“Invincible Ignorance” -- By: G. Frederick Wright

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 072:288 (Oct 1915)
Article: “Invincible Ignorance”
Author: G. Frederick Wright


“Invincible Ignorance”

G. Frederick Wright

In the current number of the Constructive Quarterly about thirty pages are given to reprints of letters written by the eminent Professor Adolf Deissmann, of the University of Berlin, to his many friends in America, telling of the great religious revival in Germany in connection with the present war. More than twenty of these letters have been sent to his former pupils and friends in America, and they have been manifolded and widely distributed from hand to hand. The extracts from these in the Constructive Quarterly represent only about one quarter of the whole. The story which they tell is remarkable and the lessons conveyed are most important and encouraging. A few extracts will suffice to bring the main facts before the public.

On the date of December 6, 1914, he writes: —

“. . . . Never in the history of our people have the hymns ‘Ein feste Burg’ or ‘Nun danket Alle Gott’ and the old Dutch ‘Dank-gebet’ bad such a rhythm and ring as during these months at home ns well as out on the battle field; the voices of German warriors, both Catholic and Protestant, have never been united in such a pious and fraternal way before, and the effect of these gigantic choirs singing the Ambrosian Hymn is simply grand.”

December 20, 1914 :—

“Taken us a whole, our nation has been stirred as perhaps never before. The number of those who, as individuals, have been harmed religiously through the war cannot seriously be compared with the many who have received a spiritual uplift through the same. For never before had individual piety so much revealed its social aspect in the army as well as at home. We are now one big religious commonwealth, whether in the village church, where the peasant folk mass themselves together for prayer in behalf of the soldiers, or

in the field, where the young volunteer, a former student of theology, preaches to his comrades under the open skies before giving the oath of allegiance to their flag, or even yet in the Dom, where the minister to the Court, Dr. Dryander, brings his message of the Gospel of Power and Confidence to the thousands of his audience.”

February 5, 1915 :—

“. . . . The strong revival of religious interest that the war has brought about with us, has deeply stirred our Church-life throughout the whole of Evangelical Germany. Quite a number of our clergymen have told me that now it was a pleasure to be a pastor. The most remarkable feature is a new type of service, the so-called ‘Kriegsgebetstunde,’ the prayer-meeting on behalf of the ...

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