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Details about  1763 PENNSYLVANIA German AMERICAN Childrens CATECHISM Book LEATHER Schwenkfelder

1763 PENNSYLVANIA German AMERICAN Childrens CATECHISM Book LEATHER Schwenkfelder See original listing
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13 Jul, 2014 08:55:27 BST
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Spencerport, New York, United States


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Pennsylvania German

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1st Edition


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Catechismus, oder Anfänglicher Unterricht christlicher Glaubens-Lehre; Allen Christlichen Glaubens-Schülern, jung oder alt, nöthig und nützlich sich drin zu üben

Shultz, Christopher. Philadelphia: Heinrich Miller, 1763. 1st Ed

The first edition of the Schwenkfelder catechism, written by Christopher Schultz. This first edition, Philadelphia, 1763, was written by, Christopher Schultz,  a leader of the group of Schwenckfelders that settled in Pennsylvania in the 1730s. They were followers of the German theologian Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig (1489-1561), one of the earliest promoters of the Protestant Reformation in Silesia. In his writings he opposed war, secret societies, the taking of oaths, infant baptism, and the establishment of denominations. This is an important and rare PA German childrens Catechism, rarely seen on any seller's list.  Original leather, as shown; well kept with some minor rubbing and external wear, the spine with attractive raised bands, as shown. Hinges intact, pages lightly worn, uniformly browned; front EP, title, and next leaf with insect damage, also same to last leaf, else in nearly immaculate shape. Complete and quite rare. Good luck!

Schwenkfelder Church

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The Schwenkfelder Church is a small American Christian body rooted in the 16th century Protestant Reformation teachings of Caspar Schwenkfeld von Ossig (1489–1561).


Though followers have held the teachings of Schwenkfeld since the 16th century, the Schwenkfelder Church did not come into existence until the 20th century, due in large part to Schwenkfeld's emphasis on inner spirituality over outward form. He also labored for a fellowship of all believers and one church. By the middle of the 16th century, there were thousands of followers of his "Reformation by the Middle Way". His ideas appear to be a middle ground between the ways of the Reformation of Martin Luther, John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, and the Radical Reformation of the Anabaptists.

Originally calling themselves Confessors of the Glory of Christ[1], Schwenkfeld's followers later became known as Schwenkfelders. These Christians often suffered persecution like slavery, prison and fines at the hands of the government and state churches in Europe. Most of them lived in southern Germany and Lower Silesia. They tell a story about their origins in which the devil is taking a group of Schwenkfelders to Hades and the bag broke over Harpersdorf.[citation needed]

By the beginning of the 18th century, the remaining Schwenkfelders lived around Harpersdorf.[1] As the persecution intensified around 1719–1725, they were given refuge in 1726 by Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf in Saxony. When the Elector of Saxony died in 1733, Jesuits sought the new ruler to return the Schwenkfelders to Harpersdorf. With their freedom in jeopardy, they decided to look to the New World; toleration was also extended to them in Silesia in 1742 by King Frederick II of Prussia.

The immigrant members of the Schwenkfelder Church brought saffron to the Americas; Schwenkfelders may have grown saffron in Europe—there is some record that at least one member of the group traded in the spice. A group came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1731, and several migrations continued until 1737. The largest group, 180 Schwenkfelders, arrived in 1734. In 1782, the Society of Schwenkfelders was formed, and in 1909 the Schwenkfelder Church was incorporated. The Schwenkfelder Church has remained small: as of 2009 there are five congregations[2] with about 2,500 members in southeastern Pennsylvania. All of these bodies are within a fifty-mile radius of Philadelphia. The Schwenkfelder Church meets annually at a Spring General Conference. Sometimes Conferences are also held in the fall.


They teach that the Bible is the source of Christian theology, but also believe it is dead without the inner work of the Holy Spirit. They also continue his belief that the divinity of Jesus was progressive, and that the Lord's supper is a mystical spiritual partaking of the body of Christ in open communion. Adult baptism and both infant baptism and consecration of infants is practiced depending on the church. Adult members are also received into church membership through transfer of memberships from other churches and denominations. Their ecclesiastical tradition is congregational with a strong oecumenical focus. The Schwenkfelder churches recognize the right of the individual in decisions such as public service, armed combat, etc. Ministers are selected by individual autonomous congregations through a self regulated search process. Schwenkfelder Ordination, Licensure and Authorization of Ministry is regulated through the Schwenkfelder Ministerium and the Executive Council of The Schwenkfelder Church.

A distinct and separate Schwenkfeldian theology, based on the teachings and practices of the group as a whole, is no longer the case. Each congregation remains autonomous in theology and practice. Historic statements of faith inherited by the Christian Church as a whole: the Apostles Creed, etc., along with a scriptural foundation remain the best representative statement on current Schwenkfeldian theology.

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