americanizing  tendencies,  it 
may  with  confidence  be  said  that  no  one  of  his  generation 
surpassed  Dr.  Schaff  in  his  efforts  to  introduce  and  domicili- 
ate German  religious  thought  and  literature  in  America. 
This  he  did  by  the  original  contributions  of  his  pen,  by  his 
encouragement  of  translations  of  German  works  and  by  the 
introduction  of  American  students  to  German  theologians 
in  their  studies  and  class  rooms,  as  well  as  by  his  whole 
personality.  On  the  other  hand  he  contributed  more  than 
any  other  man  of  his  time  to  make  known  in  Germany  the 
condition  and  needs  of  the  German-American  churches. 
Through  him  the  German  Reformed  Church  was  brought 
into  closer  union  with  the  Reformed  churches  of  the  Con- 
tinent than  it  had  ever  been  before  or  has  been  since.  He 
presented  American  affairs  in  articles  in  German  periodi- 
cals and  at  various  times  in  public  addresses  in  the  princi- 
pal German  cities  from  Bremen  to  Zurich.     He  repeatedly 

l6o  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

appeared  in  person  on  the  floor  of  the  Kirchentag,1  the 
most  imposing  religious  assembly  of  Germany,  or  sent  to 
it  papers  setting  forth  the  needs  of  the  German-American 
churches.2  For  half  a  century  he  was  regarded  among 
German  churches  abroad  as  the  chief  representative 
and  exponent  of  German-American  and  distinctively 
American  religious  thought,  and,  in  the  early  half  of 
this  period  more  particularly,  was  appealed  to  from 
every  quarter  in  Germany  for  information  in  regard  to 
American  affairs.  He  secured  German  students  and 
pastors  through  Dr,  William  Hoffmann  of  the  Missionary 
Institute  at  Basel  and  Dr.  Colsman  of  the  institution  at 
Langenberg,  through  Dr.  Tholuck  and  other  professors. 
He  secured  contributions  of  books  and  endowment  funds 
from  German  friends  for  Mercersburg  and  other  institutions, 
Lutheran  and  Reformed.  In  addition  to  his  general  ser- 
vices as  an  expounder  on  American  soil  of  German  the- 
ology, he  introduced  many  inquirers  to  an  acquaintance 
with  the  administration  and  professors  of  the  German 
universities  in  his  book  on  that  subject.  He  prepared  a 
new  edition  of  the  Heidelberg  Catechism,  compiled  a  Ger- 
man hymn-book  and  founded  the  first  German  religious 
periodical  of  a  higher  order  in  this  country.  To  him  also 
German  literature  in  America  owes  its  first  scholarly 
treatise  in  the  department  of  theology,  namely  the  History 
of  the  Apostolic  Church.  By  this  manifold  activity,  as  well 
as  by  his  immediate  personal  contact  with  the  German- 
American  churches  throughout  his  career,  he  sought  to 
fulfil  his  duty  to  his  kinsmen  according  to  the  flesh. 

Prior  to  his  first  visit  to  Europe  in  1854,  Dr.  Schaff  had 
thus  produced  three  works  of  more  than  ordinary  impor- 
tance, the  Principle  of  Protestantism  already  considered, 

1  At  Frankfurt,  1854;   Stuttgart,  1869,  etc. 

2  His  first  paper  was  contributed  to  the  Church  Diet  at  Bremen,  1852. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  161 

the  German  periodical,  Der  deutsche  Kirchenfreund  and  a 
History  of  the  Apostolic  Church. 

The  Kirchenfreund,  founded  in  1848,  appeared  as  a 
monthly  for  six  years  under  his  editorial  care,  when  Dr. 
Mann  became  the  responsible  editor.  It  was  discontinued 
in  1859.  That  magazine  was  intended  to  occupy  an  un- 
cultivated field  and  supply  German  readers  with  a  German 
periodical  of  a  higher  order.  Its  position  was  an  inter- 
mediate one  between  the  weekly  religious  press  on  the 
one  hand  and  such  periodicals  as  the  Studien  und  Kritiken 
in  Germany,  whose  place  it  did  not  aspire  to  occupy.  In 
its  management  Dr.  Schaff  had  to  contend  with  no  ordi- 
nary obstacles.  The  supervision  of  both  printing  and  bind- 
ing, which  were  done  under  great  disadvantages,  fell  at  times 
upon  the  editor.  He  imported  the  first  German  printer 
and  font  of  German  type  to  Mercersburg,  and  not  seldom 
was  obliged  to  set  the  type  with  his  own  hand.1  He  had 
also,  to  a  large  extent,  to  train  his  literary  helpers.  The 
most  efficient  aid  came  from  his  friend,  Dr.  William  J. 
Mann.  The  contributions  of  his  pen  were  many  and  val- 
uable. From  Germany  also  aid  was  secured  from  such 
men  as  Erbkam  and  Ebrard.  Much  space  was  devoted  to 
historical  questions  and  hymnology.  Translations  of  Ger- 
man hymns  appeared  by  Dr.  J.  W.  Alexander,2  Professor 
Thomas  C.  Porter  and  others,  some  of  which  have  become 
classic.  Here  also  a  number  of  Meta  Heusser's  poems  were 
published  for  the  first  time. 

In  1863  Dr.  Schaff  established  another  German  periodi- 
cal, the  Evangelische  Zeugnisse  aus  den  deutschen  Kirchen 
in  Amerikaz  which  was  discontinued  after  1865.     His  only 

1  These  matters  were  referred  to  at  length  by  Dr.  Mann  on  assuming  the 
-control  of  the  periodical  —  Kirchenfreund,  1854,  pp.  1  sqq. 

2  "Dr.  Alexander  is  beyond  doubt  one  of  the  best  translators  of  German 
hymns  into  idiomatic  English." — Schaff,  Literature  and  Poetry,  p.  293. 

8  Evangelical  Testimonies  from  the  German-American  Churches. 

1 62  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1849 

further  editorial  connection  with  periodical  literature  was 
as  co-editor  with  Dr.  E.  V.  Gerhart  of  the  Mercersburg 
Review  (1 857-1 861). 

Once  launched,  the  Kirchenfreund  won  for  itself  favor 
beyond  German-American  circles.  Professor  Calvin  E. 
Stowe,  then  of  Lane  Seminary,  pronounced  it  "  a  very 
much-needed  counteracting  power  to  the  too  exclusively 
unhistorical  individualism  of  the  Christianity  of  our  re- 

President  Woods  of  Bowdoin  College  wrote  (Dec.  17, 
1849):  — 

Allow  me  to  express  the  pleasure  with  which  I  read  in 
the  Kirchenfreund  your  views  on  the  church  and  the  high 
sense  I  entertain,  in  connection  with  many  others,  of  the 
salutary  influence  exerted  by  them  upon  a  wide  circle  of 
thought  in  this  country.  I  know  of  nothing  which  is  oper- 
ating more  powerfully  to  restore  the  sound  view  of  the 
church  and  the  sacraments  than  what  is  now  so  well 
known  as  the  Mercersburg  publications.  With  reference 
to  the  good  which  might  be  done  in  our  circle  of  ministers 
in  this  neighborhood,  I  have  regretted  that  the  Kirchen- 
freund has  not  been  in  English. 

The  Review  was  also  the  first  German-American  peri- 
odical to  find  any  considerable  recognition  in  Germany, 
and  did  a  good  service  by  correcting  some  of  the  false  and 
often  grotesque  mistakes  current  among  Germans  of  intel- 
ligence and  high  position  concerning  life  and  thought  here. 
To  mention  a  single  case  of  blunder,  Dr.  Hengstenberg  of 
Berlin,  through  the  columns  of  the  Evangelische  Kirchen- 
zeitung,  circulated  the  news  that  Dr.  Krummacher,  in 
being  called  to  Mercersburg,  was  promised  a  yearly  salary 
of  $20,000  (the  total  amount  Dr.  Schaff  received  for  his 
services  during  twenty  years).  His  brother,  Dr.  Edward 
Hengstenberg,  after  a  sojourn  in  1845  of  eight  months  in 
the  country,  including  a  visit  in  Dr.  Schaff 's  home,  sent  back 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  163 

a  most  gloomy  picture  of  the  condition  of  the  German 
churches  in  America  and  declared  all  hopes  for  any  revi- 
val and  advance  among  them  to  be  an  empty  dream. 

Die  Zeitschrift  fur  die  Unirte  Evangelische  Kirche 
devoted  the  better  part  of  two  numbers  (April,  1849)  to  a 
hearty  notice  of  the  Kirchenfreund  and  excerpts  from  its 
articles.     "  We  greet,"  it  said, 

the  appearance  of  this  periodical  as  a  cause  of  rejoicing, 
yea,  as  an  important  event.  If  Dr.  SchafT  succeeds  in 
joining  German  scholarship  to  the  practical  bent  of  Amer- 
ica and  in  quickening  the  spirit  of  denominationalism 
reigning  there  with  the  ideas  of  the  unity  and  the  univer- 
sality of  the  church,  we  shall  have  in  America  the  picture 
of  the  ideal  church  conditions. 

The  Kirchenfreund  was  intended  to  be,  as  its  title-page 
states,  "an  organ  for  the  common  interests  of  the  German 
churches  in  America,"  and  to  combine  their  theological 
forces.  The  effort  to  maintain  its  undenominational 
character  was  not  without  success,  and  it  secured  the  co- 
operation of  prominent  adherents  of  the  Lutheran,  the 
Reformed  and  the  Moravian  churches.  Indeed  the  irenic 
spirit  with  which  the  Review  was  conducted  brought 
down  upon  the  editor  the  charge  of  Lutheranizing  tenden- 
cies from  parties  within  the  Reformed  Church. 

The  History  of  the  Apostolic  Church  was  the  first  church 
history  in  America  written  in  the  spirit  of  modern  histori- 
cal composition  and  incorporating  the  latest  researches 
in  its  department.  Published  in  Mercersburg  in  1851,  it 
appeared  in  German,  under  the  title  Geschichte  der  christ- 
lichen  Kirche  von  ihrer  Grundung  bis  auf  die  Gegenwart, 
and  was  announced  to  be  the  first  volume  of  a  general 
history  of  the  church  in  nine  volumes.  Here  again  the 
author  was  publisher.  He  was  obliged  to  purchase  a 
special  font  of   German  type  and  as  in  the  case  of  the 

1 64  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1851 

Kirchenfreund,  he  set  up  not  a  few  of  the  pages  with 
his  own  hand.1 

In  publishing  the  work  in  German  and  resisting  the 
counsel  of  friends  to  send  it  forth  in  English  dress,  the 
author  was  moved  in  large  part  by  the  purpose  to  magnify 
the  German  element  in  this  country,  and  to  minister  to 
the  interests  of  the  German  churches.  It  was  his  chief 
literary  attempt,  and  his  last  attempt,  to  found  a  distinc- 
tive school  of  German- American  theology.  "Although 
my  work,"  he  says, 

will  bear  on  every  page  marks  of  its  German  antece- 
dents, it  is  designed  primarily  and  chiefly  for  readers  in 
America  and  it  is  written  from  this  American  or  Anglo- 
German  standpoint.  .  .  .  My  mission  has  been  to  the 
German  churches  of  America  .  .  .  and  should  this  at- 
tempt not  receive  encouragement  it  will  still  remain  a 
proof  of  an  earnest  effort  towards  establishing  an  indepen- 
dent school  of  German-American  theology. 

The  volume  was  dedicated  to  Neander,  as  the  father  of 
modern  church  history,  who  gave  the  work  his  blessing, 
a  short  time  before  his  death,  in  these  words  :  "  I  can  only 
express  to  you  my  most  heartfelt  thanks  for  this  sign  of 
your  affectionate  remembrance  and  for  the  honor  you 
propose  showing  me,  by  wishing  you  for  your  work  all 
illumination  and  power  from  above."  2 

The  method  in  which  Dr.  Schaff  proposed  to  write 
church  history  is  indicated  in  the  first  English  edition. 

It  is  my  wish  [he  says]  to  give  from  reliable  sources 
under  the  guidance  of  our  Lord's  twin  parables  of  the 
mustard  seed  and  the  leaven,  a  complete,  true  and  graphic 
account  of  the  development  of  Christ's  kingdom  on  earth 

1  Dr.  Schaff  refers  to  these  things  in  the  preface  to  the  Leipzig  edition, 
1854.  The  English  translation  was  by  the  Rev.  Edward  D.  Yeomans,  D.D., 
New  York,  1853. 

2  The  letter  is  given  in  full  in  Dr.  Schaff  s  St.  Augustin,  Melanchthon, 
Neander,  pp.  165  sqq. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  165 

for  the  benefit  especially  of  ministers  and  students  of 
theology.  .  .  .  With  most  modest  claims  and  most  peace- 
ful intentions,  polemical  and  uncompromising  only  towards 
rationalism  and  infidelity  whether  of  German  or  English 
origin,  but  conservative,  conciliatory  and  respectful  towards 
the  various  forms  of  positive  Christianity  and  reaching 
the  hand  of  fellowship  towards  all  who  love  the  Lord  Jesus 
in  sincerity  and  truth,  this  work  sails  out  upon  the  ocean 
of  a  deeply  distracted,  yet  most  interesting  and  hopeful 
age,  where,  amid  powerful  fermentation  and  keen  birth 
throes,  a  new  era  of  church  history  seems  to  be  pre- 

The  reception  given  to  the  work  could  hardly  have  been 
more  cordial  if  it  had  been  the  work  of  a  veteran  historian, 
and  not  a  young  man  scarcely  thirty.  Praise  came  from 
scholars  at  home  and  abroad.  The  learning  and  genial 
Christian  spirit  of  the  author,  his  independence,  the  mas- 
tery of  his  subject,  the  orderly  precision  of  the  arrange- 
ment and  the  simple  perspicuity  of  the  style  are  qualities 
singled  out  for  commendation.  The  personal  element  k 
emphasized  as  in  Neander's  History  of  the  Planting  of  the 
Christian  Church.  But  Dr.  Schaff  pays  more  attention  to 
the  organization  and  outward  development  of  the  church 
than  did  his  eminent  teacher. 

Probably  from  no  American  source  could  a  testimony 
have  come  more  influential  and  worthy  of  consideration 
than  from  Dr.  J.  Addison  Alexander  of  Princeton  Semi- 
nary, who  placed  "the  author  in  the  highest  rank  of  living 
and  contemporary  church  historians."  The  book,  he  said, 
besides  the  evidence  of  solid  learning  which  it  contains, 

bears  the  impress  of  an  original  and  vigorous  mind,  not 
only  in  its  clear  and  lively  mode  of  presentation,  but  also 
in  the  large  and  elevated  views  presented  and  the  constant 
proof  afforded  that  the  author's  eye  commands  and  is  ac- 
customed to  command  the  whole  field  at  a  glance  as  well 
as  to  survey  more  closely  its  minuter  subdivisions.  This 
power  of  attending  to  both  great  and  small  in  due  propor- 

1 66  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1844 

tions  throws  over  the  details  a  pleasing  air  of  philosophical 
reflection  rendered  still  more  attractive  by  a  tinge  of 

On  the  appearance  of  the  English  translation,  Dr. 
Charles  Hodge  gave  similar  high  praise.2  Dr.  Leonard 
Bacon,3  representing  theological  thought  in  New  England, 
pronounced  it 

a  great  work.  ...  In  more  respects  than  one  this  mas- 
sive volume  is  a  phenomenon  in  the  theological  literature 
of  our  country  and  may  be  taken  as  an  indication  of  a 
new  era  in  the  history  of  American  theology.  .  .  .  All 
churches  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude  to  the  Reformed  Church 
for  having  made  such  a  man  an  American  and  having  given 
us  the  privilege  of  knowing  that  the  foremost  of  living 
church  historians,  the  Neander  of  his  own  generation,  is 
not  a  foreigner,  but  a  fellow-citizen  of  our  own  country. 

Among  other  favorable  notices  abroad  were  those  of 
Dean  Alford,  who  spoke  of  it  in  the  Edinburgh  Review ,4 
as  promising  to  be  one  of  the  best  compendiums  extant  of 
church  history,  Ullmann,5  author  of  Reformers  before  the 
Reformation,  and  Bunsen,  who  pronounced  it  to  be  a  work 
of  much  importance  (hochst  bedeutungsvoll)* 

Sharp  reprobation,  however,  was  not  wanting.  Time 
alone  shows  whether  the  faults  are  in  the  literary  compo- 
sition or  in  the  critic's  eye.  The  charges  called  forth  by 
the  Principle  of  Protestantism  were  marshalled  against  the 
new  work.  They  proceeded  chiefly  from  the  New  Bruns- 
wick  Review?   controlled   by   parties  within   the   Dutch 

1  Biblical  Repertory  and  Princeton  Review,  October,  1851,  pp.  649-657. 

2  Princeton  Review,  January,  1854,  pp.  148-192. 

3  New  Englander,  May,  1854,  pp.  237-254. 

4  January,  1853. 

5  Sachsisckes  Kirchen-  und  Schulblatt,  edited  by  Kahnis.  Leipzig,  March 
16,  1853. 

6  Hippolytus,  2d  ed.,  Leipzig,  1853. 

7  "  Dr.  SchafFs  Work  on  Church  History  "  and  "  Dr.  Schaff  as  a  Church 
Historian,"  New  Brunswick  Review,  1854,  pp.  1-63,  278-325. 

chap,  vii        GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  167 

Reformed  Church,  which  tried  to  prove  the  author  dis- 
qualified for  the  work  of  a  historian  by  narrowness  of 
mind,  self-complacency,  a  poetic  and  romantic  sentimental- 
ism  and  an  excessive  admiration  of  German  literature.  To 
these  elements  of  unfitness  was  added  a  strong  Romanizing 
tendency.  Was  this  not  evident  from  the  praise  of  Dr. 
Brownson,  the  Roman  Catholic  editor,  "  that  Dr.  Schaff's 
history  was  the  best  history  of  the  church  which  had  pro- 
ceeded from  a  Protestant  pen  "  ?  In  fact,  the  work  was 
nothing  more  nor  less  than  a  historical  plea  for  the  papacy. 

A  minute  review  of  these  criticisms  in  the  New  York 
Observer  (June,  1855)  written  by  a  scholar,  understood  to 
be  Dr.  Henry  B.  Smith,  closed  with  the  statement  that  no 
theological  student  could  afford  to  be  without  Dr.  Schaff's 

These  attacks  found  little  favor  and  the  History  of  the 
Apostolic  Church  established  the  theological  position  of 
its  author  beyond  controversy  before  the  American  public. 
There  could  thereafter  be  no  plausible  ground  for  making 
the  charge  against  him,  as  a  representative  of  the  Mercers- 
burg  theology,  that  he  was  a  covert  enemy  of  Protestantism. 

In  Dr.  Schaff's  conception  of  the  church  and  its  history, 
was  involved  the  principle  of  historical  development.  He 
had  used  the  theory  in  his  treatment  of  the  Reformation  in 
the  Principle  of  Protestantism,  vindicated  it  at  length  in  the 
tract,  What  is  Church  History?1  and  now  in  the  Introduction 
to  the  History  of  the  Apostolic  Church  he  gave  to  his  views 
their  final  expression.  Although  in  Germany  the  theory 
was  generally  accepted,  it  was  at  that  time  considered  by 
most  in  the  United  States  dangerous  and  by  many  heretical. 
The  very  expression  "  historical  development "  was  con- 
demned.   Dr.  Hodge,  in  his  review  of  the  Apostolic  Church, 

1  What  is  Church  History  ?  A  Vindication  of  the  Idea  of  Historical  Devel- 
opment, Philadelphia,  1846,  pp.  128. 

1 68  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1844 

took  issue  with  its  author  on  this  subject.1  He  held  that 
Dr.  Schaff's  theory,  if  he  understood  it,  was  un-Protestant. 
While  it  was  true  that  Hegel  was  not  endorsed,  neverthe- 
less in  his  handling  of  the  theory  was  involved  the  false 
notion  that  Christianity  is  not  a  doctrine  but  a  life.  Dr. 
Hodge  himself  accepted  a  law  of  historical  progress,  that 
Christianity  as  a  system  of  doctrine  is  contained  in  the 
Bible  in  all  its  completeness  but  that  the  settlement  of  its 
teachings  is  progressive. 

Dr.  ScharT  never  replied  to  Dr.  Hodge's  criticism.  It 
was  not  necessary.  They  were  agreed  in  the  essential 
position  that  the  final  court  of  authority  was  the  Bible. 
The  main  difference  was  in  the  relative  emphasis  placed 
upon  doctrine  and  life. 

A  year  after  Dr.  Schaff's  inaugural,  Dr.  John  Henry 
Newman  published  in  1845  ms  famous  Essay  on  the  Devel- 
opment of  Christian  Doctrine  to  justify  his  transition  from 
the  Anglican  to  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  His  theory 
is  that  of  a  gradual  accumulation  in  the  unbroken  line  of 
Roman  tradition  and  excludes  the  Protestant  Reformation 
as  a  heretical  apostasy  and  revolution.  But  even  in  that 
work  Cardinal  Newman  did  not  lay  emphasis  on  the 
infallibility  of  the  church,  as  a  true  Catholic  would  have 
done.  The  criticism  was  made  at  the  time,  as  for  example 
by  Dr.  Brownson,  that  the  work  was  anti-Catholic. 

Dr.  Schaff's  theory  of  historical  development  differed  as 
widely  from  the  Roman  Catholic  as  from  the  rationalistic. 
It  was  this.  The  church  is  the  body  of  Christ,  the  com- 
munion of  the  regenerate.  In  view  of  the  promise  of 
Christ's  perpetual  presence,  it  may  be  properly  said  to  be  a 
continuation  of  his  life  and  work  on  earth.  Having  had 
its  genesis,  it  is  having  its  growth.  The  new  man  in 
Christ,  like  the  tree,  grows.     The   church,  which  is  the 

1  Princeton  Review,  1854,  pp.  148-192;   System.  Theology,  I.  p.  118  sq. 

chap,  vii       GERMAN  LANGUAGE  IN  AMERICA  169 

organic  body  of  believers,  is  subject  like  the  individual 
man  to  a  law  of  development.  It  has  stages  but  at  the 
same  time  preserves  throughout  its  identity.  The  de- 
velopment is  organic,  a  process  of  life  springing  from  the 
vital  energy  imparted  by  Christ.  Looked  at  objectively 
as  an  order  of  being,  Christianity  is  complete  in  Christ 
and  is  presented  in  the  New  Testament  in  a  pure,  original, 
perfect  form  which  is  absolutely  normative  for  all  times. 
The  apprehension  and  appropriation  of  Christianity  is  pro- 
gressive. The  church  advances  from  one  state  of  know- 
ledge and  sanctification  to  another.  This  is  a  process  of 
development,  and  the  full  unfolding  of  the  church  exists 
from  the  beginning  potentially  in  Christ. 

In  his  own  interleaved  copy  of  What  is  Church  History, 
Dr.  Schaff  has  inserted  the  testimony  of  Rev.  John  Robin- 
son in  his  farewell  address  to  the  Pilgrims.  The  faded 
characters  indicate  that  it  was  copied  there  many  years 
ago.  Among  the  words  transcribed  were  those  often 
quoted  in  recent  years.  "  The  Lord  has  more  truth  and 
light  yet  to  break  forth  out  of  His  holy  Word  —  Luther 
and  Calvin  were  precious  shining  lights  in  their  times, 
yet  God  did  not  reveal  His  whole  will  to  them,  and  were 
they  now  living,  they  would  be  as  ready  and  willing  to 
embrace  further  light  as  that  they  had  received."  To  the 
full  passage  he  appends  his  own  note.  "Thus  we  have  the 
principle  of  a  progressive  historical  development,  stated 
on  the  birthday,  we  may  say,  of  American  church  history 
and  sanctioned  by  the  venerable  father  of  New  England 

Dr.  Schaff 's  last  word  on  the  subject  was  written  in 
1892  and  has  value  in  view  of  the  recent  treatments  of  the 
theory  of  evolution.1     It  runs  :  — 

The  true  theory  of  development  is  that  of  a  constant 
growth  of  the  church  in  Christ  the  head,  or  a  progressive 

1  Propadtuiic,  p.  240. 


understanding  and  application  of  Christianity,  until  Christ 
shall  be  all  in  all.  The  end  will  only  be  the  complete 
unfolding  of  the  beginning.  All  other  theories  of  develop- 
ment which  teach  a  progress  of  humanity  beyond  Christ 
and  beyond  Christianity  are  false  and  pernicious. 

In  the  revised  edition  of  his  History  of  the  Christian 
Church  no  discussion  is  found  of  the  theory  of  historical 
development.  What  had  once  been  looked  upon  with 
general  suspicion  had  in  one  form  or  another  come  to  be 
generally  accepted  and  the  space  was  too  valuable  to  jus- 
tify a  repetition  of  what  had  been  said  before  at  a  critical 
time.  "When  Philip  Schaff,  then  freshly  from  Switzer- 
land," says  the  latest  historian  of  the  American  Presby- 
terian churches,  "enunciated  the  more  generous  view  of 
the  past,  he  was  assailed  as  a  Romanizer.  His  heresy 
has  become  almost  a  commonplace  now."  1 

1  Robert  Ellis  Thompson,  A  History  of  the  Presbyterian  Churches  in  the 
United  States,  New  York,  1895,  P*  3°2« 

chap,  vin  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  \j\ 



Failing  Health — Scotland  —  Maurice  and  Bunsen  —  Oxford  —  A  Sunday  in 
London  —  Paris  —  In  Germany  again  —  Dining  with  the  King  —  Lectures 
on  America  —  Hurter  and  Prince  Metternich  —  Venice  and  Trent  —  Swit- 
zerland —  The  Kirchentag  —  Manning  and  Cardinal  Wiseman 

Late  in  the  autumn  of  1853  Dr.  Schaff  sailed  for 
Europe,  taking  advantage  of  a  year's  leave  of  absence 
granted  by  the  synod  "in  view  of  the  arduous  labors  he 
had  been  rendering  the  church."  His  eyesight  was 
threatened  and  his  voice  so  affected  that  he  could  not 
speak  in  public  so  as  to  be  heard.  His  ten  years  of  resi- 
dence in  the  New  World  had  been  a  stormy  period.  He 
was  in  need  of  rest  and  the  stimulus  which  comes  from 
personal  contact  with  scholars  and  theologians.  The  tour 
extended  as  far  as  Venice,  the  Crimean  War  preventing 
its  further  extension  to  Constantinople  and  Jerusalem.  To 
the  pursuit  of  recreation  was  added  a  diligent  purpose  to 
present  the  cause  of  the  German-American  churches  on 
the  Continent  and  the  delivery  of  addresses  on  America 
and  its  social  and  ecclesiastical  institutions. 

Arriving  in  Liverpool,  he  hastened  to  Scotland,  mak- 
ing the  first  of  many  visits  to  that  country  where  in  later 
years  he  had  some  of  his  warmest  personal  and  literary 
friends  and  was  equally  at  home  in  each  of  the  three 
great  Presbyterian  churches.     He  respected  the  strength, 


honesty  and  seriousness  of  the  Scotch  character  and  felt 
deeply  the  spell  of  Scotland's  heroic  history  and  stanch 
fidelity  to  religious  principle.  Of  his  first  Sunday,  he 
says  :  "How  quiet  the  streets,  how  full  the  churches,  how 
devout  the  worshippers !  Say  what  we  please,  a  Scotch 
Sabbath  is  one  of  the  most  imposing  sights,  a  powerful 
sermon,  the  glory  of  the  land  and  a  blessing  to  the  people. 
The  Americans  are  indebted  to  the  Puritans  and  Presby- 
terians for  this  treasure.  May  they  never  lose  it!  I 
heard  to-day  Dr.  Candlish,  the  most  influential  man  in  the 
Free  Church,  and  Dr.  Guthrie,  who  preached  an  original 
and  exceedingly  impressive  sermon  to  a  densely  crowded 
church.  .  .  . 

"  Although  the  number  of  literary  celebrities  is  not  so 
large  here  as  it  once  was,  yet  there  are  enough  of  excel- 
lent and  distinguished  scholars,  authors  and  ministers  to 
amply  repay  a  sojourn  of  weeks  and  months  in  Edin- 
burgh. The  contrast  between  the  old  city  with  its  narrow 
lanes  and  the  new  city  with  its  parks  and  wide  spaces  is 
very  striking.  Our  ideas  of  comfort  were  unknown  in  the 
olden  time.  The  room  in  the  castle  in  which  the  unfortu- 
nate Queen  Mary  gave  birth  to  James  VI,  is  so  small  that 
there  was  hardly  room  enough  for  a  bed  and  a  few  chairs. 
Mary's  pathetic  career  stands  out  before  you  in  lifelike 
outlines  at  Holy  rood.  Her  rare  beauty  and  irresistible 
charms,  her  French  training,  her  difficult  position  among 
her  semi-barbaric  noblemen  and  rigorous  Reformers  whom 
she  did  not  understand  and  who  in  turn  did  not  under- 
stand her,  her  tragic  fall,  her  protracted  imprisonment,  her 
attachment  to  the  religion  of  her  fathers,  her  imposing 
courage  in  the  hour  of  death,  her  touching  dying  prayer, 
beautiful  by  its  musical  cadence  as  well  as  by  its  devout- 
ness, —  all  these  make  an  impression  on  the  heart  and 
imagination   calculated  to  blind   us  to  the  mistakes  and 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  1 73 

faults  of  her  life.  The  sense  of  righteous  indignation  for 
her  improper  relations  with  Rizzio,  Darnley  and  Bothwell 
and  her  breaches  of  faith  give  way  to  a  feeling  of  compas- 
sionate sympathy  due  even  to  the  greatest  sinner  in  the 
hour  of  tragic  fall  and  prolonged  suffering." 

From  Glasgow,  where  Mrs.  Stowe  had  been  recently 
visiting,  he  wrote  :  "  The  enthusiasm  for  the  author  of 
Uncle  Toms  Cabin,  as  far  as  I  have  seen,  is  universally 
shared  here.  •  Every  one  who  can  read  is  reading  her 
book.  I  have  had  a  delightful  visit  with  Dr.  Robson  of 
the  United  Presbyterian  Church,  who  entertained  Mrs. 
Stowe  during  her  stay.  We  have  talked  long  on  slavery. 
The  feeling  against  it  is  very  strong  all  over  Scotland  and 
I  am  tired  of  talking  on  the  subject,  for  I  can  neither 
defend  slavery  nor  on  the  other  hand  permit  the  unjust 
charges  against  America  because  of  it.  I  generally  re- 
mind my  Scotch  friends  that  all  the  obnoxious  and  inhu- 
man laws  in  the  slave  states  were  made  under  English 
rule.  .  .  . 

"  If  there  be  a  country  in  the  world  where  the  earnest 
spirit  of  Calvin  has  found,  as  it  were,  a  national  embodi- 
ment, it  is  in  the  land  of  his  faithful  pupil,  John  Knox.  In 
the  point  of  temperance  Scotland  has  much  to  learn,  but 
taken  as  a  whole  I  believe  it  deserves  its  reputation  for 
piety  and  virtue  and  need  not  fear  a  comparison  with  any 
nation  of  the  world.  The  noble  sacrifices  which  the  Free 
Church  made  are  without  a  parallel  in  modern  times  and 
will  always  form  one  of  the  brightest  pages  in  her 

Proceeding  southwards,  he  stopped  at  Burton  Agnes, 
missing  Archdeacon  Robert  Wilberforce,  who  had  been 
unexpectedly  called  away  to  his  brother's,  the  bishop  of 
Oxford.  He  stayed  over  night  at  the  archdeacon's  man- 
sion and  "  sat  in  the  chair  of  old  Wilberforce,  the  great 


slave  emancipator,  and  found  a  magnificent  library,  includ- 
ing many  German  books  and  also  the  numbers  of  the 
KircJienfretind  and  the  Mercersburg  Review." 

In  London  he  found  the  air  full  of  rumors  of  the  com- 
ing war.  The  first  Sabbath  he  worshipped  at  Lincoln's 
Inn  Chapel  "  where  Professor  Maurice,  then  recently 
deposed  from  his  chair  in  King's  College,  officiated.  The 
liturgy  was  read  with  full  responses  and  the  Lord's  Supper 
was  celebrated.  Although  I  belong  to  another  branch  of 
the  Kingdom,  I  went  forward  and  found  my  way  to  com- 
munion with  the  Lord."  The  next  morning  he  was 
breakfasting  with  Maurice  who  told  him  that  the  Catholic 
Church  did  not  take  strong  hold  of  society  in  England. 
The  days  following  he  was  dining  with  Mr.  Buchanan  and 
the  Prussian  ambassador,  Dr.  Bunsen.  "  Bunsen,"  he 
wrote,  "  treated  me  with  very  marked  kindness  and  invited 
me  to  be  a  constant  guest  at  his  table  during  my  stay  in 
London.  He  is  under  size,  but  erect,  of  remarkably  fresh 
and  healthy  complexion.  He  is  a  thorough  Protestant  in 
his  feelings.  He  showed  me  his  work  for  the  new  edition 
of  the  Hippolytus.  The  extent  and  comprehensiveness  of 
his  learning  are  quite  remarkable,  and  he  is  unquestion- 
ably one  of  the  most  interesting  men  of  the  age.  He 
overwhelms  one  with  talk  of  the  most  suggestive  charac- 
ter. He  is  more  than  a  man  of  brilliant  genius,  a  Christian 
gentleman  actively  interested  in  all  the  movements  of  the 
church  and  Christian  philanthropy." 

At  Cuddesdon  he  had  his  first  experience  as  a  guest  in 
an  English  episcopal  residence.  There  he  met  Archdea- 
con Wilberforce,  soon  to  pass  over  into  the  Roman  com- 
munion, who  was  visiting  his  brother,  the  witty,  eloquent 
and  popular  bishop  of  Oxford.  "The  bishop's  palace," 
writes  Dr.  Schaff,  "is  isolated  in  location  and  has  the 
appearance  from  outside  of  being  old  and  uncomfortable, 

chap,  vin  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  1 75 

but  within  it  is  comfortable  and  palatial.  The  surround- 
ings are  pretty  and  the  gardens  fine  with  great  trees  and 
ivy.  Here  I  get  an  idea  of  the  union  of  aristocratic  life 
and  devout  Christianity  which  seems  to  characterize  the 
bishops'  residences  in  England.  The  title  ■  Lord  Bishop  ' 
points  plainly  to  both  elements.  We  had  dinner  at  seven 
with  perhaps  thirty  gentlemen  and  ladies  sitting  at  the 
table.  At  ten  or  eleven  we  had  devotion  in  the  bishop's 
chapel.  The  next  morning  we  had  devotion  again  at  nine 
with  a  short,  earnest,  practical  talk  by  the  bishop,  followed 
by  breakfast.  I  have  long  conversations  with  the  arch- 
deacon about  the  church  question.  He  is  a  man  of  fine 
culture  and  seems  to  be  deeply  religious." 

At  Oxford  he  saw  Pusey  again  "  who  does  not  seem  to 
be  shaken  in  his  ecclesiastical  position  by  the  defection  of 
Newman  "  and  received  from  him,  a  few  days  after,  a  char- 
acteristic letter  in  which  he  said :  "  I  do  believe  that  the 
Lutheran  and  other  Dissenting  bodies  are  under  great 
loss.  I  do  think  that  by  virtue  of  their  baptism  pious 
individuals  who  are  in  ignorance,  belong  to  the  soul 
though  not  to  the  body  of  the  church.  By  baptism  they 
were  made  members  of  Christ  and  may  continue  so,  unless 
by  any  wilful  acts  of  their  own,  as  to  faith  and  morals  un- 
repented  of,  they  forfeit  it.  But  the  other  great  sacra- 
ment, as  well  as  the  Power  of  the  Keys,  I  believe  to  be 
tied  to  the  Priesthood.  I  mean  that  Priests  only  can  con- 
secrate the  Holy  Eucharist  or  absolve,  and  that  Priests 
only  can  be  made  Bishops.  I  have  no  doubt  that  this  was 
the  belief  of  all  from  St.  Ignatius  to  Luther,  Calvin  and 
Zwingli.  I  cannot  but  think,  too,  that  the  Lutheran  doc- 
trine that  a  *  man  is  justified  because  he  believes  himself 
justified '  is  not  only  untrue,  but  eats  out  the  doctrine  of 
the  Sacrament." 

In  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Schaff,  dated  Oxford,  January  24,  he 

1 76  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1854 

said  :  "  I  reached  here  a  few  days  ago  in  the  bishop's  car- 
riage from  Cuddesdon.  I  have  had  most  intercourse  with 
Archdeacon  Wilberforce  and  have  found  him  a  deeply 
religious  man  but  very  high  church  in  his  views.  He 
takes  a  lively  interest  in  the  Mercersburg  movement,  es- 
pecially in  Dr.  Nevin  whose  writings  he  reads.  .  .  .  Here 
I  have  seen  old  and  new  friends  and  have  daily  invitations 
to  breakfast  and  dinner ;  but  I  have  not  been  so  much  im- 
pressed with  the  mediaeval  character  of  Oxford  as  I  was 
ten  years  ago  when  it  was  fresh  and  new  to  me.  It  seems 
to  me  to  be  modernized.  I  think  I  will  find  as  I  go  on, 
that  for  England  and  Scotland  I  am  too  much  of  a  Ger- 
man, for  Germany  and  Switzerland  too  English,  and  for 
all  too  much  of  an  American." 

Returning  to  London  he  dined  with  Bunsen,  who  enter- 
tained him  till  after  midnight,  reading  large  portions  of  his 
work  on  the  chronology  of  the  oldest  Roman  festivals  and 
giving  him  "  freely  his  views  on  the  Eastern  question. 
He  does  not  seem  to  be  at  all  a  Russophile  as  he  is 
charged  with  being.  He  calls  Hengstenberg  and  von 
Gerlach  the  two  popes  of  the  Prussian  church. 

"  Sunday  (January  29)  was  a  day  full  of  remarkable  con- 
trasts. At  eleven  I  went  to  St.  George's,  the  Catholic 
cathedral,  which  was  thronged,  and  paid  a  shilling  for  a 
good  place.  At  least  a  dozen  priests  joined  in  the  service 
which,  with  the  music,  made  a  strong  appeal  to  the  senses. 
The  sermon  was  by  Dr.  Grant,  Bishop  of  Southwark,  for- 
merly a  soldier  in  the  British  army.  ...  At  three  I  go 
to  Westminster  Abbey.  Fine  liturgical  service  uttered  in 
a  voice  one  can  understand.  The  sermon  was  by  Dr. 
Wordsworth.  It  was  carefully  written,  delivered  with 
energy  and  contained  many  excellent  thoughts  on  the 
unity  of  the  church  which,  with  much  emphasis,  he  based 
on   the   episcopal    order   and   Apostolic   succession   with 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE 


polemical  remarks  against  the  '  Roman  schism '  and 
'Protestant  dissent.'  Although  evidently  well  meant,  it 
was  wholly  unsatisfactory  to  me.  Maurice  tells  me  I 
could  not  have  heard  a  more  characteristic  sermon  from 
Dr.  Wordsworth.  ...  In  the  evening  I  heard  Dr.  Cum- 
ming  in  the  Scotch  Presbyterian  church.  First  he  gave 
an  exposition  of  John  ii.  i-i  i  against  Mariolatry  and  the 
advocates  of  total  abstinence.  Then  he  preached  from 
John  i.  2  against  the  Unitarians.  It  was  a  popular  ex- 
hortation, clear  and  trenchant  but  full  of  peculiarities, 
Greek  citations,  quotations  from  the  Fathers,  parade  of 
names  and  other  distasteful  things,  and  leavened  with  van- 
ity. I  am  told  he  hardly  ever  preaches  without  fighting 
against  the  pope.  Here,  the  pulpit  was  in  the  foreground  ; 
the  altar  had  disappeared.  The  sermon  was  everything. 
The  church  was  so  crowded  that  I  had  to  stand  during  the 
entire  service.  Cumming  has  an  easy  facility  in  exposi- 
tion and  the  application  of  Scripture.  He  does  not  carry 
away  by  bold  strokes  of  genius,  depth  and  vigor  of  thought, 
brilliant  images  and  strong  bursts  of  enthusiasm  as  did 
Edward  Irving.  .  .  . 

"  Breakfast  this  morning  with  Maurice,  meeting  Arch- 
deacon Hare  and  Professor  Trench,  a  heavy  thick-set  man, 
not  very  talkative  but  very  genial  and  strongly  anti-Catholic. 
He  invited  me  to  spend  some  days  with  him  at  his  country 
vicarage.  In  the  evening  I  attended  a  brilliant  reception 
at  Dr.  Bunsen's  where  I  met  Sir  John  Herschel,  Professor 
Lepsius,  the  Egyptian  traveller,  Max  Muller,  a  Sanscrit 
scholar  of  Oxford,  Dean  Milman,  Stanley  and  others."  The 
next  day  he  heard  Melville  preach  the  Golden  Lecture 
which  he  pronounced  "an  excellent  composition,  edifying, 
pungent  and  full  of  original  thoughts.  He  is  a  real  master 
of  eloquence.  The  natural  virtues,  he  said,  far  from  having 
a  justifying  power,   rise  up  for  our  condemnation  if  we 


neglect  our  duties  to  God."     In  a  letter  to  his  wife  he 
writes  :  — 

I  saw  the  procession  of  the  queen  to  parliament  from  the 
palace  of  the  Prussian  embassy  and  had  a  capital  view  of 
this  truly  magnificent  scene,  as  the  queen,  with  Prince 
Albert  and  the  Duchess  of  Sutherland  and  her  whole  train, 
passed  by  through  St.  James'  Park  filled  with  an  ocean  of 
people  in  orderly  agitation.  The  Turkish  ambassador  was 
much  cheered.  All  England  is  thoroughly  aroused  against 
Russia.  .  .  .  Sunday  I  spent  the  greater  part  of  the  day  with 
the  Irvingites.  In  the  morning  I  found  their  beautiful 
Gothic  church  in  Gordon  Square,  the  first  of  the  seven 
churches  of  London,  thronged  with  devout  worshippers.  The 
Lord's  Supper  was  administered  with  great  solemnity,  an 
imposing  ceremonial,  many  hundreds  communing.  They  ob- 
served the  best  of  order,  passing  up  one  aisle,  then  kneeling 
and  passing  down  the  other  aisle.  The  liturgy  is  very 
beautiful.  I  dined  with  the  angel  of  the  church,  Mr.  Heath, 
meeting  his  large  and  amiable  family,  and  have  seldom  been 
in  a  household  so  adorned  with  Christian  graces.  Then  at 
four  I  attended  the  service  designed  for  the  congregation 
and  at  seven  the  service  of  the  evangelists  for  outsiders. 
The  service  this  morning,  I  believe,  was  the  most  beautiful 
and  perfect  liturgical  service  I  have  yet  attended  :  even 
more  so  than  the  one  in  St.  George's,  for  this  you  can 
understand.  .  .  .  The  real  body  and  brawn  of  the  English 
nation  is  radically  Protestant  and  will  certainly  never  sub- 
mit to  the  yoke  of  an  Italian  church  ruler  or  permit  itself 
to  be  despoiled  of  the  Bible,  the  pulpit  and  the  other  forms 
of  the  Reformation. 

The  last  day  of  his  visit  Dr.  Schaff  breakfasted  with 
Chevalier  Bunsen,  "who  was  very  cordial  and  in  the  pres- 
ence of  his  whole  family  kissed  me  in  true  German  fashion 
on  both  cheeks.  He  gives  me  letters  of  introduction  to 
Bishop  Gobat  of  Jerusalem."  A  few  months  later  Bunsen 
was  removed  from  his  high  post,  and  retired  to  his  chalet 
near  Heidelberg,  where  Dr.  Schaff  spent  some  time  with 

Writing  from  Paris  (February  9)  to  his  wife,  he  said  :  — 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  1 79 

I  have  seen  the  emperor  and  Eugenie  several  times. 
The  empress  looks  pale,  delicate,  amiable,  almost  as  beau- 
tiful as  she  is  generally  represented  in  her  pictures.  The 
emperor  I  saw  on  horseback  between  two  aids,  of  middle 
size  and  well  built.  He  has  the  appearance  of  a  cold, 
reserved  but  resolute  character.  His  eyes  are  dull  and 
his  saffron  face  seems  to  express  unconcern  about  persons 
and  things  around  about  him.  Like  his  uncle,  he  is  iden- 
tified with  the  French  nationality  but  seems  to  be  above  it, 
with  a  taciturnity  and  self-command  that  are  in  strong 
contrast  with  the  loquacity  and  vivacity  around  him.  .  .  . 
But  what  are  all  the  attractions  of  even  such  a  city  as  this 
without  a  friend!  Men  are  after  all  worth  much  more 
than  the  glories  wrought  in  wood  and  stone  and  silver.  I 
have  been  much  with  the  Monods,  especially  Adolph,  my 
old  and  warm  friend.  He  is  of  middle  size,  great  fire  and 
energy,  yet  kind  and  amiable  and  adorned  with  a  rare 
amount  of  humble  devotion  and  spirituality  and  with  ex- 
traordinary pulpit  talents.  I  have  heard  that  Lacordaire 
has  said  that  he  is  the  best  living  preacher  of  France.  Per- 
fectly simple  and  natural  in  delivery,  his  sermons  flow  from 
the  most  conscientious  study  of  the  text,  from  freshness  of 
religious  conviction  and  experience  and  are  characterized 
by  great  power  of  faith  and  fervor.  His  voice  is  of  a  sin- 
gular sweetness  and  his  French  pronunciation  is  unexcelled. 
He  always  speaks  as  if  in  the  face  of  eternity  and  the  final 
judgment  while  a  certain  sadness  rests  on  his  serious  yet 
mild  countenance.     He  has  chosen  St.  Paul  for  his  model. 

Recollections  of  the  far-off  home  press  in  upon  the  tour- 
ist. No  matter  how  gay  and  novel  the  surroundings  may 
be  through  which  he  happens  to  be  travelling,  the  soul 
finds  itself  now  and  again  hushed  by  voices  inaudible  to 
the  outward  ear.  At  one  of  these  times  he  wrote  to  his 
wife :  — 

I  thought  I  could  not  spend  to-day,  the  anniversary  of 
Willie's  burial,  more  appropriately  than  at  Pere  la  Chaise. 
Here  repose  the  ashes  of  some  of  the  greatest  warriors, 
statesmen,  artists  and  scholars  of  France,  under  monuments 
of  elegant  architecture  and  large  dimensions.  .  .  .  On  the 
other  side  of  the  cemetery  lie  the  bodies  of  the  unknown 
poor,  marked  simply  by  a  black  cross  ;  many  of  them,  I  hope, 


sincere  disciples  of  Christ  who  will  shine  in  brighter 
lustre  on  the  great  day  of  account  than  many  of  the  most 
illustrious  marshals  on  the  pages  of  French  history.  By 
far  the  most  interesting  monument  to  me  was  that  of  Abe- 
lard  and  Heloise,  in  the  Saxon  style  of  the  thirteenth 
century  formed  out  of  slabs  from  the  abbey  of  the  Paraclete. 
I  stood  there  full  half  an  hour,  meditating  on  the  Middle 
Ages,  the  scholastic  and  mystic  theology,  the  history  of 
monasticism  and  all  those  themes  which  the  two  sleepers 
suggest.  Then  I  looked  over  to  the  great  and  beautiful 
city  ...  to  the  landscape  beyond,  up  to  the  clear  skies 
and  forward  into  the  world  to  come  and  to  that  day  when 
all  the  dead  shall  rise  and  appear  before  the  judge  of  man- 
kind. But  amidst  all  these  crowding  thoughts  and  scenes 
our  own  home  and  the  sufferings  of  our  little  Willie,  whose 
lovely  spirit  now  enjoys  the  sight  of  the  angels  in  heaven, 
were  uppermost  in  my  mind. 

By  the  middle  of  February  he  was  again  on  German 
soil,  spending  the  first  Sabbath  at  Elberfeld,  where  he 
was  "  met  with  overflowing  demonstrations  of  friendship, 
wherein  the  Germans  differ  so  greatly  from  the  English 
with  their  cold  and  measured  politeness."  At  the  depot 
at  Magdeburg  he  unexpectedly  came  upon  Professor  Tho- 
luck.  "  He  embraced  me  and  kissed  me,  saying,  when  we  see 
a  person  coming  from  America  we  must  stand  off  for  a  while 
to  reassure  ourselves  that  it  is  the  same  person,  a  being 
like  ourselves.  He  is  the  same  old  person  (er  ist  noch  ganz 
der  alte)"  Here  are  some  of  the  notes  from  Dr.  Schaff's 
journal : 

At  Halle  "  I  dined  with  Tholuck,  Dr.  Miiller,  Guericke, 
Hupfeld.  Everywhere  I  am  received  most  cordially  and 
spend  exceedingly  pleasant  hours.  Have  a  most  interest- 
ing conversation  with  Leo  about  the  church  question. 
He  believes  the  pope  will  be  driven  again  from  Rome  in 
five  years  but  that  within  twenty  years  the  majority  of  the 
German  people  will  be  Catholic.  If  the  Catholic  Church 
were  to  go  down  to-day,  Protestantism  would  have  to  res- 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  181 

urrect  it  to-morrow  so  as  not  itself  to  fall  to  pieces.  He 
admits  such  reasoning  would  drive  him  to  Rome,  but 
religion  is  not  a  matter  of  the  reason  but  a  matter  of  the 
heart  and  Protestantism  is  able  to  do  much  that  Catholi- 
cism is  not  able  to  do." 

At  Leipzig  he  found  Kahnis  "  who  has  become  a  strict 
Old-Lutheran,  but  otherwise  remains  the  same  genial, 
cheerful,  fresh  man  as  ever.  We  talk  over  the  church 
question,  the  importance  of  which  he  is  beginning  to  feel. 
He  is  against  union  and  against  Nitzsch.  I  was  able 
to  find  more  common  ground  with  Liebner,  who  is  also  a 
Lutheran  but  not  a  narrow  and  exclusive  one.  Ultra-Lu- 
theranism,  he  says,  often  sets  his  nerves  jumping.  Christ 
is  central  and  nothing  is  to  be  tolerated  which  is  put  as  a 
substitute  for  him.  As  for  Teschendorf,  the  celebrated 
critic  and  scholar,  he  seems  to  be  still  quite  young,  is  ex- 
tremely fresh  and  vivacious,  and  overwhelmed  by  edited 
and  unedited  manuscripts  and  editions  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment, but  is  full  of  self-conceit  and  harsh  in  his  judgments 
upon  scholars  otherwise  held  in  highest  repute,  such  as 
Lachmann.  He  showed  me  his  papers,  letters  from  Mez- 
zofanti,  Angelo  Mai  (whom  as  a  critic,  he  says,  he  does 
not  trust  for  a  single  line),  Humboldt  and  from  the  papal 
secretary  himself.  Thilo's  codex  apocryphorum  he  declares 
to  be  unusable ;  Schwegler's  work  on  the  Clementines  he 
calls  a  Schweinerei  and  so  he  goes  on." 

At  Berlin  he  spent  several  months.  As  in  England  so 
there  the  general  topic  was  the  Eastern  war.  "Von  Beth- 
mann  Hollweg  is  the  leader  against  Russia  in  the  Prussian 
parliament  and  Ludwig  von  Gerlach  against  Turkey.  It 
seems  as  if  the  time  for  the  fall  of  the  false  prophet  had 
come.  Into  Constantinople  he  forced  his  way  by  the 
sword,  and  with  the  sword,  by  a  nemesis  of  history,  he  will 
have  to  be  driven  forth.     Constantinople  must  again  be- 


come  a  hearthstone  of  Christianity  and  exert  a  regenerat- 
ing influence  upon  the  Oriental  churches  and  advance  the 
cause  of  civilization  throughout  Europe." 

Many  changes  had  occurred  in  the  Prussian  capital,  the 
chief  of  which  was  Neander's  death,  of  which  he  writes, 
"to  the  grief  of  his  old  pupils,  his  memory  is  temporarily 
put  into  the  background."  The  influence  of  Hengstenberg 
was  supreme.  Nitzsch  represented  the  unionistic  ten- 
dencies. Hoffmann,  formerly  of  Basel,  was  chief  court- 
preacher  and  exerting  a  wide  and  salutary  influence. 
Krummacher  had  been  transferred  to  Potsdam.  The  rapid 
development  of  the  rigid  and  exclusive  Old-Lutheranism 
had  been  one  of  the  marked  features  of  the  recent  period. 
Ranke  was  at  the  height  of  his  powers  and  "  dilated  to 
me,"  writes  Dr.  SchafT,  "in  a  most  interesting  and  piquant 
way  on  a  great  variety  of  subjects.  He  feels  a  deep  inter- 
est in  the  United  States  and  speaks  with  esteem  of  Pres- 
cott  and  Bancroft."  As  for  Schelling,  "his  piercing  eye 
and  snow-white  hair  give  him  a  most  interesting  appear- 
ance. He  continues  to  hold  firmly  to  his  views  of  the 
Petrine,  Pauline  and  Johannine  theory  of  the  development 
of  the  church.  He  hopes  for  nothing  from  the  papacy. 
He  is  still  working  away  at  his  manuscripts."  Of  Krum- 
macher he  says :  "  He  has  not  changed  and  remains  as 
mild  and  amiable  as  a  lamb  in  the  family  circle,  and  as 
bold  as  a  lion  in  the  pulpit.  After  the  morning  sermon 
the  king  held  a  review  of  an  infantry  regiment.  So  he 
finds  it  impossible  to  do  away  with  all  Sabbath  desecra- 
tion !  Krummacher  and  his  wife  take  me  to  the  king's 
palace,  Sans  Souci,  to  Babelsberg,  and  to  the  summer 
palace  of  Prince  Charles.  I  heard  an  original  and  highly 
brilliant  sermon  by  Krummacher  before  the  king,  queen 
and  the  prince  on  the  text,  'if  they  hear  not  the  prophets,' 
in  which  he  made  three  witnesses  for  repentance  rise  up 

chap,  vin  A    YEAR  /AT  EUROPE  183 

from  their  graves,  the  Great  Elector,  Frederick  I  and 
Frederick  II,  repeating  with  tremendous  effect  the  last 
one's  words  to  his  minister,  *  Schaff  mir  wieder  Religion 
ins  Land  (Bring  back  religion  into  the  country).'  I  assist 
in  the  distribution  of  the  elements  at  the  communion." 

The  following  is  his  account  of  a  dinner  with  the  royal 
family  (May  11) :  "I  dined  with  the  king  at  two  o'clock, 
driving  with  Krummacher  to  the  palace.  Soon  the  guests 
began  to  arrive,  the  president  of  the  ministry,  von  Man- 
teuffel,  in  dress  and  appearance  a  plain  man,  with  gold 
spectacles,  who  spoke  little  and  was  probably  worn  out 
with  concern  over  the  Eastern  question ;  Count  von  Bis- 
marck of  Schonhausen,  a  delegate  to  the  Bundestag  on  a 
visit  from  Frankfurt,  a  fine-looking,  stately  and  amiable 
gentleman  laden  with  orders ;  Lieutenant-General  von 
Gerlach ;  Niebuhr,  the  cabinet  counsellor,  not  very  agree- 
able but  a  favorite  with  the  king ;  Count  von  Alversleben, 
formerly  a  cabinet  minister  and  now  sent  on  an  exceed- 
ingly important  mission  to  Vienna  concerning  the  Eastern 
question,  and  three  ladies  of  the  court.  Then  the  queen 
and  king  appeared.  I  was  presented  by  Count  von  Keller. 
The  queen,  who  has  a  gentle  and  friendly  manner  and 
bright  eyes,  asked  after  my  place  of  residence  and  birth 
and  the  Germans  of  Pennsylvania.  The  king  held  a  long 
conversation  with  me  after  dinner  about  Graubiindten, 
Chur,  Mercersburg,  America,  and  the  German  revolution- 
ists in  America,  mentioning  some  of  them  by  name  and 
saying  that  'ploughing  would  do  some  of  them  good  and  he 
hoped  they  would  remain  at  it.  He  was  sorry  for  Kinkel 
on  account  of  his  fine  talents.'  He  talked  much  about  the 
Germans  in  America  and  said,  ■  It  won't  do  them  any  harm 
to  learn  some  English  ways  but  on  the  contrary  good.' 
At  the  table  the  king  was  very  agreeable  and  related  a 
number  of  anecdotes.     He  is  a  genial  Berliner,  his  dialect 


1 84  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1854 

like  von  Gerlach's.  His  jokes  are  not  Berlinese,  but  puri- 
fied by  his  broad  culture  and  Christianity.  He  is  a  man 
of  large  information,  much  goodness  of  heart,  but  little 
decision.  The  meal  lasted  an  hour  and  a  half  and  then  we 
spent  another  hour  in  an  adjoining  room,  drinking  coffee 
and  in  conversation.  It  was  a  most  interesting  experience 
for  once,  but  I  pity  those  who  have  to  dine  with  the  king 
every  day.  The  temptation  to  flattery  is  enormous. 
Great  loss  of  time.  At  five  I  go  out  with  von  Alversle- 
ben  and  Bismarck  to  Berlin." 

During  his  visit  in  Berlin  Dr.  Schaff  was  invited  to 
deliver  lectures  on  America  in  the  rooms  of  the  Evangeli- 
cal Verein.  The  audiences  represented  the  culture  of  the 
city.  At  the  conclusion  of  the  first  effort,  the  famous 
geographer  Ritter  went  up  to  him  and,  pressing  his  hand 
warmly,  thanked  him  for  the  address  and  expressed  his 
entire  concurrence  with  it.  The  lectures  appeared  in  an 
elaborated  form  in  a  volume  under  the  title  of  Amerika. 
In  a  letter  to  his  wife,  he  writes  :  "  A  most  unexpected 
honor  and  pleasure  were  afforded  me  a  few  days  ago  by 
the  theological  faculty  of  this  city,  who  unanimously  con- 
ferred upon  me  the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Divinity.  Such 
a  manifestation  of  regard  from  the  first  university  in  the 
world,  which  is  usually  very  sparing  in  its  distribution  of 
academic  honors,  is  alone  worth  the  whole  trip  to  Europe. 
.  .  .  They  tell  me  from  various  quarters  that  I  have  been 
called  to  fill  Lange's  place  at  Zurich.  Whatever  I  might 
do  some  years  hence,  I  could  not  accept  now." 

The  following  are  his  journal  accounts  of  interviews  with 
Hurter,  a  convert  to  the  Roman  church,  and  Prince  von 
Metternich,  at  Vienna.  Hurter's  scholarly  volumes  on 
Gregory  VII  were  among  the  very  last  books  Dr.  Schaff 
had  in  his  hands,  one  of  them  lying  open  on  his  table  the 
day  he  died.     "Hurter  is  an  odd-looking  man  with  gray 

CHAP,  vill  A    YEAR   IN  EUROPE  185 

hair,  but  animated  and  healthy  in  appearance.  He  has  a 
pleasant  Swiss  accent.  He  said  he  was  fully  satisfied  with 
the  Catholic  Church,  which  is  a  world  by  itself.  He  goes 
twice  to  mass  daily  and  there  the  subjective  element  van- 
ishes that  is  made  so  prominent  in  the  sermon,  especially 
the  Protestant  sermon.  Certain  virtues  like  obedience  are 
not  possible  under  Protestantism.  Protestantism  has  a 
certain  amount  of  truth,  but  it  is  taken  from  Catholicism 
and  it  is  losing  its  power.  It  consists  of  disjecta  membra 
and  is  solid  only  in  the  single  matter  of  opposition  to  the 
Catholic  Church,  and  here  it  is  not  organized.  A  corpo- 
rate union  between  the  two  is  not  possible,  and  the  only 
thing  left  was  for  individual  Protestants  to  submit  to  the 
church,  which  is  much  milder  than  represented;  and  her 
doctrine  about  the  saving  quality  of  the  church  is  not  to 
be  understood  as  if  all  possibility  of  salvation  were  taken 
away  from  Protestants.  On  the  whole,  I  found  him  milder 
in  his  Catholicism  and  less  cautious  in  the  expression  of 
his  views  than  I  expected.  .  .  . 

"  Herr  von  Pilat  took  me  to-day  (June  1)  to  see  Prince 
Metternich,  now  in  the  evening  of  his  life,  who  entertained 
me  for  a  full  hour  most  interestingly.  He  is  eighty-one 
years  old,  has  three  sons  and  three  daughters,  is  hard  of 
hearing  but  otherwise  retains  all  his  intellectual  vigor,  tall 
but  somewhat  bowed  with  age,  large  eyes,  with  a  wide 
clear  space  between  the  eyebrows,  dignified,  aristocratic  in 
his  bearing,  but  very  friendly  and  very  talkative,  just  now 
broken  a  little  by  the  death  of  his  third  wife.  He  gave  me 
at  length  his  views  on  the  United  States  and  the  church 
there.  He  says  they  are  like  a  boy  thirteen  or  fourteen 
years  old,  full  of  ideals  and  impulse,  but  also  full  of  self- 
will  and  silly  tricks.  This  will  change  as  they  pass  into 
mature  age.  A  nation  has  three  stages,  —  the  start,  the 
voyage  and  the  arrival.     America  is  now  in  the  second 

1 86  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1854 

stage.  She  has  the  advantage  of  boundless  territory, 
which  gets  better  as  you  go  west,  where  every  one  can 
find  room  for  himself.  Russia  also  has  abundance  of  terri- 
tory but,  in  her  case,  this  is  rather  disadvantageous  than 
otherwise  and  the  land  gets  worse  as  you  recede  from  the 
centre  of  the  empire.  America's  influence  on  Europe  is 
hurtful,  for  it  furnishes  a  disturbing  element  and  does  noth- 
ing in  the  way  of  building  up  European  institutions.  The 
nation  was  at  first  Anglo-Saxon.  Now  it  is  a  chaotic 
mixture,  but  it  cannot  remain  in  this  condition  and  will 
go  through  a  great  organic  change  in  the  next  fifty  years. 
It  is  possible,  however,  that  it  will  pass  through  a  stage 
of  progress  beyond  Europe.  .  .  .  Then,  speaking  of  the 
church,  he  said,  'There  is  but  one  church  and  many 
states.  That  church  is  the  Catholic.  The  Protestants  are 
Christians  because  they  believe  in  redemption  through 
Christ  but  they  are  no  church  —  only  confessions,  reli- 
gious schools  without  stability  and  the  firm  principle  of 
authority.  The  Lutherans  were  nearest  being  a  church, 
for  they  had  not  rejected  the  episcopate  but  transferred  it 
to  the  states,  a  thing  which  in  the  Catholic  Church  was 
impossible.  The  Reformed  churches  were  more  logical 
and  consistent  in  discarding  the  episcopate.  The  Union 
Church  of  Prussia  was  the  least  permanent  of  all,  as  it  got 
along  without  any  dogmas  whatever  and  one  might  be- 
lieve what  he  pleased.  The  Catholic  Church  was  inde- 
structible. It  had  the  truth  and  was  like  an  island  of  rock 
against  which  the  waves  of  the  ocean  beat,  loosening  here 
and  there  a  fragment  which  falls  into  the  depths  but  only 
to  strengthen  the  foundations.  The  more  the  Protestants 
split  into  parties  and  sects,  the  more  will  the  unity  of 
Catholics  become  conspicuous.  A  capitulation  between 
the  two  is  impossible,  for  Catholicism  is  the  truth.  Prot- 
estantism will  send  some  of  its  adherents  back  to  the  true 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  187 

church  and  others  off  into  scepticism.'  Prince  Esterhazy 
had  to  wait  a  long  time  till  Metternich  got  through.  On 
leaving  I  strolled  with  Herr  von  Pilat  through  the  magnifi- 
cent grounds  and  gardens  adorned  with  statues  by  Canova, 
Thorwaldsen  and  others,  some  of  which  were  presents  from 
Frederick  William  III  and  IV,  Ludwig  of  Bavaria  and  the 
Duke  of  Tuscany.  The  conversation  was  one  of  the  most 
interesting  I  have  ever  had." 

From  Vienna  Dr.  SchafF s  route  took  him  to  the  north- 
ern Italian  cities  and  Trent.  Writing  to  his  wife  from 
Venice,  he  said  :  — 

The  dream  of  my  youth  is  realized.  The  wonderful 
city  lies  before  my  eyes  like  a  floating  marble  flower  and  a 
sweet  fairy  tale  of  bygone  years.  Where  are  remains  of 
glory  so  grand,  so  beautiful,  as  in  this  incomparable  city 
of  the  Adriatic !  How  bold  and  confident  of  victory  the 
winged  lion  of  St.  Mark  looked  out  upon  the  fields  of  Italy 
and  the  far-away  seas  to  the  Greek  lands,  the  temple  of  St. 
Sophia  at  Byzantium  and  the  pyramids  of  Egypt !  And 
now  the  same  lion  is  dead  stone  and  nothing  more ! 

"  A  thousand  years  their  cloudy  wings  expand 

Around  me,  and  a  dying  glory  smiles 
O'er  the  far  times,  when  many  a  subject  land 

Looked  to  the  winged  lion's  marble  piles 
Where  Venice  sat  in  state,  throned  on  her  hundred  isles  ! " 

This  and  the  other  verses  of  Byron's  description  were 
often  on  his  lips.     He  wrote  from  Trent :  — 

Here  the  celebrated  council  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  was  held  three  hundred  years  ago  to  settle  the 
great  Protestant  controversy  and  to  condemn  the  doctrines 
of  the  Reformation.  It  is  the  principal  city  of  the  Italian 
Tyrol,  has  thirteen  thousand  inhabitants,  lies  on  the  Etsch 
in  a  deep  valley  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  high  mountains, 
has  several  fine  churches  and  old  palaces  but  is  stagnant 
and  destitute  of  enterprise.  The  people  speak  the  Italian 
mixed  with  many  German  expressions.  Yesterday  morn- 
ing I  heard  mass  and  a  tolerably  good  Italian  sermon  by 

1 88  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1854 

a  Capuchin  monk  on  prayer,  and  another  in  German  on  the 
Trinity.  I  also  attended  the  service  of  instruction  and 
benediction  at  St.  Maria  Maggiore,  the  church  where  the 
council  was  held.  A  picture  near  the  altar  represents  its 
last  session.  On  the  way  I  saw  a  notice  of  the  perform- 
ance of  //  Barbiere  di  Seviglia  that  evening  although  it 
was  Trinity  Sunday.  I  have  seen  nothing  here  which 
would  induce  me  to  alter  my  views  on  Romanism  ;  nothing 
which  would  confirm  the  Puritan  condemnation  of  it  as 
the  synagogue  of  Satan  or  its  own  claims  to  be  the  only 
church  of  God.  At  mass  I  knelt  and  prayed  fervently 
that  God  might  keep  and  confirm  me  in  the  simplicity  of 
the  evangelical  faith,  in  the  knowledge  of  His  holy  Word, 
in  living  communion  with  Christ,  in  the  confidence  of  his 
atoning  sacrifice  on  the  cross  and  in  love  for  all  his  peo- 
ple. I  prayed  for  you  and  the  children,  for  my  friends  in 
the  Old  and  the  New  World,  especially  for  Dr.  Nevin  and 
Dr.  Wolff,  for  the  German  Reformed  Church  and  her  in- 
stitutions, for  the  church  universal,  for  the  conversion  of 
the  world  and  the  fulfilment  of  all  the  great  promises  con- 
cerning the  glorious  extension  of  the  kingdom  of  Christ. 
I  went  back  to  my  quarters  much  edified  and  enjoyed  the 
peace  of  God  in  quiet  meditation.  ...  I  will  answer  Dr. 
Nevin's  last  letter  and  say  to  him  that  my  respect  for 
Romanism  has  not  increased  and  my  confidence  in  Protes- 
tantism has  not  been  weakened  by  my  visit  to  Europe.  .  .  . 
I  shall  return  a  better  Protestant  and  a  better  American  than 
I  left  and  yet  full  of  filial  veneration  for  good  old  Europe. 

By  way  of  Innsbruck,  Dr.  Schaff  crossed  over  into 
Switzerland.  He  revived  old  memories  at  Chur  and  deliv- 
ered an  address  on  America.  "My  native  town,"  he  wrote, 
"makes  upon  me  the  impression  of  stagnation  and  hum- 
drum detail  of  life  and  of  spiritual  traditionalism.  I  am 
thankful  that  God  in  His  grace  has  transferred  me  to  Amer- 
ica and,  as  I  recall  the  stringent  poverty  of  my  childhood, 
I  praise  the  unmerited  grace  which  has  guided  and  sus- 
tained me.  As  pleasant  as  it  is  for  me  to  see  old  friends, 
I  could  hardly  return  to  Graubiindten  to  live  and  be  con- 
tented. Here,  the  church  is  quite  dependent  upon  the 
state,  and  such  a  state  government  as  it  is !     Among  the 

chap,  vni  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  189 

pastors  there  is  a  great  lack  of  trust  in  God's  power  and 
communion  with  Him." 

At  Basel  he  stopped  with  the  elder  Professor  Stahelin, 
the  author  of  a  Critical  Study  of  the  Pentateuch  and  other 
writings,  "a  semi-rationalistic  and  a  very  genial  Basler," 
an  eccentric  genius  who  always  gave  a  banquet  in  Dr. 
Schaff' s  honor  on  his  subsequent  visits  to  Basel.  On 
such  occasions  the  equally  eccentric  Professor  Miiller  was 
a  striking  figure,  who  used  to  be  called  Indianer-Miiller  on 
account  of  his  work  on  the  Urreligionen  Amerikas  (the 
Primitive  Religions  of  America),  which  he  wrote  without 
himself  knowing  a  word  of  English.  "Auberlen,"  Dr. 
Schaff  notes,  "who  gives  up  the  anti-papal  references  in 
the  Apocalypse,  and  Hagenbach  received  me  most  cordially 
and  paid  me  many  flattering  compliments  for  my  Apostolic 
Church.  .  .  .  There  is  more  Christian  life  and  activity 
in  Basel  than  anywhere  else  in  Switzerland.  The  Mis- 
sionary Institute  has  just  celebrated  its  anniversary  and 
sent  six  new  missionaries  to  different  parts  of  the  world. 
The  meetings  were  edifying  and  delightful  and  the  reports 
very  encouraging.  The  town  was  full  of  visitors  who  were 
hospitably  accommodated  and  the  churches  crowded.  .  .  . 

"  At  the  anniversary  of  the  Protestant  Pastors'  Society 
of  Switzerland,  I  delivered  the  principal  address  and  di- 
rected attention  to  the  wants  of  the  German  Reformed 
Church  .in  the  Western  States.  I  hope  I  have  prepared 
the  way  for  some  future  efficient  aid  to  Tiffin  Seminary." 
Writing  to  Professor  Gerhart  (July  7,  1854),  he  said  :  — 

I  appealed  to  the  Swiss  church  to  do  something  perma- 
nent for  its  daughter  in  the  New  World,  to  erect  a  monu- 
mentum  aere  perennius,  instead  of  merely  contributing  to 
this  or  that  local  object.  I  proposed  the  founding  of  per- 
manent Swiss  scholarships  and  of  a  German  professorship 
at  Tiffin  which  would  be  a  permanent  fountain  of  life  to 
the  destitute  German  population  of  our  confession. 

190  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1854 

At  Ziirich  he  was  informed  that  they  were  ready  to  call 
him  to  the  chair  made  vacant  by  Lange's  removal  to  Bonn 
if  he  would  give  assurance  of  his  acceptance,  which  he  told 
them  "  plainly  that  for  the  present  at  least  he  was  unable 
to  do."  From  Bern  he  took  a  two  weeks'  trip  back  to 
Chur  by  way  of  Interlaken,  the  Briinig  pass,  the  Rigi  and 
Reichenau  in  company  with  his  university  friend,  Dr. 
Marz.  He  writes  :  "  At  Unterwalden  we  were  told  there 
was  neither  printing  press,  billiard  table  nor  confection- 
ery shop  in  the  canton.  The  Unterwaldeners  are  good 
Catholics.  Marz,  once  a  follower  of  Hegel  and  a  wor- 
shipper of  modern  civilization,  but  now  a  pious  evangelical 
minister,  was  much  pleased  with  the  information  and  ex- 
claimed that  the  best  thing  that  could  happen  to  the  world 
would  be  the  stopping  of  all  book  and  newspaper  presses 
for  fifty  years  to  come  ;  and  yet  he  himself  is  an  author ! " 

From  Chur  Dr.  Schaff  went  to  St.  Moritz,  from  which 
he  wrote :  — 

I  am  writing  from  the  highest  inhabited  valley  in 
Switzerland,  which  lies  5771  feet  above  the  sea  and  is  con- 
siderably higher  than  the  Rigi.  It  is  remarkable  for  situ- 
ation, its  pure  air,  its  high  mountains  and  glaciers,  its 
mineral  waters,  its  mixture  of  language,  Romansch,  German 
and  Italian,  its  clean  and  solemn  villages,  its  limpid  lakes, 
its  comparatively  strict  morals  and  the  enterprising  spirit 
of  the  inhabitants,  many  of  whom  conduct  the  largest  and 
best  confectionery  establishments,  coffee-rooms  and  hotels 
in  various  cities  of  Europe  and  regularly  return  home 
again  to  spend  the  remainder  of  their  days  among  their 
friends  and  the  grand  scenery  of  their  native  mountains. 
On  account  of  its  altitude,  the  Engadin  is,  of  course,  very 
cold.  The  saying  is,  it  has  nine  months  of  winter  and 
three  months  of  cold.  Yesterday  (August  7th)  we  were 
surprised,  on  getting  up,  to  see  the  roofs  covered  with 
snow.  The  valley  is  now  covered  with  fresh  verdure  of  the 
greenest  hue.  The  mineral  waters  of  this  village  were 
pronounced  by  the  famous  Theophrastus  Paracelsus,  as  long 
ago  as  1529,  to  be  the  best  of  their  kind  in  Europe.     The 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR   IN  EC/ROPE  191 

new  fountain,  discovered  a  year  ago,  is  still  stronger  than 
the  old  one.  If  the  accommodations  were  better,  the  place 
would  probably  be  filled  to  overflowing  with  visitors.  Last 
week  I  delivered  a  free  lecture  on  America,  and  a  collection 
was  taken  up  amounting  to  several  hundred  francs  for  the 
benefit  of  the  unfortunate  villagers  of  Cappel  in  Thurgau, 
which  was  entirely  destroyed  by  fire  a  few  days  ago. 

Closing  his  journal,  he  says :  "  How  beautiful  are  these 
mountains  of  the  Engadin,  how  clear  its  air,  how  healing 
its  waters !  Happy  he  in  whom  they  arouse  the  feeling 
of  homesickness  for  the  beautiful  hills  of  Zion,  whence 
cometh  our  help,  for  the  purer  atmosphere  of  eternal  peace 
and  for  the  healing  spring  which  flows  from  the  side  of 
Christ  and  makes  body  and  soul  well  with  the  power  of 
eternal  life."  St.  Moritz  in  the  Engadin  and  Lake  Mohonk 
in  New  York,  different  as  their  natural  features  are,  seemed 
to  Dr.  Schaff  to  be  the  two  ideal  spots  for  a  summer's 
recreation  and  lookouts  to  the  eternal  world. 

His  route  next  took  him  to  Ragatz,  where  Schelling  lay 
dying.  "  He  is  above  eighty  years  old  now,  looks  pale  as 
death  and  yet  spoke  to  me  kindly  and  with  an  unclouded 
mind.  He  complained  of  his  physicians  and  the  failure  of 
the  treatment  to  help  him  and  expressed  the  fear  he  might 
not  get  to  Berlin  again.  He  spoke  of  the  glories  of  the 
Swiss  scenery  and  expressed  regret  that  unbelief  was 
penetrating  into  the  Swiss  valleys  through  the  pupils  of 
Baur.  He  will  not  live  long.  This  unexpected  meeting 
has  been  a  great  pleasure  to  me."  So  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  in 
his  journal,  and  a  few  days  later  the  philosopher  was  laid  in 
his  grave.     Here  are  his  notes  on  leaving  Switzerland  :  — 

"  Switzerland  has  become  to  me  by  this  visit  even 
dearer  than  it  was  before,  both  the  land  and  the  people. 
Never  shall  I  forget  the  majestic  priestly  procession  of 
the  Bernese  Oberalp  and  the  Jungfrau,  which  has  never 
lifted  her  white  veil,  the  Monk  who  stands  silently  at  her 


side,  the  jagged  Schreckhorn  and  Wetterhorn  and  the  men- 
acing Finsteraarhorn,  the  waterfalls  of  the  Staubbach  and 
Giessbach,  the  Gothic  palaces  of  the  Rhone  glacier,  the  wild 
rocky  solitude  of  the  Grimsel  pass,  the  luxuriant  Alpine  flora, 
the  green  meadows  at  the  foot  of  St.  Gothard.  Long  will  the 
sermon  preach  itself  in  my  memory  which  God  the  Al- 
mighty spoke  to  me  in  the  unfolding  of  the  finest  of  pano- 
ramas through  the  morning  glow  on  the  Rigi,  begetting 
a  sort  of  Pentecost.  .  .  .  Especially  was  I  delighted  with 
my  own  home  canton  and  the  Ober-Engadin  with  its  green 
pastures,  lovely  lakes,  dignified  villages,  noble  peaks  and 
majestic  glaciers." 

From  Stuttgart  he  wrote :  "  I  cannot  tell  you  how  affec- 
tionately I  am  treated  here  by  my  old  friends.  In  Berlin 
they  made  me  doctor  ;  here  they  call  me  brother.  .  .  . 
Knapp  said  to-day  of  Krummacher  that  he  depicted  Jesus 
Christ  as  galloping  into  Jerusalem  on  a  splendid  steed 
instead  of  riding  on  a  lowly  ass.  For  purposes  of  edi- 
fication, he  reads  neither  Krummacher  nor  Tholuck,  but 
Bengel  and  sometimes  Zinzendorf." 

At  Heidelberg  he  saw  "  Rothe,  a  small,  agreeable  and 
genuinely  German  scholar,  who  said  that  Protestantism 
and  Catholicism  will  never  unite  as  churches  but  as 
Christian  peoples.  The  ancient  church  was  decidedly 
catholic  in  its  tendency  but  the  content  of  Christianity 
is  too  rich  and  deep  to  be  covered  or  lost  in  an  ec- 
clesiastical form.  Christ,  it  is  true,  promised  a  church, 
but  we  are  not  justified  in  putting  into  this  ecclesia 
our  modern  conceptions  of  the  church.  Matthew 
xvi.  determines  nothing  as  to  the  outward  form  of  the 
congregation.  Peter  alone  was  called  the  rock-man  and 
he  was  certainly  that.  But  the  rocky  character  of  the 
papacy  is  not  Petrine  but  is  of  the  stony  soil  which  Christ 
condemns.     The  civilization  of  Europe  will  go  down  pri- 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE 


marily  by  Slavic  inundation  and  then  it  will  pass  over  to 
America  and,  revived  again,  go  forth  on  a  new  mission. 
The  best  Catholics  will,  along  moral  and  Christian  lines 
(not  churchly),  approach  Protestantism  more  and  more." 

At  Frankfurt  Dr.  Schaff  attended  the  meetings  of  the 
Kirchentag  and  delivered  an  address  on  America  and  read 
a  report  on  the  German-American  churches.  He  urged 
upon  the  churches  of  Germany  the  duty  of  fostering 
Christianity  in  America  by  contributions  of  money,  send- 
ing preachers  and  by  the  immediate  care  of  the  emigrants. 
He  was  in  the  midst  of  stimulating  company.  Among  those 
whom  he  met  daily  were  Kapff,  Bahrdt,  Krummacher,  Hoff- 
mann, Ebrard,  Hundeshagen,  Dorner,  Ullmann,  Wichern 
and  Rothe.  Thus  he  wrote  to  Mrs.  Schaff :  "  These  have 
been  days  of  continual  excitement  of  the  most  pleasant 
kind.  The  greatest  and  best  men  of  the  German  churches 
have  met  here  in  consultation  on  the  vital  interests  of 
Christianity.  The  number  of  guests  has  been  two  thou- 
sand. I  have  been  almost  drowned  in  the  sea  of  friend- 
ship and  the  most  exciting  conversations  on  all  sorts  of 
topics,  political,  social  and  ecclesiastical,  European  and 
American,  past,  present  and  future." 

Reaching  London  again  in  October,  he  has  this  to  say 
of  Archdeacon  Wilberforce :  "  He  is  about  to  go  to  Italy, 
where  he  is  to  meet  Cardinal  Wiseman  and  will  probably 
take  the  last  step  to  Rome.  He  sees  no  help  from  Protes- 
tantism. The  edition  of  his  book  on  Church  Authority  is 
already  exhausted.  He  took  me  to  the  Athenaeum,  and 
admits  that  the  English  nation  is  the  greatest,  but  it  is 
puffed  up.  At  his  rooms  I  met  Archdeacon  Manning,  a 
very  amiable  and,  as  it  would  seem,  pious  man.  He  said 
the  motto  extra  ecclesiam  nulla  sains  was  a  Catholic 
dogma,  but  was  not  identical  with  the  motto  extra  ecclesiam 
nulla  gratia,  which  was  a  Jansenist  proposition,  condemned 



by  Rome.  Every  one  is  responsible  only  for  as  much  light 
as  he  has  received  from  God.  God's  spirit  and  grace 
operate  also  outside  of  the  church,  as  is  plain  from  the 
cases  of  Job  and  Melchizedek.  He  is  a  man  full  of  life. 
I  said  that  if  all  were  like  him,  a  reconciliation  might  be 
reached  some  day  between  Protestantism  and  Catholicism, 
but  he  replied  that  day  would  not  come,  as  the  antagonisms 
were  such  that  they  could  not  be  reconciled." 

A  day  or  two  later  he  saw  Dr.  Manning  again  :  "  He 
talked  to  me  to-day  over  the  comparative  merits  of  personal 
and  social  morality  in  Roman  Catholic  and  Protestant 
countries.  This  had  been  the  main  difficulty  which  had 
kept  him  for  four  years  from  the  Roman  communion.  He 
found  from  Salvian  that  the  same  thing  had  been  the  case 
in  antiquity,  the  heartless  barbarians  being  more  moral 
than  the  African  Christians.  (He  forgot  that  for  this  very 
reason  the  latter  were  swept  away.)  The  Greeks  and 
Romans  were  far  ahead  of  the  Jews  in  civilization,  order 
and  government  (for  which  reason  he  might  have  said  the 
terrible  judgment  came  upon  the  Jews).  But  he  disputes 
the  facts.  In  point  of  chastity  the  Irish  peasantry  are  far 
above  the  English  peasantry.  The  most  fearful  crimes 
rest  upon  England ;  cold-blooded,  long-premeditated  mur- 
der, poisoning,  infanticide,  etc.,  more  than  on  any  Catholic 
country.  Scotland  was  more  intemperate  than  any  other 
country,  Sweden  more  unchaste.  Much  of  the  Protestant 
morality  is  purely  nature  and  found  most  among  the 
Quakers.  .  .  . 

"  Manning  took  me  to-day  to  see  Cardinal  Wiseman,  who 
lives  in  a  plain  house.  His  library  is  good  and  contains  all 
the  standard  Catholic  works.  We  found  him  clad  in  a 
black  gown  with  a  red  band  about  his  neck.  He  has  a 
fine,  imposing  figure,  wears  gold  glasses,  is  cautious  and 
measured  in  his  utterance,  and  looks  more  like  a  well-fed 

chap,  viii  A    YEAR  IN  EUROPE  195 

Italian  prelate,  fond  of  good  living,  than  like  an  ascetic.  The 
impression  upon  me  was  not  pleasant.  He  impressed  me 
not  as  a  man  of  winning  amiability  but  of  calculating 
shrewdness.  His  face  is  almost  entirely  lacking  in  spirit- 
uality and  intellectuality,  both  of  which  his  writings  would 
lead  you  to  look  for.  He  betrayed  almost  total  ignorance  of 
German  theology.  Directing  himself  to  the  question 
of  Protestant  and  Catholic  morals,  he  said  that  it  was  a 
popular  delusion  that  in  Protestant  lands  the  standard  of 
morality  was  higher  than  in  Catholic  lands.  The  moral 
character  of  the  Catholic  Irish  is  far  superior  to  that  of 
the  English.  He  had  paid  particular  attention  to  this 
subject  because  there  was  such  a  loud  popular  outcry 
over  it  in  England."  The  cardinal  was  on  the  eve  of 
starting  for  Rome  to  attend  the  assembly  of  ecclesias- 
tics called  together  in  the  interest  of  the  dogma  of  the 
Immaculate   Conception,   proclaimed   Dec.  8,   1854. 

Before  leaving  England  Dr.  Schaff  called  upon  Dean 
Howson,  then  principal  of  the  Liverpool  Institute,  and 
recently  made  famous  by  his  Life  and  Letters  of  St.  Paul. 
The  year  had  been  one  of  storms  and  frequent  and  ap- 
palling losses  at  sea.  Among  the  vessels  that  went  down 
were  the  Arctic,  the  St.  Francisco,  from  whose  deck  one 
hundred  and  fifty  soldiers  were  swept  away,  the  Yankee 
Blade,  the  City  of  Philadelphia  and  the  City  of  Glasgow 
(on  which  he  had  gone  to  Europe)  with  all  her  crew  and 
passengers  to  the  number  of  four  hundred 

". . .  without  a  grave, 
Unknelled,  unconfined  and  unknown." 

After  a  voyage  of  fourteen  days  in  company  with  his 
life-long  friend  Dr.  Moses  D.  Hoge  of  Richmond,  he  reached 
New  York.  "  How  happy  shall  I  be,"  wrote  Dr.  Schaff, 
"  if  after  the  voyage  through  the  stormy  seas  of  life  the 

1 96  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1854 

shores  of  eternity  break  as  softly  upon  us  and  fill  the  soul 
with  gladness  as  the  shore  has  broken  upon  us  to-day 
(November  13)  after  this  long  passage!" 

He  came  back  to  the  United  States  enriched  with  the 
latest  results  of  German  scholarship  acquired  from  the 
fresh  fountains  in  professors'  studies,  class  rooms  and 
pulpits.  Much  attention  had  been  shown  to  him  on  ac- 
count of  his  German-American  personality.  He,  on  his 
part,  had  embraced  many  public  opportunities  to  make 
known  the  conditions  of  American  society  and  church  life. 
It  is  evident  from  his  private  papers  as  well  as  from  the 
German  edition  of  his  work  Amerika  that  he  was  not 
untrue  to  the  land  of  his  adoption.  Warm  as  the  at- 
tachments were  to  the  Old  World,  the  ties  now  binding 
him  to  the  New  World  were  stronger. 


198  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1855 

removal  of  the  remains  of  President  Rauch  from  the 
grounds  of  the  Reformed  Church  to  Lancaster.  Dr.  Schaff 
made  the  following  note  of  the  event :  — 

March  1,  1859,  a  real  spring  day.  Exhumation  of  the 
remains  of  Dr.  Rauch  (deposited  here  March  5,  1841)  by 
order  of  the  trustees  of  Franklin  and  Marshall  College 
under  the  supervision  of  Dr.  Gerhart,  who  showed  the 
tender  affection  of  a  pupil  to  a  teacher.  A  singularly 
affecting  scene.  We  formed  in  procession,  teachers,  stu- 
dents and  spectators,  and  followed  the  coffin  in  solemn 
silence  through  Seminary  Street  and  Main  Street.  It 
was  then  taken  to  Chambersburg  to  be  deposited  in  the 
Reformed  Church  over  night  and  will  be  transported 
to-morrow  to  Lancaster,  there  to  be  solemnly  reinterred. 
This  is  the  end  of  Dr.  Rauch's  body,  till  the  great  resur- 
rection day.  His  spirit  lives  and  his  memory  will  never 
die  in  the  history  of  the  German  Reformed  Church. 

One  of  the  first  services  he  attended  after  his  return 
was  the  inauguration  (Nov.  29,  1854)  of  his  colleague,  Dr. 
Wolff,  who  was  many  years  his  senior.  While  Dr.  Wolff 
had  given  his  support  to  the  Mercersburg  professors  in  their 
time  of  stress  and  arraignment,  he  was  averse  to  contro- 
versy and  had  sought  to  act  the  part  of  a  mediator  in  the 
church.  His  election  was  a  wise  choice,  calculated  to  estab- 
lish confidence  in  all  circles.  In  1863  he  resigned  his  pro- 
fessorship and  spent  the  evening  of  his  days  in  Lancaster. 

The  misunderstandings  of  a  former  era  were  now  in 
large  part  removed,  at  least  so  far  as  Dr.  Schaff  himself 
was  concerned.  The  leaders  of  the  agitation  against  the 
Mercersburg  theology  had  withdrawn  from  the  denomina- 
tion, or  finding  their  fears  unfounded  had  become  silent. 
Harmony  prevailed  at  the  meetings  of  the  synod.  "  This 
has  been  throughout  the  most  harmonious  and  pleasant 
synod  I  have  yet  attended,"  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  from  Cham- 
bersburg, 1855. 

Controversy  still  went  on  in  the  church  ;  but  the  charges 

chap,  ix        LATTER    YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  199 

of  Romanizing  tendencies  were  sleeping  well  in  their 
grave.  Meeting  Dr.  Berg  at  the  dedication  of  a  Moravian 
church  in  Philadelphia,  he  said  to  him  :  "  I  have  not  gone 
to  Rome  yet  and  do  not  mean  to ;  but  I  did  want  to  go 
to  Jerusalem,  but  was  not  able."  Writing  to  Dr.  Bausman, 
then  studying  in  Berlin,  he  said  :  — 

You  are  right  to  dismiss  all  Romanizing  tendencies. 
Let  the  dead  bury  their  dead.  We  belong  to  the  living 
generation  and  believe  in  a  living  Christ  and  in  a  steady 
progress  of  his  kingdom.  He  needs  no  vicar  except  in 
Rome,  but  is  Himself  present  with  His  people  to  the  end 
of  time  according  to  His  own  gracious  promise.  As  to 
your  further  projects,  I  would  say,  by  all  means  go  to 
Rome,  but  do  not  stay  there.  See  the  wonders  of  the 
Eternal  City  and  then  shake  the  dust  off  your  feet  and 
go  to  Jerusalem.  But  do  not  remain  there  either,  for 
Christ  has  risen  and  left  only  an  empty  tomb.  The 
Greek  church  is  after  all  a  mummy  of  Christianity  in  a 
praying  posture.  Return  enriched  and  encouraged  to 
America,  the  land  of  freedom  and  of  promise. 

Those  who  at  any  time  had  felt  suspicion  that  Dr. 
Schaff  was  in  danger  of  departing  from  the  fundamental 
principles  of  Protestantism  were  ignorant  of  the  real 
temper  of  his  mind.  While  his  theology  was  compre- 
hensive, his  convictions  on  the  essential  doctrines  were 
positive  and  firm.  It  was  not  with  him  as  it  was  with  his 
distinguished  colleague.  Dr.  Nevin's  contributions  to  the 
Mercersbnrg  Review  started  an  expectation  in  circles  out- 
side the  Reformed  Church  that  he  might  pass  over  to  the 
Catholic  communion.  The  Freeman  s  Joimial  of  New 
York,  a  Catholic  organ,  spoke  of  "the  time  as  not  far 
distant  when  the  doubts  and  sufferings  of  his  long  trial 
shall  be  abundantly  compensated  by  the  joy  of  heart 
which  is  the  unfailing  portion  of  all  who  with  unreserved 
wills  submit  to  the  church."  * 

1  Dec.  23,  1852. 


Although  Dr.  Charles  Hodge *  had  pronounced  the  Mer- 
cersburg  theology  anti-Protestant,  he  regarded  Dr.  Schaff 
as  untinctured  with  Roman  error.  He  urged  him,  how- 
ever, to  publicly  disavow  sympathy  with  Dr.  Nevin,  that 
the  suspicions  in  regard  to  himself  might  be  shown  to  be 
without  any  just  foundation.  The  feeling  within  the  pale 
of  the  Reformed  Church  finds  expression  in  a  letter  from 
the  Rev.  John  Beck  of  Easton,  Nov.  25,  1852  :  — 

The  general  opinion  of  you,  Dr.  Schaff,  is  that  you  are 
a  sound  orthodox  champion  of  Protestantism  but  of  Dr. 
Nevin  that  he  must  go  to  Rome,  driven  there  by  the 
overwhelming  force  of  his  own  logic  and  the  fatal  con- 
cessions he  has  made.  .  .  .  From  this  opinion  of  Dr.  Nevin 
and  his  position,  I  differ. 

The  reference  to  Dr.  Schaff's  loyalty  to  Protestantism 
may  be  brought  to  a  close  with  an  extract  from  a  letter  to 
Professor  Oertel,  the  editor  of  the  Katholische  Kirchen- 
zeitung,  of  New  York.  Professor  Oertel,  writing  to  console 
Dr.  Schaff  upon  the  loss  of  his  son  Willie,  the  account  of 
which  he  had  seen  in  the  Kirckenfreund,  had  glanced  aside 
at  the  attitude  of  the  Mercersburg  professors  towards  the 
Catholic  Church.  Dr.  Schaff's  reply,  dated  Mercersburg, 
May  15,  1853,  ran  as  follows  :  — 

In  the  case  of  death  we  forget  Luther  and  the  pope  and 
fix  our  eye  upon  the  cross,  the  tree  of  life.  At  such  a 
time  we  take  up  neither  the  Formula  of  Concord  nor  the 
Tridentine  Decrees  ;  but  the  ancient  confession  of  Peter, 
in  which  we  are  all  able  to  unite,  "  Lord,  to  whom  shall 
we  go  ?  Thou  alone  hast  the  words  of  eternal  life."  Over 
this  confession  and  the  confession  "  I  believe  in  one  holy 
Catholic  Apostolic  Church  "  I  gladly  extend  to  you  and  to 
every  pious  Catholic  the  hand.  It  may  seem  strange  to 
you,  if  it  does  not  appear  to  be  an  inexplicable  incon- 
sistency,   that   one    can  be  at  one  and  the  same  time    a 

1  Review  of  Schaff's  History  of  the  Apostolic  Church,  Princeton  Review, 
1854,  pp.  148-192. 

chap,  ix        LATTER    YEARS  IN  MERCERS  BURG  201 

child  and  servant  of  Protestantism  and  an  admirer  and 
friend  of  Catholicism.  This  is  not,  it  is  true,  the  Protes- 
tantism of  the  sixteenth  century,  but  I  hope  it  may  yet 
become  the  Protestantism  of  the  nineteenth.  At  the  same 
time,  I  hope  and  pray  that  the  Romanism  which  in  the  six- 
teenth century  drove  forth  from  its  bosom  thousands  of  its 
active  and  energetic  children  with  the  most  terrible  curses, 
as  once  the  Jewish  synagogues  cast  out  the  Apostles,  will 
approach  Protestantism  in  the  spirit  of  intercessory  love 
and  will  go  before  it  with  a  shining  illustration  of  charity, 
purity  and  sanctity  in  secular  and  national  life,  as  in  the 
personal  lives  of  layman  and  priest.  Then  the  hour  for 
the  reunion  of  the  sundered  parts  will  strike,  and  then  will 
we  together  overcome  Antichrist  and  all  the  powers  that 
to-day  make  for  destruction  in  Catholic  as  well  as  Protes- 
tant lands,  and  more  in  Italy  and  France  than  in  Protes- 
tant England  and  Prussia.  Then  shall  we  be  prepared  for 
the  coming  of  the  Lord  in  His  glory. 

From  the  following  letter  to  Dr.  George  L.  Prentiss,  Dec. 
14,  1849,  it  is  apparent  what  Dr.  Schaff's  attitude  was 
to  the  revival  of  a  churchly  spirit  in  the  German  Reformed 
Church  and,  at  the  same  time,  to  the  Episcopal  Church. 

I  have  been  led  to  suppose,  by  a  conversation,  that  you 
had  gone  over  to  the  Episcopal  Church.  But  I  am  glad 
that  you  have  not.  For  we  must,  by  no  means,  give  up 
the  hope  of  reviving  a  sound  and  vigorous  church  feeling 
such  as  the  age  seems  to  demand  in  the  non-Episcopal 
portions  of  Protestantism,  not  to  speak  of  the  many  objec- 
tions which  I  have  in  my  own  mind  to  the  Episcopal 
High  Churchism,  making  the  external  organization  the 
first  and  the  internal  life  the  second  thing,  whilst  life  and 
doctrine  are  to  me  the  main  thing  from  which  all  forms 
derive  their  importance.  But  I  must  not  begin  to  discuss 
the  great  church  question  which  has  become  so  dear  and 
so  troublesome  to  my  mind  and  heart,  particularly  since  I 
have  been  in  America,  which  I  look  upon  as  the  theatre 
in  which  the  question  ultimately  and  practically  must  be 

Among  the  important  questions  with  which  the  Re- 
formed Church  had  to  deal  in  this  period  was  the  prepara- 


tion  of  a  liturgy.  For  twenty  years  that  work  engaged 
its  attention  and  at  times  threatened  its  unity.  Dr.  Schaff 
was  a  warm  advocate  of  the  movement  and  its  chief 

A  book  of  Forms  prepared  by  Dr.  Lewis  Mayer  in  1841 
had  been  adopted  by  the  church,  but  no  longer  satisfied 
its  wants.  The  desire  for  a  more  adequate  liturgy  led,  in 
1849,  to  the  appointment  of  a  liturgical  committee,  with 
Dr.  Nevin  as  chairman.  A  year  later  Dr.  Nevin  reported 
that  it  was  doubtful  whether  the  time  had  come  for  the 
execution  of  the  task.1  Dr.  Schaff  was  then  made  chair- 
man. His  energy  in  prosecuting  the  work  was  attested 
from  all  sides.  Dr.  Bomberger  wrote,  June  4,  1852:  "I  am 
glad  you  are  pressing  the  preparation  of  the  proposed 
liturgy  so  earnestly.  It  is  certainly  high  time  to  have  our 
movements  in  this  direction  brought  to  some  available 
issue."  Giving  an  account  of  the  movement  years  later, 
Dr.  Nevin  bore  the  testimony  that  "Dr.  Schaff  went  to 
work  in  earnest  and  set  the  rest  of  us  to  work  also  in 
preparing  new  forms.  ...  He  had  faith  in  the  movement. 
As  for  myself,  I  confess  I  had  almost  none."  2 

The  first  report  of  progress  in  1852  proposed  that  the 
ancient  liturgies  should  be  made,  as  far  as  possible,  the 
basis  of  the  work,  and  after  them  the  Palatinate  and  older 
Reformed  liturgies,  and  that  the  liturgical  element  should 
not  be  pushed  so  as  to  restrict  extempore  prayer,  but  so  as 
to  regulate  it. 

Dr.  Schaff  at  once  followed  the  adoption  of  these  gen- 
eral  principles   by  apportioning   the  work  to  individuals 

1  Dr.  Nevin  was  one  of  the  first  advocates  of  the  movement.  See  his  arti- 
cle, Mercer  sburg  Review,  1849,  pp.  608-612. 

2  Vindication  of  the  Revised  Liturgy,  Philadelphia,  1867,  p.  17.  In  a  letter 
to  Dr.  Schaff,  dated  Dec.  3,  1855,  Dr.  Nevin  wrote,  "I  have  no  faith,  no 
heart,  no  proper  courage  for  any  such  work." 


and  among  the  sub-committees.1  The  committee  sat  in 
St.  Paul's  Church,  Lancaster,  and  the  Race  Street  Church, 
Philadelphia,  and  held  one  hundred  and  four  meetings. 
Radical  differences  of  opinion  were  disclosed  during  the 
progress  of  the  work.  These  Dr.  Schaff  did  not  mean  to 
ignore  in  the  following  note  in  his  journal  of  the  last  meet- 
ing of  the  committee,  Oct.  21,  1857,  in  Philadelphia:  — 

The  committee  closed  its  work  at  six  o'clock  with 
prayer  by  Dr.  Nevin,  in  a  very  solemn  manner.  Members 
present,  Drs.  Nevin,  Wolff,  Bomberger,  Zacharias  and  my- 
self. The  manuscript  is  now  all  finished.  .  .  .  Thus  by 
the  infinite  mercy  of  God  has  been  brought  to  a  close  a 
work  of  six  years'  labor  of  more  than  ordinary  difficulty 
and  responsibility.  Thus  far,  instead  of  dividing  and  dis- 
tracting, it  has  been  substantially  a  work  of  peace,  bring- 
ing different  elements  of  the  church  represented  on  the 
committee  together.  May  it  prove  a  work  of  peace  and 
union  for  the  whole  German  Reformed  Church,  and  to  God 
shall  be  all  the  praise.     Amen. 

Some  idea  of  the  labor  involved  in  the  enterprise  may  be 
had  from  a  letter  written  to  the  Rev.  Eli  Keller,  a  member 
of  the  committee,  for  the  preparation  of  a  German  liturgy. 
"Your  committee  will  have  a  hard  road  to  travel.  I  would 
not  again  go  through  the  trouble  I  had  as  chairman  for 
seven  years  for  any  sum  of  money.  But  the  members  of 
your  committee  are  fresh  and  new  and  can  stand  it." 

The  committee  presented  the  result  of  its  labors  to  the 
synod  in  1857,  and  the  liturgy  was  ordered  printed  in  pro- 
visional form  under  the  title  "  A  Liturgy  or  Order  of  Chris- 
tian Worship."  In  1861  it  was  referred  back  to  the  com- 
mittee with  instructions  to  incorporate  changes  suggested 
by  the  classes  and  from  other  quarters. 

Dr.  Schaff  still  continued,  though  with  some  reluctance, 

1The  committee,  after  1855,  stood:  Drs.  Schaff,  Nevin,  B.  C.  Wolff, 
J.  H.  A.  Bomberger,  Henry  Harbaugh,  Elias  Heiner,  Daniel  Zacharias, 
Thomas  C.  Porter,  E.  V.  Gerhart,  Samuel  Fisher,  as  the  clerical  members. 


to  act  as  chairman,  and  sought  to  reconcile  the  two 
parties  represented  by  Dr.  Nevin  and  Dr.  Bomberger, 
which  the  project  had  developed.  In  the  preparation  of  the 
revised  "  Order  of  Worship  "  which  resulted,  and  which  was 
presented  to  the  synod  in  1866,  he  took  comparatively  little 
part  and  in  the  subsequent  labors  resulting  in  the  "  Direc- 
tory of  Worship,"  presented  in  1881  and  afterwards  adopted 
as  the  liturgy  of  the  German  Reformed  churches,  he  did 
not  share. 

Dr.  Schaff  favored  a  free  use  of  devotional  forms.  In 
his  own  family  he  was  accustomed  to  use  the  liturgy  on 
Sunday  morning,  and  his  public  prayers  followed  the  form 
of  the  ancient  prayers  and  incorporated  much  of  their  lan- 
guage. His  estimate  of  the  value  of  a  liturgy  he  expressed 
in  these  words :  "  Next  to  the  Word  of  God,  which  stands  in 
unapproachable  majesty  far  above  all  human  creeds  and 
confessions,  Fathers  and  Reformers,  popes  and  councils, 
there  are  no  religious  books  of  greater  practical  importance 
and  influence  than  catechisms,  hymn-books  and  liturgies. 
.  .  .  Luther  did  more  good  by  his  catechism  and  his  few 
hymns  than  by  all  his  twenty-four  large  quartos,  save  only 
his  translation  of  the  book  of  books.  The  author  of  the 
simple  verse,  '  Now  I  lay  me  down  to  sleep,'  was  one  of 
the  greatest  benefactors  of  children  and  through  them  of 
the  race. 

"  It  is  difficult  to  say  which  of  the  three  nurseries  of  the 
church  occupies  the  first  rank.  In  Protestant  Germany, 
hymns  have  a  power  and  influence  as  in  no  other  land. 
The  Presbyterian  and  Puritan  churches  would  no  doubt  at 
once  give  the  preference  to  the  catechism  and  confession 
and  look  upon  liturgies  with  suspicion  as  tending  to  for- 
malism. In  the  Episcopal  Church  the  Book  of  Common 
Prayer  has  probably  done  more  to  keep  her  together,  to 
attach  her  membership  and  to  attract  a  certain  class  of 

chap,  ix       LATTER    YEARS  W  MERCERSBURG  205 

foreign  material  than  all  her  bishops,  priests  and  deacons. 
The  best  state  of  things  would  perhaps  require  the  equal 
excellency  and  harmonious  cooperation  of  the  doctrinal  and 
liturgic  standards.  But  we  know  of  no  denomination 
which  may  claim  to  have  at  once  the  best  catechism,  the 
best  hymn-book  and  the  best  liturgy."  1 

The  circle  of  his  friends  continued  to  widen,  and  the 
demand  for  his  services  on  public  occasions  increased  out- 
side the  limits  of  his  own  denomination.  Of  a  meeting,  at 
Dr.  Henry  M.  Field's,  March,  1855,  he  wrote,  "Dine  with 
Dr.  Field  and  his  wife,  a  highly  educated  French  lady.  Pro- 
fessor Henry  B.  Smith,  who  is  full  of  the  German  spirit  and 
certainly  one  of  our  best  divines,  Dr.  Bellows,  Dr.  William 
Adams,  Dr.  Prentiss  and  Mr.  Cyrus  W.  Field  of  the  trans- 
atlantic telegraph  were  present."  Dr.  Bellows,  writes  Dr. 
Field,  "  said,  '  Who  is  he  ?  Who  is  this  Dr.  Schaff  whom 
we  are  to  meet  ? '  At  a  later  period,  when  any  movement 
was  on  foot  and  he  learned  that  Dr.  Schaff  was  connected 
with  it,  he  would  say  :  '  Then  it  is  all  right,  it  will  go.'  " 

On  another  occasion,  stopping  at  Dr.  Field's,  he  met 
the  historian  Bancroft  for  the  first  time,  who,  as  he  writes, 
remarked   that  "Shakespeare   had  not  a  single   faultless  ^ 

character,  and  this  confirms  the  doctrine  of  the  corruption 
of  human  nature."  The  day  before  being  Sunday,  he 
had  taken  a  cold  Puritan  dinner  with  his  close  friend 
Dr.  Muhlenberg,  then  of  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Com- 
munion. Returning  from  one  of  these  visits  to  New  York, 
he  had  the  following  conversation  with  Dr.  Hodge  at 
Princeton  :  "  '  And  how  is  Dr.  Nevin?'  he  said.  I  replied, 
'  He  is  building  a  house,  not  at  Rome,  but  at  Lancaster.' 
'But  Rome  is  ubiquitous,'  said  Dr.  Hodge.  'Yes,  but 
Calvinists  do  not  believe  in  the  ubiquity  of  the  body,'  was 
my  answer." 

1  Mercer sburg  Review,  1858,  pp.  199  sqq. 



Mercersburg,  in  1856,  was  brought  into  prominence  as 
the  birthplace  of  James  Buchanan,  the  Democratic  nominee 
for  the  presidency.  During  the  campaign  Mr.  Buchanan 
paid  a  visit  to  his  native  place  and  was  received  with  noisy 
demonstrations  of  delight  and  the  cry,  "  Hurrah  for 
Uncle  Jimmie!"  He  stopped  with  Dr.  Schaff  on  Seminary 
Hill.  Mrs.  Schaff,  in  giving  special  instructions  to  the 
colored  cook,  had  told  her  that  the  expected  guest  might 
become  President  of  the  United  States.  To  which,  after 
listening  placidly,  she  replied,  "Well,  missus,  I  guess 
he  ain't  God  Almighty,  is  he  ? " 

"We  talked  freely,"  writes  Dr.  Schaff  in  his  journal, 

on  various  subjects,  and  especially  on  the  political  as- 
pects of  the  country.  He  feels  pretty  sure  of  being 
elected ;  but  he  thinks  it  would  be  much  to  be  regretted 
if  he  did  not  receive  the  votes  of  some  of  the  Northern 
states.  A  predominantly  Southern  triumph  of  ,the  Democ- 
racy would  not  ensure  the  Union  and  might  be  the 
beginning  of  the  end.  Fremont's  election,  he  thinks, 
would  be  a  virtual  dissolution  of  the  Union,  which  would 
not  hold  together  ninety  days  after  it.  The  South  would 
send  no  delegates  to  Congress.  He  looks  much  older  than 
when  I  last  saw  him  in  London,  and  may  not  outlive  his  term. 

Soon  after  his  election  he  visited  Wheatland,  Mr.  Buchan- 
an's seat  near  Lancaster.     "  I  saw,"  he  writes, 

the  Bible,  the  Way  of  Lifey  the  Union  Bible  Dictionary, 
Rauch's  Sermons,  and  several  other  religious  books  on  his 
study  table,  together  with  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States  and  Story's  Commentaries.  He  spoke  of  our 
liturgy  as  the  "  platform."  "  I  have  no  objections  to  Uni- 
tarians," he  said,  "  but  if  Jesus  Christ  was  a  mere  man  and 
did  not  make  an  atonement,  I  would  not  give  a  fig  for  Chris- 
tianity." When  I  repeated  what  Rousseau  and  Napoleon 
said  about  the  divinity  of  Christ,  he  expressed  his  full 

During  this  period,  three  original  works  appeared  from 
Dr.  Schaff's  pen,  the  first  volume  of  his  History  of  the 

chap,  ix       LATTER    YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  2.QJ 

Christian  Church}  America,  being  a  sketch  of  the  political, 
social  and  religious  character  of  the  United  States,2  and 
Germany,  its  Universities,  Theology  and  Religion?  The 
volume  on  America  broke  new  ground  in  Germany  by  its 
accurate  treatment  of  American  affairs.  Germany  and  its 
Universities  was  one  of  the  author's  most  useful  works  and 
the  first  written  by  him  in  English. 

No  work  just  like  it  in  scope  or  fulness  had  appeared 
before  in  English.  Its  most  valuable  features  were  the 
pen-and-ink  sketches  of  the  leaders  of  German  evangeli- 
cal thought  from  Olshausen  and  Neander  to  Lange  and 
Hagenbach.  With  all  these  men,  except  Olshausen,  the 
author  was  personally  acquainted. 

Of  the  first  volume  of  the  History  of  the  Christian 
Church,  Professor  Roswell  D.  Hitchcock  wrote  to  the 
author  in  his  incisive  way  (Feb.   14,   1859):  — 

Do  you  know,  my  dear  friend,  how  large  a  debt  you  owe 
to  Providence  for  having  sent  you  over  to  our  keen  and 
practical  atmosphere  ?  You  have  made  a  vastly  better 
book  than  you  could  have  done,  had  you  remained  in  the 
Old  World.  You  have  lost  nothing  in  learning  while  you 
excel  all  your  Teutonic  rivals  in  this  field,  in  definiteness, 
wholesomeness  and  heartiness  of  statement. 

A  real  contribution  to  devotional  literature  and  at  the 
same  time  one  of  Dr.  Schaff's  most  timely  services  to  the 
German-American  churches  was  his  German  hymn-book, 
Das  Deutsche  Gesangbuch,  adopted  by  the  Eastern  synod 
of  the  Reformed  Church  in  1859.  The  collections  of 
German  hymns,  at  that  time  in  use  in  the  American 
churches,  were   antiquated  and  lacking   in   hymnological 

1  History  of  the  Christian  Church  from  A.D.  1-311,  New  York,  1858;  Vols. 
II,  III,  carrying  the  history  down  to  600,  New  York,  1867.  German  edition, 

2  Amerika,  Berlin,  1854;  2d  edition,  1858;  3d  edition,  1865.  English 
translation,   New  York,  1855,  pp.  291. 

3  Philadelphia,  1857,  pp.  418. 


taste  and  critical  knowledge.  Strange  as  it  may  seem,  the 
book  prepared  by  the  order  of  the  Lutheran  synod  of 
1853,  called  the  Evangelische  Liedersammlung,  did  not  in- 
clude in  all  its  four  hundred  and  twenty  numbers  a  single 
one  of  Luther's  hymns,  not  even  Einfeste  Burg  ist  wiser 

There  was  no  uniformity  in  the  use  of  hymn-books  in 
the  Reformed  Church.  Two  German  collections,  printed 
under  its  auspices,  appeared  in  1797  and  1842,1  and  were 
superseded  by  the  new  book. 

The  synod  in  1857  confided  the  preparation  of  such  a 
collection  to  a  committee,  but  the  task  fell  entirely  upon 
the  chairman,  Dr.  SchafT,  as  did  the  expense  of  publi- 
cation.2 Dr.  Schaff  took  advantage  of  the  revival  of 
hymnological  taste  in  Germany,  starting  with  Arndt's 
work  in  18 19  and  descending  to  the  works  of  Albert 
Knapp,  Koch  and  others.  Some  of  the  hymns  were  con- 
tributed by  Lange  and  Meta  Heusser.  The  feeling  in 
rationalistic  German-American  circles  toward  such  a  col- 
lection is  apparent  from  the  remark  of  a  German  editor  in 
Cincinnati,  to  whom  it  was  offered  for  review.  On  look- 
ing it  over,  he  remarked,  "  These  are  the  same  old  orthodox 
embers  warmed  over  again  {Das  ist  wieder  der  alte  ortho- 
doxe  Kohl  aufgewarnit.)"  As  an  indication  of  the  growing 
interest  in  the  treasures  of  German  hymnology  it  may  be 
said  that  the  collection  was  translated  into  English  metre 
from  beginning  to  end  by  a  cultivated  physician  of  Boston, 
Dr.  Edward  Reynolds. 

Carrying  his  studies  into  the  domain  of  English  religious 
poetry,  Dr.  Schaff  issued  a  collection  of  Christian  lyrics 
for  private  devotion  from  all  ages  in  his  Christ  in  Song.3 

1  Neues  und  verbessertes  Gesangbuch  and  Sammlung  evangelischer  Lieder. 

2  The  book  became  the  property  of  the  Eastern  synod  in  1876. 

3  New  York,  1869;  English  edition,  London,  1870.     Revised  edition,  with 

chap,  ix        LATTER   YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  209 

His  last  contribution  in  this  department  was  the  arti- 
cle "German  Hymnology,"  in  Julian's  Dictionary  of  Hym- 

Mercersburg,  if  not  within  the  belt  of  the  battle-fields  of 
the  Civil  War,  was  just  on  the  outskirts  of  it.  Harper's 
Ferry  and  the  Potomac  were  thirty  miles  away.  Antietam 
and  Gettysburg  were  close  enough  for  the  rumbling  of  the 
cannons  to  be  heard  by  placing  the  ear  to  the  ground. 
The  region  was  constantly  exposed  to  raids  from  the  Con- 
federate forces  and  at  different  periods  of  the  war  were  full 
of  uncertainty  by  day  and  alarm  by  night.  Bands  of  con- 
traband negroes,  escaping  from  their  masters  in  Virginia 
or  fleeing  from  the  scenes  of  carnage,  were  continually 
passing  through  on  their  way  to  places  of  safety.  Dr. 
Schaff  was  loyal  to  the  Union.  If  a  friend  like  Gustav 
Schwab  wrote,  "  I  remember  that  my  father  once  repeated 
Goethe's  remark  that  Christianity  was  an  institution  upon 
which  sinking  nations  climbed  up  again  to  independence 
and  strength,"  he  assented,  adducing  historic  proofs  that 
nations,  like  individuals,  were  often  purified  by  the  fire  of 
conflict  and  suffering.  He  made  many  public  addresses 1 
in  support  of  the  national  government,  and  on  his  visit 
abroad  in  1865,  made  the  war  and  slavery  the  frequent 
subjects  of  lectures  in  the  principal  cities  of  Germany.2 

In  September,  1861,  he  wrote  to  Mrs.  Heusser:  — 

You  are  quite  right  in  pronouncing  the  slavery  question 
the  core  and  pivot  of  the  American  Civil  War.  Perhaps 
the  extermination  of  slavery  is  one  of  the  secret  purposes 

additional  Hymns,  2  vols.  New  York,  1896.  Edited  by  a  son.  In  con- 
nection with  Mr.  Arthur  Gilman,  Dr.  Schaff  issued  the  Library  of  Religious 
Poetry,  New  York,  1880. 

1  Slavery  and  the  Bible.  A  Tract  for  the  Times,  Chambersburg,  1861. 
See  Christ  and  Christianity,  pp.  184-212. 

2  The  lectures  were  published  under  the  title  Der  burgerliche  Krieg  und 
das  christliche  Leben  in  Nord-Amerika,  Berlin,  1865,  3d  edition,  1866. 




which  Providence  has  in  view,  but  this  is  not  one  of  the 
declared  purposes  of  the  government.  On  the  contrary, 
the  glove  thrown  down  by  the  South,  it  has  taken  up  only 
in  the  interest  of  the  maintenance  of  the  Union.  It  is  a 
battle  of  national  integrity  against  disunion,  of  loyalty 
against  rebellion,  of  the  authority  of  the  law  against  trea- 
son. The  conflict  involves  the  entire  destiny  of  the 
American  form  of  government,  and  the  ultimate  issue 
God  alone  knows.  For  the  present  He  is  using  the  South 
to  chastise  the  North,  and  the  North  to  chastise  the  South. 
He  has  blessed  us  with  His  goodness  as  well  as  by  His 
wrath.  He  sits  on  the  throne  and  will  make  all  things 
right.  If  you  were  here,  you  would  hear  about  nothing 
from  morning  till  night  except  this  colossal  rebellion  and 
the  uprising  of  the  North,  which  is  equally  colossal.  In 
spite  of  the  commotion,  I  have,  during  the  summer  holi- 
days, been  working  upon  a  catechism  for  children,  and  on 
occasion  been  preaching  to  the  soldiers  in  Hagerstown  and 

A  year  later,  when  the  stress  of  war  was  greater,  he 
wrote  again  :  — 

We  are  yet  far  removed  from  peace.  The  land  is  full  of 
war  and  the  sound  of  war,  and  is  now  turned  into  a  vast 
camping  ground,  as  the  President  has  just  called  out  six 
hundred  thousand  volunteers.  The  war  takes  on  more 
colossal  proportions.  Neither  side  has  the  slightest  idea 
of  yielding.  The  battle  must  be  fought  out,  terrible  as  the 
necessity  is.  It  is  being  intensified  in  order  that  the  nation 
may  discover  its  providential  design,  —  probably  the  sup- 
pression of  slavery,  though  man's  wisdom  cannot  foresee 
what  is  to  become  of  four  million  emancipated  slaves. 
But  all  the  wisdom  of  man  in  the  present  dark  hours  is 
shown  to  be  foolishness  and  is  not  even  able  to  see  through 
the  mystery  of  the  morrow.  God  alone  is  great.  God 
alone  is  wise.  In  His  hands  lies  the  future  of  this  land ;  He 
is  on  the  throne  and  will  turn  the  wrath  of  this  gigantic 
rebellion  to  the  honor  of  His  name  and  the  good  of  His 
people.  This  is  the  one  solid  comfort  we  have  ;  but  it  is 
comfort  enough  to  lead  us  through  the  darkest  depths. 

To  show  how  religion  enters  into  this  conflict,  I  will  give 
you  a  single  example.  This  town  of  Mercersburg  has  re- 
cently sent  to  the  front,  at  the  call  of  the  nation,  a  company 

chap,  ix        LATTER    YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  211 

of  one  hundred  and  fifteen  volunteers,  among  them  the 
choicest  of  its  young  men.  They  went  forth,  after  addresses 
and  prayers  by  its  six  clergymen.  One  exhorted  them 
against  self-indulgence  ;  another  against  profanity  ;  a  third 
directed  them  to  the  moral  battle  against  the  flesh,  the 
world  and  the  devil,  which  they  were  under  no  circum- 
stances to  forget ;  a  fourth  pointed  to  the  banner  of  the 
cross  with  the  inscription,  "In  this  banner  shall  ye 
conquer,"  and  to  the  immortal  crown.  To  every  soldier 
a  New  Testament  was  given.  The  women  were  busy 
night  and  day  preparing  all  sorts  of  comforts  for  the  march. 
And  so  they  departed  amidst  the  tears  and  prayers  of 
mothers  and  sisters.  I  went  with  the  procession  on  horse- 
back to  the  railroad  ten  miles  away,  returning  in  the  even- 
ing. It  was  an  inspiring  spectacle.  I  felt  a  desire  to  go 
along  as  chaplain  and  thought  of  Zwingli's  conduct. 

Soon  after  the  date  of  this  letter,  the  Confederate  cav- 
alry under  Stuart  made  one  of  their  bold  flying  raids  into 
Southern  Pennsylvania.  On  a  fine  October  day  (1862), 
when  the  near  presence  of  the  enemy  was  altogether 
unsuspected,  several  companies  of  troopers  burst  upon  the 
town  like  a  hailstorm  in  summer,  completely  overawing 
the  inhabitants.  Horses  and  all  articles  which  they  could 
lay  their  hands  on,  and  which  could  be  easily  removed, 
were  quickly  seized.  Farmers,  coming  into  town  and  not 
dreaming  of  the  rebels,  were  ordered  to  turn  their  horses 
into  the  train  of  the  invaders.  The  troops  seemed  to 
know  exactly  where  to  go  for  booty,  a  fact  which  gave  rise 
to  the  suspicion  that  persons  in  the  vicinity  were  acting 
the  part  of  traitors.  This  was  a  constant  dread  of  the  war 
in  those  parts.  By  evening  they  had  vanished,  leaving 
the  people  of  the  place  half-paralyzed  with  wonderment. 
Dr.  Schaff  speaks  of  the  raid  in  a  letter  to  the  Rev.  Eli 
Keller,  Oct.  25,  1862:  — 

The  rebels  behaved  very  decently.  They  were  gentle- 
men robbers.  The  people  took  it  in  good  humor,  while 
keenly  feeling  the  insult  and  humiliation.     It  was  a  marvel 


that  two  or  three  thousand  cavalrymen  could  cross  the 
river  in  the  face  of  an  army  of  two  hundred  thousand, 
but  it  was  a  still  greater  wonder  that  they  could  recross 
with  all  their  booty  without  molestation.  They  took  our 
town  council  with  them  and  promised  us  further  occa- 
sional visits.  This  makes  Mercersburg  a  very  bad  place 
for  study. 

The  winter  of  1 862-1 863  he  spent  in  Andover,  supply- 
ing the  chair  of  church  history,  made  vacant  by  the 
removal  of  Professor  W.  G.  T.  Shedd  to  New  York. 
Returning  to  Mercersburg,  he  found  himself  more  inter- 
rupted in  his  work  than  ever  by  the  confusion  and  excite- 
ment of  war. 

"  This  whole  southern  region  of  Pennsylvania,"  he  wrote 
in  his  journal,  June,  1863, 

is  suffering  from  an  actual  invasion,  by  a  large  portion  of 
Lee's  army.  The  darkest  hour  of  the  republic  and  of  the 
cause  of  the  Union  seems  to  be  approaching.  We  are 
now  fairly,  though  reluctantly,  in  the  Southern  Confed- 
eracy, cut  off  from  all  newspapers  and  letters  and  so 
isolated  that  there  is  no  way  of  safe  escape,  even  if  horses 
and  carriages  could  be  had  for  the  purpose. 

These  interruptions  made  it  impossible  for  the  professors 
to  hold  their  classes  together,  of  which  he  wrote  in  his 
journal,  June  16.  The  day  before  a  large  Confederate 
army  had  passed  within  ten  miles,  through  Greencastle:  — 

We  had  a  meeting  with  the  students  this  morning. 
The  seminary  is  suspended,  partly  because  it  is  impossible 
to  study  under  the  growing  excitement  of  a  community 
stricken  with  the  panic  of  invasion,  partly  because  we 
have  no  right  to  retain  the  students  when  the  state  calls 
them  to  its  defence.  We  advise  the  students  to  act  as 
patriots  and  to  enlist  in  the  service  of  their  native  state 
to  expel  the  invaders,  for  what  are  seminaries  and  colleges 
and  churches  if  we  have  no  country  and  home  !  We  con- 
cluded the  services  with  prayer,  the  singing  of  the  Gloria 
and  the  Litany. 

chap,  ix       LATTER   YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  213 

Here  are  some  extracts  from  a  special  journal  for  the 
days  before  the  battle  of  Gettysburg : l  "  The  rumors  of 
war  are  worse  than  war  itself.  I  now  understand  as  I  did 
not  before,  the  difference  between  these  two  expressions 
as  used  by  the  Lord  (Matt.  xxiv.  6).  The  sight  of  the 
rebels  was  an  actual  relief.  .  .  . 

"  Ferguson,  the  rebel  colonel,  told  me  from  the  saddle 
to-day,  speaking  very  courteously  but  firmly :  '  I  care  noth- 
ing about  the  right  of  secession ;  but  I  believe  in  the  right 
of  revolution.  You  invaded  our  rights,  and  we  would  not 
be  worthy  of  the  name  of  men  if  we  had  not  the  courage 
to  defend  them.  You  will  have  to  fight  till  you  acknow- 
ledge the  Confederacy  or  until  nobody  is  left  to  fight.  We 
will  never  yield.'  .  .  . 

"  As  we  were  sitting  down  to  dinner,  the  children  ran  in 
crying,  '  The  rebels  are  coining  !  The  rebels  are  coming ! ' 
The  advance  pickets  had  already  occupied  the  lane  and 
dismounted  before  the  gate  of  the  seminary.  In  a  few 
minutes  the  drum  and  fife  announced  the  arrival  of  the 
whole  brigade  of  seven  regiments  of  infantry,  most  of 
them  incomplete, — one  only  two  hundred  strong, — with  a 
large  force  of  cavalry  and  six  pieces  of  artillery,  nearly  all 
with  the  mark  '  U.  S.'  and  wagons  captured  from  Milroy 
and  in  other  engagements.  This  brigade  belongs  to  the 
late  Stonewall  Jackson's  command,  and  has  been  in  fifteen 
battles,  as  they  say.  They  are  evidently  among  the  best 
troops  of  the  South  and  flushed  with  victory.  They  made 
a  most  motley  appearance,  roughly  dressed  yet  better  than 
during  their  Maryland  campaign  last  fall;  all  provided 
with  shoes  and,  to  a  great  extent,  with  fresh  and  splendid 
horses  and  with  United  States  equipments.  Uncle  Sam 
has  to  supply  both  armies.     They  seem  to  be  accustomed 

1This  journal  was  published  after  Dr.  Schaff's  death  under  the  title  of 
"The  Gettysburg  Week,"  Scribner's  Magazine,  July,  1894. 


214  THE  LIFE  0F  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1863 

to  every  hardship  and  are  in  excellent  fighting  condition. 
The  whole  force  was  estimated  at  from  three  thousand  to 
five  thousand  men.  General  Stewart  and  staff  called  a 
few  of  the  leading  citizens  together  and  had  a  proclama- 
tion of  Lee  read,  to  the  effect  that  the  advancing  army 
should  take  supplies  and  pay  in  Confederate  money,  or 
give  a  receipt,  but  not  violate  private  property.  They 
demanded  that  all  the  stores  be  opened,  some  being  almost 
stripped  of  their  remaining  goods,  for  which  payment  was 
made  in  Confederate  money.  .  .  . 

"The  town  was  occupied  to-day  by  an  independent 
guerilla  band  of  cavalry,  who  steal  horses,  cattle,  sheep, 
store  goods,  negroes,  and  whatever  else  they  can  make 
use  of,  without  ceremony  and  in  evident  violation  of  Lee's 
proclamation  read  yesterday.  They  were  on  a  regular 
slave-hunt,  which  presented  the  worst  spectacle  I  have  yet 
seen  in  this  war.  They  proclaimed,  first,  that  they  would 
burn  down  every  house  which  harbored  a  fugitive  slave 
and  did  not  deliver  him  up  within  twenty  minutes.  And 
then  commenced  the  search  upon  all  the  houses  on  which 
suspicion  rested.  It  was  a  rainy  afternoon,  and  they  suc- 
ceeded in  capturing  several  contrabands,  among  them  a 
woman  with  two  little  children.  A  most  pitiful  sight  it 
was,  sufficient  to  settle  the  slavery  question  for  every 
humane  mind.  .  .  . 

"My  family  is  kept  in  constant  danger,  on  account  of 
poor  old  Eliza,  our  cook,  and  her  little  boy,  who  hide  in 
the  grain-fields  during  the  day,  and  return  under  cover  of 
the  night  to  get  something  to  eat.  Her  daughter,  Jane, 
with  her  two  children,  was  captured  and  taken  back  to 
Virginia.  Her  pretended  master,  Dr.  Hammel,  from 
Martinsburg,  was  after  her,  but  the  guerillas  would  not 
let  him  have  her,  claiming  the  booty  for  themselves. 
These  guerillas  are  far  worse  than  the  regular  army,  who 

chap,  ix        LATTER   YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  21 5 

behaved  in  an  orderly  and  decent  way,  considering  their 
mission.  One  of  the  guerillas  said  to  me,  '  We  are  inde- 
pendent, and  come  and  go  where  and  when  we  please.'  .  .  . 

"General  Imboden,  who  is  a  large,  commanding  and 
handsome  officer,  said  within  my  hearing,  *  You  have  only 
a  little  taste  of  what  you  have  done  to  our  people  in  the 
South.  Your  army  destroyed  all  the  fences,  burnt  towns, 
turned  poor  women  out  of  house  and  home,  broke  pianos, 
furniture,  old  family  pictures,  and  committed  every  act  of 
vandalism.  I  thank  God  that  the  hour  has  come  when 
this  war  will  be  fought  out  on  Pennsylvania  soil.'  This 
is  the  general  story.  Every  one  has  his  tale  of  outrage, 
committed  by  our  soldiers  upon  their  homes  and  friends 
in  Virginia  and  elsewhere.  Some  of  our  soldiers  admit 
it,  and  our  own  newspaper  reports  unfortunately  confirm 
it.  If  this  charge  is  true,  I  confess  we  deserve  punish- 
ment in  the  North." 

After  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  the  seminary  buildings 
at  Mercersburg  were  turned  into  a  hospital  for  a  train  of 
Confederate  wounded,  captured  by  Colonel  Pierce.  This 
is  a  "  novel  chapter  in  the  history  of  the  seminary,"  wrote 
Dr.  SchafT,  "  and  one  full  of  sad  interest.  Charity  and  curi- 
osity were  busy  in  providing  for  the  prisoners  an  abun- 
dance of  food  and  attention,  which  seemed  to  fill  them  with 
delight  and  gratitude.  One  colonel  from  North  Carolina 
remarked  :  *  Your  kindness  makes  it  almost  a  luxury  to 
be  a  prisoner  here.'  This  speaks  well  for  this  place,  which 
has  suffered  such  heavy  losses  during  the  last  few  weeks 
from  rebel  guerillas  and  now  turns  around  without  a  mur- 
mur to  nurse  their  sick  and  wounded." 

In  the  autumn  of  1863,  Dr.  Schaff  secured  leave  of 
absence  from  his  professorship  for  two  years.  Declining 
an  overture  looking  to  his  becoming  professor  at  the 
Episcopal  Divinity  School  in  Philadelphia,  he  decided  to 

2l6  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1863 

remove  to  New  York,  which  henceforth  became  his  perma- 
nent home. 

One  of  his  most  congenial  and  one  of  his  last  services 
to  the  Reformed  Church  before  his  removal  from  Mer- 
cersburg  related  to  the  three  hundredth  anniversary  of  the 
Heidelberg  Catechism  celebrated  at  Philadelphia,  Jan.  17- 
23,  1863.  He  had  been  one  of  the  first  to  propose  its 
celebration,  in  May,  1859.  Largely  through  his  mediation 
the  cooperation  was  secured  of  Reformed  theologians 
abroad,  —  Herzog,  Hundeshagen,  Ebrard  and  Ullmann. 
Closing  an  English  address  on  the  mission  of  the  Re- 
formed Church  in  America  which  was  meant  to  be  a  plea 
for  harmony,  he  said  :  "  The  convention,  now  drawing  to  an 
end,  forms  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  a  new  period.  We 
have  reaped  a  rich  harvest  of  past  labors  and  cares.  Let 
it  also  be  seedtime  for  still  richer  harvests  for  our  chil- 
dren and  children's  children.  .  .  .  Let  us  bury  beneath 
this  altar  all  our  past  animosities  and  controversies  and  let 
us  go  forth  as  one  body,  one  heart  and  one  soul  with  re- 
newed zeal  and  vigor,  to  do  the  work  assigned  us  as  indi- 
viduals and  as  a  church  in  God's  holy  service."  l  He  also 
commemorated  the  event  by  issuing  a  German  edition  of 
the  Heidelberg  Catechism  with  an  elaborate  introduction.2 

The  Mercersburg  period  of  Dr.  Schaff's  career  coincided 
with  the  rise  and  development  of  the  Mercersburg  theol- 
ogy, which  in  later  years  he  declared  was  chiefly  due  to  the 
writings  and  personal  influence  of  Dr.  Nevin.  His  im- 
posing personality  and  his  positive  form  of  statement  fitted 
Dr.  Nevin  to  be  the  conspicuous  figure  and  the  leader  of 

1  The  German  volume  of  the  proceedings  was  edited  by  Dr.  Schaff.  Ge- 
denkbuch  der  drei-hundert  jahrigen  Jubelfeier  des  Heidelberger  Catechismus, 
pp.  449,  Chambersburg,  1863. 

2  First  edition,  1863,  based  upon  the  original  3d  edition;  2d  edition,  1866, 
based  on  1st  edition  of  1563. 

chap,  ix       LATTER   YEARS  IN  MERCERSBURG  217 

the  movement.  Dr.  Schaff  s  studies,  however,  furnished 
the  safe  historical  basis  for  its  progress,  and  his  consistent 
course  held  it  to  the  bounds  within  which  it  afterwards 
proceeded  to  its  final  expression  of  a  churchly  Protestantism. 
He  did  not  at  any  time  become  involved  in  the  mazes  of 
the  sacramental  speculation,  or  lose  his  balance  over 
churchly  ideals. 

The  primal  questions  which  the  Mercersburg  theology 
brought  to  the  front  were  the  prerogative  and  unity  of  the 
church.  Dr.  Nevin's  sermon  on  Church  Unity,  preached 
at  Harrisburg  in  August,  1844,  and  the  Principle  of  Prot- 
estantism fully  launched  that  issue  upon  the  German 
Reformed  Church.  Its  discussion  and  the  discussion  of 
emergent  questions  unsettled  the  minds  of  some  in  the 
Reformed  Communion  and  sent  them  into  the  Catholic 
Church ;  but  it  was  out  of  the  ferment  and  turmoil  of 
thought  which  it  stirred  up  that  the  leading  tenets  of  the 
Mercersburg  theology  were  developed.  These  were,  that 
the  person  of  Christ  is  the  central  doctrine  of  theology  as 
it  is  the  central  fact  of  revelation ;  that  the  law  of  historic 
development  must  be  predicated  of  sacred  history,  the 
church  being  an  organism,  and  not  merely  an  aggregation 
of  believers ;  and  that  the  Lord's  Supper  is  more  than  a 
mere  commemorative  celebration.  The  doctrine  of  the 
real  presence  taught  by  Calvin,  and  as  set  forth  by  Dr. 
Nevin,  Dr.  Schaff  continued  to  defend  in  his  later  years.1 
To  the  promulgation  of  these  doctrinal  tenets  was  added 
that  the  church  became  established  in  the  recommendation 
of  a  liturgical  form  in  worship,  the  recognition  of  the 
church  year  and  the  practice  of  catechetical  instruction. 
In  these  principles  Dr.  Schaff  concurred,  his  own  writings, 
however,  being  the  interpreter  of  his  views. 

1  Creeds  of  Christendom,  Vol.  I.  pp.  456  sq. ;  Church  History,  Vol.  VII. 
pp.  589  sqq. 


Of  the  Mercersburg  theology,  which  he  looked  upon  as 
an  episode  in  American  theological  progress,  he  said  in 
his  journal  the  day  of  Dr.  Harbaugh's  Inaugural  at  Lan- 
caster, May  22,  1864:  "The  Mercersburg  theology  has  a 
principle  of  vitality.  It  cannot  be  traced  to  any  scheme 
or  previous  calculation,  but  came  by  historic  necessity  and 
divine  appointment.  It  has  shaken  the  German  Reformed 
Church  and  awakened  it  to  a  sense  of  its  theoretical  and 
practical  mission  and  given  it  a  theological  character  and 
position  among  the  American  churches." 

If  Dr.  Schaff  be  looked  upon  simply  as  a  representative 
of  German  theology,  it  is  clear  that  the  Reformed  Church 
made  no  mistake  in  his  call  in  1844.  At  that  time  Ger- 
man theology  was  subject  to  suspicion,  and  American 
students  were  everywhere  warned  against  attending  Ger- 
man universities.  He  lived  to  witness  a  great  change  in 
these  respects,  and  to  this  change  of  sentiment  he  made 
his  own  contribution. 

As  for  his  immediate  influence  in  the  class  room,  it  was 
strongly  on  the  side  of  a  reverential  regard  for  church 
institutions,  a  tolerant  respect  for  all  Christian  communions 
and  schools  of  thought  and  the  devotional  spirit  in  private 
life.  As  the  years  wore  on,  he  turned  with  mellow  affec- 
tion to  his  early  American  students.  One  of  his  last  de- 
sires was  to  visit  Mercersburg  once  more ;  and  it  was  one 
of  the  consolations  of  the  closing  period  of  his  life,  when 
controversy  was  at  its  height  in  the  Presbyterian  Church, 
that,  if  a  change  should  be  made  necessary  in  his  ecclesias- 
tical relations,  he  would  again  find  a  welcome  among  his 
old  students  and  a  home  in  the  German  Reformed  Church. 

On  his  last  visit  to  Lancaster,  in  company  with  Mrs. 
Schaff,  October,  1892,  he  received  from  the  Eastern  synod, 
meeting  in  St.  Paul's  Reformed  Church,  an  address  read 
by  Professor  Thomas  G.  Apple,  congratulating  him  on  the 

chap,  ix        LATTER    YEARS  /AT  MERCERSBURG  219 

celebration  of  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  his  work  as  a 
teacher  of  theology.  Professor  Gerhart  had  referred  to 
the  fact  that  he  was  the  only  one  present  of  those  who 
half  a  century  before  had  united  on  the  floor  of  the  synod 
in  Winchester,  in  electing  Dr.  Schaff  to  a  professorship. 
"  Deeply  moved,"  Dr.  Theodore  Appel  writes,  "  Dr.  Schaff 
went  to  the  pulpit  and  recalled  the  incidents  of  his  call  to 
Mercersburg  and  his  life  there.  His  voice  at  first  was 
husky,  but  gained  in  clearness  as  he  went  on.  At  the 
start  tears  came  into  his  eyes,  but  he  soon  gained  control 
of  himself  and  made  an  eloquent  address."  Speaking  of 
the  growth  of  the  seminary  and  the  German  Reformed 
Church,  he  said  :  — 

When  I  arrived  in  Mercersburg  I  found  but  few  theo- 
logical students ;  now  you  have  sixty-four.  Then  you  had 
but  two  professors,  who  had  to  divide  their  time  between 
the  seminary  and  the  college  ;  now  you  have  five  profess- 
ors wholly  devoted  to  the  seminary.  You  have  just  added 
a  new  professorship  and  resolved  to  erect  a  new  building 
for  recitation  rooms  and  a  library  on  a  commanding  site  in 
this  city.  Then  there  was  but  one  seminary ;  now  you 
have  four.  Then  there  was  but  one  Reformed  church  in 
Lancaster,  one  in  Reading  and  two  in  Philadelphia ;  now 
their  number  there  is  sixfold  and  tenfold.  Your  synod, 
which  is  the  mother  synod,  has  given  birth  to  half  a  dozen 
daughters  in  the  South  and  the  West.  Your  membership 
has  increased  in  proportion.  Your  theology  and  order  of 
worship  and  the  education  of  your  ministry  are  far  in  ad- 
vance, beyond  the  crude  and  unsettled  state  of  things  of 
fifty  years  ago. 

The  closing  words  of  this  valedictory  address  were  : 1  — 

Providence  may  still  have  a  few  years  of  usefulness  in 
store  for  me.  The  autumnal  storms  are  followed  by  the 
Indian  summer  with  its  bright  sunshine  and  balmy  air, 
before  nature  goes  to  sleep  till  the  resurrection  of  the  spring. 
But  whether  one  year  or  ten  years  may  yet  be  granted 

1  The  address  was  published  in  full  in  the  Lancaster  dailies  and  in  the 
Reformed  Messenger. 


to  me,  I  shall  never  forget  the  sweet  memories  of  this  day, 
and  it  is  with  profound  gratitude  that  I  bid  you,  my  old 
and  dear  pupils  and  friends,  an  affectionate  farewell  till  we 
meet  again,  in  the  general  assembly  of  the  first-born  in 
heaven.  There  (in  the  words  of  my  sainted  friend,  Dr. 
William  A.  Muhlenberg,  written  about  sixty  years  ago  in 
this  very  city,  where  he  was  then  rector  of  the  Episcopal 
church)  :  — 

"  The  saints  of  all  ages  in  harmony  meet, 
Their  Saviour  and  brethren  transported  to  greet ; 
While  the  anthems  of  rapture  unceasingly  roll, 
And  the  smile  of  the  Lord  is  the  feast  of  the  soul ! " 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  221 



i 864-1 870 

Denominational  Interests  —  New  York  Sabbath  Committee  —  Secretary — The 
American  and  Continental  Sabbath  —  German  Mass  Meetings  —  Bishop 
Coxe  —  Presentation  of  the  American  Theory  in  Germany  —  The  American 
Lange  —  Dr.  Schaff  as  an  Exegete  —  Qualifications  of  an  Exegete  —  Presi- 
dent Lincoln's  Death  —  Visit  abroad  in  1865  —  London  —  Father  Ignatius 
— The  Matterhorn  —  Stuttgart  —  Sunday  Schools  —  Berlin  —  Lectures  on 
the  Civil  War  —  Mercersburg  again  —  Death  of  Dr.  Harbaugh  —  Elected 
Professor  at  Hartford  —  "  The  Person  of  Christ "— Visit  abroad  in  1869— 
Spurgeon  —  Dean  Alford  —  Tregelles  —  The  Evangelical  Alliance  —  The 
Engadin  —  Pere  Hyacinthe 

'  The  third  period  of  Dr.  Schaff' s  life,  which  was  spent  in 
New  York,  included  thirty  years.  It  was  marked  by  the 
variety  and  wide  extent  of  his  literary  labors  and  his 
efforts  in  behalf  of  the  church  at  large.  On  his  election 
to  a  professorship  in  the  Union  Theological  Seminary,  he 
transferred  his  relations  from  the  Reformed  to  the  Pres- 
byterian Church.  He  was  not,  however,  again  as  closely 
identified  with  the  doctrinal  fortunes  and  outward  progress 
of  a  single  denomination  as  he  had  been  before.  This  was 
not  because  he  set  a  low  estimate  on  the  value  of  service 
within  a  particular  communion.  It  was  far  from  his  habit 
to  disparage  by  word  or  practice  denominational  enthusi- 
asm and  activity.  The  problems  of  oecumenical  Christi- 
anity now  engaged  his  attention.  His  literary  labors  and 
official  services  in  various  fields  called  for  the  exercise  of 
catholic  sympathies  and  developed  them.  The  result  was 
that,  during  the  latter  years  of  his  life,  probably  no  single 


theologian  on  the  continent  was  regarded  with  more  per- 
sonal confidence  by  so  many  branches  of  the  church  as 
he  nor  the  ecclesiastical  judgments  of  any  single  one  so 
widely  appealed  to  from  different  quarters.  Professor 
Jacobs  of  the  Lutheran  Church  was  probably  not  far  out  of 
the  way  when  he  said  that  no  "  theologian  was  so  familiar 
with  the  life  and  history  of  the  churches  that  have  found  a 
home  in  America,  as  was  he.  His  name  was  preeminently 
that  which  would  have  been  given  by  an  intelligent  repre- 
sentative of  any  of  the  large  communions  as  the  name  of 
the  one  scholar  outside  of  his  church  who  best  knew  it."  1 
Dr.  Schaff' s  first  official  connection  in  New  York  was  as 
secretary  of  the  New  York  Sabbath  Committee,  a  position 
he  held  for  six  years.  The  committee  was  called  into 
being  by  the  alarming  inroads  made  upon  the  observance 
of  the  Sabbath  in  consequence,  in  large  part,  of  the  immi- 
gration from  abroad  and  especially  from  Germany.  While 
the  observance  of  the  day  in  New  York  had  not  been  as 
rigid  as  in  New  England,  it  had  followed  Puritan  pre- 
cedent. Towards  the  middle  of  the  century,  however, 
street  processions  accompanied  by  bands  of  music,  the 
opening  of  beer  gardens  and  other  places  of  public  amuse- 
ment, pleasure  excursions,  the  running  of  trains  and  street 
cars  and  the  publication  of  Sunday  editions  of  the  news- 
papers and  the  noisy  hawking  of  them  through  the  streets, 
broke  in  like  a  flood  and  threatened  to  completely  sub- 
merge the  peace  and  quiet  which  had  marked  the  Ameri- 
can Sabbath  theretofore.  The  progress  of  this  secularizing 
movement  was  accelerated  during  the  Civil  War,  when 
Sunday  was  chosen  for  special  military  parades  and  for  the 
departure  of  troops  and  their  reception  on  their  return. 
A  partial  check  was  put  upon  this  desecration  by  the 
famous  order  of  President    Lincoln  in   November,    1862, 

1  Proceedings  of  American  Society  of  Church  History,  Vol.  VI.  p.  13. 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW   YORK  223 

"enjoining  the  orderly  observance  of  the  Sabbath  by  the 
officers  and  men  in  the  military  and  naval  service." 

In  that  period  of  earliest  clash,  fifty  years  ago,  between 
the  continental  and  the  American  theories  of  keeping  the 
Lord's  day,  the  entire  German  press  of  our  larger  cities 
combined  to  attack  with  great  vehemence  the  prevailing 
American  view,  and  not  infrequently  assailed  with  ribald 
abuse  its  declared  defenders.  It  was  denounced  as  a  Puri- 
tanical invention,  and  all  legislation  looking  to  its  quiet 
and  orderly  observance  as  a  narrow  and  bigoted  attempt 
to  coerce  individual  liberty.  Unjust  as  such  measures 
would  be  anywhere,  they  were  declared  intolerable  in  the 
land  whose  boast  it  was  that  it  offered  the  fullest  liberty 
of  opinion  and  practice  in  matters  of  conscience  and 
religion.  Masses  of  the  German  population  of  New  York, 
meeting  in  beer  gardens  in  the  Bowery  and  calling  them- 
selves "Friends  of  Liberty,"  vociferously  gave  expression 
to  these  opinions. 

Organized  in  1857,  the  New  York  Committee  took  the 
lead  among  the  organizations  of  its  kind  in  the  country. 
Its  aim  was  not  to  defend  the  Sabbath  as  a  religious 
festival,  but  as  an  institution  recognized  by  civil  legis- 
lation. All  the  states  of  the  Union,  with  perhaps  the 
single  exception  of  Louisiana,  recognized  the  propriety  of 
Sabbath  rest  by  statutes.  While  the  Committee  has  not 
been  able  to  preserve  the  general  respect  for  the  day 
which  early  American  traditions  called  for,  it  has  done 
honorable  service  in  checking  its  complete  secularization. 

As  early  as  1859  Dr.  Schaff  began  to  cooperate  with  the 
Committee,1  and  delivered  an  address  under  its  auspices 

1  Among  its  members  in  1864  were  such  well-known  citizens  as  Norman 
White,  Nathan  Bishop,  John  C.  Havemeyer,  William  A.  Booth,  Frederick  G. 
Foster,  Otis  D.  Swan,  William  E.  Dodge,  Gustav  Schwab,  Robert  Carter, 
Jonathan  Sturges,  John  Elliott,  James  W.  Beekman,  O.  E.  Wood,  F.  S.  Win- 
ston, J.  M.  Morrison  and  John  E.  Parsons. 

224  THE  LIFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1864 

(Oct.  16)  in  the  hall  of  Cooper  Institute.  The  meeting 
was  the  first  popular  rally  of  Germans  held  in  the  interest 
of  Sabbath  observance  in  New  York.  The  attendance, 
nearly  two  thousand,  was  unexpectedly  large ;  Gustav 
Schwab  presided.  The  German  pastors  of  the  city  were 
almost  without  exception  present,  and  influential  Anglo- 
American  clergymen  participated  in  the  exercises.  The 
novelty  of  the  occurrence  attracted  wide  attention.  The 
size  and  enthusiasm  of  the  audience  gave  encouragement 
to  the  hope  that  a  movement  might  be  developed  from 
within  the  German  population  to  counteract  the  pressure 
in  favor  of  the  Continental  Sabbath. 

The  impression  made  by  Dr.  Schaff's  address  was  so 
favorable  that  he  was  at  once  turned  to  as  the  proper 
man  to  organize  and  develope  public  sentiment  among  the 
Germans.  A  year  later  a  petition,  prompted  by  the  Com- 
mittee and  signed  by  twenty-four  German  ministers  of 
New  York  and  Brooklyn,  urged  him  to  remove  to  New 
York  and  to  take  charge  of  a  German  daily  paper  which 
should  represent  the  feelings  of  the  American  church  on 
the  Sabbath  and  kindred  questions.  Influential  laymen 
stood  ready  to  furnish  the  capital  for  the  enterprise. 
While  he  felt  the  importance  of  such  a  journal  as  an  offset 
to  the  German  press  of  the  city,  which,  almost  without  an 
exception,  was  controlled  by  influences  hostile  to  evangeli- 
cal religion,  he  did  not  see  his  way  clear  to  abandon  the 
class  room  and  undertake  the  care  of  a  secular  newspaper 
and  become  responsible  for  its  success. 
.  Continuing  to  press  upon  him  the  claims  of  its  work, 
the  Committee  secured  his  participation  at  the  notable 
national  Sabbath  Convention  which  met  in  Saratoga, 
Aug.  11-13,  1863.  Among  the  speakers  were  President 
Mark  Hopkins,  Professor  Henry  B.  Smith  of  Union  Semi- 
nary, and   Dr.  Willard  Parker,  an  eminent  physician  of 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  225 

New  York  City.  Dr.  Schaff' s  address  on  this  occasion, 
subsequently  printed  in  English  and  German  under  the 
title  of  the  Anglo-American  Sabbath,1  has  since  occupied  a 
prominent  place  in  the  literature  of  the  Sabbath  question. 

His  German  extraction  and  cordial  endorsement  of  Ameri- 
can institutions  combined  with  other  qualities  to  fit  him,  in 
an  exceptional  manner  at  that  particular  juncture,  for  the 
work  of  directing  the  affairs  of  the  Committee,  and  in  1864 
he  accepted  the  post  of  secretary.  From  the  start,  his 
scholarship  gave  him  the  respect  and  confidence  of  the  Ger- 
man pastors  and  churches,  who  looked  up  to  him  as  a  leader. 
On  the  other  hand,  his  mastery  of  the  subject  of  Sabbath 
observance,  his  vigor  and  practical  sagacity  united  the 
English-speaking  pastors  and  churches  of  New  York  and 
vicinity  in  cordial  and  undivided  support  of  the  Committee. 
By  documents,  editorials  of  his  own  in  the  secular  and  reli- 
gious press,  by  constant  appeals  from  the  pulpit  and  the 
platform,  in  German  and  in  English,  he  kept  the  matter  be- 
fore the  general  public.  The  main  thing  was,  if  possible,  to 
counteract  the  violent  and  bitter  opposition  of  the  German 
secular  press,  which  refused  to  treat  with  any  tolerance  the 
American  idea  of  Sabbath  observance  and  the  right  of  the 
state  to  regulate  it.  The  work  of  the  Committee  required 
courage  and  vigilant  persistence  against  the  vast  odds  of 
deep-seated  national  custom  and  prejudice.  New  York  at 
that  time  was,  with  its  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  Ger- 
mans, the  fourth  German  city  in  point  of  population  in  the 
world,  and  the  German  population  of  Brooklyn  added  fifty 
thousand  to  this  number. 

A  novel  feature  introduced  by  Dr.  Schaff  was  the 
mass  meetings  of  Germans  held  in  the  great  hall  of  Cooper 
Institute  and  in  other  centres.     They  were  conducted  in 

1  Document  XXVI.  of  the  Sabbath  Committee's  publications;  also  in  Christ 
and  Christianity,  pp.  241-275. 



German.  German  chorals  were  sung  with  enthusiasm. 
Prominent  laymen  and  clergymen  from  the  English- 
speaking  churches  sat  on  the  platform  and  gave  their  en- 
dorsement to  the  movement.  The  size  of  the  audiences 
and  the  high  character  and  commercial  prominence  of 
Germans  taking  part  gave  additional  weight  to  the  appeals 
for  restrictive  legislation.  Altogether  they  were  timely 
and  effective  demonstrations  at  junctures  when  the  repeal 
of  the  excise  laws  of  the  state  of  New  York  or  the  pas- 
sage of  new  laws  were  under  discussion  in  the  legislature. 
These  animated  and  stirring  popular  gatherings  took  the 
German  press  by  surprise.  Gustav  Schwab  wrote,  "The 
Sabbath  movement  has  penetrated  among  classes  of  Ger- 
mans who  have  heretofore  been  wholly  indifferent  to  it." 
Of  one  of  these  meetings  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  in  his  journal 
(Jan.  27,  1867):  "The  German  papers  are  dumbfounded. 
They  did  not  dream  such  a  meeting  possible.  The  Demo- 
krat  notices  it  in  an ,  editorial  entitled  '  Muckerthum 
(Straining  out  gnats).'  "  One  of  his  own  forcible  remarks 
was  recalled  to  him  on  the  streets  of  Jerusalem  by  Bishop 
Hendrix,  who  had  heard  it  in  Cooper  Institute:  "The 
American  Sabbath  is  in  danger  of  being  crucified  between 
two  thieves,  —  Irish  whiskey  and  German  beer." 

One  of  these  meetings  was  held  in  Plymouth  Church, 
April  28,  1867,  whose  pastor,  Mr.  Beecher,  was  then  at 
the  height  of  his  fame  as  an  orator  and  preacher.  By 
antecedent  habit  of  mind  and  social  relations,  he  had  not 
been  brought  into  sympathetic  relations  with  the  German 
population,  and  the  effect  of  his  endorsement,  before  an 
audience  of  German-Americans,  of  Sabbath  observance 
and  temperance  was  felt  throughout  the  country  and  even 
in  Germany,  and  had  a  happy  effect  in  counteracting  the 
prejudice  against  him  excited  by  the  German  press. 
"  Even  the  Staatszeitung  is  tolerably  moderate  in  its  re- 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  227 

ports,  although  it  evidently  feels  the  cut  like  the  family- 
horse  you  spoke  of,"  wrote  Dr.  Schaff  to  him. 

During  Dr.  Schaff  s  service  in  this  cause,  the  Sunday 
liquor  laws  were,  under  one  name  or  another,  retained  and 
legislative  measures  for  the  restriction  of  public  amuse- 
ments and  street  demonstrations  enacted.  The  most  that 
could  be  hoped  for  was  to  check,  as  was  successfully 
done,  the  abolition  of  all  restraint  upon  open  Sabbath 

While  the  traditional  rigor  of  the  Puritan  Sabbath  did 
not  commend  itself  to  Dr.  Schaff  for  universal  imitation, 
he  preferred  it  to  the  loose  practice  prevailing  in  conti- 
nental Europe.  The  practical  advantages  to  the  morals, 
health  and  prosperity  of  nations  accruing  from  the  Anglo- 
American  custom  he  held  to  be  attested  by  the  fact  that 
the  two  nations  that  keep  the  Sabbath  day  most  strictly  — 
Great  Britain  and  the  United  States  —  are  the  wealthiest, 
freest  and  the  most  actively  religious  on  earth.  Sabbath 
rest  is  the  condition  of  successful  labor  during  the  six 
days  of  the  week,  and  successful  labor  is  the  parent  of 
wealth.  The  proper  keeping  of  the  Sabbath  is  also  for 
the  individual  one  of  the  best  schools  of  moral  discipline 
and  self-government,  the  only  ground  on  which  freedom 
can  permanently  rest.  It  promotes  every  public  and  pri- 
vate virtue. 

In  reply  to  Dr.  Coxe,  late  Bishop  of  Western  New 
York,  who  objected  to  the  use  of  the  word  "Sabbath,"  in 
the  official  title  of  the  New  York  Sabbath  Committee,  he 
wrote :  — 

You  prefer  the  name,  the  Lord's  day,  but  you  will 
agree  with  me  that  "  Sabbath  "  is  preferable  to  the  Con- 
tinental name  "  Sunday "  with  its  Pagan  associations. 
Of  course,  we  mean  the  Christian  Sabbath  or  day  of  rest, 
and  have  never  defended  the  Puritan  theory,  except  as 
far  as  we  maintain  that  the  fourth  commandment,  as  to 


its  substance,  is  still  binding,  or,  in  the  language  of  the 
judicious  Hooker,  "We  are  to  account  the  sanctification 
of  one  day  in  seven  a  duty  which  God's  immutable  law- 
doth  exact  forever."  This  I  take  also  to  be  the  position 
of  the  Church  of  England  and  her  daughters.  And  I  am 
sure  that  you  would  be  one  of  the  last  to  advocate  the 
omission  or  alteration  of  the  term  "  Sabbath  "  in  the  Book 
of  Common  Prayer.  It  is  one  of  the  peculiar  charismata 
of  the  English  Reformation  towards  the  close  of  the 
reign  of  Elizabeth,  to  have  restored  the  Christian  Sabbath, 
which  has  been  the  bulwark  of  popular  Christianity  in 
England,  Scotland  and  America,  ever  since.  God  forbid 
that  we  should  ever  exchange  our  holy  day  of  worship  and 
charity  for  the  holiday  of  amusement  and  frivolity.  The 
former  is  an  incalculable  blessing,  the  latter  a  curse,  to 
any  people. 

The  influence  of  the  New  York  Sabbath  Committee 
was  not  confined  to  the  city  of  its  origin.  Under  Dr. 
Schaff's  lead,  committees  were  formed  in  Baltimore,  Chi- 
cago, Boston,  San  Francisco  and  other  centres  of  popula- 
tion. He  sought  to  extend  the  influence  of  the  movement 
by  organizing  mass  meetings  of  Germans  in  many  of  the 
large  cities  of  the  East  and  West  as  far  as  St.  Paul  and 
St.  Louis.  The  Sabbath  cause  was  also  brought  before 
constituencies  on  the  continent  of  Europe  by  his  advo- 
cacy. To  a  Bremen  paper  (in  1866)  he  wrote:  "It  would 
be  an  inestimable  blessing  for  the  family,  the  church  and 
the  state,  if  a  better  observance  of  the  Sabbath  could  be 
introduced  into  old  Germany  and  Switzerland.  The  dis- 
regard for  the  Sabbath  is  one  of  the  most  fruitful  causes 
of  infidelity  and  immorality  in  Europe."  On  his  visit  in 
Europe  in  1865  as  the  accredited  representative  of  this 
interest,  he  set  it  forth  before  ecclesiastical  conventions, 
and  before  groups  of  pastors  and  laymen  which  assembled 
at  his  appeal.  This  was  one  of  the  very  first  personal 
appeals  from  America  to  the  churches  of  the  Continent 
for  a  stricter  church  life,  and  was  heard  from  Elberfeld 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW   YORK  229 

to  Basel  and  from  Bremen  to  Chur.  Extracts  from  his  cor- 
respondence manifest  his  characteristic  activity.  From 
Stuttgart  he  wrote  to  Mr.  Norman  White  of  New  York:  — 

Since  I  wrote  to  you  last,  I  have  visited  nearly  every 
Protestant  canton  of  Switzerland,  keeping  in  view  always 
the  cause  of  the  Sabbath  and  Sabbath  schools  as  promi- 
nent characteristics  of  American  Christianity  which  deserve 
the  serious  attention  of  Christians  in  Europe.  I  have 
preached  nearly  every  Sunday  or  delivered  my  lecture  on 
the  religious  condition  and  life  of  the  United  States  and 
attended  Bible  and  missionary  festivals  and  pastoral  con- 
ferences as  one  of  the  speakers.  In  this  way  I  have  labored 
at  Chur,  Schiers,  Zurich,  Interlaken,  Lausanne,  Neuchatel, 
Basel,  Frauenfeld  and  Stuttgart.  At  Frauenfeld  I  ad- 
dressed the  annual  General  Pastors'  Conference  of  Switzer- 
land, where  two  hundred  and  fourteen  ministers  and  several 
professors  of  theology,  including  Dr.  Tholuck,  were  present. 

Here  at  Stuttgart  I  have  made  three  addresses  in  the 
Cathedral  Church,  which  holds  three  thousand  persons,  and 
which  was  crowded  each  time  to  its  utmost  capacity.  My 
descriptions  of  the  bright  side  of  American  Christianity 
seem  to  have  created  a  deep  interest.  Prelat  Kapff,  the 
most  influential  preacher  in  the  city,  has  promised  to  make 
a  personal  appeal  to  the  king  and  the  heads  of  the  depart- 
ments, setting  forth  the  evils  of  Sabbath  profanation. 

To  the  Rev.  James  Gilfillan  of  Stirling,  Scotland,  he 
wrote  a  little  later :  — 

During  my  stay  on  the  Continent  I  have  fallen  in  with 
the  anniversaries  of  Bible  and  missionary  societies  and  the 
Gustav  Adolphus,  Inner-Mission  and  other  benevolent 
societies,  and  thus  had  large  and  attentive  audiences. 
Having  personal  friends  in  all  the  university  towns,  I  have 
had  no  difficulty  in  getting  a  hearing  from  the  pulpit  or 
the  lecture  room  wherever  I  have  gone.  The  success  of 
my  mission  so  far  has  surpassed  my  expectations.  I  have 
found  the  most  earnest  and  devout  men  everywhere  com- 
plaining of  the  growing  evil  of  Sabbath  abuse  and  ready  to 
cooperate  in  a  reform  movement.  The  Sabbath  question  has 
been  more  generally  and  earnestly  discussed  in  German 
papers  during  the  last  few  months  than  I  have  ever  known 
it  to  be  before. 


"  Providence  sometimes  provides  work  for  us  which  we 
never  would  have  chosen  ourselves,  and  the  longer  I  have 
been  connected  with  the  Sabbath  Committee,  the  more  I 
have  felt  convinced  that  the  hand  of  God  was  in  the  ar- 
rangements which  led  to  this  connection."  In  these  words, 
Dr.  Schaff  announced  the  close  of  his  official  relations  with 
the  Committee.  The  direction  of  its  movements  and  the 
advocacy  of  a  better  observance  of  the  Sabbath  were  not 
one  of  the  least  services  of  his  career,  and  witnessed  to  the 
versatility  of  his  gifts  and  the  enthusiasm  with  which  he 
prosecuted  whatever  he  undertook.  The  printed  reports 
and  other  documents  and  addresses  from  his  hand  attest 
his  grasp  of  the  situation,  and  his  skill  in  adapting  meas- 
ures and  statements  to  special  exigencies. 

It  was  during  this  period  that  the  American  edition  of 
Lange's  Commentary  on  the  Old  and  New  Testaments 
began  to  appear.  The  first  volume,  the  Commentary  on 
Matthew,  was  issued  in  1864.  Lange's  Commentary  still 
remains  the  most  extensive  work  in  the  department  of 
exegesis  yet  produced  in  America.  The  combination  of  a 
large  number  of  scholars  from  different  denominations  in 
its  production  of  itself  entitles  its  appearance  to  be  regarded 
as  a  noteworthy  literary  event.  The  German  original  ap- 
peared under  the  title  Theologisch-homiletisches  Bibelwerk, 
and  engaged  the  labors  of  nineteen  scholars  besides  the 
editor  in  chief  for  twenty  years,  from  1857  to  1877.  The 
general  editor,  John  Peter  Lange,  who  died  in  1884,  at 
the  age  of  eighty-two,  was  one  of  the  most  prolific  and 
brilliant  theological  writers  of  his  generation.  Dr.  Schaff 
pronounced  him  to  be  "  undoubtedly  one  of  the  ablest  and 
purest  divines  that  Germany  ever  produced,  a  man  of  rare 
genius  and  varied  culture,  sanctified  by  deep  piety  and 
devoted  to  the  service  of  Christ.  He  abounded  in  original 
ideas,  and,  if  not  always  convincing,  he  is  always  fresh, 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  23 1 

interesting  and  stimulating ;  at  home  in  the  ideal  heights 
and  mystic  depths  of  nature  and  revelation  and  yet  having 
a  clear  and  keen  eye  for  the  actual  and  real  world  around 
him." » 

As  early  as  1858,  Dr.  Schaff  was  corresponding  with  Dr. 
Lange  with  a  view  to  reproducing  the  Commentary,  and 
two  years  later  he  had  made  arrangements  with  Mr.  Charles 
Scribner  to  issue  an  English  edition.  The  realization  of  the 
project  was  interrupted  by  the  Civil  War,  but,  once  resumed, 
it  was  pushed  vigorously ;  and  yet  with  all  the  despatch 
that  could  be  brought  to  bear,  sixteen  years  elapsed  before 
the  whole  series  was  issued.  It  demanded  twenty-five 
large  volumes,  containing  fifteen  thousand  closely  printed 
pages  of  two  columns. 

While  the  principle  on  which  the  American  issue  was 
prepared  was  not  that  of  a  reconstruction,  it  was  the 
editor's  purpose  to  adapt  the  German  work  as  thoroughly 
as  possible  to  the  needs  of  its  new  constituency  by  a  free 
translation,  doing  "justice  to  the  thoughts  of  the  author 
and  the  language  of  the  reader,"  as  well  as  by  the  in- 
corporation of  new  material.  Naturally  the  question  of 
dissent  from  the  German  original  often  arose.  On  this 
point  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  to  one  of  the  American  contribu- 
tors :  — 

I  would  not  restrain  your  critical  views  and  tastes  in 
any  direction,  provided  the  well-understood  theological  and 
religious  standpoint  of  the  Bible-work  be  not  sensibly  in- 
terfered with.  The  conjectures  of  Ewald  may  be  good 
enough  in  their  place  and  for  professional  scholars,  but 
while  it  is  right  and  proper  to  translate  a  work  and  im- 
prove it,  it  is  manifestly  absurd  to  translate  a  work  and 
refute  it. 

He  did  not  choose  to  have  the  Commentary  a  parade- 
ground  for  feats  of  biblical  equestrianism,  and  declined  to 

1  Lange's  Commentary  on  Matthew,  Preface,  p.  xi,  American  edition. 

232  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1864 

allow  the  obtrusion  of  peculiarities  of  interpretation  which 
ignored  sober  restrictions  and  the  respect  due  to  the 
variant  exegesis  of  difficult  passages  current  in  the  church. 
Touching  the  enrichment  of  the  German  original,  his 
views  appear  in  the  following  communication  to  Dr.  E.  A. 
Washburn,  one  of  his  American  colaborers  :  — 

All  that  is  original  and  valuable  in  Alford,  and  espe- 
cially in  Ellicott  and  other  English  standard  commentators, 
you  should  incorporate  in  the  proper  place,  together  with 
such  original  matter  as  will  make  the  work  of  value  to  the 
American  student  and  is  not  sectarian  in  character  or  in 
conflict  with  the  evangelical  catholic  spirit  and  aim  of  the 
work.  The  chief  object  of  the  translator,  to  which  all 
others  must  be  subordinate,  should  be  to  furnish  the  best 
commentary  which  the  combined  scholarship  and  piety  of 
Europe  and  America  can  produce  in  the  present  age. 

In  the  same  vein,  he  wrote  to  Dr.  Elijah  R.  Craven,  who 
prepared  the  commentary  on  the  Apocalypse : — 

It  should  be  your  aim  to  produce  not  only  an  idiomatic 
translation  or  transfusion  of  Lange's  work,  but  the  best 
commentary  on  the  Revelation  which  you,  yourself,  can 
make  with  the  aid  of  the  ablest  English  and  American  as 
well  as  German  works.  In  all  your  additions  keep  in 
mind  the  encyclopedic  and  evangelical  catholic  features  of 
Lange's  Bibelwerk.  Avoid  all  that  is  of  a  sectarian  charac- 
ter. The  millenarian  theory  should  be  fairly  and  fully 
stated,  but  no  disproportion  be  allowed  to  this  or  any  par- 
ticular scheme  of  interpretation  which  may  interfere  with 
the  spirit  or  unity  of  the  work. 

Lange's  Commentary  was  the  first  attempt  on  an  ex- 
tensive scale  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic  to  enlist  on  an 
exegetical  enterprise,  in  joint  and  friendly  authorship,  the 
pens  of  a  guild  of  theological  writers  belonging  to  different 
denominations.  What  is  now  common  was  then  novel. 
In  spite  of  the  differences  of  opinion  represented,  the 
American  editor's  friendly  relations  with  all  the  contribu- 
tors survived  the  completion  of  the  work.     The  portraits 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  233 

of  the  forty-nine  American  and  the  twenty  German  co- 
laborers  were  subsequently  gathered  by  him  in  an  album, 
where  they  repose  side  by  side  in  undisturbed  and  peaceful 
communion, — a  type  of  the  harmony  which  marked  the 
production  of  this  unsectarian  work. 

Dr.  Schaff's  original  contributions  to  the  series  were  the 
commentary  on  Matthew,  and  in  part  the  commentaries 
on  the  Gospel  of  John  and  Romans.  The  work  grew  on 
his  hands.  The  number  of  volumes  kept  extending  be- 
yond the  limits  originally  proposed,  and  delays  were  inevi- 
table. In  a  tone  of  short-sighted  but  quite  natural  solici- 
tude, he  wrote  to  Mr.  Scribner :  "  I  am  very  desirous  of 
going  on  rapidly  with  this  vast  undertaking  so  that  I  may 
see  it  completed  or,  at  least,  nearly  completed  before  I 
die."  In  the  same  way  he  wrote  to  one  of  the  contribu- 
tors, Professor  H.  B.  Hackett :  "  Lange's  Bibelwerk  is  of 
such  vast  magnitude  that  we  will  never  see  the  end  of  it 
unless  I  push  it  with  all  ardor  and  perseverance."  As 
volume  was  added  to  volume  it  came  to  be  a  common 
saying :    "All  things  come  to  an  end,  but  Lange." 

The  Commentary  is  a  vast  exegetical  thesaurus,  a  sort 
of  symposium  of  the  theological  views  and  homiletical 
hints  of  all  ages  and  schools  of  opinion,  with  the  editor  as 
presiding  judge  and  umpire.  Taken  as  a  whole,  it  was 
in  the  original  excelled  by  De  Wette  and  Meyer  in 
skill  of  critical  exegesis  and  by  Bengel  and  other  com- 
mentaries in  sententious  spiritual  pungency  searching  to 
the  very  heart  of  the  text ;  nevertheless  it  forms  a  val- 
uable library  in  itself  by  the  combination  of  all  the 
elements  of  biblical  exposition,  grammatical,  doctrinal  and 
homiletical.  At  the  time  of  its  appearance,  there  was 
an  urgent  demand  in  America  for  a  work  which  should 
give  the  best  results  of  the  exegetical  scholarship  of 
Germany.     Scholarly  commentaries  on  individual  books  of 

234  THE  UFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1864 

the  Bible  had  been,  produced  on  American  soil  by  Moses 
Stuart,  J.  Addison  Alexander,  Hodge,  Hackett  and  others, 
but  this  was  the  first  commentary  on  the  whole  Bible 
which  could  lay  just  claim  to  having  brought  into  use 
all  the  modern  critical  and  expository  helps.  After  the 
publication  of  the  first  volume  of  the  American  Lange, 
translations  were  begun  of  other  German  commentaries, 
as  Keil  and  Delitzsch  on  the  Old  Testament  and  Meyer 
on  the  New  Testament.  The  Edinburgh  translation  of 
Lange  was  stopped  after  the  issue  of  several  volumes,  it 
being  unable  to  compete  with  its  American  rival.  Dr. 
Schaff  also  exercised  an  influence  upon  the  work  by 
aiding  Dr.  Lange  in  the  choice  of  scholars  for  the  later 
volumes  of  the  German  edition.  Lange  wrote  to  his 
American  colaborer:  "As  an  author  I  am  thankful  for  the 
honor  you  confer  upon  me  by  your  cooperation  ;  as  a 
Christian  I  rejoice  in  the  furtherance  of  a  work  which  has 
been  owned  and  blessed  of  the  Lord." 

So  diligent  a  reader  of  commentaries  as  Mr.  Spurgeon 
expressed  the  opinion  that  "  the  American  additions  are 
often  more  valuable  than  the  original  matter.  For  homi- 
letical  purposes  these  volumes  of  Lange  are  so  many  hills 
of  gold."  Where  the  work  failed  was  in  giving  too  much. 
Bishop  Hurst  has  recently  called  it  a  "colossal  work."1 
Its  very  attempt  to  be  exhaustive  leaves  the  reader  dazed 
in  the  midst  of  the  plethora  of  doctrinal  deductions  and 
homiletical  suggestions. 

Not  content  with  the  execution  of  this  enterprise,  Dr. 
Schaff  edited  two  other  general  commentaries,  the  Inter- 
national Illustrated  Commentary  on  the  New  Testament, 
in  four  volumes,2  and  the  International  Revision  Commen- 

1  Proceedings  of  the  American  Society  of  Church  History,  VI.  10. 

2  Also  called  The  Popular  Commentary,  New  York  and  Edinburgh,  1879- 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  235 

tary  on  the  revised  version  of  the  New  Testament,  extend- 
ing through  the  Epistle  to  the  Romans.1  In  these  works 
he  engaged  the  cooperation  of  a  number  of  the  biblical 
scholars  of  Great  Britain  as  well  as  of  the  United  States. 

Dr.  Schaffs  reputation  in  the  department  of  biblical 
scholarship  will  rest  more  upon  the  wide  extent  of  his 
biblical  erudition  than  upon  his  mastery  and  skill  in 
textual  exegesis.  For,  while  his  critical  notes  on  Lange's 
Matthew,  for  example,  are  discriminating,  unwarped  by- 
prejudice,  and  show  thorough  study,  he  did  not  possess 
the  keen,  critical  and  philological  sense  which  gives  such 
scholars  as  De  Wette,  Meyer,  Ellicott,  Lightfoot,  eminence 
as  exegetes.  It  has  been  said  by  one  competent  to  speak 
by  reason  of  his  scholarship  and  his  intimate  acquaintance 
with  Dr.  Schaffs  literary  work  that  "in  exegesis,  his 
familiarity  with  the  results  attained  by  previous  inquirers 
prevented  him  from  offering  as  novelties  what  had  already 
been  suggested  and  repudiated.  Besides  his  abundant 
knowledge,  he  had  that  indispensable  prerequisite  for  a 
successful  exegete, —  profound  sympathy  with  the  charac- 
ter and  purpose  of  revelation.  It  is,  I  think,  quite  un- 
fortunate for  his  reputation  in  this  department  that  his 
contributions  to  the  literature  of  the  New  Testament  are 
intermingled  with  the  work  of  other  men,  as  in  the  volumes 
of  Lange  on  Matthew,  John  and  Romans ;  but  whoever 
consults  the  notes  and  expositions  there  given  will  find 
reason  to  commend  his  scholarship,  penetration  and  fair- 
ness of  mind."2 

Dr.  Schaffs  view  of  the  qualifications  and  functions  of 
an  exegete  is,  in  brief,3  that,  important  as  the  intellectual 

1  New  York,  1881-1884. 

2  The  late  Dr.  Talbot  W.  Chambers,  Proceedings  of  the  American  Society 
of  Church  History,  Vol.  VI.  p.  4. 

3  Propedeutic,  pp.  186  sqq. 


and  scholarly  qualifications  of  the  expounder  of  Scripture 
are,  a  conscientious  regard  for  the  truth  and  sympathy 
with  the  spirit  and  subject  of  the  writers  are  equally  es- 
sential. No  amount  of  grammatical  or  historical  learning 
can  compensate  for  the  want  of  that  affinity  and  insight 
which  are  the  immediate  product  of  the  enlightening  in- 
fluence of  the  Holy  Spirit.  Some  of  the  German  bibli- 
cal expositors  and  teachers  of  the  century  he  regarded  as 
unfitted  for  their  work  by  their  lack  of  the  spiritual  sense. 
The  ideal  of  a  commentary  would  be  a  combination  of 
philological,  theological,  and  practical  exegesis  under  three 
distinct  divisions,  with  a  revised  critical  text  as  a  basis. 

After  an  interval  of  eleven  years  the  opportunity  of  a 
second  visit  abroad  was  offered  to  Dr.  Schaff  in  the  spring 
and  summer  of  1865.  The  country  then  had  rest  from  the 
turmoil  and  uncertainty  of  war.  The  assassination  of 
Mr.  Lincoln  had  just  occurred.  He  thus  gave  expression 
to  his  feelings  in  his  journal :  — 

The  news  of  the  assassination  arrived  this  morning, 
April  15.  The  crime  is  startling,  paralyzing.  Everybody 
feels  like  bowing  in  reverent  silence  before  this  mysterious 
Providence.  Nothing  worse  could  have  befallen  the  Rebel- 
lion, nothing  better  the  cause  of  loyalty  and  the  govern- 
ment. The  assassination  will  produce  a  powerful  reaction 
in  the  South  and  abroad  in  favor  of  our  government.  As 
to  Mr.  Lincoln,  he  was  taken  away  without  pain  in  the  hour 
of  national  triumph,  on  the  most  memorable  day  which 
inaugurated  and  virtually  concluded  the  Civil  War,  after 
having  fulfilled  his  arduous  task.  He  will  hereafter  be 
second  only  to  Washington  in  the  affections  of  the  people 
and  first  in  that  noble  army  of  patriot-martyrs  whose  blood 
will  be  the  seed  of  a  new  republic.  A  whole  nation  in 
mourning !  This  is  a  sublime  spectacle.  I  am  to  preach 
an  Easter  sermon  to-morrow,  but  feel  more  like  preaching  a 
funeral  discourse. 

On  the  Thursday  morning  following  he  preached  on  the 
event  in  the  Fifth  Avenue  Reformed  Church. 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  /AT  NEW  YORK  237 

Calling  a  year  before  upon  Mr.  Lincoln  at  the  White 
House  in  company  with  the  Rev.  Dr.  Stearns  and 
Dr.  George  L.  Prentiss,  he  heard  one  of  his  characteristic 
remarks.  When  asked  how  he  was  getting  along,  the 
President  replied,  "  I  am  browsing  about  and  getting  my 
victuals  as  I  can." 

Once  more  in  Great  Britain,  Dr.  Schaff  was  anew  im- 
pressed with  the  moral  earnestness  of  the  English.  "  It  is 
remarkable  that  an  island  and  not  the  mainland  should 
contain  London,  the  largest  city  of  Christendom,  and  that 
this  insular  people  is  the  mightiest  sea  power  on  the 
earth,  and  has  established  kingdoms  in  the  East  and  West. 
The  explanation  of  this  phenomenon  is  to  be  found  chiefly 
in  the  moral  and  intellectual  energy  of  the  English  people. 
Just  now,  we  Americans  have  reason  to  be  offended  be- 
cause of  the  sympathy  which  has  prevailed  here,  especially 
among  the  higher  classes,  with  the  Rebellion  and  Southern 
slavery,  otherwise  so  hated  in  England.  However,  such 
temporary  occasions  of  offence  must  not  blind  us  to  the 
greatness  and  excellencies  of  the  English  people,  the  freest 
and  mightiest  nation  of  the  day.  Her  mighty  influence 
she  uses  for  the  advancement  of  Protestantism  and  real 
progress,  and  does  far  more  for  the  circulation  of  the  Bible 
and  Christianity  throughout  the  world  than  any  other 
people.  By  the  tie  of  language,  customs,  laws  and  religion 
she  stands  closest  to  us." 

He  heard  Father  Ignatius,  the  apostle  of  the  new  Angli- 
can monasticism.  "He  is  just  now,"  wrote  Dr.  Schaff, 
"creating  a  sensation  by  his  attempt  to  found  monastic 
institutions  within  the  pale  of  the  Protestant  Church.  He 
goes  about  with  a  cowl  and  sandals,  tonsured  and  pale  of 
face,  preaching  repentance  and  collecting  gifts  for  his 
convent  at  Norwich.  A  remarkable  and  untimely  phe- 
nomenon, but  a  natural  growth  from  Puseyism,  and  pre- 

238  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1865 

senting  a  contrast  to  the  rationalism  of  Colenso  and  the 
writers  of  the  Essays  and  Reviews." 

Passing  on  to  Switzerland,  he  made  a  trip  to  the  Bernese 
Oberland,  in  company  with  Mrs.  Meta  Heusser  and  her 
daughters.  "  Our  whole  journey  was  spiritualized  and 
sanctified  by  a  rich  exchange  of  experience  and  thoughts. 
Uhland,  Schwab,  Schiller,  Shakespeare,  Goethe,  Ruckert, 
Lenau,  Geibel,  Knapp,  the  singers  of  Israel,  the  Apostles 
of  the  New  Covenant,  many  departed  and  living  friends, 
were  with  us  in  spirit,  and  contributed  to  our  pleasure." 
In  company  with  his  friend  of  Mercersburg  days,  the 
Rev.  Edwin  Emerson,  and  his  oldest  son,  he  went  to 
Zermatt  and  crossed  over  the  pass  of  St.  Theodule  to  visit 
Aosta,  the  birthplace  of  St.  Anselm  of  Canterbury,  and 
then  back  to  Switzerland  over  the  St.  Bernard  pass,  spend- 
ing a  night  with  the  monks  at  the  renowned  hospice, 
"which  only  the  spirit  of  Christ  could  found  and  keep 
going  for  centuries." 

The  fearful  tragedy  on  the  Matterhorn  had  taken  place 
a  few  weeks  before,  in  which  Lord  Francis  Douglas, 
Rev.  Mr.  Hudson,  Mr.  Haddo,  and  the  guide,  Michael  Croz, 
fell  and  were  dashed  to  pieces  among  the  cliffs  and  abysses 
four  thousand  feet  below.  From  the  foot  of  the  mountain, 
up  to  that  time  deemed  insurmountable,  he  wrote :  "  The 
Matterhorn  looks  invincible.  To  the  ordinary  traveller, 
>l  the  idea  of  scaling  it  appears  to  border  on  insanity,  and 

even  the  practised  climber  almost  shudders  as  he  gazes  at 
the  stupendous  precipices  and  broken  crags  which  tower 
up  five  thousand  feet  above  the  glacier  level.  The 
attempt  had  been  made  repeatedly  from  every  side  and  by 
the  boldest  and  strongest  climbers,  but  all  in  vain.  At 
^  last  this  most  stubborn  citadel  of  nature  is  conquered,  and 

we   need   not  be  surprised   that,  in  the  very  moment  of 
defeat,  she  struck  the  last  and  fatal  blow." 


chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  239 

From  Stuttgart  he  wrote  to  Dr.  Mann:  — 

One  of  my  objects  in  coming  here  was  to  attend  the 
Bible  and  Missionary  festivals  and  the  annual  meeting  of 
the  Evangelical  Society.  I  have  been  able  to  contribute 
something,  delivering  two  sermons  in  the  Stiffs  Kirche  and 
one  in  St.  Leonhard's  to  thronged  congregations,  and  mak- 
ing addresses  to  select  circles,  bringing  a  message  from 
our  own  churches  in  America.  Last  Sunday  I  received 
the  elements  of  the  Lord's  Supper  from  our  dear  Prelat 
Kapff' s  hands  for  the  first  time  for  twenty-five  years.  He 
is  the  personification  of  Swabian  pietism  and  amiability. 
The  peace  of  God  rests  on  his  face.  He  is  almost  crushed 
down  by  the  confidence  of  the  people.  And  even  many 
men  of  the  world  treat  him  as  their  conscience.  ...  At 
Tubingen  I  found  Beck,  the  best  beloved  and  most  influ-  1/ 
ential  teacher ;  for  theology  with  him  is  not  a  matter  of 
dialectics  or  intellectual  gymnastics  nor  an  object  of  rati- 
ocination, but  a  matter  of  faith  and  life.  He  adheres  to 
the  Scriptures  and  passes  by  the  philosophical  systems 
and  the  modern  critical  hypotheses  as  dead  men's  bones. 
On  the  other  hand,  he  is  quite  unchurchly  and  belittles 
pietism  and  all  attempts  at  church  union.  This  pleases 
the  Tubingen  students,  but  it  is  Beck's  weakness  which 
often  leads  him  to  do  injustice  to  his  own  companions  in 
the  faith.  .  .  .  The  nature  and  place  of  Christ  are  still 
the  chief  theological  and  religious  problems  of  the  day. 
Strauss  has  recently  issued  a  writing  against  Schenkel 
and  Hengstenberg :  Die  Halben  und  die  Ganzen.  He 
criticises  the  half-way  Schenkel  with  terrific  keenness  and 
really  cuts  him  to  pieces  over  his  recent  presentation  of 
Christ's  character,  or  rather  his  caricature. 

Dr.  SchafT  is  looked  up  to  as  the  father  of  Sunday 
schools  in  Stuttgart,  the  first  of  which  he  established  on 
this  visit.  The  Sunday-school  movement  in  Germany  had 
been  inaugurated  two  years  before,  the  first  schools  in 
Frankfurt  and  Berlin  owing  their  existence  to  the  labors 
of  Mr.  Albert  Woodruff  of  Brooklyn  and  his  interpreter 
and  coadjutor,  Mr.  Brockelmann.  The  system  has  since 
assumed  considerable  proportions  with  Berlin,  Elberfeld 
and  Stuttgart  as  centres,  in  the  face  of  the  German  preju- 

240  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1865 

dice  against  lay  teaching  and  the  fear  lest  it  might  con- 
flict with  the  appointed  religious  instructions  in  the  day 
schools  and  the  catechetical  instructions  of  the  pastors. 

Not  only  in  Stuttgart  but  in  other  cities  and  university 
centres  like  Halle  and  Giessen,  Dr.  Schaff  advocated  the 
establishment  of  Sunday  schools,  before  groups  of  pastors, 
professors  and  laymen  who  assembled  at  his  invitation. 
In  subsequent  years  he  was  constantly  coming  upon  the 
fruits  of  these  labors.  To  the  Rev.  Dr.  Stuckenberg, 
recently  pastor  of  the  American  Chapel  in  Berlin,  he 
wrote,  January,   1866:  — 

I  am  sure  there  are  great  blessings  in  store  for  Germany 
from  the  Sunday  school.  It  is  one  of  the  most  effective 
means  for  developing  the  lay  element  and  training  up  a 
new  generation  of  Christian  workers ;  it  will  infuse  life 
and  vigor  into  the  congregations  and  make  them  active, 
working  organizations  of  practical  Christians ;  it  will  pro- 
mote the  proper  observance  of  the  Lord's  day  by  giving 
them  useful  Sabbath  work.  Since  my  return  to  New 
York  I  am  more  convinced  than  ever  that  whatever  be 
the  excellencies  of  European  Christianity,  our  American 
Christianity  certainly  has  the  advantage  as  regards  prac- 
tical energy  and  efficiency.  The  two  most  fruitful  sources 
of  evil  in  Europe  are  the  union  of  church  and  state,  which 
prevents  the  development  of  free,  self-supporting,  and  self- 
governing  Christianity  and  nurses  hypocrisy  and  infidelity, 
and  the  awful  desecration  of  the  Lord's  day,  which  paralyzes 
the  ministry,  undermines  the  happiness  of  the  family  and 
turns  the  day  of  blessing  into  a  day  of  curse. 

In  Berlin  he  was  again,  as  in  1854,  invited  to  deliver 
lectures  on  the  United  States,  which  he  subsequently 
repeated  at  Basel,  Stuttgart,  Halle,  Leipzig,  Elberfeld, 
Bremen  and  other  cities.  They  were  printed  under  the 
title  Der  Biirgerkrieg  und  das  christliche  Leben  in  Nord- 
Amerika 1    (The    Civil   War   and    Christianity   in    North 

1  A  translation  appeared  in  the  Christian  Intelligencer  (twelve  articles)  by 
the  Rev.  C.  C.  Starbuck,  March  3-May  17,  1865. 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  24 1 

America),  and  represented,  as  the  author  in  a  letter  said, 
"the  best  service  he  was  able  to  do  at  that  time  to 
America  and  Germany."  Of  his  second  lecture  in  Berlin 
he  wrote  in  his  journal,  Oct.  16,  1865  :  "My  topic  was 
the  American  war  and  the  abolition  of  slavery.  Immense 
crowds.  Hundreds  had  to  go  away  for  want  of  room.  The 
closest  attention  and  at  last  loud  applause  and  the  singing 
of  Nun  danket  alle  Gott  [the  German  Te  Deum].  Dissat- 
isfaction in  the  aristocratic  party  which  sympathized  with 
the  Rebellion  and  with  slavery."  This  dissatisfaction 
found  vent  in  a  vigorous  attack  from  the  Kreuzzeitung, 
the  organ  of  the  upper  classes  in  the  city,  and  a  news- 
paper controversy  followed  in  which  the  views  of  the 
lecturer  were  defended  by  persons  like-minded  with  him- 
self. At  that  time  Dr.  Schaff' s  name  was  prominently 
mentioned  in  connection  with  the  chair  of  Neander,  and 
it  was  rumored  that  any  chance  he  might  otherwise  have 
had  of  receiving  this  appointment  was  shattered  by  his 
cordial  presentation  of  American  institutions  and  advocacy 
of  the  Union  cause. 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  to  Mr.  Norman  White, 
written  from  Berlin,  indicates  the  extent  of  his  activity  :  — 

Since  I  wrote  to  you  last  from  Stuttgart,  I  have  been 
constantly  on  the  wing  in  truly  American  style,  and  visited 
Heidelberg,  Frankfurt,  Neuwied,  Bonn,  Wiesbaden,  Rhei- 
neck,  Cologne,  Elberfeld,  Barmen,  Giessen,  Marburg, 
Gotha,  Leipzig,  Halle,  Wittenberg.  I  called  everywhere 
on  the  prominent  theological  professors,  ministers  and 
Christian  laymen,  preached  almost  every  Sunday  on  the 
subject  of  the  Sabbath  to  large  congregations,  and  delivered 
lectures  on  American  Christianity  and  the  issue  of  our  late 
national  conflict,  on  which  there  is  still  a  great  deal  of  con- 
troversy and  confusion  in  Europe.  To-night  I  lecture  on 
the  abolition  of  slavery,  and  I  am  told  that  the  room  will 
be  crowded  by  the  leaders  both  of  the  conservative  and 
the  liberal  party.     I  shall  speak  freely  but  cautiously  and 


avoid  giving  unnecessary  offence.  The  Christian  public, 
especially  in  the  higher  aristocratic  circles  of  Berlin,  have 
largely  sympathized  with  the  Southern  cause  and  to  some 
extent  even  with  slavery.  It  is  important  to  dispel  the 
clouds  of  ignorance  and  wilful  misrepresentation  of  Ameri- 
can affairs  in  Germany,  and  to  bring  out  the  bright  side  of 
American  institutions  and  American  Christianity  as  an 
encouragement  to  the  revival  of  vital  practical  religion. 

On  the  eve  of  sailing  from  Bremen,  he  wrote  to 
Mrs.  Meta  Heusser  :  — 

How  could  I  ever  forget  the  delightful  hours  and  moments 
last  summer,  at  the  Hirzel  and  in  the  Bernese  Oberland, 
which  evade  description,  when  we  all  felt  ourselves  nearer 
to  the  Lord  and  to  eternity  than  ever  before !  These  were 
the  high  places  of  my  tour  abroad,  offering  precious  retro- 
spects back  into  the  past  and  more  precious  outlooks  into 
the  future  and  into  the  promised  land  of  the  eternal 
Sabbath  rest  beyond  the  Jordan.  And  you,  who  have 
received  from  the  Lord  the  gift  of  transferring  the  deepest 
experiences  of  the  inner  soul-world  to  the  classic  form  of 
poetry,  you  must  on  some  quiet  winter  evening  sing  the 
wonders  of  the  divine  power  and  Almighty  wisdom  as  they 
were  revealed  to  us  there  and  our  feelings  as  we  looked 
upon  the  Alps.  .  .  .  Christians  may  always  look  forward  to 
meeting  again.  In  this  hope  I  start  upon  my  sea  journey. 
Pray  for  me  that  the  Lord  who  rules  over  storm  and  sea 
may  preserve  my  life,  and  by  His  grace  bring  me,  together 
with  you  all,  into  the  kingdom  of  His  glory. 

On  his  return  to  New  York,  Dr.  Schaff  resigned  his 
professorship  in  the  theological  seminary  in  Mercersburg. 
When  the  attempt  was  immediately  made  to  secure  his 
consent  to  a  reelection,  he  repaired  with  his  family  to  his 
old  home  that  he  might  reflect  over  the  matter  on  the 
spot.  He  had  pleasant  intercourse  with  Professors  Har- 
baugh  and  Apple,  but  he  wrote,  "  Quite  natural  and  home- 
like as  it  looks,  I  would  not  like  to  live  here  any  more." 
A  severe  personal  blow  came  in  1867,  in  the  death  of 
Dr.  Henry  Harbaugh,  one  of  his  most  congenial  friends  in 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  243 

the  Reformed  Church.  Dr.  Harbaugh,  he  wrote,  "  now 
knows  all  about  the  'Heavenly  Home,'  'Heavenly  Recog- 
nition,' and  the  '  Heavenly  Employments,'  about  which 
he  wrote  so  beautifully  in  the  days  of  his  youth  to  the 
edification  of  many  thousands  of  readers.  .  .  .  He  was 
endowed  with  rare  gifts  of  mind  and  heart.  For  the 
defects  of  his  early  education  he  made  up  by  intense  appli- 
cation. He  was  a  poetical  genius,  the  only  one  who  has 
risen,  as  far  as  I  know,  from  the  German- American  popula- 
tion. I  first  suggested  to  him  the  desirableness  of  im- 
mortalizing the  Pennsylvania-German  in  song,  as  the 
Allemannian  dialect  has  been  immortalized  by  Hebel. 
He  took  up  the  hint  and  wrote  his  Schulhaus  an  der  Krick, 
which  he  modestly  submitted  to  me,  and  which,  when  pub- 
lished, produced  quite  a  sensation  among  the  Pennsylvania- 
Germans,  and  found  its  way  even  to  Germany." 

During  his  connection  with  the  Sabbath  Committee,  Dr. 
Schaff  was  not  idle  in  his  own  department  of  church  his- 
tory. He  delivered  a  course  of  lectures  on  that  subject 
at  Drew  Theological  Seminary,  then  recently  opened,  and 
filled  a  more  protracted  engagement  from  1868  to  1871  at 
Hartford  Seminary,  declining  the  permanent  professorship 
to  which  he  was  elected. 

To  this  period  belongs  his  work  on  the  Person  of  Christ, 
an  answer  to  the  attacks  of  Strauss,  Renan  and  Schenkel. 
Its  object  was  "to  show  in  a  popular  style  that  the  person 
of  Christ  is  the  central  miracle  of  history,  and  the  strongest 
evidence  of  Christianity,  and  that  the  dwelling  of  God  in 
Him  is  the  only  satisfactory  solution  of  the  problem  of 
His  amazing  character."1  If  circulation  be  made  the  cri- 
terion, the  volume  has  proved  one  of  the  most  useful  of  the 
author's  books.  It  is  enriched  by  a  collection  of  testi- 
monies from  unbelievers  to  the  character  of   Christ   and 

1  Preface,  p.  4. 

244  THE  LIFE  0F  PHfLfF  S CHAFF  1869 

the  moral  power  of  Christianity.  The  work  was  the  oc- 
casion of  the  following  incident,  which  illustrates  the  use 
sometimes  made  of  books.  Attending  a  lecture  by  a  well- 
known  personage,  Dr.  Schaff  was  surprised  to  hear  him 
borrow,  without  acknowledgment,  whole  paragraphs  from 
its  pages.  The  lecturer,  being  introduced  to  him,  showed 
his  embarrassment  and  said :  "  I  have  quoted  you  a 
great  deal  to-night,  and  in  my  manuscript  here  I  have 
given  you  credit."  "I  replied,"  says  Dr.  Schaff,  "that 
books  are  written  to  be  used,  and  I  thank  you  for  turning 
mine  to  account  for  the  public  good." 

In  1869  he  was  again  in  Europe,  in  part  as  the  deputy 
of  the  American  branch  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance,  to 
make  arrangements  for  its  contemplated  conference,  event- 
ually held  in  1873.  At  the  Lord  Mayor's  dinner  on  the 
anniversary  of  the  British  and  Foreign  Bible  Society,  he 
responded  to  the  toast,  America,  and  at  the  public  meet- 
ing at  Exeter  Hall  he  made  an  address  on  "Christ  the 
Light  and  Life  of  the  Bible."  He  concluded  it  with  the 
hope  that  Macaulay's  New  Zealander  might  not  sketch 
the  ruins  of  St.  Paul's  until  England  and  America,  shoul- 
der to  shoulder,  had  finished  their  great  mission  of  giving 
the  Bible  and,  with  it,  civilization  and  true  liberty  to  the 
nations  of  the  earth  and  thus  brought  on  the  time  when 
Christ  shall  be  all  in  all.  Reverdy  Johnson,  "a  kindly 
old  gentleman  "  with  whom  he  dined,  was  just  closing  his 
term  of  service  as  American  ambassador,  and  assured  him 
that  "  the  excitement  between  America  and  England  was 
dying  out  and  that  there  was  no  danger  of  war."  A  month 
later  he  was  the  guest  of  his  successor,  Mr.  Motley. 

He  made  an  address  at  "  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Con- 
gregational Union  of  England  and  Wales,  heard  an  able 
address  by  Mr.  Dale  of  Birmingham,  and  saw  a  noble- 
looking  set  of  men  of  genuine  Puritan  stock."     The  day 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK 


came  to  a  close  with  a  dinner  at  Lambeth  Palace  with  the 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  where,  among  others,  he  met 
Dean  Alford  and  Dean  Mansel  for  the  first  time.  Here 
are  some  of  his  experiences  :  — 

I  heard  an  excellent  sermon  to-day  by  Mr.  Spurgeon  at 
his  Tabernacle,  on  Things  Present  ("  All  things  are  yours  "): 
I.  present  blessings,  2.  present  trials,  3.  present  opportuni- 
ties. Every  seat  was  occupied.  The  most  impressive  part 
was  the  singing  of  the  immense  congregation,  standing, 
and  without  the  help  of  an  organ.  Simplicity  and  gran- 
deur were  combined.  I  spoke  to  Mr.  Spurgeon  in  his  study, 
and  after  the  sermon  attended  the  communion  service  in 
the  basement,  which  was  very  simple,  and  yet  impressive. 
The  service  lasts  twenty  minutes,  and  takes  place  every 
Sunday  after  the  apostolic  manner.  Strangers  who  wish 
to  commune  receive  tickets.  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Boardman 
were  also  present.  In  the  afternoon  I  heard  Lord  Rad- 
stock  at  St.  George's  Hall,  who,  when  I  proposed  to  him 
to  come  to  the  United  States,  replied  that  "  he  would  lay 
it  before  the  Lord." 

I  spent  Whitsuntide  very  pleasantly  and  profitably  at 
Harrow,  in  the  happy  home  of  Canon  Westcott  [now 
Bishop  of  Durham].  An  excellent  scholar  and  interesting 
man.  Amiable  wife  and  children.  Beautiful  views  from 
his  windows  over  the  country,  clothed  in  fresh  verdure,  to 
London  and  the  Crystal  Palace.  Attended  the  services  in 
the  chapel  three  times  and  partook  of  the  communion. 
Five  hundred  pupils  were  present  dressed  in  tail  coats  and 
silk  hats.  Dr.  Butler,  the  head-master,  invited  me  to  tea. 
Agreeable  family,  with  all  the  refinements  of  an  English 
home.  Matthew  Arnold  is  absent.  Professor  Masson 
breakfasts  with  us.  Westcott  and  Hort's  Greek  Testa- 
ment I  think  will  suit  me  exactly. 

Passing  to  Edinburgh,  he  had  his  first  introduction  to  the 
assemblies  of  the  Church  of  Scotland  and  the  Free 
Church.  He  breakfasted  with  the  moderator  of  the 
Assembly  of  the  Established  Church,  Dr.  Norman  Mac- 
leod,  "  a  courtly  gentleman,  who  treated  me  with  marked 
attention."     Returning  to  England,  he  spent  several  days 


with  Dean  Alford  during  the  Canterbury  festivals,  of  which 
he  writes :  — 

I  arrived  at  Canterbury,  the  mother  church  of  Anglo- 
Saxon  Christianity,  and  was  met  by  Dean  Alford. 
A  delightful  visit.  He  puts  me  in  the  room  and  bed  of 
the  archbishop.  Historical  associations.  Fine  gardens. 
Mrs.  Alford  a  lady  of  simple  and  charming  manners, 
sympathizing  with  the  dean  in  his  tastes.  She  reminds 
me  of  Mrs.  Tholuck.  This  is  the  place  to  write  church 
history  and  commentaries.  I  can  hardly  imagine  a  more 
desirable  residence  for  a  scholar  than  Canterbury  deanery. 
Mendelssohn's  Elijah  is  performed  with  great  success. 
The  dean  is  a  musician,  poet,  gardener  and  carpenter,  as 
well  as  a  commentator.  He  is  well  up  in  German  theol- 
ogy, very  liberal  in  his  views.  Broad  Church.  I  heard 
him  preach  a  capital  sermon  of  seven  minutes  on  "  Time  is 
short."  Canterbury  will  be  an  ever  green  spot  in  my 

Tregelles,  whom  he  met  at  the  British  Museum,  he  calls 
"  a  singular  genius,  modest,  devout,  with  fine  face,  delicate, 
\/  scarcely  able  to  speak  audibly,  deeply  plunged  in  biblical 
studies,  his  edition  of  the  Greek  Testament  nearly  com- 
pleted. He  speaks  of  Tischendorf's  new  edition  as  good, 
bad  and  indifferent ;  Alf ord's  is  a  good  step  in  the  right 
direction.  I  spent  three  hours  with  him,  examining  the 
fourth  volume  of  the  Codex  Alexandrinus,  and  found  the 
disputed  passage  in  the  first  Epistle  of  Clement  of  Rome 
to  read  eirl  to  repfia  rfj?  Su<re&>?."  1  The  same  day  he  dined 
with  the  family  of  Archbishop  Trench  and  the  Bishop  of 
Limerick  (brother-in-law  of  Professor  Ranke  of  Berlin). 
"Trench  was  very  kind  and  friendly,  but  is  very  timid 
and  has  no  sympathy  with  the  Evangelical  Alliance 

In  Paris,  he  had  "a  glorious  meeting  of  the  members 
of  the  French  branch  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  at  Dr. 

i"To  the  extremity  of  the  West,"  the  passage  bearing  on  the  western 
limit  of  Paul's  journeys. 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  247 

Grandpierre's  house,  the  parsonage  of  the  Oratoire.  Pro- 
fessor St.  Hilaire,  G.  Monod,  Pressense,  Bersier,  Fisch  and 
others  were  present,  representing  the  strength  of  the 
evangelical  Protestantism  of  France.  The  invitation  of 
the  American  Alliance  was  enthusiastically  accepted. 
The  best  action  was  taken  that  could  be  taken.  Te  Deum 
laudamus!  Bersier,  Pressense  and  others  promised  posi- 
tively to  come  to  New  York.  Dine  with  Bersier,  who  is 
a  splendid  specimen  of  a  French  gentleman  and  Christian. 
He  will  excite  attention  in  New  York." 

Passing  to  Holland,  he  makes  a  note  of  a  meeting  at 
Utrecht  in  the  interest  of  the  Alliance.  "  Evidently  the 
hand  of  God  is  in  this  movement.  I  spent  the  night  with 
Dr.  van  Oosterzee  in  his  spacious  and  comfortable  home. 
My  interview  was  especially  pleasant.  It  is  quite  surpris- 
ing that  he  should  make  up  his  mind  for  a  voyage  across 
the  Atlantic.  He  must  weigh  over  two  hundred  pounds, 
looks  heavy  and  ponderous,  somewhat  like  Dr.  Bethune, 
but  is  full  of  life  and  vivacity  of  mind,  and  is  acknowledged 
to  be  the  first  public  orator  of  Holland."  Some  time  later, 
at  the  request  of  the  authorities,  he  communicated  with  Dr. 
van  Oosterzee  with  reference  to  his  acceptance  of  a  pro- 
fessorship in  Rutgers  Seminary.  The  movement  awak- 
ened considerable  interest  among  people  of  Dutch  ante- 
cedents in  New  York  City  and  New  Jersey. 

Arrived  in  Germany,  Dr.  Schaff  spent  several  days  at 
Bonn.  Of  a  Sunday's  experience  he  wrote :  "  Dine  with 
Dr.  Lange,  one  of  the  purest  and  noblest  men  on  the  face 
of  the  earth.  He  is  now  sixty-seven  years  young,  as  fresh 
and  laborious  as  ever  and  is  engaged  on  his  commentary 
on  the  Apocalypse.  The  afternoon  I  spent  with  Lange, 
Christlieb  and  Krafft.  Then  take  tea  with  Lange,  whom  I 
enjoyed  till  ten  o'clock,  parting  with  him  with  a  kiss.  This 
belongs  to  the  solemn  rest-days  on  the  way  to  Canaan." 


In  Berlin  many  changes  had  occurred  since  1865. 
Nitzsch,  court-preacher  Krummacher  and  also  Hengsten- 
berg,  the  leader  of  the  conservative  school  of  the  Old 
Testament  critics,  were  gone.  "  Great  reminiscences,"  he 
wrote,  "I  have  to-day.  Schleiermacher,  Neander  and 
others  pass  through  my  mind  in  review.  Visit  the  daugh- 
ters of  Krummacher  in  remembrance  of  former  days  and 
go  to  his  grave,  plucking  some  fresh  roses.  Peace  to  his 
ashes! " 

Among  other  Americans  in  the  city  were  Professor 
Thayer  of  Andover  and  the  Rev.  Charles  A.  Briggs,  to 
whom  Dr.  Schaff,  some  time  before,  had  given  letters  of 
introduction  to  Dr.  Dorner  and  others,  and  whom  he  was  to 
introduce  into  the  faculty  of  Union  Seminary  five  years 
later.  Pressing  his  mission  as  deputy  of  the  Evangelical 
Alliance,  he  "  secured  a  most  excellent  meeting,  with 
speeches  of  fire  and  interest  by  Koegel,  Semisch,  Count 
Bernstorff,  Hoffmann  and  Dorner,  and  positive  promises 
from  the  last  two,  each  of  whom  is  a  host,  to  attend  the 
conference  in  New  York.  Minister  Bancroft  was  present 
and  seemed  to  enjoy  the  meeting  greatly." 

The  entries  of  his  journal  give  insight  into  the  hearti- 
ness with  which  Dr.  Schaff  mingled  with  old  teachers,  and 
old  and  new  friends.  Here  are  references  to  professors 
in  Halle  and  Leipzig  :  — 

I  dined  with  Tholuck  to-day.  A  continual  feast  of 
reason  and  flow  of  soul.  ...  A  walk  with  Tholuck  and 
three  students  at  eleven.  .  .  .  Last  interview  with  Tholuck 
and  a  walk  in  the  garden.  He  was  unusually  pleas- 
ant and  entertaining,  and  kissed  me  with  real  affection. 
.  .  .  Dinner  with  Dr.  Julius  Miiller,  a  Protestant  saint, 
whom  I  cannot  look  upon  without  profound  reverence 
and  affection.  ...  I  met  Delitzsch  for  the  first  time,  and 
had  a  long  interview  with  Tischendorf,  Kahnis,  Delitzsch, 
Luthardt  and  Keil  (the  leaders  of  strict  confessional 
Lutheranism  in  Germany),  and  we  spent  a  very  pleasant 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  249 

and  interesting  evening  together  and  discussed  the  sub- 
ject of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  and  Christian  union. 
Delitzsch  made  the  warmest  approach,  and  all  are  per- 
sonally favorable  to  the  cultivation  of  Christian  union  as 
distinct  from  church  union  and  amalgamation,  but  cannot 
consistently  take  part  in  the  New  York  conference,  as  it 
would  put  them  in  the  position  of  associating  with  Union- 
ists, Baptists  and  Methodists,  whom  they  oppose  at  home. 

At  Stuttgart  he  met  the  eloquent  young  evangelist, 
Carrasco  of  Madrid,  who  had  recently  been  ordained  in 
Geneva  and  four  years  later  went  down  at  sea  on  the 
return  journey  from  the  conference  of  the  Alliance  in 
New  York.  Of  an  address  to  the  Sunday  schools,  he 
writes :  "  I  made  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Adolf  Reihlen,  Pro- 
fessor Gunther  and  others,  a  Sunday-school  excursion  with 
several  hundred  fresh  and  lively  children  to  a  neighboring 
wood  and  delivered  a  speech  to  them  from  a  rock,  a  nat- 
ural pulpit.  Gunther  introduced  me  as  the  father  and 
grandfather  of  the  Sunday  schools  of  Stuttgart." 

After  attending  the  semi-centennial  of  the  Kornthal 
community,  he  continued  his  journey  to  Switzerland, 
accompanied  by  a  son,  spending  delightful  weeks  at  the 
home  of  Mrs.  Meta  Heusser,  and  finding  his  mother,  then 
eighty  years  old,  still  fresh  and  vigorous  of  mind  and 
walking  several  miles  at  a  time.  From  there  we  ascended 
to  the  Engadin  over  the  Albula  pass.  Great  was  the 
change  which  had  taken  place  since  Dr.  Schaff's  pre- 
vious visits  in  these  elevated  valleys,  which  had  come  to 
be  a  fashionable  resort  for  royalty  and  other  visitors  from 
afar.  He  was  entertained  by  his  schoolmate,  one  of  the 
von  Plantas  of  Samaden,  visited  Pontresina,  "  lying  like  a 
poem  at  the  foot  of  the  mountains,"  and  ascended  the 
peak  Languardt,  from  which  the  day  offered  a  clear  view 
of  the  splendid  panorama  of  the  Bernina  group,  and  the 
mountains  further  away.     He  industriously  visited  every 



spot  of  interest  from  Chiavenna  on  the  Italian  side  to 
Tharasp,  preached  in  the  Kur  Hans  on  the  Woman  of 
Samaria  and  called  upon  the  pastors  of  all  the  villages  he 

This  is  a  note  of  a  special  trip  to  Belalp  above  Brieg : 
"A  notable  episode  in  my  journey.  Spent  a  delightful 
Sabbath  with  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  B.  Smith  of  New  York 
at  Belalp,  a  new  hotel  which  affords  a  magnificent  view 
over  the  grand  Aletzsch  glacier  and  the  Valois  mountains, 
even  the  Monte  Rosa  and  the  Matterhorn,  which  I  was 
most  happy  to  see  again.  Dr.  Smith  has  retreated  to  this 
isolated  citadel  in  pursuit  of  health.  He  looks  fairly  well, 
but  his  mental  machinery  is  still  in  a  half-broken  condi- 
tion and  cannot  stand  any  strain.  He  takes  long  walks 
and  climbs,  but  cannot  endure  any  excitement."  Dr. 
Smith  had  been  obliged  to  temporarily  abandon  his  work 
at  Union  Seminary  and  to  seek  recuperation. 

After  presenting  the  matter  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance 
before  the  Conference  of  Swiss  pastors  at  Geneva,  and  at 
Basel,  he  visited,  upon  invitation,  Dr.  Alzog,  the  church 
historian  at  Freiburg.  Alzog  had  recently  returned  from 
Rome,  where  he  had  served  as  a  member  of  the  doctrinal 
committee,  making  preparations  for  the  approaching  oecu- 
menical council.  '*  He  hopes,"  Dr.  Schaff  wrote,  "for  a 
reunion  of  the  two  churches  by  the  way  of  knowledge  and 
love  and  great  events,  but  not  by  the  way  of  doctrinal  con- 
troversy." This  meeting,  which  Dr.  Schaff  looked  back  to 
with  singular  pleasure,  was  one  of  many  friendly  meetings 
with  Roman  Catholic  scholars  and  dignitaries  at  home  and 
abroad.  Without  being  untrue  to  his  own  convictions,  he 
found  common  ground  with  them  in  the  great  objective 
facts  of  the  Christian  system  and  the  cardinal  articles  of  the 
Catholic  creeds.  On  his  way  north  he  stopped  at  Han- 
over to  meet  Dr.  Meyer,  the  New  Testament  commentator, 

chap,  x  FIRST  YEARS  IN  NEW  YORK  25 1 

and  found  him  propped  up  in  an  easy  chair  and  wasted 
by  sickness.  "  He  received  me  most  cordially,  declared 
that  the  longer  he  studied  the  New  Testament  writings, 
the  more  convinced  he  was  of  the  historic  character  of  the 
events  they  narrated,  and  their  authenticity.  He  gave 
me  his  photograph  and  the  fifth  edition  of  his  John  as  a 
token  of  friendship." 

It  was  a  sort  of  continuation  of  his  European  journey, 
when,  upon  his  arrival  in  New  York,  Dr.  Schaff  met 
Pere  Hyacinthe,  who  was  on  his  first  visit  to  America. 
A  month  before  (September,  1869)  he  had  issued  his  mani- 
festo against  the  usurpations  of  the  papal  see  and  the 
defect  of  cecumenicity  in  the  call  of  the  Vatican  Council. 
Writing  to  Mrs.  Heusser  he  says  :  — 

I  took  dinner  this  evening  with  Pere  Hyacinthe.  He  will 
remain  here  for  two  weeks  till  his  case  is  decided  in  Rome. 
Mrs.  Stowe  was  also  one  of  the  guests.  It  was  a  most 
interesting  occasion.  The  most  famous  French  Catholic 
preacher,  and  with  him  the  most  famous  American  author- 
ess who  has  again  set  the  whole  literary  world  in  commotion 
by  her  work  on  Lord  Byron's  life.  Pere  Hyacinthe  made  a 
pleasant  impression  on  me.  He  is  an  amiable  Frenchman, 
a  modest  man  and  an  earnest  Christian,  now  on  the  bridge 
between  Protestantism  and  Catholicism.  He  will  probably 
be  excommunicated  by  Rome.  He  ought  to  remain  in  the 
Catholic  Church  (as  the  Apostles  did  in  the  synagogue), 
so  long  as  his  liberal  testimony  against  Ultramontane 
tendencies  is  tolerated.  He  looks  for  the  Johannine 
Church  of  the  future.  Paul,  he  said,  "I  esteem  above 
Peter,  and  John  above  Paul."  Dr.  Joseph  P.  Thompson, 
our  host,  suggested  that  as  a  pupil  of  John  he  should  pro- 
claim the  kingdom  of  the  future,  to  which  the  monk 
replied :  "lam  only  a  pupil  of  John  the  Baptist,  and  we 
all  are  instruments  only  to  prepare  the  way  of  the  future." 
I  parted  with  him,  repeating  the  words  of  Pascal,  "  En 
Jesus  Christ  toutes  les  contradictions  sont  accordees." 
Professor  Stowe,  who  speaks  no  French,  said  "  Dominus 
vobiscum,"  to  which  Pere  Hyacinthe  added,  "  et  cum  spiritu 





The  Evangelical  Alliance  —  Proposed  Conference  in  New  York  —  Dr.  Schaff 
the  Organizing  Spirit  —  Franco-Prussian  War  and  the  Vatican  Council  — 
Deputation  to  the  Czar  in  1871  — Tholuck  and  Hodge  Jubilees  —  Visits  to 
Europe  for  the  Alliance,  1869-1873 — The  Jansenists  of  Holland  —  Chisel- 
hurst —  Interview  with  Emperor  William  —  The  Conference  in  Session  — 
Dr.  Schaff s  Estimate  —  Alliance  of  the  Reformed  Churches  —  The 
Baxter  Monument  —  The  Old-Catholic  Conference  —  Dr.  Dollinger  —  The 
Evangelists,  Moody  and  Sankey 

New  York  had  never  before  witnessed  so  large  or  so  im- 
posing a  religious  gathering  as  the  sixth  conference  of  the 
Evangelical  Alliance  held  there  in  1873.  In  fact,  nothing 
had  occurred  on  the  American  continent  approaching  it  in 
the  number  of  the  attending  clergymen  from  abroad  of 
established  reputation.  The  conference,  following  the 
principles  of  the  Alliance,  proposed  as  its  object  not 
the  formulation  of  doctrinal  decrees  nor  the  exercise  of 
disciplinary  functions,  but  the  union  of  members  of  differ- 
ent communions  in  fraternal  Christian  intercourse  and  in 
the  discussion  of  themes  of  a  common  doctrinal  and  prac- 
tical import.  It  sought  by  the  moral  force  of  its  testimony 
to  advance  the  work  of  the  church  at  large  in  its  conflict 
with  the  world  and  with  error  within  its  own  pale. 

The  presence  of  scholars  like  Professor  Dorner,  eccle- 
siastics like  the  Dean  of  Canterbury,  preachers  like  Dr. 
Coulin  and  believers  from  the  ends  of  the  earth  like  the 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  253 

noted  Indian  convert,  Narayan-Sheshadri,  aroused  wide 
attention  even  in  circles  where,  by  reason  of  denomina- 
tional exclusiveness  or  religious  indifference,  little  sym- 
pathy was  felt  in  the  objects,  or,  at  any  rate,  with  the 
methods  of  the  Alliance.  The  deep  solemnity,  the  cordial 
enthusiasm,  the  intellectual  excellence  of  the  addresses, 
went  beyond  all  expectations  and  attracted  to  the  meet- 
ings the  interest  of  the  churches,  not  only  in  New  York 
and  vicinity,  but  throughout  the  land.  Testimony  to  the 
wide  extent  of  this  interest  was  borne  by  the  space  given 
to  the  proceedings  by  the  daily  press.  The  New  York 
Tribune  published  each  day  the  addresses  and  proceedings 
in  full. 

It  was  to  the  judgment,  energy  and  organizing  skill  of 
Dr.  Schaff  that  the  success  of  the  conference  was  in  a 
large  measure  due.  Into  the  preparations  he  threw  him- 
self from  the  start  with  his  whole  soul,  and,  as  those 
preparations  progressed,  the  chief  burden  and  responsi- 
bility fell  upon  him.  His  extended  personal  acquaintance 
with  theologians  abroad  and  a  sensitive  appreciation  of 
ecclesiastical  and  national  differences  qualified  him  for 
the  task  of  selecting  the  representatives  from  the  Con- 
tinent, securing  their  attendance  and  assigning  to  the 
speakers  their  themes.  To  his  efforts  alone  it  was  due 
that,  at  a  time  of  great  national  suspicion  and  bitterness, 
the  hearty  cooperation  of  all  the  Continental  branches  of 
the  Alliance  was  secured.  The  history  of  the  conference 
involves  so  intimately  his  movements  and  his  pen  for  four 
years,  that  it  requires  care  to  set  aside  that  which  belongs 
peculiarly  to  the  subject  of  this  Memorial  from  that  which 
is  of  a  more  general  interest. 

From  its  first  organization  in  London,  in  1846,  Dr. 
Schaff  had  been  a  warm  advocate  of  the  Evangelical 
Alliance.     He  prepared  a  paper  on  the  state  of  religion  in 


the  United  States  for  the  third  General  Conference,  held 
in  Berlin  in  1857.  He  received  a  special  invitation  from 
the  Dutch  committee  of  arrangements  to  the  fifth  General 
Conference,  held  in  Amsterdam  in  1867,  but  the  first 
conference  he  was  able  to  attend  was  the  one  held  in  New 

In  the  organization  of  the  American  branch  he  took  an 
active  part.  An  impetus  had  been  given  to  it  by  Dr. 
James  McCosh,  then  professor  in  Queen's  College,  Belfast, 
and  a  member  of  the  council  of  the  British  Alliance.  On 
his  visit  to  the  United  States  in  1866  he  attended  the 
preliminary  meeting  in  Madison  Square  Presbyterian 
Church,  June  7,  at  which  Dr.  Schaff  presided.  The 
resolutions  which  Dr.  Schaff  brought  in  at  a  subsequent 
meeting,  June  22,  "called  forth,"  to  use  his  own  words, 
"  radical  speeches  against  ancient  creeds,  but  were  carried 
substantially  in  the  end."  Considerable  as  was  the  interest 
in  the  movement,  he  was  obliged  to  say  six  months  later, 
writing  to  Dr.  McCosh:  "Unfortunately  we  have  no  en- 
couragement whatever  from  the  laity  as  yet.  But  we 
hope  for  the  best."  The  organization  of  the  American 
branch  was  completed  Jan.  30,  1867. 

Following  an  invitation  extended  through  Professor 
Henry  B.  Smith  and  Dr.  S.  Irenaeus  Prime  at  Amsterdam, 
it  was  decided  to  hold  a  General  Conference  of  the  Alli- 
ance in  New  York.  Appointed  for  the  autumn  of  1869,  it 
was  postponed,  for  lack  of  time  to  perfect  the  arrange- 
ments, to  the  following  year.  While  in  Europe  in  1869, 
Dr.  Schaff  acted  as  commissioner  of  the  American  alli- 
ance. Reference  has  already  been  made  to  his  presenta- 
tion of  the  subject  before  the  French  pastors  in  Paris,  the 
Swiss  Pastors'  Society  in  Geneva,  the  Kirchentag  in 
Stuttgart  and  elsewhere.  His  credentials  provided  pleni- 
potentiary powers  in  the  matter  of  invitations,  and  made 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  255 

provision  for  the  expenses  of  the  foreign  delegates.  In 
England  he  met  the  council  of  the  British  organization, 
and  by  securing  the  recognition  of  the  independent  au- 
thority of  the  various  branches  of  the  Alliance  in  dif- 
ferent lands  and  "their  perfect  fraternal  co-equality"  as 
coordinate  bodies,  settled  a  hotly  disputed  question  of 
jurisdiction  which  threatened  to  give  much  trouble.  His 
mission  was  successful  beyond  his  expectations.  Interest 
in  the  project  was  aroused  on  the  Continent  as  well  as  in 
England  and  Scotland,  and  promises  to  attend  were  given 
by  such  men  as  Bersier  and  Pressens6  of  France,  van 
Oosterzee  of  Holland,  Carrasco  of  Spain,  and  Dorner, 
Hoffmann,  Wichern,  Tischendorf,  Krafft,  Grundemann 
and  Christlieb  of  Germany.  This  was  a  most  gratifying 
representation,  in  view  of  the  great  aversion  of  Conti- 
nental scholars,  especially  the  scholars  of  Germany,  to 
venturing  upon  the  Atlantic.  On  his  return  to  New 
York,  enthusiastic  public  meetings  were  held  at  which 
Dr.  Schaff  predicted  the  success  of  the  coming  conference 
in  these  words  : *  — 

We  have  abundant  material  at  our  disposal  for  one  of 
the  most  imposing  and  interesting  religious  assemblies 
ever  held  in  this  or  any  other  country.  The  character  and 
weight  of  such  an  assembly  does  not  depend  upon  the 
number,  but  on  the  quality,  of  its  members. 

From  Europe  we  may  see  one  hundred  or  two  hundred 
delegates  ;  but  even  if  only  twenty  or  thirty  truly  repre- 
sentative men  should  come  with  the  acknowledged  weight 
of  their  names,  and  with  the  matured  results  of  their  life- 
long study  and  experience,  they  will  carry  the  influence  of 
the  meeting  to  every  country  and  church  in  the  world. 
No  building  in  this  city  will  be  large  enough  to  accommo- 
date the  multitudes  anxious  to  see  and  hear  them. 

Words  could  scarcely  have  been  chosen,  after  the  con- 
ference was  held,  more  suited  to  describe  the  general  im- 

1  Evangelical  Alliance  Documents,  iii. 


pression  of  its  meetings.  In  the  following  letter  to 
Professor  Dorner  (March  14,  1870),  the  development  of 
public  interest  is  indicated,  as  well  as  the  extent  of  Dr. 
Schaff's  own  labors  :  — 

The  approaching  conference  is  assuming  larger  and  larger 
proportions,  and  will  be,  if  God  wills,  the  most  important 
religious  assembly  ever  held  in  America.  The  Lord  Mayor 
of  London  day  before  yesterday  presided  over  a  large  meet- 
ing preparatory  to  our  own.  Three  hundred  delegates  have 
been  announced  from  England,  but  I  cannot  believe  that 
more  than  one-half  that  number  will  come.  The  Continen- 
tal delegates  whom  we  have  invited  will  all  come,  with  the 
exception  of  four  or  five  German  celebrities  whom  I  would 
most  of  all  like  to  see  here.  Besides  yourself,  Tholuck  has 
declined  on  account  of  his  high  age,  but  he  will  send  a  paper 
on  the  conflict  of  evangelical  theology  in  Germany  with 
rationalism.  .  .  .  The  German  religious  press  ought  to  be 
set  vigorously  agoing.  I  have  written  articles  for  the  Augs- 
burger  Allgemeine  Zeitung  and  the  Neue  Evangelische 
Zeitung,  and  other  sheets,  but  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  do 
everything.  The  whole  burden  of  the  European  corre- 
spondence rests  upon  my  shoulders,  and  I  must  also  take 
part  in  the  other  preparations.  This  is  all  in  addition  to 
my  usual  labors.  But  I  cannot  withdraw  from  the  Alli- 
ance work,  for  the  honor  of  Protestantism  and  the  honor 
of  the  United  States  are  now  involved  in  this  conference. 
Services  are  being  held  every  Sunday  in  preparation  for 
it,  and  they  are  well  attended.  General  Grant  and  Vice- 
President  Colfax  and  Secretary  of  State  Fish  have  set 
their  names  to  a  paper  indorsing  the  aims  of  the  confer- 
ence and  expressing  the  hope  that  it  may  further  the 
cause  of  Christian  union  among  all  the  churches  of  the 

To  Bishop  Mcllvaine,  who  was  then  in  England,  Dr. 
Schaff  wrote,  March  21,  1870:  "We  must  rally  at  this 
gathering  all  the  forces  of  evangelical  Christianity  for  an 
effective  demonstration  against  infidelity  and  superstition, 
and  make  the  most  of  a  rare  opportunity  which  will  not 
occur  again  for  a  long  time  to  come." 

With  but  few  exceptions  the  clergy  of  New  York  were 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  257 

cooperating  heartily  in  the  project,  with  William  E.  Dodge 
as  the  chairman  of  the  committee  and  Drs.  Schaff  and 
Prime  as  secretaries.  Branch  alliances  were  formed  in 
Boston,  Philadelphia,  Washington,  Pittsburg  and  other 
cities.  The  organization  was  complete.  The  programme 
was  perfected,  Dr.  Angus  and  other  delegates  from 
abroad  had  already  arrived,  expectation  was  high  and 
rising  when  the  war  between  France  and  Germany  sud- 
denly burst  upon  Europe.  In  quick  succession  telegrams 
followed  one  another  from  Paris,  Berlin  and  London 
calling  for  the  postponement  of  the  conference.  It  be- 
came evident  that  there  was  no  other  course  to  pursue, 
and  thus  Dr.  Schaff  made  note  of  the  decision  in  his 
journal,  August  5  :  — 

The  General  Conference  is  dead  and  buried,  in  the  hope 
of  a  blissful  resurrection  in  187 1.  I  am  busy  all  week 
with  winding  up  the  business.  It  is  a  very  sore  disap- 
pointment. So  much  precious  time,  strength  and  care 
apparently  wasted !  But  when  God  speaks,  man  must  be 
silent.  The  postponement  will  be  overruled  for  the  best. 
Amazing  success  of  the  Prussian  arms !  The  tables  are 
turned.  France  is  invaded  and  humbled  to  the  dust. 
Napoleon  is  doomed.  With  him  goes  military  despotism, 
haughty  imperialism,  a  standing  menace  to  the  peace  of 
Europe,  perhaps  also  the  temporal  power  of  the  pope. 
God  is  dealing  harder  blows  to  Rome  now  than  the  General 
Conference  could  have  dealt.  Germany  is  united,  and  the 
union  cemented  by  blood  spilled  in  defence  of  the  father- 
land. We  stand  in  silent  awe  before  the  judgment  of  the 
Almighty,  who  is  now  writing  a  stirring  chapter  of  history 
on  the  soil  of  unhappy,  deluded  France. 

In  common  with  thoughtful  men,  he  followed  in  almost 
dumb  amazement  the  events  of  the  summer  of  1870.  Few 
months  of  any  year  in  modern  times  have  been  so  freighted 
with  imposing  occurrences.  The  observer  of  the  contem- 
porary trend  of  politics  and  the  student  of  the  long  periods 
of  history  were  alike  astounded  at  the  rapid  and  victorious 


movements  of  the  German  armies  and  the  acts  of  the 
Vatican  Council.  While  the  council,  beginning  its  first 
session  under  terrific  thunder  and  flashes  of  lightning, 
declared  the  pope  infallible,  the  empire  of  France  col- 
lapsed at  Sedan  with  the  surrender  of  Napoleon,  the 
pope's  chief  defender,  and  the  armies  of  Victor  Emmanuel 
entered  Rome,  taking  possession  of  it  as  the  future  capital 
of  the  new  kingdom  of  Italy.  It  was  not  the  most  im- 
portant consequence  of  these  contemporary  events  that 
the  map  of  Europe  was  changed.  The  most  important 
consequence  was  that  an  empire  arose  on  the  Continent 
which  was  controlled  by  Protestantism  and  the  spirit  of 
Luther,  and  that  the  kingdom  of  the  Italian  peninsula 
stood  for  the  overthrow  of  the  temporal  power  of  the 
papacy.  To  the  history  and  probable  consequences  of 
the  Vatican  Council,  Dr.  Schaff  devoted  his  pen  in  a 
volume  entitled  the  Vatican  Decrees}  He  did  not  share 
the  view  that  the  day  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  was 
at  an  end.  Nor  was  it  at  any  time  his  opinion  that  there 
were  any  reasonable  indications  that  it  would  cease  to 
exist.  As  little  did  he  expect  that  it  would  be  absorbed 
or  transformed  by  Protestantism.  His  hope  was  that 
reforms  might,  under  the  guidance  of  Providence,  start 
from  within  its  bosom,  and  a  new  era  of  doctrine  and 
ecclesiastical  practice  be  ushered  in  by  the  action  of  some 
future  incumbent  of  the  see  of  St.  Peter  or  of  an  oecumeni- 
cal council. 

On  the  subject  of  the  unification  of  Italy,  Dr.  Schaff 
thus  expressed  himself  to  a  correspondent,  Jan.  3,  1871 :  — 

Every  American  citizen  who  has  an  intelligent  appre- 
ciation of  the  inestimable  blessings  of  civil  and  religious 

1  New  York,  1875.  Being  in  part  taken  from  his  work,  the  Creeds  of 
Christendom,  and  containing  Mr.  Gladstone's  Vatican  Decrees  in  their 
Bearing  on  Civil  Allegiance. 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  259 

liberty,  as  shown  in  the  experience  of  his  own  country, 
must  hail  the  unification  of  Italy  on  the  basis  of  a  liberal 
constitution  as  one  of  the  most  important  and  hopeful  signs 
of  the  age.  If  the  claims  of  the  pope  be  well  founded, 
he  ought  to  rejoice  in  this  relief  from  the  cares  and  the 
odium  of  secular  government,  and  throw  himself  without 
distrust  or  fear  upon  the  affections  of  one  hundred  and 
eighty  millions  of  Roman  Catholics,  remembering  that 
Peter  and  his  successors  during  three  centuries  of  perse- 
cution had  neither  silver  nor  gold,  and  that  Christ  himself, 
who  became  poor  for  our  sakes,  expressly  declared  that 
his  kingdom  was  not  of  this  world.  History  proves  that 
the  church  is  not  a  loser,  but  a  gainer,  by  its  separation 
from  the  state.  Christianity  prospers  best  in  the  at- 
mosphere of  liberty,  and  all  it  ought  to  expect  and  demand 
from  the  civil  government  is  protection  in  the  exercise, 
and  freedom  in  the  enjoyment,  of  its  rights  and  the  exe- 
cution of  its  mission  of  peace  and  good  will  toward  all 

In  1 87 1  Dr.  Schaff  was  in  Europe  again,  and  acted  as 
a  member  of  the  deputation  of  the  American  Evangelical 
Alliance  to  make  appeal  to  the  Czar  in  behalf  of  the 
Protestants  in  the  Baltic  Provinces.  Deputations  were 
also  appointed  by  the  Alliance  from  England,  Sweden, 
Germany,  Switzerland,  Holland  and  other  countries.  The 
aim  was  to  secure  the  abandonment  of  the  process  of 
pacification,  so-called,  which  had  been  going  on  for  some 
years,  whereby,  as  was  claimed,  the  Lutheran  emigrants 
in  Livonia,  Esthonia  and  Courland  were  being  forced, 
contrary  to  compact,  into  the  Orthodox  Grasco-Russian 
Church.  The  Czar  was  at  the  time  visiting  his  sister 
Queen  Olga  and  her  consort,  the  king  of  Wurtemberg, 
at  Friedrichshafen  on  Lake  Constance.  The  deputations 
met  by  appointment  at  Stuttgart,  choosing  Dr.  Schaff 
chairman.  Other  delegates  present  from  the  United 
States  were  the  Rev.  William  Adams,  Bishop  Mcllvaine, 
the    Rev.  Drs.  Noah  H.  Schenck  and  E.  A.  Washburn, 

2<5o  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1871 

the  Hon.  William  E.  Dodge,  Cyrus  Field  and  Nathan 
Bishop.  Arriving  at  Friedrichshafen  on  the  13th  of  July, 
they  found  the  city  in  festal  array  in  honor  of  its  sover- 
eign's silver  wedding  anniversary,  and  the  day  following 
they  had  an  interview  with  the  Russian  prime  minister. 
Here  is  the  record  of  this  interesting  event  taken  from 
Dr.  Schaff's  journal :  "  We  were  summoned  before  Prince 
Gortschakoff  at  10  a.m.  in  the  Villa  Taubenheim.  The 
deputies,  thirty-seven  in  number,  met  beforehand  and 
discussed  the  mode  of  proceeding.  Against  my  decided 
remonstrance,  I  was  forced  into  the  delicate  position  of 
spokesman  of  the  deputations.  We  went  in  procession 
to  the  villa,  met  a  most  courteous  reception  and  had  a 
full  exchange  of  views  for  an  hour  and  a  half.  I  got 
through  my  talk  better  than  I  feared." 

Dr.  Schaff  expressed  the  respect  entertained  by  the 
constituency  of  the  Alliance  for  the  person  of  the  em- 
peror and  its  gratitude  for  his  liberal  and  enlightened 
policy,  especially  as  shown  in  the  emancipation  of  twenty- 
three  million  serfs  and  the  amelioration  of  the  religious 
condition  of  the  Protestants  in  the  Baltic  Provinces  since 
the  presentation  to  his  majesty,  the  year  before,  of  the 
memorial  on  the  subject  by  the  Paris  branch  of  the 
Alliance.  The  deputations  had  neither  ecclesiastical  nor 
political  objects  to  serve.  Their  motive  was  in  the  inter- 
est of  Christian  charity  and  the  cause  of  religious  liberty. 
"May  God,"  so  he  closed,  "bless  his  imperial  majesty,  the 
Czar,  and  give  him  wisdom  and  courage  to  proclaim  relig- 
ious liberty  throughout  his  vast  empire.  Such  a  noble  act 
will  crown  his  illustrious  reign,  and  secure  for  him  the 
applause  of  the  Christian  world  and  the  gratitude  of 
millions  yet  unborn."  The  prince  replied  that  he  was 
pleased  at  the  respectful  manner  in  which  the  delicate 
subject   had  been  brought  to  his  attention.     He  had  no 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  26 1 

doubt  of  the  purity  of  the  petitioners'  intentions,  and 
their  freedom  from  political  aims.  His  majesty's  sym- 
pathy with  the  cause  of  religious  liberty  was  his  own. 
In  Russia  all  religions  were  tolerated  except  as  they  incul- 
cated immoral  tenets.  Persecution  was  not  allowed  nor, 
on  the  other  hand,  was  propagandism.  Putting  his  hand 
before  his  eyes  and  looking  through  his  fingers,  he  said, 
"  It  is  thus  we  deal  with  the  sects." * 

The  English  memorial,  Dr.  SchafT's  journal  continues, 
"created  trouble  and  was  declined.  Ours  was  declared 
unobjectionable  and  presentable,  but  we  withdrew  it  on 
account  of  the  refusal  to  accept  the  English  document. 
The  Quaker  memorial  was  likewise  withdrawn.  The 
prince  in  a  private  talk  assured  me  at  parting  that  the 
emperor,  as  well  as  he  himself,  was  fully  in  favor  of 
religious  liberty,  and  authorized  me  to  say  this,  and  to 
publish  the  substance  of  the  interview.  He,  however, 
declined  to  give  me  a  written  answer  to  our  appeal,  say- 
ing, '  Much  writing  spoils  or  prevents  action.  I  am  / 
seventy-three  years  old  and  write  as  little  as  possible.' 
The  conversation  was  in  three  languages,  which  the  prince 
speaks  with  equal  fluency." 

Turning  aside  from  Switzerland,  Dr.  Schaff  witnessed 
at  Oberammergau  the  decennial  performance  of  the  Pas- 
sion Play,  which  had  by  this  time  begun  to  be  well  known 
and  to  be  sought  out  by  many  tourists.  It  made  a  deep 
impression  upon  his  mind  and  for  months  formed  a  subject 
of  conversation  with  him.     He  wrote  :  — 

The  Passion  Play  lasted  from  8  till  5  o'clock  with  an 
intermission  of  one  hour.  It  is  worth  a  journey  to  Europe, 
and  I  am  thankful  I  have  been  permitted  to  witness  it. 
Remarkable  it  certainly  is,  that  a  performance  so  solemn 

1  A  detailed  account  of  the  interview  is  given  in  the  Report  of  the  Alliance 
Deputation  in  Behalf  of  Religious  Liberty  in  Russia.     New  York,  1S71. 


and  so  well  conducted  should  be  carried  out  by  these 
simple  mountaineers  secluded  from  the  world  and  almost 
untutored  by  modern  civilization.  The  scene  of  the  cru- 
cifixion is  deeply  impressive.  Meier,  who  represented 
Christ,  continued  hanging  for  fifteen  or  twenty  minutes 
on  the  cross.  Even  the  thrust  of  the  lance  and  the  scene 
of  the  breaking  of  the  bones  were  enacted. 

Thence  he  proceeded  to  Starnberg  Lake,  and  at  Fazing 
met  Dollinger  and  had  an  hour's  talk  on  the  Old-Catholics. 
"  Dollinger  is  quite  clear,  fresh  and  strong.  The  commen- 
tator Harless,  on  whom  I  called  at  his  villa  at  Feldhafing, 
puts  a  low  estimate  on  the  Old-Catholic  movement,  tracing 
it  chiefly  to  Dollinger's  Gelehrtenstolz  (scholastic  pride). 
He  pronounced  it  destitute  of  all  evangelical  spirit.  Har- 
less is  half  broken  by  a  stroke  of  paralysis." 

At  Paris,  in  company  with  Dr.  William  Adams  and  Mr. 
John  Crosby  Brown,  he  met  the  representatives  of  the 
French  Evangelical  Alliance  and  concluded  the  intense 
feeling  against  the  Germans  might  make  it  necessary  to 
postpone  the  General  Conference  indefinitely.  The  Pari- 
sian pastors  even  suggested  that,  as  a  condition  of  their 
participation  in  such  a  gathering,  the  Germans  should  sign 
a  paper  disclaiming  all  wars  of  conquest. 

During  his  sojourn  in  England  he  met  Daniel  Sedgwick, 
whose  fine  hymnological  collection  was  afterwards  pur- 
chased for  Union  Theological  Seminary,  and  has  this  to 
say  of  him :  — 

He  is  a  great  hymnological  curiosity.  Find  him  in  a 
small,  old  house,  full  of  hymn-books,  —  little  room,  short 
sleeves,  cap,  old,  withered  face,  dark  eyes,  poor,  proud  of 
his  hobby,  was  once  nearly  insane  and  almost  ready  to 
commit  suicide,  found  comfort  in  the  New  Testament  and 
hymns  of  Providence,  such  as  "  God  moves  in  a  mysterious 
way,"  and  thus  became  passionately  fond  of  hymns,  gave 
himself  up  to  hymnology,  and  was  found  out  through  Mac- 
millan  by  Sir  Roundel  Palmer  and  showed  him,  "who 
knew  no  more  than  a  monkey,"  how  to  make  a  hymn-book. 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  263 

A  few  days  after  Dr.  Schaff's  return  to  the  United 
States,  occurred  the  funeral  of  Charles  Scribner  (Sept.  29), 
who  had  died  at  Luzern  the  month  before.  In  a  note  of 
the  services,  in  which  he  participated,  he  said  :  "  Ever  since 
the  publication  of  my  Apostolic  History,  Mr.  Scribner 
has  been  one  of  my  best  friends.  He  was  one  of  the  most 
useful  public  men,  pure  in  motive,  honorable  in  principle, 
consistent  in  conduct,  thoughtfully  considerate  and  tenderly 
affectionate  as  a  son,  a  husband,  a  father  and  a  friend, 
and  most  deserving  of  the  high  name  and  title  of  a  Chris- 
tian gentleman.  To  know  him  was  to  esteem  and  love 
him.  His  best  public  monument  is  his  list  of  publications, 
in  which  there  is  not  one  that  can  be  objected  to  on  moral 
grounds."  The  pleasant  relations  between  author  and 
publisher  were  continued  with  Mr.  Scribner's  sons,  the 
eldest  of  whom,  Blair  Scribner,  followed  his  father  in  a 
few  years  to  the  grave. 

An  event  in  the  theological  world  at  this  time  (1870), 
in  which  Dr.  Schaff  took  a  warm  personal  interest,  was 
the  celebration  of  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  Dr.  Tholuck's 
career  as  a  professor.  He  was  the  nestor  of  evangelical 
theology  in  Germany,  as  Leo,  also  of  Halle,  who  celebrated 
the  same  anniversary  a  few  months  later,  was  the  nestor 
among  German  historians.  The  celebration  lasted  three 
days.  Tholuck,  in  his  address,  spoke  of  his  conversion  as 
a  baptism  of  fire,  and  declared  very  characteristically  that 
he  had  not  sought  to  be  a  book-professor,  but  a  student- 
professor.  Among  other  testimonials  which  the  occasion 
called  forth  was  a  memorial  fund,  started  in  Germany. 
Dr.  Schaff,  who  entered  very  heartily  into  the  arrange- 
ments for  the  celebration,  transmitted  gifts  amounting  to 
six  hundred  dollars  from  pupils  and  admirers  in  the  United 
States.  The  fund  was  applied  by  Dr.  Tholuck  to  the  aid 
of  theological  tutors  (docenten)  at  Halle,  and  is  known  as 

264  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1870 

the  convict.  After  her  husband  died,  Mrs.  Tholuck  con- 
tinued to  take  a  warm  interest  in  the  charity  until  her  own 
death,  in  1894. 

Here  are  Dr.  SchafF s  congratulations  to  his  honored 
teacher :  — 

Allow  me  to  send  you  from  afar  some  words  of 
cordial  congratulation  and  grateful  love  on  the  occasion 
of  your  fiftieth  jubilee.  Seldom  does  a  teacher  have  the 
joy  of  celebrating  the  golden  wedding  of  his  academic 
activity.  And  this  is  the  only  one  I  know  of  in  which  the 
scholars  and  friends  of  more  than  one  country  and  one 
continent  have  joined  hearts  and  hands  to  do  such  an 
occasion  honor.  I  go  back  in  my  thoughts  thirty  years 
to  the  time  when  I  was  permitted  to  sojourn  under  your 
hospitable  roof ;  and  the  regard  and  love  I  then  conceived 
for  you  have  remained  unchanged  since,  and  will  go  with 
me  to  the  grave,  yea,  through  eternity.  With  my  whole 
heart  do  I  hope  and  pray  that  the  good  Lord,  who  has  so 
richly  blessed  you  and  your  labors,  may  be  with  you  in  the 
evening  of  your  life  with  His  spirit  and  His  peace. 

Professor  Tholuck  thus  acknowledged  through  Dr.  Schaff 
the  receipt  of  the  American  gifts :  — 

The  charitable  project  of  my  dear  former  pupils  to  sur- 
prise me  at  my  festival  of  honor  with  a  donation,  has  now 
been  disclosed,  and  I  learned  after  the  arrival  of  your  con- 
tributions to-day,  as  after  your  affectionate  greeting  of  a 
few  days  ago,  with  what  devotion  you  have  labored  for 
this  object.  From  my  heart  I  thank  you,  as  I  do  also  my 
dear  friends,  Prentiss  and  Smith,  for  their  cooperation  in 
what  is  the  joy  of  my  old  age.  Although  I  am  a  constant 
sufferer,  there  is  some  prospect  that  I  may  yet  have  suf- 
ficient strength  to  labor  for  some  time  and  make  many 
happy  by  the  fruits  of  this  charity.  It  was  a  truly  noble 
and  blessed  festival,  which  brought  together  so  many  hun- 
dreds of  my  friends  of  by-gone  days,  and  brought  to  me 
hundreds  of  letters  from  distant  localities,  —  England, 
America,  Madrid,  Athens,  Smyrna  and  other  parts,  —  with 
their  tokens  of  affection  and  regard. 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  265 

Two  years  later  a  similar  event,  and  one  of  much  signifi- 
cance, occurred  in  our  own  theological  world,  — the  fiftieth 
anniversary  of  the  professional  career  of  Dr.  Charles 
Hodge,  which  was  also  celebrated  with  imposing  tributes 
of  affection  and  esteem.  Dr.  Schaff  had  met  Dr.  Hodge 
soon  after  his  arrival  in  this  country,  and  as  years  went 
on,  came  to  regard  him  as  "a  saintly  man."  He  was 
present  at  the  jubilee  exercises,  April  24,  ^872,  and  in  his 
journal  says:  — 

An  immense  throng  of  ministers  was  present.  It  was 
an  event  in  American  church  history.  A  fruit  of  the 
Tholuck  celebration  in  1870,  but  more  imposing.  Forty- 
three  thousand  dollars  have  been  contributed  for  a  Hodge 
professorship.  Fifteen  thousand  are  given  to  Dr.  Hodge 
as  a  mark  of  respect.  He  spoke  admirably  and  charac- 
teristically, introducing  reminiscences  of  Neander.  "  In 
himself  he  was  nothing.  He  was  all  things  in  Christ, 
whose  service  is  true  freedom."  He  told  Dr.  Prime  after- 
wards that  he  never  felt  so  humble  in  all  his  life  as  he  did 
on  this  occasion.  I  stopped  with  my  genial  countryman, 
Professor  Guyot. 

In  1872  preparations  for  the  General  Conference  of  the 
Evangelical  Alliance  were  resumed  and  vigorously  pushed, 
the  date  being  set  for  the  fall  of  the  following  year.  Dr. 
Schaff  again  went  as  commissioner  to  Europe  to  further 
its  interests,  and  secure  a  worthy  delegation  from  the  Eu- 
ropean churches.  He  arrived  in  Edinburgh  in  time  for 
the  Scotch  assemblies  and  also  addressed  the  General 
Assembly  at  Belfast. 

At  London  he  made  a  note  of  a  visit  to  the  Deanery  of 
Westminster.  "Stanley  calls  the  pope  the  head  of  our 
profession  and  speaks  of  Rainy's  reply  to  his  laudation 
of  Scotch  moderation  as  'delightful  and  wonderful  for 
so  short  a  preparation.'  This  is  truly  broad.  His  un- 
married  sister   is   a    Roman   Catholic.     He   admires   the 


266  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  •  1872 

pope  and  Sakya-Muni  as  a  religious  prophet  to  the  Hin- 
doos. His  liberality  is  as  broad  as  the  universe.  Oh!  if 
we  could  only  be  as  broad  as  God's  charity  and  as  narrow 
as  God's  justice  !  " 

In  Paris  he  arrived  in  time  for  the  meeting  of  the  Re- 
formed synod  in  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  the  first 
since  the  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes.  The  follow- 
ing words  from  his  journal  point  to  the  sensitive  state  of 
the  French  mind  with  reference  to  any  cooperation  with 
the  Germans.  "  I  made  a  statement  of  my  mission  to  the 
French  ministers.  My  being  Swiss  saved  our  cause.  A 
unanimous  resolution  was  passed  in  favor  of  the  confer- 
ence. This  was  a  most  happy  result.  A  heavy  weight 
is  lifted  from  my  heart.  The  conference  is  now  safe. 
Thanks  be  to  God!  My  mission  is  nearly  finished."  At 
Utrecht  he  had  an  interesting  interview  with  the  Jansenist 
archbishop,  H.  Loos.  Renewed  attention  had  been  called 
to  this  dissident  church  by  the  consecration  administered 
by  one  of  its  bishops  to  the  Old-Catholic  bishop,  Professor 

"The  archbishop,"  wrote  Dr.  SchafT, 

is  a  plain,  venerable  old  man,  speaks  only  Dutch  and  a 
little  French ;  presides  over  a  theological  seminary,  with 
five  students  (including  three  who  are  preparing  for  a 
theological  course),  disowns  Jansenism,  but  protests  against 
the  bull  Unigenitus,  which  condemned  Jansenism.  He 
stands  on  the  Council  of  Trent,  regards  the  pope  as  a 
tyrannical  father,  who  has  expelled  his  children.  But 
these  continue  to  respect  and  obey  him,  except  as  far 
as  he  has  made  additions  to  the  Council  of  Trent,  and 
has  appended  the  dogmas  of  the  immaculate  concep- 
tion and  papal  infallibility.  He  calls  his  priests  the  Old- 
Catholic  clergy.  He  represents  a  hopeless  condition  of 
waiting  on  Providence.  He  holds  the  Augustinian  views 
on  grace,  and  exhibits  a  strong  opposition  to  Jesuitism. 
He  speaks  with  warm  sympathy  of  the  Old-Catholics  of 
Germany.     There  are  six  thousand  Old-Catholics  and  Jan- 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  267 

senists  in  Holland,  with  three  bishops.  They  are  a  quiet, 
good  people,  and  are  isolated  both  from  the  Protestants 
and  the  Catholics. 

As  the  time  finally  set  for  the  conference  drew  nigh,  it 
was  found  necessary  that  Dr.  Schaff  should  once  more 
go  to  Europe.  By  the  end  of  May,  1873,  one-half  of  the 
delegates  from  abroad,  appointed  for  the  programme,  had 
either  declined  or  had  died.  Among  the  latter  were 
Guthrie,  Norman  Macleod  and  Dr.  Hoffmann  of  Berlin. 
Professor  von  Tischendorf,  who  had  looked  forward  with 
great  interest  to  visiting  America,  was  disabled  by  paralysis, 
from  which  he  died  a  year  later.  Something  had  to  be 
done  and  done  quickly,  to  revive  the  interest  abroad.  Dr. 
Schaff  was  commissioned  to  do  this  work  in  England  and 
on  the  Continent,  and  Dr.  John  Hall  of  New  York  and 
George  H.  Stuart  of  Philadelphia,  to  present  the  matter 
in  Scotland  and  Ireland. 

Arrived  in  England,  he  speaks  of  attending  the  con- 
vocation of  Canterbury.  "  Breakfasted  with  Archbishop 
Trench.  Then  I  was  introduced  by  Dean  Stanley  to  con- 
vocation in  Jerusalem  Chamber,  a  very  interesting  sight 
but  a  dull  antiquarian  discussion  about  some  rubrics  in 
the  communion  service.  Then  I  lunched  with  the  dean 
and  many  dignitaries.  Charming  politeness  of  Lady 
Augusta,  the  model  of  an  English  lady."  In  visiting 
Professor  and  Mrs.  Plumptre  at  Bickley  Vicarage,  he 
walked  with  Professor  Plumptre  to  the  mansion  at  Chisel- 
hurst  which  Napoleon  III  had  occupied.  "I  mused  long, 
looking  at  the  spot  where  one  of  the  most  interesting 
chapters  of  modern  history  expired.  The  house  is  sur- 
rounded by  stately  trees  and  situated  in  a  large  park. 
No  visitors  are  admitted.  The  empress  is  at  Arenenberg, 
the  prince  at  Woolwich.  The  emperor,  I  am  told,  was 
very  popular  in  the  vicinity." 


One  of  the  satisfactory  results  of  his  visit  in  England 
was  the  promise  of  a  public  document  from  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  commending  the  conference.  Much 
encouraged,  he  hastened  to  Germany.  In  Bonn  a  bold 
attempt  was  made  to  enlist  the  cooperation  of  the  leaders 
of  the  Old-Catholic  movement.  After  consulting  with 
von  Schulte,  Bishop  Reinkens  and  Professors  Reusch  and 
Langen,  he  determined  to  invite  the  approaching  Old- 
Catholic  Congress  to  send  three  delegates  as  honorary 
guests  of  the  conference,  making  out  all  the  papers  in 
von  Schulte's  study.  While  the  invitation  did  not  result 
in  the  mission  of  any  Old-Catholic  delegates,  a  letter  was 
sent  by  the  congress,  conceived  in  a  warm  Christian  spirit, 
and  expressing  the  hope  that  the  conference  in  New  York 
might  lead  to  a  closer  union  of  the  different  branches  of 
the  Protestant  Church,  and  that  the  bond  of  mutual  love 
between  its  members  and  the  Old-Catholics  might  be 
strengthened  as  a  means  to  a  final  reconciliation  of  all 

After  visiting  Berlin  and  Leipzig,  where  he  saw  the 
leading  churchmen,  and  Vienna,  where  the  World's  Expo- 
sition was  being  held,  he  went  to  Bad-Gastein  to  secure 
an  approval  of  the  conference  from  the  emperor  of  Ger- 
many. The  emperor  granted  Dr.  Schaff  an  audience,  and 
gave  a  hearty  endorsement  to  the  Alliance,  which  removed 
all  doubts  from  the  minds  of  several  German  scholars  who 
were  still  wavering  as  to  whether  they  should  attend  the 
conference.  The  following  account  is  from  Dr.  SchafFs 
journal  (August  10):  — 

"  I  attended  service  this  morning  at  the  Protestant 
church,  court-preacher  Rogge  preaching  an  able  and 
faithful  sermon  on  the  Fall  of  Jerusalem,  this  being  the 
anniversary  of  that  event.  Emperor  William,  who  was 
present,  was  very  attentive  and  devout  in  manner,  stand- 

chap,  xi  '     CHRISTIAN  UNION  269 

ing  during  the  prayers  and  following  the  hymn  with  his 
glasses  on.  After  the  service,  I  had  an  hour's  interview 
with  him  alone  in  his  private  room.  He  was  sitting  at 
his  writing-desk.  He  spoke  with  amazing  frankness  on 
the  state  of  the  church  and  religion.  He  said,  if  Christ 
is  not  the  Son  of  God  but  only  a  man,  however  good 
and  perfect,  our  faith  is  vain  and  His  death  cannot  atone 
for  our  sins.  He  deplored  the  want  of  positive  faith  and 
unity  in  Protestantism  and  the  rapid  progress  of  mate- 
rialism, money  speculation  (Geldschwindel)  and  luxury  since 
the  war.  '  God  used  us  Germans  as  instruments  for  doing 
great  things  for  Germany,  and  we  cannot  be  sufficiently 
thankful  for  it.  Instead  of  being  so,  we  are  getting  worse 
and  ourselves  deserve  a  humiliation.'  He  spoke  of  papal 
infallibility,  the  Old-Catholics  (whom  he  would  like  to 
favor),  the  question  of  church  union  in  the  new  provinces, 
his  attachment  to  the  Union  Church  [of  Prussia]  and  his 
aversion  to  forcing  it  upon  any  one.  He  emphatically  and 
expressly  authorized  and  requested  me  to  bear  his  cordial 
greeting  and  best  wishes  {Gruss  und  Segenswunsch)  to  the 
conference  at  New  York,  and  to  say  that  he  sustained 
precisely  the  same  attitude  to  it  as  his  brother,  King 
Frederick  William  IV,  had  publicly  taken  in  regard  to  the 
General  Conference  in  Berlin  in  1857,  one  °f  whose  ses- 
sions he  had  attended  in  the  Garnisons  Kirche.  .  .  .  He 
spoke  with  interest  of  several  names  on  the  programme,  — 
Hoffmann,  Godet  and  others,  and  of  the  topics,  and  ex- 
pressed the  hope  that  another  conference  might  be  soon 
held  in  Germany.  In  parting  he  took  me  warmly  by  the 
hand,  and  thanked  me  for  bringing  the  subject  to  his 
attention.  He  made  upon  me  the  deep  impression  of 
being  a  God-fearing,  unpretentious,  frank,  honorable  and 
conscientious  man,  just  as  he  appears  to  be  in  his  de- 
spatches sent  during  the  war  and  his  conduct  since.     A 

270  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  SC&AFF  1873 

true  Helden-Kaiser  (imperial  hero)  is  he,  worthy  to  head 
the  list  of  the  emperors  of  the  new  German  empire !  This 
is  a  most  important  interview  and  the  crown  of  my  visit 
and  mission.  The  Lord  be  praised ! "  A  year  later  the 
emperor  showed  his  continued  interest  in  the  Alliance  by 
promptly  acknowledging  the  receipt  of  a  printed  copy 
of  the  proceedings  of  the  conference. 

Entering  Switzerland,  Dr.  Schaff  again  set  forth  the 
cause  of  the  conference  before  the  Swiss  P.astors'  Society 
at  Aarau.  At  Basel,  he  represented  it  for  the  fourth  time. 
At  Neuchatel,  once  more  but  in  vain  he  urged  his  friend, 
Professor  Godet,  to  venture  across  the  seas.  In  Paris,  he 
was  again  confronted  with  the  delicate  task  of  reconciling 
the  French  delegates  to  a  union  meeting  as  against  a  dis- 
tinct French  section,  and  was  successful  in  guarding  in 
advance  against  any  fretting  displays  of  national  feeling 
in  New  York.  The  middle  of  September  found  him  once 
more  on  the  ocean  homeward  bound,  in  company  with 
Dr.  John  Hall  and  Mr.  George  H.  Stuart. 

The  result  of  this  tour  upon  the  success  of  the  confer- 
ence of  the  Alliance  can  hardly  be  overestimated.  With 
his  usual  power  of  intellectual  comprehension,  Dr.  Schaff 
sought  to  secure  words  of  endorsement  in  high  quarters 
and  succeeded.  Failing  to  secure  an  endorsement  from 
the  queen,  he  secured  the  public  recognition  of  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury.  He  then  went  to  Paris  and  won 
the  approval  of  the  Protestant  synod,  boldly  sought  to 
enlist  the  sympathy  of  the  Old-Catholic  Congress,  and 
then  had  his  interview  with  the  German  emperor.  The 
flagging  interest  of  branch  alliances  in  Great  Britain  and 
on  the  Continent  was  revived,  new  delegates  were  secured 
and  a  fresh  spirit  of  hopefulness  and  reassurance  was  com- 
municated to  the  offices  of  the  Alliance  at  New  York,  as 
from  time  to  time  Dr.  SchafPs  encouraging  messages  were 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  271 

The  conference,  which  lasted  from  October  2  to  12, 
opened  with  a  classical  address  of  welcome  by  Dr.  William 
Adams,  and  responses  by  Professor  Christlieb  and  other 
delegates  from  abroad.  The  tide  of  interest  and  enthusiasm 
increased  steadily  until  it  was  felt  like  a  wave  of  great  power 
through  the  city  and  among  the  churches  in  the  vicinity.  It 
was  a  Pentecostal  season,  an  occasion  where  all  felt  the 
pressure  of  a  common  hope  and  the  constraint  of  a  common 
Christian  cause.  The  success  from  the  beginning  to  the 
end  surpassed  all  expectations.  An  imposing  demonstration 
was  given  of  the  concentrated  power  of  Protestantism, 
and  a  visible  proof  of  the  spiritual  unity  of  Christian 
believers.  Two  and  sometimes  four  meetings  were  held 
simultaneously  at  as  many  different  places,  with  the  hall 
of  the  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  as  the  central 
place  of  assembly,  and  were  attended  by  throngs  who 
listened  with  unabated  attention  to  the  discussion  of  a 
wide  variety  of  topics,  —  bearing  upon  Christian  union ; 
materialism,  rationalism  and  other  phases  of  unbelief; 
Romanism,  missions  and  methods  of  practical  Christian 
work.  Never  before  at  an  ecclesiastical  council  in  this 
country  had  such  an  array  been  brought  together  of 
scholars,  clergymen  and  eminent  Christian  laymen.  The 
popular  meetings  on  the  two  Sabbath  evenings  were  of 
great  power,  the  final  meeting,  held  at  the  Academy  of 
Music,  being  brought  to  a  solemn  close  by  the  delegates 
and  the  audience  repeating  the  Lord's  Prayer,  each  in  his 
own  tongue. 

Great  as  Dr.  Schaff' s  pleasure  was  to  welcome  such 
scholars  from  Germany  as  Dorner,  Christlieb  and  Krafft, 
he  was  no  less  cordial  with  the  French  and  French-Swiss 
delegations,  and  made  one  of  the  principal  addresses  at 
the  French  public  meeting.     He  then  said  :  — 


As  Americans  we  can  never  forget  the  debt  of  gratitude 
we  owe  to  France  for  her  efficient  aid  in  achieving  our 
national  independence,  and  your  Lafayette  is  one  of  our 
household  words  in  inseparable  union  with  the  name  of 
Washington.  To  Switzerland  we  are  indebted  for  the 
example  of  a  well-regulated  republic,  resting  on  moral  self- 
government  and  combining  the  advantages  of  a  centralized 
and  confederate  government.  As  Christians  we  cannot 
forget  that  France  from  the  days  of  Irenaeus  to  Bernard, 
Pascal  and  Fenelon  furnished  the  richest  contributions  to 
the  noble  army  of  divines  and  martyrs  and  the  model 
university  after  which  all  other  Continental  schools  of 
learning  in  the  Middle  Ages  were  organized.  As  Protes- 
tants we  shall  always  remember  that  France,  in  the  person 
of  John  Calvin,  gave  to  the  world  the  foremost  divine, 
legislator  and  disciplinarian  of  the  Reformation  and,  in 
the  Huguenots,  a  race  of  Christian  heroes  like  the  Puritan 
fathers  who  sacrificed  everything  to  their  sacred  convic- 
tions and,  being  expelled  from  their  native  land,  became 
the  benefactors  of  every  Protestant  country  on  the  globe. 
Coming  to  our  own  times  the  writings  of  your  own  Guizot, 
Monod,  d'Aubigne,  Pressense,  Godet,  Bersier  and  Guyot 
are  as  well  known  among  us,  and  more  widely  spread  than 
they  are  in  their  native  land.  .  .  . 

The  conference  not  only  made  a  deep  impression  on 
this  side  of  the  Atlantic  ; 1  its  influence  was  felt  in  Europe. 
On  the  return  of  the  foreign  delegates  to  their  homes, 
public  meetings  were  held  in  London,  Edinburgh,  Paris, 
Geneva,  Berlin  and  other  centres  to  listen  to  reports  of 
what  they  had  heard  and  seen.  Some  described  their 
experiences  in  books.  They  did  not  find  the  crude  condi- 
tion of  affairs  in  society  and  the  church  which  long  tradi- 
tion had  led  them  to  expect.  The  reports  they  gave 
contributed  to  spread  accurate  information  of  American 
affairs.     Dr.  Dorner  wrote  to  Dr.  Schaff :  — 

1  Dr.  Schaff,  in  connection  with  Dr.  S.  I.  Prime,  edited  the  Proceedings  and 
Papers  of  the  New  York  Conference  with  a  History,  New  York,  1874,  773 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  273 

The  memories  of  our  journey  continue  to  be  fresh  and 
vivid,  and  I  am  sure  that  North  America,  the  much-ridi- 
culed and  ill-famed,  has  won  a  place  of  esteem  in  the  eyes 
of  the  German  Christians,  from  a  churchly  and  Christian 
point  of  view.  For  us  the  gain  is  this,  that  our  hearts 
look  out  into  the  future  of  the  church  with  more  courage 
and  freedom. 

Dr.  Stoughton  told  him  a  few  years  later  in  London 
that  the  conference  was  "  the  most  interesting  and  delight- 
ful episode  of  his  life."  The  following  is  the  private 
record  of  Dr.  Schaff's  own  impression  of  the  conference  at 
the  close  of  its  sessions :  — 

What  a  conference !  It  has  surpassed  the  most  sanguine 
expectations.  The  Spirit  of  God  took  hold  of  it  and  sub- 
dued all  explosive  elements  and  antagonistic  interests, 
national  (French  and  German),  sectional  (North  and 
South),  sectarian  and  personal,  and  has  made  it  a  grand 
and  imposing  exhibition  of  Christian  unity.  God  has 
shown  what  He  can  do  when  He  chooses,  and  He  will 
bring  about  a  real  unity  in  His  own  good  time  to  the 
amazement  of  the  world.  All  little  discontents  are 
drowned  in  the  ocean  of  universal  harmony.  Great  en- 
couragement of  faith  and  hope.  Gratitude  of  delegates 
who  were  overwhelmed  with  hospitality  and  kindness,  such 
as  they  never  experienced  before.  The  interest  of  the 
community  has  been  astounding.  All  my  labors  of  four 
years  are  abundantly  rewarded.  Thus  ends  the  most 
important  chapter  of  my  life,  too  rich  to  be  noted  down 
here.  God  be  praised.  I  never  felt  more  thankful  and 
more  humble. 

The  following  words,  written  in  his  journal  several 
years  after  this,  show  how  deep  was  his  interest  in 
Christian  union :  — 

How  little  have  I  done,  how  little  can  any  single  agent 
do,  for  such  a  noble  and  holy  cause !  And  yet  the  least 
contribution  towards  the  fulfilment  of  the  promise  of  "  one 
flock  and  one  shepherd  "  is  well  worthy  the  efforts  of  a 
long  life,  and  is  a  perpetual  cause  of  rejoicing. 


The  American  constituency  of  the  Alliance  could  not  do 
too  much  to  show  their  friendly  regard  for  the  delegates 
from  abroad.  They  took  them  on  excursions  to  Princeton 
and  the  national  capital,  and  sent  them,  without  expense 
to  themselves,  to  the  Falls  of  Niagara.  At  the  invitation 
and  at  the  expense  of  some  of  the  churches  in  Pittsburg, 
a  number  of  the  delegates  visited  the  city  and  held  a 
meeting  lasting  several  days. 

At  Washington  the  delegation  was  received  by  Presi- 
dent Grant.  The  body  sang  in  the  rotunda  of  the  Capi- 
tol, "  All  hail  the  power  of  Jesus'  name,"  and  repeated  the 
Lord's  Prayer  and  the  Apostles'  Creed,  and  sang  the  dox- 
ology  on  the  steps  of  the  building.  Dr.  Schaff  often 
related  several  instances  of  Henry  Ward  Beecher's  humor 
on  the  visit  of  the  Alliance  delegation  in  Princeton.  He 
walked  from  the  station  to  the  college  buildings  arm  in 
arm  with  Mr.  Beecher  on  one  side,  and  Dr.  Charles  Hodge 
on  the  other.  It  was  Mr.  Beecher's  first  visit  in  Prince- 
ton. The  conversation  turning  on  Princeton  theology,  he 
remarked  it  was  like  St.  John's  book,  "  sweet  in  the 
mouth  but  bitter  in  the  belly."  Being  shown  in  the  library 
a  collection  of  manuscripts  of  old  sermons,  he  stood  off  for 
a  moment,  as  with  a  twinkle  in  his  eye  he  remarked,  that 
he  thanked  God  he  had  come  on  the  excursion  if  for  no 
other  reason  than  that  he  would  thenceforth  know  one  dry 
place  to  flee  to  at  the  next  deluge. 

The  New  York  conference  also  had  its  martyrs.  Five 
of  its  delegates  were  returning  to  Europe  on  the  Ville  du 
Havre  when  she  was  struck  by  the  Loch  Earn  and  sunk, 
Nov.  22,  1873.  Carrasco  of  Spain,  barely  thirty  years 
of  age,  and  Pronier,  professor  of  theology  in  Geneva, 
sank  with  the  ship.  A  few  months  later  the  Rev.  Emil 
Cook,  who  with  two  other  French  delegates,  the  Rev. 
Mr.  Lorriaux  and  the  Rev.  Mr.  Weiss,  had  escaped  and 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  275 

reached  France,  died  from  the  effects  of  the  shock  and 
exposure.  These  deaths  awakened  wide-spread  sympathy 
in  the  churches  of  the  United  States,  and  under  the  au- 
spices of  the  Alliance  generous  sums  were  contributed  to 
provide  for  the  families  of  the  deceased. 

It  seems  to  have  been  Dr.  Schaff's  good  fortune  to  be 
associated  with  almost  every  important  gathering  for  a  gen- 
eration that  is  prominently  associated  with  Christian  union 
and  toleration.  Two  years  after  the  conference  of  the 
Alliance,  in  1875,  he  participated  in  the  measures  resulting 
in  the  Alliance  of  the  Reformed  churches,  and  attended 
the  Old-Catholic  conference  at  Bonn.  His  cabin-mate 
across  the  Atlantic  was  Dr.  Henry  M.  Field,  borne  down 
by  the  recent  death  of  his  wife,  whom  Dr.  Schaff  called 
"  a  brilliant  woman,  and  one  of  the  very  best  conversa- 
tionalists among  women  he  had  ever  met." 1 

Arriving  in  Edinburgh,  he  went  out  from  an  honored 
seat  next  to  the  moderator  in  the  Assembly  of  the  Free 
Church,  to  which  he  had  been  "  quite  unexpectedly  called 
upon  motion  of  Professor  Rainy,"  and  accompanied  the  re- 
mains of  the  Rev.  William  Arnot  to  the  cemetery,  where 
he  sleeps  with  Chalmers,  Cunningham,  Guthrie  and  "  other 
noble  men  for  whom  the  church  universal  is  indebted  to 
Scotland."  In  London,  social  contact  was  renewed  with 
the  group  of  men  who  had  attended  the  New  York  meet- 
ing of  the  Alliance  and  with  the  members  of  the  English 
Committee  of  Bible  Revisers. 

1  Dr.  Field  in  his  From  the  Lakes  of  Killarney  to  the  Golden  Horn  (20th 
edition,  1896,  p.  n)  makes  the  following  reference  to  this  companionship: 
"  It  was  my  good  fortune  to  have  as  a  fellow-traveller  one  who  was  alike  at 
home  in  Europe  and  America,  the  beloved  Philip  Schaff.  .  .  .  While  full  of 
learning,  he  never  oppresses  you  with  oracular  wisdom,  but  is  as  ready  for  a 
pleasant  story  as  for  a  grave  literary  or  theological  discussion.  No  foreigner 
who  has  come  to  our  shores,  not  even  Agassiz,  has  rendered  a  greater  service 
than  he  in  establishing  a  sort  of  literary  and  intellectual  free  trade  between  the 
educated  and  religious  mind  of  America,  and  of  Great  Britain,  and  of  Germany ." 


In  July  the  international  conference  of  Presbyterian 
churches  met  in  London  to  consider  the  formation  of  an 
Alliance  of  the  Reformed  churches.  Participating  in  its 
deliberations,  Dr.  Schaff  was  in  his  element.  The  meeting 
of  the  delegates  in  the  Jerusalem  Chamber,  by  invitation  of 
Dean  Stanley,  is  noted  as  an  occasion  of  rare  interest. 

The  dean>  who  takes  under  the  broad  wings  of  his  the- 
ology all  the  churches  and  schools  of  Christendom  from 
the  pope  as  the  head  of  the  clerical  profession  to  the 
rationalistic  bishop  of  Natal  [Dr.  Colenso],  took  the  mod- 
erator's chair,  as  he  pleasantly  remarked,  and  gave  us  with 
his  usual  skill  and  taste  an  admirable  summary  of  the  his- 
tory of  that  chamber  from  the  period  of  the  Crusades  down 
to  the  labors  of  the  Bible  Revisers,  dwelling  mainly  on  the 
Westminster  Assembly  which  in  this  memorable  hall  com- 
pleted the  Westminster  Confession  and  Catechisms.  Dr. 
McCosh  expressed  the  hope  that  the  Jerusalem  Chamber 
might  yet  serve  a  still  nobler  purpose  than  any  in  the 
past,  namely  in  promoting  the  reunion  of  Christendom  on 
the  basis  of  the  revealed  truth  of  the  Scriptures.  In  my 
address,  I  called  the  attention  of  the  delegates  to  the  fact 
that  no  less  an  authority  than  the  dean  himself  had  recently 
declared  the  article  of  the  Westminster  Confession  on  the 
Scriptures  to  be  the  best  symbolical  statement  ever  made. 

A  week  later  we  find  him,  in  company  with  Dean  Stanley 
and  Dr.  Stoughton,  on  his  way  to  the  unveiling  of  the 
monument  of  Richard  Baxter  at  Kidderminster,  the  scene 
of  the  labors  of  that  tolerant  representative  of  a  broad 
and  inclusive  churchmanship.  The  statue  reared  near 
St.  Mary's  parish  church,  where  he  ministered,  represents 
the  great  divine  clad  in  Puritan  gown,  preaching  "  a  dying 
man  to  dying  men,"  one  hand  resting  on  the  Bible  while 
with  the  other  he  points  to  the  Saint's  Everlasting  Rest. 
Dr.  Schaff  used  to  speak  of  the  day  as  one  of  the  most 
instructive,  as  it  was  one  of  the  brightest,  days  he  ever 
spent  in  England.  After  the  unveiling  of  the  statue  by 
Mrs.  Philpot,  the  wife  of   the  Bishop   of  Worcester,  ad- 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  277 

dresses  were  made  by  Dr.  Stoughton,  representing  the 
Nonconformists,  and  Dean  Stanley,  representing  the  Es- 
tablished Church.  Puritan  and  Cavalier  united  in  doing 
honor  to  the  occasion  in  the  spirit  of  the  motto  which 
Baxter  seems  to  have  dug  up  from  the  treatise  of  Rupertus 
Meldenius,  and  which  Dr.  Schaff  as  an  unofficial  repre- 
sentative of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  may  be  regarded  as 
having  stood  for,  namely  "in  necessary  things  unity,  in 
matters  of  doubt  liberty,  in  all  things  charity." 

We  next  find  him  at  Bonn  sitting  among  the  scholars 
and  ecclesiastical  dignitaries  of  the  Old-Catholic  con- 
ference, which  assembled  in  August,  1875.  The  Bonn 
Conference,  as  it  was  called,  was  the  most  interesting 
ecclesiastical  event  of  the  year  and  anbther  exhibition  of 
the  idea  of  Christian  union,  now  struggling  for,  now 
bursting  forth  into  expression  in  the  latter  half  of  the 
century.  It  was  a  bold  attempt  to  settle  by  a  few  strokes 
what  the  oecumenical  councils  of  Lyons  and  Florence  and 
a  library  of  learned  treatises  had  been  unable  to  settle. 
The  chief  question  under  discussion  was  the  procession 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  or  whether  the  words  "  and  from  the 
Son  "  (filioque)  added  by  the  Latin  Church  to  the  state- 
ment that  "the  Holy  Ghost  proceedeth  from  the  Father," 
could  be  so  modified  as  to  satisfy  representatives  of  both 
the  Eastern  and  Western  communions.  Dr.  Dollinger  was 
altogether  the  most  conspicuous  figure  at  the  meetings 
and  their  controlling  genius. 

There  were  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  theologians  and 
divines  present,  representing  the  Greek  Church,  the  Old- 
Catholics,  the  Anglican  Church  and  several  of  the  Ameri- 
can churches.  The  names  of  ninety-nine  persons,  of 
whom  twenty  were  Orientals,  were  officially  printed  as 
taking  part.  The  Anglican  Church  was  represented  by 
Dr.   Liddon,   the    Bishop   of   Gibraltar   and    Dean    How- 

278  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1875 

son.  Among  others  from  the  United  States  besides 
Dr.  Schaff,  were  Bishop  Henry  C.  Potter  of  New  York, 
and  Dr.  Nevin  of  St.  Paul's,  Rome.  Dr.  Krafft,  professor 
of  church  history,  was  the  only  member  of  the  Protes- 
tant faculty  of  Bonn  who  showed  interest  enough  in  the 
conference  to  attend  its  sessions.  Lange  and  Christlieb 
held  aloof,  "  having  no  confidence  in  Dollinger's  sin- 
cerity," as  Dr.  Schaff  says.  All  the  more  prominent 
of  the  Old-Catholics  were  there  except  the  lay-leader, 
Professor  von  Schulte,  who,  he  declares,  "  was  more  ready 
to  treat  with  the  Protestants  than  with  the  Orientals." 
These  are  some  of  Dr.  ScharFs  notes  of  the  gathering, 
taken  from  his  journal  i1  — 

It  is  certainly  a  very  unique  assembly,  a  sort  of  minia- 
ture oecumenical  council,  —  Greek,  Latin  and  Anglican 
with  a  sprinkling  of  Protestant  Dissent.  As  a  psychologi- 
cal and  theological  phenomenon,  it  is  of  the  greatest 
interest.  Here  are  the  legitimate  descendants  of  the 
fathers,  and  schoolmen  of  the  East  and  West,  who  wrote 
ponderous  volumes  on  the  single  and  double  procession 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  and  have  kept  the  two  largest  churches 
of  the  world  separated  for  a  thousand  years.  Never  since 
the  Council  of  Florence  in  1439  have  so  many  Orientals 
been  in  the  West  for  the  express  purpose  of  negotiating 
with  Latin  Christians  about  church  union,  and  never  did 
they  meet  before  face  to  face  with  Anglicans  and  Ameri- 
cans for  the  same  purpose. 

Dr.  Dollinger  is  the  soul  of  the  conference  and  speaks 
more  than  all  the  other  members  put  together.  He  not 
only  has  opened  each  session  with  a  lengthy  lecture  of  an 
hour  or  more  in  length,  such  as  he  would  deliver  to  his 
students  in  Munich,  but  he  made  a  speech  of  his  own  on 
almost  every  speech  made  by  others.  This  would  have 
been  intolerable  but  for  the  absence  of  all  appearance  of 
egotism  and  for  the  intrinsic  importance  of  what  he  said. 
Although  seventy-six  years  of  age,  he  is  in  full  vigor  and 

1  Elaborate  articles  from  Dr.  SchafPs  pen  appeared  on  the  subject  in  the 
Independent  and  the  New  York  Evangelist. 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  279 

has  an  extraordinary  command  of  the  whole  field  of 
ancient  and  modern  church  history.  It  may  be  confi- 
dently said  that  he  knows  more  about  church  history  than 
any  other  man  living,  Catholic  or  Protestant.  .  .  . 

From  his  immense  resources  he  brings  fearful  charges 
against  the  papal  and  Jesuitical  system.  He  makes  it 
responsible  for  the  divisions  of  Christendom,  for  the  dis- 
tractions in  Germany  and  the  Thirty  Years'  War  with  its 
endless  misery  —  and  the  stagnation,  ignorance,  supersti- 
tion and  hidden  infidelity  of  Roman  Catholic  countries 
contrasted  with  the  learning,  progress  and  general  pros- 
perity of  Protestant  lands.  He  made  "clean  work,"  as  he 
said,  with  purgatory  and  indulgences,  stamping  them  as 
mediaeval  corruptions  and  means  of  papal  aggrandizement 
and  avarice.  He  exposed  the  impudent  literary  forgeries 
of  the  pseudo-Isidorian  decretals  and  the  doctrinal  fabri- 
cations which  laid  the  foundations  of  papal  absolutism  and 
papal  infallibility.  He  showed  that  the  Vatican  decrees, 
which  Cardinal  Manning  says  must  be  believed  as  much 
as  the  existence  of  God,  are  a  high-handed  revolution,  and 
brought  about  by  the  Jesuits  for  the  destruction  of  liberal 
Catholicism,  and  are  in  irreconcilable  antagonism  to  all 
the  nobler  and  higher  tendencies  of  the  age.  I  told 
Dollinger  that  according  to  his  lectures  the  devil  had  fully 
as  much  or  more  to  do  with  the  origin  and  development 
of  popery  than  even  Protestant  theologians  had  ever  con- 
tended ;  whereupon  he  smiled  and  remarked,  "  Yes,  if  you 
understand  by  the  devil  the  old  Adam."  If  learning  could 
settle  a  dispute,  he  might  do  it  without  having  convened 
this  conference  and  put  the  Greek  and  Russian  delegates 
to  the  trouble  of  travelling  so  far. 

At  Dollinger's  request,  Dr.  Schaff  made  an  address  in 
which  he  stated  his  views  on  the  procession  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  and  spoke  of  the  efforts  towards  Christian  union,  of 
which  the  conference  was  one.  A  full  agreement  in  the 
theological  conception  of  the  Holy  Spirit  and  the  inex- 
haustible mystery  of  the  Trinity  seemed  to  him  impossible 
and  unnecessary.  There  was  a  distinction  between  an 
article  of  faith  and  a  theological  speculation.  The  church 
has  no  right  to  go  beyond  the  Scriptures  in  her  doctrinal 


symbols.  The  Greek  statement  " from  the  Father,  alone" 
and  the  Latin  addition  "and  from  the  Son,"  were  both 
£*r/rtf -scriptural.  The  Scripture  statements  that  the  Holy 
Spirit  proceeds  from  the  Father  and  is  sent  by  the  Son, 
are  sufficient  for  dogma  and  union.  We  should  go  behind 
the  fathers  to  the  grandfathers,  from  St.  Augustine  and 
St.  Chrysostom  to  St.  Paul  and  St.  John;  and  from  the 
living  stream  of  the  church  to  the  fountain  of  inspiration, 
and  seek  true  and  living  union  in  the  person  of  one  com- 
mon Lord  and  Saviour.  He  spoke  with  that  positiveness 
and  precision  which  was  his  custom  when  he  came  to  a 
place  where  a  definite  statement  of  his  position  was  called 
for.  In  the  elaboration  of  his  lectures,  he  made  a  clear 
distinction  between  the  eternal  procession  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  which  is  from  God  the  Father,  and  his  mission 
which  is  of  God  the  Son.  At  the  request  of  the  Old- 
Catholic  Professor  Reusch,  he  committed  his  address  to 
paper.  No  ecclesiastical  results  can  be  traced  to  the  Bonn 
Conference.  Nevertheless  Dr.  Schaff  continued  to  look 
back  upon  it  as  one  of  the  most  stimulating  ecclesiastical 
assemblies  he  had  ever  attended  and  a  striking  episode  in 
the  church  history  of  the  century. 

It  is  characteristic  of  that  flexible  American  Protestant 
churchmanship  of  which  Dr.  Schaff  was  a  representative, 
that  it  can  pass  easily  from  a  doctrinal  conference  of  Old- 
Catholics  and  Orientals  to  an  evangelistic  service  con- 
ducted according  to  modern  methods,  and  seeks  to  find 
the  working  of  divine  Providence  no  less  in  practical 
movements  than  in  scholarly  discussion  and  doctrinal 
statement.  He  gave  his  encouragement  by  word  and 
presence  to  the  meetings  held  on  a  large  scale  in  New 
York  in  1876,  under  the  leadership  of  Moody  and  Sankey. 
Of  them  he  used  to  say,  "  It  is  a  sin  to  act  or  speak  against 
such  a  religious  revival,  perhaps  the  greatest  the  world  has 

chap,  xi  CHRISTIAN  UNION  28 1 

seen  since  Wesley  and  Whitefield.  It  is  the  best  refuta- 
tion of  infidelity,  and  shows  what  power  the  simple 
Gospel  story  of  sin  and  grace  still  has."  He  often  used 
to  tell  the  story  of  Mr.  Moody's  conversation  with  Glad- 
stone after  one  of  the  London  meetings.  "  I  wish  I  had 
your  chest,"  the  statesman  is  reported  to  have  said ;  "And 
I  wish  I  had  your  head  upon  it,"  was  the  quick  rejoinder. 
In  his  journal  the  notes  run  like  this:  "These  meetings 
are  a  wonderful  phenomenon,  altogether  exceptional.  If 
only  Christ  be  preached  and  souls  are  converted,  we  should 
rejoice.  ...  I  heard  a  powerful  sermon  by  Moody,  at 
seven  o'clock  this  morning,  on  heaven  or  rather  St.  .Paul, 
—  'that  little  Jewish  tentmaker,'  who  did  not  work  for 
pay,  for  he  took  no  money  but  helped  himself,  nor  for 
salvation  —  this  he  got  long  before,  when  he  exclaimed 
'who  shall  separate  us,'  etc. — but  from  sheer  love  of 
Christ.  .  .  .  To-day  we  dismissed  our  students  that  they 
may  study  practical  theology  at  the  feet  of  the  fishermen 
of  Galilee  at  the  Hippodrome.  .  .  .  Mr.  Moody  showed 
great  wisdom  and  common  sense  in  answering  only  proper 





Again  Professor  —  Union  Theological  Seminary  —  Its  Faculty  —  Dr.  Schaff  s 
Inaugural  —  In  the  Class  Room — Estimates  of  Students  —  Anecdotes  — 
Charge  to  a  Class  —  Charge  to  a  Pastor  —  Doctor  of  Laws  —  Friendships  at 
Home  and  Abroad  —  Home  Sorrows  —  Tour  in  the  Orient  —  Egypt  —  The 
Pyramids  —  The  Wilderness  —  Mt.  Sinai  —  Vexations  of  Oriental  Travel  — 
The  Mosaic  Records  —  Jerusalem  —  Nazareth  —  Beirut  —  Reflections  on 
Palestine  —  Constantinople  and  Athens  —  "Through  Bible  Lands"  — 
Oriental  Travel  and  Theological  Study 

In  1870  Dr.  Schaff  accepted  the  professorship  of  theo- 
logical encyclopaedia  and  Christian  symbolism  in  Union 
Theological  Seminary.  At  the  same  time  he  sought  ad- 
mission to  the  Presbytery  of  New  York.  It  was  understood, 
however,  that  this  step  indicated  a  change  of  ecclesiastical 
relation,  not  a  change  of  theological  views.  The  type  of 
Calvinism  prevailing  in  the  German  Reformed  Church  has 
an  acknowledged  right  in  the  Presbyterian  Church.  This 
very  same  year  its  General  Assembly  formally  recognized 
the  Heidelberg  Catechism  as  a  valuable  compend  of 
Christian  doctrine,  and  approved  its  use  in  the  instruction 
of  children  in  its  churches.  Little  as  the  names,  Presby- 
terian and  Calvinist,  stood  for  a  definition  exhausting  Dr. 
SchafFs  theological  views,  he  sought  to  be  loyal  to  the 
interests  of  the  denomination  with  which  he  was  connected. 

During  the  greater  part  of  his  residence  in  New  York 
he  worshipped  with  his  family  at  the  Madison  Square 
Presbyterian  Church,  of  which  Dr.  William  Adams  was 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  283 

pastor.  He  also  listened  with  interest  to  Dr.  Charles  H. 
Parkhurst,  the  present  pastor.  He  made  the  following 
note  of  his  introductory  sermon  (Feb.  28,  1880):  "The 
sermon  was  a  piece  of  fine,  effective  rhetoric  on  the 
granite  foundation  of  solid  learning  and  philosophical  and 
theological  culture.  It  settles  him  here  as  a  man  of  power 
in  New  York." 

The  return  after  an  interruption  of  six  years  to  the 
active  duties  and  literary  associations  of  the  class  room, 
was  in  a  high  degree  agreeable  to  Dr.  Schaff.  With  the 
professors  of  Union  Seminary  he  stood  in  relations  of 
intimate  friendship,  and  he  had  already  filled  temporarily 
the  chairs  of  Hebrew  and  church  history. 

The  Union  Theological  Seminary  was  founded  by  min- 
isters and  laymen  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  in  1836,  a 
time  of  stormy  theological  discussion.  The  controversies 
which  involved  the  origin  and  contents  of  the  Auburn 
Declaration  of  Faith  were  in  full  progress.  The  trials  of 
Lyman  Beecher  of  Lane  Seminary,  Cincinnati,  and  Albert 
Barnes  of  Philadelphia  were  in  progress.  Wide-spread 
apprehension  was  felt  in  the  Presbyterian  Church  of  the 
relaxing  influence  of  New  Haven  divinity,  fathered  by 
Dr.  Taylor,  and  revival  methods.  The  atmosphere  was 
charged  with  suspicion  and  accusations.  The  more  rigid 
interpretation  of  the  Westminster  system  was  insisted 
upon  chiefly  in  those  sections  of  the  church  which  had 
drawn  their  traditions  and  their  type  of  ecclesiastical 
thought  from  Scotch-Irish  sources.  The  party  which 
favored  the  milder  interpretation  had  been  influenced  by 
New  England  Calvinism  and  the  Presbyterianism  which 
came  through  Puritan  channels.  The  rumors  of  disrup- 
tion were  in  the  air  which  occurred  two  years  later,  in  1838, 
and  divided  the  church  into  two  bodies  popularly  called 
the  Old  School  and  the  New  School. 

284  THE  LIFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1870 

The  founders  of  the  seminary,  deprecating  the  extremes 
of  confessional  interpretation  and  favoring  a  moderate 
exercise  of  ecclesiastical  authority,  sought  to  provide  an 
institution  "  around  which  all  men  of  moderate  views  and 
feelings  who  desire  to  live  free  from  party  strife  and  to 
stand  aloof  from  all  extremes,  of  doctrinal  speculation, 
practical  radicalism  and  ecclesiastical  domination  may 
affectionately  rally." 1  Such  was  their  published  decla- 
ration, but  while  averse  to  theological  controversy  and  to 
emphasizing  unduly  denominational  peculiarities,  it  was 
their  declared  purpose  to  be  loyal  to  the  standards  and 
the  polity  of  the  Presbyterian  Church.  The  seminary  did 
not  pass  under  the  control  of  either  branch  of  the  church. 
It  was,  however,  by  the  views  of  the  directors  and  the 
teaching  in  the  class  room  identified  with  the  type  of  doc- 
trine in  vogue  in  the  New  School  body. 

The  faculty,  at  the  time  of  Dr.  SchafFs  accession,  com- 
bined eminent  gifts.  Dr.  Thomas  H.  Skinner,  professor  of 
pastoral  theology,  was  closing  his  career.  At  a  meeting 
of  clergymen  at  his  home,  a  week  or  two  before  his  death, 
in  1871,  "he  recited,  with  singular  emphasis,"  says  Dr. 
Schaff,  "  as  his  favorite  hymn,  the  hymn  of  Schmolcke, 
'  My  Jesus,  as  thou  wilt.'  It  affected  me  deeply,  and  who 
knows  but  that  it  may  be  the  swan  song  of  this  man  of 
saintly  simplicity  and  purity?  I  never  saw  a  divine  who 
excelled  him  in  purity,  spirituality,  unction  and  heavenly 

Henry  B.  Smith  occupied  the  chair  of  systematic  the- 
ology. Born  in  New  England  and  trained  under  Tholuck 
and  Julius  Miiller,  at  Halle,  he  brought  to  his  work  a  frail 
constitution  but  a  clear  and  philosophical  mind,  an  ample 
preparation,    a   courteous    manner   and  a  catholic  spirit. 

1  See  George  L.  Prentiss,  The  Union  Theological  Seminary  in  the  City  of 
New  York,  New  York,  1889. 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  285 

He  held  his  students  by  the  discriminating  skill  and  fresh- 
ness of  his  intellect,  and  drew  them  to  him  by  his  unpre- 
tentious and  modest  demeanor. 

The  chair  of  church  history  was  filled  by  Roswell  D. 
Hitchcock.  As  a  master  of  sentences,  he  stood  almost 
without  a  peer  among  his  American  contemporaries.  The 
judgment  he  used  to  pass  upon  Wyclif  might  be  applied 
to  himself  —  he  was  as  keen  as  a  Damascus  blade.  His 
sentences  were  blazing  meteors.  He  kept  abreast  of  the 
sociological  movements  of  the  age  as  well  as  its  theo- 
logical thought.  In  the  class  room  and  the  pulpit  he 
impressed  himself  upon  young  men  as  a  bold,  indepen- 
dent, brilliant  thinker  and  rhetorician. 

The  department  of  New  Testament  exegesis  was  in  the 
hands  of  William  G.  T.  Shedd,  whose  mind  was  better  fitted 
by  its  metaphysical  turn  for  the  chair  of  theology,  which 
he  subsequently  came  to  occupy.  He  was  a  dogmatician 
rather  than  an  exegete  or  historian.  He  was  not  adapted 
for  the  floor  of  ecclesiastical  assemblies.  The  wonder  is 
that,  with  his  mental  traits,  he  should  have  written  so  good 
a  book  in  the  departments  of  homiletics  and  pastoral  the- 
ology as  he  did.  He  was  a  master  in  careful  logical  dis- 
cussion and  precise  definition.  His  premises  granted,  his 
logical  superstructure  was  impregnable.  Definitions  of 
the  divine  attributes  and  paragraphs  on  the  divine  decrees, 
he  could  draw  forth  one  by  one  as  an  old  armor-smith 
might  have  drawn  forth  one  blade  after  another,  each  as 
keen  and  flashing  as  its  predecessor.  With  this  meta- 
physical quality  he  combined  a  forcible  English  style, 
chaste  and  finished.  His  theological  system  was  rigid; 
his  heart  was  warm.  Where  his  students  could  not  accept 
his  rigorous  Calvinism,  they  admired  the  simplicity  and 
ingenuousness  of  his  Christian  character. 

Three  years  after  Dr.  SchafFs  election,  the  faculty  was 


enriched  by  the  accession  of  William  Adams  and  George 
L.  Prentiss.  Dr.  Adams'  advent  marked  the  beginning  of 
a  new  era  in  the  discipline  and  outward  prosperity  of  the 
institution.  Coming,  like  the  three  last,  of  Puritan  ante- 
cedents, his  rich  Christian  culture  gave  him  a  rank  of  pre- 
eminence in  the  ministerial  profession  of  his  generation  in 
America.  His  fine  figure,  urbane  manners  and  culture 
of  speech  would  have  made  him  a  marked  man  in  any 
body  of  men.  During  his  administration  the  cramping 
financial  conditions  of  the  seminary  were  terminated  by 
the  princely  endowments  of  Mr.  James  Brown  and  Gov- 
ernor Edwin  D.  Morgan,  since  added  to  by  the  gifts  of 
Mr.  Charles  Butler,  D.  H.  McAlpin,  Morris  K.  Jesup, 
D.  Willis  James,  William  E.  Dodge  and  other  benefactors 
among  the  living. 

Professor  Prentiss,  the  last  survivor  of  this  group,  was 
also  a  New  Englander  by  birth,  and  a  favorite  pupil  of 
Tholuck.  In  addition  to  his  literary  and  theological 
equipment,  he  brought  to  the  seminary  an  intimate  know- 
ledge of  its  history  and  polity  in  its  earlier  days  and  a 
deep  spiritual  intuition  and  culture. 

Dr.  Schaff  brought  to  the  faculty  a  new  element.  He 
was  encyclopaedic  in  his  theological  attainments.  With 
the  catholic  spirit  and  irenic  temper  of  his  colleagues,  he 
sympathized  fully,  and  was  behind  none  of  them  in  regard 
for  the  sacredness  of  the  pastoral  office  and  in  the  prac- 
tical aim  of  his  teaching.  Brought  up  in  the  atmosphere 
of  the  Reformed  faith,  a  native  of  the  land  where  Zwingli 
was  born  and  Calvin  labored  and  both  are  buried,  he  rep- 
resented the  mild  type  of  Calvinism.  In  this  respect  he 
was  at  one  with  his  associates  except  Dr.  Shedd.  In 
taking  the  pledge  to  be  faithful  to  the  system  of  doctrine 
taught  in  the  Westminster  standards,  a  pledge  required  of 
its  professors,  he  did  so  with  the  understanding  that  this 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  287 

act  did  not  involve  any  renunciation  of  his  theological 
views.  Defining  his  attitude  to  Calvinism,  at  a  time  when 
the  question  of  revising  the  Westminster  Confession  was 
up  for  discussion,  he  said  : :  "  How  could  I  ever  subscribe 
to  the  Westminster  Confession  ?  some  one  may  say.  I  will 
answer  that  question.  I  honestly  stated  my  objections  to 
the  Heidelberg  Catechism  (eightieth  question)  before  I 
signed  it  and  after  my  call  to  a  professorship  in  the  Re- 
formed Church,  in  1844,  and  I  as  honestly  stated  my  objec- 
tions to  the  Westminster  Confession  when  I  was  called  (in 
view  of  all  my  previous  publications)  to  a  professorship 
in  the  Union  Theological  Seminary ;  and  on  both  occasions 
I  was  assured  by  men  then  in  highest  authority,  as  Dr. 
John  W.  Nevin,  William  Adams,  Henry  B.  Smith,  Edwin 
F.  Hatfield  and  others,  that  the  terms  of  subscription 
were  so  liberal  as  to  leave  ample  room  for  all  my  dissent- 
ing views  on  these  and  other  points." 

Dr.  SchafT  began  his  lectures  Sept.  19,  1870,  and  his 
Inaugural  was  delivered  a  year  later,  Oct.  18,  1871,  the 
venerable  Dr.  Samuel  Hanson  Cox,  himself  at  one  time  a 
professor  in  the  seminary,  presiding.  Its  subject  was  the 
Theology  of  our  Age  and  Country.2  American  theology, 
he  said,  should  mark  a  new  era  in  the  development  of  the 
Christian  church.  This  might  be  expected  from  the  prac- 
tical type  of  American  Christianity  and  the  dominance  of 
the  voluntary  principle  of  church  support  and  the  com- 
mingling of  denominations  on  American  soil.  The  volun- 
tary principle  is  adapted  to  keep  from  the  ranks  of  the 
ministry  those  who  in  state  churches  pursue  theology  like 
an  ordinary  profession  for  a  mere  living,  and  in  so  doing 
degrade  and  paralyze  it.     Thus  it  secures  a  theology  more 

1  Creed  Revision  in  the  Presbyterian  Churches,  New  York,  1890,  p.  37. 

2  Included  in  Dr.  Schaffs  volume  of  Essays,  Christ  and  Christianity, 
pp.  1-22. 

288  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1870. 

scriptural  and  more  in  sympathy  with  the  religious  life  of 
the  people  than  in  countries  where  professors  and  minis- 
ters are  officers  of  the  state  as  well  as  of  the  church.  As 
for  the  commingling  of  denominations,  here  they  pursue 
their  respective  missions  with  unrestrained  liberty  and 
learn  by  their  acquaintance  with  each  other  to  foster  the 
spirit  of  a  large-hearted  Christian  liberality  and  charity. 
The  fruit  of  this  spirit  will  be  Christian  union  which  can- 
not be  enforced  or  artificially  manufactured.  It  must 
grow  spontaneously  from  the  soil  of  Christian  freedom, 
must  proceed  from  the  Spirit  of  God,  and  rests  on  the 
vital  union  of  individual  believers  with  Christ. 

A  very  different  reception  was  given  to  this  Inaugural 
from  that  which  was  given  to  the  discourse  delivered  at 
Reading  twenty-seven  years  before.  The  address  on  the 
Principle  of  Protestantism  looked  more  to  the  past  and 
was  more  elaborate  in  treatment.  It  abounded  in  quota- 
tions and  scholastic  distinctions.  The  address  in  New 
York  looked  more  to  the  future  and  was  more  practical 
and  pacific  in  expression.  Both  agreed  in  laying  empha- 
sis upon  Christian  union.  The  former  approached  the 
subject  from  the  negative  side  of  the  evils  of  sectarian 
divisions,  the  latter  dealt  with  it  from  the  aspect  of  the 
providential  purpose  in  placing  denominations  side  by 
side  in  this  free  arena  of  Christian  thought  and  enter- 
prise. Dr.  Schaff  had  learned  that  the  denominational 
distinctions  of  American  Christianity  might  be  a  fruitful 
seed-plot  of  the  Christian  virtues  and  of  emulation  in  good 

His  first  courses  of  lectures  were  on  the  introduction  to 
the  Old  Testament,  theological  encyclopaedia  and  sym- 
bolics. The  last  two  subjects  were  particularly  congenial, 
and  he  continued  to  treat  them  during  the  remainder  of 
his  connection  with  the  institution.     As  distinct  subjects 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  289 

of  lectures,  they  were  new  in  the  theological  curriculum 
of  our  seminaries  and  some  wondered  what  the  new  pro- 
fessorship might  be.  Dr.  Schaff  used  to  relate  how  Dr. 
S.  I.  Prime,  the  acute  and  witty  editor  of  the  New  York 
Observer,  said  to  him,  "Pray  tell  me  the  name  of  your 
professorship  ? "  On  hearing  it  precisely  stated,  he  wittily 
replied :  "  Theological  encyclopaedia  and  symbolics !  As  for 
symbolics,  I  never  heard  of  that  in  all  my  life;  and  as 
for  encyclopaedia,  if  you  are  a  professor  of  that,  the  semi- 
nary needs  no  other."  By  subsequent  arrangement  he 
was  transferred  in  1873  to  the  chair  of  Hebrew,  in  1874 
to  the  chair  of  biblical  literature,  covering  New  Testament 
exegesis,  and  in  1887  to  the  chair  of  church  history. 

Dr.  Schaff' s  influence  as  a  lecturer  in  Union  Seminary 
came  through  his  ripe  scholarship,  encyclopaedic  learning, 
a  genial  spirit,  mental  honesty  and  the  example  of  indus- 
trious habits.  "We  learned  a  great  deal  from  him  by 
absorption,"  a  student  writes.  The  classes  admired  and 
confided  in  his  erudition.  Beyond  him  and  his  judgments 
it  was  not  thought  necessary  to  go.  He  did  not  crowd  his 
lectures  with  details,  and  was  most  suited  to  give  instruc- 
tion where  historic  knowledge  and  generalization  played 
a  prominent  part.  Despite  his  participation  in  outside 
movements,  he  always  appeared  in  the  class  room  with  a 
prepared  lecture,  the  heads  of  which  at  least  were  care- 
fully committed  to  paper.  It  was  his  habit  to  keep  con- 
stantly revising  and  re-copying  his  lectures  to  the  end  of 
his  life.  Students  well  remember  him  hurrying  through 
the  streets  with  his  lecture  book  under  his  arm  and 
reaching  at  the  last  sound  of  the  bell  the  lecture  room, 
all  out  of  breath.  After  offering  a  short  prayer  or  an- 
nouncing a  verse  from  a  familiar  hymn,  he  proceeded  to 
question  the  class  or  plunged  at  once  into  his  subject. 
He   held   to   the    decided   advantages    of   the   American 


method  of  theological  training  over  the  method  which 
prevails  in  the  German  universities  in  the  respect  of 
class-room  discipline,  the  opening  of  each  lecture  with 
prayer  and  the  daily  chapel  worship.  And  irksome  as 
the  task  of  daily  questioning  was  for  the  lecturer,  he 
regarded  the  system  of  recitation  as  yielding  far  better 
results  than  the  mode  in  vogue  in  Germany,  whereby  the 
final  examination  is  the  only  test  of  the  student's  scholar- 

His  warm  interest  in  his  students  was  manifested  by 
visiting  them  in  their  rooms  and  associating  them  with 
himself  in  his  daily  walks.  He  took  them  two  by  two 
and  spent  the  noon  hour  in  this  peripatetic  way  through 
Washington  Square  or,  after  the  seminary  buildings  were 
removed,  through  Central  Park.  His  own  hardships  dur- 
ing student  life  made  him  sympathetic  towards  students 
of  limited  resources.  He  used  to  say,  in  view  of  the  aid 
granted  to  theological  students  in  America,  that  seminary 
life  here  was  a  paradise  for  poor  students  compared  with 
Germany.  In  the  class  room  Dr.  Schaff  was  also  known 
on  the  genial  side  of  his  nature,  often  interrupting  the 
gravity  of  the  hour  by  a  witticism  or  a  story.  In  a  genial 
way  he  knew  how  to  administer  reproof.  On  one  occa- 
sion a  student  appeared  at  the  lecture  in  his  morning 
gown.  Quick  to  mark  the  exception,  the  professor  ex- 
claimed, "  Oh !    I  see  we  have  a  cardinal  among  us." 

The  following  anecdotes  given  by  his  students1  might 
be  indefinitely  multiplied.  On  one  occasion,  speaking 
against  the  dogmatic  spirit  with  which  theological  opin- 
ions are  held,  "There's  only  one  man  in  the  world,"  he 
said,  "who  is  infallible,  —  the  pope;  and  he  is  mistaken." 
The  following  remark,  made  in   playful   humor,  did  not 

1  The  Rev.  Henry  K.  Miller,  now  of  Japan,  and  the  Rev.  Harvey  M.  Shields 
of  Chicago. 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  29 1 

indicate  any  lack  of  regard  for  Princeton  Seminary,  which 
he  held  in  high  esteem  and  whose  professors  were  his 
friends.  The  class  was  being  quizzed  on  the  German  Ref- 
ormation, and  just  at  that  time  the  Presbyterian  Church 
was  in  the  early  stages  of  the  so-called  Briggs  contro- 
versy. A  Mr.  J.,  being  called  upon  to  answer  certain 
questions  about  Luther's  antagonist  Dr.  Eck,  was  asked 
where  Dr.  Eck  came  from.  Happening  not  to  remember, 
Dr.  Schaff  answered  the  question  himself  by  saying,  "  He 
came  from  Princeton."  Tremendous  applause  followed. 
After  it  had  subsided  and  pretending  he  had  committed 
an  error,  he  corrected  himself,  saying,  "  No,  he  came  from 
Ingolstadt ;  I  make  that  correction  authoritatively." 

At  one  of  the  conferences  in  the  chapel,  a  clergyman  of 
the  Methodist  Church  was  addressing  the  students,  and 
becoming  enthusiastic  exclaimed,  "Gentlemen,  I  am  a 
Methodist  and,  in  view  of  the  wonderful  progress  made 
by  my  church,  I  cannot  help  saying,  '  Glory  to  God ! ' " 
Promptly  Dr.  Schaff,  who  with  the  other  professors  occu- 
pied the  platform,  responded  with  a  loud  "Amen."  This 
was  so  unexpected  and  yet  so  characteristic,  that  it  utterly 
upset  the  gravity  of  the  students,  who  filled  the  house  with 
laughter  and  vigorous  applause. 

"  It  was  difficult  to  recite  to  him,  when  the  student  was 
called  upon  to  give  the  substance  of  a  previous  lecture. 
This  or  that  statement  would  call  forth  an  explanation 
from  the  doctor.  In  such  cases  he  went  on  and  on,  the 
student  remaining  on  his  feet.  The  teacher  and  not  the 
student  was  doing  the  reciting  and  then  Dr.  Schaff  would 
say,  'Very  good,  now  you  may  sit  down.'  We  were  cer- 
tain that  the  student  had  received  a  capital  mark  even 
though  he  had  said  nothing  at  all.  Woe,  however,  to  the 
man  who  attempted  to  do  all  the  reciting,  himself!  He 
never  tried  it  twice." 

292  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1870 

Dr.  Thomas  C.  Hall  of  Chicago  writes  :  — 

My  acquaintance  with  Dr.  Schaff  dates  back  to  my  boy- 
hood when,  with  profound  admiration  for  his  scholarship,  I 
used  to  be  amused,  as  in  my  father's  presence  he  would  tell 
characteristic  anecdotes  of  men  whose  names  were  then 
often  unfamiliar  to  me.  I  came  fully  under  his  influence 
when  I  entered  the  seminary  in  1879.  I  was  sitting  one  day 
at  the  long  library  table  in  the  old  building  when  Dr.  Schaff 
joined  me  with  his  arms  full  of  books,  and  first  made  a  deep 
and  abiding  impression  upon  my  life.  On  telling  him  that 
I  had  been  using  the  summer  months  to  pick  up  a  little 
German,  he  at  once  entered  into  an  interesting  discussion 
of  German  theology  and  its  influence  upon  American 
thought,  and  urged  me  to  master  the  language.  He  men- 
tioned names  of  Germans  I  ought  to  read  and  fired  my 
first  ambition  to  become  acquainted  with  German  literature 
and  thought.  Many  times  I  had  earnest  interviews  with 
him,  bringing  to  him  some  of  those  perplexities  that  an 
entrance  into  a  new  world  of  thought  and  life  is  likely  to 
produce.  To  his  lectures  I  listened,  as  did  all  his  students, 
with  open-mouthed  admiration  for  the  encyclopaedic  char- 
acter of  his  attainments,  and,  all  through  my  seminary 
course,  there  was  no  one  more  willing  to  take  minutes  from 
a  busy  life  for  the  giving  of  private  advice  and  imparting 
information  than  was  Dr.  Schaff.  When,  at  his  advice,  I 
went  to  Berlin  in  188 1,  I  carried  with  me  among  other 
letters  a  very  kind  personal  note  to  Dr.  Dorner.  I  found 
Dr.  Dorner  so  ill  that  I  did  not  present  my  letter  until  he 
sent  for  me,  saying  that  Dr.  Schaff,  in  correspondence, 
had  mentioned  my  being  in  Berlin  and  he  would  like  to 
see  me.  I  had  two  interviews  with  Dr.  Dorner,  in  both  of 
which  Dr.  Schaff's  work  formed  a  meeting-ground,  and 
one  of  these  interviews  must  have  been  very  nearly  the 
last  that  any  outsider  had  with  the  great  thinker,  for  he 
was  on  his  dying  bed  and  spoke  with  great  difficulty  but 
pressed  me  to  carry  to  his  friend  in  America  a  message  of 
good  cheer  and  of  hope  for  both  of  a  meeting  in  God's 
presence.  That  message  I  brought  back  and  it  moved 
Dr.  Schaff  to  tears  as  I  delivered  it. 

One  of  the  last  associations  with  Dr.  Schaff  was  at  the 
stormy  Assembly1  of  1893  in  Washington,  where  again  he 

1  The  General  Assembly  of  the  Presbyterian  Church. 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  293 

took  me  into  his  confidence  and  spoke,  for  the  first  and 
only  time  I  ever  heard  him  mention  it,  of  his  own  trial  for 
heretical  teachings.  I  shall  never  forget  the  kindly  tone 
in  which  he  spoke  to  me  of  the  peril  to  young  men  who 
might  be  borne  away  in  the  intellectual  struggle  for  the 
spiritual  realities  that  were  involved.  He  was  then  in 
poor  health,  and  spoke  feelingly  of  the  possible  shortness 
of  his  stay  and  of  his  longing  for  peace  and  quiet  in  the 
church  with  which  he  was  identified. 

Another  student  of  an  earlier  period,  Dr.  Teunis  S. 
Hamlin  of  Washington,  says  :  — 

The  charm  of  Dr.  Schaff  s  lectures  was  not  more  in  his 
vast  erudition,  his  philosophical  tracing  of  cause  and  effect, 
his  superb  English  style  and  his  broad  Christian  charity 
than  in  his  simple  and  beautiful  personality.  Indeed  the 
transparent  Christlikeness  of  his  character  was  his  most 
valuable  gift  to  us  young  men.  Very  often  have  I  dropped 
my  pencil  and  sat  feasting  eyes  and  heart  on  his  face, 
so  handsome,  pure,  strong,  spiritual.  On  occasion  he  was 
eloquent,  as  when  one  day,  casting  aside  his  notes  and 
violating  every  seminary  tradition  by  rising  from  his  chair, 
he  broke  into  an  impassioned  description  of  the  character 
and  career  of  Julian,  which  ended  amid  ringing  and  re- 
peated applause.  In  nothing  was  his  sweetness  and 
breadth  more  evident  than  in  his  ability  to  sympathize 
with  pastors,  though  he  had  never  been  a  pastor  himself. 

Dr.  Schaffs  parting  counsel  to  the  graduating  class  of 
1 87 1  reveals  his  conception  of  a  proper  equipment  for  the 

Remember,  first  of  all,  the  true  bearing  of  theological 
study  on  your  personal  character.  Scholarship  is  good, 
virtue  is  better,  holiness  is  best  of  all.  We  admire  great 
men,  we  respect  and  love  good  men.  Genius  is  a  free  gift 
of  God  bestowed  upon  very  few,  character  is  the  result  of 
the  combined  action  of  divine  grace  and  human  effort; 
this  is  within  reach  of  you  all  and  upon  this  mainly  the 
value  of  your  public  life  must  depend.  You  have  studied 
to  little  purpose  if  your  studies  have  not  made  you  more 
humble,  devout  and  charitable.  .  .  .     Your  learning  and 


eloquence  will  do  little  good  in  the  world  unless  they  are 
quickened  by  spiritual  power.  The  more  we  learn,  the 
more  we  find  out  how  little  we  know  and  how  much  we 
shall  know  hereafter.  Theology  is  like  a  Gothic  cathedral 
or  an  Alpine  mountain ;  the  nearer  we  approach  them, 
the  grander  they  appear,  and  the  more  keenly  we  feel  our 
own  littleness  and  insignificance.  Remember  next  that 
theological  study  looks  to  public  usefulness.  It  is  not 
merely  an  intellectual  gymnasium,  a  gratification  of  liter- 
ary curiosity  and  taste,  but  it  is  all  that  for  our  fellow-men, 
for  whom  the  Son  of  God  died  on  the  cross,  and  whom  we 
are  to  lead  to  Him.  Theology  should  never  be  separated 
from  the  life  of  the  church,  and  professors  should  keep  up 
an  intimate  connection  with  ministers  and  pastors. 

Throw  yourselves  into  your  public  calling  with  enthusi- 
asm. By  enthusiasm,  I  mean  intense  energy,  a  spirit  of 
fire  kindled  at  the  altar  in  heaven.  Nothing  great  and 
good  can  be  accomplished  without  it.  Faith  propelled  by 
the  spirit  of  fire  is  the  pioneer  of  every  great  work,  invents 
new  plans,  builds  seminaries  and  universities  and  houses 
of  charity,  reforms  the  church,  civilizes  savages,  discovers 
new  worlds  and  wins  them  for  Christ.  Finally,  let  the 
love  of  Christ  be  the  all-absorbing  passion.  Love  is  the 
greatest  conqueror,  mightier  than  armies  and  navies.  It 
has  won  Jews  and  Gentiles,  Greeks  and  barbarians,  free- 
men and  slaves,  and  transformed  them  from  enemies  into 
friends,  from  sinners  into  saints.  It  works  moral  wonders 
every  day  from  the  pulpit,  and  in  its  quiet  and  unobserved 
walks  of  self-denial  and  good  will,  seeking  the  lost,  raising 
the  dead  to  spiritual  life,  and  changing  the  very  miseries 
of  earth  into  means  of  grace  and  steps  to  heaven. 

The  following  paper  was  found  on  the  table  of  a  young 
clergyman  to  whom  he  gave  a  charge  at  his  installation  :  — 

My  young  friend  :  Thank  God  that  He  has  called  on  you 
to  be  a  minister,  the  highest,  noblest  and  most  useful 
office.  You  have  freely  chosen  your  profession  from  pure 
motives,  and  God  has  so  far  blessed  your  ministry.  Let 
your  past  success  stimulate  you  to  greater  efforts.  Walk 
in  humility  and  the  fear  of  God  and  in  constant  depend- 
ence on  His  grace.  Prepare  your  sermons  with  great  care 
at  your  desk  and  on  your  knees.     Preach  by  your  example 

chap,  xii        UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  295 

even  more  than  by  your  teaching.  Feed  the  lambs  as  well 
as  the  sheep,  and  draw  the  young  into  the  Sunday  school 
that  they  may  be  prepared  for  the  church  and  in  the 
church  for  heaven.  Keep  your  mind  open  to  all  the  im- 
portant events  and  questions  of  the  day,  and  all  that  is  true 
and  good  and  beautiful  in  the  church  and  the  world. 
Study  human  nature  as  well  as  books.  Cultivate  a  cheer- 
ful and  hopeful  temper,  knowing  that  God  rules  the  world, 
and  that  truth  and  righteousness  must  prevail  in  the  end.  Be 
kind  and  friendly  to  everybody.  Preach  Christ,  lead  men 
to  Christ,  build  up  His  kingdom.  So  shall  your  ministry 
be  fruitful,  and  you  will  be  saluted  with  "well  done,  enter 
into  the  joy  of  the  Lord." 

Until  the  last  few  years  of  his  life,  Dr.  Schaff  preached 
constantly.  He  used,  with  equal  ease  to  himself,  German 
and  English.  It  was  his  habit  to  think  out  his  sermons  on 
his  feet  as  he  paced  up  and  down  his  study  for  an  hour  or 
more  before  the  service.  The  tradition  ran  among  the 
students,  while  he  was  giving  lectures  in  Andover,  that  all 
he  had  to  do  was  to  fold  his  hands  behind  his  back  and 
walk  up  and  down  the  room  once  or  twice  and  his  sermon 
was  ready.  He  used  no  notes  in  their  delivery.  He  fre- 
quently adduced  Schleiermacher  as  a  good  example  for 
young  preachers.  For  a  number  of  years  that  divine 
wrote  his  sermons  out  in  full  and  committed  them  to 
memory ;  then,  having  formed  the  sermonic  habit,  he  con- 
fined his  immediate  preparation  to  noting  down  the  heads 
of  his  discourses.  Luther's  receipt  for  preaching  was 
often  upon  his  lips,  Tritt  frisch  auf,  mack's  Maul  auf,  /id'/ 
bald  auf. 

The  degree  of  Doctor  of  Laws  was  conferred  upon  him 
by  Amherst  College.  The  following  conversation  indi- 
cates no  lack  of  appreciation  of  the  honor.  "  I  attended 
the  commencement  exercises  at  Yale  and  the  alumni  din- 
ner (June  29,  1876).  General  Sherman  and  Yung  Wing 
were  made  LL.D.'s.     I  told  General  Sherman  that  this 

2g6  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1873 

meant  the  inauguration  of  the  millennial  reign  of  peace. 
I  was  also  informed  that  I  had  been  made  LL.D.,  to-day, 
by  Amherst  College.  I  asked  Dr.  Woolsey,  who  sat  beside 
me,  what  a  man  who  knows  nothing  about  laws  was  to 
do  under  such  circumstances  ?  He  smiled  and  said  I 
should  not  take  it  hard.  He  had  been  made  LL.D.  by  Dart- 
mouth and  D.D.  by  Harvard  University,  and  took  them 
both  complacently.  Dartmouth  knew  nothing  about  law 
and  Harvard  nothing  about  theology." 

Few  Protestant  clergymen  of  his  day  equalled  Dr.  SchafT 
in  the  wide  range  of  his  clerical  friendships.  He  had 
many  friends,  because  he  had  an  irrepressible  desire  to 
meet  men.  His  wide  personal  acquaintance  on  two  conti- 
nents put  him  in  command  of  a  large  treasury  of  personal 
anecdotes,  which  he  drew  upon  to  relieve  his  own  heavily 
taxed  brain,  as  well  as  to  brighten  many  a  social  hour. 
He  magnified  the  good  traits  of  others.  If  he  was  not 
able  to  commend,  he  was  silent ;  and  yet,  when  it  became 
necessary  for  him  to  give  his  judgment,  he  was  concise 
and  positive.  A  type  of  character  which  had  his  admira- 
tion is  indicated  in  a  letter  (March  9,  1870),  after  the 
death  of  his  friend  John  McClintock,  of  Drew  Seminary : 
"  I  attended  yesterday  his  funeral  and  was  moved  to 
tears.  He  was  a  loyal  and  true  Methodist,  and  always  in 
hearty  sympathy  with  all  other  branches  and  interests  of 
Christ's  kingdom.  That's  the  style  of  man  I  admire  and 

The  following  extract  from  his  journal,  written  early  in 
1873,  exhibits  his  interest  in  his  friends  and  in  men  in 
general :  — 

The  last  year  has  been  fraught  with  lessons  of  vanity 
and  mortality,  with  public  calamities  by  land  and  sea,  and 
the  death  records  of  distinguished  men,  many  of  whom 
I  knew  personally,  as  Morse,  Merle  d'Aubign6,  Hundes- 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  297 

hagen,  Norman  Macleod,  Frederick  Maurice,  William  H. 
Seward,  Francis  Lieber,  Professor  Hadley,  Horace  Greeley 
and  others.  With  Professor  Morse,  the  inventor  of  the 
telegraph,  I  was  brought  into  frequent  contact  toward  the 
end  of  his  long  and  useful  life  in  matters  of  the  Evan- 
gelical Alliance  and  the  Russian  embassy  in  behalf  of 
religious  freedom,  and  learned  to  esteem  him  as  a  venera- 
ble sage  of  beautiful  simplicity  of  character  and  of  child- 
like faith.  Norman  Macleod  I  saw  for  the  last  time,  last 
June,  a  few  weeks  before  his  death,  when  he  delivered  his 
last  and  most  eloquent  speech  on  Indian  missions  in  the 
Assembly  of  the  Church  of  Scotland.  He  looked  strong 
and  healthy,  but  told  me  with  foreboding  presentiment 
that  the  critical  state  of  his  health  obliged  him  to  abstain 
from  all  mental  labor  and  care,  and  that  he  was  going  to 
sail  in  August  to  America  for  rest.  With  Merle  d' Aubignd, 
the  eloquent  historian  of  the  Reformation,  who  fell  peace- 
fully asleep  after  conducting  family  prayers,  I  became 
acquainted  at  Geneva  in  1841,  and  had  occasional  corre- 
spondence till  within  a  few  days  before  his  death.  Pro- 
fessor Hundeshagen  I  met  in  his  vigor  in  1854  at 
Frankfurt,  Heidelberg  and  in  Switzerland,  and,  for  the 
last  time,  in  Bonn  in  1871,  when  he  was  broken  and  ready 
to  depart.  With  Professor  Maurice  I  spent  many  a  de- 
lightful hour  in  company  with  such  men  as  Archdeacon 
Hare  (his  brother-in-law)  and  Dr.  Trench,  and  was  im- 
pressed with  the  meekness,  gentleness  and  humility  of  his 
character.  Mrs.  Canon  Kingsley  told  me  last  summer  he 
was  the  purest  man  she  ever  knew.  Mr.  Seward  spoke 
to  me  in  Washington,  in  the  darkest  hour  of  our  Civil 
War,  with  sanguine  hopefulness  of  the  certain  victory  of 
the  Union.  Lieber  was  full  of  information  impregnated 
with  intelligence,  but  very  vain.  The  death  of  Horace 
Greeley  was  a  thrilling  sermon  on  the  vanity  of  all  earthly 
ambition.  His  last  intelligible  sentence  amidst  the  dreams 
of  delirium  was  the  comfort  of  the  patriarchal  Job  —  "I 
know  that  my  Redeemer  liveth."  .  .  .  And  now,  the  whole 
world  is  turned  to  the  imperial  corpse  at  Chiselhurst, 
reviewing  the  eventful  life  of  Napoleon  III  [died  Jan. 
3,  1873],  who  for  twenty  years  was  the  central  figure  on 
the  political  stage  of  Europe  —  the  man  of  destiny,  the 
adventurer  of  Strassburg  and  Boulogne,  the  prisoner  of 
Sedan,  the  architect  of  his  fortune  and  ruin,  the  rebuilder 


of  Paris,  the  supporter  of  the  temporal  power  of  the  pope, 
the  arbiter  of  Europe,  the  blunderer  in  Mexico,  the  exile  in 
England  whose  proud  queen  once  condescended  to  kiss 
him  as  her  mighty  ally  and  cousin !  What  startling  con- 
trasts of  the  greatest  successes  and  greatest  failures  !  I 
saw  him  once  when  he  was  at  the  giddy  height  of  his 
power,  and  few  dreamed  of  his  utter  fall,  although  his 
uncle's  career  easily  suggested  it. 

The  friends  of  a  smaller  circle,  who  were  passing  away, 
called  forth  words  of  remembrance  and  greeting.  Hear- 
ing of  the  death  of  Mrs.  von  Krocher,  in  1874,  he  wrote : 
"  An  important  chapter  in  my  early  life  follows  this  good 
woman  into  eternity."  The  death  of  Antistes  Kind  at  the 
venerable  age  of  ninety-two  called  forth  these  words  :  "  My 
oldest  teacher  in  religion  also  is  gone.  Farewell,  dear  old 
pastor,  teacher  and  friend,  till  I  salute  thee  again  in  the 
kingdom  of  glory  with  thy  good  wife,  sons  and  daughters, 
companions  of  my  youth  in  Chur !  "  The  day  before  the 
arrival  of  this  announcement,  Mrs.  Meta  Heusser  died. 
Although  prepared  for  the  event,  he  says :  "  The  news  over- 
whelmed me,  filling  my  heart  with  sadness  and  my  eyes 
with  tears.  She  was  one  of  the  purest  and  the  noblest 
women,  and  the  most  gifted  woman,  I  ever  knew.  '  Love 
never  faileth.'  This  was  the  last  utterance  of  her  lips. 
The  Hirzel,  once  my  sanctissimum  and  the  culmination  of 
my  visits  to  Europe,  is  now  desolation  to  me.  How  every- 
thing changes !  So  many  friends  in  the  better  world ! 
How  soon  shall  I  follow  ?  Lord,  prepare  me  for  the  great 
change ! "  Of  his  mother,  who  survived  Mrs.  Heusser  a 
few  months,  he  says  :  "  My  dear  old  mother  died  without  a 
struggle.  She  has  for  a  long  time  felt  homesick  in  this 
world  and  longed  for  the  rest  of  heaven.  She  was  speech- 
less, but  died  looking  calm  and  peaceful,  with  a  smile  of 

About  the  same  time  (1876)  he  notes :  — 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY 


Lady  Augusta  Stanley  has  died  and  is  now  buried  in 
Westminster  Abbey.  Of  the  highest  rank  and  culture,  she 
was  as  simple  as  a  child,  the  intimate  friend  of  the  queen 
and  equally  beloved  by  the  poor.  She  always  treated  me 
with  unaffected  cordiality  and  I  shall  gratefully  cherish 
her  sweet  memory.  Thus  another  death  is  added  to  the 
many  which  have  made  me  poorer  on  earth  this  winter,  but 
richer  in  heaven.  Twesten  and  Erbkam  are  also  gone. 
How  many  memories  do  their  names  awaken  in  me !  Happy 
days  and  hours  of  the  past!  Death  and  eternity,  what 
awful  mysteries !  Oh,  for  faith,  faith,  faith  in  Him  who  is 
the  resurrection  and  the  life  everlasting ! 

Sorrows  also  came  to  his  own  home.  A  son,  Philip, 
passed  away  a  few  months  after  the  change  of  residence 
to  New  York.  Under  date  of  Aug.  14,  1864,  the  father 
wrote :  "  Philip,  though  very  sick,  repeated  the  whole  of 
the  Te  Deum,  the  Creed  and  the  Lord's  Prayer.  The 
dear,  darling  son !  It  was  his  last  Sabbath  on  earth.  He 
died  on  Wednesday,  two  days  before  his  seventh  birthday, 
to  which  he  looked  forward  with  so  much  pleasure,  and 
now  he  is  celebrating  it  in  heaven  with  his  little  brother 
Willie  and  his  little  sister." 

Another  son,  John  Edwin,  died  suddenly  from  a  fall, 
nine  years  old.  "At  four  (Aug.  20,  1870),  Johnny,  bright, 
charming,  frank,  generous,  exuberant,  full  of  imagination, 
was  a  corpse  on  our  bed.  Climbing  unseen,  except  by 
a  little  boy,  to  a  tree,  he  fell  senseless  on  his  back  on 
the  stone  pavement,  crushing  his  life  out  in  an  instant. 
There  was  no  visible  injury.  Merciful  God  and  Father  ! 
What  a  terrible  affliction  to  us  all  and  especially  to  my 
dear  wife,  who  loved  Johnny  with  a  boundless  love  and 
would  readily  have  given  her  own  life  for  his.  Give  us 
grace  to  bear  this  affliction  and  to  kiss  the  hand  which  has 
smitten  us.  This  is  now  the  fourth  child  that  Thou  hast 
taken  from  us  to  Thyself  in  heaven.  Make  heaven  with 
such  treasures  nearer  and  dearer  to  us  all.     The  colored 


woman  eighty-seven  years  old,  who  came  in  from  a  neigh- 
bor's and  was  attracted  to  Johnny  because  of  his  kindness 
to  her,  was  right  when,  bending  over  his  body,  she  said : 
'  He  is  a  little  angel  in  heaven.  That  is  just  what  he 
is,  and  that  you  ought  to  think  and  nothing  else.'  What 
is  life  and  the  world  without  religion,  the  religion  of 
Him  who  is  the  resurrection  and  the  life !  "'  The  child's 
sudden  death  called  forth  poems  from  Mrs.  Elizabeth 
Prentiss  — Johnny  Sleeps  —  and  Margaret  B.  Sangster, 
From  his  Play} 

Once  more,  in  the  summer  of  1876,  death  entered  the 
home  and  removed  a  fifth  child,  Meta,  in  the  bloom  of 
early  womanhood,  at  the  age  of  twenty.  She  was  a  young 
lady  of  much  charm  of  manner  and  rich  mental  culture, 
having  graduated  from  the  New  York  Female  College  with 
the  third  honor  in  a  class  of  one  hundred  and  twenty,  of 
which  she  was  the  youngest  member.  In  spite  of  the 
medical  skill  of  Dr.  Austin  Flint,  her  vigorous  constitution 
succumbed  to  typhoid  fever,  contracted  at  the  Centennial 
Exposition  in  Philadelphia.  The  father  thus  speaks  of  this 
beloved  daughter :  "  All  is  over,  Meta  is  safe,  above  suffer- 
ing and  sin.  If  there  is  a  God,  there  is  a  heaven.  If 
there  is  a  heaven,  Meta  is  surely  there.  Meta,  the  very 
image  of  beauty,  health  and  loveliness,  fully  equipped  for 
the  fairest  and  most  useful  part  of  her  life,  cut  down  like 
a  flower!  It  seems  incredible.  But  if  she  was  so  fair  and 
charming  at  the  footstool,  what  will  she  be  to  us  at  the 
throne  above  in  the  radiance  of  glory!  The  Lord  who 
giveth  will  return  a  hundredfold  what  He  hath  taken 
away.  Blessed  be  His  holy  name  !  "  The  first  verse  of 
the  poem  dedicated  to  this  daughter  by  Mrs.  Meta  Heusser 

1  They  are  given  in  the  memorial  volume,  Our  Children  in  Heaven. 

2  Found  in  Alpine  Lyrics. 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY 


Child,  dear  child,  though  to  divide  us, 

Seas  and  continents  combine, 
Yet  by  the  bands  of  faithful  friendship 

And  thy  name  I  call  thee  mine  ! " 

This  affliction  became  the  immediate  occasion  of 
Dr.  SchafT  s  visit  to  the  Orient  in  1877.  On  the  eve 
of  setting  out  on  the  journey,  he  wrote :  — 

I  wish  to  read  the  fifth  Gospel  as  a  commentary  on  the 
other  four  and  to  be  an  humble  student,  that  I  may  teach 
the  better.  I  cannot  expect  to  make  any  discoveries  or 
researches,  but  hope  to  receive  new  inspiration  from  Bible 
lands  and  Bible  studies.  Personal  inspection  may  lessen 
the  romance,  but  as  I  hope  will  deepen  the  reality.  Then, 
if  I  return,  I  may  expect  a  few  more  years  of  active  use- 
fulness until  I  get  ready  for  the  last  journey  to  Jerusalem 
the  Golden. 

After  "a  touching  farewell  service  in  the  chapel  of 
Union  Seminary,"  and  accompanied  by  Mrs.  SchafT  and 
their  daughter,  they  sailed,  landing  at  Liverpool  on  one  of 
the  last  days  of  1876.  There  he  conferred  with  Professor 
Blaikie,  about  the  meeting  of  the  Alliance  of  the  Reformed 
churches,  appointed  for  the  following  summer  in  Edin- 
burgh. Afterwards  throughout  his  tour  in  the  East  as 
well  as  in  Southern  Europe,  he  was  engaged  in  calling 
attention  to  it,  and  making  provision  for  the  attendance 
of  delegates.  Letters  from  Dr.  Blaikie  on  the  subject 
followed  him  to  Naples,  Cairo,  Jerusalem,  Beirut  and 

Arrived  in  London,  Dr.  SchafT  refers  to  having  heard 
"  a  most  admirable  sermon  by  Dr.  Oswald  Dykes  in  the 
Regent-Square  Presbyterian  Church  on  the  closing  years 
of  Abraham,  the  father  of  the  faithful."  Some  time  before 
he  had  declined  to  consider  a  request  received  through 
Dr.  Dykes,  that  he  allow  his  name  to  be  proposed  for 

302  THE  LIFE   OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1876 

the  new  Memorial  professorship  in  the  Presbyterian  Col- 
lege in  London. 

I  thank  you  [he  wrote]  for  the  high  and  undeserved 
compliment  you  pay  me  in  proposing  my  name  for  the 
chair  in  the  Presbyterian  College.  Nothing  could  be  more 
flattering  or  inviting  to  a  young  and  rising  scholar  in  full 
sympathy,  as  I  am,  with  Presbyterian  reunion.  But  I  am 
too  far  advanced  in  life  to  make  the  change.  Nor  have  I 
any  disposition  to  seek  one.  I  am  firmly  fixed  in  the 
Union  Seminary,  with  an  able  and  congenial  body  of  col- 
leagues and  a  numerous  body  of  students.  I  have  as  large 
a  field  of  usefulness  as  I  could  desire  and  am  able  to  culti- 
vate. It  would,  therefore,  be  wrong  for  me  to  hold  out 
any  prospect  of  acceptance  and  to  allow  my  name  to  go 
before  the  directors  as  a  candidate  for  election. 

After  conducting  some  delicate  negotiations  bearing  on 
Bible  Revision,  he  passed  on  to  Paris  and  Neuchatel, 
leaving  his  daughter  in  the  family  of  Dr.  Godet.  Again 
he  executed  official  responsibilities,  assembling  at  Bern 
and  Geneva  the  councils  and  friends  of  the  Evangelical 
Alliance,  and  making  arrangements  for  a  General  Confer- 
ence to  be  held  at  Bern.  The  place  of  meeting  was  sub- 
sequently changed  to  Basel.  It  was  characteristic  of  his 
kindly  thought  that,  in  the  midst  of  official  arrangements 
and  with  the  tour  in  the  Orient  before  him,  he  turned 
aside  to  call  on  Mrs.  Pronier  at  Geneva  and  Mrs.  Cook  at 
Lausanne,  whose  husbands  had  lost  their  lives  on  the 
Ville  du  Havre  after  the  New  York  Conference  in  1873. 

Embarking  at  Brindisi,  the  party  sailed  for  Egypt.  We 
shall  follow  him,  with  his  daily  note-book  in  hand  and 
letters  to  American  correspondents.  Arrived  at  Alexan- 
dria he  exclaims :  "  What  a  babel  of  tongues,  what  a  pict- 
uresque motley  of  nationalities,  costumes  and  colors ! 
Here  are  Arabs,  Copts,  Turks,  Nubians,  Greeks,  Italians 
and    other    Europeans   in    strange    mixture !  "     Who  can 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  303 

forget  the  first  day  of  travel  in  Egypt  from  Alexandria  to 
Cairo,  the  flat  country,  the  mud,  the  villages  of  sun-dried 
brick,  the  minarets,  the  dusky-faced  people,  the  men  look- 
ing like  apparitions  from  the  grave  in  their  long  black 
gowns,  the  women  erect  in  carriage,  with  their  faces 
partially  or  altogether  veiled  behind  the  yashmak  and  bear- 
ing the  water  jar  on  their  heads,  children  half-naked  or 
completely  naked  and  with  shaven  heads,  the  camels  and 
donkeys,  the  fellaheen  ploughing  or  pumping  water,  the 
buffaloes,  the  flocks  of  ducks,  ibis  and  pelicans,  the  clumps 
of  stately  palms  in  the  distance  and  the  clay  mounds  sug- 
gesting thoughts  of  buried  temples,  cities  and  manuscripts ! 
Dr.  Schaff  had  an  eye  for  everything.  The  street  life  of 
Cairo  he  calls  a  perpetual  carnival,  a  moving  panorama  at 
the  side  of  which  the  boulevards  and  streets  of  Western 
cities  present  a  tame  aspect.  The  dense  crowds  and  the 
confusion  of  the  Mooskee  quarter,  the  endless  variety  of 
face  and  costume  from  the  green-garbed  descendant  of 
the  Prophet  to  the  lean  little  babies  straddling  their 
mothers'  shoulders  and  with  faces  left  in  undisturbed 
possession  of  the  flies,  and  to  "  Far-away  Moses,"  the 
patriarchal-looking  Jew  who  was  still  living  and  offering 
cups  of  Persian  tea  at  the  bazaar  —  all  engaged  his  at- 

The  old  Mohammedan  university  at  the  Mosque  El 
Azhar  with  its  eleven  thousand  students,  which  he  visited 
with  his  Swiss  fellow-countrymen,  M.  Dor,  Egyptian  min- 
ister of  Public  Instruction,  and  a  second  time  with  Dr. 
Lansing,  reminded  him  by  its  appearance  of  a  "huge 
Sunday  school.  The  simplicity  and  self-denial  of  this 
student  life  is  something  marvellous.  The  most  of  the 
students  support  themselves.  There,  within  the  walls  of 
the  mosque,  many  of  them  eat  and  sleep  as  well  as 


Here  is  a  description  of  the  visit  to  the  pyramid-field 
of  Ghizeh  :  — 

It  is  an  event  surpassing  all  description  and  is  worth  a 
voyage  to  Egypt.  The  pyramids  grow  as  you  approach 
them.  The  view  from  the  top  is  unique,  to  the  west  the 
desert,  and  to  the  east  Cairo  and  the  garden  of  the  Nile, 
which  approaches  like  a  thread  from  the  south.  A  most 
startling  contrast !  The  panorama  has  no  equal  in  the 
world  and  the  impression  is  deepened  by  the  historical 
associations  which  pass  before  the  eye  from  Abraham  to 
the  campaign  of  Napoleon.  The  pyramid  is  the  most 
appropriate  symbol,  the  best  welcome  and  the  best  fare- 
well to  the  land  of  the  Pharaohs,  who  themselves  rose  up 
like  pyramids  in  solitary  grandeur,  far  above  the  desert 
plain  of  slavery  round  about  them.  The  Sphinx  makes 
an  overpowering  impression,  as  with  sleepless  eyes  he 
stares  out  in  majestic  repose  over  the  valley  of  the  Nile 
and  the  vast  wilderness  beyond,  reminding  one  of  the 
impenetrable  mysteries  of  eternity.  "All  things  pass 
away  but  the  Sphinx." 

From  the  Arabs  claiming  custodianship  of  the  pyramids, 
he  began  to  learn  the  full  meaning  of  that  everlasting  word 
of  the  Orient,  "  baksheesh."  "  Baksheesh  is  the  first  word 
the  children  of  the  East  learn  and  the  last  they  forget.  You 
hear  it  everywhere  from  morning  till  night,  from  old  and 
young  as  if  it  were  the  chief  end  of  man.  It  opens  the 
way  to  everything  worth  seeing  in  the  East  except  the 
harems  and  the  cave  of  Machpelah  at  Hebron."  These 
self-constituted  guides  and  guardians  of  the  pyramids  he 
found  to  be  as  clamorous  as  ravenous  wolves,  importunate, 
prying  and  utterly  unprincipled.  At  the  first  demonstra- 
tion of  their  importunate  familiarity,  Dr.  Schaff  brandished 
his  cane  in  vigorous  fashion  and  set  them  stampeding.  But 
he  found  they  took  it  as  a  good  joke  and  a  moment  later 
pressed  in  upon  him  like  the  shifting  sands  at  their  feet. 
Laughingly  he  would  say  of  these  children  of  the  desert : 
"  They  are  a  necessity,  a  source  of  amusement,  as  well  as 


chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY. 

a  nuisance.      It  is  not  worth  the  while  to  fall   out  with 

He  found  the  trip  up  the  Nile  the  most  interesting  and 
profitable  river-journey  in  the  world,  enriched  by  the  archi- 
tecture and  the  historical  associations  of  centuries,  en- 
livened by  the  novel  and  often  humorous  living  scenes 
of  men,  donkeys,  fields  and  villages  and  under  the  clear- 
est of  skies  at  noon,  and  the  most  enchanting  play  of 
colors  at  dawn  and  at  sunset.  "The  trip  is  a  perpetual 
enjoyment,  and  one  of  the  best  recreations  for  mind  and 
body.  Here,  one  can  enjoy,  even  better  than  in  Italy, 
il  do  Ice  far  niente.  ...  I  read  much  of  the  history  of  old 
Egypt,  but  it  is  a  hieroglyphic  labyrinth  of  strange  names, 
uncertain  dynasties  of  gods  and  men,  with  few  certain  dates 
and  facts.  The  Egyptians  wrote  their  monotonous  his- 
tories in  stones  and  pictures  and  sculptures  representing 
the  same  colossal  proportions  and  hideous  mythology 
over  and  over  again,  the  kings  worshipping  animal-gods, 
the  people  a  mass  of  nameless  slaves  used  as  machines 
in  times  of  peace  and  in  war."  Mariette  had  done  his 
work  of  excavation  and  Brugsch  had  written  his  history  of 
Egypt  under  the  Pharaohs,  but  the  mummies  of  the  kings 
at  Thebes,  including  Rameses  II,  had  not  yet  been  found, 
nor  had  Naville  made  his  striking  discoveries  at  Pithom  or 
Flinders  Petrie  in  the  Delta  region  and  the  Fayum. 

At  the  close  of  a  trip  on  the  Nile,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote :  — 

This  is  the  last  day  of  our  Nile  trip  of  twenty  days. 
We  have  had  a  respectable  and  pleasant  company,  English, 
Scotch,  American,  —  twenty-seven  in  all,  four  of  them 
clergymen.  We  have  been  travelling  away  from  intelli- 
gence and  civilization,  the  beautiful  island  of  Philae  being 
the  utmost  limit  of  our  journey.  Now  we  are  journeying 
towards  them  again.  Several  dahabeahs  have  passed  us 
with  English  and  American  tourists  aboard,  who  can  afford 
to  spend  two  or  three  months  in  recreation.     I  hope  I  may 

306  •     THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1876 

never  be  compelled  by  reason  of  ill  health  to  kill  so  much 
time.  Twenty  days  on  steamer  and  thirty  days  through 
the  desert  will  be  enough  for  me.  I  would  gladly  give  up 
the  Wilderness,  if  it  were  not  for  Mt.  Sinai.  The  Nile  is 
truly  a  river  of  life,  without  which  Egypt  would  be  a 
barren  desert.  The  ruins  of  Sakarah,  Denderah,  Edfu, 
Luxor  and  Karnak  are  very  grand  and  imposing,  but  dis- 
figured by  the  hideous  Egyptian  idolatry,  the  worship  of 
crocodiles  and  insects.  The  greatest  sights  are  the  pyra- 
mids of  Ghizeh,  the  temple  at  Edfu,  the  temple  at  Karnak 
and  the  tombs  of  the  kings  in  the  mountain  defile  of 
Thebes.  Say  to  Dr.  Hitchcock  that  we  saw  the  Southern 
Cross  at  Assouam,  which  he  told  me  to  look  out  for.  The 
people  of  Egypt  are  the  most  picturesque  in  color  and 
dress  and  the  most  beggarly  and  slavish  in  condition  I 
have  ever  seen.  I  admire  the  missionaries  and  their  self- 
denying  and  successful  labors.  On  Wednesday  I  shall 
form  a  branch  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  in  Egypt  for 
mutual  encouragement  and  protection  against  persecution. 
The  day  after  I  will  leave  for  Mt.  Sinai.  The  dragoman 
and  camels  start  to-morrow. 

Reaching  Cairo  again,  he  had  an  exhibition  of  the  wor- 
ship and  cult  of  the  Copts  at  a  wedding.  "The  Coptic 
patriarch  and  a  bishop  were  present.  Many  boy  singers, 
richly  dressed,  assisted.  Together  they  spent  three 
mortal  hours  chanting  or  screaming  or  muttering  in  Coptic 
or  Arabic  from  written  service-books  !  Is  this  the  church 
of  Cyril,  of  Athanasius,  Origen  and  St.  Mark  ?  And  are 
these  ceremonies  Christianity  at  all  ? " 

With  the  life  and  activity  of  the  Protestant  missions  of 
the  United  Presbyterian  Church,  which  stand  in  striking 
contrast  to  this  dead  ceremonialism,  Dr.  Schaff  took 
special  pains  to  familiarize  himself,  and  he  has  this  to  say : 
"  I  examined  the  fields  of  American  missionary  labor  in 
lower  and  middle  Egypt,  attended  the  services  in  schools 
and  churches,  and  became  convinced  of  the  solid  and 
hopeful  character  of  this  mission,  especially  among  the 
Copts,  who  are  naturally   shrewd   and   intelligent.     The 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  307 

seed  which  is  being  cast  upon  the  fertilizing  waters  of  the 
Nile  in  due  time  will  sprout  and  bear  fruit  for  the  great 

The  meeting  for  the  organization  of  the  Egyptian 
branch  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  was  held  in  the  mis- 
sion church  at  Cairo,  Dr.  Hogg  coming  from  Assiout  and 
some  of  the  missionaries  from  Alexandria,  to  assist  in  the 
service.  Dr.  Schaff  characteristically  closes  his  note  of 
the  meeting  (February  28):  "The  meeting  was  very 
interesting,  but  too  long,  lasting  till  eleven  p.m."  The 
next  day,  parting  from  Mrs.  Schaff,  who  took  the  steamer 
to  Jaffa,  he  turned  his  face  toward  Mt.  Sinai. 

The  journey  through  the  Wilderness  from  Suez  to 
Hebron  called  forth  the  following  words  :  — 

The  intense  heat,  the  vile  insects,  the  growling  of 
camels,  the  barbarous  habits  of  the  Arabs,  the  occasional 
sand  storms  and  the  many  inevitable  inconveniences  take 
away  the  rainbow  color  from  the  poetry.  The  journey  is 
a  weariness  to  the  flesh  from  the  beginning  to  the  end,  and 
ought  not  to  be  attempted  except  by  persons  of  vigorous 
constitution.  But  the  desert  stimulates  deep  and  serious 
meditation.  Its  immensity  and  the  silence  suggest  grand 
and  solemn  thoughts.  It  makes  you  feel,  as  you  can  per- 
haps feel  nowhere  else,  the  pressure  and  the  power  of 
God,  and  the  need  of  His  constant  protection  and  care. 

Of  the  exact  location  of  the  Exodus  he  did  not  become 

This  first  Sabbath  in  the  Wilderness  [he  wrote  to  a  son], 
the  great  and  terrible  Wilderness  of  the  Scriptures,  is  a 
most  remarkable  experience.  I  wandered  to  the  shore  of 
the  gulf,  two  miles  off,  over  the  sands,  with  a  few  ruins  of 
walls,  and  looked  at  the  mountains  on  the  western  shore. 
I  read  the  song  of  Moses,  that  grand  ode  of  liberty,  with 
deepest  emotion  as  never  before,  and  felt  the  blessing  of  a 
day  of  rest  for  man  and  beast  (Exodus  xvi.  23).  Here  is 
the  boundary  between  Africa  and  Asia.  Here  we  have 
the  sandy  desert,  the  river  like  a  sea,  the  silvery  moun- 

308  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1876 

tains  in  the  west,  and  the  traditional  locality  of  the  great- 
est event  in  ancient  Jewish  history,  which  has  left  its  mark 
on  all  subsequent  ages.  Here,  or  near  here,  Moses  and 
Miriam  sang  the  song  of  deliverance.  Wherever  they 
passed,  whether  north  or  south  of  Akabah,  whether  here 
or  at  the  head  of  the  gulf  or  through  the  Bitter  lakes  still 
further  north,  it  is  certain  that  the  Israelites  did  pass,  for 
the  whole  subsequent  history  of  Israel  presupposes  the 

The  culmination  of  the  journey  is  Mt.  Sinai.  With 
Dr.  Edward  Robinson,  who  ascended  the  peak  in  1838, 
and  Dean  Stanley,  Dr.  Schaff  was  fully  satisfied  that  Ras 
Susafeh  was  the  mountain  on  which  Moses  received  the 
tables  of  stone.  In  ascending  its  granite  flanks  he  did 
some  of  the 

hardest  climbing  of  my  life  and  concluded  that  Moses 
must  have  been  a  good  climber.  ...  If  ever  there  was  a 
poetic  fitness  between  an  event  and  its  locality,  we  have  it 
here.  This  Sinai  group  stands  in  awful  silence  in  the 
midst  of  death  and  desolation,  reflecting  the  majesty  and 
terrible  holiness  of  Jehovah,  and  is  the  fittest  pulpit  for 
the  Law  which  threatens  death  and  damnation.  Such  a 
sight  of  awful  grandeur  I  never  saw  before,  nor  do  I 
expect  to  see  its  like  again.  Here  I  felt  more  deeply 
than  ever  before  the  contrast  between  the  old  and  the  new 
dispensations,  the  severity  and  terror  of  the  Law  and  the 
loveliness  and  grace  of  the  Gospel.  Truly  the  Law  was 
given  by  Moses,  but  grace  and  truth  came  by  Jesus  Christ. 

At  the  convent  of  St.  Catherine,  he  found  the  thirty 
monks  enjoying  good  health,  leading  a  simple,  temperate 
but  idle  and  stupid  life  and  attaining  to  an  old  age. 
Twenty  years  before,  Tischendorf  had  discovered  in  its 
library  the  Codex  Sinaiticus.  Dr.  Schaff  had  heard  from 
the  finder's  own  lips  the  romantic  story  of  the  discovery  and 
rescue  of  the  precious  document,  and  says :  "  He  was  indeed 
the  happiest  theologian  I  ever  knew.  He  never  got  over 
the  intense  satisfaction  and  delight  of  the  discovery  which 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY 


would  immortalize  a  man  of  far  less  learning  and  merit 
than  Tischendorf.  His  indomitable  perseverance  in  the 
search  and  subsequent  publication  of  the  manuscript  is 
almost  without  parallel  in  the  history  of  literature."  Later 
he  saw  it  in  St.  Petersburg.  The  remarkable  and  equally 
unexpected  discovery  of  the  Lewis  Syriac  palimpsest  of 
the  Gospel  was  made  just  before  his  decease.  • 

From  Mt.  Sinai  on,  the  journey  is  one  of  almost  unin- 
terrupted monotony  through  the  dreary  desert.  The  party 
took  the  shorter  and  northern  route,  hostilities  among  the 
Bedouin  tribes  preventing  the  journey  by  the  way  of  Petra. 
Here  are  some  of  Dr.  Schaff's  notes  :  — 

March  20th.  Left  at  9.30  a.m.  that  miserable  Nakhl, 
after  witnessing  a  violent  war  of  words  among  the  Arabs] 
and  marched  seven  hours  over  a  dead  plain  of  sand  and 
gravel,  a  real  desert,  on  the  way  to  Gaza,  which  the 
Bedouin  have  forced  us  to  take  and  to  pay  for  the  incon- 
venience of  so  doing.  .  .  .  March  21st.  Marching  over  a 
dead  plain  of  sand  and  gravel  in  hot  weather,  I  suffer 
day  and  night  from  rheumatism,  which  will  be  either  killed 
or  cured  in  this  desert.  My  mind  wanders  over  all  crea- 
tion, dwelling  mostly  on  home,  Union  Seminary,  theology 
and  the  translation  of  Herzogs  Encyclopedia.  March 
22d.  Another  weary  march  over  the  dead  plain  of  sand 
and  stone  in  burning  heat.  March  23^.  A  heavy  march 
of  ten  hours  over  waterless  sands  and  hills.  Mr.  H.,  after 
having  industriously  bottled  up  for  days  chameleons,  ser- 
pents and  scorpions,  broke  his  bottles  to-day  and  de- 
stroyed his  treasures.  Meals  are  fast  degenerating,  the 
water  bad,  the  bread  hard  and  almost  uneatable.  Eggs 
all  gone. 

These  trials  fortunately  had  an  end,  and  a  few  days 
afterwards,  it  being  the  Sabbath,  the  party  found  itself 
encamped  on  a  fertile  plain  three  hours  from  Gaza.  Here 
they  exchanged  their  camels  for  horses,  and  were  soon 
fairly  within  the  limits  of  the  Holy  Land.  The  experi- 
ences in  the  Wilderness  confirmed  Dr.  Schaff's  conviction 

310  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

of  the  truthfulness  of  the  Mosaic  records,  and  he  used  to 
say  that  if  certain  sceptics  had  taken  the  journey  before 
promulgating  their  doubts,  they  would  not  have  had  doubts 
to  promulgate.  At  Hebron,  his  curiosity  nearly  cost  him 
personal  injury.  While  he  was  venturing  close  to  the 
mosque  enclosing  the  cave  of  Machpelah,  a  Mohammedan 
devotee,  supposing  him  to  be  about  to  enter  the  sacred 
precincts,  used  violence  to  push  him  back.  The  incident 
produced  a  great  excitement,  and  a  crowd  quickly  gath- 
ered. The  governor  was  informed  of  the  indignity  and 
sent  word  to  the  camp  that  the  assailant  had  been  put  in 
chains,  and  offering  the  party  protection.  A  letter,  writ- 
ten from  Jerusalem  to  a  son,  refers  to  the  incident,  which 
gave  rise  to  the  report  of  Dr.  Schaff's  violent  death,  which 
was  sent  as  far  as  the  United  States.     He  wrote :  — 

The  trip  through  the  Wilderness  nearly  killed  me,  tor- 
mented as  I  was  with  rheumatism.  At  the  mosque  of 
Hebron  we  were  nearly  mobbed  by  the  fanatical  Moslems, 
who  hurled  the  Moslem  curses  against  us  as  Christian 
dogs.  But  the  governor  of  the  place  sent  us  a  military 
guard  and  put  the  fanatic,  who  struck  me  with  his  fist, 
into  prison.  We  left  yesterday  for  Bethlehem,  completely 
vindicated.  We  found  it  reported  in  Bethlehem  that  ours 
and  another  party  were  murdered  or  captured  by  the 
Bedouin,  and  a  detachment  of  ten  soldiers  was  sent  to 
Hebron  to  meet  us. 

The  tourist  approaches  Jerusalem  with  feelings  of  rev- 
erent curiosity.  No  city  has  so  solemn  and  tragic  an  in- 
terest. Much  as  its  present  aspect  may  disappoint  him 
who  comes  furnished  with  pictures  of  the  imagination,  the 
sacred  sites  exercise  a  growing  spell  which  equals,  if  it 
does  not  exceed,  the  spell  of  Rome  or  Athens.  Dr. 
Schaff's  first  and  last  impression  was  expressed  by  the 
last  words  of  the  Lord  over  it,  "Jerusalem,  Jerusalem, 
thou  that  killest  the  prophets  and  stonest  them  that  are 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  311 

sent  unto  thee  .  .  .  behold,  your  house  is  left  unto  you 
desolate."  His  visit  fell  during  Easter  week.  He  was  daily 
in  the  company  of  Mr.  De  Haas,  the  American  consul,  and 
Mr.  Schick,  the  German  architect  and  archaeological  ex- 
pert. It  is  impossible  to  follow  him  to  the  church  of  the 
Holy  Sepulchre,  to  Gethsemane  and  Bethany  and  other 
sacred  localities  within  the  city  and  without  its  walls,  or 
to  the  school  on  Mt.  Zion,  the  hospital  and  school  for 
neglected  girls,  Talitha  Cumi,  maintained  by  the  Kaisers- 
werth  deaconesses,  or  the  Lepers'  Home,  under  the  charge 
of  the  Moravian  missionaries,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Tappe,  formerly 
of  Labrador.  To  Dr.  William  Adams  he  wrote  (April  2, 
1877):  — 

I  came  out  of  the  great  and  terrible  Wilderness  last 
Thursday  and,  although  very  much  fatigued,  have  seen 
already  a  good  deal  of  the  people  and  things  of  Jerusalem. 
Yesterday  I  preached  a  resurrection  sermon  in  Christ 
Church  on  Mt.  Zion  for  Bishop  Gobat.  I  find  Jerusalem 
the  most  holy  and  the  most  desecrated  of  all  places,  not 
indeed  Jerusalem  the  golden,  yet  intensely  interesting  as 
the  scene  of  our  blessed  Lord's  crucifixion  and  resurrec- 
tion for  the  salvation  of  mankind. 

At  Mar  Saba,  he  repeated  one  of  his  favorite  hymns, 

commonly  attributed  to  St.  Stephen,  who  passed  his  life 


"Art  thou  weary,  art  thou  languid  ?" 

At  the  Dead  Sea,  which  presented  a  "  picture  of  mourn- 
ful picturesqueness,"  he  concluded  to  adhere  to  the  tradi- 
tional view  of  the  location  of  the  Cities  of  the  Plain  at  the 
lower  end  of  the  lake.  At  the  fords  of  the  Jordan,  he 
"  took  a  most  refreshing  bath.  After  a  salt  bath  in  the 
lake  of  death,  it  was  like  a  bath  of  regeneration.  I  im- 
mersed myself  ten  times  and  felt  so  comfortable  after  it 
that  I  almost  imagined  I  was  miraculously  delivered  from 
rheumatism.     I  have  plunged  into  many  a  river  and  lake 

312  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

and  into  the  waves  of  the  ocean,  but  of  all  the  baths  I 
have  taken,  that  in  the  Jordan  will  linger  longest  in  my 

Thence  the  journey  bore  northwards  to  Nazareth,  of 
which  he  writes  :  "  Here  we  are  in  this  retired  mountain- 
village  where  the  Saviour  of  mankind  spent  the  greatest  part 
of  His  life  on  earth.  In  Bethlehem,  we  felt  the  joy  of  His 
birth  ;  in  Jerusalem,  the  awe  and  anguish  of  His  crucifixion, 
but  also  the  glory  of  His  resurrection;  here  we  contem- 
plate the  humble  abode  of  His  youth  and  early  manhood. 
Talent  and  character  are  matured  in  quiet  seclusion  for 
the  great  battle  of  public  life."  Journeying  eastward  to  the 
Lake  of  Galilee,  he  felt  "  an  overwhelming  sense  of  the 
contrast  between  the  past  and  the  present  as  he  recalled 
the  life  which  once  pulsated  in  the  cities  on  its  shores 
and  the  deathlike  silence  which  now  prevails." 

With  the  imposing  mass  of  Mt.  Hermon  in  view,  the 
party  passed  on  to  Banias  (Caesarea  Philippi),  at  whose 
base  one  of  the  fountains  of  the  Jordan  bursts  forth. 
Then  the  way  leads  over  the  mountain  and  through  the 
desolate  region  suddenly  broken  at  the  north  by  the 
lovely  basin  of  green  in  which  Damascus,  the  eye  of 
the  East,  the  ancient  head  of  Syria,  nestles.  At  Baalbek, 
so  Bishop  Hendrix  writes,  a  photographer  took  a  picture 
of  the  party  standing  in  the  Temple  of  the  Sun.  Bishop 
Marvin's  tall  form  cast  a  dark  shadow  upon  the  doctor. 
Some  one  exclaimed,  on  seeing  the  proofs,  "The  bishop 
has  eclipsed  the  doctor."  "Yes,"  replied  Dr.  Schaff, 
"but  not  my  head."  "No,"  responded  Bishop  Marvin, 
"  nobody  can  eclipse  the  doctor's  head." 

On  the  road  to  Beirut  he  was  met  by  a  carriage  sent 
out  by  Dr.  Jessup  and  the  next  day  heard  Dr.  Jessup 
preach  in  Arabic,  after  which  he  preached  himself  in 
English.      He  shared  the  pride  felt  by  American  Chris- 

chap,  xii         UNION  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY  313 

tians  when  they  look  upon  the  commanding  site  and  im- 
posing buildings  of  the  Protestant  Syrian  College  at 
Beirut,  built  up  by  American  gifts  and  scholarship.  It 
was  a  delightful  episode,  which  Dr.  Schaff  often  recalled, 
there  under  the  shadows  of  the  Lebanon  and  in  full 
view  of  St.  George's  Bay  and  the  Mediterranean,  to  meet 
such  men  as  Dr.  Van  Dyck,  President  Bliss,  Dr.  Jessup, 
Dr.  Djennis  and  Dr.  Post.  The  first  definite  news  of  war 
between  Russia  and  Turkey  reached  him  there.  In 
leaving  Beirut,  he  made  the  following  record  of  his  im- 
pressions of  Palestine :  — 

I  have  found  the  country  and  the  people  pretty  much 
as  I  expected.  My  faith  in  the  Bible  has  been  confirmed. 
Many  facts  and  scenes  which  seem  to  float  ghostlike  in 
the  clouds  to  a  reader  at  a  distance  assume  flesh  and 
blood  in  the  land  of  their  birth.  There  is  a  marvellous 
correspondence  between  the  Land  and  the  Book.  The 
Bible  is  the  best  handbook  for  the  Holy  Land,  and  the 
Holy  Land  is  the  best  commentary  on  the  Bible.  Pales- 
tine is  a  library  of  revelation  engraved  on  stones,  moun- 
tains and  hills.  Nature  cannot  be  destroyed.  The  slopes 
of  Gennesaret,  and  the  plains  of  Philistia,  of  Sharon,  of  Es- 
draelon  and  of  the  Hauran,  though  overgrown  with  weeds 
and  overrun  by  the  wild  Bedouin,  are  still  there  as  fertile 
as  ever.  The  hills  and  mountains,  though  denuded  of 
forests,  are  there.  The  flowers  still  adorn  the  earth  in 
spring  as  when  the  Saviour  drew  lessons  from  the  lilies  of 
the  field.  And  what  the  indolent  Turks  will  never  do,  the 
industry  and  skill  of  foreigners  will  do,  and  Palestine  will 
be  made  once  more  a  land  of  promise  flowing  with  milk 
and  honey,  where  every  man  may  sit  under  his  own  vine 
and  fig-tree.  .  .  .  The  process  of  regeneration  has  already 
begun.  We  see  the  small  but  hopeful  tokens  of  a  better 
future  in  the  carriage  road  from  Jaffa  to  Jerusalem,  in  the 
orange  and  olive  groves  of  recent  planting,  in  the  German 
colonies  of  Jaffa,  Haifa  and  Jerusalem,  in  the  fine  houses, 
gardens,  churches,  schools  and  orphanages  which  the  mis- 
sionary zeal  of  foreign  Protestants  has  established  in  Jeru- 
salem, Bethlehem  and  Nazareth.  With  these  hopes  for 
the  future,  we  bid  farewell  to  the  Holy  Land  and 

314  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

"Those  fields, 
Over  whose  acres  walked  those  blessed  feet 
Which,  eighteen  centuries  ago,  were  nailed, 
For  our  advantage,  to  the  bitter  cross." 

Since  these  words  were  written,  new  signs  of  Western 
civilization  have  appeared.  The  railroad  from  Jaffa  to 
Jerusalem  has  been  built  and  others  surveyed  or  con- 
structed from  the  coast  leading  back  to  the  east,  Jerusalem 
has  been  lighted  with  electricity  and  American  petroleum 
drives  the  wheels  of  flour  mills  in  the  Holy  City ! 

From  Beirut,  the  itinerary  led  to  Constantinople  and 
Athens.  Dr.  SchafF  s  high  expectations  of  the  imperial 
city  on  the  Bosphorus  were  surpassed  by  the  reality. 
"  No  city  in  the  world  equals  her  in  beauty  of  location  and 
capacity  of  power.  Two  continents  and  two  seas  combine 
to  crown  her  the  queen  of  cities.  She  has  been  great,  but 
she  waits  for  a  still  greater  future."  He  enjoyed  atten- 
tions from  Mr.  Maynard,  the  American  minister,  and 
Eugene  Schuyler,  Secretary  of  Legation.  As  at  Beirut 
and  Cairo,  so  here,  among  his  most  pleasant  experiences 
were  delightful  hours  spent  at  the  Bible  House,  and  at 
Robert  College  with  his  friends  President  Washburn  and 
Dr.  Long.  In  addressing  the  college  students  he  ex- 
pressed the  opinion  that  while  "  the  American  mission  in 
Turkey  has  done  much  in  the  past,  a  much  greater  work 
is  before  it  in  the  future." 

From  Athens,  he  wrote  :  — 

Thirty-five  years  ago,  when  fresh  from  the  reading  of 
the  classics,  I  would  have  gone  into  raptures  over  the  first 
sight  of  Athens,  the  eye  of  Greece,  the  mother  of  philoso- 
phy and  art,  the  home  of  Socrates.  The  Acropolis  is  a 
cluster  of  ruins,  but  these  ruins  still  reflect  the  highest 
triumph  of  art.  The  Academy  in  the  olive  grove  on  the 
banks  of  the  Kephissus  is  forsaken,  but  Plato  still  teaches. 
No  crowds  assemble  on  the  Pnyx,  but  Demosthenes  still 
inspires  by  his  eloquence.     What  was  once  good  and  true 


and  beautiful  can  never  die  or  lose  its  hold  upon  the 
mind.  As  long  as  men  philosophize,  they  will  be  elevated 
by  Plato's  ideas  and  regulated  by  Aristotle's  logic.  As 
long  as  they  love  poetry,  they  will  read  Homer,  Pindar 
and  Sophocles.  As  long  as  there  are  architects  and  sculp- 
tors, they  will  look  up  to  Mnesikles  and  Phidias  as  mas- 
ters. .  .  .  Modern  Athens,  though  a  mere  shadow  of  the 
old,  is  a  beautiful  capital,  with  fine  streets  and  about  sixty 
thousand  inhabitants.  This  is  far  behind  ancient  Athens, 
which,  in  the  age  of  Pericles,  had  more  than  ten  thousand 
houses  (according  to  Xenophon),  and  probably  over  one 
hundred  thousand  souls;  but  there  is  a  great  advance 
upon  its  wretched  condition  in  the  last  century,  and  still 
more  beyond  its  utter  dilapidation  after  its  capture  by  the 
Turks  in  the  war  of  Greek  Independence,  when  there  was 
hardly  a  house  standing,  as  the  venerable  Dr.  Hill  (who 
came  here  in  1831)  informs  me.  ...  As  for  the  Are- 
opagus Hill,  it  is  a  rocky  elevation,  separated  from  the 
western  end  of  the  Acropolis  by  the  valley  of  the  Agora. 
Here  was  the  pulpit  of  St.  Paul,  for  the  gospel  of  salva- 
tion from  sin  and  death.  I  was  always  struck  with  the  con- 
summate wisdom  and  skill  of  its  adaptation  to  the  time, 
the  place  and  the  people,  but  I  felt  it  more  keenly  than 
ever  when  I  stood  on  the  spot  and  looked  at  the  surround- 
ings. Here  was  a  wisdom  higher  than  Plato's,  here  an 
eloquence  deeper  and  stronger  than  that  of  Demosthenes, 
as  the  Christ  whom  Paul  preached  is  far  above  the  gods  of 
Greece  and  the  revealed  truths  of  the  resurrection  and  the 
judgment  are  above  the  speculations  of  philosophy. 

The  American  missionary  Dr.  Kalopothakes  was  away 
at  the  time,  but  Dr.  Schaff's  last  evening  in  Athens  was 
spent  at  his  home  in  the  company  of  Mrs.  Kalopothakes, 
"  singing  some  Greek  hymns  to  English  tunes,  reading  the 
seventeenth  chapter  of  Acts  and  offering  prayer."  He 
reached  Western  Europe  by  the  way  of  Venice,  "  the 
most  picturesque  city  in  the  world,  and  a  bridge  between 
the  East  and  the  West." 

Dr.  Schaff's  observations  of  his  Oriental  tour  were  pub- 
lished in  the  volume,   Through  Bible  Lands}     The  testi- 

1  New  York  and  London,  1878.     Several  editions  since. 

316  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

mony  of  Dr.  Henry  H.  Jessup  of  Beirut  to  its  merits  ran 
as  follows  :  "  Those  who  know  most  about  the  lands  of  the 
Bible  will  most  enjoy  this  volume.  It  is  scholarly  and 
practical,  learned  and  yet  genial,  grappling  with  the  knotty 
problems  of  Egyptology  and  topography  with  a  grace 
that  is  really  fascinating  and  commands  the  confidence  of 
the  reader.  Dr.  Schaff  sees  the  old  lands  in  the  light  of 
the  coming  age  of  Christian  civilization  and  evangelical 
life,  and  his  views  of  Eastern  politics  are  marvellously 
sagacious  and  sound." 

Looking  back  upon  this  journey  from  the  ocean  steamer 
which  carried  him,  the  following  August  (1877),  across  the 
Atlantic,  he  thus  expressed  himself  :  — 

The  shadows  of  Meta's  death  followed  us  everywhere, 
but  also  the  God  of  Israel  with  a  pillar  of  fire  by  night 
and  a  pillar  of  cloud  by  day.  At  the  end  of  this,  the 
longest  and  most  instructive  and  most  interesting  journey 
of  my  life,  my  uppermost  feeling  is  of  gratitude  to  my 
heavenly  Father  who  has  accompanied  us  every  step. 
Many  have  been  the  troubles,  vexations  and  disturbances 
of  travel,  but  they  will  soon  be  forgotten  and  the  pleasant 
memories  remain.  I  only  regret  that  I  did  not  visit  the 
Orient  thirty  years  ago,  when  I  might  have  turned  my 
knowledge  to  better  account  than  I  can  expect  to  now. 

In  after  years  it  was  his  custom  to  urge  theological 
students  to  make  the  trip  to  the  East  as  a  part  of  their 
education.  After  saying  that  such  a  visit  is  not  a  condition 
of  high  biblical  scholarship,  as  Augustine,  Calvin,  Bengel, 
Meyer,  Ewald  and  other  great  biblical  scholars  were  never 
there,  his  counsel  was  for  "  every  theological  student,  who 
can  afford  it,  to  complete  his  education  by  a  visit  to  the 
Holy  Land.  It  will  be  of  more  practical  worth  to  him  in 
his  pulpit  labors  than  the  lectures  of  the  professors  a£ 
Oxford  or  Cambridge,  Berlin  or  Leipzig,  valuable  as  these 
may  be."1 

1  Through  Bible  Lands,  p.  15. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  317 



1 877-1 884 

First  Council  of  the  Reformed  Churches  —  Dr.  SchafPs  Address — A  Con- 
sensus Creed  —  Dr.  Muhlenberg  and  Henry  B.  Smith  —  Pius  IX  —  Salt 
Lake  City  and  the  Mormons  —  Yosemite  Valley  —  Dean  Stanley's  Visit 
to  America  —  Berlin  and  Bismarck  —  The  Basel  Conference  of  the  Evan- 
gelical Alliance  —  Tributes  to  Dr.  Adams,  Nathan  Bishop,  Dr.  Washburn 
—  Literary  Work — The  Luther  Celebration  in  1883  —  Ezra  Abbot  — 
Europe  in  1884 — From  Scotland  to  Scandinavia  and  Russia  —  Deaths  of 
Dorner  and  Lange  —  Von  Ranke  —  Conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance 
of  Copenhagen 

Before  returning  to  the  United  States,  Dr.  Schaff 
attended  the  first  Council  of  the  Reformed  churches, 
commonly  called  the  Pan-Presbyterian  Council,  held  in 
Edinburgh,  July,  1877.  Full  as  he  was  of  his  journey  to 
the  East,  he  acted  on  his  return  to  Europe  as  though  his 
mind  were  wholly  absorbed  with  this  meeting.  Reaching 
Switzerland,  he  devoted  himself  to  its  interests,  inviting,  as 
he  had  been  authorized  to  do,  such  representative  Swiss 
and  German  scholars  as  he  chose,  to  take  part  in  its  pro- 

In  London  he  saw,  for  the  first  time,  in  Dean  Stanley's 
study,  a  printed  copy  of  his  Creeds  of  Christendom.  He 
had  carried  the  dean's  Sinai  and  Palestine  in  his  satchel 
through  the  East,  and  it  was  natural  that  he  should  wish 
to  give  him  the  latest  news  from  there.  "Dean  Stanley 
took  me  to  the  House  of  Commons,"  he  wrote.  "  He  has 
no  faith  in  councils,   Presbyterian  or  Episcopal  or  Old- 


Catholic.  They  were  a  mistake  from  the  beginning,"  he 
says.  "  If  there  had  been  no  councils  in  the  old  church, 
we  would  have  no  Eastern  question  now." 

The  end  of  June  found  him  in  Edinburgh  enjoying  the 
"rare  privilege  of  being  in  company  with  Godet  in  the 
comfortable  home  of  his  friend  Sir  Thomas  Clark."  Dr. 
Blaikie  had  written,  urging  him  to  be  on  hand  a  week 
previous  to  the  meeting,  "  for  a  man  is  needed  to  put  life 
into  our  operations  and  you  are  the  man.  Moreover,  the 
sensitive  state  of  feeling  needs  a  man  to  go  between  par- 
ties, who  is  a  stranger  to  all  parties.  You  see  you  know 
every  set  of  people  more  or  less,  and  you  know  who  is 
who  and  what  this  man  and  that  man  can  do  best.  Now, 
my  dear  friend,  I  know  it  would  be  a  sacrifice  to  leave  the 
Swiss  hills  before  you  had  designed  to  do  so,  but  I  am 
quite  sure  that  your  services  on  the  present  occasion  would 
be  simply  invaluable ;  nay,  would  probably  be  the  means 
of  preventing  a  degree  of  confusion  which  would  go  far 
to  wreck  the  whole  undertaking."  Such  was  the  testi- 
mony to  Dr.  Schaff's  mediatorial  relation  between  men  of 
different  theological  schools  and  nationalities. 

Mention  has  already  been  made  of  the  meeting,  prelimi- 
nary to  the  Edinburgh  Council,  held  in  London.1  The 
following  letter  to  Dr.  Dorner  (July  26,  1875)  shows  what 
Dr.  Schaff  hoped  from  the  Alliance :  — 

The  preliminary  meeting  is  over.  We  have  adopted  a 
constitution.  ...  So  the  Reformed  Alliance  is  no  more 
a  pium  desiderium,  but  a  fact  and  a  new  expression  of  the 
idea  of  union  which  is  gradually  breaking  for  itself  new 
paths.  We  have  the  Christian  union  of  individual  believers 
in  the  Evangelical  Alliance  and  now  this  is  a  confederation 
of  churches  of  all  Presbyterian  and  Reformed  bodies.  The 
last  step  would  be  organic  union  in  one  body,  which  will 

!The  history  of  the  origin  of  the  Alliance  is  given  by  Dr.  Blaikie  in  the  Pro- 
ceedings of  the  First  Council  in  Edinburgh. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN 


hardly  appear  till  the  millennium.  But,  in  the  meantime, 
the  Lutheran  churches  should  have  a  Lutheran  Alliance, 
and  the  Episcopalians,  Methodists  and  other  ecclesiastical 
families  should  have  their  alliances.  In  this  way  the  prob- 
lem of  union  would  be  simplified. 

His  interest  in  the  movement  is  shown  by  his  attendance 
upon  all  the  general  councils  except  the  Council  at  Toronto 
just  before  his  death.  He  hoped  for  a  positive  and  tangi- 
ble result  in  some  general  statement  of  common  doctrine 
adapted  to  the  wants  of  the  age,  but  at  this  point  his 
sanguine  temperament  met  with  disappointment.  He  felt 
that  religious  assemblies  and  alliances,  to  have  permanent 
usefulness,  must  do  something  more  than  prepare  and 
listen  to  papers  and  addresses. 

As  between  the  two  schools  of  opinion  represented  in 
the  Alliance,  Dr.  Schaff  was,  as  was  to  be  expected,  a 
prominent  spokesman  in  favor  of  comprehension.  Thus 
he  pleaded  for  a  generous  recognition  of  the  Reformed 
communions  of  Germany  and  Bohemia,  and,  when  the 
question  of  admitting  the  Cumberland  Presbyterians  came 
up  for  discussion,  he  gave  the  weight  of  his  pen  and 
voice  in  their  favor.  A  service  of  a  different  kind  was 
his  part  in  inducing  the  German  Reformed  Church  at 
its  synod  in  1878  to  send  delegates  to  the  Council  in 
Philadelphia.  When  Dr.  Nevin  declined  to  unite  in  the 
original  call,  he  wrote  as  follows  to  Professor  Gerhart 
(March   18,  1874):  — 

I  want  to  ask  you  to  allow  your  name  to  be  used  in  a 
call  for  a  General  Presbyterian  Council  in  which  all  the 
Reformed  churches  will  be  represented  or,  if  you  cannot 
serve,  to  induce  Dr.  Thomas  Apple  or  Dr.  Bausman  to 
do  so.  I  think  it  important  that  the  German  Reformed 
Church  should  be  well  represented.  We  ought  not  to 
isolate  ourselves  from  our  sister  churches  and  neglect 
such  an  opportunity  of  exerting  our  influence  in  the  right 

320  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

The  Council  at  Edinburgh  Dr.  Schaff  hailed  as  an 
omen  of  the  federation  of  the  great  Protestant  families 
of  churches.  The  first  paper  was  his  own,  on  the  Har- 
mony of  the  Reformed  Confessions,1  and  it  did  not  dis- 
appoint the  hope  that  it  might  strike  a  firm  note  and 
give  tone  to  the  whole  meeting.  "  Your  consensus 
paper,"  Dr.  Blaikie  had  written,  "will  do  great  service 
by  bringing  out  the  great  doctrines  of  grace  at  the 
foundation  of  the  creeds  of  Reformed  Christendom.  On 
your  paper  everything  will  depend.  God  grant  it  may 
give  us  a  noble  start."  The  following  is  Dr.  Schaff's 
own  note  of  its  delivery :  "July  4th.  I  got  through  my 
part  in  thirty  minutes.  Professor  Godet  followed  in 
French.  Professor  Krafft's  paper  formulating  the  con- 
sensus was  read.  Thus  three  fellow-students  and  friends 
combine  on  the  same  theme  !  "  On  his  way  to  Edinburgh 
he  had  stopped  at  Bonn  to  compare  his  paper  with  Dr. 

Dr.  Schaff's  recent  protracted  studies  in  the  creeds  of 
Christendom,  for  his  work  on  their  history,  had  especially 
fitted  him  for  the  presentation  of  his  chosen  theme. 
Thus  girded  with  strength,  he  furnished  an  elaborate 
essay  which  for  its  historical  basis,  its  comprehensive 
sweep,  its  charitable  yet  firm  and  independent  tone,  com- 
pares well  with  anything  that  ever  proceeded  from  his 
pen.  It  abounds  in  ringing  statements.  His  best  mood 
was  freely  and  freshly  breathed  into  it.  Dr.  Schaff,  who 
spoke  without  notes,  opened  happily  with  a  reference  to 
Cranmer's  invitation  in  1552  to  leading  Reformers  of  the 
Continent  to  a  conference  in  England,  for  the  purpose  of 

1  The  Harmony  of  the  Reformed  Confessions  as  related  to  the  present  state 
of  Evangelical  Theology,  New  York,  1877.  Also  in  the  British  and  For- 
eign Evangelical  Review  and  in  the  Proceedings  of  the  Council.  See  Dr. 
Schaff's  Christ  and  Christianity,  pp.  153-183. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  321 

framing  an  Evangelical  union  creed,  and  to  Calvin's  reply 
that  for  such  an  object  he  would  willingly  cross  ten  seas 
and  that  no  labor  and  pain  should  be  spared  to  remove 
by  a  scriptural  consensus  the  distractions  among  Chris- 
tians which  he  deplored  as  one  of  the  greatest  of  evils. 
After  stating  the  points  in  which  the  Reformed  con- 
fessions were  in  harmony,  he  called  upon  the  Alliance 
to  formulate  a  doctrinal  consensus,  a  new  confession 
which  would  be  a  statement  of  the  living  faith  of  the 
church  and  a  bond  of  union  among  the  different  branches 
of  the  Reformed  family,  as  the  Apostles'  Creed  is  among 
all  Christians  or  as  King  James'  version  of  the  Scriptures 
is  among  the  English-speaking  denominations.  The  doc- 
trine of  predestination  holds  a  disproportionate  place  in 
the  Calvinistic  system.  Modern  theology  is  not  solifidian 
nor  predestinarian  nor  sacramentarian,  but  Christological. 
The  central  doctrine  around  which  all  others  revolve  is 
not  justification  by  faith,  nor  election  and  reprobation, 
nor  the  mode  of  the  eucharistic  presence,  but  the  great 
mystery  of  God  manifest  in  the  flesh,  the  divine-human 
personality  and  the  atoning  work  of  our  Lord.  The  ad- 
dress concluded  with  a  fervent  appeal  for  Christian  unity 
upon  the  basis  of  personal  union  with  Christ.  No  other 
man  probably  could  have  said  just  such  things  and  others 
like  them  at  the  Council  and  yet  retained  its  respectful 
hearing  and  preserved  the  unity  of  its  parts.  No  one  had 
quite  such  qualifications  as  he,  for  in  Dr.  Schaff' s  person 
Swiss  birth  was  combined  with  American  citizenship  and 
in  him  recognized  historical  learning  was  united  with 
well-known  and  unremitting  efforts  for  Christian  union. 
The  proposition  for  a  consensus  creed  was  met  by  the 
appointment  of  a  committee  on  creeds  and  confessions, 
Dr.  Schaff  being  the  chairman.  Its  report  presented  to 
the  Council  of  the  Alliance  in  Philadelphia  in  1880  —  for 


which  he  also  served  as  chairman  of  the  committee  on 
programme  —  contained  a  large  amount  of  information  se- 
cured from  the  various  Reformed  churches  of  the  world.1 
At  the  third  Council  in  Belfast,  in  1884,  it  was  decided 
to  take  no  further  action.2 

The  Edinburgh  Council  over,  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Schaff  with 
their  daughter  made  a  visit  at  Lochernhead,  at  the  culti- 
vated home  of  Rev.  Eric  Findlater  and  Miss  Jane  Borth- 
wick,  a  friend  of  Mrs.  Heusser  and  the  translator  of  her 
poems,  and  next  turned  their  faces  to  Iona.  At  Obau  Dr. 
Schaff  speaks  of  meeting  the  late  Professor  Blackie,  "  the 
champion  of  Gaelic,  an  eccentric  genius  of  striking  head 
and  white  hair.  If  the  Highlanders  had  a  chance  to  elect 
a  king,  they  would  elect  him.  He  is  certainly  one  of  the 
most  interesting  of  living  scholars  in  Scotland."  The  cele- 
brated island  of  Iona,  the  lonely  retreat  of  St.  Columba, 
furnished  a  profitable  excursion  of  which  he  could  speak 
and  write  with  enthusiasm.3  "  A  good  close  of  this  memo- 
rable trip,',  he  writes,  "  we  made  by  spending  the  last  night 
with  the  Crossfields  at  their  beautiful  and  happy  home  at 
Aiybury,"  and  the  next  day  they  sailed  on  the  Spain,  which 
had  landed  them  at  Liverpool  more  than  eight  months 

Of  two  of  his  more  intimate  New  York  friends  who  had 
been  called  away  by  death  during  his  absence,  he  had  this 
to  say :  "  While  I  was  travelling  in  the  East,  I  was  called 
to  mourn  the  loss  of  two  very  close  friends,  my  colleague, 
Professor  Henry  B.  Smith,  and  the  venerable  Dr.  Muhlen- 
berg, the  founder  of  St.  Luke's  Hospital  and  the  author 
of  ' I  would  not  live  alway.'  I  could  write  many  pages 
of  reminiscences  of  these  distinguished  servants  of  Christ. 

1  Proceedings  of  the  Philadelphia  Council,  pp.  260  sqq. 

2  Proceedings  of  Belfast  Council,  pp.  43  sqq. 

3  As  in  his  History  of  the  Christian  Church,  Vol.  IV.  pp.  65  sqq. 

chap,  xin  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  323 

Dr.  Smith  was  one  of  the  best  scholars  and  metaphysi- 
cians America  has  produced.  Dr.  Muhlenberg  was  cast 
in  the  mould  of  St.  John.  Both  were  broad  churchmen  in 
the  best  sense  of  the  term  —  that  is,  truly  evangelical, 
Catholic,  moderate,  comprehensive,  humble  and  in  hearty 
sympathy  with  all  that  is  pure  and  good  and  Christian." 

At  a  luncheon  given  several  years  before  by  Dr.  William 
Adams  to  Dr.  Muhlenberg,  at  which,  among  others,  Henry 
Ward  Beecher  was  present,  Dr.  Schaff  remarked  to  Dr. 
Muhlenberg,  "  Your  hymn,  *  I  would  not  live  alway,'  makes 
you  immortal."  The  author  replied  that  he  had  an  idea 
it  was  not  just  according  to  the  spirit  of  the  Gospel  and 
then  read  various  changes  which  it  had  occurred  to  him 
to  make.  "  Well,  you  may  not  be  able  to  evangelize  the 
hymn,"  interrupted  Dr.  Adams,  "but  you  cannot  kill  it." 
A  short  time  afterwards  Dr.  Muhlenberg  published  a  little 
volume  entitled,  /  Would  not  Live  Alway \  evangelized  by 
its  Author,  and  bearing  the  dedication  :  "  To  Dr.  Schaff  as 
the  loving  patron  of  my  verses,  this  last  of  them  is  with 
Christian  affection  and  esteem  inscribed  by  his  friend  and 
brother,  William  Augustus  Muhlenberg." 

On  the  first  day  of  1876  Dr.  Schaff,  making  his  last 
New  Year's  call  on  his  venerable  friend  at  St.  Luke's  Hos- 
pital, found  him  lying  upon  his  sofa  very  weak.  His 
silken  white  hair,  thin  features,  transparent  skin  and  bright 
eye  gave  him  an  almost  etherealized  appearance.  As  the 
visitor  was  about  to  leave,  a  memorable  scene  occurred. 
The  saintly  man  arose  clad  in  a  morning  gown  reaching 
to  his  feet.  Dr.  Schaff  said,  "  We  may  not  live  to  greet  one 
another  again  on  a  New  Year's  day  on  earth."  "  Yes,  yes, 
doctor,  that  is  true,"  Dr.  Muhlenberg  replied,  "  but,  whether 
we  live  we  live  unto  the  Lord  and  whether  we  die  we  die 
unto  the  Lord,  whether  we  live  therefore  or  die,  we  are 
the   Lord's."     As  he  said  these  words  he   lifted  up   his 


hands  and,  waving  to  his  visitor  a  farewell,  turned  to  go 
back  to  his  couch,  "  as  a  saint  already  half  within  the  veil," 
as  Dr.  Schaff  remarked  as  we  went  out.  It  was  his  last 
New  Year's  day  on  earth. 

In  the  summer  of  1878,  Dr.  Schaff  made  a  journey  to 
Salt  Lake  City  and  the  Pacific  coast,  presenting  by  the 
way  the  cause  of  Bible  Revision  in  such  cities  as  Cleve- 
land and  Chicago.  The  territory  beyond  the  Missouri 
River  was  new  to  him  and  the  Union  Pacific  was  then  the 
one  road  to  the  Far  West.  Only  three  towns  broke  the 
monotony  of  the  long  stretch  of  three  hundred  miles 
beyond  Kearney  to  the  western  line  of  Nebraska.  The 
entire  western  portion  of  the  state  was  in  the  possession 
of  the  cowboy  and  the  cattle  herds.  We  stopped  at  North 
Platte  that  Dr.  Schaff  might  take  part  in  the  installation 
of  one  of  his  former  students,  the  Rev.  James  A.  Gerhard, 
as  pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  the  sermon  being 
preached  by  another  one  of  his  pupils,  Charles  N.  Cate. 
North  Platte,  then  a  cattle  centre  for  an  extensive  region, 
had  two  thousand  inhabitants,  but  not  a  tree,  except  two  or 
three,  planted  as  an  experiment  in  earth  brought  from  a 
distance.  Dr.  Schaff  seemed  to  manifest  as  much  interest 
in  discovering  the  secrets  of  the  cattle  business  and  the 
life  of  the  cowboys  as  if  he  were  studying  a  period  of 
church  history  or  visiting  Iona  or  Philae. 

At  Ogden,  where  our  cars  were  coupled  to  a  typical 
train  of  Mormon  immigrants,  he  came  into  contact,  for  the 
first  time,  with  the  "  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter- 
Day  Saints."  The  immigrants,  three  hundred  and  sixty  in 
number,  hailed  for  the  most  part  from  Scandinavia  and 
England.  Those  were  still  the  days  when  the  Mormons 
were  all-powerful  in  Deseret,  the  El  Dorado  where,  as 
Dr.  Schaff  used  to  say,  the  saints  are  sinners  and  the  sin- 
ners are  saints.     Whatever  may  be  thought  of   the  gold 

chap,  xm  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  325 

plates  which  Joseph  Smith  swore  he  discovered  in  1829 
purporting  to  have  been  written  by  "  the  hand  of  Mormon 
upon  plates  taken  from  the  plates  of  Nephi,"  there  has 
been  but  one  opinion  about  the  beauty  of  the  Mormons' 
heritage  in  Utah.  The  biblical  names  which  a  rude 
piety  has  fixed  upon  many  of  the  chief  localities  inten- 
sifies, or  creates,  the  impression  of  resemblance  between 
the  natural  features  of  Utah  and  Palestine.  Dr.  Schaff 
attended  the  service  at  the  Tabernacle  and  heard  three 
sermons,  by  a  bishop,  the  apostle  Wilford  Woodruff  and 
the  president,  John  Taylor.  The  first  speaker  said  "he 
had  nothing  special  on  his  mind  (his  looks  bearing  him 
out),  but  he  spoke  nevertheless  for  half  an  hour.  He 
praised  the  sermon  of  the  previous  Sabbath  by  Orson  Pratt, 
who  is  said  to  be  able  to  read  the  Greek  Testament  (the 
only  one  in  the  Mormon  Church)  and  declared  to  be 
mighty  in  the  interpretation  of  the  prophecies.  All  three 
addresses  were  quite  ordinary,  and  magnified  the  perse- 
cutions against  Joseph  Smith  and  the  prosperity  of  the 

His  general  impression  of  the  people  and  religion  of 
Utah  he  gave  in  these  words :  — 

The  Mormons  dress  and  look  like  other  people  and  pre- 
sent the  aspect  of  an  industrious,  temperate  and  pros- 
perous community.  I  have  seen  as  healthy  children  here 
in  Salt  Lake  City,  as  anywhere.  I  am  told  that  the 
women  are  even  fanatical  upholders  of  polygamy  and 
often  urge  their  husbands  to  get  additional  partners. 
This,  however,  is  so  contrary  to  nature  as  hardly  to  be 
credible.  Considering  that  the  city  is  the  product  of  one 
generation  of  poor  immigrants,  we  must  marvel  at  the 
skill  and  industry  which  have  accomplished  so  much. 
Even  a  bad  religion  seems  to  be  better  than  none  at  all. 
Brigham  Young  was  in  his  way  a  sort  of  Bismarck,  but 
rude  and  despotic.  .  .  .  The  system  of  Mormonism  is  a 
singular  compound.  If  Mohammedanism  is  an  eclectic 
religion,  Mormonism  is  much  more  so.     It  is  monotheistic 


but  ascribes  to  God  a  human  body  and  passions.  It 
teaches  the  preexistence  of  the  soul.  It  practises  immer- 
sion, rejects  infant  baptism  and  teaches  vicarious  baptism 
and  baptism  for  the  dead.  Mormons  believe  in  the  con- 
tinuance of  miraculous  gifts.  They  have  a  complete  hie- 
rarchy and  expect  the  speedy  coming  of  Christ  and  His 
millennial  reign  on  the  earth.  However,  with  these  doc- 
trines and  practices,  they  enjoin  honesty,  industry  and 
strict  abstinence  from  intoxicating  drinks  and  tobacco^  but 
encourage  polygamy  and  sanction  dancing  and  theatricals 
under  the  supervision  of  the  church. 

Reaching  San  Francisco,  he  preached  on  the  Revision 
of  the  Bible  to  some  of  the  leading  Congregational  and 
Presbyterian  congregations  of  the  city.  Thus  the  churches 
on  the  far  Pacific  slope  were  joined  with  the  churches  of 
the  Central  and  Atlantic  states  in  furthering  that  cause 
by  their  gifts.  These  engagements  and  the  strain  of  social 
pleasures  and  sight-seeing,  it  might  be  supposed,  would 
have  been  enough  to  occupy  his  attention  in  San  Francisco. 
But  it  was  not  so.  He  notes  that  he  borrowed  books  from 
Dr.  Scott  on  the  Dead  Sea,  read  Lynch's  account  of  his 
expedition  and  collected  materials  for  a  chapter  in  his 
Through  Bible  Lands. 

The  goal  of  tourists  to  the  Pacific  coast  in  those  days 
was  the  Yosemite  valley,  as  Alaska  is  now.  On  his  trip 
thither,  the  ride  of  seventy  miles  by  stage  from  Merced 
to  Big  Tree  station,  taken  in  company  with  his  friend,  the 
Rev.  Dr.  Theodore  L.  Cuyler,  Dr.  Schaff  pronounced,  in 
spite  of  his  experiences  in  the  Orient,  to  be  "  the  dustiest, 
hottest  and  dullest  ride  he  could  remember,  but  relieved 
by  Dr.  Cuyler' s  good  humor  and  lively  stories.  The  trees 
of  the  Yosemite,  the  Methuselahs  among  trees,  reminded 
me  of  the  Antediluvian  age."  He  missed  the  sublimity 
and  variety  of  the  glaciers  and  the  everlasting  snow,  the 
lakes,  the  invigorating  air,  and  the  people  of  Switzerland. 
But  "it  surpasses  Switzerland,"  he  wrote,  "in  the  number 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  327 

and  the  height  of  the  waterfalls,  and  the  churchly  archi- 
tecture of  its'  rock  masses.  It  is  decidedly  High-Church, 
not  Broad-Church,  has  spires,  domes,  arches,  a  cathedral  cut 
in  the  solid  granite,  by  nature's  own  architect.  The  valley 
is  narrow  and  exclusive.  But  the  panorama  will  continue 
in  my  memory  as  a  thing  by  itself.  Everything  is  beauti- 
ful in  its  own  order.  On  the  Sabbath  Dr.  Cuyler  preached 
us  an  appropriate  sermon  on  the  journey  of  life."  On 
the  return  journey,  Dr.  Schaff  continued  to  present  the 
cause  of  Bible  Revision  in  such  places  as  Colorado  Springs 
and  Kansas  City,  where  he  was  piloted  about  by  that 
nestor  of  Presbyterian  missions  in  the  state  of  Kansas, 
Dr.  Timothy  Hill. 

The  event  of  the  earlier  part  of  the  year  1878  had  been 
the  death  of  Pius  IX.  Dr.  Schaff  remarked  that  "  infal- 
libility is  suspended  till  the  next  pope  is  elected.  What  a 
rich  piece  of  history  is  just  now  closing  simultaneously 
with  the  solution  of  the  Eastern  problem!  "  As  a  result  of 
his  observation  in  Constantinople  he  had  supposed  that 
Muradh,  the  brother  and  predecessor  of  the  present  sultan, 
was  to  be  the  last  of  the  sultans.  One  of  the  chief  events 
in  the  latter  part  of  the  year,  in  the  literary  and  ecclesiastical 
circles  of  New  York  and  in  the  personal  life  of  Dr.  Schaff, 
was  the  visit  of  Dean  Stanley.  Among  all  the  distin- 
guished men  of  the  Church  of  England,  probably  no 
one  would  have  received  a  more  cordial  welcome  than 
he.  Known  in  America  for  his  scholarly  writings  and 
independent  and  liberal  views  in  the  department  of  eccle- 
siology,  he  had  become  endeared  to  a  still  larger  constitu- 
ency by  his  liberal  use  of  the  pulpit  and  mural  spaces  of 
Westminster  Abbey.  Dr.  Schaff  was  probably  his  oldest 
friend  in  America,  having  met  him  in  Oxford  in  1844. 
On  the  dean's  first  visit  to  New  York,  September  27,  the 
Bible  Revision  Committee  was  having  its  monthly  session. 

328  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1878 

It  was  most  fitting  that  he  should  meet  the  American 
Revisers,  himself  the  first  to  open  official  correspondence 
with  Dr.  Schaff  on  American  cooperation  and  one  of  its 
most  strenuous  advocates  at  a  time  when  such  cooperation 
was  seriously  imperilled.  At  a  luncheon  given  by  Dr. 
Schaff,  addresses  were  made  by  representatives  of  differ- 
ent communions  :  Drs.  Woolsey,  Crosby,  Strong  and  Ken- 
drick  of  the  American  committee,  and  by  Dr.  Washburn, 
whom  on  this  occasion  Dr.  Schaff  introduced  as  "the 
Stanley  of  the  American  Church."  He  then  called  upon 
the  member  of  the  committee  belonging  to  a  denomination 
"  whose  eloquence  is  often  silence,  and  whose  modesty 
we  perhaps  might  best  honor  by  a  little  pause,  remember- 
ing the  time  when  there  was  silence  in  heaven  for  half  an 
hour."  Thereupon  President  Chase,  the  Quaker  member 
of  the  committee,  arose  and,  addressing  the  guest,  said,  "  I 
welcome  thee  as  a  friend."  To  this  the  dean  instantly  re- 
plied, "  We  are  all  Friends  here."  The  dean,  in  a  graceful 
response,  said  he  regarded  the  Revision  work  as  of  the 
utmost  importance  not  only  in  its  bearing  on  the  improve- 
ment of  the  English  Bible,  but  in  its  indirect  effect  upon 
a  closer  union  of  the  different  denominations  of  English- 
speaking  Christians.  Such  a  cooperation  of  scholars 
from  two  countries  was  a  unique  phenomenon  in  church 
history  and  it  inaugurated  a  new  era  in  the  inter-denomi- 
national relations  of  England  and  America. 

The  dean's  frequent  addresses  at  all  kinds  of  gatherings 
showed  to  the  best  advantage  his  tolerant  churchmanship, 
and  his  readiness  in  adapting  himself  to  occasions.  His 
successor,  Dr.  Bradley,  in  a  letter  to  Dr.  Schaff  (Oct.  7, 
1888),  said  well  of  his  Addresses  and  Sermons  in  America, 
that  "if  everything  else  was  lost,  his  American  volume 
would  preserve  a  real  specimen  of  what  he  was." 

The  length  of  Dr.  Schaff  s  notes  attests  the  interest 

chap,  xin  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  329 

he  felt  in  Stanley's  visit.  In  accepting  Dr.  Tiffany's  in- 
vitation to  the  reception  given  to  him  by  the  Methodist 
bishops  and  clergy,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote :  "Were  John  Wesley 
living  now,  Dean  Stanley  would  invite  him  to  preach  in 
Westminster  Abbey  and  he  would  thereby  honor  himself  as 
much  as  the  great  apostle  of  Methodism."  Of  a  sermon 
preached  in  Trinity  Church,  he  has  this  to  say :  "  Stanley 
preached  a  bold,  Broad-Church  sermon  this  morning  (No- 
vember 1),  telling  the  straight-laced  High-Churchmen  that 
there  were  four  churches  as  good  as  theirs,  the  Greek 
Church,  which  handed  down  our  old  creeds,  the  Latin, 
which  Christianized  anjl  civilized  our  forefathers,  the 
Lutheran,  which  searched  out  the  Scriptures,  and  the 
Calvinistic  or  Reformed,  which  quickened  the  individual 
conscience  and  promoted  civil  and  religious  liberty." 

At  a  breakfast  given  by  the  Episcopal  clergymen  to  the 
dean  at  the  Union  League  Club,  Dr.  Storrs  and  Dr.  Schaff, 
representing  non-Episcopal  catholicity,  made  addresses. 
"I  mentioned"  he  says,  "four  characteristic  features  of 
true  Broad-Churchism,  —  moderation,  comprehensiveness, 
charity  and  humility,  growing  out  of  the  sense  of  the 
littleness  of  our  minds  compared  with  the  infinite  ocean 
of  divine  truth,  and  closed  with  a  reference  to  Dr.  Muhlen- 

The  following  day,  Dr.  Schaff,  in  company  with  Dr. 
Theodore  L.  Cuyler  and  Dr.  Henry  M.  Field,  accom- 
panied the  dean  on  a  pilgrimage  to  Greenwood  Cemetery 
to  visit  the  grave  of  Dr.  Edward  Robinson.  "  This  was  a 
most  interesting  and  touching  visit,"  he  notes,  "of  four 
mourners  to  the  grave  of  that  eminent  scholar  to  whom 
Stanley  paid  such  a  graceful  tribute  in  Union  Seminary.1 

1  He  said,  among  other  things,  that  Dr.  Robinson's  Biblical  Researches  was 
one  of  the  few  books  he  had  read  through  word  for  word.  Dr.  Schaff  made 
a  happy  reply  to  the  dean's  address  on  that  occasion.     On  his  way  to  the 

330  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1879 

Dr.  Robinson's  son  and  daughter  were  there  by  appoint- 
ment to  meet  us.  After  looking  at  the  simple  granite 
monument,  the  dean  exclaimed,  'That  granite  crown  is 
simple  solidity,  just  like  the  man  himself.'  "  From  there, 
the  party  went  to  the  grave  of  Dr.  Cuyler's  little  boy, 
George,  whose  death  was  the  occasion  of  that  book  of 
comfort  to  the  bereaved,  The  Empty  Crib. 

In  the  summer  of  1879,  Dr.  Schaff  attended  the  con- 
ference of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  at  Basel,  and  spent 
several  months  in  Scotland  and  England  convening  the 
committee  on  the  Consensus  of  the  Reformed  Confessions 
and  attending  to  matters  connected  with  the  American 
cooperation  in  Bible  Revision.  He  was  present  at  the 
meetings  of  the  English  New  Testament  Company,  and 
lunched  with  the  Revisers.  He  notes  in  his  journal :  "  The 
American  corrections  on  the  Gospels  are  pronounced  by 
Bishop  Ellicott,  Dr.  Scrivener  and  others  exceedingly 
valuable  and  accurate.  '  Hades  '  is  adopted,  '  devils  '  and 
'penny'  retained."  At  Durham  he  visited  Bishop  Light- 
foot  and  went  with  him  to  Oxford,  at  the  time  the  bishop 
was  honored  with  the  degree  of  D.C.L.  Again  he  met 
Dr.  Pusey,  finding  him  "a  venerable  mummy,  deaf,  un- 
shaven, complaining  of  the  wave  of  rationalism  and  agnos- 
ticism ;  still  hoping  and  trusting  in  Anglo-Catholicism  as 
the  via  media." 

He  delivered  the  address  at  the  closing  exercises  of  the 
Baptist  College,  Regent's  Park.  After  spending  some 
days  as  a  guest  of  the  Bishop  of  Winchester,  he  writes, 
July  10:  "I  had  to-day  the  last  and  most  pleasant  confer- 
ence with  the  Old  and  New  Testament  Revision  Com- 
panies now  in   session   in  Westminster    Deanery.     They 

cemetery  the  clean  told  a  new  anecdote  :  He  had  attended  a  colored  service 
in  Philadelphia  where  the  preacher  declared  that  "  the  Gospel  was  true,  no 
matter  what  Tom  Paine  or  Dean  Alford  might  say  about  it." 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  331 

were  exceedingly  kind  and  spoke  more  highly  than  ever  of 
the  value  of  American  cooperation  in  this  great  work.  I 
feel  especially  grateful  to  our  heavenly  Father  for  this 
last  interview  and  carry  home  with  me  the  kindest  feelings 
and  salutations  of  the  British  Revisers." 

Passing  to  Berlin  he  found  Dr.  Dorner  "  aging  fast,  his 
Dogma tik  just  published,  and  Weiss  whose  lectures  on 
John  are  well  attended  and  very  thorough,  Dillmann  lect- 
uring on  Isaiah  and  rather  dry,  and  Piper  and  his  sister 
reminding  me  of  Neander  and  Hannchen."  A  passing 
journal  note,  at  this  point,  concisely  makes  the  comparison 
between  the  theological  teaching  in  the  United  States 
with  that  in  Germany  as  it  lay  in  Dr.  Schaff's  mind. 
"  Theology  as  a  theoretical  science  is  no  doubt  carried 
much  further  in  Germany  than  in  England  and  America, 
with  boundless  freedom  of  research  for  truth  as  such, 
while  with  us  theology  is  a  daughter  of  the  church  and 
better  adapted  for  its  practical  uses." 

At  a  visit  on  General  Superintendent  Buchsel,  who  was 
made  Doctor  of  Divinity  by  Berlin  University  at  the  same 
time  as  himself,  in  1854,  he  heard  a  number  of  interesting 
anecdotes  of  Bismarck.  "  You  think,  like  others,"  the  chan- 
cellor said  to  Buchsel,  "  that  I  am  very  wise.  But  that  is 
not  true.  I  first  seek  to  find  out  the  will  of  Providence  by 
prayer  and  then  I  hobble  after.  Otherwise  I  would  make 
silly  mistakes  and  do  much  harm."  "  Bismarck's  aims  are 
good,"  said  the  famous  parliamentarian  Dr.  Windhorst  to 
Buchsel,  "  as  also  are  the  aims  of  Falk,  but  the  May  laws 
have  helped  the  Catholic  Church  and  hurt  the  Protestants. 
No  man  in  Europe  has  helped  the  Catholic  Church  so 
much  as  Bismarck.  First,  he  expelled  the  Jesuits  and  so  has 
Jesuitized  the  whole  church.  Second,  he  sought  to  break 
the  power  of  the  pope  and  no  pope  has  ever  been  so 
popular  in  Germany  as   Pius    IX.      Third,  he   gave   the 

332  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1879 

quietus  to  the  Old-Catholic  movement  which  represented 
elements  of  truth  and  might  otherwise  have  seriously 
damaged  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  but  the  May  laws 
made  it  impossible  for  any  decent  Catholic  to  go  over  to 
the  Old-Catholics." 

After  meeting  Bismarck  a  few  weeks  later  at  Kissingen, 
Dr.  Schaff  wrote :  — 

His  herculean  frame,  massive  head  and  commanding 
eye  indicate  a  man  of  extraordinary  dimensions.  Force, 
dignity  and  self-repose  reside  under  his  brow.  He  is  the 
greatest  statesman  of  the  age,  a  man  of  Providence,  a  sort 
of  political  Luther.  His  achievements  will  assign  him 
the  first  place  among  German  statesmen,  as  Emperor  Will- 
iam will  figure  in  history  as  the  first  of  all  its  emperors 
and  von  Moltke,  the  thinker  of  battles,  as  the  ablest  of 
its  generals.  Such  a  combination  of  genius  and  success  as 
was  exhibited  by  this  trio  in  two  wars  has  never  before 
been  seen.  Bismarck  seldom  goes  to  church,  but  he  is  a 
Christian  man.1  He  reads  the  New  Testament  and  the 
collection  of  daily  texts,  annually  issued  by  the  Moravian 

Proceeding  to  Bohemia  and  to  Pesth,  he  visited  the 
Protestant  congregations  in  the  interest  of  the  Alliance  of 
Reformed  churches.  At  that  time  a  wave  of  persecution 
was  passing  over  them  and  at  the  Basel  conference  of  the 
Evangelical  Alliance,  which  met  August  31,  he  secured  the 
appointment  of  a  committee  to  advocate  their  cause  before 
the  emperor  of  Austria.  This  conference  of  the  Alliance 
Dr.  Schaff  pronounced  second  only  to  the  conference  held 
in  New  York  both  for  the  public  interest  and  hospitality 
it  called  forth  and  the  ability  of  the  papers  presented. 
"Altogether,"  he  writes,  "the  Alliance  was  worth  a  trip 
to  Europe."     He  took  an  active  part  in  the  proceedings 

1  Dr.  Kogel,  then  court-preacher  at  Berlin,  said  to  me  a  few  years  after 
this:  "Bismarck  is  christlich  (Christian),  but  not  kirchlich  (churchly,  not  a 
\  churchman)  ;  von  Moltke  is  christlich  und kirchlich" 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  333 

and  presented  a  paper  on  the  state  of  Christianity  in  the 
United  States.1  Among  other  American  delegates  present 
were  Drs.  John  Hall,  E.  A.  Washburn,  Charles  A.  Stod- 
dard, Bishop  Hurst,  then  president  of  Drew  Seminary, 
and  Dr.  Scovel,  president  of  Wooster  University.  Not 
less  than  two  thousand  guests  and  delegates  from  abroad 
were  present  and  the  places  of  meeting  were  crowded 
to  overflowing  from  morning  till  night.  Bismarck  gave 
the  German  delegates  free  passes  over  the  Alsace  and 
Lorraine  railroad  on  their  return  from  Basel  to  their 

After  spending  the  last  hours  of  the  year  1879  at  a 
watch-night  service  in  St.  Paul's  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  with  Dr.  Tiffany,  the  pastor,  Dr.  Crosby,  Dr.  Will- 
iam M.  Taylor  and  others,  to  pray  the  old  year  out  and  to 
welcome  the  new  year  in,  he  wrote :  — 

This  day  closes  my  sixtieth  year.  I  feel  that  I  have 
reached  the  height  of  my  activity,  and  cannot  look  for 
many  more  years  of  labor.  The  day  is  far  spent,  the 
night  is  approaching.  But  as  long  as  I  live  and  God  gives 
me  strength,  I  mean  to  work  and  to  toil,  to  teach  and  to 
write.  I  cannot  be  sufficiently  thankful  that  the  Lord  has 
given  me  useful  work  to  do.  Time  is  becoming  more 
precious  every  day.  The  less  of  it  there  is  ahead,  the  more 
precious  it  seems.  The  nearer  the  end  of  the  journey  we 
are,  the  greater  the  speed  we  try  to  make.  Time  is  money, 
yea,  more  than  money.  "I  have  no  time  to  make  money," 
said  my  countryman,  Professor  Louis  Agassiz.  A  noble 
word  worth  remembering  in  this  age  of  feverish  chase 
after  wealth.  I  spoke  with  him  on  this  very  subject  when 
I  saw  him  twenty  years  ago  in  Cambridge.  I  must  hurry 
if  I  am  to  finish  what  work  I  have  yet  to  do  in  this  world. 

In  the  spring  of  1880,  he  presented  the  cause  of  Bible 
Revision   at   the  General  Assembly  of   the  Presbyterian 

1  See  Proceedings  of  Basel  Conference,  pp.  79-101,  also  the  Princeton 
Review,  September,  1879. 


334  THE  UFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1880 

Church  in  Madison,  Wisconsin,  which  he  attended  as  a 
commissioner.  Stepping  beyond  ecclesiastical  lines  he 
found  Archbishop  Henni  of  the  Catholic  Church,  a 
fellow-countryman  and  a  native  of  the  same  canton, 
Graubiindten,  "lying  on  his  sick-bed,  very  old  and  very 
feeble,  but  very  kind  and  agreeable."  This  visit  might 
have  recalled  a  visit  upon  Archbishop  Purcell  of  Cincin- 
nati a  few  years  previous,  in  the  interest  of  the  Sabbath 
cause,  of  which  he  wrote :  "  The  archbishop  received  me 
very  courteously  and  assured  me  that  he  would  cooperate 
for  the  restoration  of  the  civil  Sabbath  and  the  execution 
of  the  Sunday  laws.  I  told  him  an  anecdote  of  Pius  VII 
in  an  interview  with  Napoleon  and  his  unconditional  trust 
in  the  blood  of  Christ  as  the  only  ground  of  salvation.  He 
remarked  that  fortunately  in  this  we  agreed.  He  took  me 
to  the  cathedral  and  inside  the  chancel,  where  we  heard  a 
sound  sermon  on  Christ's  power  and  willingness  to  save 

The  years  were  making  large  inroads  upon  the  circle 
of  Dr.  SchafF s  friendships  at  home  and  abroad.  To  Dr. 
William  Adams  and  Nathan  Bishop  who  died  in  1880,  and 
Dr.  E.  A.  Washburn  who  died  a  few  months  later,  his 
Personal  Reminiscences  pay  tributes  which  testify  to  the 
comprehension  of  his  mind  and  heart. 

Dr.  Adams  was  a  prince  among  men,  tall,  handsome, 
highly  cultured,  eloquent,  refined  and  faultless  in  dress 
and  in  his  sense  of  propriety,  courteous,  sympathetic, 
symmetrical.  He  was  an  aristocrat,  but  in  the  best  sense 
of  the  word.  His  force  lay  in  his  personal  character  and 
the  ensemble  of  virtues  and  graces.  He  was  greater  than 
anything  he  wrote  or  did,  and  yet  he  did  a  great  deal  as 
preacher,  pastor  and  professor.  With  what  uniform  cour- 
tesy, dignity  and  kindness  he  presided  at  our  faculty  meet- 
ings at  Union  Seminary !  How  deep  and  active  was  his 
interest  in  the  welfare  of  the  institution  and  of  every  stu- 
dent, especially  the  poor  and  struggling  students !     I  saw 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  335 

him  a  few  days  before  his  death  at  Orange  Mountain  when 
confined  to  bed  and  waiting  for  the  great  change.  His  last 
words  to  me  were,  "  Remember  me  to  your  family,  to  my 
colleagues,  to  the  students  and  brethren  of  Chi  Alpha,"  a 
clerical  circle  of  which  he  was  the  chief  ornament.  Then 
he  drew  me  to  himself  and  gave  me  a  kiss  of  farewell. 

Nathan  Bishop  was  a  Baptist,  but  of  the  most  liberal 
sympathies  for  every  good  work  in  every  denomination,  a 
genuine  Christian  philanthropist  who  spent  the  latter  part 
of  his  life  in  active  and  unselfish  benevolence,  as  officer  or 
manager  of  many  societies  without  salary.  While  secre- 
tary of  the  New  York  Sabbath  Committee  I  saw  him  and 
Mr.  Norman  White,  the  worthy  and  judicious  chairman, 
almost  daily.  My  last  official  connection  with  him  was 
in  the  work  of  Bible  Revision.  He  took  a  great  interest 
in  that  work  and  was  a  most  liberal  contributor  to  its 
expenses.  When  we  organized  the  finance  committee  of 
laymen,  he  was  elected  chairman.  Hearing  of  his  serious 
illness,  I  went  to  Saratoga  two  days  before  his  death  to 
see  him.  I  found  him  in  great  physical  pain  but  serene 
in  mind,  with  his  faith  firmly  fixed  on  Christ.  He  never 
sought  notoriety,  cared  nothing  for  fame  and  delighted  in 
doing  good  for  the  sake  of  doing  good.  He  was  a  truly 
good  man,  and  although  his  name  will  not  be  recorded  on 
the  pages  of  history,  it  is  written  in  the  hidden  book  of  life 
which  shall  be  opened  on  the  great  day  of  account.  .  .  . 

With  Dr.  Washburn  I  became  acquainted  thirty  years 
ago  in  the  study  of  Dr.  Muhlenberg.  He  was  then  a  rising 
man  in  the  Episcopal  Church  and  attracted  my  admiration 
by  his  brilliant  mind,  his  knowledge  of  German  theology 
and  philosophy,  his  independent  views  and  his  gentlemanly 
culture.  He  became  a  leading  minister  in  his  church  and 
had  no  superior  and  few  equals  in  ability.  High-Church- 
men and  Low-Churchmen  disliked  or  abhorred  his  liber- 
ality, but  admired  the  man  and  his  fearless  independence. 
He  was  a  charming  friend,  and  I  spent  many  happy  hours 
with  him  in  his  study  and  in  my  own  and  also  in  travelling 
abroad.  We  were  delegates  together  in  1871  to  the  czar 
whose  assassination  is  just  now  filling  all  the  newspapers 
(March,  1881).  The  emancipator  of  twenty-three  millions 
of  slaves  deserved  a  better  end.  Alexander  II  will  stand 
well  in  history  as  one  of  the  best  of  Russian  emperors. 
I  induced  Dr.  Washburn  to  become  one  of  the  honorary 


secretaries  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance.  He  aided  me  in 
the  American  Lange,  contributed  some  choice  translations 
of  Latin  hymns  (as  Pone  luctum,  Magdalend)  to  my  Christ 
in  Song,  and  was  of  essential  service  to  me  when  I  organ- 
ized the  American  Revision  Committee.  I  naturally  con- 
sulted him  in  the  selection  of  the  Revisers  from  the 
Episcopal  Church.  He  himself  was  an  active  member  of 
the  committee,  a  good  Greek  scholar,  a  keen  critic  and  an 
excellent  judge  of  good  old  English. 

In  this  period  he  added  to  his  preparation  of  volumes 
of  his  Church  History  and  his  Creeds  of  Christendom,  the 
preparation  of  the  Companion  to  the  Greek  New  Testament 
and  the  English  Version}  and  the  Encyclopedia  of  Reli- 
gious Knowledge,  commonly  known  as  the  Schaff-Herzog 
Encyclopaedia.2  The  opinion  having  been  expressed  that 
the  Companion  was  "  Dr.  Schaff' s  best  book,"  the  author 
wrote  in  his  private  notes :  "  This  is  strange,  and  I  hope  it 
is  not  true.  At  all  events,  my  Church  History  and  Creeds 
of  Christendom  cost  me  a  great  deal  more  labor.  It  is, 
however,  the  best  service  I  could  render  to  the  Revision 
Committee  and  the  cause  it  has  had  in  hand  for  the  last 
thirteen  years."  The  work  discusses  the  language  and 
manuscripts  of  the  New  Testament,  the  ancient  versions, 
the  printed  editions  and  the  history  of  the  authorized  and 
revised  English  translations. 

The  reproduction  of  Herzog's  Real-Encyclopcedie,  long 
contemplated  by  the  American  editor,  was  for  the  most 
part  made  from  the  second  edition  of  the  original  work. 
It  was  the  editor's  plan  to  give  in  condensed  form  the 
information  contained  in  the  original  work,  introduce  new 

1  New  York,  1883,  and  since. 

2  A  Religious  Encyclopedia,  based  on  the  Real-Encyclopcedie  of  Herzog, 
Plitt  and  Hauck,  Philip  Schaff,  editor;  Prof.  Samuel  M.  Jackson,  D.D.,  LL.D., 
and  Prof.  D.  S.  Schaff,  D.D.,  associate  editors,  3  vols.,  New  York,  1882- 
1884;  subsequently  in  4  vols,  by  the  incorporation  of  the  Encyclopedia  of 
Living  Divines. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  337 

articles  of  interest  to  the  English  reader  and  present  the 
Anglo-American  standpoint  at  the  side  of  the  German. 
He  said,  "It  is  simply  impossible  to  make  an  encyclo- 
paedia of  one  country  and  one  people  answer  the  wants 
of  another  without  serious  changes  and  modifications." 
His  training  for  the  editorial  management  of  such  a  work 
was  exceptional.  He  had  been  identified  with  the  Ger- 
man original  from  its  inception,  having  written  for  both  the 
first  and  second  editions  articles  on  Savonarola,  Tertullian 
and  the  United  States  and  on  other  subjects.  He  had 
been  a  contributor  to  the  Theological  Encyclopedia  edited 
by  McClintock  and  Strong  and  to  Smith's  Dictionaries  of 
the  Bible,  Christian  Antiquities  and  Christian  Biography. 
He  had  served  on  the  editorial  staff  of  Johnson's  Universal 
Encyclopedia  and  had  edited  the  Bible  Dictionary,  published 
by  the  Sunday  School  Union. 

Careful  and  painstaking  as  his  literary  work  was,  Dr. 
Schaff  was  not  a  scholastic  cramped  within  professional 
grooves.  Movements  looking  toward  the  diffusion  of  know- 
ledge among  the  people  and  the  new  methods,  which  popu- 
larized learning,  engaged  his  active  sympathy.  To  the 
summer  school  at  Lake  Chautauqua,  which  owes  its  origin 
and  success  to  Bishop  Vincent  of  the  Methodist  Church, 
he  gave  the  encouragement  of  his  voice  and  presence. 
He  began  in  1881  lecturing  at  Chautauqua,  which  he 
called  at  that  time  "a  Methodist  camp-meeting  turned 
into  a  summer  university."  A  few  years  later,  we  find 
him  as  far  west  as  Ottawa,  Kansas,  lecturing  before  a 
daughter  of  this  mother  assembly. 

Into  the  celebration  of  the  four  hundredth  anniversary 
of  Luther's  birth  in  the  autumn  of  1883  he  threw  all  his 
enthusiasm.  The  occasion  aroused  scarcely  less  interest 
among  people  of  English  antecedents  than  those  of  Ger- 
man descent.     From  innumerable  pulpits  and  platforms 

338  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1883 

attention  was  called  to  the  Reformer's  bold  and  stalwart 
presence  and  splendid  services.  It  was  characteristic  of 
the  divergent  paths  which  the  two  friends  took  that  while 
they  both  addressed  mass  meetings  in  German  at  Stein- 
way  Hall,  the  one  addressed  by  Dr.  William  J.  Mann 
was  convened  under  the  auspices  of  the  Lutherans,  that 
addressed  by  Dr.  Schaff  was  convened  without  respect  to 
denominational  affiliations. 

Union  Seminary  also  commemorated  the  occasion,  the 
professors  making  addresses  on  various  aspects  of  the 
Reformer's  personality  and  career.  He  wrote  to  a  son  : 
"What  a  testimony  this  year  is  bearing  to  Luther  and 
the  Reformation !  There  is  nothing  like  it  in  all  church 
history.  So  very  human  and  many-sided  is  he  that  Luther 
appeals  to  universal  sympathies  more  than  all  the  other 
Reformers  combined."  He  used  to  emphasize  Dollinger's 
eulogy  that  Luther  had  given  to  his  people  what  no  other 
one  man  had  ever  done,  three  books  of  fundamental  im- 
portance, the  Bible,  its  hymn-book  and  its  catechism. 
Luther,  he  says,  in  his  Church  History} 

was  a  genuine  man  of  the  people,  rooted  and  grounded 
in  rustic  soil,  but  looking  boldly  and  trustingly  to  heaven 
with  the  everlasting  Gospel  in  his  hand.  He  was  a  plebeian, 
without  a  drop  of  patrician  blood  and  never  was  ashamed 
of  his  origin.  But  what  king,  emperor  or  pope  of  his 
age  could  compare  with  him  in  intellectual  and  moral 
force?  He  was  endowed  with  an  overwhelming  genius 
and  indomitable  energy,  with  fiery  temper  and  strong  pas- 
sions, with  irresistible  eloquence,  native  wit  and  harmless 
humor,  absolutely  honest,  disinterested,  strong  in  faith, 
fervent  in  prayer  and  wholly  devoted  to  Christ  and  His 
Gospel.  .  .  .  With  all  his  faults  he  is  the  greatest  man  Ger- 
many has  produced  and  one  of  the  very  greatest  in  his- 
tory. By  his  trumpet  voice  he  aroused  the  church  from 
her  slumber ;  he  broke  the  yoke  of  papal  tyranny ;  he  re- 
conquered Christian  freedom;    he  reopened  the  fountain 

1  Church  History,  Vol.  VI.  p.  733. 

chap,  xni  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  339 

of  God's  holy  Word  to  all  people  and  directed  Christians 
to  Christ,  their  only  master. 

The  summer  preceding  the  celebration,  Dr.  Schaff  visited 
St.  Louis  and  called  upon  the  Rev.  Dr.  Walther  of  Con- 
cordia College,  the  leader  of  the  strict  Old-Lutherans.  Dr. 
Walther  was  a  curiosity,  representing  the  opposite  ten- 
dency from  Dr.  Schaff  by  resisting  like  a  mighty  boulder 
the  adoption  of  the  English  language  and  American  cus- 
toms by  the  Germans.  His  surroundings,  of  which  he  was 
the  animating  centre,  presented  the  strange  phenomenon 
of  a  literary  institution,  a  theological  seminary  and  literary 
publications  as  German  as  though  they  had  been  produced 
among  the  Thuringian  hills  instead  of  on  the  banks  of  the 
Mississippi.  He  had  labored  there  among  the  Germans 
for  thirty-five  years  and  had  found  no  time  to  learn  Eng- 
lish. The  following  communication  is  from  the  Rev.  Dr. 
Samuel  J.  Niccolls  of  St.  Louis:  — 

I  accompanied  Dr.  Schaff  to  the  Concordia  College, 
the  fountain  head  of  Old-Lutheranism  in  the  West.  He 
called  on  all  the  professors  of  the  seminary  and  was 
most  cordially  received.  The  conversation  was  carried  on 
entirely  in  German,  as  but  one  of  the  professors  was  able 
to  speak  English.  He  was  much  interested  in  the  govern- 
ment of  the  institution,  in  the  rigorous  German  discipline, 
and  the  practical  economy  which  characterized  the  admin- 
istration. It  was  not  until  late  in  the  evening  that  we  left 
the  seminary  and  he  turned  homeward  in  a  joyous  mood, 
telling  me  that  it  was  one  of  the  pleasantest  days  in  his 
life.  Familiar  with  all  of  the  controversies  of  the  German 
Church,  he  explained  to  me  the  different  shades  of  opinion 
which  separate  the  different  Lutheran  bodies  in  this 
country.  He  admired  the  sturdy  Teutonic  patience  and 
zeal  of  these  Old-Lutherans,  who  had  in  the  face  of  so 
great  difficulties  and  out  of  their  poverty  built  such  a 
noble  institution,  and  were  at  that  time  under  Dr.  Walther 
engaged  in  editing  a  series  of  Luther's  works. 

The  summer  of  1884  was  made  memorable  for  Dr. 
Schaff  by  a  visit  to  the  countries  of  Northern   Europe 

340  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1884 

and  the  conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  in  Copen- 
hagen. He  was  also  busy  in  literary  labors  and  especially 
in  securing  material  for  his  edition  of  the  Teaching  of  tJie 
Twelve,  which  had  been  recently  made  public  by  Bryen- 
nios  and  was  the  literary  sensation  of  the  hour.  Before 
sailing  he  acted  as  pall-bearer  at  the  funeral  of  Ezra 
Abbot,  librarian  of  Harvard  University.  A  layman  in 
the  Unitarian  Church,  Dr.  Abbot  bore  the  reputation  of 
being  the  most  erudite  scholar  of  the  Greek  text  of  the 
New  Testament  in  the  United  States.  Small  and  fragile 
of  frame,  sensitive  in  feeling  and  shy  in  manner,  he  was 
a  typical  scholar,  whom  scholars  honored.  It  was  as  a 
member  of  the  New  Testament  Revision  Company  that 
Dr.  Schaff  first  came  into  intimate  contact  with  him.  No 
one  took  a  deeper  interest  in  the  Revision  movement  or 
left  the  work  of  the  committee  with  the  more  profound 
respect  of  the  Revisers  than  he.  He  will  always  be  asso- 
ciated in  the  recollections  of  the  committee  meetings  with 
the  frail  and  stooping  figure  of  President  Woolsey  and 
the  spare  form  of  Bishop  Lee.  His  last  literary  work 
was  upon  Dr.  SchafFs  Companion  to  the  Greek  New  Testa- 
ment, every  page  of  which  passed  under  his  eye.  A  few 
days  before  his  death,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  to  Mrs.  Abbot : 
"  I  have  just  heard  that  your  dear  husband  is  drawing  to 
the  close  of  his  life.  I  know  of  no  scholar  superior  to  him 
in  his  department,  —  so  thorough,  so  accurate,  so  honest, 
so  conscientious  and  withal  so  modest.  The  tears  force 
themselves  to  my  eyes,  as  I  think  that  this  may  be  his 
last  hour,  and  I  pray  his  end  may  be  as  quiet  and  peaceful 
as  his  pure,  simple  and  noble  life  has  been."  1 

Among  the  bright  spots  of  his  trip  through   England 

1  Dr.  Godet  wrote  to  Dr.  Schaff  (April  28,  1884):  "How  much  I  lament 
the  death  of  the  excellent  Ezra  Abbot !  He  was  a  thorough  critic.  His  creed 
may  have  been  defective,  his  scholarship  was  not." 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  341 

Dr.  Schaff  mentions  his  visit  at  Durham,  where  he  was 
the  guest  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Farrar.  With  Dr.  Alfred 
Plummer,  whom  he  met  for  the  first  time,  he  became 
closely  associated  in  literary  labors.  On  the  Sabbath  he 
sat  beside  Canon  Tristram  during  the  services  at  the 
cathedral.  Bishop  Lightfoot  and  his  sister  entertained 
him  at  the  palace,  Bishop-Auckland,  "  a  fine  old  castle, 
with  rare  pictures,  a  beautiful  chapel  and  park.  I  had 
long  walks,"  he  wrote,  "with  the  bishop  in  the  gardens 
and  interesting  talks  about  Bible  Revision,  the  Teaching 
of  the  Twelve,  which  he  puts  in  the  first  century,  and  the 
Ignatian  controversy." 

At  London  he  took  part  in  the  arrangements  for  the 
approaching  conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  at 
Copenhagen,  making  an  address  at  the  Lord  Mayor's 
mansion.  On  a  Sunday  he  heard  a  "most  mjtructiye 
ajid^ejocLuent  sermon  by  Archdeacon  Farrar  and  a  most 
edifying  and  nourishing  one  by  Mr.  Spurgeon."  The 
preceding  afternoon  he  had  spent  with  Spurgeon  "  at  his 
beautiful  home  and  gardens,  going  with  interest  through 
his  two  libraries,  one  filled  with  commentaries." 

At  Oxford  he  writes  of  the  late  Professor  Hatch,  "  who 
overtook  me  on  the  way  to  the  depot  and  fairly  forced  me 
by  kindness  to  return  with  him  to  his  home  and  take 
dinner.  This  proved  to  be  the  most  interesting  episode 
of  my  visit  in  Oxford.  Professor  Hatch  is  a  most  agree- 
able gentleman,  a  first  class  scholar  and  a  liberal  theolo- 
gian. We  talked  a  great  deal  about  the  Teaching  of  the 
Twelve  Apostles,  German  and  Anglican  theology,  liberal 
progress,  persecution  and  the  reunion  of  Christendom." 

At  Edinburgh  he  attended  a  meeting  of  the  Committee 
on  the  Consensus  Creed  for  the  Reformed  Churches,  hope- 
ful of  a  very  different  conclusion  from  the  one  reached. 
Dr.  Cairns,  the  convener  of  the  committee,  he  speaks  of 


as  a  "large  Scotchman  with  a  great  head  and  a  great 
heart.  The  American  section  favored  the  formulation 
of  the  consensus,  but  Dr.  A.  A.  Hodge  changed  his  views 
and  broke  the  force  of  our  resolution ;  the  English  section 
recommended  the  substitution  of  a  Testimony ;  the  Conti- 
nental section  was  divided.  Under  these  circumstances 
Dr.  Cairns  decided  for  postponement.  Dr.  Morris,  of 
Lane  Seminary,  supported  my  plea  for  the  consensus,  but 
there  was  no  use  of  pressing  it.  The  result  is  disappoint- 
ing, but  inevitable."  After  hearing  on  the  Sabbath  "  two 
most  excellent  Presbyterian  sermons "  by  Dr.  McGregor 
and  Dr.  Alexander  Whyte,  he  notes,  "the  Scotch  know 
how  to  preach,  and  to  preach  tne  Gospel  with  power  is 
the  greatest  thing  a  man  can  do." 

Proceeding  to  Belfast,  he  attended,  though  not  as  a 
delegate,  the  third  Council  of  the  Alliance  of  the  Re- 
formed churches  and  watched  with  interest  the  discussion 
of  the  Consensus  Creed  and  the  eligibility  of  the  Cumber- 
land Presbyterians  for  membership,  which  he  strongly 
advocated  as  against  the  Southern  Presbyterians  and 
some  of  the  ultra-Calvinists  of  Scotland  and  Ireland. 
Under  a  motion  offered  by  Dr.  Calderwood  he  made  an 
address  on  the  Consensus  Creed,  bearing,  as  he  says,  "  at 
least  my  testimony  in  favor  of  such  a  creed,  for  which 
Calvin  was  willing  to  cross  ten  seas."  He  felt  that  a 
splendid  opportunity  was  being  thrown  away  of  strength- 
ening the  bond  between  the  churches  composing  the 
Alliance  and  of  bearing  witness  to  the  truth  before  the 
present  generation.  It  was  not  his  idea  that  existing 
Reformed  confessions  should  be  set  aside  or  controverted, 
but  that  an  oecumenical  Reformed  confession  be  framed, 
by  which  he  meant  a  consensus  of  the  older  Reformed 
confessions  freely  reproduced  and  adapted  to  the  present 
state  of  the  church ;  that  is  the  creed  of  the  Reformation 

chap,  xin  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  343 

translated   into   the   theology  of   the  nineteenth   century 
with  a  protest  against  modern  infidelity  and  rationalism. 
From    Scotland    Dr.     Schaff     proceeded    to    Norway, 
Sweden  and  Russia.     Of   Norway  he  wrote :  — 

This  is  the  land  of  the  midnight  sun,  where  the  glories 
of  the  rising  and  setting  sun  are  blended  and  one  is  re- 
minded of  that  better  country  in  which  night  is  unknown. 
It  is  justly  called  the  Switzerland  of  the  North.  It  is  not 
as  grand  and  sublime  as  Switzerland,  but  it  is  in  its  way 
equally  beautiful  and  interesting.  It  is  a  land  of  moun- 
tains, lakes  and  waterfalls,  and  of  islands  and  fjords  with- 
out number.  The  Norwegians  are  a  simple,  honest, 
true-hearted,  civil,  placid  people.  They  are  industrious  and 
live  in  comparative  comfort.  The  women  are  blue-eyed, 
fair-skinned  and  healthy.  I  have  seen  no  beggars.  In 
this  respect  Norway  contrasts  most  favorably  with  Ireland 
and  Italy,  where  the  traveller  is  fairly  besieged  by  persist- 
ent beggars  and  loafers.  In  these  Northern  cities  there 
are  no  extremes  of  wealth  and  misery  as  in  London  and 
New  York. 

These  Northmen,  who  were  once  the  terror  of  Europe, 
have  been  transformed  by  Christianity  into  a  peaceful, 
civilized,  virtuous  and  God-fearing  nation.  Norway,  like 
Sweden,  embraced  the  Lutheran  Reformation  and  has  ever 
since  proved  faithful  to  it.  Till  within  a  few  years  every 
other  church  was  rigidly  excluded  from  the  rights  of  public 
worship,  but  now  these  restrictions  have  been  withdrawn. 
There  are  six  bishops  in  Norway  and  twelve  in  Sweden. 
But  the  episcopacy  is  merely  a  superintendency  and  does 
not  claim  apostolic  succession.  Yet  the  Episcopal  Church 
of  the  United  States  was  near  getting  its  orders  from 
Sweden  through  Bishop  White ! 

At  Christiania  he  was  disappointed  in  not  finding 
Caspari,  with  whom  he  had  had  considerable  correspond- 
ence in  connection  with  his  work  on  creeds.  At  Upsala 
he  found  a  single  theological  professor  not  absent  on  va- 
cation, Dr.  Myrberg,  a  "  Beckianer  and  a  strictly  biblical 
divine,  who  became  my  guide."  They  looked  into  the 
mceso-Gothic  translation  of  the  Gospels  by  Ulphilas,  called 


from  its  silver  binding  the  codex  argenteus.  He  also 
examined  the  Sparfvenfeld  codex  and  corrected  Dean 
Burgon,1  who  had  drawn  it  into  the  Revision  controversy, 
wrongly  quoting  it  for  the  reading  in  1  Tim.  iii.  16,  "  God 
was  manifested  in  the  flesh,"  against  the  Revisers  who 
chose  the  reading,  "w/10  was  manifested  in  the  flesh." 

In  St.  Petersburg  and  Moscow  he  visited  the  cathe- 
drals, palaces  and  other  objects  of  interest,  from  the 
little  Dutch  home  of  "  Peter  the  Great,  that  barbarous 
civilizer  of  Russia,"  to  the  chamber  in  the  Winter  Palace 
where  Alexander  II  expired  after  the  fearful  tragedy  in 
1 88 1.  But  Russia  made  a  different  impression  upon  him, 
in  every  respect,  from  that  which  he  had  received  in 
Scandinavia.  He  was  struck  by  the  mechanical  char- 
acter of  the  religious  devotions  and  exclaims,  — 

Gorgeous  worship,  intense  mechanical  religiosity  of  the 
Russians,  consisting  chiefly  of  lighting  candles,  kissing 
holy  images,  making  the  sign  of  the  cross  with  three 
fingers,  bowing  and  kissing  the  floor.  I  weary  quickly 
of  all  this  semi-barbaric  glory  and  magnificence  of  glitter- 
ing gold  and  silver  and  costly  jewels.  The  morals  of  the 
people  do  not  seem  to  correspond  to  their  devotions.  The 
worship  of  the  Virgin  Mary  and  of  the  saints  is  carried 
even  further  than  in  the  Roman  Catholic  Church. 

In  Moscow,  he  was  much  in  company  with  the  Russian 
archpriest  Preobrashensky, 

who  knows  my  Church  History  well  and  showed  me  in 
his  library  the  Greek  and  Russian  translations  of  my  Per- 
son of  Christy  of  which  I  had  known  nothing  before.  He 
kissed  me  three  times.  His  broken  leg,  his  venerable  and 
serene  face  and  his  unaffected  kindness  impressed  me 
very  much.     At  the  mention  of  Dorner's  name  he  crossed 

1  Dean  of  Chichester.  His  work,  The  Revision  Revised,  London,  1883, 
pp.  546,  was  perhaps  the  most  vigorous  and  heated  attack  the  work  of  the 
New  Testament  Revisers  called  forth. 

chap,  xni  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  345 

himself  and  again  at  the  mention  of  Lange's  name  he  did 
the  same,  wishing  these  great  men  a  blessed  repose.  He 
assented  when  I  repeated  the  motto  of  the  Evangelical 
Alliance.  On  taking  leave  of  him  for  the  last  time,  he 
expressed  a  wish  that  we  might  meet  in  heaven,  kissed 
me  on  the  lips  and  also  my  hand.  He  was  the  most 
remarkable  acquaintance  I  made  in  Russia. 

Leaving  Warsaw  he  wrote :  — 

Liberty,  as  we  understand  it,  is  unknown  in  Russia. 
The  passport  system  and  the  various  vexations  and  ex- 
penses connected  with  it  are  a  disgrace  to  a  civilized  gov- 
ernment. We  had  to  pay  for  permission  to  enter,  to  stay 
in  and  leave  Russia.  All  the  officials,  both  civil  and  mili- 
tary, seem  to  be  open  to  bribes. 

Passing  on  to  Munich  he  met  Dollinger  again,  whom  he 
found  "  drinks  no  beer  or  wine  but  only  milk,  walks  three 
hours  every  day  and,  though  over  eighty,  seems  as  fresh 
and  vigorous  as  a  young  man.  He  stands  isolated  be- 
tween Romanism  and  Protestantism.  The  Old-Catholics 
are  at  a  standstill,  an  army  of  officers  without  sol- 

In  Norway  the  news  had  reached  him  of  the  deaths  of 
Dr.  Dorner  and  Dr.  Lange,  the  "two  greatest  divines  of 
Germany,  and  my  dearest  friends."  They  were  among  the 
very  la^'-  survivors  of  the  brilliant  constellation  of  devout 
German  evangelical  scholars,  beginning  with  Schleier- 
macher  and  Neander,  who  had  resisted  the  flood  of  ration- 
alism and  later  the  destructive  criticism  of  Baur  and  his 
school.  Dr.  Dorner  was  the  last  of  Dr.  Schaff' s  theo- 
logical teachers.  All  the  rest  of  the  men  whose  lectures 
he  had  listened  to,  from  Schmid  and  Landerer  in  Tubin- 
gen to  Tholuck  and  Julius  Miiller  in  Halle  and  Neander 
and  Twesten  in  Berlin,  were  gone. 

In  his  last  letter  to  his  friend,  written  a  few  weeks 
before  his  death,  Dr.   Dorner  expressed  the  pleasure  he 

346  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1884 

felt  at  the  near  prospect  of  seeing  him  again.     At  the 
beginning  of  the  year  he  had  written:  — 

I  wish  for  you  and  yours  for  the  New  Year  God's  pro- 
tection and  rich  blessing.  Will  the  year  not  bring  you 
once  again  back  to  the  old  home  ?  Opportunity  must  be 
used  so  long  as  we  have  strength,  for  the  time  comes  when 
not  only  the  desire  to  travel  passes  away,  but  also  the 
ability.  I  am  now  arrived  at  this  stage.  My  wife  and 
my  physician  urge  and  insist  upon  rest.  I  feel  physically 
weak,  yea  faint,  while  at  the  same  time  the  mind  craves  to 
work  as  it  once  did.  For  your  kind  gifts,  my  best  thanks. 
Your  book  on  Bible  Revision  has  interested  me  much. 
It  is  greatly  to  be  regretted  that  the  Revised  New  Tes- 
tament meets  with  so  much  opposition  and  from  those 
incompetent  to  judge  its  merits.  Perhaps  it  would  have 
been  better  if  you  had  pursued  a  more  open  method. 
May  the  courage  to  go  on  with  the  Old  Testament  not 
cool  on  account  of  this  opposition  and  may  you  be  able 
in  spite  of  opposition  to  secure  recognition  for  the  New 
Testament.  I  hope  we  will  be  more  fortunate.  There  is 
reason  for  hoping  for  such  a  result,  because  there  is  more 
respect  among  us  for  scholarship  and  her  rights  than  in 
the  English-speaking  world,  because  we  have  made  fewer 
changes  than  you  have  and  finally  because  we  have  re- 
served to  ourselves  the  right  of  making  a  third  revision.1 

In  one  of  his  last  letters  to  Dr.  Dorner,  dated  March  1, 
1883,  Dr.  Schaff  speaks  of  the  English  translation  of  the 
chapters  from  his  Dogmatics  on  the  middle  state. 

I  sent  you  a  few  days  ago  the  translation  of  your 
eschatology  under  the  title,  Dorner  on  the  Future  State, 
preceded  by  an  interesting  introduction  by  Newman  Smyth. 
Your  views  on  the  Middle  State  and  the  extension  of  the 
period  of  grace  for  non-Christians  beyond  the  limits  of  the 
grave,  have  made  a  great  stir  in  church  circles.  Among 
the  younger  generation,  the  orthodox  view  is  passing  away 
which  excludes  all  non-Christians  and  unbaptized  children 
from  the  kingdom  of  God  without  giving  them  the  least 
chance  to  decide  for  or  against  Christ  and  His  Gospel  and 

1  The  reference  is  to  the  revision  of  Luther's  Version,  which  appeared  at 
Halle,  1883,  and  in  which  Dr.  Dorner  had  taken  part. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  34/ 

in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  means  of  grace  were  never 
offered  to  them.  This  is  now  beginning  to  be  looked  upon 
as  a  great  injustice,  yea,  as  monstrous,  in  view  of  the 
eternal  love  and  justice  of  God.  The  evangelical  theology 
of  Germany  recognized  this  long  ago  and  American  the- 
ology is  on  the  way  to  do  so. 

This  is  Dr.  Schaff's  last  letter  to  Dr.  Lange,  dated 
Jan.  13,  1884:  — 

I  have  been  intending  for  some  time  to  write,  and  have 
sent  many  a  letter  to  you  by  way  of  the  skies.  Now,  I 
will  not  wait  longer,  especially  as  yesterday  the  New  York 
H erald contained  a  report  of  your  sudden  death  by  drowning 
in  a  canal  at  Hamburg,  together  with  a  biographical  sketch. 
At  first,  I  was  greatly  astounded  and  filled  with  sorrow,  but 
I  soon  recovered  my  composure  and  became  convinced  that 
it  was  not  yourself.  A  cable  despatch  from  Hamburg 
brought  the  news  of  the  drowning  of  some  one  of  your 
name.  The  rest  was  made  up  here  by  the  enterprising 
editors.  For  you  must  know  that  this  paper  has,  stuck 
away  in  pigeonholes,  full  biographical  notices  of  all  lead- 
ing individuals,  ready  to  be  used  when  they  die.  How 
could  you  have  gotten  to  Hamburg  in  mid- winter  ?  I  can 
only  think  of  you  as  in  your  home  and  in  your  lecture 
room.  To  be  sure,  at  your  age  of  eighty-two,  one  must  be 
ready  to  depart  any  day.  Even  I,  though  only  sixty-five, 
begin  to  notice  my  years.  .  .  .  An  important  chapter  of  my 
life  is  connected  with  your  Bible-zvork.  I  have  never  re- 
gretted the  time  I  spent  upon  it.  The  Lord  has  blessed 
the  work  and  it  is  widely  used,  furnishing  material  for 
many  a  good  sermon.  My  acquaintance  with  you  dates 
back  to  1844,  when  you  so  kindly  accompanied  me  to  the 
stage,  as  I  was  starting  off  from  Zurich  to  Basel,  and  gave 
me  your  blessing  for  the  journey  to  America.  Then  I 
saw  you  in  1854  in  Bonn  and  again  on  my  next  visit  to 
Europe  and  often  since.  Shall  we  see  each  other  again 
on  this  flying  pilgrimage  ?  Perhaps  next  summer ;  and  if 
not,  then  surely  in  the  home  of  peace  in  eternity. 

At  Berlin,  having  been  reminded  so  vividly  of  death  by 
the  departure  of  these  two  friends,  Dr.  Schaff  spent  the 
better  part  of  two  days  making  a  pilgrimage,  in  company 


with  Dr.  Stuckenberg,  to  the  graves  of  other  old  teachers 
and  friends,  such  as  Dr.  Joseph  P.  Thompson,  formerly  of 
New  York,  Schleiermacher,  Marheineke,  Hegel,  Fichte, 
Neander,  Twesten.  That  loneliness,  which  men  feel  when 
their  teachers  and  contemporaries  fall,  had  begun  to  creep 
over  him  and  at  times,  in  spite  of  his  buoyancy  of  spirits, 
asserted  itself.  But  these  sad  reminiscences  were  only  an 
incident  of  the  larger  life.  The  living  were  all  around  about 
him  and  Dr.  Schaff  lived  and  walked  among  the  living. 

One  of  the  pleasant  episodes  of  his  visit  in  the  German 
capital  was  a  last  interview  with  Leopold  von  Ranke,  in 
which  he  was  joined  by  Dr.  Dalton,  then  of  St.  Petersburg. 
The  veteran  historian  had  just  finished  the  fifth  volume  of 
his  Welt-Geschichte.  The  following  notes  are  translated 
from  Dr.  Schaff's  journal:1  — 

The  most  remarkable  feature  of  to-day  (August  23)  was 
a  visit  on  the  historian,  von  Ranke,  in  the  Louisenstrasse. 
Ushered  in  by  a  servant  into  a  hall,  we  noticed  its  plain 
furnishings.  On  the  wall  hung  a  picture  of  Ranke  him- 
self and  one  of  his  wife,  a  sister  of  the  Bishop  of  Limerick, 
who  had  died  fourteen  years  before.  There  was  also 
a  bust  of  Alexander  von  Humboldt.  A  door  soon  opened 
and  the  historian  was  before  us.  He  is  small  of  person, 
but  has  a  bright  eye  and  an  intelligent  expression. 
The  forehead  is  high,  the  nose  large  and  a  white  beard 
covers  his  face.  He  is  now  eighty-nine  and  dictates 
his  History  of  the  World  from  memory  to  an  amanuensis 
from  10  a.m.  to  2  p.m.  and  again  from  6  p.m.  to  1  a.m. 
Between  2  and  6  he  takes  a  walk  in  the  park,  eats  a  hearty 
dinner,  takes  a  nap  and  reads  the  Kreuzzeitung  or  has  it 
read  to  him.  He  recognized  me  and  was  exceedingly 
affable  and  communicative.  "  Do  you  expect  to  finish 
your  History?"  "Yes,"  he  replied.  "When  I  conceived 
the  plan  a  few  years  ago,  the  entire  work  stood  completed 
in  sharp  outlines  before  my  eyes.  It  appeared  to  me  like 
a  single  inspiration,  as  Pallas  Athene  did  to  the  Greeks. 

1  In  a  brief  chapter  appended  to  his  Reminiscences  of  Neander,  Gotha,  1886,  Dr. 
Schaff  has  given  some  account  of  the  religious  character  and  last  hours  of  Ranke. 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  349 

Now  it  only  remains  for  me  to  drop  from  the  pen  what  my 
eye  saw  in  completed  form.  I  had  finished  the  works 
which  I  had  set  before  myself  to  do  as  the  task  of  my  life. 
They  were  done  and  yet  my  life  was  not  at  an  end,  nor 
was  my  desire  to  do  and  to  work  exhausted.  My  other 
writings  did  not  lead  me  back  to  the  beginnings  of  history. 
Scarcely  in  any  department  of  history  has  so  much  been 
done  by  modern  discovery  as  here.  A  region  which  in 
my  younger  years  was  unbroken  darkness  is  now  pene- 
trated with  light.  I  wanted  to  search  out  these  paths. 
And  the  plan  was  soon  formed  of  making  a  pilgrimage 
out  frorn  these  starting-points  over  the  world.  Whether  I 
shall  finish  the  work  depends  upon  God,  but  I  have  great 
delight  in  it  and  when  that  is  the  case  one  may  expect  help 
until  the  end  is  reached.  .  .  .  My  Histo?y  makes  a  reli- 
gious impression.  I  have,  in  my  way,  a  Christian  stand- 
point and  outlook.  .  .  .  Yes,  indeed,  an  evangelical  Christian 
outlook.1  I  thank  God  for  my  long  years  and  that  He  has 
preserved  my  health.  When  I  look  over  my  entire  life 
and  contemplate  history  in  all  its  branches,  then  I  am  a 
believer  in  God  with  all  my  heart  {yon  ganzem  Herzen  gott- 
glaubig) ;  any  other  theory  of  the  world  is  to  me  unintelli- 
gible." "  But  you  are  a  Christian  in  faith  (Sind  Sie 
aber  audi  christ-glaiibig)  ?  "  I  said.  "  Yes,  this  too.  —  I 
cannot  share  the  opinion  of  Frederick  the  Great,  who 
could  not  conceive  of  a  mediator  between  God  and  man, 
and  that  he  did  not  need  one!  To  that  I  say  emphatically, 
nay.  .  .  .  No,  on  the  contrary,  a  contact  and  communion 
of  both  parties  is  only  possible  by  means  of  a  mediator."  2 
"  And  on  account  of  our  sin  ?  "  I  interjected.  "Well,  yes, 
on  account  of  our  sin ;  but,  my  dear  theological  friend,  I 
see  that  the  conversation  is  turning  away  from  the  domain 
of  history,  where  I  feel  the  ground  sure  under  my  feet, 
and  I  am  beginning  to  tread  on  ground  where  I  am  not 
your  equal." 

1  Ranke's  words  in  the  original  run :  "  Meine  Geschichte  macht  einen  religio- 
sen  Eindruck.  Ich  habe  eine  christliche  Anschauung  nach  meiner  Facon. 
Ja  wohl,  eine  evangelische" 

2  "Auch  dies.  — Ich  vermag  nicht  die  Ansicht  Friedrichs  des  Grossen  theilen, 
der  sick  keinen  Vermitller  zwischen  Gott  und  den  Menschen  vorstellen  k'dnne  ; 
er  bediirfte  keines  solchen.  Ich  sage  vielmehr,  nein,  gerade  im  Gegentheil,  eine 
Beriihrung  und  Gemeinschaft  beider  Faktore  ist  nur  durch  einen  Vermittler 

350  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1884 

"  When  we  spoke  of  the  conference  at  Copenhagen," 
Dr.  Schaff's  journal  goes  on,  "he  expressed  great  interest 
in  it.  He  inquired  after  the  main  positions  of  my  paper, 
which  aims  at  an  alliance  of  all  Christendom,  and  said  that 
Frederick  William  IV  would,  no  doubt,  fully  sympathize 
with  the  sentiments.  The  king  had  often  spoken  to  him 
of  the  churches  as  ships  steering  for  the  same  harbor. 
Ranke's  outlook  into  the  future  is  hopeful.  A  little  old 
man,  shrunk  together  but  full  of  vitality  and  vigor.  A 
parallel  to  our  Bancroft." 

Two  years  later  Dr.  Schaff  visited  the  historian's  grave. 
He  had  died  in  May,  1886.  "  Stuckenberg  accompanied 
me.  Ranke  sleeps  in  the  Sophien  Kirchhof,  at  the  side 
of  his  wife.  The  fading  leaves  and  other  tributes  to  his 
memory  are  still  there,  one  from  his  students  with  the 
inscription  dem  geliebten  Lehrer  (the  beloved  teacher); 
another  dem  grossen  Meister  der  deutschen  Geschichtsschrei- 
&er(the  great  master  among  German  writers  of  history). 
His  funeral  was  the  grandest  seen  in  Berlin  for  many  a 
year ;  the  Academy,  the  University,  the  magistrates,  the 
crown-prince  and  people  of  all  classes  were  there.  Sleep 
in  peace,  brave  and  noble  man !  " 

The  conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  at  Copen- 
hagen in  September,  1884,  was  a  worthy  successor  of  the 
previous  gatherings.  It  was  marked  by  the  interest  shown 
by  the  royal  Danish  family  and  also  of  the  people  of  Copen- 
hagen in  spite  of  their  intense  Lutheranism.  The  introduc- 
tory meeting  in  the  great  hall  of  the  university  was  presided 
over  by  the  venerable  advocate  and  writer  on  missions,  Dr. 
Kalkar.  He  had  attended  the  Basel  Conference  five  years 
before  and  in  a  closing  interview  had  parted  with  Dr.  Schaff, 
to  meet  "either  at  a  conference  of  the  Alliance  in  Copen- 
hagen or  in  heaven."  Of  him  Dr.  Schaff  wrote :  "This 
conference  is  due  to  him  most  of  all.     He  is  eighty-two 

chap,  xin  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  351 

years  old.  If  he  dies  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance,  he  will 
die  a  happy  death.  He  will  never  have  a  better  oppor- 
tunity." The  fears  of  antagonism  on  the  part  of  the  ex- 
treme Lutherans  were  set  to  rest  by  the  presence  of  four 
of  the  seven  Danish  bishops  at  the  opening  session. 

A  month  before  the  conference  Dr.  Kalkar  had  written  : 
"  Here  there  are  hundreds  upon  hundreds  who  want  to 
see  the  professor  from  America  with  their  own  eyes  and 
wish  to  hear  him  with  their  own  ears.  I  remember  how, 
very  many  years  ago,  an  address  which  I  heard  you  deliver 
made  a  lasting  impression  upon  me.  I  look  upon  you  as 
prcecipuum  membrum  nostri  conventus  et  quasi  prcesidem 
[as  the  chief  member  of  our  convention  and  as  it  were  its 
president]."  Dr.  Schaff  presented  a  paper  on  the  Discord 
and  Concord  of  Christendom 1  and  thus  speaks  of  its  de- 
livery :  — 

This  evening  (September  2d)  I  delivered  my  address 
before  a  crowded  and  brilliant  audience,  including  the  king 
and  queen  of  Denmark,  the  crown-prince  and  princess, 
and  their  suite,  and  the  king  and  queen  of  Greece.  I 
spoke  in  German  and  without  notes  and  was  in  a  specially 
good  frame  of  mind.  But  I  had  no  idea  that  my  address, 
with  its  liberal,  broad-church  views  and  outlook,  would 
meet  with  such  a  cordial  and  even  enthusiastic  response 
as  was  expressed  to  me  after  the  meeting  by  many  of  the 
most  distinguished  among  my  hearers.  Even  the  three 
royal  pairs,  to  my  great  surprise,  came  up  to  me  on  the  plat- 
form and  expressed  by  cordial  handshaking  and  gracious 
words  their  satisfaction  and  agreement  with  the  spirit  and 
scope  of  my  address  and  full  sympathy  with  the  aims  of 
the  Alliance. 

This  was  in  many  respects  the  proudest  day  of  my  life. 
I  never  before  have  received  so  many  thanks  and  congratu- 
lations for  an  address.  Thus,  I  have  been  permitted  before 
scholars  and  princes  to  bear  my  testimony  against  the  divi- 
sions and  distractions  of  Christendom,  and  for  Christian 
union  on  the  basis  of  religious  liberty.     This  is  the  idea 

1  Included  in  Christ  and  Christianity,  pp.  293-310. 

352  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1884 

and  aim  of  the  Alliance,  and  I  thank  God  for  the  humble 
share  I  have  had  in  its  advocacy  and  promotion  since  1857. 
I  shall  never  forsake  it  or  cease  to  promote  its  grand  ob- 
ject. For  it  is  in  harmony  with  the  sacerdotal  prayer  of 
our  blessed  Lord  and  Saviour  that  they  all  may  be  one, 
even  as  we  are  one ;  I  in  them  and  Thou  in  me  that  they 
may  be  perfected  in  one. 

Subsequently  he  had  an  audience  with  the  crown-princess, 
by  her  request,  in  her  palace  at  Amalienborg.  "  She  is  a 
Swedish  princess,"  he  notes,  "of  simple  and  pleasant 
manners  and  decided  piety.  She  again  thanked  me  for 
my  address  and  spoke  of  the  joy  of  the  communion  of  the 
saints."  The  address  was  also  sought  in  manuscript  by 
the  queen  of  Greece,  and  afterward  involved  him  in  a 
pleasant  correspondence  with  her  majesty.  In  one  of 
her  letters  from  Athens  she  says  "that  her  majesty 
always  retains  benevolent  recollections  of  you  and  will 
never  forget  the  happy  moments  she  spent  attending  to 
your  address  at  Copenhagen.  She  desires  to  express 
again  to  you  her  most  sincere  thanks  for  that  document, 
to  which  she  attaches  great  interest." 

The  address  was  a  broad  presentation  of  the  mission  of 
denominations  and  the  duty  of  seeking  Christian  unity  on 
the  basis  of  personal  union  with  Christ.  It  was  made  in 
the  speaker's  best  spirit. 

One  of  the  greatest  sins  of  which  the  churches  and  sects, 
with  few  exceptions,  have  been  more  or  less  guilty,  is  the 
sin  of  intolerance  and  exclusiveness  which  springs  from  the 
selfishness  of  the  human  heart.  They  vainly  imagine  that 
they  possess  the  monopoly  of  truth  and  piety  and  have,  in 
their  polemics,  exhausted  the  vocabulary  of  reproach  and 
vituperation.  .  .  .  Religious  persecution  beginning  with 
the  crucifixion  is  the  darkest,  we  may  well  say,  the  satanic 
chapter  in  church  history,  though  it  has  been  overruled 
by  Providence  for  the  progress  of  religious  truth  and 
liberty ;  for  the  blood  of  martyrs  is  the  seed  of  the 
church.  .  .  .      We    look    hopefully   for    the    reunion    of 

chap,  xiii  COUNCILS  AND  MEN  353 

Christendom  and  a  feast  of  reconciliation  of  churches, 
but  it  will  be  preceded  by  an  act  of  general  humiliation. 
All  must  confess  "  We  have  sinned  and  erred ;  Christ 
alone  is  pure  and  perfect."  .  .  .  The  evil  lies  not  in 
denominationalism  and  confessionalism,  but  in  sectarian- 
ism, which  is  an  abuse  of  denominationalism  and  is  noth- 
ing but  extended  selfishness,  —  the  spirit  of  the  Pharisee 
who  boasts  of  his  righteousness,  and  thanks  God  that  he 
is  better  than  the  publican.  It  is  a  serious  defect  in  Prot- 
estantism that  it  has  a  tendency  to  needless  and  injurious 
distraction.  It  is  one-sidedly  centrifugal,  while  Romanism 
is  one-sidedly  centripetal;  it  gives  too  much  liberty  to 
individual  dissent,  while  the  other  exercises  too  much 
authority.  The  Christian  church  was  never  visibly  and 
organically  united  in  the  strict  sense  of  the  term.  The 
apostolic  churches  were  of  one  faith  and  animated  by  one 
love,  but  maintained  a  relative  independence  without  a 
visible  head.  Paul  opposed  with  all  his  might  the  tenets 
of  false  teachers,  and  withstood  even  Peter  to  his  face  at 
Antioch  when  he  compromised  the  spirit  of  Christian  lib- 
erty, and,  rising  above  all  bigotry  and  party  spirit,  pro- 
claimed the  great  principle  that  in  Jesus  Christ  neither 
circumcision  availeth  anything,  nor  uncircumcision,  but  a 
new  creature. 

When  he  left  Denmark  it  was  with  reminiscences  of  the 

most   pleasant   sort.     The   day  after  his  arrival  in  New 

York  he  was  busy  at  his  lectures  and  upon  the  fourth 

volume  of  his  Church  History.      During  his  absence  the 

new  buildings  for  Union  Seminary  on  Park  Avenue  had 

been  completed.     On  visiting  them  for  the  first  time  he 

exclaimed,  "  What  a  change  from  the  old  buildings  to  this 

literary  palace!      A  new  departure  calling  for  new  zeal 

and  devotion !     I  would  like  to  teach  for  twenty  or  thirty 

years  longer,  but  shall  be  thankful  for  ten  years  more  of 

work."     A  few  months  later  the  structure  was  dedicated, 

President  Hitchcock  delivering  the  chief  address. 


354  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1870 




Origin  of  the  Revision  Movement  —  American  Cooperation  —  Dr.  Angus  and 
Dean  Stanley — The  Episcopal  Bishops  —  The  American  Committee  — 
First  Meeting  —  Organization  Completed  —  Bishop  Mcllvaine's  Judgment 

—  Plan  of  Cooperation  —  Cooperation  Imperilled  —  The  University  Presses 

—  Final  Compact  —  Dr.  Schaffs  Conception  of  the  Work  —  His  Share  in 
the  Revision  —  The  American  Appendix — Publication  of  the  Revised 
Scriptures  —  Estimate  of  the  Work  —  Standard  American  Edition  —  Dr. 
Schaff's  Last  Words  on  Revision — Estimate  of  his  Services 

It  was  quite  in  keeping  with  the  mediatorial  and  union- 
istic  feature  of  his  career  that  Dr.  Schaff  should  have  had 
a  prominent  part  in  the  Anglo-American  Revision  of 
the  English  Scriptures  of  1881-1885.  The  Revision  was 
the  first  effort  in  two  hundred  and  fifty  years,  with  any 
ecclesiastical  authority  behind  it,  to  improve  King  James' 
Version.  If  the  Revised  Version  does  not  come  into 
general  use,  it  will  not  be  because  the  best  scholarship  of 
Great  Britain  and  the  United  States  was  not  adequately 
represented  in  its  production.  It  was  much  more  than  the 
product  of  an  impulse  of  Greek  and  Hebrew  scholarship. 
It  represented  the  devout  purpose  to  make  the  pure 
meaning  of  the  Scriptures  more  accessible  to  English 
readers.  One  of  the  noteworthy  features  of  the  move- 
ment was  that  it  united  together  the  leading  Protestant 
denominations  in  Great  Britain  and  America  through 
their   representative   scholars.      The   possibility   of   such 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE 


concert  of  action  had  been  seriously  doubted1  and  the 
fear  that  some  single  body  might  take  up  the  work  in 
an  insular  denominational  spirit  had  confirmed  a  disposi- 
tion to  disparage  all  efforts  at  Revision  and  to  be  satis- 
fied with  a  translation  which,  by  general  consent,  was 
susceptible  of  improvement,  lest,  in  the  attempt  to  im- 
prove, several  versions  might  come  into  use.  As  early, 
however,  as  1828  Bishop  Herbert  Marsh  had  declared 
the  Authorized  Version  to  be  in  need  of  amendment.2 

Previous  efforts  looking  to  a  movement  for  Revision  had 
not   been   wanting.      In    1856   motions   were   offered   by 
Canon  Selwyn  in  the  Convocation  of  Canterbury  and  by 
Mr.   Heywood  in  parliament,  praying  the  queen  that  a 
commission   be  appointed   to   make   amendments   to   the 
Authorized  Version.     While  the  motions  failed,  the  sen- 
timent was  too  strong  to  be  ignored.     About  the  same 
time  a  private  essay  at  Revision  was  made,  which  attracted 
wide  attention.     Induced   thereto   by  the  persistency  of 
the  Rev.  Ernest  Hawkins,  five  scholars  met  together  and 
made  a  Revision  of  portions  of  the  New  Testament.     The 
first  result  of  their  labors  appeared  in  1857,  in   The  Au- 
thorized   Version   of  St.  John's    Gospel,    revised  by   Five 
Clergymen,  and  was  recognized  as  having  superior  merits. 
The  repute  of  the  scholars  who  took  part  would  of  itself 
have  called  forth  careful  attention  to  their  work.     Four 
of  their  number,  Dean  Alford,  Bishop  Ellicott,  Prebendary 
W.  G.  Humphry  and  Dr.  George  Moberly,  subsequently 
Bishop   of   Salisbury,   were   afterwards   members   of  the 
committee  which  made  the  Revision  of  1881-1885. 

Referring  to  the  manifest  occasion  for  improving  the 
Authorized  Version,  Archbishop  Trench  in  1858  had  said, 
"  However  we  may  be  disposed  to  let  the   question   of 

1  George  P.  Marsh,  Lectures  on  the  English  Language,  p.  641. 

2  Lectures  on  the  Criticism  and  Interpretation  of  the  Bible,  pp.  297  sqq. 



Revision  alone,  it  will  not  let  us  alone."  «  A  few  years 
later,  in  1863,  Professor  Plumptre  gave  it  as  his  opinion 
that' the  work  ought  not  to  be  delayed  much  longer.2 
Perhaps  it  was  due  to  Bishop  Ellicott  and  Dean  Alford 
more  than  to  any  other  single  individual  that  the  sub- 
ject of  an  authoritative  Revision  continued  to  be  agitated 
and  was  kept  before  the  public,  until  upon  motion  of 
Bishop  Samuel  B.  Wilberforce  action  formally  inaugu- 
rating the  movement  was  taken  by  the  Convocation  of 
Canterbury  and  a  committee  was  appointed  to  report  upon 
the  desirableness  of  it. 

On   May   3,    1870,  the    convocation,    acting   upon   the 
committee's  report,  decided  that   Revision  was  desirable 
and  adopted  rules  for  its  prosecution.     It  contemplated 
"no  new  translation  of  the  Bible  nor  any  alteration  of 
the  language  except  where  in  the  judgment  of  the  most 
competent  scholars  such  change  is  necessary."     A  com- 
mittee was  then  appointed,  the  Bishop  of  Winchester  at 
the  head,  to  inaugurate  the  work  and  invite  the  "  coopera- 
tion of  any  eminent  for  scholarship,  to  whatever  nation 
or  religious  body  they  may  belong."     The  Lower  House 
appointed  a  similar  committee,  and  the  first  meeting  of 
the  New  Testament  Company  was  held  on  June  22,  1870. 
The  enlistment  of  American  scholarship  in  the  under- 
taking definitely  dates  from  the  proposition  to  "invite  the 
cooperation  of  some  American  divines"  which   was  the 
subject  of  action  in  the  convocation  as  early  as  July  7, 
1870.     It  was  unofficially  agreed  that  Bishop  Wilberforce 
should    enter    into    correspondence   with    the    Protestant 
Episcopal  Church  and  Dean  Stanley  with  other  American 
religious  bodies.     In  the  formation  of  the  American  com- 

1  On  the  Authorized  Version  of  the  New  Testament,  p.  180. 

2  Smith's  Dictionary  of  the  Bible,  Art.  "Authorized  Version,"  Am.  edition, 
p.  3442. 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  357 

mittee  Dr.  Schaff  was  called  upon  to  take  the  initiative 
and  leading  part.  He  selected,  in  consultation  with  the 
British  committee,  its  members,  and  made  arrangements 
for  its  organization  and  first  meeting.  The  provisional 
draught  of  its  constitution  emanated  from  his  hand,  and, 
when  the  American  Revisers  met,  he  was  chosen  chair- 
man. This  office,  besides  requiring  the  general  oversight 
of  the  committee's  affairs,  involved  protracted  negotiations 
of  a  delicate  nature,  first  with  the  English  committee  and 
then  with  the  University  presses  of  Cambridge  and  Ox- 
ford, which  finally  decided  the  nature  of  the  American 
cooperation,  whose  continuance  was  at  one  time  seriously 
imperilled.  Dr.  Schaff  acted  also  as  a  member  of  the 
New  Testament  Company. 

Dr.  Schaff's  first  note  of  his  connection  with  the  Re- 
vision movement  is  as  follows :  "Aug.  19,  1870.  I  drew 
up,  at  the  request  of  Dr.  Angus  and  Bishop  Ellicott,  a 
plan  of  cooperation  of  American  scholars  with  the  British 
commission  for  the  Revision  of  the  English  version  of  the 
Bible.  I  suggested  suitable  names  for  the  committee." 
Dr.  Joseph  Angus,  a  Baptist  divine  and  one  of  the  British 
Revisers,  coming  to  the  United  States  as  delegate  to  the 
conference  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance,  had  been  author- 
ized by  Bishop  Ellicott,  the  chairman  of  the  British  New 
Testament  Cornpany,  to  confer  with  Dr.  Schaff  and  other 
American  scholars,  as  he  might  select,  on  the  subject  of 
American  cooperation.  After  several  private  conferences 
with  Dr.  Angus,  Dr.  Schaff,  at  his  request,  sent  him  a  series 
of  suggestions  bearing  upon  the  organization  of  an  Ameri- 
can committee  and  a  list  of  scholars  to  carry  on  the  work, 
and  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  American  com- 
mittee be  taken  from  the  best  biblical  scholars  of  the  lead- 
ing evangelical  denominations,  that  it  cooperate  on  terms 
of  fraternal  equality  with  the  British  committee  and  that,  if 


any  differences  remained  after  a  comparison  of  their  work, 
a  joint  meeting  should  be  held,  if  possible,  of  the  two  com- 
mittees, either  in  London  or  New  York,  for  the  settlement 
of  the  final  Revision.  The  suggestions  provided  that  the 
expenses  of  the  American  committee  be  met  by  American 
friends  of  the  Revision. 

Returning  to  England  in  the  middle  of  September,  Dr. 
Angus  wrote  to  Dr.  Schaff :  — 

I  reported  to  our  committee  the  encouragement  I  had 
received  on  the  other  side  and  all  here  were  greatly  pleased 
to  find  you  were  so  cordially  disposed  to  help.  I  expect 
that  you  will  receive  from  Dean  Stanley  or  from  the 
Bishop  of  Gloucester  an  application  to  cooperate  with  us 
in  the  way  proposed.  Here,  the  New  Testament  Company 
are  getting  along  very  well.  Our  rate  is  about  thirty 
verses  a  day.  The  Old  Testament  friends  are  less  diligent 
or  more  talky.  Our  meetings  continue  in  spirit  all  that 
can  be  wished.  We  have  had  an  offer  from  publishers  to 
publish  the  work  for  ten  years. 

The  further  correspondence  was  carried  on  with  Dr. 
Schaff  by  Dean  Stanley  and  Bishop  Ellicott.  The  meas- 
ures upon  which  he  then  entered  for  organizing  the  Ameri- 
can committee  were  temporarily  checked  by  the  declination 
of  the  bishops  of  the  Episcopal  Church  as  a  body  to 
cooperate  in  the  movement  and  the  subsequent  difficulty 
in  securing  the  assent  of  any  of  their  number  to  do  so. 
Under  date  of  Jan.  13,  1871,  the  dean  wrote:  — 

I  address  myself  to  you  as  having  been  the  centre,  as 
I  understand,  of  the  communications  of  the  non-Episco- 
palian churches  with  Dr.  Angus  during  his  recent  visit. 
May  I  ask  you,  in  consideration  of  the  distance  of  space 
and  the  length  of  time  which  would  be  involved  in  re- 
peated correspondence  with  each  member,  to  enter  into 
such  negotiations  as  you  may  deem  advisable  with  the 
scholars  of  these  churches  ? 

From  the  list  of  scholars  which  the  dean  enclosed,  and 
which  with  one  or  two  exceptions  was  the  list  Dr.  Schaff 

chap,  xiv      REVISION-  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  359 

had  forwarded,  the  names  of  the  Episcopalian  divines 
were  omitted,  "in  consideration,"  as  he  wrote,  "of  the 
communication  opened  between  the  Bishop  of  Winchester 
and  Bishop  Potter,  it  being  thought  more  convenient 
and  important  that  they  should  be  invited  through  that 

It  seemed  to  the  English  committee,  as  Dean  Stanley  in 
a  later  communication  to  Dr.  Schaff  said,  that  direct  com- 
munication with  the  American  bishops  through  the  Bishop 
of  Winchester  was  "  the  mode  that  would  be  most  agree- 
able and  respectful  to  themselves."  The  House  of  Bishops, 
acting  upon  a  formal  communication  from  Bishop  Wilber- 
force  to  Bishop  Potter  (Aug.  7,  1871),  declined  to  take 
favorable  action,  stating  that  "  this  House,  having  had  no 
part  in  originating  or  organizing  the  said  work  of  Revision, 
it  is  not  at  present  in  condition  to  deliver  any  judgment 
respecting  it."  At  the  same  time,  the  body  expressed  its 
readiness  to  consider  with  candor  the  work  undertaken  by 
the  Convocation  of  Canterbury  whenever  it  should  be  com- 

In  his  letter  of  Jan.  13,  1871,  the  dean  had  suggested 
to  Dr.  Schaff  that,  if  he  thought  fit,  he  might  com- 
municate with  Bishop  Horatio  Potter,  representing  the 
Protestant  Episcopal  Church,  "and  to  whom  I  have  not 
written,  as  the  bishop  will  understand,  only  because  he 
has  already  received  a  communication  from  my  superior 
in  rank,  the  Bishop  of  Winchester."  Acting  upon  this 
suggestion,  Dr.  Schaff  communicated  to  the  bishop  his 
readiness  to  receive  any  communication  he  might  be 
pleased  to  make  on  the  subject  of  Revision,  and  "to  act  in 
concert  with  him  in  that  important  enterprise."  Dr.  Potter 
replied  (Feb.  14,  1871)  that  his  letters  from  the  Bishop  of 

1  Journal  and  Proceedings  of  the  Bishops,  Clergy  and  Laity  of  the  Protestant 
Episcopal  Church,  1872,  pp.  615,  616. 

360  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1871 

Winchester  had  made  no  reference  to  the  formation  of  an 
American  committee,  and  that,  in  any  event,  it  would  not 
be  in  his  power  to  take  any  action  in  relation  to  it. 

In  view  of  this  turn  of  affairs,  Dr.  Schaff  deferred 
further  steps  in  the  formation  of  the  American  committee 
till  he  had  communicated  with  England.  Under  date  of 
Feb.  27,  1 87 1,  he  wrote  as  follows  to  the  dean:  — 

I  have  made  all  arrangements  for  carrying  out  your 
wishes  in  regard  to  American  cooperation  with  the  work 
of  Revision,  but  a  communication  from  Dr.  Potter,  bishop 
of  the  diocese  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Church  of  New 
York,  makes  it  desirable  to  wait  for  further  instructions. 
At  your  suggestion  I  wrote  to  the  bishop  that  I  was  ready 
to  receive  any  communication  he  may  desire  to  make  to  me 
on  the  subject,  and  to  act  in  concert  with  him.  He  cour- 
teously replied,  first,  that  his  letters  from  the  Bishop  of 
Winchester  have  as  yet  made  no  reference  to  the  forma- 
tion of  an  American  committee,  and  second,  that  it  will 
not  be  in  his  power,  in  any  event,  to  take  any  action  in 
relation  to  it.     Please  inform  me  as  early  as  convenient :  — 

(1)  Whether  you  wish  me  to  organize  the  committee, 
as  far  as  the  non-Episcopal  scholars  are  concerned,  with- 
out waiting  for  further  action  on  the  part  of  the  Bishop 
of  Winchester  and  his  correspondents  in  this  country. 
(2)  Whether,  in  view  of  Bishop  Potter's  declining  to  act  in 
the  matter,  I  may  be  authorized  to  invite  Bishop  Mcllvaine 
of  Ohio  (who  is  well  known  in  England),  the  Rev.  Dr. 
Washburn  of  Calvary  Church,  New  York  (a  highly  accom- 
plished scholar),  or  any  other  Episcopal  scholars  you  might 
name,  to  act  as  members  of  the  American  Cooperative 
Committee  on  Revision. 

Several  weeks  later  (March  20,  1 871),  in  a  private  letter 
to  Dr.  Angus,  he  thus  expressed  himself  in  regard  to  the 
constituency  of  the  American  committee  :  — 

It  is  impossible  to  give  the  Episcopal  Church  such  a 
preponderance  in  the  American  committee  over  larger 
denominations  on  equal  footing  before  the  law,  as  the 
Church  of  England  may  claim  over  Dissenters  in  the  Brit- 
ish committee.     Unless  the  American  committee  can  be 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  36 1 

constructed  on  principles  of  justice  and  in  conformity  with 
the  configuration  of  American  Christianity  and  scholarship, 
it  will  prove  a  failure. 

Acting  upon  a  further  communication  from  Dean  Stan- 
ley, Dr.  Schaff  proceeded  to  organize  the  American  com- 
mittee. In  a  letter  to  the  dean,  May  1,  1 871,  he  transmitted 
documents  bearing  upon  the  subject.  The  letter  ran  as 
follows :  — 

I  received  your  letter  of  April  8th,  in  which  you  renew 
your  request,  with  the  approval  of  the  Bishop  of  Win- 
chester, that  I  should  organize  an  American  committee 
in  cooperative  union  with  the  British  committee.  I  shall 
now  without  delay  proceed  in  this  work  and  discharge  the 
trust  as  well  as  I  can.  I  intend  to  confine  myself  to  a 
small  and  select  number  of  biblical  scholars  of  recognized 
authority  and  representative  character,  who  are  able  and 
willing  to  give  efficient  aid  in  this  important  and  responsi- 
ble enterprise.  I  have  drawn  up  a  plan  and  submit  to 
you  three  printed  documents:  1.  A  Letter  of  Invitation. 
2.  The  principles  of  the  British  committee.  3.  Draught 
of  a  constitution  of  the  American  committee.  I  shall  be 
glad  to  learn  your  opinion  on  this  plan. 

His  letter  inviting  American  scholars  to  join  the  com- 
mittee bore  the  date  of  May  12,  1871,  and  ran  in  part  as 
follows :  — 

I  have  been  requested  and  authorized  by  the  British 
committee  for  a  Revision  of  the  Authorized  Version  of  the 
Holy  Scriptures,  through  the  Dean  of  Westminster,  to 
form  an  American  committee  in  cooperative  union  with  the 
British,  and  to  invite  a  select  number  of  biblical  scholars 
from  different  denominations  to  assist  in  the  proposed 
Revision.  You  are  aware  that  this  important  work  has 
begun  under  very  favorable  auspices  and  has  already  en- 
listed the  best  biblical  scholarship  of  Great  Britain.  It 
affords  me  great  pleasure  to  extend  to  you  hereby  an  in- 
vitation to  become  a  member  of  the  Old  (New)  Testament 
Company  of  the  American  committee. 


The  summer  of  1871  Dr.  Schaff  spent  in  Europe  and 
had  conferences  with  Dean  Stanley  and  Bishop  Ellicott 
and  with  the  Revision  Committee  as  a  whole.  From  his 
daily  journal  it  appears  that  on  June  26,  he  saw  the 
dean.  "  I  had  a  very  important  interview  with  Dean 
Stanley.  All  the  details  about  Bible  Revision  are  settled 
satisfactorily.  The  steps  I  have  taken  in  organizing 
the  American  committee  are  fully  approved.  At  Dr. 
Stoughton's,  I  dine  with  a  number  of  the  Bible  Revisers." 
Of  the  sessions  of  the  Revision  companies  at  the  Deanery 
of  Westminster  he  has  this  to  say :  "  The  meeting  of 
the  New  Testament  Revisers  was  intensely  interesting. 
Lightfoot,  Westcott,  Hort,  Scrivener,  Angus,  Merivale, 
Eadie,  David  Brown,  the  Bishop  of  Gloucester  (by  whose 
side  I  sat),  the  Bishop  of  Salisbury  and  others  were  all 
there.  No  outsider  is  admitted  except  the  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury."  Before  his  return  to  the  United  States  the 
revision  of  Matthew  was  completed,  but  the  copies  which 
were  ready  for  transmission  were  detained  on  account  of 
the  delay  in  securing  one  or  more  bishops  of  the  Episcopal 
Church  as  members  of  the  American  committee. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  American  committee  was  held 
in  Dr.  Schaff's  study  in  the  Bible  House,  New  York, 
Dec.  7,  1 87 1.  Besides  Dr.  Schaff,  there  were  present 
at  the  meeting  Ezra  Abbot  of  Harvard,  Dr.  Thomas  J. 
Conant  of  Brooklyn,  Professors  George  E.  Day  of  Yale, 
William  H.  Green  of  Princeton,  George  E.  Hare  of  the 
Episcopal  Divinity  School,  Philadelphia,  Charles  P.  Krauth 
of  the  University  of  Pennsylvania  and  Henry  B.  Smith 
of  Union  Theological  Seminary,  and  Dr.  Edward  A. 
Washburn  of  Calvary  Church,  New  York.1     The  following 

1  To  the  Old  Testament  Company  were  subsequently  added  Professors 
Charles  A.  Aiken  of  Princeton,  Charles  M.  Mead  now  of  Hartford  and 
Howard  Osgood  of  Rochester,  and  Dr.  Talbot  W.  Chambers  of  New  York,  and 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  363 

scholars,  not  present,  had  also  accepted  the  invitation  to 
cooperate  in  the  movement :  Professors  John  De  Witt  of 
Rutgers,  Joseph  Packard  of  Virginia,  Calvin  E.  Stowe  of 
Hartford,  James  Strong  of  Drew  Seminary,  Tayler  Lewis 
of  Schenectady,  H.  B.  Hackett  of  Newton  Centre,  James 
Hadley  of  Yale,  Charles  Hodge  of  Princeton,  Matthew  B. 
Riddle  then  of  Hartford,  Charles  Short  of  Columbia  Col- 
lege and  J.  Henry  Thayer  then  of  Andover,  and  President 
Theodore  D.  Woolsey  of  Yale  and  the  Rev.  Dr.  C.  A. 
Van  Dyck  of  Beirut.  Dr.  Howson,  Dean  of  Chester,  then 
on  a  visit  in  this  country,  was  also  present  by  invitation. 

Dr.  Schaff  announced  the  principles  on  which  he  had 
selected  the  committee  to  be  reputation  for  biblical  scholar- 
ship, denominational  affiliation  and  accessibility  to  New 
York  in  order  to  secure  regular  attendance  upon  the  meet- 
ings. The  draught  of  a  constitution  presented  by  him  was 
adopted  with  changes.  It  provided  that  the  American 
committee  consist  of  two  companies  and  conduct  its  work 
upon  the  basis  of  the  principles  adopted  by  the  British 
committee.  The  American  companies  were  to  receive  the 
Revision  text  of  the  British  companies  and  transmit  their 
emendations  back  to  them.  It  was  stipulated  that  a  joint 
meeting  of  the  American  and  British  committees  should 
be  held,  if  possible,  in  London  before  final  action.  This 
clause  was  subsequently  made  inoperative  by  another  mode 
of  procedure. 

On  the  evening  of  the  day  on  which  the  American  com- 
mittee was  organized,  a  popular  meeting  was  held  in  the 

to  the  New  Testament  Company  the  Rev.  Jonathan  K.  Burr  of  Trenton,  Presi- 
dent Thomas  Chase  of  Haverford  College,  Dr.  Howard  Crosby  of  New  York, 
Professors  Timothy  Dwight  of  Yale  College  and  A.  C.  Kendrick  of  Rochester, 
and  Bishop  Alfred  Lee  of  Delaware.  Professor  Smith  participated  in  the  first 
meeting  for  organization  only.  Professors  Hodge  and  Lewis  were  not  present 
at  a  single  meeting.  Dr.  George  A.  Crooks  afterwards  of  Drew  Seminary,  and 
President  Warren  of  Boston,  declined  the  original  invitation. 


interest  of  Revision  in  Calvary  Episcopal  Church,  New 
York.  The  audience  completely  rilled  the  room.  Dr. 
Washburn  and  Dean  Howson  made  addresses  which  set 
forth  the  need  of  a  Revision.  Dr.  Schaff  followed  with  an 
address  bearing  upon  the  plan  upon  which  the  work  was 
being  carried  on  in  England  and  what  might  be  expected 
from  it.     In  part  he  spoke  as  follows  :  — 

Our  very  respect  for  the  English  version  of  the  Script- 
ures demands  that  we  should  free  it  from  defects,  and  our 
respect  for  the  Christian  Church  demands  that  we  should 
give  it  the  benefit  of  all  that  accumulation  of  scriptural 
learning  which  has  come  to  pass  since  the  Authorized 
Version  was  prepared.  .  .  .  There  is  at  present  combined 
upon  this  work  a  larger  amount  of  biblical  scholarship 
than  there  has  ever  been  seen  before  on  any  version  of  the 
English  Scriptures.  I  am  convinced  that  the  work  will 
succeed.  The  Revisers  expect  to  be  engaged  seven  years 
in  it,  although  they  hold  meetings  every  month  in  the 
Jerusalem  Chamber.  When  the  work  has  passed  through 
their  hands,  it  will  be  offered  to  the  Christian  communions 
for  their  approval.  It  may  take  a  long  time  before  the 
churches  reach  a  final  decision.  It  took  two  hundred 
years  for  the  Latin  Vulgate  of  Jerome  to  supplant  the 
older  Itala.  Though  we  travel  much  faster,  it  may  take  a 
generation  until  this  new  version  shall  supplant  the  old  one. 
Without  doubt,  every  reader  of  the  new  version  will  be 
convinced  at  once  that  it  contains  innumerable  improve- 
ments, without  losing  any  of  the  idiom  of  beauty  of  our 
present  English  version.  The  changes  which  are  to  be 
made  involve  greater  accuracy,  clearness  and  consistency. 
The  body  of  the  translation  will  be  maintained  to  such  an 
extent  that  the  ordinary  reader,  in  hearing  it  read,  will 
hardly  perceive  the  difference. 

The  actual  inception  of  the  American  committee's  work, 
as  already  indicated,  was  delayed  by  the  temporary  fail- 
ure to  secure  a  member  from  the  bishops  of  the  Epis- 
copal Church.  It  was  felt  by  the  constituency  of  the 
Church  of  England  that  the  American  episcopate  should 
be   represented.      Bishop    Ellicott  wrote   to    Dr.   Schaff: 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  365 

"  The  presence  of  two  bishops  or  so  would  at  once  give 
the  home  public  of  Church  people  the  needed  confidence." 
Dr.  Schaff  had  (May,  1871)  invited  Bishop  Mcllvaine  of 
Ohio  and  Bishop  Lee  of  Delaware  to  join  the  committee. 
Dr.  Mcllvaine  declined  on  account  of  his  "brain  health." 
At  the  same  time,  in  the  broad  churchly  spirit  for  which 
he  was  known  and  beloved,  he  expressed  his  satisfaction 
at  the  selection  of  Dr.  Schaff  as  the  mediator  between 
the  British  committee  and  American  scholars,  in  these 
words  :  — 

I  am  glad  that  as  the  Revision  in  England  was  set 
on  foot  by  a  convocation  of  the  Church  of  England  and 
is  proceeding  mainly  under  such  guidance  and  control, 
in  constituting  an  American  committee  to  cooperate  the 
work  of  formation  has  been  given  by  the  British  com- 
mittee to  a  non-Episcopalian  and  to  you}  This  will  not 
only  greatly  help  the  all-sidedness  of  the  work,  but,  in  case 
it  shall  be  desirable  to  introduce  it  into  substitution  for  the 
present  version,  will  very  materially  prepare  the  way  for 
such  result. 

In  order  to  meet  the  wishes  of  the  British  committee, 
Dr.  Schaff  now  opened  correspondence  with  Bishop  Wit- 
tingham  of  Maryland,  Bishop  Williams  of  Connecticut, 
and  again,  through  Dr.  Washburn,  with  Bishop  Lee. 
The  two  former  prelates  declined,  although  not,  as  they 
stated,  "  from  any  hostility  to  the  Revision  itself."  Bishop 
Lee,  who  at  first  declined  from  the  fear  he  would  not  be 
able  to  meet  the  responsibility  involved  and  from  un- 
willingness to  "occupy  a  merely  nominal  position  in  so 
weighty  an  enterprise,"  after  further  correspondence  ac- 
cepted the  invitation.  The  result  was  satisfactory  to  the 
British  committee. 

In  the  summer  of  1872  Dr.  Schaff  again  had  personal 
conference  with  the  Revisers  in  London.     Dean  Stanley, 

1  The  italics  are  the  bishop's. 

366  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1872 

replying  to  his  question  whether  one  bishop  was  satis- 
factory, said,  "One  bishop  is  quite  enough."  His  first 
interview  with  Bishop  Ellicott  on  the  subject,  he  speaks 
of  as  lasting  three  hours,  "the  bishop  keeping  me  till 
after  twelve,  chatting  most  pleasantly  on  other  matters 
as  well  as  on  matters  of  the  Revision."  The  result  of 
the  conversation  was  so  satisfactory  to  him  that  he  con- 
tinues, "  All  will  come  out  right  now."  On  his  return  to 
the  United  States  he  carried  with  him  revised  copies  of 
the  first  three  books  of  the  Old  and  the  first  three  books 
of  the  New  Testament  for  distribution  among  the  Ameri- 
can Revisers.  These  copies  were  treated  as  strictly  con- 
fidential. Dr.  SchafFs  first  copies  contained,  in  Bishop 
Ellicott's  own  hand,  these  words  or  words  like  them :  — 

First  and  Provisional  Revision.  Private  and  confidential. 
This  copy  is  for  the  use  of  Professor  Philip  Schaff  alone,  and 
is  not  to  be  published  or  communicated  to  any  one  beyond 
the  body  of  American  Revisers.  Signed  C.  J.,  Gloucester 
and  Bristol,  Chairman. 

The  organization  of  the  American  committee  was  com- 
pleted Oct.  4,  1872,  Dr.  Schaff  being  elected  presi- 
dent and  Professor  George  E.  Day,  secretary.  The  two 
companies  into  which  it  was  divided,  after  choosing  their 
respective  officers,  proceeded  to  their  work.  Not  many 
months  elapsed,  however,  before  the  question  arose  what 
treatment  their  labors  were  meeting  with  in  England  and 
what  weight  was  to  be  attached  to  them  in  the  final  text 
of  the  Revision.  A  new  turn  was  given  to  the  question 
by  the  transfer  of  the  copyright  in  England  to  the  Uni- 
versity presses,  which  assumed  all  the  expenses  of  the 
enterprise.  American  cooperation  became  in  consequence 
seriously  imperilled,  and  for  some  time  it  seemed  as 
though  it  would  have  to  be  altogether  abandoned,  the 
American    committee    either    disbanding   or   undertaking 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  367 

an  independent  Revision.  To  the  maintenance  of  relations 
of  harmony  and  cooperation,  Dr.  Schaff  now  gave  the  full 
strength  of  his  influence  and  to  the  final  conclusion  reached 
contributed  very  largely.  His  whole  influence  was  given 
on  the  side  of  continued  cooperation.  He  regarded  it  of 
such  importance  for  the  interests  of  religion  in  general  as 
to  justify  the  most  strenuous  efforts  and,  if  necessary,  such 
concessions  by  the  American  committee  from  the  original 
understanding,  as  it  lay  in  his  mind,  as  were  not  inconsist- 
ent with  proper  self-respect. 

The  American  Revisers  had  undertaken  the  work  of 
Revision  with  the  understanding  on  their  part  that  they 
were  invited  to  share  a  joint  responsibility  with  the  members 
of  the  British  committee  and  that  by  the  election  of  some 
of  their  members  into  the  British  committee,  or  by  a  con- 
ference of  representatives  of  both  committees  for  the  final 
determination  of  the  text  of  the  Revision,  or  in  some  other 
such  way,  their  coordinate  rights  would  be  recognized. 
The  agreement  of  the  English  committee  with  the  Univer- 
sity presses,  being  subsequent  to  the  formation  of  the 
American  committee,  it  was  felt  that  no  obligations  thus 
incurred  should  invalidate  the  prior  understanding.  The 
expression  "cooperative  union  "  had  been  the  one  employed 
by  Dean  Stanley  to  indicate  the  relation  of  the  American 
committee  and  also  by  Dr.  Schaff  in  inviting  the  American 
scholars,  and  Dr.  Schaff  in  one  of  his  first  letters  to  the 
dean  had  used  the  expression  "  American  Cooperative 
Committee."  The  mode  of  cooperation  was  not  exactly 
defined  in  all  details,  but  included  the  possibility  of  a  joint 
conference  to  determine  the  final  text,  either  in  London 
or  New  York.  This  was  distinctly  referred  to  in  the 
constitution  of  the  American  committee.  Dean  Stanley 
had  made  objection  to  the  article  embodying  this  idea 
when  the  provisional  constitution  was  sent  to  him  by  Dr. 

368  THE  UFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1873 

Schaff,  but  the  constitution,  having  been  adopted  by  the 
American  committee  and  sent  to  the  British  companies  and 
its  receipt  acknowledged,  no  exception  was  taken  to  the 
article.  Under  these  circumstances,  it  was  fair  to  assume 
that  it  was  acceptable  in  all  its  parts.  The  American 
Revisers  entered  upon  their  task  with  the  impression  not 
that  they  were  simply  advisers,  but  that  they  were  fellow- 
revisers.  This  was  Dr.  Schaff's  distinct  understanding 
and  it  is  not  probable  he  would  have  seriously  thought  of 
entering  upon  the  work  on  any  other  condition. 

On  going  to  Europe  in  1873,  he  was  instructed  by  the 
American  committee  to  confer  with  the  British  Revisers 
concerning  the  relation  of  the  two  committees,  and  "to 
intimate  that  it  was  expected  a  positive  and  well-defined 
weight"  should  be  accorded  to  it  in  the  final  determination 
of  the  Revised  text.  Dr.  Schaff  made  the  following  notes 
in  his  journal  bearing  upon  the  subject  during  his  visit  in 
London : — 

July  6th,  1873.  Dine  with  the  Bishop  of  Gloucester  and 
Bristol  in  Portland  Place.  Met  his  venerable  father 
and  mother.  Striking  likeness  between  father  and  son 
and  similarity  of  speech.  The  bishop  is  truly  a  chip  of 
the  old  block.  We  had  a  long  conversation  about  Bible 
Revision,  continuing  until  eleven  o'clock.  .  .  .  July  gt/i. 
Appear  before  the  Old  Testament  Revision  Company  in 
the  library  of  the  Deanery  of  Westminster.  Very  impor- 
tant. Professor  Perowne  in  the  chair.  — July  1  ^th.  Meeting 
of  the  New  Testament  Revision  Company  in  Westminster 
Deanery.  Had  a  delightful  interview.  Most  courteously 
and  kindly  received.  Responses  to  my  address  by  Bishop 
Ellicott,  Archbishop  Trench,  Bishop  Wordsworth  and 
others. — July  i8t/i.  Received  official  answer  from  the 
Revision  companies.  Met  with  the  Old  Testament  Revi- 
sion Company  in  the  Chapter  library,  Bishop  Brown,  of 
Ely,  presiding.  A  very  pleasant  interview,  the  conserva- 
tive tendency  prevailing.  Here  ends  my  journey  in 
England,  which  has  been  in  every  way  important  and 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  369 

In  their  action  taken  at  this  time  the  British  companies 
declared  that  they  would  attach  "  great  weight  and  impor- 
tance to  all  the  suggestions  of  the  American  committee, 
and  in  each  case  take  into  account  the  unanimity  or  pre- 
ponderance of  opinion  with  which  the  suggestions  have 
been  made,"  and  that  it  was  their  desire  to  recognize  these 
labors  in  the  fullest  possible  way  compatible  with  their 
own  arrangements  with  the  University  presses,  but  that 
they  were  "precluded  from  admitting  any  persons  not  mem- 
bers of  their  own  body  to  take  part  in  their  decisions."  x 

Cordial  as  this  statement  was,  it  left  unsettled  the  point 
at  issue.  Correspondence  was  continued  until  in  1875 
the  American  committee,  insisting  upon  "  a  positive  and 
well-defined  weight  in  the  final  determination  of  the  Re- 
vised Scriptures,"  commissioned  Dr.  Schaff  to  have  per- 
sonal conference  with  the  British  committee.  He  found,  on 
his  arrival  in  Edinburgh,  that  both  companies  had  already 
met  and  contented  themselves  with  reiterating  their  former 
action.  On  receiving  the  official  notification  Dr.  Schaff 
expressed  his  feelings  in  his  journal  in  these  words :  — 

June  4t/i,  1875.  My  mission  about  Revision  is  appar- 
ently cut  off  by  the  resolution  of  the  two  British  companies 
adhering  to  their  former  action. 

He  was,  however,  not  a  man  to  turn  back.  Pushing  on 
to  London,  he  conferred  with  individual  members,  espe- 
cially the  chairmen,  Dr.  Ellicott  and  Dr.  Brown,  then 
Bishop  of  Winchester,  and  met  with  both  the  companies. 
The  following  extracts  from  his  journal  portray  the  course 
of  the  negotiations  which  he  deemed  as  among  the  most 
important  events  of  his  life. 

June  \\th.  I  have  had  full  and  satisfactory  exchange 
of  views  on  the  relation  of  our  Revision  committee  to  the 
British  companies.      I  shall  propose,  as  an  ultimatum,  a 

1  The  action  was  taken  July  16,  1873. 


committee  of  conference  and  an  independent  cooperation 
with  the  separate  publication  of  an  English  and  an  Ameri- 
can Revision  differing  only  on  minor  points  of  national 
taste,  etc.  — June  1  ^th.  Meet  Dean  Stanley  at  the  Deanery 
at  eleven.  Have  the  greatest  contest  of  my  life.  Sum- 
moned to  the  Jerusalem  Chamber  at  2.45,  I  fought  with 
the  New  Testament  Company  for  three  hours  for  the 
American  rights,  and  proposed  as  an  ultimatum  indepen- 
dent cooperation  to  the  end,  with  two  Revisions.  I  must 
light  the  same  battle  with  the  Old  Testament  Revisers.  — 
Jtme  17th.  Breakfast  with  Mr.  Gladstone.  I  was  delighted 
with  his  simplicity  and  frankness.  His  broad  common  sense 
suggested  the  same  solution  of  the  Revision  question  which 
I  had  arrived  at,  namely,  independent  cooperation.  Gov- 
ernor Winthrop  of  Boston  was  present.  — June  igtk.  Lunch 
with  the  Bishop  of  Winchester.  A  delightful  Christian 
scholar  and  gentleman.  Fine  family.  Dean  Howson 
also  present.  Important  conversation  about  Revision.  — 
July  Jth.  I  spend  the  evening  in  preparing  for  the  second 
great  contest.  — July  Zth.  I  met  the  Old  Testament  Com- 
pany in  the  Chapter  library,  Westminster,  at  eleven  a.m., 
Bishop  Brown  in  the  chair.  Made  an  address  in  behalf 
of  the  American  Revision  Committee,  which  was  very 
kindly  responded  to  by  the  chairman,  and  then  answered 
many  questions. — July  l$th.  To-day  the  New  Testament 
Company  unanimously  adopted  the  Old  Testament  Com- 
pany's proposal  for  a  settlement  of  the  American  question 
by  adopting  some  members  of  our  committee  into  theirs, 
subject  to  the  approval  of  the  University  presses.  — July 
\6th.  Rain,  rain,  rain !  New  Testament  Revision  Com- 
pany adjourned  to-day.  I  was  in  the  Jerusalem  Chamber. 
Dr.  Scrivener  congratulated  me  for  getting  so  much  out 
of  the  English  companies.  He  says  it  is  a  marvel.  Canon 
Troutbeck  gave  me  the  action  which  is  conditioned,  but 
gives  me  more  than  I  asked  and  secures  mutual  protection. 

In  his  addresses  before  the  British  companies,  Dr. 
Schaff  claimed  for  the  American  committee  the  standing 
of  "  fellow-revisers  and  fellow-authors  with  corresponding 
claims  and  responsibilities."  He  pressed  the  claim  on 
the  score  of  justice  and  expediency ;  justice,  because  the 
American  committee  was  fully  organized  and  was  giving 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  371 

the  benefit  of  its  time  and  scholarship,  and  it  would  be 
strange  if  a  single  member  of  the  British  companies 
should  have  a  power  superior  to  the  entire  American 
committee ;  expediency,  inasmuch  as  proper  recognition 
should  be  granted  to  the  American  scholars  who  stood  as 
the  representatives  of  millions  of  English-speaking  peo- 
ple, if  one  version  was  to  continue  in  force  for  the  English- 
speaking  world.  The  settlement  Dr.  Schaff  proposed  was, 
that  the  British  and  American  committees  cooperate  as 
independent  bodies,  each  communicating  its  work  to  the 
other  and  having  the  privilege  to  publish  a  Revision  of  its 
own,  each  reserving  the  right  to  retain  its  own  renderings 
where  it  was  found  impossible  to  agree.  The  action  of 
the  British  companies  went  further  than  Dr.  Schaff  asked, 
in  providing  for  the  "cooptation  "  of  four  members  from 
each  committee  into  membership  in  the  other,  or  "the 
appointment  of  certain  members  of  the  American  com- 
mittee as  members  of  the  British  committee,  and  vice 
versa."  "  This  plan,"  said  Dr.  Schaff  a  few  years  later, 
"  was  certainly  all  that  the  Americans  could  ask  or  wish, 
and  more  than  they  could  have  expected,  considering  that 
the  English  began  the  work  and  had  the  larger  share  of 
the  responsibility.  The  proposal  is  the  best  evidence 
that  the  British  companies  sincerely  desired  to  continue 
the  connection  on  the  most  honorable  and  liberal  terms." 

The  action  of  the  British  companies  was  final  as  far 
as  they  were  concerned,  but  the  arrangement  was  made 
conditional  upon  ratification  by  the  University  presses,  to 
whom  the  English  copyright  had  been  transferred.  When 
a  consummation  so  honorable  to  both  parties  seemed  to  be 
reached,  it  was  a  startling  surprise  to  the  American  com- 
mittee to  have  the  question  of  copyright  protruded  —  the 
rock  upon  which  all  cooperation  came  near  suffering  ship- 
wreck.   The  syndics  of  the  University  presses,  with  whom 


Dr.  Schaff  at  once  put  himself  into  communication,  acting 
formally  upon  the  resolutions  of  the  British  Revision  com- 
panies, agreed  to  ratify  them  on  condition  that  the  American 
committee  purchase  the  copyright  of  the  Revision  for  a 
consideration  of  five  thousand  pounds.  The  American 
committee  declined  the  proposal,  taking  the  position  that 
its  relation  to  the  work  of  Revision  was  exclusively  a 
moral  one,  and  that  the  question  of  joint  authorship  and 
responsibility  for  it  were  matters  wholly  distinct  from 
property  and  commercial  rights.  They  felt  that  the  mat- 
ter of  copyright  was  intrusive.  The  British  companies, 
being  informed  of  the  attitude  of  the  American  Revisers, 
reaffirmed  their  action  of  July  8,  1875,  declaring  that  they 
had  no  right  to  interfere  with  the  legitimate  rights  of  the 
University  presses.  At  this  point  a  final  rupture  of  the 
two  committees  was  narrowly  avoided.  The  following 
record  occurs  in  Dr.  Schaff  s  journal  March  31,  1876:  — 

Bible  Revision  meeting  to-day.  We  finish  the  second 
Revision  of  the  Catholic  Epistles  and  take  up  Romans. 
The  letters  of  Bishops  Ellicott  and  Brown  (for  the  two 
British  companies)  were  referred  to  a  special  committee, 
consisting  of  Drs.  Woolsey,  Krauth  and  Chambers,  to  report 
at  the  next  meeting.  An  important  crisis  in  our  relation 
to  the  English  committee  and  the  University  presses. 

When  the  committee  met  again  (April  28),  it  appeared 
that  a  strong  sentiment  existed  in  favor  of  independent 
action.  Dr.  Schaff  favored  delay  and  further  conference. 
He  was  not  opposed  to  independence  if  that  were  the 
only  alternative  consistent  with  self-respect.  He  was  fully 
convinced  of  the  abundant  competency  of  the  American 
committee  to  produce  a  valuable  and  satisfactory  Revision 
without  help  from  England.  But  what  he  was  anxious 
for  was,  that  unanimity  should  characterize  the  course  of 
the  American  Revisers  and  the  relation  of  friendly  co- 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  373 

operation  between  London  and  New  York  should  be  main- 
tained if  effort  and  good  will  could  bring  that  result  about. 
His  journal  makes  the  following  note  of  this  important 
meeting :  — 

We  have  a  most  important  discussion  from  twelve  to  one 
and  from  two  to  six  in  the  afternoon  on  the  resolution  of 
the  special  committee  recommending  a  declaration  of  inde- 
pendence from  the  English  committee.  Every  member 
fully  expressed  his  views.  About  twelve  for  and  twelve 
against  independence.  I  made  a  speech  and  opposed  all 
action  at  present  till  we  secure  full  harmony  among  our- 
selves. The  report  of  President  Woolsey,  Chambers  and 
Krauth  could  not  be  passed  and  was  referred,  on  motion 
of  Dr.  Osgood,  to  a  new  committee,  consisting  of  Drs. 
Crosby,  Chambers  and  Washburn,  to  report  at  the  next 
meeting.  The  Episcopalians  (Drs.  Lee,  Washburn,  Pack- 
ard, Hare  and  Professor  Short)  are  unanimously  against 
independence.  Dr.  Green  likewise.  So  we  must  resort 
to  a  compromise. 

Again  Dr.  Schaff  refers  to  the  matter  in  his  journal  for 
May  26 :  — 

Bible  Revision  meeting  at  nine.  Full  attendance.  Gen- 
eral meeting  of  the  whole  committee  at  twelve  and  again 
from  two  to  six  p.m.,  discussing  our  relation  to  the  English 
committee.  We  adopted  a  number  of  resolutions  reported 
by  Drs.  Crosby,  Washburn  and  Chambers,  after  boiling 
them  down  considerably.  All  voted  in  favor  but  Dr. 
Krauth,  who  objected  to  the  rhetoric.  Dr.  Dwight  would 
probably  likewise  have  voted  no,  but  he  left  before  the 
vote.  He  is  in  favor  of  cutting  loose  from  the  English 
and  going  on  on  an  independent  basis.  The  resolutions 
are  simply  a  restatement  of  our  former  position. 

This  position  was  that  the  question  of  copyright  was 
irrelevant  and  intrusive  —  something  which  did  not  have 
a  place  in  the  original  agreement.  The  point  at  issue 
was  the  recognition  of  the  American  committee  as  fellow- 

374  THE  UFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1876 

revisers1  by  the  British  committee,  irrespective  of  copy- 
right or  any  other  such  consideration.  The  next  word  from 
England  was  that  the  University  presses  had  prohibited 
the  British  companies  from  sending  any  more  material  to 
the  United  States. 

The  following  is  Dr.  SchafFs  note  touching  this  commu- 
nication :  — 

July  yh.  Meeting  of  the  New  Testament  Company.  I 
read  the  letter  of  Canon  Troutbeck  announcing  the  start- 
ling intelligence  that  the  University  presses  forbid  the 
sending  of  further  material.  We  concluded  to  go  on  with 
the  Revision  independently,  if  necessary,  and  refer  the 
whole  subject  to  a  general  meeting  of  the  committee  on 
the  last  Friday  of  September,  the  Old  Testament  Com- 
pany concurring. 

The  American  companies  did  actually  go  on,  making 
independent   revisions  of   Isaiah  and  the   Epistle  to  the 

1  The  following  extract  from  a  private  letter  to  Dr.  Schaff  from  the  late 
Professor  Hort,  a  member  of  the  New  Testament  company,  shows  how  in 
England  the  question  of  copyright  was  considered  to  be  necessarily  involved 
in  any  agreement  between  the  two  committees,  and  how  anxious  English  Re- 
visers were  that  the  American  cooperation  should  not  be  abandoned. 

"  It  is  a  great  disappointment  to  find  that  fresh  difficulties  have  arisen  in  the 
negotiations  about  the  Revised  Version,  when  all  seemed  to  be  promising  well. 
I  do  not  see  how  it  would  have  been  possible  to  separate  any  such  formal 
recognition  of  cooperation  as  would  have  served  your  purposes  from  questions 
of  copyright ;  and  the  University  presses  had  clearly  a  right  to  a  voice  in  the 
matter  affecting  copyright,  as  indeed  in  other  matters  that  might  touch  their 
interests.  But  further  I  must  confess  my  inability  to  find  fault  with  the  re- 
quirements put  forward  by  the  presses.  The  terms  themselves  appear  to  be 
reasonable,  to  say  the  least.  In  return  for  the  terms  asked,  the  American 
committee  would  at  all  events  obtain  complete  command  of  the  American 
market  and  exemption  from  the  cost  of  press  composition.  You  may  rest 
assured  that  there  is  among  us,  not  in  the  companies  only,  but  also,  if  I  may 
speak  for  my  own  university,  in  the  authorities  of  the  presses,  a  strong  desire 
to  maintain  the  substantial  unity  of  the  Revised  English  Bible  of  both  coun- 
tries and  also  to  respect  and  uphold  the  just  self-respect  of  our  brethren  across 
the  water  in  every  practicable  matter.  We  are  convinced,  however,  that  we 
should  not  be  really  promoting  these  ends  by  ignoring  the  inevitable  condi- 
tions and  accompaniments  of  so  large  an  undertaking." 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  375 

Hebrews.     Here  is  Dr.  SchafF s  entry  of  the  next  meet- 
ing: — 

September  29th.  A  most  important  meeting  of  the  Re- 
vision committee.  We  discussed  all  day  our  troubles  with 
the  English  companies  and  the  University  presses.  I  was 
chairman  of  the  committee  to  prepare  resolutions  and 
spent  all  afternoon  and  evening  with  Dr.  Woolsey,  Dr. 
Green  and  Dr.  Day.  Our  minds  worked  in  different 
directions,  but  we  agree  upon  two  resolutions  (Woolsey's) 
and  two  proposals  to  the  English  presses  (one  by  Dr. 
Green  and  one  by  myself)  and  a  preamble  (Dr.  Day  and 
myself)  to  be  laid  before  the  whole  committee  to-morrow. 

The  action  taken  the  next  day  was  in  view  of  a  letter 
from  the  representatives  of  the  University  presses  (July 
10,  1876)  reopening  correspondence  and  asking  whether 
the  American  committee  had  any  further  proposition  to 
make  touching  cooperation  with  the  British  companies, 
and  promising  to  take  it  into  respectful  consideration. 
The  purport  of  the  action  in  reply  was  that  the  two  com- 
mittees work  together  on  the  basis  of  the  same  principles 
as  before,  and  aim  at  one  and  the  same  Revision,  differ- 
ences to  be  finally  settled  by  conference  or  otherwise ;  or 
else,  if  the  differences  remain  unadjusted  and  it  seems 
best  for  each  committee  to  issue  a  recension  of  the  com- 
mon work,  each  has  the  right  to  do  so. 

During  the  visit  of  Dr.  Schaff  in  England  in  January, 
1877,  on  his  way  to  the  East,  a  final  mode  of  agreement 
was  settled  upon  between  himself  and  Dr.  Cartmell,  as  the 
representative  of  the  University  presses,  which  was  sub- 
sequently endorsed  by  the  American  committee  and  formed 
the  final  basis  on  which  the  Revision  thereafter  proceeded.1 

1  The  full  text  of  the  correspondence  with  the  University  presses  is  given  in 
The  Documentary  History  of  the  American  Committee  on  Bible  Revision,  pp. 
99-128.  The  work, which  was  marked  "private  and  confidential,"  was  pre- 
pared at  the  instance  of  the  committee  by  Dr.  Schaff,  New  York,  1885, 186  pp. 

376  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1877 

He  thus  wrote  to  a  son  from  London,  Jan.  1,  1877:  "I 
have  just  sent  a  telegram  which  you  no  doubt  have  trans- 
mitted to  Professor  Day.  I  am  exceedingly  thankful 
for  the  result  and  so  is  every  British  Reviser  I  have  seen. 
This  happy  issue  is  alone  fully  worth  a  trip  to  Europe. 
Our  relations  will  hereafter  be  more  cordial  than  ever. 
The  arrangement  which  I  have  concluded  with  Dr.  Cart- 
mell,  who  manages  the  whole  business  for  the  University 
presses,  will  no  doubt  be  ratified  in  a  few  weeks."  The 
matter  was,  however,  not  finally  settled  till  six  months  later. 
By  this  final  compact,  the  British  Revision  companies 
were  to  forward  their  revised  text  to  America  and  to 
give  careful  consideration  to  the  American  changes  and 
suggestions.  The  result  of  a  second  revision  in  England 
was  to  be  transmitted  to  the  United  States  and  the  Ameri- 
can emendations  thereon  to  receive  "special  consider- 
ation." The  authorized  text  of  the  Revised  Version  was 
to  contain  for  a  period  of  fourteen  years  an  Appendix  con- 
taining such  changes  as  the  American  committee  insisted 
upon  and  which  had  not  been  adopted  by  the  British  Re- 
visers. On  their  part  the  American  Revisers  agreed  not 
to  issue  any  edition  of  their  own  or  to  encourage  any  but 
the  authorized  edition  proceeding  from  the  University 
presses,  during  the  term  of  fourteen  years.  By  this 
arrangement,  it  was  Dr.  Schaff  s  judgment,  the  Americans 
secured  the  full  recognition  of  their  rights  as  fellow- 
revisers.1      So   were    concluded    the    negotiations   which 

1  See  his  Companion  to  the  Greek  Testament,  pp.  401  sqq.  In  the  course  of 
an  elaborate  and  carefully  written  letter  to  Dr.  Schaff  on  the  subject  of  the 
Revision  (March  5,  1883),  Dr.  Ezra  Abbot  said:  "In  view  of  the  extent  to 
which  the  suggestions  of  the  American  committee  were  actually  adopted  not- 
withstanding they  were  precluded  from  voting  and  the  influence  which  their 
general  endorsement  of  the  Revision  has  had  and  will  continue  to  have  in 
promoting  its  reception  in  this  country,  the  American  Revisers  have  no  reason 
to  regret  their  cooperation,  or  to  feel  that  their  self-respect  has  suffered  by 
their  compliance  with  its  inevitable  conditions.     Finis  coronat  opus." 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  377 

required  great  care  and  delicacy  of  treatment  and,  it  may 
be  said  again,  were  to  the  American  Revisers  a  matter  of 
deepest  concern  in  view  of  the  possible  religious  interests 
involved.  Dr.  Schaff  s  personal  acquaintance  in  England 
and  the  respect  in  which  he  was  held  by  all  parties  con- 
tributed, without  doubt,  materially  to  the  final  adjustment. 
The  Revised  text  itself  shows — what  his  personal  contact 
with  the  British  Revisers  assured  him  of,  as  well  as  the 
official  correspondence  from  England  —  that  great  weight 
was  attached  to  the  American  changes  by  the  British 

The  expenses  of  the  American  committee  were  met  by 
voluntary  gifts  and  by  receipts  from  presentation  copies  of 
the  Revised  Old  and  New  Testaments  elegantly  bound. 
The  members  received  nothing  for  their  services  and  time, 
their  expenses  to  and  from  New  York  alone  being  paid. 
Under  Dr.  SchafFs  direction,  a  finance  committee  was 
organized  including  prominent  clergymen  and  laymen,  Dr. 
Nathan  Bishop  being  chairman,  and  Mr.  A.  L.  Taylor 
treasurer.  The  burden  of  presenting  the  cause  before  the 
churches  and  to  individuals  fell,  however,  very  largely  upon 
Dr.  Schaff.  The  repeated  thanks  of  the  Revision  Com- 
mittee were  extended  for  his  services  in  this  behalf.  The 
uncertainty  for  several  years  as  to  the  exact  standing  of 
the  American  committee  made  the  collection  of  funds, 
which  otherwise  would  have  been  easy,  at  times  laborious. 
The  expenses  of  the  English  committee,  amounting  to 
more  than  one  hundred  thousand  dollars,  were  borne  by 
the  University  presses.  The  total  amount  expended  by 
the  American  committee  during  the  fourteen  years  of  its 
labor  was  not  quite  forty-eight  thousand  dollars. 

It  may  be  regarded  as  most  noteworthy  that  one  whose 
mother  tongue  was  not  English  should  be  chosen  for  the 
responsible  place  of  leading  in  a  movement  for  the  Revi- 


sion  of  the  English  Scriptures.  To  Dr.  Schaffs  inter- 
national reputation  as  a  biblical  scholar  his  selection  as 
the  organizer  of  the  American  committee  must  chiefly  be 
ascribed.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  he  was  better  known  in 
this  respect  in  Great  Britain  than  any  other  living  Ameri- 
can divine.  His  broad  ecclesiastical  sympathies  and  the 
confidence  with  which  he  was  regarded  in  all  evangelical 
communions  no  doubt  confirmed  the  judgment  that  he 
was  the  proper  man  for  a  task  where  the  combination  of 
all  Protestant  confessions  was  a  matter  of  almost  para- 
mount importance. 

Once  having  accepted  the  chairmanship  of  the  American 
committee,  he  threw  himself  with  great  ardor  into  the  per- 
formance of  the  executive  duties  within  the  committee; 
and  in  the  wider  task  of  setting  forth  the  claims  and  mode 
of  Revision  before  the  American  public,  he  was  indefati- 
gable. He  presented  the  cause  in  pamphlet  and  press; 
before  individual  churches  and  at  gatherings  convened  for 
the  purpose  in  private  parlors;  before  clerical  meetings 
and  ecclesiastical  assemblies.  He  travelled  from  New 
York  to  San  Francisco,  and  from  the  New  England  states 
to  Richmond,  Augusta  and  Savannah  (December,  1880), 
in  order  that  all  parts  of  the  country  might  have  a  share 
in  the  Revision  of  the  Scriptures.  In  one  of  his  publica- 
tions on  the  subject,  the  forces  that  should  combine  in 
producing  the  work  are  thus  emphasized:1  — 

The  Revision  must  be  chiefly  a  work  of  biblical  scholar- 
ship, but  its  success  will  depend  by  no  means  on  scholar- 
ship alone.  The  most  thorough  knowledge  of  Hebrew  and 
Greek  would,  after  all,  only  enable  us  to  understand  the 
letter  and  the  historical  relations  of  the  Scripture,  but  not 

1  The  Revision  of  the  English  Version  of  the  New  Testament,  published 
separately  and  also  used  as  an  Introduction  to  a  volume  republished  by  Dr. 
Schaff  and  containing  the  essays  of  Trench,  Lightfoot  and  Ellicott  on  the 
reasons  for  a  Revision,  New  York,  1873. 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  379 

its  soul,  which  lives  in  the  body  of  the  letter.  The  Bible 
is  a  divine  as  well  as  a  human  book,  and  reflects  the 
theanthropic  character  of  the  incarnate  Logos.  To  under- 
stand, to  translate  and  to  interpret  the  Word  of  God,  we 
must  be  in  sympathy  with  its  spirit,  which  is  the  Holy 
Spirit.  Profound  sympathy  with  the  ideas  of  the  Bible, 
religious  enthusiasm,  a  reverent  and  devout  spirit,  breathe 
through  the  Vulgate,  Luther's  German  and  the  Authorized 
English  version,  and  give  them  their  enduring  power  ;  and 
only  the  same  qualities,  united  with  superior  scholarship, 
can  commend  the  proposed  version  to  the  acceptance  of 
our  churches. 

Dr.  Schaff  was  a  regular  participant  in  the  work  of  the 
New  Testament  Company.  The  two  companies  met  in 
adjoining  rooms  at  the  Bible  House,  one  of  which  was  his 
study,  on  the  last  Friday  and  Saturday  of  each  month  ex- 
cept during  the  summer,  when  they  held  a  session,  usually 
lasting  a  week,  at  New  Haven,  Princeton,  Lake  Mohonk 
or  some  other  place.  President  Woolsey,  as  chairman,  sat 
at  the  head  of  the  table  around  which  the  New  Testament 
Revisers  Worked.1  Dr.  Howard  Crosby  sat  at  the  foot. 
Dr.  Schaff's  place  was  next  to  Professor  Short,  who,  as 
the  original  secretary,  sat  at  Dr.  Woolsey's  left.  Opposite 
them,  at  the  chairman's  right,  sat  Bishop  Lee,  Professor 
Thayer,  the  permanent  secretary,  and  Ezra  Abbot.  The 
day's  proceedings  were  opened  with  prayer.  When  Dr. 
Woolsey,  who  gave  almost  unrestrained  liberty  for  discus- 
sion, was  absent,  Dr.  Crosby  presided,  carrying  with  him 
to  his  seat  his  usual  reputation  for  promptness.  Or,  as 
Dr.  Schaff  was  accustomed  to  say,  "  Dr.  Crosby  drove  very 
fast."  Such  cautious  and  deliberate  scholars  as  Dr.  Abbot 
sometimes  looked  on  with  amazement  at  the  rapidity  with 
which  matters  were  pushed,  but  all  held  Dr.  Crosby  in  love. 

1  This  table  is  deposited  in  the  museum  of  the  Union  Theological  Seminary. 
The  table  at  which  the  Old  Testament  Revisers  sat  is  in  the  possession  of 
Rutgers  College,  New  Brunswick,  New  Jersey. 


The  discussions  were  often  very  animated,  hours  some- 
times being  devoted  to  single  renderings,  or  to  the 
proper  English  expression  to  be  used.  Although  Bap- 
tists, Methodists,  Friends,  Episcopalians,  Congregational- 
ists,  Presbyterians  and  a  Unitarian1  sat  together  and  joined 
in  the  discussion  and  wide  differences  of  opinion  were 
expressed  in  matters  of  the  Greek  text  and  the  English 
idiom  and  construction,  there  was  at  no  time  any  departure 
from  the  principles  of  Christian  courtesy  and  good  will. 

Dr.  Schaff  assumed  a  moderate  position  in  relation  to 
the  changes.  In  all  cases  he  favored  the  best-attested 
Greek  text,  but  he  would  on  occasion  have  admitted  dif- 
ferent English  equivalents  for  the  same  Greek  word.  He 
was  opposed  to  retaining  archaic  expressions,  as  charger 
for  platter,  let  for  prevent,  by  and  by  for  immediately, 
meat  for  food,  or  faults  of  grammar.  He  was  willing  to 
make  concessions  to  the  English  ear  in  passages  endeared 
by  association,  provided  the  meaning  of  the  original  was 
not  misrepresented.  A  single  change  shows  his  faithful- 
ness to  church  history.  The  final  Revision,  —  Paul's 
address  to  the  elders,  Acts  xx.  28,  —  as  it  came  from  Eng- 
land in  1879,  contained  "overseers"  in  the  text  and 
"bishops"  in  the  margin.  In  Dr.  Schaff's  own  copy  he 
has  written  on  the  margin  "  Bishops  in  the  text  in  all  pas- 
sages, and  overseers  in  the  margin  (moved  by  Schaff  and 
adopted  unanimously  April  30,  1880).  The  discussion 
was  long."  The  printed  copies  of  the  Revision,  it  will 
be  seen,  contain  the  American  change  and  read :  "  Take 
heed  unto  yourselves,  and  to  all  the  flock,  in  the  which 
the  Holy  Ghost  hath  made  you  bishops." 

The  following  entry  on  the  margin  of  Dr.  Schaff's  pro- 
visional copy  of   the  American  Appendix,  written  in  his 

1  The  Lutheran  and  Dutch  Reformed  churches  were  represented  on  the  Old 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  38 1 

own  hand,  gives  a  valuable  statement  of  the  feeling  of 
the  New  Testament  Revisers  in  regard  to  the  number  of 
the  changes  to  be  insisted  upon  for  the  Appendix.  The 
discussion  referred  to  took  place  at  a  meeting  in  New 
Haven,  July  7,  1880. 

Dr.  Woolsey  read  the  section  in  the  Agreement  bearing 
upon  the  American  Appendix.  The  question  is  what  are 
changes  of  "special  importance."1 — Dr.  Crosby:  favors 
the  smallest  Appendix,  confined  to  classes  of  changes, 
that  the  reader  may  get  an  impression  of  our  agreement 
rather  than  disagreement.  —  Bishop  Lee :  same  opinion. 
At  the  same  time  he  wishes  other  changes  might  be  pre- 
served. —  Professor  Chase  :  undecided.  —  Dr.  Dwight : 
Our  suggestions  are  analogous  to  the  marginal  readings. 
Our  Appendix  is  an  enlargement  of  the  margin.  The 
Revision  will  be  severely  criticised  for  not  having  this 
or  that  improvement,  for  unfaithfulness  to  our  oppor- 
tunity. This  objection  will  be  met  in  part  by  a  large 
Appendix.  —  Dr.  Schaff  :  suggests  a  small  Appendix  for 
the  authorized  edition  of  the  Revision,  and  a  separate 
publication  of  all  our  changes,  which  shall  perpetuate  the 
results  of  our  ten  years'  labors,  for  the  use  of  scholars.  — 
Dr.  Abbot :  We  are  bound  in  honor  to  take  the  language 
"  of  special  importance  "  in  its  natural  sense,  but  we  can- 
not say  without  special  examination  what  is  of  special  im- 
portance. —  Dr.  Riddle  :  of  the  same  opinion.  Go  on  with 
a  view  to  reducing  the  number  of  suggestions.  —  Dr. 
Thayer :  sides  with  Dr.  Dwight  for  a  large  Appendix  on 
the  ground  of  intrinsic  merits  rather  than  practical  effect. 
—  Dr.  Kendrick :  gives  a  liberal  construction  to  our  agree- 
ment, yet  narrows  it  so  as  to  make  the  Appendix  as  small 
as  is  consistent  with  fidelity  to  the  Word  of  God  and  to  the 
readers  of  the  Bible.  An  Appendix  is  in  itself  an  evil ; 
the  larger  the  Appendix  the  greater  the  evil.  —  Dr.  Wool- 
sey :  favors  with  Drs.  Dwight  and  Thayer  a  large  Appen- 

1  The  article  referred  to  reads :  "  Such  differences  of  reading  and  rendering 
as  the  American  committee  may  represent  to  the  English  companies  to  be  of 
special  importance  [that  is,  after  the  preceding  interchange  of  emendations 
had  been  made]  shall  be  distinctly  stated  either  in  the  Preface  to  the  Revised 
Version,  or  in  an  Appendix  to  the  volume  during  a  term  of  fourteen  years 
from  the  date  of  publication. 


dix.  If  the  Appendix  is  to  be  so  small  as  Dr.  Crosby 
suggests,  I  shall  feel  I  have  spent  my  time  in  vain.  Dr. 
Schaff  suggests  a  special  publication.  That  may  be  done, 
yet  the  Appendix  ought  to  be  pretty  full. 

A  note  in  Dr.  SchafFs  journal  bears  upon  the  final  sit- 
ting of  the  New  Testament  Revisers  in  1880. 

October  22.  Last  meeting  of  the  New  Testament  Com- 
pany of  the  Bible  Revision  Committee  from  9  a.m.  to 
4  p.m.  New  Testament  finished  after  eight  years  of  labor 
beginning  October,  1872.  An  important  chapter  in  our 
lives.  We  parted  almost  in  tears  with  mingled  feelings 
of  gladness  at  the  completion  of  the  work  and  sadness  at 
the  breaking  up  of  our  monthly  meetings  so  full  of  instruc- 
tion and  interest  and  ruled  by  perfect  harmony. 

Of  the  last  session  of  the  Old  Testament  Company  in 
1884,  he  writes:  — 

December  i$th.  On  this  day  the  Old  Testament  Com- 
pany of  Revisers  finished  their  work  of  fourteen  years. 
Next  week  I  shall  send  the  American  Appendix  to  Eng- 
land. Te  Deum  laudamus.  We  lunched  together  yes- 
terday and  to-day  at  Sieghortner's  and  parted  thankfully, 
yet  sadly,  after  so  many  years  of  harmonious  cooperation. 
I  am  making  good  progress  in  securing  subscribers  to  the 
Memorial  Edition  and  hope  to  secure  ten  thousand  dollars, 
which  will  cover  all  our  expenses  and  leave  something  over 
for  possible  future  work. 

The  Revision  of  the  New  Testament  was  given  to  the 
public  in  May,  1881  ;  the  Old  Testament  four  years  later, 
in  May,  1885.  The  publication  of  the  New  Testament 
created  a  sensation  scarcely  equalled  and  probably  not 
excelled  in  the  history  of  English  literature  in  this 
country.  The  enterprise  of  the  daily  press  gives  an  indi- 
cation of  the  popular  interest.  In  their  Sunday  issues  of 
May  22,  two  days  after  the  work  was  issued  in  New 
York,  the  Chicago  Times  and  the  Chicago  Tribune  gave 
the  text  entire  in  their  columns.     A  copy  was  received  in 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  383 

Chicago  on  Saturday  night  and  the  Tribune  employed 
ninety-two  compositors  to  set  it  up.  More  noteworthy 
still  was  the  enterprise  of  the  Times,  more  than  one-half 
of  whose  issue  was  made  from  a  telegraphic  report.  This 
journal,  not  without  proper  pride,  said  of  its  issue :  "Such 
a  publication  as  this  is  entirely  without  precedent.  It  in- 
dicates on  the  one  hand  the  widespread  desire  to  see  the 
Revised  Version,  and  on  the  other  the  ability  of  the  Times 
to  supply  the  public  with  what  it  wanted.  The  four  Gos- 
pels, the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  and  the  Epistle  to  the 
Romans  were  telegraphed  from  New  York.  This  portion 
of  the  New  Testament  contains  about  one  hundred  and 
eighteen  thousand  words,  and  constitutes  by  manifold  the 
largest  despatch  ever  sent  over  the  wires." 

Dr.  SchafPs  journal  contains  the  following  notes  bear- 
ing upon  the  issue  of  the  New  Testament. 

May  17,  1 88 1.  Intolerable  excitement  and  disturbance1 
in  view  of  the  approaching  publication  of  the  Revision. 
It  was  published  to-day  in  England  and  will  be  in  New 
York  on  Friday. — May  20th.  To-day  the  Revised  New 
Testament  is  issued.  Two  hundred  thousand  copies  are 
sold  in  New  York.  The  greatest  literary  sensation.  It  is 
a  republication  of  the  Gospel  to  the  English-speaking 
world.  [A  short  time  later  he  said:]  The  eagerness  of  the 
public  to  secure  the  Revision,  and  the  rapidity  and  extent 
of  its  sale,  surpassed  all  expectations  and  are  without  par- 
allel in  the  history  of  the  book  trade.  Who  will  doubt 
that  the  New  Testament  has  a  stronger  hold  upon  man- 
kind now  than  ever  before  and  is,  beyond  all  comparison, 
the  most  popular  book  among  the  two  most  civilized  na- 
tions of  the  earth  ? 

On  his  visit  to  England  in  1884  he  had  his  first  oppor- 
tunity of  hearing  the  judgments  of  English  scholars  upon 
the  Revision.     In  company  with  Professor  George  E.  Day 

1  He  is  referring  to  the  condition  of  things  at  his  own  study  in  the  Bible 


and  Professor  Mead,  he  attended  a  meeting,  the  last  but 
one,  of  the  Old  Testament  Company,  and  with  them,  at 
the  invitation  of  the  chairman,  Bishop  Harvey,  made  an 
address.  From  the  Bishop  of  Gloucester  he  learned  that 
the  New  Testament  Company  was  "  disinclined  to  re-con- 
vene for  work  and  considered  itself  practically  disbanded." 
At  Oxford,  he  found  Dr.  Hort  and  Professor  Westcott 
engaged  upon  the  revision  of  the  Apocrypha,  but  both 
opposed  to  any  attempt  at  re-Revision.  It  might  only  re- 
sult in  a  sacrifice  of  truth  and  accuracy  to  popularity  and 
linguistic  prejudice.  So  Dr.  Vaughan  also  expressed 
himself,  thinking  that  if  the  old  committee  were  to  reas- 
semble the  result  would  be  the  same,  but  that  another 
generation  would  take  up  the  work  and  modify  it.  Arch- 
deacon Palmer  thought  there  was  no  hope  for  the  success 
of  the  Revision  in  the  present  generation. 

At  a  reception  given  to  the  American  Revisers  and  in- 
vited guests,  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Elliot  F.  Shepard  at  their 
residence  Oct.  26,  1882,  Dr.  Schaff  said :  — 

Having  spent  over  ten  years  on  the  work  and  discharged 
their  trust  to  the  best  of  their  ability,  the  Revision  com- 
panies leave  the  result  to  Providence  and  the  decision  of 
the  churches,  for  whose  benefit  the  Revision  was  made. 
They  knew  all  along  that  the  Revision  did  not  come  up  to 
their  own  ideal.  No  perfect  work  can  be  expected  from 
imperfect  men,  nor  is  it  possible  to  please  everybody. 
But  it  is  the  best  they  could  offer  as  a  compromise  be- 
tween the  often  conflicting  views  of  some  fifty  scholars  of 
all  denominations  and  two  countries.  They  expected  a 
searching  criticism,  friendly  and  unfriendly,  and  they  are 
not  disappointed  or  discouraged  at  the  result. 

The  judgment  of  the  public  has  not  been  as  favorable 
upon  the  Revision  as  Dr.  Schaff  expected  it  would  be. 
At  its  first  appearance,  the  work  was  vigorously  and  some- 
times truculently  assailed.  This  was  to  be  expected. 
The  attack  on  the   New  Testament  was  led  by  the  late 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE 


Dean  Burgon,  and  on  the  Old  Testament  by  Dr.  Charles 
A.  Briggs.  A  certain  kind  of  popular  prejudice,  ex- 
pressed in  the  words  which  Dr.  Schaff  often  laughingly 
repeated,  "  that  if  St.  James'  Version  was  good  enough 
for  St.  Paul,  it  is  good  enough  for  me,"  he  was  prepared 
for.  He  expected  that  its  adoption  would  follow  only 
after  some  years  of  use,  but  that  in  time  the  recognition  of 
its  merits  would  outweigh  all  the  objections  drawn  from 
the  changes  of  text  and  English  idiom.  He  expressed 
himself  in  this  confident  way,  a  few  years  before  the  New 
Testament  appeared :  — 

I  never  have  had  the  least  fear  of  the  ultimate  fate  of 
the  Revision  text.  There  has  never  been  such  a  truly 
providential  combination  of  favorable  circumstances  and 
of  able  and  sound  biblical  scholars  from  all  the  evangeli- 
cal churches  of  the  two  great  nations  speaking  the  English 
language  for  such  a  holy  work  of  our  common  Christian- 
ity, as  is  presented  in  the  Anglo-American  Bible  Revision 
committees.  This  providential  juncture,  the  remarkable 
harmony  of  the  Revisers  in  the  presentation  of  their  work 
and  the  growing  desire  of  the  churches  for  a  timely  im- 
provement and  rejuvenation  of  our  venerable  English 
version  justify  the  expectation  of  a  speedy  and  general 
adoption  of  the  new  version  in  Great  Britain  and 

Dr.  Schaff  knew  well  that  Jerome's  Version  owed  noth- 
ing to  official  action.  It  won  its  way  by  its  merits.  He 
knew  also  that  it  was  without  official  action  that  King 
James'  Version  came  into  gradual  use.  He  hoped,  how- 
ever, that  authoritative  ecclesiastical  recognition  would  be 
given  in  Great  Britain  and  the  United  States,  not  by 
supplanting  the  old  version,  but  by  allowing  the  new. 
His  optimism  and  confidence  that  the  impulse  of  progress 
would  yet  bring  this  about  continued  to  assert  themselves 

1  Anglo-American  Bible  Revision,  being  a  series  of  essays  by  members  of 
the  American  committee,  p.  20,  Philadelphia,  1879. 


in  the  face  of  the  failure  of  ecclesiastical  organizations 
to  take  action.1  When  spoken  to  about  the  matter,  he 
always  went  back  to  original  principles,  expressing  him- 
self in  words  like  these  :  — 

English  readers  will  not  be  contented  with  King  James' 
Version.  They  know  that  something  better  can  be  made. 
It  is  in  the  interest  of  loyalty  to  God's  Word  that  errors 
should  be  corrected  and  a  good  translation  take  the  place 
of  an  inferior  one.  Such  a  providential  combination  of 
circumstances  and  such  a  cooperation  of  denominations 
can  hardly  be  expected  to  occur  soon  again,  if  ever. 
Certainly  not  within  fifty  or  one  hundred  years  will  a  new 
Revision  be  undertaken.  And  if  undertaken,  then  the  work 
would  have  to  be  done  over  from  the  start,  as  the  scholars 
would  be  fresh  at  their  task.  No  faultless  piece  of  work 
can  be  expected.  The  Revised  Version  is  not  free  from 
defects.  I  would  have  had  some  things  different,  if  I 
had  been  the  only  one  to  be  consulted.  But  upon  the 
whole,  the  Revision  is  a  vast  improvement  upon  the  Ver- 
sion of  161 1,  and  the  best  that  the  combined  scholarship 
represented  on  the  committee  could  make  it.2 

In  the  course  of  a  reply  to  the  congratulations  of  the  Yale 
theological  faculty  on  the  occasion  of  his  semi-centennial  in 
1892,  he  wrote  to  President  D wight :  — 

No  members  of  the  Revision  Committee  were  better 
prepared,  more  regular  in  attendance  and  more  weighty  in 
judgment  than  the  three  representatives  of  Yale.     I  look 

1  The  only  denomination  to  take  favorable  action  during  Dr.  Schaff  s  life 
was  the  Baptist,  at  its  convention  in  Saratoga  in  1883.  Dr.  Schaff  pre- 
sented the  claims  of  the  Revision  before  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Southern 
Presbyterian  Church  at  Stanton,  Virginia,  May  24,  1881,  and  a  week  later 
before  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Northern  Presbyterian  Church  at  Pitts- 
burg as  he  had  done  before  at  Madison  in  1880. 

2  The  judgment  of  Bishop  Westcott  on  the  Revision  in  an  article  published 
in  the  Expository  Times,  1892,  Dr.  Schaff  regarded  as  deserving  of  great 
weight.  The  writer  says :  "  I  cannot  but  regard  that  period  of  anxious  labor 
on  the  Revised  Version  with  the  deepest  satisfaction  and  thankfulness.  The 
Revision  has  brought,  as  I  believe,  the  words  and  thoughts  of  the  Apostles 
before  the  English  people  with  a  purity  and  exactness  never  attained  before. 
.    .    .    I  rarely  hear  a  sermon  when  it  is  not  quoted.    .    .    .     The  acceptance 

chap,  xiv     REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  387 

back  upon  our  monthly  meetings  at  my  study  in  the  Bible 
House  with  unalloyed  satisfaction.  It  is  impossible  that 
a  work  to  which  a  hundred  scholars  of  various  denomina- 
tions of  England  and  America  have  unselfishly  devoted 
so  much  time  and  strength,  can  be  lost.  Whether  the 
Revised  Version  may  or  may  not  replace  King  James' 
Version,  it  will  remain  a  noble  monument  of  Christian 
scholarship  and  cooperation,  which  in  its  single  devotion 
to  Christ  and  to  truth  rises  above  the  dividing-lines  of 
schools  and  sects. 

After  the  publication  of  the  New  Testament,  the  Ameri- 
can committee  continued  to  maintain  its  organization, 
holding  annual  meetings  for  conference  and  business  until 
1 89 1 1  and  social  gatherings,  as  at  the  residences  of  Elliot 
F.  Shepard  in  1882  and  Morris  K.  Jesup  of  New  York  in 
1883.  It  was  Dr.  Schaff's  earnest  hope  that  after  the 
expiration  in  1895  and  1899  of  the  copyright  agreement 
entered  into  with  the  University  presses,  a  standard  Ameri- 
can edition  incorporating  the  changes  of  the  American 
Appendix  might  be  issued.  He  felt  that  it  was  important 
that  this  should  be  done  with  the  authority  of  the  Ameri- 
can companies  before  their  members  were  removed  by 
death.2  Action  looking  to  this  result  was  taken  at  the 
meeting  in  November,  1885,3  and  subsequent  annual  meet- 

which  it  has  received  has  been  beyond  my  expectation,  and  as  I  believe  beyond 
the  acceptance  of  the  Revision  of  161 1  in  the  same  time." 

Bishop  Ellicott  in  the  Expositor  for  April,  1896,  declared  that  "  there  seem 
now  many  reasons  for  thinking  that  in  due  time "  the  opposition  to  the 
Revised  Version  will  die  out.  This  judgment  Dr.  Schaff  would  have  been 
inclined  to  share. 

1  The  last  meeting  of  the  New  Testament  Revisers  which  Dr.  Schaff  at- 
tended was  at  New  Haven,  June,  1893. 

2  Six  members  of  the  American  Old  Testament  Company  and  three  of  the 
New  survive. 

8  Professor  J.  Henry  Thayer,  the  secretary  of  the  New  Testament  company, 
wrote  me,  under  date  Aug.  19,  1895,  of  the  proposed  American  Standard 
edition  of  the  Revised  New  Testament  as  follows :  "  With  your  father's  death 
the  prospect  of  success  in  the  solicitation  of  funds  for  a  seemly  edition  disap- 
peared, and  our  diminishing  numbers  and  taxed  leisure  have  held  the  whole 


ings.  In  1897  only  nine  of  the  thirty-two  members  of 
the  committee  were  living. 

Dr.  SchafPs  last  published  statement1  on  the  subject 
of  the  Revision  refers  to  this  action  and  points  out  the 
particulars  in  which,  according  to  his  judgment,  the  Amer- 
ican Standard  edition  should  differ  from  the  edition  of 
the  Oxford  and  Cambridge  presses.  The  American  Ap- 
pendix should  be  incorporated  in  the  text,  headings  be 
prefixed  to  the  chapters,  and  references  be  made  in  the 
New  Testament  to  its  quotations  from  the  Old  Testament. 
These  are  the  closing  words  of  the  article  and  his  last 
published  words  on  this  subject : — 

The  Revisers  ask  only  that  the  work  which  has  cost 
them  fourteen  years  of  earnest  and  disinterested  labor,  and 
in  which  the  scholarship  of  all  the  leading  Protestant  de- 
nominations was  represented,  should  have  a  fair  chance. 
It  is  for  the  Christian  public  and  the  churches  to  decide 
whether  the  Revision  shall  be  authorized  for  optional  or 
exclusive  use  in  the  place  of  King  James'  Version.  The 
committee  was  commissioned  to  give  the  most  faithful  ver- 
sion of  the  purest  texts  obtainable.  This  they  have  done, 
and  it  is  remarkable  that  the  severest  critics  have  as  yet 
not  been  able  to  discover  any  real  error  of  translation. 
On  the  contrary  their  objections  amount  to  this,  that  the 
Revision  is  too  faithful  or,  in  the  words  of  the  late  Bishop 
Wordsworth,  "  that  it  is  too  well  done." 

Here  are  two  testimonies  to  this,  one  of  the  most  honor- 
able labors  of  Dr.  SchafPs  life :  — 

The  first  is  from  the  late  Dr.  Talbot  W.  Chambers,  one 

project  in  suspense  to  this  hour."  Since  then  the  work  has  been  prose- 
cuted, and  Dr.  Thayer  writes,  Aug.  14,  1897:  "At  the  present  time  both 
companies  are  engaged  in  preparing  an  edition  incorporating  the  American 
preferences,  which  will  be  published  on  the  expiration  of  the  period  of  fourteen 
years  from  the  completion  of  the  English  Standard  edition  in  1885." 

1  In  the  Sunday  School  Times,  Feb.  28,  1891.  See  also  Dr.  Schaffs 
articles  on  the  "  Revised  Version  and  its  Critics  "  in  the  Independent,  March- 
July,  1883,  and  "The  Present  Status  of  Revision"  in  the  Independent,  April, 

chap,  xiv      REVISION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE  389 

of  the  most  faithful  members  of  the  Old  Testament  Com- 
pany.1 "  Dr.  Schaff,  as  a  member  of  the  New  Testament 
Company,  took  his  share  of  the  Revision  there  carried  on, 
but  his  most  remarkable  service  was  performed  in  securing 
ways  and  means,  and  providing  for  what  may  be  called 
the  general  work  of  the  committee.  Here,  he  showed 
himself  a  man  of  affairs,  endowed  with  no  small  share 
of  executive  wisdom  and  tact;  .  .  .  his  industry  was  un- 
wearied, his  tact  marvellous.  What  he  did  was  done  with 
his  might.  He  spared  no  pains,  and  constantly  surprised 
his  colleagues  on  the  committee  with  the  fertility  of  his 
resources.  The  Revised  Version  is  a  great  boon  to  all 
English-speaking  peoples,  as  it  puts  in  their  possession, 
in  a  convenient  form,  the  results  of  the  scholarship  of 
more  than  two  centuries ;  and  for  the  American  share  in 
the  work,  the  Christian  public  is  indebted  to  Philip  Schaff 
more  than  to  all  other  persons  together." 

The  other  is  from  the  American  committee  of  Revisers, 
given  in  the  authoritative  account  of  its  work.2  "The 
committee  desire  to  record,  in  this  review  of  their  labors, 
their  acknowledgment  of  the  great  service  rendered  by 
their  president,  Dr.  Philip  Schaff.  His  untiring  energy 
and  constant  devotion  to  the  interests  of  the  work,  from 
its  inception  to  its  close,  deserve  the  thanks  of  all  who 
have  cooperated  in  any  way  in  the  preparation  of  the 
Revised  Version,  and  also  of  all  who  shall  find  in  it  help 
and  light  in  their  reading  of  the  Word  of  God.  It  was 
owing  to  him,  more  than  to  any  other,  that  the  work  was 
undertaken  in  this  country,  and  to  him  likewise  is  largely 
due  the  success  with  which  the  means  for  carrying  it 
forward  have  been  secured." 

1  Papers  of  the  American  Society  of  Church  History,  Vol.  VI.  p.  6. 

2  Historical  Account  of  the  Work  of  the  American  Committee  of  Revision, 
New  York,  1885,  p.  56. 





Roman  Catholic  Baptism  in  the  Presbyterian  Church  —  German  Universi- 
ties —  Gottingen  and  Ritschl  —  Marburg  and  Giessen  —  Zwingli  Festi- 
val —  Bonn,  Berlin,  Greifswald,  Leipzig  —  Halle  and  Jena  —  Hase  — 
Heidelberg  Celebration  —  Spain  —  Renan  —  Henry  Ward  Beecher  — 
Drs.  Prime  and  Hitchcock  —  Lake  Mohonk  as  a  Summer  Home  —  Pro- 
fessor of  Church  History  —  Bologna  —  Doctor  of  Divinity  again  — 
St.  Andrews  —  Bishop  Hefele  and  Papal  Infallibility  —  The  Death  of 

An  occasion  was  again  given  to  Dr.  Schaff  in  the  early 
part  of  the  year  1885  to  lift  his  voice  effectually  in  favor 
of  catholic  Christianity.  At  the  General  Assembly  of  the 
Presbyterian  Church  meeting  in  Cincinnati,  in  which  he 
sat  as  commissioner  ("not  expecting  to  be  of  much  use, 
for  I  am  not  an  ecclesiastic"),  the  validity  of  Roman 
Catholic  baptism  came  up  for  discussion  under  a  resolu- 
tion introduced  by  Judge  Drake,  declaring  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  to  be  no  part  of  the  church  of  Christ. 
In  leading  the  opposition  Dr.  Schaff  was  in  line  with 
Presbyterians  of  unquestioned  loyalty  to  the  Westmins- 
ter standards,  like  Dr.  Charles  Hodge,  who  had  vigor- 
ously resisted  similar  action  forty  years  before;  and  he 
was  congratulated  by  one  of  Dr.  Hodge's  successors  "  for 
his  success  in  keeping  the  church  right  on  Romish  bap- 
tism "  on  this  occasion. 


The  following  letter  to  a  son  gives  some  account  of  the 
debate :  — 

Yesterday  afternoon  began  the  great  struggle  in  the 
Assembly  over  the  validity  of  Roman  Catholic  baptism, 
and  it  will  be  continued  to-day.  I  made  my  speech,  which 
was  listened  to  apparently  with  great  attention  and  will 
kill  Judge  Drake's  resolution  that  the  Roman  Church 
is  no  church  of  Christ  at  all,  but  the  synagogue  of  Satan, 
that  her  priests  are  usurpers,  and  her  ordinances  null  and 
void.  I  just  reversed  his  resolution  and  proved  that  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church,  though  corrupt  and  holding  un- 
scriptural  errors,  yet  retaining  the  Holy  Scripture  and 
ancient  creeds  with  all  the  fundamental  truths  of  Chris- 
tianity, is  still  a  branch  of  the  visible  church  of  Christ 
and  that,  therefore,  baptism  performed  by  her  ministers 
into  the  name  of  the  Holy  Trinity  and  with  the  inten- 
tion to  baptize  is  true  and  valid  Christian  baptism  which 
cannot  and  ought  not  to  be  repeated.  I  proved  my  posi- 
tion from  the  confessions  and  the  uniform  theory  and 
practice  of  all  the  Reformed  churches.  Judge  Drake's 
resolution  cannot  pass,  but  it  is  quite  possible  that  both 
his  anti-popery  resolutions  and  my  substitute  will  be 
tabled,  and  the  Assembly  declare  its  ignorance  and  leave 
the  question  of  the  validity  of  Roman  baptism  with  the 
church  sessions,  to  dispose  of  according  to  their  superior 
wisdom.  Such  a  result  would  be  rather  humiliating  yet 
infinitely  preferable  to  the  endorsement  of  an  outrage 
upon  two  hundred  millions  of  professing  Christians.  I 
feel  relieved  after  my  speech.  Dixi  et  animam  meant 
salvavi.  I  know  now  why  I  was  sent  to  this  Assembly, 
and  am  thankful  that  I  have  been  permitted  to  bear  my 
testimony  against  this  unreasoning  and  uncharitable  anti- 
popery  fanaticism. 

In  his  address  he  said  that,  "  if  converts  from  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  are  to  be  rebaptized,  then  we  must  dig 
up  the  bones  of  Calvin  and  Zwingli  and  Luther  and 
sprinkle  them  over  again.  The  Roman  Catholic  Church 
solemnly  condemns  rebaptism.  Shall  the  Presbyterian 
Church  out-pope  the  pope  ?  The  Presbyterian  Church 
is  orthodox  enough   to  be  liberal." 

392  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1885 

A  pastor  from  Michigan  recalled  the  scene  of  this 
discussion  after  Dr.   Schaff's  decease  :  '  — 

The  burning  question  of  the  Assembly  was  Roman 
baptism.  Dr.  Schaff's  speech  was  the  feature  of  the 
debate.  Never  before  was  the  importance  of  a  know- 
ledge of  church  history  better  shown.  His  proofs  of 
the  positions  of  the  Reformers  and  the  consequences  re- 
sulting from  the  denial  of  Roman  baptism  were  simply 
overwhelming.  The  beginning  of  his  speech  was  en- 
livened by  a  piece  of  wit  which  will  be  remembered  by 
all  who  heard  him.  The  preceding  speaker  had  made 
a  bitter  attack  on  the  Church  of  Rome  and  wound  up 
his  address  by  the  statement  that  in  Rome  there  were 
baptized  jackasses.  Dr.  Schaff  then  took  the  platform 
and  with  twinkling  eyes  began  by  saying,  "We  will  dis- 
cuss to-day  the  baptism  of  men  and  women,  and  leave 
the  jackasses  alone."  The  roar  of  laughter  which  fol- 
lowed completely  extinguished  the  previous  speaker  and 
prepared  the  way  for  the  strong  historical  argument 
which  followed. 

In  the  summer  of  1885,  Dr.  Schaff  began  a  systematic 
tour  among  the  universities  of  Germany,  which  was  com- 
pleted the  following  year.  It  was  thirty  years  since  he 
had  sent  forth  his  work  on  German  universities.  His 
object  now  was  to  form  the  personal  acquaintance  of  the 
younger  generation  of  theologians,  who  were  filling  the 
places  of  the  teachers  of  his  early  years,  and  had  already 
supplanted  not  a  few  of  his  contemporaries.  Only  a 
few  of  the  teachers  with  whom  he  was  personally  ac- 
quainted in  1844,  such  as  Hase,  Lechler,  Kahnis  and 
Jacobi,  were  left.  There  is  no  better  illustration  of  Dr. 
Schaff's  youthful  turn  of  mind  than  this  effort  to  keep 
himself  abreast  of  the  theological  opinion  of  the  age. 
Some  of  his  observations  were  given  in  two  series  of 
articles  in  the  Independent.  The  first  tour  included 
Gottingen,    Giessen,    Marburg,    Heidelberg    and    Strass- 

1  New  York  Evangelist,  Dec.  21,  1893. 


burg.       The   following   observations   are   extracted   from 
his  notes :  — 

German  scholars  are  very  accessible  and  always  ready 
for  an  intelligent  discussion  of  doctrinal,  historical  and 
critical  problems  and  all  the  live  questions  of  the  day, 
except  politics,  of  which  they  know  little  and  care  less. 
They  exercise  a  simple  and  inexpensive  hospitality  and 
season  it  with  the  feast  of  reason  and  the  flow  of  soul. 
They  have  the  happy  faculty  of  enjoying  themselves 
rationally  among  books  and  in  the  open  air  with  natural 
ease  and  freedom  without  any  show  and  ceremony. 

After  being  in  Gottingen,  he  had  this  to  say  of  Ritschl :  — 

He  is  now  sixty-three  years  of  age,  but  looks  well  and 
hearty.  He  is  very  frank  and  blunt,  has  strong,  positive 
convictions,  is  a  good  lecturer  on  dogmatics  and  ethics  and 
has  about  one  hundred  hearers.  He  is  the  only  living 
divine  in  Germany  who  has  a  regular  school  and  he  con- 
trols by  his  pupils  the  faculties  of  Marburg  and  Giessen. 
His  system  is  a  species  of  new  Kantianism  and  theo- 
logical agnosticism,  and  a  reaction  against  the  pretentious 
over-speculation  of  the  Hegelian  school.  Like  Schleier- 
macher,  he  draws  a  sharp  line  of  distinction  between  phi- 
losophy and  theology,  and  his  chief  object  is  to  expel 
metaphysics  from  the  domain  of  dogmatics,  and  to  con- 
fine the  latter  to  the  limits  of  revelation  in  the  Bible  and 
Christian  experience.  He  emphasizes  the  ethical  element 
above  the  dogmatic. 

On  hearing  of  Ritschl's  death  several  years  later,  he 
wrote  to  Dr.  Mann  as  follows  :  — 

So  Ritschl  is  dead.  But  not  his  school.  I  do  not  have 
so  unfavorable  an  opinion  of  it  as  you  have.  It  is  a 
reaction  against  the  Hegelian  much-knowledge  and  all- 
knowledge  (  Vielwissen  und  Allwisseti).  It  once  more 
leads  away  from  the  realm  of  speculation  and  up  to  the 
sources  of  revelation  and  from  confessional  ecclesiasticism 
to  biblical  Christianity.  At  any  rate,  Ritschl  has  started  a 
movement  in  the  department  of  theology.  There  is,  how- 
ever, no  unity  among  his  pupils.  He  told  me  in  1885  that 
he  was  a  good  Lutheran.     That  is  open  to  grave  doubt 

394  THE  LIFE  0F  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1885 

His  doctrine  of  justification  is  altogether  un-Lutheran,  as 
is  also  his  theory  of  the  atonement.  He  himself  held  on 
firmly  to  the  Gospel  of  John,  but  several  of  his  pupils,  like 
Schiirer  and  Harnack,  put  it  down  into  the  second  cen- 
tury. .  .  .  Zahn  and  Harnack  are  at  present  engaged  in  a 
duel  over  the  canon  of  the  New  Testament.  They  are 
spirits  equally  endowed,  equally  learned  and  equally  keen, 
veritable  bristle  brushes  (Kratzbiirsten).  Harnack  is  at  the 
present  moment  the  leading  teacher  of  Germany  and  only 
thirty-eight  years  old.  But  the  contemporary  brood  of 
theologians  is  considerably  behind  the  former  generation, 
Schleiermacher,  Neander,  Baur,  Ewald,  Nitzsch,  Miiller 
and  Tholuck. 

At  Marburg,  he  was  curious  to  meet  Wellhausen,  then 
of  the  philosophical  faculty,  whose  History  of  Israel  had 
popularized  the  theories  first  set  forth  by  Vatke  and  Reuss. 
In  his  Syriac  collegium  Dr.  Schaff  found  a  single  student. 
The  professor  told  him  he  had  two,  but  one  was  so  far 
advanced  that  a  second  class  had  to  be  constituted  for 
him.  In  the  history  of  the  Orient,  he  had  twenty^ 
hearers.  He  sat  with  him  at  his  table  and  found  him  an 
agreeable  conversationalist,  with  a  good  deal  of  humor. 
Wellhausen  said  that  theological  students  waste  too  much 
time  on  Hebrew,  which  they  afterwards  forget,  and  ought 
to  study  the  Septuagint  instead. 

Dr.  Kurtz,  the  ninth  edition  of  whose  popular  manual 
of  church  history  had  just  appeared,  was  then  living  in 
retirement  at  Marburg  at  the  age  of  seventy-six.  To  a 
question  touching  the  liberalizing  influence  of  the  study  of 
church  history,  he  replied :  "  Yes,  my  study  of  the  past 
history  of  the  church  has  liberalized  my  views  most  decid- 
edly. I  have  long  since  been  emancipated  from  strict  con- 
fessional Lutheranism." 

AtGiessen,  he  found  Schiirer,  Harnack  and  Kattenbusch. 
"  Schiirer,"  so  he  writes  after  spending  an  afternoon  with 
him,  "  is  a  sober,  cautious,  critical  (rather  sceptical),  con- 


scientious  and  thorough  scholar.  ...  I  spent  seven  hours 
with  Harnack.  He  is  only  thirty-four  and  among  the  first 
patristic  scholars  of  the  age.  He  has  an  extraordinary 
working  power,  is  a  fresh,  interesting  and  stimulating  lect- 
urer and  excites  enthusiasm  among  his  students."  Dr. 
Schaff  predicted  at  that  time  that  Harnack  would  soon  be 
called  to  a  larger  field  and  probably  to  Berlin,  a  prediction 
fulfilled  two  years  later. 

At  Strassburg,  Holtzmann  and  Edward  Reuss,  the  ven- 
erable senior  of  the  faculty,  were  the  most  interesting 
figures.  Reuss  was  at  the  time  eighty-four  years  old,  but 
in  full  activity.  Dr.  Schaff  had  corresponded  with  him, 
but  never  met  him  before.  He  spent  a  delightful  evening 
in  his  study  and  with  his  family,  and,  after  a  cursory 
examination,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  his  library  of 
fourteen  thousand  volumes  was  probably  the  finest  private 
theological  library  in  existence.  He  was  one  of  the  few 
German  divines  who  could  read  English. 
.  From  Strassburg,  he  went  to  Heidelberg  and  to  Switzer- 
land, visiting  the  universities  of  Zurich,  Bern  and  Basel. 
During  his  visit  in  his  native  country,  the  unveiling  of  the 
fine  statue  of  Zwingli  at  Zurich  occurred,  August  25.  It 
stands  on  one  of  the  streets  of  the  city  to  which  he  gave 
his  life,  and  represents  the  Reformer  facing  the  lake  and 
looking  up  to  heaven,  with  one  hand  holding  the  Bible, 
the  other  resting  on  the  sword. 

This  festival  occasion  [writes  Dr.  Schaff,  on  the  evening 
of  the  unveiling]  is  a  striking  proof  how  deeply  the  mem- 
ory of  Zwingli  is  embedded  in  the  heart  of  his  people.  It 
was  truly  a  festival  of  the  people.  This  evening  the  whole 
city  of  Zurich  and  the  villages  on  the  lake  as  far  as 
Horgen  were  illuminated,  and  presented  a  spectacle  such 
as  Zurich  never  saw  before  on  so  large  a  scale.  .  .  .  Al- 
together the  Zwingli  festival  was  an  unqualified  success 
and  will  long  be  remembered.     Such  a  festival  would  be 


impossible  at  Geneva  in  honor  of  Calvin,  for  the  popula- 
tion of  that  city  is  Roman  Catholic,  and,  for  a  large  portion 
of  the  Protestant  population,  Calvin  has  unfortunately  been 
replaced  by  Rousseau.  Calvin  was  not  a  man  of  the  people 
as  were  Luther  and  Zwingli. 

In  1886  Dr.  Schaff  extended  his  university  tour  to  Bonn, 
Berlin,  Greifswald,  Leipzig,  Halle,  Jena  and  Heidelberg. 
He  used  to  observe  that  of  some  German  professors  it 
^/  might  be  said  that  the  good  Lord  knows  everything  but 

they  know  a  little  more,  especially  when  it  comes  to  the 
Bible.  Ewald  was  indignant  when  he  heard  Strauss  had 
published  two  volumes  on  the  life  of  Christ,  and  exclaimed, 
"  If  he  had  asked  me,  I  could  have  told  him  everything !  " 
Bonn  was  less  homelike  now  that  Lange  was  dead.  Christ- 
lieb  and  Professor  Krafft  remained.  With  Langen  and 
Reusch  of  the  Old-Catholic  faculty  he  also  had  fellowship, 
and  with  Bishop  Reinkens,  who  gave  him  Dollinger's 
Luther-pamphlet  and  the  French  translation  of  his  lect- 
ures on  the  Reunion  of  Christendom.  Ultramontane  pro- 
fessors had  just  been  appointed  to  lecture  side  by  side  with 
the  representatives  of  the  Old-Catholic  movement.  "  The 
May  laws  were  a  mistake,"  notes  Dr.  Schaff.  "The  way  to 
oppose  the  Roman  Church  is  to  build  up  the  Protestant." 

Of  the  university  of  Berlin  he  expressed  the  opinion 
that,  if  an  American  student  had  time  for  only  one  term 
in  Germany,  he  should  spend  it  there.  Neander,  Mar- 
heineke,  Nitzsch,  Hengstenberg,  were  long  since  dead. 
Kaftan,  the  occupant  of  Dorner's  chair,  he  found  an  able 
lecturer.  Dillmann  he  heard  on  Deuteronomy  and  Isaiah. 
Bernhard  Weiss  he  pronounced  "  an  earnest,  animated  and 
enthusiastic  teacher.  Pfleiderer  represents  the  speculative 
and  critical  theology,  a  pupil  of  Baur  and  a  Wiirtemberger. 
He  ably  reproduces  the  Tubingen  views,  which  utterly  fail 
to  explain  the  mystery  of  Paul's  conversion." 


The  older  professors  at  Greifswald  were  Cremer  and 
Zockler.  The  latter  Dr.  Schaff  pronounced  "  perhaps  the 
most  extensively  learned  man  among  living  divines  in 
Germany.  His  knowledge  not  only  embraces  all  branches 
of  divinity,  but  also  the  natural  sciences  and  the  relation 
of  science  to  religion.  His  deafness  promotes  his  familiar- 
ity with  books,  but  hinders  his  popularity  as  a  lecturer. 
He  is  a  most  excellent  and  pious  gentleman  and  a  scholar 
of  untiring  industry.  He  is  in  the  prime  of  life  and  will 
make  the  best  use  of  his  future  years." 

At  Leipzig  he  was  joined  by  Dr.  Arthur  McGiffert, 
now  his  successor  in  the  chair  of  church  history  in  Union 
Seminary.  They  met  the  theological  faculty  at  Luthardt's 
table.  He  made  a  visit  on  Kahnis  which  he  calls  most 
touching.  "  He  is  now  a  mental  ruin.  I  found  him,  how- 
ever, in  a  lucid  interval  and  he  conversed  with  touching 
tenderness  about  our  early  associations  as  fellow-students 
in  Halle  and  as  colleagues  at  Berlin.  He  is  a  man  of 
genius  and  in  the  days  of  his  strength  was  one  of  the 
most  interesting  and  spirited  of  lecturers.  His  wife  is 
blind.  What  a  change!  .  .  .  Delitzsch,  seventy-three 
years  old,  is  a  Jew  outwardly,  but  a  thorough  Christian 
inwardly.  He  has  made  considerable  concessions  to  the 
modern  critical  school  yet  without  change  of  his  doctrinal 
position  and  reverence  for  the  Word  of  God."  Delitzsch's 
change  of  critical  attitude  made  a  deep  impression  upon 
Dr.  Schaff,  and  he  was  inclined  to  lay  more  stress  upon  it 
than  upon  any  other  utterance  from  the  modern  critical 
school  of  Old  Testament  criticism.  A  most  interesting 
incident  occurred  at  an  evening  entertainment  given  by 
Professor  Lechler.  In  making  a  toast  to  the  guest,  the 
professor  drew  from  his  pocket  a  diary  of  the  year  1838, 
and,  to  Dr.  Schaff' s  great  surprise,  read  a  report  of  his  trial 
sermon  in  the  class  room  at  Tubingen.     Lechler  was  then 

398  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1885 

repetent.  His  criticism  of  the  sermon  was  "  good  use  of 
the  text,  well-memorized,  fresh,  energetic  in  delivery." 

At  Halle,  he  found  Mrs.  Tholuck  "  still  the  same  lovely 
and  sweet  woman,  keeping  in  order  the  house  and  garden 
made  sacred  by  the  footsteps  and  presence  of  her  husband, 
and  devoting  her  time  to  the  Tholuck  institution  in  the 
adjoining  building,  where  eight  or  ten  theological  students 
are  housed."  From  there  he  wrote  to  Dr.  Prentiss : 
"  Last  evening  I  invited  Kostlin  and  all  the  theological 
professors  and  tutors  to  a  plain  supper  and  we  indulged 
till  after  midnight  in  pleasant  academic  reminiscences  and 
innocent  jokes.  It  was  a  delightful  meeting.  I  have  had 
a  most  delightful  visit  to  the  Luther  localities,  as  Witten- 
berg and  Eisleben.  I  was  also  at  Leipzig  hearing  lectures 
by  day  and  spending  the  evening  with  the  professors,  who 
received  me  most  kindly.  "  Such  feasts  of  reason  one 
after  the  other !  Es  war  was  Enormes  !  Our  poor  friend 
Kahnis  is  a  mental  ruin,  but  I  had  the  great  satisfaction 
of  seeing  him  in  a  lucid  moment.  He  talked  of  you  and 
Henry  B.  Smith  and  Halle  and  Berlin." 

The  professors  at  Jena  were  Lipsius,  Grimm,  Nippold, 
Siegfried,  Hilgenfeld  and  Hase.  With  Hilgenfeld,  who, 
with  Holsten,  was  the  last  survivor  of  the  Tubingen  school, 
he  took  walks,  also  hearing  him  lecture.  With  Lipsius  he 
dined.  But  it  was  his  fellowship  with  Hase  he  remem- 
bered, if  possible,  with  most  pleasure.  His  visit  upon 
that  patriarch1  among  German  church  historians  was 
made  in  company  with  Dr.  McGiffert.  Hase  was  then 
eighty-five,  "bowed  but  clear-headed."  Dr.  Schaff  com- 
pared him  with  "  Ranke  and  thought  he  might,  like  him, 
celebrate  his  ninetieth  birthday.  The  study  of  history 
seems  to  be  favorable  to  longevity.  Dollinger,  the  most 
celebrated  Roman  Catholic  historian,  is  eighty-eight,  and 

1  Hase  died  Jan.  3,  1890,  at  the  age  of  eighty-nine. 


our  own  Bancroft  is  eighty-nine,  and  both  retain  in  a  re- 
markable degree  their  mental  faculties.  Hase  has  just 
finished  the  eleventh  edition  of  his  admirable  manual, 
which  brings  the  history  down  to  Bismarck's  settlement 
with  the  pope,  so  he  tells  me.  At  a  dinner  to  which  he 
had  invited  a  company  to  meet  me,  including  several 
bright  German  students  and  McGiffert,  he  made  a  toast, 
delivering  a  humorous  address,  in  which  he  said,  *  There 
are  three  generations  of  church  historians;  for  ancient 
history,  Hase,  for  mediaeval  history,  Schaff,  who  is  not  old 
but  aging  {nicht  alt  aber  alternd\  and  modern  history  or 
the  history  of  the  future,  McGiffert  and  Kr tiger.'  Hase 
goes  every  year  to  Gastein."  It  was  on  this  occasion  he 
uttered  the  words  which  Dr.  Schaff  afterwards  often  had 
on  his  lips  in  after  years :  "  Gastein  has  often  done  me 
much  good  and  for  this  I  must  be  thankful,  for  truly  life 
is  beautiful  (denn  das  Leben  istja  dock  schdti)." 

In  this  journey  to  the  universities  I  saw  a  side  of  Dr. 
Schaff's  character  [writes  Dr.  McGiffert]  which  was  new 
to  me,  who  had  known  him  hitherto  as  a  pupil  knows  a 
teacher.  I  was  impressed  with  his  love  of  good  company ; 
the  enjoyment  of  good  stories  of  which  he  had  a  fund  of 
his  own  and  always  the  best  that  were  told ;  the  apparent 
complete  abandonment  of  care  in  the  thorough  delight  of 
meeting  old  friends  and  making  new  ones ;  the  facility  in 
interesting  and  entertaining  all  whom  he  met,  and  the 
entire  circle  when  he  had  a  circle  around  him ;  the  cordial 
good-fellowship  with  which  he  got  on,  even  with  those 
whose  theological  views  were  most  opposed  to  his  own,  as 
in  Jena,  where  we  had  a  most  delightful  time,  and  nearly 
every  one  we  met  was  a  radical  and  the  discussion  waxed 
warm  at  the  dinner  table.  He  entered  into  those  delight- 
ful days  with  an  almost  boyish  zest.  I  remember  the  pro- 
fessors' many  expressions  of  amazement  at  the  American 
enterprise  displayed  by  Dr.  Schaff  in  visiting  Europe  so 
frequently,  and  at  the  seeming  marvellous  prosperity  of 
American  theologians  which  enabled  him  to  do  so.  But 
they  responded  in  the  warmest  way  to  his  demonstrations 

400  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1886 

of  friendship  and  had  a  warmer  heart  not  only  for  him 
personally,  but  apparently  for  America  as  well,  after  he 
had  left  them. 

Dr.  Schaff  cultivated  the  habit  of  looking  ahead  with 
hope,  and  strove  conscientiously  to  read  the  message  the 
younger  and  rising  scholars  were  announcing  in  the  ears 
of  their  generation.  He  believed  that  good  was  to  be 
expected  to  come  to  the  church  through  the  pious  and  in- 
dustrious labors  of  Christian  scholarship  in  the  future  as 
good  had  come  in  the  past,  and  that  along  new  lines  also. 
Among  the  professors  the  older  generation  presented  to 
him  none  more  interesting  and  congenial  than  Weiss, 
Kostlin,  Hase,  Delitzsch  and  Merx,  the  Orientalist  of 
Heidelberg.  Among  the  younger  generation,  none  inter- 
ested him  so  much  as  Harnack,  Loofs  of  Halle  and  Victor 
Schultze  of  Greifswald. 

The  tour  to  the  universities  was  brought  to  a  close  by 
a  visit  to  Heidelberg  for  the  five  hundredth  anniversary  of 
the  university,  during  the  first  week  of  August,  1886.  Dr. 
Schaff  makes  this  reference  to  it  in  a  letter :  — 

I  have  spent  five  weeks  in  Berlin  studying  the  sources 
of  the  history  of  the  Reformation,  visited  Eisleben  and 
other  Luther  localities  and  made  a  tour  of  the  universities 
I  missed  last  year.  Everywhere  I  have  been  most  kindly 
received  and  here  I  am  enjoying,  in  company  with  profess- 
ors and  other  friends,  the  celebration  of  the  fifth  centen- 
nial of  the  university,  the  oldest  within  the  limits  of  the 
present  German  Empire.  It  has  passed  off  with  complete 
success  and  without  an  accident.  The  chief  attractions 
have  been  the  reception  of  the  academic  deputations,  the 
commemorative  orations,  historic  processions,  the  recep- 
tions of  the  deputies  by  the  Grand  Duke  of  Baden  and 
consort,  and  the  Crown  Prince  of  Germany,  and  the  illumi- 
nation of  the  castle.  I  had  a  very  pleasant  chat  with  the 
Crown  Prince  and  have  met  many  academic  celebrities. 
The  whole  city  of  Heidelberg  was  in  festive  attire.  The 
houses  were  decorated  with  flags  and  flowers.     The  streets 

chap,  xv       GERMAN'  UNIVERSITIES  REVISITED  401 

were  crowded  with  visitors  from  morning  till  night.  The 
rectors  of  the  universities  and  other  deputies  wore  their 
orders  and  ribbons,  gold  chains  and  academic  gowns  and 
caps  and  seemed  to  be  as  proud  as  the  military  officers  in 
their  gala  uniform.  One  of  the  chief  addresses  was  by  Kuno 
Fischer,  the  historian  of  philosophy,  which  was  three  hours 
long  and  which  would  have  been  much  better  if  it  had 
been  two  hours  shorter.  The  students  say  everything  has 
an  end  but  Kuno  Fischer.  ...  I  saw  the  illumination  of 
the  castle  from  the  beautiful  villa  of  Professor  Hausrath. 
It  was  a  magnificent  sight,  a  fairy  scene  witnessed  by  an 
immense  crowd  along  the  Neckar  and  on  the  streets  of  the 
city.  Yesterday  I  looked  over  in  the  university  library  the 
four  volumes  of  the  magnificently  printed  and  bound  cata- 
logue of  the  Palatine  library  (whose  manuscripts  were 
once  the  richest  treasure  of  the  university)  captured  by 
Tilly  in  the  Thirty  Years'  War  and  transported  to  the 
Vatican.  Leo  XIII  sent  the  catalogue  by  a  messenger 
as  a  Jubilee  gift  and  keeps  the  books ! 

Before  going  to  Germany  in  1886,  Dr.  Schaff  made  a 
tour  through  Spain,  thus  completing  the  journey  through 
the  states  of  Europe.  His  health  had  shown  serious  signs 
of  giving  way,  the  centre  of  difficulty  being  the  heart, 
and  at  the  advice  of  his  physician  he  broke  away  sooner 
than  usual  from  New  York.  The  winter  before  he  had 
had  a  solemn  warning,  falling  suddenly,  on  his  way  to  attend 
the  lecture  of  Dean  Farrar  on  temperance  at  Chickering 
Hall.  Reaching  London,  he  attended,  by  special  invita- 
tion of  Dean  Bradley,  the  funeral  of  Archbishop  Trench 
in  Westminster  Abbey,  whom  he  had  met  on  his  first  visit 
to  England  forty  years  before.  Crossing  over  to  Spain,  he 
gives  this  general  description  of  the  country:  — 

Spain  is  more  than  fifty  years  behind  the  age.  The 
Spanish  railways  are  the  worst  constructed  and  worst 
managed  in  Europe,  so  far  as  I  have  observed ;  trains  are 
few,  slow  and  irregular ;  the  hotels,  with  few  exceptions, 
scarcely  rank  with  third-class  taverns  in  other  countries  ; 
the  newspapers  are  small  and  void  of  news ;  the  people 


are  ignorant  and  superstitious,  though  courteous  and 
polite.  .  .  .  And  yet  Spain  is  eminently  worth  visiting. 
It  is  full  of  glorious  reminiscences  and  monuments  of  a 
mighty  past.  It  fills  some  of  the  most  thrilling  and  inter- 
esting chapters  of  mediaeval  history  and  the  conflict  with 

The  following  letter  to  Dr.  Mann  was  written  from 
Cordova : — 

I  have  just  returned  from  the  wonderful  cathedral- 
mosque.  The  one  spoils  the  other,  but  the  combination 
is  unique  and  makes  both  more  interesting,  though  less 
complete  and  less  conspicuous.  We  —  I  mean  myself  and 
my  daughter,  who  is  a  great  comfort  to  me  —  have  already 
been  four  weeks  in  Spain  and  shall  leave  this  afternoon 
for  Madrid.  It  is  a  very  interesting  country,  in  which  old 
Roman,  Moorish  and  mediaeval  Catholic  reminiscences  are 
strangely  interwoven,  especially  here  in  Cordova,  in  Seville 
and  in  Granada.  The  people  are  more  Catholic  and 
bigoted  than  the  Italians,  and  further  behind  the  age  in 
civilization.  Their  noble  traits  are  bravery,  courtesy  and 
temperance.  Strange  to  say,  cathedrals  and  bull  rings 
are  the  most  prominent  buildings  and  draw  the  greatest 
crowds  in  Spain.  This  incongruity  is  characteristic  and 
furnishes  the  key  to  the  understanding  of  the  Spanish 
character  and  history  in  which  Catholic  piety  and  heathen 
cruelty  meet.  Hence  the  horrors  of  the  Inquisition  and 
the  autos-da-fe  in  majorem  Dei  gloriam  [for  the  greater 
glory  of  God].  It  is  a  strange  paradox  that  the  same 
people  who  celebrate  the  feast  of  the  resurrection  in  the 
morning,  delight  in  the  bloody  spectacle  in  the  afternoon. 
The  cathedrals  are  sombre,  solemn,  imposing  buildings, 
the  grandest  monuments  of  the  Middle  Ages.  At  the 
Alhambra  the  ghost  of  history  hovers,  whispering  the  tale 
of  Moorish  dominion  and  the  victory  of  the  cross  over 
the  crescent.  The  ceremonies  and  processions  of  Holy 
Week,  which  I  witnessed  in  Seville,  surpassed  even  those 
in  Rome.  But  immediately  after  them,  on  the  afternoon 
of  Easter  Day,  began  a  series  of  bull-fights  which,  from  all 
the  descriptions  I  heard  from  eye-witnesses,  are  spectacles 

1  His  observations  in  Spain  were  given  in  a  series  of  articles  in  the  New 
York  Observer. 


of  barbaric  cruelty,  exhibitions  of  butcheries  of  innocent 
animals.  The  bull-ring  of  Seville  has  thirteen  thousand 
seats  and  every  one  was  occupied.  The  immense  audience 
presented  a  rare  spectacle,  but  I  am  very  glad  I  conquered 
my  curiosity. 

Proceeding  northward,  Dr.  Schaff  stopped  in  Paris  to 
meet  his  "  dear  friend  Godet,"  and  to  make  studies  in  the 
Calvinistic  literature.  He  met,  for  the  first  and  only  time, 
Renan.  The  following  is  his  note  of  the  meeting.  "May 
13///,  1886.  At  two  I  heard  a  very  interesting  lecture  on 
Psalm  cxviii.  by  Renan  in  the  College  de  France.  He 
sits  at  a  round  table  with  twelve  students  and  a  few 
other  hearers  before  him  (two  ladies  among  them)  and 
explains  without  notes  the  Psalm  philologically,  critically 
and  historically  in  the  purest  and  most  elegant  French. 
His  face  is  very  coarse  and  flabby  and  his  stomach  very 
large.  I  had  an  interesting  chat  with  him  and  said  to 
him  that  the  strongest  arguments  for  Christianity  were 
the  Jews  and  Palestine,  which  Renan  himself  calls  the  fifth 
Gospel,  torn  but  legible.  He  smiled  and  said  '  Neander 
might  well  say  the  Jews  were  the  strongest  argument,  for 
he  was  himself  a  Jew  ! '  " 

Returning  to  England  to  make  final  arrangements  with 
scholars  for  his  edition  of  the  Nicene  and  Post-Nicene 
Fathers,  he  was  present  at  a  "  memorable  gathering,"  at 
Cheshunt  College.  "  The  Congregationalists  and  Baptists 
held  a  marriage  feast,  and  I,  a  Presbyterian  minister,  pro- 
nounced the  benediction."  Spurgeon,  Dr.  Reynolds,  Dr. 
Allon  and  Dr.  Schaff  made  addresses.  Spurgeon  "was 
suffering  from  the  gout,  had  his  arm  in  a  sling  but  spoke 
to  great  advantage."  "Two  episodes  at  least,"  said  the 
Nonconformist  and  Independent,  giving  an  account  of  the 
occasion,  "will  never  be  forgotten.  One  was  the  im- 
pression made  by  the  declaration  of  Professor  Schaff  that 



he  would  rather  be  an  humble  preacher  of  the  Gospel  than 
President  of  the  United  States,  and  an  experience  related 
of  Mr.  Spurgeon  when  before  four  thousand  people  he  took 
the  felt  hat  off  his  head  and  said,  'I  would  not  change 
that  and  preaching  the  Gospel  for  the  crown  of  all  the 
Russias.' "  After  visiting  Edinburgh,  where  he  was  pub- 
licly received  by  the  Assemblies,  he  crossed  over  again  to 
the  Continent,  and  spent  several  weeks  in  Berlin  consulting 
documents  at  the  Royal  library  and  finishing  his  Remi- 
niscences of  Neander} 

This  period  was  signalized  in  the  narrower  circle  of  Dr. 
SchafF s  friends  in  New  York  by  the  death  of  Dr.  Samuel 
Irenaeus  Prime  in  the  summer  of  1885.  Not  sharing  his 
intense  Presbyterianism,  he  was  an  admirer  of  his  brilliant 
social  qualities  and  his  eminent  ability  in  the  editorial 
management  of  the  New  York  Observer.  They  were 
associated  together  in  close  relations  as  secretaries  of  the 
American  Branch  of  the  Evangelical  Alliance  and  in 
other  branches  of  Christian  work  for  a  quarter  of  a 
century.     He  paid  this  tribute  to  his  worth  :  — 

Dr.  Prime  was  a  wise  counsellor,  a  man  of  an  uncommon 
amount  of  common  sense,  executive  ability,  of  quick  wit, 
rich  humor  and  a  hopeful  temperament.  His  generous 
sympathy  and  inexhaustible  fund  of  illustrations  and  anec- 
dotes made  him  one  of  the  most  agreeable  companions 
and  friends  I  have  known.  He  was  one  of  the  leaders  of 
public  opinion,  and  altogether  one  of  the  most  tireless  and 
useful  writers  and  workers  of  his  generation  in  America. 

On  the  death  of  Henry  Ward  Beecher  a  year  later, 
March,  1888,  he  wrote  in  his  journal :  — 

I  attended  Mr.  Beecher's  funeral  to-day  at  his  church 
in  Brooklyn,  which  was  turned  into  a  flower  garden.  No 
funeral  just  like  it  has  taken  place  since  the  world  began. 
I  looked  upon  the  dead  body  with  the  closed  mouth,  once 

1  Gotha,  1886. 

chap,  xv       GERMAN-  UNIVERSITIES  REVISITED  405 

so  eloquent,  and  the  eyes  once  flashing  with  genius.  There 
were  and  there  are  preachers  more  profound  and  more  spir- 
itual, and  orators  more  weighty  and  more  polished  than 
Mr.  Beecher,  but  it  is  doubtful  if  any  generation  has  pro- 
duced a  more  powerful  popular  speaker  in  the  pulpit  or 
on  the  platform,  a  speaker  who  had  such  complete  com- 
mand and  magnetic  hold  of  his  audience.  His  imagination 
was  as  fertile  as  that  of  a  poet,  though  he  never  wrote  a 
poem  or  quoted  poetry.  His  mind  was  a  flower  garden  in 
perpetual  bloom,  enlivened  by  running  brooks  and  singing 
birds.  He  was  in  profound  sympathy  with  nature  and 
with  man,  especially  with  the  common  people. 

A  few  months  later  he  attended  the  funeral  of  his 
colleague  in  Union  Seminary,  Professor  Hitchcock.  "  He 
was  a  man  of  rare  genius,"  wrote  Dr.  Schaff  at  the  news 
of  his  death, 

and  a  brilliant  lecturer.  He  had  a  rare  gift  of  clear,  terse, 
epigrammatic,  almost  startling  statement.  He  roused  the 
attention  at  the  first  sentence  and  kept  it  up  to  the  close. 
He  was  always  instructive,  interesting  and  stimulating. 
He  always  stopped  at  the  right  time.  He  always  set  the 
right  word  in  its  proper  place.  He  never  failed  in  a  single 
speech  I  ever  heard  him  make.  His  deep,  sonorous  voice 
and  expressive  gestures  aided  the  effect  of  his  thought. 
He  was  a  consummate  rhetorician.  I  doubt  whether  any 
living  platform  speaker  or  preacher  could  excel  him  in  the 
combination  of  solid  instruction  and  in  impressiveness  of 
dictation  and  delivery. 

This  event  led  to  Dr.  Schaff' s  last  change  of  official 
position,  he  being  chosen  Dr.  Hitchcock's  successor  in  the 
chair  of  church  history.  Writing  to  Professor  Mitchell  at 
St.  Andrews,  he  spoke  of  the  change  as  follows :  — 

You  have  no  doubt  heard  with  surprise  of  the  sudden 
death  of  my  colleague.  He  was  a  rare  man  that  combined 
genius,  learning  and  eloquence,  and  had  a  curiosa  felicitas 
verborum  [a  remarkable  felicity  of  words].  It  is  a  pity 
that  he  did  not  publish  his  lectures  on  church  history.  I 
have  been  unanimously  appointed  in  his  place  and,  al- 
though I  shrink  at  my  time  of  life  from  the  intolerable 


drudgery  of  preparing  new  courses  of  lectures,  I  am  glad 
to  go  back  to  my  old  chair  again.  I  am  now  busily  en- 
gaged in  an  inaugural  address  on  American  church  history.1 

The  news  of  Dr.  Hitchcock's  decease  reached  Dr.  Schaff 
at  Lake  Mohonk.  For  a  number  of  years  it  had  been  his 
custom  to  make  it  his  summer  resting-place  when  he  did 
not  go  abroad.  The  lovely  mountain  scenery,  the  pure  air, 
the  excellent  company  and  the  healthful  Christian  atmos- 
phere of  the  Mountain  House,  he  found  unequalled  any- 
where else  in  the  land.  He  looked  forward  with  impatient 
desire  as  the  seminary  sessions  neared  their  close  to  going 
there.  The  genial  hosts,  Mr.  Albert  Smiley  and  Mrs. 
Smiley,  were  his  friends.  Dr.  Schaff  came  to  be  one 
of  the  familiar  figures  on  the  piazza  and  in  the  walks. 
But  the  place  where  he  was  always  looked  for  first  of 
all  was  the  Rock  reading-room,  one  of  the  two  reading- 
rooms  of  the  hotel,  well  furnished  with  books  and 
numerous  periodicals.  Here,  in  this  cool  chamber  over- 
hanging the  lake,  one  end  of  one  of  the  tables  and  some 
of  its  drawers  were,  by  common  consent,  accorded  to  Dr. 
Schaff  for  his  books  and  papers.  Resting  by  doing 
nothing  would  have  been  severe  drudgery  to  his  active 
temperament  and  his  acquired  habit  of  industry.  He 
always  carried  a  box  of  books  with  him  up  the  moun- 
tain, and  there  in  the  forenoon  and  at  other  hours  of 
the  day  and  evening  his  form  was  expected  to  be  seen 
bending  over  books  and  the  pages  of  his  manuscript, 
pen  in  hand.  These  serious  occupations  did  not  make 
him  grave  or  unsociable.  On  the  contrary,  there  was  no 
one  more  cheerful  than  he.  At  Lake  Mohonk  he  ex- 
pected to  meet  from  year  to  year  with  many  congenial 
friends.     It  is  the  custom  there  to  observe  the   Sabbath 

1  Church  and  State  in  the  United  States,  New  York,  1888. 

chap,  xv        GERMAN  UNIVERSITIES  REVISITED  407 

with  religious  services  and  to  call  upon  guests  and  others  to 
fill  up  the  evenings  with  music  and  lectures.  Dr.  Schaff  was 
often  drawn  upon  to  preach  and  to  lecture.  Following  the 
custom  by  which  some  of  the  picturesque  summer  houses 
have  been  named  after  distinguished  guests,  as  Dr.  McCosh, 
Dr.  Cuyler,  President  Hayes  and  Whittier,  one  has  been 
named,  with  appropriate  allusion  to  Switzerland,  Chalet 
Schaff.  Here  is  a  note  in  his  journal  showing  how  at 
Lake  Mohonk  he  combined  recreation  with  literary  toil :  — 

This  is  my  last  day  of  vacation  (Sept.  11,  1887).  I  have 
spent  here  more  than  two  months,  preached  three  times, 
delivered  lectures  on  Spain,  on  Luther  and  the  Reforma- 
tion, on  the  crowned  heads  I  have  met,  conducted  the 
Bible  class  twice,  written  my  inaugural  address  on  the 
Relation  of  Church  and  State  in  the  United  States,  and 
several  sections  of  my  History  of  the  German  Reforma- 
tion, and  associated  most  with  Dr.  Stille,  Dr.  Cuyler,  Mr. 
Schell,  played  chess  with  Denton  Smith  and  others. 

The  notable  event  in  the  literary  world  in  1888  was  the 
celebration  of  the  eight  hundredth  anniversary  of  the 
university  of  Bologna.  For  the  thirteenth  time  and  ac- 
companied by  Mrs.  Schaff  and  their  daughter,  Dr.  Schaff 
went  abroad  to  attend  the  festivities  as  the  representative 
of  New  York  University.  Harvard  was  represented  by 
James  Russell  Lowell,  and  Yale,  Pennsylvania,  Michi- 
gan, Johns  Hopkins  and  other  American  institutions  were 
worthily  represented  by  delegates.  The  Italian  university 
is  more  venerable  in  years  than  Heidelberg,  tradition  trac- 
ing the  origin  even  as  far  back  as  the  reign  of  Theo- 
dosius  II  in  425.  One  of  the  features  giving  an  air  of 
romance  to  its  history  is  that  the  university  has  admitted 
learned  ladies  to  its  faculty.  The  celebration  occurred  in 
June  and  lasted  three  days.     Dr.  Schaff  writes  :  — 

I  doubt  whether  there  ever  has  been  such  a  numerous 
and  brilliant  gathering  of  professors  and  students,  except 


at  the  recent  celebration  of  Heidelberg  University.  On 
the  morning  of  the  first  day  the  king  and  queen  arrived 
from  Rome,  and  were  received  with  the  heartiest  demon- 
strations of  joy.  They  gave  to  the  eighth  centenary  a 
national  and  patriotic  character.  It  was  a  celebration  of 
united  and  free  Italy  fully  as  much  as  a  literary  festival. 
The  clergy  of  Bologna  showed  their  indifference  and 
hospitality  by  their  absence  from  the  festivities  and  by 
preventing  the  use  of  the  historic  church  of  San  Petronio, 
where  the  academic  promotions  formerly  took  place.  The 
European  delegates  appeared  in  their  academic  gowns, 
hoods,  golden  chains  and  decorations  and  presented  a 
mediaeval  spectacle.  In  the  evening,  the  queen  gave  a 
brilliant  reception  in  the  palace.  She  is  a  highly  accom- 
plished lady,  full  of  grace  and  beauty,  and  had  a  pleasant 
word  to  say  to  every  delegate  presented  to  her,  in  his  own 
language.  .  .  .  Tuesday  the  12th  was  the  great  day  of 
the  feast.  The  representatives  of  the  Italian,  German, 
French,  Spanish,  Dutch,  Portuguese,  English,  Russian, 
Scotch,  Irish,  Austrian,  Hungarian,  Scandinavian,  Swiss 
and  American  universities,  together  with  the  professors 
and  directors  of  Bologna  University,  the  dignitaries  of  the 
city  and  a  very  large  train  of  students  in  every  variety  of 
costume  and  color,  marched  in  procession  from  the  new 
university  building  to  the  old.  In  the  crowd  of  spectators 
I  saw,  for  the  first  time,  Father  Gavazzi,  a  Bolognese,  who 
in  1848  —  with  Bassi,  his  friend  and  fellow-Barnabite  friar 
—  so  fired  the  heart  of  his  fellow-townsmen  by  his  dra- 
matic eloquence,  on  the  square  before  the  church  of  San 
Petronio,  that  men  and  women  in  large  numbers  were 
seen  emptying  their  purses  and  laying  their  watch-chains 
and  ear-rings  at  his  feet  as  an  offering  to  the  cause  of 
Italian  unity  and  liberty.  .  .  .  The  great  festive  oration  was 
entrusted  to  Giosue  Carducci.  It  was  an  eloquent  produc- 
tion, pervaded  by  the  glow  of  patriotism  and  delivered 
with  an  animation  and  earnestness  that  kept  the  audience 
spell-bound.  Among  the  interesting  episodes  was  a  letter 
of  greeting  from  Frederick  III,  emperor  of  Germany, 
recalling  the  ancient  relations  which  had  bound  Germany 
to  Bologna,  from  which  the  legal  culture  of  Germany  had 
received  nourishment  unto  this  day.  The  day  after  it 
was  read,  a  telegram  arrived  announcing  the  emperor's 



Dr.  Schaff  commemorated  his  visit  in  Bologna  in  an 
address  on  the  University,  Past,  Present  and  Future,1 
delivered  at  a  public  reception  given  by  the  New  York 
University  and  presided  over  by  the  president  of  the 
council,  Mr.  Charles  Butler. 

Returning  to  London,  he  attended  the  Fourth  Council  of 
Reformed  churches,  and  presented  a  paper  on  the  Tolera- 
tion Act  of  1689.  From  there  he  passed  to  St.  Andrews 
University  to  publicly  receive  the  degree  of  Doctor  of 
Divinity.  In  reply  to  a  communication  from  Professor 
Alexander  F.  Mitchell  (Feb.  12,  1887)  announcing  the 
honor,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote:  — 

Your  letter  was  an  agreeable  surprise  to  me.  I  con- 
sider it  a  great  honor  that  your  venerable  university,  which 
is,  I  believe,  the  oldest  in  Scotland,  and  dates  from  14 10, 
should  have  conferred  upon  me  the  doctorate  of  divinity. 
I  shall  always  appreciate  it  among  the  most  valuable  tes- 
timonials to  my  humble  services  in  the  cause  of  sacred 
learning.  But  if  personal  presence  is  required,  as  in  Edin- 
burgh, I  regret  that  I  must  lose  the  benefit.  For  this 
year,  I  must  remain  at  home  and  work  on  my  History  of 
the  Reformation,  which  I  desire  to  finish  before  I  die. 
Next  year,  possibly,  I  may  be  able  to  visit  good  old  Scot- 
land and  England  again,  for  the  last  time,  and  use.  your 
libraries  to  finish  my  history,  which  I  intend  to  carry 
down  to  the  Westminster  Assembly  and  the  Westphalian 
Treaty.  I  have  now  been  three  times  honored  with  the 
title  D.D.,  first  in  America  ;  1845  (from  Marshall  College), 
then  from  Berlin  in  1854,  and  now,  last  but  not  least,  from 
St.  Andrews.  My  providential  mission  has  been  to  labor 
as  a  sort  of  international  theological  nuncio  and  mediator. 
I  have  fulfilled  it  very  imperfectly,  but  it  would  be  un- 
grateful not  to  acknowledge  the  hand  of  God  and  His  bless- 
ing. Few  works  survive  their  authors,  and  mine  will  not 
live  much  longer  than  I  do  myself.  We  must  be  satisfied 
if  we  can  be  useful  to  our  generation.  If  I  can  complete 
my  History  down  to  1648,  I  shall  be  quite  ready  to  go  to 

1  Included  in  Dr.  SchafTs  Literature  and  Poetry,  pp.  256-278. 


rest.  ...  It  may  amuse  you  to  learn  that,  the  day  after 
receiving  your  letter,  I  received  a  proposal  from  an 
Edinburgh  clothier  to  make  a  hood  for  me  for  thirty- 
five  or  forty  shillings. 

Meeting  a  son  at  Bonn,  who  was  on  his  way  to  the 
Orient,  they  journeyed  together  as  far  as  Stuttgart,  where 
Dr.  Schaff  renewed  the  memories  of  school  days  and  con- 
sorted with  surviving  friends.  In  company  with  Dr.  Rob- 
erts, then  president  of  the  Lake  Forest  University,  we  made 
an  interesting  call  in  Stuttgart  upon  Lauxmann,  the  hym- 
nologist.  Lauxmann  said,  "We  try  in  Wurtemberg  to 
combine  pietism  with  orthodoxy."  To  which  Dr.  Schaff 
replied,  "Orthodoxy  is  dead  without  pietism."  "Yes, 
/  that  is  true,  but  pietism  without  orthodoxy  is  a  body  with- 

out bones,"  added  the  host.  He  visited  the  Solitude 
Castle  where  he  had  been  sick,  sat  again  with  Dr.  Rieger 
and  other  ministers  at  the  Vereinssaal,  in  a  circle  of  minis- 
ters and  Christian  laymen,  and  replied  to  a  toast  on  church 
and  state  in  America.  After  attending  services  in  the 
St.  Leonhard's  Kirche,  where  he  listened  to  a  sermon  by 
Stadtpfarrer  Knapp,  and  recalling  how  at  the  same  place 
he  had  been  stirred  as  a  boy  by  the  sermons  of  his  father, 
the  hymnologist,  and  Wilhelm  Hofacker,  he  wrote  to 
Dr.  Mann,  " Itn  Alter  kehrt  man  gerne  in  die  Anf tinge 
zuriick  (When  we  are  old  we  are  glad  to  turn  back  to 
the  first  paths)." 

At  Tubingen,  he  was  much  in  the  company  of  Dr. 
Weizsacker,  stopping  with  him  in  the  Hblle,  as  his  resi- 
dence is  called  and  where  Landerer  formerly  lived. 
Weizsacker,  a  man  of  courtly  manners,  and  at  the  time 
rector  of  the  university,  had  just  finished  his  History  of 
the  Apostolic  Church.  When  we  left,  he  tenderly  kissed 
his  guest  and  was  affected  to  tears.  A  notable  evening 
he  spent  with  Kiibel,  meeting  Kautzsch,  who  had  just  been 


called  to  Halle,  the  historian,  Dr.  Funk  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  faculty,  and  other  professors. 

An  episode  of  singular  interest  to  Dr.  Schaff  was  a 
visit,  under  the  guidance  of  Dr.  Funk,  upon  Bishop  Hefele, 
Pfarrer  Pressel,  one  of  Dr.  Schaffs  student  friends,  a 
theological  oddity  and  a  voluminous  contributor  to  Herzog's 
Encyclopczdie,  accompanying  us.  The  episcopal  residence 
is  at  Rottenburg,  an  unattractive  German  village  of  seven 
thousand  people.  Hefele  was  professor  in  Tubingen  in 
1837,  when  Dr.  Schaff  was  a  student.  He  had  risen  with 
Dollinger  and  Alzog  to  the  first  rank  of  church  historians 
in  the  Catholic  Church.  Several  works  on  Pope  Honorius, 
called  forth  by  the  oecumenical  council  of  1870,  combating 
the  doctrine  of  infallibility,  were  written  by  him.  The  eyes 
of  all  Christendom  were  at  that  time  upon  him,  as  they 
were  upon  the  eloquent  prelate  Strossmayer.  He  was  one 
of  the  bishops  who  cast  their  votes  against  that  doctrine. 
He  subsequently  yielded  and  promulgated  his  acceptance 
of  the  doctrine  through  his  see.  Dr.  Schaff  had  said 
with  reference  to  his  great  historical  work,  and  his  sub- 
mission to  papal  authority,  that  "  Bishop  Hefele  has 
forgotten  more  about  the  history  of  the  councils  than  the 
infallible  pope  ever  knew." 

Passing  through  the  wide  and  bare  halls  and  up  the 
high,  winding  stairway  of  the  palace,  we  were  ushered 
into  the  bishop's  study,  a  comfortably,  but  not  luxu- 
riously furnished  apartment.  On  the  walls  hung  sev- 
eral pictures,  including  one,  the  gift  of  Queen  Olga  of 
Wiirtemberg,  to  which  the  bishop,  with  evident  satisfac- 
tion, directed  our  attention.  It  represented  a  mother 
carrying  a  little  child,  which  was  reaching  out  his  hands 
for  the  host  which  she  was  receiving.  On  the  table,  oc- 
cupying a  conspicuous  place,  was  a  large  volume  marked 
Sacra  Biblia,  a  photograph  album  and  a  Life  of  St.  Vin- 


cent  de  Paul.  There  were  no  ornaments  to  suggest  the 
worship  of  the  Virgin.  The  bishop  was  tall  and  rather 
spare  in  figure,  his  eyes  large,  and  his  face  animated  when 
he  spoke.  His  eyesight  had  failed  so  that  he  could  not 
read.  His  forehead  was  broad,  his  hair  gray.  He  pre- 
sented an  imposing  and  venerable  appearance,  and  was 
in  his  eightieth  year.  He  spoke  with  evident  interest  of 
Tubingen  and  of  Mohler,  whose  successor  he  had  been. 
He  listened  with  marked  attention  to  Dr.  Schaff' s  state- 
ments about  Dollinger,  his  new  books,  and  his  alacrity  in 
going  upstairs,  taking  two  steps  at  a  time.  He  said  he 
had  recently  written  Dollinger  two  letters,  calling  upon  him 
to  return  to  the  church,  but  he  had  received  no  reply. 
The  statement  seemed  to  give  him  pain.  They  had  been 
closest  friends.  When  Dr.  Schaff  expressed  the  hope 
that  Christendom  might  be  reunited,  Hefele  approved  the 
sentiment,  but  added,  "  We  old  men  will  not  see  it.  That 
belongs  to  the  world's  architect  (Weltbaumeister)  to  effect." 
About  to  take  his  departure,  Dr.  Schaff  said  that  "  the 
New  Testament,  after  all,  is  the  greatest  of  books." 
Hefele  made  no  reply,  perhaps  he  had  not  heard,  and 
went  on  to  say,  "We  must  constantly  bear  in  mind  the 
motto  memento  mori  and  be  prepared  to  go  home." 

Walking  away  from  the  episcopal  palace,  and  sitting  in 
an  inn,  the  conversation  turned  upon  how  the  bishop  had 
reconciled  his  acceptance  of  the  dogma  of  papal  infalli- 
bility with  the  historical  facts  of  Honorius'  pontificate, 
which  he  had  made  so  much  of  in  1870.  "He  cannot 
have  changed  his  view  of  those  facts."  "No,  probably 
he  did  not,"  was  the  answer,  "but  he  submitted  to  the 
dogma,  in  order  to  conserve  the  unity  of  the  Catholic 
Church  in  Wurtemberg.  If  he  had  not  done  so,  a  rupture 
would  have  taken  place  in  his  diocese.  For  the  peace  and 
unity  of  the  church,  he  made  a  heavy,  personal  sacrifice. 


He  looked  forward  in  the  hope  that  sometime  in  the 
future  a  general  council  would  retract  what  the  Vatican 
Council  had  raised  to  the  dignity  of  a  dogma." 

Looking  back  from  the  steamer  to  this  visit  in  Europe 
in  1888,  Dr.  Schaff  wrote  in  his  journal:  — 

My  present  visit  has  been  full  of  instruction  and  enjoy- 
ment of  old  friendships,  though  not  unmingled  with  sad- 
ness at  the  departure  of  many  companions  of  my  youth  and 
early  manhood.  Among  them  are  several  academic  pro- 
fessors of  theology,  who  have  died  during  the  year,  as 
Jacobi  of  Halle,  with  whom  I  graduated  as  licentiate  of 
theology  and  lectured  in  Berlin ;  Kahnis  of  Leipzig,  with 
whom  I  studied  in  Halle  and  lectured  in  Berlin  as  privat- 
docent ;  Semisch,  Neander's  successor  in  Berlin  ;  E.  Ranke 
of  Marburg  (a  most  lovely  gentleman);  Schweizer  of  Zurich 
and  Ebrard  of  Erlangen ;  and  a  few  weeks  ago  my  dear 
friend,  Gustav  Schwab  of  New  York,  finished  his  earthly 
course,  one  of  the  purest  and  best  men  I  ever  knew. 
Thus  the  friends  of  my  youth  and  student  life  are  nearly 
all  gone.  Mann  of  Philadelphia  and  Prentiss  of  New 
York  remain. 

A  few  months  before  he  had  written  to  Dr.  Mann  :  — 

To-day  I  paid  a  visit  to  our  dear  old  fellow-student  and 
friend,  Schwab.  He  is  very  dangerously  ill,  and  is  preparing 
for  the  last  lonely  journey  to  the  unseen  world.  A  new 
generation  is  growing  up  around  us  which  is  strange  to  us. 
Let  us  make  the  most  of  what  time  and  opportunity  re- 
main, and  look  serenely  and  hopefully  into  the  future.  We 
are  in  good  hands,  and  our  heavenly  Father  will  take  care 
of  us  in  life  and  in  death.  We  talked  over  old  things,  and 
over  Bismarck's  great  war  and  peace  speech  in  the  Reichs- 
tag and  the  terrible  affliction  of  the  Crown  Prince  [Fred- 
erick III].  I  cannot  but  think  of  my  interviews  with  him 
at  Andermatt  and  Heidelberg,  when  he  was  so  well  and 
hearty,  a  manly,  handsome  figure,  very  intelligent,  cour- 
teous and  affable.  And  the  good  old  emperor  in  his  ninety- 
first  year  seeing  his  only  son  and  heir  passing  away !  No 
crown  and  glory  can  save  from  the  trials  and  troubles  of  this 
mortal  life.  .  .  .  Bismarck's  speech  was  an  event.  But 
the  greatest  statesman,  after  all,  will  be  he  who  brings 

414  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  S CHAFF  1889 

about  a  general  disarmament  and  introduces  an  era  of 
peace  and  good  will  among  the  nations  of  the  earth.  A 
few  more  wars  will  be  necessary  to  settle  the  map  of 
Europe.  And  what  terrible  and  destructive  wars  they 
will  be ! 

To  his  other  duties  Dr.  Schaff  added,  in  the  fall  of  1888, 
a  course  of  lectures  on  church  history  before  the  students 
of  Princeton  Seminary,  Dr.  Moffat  having  retired  from  his 
professorship.  "At  their  conclusion,"  Dr.  Dulles  wrote, 
"  the  professor  sat  down  in  the  midst  of  what  may  fairly  be 
called  a  storm  of  applause,  that  told  plainly  enough  of  the 
appreciation  with  which  his  lectures  had  been  received." 
Dr.  Schaff's  relations  were  always  cordial  with  the  pro- 
fessors of  Princeton  Seminary  and  dated  from  an  early 
acquaintance  with  Dr.  Addison  Alexander  and  Charles 
Hodge.  Differences  of  theological  interpretation  were 
subordinate  with  him  to  the  ties  of  Christian  friendship. 

The  following  note  occurs  in  his  journal  for  the  first  day  of 
the  year  1889  :  "Yesterday  I  completed  my  seventieth  year, 
the  usual  limit  of  mortal  life.  May  the  good  Lord  grant  me 
a  few  more  years  of  grace  to  finish  my  work  on  earth  and 
to  prepare  for  heaven.  Be  ye  also  ready."  The  year  also 
brought  its  shadows.  Among  friends  in  Europe  to  be 
called  away  were  Lechler  of  Leipzig,  Christlieb  of  Bonn, 
and  Reuter,  a  fellow-student  of  Gottingen.  President 
Woolsey's  death  still  further  diminished  the  number  of  his 
surviving  associates  of  the  Revision  Committee.  The  year, 
however,  went  out  with  bright  outlooks  into  the  future, 
and  preparations  for  a  visit  to  Rome  and  a  renewal  of 
the  experiences  of  fifty  years  before. 

chap,  xvi  ROME  AFTER  FIFTY  YEARS  415 



I 890-1 892 

Last  Voyage  to  Europe  —  Rome  —  The  Pope  at  Mass  —  Life  of  Dr.  Nevin  — 
Switzerland  —  German  Universities  once  more  —  Stuttgart  —  Godet  and 
Lightfoot  —  Revision  of  the  Westminster  Confession  —  Dr.  Schaffs 
Endorsement  —  Calvinism  and  Arminianism  —  Letters  to  Drs.  Van  Dyke 
and  Morris — The  Theology  for  the  Present  Time —  Dr.  Briggs'  Inaugural 

—  The  Detroit  Assembly  and  Union  Seminary  —  Dr.  Worcester  —  Liberty 
and    Ecclesiastical    Authority  —  Church    Schism  —  Inerrancy  Deliverance 

—  Calvin  and  Servetus — Liberty  and  Peace 

For  many  years  Dr.  Schaff  had  looked  forward  to  again 
spending  a  protracted  season  in  Rome.  It  was  a  moment 
of  exquisite  pleasure  when  on  a  bright  day  in  February, 
1 890,  he  stood  with  Mrs.  Schaff  and  his  daughter  on  the  deck 
of  the  steamer  Entella,  waiting  to  loose  anchor  from  New 
York  and  to  steer  towards  Gibraltar  and  sunny  Italy.  It 
proved  to  be  his  last  journey  to  Europe  and  was  a  fitting 
conclusion  of  his  many  voyages  across  the  Atlantic.  As 
in  almost  all  his  previous  trips  abroad  he  combined  with 
recreation  some  definite  literary  or  ecclesiastical  purpose, 
so  it  was  with  this  one.     From  the  steamer  he  wrote  :  — 

One  more  voyage  to  Europe,  the  fourteenth  and  prob- 
ably the  last.  This  time  my  object  is  the  study  of  church 
history  in  the  Vatican  Library  at  Rome  that  I  may  finish 
the  fifth  volume  of  my  life-work,  especially  the  chapter  on 
the  Renaissance.  In  Switzerland  I  hope  to  complete  my 
studies  on  the  Swiss  Reformation.  As  on  previous  oc- 
casions a  deputation  from  the  students  came  to  bid  me 

41 6  THE  LIFE  OF  PHILIP  SCHAFF  1890 

farewell,  so  this  time  three  from  each  class.  The  affection 
and  gratitude  of  students  is  the  best  reward  and  encour- 
agement to  a  teacher.  I  have  had  abundant  proof  of  it 
during  the  last  f