ENGELHARDT, en"gel"hārt', GUSTAV MORITZ KONSTANTIN VON: Life. Lutheran theologian; b. at Dorpat July 8, 1828; d. there Dec. 5, 1881. His education was begun in Werro, a small town in Livonia, in a private institution, where he was influenced by a teacher educated in the faith of Herrnhut. From 1846 to 1849 he studied theology in Dorpat, where he came under the instruction of Philippi. In 1850 he continued his studies in Erlangen under Hofmann in whom he found a man endowed with the historic spirit, developing the course of salvation in its historical growth. In the summer of 1851 he studied at Bonn, and in 1858 he became professor of church history in Dorpat, in which position he became one of the most effective teachers of the Church in the nineteenth century. The impression which he produced rested both upon his personality, and upon his ability to sympathize with the needs and struggles of youth. He did not merely impart knowledge, he educated theological students for their practical office as well as for their academic calling.
Engelhardt as an Apologist. Engelhardt's eminence showed itself especially in the science of apologetics to which he was led in 1858 by his study of Nägelsbach's books on the Homeric and post-Homeric theology. The essence of paganism lay for him in its dualistic view of the world, and he considered it the task of apologetics to investigate and discuss critically the relation of Christianity to every system of natural religion. Christian apologetics, according to him, is successful in the degree in which the uniqueness of Christianity is shown over against the common qualities of all other modes of thought; in the next place, the inner consistency of Christianity over against the contradictions and indefensibleness of all other systems should be expounded; and finally the universality of Christianity should be brought out by showing that the religious and ethical ideals of the non-Christian world are realized in Christianity. Engelhardt's conception of apologetics led him to measure faith with faith, since every non-Christian mode of thought includes within itself a system of faith which agrees in its essential points with the others. Every departure from genuine Christianity, he thought, must have been occasioned by the influence of pagan thoughts. Such pagan elements Engelhardt found, for instance, in Romanism. The knowledge of grace as the merciful love of God toward the sinner he considered the fundamental principle of Lutheranism, while the fundamental conception of the spiritual and imperishable substance of God on the part of the Roman Catholics leads, according to him, to all errors of Romanism. [The contrast intended seems to be between the personal and somewhat anthropomorphic conception of God and the metaphysical conception of him as the absolute being, which latter tended to discourage men from seeking direct communion with him and to foster Mariolatry, saint-worship, and the like.
A. H. N.]
His Relations with Ritschlianism. The opposition of an ethical to a metaphysical conception of God shows Engelhardt's point of contact with Ritschl's views, and he was indeed greatly influenced by Ritschl's works, especially after the second edition of the latter's Altkatholische Kirche (1857). Here he found his strongest weapons against Baur's representation of primitive Christianity; for Ritschl held that old catholic Christianity in its departure from the fundamental views of Paul had not proceeded from a compromise between Judaic and pagan Christianity, but from a degenerate Paulinism which proceeded from an inadequate comprehension by pagan Christians of the Old-Testament basis of Pauline doctrine. Engelhardt has been mistakenly considered dogmatically dependent upon Ritschl. The two had indeed many points in common; but Engelhardt felt the lack in Ritschl's system of a full acknowledgment of sin and a corresponding holiness of God reacting against it, and of the necessity of blotting out the guilt contracted by this sin, as well as of a full appreciation of the value of God's salvation and of Christianity in particular as being a supernatural religion in the exclusive sense.
Engelhardt's activities included an interest in the religious instruction in secondary schools, and he wrote a treatise on its problems. He gave instruction in schools for girls, and on Sunday afternoons taught the children in a charitable institution. He also delivered public lectures, and was one of the most powerful preachers of his day. He was president of the ecclesiastical council of the university and took an active part in the Synod of Livonia and in the annual pastoral conferences which met at Dorpat.
Works. Of his literary works may be mentioned Der Senfkornglaube nach den Evangelien dargestellt (Dorpat, 1861); Die Bergpredigt nachMatthäus eine Studie zur biblischen Geschichte (1864); Schenkel und Strauss, zwei Zeugen der Wahrheit (1864). His studies in apologetics occasioned several essays which appeared in the Dorpater Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche and the independent publication Celsus oder die älteste Kritikbiblischer Geschichte und christlicher Lehre vom Standpunkt des Heidentums (1869). An important work in connection with his studies of primitive Christianity is Das Christentum Justin des Märtyrers, eine dogmenhistorische Untersuchung über die Anfänge des katholischen Christentums (Erlangen, 1878).
Bibliography: Zur Erinnerung an Moritz von Engelhardt, Dorpat, 1881; Mitteilungen und Nachricht für die evangelieche Kirche in Russland, 1882, pp. 137 sqq., 1883, pp. 209 sqq.; A. von Oettinger, M. von Engelhardt's christlich-theologischer Entwickelungsgang, Dorpat, 1883.