Shortly after arriving in 1720, Schuurman had come under suspicion of homosexuality. Frelinghuysen, due to his close association and favoritism was under scrutiny. Several people had charged Schuurman without rebuttal. Yet Frelinghuysen continued to administer the sacraments to Schuurman, ignoring all criticism; simply stating that Schuurman should be prayed for. In rather short order, Frelinghuysen and Schuurman married the Terhune sisters and the matter was eventually dropped.

On 6 April, 1727, Frelinghuysen replied to the above letter from the Classis and the 17 Articles therein.

    1. Replying to the first; he acknowledges the truth of the matter laid to his charge; but he can see no evil in it
    2. Concerning the second point:
    (1) As to the election of the Consistory contrary to Church Order; he denies this, and says that he cannot help that liars tell untrue things about it.
    (2) As to the election and installing of Deacon (Hendrick) Fisher, he replies,
    a. That he was lawfully elected by a majority of votes.
    b. That a Consistory meeting was held to consider the accusation, but that the accusers did not agree.
    c. That the installation occurred with the approval of the Consistory of Six Mile Run, to which it was referred for decision.
    d. That in this Fischer, there shone forth a humble wisdom and modest piety; and that he (Frelinghuysen) would have been yielding to Satan, if he had not installed him.
    3. To the third point: That he suspended this woman, in the presence of his elder, for an evil maxim (grondstelling), that a man must be saved by his own good works. For this also she was rebuked by the elder.
    7. That the reading of Schuurman's name in the Church, with those of the others who were becoming members, was omitted, not of set purpose, but from forgetfulness.
    8. That he had not disapproved the teaching of the "Our Father" (the Lord's Prayer) as a form to use in prayer; but he had disapproved the reciting it by rote, without explanation of its sense, its power, and its general purport.

    That he has never been willing to encourage the popish superstition so common there, that no prayer ought ever to be offered with this (Lord's) prayer being recited with it, as if there were a peculiar efficacy in those very words; but, on the contrary, that he is not opposed to the use of that prayer, he proves by his own practice; and he says, that he agrees in this with Calvin, Amesius, Alting and others.

    10. The tenth point: He says that there and everywhere in that country it is known to be a lie; while Goulet (Goelet) having been inquired of by many in regard to the matter, had denied it.
    12. That the cause of all this dissension is, that some are converted by the doctrines of Christ, and others not; and that the former resist the latter, in their sins; and therefore the dissension does not proceed from the doctrine itself, but incidentally from the wickedness of men; that the complaining fathers are persons openly godless, hardening themselves against all censure and admonition.
    15. That he and Schuurman are clear and entirely innocent in that matter; he offers to confirm this by an oath, although he fears such things. And he also proves his innocence by the acquittal of the Grand Juries, by whom the affair was investigated in the Supreme Court.

Frelinghuysen's 6 April 1727 response returned to the Classis was one of virtually total denial. He finessed a few answers, 1, 7, 8, 12 and denied the rest. The Classis revisited the matter in an internal "Report on the Differences in the Churches in Raritan" dated 5 April 1728. They were extremely critical, saying: "Some things referred to him...were passed over completely, that is to say, "dry shod" and his defense "are found many unseemly, bitter, vulgar as well as injurious expressions". Examples given were "notorious lies, Book of Lies, liars, furnishers of lies, enemies, a lot of wicked people, the scum of these four congregations...". On 28 June 1728 a second letter was sent to Frelinghuysen by the Classis. They reiterated much of the critique in the above internal report and additionally requested written documentation concerning both the Captain Goulet and Schuurman Grand Jury affairs. Most significantly the Classis fervently wanted peace between the parties, requesting the excommunications be reversed, apologies between the parties, and stating they would be happy if the above transpired and they had no need of any documentation!

So, the controversy continued. The Classis finally took action in 1732 and straight forwardly informed Frelinghuysen that they (Classis) were releasing the excommunicated from the ban. This seemed to be the complaint the Classis was most concerned with and the other complaints were eventually dropped by them. The bickering continued until 1738 when a mutual letter of agreement was sent to the Classis. In 1725 Dominee Henricus Coens was sent to replace Dominee Bartholf in northern New Jersey parishes and he soon began to administer sacraments and preach to the Klagers. Later Dominee Boel, the dedicated adversary of Frelinghuysen, installed a pastor to the Klagers in the Raritan, Bartholomeu Rieger in 1736. We do not know how many of the disaffected actually returned to Frelinghuysen's ministries.

Frelinghuysen numbered among his friends Dominees Bartholf in New Jersey, Freeman on Long Island, and Van Santvoord on Staten Island, as well as the influential Deacon Visscher at Raritan. His adversaries were the influential Dominee Boel and (for a time) Dominee DuBois in New York, Dominee Morgan in New Jersey and Dominee Anthonides on Long Island. Frelinghuysen had numerous friends in Europe, especially Dominees of the Vortian persuasion in East Friesland and Groningen where he sent sermons prepared in 1733. They were accepted and reprinted in Amsterdam in 1736. In the contrary view, portions of the Klagte appeared in anti Pietistic publications in Germany at that time.

The motivation to write this tract was two-fold:

    (a) Frelinghuysen's relationship to the Terhune family line of Jan Albertse Terhune (ours) through marriage and
    (b) an anecdotal and less than even handed recounting of the events of the Schism by many. We specifically refer to the writings of the Reverends Steele in 1867, Mulford in 1885, Messler in 1873 and Cramer in 1916; as well as New Jersey historians such as Lee in 1910. These writings generally viewed the events of the Schism through the opinions of ministers 150 years after the fact, some describing Frelinghuysen as a "veritable John the Baptist," We believe that the actual writings of Frelinghuysen and his adversaries, friends and ministers in Holland at the time, as contained in the New York Ecclesiastic records, better reflect the true picture.

So much for the controversy! Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen was one of, if not the most, influential preachers of his time. Indeed his influence was strong at the beginnings of the so called Great Awakening, a revivalist movement that was starting to sweep through the colonies and would continue well after the United States was formed. He ranged far and wide in his ministering from Long Island to Pennsylvania. He was quite ecumenical, numbering among his friends the Anglican Whitefield and the Presbyterian Tennent with whom he sometimes shared his pulpit. Despite his domineering and demanding ways with his congregations, he was unwavering in his experimental Pietistic doctrine. Many in his churches responded positively to his simple but emotional sermonizing; and his congregations grew in numbers as New Jersey grew in population, as did the number of his churches. Other Dominees, such as Tennent, copied his "method" or style of preaching.

Frelinghuysen was a teacher as well as a minister, giving informal theological training to one of his eventual successors, Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, the second husband of his widowed daughter-in-law, his own five sons, and numerous others. Additionally, he supported and advised a so called Presbyterian "Log College" started by the elder Tennent in Pennsylvania that trained ministers in a vein similar to Frelinghuysen's Pietism.

Frelinghuysen sickened and died in the late autumn of 1747. His passing may be likened to a "black hole". The date of his death is not known and the precise location of his grave is also uncertain. He was likely buried at the Three Mile Church Cemetery near his home. A monument was erected in 1884 by his great grandchildren at this location which carries an inscription containing his name and a synopsis of his life. It is also strange that the Ecclesiastical Record is silent about his passing, both in New York and Holland. Only a letter read by his friend Visschear at the second meeting of the Coetus in April 1748, calling for the examination of a replacement minister can be found. All this despite the fact that he was survived by his wife, two sons, both ministers and one of those, John, in the Raritans.

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