Edward Tanjore Corwin.

A manual of the Reformed Church in America (formerly Ref. Prot. Dutch church), 1628-1902 online

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Online LibraryEdward Tanjore CorwinA manual of the Reformed Church in America (formerly Ref. Prot. Dutch church), 1628-1902 → online text (page 1 of 134)
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Specimen ol Recent Church Architecture.

Collegiate R. I). Church. Fifth Avenue and Forty-Eighth Street.

\,,i e.— The late Dean Stanley, on a visit to America, pronounced this church
the finest specimen of parish architecture he bad seen.


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(formerly ref. prot. dutch church).





Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged.


Board of Publication of the Reformed Church in America,

25 East 22d Street.


First Kdition, 1859, 8,000 Copies. Second Edition, 1869 1,000 Copies

Third Edition, 1879, electrotyped ; first issue, 1,000 Copies.

Fourth Edition, 2,000 Copies.

Copyrighted, 1902, by

Chauncey Holt,

27 Rose St., \ V


This Manual has grown with the decades until it has become almost
too large for a single volume. The first edition, issued in 1859,* was a
small quarto of 166 pages. In 1869 a second edition was issued, being an
octavo volume of 400 pages. This was improved in its arangement, con-
tained a general history of the Church, fuller sketches of the several Boards
and educational institutions, with many biographical sketches of the worthy
dead. Thirteen full-page steel portraits adorned the volume. This second
edition was exhausted in about four months.

In 1879 a third edition was issued, an octavo volume of nearly 700
pages. It was now possible to present the history of the Colonial period
much more fully and satisfactorily, as that portion of the Amsterdam
Documents secured by the Hon. J. Romeyn Brodhead in 1841-3 had
become accessible. t Many of the articles in the preceding edition were
also rewritten and many new biographical sketches were incorporated,
and, as in preceding editions, everything was brought down to date. A
new feature was that the publications of the ministers were added to their
names. Forty-two portraits or views of churches adorned this issue. This
third edition was exhausted in a couple of years.

Preparations were made for a fourth edition at the end of another
decade (1889), but several circumstances combined to prevent at that time
the completion of the work. Twenty-three years have now passed since
the last issue, and many changes have occurred and great progress has
been made in every department. Much new material has also accumulated.
Meantime, repeated requests have been made for a new edition. A year's
interruption in his editorial work on the Dutch documents, those procured
formerly by Brodhead as well as those recently secured by the writer in
1897-8, § seemed to give the opportunity to complete the long-expected

* For the origin of the Manual, see pages 479, 480 of the " Centennial of the New
Brunswick Seminary."

tFor a history of the Brodhead Documents, see the author's paper, styled
"The Amsterdam Correspondence," in Vol. VIII of the publications of "The
American Church History Society," pp. 81-107. Five hundred copies were also
published separately.

5 For an account of these later Documents procured in 1897-8, see the author's
report of his researches in Holland, 1898, and especially the " Introduction " in Vol.
I of these Documents, now in course of publication by the State of New York.


fourth edition. But the work has grown beyond all anticipation. The
preliminary history seemed to require expansion in certain lines to show
the ever-growing tendency in the Colonial period to a separation of Church
and State. The history of the Boards -and institutions, also, needed to be
partly or wholly rewritten and brought down to date. Then, also, several
hundred new names had to be added to the biographical part, while the
increasing number of publications of the ministers greatly swelled the
book, notwithstanding the omission of many of the former sketches.

In order, therefore, to keep the work within one volume, as well as
within reasonable expense, the author has been obliged at the last moment
to omit several articles prepared by himself and others for this edition.
For the omission of the articles of others, prepared by invitation, he must
crave the pardon of these writers. Rev. Dr. John B. Thompson had prepared
an admirable and exhaustive history of the hymnology of the Church ;
Rev. Prof. William J. Hinke, of Philadelphia, had prepared a sketch of
the German Reformed Church, with biographical sketches of the early
ministers ; Rev. Henry Beets, of Grand Rapids, had prepared a sketch of
" The Christian Reformed Church in America," and had added an account
of their ministers and churches on the same plan as this Manual. This
body of Christians is identical in confessions and government with the
older Dutch Church in this country. They are the Seceders of Holland,
and now number in America more than ioo ministers, with about 150
churches and nearly 19,000 communicants. They have, also, a theological
seminary of their own at Grand Rapids, Mich. No one can regret these
omissions more than the writer. He sincerely hopes that other ways may
be found to issue these valuable papers. They would have added, pioba-
bly, 200 pages to the Manual, and have made it necessary to issue the work
in two volumes.

The Dutch Documents now in course of translation and publication by
the State of New York will furnish the details of many interesting facts in
the early history of the State, barely alluded to in this work, and will be a
rich mine for historians of the future. The author takes this opportunity
of thanking the many friends who have assisted and encouraged him in the
preparation of this edition. He earnestly prays that the great Head of the
Church will bless it to the advancement of His kingdom at home and

New Brunswick, N. J., May 1, 1902.



The Reformed Church in Europe.— Its Doctrinal Confessions. — Its Government
—The Reformed Church vs. the Lutheran.— History of the Reformed Church:
in Switzerland ; in Germany ; in France; in the Netherlands.— Persecutions.
—The League of " The Beggars."— Deliverance.— Union of Utrecht— The
Dutch Republic— The Liturgy, Doctrines and Government of the Church
of the Netherlands.— Early Synods.— The Arminian Controversy and the
Great Synod of Dort.— The Post-Acta.— Later Church History in Holland.—
The Christian Reformed Church.— Notes Pages 1-14


General History of the Reformed Church in America.

The Chuch under the West India Company, i6z6-'64.

Chapter I.— Transplanting.— Different Elements of the Reformed Church in
America.— The New Netherland Colony.— Its Civil Government: Minuit.—
The Church in the Mill-loft.— Comforters of the Sick.— First Minister : Rev.
Jonas Michaelius.— His Famous Letter.— Mural Tablets to Michaelius and
the Comforters of the Sick.— Relations of the Classis of Amsterdam to the
Colonial Churches.— Seal of the Classis.— Relations of the West India Com-
pany to the Churches.— Ministry of Bogardus.— The title " Domine."— An-
neke Jans.— The Establishment of the Dutch Church.— The Church in the
Fort.— Ministry of Megapolensis at Rensselaerwyck.— Jesuits befriended.—
Tract of Megapolensis on the Mohawks.— Father Jogues' Description of New
Netherland.— English Settlers among the Dutch.— Revs. Francis Doughty
and Richard Denton. — Notes 15-30

Chapter II.— The Church during the Administration of Stuyvesant.— Domine
Backerus.— The Rights of the People.— Megapolensis in New Amsterdam.—
Domine Drisius.— First Latin School.— Churches on Long Island— Fears for
the Future of the Colony.— Opposition to the Lutherans.— Growth of other
Denominations.— Demands of the Lutherans.— Growth of the Reformed
Church. — Persecution of Quakers. — Sabbath and Anti- Liquor Laws.—
Father Le Moyne and his Letter to Megapolensis.— Answer thereto.— Min-
istry of Selyns.— Stuyvesant's Chapel.— Catechetical Ordinance.— Conquest
by the English.— Terms of Surrender.— The Ministers and Churches of New
Netherland.— Letter of Drisius on the Conquest.— Lasting Influence of the
early Dutch Regime. Can the Dutch Church survive? 31-44


Relation of Non-Episcopal Churches of New York to English Ecclesias-
tical Laws, 1664-1708.
Chapter III.— The Church during the Administration of James as Duke of
York, i664-'8s.— The Oath of Allegiance to Great Britain.— Modified Relations
of the American Church to the Church in Holland.— The Relation of the
Dutch to English Ecclesiastical Law.— Resistance to an English Church Es-
tablishment.— The first Decade under English Rule.— James, the Duke, a


Roman Catholic— The Duke's Laws concerning Religion.— Real Design of
their Liberality. — Gradual Extension of these Laws to the whole Colony. —
The Test Act in England.— Reeonquest of New York by the Dutch (1673), and
its Resurrender by the States-General. Are the Articles of the Original
Surrender, concerning Religion, modified thereby ? — Instructions to the Gov-
ernors as to Religion. — Attempt to foist Van Rensselaer, an Episcopalian
Dutchman, on a Dutch Church. — First Ordination in New York. — General
Religious Condition. — Demand for a General [Legislative] Assembly. — Re-
turn of Domine Selyns to New York. — His General Character and Letter to
the Classis. — Warning of the Classis to the Churches as to their Liberty.—
The Charter of Liberties granted by James : Entire Freedom of Religion
allowed. — Real Design of this Liberality. — Notes 45-56

Chapter IV.— The Church during the Administration of James as King — James
II, i685-'88. — Repeal of the Charter of Liberties.— Sudden death of Charles II.
— James becomes King.— His opposition to Popular Assemblies. — The Trans-
mission of the Charter to America, for Record, suspended. — His Secret In-
structions to Governor Dongan Repealing the Charter. — Secret Instructions
as to Religion. — Awkward position of James as a Catholic. — Arrival of Jes-
uits in New York.— Ultimate Result of James' religious policy — the entire
exclusion of Catholics from New York. — Humane Instructions concerning
Indians and Negroes. — Their Baptisms. — Dongan's Report on Religion in
1686. — Delay in announcing the Repeal of the Charter. — Union of New York
and New England. — Downfall of James. — Accession of a Dutch King, Wil-
liam III, to thethrone of England.— Act of Toleration for England. — Episode
of the Leisler Troubles. — James's policy to introduce Catholicism the cause.
— The Dutch Ministers on the side of Order. — Their persecution by Leisler.
— Execution of Leisler. — Exhumation of his body and its arbitrary burial
under the Dutch Church by Governor Bellomont. — French Invasion from
Canada. — Notes 57-65

Chapter V.— The Church during the Reign of William III, in part. i688-'95.—
The Ministry Act. — The Apparent Religious Freedom in New York, as grant-
ed by James, vs. the Regular English Policy of Establishing the Church of
England in the Colonies. — Will New York permit it? — Restoratien of the
Legislative Assembly. — The Test Act extended to the Colonies. — Catholics
not tolerated. — Proposed Acts, to Establish the Church of England, twice
Rejected by the Assembly. — Finally passed after many Amendments and
Limitations. — Text of the Act.— Rejection of the Governor's artfully worded
Amendment. — King's Delay in signing it until after the Charter to the Dutch
Church.- Col. Morris's Account of the Origin of the Act, its Design and Im-
perfections. — The Governor's Perversion of the Act. — His difficulties with
the Civil Vestry appointed under it. — Shall a Dissenter or Churchman be
called under its Provisions?— Doubtful result.— Repairs of the Church in the
Fort for Episcopal Services.— The Assembly Refuses to pay the bills. —
Chaplain John's Miller's plans for the Establishment of the Church of Eng-
land, and the Support of a Bishop in New York. — Religious Statistics. —
Notes 66-78

CHAPTER VI.— The Church during the Reign of William III, continued, i69s'98.
First consequence of the Ministry Act — the Complete Independence of the
Dutch Church of New York.— The Two Church Charters.— The numerical
disparity between the Episcopal and non-Episcopal elements.— Petition of
the Dutch to be allowed to build a church outside the Fort, prepared, 1686,
but not presented.— Possible reasons. — Petition for a Charter. 1688, Refused.
—Site purchased, through Trustees, 1692, and a church building begun, while
the Ministry Act was under discussion. — Two more petitions for a Charter
unsuccessful.— The Governor balked in all his efforts for the Church of Eng-
land.— Church Charter tinally granted to the Dutch, 1696, giving them com-
plete independence in all their affairs. — Synopsis and Extracts of said Char-
ter. — Selyns' letter to the Classis.— The Governor rewarded for the Charter.
— Petition of certain Episcopalians to be allowed to build a church outside
the Fort.— Granted.— Calling of Mr. Vesey.— Appointment of "Managers of


the Church of England" distinct from the "Civil Vestry" of the Ministry
Act. — Petition of said Managers for a Charter for an Episcopal Church,
founding it on the Ministry Act. — Granted. — Difficulty about date of said
Charter, if founded on Ministry Act. — Reasons why no objections were
made to said Charter. — Bishop Perry's remark. — Complete dependence of
the " Church Vestry " on the " City Vestry " for support. — The King's Farm
petitioned for in Trinity's Charter, and subsequently granted. — Significance
of the last sentence in Trinity's Charter.— Failure of that Charter. — Courte-
sies between the Dutch and English ministers. — Notes 79-87

Chapter VII. — The Church during the Reign of William III, continued, and of
Queen Anne, 1698-1708. —Instructions to the Governors. — Bellomont's opinion
of the Ministry Act and of the Charter of the Dutch Church. — Queens County
petition for an Act to support a Dissenting Ministry. —Opposed by Bello-
mont. — Statistics of the Denominations, 1700. — Ministry of the Rev. Godfrey
DelliuS. — Befriends the Jesuits.— His power over the Indians. — His connec-
tion with Fletcher's land grants.— Charges against him and his vindication.
— Roman Catholics in New York in 1700. — Act against Jesuit and Popish
Priests. — Presbyterians in 1700. — Episcopalians in 1700. — Character of Bello-
mont. — Cornbury's opinion of Bellomont and of Legislative Assemblies.—
Impotence of the Ministry Act for the Church of England. — Supplementary
Acts. — Trinity Church re-incorporated, 1704. — Rev. Mr. Vesey's account of
religion in the Province. — Unsuccessful attempt to impose an Episcopalian
on the Church of Kingston. — Opinion of the people of Kings County as to the
interference of the Governor in their church-affairs. — Another Supplemen-
tary Act, 1705, to stiffen up the Ministry Act.— Col. Heathcote's letter on the
religious situation. — Better financial conditions of the Church of England
through the Patent of the King's Farm to Trinity Church, 1705. — Cessation
of legislation in behalf of the Church of England. — Arbitrary conduct of
Cornbury toward Dutch ministers.— His Council against him.— Action of the
Dutch ministers to prosecute him in England. — Disgrace of Cornbury. —
Failure of all efforts to repeal the Ministry Act down to the Revolution. —
Non-application of English Ecclesiastical Laws to New York. — Lawsuits
gained by Dissenters. —Cornbury's oppressions lead to the settlement of the
Raritan Valleys by the Dutch. — The Garden of the Dutch Church. — Charters
for other Dutch Churches. — Notes 88-101


Struggle of the Reformed Church for Ecclesiastical Independence from

Holland, 1708-1792.

Chapter VIII. — Revival and Beginnings of Organization. — The Generation
preceding the Ccetus, i7o8-'47. — Scarcity of Ministers. — A few ordinations in
America. — The Great Awakening. — Influence of Frelinghuysen. — Settle-
ments of Germans on the Hudson and Mohawk. — Care of the Germans in
Pennsylvania by the Church of Holland. — Growth of the Church. — Request
for a Ccetus and the Delay. — Friends and Opponents. — Attempt to unite the
Dutch and German Churches. — Organization of the Ccetus: Beginning of
Independence. — Inefficiency of the Coetus. — Assumes the powers of a
Classis. — Division of the Church. — General Desire for a College. — Dispute
concerning it between Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians. — Trinity
Church donates land for Kings College. — Protest against its sectarian char-
acter.— Seceders from the Coetus sustain it. — Petition for a Dutch Professor
of Divinity in Kings College. — Opposition of William Livingston. — Charter
for Kings College granted, but without the Dutch Professorship. — Attempt
of Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen to secure a Charter for a Dutch College. —
Attempt of Domine Ritzema to secure an amendment to the Charter of
Kings College, for the Dutch Professorship. — Granted, but not recorded. —
Commission of Frelinghuysen to raise funds in Holland. — Censure of Ritze-
ma. — Controversy of the Coetus and Confer en tie. — Notes 102-117


Chapter IX.— Reunion of the Parties.— The American Revolution.— The Amer-
ican Church Constitution.— John H. Livingston.— Consecration of himself to
the Dutch Church.— Studies in Holland.— Proposition to unite the Dutch
and Presbyterian Churches.— Plans for Union of the Ccetus and Conferen-
ce. —Charter for Queens College in New Jersey.— The Fulton Street Church.
Call of Dr. Livingston.— The Union Convention.— Plan of Union approved
by the Classis of Amsterdam.— The Transitional Period, l-jyi-'ga.— Semi-In-
dependence of the Church.— The Divinity Professorship and Queens Col-
lege.— The American Revolution.— Assumption of entire Independence.—
Election of Theological Professors.— Translation of the Doctrine, Liturgy
and Rules of Church Government into English.— Explanatory Articles on
Church Government added.— The Church Constitution adopted, 1792.—
Growth of the Church.— Notes 118-130


The Church with Civil and Ecclesiastical. Freedom.

Chapter X.— General Progress of the Church since 1792.— Brief review.— His-
tory of the Church's Constitution.— Development of her Ecclesiastical Bod-
ies. —Development Of her Educational Institutions.— Development of her
Missionary Boards.— The Work at Home : The recent Immigrant Churches.

—The Work Abroad.— Notes 131-14*

Chapter XL— History of Rutgers College.— Notes 143-161

Chapter XII.— History of the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, N. J.

—Notes 162-185

Chapter X III.— Union College in its Relations to the Reformed Church 186-190

Chapter XIV.— History of Hope College, Holland, Michigan 191-198

Chapter XV.— History of the Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich-
igan 199-207

Chapter XVI.— History of the Board of Education 208-214

Chapter XVIL- -History of Domestic Missions 215-225

Chapter XVIIL— History of The Young People's Societies 226-229

Chapter XIX.— History of Foreign Missions 230-281

CHAPTER XX.— The Alliance of the Reformed Church throughout the World

holding the Presbyterian System 282-284

Chapter XXL— Special Features and Relations.— Union of Federation.— The
Christian Reformed Church 285-289


The Ministry 291-934


The Churches 935-1044


1. Chronological List of the Ministers of the Reformed Church in America.

1628-1903 I0 «

2. Chronological List of the Churches 1073

3. Widows' Fund.— Disabled Ministers' Fund 1082


Collegiate R. D. Church, 5 th Ave. and 48th St Frontispiece

The Church Under tlie Cross: "Asa Lily Among Thorns" 6

Ursinus and Olevianus : Synod of Dort... IO

Tablets to the First Minister and the Comforters of the Sick 20

Seal of the Classis of Amsterdam 22

The Church in the Fort 2 5

Fac-simile of Metallic Plate found in Fulton Street Church, New York 120

Rutgers College M3

Kirkpatrick Chapel x 5 2

Laboratory of the New Jersey State Agricultural Experiment Station 160

Peter Hertzog Theological Hall '73

Gardner A. Sage Library and James Suydam Hall 177

Theological Faculty at New Brunswick, N. J., 1902 182

Graves Library and Winants Chapel, Hope College, Holland, Mich 187

Theological Faculty at Holland, Mich.. 1902 200

Semelink Family Hall, Holland, Mich 206

Two Groups of Ministers of the Collegiate Church 291

Rev. Samuel R. Brown, D.D 344

Rev. John Scudder, D.D., and Wife. 720

Rev. John V. N. Talmage, D.D 77°

Rev. Cornelius V. A. Van Dyck, D.D 822

Rev. Guido F. Verbeck, D.D 875

Present Edifices of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Churches, New York,

A. D. 1902 _ 934

The South Dutch Church, Garden St., New York, Second Building, 1807-1835... 997
The Middle Dutch Church, Nassau St., New York, between Cedar and Liber-
ty Sis., 1729-1844 99 8

The North Dutch Church, Fulton St., New York, 1769-1875 icoo


A. C Amherst College.

A. G Amsterdam Gymnasium.

A. S Andover Seminary.

Al. S Allegheny Seminary.

Arn. C Arnheim College, Holland.

A. R.S Associate Refd. Seminary.

Aub. S Auburn Seminary.

B. C Beloit College.

Bl. Schl. or Sem Bloomfield School or Seminary.

C. C Columbia College.

C.C. N. Y College of the City of New York.

Ch. R. S Christian Refd. Seminary, Grand Rapids.

C. N. J College of New Jersey.

Cor. U Cornell University.

C. U. Columbia University.

C. U. I Central College or University of Iowa

D. C Dickinson College.

Dav. C Davidson College.

Glas. U Glasgow University.

G. R. M. H Ger. Refd. Miss. Home, Sheboygan, Wis.

Gum. G Gumbinnen Gymnasium, Germany.

Gron. Univ Groningen University.

Ham. C Hamilton College.

Hob. C Hobart College.

H. C Hope College.

H. S Hope or Holland Seminary.

Har. U Harvard College or University.

J. C Jefferson College.

L. F. C LaFayette College.

Leyd. U Ley den University.

M. C Middlebury College.

M. U Michigan University.

McCor. Sem McCormick Seminary.

N. B. S Mew Brunswick Seminary.

N. W. S Northwestern Seminary.

N. Y. U. or U. N. Y New York University.

P. S Princeton Seminary.

P. U Princeton University.

Q. C. or R. C Queens College or Rutgers College.

S. A Schenectady Academy.

S. G Stuttgart Gymnasium.

U. C Union College.

U. S Union Seminary.

U. G University of Gratz, Ger.

U. M University of Marburg, Ger.

U. Pa University of Pa.

W. C Williams College.

Ut. U Utrecht University.

W. R.C Western Reserve College.

W. S Western Seminary, Holland, Mich,

Y. C Yale College.

Y. S Yale Seminary.

Y. U Yale University.

Other abbreviations are sufficiently obvious.



The Reformed Church is the technical name of that division of Prot-
estantism which had its rise in Switzerland in 1516 under Zwingli. It
was contemporary with, but independent of, the Lutheran Reformation. It
was subsequently more fully developed and organized under Calvin, with
a distinct type of doctrine and polity. While the name The Reformed
Church was chiefly confined to churches on the Continent, this term also
embraced Protestantism under all its forms in the British Isles. Cranmer
gave doctrinal shape to English Protestantism in the Anglican communion
in the days of Edward VI. (1547-53), being the principal compiler of the
Thirty-nine Articles and the Prayer-book. 2 The persecutions under Mary
(1553-58) drove the best of the English Reformers to Switzerland, whence
some of them brought back the principles which developed into Puritanism,
while John Knox carried back to Scotland with him the principles of Pres-


The fundamental thought of the doctrine of the Reformed Church is the
divine sovereignty. The doctrines of grace, as they are called, are
emphasized. These doctrines are exhibited in the confessions of faith of
each country where the Reformed Church prevailed : in Switzerland in the

Online LibraryEdward Tanjore CorwinA manual of the Reformed Church in America (formerly Ref. Prot. Dutch church), 1628-1902 → online text (page 1 of 134)