Rysdyck, Isaac

Rysdyck, Isaac, a (Dutch) Reformed minister, was born in Holland in 1720, and was educated at the University of Groningen. After laboring for ten or fifteen years as a pastor in his native land, he accepted a call to the churches of Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Hopewell, and New Hackensack, N.Y., which made up one charge, and was installed in September, 1765. The strife between the Coetus and Conference was running high, and the parties were bitterly divided when he arrived. He sided with the Conferentie, but was moderate in spirit and action, and in 1771 was prominent in the convention which settled this sad conflict, and president of the convention of 1772 which formed the "Articles of Union" between these parties. In 1772 the Poughkeepsie Church separated peacefully from its collegiate relations, and Mr. Rysdyck retained the sole charge of the others until 1783, when the Rev. Isaac Blauvelt was elected his colleague. The aged pastor died in 1789, and was buried beneath the pulpit of his old church in New Hackensack. Mr. Rysdyck was a stately specimen of the gentleman of the olden time — tall, venerable, precise in antique dress and address; punctilious, polite, and commanding universal respect and reverence. His dark complexion indicated Spanish blood in his Dutch veins. He usually rode on horseback when making parochial visits, and wore a cocked hat, white flowing wig, and the customary clerical dress; and when passing any one on the road, would always lift his hat and give a friendly greeting. Before the Revolutionary War he taught a classical school at Fishkill, and among his pupils was the celebrated Dr. John H. Livingston. He was regarded as the most learned theologian and classical scholar in the Dutch Church. He wrote in Greek and Latin, and was as much at home in Hebrew as in his native tongue. His sermons were textual, analytical, and drawn directly out of the Scriptures, which he expounded with learning and affectionate faithfulness. In the most excited controversies of the Church he was always known as a peace maker. For a long time he was the only minister in Dutchess County. He left no production in print. (W.J.R.T.)

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