The Years 1630-1652

Early Years: 1630–1652: Cologne, Duisburg, and Utrecht

The city of Maastricht was captured in 1579 by the Spanish troops of the Roman Catholic King Philip II, forcing many Protestants to leave the looted city. Among the refugees was the family of Cornelius Sc(h)oning (†1658), who took up residence in Cologne. Here, Cornelius took the family name “van Mastricht.” Thomas van Mastricht (†1667), a son of Cornelius, married Jeanne le Planque (†1656), and their first son, Petrus van Mastricht, was born in November 1630 and baptized the following month as Pieter van Mastricht.[footnote]See also for bibliographical information on Petrus van Mastricht: Petrus van Mastricht, The Best Method of Preaching: The Use of Theoretical-Practical Theology, Translated and Introduced by Todd M. Rester (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013), 1–19; Adriaan C. Neele, Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706). Reformed Orthodoxy: Method and Piety (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2009), 27–61. A. E. van Tellingen, Het leven en enige aspecten uit de theologie van Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706) (master’s thesis, Faculty of Theology of University of Utrecht, 2003); W. J. van Asselt, “Petrus van Mastricht,” Biographisch Lexicon voor de geschiedenis van het Nederlands Protestantisme (Kampen: Kok, 2001), 360. Henceforth, in other than technical bibliographical references, the forename “Peter” will be used in the text as an acceptable anglicized form of “Petrus.”[/footnote] The event occurred in the Dutch Reformed (refugee) congregation in Cologne where both Peter’s father and grandfather were elders. This congregation was internationally oriented, as attested to by the minutes of the consistory’s regular meetings with the German and French (Huguenot) members; ecclesiastical attestations of receiving and providing for members of Dutch refugee congregations in London; collections held for the Reformed refugee congregation in Strasburg; correspondence with Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) and the calling of Andreas Essenius (1618–1677) of Utrecht as their pastor, as well as the fact that members of the consistory and congregation traveled internationally and visited the Messe Frankfurt (Frankfurt Trade Fair) annually.[footnote]Rudolf Löhr and Jan Pieter van Doorn, Protokolle der Niederländisch-Reformierten Gemeinde in Köln von 1651–1803 (Köln: Rheinland Verlag Düsseldorf, 1971), vols. 1 and 2.[/footnote] This congregation, with the nearby church at Mühlheim am Rhein, was pastored from 1639 to 1643 by Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617–1666)—the catechism teacher of Peter, his sister Magdalena, and their brothers, Johannes and Gerhardus.
Peter went to the famous Schola Duisburgensis (founded c. 1280) for a classical liberal arts education, where he met Theodor Undereyck (1635–1693), a fellow student and the later leader of one of the first Pietist conventicles. Following his studies in Duisburg, Mastricht arrived at Utrecht in 1647 to be treated for a handicapped foot but also to commence his studies of theology at the Academy with Voetius, Carolus de Maets (1597–1651), and Hoornbeeck. The Academy of Utrecht was becoming the European summit of Reformed orthodoxy and Protestant scholasticism, the exponent of Voetius’s overall vision: theology must be known and practiced—pietate cum scientia conjuganda. Here, students from the provinces of Utrecht, Zeeland, and Holland, and from countries such as England, Hungary, Poland, and Scotland, just like the “German”-born Mastricht, as well as Utrecht’s first female student and Mastricht’s fellow member of the Cologne congregation, Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–78),[footnote]Pieta van Beek, The First Female University Student: Anna Maria van Schurman (Utrecht: Igitur, 2010), 15.[/footnote] received a thorough education. Didactic-dogmatic theology, which included the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas (1225–74), the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625), and the scholastic disputationes of Voetius’s Saturday morning classes; exegesis of Scripture, including attention to the rabbinic interpretations; and both Voetius’s and Hoornbeek’s emphasis on the theologia practica would contribute to Mastricht’s theological formation.[footnote]Joel R. Beeke, “Gisbertus Voetius: Toward a Reformed Marriage of Knowledge and Piety” in Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment, eds. Carl R. Trueman and R. Scott Clark (Carlisle, Cumbria, England: Paternoster Press, 1999).  [/footnote] Three years into his studies, Mastricht defended the disputation De Esu Sanguinis et Suffocati ad Act. XV for his catechism teacher.[footnote]J. Hoornbeek, De Esu Sanguinis et Suffocati ad Act. XV, resp. Van Maestricht (Utrecht: Henrici Versteeg, 1650).[/footnote] A year later, when De Maets had passed away, the Academy called Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661) of St. Andrews University, Scotland, who recommended Essenius instead. That same year, Mastricht studied at the universities of Leiden and traveled briefly to England “for studies of language and practical or Christian ethics.”[footnote]This grand tour may have included Heidelberg. Cf. Pontanus, Laudatio Funebris,****.[/footnote] In 1652, Mastricht finished his studies of divinity at Utrecht and returned to Cologne, bringing his church membership attestation to the consistory on August 5.

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