SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : JOHN CHRISTOPHER HARTWICK.

American Lutheranism by Friedrich Bente

JOHN CHRISTOPHER HARTWICK.

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 [USD]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.)

<<  Contents  >>





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy