Copyright
Julius Friedrich Sachse.

Justus Falckner, mystic and scholar, devout Pietist in Germany, hermit on the Wissahickon, missionary on the Hudson : a bi-centennial memorial of the first regular ordination of an orthodox pastor in online

. (page 6 of 9)
Online LibraryJulius Friedrich SachseJustus Falckner, mystic and scholar, devout Pietist in Germany, hermit on the Wissahickon, missionary on the Hudson : a bi-centennial memorial of the first regular ordination of an orthodox pastor in → online text (page 6 of 9)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


go Dominie Justus Falckner.

the Highlands of the Hudson. Falckner was wont to serve
the former in the summer season, and the latter during the
winter months. During the summer, in addition to his city
charge, he served the congregations at Hackensack, Rari-
tan, Remmerspack, Piscataway, and Elizabethtown in East
New Jersey.

His activity extended along the whole valley of the Hud-
son from New York to Albany and included Loonenburg
(Athens), Klickenberg, Four Mile Point, Coxsackie, Kin-
derhook, Calverack and Phillipsborough. Wherever Dutch
or German Lutherans settled there Dominie Falckner was
found plying his sacred calling. To the above must be
added the German congregations founded after the large
immigration had set in during the early years of Queen
Anne's reign, which were served in their native tongue by
the zealous evangelist.

This latter duty became especially onerous during the
absence of the German Pastor, Rev. Josua Kocherthal, and
his subsequent death in 1719, when the German Lutheran
congregations at Quassaik, Rosenthal, Schawanggunk,
Langen Rack, Newtown, Tarbush, Qjieensbury, Rhine-
beck and Schoharie were all visited by Falckner at more
or less regular intervals.

Among the papers relating to the Palatines, published in
vol. iii. of the " Documentary History of New York," is
found the following notice: '■'■ Litra B. In the Books by
our Church,^' Fol. 28, is to be found that our then minister
Justus Falkenier has baptized Ao 17 10 Ye 19th April in
the house of one of the Trustees, of which Time he has
continued to serve the People there every year without any
Profit of the Glebe."

That these stations were not merely small hamlets or

"On Quassaik Creek in Ulster County.



The Old ^uassaick Church.



91







M






92



Dominie Justus Falckner.



isolated farm-houses, is shown by the entries in his register,
as he frequently upon the same occasion baptized five, six,
eight, nine or ten children. A personal account of his
ministrations has fortunately been preserved to us in
Biorck's Dissertatio Gradualis, before mentioned, pub-
lished in SwAlen, 1731.

Biorck there states : " The care of these churches [the
Dutch Lutheran Churches in New York] was therefore
[after the illness of Dominie Rudman] committed to




ANCIENT ARMS OF NEW YORK.



Magister Justus Falckner, a German, and the planting of
them brought forth, after some time, so plentiful a harvest
that seven churches successively ordained in the same way
might be enumerated, as Falckner intimates in a letter to
Magister Sandel, dated New York, September 28, 1715.
" In the Jerseys, there I visit three small Lutheran con-
gregations '' living a great distance one from the other, all

"'These congregations were in Bergen County along the Hudson, and
evidently do not include those on the Raritan, which were ministered to
by his brother Daniel.



Serves Seven C/iurc/ies.



93



these three consist of about one hundred communicants,
the most poor people and poor settlers.

" In the Province of New York I serve four small Lu-
theran congregations, & all these four consist in all of about
one hundred constant communicants, besides strangers
going & coming in the city of N. York, so that in all I
have seven congregations, whom to serve I must yearly
travel about twelve hundred English miles."



r— iin< av3

DISSERTATIO GRAUUAUS,

PLANTATIONE

ECCLESI/E SVECAN/E

AMERICA,

QUAM,

Affr^nte ^mpl. Senatu Pht/o/opb. at
Rfgio Upfal. Aibmso,

PR£SIDE,
t^lRO ^mphsfima aiqut CeUbcmmt

Mag. ANDREA

Elh. & Polic Prof. Reg. & Ord

la Audit. Gu[t. Maj. d. 14 Juo.

Alt. MOCCXXXI.

tsamiiiandtm modiflt fi/lil

Tobias E Biorck.

AMIBICANO'DALtlARLUS.

UPSAlIa Uteris Wk&nuuamu.



Biorck then adds, "Thus these men were punctual
enough in meeting, although scattered far and wide.
Moreover :

"Mr. Kocherthal resideth as yet for the most time in
one place on Hudson's River, but visiteth two places on
the other side of the river, where particular Lutheran con-
gregations meet. He has been as yet but once with those
Lutheran Palatines that live in the Mohacks' country.

"We have brought forward these things so much out



94



Do7ninie Justus Falckner.



of our way, in order to make it clear that the splendor of
the Gospel had already shone in such various places of
America."

To reach these widely separated stations was a serious
question. No regular conveyances existed ; the only means
of^intercourse was either by canoe on the water courses or
on horseback through the almost trackless forest, unpro-
tected from the elements and exposed to the dangers from
wild beasts and a treacherous savage. Still, even these
dangers failed to deter this pioneer missionary from his
path of duty.

Great as was this widespread field of his ministrations,
we have records that he, in addition, found time to extend
his labors and spread the Gospel among the negro slaves
in the colony, as well as the Indians who still remained in
the vicinity.




^/^^A^x: ^«5:^Ji/




'2-s - i^^



SEAL OF DOMINIE JUSTUS FALCKNER (ENLARGED).




CHAPTER X.



Falckner's Church Records.



(^^HE old church records and
^^ registers of the vener-
able Trinity Lutheran Church
(now St. Matthew's at the cor-
ner of Broome and Elizabeth
Streets) give us the best insight
into the untiring energy and
piety of Justus Falckner.

It is indeed fortunate that
these records have been pre-
served to the present genera-
tion. They were saved from
destruction during the great
conflagration in 1776 by the heroism of the pastor, who
rescued them from the burning parsonage at the peril
of his life ; after which they were securely placed in the
cellar of the new church, and were forgotten until found
by chance a few years ago ; and now by the courtesy of
the Reverend John Henry Sieker, the pastor of the church,
they have been placed at the disposal of the present writer.
Dominie Falckner evidently considered the Church Book
of the New York congregation as his official register, and

(95)




96 Dominie Justus Falckner.

copied his ministerial acts upon its pages, irrespective of
where they were administered.

This interesting relic had been procured some time
previous to the arrival of Dominie Falckner, as is shown by
a memorandum or two in pastor Rudman's handwriting.
No effort seems to have been made by the latter to keep a
separate record of his ministerial acts in New York, and
they were without doubt entered upon the records of the
Wicacoa church, which was his official station.

It was consequently left to Justus Falckner to open the
church register of the Trinity Lutheran congregation in
New York. This book is the oldest systematic Lutheran
record in America, and is in the unmistakable handwriting
of the pastor.

On the first page it states that " this is the Church Regis-
ter {Kerckcn-Boeclc) of the Christian Apostolic Protestant
Lutheran Congregation, according to the unaltered Con-
fession of Augsburg, in New York, and the other thereto
belonging places in America."

Then follows a brief list of contents :

" An inventory of books and papers belonging to the Church, folio 3.

" Baptismal Record {Doop Register'), folio 79a.

" Register of such persons as partook for the first time with our Chris-
tian Apostolic Protestant Lutheran Congregation of the Holy Sacrament,
folio 87*.

" Register of such as have been dismissed by the congregation, folio 109.

" Register of such as were married by the pastors of said congregation,
folio 145.

" Burial Register, folio 1S5.

" Register of Church Officers, folio 316.

"Justus Falckner, Saxo-Germano nf. Eccla. Orthodox Lutheran Belvic
Nov-Eboraci in America, Pastor."

To the historian the most interesting item on the above
page is the reference to an inventory of church papers, then
(1704) in possession of the corporation. They consisted



3)
ftl

tn

H

CO
O

m

z

tn



z
m

o

33
7;



I

m

CD

m
O

z
z
z



H
I
m

X

<



o
m

z

H
C
X

■<



j^'



r, -i ■



.^Oif



fc^ - . ■ Y *



.">—




I

s

m

o

>

n

o

"Tl

o
o



c
en
H
C
CO



o
:^

z
m
33



o

,0

'CO



.vy~ - ■ .■ ^i>j»^ -; ,r ...- ,' ;w«^%



' :-^:



■^9.



imi



^.lL.



Church Book.



97




a
o

»
o

a:
w

o
so







p8 Dominie Justus Falckncr.

of several bundles or packages of documents, and were
labelled " Church papers," Packet I., II., etc., respectively.
These documents have long since disappeared ; the only
record of them which has came down to us being Falck-
ner's inventory in the Kercken-Boeck.

Among the itemized list. Packet No. II. would be of
exceeding interest if it were still in existence, as it con-
tained among other documents, the following :
Item No. 5. — The congregational call of Justus Falckner.
" 6. — Rudmann's letter to Falckner, and Falck-

ner's reply and acceptance.
" 8. — A personal report from Falckner to Rud-

mann.
" p. — The engrossed Diploma of ordination
granted to Justus Falckner, and signed
by the three Swedish pastors on the
Delaware.
These documents were deposited by Justus Falckner
with the congregation upon his acceptance of the charge.
A fac-simile of this diploma was given in a previous
chapter.

The body of the book is divided, as the table of contents
indicates, into six divisions. Reference has already been
made to Dominie Falckner's first entry and votum.

The first ministerial act recorded was a baptism admin-
istered in the barn of Cornelius van Boskerk at Hacken-
sack in East Jersey, on Monday, February 27, 1704.
Upon this occasion were baptized three children after a
full morning service. On April 17, following, which was
Easter Monday, Falckner baptized a daughter of Pieter A.
van Boskerk in the church at New York. These four
baptisms were entered upon the register at the same time
in the Low Dutch language, with the following voium:



Baptismal Record. 99

"O Lord! Lord, let this child, together with the three
above written Hackensack Children, be and remain en-
grossed upon the book of life, through Jesus Christ.
Amen."

Almost every one of Falckner's entries closes with a
short prayer or votum for the future welfare of the person

m 9Vt^ ucrri?! /scam. CtdM. ,j^%&tu\icc en cc-^^krc '^^&i4^L

^' %^,j:^5r^XiSi"^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^

OlJiM'^^^Y^ u^a.^e^ cJUlrfin, cMztOy ^m CM&TOOcr^W



"-■■%"■

FACSIMILE OF EARLIEST BAPTISMAL RECORD.

mentioned ; showing the deep interest this devout shepherd
took in the spiritual welfare of his flock, irrespective of
their nationality or social position. Dutch, English, Ger-
man, Negro and Indian all lost their individuality with this



lOO



Dominie Justus Falckner.



pious evangelist, whose only aim and object it was to ex-
tend the Church of Christ in the wilds of America, accord-
ing to the precepts of the Augsburg Confession.

The following short prayers follow the respective bap-
tisms during the first year of his ministration :




SECTION OF OLD MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
DURING DOM. JUSTUS FALCKNER'S TIME : NO. I9, CHURCH AND

parsonage; no. 28, lot where trinity p. e.
church was built.

" O God, let this child be and remain a child of salvation
through Christ. Amen."

" Lord, let this child also remain forever within thy
everlasting grace and favor, through Christ. Amen."

" O God, let this child be included and remain in thy
eternal favor, through Christ."

" O Lord, we commend this child unto thee, for both



Baptizes English Children.



i(ii; .,



temporal and eternal welfare, through Christ. O my G6d,'^
may this child be and remain a member of thy kingdorfi of'
grace and glory, through Christ. Amen."

The baptism of children of English parents was usually
recorded in the English language.







SECTION OF MAP OF 174O SHOWING LOCATION OF TRINITY LUTHERAK

CHURCH DEDICATED BY DOM. DANIEL FALCKNER , JUNE 29, I729.

13, LUTHERAN CHURCH. 12, TRINITY P. K. CHURCH.

" Baptized d. lo Octobr, 1704 in ye House of Mr. Wil-
liam Chambers, Richard, son of Mr. William Chambers en
his wife Sarah, born d. 10 ditto.

" Bless, O Lord, this child also with everlasting happi-
ness, through Christ Jesus. Amen.

"Anno 1707, the i, Juni [literal transcript], being
Whitsunday, baptized, in our Lutheran Church at Al-



I02 Dominie Justus Falckner.

ba'ny,*" Elizabeth, young daughter of Lieutenant Richard
Brewer & Catherine his wife, born the ii of March of
this year. Godfather was Lieut : Henry Holland, God
mother Madam Elisabeth Weems and Mrs. Margareta
Kollnis.

" Grant, O Lord, that this Childt never cast away the




grace which thou has Schworn, yea given by the Covenant
of Baptism trough Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Among the many interesting items in the baptismal
register is the following :

In the year 1705 were baptized a daughter of Are of
Guinea, a negro, and his wife Jora, both Christian mem-
bers of the congregation. Falckner concludes with this
votum :

" Lord, merciful God, who lookest not upon the person,
but from whom different creatures that fear thee and do
right find favor, let this child be clothed in the white robe

'"The first Lutheran Church in Albany, fronted on Pearl Street, be-
tween Howard and Beaver, long since known as Centre Market.



First Communicants. 103

of innocence and righteousness, and so remain through the
grace of Christ, the Saviour of all mankind. Amen."

One of the most impressive incidents during Dominie
Falckner's pastorate in New York occurred on Easter Sun-
day, 1708. It was a clear, bright April day with the har-
bingers of spring singing in the air, and the warm sun
calling all vegetation once more to put on its garb of ver-

J^ 7 o ^



7acra







RECORD OF FIRST COMMUNICANTS.



dure ; indeed a typical Paschal day, when all nature seemed
to rejoice.

The church was decorated with budding boughs and
spring flowers. The Paschal candles burned brightly on
either side of the crucifix upon the altar, all indicative of
he glorious resurrection to be celebrated.

It was, however, a gala day in the church independent



I04 Dominie Justus Falckner.

of its being one of tiie most joyous festivals. The full
order of morning service ( Hauft-gottcsdciiist) was com-
pleted, to the reading of the last collect, when a baptism
somewhat out of the ordinary course was administered.
The candidate was a Carolina Indian, who was a slave
held b}' Peter Woglam.

When the former first expressed a wish to become a
Christian, it became a question whether if he were admitted
to the Church he could still be held in bondage and treated
as a slave. The master naturally objected, in the fear that
he might lose his servant. The Indian, however, settled
the question by stating that he was willing to remain in
servitude in this world, provided he was assured that he
would be free and equal in the skies beyond.

Dominie Falckner, when he heard of the circumstances,
examined the Indian, found him sincere, and concluded to
accept him, and instructed him in the catechism and the
tenets of the faith.

Upon the Sunday in question, after the holy Eucharist
had been celebrated, the Indian slave, after having been
duly prepared, was called up before the altar and publicly
catechised in presence of the congregation by the pastor
and wardens. He was then asked by Dominie Falckner
whether he solemnly promised before the omnipotent Lord
and this Christian congregation that he would, after he
was received into the Church, continue to serve his worldly
master and mistress as faithfully and truly as if he were
yet in his benighted state.

Upon the Indian giving his solemn promise that he
would, Dominie Falckner proceeded to baptize him, after
he had driven out the spirit of evil with the ancient exor-
cism according to the Lutheran ritual : " Darnni, du ver-
maledcyter Teufcl, crkennc dcin urihcil, etc."



Stipend.



105




p^ fifty Shillings, (No>/o6'L

' athalf a farthing per diem Int.

THis Indented Bill of Fifty Shil-
lings^ due from the Colony
of New- York, to thePofsefsor there-
of fhall be in value equal to Money,
8c fliall be accordingly accepted by
the Treafurer ot this Colony, for the
time being, inall pubJick Payments,
and for any Fund at any time in the
Treafury. Dated, Neu?'Tc?r;!!, the \fi
o( November^ »709' by order of the
Lieut. Governor, council & General
Afsembly of the faid ^lony^




SPECIMEN OF MONEY IN WHICH DOMINIE FALCKXER's
STIPEND WAS PAID.



io6 Domtnie Justus Falckner.

The name given to the new convert was " Thomas
Christian." The ceremony closed with the invocation by
the Dominie: "That the Lord would henceforth cause
this unbelieving Tho7nas to become a believing Christian."
The morning service closed with the benediction.

History is silent as to the fate of this poor Indian slave
who thus voluntarily embraced the Christian faith. Pre-
sumably he continued to serve his master and mistress, ac-
cording to his solemn promise, with the same fidelity as
before. Whether his bonds were ever relaxed, or whether
his subsequent treatment was worse we do not know.

A somewhat similar ceremony was performed at Albany
four years after the above. The convert in this instance
was a negro slave. The entry in the old register reads :

"Anno 1712, January 27, baptized at Loonenburg in
Albany, Pieter Christian, a Negro and slave of Jan van
Loons of Loonenburg, about thirty years of age. He has
promised among other things that he will hereafter, as well
as he has done before, faithfully serve his master and mis-
tress as servant.

" Grant, O God, that this black and hard Negro-heart be
and remain a Christian heart, and he may be numbered
among those who are clothed with white raiment before
the throne of the Lamb, through the merits of the Lamb
of God who bore the sins of the world. Amen."

Under date of February 28, 17 10, Dominie Falckner
records the baptism of Louisa Abigail, daughter of Pastor
Josua Kocherthal and his wife Sibylla Charlotta.

Among the many curious entries in the baptismal record,
the following is interesting as it illustrates the orthodoxy
of the Dominie. It appears that during his absence two
members of his church called upon the English Episcopal
minister, Rev. John Sharpe, to baptize their children.



1703-MEMORIAL OF DOM. JUSTUS FALCKNER-1903.




N, ESQ., PMOTO.



SWEDISH CHURCHES ON THE DELAWARE.

ROCKS SHOW SITE OF FORT BUILT BY MINUET 1638. THE CHURCH STOOD WITHIN THE ENCLOSURE (wILMINGTOn).
MONUMENT ON SITE OF CRANEHOOK CHURCH, 1667-1699. ON BANKS OF DELAWARE, NEW EDEN PARK.



Marriage.



107



^



This fact evidently pained him deeply, as will be seen from
the appended votum :

" Nov. 30, 1712. During my absence]^Mr. John Sharpe"
baptized the young daughter of Christian Streit," named,
Maria Magdalena, born in New York, etc.

"December 28, 1712. Also baptized by Mr. Sharpe,
the 3'oung daughter of Johann Phillip Tays, named Chris-
tine Elizabeth, born in New York, etc.











FAC-SIMILE OF DOMINIE PALKNER S ENTRY OF HIS MARRIAGE.

" Lord, Lord God ! Merciful, gracious and forbearing, of
great mercy and consideration, which thou showest unto
us in a thousand ways by forgiving us our offences, tres-

" The Rev. John Sharpe, a clergyman of character and ability, was one
of the early clergy upon, the rolls of the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel in Foreign Parts. His chief station under the society was in
East Jersey. Prior to this he appears to have been stationed in Maryland,
probably under orders of the Bishop of London. (Nichols to Stubs —
Perry's Historical Collections, vol. iv., pp. 54, 349). But little is known
of this clergyman. Upon the rolls of the venerable society' he is entered
as having been sent out in 1704, after which his career, so far as the society
goes, seems to be a blank, for immediately after his name and date is
entered " resigned." According to the above entry by Dominie Falckner,
he was still performing religious rites as late as 1712. Another account
names him as a chaplain at New York. The diary of Rev. Sharpe is now
in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

'* Christian Streit, a grandson of this man was ordained to the Lutheran
ministry together with Muhlenberg's two younger sons, at Reading, Oc-
tober 25, 1770. See Hallisc/ic Nack., new ed., 633.



io8



Domim'e Justus Falchier.



passes and sin, let not one of the above standing names be
blotted out from thy book [on account of having been bap-
tized by a minister of a different faith], but let them be
therein written and remain there through Jesus Christ, thy
beloved Son. Amen." ^^

In the marriage record the following personal announce-
ment is perhaps the most interesting :

Under date May 26, 1717. "On Rogate Sunday did




Reverend William Vesey, commissary and preacher of the
English Church in New York, on a license of his Excel-
lency Robert Hunter, at the time Governor of this Province,

" Heere, Heere Gott, Barmheriig ende Genadig endc Lanckmaedtg ende
van groote Genade ende Tromve, di Ghy beivyst in duysetif leeden ende
veigeeft misdaad^ oi'cn/reedinge ende Soude^ laat dock niet een Tan de
borien staande naamen nyi it Bock uytgcdeigi zvoordfenj maar laat $e daarin
geschreewen syn en blyz'en door Jesum Christum, invcn lieven Soon. Amen.



Children. 109

Me, Justus Falkner, pastor of the Protestant Lutheran con-
gregation, in my house in little Qiieen street in New York,
marry and consecrate in the bonds of holy matrimony with
the honorable virgin, Gerritge Hardick, born in the Prov-
ince of New York, County Albany.

" I leave you not, you bless me then. Amen."
Three children blessed this union : Anna Catherina,
born in New York, July 17, 1718 ; baptized in the church
on July 20 ; and Sara Justa, born at Loonenburg, May
5, 1720; baptized May 8; married Niclas van Hoesan,
December 22, 1738; Benedictus, a son, born April, 1723;
baptized at Calverack, April nth.

In June, 17 17, a letter of thanks was sent to the Amster-
dam Consistory for aid and assistance rendered the strug-
gling congregations in the valley of the Hudson. The
original document, signed by Dominie Justus Falckner,
and sealed with his coat of arms, is still preserved in the
archives of the old Lutheran Church at Amsterdam. Fol-
lowing is a verbatim translation :

New York, June 12, A° 1717.

Respective Very Reverend, Reverend, God Devoted,
Highly and Very learned. Highly and Very Respectable,
Highly and Very honored Lords and Brethren in Christ.

When one of our Brethren, by the name of Johan
Michael Schiitze, was in Holland on his own business last
year, he, from the zeal and Christian affection towards our
true Religion of which he is possessed, prayed your assis-
tance for a new church here in New York.

And you, being filled with and rich in that true charity
the nature and character of which is tireless, have, in com-
pliance with his said prayer, presented him with One hun-
dred Dutch Guilders. We herewith render you, in duty



no Dominie Justus Falckner.

bound, our heartfelt thanks for this beneficence and others
received from you, with the assurance that we shall take all
possible care to deport and show ourselves good Stewarts
of your charity. And that we shall not cease heartily to
wish and pray that our Emanuel may be a Shield and
great Reward unto you and his congregation under you ;
craving that we ever may have the honor to call ourselves,
to sign and to be

Respective, Very Reverend, Reverend, etc., Your
grateful, sincere and faithful Brethren,

(Signed) Justus Falckner, Past. Eccle. etc.

PlETER WOGLOM,

Baeren van Hooren,
pleter van lopperse,
johannis logransie,
Charel Beckman.
Address
to
the Reverend Highly laudable
Consistorium and Church Council
of the unaltered Confession of
Augsburg in Amsterdam, at Amsterdam.

In the performance of the arduous duties called for by
his widely extended field of labor, the Dominie had but
little time for rest or the enjoyment of home life. Forced
as he was to be away from wife and babes for weeks and
months at a time, his lot was by no means a sinecure, and
to make matters worse, so beloved was he that the people,
wherever he happened to be, were loth to see him depart
for his next station, and would exact promises for a speedy
return.

In their attempt to secure his services, the various con-
gregations even went further, and provided glebe houses



Visited by Dominie Sandcl. iii

that should be ready at all times for the pastor and his


1 2 3 4 6 8 9

Online LibraryJulius Friedrich SachseJustus Falckner, mystic and scholar, devout Pietist in Germany, hermit on the Wissahickon, missionary on the Hudson : a bi-centennial memorial of the first regular ordination of an orthodox pastor in → online text (page 6 of 9)