1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Frans Lion Cachet en die herstel van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek rondom 1866 - research

Volume 59 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
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Abstract

Frans Lion Cachet and the restoration of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Zuid- Afrikaansche Republic around 1866 In 1865–1866 the then Dutch Reformed (“Gereformeerde”) Church (“Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk”) and the Dutch Reformed (“Hervormde”) Church (“Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk”) went their separate ways. The latter became the church of the state of the South African Republic (“Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek” of 1852–1902) in its Constitution of 1855–1858. The term “hervormd”, however, was taken up in article 20 of the Constitution without consulting the two churches. The separation of the two churches occurred at two meetings: at the Commission of the General Assembly of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk” in June 1865 and at their General Assembly in November of the same year. At these meetings, Rev. Lion Cachet was the spokesperson of the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk”. The outstanding points of difference were the church’s name and accepted confessions of faith. Lion Cachet and the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk” argued that the church itself should be responsible for its name which, in this case, should be the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NG Kerk)”. The members of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk (NH Kerk)” were satisfied with the latter name “bestowed upon their chuch by the ZAR”. Two points of difference on the relevant confessions, the Three Formulas of Unity namely the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of Dordt, were discussed. The chairman of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk” limited the confessions to article 7 of one of them, the Belgic or Dutch Confession of Faith. These ministers of the “NH Kerk” also refused to sign the Three Formulas of Unity or reformed confessions as based on Scripture. This was unacceptable to Lion Cachet and other delegates of the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk”. The clash between Lion Cachet and his folllowers and the representatives of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk” was highligthed at the meeting of the Commission of the General Assembly of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk” in June 1865 in Rustenburg. This meeting introduced the final clash at the General Assembly of the “Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk” in November 1865 in Pretoria. On the two main issues referred to earlier, the General Assembly refused to accept the viewpoint of Lion Cachet and his supporters, while Lion Cachet could not join a church with the above viewpoints. To him, that constituted a departure from the reformed viewpoint and from the stance of the National Synod of Dordrecht in The Netherlands in 1618–1619 (a well-known reformed synod). The outstanding and direct result of this Synod, according to Lion Cachet, were the acceptance of the Canons of Dordt as a confession with a reformed perspective on election and of the Three Formulas of Unity. Apart from these confessions, the Synod of Dordrecht was also responsible for the well-known church order of Dordt and instrumental in producing the State Translation of the Bible in Dutch in 1637. It proved to be a translation which stimulated Dutch as a written language and which also served as a spiritual guide for the life of reformed people in South Africa in the 1860s. To stabilise the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk” in the ZAR, Lion Cachet organised a General Assembly of this church in December 1866. It adhered to the name of Dutch Reformed or “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk” and the acceptance of the Three Formulas according to Scripture. Already 8 NG congregations in the ZAR were represented at this meeting. A witness and supporter of Lion Cachet is on record as stating that Lion Cachet was home for only 14 months between January 1866 and January 1869. He travelled a great deal to reorganise the NG Church in the ZAR. The fact that 8 congregations met at the General Assembly of 1866 is proof of his hard work and perseverance from a human point of view. When Lion Cachet left the ZAR for The Netherlands in 1873, apart from the “Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk” Utrecht, he also left other congregations without a minister.

Die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NG Kerk) en die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk (NH Kerk) in Transvaal of die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) skei finaal in die jare 1865–1866. Hierdie skeiding word by twee kerkvergaderings voltrek: die Kommissie van die Algemene Kerkvergadering van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk in Junie 1865 op Rustenburg en die Algemene Kerkvergadering van hierdie kerk in Pretoria in November daardie jaar. Agterna beskou het die Kommissievergadering van die Algemene Kerkvergadering op Rustenburg die breuk wat by die Algemene Kerkvergadering in Pretoria plaasgevind het, ingelei. Die twee uitstaande redes vir die breuk, naamlik die naam van die kerk en die plek en gesag van sy belydenisskrifte, is in Junie 1865 bespreek en na die Novembervergadering vir ’n beslissing verwys. Vanaf die kant van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk het hul segsman en voorloper, ds. Frans Lion Cachet, daarop gewys dat die naam van die kerk nie deurslaggewend is nie, maar dat die naam “Hervormd” van die Gereformeerde Kerk in Nederland deur die staatsowerheid met ’n reglement in 1816 aan hom opgelê is. Dit is verkeerd, omdat die kerk self sy naam moet kies. Dieselfde het in die ZAR gebeur waar die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk se naam – as staatskerk – sonder enige kennisgewing aan die kerk in artikel 20 van die ZAR-Grondwet van 1855 –1858 bepaal is. Daarby wou Lion Cachet en die NG Kerk dat die belydenisskrifte van die kerk die Drie Formuliere van Eenheid sal wees wat by die gereformeerde Nasionale Sinode van Dordrecht in 1618–1619 in Nederland aanvaar is. Belydenisse wat aanvaar word omdat die leer daarin vervat in alles met die Skrif ooreenkom. Vir predikante van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk in die ZAR was hierdie blik op die belydenisskrifte onaanvaarbaar. Met ds. Frans Lion Cachet aan die spits het die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in die ZAR in Desember 1866 te Utrecht sy eie koers ingeslaan met sy eerste Algemene Kerkvergadering. Tydens hierdie byeenkoms én by 5 latere algemene vergaderings was ds. Lion Cachet die voorsitter. In 1873 verhuis hy egter uit die ZAR na Nederland. Menslik gesproke, was Lion Cachet die groot dryfkrag agter die herorganisasie van die NG Kerk en sy gemeentes in die ZAR.

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2019-12-12
2020-02-21

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