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HE subject of this brief sketch was social gathering at the house of the pro

father was a goldsmith, and the son is said to have wrought at the same business in his early youth. After pursuing a course of literature in the University at Breslau, he went to Berlin, and began to study the Oriental languages. A distinguished philologist adopting him as a son, took him under his care, and gave him ample opportunity for literary pursuits. After the death of his patron he was encouraged by another scholar of eminence, while his advantages continued the same.

By a dispensation of Providence, of which it was the writer's good fortune to hear from his own lips, his attention was directed to the study of theology. At a VOL. XII.-15

of a student's father, and was showing the good that afflictions and sickness bring with them. "They always have a deep meaning and a valuable lesson," said he; "and now I will tell you what a change sickness made in me. I was nineteen years old, and was driving with all my sails spread into the study of ancient languages. Suddenly I was attacked with a hemorrhage of the lungs, and had to lie in my bed eighteen months. During that time all the physicians in Berlin had told me that there was no more hope for me, and that I must die. I gradually grew worse; and at a time when my friends supposed that death was very near, a dear

same lectures twice. His course is almost the same every year; but every time he delivers them, he changes and improves them. On speaking to a couple of his American students with regard to the American professors, one day not long ago, he asked them if the American professors labored as hard as those in Germany. One of us told him that he thought the American professors were better paid, and performed less labor. We have to labor, said the doctor, night and day to make our lectures popular and instructive; for if they are not, nobody will want to hear them. The American told him, too, that the German professors lectured oftener in the day than our professors. Lecture, lecture," said the doctor; "why I could lecture half a dozen times a day. There is not the labor, but it is preparing for a lecture. "How so?" inquired the student. I supposed you had been giving pretty much the same lectures to the Halle students for over twenty-five years."


No, indeed," replied the doctor; "I must work on every one of them. I have been lecturing on Paul's Epistle to the Romans ever since I have been in Halle. My Commentary has gone through seven editions, and still I labor three hours to make each lecture better. But it is not in that particular course alone that I labor; it is the same with all. I could not give exactly the same things over again; they would be dull thoughts, and, what is more, they must be improved."


Whatever may be the subject of his lectures, practical truths and precepts always find their way into them, and his teaching of religion is no sublimated, incomprehensible theorizing, but truth, plain truth, and the Bible doctrines in their strictest But these are not the only means which he employs to instruct and encourage the Halle students to lead a strictly Christian life. He has not such ideas of professorial dignity as will keep him from having frequent and friendly intercourse with the students. Every day he takes a two hours' walk, and he always has one or two students with him. He so manages, in the course of a semester, as to have a walk with a great many of them, and to get from them their ideas on religious subjects; dispute certain points with them; show them their errors, and before the walk is finished, he gives such

Dr. Tholuck never gives exactly the practical hints and ideas, as save many a

friend (there is reason to believe that this friend was Neander) came to my bedside, and said to me, 'Don't you think that your short life would have been more useful, if you had turned your attention to the study of theology?' I turned over to him, and looked at him. I thought a moment, and said 'Yes; and if I could live longer I should do it.' From that moment I grew better, and ever afterward I have been longing and trying to know more of God." Such was the simple story; and as he closed it, a thrill seemed to go through every student, and that evening tears fell from eyes that were not used to weep.

Having recovered from his sickness, and having carried out, with untiring industry, the resolution then made, he entered, in 1829, upon his duties as professor of theology in the University of Halle, which position he still holds. He was called to Halle to counteract, if possible, the prevailing spirit of Rationalism, which at that time was exerting a powerful influence in the seats of learning, and in the clergy and laity of Germany. He had been taught in the right school; and Neander, whom we Americans have long since learned to love, exerted no little influence in turning his mind to a heart-felt evangelical Christianity. When Dr. Tholuck first commenced his labors in the University, there was but one man who would associate with him, or have the least intercourse with him. The professors were Rationalists, and all pointed the finger of scorn at him. They exclaimed, with one voice, “O that pietist, that mystic; we will have nothing to do with him!" But the tables have long been turned, and Tholuck now enjoys, not only the love of every student, but the respect of every professor.

His manner in the lecture-room is, in some respects, the same as in the pulpit. He does not adhere strictly to his manuscript, but frequently grows earnest, forgets his notes, and becomes absorbed in his subject. It is only then that he is truly eloquent: the students drop their pens to look at him, and listen to his burning words. I know of no German professor who is so enthusiastic in his manner, so wrapped up in his subject, with the single exception of Professor Umbreit, of Heidelberg.

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student from the errors of skepticism. He tells them what books to read for light on certain doctrinal points; and in his next walk he never forgets what was said before. Besides a daily walk with some of the students, he has a two hours' talk every other Wednesday evening to all the young theologians in his own house. They are all invited, and all are expected to come. The door to the room is opened some time before he enters, and all the prominent books that have appeared in Germany during the last two weeks are laid upon the table. These are for the students to look at and examine before he enters. Here he talks to them on different subjects. It may be history, travel, or the religious tendencies of the day. Whatever topic he talks to them about, has connection with theology and the progress of religion. Last winter, for instance, one of his topics was a foot-excursion which he made in certain portions of France; another was the history of Leipsic University; and thus he interests and improves the general knowledge of the Halle theological students. He does all the talking, and he is familiar in his manner and style, as much so as at his own fireside.

In his own family Dr. Tholuck is most pleasing; and it is there that one is most apt to love him. He is unreserved and communicative, but unostentatious. You forget that he is a great man; you only think of that after you have gone to your room, and reflect upon what he said. It is scarcely necessary to say that he is acquainted with a great many Americans. His name has too long been familiar to us not to be known by us, and not to be acquainted with us. Our great men, in visiting Germany, I mean our theologians, consider it almost a duty to visit him. He never demands letters of introduction, and always considers it a compliment when you pay him your visit without one. An American visited him last year without any letter whatever. "I am glad," said the doctor," that one American has come to see me without a letter of introduction." | He does not soon forget those who pay him visits, but remembers all his former American students. On one occasion he spoke in the highest terms of a prominent minister in the American Presbyterian Church. "He has a great mind," said the professor; "but, although I have associated with him

a great deal, I never saw him laugh in all my life."

Tholuck, as was the case with our own Olin, can unbend occasionally; and he enjoys a piece of pleasantry, or a sally of wit.

It is a well-known custom in Germany to have a Christmas-tree in every house on Christmas eve. The peasant and the prince all reap real enjoyment from the same source. On going through a marketplace in any German town on the approach of Christmas, you get an idea of the love which the people have for such a beautiful custom that will never fade from your memory. The old peasant women bring the green trees into town, and stand them up in different parts of the market-place for sale. The base of the tree is a little box with straw in it. The little box of straw represents the manger where Christ once lay. Then the boughs of the tree are hung with artificial fruits. That, then, is the Tree of Life springing from the birth of Christ. Poor, indeed, is that German peasant who cannot gladden home with a "Christmas-tree." Dr. Tholuck's manner of celebrating the custom is peculiar, and on a larger scale than any other in Halle. He invites forty stu dents, and if there are any Americans in Halle, they are sure to be in the number, provided they ever paid the doctor a visit. The forty guests enter the room in com pany, so that all can get a view of the tree at the same time. A band of singers are singing when the guests enter. The singers represent the choir of angels who celebrate with their songs the birth of Christ. When the Christmas song is finished, the doctor steps out and says a few words by way of welcome and congratulation. A long table extends the whole length of the reception-room. There are forty places at the table corresponding with the number of guests. On each plate is some confectionery, together with a book, or a pamphlet, with the name of him for whom it is intended, and a line or two of advice written by the doctor himself. The students walk around the table until each finds his own name in the plate, and sees the present for him. The books are often the doctor's own productions, some of his commentaries or sermons, in most cases. In front of each plate is a long round cake, which each student takes home with him when he goes. This is

the reception-room. That communicates His manner is exceedingly impressive, and he conforms to the pulpit rule in the Lutheran Church, to preach without a manuscript. In appealing on one occasion to the coldness and indifference of the Protestant Church in Germany he said, “What more do we bring from our hearts than a poor, feeble, half-whispered yes or no?' The joyful yea and amen of the bleeding heart never finds its way into any of our congregations when they listen to the word of God." It is a fact, and his heart bled when he told it to his audience. In speaking of the German ministry on the occasion of the annual Reformation sermon he said:

with another room by two large foldingdoors, which are thrown open. This smaller room is still more interesting. In the center of it there is a large square table, and on it is a farm scene. beautiful miniature barn and stable occupy the most of the table. There is also on it the farm-yard, with sheep and cows. The whole scene is complete. All this represents the manger where Christ was born. The four singers stand on one side of it and sing Christmas melodies several times during the evening. It is a beautiful sight to stand by the table and look through into the large reception room. There rises from the middle of the long table a beautiful Christmas tree, and from its boughs flame up many a beautiful light, which makes the whole a dazzling and beautiful scene.


On one of these occasions there happened to be two or three Americans standing together admiring the novel and charming sight. The doctor saw them and came to them. "What would one of your American professors think," he asked, "if he were to see this? I am sure he would consider it a very childish affair of mine." "We are not accustomed to these things," said one of the Americans, "but we can appreciate it better on that account." Toward the last, as the evening grows late, the four singers take their places by the side of the square table, and sing some beautiful Christmas song. Last winter the closing song hap-glish by a young Scotchman, who was pened to be one of Luther's, as touching a one as he ever wrote. The doctor then advanced and made some beautiful remarks relative to Christmas day. He made a practical application of the festival, and no one present could forget how eloquently and touchingly he dwelt upon the blessings we receive from the Saviour's birth.


Dr. Tholuck has been preaching ever since he commenced the labors of a professor. Even before he went to Halle he was the minister to the Prussian embassy (Gesandschaftsprediger) in Rome. It cannot be said of him as of a large portion of the German ministry, that he is cold in his labors, or at all fearful to touch his congregation on those points where they are most sensitive. One or another of the great national sins of Germany forms the theme of many of his sermons.


"Where once the pure doctrine was preached, not with the lips alone, but with warm, believing hearts, the people took the preacher for an angel of God. Then the dead arose under their sermons, and hundreds beat their breasts with their hands, and exclaimed, Man of God, what shall I do to be saved? But now, though there are not a few of warm, believing witnesses of the word, when do we ever hear of the dead arising under the influence of their preaching? The great crowd scarcely ever comes into the church, and if it ever happens to come, there it remains, dumb and cold. The Lord himself can preach with his judgments, with the pestilence and cholera,* with the pangs of hunger and the terrors of war, but dumb and impenetrable is every heart. Our hearts are just as the stones in the streets; the rain falls upon them, they are trodden by the foot, the sun shines again upon them, and they are just what they were, stones."

Very recently a selection of his sermons has been made and translated into En

some time one of Dr. Tholuck's students. They are published in Edinburgh, and I hope an American edition of the volume will soon appear, for it is undoubtedly a valuable contribution to our theological literature. Dr. Tholuck is the university chaplain, (Universitätsprediger,) and the students listen to him as to an oracle. The citizens of every social class take the same interest in his sermons, and I am sure the veriest stranger could walk the streets of Halle on a Sabbath morning and be able to tell from the countenances of the people whom he meets whether or not Dr. Tholuck is to preach that day. An old woman who once heard Dr. Clarke preach, said on her return from the

The cholera had just put the town of Halle in mourning for hundreds of her sons and daughters, and the war-cry of the Revolution was just dying away in the German towns and cities.

church that she did not think the doctor had preached a great sermon, because she understood every word he said. Whether Dr. Tholuck's capacity for preaching is ever measured by the same standard is a question; but certainly he lies open to the same charge. He preaches to the people, not to the student alone, but to the humblest mechanic. He never preaches on disputed theological questions, and his appeals are always more to the heart than to the head. Of his other published works I may mention his "Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans," the first edition of which he gave to the world when but twenty-three years of age. Then commenced a battle which he has been waging ever since against that spirit which has been trying, by criticisms and cavils, to oust the Deity from the Old Testament, to resolve all miracles and prophecy into myths and natural circumstances, and to set up reason as the judge in all matters of faith.


His "Hours of Devotion" is a book that can be read with religious profit and improvement by every class of society. Many of the German theological students read it regularly with the Bible, and from the success it has met with among the laity, there can be no doubt that it is read in many a family circle throughout the length and breadth of the Protestant world. In a book entitled the " Teaching of the Sinner and the Pardoner," he gives his own religious experience and the happy result from his intercourse with Neander. He has also published commentaries on the “Evangel of St. John" and on "Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews," a "Practical Commentary on the Psalms for the Laity," several volumes of sermons, an Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount," besides a number of practical works, to say nothing of his philological treatises, which were his first efforts in authorship and the fruits of his earliest studies. His exegetical works possess the rare quality (especially among the German scholars) of containing many practical teachings, and his books for the general classes are really an adapta



The engraving that stands at the head of this sketch is copied from the English portrait of Doctor Tholuck. He was much younger when it was taken, but it is better than the one most common in

Germany. His health is better now than when this portrait was painted. His face is broader, and perhaps has more flesh on it. He is not waiting for death to come to him, but toils on with all the elasticity of youth. His greatest labors are past, but the good he has done will long continue to bless the German people. A man of his talents seldom takes such a hold upon the popular mind as he has done. I believe it is an error to suppose that the greatest uninspired books are the most read, and as a proof of it we have only to inquire how few (not how many) of the uneducated classes make a study of Milton, or Shakspeare, or Pope's translation of Homer. The labors of the greatest men seldom suit the taste of the great masses of people, but Doctor Tholuck has made it a point, as Wesley did, to apply his knowledge to the wants of the people, and to give it to them in such a way that they can be interested and improved. His labors in exegesis have been to meet the Rationalistic school on their own ground, and not from any innate predilection. His commentaries prove him the thinking scholar. They all assert, ay, they make you believe it, too, that there is something more than natural in the Bible. The mantle of Neander fell on him, and well did it fit him, and well does he wear it.

Those two names are inseparably connected with the great war with Rationalism in Germany. The influence which he has been exerting upon the students in Halle for nearly thirty years cannot be without its benefits on this side of the Atlantic. More than one American student by his kindness and advice has been saved from the dark abyss of skepticism and rationalism. When he dies there will arise hundreds of young Germans, lovers of the Holy Bible, to assert the truths that they have heard from Doctor Tholuck's lips, and to labor in the same beautiful vineyard where he has spent such a useful lifetime. It will be a sad day in the old town of Halle when the bells.toll his death and the number of his years. But may that number be large, and may he live to see more of the good that he has already done.


THE time for reasoning is before we have approached near enough to the forbidden fruit to look at it and admire.-Margaret Percival.

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