Page:Addresses to the German nation.djvu/121

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SIXTH ADDRESS
GERMAN CHARACTERISTICS AS EXHIBITED IN HISTORY


70. In our last address we stated what would be the chief differences between a people that has developed in its original language and a people that has adopted a foreign one. We said at the time that, so far as foreign countries were concerned, we would leave it to each observer’s own judgment to decide whether those manifestations had in fact occurred which, according to our assertions, were bound to occur. But with regard to the Germans we undertook to prove that they had in fact turned out to be what, according to our assertions, a people with a primitive language was bound to be. To-day we proceed to the fulfilment of our promise; and we prove our assertions, first of all, by the latest great and, in a certain sense, completed achievement of the German people, an achievement of world-wide importance—the reformation of the Church.

71. Christianity, which originated in Asia, and in the days of its corruption became more Asiatic than ever, preaching only silent resignation and blind faith, was something strange and foreign even to the Romans. They never really laid hold of and assimilated it, and their nature was divided by it into two halves that did not fit each other; nevertheless, the foreign part was joined on by means of their inherited and melancholy