30. President Quitman the Rationalist. -- The unionism and indifferentism of the New York Ministerium naturally developed and merged into Socinianism and Rationalism under its liberal, but most able and influential leader, Dr. F. H. Quitman (1760-1832). "Quitman," says Graebner, "was a stately person, over six feet in height and of correspondingly broad and powerful build. Already at his entrance in Halle, one of the professors greeted the nineteen-year-old giant with the words, 'Quanta ossa! Quantum robur! What bones! What power!'" In his subsequent intercourse with the polite world Quitman acquired a fine tact and measured, dignified ways. At the same time he was a man of excellent parts, a master at repartee, with a keen intellect and a firm will, and in every respect a born leader." (532.) He was the only Lutheran minister who ever received, and perhaps desired [?] [tr. note: sic!] to receive, the degree of D. D. from Harvard University. Quitman, a disciple of Teller and of Semler in Halle, was a determined protagonist of German Rationalism. In 1807 this outspoken and consistent Socinian was elected president of the New York Ministerium, remaining in this office till 1825. When Quitman accepted the call to the Schoharie congregations, which he served beginning with the year 1795, he vowed that he would preach the truth according to the Word of God and "our Symbolical Books." Before long, however, he began to reveal the true inwardness of his character. In his revised edition of Kunze's catechism, which appeared in 1804, authorized by Synod, the 94th of the "Fundamental Questions," which treated of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper, was omitted. Ten years later, 1814, in his own catechism, which was likewise published with the approval of Synod, he omitted and denied such fundamental doctrines as those of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the Vicarious Atonement, Justification for the sake of Christ, etc. In this book Quitman and the New York Ministerium declare: "The Gospel teaches us that Christ suffered and died in order to seal with His blood the doctrine which He had preached." (533.) Two years later a "Lutheran Hymn-book" appeared, containing an un-Lutheran order of service, the Union formula of distribution, a rationalistic order for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, rationalistic prayers to the "great Father of the Universe," etc. Also this book appeared "by order of the Ev. Luth. Ministerium of the State of New York," and with a preface signed by President Quitman and Pastor Wackerhagen. (535.) When the tercentenary of the Reformation was celebrated, Quitman, again by order of the New York Ministerium, published several sermons bearing on this event. Here he says: "Reason and Revelation are the only sources from which religious knowledge can be drawn, and the norms according to which all religious questions ought to be decided. . . . Are not both, Reason and Revelation, from heaven, always in agreement and the one supporting the other?" Again: "The true sense which the Reformers connected with the term 'faith' is still more apparent from the XX. Article of the Augsburg Confession, where they explicitly declare that faith 'which is productive of good works justifies man before God.'" (653.) This rank Socinianism and Rationalism of Quitman and the Ministerium became firmly intrenched and was protected from attack by the constitution of 1816, which contained the paragraph: "And we establish it as a fundamental rule of this association that the person to be ordained shall not be required to make any other engagement than this, that he will faithfully teach, as well as perform all other ministerial duties, and regulate his walk and conversation, according to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as contained in Holy Scriptures, and that he will observe this constitution while he remains a member of this Ministerium." (655.) Within the New York Ministerium, therefore, ministers could no longer be required by their congregations to pledge themselves on the Lutheran Confessions. According to the constitution doctrinal discussions were permitted on the floor of Synod, but only with the express proviso "that the fundamental principle of Protestantism, the right of free research, be not infringed upon, and that no endeavor be made to elevate the Ministerium to an inquisitorial tribunal." (679.) Thus the entire heritage of the Reformation, together with its Scriptural principle and cardinal doctrine of justification by faith, had gone by the board, the unionism and indifferentism of the Halle pastors having served as the first entering wedge -- just as in Halle Pietism and subjectivism, an essentially Reformed growth, foreign to sound objective Lutheranism, had given birth to the ugly child, afterwards, when grown up, named Rationalismus Vulgaris.