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Peter Jahnsen Moyer, Abraham Dirkson, David ter Haer, Peter Jahnsen van Singel, Leyden-Christian de Koning, Johannes Weyns. Harlem-Johannes Doom, Peter Gryspeer, Dirk Wouters Kolenkamp, Peter Joosten. Schiedam Cornelius Bom, Lambert Paeldink. Blokziel-Claes Claesen, Peter Petersen, Dirk Rendersen. Utrecht-Hermann Segerts, John Hendricksen Hooghvelt, Daniel Horens, Abraham Spronk, William von Brockhuysen. Bommel-Wilhelm Jansen van Exselt, Gyspert Spiering. Germany--Peter van Borsel, Anthony Hans. Krevelt-Herman op de Graff, Wilhelm Kreynen.

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The foregoing articles are received and maintained by all the Mennonites throughout the United States, Territories, and in Canada, wherever they have been dispersed; for, since the first immigration of the Mennonites to this country, they have been spread over a great portion of Pennsylvania, where large bodies of them are found in Lancaster county, in Bucks, Chester, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Dauphin, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Franklin, York, Westmoreland, and some other counties, and also in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, New York and in Canada.

The Mennonite congregations in Pennsylvania are divided into three general circuits, within each of which, semi-annual conferences, consisting of bishops, elders or ministers, and deacons, are held for the purpose of consulting each other, and devising means to advance the spiritual prosperity of the members. A similar conference is held in Ohio, where the Mennonites are very numerous, consisting, however, principally of foreign immigrants who have settled there within the last thirty years. The members of the congregations in Indiana are principally from Switzerland. In Canada they have from fifteen to twenty places where religious meetings are held; their semiannual conferences are alternately held at Waterloo, Clinton, and Markham.

Bishops, elders or ministers, and deacons, are usually chosen by casting lots. Their pastors neither receive nor accept stipulated salaries, nor any kind of remuneration for preaching the gospel, or in attending to the functions of their office. Their number of ministers, members, congregations, and houses of public worship, in America, has been variously estimated; but the exact number of members cannot be given,* as they keep no records among them for that purpose. In this they hold the same views as they do in giving alms, when our Saviour says (Matt. vi.): "Take heed that ye do not your alms," &c. So they believe it would not be acceptable in the sight of God to make a public display of the number of their communicants, as they know the Head of the Church of God, namely, Jesus Christ, sees and knows who are his children in the whole world. Furthermore, they bear in mind the confession of King David, declaring himself that he greatly sinned by causing Israel to be numbered. (2 Sam. xxiv.)

In a letter to the editor from Shem Zook, who is well-informed in the religious statistics of the Menonnites, he says, when speaking of the Menonnites, "their number in the United

States has been computed at 120,000." This can ascertain, they have about ninety-five estimate, we think, is too high. So far as we ministers in Pennsylvania, one hundred and eighty places of public worship; in Virginia, from thirty to forty ministers, about thirty-five places of worship. In Maryland, Ohio, Inministers, and one hundred and thirty places diana, and New York, probably eighty-five of worship. In all America, about two hundred and thirty or forty ministers, and rising of four hundred places of public worship, and between fifty and sixty thousand members. bly exceed 120,000; but they have not that The whole Menonnite population may probanumber of communicating members.

They are distinguished above all others for their plainness in dress, economy in their domestic arrangements; being frugal, thrifty, and withal very hospitable. They take in strangers; treat them kindly without charge. They suffer none of their members to become a public charge.-ED.

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now,

HISTORY.

a source which cannot be doubted, that The Mennonite denomination derived soon after the persecution ceased, there its name from Menno Simon, a very zeal

was a gradual falling off from their former ous and successful reformer'; but, owing purity, and that they did not carry into to the manner in which he and his folo effect the doctrines they had formerly lowers were persecuted, and his doctrines taught and professed. From this it is and views misrepresented, through the evident, that they became, by degrees, malice of his papistical adversaries, his more and more corrupted. name was never handed down to posterity, and on reflecting how they had deviated

It was when viewing their fallen state, side by side with that of Luther, Calvin, from the path in which they had formerly and others; though it must be admitted, he did as much towards the enlightening trod; how they resisted minor evils, though of mankind, and contended with adver: they were instructed that the New Testa. saries as powerful, as ever impeded the ment showed expressly, that Christ taught progress of Luther, and all those illus- his disciples to resist no evil whatever; in trious personages, whose names shed such short, it was when contrasting their con

ditions a lustre on the history of the Reforma

with what they professed then, tion.

that a few individuals contemplated the But as there is required a history of the design of restoring them to their former Reformed branch of the Mennonite Society purity: They, for this purpose, met re. only, it will not fall within the design of peatedly, and exchanged in simplicity of this sketch, to trace her history to that heart the sentiments of their minds. They dark and superstitious period, when the warned the Mennonites of their delusion; earth was daily drenched with the blood but as they were unwilling to be convinced of the righteous.

of the errors under which they were la. How long the followers of Menno, ad boring, and as those few enlightened souls hered to the doctrines he had inculcated — found it impossible to take part in their how long they practised his precepts, and proceedings, as long as they remained in guarded with a jealous eve those divine their defiled condition, they found it neces. truths, that he had promulgated, is not ex. sary to renovate and renew the whole actly known; but we are informed from

Mennonite doctrine. They accordingly

razed the rubbish to the foundation, on * This article has the sanction of the Rev. which they commenced building the church John Herr, of Strasburg, a Bishop of the So- of Christ anew. This happened in the ciety.-Ed.

year 1811; and as their number was con

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tinually on the increase, they found it ne- / firmities under which I have frequently cessary, after much prayer, supplication, groaned. Yes, from the depth of my soul and submission to the will of God, to ap- I thank the everlasting God, through Jesus point one, from amongst their number, to Christ, who granted me blessing, power superintend this desirable work. But as and success in speaking his words without they were all aware that the undertaking timidity, and made it fruitful in the hearts was of no ordinary kind; and each one of many, who, by the hearing of the word, being impressed with the conviction that have been brought to believe; yea, have he was too feeble to take the lead in ex. been turned, through Jesus, from darkness posing the evils that arise from holding the to light, and from the power of Satan to laws of God at defiance, and from bring- God. So I began to labor at this holy ing perverted and sinful souls from darkcity and temple, not only with the word ness unto light, they, as may be readily of repentance and faith, hut also with the supposed, felt considerable diffidence about holy baptism, supper, foot-washing and making a choice. It was, for a long time, all the apostolical ordinances, and to join their general theme for discussion at their the fallen and scattered stones together private meetings; but, on finding that it again for a spiritual body and temple of was unnecessary to delay it any longer, the Lord. Moreover, the Lord of mercy and being convinced of the necessity of rendered me assistance, by the word of his appointing one to fill the ministerial sta- power, in bringing the rough and unshapen tion, they made a choice, which devolved stones from the mountain of sublimity and upon John Herr. It was a grievous task carnal reason ; which stones, through the -as he himself expresses it-but, owing hidden power of the Holy Spirit, were, to the conviction that he had been called and daily are, changed or dressed, and by the Almighty to exert himself to the made brilliant by the rays of eternal light; utmost to re-establish the fallen state of to the eternal and only wise God, the Fa. the church; and to the powerful appeals ther of mercies and all good, be alone the and pressing solicitations of his fellow- honor and the praise, through Jesus Christ, laborers, he found himself unable to refuse. for ever and ever, Amen."

And now that they were fairly in the field, they invited the public, and com

DOCTRINE. menced operations with redoubled vigor ; and though public opinion has pointed the

Regarding the doctrinal points, it befinger of scorn at their perseverance and comes necessary to state that the articles exertions; and though their doctrines

of their Confession of Faith have been despised by the ignorant multitude, and modified and condensed, as much as is the difficulties they had to surmount not a

allowable, without destroying the sense, in few, they nevertheless removed every ob- order to make it as brief and perspicuous stacle that was intended to impede their as possible. progress, fearless and undismayed; and notwithstanding the predictions to the con. A representation of the chief Articles of trary, by certain individuals, success has

their Christian Faith, as taught and crowned their efforts.

practised in their Church. Before concluding the first part of this 1. They believe, and confess, accord. sketch, it will not be amiss, perhaps, to ing to scripture, in one Eternal, Almighty, give the reader a passage from the Illus- and Incomprehensible God, the Father, trating Mirror, page 393, written by John Son, and Holy Ghost, and no more, and Herr.

no other; who works all in all, and is the Speaking about his entering on his min. Creator of all things visible and invisible ; isterial duties, he says: “Ai last I con- and that he created our first parents after sented to put my talent to usury, accord. his own image and likeness, in righteous. ing as God imparted to me the measure of ness and true holiness, unto eternal life ; faith, by the influence of his Spirit; to him and that he endowed them with many and alone be the praise, who has at all times great gifts, and placed them in paradise, comforted and supported me in all my in- and gave them a command and prohibition.

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2. They believe and confess, that our for all men, he bruised the serpent's head, first parents were created with a free will, destroyed the works of the devil, and obsusceptible of change; and that they were tained the forgiveness of sins for the whole at liberty to fear, serve, and obey their human family. Creator, or disobey and forsake him; and 5. They believe and confess, that prethat, through the subtlety of the serpent, viously to his ascension he instituted and and the envy of the devil

, they trans. left his New Testament, which he congressed the command of God, and dis.firmed and sealed with his blood, and obeyed their Creator; by which disobe. commended it so highly to his disciples, dience sin and death came into the world, that it is not to be altered, nor added to, and thus passed upon all men. They also nor diminished. And that, inasmuch as believe that, by this one sin, they were it contains the whole will of his heavenly driven from paradise, became so far fallen, Father, he has caused it to be promul. separated, and estranged from God, that gated over the earth, and appointed Apos. neither they nor their posterity, nor any tles, missionaries, and ministers, to teach other creature in heaven or on earth, could it in his name to all people, nations, and redeem or reconcile them to God; and tongues ; and has therein declared all men that they would have been eternally lost, his children and lawful heirs, provided had not God interposed with his love and they live up to the same by faith. mercy.

6. They believe and confess, that the 3. They believe and confess, that God, first lesson of the New Testament of the notwithstanding their fall and transgres. Son of God is repentance and reforma. sion, did not wish to cast them away, and tion; hence it is their opinion, that men have them eternally lost; but that he must reform their lives, believe in the goscalled them again to him, comforted them, pel, desist from sin, forsake unrighteous. and testified that there was yet a means of ness, sacrifice the old man with all his reconciliation; namely, that the Son of works, and put on the new man created God, who was appointed unto this purpose after God in unsullied holiness. before the foundation of the world, and 7. As regards baptism, they confess, who was promised unto them and their that all penitent believers, who by faith, posterity, for their reconciliation and re- regeneration, and renewing of the Holy demption, while yet in paradise, from that Ghost, are made one with God must, upon time forth was bestowed upon them by their scriptural confession of faith, and refaith.

formation of life, be baptized with water, 4. They believe and confess, that when in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the time of the promise was fulfilled, this and of the Holy Ghost, agreeably to the promised Messiah proceeded from God, doctrine and commandment of Christ; was sent, and came into the world, and whereupon they must learn to observe all thus the Word was made flesh and man; which the Son of God taught and comthey also believe, that his going forth is manded his disciples. from everlasting to everlasting, without 8. They believe and consess a visible beginning of days, or end of life: that he Church of God; namely, those that are is the beginning and the end, the first and made one with God in heaven, and rethe last ; and, also, that he was God's first ceived into the fellowship of the saints and only Son, and who was the Lord of here on earth. They also confess, that David, and the God of the world. the same are the chosen people, the royal

They further believe, that when he had priesthood, the holy nation, and the chil. fulfilled his course, he was delivered into dren and heirs of everlasting life, a dwell. the hands of the wicked; was crucified, ing-place of God in the spirit, built upon dead, and buried; rose again on the third the foundation of the Apostles and Proday, ascended to heaven, and sits on the phets, Christ being the chief corner-stone, right hand of the majesty of God; from upon which the church is built; and this whence he will come again to judge the church must be known, by her obedience quick and the dead. And that through to her supreme Head and King ; in all his death, and the shedding of his blood matters of faith to obey him, and to keep

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all his commandments; and as a virgin feet of his disciples, although he was their and bride forsakes father, mother, and all Lord and Master; and by so doing, he strange company, and yields herself to the gave them an example, which they were will of her bridegroom, so all the true necessitated to follow. Besides, they bechildren of God, must separate from all lieve it their duty to consider with profalse worship, flee from the voice of stran. found meditation, how the blessed Son of gers, and give ear unto no one, except God humbled himself, not only in washing Christ and his commissioned ministers. his disciples' feet, but much rather, be

9. With regard to the offices and elec- cause he washed and purified our souls, tions of the church, they believe and con- with his precious blood, from all the pol. fess, that the Lord Jesus Christ himself lution of eternal damnation. instituted and ordained offices, and ordi- 12. With regard to marriage, they benances, and

gave directions how every one lieve there is in the church an honorable should do that which is right and neces- marriage, between two believers, as God sary; and further, that he provided his ordained in the beginning in paradise, and church, before his departure, with minis. instituted it between Adam and Eve; as ters, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, in also Christ opposed and reformed the order that they might govern the church, abuses that had taken place, and restored watch over his flock, and defend and pro- it to its original condition. They further vide for it; and that the Apostles likewise believe, that as the patriarchs had to elected brethren, and provided every city, marry among their own kindred, so likeplace, or church, with bishops, pastors and wise, the followers of Christ are not at leaders; and that they always had to be liberty to marry, except such, and no sound in faith, virtuous in life and conver. others, as have been united with the church sation, and of good report both in and out as one heart, and one soul, and stand in of church, in order that they might be an the same communion, faith, and docexample in all good and virtuous deeds. trine.

10. They also confess, and observe a 13. They confess and believe, that God breaking of bread or supper, which Christ instituted and appointed authority and the instituted with bread and wine before his magistracy as a punishment for evil-doers, suffering, eat it with his apostles, and and a protection for the good; hence they commanded it to be kept in remembrance dare not gainsay or resist it; but must of himself, which they consequently taught acknowledge the magistracy as the minis. and practised in the church, and command. ter of God, be subject and obedient in all ed to be kept by all true believers in re- things, not repugnant to God's law and membrance of the sufferings and death of commandments ; also faithfully pay tribute the Lord; and that his body was broken, and tax, and render that which is due, as and his precious blood shed for the benefit Christ taught, practised, and commanded of the whole human race; the fruits of his disciples to do; and also, that it is which are redemption and everlasting sal. their duty to pray constantly for the pros. vation, which he procured thereby, mani. perity of the government and welfare of festing such great love towards sinners, the country. They further believe that, by which all true believers are greatly as Christ avoided the grandeur of this admonished to love one another, even as world, and conducted himself as an humhe has loved them; and as many grains are ble minister, none of his followers must united together into one bread, and many discharge the duties of a magisterial office, grapes into one cup of wine : so shall they or any branch of it, following, in this, the as many members be united into one body, example of Christ and his apostles, under and all partakers of the same bread; whose church these specified offices were and without this union of spirit, and true not administered ; and as they are inholiness, no one can be admitted to this structed not to hold any worldly office holy supper.

whatever, they likewise think themselves 11. They also confess the washing of deprived of the liberty of elevating others the saints' feet, because the Lord not only to a magisterial, or any other office. commanded it, but actually washed the 14. Concerning the spiritual kingdom

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