Neto wrote:Is there any mention of this book (Golden Apples in Silver Bowls) in other works of that period, or is there any indication as to it having been adopted or endorsed by any body of congregations? (I don't mean to sound overly skeptical, I just want to know if it was possibly a 'lost book', or something expressing the opinion or view of one person or congregation, or a small group of congregations, as opposed to a majority of Swiss Brethren.)
We have printed copies that claim to have been printed in 1702, printed in Basel.
I don't know if there are references to it, but it is not a new work, it is a collection of writings, including Sattler's writings and the Dordrecht Confession. As GAMEO puts it:
Part I (403 pages) contains a number of writings of 16th-century Anabaptists:
(1) the writings of Michael Sattler and the story of his martyrdom (1527);
(2) the very popular Confessio of Thomas of Imbroich (d. 1558);
(3) "Ein Testament von einer frommen Liebhaberin Gottes," by Soetgen van Houte (d. 1569);
(4) eleven epistles by the Anabaptist martyr Matthias Servaes (d. 1565), together with
(5) two epistles by another martyred brother Conrad Koch (1565).
All these documents are introduced by long and very moving prefaces, likewise of 16th-century origin, thus proving that these materials were simply reprints of old contemporary pamphlets which had been circulating among the brethren ever since the beginning. Now they were combined into one book to provide the persecuted Swiss Brethren with readings which could strengthen them in their tribulations.
Part II (94 pages) contains material of much later origin:
(a) the Dordrecht Confession of Faith (1632), reprinted after the manual of T. T. van Sittert; and
(b) "Several Christian Prayers" (apparently likewise taken from the 1664 manual but originating with Leenaert Clock, 1625) enlarged by some more pieces of unknown origin, showing a pietistic slant (pp. 72-94).
This seems to come from a mixture of Swiss Brethren (e.g. Sattler) and Dutch Mennonite (e.g. Dordrecht) sources. Which again makes me wonder how distinct these movements were.
I believe that the last work, "Several Christian Prayers", is the one people say is tinged by pietism. But I also wonder if some other early Anabaptists weren't a little more pietistic than modern Anabaptists think - I'm not sure about this, but I'm at least curious about some things I have seen that may indicate that.