Serarius, Petrus (1600?-1665)
Petrus Serarius (Pierre Serrurier), a Mennonite of French descent, who according to tradition was born in Flanders in 1636, and to another more probable tradition, at London, England, in 1600, and who died at Amsterdam in 1665. He was a businessman and lived at first in London and then (before 1659) at Cologne, Germany, where he was a member and probably a deacon of the Mennonite congregation; later he lived at Amsterdam. Whether he joined a Mennonite congregation in Amsterdam or not is not certain. In his youth he had belonged to the Reformed Church. During his Amsterdam period he called himself "a preacher of God in His general church." Meinsma called him "a Mennonite Collegiant." In Amsterdam he was an adherent of Galenus Abrahamsz, whom he defended against Jan Jansz Swichtenheuvel. More and more he came to the opinion that of all churches on earth none could be considered the true church of God; but he considered the Mennonite Church, as founded by men of good will, to be nearest to the true church. The present churches, he says, have the devil as their founder. This idea Serarius may have borrowed from Christian Entfelder, whose book Von den manigfaltigen im glauben zerspaltungen dise jar entstanden he translated into Dutch. On the ground of his astronomical observations he expected the coming of Christ in the near future, and gathered around him a group of chiliasts including some Mennonites.
Serarius published a large number of books both in Latin and in Dutch, some of them having been reprinted as late as the 18th century. The most important are: De Vertredinge des Heyligen Stadts (Amsterdam, 1659), Naerder Bericht wegens die groote conjunctie (Amsterdam, 1662), and Een Blijde Boodschap aen Jerusalem (Amsterdam, 1665).
Arnold, Gottfried. Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie II: 900.
Glasius, B. Godgeleerd Nederland II. 's Hertogen-bosch, 1856: 344-46.
Hylkema, C. B. Reformateurs, 2 vols. Haarlem, 1900 and 1902: see Index.
Meihuizen, H. W. Galenus Abrahamsz. Haarlem, 1954: 45, 63, 80.
Meinsma, K. O. Spinoza en zijn Kring. The Hague, 1896: 212, 269, 291.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 502. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Serarius, Petrus (1600?-1665)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/serarius_petrus.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Serarius, Petrus (1600?-1665). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/serarius_petrus.