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London. Published by L.B.Seeley & Sons, 160. Fler Street. Feb 1.1833.

MEMOIR OF JOHN JENICKE,

MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT BERLIN, LATE HONORARY GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

THE Apostle's warning, that here we have no abiding city, but must seek one to come, is verified in every generation. Individuals, families, and whole churches, have felt it, and under a pressure of adversity, have come out of their own land like Abraham, into one that the Lord has shewn them. No country has gained more by such emigrations than Prussia. The French refugees found an asylum there, from the persecutions of Louis XIV, and not only introduced their arts and manufactures, to the great advantage of a rising country, but their descendants proved faithful to her interest, and fought with valour in the late war against the invading armies of Napoleon. Frederic William I. employed religious toleration as a means of increasing the number of his subjects: seventeen thousand Protestants from the Duchy of Saltzburg obeyed his invitation, and a more important accession was gained in 1732, by the arrival of a number of Bohemian families, whom the persecutions which followed the revival that had taken place in 1720, had driven into exile. When they requested a settlement from the King, he replied with his characteristic mixture of frankness and rudeness, • If you are a good sort of people, I am willing to receive you, but if you are rogues, I have no wish you, since there are enough in my kingdom already.'

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John Joenicke was the son of a weaver, who came in with this colony; he was born at Berlin, July 6, 1748. As his parents were poor, he was brought up to the same calling, and at the age of eighteen, left his home, to exercise it at Munsterberg in Silesia, where a small Bohemian settlement exJANUARY 1833.

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isted. The pastor of the colony, whose name was Pokorny, was a faithful minister, and his exhortations soon engaged the attention of young Joenicke. It may be supposed that he had been piously brought up, as his parents had emigrated for religion's sake; so that it will not appear surprising, that the first effectual impression he received of divine truth, was not of actual wickedness, but of deficiency in due thankfulness for the gift of God in his Son, which is eternal life. He was struck by these words in a sermon; Even if from your infancy, you had known no other sin, but that of not having always loved the Lord Jesus with all your heart, you would be guilty before God.' This sentence, which the natural mind could not understand, and which many an anxious one would stumble at, may be taken as a specimen of the Bohemian method of appealing to the heart. While many disregard the statutes of the Lord, and are far from righteousness,* Joenicke had outwardly kept the commandments from his youth, and thus was near to the kingdom of God; he needed however the quickening impulse of a Redeemer's love, and from that time he looked upon former peace as a mistaken security, and began his course anew.

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The pastor Pokorny, who had discerned in him not only earnestness, but many other valuable qualities, advised him to enter upon the ministerial office. Considerable obstacles were in his way for the present but having made up his mind, he patiently endured delay, (in which there is more real piety than in complaining of unavoidable hindrances) and devoted himself to

* Isa. xlvi. 12.

preparatory studies. While he still worked at his trade, he learned Latin and Greek in his leisure hours, and after three years, was enabled to become schoolmaster to the Bohemian colony at Munsterburg, which was an important step, as he thus became known, and could prosecute his studies conveniently. Some time after, he obtained a similar place at Dresden, where he acquired a knowledge of Hebrew, and at length in 1775, at the age of twenty-seven, he entered at the University of Leipzig. There he remained three years, during which time his lines fell in a goodly heritage, for the pietism which Spener had awakened over Germany was still in action, and consequently all the pulpits were filled by Evangelical preachers; among these he was particularly attached to Dr. Christian Crusius,† to whom he often alluded afterwards in the pulpit, as to one who had been blessed in "turning many to righteousness." Indeed he always retained a pleasing remembrance of the days he passed in the University, which is a sufficient proof that he had spent his time well, and had not wasted it in idleness, or embittered his recollections

*

by vice. After having finished

his studies, he became tutor in a German family. But the obstacles to his ordination being now removed, he was anxious to obtain it, being desirous at the same time of entering into the Moravian Society, and exercising his ministry among them, which could be done compatibly with his early associations, as the United Brethren had a colony at Berlin. With this view he addressed himself to the venerable Spangenberg, who had succeeded Count Zinzendorf in the presidency at Herrnhut,

* Ps. xvi. 6.

+ Author of a work on moral philosophy.

Dan. xii. 3.

but the good bishop recommended him to labour in a wider field. When communities in general are eager to increase their numbers by proselytes and partisans, such disinterestedness ought to be appreciated, and held up as the true Christian pattern. Jenicke followed his advice, remained a member in the Lutheran church, and received in 1779 an invitation from the Bohemian congregation at Berlin, by which he was brought back to his native place. The religious spirit which had formerly impelled these colonists to leave their country, had not declined in the lapse of nearly half a century; they desired a spiritually-minded pastor, and found their wish fulfilled in Joenicke. But he was not only called to resist evil in its natural forms, a new enemy had sprung up, of a much more subtle, and therefore a much more dangerous character.

Frederic William I. of Prussia, with all his eccentricities, valued religion. Frederic II. commonly called the Great, was not only impious at heart, but delighted in impious society, thereby affording a whole length resemblance of the Apostle's words, "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."* Not only was profaneness encouraged at court, but the whole system of administration was eminently ungodly, and as an instance, it may be mentioned, that the instructions given to the military during the seven years' war, were of the most demoralising kind. Mr. Pusey, in his work on German Theology, mentions his having heard from one who knew the King, that before his death, he said he would give one half of his dominions, to leave the other half in the same moral and religious condition

*Rom. i. 32.

in which he found them at his accession. The evil was immense, and the power which had been built upon the sand fell at the first blast the wars with France which followed a few years after, were disastrous and disgraceful, and subjected the whole land to the oppression of a victorious and proffigate soldiery. Yet if the evil had been confined to the administration alone, it might soon have been repaired, "but wormwood had fallen on every stream," "the very waters of life were made poisonous, and the leaves of the tree of life, which were given for the healing of the nations, were tainted like those of the Batavian Upas: the study of scripture, instead of being consecrated to religion, and thus causing “righteousness to run down as a river," had been distorted into an aid of impiety, and many a divine, whose lips should have kept knowledge, "reduced the principals of Christianity to a mere accordance with deism, explaining away every thing miraculous in the gospel history, and criticising the Bible with a temerity beyond all bounds, rather like an advocate of infidelity than of revelation." 't

·

Frederic William II. who ascended the throne on the death of his uncle, issued an edict in 1788, remarkable for the testimony it bears to the melancholy state of religion. Long before we ascended the throne, (he says) we perceived the necessity of restraining, as far as we can, infidelity, superstition, corruption of the great truths of the Christian faith, and the licentiousness of manners arising from these. We have observed with regret, for some years before our accession to

*Rev. viii. 10, 11.

+ Gorton's Biog. Dict. art. Sember. "Michaelis, who had witnessed the commencement of the great revolution which took place in the opinions of the German Protestant clergy in the last century, said, 'Heretofore I was reckoned heterodox, but now I am only too orthodox.-Ibid.

the crown, many of the Protestant clergy allowing themselves unbounded freedoms with the doctrines of their confessions, denying many important articles of protestantism and Christianity, adopting a modish tone in their manner of preaching, perfectly opposite to the spirit of true Christianity, and thus shaking the very pillars of the faith. They are not ashamed to serve up again the wretched and often refuted errors of Socinians, Naturalists, Deists, and other sects, and with boldness and impudence to spread them among the people, under the extremely abused name of enlightening; to depreciate the authority of the Bible as the revealed will of God, to corrupt, to explain away, or utterly to reject the sacred records; to represent faith in mysteries, and particularly in the Redeemer's atonement, as ill-founded or superfluous, and thus to reproach our common Christianity.' This edict might have had more weight if the character of the Sovereign had been truly Christian, but unfortunately it was not.

"2

During the progress of this decline, Joenicke maintained his ground as a faithful preacher of Christ crucified. It will be seen by the foregoing remarks how necessary it had become to hold fast the form of sound words. In such times, one needs the resolution with which Joshua was enabled to say, 66 As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord; still it is to be sought in humility and prayer, not in the hasty temper of Peter, when he exclaimed, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I;" and it will be found, that those only who are convinced of sin, will cling to the assurance of righteousness. Jœnicke was stedfast in keeping his way, and thus, in the midst of defection and corruption, he preserved his soul. Such buildings as were raised with or underhands, were stormed

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mined; but the rock on which his faith was built defied every attack. A real conversion alone enables us to keep firm to the Gospel; education may make us profess it, virtue may cause us to honour it, but neither of the two is proof against the adversary: so crafty and so manifold are his devices.

As his stated engagements did not require him to preach more than once on the Sabbath, (alternately in German and the Bohemian dialect) he added an extra service in the morning, and also one on Mondays, when he summed up and enlarged upon what he had said the day before. Toward the close of the century, the necessity of counteracting the spread of infidelity, and of casting oil upon the fire which was drenched with water, was deeply felt.

*

An

association was formed for this purpose, to which laymen and ministers contributed their means, their talents, and their exertions : among these excellent men no one was more conspicuous, either for zeal, or the sacrifices he made to extend the cords of the kingdom of God, than M. Schirnding of Debritugk in Lusatia; he published a number of religious tracts in French, German, Polish, and other languages, and to devote his fortune to the Lord for ever, he founded the Missionary Institute at Berlin. Having lately become acquainted with Janicke, he offered him the direction of the new establishment, which he readily accepted, and gave it his most earnest attention. It was opened and seven young men admitted in 1800; when suddenly a total reverse of circumstances befel the generous founder, and he was obliged to withdraw his donations for his own support, and as the Institute had no other funds, its ruin seemed inevitable. But Providence watched over it, and by the perseverance of Joenicke it was maintained, and carried through

*See Pilgrim's Progress, part 1. c. 5.

the successive trials of the evils of war and of a decline in religious zeal. At first, some pious individuals subscribed to assist it; afterward the Missionary Societies in England extended their aid; and the happy result is, that it still exists, like a tree which has taken a firmer hold of the soil for being shaken by storms. Some of its students have proved valuable labourers in the service of those Societies, and thus repaid the debt: in 1820 it had sent out as many as thirty, ten of whom had gone into different parts of Asia, and twenty to the western coast and the south of Africa; since which time, most of its inmates have entered into a different part of the vineyard, with the view of preaching the Gospel to the numerous Jewish families in the Russian and Prussian dominions. *

In addition to these two engagements of Pastor and Director, Joenicke accepted the charge of Secretary to the Bible Society of Berlin. He had the happiness to see the wane of infidelity and neology, and a healthier impulse given to Biblical studies. In 1825 his strength began to decline, and he found himself obliged to lessen his labours gradually, first by discontinuing the prayer-meetings held in his house, then by omitting the lectures of the Missionary Students, and at length by sitting while he preached. He had exercised a valuable ministry for half a century, and felt that it was time for others to enter into his labours. The Monday's service as well as that of the Sunday morning, was also given up, in consequence of his extreme weakness, but he had the satisfaction of remembering, that they had seldom been interrupt

*The Report of the Church Missionary Society for 1817 (p. 481) mentions that they were indebted to him for several valuable Students from the Berlin Seminary, at a time when Englishmen were not to be procured.

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