Burial at Lower Skippack Cemetery NOT Proof of Mennonite Affiliation



A parishioner of Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church, Trappe, PA, is buried at Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery, as noted by Reverend Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Minister:
"In the month of February a man in the Providence congregation died. … He attended church regularly whenever his sickly condition permitted. . .Shortly before his death he asked that I should come to him. He made his confession with me and received the Holy Supper. In saying farewell he requested me to bury him. … He was buried in the Mennonite churchyard because he had lived nearby. Since there was a large number of people of all sorts of persuasions in attendance, I preached on repentance to God, and they were all very attentive …" (Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Muhlenberg Press 1958 Philadelphia, PA (3 Vol.) Vol. 1 p 215 #LC-42-18316)

From THE PERKIOMEN REGION VOLXII Nos 3+4, October, 1934 Whole Nos 46, 47, pages 154 ff:

"Anthony Hallman was a resident of Skippack, Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co, PA, probably as early as 1708, where, we learn, he held a farm in 1720 of 150 acres. He was born in 1671, and died in 1759, age 88 years. Although he lived in Skippack, adjacent to the Mennonite Church property, he was a member of the Lutheran Church, at Trappe, PA, where he served on the building committee in 1743. Over the east door of the ancient structure with a hip roof is a stone containing the name in Latin A. Heilmano. He was a warden of the church, BUT WAS BURIED ON JULY 16 AS AFORESAID IN THE BURIAL GROUND ADJACENT TO HIS FARM.

"His wife, Mary Salome, died, aged 73, and was buried September 26, 1745, at the Skippack Mennonite Burying Ground, where beside her, her husband was afterwards buried."

(Note: They are not listed in Reinford's listing of LSMCem nor in DEATHS IN THE SKIPPACK, but their stones were probably obliterated, as many were, well before Reinford made his list in 1961.)

This was written in regard to Anthony's wife:

"Halle: Part of a letter written by Rev H M Muhlenberg to 'Nachrichten' by Schulze, 1787 (from the German.)
A church elder's wife in Providence (Trappe) had much worry and care with worldly duties, but these she laid aside half a year before her death and she lamented that her prayer might be more sincere in every detail. She more carefully pondered her prayers in her heart than formerly and harkened with tears. Her husband read diligently to her at home from the holy prayer book of Arnd about real Christian life and pointed out the way for her duties, so that she underwent a real change.
She selected for her funeral text the words out of the Lamentations of Jeremiah 5, 16: 'The crown of our head has fallen off. Woe to us that we have sinned and die so soon.'
Her husband dwelt near the Mennonite Meetinghouse, and had in former times helped to build their churchyard, wherein he had permission to have a plot for his family, for that reason he wished to have his wife buried there. There had gathered a large group for the funeral since they say, every one as he wished might go to the burial. After we had covered the corpse with earth, I wished to have the sermon under a tree because of the hot weather.
The Mennonite minister who was present stepped up to me and said, I would like you to hold the sermon in our large Meeting House. I answered: that under our gracious king's sovereignty all parties (beliefs) are permitted in this land, so I will not interfere with your freedom nor cause strife. But the Mennonite minister continued to urge it and I said I wish you would not shun our church.
I thought, perhaps, they might be more willing to grasp the word if their desires were granted. However, while entering, the aged minister said in my ear, I wish though that there be used no strange ceremonies. To which I replied, There will be employed by me none other than those of the Evangelical Lutheran (church) custon.
After the sermon was over, the aged one excused himself and said, would I forgive him for his words, that he had not understood what were our usages. They were thankful with weeping eyes, that I, the Heavenly Messenger (a they called me), had spoken in their edifice (midst).
Since then I have frequently been obliged to speak in the same place at funerals of our neighbors. The ministers were always present and declared that their souls were revived and hallowed thereby and bespoke for themselves good friendship and neighborliness.
I have in such sermons not spoken upon the disputed points between us and them, but have proclaimed atonement, faith, and holiness - so we all without discrimination may be complete in all things necessary."

"Anthony's youngest son Henry inherited the farm in Skippack township and resided on it all his life. He, like his father and brother John was a member of the Augustus Lutheran Church. The son contributed to the support of the pastor as was recorded in 1760. According to the example of his father, he and his wife are buried in the Old Mennonite Cemetery, over the fence from his plantation."

Pennsylvania German Society Vol 25, Chapter 4 "Germantown," 1926, page 96 lists the membership list of the Germantown church of 1708, which DOES NOT INCLUDE Hans Peter. The source is Morgan Edwards, Material for a History of the American Baptists, published in 1770. On page 97, the article continues: "In the meantime those of other religious faiths were also finding their way in increasing numbers to all these colonies. In 1694 a mystic by the name of Kelpius, a disciple of the German religious mystic Jacob Boehm, came over with a number of followers located in Germantown, but soon after moved over to the banks of the beautiful Wissahickon, now a part of Fairmount Park, where he became known as the Hermit of the Ridge. (43) With Kelpius came also a party of Lutherans, who held their first religious services in the house of the Mennonite van Bebber. (44)

(43) J F Sachse, The German Sectaries of Pennsylvania

(44) Pa. Ger. Soc., XI, 70




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