Haemstede, Adrian Van

Haemstede, Adrian van one of the first preachers of the Reformed faith in the Netherlands, was probably born about the year 1525 in Schouwen. The parents of Adriaan seem to have been among the earliest in Zealand to embrace the Reformed faith. He understood several modern languages, and wrote in both Latin and Dutch. His Dutch style is remarkable for perspicuity and strength. Adriaan was in 1557 ministering to the Reformed church ill Antwerp, and his labors there were eminently successful. Deeply sympathizing with the persecuted Protestants in France, he wrote in Latin a letter to Henry the Second of France, in which he remonstrates with him and pleads with him to exercise clemency. This letter is dated. Dec. 1, 1557, and is thus in advance of the measures set on foot by Calvin and Beza in behalf of these persecuted followers of Christ. Van Haemstede in this letter suggests a conference such as was held at Poissv in 1562. Van der Heiden, sent at his request by the church at Emden to assist him at Antwerp, having arrived, he took occasion to leave for a time (Feb. 1558). During his absence dark clouds gathered, and soon after his return the storm burst. Van der Heiden, whose place of preaching had been betrayed by a woman, escaped. Van Haemstede remained, though a. price was set upon his head, and certain death awaited him if captured. His two faithful helpers, Gillis and Antoine Verdikt, were both burned at Brussels. He left Antwerp probably in March 1559, and sought refuge in Ost Friesland. Subsequently he labored for a short time at Groningen, and was thence sent to England to take charge of a Reformed church in London. He espoused the cause of the better class of Anabaptists, so far as to maintain that they should not be punished for their doctrinal error respecting the humanity of Christ, since they acknowledged his divinity, and depended on him for salvation. This view was in direct conflict with the views and practice of Cranmer and Ridley, who had in 1551 condemned to the flames Joris van Parre, a Netherlander of irreproachable morals, simply on account of his doctrinal belief. As the church which Haemstede served was at this time under the supervision of Edmund Grindal, bishop of London, he was called to account for his views, and, adhering to them, was banished from the kingdom. On his return to Holland he was deprived of all his property. Emden, too, refused to receive him. He bore his trials and privations in a truly Christian manner. At the earnest request of many of the London congregation, he finally went thither again. The bishop of London demanded a recantation. He refused. Again he was banished. With a heavy heart he returned to Friesland, where he soon after died. His death occurred in 1562. In his views of religious liberty he was far in advance of his age, and fell a victim to the reigning spirit of intolerance. He was the author of the first Book of Martyrs published in the Netherlands. It is conjectured that it was first published at Antwerp during the persecution, and issued in sheets as it was prepared. The original edition, which is extremely rare, is in small quarto, bearing the author's name, but not the place of its publication. It met with great favor, and for two centuries it was the manual of thousands, having passed through many successive editions. See an able and interesting monograph of Rev. Joh. ab Utrecht Dresselhuis in the with vol. of Kist and Rayaard's Archief voor Kerkelijke Geschiedenis, inzonderheid van Nederland (Leyd. 1835); Glasius, Godgeleerd Nederland, D. 2. (J. P.W.)

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