Stapel, Claes (17th century)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Claes Stapel, a Remonstrant public notary at Hoorn, Holland, and leader of the "college" (see Collegiants) in his home town, compiled a hymnal, Lusthof der Zielen (Pleasure Garden of the Soul), of which there were at least seven editions: 1st, Alkmaar 1681; 2d, Harlingen 1686, supplemented by an "Achterhofje" (that is, Back Garden); 3d, enlarged, Rotterdam 1692; 4th, enlarged, Rotterdam 1697; 5th, Amsterdam 1713; 6th, Amsterdam 1726; 7th, Amsterdam 1743. All editions but one are without notes. It contains 300 hymns in its first edition; the supplement has 80; the 7th edition numbers 461 hymns. The hymns are partly borrowed from older songbooks, but there are also a large number of hymns composed by contemporaries of the editor—12 by Stapel himself, others by Jan Luyken, Hugo de Groot, Jodocus van Lodensteyn, and many well-known Collegiants, for example, Adam Boreel, Barend Joosten Stol, Johannes Bredenburg, and Frans Kuyper. Mennonite authors of hymns found in this hymnal are Menno Simons, the martyr Joos de Tollenaer, Claes Claesz, T. J. van Braght, Pieter Pietersz, Galenus Abrahamsz, and others.

The Lusthof der Zielen was undoubtedly the most popular of the numerous Dutch hymnbooks. It was used not only in the Collegiant meetings, but also in many Mennonite congregations; it was used at Grouw, Friesland, until the early 19th century. Marten Schagen listed it among the Mennonite books, but this is wrong. The later Dutch Mennonite hymnals, including the present Doopsgezinde Bundel, contain hymns borrowed from Stapel's Lusthof.

In 1672 Stapel wrote a booklet in which he defended the necessity of Christian baptism against the Socinian Frans (de) Kuyper. Though not a Mennonite, Stapel was on friendly terms with many well-known Mennonites of his time. In a letter to him, Een brief van Dr Galenus Abrahams, seer nut en stichtelijck in dese tijdt om gelesen en betracht te werden (Alkmaar, 1677), Galenus Abrahamsz states that salvation rests entirely on the true following of Christ, which was also Stapel's main idea.

H. W. Meihuizen is of the opinion that Stapel may have been the author of the book Klaar Vertoog (1689), which defended Foecke Floris against the indictments of F. Elgersma, and which was formerly generally ascribed to Galenus Abrahamsz.

Stapel, who always stressed the great importance of Christian morals, particularly of sobriety and mercy, left behind a fine memorial by founding the Stapelshofje (home for aged women) at Hoorn, in which act of charity he was supported by two other Collegiants, one Mennonite and one Reformed.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland, 2 vols. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: v. II, 213.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1900): 90-93, 94.

Meihuizen, H. W. Galenus Abrahamsz. Haarlem, 1954: 121 f., 162.

Schagen, M. Naamlijst der Doopsgezinde Schrijveren. Amsterdam, 1745: 99.

Slee, J. C. van. De Rijnsburger Collegianten. Haarlem, 1895:191 f., 193, 368.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Stapel, Claes (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 27 May 2022.,_Claes_(17th_century)&oldid=162494.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Stapel, Claes (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 May 2022, from,_Claes_(17th_century)&oldid=162494.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 610. All rights reserved.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.