August Tholuck -- By: Archibald Duff

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 035:137 (Jan 1878)
Article: August Tholuck
Author: Archibald Duff


August Tholuck

Prof. Archibald Duff

It is very fitting that a memorial be erected to this venerable friend of theology in the Bibliotheca Sacra. His life-work has been to cultivate individual laborers for the field of theology, for the science of religion, especially of the Christian religion. And such a cultivation is also the work of the Bibliotheca, in its gathering together the results of individual laborers, and by laying these before the world, encouraging those who produce to make earnest effort, and thus arousing theological thought in others. This is the real way to be scientific in theology. For the actual state of things in the spiritual world can be fully known only by such as recognize that God has something new, something entirely of its own kind, in each individual of his creation, and that something new can be contributed by each individual thinker. It may be fancied that individual workers at theology can differ merely as to comparatively little matters of method in working. But that is a mere fancy. Each individual soul contains a new revelation of God. Each individual who reflects on his own spiritual relations, — on his own religious consciousness, if you will, — enriches the fund of phenomena whence is to be found by generalization the complete philosophy of religion, the complete natural history of the soul and — yes — of God, the complete system of the science of religion, the complete theology. Theology is not a stereotyped thing or book. It cannot become effete. There is forever discovery going on, and the souls of the discoverers are the mines in which these discoverers search. To increase the number of searchers is at the same time to widen the field of search. And they who do increase this, work rationally for the advancement of the science, for the advancement, too, of that profession whose members must become possessed of the science in some way if they will tend well their flocks. One who wrought to this end patiently, faithfully, daily, through a professorship of over fifty years, was Dr. Tholuck. He sleeps now in the tomb; but his work is carried on — by himself. Years ago he and his most estimable wife so planned their affairs that not only all they were, but all they had, should be given to their life-work, and that the latter — their property — should continue the same work when they themselves were no more.

We need not now give a sketch of Tholuck’s life. Such is already within reach of all American theologians, even one written by himself. When unable to attend the meeting of the Evangelical Alliance in New York, in 1873, he wrote and sent to that assembly a short sketch, which was published at that time in the New York Tribune, and may doubtless be obtained among the published procee...

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