Imágenes de página

classes-one for lower grade boys in Telugu only, the other for boys who have studied at least in the higher classes of the high school.

The normal school for the training of school teachers also has two grades similar to those in the Bible training school.

From the college and these two training schools we obtain our preachers, catechists, teachers and mission workers.

The educational work for the girls is practically the same as for the boys, except that there is no Bible training school and as yet no college classes. The college will be opened as soon as there are girls of sufficiently high grade available.

[blocks in formation]

Topic reviewed by Rev. C. H. Traver. As our topic is the Dutch Lutherans who preceded the German Palatines almost a century, it is well to recall that Lutheranism was the first form of Protestantism in Holland. Charles V sought its suppression, but failed. Meanwhile the closer touch with Swiss and French Reformers led to the Belgic Confesssion of 1561, which was of a decided Calvinistic type. The decrees of the Synod of Dort were issued 1619. Their original purpose was to oppose the Armenians. tunately the Lutherans were classed with them. Thus unpopularity and prejudice awakened, and the controlling power forgot how their ancestors stood firm for both religious and civil freedom.



A little later, New Amsterdam, as New York City was then called, became a mart of trade. Lutherans accompanied others to find relief from persecution. But disappointment faced them, for the new rulers were even more intolerant than the old.

Even the Calvinists did not have a minister until 1633, when Rev. Everard Bogardus came. He was alone for a decade, when another arrived, who settled at Rennsellaerwyck, near Albany. During this nearly twenty years the Dutch Lutherans had been increasing in numbers, but could only meet for worship in private houses. In these quiet meetings they practically exemplified Luther's idea that if a band of Christians was cast upon a desert island or met in the wilderness, without bishop or priest, they could organize a true Church of Christ.

Their presence in the city is attested to by a Jesuit missionary, Father Jogues: "There

are in the colony, besides the Calvinists, Catholics, English Puritans, Lutherans and Anabaptists." They were tolerated for a while. Soon the Reformed pastor required that parents and sponsors at the baptism of children should profess their belief in the Decrees of Dort. But the Lutherans could not conscientiously go beyond the statement "that the doctrines contained in the Old and New Testaments, and in the articles of the Christian faith, and consequently taught in the Christian Church, is the true and perfect doctrine of salvation."

The result of refusal was arrest and fine and imprisonment.

Governor Stuyvesant placarded a decree that no private meetings, called conventicles, should be held.

The Lutherans sent a petition to the Lutheran Consistory at Amsterdam, who promptly attended to their part. The Reformed sent a petition to the directors of West India Company, as also to the Church authorities, bewailing the spread of sectarianism. They considered it dangerous to grant any concessions to the Lutherans, and said there were already too many of them in the Province. The Lutheran petition was refused. "They would encourage no other doctrine in the New Netherlands than the true Reformed.” Bigotry triumphed for a season. From a distance of 250 years we may smile at the hope expressed "that the Reformed religion would now be preserved and maintained without hindrance from the Lutheran and other errors."

We pass from 1654 to 1656, when the directors rebuked the governor for his bigoted zeal. "We would fain not have seen your worship's hand set to the placard against the Lutherans. . . . Wherefore you will not hereafter publish any similar placards without our previous consent, but allow to all the free exercise of their religion in their own house." This privilege granted June 15, 1656, was followed by a Lutheran petition October 24, 1656, that they might organize their Church and conduct public worship in proper form. Rev. John Ernest Goetwater, the first Lutheran minister, came June 6, 1657. however, was not at once permitted to land. The authorities desired to deport him without touching shore. Owing to sickness he landed, but was put "on the limits of the city" and sent back October 16 following.


In 1664 British rule began, and Governor

Nicol gave the Lutherans permission to build a church and send for a minister. Rev. Jacob Fabricius arrived in 1669, and in 1671 a log church was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and Rector streets, named Trinity Church.

Rev. Fabricius did not remain long, being suspended by Governor Lovelace for arbitrary acts in Albany in 1670 and in New York, August 11, 1671.

At an unknown date Rev. Bernardus Arensius came, as Rev. Fabricius was empowered at the date of preaching his farewell sermon "to instal the new come minister, according to the custom used by those of their religion." We would add in brief that in 1653 there were enough Lutherans in Albany to support a pastor.

The first Lutheran church was built on Pearl street, between Lutheran (now Howard) and Beaver streets, facing Pearl.

In 1664 there was an organized congregation. In 1784 a second church was erected, in which in 1786 was organized the second synod in America. The third church, built in 1816, was on the present site. This is the fourth church. We have also spoken of the pastors until 1701, when Rev. Andrew Rudman arrived, who remained three years. During his pastorate, in 1703, Athens was organized.

Rev. Justus Falckner was ordained in 1703, and took the oversight of the three churches. He witnessed the inflow of the Palatines in 1710. They brought along as their pastor Rev. Joshua Kocherthal. After his death in 1719, Rev. Falckner added the churches at East and West Camp, Newburgh, Rhinebeck and Schoharie to his own field. He died in Claverack, N. Y., in 1723, where he had lived in his own house.

We have reached the union of the two streams, the Dutch and the German, and their joint history belongs to another topic. We must admire their fidelity to their faith when so few and isolated. They are examples to us. May we be as true!

[blocks in formation]

When Christmas time comes our thoughts center around this heavenly Child, and our hearts are tenderer and our love stronger for His coming as a little child.

1. The Babe Reveals God.

As the Babe of Bethlehem God came among us, and from this holy Child we begin to learn more fully the character of God. Jesus was a child like ourselves, and as a child He brings God very near to us. God in Christ is no longer the awful God far away in the heavens, but our Saviour, who became flesh like ourselves, lived in our homes, and was ever ready to help and counsel.

Christ by His wonderful birth, and the deeds and sympathy of His life, has taught us that God is not alone the stern and just ruler of all, the king of kings, but that He is also our loving heavenly Father, who cares for us and keeps us. Through Christ even the children can and do know God. Let us place this thought first in our Christmas thinking: Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, has revealed God to us and brought Him very near. He is Immanuel.

2. As a Babe Christ Illustrates the Character of His Religion,

When we think of the character of the religion which Christ came to establish among men, we feel that no more suitable emblem than that of a "Child" could be found. It was, indeed, in set terms that He so defined the condition of citizenship in that kingdom which He came to set up, "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." As this was the character of the religion Christ proclaimed, so was it the very one which the world needed.

The world was growing old. The world of wisdom seemed to have exhausted its powers. Wearily, philosopher after philosopher had spun his fine web of speculations only to find that the next comer tore it down. Men were tiring of wisdom that got nowhere.

The world of religion was growing old. The old faiths no longer attracted people and had lost their hold upon the human heart. Even that of Israel had been weakened by the customs and traditions of men until its force was almost lost.

The one thing needed by all the world was the restoration of the "child heart" with its simple faith and true love. This Christ taught. He showed that the restless, anxious, covetous (Continued on page 33.)

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]


[blocks in formation]

Delegates and visitors to the Tenth Biennial Convention of the Luther League of America soon to convene in Albany should prepare for the profit and pleasure each day's program will furnish. It will afford rest and recrea tion from the humdrum and noise of every day life. Among the best talent in the Church will be represented in the program. You should prepare for the inspiration of the addresses. It will be impossible to listen to the noble messages and not be stronger and better for having heard them. We should prepare for the instruction. The speakers and essayists are all specialists in their various lines. All can profitably sit at their feet and listen and learn.

The program for each day will abound with good things. All should plan to attend every session. Do not miss any of the treat in store

for you.

The date is not far off. This promises to be the greatest, brightest and most inspiring convention the Luther League of America ever held.

Prepare also for the social side of the convention. Plan to meet neighbors, friends, renew old acquaintances and form new ones. You will be glad to see them; they will be glad to see you. This can only add to the enjoyment of the program of the whole convention.

The moral uplift will be most stimulating and edifying. In the entertainment, papers and addresses of this convention there will be a moral uplift that will be helpful in the home work and days following the convention.

This is the month for our National Thanksgiving Day. It is especially fitting that the American people should acknowledge God's providence in the course of the year.

Peace has prevailed and prosperity has abounded. The year has been crowned with the fatness of the land; magnificent crops garnered from fertile fields have enriched the husbandman; manufacturers have extended their operations and merchants have increased their sales. The Church at home and abroad has been blessed by an awakening of new spiritual life and enterprises; the cause of missions has been stimulated; there has been increased Christian giving; new churches have replaced old ones; the borders of the Kingdom have been enlarged; the cords have been lengthened and the stakes strengthened. The laymen of the Church have taken new interest and there has been an awakening of zeal among them in the advance of the Master's Kingdom.

The young people have had a prosperous year. On the whole, the activities among the youth of the Church have never been greater than today. It seems they have realized to a large extent the hoped for measure of increased Christian activity that shall mean a forward movement for righteousness and the upbuilding of the Church throughout the land.

"Give thanks, O spirit sad,
For all the common good,
For human brotherhood,
The hope that makes us glad—
The signs on land and sea
Of immortality!"

Our work as Lutherans is large and important. With but two millions and a half confirmed members, and seven millions and a half unchurched in this great land, we should work together to reach those unchurched, to save them not only to the Lutheran Church, but to the work of Christ in this country. We need strong men and earnest women, who rejoice to do what they can for their Church and their Master. We should not be divided, but united in this great undertaking. Personal feelings and ideas should be placed in the background, and our one aim should be to save this land for Jesus Christ. We have failed in the past because we have been separated, and the spirit which has existed has not always been Christlike; but if we are true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, we should be willing to unite our forces for His enthronement in the hearts and lives of men.

The work accomplished by the Luther League during the almost seventeen years of its existence has met with the approval of the earnest and faithful ministry of our Church, and is recognized as a force in the churches where it has been established. Our young people have developed in interest, in earnestness and in information, and they have shown an ability in service, in giving and in writing which has astonished many. The pastor who can cultivate his young people and make them assistants in his work is to be congratulated, and the Church with a working League will always keep alive. Our young people must soon be the standard bearers of the Church, and unless they are properly instructed and taught the Word of God, they will fail to bear the burdens and meet the emergencies of the Church. We have great faith in our young people, and wish them Godspeed.

[ocr errors]

Anchorage is the need of many of our young people. Terence says "I am a man, and nothing of man is foreign to me." This sage observation puts the situation with respect to our young people in a nutshell. The thing is to fix in the minds of our young people a conviction of the right course of life so deep and immovable that in the stress of storm they may not be sent adrift. If at such times they could say, "No matter how things seem, I'm sure this is the right course, and I'll hold to it whether I feel like it or not," the anchor would hold. Gradually right habits are established and it becomes easy to do what once has cost a terrific struggle. For this means conquering the lower self. Deep convictions must be allowed to which principles of life can fasten like an anchor grappling the immovable rocks.

Great fields of practical service which, before its advent, were almost wholly unoccupied by the young people, have been discovered. Scarcely a League convention has been held but some benefit of its co-operation in many ways has not been acknowledged.

There has been continually increasing emphasis on personal work, growing interest in Bible study, and more giving, more generous giving, and more systematic giving among the young people because of the work and influence of the League. And in the Church there is today a body of trained and qualified workers whose experience has been gained in the League training school.

There has been as a result of its work increased Christian activity and the spirit of genuine loyalty to the Church has not only been fostered, it has been nourished and grown. The years have justified the existence of the League. There has been organized encouragement in missionary interest and in study of the Church's history, doctrine and usages. Every activity of the Church, every outgoing of Christly service, every element in the building of Christian character, every interest of the Church brought to its attention has been blessed, and profited through the use and spread of the Luther League.

« AnteriorContinuar »