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PIETERSBURG

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 593 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PIETERSBURG, a town of the Transvaal, capital of the Zoutpansberg district, and 177 M. N.N.E. of Pretoria by rail. Pop. (1904), 3276, of whom 162o were whites. The town is pleasantly situated, at an elevation of 4200 ft., on a small tributary of the Zand river affluent of the Limpopo, and is the place of most importance in the province north of Pretoria. From it roads run to Klein Lelaba and other gold-mining centres in the neighbourhood, and through it passes the old route to Mashonaland, which crosses the Limpopo at Rhodes Drift. The Zoutpansberg district contains a comparatively dense Kaffir popula. tion, and a native newspaper is published at Pietersburg. (2) the Christian priesthood being universal, the laity should share in the spiritual government of the Church; (3) a knowledge of Christianity must be attended by the practice of it as its indispensable sign and supplement; (4) instead of merely didactic, and often bitter, attacks on the heterodox and unbelievers, a sympathetic and kindly treatment of them; (5) a reorganization of the theological training of the universities, giving more prominence to the devotional life; and (6) a different style of preaching, namely, in the place of pleasing rhetoric, the implanting of Christianity in the inner or new man, the soul of which is faith, and its effects the fruits of life. This work produced a great impression throughout Germany, and although large numbers of the orthodox Lutheran theologians and pastors were deeply offended by Spener's book, its complaints and its demands were both too well justified to admit of their being point-blank denied. A large number of pastors at once practically adopted Spener's proposals. In Paul Gerhardt the movement found a singer whose hymns are genuine folk poetry. In 1686 Spener accepted an appointment to the court-chaplaincy at Dresden, which opened to him a wider though more difficult sphere of labour. In Leipzig a society of young theologians was formed under his influence for the learned study and devout application of the Bible. Three magistri belonging to that society, one of whom was August Hermann Francke, subsequently the founder of the famous orphanage at Halle (1695), commenced courses of expository lectures on the Scriptures of a practical and devotional character, and in the German language, which were zealously frequented by both students and townsmen. The lectures aroused, however, the ill-will of the other theologians and pastors of Leipzig, and Francke and his friends left the city, and with the aid of Christian Thomasius and Spener founded the new university of Halle. The theological chairs in the new university were filled in complete conformity with Spener's proposals. The main difference between the new Pietistic school and the orthodox Lutherans arose from the conception of Christianity as chiefly consisting in a change of heart and consequent holiness of life, while the orthodox Lutherans of the time made it to consist mainly in correctness of doctrine. Spener died in 1705; but_the movement, guided by Francke, fertilized from Halle the whole of Middle and North Germany. Among its greatest achievements, apart from the philanthropic institutions founded at Halle, were the organization of the Moravian Church in 1727 by Count von Zinzendorf, Spener's godson and a pupil in the Halle Orphanage, and the establishment of the great Protestant missions, Ziegenbalg and others being the pioneers of an enterprise which until this time Protestantism had strangely neglected. Pietism, of course, had its weaknesses. The very earnestness with which Spener had insisted on the necessity of a new birth, and on a separation of Christians from the world, led to exaggeration and fanaticism among followers less distinguished than himself for wisdom and moderation. Many Pietists soon maintained that the new birth must always be preceded by agonies of repentance, and that only a regenerated theologian could teach theology, while the whole school shunned all common worldly amusements, such as dancing, the theatre, and public games. There thus arose a new form of justification by works. Its ecclesiolae in ecclesia also weakened the power and meaning of church organization. Through these extravagances a reactionary movement arose at the beginning of the 18th century, one of the most distinguished leaders of which was Loescher, superintendent at Dresden. As a distinct movement Pietism had run its course before the middle of the 18th century; by its very individualism it had helped to prepare the way for another great movement, the Illumination (Aufklarung), which was now to lead the world into new paths. Yet Pietism could claim to have contributed largely to the revival of Biblical studies in Germany, and to have made religion once more an affair of the heart and the life, and not merely of the intellect. It likewise vindicated afresh the rights of the Christian laity in regard to their own beliefs and
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