Van Horne, David
The Reverend David Van Horne was born at Amsterdam, New York in 1837. He graduated
from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1864, and later from
the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church at New Brunswick,
New Jersey in 1867.
Mr. Van Horne served as the pastor of the First (Race Street) Reformed
Church in Philadelphia from 1879 to 1888. In 1888, he became president
and professor of systematic theology at the Heidelberg Theological
Seminary. The Heidelberg Seminary merged with the Ursinus School of
Theology to form the Central Theological Seminary at Dayton, Ohio in
1907. Van Horne became the first president of this school. He served
as president until 1912. In 1916, he resigned his professorship and
returned to Amsterdam, New York where he lived until his death on April
Van Horne dedicated his life to his church. He served as president of
the General Synod of the Reformed Church from 1878 to 1881, and acted
as president of the Board of Foreign Missions from 1878 to 1888. This
was the period of time in which he traveled to the Holy Land.
He also served as editor of the Reformed Church Messenger, a periodical
which represented the Eastern Synod . He contributed a number of
articles to the Messenger and other publications. In addition,
Van Horne wrote seven books, all of which dealt with the Reformed
Church and other aspects of Christianity.
Originally, Van Horne was to have traveled as part of a larger
group, but rumors of plague along the Black Sea caused several of the
tour participants to cancel their trips, and Van Horne wound up
traveling initially with two other clergymen. This resulted in an
abundance of supplies and mounts, and created opportunities for
"..little excursions aside from the main lines of travel..�".
Van Horne�s group followed a route taken by many travelers of that
time, landing at Jaffa. They then traveled to Jerusalem, spent some
days exploring the sites of the City and its environs, then proceeded
to the Dead Sea, followed the Jordan River north, through Nazareth to
the Sea of Galilee. During this time, Van Horne apparently kept a
diary or journal of his experiences, which he later developed into
his book, Tent and Saddle Life in the Holy Land. He made no mention
in the book of where he embarked from to reach Jaffa.
He also referred to his destination after the Sea of Galilee only in
passing. In addition, he made no specific reference to year of his
journey, although it occurred in the early 1880's.
Brief History of the Text:
Van Horne�s intent, in publishing Tent and Saddle Life,
was to "shed light on the teachings of Scriptures, and thus, as
by work on a grand mosaic, the picture of the land is to be gradually
completed." Secondly, he sought to include the more colorful aspects of
his trip in order to stimulate the interest of young readers. His book also
included sixty-four illustrations to spark
an interest in young children. In light of the book's short publishing history, it is questionable whether or not Tent and Saddle Life in the Holy Land proved
very inspiring to young people.
The book was published by the American Sunday School Union (ASSU) of
Philadelphia in 1885, with a second edition released in 1886. The ASSU
was founded in 1824, to provide works for religious education. The
self-expressed intention of the ASSU was to "spread the knowledge of
the Heavenly Truth" and to develop an interest in reading that would;
lead the young to "more instructive volumes". Religious instruction was
considered by the ASSU to be of paramount importance and was often
heavy-handed. The Christian doctrine expounded in these works stressed
obedience to God,to the Scriptures,to parents and to the One True
- Tent and Saddle life in the Holy Land. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: The American Sunday School Union, 1886.
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