The Lily among Thorns

As the lily among thorns,
so is my love among the daughters.

- Song of Solomon 2:2

The Lily among Thorns is one of the early symbols of the Dutch Reformed Church. It originated in the mid-16th century as the rebellion of the Low Countries against Spain got underway. In 1905, John S. Bussing, an elder of the Collegiate Church of New York, saw the symbol in a 1566 printing of the Heidelberg Catechism. He commissioned an artist to copy the sketch.

The Lily among Thorns is now reproduced at the West End Collegiate Church in a small stained glass window leading from the Sanctuary to the Chapel. Another version is in the large rose window of Middle Collegiate Church. Jessie van Brunt, a well-known stained-glass artist, created this window in the 1940s. The lilies in the design are encircled by the passage from Song of Solomon in Dutch:

Gelijck een lelie onder de doornen
so is mine vriendinne onder de dochteren

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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By supporting NNI you help increase awareness of the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland and its legacy in America.