« EdellinenJatka »
The following brief account of FREDERICK ADOLPH KRUMMACHER will probably prove not uninteresting to those who appreciate the Christian sentiment and cultivated mind displayed in “ Cornelius the Centurion,” the production of one who has long been eminently distinguished among his countrymen, both as a clergyman and as an author, in the higher departments of literature.
F. A. Krummacher was born at Tecklenburgh, in Westphalia, on the 13th July, 1768. After having been employed as Professor of Theology in the University of Duisburg, he became a minister in the Reformed Church at Krefeld in 1807, where he undertook the cure of souls, as more congenial to his feelings. This situation he exchanged for a country parish at Kettwick, in Westphalia, from which he removed to a wider sphere of usefulness in Bemburg; here he contin
ued till 1824, his labors being abundantly blessed by the Great Head of the Church. Since that period he has been a clergyman in Bremen, where he still continues, respected for the consistency of his character and the apostolic simplicity of his life.
From an early period, he has been intimately acquainted with ancient and modern poetry; this, along with his profound knowledge of the language and customs of the Eastern world, and his diligent study of the Scriptures, has given that peculiar bent to his mind which beams through all his writings. His various compositions abound with images and comparisons; and he generally endeavors to convey knowledge, and to express his sentiments, through the medium of poetry.
He was early accustomed to trace the development of the human spirit through all the gradations of life; and, being gifted with a keen sense of the beauties of nature, and having a mind alive to the language in which nature. speaks, he saw everywhere similitudes and allegories which were symbolical of hidden truths, -these he endeavored to express in the simplest language, so as to be intelligible even to a child. He saw that the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace bore the impress of one Infinite mind, and the exhibitions of that mind in the works of creation and in the inspired volume, he found to be in perfect harmony with each other ; and these analogies it was his peculiar delight to trace.
He appears to be thoroughly imbued with a striking feature of the German character—a delight in children; and the great beauty and simplicity of his style have eminently qualified him for being the successful writer for their instruction, which he has proved himself to be in his own land. To use the words of a foreign critic, “It was the delight of his heart to find enjoyment in every thing,-in playing with a child, in looking on a blooming rose, in contemplating the variegated colors of the evening sky, in confidential friendship, and in the quiet hours of study."
By his countrymen he is regarded as a poet of no ordinary rank; in his poem entitled “The Child's World, there is, according to a German reviewer, no display of creative genius, but that spirit which delights in the words, “ Suffer little children to come unto me.
In portraying the character of Cornelius, he evinces a mind actuated by the same purity of motives, by the same desire for truth, and is evidently in possession of the key which opens up to him every step in the progress of the Centurion, from the firsť dawning of divine light on his soul, until blessed with the full blaze of it in the ministrations of the Apostle of the Jews. It was a saying of one of the early fathers of the church,“ If you wish to apprehend the meaning of St. Paul's writings, you must first imbibe his spirit.” This remark may be applied with much truth to the author of Cornelius,-it
is impossible to read his analysis of this New Testament Abraham's mind and feelings, without being convinced that his own path has been that of the just, which, like the shining light, shineth more and more
unto the perfect day. The following extract from the - Author's preface, will shew the circumstances in which
the work was composed :-“ The meditations on the conversion of the heathen Centurion and his household, were originally preached as sermons in Bremen. They are now divested of that form, some are enlarged, and some curtailed. The style is historical, as being suited to the subject, and my own views of Scripture. It appears to me that the numerous divine manifestations related in the Old and New Testaments, may be regarded as one continued history of God in his relation to man. Luther calls it “the History of all histories,” for it is an account of the stupendous miracles of the divine majesty and grace, from the beginning even unto eternity. The sermon of the Apostle Peter is the simplest, and at the same time, the most comprehensive of all narrations.
“ In the same spirit, our Lord Jesus compares the history of the kingdom of heaven, to the development of a little seed of corn, or a grain of mustard seed; for the operations and the secret inflence of God are every where the same, in the kingdom of nature, and in the kingdom of grace, as well as in the kingdom of glory.