Stahlschmidt, John Christian

Stahlschmidt, John Christian a minister of the German Reformed Church, was born not far from Cologne, in the principality of Nassau-Siegein, March 3, 1740. In his nineteenth year he was brought to sympathize considerably with Pietistic separatists, which so displeased his father that he whipped him, extorting from him a promise that he would no more associate with them or read their books while under his care. He decided to leave home, and went to Amsterdam, in which city he had learned that the books of the Pietists were published. Disappointed at not finding his hopes realized in that city, he sailed for the East Indies, arriving at Batavia June 3, 1760, and from thence proceeded to China. Returning to Europe, he went to Altona, near Hamburg, hoping to find congenial friends and employment there. Disappointed, he again went to sea, and came back to Amsterdam June 1, 1765. Led by the reading of Tersteegen's writings, Stahlschmidt visited him in August, 1766, and again in 1767, receiving much instruction and encouragement from him. He entered into business with an uncle, in which he continued till the autumn of 1769. He again (March, 1770) started out in search of employment, visiting Rotterdam, Helvoetsluis, Harwich, and London, arriving in Philadelphia, Pa., in August 1770. Here he began to study under Dr. Weyberg, and after some time became assistant to Dr. Hendel, of Tulpehocken. In 1777 he was licensed and ordained, and entered the pastorate in York, Pa. In August 1779, he sailed for Amsterdam, his parents' home, which he reached in June 1780. Resolved to return to America as soon as the war should close, he went to live with his uncle, and became so engaged in business and other pursuits that he remained in Europe. The last notice of him that we have is in the album of Rev. J. Reily, under date of Oct. 25, 1825. He wrote Die Pilger zu Wasser und zu Land (Nuremberg, 1799). See Harbaugh, Fathers of the Reformed Church, 2, 252.

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