Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fichte on 18th Century Christianity and Christian Ministry of Europe


Of a project for engaging him in the ministry, he thus writes -- "I know my opinions. I am neither of the Lutheran nor Reformed Church, but of the Christian ; and were I compelled to choose, I should (since no purely Christian community now exists) attach myself to that community in which there is most freedom of thought and charity of life ; and that is not the Lutheran, I think. . . . . . I have given up these hopes in my fatherland entirely. There is indeed a degree of enlightenment and rational religious knowledge existing among the younger clergy of the present day, which is not to be found to the same extent in any other country of Europe. But this is crushed by a worse than Spanish inquisition, under which they must cringe and dissemble, partly because they are deficient in ability, partly because in consequence of the number of clergy in our land their services can be spared, while they cannot sacrifice their employment. Hence arises a slavish, crouching, hypocritical spirit. A revolution is indeed impending : but when? and how? In short, I will be no preacher in Saxony."

~ Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Memoir of Fichte
The Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Vol.1, London: John Chapman, 1848, p.34

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