This book, the full title of which is Aufrichtige Nachrichten von dem Gegenwärtigen Zustande der Mennoniten oder Taufgesinnten wie auch der Collegianten oder Reinsburger, Beyderseits Ansehnlicher Kirchlicher Gesellschaften in den vereinigten Niderlanden. Samt einer Erzehlung Von den Streitigkeiten, In welche dermahlen einige der zuerst benennten verwikelt sind; Nebstverschiedenen andern dienlichen Zusätzen, was written by M. Simeon Friderich Rues and published at Jena in 1743.
Rues, a German Lutheran divine, visited the Netherlands where he spent most of his time interviewing various representatives of the many groups of Mennonites, visiting their services and homes, studying their literature, and making a comparative study of all groups, after which he presented his findings in this book. The Dutch Mennonites liked this account so much that they immediately had it translated into Dutch and published under the title: Tegenwoordige Staet der Doopsgezinden of Mennoniten, in de Vereenigde Nederlanden; . . . t’ Amsterdam, by F. Houttuyn, 1745. The translator, whose name is not given, but who was Martin Schagen, a Mennonite preacher and scholar of Utrecht, states that he found it necessary to change some statements and add extensive notes, together with some rearrangement, making a total of 330 pages.
Rues divides his German book of 320 pages into five parts: Fine Mennonites or Old Flemish; Coarse Mennonites or Frisian, Flemish, Waterlanders and United; Controversies between Mennonites and Reformed; Collegiants or the Rijnsburgers; and an appendix treating of the government of Friesland and the Reformed and other clergy. Most significant are the first two chapters in which he gives detailed accounts about the Mennonite doctrines, discipline, organization, practices in worship services, efforts to unite, etc. The Old Flemish, Frisians, Waterlanders, United congregations, Lamists, Zonists, and the many subdivisions of that day are treated. Aufrichtige 'Nachrichten is one of the most important and objective sources on the Dutch Mennonites of the eighteenth century and a goldmine of information for the Mennonite historian, particularly valuable for American Mennonites, since the Dutch Mennonites at that time confronted problems similar to those which American Mennonites have confronted since the nineteenth century.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Aufrichtige Nachrichten." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 Feb 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Aufrichtige_Nachrichten&oldid=75003.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1953). Aufrichtige Nachrichten. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 February 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Aufrichtige_Nachrichten&oldid=75003.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 181-182. All rights reserved.
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