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A member of the House of Representatives, who proposed the scheme and who was very zealous in its support, pending the discussion of the subject received a letter from a stranger, then Colonel commanding at Prairie du Chien, approving the plan, and tendering the aid of such suggestions as his experience in the service would enable him to make. This Colonel was Zachary Taylor. The member acknowledged the receipt of the letter, and soon Colonel Taylor addressed another to him, of sixty pages, in which the proposed reform was discussed with marked, ability. The arguments of its adversaries he examined in detail, and in conclusion recommended a searching reform of all abuses in the several departments of the public service, and a return to the first principles of the government.
It seems to have been the destiny of General Taylor, if we may use that word in this connection, while he was President of the United States, to be deserted by many of those strong and able men, from whom he had a right to expect support. That this originated in personal ill-will we do not believe. There were other causes, which it is not necessary to enumerate, and as we refer to the fact, we cannot but express sorrow that he was subjected to this severe and unfortunate trial. He was a sensitive man, and neglect or censure on the part of a friend caused him unhappiness. It has been said, that the exciting questions before the country had some influence in hastening the period of his departure. In his extreme anxiety to be just to all interests, and to each section of the Union, in his scrupulous honesty and integrity, in his devotion to duty, and his reverence for truth, he displayed a greatness which deserved and ought to have commanded the universal approval of his countrymen, as it certainly will the applause of history.
Art. IX.—DR. JOHANN AUGUST WILHELM NEANDER, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN, CONSISTORIAL
COUNSELLOR, &c. The death of this illustrious and venerated man has already been announced in many of the weekly journals of our country. He died at his residence in Berlin, on the 15th day of July, at sixty-one years of age.
Neander was born on the 16th of January, 1789, at Göttingen, in the kingdom of Hanover. Most of his youth, however, was spent at Hamburg. Here he prosecuted the studies preparatory to his University course, and was favored with the special regard of the celebrated Gurlitt, director of the Johanneum, under whose management it had risen to the first rank among the classical schools of Germany. He now abandoned Judaism, in which he had been born and nurtured, and professed his faith in Christ; with what sincerity of conviction, and ardor of attachment to the new object of his faith, his whole life and writings have testified to the world. His University course he commenced in 1806 at Halle, and completed it at Göttingen. He then resided for a short time at Hamburg. Of his residence here, there is an interesting reminiscence in the fragment of a letter preserved among the works of the poet Chamisso ; describing his amiable and talented young friend as wholly withdrawn from general society, and absorbed in communion with the spirit of Plato, to whose writings he was then devoting himself with characteristic ardor. In 1811 he proceeded to the University of Heidelberg, where he was admitted, after the usual test, to the privileges of a private teacher in the University; and in the following year was made professor extraordinary in the Faculty of Theology. In 1812 he was called to the University of Berlin, where he labored till his death.
His published works have been numerous, and chiefly in the department of ecclesiastical history, viz. :
1. On the Emperor Julian and his Age, 1812. 2. St. Bernard and his Age, 1813. 3. Genetic Development of the Principal Gnostic Systems,
1818. 4. St. Chrysostom, and the Church, especially the Eastern
Church, in his Age, 1821. (2d ed. 1832, 3d ed. 1849.) 5. Paul and James. The Unity of the Evangelic Spirit in
Diversity of Forms, 1822. (Included in No. 9.) 6. Antignosticus. Spirit of Tertullian, and Introduction to
his Writings, 1826. (2d ed. 1848.) 7. Memorabilia from the History of Christianity, and of the
Christian Life, 1822. (2d ed. 1825–27.) 8. General History of the Christian Religion and Church,
1825, sq. (2d ed. 1842–46.) 9. A Collection of short Occasional Essays, 3d ed. 1829.
10. History of the Planting and Training of the Church by
10. History of 1832. (3d ed. 1841.) Connection and in its
11. The Life of Jesus, in its Historical Connection and in its
Historical Development, 1837. (2d ed. 1839.) 12. The Epistle to the Philippians, Practically Explained,
1849. 13. The Epistle of James, Practically Explained, 1850. Besides smaller occasional essays, as e.g.: The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom of True Freedom and Equality, (on occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Prussian Bible Society,) 1849; Jesus's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (on occasion of a festival of the Church,) 1849, &c.
Neander was not, as is very generally supposed, merely a man of the study. From two to three hours a day were spent in delivering lectures in the University. These, with the direction of the historical seminarium, and the examination of theological candidates, were his principal official labors. But in addition to this, he devoted much time to personal intercourse with his pupils, to whom his house was open a portion of every day. The salutary influences thus exerted over the young, to which thousands live to bear grateful testimony, may justly be regarded as among the most useful labors of his life. He delighted especially in encouraging and furthering the efforts of young scholars; and many a useful work owes its origin to a hint from Neander, and its chief excellences to his judicious suggestions. He was remarkable for the warmth of his personal attachments; and no service was ever withheld from those who enjoyed his confidence and regard.
It is superfluous to speak of Neander's merits in the department of history, in which he is chiefly known to the world as a writer. It is not so generally known, however, that nearly one half of his public labors in the University were devoted to the exegesis of the New Testament, and that his lectures in this branch of sacred learning were more popular, and commanded a far more numerous attendance, than in the department of history. Indeed it seems to bave been his own favorite field of labor in the lecture-room. His method was the happiest union of the various elements essential to a perfect interpreter. The great charm of his exegetical lectures arose from his matchless power of combination ; his perfect mastery of the subject enabling him to combine all the various topics of discussion in a continuous, unbroken stream of argumentation. The aids of philology stood always at his command, but were never in his way. He was never diverted from his purpose to the easy task of commenting on words and phrases. The lumber of philology he left to others; its real uses no one better understood, nor could any more skilfully avail himself of them when required.
Neander's life was one of earnest and untiring effort. The springs of that activity-and this is his noblest eulogiumwere his love of truth, and his love of man. He labored for both, where he believed he could do it most effectually,“ in the defense and confirmation of the gospel of Christ." To set forth the divine authority and the true teachings of the Holy Scriptures,—the church of the New Testament, as constituted by the Apostles of Christ under the guidance of his Spirit, and the church “ through all times, as a living witness of the divine power of Christianity, as a school of Christian experience, a voice of instruction and warning,”-these were the labors to which “ he felt an inward call,” and he obeyed it as divine. He held that the Scriptures are the sole repositories of divine truth; that in them God has, once for all, revealed himself for all ages of the world. His countrymen have long looked to him as the leading champion of this evangelical principle. He has maintained it, both in his leclure-room and in his writings, against that school of philosophical skepticism which has sprung up within the last twenty years, holding the Christianity of the church to be merely a progressive development of human thought and reason, imperfect in its beginnings, but advancing gradually to its destined completeness. In the efficacy of that Divine Word, rightly understood and attended by the quickening Spirit, be had full confidence, and in the simple, divinely appointed means for the maintenance and dissernination of truth. The truth, he believed, should be left to make its own conquests, alike unaided and untrammelled by human power, in the voluntary homage of the intellect and heart. He found, and has set forth in light never again to be obscured, the DIVINE recognition of this principle in the constitution of the New Testament church. With him, it should be remarked, this was not a speculative notion merely, a matter of history belonging to the past. It was the ordinance of God, essential to the true nature and well-being of the Christian church. The usual objections to it, on the ground of its inapplicability in practice, he treated with disdain. On one occasion, he showed the writer a letter which he had just received from the English translator of his History, objecting to his view of the primitive church the practical working of VOL. XV.—NO. LXII.
such a constitution in the Independent congregations of Eng. land. “Was für ein argument !” (what an argument !) he exclaimed, with a good-humored laugh; “ was kann man nicht misbrauchen !' (what cannot be abused !) Of his own principles he made a noble and instructive application, in the case of Strauss, the skeptical author of the Life of Jesus. It was proposed by a department of the government to prohibit the sale of this work, and to confiscate the property; and Neander was asked his opinion of the propriety of the measure. His reply is worthy, in its principles and spirit, of a place by the side of Milton's " Plea for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.” The views of Strauss he admits to be wholly inconsistent with Biblical Christianity; but being propounded with seriousness, and in the spirit and form of scientific discussion, they may properly, and in Neander's opinion necessarily must, be left to stand or fall at the tribunal of science. Of the wisdom of this decision no doubt can be entertained in our country; but how far it was in advance of the age in his own, was shown by the unsparing denunciation of it in the leading journal of the evangelical party.
In his own field of inquiry nothing escaped his observation. Every source of knowledge was at his command. One instance in point may interest the readers of this journal. A young friend, by his advice, had written a history of Congregationalism in New-England, including an account of the rise of the Baptists in that section of our country. On his mentioning this work, curiosity prompted the inquiry, what authorities were relied on in giving the account of the Baptists. He turned and took Backus's HISTORY from the shelf, (a work scarcely to be found even in this country,) remarking that it had been followed as the principal source of information.
This brief and imperfect notice must not be closed, without grateful allusion to an interesting personal trait in the character of this great and good man. It must be fresh in the remembrance of every one who has been favored with an introduction to him from a personal friend. The letter of introduction presented at the proper hour, (for, happily, a German scholar can command his time ; you are not expected at all hours,) and he is soon seated familiarly before you, inquiring after your health, your friends, the objects of your visit, and how he can aid you in them; his benignant countenance meanwhile beaming with interest in every answer. As you rise to take leave, “Stay, let me note down your lodgings,". and the street and number of your residence are duly entered