The term Pietism connotes a movement in behalf of practical religion within the Lutheran Church of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Established at Halle by Philipp Jakob Spener, and following distinct and individual courses of development in Halle, Württemberg, and Herrnhut, it received a bond of union in its conviction that the type of Christianity then prevailing in Lutheranism stood in urgent need of reform, and that this could be brought about by "piety," or living faith made active and manifest in upright conduct.
I. Philipp Jakob Spener: Philipp Jakob Spener, the founder of Pietism, was born at Rappoltsweiler (33 m. s.w. of Strasburg), Upper Alsace, Jan. 23, 1635; d. at Berlin Feb. 5, 1705. His parents gave him a devout education, and he received still more lasting religious impressions from his godmother, the widowed Agatha von Rappoltstein (d. 1648) and her chaplain, Joachim Stoll (1615-78), finding additional spiritual nourishment in such works as the Vom wahren Christentum of Johann Arndt (q.v.) and German translations of the English devotional writers Emanuel Sonthomb (Emanuel Thompson?), Lewis Bayly, Daniel Dyke, and Richard Baxter.
(§ 1). Early Life and Education. Spener began his university studies at Strasburg in May, 1651, devoting himself primarily to history, philosophy, and philology, and receiving his master's degree in 1653. He later gained a reputation as a student of genealogy and heraldry, particularly through his voluminous Opus heraldicum (2 vols., Frankfort, 1690). His theological teachers were Johann Schmidt (1594-1658), Sebastian Schmidt (1617-96), and especially Johann Konrad Dannhauer (q.v.). It was to the latter scholar that Spener was chiefly indebted for his living interest in the writings of Luther and the assertion of the religious rights of the laity, as well as for his subsequent avoidance of separatistic tendencies. As a student he lived a quiet, reserved life; his acquaintance confined itself to a few sympathetic friends; and his Sundays were devoted to serious reading and singing hymns with these friends, as well as to the composition of his Soliloquia et meditationes sacr. He terminated his formal studies in 1659, and spent the next three years at Basel, Geneva, and Tübingen. Here his chief object was further knowledge of languages, literature, and history, but at the same time his religious development was profoundly influenced, notably by his acquaintance with Jean de Labadie (see LABADIE, JEAN DE, LABADISTS), whom he met in Geneva. Though many desired Spener to remain in Württemberg, he accepted, in Mar., 1663, the position of assistant preacher at the cathedral in Strasburg, an appointment which was particularly attractive to him, since it allowed him time to pursue his studies and to attend lectures; and in the following year he received his theological doctorate.
(§ 2). Frankfort and the Collegia Pietatis. Spener now planned to live a quiet scholar's life, and eventually to become a professor of theology. In 1666, however, he was called as senior to Frankfort, where he not only found that his new office restricted his customary and congenial scholastic leisure, but also that his Lutheran orthodoxy was doubted, and that he was accused of Calvinistic tendencies. Accordingly, on the eighth Sunday after Trinity, 1667, he delivered a sermon on "necessary caution against false prophets," among whom he classed the Reformed, who had a small congregation at Frankfort. Spener afterward regretted the attitude here taken against the Reformed, however, and sought as far as possible to prevent the circulation of his sermon. Very different, and far happier, were the results of his sermon on July 18, 1669, on the" vain righteousness of the Pharisees." Here he described this ineffectual righteousness of the Pharisees as that superficial security which is content with an external subscription to the orthodox Lutheran Church, and which is satisfied with a merely intellectual attachment to pure doctrine, outward participation in divine service and the sacraments, and abstinence from gross sins and vices. Most of his hearers were disposed to feel that Spencer demanded too much from frail men, but others were startled into a salutary dread and were aroused to serious repentance.
It was those thus affected who, a year later (1670), participated in the Collegia pietatis, or private devotional gatherings, which Spener assembled twice a week in his house, this course being a decided innovation, though at first the meetings escaped attack. At the same time, Spener by no means restricted himself to the care of his little band of conventicle people, but strove to arouse and maintain personal and vital Christianity by preaching, by ecclesiastical discipline, and, most of all, by improving and animating the catechizings held each Sunday. His catechetical sermons and his catechism itself, the Erklärung der christlichen Lehre nach der Ordnung des kleinen Katechismus Luthers (Frankfort, 1677), were a fruit of these endeavors, as well as several annual series of sermons.
(§ 3). The Pia Desideria. The event that formed an epoch in Spener's life and attracted wide attention was the publication of his little Pia desideria (Frankfort, 1675). In this work Spener first depicted the Christianity of his period, which left much to be desired in every rank and station. Nevertheless, God had promised better times for the Church militant, which were to begin when Israel should have become converted and papal Rome should have fallen. Meanwhile he proposed the following helpful measures: the word of God must be more widely diffused among the people, this end being furthered by discussions on the Bible under the pastor's guidance; the establishment and maintenance of the spiritual priesthood, which is not possessed by the clergy alone, but is rather constituted by the right and duty of all Christians to instruct others, to punish, to exhort, to edify, and to care for their salvation; the fact must be emphasized that mere knowledge is insufficient in Christianity, which is expressed rather in action; more gentleness and love between denominations are needed in polemics; the university training of the clergy must be changed so as to include personal piety and the reading of books of edification, as well as intellectual knowledge and dogmatic controversies; and, finally, sermons should be prepared on a more edifying plan, with less emphasis on rhetorical art and homiletic erudition.
(§ 4). Attacks on Teachings and Collegia. Concretely regarded, these fundamental ideas of the Pia desideria were not new, but the very fact that Spener's treatise made so great a stir, and within a few years evoked a complete literature of its own, shows how imperative it was to emphasize such principles afresh. But amid much approval, there was, from the very first, no lack of opposition. This turned especially on the reiterated recommendation of private devotional gatherings in the Pia desideria. It was only now that the Frankfort conventicles became a center of general observation, visited by many, copied by many, and also distrusted by many. [But while Spener hoped that the small bands of earnest Christians thus formed within the general congregation would serve as a spiritual leaven for the larger body, they possessed from the start the two inherent dangers of separatistic tendencies and, as being composed preponderatingly of laymen associated on the theory of the universal priesthood of all believers, of opposition to the clergy proper. Both these dangers proved real perils; and as early as 1677 complaints were lodged against the collegia pietatis by the police of Frankfort, while on Jan. 26, 1678, the Darmstadt consistory warned all pastors under its jurisdiction against them.] Spener defended his innovations, however, in his Das geistliche Priestertum (Frankfort, 1677), and finally transferred the meetings from his house to the Church, only to be confronted with fresh difficulties. His assertion that conversion and regeneration were indispensable for the right study of theology was contested by Georg Konrad Dilfeld in his Theologia Horbio-Speneriana in 1679, only to be easily refuted by Spener in his Allgemeine Gottesgelehrtheit aller gläubigen Christen und rechtschaffenen Theologen (Frankfort, 1680).
Spener now hoped to proceed unmolested in his work, but his plans were abruptly frustrated in 1682 by the secession of a number of his most zealous friends and adherents from all connection with the Church. With the utmost reluctance Spener broke with the separatists for love of his church and his pastoral office, and even opposed them openly in his Der Klagen über das verdorbene Christentum Missbrauch und rechter Gebrauch (Frankfort, 1685). A portion of these Frankfort separatists emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1683; and Spener's position was still further complicated by misunderstandings with the municipal council, which proved little disposed to comply with his wishes in combating public offenses, regularly inspecting catechetical examinations, and effecting a better organization of the parishes and of the practise of confession.
(§ 5). Stormy Career at Dresden. Under these circumstances Spener decided, in the summer of 1686, to accept a call to Dresden as first chaplain to Elector John George III. of Saxony. Still greater conflicts awaited him here. The morals at the Saxon Court were crude and licentious, and Spener fell into disfavor with the elector by reproaching him, as his confessor on a fast-day, for his intemperance. The Saxon clergy, moreover, received Spener with distrust as a stranger, and his Dresden colleagues were offended when he begun catechetical exercises in his house, deeming such a course beneath the dignity of a first court chaplain. In addition to all this, Spener alienated the Saxon universities of Leipsic and Wittenberg by his criticism of university conditions and the defective training of theological students in his De impedimentis studii theologici (1690). The conflict between the old orthodoxy and the new spirit represented by Spener became acute at Leipsic in 1689, when Spener's friends and pupils, who included August Hermann Francke and Paul Anton (qq.v.), organized, for purposes of edification, the so-called collegia biblica. [Three years previous, on July 18, 1686, at the instance of Johann Benedikt Carpzov (q.v.), their subsequent opponent, Francke and Anton had established a similar institution, the collegium philobiblicum, an association of eight masters who met at the house of Valentin Alberti (q.v.) for the study of the Bible. Gradually, under the influence of Spener, the devotional element gained ascendency over the technical theology that had been the purpose of the original society; but no open disturbance was created until Francke started the collegia biblica. His pietistic lectures now caused such a sensation among the students, however, as well as among the townsmen of Leipsic, that "doubtful conventicles and private assemblies" were forbidden by an electoral edict on Mar. 10, 1690, and Francke was eventually obliged to leave the university.]
(§ 6). Call to Berlin; Real Rise of Pietism. A lively literary controversy now began concerning the merits of Pietism, but in 1691 Spener, who was deemed the spiritual leader of the Pietists, who were themselves opposed as sectaries, accepted a call to Berlin as provost of the Nikolaikirche. At Berlin, unlike Saxony, Spener and Pietism were to a certain extent protected by Elector Frederick III. (King Frederick I. of Prussia after 1701); for the Reformed elector, desiring to establish peace in his land between Lutherans and Reformed was opposed to strict Lutheranism, and perceived in the practical and unionistic trend of Pietism an ally to his plans. In Brandenburg, accordingly, Spener exercised a profound influence over ecclesiastical conditions through his powerful patrons. He utilized this influence, after 1692, primarily to further the creation of a theological school after his own liking at the new University of Halle, its first significant exponent being A. H. Francke (q.v.).
Meanwhile the Pietistic movement had attracted wide circles and divided Lutheran Germany into two camps, organizing itself into a kind of party which, though claiming to be entirely orthodox and repudiating all attributes of heresy or sectarianism, was forced to struggle for existence against orthodoxy. The situation was still further complicated by the incorporation, after 1691-92, of certain chiliastic, enthusiastic, and ecstatic phenomena with the Pietistic movement. [As early as 1691 an unnamed opponent of Spener (probably C. A. Roth of Halle), in his Imago Pietismi, brought essentially the same charges against Pietism which were afterward constantly repeated in polemics against it.] Between 1691 and 1698 Spener alone exchanged some fifty controversial treatises with his antagonists. His chief opponents were Carpzov and Alberti in Leipsic, and such Wittenberg theologians as Johann Deitschmann (q.v.) and Johann Georg Neumann, the former of whom, in his Christlutherische Vorstellung (1695), written in behalf of the Wittenberg theological faculty, charged Spener with 283 erroneous teachings. Besides these opponents, there were Johann Friedrich Mayer (q.v.) in Hamburg, Samuel Schelwig (q.v.) in Danzig, and August Pfeiffer in Lübeck, the latter especially charging Spener with heterodox chiliastic views because of the Behauptung der Hoffnung künftiger besserer Zeiten, which he had published in 1692. The controversy was the more bitter since Spener's opponents feared, not without reason, that Pietism represented a new religious tendency, though they were unable to grasp its true nature, much less to understand its relative justification.
(§ 7). Spener's Closing Years. After 1698 Spener withdrew both from controversial writing and from public advocacy of Pietism, deeming further debate useless and his opponents as altogether incapable of amendment. In 1700-02, under the title Theologische Bedenken, he published at Halle four volumes of selections from his correspondence with both men and women, princes and statesmen, theologians and scholars, nobles and commoners, through which he had for decades exercised a profound influence on Germany. During his closing years his mood fluctuated between hopes for his cause and a dejection which was increased by many extravagances of his friends and followers. Nevertheless, from first to last he conscientiously fulfilled his duties as preacher and catechizer. His last literary labor was his anti-Socinian Verteidigung des Zeugnisses von der ewigen Gottheit Christi (Frankfort, 1706). He spent May, 1704, at Grosshennersdorf in Saxony, where he dedicated his godson, Zinzendorf, then four years old, to the advancement of the kingdom of God. After a severe attack of illness, Spener passed his seven last months tranquilly and with patience, though growing more and more feeble until his death, Feb. 5, 1705.
(§ 8). Personality and Theology. Spener's was no heroic nature. He lacked bold initiative, as he himself knew; timidity and hesitation were inborn in him; and he was drawn into active life only by his living devotion, his moral earnestness, and his strong faith-born sense of duty and responsibility. Nevertheless, his Christianity was somewhat one-sided, restricted, and narrow; and, like his style, he was dry, prosy, and heavy. But notwithstanding this, his personality made a profound impression on many because of his unswerving earnestness, his conscientiousness and fidelity to duty, his ingenuous modesty, and his irenic temper.
Neither was Spener's importance inherent in his theology. He meant to be simply an orthodox Lutheran, and persistently dwelt on his harmony with the doctrinal standards of the Lutheran Church. At the same time, he shifted the center of interest from the maintenance of orthodox doctrine to conduct and practical piety, and from the objective validity of the verities of salvation and means of grace to the subjective conditions connected with them, their subjective ethical accountability then following as a necessary corollary. Spener was concerned, above all, with the true personal faith of the heart, which, he maintained, might coexist with serious doctrinal errors. At bottom, however, this meant a far graver revolution in existing dogmatic and theological tenets than Spener himself had surmised, and led, in practise, to connivance at all sorts of erroneous teachers, sectarians, and fanatics. This laxity afforded Spener's opponents a ground of attack, but their unskilful, superficial, and impassioned onslaughts not only lightened Spener's task of defense and substantiation, but also, unfortunately, helped to obscure his perception of the real consequences of his position. Spener's activity as a practical theologian and reformer may be summarized as efforts, on the one hand, to reform the clergy and their official ministration; and, on the other hand, to regenerate the ecclesiastical, religious, and moral life of the congregations and their members.
(§ 9). Part in Pastoral Reform. In his attempted reform of the clergy, Spener justly discerned and combated the great defects in the theological studies of his time, especially the neglect of Biblical exegesis, undue stress on formal rhetoric and polemics, and, most of all, the worldly life of those busied with theology. He maintained that it was neither sufficient nor even the chief essential for a pastor simply to hold pure doctrine, stressing instead the importance of Christian character in the pastor with relation to his office and his official activity. He set forth the principle that the first and foremost object of preaching is to edify, to induct the hearers into the word of God, and to awaken and foster personal piety and Christian living, all erudition and fine rhetoric, unless they subserve that end, being from the realm of evil. The rise of Spener, therefore, betokened an advance in the cause of preaching and homiletics, even though he himself fell far short of realizing the ideal of a plain, Scriptural, and edifying style of preaching. He was an important factor in securing recognition of the great importance of the religious instruction of the young; and by his direct example he revived the languishing condition of catechetical training, combated the mechanical system of memorizing, emphasized the serious duty of religious tuition, strove to secure a practical method of catechetical instruction, introduced the Bible as a school text-book, and contributed largely toward the spread of confirmation in the Lutheran Church of Germany. The improprieties and misuses connected with private confession at the time of Spener were felt by him to be a heavy pastoral burden and responsibility, especially as he had little sympathy with the custom. He had, therefore, no direct personal interest in its retention or improvement. Any reform of it seemed to him possible and desirable only in connection with the formation of boards of elders who should share the responsibility of church discipline. Since, however, such an institution appeared impracticable at the time, Spener's influence on confession and ecclesiastical discipline was little more than negative. The importance of detailed pastoral care was taught by Spener more by precept than by example, though in private life, especially in association with the clergy, candidates, and students, he exerted a profound and pervasive influence in this direction, while his extensive correspondence made him known as the "father confessor of all Germany."
(§ 10). Promotion of Lay Religion. In his endeavor to reform the ecclesiastical, religious, and moral life of Germany Spener combated, among both clergy and laity, inert, conventional Christianity and reliance on mere external orthodoxy, unceasingly preaching the necessity of conscious, personal, vital, active, and practical Christian life. For the furtherance of this type of Christianity, he recommended household devotions, extempore prayer, and Bible readings, as well as a stricter observance of Sunday. He labored earnestly in behalf of Christian discipline and morals, not only assailing current offenses in public and private life, but also raising the standard of conscience and refining the moral sense. In his reaction against the prevailing laxity and licentiousness which the Lutheran clergy judged too leniently as things indifferent, Spener's stress on Christian and moral earnestness was no less wholesome than justifiable. He also emphasized the rights, and still more the obligations, of the laity in the Church; opposed the monopoly of the clergy; energetically revived the theory of the common spiritual priesthood of all believers; promoted the cooperation of the laity in ecclesiastical administration; and procured both recognition and free scope for the spontaneous activity of laymen in the life of the Church, even though in the latter direction he merely gave expression to general ideas and wishes. He created no actual organizations, for neither was he the man, nor was the time yet ripe. Nevertheless, in an age of sharp denominational cleavage, Spener awoke the Protestant sense of fellowship between all communions that rested on the common basis of the Reformation. He helped pave the way toward friendly relationship between the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Germany, both fortifying unionistic sentiment and preparing the means of union though rejecting any artificial and precipitate attempts at union. On the other hand, he was far more firmly convinced than most of the statesmen and clergy of his time that Roman Catholicism had deviated fundamentally from the Gospel of Christ, and that the "Roman peril" was real. He gave repeated expression to the thought of missions among Jews and heathen, and emphasized the missionary duty of Protestant Christianity at a time when the Lutheran Church had almost no conception of any such duty; and it was Spener's Pietistic friends, pupils, and disciples who went out from Halle in 1705 to the work of the Evangelical mission among the heathen, they being the first in Germany to attempt that field.
(§ 11). Cooperating Forces. In all these lines, indeed, Spener did not stand entirely alone among his contemporaries. He had his forerunners and colaborers. He was not the "Father of Pietism" in the sense that it emanated exclusively from him. He was met half-way, as it were, by a widely diffused sentiment in the Lutheran Church of Germany, and he was aided in many phases of the situation by the change which took place in the general spirit of the age. There were also cooperative influences proceeding from England, Holland, and Switzerland. For the Lutheran Church of Germany, however, Spener was the acknowledged and honorable protagonist; he was the most eminent advocate and the spiritual center of all those forces which so vigorously sought to reform the Lutheran Church in the last quarter of the seventeenth century.
II. Pietism at Halle: (§ 1). Prestige of Francke and his Institutions. A new epoch in the development of Pietism was marked when, for a time, the University of Leipsic closed its doors to the movement, whereupon the theological faculty of the newly founded University of Halle was filled, under Spener's influence with men of his own type. From the first the dominant spirit was August Hermann Francke (q.v.), who, though professor of Hebrew and Greek in the philosophical faculty until 1698, immediately began to lecture on exegesis. His colleagues were Joachim Justus Breithaupt, Johann Wilhelm Baier, Paul Anton, Johann Heinrich Michaelis, Joachim Lange (qq.v.), and Johann Daniel Hernschmied. The university was also profoundly affected by Francke's establishment of the famous Halle orphan asylum and affiliated schools and institutions. Many students of theology here received not only support, but preparation for their studies; the publishing house facilitated the literary propagation of Halle's cause; the collegium orientale afforded opportunity for linguistic training; and in the infirmary attached to the orphan asylum the medical faculty found compensation for the lack of a university clinic. Since Francke was both the dominant power in the faculty and the director of the orphan asylum, the former organization soon became so closely bound up with the interests and aims of these various institutions that the Halle phase of Pietism derived its peculiar nature from this very combination. This state of affairs was undeniably advantageous in many ways to the faculty, which gained prestige from the growing recognition of Francke's organizations, while the number of theological students at Halle rapidly increased; though, at the same time, these very factors caused a decided loss of independence and freedom of action in the faculty.
(§ 2). Unsuccessful War on Pietism. In its command of an assured position, the Halle school of Pietism quickly assumed the aggressive, and deemed itself called to be the censor of divergent tendencies, views, and modes of life. This attitude rendered it still more difficult for its opponents to recognize its good intent, and contributed much to the degeneration of the controversies into personal animosities to the prejudice of real explanation and mutual understanding. This turn of events was the more unhappy since even without them the mass of conflicting elements would have resulted in open rupture. In 1698 strife broke out between Francke and the clergy of Halle, followed by a series of clashes between the theological faculty and the law professor, Christian Thomasius (q. v.), who had enthusiastically espoused the cause of Francke at Leipsic, all these controversies, however, being eclipsed by the attitude of the theological faculty toward their colleague, the philosopher Christian Wolff, who was deposed from his office by King Frederick William I. (see WOLFF, CHRISTIAN, AND THE WOLFFIAN THEOLOGY). Of still greater moment were the literary battles between Pietism and its opponents outside of Halle. The most significant of these was the Wittenberg theological professor Valentin Ernst Löscher (q.v.), with his Vollständiger Timotheus Verinus (Wittenberg, 1718). Löscher was no fanatical assailant of Pietism; he recognized some good in the movement, and by a threefold classification of its adherents (the Halle Pietists being reckoned as midway between the radical and conservative wings) he sought to do justice to its several gradations. At the same time, his estimate of conversion, his concept of the pastoral office, and his stress on pure doctrine rested on a theological basis so wholly and fundamentally at variance with that of the Halle school that the harmony which he desired proved impossible, despite long correspondence and a personal interview with Francke and Hernschmied in May, 1719. The orthodox Lutheran attacks on Pietism, however, neither distracted the Pietists from their cause nor checked its wider development. Francke's educational institutions grew and multiplied; the Canstein Bible Institute was founded (see CANSTEIN, KARL HILLDEBRAND, BARON VON); union was effected with the Danish mission in Tranquebar; and Francke also found time to interest himself in behalf of the captive Swedes in Siberia. His death, in 1727, was a serious loss for his faculty, which soon was greatly changed.
Many of the institutions and organizations created by the Pietism of Halle exercised a deep influence on the Lutheran Church in Germany. Even before Francke's death, however, the movement had reached its zenith; and it had only been his powerful, energetic, and influential personality which had, in many ways, lessened the dangers of one-sidedness and extravagance in Pietism at Halle, and kept its darker side comparatively inconspicuous. At the same time, the flaws in the movement did not originate altogether in the second generation, but were innate in the Halle type of Pietism from the first.
(§ 3). One-Sided Nature of the Movement. One obvious characteristic of the movement at Halle was its lack of appreciation of the diversity and wealth of development in the growth of piety. "Conversion," as Francke experienced it, was not viewed in the light of an individual phenomenon, but as the normal way to salvation, regardless of other experiences taught by the history of the religious life. The question then arose as to the distinguishing marks of real conversion, and whether this must include a conviction of sin and the experience of ictic conversion at a precise moment. The affirmation of these demands also afforded a standard for gaging the Christianity of others; and in applying this the Pietists of Halle were no very lenient judges where they lighted upon the "unconverted." Their one-sided insistence on the religious tone in education was not above criticism, admirable as were the results which it produced, for in some cases it was the cause of spiritual pride, and in others of hypocrisy. Francke, himself, however, in his inculcation of intense Christianity, clearly recognized the claims of practical life. Among the subjects of instruction he included botany, zoology, mineralogy, anatomy, physics, and astronomy, as well as such mechanical crafts as turning and glass-grinding, thus preparing the way for the modern trade schools. But notwithstanding all this breadth of judgment, which Francke also evinced in many other directions, he was strangely ignorant of the needs and feelings of the young. The incessant surveillance of the pupils in all of his institutions clogged the development of independence and was an obvious pedagogical error; and the same statement holds true of the restriction of harmless amusements.
(§ 4). Effect on Theological Study. The practical religion taught by the Pietism of Halle exerted a significant influence upon the attitude of the university toward technical theology. Since Francke was convinced that living faith and sincere conversion were indispensable postulates to a knowledge of God, independent value was denied mere intellect, and the entire curriculum of studies was ar- ranged accordingly. First of all, the development of personal religion was furthered; all academic lectures assumed the character of devotional sessions and revival sermons; every lecture was opened and closed with prayer. In addition to all this, the faculty met twice each week at the dean's house, where the students had to report on their studies and receive advice. The study of the Bible in the original was the center of the entire course. The darker side of this concept of theology, however, was shown in the Halle faculty's unproductiveness in the field of strict scholarship. Francke's own ability for scientific activity was undeniable, but he was far too much engrossed by his institutions to have time for research, though he never felt that this curtailed his efficiency as a teacher. There was, however, no perception of the fact that the new foundation of theology upon conversion and the edifying study of Scripture needed to be harmonized with orthodox theology, or that the entire body of systematic theology must be reconstructed, any more than there was recognition of the desirability of reaching a scholarly understanding with extremists in the Pietistic camp itself and with the Wolffian philosophy. Since these problems lay within the scope of the faculty's duties, the fact that they were ignored was an act of remissness that brought speedy vengeance. The faculty grew torpid and, after the death of Francke, lost its influence over the student body.
II. Pietism in Württemberg: (§ 1). Pietism Cordially Welcomed. The entrance of Pietism into Württemberg was particularly momentous for the subsequent development of the movement, since it there not only attracted many adherents, but also acquired a distinct character which was both independent of Spener and sharply distinguished from the Halle and Moravian Pietistic types. The movement received its first incentives in Württemberg from Spener himself, who visited Stuttgart in May, 1662, and later spent four months in Tübingen. Not only were the general conditions of religious life in Württemberg favorable for the growth of Pietism, but special welcome seems to have been accorded it because of contemporary political burdens, which rendered men more open to the preaching of a gospel of the heart. The movement was also aided by the fact that the princes of the land did not oppose it; while it received direct encouragement from the Church authorities, who had early begun to turn Spener's views to practical account in favor of true Christian life. The influence of the Halle Pietist was very evident in the efforts to raise the standard of theological education; and as early as l694 an edict was issued declaring that even a comprehensive theological training did not lead to a true knowledge of God if the heart clung to the world, and urging professors to educate not only learned, but devout and godly men. At Stuttgart the consistory successfully sought to obviate conflicts with Pietism on Württemberg soil; the controversial Considerationum theologicarum decas of the Tübingen professor Michael Müller was confiscated; and on Feb. 28, 1694, appeared an edict joyfully hailed by Spener for, while assuming the inviolable validity of the symbolical books and the existing agenda, it conceded a whole series of details to Pietism. There was, however, no uniform attitude on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities toward private devotional meetings, which had become popular in Württemberg as early as the ninth decade of the seventeenth century. Where these meetings lacked clerical direction, they were at first partly forbidden; and it was only long afterward, in consequence of the organization of collegia pietatis by some lecturers at Tübingen in 1703, that the conventicles were regularly sanctioned, though even then it was desired that they be held in the churches. Moreover, this favorable disposition of the consistory had reference only to that section of Pietism which continued strictly within the bounds of the Church and did not favor the separatistic tendencies to which Württemberg was peculiarly predisposed.
(§ 2). Separatism and Tübingen Influence. The early stages of Pietistic separatism may be traced back to the initial stages of the movement itself. It found particular support among clergymen of marked devoutness and gravity, and firmly ensconced itself in various places, including the country districts. The conflict with this growing separatism was opened by the Edict of 1703; a second edict, forbidding all conventicles held by sectaries, followed in 1706; and the third, or general rescript of Mar. 2, 1707, added certain drastic measures, threatening to banish those separatists who should refuse to attend Church and communion within three months. This course was abandoned, however, in a few years, so that the decree of Jan. 14, 1711, showed a milder attitude toward the separatistic Pietists. It came to be more and more the practise to abandon all forcible measures in the case of such separatists as behaved themselves quietly, until finally the general rescript of Oct. 10, 1743, permitted all private devotional meetings that did not involve breach of the peace. This leniency toward the separatists, which was in sharp contrast to North German practise of the period, became possible since it involved no danger to the Church, and since there was no contentious orthodoxy to misconstrue its spirit. At the same time, this policy prevented the Church from putting down separatism, which persisted throughout the eighteenth century and broke out afresh at its close.
Lastly, the attitude of the University of Tübingen was important for implanting Pietism in Württemberg. While the influence of Tübingen's theological faculty upon this development was far from equal to that of Halle, nevertheless, the plan of filling professorships with men who took their inspiration from Spener showed its practical effects in more ways than mere modification of the aims and methods of instruction. Besides Johann Wolfgang Jäger, who imparted a new spirit to the faculty, the teaching force included Johann Christian Pfaff, Andreas Adam Hochstetter, Christoph Reuchlin, and Christoph Eberhard Weismann. The Pietism evolved under these conditions showed certain distinctive features. Its adherents were predominantly among the clergy, among the middle classes in the towns, and in the rural districts; not, as with Pietism in North Germany, among the nobility. This insured a far more popular character for the movement, so that Pietistic Stunden, or prayer-meetings, have survived to the present time. On the other hand, the Württemberg phase of Pietism preserved the church ideal more largely than was the case at Halle, this attitude doubtless being strengthened by the moderate and reasonable course adopted by the ecclesiastical authorities, as well as by the absence of a contentious type of orthodoxy. In Württemberg, moreover, Pietism enjoyed a distinct advantage through its intimate sympathy with scientific theology, the resultant combination being shown, for example, by the New-Testament critic and exegete Johann Albrecht Bengel (q.v.), who constantly sought to unite the two. In view of the influence exercised by Pietism on the life of the Church in Württemberg this attitude toward scientific method was not without moment for theology; and its influence on Pietism itself was still more profound, since it served to maintain its intellectual mobility, and fostered that spirit of independence and self-restraint which preserved it from the decline which overtook the movement at Halle. Finally, Württemberg Pietism was characterized by a range and scope of religious life far wider and more diverse than the stereotyped form of the movement which prevailed at Halle; and while it is not always easy precisely to define the new elements introduced by Swabian individualism, it is certain that there were many direct points of contact between the Swabian movement and the Pietism of Halle.
(§ 3). Attitude toward Moravians. Though Württemberg never became entirely independent of Halle, a distinct sense of the divergence between the two schools was eventually evolved. This became clear in the position taken by the Württemberg Pietists with regard to the Moravians. Count Nicholas Louis von Zinzendorf (q.v.) exercised a considerable influence from the time of his first visit in 1729, and induced many young theologians to enter the Moravian communion. Nevertheless, he was denied the fruit of great and permanent results, since men like Georg Konrad Rieger, and especially Bengel (qq.v.), who disapproved the formation of independent congregations, Count Zinzendorf's personality, and many other things, opposed the further inroads of Moravianism. Yet though they thus blocked its advance in Württemberg, this rebuff did not entirely break off friendly relations with the Unity of the Brethren, with whom harmony is still preserved, chiefly because of Lutheran appreciation of Moravian missionary activity. The third main division of Pietists was the Unity of the Brethren (q.v.), or Moravians, founded by Zinzendorf.
IV. The Spread of Pietism: Statistics of the spread of Pietism can scarcely be given with any approximation to completeness until preliminary studies, such as have already been begun, shall have been made of the history of the movement in the various localities in which it took root. Such studies, moreover, would doubtless aid in distinguishing the frequently interchanging tendencies proceeding from Herrnhut and Halle respectively. Spener himself, like Francke, sought to find interests in common with other religious bodies and leaders, while Zinzendorf surpassed them both in this regard. The triumph of Pietism over all obstacles, and its spread not only throughout Germany, but even into Switzerland, Holland, England, Denmark, and Russia, was partly due to the wide-spread indifference toward dogmatic formulas that had been discredited through theological wrangling, though it owed its real success to the fact that it was able to offer something not then supplied by the State churches. In addition to preaching, the personal association that was facilitated by the private devotional meetings, and an extensive correspondence dating from the time of Spener, the spread of Pietism was furthered by the influence exerted in filling pastorates and professorships with men sympathetic with the movement. This was particularly the case at Halle, which had a thousand theological students about 1730, while in 1729 an edict of Frederick William I. required all candidates for the ministry in his dominions to study there for two years. The university, therefore, together with Francke's institutions in Halle, developed a powerful influence in behalf of Pietism up to the middle of the eighteenth century; and Francke's journey to South Germany in 1718 still further promoted the cause.
V. The Nature and Significance of Pietism: (§ 1). Complexity of Pietism. The wide diversity of opinion, even at the present time, regarding Pietism is due not only to the fact that the movement, as a peculiar concept of Protestant Christianity, is naturally judged according to the dogmatic position of each individual critic, but also to the very nature of the Pietistic tendency. The mere question of authoritative sources for a determination of the essence of Pietism involves great difficulties, since the movement produced neither official doctrinal writings nor any principles which, when acknowledged everywhere and at all times, should constitute regular affiliation with the Pietist cause. The sole recourse, therefore, is to the private literature of the movement, which is predominantly devotional. It must, however, be used with caution because of its subjective, transient tone; which is shared by its opponents as well; and purely biographical sources are lamentably scanty. Moreover, Pietism embraced very heterogeneous phenomena, so that it assumed extremely divergent phases in different individuals living at the same time but in different regions, with different antecedents, and under different conditions. It likewise underwent the most diverse combinations, to say nothing of the variations which distinguished the chief phases of the movement from each other, or of the development which each of these phases worked out independently.
(§ 2). Lutheran Orthodoxy and Pietism. Claiming possession of pure doctrine, the right administration of the sacraments, and a well-organized establishment as a national Church, Lutheranism had embarked upon a course of development during the seventeenth century in which, though the Bible was recognized as the sole authority and as the first and highest source of knowledge, its essential content was held to be summarized and contained in definitive dogmas. Where these boons and institutions were unmutilated, the Church professed to supply such a degree of perfection as obviated the necessity of any further development, whether inward or outward. The sole requirements laid upon church-members, accordingly, were recognition of the doctrine of the Church as an authoritative presentation of divine revelation, reception of the proffered Word and sacraments, and obedience to the several ordinances affecting church life. In opposition to this institutional Christianity of the Lutheran Church, which assumed to stand for evangelical Christianity while actually permitting the spiritual life to languish, Pietism emphasized the duty of striving after personal and individual religious independence and collaboration, and declared that religion is something altogether personal, that evangelical Christianity is present only when and in so far as it is manifested in Christian conduct. In the nature of the case, this assertion of the right and of the necessity of personal Christianity implied no attack upon any special doctrines or institutions of the Church, but was rather a protest against Lutheran absolutism. Notwithstanding this, Pietism assumed many phases on the basis of accentuation of personal Christianity. With Spener and Francke, the core of religious life was a firm faith in Providence. The clergy whose training was received at Halle laid the chief stress on conversion. Another principle widely diffused, especially in Moravian circles, was deep love for Jesus, this leading to a revival of the well-known ideals of medieval mysticism. All Pietistic trends and types, moreover, found a common bond in their tendency to seek the normal realization of living piety in a life of intense religious emotion, and to give a permanent place to the keen realization of individual sinfulness and guilt.
(§ 3). Disadvantages of Pietism. Pietistic devotion achieved great and successful results, which were well merited in so far as the movement represented a justifiable reaction against an exaggerated ecclesiasticism. On the other hand, it was unconscious of the dangers attending its championship of the rights of individual personalities. In proportion as the experience of regeneration was exalted, the more expedient it seemed to produce, or at least to facilitate, this event by systematic courses of action. But the assumption that religious development was essentially fulfilled in the sphere of religious emotion prepared the way for an artificial excitation of this feeling, thus involving the danger of insincerity, self-deception, and sentimentalism, which, in the absence of self-discipline and sobriety, formed an easy transition to still worse aberrations. The extreme importance attached to individual experiences and to spontaneous prayer led to a communicativeness often hard to distinguish from loquacity. Moreover, those who underwent no such experiences came to be regarded with disdain by others. It is significant that Alberti, at Leipsic, early reproached the Pietists with self-complacency; and the thought of standing in a peculiarly intimate relationship to God was by no means unusual in Pietism at Halle. These principles were also adopted and amplified by the Moravians, or Unity of the Brethren. This attitude, which was the chief factor in estranging non-Pietistic from Pietistic circles, may seem to contradict the facts that Pietism was characterized by anxiety and depression, that it was cankered with introspection, that it never attained to inward rest, that one "awakened" must ever be awakened anew, and that he sought for indications of the grace which he had received, but enjoyed his prize only occasionally. Yet the contradiction is merely apparent, for the attitude in question was the necessary consequence of the dominating Pietistic consciousness of sin. It was, in other words, the result of an exclusively transcendental concept of the theory of blessedness, which in turn explains why Pietism looked so radically askance upon the world.
(§ 4). Influence on the Church. By strongly emphasizing personal Christianity in the cultivation and development of pastoral care Pietism supplied abundant and momentous incentives which were heartily welcomed by Lutheran orthodoxy. The desire to unite the clergy more closely, and thus to facilitate an exchange of professional experiences, led Johann Adam Steinmetz, then general superintendent of the archdiocese of Magdeburg, to organize pastoral conferences in 1737; while by the systematic diffusion of devotional treatises he opened new ways for religiously influencing the masses. The fact that Johann Kaspar Schade's formal protest against the compulsory introduction of private confession was so thoroughly approved by the elector of Brandenburg that he abandoned the usage in 1698 (his example being followed by other State churches) was the result of serious disorders in the practical working of the system, though voluntary private confession still prevailed widely. The victorious advance of Pietism was also bound to affect public worship, which, as part of a State institution, enjoyed such protection in various districts that neglect of it might be punished by fines and other legal means. Not only was the mere existence of private devotional gatherings prejudicial to the position of authority enjoyed by the Church, but she was also obliged to find that the Pietistic emphasis on personal Christianity acted to the detriment of her liturgy. Nevertheless, while Pietism succeeded in making the entire Bible available for homiletic purposes, as contrasted with the compulsory pericopes, the movement failed to produce an epoch in the history of German preaching. It was, on the other hand, conspicuously successful in the sphere of hymnology, for which it was peculiarly qualified because of its cultivation of the emotional side of religion and its tenderness and warmth of religious expression. Though most of the hymns that emanated from Pietistic circles were pitched in too subjective, and even unwholesome and sentimental, a strain to be suitable for congregational use, some of the Pietist composers, such as Johann Jakob Schlitz, Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen, Johann Jakob Rambach, Carl Heinrich von Bogatzky, Ernst Gottlieb Woltersdorf, Philipp Friedrich Hiller, and Nicholas Louis von Zinzendorf, have won a secure place in Lutheran hymnals; and not only did the wealth of poetry produced by Pietism exercise a profound influence in the furtherance of its own extension, but it also stimulated religious poetry beyond the circle of its own adherents.
(§ 5). Religious Training and the Bible. In his high appreciation of religious and moral training for the people through the channel of religious instruction Spener followed the lines laid down by Luther in his catechisms, and especially advanced the task undertaken by Duke Ernest I. of Saxe-Gotha in the middle of the seventeenth century. It was owing to his efforts, indeed, that an electoral ordinance of Feb. 24, 1688, provided for the holding of weekly catechetical examinations for children and adults alike throughout the country; and it is not improbable that Spener was the ultimate inspiration of the Prussian electoral edict of 1692 requiring Sunday catechization in the rural congregations. Spener's purpose was the inward assimilation of religious truth rather than mere imparting of knowledge; and his efforts to advance practical piety among the masses were intimately associated with his interest in confirmation, which became an integral part of the usage of the Lutheran Church largely through the cooperation of Pietism. Still more eventful than Spener's energy, however, was the educational activity of Francke.
One of the main characteristics of Pietism was the fact that it claimed to be founded exclusively on the Bible. This might seem to be a mere repetition of the assertions of Lutheranism from the very first, but Pietism showed its independence of Lutheran orthodoxy both in its unswerving return to the Bible and in its application of Scriptural truths. The Lutheran Church was bound, as Pietism was not, by the creeds in which it had summarized its understanding of the Bible, and which it regarded as authoritative. The Pietistic reestablishment of the authority of the Bible was, therefore, a direct return to one of the cardinal principles of the German Reformation, and by granting the "awakened" Christian full capacity for independent study of the Bible Pietism restored to laymen the right which they had lost. Accordingly, Francke insisted that even children should read the Bible and made Biblical history a theme of study at school; while for the same reason he sought to gain wide circulation for the Bible, especially through the Canstein Bible Institute at Halle. On the other hand, Pietism impaired the salutary features of this return to the Bible when it ignored the influence of the facts and conditions of history in its system of exegesis. The result was unbridled subjectivism; the Bible became a magical book from which prognostications and counsels were sought; the gloomy views on the conditions prevailing in the Church and the world turned men's thoughts to the future and gave the prophecies and apocalyptic writings a preeminence which fostered only too well the Pietistic tendency toward fanaticism.
(§ 6). Effect on Theology and Union. While the practical character of Pietism forbids it to be considered a theological movement, it did not preclude points of contact with scientific theology. Unfortunately for both sides, however, these were predominantly antithetic; yet at the same time the development of Pietism had two results which were widely welcomed. In the first place, it became clear that the official Church and theology were not so deeply implanted among the people as had been supposed; and the recognition of this fact involved the task of seeking closer touch with the needs and longings of the time. Furthermore, by unsettling post-Reformation scholasticism and combating excessive appreciation of the creeds, Pietism cleared the way for new theological investigation in which the Bible was made the first field of labor, while the presentation of new points of view supplied corresponding problems for solution. The fact that even these incentives produced no marked change in theology, but served only as a preliminary for its revival in the nineteenth century, was due not only to immobility and want of receptivity on the part of the orthodox theology of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but also, in great measure, to the Pietistic lack of appreciation of the nature and import of learning, its failure to perceive the concept and task of theology apart from preaching, and its absence of conscious need of exact formulation.
When Pietism once came to power, it renounced the claims to freedom which it had once emphasized, and rapidly declined into externalism and torpidity. The movement undoubtedly resulted in a considerable depreciation of dogma and dogmatic documents; for though they were not explicitly assailed, the stress laid by Pietism on Christian life and its use of the Bible deprived dogma of the preeminence which it had formerly enjoyed. The practical effect of this process appeared in a change of view regarding the relation of the Lutheran to the Reformed Church. It was obvious that living, personal Christianity was not confined to the membership of the Lutheran Church; but, this being so, both denominations were fundamentally equal. This disregard of sectarian distinctions was actually realized by Pietism when it was confronted with the task of founding a new church; the Unity of the Brethren. In this case, the first attempt at union was successful; though there is no doubt that other factors besides Pietism entered into the formation of the Moravian communion. It was undeniable, moreover, that the excessive stress of Pietism on personal religion might possibly lead to a depreciation of the differences separating Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, a tendency which might have found some support in certain aspects of the Halle system of education, in specific forms of Pietistic mysticism, and in much that is reported of Zinzendorf. Pietism did not, however, yield to this allurement, but adhered to its essentially Protestant character. Spener was an uncompromising foe of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1676 he urged the elector to make no concession to the pope; the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 called forth his unsparing condemnation; and the attempts of Cristoval Rojas de Spinola (q.v.) to unite Protestants and Roman Catholics received no sympathy from him. In 1694, as the spokesman of the Berlin clergy, he discussed the method of most effectually resisting all overtures of the Roman Catholic Church, and his entire attitude toward the Latin communion was too intensely bitter to permit him to be suspected of any pro-Roman tendency. The example of Spener was followed in general by both the Halle and the Württemberg phases of Pietism; and though the age of orthodoxy witnessed many conversions from the Lutheran to the Roman Catholic Church, Pietism was responsible for none of them. It was not until toward the close of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Enlightenment had dulled sectarianism, that Pietists began to fraternize with Roman Catholics of similar tendencies.
(§ 7). Forerunner of Religious Freedom. By weakening the antagonism that had previously existed between the Lutherans and the Reformed, Pietism became the vehicle of an idea which, when realized, produced far-reaching results. While the concept of freedom in faith and conscience did not attain full clearness and expression until the nineteenth century, Pietism was an important factor in this development; and to that movement was mainly due the wide diffusion of the conviction that it had become necessary to break with the restrictions on religious freedom contained in the treaties of Augsburg and Westphalia. Pietism likewise fought against the external constraint which it encountered from both Church and State because of the establishment, and secured legal sanction for its own organizations; and though this was but an isolated violation of the maxim that the State had the right of forcible intervention in case of deviation from the State Church, this infringement of the principle of territorialism marked a distinct advance toward complete emancipation from the medieval concept of religious compulsion.
(§ 8). Conventicles and Lay Cooperation. Yet another constituent force in Pietism was its union of its adherents into a life of intimate religious fellowship. The formation of circles of this type began the Pietistic movement under Spener, and in Württemberg they developed into lasting institutions. Wherever Halle's influence reached, such meetings were organized; and Zinzendorf's entire activity was subservient to the fellowship ideal. Pietism, therefore, fought unceasingly for the privilege of private assembly, and its opponents rightly deemed its conventicles one of the most important manifestations of its peculiar genius. The diversity in the outward form of these conventicles, however, indicates that the movement sought merely to adapt given conditions to the practical development of active religious intercommunication, with scant regard to external organization as an end in itself. In forming his collegia pietatis Spener took his stand on the doctrine of the universal priesthood, a theory which Luther had opposed to the Roman Catholic distinction between clergy and laity, and which Lutheranism had never renounced. The tenet had, however, received no practical application; for the old twofold classification of Christians had still continued, except that the laity were now subjected to temporal rulers and theologians instead of being guided by bishops and priests. It was, then, only the revival of a fundamental idea of the Reformation when Pietistic conventicles procured for every Christian the right and opportunity of testifying to his experience in free address and free prayer. The enlistment of laymen for cooperation in the active work of the Church, moreover, meant the winning of new forces. This was a momentous advance, for though it was restricted chiefly to the "awakened," it still remained a vital force. The singleness of aim in the highest concerns of life and the mutual interest in common edification produced so close a bond of fellowship among Pietists that class distinctions of civil life either lost their significance or at least were much obscured. On the other hand, this very fact naturally afforded opportunities for base motives, as well as for vanity, greed, and hypocrisy; yet despite such abnormal phases of the movement, the increasing approximation of high and low on the basis of mutual religious edification at a time when such free contact was otherwise impossible exercised a noteworthy influence on social life. Spener clearly saw and boldly faced the evils arising from the fact that the government of the Church was exclusively in the hands of the secular rulers in various governments, and that the laity were excluded from it. He accordingly urged the appointment of lay elders to cooperate with the preachers. The plan of instituting presbyteries gained favor in Württemberg and was realized in the Moravian congregations. Nevertheless, Spener was unsuccessful in securing a general participation of the laity in the administration of the Church, for this was impossible unless the above-mentioned secular rulers should voluntarily curtail their prerogatives, a thing inconceivable in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, the formation of separatistic bodies for the realization of his ideals was as opposed to Spener's ecclesiastical mind as was the act of the Peace of Westphalia in granting toleration in Germany to those churches alone which were explicitly recognized by the treaty in question. But though Pietism found no way wholly to reconstruct the organization of the Church, the movement was not without significance in relation to subsequent efforts in this direction. There was a close affinity between Pietism and the chief exponents of Collegialism (q.v.), apparent, for instance, in the latter system's leading advocate, Christoph Matthäus Pfaff (q.v.), and also implied in the circumstance that both causes had their headquarters at Halle.
(§ 9). Separatistic Tendencies. So far as the orthodox opponents of Pietism understood and recognized the revival of the theory of the universal priesthood, they considered its beneficent results to be far outweighed by accompany ing dangers and disadvantages. A far more vulnerable point of attack, however, was, the relation of Pietism to separatism. This tendency was entirely unintentional, and the Moravian branch of Pietism was the only one to form a separate communion. Yet even here both the attendant circumstances and the character which the sect assumed show that it was not a product of a separatistic spirit. On the other hand, it must be conceded that Pietism was peculiarly open to the charge of separatism; and the very fact that the adherents of the movement were not conventional in their bearing immediately aroused suspicion. Though the Pietists themselves denied that there was such a thing as "Pietism," the outsider noticed that the friends of the movement kept together and supported each other, that the sense of union with sympathizers in other localities was a living one, that the adherents of the cause evinced unusual energy in pursuit of their aims, and that they exercised a potent influence. In short, Pietism had become a "party" as early as 1691; and during its golden age at Halle it manifested every evil of factionalism: greed for power; one-sided condemnation of opponents; and failure to censure friends. It seemed, therefore, both consciously and distinctly a tendency toward separation from fellow Lutherans in religious and in social life; and the very fact that its measures were designed to further the religious interests of its adherents alone caused it to be suspected of tendencies toward separatism and even secession.
Not only did Pietism thus become a faction of Lutheranism, but it was also joined and besieged by many of separatistic tendencies. As an opposition movement it naturally possessed a strong attraction for all those elements which were dissatisfied with existing conditions in the Church. Here they looked for sympathy and shelter, doubtless hoping, at the same time, to make the Pietistic circles instrumental to their own aims. They were cordially welcomed, but Pietism had to atone for excessive leniency toward many an enthusiast and "prophet" of doubtful character or of radical views. This ambiguous attitude of Pietism toward radicalism and separatism naturally increased current mistrust of the movement, and explains why its opponents might honestly assume an actual agreement between the two groups. Pietism itself, moreover, became fruitful soil for separatist movements through its attacks on contemporary Church conditions, its conventicle system, and its predilection for chiliasm and the like. At the same time, a sharp distinction must be drawn between Pietism and separatism. The former sought to achieve its projects of reform inside the Lutheran Church, and took current dogma and recognized organization as its bases; while the latter had lost all hopes of the future of a Church which it assumed to be moribund, and accordingly on principle took up a position outside the existing status of the Church. *
*To those who do not regard separatism as an unmixed evil, but as a thing sometimes demanded by way of protest against intolerable State Church conditions, the above criticism will seem to lack force. If conditions in Germany in the seventeenth and the eighteenth century had made possible the rise of denominations, as in England, the religious life of the nation might have attained to and maintained a higher standard, and the triumph of rationalism in the Enlightenment (q.v.) might have been averted.
(§ 10). Rigid Austerity. The chief characteristics of Pietism also include intense moral earnestness and the stern aus terity that it sought to realize in practical life. The conditions which confronted it demanded a policy of energetic aggression. Morality was low, especially at the courts and among the nobility, and conditions in the middle classes and the peasantry were little better. The effects of the Thirty Years' War, which had shaken German civilization to its very foundations, were visible in immorality, luxury, riotous living, and contempt for the rights of others. How far Pietism effected the moral elevation of the masses must remain a problem until deeper researches shall have been made in the history of eighteenth-century Lutheranism, particularly with regard to the confessional. It is certain, however, that the adultery and drunkenness common among Lutheran pastors before the rise of Pietism were checked by it; and that it distinctly raised the moral tone of the Württemberg clergy. Its moral effect upon the nobility is equally demonstrable, even though its darker sides were shown at the court of more than one Pietistic count. The labors of Pietism were, therefore, by no means in vain.
Pietism not only combated worldliness, but viewed the world itself as a vast organism of sin which every "awakened" Christian must shun under jeopardy of salvation. This attitude, however, gave rise to controversy because of the demand of Pietism that public morality be transformed to accord with its peculiar tenets, so that the theater, dancing, cards, smoking, and jesting were not to be considered Adiaphora (q.v.), but must be avoided by the Christian as sins and abominations before God. This austerity came to prevail not only among the more humble adherents of the movement, but also among the Pietistic nobility, so that Henry II. of Reuss-Greitz even attempted, though with scant success, to give official recognition to these principles by a decree dated Sept. 17, 1717. Pietism itself, however, was unswerving in its attitude, and all its branches retained the conviction that the converted Christian must exercise renunciation regarding the points at issue. This position was deeply significant in the development of Pietism, for by shunning the world it was led to feel either no interest or an entirely inadequate interest in art, science, and secular culture. This aloofness involved the surrender of all real influence upon intellectual life in general; it forced Pietism into a position of isolation, and was also bound to restrict its religious and moral effects.
(§ 11). Philanthropic and Missionary Activity. The final conspicuous attribute of Pietism was its practical benevolence, which led the movement into the midst of active life and made it the vehicle of an evangelical comprehensiveness hitherto unknown in Germany. The impulse to undertake such tasks was inherent in the nature of Pietism. Just as Luther had taught that good works must necessarily proceed from living faith, so the intense religious life of Pietism inspired its followers to share the blessings of their salvation with others, to testify to their faith, and to give proof of it by upright life and brotherly love. In harmony with this attitude they naturally sought out the wretched and the needy as proper objects of beneficence. Attention was given first to their own countrymen and was begun by Spener himself, who took an active part in building a combination of a poorhouse, orphan asylum, and workhouse at Frankfort in 1679. The importance of all this, however, was overshadowed by Francke's establishment of the orphan asylum at Halle in 1694. The new element in this event was the fact that one man alone, relying on divine help, should undertake to found such an institution on broad lines, and that it should be maintained by the voluntary contributions of a circle bound by mutual sympathy, Thus Pietism won the distinction of permanently pledging the Lutheran Church to works of active benevolence, so preparing the way for the ultimate establishment of the inner mission (see INNERE MISSION). The orphan asylum at Halle was also the point of departure for foreign missions, the second form of benevolent activity created by Pietism. Spener himself had had appreciation for this cause, though the actual bond between Pietism and missions was Francke. Through him Halle became the psychic center of the Danish mission, he supplied the missionaries that went to India, he founded the first German missionary journal, he raised money for missionary purposes, and he led Protestant Germany to include missions in its scope of activity. A distinct step in advance was made shortly afterward when Zinzendorf turned the attention of the Moravians to this field of labor, not only because the Moravians embodied an independent type, and were more adaptable than the Halle Pietists, but also because they struck into new paths, utilized the services of laymen, and as a church sent missionaries with astonishing rapidity to various parts of America and South Africa. Germany was led, therefore, to share in spreading Protestantism among non-Christian nations and peoples through the direct influence of Pietism; and since this movement controlled the mission work until late in the nineteenth century, the details of the system adopted clearly showed the peculiar genius of Pietism. Under Zinzendorf's direction, the Moravian type of missionary preaching, unlike that of the Danish and Halle mission, took the noteworthy course of preaching simply the Gospel of Christ, and not Lutheran dogma. It was, moreover, the interest of German Pietism in the diffusion of the Scriptures that led the missions to make the Bible accessible in translation to the Christian congregations among the heathen. The pioneer in this cause was Bartholomæus Ziegenbalg (q.v.) with his Tamil version of the Bible (Tranquebar, 1714-28). In certain respects, however, the adoption of Pietistic views worked unfavorably, as in the attempt to concentrate converts from paganism into small congregations analagous to the Pietistic circles within the Church at home. At the same time, extraordinarily strict rules were laid down regarding the admission of converts to the Church, and baptism was given only when conversion had been proved; while the same antipathy toward amusements and popular customs was manifested by the Pietists in the mission field as was shown by them in Germany. The Pietists were also lacking, to some degree, in proper self-restraint, as in their choice of fields of labor, the practise of drawing lots in connection with weighty decisions, and the sentimentalism characterizing many of their reports. Pietism also inaugurated systematic missions among the Jews. Spener had recognized the need of such missions and had done much to rouse interest in them. The Moravians also took an active part in this work through the aid of Samuel Lieberkühn, although their extensive foreign missions prevented them from applying their full energy to this difficult branch of Christian activity. On the other hand, an important center for these efforts was created by Pietism at Halle, where Johann Heinrich Callenberg (q.v.) founded, in 1728, an Institutum Judaicum, which continued in operation till 1792. Pietism likewise aided those who sympathized with its tenets, even though they were not within its own communion or in its own land. Zinzendorf found opportunity to intercede for the Protestants in Moravia; he protected the Schwenckfeldians who had fled from Saxony to America; and he made spiritual provision for the German emigrants to Pennsylvania.
(§ 12). Pietism and the Enlightenment. The exact relation of Pietism to the Enlightenment (q.v.) is a problem which receives most divergent answers. Some declare that the two movements are absolutely antithetical, and others hold that the Enlightenment is a product of Pietism. In reality, however, the relation between these two trends was neither one of mere antithesis nor yet one of cause and effect. Though there were many fundamental deviations between Pietism and Enlightenment, such as the divergent attitudes toward revelation, the essence of piety, and the Bible, the two movements still had points in common, not only through such men as Christian Thomasius, Johann Christian Edelmann, and Johann Konrad Dippel (qq.v.), but also through their opposition to Lutheran orthodoxy, their insistence on the religious rights of individuals, and their practical Christianity. On the other hand, the theory that the Enlightenment was derived from Pietism is inadequate, for it assumes that those degeneracies and excrescences of the separatistic and radical forms of Pietism, which Pietism itself rejected as alien elements, must be regarded as characteristic features of the movement; and this hypothesis also overlooks the fact that the premises underlying Enlightenment were extremely manifold, and in their initial stages were far anterior to the rise of Pietism. Enlightenment and Pietism should rather be considered two distinct movements with a mutual goal in the destruction of clericalism, though diverging from each other in their subsequent evolution. At the same time, the sincerest Pietism indirectly aided the rapid growth of Enlightenment in Germany, not only, in its contempt for culture, by giving the younger generation no adequate training to cope with Enlightenment, but also, through its neglect of such education, by driving those of scholarly inclinations into the rationalistic camp.
(§ 13). Development and Origin. It is extremely difficult to fix the precise limits of Pietism in point of time. Each of its chief phases passed through a distinct development and reached its climax at a different period. At Halle Pietism was on the decline by 1730; and when Francke died in 1769, the old position of Halle as the citadel of Pietism in central and northern Germany was practically lost. Württemberg Pietism never exercised such wide-spread influence as that of Halle, but on the other hand it enjoyed a tranquil and steady development; and it also had the advantage of not owing its prosperity to any one individual, so that the death of Bengel in 1769 had no such effect as that of Francke. By overcoming the "Storm and Stress period," which they styled their "winnowing-time," the Moravians had won such internal and external tenacity that the decease of Zinzendorf in 1760 no longer menaced their status, and August Gottlieb Spangenberg (q.v.) could begin his activity. When Valentin Ernst Löscher (q.v.), the famous opponent of Pietism, died in 1749, the Pietistic controversy had ceased to attract attention; the age of aggressive Pietism was past; its message to Protestantism had been delivered.
Great differences of opinion likewise prevail concerning the beginnings of Pietism. It is well known, however, that long before the time of Spener a reaction had begun against the ruling tendencies in the Church and in theology, as well as against their effect on Christian life. Yet despite all this, the Pietistic movement was adjudged by its own contemporaries to be something new, this view being justified by the fact that Pietism welded together the scattered projects of reform, deduced their practical conclusions, and endeavored to realize them. This was Spener's achievement, and in this sense he may be considered the founder of Pietism. The preparation for Pietism, like its history, shows clear analogies to similar phenomena within the Reformed Church; and long before Spener's movement the sects which had broken off from the Church of England had manifested a kindred spirit which exercised a marked influence on the continent, including Germany, through its rich devotional literature. In western Germany contact with the Reformed Church of Holland was an important factor. The Pietistic tendencies in the Reformed Church, which also appear in the Reformed phase of Protestantism in northern Germany, are in entire accord with Lutheran Pietism in their emphasis upon practical Christianity, their attitude toward the dominant orthodoxy of their time, and their tendency towards a closer union among the faithful. These points of agreement between Lutheran Pietism and its parallels on Reformed soil imply the existence of an international movement, even as Enlightenment was later to pervade all Europe. Yet even though many an incentive may have reached Germany from the Puritans, the Labadists, and the Dutch, Pietism was essentially a German movement, not a product of foreign Calvinism.
VI. Later Development: (§ 1). Factors and Growth. Among the numerous and divergent factors which finally brought about the fall of Enlightenment, Pietism was one of the foremost. Though it could bring to bear neither theological nor philosophical learning, and though it was without influence either on great masses or on the rulers of Church and State, it at least possessed the power which is ever inherent in firm religious convictions and the inward strength of the Christianity for which it stood, Pietism thus became the center for multitudes of members of the State Church who had failed to find in the official clergy, dominated by Enlightenment, the aid to religion which they desired. The new movement, on the other hand, was able to give all who joined it a definite and inspiring aim in the propaganda for the old faith; and there accordingly arose a Pietistic reaction which, hidden at first, grew until it became a potent factor among the national, literary, theological, and ecclesiastical elements which combined for the spiritual and mental regeneration of Germany during the period of the Napoleonic wars. So powerful, indeed, was its influence that it was little less than that which had been exercised by the Pietism of the eighteenth century, even though the changed conditions of the times rendered its external forms less striking. The bond between the Pietism of the eighteenth and that of the nineteenth century was supplied by survivals of the older movement, by the Moravians, and by the Christentumsgesellschaft (see CHRISTENTUMS-GESELLSCHAFT, DIE DEUTSCHE). From this latter organization German Lutheranism gained an assistance which marked an epoch in its history, especially in view of the foundation of the Basel Bible Society, the Basel Missionary Society, and other religious and philanthropic institutions. The Moravians, or Unity of the Brethren (q.v.), perhaps never exercised a greater influence upon German Protestantism than during the era of Enlightenment. The very remoteness of their settlements gave them protection against the tendencies of the age, and the further they progressed in their tranquil development, the greater was the confidence of others in their cause. Even in Zinzendorf's time auxiliary societies were formed in England and Holland for the support of their missionary labors, and they were aided by their friends in Germany, especially about the beginning of the nineteenth century, when "awakened" circles became filled with the missionary spirit. Zinzendorf also showed himself disposed to cultivate religious friendship with non-Moravian sympathizers, and from his tours for the furtherance of this end was developed missionary activity among the Lutheran Diaspora, the object being not secession from the State Church, but the formation of circles of Moravian sympathizers within it. In 1775 these affiliated adherents numbered 30,000. The revival type of preaching also renewed the conventicles of the older Pietism. In Württemberg, indeed, prayer-meetings had never lapsed entirely, but had been conducted chiefly by laymen until a number of pastors, among whom Ludwig Hofacker (q.v.) was prominent, likewise joined the movement. In 1828 the number of those attending conventicles was estimated at 30,000. Swabian Pietism was also powerfully aided by its close affiliations with the Basel Missionary Society, which still finds its chief subsidiary district in Württemberg, whence it is accustomed to call its leaders. So important a center as Basel was bound to affect all German Switzerland; Barbara Juliana von Krüdener (q.v.) gave some incentives of a transient kind in this region; and the "awakening" in French Switzerland likewise became a factor as it spread eastward. Besides Bern and Zurich, St. Gall may be noted as the center of a large Pietistic circle formed by the talented Agnes Schlatter. The revival in Bavaria found some Roman Catholic adherents, and Nuremberg also became a Pietistic focus, largely through the merchant Johann Tobias Kiessling. In Baden, the rise of Pietistic sentiment was observed from the time of the "famine years" 1816-17, and it made rapid progress after the union of 1821. In northern Germany, on the other hand, Pietism, except for small scattered groups, succumbed to Enlightenment; and even when this latter movement was approaching its end, the Pietistic cause had no firm hold that could be compared with Pietism in Württemberg. The Reformed Pietism of Rhenish Westphalia, however, experienced a powerful revival through Samuel Collenbusch, Johann Gerhard Hasenkamp, Friedrich Arnold Hasenkamp, Johann Heinrich Hasenkamp, Gottfried Menken, Friedrich Adolf Krummacher, and Gottfried Daniel Krummacher (qq. v.). At the same time the Lutherans at Elberfeld were headed by a pastor, Hilmar Ernst Rauschenbusch, who had been won for Pietism while a student at Halle; the valley of the Wupper remained one of Pietism's surest domains in the nineteenth century; and the movement even gained entrance at Berlin, a center of German Enlightenment, notably through the efforts of the Silesian Baron Ernst von Kottwitz I (q.v.) and the preacher Johann Jänicke.
(§ 2). Character of Modern Pietism. It is even more difficult to define modern Pietism than the corresponding movement of the eighteenth century. It forms no organized ecclesiastical body; its individual groups have no fixed mutual relation; it has no distinct theological tendency; and large numbers of its adherents do not term themselves Pietists. The old Halle school of Pietism has entirely disappeared. The Moravians have formed a distinct church, and have so largely divested themselves of earlier Pietistic characteristics that only in a very limited sense can they now be considered Pietists. The Württemberg branch alone survives, but though it preserves most purely the connecting bond with early Pietism, the territorial limitations of its activity prevent it from serving as a standard to determine the nature of modern Pietism. The transfer of the term Pietism to phases of church life of the nineteenth century shows that the word has lost its original definiteness of meaning. In many instances the modern use of the word indeed connotes ideas in harmony with the older Pietism; in other instances there are only slight suggestions of such affinities; and in yet other cases there are absolutely no points in common. The Pietism of the nineteenth century may, however, be defined as that tendency in German Protestantism which represents the devotional type of the older Pietism, as well as its views of life and its attitude toward the world, so that it may be regarded as a continuation of the earlier school. Nevertheless, only the fundamental ideas of primitive Pietism have been retained, for the revolutions in political, social, and ecclesiastical affairs have caused the movement to assume new forms and activities and to adopt new constituent elements. It thus implies a further stage of development and shows scarcely an instance of mere repetition. It no longer fosters religious life by prayer-meetings, but finds a wider sphere of activity in foreign and domestic missionary societies. A noteworthy characteristic of the revival period of the early nineteenth century was the sense of fellowship with similar circles within the Roman Catholic Church, while the two churches cooperated in Bible societies; but the rise of ultramontanism, after the second decade of the nineteenth century, ended further association, although in Pietistic circles the sentiment of spiritual affinity with kindred spirits in the sister church persisted long, and exercises some influence even at the present time. The syncretism of Pietism, moreover, in combination with the decay of' denominational barriers during the period of the Enlightenment rendered the movement as liable to sectarianism and separatism in the nineteenth century as it had been in the hundred years preceding; but, on the other hand, these dangers were lessened by the fact that the relations of the new Pietism to the Church and to orthodoxy experienced an essential transformation. Their united stand against their common foe rationalism produced close affiliations which outlasted the conflict. Pietism became reabsorbed in the Church, and orthodoxy grew susceptible to Pietistic modes of thought and feeling. This change in the situation of Pietism was essentially aided by the fact that the Church now accorded due recognition to practical benevolence both at home and in the foreign mission field. Since, however, Pietism had from the first laid special claim to these spheres of activity, the altered attitude of orthodoxy toward it was a distinct tribute to its ability and enabled it to retain all essentials of its missionary position. When, moreover, the Church developed an increasing interest in domestic and foreign missions, there was a marked augmentation both of the influence of Pietism and of the confidence shown it by orthodox circles.
(§ 3). Estimate of the Movement. A comprehensive verdict on the significance of modern Pietism for German Protestantism, whether favorable or unfavorable, can not be given in a single sentence. It is a far more complex phenomenon than the older system, full of heterogeneous elements, and not only varying in different parts of the country and changing with the lapse of time, but also showing divergent phases in cities and in rural districts. In addition to its mission work, Pietism was an important factor in the religious revival of Germany during the first third of the nineteenth century, even though it was not the sole source of the movement. The enlargement of its sphere of activity and its coalescence with the State Church doubtless aided Pietism to escape from its conventicle-like bonds. On the other hand, its innate tendency toward small coteries, which cuts it off from all comprehension of the wealth of intellectual, national, and cultured life, prevents it from becoming a great popular movement; nor has it proved able to resist the tendency toward party schemes and uncharitable depreciation of those holding different opinions. The movement has recently been forced into a critical position by the rise of the modern associational tendency based on Anglo-American Methodism; for even though Pietism and Methodism were closely akin in origin, the tendency in question is directed toward ends which have no reference to Pietism.