Beets, Jan (1709-1788)

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Jan Beets, born 29 September 1709 at Hoorn in the Netherlands, died 27 April 1788. He was the uncle of Pieter Beets and the nephew of Gerrit Beets. On 11 October 1731 he was chosen to the ministry at Hoorn, serving until his death, more than 56 years later. There were during this time five preachers in the congregation, one of them being Cornelis Ris. Jan Beets belonged to the extremely orthodox wing of the Mennonites. In 1776 he urged that preparations be made for a union with the Reformed Church (in his sermon "Eene Kudde en een herder, dat is de heilige algemeene Christelijke kerk in gemeenschap der Heiligen, opgedragen aan alle ware Zioniten," Hoorn, 1776). Ris also favored this union; for both Ris and Beets were very unhappy about the increasing rationalism among the Mennonites of their day. In his article on them (Mennonitisches Lexikon) Neff says that he was a true follower of Zinzendorf. But this is an error. Beets actually opposed the Moravian Brethren (in his Brief tot Vermaning . . . betr. de Hernhutsche Gemeente, Hoorn, 1749), but he made contacts with many "who were willing to save orthodoxy," including Tersteegen (letter of 17 November 1750, by Tersteegen to Lauffs in Rheydt; see Mennonitishe Blätter, 1891, 102).

Beets wrote much and in great variety. Especially to be mentioned is his Verklaringe ter proeve opgesteld van eenige hoofdleeringen des geloofs, getrokken uit de geschriften van Menno Simons en de Belijdenissen der Mennoniten (Hoorn, 1765), a well-known confession of faith.


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: 145, 209, 219, 220, 246.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 152.

Sepp, C. (Christiaan). Johannes Stinstra en zijn tijd: eene bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der kerk en school in de 18de eeuw, 2 vols. Amsterdam: J.C. Sepp & Zoon, 1865-1866: v. I, 136; v. II, 99, 188.

Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Het protestantsche vaderland: biographisch woordenboek van protestantsche godgeleerden in Nederland, 8 vols. Utrecht, 1903-1918: v. I, 3781.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Beets, Jan (1709-1788)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 22 Apr 2018.,_Jan_(1709-1788)&oldid=54389.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Beets, Jan (1709-1788). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from,_Jan_(1709-1788)&oldid=54389.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 263. All rights reserved.

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