“If ever any man was competent to write on true Christianity, that man was John Arndt. It had become his very life; it entered into the very center of his own experience; it was an essential part of his being, and hence it was only necessary to let the mouth utter that, of which the heart was full.
“The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, is one of the most solemn, impressive, and important ordinances of our holy religion, instituted by Christ himself. It is intimately interwoven with the very existence and life of the church, and with the spiritual life of the individual Christian…”
“The translation we offer from Guericke presents a comparative view of the doctrines of the various Christian denominations on that subject, which, more than any other, engages the attention of the theological world at present.
“The following translation of a manuscript letter of the venerable Patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, will constitute an acceptable addition to the valuable biographies which precede it. Its historic is not its only interest.
“The church is, and in order to be the body of Christ, must be essentially invisible. She possesses not a single essential attribute by which she is visible. If it were not for the instructions of the Holy Spirit, we would be ignorant, not only of her nature, but even of her very existence.
As a pastor he was faithful and zealous. His whole time seemed consecrated to the spiritual improvement of his people. During the thirty-two years of his ministry, it is supposed he preached upwards of eight thousand sermons, baptized five thousand persons, and received into the church, by the rite of confirmation, more than two thousand.
Moved with a feeling of compassion, and imbued with the missionary spirit, they were willing to forsake the comforts of home, the endearments of society, to make any sacrifice, and to submit to any toil, that they might subserve the cause of Christ, and be instrumental in the salvation of souls.
“Add… the rejection of the sacramental element in the Reformed churches, and their bald worship will be sufficiently accounted for. They do not believe in the real, active presence of the Savior in His Church.
“The tone of levity, in which you often indulge, leads me to fear, that you do not sufficiently realize your accountability for your doubts… Remember, it is the infirmity of an honest mind, to believe until compelled to disbelieve; that it is proof of a dishonest and depraved one, to disbelieve until forced to believe.
“Now it is found that in the Bible reading nations there is and ever has been, more liberty, more elevation of the people, more general comfort and happiness, and more general intelligence, as well as a higher regard to the laws of equity, of benevolence, of social kindness, than in those nations which are ignorant of God’s Word.
Few men gave brighter promise of efficiency than the subject of the present sketch; few have there been, whose premature removal from scenes of usefulness, was the occasion of deeper and more earnest grief.
“Men, who in their hearts are strangers to true religion, and opposed to its real interests, are always ready to exercise a controlling influence over the church. In almost every religious community, there are some such men, who would carry the spirit of the world into religion.
“He was an original man, and said and did things differently from other persons… A very good man, he suffered persecution for his zeal for the truth.”
Table of Contents John Christopher Hartwig (1716-1796) Language Conflicts in New York City Attacked for His Orthodoxy at Rhinebeck, New York Hiatus in Pennsylvania Return to New York A Very Good and Most Eccentric Man John Christopher Hartwig (1716-1796) Of the early history of this individual we have no information.
Some idea of the high estimation in which Mr. Handschuh was held by the Christian community of different denominations, may be gathered from the account given in the papers of that day of the funeral services.
How refreshing the thought, that we too, if we are faithful, shall meet and mingle with those who lived and served God in past ages of the church, of whom the world was not worthy; that we shall recognize those whom as Christians we loved on the earth, but whom, as glorified spirits, we shall love still more in heaven.