Frelinghuysen

Frelinghuysen the name of a family eminent in the history of the American Church.

1. FRELINGHUYSEN, THEODORUS JACOBUS, first minister of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in Somerset County, New Jersey. He was born at Lingen, in East Friesland (now in Hanover, Prussia), about 1691, was educated there, and was ordained in 1717. By the personal influence of Sicco Tjadde, one of the ministers of the classis of Amsterdam, Holland, he was induced to come to America, where he arrived in January 1720, and became pastor of the Dutch people in the vicinity of the present city of New Brunswick, upon the banks of the Raritan and its tributaries. Encountering all the difficulties of a newly-settled country and a sparse population, whose religious spirit was very formal and relaxed, his faithful and fearless ministry gave great offense to many, and aroused a spirit of persecuting. opposition. But, with apostolic zeal, he declared, "I would rather die a thousand deaths than not preach the truth." A great revival of religion resulted from his evangelical labors. The hihest testimony to his success has been left on record by such men as Reverend Gilbert Tennent, George Whitefield, and President Edwards; and by Reverend Dr. A. Messler, in his Historical Review of the R.D. Church of Raritan; also in his paper entitled "The Hollanders in New Jersey," read before the New Jersey Historical Society, September, 1850 — a valuable document. A characteristic volume of his sermons, translated from the Dutch language by Reverend William Demarest, was issued in 1856 (12mo, pp. 422) by the Board of Publication of the R.P.D. Church, New York. His biographer says "his labors continued for more than a quarter of a century; and although he was often attacked in the civil courts, before the colonial authorities, and by complaint to the Classis of Amsterdam, he never succumbed. He was, always sustained by thie ecclesiastical authorities. All his children were believers. His five sons were ordained to the nlinistry, and his two daughters were married to ministers." His ministry closed about 1747 (see Memoir of Hon. Theo. Frelinghuysen, by Reverend T.W. Chambers, D.D., New York, Harpers, 1863). (W.J.R.T.)

2. FRELINGHUYSEN, Reverend THEODORE, eldest son of the above- named, came to this country in 1745 an ordained minister, and was settled over the Reformed Dutch Church in Albany, New York. He is represented to have been an ardent, frank, and popular man; earnest, eloquent, tender, and warm-hearted as a preacher; of spotless life, and of eminent piety — "the apostolic and much-beloved Freylinghuysen," as the name was formerly written. After a ministry of fifteen years in Albany, he returned to Holland in 1760, partly because of ministerial discouragements from the excessive worldliness of the city, partly to visit his native land, and, according to some accounts, to procure funds for founding a literary and theological institution. But he never returned, having been lost at sea on the voyage. It is remarkable that his two brothers, Jacobus and Ferdinandus, both of whom had been educated and ordained as ministers in Holland, also died at sea in 1753, of small-pox; and that the youngest brother, Henricus, pastor of the churches in Wawarsing and Rochester, Ulster County, New York, died of the same disease soon after his settlement in 1756. (W.J.R.T.)

3. FRELINGHUYSEN. JOHN, second son of T.J. Frelinghuysen, was educated and ordained in Holland, and succeeded his father as pastor at Raritan, New Jersey, in 1750. He "was a man of greater suavity than his father, but was equally firm in upholding the claims of spiritual Christianity. He was distinguished for his gifts in the pul pit, for his easiduity in the religious training of the young, and for his zealous endeavors to raise up worthy candidates for the sacred office." He died, greatly lamented, in 1754, in the twenty-eighth year of his age. His wife, who afterwards married the Reverend Dr. Jacobus Rutea Hardenbergh, and who survived her first husband more than fifty years, is represented to have been "as eminent in her day for intelligent piety as any of the female saints of the Old Testament or of the New" (see Chambers, Memoir of Hon. Theo. Frelinghuysen, Harpers, 1863). (W.J.R.T.)

4. FRELINGHUYSEN, THEODORE, an eminent Christian lawyer, statesman, orator, and educator of youth, was great-grandson of the Reverend Theodorus Jacobus Frahiaghuysen, and the son of major-general Frederick Frelinghuysen, of the Revolutionary army, member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey and of the Continental Congress, and senator of the United States froms his native state (New Jersey). He was born at Millstone, Somerset County, New Jersey, March 28, 1787, educated in schools at New Brunswick and at Basking Ridge, and graduated at Nassau Hall, Princeton, in 1804, with the highest honors of the institution, After studying law in the offices of his brother John at Millstone and of the Hon. Richaed Stockton at Princeton, he was admitted to the bar in 1808, at the age of twenty-one. His eminent qualities as a lawyer led to his appointment in 1817 as attorney general of the state, which office he held until, in 1829, he was elected to the Senate of the United States. At the end of his term in the Senate he resumed the profession of the law, but soon accepted the chancellorship of the University of the City of New York. From 1839 to 1850 he occupied this high place, and then became president of Rutgersan College at New Brunswick, New Jersey) where he died, April 12, 1861, after a protracted illness. Durincr his residence in New York he was a candidate for the vice-

presidency of the United States, on the same ticket with Henry Clay for president, in 1844. Mr. Frelinghaysen's civil, forensic, and political eminence was eclipsed by the luster of his Christian and philanthropic career. His piety was humble, devout, genial, simple, and most carefully cultivated. His religious life was felt with unusual power at the bar, in the Senate, in society, and in the Church. He was a Sunday-school teacher almost until his death. His efforts for the salvation of public men — presidents, governors, senators, judges, and others — were most remarkable and blessed. Especially was he in the place of father, pastor, and adviser to the young men over whom he presided in the university and college. He was one of the foremost Temperance advocates and laborers in his generation. His eloquent tongue was ever ready to plead for every good Christian or humane cause. The American Sunday-school Union, the American Colonization Society, and other benevbolent enterprises, often shared in these efforts. At one time, and for years together, he was the president of those three greatest of our Christian voluntary associations — the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Necessarily he was a Christian patriot of the first order. His eloquent speech in the United States Senate on the Indian Bill, and his course on the Sunday-mail Question, told with electric force upon the whole country. And when the civil war broke out in 1861, he was among the first, the most decided, pronounced, and enthusiastic of all the eminent defenders. of the Union. The completeness of his elevated character and. record is remarkable, and his name will ever be illustrious for its goodness and greatness. A memoir of his life and services by Reverend T.W. Chambers, D.D., was issued by Harper and Braothers, New York, 1863, 12mo. (W.J.R.T.)

 
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