The 95 Theses of Claus Harms

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The 95 Theses of Claus Harms

Three hundred years after Luther's publication of the 95 Theses in 1517, Claus Harms (1778-1855) republished Luther's theses and added 95 theses of his own in which he called the (Lutheran) church to repent of the prevalent influences of rationalism and unionism. This publication caused a firestorm of reaction. Among those who reacted negatively was F. D. E. Schleiermacher, a leading proponent of uniting the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Prussia.



Life of Claus Harms

Birth and Early Years (1778-1799)

Claus Harms was born on 25 May 1778 in Fahrstedt, a small community in modern Dithmarschen County (northwest of Hamburg between North Sea and Elbe River). On the next day he was baptized at the church in neighboring town of Marne and named after his father's father. He was the first child of his parents Christian, a miller, and Margarethe nee Jochims.[1] In the May of 1784 the Harms family moved to neighboring St. Michaelisdonn (30). Having outgrown the local school at age 13, Harms began to be instructed by the local pastor, F. E. C. Oertling (1757-1837), a rationalist (44), in various subjects, including, Latin, high German, geography, history, the classics, and religion. For religious eductation, Harms is told to copy the manuscript of Oertling's rationalistic explanation of Luther's Small Catechism (46). At this time, Harms experiences first-hand the commotion created by rationalistic pastors in the by-and-large traditionally Lutheran congregations (48f.).

After a year and a half, Harms quits his instruction with Pastor Oertling, much to the satisfaction of his father; he again spends more time working for his father. In 1793 Harms is confirmed (51). In his autobiography, he only remembers moralistic teachings from confirmation instruction. Unusual for the time -- and against Harms' own later judgment[2] -- he receives communion right after confirmation. Having for now finished his formal schooling, Harms continues to read Pietist and rationalist devotionals (52).

In 1796, Harms suffers a serious disease. His father dies in the same year; his mother and he sell the mill, and the idea of studying comes back to Harms. However, in the spring of 1797, Harms begins a half-year stint as a farmer hand (55-57). Despite of the hard labor, he enjoys the time very much (58).

In the fall of 1797, Harms, financed by his share from the sale of the mill and private work, starts to attend high school in near-by Meldorf where he is about six years older than his class mates (62). In religious instruction he is again trained in the rational brand of Christianity (62f.). Looking back, Harms considers himself as someone who was trained by rationalists and now, robbed by Kant and others of any belief in revelation, went on, in youthful zeal, to spread the gospel of rationalism among his acquaintances old and new (65).

At Kiel University (1799-1802)

In the fall of 1799, Harms moves to Kiel to attend the university (68). The Kiel faculty is dominated by rationalistic professors; the one exception, the "biblical supranaturalist" and friend of J. G. Herder, J. F. Kleuker (1749-1827), is shunned by faculty and student body alike. Harms cannot bring himself to attend an entire seminar on the confessions (70f.). In 1800, student Harms preaches his first sermon in Kiel (74). As his rationalism takes on an "aesthetic" bent -- after reading the German writer F. Schiller -- he is censured for this by his strictly Kantian professor (75f.).

As he works his way through the curriculum, neither Schiller nor Kant satisfy the young student any longer. A friend gives him a copy of Schleiermacher's 1799 On Religion: Speeches to the Cultured among Its Despisers. He reads the book several time and is deeply impressed by it (79):

... and on this walk it was that I, at once, recognized the vanity and nothingness of all rationalism and all aesthetics and all knowledge and all activity of the self in the work of salvation; as by lightning, I realized the necessity that our salvation has to be of a different origin.

Harms calls this his "higher life's hour of birth, or better yet: the death of my old man according to his knowledge of divine matters" (ibid.). He -- in the words of J. H. Jung-Stilling -- "received from this book the impulse to an eternal movement" (80). However, he soon realizes that Schleiermacher does not help him in his struggle against the old man beyond this first impulse: his sermons, a first selection was published in 1801, turn out to be no bread at all; they are not a popular version of his Speeches Harms expected them to be (ibid.).

Harms instead turns to the territorial catechism explanations in use at the time. He prepares a catechesis on the sentence: "We men are all sinners, in our behavior [actual sins] as well as in our nature [original sin]." He works on the part on original sin "out of and according to my new-found faith according to the churchly confession." His fellow students greet his presentation with utter silence; his professor harshly criticises him "for placing some good pillars under the delapidated building of churchly faith" and admonishes him to stop doing that: "Then the old building collapses which cannot and must not remain upright any longer" (81).

In early October 1802, Harms goes through his written and oral exams before the (orthodox) general superintendent of Holstein, J. L. Callisen (1738-1806), whose son, J. F. L. Callisen (1775-1864) becomes one of the few clergy supporters of Harms during the theses controversy (82-84).

Candidacy and Tutor at Probsteierhagen, First Call at Lunden (1802-1816)

After his exams he begins his life as a candidate as the private tutor for the children of a pastor in Probsteierhagen, a few miles northeast of Kiel, where Harms is popular with the farm hands. In his spare time he reads the belletristic literature of the day (87). During the time at Probsteierhagen, he preaches several guest sermons meant to lead to his election and call as pastor to the respective congregations (89-92).

After getting married in Probsteierhagen, he, in 1806, takes his first call to the congregation in Lunden (north of his place of birth in the same county). He is ordained on Palm Sunday of that year and begins, as assitant pastor ("deacon"), to preach every other week which leads to a modest growth in church attendance (93f.).

His Lunden time allows him to publish the first collections of his own sermons (Winter and Summer Postils, 1808, 1811, 1815). He also authors a small catechism, Christendom, that is very well received (1810, 3rd ed. in 1814); a large catechism The Religion of the Christians is published for the first time in 1814 as well (101-104). In the same year, Harms preached a sermon "The war after the war," in which he criticized the civil authorities for burdening their subjects too much after the 1812/13 war[3] and calls on his listeners to take recourse to the legal means available to them. This sermon brought him the gratitude of the farmers but led to an inquiry by his superiors (98-100).[4]

Archdeacon and Superintendent at St. Nicholas, Kiel (1816-1855)

In 1816, Harms is installed as archdeacon of St. Nicholas Church at Kiel. His first sermon, on the Fourth Sunday in Advent, is on Mal. 2:7, titled "The duties of a priest."[5] The reaction to sermon is mixed: an older fellow pastor reminisces of how times have changed over the past 30 years when, in 1786, a young preacher, in his first sermon, wanted to bann everything priestly out of the church, thereby echoing the rationalist climate in Kiel. Yet a layman rejoices that "our faith has found again its confession and proclamation" (110f.). Within a year's time, Harms the preacher becomes an international attraction (114).

In 1817, Harms, inspired by Luther's 1517 theses -- he calls them the "diapers of the Lutheran church" (117) -- authors his 95 Theses to draw Luther's work out of oblivion and to do something about a rationalistic bible edition that had been published in 1815.[6] This public appeal was preceded by futile attempts to accomplish something with the church authorities that had approved the publication of said edition (117f.). The theses, published just before the tricentennial of the Reformation, caused St. Nicholas to be overcrowded on Reformation Day and caused a mighty stirr for the next two years, among the citizenry of Kiel (119f.), among the theologians (120-122), and among the church authorities (122f.). Looking back, however, he finds that his theses marked the beginning of many a student's and many a pastor's turn from rationalism to orthodoxy (128, 131-133). Asked by students of the university -- it belonged to St. Nicholas Parish -- Harms agrees to speak informally on various pastoral subjects; his Pastoraltheologie grew out of these weekly evening conversations (132).

In 1834, Harms is asked to become Schleiermacher's successor at Trinity Church in Berlin. He shows some interest but finally declines the call because he is assured to become the next senior pastor and superintendent at St. Nicholas in Kiel. This takes takes place in 1835 (166f.).

Twenty years later, on 1 February 1855, Harms dies peacefully. His burial takes place on 8 February at St. George's Cemetery in Kiel (202).

The 95 Theses of 1817

Harms published both Luther's original 95 Theses of 1517 which he called the "cradle and diapers in which our Lutheran church lay" (he did not consider them free from "papist errors" and knew that Luther later rejected them) and his own, "directed against all sorts of false and confused knowledge within the Lutheran church" (210).[7]

A Call to Repentance from Man-Centered Religion and Ethics, A.D. 1817 (Theses 1-8)

1. When our Master and Lord Jesus Christ says: "Repent!", he wants that men conform to his doctrine; he, however, does not conform his doctrine to men, as is done now, according to the changed spirit of the times, 2 Tim. 4:3.

2. Doctrine in relation to faith and life is now construed in such a way so as to accomodate men. This is why now protest and reform have to be repeated.

3. With the idea of a progressive reformation -- as this idea is defined and how it is brought up -- one reforms Lutheranism into paganism and Christianity out of the world.

4. Since the doctrine of faith has been construed according to the doctrine of life which has been construed according to the life of men, one has to start again and again with this: Repent!

5. In a time of reformation, this sermon addresses all, without distinguishing between the good and the bad; for also those who have conformed to the wrong doctrine are considered bad.

6. The Christian doctrine as well as the Christian life is to be built according to one draft.

7. If men were on the right way as to their actions, one could say: In doctrine go backward and in life go forward, then you will arrive at true Christianity.

8. Repentance shows itself first of all in falling away from him who has placed himself, or has been placed, in God's place; at Luther's time this was, in a certain sense, the pope, for him the antichrist.

Repentance from the Idolatry of Autonomous Conscience (Theses 9-24)

9. We could call reason our time's pope, our antichrist, in view of faith and conscience the same in view of life (according to the place given them over against Christianity: God and Magog, Rev. 20:8); consciences have been given the threefold crown of legislation, praise, and punishment.

10. However, conscience cannot give laws, it can only present and enjoin the laws God has given; it cannot praise anything but what God has praised; it cannot punish except with the punishments of God -- according to God's word which is the text of conscience.

11. Conscience cannot forgive sins, in other words the same: no one can forgive his own sins. Forgiveness belongs to God.

12. In the case of some, conscience has not been severed from the word of God; this is a special grace of God to them.

13. The fact that there is not more evil coming out of those where it has been severed, this is due in part to the laws of the civil magistrates, in part to the mandates of morality which is still more God-fearing than the dominating doctrine.

14. This operation by which God was removed from the judgment seat and one's own conscience was placed on it was carried out while there was no watch in our church.

15. Calixt, who severed ethics from dogmatics, prepared the seat of the majesty for conscience; and Kant, who taught the autonomy (the legislative faculty for oneself) of conscience, seated it on the same.

16. It deserves historical reasearch as to how the word "God-fearing" has taken second place over against the emergent word "conscientious" according to the extant books of the time, and if there is not proof to be found that so-called conscientiousness actually furthered the demise of conscience.

17. Once conscience stops reading and begins to write, it turns out as diverse as men's handwriting. Name me a sin that everybody considers to be such!

18. Once conscience ceases to be a servant of God's judgment over sin, it will not allow God to be even a servant in its judgments. The notion of divine punishments disappears totally.

19. Already earlier the fear of God's judgments was removed. Those who invented lightning rods for this purpose do not deserve the same praise as Franklin.

20. The days of penance are still there as a remembrance of the old faith. It would have been better not to give them a new meaning. Days of prayer -- that name has already disappeared, as a believer in reason consistently cannot pray.

21. The forgiveness of sins cost money in the 16th century; in the 19th it is entirely for free, since everybody helps himself to it.

22. The time back then was superior to today's -- because it was closer to God.

23. Ask for forgiveness -- whom? oneself? -- Shed tears of contrition -- wear oneself out with crying? -- Comfort oneself with God's grace -- certainly, if he turns away the natural consequences of my evil deeds! This way of speaking is taught by the currently dominating doctrine.

24. The old hymnal said: "Two places, O man, you have before you." In recent times one has killed the devil and stuffed hell shut.

Repentance from the Idolatry of Autonomous Reason (Theses 25-49)

25. One error in the doctrine of virtue creates error in the doctrine of faith; who turns the entire doctrine of virtue upside down turns the entire doctrine of faith upside down.

26. One must fear and tremble when considering how godless, that is, how devoid of God and his fear men are now.

27. According to the old faith, God created man; according to the new faith man creates God, and when he is done, he says: Aha! Isa. 44:12-20

28. In the case of some, reason has not been severed from the word of God; this is a special grace of God to them.

29. The fact that there is not more unbelief coming out of those where it has been severed, this is due in part to the earlier impressions of the truth of faith which can hardly be completely erased.

30. This operation, by which every revealed religion -- and thus also Christianity -- was rejected insofar as it does not agree with reason, that is, totally, was carried out while there was no watch in our church.

31. I do not know who did it for the first time; but I, and all of Holstein, know who carried it out for the last time.

32. The so-called religion of reason is devoid either of reason or of religion or of both.

33. According to it, the moon is considered to be the sun.

34. A twofold usage is to be distinguished: reason as a summary term for all of man's intellectual faculties, and reason as a special intellectual faculty. According to the latter meaning it is asserted that reason teaches religion as little as it accepts instruction in religion.

35. It does not matter whether you use the right or the left hand; but it does matter whether you use the foot instead of the hand or the ear instead of the eye; and it likewise matters with which intellectual faculty to deal with religion.

36. Who can master the first letter of religion -- that is, "holy" -- with his reason, may invite me over.

37. I know a religious word which reason masters half-way: "holiday" (Feier). Reason says: not working, etc.; if the word is changed into "solemnity" (Feierlichkeit), then it is right away removed from reason, too stange and too lofty. Likewise consecrating, blessing. Language is so full of, life is so rich in, things that are as far from reason as from the physical senses. Their common realm is the mystical; religion is part of this realm. Terra incognita for reason.

38. Reason is to be looked at carefully, for it often acts and speaks as if it had been there -- it appears to be so hearty, so full of feeling, so full of faith, or however one wants to call it.

39. As reason has its understanding, so the heart has its understanding, only that it is turned to an entirely different world.

40. It has not been sufficiently examined, or at least the result has not been publicly admitted, why it is that the religion of reason has been discovered so lately. As if reason had come to the world so lately.

41. Some truths of revealed religion man may, after they have been given to him, rediscover under certain phenomena of nature and humanity. These combined, two or three, one calls natural or reasonable religion, even though reason does not have anything to give or to take here.

43. The relation of so-called natural religion to revealed religion is like the relation of nothing to something, or like the relation of revealed religion to revealed religion.

43. When reason touches on religion, it throws out the pearls and plays with the husks, the empty words.

44. It does as the preacher did who married the physicist Ritter. To the agenda's words "What God has joined together, let not made put asunder," he added "unless for important reasons." See Nachlaß eines jungen Physikers, Heidelberg, 1810, p. LXXIII.[8]

45. It drags what is holy in the faith into the realm of common experiences and says like Muhammad: "How should God have a Son, since he is not a woman?!"

46. From the lips of certain preachers the words "our Savior and Redeemer" sound like the words at the end of a letter "your friend and servant." The essence of their sermons, however, is this: They have the people take the prescription instead of the medicine; in viable words: to the heart through reason.

47. If in matters religious reason wants to be more than a layman, it becomes a heretic. Those avoid! Tit. 3:10. By the way, one gets the impression that all heresies at once are loose again. Conscientists (Gewissener)[9] and naturalists, Socinians and Sabelians, Pelagians, synergists, crypto-Calvinists, anabaptists, syncretists, interimists, and many more.

48. To say, We fear inquisition and heresy trials, means nothing other than: we fear the abuse of reason.

49. We fear the followers of Pöschl.[10] -- We are afraid of crazy people. But against them one has institutions!

Repentance from the Use of Rationalistic Editions of the Bible (Theses 50-62)

50. Furthermore: We have a sure bible word to which we look, 2 Peter 1:19; and so that no one may turn it for us like a vane, we have our symbolical books.

51. Also the words of our revealed religion we hold sacred in the original language and do not look at them like a dress that one could take off the religion, but as its body, united with which it has one life.

52. A translation into a living language, however, has to be revised every hundred years so that it remains in the life.

53. That this has not been done has hindered the effectiveness of the religion. The bible societies should work on a revised Lutheran bible translation.

54. To add explanations of German words to a German translation means to view it as the original language of revelation. This would be papistic and superstitious.

55. To publish the bible with such glosses That emend the original word Means to correct the Holy Spirit, To deprive the church, And to lead those who believe in it to the devil.

56. The explanatory notes of the 1815 Altona Bible published for use by the people and in schools are dominated by, as the scholar put it, the rationalistic view -- the people call it a new faith -- according to the biblical usage, which goes deeper and defines more clearly -- the devil, Eph. 2:2.

57. Who wants to assert that the supporters of this bible edition did not mean well? But who wants to deny that they publicly presented the bible as the worst book on earth?

58. So far, the believers in reason lacked a bond and symbol among themselves; this has been given them, so far as they want to unite, in this bible edition.

59. From now on, no preacher will be permitted to preach in a Lutheran, that is, Christian way, without exposing himself to the objection of this bible: These men certainly know it better than you!

60. And when he directs poor, burdened sinners to Jesus who has called them in such a friendly way: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, I will give you rest" -- then this bible edition rebukes him with this note: What are they to do? They aren't Jews! And you already have his teaching! -- Christ is supposed to be another Moses.

61. One is to teach Christians everywhere to beware of this bible edition, and to promise them in God's name, trusting our king[11]: It will soon be rejected.

62. It cannot be approved that the national bible societies have remained silent and do not speak concerning this important bible issue.

The Right of Lutheran Christians to Have Lutheran, not Rationalistic, Preachers (Theses 68-74)

63. One is to teach the Christians not to put blind faith into the preachers but to see to it themselves as well and to search the scripture like the Berreans, Acts 17:11, to see whether it is so.

64. One is to teach the Christians that they have the right not to tolerate what is un-Christian and un-Lutheran from the pulpits and in books in church and school.

65. If no one else watches doctrine then one is to ensure that the people take care of it itself, although it has no measure or goal.

66. The people cannot trust in the supreme commissioners of the church, several of which reportedly do not have the faith of the church.

67. It is strange to desire to be free to teach a new faith from a chair established by the old faith, and out of a mouth fed by the old faith, Ps. 41:9.

68. Follow Hermann Tast under the linden tree and preach there, if you cannot keep your new faith to yourself. Krafft's Jubel-Gedächtnis, p. 103.[12] Meanwhile, one has already tried it from the pulpit for years and the people have scattered, Matt. 11:17.

69. The watchword of the false teachers is John 4:24: "God is spirit, and all who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." They act as if they had caught the entire church, even Christ himself in his own words.

70. Their battle cry is Acts 10:35: "Who fears God and does what is right is pleasing to him in every nation." They (not the Altona Bible) interpret this as if it did not matter whether one is a Jew, a Christian, a half-Christian, or nothing.

71. Reason rages in the Lutheran church: it tears Christ from the altar, trows God's word from the pulpit, casts excrements into the baptismal water, mixes all sorts of people when it comes to God-parents, erases the address of the confessional chair, hisses out the priests, and all people with them, and has been doing this for a long time. One still will not restrain it? Perhaps this is supposed to be truly Lutheran and not Carlstadtian?

72. The Catholic church, as has been suggested to it, could very well celebrate Reformation Day with us, since as far as the dominating faith in our church is concerned, it is just as Lutheran as our church.

73. It would be deseriable that Luke 15:18 be the text for centennial sermon in various Lutheran territories: "I want to get up and go to my father." This could be very edifying for many a congregation that, perhaps with its preacher, suffers hunger and thirst in the foreign country of false belief.

74. To reply to this that one has made progress in the Enlightenment -- one certainly would not base this reply on the current darkness in true Christendom? Thousands can declare as once the disciples of John, Acts 19:2: "We have never heard that there is a Holy Spirit." (Note of the Altona Bible: Holy Spirit, complete instruction in Christianity.)

Against a Church Union on Reductionist, Rationalistic Foundations (Theses 75-89)

75. As a poor maidservant, one now wants to make the Lutheran church rich by marriage. Do not execute this act over Luther's bones. They will become alive because of it and then -- woe to you!

76. Those who think that "broke it" is a little word of great riches and who stand ready to give up the Lutheran church as much as they can for it, are more ignorant than the unasked people, that should have been asked about its faith, let alone Löscher. Cf. his Historia Motuum, in Heilsame Worte § 14ff.[13]

77. To say that time has abolished the dividing wall between Lutherans and Reformed is not clear talk. At issue is: who has fallen away from the faith of their church, the Lutherans or the Reformed? Or both?

78. If Christ's body and blood were in the bread and wine at the 1529 Marburg Colloquy, then they are there still in 1817.

79. If it is not blasphemy, it is at least carelessness to lock up the treasures of the church and to throw away the key. Against this all Lutherans should say: We protest. To say this is still unprohibited in Denmark. An upright Geneva candidate for his part does likewise and does not want to hide the faith of his church. See Hamburger Correspondent 1817, no. 146.[14]

80. Against such association, especially since it only touches on externals and protects what is interal in both parties, the protestation of a single Lutheran or Reformed would be sufficient. Matt. 25:9: "No so, lest there should not be enough for us and for you. Yet go to the sellers."

81. What happened to the Dithmarschers with their monastery in Hemmingstedt will happen to the builders of the new evangelical church: no virgins wanted to enter and some old women farmers ran out again. This monastery was not popular and this church is not Christian. See Bolten, Dithmarsische Geschichte, vol. 3, § 40.[15]

82. As reason hindered the Reformed to build their church and bring it to union, so the acceptance of reason into the Lutheran church would only lead to confusion and destruction.

83. Confusion with the confessions -- they are nothing but certain, generally accepted interpretation of holy scripture.

84. Confusion with the authorized and adopted church agendas, hymnals, and catechisms, as already the public proclamation stands is bright terrible contradiction in the holy place.

85. Confusion among the teachers when one preaches the old, the other the new faith. The highly-praised motto 1 Thess. 5:14: "Examine everything and keep the best!" is wrongly understood to speak of a free examination of the biblical faith.

86. Confusion in the relation between teachers and congregations. Heinrich of Zütphen[16] asserted: "The church of Christ is divided in priests and laymen." The new false teachers would put it like this: The church of Christ is divided in custodians and non-custodians. -- Yes, if only the priests were true custodians, custodes!

87. Confusion with other churches. Each rests on the bible according to different interpretation upon which they have agreed: You accept that interpretation, we accept this one, and in this we want to love and respect each other. The religion of reason wants to know of no other interpretation than the one that each makes in his own head for today and perhaps for tomorrow.

88. Confusion with the states. They have pledged their protection to the church based on the confessions that were presented at one time. The religion of reason does not want to know of any such confessions. But the religious element in man, if it is not bound to a divine revelation, is a terrible element.

89. Confusion in civil life. The same is with every important phenomenon and business totally drawn into the realm of the church. With the religion of reason in the land, no husband could be certain of his wife, no one certain of his life, no oath permitted as among the Quakers but for opposite reasons.

Abuses in the Current Lutheran Polity (Theses 90-91)

90. The building of the Lutheran church has reached completeness and perfection; the only mistake, made in haste and disorder and to be rectified in an orderly manner, is that the supreme leadership and final decision, even in properly spiritual matters, rests with a person who is not a pastor.

91. In the same way it cannot be reconciled with the Protestant principles of our church that only a few persons in a congregation or only one person, that perhaps does not even belong to the congregation, give it a preacher. Sheep are given a shepherd, yet souls should always elect their pastor for themselves.

On the Glories of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Theses 92-95)

92. The evangelical-catholic church is a glorious church. It rests on and builds itself preferably by the sacrament.

93. The evangelical-reformed church is a glorious church. It rests on and builds itself by God's word.

94. More glorious than both is the evangelical-Lutheran church. It rests on and builds itself by the sacrament as well as God's word.

95. The other two, without anybody's intentional help, form themselves into the latter. But the way of the ungodly shall perish, says David, Ps. 1:6.


  1.  See his autobiography, "Lebensbeschreibung," in Claus Harms, Ausgewählte Schriften und Predigten, ed. G. E. Hoffmann et al. (Flensburg: Ch. Wolff, 1955), 1:25. Page numbers in this section refer to this edition.
  2.  Cf. his "Pastoraltheologie," ibid., 2:179 where he gives two practical reasons.
  3.  The Duchy of Holstein to which Lunden belonged at the time, was ruled by the King of Denmark, Frederik VI, who had been an ally of Napoleon who during 1812/13 waged his Pyrrhic war against Russia; in 1813, when Prussia turned on him, he was fatally defeated in the Battle of Leipzig. After the defeat, Holstein was occupied by 57,000 Swedish, Russian, and Prussian troops. At the end of 1814 the troops left an exploited land.
  4.  The sermon is reprinted ibid., 2:287-293. Harms' bibliography is given ibid., 2:402-413.
  5.  In his three-volume 1830-1834 Pastoraltheologie, Harms distinguished between three aspects of the ordained ministry of the church, preaching (and catechesis), priestly duties, and pastoral duties. The preacher's duties are evident; pastoral duties include individual pastoral care. Under the head of priestly duties Harms not only offers a theological rationale for the existence of the ordained ministry over against the sum total of a Christians, thus seeking to counter Enlightenment's egalitarian tendencies in the church; he also speaks mostly about conducting the liturgy and the administration of baptism, absolution, and communion. Cf. ibid. 2:18-280, esp. 88-113.
  6.  Cf. ibid., 1:214 n. 21.
  7.  Harms' theses are reprinted in ibid., 1:210-225. What follows is a translation.
  8.  The reference is to J. W. Ritter's Fragmente aus dem Nachlasse eines jungen Physikers, vol. 1:LXXIV.
  9.  The conscientiarii were the followers of one candidate of theology, Matthias Knutzen, in Jena who wanted to accept only conscience and reason as norms for faith and life.
  10.  The enthusiatic Austrian priest, T. Pöschl (1769-1837), preached the end of the world and, in 1817, was put into a hospital due to mental illness. In the same year, on Good Friday, one of his young followers, killed herself as a sacrifice for her fellow believers.
  11.  Kiel was under the rule of the kings of Denmark at the time
  12.  The reference is to J. M. Krafft's 1723 book Ein Zweyfaches Zweyhundert-Jähriges Jubel-Gedächtnis, commemorating the bicentennial of the reformation in Husum, where, in 1522, Hermann Tast (1490-1551) introduced the reformation. Since he was not permitted to preach in the church and a private home soon proved too small for the many desiring to hear him, he preached under a linden tree near the church.
  13.  The reference is to V. A. Löscher's Ausführliche Historia motuum zwischen den Evangelisch-Lutherischen und Reformierten, more specifically its appendix "Heilsame Worte oder friedfertige Anrede an die reformierten Gemeinden in Teutschland". It was published in 1707-08 and 1724.
  14.  Six Geneva candidates of theology protested the decision of the Geneva ministerium no longer to discuss certain essential doctrines of Calvinism.
  15.  This chronical was published in 1784 and refers here to events in the early 16th century.
  16.  He was one of the early martyrs of the Lutheran faith. Having preached in Antwerp, Bremen, and Dithmarschen, he was burned in 1524 in Heide. Luther wrote about him in 1525, cf. AE 32:265ff. In 1817, Harms wrote a low-German tract about him.