Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Schaeffer, Frederick David

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SCHAEFFER, Frederick David, clergyman, b. in Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, 15 Nov., 1760; d. in Frederick, Md., 27 Jan., 1836. In 1768 he was sent to the gymnasium in Hanau, where he remained until the death of his father in 1774. In 1776 he emigrated with an uncle to this country, but shortly after their arrival the uncle died, and he was left destitute. After teaching in York county, Pa., he studied theology, was licensed to preach in 1786, and ordained in 1788. He became pastor of Lutheran congregations at Carlisle and other places, and in 1812-'34 was the colleague of Rev. Dr. Helmuth in Philadelphia. In 1834, in consequence of the infirmities of age, he relinquished the ministry, and removed to Frederick, Md. He received the degree of D. D. in 1813 from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schaeffer was a close student, a fine classical scholar, and a good Hebraist. He published “Antwort auf eine Vertheidigung der Methodisten” (Germantown, Pa., 1806) and “Eine herzliche Anrede” (1806). — His eldest son, David Frederick, clergyman, b. in Carlisle, Pa., 22 July, 1787; d. in Frederick, Md., 5 May, 1837, was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1807, studied theology, and was ordained by the ministerium of Pennsylvania in 1812. In 1808 he became pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Frederick, Md., which post he held until the end of his life. He was an able theologian, always having students under his direction, and was connected with all the important enterprises of his own church and with many outside of it. From 1826 till 1831 he was the editor of the first English periodical that was established in the Lutheran church in this country, the “Lutheran Intelligencer.” He took an active part in the establishment of the theological seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., in 1826, was one of the founders of the general synod of the Lutheran church (1821), secretary in 1821-'9, and its president in 1831-'3. In 1836 he received the degree of D. D. from St. John's college, Annapolis, Md. Besides a large number of doctrinal and other articles in the “Lutheran Intelligencer,” he published various addresses and sermons. — Another son, Frederick Christian, clergyman, b. in Germantown, Pa., 12 Nov., 1792; d. in New York city, 26 March, 1832, studied the classics partly in the academy of his native place and partly under his father, with whom he also read theology, and in 1812 was licensed to preach. In the same year he became pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Harrisburg, Pa., where he remained three years. In 1815 he accepted a call to Christ church, New York city, where he preached in German and English until 1823, when he organized St. Matthew's English Lutheran congregation. Soon afterward difficulties about the church property arose between the German and English congregations, and he organized St. James's English Lutheran congregation, which he served until his death. He received the degree of D. D. in 1830 from Columbia, and in the same year he was elected professor of the German language and literature there. He was deeply interested in the study of natural science, and received from the king of Prussia a gold medal for his valuable services in the interest of this study. He published “The Blessed Reformation and Parables and Parabolic Sayings” (New York, 1817), and several sermons. — Another son,

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Charles Frederick, clergyman, b. in Germantown, Pa., 3 Sept., 1807; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 23 Nov., 1879, was educated in the University of Pennsylvania, and studied theology partly under the direction of his father. He was ordained in 1829, and became pastor at Carlisle, Pa., where he remained until 1834. In the latter year he removed to Hagerstown, Md., where he had charge of several Lutheran congregations until 1839. He was professor of theology in Capitol university, Columbus, Ohio, in 1840-'3, and pastor at Lancaster, Ohio, in 1843-'5, at Red Hook, N. Y., in 1845-'51, and at Easton, Pa., in 1851-'5. From the last year till 1864 he was professor of the German language and literature in Pennsylvania college, Gettysburg, and then till his death he was professor of systematic theology of the newly established theological seminary at Philadelphia, and its president. He was a representative of the strictly conservative and confessional party in the Lutheran church, defending his position with great force in many publications, and was a leader in the organization of the general council in 1867. He published a large number of historical, homiletical, and doctrinal articles, and left several manuscripts of value, including a complete “System of Lutheran Theology.” Among his works are “Manual of Sacred History,” translated from the German (Philadelphia, 1855); “Luther's Small Catechism,” a revised translation (1856); “Inaugural Address at Gettysburg” (New York, 1856); and “Arndt's True Christianity,” translated from the German (1868). — Frederick David's grandson, Charles William, theologian, b. in Hagerstown, Md., 5 May, 1813; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 15 March, 1896. He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1832, and at Gettysburg theological seminary in 1835, licensed to preach in 1835, and ordained in 1836. Immediately afterward he took charge of a parish in Montgomery county, which he served until 1841. He was pastor at Harrisburg, Pa., in 1841-'9, and at Germantown, Pa., in 1849-'75, when he was retired as pastor emeritus. In 1864, when the theological seminary was established in Philadelphia, he was elected professor of ecclesiastical history, which post he had since held. He held high office in the councils of his church, and had been one of the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania since 1859, receiving from it the degree of D. D. in 1879. That of LL. D. was given him in 1887 by Thiel college, Greenville, Pa. Dr. Schaeffer had long been one of the leaders of the conservative and confessional party in the Lutheran church. He took an active part in the establishment of the theological seminary at Philadelphia in 1864, and in the organization of the general council in 1867. He was specially versed in American Lutheran history and the historical and doctrinal development of the Lutheran church in this country, and had written numerous articles for church papers and theological reviews. He was for several years co-editor of the “Lutheran Home Journal” in Philadelphia, and the “Philadelphian, Lutheran and Missionary.” Since 1879 he had been editor-in-chief of “The Foreign Missionary” in Philadelphia, and since 1886 he had been one of the editors of the “Lutheran Church Review.” He published “Mann's Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism,” translated from the German (Philadelphia, 1855); “Early History of the Lutheran Church in America” (1857); “Golden Treasury for the Children of God,” translated from the German (1860); “Family Prayer, for Morning and Evening, and the Festivals of the Church Year”; the “Halle Reports,” translated from the German (Reading, 1882); and a “Church Book” (1891).