Pieter Grijspeert (Grijspeer, Grijspaart) was a noted preacher of the United Flemish and High German Mennonite congregation at Haarlem in 1625-1655. The dates of his birth and death are not known, but he seems to have been chosen to the ministry while he was young, for in his writings he frequently used the motto, "I am young."
He was one of the signatories of the Outerman Confession (1625), presented to the Court of Holland by representatives of nine congregations. He and his colleague Jan Doom represented the Haarlem congregation at the peace conference held at Dordrecht on 21 April 1632, and signed the Dordrecht Confession. Likewise he appeared as the elder of the Haarlem congregation at the conference held at Haarlem in June 1649 for the purpose of forming a union, when representatives were present from Zeeland, Flanders, North and South Holland, Utrecht, and Overijssel. The three previously accepted confessions, Olive Branch, Jan Cents, and the Dordrecht Confession, were presented and quietly adopted, with the understanding that they were still subordinate to the Word of God. In addition many other regulations were passed for the benefit of the union, to serve in the management of the congregations.
These suggestions were published in 1654 by Grijspeert in a volume titled Een Christelyk Handboeke, gemaakt onder Verbeteringe, hoe men bequaamelyk, als elk zyn Geloove beleeft, en zyne Regeeringe waarneemt, Goddelyk de Gemeente kan regeeren, without place of publication. The author calls himself a "lover of the apostolic church and of general Christian peace." This can indeed be said of Grijspeert. Already by Maatschoen's time the booklet was so rare (1745) that he included it without any condensation in his Geschiedenis der Mennoniten (III, 188-232); not even in the [[Amsterdam Mennonite Library (Bibliotheek en Archief van de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam)|Mennonite library of Amsterdam]] is a copy to be found. It contained questions to be presented to newly chosen preachers, deacons, and baptismal candidates, gives directions for the baptismal ceremony, the reception of excommunicated members, and marriage, besides 30 rules to be observed in the management of the congregation. In conclusion it contains an excerpt from Paulus Merula's Tydthresoor concerning the state and service of the Christian church in the first century, in order to show that it was governed by definite regulations. Maatschoen calls it a most useful booklet and wishes that all Mennonite congregations would on general principles be governed by it; at the same time he notes that many congregations were still living by its precepts.
In addition Grijspeert published a collection of devotional poems, Sommighe leerachtighe Geestelycke Liedekens, gemaeckt uyt den Ouden, ende Nieuwen Testamente, met ook eenige Psalmen Davids, uyt verscheyden Boecken by een vergadert, om in de vergaderinge der Geloovigen tot des Heeren prys, ende stichtinge onder malkanderen ghesongen te worden. The addition of the words, "Vermeerdert met eenighe nieuwe Liedekens door P.G.," indicates that he wrote some of them himself. These compose an appendix titled 's Herten vreucht, inhoudende eenige nieuwe Liedekens, uyt den Ouden, ende Nieuwen Testament by een vergadert tot vermaeckinghe des Gheests. This little volume contains 12 songs, 11 of which were written by Grijspeert. There is also an appendix of six songs by the martyr Elisabeth (drowned at Leeuwarden in 1549), Menno Simons, Dirk Philips, Joost Ewoutsz, Jacques Outerman, and an unknown author. The hymnbook was published at Hoorn in 1629. A second edition, omitting 's Herten Vreucht, appeared at Haarlem in 1638. The last six songs were printed at Amsterdam in 1618, and apparently were added later to Grijspeert's collection. The Mennonite archives at Amsterdam contain two letters written by him.
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: 273.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 175 f.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. 2 v. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, No. 586; II, Nos. 1387, 1855, 1861.
Schijn, Hermann. Aanhangzel Dienende tot den Vervolg of Derde Deel van de Geschiedenis der Mennoniten .. . in het welke noch Negentien Leeraars der Mennoniten . . . Amsterdam: Kornelis de Wit, 1745: 183-236.
Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Biographisch Woordenboek von Protestantsche Godgeleerden in Nederland. Utrecht, 1903-: III, 388 f.
Cite This Article
Loosjes, Jacob. "Grijspeert, Pieter (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 10 Oct 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grijspeert,_Pieter_(17th_century)&oldid=81456.
Loosjes, Jacob. (1956). Grijspeert, Pieter (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 October 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grijspeert,_Pieter_(17th_century)&oldid=81456.
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