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1961 Nr. 11






Ginevra e l'Italia 1961


Pons, Teofilo G.

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Theologische Literaturzeitung 1961 Nr. 11


the Organization of the Ministerium but also in its later history,
serving as President for fourteen years. Formal minutes were not
kept until 1780, and most of what we know of the proeeedings
of the body before that date we know from Tecords kept by
Mühlenberg. These were assembled and translated into English
on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the

4. Tagebücher. Some of the minutes of the Ministerium
appear in diaries which Mühlenberg kept of his activities
throughout his life. It was a common practice in the eighteenth
Century to engage in daily introspection of one's 6piritual life
and record observations in a diary. Mühlenberg had additional
reasons for writing a day-by-day aecount of happenings in which
he was involved. Hi6 annotations enabled him to lay hands on
dates, names, and places of official acts when he prepared reports
for his superiors in Europe, was required to testify in court, was
under necessity to explain or defend actions of his before
colleagues or opponents, or was asked to furnish certificates of
baptisms or marriages. However, Mühlenberg's diary entries
also contain fascinating descriptions of all aspects of life as he
6aw it round about him. From his pen we have vivid aecounts
of pastors and people, food and drink, modes of travel and
methods of farming, illnesses and medical treatments, Indians
and Negroes, methods of preaching and catechization, Organization
of congregations and building of churches, practices of
public worship and singing of hymns, devotional life and
superstitions, the cost of living and the 6alaries of pastors,
reeipes for keeping flies off horses and preventing cider from
turning sour. Such is the rieh variety of things which Mühlenberg
recorded. A few portions of these diaries were printed in
sharply edited form in the Hallesche Nachrichten, but most of
them were not published until our own time7.

5. Briefwechsel. Besides making entries in his
diaries, Mühlenberg kept up a lively correspondence. He reeeived
letters of instruetion and guidance from directors of the Francke-
sche Stiftungen in Halle and sent them equally long letters in
reply. He corresponded with his fellow ministers in America,
and he often exchanged letters with eiders and deacons of
congregations who wished to fill vacant pulpits or who had some
kind of local problem or grievance. He wrote to ministers of
other communions — German and Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian,

6) Documentary History of the Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania
, edited by Adolph Spaeth et al. Philadelphia 1898.

7) The Journals of Henry Meldiior Mühlenberg, edited and translated
by T. G. Tappert and J. W. Doberstein. 3 vols. Philadelphia
1942—1958. Auszüge auch vorhanden in dem 1-bändigen The Notebook
of a Colonial Clergyman. Philadelphia 1959.

Anglican, and others. In later years, when his children were
grown and lived at a distance, he kept in touch with them and
their families. Most of' these letters were written in German.
However, when correspondents could read only English, Mühlenberg
wrote in English. With ministers of non-German background
he sometimes corresponded in Latin. A few letters were also
written in Dutch or his narive Platt-deutsch. All together there
must be about 2,000 extant letters8, many of them laboriously
copied by Mühlenberg and thus preserved. Relatively few of
these letters have been published in the Journals and in the
Hallesche Nachrichten.

6. Merkwürdige Exempel. It remains to mention
one other category of writings. As a pietistic pastor of the
eighteenth Century, Mühlenberg was always alert to observe
what he regarded as remarkable evidences of the Operation of
the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals. In the course of his
pastoral ministry among the troubled, the sick, and the dying he
6et down in writing what we would today probably call case
studies, and sometimes he read a part of what he had written
to edify or admonish mourners at the funerals of the subjects.
Mühlenberg called these „merkwürdige Exempel." Some of them
were published in the Hallesche Nachrichten9. More of them
have come down to us in manuscript. These have not been
published because our taste in erbauliche Literatur has changed
since the eighteenth Century and because we are no longer so
sure as Mühlenberg was that the hand of God can easily be
discerned in every event of an individuals career. But even
these writings are important if we are to understand the patriarch
and his times. j

Some may quarrel about the failure to mention the liturgy
of 1748, the model congregational Constitution of 1762, and the
synodical Constitution of 1781. These have often been ascribed
to Mühlenberg, but they were the work of committees, and if
they are to be ascribed to individuals at all, P. Brunnholz,
C. M. Wrangel, and J. C. Kunze are respectively the men who
6hould be mentioned.

Even excluding such items, it must be conceded that Mühlenberg
was a prolific author. His contemporaries would hardly
have thought of him in such terms, for most of his writings were
published, in 60 far as they have been published, long after his
death. But the fact that he was an author gives additional
significance to the inscription on the piain, flat slab of marble
over his grave, „Qualis et quantus fuerit non ignorabunt sine
Iapide futura saecula."

8) In Archiven in Halle und Philadelphia aufbewahrt.
") Z. B. Hallesche Nachrichten, neue Ausgabe, II, 445—493, 501
—520, 588—615, 637—648.


Cinevra e l'Italia. Raccolta di studi promossa dalla Facoltä
Valdese di Teologia di Roma a cura di D. C a n t i m o r i, L. F i r p o,
G. Spini, F. Venturir- V. Vinay. Firenze: Sansoni [1959].
X, 771 S. gr. 8" = Biblioteca Storica Sansoni, N. S., Vol. XXXIV.
Lire 8000.—.

C'est un gros volume de „melanges historiques" qui est paru
en 1959, sur l'initiative de la Faculte Vaudoise de Theologie de
Rome, ä I'occasion du IV centenaire de la fondation de l'Acade-
mie calvinienne, qui a et£ le noyau de l'Universite de Geneve du
XX siecle.

Aux professeurs de la Faculte theologique vaudoise se sont
unis des savants italiens desireux d'offrir Ieur contribution et leur
temoignage d'estime et d'admiration, ä une institution qui a su,
pendant quarre siecles, et malgre tout, maintenir foi ä son ideal
primitif, de rechercher la verite dans la liberte.

Le volume s'ouvre par une etude de G. Gönnet, mettant
en relief les six documents originaux qui constituent la base des
relations au XVI siecle entre les Vaudois du Piemont et les refor-
mateurs: relations qui eurent leur sanetion officielle au synode
de Chanforan, du 15 32, dans lequel les Vaudois donnerent for-

mellement leur adhesion ä la Reforme franco-suisse (p. 1—63).
Vient ensuite un travail richement documente; de A. Pascal
qui met en evidence les differents aspects du refuge piemontais
ä Geneve au XVI siecle, et sa contribution dans la vie religieuse
et morale, economique et sociale de la ville de Calvin qui, en
les accueillant, les avait sauves des persecutions du St. Office
(p. 65-133).

Suivent quelques pages de B. N i c o I i n i relatives au
sejour ä Geneve du reformateur italien Bernardino Ochino, entre
1542—45, et ä son depart inattendu pour Bäle, oü il esperait
peut-etre trouver un plus nombreux public de compatriotes,
qu'il aurait pu organiser ä son loisir et guider spirituellement,
comme faisait Calvin ä Geneve (p. 136—147). Tandis que T. R.
Castiglione nous entretient des peregrinations de l'anti-
trinitaire Valentino Gentile, apres sa fuite de Geneve en 1558,
de son 6ejour ä Forges, ä Lion et ä Grenoble, de son eloignement
definitif vers la Pologne, et enfin des ecrits qui justifierent la
„Impietas Valentini Gentiiis" de Calvin: reponse d'une rudesse,
voire meme d'une grossierete de langage inaecoutumee (p. 151
—176). Et ä propos d'un autre ouvrage de Calvin, le „De vitan-
dis superstitionibus" et de sa traduetion italienne, D. C a n t i -
mori exprime quelques suggestions, et sur l'opinion de quel-