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

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So much I learn from the correspondence of that sainted
man, that this praedicani applied to him is true : that he is
an arch-ignoramus, who neither knows how to write Ger-

126 Dominie Justus Falckner.

man — nor to spell correctly, even though he defends him-
self with the statement that the apostles of the Lord were
fishermen and uneducated persons. As he was asked if
he understood Latin, he took the proffered book and said :

" God be thanked, this I understand, the beautiful Latin."

When he attempted a syncretical signature, taking that
of Dominie Falckner as an example, he wrote thus :

" Johann Bernhard van Dieren faster Ecclie Jesu Christi
et Luthcray

The above letter is from his correspondence with the
congregation in Schohari which had waited so long for a
pastor from England, who, although ordained in London
by the Rev. Consistorial Privy Counsellor Mentzer, im-
mediately afterwards, ab criminc dicto soldo, had to run
away, and later committed suicide by hanging in Holstein.

Thereby he appears to have paved his way to the min-
istry. Thus I find two letters from Schohari in the year
1721, dated May 21 and 26 — Herein they report to
Dom. Falckner that they are informed that a High Ger-
man pastor for them has arrived in New York. Further
that he has already delivered a sermon there, which
pleased them well. From the above it is surmised that he
[Van Dieren] was the conscrificnt, and notwithstanding
that three signatures appear to each letter, they do not ap-
pear to conform or to be by the same hands. They further
state that when he was asked who had sent him to them,
the reply was that it was Dom. Boehme in England. They
also had heard that he was a tailor, but they did not mind
this, provided Dominie Falckner would examine and ordain
him. The most remarkable thing about this matter is that
Dominie Falckner should have taken any personal interest
in furthering this matter.

I also find two Latin letters dated July 3, 172 1 — one from

opposition of Sivedish Pastors. 127

Jonas Lidman Praepositus Wicacoa, in Philadelphia;
the other from Andr. Hesselius pastor at Christiana, also
in Pennsylvania, by which it is shown that the said Falck-
ner interested himself for Van Dieren, so that he might
be ordained by the three Swedish pastors.

The latter sent a prolix and solid letter in contraritim,
from which I enclose an extract which treats particularly
of Van Dieren's application.^^

Upon the failure of this scheme, he went to a Palatine
preacher in Pennsylvania'*' (if this be true) from whom it is
claimed that he obtained an attestation Ordinationis ; but
no one has thus far been able to get a sight of it.^^

Further, after his return he continued to importune
Dominie Falckner to ordain him. In the meantime he
settled in Schohari, while boasting of his ordination. In
presence of Dominie Falckner, when asked why he had
concealed this from him, he replied :

"The Devil had blinded him, and he had shed bloody
tears, regretting that he had lied to him."

As soon as he had established himself there, he began to
break the bread in the Holy Communion, and in his sermon
even ordered such as objected to this to leave the church.

Accordingly, some fifty-two members of the congrega-
gation wrote to Dominie Falckner, and as the latter called
him to account, he answered with a deal of absurd talk,
in which he said :

" I adhere to the words of Christ, and all those who do
otherwise than Christ commanded shall starfd in judgment
either here or hereafter."

*^ Vide, pp. 111-112, sufra.

*' For a full and authentic account of Rev. Gerhard Henkell and Van
Dieren's actions in Pennsylvania, see Rev. T. E. Schmauk's " History of
the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, 163S-18S0."

^^Vide, p. 134.

128 Dominie Justus Falckner.

Dominie Hesselius was not alone in giving this person
a bad -pronosticon. Another one of his friends, after de-
fending him for his bread-breaking and speaking of him
with great praise, let this sentence slip into a letter dated
Feby. 20, 172^ :

" If his heart is as his mouth speaketh, so it stands well
with him. If it is falsehood then I hope that it will not last
long, and he must come to shame and ruin."

Alas ! the congregation at Schohari is now totally scat-
tered and he had to leave there some years ago ; the
church as well as the parsonage there has become a spoil
for the Reformed of that locality.

The few who still remain keep to the Reformed. In the
year 1723 the Lutherans on the Hudson River had in mind
to call this J. B. Van Dieren. The plan was, however,
abandoned after a consultation with Dominie Falckner.
Now as he found that he could meet with no success here
in New York, he went to the Reformed at Tappan and
offered to preach the Gospel of Christ unto them, as Christ
had commanded. Whereupon they took him to Dominie
Anthonides on Long Island, to discover whether he was of
the Evangelical Lutheran or Reformed faith. As thus far
I have not received any account of this act from the mouth
of Dominie Anthonides, I will not repeat the current
rumors, though I learn them from trustworthv men."

In the meantime, as he was not able in a single instance
ad interim to intrude himself here, he moved to Hacken-
sack, as he travels around wherever there may happen to

"It is strange that in all of this controversy about an ordination for
Van Dieren no mention is made upon the Reformed side officers of Peter
Tesschenmaeker, a voung licensed bachelor of divinity — ordained in New-
York, 1679 — Thirty years later Anthonides and Du Bois refused to be a
party to a similar ordination. Vide "A Manual of the Reformed Church
in America," by Rev. E. T. Corwin, D.D., New York, 1902, p. 52.




















A^pfeul to Consistory. 129

be a church without a pastor, whether Evangelical, Luth-
eran or Reformed.

I may mention that his father-in-law looked at me trust-
ingly and asked, as I delivered my first sermon, that I
would permit him to fill my pulpit and preach in the after-
noons and when I happened to be in Albany.

It is reported that since my arrival he still preaches in
one of the Van Buskerkes' houses. Although the Van Bus-
kerkes themselves come to hear my preaching, they ex-
cuse themselves by saying that he was invited there prior
to my coming. But neither he [Van Buskerke] nor his
household came to me to join in our communion, when the
whole congregation partook of the Communion eight days

Accordingly I beseech your Right Worshipful and Most
Honorable Reverences, with all proper respect, that you
will kindly consider and take to heart the pitiful condition
of my congregation ; and even if I am to suffer poverty, for
which I shall have the sympathy of all friends both exalted
and lowly, I trust they will come to my aid, so that the
Ev. Lutheran Church here shall not succumb, which with-
out assistance is unavoidable, unless God should perform a

Further, I beg of you for advice as to how I shall con-
duct myself toward Van Dieren, particularly if he attempts
as a wolf to break in among my sheep.

Lastly, I think to repeat my own and the church coun-
cil's objection against Johann Sybrand's demands and pre-
tentions. I trust that your Right Worshipful Consistory
will give its decision accordingly. This man shows a
thoroughly wicked heart. He professes to be a consistent
Lutheran. Now it has come to light that he has no religion,
as during his whole lifetime he has never once partaken of

130 Dommie Justus Falckncr.

our communion, and now he even proclaims publickl}' that
God's Word is preached by others just as well.

Notwithstanding his enormous bill for provisions in Am-
sterdam and England, as true as God lives I have had to
suffer and have almost died, as this Captain Serley will
himself testify. During the voyage there was no surplus of
anything except brandy and whiskey, wherewith during
the whole voyage he treated the ship's crew, as he now
sets forth upon my account.

The bills, of which I send you the originals, will plainly
show you his character, and even these were only gotten
from him after much trouble. At first he refused to let any
one see either of the invoices or present his bill until a reso-
lution was passed that he should again be sent out, and
what he was to receive for his trouble.

Thereupon he demanded £4 monthly as pay, and seven
Holland florins weekl}^ as spending money. Eventually
he presented this bill after he had changed the values to
the Holland standard, although in our findings he ac-
counted for the collection funds in German monej^.

The counter charges were made up from my journal
according to the time and of what we approved, and I truly
believe that even here he was too greatly favored. Al-
though I depend entirely upon your Right Worshipful
Consistory that all wrong will be redressed, we shall ac-
count ourselves very beholden to your reverences if you
will trouble yourselves with this matter.

Lastly, I must remind your Right Worshipful and Most
Reverend sirs, as our people appear so tardy about com-
mencing the building, whether it would not be policy for
the Right Worshipful Consistory to inform us if we have
any funds on deposit in Holland, or if we should look
elsewhere for aid. We will then send a plan of the pro-

Abrupt Close of Missive.


posed building, and will promise to bring it to completion
according thereto.

I trust that your Right Worshipful and Most Reverend
sirs will hereby see the honesty of my intentions, which
are not intended for my own, but for the glorj^ of the
church, and that I be not mistaken in my appeal whereby
the richest blessings of God. *****

[Here the missive comes to an abrupt close, as the last
page is missing.]

The following pastoral explains itself. It was sent to the
Hackensack congregation, upon Berkenmeyer's complaint
that the)' had accepted Van Dieren as a pastor. This
letter is of great importance, as it affords a positive proof of
Dominie Rudman's appointment as Vice Bishop for Penn-
sylvania, under the signature of all the resident Swedish
clergy on the Delaware.







1 :! ^^


I" .^"i


The Swedish Pastoral to Hackensack, N. J.

Honoured Vestry-Men oj the
Congregatio7i atUakinsack,
dearly beloved Frie^ids.^
We the Swedes Ministers in
this Colony,'*' have got your
Letter, in the which you
are pleased, dearly beloved
Friends, to propose to us
your Complaints against yb/^w
Bernhard Van Dieren, whom
ye have taken to be your
Teacher, asking for our Coun-
sel in this Matter.

For the ist ye are pleased
to inform us. That he omits
all the Christian Ceremonies of our Evangelical Church,

5° Pages 70 to 91 of the Berkenmeyer pamphlet reprint Verbatim et
literatim. This copy was obtained through the courtesy of William C.
Lane, Esq., Librarian of Harvard College Library.

5'Wicaco (Gloria Dei, Philadelphia), Christiana (Trinity, Wilmington,
Delaware), Pennsneck (St. George's, Salem County, N. J.), Racoon

{ 13^)






Statement of Swedish Pastors. 133

introducing new ones, as breaking the Bread at the Ad-
ministration of the Holy Sacrament, confessing that never
himself has taken it otherways, neither will alter his Mind,
about this Matter, for the Time to Come. And by such
his doings, several Persons are departed from this World
without taking the Sacrament, for this oneley Reason.

For the 2d. That John Bernhard Van Dieren has
made very absurd Church Constitutions, in the wich he
proposes what he will have his Hearers do, forgeting his
own Duty towards the Congregation ; and being Blas-
phemious in those oppose against his Absurdities. Never-
theless himself transgresses his own Laws.

For the j^f. He has saught for to make some Differ-
ences in Mr. Berckenmeyers Congregation at Albany, and
he for all is a Minister of Christ lawfully called, ordained
and sent. And for such his doings he is of the Vestry ex-
cluded from serving your Church any longer, except he
will come before us Swedes Ministers and answer to these
Complaints. But he replys. That we are his Enemies, and
so not willing to come, using other Means to get into the
Church by Help of a Widow, and Constituting a new
Vestry, which upon these Occasions may sute him.

For the ^tJi. We understand, that he gos about to other
Congregations, not uniting but destroying them.

For the sth. Ye have sent us an Extract of the Lutheran
Consistorium at Amsterdam, and their Judgment about this

The Swedish Lutheran Church in Lower Penn's Neck, Salem Co., N.
J., was built on ground given by Jean Jaquett, January 8, 1715. The build-
ing of the church was immediately commenced, but not completed until
March 31, 1717. It was of logs twenty-four feet square and weather-
boarded. This was replaced in 1808 by the present substantial brick
church, as the original one had fallen into decay. The church was trans-
ferred into the Protestant Episcopal fold by Rev. John Wade in 1789 when
the first Vestry was chosen.

134 Dominie Justus Falckner.

John Bernard Van Diercn, how unfit a Person he is for
serving the Church of God.

These, as we perceive, are the Contents of your Letter.
And verily we cannot but pity your Condition.

For the ist. Ye did do very 111, dearly beloved Friends,
in taking up with such a pretended Minister ; because if
ordained, it is not done lawfully. He was with us about
his Ordination, but we denied it him, for two Reasons.
First, that we had not such Authority, that we could ordain
Ministers. Mr. Rudman indeed did ordain Mr. Falckner,
the late Minister of the Lutheran Congregation at New-
York; but he was made aSuffragane, or a Vice-Bishop by
the Arch-Bishop of Sivccdland.

For the second. That we thought him not qualified for
that Sacred Function. Seeing now that he could not get
Ordination by us, he gos up to Mr. Hinckler,^' living
about Manatanien,^^ and by him, some how was ordained

is likely enough. But yet when Mr. Lidiiian once was
with Mr. Hinekler, and among other things did ask him
about Van Dieren his Ordination, he protested then. That
Van Dieren was never ordained by him. However Mr.
Lidman has no Witness, but will take his Oath before any
Magistrate, that he heard Mr. Hinekler say such a Thing.
In the mean Time do ye think, dearlj' beloved Friends,
that Mr. Hinekler (God knows what he hath to shew for
his Ordination of Ministers) could ordain him alone, and
we four Swedes Ministers, sent hither by Royal and Epis-

''Rev. Gerhard Henkell, vide Schmaiik, "Lutheran Church in Penn-
sylvania, 163S-1800," pp. \ifyct seq.

Reasons for Refusal. 135

copal Power, by the Consent of two Kingdoms, and
farthermore recommended by the Venerable Society for
Propagating the Gospel in foreign Parts, could not ? And
if he will say, That this was done in Case of Necessity, we
deny that too ; because we have Vessels yearly and


monthl}' going for Eurofc, whether he could come, get
necessary Learning, be lawfully called, examined, ordained
and sent ; and not get his Ordination by a single Minister,
contrary to the Scripture, and likewise the Canons and

136 Dominie Justus Falckner.

Ecclesiastical Constitutions of the Church. Mr. Hesselius,
our late Prjepositus did write a Letter ^* to Mr. Falckner
aforenamed, in the which he proposes the Reasons, why
this Van Diercn could not be ordained by us, and we be-
lieve, is yet in being, and therefore desire it ma}' be trans-
lated into your Dutch Tongue, and read in your Congre-
gations, that ye may see whatsoever his Proceedings have
been. He says farther, that we are his Enemies. And
we truely declare, that we hate not his Person, but his
Deeds, being no more Enemies to him than the Apostle
St. Peter was to Simon, when he gave him a good Coun-
sel, perswading him to better Behaviours. Being a Tay-
lor, we perswaded him to keep to his Trade, and leave the
sacred Office to more fit Persons, or get himself through
lawful Means. But he would take his own way. And
ye now, dearly beloved Friends, see the Issue of it. We
also disown him to be a Minister of Christ, and likewise to
be our Brother in the sacred function in order to our Evan-
gelical Church.

For the 2d. As leaving out the Ceremonies and Holy
Prayers used so long Time, and with so great Edification
in the Church of God, and making new ones, we highly
dislike. Belonging his breaking the Bread at the Holy
Sacrament, it is in it self an indifferent thing, if the Church
had so constituted it we might as well break the Bread, as
use Wafers ; but a single Minister and a single Congrega-
tion ought not to take upon themselves to alter the Cere-
monies and make new ones.

For the 3d. That he is so busie to go about to other
People and make Differences in Mr. Berkenmeyers Con-
gregation, is a great Sin. But he that is unjust in one
thing, is also in others. We hope for all they will for the
future beware of such Ministers.

^Vide pp. Ill, 112 supra.






Reasons for Refusal. 137

For the ////. Ye have done very well, Dearly beloved
Friends in excluding him from the Service of your Church,
and better ye will do, if ye hear him no more, since he is
like to destroy your Congregation. Neither take up with
such Men, till they can shew necessary Testimonies from
some Consistory in Enrobe, of their Lawful Ordination
and likewise a good Conversation.

For the §th. We are of the same Mind with the Ven-
erable Consistory at Amsterdam.

And so. Dearly beloved Friends, we hope ye will take
our Answer in good Part, and send a copy of it, or the
Original to Mr. Bcrkenmeyers Congregation 2.1 New-York
and Albany, to be read there. Not that we have got any
Authority more than other Ministers. But we have a Prec-
edent in Ecclesiastical History. That if any Church did
forsake the Truth, or commit Disorders in any kind, other
Churches did sometime take upon them (as the Case did
move) to warn, advise, reprove it, and so declare against
its Proceedings, as prejudicial not onely to the Wellfare of
that Church, but to the common Interest of Truth and
Peace ; but this was not in Way of Commanding Author-
ity, but of fraternal sollicitude. So did the Roman Church
interpose in reclaiming the Church of Corinth from its
Disorders and Seditions. So did St. Cyprian and St.
Denys of Alexandria meddle in the Affairs of the Roman
Church, exhorting Novation and his Adherents to return
to the Peace of their Church. If any Dissention or Frac-
tion did arise, other Churches, upon Notice thereof, should
yeld their Aid to quensh and suppress it, countenancing
the Peacable, checking and disavowing the Fractious. So
did St. Cyprian help to discountenance the Novation
Schism. Thus we all Christians should assist one another
in the common Defence of Truth, Piety and Peace, when


Dominie Justus Falclcncr.

they are assaulted in the Propagation of the Faith and
Enlargement of the Church, which is to contend together
for the Faith of the Gospel, to be good Soldiers of Christ,
warring the good Warfare, striving for the Faith once
delivered to the Saints. So we commit You and the
whole Congregation to Gods fatherly Care, remaining,
Dearly beloved Friends

Your constant true Well- Wishers and Brethren
Philadelphia the 31st Day

of October, 1727.

Jonas Lidman,

Pastour & Provost at Wicacoe
Samuel Hesselius,

Minister of the Gospel at Christiana

Petrus Tranberg,
Minister at Racoon,
Andreas Windrufwa,
Minister at Pennsneck,


Abelius, Dom., 55.

Amsterdam, report to, 81.

Anthonides, Rev., 128.

Arentius Bernhardus, 82.

Avelius, Dom., see Abelius.

Beekman, Samuel, 77, 79.

Beem, A., 120.

Berkenmeyer, Pamphlet printed by

Zenger, 1728, 1 16-118.
Biorck, Rev. Eric, 52, 70; account
of Falckner's Ministrations, 92, 93.
Birger, Johan, 113.
Boehme, Rev. Anton, 11 1.
Book, Fridiricus, 120.
Bos, Job. Jacob, 120.
Boskerk (Buskerke), Andreas Van,
77, 120.

Cornelius Van, 98.

Laur Van, 77.

Pieter, A., 98.
Bradford, William, prints book, 86.
Brewer, Catherine, 102.

Elizabeth, 102.

Lieut. Richard, 102.
Bruyns, P., S4.

Chambers, Richard, loi.

Sarah, loi.

William, loi.
Christian, Thomas, 106.

Pieter, 106.
Christina Swedish Church, 132-133.
Churches in Philadelphia, 42.
Clarkson, Rev. Joseph, 62.
Clay, Rev. J. C, 62.

Rev. Slayfor, 62.

Clayton, Rev. Thomas, 25, 33.
Collin, Rev. Nicholas, 62 ; portrait,

Falckner, Anna Catharina, 109.

Benedictus, log.

Christian, 13.

Rev. Daniel, Sr., 13.

Daniel, birth, 13 ; Pietist, 14 ;
visits Europe, 24 ; autograph,
25; selected for mission, 27;
citizen and pilgrim, ib. ;
curious account, 28 ; continu-
ation 1704, 29; returns to
America, 31; colophon, ib.\
on the Wissahickon, 31 ; as
bailiff of Germantown, 32 ;
attorney for Furly, 34, 35 ;
slandered by Pastorius, 36-37 ;
attends Swedish Church, 43;
call to New York, 121.

Justus, genealogy, 13 ; official
record, 14; matriculates, 15 ; as
a hymnist, 18 ; Auf ihr Chris-
ten, 19; celebrated hymns by,
22 ; at Lubeck, 23 ; appointed
attorney, 30; arrives in
America, 31 ; on the Wissa-
hickon, 32; Burgess at Ger-
mantown, 32; becomes her-
mit, 33; writes to Dom.
Muhlen, 33; return to the
world, 34; attorney for Fur-
ly, 34-35 ; missive to Europe,
38; hermit, 39; attends Gloria
Dei, 43 ; pleads for organ, 45 ;



answers it — Rudman's reply,
55-56 ; called to New York,
57; Biorck's letter, 58-59;
ordination of Gloria Dei, 60-
71 ; in New York, 72 ; notifies
Amsterdam Consistory, 73 ;
ordination certificate, 74 ; first
entry, 76; official signature,
77 ; serves country churches,
78; appeal for funds, 78;
signs report, 84 ; publishes
text -book, 86; title, 88; hymn
from, 89 ; activity of, 90; seal,
94; church records, 95; bap-
tizes at Hackensack, 98-99 ;
record, ib. ; list of communi-
cants, 103 ; baptizes Indian
slave, 104; Negro slave, 106;
marries Gerritge Hardick,
108; reports to Amsterdam,
109 ; trouble with Van Dieren,
in; death of, 113; character
and attributes, 114; opinion
of Van Dieren, 125.

Paul Christian, 13.

Sarah Justa, 109.

Francke, Rev. Aug. Herman, 16, 24 ;

receives Daniel Falckner, 27.
Frankfort Company appoints Kel-

pius and Falckner, 30.
Friedrich's University, 14; view, 15 ;

interior, 17; bi-centennial, 27.
Furly, Benjamin, autograph, 30.

Geissler, Daniel, 32.
Gloria Dei, mention of, 42 ; ordina-
tion at, 60.
Guinea, Are of, 102.

Hackensack extends call, 120.
Henkell, Rev. Gerhart, 134.
Hentz, Pieter, 113.

Hesselius, Dom., 127.

letter from Rudman, 52-54 ;

Andrew, letter by, 111-12.

Rev. Samuel, 138.
Heyns, Godfried, 120.
Hoesan, Niclas Van, 109.
Holland, Lieut. Henry, 102.
Huttrot, Job. Jacob, 120.

Jauert, Balthasar, 30.

(Jawert) Johann, 14, 30.

recorder of Germantown, 22.
Jawert, vide Jauert.
Jonas the organist, 33.
Julian quoted, 21.

Kallnis, Mrs. Margareta, 102.
Keen, Eric, 50.

Matz (Matthew), 50.
Kelpius, Johannes, 14, 25, 30, 33,


Knoll, Pastor, notes Falckner's

death, 113.
Kocherthal, Rev. Josua, 90, 93, 106.

Louisa Abigail, 106.

Sibella Charlotta, 106.
Konig. Joh. David, I20.
Kbnneken, Balthasar Jasper, 31.
Koster, H. B., 14.

La Grangie (Lagransie), Johannes

Hans, 77-84.
Lidman, Rev. Jonas, 127, 138.
Lloyd, David, 35.
Lock, Rev. Lars, 55.
Loons, Jan Van, 106.
Loscher, quoted, 87.
Lutheran church, location of, lOO-l.

Albany, 102.

Condition of in New York, 120-

Muhlen, Dom. Heinrich, 23.
Missive, 10, 38, 48.



Miiller, Dom. Heinrich, vide Muh-
Joh. C, 120.

Nicum, Rev. J., 73.
Norris, Isaac, 35.

Paper money, 1709, 105.
Pastorius, Francis Daniel, charges
fraud, 35; arms, 36; slanders Falck-

ner. 36-37-

Penn, William, appoints Falckner
brothers attorney, 34, 35.

Pennsneck, Swedish Ch., 132-3.

Peper, Michael, I20.

Philadelphian Society, 25.

Pietists on Wissahickon, 24, 25, 31.

Racoon Swedish Ch., 132-133.

Rambo, Peter, 50.

Reformed Church in New York, 85.

Rudman, Anders, 52.

Rev. A., 42 ; offers to preach in
German, 44; goes to New

1 2 3 4 5 6 8

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 8 of 9)