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!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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, 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.
By the beginning of the 18th century, the remaining Schwenkfelders lived around Harpersdorf. 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
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
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.