Apostool, Samuel (1638-1699)
Samuel Apostool, born 15 June 1638 and died 29 April 1699, was a doctor of medicine and a physician by vocation. In March 1662, at the age of nearly 24, he was chosen preacher by the Flemish Lamist congregation at Amsterdam. In this congregation there were at the time two parties, one led by Galenus Abrahamsz de Haan, who was influenced by the Collegiants and did not want to emphasize the significance of any of the existing confessions, and the other, which was conservative and held the group of the Flemish to be the true church of God, and strictly adhered to the confessions of faith. Of this conservative group Samuel Apostool soon became an influential leader. The dispute, known as the Lammerenkrijg, flamed so high that Apostool in May or June 1664 left the congregation with 500 followers; having held their meetings in a rented warehouse in the Oude Teertuinen for a time, they bought a brewery on 19 September 1664 and used it as a meetinghouse. This building had on its gable the sign of the sun, de Zon, and was, like the church bij 't Lam, situated on the Cingel (Singel). There Apostool's group organized a congregation. After their leader they were sometimes called Apostoolists, but after their church mostly the Zonists. For a century they remained the strict wing of the Mennonites, and like their founder S. Apostool, adhered to these three doctrines: the eternal deity of Christ, complete justification through the blood of Christ, and the existence of the true church of God on earth. Apostool contended with Galenus, who had remained leader of the Lamist congregation with 2,000 members, for the possession of the church and church property; but the burgomasters of Amsterdam rejected his claim upon the church because he refused to recognize the Galenists as brethren, whereas Galenus and his followers were quite willing to acknowledge the Apostoolists as such. In 1672 the two congregations came to an agreement for the division of the church property.
In 1664 Apostool signed the Verbondt van Eenigheydt accepted in Utrecht. In June 1665 Apostool traveled to Zeeland to urge the congregations there to join this union, which later developed into the Zonist Conference. He had little success, partly on account of the powerful opposition of Adriaen van Eeghen, the preacher at Middelburg. Only the congregation of Goes was won for the union.
Apostool was also present at the discussions held in 1684 and 1685 between representatives of the Lamists and Zonists in futile attempts to reach some kind of agreement. He did not speak much there, but at the meeting of 8 August 1684 he declared that the Zonists were not disinclined to acknowledge the Lamists as brethren if no steps would be taken in opposition to the algemeene gronden der Doopsgezinden, i.e., the general doctrines of the Mennonites, because he considered unity to be impossible without a common system of doctrine. (Verhaal van de Onderhandelingen, . . . Amsterdam, 1685, p. 9. In the copy in the possession Nanne van der Zijpp there was a note inserted by pen by one of the men present that Apostool was the speaker.
Apostool left no published works with the exception of Waarheids-Oeffeninge, a booklet that he wrote in collaboration with his colleague Samuel van Deyl (Amsterdam, 1677, reprinted in 1686, 1730, and 1743). His funeral sermon was preached by Reynsckes Overwijk.
Bidloo, L. Onbepaalde verdraagzaamheid. Amsterdam, 1701.
Catalogus der werken over de Doopsgezinden en hunne geschiedenis aanwezig in de bibliotheek der Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: J.H. de Bussy, 1919: 250 ff.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland, 2 vols. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: passim.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 79.
Kühler, W. J. Het Socinianisme in Nederland. Leiden: De Tille, 1912: 169 ff.
Schijn, Hermann. Uitvoeriger Verhandeling van de Geschiedenisse der Mennoniten. Amsterdam: Kornelis de Wit, 1744: 597-606.
Wilbur, Earl Morse. A History of Unitarianism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1947: 560-562.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 142-143. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Apostool, Samuel (1638-1699)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A6746.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Apostool, Samuel (1638-1699). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A6746.html.