DoLLINGER AT THE MUNICH JUBILEE.
FOUR hundred years ago, in that fifteenth century which so splendidly continued and almost completed the great work of University-foundation in Germany which the preceding century had commenced, the beginnings of the present Uni- versity of Munich were laid in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt. At that time, the various temporal and spiritual princes and city magistrates were as active in endeavouring to foster the increase of seats of learning as the Italian Republics had been throughout Italy more than a hundred years before. From Prague in 1348 and Vienna in 1365, seldom did a decennium pass that did not see the erection of some academy destined to become famous in after-time. Heidelberg, Cologne, Erfurt, Altdorf, Greifswalde, Freiburg, Basel, Ingolstadt, Tubingen were successively called into existence. Though not established under the most favourable conditions, Ingolstadt early rose into notice. Successive sovereigns and bishops patronised it. After the great religious convulsions of the sixteenth century, it became one of the literary fortresses of the Catholic party, and so continued for a couple of centuries. It shared the growing Liberalism which characterised the epoch of Joseph H. in Austria. Removed from Ingolstadt to Landehut in 1800, it was transferred to Munich in 1826, and in Munich it has happened that the fourth centenary of its foundation has just been celebrated amid a pomp of public and academic ceremonial, and amid an outpouring of patriotic and scholastic enthusiasm such as, it seems, can only be presented by the festivals of German Universities.
-The part which the Universities have played in the recent history of Germany, especially in the preparation of the War of Independence against the Great Napoleon, and after- wards in the liberal and constitutional movement in which the idea of German unity had its new birth, affords the ex- planation of a good deal of the sentiment which surrounds these institutions. In the Vereins of the students and the lecture-halls of the professors, still more than in camps and Cabinets, was the great resistance organised, the indomitable spirit aroused which a hundred defeats could not dishearten, which gathered new hope and new courage after every disaster, until the armies of the nations stood triumphant on the slaughter-field of Leipzic. And when peace had been re-established, and kings and princes, dukes and princelings, forgot in prosperity the solemn promises of days when the discontent of subjects was not to be coveted by those who would still be the possessors of thrones, it was again in the bosom of the University that Liberty lay nursing her strength, and collecting her reso- lution for the inevitable struggle and the victory that was to be. Under any circumstances accordingly, the commemora- tion feast of the South-German University was certain to attract a leading share of attention and sympathy. As events have turned out, however, the Munich Jubilee was distinguished by unusual features, which have impressed upon the solemnity a distinctive character, and endowed it with an extraordinary significance. It was the festival of Old Catholicism as well as of the University. At the termination of its fourth century, the transformation of the ancient seat of Jesuitism is complete. The professoriate, which fought under Eckius in the vanguard of Rome, is now one-half Protestant, and the other half excommunicate. It is Dellinger himself, the intrepid chief of the latest band of dissidents whom the intolerance of Rome has forced from her communion, who, in spite of Pope and pre- lates, is enthroned as the Rector Magnificus, and who, in virtue of his dignity, had to deliver the festival oration on behalf of the academic body. Direct polemics were of course forbidden on such an occasion. The subject of Dellinger's address, University development in Europe, did not favour them. It was impossible, however, that the words of the master should not bear the impress of his thought, or that what was intended for the disciples should bear no colour of party doctrine.
Whatever may be the future that is reserved for Dellingerism, and at present its prospects are not peculiarly promising, it is inevitable that it should bear upon it the stamp of the characteristics which it has partly derived from its origin, and which have partly been impressed upon it by its necessities and the conditions of its existence. To most Englishmen, absorbed in the spectacle of the gray-haired priest who has quitted in his old age, and in the zenith of his repu- tation, that uncompromising Church of Rome to which he had devoted the ardour of his youth and the energy of his man- hood, it does not occur to analyse the features of the move- ment which Dr. Dellinger has initiated. Least of all are they attracted to reflect upon what may be the political and secular tendencies of the new theological school. And yet the study is worth the pursuit. Assuredly Dr. Dellinger occupies a position altogether different from the various reformers who have, on former occasions, separated themselves from the Catholic communion. It is not Luther's justification by faith, it is not Calvin's assertion of the immu- table predestination of the elect, which is heard in the declar- ations of the Munich doctor. We may almost say that there is a distinct absence of that religious sectarianism and that Scriptural exclusiveness which constitute the identity, so to speak, of preceding reformers. He is, indeed, an earnest Christian. Nay more, he is a sacerdotaliat to the inmost core. Excom- municated and anathematised, he boasts himself a priest, clad in that ineffaceable dignity which the Church he has repudiated teaches to be ineradicable, even by the everlasting fires. But the man is as true a heretic, to adopt the nomenclature of his opponents, as the boldest text-quoter who ever turned the batteries of the Apocalypse against the Scarlet Woman and the Seven-horned Beast. He is as true and fearless a Pro- testant as Martin Luther, but his Protestantism is altogether unlike in its direction, if not in its principles, the Protestantism of Luther. The monk of the sixteenth century was the founder of Biblical Protestantism. The professor of the nineteenth cen- tury onlyseeks to represent what may be called the Protestantism of culture. Luther said to each man, " Search the Scriptures, for in them are all things needful to salvation." Dellinger says nothing of the kind. The author of the Church and the Churches is no friend to private interpretation, as the Evan- gelicals understand the phrase. What he says is addressed to the Church herself, and his message to the Church is not to search the Scriptures in the first place, but to search the libraries of the world, to read history, to reduce historical observation to a science, and upon the indispensable foundation of that science to raise the edifice of ecclesiastical theology. It can thus be seen that Dr. Dollinger's reformation is a reformation sui generis, the most secular reformation, so to speak, which has yet ap- peared, a reformation which does not content itself, like ordi- nary Protestantism, with adducing scientific progress as a vindi- cation of the beneficial tendency of religious enlightenment, but which distinctly makes scientific progress the grand instrument and real constituent of religious truth. It is only consonant with such a spirit that Dollinger, German patriot and German Chauvinist though he be in some respects, should refuse to be narrowly national in the things of mind and faith. The catholicity he has shaken off will still keep him too Catholic, in the broad sense of the term, for any " geographical kingdoms of Christ," It is at this point that the political bearings of Dollingerism present them-
selves most prominently. Winger's theology, to quote his own words at the Munich festival, is "eine wahrhaft deutsche und zugleich universelle, den. andern Wissenzweigen in Ernst und Wahrhaftigkeitder Forschring ebenbartige Theologie,"—a theology which indeed seeks to be truly German, but which at the same time refuses to be anything less than universal, while it claims to stand in the same grade with the other branches of know- ledge in earneglness and reality of investigation. It will be only under the pressure of hard necessity that Dollingerism will ever consent to regard itself as a German sect. The vener- able Rector probably understands very exactly the amount of love which the German Government bears to the new move- ment, as distinguished from the amount of calculation in which that Government has indulged with respect to the capacities of the new movement for inflicting loss and damage on that Catholic organisation which Prince Bismarck has denounced as the great danger of the Empire. Besides, as the chances of a wholesale acceptance of Old Catholicism by the Catholic populations diminish in the Fatherland, the wisdom of raising up no impassable wall of Germanism between the new faith and the outside world becomes a matter of demonstration. The impulses of culture and conscience are confirmed by the dictates of expediency. There is a present affiance between Berlin and Dollingerism for common interests, but without echoing the sarcasm about the infallibility of anti-infallibilists, we should be much surprised if, with all their deference for the laws of the land, the Old Catholics would be a whit more inclined to surrender their religious self-will and religious comprehensiveness than, in a different order of ideas, the Catholics themselves.
It would be unjust to the great speech which has been the primary cause of these remarks to attempt to summarise it or to criticise it in the little space which•remains at our dis- posal. It may be said, however, that the whole oration is full of exemplifications of the comparative independence of Dollin- gerism of those local influences which might be supposed to possess so exclusive a hold on the protégé of Berlin and Munich. In truth, the speech upon the development of the University system in Europe is as little like a panegyric of Germanism as can well be imagined. In parts, it is even the hardest and distinctest slap in the face to those German Chauvin- ists who, amid the glory of recent and surprising successes, for- get how recent a product, as compared with the other nations of the West, is the brilliant intellectuality of the Germany of to- day. To such Chauvinists, it must have been trying in the extreme to hear the venerable Rector's warm recognition of the deep, the immense obligations not only of Germany, but of Europe, to France and Paris. " Still more really than Rome," he repeated, " Paris has been the mental metro- polis, die geistige Afetropole, of the European West." It was the University of Paris, the mediaeval Stadium of the Four Nations, which originated the University system of the Con- tinent. Every other nation had only followed the lead of France, and though Germany was the last to possess native seats of learning, it was still from France that the model was taken and the vivifying spark introduced. " All the German Universities were descended from Paris ; it was from Vienna, the daughter of Paris, that our own Ingolstadt received its statutes." Elsewhere he calls Paris " the mother of the German Universities." Similarly he acknowledges the part which other nations, and notably Italy and England, have had in influencing the growth of Germany. He is proud to believe that now-a-days Germany " can give more than she receives," but he never hesitates to express his recognition of former benefactions. Dollinger could, indeed, stoop to declare his joy at " the recovery of the western boundaries," which is his euphemism for the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine. We wonder how German savants would treat King Victor Emmanuel's claim to "recover the northern boundaries " by relegating the Germans to the regions to which the Calms confined them. Dr. Dollinger is, however, an ultra-German in everything except what the world will call his Dollingerism. In that sphere he is a universalist, and Pere Hyacinthe and the Jansenist Archbishop of Utrecht are as near to his sympathies as Professor Friedrich or Dr. Wollmann.