Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alexander Mack Seal

The Alexander Mack Seal is well-know Brethren symbol with a variety of variations that have been published in a variety of Brethren publications. It remains unclear whether the original seal was that of Alexander Mack Sr. or Alexander Mack Jr. The original seal itself has never been found but an impression showing its design and symbolism was found in the old Germantown Church in Pennsylvania.

George Falkenstein, at one time a pastor of that church, tells about the discovery and offers an interpretation of its symbolism in his History of the Germantown Baptist Brethren Church in 1901:

The Brethren Church of Germantown has an interesting collection of old parchment deeds. While we were examining these documents from their historic interest, Mr. Julius F. Sachse discovered the impress of Mack's seal accompanying an official signature. The impression is in red sealing wax and is in perfect condition. ... the seal consisted of several symbols each of which had religious significance. The entire combination constitutes a remarkable index to the character of its owner. In the center is the cross, which means sacrifice; the heart means devotion, and placed on the cross, further means sacrificed in devotion; the branches of the vine mean fruit-bearing. Thus the seal reads: a devoted, fruit-bearing sacrified life.

Source: Preaching in a Tavern by Kenneth I. Morse