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Title: American Lutheranism - Volume 1: Early History of American Lutheranism and The Tennessee Synod
Author: Bente, Friedrich, 1858-1930
Language: English
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College, Class of 1976


Volume I
Early History of American Lutheranism
The Tennessee Synod
St. Louis, Mo.

Essentially, _Christianity_ is the special divine faith in the truth
revealed by the Bible that we are saved, not by our own efforts, works,
or merits, but alone by the pure and unmerited grace of God, secured by
Christ Jesus and freely offered in the Gospel. And the Christian Church
is the sum total of all those who truly believe, and therefore confess
and propagate this truth of the Gospel.

Accordingly, the _history_ of Christianity and of the Christian Church
is essentially the record concerning this truth, _viz.,_ how, when,
where, by whom, with what success and consistency, etc., it has been
proclaimed, received, rejected, opposed, defended, corrupted, and
restored again to its original purity.

_Lutheranism_ is not Christianity _plus_ several ideas or modifications
of ideas added by Luther, but simply Christianity, consistent
Christianity, neither more nor less. And the Lutheran Church is not a
new growth, but merely the restoration of the original Christian Church
with its apostolic, pure confession of the only saving Christian truth
and faith.

The _history_ of Lutheranism and of the Lutheran Church, therefore, is
essentially the story concerning the old Christian truth, restored by
Luther, _viz.,_ how, by whom, where, when, etc., this truth was
promulgated, embraced, rejected, condemned, defended, corrupted, and
restored again to pristine purity.

As for _American Lutheranism,_ it is not a specific brand of Lutheranism,
but simply Lutheranism in America; for doctrinally Lutheranism, like
Christianity, with which it is identical, is the same the world over.
Neither is the American Lutheran Church a distinct species or variety of
the Lutheran Church, but merely the Lutheran Church in America.

The _modified_ Lutheranism advocated during the middle of the nineteenth
century as "American Lutheranism" was a misnomer, for in reality it was
neither American nor Lutheran, but a sectarian corruption of both.

Hence, also, the _history_ of American Lutheranism is but the record of
how the Christian truth, restored by Luther, was preached and accepted,
opposed and defended, corrupted and restored, in our country, at various
times, by various men, in various synods and congregations.

In the history of American Lutheranism _four names_ are of special
significance: Muhlenberg, Schmucker, Walther, Krauth.

H. M. Muhlenberg endeavored to transplant to America the modified
Lutheranism of the Halle Pietists. S. S. Schmucker's ambition was to
transmogrify the Lutheran Church into an essentially unionistic Reformed
body. C. F. Walther labored most earnestly and consistently to purge
American Lutheranism of its foreign elements, and to restore the
American Lutheran Church to its original purity, in doctrine as well as
in practise. In a similar spirit Charles Porterfield Krauth devoted his
efforts to revive confessional Lutheranism within the English portion
of our Church.

The _first volume_ of our presentation of American Lutheranism deals
with the early history of Lutheranism in America. The second, which
appeared first, presents the history of the synods which in 1918 merged
into the United Lutheran Church: the General Synod, the General Council,
and the United Synod in the South. The third deals with the history of
the Ohio, Iowa, Buffalo, and the Scandinavian synods, and, _Deo
volente,_ will go to press as soon as Concordia Publishing House will be
ready for it. In the fourth volume we purpose to present the history and
doctrinal position of the Missouri, Wisconsin, and other synods
connected with the Synodical Conference.

As appears from the two volumes now in the market, _our chief object_ is
to record the principal facts regarding the doctrinal position occupied
at various times, either by the different American Lutheran bodies
themselves or by some of their representative men, such comment only
being added as we deemed indispensable. We have everywhere indicated our
sources, primary as well as secondary, in order to facilitate what we
desire, _viz.,_ to hold us to strict accountability. Brackets found in
passages cited contain additions, comments, corrections, etc., of our
own, not of the respective authors quoted.

As collateral reading, especially to pages 1 to 147 of Vol. I, we
urgently recommend the unique, thorough, and reliable work of our
sainted colleague _Dr. A. Graebner:_ "Geschichte der Lutherischen
Kirche in Amerika. Erster Teil. St. Louis, Mo. Concordia Publishing
House, 1892."

While, as stated, the immediate object of our presentation is simply to
state the facts concerning the questions, theologians, and synods
involved, it self-evidently was an _ulterior end_ of ours also, by the
grace of God, to be of some service in furthering and maintaining the
unity of the Spirit, an interest always and everywhere essential to
the Lutheran Church.

"May the almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus grant the grace of
His Holy Spirit that we all may be One in Him and constantly abide in
such Christian unity, which is well-pleasing to Him! Amen." (_Form, of
Conc_., Epit., 11, § 23.)

F. Bente,
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
July 28, 1919.


AMERICAN LUTHERANISM............................page
Lutheran Swedes in Delaware....................11-16
Salzburg Lutherans in Georgia..................16-20
Lutherans in New York..........................20-24
Justus Falckner................................24-29
Joshua Kocherthal..............................29-32
William Christopher Berkenmeyer................32-35
Deterioration in New York......................35-39
New York Ministerium...........................39-42
John Christopher Hartwick......................42-46
Germantown, Pennsylvania.......................46-50
Slavery of Redemptioners.......................50-55
Lutherans in Pennsylvania......................55-59
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg......................59-64
Further Activity and Death of Muhlenberg.......64-70
Muhlenberg's Confessionalism...................70-73
Muhlenberg's Pietism...........................73-77
Muhlenberg's Hierarchical Tendencies...........77-83
Muhlenberg's Unionism..........................84-91
Training of Ministers and Teachers Neglected...91-99
Deterioration of Mother Synod.................99-103
Unionism in the Ascendency...................103-110
Typical Representatives of Synod.............110-113
Synod's Unlutheran Attitude Continued........113-116
Lutherans in South Carolina..................116-119
The North Carolina Synod.....................119-122
Critical Conventions.........................122-128
Gottlieb Shober..............................129-131
North Carolina Rupture.......................131-134
Lutherans in Virginia........................134-140
Special Conference in Virginia...............140-144
Synod of Maryland and Virginia...............144-147
TENNESSEE SYNOD..............................148-237
Objections to General Synod..................158-167
Attitude as to Church-fellowship.............167-173
Efforts at Unity and Peace...................174-184
Tennessee Justifying Her Procedure...........184-191
Doctrinal Basis..............................192-195
Confession Enforced..........................195-198
Anti-Romanistic Attitude.....................198-207
Anti-Methodistic Attitude....................207-213
Anti-Unionistic Attitude.....................213-217
Tennessee and Missouri.......................217-221
Peculiarities of Tennessee Synod.............221-232
The Henkels..................................232-237

American Lutheranism.


1. Christianity the Only Real and True Religion.--Religion is man's
filial relation to, and union with, God. Natural religion is the
concreated relation of Adam and Eve in their state of innocence toward
their Creator. Fallen man, though he still lives, and moves, and has his
being in God, is, in consequence of his sinful nature, _atheos,_ without
God, and hence without true and real religion. His attitude toward God
is not that of a child to his father. Heathen religions are products of
the futile efforts of men at reconciling God and restoring union with
Him by their own penances and works. They are religions invented and
made by men. As such they are counterfeit religions, because they
persuade men to trust either in fictitious merits of their own or in
God's alleged indifference toward sin. Christianity is the divine
restoration of religion, _i. e.,_ of the true spiritual and filial
relation of fallen man toward God. Essentially, Christianity is the
divine trust and assurance that God, according to His own merciful
promise in the Gospel, is, for the sake of Christ and His merits, my
pardoning and loving Father. It is the religion of justification,
restoration, and salvation, not by human efforts and works, but by
divine grace only. Paganism believes in man and his capacity for
self-redemption; Christianity believes in the God-man and in salvation
by His name and none other. From Mohammedanism, Buddhism, and all other
religions of the world Christianity differs essentially, just as Jehovah
differs from idols, as divine grace differs from human works.
Christianity is not one of many species of generic religion, but the
only true and real religion. Nor is Christianity related to other
religions as the highest stage of an evolutionary process is to its
antecedent lower stages. Christianity is divine revelation from above,
not human evolution from below. Based, as it is, on special divine
interposition, revelation, and operation, Christianity is the
supernatural religion. And for fallen man it is the only availing and
saving religion, because it alone imparts real pardon, and engenders
real and divine assurance of such pardon; because it alone really
pacifies the conscience and fully satisfies the heart; and because it
alone bestows new spiritual powers of sanctification. Christianity is
absolute and final, it is the _non plus ultra,_ the Alpha and Omega, of
religion, because its God is the only true God, its Mediator is the
only-begotten Son of God, its ransom is the blood of God, and its gift
is perfect union with God. Compare John 8, 24; Acts 4, 12; John 14, 6;
3, 36; Gal. 1, 8. 9. Romanism, Rationalism, Arminianism, Synergism,
etc., are heathen remnants within, and corruptions of, Christianity,
elements absolutely foreign to, and _per se_ subversive of, the religion
of divine grace and revelation.

2. The Church and Its Manifestations.--The Christian Church is the sum
total of all Christians, all true believers in the Gospel of salvation
by Christ and His merits alone. Faith always, and it alone, makes one a
Christian, a member of the Church. Essentially, then, the Church, is
invisible, because faith is a divine gift within the heart of man, hence
beyond human observation. _Dr. Walther:_ "The Church is invisible because
we cannot see faith, the work of the Holy Spirit, which the members of
this Church have in their hearts; for we can never with certainty
distinguish the true Christians, who, properly, alone constitute the
Church, from the hypocrites." (_Lutheraner,_ 1, 21.) _Luther:_ "This
part, 'I believe a holy Christian Church,' is an article of faith just
as well as the others. Hence Reason, even when putting on ever so many
spectacles, cannot know her. She wants to be known not by seeing, but by
believing; faith, however, deals with things which are not seen. Heb.
11, 1. A Christian may even be hidden from himself, so that he does not
see his own holiness and virtue, but observes in himself only fault and
unholiness." (Luther's Works. St. Louis, XIV, 139.) In order to belong
to the Church, it is essential to believe; but it is essential neither
to faith nor to the Church consciously to know yourself that you
believe. Nor would it render the Church essentially visible, if, by
special revelation or otherwise, we infallibly knew of a man that he is
a believer indeed. Even the Word and the Sacraments are infallible marks
of the Church only because, according to God's promise, the preaching of
the Gospel shall not return without fruit. Wherever and only where the
Gospel is preached are we justified in assuming the existence of
Christians. Yet the Church remains essentially invisible, because
neither the external act of preaching nor the external act of hearing,
but inward, invisible believing alone makes one a Christian, a member
of the Church. Inasmuch, however, as faith _manifests_ itself in the
confession of the Christian truths and in outward works of love, the
Church, in a way, becomes visible and subject to human observation. Yet
we dare not infer that the Church is essentially visible because its
effects are visible. The human soul, though its effects may be seen,
remains essentially invisible. God is invisible, though the
manifestations of His invisible power and wisdom can be observed in the
world. Thus also faith and the Church remain essentially invisible, even
where they manifest their reality in visible effects and works. Apart
from the confession and proclamation of the Gospel and a corresponding
Christian conversation, the _chief visible effects_ and works of the
Church are the foundation of local congregations, the calling of
ministers, the organization of representative bodies, etc. And when
these manifestations and visible works of the Church are also called
churches, the effects receive the name of the cause, or the whole, the
mixed body, is given the name which properly belongs to a part, the true
believers, only. Visible congregations are called churches as quartz is
called gold, and a field is called wheat.

3. Visible Churches, True and False.--The objects for which Christians,
in accordance with the will of God, unite, and should unite, in visible
churches and local congregations, are mutual Christian acknowledgment
and edification, common Christian confession and labor, and especially
the establishment of the communal office of the public ministry of the
pure Gospel. This object involves, as a divine norm of Christian
organization, and fellowship, that such only be admitted as themselves
believe and confess the divine truths of the Bible, and who are not
advocates of doctrines contrary to the plain Word of God. Christian
organizations and unions must not be in violation of the Christian unity
of the Spirit. Organizations effected in harmony with the divine object
and norm of Christian fellowship are true visible churches, _i. e.,_
visible unions as God would have them. They are churches of the pure
Word and Sacrament, professing the Gospel and deviating from none of its
doctrines. Christians have no right to embrace, teach, and champion
error. They are called upon and bound to believe, teach, and confess
all, and only, Christian truths. Nor may they lawfully organize on a
doctrinally false basis. Organizations persistently deviating from the
doctrines of the Bible and establishing a doctrinally false basis, are
sects, _i. e.,_ false or impure visible Churches. Yet, though error
never saves, moreover, when consistently developed, has the tendency of
corrupting the whole lump, false Churches may be instrumental in saving
souls, inasmuch as they retain essential parts of the Gospel-truths,
and inasmuch as God's grace may neutralize the accompanying deadly
error, or stay its leavening power. Indeed, individuals, by the grace of
God, though errorists in their heads, may be truthists in their hearts;
just as one who is orthodox in his head may, by his own fault, be
heterodox in his heart. A Catholic may, by rote, call upon the saints
with his lips, and yet, by the grace of God, in his heart, put his trust
in Christ. And a Lutheran may confess Christ and the doctrine of grace
with his lips, and yet in his heart rely on his own good character.
False Churches as such, however, inasmuch as theirs is a banner of
rebellion in the kingdom of Christ, do not exist by God's approval, but
merely by His sufferance. It is their duty to reform on a basis of
doctrinal purity and absolute conformity with the Word of God.

4. The Lutheran Church the True Visible Church.--The Lutheran Church
is the only known religious body which, in the Book of Concord of 1580,
confesses the truths of the Gospel without admixture of any doctrines
contrary to the Bible. Hence its organization is in perfect harmony
with the divine object and norm of Christian union and fellowship. Its
basis of union is the pure Word and Sacrament. Indeed, the Lutheran
Church is not the universal or only Christian Church, for there are
many believers belonging to other Christian bodies. Nor is it the only
saving Church, because there are other Churches preaching Christian
truths, which, by the grace of God, prove sufficient and powerful to
save men. The Lutheran Church is the Church of the _pure_ Word and the
_unadulterated_ Sacraments. It is the only Church proclaiming the
alone-saving truth of the Gospel _in its purity_. It is the Church with
a doctrinal basis which has the unqualified approval of the Scriptures,
a basis which, materially, all Churches must accept if they would
follow the lead of the Bible. And being doctrinally the pure Church, the
Lutheran Church is the true visible Church of God on earth. While all
sectarian churches corrupt God's Word and the Sacraments, it is the
peculiar glory of the Lutheran Church that it proclaims the Gospel in
its purity, and administers the Sacraments without adulteration. This
holds good with regard to all Lutheran organizations that are Lutheran
in truth and reality. True and faithful Lutherans, however, are such
only as, being convinced by actual comparison that the Concordia of 1580
is in perfect agreement with the Holy Bible, subscribe to these symbols
_ex animo_ and without mental reservation or doctrinal limitation, and
earnestly strive to conform to them in practise as well as in theory.
Subscription only to the Augustana or to Luther's Small Catechism is a
sufficient test of Lutheranism, provided that the limitation does not
imply, and is not interpreted as, a rejection of the other Lutheran
symbols or any of its doctrines. Lutheran churches or synods, however,
deviating from, or doctrinally limiting their subscription to, this
basis of 1580, or merely _pro forma,_ professing, but not seriously and
really living its principles and doctrines, are not truly Lutheran in
the adequate sense of the term, though not by any means un-Lutheran in
every sense of that term.

5. Bible and Book of Concord on Christian Union and Fellowship.--
Nothing is more frequently taught and stressed by the Bible than the
truth that church-fellowship presupposes, and must be preceded by, unity
in the spirit, in doctrine. Amos 3, 3: "How can two walk together except
they be agreed?" According to the Bible the Word of God alone is to be
taught, heard, and confessed in the Christian Church. Only true teachers
are to preach, in the Church: Deut. 13, 6 ff.; Jer. 23, 28. 31. 32;
Matt. 5, 19; 28, 20; 2 Cor. 2, 17; Gal. 1, 8; 1 Tim. 4, 16; 1 Pet. 4, 11.
Christians are to listen to true teachers only: Matt. 7, 15; John 8, 31;
10, 27. 5; Acts 2, 42; Rom. 16, 17; 2 John 10; 1 Tim. 6, 3-5; Eph. 4, 14;
Titus 3, 10; 2 Cor. 6, 14-18. In the Church the true doctrine, and only
the true doctrine, is to be confessed, and that unanimously by all of
its members: 1 Cor. 1, 10; Eph. 4, 3-6. 13; 1 Tim. 5, 22; Matt. 10,
32. 33. Christian union and fellowship without the "same mind," the
"same judgment," and the "same speech" with respect to the Christian
truths is in direct conflict with the clear Scriptures. The unity of the
Spirit demanded Eph. 4, 3 requires that Christians be one in doctrine,
one, not 50 or 75, but 100 per cent. With this attitude of the Bible
toward Christian union and fellowship the Lutheran symbols agree. The
Eleventh [tr. note: sic!] Article of the Augsburg Confession declares:
"For this is sufficient to true unity of the Christian Church that the
Gospel be preached unanimously according to the pure understanding, and
that the Sacraments be administered in agreement with the divine Word.
And it is not necessary to true unity of the Christian Church that
uniform ceremonies, instituted by men, be observed everywhere, as St.
Paul says, Eph. 4, 4. 5: 'One body, one Spirit, even as ye are called in
one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one Baptism.'" "Pure
understanding of the Gospel" is here contrasted with "ceremonies
instituted by men." Accordingly, with respect to everything that God
plainly teaches in the Bible unity is required, while liberty prevails
only in such things as are instituted by men. In this sense the Lutheran
Church understands the _"Satis est"_ of the Augustana, as appears from
the Tenth Article of the Formula of Concord: "We believe, teach, and
confess also that no church should condemn another because one has less
or more external ceremonies not commanded by God than the other, if
otherwise there is agreement among them in doctrine and all its
articles, as also in the right use of the Sacraments, according to the
well-known saying: 'Disagreement in fasting does not destroy agreement
in faith.'" (Mueller 553, 7.) It cannot, then, be maintained
successfully that, according to the Lutheran symbols, some doctrines,
though clearly taught in the Bible, are irrelevant and not necessary to
church-fellowship. The Lutheran Confessions neither extend the
requirements for Christian union to human teachings and institutions,
nor do they limit them to merely a part of the divine doctrines of the
Bible. They err neither _in excessu_ nor _in defectu_. Accordingly,
Lutherans, though not unmindful of the admonition to bear patiently
with the weak, the weak also in doctrine and knowledge, dare not
countenance any denial on principle of any of the Christian doctrines,
nor sanction the unionistic attitude, which maintains that denial of
minor Christian truths does not and must not, in any way, affect
Christian union and fellowship. In the "Treatise on the Power of the
Pope" the Book of Concord says: "It is a hard thing to want to separate
from so many countries and people and maintain a separate doctrine. But
here stands God's command that every one shall be separate from, and not
be agreed with, those who teach falsely," etc. (§42.)

6. Misguided Efforts at Christian Union.--Perhaps never before has
Christendom been divided in as many sects as at present.
Denominationalism, as advocated by Philip Schaff and many Unionists,
defends this condition. It views the various sects as lawful specific
developments of generic Christianity, or as different varieties of the
same spiritual life of the Church, as regiments of the same army,
marching separately, but attacking the same common foe. Judged in the
light of the Bible, however, the numerous sects, organized on various
aberrations from the plain Word of God, are, as such, not normal
developments, but corruptions, abnormal formations, and diseased
conditions of the Christian Church. Others, realizing the senseless
waste of moneys and men, and feeling the shame of the scandalous
controversies, the bitter conflicts, and the dishonorable competition of
the disrupted Christian sects, develop a feverish activity in
engineering and promoting external ecclesiastical unions, regardless of
internal doctrinal dissensions. For centuries the Pope has been
stretching out his arms to the Greek and Protestant Churches, even
making concessions to the Ruthenians and other Uniates as to the
language of the liturgy, the marriage of priests, the cup to be given to
the laity, etc. In order to present a united political front to the Pope
and the Emperor, Zwingli, in 1529, offered Luther the hand of fellowship
in spite of doctrinal differences. In political interests, Frederick
William III of Prussia, in 1817, forced a union without unity on the
Lutherans and Reformed of his kingdom. In America this Prussian Union
was advocated by the German Evangelical Synod of North America. The
Church of England, in 1862, 1874, and 1914, endeavored to establish a
union with the Old Catholics and the Russian Church even at the
sacrifice of the _Filioque_. (The Lutherans, when, in 1559 and again in
1673 to 1681, negotiations were opened to bring about an understanding
with the Greek Church, insisted on unity in the doctrines of
Justification and of Free Will, to which Jeremiah II took exception.)
Pierpont Morgan, a number of years ago, appropriated a quarter million
dollars in order to bring the Churches of America under the leadership
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which demands as the only condition
of union the recognition of their "historical episcopate," a fiction,
historical as well as doctrinal. In 1919 three Protestant Episcopal
bishops crossed the seas seeking a conference with the Pope and the
representatives of the Greek Orthodox churches in the interest of a
League of Churches. The Evangelical Alliance, organized 1846 at London,
aimed to unite all Protestants against Rome on a basis of nine general
statements, from which the distinctive doctrines were eliminated. The
Federal Council, embracing 30 Protestant denominations, was organized
with the definite understanding that no Church, by joining, need
sacrifice any of its peculiar doctrines. The unions effected between the
Congregationalists and Methodists in Canada, and between the Calvinistic
Northern Presbyterians and the Arminian Cumberland Presbyterians in our
own country, were also unionistic. Since the beginning of the last
century the Campbellites and kindred sects were zealous in uniting the
Churches by urging them to drop their distinctive names and confessions,
call themselves "Christians" or "Disciples," and accept as their
confession the Bible only. Indeed, the number of physicians seeking to
heal the schisms of Christendom is legion. But their cure is worse than
the disease. Unionistic henotics cannot but fail utterly, because their
object is not unity in the Spirit of truth, but union in the spirit of
diversity and error.

7. Lutherans Qualified to Head True Union Movement.--Most of the
union-efforts are failures _ab initio_. They seek outward union without
inward unity. They proceed on a false diagnosis of the case. They
observe the symptoms, and outlook or intentionally ignore the hidden
cause, the deviations from the Word of God, which disturb the unity of
the Spirit. And doctrinal discussions, which alone can bring about a
real cure, are intentionally omitted and expressly declared taboo, as,
_e. g._, by the Federal Council. The Church, suffering from
blood-poisoning, is pronounced cured when the sores have been covered.
They put a plaster over the gap in Zion's wall, which may hide, but does
not heal, the breach. Universally, sectarian henotics have proved to be
spiritual quacks with false aims, false methods, and false diagnosis.
Nowhere among the sects a single serious effort to cure the malady from
within and to restore to the Church of Christ real unity, unity in the
true doctrine! Indeed, how could a genuine unity-union movement
originate with the sects? Can the blind lead the blind? Can the beggar
enrich the poor? Can the sects give to Christendom what they themselves
are in need of? The Lutheran Church is the only denomination qualified
to head a true unity-union movement, because she alone is in full
possession of those unadulterated truths without which there can be
neither true Christian unity nor God-pleasing Christian union.
Accordingly, the Lutheran Church has the mission to lead the way in the
efforts at healing the ruptures of Christendom. But in order to do so,
the Lutheran Church must be loyal to herself, loyal to her principles,
and true to her truths. The mere Lutheran name is unavailing. The
American Lutheran synods, in order successfully to steer a unity-union
movement, must purge themselves thoroughly from the leaven of error, of
indifferentism and unionism. A complete and universal return to the
Lutheran symbols is the urgent need of the hour. Only when united in
undivided loyalty to the divine truths of God's Word, will the American
Lutheran Church be able to measure up to its peculiar calling of
restoring to Christendom the truths of the Gospel in their pristine
purity, and in and with these truths the true unity of the Spirit and a
fellowship and union, both beneficial to man and well-pleasing to God.

8. Lutheran Statistics.--God has blessed the Lutheran Church in
America abundantly, more than in any other country of the world. From a
few scattered groups she has grown into a great people. In 1740 there
were in America about 50 Lutheran congregations. In 1820 the Lutheran
Church numbered 6 synods, with almost 900 congregations, 40,000
communicants, and 175 pastors. In 1867 about 1,750 pastors, 3,100
congregations, and 332,000 communicants. Twenty-five years later, 60
synods, with about 5,000 pastors, 8,390 congregations, and 1,187,000
communicants. In the jubilee year, 1917, the Lutheran Church in America
embraced (besides about 200 independent congregations) 65 synods, 24 of
which belonged to the General Synod (350,000 communicants), 13 to the
General Council (500,000 communicants), 8 to the United Synod South
(53,000 communicants), and 6 to the Synodical Conference (800,000
communicants). The entire Lutheran Church in America reported in 1917
about 9,700 pastors; 15,200 congregations; 2,450,000 communicants; 28
theological seminaries, with 112 professors and 1,170 students; 41
colleges, with 640 professors and 950 students; 59 academies, with 404
teachers and 6,700 pupils; 8 ladies' seminaries, with 72 instructors and
340 pupils; 64 orphanages, with 4,200 inmates; 12 home-finding and
children's friend societies; 45 homes for the aged, with 1,650 inmates;
7 homes for defectives, with 430 inmates; 9 deaconess homes, with 370
sisters; 50 hospitals; 19 hospices; 17 immigrant homes and seamen's
missions; and 10 miscellaneous institutions; a large number of
periodicals of many kinds, printed in numerous Lutheran publishing
houses, in English, German, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, Icelandic,
Finnish, Slavonian, Lettish, Esthonian, Polish, Portuguese, Lithuanian,
etc., etc.

Early History of American Lutheranism.


9. New Sweden.--The first Lutheran pastor who set his foot on American
soil in August, 1619, was Rasmus Jensen of Denmark. He was chaplain of
a Danish expedition numbering 66 Lutherans under Captain Jens Munck,
who took possession of the land about Hudson Bay in the name of the
Danish crown. In his diary we read of the faithful pastoral work, the
sermons, and the edifying death, on February 20, 1620, of this Lutheran
pastor. However, the first Lutheran minister to serve a _Lutheran
colony_ in America was Reorus Torkillus. He was born in 1609 at
Faessberg, Sweden, educated at Linkoeping, and for a time was chaplain
at Goeteborg. Gustavus Adolphus already had entertained the idea of
founding a colony in America, chiefly for the purpose of carrying on
mission-work among the Indians. Peter Minuit, a German, who had come to
Manhattan Island in 1626 to represent the interests of the Dutch West
India Company (organized in 1621), led also the first Swedish expedition
to Delaware in December, 1637. Nine expeditions followed, until the
flourishing colony was captured by the Dutch in 1655. The work of
Torkillus, who died September 7, 1643, was continued by John Campanius
(1601 to 1683), who arrived on February 15, 1643. Three years later, one
hundred years after the death of Luther, he dedicated the first Lutheran
Church in America at Christina (Wilmington). His translation of Luther's
Small Catechism into the language of the Delaware Indians antedates
Eliot's Indian Bible, but was not published till 1696. Returning to
Sweden in 1648, Campanius left about 200 souls in the charge of Lars
Lock (Lockenius), who served them until his end, in 1688. In 1654,
Pastors Vertunius and Hjorst arrived with 350 additional souls. Both,
however, returned to Sweden when Stuyvesant took possession of the
colony in 1655, permitting the Swedes in Delaware to retain only Lars
Lock as pastor. Jacob Fabricius, who, after rendering his stay in New
Amsterdam (New York) impossible, was laboring among the Dutch along the
Delaware from 1671 to 1675, before long also began to do mission-work
among the Swedes and Finns, at the same time intriguing against Lock,
whose cup of sorrow was already filled with family troubles and other
griefs. In 1677 Fabricius took charge of the Swedes at Wicaco
(Philadelphia), where he, though blind since 1682, continued faithfully
to wait on his office until his death in 1693 (1696). He preached in
Dutch, which, as reported, the Swedes "spoke perfectly."

10. Succored by the King of Sweden.--In 1692 the now orphaned
Lutherans in Delaware addressed themselves to Karl XI, who promised to
help them. However, four years passed before Pastor Rudman arrived with
two assistants, Bjoerk (Bioerck) and Auren, as well as with a
consignment of Bibles and other books. New life entered the Swedish
colony. In 1699 the new Trinity Church was erected at Christina, and in
1700 Gloria Dei Church in Wicaco (Philadelphia). From the very
beginning, however, a spirit of legalism, hierarchy, and of unionism
wormed its way into the promising harvest. The congregations were not
taught to govern themselves, but were ruled by provosts sent from
Sweden. In the interest of discipline, Andreas Sandel, who arrived in
1702, introduced a system of monetary penances. In his _History of the
Lutheran Church in America_ Dr. A. Graebner writes: "Whoever came to
church tipsy, was to pay 40 shillings and do public penance. Blasphemy
of the divine Word or the Sacraments carried with it a fine of 5 pounds
sterling and church penance; to sing at unseemly hours was punished by
a fine of 6 shillings; such as refused to submit to the discipline were
to be excluded from the congregation and to be refused interment at its
cemetery." (86.) Eric Unander, who returned to Sweden in 1760, employed
the same methods to keep order in the congregational meetings. A.
Rudman, after his brief pastorate among the Dutch Lutherans in New York
during 1702, returned to Philadelphia. From 1707 to his death, in 1708,
he served an Episcopal church without severing his connection with the
Swedes. His successors followed his footsteps. From 1737 to 1741 J.
Dylander preached at Gloria Dei Church in German, Swedish, and English
every Sunday, served the Germans in Germantown and Lancaster, and, in
the absence of their pastor, ministered also to the Episcopalians. The
same practise was observed by the provosts: Eric Bjoerk, who was
appointed the first provost in 1712, and returned to Sweden in 1714;
A. Sandel, who also served Episcopalian congregations and returned in
1719; A. Hesselius, who left in 1723, and in Sweden, 1725, published a
short report of the conditions prevailing in America; Peter Tranberg,
who was stationed at Raccoon and Pennsneck, N. J., from 1726 to 1740,
and at Christina till his death in 1748; J. Sandin, who arrived in 1746,
dying two years later; Israel Acrelius, who arrived in 1749, saw the
language question become acute, served Episcopalian congregations, and
returned to Sweden in 1756, where he published (1759) a description of
the conditions in New Sweden; Olaf Parlin, who arrived in 1750 and died
in 1757; Dr. C. M. Wrangel, who was provost from 1759 to 1768, assisted
in rejuvenating the Pennsylvania Synod in 1760, and began a seminary
with Peter Muhlenberg, Daniel Kuhn, and Christian Streit as students;
Nils Collin, whose activity extended from 1770 to 1831, during which
time he had eight Episcopalian assistant pastors in succession.

11. Church-fellowship with Episcopalians.--In 1710 Pastor Sandel
reported as follows on the unionism practised by the Swedes and
Episcopalians: "As pastors and teachers we have at all times maintained
friendly relations and intimate converse with the English preachers, one
always availing himself of the help and advice of the other. At their
pastoral conferences we always consulted with them. We have repeatedly
preached English in their churches when the English preachers lacked the
time because of a journey or a death. If anywhere they laid the
corner-stone of a church, we were invited, and attended. When their
church in Philadelphia was enlarged, and the Presbyterians had invited
them to worship in their church, they declined and asked permission to
come out to Wicaco and conduct their services in our church, which I
granted. This occurred three Sundays in succession, until their church
was finished; and, in order to manifest the unity still more, Swedish
hymns were sung during the English services. Also Bishop Swedberg [of
Sweden], in his letters, encouraged us in such unity and intimacy with
the Anglicans; although there exists some difference between them and us
touching the Lord's Supper, etc., yet he did not want that small
difference to rend asunder the bond of peace. We enter upon no
discussion of this point; neither do we touch upon such things when
preaching in their churches; nor do they seek to win our people to their
view in this matter; on the contrary, we live in intimate and brotherly
fashion with one another, they also calling us brethren. They have the
government in their hands, we are under them; it is enough that they
desire to have such friendly intercourse with us; we can do nothing else
than render them every service and fraternal intimacy as long as they
are so amiable and confiding, and have not sought in the least to draw
our people into their churches. As our church is called by them 'the
sister church of the Church of England,' so we also live fraternally
together. God grant that this may long continue!" (G., 118.) Thus from
the very beginning the Swedish bishops encouraged and admonished their
emissaries to fraternize especially with the Episcopalians. And the
satisfaction with this state of affairs on the part of the Episcopalian
ministers appears from the following testimonial which they gave to
Hesselius and J. A. Lidenius in 1723: "They were ever welcome in our
pulpits, as we were also welcome in their pulpits. Such was our mutual
agreement in doctrine and divine service, and so regularly did they
attend our conferences that, aside from the different languages in which
we and they were called to officiate, no difference could be perceived
between us." (131.)

12. Absorbed by the Episcopal Church.--The evil influence which the
unionism practised by the Swedish provosts and ministers exercised upon
the Lutheran congregations appears from the resolution of the
congregation at Pennsneck, in 1742, henceforth to conduct English
services exclusively, and that, according to the Book of Common Prayer.
In the same year Pastor Gabriel Naesman wrote to Sweden: "As to my
congregation, the people at first were scattered among other
congregations, and among the sects which are tolerated here, and it is
with difficulty that I gather them again to some extent. The great lack
of harmony prevailing among the members makes my congregation seem like
a kingdom not at one with itself, and therefore near its ruin." (335.)
The unionism indulged in also accounts for the trouble which the Swedes
experienced with the emissaries of Zinzendorf: L. T. Nyberg, Abr.
Reinke, and P. D. Bryzelius (who severed his connection with the
Moravians in 1760, became a member of the Pennsylvania Synod, and in
1767 was ordained by the Bishop of London). Unionism paved the way, and
naturally led to the final undoing of the Lutheran Swedes in Delaware.
It was but in keeping with the unionism advised from Sweden, practised
in Delaware, and indulged in to the limit by himself, when Provost
Wrangel gave the final _coup de grace_ to the first Lutheran Church in
America. Dr. Wrangel, the bosom-friend of H. M. Muhlenberg, openly and
extensively fraternized not only with the Episcopalians, but also with
the Reformed, the Presbyterians (in Princeton), and the Methodists,
notably the revivalist Whitefield. And, evidently foreseeing the early
and unavoidable _debacle_ of Swedish Lutheranism in Delaware, von
Wrangel, at his departure for Sweden, suffered the Episcopalians to use
him as a tool to deliver the poor, weakened, and oppressed
congregations, whose leader he had been, into the hands of the
Anglicans. (392.) On his way home Wrangel carried with him an important
letter of introduction from the Episcopalian Richard Peters to the
Bishop of London, the ecclesiastical superior of the Anglican ministers
and congregations in the American Colonies. The letter, dated August 30,
1768, reads, in part: "Now Dr. Wrangel intends to utilize properly the
general aversion [in Delaware] to the Presbyterians in order to unite
the great mass of Lutherans and Swedes with with the Church of England,
which, as you know, is but small numerically and in humble circumstances
in this province; through union with the German Lutherans, however, we
both would become respectable. According to Dr. Smith's and my opinion
this could be effected through our Academy. In it we could establish a
theological professorship; then German and English young men could be
educated, and as their training would embrace both languages, they could
preach German as well as English at places where both nations are mixed.
That would unite us all and make us one people in life and love. It is a
happy thought. I would desire your Excellency to speak with Dr. Wrangel,
and encourage him as much as possible. In this matter I have written to
the two archbishops, asking them to consider it carefully together with
your Excellency. I am sure that now the opportunity is good to bring
this desirable affair to a happy conclusion." (394.) In a document dated
June 25, 1789, the Swedish government served official notice on the
congregations in America that in future they could no longer expect help
from Sweden, alleging that, whereas "the purpose, the Swedish tongue,"
had come to an end, it was but just that in future also the
disbursements in Sweden should be discontinued. (401.) The result was
that one congregation after another united with the Episcopalians. By
1846 the Lutheran name had disappeared from the last charter. Thus the
entire Swedish mission territory, all of whose congregations exist to
the present day, was lost to the Lutheran Church. The chief causes of
this loss were: unionism, hierarchical paternalism, interference from
Sweden, the failure to provide for schools and for the training of
suitable pastors, and the lack of Swedish and, later, of English
Lutheran literature. The report of the Pennsylvania Ministerium of 1762
remarks: "For several generations the Swedish schools unfortunately have
been neglected in the Swedish congregations; Dr. Wrangel, however, has
organized an English school in one of his parishes where Luther's
Catechism is read in an English translation." From the very beginning
the foundations of the Lutheran structure along the Delaware were both
laid insecurely and undermined by its builders.


13. Banished by Archbishop Anton Firmian.--Like the Swedes in
Delaware, so also the Salzburg Lutherans in Georgia, as a Church, have
disappeared in the course of years. The story of their vicissitudes and
especially of their colony Ebenezer, however, has retained a peculiar
charm. On Reformation Day of 1731 the cruel Archbishop Anton, Knight of
Firmian, issued a manifesto which ordered the Evangelicals of Salzburg,
Austria, either to return to the bosom of the Catholic Church, or to
emigrate, leaving their property and their young children behind them.
Some eighteen thousand Lutherans chose banishment rather than deny the
faith that was in them. On their journey the exiles awakened lively
sympathy by singing their _Exulantenlied_ (Hymn of the Exiles) which
Joseph Schaitberger had composed for those banished In 1685. The eleven
stanzas of this hymn read in the original as follows: "1. I bin ein
armer Exulant, A so tu i mi schreiba; Ma tuet mi aus dem Vaterland Um
Gottes Wort vertreiba. 2. Das wass i wohl, Herr Jesu Christ, Es is dir a
so ganga. Itzt will i dein Nachfolger sein; Herr, mach's nach deim
Verlanga! 3. A Pilgrim bin i halt numehr, Muss reise fremde Strossa; Das
bitt i di, mein Gott und Herr, Du wirst mi nit verlossa. 4. Den Glauba
hob i frei bekennt, Des derf i mi nit schaema, Wenn ma mi glei ein
Ketzer nennt Und tuet mir's Leba nehma. 5. Ketta und Banda wor mir en
Ehr Um Jesu willa z' dulda, Und dieses macht die Glaubenslehr Und nit
mei boes Verschulda. 6. Muss i glei in das Elend fort, Will i mi do nit
wehra; So hoff i do, Gott wird mir dort Och gute Fruend beschera. 7.
Herr, wie du willt, i gib mi drein, Bei dir will i verbleiba; I will mi
gern dem Wille dein Geduldig unterschreiba. 8. Muss i glei fort, in
Gottes Nam! Und wird mir ales g'nomma, So wass i wohl, die Himmelskron
Wer i amal bekomma. 9. So muss i heut von meinem Haus, Die Kinderl muss
i lossa. Mei Gott, es treibt mir Zaehrel aus, Zu wandern fremde Strossa.
10. Mein Gott, fuehr mi in ene Stodt, Wo i dein Wort kann hoba, Darin
will i di frueh und spot In meinem Herzel loba. 11. Soll i in diesem
Jammertal Noch laenger in Armut leba, So hoff i do, Gott wird mir dort
Ein bessre Wohnung geba."--The cruelly persecuted and banished
Salzburgers were hospitably received in Prussia and Holland, where many
found a permanent home. Others resolved to emigrate to Georgia, where,
through the mediation of Dr. Urlsperger of Augsburg and the court
preacher Ziegenhagen of London, the British government promised them
religious liberty and other advantages.

14. Ebenezer in Georgia.--The first ninety-one persons of the
Salzburg colony, which later numbered about 1,200 souls, landed at
Savannah, March 10, 1734. They were accompanied by Pastors John Martin
Bolzius and Israel Christian Gronau, who had received their education at
Halle. Governor Oglethorpe led the immigrants twenty-three miles
northwest of their landing-place, where they erected a monument of
stones and called the settlement Ebenezer. Seven years later (1741)
Jerusalem Church was built, for which also Whitefield had made
collections in Europe. In 1743 a second church was dedicated in the
country. Dr. Graebner records the following statistics: "In 1743 the
congregation numbered 279 souls: 81 men, 70 married women, 6 widows, 52
boys, 59 girls, and 11 maid-servants." (554.) In 1744 the Salzburgers
celebrated the tenth anniversary of their deliverance on the tenth of
March, a day which was annually observed by them as a day of
thanksgiving. Sorrow followed the joyous celebration, for in the
following year, January 11, 1745, their beloved Pastor Gronau was called
to his eternal reward. Dwelling on Gronau's edifying death, Bolzius
wrote in a letter dated January 14, 1845: "His heart was in deep
communion with the dear Savior. With profound desire he received the
Lord's Supper a few days before his dissolution. He distinctly
recognized all who surrounded him [when he was dying], and exhorted them
to praise God. It seemed, and such was also inferred from his words, as
though, like Stephen, he saw something extraordinarily beautiful and
glorious. At last, after stretching forth his hands and taking leave of
all, he directed his folded hands toward heaven, praying and praising
God. Finally, saying, 'Do come, Lord Jesus, Amen, Amen, Amen!' he closed
his eyes and mouth, and entered peacefully into the joy of God." (556.)
Gronau was succeeded by Pastor H. H. Lemke, of Schaumburg, who
previously had been active in the institutions at Halle. His diploma of
vocation was signed by Samuel Urlsperger in the stead and name of the
English Society for the Promotion of the Knowledge of Christ. Thus
Ebenezer was actually the foundation of a mission society whose members
were for the most part adherents of the Reformed Church. In 1742 Pastor
John Ulrich Driessler had been called to the congregation of Frederica,
south of Savannah. He entered upon his labors in 1744, and died three
years later. In the following years several ships arrived bringing
emigrants from Swabia. To meet the growing needs Pastor Chr. Rabenhorst
was sent to the colony in 1753. In 1765 Pastor Bolzius died, sixty-two
years old, repeating the words: "Father, I will that they also whom
Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory
which Thou hast given Me." (John 17, 24.) None of the three pastors, who
were easily able to minister to the spiritual needs of the colony,
displayed a missionary spirit in any marked degree.

15. Dissension and Disintegration.--While Bolzius, Lemke, and
Rabenhorst had labored together in harmony, dissension and strife began
to blast the blissful peace and quiet contentment of Ebenezer, when,
after the death also of Lemke, Pastor C. F. Triebner arrived in 1773.
The congregation was torn by factions, the minority siding with Triebner
in his bitter opposition to Rabenhorst. When the majority refused
Triebner permission to officiate in the church, the minority forced the
doors. After a new lock had been secured by the majority, the minority
began to conduct separate services in the home of John Wertsch, and
entered suit before the Governor of Georgia. This brought about the
loss of their church property, the Governor, in accordance with the
express wording of the patent grant of April 2, 1771, deeding Jerusalem
Church to the Episcopalians. The patent contained the provision: "...
for the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of two ministers of the
Gospel, residents within the parish aforesaid, using and exercising
divine service according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of
England within the said parish and their successors forever." (599.) In
1774 Muhlenberg arrived, commissioned by the "English Society" to
conduct an investigation and restore peace. A reconciliation was
effected, and articles of agreement were signed by the pastors and the
members of the congregation. Before long, however, the old discord broke
out again and continued unabated until the death of Pastor Rabenhorst in
1777. Triebner now secured a firm footing in the congregation. But new
storms were brewing for the poor people. In 1775 the War of Independence
had broken out, in which Triebner not only espoused the cause of England
himself, but urged his congregation to do the same, thereby bringing
untold misery upon Ebenezer. Triebner, taken captive and severely dealt
with, finally found his way back to Europe. After the war Ebenezer
presented a sad spectacle. Soldiers had used the church as a hospital
and stable; Rabenhorst's home had been given to the flames; fields were
laid waste; and the inhabitants were scattered and despoiled of their
property. The congregation, however, recovered, and through the
endeavors of Urlsperger received a new pastor in the person of John
Ernest Bergmann, who had studied at Leipzig. In 1785 he assumed the
duties at Ebenezer, formerly discharged by two and three pastors. But,
though a diligent worker, Bergmann was not a faithful Lutheran, nor did
he build up a truly Lutheran congregation. There came a time when but
very little of Lutheranism was to be found in the old colony of the
Salzburgers. (600.) During Bergmann's long pastorate, which was
conducted in the German language exclusively until 1824, the
Americanized young people gradually began to drift away from the mother
church. However, to the present day descendants of the Salzburgers are
found in the Lutheran congregations of Savannah and of the Georgia


16. Persecuted in New Amsterdam.--In the first part of the seventeenth
century the Lutheran Church was by law prohibited and oppressed in the
United Netherlands. When the power of the papists had come to an end,
Reformed tendencies gained the ascendency, and Calvinists reaped where
Lutherans had sowed with tears. While claiming to be adherents of the
Augsburg Confession, they persecuted the Lutherans, forbidding all
Lutheran worship in public meeting-houses as well as in private
dwellings. Nevertheless the Lutheran Church not only continued to exist,
but even made some headway in Amsterdam, Antwerp, and other places. The
greatest handicap, however, which also prevented the Dutch Lutherans
from developing any missionary activity, was the lack of a native
ministry thoroughly conversant with the language of the people.
Conditions similar to those in Holland obtained in the American
colonies. Like the mother country, New Amsterdam had a law prohibiting
the exercise of any religion save that of the Reformed faith. Sanford H.
Cobb, in his work _The Rise of Religious Liberty in America_, quotes the
law as follows: "No other religion shall be publicly admitted in New
Netherland except the Reformed, as it is at present preached and
practised by public authority in the United Netherlands; and for this
purpose the [Dutch West India] Company shall provide and maintain good
and suitable preachers, schoolmasters, and comforters of the sick
(Ziekentrooster)." (303, 321 f.) However, the report of the Jesuit
Jogues, who sojourned in the colony in about 1642, shows that this law
was not strictly enforced during the first part of the century. Also the
Lutherans were permitted to conduct reading-services in their homes. But
when the Dutch and German Lutherans (the former having arrived in New
Amsterdam probably as early as 1624) had organized a congregation in
1648, and in 1653 requested the authorities to grant them permission to
call a Lutheran pastor, they received a curt refusal at the hands of the
governor, Peter Stuyvesant. The two Reformed domines, Megapolensis, who
had arrived in 1649, and Drisius, who came in 1652 (the successors to
Michaelius, who came over in 1623, and Bogardus, who followed him in
1632), proved to be the most bigoted and fanatical in the opposition to
the request of the Lutherans. Instead of their petition being granted,
the Lutherans were now forced to have their children baptized in the
Reformed churches by Reformed pastors, and to promise to bring them up
in the Confession of Dort; and private services in dwellings were made
punishable with severe penalties. Peter Stuyvesant, who was also deacon
of the Reformed Church, declared at the close of a session of the
church council, that, if any one ever dared to appeal from his decision
to the authorities in Holland, he would reduce his stature by the
length of his head and send him back to the old country in pieces. But
the Lutherans were not intimidated. When Stuyvesant denied their
request for a Lutheran pastor, they appealed to the authorities
overseas. The two Reformed domines also sent a letter to Holland,
setting forth the dire consequences which were bound to follow in the
wake of such religious toleration.

17. Moderation Advised.--The authorities in Holland agreed with the
intolerant domines and directed Stuyvesant to allow none but the
Reformed religion. Yet, while denying the request of the Lutherans,
they, at the same time, urged the governor to employ mildness and
moderate means in dealing with them. Cobb gives the following
translation of these instructions: "We have decided absolutely to deny
the request made by some of our inhabitants, adherents of the Augsburg
Confession, for a preacher and free exercise of their religion, pursuant
to the custom hitherto observed by us and the West India Company, on
account of the consequences arising therefrom; and we recommend to you
also not to receive any similar petitions, but rather to turn them off
in the most civil and least offensive way, and to employ all possible,
but moderate means to induce them to listen and finally join the
Reformed Church." (313.) The letter was dated February 26, 1654. But
notwithstanding this rebuff, the Lutherans persisted in their demand,
and held religious services in their houses without a minister,
declaring that "Heaven was above law." This excited the wrath of the
autocratic governor, who was not accustomed to brook opposition, nor
knew how to employ mildness, wisdom, and "moderate means" in dealing
with anybody, least of all with the Lutherans. Instead of persuasion he
employed force; and instead of trying "the most civil and least
offensive way," he resorted to harsh and most offensive measures. On
February 1, 1656, a stringent "Ordinance against Conventicles" was
posted, which ran: "Some unqualified persons in such meetings assume the
ministerial office, the expounding and explanation of the holy Word of
God, without being called or appointed thereto by ecclesiastical or
civil authority, which is in direct contravention and opposition to the
general Civil and Ecclesiastical order of our Fatherland, besides that
many dangerous heresies and schisms are to be apprehended. Therefore,
the director-general and council . . . absolutely and expressly forbid
all such conventicles and meetings, whether public or private, differing
from the customary, and not only lawful, but scripturally founded and
ordained meetings of the Reformed divine service, as this is observed
. . . according to the Synod of Dordrecht." The penalties imposed by the
act were 100 _Flemish_ Pounds for the preacher and 25 Pounds for every
attendant at such services. (317.) A number of Lutherans were cast into
prison. Realizing that such harsh measures would prove hurtful to their
business interests, the authorities in Holland, in an order dated June
14, 1656, rebuked Stuyvesant for his high-handed procedure, saying: "We
should have gladly seen that your Honor had not posted up the
transmitted edict against the Lutherans, and had not punished them by
imprisonment, . . . inasmuch as it has always been our intention to
treat them with all peaceableness and quietness. Wherefore, your Honor
shall not cause any more such or similar edicts to be published without
our previous knowledge, but suffer the matter to pass in silence, and
permit them their free worship in their houses." (314.)

18. Johannes Ernestus Gutwasser.--Evidently, to the Lutherans the time
seemed favorable to renew their urgent requests for a pastor of their
own. And in July, 1657, Johannes Ernestus Gutwasser (not Goetwater, or
Gutwater, or Goetwasser), a German, sent by the Lutheran Consistory of
Amsterdam, arrived on Manhattan Island. Great was the fury of the
Reformed domines and vehement their clamor for his immediate return.
They wrote a letter to the classis in Amsterdam in which, according to
Cobb, "they relate that 'a Lutheran preacher, Goetwater, arrived to the
great joy of the Lutherans and the especial discontent and
disappointment of the congregation of this place, yea, of the whole
land, even the English. We went to the Director-General,' who summoned
Goetwater, and found that he had as credentials only a letter from a
Lutheran consistory in Europe to the Lutheran Church in New Amsterdam.
The governor ordered him not to preach, even in a private house. The
domines lament, 'We already have the snake in our bosom,' and urge
Stuyvesant to open the consistory's letter, which, oddly enough, he
refused to do, but consented to the ministers' demand that Goetwater be
sent back in the ship that brought him. [']Now this Lutheran parson,'
the Dutch ministers conclude, 'is a man of a godless and scandalous
life; a rolling, rollicking, unseemly carl, who is more inclined to
look into the wine-can than to pore over the Bible, and would rather
drink a can of brandy for two hours than preach one.'" (315.) But,
though maligned and persecuted, Gutwasser did not suffer himself to be
intimidated, and even begun to preach. So great and persistent, however,
was the fury of the fanatics that he was finally compelled to yield and
return to Holland, in 1659. The second Lutheran pastor to arrive on
Manhattan Island while the Dutch were still in power was Abelius
Zetskorn, whom Stuyvesant directed to the Dutch settlement of New Amstel
(New Castle) on the Delaware. The tyranny of Stuyvesant, however, was
abruptly ended when in 1664 the English fleet sailed into the harbor and
compelled the surrender of New Amsterdam. In the Articles of
Capitulation it was specifically agreed that "the Dutch here shall enjoy
the liberty of their consciences in divine worship and church
discipline." And according to the proclamation of the Duke of York, also
the Lutherans were granted religious liberty, "as long as His Royal
Highness shall not order otherwise."


19. Fabricius, Arensius, Falckner in New York.--In 1669, five years
after the fall of New Amsterdam, Magister Jacobus Fabricius was sent
over by the Lutheran Consistory of Amsterdam to minister to the
Lutherans in New York and Albany. Being of a churlish and quarrelsome
nature, he soon fell out with the authorities of Albany and was banished
from the town. The New York congregation was torn by factions, many
demanding the resignation of Fabricius on the ground of "deportment
unbecoming a pastor." The matter was even carried before the governor. A
solution of the problem was brought about through the arrival of a new
pastor from Holland in the person of Bernhardus Arensius (Arnzius).
Fabricius obtained permission to install Arensius as his successor, and
went to Delaware, where he labored among the Dutch and Swedish
Lutherans. Arensius continued to serve the Lutherans in New York and
Albany from 1671 to 1691. The mildness and firmness which he displayed
in trying circumstances repaired the harm done by Fabricius. Dr.
Graebner says: "In Pastor Arnzius the Dutch Lutheran congregations on
the Hudson had an excellent preacher and pastor, a man of whom they had
no cause whatever to be ashamed. Above all he was a sound Lutheran,
whose opposition to any and all church-fellowship with the Reformed was
so decided that he abstained even from cultivating social intercourse
with the pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church, although it would seem
that the existing conditions called for it." (70.) After the death of
Pastor Arensius, in 1691, a long vacancy ensued, lasting till 1702, when
Pastor Rudman, a Swede from Philadelphia, acceding to their repeated
requests, took charge of the congregation in New York. But finding
himself unequal to the task of regulating their deranged affairs, he
resigned in 1703. Rudman was succeeded by Justus Falckner, who was
ordained November 25, 1703, in the Swedish Gloria Dei Church of Wicaco,
by Rudman, Bjoerk, and Sandel, the first Lutheran ordination in America.
The new pastor, who arrived in New York on December 2, 1703, proved to
be a true Lutheran, a faithful shepherd of the flock committed to his
care, among which he labored with much blessing for a period of twenty
years. Graebner says: "It is a most pleasing, captivating figure that
we behold in Pastor Justus Falckner during the twenty years of his
activity, a man of excellent parts, of splendid knowledge, of a delicate
disposition, of a truly pious frame of mind, of a decidedly Lutheran
standpoint, of active and enduring diligence in his office, in short, an
all-round pastor. He had assumed the duties of his office with the
consciousness that he was able to accomplish nothing without the
gracious assistance of God; that God would grant him sufficiency was the
fervent prayer of his heart." (94.) Justus Falckner, born November 22,
1672, was the fourth son of Daniel Falckner, Lutheran pastor at
Langenreinsdorf, Crimmitschau, and Zwickau, Saxony. He entered the
University of Halle, January 20, 1693, and studied theology under A. H.
Francke. He completed his course, but shrank from assuming the
tremendous responsibility of the ministry. On April 23, 1700, he
acquired the power of attorney for the sale of William Penn's lands in
Pennsylvania, and left with his older brother, Daniel, for America. In
1701 ten thousand acres of Penn's lands were sold to Provost Rudman and
other Swedes. Probably this transaction brought Rudman into closer
contact with J. Falckner, who also had attended the Swedish church in
Philadelphia. The result was that Falckner was ordained and placed in
charge of the congregations in New York and Albany. While a student at
Halle, Falckner wrote the hymn: "Auf! ihr Christen, Christi Glieder--
Rise, Ye Children of Salvation." (_Dict. of Hymnology_, 363.)

20. Falckner's Spirituality.--Falckner was of a spiritual and truly
pastoral frame of mind. He was a faithful and humble shepherd, who loved
the flock entrusted to him with all his heart. "God, the Father of all
goodness and Lord of great majesty, who hast thrust me into this
harvest, be with me, Thy humble and very weak laborer, with Thy special
grace, without which I must needs perish under the burden of temptations
which frequently descend upon me with violence. In Thee, Lord, have I
put my trust, let me not be confounded! Render me sufficient for my
calling. I have not run, but Thou hast sent, hast thrust me into this
office. Meanwhile forgive whatever, without my knowledge, my evil nature
may add; pardon me, who am humbly crying unto Thee, through our Lord
Jesus Christ. Amen." Such was the prayer with which, in classic Latin,
Falckner prefaced his entries in the church register. Following are some
of the prayers which he appended to his entries of baptisms: "O Lord,
Lord, may this child, together with the three aforementioned Hackensack
children, be and remain recorded in the Book of Life, through Jesus
Christ. Amen." "God grant that also this child be and remain embraced in
Thy eternal grace and favor through Jesus Christ. Amen." "O Lord, may
this child be commended unto Thee for its temporal and eternal welfare,
through Jesus Christ. Amen." "May this child also, O Lord God, be and
remain an heiress of Thy Kingdom of Grace and of the glory which Christ
has obtained for us. Amen." "God grant that this child may overcome
Satan, the world, and its own corrupted nature, and with Christ reign
and triumph eternally for Christ's sake. Amen." "Lord Jesus, grant that
this child may taste and enjoy Thy sweet love and grace in time and
eternity." In 1704 Falckner baptized in his congregation at New York
"Maria, the daughter of Are of Guinea, a negro, and his wife Jora, both
Christians of our congregation." To the record of this baptism he added
the prayer: "Lord, merciful God, who regardest not the person of men,
but in every nation, he that feareth Thee and doeth right is accepted
before Thee: let this child be clothed with the white garment of
innocence and righteousness, and so remain, through Christ, the Redeemer
and Savior of all men. Amen." In later years, Falckner, after recording
the baptisms of an entire year, would add a prayer like the following:
"Lord, Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquities
and transgressions and sin: do not let one of the names above written be
blotted out of Thy Book, but let them be written and remain therein,
through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son. Amen." One of the intercessions
recorded with the entries of confirmations reads as follows: "Lord Jesus
Christ, should Satan seek to sift as wheat one or the other of these
members of Thy congregation, then do Thou pray for them to Thy heavenly
Father that their faith may not cease, for the sake of Thy holy merit.
Amen." Marriages are recorded with prayers like the following: "Grant,
Lord God, that also this union may redound to the honor of Thy holy
name, to the promotion of Thy kingdom, and to the temporal and eternal
blessing of those united, through Jesus Christ. Amen." Graebner remarks:
"What a gifted and sincerely pious pastoral frame of mind appears in the
entries of the noble man, whom God, in wonderful ways, led from far-away
Saxony to New York and here made a shepherd and teacher of the Dutch
Lutherans!" (94 ff.)

21. Distinctive Doctrines Stressed.--Tender love for his flock did not
silence Falckner's confessional Lutheranism, nor did it induce him to
keep doctrinal differences in the background. He was no unionist. On the
contrary, in order to protect the souls committed to his care from the
Reformed errors with which they came into contact everywhere, and to
enable them to confess and defend the Lutheran truth efficiently, he
emphasized and preached also the distinctive doctrines of the Lutheran
Church. Naturally, his congregation was imbued with the same spirit of
sound and determined Lutheranism. "The straitened circumstances of our
Dutch Lutherans," says Graebner, "might have suggested to their flesh to
seek a better understanding with the Dutch and English Reformed of the
city, and to sacrifice some of their Lutheranism, in order to win the
friendship as well as the support of these people. Indeed, we hear that
these Lutherans manfully confessed their Lutheran faith whenever they
came in contact with their Reformed compatriots. And Pastor Falckner was
repeatedly urged by members of his congregation to compile a booklet for
his parishioners in which the chief doctrines, especially the
distinctive doctrines concerning which they were often called upon to
make confession, would be briefly set forth, together with the necessary
proof-passages. Falckner acceded to these requests. In 1708 he published
a book entitled 'Thorough Instruction (Grondlycke Onderricht) concerning
Certain Chief Articles of the True, Pure, Saving, Christian Doctrine,
Based upon the Foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Jesus Christ
Himself Being the Chief Corner-stone.'" It was the first book to appear
from the pen of a Lutheran pastor in America, and till the awakening of
Confessional Lutheranism the only uncompromising presentation of
Lutheran doctrine. V. E. Loescher praised it as being an
"Anti-Calvinistic Compend of Doctrine, Compendium Doctrinae
Anti-Calvinianum." The chapter on the "Freedom of the Will," which is
embodied in Graebner's _History of the Lutheran Church in America_,
bespeaks theological acumen and clarity on the part of the author. In
simple catechetical form, together with most appropriate Bible-passages,
Falckner presents the following truths: Having lost the divine image,
man, by his own natural free will, can neither understand, will, nor do
that which is spiritually right, good, and pleasing to God. Man is
converted to God and to all that is "thoroughly good" only by the grace
and power of God. It is God's pleasure to work in every man in order
that he may will and do that which is good. The reason why this is not
accomplished in all men is, because many wilfully resist the work of
God's grace, despise the means of conversion, and thus, by their own
stubborn and evil wills, frustrate the good and gracious will of God.
Man has a _free_ will; for he does the evil and rejects the good freely
and without constraint, without any compulsion on the part of God.
Furthermore, in external matters, which reason comprehends, man also has
a free will, in a measure. The will of a regenerate Christian is set
free, inasmuch as he is able to will that which is pleasing to God, by
faith in Jesus Christ, although, in this world, he is not able perfectly
to do that which is good. Falckner says: "I conceive this doctrine of
free will as follows: All the good which I will and do I ascribe to the
grace of God in Christ and to the working of His good Spirit within me,
render thanks to Him for it, and watch that I may traffic with the pound
of grace, Luke 19, which I have received, in order that more may be
given unto me, and that I may receive grace for grace out of the fulness
of grace in Jesus Christ. John 1, 16. On the contrary, all the evil
which I will and do I ascribe to my own evil will alone, which
maliciously deviates from God and His gracious will, and becomes one
with the will of the devil, the world, and sinful flesh. And I am
persuaded that if only my own will does not dishonestly, wilfully, and
stubbornly resist the converting gracious will of God, He, by His
Spirit, will bend and turn it toward that which is good, and, for the
sake of Christ's perfect obedience, will not regard, nor impute unto me,
the obstinacy cleaving to me by nature." In the introduction of the
book, which was written in the Dutch language, Falckner unequivocally
professes adherence to the Symbols of the Lutheran Church, the
confession of his fathers, "which confession and faith," he says, "by
the grace of God and the convincing testimony of His Word and Spirit,
also dwell in me, and shall continue to dwell in me until my last,
blessed end." (91 ff.)


22. Palatinates in Quassaic, East and West Camp.--Wearying of the
afflictions which the Thirty Years' War, the persecutions of Louis XIV,
and Elector John Wilhelm, who was a tool of the Jesuits, had brought
upon them, hosts of Palatinates came to America in quest of liberty and
happiness. The cruelties and barbarities which the French king, the
French officers, and the French soldiers perpetrated against innocent
men, women, and children are described by Macaulay as follows: "The
French commander announced to near half a million of human beings that
he granted them three days of grace. Soon the roads and fields, which
then lay deep in snow, were blackened by innumerable multitudes of men,
women, and children flying from their homes. Many died of cold and
hunger; but enough survived to fill the streets of all the cities of
Europe with lean and squalid beggars, who had once been thriving farmers
and shopkeepers. Meanwhile the work of destruction began. The flames
went up from every marketplace, every hamlet, every parish church, every
country seat, within the devoted provinces. The fields where the corn
had been sown were plowed up. The orchards were hewn down. No promise of
a harvest was left on the fertile plains where had once been
Frankenthal. Not a vine, not an almond tree, was to be seen on the
slopes of the sunny hills round what had once been Heidelberg." (Wolf,
_Lutherans in America_, 175.) Great numbers of emigrants from Hesse,
Baden, and Wuerttemberg whose fate had been similar to that of the
Palatinates, joined them. Permission to settle in the New World was
sought from the authorities in London, where in 1709, according to
various authorities, from ten to twenty thousand Palatines, as they were
all designated, were assembled, waiting for an opportunity to emigrate.
Joshua Kocherthal, Lutheran pastor at Landau in Bavaria, was the leader
of the emigrants from the Palatinate. In 1704 he went to London to make
the necessary arrangements. Two years later he published a booklet on
the proposed emigration. In 1708 he sailed for the New World with the
first fifty-three souls, landing in New York at the close of December,
1708, or the beginning of January, 1709, after a long and stormy voyage
lasting about four months. It was the first German Lutheran congregation
in the State of New York. After spending the winter in the city, they
settled on the right bank of the Hudson, near the mouth of the Quassaic,
where Newburgh is now located. Every person received a grant of fifty
acres and the congregation five hundred acres of church land, which,
however, the British Governor in 1750 awarded to the Episcopalians. In
July, 1709, Kocherthal, entrusting his congregation to the care of
Falckner, whose acquaintance he had made during the winter in New York,
returned to London to obtain, through a personal interview with the
Queen, grants of money which were needed to supply the utterly
destitute colonists with the necessary means of subsistence until the
land was made arable. He returned in June, 1710, with a multitude of
emigrants in eleven ships. But, while 3,000 had sailed from London,
only 2,200 were destined to reach their homes in the New World, 800
having died while en route and in quarantine on Governor's Island. A
tract of land comprising 40 acres for each person was assigned to them
at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, about 100 miles north of New
York. They settled on both sides of the Hudson, naming their settlements
East and West Camp, respectively.

23. Hewing Their Way to the Mohawk Valley.--The immigrants had been
promised prosperity; but the English officials were actuated by selfish
motives and shamefully exploited the colonists. They were ordered to
engage in the production of tar and pitch, and were treated as slaves
and Redemptioners, _i.e._, emigrants, shamefully defrauded by "the
Newlanders (Neulaender)," as Muhlenberg designated the conscienceless
Dutch agents who decoyed Germans from their homes and in America sold
them into slavery, at least temporarily. The contract for provisioning
the Palatinate colonists was let to Livingston, a cruel and greedy Scot,
from whom (Governor Hunter had purchased the land on which the
Palatinates were settled. Livingston now sought to enrich himself by
reducing both the quantity and quality of the food furnished to the
colonists. Hunger was common among the settlers, becoming especially
acute in winter, as they had not been given sufficient time to plant
crops for themselves. Dissatisfaction spread throughout the ranks of the
Palatinates, and when the Governor refused to heed their appeal for
relief, fifty families left the settlement and hewed their way through
the primeval forest to the Mohawk Valley, where they obtained fertile
lands from the Indians and founded the Schoharie congregation in the
winter of 1712/13. The governor declared the fugitives rebels; but still
more followed in March, making their way through three feet of snow. The
Lutherans of Schoharie were the first white people to live at peace with
the Indians. In order to obtain a clear title to the lands in the
Schoharie Valley, which the governor refused to grant them, John Conrad
Weiser was sent to England. On his way he was plundered by pirates; in
England he was thrown into a sponging house on account of debts. After
regaining his liberty, he was compelled to return to Schoharie broken in
health and without accomplishing his purpose. The result was that 33
families left Schoharie and settled in Tulpehocken, Pa., in 1723. Among
those who remained in West Camp was Pastor Kocherthal. He continued
faithfully to serve his congregations, including Schoharie, until his
end, December 27, 1719. He lies buried in West Camp. A weather-beaten
stone slab marks his resting-place. The inscription calls him "The
Joshua and pure Lutheran pastor of the High Germans in America on the
east and west bank of the Hudson." In the original the epitaph reads
complete as follows: "Wisse Wandersman Unter diesem Steine ruht nebst
seiner Sibylla Charlotte Ein rechter Wandersmann Der Hoch-Teutschen in
America ihr Josua Und derselben an Der ost und west seite Der Hudson
Rivier rein lutherischer Prediger Seine erste ankunft war mit L'd
Lovelace 1707/8 den 1. Januar Seine sweite mit Col. Hunter 1710 d. 14
Juny Seine Englandische reise unterbrach Seine Seelen Himmlische reise
an St. Johannis Tage 1719 Begherstu mehr zu wissen So unter Suche in
Welanchtons vaterland Wer war de Kocherthal Wer Harschias Wer
Winchonbach B. Berkenmayer S Heurtein L Brevort MDCCXLII." (111.) The
successors of Kocherthal were: Justus Falckner, until 1723; Daniel
Falckner, the brother of Justus, who had served several German
congregations along the Raritan, till 1725; Berkenmeyer; and from 1743
to 1788 Peter N. Sommer, who preached in thirteen other settlements and
baptized 84 Indians. He died October 27, 1795. Sommer's aversion to the
Halle pastors probably was the reason why he took no part in the
organization of the New York Ministerium at Albany in 1786.


24. Activity in New York.--In New York Falckner was succeeded by W.
Ch. Berkenmeyer (1686-1751). Berkenmeyer was born in the duchy of
Lueneburg and had studied theology at Altorf under Dr. Sontag, a
theologian whose maxim was, "Quo propius Luthero, eo melior theologus,
The closer to Luther, the better a theologian." Upon request of the New
York congregation the Lutheran Consistory of Amsterdam, in 1724, called
him to serve the Dutch congregations in the Hudson Valley. While _en
route_ to his new charge, he was informed that a vagabond preacher by
the name of J. B. von Dieren, a former tailor, had succeeded in
ingratiating himself with the New York Lutherans, and had been accepted
as their preacher. Nothing daunted, Berkenmeyer continued his journey,
landing at New York in 1725. At the first meeting of the Church Council
he won the hearts of all, even of those who had been instrumental in
foisting von Dieren upon the congregation, who now stood convicted as
an ignorant pretender, and therefore was dismissed. Dieren continued his
agitation in other Lutheran congregations until Berkenmeyer in 1728
published a tract fully exposing the character of the impudent impostor.
From the beginning Berkenmeyer's labors were blessed abundantly.
Bringing with him money collected by the Lutherans in Amsterdam and
receiving additional financial help from London and the congregations of
Daniel Falckner, Berkenmeyer was enabled to resume the building
operations in New York begun as early as 1670 (1705). On June 29, 1729,
the New Trinity Church was dedicated. Berkenmeyer's parish covered a
large territory. In addition to New York, Albany, and Loonenburg he
served the congregations at Hackensack, Raritan, Clavernack, Newton,
West Camp, Tar Bush, Camp, Rheinbeck (where a new church was dedicated
on the First Sunday in Advent, 1728), Schenectady, Coxsackie, and in the
Schoharie Valley. In Schoharie he baptized the infant daughter of Conrad
Weiser, who eighteen years later became the wife of Henry Melchior
Muhlenberg. In the absence of churches, Berkenmeyer preached in private
dwellings or, more frequently, in barns. At one of these services
fourteen children were baptized in the "Lutheran barn" of Pieter Lassing.
(176.) This immense parish was divided in 1731, Berkenmeyer removing to
Loonenburg. Pastor Christian Knoll of Holstein was called to take charge
of the southern congregations in and about New York. Berkenmeyer
delivered his farewell sermon November 26, 1732, and sixteen days later
Knoll preached his first sermon. In 1734 the Lutheran clergy received an
addition in the person of Magister Wolff, who succeeded the aged and
infirm Daniel Falckner at Raritan and five other congregations in New
Jersey. In the same year the three Lutheran pastors and a number of
congregations organized the first Lutheran Synod in America, with
Berkenmeyer as chairman. Its first and only convention of which we have
record was held at Raritan, August 20, 1735; nine congregations were
represented by delegates. The chief business of Synod was to settle a
quarrel between Wolff and his congregations, one of the charges
preferred against the pastor being that he read his sermons instead of
delivering them from memory ("statt aus dem Haupte zu predigen"). Peace
was restored, but temporarily only. Berkenmeyer continued his ministry
in Loonenburg for twenty years. Like other Lutheran divines of his day,
the Swedes and Salzburgers not excepted, he kept two slaves, whom he
himself united in marriage in 1744. Also during his declining years
Berkenmeyer experienced much sorrow. His end came on August 26, 1751.
The closing words of his epitaph are: "He has elected us in Christ
before the foundation of the world; there is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." In the same year Knoll,
who, owing to disputes arising from the language question, had been
compelled to resign at New York, took charge of the Loonenburg
congregation and continued there until 1765.

25. Berkenmeyer's Sturdy Lutheranism.--Though not clear in some points
and, at times, rigorous in discipline, Berkenmeyer stood for a sound and
decided Lutheranism. His orthodoxy appears from the very library which
he selected and brought with him for the congregation in New York,
consisting of twenty folios, fifty-two quartos, twenty-three octavos,
and six duodecimos, among them Calovius's _Biblia Illustrata_,
Balduinus's _Commentarius in Epistolas S. Pauli_, Dedekennus's
_Consilia_, Huelsemann's _De Auxiliis Gratiae_, Brochmand's _Systema,
etc_. Owing to his staunch orthodoxy, Berkenmeyer also had an aversion
to the Pietists, and refused to cooperate with Muhlenberg and his
colaborers from Halle. He disapproved of, and opposed, the unionistic
practises of the Swedish and Halle pastors. Speaking of Berkenmeyer's
pastorate in New York, Dr. Graebner remarks: "In a firm and faithful
manner he had preserved for himself and his congregation, both in
doctrine and practise, a staunch Lutheran character, which banished the
very thought of fraternizing with the heterodox. At the same time,
though a German theologian and commanding an easy, flexible, and
forceful Latin, he was a genial Dutchman among his Dutch parishioners,
perfectly adapting himself to their manners." (186.) He was firm and
consistent, but not fanatical, bigoted, or narrow. "In 1746, when the
Reformed pastor Freylinghausen lay ill with the smallpox at Albany,
Berkenmeyer visited him. But never did he establish an intimately
friendly intercourse with the Reformed pastors, and in church-matters
he was determined to keep himself and his people separate from the
Reformed. In the German congregations, such as those in and about
Newton, where Lutherans lived among the Reformed, with whom, after
suffering together with them, they had emigrated, warnings against
apostasy and unionistic practises were even more necessary than in the
Dutch congregations, especially, as the Reformed made concessions to
Lutherans uniting with them, _e.g._, by having the Lutheran children
recite the Lutheran Catechism in the catechetical instructions of
children (Christenlehren). Berkenmeyer, however, knew how to keep
awake the Lutheran conscience. When, in 1736, the Calvinists on the
Katsbaan, several miles from Newton, forbade their lector henceforth
to have the children recite the Lutheran Catechism, this led to a
declaration on the part of the Lutherans to the effect that they would
no longer attend services at their church. At Schoharie, Berkenmeyer
had to preach in the Reformed church; but that did not prevent him from
testifying against joint services. He declared that in such union,
without unity in the faith, the pastor was required to become 'either a
dumb dog or a mameluke'; the theme of his sermon here was: 'Our Duty to
Defend the Truth against the Gainsayers.'" (207.) The same earnestness
characterized Berkenmeyer's dealings with pastors, whom he recognized
only after they had confessed their Lutheranism in clear and unequivocal


26. Germans versus Dutch.--About 1742 the language question became
acute in New York. Dutch immigration had ceased, while Germans arrived
in ever increasing numbers. As a result the German communicants in New
York outnumbered the Dutch about 8 to 1. As the spokesmen of the German
element made unreasonable demands and met with unreasonable opposition
on the part of the Dutch, frequent and stormy meetings became the order
of the day. Pastor M. C. Knoll had labored faithfully; but, difficulties
constantly increasing, he lost control of the situation, and toward the
close of 1750 was compelled to resign his charge. Prior to this some of
the Germans had withdrawn from Trinity Church, and organized as Christ
Church, suffering themselves to be served by unworthy characters, such
as J. L. Hofgut, J. P. Ries, P. H. Rapp, J. G. Wiesner, and J. M.
Schaeffer. A better element having come into control, they called men
whom H. M. Muhlenberg recommended: I. N. Kurtz, who had been active in
Tulpehocken; I. G. Baugher (Bager), who came to America from Helmstedt
in 1752, served New York from 1754 to 1767, and died in 1794; J. 8.
Gerock, who was sent to America by the Consistory of Wuerttemberg in
1755, served in Lancaster, then in New York from 1767 to 1773, and died
in 1787; F. C. A. Muhlenberg, educated in Halle, who served Tulpehocken
in 1770, New York from 1773 to 1776, and (having fled from New York when
the British captured the city in the Revolutionary War) New Hanover in
1777. After 1779 F. C. A. Muhlenberg entered political life, being
elected a member of the Continental Congress and Speaker of the
Pennsylvania Legislature. He died in 1801. In the Dutch Trinity Church
peace was restored by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who served as Knoll's
successor from 1751 to 1753. Muhlenberg cultivated an intimate and
fraternal intercourse with the Reformed and Episcopalian pastors, and
inaugurated a period of pietism and unionism in New York. On his
departure he recommended Pastor J. A. Weygand, who had been serving the
Raritan congregations since his arrival, in 1748, from Halle. Weygand
remained in New York until 1767. In 1755 he published an English
translation of the Augsburg Confession. During his pastorate a parochial
school was organized and housed in a building erected for that purpose.
He died in 1770. Weygand's successor was Houseal (Hausihl), who had
emigrated from Strassburg in 1752. In 1771 he conducted the last service
in the Dutch language. In 1776 the church was reduced to ashes by the
great fire which destroyed about one-fourth of the city. Though losing
all his personal property, he rescued the documents and records of the
old congregation. Being an ardent loyalist, he received permission from
the British commander to use the Presbyterian church, where his services
were also attended by the Hessian troops of the army. When peace was
concluded, Houseal emigrated to Halifax, where he was ordained in the
Episcopal Church and made chaplain of the garrison. Here he died in

27. Union Lauded by Kunze and Schaeffer.--The two Lutheran
congregations in New York reunited in 1783. The first pastor to serve
them was J. C. Kunze. He was born in the vicinity of Mansfeld, received
his preparatory education at Halle and other schools, and studied
theology at the University of Leipzig. After a brief service in Halle,
Kunze was called to be third pastor in Philadelphia. He landed in New
York, September 22, 1770, accompanied by two sons of Muhlenberg, who
had studied in Halle. In Philadelphia, where he married Muhlenberg's
daughter, Kunze conducted a Seminary from 1773 till its close in 1776,
and then successively occupied the chairs of Philosophy and of Oriental
languages at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1773 this institution
awarded him the title of Doctor of Divinity. In the following year he
received the call from the reunited Lutheran congregation in New York,
which he accepted. He entered upon his new labors with great zeal, and
met with no little success, confirming 87 persons in the first six
months. Kunze laid especial stress upon the English, which hitherto had
been greatly neglected. He also educated young men for the English
ministry. A year after his arrival in New York he published "The
Rudiments of the Shorter Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther," and ten years
later, 1795, the first English Ev. Lutheran Hymn- and Prayer-book. In
the same year he issued a new translation of the Small Catechism,
containing, besides the six chief parts, also, the Christian Questions,
103 fundamental questions, and a "Systematic Presentation of the Order
of Salvation." (527.) Kunze was also the first president of the New
York Ministerium, organized at Albany in 1786. At his burial, in 1807,
the Reformed Pastor Runkel delivered the funeral oration. While a
learned man, a hard worker, a man of great influence, a man also who
sought to familiarize not only the German, but also the English element
of his church with the doctrines of the Catechism, Kunze was not a
sound and staunch Lutheran on the order of Berkenmeyer or Falckner. He
had no adequate appreciation for the doctrinal differences which
separate the Lutherans and the Reformed. In the appendix to his Hymn-
and Prayer-book of 1795 Kunze wrote: "That the two Protestant Churches
have often shown animosities against one another is true and to be
lamented. But that such times are past is a truth more joyful than
another, which likewise ought not to be concealed, and [_viz_.] that
true piety in the Evangelical Church stands highly in need of a new and
energetic revival, and that it is doubtful in many cases whether the
present union of the two churches, which, however, every true Christian
will wish to be indissoluble, has its origin in enlightened ideas or in
worldly interest, in brotherly love or in indifference." (528.) Kunze's
pupil, G. Strebeck, who had been called to preach English in the Old
Congregation, organized an English Lutheran Church instead, and in 1804,
with a part of his English flock, united with the Episcopal Church. The
English congregation now called as its pastor a man who had been
excommunicated from the Presbyterian Church on account of Chiliasm, who,
in turn, was succeeded by a former Methodist preacher, under whom, in
1810, the entire congregation followed Strebeck into the Episcopalian

28. Reformation Jubilee in 1817.--In the mother congregation Kunze,
who died 1807, was succeeded by F. W. Geissenhainer. When the latter
was no longer able to supply the growing need for English services, F.
C. Schaeffer was called in his stead, with the duty expressly imposed
upon him of preaching also in English. In 1817, at the tercentenary of
the Reformation, Schaeffer arranged a great celebration in which he was
assisted by an Episcopalian, a Reformed, and a Moravian pastor. _Dr.
Spaeth:_ "Here also [in America, as in Prussia] a great Reformation
Jubilee was celebrated in 1817. Here also it was, in the first place,
of a unionistic character. The Ministerium of Pennsylvania invited the
Moravians, Episcopalians, Reformed, and Presbyterians to unite with
them in this celebration. In the city of New York the eloquent Lutheran
pastor, F. C. Schaeffer, having kept the jubilee in the morning with his
own congregation, delivered an English discourse in the afternoon in St.
Paul's Episcopal Church on the text, 'I believe, therefore I have
spoken.' Thousands were unable to find admittance to the service, so
great was the throng." (_C. P. Krauth_, 1, 322.) Rejoicing in the
growth of unionism, Schaeffer said in his sermon: "In Germany, the
cradle of the Reformation, the 'Protestants' are daily becoming more
united in the bond of Christian charity. Whilst the asperities, which
indeed too often affected the Great Reformers themselves, no longer
give umbrage; whilst the most laudable and beneficial exertions are
universally made by evangelical Christians to remove every sectarian
barrier, the 'Evangelical Church,' extending her pale, becomes more
firmly established. And though we have melancholy evidence that the
state and disposition of the present Romish Church calls loudly for a
reformation, we must not omit the pleasing fact that many of her worthy
members are conscientiously alive to the cause of truth and enlightened
Christianity." (G., 654.) But, instead of more firmly establishing the
Lutheran Church, the indifferentism and unionism introduced into New
York by the Halle Pietists soon opened wide her gates to a flood of


29. Eliminating Confession.--In 1786 the New York Ministerium was
organized in Albany, N. Y., by Pastors Kunze, of New York City, H.
Moeller, of Albany, and J. S. Schwerdfeger, of Fellstown, and two lay
delegates, one from New York, the other from Albany. Eight of the eleven
pastors in this district took no part in the organization. Six years
elapsed before another meeting convened. The minutes of the first
convention state: "In view of the fact that only three pastors and two
delegates appeared, those present considered it advisable to look upon
themselves only as a committee of the Lutheran Church in the State of
New York." The _Lutheran Cyclopaedia_ says: "Though no records prior
to the meeting at Albany are extant, Dr. Kunze stated in 1795, and
again in 1800, that the New York Ministerium, revived in 1786, had been
organized as early as 1773 by F. A. C. Muhlenberg, then pastor in New
York." (490.) _Dr. Jacobs:_ "Concerning the fact that any meeting was
actually held, we are in ignorance; but Dr. Kunze, who ought to be most
competent authority, declares: 'To the late Dr. Henry Muhlenberg
belongs the immortal honor of having formed in Pennsylvania a regular
ministry, and, what is somewhat remarkable, to one of his sons, who
officiated as Lutheran minister from the year 1773 to 1776 in the city
of New York, that of having formed the Evangelical Ministry of New York
State.' The thought was carried out in 1786." (300.) In a letter to his
father, then visiting in Georgia, F. A. C. Muhlenberg mentions a
meeting of the Lutheran ministers in the Province of New York, planned
for April, 1774. (Graebner, 450.) The Ministerium organized at Albany
was a duplicate of the Pennsylvania Ministerium. According to the
Minutes a resolution was adopted to regard "the constitution of the Ev.
Luth. Church of Pennsylvania as their law." (469.) In 1792 the New York
Ministerium adopted the new constitution of the Pennsylvania Synod,
which contained no reference to the Lutheran Confessions whatever,
merely retaining the name Lutheran. At the convention in Rheinbeck,
1797, Dr. Kunze being the leading spirit and president, the New York
Ministerium passed the notorious resolution: "Resolved, That, on account
of the intimate relation subsisting between the English Episcopalian and
Lutheran Churches, the identity of their doctrine, and the near approach
of their church-discipline, this consistory will never acknowledge a
newly erected Lutheran church in places where the members may partake of
the services of the said English Episcopal Church." (628.) Seven years
later this resolution was rescinded, not, indeed, for confessional
reasons, but in the interest of expediency and policy, because in 1804
G. Strebeck, with a part of his English congregation in New York, had
been received by the Episcopalians. Spaeth remarks with respect to the
Rheinbeck resolution: "A fitting parallel to this resolution is found in
the advances made by the Mother Synod of Pennsylvania toward a union
with the German Reformed Church, first in 1819 for the joint
establishment of a common Theological Seminary, and afterward, in 1822,
for a general union with the Evangelical Reformed Church. See Minutes of
1822." (_C.P. Krauth,_ 1,320.)

30. President Quitman the Rationalist.--The unionism and indifferentism
of the New York Ministerium naturally developed and merged into
Socinianism and Rationalism under its liberal, but most able and
influential leader, Dr. F. H. Quitman (1760-1832). "Quitman," says
Graebner, "was a stately person, over six feet in height and of
correspondingly broad and powerful build. Already at his entrance in
Halle, one of the professors greeted the nineteen-year-old giant with
the words, 'Quanta ossa! Quantum robur! What bones! What power!'" In his
subsequent intercourse with the polite world Quitman acquired a fine
tact and measured, dignified ways. At the same time he was a man of
excellent parts, a master at repartee, with a keen intellect and a firm
will, and in every respect a born leader." (532.) He was the only
Lutheran minister who ever received, and perhaps desired [?] [tr. note:
sic!] to receive, the degree of D. D. from Harvard University. Quitman,
a disciple of Teller and of Semler in Halle, was a determined
protagonist of German Rationalism. In 1807 this outspoken and consistent
Socinian was elected president of the New York Ministerium, remaining in
this office till 1825. When Quitman accepted the call to the Schoharie
congregations, which he served beginning with the year 1795, he vowed
that he would preach the truth according to the Word of God and "our
Symbolical Books." Before long, however, he began to reveal the true
inwardness of his character. In his revised edition of Kunze's
catechism, which appeared in 1804, authorized by Synod, the 94th of the
"Fundamental Questions," which treated of the real presence of the body
and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper, was omitted. Ten years later,
1814, in his own catechism, which was likewise published with the
approval of Synod, he omitted and denied such fundamental doctrines as
those of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the Vicarious Atonement,
Justification for the sake of Christ, etc. In this book Quitman and the
New York Ministerium declare: "The Gospel teaches us that Christ
suffered and died in order to seal with His blood the doctrine which He
had preached." (533.) Two years later a "Lutheran Hymn-book" appeared,
containing an un-Lutheran order of service, the Union formula of
distribution, a rationalistic order for the celebration of the Lord's
Supper, rationalistic prayers to the "great Father of the Universe,"
etc. Also this book appeared "by order of the Ev. Luth. Ministerium of
the State of New York," and with a preface signed by President Quitman
and Pastor Wackerhagen. (535.) When the tercentenary of the Reformation
was celebrated, Quitman, again by order of the New York Ministerium,
published several sermons bearing on this event. Here he says: "Reason
and Revelation are the only sources from which religious knowledge can
be drawn, and the norms according to which all religious questions ought
to be decided. . . . Are not both, Reason and Revelation, from heaven,
always in agreement and the one supporting the other?" Again: "The true
sense which the Reformers connected with the term 'faith' is still more
apparent from the XX. Article of the Augsburg Confession, where they
explicitly declare that faith 'which is productive of good works
justifies man before God.'" (653.) This rank Socinianism and
Rationalism of Quitman and the Ministerium became firmly intrenched and
was protected from attack by the constitution of 1816, which contained
the paragraph: "And we establish it as a fundamental rule of this
association that the person to be ordained shall not be required to make
any other engagement than this, that he will faithfully teach, as well
as perform all other ministerial duties, and regulate his walk and
conversation, according to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as
contained in Holy Scriptures, and that he will observe this constitution
while he remains a member of this Ministerium." (655.) Within the New
York Ministerium, therefore, ministers could no longer be required by
their congregations to pledge themselves on the Lutheran Confessions.
According to the constitution doctrinal discussions were permitted on
the floor of Synod, but only with the express proviso "that the
fundamental principle of Protestantism, the right of free research, be
not infringed upon, and that no endeavor be made to elevate the
Ministerium to an inquisitorial tribunal." (679.) Thus the entire
heritage of the Reformation, together with its Scriptural principle and
cardinal doctrine of justification by faith, had gone by the board, the
unionism and indifferentism of the Halle pastors having served as the
first entering wedge--just as in Halle Pietism and subjectivism, an
essentially Reformed growth, foreign to sound objective Lutheranism, had
given birth to the ugly child, afterwards, when grown up, named
_Rationalismus Vulgaris_.


31. The Eccentric Wandering Bachelor.--Hartwick (Hartwig, Hartwich,
Hardwick) was born 1714 in Thuringia, Saxony. Coming to New York in
1746, Berkenmeyer had him subscribe to the Loonenburg Church
constitution. His parish included the congregations at Rheinbeck, Camp,
Staatsburg, Ancrum, and Tar Bush. The capriciousness with which
Hartwick, who remained an eccentric bachelor all his life, performed his
pastoral duties soon gave rise to dissatisfaction. Complaints were
lodged against him with Berkenmeyer, who finally wrote against him
publicly. In 1750 Muhlenberg conducted a visitation in Hartwick's
congregations, and reports as follows: "He went to Pennsylvania too
often, and that without the permission of his congregations, etc. He
did not sufficiently prepare the young for confirmation, by simple
instruction in the Catechism; is too austere in his dealings with the
people; does not always permit them to see him; does not maintain order
at public worship; begins services an hour or two after the time fixed;
has long hymns sung and preaches long, so that those who come from a
distance must drive till late into the night and are compelled to
neglect their cattle. He is headstrong (koppich), that is, self-willed,
and will not allow any one to tell him anything or to give him advice.
He says he did not come here to learn from the people, but to teach
them. Nor did he, said they, cultivate the friendship of the old
spiritual father Berkenmeyer, while pastors were to set a good example.
Such and similar were the complaints made by his opponents." (G., 412.)
The upshot of the deliberations was that Raus was appointed vicar of the
congregations, while Hartwick agreed to spend six months in
Pennsylvania, where he previously, 1748, had participated in the
organization of the Pennsylvania Synod. In 1752 Hartwick preached to the
Dutch congregation of New York, an honor that was denied him in 1750
because of his hostility to Berkenmeyer. January 8, 1751, Hartwick
addressed a pastoral letter to his congregations, in which he not only
displays a lack of Lutheran knowledge, but also refers to Berkenmeyer as
"brother Esau" and speaks of his opponents as "Edomites" and "Esauites."
In the spring of 1751 Hartwick returned to his congregations. When it
became impossible for him to maintain his position any longer, he went
to Reading, in 1757. In the following year he returned to Columbia and
Duchess Co., N. Y. Subsequently, wandering about aimlessly, he was seen,
now in Hackensack and Providence, now (1761) as Muhlenberg's successor
in the country congregations, then in Maryland, 1763 in Philadelphia,
then in Winchester, Va., 1767 in New York, attending the unionistic
church dedication, 1774 in Boston, and ten years later again in New
York, whither he returned to ingratiate himself with the Lutherans who
had not emigrated to Nova Scotia with Houseal. Known everywhere, but at
home nowhere, and usually an unwelcome guest, Hartwick died suddenly,
July 16, 1796, at East Camp. The last lines of the dreary inscription on
his tombstone are: "The brief span of our days is seventy to eighty
years, and though it was ever so precious, its sum is trouble and
sorrow. On the wings of time we hasten to a long eternity." In the
original the epitaph reads as follows: "Hier ruhet Johann C. Hartwich
Prediger der Evangelisch Lutherischen Kirche. gebohren in Sax Gotha de
6 Jenner 1714 Gestorben den 16 Julius 1706 Seines alters 82 Jahre 6
Monat.--Das kurzgesteckte Ziel der Tage Ist siebenzig is achtzig jahr
Ein innbegrif von muh und plage Auch wenn es noch so kostlich war.
Geflugelt eilt mit uns die zeit In eine lange ewigkeit." (657.)

32. Hartwick Seminary and Dr. Hazelius.--In 1754 Hartwick purchased
21,500 acres of land in Otsego Co., N. Y., which he endeavored to
colonize with a Lutheran congregation. "The lease was to contain a
clause pledging every colonist to unite with the church within a year;
to recognize Pastor Hartwick or his representative as his pastor and
spiritual adviser; to attend his services regularly, decently, and with
devotion; to contribute to the maintenance of the church, school, and
parsonage according to ability; to have his children baptized, and to
send them to school and confirmation instruction until they were
confirmed. The validity of the lease was to depend on the fulfilment of
these conditions." (454.) The plan failed, and Hartwick, in a will,
executed shortly before his death, left his estate, valued at about
$17,000, to found a theological seminary. Among the conditions were
that heathen authors should never be read in this institution, and that
a catechism be prepared and agreed upon by pastors of various churches,
in which, all controversial points being avoided, the essential
questions of the Christian religion were to be answered by classic
Bible-verses containing the Christian doctrines. A request was appended
to the will, in which Congress was asked to promote in every possible
way the undertaking planned by him "in the interest of humanizing,
civilizing, moralizing, and Christianizing, not only the aborigines of
North America, but all other barbarous peoples with whom the United
States may have connection or intercourse." (658.) In 1797 the income
of Hartwick's estate was used to pay Dr. J. C. Kunze, of New York, for
his theological instruction, Rev. A. T. Braun, of Albany, for
instruction in the classics, and Rev. J. F. Ernst for teaching the
children on the patent (Otsego County) where the seminary was to be
located. The foundation for a building was laid in 1812, which was
dedicated December 15, 1815, and opened by Dr. Hazelius and A. Quitman
(later renowned as a lawyer, statesman, and general) with 19 students.
A charter was obtained in 1816 containing the provision that the
director must always be a Lutheran theologian, and that the majority of
the trustees must be Lutherans. When the English congregations separated
from the New York Ministerium in 1867, Hartwick Seminary remained in
their hands. In 1871 the trustees requested the Franckean, Hartwick, New
York, and New Jersey Synods each to nominate three trustees, the
institution thus coming under the control of these synods. The first
director of Hartwick Seminary was Dr. Hazelius, who was born in Silesia
in 1777, and educated at the institution of the Moravians in Germany. He
came to America in 1800 and was made instructor in the classics at the
Moravian institution at Nazareth, Pa. Before long he was employed in the
theological department. In 1809, Hazelius was ordained as Lutheran
pastor of Germantown. He was connected with Hartwick Seminary for
fifteen years, when he was called to Gettysburg Seminary. Three years
later (1833) he accepted a call to the seminary of the South Carolina
Synod at Lexington, where he died in 1853. Hazelius, who did not leave
the Moravians for doctrinal reasons, held that Lutherans and Reformed do
not differ fundamentally. Accordingly, he also approved of distributing
the Lord's Supper at the same altar, to Lutherans according to their
practise, to others in the manner of the Reformed. The minutes of the
proceedings of the General Synod held at Winchester, Va., May 21, 1853,
record the following: "Whereas, It has pleased the God of all and Head
of the Church to remove from this transitory scene, and to take home to
Himself, our venerable and beloved father in Christ, the Rev. Ernest
Lewis Hazelius, D. D., we, who have been privileged to sit at his feet,
and to be instructed by him in the various departments of sacred
service, desire to unite in a public expression of our grief at his
departure from among us, and of our high regard for his name and memory;
therefore, Resolved, That we duly appreciate and gratefully acknowledge
the importance, efficiency, and happy results of his long, faithful, and
untiring labors as a minister of our Church; first a pastor, then, for
fifteen years, as the first professor and principal of Hartwick
Seminary, afterwards as professor at the Theological Seminary of this
body at Gettysburg, for two years, and, lastly, up to October, 1852, as
Professor of Theology at Lexington, in the Theological Seminary of the
Synod of South Carolina." (44.)


33. Early Germans in America.--In the Colonial days, next to the
English, the Germans were foremost in settling and developing our
country. Long before the Puritans thought of emigrating to America,
Germans had landed in various parts of the New World. As early as 1538,
J. Cromberger established a printing-office in the City of Mexico, from
which he issued numerous books. From 1528 to 1546 German explorers came
to Venezuela also with a printing-press and with fifty miners to explore
the mountains. A number of German craftsmen accompanied the first
English settlers who came with Captain John Smith to Virginia. Soon
after Henry Hudson had discovered the river which bears his name,
Christiansen, a German, became the explorer of that stream. He also
built the first homes on Manhattan Island, 1613, and laid the
foundations of New Amsterdam and Fort Nassau, the present cities of New
York and Albany. Peter Minuit (Minnewit), the first Director-General of
New Netherland, was also a German, born in Wesel, on the lower Rhine.
He arrived in New Amsterdam on May 4, 1626, and one of his first acts
was the purchase of Manhattan Island, 22,000 acres, from the Indians
for trinkets valued at $24. He remained at his post till 1631, when he,
soon after, became the founder and first director of New Sweden, at the
mouth of the Delaware River. He lost his life in the West Indies during
a hurricane. His successor in New Sweden was another German, Printz von
Buchau, during whose regime, from 1643 to 1654, the colony became very
successful and thereby aroused the jealousy of the Dutch, who, while
Buchau was on a trip to Europe, attacked the colony and annexed it to
New Netherland. When New Netherland, in 1664, fell a prey to the
English, the colony had among its citizens numerous Germans, most of
them Lutherans. A native of Hamburg, Nicholaus de Meyer, became
burgomaster of New York in 1676. Another German, Augustin Herrman, made
the first reliable maps of Maryland and Virginia. J. Lederer, a young
German scholar, who came to Jamestown in 1668, was the first to explore
Virginia and part of South Carolina. Lederer's itinerary, written in
Latin, was translated by Governor Talbot of Maryland into English and
published 1672 in London; etc. However, it was at Germantown, at
present a suburb of Philadelphia, that Germans broke ground for the
first permanent German settlement in North America. A group of
Mennonites, 33 persons, landed October 6, 1683. They were received by
William Penn and Franz Daniel Pastorius, a young lawyer from Frankfort
on the Main. In Germantown Gerhard Henkel preached before 1726, and St.
Michael's Church was begun 1730 and dedicated by the Swede J. Dylander
in 1737. Pastorius had landed in America with several families on
August 20 of the same year in advance of the Mennonite emigrants, in
order to prepare for their arrival. The official seal of Germantown
bore the inscription: "Vinum, Linum et Textrinum," the culture of
grapes, flax-growing, and the textile industries being the principal
occupations of the colony. In 1690 W. Rittenhaus established in
Germantown the first paper-mill in America. Here also Christopher Sauer,
a native of Westphalia, published the first newspaper in German type,
and in 1743 the first German Bible, antedating, by forty years, the
printing of any other Bible in America. The Germans in the cloister
Ephrata, Pa., established by the Tunker, or Dunkards, also owned a
printing-press, a paper-mill, and a bookbindery. They published, in
1749, the _Maertyrer-Spiegel_, a folio of 1514 pages, the greatest
literary undertaking of the American Colonies. To the Germans enumerated
must be added the German Reformed; the Moravians, who founded Bethlehem
and Nazareth in Pennsylvania; the Salzburgers in Georgia; the Palatines
in New York; etc. And what may be said of Germantown, is true also with
regard to Philadelphia. June 6, 1734, Baron von Reck wrote concerning
the conglomerate community of this city: "It is an abode of all
religions and sects, Lutherans, Reformed, Episcopalians, Presbyterians,
Catholics, Quakers, Dunkards, Mennonites, Sabbatarians, Seventh-day
Baptists, Separatists, Boehmists, Schwenkfeldians, Tuchfelder,
Wohlwuenscher, Jews, heathen, etc." (Jacobs, 191.) Concerning the
thrifty character and all-round good citizenship of the German
immigrants in Pennsylvania generally, McMaster remarks: "Wherever a
German farmer lived, there were industry, order, and thrift. The size of
the barns, the height the fences, the well-kept wheat fields and
orchards, marked off the domain of such farmer from the lands of his
shiftless Irish neighbor." "They were," says Scharf in his _History of
Maryland_, 2, 423, "an industrious, frugal, temperate people, tilling
their farms, accustomed to conflict with savage and other enemies on
the border, and distinguished for their bold and independent spirit."
(Jacobs, 235.) Also in the cause of liberty and humanity the German
immigrants in America stood in the front ranks.

34. First Anti-Slavery Declaration in America.--The importation of
negro slaves to America was practised by the English and Dutch since the
sixteenth century, without disapproval on the part of the Puritans and
Quakers, who boasted of being the fathers of liberty and the defenders
of human rights. The inhabitants of Germantown, led by Pastorius, were
the first to draw up, on February 18, 1688, a protest against this trade
in human flesh and blood. The remarkable document, addressed to the
meeting of the Quakers in Pennsylvania, reads as follows: "This is to ye
Monthly Meeting held at Richard Warrel's. These are the reasons why we
are against the traffick of men Body, as followeth: Is there any that
would be done or handled at this manner? to be sold or made a slave for
all the time of his life? How fearful and fainthearted are many on sea
when they see a strange vessel, being afraid it should be a Turk, and
they should be taken and sold for slaves into Turckey. Now what is this
better done as Turcks doe? Yea rather is it worse for them, which say
they are Christians; for we hear that ye most part of such Negers are
brought hither against their will and consent; and that many of them are
stollen. Now, tho' they are black, we cannot conceive there is more
liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white ones. There is
a saying, that we shall doe to all men, like as we will be done our
selves; making no difference of what generation, descent or colour they
are. And those who steal or robb men, and those who buy or purchase
them, are they not all alike? Here is liberty of conscience, which is
right and reasonable; here ought to be likewise liberty of ye body,
except of evildoers which is another case. But to bring men hither, or
to robb and sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe
there are many oppressed for conscience sake; and here there are those
oppressed which are of a black colour. And we, who know that men must
not commit adultery, some doe commit adultery in others, separating
wifes from their husbands and giving them to others; and some sell the
children of those poor creatures to other men. Oh! doe consider well
this things, you who doe it; if you would be done at this manner? and if
it is done according to Christianity? You surpass Holland and Germany in
this thing. This makes an ill report in all those countries of Europe,
where they hear off, that ye Quackers doe here handel men like they
handel there ye cattel. And for that reason some have no mind or
inclination to come hither, and who shall maintaine this your cause or
plaid for it? Truly we can not do so, except you shall inform us better
hereoff, that Christians have liberty to practise this things. Pray!
What thing on the world can be done worse towards us, then if men should
robb or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange countries,
separating housbands from their wifes and children. Being now this is
not done at that manner, we will be done at, therefore we contradict and
are against this traffick of menbody. And we who profess that it is not
lawful to steal, must likewise avoid to purchase such are stollen but
rather help to stop this robbing and stealing if possible; and such men
ought to be delivered out of ye hands of ye Robbers and sett free as
well as in Europe. Then is Pennsylvania to have a good report, instead
it hath now a bad one for this sacke in other countries. Especially
whereas ye Europeans are desirous to know in what manner ye Quackers doe
rule in their Province; and most of them doe look upon us with an
envious eye. But if this is done well, what shall we say is done evill?
If once these slaves (which they say are so wicked and stubborn men)
should joint themselves, fight for their freedom and handel their
masters and mastrisses as they did handel them before, will these
masters and mastrisses tacke the sword at hand and warr against these
poor slaves, like we are able to believe, some will not refuse to doe?
Or have these Negers not as much right to fight for their freedom, as
you have to keep them slaves? Now consider well this thing, if it is
good or bad? and in case you find it to be good to handel these blacks
at that manner, we desire and require you hereby lovingly, that you may
inform us here in, which at this time never was done, that Christians
have such a liberty to do so, to the end we shall be satisfied in this
point, and satisfie lickewise our good friends and acquaintances in our
natif country, to whose it is a terrour or fairfull thing that men
should be handeld so in Pennsylvania. This is from our Meeting at
Germantown held ye 18. of the 2. month 1688, to be delivered to the
monthly meeting at Richard Warrel's. gerret hendericks derick op de
graeff Francis Daniell Pastorius Abraham op Den graeff." (Cronau,
_German Achievements_, 20.) This protest was submitted at several
meetings of the Quakers. But it was not before 1711 that the Quakers
introduced "an act to prevent the importation of Negroes and Indians
into the province," and still later that they declared against
slave-trading. Also the Salzburgers in Georgia were opposed to slavery,
though Bolzius himself was compelled to buy slaves on account of the
lack of white laborers. The Germans also were first and most emphatic
in condemning the cruelties connected with the "white slavery" of the
so-called Redemptioners.


35. Cruelly Deceived by the Newlanders.--Toward the middle of the
eighteenth century there were some 80,000 Germans in Pennsylvania,
almost one-half of the entire inhabitants. In 1749 about 12,000 arrived.
Benjamin Franklin and others expressed the fear: "They come in such
numbers that they will soon be able to enforce their laws and language
upon us, and, uniting with the French, drive all Englishmen out." Many
of the Germans were so-called Redemptioners, who, in payment of their
freight, were sold and treated as slaves for a stipulated number of
years. Most of them had been shamefully deceived and decoyed into the
horrors of this "white slavery" by Dutch and English merchants and
conscienceless agents whom Muhlenberg called Newlanders (Neulaender).
In Holland they were called "soul-traders." By means of stories of the
fabulous wealth acquired in America they enticed Germans and other
emigrants into the signing of papers in the English language which not
only committed them and their children to slavery, but sometimes
separated husband and wife, parents and children. The following is an
instance of the revolting horrors connected with this trade: In 1793,
when the yellow fever prevailed in Chester, a cargo of Redemptioners
was sent thither, and a market for nurses opened. (Jacobs, 236.) In
Pennsylvania this kind of slavery continued from about 1740 to the
second decade of the nineteenth century. Quakers and other "friends of
liberty and humanity" exploited the system. Foremost among those who
exposed and condemned it were Germans, notably Muhlenberg, who described
the abominable business of the Newlanders as follows: "These Newlanders
first make themselves acquainted with the merchants in the Netherlands.
From them they receive, in addition to free freight, a certain
gratification (_douceur_) for each family or each unmarried person which
they enlist in Germany and bring to the traders in Holland. In order to
attain their object, they resort to all manner of tricks. As long as the
comedy requires it, they make a great show in dress, frequently look at
their watches, and make a pretense of great wealth, in order to excite a
desire within the hearts of people to emigrate to so happy and rich a
country. They give such descriptions of America as make one believe it
to contain nothing but Elysian fields, bearing seed of themselves,
without toil and labor, mountains full of solid gold and silver, and
wells pouring forth nothing but milk and honey, etc. Who goes as a
servant, becomes a lord; who goes as a maid, becomes a milady; a peasant
becomes a nobleman; a citizen and artisan, a baron!" Deceived and
allured by such stories, Muhlenberg continues, "The families break up,
sell what little they have, pay their debts, turn over what may be left
to the Newlanders for safe-keeping, and finally start on their journey.
Already the trip on the Rhine is put to their account. In Holland they
are not always able to depart immediately, and frequently they get a
small amount of money, advanced by the traders, on their account. The
expensive freight from Holland to America is added, also the head-money.
Before they leave Holland, they must sign a contract in the English
language. The Newlanders persuade and reassure the people [who, not
understanding the English, knew not what they were signing] that they,
as impartial friends, would see to it that, in the contract, no wrong
was done their countrymen. The more freight in persons a merchant and
captain can bring in a ship, the more profitable it is, provided that
they do not die _en route_, for then it may be disadvantageous. For this
reason the ships are kept clean, and every means is employed to deliver
healthy ware to the market. For a year or so they may not have been as
careful, suffering to die what could not live. When parents die on the
ships and leave children, the captains and the most intelligent of the
Newlanders, acting as guardians and orphan-fathers, take the chests and
inheritance in their safe-keeping, and the orphans, arriving on the
land, are sold for their own freight and the freight of their deceased
parents; the real little ones are given away, and the inheritance of
their parents just about pays for the manifold troubles caused to the
guardians. This crying deceit moved some well-disposed German
inhabitants of Pennsylvania, especially in and about Philadelphia, to
organize a society, which, as much as possible, would see to it that, at
the arrival of the poor emigrants, they were dealt with according to
justice and equity." When a ship of emigrants has arrived in the harbor
of Philadelphia, Muhlenberg proceeds, "the newcomers are led in
procession to the court-house, in order to take the oath of allegiance
to the King of Great Britain; then they are led back to the ship.
Hereupon the papers announce that so and so many German people are to be
sold for their freight. Whoever is able to pay his own freight receives
his freedom. Those having wealthy friends endeavor to obtain a loan from
them to pay the freight; but these are few. The ship is the market. The
buyers pick out some and bargain with them as to the years and days of
service, whereupon they make them bind themselves before the magistrate
by a written instrument for a certain period as their property. The
young, unmarried people of both sexes sell first, their lot being a good
or a bad one, for better or worse, according to the character of the
buyer and God's providence or permission. We have frequently noted that
children who were disobedient to their parents, and left them stubbornly
and against their will, here found masters from whom they received their
reward. Old and married people, widows and the frail, nobody wants to
buy, because there is here already an abundance of poor and useless
people who become a burden to the state. But if they have healthy
children, then the freight of the old people is added to that of the
children, and the children must serve so much longer, are sold so much
dearer, and scattered far and wide from each other, among all manner of
nations, languages, and tongues, so that they rarely see their old
parents or brothers and sisters again in this life; many also forget
their mother-tongue. In this way the old people leave the ship free, but
poor, naked, and weak, looking as though they were coming from the
graves, and go begging in the city at the doors of the German
inhabitants; for, as a rule, the English, afraid of infection, close the
doors on them. Such being the conditions, one's heart might bleed seeing
and hearing how these poor human beings, who came from Christian lands
into the New World, partly moan, cry, lament, and throw up their arms
because of the misery and separation which they had never imagined would
befall them, partly call upon and adjure all elements and sacraments,
yea, all thunderbolts and the terrible inhabitants of hell to smash into
numberless fragments and torment the Newlanders and the Dutch merchants,
who deceived them! Those who are far away hear nothing of it, and the
properly so-called Newlanders only laugh about it, and give them no
other consolation beyond that given to Judas Iscariot by the Pharisees,
Matt. 27, 4: 'What is that to us? See thou to that!' Even the children,
when they are cruelly kept and learn that they must remain in bondage
all the longer on account of their parents, conceive a hatred and
bitterness toward them." (G., 474 ff.)

36. Mittelberger on Redemptioners.--Mittelberger, who, in 1750,
brought to America the organ built at Heilbronn for the Lutheran church
in Philadelphia, and served Muhlenberg also as schoolteacher in
Providence, describes, in substance, the sad lot of the Redemptioners as
follows: "Healthy and strong young people were bound to serve from three
to six years, young people from their tenth to their twenty-first year.
Many parents, in order to obtain their freedom, must themselves bargain
about and sell their own children like cattle. A wife must bear the
freight of her husband if he arrives sick; in like manner the husband is
held for his sick wife; thus he must serve not only for himself, but, in
addition, five or six years for his sick spouse. When both are sick,
they are brought into the hospital, but only when no buyer is found. As
soon as they are well, they must serve in payment of their freight, or
pay, if they have property. It frequently happens that a whole family,
husband, wife, and children, being sold to different buyers, are
separated, especially if they are unable to pay anything on their
freight themselves. When a spouse dies on the ocean after one-half of
the voyage is completed, the remaining spouse must not only pay or serve
for himself, but also for the freight of the deceased one. When both
parents die on the ocean, their children must serve for their own and
their parents' freight till their twenty-first year. If anybody escapes
a cruel master, he cannot get very far, since good provisions are made
for the certain and speedy recapture of escaped Redemptioners. A liberal
reward is paid to him who holds or returns a deserter. If a deserter was
absent for a day, he must serve a week for it; for a week, a month; and
for a month, half a year. Men of rank, skill, or learning, unable to pay
their freight, or to give any surety, must serve their masters by doing
manual labor like ordinary servants. While learning to perform the
unaccustomed hard labor, they are treated with lashes like cattle. Many
a suicide was the consequence of the abominable deceit of the
Newlanders. Others sank into utter despair, or deserted, only to suffer
more afterwards than before. Sometimes the merchants in Holland make a
secret agreement to deliver their cargo of human beings not in
Philadelphia, where they wanted to go, but at some other place, where
they expect a better market, thus robbing many of the assistance of
their friends and relatives in Pennsylvania. Many entrust their money to
the Newlanders, who remain in Holland, and on their arrival in this
country they must either serve themselves, or sell their children to
serve for them." (477 ff.) Like the negroes, the Redemptioners could be
resold. The newspapers carried advertisements like the following from
the _Staatsbote_ of Philadelphia: "The time of service of a bond-maid is
for sale. She is tall and strong enough to do any kind of work, and is
able to perform work in the city as well as in the country. She is not
sold on account of a physical defect, but only because her master has
many women folks about. She has yet to serve for four and a half years.
The name of her owner may be learned from the publisher of this paper."
(481.) As with the negro slaves the lot of a Redemptioner was not in
every case physically a sad and cruel one. In Maryland the laws
protected them by limiting the days of work in summer to five and a half
a week, and demanding for them three hours of rest in the middle of the
day during the months of greatest heat. In 1773 Pastor Kunze wrote: "If
I should ever obtain 20 pounds, I would buy the first German student
landing at our coast and owing freight, put him in my upper room, begin
a small Latin school, teach during the morning hours myself, and then
let my servant teach and make my investment pay by charging a small
fee." (481.) Some of the honored names in American history are those of
Redemptioners, among them Charles Thomson, the Secretary of Congress
during the Revolution, Matthew Thornton, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, and the parents of Major-General Sullivan. (Jacobs, 235.)


37. Roaming About without Altar and Ministry.--Justus Falckner, in a
letter to Dr. H. Muhlen, [tr. note: sic!] dated August 1, 1701,
describes the "spiritual wilderness" in and about Germantown as follows:
"As much, then, as I was able to observe the conditions of the churches
in these parts and in particular in this province, they are still pretty
bad. Because of the lack of any good preparations the aborigines, or
Indians, remain in their blindness and barbarism. In addition to this
they are scandalized by the wicked life of the Christians, and
especially by the trade carried on with them, and merely acquire vices
which were unknown to them before, such as drunkenness, theft, etc. The
few Christians here are divided in almost in numerable sects, which kat'
exochen [tr. note: two words in Greek] may be called sects and rabbles,
such as Quakers, Anabaptists, Naturalists, Libertinists,
Independentists, Sabbatarians, and many others, especially secretly
spreading sects, regarding whom we are at a loss what to make of them.
However, all of them agree in their beautiful principles (si Dis
placet): Abolish all good order, and live for yourself as you see fit.
The Quakers are the most numerous because the Governor [William Penn]
belongs to them, so that one might call this land an anatomical
laboratory of Quakers. For much as our theologians have labored to
dissect this cadaver and discover its entrails, they, nevertheless, have
not been able to do it as well as the Quakers are now doing it
themselves in this country. It would fill a whole tract if, as could be
done easily, I were to describe how they, by transgressing their own
principles, make it apparent what kind of a spirit is moving them, while
they, by virtue of the foundation of such principles, are scoffers and
Ishmaels of all well-ordered church-life. _Hic Rhodus, hie saltant_
(Here is Rhodes, here they dance)." "Also here" (as in Europe), Falckner
proceeds, "the Protestant Church is divided in three nations; for there
is here an English Protestant Church, a Swedish Protestant Lutheran
Church, and people of the German nation belonging to the Evangelical
Lutheran and the Reformed Churches. The Swedes have two
congregations.... But not without reason have I spoken of the Germans
merely as some Evangelical Lutheran Germans and not the German
Evangelical Lutheran Church, inasmuch as they are roaming about in this
desert without altar and the ministry (scilicet qui ara sacerdotuque
destituti vagantur hoc in deserto), a miserable condition, indeed.
Otherwise there is a great number of Germans here. But a part of them
have joined the other sects, who use the English language, which is
learned first by all who come here, and some of them are Quakers and
Anabaptists. Another part of them are freethinkers, uniting with nobody
and letting their children grow up in the same way. In brief, there are
Germans here, and probably the most of them, who despise God's Word and
all good outward order, blaspheme and frightfully and publicly desecrate
the Sacraments. Spiritus enim errorum et sectarum asylum sibi hic
constituit (For the spirit of errors and sects has here established his
asylum). And the chief fault and cause of this is the lack of provision
for an external visible church-communion. For since, as it were, the
first thesis of natural theology, inborn in all men, is 'Religiosum
quendam cultum observandum, A certain religious cult must be observed,'
it happens that these people, when they come here and find no better
external service, elect any one rather than none. For though they are
Libertinists, nevertheless also Libertinism is not without its outward
form, by which it makes itself a specific religion in none of them."
Falckner proceeds: "I and my brother [Daniel] attend the Swedish church,
although, as yet, we understand little of the language. And by our
example we have induced several Germans to come to their meetings
occasionally, even though they did not understand the language, and for
the purpose only of gradually drawing them out of barbarism and
accustoming them to outward order, especially as one of the Swedish
pastors, Mr. M. Rudman, for the sake of love and the glory of God,
offered to go to the trouble of learning the German language and
occasionally to deliver a German address in the Swedish church, until
the Germans could have a church of their own." In the following Falckner
dwells on the great help it would afford in attracting the Indians and
the children of the Quakers and drawing the young Swedes to the services
if an organ could be installed in the Swedish church. (G. Fritschel,
_Geschichte_, 35 ff.) The miserable condition spiritually of the
Lutherans in Pennsylvania appears from a letter of their representatives
to Dr. Ziegenhagen in London, dated October, 1739, in which they state:
"There is not one German Lutheran preacher in the whole land, except
Caspar Stoever, now sixty miles distant from Philadelphia." (Jacobs,

38. New Hanover, Philadelphia, Providence.--It was a motley crowd of
Germans that gathered in the land of the Quakers. Indeed, Pastorius, the
first mayor of Germantown, was a rather moderate pietist from the
circles of Spener, but, as stated above, with him and after him came
Mennonites, Tunkers, Moravians, Gichtelians, Schwenkfeldians, disciples
of the cobbler of Goerlitz, Jacob Boehme, and enthusiasts who as yet had
no name. (G., 242.) Before long, however, the Lutherans outnumbered all
other German denominations (Moravians and German Reformed) and sects in
the Quaker State, to which they came in increasingly large numbers,
especially after the sad experiences of the Palatinates in New York. By
1750 the number of Germans in Pennsylvania was estimated at 60,000, of
whom about two-thirds were Lutherans by birth. Though imbued with
apocalyptical and mystical ideas, H. B. Koester, who arrived in 1694
with forty families, is said to have conducted the first German Lutheran
services in Germantown. Before long he united with the Episcopalians and
founded Christ Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, but returned to Germany
in 1700. Daniel Falckner, who had emigrated with Koester, opposed the
Quakers in Germantown. In Falckner's Swamp (New Hanover), he organized
the first German Lutheran congregation in Pennsylvania, and is said to
have erected a log church as early as 1704. In his struggle against the
mismanagement of Pastorius, Falckner, in 1708, fell a prey to intrigues.
A disappointed man he went to New Jersey, where he served the
congregations at Raritan, Muehlstein, Rockaway, and other points, and
from 1724 to 1725 also the settlements which Kocherthal had served along
the Hudson. Owing to his increasing mental weakness, Daniel Falckner, in
1731, resigned his field in favor of J. A. Wolff. He died at Raritan ten
years later. In New Hanover Gerhard Henkel, the first Lutheran pastor in
Virginia, continued the work from 1717 to 1728. In Philadelphia J. C.
Schulz, of Wuerttemberg, was the first Lutheran pastor of whom we have
any knowledge. Educated in Strassburg, Schulz arrived in Philadelphia on
September 25, 1732. He also served New Hanover and New Providence. At
the latter place the first entries in the parish register date back to
1729, and the congregation numbered about one hundred communicant
members when Muhlenberg took charge. In 1732 Pastor Schulz, accompanied
by two lay delegates, left for Europe to collect money, and, above all,
to secure laborers from Halle, for the mission-work in Pennsylvania.
These efforts terminated when Schulz was arrested in Germany for
disorderly conduct. Before leaving Pennsylvania, Schulz had ordained
John Caspar Stoever, a relative of Pastor J. C. Stoever, Sr., in
Spottsylvania, Va., and placed him in charge of his congregations.
Stoever, Jr., had studied theology in Germany, and after his arrival in
America, 1728, had been active in mission-work among the Lutherans in
Pennsylvania, a labor which he zealously continued till his sudden death
in 1779, while confirming a class at Lebanon. Stoever's aversion to
Pietism at first kept him from uniting with Muhlenberg. It was 1763,
fifteen years after its organization, before he became a member of the
Pennsylvania Ministerium. Concerning Stoever and the Agenda of 1748,
Muhlenberg relates the following: "We were minded to employ the very
words of our Lord Jesus: Take and eat; this is the body of Jesus Christ,
etc. Take and drink, this cup is the New Testament in the blood of
Christ, etc. At the baptism of children it was our intention to ask the
sponsors, or godparents: Do you renounce in the name of this child,
etc.? To this the opponents [Stoever, Wagner, and their adherents]
objected strenuously before we had finished. We therefore made a change
immediately and used the words which their terrified consciences
desired, _viz_.: This is the _true body_, etc.; this is the _true
blood_, etc., and in the formula of baptism: Peter, Paul, or Maria, dost
thou renounce, etc.?" Graebner comments as follows: "If the Wagners and
Stoevers [whom Muhlenberg severely censured in 1748] had committed no
other crimes but that of compelling the 'united preachers' [from Halle]
to take a decided Lutheran position, one might wish that their influence
had extended still farther." In the following year, 1749, however, the
Pennsylvania Synod changed the formula of baptism so that the sponsors
were asked, "Do you renounce (believe) in the name of this child, etc.?"
(Graebner, 327.)


39. Self-sacrificing Halle Emissaries.--The help which Pastor Schulz
and his laymen had requested from Halle in 1734 arrived nine years
later. Francke's hesitation with regard to questions of salary, etc.,
drew the matter out until Muhlenberg declared himself willing to accept
the call to America without further conditions. He was the instrument
whereby it pleased God to preserve the Lutheran Church in America from
complete deterioration and disintegration and from the imminent danger
of apostasy through Zinzendorf. Muhlenberg (Muehlenberg) was born at
Eimbeck, Hannover, September 6, 1711. In 1738 he graduated from
Goettingen. He spent one year teaching in the Orphan Home at Halle, and
served a congregation in Upper Lusatia from 1739 to 1741. In 1741 he
also published his only work, a defense of Pietism against B. Mentzer.
In the same year he accepted the call to the congregations in
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Providence, and New Hanover. September 23,
1742, he landed at Charleston, visited Bolzius and the Salzburgers in
Ebenezer, and arrived in Philadelphia, November 25, 1742. From the very
beginning Muhlenberg was successful in his opposition to Zinzendorf,
who had come to America in 1741 to convert the Indians and to merge the
pious of all churches in the _Unitas Fratrum_. Pretending to be a
Lutheran, he had wormed his way into the Lutheran congregation at
Philadelphia, assuming the title and functions of Inspector-General of
all the Lutheran churches in America. However, unmasked by Muhlenberg,
he now, January, 1743, returned to Germany in disgrace. In spite of
many other difficulties, Muhlenberg rapidly won recognition from all
the congregations. In 1745 he dedicated his first church in
Philadelphia. The _Hallesche Nachrichten_ contain vivid pictures, from
the pens of Muhlenberg and his assistants, of their untiring,
self-sacrificing, blessed, and constantly increasing missionary
activity, which at the same time served the purpose of encouraging Halle
to send additional laborers. The close of January, 1745, saw the arrival
of Peter Brunnholtz (who took charge of Philadelphia and Germantown) and
of the two catechists Nicholaus Kurtz and J. H. Schaum, who at first
served as assistants and were later on ordained as pastors. Muhlenberg
wrote to Halle: "To be brief: the church which must be planted here is
at a very critical juncture (Hier ist ecclesia plantanda in einer recht
kritischen junctura). Hence we ought to have experienced and strong men,
able to stand in the breach and to dare with patience and self-denial.
You, highly venerable fathers, know full well that I am not the man. But
I regard my dear colleague Brunnholtz as such a man, and wish that he
had two or three colaborers like himself; that would help us. God would
easily direct me to some smaller corner." (290.) In 1743 Muhlenberg sent
Tobias Wagner to the Palatines in Tulpehocken Creek, where Gerhard
Henkel had already preached, and where, in 1745, Wagner solemnized the
marriage of Muhlenberg and the daughter of J. C. Weiser. Services were
conducted at this time also in Ohly, Cohenzi, Indianfield, Chester, and
Reading (where the Lutherans and the Reformed had erected a church
together). In 1745 Muhlenberg conducted a visitation at Raritan, induced
Wolff to resign, sent them Kurtz and 1747 Schaum as temporary
supply-pastors, and finally, in 1748, induced the congregation to call
J. A. Weygand. Following the track of the Moravian Nyberg, who created
confusion wherever he went, Muhlenberg secured a foothold also at
Lancaster in 1746, at York, and Conewago, in 1747, as well as in
Monocacy and Frederick, Md. J. F. Handschuh (Handschuch), who arrived
from Halle in 1748, was put in charge of Lancaster. L. H. Schrenck and
L. Raus arrived in 1749. The former was stationed in Upper Milford and
Saccum, the latter was appointed vicar in Rheinbeck and Camp. F. Schultz
and Heintzelmann came in 1751. The latter received an appointment in
Philadelphia and married Muhlenberg's daughter. Baugher (Bager) arrived
in 1752, and Gerock the year following.--Pastors and congregations
were imbued with one and the same spirit, and considered themselves
parts of one and the same church, consisting of the "Collegium Pastorum"
on the one hand and the "United Congregations" on the other.

40. Organizing Pennsylvania Synod.--To stablish the congregations,
Muhlenberg, with five pastors and ten congregations, on August 26, 1748,
organized the Pennsylvania Synod, then generally called "The United
Congregations" or "The United Pastors." This event has been designated
by Dr. Graebner "the most important in the history of the American
Lutheran Church of the eighteenth century." From the very beginning
Muhlenberg's three original congregations were called "The United
Congregations." This name was extended also to the congregations
subsequently organized or served by Muhlenberg and his colaborers at
Germantown, Lancaster, Tulpehocken, York, etc. And pastors and
congregations being imbued, as they were, with one and the same spirit,
and considering themselves parts of one and the same church, consisting
of "The College of Pastors (Collegium Pastorum)" on the one hand and
"The United Congregations" on the other, it was but natural that they
should unite in a regular synod with regular meetings. The year 1748
was most opportune and suggestive for such an organization. Pastor
Hartwick of Rhinebeck had come to Philadelphia. Nicholas Kurtz had
arrived in order to be ordained as pastor for the congregation at
Tulpehocken. The dedication of St. Michael's Church in Philadelphia
brought other representative Lutherans to the city. The Swedes were
represented by Provost Sandin and Peter Kock (Koch), a trustee of
Gloria Dei Church, who zealously advocated synodical connection between
the Germans and Swedes. Before the public services, Pastors Brunnholtz,
Handschuh, and Hartwick met to examine Kurtz. His answers were approved
of in Halle as creditable even to candidates in Germany. On the
following day, Sunday, St. Michael's was dedicated. Provost Sandin
headed the procession from Brunnholtz's parsonage to the new church.
"Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord," was sung. A letter from the Swedish
pastor Tranberg, regretting his absence and congratulating the
congregation in English, was then read. The address emphasized that "the
foundation of this church was laid with the intention that the
Evangelical Lutheran doctrine should be taught therein according to the
foundation of the prophets and apostles, and according to the Unaltered
Augsburg Confession and the other symbolical books." After singing
another hymn, six prayers were offered, two in Swedish by the Swedish
pastors, and four in German by Brunnholtz, Hartwick, Handschuh, and Mr.
Kock. After another hymn a child was baptized, and a sermon preached by
Handschuh. Hereupon the ministers, with a few of the congregation,
received the Lord's Supper. In the afternoon Hartwick preached the
ordination sermon. Then, the lay delegates standing in a semicircle
about the altar, Provost Sandin and the four German pastors ordained
Kurtz. Muhlenberg read the liturgical formula. On Monday, August 26 (15
Old Style), 1748, the first session of Synod was held, N. Kurtz, the
newly ordained pastor, delivering the opening sermon.

41. First Session of Synod.--According to the minutes, written by
Brunnholtz and signed by the four German pastors residing in
Pennsylvania and a number of lay delegates, the synod consisted of six
ministers (including Sandin and Hartwick) and twenty-four delegates,
exclusive of the church council of the Philadelphia congregation: four
lay delegates from Germantown, three from Providence, three from New
Hanover, two from Upper Milford, one from Saccum, three from
Tulpehocken, one from Nordkiel, six from Lancaster, and one from
Earlingtown. Peter Kock represented the Swedish laity. The congregation
at York, in a letter, regretted the absence of representatives. The
organization proceeded without the adoption of any formulated
constitution. Though not formally elected, Muhlenberg, by virtue of his
first call and commission by the authorities in Halle, was president of
the synod. When, at the second meeting of the synod, in 1749,
Brunnholtz, on motion of Muhlenberg, was elected overseer of all the
United Congregations, this was ignored by the authorities in Halle, and,
Brunnholtz's health failing, the office was soon transferred to
Muhlenberg, who exercised it for many years. At the first meeting, after
the hymn, "Du suesse Lieb', schenk' uns deine Gunst," was sung,
Muhlenberg addressed the assembly, saying, in part: This union was
desired for a long time. The effort made five years ago in the Swedish
church was frustrated by Nyberg. Unity among us is necessary. Every
member in the congregation has children. In their interest elders are
required to assist in making a good church order. For this purpose we
are here assembled, and, God willing, shall meet annually. "We
preachers, here present," Muhlenberg emphasized, "have not run of
ourselves, but have been called here and urged to go. We are bound to
render account to God and to our consciences. We maintain connection
with our fathers in Europe. We must not only care for ourselves, but
also for our descendants." In part, Muhlenberg's remarks reflected on
Stoever, Streit (Streiter, as he is called in the minutes), Andreae,
and Wagner. These ministers had not been invited to participate in the
organization of the synod, because, as a declaration put on record by
synod explains, "1. they, without reason, decry us [Muhlenberg and his
adherents] as Pietists; 2. are not sent and have neither an internal
nor an external call; 3. are unwilling to observe a uniform order of
service with us, each following the ceremonies of his country; 4. an
experience of six years had taught Muhlenberg that their object was
nothing but bread; 5. they were subject to no consistory and gave no
account of the exercise of their office." The lay delegates were
called upon to give a report concerning the efficiency of their
pastors, and their opinion concerning the new liturgy, which they
regarded as too long. Also the condition of the parochial schools was
inquired into. The conference with the laymen was adjourned Monday
afternoon, after which they dined together. The pastors then attended to
business generally regarded as belonging to them. Hartwick addressed the
elders, wishing their congregations every blessing. The Swedish provost
expressed his desire to be a member of the body. But Peter Kock having
died, no Swede attended the meeting in the following year. Seven annual
meetings were held by the United Congregations, the last at New Hanover
in 1754. Revived by Dr. Wrangel and Muhlenberg in 1760, this oldest
Lutheran synod in America exists to the present day as "The Evangelical
Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania." (Graebner, 301 ff.)


42. Discouraging Conditions.--The joyous events of 1748 in
Philadelphia were followed by disappointments to such an extent that
after 1754 the synodical meetings were abandoned till 1760, when, as
stated, Provost Von Wrangel revived the synod in the interest of
establishing a German-Swedish organization. The failure was caused by
various discouragements: the deaths of Heintzelman and Brunnholtz; the
troubles in the congregations of Handschuh at Lancaster, Germantown, and
Philadelphia; the opposition of Stoever and other anti-Pietists, whom
the synod in 1748 marked as undesirables; charges against Muhlenberg and
his colaborers, that they were but secret agents of Zinzendorf, etc.;
and above all the entirely insufficient support in men and moneys from
Halle. The difficulties and discouraging conditions under which
Muhlenberg and his assistants were laboring, appear from the urgent
appeal, signed by Muhlenberg, Brunnholtz, and Handschuh, adopted by the
synod in 1754, and sent to both London and Halle. Dr. Jacobs writes: "It
is one of the most important papers in the Halle 'Reports.' The entire
field is surveyed, the history of German immigration traced, and the
religious condition of the immigrants described. The manner in which
other denominations and the Swedish Lutherans are aided by foreign help
is shown, and a very discouraging contrast is drawn. The condition of
each parish is then candidly and at length set forth. Three great
dangers they see threatening the inner life of congregations, _viz_.:
the assumption, by the leading men of particular parishes, of the right
to dictate, as a compensation for the perhaps greater amount expected of
them for the pastor's support; the lawlessness of immigrants who abuse
the freedom of the country, want to break through all rules, and revile
all good order, the regular ministry, and divine service as papacy
itself; the introduction of worthless men into the country as pretended
ministers by the Newlanders, who sell their services from the ship to
Lutherans willing to be deceived in this way. The United Pastors, they
urge, are almost powerless to resist. The people are, as a rule, poor.
In a congregation of three hundred members scarcely fifteen can be found
able to contribute toward the building of churches; and the
responsibility for debts incurred must, therefore, as a rule, fall upon
the pastors themselves. Many thousands of Lutheran people are scattered
throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York,
etc. No provision is made for the traveling expenses of the pastors or
supplies for their places, if these Lutherans are cared for. People come
often one and even two hundred miles to hear a sermon and receive the
Sacrament, and weep bitterly over the destitution, which no one
endeavors to remove. They [the signers of the appeal] contrast the
condition of a pastor in the New with that of one in the Old World. The
latter has the assurance of necessary support, of protection in his
office, of all needed buildings, of provision for the proper instruction
of his people. The former has none of these. Among ten families there is
scarcely one or two that contribute according to their promises. The
sects diffuse among the people the ideas, to which they lend too ready
assent, that the pastors as well as their hearers ought to work at a
trade, cut wood, sow and reap during the week, and then preach to them
gratuitously on Sunday. They hear such things wherever they go--in
papers, in company, on their journeys, and at the taverns. The picture
is a very dark one. The pastors feel that they do not see how it is
possible for them to advance; and yet to recede or even to be stationary
must be fatal." Jacobs continues: "Such representations probably had
something to do with the impression current for a while at Halle that
Muhlenberg was visionary and eccentric, so strange do his statements
seem to those incompetent from personal observation to appreciate the
urgency of the situation in Pennsylvania. If there was any time when,
even for a moment, Muhlenberg entertained the suggestion of transferring
the care of the Lutherans of Pennsylvania to the Church of England, it
was only at some such time when he and his associates in the synod were
allowed to struggle on under such burdens almost unaided, while union
with the Church of England would at once have provided all missionaries
sent thither with an appropriation almost sufficient for support, and
with far better protection against the prevalent disorder. If the
Lutherans in Europe could not meet the demands of the hour, we can
pardon the thought, which never became a fixed purpose, that, sooner
than have the thousands for whose care he felt himself responsible
neglected, some other mode of relief would have to be sought." (246 ff.)

43. Further Activity and Death.--In May, 1751, as related above,
Muhlenberg became pastor of the Dutch congregation in New York. From
1753 to 1761 he once more labored in New Hanover and Providence. During
this period he made visits to Raritan (1757, 1758 for nine weeks, 1759
with his family, again in October, 1759, and in January, 1760), his
assistant J. H. Schaum in the mean time representing him in Providence.
October 29, 1761 Muhlenberg returned to Philadelphia to allay the
strife which had broken out. Here he lived in his own home, and
maintained an intimate intercourse with Dr. Wrangel. By the new
congregational constitution, which his congregation subscribed to in
1762, and which, in the course of time, was adopted by nearly all the
congregations in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg's influence was extended far
and wide. In 1769 he dedicated the new Zion Church at Philadelphia.
(The national memorial services of Benjamin Franklin [1790], of
Washington [1799], and of Abraham Lincoln [1865] were held in this
church.) September 8, 1774, he arrived in Charleston, accompanied by
his wife and daughter, where the congregation had requested him to
settle their quarrel, which he did with skill and success. His real
goal, however, was Ebenezer, where he, by order of the authorities in
Europe, was to conduct a visitation and to repair the harm done by
Triebner. Here he drafted a new constitution, which was adopted by the
Salzburgers and resulted in a temporary peace. On February 6, 1775, he
began his journey back to Pennsylvania. When the vestry of his
congregation at Philadelphia in 1779, without further ado, elected Kunze
to be his successor, Muhlenberg conducted himself with dignity. The
congregation rescinded her action, whereupon Muhlenberg resigned, and
was given a pension of 100 Pounds annually and granted permission to
preach occasionally in the church. As early as 1748 Muhlenberg had
compiled an Agenda, which at first was circulated in manuscript, and was
printed in 1786 in a somewhat modified form. The only objection which,
in 1748, the congregations raised to the Agenda was that "public worship
would last too long, especially in the cold winter months"; wherefore
"they requested that it be abbreviated." In 1782 Muhlenberg also did the
chief work in preparing the hymnal, which was printed in 1784. In the
same year Pennsylvania Academy conferred upon him the degree of Doctor
of Divinity. Muhlenberg accepted the title, but requested his friends
not to make any use of it in their intercourse with him. Muhlenberg died
October 7, 1787. Taking leave of his friend for this life, he spoke of
the journey ahead to his true fatherland, repeating the words of the
hymn: "Ich hab' vor mir ein' schwere Reis' Zu dir in's Himmels Paradeis,
Das ist mein rechtes Vaterland, Darauf du hast dein Blut gewandt."
Shortly before his death he prayed the stanza: "Mach' End', o Herr,
mach' Ende An aller unsrer Not, Staerk' unsre Fuess' und Haende Und lass
bis in den Tod Uns allzeit deiner Pflege Und Treu' empfohlen sein, So
gehen unsre Wege Gewiss zum Himmel ein." Muhlenberg's funeral was
attended by eight Lutheran pastors, the Reformed minister Schlatter, and
a great concourse of people, so that Pastor J. L. Voigt was compelled to
deliver his oration in the open. Memorial services were conducted in New
York and in many other places, as well as in almost all congregations
belonging to the synod. In Muhlenberg the greatest man whom God had
given to the Lutheran Church of America in the eighteenth century, "the
patriarch of the American Lutheran Church," had passed away. His body
was interred just outside the walls of the church in Trappe. A marble
slab over his grave bears the inscription: "Qualis et quantus fuerit,
Non ignorabunt sine lapide Futura Saecula. (Future ages will know his
character and importance without a stone.)" (484. 521.)

44. Tributes to, and Estimates of, Muhlenberg.--In his letter to Dr.
Freylinghausen in Halle, Muhlenberg himself reveals the pious and humble
frame of his mind as follows: "To-day, December 6, 1762, it is forty
years since I set foot in Philadelphia for the first time; and I believe
that my end is no longer removed very far. Had I during these forty
years served my Lord as faithfully as Jeremiah, I could look forward to
a more joyful end. But I must now account it grace and mercy
unparalleled if the gracious Redeemer, for the sake of His
all-sufficient merits, will not regard my mistakes and weaknesses, but
receive me graciously." Speaking of Muhlenberg's faithfulness, Dr. E. A.
W. Krauss remarks: "Muhlenberg continued faithful in things both small
and great, even after he had received assistance from Germany, and one
coworker after another began to labor at his side. Before long his
activity had exceeded the sphere of his three congregations. On request
he visited the scattered Lutherans in Germantown, Tulpehocken,
Lancaster, York, Raritan, Frederick. He was the counselor of poorly
served congregations, the judge in their quarrels. Confidence was
everywhere reposed in him. "By reason of his talent for organizing, his
erudition, but, above all, his unselfishness, his modesty, dignity, and
piety, he was in universal demand, and was compelled to take the lead,
which he also kept till his blessed departure from this world."
(_Lebensbilder_, 694.) Dr. H. E. Jacobs sketches Muhlenberg's character
as follows: "Depth of religious conviction, extraordinary inwardness of
character, apostolic zeal for the spiritual welfare of individuals,
absorbing devotion to his calling and all its details, were among his
most marked characteristics. These were combined with an intuitive
penetration and extended width of view, a statesmanlike grasp of every
situation in which he was placed, an almost prophetic foresight,
coolness, and discrimination of judgment, and peculiar gifts for
organization and administration." Dr. A. Graebner writes: "The task
which Muhlenberg found set before him when he entered upon the wild and
disordered field which had been allotted to him here, was such that, if
any one in Halle had been able to tell him and had told him what was
awaiting him in America, he would hardly have found the necessary
courage and cheerfulness to lay his hand to the plow which was to
convert this wild bramblepatch into an arable field. Still, where could
a second man have been found at that time who would have proven equal
to the task in the same measure as Henry Melchior Muhlenberg? Richly
endowed with a robust physique and a pious mind, with faithfulness in
matters great and small, with cheerful, but firm courage, with restless
activity and a spirit of progressive enterprise, with wisdom and
prudence, with the ability to inform himself quickly and to accommodate
himself to the circumstances, and, in addition to this, with the
necessary independence of volition and action,--characteristics
seldom found combined in one and the same person,--Muhlenberg was
splendidly equipped, both as to degree and variety, with the gifts
which a missionary and an organizer has need of. And from the very
first day of his planting and watering God gave a rich increase to his
labors, so rich, that Muhlenberg could say with a grateful heart: 'It
seems as though now the time had come that God would visit us with
special grace here in Pennsylvania.' Furthermore, self-exaltation was
utterly foreign to him. 'God does not need me,' he would say; 'He can
carry out His work also without me.' Likewise, he was ever content
although he never saw much money. During the first half-year of his
stay in Philadelphia he earned his board by giving music lessons."
(279.) Dr. A. Spaeth: "Though there were Lutheran congregations and
pastors among the Dutch on the Hudson, and among the Swedes on the
Delaware, as early as the first half of the seventeenth century, and,
later on, among the numerous German immigrants, still the real
organization of the Lutheran Church in America, on the foundation of the
fathers, only dates from the middle of the eighteenth century, and is
due to the Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, by common consent the
patriarch of the Lutheran Church on this continent, through whose
efforts the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, 'The Mother Synod,' was
established in 1748. In missionary zeal, in pastoral tact and fidelity,
in organizing ability and personal piety, he had no superior." (_C.P.
Krauth_, 1, 316.)


45. Unqualified Subscription to Entire Book of Concord.--Like the
"Fathers in Halle," Muhlenberg, self-evidently, desired to be a
Lutheran and to build a Lutheran Church in America. He himself says, in
a manner somewhat touchy: "I defy Satan and every lying spirit to lay at
my door anything which contradicts the teaching of our apostles or the
Symbolical Books. I have often said and written that I have found
neither error, nor mistake, nor any defect in our Evangelical doctrine,
based, as it is, on the apostles and prophets, and exhibited in our
Symbolical Books." _Dr. Spaeth:_ "The standards of the Lutheran Church
of the sixteenth century were accepted and endorsed by Muhlenberg
without reservation, and in his whole ministerial work he endeavored to
come up to this standard, as he had solemnly pledged himself in his
ordination vow before the theological faculty of the university at
Leipzig, on August 24, 1739, which committed to him the office of
'teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments according to the
rule given in the writings of the prophets and apostles, the sum of
which is contained in those three symbols, the Apostolic, Nicene, and
Athanasian, in the Augsburg Confession laid before Emperor Charles V,
A. D. 1530, in the Apology of the same, in Dr. Luther's Large and Small
Catechism, in the Articles subscribed to in the Smalcald Convention,
and in the Formula of Concord. He solemnly promised that he would
propose to his hearers what would be conformed and consentient to these
writings, and that he would never depart from the sense which they
give.' (Dr. W. J. Mann's _The Conservatism of Henry Melchior
Muehlenberg_, in the _Lutheran Church Review_, January, 1888.) And this
was the position not of the patriarch alone, but of his colaborers, of
the whole Synod of Pennsylvania, which he organized, and of the sister-
or daughter-synod of New York, during the lifetime of Muhlenberg and
Kunze. 'Those fathers were very far from giving the Lutheran Church, as
they organized it on this new field of labor, a form and character in
any essential point different from what the Lutheran Church was in the
Old World, and especially in Germany. They retained not only the old
doctrinal standards, but also the old traditional elements and forms of
worship; the church-year with its great festivals, its Gospel- and
Epistle-lessons, the Liturgy, the rite of Confirmation, preparatory
service for the Lord's Supper, connected with the confession of sins
and absolution. Their doctrinal position was unmistakably Lutheran, in
the sense in which Lutheranism is historically known, and is something
individual and distinct, and as such stands in opposition to Romanism on
the one hand, and to Zwingli, Calvin, and all other so-called Protestant
parties on the other. Those fathers were admitted to the ministry on
condition of their own declaration that they were in harmony with the
Confessio Augustana Invariata, and with all the other Symbolical Books
of the Lutheran Church. They demanded of those whom they admitted to the
sacred office the same condition. They allowed no organization or
constitutions of congregations without demanding the acknowledgment of
all the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church as the doctrinal
basis.'" (1,317.) In a letter dated June 14, 1774, and addressed to one
of the members of the Lutheran congregation at Charleston, S. C., some
of whose troubles and difficulties he had endeavored to adjust,
Muhlenberg stated the rule of his own personal course as follows:
"During the thirty-two years of my sojourning in America, time and again
occasions were given me to join the Episcopal Church, and to receive
four or live times more salary than my poor German fellow-members of the
Lutheran faith gave me; but I preferred reproach in and with my people
to the treasures in Egypt." (Jacobs, 298.) The confirmation form of the
Agenda contained the question: "Do you intend to remain true to the
truth of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as you have learned to know it
and solemnly confessed it?" (G.,498.)

46. Pledge of Pastors and Congregations.--In like manner as Muhlenberg
himself, all his colaborers and congregations were pledged to the
Lutheran confessions. The religious oath which Brunnholtz took reads, in
part, as follows: "I, Peter Brunnholtz, do solemnly swear and before God
Almighty do take an oath upon my soul . . . that I will abide by the
pure and unadulterated Word of God, as, according to the sense of the
Spirit, it has been diligently compiled from Holy Scripture against all
errorists in the three chief Symbols, and especially also in the true
Lutheran church-books, as the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, its
Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the two Catechisms of Luther, and in the
specific Formula of Concord, and that I will teach according to them."
(G., 283.) In similar fashion, Kurtz, Weygand, and all pastors solemnly
promised to discharge their office "according to the pure doctrine of
the apostles and prophets and all our Synodical Books." (_Lehre u.
Wehre_, 1856, 120.) According to the Agenda of 1748 the catechumens
promised faithfulness unto death "to the truth of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church which they had solemnly confessed." (488.) From the very
outset, Muhlenberg also had the congregations subscribe to articles in
which they confessed themselves to God's Word and the Lutheran Symbols.
(299.) The congregations, in agreement with the constitution of 1762,
pledged their pastors to preach "the Word of God according to the
foundation of the apostles and prophets and in conformity with the
Unaltered Augsburg Confession." True, the Pennsylvania Synod, at its
organization in 1748, did not draw up any special articles of
confession, yet, according to the Agenda which had been previously
adopted, it was regarded as self-evident that all pastors and
congregations subscribe to the Lutheran Symbols. The synodical
constitution of 1778, which was entered in the official book of record
begun in 1781, contained the following provisions: "As to his life and
teaching, every pastor is to be found in consonance with the Word of
God and our Symbolical Books." "In case complaints are lodged against
teachers, the investigation must concern itself with: 1. express errors
against the clear sense of Holy Writ and our Symbolical Books of
faith." (529.) Muhlenberg's devotion to the Lutheran doctrine appears
also from the interest and zeal which he showed in furthering the
institution of catechetical instruction and in establishing parochial
schools. One of the chief questions to engage the attention of the
first convention of Synod in 1748 was, "What is the condition of the
schools?" Yet, though Muhlenberg, in the manner described, stood for
confessional Lutheranism, it cannot be maintained convincingly that his
influence in this direction was sound and salubrious in every respect.
His was not the genuine Lutheranism of Luther, but the modified
Lutheranism, then advocated in Europe and Germany generally, notably in
Halle and the circles of the Pietists, a Lutheranism inoculated with
legalism, subjectivism, indifferentism, and unionism. Muhlenberg's
confessionalism was of the historic kind, that is to say, reverence for
the venerable Lutheran symbols rather than the living power of Lutheran
truth itself, directing, permeating, and shaping one's entire
ecclesiastical activity both as to teaching and practise.


47. Subjectivism of Halle Pietists.--Following are some of the
aberrations of the Pietists in Halle: That doctrine was of minor
importance for, and as compared with, piety; that sanctification was not
contained in, but must be added to, faith; that repentance and
conversion were urged in such a manner as if man himself could force
them; that such Christians as could not tell of certain peculiar
penitential struggles and sensations of grace were regarded as
unconverted; that the assurance of salvation was not based on the
objective Word of God, but on subjective marks, notably such us were
found in those converted in the circles of the Pietists; that the
afflicted, instead of being comforted with the Gospel of the
unconditional pardon of the entire world, were bidden to feel the pulse
of their own piety; that such as did not manifest the symptoms of
conversion _a la_ Halle, were judged uncharitably and looked down upon
as not being truly converted; that the "revived" and "awakened" were
regarded as the real church in the Church, the _ecclesiolae in
ecclesia_. And what of the pietism of the Halle emissaries in
Pennsylvania? Dr. Mann declared concerning Muhlenberg and his
 co-laborers: "Their pietism was truly Lutheran piety, a warm-hearted,
devout, practical Lutheranism." (Spaeth, 1, 318.) However, traces of the
morbid and infected Lutheranism cultivated by Pietists, were but too
apparent also in Muhlenberg and the associates carefully selected for
him by Francke and Freylinghausen in Halle. The piety for which they
strove so earnestly and zealously was, in more than one respect, neither
truly evangelical nor soundly Lutheran, but of a legalistic and
subjective nature. They delighted in evangelistic sermons designed to
convert men in the manner of Halle. They endeavored to ascertain who
were the truly converted in their congregations. As a standard they
applied their own experiences and as models the Halle converts. Instead
of immediately comforting terrified sinners with the full consolation of
the Gospel, they proved them "according to the marks of the state of
grace." _Graebner:_ "While Diaconus in Grosshennersdorf, Muhlenberg had
already published a polemical tract against Dr. Balthasar Mentzer, who
had attacked Pietism, and had pictured the time before the rise of
Pietism as a time of darkness, in which God had 'set up a true light
here and there, until at last the faithful servants of the Lord, the
sainted Spener, Francke, Breithaupt, Anton, and others arose' and 'again
brought forth the Bible.' At that time Muhlenberg advocated private
meetings for souls who had been 'awakened from the sleep of sin,' to
which the Burgomaster of Eimbeck referred when he sent word to
Muhlenberg 'to cease the pietistic conventicles, as they were against
the law of the land.'" (315.)

48. Converts, Prayer-Meetings, Revivals.--Brunnholtz, whose work was
highly praised by Muhlenberg, says of his parishioners, whom,
nevertheless, he admitted to the Lord's Table, that, for the greater
part, they were "totally blind and dead," people who had not yet
experienced any "true change of heart"; that in present-day
congregations one must "be content with the gleanings while looking and
waiting for traces of divine activity, where, when, in whom, and
whether the Spirit can give a rich harvest." It is only too true, he
continues, "that the great multitude, both old and young, are still
buried in carnal-mindedness and in great ignorance, and stand in need
of a true conversion." "There are indeed a few, some also in my two
congregations, concerning whom I have the well-founded hope that they
have been awakened from the spiritual sleep of sin and are being drawn
to the Son by the Father." "With regard to my congregation here in
Philadelphia, I am not able to boast very much of the majority and of
the outwardly great number, since there is still much corruption among
them. The Lord, however, has granted me a small remnant, who have been
awakened by the Word, and who earnestly seek after the paths of peace,
permitting themselves quietly, but in earnestness, to be prepared for
the rest of God." Muhlenberg says: "True repentance and conversion
according to the Word of God is a difficult matter and a rare
occurrence." "We continued our labors upon the inner and outward
upbuilding of the Church, because a small, divinely sanctified seed was
noticed among them." What Brunnholtz and Muhlenberg looked for in the
communicant members of their congregations whom they regarded as
unconverted were, no doubt, the Halle symptoms. In 1748 submissiveness
to be guided by the pastor was numbered among these marks. When the
elders of the congregation in Lancaster opposed their pastor and
insisted upon their opinion, which was not wrong by any means, they were
admonished "to convert themselves with all their hearts, since otherwise
they could not properly wait on their office, and the pastor's trials in
the congregation would become too great." (319.) The "small remnant of
the converted" were nurtured by the pastors in "special prayer-meetings
in the houses." (320.) This was the practise of Brunnholtz in
Philadelphia. And Muhlenberg wrote from New York in 1751: "I have
learned that among the Reformed here there is a small body of awakened
souls who hunger and thirst after righteousness. It is said that this
awakening was brought about by the younger of the two Reformed pastors.
My hostess also belongs to the Reformed congregation. Some years ago she
was so terrified by the opinion of the unconditional decree of God that
a hysterical malady set in with which she is still somewhat afflicted. I
searched for the marks of the state of grace. She answered sensibly,
which gave me hope that she is in a state of grace. My host desired me
to go into a private chamber with him and his weak spouse, and to pray
in secret, which we did." "At the close of the day my dear host again
desired that I pray with him and his wife in private, since she thereby
had experienced strength and relief on the former occasion. On the 30th
of July I was taken to the pious English merchant, who had some awakened
souls with him. They sang a psalm, read a chapter from a devotional
book, and urged me to pray at the close. After a time the dear souls
returned to their homes, and I remained with him till eleven o'clock and
employed the time in pleasant and edifying conversation with him and his
godly wife." "August 1, Saturday evening, I preached penitential sermons
both in the German and Dutch languages. . . . The church was well filled
on this occasion, and the parting seemed to touch and sadden the
awakened and well-meaning souls." Weygand continued the work in the
spirit of Muhlenberg, conducting "private hours" with the "awakened
souls," and finding particular delight in some souls who had been
awakened by Wesley. When Whitefield returned to Pennsylvania in 1702,
Dr. Wrangel entered into relations with him and began to conduct
prayer-meetings in a private house in the city, and when the room in
that house could no longer contain the people, Muhlenberg's congregation
granted him the use of their church. When not prevented by other duties,
Muhlenberg regularly attended these English devotional hours. The
congregational constitution of 1762 especially reserved for the pastor
the right to "conduct hours of edification, exhortation, and prayer in
churches and schools, on week-days or evenings, as necessity might
dictate, and as strength and circumstances might permit." (383. 425.
440. 485.) Dr. J. H. C. Helmuth was the first to report on a
revivalistic awakening in his congregation at Lancaster, in 1773. Later
on, 1811, Helmuth, in the name of the Pennsylvania Synod, wrote a
letter to Paul Henkel, then on his missionary tours in Ohio, warning
him not to participate in camp-meetings, "if he should come into contact
with similar aberrations from our Lutheran ways." But even at this time
Synod did not take a decided stand against revivalistic enthusiasm.
Already in the first decades of the nineteenth century reports, coming
out of the Synod, such as the following were heard: "Here the fire is
also burning." "Here we behold miracles of God's grace; everywhere we
find the wounded, the weeping, the moaning, and those who are praying.
Some cried out, 'My God, what shall I do that I may be saved?' Others
asked with tears, 'Can I still be saved?'" (549.) In 1810 the North
Carolina Synod resolved to have Philip Henkel try out a revival, since
such awakenings were also to be desired among Lutherans. During the
revival agitation from 1830 to 1850, the English Lutheran churches
caught the contagion in great numbers. They introduced emotional
preaching, the mourners' bench, protracted meetings, and, vying with the
fanatical sects, denounced as spiritually dead formalists all who
adhered to the old ways of Lutheranism. In its issue of March 21, 1862,
the _Lutheran Observer_ declared that the "Symbolism" of the Old
Lutherans in St. Louis meant the death of the Lutheran Church, which
nothing but revivals were able to save. (_L. u. W_. 1862, 152; 1917,
374.) Muhlenberg's Pietism had helped to prepare the way for this
Methodistic aberration.


49. Government of and by the Ministers.--A clear conception of the
doctrines of the Church and of the holy ministry was something
Muhlenberg did not possess. Hence his congregations also were not
educated to true independence and to the proper knowledge and exercise
of their priestly rights and duties. Dr. Mann says of Muhlenberg and his
coworkers: "These fathers were very far from giving the Lutheran Church,
as they organized it on this new field of labor, a form and character in
any essential point different from what the Lutheran Church was in the
Old World, and especially in Germany." (Spaeth, _C. P. Krauth_, 1, 317.)
The pastor ruled the elders; the pastor and the elders ruled the
congregation; the synod ruled the pastor, the elders, and the
congregation; the College of Pastors ruled the synod and the local
pastor together with his elders and his congregation; and all of these
were subject to, and ruled by, the authorities in Europe. The local
congregations were taught to view themselves, not as independent, but as
parts of, and subject to, the body of United Congregations and Pastors.
The constitution for congregations simply presupposed that a
congregation was a member of, and subordinate to, Synod. (499.) This
appears also from a document signed by the elders of Tulpehocken and
Northkill (Nordkiel), August 24, 1748, two days before the organization
of the Pennsylvania Synod. In it the elders, in the name of the
congregations, state and promise: "In this it always remains presupposed
that we with the United Congregations constitute one whole Ev. Lutheran
congregation, which acknowledges and respects as her lawful pastors all
the pastors who constitute the College of Pastors (Collegium Pastorum)
and remains in the closest connection with them, as being our regular
teachers. . . . Accordingly, we have the desire to be embodied and
incorporated in the United Congregations in Pennsylvania, and to be
recognized and received by them as brethren and members of a special
congregation of the Ev. Lutheran Church, and consequently to share in
the pastoral care of the College of all the Rev. Pastors of the United
Congregations. In accordance herewith we most publicly and solemnly
desire, acknowledge and declare all the Rev. Pastors of the United
Church-Congregations to be our pastors and ministers (Seelsorger und
Hirten); we also give them complete authority to provide for the welfare
of our souls, how and through whom, also as long as, they choose. We
furthermore promise to regard the Rev. College of Pastors of the Ev.
Lutheran Congregations in Pennsylvania as a lawful and regular
presbyterium and ministerium and particularly as our pastors- and
ministers-in-chief, also to respect and regard, them as such, without
whose previously known advice and consent we do, order, resolve, or
change nothing; hence to have nothing to do with any [other] pastor, nor
even, without their previously known advice and consent, to undertake
anything in important church-matters with the pastor whom they have sent
to us; on the contrary, to approve of and with all our powers to observe
and execute whatever, in church-matters of our own and the
congregations, the whole Rev. College of Pastors will resolve, and
properly indicate and make known to us. Furthermore we promise to
recognize, receive, respect, honor and hear the teacher [minister] as
our lawful and divinely called teacher as long as the Rev. College of
Pastors will see fit to leave him with us; nor to make any opposition in
case they should be pleased for important reasons to call him away and
to put another in his place; moreover, to receive and regard his
successor with equal love and duty. We furthermore promise, if (which
God forfend) a misunderstanding or separation should arise between the
whole congregation or part of it and the teacher, or between members of
the congregation, to report this immediately to the Rev. College of
Pastors, and to await their decision, and to abide by it." (301 f.)
_Graebner:_ "One's indignation is roused when reading how the elders of
the Lancaster congregation were treated at the first synod. These men
defended the by no means improper demand of their congregation that such
as had fallen away to the sects and again returned should subscribe to
the constitution of the congregation before they once more were
recognized as members. In spite of the opinion of the assembly and the
utterly wrong admonition 'to leave it to their pastor,' the elders
'adhered to their opinion.' Immediately their conversion is questioned,
and 'all the elders who have not yet been thoroughly converted are
admonished to convert themselves with all their heart.' The remark of
the minutes, 'They kept silence,' conveys the impression that the rebuke
had been merited, and that the cut was felt." (320.) According to the
constitution for congregations, subscribed to October 18, 1762, by
Muhlenberg and Handschuh and 270 members of their congregations, the
grades of admonition and church discipline were: 1. admonition by the
preacher alone; 2. admonition by the preacher in the presence of the
elders and wardens; 3. expulsion before or by the whole church council.
(402.) The same constitution contains the provision: If any deacon or
elder who has been elected to perform this arduous duty refuses to
accept the office without sufficient reasons, "he is not to be excused
until he has made a considerable contribution to the church treasury."
(490.) At synod the pastors ruled supreme. The lay delegates, consisting
of the elders of the congregations, merely reported to Synod, when
asked, concerning the work, fidelity, and efficiency of their pastors,
the parochial schools, etc., and presented requests to Synod. But they
had no voice in her decisions. In the common assembly of the pastors and
laymen no vote was taken. The _Lutheran Cyclopedia_ says: "The
deliberations were exclusively those of the pastors, while the lay
delegates were present only to furnish the needed information concerning
local conditions and the fidelity of pastors." (493.) Furthermore, the
ministerium, the college of pastors, conferred the office and made
pastors through ordination, a rite considered essential to the ministry,
and without which no one was regarded a lawful and full-fledged pastor.
Thus, for instance, in the case of J. A. Weygand it was held that he was
given the right to perform all the functions pertaining to his office,
not by the call of the congregation which he had accepted, but by his
subsequent ordination. (432.)

50. Obedience to Ministerium and Fathers in Halle.--In the ordination
the pastors were pledged to obey the Ministerium. In Weygand's call the
clause was embodied, "that he would submit to the investigation and
judgment of the United Pastors and the Venerable Fathers" in Halle.
(452.) The manner in which Kurtz was bound appears from the following
points of the "Revers" which he had to sign before his ordination in
1748: "2. To consider my congregation nothing but a part of the United
Congregations. ... 4. To introduce no ceremonies into the public worship
or into the administration of the Sacraments other than those which have
been introduced by the College of Pastors of the United Congregations,
also to use no other book of forms than the one which will be assigned
to me by them. 5. To undertake nothing of importance alone nor with the
assistance of the church-council, except it have been previously
communicated to the Reverend College of Pastors, and their opinion have
been obtained, as well as to abide by their good counsel and advice. 6.
To render a verbal or written account of my pastorate at the demand of
the Reverend College of Pastors. 7. To keep a diary and daybook and to
record therein official acts and remarkable occurrences. 8. Should they
call me hence, to accept the call, and not to resist." (305.) Before his
ordination Pastor J. H. Schaum had to sign a "Revers" and, with a
handclasp, seal the promise to the United Pastors that he as their
adjunct "would be faithful and obedient to them." To the congregations
the Ministerium did not only prescribe the liturgy, but appointed and
removed their pastors as they saw fit. Pastor Schaum's call to New York
was signed by the four pastors, Muhlenberg, Brunnholtz, Handschuh, and
Kurtz as their own vocation, in their own name, not in the name of the
congregation. (327.) The congregation at Lancaster desired Kurtz as
their pastor instead of Handschuh, whom the Ministerium was planning to
send to them. Muhlenberg, however, reports: "We bade them consider this
and demanded a short answer, giving them to understand that, if a single
one of them would be restive and dissatisfied with our advice and
arrangement, we would consent to give them neither the one nor the
other, but would turn to the other congregations still vacant and leave
the dust to them. They must consider it a special favor that we had come
to them first." Graebner comments on this as follows: "One can safely
say that there could be found to-day in all America not a single
Lutheran pastor or congregation who would consent to concede to a synod
such powers as Pastor Kurtz and the congregation at Tulpehocken yielded
to the 'United Pastors' in 1748." (321.) The superiors of the United
Pastors and their congregations were the "Fathers in Europe." They had
commissioned them, and to them they were responsible. All decisions of
Synod in doctrinal, liturgical, and governmental questions were subject
to the advice and approval of the authorities in Halle. When the church
council of the congregation in Philadelphia sent a humble petition to
the Synod in 1750, requesting permission to retain the services of
Pastor Brunnholtz for themselves, they received the answer: We have no
right to make changes without the previous knowledge and permission of
the "Fathers in Europe." (330.) In order to ordain Weygand, Muhlenberg
had to get permission from the "Fathers in Europe." (432.) Even such
pastors as Stoever and Wagner, who did not unite with the Ministerium,
were by Muhlenberg designated as "such as had run of themselves," as
"so-called pastors," who had "neither an inner nor an outward call," and
"who were concerned about nothing but their daily bread." And why?
Because, according to Muhlenberg, they had not "been sent" (by the
Ministerium or the Fathers); because they were not subject to a
consistory, did not render account of their pastorates, and would not
observe the same order with those who had come from Halle. (311.)
Concerning Weygand, who arrived in 1748, Muhlenberg reports: "I asked
him what he was now going to do in Pennsylvania, whether he intended to
be for us or against us; if he desired to be with us, it would be
necessary for us first to obtain permission from our Venerable Fathers.
If, however, he intended to be against us, he might come on, we
entertained no fear, as we had already encountered such as had run of
themselves. He answered, 'God forfend!' He would not side with the
Ministerium, to which men belonged like Valentine Kraft, Andrew Stoever,
Wagner, and the like, though they had requested him to join them; that,
on the other hand, he would not be in our way either, but rather go
elsewhere and begin a school at some place or another." (431. 322.)

51. Constitution of 1792.--The new constitution, adopted by the
Pennsylvania Synod in 1792, though granting a modified suffrage to lay
delegates in all important questions, left the synod what it had been, a
body governed by the clergy. Dr. Graebner says: "It has been pointed out
how this [hierarchical] trait plainly appeared already when the
Pennsylvania Synod was founded; later on we meet it everywhere and in
all synods organized prior to the General Synod. According to the
conception generally prevailing a synod had its real foundation, its
essential part, not in the congregations, but in the preachers. This
idea governed their thinking and speaking. The 'preachers of the State
of Ohio united with some of the preachers in Pennsylvania living nearest
to them, and established a conference or synod of their own.' Some
'preachers west of the Susquehanna' were granted their petition of being
permitted to form a synod. In agreement herewith they preferred to speak
of a synod according to its chief and fundamental part, as a
'ministerium.' The constitution of the Pennsylvania Synod began: 'We
Evangelical Lutheran preachers in Pennsylvania and the neighboring
States, by our signatures to this constitution, acknowledging ourselves
as a body, name this union of ours The German Evangelical Lutheran
Ministerium in Pennsylvania and the neighboring States, and our
individual meetings A Ministerial Assembly.' Lay delegates of the
congregations, though admitted to the synodical conventions in
Pennsylvania and at other places, were nowhere recognized as members
having equal rights with the ministers. It was as late as 1792 that the
lay delegates obtained the right to vote in Pennsylvania, and even then
only with restrictions. In the affairs of greatest import (doctrinal
matters, admission of new members, etc.) they were privileged neither to
speak nor to vote. On this point the ministerial order of the
Pennsylvania Synod declared: 'Lay delegates who have a right to vote
shall sit together at one place in the assembly; they are privileged to
offer motions, and to give their opinion and cast their votes in all
questions submitted for decision and determination, except in matters
pertaining to the learning of a candidate or a catechist, to questions
of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the admission to, and expulsion from, the
ministerium, and other, similar cases, for the ministerial assembly has
cognizance of such as these.' The constitution of the New York
Ministerium contained the same provision, chap. 7, §4: 'Each lay
delegate shall have a right to take part in the debates of the House, to
offer resolutions, and to vote on all questions, except the examining,
licensing, or ordaining of candidates for the ministry, the admission of
ministers into the association or their exclusion from it, and the
discussion of weighty articles of faith or cases of conscience.' The
right of a layman to vote was regarded as grounded in that of the
minister, not the right of both in the congregation. When a minister
lost his vote, the delegate of the congregation lost his too." The
constitution of the Pennsylvania Synod provided: Such lay delegates only
"as have an ordained preacher or licensed candidate, and whose teacher
is himself present," shall have a right to vote. Accordingly, "no more
lay delegates can cast their votes than the number of ordained preachers
and licensed candidates present." Furthermore, the resolutions of Synod
were regarded as binding on the congregations. The constitution of the
Pennsylvania Ministerium provided, chap. 6, §14: "Whereas the United
Congregations are represented in the synodical assembly by their
delegates and have a seat and vote in it, they accordingly are bound
willingly to observe the decisions and resolutions of the synodical
assembly and of the ministerium." Chap. 7, §5 of the constitution of the
New York Ministerium read: "Every congregation which is represented by a
delegate in the synods of this body is bound to receive, and submit to,
the resolutions and recommendations of the ministerium, and to bear its
part of all expenses and services necessary for the welfare of the
associated churches generally and the advancement of the common cause.
And if any congregation perseveres in refusing such submission, it shall
no longer be entitled to a representation in this body." (693 ff.)


52. Attitude toward Non-Lutherans.--In the _Lutheran Encyclopedia_ H.
E. Jacobs says in praise of Muhlenberg: "He knew how to combine width of
view and cordiality of friendship towards those of other communions,
with strict adherence to principle." (331.) Similar views had been
expressed by Dr. W. J. Mann at the First Free Lutheran Diet at
Philadelphia. In his "Theses on the Lutheranism of the Fathers of the
Church in This Country" he said: "Their Lutheranism did not differ from
the Lutheran orthodoxy of the preceding period, in the matter of
doctrine, but to an extent in the manner of applying it. It was
orthodoxy practically vitalized. They were less polemical and
theoretical. Whilst tolerant toward those of other convictions, they
were, however, neither indifferent nor unionistically inclined, and
never conformed Lutheranism to any other form of Christianity, though in
their days the pressure in this direction was heavy." (Spaeth, _C. P.
Krauth_, 1, 318.) However, though Muhlenberg's intentions undoubtedly
were to be and remain a Lutheran, his fraternal intercourse and intimate
fellowship with the Reformed, Episcopalians, Methodists, and other
denominations, was of a nature incompatible with true Lutheranism. He
evidently regarded the various Christian communions as sister churches,
who had practically the same divine right to exist and to propagate
their distinctive views as the Lutheran Church. Such was the principle
of indifferentism on which Muhlenberg based his practise of fraternal
recognition and fellowship. The natural and inevitable result of his
relations with the sects was that the free, open, and necessary
confession of Lutheran truth over against Reformed error was weakened
and muffled, and finally smothered and entirely silenced and omitted.
Nor can it be denied that Muhlenberg, by this unionism and
indifferentism, wasted and corrupted much of the rich blessings which
God bestowed, and purposed to bestow, on the American Lutheran Church
through him. Like Dr. Wrangel and the Swedes in Delaware generally,
Muhlenberg and his associates entertained the opinion that especially
the Lutherans and Episcopalians were not separated by any essential
doctrinal differences. Indeed, the Germans in Pennsylvania, like the
Swedes in Delaware, seem at times to have seriously considered a union
between the Episcopalians and the Lutherans. In brief, Muhlenberg's
attitude toward the Reformed and other sects was of a nature which
cannot be justified as Lutheran nor construed as non-unionistic in

53. The Facts in the Case.--From the very beginning to the end of his
activity in America the practise of Muhlenberg was not free from
indifferentism and unionism. Already on his voyage across the ocean he
had conducted services according to the Book of Common Prayer. (G.,
322.) November 25, 1742, Muhlenberg had arrived in Philadelphia, and on
December 28th of the same year he wrote in his journal: "In the
afternoon I visited the English pastor of the Episcopal Church. He was
very cordial, and informed me that he had always been a good friend of
our Lutheran brethren, the Swedish missionaries, and desired to be on
friendly terms also with me." (267.) In 1743 Muhlenberg signified his
willingness to build a union church with the Reformed in case they were
willing to shoulder their part of the expenses. (272.) In 1751 he
reported from New York: "May 31, I visited Mr. Barclay, the most
prominent pastor of the Anglican Church, whom the Archbishop has
appointed commissioner of the province of New York. . . . The Dutch
Reformed have at present four pastors. I called on the oldest of them,
Mr. Du Bois, who received me cordially. Thereupon I visited the youngest
of the Dutch Reformed Ministerium. I visited also the third member of
this body, who, together with his wife, carried on a beautiful and
edifying conversation, so that I was truly delighted." (421.) "June 28,
I visited Mr. Pemberton, the pastor of the English Presbyterian
congregation, for the first time. He was much pleased with my short
call, and remarked that he had received a letter from Pastor Tennent in
Philadelphia, who had mentioned my name and advised him to cultivate my
company. Almost immediately he began to speak of the sainted Professor
Francke, saying that he had read several of his Latin works. Besides
this we had several other edifying conversations. Upon my departure he
asked me to visit him frequently." (422.) "July 22, my host and I drove
to the oldest Reformed pastor, who gave us a cordial reception. In the
afternoon we visited one of the elders of my congregation. In the
evening the younger Reformed pastor visited me." (425.) "On the 23d I
again preached in Dutch on the opening verses of the fifth chapter of
Matthew. The two Reformed pastors and a large number of people were
present." (425.) "August 17, I preached a penitential sermon and had
confession. The church was filled with Lutherans and Reformed, among
whom was also the younger pastor." (428.) "August 21, the members of
the congregation who live near by, several Reformed neighbors, and a
number of friends of New York assembled to hear my farewell sermon at
that place." (420.) "May 11, our Dutch congregation-members who live
near by, and some Reformed neighbors, were invited to attend an hour of
edification." (434.) "In the afternoon I bade farewell to the younger
Reformed pastor." (439.) "Early on Tuesday morning the Reformed Pastor
Schlatter came to my home and embraced me after the custom of our old
and unfeigned love." (439.) "In the evening I was called to the six
Reformed pastors who had arrived. I went and welcomed them with the
words: 'Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye
therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' July 30, I was taken
to the pious English merchant, as he had some awakened souls with him.
They sang a psalm, read a chapter from a devotional book, and in
conclusion urged me to pray. After the dear souls had returned to their
homes, I remained with him and had a very delightful and edifying
conversation with him and his pious wife." (440.) Muhlenberg praises the
Episcopalian Richard Peters as a "moderate theologian," possessed of a
"catholic spirit," and reports in 1760: "On the ninth and tenth of
August Mr. Richard Peters, secretary of the province and president of
the Academy in Philadelphia, visited me in Providence. In the morning he
attended our German service, with which, he said, he was greatly
delighted. In the afternoon he himself delivered a very solid and
edifying sermon to a large audience." (516.) After his removal to
Philadelphia, in 1761, Muhlenberg wrote: "On Monday, March 16, I
intended quietly to leave the city. However, Provost Wrangel as well as
some of the elders accompanied me, the former as far as the home of
Pastor Schlatter, where we were hospitably received and entertained for
the night." (380.) On the services conducted at Barren Hill on Easter
Monday, 1762, Muhlenberg reports as follows: "After my sermon Pastor
Schlatter added a short admonition, impressing upon them what they had
already heard." (517.) "On Monday, May 25, I went out in the forenoon to
visit some English friends. As I happened to pass by the English High
Church at eleven o'clock, I was called into the manse, where I found a
numerous assembly of the honorable English missionaries, who were
conducting their annual meeting. They took me to church with them,
showed me unmerited honor, and permitted me to attend their session as a
friend and witness." (380.) May 21, 1762, Muhlenberg noted in his diary:
"At noon I was with Mr. R., who related with joy how he, Mr. D., and
Provost Wrangel, together with the new Swedish pastor, Mr. Wicksel, and
the Reformed pastor, Schlatter, had yesterday, on Ascension Day,
attended the new church, where they had heard two splendid and edifying
sermons in German and English delivered to two large audiences." (383.)
October 16, 1763, he wrote: "Pastor Handschuh was called upon to bury a
Reformed woman who died in childbirth; he delivered the sermon in the
old Reformed church." On October 18, 1763, during the sessions of Synod,
and at its request, Whitefield preached in the pulpit of Muhlenberg. In
1767 J. S. Gerock dedicated his new church in New York, "assisted by
different High German and English Protestant pastors and teachers," H.
M. Muhlenberg and Hartwick also preaching. (444.) When Muhlenberg
dedicated his new Zion Church in Philadelphia, on June 25, 1769, the
professors of the Academy as well as the Episcopalian and Presbyterian
pastors were invited. The report says: "The second English pastor, Mr.
Duchee, opened the services by reading the English prayers, the
Prorector of the Academy offered an appropriate prayer, and Commissioner
Peters delivered a splendid sermon on the song of the angels, Luke 2,
whereupon Rector Muhlenberg, in the name of the corporation and
congregation, thanked the honorable assembly, in English, for their
favor and kindness in honoring this newly erected church and conducting
a service there." May 27, 1770, Whitefield, upon invitation, also
preached in the new church. (518.) Without a word of censure on the part
of his father, or of protest on the part of Synod, Peter Muhlenberg, in
1772, at London, subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles and received
Episcopal ordination, in order to be able to perform legal marriage
ceremonies within his congregations in Virginia. Invited by the
Presbyterian pastor, W. Tennent, Muhlenberg, Sr., preached in his church
on two occasions while at Charleston, in 1774. (578.) At Savannah he
preached in the union church of the Reformed Pastor Zuebli, and in the
Lutheran church at Savannah he enjoyed the sermon of a Methodist pastor.
(518.) At the church dedication in Pikestown, in 1775, he preached in
German, and an Episcopalian, Mr. Currie, in English, etc.

54. Whitefield in Muhlenberg's Pulpit.--"The pastors of the first
period of the Ministerium," says Dr. Jacobs, "were on friendly
relations with Whitefield. Dr. Wrangel interested himself in securing
for him an invitation to meet with the members of the Ministerium during
the sessions of 1763. In urging this proposition, Wrangel did not forget
the collections which Whitefield had made in Europe for the impoverished
Salzburgers. The presence of a man who had pleaded eloquently in English
pulpits for contributions to build Lutheran churches in Georgia, and
with that eminent success which Benjamin Franklin has noted in a
well-known passage in his autobiography, certainly deserved recognition,
even apart from Whitefield's services in awakening life in the Church of
England and in America. He was present at the examination of the
children of St. Michael's Church before the synod, made a fervent prayer
and an edifying address. On the next day he bade the synod farewell, and
requested the prayers of its members. The next year he was in attendance
at the funeral of Pastor Handschuh. In 1770 (May 27) he preached by
special invitation in Zion Church." (286.) In his report, dated October
15, 1763, on the synod of the same year, Muhlenberg himself says: "It
was also considered, whether we should not invite Mr. Whitefield and the
two well-disposed preachers of the Episcopal Church for Monday and
Tuesday, especially to the examination of the children. Among other
reasons Dr. Wrangel mentioned the fact that Whitefield had assisted our
poor suffering brethren in Georgia [Salzburgers] with collections. In
the evening Dr. Wrangel took me to Mr. Whitefield, and in the name of
the Ministerium we invited him together with the rector of the High
Church, who was present." October 16, Muhlenberg wrote: "After the
services Dr. Wrangel, Pastor Handschuh, and three trustees went to Mr.
Whitefield and asked him if on the morrow he would attend our
examination in the church, and speak a word of admonition to the
children. He answered: Yes, if his weakness permitted, and such were
God's gracious will." October 18, Muhlenberg wrote: "Mr. Whitefield
ascended the pulpit, and said a hearty and powerful prayer. Hereupon he
addressed himself to the children, delivering, with tears and deep
emotion, a condescending sermon about pious children of the Old and New
Testaments, together with some modern examples which he had himself
experienced, and finally enjoined upon parents their duties. After this
the children were examined by Dr. Wrangel, and then, in German, by me.
Whitefield, however, being very weak in body, and the church being very
crowded, we discontinued and closed with a piece of church music. The
pastors and other delegates, the elders and deacons took dinner in the
school, the old Mr. Tennent [Episcopalian], who was given the place of
honor, delighting us with edifying conversation." October 19, Muhlenberg
wrote: "At four o'clock Mr. George Whitefield visited our Ministerium in
the school, bidding us an affectionate farewell, and requesting us to
intercede for him before the throne of grace." Dr. Graebner remarks: "A
misstep as serious as this, admitting an errorist like Whitefield to the
pulpit of the local pastor and synodical president, such as was done at
this synodical meeting, had, at least, not been made before the time of
Wrangel." (383 ff.) Concerning his fellowship with Whitefield in 1770,
Muhlenberg made the following entries in his journal: "Friday, May 25...
Because I could not do otherwise, I wrote a few lines to Rev. Mr.
Whitefield, stating that if he would preach for me on next Sunday night
in Zion Church, it would be acceptable to me." "Sunday, May 27.... Early
in the evening Zion Church was filled with people of all sorts of
religion, both German and English. We two preachers went to Mr.
Whitefield's lodging and took him with us to the church, which was so
crowded that we had to take him in through the steeple-door.... He
complained of a cold contracted at the morning service, and consequent
hoarseness, but preached very acceptably from 2 Chron. 7, 1 on 'The
Outer and the Inner Glory of the House of God.' He introduced some
impressive remarks concerning our fathers--Francke and Ziegenhagen,
etc." (Jacobs, 287.) At the First Lutheran Diet, Dr. C. P. Krauth
explained: "Whitefield was an evangelist of forgotten or ignored
doctrines of the Gospel; a witness excluded from many pulpits of his own
church because of his earnestness in preaching the truth; in some sense
a martyr. This invested him with interest in the eyes of our fathers,
and his love to the Lutheran Church and his services to it made him very
dear." (287.)

55. Experiencing the Consequences.--From what has been said it is
evident that Muhlenberg's relations with the sects was not without
reprehensible unionism. Even where, in such fellowship, syncretism was
not directly practised, the proper confession of Lutheran truth was
omitted. As with the Swedes in Delaware, fraternal intercourse proceeded
on the silent understanding that the sore spot of doctrinal differences
must be carefully avoided. For Lutherans, however, this was tantamount
to a denial of the truth. Muhlenberg set an example the influence of
which was all the more pernicious by reason of the high esteem in which
he was held by the members of Synod, who revered him as a father. As
late as 1866 the Pennsylvania Synod defended its intercourse with the
Reformed Synod "as a measure introduced by the fathers in the time of
Muhlenberg and Schlatter." And the unionistic practises indulged in by
the General Synod throughout its history cannot but be viewed as the
fruits of the tree first planted by the Halle emissaries. Nor could they
fail to see the abyss into which such unionism must finally lead, as it
was apparent already in the history of the Swedes. That Muhlenberg had a
presentiment whither things were drifting appears from his warning in
1783 to J. L. Voigt not to open his pulpit to Methodist preachers.
(516.) Indeed, Muhlenberg himself lived to see the first bitter fruits
of his dalliance with the sects. Four months before his end, June 6,
1787, Franklin College, at Lancaster, was solemnly opened as a German
High School and a union theological seminary for Lutherans, Reformed,
and a number of other sects. H. E. Muhlenberg delivered the sermon at
the opening exercises, which were attended by the entire synod. The name
of the institution was chosen in view of the virtues and merits of
Benjamin Franklin, who had contributed 200 Pounds. The College had
forty-five trustees, consisting of 15 Lutherans, 15 Reformed, and 15
chosen from other communions. A director was to be chosen alternately
from the Lutheran and from the Reformed Church. Among the first trustees
were J. H. C. Helmuth and other Lutheran pastors. Two of the first four
teachers were Lutherans: Pastor H. E. Muhlenberg, the first director,
and Pastor F. W. Melsheimer. (515.) Dr. A. Spaeth, agreeing with W. J.
Mann, says: "Sooner or later the whole Lutheran Church of America should
and could unite on the position of Muhlenberg." (252.) We would not
detract from the merit of Muhlenberg. The slogan of the American
Lutheran Church, however, dare never be: "Back to Muhlenberg!" "Back to
Halle!" but "Back to Wittenberg!" "Back to Luther! Back to Lutheran
sincerity, determination, and consistency both in doctrine and


56. Parish Schools Cultivated.--One cannot possibly say too much in
praise of the missionary zeal on the part of Muhlenberg and his
associates and of their unceasing efforts to establish new mission-posts
and organize new congregations, and to obtain additional laborers from
Europe, notably from Halle. In a large measure this applies also to
their labors in the interest of establishing parochial schools. In fact,
wherever we read of early Lutherans in America, especially German
Lutherans, there we also hear the cry for schools and schoolteachers to
instruct the children. Comparatively weak efforts to establish schools
for their children were made by the Swedes in Delaware. At Christina a
teacher was employed in 1699; in Wicaco Teacher Hernboom began a school
in 1713. The minutes of the Pennsylvania Synod of 1762 record: "In the
Swedish congregations the Swedish schools have for several generations
been regrettably neglected; Dr. Wrangel, however, has started an English
school in one of his congregations in which the Lutheran Catechism is
read in an English translation." Acrelius, who had been provost of the
Swedes in Delaware, wrote in 1759: "Forty years back our people scarcely
knew what a school was. The first Swedish and Holland settlers were a
poor, weak, and ignorant people, who brought up their children in the
same ignorance." The result was great ignorance among the Swedes.
_Jacobs:_ "There seems to have been an entire dearth of laymen capable
of intelligently participating in the administration of the affairs of
the congregation until we come to Peter Kock. Eneberg found at Christina
that 'of the vestrymen and elders of the parish there was scarcely any
one who could write his own name.'" (104.) The Salzburgers had a school
in Ebenezer, and later a second school in the country. At the beginning
Bolzius and Gronau gave daily instruction in religion, the one four, the
other three hours daily. In 1741 Ortmann and an English teacher
instructed the youth at Ebenezer. The Palatinates in New York began
with the building, not only of a church, but also of a school in 1710,
the very year in which they had settled at West Camp. In New York there
was a schoolhouse as well as a church, and a "schoolkeeper"
(_Schulhalter_) was employed. When the teacher disappeared, the
schoolhouse was rented out, but Berkenmeyer taught the children in his
home for five months in a year, three times a week. Also in North
Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, etc., parish schools were established,
and the great need of them explained to and urged upon the people by the
conferences and ministers. In Pennsylvania there were several German
schools even before the arrival of Muhlenberg; as a rule, however, the
teachers were incompetent or immoral, or both. (247.) When, in 1734,
Daniel Weisiger, one of the representatives of the congregations at
Philadelphia, New Hanover, and Providence, made his appearance in Halle,
he asked for both an able and pious preacher and a schoolteacher. In the
beginning Muhlenberg himself took charge of the school. In January,
1743, he wrote: "Because there is a great ignorance among the youth of
this land and good schoolteachers are so very rare, I shall be compelled
to take hold of the work myself. Those who possibly could teach the
youth to read are lazy and drunken, compile a sermon from all manner of
books, run about, preach, and administer the Lord's Supper for hard
cash. Miserable and disgusting, indeed! I announced to the people [at
Providence] to send first their oldest children for instruction, as I
intended to remain with the congregation eight days at a time. On Monday
some of the parents brought their children. It certainly looks
depressing when children of seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty years
come with the Abc-Book. Yet I am delighted that they are possessed of so
great a desire to learn something," etc. "In Providence," Muhlenberg
wrote later on, "I have a splendid young man, who keeps school in
winter, and in summer earns his living by doing manual labor." In 1745
J. N. Kurtz and J. H. Schaum were sent from Halle to take charge of the
youth. One of the chief questions to engage the attention of the first
convention of the Pennsylvania Synod, in 1748, was: "What is the
condition of the parish schools?" Brunnholtz reported: In his home at
Philadelphia, Schaum, whom he supported, had been keeping school for
three and a half years; since Easter there had been no school, as Schaum
was needed at another place; however, before winter would set in, he and
his elders would do their best in this matter. Germantown, continued
Brunnholtz, had two teachers, Doeling, a former Moravian, being one of
them, whose schools were attended by many children, some of them
non-Lutherans. Another school near Germantown with twenty children had
been closed for lack of a teacher. Muhlenberg stated: In Providence
there had been a small school in the past year. New Hanover had a fair
school, Jacob Loeser being teacher. Though a teacher could be had for
the filials Saccum and Upper Milford, there were no schools there. When
the elders hereupon explained that the distances were too great, Synod
advised to change off monthly with the teacher, and demanded an answer
in this matter in the near future. Kurtz promised to begin a school at
Tulpehocken in winter. Handschuh reported: In Lancaster the school was
flourishing; Teacher Schmidt and his assistant Vigera had instructed 70
children. At the meeting of Synod in 1753 the pastors complained: "The
schools within our congregations are in a very poor state, since able
and faithful teachers are rare, salaries utterly insufficient, the
members too widely scattered and in most cases poor, roads too bad in
winter, and the children too urgently needed on the farms in summer."
(G., 496.) According to the report of the Synod held in 1762 there were
parochial schools in New Providence, one main school and several smaller
ones; in New Hanover; in Philadelphia, where a public examination during
the sessions of Synod exhibited the efficiency of the school; in Vincent
Township, a school with a good teacher and 60 children; in Reading, a
school with more than 80 children; in Tulpehocken, a school of 40
children; in Heidelberg, a school of 30 children; in Northkeel, 30
children, taught by Pastor Kurtz; in Lancaster, a school of 60 children
in summer and 90 in winter, etc. (495.)

57. Dearth of Pastors and Schoolteachers.--From the very beginning one
of the greatest obstacles to the spread and healthy growth of the
Lutheran Church in America was the dearth of well-trained, able, and
truly Lutheran pastors and schoolteachers. And the greatest of all
mistakes of the early builders of the American Zion was the failure to
provide for the crying need of laborers by the only proper and effectual
means--the establishment of American seminaries for the training of
truly Lutheran pastors and teachers qualified to serve in American
surroundings. The growing indifferentism and deterioration of the
Lutheran ministry as well as of the Lutheran congregations was a
necessary consequence of this neglect, which resulted in an inadequate
service, rendered, to a large extent, by incompetent or heterodox
ministers. Dr. Mann was right when he maintained in his _Plea for the
Augsburg Confession_ of 1856, that the doctrinal aberrations of the
Definite Platform theologians were due, in part, to the fact that S. S.
Schmucker and other ministers had received their theological education
at Princeton and other non-Lutheran schools. The constantly increasing
need, coupled with the insufficient preparation of the men willing to
serve, led to the pernicious system of licensing, which for many decades
became a permanent institution in Pennsylvania and other States. In 1857
the General Synod adopted the following report: "The committee on the
Licensure System respectfully report that the action of this body
requesting the several District Synods to take into consideration and
report their judgment on the proposed alteration or abolition of our
Licensure System has been responded to by fifteen synods. Out of this
number all the synods, excepting three, have decided against a change.
Your committee have to report the judgment of the Church to be decidedly
against any change of our long-established regulations on this subject,
and therefore deem it unnecessary to enter on the discussion of the
merits of the subject, in this report, and propose the adoption of the
following resolution: Resolved, That the great majority of our Synods
having expressed their judgment against any change in our Licensure
System, your committee be released from the further consideration of the
subject." (20.) The great dearth of ministers accounted for this action.
Even before 1727 there were in Pennsylvania more than 50,000 Germans. In
1751 Benjamin Franklin expressed his apprehension that "the Palatine
boors" would Germanize Pennsylvania. In 1749 more than 12,000 German
emigrants arrived. In 1750 the Germans in Pennsylvania numbered about
80,000, almost one-half of the inhabitants of the State. And more than
one-half of these were considered Lutherans. In 1811, however, when this
number had greatly increased, the Pennsylvania Synod reported only 64
ministers, of whom 34 were ordained, 26 were licensed to preach, and 4
were catechists. The number of ministers sent from Germany had been
augmented by such as had been tutored by pastors in America. Chr. Streit
and Peter Muhlenberg, for example, were instructed by Provost Wrangel
and Muhlenberg, Sr. Another pupil of Muhlenberg was Jacob van Buskirk.
H. Moeller, D. Lehman, and others had studied under J. C. Kunze. Jacob
Goering, J. Bachman, C. F. L. Endress, J. G. Schmucker, Miller, and
Baetis were pupils of J. H. Ch. Helmuth. H. A. Muhlenberg, who
subsequently became prominent in politics, and B. Keller were educated
in Franklin College. Later on some attended Princeton and other Reformed
schools to prepare themselves for the Lutheran ministry! To make matters
worse, the ministers who, toward the close of the eighteenth century,
came from Germany were no longer adapted for their surroundings, which
were rapidly becoming English. Besides, Halle and the other German
universities had grown rationalistic. According to the Report of the
General Synod in 1823 the Lutheran Church in America numbered 900
churches with only 175 ministers. (9.) The same report states: "The
ancient and venerable Synod of Pennsylvania is rapidly increasing both
in members and in ministers, and we trust that much good is doing in the
name of our blessed Savior Jesus. From the minutes of the session of the
present year, which was held at Lebanon, it appears that the body
consists of 74 ministers, who have the pastoral charge of upwards of 278
churches; that between the session of 1822 and 1823 they admitted to
membership by baptism 6,445, admitted to sacramental communion by
confirmation 2,750, that the whole number of communicants is 24,794, and
that there are under the superintendence of the different churches 208
congregational schools." (11.) In 1843, according to the _Lutheran
Almanac_ for that year, the General Synod numbered 424 ordained and
licensed pastors and 1,374 congregations with 146,303 communicants. This
averaged three congregations for every pastor, some serving as many as
six, eight, or even twelve, giving the majority of the congregations one
service every four weeks, and to many only one service every eight
weeks. (_Kirchl. Mitt. 1843, No. 11.) In 1853 about 9,000 Lutheran
congregations in the United States were served by only 900 pastors.
(_Lutheraner,_ 10, 31.) Thus, as the years rolled on, the question
became increasingly pressing: "Where shall we find pastors for our
children?" Yet, while the Lutheran ministers, as a rule, were most
zealous and self-sacrificing in their labors to serve and gather the
scattered Lutherans, organize congregations, and establish parochial
schools, the early history of American Lutheranism does not record a
single determined effort anywhere to provide in a systematic way for the
training of preachers and teachers, such as were required by American
conditions and surroundings. We hear of an orphan home founded by the
Salzburgers in 1737 with three boys and eight girls, but nowhere of a
seminary turning out preachers and teachers for the maintenance and
upbuilding of the Church. It was in 1864, more than 120 years after the
first appearance of Muhlenberg in Pennsylvania, that the "Mother Synod"
of the Lutheran Church in America founded a seminary in Philadelphia.

58. Hopeless Situation.--Several years after his arrival in America,
Muhlenberg realized the need and conceived the thought of founding an
orphan asylum with a preachers' seminary in connection; and in 1748 he
had acquired the ground for this purpose. In his letters to Halle he
repeatedly declared that it would be impossible to supply "the almost
innumerable multitude of German Lutherans" with pastors for any length
of time without a seminary in America. In one of these letters he says:
"An institution of this kind does not appear to be impossible. And it
seems to be necessary, because, as the past experience has taught us,
the calling of well-tried and able preachers from Germany, though
indeed of especial advantage, and needed also in the future, at least
for a considerable time, is connected with so many difficulties and
such great expense that it will be impossible to send over as many
from Germany as will be required in order to provide sufficiently for
all congregations." (504.) In 1769 Muhlenberg broached the matter to
the convention of the Ministerium, and Synod repeatedly considered the
question. But nothing materialized. Indeed, J. C. Kunze, who later
became Muhlenberg's son-in-law, finally did succeed in opening a
preparatory school; lack of funds, however, compelled him to close it
during the Revolutionary War. Kunze, Helmuth, and J. F. Schmidt now
pinned their hopes to the "German Institute" of the Pennsylvania
University, whose professors were Lutherans from 1779 to 1822. Helmuth
instructed every day from eight to twelve and from two to five o'clock.
But the "German Institute" did not turn out any Lutheran pastors, as
the curriculum contained no course in theology. Kunze writes: "It is
true, I was professor of Oriental languages in Philadelphia. However, I
had but six scholars, and I doubt if one of them will study theology.
And who would instruct them, in case they should desire to study
theology? We did not have time to devote a single hour to this subject
in Philadelphia." In 1785 Helmuth and Schmidt wrote: "There is nothing
we pastors desire more than a German educational institution, where
young men could be prepared directly for the service of the Church. To
be sure, we have part in the university located here, and also make use
of it. But languages and philosophy only are taught here, from which our
churches and schools derive no benefit." The hopelessness of the
situation is further revealed by the following letter which Helmuth
addressed to the synod assembled in Lancaster, Pa., 1784: "Brethren, we
are living in a sad time. My heart weeps over the awful decay of
Christendom. I readily acknowledge my share of the guilt that God seems
to hide His countenance from us, permitting the doors to stand wide
open, for the spirit of lies [rationalism] to enter and destroy the
vineyard of the Lord. You will learn from the report from Halle how the
swine are uprooting the garden of Christ in Germany. . . . Another
thing, dearest brethren, how shall we in the future supply our
congregations with pastors? Where shall we find ministers to meet our
need, which will increase from time to time! From Germany? Possibly a
secret Arian, Socinian, or Deist? For over there everything is full of
this vermin. God forbid! Under present circumstances, no one from
Germany! We ourselves must put our hands to the plow. God will call us
to account for it, and will let our children suffer for it, if we do not
wake up, and hazard something for the weal of immortal souls."--And
how did they now seek to provide help? Franklin College was founded in
conjunction with the German Reformed and other sects! Helmuth and other
Lutheran pastors were among the trustees of the institution. In an
appeal to the Lutheran congregations they say: "Where will you at last
find pastors and teachers if you do not send your children to college?
. . . Think you that your churches and schools can exist without them?
Either your children will have to content themselves with the poorest
kind of men, or else surrender language and religion, for which you have
laid the foundation, thus loading a great guilt upon yourselves. Dear
friends, German church-life can impossibly continue to exist as it has
hitherto existed in many places. In a few years the churches you already
have will be deserted. And what will then become of the increased number
of Germans dwelling in your midst? Are there not already a great number
of localities where the inhabitants hear no sermon for six to eight
weeks, and where the young grow up like the savages?" (515. 530.) The
Synod of 1818 also staked its hopes on Franklin College, which, however,
was eking out a pitiable existence, and finally became the exclusive
property of the Reformed. The dire need was apparent to all; the true
way out of the difficulty, however, no one saw nor wanted to see. And
the reason? Avarice on the part of the congregations, and a lack of
initiative and Lutheran earnestness and determination on the part of the
pastors. Nor did the seminaries founded in the first part of the
nineteenth century (Hartwick Seminary, established in 1815; Gettysburg
Seminary, in 1825; and the seminary of the South Carolina Synod, in
1829, at Lexington) meet the needs of the Church, either as to the
quantity or the quality of the candidates required for the Lutheran
ministry. In a letter addressed to the General Synod, assembled 1827 at
Gettysburg, Dr. Hazelius wrote: "Our [Hartwick] Seminary has been
established since the year 1815; during which time 11 young men have
received their theological education here, 10 of whom are now actively
engaged as laborers in the vineyard of our Lord; but one is prevented by
disease from participating in the labors of his brethren." (20.) All
told, 10 preachers produced by Lutheran seminaries in the United States
till 1827! Besides, in reality these seminaries were not Lutheran, but
unionistic and, in a degree, Reformed schools.


59. Descent Increasingly Swift.--The Lutheran Church has always held
that, as faith cannot and must not be coerced, the broadest tolerance as
to matters of conscience and religion should govern the policy of the
State everywhere. On the other hand, the Lutheran Church maintains that,
as truth is absolutely intolerant of error, and error is the direct
denial of truth, the Christian Church dare not in any shape or manner
give recognition to false teaching, but, on the contrary, is bound
always to reject it and to confess God's truth alone. Indifferentism as
to false doctrine and practise has ever proved to be the most deadly
foe of true Lutheranism, which, essentially, is but another name for
consistent Christianity. Lutheranism and doctrinal indifferentism are
just as destructive mutually as are truth and falsehood. Also the
history of the Pennsylvania Synod offers ample proof of this law. In the
days of Muhlenberg, Lutherans began to doubt that their doctrinal
position, as presented in the Lutheran Symbols, alone is of divine right
in the Christian Church, and alone in complete keeping with the
Scriptures. Then they began to defend themselves as also being in the
right and standing for truth; then, to apologize for their presence in
America; then, to be ashamed of themselves and publicly to deny the
distinctive tenets of Lutheranism; and, finally, to oppose its
doctrines, champion their counterpart, and practically embrace
sectarianism. Muhlenberg had lived to see the beginning of the end of
true Lutheranism when Franklin College was opened. The descent was
increasingly swift. In 1792 the confession of the Lutheran Symbols was
omitted in the new constitution of the Ministerium. And when, under the
influence of Quitman, the New York Ministerium became rationalistic, the
Pennsylvania Synod made no protest, administered no rebuke, and did not
sever its fraternal relations with it. Moreover, in a measure, they
opened their own doors to Rationalism; the German language was regarded
as being of greater import than faithful adherence to the Lutheran
Confessions; and refuge against the inroads of Rationalism and the
English language was sought in a union with the German Reformed and the
German Moravians. The utter degeneration of the Pennsylvania Synod
appears from the new Agenda, concerning which Synod resolved in 1818
that it be introduced in all German congregations of the Ministerium.
In this Book there were embodied also forms designed to satisfy the
Rationalists. Two of the forms for administering the Sacrament of
Baptism contained no confession of faith. The confession to the
Lutheran Church was stricken from the form for Confirmation. In two of
the forms for the administration of the Lord's Supper the Union formula
of distribution was employed, _viz_., "Jesus says: Take and eat--Jesus
says: Take and drink ye all of it," etc. The second form contained the
following general invitation: "In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Master, I say to all who acknowledge Him as their Savior, and are
determined to be His faithful followers: You are welcome at this Feast
of Love." (669.) The second formula for burials had a rationalistic
tang. And the formulas of ordination and licensure no longer demanded
adherence to the Lutheran Confessions. (669.)

60. Intrenching behind the German Language.--The Christian Church,
hence also the Lutheran Church, views every language, Hebrew, Greek, and
Latin, as well as German and English, not as an end, but always as a
means only toward furthering her real end, the regeneration and
salvation of souls. According to Loehe's _Kirchliche Mitteilungen_ of
1845, No. 5, a German emigrant wrote shortly after his arrival in
America: "I cannot sufficiently thank God for the grace bestowed upon
me; for when I for the first time heard the language of Canaan
[English], the language of the New Jerusalem, I was immediately and
deeply moved by the Spirit of God and was caught like tinder." This was
certainly not the attitude of the German Lutheran ministers of the
Pennsylvania Synod, some of whom, going to the other extreme, were in
danger of viewing the English, as compared with the German, as
impregnated with the spirit of rationalism and infidelity. Riding, as it
were, on the language, rationalism had made its public entry into the
New York Ministerium. The real cause, however, was not the language, but
the indifferentism and unionism prevailing within this body, which long
ago had paved the way for, indeed, had itself bred, religious unbelief.
However, mistaking what was merely accidental and a concomitant for the
chief and real cause of the calamity in the New York Ministerium,
prominent German ministers of the Pennsylvania Synod, in order to guard
against a similar turn of events in their own midst, frantically opposed
the use of the English language in the Synod and her congregations, and
placed such emphasis on the German as made it an end _per se_ peculiar
to the Lutheran Church rather than a means employed wherever and
whenever the conditions call for it in order to attain her real and
supreme object--the saving of souls. Men like J. H. C. Helmuth and J.
F. Schmidt, in a way, identified English and Rationalism, German and
Lutheranism (that is to say, unionistic Evangelicalism). Lamenting the
inroads that Rationalism was making also in Lutheran congregations, they
wrote: "But now the Protestant churches are threatened by a terrible
storm, which is not the mere consequence of the natural course of
things, but a _sign of this time_, and it will soon despoil them of the
treasures of their Church together with all their happiness, unless
teachers and parents will counteract it with united strength. Almost
universally, especially in the cities and at the boundaries, they are
beginning to educate the children exclusively in the English language,
and, in a manner for which they will not be able to answer, to neglect
them as regards the German services. This is the consequence of the
indifference and the disregard of sound doctrine which, in the present
hour of great temptation, is spreading over the face of the earth." But
instead of stemming the tide of Rationalism by returning to Lutheran
faithfulness, they ignored the Lutheran Confessions and intrenched
themselves behind the German language and the "brethren" in the German
Reformed and German Moravian churches. The general church-prayer of the
Agenda of 1786, universally introduced in the congregations of the
Pennsylvania Synod, contained the passage: "And since it has pleased
Thee [God] to transform this State [Pennsylvania] into a blooming
garden, the deserts into delightful meadows, grant that we may not
forget our nation, but strive to have our dear youth educated in such a
manner that German churches and schools may not only be maintained, but
brought to a flourishing condition, ever increasing." (404.) In 1812 the
_Evangelisches Magazin_ appeared "under the auspices of the German
Evangelical Lutheran Synod," Pastors Helmuth and Schmidt being the
editors. Its avowed purpose, however, was not to represent Lutheranism,
but specifically to bolster up the cause of the German and to oppose the
introduction of the English language. The "Proposal to Synod" concerning
the new German paper states: "1. We want to aid the German language as
much as we can, because we are convinced that, with her language, our
Church will lose unspeakably much, and, finally, for the most part, even
her very existence under her [Lutheran] name. 2. We know the days of the
great apostasy in Europe. . . . Also this devouring monster could be
counteracted by a well-arranged _Evangelisches Magazin_." (544.) In 1813
the _Magazin_ contained a series of articles urging the Reformed and
Lutherans to stand together against all attempts at introducing English.
The English language, it is said, is too poor to furnish an adequate
translation of the German prayers and hymns and books of devotion.
English congregations could not remain either Lutheran or Reformed,
because "our religious writings are all German." Revealing his Utopian
dreams, the writer continues: "What would Philadelphia be in forty years
if the Germans there were to remain German, and retain their language
and customs? It would not be forty years until Philadelphia would be a
German city, just as York and Lancaster are German counties. . . . What
would be the result throughout Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland in
forty or fifty years? An entirely German State, where, as formerly in
Germantown, the beautiful German language would be used in the
legislative halls and the courts of justice." (Jacobs, 330.) In 1805 the
Pennsylvania Synod resolved that "this Ministerium must remain a
German-speaking body"--a resolution which, especially in Philadelphia,
merely served to increase the humiliating and damaging language-strife
which had begun several decades before.


61. Seeking Refuge with the Reformed.--In their struggle against
Rationalism and the English language the German Lutherans of
Pennsylvania sought help in an alliance with the German Reformed and the
Moravians. Fellowship between them became increasingly intimate. "Luther
and Zwingli," they boasted harmoniously, "opened the eyes of the world!"
"After all," they kept on saying, "there is but one faith, one Baptism,
one Supper, no matter how much the Lutheran and Reformed views on it may
be at variance." (539.) One of the objects of the German _Evangelical
Magazine_ evidently was to bring about a more intimate union between all
German Evangelical bodies. For this reason it was not called "Lutheran,"
but "Evangelical." The preface to the first volume declared: "Our
undertaking would be greatly furthered if the brethren of other
communions would beautify it with their pious contributions, and also
solicit subscriptions. The brethren of the Moravian Unity have expressed
their satisfaction with this imperfect work, and assured us of their
abiding love in this point." (544.) In view of the celebration of the
Reformation Jubilee, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, at York, June 2,
1817, resolved that the German Reformed, Moravian, Episcopal, and
Presbyterian churches be invited by our President to take part with us
in the festival of the Reformation. In the following year the unionistic
and rationalistic Agenda characterized above was adopted by the
Ministerium. A committee was also appointed to confer with the German
Reformed, and to devise plans for utilizing Franklin College as a
theological seminary, in order to prepare ministers for both
denominations. In 1819, at Lancaster, Pa., Synod again considered the
proposition of founding a joint seminary at Lancaster, and appropriated
the sum of $100 for this purpose on condition that the Reformed Synod
set aside an equal amount. A committee was also appointed to confer with
a similar committee of the Reformed, and to draw up the necessary plans
for the seminary. During this time, especially in the period of 1817 to
1825, prominent men of the Pennsylvania Synod considered and advocated
plans for an organic "general union of our Church in this country with
the Evangelical Reformed Church." (685.) The Pennsylvania minutes of
1822 contain a notice according to which Endress and W. A. Muhlenberg
were among the chief advocates of this movement. Many, especially in the
Pennsylvania and North Carolina synods, regarded and zealously urged the
union of all Lutheran synods in a General Synod as a step in this
direction, _viz_., union with the Reformed. Graebner says: "When all
the Lutherans had been organized into one general body, and had grown
accustomed to marching together, one might also hope to experience that
when the command for the greater union would be given, the entire
Lutheran people, now freed from Lutheranism, would march in stately
procession to the goal of Schober's Morning Star [union of all
Evangelical churches]. This was evidently the policy and ulterior object
when, at Harrisburg, 1818, the Pennsylvania Synod resolved that 'the
officers of Synod be a standing correspondence committee to bring about,
if possible, a union with the other Lutheran synods.'" (685.) Viewed in
its historical context (the favorable deliberations and resolutions on
the union seminary, the union hymn-book, etc.), this resolution admits
of no other interpretation. When, therefore, the organization of the
General Synod seemed, in the opinion of many, to interfere with and
threaten the projected union with the Reformed, the Pennsylvania Synod
promptly withdrew from this body, in 1823. Says Jacobs: "The form of the
opposition [to the General Synod] was that the General Synod interfered
with the plans that had been projected for a closer union with the
Reformed, and the establishment of a Lutheran-Reformed theological
seminary. Congregations in Lehigh County petitioned the synod, for this
reason, to 'return to the old order of things'; and the synod, in the
spirit of charity [?] toward its congregations, in order that nothing
might interrupt the mutual fraternal love that subsisted between the
brethren, consented, by a vote of seventy-two to nine, to desert the
child which it had brought into being." (361.)

62. Union Reformation Jubilee of 1817.--At York, June 2, 1817, the
Pennsylvania Synod resolved to celebrate the tercentenary of the
Reformation together with the Reformed, the Episcopalians, etc.
Invitations were extended accordingly. In his answer of October 14,
1817, Bishop William White of the Episcopal Church wrote to Pastor
Lochman, expressing his delight at the prospect of taking part in the
prospective celebration. He said: "I received the letter with which you
honored me, dated July 23, 1817. In answer I take occasion to inform you
that it will give me great satisfaction to join with the reverend
ministers and with the whole body of the Lutheran Church, in this city,
on the day appointed, in returning thanks to Almighty God for the
beginning of the blessed Reformation in the three-hundredth year
preceding, and in raising up for that purpose the great and good man who
has transmitted to your Church his name, and whose praise is in all the
churches of the Reformation. This occasion must, of course, be the more
welcome to me on account of the agreement in doctrine which has always
been considered as subsisting between the Lutheran churches and the
Church of England, the mother of that of which I am a minister."
(Jacobs, 356.) In his sermon at Frederick, Md., D. F. Schaeffer declared
that it is noteworthy that both Luther and Calvin "were agreed on all
points, with the exception of one which was of minor importance." The
congregation sang according to the tune of "Wie schoen leuchtet der
Morgenstern": "One hundred years, thrice told this day, By heavenly
grace truth's radiant ray Beamed through the Reformation; Yea, glorious
as Aurora's light Dispels the gloomy mists of night, Dawn'd on the world
salvation. Luther! Zwingli! Joined with Calvin! From error's sin The
church to free Restored religious liberty." In Yorktown a German cantata
was sung from which we quote, according to the original, as follows:
"Chor: Heute vor dreihundert Jahr, Strahlte Licht aus Gottesthron, Durch
die Reformation. Luther, Deutschlands hoechste Zier, Stund der Kirche
Jesu fuer. Solo: Aber welch ein Widerstand! Solo: Luther war mit Gott
verwandt. Duetto: Seiner Lehre heller Schein, Drang in tausend Herzen
ein, Drang in tausend Herzen ein. Pause: Zwingel kam Und Calvin, Traten
auf in Christi Sinn; Duetto: Und verbreiten Licht und Heil Segensvoll in
ihrem Teil. Ganzer Chor: Millionen feiern heut', Dankbar froh' im
hoeh'ren Ton, Dieses Fest dem Menschensohn." (G., 665.)

63. Reformed and Lutheran Minutes on Lancaster Seminary.--From 1817 to
1825 the Synod of Pennsylvania and the German Reformed Church were
engaged in devising plans and adopting measures looking to the
establishment of a united theological seminary for the education of the
ministers of both the Reformed and Lutheran Churches. According to the
minutes of the two bodies the respective actions taken were as follows:
Minutes of the German Reformed Synod, 1817: "The committee on the
founding of a literary institution reported further, recommending that
two committees be appointed, consisting of three persons each, the one
to confer with a committee of the New York Synod [Dutch Reformed] and
the other with the Lutheran Synod. Resolved, That the Rev. Messrs. Pomp
and Saml. Helffenstein be the committee to the New York Synod, and the
Rev. Messrs. Hendel, Hoffmeier, and Wack, Sr., the committee to the
Lutheran Synod." (11.) Minutes of Pennsylvania Synod, 1818: "At this
point, Revs. H. Hoffmeier, E. Wack, and W. Hendel appeared before the
synod as a committee from the Reformed Synod of this State, and
presented the following communication in writing, namely: An extract
from the minutes of the Reformed Synod held at York, September 9, 1817.
Mr. Hoffmeier having explained this whole subject more particularly to
Synod, it was thereupon resolved, That a committee be appointed to
confer with our esteemed brethren of the Reformed Synod in respect to
the subject under consideration. The Messrs. J. George Schmucker,
Conrad Jaeger, and H. A. Muhlenberg were named as this committee." "The
committee appointed yesterday to confer with the committee of the
Reformed Synod, and to make inquiry as to the way in which a union
seminary for the education of young men for the ministerial office in
both churches could be best established, presented the following report:
'1. That they have attended to the duty assigned them, and have had
under consideration the fact that in the city of Lancaster there is an
institution already in existence, known by the name of Franklin College.
... 2. That the committee greatly regret that this institution has
hitherto been neglected, and consequently the object to which it was
originally devoted by the State has altogether failed of attainment. 3.
That the committee has examined the charter of said institution with
care, and finds it necessary to recommend that the president thereof be
instructed to make arrangements for holding a meeting of all its
trustees. 4. That Messrs. Hoffmeier and Endress see to it that such a
meeting be held. 5. That a committee be appointed by both synods, who
shall conjointly prepare a plan setting forth how this institution can
be best adapted to the accomplishment of the purpose aforementioned.'
The above report was received with general favor, and Messrs. Schmucker,
Lochman, Geissenhainer, Sr., Endress, and Muhlenberg were appointed the
committee provided for in section five of the report." (7. 8.) Minutes
of German Reformed Synod, 1818: "The committee which was appointed to
confer with a committee of the Lutheran Synod in reference to the
founding of a theological school reported that they attended the
Lutheran Synod of last year, and were received in a very fraternal
manner; and that that Synod has appointed a committee to confer after
the present meeting with a committee of the Reformed Synod on any
subjects relating to the school, and to submit something definite; and
they proposed that a similar committee be appointed. The proposition of
the committee was accepted, and Revs. J. W. Hoffmeier, F. Herman, Sr.,
Wm. Hendel, Thos. Pomp, and S. Helffenstein were appointed such
committee." At the same meeting a committee which had been appointed to
confer with a similar committee from the Reformed Dutch Church, in
reference to uniting with it in establishing a theological seminary,
reported, stating that, inasmuch as negotiations were in progress with
reference to uniting with other Germans in Pennsylvania, who have a
common interest in property voted to them by the State Legislature for
the support of a German institution [at Lancaster], nothing definite
could at present be done in the matter. (6.) Minutes of Pennsylvania
Synod, 1819: "Pastor Endress made a verbal report in behalf of the
committee appointed the previous year to confer with a committee of the
Reformed Synod in regard to the matter of Franklin College in Lancaster.
Resolved, That the sum of $100 be appropriated out of our synodical
treasury toward the support of the college in Lancaster, provided the
same be done by the Reformed Synod. Resolved, That a committee be
appointed on our part who shall, at the next meeting of the Reformed
Synod in Lancaster, in conjunction with a committee from this latter
body, draw up a plan for a theological seminary. Resolved, That the
Pastors Schmucker, Endress, Lochman, Muhlenberg, and Ernst constitute
said committee. Resolved, That, through Mr. Endress, fifty copies of the
minutes of synod of this year be forwarded to the Reformed Synod,
shortly to convene at Lancaster." (15.) Minutes of Reformed Synod, 1819:
"Proposed and resolved that a committee of five be appointed to confer
with a committee of the Lutheran Synod in reference to the founding of a
union theological institution, with authority to devise the plan
necessary for the purpose. The committee consists of Revs. Hoffmeier,
Hendel, Pomp, Becker, and Saml. Helffenstein." "The committee of the
Lutheran and Reformed Synods to consider the matter relating to a
theological seminary have prepared a plan for this purpose, and
carefully examined the same, and found that such a theological seminary
would be not only exceedingly useful for our youth preparing for the
ministerial office, but also can easily be established. The committee,
therefore, submit this plan to the Rev. Synod, and, at the same time,
request the Rev. Synod to have the plan printed, in order that it may be
circulated among the members of both synods, to afford each one an
opportunity to examine it carefully for himself, because the time for
this purpose is at present too short. The committee of the Rev. Lutheran
Synod proposes to pay half the expenses of printing, and recommended
that two hundred copies thereof be printed." "It was proposed and
resolved, that fifty copies of the proceedings of the present Synod be
transmitted to the Rev. Lutheran Synod as an evidence of our gratitude
and mutual respect." (7. 19.) Minutes of Pennsylvania Synod, Lancaster,
May 28, 1820: "The president of synod made a verbal report in behalf of
the committee that had been appointed, in conjunction with a committee
of the Reformed Synod, last September at Lancaster to draw up and
publish a plan for a union seminary. From this report it appears that
the members of our committee were not all present; that the joint
committee did actually prepare a plan; that the printing of the same
was entrusted to Revs. Endress and Hoffmeier, but that this duty was not
attended to. Dr. Endress arose and made a long speech in defense of
himself, referring to a number of local reasons and certain
misunderstandings that influenced him to omit the publication of the
plan. To this it was replied that the reasons given by him were not
altogether satisfactory. Candidate Schnee arose and gave synod an
account of an institution located at Middletown, Pa., known as 'The
Fry's Orphans' Home.' He awakened the joyful hope that by the blessing
of the Lord it might be possible at some future time to establish at
that place a theological seminary for the Lutheran Church in this
country. Dr. Lochman arose and made a powerful speech in favor of
establishment of a theological seminary, and of supporting the college
at Lancaster. Resolved, That a committee be appointed to attend the
meeting of the Reformed Synod shortly to be held at Hagerstown; that
Revs. D. F. Schaeffer and B. Kurtz constitute said committee." (19. 20.)
Minutes of Pennsylvania Synod, Chambersburg, 1821: "Revs. Hoffman and
Rahausen, deputies of the German Reformed Synod, took seats as advisory
members. Resolved, That Rev. Mr. Denny, pastor of the Presbyterian
church at Chambersburg, be acknowledged as an advisory member of this
synodical assembly. The committee to examine the protocol of the German
Reformed General Synod reported that they examined said protocol, and
found the following items which may require to be considered at this
meeting: 1. That Messrs. Schaeffer and Kurtz, appointed as our delegates
to the Reformed Synod at our last year's meeting, were received as
advisory members by the Reformed Synod. Resolved, That this Synod sees
in this action evidence of the love of those whom we acknowledge as
brethren, and that it is prepared always, as heretofore, to reciprocate
this kindness. 2. That Revs. Hoffman and Rahausen were appointed
delegates by the Reformed Synod to attend our present synodical meeting.
Resolved, That Pastors Muhlenberg and Knoske attend the next meeting of
the Reformed Synod at Reading as delegates from this Synod." (6. 16 f.)
In 1820 the Pennsylvania Synod entered upon its wild scheme to found a
seminary at Frederick, Md., with Dr. Milledoller as professor, with
$2,000 salary. This stopped all other negotiations for the time being.
Dr. Milledoller held the call under consideration two years, and then
declined. He went to New Brunswick immediately after that, and Col.
Rutger's money went with him to that place, which, it was understood,
would go to whatever place Dr. Milledoller would go. (_Lutheran
Observer_, Sept., 1881.) The fact that nothing tangible resulted from
the movement of uniting the Lutheran and Reformed synods and of
establishing a union seminary was not due in the least to a growing
confessionalism on the part of the Pennsylvania Synod, for at that time
such was not in evidence anywhere.


64. C. F. L. Endress Denounces Form of Concord.--Among the better
class of Lutherans prominent in the Pennsylvania Synod during the
decades immediately preceding and following the year 1800 were such men
as J. B. Schmucker, H. A. Muhlenberg, Lochman, Probst, and Endress. In
the Proceedings of the General Synod, 1827, Lochman and Endress are
spoken of as belonging to "the Fathers of our General Synod, and able
ministers of the Lord Jesus," as the "oldest and most respected members"
of the Synod of East Pennsylvania, as "men who were among the brightest
ornaments of the Lutheran Church, and whose departure is lamented no
less by the synods in general than by that to which they more
immediately belonged." (12. 21.) Yet they, too, were absolutely
indifferent as to the Lutheran Symbols. Dr. C. F. Endress, a pupil of
Helmuth, a leading spirit in the Pennsylvania Ministerium and most
prominent in the unionistic transactions with the German Reformed
Church, declared his theological position as follows: "We have the
Formula Concordiae, in which expulsion, condemnation, anathema, were,
in the most liberal manner, pronounced and poured forth against all
those who were of a different opinion, which, however, thank God, was
never received universally by the Lutheran Church. I would suffer both
my hands to be burned off before I would subscribe that instrument." "As
we have hitherto received the Augsburg Confession and Luther's Catechism
and Melanchthon's Apology, so I have no objection that they should be
kept in reverence and respect as our peculiar documents, but not to
overrule the Bible. For by this shall the Lutheran Church forever
distinguish itself from all other religious connections, that the Bible,
the Bible alone, shall remain the only sun in Christ Jesus, and that we
rest upon human declarations of faith only in so far as they receive
their light more or less from that great light." "What shall I answer on
the question, What is the confession of faith of the Lutheran Church?
Answer: I will not dictate to you what you should say; but if I should
be asked, I would say, first, and principally, and solely, and alone:
The Holy Word of God contained in the writings of the prophets and
apostles. The confessions of faith by the Church of the first four
centuries we hold in conformity with the Bible, and receive them, as far
as I know, universally in the Lutheran Church. The confession of the
princes of the German Empire presented at the Diet of Augsburg is held
by all in honor and respect, and when we compare it with other human
confessions, we give it a decided preference. Luther's Catechism is used
in all Lutheran churches, and no catechism of other religious
denominations has that honor. The so-called Apology is in possession of
very few Lutheran ministers; but whether they have read it or not, they
consider it a good book. The Smalcald Articles I have often read. In
Germany they are taken up among the Symbols. I know not whether any
other divine in the Lutheran Church in America ever read it except
Muhlenberg and Lochman. In short, we hold firmly and steadfastly to our
beloved Bible, when the one holds to Calvin, the other to Zwingli, a
third to the Heidelberg Catechism, a fourth to the Confession of the
Synod of Dort, a fifth to the Westminster Catechism, a sixth to the
Common-prayer Book, a seventh to the Solemn League and Covenant, and the
eighth to the darkened and depraved reason per se, the ninth to reason
under the name of Holy Spirit, and the tenth to the devil himself in the
form of an angel of light. But I will cleave to my beloved Bible, and
hereby it shall remain. Amen." (_Luth. Observer_, Sept., 1881.)

65. Rev. Probst Defending Union.--The _Lutheran Observer_, September,
1881, from whose columns we quoted the statements above concerning Dr.
Endress, continues: Rev. Probst, who was a member of the Pennsylvania
Synod from 1813 until his death, and well acquainted with the sentiments
of his brethren, in a work published in 1826 for the express purpose of
promoting a formal and complete union of the German Reformed and
Lutheran churches in America, entitled, _Reunion of the Lutherans and
Reformed_, says that there was no material difference of doctrinal views
between them, the Lutherans having relinquished the bodily presence, and
the Reformed unconditional election. Speaking of the supposed obstacles
to such union, he remarks: "The doctrine of unconditional election
cannot be in the way. This doctrine has long since been abandoned; for
there can scarcely be a single German Reformed preacher found who
regards it as his duty to defend this doctrine. Zwingli's more liberal,
rational, and Scriptural view of this doctrine, as well as of the Lord's
Supper, has become the prevailing one among Lutherans and Reformed, and
it has been deemed proper to abandon the view of both Luther and Calvin
on the subject of both these doctrines." (74.) "The whole mass of the
old Confessions, occasioned by the peculiar circumstances of those
troublous times, has become obsolete by the lapse of ages, and is yet
valuable only as matter of history. Those times and circumstances have
passed away, and our situation, both in regard to political and
ecclesiastical relations, is entirely changed. We are therefore not
bound to these books, but only to the Bible. For what do the unlearned
know of the Augsburg Confession, or the Form of Concord, or the Synod of
Dort?" (76.) "Both churches [the Lutheran and the Reformed] advocate the
evangelical liberty of judging for themselves, and have one and the same
ground of their faith--the Bible. Accordingly, both regard the Gospel
as their exclusive rule of faith and practise, and are forever opposed
to all violations of the liberty of conscience." (76.) "All enlightened
and intelligent preachers of both churches agree that there is much in
the former Symbolical Books that must be stricken out as antiquated and
contrary to common sense, and be made conformable with the Bible, and
that we have no right to pledge ourselves to the mere human opinions of
Luther, or Calvin, or Zwingli, and that we have but one Master, Christ.
Nor is any evangelical Christian bound to the interpretations which
Luther, or Calvin, or any other person may place on the words of Christ;
but each one has the right to interpret them according to the dictates
of his own conscience." (80.) "Inasmuch as all educated ministers of the
Lutheran and Reformed churches now entertain more reasonable and more
Scriptural views on those doctrines which were formerly the subjects of
controversy, what necessity is there of a continued separation?" (81.)


66. Decades of Indifferentism.--After the abortive efforts at
establishing a union seminary and uniting with the Reformed organically,
and after her withdrawal from the General Synod in 1823, the
Pennsylvania Synod passed through a long period of indifferentism before
the spirit of Lutheran confessionalism once more began to manifest
itself, chiefly in consequence of influences from German Lutheran
immigrants and by the activity of such men as Drs. Krauth and Mann.
However, even till the middle of the nineteenth century the symptoms of
reviving Lutheranism in the Pennsylvania Synod were but relatively weak,
few, and far between. The Agenda of 1842 still contained the union
formula of distribution in the Lord's Supper and revealed a unionistic
and Reformed spirit everywhere. A form of Baptism savors of Pelagianism
and Rationalism. The Agenda does not contain a single clear and
unequivocal confession of the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence.
The second form for celebrating the Lord's Supper states: "As we are
sensual creatures, He [Christ] has appointed two external, visible
elements, bread and wine, as tokens (Pfaender), as it were, in order by
them to assure us that with, in, and under them (mit, bei und unter
denselben) we should become partakers of His body and blood, that is,
of His entire grace of atonement. As surely, therefore, as a penitent
communicant receives the blessed bread and the blessed cup, so surely
he, in a manner invisible, will also receive from his Savior a share in
His body and blood." (_Lutheraner_ 1844,47; 1846,61.81.) In 1848 Rev.
Weyl, of Baltimore, the arch-enemy of confessional Lutheranism and
unscrupulous slanderer of Wyneken, Reynolds, etc., declared in his
church-paper that within the whole Synod of Pennsylvania there were
hardly ten preachers who, in their faith and teaching regarding the
doctrine of the Lord's Supper, deviated from the views of the General
Synod. Dr. Walther remarked with respect to this statement, which he was
inclined to regard as mendacious: "Since the [Pennsylvania] Synod was
not ashamed to conclude its Centennial Jubilee by declaring this
miserable paper [of Weyl] its organ and thereby publishing to the world
its spiritual death [as a Lutheran Church], it serves her right to have
this man write her epitaph." (_L_. 1848, 31.) Concerning the new
hymn-book of the Pennsylvania Synod, Rev. Hoyer wrote in _Kirchliche
Mitteilungen:_ "After a closer inspection I found that this hymn-book
was compiled for three classes of people, Orthodox, Unionists, and
Supranaturalists. Here we find, besides 'Es ist das Heil uns kommen
her,' also 'Religion, von Gott gegeben,' as well as a hymn for the
national holiday, the 4th of July, imploring the Lord to give us the
spirit of Washington." (1850, 91; _L_. 7, 65.) _Der Lutherische Herold_,
which, edited by H. Ludwig, appeared since April, 1851, in New York,
represented the class of German Lutherans within the Ministeriums of
Pennsylvania and New York then most advanced in their protestations of
Lutheranism. But what kind of Lutheranism it was that Ludwig and his
paper advocated appears from the following quotation: "We expect little
sympathy from the Old Lutherans; yet, our endeavor shall always be to
banish from our columns everything that might increase the breach, _for
in doctrine we are one, we only differ in the form, of the dress_, that
is to say, in practise, and in the mode and manner of spreading the
doctrine." (_L._ 1, 151; 8, 143.) In January, 1855, the same paper was
complimented by the _Reformierte Kirchenzeitung_ as follows: "The
_Lutherische Herold_, published by H. Ludwig, endeavors to mediate
between the two extremes in the Lutheran Church of this country, and
represents the milder Melanchthonian conception of the Sacraments. We
read the _Herold_ with joy, and wish it a recognition and encouragement
commensurate with its services." (_L_. 11, 102.) As late as 1851 the
Pennsylvania Synod, according to the report of the convention in that
year, 51 ministers being present, maintained fraternal intercourse with
the Reformed, United, Methodists, and Moravians. She admitted Reformed
and Presbyterian preachers as advisory members. Synod had also received
a Reformed minister as such into her ministerium. She assembled in
Reformed and Presbyterian churches for union services, and attended the
service in a Methodist church. She also adopted the resolution to enter
into more intimate relations with the Moravians. (_L_. 1852, 138.) In
the following year Synod returned to its original confessional position
in the days of Muhlenberg, though in a somewhat equivocal manner.
(Spaeth, _W. J. Mann_, 171.) In 1853, however, at the same time
appealing to all Lutheran synods to follow her example, the Pennsylvania
Synod resolved, by a vote of 54 to 28, to reunite with the General
Synod, then rapidly approaching its lowest water-mark, doctrinally and
confessionally, its leading men openly and uninterruptedly denouncing
the doctrines distinctive of Lutheranism and zealously preparing the way
for the Definite Platform as a substitute for the Augsburg Confession.
Indeed, the Pennsylvania Synod added to its resolution on the reunion
that, "should the General Synod violate its constitution, and require of
our Synod assent to anything conflicting with the old and
long-established faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, then our
delegates are hereby required to protest against such action, to
withdraw from its sessions, and to report to this body." (Penn. Minutes
1853, 18.) However, the action as such was tantamount to a violation and
denial of the Lutheran Confession. Dr. Walther remarked with respect to
the union: "This event will be hailed by many with great joy, a joy,
however, that we are unable to share in in any measure. . . . For who
does not see that the Synod [of Pennsylvania], by entering into
ecclesiastical union with a body notoriously heterodox, has already
departed from, and actually denied, the good Confession of our Church?"
(_L_. 9, 122.) Confirming the correctness of this statement, the
Pennsylvania Synod, thirteen years later, when the ranks of her
conservatives had materially increased, severed her connection with the
General Synod.

67. Dr. Sihler's Estimate.--In 1858 Dr. Sihler wrote concerning the
Pennsylvania Synod: "When the writer of this article, more than fourteen
years ago, came to this country and gradually informed himself on the
American conditions of the Lutheran Church, he had to observe with
heartfelt sorrow that the Pennsylvania Synod, then still undivided and
very numerous, in whose territory or vicinity the leaders of the
so-called Lutheran General Synod have their field of labor was so
completely indifferent toward the shameful apostasy of the latter from
the faith and the Confession of the Lutheran Church. For in vain one
looked for a strong and decided testimony in any of the synodical
reports of this church-body against the pseudo-Lutherans of the General
Synod. Nor was there to be found within the Pennsylvania Synod, or in
other synods not belonging to the General Synod, so much earnest zeal
and love for the truth of God's Word and of the Confessions of the
Church, nor did it have any men among its theologians who were able to
expose thoroughly in the English language the error, the hollowness and
shallowness of the miserable productions of a Schmucker and Kurtz, who
were made Doctors of Theology by God in His wrath and by Satan as a joke
and for the purpose of ridicule. On the contrary, they seemed to be not
a little impressed with the theological learning and dogmatical science
of these two so-called Doctors, who, in rare self-satisfaction, found
life and complete happiness in Reinhard's supernaturalism. In short,
these open counterfeiters, Calvinists, Methodists, and Unionists, these
base traitors and destroyers of the Lutheran Church, were and always
remained the dear brethren, who contributed not a little to the
prosperity and welfare of the dear 'Lutheran Zion.' Accordingly, it did
not require a gift of prophecy when the writer of this article, as early
as 1844, foretold in the _Lutherische Kirchenzeitung_ [edited by Schmidt
in Pittsburgh] that, in differently observing, as they did, the
anticonfessional, church-destroying activities of the so-called General
Synod, yea, fraternizing with their leaders, they would become their
prey, as was actually the case several years ago." (_Lehre u. Wehre_
1858, 137.)


68. Pioneer Pastors in South Carolina.--In 1735 colonists from Germany
and Switzerland had settled in Orangeburg Co., S.C. Their first resident
pastor was J. U. Giessendanner, who arrived in 1737 with new emigrants,
but died the following year. He was succeeded by his son, who was
ordained first by the Presbyterians and then by the Bishop of London, in
1849. [tr. note: sic!] Orangeburg was thus lost to the Lutheran Church.
At Charleston, S.C., Bolzius conducted the first Lutheran services and
administered the Lord's Supper in 1734. Muhlenberg preached there in
1742. The first pastor who, in 1755, organized the Lutherans at
Charleston into a congregation (St. John's) was J. G. Friedrichs
(Friederichs). In 1759 he was succeeded by H. B. G. Wordman (Wartmann),
who had labored in Pennsylvania. In 1763 Wordman was succeeded by J. N.
Martin. He dedicated the church begun in 1759. J. S. Hahnbaum, who came
from Germany with his family in 1767, was, according to the church
records, forbidden to "be addicted to the English Articles" and to
attack the Church of England. The gown, wafers, festivals, gospels and
epistles, and the use of the litany on Sunday afternoons, are required.
(Jacobs, 297.) Hahnbaum died in 1770. His successor, who also married
his daughter, was Magister F. Daser. He had arrived in Charleston, sold
as a redemptioner, and had been redeemed by one of the elders of the
Lutheran congregation. (G., 574.) In 1774 H. M. Muhlenberg advised the
congregation and adjusted some of her difficulties. In the same year
Martin returned and served till 1778, when he was succeeded by Christian
Streit, who labored until he was driven away in the vicissitudes of the
Revolutionary War, there being a tradition of his arrest by the British
in 1780. (Jacobs, 297.) Pastor Martin served a third term in Charleston
from 1786 to 1787, when he was succeeded by J. C. Faber, who wrote to
Germany, from where he had arrived in 1787: His congregation was
growing; it was a model of Christian unity; it consisted of Lutherans,
German Reformed, and Catholics; they all lived together most peacefully,
attending the same services and sharing in the support of their pastor,
who had brought about such a union. No wonder that the congregation was
satisfied with the service of the Episcopalian Pogson when Faber had
resigned on account of ill health. (G., 582 f.)

69. "Unio Ecclesiastica" in South Carolina.--In 1788 fifteen German
congregations were incorporated in the State of South Carolina, nine of
them being Lutheran and six Reformed or United. The Lutheran
congregations were served by F. Daser, J. G. Bamberg, F. A. Wallberg,
F. J. Wallern, and C. Binnicher; the rest, by the Reformed Pastors Theus
and Froelich. In 1787 these ministers and congregations had united as a
"corpus evangelicum" under the following title: "Unio Ecclesiastica of
the German Protestant Churches in the State of South Carolina." Pastor
Daser was chosen _Senior Ministerii_. At the following convention,
January 8, 1788, all Lutheran ministers present pledged themselves on
the Symbolical Books. A third meeting was held August 12, 1788;
President Daser presented a constitution, which was adopted. Among other
things it provided: 1. The intention of this union was not that any
member should deny his own confession. 2. A Directorium, composed of the
ministers and two laymen, should remain in power as long as a majority
of the 15 congregations would be in favor of it. 3. The Directorium
should be entrusted with all church affairs: the admission, dismissal,
election, examination, ordination, and induction of ministers; the
establishment of new churches and schools; the order of divine service,
collections, etc. 4. Any member of any of the congregations was bound to
appear before the Directorium when cited by this body. 5. Where the
majority of a congregation was Reformed, a Reformed Agenda and Catechism
were to be used. 6. The ministers should be faithful in the discharge of
their pastoral duties, . . . visiting the schools frequently,
admonishing the parents to give their children a Christian training,
etc. 7. A copy of this constitution should be deposited in every
congregation and subscribed by its members. 8. Complaints against the
pastor which the vestry failed to settle should be reported to the
President immediately. 9. The brethren in Europe should be petitioned to
provide the congregations with preachers and schoolteachers.--It is
self-evident that this anomalous union with a Directorium invested with
governing and judicial powers, to whose decisions Lutheran as well as
Reformed pastors and congregations had to submit, lacked vitality, and,
apart from flagrant denials of the truth, was bound to lead to
destructive frictions. After an existence of several years the "Unio
Ecclesiastica" died a natural death, the Directorium, as far as has been
traced, holding its last meeting in 1794. By 1804, the ministers who had
organized this union body, all save one, were dead. The congregations
eked out a miserable existence, becoming, in part, a prey to the
Methodists and Baptists. Thus also the promising Lutheran field of South
Carolina was finally turned into a desert, chiefly in consequence of the
dearth of Lutheran preachers, who really could have been produced from
this very field. (G., 601 ff.)


70. Unionistic from the Beginning.--Most of the Germans in North
Carolina came from Pennsylvania. In 1771 the congregation at Salisbury
(which was in existence as early as 1768, and soon thereafter erected a
church), together with the congregations in Rowan Co. and in Mecklenburg
Co., sent a delegation to England, Holland, and Germany, asking for
assistance. The result was that Pastor A. Ruessmann, who died in 1794,
and Teacher J. G. Arends (Ahrends), who soon officiated as pastor, were
sent in 1773. In 1787 Pastor Chr. E. Bernhardt arrived, followed by C.
A. G. Stork (Storch) in 1788, and A. Roschen, who returned to Germany in
1800. But it was not genuine Lutheranism which was cultivated by these
German emissaries. Many of the books coming from Helmstedt were of a
rationalistic character. Also the North Carolina Catechism
("Nordkarolingischer Katechismus . . ., entworfen von Johann Kaspar
Velthusen, Doktor und ordentlichem Lehrer der Theologie, erstem Prediger
in Helmstedt und Generalsuperintendent") savored of rationalism. The
confessional and doctrinal degeneration of the pastors in North Carolina
appears from, and is attested by, the fact that in his ordination, in
1794, R. J. Miller was pledged to the Thirty-nine Articles of the
Episcopalians. The Synod of North Carolina experienced a rapid growth,
receiving 19 congregations into membership in 1813. According to the
Report of 1815, twenty lay delegates were present at the meeting of that
year. In 1823, after the separation of the Tennessee Synod, the North
Carolina Synod reported 19 ministers with about 1,360 communicants. Its
first convention had been held in Salisbury, May 2, 1803. Besides the
lay delegates, this meeting was attended by Pastor Arends, Miller,
Stork, and Paul Henkel. From the very beginning the Articles of Synod
made no mention of the Lutheran Confessions. At the meeting of 1804 a
Reformed minister delivered the sermon. In 1810 a resolution was passed
permitting every pastor to administer communion to those of another
faith. It was furthermore resolved: "Whereas it is evident that
awakenings occur in our day by means of preaching for three consecutive
days, and whereas this is to be desired among our brethren in the faith,
it was resolved, on motion of Mr. Philip Henkel, to make a trial in all
our churches next spring." In the same year the North Carolina Synod
ordered the ordination of the Moravian G. Shober (Schober). The minutes
of 1815 record the following: "Since the church council of a newly built
Reformed church in Guilford County expressly desires that our next synod
be held in their church, it was resolved that synod shall be held in
said church on the third Sunday in October, 1816." As in the other
Lutheran bodies of that time, pulpit- and altar-fellowship, Reformed
teaching, and Methodistic enthusiasm became increasingly rampant in
Synod. In 1817 Synod declared that it would continue to bear the
Lutheran name, and became demonstrative over the Reformation
tercentenary. The same convention, however, passed a resolution with
regard to the joint hymn-book published by Schaeffer and Maund in
Baltimore, as follows: "We hereby tender the aforementioned gentlemen
our heartiest thanks, and rejoice that we are able to accede fully to
the aforementioned recommendations for its use both at church and in
private among all our congregations. At the same time we humbly
petition the God of love and unity to crown it with blessings in His
kingdom and temple. It was also resolved that the English Agenda which
Quitman had introduced in New York "be adopted as one of our symbolical
books, and as such be recommended for use." (G., 647.)

71. Shober's Jubilee Book.--In 1817 Synod also approved of, and
resolved to publish, Shober's jubilee book, "A Comprehensive Account of
the Rise and Progress of the Blessed Reformation of the Christian
Church by Doctor Martin Luther, begun on the thirty-first of October, A.
D. 1517; interspersed with views of his character and doctrine,
extracted from his book; and how the Church established by him arrived
and progressed in North America, as also the Constitution and Rules of
that Church, in North Carolina and adjoining States, as existing in
October, 1817." In the Preface, Shober gives utterance to the hope that
all Protestant churches and their individual members would, by reading
his book, be moved "to pray to God that He would awaken the spirit of
love and union in all who believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the only
Mediator between God and men, in order to attain the happy time
prophesied, when we shall blissfully live as one flock under one
Shepherd." On page 208 ff. he says: "Why are we not all united in love
and union? Why these distances, controversies, disputes, mutual
condemnations, why these splittings of formulas? Why cannot the Church
of Christ be one flock under one Shepherd? My friends, at the proper
time the Lord will unite us all. Thank God, we see the morning star
rising; the Union approaches, in Europe through Bible-societies, in
America, too, through mission-societies, through the efforts of the rich
and poor in sending out religious tracts, through the hundred thousand
children who now learn to know their God and Savior in the
Sunday-schools. Through frequent revivals and many other signs it
becomes apparent that the earth will soon be filled with the knowledge
of the Lord. Among all classes of those who adore Jesus as God I see
nothing of importance which could prevent a cordial union; and what a
fortunate event would it be if all churches would unite and send
delegates to a general convention of all denominations and there could
settle down on Christ, the Rock, while at the same time each
denomination would be permitted to retain its peculiar ways and forms.
This would have the influence on all Christians that, wherever and
whenever they met each other, they would love one another and keep
fellowship with each other." Synod declared: This book "will give to our
fellow-Christians in other denominations a clear view of what the
Lutheran Church really is." Yet, in this jubilee-gift Shober practically
denied the Lutheran doctrines of the Lord's Supper and of Absolution,
and, as shown, enthusiastically advocated a universal union of all
Christian denominations. Previously Shober had written: "I have
carefully examined the doctrine of the Episcopal Church, have read many
excellent writers of the Presbyterians, know the doctrine of the
Methodists from their book _Portraiture of Methodism_, and am acquainted
with the doctrine of the Baptists, as far as they receive and adore
Jesus the Savior. Among all classes of those who adore Jesus as God, I
find nothing of importance which could prevent a cordial union." (647 f.


72. "Untimely Synod" of 1819.--The leaders of the North Carolina
Synod, Stork, Shober, Jacob Scherer, Daniel Scherer, Miller, and others,
cherished a sanguine hope of uniting all churches into a national
American Church, despite doctrinal differences. What could be more
delightful, and what in all the world could be more desired, they
declared in 1820, than "to bring about a general union of all religious
parties throughout the entire land, that the glorious prophecy might be
fulfilled: that they might all be one flock who are all under one
Shepherd." (_Tennessee Report_ 1820, 25.) The scheme also of organizing
a Lutheran General Synod (for which purpose the Pennsylvania Synod had
invited all other Lutheran bodies to attend its meetings at Baltimore
in 1819 in order to discuss plans for this projected Pan-Lutheran
union) was exultantly hailed as a step in this direction by leaders of
the North Carolina Synod, notably by Shober. Accordingly, in order to
enable the North Carolina Synod to take part in the meeting at
Baltimore, the officers of Synod autocratically convened that body five
weeks before the time fixed by the constitution. Shober was sent to
Baltimore as delegate, and took a prominent part in drawing up the
"Planentwurf," the tentative constitution for the organization of a
General Synod. This irregular meeting of the North Carolina Synod was
later on known as the "Untimely Synod." It provoked much ill feeling and
led to the organization of the Tennessee Synod in 1820. (_Tenn. Rep_.
1820, 49.) At this "Untimely Synod" David Henkel was charged with
teaching transubstantiation, because he had preached the Lutheran
doctrine of the Lord's Supper to his congregations. Synod found him
guilty, and degraded him to the rank of catechist for a period of six
months. Says the Report of the Tennessee Synod, 1820: "David Henkel was
to be entitled to his former rank in office only when, after a period of
six months, sufficient written evidence should have been submitted to
the President that peace obtained in his congregations, and that no
important accusation was lodged against him by others, especially by the
Reformed [Presbyterians], whereupon the President would be empowered to
confer on him the privileges of a candidate until the next synod." (18.)
The following statement of the same Report characterizes the doctrinal
attitude of President Stork and other leaders of Synod: "We [the
Henkels] have written evidence that, when a paper was read at said
'Untimely Synod' containing the statement that the human nature of Jesus
Christ had been received into the divine nature (dass die Menschheit
Jesu Christi in die Gottheit sei aufgenommen worden), and that therefore
He possessed all the divine attributes, the President [Stork] declared
that he could not believe this. And when it was said that such was the
teaching of the Bible, he answered: 'Even if five hundred Bibles should
say so, he would not believe it!' And to our knowledge he was never
called to account for this statement." (20.) The autocratic actions of
the leaders of the North Carolina Synod and their adherents virtually
resulted in a rupture of Synod in the same year. For the dissatisfied
party held a synod of their own at Buffalo Creek, at the time specified
by the constitution, and ordained Bell and David Henkel.

73. "Synod of Strife" (Streitsynode).--The meeting at Lincolnton, N.
C., 1820, which followed the "Untimely Synod," was marked by painful
scenes and altercations and the final breach between the majority, who
were resolved to unite with the General Synod, and the minority, who
opposed the union and accused the leader not only of high-handed,
autocratic procedure and usurpation of power in contravention of the
constitution, but also of false doctrine, and publicly refused to
recognize them as Lutherans. On Sunday, May 28, Synod was opened with a
service in which Stork preached German and Bell English. Monday morning
the preachers, delegates, and a great multitude of people from the
neighborhood returned to the church. They found it occupied by Pastors
Paul Henkel, Philip Henkel, David Henkel, and Bell, who refused
admission to the rest. After some parliamenteering, written and verbal,
both parties entered the church. The Henkels report as follows: "They
[the opponents] took their stand on the fact that the majority was on
their side and according to it everything should be decided.
Accordingly, before they came to us in the church, they first delegated
one of their preachers with two questions directed to one of our
preachers. The first was: 'Whether he intended to separate from the
North Carolina Synod?' The second: 'Whether he was willing to be
governed by a majority of preachers and delegates in the matters
disputed?' He, giving him no decisive answer, came to the rest of us and
told us. We answered in writing: 'That we neither intend to separate
ourselves from Synod, nor would suffer ourselves to be governed by a
majority; but that we wanted everything investigated and decided
according to the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession and according to
the constitution or order of our church, nothing else.' In the mean time
the minister delegated came to us where we were gathered and demanded a
verbal answer to the same questions. We then gave this answer also
verbally, whereupon he said with an arrogant gesture and autocratic
tone: 'That is not the point; I only ask, Do you want to, or do you not
want to?' We answered: 'We did not want to.' He declared, 'That is all I
desire to know'; and saying which he rapidly turned about and hastily
ran away from us. In the mean time the multitude of our opponents moved
toward us, proposing the same questions. We answered as before. The
leaders among them endeavored to maintain that, in order to decide the
dispute, we were not bound to the constitution, but only to the majority
of the votes of the preachers and delegates, which majority they had;
and that it was reasonable and fair for us to act according to it in
this dispute. But we thought that the doctrine of the Augsburg
Confession (being assured, as we were, that it can be proved by the
doctrine of the Bible) should be of a greater weight to us than the
voice of a majority of men who are opposed to the doctrine and order of
our Church. After a brief altercation of this kind they went into the
church, and we followed. Here the President [Stork], in a long speech in
German, endeavored to prove what he had asserted before. The Secretary
[Shober] made a still longer speech in English, in which he endeavored
to prove that we were not at all bound to act according to the
constitution or order of our Church; although he himself, with the
approval of Synod, had written the constitution and had it printed, this
was not done with the intention of making it a rule or norm by which we,
as members of Synod, were to be guided in our transactions; it was
merely a sort of draft or model according to which, in course of time,
one might formulate a good constitution, if in the future such should
become necessary. However, it was proved [by the Henkels] from the
constitution itself that it had been received as just such an [official]
document, sanctioned, after previous examination and approval by several
ministers, by Synod and ordered to be printed. To this he [Shober]
answered that such had not been the intention of Synod. Haste and lack
of time had caused him to write it thus without previous careful
consideration; therefore, now everything had to be governed and judged
according to the majority. But we were of the opinion that it would
prove to be a very unreasonable action to reject a constitution which a
few years ago, according to a resolution of Synod, had been printed and
bound in 1,500 copies, the money being taken from the synodical
treasury, and sold at 75 cts. a copy." (_Tenn. Rep_. 1820, 24.) The
question concerning the violation of the constitution would, no doubt,
have been settled in favor of the Henkels, if they had not opposed the
leaders in their union schemes and charged them with false doctrine and
apostasy from the Lutheran Church. Says the aforementioned Tennessee
Report: "Even though the officers with their adherents (die alten Herrn
Beamten mit ihrem Zugehoer) could perhaps themselves have thought so far
[as to realize the arbitrariness of their procedure with reference to
the 'Untimely Synod'], yet the desire to organize the General Synod and
to bring about a union with all religious bodies, especially with the
Presbyterians, was so strong as to outweigh everything else" [even an
imminent breach]. The leaders finally admitted that both parties had
erred, and declared their willingness to pardon everything if the
minority would reunite with them. The Henkels, however, declared that
they could have no fellowship with people who were addicted to false
doctrines concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and rejected the
doctrine of the Augsburg Confession. They also declared their impatience
with the contemplated "general union of all religious denominations,"
saying that such a union was no more possible than to bring together as
one peaceful flock into one fold "sheep, goats, lambs, cows, oxen,
horses, bears, wolves, wild cats, foxes, and swine." At this juncture
one of the officers, dissolving the meeting and leaving the church,
exclaimed: "Whoever is a _true Lutheran_, may he come with us to the
hotel of J. H.; there we will begin our Synod!" The minority answered:
"Whoever wants to be a true fanatic (Schwaermer), may he go along; for
you are no real Lutheran preachers: you are fanatics (Schwaermer) and
to them you belong!" A young teacher added: "According to the testimony
of Holy Scripture, it is impossible for us to regard you as anything but
false teachers." Then one of the old ministers, turning toward the
assembly, said: "Now you yourselves have heard the boldness and
impertinence of this young man, who charges us, old and respectable
ministers that we are, with false doctrine." Similar utterances were
made by others. The report concludes: "However, they left the church
without defending themselves against such accusations, except that one
of the old ministers said at the exit of the church that he was much
astonished. But we could not help that." (_Tenn. Report_ 1820, 27.) As
Bell joined the Shober party, his ordination at Buffalo Creek was
declared constitutional and ratified as valid. Shober now reported on
his cordial reception by the Pennsylvania Synod and on the transaction
which led to the adoption of the "Planentwurf" for the contemplated
organization of the General Synod. The document, after its individual
paragraphs had been read and discussed, was adopted by the North
Carolina Synod by a majority of 15 to 6--a result which Shober had
forestalled in a letter to the Pennsylvania Synod assembled at
Lancaster, stating "that the greatest part of the members of the North
Carolina Synod had adopted the so-called Planentwurf," and expressing
the hope that the General Synod might be established. After adopting the
"Planentwurf," the North Carolina Synod elected Pastors Shober and Peter
Schmucker delegates to the convention of the General Synod, which was to
convene at Hagerstown, Md., October 22, 1820. Only a few ministers from
Tennessee being present, the Henkels resolved not to transact any
business at this time. (27.)

74. Doctrinal Dispute at Lincolnton.--The points disputed at
Lincolnton did not only refer to the autocratic actions of the leaders
of the Synod and their union schemes, but also to the doctrines of
Baptism and the Lord's Supper, regarding which the minority charged
Stork, Shober, and their followers with holding un-Lutheran and
anticonfessional views. The discussions on these doctrines caused James
Hill, a Methodist preacher who was present, to address a letter to
Synod in which he said: "For almost thirteen years which I have spent in
this county [Lincoln Co., N.C., where David Henkel preached], I have
understood that the greatest number of your preachers in the county have
taught that the baptism of water effects regeneration, and that the body
and blood of Christ is received bodily with the bread and wine in the
Lord's Supper, so that these doctrines, being so generally taught and
confessedly believed, confirmed me in the conviction that they are the
orthodox doctrines of the Lutheran Church. Last Monday [at the
discussion on floor of Synod], however, I discovered, or believed to
discover, that some members of your Rev. Synod entertained different
views. . . . Now, in order that I may know how to conduct myself in the
future toward so respectable a part of the Church of Christ [North
Carolina Synod], I request the opinion of your Synod on the above
points." The answer, formulated by R. J. Miller and Peter Schmucker, and
approved of by the ministerium, was: "We do not say that all who are
baptized with water are regenerated and converted to God, so that they
are saved without the operation of the Holy Spirit, or in other words,
without faith in Christ." "We do not believe and teach that the body and
blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are bodily received with the bread and
wine in the Holy Supper, but that the true believer receives and enjoys
it spiritually together with all saving gifts of His suffering and
death, by faith in Jesus Christ." (681.) According to the report of the
Henkels, the doctrine of predestination as taught by the Presbyterians
was also touched upon, for in it we read: "One of the members declared,
and sought to maintain, that it was impossible for a man to fall from
the grace of God after he had once been truly converted. Another denied
the doctrine of Baptism as laid down in our catechism and in the Second
and Ninth Articles of the Augsburg Confession. The offer was made to a
third to prove to him from his own handwriting that he denied the
doctrine of the Lord's Supper as set forth in the Tenth Article [of the
Augsburg Confession]. They offered to have the letter read; but our
opponents did not agree to this. A book was placed before him and a
passage was pointed out to him, in order that he might read what Luther,
of blessed memory, himself teaches on this question. He closed it
angrily and pushed it away. A fourth put the question: 'Can I not be a
[Presbyterian] predestinarian and also a Lutheran?' For he believed that
the [Presbyterian] doctrine of predestination could be proven from the
Bible. He received the answer: 'If he believed as the Predestinarians
believe, then he belonged to them, and might go to them, it did not
concern us.'--For these reasons we believed to be all the more certain
that they were not true Evangelical Lutheran preachers, and this we also
told them without reservation." (_Tenn. Rep_. 1820, 24 f.) In connection
with the doctrine of regeneration by Baptism, the Henkels also referred
to the error of the enthusiasts, gaining ground increasingly within the
North Carolina Synod, _viz_., that conversion and regeneration was
effected by anxious shrieking, united praying, and the exertion of all
powers of the body and soul. (32 f.) The rupture, then, was inevitable:
the doctrinal and spiritual gap between Shober and his compeers on the
one hand and the Henkels and their adherents on the other hand being
just as wide and insurmountable as that between Zwingli and Luther at
Marburg 1529. The leaders of the North Carolina Synod were not only
unionistic, but, in more than one respect, Reformed theologians. The
ministers who soon after united in organizing the Tennessee Synod
declared with respect to the North Carolina Synod: "If they would adopt
the name of what we believe they really are, and in this way withdraw
from us, then we and other people would know what our relation was
toward them. But if they intend to remain in our household, they shall
also submit to its authority [Augsburg Confession], or we will have
nothing to do with them." (31.)


75. Harbors Reformed Views on Lord's Supper.--The charges against
David Henkel as to his teaching the Romish doctrine of
transubstantiation, referred to above, had been lodged with Pastor
Shober, then secretary of the North Carolina Synod. When David Henkel
complained that his accusers were not named, Shober, who had never
forsaken his Moravian views, wrote him a letter, dated October 20, 1818,
which at the same time reveals that, as to the Lord's Supper, his were
the views of the Reformed. For here we read: "Your very long epistle,
proving that Christ is with His body every where present, is excellent
on paper, but not so in the pulpit, where seven-eighths of the hearers
will gaze at the profound erudition and one-eighth of such as reason
will shake heads at a thing to be believed, but not explainable, and to
none will it effect conviction of the necessity of spiritual
regeneration and of adopting Him as their God and Savior crucified." "I
must assure you that creditable people of our Church and the Reformed
have not only heard you advance that whosoever is baptized and partakes
of the Supper wants no other and further repentance, but also that
whosoever teaches other doctrine, he is a false teacher. This, my dear
sir, is making people secure in forms and not in realities. How easy is
it to go to heaven, for an adulterous heart to be absolved by Mr.
Henkel, and as a seal to receive from Mr. Henkel the Sacrament, who by
his few words made bread body and wine blood--and such a holy divine
body, without limitation of space, as is compelled to enter into all
substances and beings, whether they will or not, so that a Belial, when
he receives it, must thereby be made an heir of heaven. No, no, I cannot
believe in such theories, and as I told you once at my home when you
returned from Virginia and asked me on that subject, so I think yet, and
say that when Mr. Henkel consecrates bread and wine, it is the body and
blood of our Savior to such with whom He can unite; but to those who are
not of pure heart and yet partake, and that with reverence, the
spirituality of the true essence does not unite with their souls; they
eat bread and wine, for they have not such a faith, love, and humility
as enables them to possess the divine essence. And those that partake
without reverence, light-minded, and during the ceremony disdain the
simplicity of the institution, mock and deride it, they bring judgment
upon themselves for eating and drinking the consecrated elements, but
not for partaking [the] body and blood of Jesus, for they have not
partaken thereof. God and Belial cannot unite. Do, pray, reflect deeply
on the subject, and assure to all peace in heart, and those of contrite
spirit that the Lord in the Sacrament will unite with them spiritually
and seal their heavenly inheritance. But invite them all to come and
partake that revere the Savior as God, and assure them that, if they
approach with reverence, it may be made the means of viewing the
condescending love of God ready to unite with them, and their own
depravity, which will or may make them cry, and, if pure in heart,
obtain mercy."

76. Slandering David Henkel.--What the Henkels, as early as 1809, had
taught on the Lord's Supper, appears from a pamphlet published in that
year at New Market, in the printery of Henkel. Here we read as follows:
"But Paul teaches us that the bread which we break in the Lord's Supper
is the communion of the body of Christ, and the cup of blessing with
which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ. If our bread
and wine has communion with the body and blood of Christ, then it also
must be what our dear Lord Himself calls it in the institution: His
body and His blood." (680.) This genuinely Lutheran doctrine it was
that also David Henkel had been preaching, and which his opponents who
charged him with Roman aberrations called transubstantiation,
impanation, or consubstantiation. And true to his Reformed traditions,
Shober continued in his endeavors to slander David Henkel as a
Crypto-Papist. This compelled Henkel to make the following explanation
in 1827: "The ministry of the North Carolina Synod are charged with
denying the most important doctrine of the Lutheran Church, and have
been requested to come to a reciprocal trial, which they have
obstinately refused. . . . Those ministers, as it plainly appears,
entertain a strong personal prejudice against me, and have asserted
many charges with respect to my personal conduct, as well as with
respect to my doctrines. What shall I say? Have I not heretofore
offered them a reciprocal trial, even as it respects personal conduct?
Why did they not accede to it? They are truly injuring their own
reputation when they speak many evil things of me, in order to render
me ridiculous, and an object of persecution, and yet are unwilling to
confront me and prove their accusations by legal testimony. . . . I wish
a reciprocal forgiveness. But as it respects the difference with respect
to doctrines, it is necessary to be discussed, as that respects the
Lutheran community. Mr. Shober has most confidently charged me with
teaching 'that if a man only is baptized and partakes of the Lord's
Supper, [he] is safe; and that I call those enthusiasts and bigots who
insist upon further repentance and conversion.' Again he charges me with
openly supporting the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, and of
forgiving sins like the papists pretend to do. Now I positively deny
these charges as being true, and if Mr. Shober does not confront me and
prove these charges by a legal testimony or testimonies, what can I
otherwise, agreeably to the truth, call him but a calumniator, or one
who bears false witness against his neighbor? I do not believe that any
man in the United States (or, at least, I have never heard of any)
teaches that, if a person only is baptized and receives the Lord's
Supper, [he] is safe exclusive of repentance. What a puerile conduct
some men manifest in trying to prove that the doctrine with which Mr.
Shober has charged me is erroneous, when no man nor class of men contend
for it! They are all the while fighting their own shadows. If the reader
will take the trouble to read my book entitled, '_Answer to Mr. Joseph
Moore, the Methodist;_ with a Few Fragments on the Doctrine of
Justification,' he may readily see whether I maintain the doctrines with
which I am charged, or whether I deny regeneration and the influence of
the Holy Spirit. Again, as little as I believe the doctrine of
transubstantiation, so little do I believe that of consubstantiation. A
perusal of the book just now mentioned will also satisfy the reader on
this subject." (_Tenn. Rep_. 1827, 48.)


77. Charges Preferred by Tennessee Synod.--The report of the committee
which the Tennessee Synod appointed in 1824 to discuss the doctrinal
differences with the North Carolina Synod charged them with the
following statements of un-Lutheran doctrine which they quoted from
their writings: "1. 'Jesus says, without being baptized; and furthermore
He says: He that believeth not shall be damned--hence, baptized or not
baptized, faith saves us.' See the committee's appendix to the
proceedings of said North Carolina connection of the year 1822, p.4, §2.
The President of said connection [Stork] says in his _English Review_,
p.46, 'that none but idiots could believe that the body of Christ fills
all space.' See also their proceedings of 1820, p. 18." (_Tenn. Rep_.
1824, Appendix.) Accordingly the charges lodged by Tennessee against the
North Carolina Synod were that they rejected the distinctive doctrines
of Lutheranism. In keeping herewith Tennessee refused to acknowledge the
North Carolina Synod as Lutheran, and declined to grant her this title,
speaking of her as a connection "which _calls_ itself a Lutheran synod."
In 1825 the Tennessee Synod declared: "We must here observe that we
cannot consistently grant to the Synod of North Carolina this title
[Lutheran], because we maintain that they departed from the Lutheran
doctrine." (6.) The same convention headed a letter addressed to the
North Carolina Synod as follows: "To the Reverend Synod of North
Carolina, who assume the title Lutheran, but which we at this time, for
reason aforesaid, dispute. Well beloved in the Lord, according to your
persons!" etc. (7.) According to a letter of Ambrosius Henkel, March 24,
1824, Riemenschneider declared: "The North Carolina Synod must have
deviated not only from the Lutheran doctrine, but from the very words of
Christ as well, as I have lately, in one of their publications, read the
horrible words: Baptized or not baptized, faith saves us. What is that
except to declare Baptism unnecessary? One would think that these people
were crazy (man sollte denken, diese Menschen waeren verrueckt)." The
North Carolina Synod, however, in spite of their avowed unionistic and
essentially Reformed attitude, boldly insisted that they were the "true
Lutherans"--a bit of bravado imitated several decades later by
Benjamin Kurtz, one of the Reformed theologians of the General Synod,
over against Missouri and other synods loyal to the Lutheran Confessions.

78. "Lutheraner" on Division of North Carolina Synod.--The first
unbiased Lutheran estimate and, in all essential points, correct
presentation of the division in the North Carolina Synod is found in the
_Lutheraner_ of June 5, 1855. Here Theo. Brohm, who attended the
thirty-fourth convention of the Tennessee Synod in 1854 as the
representative of the Missouri Synod, writes as follows: "German
Lutheran congregations had been organized in the State of North Carolina
as early as the middle of the preceding century. About 1798 the first
attempts were made to unite these congregations by a regulated synodical
bond. However, the removal of a number of pastors resulted in the decay
of the church life in this field. After a number of years the
congregations increased again, and so the foundation for the Ev. Luth.
Synod of North Carolina was laid in 1803. Paul Henkel was among the
charter members. The beginning was weak, but the good cause progressed.
Gradually Lutheran congregations were organized also in Virginia, South
Carolina, and in Tennessee, uniting with this synod. As most of the
pastors had come from Pennsylvania, cordial unity obtained between the
Pennsylvania Synod and the Synod of North Carolina. In the course of
time, however, Satan succeeded in sowing tares among the wheat. Two
opposing parties sprang up in the synod. The one, to which the great
majority belonged, found its expression and embodiment in the General
Synod, and is too well known to our readers to require further
characterization at this place. The other was the staunch and truly
Lutheran party, to which, indeed, but a small minority adhered. The
majority, in agreement with a number of influential men in the
Pennsylvania Synod, proposed the idea of a General Synod, which,
according to their view, was to embody not only the various Lutheran
synods of this country, but, if possible, all other religious bodies as
well. While the true Lutherans could see nothing but mischief arising
from this General Synod, the majority entered upon this unhappy scheme
with great enthusiasm. And, in order to carry out their plan, without
the let or hindrance of the staunch Lutherans, the friends of the
General Synod convened a meeting of synod in 1819 at an unlawful time,
and also without notifying all pastors, especially those of Tennessee.
Delegates were elected to the convention of the Pennsylvania Synod in
Baltimore, where the plan for the General Synod was to be matured. In
order to destroy the influence of one of the most decided opponents, the
young David Henkel, he was suspended from office for a period of six
months, ostensibly because he was spreading Roman Catholic doctrines,
which in reality, however, were none but pure Lutheran doctrines,
especially those of the power of Baptism and of the presence of the true
body and blood in the Lord's Supper. When the Synod met at Lincolnton,
N. C., in the following year, those members of Synod who were
dissatisfied with the resolutions of the previous year demanded a
thorough investigation of the mooted questions. In answer reference was
made to the majority vote, which decision was to be final. Hostility to
the Augsburg Confession and especially to the doctrines of Baptism and
of the Lord's Supper, as well as the tendency to unite with all
religious bodies, became more and more apparent. And when the plan of
the General Synod met with the determined opposition of the staunch
Lutherans, the other party dissolved the meeting and made the beginning
of the General Synod. Those pastors who remained faithful to the
Lutheran Confessions, six in number, now united and organized the
so-called Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod." (11, 165.)


79. G. Henkel, Stoever, Klug at Spottsylvania.--In 1754 Muhlenberg and
the Pennsylvania Synod sent an appeal to both London and Halle in which
they state: "Many thousands of Lutheran people are scattered through
North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, etc." When the
Indians attacked New Bern, N. C., shortly after it had been founded in
1710 by 650 Palatines and Swiss, twelve Lutheran families escaped from
the massacre and sought refuge in Virginia. Here Governor Spottwood
allotted them homes in Spottsylvania County. Gerhard Henkel is said to
have been their first pastor; but he served them for a short time only.
Their number was increased by a colony of Alsatians and Palatinates.
They had started for Pennsylvania, but, after various hardships on the
voyage, in which many of their companions died, were purchased by
Governor Spottwood, and sent by him to his lands in the same locality,
on the upper Rappahannock, "twelve German miles from the sea." (Jacobs,
184.) In 1728, after a vacancy of sixteen years, Henkel was succeeded by
John Caspar Stoever, Sr., born in Frankenberg, Hesse, who came to
America with his younger relative of the same name, the latter being
active for many years as a missionary in Pennsylvania. Stoever's salary
in Virginia was three thousand pounds of tobacco a year. In 1734 he and
two members of his congregation, Michael Schmidt and Michael Holden,
went to Europe to collect a fund for the endowment of their church.
"Because the congregation," as an old report has it, "ardently desires
that the Evangelical truth should not be extinguished with his death,
but be preserved to them and their descendants, the said preacher, Rev.
Stoever, toward the close of the year 1734, . . . undertook a voyage to
Europe to collect a fund for the continuance of their service, the
building of a church and school, and the endowment of the ministry."
(G., 115.) In London they were cordially received by Ziegenhagen, and
recommended to Germany and Holland. Besides a large amount of money,
they procured a library of theological books. George Samuel Klug offered
his services as a pastor, and, after his ordination at Danzig, August 30,
1736, proceeded to Virginia with one of the laymen. After completing his
collections, Stoever returned, in 1838, but died at sea. The
contributions which Stoever had collected amounted to three thousand
pounds, one-third of which paid the expenses, and the rest the building
of a chapel (Hebron Church) and the purchase of farmlands and slaves.
Muhlenberg, Sr., wrote: "It is said to be a profitable plantation, and
owns several slaves to till the land." (G., 606.) Pastor Klug, who, in
order to relieve the monotony of his isolation, made occasional visits
to the Lutheran ministers in Pennsylvania, wrote in 1749 that "the
congregation was not in the least burdened by his support." However, the
endowment of the church seems to have been a hindrance rather than an
advantage. The congregation lost many members to the Dunkards. Klug
continued his ministry till 1761, when he was succeeded by Schwarbach,
and later by Frank, both of whom were licensed at Culpeper, the latter
for three years, beginning with 1775. Probably also Peter Muhlenberg
preached in the old Hebron Church. Later on Paul Henkel, when active as
a missionary in Virginia, had the congregation under his supervision.

80. Peter Muhlenberg and J. N. Schmucker at Woodstock.--Many of the
more enterprising of the Germans in Pennsylvania, notably in Montgomery,
Berks, Lancaster, and York Counties, pressed toward the frontiers of
their State, and then followed the Cumberland Valley into Maryland and
far beyond into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, their number being
constantly increased by immigrants from Germany. To supply their needs,
Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, in 1772, was sent to Virginia, Woodstock
(Muellerstadt) being his home and the center of his field. Though
serving practically none but German Lutherans, he sought and secured
the ordination of the Episcopal Church in order to obtain legal
recognition of his marriages. In Virginia the Protestant Episcopal
Church was firmly established, and dissenters were compelled to pay an
annual tribute to the established preachers. Says Muhlenberg, Sr.: "If
dissenting parties were married by their own pastors, this was not
legal, and they could not get off any cheaper than by paying the
marriage dues to the established county preacher and obtaining a
marriage certificate from him." (G., 606.) Together with W. White,
afterward Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania,
Peter Muhlenberg was ordained by the Bishop of London, after he had been
examined and had subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles. By the
indifferentistic Germans and Swedes of those days such ordinations were
generally regarded as a favor and comity from the Episcopalians rather
than a humiliation and denial on the part of the Lutherans. Dr. Kunze
says: "The bishops of London have never made a difficulty to ordain
Lutheran divines, when called to congregations which, on account of
being connected with English Episcopalians, made this ordination
requisite. Thus by bishops of London the following Lutheran ministers
were ordained: Bryselius, Peter Muhlenberg, Illing, Houseal, and Wagner.
The last-mentioned was called, after having obtained this ordination, to
an Ev. Lutheran congregation in the Margraviate of Anspach in Germany."
(Jacobs, 285.) Peter Muhlenberg viewed his Episcopal ordination as a
purely civil affair, and, though claimed by the Episcopalians, he always
regarded himself as a Lutheran. He died (1807) with the conviction that
he had never been anything but a Lutheran. In a circular to the Lutheran
churches of Philadelphia, dated March 14, 1804, he said: "Brethren, we
have been born, baptized, and brought up in the Evangelical Lutheran
Church. Many of us have vowed before God and the congregation, at our
confirmation, to live and die by this doctrine of our Church. In the
doctrine of our Church we have our joy, our brightest joy; we prize it
the more highly since, in our opinion, it agrees most with the doctrine
of the faithful and true witness of our Savior Jesus Christ. We wish
nothing more than that we and our children and our children's children
and all our posterity may remain faithful to this doctrine." (284.)
Among the friends of Peter Muhlenberg at Woodstock were George
Washington and the orator of the Revolution, Patrick Henry. The story is
well known how, after preaching a sermon on the seriousness of the times
and pronouncing the benediction, he cast off his clerical robe,
appearing before his congregation in the glittering uniform of a colonel.
During the long vacancy which followed Wildbahn, Goering, and J. D.
Kurtz preached occasionally in the old church at Woodstock. In 1805 John
Nicholas Schmucker took charge of the field. He was a popular preacher,
using, almost exclusively, also in the pulpit, the Pennsylvania German.
"Zu so Kinner," he said, "muss mer so preddige." (G., 608.)

81. Patriotic Activity of Peter Muhlenberg.--Peter was the oldest son
of H. M. Muhlenberg. He was sent to the University of Halle for his
theological training, where his independent spirit soon brought him into
trouble. At one occasion he resented an insult on the part of his
instructor with a blow. Forestalling expulsion, the young man enlisted
in a German regiment, in which he was known as "Teufel Piet." After two
years of military training he returned to America, and consented to
study theology under his father. After a short pastorate in New Jersey
he was transferred to Woodstock. He traveled extensively through the
Shenandoah Valley and the mountains to the west, preaching wherever
Lutherans could be found. When the Revolution began, Peter Muhlenberg
roused the patriotism of his fellow-Germans in Virginia, who were much
better established and in closer touch with their English neighbors than
those in North Carolina, many of them being acquainted with Lord Fairfax
and George Washington and holding civil offices in their communities.
Muhlenberg brought about, and was chairman of, the Woodstock Convention,
June 16, 1774, at which the Germans united with their Scotch-Irish
neighbors in a declaration against British tyranny, nearly a year before
the famous Mecklenburg Declaration in May, 1775. The resolutions adopted
at Woodstock were prepared by a committee, of which Muhlenberg was
chairman. They read, in part, as follows: "That we will pay due
submission to such acts of government as His Majesty has a right by law
to exercise over his subjects, and to such only." "That it is the
inherent right of British subjects to be governed and taxed by
representatives chosen by themselves only, and that every act of the
British Parliament respecting the internal policy of America is a
dangerous and unconstitutional invasion of our rights and privileges."
"That the enforcing of the execution of the said act of Parliament by
military power will have a necessary tendency to cause a civil war,
thereby dissolving that union which has so long happily subsisted
between the mother country and her colonies; and that we will most
heartily and unanimously concur with our suffering brethren of Boston
and every other part of North America that may be the immediate victim
of tyranny, as promoting all proper measures to avert such dreadful
calamities to procure a redress of our grievances and to secure our
common liberties." After the Woodstock meeting Muhlenberg was elected a
member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia and also of the State
Convention. He was appointed colonel of the Eighth regiment, afterwards
known as the German regiment, which he also raised. After receiving his
commission, Muhlenberg preached the famous war sermon which Colonel
Roosevelt, several years ago, repeated in _Collier's Weekly_, in his
plea for fair play for the Germans. Beneath his black pulpit robe, which
is to-day in the possession of the Henkel Brothers' Publishing House,
Peter Muhlenberg wore his uniform. In his sermon he spoke of the duties
citizens owe to their country. In closing he said: "There is a time for
preaching and praying; but there is also a time of fighting; now this
time has come!" The service ended, he retired to the sacristy and came
out the colonel. He made a speech from the front steps of his church and
began the enlistment, 300 signing. In the war he distinguished himself
at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Yorktown, and was advanced to
the rank of Major-General. The war over, Peter Muhlenberg served as
Speaker of the House in Congress and afterwards as United States
Senator. (_Luth. Church Review_ 1919, 160 ff.)

82. Chr. Streit at Winchester, Henkel at New Market.--In 1785
Christian Streit, who had been active in New Hanover, Pa., since 1782,
came to Winchester, Va., where he served till 1812. Here the foundations
for a church had been laid in 1704. According to a document found in the
cornerstone, the congregation, then numbering 33 members, declared:
"This temple is dedicated to the Triune God and the Lutheran religion;
all sects, whatsoever their names may be, departing from, or not fully
agreeing with, the Evangelical Lutheran religion, shall forever be
excluded from it." This document was signed by Caspar Kirchner, then
pastor of the congregation, L. Adams, secretary, and Anton Ludi,
schoolteacher. By the aid of a lottery the church was completed under
Chr. Streit in 1787. William Carpenter, a scholar of Streit, labored in
Madison Co., Va., from 1791 to 1813, when he removed to Kentucky.
Augusta County, in the Shenandoah Valley, was almost exclusively settled
by Germans, the Koiner (Coyner, Koyner, Coiner, Kiner, Cuyner) family,
hailing from Wuerttemberg, being especially numerous. New Market,
Shenandoah County, was the home of Paul Henkel (1754--1825), who had
studied German, Latin, Greek, and Theology under the direction of Pastor
Krug in Pennsylvania, and was ordained at Philadelphia in 1792. A most
zealous and energetic missionary, his journeys carried him into Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
From 1800 to 1805 he was stationed in Rowan Co., N. C., and took part in
the organization of the Synod of North Carolina in 1803. Returning to
Virginia in 1805, he, together with his six sons, established a printery
at New Market, which loyally served the cause of true Lutheranism. As
the years rolled on, the Henkels became increasingly free from the
prevailing doctrinal indifferentism, and arrived at an ever clearer
understanding of Lutheran truth, and this at a time when all existing
Lutheran synods were moving in the opposite direction. The Lutheran
loyalty and determination of the Henkels over against the unionistic and
Reformed tendencies within the North Carolina Synod led to the
organization of the Tennessee Synod, July 17, 1820, a synod which
espoused the cause of pure Lutheranism, and zealously opposed the
enthusiastic, unionistic, and Reformed aberrations then prevalent in all
other Lutheran synods of America. Two years prior, September 14, 1818,
Paul Henkel had participated in the organization of the Ohio Synod, at
first called the General Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Pastors, etc.
On October 11, 1820, conferences, which had met since 1793, led to the
organization of the Synod of Maryland and Virginia at Winchester, Va.,
by ten pastors and nine delegates. Nine years later the Virginia Synod
was organized; and the Southwest Virginia Synod, September 20, 1841.


83. Minutes of 1805.--In the first decade of the nineteenth century a
Special Conference was organized in Virginia: "Specialkonferenz der
Evang.-Luth. Prediger (Lehrer) und Abgeordneten im Staat Virginien." At
the meeting held on Sunday, October 7, 1805, in the newly built church
at Millerstadt (Woodstock), five lay delegates (among them Doctor
Solomon Henkel) and the following ministers were present: Chr. Streit,
W. Carpenter, Paul Henkel, J. Foltz, A. Spintler. Streit delivered a
touching sermon (eine ruehrende Rede) in the Lutheran church on Matt.
28, 20. In the afternoon Paul Henkel preached in the Reformed church on
2 Cor. 4, 5; in the evening, Carpenter on 1 Cor. 1, 23, also in the
Reformed church. Monday morning they met in the schoolhouse. At 12
o'clock Spintler preached in the Reformed church on Eph. 1, 7. In the
afternoon it was decided that an address to the congregations be added
to the minutes "on better bringing up of the children and better order
of the youth." On motion of Solomon Henkel it was resolved to add to the
minutes also the 21 articles of the Augsburg Confession. Furthermore it
was resolved that after the sermon the children should be instructed in
the catechism. It was also approved to abolish as far as possible the
custom of saying the individual lines of the hymns in public worship
(die Lieder zeilenweise vorzusprechen). The address added to the minutes
says, in part: "If children are to grow up well-bred and be reared to
the honor of God, then the teachers in the churches, the schoolteachers
in the school-houses, and the parents in their dwellings must perform
their various duties toward the young plants in the vineyard of the
Lord." "Generally men care for the bodily welfare of their children,
which in itself is not wrong; why, then, should we not also, and indeed
much more so, be concerned about their everlasting and eternal welfare?"
"O parents, parents! seek to save yourselves and, as much as is in you,
also your children! Do not spare any trouble or expenses to have your
children instructed in the fundamental truths of our holy religion. Send
them, according to your ability and the circumstances, to school
regularly, especially to such schools where they are trained, not only
for this world, but for heaven also, where they are instructed in song,
prayer, and the doctrine of the catechism." "In our corrupted times some
parents permit their children to waste the whole day of the holy Sabbath
in a disorderly and sinful manner rather than bring them to the teacher
in order to have them instructed for half an hour to their temporal and
eternal welfare. O parents, parents! is that the way to bring up your
children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? O remember that, who
knows how soon, you with your dear children will have to appear before
God's judgment! O ponder what a fearful and terrible thing it would be,
if at that great day your own children should have to accuse and condemn
you there before the throne of God!" With respect to the grown-up youth
the address complains: "We cannot, in truth, think of many of you
without shedding tears. Many of you do not only despise your mother
tongue, but with it your mother church. Many, at least among those of
our acquaintance, born of Evangelical Lutheran parents, neglect the
instruction which they could have so conveniently, neglect confirmation
and the Lord's Supper, and frequently behave in public worship in a
manner to make one feel almost ashamed of them, and thus they live in
the world without religion and without God."

84. Minutes of 1807, etc.--To the minutes of 1807 a formula for burial,
furnished by Henkel, is added for the use of schoolteachers in the
absence of a minister. At the meeting in the schoolhouse at Winchester,
1808, it was resolved that the congregations elect devout men to conduct
reading-services and give catechetical instruction to the children on
Sundays when ministers are absent. It was furthermore resolved that
ministers should conduct, as often as possible, private meetings in
their congregations in order to edify the members by prayer, song, and
instruction. The admonition, written by Paul Henkel and Streit, and
added to the minutes, in a simple and earnest manner urges the
congregations to introduce the reading-services, the instruction of the
young, and to attend the private meetings. "Coldness and indifference in
religion," they say, "is so universal that we must employ all possible
means to awaken men to a true and living Christianity." A special and
fervent appeal is added not to abuse, but to keep, the Sabbath, the Day
of the Lord, "the good, useful, holy day, which God especially has
reserved for Himself for the furtherance of His honor and the welfare of
our immortal souls." The appeal concludes: "Do you love your country?
Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love civic rest? Then sanctify the
Sabbath. Do you love your neighbors? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you
love your children? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your parents?
Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your preachers, your Savior, and
your souls? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you desire to escape hell?
Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you desire some day to celebrate the
eternal Sabbath with the saints and the perfected just before the throne
of God? Then sanctify the Sabbath here on earth, whereby you may be best
prepared for those blissful occupations." At the meeting of the Special
Conference in the school of Solomon's Church, Shenandoah County, 1809,
it was resolved that the admonition to be added to the minutes of this
year should take "special reference to the furtherance of the German
language and schools." The admonition, written by Paul Henkel and
Carpenter, complains that the ministers were not able to do their
mission-duty, partly because they were rich and unable to undergo the
hardships connected with traveling, partly because the congregations
supporting them refused to let them go. They admonish the congregations
to show their brotherly love in permitting their ministers to serve
their forsaken and needy brethren. Respecting the cultivation of the
German language, the admonition remarks, in part: "In the first place,
we know that the English language is not as easily understood as the
German. Even when the Germans are able to read and write it, they
understand very little of it aright. Their parents, themselves not
knowing the language, can hear their children read, and see them write,
but cannot show them where they err, nor correct them. And just as
little are they able to explain to them the contents of what they read;
for [even] the English understand very little of what they read in some
useful books, until they learn to understand it from their
dictionaries." "If parents were really concerned about training their
children for the general weal of the country, they would see to it that
their sons be taught the Christian religion in their mother-tongue as
well as be instructed in the English language to read, write, figure,
etc. Then they might become truly useful men for the general welfare of
their country. All the most useful men that one can point out in our
country are, as a rule, of this class. It cannot be expected that men
who, for reasons of selfishness and pride, despise their language and
church will stand for the welfare of their country." The admonition
concludes: "We know how much good and wholesome instruction for the
edification of our souls and for the comfort of our hearts we have
derived from our German books, which are so easily understood, and which
so plainly describe the simple way of life. From what we learned from
them ever since our youth, we have obtained our only hope of salvation
hereafter; why, then, should we, for any reason whatsoever, deprive our
children of it?" According to the statistical appendix of the minutes of
the Special Conference in 1809, there were, at that time, no less than
49 organized congregations in Virginia. It does not, however, appear
that the interest in the German language and the consciousness of true
Lutheranism made any marked progress in the following years. In 1817, at
Culpeper, Pastors G. Riemenschneider, A Reck, Nicholas and Peter
Schmucker, and Michael Meyerhoeffer, and five lay delegates were
present. Four German and three English sermons were delivered. Among the
resolutions is the following: "that only pious and, if possible, only
converted men be chosen as elders of the congregations, and that they
live piously both in their homes with family prayer in the evening and
morning, and before the world respectably and honorably, receive the
Lord's Supper frequently," etc. Instead of any reference to the
tercentenary of the Reformation we find in the minutes of 1817 a
resolution to the effect "that the proceedings of this year, together
with a _Letter of a Traveling Jew_ appended, be printed."


85. Always Prominent and Liberal.--The Synod of Maryland and Virginia,
organized October 11, 1820, has always been prominent in the General
Synod. "The _Lutheran Observer_, the Pastors' Fund, the Lutheran
Ministers' Insurance League, the Missionary Institute, now Susquehanna
University, were all born in this venerable Synod, which was also first
to suggest the observance of Reformation Day. Lutherville and Hagerstown
Female Seminaries are within its bounds. It has always been abreast of
the most advanced, evangelical, and catholic life of the Church, giving
no uncertain sound upon the divine obligation of the Lord's Day and the
saloon." (J. G. Butler in the _Luth. Cycl_., 482.) Among its noted
pastors were J. D. and B. Kurtz, J. G. Morris, F. W. Conrad, S. W.
Harkey, Theo. and C. A. Stork, D. F. Schaeffer, C. Philip and C.
Porterfield Krauth, S. S. Schmucker, H. L. Baugher, Sr., W. A.
Passavant, Sr., Ezra Keller. But men of this synod also led the van in
doctrinal and practical liberalism. Harkey and Kurtz were New-measurists
and enthusiastic revivalists. Harkey moved the publication of a monthly,
_The Revivalist_, which Synod, however, declared "inexpedient." Through
the endeavors of Kurtz a committee was appointed to bring in a report on
the "New Measures," which was referred back to the committee. In 1844
Synod resolved to issue an "Abstract of the Doctrines and Practise of
the Ev. Luth. Synod of Maryland." Fourteen doctrinal articles were
prepared by H. L. Baugher, B. Kurtz, and S. W. Harkey, containing, among
other statements, also the following: "We believe that the Scriptures
teach that God has given to man, as a natural gift, the power of choice,
and that, whilst he is influenced in his volitions by motives, he always
possesses the ability to choose the opposite of that which was the
object of his choice. God, in His providence and grace, places before
man the evil and the good, urging him by the most powerful
considerations to choose the latter and reject the former. When the
sinner yields to God, that is regeneration." "We believe that the
Scriptures teach that there are but two Sacraments, _viz_., Baptism and
the Lord's Supper, in each of which truths essential to salvation are
symbolically represented. We do not believe that they exert any
influence _ex opere operato_, but only through the faith of the
believer. Neither do the Scriptures warrant the belief that Christ is
present in the Lord's Supper in any other than a spiritual manner." "We
regard them [the Lutheran Symbols] as good and useful exhibitions of
truth, but do not receive them as binding on the conscience, except so
far as they agree with the Word of God." Evidently these articles of the
Maryland "Abstract," as A. Spaeth puts it, "not only avoid or contradict
the distinctive features of the Lutheran Confession, but have a decided
savor of Arminianism and Pelagianism." (_C. P. Krauth_, 1, 111 f.)
October 17, 1856, the Maryland Synod declared that every one is at
liberty to accept or reject the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession
which the "Definite Platform" rejected as false, provided that thereby
the divine institution of the Sabbath be not rejected, nor the doctrinal
basis of the General Synod changed. (_L. u. W_. 1856, 382.)

86. Maryland Abstract of Doctrines.--On the un-Lutheran, Reformed, and
Arminian articles of the Maryland "Abstract" we quote Dr. A. Spaeth as
follows: "This report was first recommitted, and, in 1846, was laid on
the table and indefinitely postponed. The _Lutheran Observer_ referred
to it in an extended editorial (November 27, 1846), and printed it in
full, with a few slight alterations and omissions. We quote from this
article as follows: 'When asked what Lutherans believe, the question is
not always so easily answered to the satisfaction of the inquirer. We
may refer him to books, confessions, catechisms, etc.; but the
proponent, most probably, has neither inclination nor time to hunt up
and examine such authorities. He desires to be told in a few words,
distinctly and definitely, what is the prevailing belief in the Lutheran
Church on all fundamental points of religious truth. A short tract, a
page or two comprehending an epitome of the doctrines and usages of the
mass of Lutheran Christians in the United States, is what would suit
him. Is there anything of this kind to be found in the Church? The want
of it has long been felt and expressed. From the North and the South,
the East and the West, we have been asked for something of this nature.
The question assumed such importance that it was finally agitated some
two years ago in the Synod of Maryland, and afterward in the General
Synod (1846), held in Philadelphia. In both instances committees were
appointed to draw up and report an abstract of our "doctrine and
practise." The committee appointed by the Maryland Synod complied; and
though the "Abstract" itself was approved, the Synod, for reasons which
we have not time at present to explain, did not think proper to adopt
the report and recommend it to the Church. The committee was composed of
some of our most intelligent and valued ministers; when they had
prepared it, they sent a copy to every minister of the Synod, soliciting
his emendations on the margin, and after its final return it was
reprinted with the benefit of these emendations; and it is in this
improved form that we now present it. We find no difficulty in
subscribing the document, and in presenting it as a fair, honest
exhibition of Lutheran doctrine and practise as understood in the
latitude in which we reside; and if we are not greatly mistaken, the
great mass of our American ministers throughout the land would not make
any material objection to it.'" Dr. Spaeth continues: "This attempt to
substitute such an 'abstract' for the full and precise language of the
Confession of the Church was a sort of forerunner of the famous
'Definite Platform,' which appeared about ten years afterward, and whose
principal author, Prof. S. S. Schmucker in Gettysburg, was so much
pleased with the 'abstract' that he referred to it again and again in
his lectures and articles, and even made his students commit to memory
its principal statements. In an article on the 'Vocation of the American
Lutheran Church' (_Evangelical Review_, Vol. II, p. 510) he says: 'With
the exception of several minor shades of doctrine, in which we are more
symbolic than Dr. Baugher, we could not ourselves, in so few words, give
a better description of the views taught in the Seminary [Gettysburg]
than that contained in his "Abstract of the Doctrines and Practise," etc.
No ground of apprehension as to our seminary, since the doctrines of our
Symbols and the prevailing doctrines of our American Church are here
faithfully taught.'" (112.)



87. "German Ev. Luth. Conference of Tennessee."--Although the
Tennessee Synod has always been and is now only one of the smaller
American Lutheran synods, its history reveals much that is gratifying,
instructive, edifying, and interesting. The first report is entitled:
"Report of the transactions of the first conference of the German Ev.
Luth. pastors and deputies held in the State of Tennessee, in Solomon's
Church, Cove Creek, Green Co., on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of July,
1820." The conference was organized by Pastors Jacob Zink of Virginia,
Paul Henkel of Virginia, Adam Miller of Tennessee, Philip Henkel of
Tennessee, George Esterly of Tennessee, and David Henkel of North
Carolina (who was unable to attend the first meeting), and 19 deputies
of congregations in Tennessee. (_Bericht_ 1820, 3.) By 1827 the number
of pastors had increased to 14, by 1856 to 32, and by 1900 to 40. At
present the Tennessee Synod numbers about 130 congregations and 14,500
communicants. The name "Synod" appears for the first time in the English
Report of 1825, and is found in the constitution since 1827. In the
minutes of 1820 we read: "Firstly, it was deemed necessary and good that
all business and proceedings of this conference, or synod, shall be
conducted in the German language. All written reports of the proceedings
belonging to the whole shall also be published in the German language."
(4.) Synod also regarded it "as most necessary that we be as diligent as
possible to acquaint our children with all our doctrines of faith in our
German language, since in it we are able to instruct them in the easiest
way." (9.) A footnote makes the following comment: "The reason why we
desire a purely German-speaking conference: Experience has taught us
that where a conference is German-English, either the one or the other
party considers itself offended. When German is spoken, the English
brethren understand little, and very frequently nothing at all. When
English is spoken, many a German brother is unable to grasp the matter,
and accordingly unable to judge in questions of the greatest importance.
Besides, at the present time there are very few purely English pastors
who accept the doctrine of our Church and desire to preach it." (4.) The
same sentiments are voiced in the following statement of this report:
"False Lutherans prefer to seek entrance among the German church-people,
because they still contribute most to the support of the ministry. Some
Germans also of our day are of such a kind that if they are able to
preach a little English, no matter how broken and jargonlike it is
spoken, they are inflated with such senseless pride that they would no
longer preach a thing in their mother-tongue nor care the least for the
order of the Church, if it were not a question of bread and of keeping
the good will of some obdurate Germans. They preach because they take
pleasure in hearing themselves. Those who are really English and
understand their language do not care to hear such, except at times, and
then for their amusement only. The Germans therefore are under no
obligations to the good will of such sirs, when they serve them in their
language and according to their order." (31.) Originally, then, the
Tennessee Synod was determined to be and to remain a purely
German-speaking body.

88. Attitude toward the English Language.--That the interest
manifested by the Tennessee Synod in the German language was not due to
any unreasonable prejudice or hatred toward the English language as
such, appears from the fact that since 1821 the minutes of Synod were
printed both in English and German. Moreover, in the minutes of the
second convention, 1821, we read: "At the request of some of our
brethren of North Carolina it was resolved that there be annually a
synod held in North Carolina, or in an adjoining State in the English
language. The members of the German Tennessee Synod may also help to
compose this Synod. It shall be governed agreeably to the same
constitution as that of the German Tennessee Synod (the language
excepted). Those who compose this Synod may appoint the place and time
of the meeting, when and where they may deem it expedient." (Report
1821, 7.) The Report of 1822 records: "Resolved: Because this Synod is
German-speaking, and Mr. Blalock not understanding this language, he
cannot therefore have a seat and vote in this body. Yet, the Revs. Paul
and David Henkel are allowed as individual ministers to examine him, and
in case he is qualified, to ordain him. It is to be understood that Mr.
Blalock is to be ordained a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church;
but in case he should acquire a knowledge of the German language, which
he expects to do, he can then have a seat and vote in the German synod.
But whilst he understands the English language only, he may with other
ministers, who walk agreeably to the doctrines and rules of the German
synod, organize an English-speaking synod, in conformity to a resolution
passed last year." (5.) In 1826 the resolution was adopted: "Whereas
there are sundry members belonging to this Synod who do not understand
the German language, and yet do not wish to form a separate body, it was
resolved that the Secretary, during this session, shall act as an
interpreter between the German and English brethren. It was further
resolved that at the next session, during the three first days, all the
business shall be transacted in the German language, _i.e._, if so much
time shall be requisite; after which the business shall be resumed in
the English language." (3.) The anxiety caused by the language-question
appears from the following letter of Philip Henkel, dated October 19,
1826: "After my return from Synod, I found our German
congregation-members very much dissatisfied because they believed that
we had violated the constitution, and I am afraid that a separation will
be the result. For the old Germans will never suffer the Tennessee Synod
to become a German-English-speaking body. We must certainly act
carefully in this matter, otherwise our Synod will be ruined. . . . They
said that they were willing to sacrifice the constitution, provided that
we remain an exclusively German-speaking body. I also am willing to
relinquish the constitution, provided that the Augsburg Confession is
made the constitution of this synod. We shall find that we shall not be
able to keep the Germans and English together, even when we conduct
synod at the same place three days in the German and three days in the
English language, for the Germans will have to suffer the burden. The
English will always want to attend; then they are coarsely treated by
the Germans; the English complain; thus the matter will be ruined. My
advice, therefore, is: Let us always hold a German-speaking synod, and
afterwards an English-speaking one. In this way we shall be able to
exist. For my part, I am willing to attend both. Every constitution
except the Augsburg Confession may then be set aside. If the Germans
refuse to maintain their language, we can't help it, and we are not at
fault if they perish. If you approve the plan of holding first an
exclusively German-speaking synod and then an exclusively
English-speaking synod, and also of abolishing every constitution except
the Augsburg Confession, advise me at your earliest convenience. I will
then write to the rest of the preachers, and appoint the time and place
for synod. This seems to be the only means of keeping our people united,
for at present they are apart, and who knows how we may bring them
together. After the constitution has been transgressed, everybody feels
free. But if the Augsburg Confession were the constitution, every member
would readily agree to it. These are my thoughts. Write soon. Philip
Henkel." (_L. u. W_. 60, 63.) In the minutes of 1827 we read: "14. Some
members of this congregation alleged the following charge against Mr.
Adam Miller, Jr.: that he neglected to officiate in the German language,
and thus deprived those of religious instructions and edification who do
not understand the English. The Synod was convinced of the justice of
the complaint, and considered it highly necessary that these brethren
should be served in the German language. Mr. Miller, in defense of his
conduct, said that he did not understand the German language accurately
and therefore could not officiate in it, and that hitherto he has not
had an opportunity of learning it. But he promised to acquire a more
accurate knowledge of this language, provided his congregations were
willing to spare him from their service for one year. He intends to
study this language with David Henkel. The members of his congregations
who were present agreed for him to do so, but requested to be visited a
few times by some of the other ministers during the time they should be
vacant. The Synod highly approved Mr. Miller's resolution, and wished
him to persevere in this laudable undertaking." (12.) The Synod of 1827
was confronted by conflicting petitions as to the language-question. The
following memorials were read: "1. A memorial from St. James's Church in
Greene County, Tenn., subscribed by 23 persons. They pray this Synod not
to alter the constitution. Further, that this body remain exclusively
German, and that some measures be taken to establish a separate English
Synod.... 4. In a letter in which the Rev. Adam Miller, Sr., states the
reasons of his absence, he prays this body to allow the English brethren
equal privileges, so that they may not be under the necessity of
establishing a separate Synod." (14.) The constitution, which was
proposed at this meeting and accepted in the following year, disposed of
this question as follows: "All debates shall first be held in the German
language, whereupon the same shall be resumed in the English; provided
there shall be both German and English members present. After the
debates on a subject shall have been ended, then the decision shall be
made." (R. 1827, 24; B. 1828, 28.) In the following years the English
language rapidly gained the ascendency, until finally the German
disappeared entirely. (R. 1831, 9; B. 1841, 8. 9.) Rev. Th. Brohm, after
visiting the Tennessee Synod, wrote in the _Lutheraner_ of January 2,
1855: "Though of German origin, the Tennessee Synod in the course of
time has lost its German element, and has become a purely English synod."

89. Born of Lutheran Loyalty.--The organization of the Tennessee Synod
came as a protest against the projected General Synod, and especially
against existing conditions in the Synod of North Carolina, to which the
Tennessee pastors belonged until their secession in 1820. March 14,
1820, Philip Henkel had written to his brother: "If I am spared, I shall
attend synod. . . . If the old ministers will not act agreeably to the
Augsburg Confession, we will erect a synod in Tennessee." The "old
ministers" were Stork, Shober, Jacob and Daniel Sherer, and other
pastors of the North Carolina Synod who advocated a union with the sects
and the connection with the General Synod, and sought to suppress such
testimony on behalf of Lutheran truth and consistency as the Henkels had
begun to bear publicly. Aversion to faithful confessional Lutheranism
was the real reason why the Synod of North Carolina in 1816 refused to
ordain the young, but able David Henkel, which, even at that time,
almost resulted in a withdrawal of the Henkels and their delegates. The
tension was greatly increased when the Synod of 1819 degraded David
Henkel to the rank of catechist, on the false charge that he had
preached transubstantiation and other papistic heresies and thereby
given offense to the "Reformed brethren." As a matter of fact, he had
proclaimed the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's Supper. The North
Carolina Synod made the entry into their minutes. "He [David Henkel] is
therefore no preacher of the Lutheran Church of North Carolina and
adjacent States." (G., 696.) A source of additional ill will was the
autocratic procedure of the officers in arbitrarily convening the Synod
of 1819, five weeks before the constitutional time (whence known as the
"Untimely Synod"), and that without sending out notices sufficiently
early, and for a purpose most odious to the Henkels and their adherents,
_viz_., to elect a delegate (Shober was chosen) to the convention of
the Pennsylvania Synod at Baltimore in order to participate in the
framing of a tentative constitution for the projected General Synod.
Resenting the arrogance and unconstitutional action of the officers as
well as the obnoxious resolutions of the "Untimely Synod," those members
of the North Carolina Synod who had been either unwilling or unable
(having been notified too late) to take part in the deliberations of the
"Untimely Synod," five weeks later, at the time prescribed by the
constitution, held a synod of their own at Buffalo Creek, in Stork's
congregation, where the "Untimely Synod" had been held, under the oaks,
near the church, Stork having refused them the use of the church for
this purpose. "The Synod," Stork declared, "has been held; and there is
no need of holding it again." He ordered his elders not to open the
church, but finally permitted them to hold services there, with the
express proviso, however, that no business was to be transacted in it.
(B. 1820, 21.) Philip Henkel was elected president, and Bell and David
Henkel were ordained. (21.) In the following year, a few months after
the so-called "Quarreling Synod" ("Streitsynode"), where the majority of
the North Carolina Synod decided in favor of a union with the General
Synod, the minority, as related above, organized the Tennessee Synod.
(15.) In the minutes (Bericht) of 1820, the members of the new synod
justify their withdrawal and organization as a separate body by calling
attention especially to the following points: 1. The officers and some
of the members of the North Carolina Synod had proven by their words
and actions that they "could no longer be regarded as truly Evangelical
Lutheran pastors." (12. 15.) 2. The "Untimely Synod" had declared the
excommunication of a member of David Henkel's congregation to be
invalid, without investigating the matter in that congregation, thereby
infringing upon the rights of the congregation. (20.) 3. The same synod
had not rebuked its president, Rev. Stork, when he made the statement
that he could not believe the Lutheran doctrine that Christ as man was
in possession of all divine attributes, and that he would not believe it
if 500 Bibles should say so. 4. The Synod of 1820 had declared David
Henkel's ordination "under the oaks" invalid, and had published a sort
of letter of excommunication against him. (22.) 5. Synod had refused to
settle the mooted questions according to the Augsburg Confession and the
synodical constitution, but, instead, had demanded that the minority
should yield to the majority. "We, however, thought," says the Report,
"that the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession (concerning which we were
convinced that it could be proven by the doctrine of the Bible) should
have greater weight with us than the voice of a majority of men who are
opposed to the doctrine and ordinance of our Church." (23.) 6. Synod had
permitted the un-Lutheran remarks made at the convention and elsewhere
on Baptism, the Eucharist, Election, Conversion, and the certainty of
the state of grace, as well as on union with all religious parties, to
pass unreproved.--Stating the causes of the deplorable schism, David
Henkel wrote in 1827: "A most unhappy difference exists between this
body and the North Carolina Synod. Previous to the year 1820 some
members of the former and some of the latter constituted one Synod. In
this year the North Carolina Synod entered into the connection of a
General Synod with some other synods. This is a connection and
institution which heretofore did not exist in the Lutheran community,
and to which the Tennessee Synod object as an institution calculated to
subvert ecclesiastical liberty, and to prepare the way for innovations.
This, together with the difference in regard to some of the fundamental
doctrines of the Christian religion, are the principal reasons of the
division." (R. 1827, 32.) In brief, the organization of the Tennessee
Synod was a solemn protest against synodical tyranny and
anticonfessional teaching then prevailing in the North Carolina Synod
and in all other Lutheran bodies in America. Accordingly, as compared
with her contemporaries, it remains the peculiar glory of the Tennessee
Synod that she was born of Lutheran loyalty.

90. Back to Luther! Back to the Lutheran Symbols!--Such, in substance
and effect, was the slogan sounded by the Tennessee Synod, for the first
time in the history of the Lutheran Church in America, after long years
of confessional disloyalty and of doctrinal and practical deterioration.
By dint of earnest and conscientious study of the Lutheran Symbols and
of Luther's writings, the Tennessee pastors, in particular the Henkels,
had attained to a clear knowledge of Lutheran truth and practise,
thereby, at the same time, becoming fully convinced that of all
teachings in Christendom the Lutheran doctrine alone is in full accord
with Holy Writ. March 13, 1823, Solomon Henkel wrote: "A week ago Mr.
York was here, bringing with him Luther's Works. They are bound in 13
folio volumes and cost $100. I purchased the books." To penetrate deeper
and deeper into the writings of Luther, to persuade others to do the
same, and to make this possible to them, such was the ardent desire and
earnest endeavor of the Tennessee pastors. Evidently with this purpose
in view, Paul Henkel had established a printery at New Market, Va.,
where books and tracts breathing a Lutheran spirit were published.
Synodical colporteurs diligently canvassed them among the congregations.
Sound Lutheran works, _e.g._, the Augsburg Confession, sermons by Luther
and Arndt, the article on Good Works from the Formula of Concord, were
from time to time, by resolution of Synod, appended to the synodical
reports. (1831, 11.) Nor was their zeal satisfied with fostering true
Lutheranism in their own midst. In order to acquaint the
English-speaking public with the truths and treasures of our Church,
they issued translations of standard Lutheran works. Besides an agenda
and a hymnal, the New Market printery published in 1829 an English
translation of Luther's Small Catechism with notes by David Henkel; in
1834, a translation of the Augsburg Confession with a preface by Karl
Henkel (in 1827 David Henkel had already been commissioned to prepare a
correct translation); in 1851, an English version of the entire Book of
Concord, of which a second and improved edition appeared in 1854; in
1852, "Luther on the Sacraments," being translations of some writings of
Luther by Jos. Salyards and Solomon D. Henkel, 423 pages octavo; in
1869, Luther's Epistle Sermons, an English edition of which had been
determined upon in 1855. (Rep. 1826, 7; 1830, 17; 1841, 15; 1855, 14.)
On March 1, 1824, a certain Sam Blankenbecker wrote to David Henkel:
"There are two sorts of Lutherans: the one sort believes there is no
doctrine right and pure but the Lutheran; the other thinks that also the
Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists are equally right and pure; and
such Lutherans are very hurtful to others." The Tennessee Synod belonged
to the first class. They were conscious Lutherans, who knew what they
were and what they stood for. The fact is that in those days Tennessee
was the only synod with a true Lutheran heart and an honest Lutheran

91. Despised and Ostracized.--Their return to Luther and the Lutheran
Symbols brought the Henkels and the Tennessee Synod into direct
opposition to, and sharp conflict with, all other Lutheran synods of
that day. For, though still bearing, and priding themselves on, the
Lutheran name, they all had long ago begun to abandon the confessions
and distinctive doctrines of the Church which the cherished and coveted
name of Luther stood for. Their leaders had become indifferentists,
unionists, and Reformed and Methodistic enthusiasts. Over against this
lack of Lutheran faithfulness and apostasy from the Confessions the
Henkels gave no uncertain testimony. Being Lutherans in their hearts as
well as in their heads, they boldly confessed the truths, and most
energetically championed the cause of genuine Lutheranism. And they
squared their actions with their words and convictions. Consistent also
in their practise, they refused to fellowship and recognize the
errorists everywhere, even when found in Lutheran synods. No wonder,
then, that the Henkels and their uncompromising attitude met with no
sympathy on the part of the Lutheran synods then found in America. And,
being, as they were, a standing protest against the apostasy of these
synods, it was but natural, carnally, that the Tenneesee [tr. note: sic]
confessors were avoided, ignored, despised, hated, maligned, and
ostracized by their opponents. Tennessee was decried and stigmatized as
the "Quarreling Conference" ("Streitkonferenz"). The "Henkelites," it
was said, had been convicted of error at the "Quarreling Synod"; there
they had not been able to prove their doctrine; they were false
Lutherans; some of them had been excluded from Synod, therefore they had
no authority to officiate as ministers; their synod was not a lawful
synod; its transactions were invalid, etc. (1820, 22.30; 1824, App. 3;
1827, 43 f.) All endeavors on the part of the Tennessee Synod to bring
about an understanding and a unification in the truth were spurned by
the other synods "with silent contempt," says David Henkel. (1827, 6.
25.) In the Maryland Synod the prediction was heard: "This Tennessee
Synod will go to pieces finally." The Address of the General Synod of
1823 states: "Our Church, which was originally embraced in two
independent synods [Ministeriums of Pennsylvania and New York], has
spread over so extensive a portion of the United States that at present
we have _five_ synods [North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia,
Pennsylvania, and New York Synods], and shall shortly have several
more." (3. 9. 14.) The General Synod, then, refused to recognize
Tennessee as a Lutheran synod in America. In a letter, dated January 23,
1826, and addressed to Solomon Henkel, H. Muhlenberg remarked that the
Tennessee Synod "had as yet not been recognized as a synod by the other
Lutheran synods." In 1839 the General Synod censured both the Franckean
and Tennessee Synods as the two extremes "causing disturbances and
divisions in our churches" and standing in the way of a union of the
Lutheran Church in America--a resolution which was rescinded in 1864.
Thus universal contempt and proscription was the reward which Tennessee
received for her endeavors to lead the Lutheran Church out of the mire
of sectarian aberrations back to Luther and the Lutheran Symbols. Rev.
Brohm, after his visit with the Tennessee Synod, wrote in the
_Lutheraner_ of June 5, 1855: "In order to heal, if in any way possible,
the deplorable breach, the Tennessee Synod, in the course of seven
years, made repeated attempts to persuade her opponents [in the North
Carolina Synod] to discuss the mooted doctrines, offering them
conditions most just and most acceptable . . . . But with exasperating
indifference all these offers were stubbornly despised and rejected.
Tennessee directed various questions also to the Pennsylvania Synod in
order to learn their views on the pending doctrinal controversies. But
this body, too, did not even deign to answer. The Tennessee Synod,
however, though rebuffed on all sides and stigmatized as a fanatical
sect, quietly went its way, without suffering itself to be confused or
led astray. Unanimity and love reigned among its members. The number of
congregations which united with them and desired pastors from them
constantly increased, so that the Synod was not able to satisfy all
requests. The synodical resolutions offer ample evidence of the lively
interest and diligence of their pastors to appropriate more and more
fully the riches of the Reformation, and to make their congregations
partakers thereof." (11, 166.) The first request for a minister came
from Cape Girardeau, Mo. The minutes record: "At the earnest request and
desire of a number of German inhabitants in Cape Girardeau ("Cape
Cheredo"), Mo., through H. Johannes Schmidt and Georg Klemmer, who
earnestly pray that they might be visited, it was resolved that H. Jacob
Zink should make a journey thither, as soon as possible, to preach the
Gospel to them and to perform all other official acts that may be
required. For this laudable undertaking we wish him the rich blessing of
the Lord." (B. 1820, 10.)


92. Critique of So-called "Planentwurf."--The formation of a Lutheran
General Synod, warmly advocated by the Synods of Pennsylvania and North
Carolina, met with the earnest and zealous, though not in every respect
judicious, opposition of the Tennessee Synod. Her Report of 1820
contains a criticism of the _Planentwurf_, which in 1819 had been
proposed by the Pennsylvania Synod as a tentative constitution for the
projected General Synod. Among the objections enumerated are the
following: 1. Whosoever desired to be recognized as a pastor would be
compelled to pursue his studies at the proposed seminary of the General
Synod. 2. Of those entitled to cast a vote there were two pastors to
every lay delegate. "It would therefore be vain for a lay deputy to make
the journey, except he desired the honor of being a servant of two
masters." 3. The General Synod arrogated to itself the exclusive right
to introduce new books for public worship. 4. Luther's Catechism also
was to remain only _until_ the Synod would introduce other books. 5.
According to the _Planentwurf_, the General Synod could reject all
articles of faith or omit them entirely. 6. Neither the Augsburg
Confession nor the Bible was designated as the foundation of the General
Synod, nor even so much as mentioned in the _Planentwurf_. (52 f.) 7. The
General Synod was striving to establish a dominion over all Ministeriums,
as appeared from the statement: "Until the permission or approval of the
General Synod shall have been formally obtained, no newly established
body shall be regarded as a Ministerium, nor shall an ordination
conferred by them be considered valid." "Accordingly," they said, "one
had as much liberty as the rope permitted." (54 f.; 1822, 10.) 8. The
General Synod claimed the right to specify the "ranks universally valid
for the ministry." "Catechist," as the Report of 1820 has it,
"candidate, dean, and pastor will no longer suffice; who knows but
something higher will be required, such as bishop, archbishop, cardinal,
or even pope!" 9. Pastors were granted the right to appeal from the
decision of their synod to the General Synod. "Accordingly the case of a
pastor, be he ever so bad, may drag on for years; and if, owing to
extreme distances or other circumstances, the witnesses are not able to
attend, he may finally even win it. This provision renders the matter
similar to a temporal government, where appeals are commonly made from a
lower to a higher court." 10. "One cannot be sure that a spirit desiring
as much power as appears to be granted by this _Planentwurf_ will be
able to rest and not seek further power." 11. No one was able to
guarantee that this Lutheran General Synod would not later on unite with
the General Synods of the sects to form a National Synod, in which the
majority would then determine all articles of faith and all
church-customs. 12. Such a National Synod would be able also to change
the Constitution of the United States and compel every one to unite with
this National Synod, impose taxes, etc. (50 f.) By resolution of Synod
the reasons why some pastors in Ohio, influenced in their action by Paul
Henkel, rejected the _Planentwurf_ were also appended to the Report of
1820. Among them were: 1. The fear "of falling into the hands of a
strong hierarchy" by accepting this _Planentwurf_, since they knew from
church history that the Papacy had developed rapidly along similar
lines. (64.) 2. The General Synod would soon become English, whereas,
according to its ministerial order, the Ohio Synod "must remain a
German-speaking ministerium." (65.) 3. Every meeting of the General
Synod would mean for them a traveling expense of $168. 4. As the
_Planentwurf_ was subject to change, union with the General Synod would
be tantamount "'to buying the cat in the bag,' as the proverb has it."
These scruples reveal the fact that the Tennessee Synod viewed the
General Synod as a body which was hierarchical in its polity and
thoroughly un-Lutheran in its doctrinal position, an opinion well
founded, even though the objections advanced are not equally valid.

93. General Synod's Constitution Criticized.--The critique of the
_Planentwurf_ was not devoid of fruit in every respect. Due to the
testimony of the Henkels, its hierarchical features were toned down
considerably in the constitution finally adopted at Hagerstown, Md.,
1820. Thus, _e.g._, the odious passage regarding the establishment of
new ministeriums and the validity of their ordinations was omitted.
Still Tennessee was far from being satisfied with the constitution as
amended. Moreover, a committee was appointed to draw up their remaining
objections, and the report submitted was appended to the minutes of 1821
and printed by order of Synod. It subjects the constitution to a severe
examination, and makes a number of important strictures. 1. The first
objection was raised against the words of the Preamble: "Whereas Jesus
Christ, the great Head of the Church, hath not given her any particular
prescriptions how church-government should be regulated, she therefore
enjoys the privilege in all her departments to make such regulations as
may appear best, agreeably to situation and circumstances." While
recognizing that Christ has given no prescriptions "for the regulation
of some things not essential to the Church," they objected to the
sweeping statement of the Preamble whereby the government of the Church
would be left to a majority of votes. Tennessee maintained that Matt. 18,
16 Christ prescribes to the Church how discipline is to be exercised;
that 1 Cor. 11, 4-11 sufficient rules with respect to public worship are
prescribed; that 1 Tim. 3, 1-3 the grades of ministers are described;
that 1 Tim. 5, 19-22 instructions are given how to receive an accusation
against an elder; and that 2 Tim. 2, 3-6 Paul shows that ministers
should not be entangled with the things of this world. "From these and
many more passages that might be quoted, it is evident that Christ and
His inspired apostles have given the Church sufficient prescriptions of
her government in all her various branches. They are general rules, and
yet applicable to every particular case that may occur, so that they are
also particular prescriptions. But that the constitution of the General
Synod saith, Christ has not left such particular prescriptions, appears
a strange, unwarranted, and arbitrary assertion." (14 f.) 2. The second
objection asserted that the General Synod was a yoke of commandments of
men, hence could not serve the purpose of true peace. According to the
constitution the purpose of the General Synod was "the exercise of
brotherly love, the furtherance of Christian harmony, and the
preservation of the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace." But the
Report maintained: "The attempt of the establishment of this General
Synod has not produced any brotherly love, nor harmony, nor peace; but
on the contrary, divisions, contentions, and confusion. This
establishment is nothing but self-invented rules and traditions of men,
and such as love Christian liberty cannot suffer themselves to be
brought into bondage; hence the confusion. O ye watchmen of Zion, pity
and spare the flock!" (17 f.) A "note" added by David Henkel, the "clerk
of the committee," explains: "That this institution of General Synod's
promotes unity in spirit is contrary to constant experience. The
Presbyterians, Methodists, and other churches are governed by General
Synods, and have many human rules and regulations; but yet from time to
time many disputes and factions have arisen among them, so that they are
split into many sects and parties. The Lutheran Church never heretofore
was governed by a General Synod, yet she never was divided until this
novel system was introduced. . . . The first Lutheran ministers
emigrated from Germany and Sweden. . . . Being few in number, no
particular synods were formed for many years; yet they were united. The
Augsburg Confession of Faith, containing the principal doctrines of the
Holy Scriptures, was their standard of union. It was unalterable; they
had no novel system, produced by a majority of votes, to expect. . . .
Each of these synods, before the General Constitution was formed, were
independent, and not amenable to any superior tribunal, except that of
Christ. Differences in local and temporary regulations, the formation of
new synods, etc., were not considered as divisions of the Church; their
standard of unity was far more noble, and exalted: the pure Scriptural
doctrines of the Augsburg Confession of Faith was their meridian sun,
which they viewed with united eyes; and anything less, such as local and
temporary regulations, never influenced their minds, even to think of
divisions. The Church proceeded peaceably, until the unhappy and fatal
period of 1819 arrived, when a meeting was called to Baltimore,
consisting of some of the Synod of Pennsylvania and an individual from
North Carolina, for the purpose of devising a plan for the establishment
of the General Synod, etc. (17 f.) Article III, Sec. V, which provided
that "the General Synod shall take good care not to burden the
consciences of ministers with human traditions," called forth the
following comment: "The General Synod shall not burden the consciences
of ministers with human traditions, yet at the same time the very
institution of the General Synod is nothing but human laws and
traditions! How vehemently our Savior upbraided the Pharisees for their
human laws and the traditions they imposed upon the common people! By
means of human laws and traditions popery was established.--Why are
preparations made now again to introduce that horrid beast? How careful
individual synods should be not to impose human traditions upon the
Church, but to remember that they do 'not assemble for the purpose of
making laws for the Church, but only to devise means to execute those
already made by Christ." (B. 1821, 26; R. 1821, 28. 29.) In an
additional "note" David Henkel remarks: "The unity of the Lutheran
Church doth not consist in any external forms or ceremonies, or
government established by men. It is independent of any general head
except Christ. The Seventh Article of the Augsburg Confession of Faith
points out the true nature of her unity. . . . It is the same as if it
had said: the Church of Christ is but one united body, consisting of
innumerable members; but what unites them? All believers believe in one
invisible Lord, by whom they are governed, for He is their King; they
are anointed by the same Holy Ghost, for He is their Comforter and
Guide. This is an invisible, godlike union, not discerned by the carnal
eye, nor doth it imitate the unity of the kingdom of this world. Christ
is its polar star, the Bible its charter, ministers who proclaim sweet
words of peace, its heralds, Baptism and the Lord's Supper its seal,
bond, token, and security. This union is independent of all human
ceremonies, traditions, general synods, or anything of the kind, and has
existed ever since the promulgation of the Gospel in all realms and
climes. . . . A union which consists of human laws, ceremonies, and
discipline may be termed a political union--a union peculiar to civil
government of this world. Now, even were it the case that all who call
themselves Christians would be united in this manner, it would by no
means prove their spiritual unity. For many may conform to one external
rule, and yet be divided in heart, for they are not all Israelites that
are of Israel. It is evident, because the General Synod is but the
invention of men, that they make much more necessary to Christian unity
than the pure preaching of the Gospel and the proper administration of
the Sacraments, commanded by Christ. Thus, this establishment of the
General Synod must be contrary to the Seventh Article of our Confession
of Faith. True Christianity is thereby blended with human laws and
policy--the true lineaments of popery. . . . If no man is to judge
Christians in respect to meat and drink or of an holy day, or of the new
moon, or of the Sabbath-days, who, then, has a right to judge them in
respect of forming books for the public use in churches, or in respect
of meeting as a synod, without a formal permission, or in respect of
performing ordinations? The General Synod have arrogated this right of
judging and oppressing Christians in these respects. These are
prerogatives they claim, contrary to the doctrines of the apostle."
(R. 1821, 28.)

94. Criticism of Constitution Continued.--3. The third objection
maintained that the General Synod was Lutheran in name only. Says the
Report: "This body, indeed, may call itself Evangelical Lutheran, and
yet not be such. The constitution does nowhere say that the Augsburg
Confession of Faith, or Luther's Catechism, or the Bible shall be the
foundation of doctrine and discipline of the General Synod. It is well
known that they always have been the standard of the Lutheran Church.
Why does the constitution not once name them?" "Had the framers of this
constitution been zealous advocates of Lutheran doctrine, they would
have been careful to insert a clause to compel the General Synod always
to act according to our standard books. It is an easy thing to prove
that some of the founders of this General Synod have openly denied some
of the important doctrines of the Augsburg Confession of Faith and of
Luther's Catechism." (B. 1821, 18; R. 1821, 19.) 4. The fourth objection
was based on the proposed membership of the new body, which, according
to Article II, was to consist "of deputies of the different Evangelical
Synodical and Ministerial Connections in the United States." Tennessee
commented: "This body [General Synod] may consist of deputies from the
different evangelical connections. It is not said of the several
Evangelical _Lutheran_ connections. If this body may consist of the
different connections, then it is evident that it may be composed of
_all_ denominations, such as Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, etc.
These all denominate themselves Evangelical, and are even recognized as
such by some who call themselves Lutherans. Thus it is manifest that all
denominations who call themselves Evangelical may have seats and votes
in this body, forasmuch as there is nothing to prohibit them from it."
(R. 1821, 22.) The German version adds the following: "The constitution
has opened a door where all manner of sects and parties may creep into
the Lutheran Church and extirpate her doctrine." (B. 1821, 20.) These
apprehensions of Tennessee were no mere products of their own
imagination, for just such a union of all Evangelical denominations
Shober and his compeers had been ardently advocating in the North
Carolina Synod, especially since 1817. 5. The fifth objection was that
the General Synod proposed to curtail the exercise of Christian liberty
in regard to ceremonies. Article III, Section II, provided that no synod
or ministry in connection with the General Synod shall publish any new
catechism, liturgy, compilation of hymns, or confession of faith
"without having first handed a complete copy thereof to the General
Synod, and having received their sentiments, or admonitions, or advice."
The Tennessee Synod held this to be against the Seventh Article of the
Augsburg Confession and said: "Why shall individual societies be robbed
of the liberty to introduce such books us suit them best, when our
Confession of Faith grants every person liberty in this case?" (23.) 6.
A further objection was raised against this article (III, 2) of the
constitution because its language permitted the introduction of a new
confession of faith. Tennessee remarked: "An opportunity is here given
to introduce a new confession of faith. This appears a conclusive proof
that the General Synod do not intend to be governed by (the Augsburg
Confession of Faith, nor vindicate the Lutheran doctrines contained
therein; for if they did, they would not by this clause have given
liberty to form other confessions of faith. Perhaps this may be one of
the reasons why they have nowhere promised in the constitution that
Luther's Catechism, the Augsburg Confession of Faith, nor the Bible
should be the guide of their body. They wish to have power to form a new
confession; perhaps more popular, and suited to the newfangled opinions
of this present age of infidelity. Were not the men such as Luther,
Melanchthon, etc., who formed the Augsburg Confession of Faith, as a
testimony against popery and other heresies, godly and enlightened men,
and to whose instrumentality we owe our light of the Gospel? Will any of
the votaries of the General Synod presume to say that this confession is
erroneous, heretical, and wicked? Can they form a better one? If they
answer in the affirmative, they are no Lutherans, as they call
themselves. If they answer in the negative, why, then, have they not
positively specified in the constitution that such should remain the
standard of the Church? Why have they given an opportunity to introduce
a new confession? It is known that all Lutheran ministers, when they are
ordained, are solemnly pledged as by an oath to maintain the doctrine of
the Augsburg Confession of Faith. But when there is an opportunity given
to propose and introduce other confessions, perhaps the very reverse,
what shall become of all the oaths made at the time of ordination?"
(24.) The German Report argues: "The Evangelical Lutheran Church already
has, for almost three hundred years, a confession of faith, to wit, the
Augsburg Confession. To this confession all Lutheran ministers are
pledged by an oath when they are ordained. Since the constitution
nowhere states that the Augsburg Confession shall be retained, and other
confessions of faith may be proposed, it is apparent that the General
Synod has the power to abrogate the Augsburg Confession entirely, and to
introduce a new and erroneous confession of faith, and consequently to
set aside the oath of ordination." (B. 1821, 22.) 7. A further objection
to the General Synod was based on Article III, Section V, which
provided, among other things, that the General Synod shall take good
care "not to oppress any person on account of differences in opinion."
After pointing out that this can only be understood as referring to
doctrinal differences, Tennessee made the following arraignment: "What
an opportunity is here given to introduce all manner of false doctrines!
If no person is to be afflicted in respect to difference in opinion,
then no person can be excommunicated for propagating any false or wicked
doctrine. One might deny the Holy Trinity, and encourage any system of
infidelity, and yet, agreeably to this constitution, no one could be
rebuked nor suspended. One might plead this article in defense, and say
the General Synod have no right to oppress me for my different opinion."
(R. 1821, 30; B. 1821, 25.) The German report concludes as follows:
"This is nourishment for the lukewarm spirit, where men are indifferent
whether true or false opinions are maintained." (27.) That also these
apprehensions were not purely imaginary appears from the fact that two
delegates of the Ministerium of New York, then identifying itself with
the rationalism of Quitman, were permitted to participate in the
organization of the General Synod. 8. Finally, Article III, Section
VIII, provided that the General Synod should "be sedulously and
incessantly regardful of the circumstances of the times, and of every
casual rise and progress of unity of opinions among Christians in
general, in order that the blessed opportunities to promote concord and
unity, and the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, may not pass by
neglected and unavailing." In this, too, Tennessee saw but "another
opportunity to extirpate the Lutheran doctrine." "For," said they, "how
is it possible that the opinions of Lutherans can ever become agreed
with those of Calvinists and other parties so long as they do not deny
their teachings?" (B. 1821, 30.) The English Report merely states: "All
that we can understand from this [Section VIII] is a desire to unite
with all denominations." (34.) Thus the Tennessee Synod, with the utmost
candor, exposed and rebuked the un-Lutheran features of the constitution
of the General Synod, which substituted external organization and union
for true internal Christian unity in the Spirit. David Henkel remarked:
"Is the General Synod a plant which has been planted by the heavenly
Father? No. It was planted by a majority of votes. . . . It is too
lamentable a fact that among the most denominations human laws,
discipline, and ceremonies are made the rallying point of unity!" (R.
1821, 30; 1832, 17.) It was in the spirit of truth and conscientiousness
that Tennessee had made her objections to the constitution of the
General Synod. "We conclude," they say, "hoping that the friends of the
General Synod will not view us as enemies. We would freely join in with
them if we could do it with a good conscience . . .; it is much easier
to swim with than against the current." (34.)


95. Refusing to Join in with General Synod.--The practise of the
Tennessee Synod squared with her doctrinal position. Also
church-fellowship was regarded as a matter, not of expediency and
policy, but of conscience. In the conclusion to their "Objections
against the Constitution of the General Synod" the committee declared:
Since a general connection of all ministers in a General Synod would
exalt the clerical state to a high degree above the people; since
greater burdens might then be imposed on the people, and ministers could
thereby live more comfortably; since our widows and orphans also might
then live with much ease and our missionary services would be amply
remunerated; and since the union with the General Synod would increase
our popularity and decrease our burdensome labors,--"we, therefore,
would freely join in with them if we could do it with a good
conscience," and "if we could justify such conduct before the judgment
throne of Christ." (R. 34; B. 30.) In accordance herewith Tennessee, at
her first meeting, resolved: "It cannot be tolerated that a teacher of
our conference have any connection with the so-called Central or General
Synod, for the reason which will be adduced afterwards." (5.) The
minutes of 1826 record: "Whereas there is a report in circulation, both
verbally and in print, that some of us, members of the Tennessee
Conference, should have said that we now regard the General Synod as a
useful institution; that we disapprove the turbulent conduct of a
certain member of this body; that we (some of us) pledged ourselves to
leave this body if we cannot succeed in having said member expelled, we
deem it our duty hereby to inform the public that we are unanimously
agreed in viewing the General Synod as an anti-Lutheran institution, and
highly disapprove it, and are the longer, the more confirmed in this
opinion; and that we know of no member among us whose conduct is
turbulent or immoral, and hence have no desire either to expel any one,
nor do any of us intend to withdraw from this body. Neither do we know
of any member among us who is not legally ordained. We testify that we
live in brotherly love and harmony. September 5, 1826." (6.) In 1839 the
General Synod publicly denounced the Tennessee Synod, charging her with
un-Lutheran as well as unchristian doctrine and conduct. The matter,
brought to the attention of Tennessee by a petition from the
congregation at New Market and from Coiner's Church, was disposed of by
the following resolutions: "1. Resolved, That it is to us a matter of
small importance whether the General Synod recognizes us as an
Evangelical Lutheran Synod or not, since our orthodoxy and our existence
as a Lutheran body in no wise depends on their judgment. 2. Resolved,
That we cannot recognize the General Synod as an Evangelical Lutheran
body, forasmuch as they have departed from the doctrines and practises
of the Lutheran Church. 3. Resolved, That under present circumstances we
have no inclination whatsoever to unite with the General Synod, and can
never unite with them, except they return once more to the primitive
doctrine and usages of the Lutheran Church. 4. Resolved, That Pastor
Braun be appointed to draw up our objections to the General Synod, and
to show from its own publications wherein that body has departed from
the doctrine and usages of the Lutheran Church, and submit his
manuscript to this Synod at its next session for examination; and that,
if approved, it be printed." (B. 1841, 11; R. 1842, 8.) In this
connection the Tennessee Synod likewise resolved in no wise to take part
in the centenary of the Lutherans in America as recommended by the
General Synod. (15.) At the next session of Synod the committee reported
that they had examined the manuscript submitted by Rev. Braun, and that
it was "well calculated to place in their proper light the views and
practises of the General Synod and expose its corruptions and departures
from Lutheranism, as well as to evince the fact that the Tennessee Synod
still retain in their primitive purity the doctrines, and adhere to the
usages of the Lutheran Church." (10.) When, in 1853, the Pennsylvania
Synod called upon all Lutheran synods to follow their example and unite
with the General Synod, Tennessee took cognizance of this matter in the
following resolution: "Whereas we regard the Unaltered Augsburg
Confession as the authorized and universally acknowledged Symbol of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church, and consequently the belief and
acknowledgment of it, in its entireness, as essential to the existence
of Lutheranism in its integrity; and whereas we profess, in our
synodical constitution, to believe the doctrines of the Christian system
as exhibited in this symbol, and have pledged ourselves to teach
according to it; and whereas the doctrinal position of the General
Synod, as we understand it, is only a qualified acknowledgment of the
Augsburg Confession, as we think it evident, a) from the constitution of
this body, in which there is no clause binding its members to teach
according to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and not even a distinct
mention of this instrument; b) from the constitution recommended by the
General Synod to the District Synods connected with it; c) from the form
of oath required of professors in its Theological Seminary, when
inducted into office; d) from the construction placed upon its
Constitution by the framer of that instrument, and other prominent
members of it; e) from the various publications made by distinguished
members of the General Synod, in which distinctive doctrines of our
Church confessions are openly assailed, and for doing which they have
never been called to account: be it therefore 1. Resolved, That we
cannot, under existing circumstances, take any steps toward a union with
the General Synod." (8.)

96. Attitude toward North Carolina Synod.--In her relations with the
North Carolina Synod the practise of Tennessee was in perfect keeping
with her doctrine, her actions tallying with her words. In 1820 they
declared: "No teacher of our Conference may take seat and vote in the
present Synod of North Carolina, since we cannot look upon them as a
truly Evangelical Lutheran synod." (B. 1820, 9.) Neither was it
tolerated that a member of the Tennessee Synod at the same time be a
member of the North Carolina Synod; witness the case of Seechrist. (R.
1826, 4.) Furthermore, Tennessee declared that steps looking to a union
with the North Carolina Synod would be contemplated only if the
respective pastors of that synod were to "revoke their doctrine in print
as publicly as they had disseminated the same, and would give entire
assent to the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession." (1824, 11; 1825, 6.)
At the sixth convention, 1825, the committee previously appointed to
negotiate with the North Carolina Synod reported that the ministers of
that connection had refused to deal with them, 1. Because this
"committee did not entitle them as a genuine Lutheran body; and 2.
because we appointed farmers to constitute the committee." (6.) With
respect to the first grievance Tennessee declared: "We must here observe
that we cannot consistently grant to the Synod of North Carolina this
title, because we maintain that they departed from the Lutheran
doctrine. This is the very design in preferring the questions, in order
to ascertain whether they adopted different views, since they published
their doctrines. We, therefore, entreat them not to be offended when at
this time we cannot grant the desired title, but to be contented until
a union with respect to doctrine shall have been effected." (R. 1825,
6.) Thus Tennessee was careful to avoid even the appearance of denying
her convictions. Dissimulation was not in her nature. True to her
convictions she formulated the address of her second petition for
negotiations as follows: "To the Rev. Synod of North Carolina, _who
assume the title Lutheran_, but which we, at this time, for the reason
aforesaid, dispute. Well-beloved in the Lord, according to your
persons," etc. (R. 1825, 6.) Similar language was employed in the
invitation of December, 1826, which the Tennessee committee (Daniel
Moser and David Henkel) sent to Pastors Stork, Shober, Sherer, and other
pastors of the North Carolina Synod to conduct a public debate, that
every one might be enabled to decide for himself "who are the genuine
and who the spurious Lutherans." The invitation reveals a spirit of
love, fairness, and willingness to yield in every point which was not a
matter of conscience, as well as true Lutheran conscientiousness and
determination not to yield a single point in violation of the Scriptures
and the Lutheran Symbols. Here Daniel Moser and David Henkel who wrote
the letter of invitation state with true Christian frankness: "You call
yourselves Lutherans, and we call ourselves the same; notwithstanding
there is a division. You have accused us with teaching erroneous
doctrines, and we, notwithstanding the appellation you give yourselves,
deny that your doctrines correspond with the same or with the Holy
Scriptures." (27.) "We are willing to forgive all private conduct which
we conceive erroneous and criminal in you. You ought also to be willing
to forgive what you conceive to be the same in us. But as we differ with
you in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion, an
ecclesiastical union is impracticable, until the one or the other party
be clearly refuted and convinced." (29.) The following were mentioned as
the chief points of difference which ought to be discussed: "1. The
person and incarnation of Christ, etc. 2. Justification. 3. Repentance.
4. Good Works. 5. Holy Baptism. 6. The Lord's Supper. 7. Church
Government." (R. 1827, 26.) An offer of union made by the North Carolina
Synod, in 1847, was answered by Tennessee as follows: "Resolved, That we
accede to a union with the said Synod only on the platform of pure and
unadulterated Evangelical Lutheranism--a union which we shall heartily
rejoice to form, as is evident from the repeated overtures we made to
bring about such a desirable state of things." (R. 1847, 9.)

97. Attitude toward Other Southern Synods.--Tennessee was conscious of
representing nothing but the pure truth of unadulterated Lutheranism
also over against the Synods of South Carolina, Virginia, and South West
Virginia. Despite enmity, contempt, and slander, they were unwilling to
enter into any unionistic compromise at the expense of the truth as they
saw it. As for the Synod of South Carolina (organized 1824), the
Tennessee Report of 1838 recorded the following protest: "Whereas the
Synod of South Carolina has recently employed various scandalous means
in order to bring the Ev. Luth. Tennessee Synod into disrepute, in
particular by the annotations contained in a sermon delivered by Pastor
Johannes Bachman, D. D., which was published with the approval and by
the support of said Synod (the aforementioned sermon, unless its evil
influence is hindered, is well calculated to make a false and unfavorable
impression upon otherwise honest minds, and to represent our doctrine,
synod, and pastors as being the objects of scorn, disdain, and constant
persecution); and whereas we believe that we stand on the primitive
ground of the Lutheran Church, and that the doctrine of the glorious and
memorable Reformation, which was wrought through the especial mediation
of the Saxon Reformers, Dr. Martin Luther and his immortal assistants,
exactly agrees with the Word of God, which we regard as the only
infallible norm of faith and life: 1. therefore be it Resolved, That we
regard the actions of the South Carolina Synod toward us as impolite,
ignoble, dishonest, and uncharitable. 2. Resolved, That we look upon the
assertions in Dr. Bachman's sermon as utterly unfounded and without the
slightest approach to the truth, but as base calumniations, well
calculated to insult (beschimpfen) our Synod." At the same time Pastors
Braun and Miller were appointed a committee to publish a refutation of
Bachman's sermon. (B. 1838, 11.) In his address delivered on November
12, 1837, Bachman, as President of the South Carolina Synod, had voiced,
with a squint toward Tennessee, among others, the following sentiments:
"We have never boasted of being an exclusive church, whose doctrines are
more Scriptural or whose confessors are purer than those of other
denominations round about us. . . . We will gladly unite with every
friend of the Gospel in producing the downfall of sectarianism, though
not the obliteration of sects. Our pulpits have ever been open to the
servants of every Christian communion, and we invite to our communion
tables the followers of Jesus regardless of what particular denomination
they may belong to." Dr. Bachman, in direct contravention to what the
Henkels had maintained over against Stork and Shober of the North
Carolina Synod, expressed his own indifferentistic and Reformed
doctrinal position as follows: "If Baptism is regeneration, why, then,
does not every one who has been baptized in infancy walk with God from
his Baptism? Why does not every one lead a pious life? Evidently, such
is not the case!" "As a matter of fact, for a hundred years the Lutheran
Church has abandoned the moot question of the body of Christ, etc., and
has left it to the consciences of its members to decide what they must
believe according to Holy Writ. This we may do without deviating from
the faith of our Church, since at our ordination, especially in this
country, we confess nothing more than that the fundamental articles of
the divine Word are, in a manner substantially correct, presented in the
doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession." (_Kirchl. Mitt_. 1846,
34 f.) In the same year (1838) the Tennessee Synod instructed its
secretary to inquire of the president of the Virginia Synod (organized
1829 at Woodstock) why, according to the resolution passed at their last
meeting, they do "not recognize the members of the Tennessee Conference
as Evangelical Lutheran pastors." (B. 1838 12.) And, when, in 1848, the
Western Virginia Synod (Southwest Virginia Synod, organized 1841)
requested an exchange of delegates, Tennessee answered: "Resolved, That,
although it would afford us the highest gratification, and we most
sincerely desire to see those who are one with us in name also united in
doctrine and practise, and in that case would most cheerfully unite and
cooperate with them in such measures as are calculated to advance and
promote the cause of truth, yet we wish it to be distinctly understood
that, however much a union is desired, it can only be effected upon the
assurance of a strict adherence to the doctrines and usages of our
Church as set forth in its Symbols; and until we can have this
assurance, we, on our part, can consent to no such union." (R. 1848, 8.)


98. Attempts at Union with North Carolina.--Though universally decried
as the "Quarreling Conference," Tennessee enjoyed and cultivated unity
and harmony within, and zealously also sought peace and unity with other
Lutheran synods. In 1826 all of the Tennessee ministers signed a
document, denying a report circulated by their enemies, according to
which Tennessee was disagreed as to its attitude toward the General
Synod, and declaring: "We testify that we live in brotherly love and
harmony." The minutes add: "Thus it is evident that all the ministers of
this body live in brotherly love, and entertain uniform sentiments."
(7.) Nor did the staunch, unbending doctrinal position of Tennessee
prove to be a hindrance of, and a check upon, their efforts at unity and
peace, but rather a spur to most earnest endeavors in this direction.
Moreover, after having themselves fully realized that the Lutheran
Confessions contain nothing but God's eternal truth over against the
manifest errors of the Roman and other churches, it was, as shown above,
the ambition and prayer of the Henkels to lead the American Lutheran
synods out of the mire of sectarian aberrations back to the
unadulterated Lutheranism of Luther and the Lutheran Symbols. When, in
1824, some members of the North Carolina Synod made proposals for a
union of the two synods, Tennessee forthwith appointed a committee to
negotiate with them. (10.) This committee was instructed to compile the
controverted points of doctrine from the writings of the two parties,
"and to put into one column what the ministers of the North Carolina
Synod teach, and in an adjoining column what the Tennessee Synod
teaches, so that every one may immediately perceive the difference." In
this way they hoped to enable every one to decide for himself which
party taught according to the Augsburg Confession. In the interest of
truth the committee was also authorized to direct such questions to the
North Carolina Synod as they might see fit. (11.) It was, however,
resolved that any further arrangements for union were not to be made
until "said pastors, in case they would be convinced, recall their
doctrine in print as publicly as they had disseminated it, and fully
assent to the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession and to Lutheran order
as it obtained before the institution of the General Synod arose." (11.)
Following are the questions which were directed "to the Messrs. C.
Stork, G. Shober, Jacob Sherer, Daniel Sherer, Jacob Miller, Martin
Walter, and to all other men belonging to this connection" (North
Carolina Synod): "1. Do ye intend for the future to maintain what you
have asserted, _viz_.: 'Baptized or not baptized, faith saves us?' Or
upon mature deliberation, have ye concluded publicly to revoke the same
as erroneous? 2. Will ye also maintain that the Christian Church may
consist of twenty different opinions? 3. Do ye deny that the true body
and blood of Jesus Christ are really present in the Lord's Supper, and
administered and received under the external signs of bread and wine?
and that also the unbelieving communicants do eat and drink His body and
blood? Further, do ye deny that Jesus Christ, agreeably to both natures,
as God and man, inseparably connected in one person, is omnipresent, and
thus an object of supreme worship? 4. Do ye intend to relinquish the
General Synod, if in case ye cannot prove the same to be founded in the
Holy Scriptures?" (R. 1825, 8; B. 1824, Appendix, 2.) However, the
Carolina Synod declined to answer. The Tennessee committee reported
1825: "The ministers of said connection [Carolina Synod] refused to
answer the committee that was appointed last year to negotiate with
them. The reasons of their refusal shall here be inserted: Said
ministers assign the following reasons which we learn from Mr. J.
Sherer's letter and their minutes: 1. That the committee did not entitle
them as a genuine Lutheran body; and 2. because we appointed farmers to
constitute the committee." (R. 1825, 6.) David Henkel wrote in 1827: "In
the year 1822 I addressed a letter to them [North Carolina Synod]. . . .
But they refused to accept the letter because they got offended with the
address which was, 'The Lutheran Synod of North Carolina and adjoining
States, _so called_.' The Tennessee Synod have since, at several of
their sessions, made sundry propositions to them for a reciprocal trial,
and have proposed some questions to them which they were requested to
answer. But as they were not addressed in such manner as to recognize
them as genuine Lutherans, they rejected every proposition. It must,
however, be observed that they were not thus addressed through contempt,
but rather through, necessity. One of the charges against them is that
they deviated from the Lutheran doctrines; hence had we addressed them
in such manner as to have recognized them as genuine Lutherans, they
might easily have justified themselves under the covert of the address,
and have produced it as an evidence against our charge." (R. 1827, 35.)
However, though North Carolina had not even answered their letter,
Tennessee did not relinquish her efforts at peace and harmony. In the
following year, 1825, a memorial subscribed by nine persons was
submitted, requesting Synod "to make another attempt to effect a union
with the ministers of the North Carolina Synod; yet so that the genuine
Lutheran doctrine be not thereby suppressed." (R. 1825, 6.) Pursuant to
this request, "it was resolved that the questions again should be
preferred in a friendly manner; and provided their answer should prove
satisfactory, all the necessary regulations shall be made to effect
peace and harmony." (7.) At the same time Tennessee explained and
justified their action of withholding from the North Carolina Synod the
title Lutheran, and of appointing laymen, "farmers," as they were styled
by North Carolina, to constitute the committee. "It was believed," David
Henkel declared with respect to the latter point, "laymen would act more
impartially, since the ministers are more immediately concerned in this
controversy. Neither can I discover that all the farmers are so
contemptible a class of people that Mr. Sherer could possibly be
offended at the appointment!" (R. 1825, 7.) Regarding the first point
Synod declared: "We must here observe that we cannot consistently grant
to the Synod of North Carolina this title [Lutheran], because we
maintain that they departed from the Lutheran doctrine. . . . We
therefore entreat them not to be offended when at this time we cannot
grant the desired title, but to be contented until a union with respect
to doctrine shall have been effected." (R. 1825, 7.) In accordance
herewith the letter to the North Carolina Synod was addressed as
follows: "To the Rev. Synod of North Carolina who assume the title
Lutheran; but which we at this time, for the reason aforesaid, dispute.
Well-beloved in the Lord, according to your persons!" (R. 1825, 7.)

99. Debates at Organ and St. Paul's Churches.--According to her
resolutions of 1825, Tennessee was ready to establish peace and harmony
with the North Carolina Synod. But one proviso had been added by
Tennessee, limiting this action as follows: "Provided their [North
Carolina's] answer should prove satisfactory." If such, however, should
not be the case, they proposed public discussions of the differences.
The minutes continue: "But if in case their answers should not prove
satisfactory, that we propose to them to appoint a certain time and
place, and that each party appoint a speaker, for the purpose of
exhibiting the disputed doctrines, so that the assembly, which may be
present, may discover the difference; and that also all the arguments,
on both sides, may afterwards be published." (R. 1825, 7.) In the
following year, when the questions preferred were still unanswered by
North Carolina, Tennessee resolved: "This Synod have made sundry
proposals to the North Carolina connection for the purpose of amicably
adjusting the difference which exists with respect to doctrine and other
differences, but said connection have hitherto refused to comply with
any of the proposals. Although it seems to be in vain to make any
further propositions, yet this Synod deem it their duty to adopt the
following resolutions: 1. That the Revs. Adam Miller, Daniel Moser, and
David Henkel be authorized to proclaim and hold a public meeting at or
near the Organ Church, Rowan Co., N.C. They shall continue said meeting
at least three days, and preach on the disputed points of doctrine. 2.
That they invite the Revs. C. A. Stork and Daniel Sherer, who reside
near said Organ Church, to attend said meeting, and give them an
opportunity of alleging their objections and proving their doctrines.
Further, that as many of the other ministers belonging to the North
Carolina connection as may be conveniently notified be also invited to
attend for the same purpose. This will afford an opportunity to a number
of people to ascertain which party have deviated from the Lutheran
doctrine. This meeting shall, if God permit, commence on the 4th day of
next November." (R. 1826, 5.) The public meeting was duly proclaimed at
Organ Church in Rowan Co., N.C., on the 4th of November. A notice was
inserted into the weekly paper, and some of the ministers were
individually requested to attend. However, not one of the North Carolina
Synod ministers put in his appearance, or made any official statement of
their reasons for not attending. Persons who had visited Rev. Stork
quoted him as having said: "Let them [the committee] come to our Synod,
which is the proper place to discuss these points." (R. 1827, 5.)
Stork's remark suggested the arrangement of a second debate in
connection with the prospective meeting of the North Carolina Synod in
St. Paul's Church, Lincoln Co., beginning May 7, 1827. The Tennessee
Report of 1827 records: "On the day appointed [November 4, 1826],
Messrs. Moser and Henkel attended [the meeting at the Organ Church]; but
none of the ministers whom they had invited. Whereupon sundry
respectable members of the Lutheran community [in Lincoln Co.] requested
the committee [of the Tennessee Synod, Moser and Henkel] to renew this
invitation, and to make another appointment. The same request was also
made by the Lutheran Joint Committee of this county [composed of members
of several Lutheran congregations in Lincoln County], at their session
on the 9th of last December [1826]. Accordingly, Messrs. Moser and
Henkel renewed the invitation, and proclaimed another meeting." (25.)
The request of the Lutheran Joint Committee reads as follows: "To
Lutherans. The Lutheran Tennessee Synod had appointed a committee for
the purpose of publicly debating some points of doctrine, which are in
dispute between the aforesaid Synod, and that which is commonly called
the Synod of North Carolina and adjoining States. Some members of the
latter were invited and notified by the committee to attend at Organ
Church, on the 4th ult., for the purpose of reciprocally discussing the
aforesaid points of doctrine. Two of the committee attended, but none of
the ministers of the North Carolina Synod. Whatever reasons they may
have had for not attending, we, the members of several Lutheran
congregations in this county, being assembled and constituting a joint
committee for the purpose of regulating the internal government of the
same, request said committee to proclaim another public meeting at a
convenient place for the aforesaid purpose, and to invite the members
of the North Carolina Synod to attend the same. We also hereby request
the members of the North Carolina Synod to meet the committee [of
Tennessee] in a friendly manner, in order to discuss the doctrines in
dispute." Moser and Henkel responded: "We . . . acquiesce in your
request, and deem it pertinent to the manifestation of the truth." (26.)
They also published a proclamation, inviting the ministers of the North
Carolina Synod to attend a public meeting to be held in St. Paul's
Church, Lincoln Co., "to commence on the day after you shall have
adjourned, and to continue at least three days." (R. 1827, 27.) Again
invitations and notices of the projected meeting were printed, and a
copy was sent to each of the ministers of the North Carolina Synod a
few months prior to their session. And when the North Carolina Synod was
convened, by special messenger, a letter was sent to the president for
presentation to Synod, inviting them to attend the proposed debate, at
the same time asking them to give their reasons in case they should
refuse to comply with the request. On the following day the messenger,
Mr. Rudisill, applied for an answer, and again on the day of
adjournment; but in vain. The Report of 1827 records: "Mr. Rudisill
handed this letter to the president, who, taking it, replied that it was
not properly directed to them; notwithstanding it should be given to a
committee appointed by this Synod, who should report on the same. On the
next day Mr. Rudisill applied for an answer, but he received none. On
Wednesday, the day of their adjournment, Mr. Rudisill again requested an
answer, but he again received none. Neither did the Synod assign any
reason for their refusal. Whereupon Mr. Rudisill publicly proclaimed
that Messrs. Moser and Henkel would attend on the next day, _i.e._, on
Thursday, and discourse upon these disputed topics, and invited all who
were present to attend. Accordingly, Messrs. Moser and Henkel attended,
but none of the ministerium of the North Carolina Synod appeared. The
most of them, or perhaps all, had started on their way home. The
members of the church who were present requested David Henkel to
discourse on a few of those disputed points, with which he complied.
After his discourse was ended, it was concluded that it was not
necessary then to pursue the subject any further. The congregation, who
were present, nominated a majority of the members of this committee to
draw up the above statements. It was resolved that this report shall be
laid before the next session of the Tennessee Synod and that the same
shall be requested to annex it to the report of their transactions. It
was further resolved that David Henkel be requested to write a treatise,
in order to show the propriety and Scriptural grounds for the debate on
the disputed points of doctrine, which was offered to the ministers of
the North Carolina Synod." (R. 1827, 31 f.) Thus the repeated and
cordial offers on the part of the Tennessee Synod to discuss and settle
the differences were ignored and spurned by the North Carolina Synod.
David Henkel wrote: "As the committee, who gave them the last invitation
to attend to public debate, knew from past experience that to address
the North Carolina Synod with the addition 'so called' was offensive,
and was made a plea to evade a public trial, they addressed some of the
principal ministers thereof agreeably to etiquette, by their personal
names, and including all the others, believing that no rational man
would be offended to be called by his own name. Neither did I hear that
any of them objected to the address as offensive, nor to any of the
propositions for the manner of conducting the debate. Notwithstanding
this, and although they accepted a letter directed to them also by the
committee, and promised the bearer to return an answer, yet they
treated both the invitation and letter with silent contempt." (35.) The
repeated endeavors of the Tennessee Synod to draw the false Lutherans
out of their holes failed. The Lutheran Church of America was destined
to sink even deeper into the mire of indifferentism, unionism, and

100. Characteristic Address of Moser and Henkel.--The truly Lutheran
spirit in which Tennessee endeavored to bring about unity and peace
with the North Carolina Synod appears from the following letter,
published in connection with the debates proposed in the interest of
union, and dated, "Lincoln Co., N.C., December 10, 1826": "To the Revs.
Charles A. Stork, G. Shober, Jacob Sherer, and Daniel Sherer, and all
other ministers belonging to their Synod.--Sirs! You call yourselves
Lutherans, and we call ourselves the same; notwithstanding there is a
division. You have accused us of teaching erroneous doctrines, and we,
notwithstanding the appellation you give yourselves, deny that your
doctrines correspond with the same or with the Holy Scriptures. It is
hence somewhat difficult for some professors of Lutheranism to determine
with which party to associate, as they have not sufficient information
on the subject. We know no method which would be better calculated to
afford the people information and an opportunity for both parties to
prove their accusations than to meet each other, and debate the points
in dispute publicly, according to the rules of decorum.--Whereas we
are informed that you intend to hold your next synod in St. Paul's
Church in this county, on the first Sunday in next May, why we wish to
try your doctrines, and why we wish you to try ours by the Augustan
Confession and the aforesaid symbolical books, is because the important
question in the dispute is, Who are the genuine and who the spurious
Lutherans? For it is known that Lutheran ministers are pledged to
maintain the Augustan Confession. But if you should at said meeting
declare that the Augustan Confession contains false doctrine, and that
Dr. Luther erred in any of the doctrines which are here proposed for
discussion, we shall then, in that case, be willing to appeal
exclusively to the Holy Scriptures.--Whatever private misunderstanding
may have existed between us heretofore, we notwithstanding intend to
meet you in a friendly manner, without attempting to wound your feelings
by personal reflections. That we intend publicly to contradict your
doctrines as erroneous we beg you not to consider as an insult, as we
expect and are willing for you to treat ours in the same manner. We pray
you as our former brethren, do not despise and reject those proposals,
as a compliance with them may have the salutary effect to convince
either the one or the other party of the truth, and we are confident it
will be beneficial to many of the hearers.--We are willing to forgive
all private conduct which we conceive erroneous and criminal in you. You
ought also to be willing to forgive what you consider the same in us.
But as we differ with you in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian
religion, an ecclesiastical union is impracticable until the one or the
other party be clearly refuted and convinced.--We remain yours,
respectfully, Daniel Moser. David Henkel." (R. 1827, 27.)

101. Probing Orthodoxy of Pennsylvania Synod.--In the interest of
doctrinal clarity and Christian unity the Tennessee Synod, in 1823,
addressed to the Pennsylvania Synod the following questions: "1. Do ye
believe that Holy Baptism performed with water, in the name of the Holy
Trinity, effects remission for sins, delivers from death and Satan, and
gives admittance into everlasting life to all such as believe, according
to God's promises? 2. Do ye believe that the true body and blood of
Christ are present, administered, and received under the external signs
of bread and wine? Do ye believe that the unbelieving communicants also
eat and drink the body and blood of Christ? We do not ask whether they
receive remission for their sins, but simply, whether they also eat and
drink the body and blood of Christ. 3. Ought Jesus Christ to be
worshiped as true God and man in one person? 4. Ought the Evangelic
Lutheran Church, endeavor to be united with any religious denomination,
whose doctrines are contrary to the Augustan Confession of faith? Or,
is it proper for Lutherans to commune with such?" (R. 1825, 9.) The
Pennsylvania Synod, which immediately prior to that time had been
planning to establish a union seminary with the German Reformed and to
enter into organic union with that body, treated the request with silent
contempt. Two years later Tennessee, patiently and humbly, renewed the
questions with the following preamble: "In the year of our Lord 1823, a
few questions were preferred to your honorable body by this Synod, but
as no answers have been received, and as the reasons thereof are not
known, we [Daniel Moser, Ambrose Henkel, John Ramsauer, Peter Hoyle]
were appointed by our Synod to renew the request, and to solicit you to
comply with the same. We most humbly beseech you to make known the
reasons of your hope that is in you, because we believe if this be done,
it will contribute towards restoring peace and tranquillity [tr. note:
sic] among all genuine Lutherans. We, therefore, renew the following
questions," etc. (R. 1825, 8 f.) "It was also resolved," the Report of
1825 continues, "that the Secretary of this Synod be ordered to address
a friendly letter to the Rev. Muhlenberg, member of the Synod of
Pennsylvania, for the purpose of obtaining his counsel relative to the
present affairs of the Church." (9.) However, these letters also
remained unanswered. But, even this did not exasperate, nor exhaust the
patience of, Tennessee, as appears from the following entry in the
minutes of 1826: "At our last session a few theological questions were
submitted to the reverend Synod of East Pennsylvania, and a letter to
the Rev. Muhlenberg; but we received no answer, neither from the Synod
nor from Mr. Muhlenberg. The cause of this delay we do not know; but we
indulge the hope of receiving satisfactory answers before our next
session." (R. 1826, 6.) In the same Report we read: "Several letters
from Pennsylvania [not the Synod] were read in which David Henkel is
particularly requested to visit that State for the purpose of preaching,
and arguing the peculiar doctrines of the Lutheran Church. Resolved,
That this Synod also solicit him to undertake this task. He agreed to do
so, provided he can arrange his other business so as to be enabled."
(9.) In the following year, however, as no answer had arrived from the
Pennsylvania Synod, Tennessee made the following declaration, which was
directed also against the North Carolina Synod: "Whereas there are
sundry ministers who appear under the disguise of Lutherans,
notwithstanding [they] deny the Lutheran doctrines, and as they are
patronized by several synods, this body deemed it expedient and to have
a Scriptural privilege to demand of other bodies answers to some
theological questions, in order to ascertain whether they differ in
points of doctrine from this body. Accordingly, they submitted a few
theological questions to the reverend Synod of Pennsylvania (now East
Pennsylvania), and have waited patiently four years for an answer. But
no answer was received. The secretary was also ordered by the session
of 1825 to address a friendly letter on the subject to the Rev.
Muhlenberg. The secrtary [tr. note: sic] complied with this order; but
Mr. Muhlenberg has not as yet returned an answer. In order, therefore,
to ascertain the sentiments of the several synods, as well as of
individual ministers on sundry points of doctrine, it was resolved, 1.
That there shall be a pastoral address directed to the Lutheran
community, in which shall be shown what this body deem to be the
genuine Lutheran doctrines relative to such points as are in dispute.
2. That the several Synods, as well as individual ministers shall be
requested, in the preface of the aforesaid contemplated address, to
peruse and examine it; and then, in a formal manner, either justify it
as correct, or condemn it as erroneous. That every synod and minister
who shall be silent after having had an opportunity of perusing it shall
be considered as fully sanctioning all its contents as correct, although
they should teach or patronize a contrary doctrine. 3. That David Henkel
shall compile and prepare said book for publication, and that the other
ministers of this body shall assist him in it. . . . This address is
intended to be published both in the German and English languages." (R.
1827, 6 f.) Also from the Ohio Synod, which at that time practically
identified itself with the indifferentistic attitude of the Pennsylvania
Synod, Tennessee received but little encouragement in her efforts at
purifying the Lutheran Church from the leaven of sectarianism. Says
Sheatsley: "The minutes [of the Ohio Synod of 1825] report that David
Henkel of the Tennessee Synod placed several theological questions
before Synod. These were discussed in the ministerial meeting and
answered, but as many of the older heads were absent, the answers
should first be sent to them and then forwarded to Pastor Henkel. What
the questions were we have no means of determining [no doubt, they were
the same questions asked the Pennsylvania Synod], but, judging from the
ability and bent of the doughty David Henkel, we may surmise that the
questions involved some difficulties. In the following year Synod
resolved that it could not answer these questions, since it is not our
purpose at our meetings to discuss theological questions, but to
consider the general welfare of the Church. This did not betoken
indifference [?] [tr. note: sic] to doctrine, but it was then like it
is now a Joint Synod; there was little or no time for the discussion
of these matters." (_History_, 73.)


102. Confession of Truth a Christian Duty.--It appears from the
procedure of the Tennessee Synod, as well as from the resolution of
1827, quoted in the preceding paragraph, that Tennessee felt justified
in demanding a showdown on the part of the American Lutheran synods,
which had persistently refused to reveal their colors. However, being
unionists, indifferentists, and masked or open Calvinists, these false
Lutherans resented such a demand as obtrusive, arrogant, and impudent.
Hence their contemptuous silence. However, also in this matter Tennessee
realized that they were only asking what, according to the Word of God,
it was their solemn duty to demand. For to confess the faith which is in
him is not only the privilege of a Christian, but also an obligation and
a debt which he owes his brethren. Accordingly, when, in 1827, the
committee reported how all efforts to induce the Carolina and
Pennsylvania Synods to reveal their colors and to give testimony of
their faith as to the doctrines of Baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc., had
been rebuked with silent contempt, Tennessee passed the resolutions
quoted in the preceding paragraph. They felt called upon publicly to
justify their procedure; and this all the more so because a member of
the North Carolina Synod had declared "that it was not only improper,
but also sinful to argue publicly on religious subjects." (R. 1827, 36.)
David Henkel, therefore, in a treatise appended to the Report of 1827,
endeavored to show the propriety and the Scriptural grounds for the
public debate proposed to the ministers of the North Carolina Synod. How
Tennessee justified her actions appears from the following quotations
culled from this treatise: "The members of the Lutheran Church," says
David Henkel, "are pledged by their confirmation vows to support and to
adhere to her doctrines and discipline. Now as it is not a matter of
little importance to break such vows, it is therefore highly interesting
for every member to know who of the ministers and which of the synods
have departed from the confession of faith they have vowed to maintain,
as a connection with such would be a partaking of their errors." (33.)
"Because all Lutherans are pledged to maintain the doctrines of their
confession of faith, it may therefore be legally required of any one to
stand an examination, if it be believed that he has deviated from the
same." (36.) "The members of the Lutheran Church at the time of their
confirmation declare that they believe the doctrines as held by the
same, and every minister is solemnly pledged to maintain the Augustan
Confession. Independently of Synods, the Augustan Confession of Faith is
the point of union of all Lutherans, and by which they are distinguished
from other denominations. As all bear the same name, and are pledged to
maintain the same creed, they are viewed as one body. Therefore one
member is accountable to another, and it is one minister's duty to watch
the other's official conduct, as the doctrines taught by one are
ascribed to the others, because they constitute one body. How does a man
become partaker of another's guilt but by being in connection with him,
and not reproving it? 1 Tim. 5, 22." (37.) "Now as one Lutheran
minister's doctrine is ascribed to another, why should the one not have
the right to bring the other to an account, provided he believes that he
deviates from the confession they are both pledged to maintain? The
ministers of the North Carolina Synod call themselves Lutherans, but as
we believe that they propagate doctrines contrary to the Augustan
Confession, we considered it necessary to require of them to stand an
examination. It is necessary to correct a wrong opinion, which is, that
Lutheran ministers are at liberty to deviate from the Augustan
Confession whereinsoever they conceive it as erroneous. Some ministers
have declared that they did not care what the Augustan Confession
teaches, that they simply taught the doctrines of the Scriptures;
further, that Luther was only a man, and was therefore liable to err. In
answer to this, I observe that Lutheran ministers have no right to
deviate from any article of this Confession because the whole of it is
viewed by the Lutheran community as true and Scriptural. Let them
remember their solemn vows! Such as think proper to deviate, infringe
upon the rights of the community. It must, however, be admitted that if
any one should discover that this confession is unscriptural, he would
be justifiable in renouncing it. By doing so no one would be deceived.
If there are errors in this confession, why should any man who has
discovered them yet pretend to preach under its covert? Such as believe
that this Confession contains errors practise a twofold fraud. The one
is, that they cause Lutherans to think that they hold the same doctrines
as they do themselves, when yet they do not. The other is (provided it
be true what they affirm), that they encourage the people in those
errors, because they pretend to support the very confession which
contains them. That the Bible is the proper rule of doctrine must be
confessed; yet the question is, Does the Augustan Confession contradict
it? That Luther was a man, and therefore liable to err, is not denied;
but that he did err with regard to the doctrines contained in the
Augustan Confession remains to be proven. But if he erred, why do such
as believe this call themselves Lutherans? Such practise a fraud by
being called Lutherans, when they affirm that Luther taught erroneous
doctrines; or else [they] must own that, by being called after him, they
sanction such errors." (37 f.)

103. Truth Always Seeks the Light.--In his justification of the
procedure of the Tennessee Synod, David Henkel continues as follows:
"The intention of the public debate which was offered to the ministers
of the North Carolina Synod was to afford them an opportunity of
manifesting the doctrines we teach, and to prove them as erroneous. The
same [opportunity] we would also had to have treated theirs in like
manner. The propositions which were made were calculated to have brought
all these things to light. They would not only have offered the hearers
who might have been present the opportunity of knowing the difference,
and arguments on each side, but the debates might also have been
committed to paper and published, and thus the whole Lutheran community
might have been judges in this controversy. When a doctrine is in
dispute between two parties, how shall the public decide when they never
heard the opposite arguments? Is it rational to condemn either party
without a trial? Whilst the deeds of men are to be concealed, there are
just grounds for believing that they are evil. Our blessed Savior says,
'For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the
light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth the truth
cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are
wrought in God.' John 3, 20. 21. No man who is confident that he has the
truth on his side will ever evade coming to the light; for he is not
ashamed to profess and vindicate the truth; and though it should be
scrutinized to the utmost, yet he knows that thereby, like gold passing
through the fire, it shall become more brilliant. Even the man who is
diffident with respect to his doctrines, yet having an honest
disposition, never objects to be brought to the light; for he considers
that no greater favor could be shown him than that his errors be
overthrown, and he be led into the paths of truth. But the man who knows
that he cannot defend his doctrines upon Scriptural grounds, and yet
possesses too high an estimation of himself, hates to be brought to the
light, for he knows that his errors will be unmasked; 'for every one
that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his
deeds should be reproved.' Why do men make so many shifts to evade a
public trial of the doctrines, but a consciousness of being in an error
which their pride does not suffer to be publicly exposed? Many a man in
a hasty ill humor condemns a doctrine merely because the man whom he
considers his enemy vindicates it; and though he should afterwards be
clearly convinced, yet he believes it to be beneath his dignity to make
a recantation, and thus throughout all his days he is tormented with a
guilty conscience. In the days of the Reformation public debates were
highly conducive to manifest the errors of the papists. When Luther
confronted his opponents in the presence of multitudes, it was that many
souls got convinced of the truth, which before were kept in ignorance.
Had he refused to appear, especially before the Diet at Worms, what
would have been the result? Though he knew that his life was in danger,
if he appeared, yet he also knew that the cause he had espoused would
have suffered, provided he evaded a public test of his doctrines. The
Papists having been taught by experience that the public debates with
Luther proved injurious to their party, they avoided them as much as
they could and employed various stratagems to destroy him and his cause.
Luther says: 'The court of Rome most horribly fears, and shamefully
flees from, a Christian council.' Had this principle been uniformly
followed in the days of Luther that it is sinful to dispute on points of
doctrine, the errors of the Papish Church could have been impregnable;
and those who bear the name of Christian might perhaps yet groan under
papal superstition and tyranny. . . . Thousands have joined churches
with whose peculiar doctrines they are not acquainted, and even do not
know whether their government is republican, aristocratical, or
monarchical. They are satisfied with what they hear from their
ministers, without even examining their creeds or forms of government.
Such being ignorant, they are already prepared for a state of slavery.
They who so easily submit to an ecclesiastical slavery may also by
degrees, by the same means, be led to sacrifice their civil liberty. How
is it possible that people can with any degree of safety be in
connection with such ministers as are publicly impeached with erroneous
doctrines, and yet are not willing to be brought to light? Ought not
every person conclude: If such ministers believed that they had nothing
but the truth on their side, they would freely embrace every opportunity
of coming to the light, so that they might show that their works are
wrought in God, and refute their opponents' calumnies? That a public
debate would create animosity is no reason that it should be omitted.
Would it offend real Christians? By no means. It indeed might offend
false teachers and their votaries, who for the want of argument would
substitute the ebullitions of their anger. But what Christian can
imagine that no error should be exposed, lest the persons who are guilty
might be offended?" (38 ff.)

104. Arguments Continued.--David Henkel furthermore showed from Phil.
2, 15; 1 Pet. 2, 9; 1 Pet. 3, 15. 16, that it is the duty of Christians
to shine as lights in the world, to instruct the ignorant, to give an
answer to every man who asks them a reason of the hope that is in them,
and then proceeds to the following conclusion: "Now if it be every
Christian's duty to answer those who interrogate them respecting the
grounds of their faith, how contrary to the Word of God do such synods
and ministers act when they refuse answering some important theological
questions either by writing or public interview! Do they refuse because
they consider the persons who interrogate them too far beneath their
notice? Does not this (if it be the case) indicate that they are
possessed with the pride of the devil? What! poor sinful mortals, do
they exalt themselves above their fellowmen? Or are they ashamed to let
their sentiments be known? Are they sensible that they cannot
rationally defend their doctrines if they were scrutinized? Or, indeed,
have they the truth on their side, and yet fear to let it be known that
they believe it, lest they should become unpopular? Alas! there are too
many whose sentiments may be correct, yet through fear of getting the
ill will of some others will not answer the most important questions.
Let such men remember, that, whilst they wish to keep the truth in
darkness, with a view to please opposite parties, that they are vile
hypocrites; and let them tremble! St. Paul says: 'For if I yet pleased
men, I should not be the servant of Christ.' Gal. 1, 10. We have asked
the ministers of the North Carolina Synod for the reasons of the hope
that is in them, or properly, for the proofs of their doctrines; and,
agreeably to the last invitation given them, they might have had the
opportunity of showing the reasonableness of their doctrines. Now as
they have neglected to endeavor to convince us, why do they warn the
people against us, especially since they are not willing to confront us
in a public debate?" (42 f.) Henkel continues: "We, as it has been
already said, are represented by the ministers of the North Carolina
Synod as enemies of the promulgation of the Gospel. Particularly I am
charged with teaching the most dangerous heresies, as may be seen from
a scurrilous pamphlet written by their president, Mr. Shober. How is
such a dangerous man to be treated by Christian pastors? Is he to be at
liberty without reproof? Is he to be opposed behind his back, and
defeated by arguments, or rather invectives, to which he has no
opportunity of replying? No. For such treatment has rather a tendency to
strengthen him in his errors, and cause such as are led by him to
conclude that his doctrines are incontestable; otherwise the learned and
pious clergy would confront him in a public interview. St. Paul
describes the duty of a bishop in this respect: that he should 'hold
fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by
sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.' He adds:
'For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially
they of the circumcision, whose mouth must be stopped, who subvert whole
houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.'
Titus 1, 9. 11. As these show that it is the duty of a bishop to exhort
and convince the gainsayer, and to stop his mouth, the question may be
asked, How is this to be done? It cannot be done otherwise than to
propose to the gainsayer an interview, and if he attend to it, to refute
his arguments. But if he refuses to attend, the bishop has discharged
his duty; for the gainsayer thereby shows that he is, already convinced,
and his mouth stopped, because, if he believed that he could not be
refuted, he would by no means avoid the light. Again, when the gainsayer
in a public debate is closely pursued by the truth, he uses invectives
instead of arguments, which is a plain indication of his mouth being
stopped. A false teacher is said to be a wolf in sheep's clothing, which
signifies to be under the covert of a servant of God. . . . Now, indeed
is it possible that the ministers of the North Carolina Synod represent
me as the most dangerous wolf, and yet can see me come among their
congregations, and gain a goodly number of their people, without even
being willing to confront me in a public debate, which would be
calculated to show me in mine originality. Why do they flee? Do they not
feel for their flocks? To pronounce them hirelings would seem
uncharitable. How could I otherwise acquit them of such a charge, unless
I would suppose that they in reality do not consider me as a false
teacher? Otherwise they would not flee, but stand public test. But that
they have called me a false teacher is perhaps owing to the violence of
the old man in them, whom they have not yet crucified through the
Spirit." (44 ff.) Finally, in defending the propriety of the procedure
of the Tennessee Synod, David Henkel refers to the example of Christ,
who "answered the questions of the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and
the devil. Now, as Christ debated with wicked men, yea, with the devil
himself, with what face can any man say, It is wrong to dispute on
doctrinal topics?" (45 f.) David Henkel concludes: "Whereas all
Lutherans are pledged to their creed by a solemn vow, it must be a
matter of great importance for every one to know the sentiments of the
ministers under whose care he may be; for whosoever supports such as are
inimical to the doctrines of the Church acts contrary to his vow. Every
Lutheran ought to be certain, and able to prove by texts of Scripture,
that his creed contains erroneous doctrine, before he adopts a contrary
one, lest he incur the crime of perjury. The ministry of the North
Carolina Synod are charged with denying the most important doctrine of
the Lutheran Church, and have been requested to come to a reciprocal
trial, which they have obstinately refused. Now, what is the duty of the
people under their care? Ought they not to urge them to come to a
reciprocal trial? How can they consider themselves safe under a ministry
who are not willing to come to the light!" (47.)


105. Attitude toward the Scriptures.--Regarding the constitution of
the Tennessee Synod we read in the Report of 1827: "Whereas the
constitution [of 1820] of this Synod is blended with the transactions of
the session at which it was formed, and as the unalterable articles are
not distinguished from those that are local and of a temporary nature,
and as the language is not sufficiently explicit, it was deemed
necessary, in order to supply those defects, to supply another.
Consequently a committee was appointed to draw up one for examination."
The committee complied with the order, drew up a constitution, and laid
it before the body. Every one of its articles having been critically
examined, Synod resolved: "1. That this constitution shall be annexed
to this journal [Report]; but it shall not now be adopted nor ratified,
so that the absent ministers, as well as the congregations may have the
opportunity of alleging their probable objections, or of proposing
necessary amendments. This also affords an opportunity for the members
of the present session to reexamine it. 2. But that, if no objection of
importance shall be alleged, or necessary amendments proposed by any
member of this body, or by any congregation, and be laid before the next
session, it shall then be considered as the adopted and ratified
constitution of this Synod." (9.) In the following year the new
constitution was adopted and ratified in a somewhat revised form, and
appended to the minutes of the same year. The English version is found
also in the Report of 1853. The First Article of this constitution reads
as follows: "The Holy Scriptures, or the inspired writings of the Old
and New Testaments, shall be the only rule of doctrine and
church-discipline. The correctness or incorrectness of any translations
is to be judged according to the original tongues, in which the
Scriptures were first written." (B. 1828, 13; R. 1853, 20.) The
Introduction declared: "Nothing relative to doctrines and
church-discipline ought to be transacted according to the mere will of
the majority or minority, but in strict conformity with Holy Writ." (B.
1828, 12; R. 1853, 19.) According to the constitution of 1828,
therefore, Tennessee recognized the Holy Scriptures as the only norm and
rule of doctrine and life. This had been the position of the Tennessee
Synod from the very beginning. As early as 1822 they declared:
"Forasmuch as the Holy Bible is the only rule of matters respecting
faith and church-discipline, and because the Augsburg Confession of
Faith is a pure emanation from the Bible, and comprises the most
important doctrines of faith and discipline, hence it must always remain
valid. Therefore our Synod can neither be governed by a majority nor a
minority, now nor ever hereafter, with respect to doctrine and
discipline. This is the reason why nothing can be introduced among us,
now nor at any time hereafter, which may be repugnant to the Bible and
the Augsburg Confession of Faith. Neither the majority nor the minority
shall determine what our doctrine and discipline are, because they are
already determined in the above-named rule. But that we assemble from
time to time is neither to form new rules, doctrines, nor traditions,
but as united instruments in the hand of God we wish to promulgate the
doctrine of the Bible, and to execute the rules already laid down in the
Holy Scriptures. But with respect to local and temporary regulations,
such as the place and time of meeting, and such like things, which do
not interfere with matters of faith and discipline, the Synod suit
themselves to the conveniences of the most of their members. We refer
the reader to the Seventh, Fifteenth, and Twenty-eighth Articles of the
Augsburg Confession of Faith, where he may find more satisfactory
instructions with respect to these things." (R. 1822, 9 f.)

106. Augsburg Confession Adopted with a "Quia."--From the very
beginning the Tennessee Synod regarded the Book of Concord as a correct
exhibition of the teachings of Holy Writ, although at first only the
Augsburg Confession was officially received into the constitution. At
its organization in 1820 Synod declared: "All doctrines of faith and the
doctrine of the Christian Life, as well as all books which are used for
public worship in the Church, shall, as far as possible, be arranged and
observed according to the Holy Scriptures and the Augsburg Confession.
Especially shall the youth and others who have need thereof in our
Church be instructed according to the Small Catechism of Dr. Luther, as
has been the custom hitherto. Said Catechism shall always be the chief
catechism of our Church." (4.) "Whoever will be a teacher shall solemnly
promise that he will teach according to the Word of God, and the
Augsburg Confession, and the doctrine of our Church." (5.) The minutes
of 1821 record: "On motion made by Mr. Peter Boger, it was resolved that
a copy of the Augsburg Confession of Faith, likewise a copy of the
minutes of the Synod, shall be deposited in every church." (8.) The
Second Article of the new constitution, adopted 1828, reads as follows:
"The Augustan Confession of Faith, comprised in twenty-eight articles,
as it is extant in the book entitled 'The Christian Concordia,' is
acknowledged and received by this body, _because_ it is a
true declaration of the principal doctrines of faith and of
church-discipline. Neither does it contain anything contrary to the
Scriptures. No minister shall therefore be allowed to teach anything,
nor shall this body transact anything that may be repugnant to any
article of this Confession. Luther's Smaller Catechism is also
acknowledged and received, because it contains a compendium of
Scriptural doctrines, and is of great utility in the catechising of
youth." (R. 1853, 21.) The "Remarks" appended to this article explain:
"Creeds fraught with human tradition and opinions are rejected by this
body. Neither is the authority of a general council considered as valid,
or sufficient to establish any point of doctrine. . . . Now there is a
considerable difference when a body of Christians receive a human
composition [symbol] as an unerring guide in addition to the Scriptures,
or when they receive it to show their views as respecting points of
doctrine. Lutherans acknowledge the Holy Scriptures as the only rule of
doctrine and discipline; nevertheless they receive the Augustan
Confession _because_ it exhibits the same views they have on the
Scriptures, and is a formal declaration of what they believe. But if it
were possible to prove that the views on the points of doctrine
contained in the Augustan Confession were erroneous, it would be the
duty of this body to renounce it; nevertheless, in that case they could
by no means be Lutherans, as they would have rejected the views of
Lutherans. As there have been various editions of the Augustan
Confession, this body have chosen the one which is extant in the book
entitled 'The Christian Concordia,' because they are well assured that
that is genuine." (22.) The revised constitution of 1866 recognized the
entire Book of Concord as being the doctrinal basis of the Tennessee
Synod, thereby merely giving expression to the position which the
Tennessee Synod had actually occupied from the very beginning. In their
letter of December 10, 1826, addressed to the pastors of the North
Carolina Synod, Daniel Moser and David Henkel declared: "We also wish to
appeal to the book called 'Concordia,' as it is one of the principal
symbolical books of the Lutheran Church." (R. 1827, 28.) The sixth of
the "Alterable Articles" of the proposed constitution submitted to synod
in 1827 reads: "The book entitled 'Concordia,' which contains the
Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church, shall be viewed as a directory
in Theology." (24.) After visiting the Tennessee Synod in 1855, Brohm
wrote: "Creditable witnesses have given me the assurance that, as far as
their persons are concerned, all the pastors of the Synod adhere to the
entire Concordia." (_Lutheraner_ 11, 78.) When the Tennessee Synod was
organized, it was the only American Lutheran synod which was pledged to
the Lutheran Confession, not merely with a _quatenus, i.e._, as far as
it agrees with the Bible, but with an honest _quia, i.e._, because it
agrees with the Bible.


107. Confession No Mere Dead Letter.--That Tennessee did not regard
the Lutheran Confession a mere dead document appears from her attitude
toward the Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and other unfaithful Lutheran
synods, as delineated above. The treatise appended to the Report of 1827
declared: It is necessary to correct the wrong opinion that Lutheran
ministers are at liberty to deviate from the Augustan Confession
whereinsoever they conceive it as erroneous. As long as a minister
pretends to be a Lutheran minister, he has no right to deviate from any
article of this Confession. Let him remember his vows! If any one should
discover that the Augsburg Confession is unscriptural, he is justified
and bound to renounce it. But if he continues to preach under its cover,
he is guilty of a twofold fraud. He deceives the Church by causing
Lutherans to believe that he agrees with them. And he deceives the
Christians by failing to warn them against what he regards erroneous
teaching. If Luther and the Lutheran Confessions erred, "why do such as
believe this call themselves Lutherans? Such practise a fraud by being
called Lutherans, when they affirm that Luther taught erroneous
doctrines; or else must own that, by being called after him, they
sanction such errors." (38.) Tennessee was not satisfied with being
_called_ Lutheran. They were seriously determined to _be_ Lutherans.
The Lutheran Confessions were the living norm of both their preaching
and their practise. In publishing books, receiving pastors and teachers,
examining candidates, in negotiating with other synods, Tennessee was
scrupulously guided and governed by the Lutheran Symbols. In 1821 they
resolved on a Liturgy to be prepared by Paul Henkel "according to the
Augsburg Confession of Faith and the Bible." (7.) In 1826 it was
resolved that Luther's Smaller Catechism should be translated into the
English language, and that Ambrose Henkel was to provide both for an
_accurate translation_ and for the publication of the Catechism. (7.)
Numerous instances where pastors were carefully examined with respect to
doctrine before they were admitted to membership are recorded in the
synodical minutes. In the Report of 1831, _e.g._, we read: "Mr. Rankin
[who previously had been a member of the Presbyterian Church] presented
himself to the committee. He was first made a full member of the
Lutheran Church by confirmation. Then, having taken the most solemn
pledge, he was ordained a pastor of the same Church with prayer and
laying on of hands." (8.) The Report of 1832 records: "Whereas Mr.
Rankin, as appears from a letter of Mr. Bonham, addressed to Synod, and
from other trustworthy sources from Green County, Tenn., _has departed
from the Augsburg Confession_, both as to doctrine and discipline, it
was resolved that Mr. Rankin be requested to attend the next session of
our Synod, and there defend himself against the above-mentioned charges,
otherwise we can regard him as member of this Synod no longer." (9. 16.)
In the Report of 1827 we find the following entry: "It was considered
necessary that one of the pastors should visit all the other pastors,
and their congregations, and examine whether there be any who deviate
from the doctrines and rules of our Church. But as none of the pastors
who were present could undertake this visit, it was resolved that any of
the absent ministers who may volunteer his services shall hereby be
authorized to make this visit, and to reprove all errors that may come
within his knowledge. Whatever pastor may undertake this visit is
requested to inform the secretary of his intention, and to hand in a
report of his journey at the next session." (12.)

108. Symbols Regarded as Necessary.--In the "Remarks," appended to the
Second Article of the constitution, adopted 1828, the necessity of
symbols in explained as follows: "Now the question may be put, Is not
the Augustan Confession a human composition? Why is it adopted by this
body? Answer: The Apostle Peter exhorts Christians to 'be ready always
to give an answer to every man that asketh them a reason of the hope
that is in them,' etc. 1 Pet. 3, 15. 16. From the history of the
Reformation it is evident that the Protestants were called upon to
deliver their confession of faith before the diet assembled at Augsburg.
Every Christian is not only privileged, but also commanded to confess
what he believes. Although the Scriptures be a sufficient guide without
any other, and though there be but one explanation of them which can be
correct, yet not all who profess Christianity explain them alike, for
their views are widely different. Hence, as all do not explain the
Scriptures alike, it could but be known what each body of Christians
believed; consequently others could not know whether they should
fellowship them, provided they had not a formal declaration of their
views on the points of doctrine contained in the Scriptures. But when a
body of Christians make a formal declaration of their views on the Holy
Scriptures, others are enabled to judge whether they be correct, and
thus may know with whom to hold Christian fellowship. . . . Lutherans
acknowledge the Holy Scriptures as the only rule of doctrine and
discipline; nevertheless they receive the Augustan Confession because it
exhibits the same views they have on the Scriptures, and is a formal
declaration of what they believe." (22.) According to his own report of
a conversation with a pastor of the General Synod, dated December 2,
1824, Andrew Henkel answered as follows the objection that the
Scriptures are sufficient, and that for that reason symbols are
superfluous: "I told him then that he had departed from the Augsburg
Confession, and, of course, from the Lutheran Church. He then told me
that the Bible was his creed, and not the Augsburg Confession, and that
the said Confession contained things which were not in the Scriptures.
I then replied and said that every fanatic and sectarian said so, and
that Lutherans as much considered the Scriptures to be the only guide in
doctrines as he or any other person did, but that it was necessary to
have some standard by which men could know how the Scriptures were
understood by this or the other denominations, as men varied materially
in their explanations of the Scriptures. I then demanded of him to show
wherein the Confession did not correspond with the Scriptures. He
referred me to the word 'real' in the article of the Lord's Supper, and
added that that word was inserted by the hotheaded Luther."


109. Church Governed by Word of God Alone.--The Tennessee Synod did
not only realize the importance of the Symbols for the Lutheran Church,
but had correctly apprehended also their spirit and doctrinal content.
This appears from her uncompromising attitude toward the Romanistic,
Reformed, Methodistic, and unionistic tendencies prevailing in the
Lutheran synods and congregations at the time of her organization. As to
polity, the cast of the first American Lutheran synods and congregations
was of the hierarchical type. The congregations were subordinate to
their pastors, the pastors and congregations to their respective synods,
as a rule called ministeriums, because, essentially, they were bodies
composed of ministers. David Henkel had experienced the tyranny to which
such an order would naturally lead and lend itself. The Tennessee Synod
must be credited with being the first, in a large measure, to recognize,
confess, and defend the inalienable rights of all Christians and
Christian congregations. The Henkels must be regarded as champions also
of the basic truth of all normal church-government, _viz._, that no one
is to govern the Christian Church, save Christ and His Word alone, not
the pastor, nor the ministerium, nor the synod, nor any sort of
majority. (1820, 23; 1828, 12.) In 1820, when the leaders of the North
Carolina Synod, in matters of right and wrong, demanded subjection to
the majority of votes, the Henkels maintained: "We thought the doctrine
of the Augsburg Confession, of which we were assured that it can be
proved by the doctrine of the Bible, ought to be of greater authority
to us than the voice of a majority of men who are opposed to the
doctrine and order of our Church." (1820, 23.) Nothing short of clear
proof and conviction from the Word of God and the Augsburg Confession
would satisfy the Henkels. In 1822 Tennessee declared: "Our Synod can
neither be governed by a majority nor a minority, now nor ever
hereafter, with respect to doctrine and discipline. . . . Neither the
majority nor the minority shall determine what our doctrine and
discipline are to be, because they are already determined in the
above-named rule. . . . But with respect to local and temporary
regulations, such as the place and time of meeting, and such like
things, which do not interfere with matters of faith and discipline, the
Synod suit themselves to the conveniences of the most of their members."
(R. 1822, 9.) In a "Note" appended to the above declaration, David
Henkel defines the position of Tennessee as follows: "Herein is the
difference between the government of the pure Evangelical Lutheran
Church and the government of the General Synod. The established rule of
the pure Christian Church is the Holy Scriptures and her supreme Head,
Jesus Christ. Christ, by His Word, governs the Church in the doctrines
of faith and discipline; there needeth no majority of votes to
determine. In such matters as do not immediately interfere with the
doctrines of faith and government of the Church, as, for instance, to
appoint the time and place for the meeting of a synod, or the erection
of a synod, and such like things, herein our Church doth not seek to
exercise any authority, but granteth liberty to each congregation and to
each of her ministers to act and do as they judge it most convenient for
themselves. No one is despised for not joining with us in our Synod; no
one is oppressed who is not in conformity with us in matters which are
not essential to the doctrine of faith. Nothing can separate our union
or break our peace with any, only when they deviate from the pure
doctrine of the Gospel, and when they compose traditions of their own
and impose them on others. A majority is not to have authority over any
one, because they have no power to impose traditions of men on others
with regard to religion. The government of the General Synod is
altogether otherwise. . . . It is plainly to be seen in her constitution
that her aim is to impose a number of human traditions on the Church,
as, for instance, that no synod shall be erected in any State, unless
there are six ordained ministers living therein, and not even then
unless they are authorized by the General Synod. The General Synod is to
be governed by a majority; if it were not so, she would admit that every
congregation and every minister should act agreeably to their own
advantage in matters not interfering with the doctrines of faith, and
not seek such universal power, by which they may compel men to act
according to the will of a majority. The Church of God on earth was
never constantly governed right by a majority. In the times of the
prophets the Church was oppressed by a majority. . . . How was it in the
time of Christ? How did the majority act against the Savior? Who was
right? The great council of Jerusalem and thousands of their adherents,
or Jesus of Nazareth, and the few of His disciples who were despised by
the world? How was it in the days of Luther? What was he against
millions of the Papist Church? And yet every Protestant will confess
that Luther's cause was just, and is thankful to God that the light of
the Gospel was set up by Luther. But supposing that Luther had yielded
to be governed by a majority as the advocates for a General Synod
insist, or wish that the Church should be governed by a majority, might
we not have remained in the ignorance of blind popery to the present
day? The government of the world is supported by a majority, and thus,
many imagine to themselves, it ought so to be in the Church; but they
are greatly mistaken! Jesus saith, 'My kingdom is not of this world,'
and consequently not His manner of government. . . . Jesus Himself hath
already prescribed all things respecting the doctrine and discipline of
His Church, therefore we need no General Synod to give us prescriptions!
As touching matters not essential, as appointing the time and place of a
convention or the like, whereof no prescription is given, no one is
justifiable to give any prescription or direction, much less to compel
any one thereto, whereas all are to enjoy Christian liberty. See Rom.
14; Col. 2. But those of the General Synod undertake to erect universal
directions in these matters, or else they would not name their Synod
Universal. Whosoever submits himself to be governed by a majority must
be such as trust to a majority. The Scripture saith: 'Cursed is the man
who putteth his trust in man.' Jer. 17." (R. 1822, 11 f.) These views
were embodied also in the constitution of 1828. In the explanatory
"Remarks" to the Fourth Article we read: "As the aforesaid duties [to
supply laborers, detect false teachers, examine and ordain ministerial
candidates, etc.] devolve on all churches and ministers, they
undoubtedly have the privilege to perform them jointly, _i.e._ they may
constitute a synod. But no Christian synod can have legislative powers,
consequently have no right to make rules for churches. All necessary
and salutary rules pertaining to the government of the Church are
prescribed in the Scriptures; therefore every body of men who make rules
for the Church are in opposition to Christ. To make rules for the Church
is one thing, but to execute these rules already made, and to employ the
proper means for the promulgation of the Gospel, is another. The latter,
but by no means the former, is the business of this body. That there
ought to be no appeals from the decisions of congregations is evident
from Matt. 18, 15-20." (B. 1828, 20; R. 1853, 25.) Of course, appeals
from the congregation to the synod as a higher authority, to which the
congregation is subordinated, were meant. The Introduction to the
constitution says: "The rules and principles of church-government are
contained in the Holy Scriptures. Therefore no body of Christians have
authority to dispense with, or alter or transact, anything contrary to
them. Human traditions or rules impressed upon the Church as necessary
for Christian fellowship, which have no foundation in the Scriptures,
are rejected by our Savior. Matt. 15, 9. 13. 14." Although, in executing
the rules of the Church, different times, persons, and local
circumstances intervene, as, for instance, in one age and country one
language is prevalent, but not in another age, and perhaps not in the
same country . . ., nevertheless, Christ being omniscient, and His
all-wise Spirit having inspired His apostles, they have provided the
Church with salutary rules, which are applicable to all persons in all
places, times, and circumstances. Nothing relative to doctrines and
church-discipline ought to be transacted according to mere will of the
majority or minority, but in strict conformity to the Scriptures. Local
and temporary regulations, such as the time and place of the meeting of
the synod, the ratio of representatives from congregations, etc., may be
varied for the sake of convenience, hence are subject to be altered,
amended, or abolished by the majority; yet they ought not to attempt to
make their decisions in such cases absolutely obligatory upon the whole
community, because such regulations are only subservient to the
execution of the rules which are founded upon the Scriptures." (19.)

110. Antihierarchical Principles Practised.--The organization of, and
connection with, a synod was regarded by Tennessee as a matter not of
divine obligation, but of Christian wisdom and liberty. No congregation
was condemned or refused fellowship merely because it refused to unite
organically with their synod. In the "Remarks" to the Fourth Article of
her constitution Tennessee explains: "When ministers and lay-delegates
are assembled, they may have a more accurate knowledge of the exigencies
of the whole connection they represent, hence are the better enabled to
impart their counsel. By their simultaneous efforts, vacant churches may
be supplied with ministerial labors, and others formed and organized.
Indeed, the same end may also be obtained by individual ministers and
churches; nevertheless, as it frequently becomes necessary for such to
receive cooperation from their brethren, this end may be obtained with
more facility by the meeting of a Synod." (1853, 25.) According to
Tennessee, then, the organization of, and connection with, a synod is a
matter of Christian liberty, wisdom, and expediency. But, while not
opposed to synods as such, Tennessee most strenuously objected to any
kind of human autocracy within the synods and congregations. When, in a
letter, several members of the North Carolina Synod designated Paul
Henkel "the head" of the Tennessee Synod, the latter declared, and could
do so truthfully, that their Synod "confesses no man as its head save
the one and only God-man, Jesus Christ." (B. 1824, 10.) The fact is that,
in the beginning, Tennessee was even without standing officers. The
chairmen were elected and changed at pleasure even during the sessions
of the same convention. (B. 1820, 7.) Largely, her opposition to the
General Synod also was rooted in her determined hostility to every form
of Romanism. (R. 1820, 55; 1821, 17.) "If you will consider," they said
to the North Carolina Synod, which had joined the General Synod, "what
pertains to true Christianity, you certainly cannot reasonably desire
that a government, shall be forced upon the Church, of which no trace
can be found in the Bible." (B. 1824, Anhang 2.) Indeed, in their
aversion to any and every form of synodical dominion over the
congregations Tennessee frequently went so far as to create the
impression that they viewed with suspicion and as questionable, if
indeed not as directly objectionable and sinful, every form of
organization of synods into a _general_ body. On this point, also in
her criticism of the General Synod, Tennessee frequently ran riot. But,
though occasionally losing her balance and making a wrong application of
her antihierarchical doctrine, the principle as such was sound to the
core and truly Lutheran. When the North Carolina Synod, without further
investigation, annulled a ban of excommunication which David Henkel's
congregation had imposed, Tennessee repudiated the action as an
infringement on the rights of the congregation. "For," said they, "it
cannot be proven anywhere that a synod has authority to break the
decision made by the church council and the congregation. In such
matters a congregation has greater power than any synod." (B. 1820, 20.)
In agreement herewith the Fourth Article of the constitution submitted
in 1827 provided: "But this Synod shall have no power to receive appeals
from the decision of congregations, with respect to the excommunication
or receiving of members. For every congregation in this respect is
independent of the Synod." The German version adds: "Hence Synod cannot
change or annul a decision of any congregation pertaining to the
exclusion or the acceptance of a member." (R. 1827, 22; B., 21.) The
form in which this article was finally adopted (1828) reads: "But this
Synod shall have no power to receive appeals from the decisions of, nor
to make rules nor regulations for, congregations." (B. 1828, 19; R.
1853, 25.) Neither did the Tennessee Synod arrogate to itself the right
to appoint pastors to the congregations or to remove them. The Report of
1824 records concerning Adam Miller: "This young man displays strong
inclination for preaching; but since he has produced _no regular call
from a congregation_, he could not be ordained." (14.) The Tennessee
Synod claimed no power whatever over the individual congregations. The
minutes of 1825 record: "It is reported that this Synod, in 1821,
ordered all the congregations not to suffer any minister who is
connected with the General Synod to preach in their meeting-houses. Be
it therefore known to all whom it may concern that there was no such a
resolution adopted; although, there was a petition handed in,
subscribed by three congregations in Tennessee, in which they stated
that they had adopted a resolution among themselves not to suffer a
minister belonging to the General Synod to preach in their
meeting-houses, and also petitioned the Synod to admonish all the
congregations to concur with their resolution. But the Synod sanctioned
their resolution only in part, in so far as not to be connected with the
General Synod; yet the Synod do not arrogate to themselves any authority
to prescribe to any congregation, whom they shall suffer to preach in
their meeting-houses. All congregations in this respect are independent
of the Synod." (R. 1825, 11; 1821, 7.) The Report of 1832 declared:
"This body arrogates to itself no power to make laws and rules for the
congregations, because it is against their rights and liberties, as well
as also against the Fourth Article of our constitution." Indeed, such
was their care not to exceed their authority that, _e.g._, Synod,
superscrupulously, refrained even from making a declaration how to
further the instruction of the young, but contented itself with merely
advising "the diverse church councils and congregations to make such
rules and arrangements how they might most fittingly and conveniently
(wie es fuer sie am schicklichsten und bequemsten sei) instruct their
young." (B. 1832, 9.) According to the Fourth Article of the
constitution it was the business of Synod "to detect and expose false
doctrines and false teachers." But the "Remarks" appended to this
article are careful to explain: "That it shall be the duty of this body
to detect erroneous doctrines and false teachers does by no means
suppose that the same does not also devolve upon individual churches and
ministers, for this body does not claim it as their prerogative. But it
is believed that this duty may be performed more advantageously by a
synod." (R. 1853, 25; B. 1828, 19.) Even the right of examining and
ordaining ministers was not denied to the congregation. The draft of the
constitution published 1827 declared: "The business of this body shall
be . . . to examine (_if requested_) candidates for the ministry who may
be called by congregations, and, if they be found qualified, to
consecrate them with the imposition of hands and prayer." (R. 1827, 22.)
The reading adopted in 1828 ran thus: "The business of this body shall
be to impart their useful advice . . . and, _upon application_, to
examine candidates for the ministry." (1853, 24.) The "Remarks" appended
this explanation: "Neither does this body claim the exclusive right of
examining and ordaining candidates for the ministry. For every
congregation has the privilege of choosing fit persons for their
ministers, and individual pastors have the authority to perform their
ordination. This is evident from the practise of the primitive
Christians, as well as from the Scriptures. But when any congregation
shall _request_ this body to examine and ordain the person of their
choice, it then devolves on this body to perform this duty. As the
aforenamed duties devolve on all churches and ministers, they
undoubtedly have the privilege to perform them jointly, _i.e._, they may
constitute a synod. But no Christian synod can have legislative powers,
consequently have no right to make rules for churches." (1853, 25.)

111. Rights of Laymen Recognized.--From the very beginning the
Tennessee Synod vindicated to the deputies of the congregations the
right not merely to listen, to witness, and to testify, when called upon
to do so by the ministers, as had been the custom in the Pennsylvania
Synod, but also, on equal terms with the pastors, to deliberate, decide,
and vote on all matters submitted to Synod. (_ Lutheraner_ 11, 166.)
Article Three of the Constitution declared: "It shall not be allowed
either for the ministers to transact any business exclusively of the lay
delegates, or for the lay delegates exclusively of the ministers;
provided there shall be both ministers and lay delegates present." (B.
1828, 16; R. 1853, 23.) The "Remarks" appended, add the following: "It
is not the privilege and duty of the clergy alone to impart their
counsel in ecclesiastical matters, and to employ means for the
promulgation of the Gospel, but also of other Christians. The first
Christian council was convened in Jerusalem, and consisted of the
apostles, the elders, and the other brethren. They decided the question
whether it was necessary to be circumcised. See Acts 15, 1-31. The
apostles were inspired, hence could have made the decision, without the
assistance of the lay brethren; but it appears they desired no such
prerogative. This precedent justifies the laity in being in council with
the clergy for the purpose of deliberating on the most important
ecclesiastical matters. Christians, in common, are called 'a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,' and
they are 'to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of
darkness into His marvelous light.' 1 Pet. 2, 9. Now, since Christians
in common have such honorable titles, sustain such a high dignity, and
are to manifest the praises of God, it may be concluded that they have
the same rights in church-government as the clergy. St. Paul, in writing
to the Corinthians, said: 'Do ye not know that the saints shall judge
the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to
judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that ye shall judge angels? how
much more things that pertain to this life?' 1 Cor. 6, 2. 3. Not only
the believing ministers, but also the laity are saints. . . . Now, if
saints shall judge the world, even the angels, why should they not also
be capable and privileged to transact the most important matters
pertaining to the Church? That laymen should exercise equal rights with
clergymen in church-government, is not only Scriptural, but also
conducive to the preservation both of civil and ecclesiastical liberty.
. . . From the history of the Church it appears that whenever the clergy
governed without the laity, they enslaved the people, grasped civil
authority, and persecuted those who detected or opposed their aspiring
views. This not only has been the case under the reign of Popery, but
also some of the clergymen who called themselves Protestants have been
the most bloody persecutors." (B. 1828, 17; R. 1853, 23.) In accordance
with these principles, laymen in the Tennessee Synod were also
represented on, or even exclusively composed, most important committees.
Thus, in 1824, three laymen were elected members of the committee which
was to confer with the North Carolina Synod in an effort to remove the
doctrinal differences separating them. "They appointed farmers," Jacob
Sherer of the North Carolina Synod, in a letter, remarked contemptuously,
"to instruct us, who in public print have slandered us, and treated us
scornfully when it is known to them that the priests' lips are to
preserve the doctrine." David Henkel, then secretary of the Tennessee
Synod, however, in a "Note," recorded in the Report of 1825, justified
the action of Tennessee. Here he wrote: "I conceive it to be my duty to
observe that it is truly astonishing that farmers should not also, as
well as ministers, be capable of judging the Christian doctrine.
Whenever it shall be proved that farmers are not to read the Holy
Scriptures, then only ought they to be excluded from this important
business. It is well known that in the dark ages of Popery the layman
was not permitted to judge in religious controversies, and it seems very
alarming that Mr. Sherer has expressed a similar sentiment, inasmuch as
he considers himself much offended because the Synod appointed laymen
or, as he says, farmers to constitute the committee. That the priests'
lips are to preserve the doctrine does not prove that it is inexpedient
or wrong to appoint laymen to assist on deciding a dispute. It was
believed laymen would act more impartially, since the ministers are more
immediately concerned in this controversy. Neither can I discover that
all farmers are so contemptible a class of people (so niedertraechtige
Leute) that Mr. Sherer could possibly be offended at the appointment! If
in case the committee have published anything, which is contrary to
truth, Mr. Sherer is at liberty to make it appear." (R. 1825, 6.)


112. Fanatics Described.--At the time of the organization of the
Tennessee Synod the Lutheran Church of America generally was suffering
with a threefold malady: Unionism, Reformedism, and Methodism. Methodism
may be defined as a diseased condition of Christianity, causing
Christians to base their assurance of salvation not on the gracious
promises of God in the objective means of grace, the Word and
Sacraments, but on feelings and experiences produced by their own
efforts and according to their own methods. As the years rolled on, the
early Lutheran Church in America became increasingly infected with this
poison of subjectivism and enthusiasm, especially its English portions.
Rev. Larros of Eaton, 0., said in a letter to Paul Henkel, dated August
2, 1821: "I remember when eighteen or twenty years ago many among the
Germans in North Carolina were awakened as to their salvation, and we,
in joyful hope, spared no trouble teaching and instructing, in order to
make of them men for the kingdom of Jesus, preserving the Bible-religion,
that even then one could notice how some were flushed and puffed up with
pride. This was evident especially at the time of the great revival of
the English Church, when, at the large meetings, their novices
["Neulinge," young English preachers] admonished the people, and, to the
detriment of the Church and the depreciation of the older ministers, by
their bold and arrogant actions indicated, that they understood the
business of converting the people better than the old preachers, and
this without being called to order by their superiors. Since that time
impudence and lust of ruling have greatly increased, so that the fruit
of it appears at public synods." (B. 1821, 35.) The Methodistic doctrine
of conversion, as related above, was a point of dispute also between the
North Carolina and Tennessee Synods. The Tennessee Report of 1820 states
this difference as follows: "Since our opponents [of the North Carolina
Synod] refuse to admit that regeneration is wrought in the manner taught
by our Church, we infer that they believe it must be effected in an
altogether different way. For almost all religionists of this time teach
most frequently and diligently and urge most earnestly that one must
_experience_ regeneration, or be eternally lost. We are also accused by
many that we deny the doctrine of regeneration. Our answer is: We do not
deny the doctrine of regeneration at all; moreover, we teach it as well
as our opponents. But that regeneration is effected in the manner and by
the means such as they teach and pretend, this we cannot believe, nor do
we admit that it is possible in this way. Some of them teach and
maintain that regeneration cannot be wrought in any other way than by
fear and terror, when one, experiencing true contrition and sorrow of
sin, is moved to pray and cry anxiously, beseeching the Holy Ghost to
perform in him the work of regeneration. They hold that the Holy Ghost
can operate this in such only as are previously brought into this state
of fear and terror. As a natural birth cannot be effected without pain,
in like manner, they argue, no one could be born anew without
previously, through anguish and fear, having experienced pains of the
soul, more or less. Such teachers, however, fail to observe that by this
example they contradict themselves. For in a natural birth, as everybody
knows, only the mother has pain, not the child, while according to their
doctrine the child ought to have the pain. Who, therefore, does not see
that their teaching is most absurd and questionable? Now, in order to
bring about regeneration in the manner they teach, it is the rule to
preach the Law and its curse. To produce the required pangs of the soul,
the poor people are threatened with the devil, eternal death, and hell.
The intention is to cause a sinner to pray earnestly in order, by such
prayer, to receive the Holy Spirit. To produce this result, joint
prayers are said to contribute the most, _viz._, when a number of
people gather and strain every power of body and soul in crying and
screaming to move the Holy Spirit, or even to force Him, to finish the
work of regeneration. They imagine that, by their own exercises in
prayer, and especially by their joint prayers, they have advanced the
matter and earned and obtained the Holy Ghost, and that, He [the Holy
Ghost] having united with their exercises and labor, the work of
regeneration was finished through the combined operation of their
prayers and the gifts of the Holy Spirit acquired by them. They mistake
imaginations for divine revelations. And the sensation rising from such
imaginations they regard as effects of the Holy Spirit. They apply to
themselves what the Apostle Paul writes Rom. 8, 16: 'The Spirit itself
beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.' They
declare: We are born anew, and we know indeed that it is so, for the
Spirit of God has given testimony to our spirit. But if one desires to
learn how He had given this testimony, whether they had seen Him or
heard Him, or in what manner or whereby He had given such assurance,
they appeal to their imaginations and sensations, from which also
something peculiar, like an apparition, may come to them; but whatever
this is we do not know. One can be absolutely sure, however, that it is
not the Holy Spirit. For as soon as you let them understand that you
believe that they have been deceived and you endeavor to lead their
attention to the testimonies of Holy Scripture in order to obtain from
it reliable testimonies, immediately their anger begins to rise, their
countenance becomes disfigured, and, alas, with some already a fist is
clenching with which they strike the table or their knees and declare
defiantly: 'I don't care anything for what you say; it is none of your
business; I know that I am born of God, and will suffer it to be taken
away from me by nobody, by no learned man, nor by any devil; what I know
I do know.' There is a reason, why such a person will not suffer his
opinion to be taken from him by anybody, and he need not fear that any
devil will rob him of it, especially when he is ready to use his fist in
defense of his opinion." (B. 1820, 32 ff.)

113. Sober Attitude of Tennessee Synod.--In opposition to the
subjectivism of the Methodistic enthusiasts within the Lutheran synods,
Tennessee based the certainty of salvation on the objective means of
grace, placing especial emphasis on the well-known comforting passages
of Holy Writ concerning Baptism, such as John 3, 5; Eph. 5, 23. 25. 26;
Titus 3, 5; 1 Pet. 3, 20. 21; Rom. 6, 3-5; Acts 2, 38; 22, 16; Gal. 3,
26. 27; Mark 16, 16. "These passages of the Bible," they said, "show us
that we are not to seek salvation in any work which we ourselves can
create or perform, no matter whatever its nature may be, but only
through faith on the Lord and Savior Christ, who alone has done
everything for us, and through the grace which He bestows and confers
on us in Holy Baptism, whereby we are regenerated." (B. 1820, 34.)
Again: "From the passages here quoted the attentive reader is able to
see and comprehend that regeneration is not effected in the manner as
some teach." It was evident from the Scriptures, they maintained, that
Christ referred to Baptism when He declared that no one can enter the
kingdom of God unless he was born again of the water and the Spirit.
They explained: Self-evidently it is not a natural power or effect of
the water to wash away sin. "Yet we see that the washing and cleansing
from sin is effected alone [?] [tr. note: sic!] through Baptism, and
that by faith alone such grace is appropriated. Accordingly, whoever
believes and is baptized shall be saved. Mark 16, 16." (38.) In this
passage, Mark 16, 16, Tennessee declared, "Christ in a few and clear
words indicates the whole condition under which a man can be saved. It
consists in this, that he believes that, for the sake of Christ and what
He has done and suffered for us, God will forgive all our sins, and that
by faith, in Baptism, he appropriates such promises of all the gifts of
salvation which God imparts to man for Jesus' sake. This also shows us
that man cannot be saved by his own work or merit, but alone by what God
presents and imparts to him. He obtains faith through preaching, which
is by th. Word of God, as Paul writes, Rom. 10, 17. Baptism is
administered by the command of Jesus Christ, Matt. 28, 19, through the
service of the minister of the Church. In this way God, through means,
seeks man before man seeks Him. Accordingly, for having been translated
into the state of salvation, man is to thank God and His ordinances
alone, not himself, his merit, his own works, or his experiences."
"Because we understand and teach this matter in the manner indicated, we
are said to despise prayer, declare it unnecessary, and teach men that
it is sufficient for salvation if they are baptized and attend the
Lord's Supper, and that nothing else is needed. To this we answer:
Whoever is baptized and has _true faith_ in Christ, is in need of
nothing else in order to die a blessed death; if he should die thus, he
would be saved, for whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
And Paul writes to the Galatians: 'Ye are all children of God through
faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as have been baptized into
Christ have put on Christ.' However, if they are possessed of the true
faith, they will also acknowledge the grace of God, for which they thank
Him heartily. Whoever truly believes, loves his neighbor; indeed, he
loves all men, he prays for all, being moved to do so by love and
compassion toward all. Such a one will also experience many temptations
and tribulations by the devil, the world, and his own flesh against
which he will have to fight and strive daily. This will cause him
trouble and teach him to pray of his own accord. Such people we advise
to pray heartily, and give them instruction therein. And this we do for
the reason that God in His Word promises to hear them, and that they may
be strengthened in faith, to continue faithfully to the end, but not in
order that thereby they may be born anew." (36 f.) The question, "How
does the Spirit give testimony?" was answered by David Henkel as
follows: "When an evil-doer condemned to death receives a document with
the name and seal of the Governor affixed, that his crime is pardoned,
and that he shall be set free, then he is in possession of something
upon which he may firmly rely. By it he cannot be deceived, as would be
the case when such a thing merely appeared to him in his thoughts, or he
had dreamt that he was set free. In like manner he cannot be deceived
who firmly believes the assurances given him in the Word of God that
God, for the sake of Christ, has forgiven all his sins. The Spirit is
then giving him, through the Word, firm assurance of the forgiveness of
his sins. And if he remains in faith, he always has this firm assurance
in the Gospel which proclaims the forgiveness of sins. All men could
have such an assurance if by faith they were obedient to the Gospel.
The Romans had it, but only for the reason that, in accordance with the
ordinance of Jesus Christ, they were baptized and believed in Him. That
this text [Rom. 8, 16] does not, though always misinterpreted in this
way, prove that one must have been favored with a certain heavenly
vision in order to know that one's sins are forgiven, every intelligent
man will see without further explanation. The Prince of Darkness always
endeavors to lead men away from the ordinances and promises of God, and
causes them to rely on all manner of works and merits of their own, in
order, finally, to make the poor creatures believe as all Deists do,
_viz._, that Christianity is nothing but a nursery-tale. There is
reason also to believe that wily Satan presents some illusion to such
as, in an overwrought frame of mind, are in great expectations of
seeing a vision, and that they regard it as sent from heaven, and build
on it their assurance of the forgiveness of their sins." (43.) In the
letter, appended to the Report of 1821, from which we quoted above,
Jacob Larros says: "If I can again, after falling from baptismal grace,
appropriate to myself from Holy Scripture the blessed marks of a state
of grace and of regeneration, then it truly is no new grace, produced by
the storming of men; but it most assuredly is the same grace promised in
Baptism which has been found once more. The grace secured by storm [die
gestuermte Gnade] may also have its marks, drawn from the air or out of
the head, not from the Bible, but from the majority of false voices."
(B. 1821, 35.) Concerning the "new measures" (die "neuen Massregeln")
the Report of 1841 records the following: "Now the 'new measures' were
taken under advisement [by Synod], and after a carefully considered
discussion it was unanimously Resolved, That we disapprove most strongly
of the 'new measures' which have been introduced into the Lutheran
Church by modern enthusiasts, because we believe that they are in
conflict with the Word of God, with the doctrine of the Augsburg
Confession, with the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church, and with
the usages of the Church in her best and purest era, and are calculated
to arouse discord and contention between the members of the Church." (B.
1841, 10.) However, though strenuously opposed to Methodistic
enthusiasm, Tennessee, at the same time, was very considerate of
Christians who were pietistically inclined, and care fully avoided
judging their hearts. In the Report of 1820 we read: "It is indeed true
that some men of honest mind do err in this matter; they do not perceive
the difference and seek in their own exercise and experience what in
reality they have already received in Baptism. However, if they are but
faithful, they will advance in holiness by the thing wherein they seek
regeneration, and thus it cannot, harm their salvation. The harm,
however, is this, that the Price of Darkness misleads many who are in
such error to believe that, since they seek to be regenerated by their
own works and doings, Baptism is unnecessary; and, remaining unbaptized
themselves, they will not permit their children to be baptized." (43.)


114. Refusing Fellowship to Non-Lutherans.--The purpose of the General
Synod was an external union of all bodies bearing the Lutheran name,
irrespective of their differences as to doctrine and practise, and to
cultivate intimate fraternal relations with other Evangelical
denominations. The Tennessee Synod, on the contrary, was not only
opposed to any kind of union with non-Lutheran churches, but also sought
to bring about a separation of the true Lutherans from the spurious
Lutherans, and to unite the former in defense of true Lutheranism
against Reformed and other corruptions then prevailing in the Lutheran
synods. Unity in the spirit, unity in doctrine, unity in faith and
confession, was viewed by Tennessee as the _sine qua non_, the
absolutely necessary condition, of all church-fellowship, church union,
and cooperation. This appears from their attitude toward the North
Carolina and other synods, as described above. While Stork, Shober, and
others advocated a union not only with the General Synod, but with all
religious bodies in America, the Henkels and their adherents declared at
the "Quarreling Synod," 1820: "The general union of the numerous
religious parties, though a very desirable matter, is not to be hoped
for, as we can clearly see that such a thing is impossible at this time.
How should it be possible? Some teach: Christ died on the cross for all
men to redeem all. Others teach: This is not true; He died only for the
small number of those who, according to the holy will and the wise
counsel of God, are elected from eternity and are compelled to be saved;
the rest of mankind, also according to His wise counsel, God, from
eternity, has ordained and elected unto damnation, and they must be
lost. Again, some teach: Baptism is necessary to salvation, because
Christ and His apostles teach thus. Others hold: This is not true;
Baptism is a mere outward sign indicating obedience toward the command
of the Lord and nothing more; Baptism is not at all necessary unto
regeneration, as regeneration is wrought by the Holy Spirit without any
means whatever. Some say: It is right to baptize children. Others
maintain: Infant Baptism is an institution of the Pope. Others: It is of
the devil. Some reject every kind of baptism. Such and similar are the
people who constitute the present so-called Christendom: opinions,
opposing one another, and that always will be opposed to each other! All
these are supposed to be united in one church, and to become one
congregation and one flock, all under the care of one shepherd. That
would be like stabling together sheep, goats, lambs, cows, oxen, horses,
bears, wolves, wildcats, foxes, and swine, and putting them under the
care of one shepherd, saying, 'Here you have a united flock which now
you may feed and pasture in peace; you have many heads under one hat,
take your place among them.' That some were much displeased by this
objection to the general union is not to be wondered at, for some of
that stripe were present. There were also some of almost all religious
parties in attendance." (B. 1820, 26.) It is apparent from these
statements that a general union of all denominations, irrespective of
their doctrinal differences, was certainly not relished by Tennessee in
1820. Twenty years later Synod still occupied the same position. In
1841, after discussing an appeal which had gone out to unite all the
different religious parties in one big body, Tennessee "resolved that
whereas the Church of Christ is a gathering of all true believers, and
is not now, nor ever has been, divided; and whereas it is impossible
that all the different, contradictory teachings should agree with the
Word of God; and whereas it is also impossible to bring about a
Christian union of all the different denominations without the unity of
opinions; and whereas the teachers do greatly differ in their views on
religion and the form of church-government: a union of all the various
denominations in one large body is both impossible and improper; and
even if brought about, instead of furthering the kingdom of our
Redeemer, it would harm the welfare thereof and jeopardize the religious
liberty of our happy land." (B. 1841, 11.)

115. Refusing Fellowship to False Lutherans.--That the attitude of
Tennessee also over against those whom they regarded as false Lutherans
was of a most determined and consistent nature, and free from all
unionism, has been shown above. Nor did they regard this a mere matter
of policy, but of conscience. With respect to their public testimony
against the errorists of the North Carolina Synod the men of Tennessee
declared: "Should any one raise the accusation that it was unbecoming
for us as teachers of the Gospel to publish and reveal this matter here
[in the Report of 1820], to him we give the answer: The prophets in the
Old Testament did also contend against every erroneous doctrine, and the
Apostles Paul, Peter, and John marked all such as taught false doctrine,
and warned the Christians against them. If, however, it can be proven
from Holy Writ that we proclaim erroneous or false doctrine, we will
suffer ourselves to be corrected. We cannot, however, for the sake of
keeping the peace, let everything pass and approve of everything they
preach, for we know that it does not agree with the Holy Scriptures. It
is certainly our desire to be able to live and continue to work in peace
and union with all members of the entire Synod. We cannot, however,
unite with them at present [because they were not agreed doctrinally].
We consider it our supreme duty and obligation to defend the doctrines
of our Church against all false teachings; and though they proceed from
such as call themselves Lutheran preachers, we cannot on that account
spare them nor keep silence in this matter, even if we could thereby win
their favor and the favor of all great men on earth." (1820, 31.) With
special reference to Shober, Stork, and their compeers Tennessee
declared: "Should we help them to cover such bold things as you have
here read [errors concerning Baptism, Lord's Supper, etc.], because they
belong to our organization and bear the name Lutheran? Can we do this
with a good conscience?" (1820, 31.) True, at the "Quarreling Synod,"
1820, the Henkels were charged with having served all religious parties
with the Word and Sacrament. They admitted that this was true, and
expressed their confidence that it had not been without blessing, at
least, for some. But they added: "This, however, must also be taken into
consideration, that they [the Henkels] had always taught such people
what our Church teaches, and that they had never preached anything else
in deference to them, or to please them. Now, if any one was agreed with
our doctrine, and hence felt free to hear our doctrine and to commune
with us, we could not hinder him. We do not regard the name of such
people, but what they believe." (1820, 25.) However, one will admit that
the practise of Tennessee at this early date does not appear to have
been fully consistent. The Report of 1820, for example, records: "With
the Evangelical Reformed David Henkel had no quarrel that we know of,
for many of them, who are members in good standing, receive Communion
from him." (18.) The following remark of the same Report uncovers a
similar inconsistency: "Should any one who has been baptized according
to Christ's command, and who has been confirmed in another church,
desire to commune with us and to be in fellowship with our Church, it
shall be permitted him, and he may be looked upon as a member of the
Church without being baptized or confirmed for the second time." (5;
1831, 8.) These shortcomings, how ever, do not dispute the fact that the
Tennessee Synod, in a manner most energetic and persistent, endeavored
to steer clear of, and opposed every kind of, unionism with the sects,
as well as with unfaithful Lutherans. In 1886, however, Tennessee,
untrue to its noble traditions, participated in the unionistic
organization of the United Synod in the South, and in 1918 she joined
the Lutheran Merger, which brought her into complete fellowship with all
the unionistic synods that constituted the General Synod, opposition to
which having been the primary cause of her separate organization in 1820.


116. Mutual Attraction.--The doctrinal, confessional, and practical
position of the Tennessee Synod being such as described, it was but
natural that, as soon as Missouri and Tennessee became acquainted with
each other, both should sense their kindred spirits, and feel attracted
mutually. And such was the case in spite of the fact that Tennessee at
this time had practically sloughed off the German language, while
Missouri was thoroughly German, and continued so for many decades.
Immediately after the first contact with Tennessee, Missouri displayed a
lively interest in these early protagonists of genuine confessional
Lutheranism. They rejoiced in having found in the Tennessee confessors
flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone. With great satisfaction
they reported on the antiunionistic position which Tennessee held over
against the old, apostate synods. In Loehe's _Kirchliche Mitteilungen_
of 1847 we find the following: "Several Virginians came to St. Louis to
the Lutheran Pastor Buenger, and asked him whether he still adhered to
the old Lutheran faith, which he affirmed to their joy. Thereupon they
told of Henkel. . . . They had protested against an edition of Luther's
Small Catechism in which, with reference to Baptism, the words 'who
believe _it_' (die _es_ glauben) had been made to read 'who believe'
(die _da_ glauben)." (94.) The _Lutheraner_ of February 22, 1848,
published the Tennessee resolution, stating that they could unite with
the Synod of North Carolina "only on the ground of pure and
unadulterated Evangelical Lutheranism," and added the comment: "We
confess that a closer acquaintance has filled us with the best
prepossessions for this Synod. As far as we can see from the Report,
they are earnestly striving to preserve the treasure of pure Lutheran
teaching." At the convention of the Missouri Synod at Fort Wayne, in
1849, Dr. Sihler was elected a delegate to the Tennessee Synod. He wrote
to Loehe that "according to its Reports and confessions, this Synod
maintains an upright churchly position." "It would be a great joy,"
Sihler adds, "if we could enter into definite church-fellowship with
them, especially, as we, above all others, have been stigmatized as the
'exclusive Lutherans.'" (_Kirchl. Mitt._ 1849, 92.) Reviewing the
Tennessee Report of 1848, Walther remarked in the _Lutheraner_ of
January 23, 1849: "Like its predecessor, this Report proves that this
Synod belongs to the small number of those who are determined not only
to be _called_ Lutherans, but also to _be_ and to remain Lutherans."
After reporting their chief resolutions, including the one expressing
their delight over the organization of the Missouri Synod, and
recommending the _Lutheraner_ to their German-speaking members, Walther
continues as follows: "We close this extract with the sincere wish that
the Lord would continue to bless this Synod, which for almost thirty
years, in spite of much shame and persecution, has faithfully testified
and fought against the apostasy of the so-called American Lutheran
Church, especially against the General Synod, and which, as far as we
know, of all the older Lutheran synods, alone has preserved in this last
evil time the treasures of our Lutheran Church; and we also wish that
the Lord would make this Synod a salt of the earth to stay the growing
spiritual corruption in other synods." (5, 84.) At the meeting of the
Tennessee Synod in 1853, a letter dated October 6, 1853, and signed by
Theo. Brohm and A. Hoyer, delegates appointed by Missouri, but unable to
attend personally, was read, stating, in part: "We are highly rejoiced
in this vast desert and wilderness to meet a whole Lutheran synod
steadfastly holding to the precious Confession of our beloved Church,
and zealously engaged in divulging the unaltered doctrines and
principles of the Reformation among the English portion of Lutherans, by
translating the standard writings of the Fathers, at the same time
firmly resisting the allurements of those who say they are Lutherans and
are not. Our Synod extends, through our instrumentality, the hand of
fraternity to you, not fearing to be refused, and ardently desires,
however separated from you by a different language and local interests,
to cooperate with you, hand in hand, in rebuilding the walls of our
dilapidated Zion. We are authorized to beseech your venerable Synod to
delegate as many of your members as you may deem proper to our synodical
meeting to be held next year at St. Louis, promising hereby a friendly
and hospitable reception. Should your Synod next year assemble at a
place more easily accessible, and more convenient, to us, we, or they
whom our Synod may appoint, shall not fail to attend." (1853, 18.) With
special reference to a letter of Rev. A. Biewend, also a delegate
appointed by the Missouri Synod, but prevented from attending, in which
he expressed "the hope and desire that a more intimate acquaintance may
be formed between both synods," Tennessee adopted the resolution, "That
we duly appreciate the kind regard of the Missouri Synod, and that we
also desire a more intimate acquaintance with them, and that we appoint
Rev. J. R. Moser a delegate to the next session of that Synod." (1853,
13.) In the Tennessee minutes of 1854 we read: "The Rev. Theodore Brohm,
of the Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, was introduced to
Synod, and received as a corresponding member of this body." (5.)
"During recess, Rev. Th. Brohm preached from Rev. 14, 6. 7." (11.) "The
Rev. Theodore Brohm, of the Missouri Synod, being present, the following
preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted: Whereas the Rev.
Theodore Brohm, of the city of New York, delegate of the Synod of
Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, has appeared amongst us, and we are
assured from personal interviews with him, as well as from other sources
of information, that the Synod which he represents adhere strictly to
the doctrines of the Ev. Lutheran Church, as exhibited in her
confessional standards, and are zealously and actively engaged in
promoting the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, be it therefore 1.
Resolved, That we are highly gratified to see Brother Brohm in our
midst. 2. Resolved, That we fully and cheerfully reciprocate the kind
and fraternal feelings expressed and manifested towards us by the
Missouri Synod. 3. Resolved, That we endeavor to cultivate a more
intimate acquaintance and a closer union with the Missouri Synod. 4.
Resolved, That, for this purpose, Rev. Socrates Henkel be appointed a
delegate from this body to the Eastern division of the Missouri Synod,
to be holden in Baltimore; and that Rev. J. R. Moser be appointed our
delegate to the Western division of said Synod, at its next session."
(12; _Lutheraner_ 11, 77.) Moser attended and reported to his Synod in
the following year. (1856, 23.) Brohm, relating in the _Lutheraner_ his
visit to the Tennessee Synod, said, in part: "Let the assurance here
suffice that, among the pastors in attendance, I have found a faithful
adherence to our common Mother Church, and that I have not met with any
essential doctrinal differences. It gave me great pleasure to observe
how these men, in spite of the great dearth of English-Lutheran
literature, have preserved such a living consciousness of Lutheran
orthodoxy and such a firm Lutheran character." (11, 78.)

117. Tributes from Dr. Walther.--When, in 1852, the book, _Luther on
the Sacraments_, published by the Tennessee Synod, came to Walther's
attention, he wrote: "We praise God that He has caused this glorious
work to succeed. The importance of the appearance of this work in this
country, where the great majority of the English-speaking Lutherans have
fallen into Reformed errors regarding the articles of the holy
Sacraments, and are ignorant of, yea, do not even suspect, the good
foundation on which the Lutheran doctrine of the Sacraments is built,
cannot be estimated at its true value. After the Book of Concord had
been presented to the English-speaking Lutherans in their own language,
no better selection could have been made for them than the
above-mentioned three writings [Sermon on Holy Baptism, of 1535; Letter
on Anabaptism, of 1528; Confession of the Lord's Supper, of 1528 of
Luther, the chosen vessel of God for the reformation of the Church.
These two books, now rendered into English, are gracious visitations
indeed for the English Lutheran Church of this country. May it know the
time of its visitation! . . . And the right reverend Tennessee Synod,
which has issued both works (the Book of Concord and Luther on the
Sacraments) in the English language, as well as the dear men who moved
by love for the truth and the Church of their fathers, have regarded
neither the unspeakable labor nor the great expense connected with this
undertaking--may God reward them by showering His blessings upon them
in abundant measure!" (9, 115.) When the second edition of the _Book of
Concord_ appeared, Walther wrote: "We thank God for the unspeakable
blessing which He has conferred upon the Church of our adopted
fatherland [through the publication of this book], and in our hearts we
bless the faithful publishers. It is surprising as well as
faith-strengthening to learn that already in the first year a second
edition has become necessary. May many hands reach out for it, and may a
third edition soon become necessary!" (L. 11, 63.) Walther's joy and
enthusiasm over these works published by Tennessee in the English
language will be understood when we remember that it was the time when
the Definite Platform was preparing, and Benjamin Kurtz and others, in
order to discredit the "Old Lutherans," who still adhered to the
Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's Supper, were boldly repeating the
Heidelberg Lie (die Heidelberger Landluege), according to which Luther,
shortly before his death, disavowed his doctrine regarding the Lord's
Supper. (L. 12, 31.)


118. Opposed to Incorporation.--The peculiarities of the Tennessee
Synod, several of which have already been alluded to, may be accounted
for partly by the lack, on their part, of correct logical distinctions
and clear conceptions, partly by their fear of synodical tyranny over
the individual ministers and congregations. Conspicuous among these
abnormalities is the rejection of civil incorporation us a reprehensible
commingling of State and Church. Article 5 of the Constitution declares:
"This Synod shall never be incorporated by civil government, nor have
any incorporated Theological Seminary under their care." (B. 1828, 20;
1827, 22; 1853, 26.) The "Remarks" appended explain: "This article
prohibits this body ever from being incorporated by civil government.
That the government of the Church ought not to be blended (vereinbart)
with the State, is a tenet of the Augustan Confession, amply supported
by the Scriptures. See 28th Article. Our Lord declared that His kingdom
was not of this world. John 18, 36. That the Church ought not to be
blended with the State is also according to the Constitution of the
United States, whose spirit and design is to secure to every person full
liberty with respect to spiritual matters. The kingdom of Christ admits
of no bondage, for 'it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy
Ghost,' Rom. 14,17; 'and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty,' 2 Cor. 3, 17. But when the Church is identified with the
State, it is also fettered by human traditions, aspiring priests obtain
the power to tyrannize men's consciences. However, an ecclesiastical
body may be incorporated by civil authority, and yet not be the
established Church of the nation; and so far as I am acquainted with our
civil constitutions there is nothing contained in them to prohibit a
legislative body from incorporating any society. But when a Church is
incorporated, _it approximates to a State coalition_. The Church, by an
act of incorporation, if I am not greatly misinformed, would have power
to enact laws and regulations binding upon all their members, and could
recover by a civil suit at law any property, or its value, bequeathed to
them. Thus empowered, could they not also borrow money upon the credit
of their whole community for the establishment of any institution? An
incorporated Church may not only preserve their funds, but they may also
lend out their money on usury, and obtain a vast increase. The aspiring
priests of such a body, knowing that the wealth of the Church is their
interest, they invent many schemes to enlarge the so-called treasury of
God, lest it should ever get exhausted. They fetter the conscience of
some persons, by telling them that they ought to promote the cause of
God, by casting their donations into the sacred treasury, so that they
yield to their request, whilst they denounce those who refuse to comply
with their importunities as foes to Christ and His holy Gospel. They
contrive to obtain testamentary devices to the injury (in many cases) of
widows and orphans; they condescend to flatter the female sex until they
have begged all that they are able to bestow. Thus by the
instrumentality of those clerical beggars, and by the cause of Christ
being made a pander, the Church becomes wealthy; and wealth creates
power, and power, tyranny and oppression. That many of the clergymen of
the day possess an aspiring spirit is evident from the several attempts
they have made to get some of their institutions incorporated by civil
authority. If a few of the most numerous denominations in the United
States were to unite, join their funds, in one, and could succeed in
obtaining an incorporation act, they would not only be extremely wealthy
already; but they might also increase in wealth to such a degree as
would endanger our civil as well as ecclesiastical liberty. But if it be
asked in what manner this could be effected, I answer: In various ways,
as, for instance, such a gigantic body might by means of their wealth
establish so great a number of printing-offices as would enable them to
print and sell Bibles at so reduced a price that they would engross the
sales of all the Bibles wanted in America, which would be an annual
revenue of millions. They would be enabled to educate thousands for the
ministry who otherwise had no inclination to embark in that office; and
they, tutored in the principles of aristocracy, and the churches filled
with them, those principles might be disseminated among millions; they
could also supply the most of the common schools with their teachers,
and thus the rising generation would imbibe the same pernicious
principles, until at length persons of this description would occupy all
the civil offices in our country, which would ultimately effect the
destruction of civil liberty. In a similar manner the Roman Church
became elevated above the State. By testamentary devises from the
people, as well as from noblemen and kings, by the sales of indulgences
and other inventions, the Church became exceedingly wealthy; cloisters
were erected, and they occupied by friars and nuns supported at the
expense of the people, it was their interest to support the power and
dignity of the Roman pontiff. The same causes will produce the same
effects. If the Church should ever acquire great wealth, aspiring
priests will grasp great power. Whereas this body know these things, and
wish to preserve both spiritual and civil liberty, and to prevent their
successors from attempting to blend the Church with the State, they have
by this article prohibited an incorporation of this body, and of any
theological seminary under their care, and from accumulating funds for
the support of such a seminary and of missionaries." (1853, 27.)

119. Establishment of Seminaries Discouraged.--Tennessee did not only
oppose the incorporation of seminaries, but, strangely enough, never did
encourage the establishment of any kind of theological school whatever.
According to their views, theological and literary schools, supported by
the Church, were superfluous, since the languages might be studied in
the secular academies of the country, and a course of theology could be
pursued with some able divine. The Fifth Article of the Tennessee
Constitution provides: "Neither shall they have any particular treasury
for the purpose of supporting . . . theological seminaries." (1853, 26.)
The "Remarks" appended to this article explain: "Although this body
shall have no incorporated theological seminary under their care, nor
any particular treasury for its support, nevertheless they consider it
highly beneficial to the Church for every minister to understand the
original tongues of the Scriptures, and to be well skilled in theology.
But such qualifications may be acquired without an incorporated
theological seminary. There are already a goodly number of academies
dispersed throughout our country which are not under the care of any
particular denomination, in which the student may acquire a classical
education. He, in like manner, may have the opportunity of studying
theology with some able divine." (1853, 26.) However, though Tennessee
in no way encouraged the establishment of a theological seminary, the
conclusion must not be drawn that they underestimated or despised a
well-educated ministry. The minutes of 1821 record: "A motion was made
by Rev. David Henkel that no person shall be ordained a pastor of our
Church unless he understands as much of the Greek language as will
enable him to translate the New Testament. But no resolution respecting
it was passed. It remains postponed until the next Synod, when it shall
be taken into contemplation." (1821, 8.) In 1827 Tennessee made the
following recommendations and declarations with, respect to the German,
Greek, and Hebrew languages: "Whereas the Symbolical Books of our
Church, particularly Luther's works, are extant in the German language,
and as sundry extracts have been made out of them, and most erroneously
translated into the English; and as it is probable that such frauds may
be practised in future, this body recommend the study of the German
language to all the members of the Church. This would enable them to
detect the glaring frauds practised by men under the garb of Lutherans.
It was resolved that a more strict attention shall be paid to the
literary qualifications of those who enter the ministry than has been
done heretofore. A deacon should at least understand the language in
which he officiates with some degree of accuracy, and be able to make
the logical compositions in writing. A pastor ought, in addition to
these qualifications, be acquainted with the Greek, the original tongue
of the New Testament. Also an acquaintance with the Hebrew, the original
tongue of the Old Testament, would the more amply qualify him for the
sacred ministry. The Synod, however, do not think that there are not
also useful men in the ministry who do not possess all those
qualifications. For there are men whose manifold experience supplies
some literary defects. But when a whole body of ministers are
illiterate, they are not able to defend the truth of the Gospel against
the subtile attacks of enemies. Suppose false teachers were to make a
spurious translation of the Scriptures, how could such an illiterate
body of ministers detect the forgery? If the knowledge of the original
tongues should ever become extinct, the Gospel might soon become forged
and corrupted. It is to be lamented that there are too many young men
who wish to be ministers; notwithstanding, they are too indolent to
acquire a knowledge of the original tongues. They are infatuated to
think that they are immediately inspired from heaven, and that,
therefore, they need no literary qualifications. In order to check this
growing evil, and to oppose this fanaticism, it was resolved that every
candidate for the ministry shall stand a literary as well as a
theological examination, and be promoted agreeably to his industry. This
resolution principally respects young men." (11.)

120. General Mission Treasury Regarded Dangerous.--The Report of 1824
records: "Synod has not, and does not want to have, a treasury to pay
traveling missionaries." (8.) The "Remarks" appended to the Fifth
Article of the constitution, rejecting "any particular treasury for the
purpose of supporting missionaries and theological seminaries," explain
as follows: "There are but few, if any, young men in our country who are
not able to defray the expenses of their education either by means of
their property or industry. Yet if there be such whose indolence is the
cause why they are not able to defray the expenses of their education,
they should by no means embark in the ministry, as the faithful
discharge of ministerial duties requires men of great industry. It must
also be observed that this article does not limit the charities of
liberal Christians who wish to encourage the promulgation of the Gospel;
for they may, if they deem it expedient, assist any student in getting
his education, or any indigent congregation in getting ministerial
labors. Nor does it prohibit individual congregations from having funds
under their own care, for the purpose of defraying their own expenses,
and assisting any of their indigent brethren. It would be expedient for
every congregation to have a fund, yet by no means to hold such under an
act of incorporation. Again, although this article prohibits this body
from having any particular treasury for the purpose of supporting
missionaries, yet some of the ministers of this body annually perform
missionary labors. Now if it be asked how they are supported, it may
again be asked, How were the apostles of Christ supported when they went
into all the world to preach the Gospel? Did Christ recommend the
establishment of a general fund by begging donations, and obtaining
testamentary devises from dying men to remunerate His apostles for
missionary labors? By no means. He said unto them that they should
'first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness,' and that 'all
these things should be added unto them.' Matt. 6, 33. See also vv. 25-31.
Thus they had the promise of being supported whilst they labored in the
Lord's vineyard. Every faithful minister may rely upon these promises.
If he be industrious in preaching the Gospel and instructing the
ignorant, he will turn many unto righteousness, who will consider it
their duty and privilege to manifest their gratitude in contributing
towards his support. But such people as manifest an avaricious
disposition, so that they will suffer faithful ministers to serve them
without contributing something towards their support, prove themselves
unworthy of the Gospel, and minister to others, who will receive them
with gratitude." (1853, 26.) In their "Objections" to the constitution
of the General Synod, Tennessee declared: "We cannot conceive the
propriety of paying missionaries out of a general fund. How many pious
ministers heretofore have preached the Gospel in remote parts, without
such a provision. Men who are commissioned by Christ to preach the
Gospel, 'take no thought, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall we
drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed?' Matt. 6, 31-34. Their daily
employment is to teach and admonish the people--for their support
they depend on the faithful promise of our Lord who said: 'All these
things shall be added unto you.' Men who are sent of God shall profit
the people; the Lord, therefore, who feeds the winged songsters, though
they toil not, and arrays the lilies of the field, stirreth up the
hearts of the people, and fills them with gratitude, so that they
freely honor Him with their substance in supporting His ministers. Thus
the promise of Christ shall evermore be verified. But hirelings and
wolves do not believe this promise. They are either entangled with some
temporal employment to secure their support, or else must know what they
are to have from a general fund before they go forth to labor in the
Lord's vineyard. When men know what they shall get from a general fund,
before they preach, they have no need to exercise faith in the promise
of Christ, for their trust is in the general fund! The country is
already filled with such hired circuit-riders, whose trust for a support
is not in the promise of our Lord; because they first bargain with their
superiors or general synods what they are to have per month or year from
the general fund. Was the mission of the primitive apostles conducted in
this manner? Had Christ established a general treasury, out of which He
had hired His apostles by the month or year? No. Is it not degrading for
Christians to depart so far from the paths of Christ and His apostles?
Is it not enough that we have His promise? Genuine ministers have no
need of a general fund to support them; their mission is profitable to
the people, whose hearts, being moved by the Lord, will support their
teachers--but such men, who are not called of God do not profit the
people; they therefore do not expect to be be supported by the promise
of Christ, hence they must look to the general treasury. What is better
calculated to induce hirelings to enter into the holy orders than their
sure wages, by a general fund?" (1821, 31.) The German Report of 1821
concludes these remarks as follows: "Give an itinerant preacher 40 to 50
dollars a month, as some already receive, and it will prove to be a
veritable bait to lead all manner of evil men into the ministry, whether
they are called of God or not; for the salary calls them!" (28.)

121. Funds for Widows and Orphans of Pastors Denounced.--Regarding
Christian benevolence and charity, Tennessee admonished the Christians
to be liberal, and also to establish a congregational treasury to meet
their needs. General treasuries, however, were denounced as leading to
synodical tyranny and worldly-mindedness. This was applied also to the
establishment of general funds for the support of widows and orphans of
pastors. In the Report of 1821 we read: "Why are ministers' widows and
orphans, and poor ministers only, to be supported by a general fund, and
not also the poor members of the church? Are the families of ministers a
nobler race than other people, so that extraordinary provisions must be
made for them in preference to others? Would it not be better if every
congregation had a fund of its own to support their needy at home? Each
congregation are best acquainted with their own poor, and know who
deserves help. Is it necessary that the congregations should send their
money several hundred miles from home, into the general fund, and that
the poor should receive it from thence? Pious ministers accustom their
families to honest labor, so that they may know how to support
themselves when they need it. Who supports the people's widows and
orphans? It is too lamentable a fact that too many ministers do not
accustom their children to labor, but indulge them in their pride,
vanity, indolence, and in the imitation of rich, proud, and pompous
people of the world. Behold how many ministers with their wives, in our
time, surpassing humility--how grand their attire, how lofty their
appearance, how great their association with the wealthy of this world!
With what contempt do they view the poor! How numerous their waiters,
and how little do they expose themselves to preach the Gospel unto the
poor! There is no similarity between them and Christ, whose ministers
they affect to be--for He was poor; He appeared lowly and in the form
of a servant. Such vain, arrogant, and indolent families truly cannot
support themselves in such style after their fathers' decease; a general
treasury indeed might be considered necessary to support such in their
vanity. The farmers and mechanics may labor hard to procure money to
fill this treasury, of which, though, their widows and orphans in their
straits could expect no assistance. Have we any nobility in America whom
the people must bear upon their hands? What a constant tax is hereby
imposed upon the congregations! How frequently the ministers or
church-council must admonish the people to cast their mites into the
general fund, lest it should be exhausted! There would be no end to
begging and expostulating with the people for money. Howbeit, it is said
that no person is compelled to contribute towards the general fund. We
grant it in one sense, but not in another; for such as did not freely
contribute would be viewed with a contemptible eye, and frequently
reproved as avaricious, hardened wretches, so that at last they would
find themselves obliged to contribute. Such widows and orphans who by
some misfortune are rendered unable to support themselves generally find
benefactors, in addition to those means civil government hath already
provided." (33.) The "Remarks" to the Third Article of the constitution
conclude as follows: "Can it be believed that the majority of the clergy
of the day are true shepherds? and that they do not cherish the most
aspiring views? Why are there so many attempts made to identify the
Church with the State? Why are so many petitions sent to legislative
bodies for incorporation? Why is there such an insatiable thirst for
creating funds of immense sums for churches under incorporation acts, if
the clergy of the day did not cherish the most aspiring views, and did
not wish to acquire a spiritual dominion blended with civil power?"
(1853, 24.) It was in keeping with these views on general funds when
Tennessee, in 1841, resolved not to participate in the Lutheran
centenary jubilee advocated by the General Synod, also for the reason
that they were opposed to the plan of collecting $150,000 as an
endowment fund for its literary and other institutions. (15.)

122. Doctrinal Peculiarities.--Evidently at the time of its
organization, the views prevailing in the Tennessee Synod concerning
"The Last Things" were not as yet sufficiently clarified. They believed
that by the organization of the General Synod the way was prepared for
"the great falling away," spoken of in the Bible, when "the
_ Antichrist_ prophesied 2 Thess. 2 would set himself in the temple of
God." In the "Conclusion" of his "Objections" to the constitution of the
General Synod, David Henkel said: "We do not expect finally to prevent
the establishment of this General Synod by publishing our objections,
because we believe, agreeably to the divine predictions, that the great
falling away is approaching, so that Antichrist will set himself into
the temple of God. 2 Thess. 2 We also believe that the establishment of
General Synods are preparing the way for him. Antichrist will not, nor
cannot, get into power without a general union, which is not effected by
a divine harmony of godly doctrines, but by common temporal interests
and the power of a majority. Notwithstanding, we consider it our duty to
make the people attentive to those things, and to instruct such as are
not wilfully [tr. note: sic] blind. But should we be deceived in our
opinion, and clearly be convinced of it, we shall not be ashamed to
recant. In vain people dream of the Millennium before crosses and
tribulations shall have visited the Christian world by the rage of
Antichrist. His kingdom is reared under a good garb; if this were not
the case, no person would be deceived. Men who are notoriously immoral
and vicious cannot deceive, but they only who appear like innocent
lambs. May God preserve all His people against every temptation, for
Jesus' sake! Amen." (1821, 35.) In a letter of Jacob Larros, appended to
the German Report of 1821, we read: "O that our dear brethren in office
would recognize the prophecies of Holy Writ concerning the kingdom of
Antichrist which . . . soon will undergo a great change and appear in
its highest stage; for then they would be on their guard. Of him it is
written: 'And it was given him to make war with the saints, and to
overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and
nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.' He
desires a universal communion (Universalgemeinschaft) to reach his
purpose. This he neither can nor denies to attain by [bringing them all
into] agreement with the Scriptures, but by the majority of votes. Oh,
how it will grieve our brethren when they, having by their well-meant
_Planentwurf_ [constitution of the General Synod] organized a universal
communion, behold that, as forerunners, they have only prepared the way
for Antichrist to reach his goal and obtain his dominion. From this,
Lord God, preserve our Church and our dear brethren in the ministry!
Amen." (36.)--Concerning the _ministry_ the Sixth Article of the
constitution, adopted 1828, declares: "The grades of the ministry are
two: pastor and deacon, or, as St. Paul calls them, bishop and deacon.
They must possess the qualifications which are described by St. Paul 1
Tim. 3, 1-14; Titus 1, 4-9." (1853, 25.) Both of these offices, as well
as ordination, were regarded as necessary. Says the Report of 1820: "As
concerning the states and grades of the ministry (des Lehramts), we do
not recognize more than two, to wit, pastor and deacon, as necessary for
the preservation and propagation of the Church. A pastor is an
evangelical teacher who discharges the office fully, in all its parts,
or who performs all ministerial acts. He must be ordained and
consecrated to this office by prayer and the imposition of hands by one
or more pastors, when he also solemnly promises faithfully to discharge
such office according to the Word of God and the doctrine of our Church.
A deacon is indeed also a minister of the Word of God, but he does not
discharge this office fully, like a pastor, but conducts catechetical
instruction, reads sermons, conducts funerals, exhorts and, in the
absence of a pastor, also baptizes children, where such is desired. He
must be a regular member of the church and possess the testimony of a
Christian conversation. At the request of the church-council he is to be
examined at the synod as to his qualifications. If he is found able, he
is dedicated [gewidmet] to such service by one or more pastors by prayer
and laying on of hands either at the conference or in one of the
congregations which he serves. And in the presence of the whole
congregation he is, at the same time, to make the solemn promise that he
will faithfully discharge his office according to his instructions. If
such a deacon proves to be diligent in his office and acquires the
knowledge and ability needed for the discharge of the office of a
pastor, and also receives a regular call from one or more congregations
who are without a minister, he may be consecrated and ordained a pastor
in the manner indicated before." (1820, 6.)--In the _celebration of
the Lord's Supper_ the Tennessee Synod adhered to the custom of
breaking the bread, instead of using wafers. When questioned by Missouri
concerning this practise, they appealed to 1 Cor. 10, 16 and to passages
of the Confessions which speak of a "breaking of the bread." In 1856
Synod declared: "With all due deference to the learning and high
character of the Missouri Synod for orthodoxy, we have been unable to
see sufficient reason to make any change in our manner of administering
the Lord's Supper. We are influenced in our practise in this respect by
the authority of both the Holy Scriptures and the Symbolical Books of
the Lutheran Church. . . . For the present, therefore, we feel fully
justified in our present practise." (R. 1856, 23 f.) Self-evidently,
Tennessee did not adhere to this practise in the interest of Reformed or
unionistic views.


123. A Most Influential Family.--The Henkels were by far the most
prominent and influential of the men composing the Tennessee Synod.
Because of their bold and uncompromising attitude toward the sects as
well as all others deviating from the Christian doctrine, as taught by
the Lutheran Confessions, they, together with their adherents, were
universally, by false Lutherans as well as Methodists, Baptists,
Presbyterians, and other sects, hated and ostracized, and stigmatized as
"the Henkelites," Paul Henkel being designated as their "head." (B.
1824, 10.) The sire of the American branch of the Henkel family was
Gerhard Henkel. For a time he was court chaplain to the Duke Moritz of
Saxony. But when the duke turned Roman Catholic, Henkel was banished. He
left for America and served the first Lutherans in Virginia and later on
Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania, notably in New Hanover and
Germantown. James Henkel, the grandson of G. Henkel, was the father of
Moses, Paul, Isaac, and John Henkel. Thus Paul Henkel, born 1754, was
the great-grandson of Gerhard Henkel. He was educated by J. A. Krug and
ordained by the Pennsylvania Ministerium in 1702. For many years he
served as missionary, laboring especially in Virginia, North Carolina,
and Ohio. He was pastor at New Market, Va., at Salisbury, Va., and again
at New Market, where he died, November 17, 1825. He participated in the
organization of the North Carolina Synod, in 1803, of the Ohio Synod, in
1818, of the Tennessee Synod, in 1820. In New Market, Paul Henkel,
together with his sons, established a printery for the purpose of
supplying the Lutheran Church with the books, German and English, which
they were in need of so sorely: Luther's Catechism, the Augsburg
Confession, a Liturgy, hymn-books, etc. Paul Henkel was the father of
six sons: Solomon, Philip, Ambrose, Andrew, David, and Carl. Solomon was
a physician and manager of the printing-establishment. Philip was pastor
in Green County, Tenn., and a member of the North Carolina Synod.
Together with Bell, who was later ordained a minister, he opened a Union
Seminary which, however, soon passed out of existence. He was one of the
founders of the Tennessee Synod. Two of his sons, Irenaeus and Eusebius,
were Lutheran ministers. Ambrose was minister at New Market, and a
member of the New Market publishing firm. Under him the Book of Concord
and other important works were issued. He was joint translator of the
Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Appendix,
and the Articles of Visitation. Andrew, the fourth son, was pastor in
Ohio. David, the fifth son, was the most gifted of the Henkel family. A
clear, able, and undaunted theologian, he was preeminent in zealously
defending the Lutheran truth. He died 1831, at the early age of
thirty-six years. His two sons, Polycarp and Socrates, entered the
ministry. The latter was pastor in New Market for more than forty
years; he also assisted in the publication of the Book of Concord.
Charles, the youngest son, was pastor in Ohio and published a
translation of the Augsburg Confession in 1834. Dr. Graebner remarks
with respect to the publishing house established by the Henkels at New
Market: "From this printery, which is in existence today as the oldest
Lutheran publishing house in America, were issued numerous large and
mall publications in both the English and German languages, abc-books,
catechisms, hymnals, theological dissertations and polemical writings,
books for pastime and for instruction for young and old, Christmas
booklets, such as _Das Virginische Kinderbuch_ of 1809, a paper
entitled, _Der Virginische Volksberichter und NeuMarketer Wochenschrift_
bearing the motto: '_Ich bring' das Neu's, So gut ich's weiss!_' The
Henkels were a busy and skilful [tr. note: sic] people. When in need of
manuscript for their press, they wrote it; when in need of verses, they
composed them; when in need of woodcuts, they cut in wood; after the
books were printed, they bound them; and when the bindings had dried,
they, in part themselves, canvassed the finished product throughout the
country." (611.)

124. Paul Henkel.--"My father," says Andrew Henkel, "was a large man,
within half an inch of six feet in height, well developed, with a keen
black eye, as erect as an Indian; somewhat inclined to corpulency, and
yet athletic and rapid in his movements. Though his health was not
always good, yet he was almost constantly employed either in reading,
writing, preaching, or traveling; and when necessary he did not hesitate
to labor with his hands. He had no desire for this world's goods beyond
what was wanting for daily use; whatever savored of ostentation was
foreign to his nature. His manner of living was frugal, and his dress
plain, and yet in performing the services of the sanctuary, he uniformly
wore a gown of rich black silk. He had great equanimity and serenity of
temper, and his friendships were sincere and constant, and his friends
numerous. In the social circle he always rendered himself agreeable, and
often communicated important instruction by means of some pertinent and,
sometimes, humorous anecdote. As a preacher he possessed much more than
ordinary power. In the commencement of his discourse he was slow and
somewhat blundering, but, as his subject opened before him, he would
become animated and eloquent, with a full flow of appropriate thought
and glowing language. His illustrations were lucid and forceful, simple
and natural. He assisted in training a goodly number of young men for
the ministry, some of whom have occupied responsible stations with great
fidelity and usefulness." (Sheatsley, _History_, 40; _L. u. W._ 43, 106
ff.) The obituary notice of "Father Paul Henkel of blessed memory,"
appended to the Tennessee Report of 1826, says, in, part: "During his
illness his greatest concern was that we might all remain faithful to
the pure Evangelical Lutheran doctrine, and with meekness and patience,
yet manfully contend for the truth for which he had contended so
earnestly." (B. 1825, 16.) He expressed the same sentiments in a message
to Pastor Riemenschneider, by whom also desired to be buried. Ambrose
Henkel, in a letter, November 30, 1825, reports concerning the death of
his father: "I then asked him whether I should inform also all my
brothers to this effect concerning him. He said: 'O yes; write to all of
them, that by all means they should remain steadfast.' I furthermore
asked him whether he still stood on the faith which he had hitherto
defended. He said: 'Yes, indeed; on this faith I have lived, and on it I
will now die.' I was also careful to call in several neighbors to listen
to his words, fearing that enemies might contradict my report of his
statements." In his last letter, written to his son David, and dated
August 20, 1825, Paul Henkel wrote: "If the doctrine is right and it is
the will of the Lord that it should be taught publicly, He will also
find and show ways and means to do it. . . . How our mendax-priests
would rejoice if they could accuse some of us that we deviated in a
single article from the teaching of the Augsburg Confession of Faith."
(_L. u. W._ 60, 62.)

125. David and Philip Henkel.--As for David Henkel, the Report of 1831
enumerates his publications and speaks of him as "this much-esteemed and
venerable fellow-laborer." "His last illness," says the notice of his
death, "was dyspepsia, which disabled him from officiating in a public
capacity for the term of nine months. He bore his afflictions with a
perfect resignation to the will of his divine Redeemer. He embarked in
the cause of his blessed Savior when a youth (1812). And we are happy to
say, to the praise of this worthy servant of Christ, that his assiduity
and vigilance to study and deep researches into the truth of divine
revelation have seldom been equaled by any. He remained immovable in the
doctrines he promulgated to the end of his life. This venerable servant
of the Lord had to endure many trials, crosses, and temptations, but he
maintained his integrity through them all, trusting to the promises of
his Redeemer; and notwithstanding the difficulties he had to encounter,
he left a bright example to succeeding pilgrims. His ardent desire for
the promotion of his Redeemer's kingdom and his love of truth caused him
to submit cheerfully to the difficulties connected with his official
labors. When on his death-bed, being interrogated by his friends whether
he still remained steadfast in the doctrines which he had taught, he
confidently answered in the affirmative. Being again asked whether he
feared death, he replied in the negative. The last words which he was
heard to utter, were, 'O Lord Jesus, Thou Son of God, receive my
spirit!' and in a few moments expired." "The perishable remains of this
worthy brother were followed to the grave by his loving companion and
seven children, together with a numerous train of mourners, who were
left to lament the loss of a kind father, an affectionate husband, a
friend and benefactor. The body is deposited at St. John's Church,
Lincoln County, N.C. The funeral sermon was delivered by the Rev. Daniel
Moser, from Phil. 1, 21: 'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain.'" From 1812 to 1830 David Henkel preached 3,200 sermons, baptized
2,997 infants and 243 adults, and confirmed 1,105 persons. The whole
course of his ministry was distinguished for industry and perseverance.
He traveled in all seasons, even the most inclement, and frequently
preached two and three times in a day, in the German and English
languages. Besides, he maintained an extensive correspondence and was
quite active also in a literary way. (1831, 15.)--Concerning Philip
Henkel we read in the obituary notice, appended to the Tennessee Report
of 1833: "Already in his youth he was a confessor and defender of the
Christian religion, and began in 1800 to consecrate his services to the
Lord, in whose vineyard he labored incessantly for 33 years and 3
months. During this time he preached 4,350 sermons, of which 125 were
funeral sermons. He baptized 4,115 children and 325 adults, and
confirmed 1,650 persons into the Christian Church. . . . Shortly before
his end he declared, if it were the will of God to take him home, he was
willing, and prayed the verse, which were also the last words he was
heard to utter: 'For me to live is Jesus, To die is gain for me, To Him
I gladly yield me, And die right cheerfully.'" (B. 1833, 24.) Philip
Henkel was the first to conceive the plan of organizing the Tennessee
Synod. In a letter to his brother David, dated December 9, 1819, he
wrote that he would do his utmost to induce Pastor Zink and Miller to
join them. "But," he added, "do not say a word of it to anybody, not
even to your best friend, lest they get wind of it. In a second letter,
dated March 14, 1820, Philip declared: "If the old ministers will not
act agreeably to the Augsburg Confession, we will erect a synod in
Tennessee." (_L. u. W._ 59, 481.)


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