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A.D. 1690-1760.

The impulse given to religious life by the Pietistic movement coincided, to a certain extent, with that received from the study of [Jacob] Böhme and similar writers, and under the combined action of the two a number of preachers and writers, and even of small sects sprang up in various parts of Germany, who seceded from the national Church, and claimed a greater strictness both of life and doctrine. The general characteristic of these, as is frequently the case, was an exaggerated individualism; because religion is an inward life in the individual soul, therefore to them it was nothing else. The outward aids, the guiding principles and defined sphere of action presented by the written Word and the Church, were valueless, or positive stumbling-blocks if they interfered with the movements of the inspired soul. Some of these men lost themselves in wild vagaries of belief and even of morals; as the followers of a man named Eller and a woman named Eva Butler, who made many converts in Southern Germany: others of purer life still believed themselves to enjoy immediate revelations, like a certain Fraülein von Asseburg, whose 290 visions were widely talked of and believed in by many good and educated persons; indeed a whole sect grew up, which asserted the continuance of direct revelation and miraculous gifts in the believers, and was known by the name of Inspirationists. To this belonged an iron-master's apprentice named Rosenbach, and a wig-maker of Nuremberg named Tennhart, who roamed all over Germany calling themselves the prophet and chancellor of God, and made many proselytes. In Silesia there was a community of inspired children, who built a little church for themselves, preached and prayed in it, and whose prayers were supposed to have a wonder-working power. But there were not wanting among these Separatists men of a far higher type, of unmistakeable piety and no little ability, much of whose conduct and teachings awaken admiration, though marred by want of breadth and judgment. Such men were Petersen, a leader of the Chiliasts, or those who were looking for a speedy advent of the Lord; Dippel, a controversial writer and great preacher,--he was the chemist who discovered Prussian blue and an oil that bears his name; and Hochmann, a friend of Tersteegen, who used to travel about the country attacking the lukewarmness of the established clergy, and would rise up in church when the sermon was over and preach another from his own point of view. The influence of these Separatists on hymnology was for the most part simply mischievous, and their hymn-books contain about the worst specimens to be found, poor as poetry, fiercely intolerant towards their fellow-Christians, and full of a fantastic and irreverent adoration of the Redeemer. On the other hand, two of the nobler 291 minds among them produced some of the very best hymns which the newer school has to show, and which were at once adopted with delight by the whole Evangelical church of Germany. These were Gottfried Arnold and Gerhard Tersteegen, men in whom we see two well-marked and differing types of the mystic. Arnold, of a passionate impetuous temperament, has a soul with the dusky glow of a repressed fire, that at times breaks forth into a clear, ardent flame; Tersteegen's mind, naturally humble and peace-loving, is like a profound crystal lake, that cares only to reflect the heavens above and nothing of the earth around. It must be observed, however, that both these men, though they held much intercourse with the Separatists, and were frequently in antagonism with preachers and members of the established churches, yet never actually joined any sect.

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