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Full text of "Chronicon ephratense : a history of the community of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata, Lancaster County, Penn'a."















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Chronicon Ephratense; 



A HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY 



OF 



SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS 



AT 



Ephrata, Lancaster County, Penn'a, 

BY 

"LAMECH AND AGRIPPA." 



TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN 



BY 

J. MAX HARK, D. D. 




LANCASTER, PA. 
Published by S. H. Zahm & Co. 

1889. 



Copyright, 1889, 

By S. H. ZAHM & CO. 

Lancaster, Pa. 



All Rights Reserved. 



WW^s— 



* INTELLIGENCER PRINT. 
LANCASTER, PA. 






TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



In offering to the public the following translation of the Chroni- 
con Ephrate?ise, a few words of explanation seem called for. 

Of the original, probably not more than twenty copies are 
known to be in existence ; and these, with possibly a few excep- 
tions, are in the hands of collectors and antiquarians. To them 
its chief value lies not only in the great rarity of the work, but 
also in the fact that it is one of the most interesting specimens of 
book-making in Pennsylvania to be found anywhere, the paper, 
printing, and binding all being of strictly native production, the 
handiwork of the Solitary Brethren of the Community at Ephrata 
whose history it so quaintly and naively narrates. 

It is believed, however, that the work has also a larger interest, 
and an intrinsic value of its own, as an exceedingly frank and 
ingenuous contribution to our knowledge of the peculiar and 
wholly unique social and religious condition, and entire spiritual 
life, of a very considerable part of the early settlers of Central and 
Southern Pennsylvania. The otherwise incomprehensibly hetero- 
geneous social and religious life of that populous, prosperous, and 
important part of the State of which Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, 
York, and Dauphin counties are the representatives ; the strange 
variety of dialect, dress, social habits, religious beliefs, and sec- 
tarian organizations, to be met with in those counties to-day ; 
are all readily accounted for as soon as we become acquainted 
with the history of the people and their surroundings, to which 
the Chrotiicon introduces us. Nor does the picture given us of 
the intense moral earnestness, the power of self-denying endur- 
ance, the hard-working industry and ascetic simplicity of life, 
the blindly stubborn pertinacity of these original ' ' Pennsylvania 
Germans," leave us in much doubt as to where their successors 
of the present received their habits of strict economy and 
frugality, untiring toil, shrewd thriftiness, and patient, all- 
conquering perseverance, by which they have succeeded in 
making "the wilderness" and "desert" of a hundred years ago 
to enjoy to-day the proud distinction of being "the garden 
spot of the State." To the historian and social economist, 

iii 



iv translator's preface. 

therefore, as well as to the antiquarian, this hitherto all but inac- 
cessible " Chronicle of Ephrata" has more than a passing interest 
and no inconsiderable worth, even while it appeals still more 
personally and directly to the thousands of general readers 
throughout the State and country, whose family names show them 
to be related by more or less direct ties of kinship to those stern 
old Brethren and Sisters of a by-gone age. 

Who ' ' Lamech and Agrippa, ' ' the authors of the Chronicle, 
really were, is utterly unknown. From their narrative itself we 
learn that " L,amech " was a member of the "domestic house- 
hold, ' ' that is, a married Brother. The same is undoubtedly true 
also of "Agrippa," for the name does not occur in the list of 
'.'Solitary Brethren," or unmarried men, given in the volume. 
As to the real identity of the two, it is a secret that has been well . 
kept. Tradition gives no hint or clue for our enlightenment. 
The future is not likely ever to reveal it. 

The few foot-notes which the translator has taken the liberty of 
adding, are invariably distinguished from those of the authors by 
being enclosed in brackets. The full names of persons referred 
to in the text by their initials only, have for their authority the 
pen and ink annotations on the margins of one of the earliest 
copies of the Chronicon, now in the possession of Messrs. S. H. 
Zahm & Co. They appear to have been made by one who was 
contemporary and personally acquainted with most of the people 
and events referred to in the volume, and are unquestionably en- 
tirely reliable. 

When we speak of "one of the earliest copies," collectors will 
understand that we refer to the fact that there were evidently three 
issues of the Chronicon : the earliest one had a blank space left on 
the title-page for the seal of the Community ; the next had the 
seal, printed on a separate piece of paper, pasted over this blank 
space ; and the third had it printed in its proper place directly on 
the title-page. A fac simile of the original of this curious old seal 
is given on the second title-page of the present volume. 

The original narrative is written in a German so peculiar as 
almost to deserve to be called a distinct dialect. It has, of course, 
been impossible to reproduce in English all the involved sentences, 
ungrammatical constructions, local idioms, mystical expressions, 
and ecclesiastical words and phrases, peculiar to the Ephrata Com- 
munity, and conveying a meaning to them often quite foreign to 
that which ordinary correct usage gives them. The translator 
has, however, attempted — he fears with but very partial success — 



translator's preface. V 

to render thetn into a correspondingly quaint, antiquated and un- 
natural style and language, to make his version as curiously un- 
English as the original is un-German, so far as this might be 
without becoming wholly unintelligible. He has been at special 
pains to reproduce the literal meaning of the original with scrupu- 
lous fidelity ; if he has also to any appreciable degree preserved 
its peculiar ' ' flavor, ' ' he will be content, even though for this he 
had to sacrifice every trace of literary elegance and grace. 

J. M. H. 
Lancaster, Pa., August, 1889. 



CONTENTS. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE, Page iii 

CONTENTS, ' Page vi 

AUTHORS' PREFACE, Page xii 

Chapter I. 
Concerning the Awakening among the Pietists, Baptists, and 
Inspired; the Superintendent's Birth, his Bringing-up, Con- 
version, etc., Page i 

Chapter II. 
The Superintendent is Banished from the Palatinate, and Comes 
To The InspiraTionists, Page 7 

Chapter III. 
The Superintendent Travels in Pennsylvania, and Lives There 
in Solitude, Page 13 

Chapter IV. 
The Superintendent is Baptized in the Apostolic Manner ; and 
Soon after Follows the Separation from the Baptists in Ger- 
manTown, .* Page 21 

Chapter V. 
The New Congregation Establishes Itself upon the Doctrine of 
the Holy Apostles, and Elects the Superintendent as Its 
Teacher, Page 31 

Chapter VI. 
Concerning a New Awakening in Falckner's Swamp, and the 
Transactions with the Baptists Connected Therewith,... Page 38 

Chapter VII. 
The Sabbath is Introduced in the Congregation ; Wherefore the 
Latter is Brought under the Judgment of the World ; Besides 
Many Other Disturbances, Page 44 

Chapter VIII. 
The Two Baptist Congregations Separate entirely ; and the 
Brethren at Conestoga give their Baptism back again to the 
Others, --Page 48 

vi • 



CONTENTS. Vll 

Chapter IX. 

The New Congregation, Impelled by Holy Zeal, Grows, and 
the Sweet Savor ok Its Walk and Conversation is Spread 
Abroad, Page 53 

Chapter X. 

The Tempter Tries to Instigate a Persecution by Raising a Cry 
of Immorality, Page 57 

Chapter XI. 

Concerning the Superintendent's Official Course in the Con- 
gregation, until the Founding of Ephrata, .' Page 61 

Chapter XII. 

How Ephrata was Founded, and Ordained for the Settlement 
of the Solitary, Page 64 

Chapter XIII. 
Concerning a New Awakening at Tulpehocken, Page 70 

Chapter XIV. 

Ephrata is Occupied by the Solitary of Both Sexes ; Divine 
Worship is Instituted, and the Communal Life Intro- 
duced, Page 76 

Chapter XV. 

New Persecutions are Commenced ; in Part by the Members of 
the Congregation, Page 82 

Chapter XVI. 

The House of the Solitary is so Constituted as to Oppose the 
World in Everything. A Visitation of the Baptists Arrives 
at the Settlement,- Page 88 

Chapter XVII. 

An Awakening Takes Place in the Congregation of Baptists at 
Germantown, the Most of Whose Members Join in the Awaken- 
ing at Ephrata, Page 95 

Chapter XVIII. 
The Brothers' Convent, Named Zion, is Built, Page 106 

Chapter XIX. 

The Title of Father is Given to the Superintendent ; and Con- 
cerning the Quarrels that Arose on Account of It, Page 113 



viii CONTENTS. 

Chapter XX. 

A House of Prayer is Built in Zion ; Besides Other Occurrences 
which Took Place in the Congregation and Settlement about 
the Year 1740, Page 119 

Chapter XXI. 

Concerning the Spiritual Course of the Church in the Settle- 
ment; and the Various Prophetic Gifts, Page 129 

Chapter XXII. 

Concerning the Temporal Course of Events among the Brethren 
in Zion, and How They Lapsed into the World. Item, the 
Superintendent's Co-Worker Dies, Page 137 

Chapter XXIII. 

Contains the Disputes which Occurred Between the So-called 
Moravian Brethren and the Congregation in EPHRATA,..Page 145 

Chapter XXIV. 

A New Convent for the Sisters is Built, Called Sharon ; the 
Singing Schools Come into Vogue at the Settlement, Page 157 

Chapter XXV. 

Concerning the Domestic Contentions in the Settlement, Up to 
the Time when the Eckerlins Moved into the Desert, Page 170 

Chapter XXVI. 

The Brotherhood Recovers again from the Various Tribulations 
Caused by this Separation. New Church- Work Takes Place in 
Philadelphia, Besides an Awakening Among the English 
People, Page 187 

Chapter XXVII. 

The Mills of the Solitary are Destroyed by Fire ; A Book of 
Martyrs is Printed for the Mennonites ; the Domestic House- 
hold Undertakes a Reform with the Help of the Solitary ; 

and a Nursery is Established to Dead Boys to a Spiritual Life, 

Page 209 

Chapter XXVIII. 

Concerning an Awakening in Gimsh^im, in the Palatinate, Which 
Brought Many People to the Settlement. Very Special Cir- 
cumstances Connected with a Drought in Pennsylvania, ..Page 218 

Chapter XXIX. 
Continuation of the History of the Eckerlins to Its End, ..Page 224 



CONTENTS. i x 

Chapter XXX. 

How the Country was Visited by War, and How the Solitary in 
the Settlement Fared by it. About the Quiet in the Land. 
Also, the Prior's Office is Given to Another Brother,... Page 235 

Chapter XXXI. 

The Community at Ephrata is Extended by an Awakening, for 
Which Two Brothers of the Baptist Congregation, George 
Adam Martin and John Horn, Prepared the Way, Page 242 

Chapter XXXII. 

Concerning Various Strange Affairs which Occurred in the 
Country about the Same Time, and in which the Superintend- 
ent was Interested, Page 263 

Chapter XXXIII. 

Concerning the Last Circumstances connected with the Life of 
the Superintendent, and How at Last He Laid Aside His 
Earthly Tabernacle, Page 278 




Chronicon Ephratense, 



CONTAINING THE 



BIOGRAPHY OF THE VENERABLE 
FATHER IN CHRIST, 

FRIEDSAM GOTTRECHT, 

THE LATE FOUNDER AND SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SPIRITUAL 

ORDER OF THE SOLITARY IN THE BARONY OF 

LANCASTER IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

COMPILED BY 

BR. LAMECH AND AGRIPPA. 



He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's sope : he shall purify the 
sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver. — Mai,. Ill : 2, 3. 



For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of 
God : and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that 
obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, 
where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? — I Pet. IV : 17, 18. 




Ephrata: Printed Anno MDCCLXXXVI. 



AUTHORS' PREFACE. 



Unto the Saints and Beloved of God, the Firstlings of His Grace 
and Followers of the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, who were born 
of the seed of the Mother above, be Grace and Peace from Him 
who was, and is, and is to come. 

Since early times men have endeavored to establish and main- 
tain unity of spirit in the Christian Church, and with God, by 
means of councils, creeds, and confessions of faith, but in vain; 
for the separation between God and fallen man was far too great 
to be overcome by such external measures. To restore harmony, 
God had to come down from heaven, take upon Himself Adam's 
fallen humanity, and be killed for it upon the cross; and after He 
had pledged Himself to this important work, in the baptism 
received from John, He took His guilt from Adam and upon Him- 
self, and since then the discord which existed between God and 
man has fallen upon Him, since He became the surety, and had to 
make good again that wherein man had offended. Therefore, 
what associations soever may be found among the various divi- 
sions of the Christian Church, there are none of them valid except 
that one in which, through the sacrifice of His own life, wrath was 
propitiated and turned into love, and of which He Himself in His 
baptismal water-bath was the founder; wherefore also he could 
say: That they may be one, even as He and the Father are one 
(Jno. XVII, 17), and herein appears His priestly character, 
whereby Adam's schism and hurt are healed again. 

Now, after the Son entered upon His suretyship He had to sur- 
render His God-right, and lay aside His divinity, otherwise He 
could not have been Mediator between the two parties; this Paul 
declares (Phil. II, 8). He humbled Himself. What trials He 
had to undergo from the Father, from the time of His Mediator- 
ship, it hath not pleased the Spirit to reveal, although searchers 
in the Spirit find occasion enough therefore in the Scriptures of 
the New Covenant. Then first the Spirit led Him into the wilder- 
ness to be tempted of Satan (Luke IV, 1), which is equivalent to: 
Now wrestle with the prince of cruelty. In Hebr. IX, 14, 
also, it says expressly that the Spirit was actively cooperative in 
xii 



authors' preface. xiii 

His sacrifice upon the cross. He Himself, the Son, likens His 
Father to a vine- dresser and Himself to the vine; and how the 
latter is treated by a vine-dresser is well known. And though 
through all He maintained His oneness with the Father, and ever 
avowed that He and the Father were one, nevertheless the trials 
between His Father and Him finally reached their utmost, for 
otherwise Adam's disobedience to God could not have been 
avenged; yet, since there was no offence in Him, He could resign 
Himself absolutely into the Father's hands. And because this 
wondrous process has been transmitted by Him to His followers 
He could say to them: Blessed is he who shall not be offended in 
me. 

If one reads the story of His crucifixion carefully one sees that 
at that time God was in league with His enemies; for they were 
faithful servants to Him, though in His plan of wrath, and carried 
out what His hand had determined for Him. Therefore, also, 
He loved His twelve chosen witnesses all the more fervently in 
His lone condition, for they had endured with Him in His suffer- 
ings; and He could say to them: With desire have I desired to 
eat this passover with you. That, however, the Son here was 
conscious of the whole God-determined plan concerning himself, 
cannot well be doubted, for He Himself said to Pilate: Thou 
couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given 
thee from above. (Jno. XIX, 10). But at last the trial 
became so severe that He said: My God, my God, why hast 
Thou forsaken me ? By thus being forsaken He was made a 
curse completely; for from whom God withdraws His communion 
he is accursed. Here, too, He was finally consecrated unto His 
high-priesthood, to which His previous wonderful works had con- 
tributed but little. Had He been conceived of the seed of man, 
the severe trial of the wine-press would have aroused in Him, if 
not wrath, yet at least righteouness, so that He would have called 
for vengeance, as was the case with those martyrs who on that 
account were not allowed to come as an offering upon the altar, 
but had to wait under the altar for their redemption. But He had 
within Him the tender well-spring of the eternal Mother, where- 
with He propitiated the Father and turned His wrath into love; 
therefore also He lost not His confidence in Him; but commended 
His spirit into His hands. And now when everything seemed to 
be lost, He, as an High Priest crowned with honor and praise, 
embraced all His foes in His high-priestly pra3^er, and said: Father, 
forgive them, for they know not what they do, words which 



xiv authors' preface. 

sooner or later will surely be fulfilled in them. This was the last 
and greatest miracle which the faithful Servant, according to Isa. 
1,111, performed upon earth. Had He failed in this work, wrath 
might indeed have been propitiated by His sacrifice, but He would 
have fallen short of adorning paradise, and the Mother would not 
have accepted Him. Therefore also with this high-priestly prayer 
the drama was so wonderfully changed that He could give the thief 
the assurance that he should to-day be with Him in paradise. 

Now, beloved reader, had the first Adam successfully endured 
the trial of God in this process, the tempter would not have dared 
to destroy the union between God and him. But the preaching 
of the stipent implanted such a suspiciousness against God in him 
and his entire race that the leading of the cross, which Jesus 
Christ hath introduced by His manifestation in the flesh, is now 
treated with ridicule and scorn by all the children of Adam. If 
henceforth this union of the saints upon earth with God is not 
again to be attacked by the tempter, as was done in Adam's 
case, it is necessary that the plan for the temple structure of the 
Holy Ghost in the New Covenant be taken from that union 
which subsists between the Father and the Son. And as the 
Son, as the head of the church, endured the trial of suffering 
ordained for Him by the Father, for which reason the napkin 
lay separate from the linen clothes at His burial — so the suffer- 
ings of His body, the congregation, which yet remain are not 
all fulfilled. And since at the present time the sufferings of the 
body of Christ have reached a high degree, we may well question 
whether the time be not at hand in which the church will have to 
sing her Eli, Eli, I^ama, from the cross, after the pattern of her 
Master, when God will openly forsake her, even as He there for- 
sook His Son, and will ally Himself with Babel; which will be the 
consummation of the trial of the church of Christ on earth, in 
which she shall be preserved in her priesthood. 

Then, when her temptations shall have reached even to the 
omnipotence of God, for her, too, as for Christ, the scene will be 
changed, so that she will enter upon the promise vouchsafed unto 
the thief. For mark well, reader, the union of Christ with His 
congregation is unto the angel of envy a thorn in the eye; unto 
all eternity he shall not be able to destroy it, as once he did with 
Adam. It is the chain wherewith the dragon will be bound, as 
they will also then have the honor to bind kings in chains and 
robbers with fetters of iron (Ps. CXUX, 8), whereupon the rich 
of the earth shall be overthrown, and along with the redemption 



AUTHORS' PREFACE. XV 

from captivity of the eldest son, as the seed of Israel, Shiloh or 
Messiah shall enter upon His dominion, the rod of the oppressor 
being broken, and universal peace shall reign among all the rem- 
nant of the people. And since in these times the sufferings of the 
people of God have increased so greatly, who shall blame us for 
supposing that the times of refreshing from the presence of God 
are even at the door, in which the spiritual Israel shall be led into 
the promised land by Joshua, or Jesus ? 

But to come to the point ; it should be known that the unity of 
the spirit among the saints upon earth is as incomprehensible as 
God Himself. This the Superintendent has remarked in his 
hymns, declaring that the bond of unity in the Congregation gath- 
ered under his service had something incomprehensible in it, 
otherwise it would long ago have been scattered by the tempter, 
who raged so fiercely against it. His whole leading and teaching 
implies that human wisdom and reason have been made foolish- 
ness, which foolishness, however, is wiser than the wisdom of this 
world ; wherefore, also, so much controversy and strife have arisen 
within the organization. It is, nevertheless, to be said on behalf 
of the actors in this long spiritual drama that they have been 
uniformly sensible, and in part also God-fearing persons ; although 
all this could not suffice, because no mere human virtue without 
the cross can gain entrance into the kingdom of God. Where- 
fore even their falls, which served to humble them, should rather 
be excused ; for no one has ever melted gold without finding some 
dross. And if the good no longer appears with the same excel- 
lence as, say, sixty years ago, when the favor of God so specially 
manifested itself, we yet are not to infer that it is wholly lost ; but 
rather that it has only taken refuge under reproach from false 
lovers, lest the pearls be cast before swine and be trodden under 
foot by them. 

Before we close this preface we cannot refrain from yet express- 
ing our great sorrow that so little is being done to defend the 
Christian religion against the Turks, Jews, heathen, atheists, 
antichrist and naturalists ; all which hath its cause in this, that 
one has become alienated from the Spirit, and has entrusted the 
eternal treasure to mere earthly reason. Thus everything is 
sought to be made comprehensible, and everyone with unwashed 
hands, and without repentance or conversion, sets himself up as 
judge thereof, as though he had no need of any further enlighten- 
ment of the Spirit, but knew all things already, though under- 



XVI 



AUTHORS PREFACE. 



standing nothing. Against such impertinent fellows we have 
raised, by the foolishness contained in this work, a bulwark which 
neither they nor any other Deist or Atheist shall overcome to all 
eternity. And as they will not condescend to this foolishness, 
neither shall they attain to the treasures which lie hidden under- 
neath it. Be this of our preface and of the entire work 



The End. 



In the Settlement at Ephrata, 
April 14th, 1786. 



BROTHER AGRIPPA. 




CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 



CHAPTER I. 



Concerning the Awakening Among the Pietists, Bap- 
tists, and Inspired ; the Superintendent's Birth, His 
Bringing-up, Conversion, etc. 

It is still fresh in the memory of all that, with the begin- 
ning of the present century, important changes in the realm of 
the church took place in many lands, especially in Germany. 
A great many people, of all ranks, separated themselves from 
the common forms of worship, and were in general called 
Pietists. But as only the three known church-parties were 
included in the religious peace, the. Pietists everywhere began 
to be proceeded against with much severity. On this account 
many of them went back again into the pale of the church, 
and were therefore denominated Church- Pietists. The rest 
for the most part went back to the districts of Marienboru, 
Schwarzenau, Schlechtenboden, etc., whose rulers had them- 
selves been awakened, and so took up the refugees and 
granted them liberty of conscience. 

Among the Pietists gathered together in that region, two 
congregations were soon formed whose principles were radi- 
cally different and contrary ; namely, the Community of 
True Inspiration and the Baptists of Schwarzenau. As the 
Superintendent's relations were intricately involved with 
these congregations they will often have to be referred to. 
The Schwarzenau Baptists arose in the year 1708 ; and the 
persons who at that time broke the ice, amid much opposi- 
tion, were Alexander Mack, their teacher, a wealthy miller 
of Schriesheim an der Bergstrasse, (who devoted all his 
earthly possessions to the common good, and thereby be- 



2 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

came so poor that at last he had not bread enough to last 
from one day to the next), his housekeeper, a widow Noethi- 
ger, Andreas Bone, John George Hoening, Luke Vetter, 
Kippinger, and a gunsmith, whose name is not known. 
These eight associated themselves together, chose one of 
their number by lot as baptist, and then, according to the 
doctrine brought from heaven by Christ, baptized one an- 
other that same year, in the running stream of water that 
flows by Schwarzenau. Who their first baptist was has 
never become known. 

From these eight persons are descended all the various 
kinds of Baptists among the High-Germans in North America, 
who now are scattered from New Jersey to Georgia ; but 
whether they were the first who restored immersion, as a 
candle to its candlestick, in Germany, that is a question 
demanding closer investigation. It is asserted that the godly 
Hochmann agreed with them on the subject of baptism, but 
as they carried the thing out while he was under arrest, he 
could not afterwards insist upon it any more ; probably, too, 
their sectarianism was a hindrance to him. Certain it is 
that God was with them at that time. Neither was there any 
difference between them and the congregation afterwards 
founded at Ephrata, except with reference to the Sabbath, 
and it is affirmed that Alexander Mack once publicly 
declared : "We now lack nothing anymore, except the Sab- 
bath, but we have enough to carry already." They had 
their goods in common, and practiced continence, though, it 
is said, they did not persevere in this zeal longer than seven 
years, after which they turned to women again and to the 
ownership of property involved therein. And this is very 
likely, from the fact that, afterwards, when the great awak- 
ening in Conestoga took place, during which similar circum- 
stances arose once more, they always declared that if it were 
possible to live in such wise, their fathers at Schwarzenau, 
who for a time had the same zeal, would have succeeded in 
it. Thus they made their faithlessness the criterion according 
to which they would judge God's leading, which was the 
very source whence afterwards arose the division between 
them and the congregation at Ephrata. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 3 

This congregation of Baptists at Schwarzenau increased 
very much. A branch of it settled in the Marienborn district, 
but was thrice persecuted there, and finally found a refuge in 
Creyfeld in the year 17 15. Here a division took place. 
Some say it was with reference to the question whether one 
might marry out of the congregation. Others maintain that 
the occasion of it was the marriage, contrary to the teaching 
of Paul (I Cor. 7 :), of a single minister of theirs by the 
name of Hager. If this be so, there must still have been a 
considerable measure of awakening among them at that 
time, and their error consisted only in making a law out of 
the teaching of Paul, which it was not meant to be. In the 
year 17 19 a party of them arrived in Pennsylvania with Peter 
Becker, who afterwards became their teacher. 

After this necessary excursion, we shall now proceed with 
our subject itself. The Superintendent first saw the light of 
the world in the year 1690 at Eberbach, a village on the 
Neckar, belonging to a sub-bailiwick of the domain of Moss- 
bach in the Palatinate, and bore the family name, John 
Conrad Beissel. His father carried on the trade of a baker, 
but was so given to drink that he sank all he owned down 
his throat, and then died, leaving behind a poor widow with 
a numerous family. This, his youngest son, was born two 
months after his death, and was therefore a true opus post- 
humum ; by which orphan-birth the Spirit indicated his 
future lone condition, and that, as one pre-ordained to be a 
priest after the order of Melchizedek, he should derive little 
comfort from his natural kindred. His mother was a godly 
person, and, with the help of his other brothers, raised him 
until his eighth year, when she also died. From that time 
on he led a sorry life, after the manner of the country, until 
he was old enough to learn a trade. With his growth in 
years he displayed extraordinary natural gifts. He showed 
a wonderful facility in learning many things without any 
instruction, merely by his own reflection ; so much so that 
his oldest brother often said to him: "Your studying will 
make a fool of you yet." By his orphanlike birth, more- 
over, he was given so small a person that he often said, if 
his oldest brother were to have been as small as himself, he 



4 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

would have had to have been born again. At length he was 
apprenticed to a baker, and as the latter was also a musician,, 
he learned from him to play the violin, and had the oppor- 
tunity to display his bright disposition at weddings, at which, 
when exhausted with fiddling, he would betake himself to 
dancing, and from this again return to the former ; so that 
the wonder was all the greater when afterwards it was said 
he had become a Pietist. 

His conversion took place in the year 17 15, therefore in 
the twenty-fifth year of his age ; but ere the spirit of peni- 
tence came upon him, his reason became so enlightened that 
he could easily solve the most intricately involved matters. 
He turned his attention to mercantile calculation, covering 
all the walls of his back room with his cipherings, and mas- 
tered it without any help. Soon after, however, the awak- 
ening-Spirit knocked so loudly at his conscience that his 
whole being was thrown into the utmost perplexity, and so 
the foundation was laid for his conversion, which followed 
after, wherein he attained to such superhuman faithfulness 
to God that he may well be regarded as a great miracle of 
our times. The beginning of his conversion was directly 
from God, without any human instrumentality, and its fame 
has spread everywhere. It was at this time, too, that George 
Stiefel, who afterwards shared a hermit's life with him in 
America for awhile, first became acquainted with him. 

At that period, according to the custom of the country, he 
began his travels as a journeyman at his trade, though he 
got no further than Strasburg, for the Spirit hindered him. 
It is a remarkable circumstance that, though he intended, 
with four hundred other journeymen bakers, to go to Hun- 
gary, he was prevented from doing so by God's providence 
and to his own good fortune, as they were all killed by the 
Turks. He finally entered the service of a man in Manheim, 
Kantebecker by name, where he was temporarily brought 
low in the spirit ; for his master, who had marked in him a 
specially godly simplicity, loved him exceedingly, whereas 
his mistress was so displeased at this that she broke out into 
violence. For this he called her a Jezebel, and on that ac- 
count was obliged to leave the house. At the same time the 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 5 

drawings of the Virgin above were so strong within him, 
that it was deeply impressed upon his heart that a man who 
intends to devote himself to the service of God must, at the 
beginning of his conversion, renounce Adam's generative 
work, for which reason he bade good-night to earthly woman 
at the very commencement. On this account also the tribes 
of the earth expelled him from their fellowship. 

From Manheim he turned to Heidelberg and engaged him- 
self to work with a baker by the name of Prior. Here he 
found greater access in the Spirit ; for there was a great 
awakening going on, and there were many Pietists who were 
already beginning to be persecuted ; yet he was then still so 
unsophisticated and simple in his awakening, that he made 
use of the churches, and often said that he never heard the 
preaching of those two great men, Mieg and Kirchmayer, 
without being edified thereby ; it seems also that the Pietists 
at another time, afterwards, reported him for church-going. 
It is to be noticed here, that at this early period of his con- 
version a blessing descended upon him from God, which was 
shared by every house that received him, as his master Prior 
experienced (see the story of Obed-edom, II Sam. 6 : 12 
comp. Gen. 12 : 3). The daughter of the just-mentioned 
Prior afterwards wrote an edifying letter to him in Pennsyl- 
vania, in which she thanked him for the edification which he 
had wrought in her father's house ; from which one can see 
that his conversion did not run into any mere frivolous bab- 
ble or fruitless Babel-storming. 

At Heidelberg he met a learned scholar named Haller, a 
strong suitor of the virgin Sophia, and also a correspondent 
of Gichtel, although at last he for all took to woman. This 
man made him acquainted with the Pietists in Heidelberg, 
who all maintained a hidden walk with God. Among them 
were especially known the wife of Professor Pastoir, a precious 
soul, who sent her remembrance to him at Ephrata, two 
brothers Diel, and others, whose names are recorded in the 
book of life. Haller first introduced him to their meeting, 
which for fear of men they held in the forest, and he was as- 
tonished beyond measure when these dear people the first 
time called him Brother. He often said that he had passed 



6 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

through three awakenings, in which he always had to deal 
with newly awakened ones, but he must confess that the 
greater part of his heart remained at the first awakening at 
Heidelberg. ' Therefore his references to these precious souls 
never passed off without tears, particularly as in after times 
so much bitterness and gall were served him by his followers. 




CHAPTER II. 

The Superintendent is Banished from the Palatinate, 
and Comes to the Inspirationists. 

Haller observed a large measure of the Spirit in this new 
Pietist, and foresaw that their awakening would not be of suf- 
ficient import to him. He therefore advised him to betake 
himself to the friends in Schwarzenau, which was at that 
time the Pella and rendezvous for all the pious. This 
advice was re-enforced by the persecution in Heidelberg, 
which shall now be described. At that time he still was 
staying with his master Prior, and as by his illumination 
there was also given him a strange insight into the secrets of 
nature, he in a short time became the most celebrated baker 
in the city. His master, too, received a blessing from this ; 
for Christians and Jews ran after him, and the other bakers 
had little to do ; he even sent of his wares to Frankfurt. At 
this the other master-bakers felt outraged. To this was 
added yet the circumstance that the guild constituted him 
Servitor of the Chest. But when at their guild banquets 
they carried on their usual idle practices, and he reproved 
them, the masters declared that he ought not have spoken so. 
"And you," he answered, "ought not act so." Inconse- 
quence of this the masters managed with the city council to 
have him put under arrest in the jail. This pained the 
Pietists very much, for they feared that he might betray 
them. Haller even wrote to him in jail that he was sur- 
prised, and wondered why he had refused to take part in 
such insignificant matters. 

Meanwhile his trial took place, and there it appeared that 
the charge was not sufficient to have him kept under arrest. 
His accusers, however, knew how to help themselves, and 
declared that he was a Pietist. This brought the matter be- 
fore the ecclesiastical court. The clergy of the three domi- 
nant religions took him in charge, and their very first ques- 

(7) 



8 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

tion was concerning his Brethren. But he answered wisely 
and prudently, that he had no doubt in such a large city 
there were many pious people. Then they took up the subject 
of religion, and gave him the choice, either to join one of the 
three dominant religions, or to leave the country. The above- 
mentioned Mieg made him the offer, that if he would only go 
through his church once a year, he would stand by him. 
But this was against his conscience. Consequently he re- 
ceived his consilium abeitndi, and had to leave the country. 
His master Prior had offered the city council iooReichsthaler 
for his employe's freedom ; likewise also a Jewess interceded 
for him ; but all efforts were in vain. So, after bidding fare- 
well to his Brethren in Heidelberg, whom he never saw again 
as long as he lived, he departed from Heidelberg, and betook 
himself to Eberbach to say farewell to his relatives. Before 
this, while he had worked there, persecutions had already 
broken out against him, in which the bailiff had been in- 
duced to take part. His wife indeed had urged him to leave 
the innocent man in peace, to which he had replied that he 
would willingly do so, but that the preachers gave him no 
rest in the matter. Scarcely had the Superintendent arrived 
there now, ere his inner guide impelled him to hasten away 
again, which he obediently did. The very next day his 
brother came after him, and said that the soldiers had come 
to seize him immediately after he had left. 

Such were the circumstances of his banishment from the 
country, wherein there is less to be surprised at than if he 
had been accorded liberty of conscience in the testimony he 
bore to the destruction of the whole world. In his Discourses, 
page 326, he described all this tinder the figure of a restless 
child whose mother has put it down from her lap, and finally 
concludes in these words : ' ' Now we see the orphan depart, 
banished by the mother from city and land. " Nevertheless 
it is sad when a country outrages God's witnesses whom it 
ought to protect ; for indeed, about the same time many per- 
sons were banished from the Palatinate for conscience sake, at 
Frensheim, L,ambsheim, Mutterstadt, Frankenthal, Schries- 
heim, etc. , the most of whom ended their lives in Pennsyl- 
vania. It was this that moved the Superintendent thus pro- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 9 

phetically to express himself in the 4th Theosophic Epistle, 
page 85 : u O Land, Land ! what will happen unto thee? O 
Palatinate ! what hast thou resting upon thee? Hozv many 
seasons of gracious visitation from God hast thou allowed to 
pass over thee? Hozv many of God's witnesses to the truth 
hast thou consigned to pain and disgrace, and obliged in their 
misery to sigh and cry out against thee ? " 

As to his state of mind, so far as one has been able to 
gather, it was as follows : He fell into excessive penitence- 
labors, almost more than his human nature could endure, in 
which his lively disposition suffered such violence that he 
contracted consumption, to which was added that the spirit 
of this world sought to deprive him of every means of mak- 
ing a living, which so deeply affected him that he came near 
retracting. In this condition he at length came into the 
region where the Inspirationists lived. There he beheld a 
worse Babel among the pious who had come out from Babel 
than he had seen in Babel itself ; for while in the latter one 
religion strove against the other, here persons were opposed 
one to the other. Each one lived for himself, and regulated 
his conduct according to his own inclinations, which the 
Superintendent did not deem possible for truly pious per- 
sons. For he has affirmed concerning himself, that from the 
time of his first conversion he never did anything according 
to his own ideas, but wherever not under the leading of his 
inner guide, he subjected himself to the outer authorities. 
On this point he expressed himself thus in his Discourses : 
' ' One has indeed for a long time heard many and various 
alarm-cries about the fall of Babylon and the judgment of 
the world ; there has, however, nothing practical come of it, 
alas ! because the vessels and instruments used therefor were 
of the same material out of which the great Babel itself is 
built, since they did not attain to the body of Christ, nor 
were born of water and. of the Spirit. Wherefore the work 
could be no different from what the workman was. And as 
the vessels were not separated from Adam's body, it was not 
possible that anything else could result than what had been 
before ; for ere one was aware of it there arose a worse con- 
fusion than in those places where they had spoken scorn- 
fully and predicted the fall of Babylon." 



IO CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

There was at that time sojourning in that same region a 
baker by the name of Schatz, who with his wife feared God, 
and was a real Gaius, or host, to all the devout. Then they 
belonged to the Inspired, though they ended their days with 
the Moravian Brethren. These dear people received him, 
and together they baked the bread for the devout in that 
neighborhood, who by their strict life had become spoiled to 
such a degree that it was a difficult matter to bake for them, so 
that the Superintendent could bring into play his experience 
in baking for the saints. He refused, however, to work for 
wages, as he felt it easier to give his services to any one 
freely. But Schatz would not agree to this, and said he had 
had such Brethren before, to whom he always at last had to 
pay full price for all. In this household he had good oppor- 
tunity to become acquainted with the Pietists, who found an 
asylum in this house. Meanwhile he had contracted con- 
sumption through his practice of a severe penance, and his 
strength began palpably to decline ; nor did he know at that 
time that no spiritual bloom is to be hoped for when once its 
habitation is destroyed. Everybody felt pity for this young 
warrior, as for one whose, thread of life was about being sev- 
ered ere yet he had fairly commenced his day's work. But 
God so ordained it that the renowned Doctor Carl came 
there ; and then it happened, that while they unitedly en- 
gaged in prayer, his spiritual condition was made known to 
the latter, who accordingly said : " My friend you meditate 
too much on the world's dark side ;" and after he had given 
him some instruction as to his condition, he prescribed the 
use of sheep' s-ribs, by which means, through God's grace he 
became well again. Theretipon his natural liveliness was 
again awakened in him, and thus he remained until his end ; 
albeit one could always read in his countenance when he was 
undergoing sore temptations. At that t,ime, too, he became 
conscious that for a while his walk in the Spirit had no con- 
tinuance. He therefore inquired thereof of the mouth of the 
Lord, when it was revealed to his spirit that he looked too 
impatiently upon the evil of others — a thing which now is 
very common among the devout, but not among saints. 

He can, however, only be regarded as one of the after- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. • II 

gleanings of that awakening, as there were already two con- 
gregations there before him, namely, the Baptists of Schwarz- 
enau, and the Inspirationists of Marienborn. The former 
seemed to him, as a strict separatist, entirely too sectarian. 
But among the latter he found entrance through his master, 
Schatz ; they were also nearer to him, wherefore he went 
with them for a time, although he never became a member 
of their organization. The head men of the Inspirationists 
remarked in him a deeply rooted and grounded spirit, which 
they would not be able to move with all their prophetic exer- 
cises ; for at his awakening there was entrusted to him a 
heavenly virginity, so that persons who had the capacity be- 
came pregnant thereof if they only came nigh to his person. 
It once happened that, while he was at one of their meetings, 
over which Demala, a schoolmaster who had been driven 
from Worms, had the oversight, beside whom he was kneel- 
ing in prayer, two young sisters who knelt opposite them, 
became violently affected. Demala attributed it to the 
powers of temptation, and therefore said to him : ' ' Brother 
Conrad, I advise you to go out." He accordingly did go 
out, and continued his devotions in another room. After the 
meeting was over, these sisters were questioned as to their 
being so strongly moved, when they confessed that they did 
hot know what had caused it, but they did not feel safe them- 
selves. The Inspirationists' displeasure now broke out against 
him ; and it did so in an announcement in which it was said : 
' ' Down from thy spiritual high-place ; how gladly wouldest 
thou be called a Brother if," etc. As such announcements 
were wont to drive men into the fire, he was asked how it had 
affected him. To this he answered us that it, had relieved 
him, because he had all the while felt a heavier judgment 
within himself than the one Rock had pronounced. When 
he noticed, however, that, in order to bring him the more into 
subjection, they intended to transfer him from the adults' to the 
children's meeting, he withdrew himself from them. He has, 
nevertheless, borne favorable testimony concerning the spirit 
of the Inspiration, namely, that it was a pure, clean, virgin 
spirit, so that when its instruments went to marrying, it had 
withdrawn itself again into its chamber ; moreover that it 



12 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

was very subtle and skillful to bring to light at the meetings 
that which was hidden, so that, however anyone behaved at 
them, none could escape its judgment. At last, however, 
human powers had mixed in with it, which had subjected 
everything to themselves ; wherefore, also, they permitted no 
stranger to attend their meetings oftener than three times. 

About this same time he lived with Stiefel, his traveling- 
companion to America, making a miserable living by spin- 
ning wool. For he was poor, and his share of the little which 
his father had left behind, he had divided among his blood 
relations. Among his friends was a godly nobleman by the 
name of Junkerroth, who believed in the transmigration of 
souls into other bodies, and for this reason never married, as 
he did not wish to bring up strange spirits. In order to get 
rid of his wealth he had this custom : when the pious asked 
him for aid, he gave them the key to his chests and let them 
take as much as they wished ; and if he heard that anyone 
had done good on God's account, he paid him therefor. He 
is known among the learned by his strange translation of the 
New Testament. Such, then, are the circumstances of the 
Superintendent's godly calling, wherein he walked for five 
years in Germany ; now we will examine more closely his 
divinely-led course in America. 




CHAPTER III. 

The Superintendent Travels in Pennsylvania, and Lives 
There in Solitude. 

After this latest part of the inhabited earth had lain waste 
for over 5000 years, it was resolved at a council of the Watch- 
men to impart unto it a fruitful evening rain, which fell upon 
Pennsylvania in particular, as shall now be demonstrated. 
The Superintendent speaks thus of it in his 5th Epistle : 
"Asia is fallen, and its lamp is gone out. For Europe the 
sun hath set at bright midday. America sees a lily blooming 
whose perfume will spread unto the heathen. The evening 
and the morning will again make a day (Gen. i). The light 
of the evening shall send its brightness even unto the morn- 
ing ; and the last promised evening rain shall come to the 
help of the morning, and bring again the end unto its begin- 
ning, whereat Jacob shall be glad, and Israel rejoice." His 
purpose in this journey really was to spend his life in solitude 
with God. That in America he should again dive into the 
ocean of humanity was something of which at that time he 
probably did not even dream. On the contrary, he was in 
doubt whether his course was not undertaken in self-will, 
and therefore wrote to a friend in Manheim : " Know that, 
since I departed in my self-will from Germany, I have had to 
pass through many great and bloody trials." 

He was, however, induced to undertake this journey by his 
two intimate friends, Stiefel and Stuntz, who like him were 
still single and free. Stuntz even offered to pay his way 
for him. As soon as it became known, the Pietists did their 
best to dissuade him. Dr. Carl especially advanced the plea 
of his natural relations, who had become converted through 
him, and of whom he must render an account if he left them. 
But a hidden destiny hardened him against all such repre- 
sentations, so that in the year 1720 he entered upon his jour- 
ney to America. His traveling companions were the afore- 

(13) 






14 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

mentioned Stiefel and Stuntz, Simon Koenig, Henry von 
Bebern, etc. They arrived at Boston that same autumn. 

At that time Pennsylvania had a bad name among the 
neighboring States, and was only known as Quakerland. Its 
first inhabitants fled for conscience sake into this country, 
in which they established a peaceful form of government. 
But after them came differently disposed inhabitants, who 
took part in the government, though quite opposed to the 
former. From this there came into being two different kinds 
of people, who for many years strove for the upper hand, 
under the names of the Old and the New Assembly, until at 
last the one party had to yield to the other. Among the then 
inhabitants is reckoned also a certain religious association, 
who, under their leader, John Kelpius, 1 settled near Ger- 
mantown, and for a time were a pecular light among men 
because of their holy living ; but after their leader died the 
tempter found occasion to scatter them, as those who had 
been most zealous against marrying now betook themselves 

1 This Kelpius was from Siebenbuergen, of a family of rank ; had stud- 
ied in Helmstadt under Dr. Fabricius ; was well versed in the three prin. 
cipal languages, as is to be seen from his letters which still exist among 
his friends. In London he became acquainted with Pordage, Leade, Deich- 
mann, and Mack, the chaplain of Prince George, and kept up a correspond- 
ence with them. In 1694 he arrived in Philadelphia ; his traveling compan- 
ions were Bernhard Kuster, Daniel Falckner, Daniel Lutkins, John Seelig, 
Lewis Aderman and several others, most of whom were learned men. They 
were all single, and settled on the Ridge, which then was still a wilderness, 
on which account they called themselves The Woman in the Wilderness. 
At that time they numbered about 40 persons, but afterwards increased, for 
in 1704 Conrad Matthew, a Swiss of rank, joined them, and afterwards 
Christopher Witt, a celebrated physician and magus, Daniel* Geissler and 
some others. 

Kelpius died in the midst of his years, after which their institution went 
to nothing, although the good name and influence of it have survived even 
unto the present day. Some betook themselves to women ; others had 
themselves received into the church again ; Seelig and Matthews stood fast. 
The former, in order to escape the society of men, dressed in a coarse 
habit ; the latter, after he had fulfilled righteousness among men by works 
of love, came to live a life of faith, whereupon God awakened for him a 
rich merchant, by the name of John Wuester, who served him with his pos- 
sessions, and also helped to bury him by the side of Kelpius, although he 
in his humility had not desired to lie beside him, but only at his feet. May 
God grant him a blessed resurrection ! 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 5 

to women again, which brought such shame on the solitary 
state that the few who still held to it dared not open their 
mouths for shame. 

In such times the Superintendent arrived at German town ; 
but kept very quiet as to his projects for a solitary life, for 
many, who had maintained a very proper walk in Germany, 
had here hung up their holy calling on a nail, and, what was 
worst, would give no one credit for zeal or diligence. Among 
these were several who in the Palatinate had let themselves 
be driven from house and home, but here left great wealth 
behind them after their death. All this caused him much 
concern ; for he everywhere saw the pious sitting at the 
helm and exercising magisterial offices. As he saw clearly 
that his trade would not be of much use to him in this 
country, he determined to learn the weaver's trade, and so 
put himself under the instruction, for a year, of P. B. ,2 
a member of the Baptists. These good people showed 
him much love, and confessed all their condition to him, 
namely, how upon the ocean they had lost their love for 
one another, and now had even become scattered over the 
country. That the great freedom of this land was one cause 
of their being thus sold under the 'Spirit of this world, 
through which all Godly influences had been lost, and each 
one depended upon himself. "See, dear friend,' 1 they 
further said, ' ' thus it has happened to us ; we have become 
strangers one to the other, and nearly all love and faith- 
fulness have been lost among us." In reply to this he 
impressively exhorted them not to tarry any longer in so 
dangerous, loveless, and unregenerate a condition, 'but to re- 
unite themselves in love to one another, and to drop all con- 
trariness. And then they should make the attempt and see 
whether they could not call together a meeting ; if any good 
is effected, something will be gained ; if not, wait a while 
longer. This advice was not wholly spoken to the wind, for 
it is clear from it that he had a hand in the awakening which 
soon after followed in and about Germantown ; for it was 
through these edifying speeches that these good people were 



2 [Peter Becker]. 



1 6 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

again aroused from their sleepiness. All this occurred in the 
year 1720, in which year also the rest of the Baptists, under 
their teacher, Alexander Mack, removed from Schwarzenau 
to Westervain in West Friesland, whence, after having lived 
there for nine years, they came to their Brethren in Pennsyl- 
vania in the year 1729. 

Meanwhile the Superintendent's year of instruction under 
his master came to an end ; and in order to carry out his 
purpose, he went, in the autumn of the year 1721, into the 
upper country known as Conestoga, now Lancaster County, 
which at that time was inhabited by but few Europeans, 
and there, with the aid of his traveling companion, Stuntz, 
erected a solitary residence at a place called Muehlbach, 3 
where they lived happily for a while. A young Hollander 
by the name of Isaac von Bebern soon after joined them, with 
whom he also made a journey to Maryland, probably to visit 
the remnant of Labadists, who lived there, having left 
Surinam on account of the climate. These had become so 
wealthy by their communal life in the latter country that 
they had owned ships on the sea, all which their descendants 
had after their death divided among themselves, whereby also 
many manuscripts of Labadie and Ivonis had come to their 
hands. Finally a fourth companion came to them in George 
Stiefel, at the same time that he declared himself to his 
Brethren that now he would observe the Sabbath and work 
on Sunday, which did not suit them very well. This strange 
mode of life aroused much attention among the few settlers, 
of whom some were continually coming and inquiring what 
it meant. There is still a person in the Sisters' Convent who 
in her childhood had gone to school to him, and had become 
so enamored of his angelic life that she became his steadfast 
follower, and has now for almost sixty years endured all the 
hardships of the Solitary and of the communal life. 

Before we go any further with this record it will be neces- 
sary to call to mind what superstitions at that time disturbed 
the minds of men. There arose about that time a people in 
the neighborhood of Oley in Berks County, who called them- 
selves the Newborn, and had one Matthias Baumann as their 
founder. Their profession was that they could not sin any- 

3 [Mill Creek, in what is now Lebanon County]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1J 

more. In a pamphlet of 35 pages, 8vo, printed in Germany, 
a.id entitled "A Call to the Unregenerate World," it sounds 
wonderful to hear Baumann say, on page 13 : "Men say that 
Christ hath taken away sin ; it is true in my case, and of 
those who are in the same condition in which Adam was be- 
fore the fall, as I am," — where he places himself by the side 
of Adam before his fall. And on page 16 he makes a still 
bolder leap when he says : "As Adam was before the fall, so 
have I become, and even firmer. " But what provoked people 
most was what he says on page 12 : "With the body one can- 
not sin before God but only before men and other creatures, 
and these the Judge can settle," from which they drew dan- 
gerous conclusions. They boasted that they had only been 
sent by God to confound men, a work which they also dili- 
gently carried on during ten years, so that their disputations 
at market times in Philadelphia were often heard with aston- 
ishment, where also Baumann once offered, in order to prove 
that his doctrine was from God, to walk across the Delaware 
river. 

In their journeys through Conestoga, where they here and 
there found acceptance, they finally also came to the Super- 
intendent, where Baumann commenced about the new birth. 
The Superintendent gave him little satisfaction, telling him 
to smell of his own filth, and then consider whether this be- 
longed to the new birth ; whereupon they called him a crafty 
spirit full of subtility, and departed. It was observed that 
from this time on they lost all power to spread their seduc- 
tions any further, which finally died out with their origina- 
tors. The Baumann 4 spoken of died about the year 1727. 

4 This Matthias Baumann had been a poor day-laborer in the city of 
Lamsheim in the Palatinate. In the year 1701 he was visited with a severe 
illness in which he was caught up into heaven and was given revelations for 
mankind. When he came to himself again, he cried out for hours at a time : 
" O, merf, be converted ! The judgment-day is at hand ! " He was caught up 
again, and then it was told him : Men imagine that they are living in the light 
of day ; but they are all gone wrong and in the darkness of night. These 
trances occurred for 14 days, the last one continuing for 24 hours, so that it 
was thought he had died, and preparations were made for his funeral. When 
he recovered he went to the minister and told him that God had sent him 
back into this world to tell men that they should be converted ; but the 
minister, who thought he was out of his mind, sought by means of a worldly 
book to drive these notions out of his head, 
c 



15 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

He is said otherwise to have been an upright man, and not to 
have loved the world inordinately; but Kuehlenwein, Jotter, 
and other followers of his were insatiable in their love of the 
world. 

After this excursion we will return to our main subject. 
The Superintendent lived very much in privacy at this time, 
and was held in great straightness by his inner guide ; his 
Brethren knew but little as to where he dwelt. Even when 
they were provided with means of sustenance, he had no rest 
in his conscience until he had sent an offering to the hermits 
on the Ridge. When it was his duty to provide for the table, 
his Brethren began to complain, and wanted better provis- 
ions ; to whom he replied that they had not come there to 
fatten the old Adam. At length Stiefel declared he could 
not live that way, and took his departure. It was this that 
broke off their mutual fellowship, so that whatever the Su- 
perintendent afterwards did was regarded by Stiefel with 
displeasure. He ended his life at Bethlehem. God grant 
him his mercy on the day of judgment ! Isaac von Bebern 
was the next one to desert. He took leave of the Superin- 
tendent with much love, and protested that it was not possi- 
ble for him to live that way. The former gave him the fol- 
lowing counsel to take with him : ' ' Know that when you are 
successful in the world, God has forsaken you ; but when all 
misfortune comes upon you here, then know that God still 
loves you." After many years he froze both hands and feet 
in a shipwreck, and was put under the care of Christopher 
Witt in Germantown. There he remembered this farewell, 
and sent his last greeting to his old friend. 

Stuntz finally even sold their dwelling house and so paid 
himself back for the traveling expenses which he had 
loaned him. This breach of faith against God committed by 
his earliest fellow- warriors, who for the belly's sake forsook 
the narrow way of the cross, at last brought the Superintend- 
ent to the resolve never again to borrow from men on God's 
account. For he had from the beginning of his conversion 
been required to walk so rough a road, that he might readily 
have supposed that hardly one of his followers would remain 
steadfast in it ; and .in this skeptical frame of mind he re- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 9 

mained for a number of years yet at Ephrata, though here he 
might have had a better outlook. This was the reason also 
why so many, who came into too close relations with him, 
met with misfortune, especially before he yet was connected 
with any outer communion. For when they beheld the rays 
of heavenly wisdom that shone forth from him, they fell in love 
with the heavenly beauty ; but as soon as they came nearer 
to his person, the fire as of a smelting furnace, in which he 
lived, seized upon them, when straightway they were offended 
and sought revenge. His circumstances now made it neces- 
sary for him to build himself another house, which he did 
about a mile distant from the former one, at a place called 
the Swedes' Spring, not knowing what God had further 
ordained for him. There it came to pass that Michael Wohl- 
fahrt, on his journey to Carolina, visited him for the first time. 
He was a Pietist, born at Memel on the Baltic Sea, but had 
grown cool in his faith, and had lost much of it on his many 
travels. He had come to the Superintendent while Stiefel 
and Stuntz were still with him, and had so fallen in love with 
his life that he promised to settle there with him when he 
should return from Carolina. Meanwhile, when in the year 
1724 he came back to him, they had left him. As he laid 
before him his whole condition, the Superintendent received 
him in faith. In this man the latter found abundant exercise 
for his patience, and gained much profit through him in 
spiritual things. Indeed he fared better with him than he 
had with his former companions ; for, though at times they dis- 
agreed, yet Michael Wohlfahrt had such high respect for him 
that he always confessed himself in the wrong. The next 
year, however, there joined them J. S. , a restless spirit, with 
unsettled mind, who caused them much trouble. In this 
solitary state the Superintendent had the desired opportunity 
to order his life according to his conscience, for then he was 
not yet overcrowded with men, who delight to empty the 
lamp of the solitary. In his moderation and abstinence 
which he then practiced he must be reckoned along with the 
most approved fathers of the Egyptian wilderness. Fre- 
quently, on his visits, he did not eat anything for three days, 
whereat people took great offence. He has often said, that 



20 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

he did not know to what his great zeal would have brought 
him, if a visible communion had not been brought into 
being. And in this solitary state he attained to a blessedness 
in his communion with God which neither the world nor 
time can ever outweigh. Wherefore also God ' afterwards 
crowned his work with honor and praise, when he had con- 
strained him freely to give this blessedness, which had been 
gained through so great pains, unto the service of others. 

Now also we arrive at the reason why God obliged him 
to again renounce this seraphic life, and to enter into a com- 
munion with others. According to this the life of a hermit 
is only something granted for a time, but not at all the end 
itself ; since no solitary person can be fruitful. Accordingly, 
however innocent his walk before God and man at that time 
was, it was yet not right in itself ; for with all his renuncia- 
tions he still had not renounced himself. What was needed 
was a soil into which he might sow his grain of wheat to die, 
so that it should spring forth and bear fruit to the glory of 
God. It has before been mentioned how baptism, as a trans- 
planting into the death of Christ, was again brought to 
light ; now he had become abundantly convinced on that 
subject, but at that time he knew neither of a congregation 
according to his own mind, nor of a man who would have 
been worthy to baptize him. Once he made an attempt to 
baptize himself in the waters of Mill Creek ; but his con- 
science was not satisfied ; nor was the transaction valid, 
since there were no witnesses present. He was to obtain it 
through men ; and that was difficult for him. How at last 
he humbled himself under the ordinance of God, and became 
a child of the new covenant, this shall be shown forth in the 
following chapter, although another excursion from the 
subject will be necessary, in order to trace the matter to 
its origin. 



CHAPTER IV. 

The Superintendent is Baptized in the Apostolic Man. 
ner ; and Soon After Follows the Separation from 
the Baptists in Germantown. 

About the year 1722 many people in Pennsylvania were 
awakened from their spiritual sleep. The movement first 
broke out at Germantown, although before this already the 
Superintendent's solitary life in the wilderness of Conestoga 
had set the people thereabout to inquiring. In a letter to 
friend Griess in Manheim he confesses that this awakening 
had its origin in him ; for, after having first spoken of his 
retired and separate life, he finally says : "In those sorrow- 
ful times I purposed to forsake mankind, and with several 
others betook myself into the forests in the district of Cones- 
estoga ; but I continued to feel an unchanging heart-yearn- 
ing to enjoy once more the love of my God before I should 
die, which also was granted me, and indeed quite suddenly, 
in an instant, when a ray of light from the divine loving 
kindness streamed forth, and that too in no other kind of 
pleasure or enjoyment than that towards which my longing 
desire had reached forth ; then all my misery fell to the 
ground. Now I thought I had triumphed, and purposed, in 
the quiet of the spirit, (as separate from all men,) to serve my 
God continually in his holy temple. But what happened ? 
Ere I was aware, that whole region was illumined by that 
heavenly light, which in the times following spread over 
almost all the American provinces, and over various races 
and tongues of the people. At first, indeed, it tarried for a 
while in this same region where I dwelt, and in this wise : 
one heard here and there of one being awakened, and in 
such places where it was quite unusual, which first of all was 
the cause for reflection as to what kind of people those must 
be who lived there solitary in the wilderness (which was my- 
self and another one); at the same time inquiries came to me 

(21) 



2 2 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

from inquiring spirits, of a deeply searching kind, as to what 
were the cause of this quiet and solitary life. Thus it was 
given me to recommend the mysteries of the kingdom of 
God by renouncing this world, ' ' etc. 

Now we must consider the movements of the Baptists at 
Germantown. Peter Becker, in pursuance of the Superin- 
tendent's counsel, with two other Brethren, undertook in 
the autumn of 1722, a journey to all their Brethren scattered 
throughout the land, which was their first church visitation 
in America. They traveled through the regions of Ship- 
pack, Falckner's Swamp, Oley, etc., and wherever they came 
they communicated to their Brethren how they were minded, 
with their approval, to begin to organize a meeting ; also 
that they were willing to put aside all offences and unpleas- 
ant feelings in order that the work might be blessed in its 
progress. When they came home they began to hold meet- 
ings alternately at Peter Becker's and Gomorry's, until the 
advance of winter prevented them. Next winter, however, 
they resumed them, weekly, at Peter Becker's. 

In August of the year 1723 a rumor was spread through 
tne country that Christ. Libe, a famous Baptist teacher who 
had long been in the galleys, had arrived in Philadelphia. 
This moved some newly awakened persons on the Schuylkill 
to go forth to meet him. The whole thing, however, was a 
fiction. These persons were persuaded by the Baptists to go 
with them to their meeting, during and after which they 
heard so much of the Germans' awakening, that they went 
home very much edified. Soon after, a second visit was 
made to Germantown, by which both parties were so much 
edified that the Germantown Baptists promised them a visit 
in return, which they also made four weeks afterwards with 
great blessing. These newly awakened ones were thereby 
stirred up still more in their love, so that at last they threw 
themselves at the feet of the Germantown Baptists, and 
begged to be received into their communion by holy 
baptism. This was the occasion of important proceedings 
among the Baptists in Germantown ; for they still had in 
mind the misunderstandings which had arisen between them 
and their Brethren at Creyfeld. Besides, they were indeed a 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 23 

branch of a congregation, but yet not a congregation that 
dared to presume to administer the sacraments. The worst 
was, that they were divided among themselves, and had only 
lately commenced to draw nigh to one another again. After 
they had seriously pondered over all these things in the spirit, 
they finally agreed to consent to the request. Accordingly, 
after the candidates for baptism had chosen Peter Becker 
to be their Baptizer, they were baptized in the stream Wis- 
kohikung, x near Germantown, on December 25th, of the 
year 1723. And as these were the firstlings of all baptized 
from among the high-Germans in America, their names shall 
here be recorded and given to posterity, namely : Martin 
Urner and his female house-mate [Haussch wester], Henry 
Londes and his house-mate, Frederick Lang, and Jan 
Mayle. The evening following they held the first Love- 
feast ever celebrated in America, at John Gomorry's, which 
created a great stir among the people of that neighborhood ; 
Peter Becker, mentioned before, ministered at the same. 

Through such a divine happening the Baptists in Pennsyl- 
vania became a congregation, and continued their meetings 
through that summer with great blessing and edification, 
until the following winter prevented them. The next spring, 
of 1724, however, when they resumed their meetings, there 
was given to them such a blessing that the whole region 
roundabout was moved thereby. Particularly among their 
youth was this movement felt, who now, to the great edifica- 
tion of their elders, began to walk in the fear of the Lord 
and to love the Brethren. And as the fame of this awakening 
spread abroad, there was such an increase of attendance 
at their meetings that there was no room to contain the 
majority. 2 The following summer again many among them 
were moved, and love-feasts were held, through which many 
of them were impelled to join them, and so their communion 
experienced a speedy increase. Under these circumstances 

1 [Wissahicken]. 

2 lt was remarked that the greatest force of this extraordinary awakening 
did not last longer than seven months ; for it commenced in May and began 
to decline again in the following November, when the awakening in Con- 
estoga took its beginning. 



24 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

they deemed it well to make a detailed report of this new 
awakening to their Brethren in Germany. Therefore they 
prepared in common a writing addressed to them, in which 
they informed them that they had become reunited in Penn- 
sylvania, and that hereupon a great awakening had resulted 
in the land, which was still daily increasing ; that of the 
awakened several had joined their communion, to which they 
had to consent, as they dared not withstand the counsels of 
God. 

Now, after God had so manifestly blessed their labors, 
they sought to work forward to meet the awakening, and 
resolved to undertake a general visitation to all their Brethren 
in the whole country. They fixed upon the twenty-third day 
of October, of the year 1724, as the time for starting on 
their visitation from Germantown. They first went to Schip- 
pack, thence they traveled to Falckner's Swamp, where a 
meeting with breaking of bread was held with great blessing, 
at the house of a Brother named Albertus. From there they 
journeyed to Oley, where a similar work was done with 
similar blessing. Finally they came to their newly-baptized 
Brethren on the Schuylkill, where they held a meeting and 
bread-breaking, and also baptized two persons. Here they 
agreed to travel up the country towards Conestoga, for they 
had heard that there were several awakened persons there. 
But as some of them were on horseback and some on foot, 
they divided, and those on foot spent the following night, 
November 9th, with John Graff, and the riders with Jacob 
Weber. The following day the party united again at Rudolph 
Nagele's, at that time a Mennonite teacher, but afterwards a 
faithful follower of the Superintendent until his death. 
From there they visited the Superintendent, who at that 
time lived, a Solitary, with Michael Wohlfahrt. The follow- 
ing night, that is November 10th, they lodged with Stephen 
Galliond, and thence continued their journey to Henry Hohn, 
after they had sent two Brethren on before to announce their 
coming. In this fruitful wilderness there lived at that time 
part Mennonites, and part Separatists, among which latter 
the before-mentioned Baumann had spread his doctrine. 

A meeting was held at Hohn's on the following day, 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 25 

November 12th, at which the Superintendent was present. 
At this meeting extraordinary revival-powers were mani- 
fested. The Baptists spoke with such power concerning 
baptism and the divine purpose concerning fallen man 
involved therein, that after the close of the meeting five 
persons applied for baptism, namely, the afore-mentioned 
Hohn, his house-mate, John Mayer and his house-mate, and 
Joseph Shafer, who were at once baptized in Apostolic- wise, 
by Peter Becker, in the Pequea stream. Soon a sixth one 
followed these, namely, Veronica, the wife of Isaac Frederick. 
Now the Superintendent fell into great perplexity. For, to 
withstand this ordinance of God seemed to him great pre- 
sumption ; at the same time, the calling of these people was 
not deemed important enough by him, for he had been the 
recipient of a weighty testimony from God, and feared that, 
if he associated with them, he might lose all the good he had 
reached through so much pain. Suddenly, however, his 
heart was enlightened by a bright ray from the Gospel, in 
whose light the whole purpose of God was revealed to him, 
namely, that Christ also had permitted himself to be baptized 
by one who was less than himself, and had said thereof: 
1 ' Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness ;' ' and that, 
in order to make this work easier for us, God himself had 
thus gone before, and first sought out the field in which he 
would sow his grain of wheat. 

Consequently, after the Sister referred to before came out 
of the water, he came down from his spiritual pride, humbled 
himself before his friend Peter Becker, and was baptized by 
him on the same day in Apostolic-wise, under the water. It 
was thus that Wisdom brought him into her net : he received 
the seed of his heavenly virginity at his first awakening ; 
but now a field was prepared for him in America into which 
he might sow this seed again. Now we will resume our 
narrative. After the baptism they spent the rest of the day 
in edifying conversation unto the praise of God, until eve- 
ing, when a love-feast was held at Hohn's, the first ever held 
in Conestoga since the country began to be cleansed from its 
heathenish inhabitants ; it was held on November 12th, 1724. 
The following day they made a visit to Isaac Frederick's 



26 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

mill, when disagreement sprang up among them, because 
some so vehemently insisted on returning home. Peter 
Becker and the majority, however, insisted upon holding 
another meeting, which also was done, on the following 
Sunday, at Sigmund Landert's. But this meeting was not 
at all like the previous ones in power and spirit, and it was 
remarked that from that day on their power declined. First 
of all, the women began a quarrel ; and then Simon Konig, 
Michael Wohlfahrt, and others, joined together to assail the 
Baptists on ' account of their controversies across the sea. 
Simon Konig made the attack, but, as he acled very in- 
judiciously, the rest were ashamed of him and left him in 
the lurch. Consequently, the meeting passed over fruit- 
lessly, as did also the baptism of Sigmund Landert and 
his wife, which followed ; for they baptized them in such 
unclean water that they ought to have had a washing after- 
wards. On this occasion Peter Becker made the following 
address to the people : ' ' These two persons have applied 
to us for baptism ; but as they are unknown to us in their 
walk and conversation, we make this announcement of 
the fact to all men here present, especially to their neigh- 
bors. If you can bear favorable witness concerning their 
lives, it is well, and we can baptize them with the greater 
assurance ; but if you have any complaints to bring against 
them, we will not do it." It appears from this that he 
required persons to have led an honorable life before he 
would baptize them. Whether this is Apostolic we will not 
stop to discuss ; baptism contains in itself the forgiveness of 
all past sins. 

We will now proceed to their departure. Before they left 
this newly planted congregation, they, especially Peter 
Becker and Henry Trail t, conferred much with the newly 
baptized with reference to the organization of their house- 
hold, and said among the rest : ' ' You can now arrange your 
affairs among yourselves to the best of your ability ; the 
better you do it, the better we will be pleased, since you con- 
stitute together a little congregation. You are in no way to 
be bound to us, as we are at too great a distance from you. 
We therefore advise you to arrange your affairs among your- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 2 J 

selves, according to your daily circumstances. Neither do we 
recognize any pope who would rule over you, but we com- 
mend you to the grace of God, which must accomplish every- 
thing, etc." Afterwards they were very sorry for these words, 
and themselves regarded what they had done as unwise, 
because they had let this new congregation pass out of their 
hands. They thought one should not have entrusted so 
much to beginners, and that now they would have to tolerate 
everything, no matter how strangely these newly converted 
might act towards them. However, they were entirely mis- 
taken, at least as to the Superintendent, who at that time 
had already spent eight years in his calling, and had been 
well trained therein. After they had given the kiss of peace to 
one another, they betook themselves upon their homeward 
journey. 

A sensible person, acquainted with the counsels and plans 
discussed by them on their homeward journey, as they are 
described by a Brother among them, J. M. , must soon become 
aware that they gave entirely too much room to their sus- 
picion against this new congregation, from which of necessity 
such a schism had to follow. They indeed considered it a 
blessing that they now already had planted two congrega- 
tions in the land, namely, one on the Schuylkill and the 
other in Conestoga ; but concerning the latter they were 
in perplexity, and thought they ought to send a Brother 
there as Superintendent, for which they proposed one Kem- 
per, as being both edifying and having the gift of prayer. 
But what troubled them most was that they had heard that 
the Superintendent and two others observed the Sabbath. 
Most of them insisted that one should prescribe rules for the 
Brethren in Conestoga, that they might observe the Sabbath 
for themselves, but should preach its observance to no 
one else, so that whoever wished might observe Sunday. 
Thereupon another one said : "If they intend to observe the 
Sabbath, they must observe also the whole law ; for he who 
ordained the Sabbath ordained also circumcision." Others 
said it was a strange thing that the Brethren in Conestoga 
had so firmly settled upon the Sabbath, and yet would not 
preach it ; for if it was ordained to be observed, it must also 



2 8 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

"be preached. This they said because the Superintendent 
liad declared that he had received no command to preach it 
to others, but only to observe it himself. At last, however, 
they all became agreed that so long as the Brethren in 
Conestoga were so few in numbers they might grant others 
their liberty, but that if they should increase they would 
probably make the attempt to bring others also under this 
Jewish ordinance. Finally, they charged Peter Becker with 
having left too much in the hands of these newly converted 
ones. 

All these matters deserve closer investigation. Whoever 
considers this journey, together with the great blessing 
accompanying it, must confess that God was with them, at 
least up to the time when that man was found whom he had 
destined for a more important work. It is also certain that 
the Superintendent dealt with them in sincerity, and entered 
into communion with them with his whole heart. Had they 
not in the beginning permitted their suspicion against him 
to overmaster them, but had they condescended to him as 
he had done to them, he would have been the man through 
-whom they would have recovered again their first vocation 
received at Schwarzenau ; for he had a higher witness than 
they ; such an unpleasant division would not have taken 
place ; but, on the contrary, they might have received 
into their shelter many virgin spirits in future times. The 
Superintendent visited Peter Becker yet on his death-bed, 
and among the rest said to him : "What a pity it is that 
there were no wise men among you when the awakening in 
Conestoga commenced ; how we could now live under your 
.shelter!" Whereupon the latter wept. Of all this honest 
Henry Kalckglaser, one of their teachers and originators, 
who ended his days at Ephrata, may be accepted as a 
witness ; for the same gave as the reason why he left them 
and joined the new congregation, that at Ephrata he had 
found again his first revival spirit. However, they had at 
that time already strayed so far away from the bounds of the 
Spirit, that they could not live under so sharp a testimony. 
Defection from God takes place first of all within the heart, 
even while outwardly there may often still be a great deal of 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 29 

ado made about him, especially in forms of worship ; but its 
fruits at last will be brought to light. Accordingly, as they 
failed in God's trial of them, his choice passed from them, 
and with the' election all blessing also, unto the person of 
the Superintendent, of which Peter Becker must have had a 
consciousness, for he confessed that on the journey to Cones- 
toga they had lost something which they had never afterwards 
recovered. Even if the Superintendent had been a deceiver, 
as many of them called him, yet they did not follow the 
right method to reclaim him ; they ought to have come 
down to him in humble faith, then he would have stood by 
them, or, if he had not been the right man, God would have 
released them. This was done by many others who would 
have had more right to withstand his testimony, since they 
had been many years under his leadership, which certainly 
was a stern and strange one ; but these made it a matter of 
conscience to do so, as being convinced of his being divinely 
sent. Whether or not such trials shall come again, time will 
show ; certain it is that nothing can be overleaped in the 
divine Providence's leading. The Superintendent, shortly 
before his end, met some of them on a journey, when he 
asked a Brother what kind of people they were, being so 
reserved towards him? The Brother answered, "They are 
Baptists." "Well, well," said he, "I shall yet become 
their prince in eternity." These circumstances have a cer- 
tain likeness to the history of Jacob and Esau ; for to these 
good people belonged indeed, as to the older son, the rights 
of the first-born ; but they lost them through the younger 
one, and therefore, as Esau against Jacob, they conceived a 
strong dislike against him, which afterwards they handed 
down to their descendants. 

But O, thou great God ! they stumbled at that stumbling- 
stone. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, and 
his ways past finding out ! Thou dost let us stumble and 
fall so that in our best efforts we might be confounded, and 
no man may say to thee, why doest thou thus ? For a holy 
purpose thou didst deliver up to Satan thy servant Job, who 
faithfully served thee, in order that thy mercy might be 



30 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

magnified in him. Yea, thou didst forsake thy child Jesus 
himself upon the cross, in order that thy great salvation 
might be manifested under all the heavens. Therefore spare 
not us ; only lead us not into temptation lest we become 
vessels of wrath to offend thy saints. And if we must 
stumble at thee and fall, grant that we may thereby be 
humbled and brought to a knowledge of ourselves, that the 
tempter may be confounded in us. 




CHAPTER V. 

The New Congregation Establishes Itself upon the 
Doctrine of the Holy Apostles, and Elects the Super- 
intendent as Its Teacher. 

After the Superintendent had now ratified his covenant 
with God in the water, in which he gave himself uncon- 
ditionally unto him, Providence brought it about that those 
who had been baptized with him elected him as their Teacher. 
In this John Mayer was mainly instrumental ; and thus 
without himself seeking it he was thrust into the vineyard. 
His ordination to this office he received from the same one 
who had bestowed it upon Elijah, John the Baptist and other 
reformers, who were awakened specially and directly to 
come to the help of a church fallen asunder. Experience 
has shown that, as soon as he assumed the office, a large 
measure of the Spirit rested upon him ; wherefore, as soon 
as he began to hold meetings, contention arose against him 
throughout the whole land, which has not ceased even after 
his death. Many of his former friends, when they became 
aware of this sudden change in him, declared that he had 
gone out of his mind ; thus Henry Zimmermann once said 
to him : ' ' Conrad, Conrad ! You have taken upon you a sore 
load ; you will get to be a fool ; I have known such people 
in Germany." He conducted all meetings, however, with 
astonishing strength of spirit, and used so little reflection 
over it, that even in the beginning he was not suffered to use 
a Bible ; so that the testimony in its delivery might not be 
weakened by written knowledge. He began his discourse 
with closed eyes, before a large crowd of hearers ; and when 
he opened his eyes again the most of them were gone, not 
being able to endure the Spirit's keenness. On such occa- 
sions wonderful mysteries of eternity were often revealed 
through him of which he himself had before been ignorant ; 
but these were soon sealed up again, and then he would say : 

. (3i) 



32 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

"The Spirit retires again into his secret chamber." When- 
ever he felt that persons were present who sought to catch 
and confine his discourse in the meshes of reason, he would 
suddenly be moved to hold a discourse directly contradictory 
of his former one, and that too with equally strong reason- 
ing, so that his hearers were thrown into a holy confusion. 
At the same time he was very sensitive to any hidden 
obstacle that might be present at the meeting, and in such 
case never ended until everything was right again. On one 
occasion, while he was engaged in an important discourse at 
a meeting, a man entered who probably had been living 
unchastely, whereupon he cried out : ' ' What is that ? I 

smell women " whereupon the man speedily decamped. 

He was a born orator, and could carry out a proposition to 
great lengths, especially if he had rationalistic persons before 
him, for which his opponents blamed him very much. In 
his delivery, however, he was too fast, because he had to 
hurry after the Spirit, when he often concerned himself but 
little about the rules of language. 

To return to the history. The congregation went on, and 
in December, 1724, held its first love-feast with Brother 
Sigmund Landert, at which the Superintendent officiated for 
the first time. At the beginning of the next year he made a 
journey to the Schuylkill and Germantown to the Baptists, 
for then they were still united. He had for companions two 
Judaizing Brethren, who were very burdensome to him and 
at the places where they lodged ; for they had such a fear of 
pork that they would not eat out of any vessel that was not 
quite clean. It is true that the Superintendent had a deep 
insight into the secrets of nature ; from the nature of the 
food he knew how it would affect the unclean members ; and 
from this the suspicion against pork and unclean foods first 
arose ; as the first Christians, it is well known, also avoided 
them. (Vid. Zozim. Hist. Ecc. Cap. XI). His followers, 
deeply in love with his pure life, imitated him not only in 
this, but went still further, and raised scruples against geese 
also, because these supply man with their feathers for his 
luxurious indulgence. Consequently both these creatures 
were banished from the housekeeping of the Sabbatists. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 33 

At this circumstance the Baptists were not a little offended, 
for they had already before suspected the new congregation 
of intending to revive Judaism. To this was added another 
circumstance that also pained them much, in that in the 
year 1725 one of their proselytes, Jan Mayle, went over to' 
the new congregation, whom afterwards many followed. 

In the beginning of May, 1725, a meeting was held at 
John Landes's, where the Superintendent for the first time 
held a baptism, baptizing seven, of whom the most important 
were Michael Wohlfahrt and Rudolph Nagele. The first of 
these had lived with him, and it seems that the Divine 
Wisdom had given him to the Superintendent that the latter 
might be exercised in his holy walk, for they were both 
of choleric disposition. Soon after this man's baptism they 
two traveled about the country, and annoanced to men the 
counsels of God concerning future salvation, whereby many 
became greatly exercised, and some few were awakened, but 
the most disregarded it. Several tried to hide themselves 
from the truth behind the Law of Moses ; for soon after, 
A. W. of Oley, and D. C, circumcised each other after the 
Jewish manner, and then blasphemed much against Paul 
because he did away with circumcision. On this account 
the Superintendent wrote them an emphatic letter, in which 
he speaks thus : u I counsel you, for the sake of the Mediator 
Jesus Christ, leave off your folly, lest you lose thereby even 
the grace and promises of the new Covenant. You have not 
a single witness among all the Apostles upon going among 
the Gentiles with the Gospel that circumcision was even so 
much as thought of at a single place. ' ' (See his Theosoph. 
Epistles, Page 125.) 

Circumstances now demanded that they must sacrifice to 
God their beloved solitude in the wilderness, for the good of 
their neighbor. Wherefore they moved apart, and a little 
house was erected for the Superintendent on the land of the 
afore-mentioned Nagele ; and here these spiritual Israelites 
had their first settlement, after they came out of Egypt, pass- 
ing through the Red Sea, that is, the water of baptism. 
Soon others joined themselves to him, and then one could 
see i .1 their little houses an edifying picture of the huts of 



34 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

the holy Fathers in the Egyptian wilderness. In this region 
wonderful influences came down upon him from eternity, 
of which the least ever became known. The afore-mentioned 
Nagele must have had very minute acquaintance with the 
same, otherwise he would hardly have been able to endure so 
strange a leading, in which he manifested greater fidelity to 
the Superintendent than could have been expected from any 
man. Wherefore he was often heard to say : ' ' Let Nagele 
speak and tell what kind of a man I was ; so much doth 
God venture on a man that he may bring him into his net. ' ' 
Now, however, the time drew nigh when God remembered 
Rachel in her long barrenness that she became pregnant. 
For it was resolved in the Council of the Watchers that in 
the sixth period, as being the Philadelphian church-season, a 
virgin should be made ready as the bride of the High Priest, 
and for this Pennsylvania was specially chosen. And now 
the Spirit awakened many free souls of both sexes, who 
began to strive for the knightly crown. Among the female 
sex the first were two natural sisters, A. and M. E. 1 They 
fled from their father's house in the year 1726, and put them- 
selves under the Superintendent's guidance, which caused 
much remark in the country, especially since he had to be 
with them very much. The congregation built them a house 
on Mill Creek, in which they lived four years. In the same 
year, at Easter, R. N. 2 held a love-feast, at which two 
Brethren from the Schuylkill, H. L,. and D. E. , 3 were 
present, and at which a controversy arose between H. L. and 
the Superintendent. The former asked how it could be con- 
sistent with the righteousness of God that so many innocent 
children had to suffer along with the rest in the general 
courts of justice. The Superintendent answered: "They 
have indeed not sinned as yet ; but they are not on that 
account innocent, for the evil nature is in them, which 
plainly shows itself with increase in years." Question: "Do 
you not believe that they will be saved if they die thus?" 
Answer: "No." Question: "Then you consider them to 
be damned." Answer: "That we do not say; but we 

'[Anna and Maria Eicher]. 2 [Rudolph Nagele]. 
3 [John Eandes and Dauiel Eicher.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 35 

hold that they must be purged from their inherited sin by 
means of a kind of purgatory." Their purpose was to 
elevate the natural married state into an holy estate, in order 
thus to give the right to salvation to children ; but when 
they failed in this, they both became offended and did not 
hold to the congregation any more. One of them afterwards 
took his child up in his arms, kissed it, and said : " O, thou 
poor child ! art thou to be damned if thou wert now to die ? 
That would be a horrible thing, since thou hast not yet 
sinned." And because this man afterwards in his offended 
mood passed into eternity, the rumor was brought to the 
Baptists that the Superintendent had permitted a Brother to 
die without being reconciled with him ; yes, and that he had 
spread a new heresy in Conestoga, namely, that innocent 
children are damned when they die. These people, as is 
apparent in some of their hymns, agree with the Mennonite 
Church in this, that they think that infants are born pure 
and innocent. And because the Superintendent recognized 
the advantage flesh and blood sought over these people, his 
opposition caused him to be called a forbidder of wedlock. 

Meanwhile, amidst these differences, the work of revival 
went on. About seven weeks after these occurrences, a 
Brother on the Schuylkill, by the name of Urner, held a 
love-feast, on Whitsuntide, to which both congregations 
were invited, for, apparently at least, they were as yet 
undivided ; and because the regular teacher, P. B., 4 was not 
present, the Superintendent was obliged to officiate. On 
this occasion quite extraordinary powers of eternity mani- 
fested themselves, such as were never known before or after, 
'so that it was called the congregation's Pentecost. On the 
first day of the festival everybody in the meeting was as 
though drunken with wine, and it was noticed that several, 
who had engaged in prayer, soon after married, and so 
dragged the gifts of the Spirit into the flesh. The Superin- 
tendent bore himself as calmly in the matter as if it did not 
concern him at all ; for he had then already learned enougdi 
in the school of the Spirit to treat the good without any 
self-assumption, which is the worst of sins. After the meet- 

4 [Peter Becker]. 



36 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

ting he baptized eleven in the Schuylkill. Through this 
occurrence the Baptists were confounded in the person of the 
Superintendent. On the one hand, they had to admire the 
extraordinary gifts of the man ; on the other, they knew 
that he had the name of being a seducer and a destroyer 
of wedlock. They put their heads together and took coun- 
sel ; but knew not what judgment to form. Meanwhile 
on the following night the love-feast went forward with 
blessing ; at the saine it was announced that on the follow- 
ing Whit-Monday another meeting would be held. This 
meeting finally threw the good Baptists into the greatest 
amazement ; for the powers of the new world were again 
poured out like a river, the singing was pentacostal and 
heavenly ; yea, some declared that they heard angel-voices 
mingling with it, of which the reader has liberty to judge 
for himself. Certain it is that in the times following it 
pleased the Spirit to bring revivals to men by means of song, 
so that at length there was developed such singing among 
the Solitary as has never been equaled by any party in the 
Christian Church from the days of Ignatius on, to whom 
first was made known by revelation the antiphonal style of 
the choral singing of the holy angels. As the suspicion 
against the Superintendent had notably increased after the 
close of the meeting, many thought that he must be a 
sorcerer, and were in fear lest their wives might be seduced. 
One otherwise upright Brother, M. U., embraced his wife, 
and exclaimed, " O, my dear wife! I pray you for God's 
sake do not leave me !" Such is the effect when God 
reaches forth into the church of Adam. 

In August, 1727, a grand visit was made by the Baptists of 
Germantown to the congregation in Conestoga. On the way 
Henry Traut and Stephen Koch left the party and visited 
one named J. S. , 5 who had been with the Superintendent 
when he was yet a pioneer settler, and his whole house had 
been drawn to him ; at this time, however, he was under a 
ban for having married too near a relation, and was possessed 
of satanic powers. Him they loosed from his ban and 
brought to Henry Hohn, where there was a general gather- 

5 [Jacob Stuntz]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 37 

ing. There he became raving and imitated the cries of 
various animals, most however of ducks, so that no one 
could imitate him. As the two Brethren had loosed him 
from his ban on their own responsibility, they were put 
under discipline ; wherein the Superintendent had to adapt 
himself to the circumstances of the time, otherwise the ban 
was something contrary to his convictions. 




CHAPTER VI. 

Concerning a New Awakening in Faeckner's Swamp, and 
the Transactions with the Baptists Connected There- 
with. 

At the close of 1727, or the beginning of the next year, 
Michael Wohlfahrt, with the sanction of the congregation, 
traveled to Falckner's Swamp, and visited several newly 
awakened ones there ; concerning whom he brought home 
such good reports that, in March, 1728, the Superintendent 
with three others made a visit there, and with such effect 
that, on the eighth of the month, eleven persons were bap- 
tized, whom five more followed in May. Over these Andreas 
Frey 1 was appointed as Elder. Since this awakening not 
only brought many out of the domestic state to the Super- 
intendent, all of whom now have finished their walk of faith, 
but also increased the settlement by adding thereto many 
Solitary ones of both sexes, of whom several are still at 
their labors ; it shall be circumstantially described. After 
the Baptists at Germantown now received news of this 
awakening, they were not a little astonished that they of 
Conestoga still presumed to baptize and break bread, since 
they stood openly unreconciled with those of Germantown, 
as they had proved by recently putting two of the German- 
town Brethren under the ban. H. L. , too, at the Schuylkill, 
who had had the controversy with them about the salvation 
of infants, had died unreconciled with them, without their 
having forgiven him ; therefore they considered it their 
duty to warn these newly awakened ones. Accordingly, they 

Afterwards, out of opposition to the Superintendent, this A. F. left the 
congregation and went over to the Moravian Brethren, with whom he 
traveled to Germany, but afterwards left them also, the circumstances of 
which he published after his return to America. This awakening produced 
many false priests, of whom several became the first-born of the devil ; all 
of which was caused by the Superintendent's humility with which he 
always gave offices to others. 
(38) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA.' 39 

held a meeting at Falckner's Swamp with one Brother John 
Henrv Hagemann, at which they tried to blind the eyes of 
these newly awakened, and talked much to them of how 
they loved the Brethren in Conestoga, until they at last stole 
their hearts, and put their minds into such confusion, that 
they no longer knew whether they should love or hate the 
Conestoga Brethren. 

When this became known among the congregation at 
Conestoga the Superintendent sent two Brethren to them 
with a letter, in which he gave them a stern rebuke for the 
falseness, deceit, and craftiness which they had practiced 
upon the newly awakened ones. This letter was an additional 
cause of the separation that followed. O, how blest these 
good people would have been, if they could have stopped 
their self-righteousness and have gone into judgment with 
themselves ! But they missed it. Instead, they made the 
letter known among the newly awakened, and made them 
judges concerning the insult (as they called it), to help to 
condemn its author. Then they held a meeting in the 
Swamp, with a Brother Albertus, at which it was resolved 
that in four weeks a meeting should be held there, with Wil- 
liam Frey, for trial and judgment, at which both parties, 
those of Germantown and those of Conestoga, should appear. 
There the newly awakened should be the judges whether the 
accusations of the letter against them of Germantown were 
true or false. To this end they desired them to be neutral, 
and until then they were to give neither hand nor kiss to 
anyone. When the Brethren in Conestoga were informed of 
this proposal they were astonished ; first, at its political 
craftiness ; then that inexperienced persons were to be the 
judges in so important a controversy, and in the third place, 
at their daring in presuming to invite the congregation at 
Conestoga to such a mock-proceeding. Therefore, six 
Brethren from the Conestoga congregation were sent before- 
hand to Falckner's Swamp, and lodged with Brother John 
Henry Hagemann, who also received them, contrary to the 
admonition, with hand and kiss, and whom the other house- 
holds followed in this, notwithstanding that several took 
offence, and thought the Conestoga Brethren had no clear 



40 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

conscience, but had come thus early because they did not 
trust to appear at the trial. 

Now let us put aside these quarrels for a while. After 
A. F. 2 had given up his office among the Brethren, M. W. 3 
took his place, who did not fare much better than the former. 
It was his good fortune that he was a man after God's own 
heart, who had learned to humble himself when he came 
into judgment, and besides, had a superhuman fidelity to the 
Superintendent. He fell from his office with shame and dis- 
grace, and thereupon fell at the feet of the Superintendent, 
who then revoked the judgment and received him again into 
spiritual communion. He afterwards filled his place with 
one J. L. , 4 a novice, who besides was at the time spiritually 
puffed up. He had his office only six weeks ; and how the 
Superintendent's life was endangered through him will be 
narrated in the sequel. It would be worth investigating, by 
the way, as to what was the cause why so many were unfor- 
tunate in these offices ; for experience has proved that the 
Order sacrificed its most important persons of both sexes 
in these offices, some of them having to pay the pen- 
alty with their lives, others who fell through them after- 
wards recovered with great difficulty, and thanked God 
when they were permitted to spend their days in private life ; 
so that one could hardly get anyone to take the offices any 
more. On the one hand the cause probably was that subor- 
dination to the Superintendent personally was so difficult ; 
but it seems that the Spirit, under whose ordering the 
Superintendent stood in his work, had chosen him for this 
important service. Besides, seeing that his whole life was 
spent in intense pain, as those knew who came into close 
communion with him, 5 it is a greater wonder that any at all 
endured under his leading, than that so many were wrecked 
thereby. 

2 [Andreas Frey] . 3 [Michael Wohlfahrt]. 4 [John Landes]. 

5 If anyone wishes to know in what straits he spent his life, let him read 
the 278th hymn of the " Paradisisches Wunderspiel," of which the first verse 
is as follows : — 

" O, eternal glow ! what a burning is there among the saints upon earth, 
who own themselves to God until each is preserved like gold that is purged 
through incessant smelting in the pot. O, what a wearisome sweating ! 
until one attains the crown of sold." 



A HISTORY OP EPHRATA. 4 1 

In this year there were yet several occurrences which 
deserve to be mentioned. The first is the conversion of the 
first Prior of the Brotherhood at Ephrata, named Israel 
Eckerlin, which himself has thus described : ' ' My father, 
Michael Eckerlin, was a councilman of Strasburg, which 
office and place he left for conscience sake, and moved to 
Schwarzenau, where he held to the congregation of Baptists, 
and stood in good repute on account of his piety. After his 
death, our mother, with her four sons, moved to Pennsyl- 
vania in the year 1725. On the ocean God visited me with 
sickness, so that I made a vow, that if he would help me to 
my health again, I would become converted and commence 
a different life after we would get to land. I thereupon 
indeed became well again, but my promise I did not fulfill ; 
for when we saw land I remembered my vow, and wished I 
might always be on the water. As soon as we had landed, 
vanity again took hold of me. But about the same time 
M. W., 6 a Brother of the new congregation, came to my 
mother, whose words so deeply moved me that I afterwards 
said to my mother: 'This Brother's words have effected 
very much for me, ' and determined to make a visit to them. 
Meanwhile I bound myself out to a master who also had a 
drawing- to the good. Once we visited Conrad Matthew at 
Germantown, who advised us to leave those regions, because 
the people there lived in vanity, and to move up the country 
to Conestoga, where the people lived in great simplicity, and 
which was like a new Switzerland to look upon. This 
counsel suited us ; and in August, 1727, we moved there. 
For a time we adhered to the Mennonites, because their 
simplicity of dress pleased us ; but to their mode of worship 
we never could adapt ourselves. Then we inquired about 
the new congregation and its Superintendent, but heard of 
nothing but whoredom and lewdness, which were said to pre- 
vail there. I said to my master, however, that I could not 
believe this, as I had a different impression of them. After 
that we worked for Christopher Saur, who brought us to a 
meeting of the new congregation, at which I was strength- 
ened in my good resolve to such a degree, by the words of 

6 [Michael Wohlfahrt]. 



42 CHROXICOX EPHRATEXSE. 

the Superintendent, that on Whitsuntide of the year 172s, I 
was incorporated in this new congregation by holy baptism, 
together with my master and another Brother, Jacob Gass by 
name." So far his narrative. 

About this time, namely, in the year 172S, the power of 
God manifested itself palpably in the meetings, witnessing 
against the old Adam and his many false sanctuaries ; 
whereat many were offended and separated themselves from 
the congregation. These Separatists, like men sick with a 
le, finally banded together, and set up a meeting of 
their own ; so that in those times there were more apostates 
than there were righteous ones ; which, however, by no 
means confounded the Superintendent ; for he had reckoned 
on all these, and yet worse, quarrelings, when he left his 
beloved solitary state and waded into the sea of humanity. 
Since it was known that these apostates were supported by 
the Baptists of Germantown, M. W. felt himself moved to go 
into the meeting of these Baptists, and thus spoke to them : 
"Men and Brethren, thus saith the Lord, ye have gone 
mad ; this is a city that is destroyed ! And unto you, 
v Becker, the Lord saith, why dost thou declare my 
rights and hast my covenant on thy lips, while yet thou 
hatest order and throwest my words behind thee !" After he 
had thus done, he went his way again. This occurred in 
December, 1728 

It is also to be mentioned here that while, during a certain 
night, the Superintendent was at prayer, and was deeply 
moved, on behalf of the entire Christian Church, somebody 
knocked at the door, and asked him to come in haste to a 
neighbor, Peter Beller. When he came there he found the 
daughter of the latter about breathing her last, who desired 
baptism from him. Xow although the Superintendent would 
have had faith to baptize her in flowing water, yet her 
parents would not allow it ; so she was baptized in the house 
in a tub. Thereupon she asked to have a meeting at her 
house on the next Sabbath, which the Superintendent 
granted her ; but when the congregation assembled there at 
the appointed time, they found her lying in her coffin ; so 
the meeting was turned into a funeral. God grant her a 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 43 

blessed resurrection ! This so deeply moved the parents 
that they both had themselves also baptized. 

At that time also the Superintendent's Ninety-nine Mysti- 
cal Sayings became known in print. When a learned scholar, 
named Guide, saw them, he traveled to him, and asked him 
why he had made 99 of them and not 100. His answer was : 
that as the number 99 was reached he was stopped in the 
Spirit. Then he asked him why he observed the Sabbath. 
The answer : That he had experienced that whenever the 
Sabbath came all his burdens, which rested upon him during 
the week, were removed, which did not happen to him on 
Sundays. Against this he had no objections to make, and 
went his way edified. It was mentioned above that M. 
W. had borne prophetic witness against the Baptists in 
Germantown. He did more such work in those days. For 
on October 19th, 1729, he and another Brother went into a 
meeting of the Quakers in Philadelphia, and, after he had 
listened a long while to a female preacher, he finally began 
to speak : "My friends, I beseech you to hearken unto me, 
for I have a few words from the Lord to you, therefore I 
demand that you hear me. For I will not leave this place 
until I have delivered my message which I am sent to bring, 
that I may be guiltless before the Lord, and may go my way 
hence again in peace." The speeches and replies are in 
print, but are too lengthy to reproduce here. Similarly also 
he bore witness in the market in Philadelphia, which also 
was published in English and in German. 




CHAPTER VII. 

The; Sabbath is Introduced in the Congregation ; 
Wherefore the Latter is Brought Under the Judg- 
ment of the World ; Besides Many Other Disturb- 
ances. 

In the year 1728 the Superintendent published a little 
book on the Sabbath, which was so effective that the congre- 
gation now publicly adopted the Sabbath as the day for 
divine services. Before this the meetings had been held on 
Sunday, and the Sabbath celebrated in quiet. Neither in 
this, nor in the consequent disturbances, did the Superin- 
tendent have any part. Once the congregation wanted to 
put him under the ban for working on the Sabbath, 
whereupon he recognized that the matter was from God. At 
that time there were among the English people various 
families who observed the Sabbath, like Abel Noble, Welchs, 
Ritter, etc. , but according to the law of the land they also 
had to observe Sunday. To this these new Sabbatists did 
not want by any means to adapt themselves ; but they held 
to the Law, worked six days, and rested the seventh, which 
occasioned a good deal of commotion in the land. For not 
only did the mob perpetrate many excesses against them, but 
at length the civil authorities also interfered, in that they 
confined the Solitary in prison, and sold the horses of the 
householders, offering, after deducting the amount of the 
fine, to pay them back the balance on demand, to which they 
invariably received the reply that they might keep that 'also, 
since it was written, He that taketh from thee that is thine, 
demand it not of him again. It is worth while to record for 
posterity the mild conduct; of the authorities towards these 
people, of which several instances are given. Several 
Brethren, when brought before the justice, who demanded a 
fine from them, answered thus : that they owed him nothing 
and still less wanted to give him anything ; if he wished to 
get anything he would have to take it. Others said that 
(44) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 45 

they regarded God's law more than England's law. At 
another time a Brother fell into the hands of a justice who 
had much to say about the English law with reference to the 
observance of Sunday, and took up his law-book in order to 
prove it. The Brother said : that he should lay aside his 
law-book, as he was subject to a higher, namely God's law- 
book, so that his English law-book had no authority over 
him. The justice put away his book, and said he might go 
home, he would make him a present of his fine if he would 
not work on Sunday in future. The Brother replied that 
he would not cease to work on Sunday, and, besides, that 
he could not make him a present, since he did not owe 
him anything ; but that if he did owe him anything he 
would pay it, and not accept any present from him ; to 
which the justice said nothing further. 

Whoever knew the peaceful disposition of the Superin- 
tendent can easily imagine that this behavior of his people 
was a severe trial for him. To some Brethren who once 
asked his prayers as they were cited before the authorities, 
but who were dismissed again in peace, he said that God 
had given the heart of the authorities into his hand, and he 
had turned it as he pleased. This had such an effect that 
afterwards various ones willingly paid their fines ; and 
because they showed such Christian discretion, the authori- 
ties relaxed their strictness, and overlooked such people's 
offences, which is done even to the present day. 

Now we will take the new congregation in hand again. 
The witness of God concerning the judgment against the old 
Adam, as it was applied by the Superintendent with much 
severity, was the cause of one revolt after the other among 
his followers. This continued until his death ; yes, some 
followed him with slander even after his death. No meeting 
was held at which some did not fall to quarreling, and mostly 
it was on the subject of the matrimonial estate ; for he was 
accused of seeking to prescribe laws and rules for the same, 
and this was regarded as a teaching of the devil. It was 
mentioned above concerning the apostates that they organ- 
ized an own congregation, in which J. H. and D. E. l were 

1 [John Hildebrand and Daniel Eicher]. 



46 CHRONICON EPIplATENSE. 

teachers. To these a Brother, Joel by name, went in their 
meeting, and spoke thus : "To you, J. H. , I have a word from 
the Lord to say. Thus saith the Lord : Thou shalt no 
longer go forth and preach to others, but first thou and thy 
house must be converted, then thou canst go forth and con- 
vert others. If thou heed not this warning voice, the 
judgment of the Lord shall come upon thee because thou 
hast not done according to his Words. Moreover this day it 
shall be made manifest whether we or you are the congrega- 
tion of God ; for God will to-day perform a wonder and sign 
in me, in that if I shall fall down before your eyes as one 
that is dead, and ye will pray for me that I may arise again, 
then God hath not sent me unto you, and you are the Lord's 
congregation. But if I do not fall dead before your eyes, 
but shall go out of the door again well and hearty, then ye 
shall know that the Lord hath sent me to you this day, and 
that you are not the Lord's congregation. Eight days ago as 
I was in your meeting, I said that there were wolves among 
you ;" — and after seizing one of them, Henry Holm by 
name, by the arm, he said, "here is a wolf," and then went 
away with his companion. 

Some of the congregation thought as much of this testi- 
mony, and also of that of M. W. , recorded above, as if the 
Holy Spirit had dictated it ; therefore they had them care- 
fully written out. But another Brother, Amos by name, who 
looked upon this as idolatry, with the sanction of the Super- 
intendent gained possession of these testimonies by craft and 
burned them, saying he would try whether they could 
. endure the fire-test. The sensible reader will know how to 
take the best out of this. About the same time the Superin- 
tendent also made a prophetic address against a Brother who 
used to turn everything good to ridicule, whereby he kept 
his whole house alienated from God. The address is as 
follows : ' ' Thou child of man, I have set thee for a watch- 
man over the house of Israel, that, when thou nearest out 
of my mouth thou mayest warn them on my behalf. If now 
I say to the ungodly : Thou ungodly one must die the death, 
and thou dost not tell him so, that the ungodly may be 
warned from his course, the ungodly shall die because of his 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 47 

ungodliness ; but his blood shall be demanded of thy hand. 
But if thou warn him to repent of his evil ways, and he 
refuse to repent, then he shall die because of his sin, but 
thou hast saved thy soul." After he had spoken these 
words he thought that he was done, but when he awoke the 
following morning, he was again impelled to, speak, and said: 
"H, H., 2 thus saith the Lord to thee: Thou ungodly one, 
thou hast joined thyself to a lot of ungodly ones, to an 
impious woman, and hast committed adultery against the 
wife of thy youth. Thy sin and shame shall be uncovered 
before all people, and thy woes shall be like unto those of a 
woman in travail, etc." This address he sent to the meeting 
of the Separatists while the Baptists of Germantown were 
there, who made it known everywhere. 




2 [Henry Hohn]. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

The Two Baptist Congregations Separate Entirely ; 
and the Brethren at Conestoga Give Their Baptism 
Back Again to the Others. 

It appears that the Superintendent at that time was much 
beholden in his divine work to the Baptists of Germantown, 
which came from the fact that he had received his baptism 
from them. They boasted that they had given birth to the 
new congregation out of the elements ; thus boasting them- 
selves of fleshly things. On this account we must make 
some allowance for the Superintendent's vehemence against 
them. They came in the way of that Spirit under whose 
dominion he stood, so that, in the hymns he made at that 
time, he used terrible expressions about them. Consequently, 
when he noticed that their power of opposition was owing 
to his baptism, the resolve was finally reached' to give these 
people their baptism back again ; which also was done in 
December of the year 1728. For then Brother Amos first 
rebaptized the Superintendent, who then rebaptized him, 
another Brother, and four Sisters; so that once more the 
Sabbatic number seven became the foundation of rebaptism 
in the congregation. This transaction not only provoked 
the Baptists anew, but also caused great disturbance in the 
congregation itself ; for some halted between two opinions, 
and secretly held to the Baptists, because they hankered after 
such a worship in which flesh and blood could be redeemed. 

In the year 1729 Alexander Mack, the founder of the 
Baptists, with the rest of the congregation mentioned, left 
Friesland and came to Pennsylvania. This reverend man 
would have well deserved to be received with arms of love 
by all the pious in common, after all that he had had to 
suffer in Germany, especially from his own people. But he 
was no sooner arrived among his fellow-believers, than they 
filled his ears with heavy accusations against them of Cones- 
toga, namely, how they had separated from them, had 
(48) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 49 

written them abusive letters, and had treated them very 
unlovingly with judgments and condemnations ; yea, and 
over and above all this, they had yet done a terrible thing 
whereby not only they, but even their dead, had been 
condemned and put under the ban. When he asked what 
this had been, the reply was, that they had all had them- 
selves rebaptized as separate from the Baptists. Now the 
good man should, at least until he had made himself 
thoroughly acquainted with the matter, have suspended his 
judgment. But prejudices so overpowered his mind, that he 
was not capable of passing a sound judgment, nor of counter- 
acting the separation. Nevertheless he made* an attempt 
and in October of the year 1730 undertook a visit to Falck- 
ner's Swamp with several of his Brethren. The Superin- 
tendent knew nothing of this; but made a journey thither 
at the same time, and held a meeting at Brother John 
Senseman's, to which also, quite unexpectedly, the visitors 
from Gennantown came. Alexander Mack made an address 
and said: "The peace of the Lord be with you!" The 
Superintendent replied: "We have the same peace." 
Thereupon Alexander Mack asked why they had put them 
under the ban ; and proposed that both parties should betake 
themselves to prayer that God might reveal to them which 
was guilty of the separation. It would indeed have been 
better for them to take upon themselves both known and 
unknown sins than to force the divine righteousness; how- 
ever, judgment lay so heavily upon them that they had not the 
grace to do so. They accordingly fell upon their knees, and 
after making their complaints to God, they arose, and A. M. 
asked: " Where is Conrad Beissel ?" They pointed towards 
him and said: "There he stands." He answered: "I am 
a stranger to him; I do not see him; let him speak." It 
seems that his eyes were holden that he could not see him. 
This happened several times to the Superintendent, as not 
less to Christ himself and other holy ones. Thereupon the 
Superintendent answered thus : "I am the man after whom 
you ask." A. M. then began asking the reasons why such 
things had been done. The Superintendent answered : 
Why they came here in so improper a manner to disturb 

E 



50 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

the meeting; they should have chosen a different time for 
this matter; and then spoke not a word more. Then things 
became lively. One Brother of Conestoga said : "A. M. , I 
regard you as a servant of God." Peter Becker replied: 
' ' What kind of a servant do you consider him ? a servant of 
his righteousness?" It was remarked that all of those of 
Conestoga who, at that time and afterwards, became involved 
with the Baptists in judgment, like Jacob Weiss, Valentine 
Leslie, David Gemaehle, etc., afterwards themselves fell 
away from their calling. Aye, good M. W. had to suffer for 
it even on his death-bed, and would certainly have fallen 
into the lianas of the avenger of blood, if the faithfulness of 
the Superintendent had not saved him, as will be described 
in its proper place. 

With the Superintendent, however, the matter was quite 
different, for he had to stand up for the charge entrusted to 
him by God, wherein it was not by any means allowed 
anyone else to imitate his zeal, and to mix up his own passions 
with it. Those who know how the affairs stood between 
the two congregations, know also that a close union between 
them was impossible; for they were born of diverse causes, 
since the one had the letter for its foundation, and the other 
the spirit; and while both had the same Father, they had 
different mothers. Here it is also to be remarked that, 
according to law, the standing is always inherited from the 
mother, so that if a king lies with a slave woman, the child 
must also be a slave. On the part of God indeed the seed of 
the new birth is always one and the same ; but the great 
diversity among the awakened arises from their various 
susceptibility, by reason of which the Word of life penetrates 
more deeply into one than into another, on which account as 
o-reat a difference of tribes and families arises under the new 
covenant as existed under the old, which indeed cannot 
be changed, and should not diminish their love. As at 
Schwarzenau the Separatists and others sought to enter the 
congregation of the Baptists without becoming subject to 
their ordinances, the good Alexander Mack felt constrained 
to write a little tract, in which he showed them that each 
tribe must hold to its own standard. The Superintendent 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 5 1 

referred to this difference in his letters to P. B. In one of 
them he also mentions what displeased him in them, where 
he writes: "I am well disposed toward yon all in those 
matters on which the spirits can unite in God; but in those 
which concern yonr mode of divine worship I can take no 
part." (See his 17th printed epistle). It is easy to under- 
stand that in succeeding years this breach must have greatly 
pained them. And they made several attempts to mend it, 
but effected nothing, because they would not recognize the 
fault in themselves. At one time they undertook a visit to 
him ; but before they arrived he was impelled to go out. 
Then they imagined that he had run away from them, and 
had no good conscience. At another time both parties met 
on a visit. The Superintendent saw that something would 
happen, and called his people aside, where they agreed to offer 
them peace in Christ, and to forget everything that had 
happefied. But the}- would not. accept this, but wanted to 
have matters investigated and judgment passed upon them. 

As something was said above concerning rebaptism, on 
account of which the Superintendent had to endure so many 
accusations, the circumstances demand that a thorough 
report of it be made, so that it may appear in how far the 
congregation at Ephrata had a right to introduce such 
strange customs. Among those who first left the afore- 
mentioned Baptists and betook themselves unto the Superin- 
tendent's guidance, it was recognized as necessary to give a 
bill of divorce to their former spiritual wife, in which they 
had the Superintendent's example. Those who followed 
after them took the path they had trodden, and why should 
they not have the right to do so ? For in the whole New 
Testament there is not a word to be found that rebaptism 
was forbidden. Is it not tyranny then to bind the conscience 
in matters wherein the Spirit hath set no limits ? Moreover 
there were few under the leading of the Superintendent who 
were not rebaptized at least three times, according as their 
zeal for God demanded. That rebaptism was practiced in the 
time of the Apostles cannot be denied. For even if the pas- 
sage in Acts XIX, 5, proves nothing, it is conceded that the 
most of those whom the Apostles baptized had already been 



52 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

baptized by John. As John's baptism was not the whole,, 
and Christ had a higher witness than he, his disciples had a 
right to leave him and to receive the baptism of Christ ; and 
thus was it also with the Superintendent. It is settled, 
however, that such rebaptisms could not be made an article 
of faith, for the venerable Henry Kalckglasser, one of their 
first teachers, was left undisturbed at Ephrata until his death 
in his baptism received from them. Therefore when in 
later times some of the 'new congregation went over again to 
the old, and several hot-heads wanted to have them rebap- 
tized, wise men arose among them and hindered it. 




CHAPTER IX. 

The New Congregation, Impelled by Holy Zeal, Grows, 
and the Sweet Savor of Its Walk and Conversation 
is Spread Abroad. 

Let us now again turn to the new congregation and 
contemplate its growth in grace. First of all we are to 
be reminded that the Superintendent, who had before his 
baptism led an angelic life hidden in God, now by baptism 
had consecrated himself to the lowly humanity of Jesus 
Christ, in consequence of which, after the example of his 
Master, he gave up all his acquired possessions in order to 
win men, and this was the bank wherein he laid up his 
capital on interest. It is not easy to express what a high 
degree of self-denial it required, to hazard his own painfully 
attained sanctification, and again to wade into the ocean of 
humanity, there to fish for men. Accordingly it was often 
remarked that he shed many tears, when wearied in his daily 
labors by the follies of mankind, and led to reflect on his 
former angelic life. It was easy to see that his own forward- 
ness did not lead him into this work, but that God had 
plunged him into these circumstances; as also he often said 
that he knew of a certainty that God would not let him 
stick ; which the result fully proved. In accordance with 
his promise to God his house was open day and night to 
everyone. Whoever was tempted, fled to him as to a city of 
refuge; and as soon as his threshold was reached, the blood- 
avenger had to abandon him. At that time it was usual that, 
when poor people wished to settle in this great wilderness, 
they applied to the congregation to build them a house, 
which custom continued until the cloisters at Ephrata were 
built. In order to be helpful to his neighbors, the Superin- 
tendent, together with the Solitary Brethren, after the 
example of our Master, Jesus Christ, betook themselves to 
carpentering, and refused no one who desired their assistance; 
in which work he himself was always foremost. As, how- 

(53) 



54 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

ever, this labor interfered with his official duties, Christina 
Hohn, a Sister of the domestic household, ventured to advise 
him to give up his work, and to devote himself more wholly 
to the spiritual welfare of mankind. This counsel he obeyed 
and from that time on did nothing more at his temporal 
trade; though to be unemployed seemed harder to him than 
the hardest work. 

This Christina Hohn was excessively enamored of the 
Superintendent's angelic life; she clothed him anew, and 
with the sanction of her husband early entered upon a 
life of continence. Partly with and partly without his 
knowledge she bestowed so many alms that one might have 
thought the whole household economy must go to nothing. 
After her husband's death, she followed the Superintendent 
to Ephrata, and was his next neighbor for more than twenty 
years, until several years after his death she departed this 
life. Originally she had been a Quakeress, so that when she 
engaged in prayer she commonly became contorted, and 
ended with song; afterwards, however, when she came to 
herself again, she used to be ashamed of this. She and 
the other Sisters of the household were always around him 
and had their delight in this innocent sheep whom God had 
ordained to become a sacrifice unto his righteousness. They 
brought his house so full of offerings that the congregation 
was obliged to elect deacons who had to distribute these 
offerings to the poor. One saw here a slight likeness of how 
his Master had kept house among men. They ever paid 
regard to him, and wanted to be continually about him. 
Did he go out, they all followed after him. Did he make a 
visit, old and young went with him, through cold and heat, 
so that often some were exhausted and had to be carried 
along, meanwhile engaging in spiritual songs, so that people 
ran to the street to behold the wonder. If anyone com- 
plained to him of poverty, he would advise him to hold a 
love-feast; and when in order to do this the rest of his 
means were spent, the power of God so manifested itself, 
and those present were so restrained, that almost as much 
was borne from the table as had been put on. Some even 
noticed that after the ordinance the vessels could not hold 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 55 

all the wine that was left over. It was remarked afterwards 
that a hidden blessing- had rested upon these people in their 
poverty. Others avowed that they were more blessed in 
their household affairs than if they had worked half a year 
for the Community. Once he asked a Brother, who had 
been wealthy, but had given all his property to the Commu- 
nity, what had made him do this. To which the Brother 
replied: "I always looked to you." Such fruits are produced 
where there is a good leader in a Community. All this has 
purposely been told in detail in order that the reader may 
with me adore the goodness of God, which in those days so 
greatly manifested itself again that the portals of grace were 
reopened to poor mankind. x 

It is yet to be remarked that these same good people, who 
were mostly descended from the Mennonites, had, after the 
manner of that people, a certain simplicity and lowliness of 
life; and the Superintendent, in spite of the facl: that he 
had had experience in the world of vanity and show, could 
so thoroughly adapt himself to their ways that his clothing, 
dwelling, and household were fashioned on the poorest scale. 
It was not long, however, before persons of social position 
landed in the Community, among whom the Eckerlins were 
the first. These took possession of the Superintendent, and 
dressed him like a Quaker, wherein the rest of the Solitary 
Brethren followed his example, until the special garb of the 
Order was introduced; for this reason they were in great 
favor. Once during his absence a splendid feather-bed was 
put .into his bed-room. Of this he made use for one night; 
then he had it taken away, and from that time on until his 
death used nothing but a sleeping-bench; which habit he 
would not abandon even when dying. At this time also two 
married women ran away from their husbands and betook 
themselves under the Superintendent's leading, who also 

'Those who wish to inquire further into these times, should read the 
299th hymn of the " Paradiesisches Wunderspiel" of which we will give the 
first two stanzas : 

"O, how great a prize my blossom is ! — That e'en the old are young 
with freshest bliss : — The perfume sweet of these good days — Itself both 
far and near displays. — None is so old but he doth leap : — Youths and 
maidens come a happy heap : — The heart in love dares all to try — And 
doth each earthly joy deny." — 



56 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

received them, notwithstanding it was against the canons of 
the New Covenant; for at that time the Pentecostal winds 
still blew so strongly that they dissolved all associations and 
relations save those entered into direclly under the cross of 
Jesns. The Apostles themselves experienced the same, 
wherefore they early introduced again the order of nature, 
and taught that wives should love their husbands. One of 
the two mentioned was Maria Christiana, the wife of Chris- 
topher Saur, who afterwards founded the celebrated high- 
German printing press at Germantown. She deserted him in 
the year 1730, and had herself baptized that same autumn. 
At first she lived alone in the wilderness, and proved by her 
example that a man's spirit could dwell in a woman's form. 
Afterwards she held the office of under-prioress in the 
Sisters' Convent for many years, under the name of Marcella, 
and did it very edifyingly. At last she was induced by her 
son to return, in her old age, to her husband; to which the 
severe mode of life at the Settlement, which she could no 
longer well endure, may also have conduced. The other one 
was the wife of Philip Hanselmann, who under the name of 
Eunice ended her days, at a great age, in the Sisters' 
Convent. 

About this same time, also, two of the first who pledged 
themselves to a life of spiritual virginity changed their 
estate, and left the congregation. The one, M. H. by name, 
married at Germantown; but ere she was aware of it, her 
husband was seized with the revival spirit of the new 
congregation, against which she at first set herself with all 
her might, but at last also yielded, whereupon they removed 
to the new congregation, and there lived for twenty years in 
mutual continence, and gained the love of the saints by their 
holy life. They now are both falle'n asleep. God grant them 
to get through in bliss on the day of judgment ! From them a 
sprout came into the Sisters' Convent by the name of Con- 
stantia, who laid aside her mortal tabernacle in the year 
1782. The other one was Christina Hill. These two cases 
were the more noteworthy as at that time the entire congre- 
gation had assumed the life of continence, and during the 
first twenty years there were only two marriages in the 
congregation, and those were of persons of advanced years. 



CHAPTER X. 

» 

The Tempter Tries to Instigate a Persecution by Rais- 
ing the Cry op Immorality. 

In the year 1730 the Tempter first began openly to raise 
an outcry of whoremongering against the Superintendent ; 
for reports of the celibate life now began to spread abroad in 
the land, and many persons were displeased with it, since 
one already saw, here and there, solitary ones of both sexes 
who had renounced the world, living alone in the wilderness. 
Then a rumor became current among people that the Super- 
intendent had sinned with one of his spiritual daughters, 
and that she had actually brought into the world a bastard. 
A justice of the peace, by the name of Samuel Jones, be- 
came exercised about it, and had them both summoned 
before him on a King's Warrant. To the question, Whether 
they were guilty? the Superintendent demanded the wit- 
nesses, and they not being forthcoming, administered a sharp 
reproof to the justice, and went his way; for he had inter- 
fered with his office, as it was the Sabbath. Thereupon the 
justice sent out the constable after witnesses, who brought 
together all the old women in the township. Each one of 
these referred to the other, until at last the accusation was 
traced back to one. Then the misunderstanding was dis- 
closed; for this one had said it concerning a sister after the 
flesh of the accused Sister, who had a husband; it had 
b>een understood, however, of the latter, who was single. 
The justice thereupon begged pardon of the accused Sister, 
and let her go in peace. Aftenvards, nevertheless, he levied 
upon her household goods sufficient to pay the costs of the 
hearing. 

As the divine cause suffered no small affront through this 
case, it seemed now time to take revenge upon the kingdom 
of nature for the suffered disgrace; for where the honor of 
God was concerned the Superintendent was beholden to 
nobody. Accordingly this same year yet he published in 

(57) 



58 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. * 

print his Ehebiichlein 1 in which he declares matrimony to 
be the penitentiary of carnal man, and full}- exposes the 
abominations committed therein under the appearance of 
right. In the following year 1731, however, another occur- 
rence in the congregation gave the world more right and 
cause for evil-speaking. One of the oldest Solitary Brethren, 
Amos by name, fell into the hands of the tempter even while 
walking on the spiritual heights; he always boasted much of 
the virgin Sophia, and how he must beget spiritual children 
with her. The Superintendent faithfully warned him to exer- 
cise greater humility; but in vain. He held a bread-breaking 
service, and wanted unauthorized to officiate at it. He was 
attacked with erysipelas in the head so that he became pos- 
sessed, and lost his reason. Thereupon he made himself 
quite naked during the night, and watching at a man's door, 
forced himself in and to the man's wife in bed. He was 
seized, bound, and delivered to a justice of the peace, who 
sent him to the Poor Directors of the township, who in turn 
handed him over again to the congregation. The Superin- 
tendent took this affair very much to heart, not only on 
account of the Order of the Solitary, against whom the 
tempter had designed it, but also on account of the whole 
household policy; for some did not trust any longer to do 
without their wives, and contemplated taking up with them 
again. The following Sabbath the Superintendent held an 
important discourse on Nadab and Abihu, the sons .of Aaron 
(IvEV. I), to whose case this occurrence had a great simil- 
arity; for it should be known that God stood by him unto 
the end against all such as infringed upon his office, of 
which this circumstance and others bear witness. The 
fallen Brother, however, in his insanity ran down the coun- 
try as far as Philadelphia, where he climbed up on the court- 
house as high as to the bell, and there commenced to storm 
so that a great crowd of people was brought together. This 
was interpreted as an attempt to stir up the people into an 
uproar against the cause of God. After this he came to him- 
self again and filled the position of baker in the Settlement 
very acceptably for thirty years, until at last he laid aside his 

^Book on Matrimony]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 59 

earthly tabernacle in 1783, in the 82d year of his age Other- 
wise he was a very industrious man, useful to the communal 
life, and charitable, though usually his left hand knew what 
his right was doing. The Superintendent was wont to say 
of him that while he could not get other Brethren to work, 
him he could not get from his work. 

The following occurrence is similar to the foregoing both 
as to time and circumstances. There was a certain house- 
father who had come pretty close in the Superintendent's 
fellowship, but who was not cleansed thereby from the false 
priestly spirit, and who accordingly was appointed as teacher 
among the awakened in Falckner's Swamp. This man had a 
wife who was deeply enamored of the good things of God, 
and therefore tarried more at the house of the Superinten- 
dent than was agreeable to her husband, which the Superin- 
tendent because of his vows to God had to allow. Mean- 
while they lived a life of continence and exercised themselves 
in godly works, so that it was thought that he would 
become a useful laborer in the house of God. But after God 
had touched upon his rights as a husband, the evil in him 
awoke, so that he turned into evil all the good that he 
had received from the Superintendent. He said to his wife : 
' ' You are my wedded wife. I will not give you up. Your 
will must be subject to your husband's ;" and commanded 
her to stay at home. And because she could not in all 
things do his will, he used his power as a husband, and 
several times took her home by force, and once had her 
brought by the constable. So likewise on one occasion he 
attacked the Superintendent in his little home, as one attacks 
who means to kill, but God rescued him from his hands. At 
length the tempter impelled him to go to the meeting with 
the intention of taking his life. It was terrible to behold 
him as he entered. First he sang the words: 

" Now be prepared, ye heroes true, 
Gird 011 your trusty swords ; 
On Babylon we've war declared, 
Shout out with loudest voice. 
Come, follow then, and trample down 
All Gog and Magog's brethren ; 
We'll slay them all and leave them there, 
It is their just reward." 



60 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Then he rushed towards the Superintendent, seized him by 
the throat, and dragged him as far as the door. He would 
unquestionably have killed him if the people had not come 
to the rescue, who tied his hands on his back, and chased 
him home. Meanwhile the Fathers took up the. Superin- 
tendent's cause, for when the man's wife came to meeting 
next Sabbath they bade her go home to her husband; and 
when she asked how long she should stay at home, she was 
told, until she should be asked to come again; under which 
heavy ban she resigned herself, and of necessity left the 
congregation. Through this indeed the man lost his rights 
over against the Superintendent, but on the other hand sank 
utterly into the realm of darkness, so that the hellish brim- 
stone was kindled within him, which manifested itself by his 
presence giving forth a disagreeable smell. Nevertheless he 
was very insecure in his fortress, for he was in constant dread 
that his wife might again be seduced from him. Once, when 
he heard that a love-feast of the congregation was to be held, 
he took with him another evil fellow and they tied her fast 
lest she should run away from him again. In him we can see 
as in a mirror all those who hold to their rights as husbands 
so rigidly, as if it were an agreeable thing to God, though it 
is not in agreement with the doctrine of the good Master. 
Meanwhile the Superintendent, nevertheless, entered into the 
breach in his behalf, and in one of his printed letters offered 
him the reconciliation of Jesus Christ, mentioning that their 
case lay before the great Judge. However the judgment lay 
so heavily upon the good man that he could not yield; and 
this is one of the reasons why the Superintendent, even on 
his death-bed, deplored that he had been the occasion of so 
many becoming evil men. His wife, however, when she 
was freed by his death, joined the congregation again; and 
after leading an edifying life for some years more, she at last 
laid aside her earthly tabernacle in the year 1779. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Concerning the Superintendent's Official Course in the 
Congregation, untie the Founding of Ephrata. 

It cannot be expressed with what great care the Superin- 
tendent at that time devoted his time to the service of the 
households; and yet it must be confessed that, at that time 
at least, he had placed only one foot in the congregation, 
while the other was still firmly planted in separatism. He 
did this because he feared that in the ocean of humanity he 
might lose his crown. For he had in Germany experienced 
how in this wise several of his fellow-laborers had yielded 
themselves to women, and he knew also that a teacher was 
most exposed to such temptations. About this time he said, 
that if it had happened as God intended, two more orders 
would have come into being in the congregation, one of 
Solitary Brethren, and the other of Spiritual Virgins. The 
sequel proved the truth of this. For, besides the households, 
he then already had under his guidance various solitary 
ones, whom in his wisdom he treated differently from the con- 
gregation. These he had often warned against the outward 
church; yes, they once even took counsel whether it were 
not better, on account of the danger, to leave the household 
entirely, and after the precept of the holy forefathers, to 
begin a household in the wilderness. His Solitary Brethren 
would probably have been quite agreed to this, for they were 
well aware that with the growth of the congregation their 
burdens would also increase. But, good God, how weighty 
are our counsels! The Superintendent was at length neces- 
sitated to cast in his fortunes unconditionally with the con- 
gregation; whereat his Solitary Brethren became offended at 
him, and held him in suspicion as though he had deserted 
his post. Therefore the complaint was afterwards often heard 
among the Solitary that the church had conformed too much 
to the spirit of the world, and would have to go forth into the 

(61) 



62 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

desert again; — which also several afterwards attempted to do, 
to their own harm. 

Now in those days all the divine services for worship were 
so blessed that no one attended them without having his con- 
science stirred, or else the evil within him aroused. One 
may say, indeed, that they were accompanied with special 
power to crucify the nature of man; particularly the love- 
feasts, which usually lasted till midnight, sometimes even 
till the dawn of day, when everyone was so quiet and 
absorbed that one could easily notice how an unseen power 
was keeping the whole meeting in such order. From this it 
is to be presumed that the Superintendent took good heed 
not to bring his own wares to market; for the Spirit, under 
whose guardianship he stood, kept so strict a rule over him, 
that in divine matters he was never permitted to do anything 
according to his own ideas. Hence at every meeting new 
wonders of eternity were made manifest, as the Spirit gave 
utterance, and never was one like the other. This was the 
cause too why no one could fathom him, and still less find 
rest and quiet in him. He was so dutiful that he despised 
no one's poverty, and often held the most important meetings 
at the houses of the worst people. When taken to task for 
this, he would answer thus : that with such people David 
had won his kingdom. How from himself the congregation 
was born he himself has described, as follows: "When my 
ecclesiastical dignity was taken from me, and I no longer 
took pleasure in myself, this came upon others, without my 
knowing how it happened. Indeed I saw to my greatest 
astonishment that so many people became enamored of my 
works of love, on account of which I before had to endure 
such harsh judgments. This wonderful spectacle made the 
beginning of a Christian church according to the gospel, 
wherein I was forced to be a leader. This indeed seemed hard 
to me, once more to begin to live with others, whereby my dil- 
igence and faithfulness had to endure so severe a judgment. 
Meantime matters made desirable progress, and my painfully 
sown seed appeared in some places to yield fruit an hundred- 
fold. Whereupon I resigned myself, with all the sorrow and 
care I had within myself, and let self-denial be my spiritual 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 63 

staff in the whole affair. At the same time I did not neglect 
to think what would become of the whole matter if it should 
he tried as my heart had been. Nevertheless the affair made 
a noise before the world, as though the second temple of the 
Christian church were about to appear in its might. Since 
the matter looked thus, I cast aside the doubts and mistrusts 
which I had felt, took hold, and became desirous to bind 
sheaves in this field. Then I became aware, however, of the 
piercing of so poisonous a thorn, and that, too, among the 
very best wheat, that horror seized upon me." — Vide Delicias 
EpJirateiises. Pars I. Page 19 5. Discourse XXXI. 

In the meantime, after he had been at the head of the 
meeting with great blessing for several years, he was finally 
driven in upon himself, and called the congregation together. 
After speaking many things concerning the kingdom of God, 
he appointed Elders, and handed them the New Testament, 
to govern the congregation in accordance therewith. Then 
he laid down his office, and moved eight miles away, to a 
barren spot where Ephrata now stands. Here he settled 
himself anew. What induced him to make so sudden a 
change is hard to surmise; neither did he ever make it 
known. It may be that he wanted to test the matter in this 
way, whether it were of God or of man's intention. For one 
can well imagine what temptations there must have been, 
when he, a Solitary, who had but recently left his angelic 
life in the desert, was now run after by so many people. 
This seems probable, that an unseen hand drove him on to 
find the place which afterwards attracted so great attention 
in North America. Meanwhile this sudden change threw 
the new congregation into the utmost consternation; and 
about this time Casper Walter, an earnest housefather, went 
out of time to eternity in deep sorrow of heart on account of 
the sad schisms in Zion. With this we will close this chapter, 
as we will begin in the next the description of the Economy at 
Ephrata. The time of the congregation's existence, from 
the Superintendent's baptism until the building of Ephrata, 
was seven Years and four months. 



CHAPTER XII. 

How Ephrata Was Founded, and Ordained for the Set- 
tlement of the Solitary. 

Ephrata is situated in Lancaster County, thirteen miles 
from Lancaster, eighteen from Reading, and sixty-five from 
Philadelphia, in an angle where two great highways inter- 
sect each other, the one from Philadelphia to Paxton, the 
other from Reading to Lancaster. The Delaware Indians, 
who inhabited this region, named it and the stream that 
flows past Ephrata, Koch- Hale kung, that is Serpents' Den, on 
account of the many snakes found there. The Europeans 
kept the word, but pronounced it Cocalico, which is also the 
name of the township. The inhabitants did not value the 
land, as being unfruitful. A Solitary Brother, Elimalech 1 
by name, was the first one to build on this barren spot ; and 
he gave his little house to the Superintendent when the 
latter fled thither. Thus it appears that the founding of 
Ephrata sprang entirely from a providential occurrence, and 
not from the premeditated will of man. After the foundation 
of this wonderful household, which made fools of so many 
both in and outside of its limits, had been thus laid, the 
further building up of the place was not permitted otherwise 
than with the severest self-denial on the part of the builders; 
wherefore also so many strange events happened. This is 
the reason, too, why the tempter prevailed against it in 
nothing, although the enterprise was often delivered up to 
him by God that he might sift it; for he could find in it 
nothing of man's will, even as the Superintendent frankly 
said to one who asked him whether he had built up the 
work: No, for the whole thing was against his conscience. 
In a certain place he speaks further on the subject thus: 
' ' So then Ephrata is now built up out of this soil of suf- 
fering, endured in the conscience for the sake of God's 
kingdom." 

(64) . _ 

1 [Emanuel Eckerle]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 65 

Here in this wilderness he fixed himself as though he 
intended to live apart from men to the end of his days. He 
cleared himself a tracl: of land, and cultivated it with the hoe, 
and in general made such arrangements that, in case men 
should again deliver him up, it would not be any loss to him. 
It is easy of belief that in the short period of his seclusion, 
during which men left him in peace for awhile, his addresses 
to the virgin Sophia were redoubled, for it was then he 
composed the beautiful hymn, ' ' O blessed life of loneliness 
when all creation silence keeps." He often told what pains 
it cost him in the beginning to free this region from the 
evil spirits which hold dominion over the whole earth. If 
this seems strange to anyone, let him read Otto Clusing's 
Life of the Fathers in the Desert; there he will find more 
about such things. 

The congregation now, after having been robbed of its 
teacher, held its meetings with a housefather named Seal- 
thiel. 2 But so many legal quarrels took place that they were 
called the "court meetings." Meanwhile the Superinten- 
dent found an opportunity, and summoned the heads of the 
congregation to his new dwelling place, where they took coun- 
sel with reference to the general matter, and finally opened 
another meeting, after the Superintendent had been with- 
drawn for seven months. It was held for the first time on 
September 4th 1732. About this same time the Solitary 
Brethren also made up their minds, and moved after their 
spiritual leader, and built, in the winter of 1732, the second 
house in the Settlement. Their names were Jethro, Jephune, 3 
and Martin Bremer, the last of whom was the firstling of 
those who fell asleep in Ephrata. This was not the end of it, 
however. Soon after two of the Sisters who had earliest 
been devoted to virginity, A. and M. E. , 4 also came and 
asked to be taken in. The Brethren, who went according to 
the Fathers in the Desert, of whom it was known that they 
did not tolerate such a thing among themselves, protested 
against it to the Superintendent as being improper and per- 

2 [Simon Landes]. 

3 [Jethro — Jacob Cast. Jephune — Sam. Eckerlin]. 

4 [Anna and Maria Richer]. 



66 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

haps a cause of offence. But he was not of their mind. It 
seems that he foresaw in the spirit what would be the out- 
come of the matter. The result was that a house was built 
for them on the other side of the stream, into which they 
moved in May, 1733, and where they lived until the Sisters' 
Convent was founded. In the following year another house 
was built, for two brothers, Onesimus and Jotham, 5 other- 
wise called Eckerlin. This was followed by the common 
bake-house, and a magazine for the supply of the poor; with 
these building stopped for a while. 

These matters created a terrible stir in the land, especially 
among the neighbors, who were partly degenerate Men- 
nonites and partly spoiled church-people. They did all 
against these newcomers that one could expect from that 
kind of people devoid of all fear of God. Once they, with- 
out warning, set fire to the forest, in the hope of burning 
down the Settlement; but the fire turned, and laid in ashes 
the barn of a householder with all its contents. Then they 
began everywhere to warn one another against seduction, 
parents warned their children, and husbands their wives. 
This was among the common people; but the great ones of 
the land harbored the suspicion that the Jesuits had some- 
thing to do with it, so that the Brethren were often asked, 
when they were seen to have gold, whether they had 
brought it from Mexico. Such were the sorrowful times 
wherein the foundations of Ephrata were laid; they were 
specially like unto the times of Nehemiah and Ezra. 

About the same time, in the year 1734, the awakened in 
Falckner's Swamp, it being the seventh year of their awaken- 
ing, began to break up and move towards the Settlement, 
which increased the alarm in the country. They bought up 
from the spirit of this world the regions around Ephrata, so 
that in a few years the country for from three to four miles 
around the Settlement was occupied by this kind of people. 
Wherever there was a spring of water, no matter how 
unfertile the soil might be, there lived some household that 
was waiting for the Lord's salvation. Afterwards these 
regions were divided up, and each one received its own 
5 [Israel and Gabriel Eckerlin]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 67 

particular name; one was called Massa, another Zoar, the 
third Hebron, and the fourth Kadesh. After these, the 
awakened from the Schuylkill also came and settled down 
around the Settlement. From them the Sisters' Convent 
gained a number of members; but only two, natural sisters, 
endured to the end. These have finished their course, under 
the names of Drusiana and Basilla. The rest were gathered 
in again by the spirit of the world. How the Superinten- 
dent must have felt through all this, can well be imagined. 
He knew well that it all would be reckoned to his account 
and to that of the good that had been entrusted to him. He 
was so little proud of it that, on the contrary, he used to say 
that God had sent all these people to him to humble him; 
wherein many of them spared no pains. He was to each 
that which each one sought in him — to this one a savour of 
life unto life, to that one a savour of death unto death. 

Before I close this chapter what happened in the coun- 
try with a Frenchman named John Reignier must yet be 
reported. He was a native of Vivres in Switzerland, and 
professed to have been awakened in his seventh year; but he 
was not completely rid of the upspringing flames of mascu- 
linity within him. He came into the Settlement just at a 
time when the Solitary Brethren were in deepest earnest; 
but they had not the gift of discerning the spirits, so that he 
could insinuate himself among them through false powers of 
light. The Superintendent, to whom this person's true con- 
dition was manifest, warned them against his sedudlion. 
But they were already so taken up with the man by reason 
of his semblance of holiness, that these warnings did not 
impress them. As in everything he avoided the middle 
path, he at length led them into strange extravagances, so 
that they bound themselves with him not to eat any more 
bread. Accordingly they gathered a great store of acorns. 
But judgment followed them, so that their store of provis- 
ions was devoured by worms. He even went further, and 
taught them that it belonged to holiness, after the example 
of Elijah and other saints, not to dwell in any house. The 
Superintendent finally determined to bring the affair to an 
end, and prevailed upon the Brethren to build a hut for the 



68 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

man, hard by the Settlement, where he was maintained at 
the general expense. At last, however, he lost his reason, 
whereupon the Brethren rid themselves of him. Afterwards 
he joined himself to one Gemaehle by name, by whom he 
had himself baptized. The two then' went through the 
country as Apostles. As such they aroused much attention 
everywhere, especially in New York in the Jew-school. 
Such is the power of perversion. At length he made a 
journey of 600 miles, with bare head and feet, through the 
great wilderness to Georgia, where he joined himself to the 
Moravian Brethren, who took him to Herrenhaag, where the 
Ordinarhis Fratrum* wedded him to a wife, with the follow- 
ing wedding discourse: " See, dear Brethren, here is a proud 
saint from America, whom God hath cast down so that he 
must now celebrate a marriage with a public harlot." This 
would have been a good opportunity for him to humble 
himself; but instead he repaid these kind offices with evil, 
which was published to his shame in Frankfurt. Never- 
theless for a while all went according to his wishes; for they 
sent him as a laborer 7 to St. Thomas. But when from there 
he came to Bethlehem, and they were going to bring him 
under the strict regulations of the congregation, he left their 
communion again. Thereupon he came to the Superinten- 
dent a second time, who took his Delilah from him and put 
her into the Sisters' Convent, at which he rejoiced and had 
himself received into the Brothers' Convent. But his wife 
became regretful and demanded her husband again, to which 
he was forced to yield against his will; this gave him such a 
shock that, for the second time in the Settlement, he lost his 
reason. When he came to himself once more, the old 
brother-hatred towards the Superintendent again became 
alive in him, so that he uttered many slanders against him 
and his about whoremongering. But, as the name of Brother 
was therefore taken from him, he and his wife moved "away, 
and at length he ended his restless life at Savannah in 
Georgia. God be merciful to him on the day of judgment ! 
To this time it yet belongs that the Superintendent with 

6 [Count Nicholas Lewis von Zinzendorf]. 
n [Minister or Assistant]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 69 

several Solitary Brethren made a visit to Oley, where the 
powers of eternity were remarkably manifested. The}- came 
into a house where the daughter was a bride, who at first 
sight let herself be so overpowered with these forces that her 
earthly bridal love fell dead before them. Without the 
bridegroom's knowledge she followed the visitors, and in the 
Settlement took her vows of eternal virginity among the 
original Sisters. Whereupon her parents followed her; but 
she continued to shine among her sex by her virtuous walk, 
until at last, under the name of Berenice, she finished her 
course, which is recorded in heaven, because for her future 
glory's sake she denied herself her carnal bridal-couch here 
below. 




CHAPTER XIII. 

Concerning a New Awakening in Tuepehocken. 

It is again necessary to make an excursion from our main 
subject, in order to trace matters to their origin; which may 
also serve as an introduction to the church history of 
Pennsylvania. For since those whom God appointed for 
this work were chosen out of all denominations, we are 
necessarily led to touch upon the church history of the 
land. About the year 1726 the first high-German Reformed 
preacher, Weiss by name, arrived in Pennsylvania. He was 
born at Stebbach, a Palatine place in the Neckar valley; 
studied at Heidelberg, and finished his course in Kosche- 
hoppen 1 in the county of Philadelphia. The second, P. 
M. 2 by name, followed him in 1730. He was born in the 
Upper Domain of Lautern in the Palatine Electorate, and 
studied at Heidelberg with the preceding. In. the year 1731 
Bartholomew Rieger also came. He was born at Upper 
Ingleheim in the Palatine Electorate; studied at Basle and 
Heidelberg, and was gathered to his fathers at Lancaster 
where he was stationed. About this time there were great 
disturbances in church circles in Pennsylvania, so that many 
were made so confused that they no longer knew what to 
believe. At that time the region of Dulpehakin 3 was 
settled entirely by Protestants. These had agreed among 
themselves not to suffer among them any who were differ- 
ently minded; so that many who were of like persuasion 
came to them. But shrewdly as they contrived it, God yet 
at last set up his candle on a candlestick in that then dark 
region, as will soon be narrated. These now had called the 
afore-mentioned P. M. to be their teacher, which office he 
served among them and in other places during four years. 
The Superintendent, after he had heard that two young 
preachers had come into the country, who stood in good 

(70) 

^Conshohocken]. a [Peter Miller]. 
3 [Tulpehocken]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. J I 

repute as to their character, and also thought well of his ; 
work, aware of his own inability in view of the important 
work before him, thought in his foolishness that this work 
would be better carried out if God would provide one of 
these young preachers for him, for which also he oftert 
bowed his knees before God. This led to important 
matters. For the Superintendent soon after found occasion 
to make a visit to Tulpehocken with several of his disciples, 
where he was received by the teacher and elders with the 
consideration due to him as an ambassador of God; while on 
his return the teacher and C. W. , 4 an elder, accompanied 
him over the mountains for six miles. The result of their 
visit in Tulpehocken was that the teacher, the elders, and 
several others withdrew from the church; whereupon a 
venerable Pietist, by the name of Casper Leibbecker, took 
the teacher's place in the church. 

Among these seceders was C. W. , an elder of the Lutheran 
faith, a man who had received from God remarkable natural 
gifts and sound judgment, and therefore carried great weight 
with him into whatever sphere he might turn, whether that 
of nature or of the church. He was the teacher's main 
stay, for they were on intimate terms together, which death 
itself did not destroy. But now the question was, what to 
do further. For where was there a church that had greater 
spiritual strength than the mother-church which they had 
left? And to enter into a fruitless separatism, or even to 
join hands with the Ishmaelites, Laodiceans, Naturalists, or 
yet Atheists, of whom the country was full, and who all had 
forsaken their mother-church — this was not according to 
their mind. 

In the meantime C. W. visited the Superintendent in his 
solitude in the Settlement. During this visit he was so 
enmeshed by the Philadelphian "little strength" 5 that 
Wisdom finally drew him into her net. Among other things 
the Superintendent asked him, what the young preachers 
were doing; and when he heard that B. "R. had taken a wife, 
he sighed deeply and said, "Good God! they are spoiling in 
one's very- hands. But," he continued, "what is the other 
4 [Conrad Weisser]. 5 [ Vide Rev. Ill, 8]. 



72 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

one doing? " He was told that he was engaged in building. 
"Ay, ay," he replied, "let him build on; he has but little 
more time left." That he spoke this in a prophetic spirit, 
was shown by the result that soon followed. On retiring, 
the Superintendent promised him a visit, which also followed 
soon after, though then taking in only his house and the 
teacher. Not long afterwards, however, he made another 
extended visit thither, on which the spirit of revival spread 
itself over that entire region, so that all doors were opened 
unto him; though it was remarked that this awakening was 
confined within certain limits. As everybody hoped from its 
failures and mistakes that the new awakening in Conestoga 
would come to nothing, so many were now concerned as to 
what would come out of this movement in Tulpehocken; for 
it was well known that, wherever these people might land, 
they would bring great weight with them. But, good God ! 
a great hill had yet to be surmounted ere that disgrace was 
overcome which distinguished God's people from the children 
of this world. And this rested so heavily upon the Settle- 
ment at that time that superhuman power was needed to 
break through it. 

In this whole matter, however, God made use of the 
faithfulness of the afore-mentioned C. W. For through his 
prudence it was that a great visitation, in which the heads 
of the revival were engaged, came to the Settlement. Now 
it was that the Superintendent had the wished-for oppor- 
tunity to spread his net and catch men for the virgin Sophia; 
especially did he hope that his prayers with reference to the 
teacher would now be fulfilled. Accordingly he took him 
into his house, and after he had spoken various things with 
him concerning the counsels of God towards fallen man, he 
at last came to the point, and said he should let himself be 
baptized. To this the answer was difficult; for since holy 
baptism is a transplanting into the death of Christ, it was 
easy to suppose that it was done not only for the good name's 
sake, but also for that of the right of citizenship in the 
world, and of all the privileges derived from Adam onward. 
But here it was. Nothing ventured, nothing won. After 
they had settled this important point, all difficulty about the 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 73 

others was soon overcome. Accordingly they were baptized 
together under the water, after the teaching of Christ; which 
was done on a Sabbath in May of the year 1735. Thus the 
teacher, schoolmaster, three elders, besides various other 
households, went over from the Protestants to this new 
awakening; while for some time after the door was kept open 
for the Babylonian refugees. The .Solitary Brethren har- 
vested two Brethren in this awakening, of whom one, Jemini 
by name, has finished his course; while the other is still 
engaged in his daily labors. The Sisters also had an addi- 
tion, but only one of them, under the name of Thekla, 
remained faithful to the end. Soon after the Brethren 
erected a solitary residence for the teacher at the foot of a 
high hill in Tulpehocken, where however he lived no longer 
than till the next November. At the time the work of God 
was much oppressed, and it was dangerous for a Brother to 
travel on the highways. The report of this great conversion 
filled not only this and neighboring countries, but penetrated 
even into Germany. The Doctores warned their candidates 
against this country; and wrote to the preachers here that 
they should not concern themselves about the matter as it 
was only a fire of straw; yet there might come from it a new 
"Evische Rotte." 

Soon after this important event, the Superintendent made 
another visit to Tulpehocken, on which, after treating much 
of the work of God, he handed this new congregation over 
to the teacher again, with the announcement that now he 
would have an addition to his charge, even though he should 
wish to res*ume the office where he had left it. This he said 
to try him; for he was very much concerned that this 
awakening should remain under the Spirit's power, and not 
be sold under his spirit. The teacher requested a night's 
time for reflection; and it was his great good fortune that 
next day he declined the offer, for there were already others 
waiting for it. Now the matter stood thus under the Govern- 
ment Above: that besides the altar in the Settlement none 
other could be erected; but these good people were not yet 
emancipated from the calf-worship, and therefore hungered 
after a priest, and he must be the good M. W. But when he 



74 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

again had to retire in shame and disgrace, as formerly at 
Falckner's Swamp, a Solitary Brother, Hlimelech, was given 
them, a born priest, who possessed all the endowments for 
spiritual perversion. But as these people were too good for 
perversion, he fared even worse than the former. It must be 
remembered that the false priest-spirit is inherent in all flesh, 
but becomes manifest only at an awakening. It is more 
difficult to overcome than the devil of whoredom; for as the 
true priest receives his power from the Virgin above, this 
one derives his from woman. After the priestly chair was- 
now empty again among the awakened, C. W. incautiously 
seated himself in it, and thereby opened the door for the 
tempter to try him. For while according to the manner of 
those times matrimonial bonds were considerably weakened 
through baptism, there were spiritual courtings through 
which the void in his side might easily have been filled 
again; although the temptation thereto lay only in the 
conditions, while the will for it was not there. The Super- 
intendent once washed his feet, and as he noticed from the 
feeling of the feet to what temptations he was most exposed, 
he said to him: "The Brother must take heed against the 
female sex." Nevertheless the blood-avenger meanwhile 
got him into his power and tried to destroy him. (Mark, 
dear reader, this account agrees with that of Zipporah; 6 for 
she did not belong to Moses' people, wherefore also Moses 
sent her home again. That she saved her son from the 
destroying angel through the blood of the covenant, showed 
great wisdom in her). He hurriedly notified the Superinten- 
dent and sought his aid, who paid him a visit, when they 
opened their hearts to each other in private; whereupon the 
Superintendent took his burden upon himself, so that the 
good Brother was freed from all temptation. The traveling- 
companions of the Superintendent knew nothing of this; 
but on the way home they noticed that he seemed heavy- 
laden, like a woman in travail, while his countenance was 
pale and shining. No one, however, ventured to speak to 
him, until at length a Brother took the liberty to ask him 
whether God required him to enter so far into domestic 
a \_Vide Exod. II, 21; IV, 25]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 75 

matters and to assume such burdens? To which he only 
made reply with kindly looks. Such labors the Superin- 
tendent frequently had in those days, but as few ever knew 
his secrets, it all remained hidden. Once a Sister of the 
household confessed to him an act of adulter}-, committed 
before her conversion, which he faithfully kept to himself as 
a secret of the confessional, until she fell away again from 
the testimony, when he revealed the whole affair. 

In this severe trial this Brother [C. W.] in his God- 
enamored condition found himself, and because he did not 
take sufficient heed to himself the tempter assailed him 
anew, and would probably have overcome him, had not God 
put it into the heart of the Sister to seek out the covenant 
and have herself rebaptized by the Superintendent. Then 
the cords of the tempter were torn, and they again became 
as strangers to each other. 



39P 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Kphrata is Occupied by the Solitary of both Sexes; 
Divine Worship is Instituted; and the Communal Life 
Introduced. 

After the Superintendent through this awakening in Tul- 
pehocken had received valuable re-inforcements for his divine 
work, and thereby was made aware that God was with him, 
he took advantage thereof, and instituted measures for build- 
ing a meeting-house to God's glory; for hitherto the meetings 
had been held in private houses. For its erection both the 
Solitary and householders willingly contributed their share. 
The structure contained, besides the hall for meetings, also 
large halls fully furnished for holding the Agapce, or love- 
feasts, besides which there were also cells built for the 
Solitary, after the manner of the old Greek church. At 
that time it happened that a housefather handed over his 
daughter, a young lass, to the Superintendent, with the 
request that he should bring her up to the glory of God. 
Anyone else would probably have declined such a present; 
but he regarded the matter as a providential leading, received 
her, and had her serve him for a purpose, namely, to found 
the Order of Spiritual Virgins. She with two others were 
given a residence in the second story of the church-building 
just mentioned; which latter was named Kedar. These four 
Sisters were the first who bound themselves by a pledge to a 
communal life; but the one who gave the first occasion to it, 
at last forsook again the narrow way of the cross, and joined 
herself to a man, after having lived in their convent many 
years, under the name of Abigail. Soon after this the 
Superintendent quartered four Solitary Brethren in the lower 
story of this house; which increased the suspicion against 
them, for no one would believe that matters could go on 
properly thus. The Superintendent, however, cared more to 
have an essential separateness, than that there should be an 
(76) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. JJ 

outward appearance thereof which might not be real. Con- 
sequently there finally came to be as unrestrained a life in 
the Settlement as though all were of the same sex. It must 
be granted the Superintendent that in this respect he went 
further than some before him in the conventual or celibate 
life; for where others went out of the way of danger, he 
plunged his followers into the midst of it. 

When the house Kedar was finished, a general love-feast 
was held in it, contributed by the households to the glory of 
God who had made known his wonders in these heathen 
lands. Messengers were sent out into the country to invite 
to it all friends and well-wishers. How greatly this dis- 
pleased the Prince of Darkness may be judged from the fact 
that, at this very time, at midnight, the Superintendent was 
so severely belabored with blows from an invisible power 
that he was forced to take refuge with the nearest Brethren; 
upon whose authority it is here mentioned. After this, 
although the love-feast was held, only a few of the invited 
guests came; and these were more offended than edified 
thereby, because they saw how a Brother during the feet- 
washing kissed the Superintendent's feet, and said : "These 
feet have made many a step for our welfare." Soon after 
this the Superintendent instituted a visitation through the 
country as far as New Jersey. It consisted of twelve fathers of 
the congregation, and everywhere occasioned great wonder, 
partly because so many respectable men permitted them- 
selves to be governed by so humble and despised an instru- 
ment, and also because they saw among them a man so 
famous in the land as C. W. For the latter was so far 
brought down by works of penance, and had let his beard 
grow, that hardly anybody recognized him; besides which he 
had voluntarily offered up, for the glory of God, a part of 
his possessions towards the upbuilding of this new economy. 

Even before Kedar was quite completed, the nightly divine 
services among the Solitary in the Settlement had been com- 
menced. They were called Night Watches, and were held 
at midnight, because at that hour the advent of the Judge 
was expected. At first they lasted four hours, so that from 
this severe spiritual exercise one had to go at once to one's 



78 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

physical work, which was a sore crucifixion of the fles'h; 
afterwards, however, the time was fixed at two hours. At 
first the Superintendent himself presided at them, particu- 
larly when both sexes met together; and he did so with such 
power of the Spirit that he never let them come to the 
bending of the knee so long as he noticed that a ban was on 
them and there had been quarrels, when he had to have 
recourse to scolding until finally their eyes became wet with 
tears. Moreover he taught them on both sides, as a priestly 
generation, to lift up hands unto God on behalf of the 
domestic household, which'was so sorely bound under the 
yoke of the world; and that this was the continual service 
of God. In succeeding times he withdrew from this service, 
out of consideration for the work, lest it might become con- 
strained on his account, and waited upon God in his own 
house of watching. Then each meeting had to help itself 
as well as it could; though whenever quarrels arose at the 
service, and he was asked for help, he never failed to give it. . 

This record would be imperfect if here were not inserted 
also an account of the zeal of the congregation. For after 
it had taken the Superintendent as its priest, the worship of 
the congregation lay nearest his heart. The confidence 
which every household at that time yet felt towards him (for 
as yet there was no one who doubted his divine mission,) 
was such that all their real and personal possessions were in 
his hands, and they would not have refused, at a mere wink 
from him, to give up all for the glory of God. At that time 
every house in the congregation stood open to the poor. 
Accordingly when such persons applied to the Superinten- 
dent, as was common, he would ask one housefather after the 
other, during meeting, whether he had any money; and he 
was seldom disappointed in his confidence in them. Was 
there any charitable work to be done, then an investigation 
was made after meeting, and his work for the following week 
appointed for each member who was able, when often many 
an one devoted his own share to the use of the poor. This 
method continued for many years, but has now been abro- 
gated by death. 

In autumn of the year 1735 all the Solitary, of both sexes, 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 79 

who had dwelt as settlers scattered through the country, 
moved to the Settlement. Thus this holy mode of life, over 
whieh God had poured out the powers of the new world, 
was brought to its end in Pennsylvania, and will hardly be 
revived again; for other schools afterwards arose, and when 
God wants to transfer any one to a higher duty, he makes 
his former estate to be sinful for him, otherwise would no 
one be brought to renounce it. In this same movement the 
afore-mentioned teacher of Tulpehocken in a letter to the 
Superintendent asked to be taken up in the Settlement. 
The Brethren did not think that such an one would be able 
to endure the severe mode of life, and advised against his 
reception. But the Superintendent had greater faith, and 
through his mediation he moved into the Settlement that 
autumn yet, and several of his household followed him. 
The rest fell away again from their testimony. 

After the meetings had been held for a short time in Ke- 
dar, the following changes took place: A widower of prop- 
erty in the congregation, Sigmund Landert by name, felt 
himself obligated in his conscience to offer up his possessions 
to the glory of God; wherefore he asked the Superinten- 
dent's advice, who counseled him not to do it But he soon 
came again, full of sorrow, and made this proposition, namely: 
that if he and his two daughters would be received into the 
Settlement, he would build out of his means another house 
of prayer adjoining Kedar, besides a dwelling-house for the 
Superintendent; then Kedar might be changed into a Sis- 
ters' Convent. This, the Superintendent saw, was from God, 
and accordingly agreed to his request. Here one can see 
how in those days the Spirit reigned and manfully urged 
them on, with the power of apostolic times, to a communal 
life. More such cases occurred in those times. Among the 
rest, a housefather sold his property, and, in apostolic wise, 
laid the price .thereof at the Superintendent's feet; who used 
it for God's glory, and incorporated him and his family in 
the household at Ephrata, where, after much faithfulness in 
God's work, he ended his course under the name of Maca- 
rius. The erection of the church now went forward without 
hindrance; for the housefather before referred to brought all 
his possessions into the Settlement, besides his two daughters, 



SO CHROXICOX EPHRATEXSE. 

who entered the Sisters' Convent. The younger of them had 
recourse to the world again; but the older entered into her 
rest, at this same Convent, in November of the year 1773. 
Their father, however, who was a skillful mechanic, rendered 
good sen-ice in building up the Settlement; and after a holy 
poverty and abnegation of all things had become his portion, 
he went home to his eternal fatherland under the name of 
Sealthiel; he had proved by his example that a domestic 
household may be dissolved through the heavenly call. 

This house was a sightly structure, furnished with a hall 
for love-feasts, and one for meetings, which had two "port- 
kirchen " for the use of the Solitary, besides a gallery occu- 
pied by gray-haired fathers; here and there, moreover, texts 
in black-letter were hung. This beautiful building, after 
having stood about four vears, was razed to the ground 
again, the cause of which can scarcely be comprehended by 
• human reason; the standard is too limited. The Superin- 
tendent's followers were confounded in him, and knew not 
whether the erection or the destruction of this house, or 
both were from God. Other persons held him to be a 
sorcerer, and said he had made fools of his people. It is 
probable that a hidden Hand made use of him, in this wise 
symbolically to represent the wonders of eternity, after 
which the veil was again drawn over the affair; for there is 
a likeness in its history to that of the temple at Jerusalem, 
which, after it was scarcely finished, was plundered by the 
king of Egypt Since a dwelling had been erected for him 
adjoining this building, he was now for the second time 
obliged to abandon his seclusion and therefore removed into 
the confines of the Sisterhood. Here God made use of him 
to found their Order; whereupon he devoted himself wholly 
unto them. For it is to be known that at his first awakening 
at Heidelberg he came unto the Virgin above, through whom 
the whole creation is restored again to God, .and who was 
enamored of his limbum beyond measure, which was one 
cause of his many sufferings, for she wished to have him 
feminine and quite subject unto herself, whereas he was still 
possessed of the ardor of rising manhood. Xow however the 
graft of the upper virginhood was through him to be 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 8 1 

implanted in others for the spread of God's kingdom. 
Wherefore his spiritual daughters were sent unto him in the 
bloom of youth; all of whom, without distinction, he 
received. Whoever came to him at that time saw with 
astonishment his whole house filled with his spiritual 
daughters; and as he then had reached his fortieth year, it 
is easy to imagine what temptations he had to endure in his 
natural body, in reference to which he once declared that he 
had really first learned to know his Father in his fortieth 
year. Before his death also, he placed among the many 
blessings God had shown him this, that he had preserved 
him from the allurements of the female sex. 

At this same time when the female part was incorporated 
in his household, and while the Brothers' Convent was being 
built, the Superintendent was impelled to lay the founda- 
tions of the communal life. Accordingly all provisions were 
delivered to the Sisters in their kitchen, who daily prepared 
a supper for the entire Settlement in a large dining-hall, 
they being separated from them by a dividing screen. 
Everything, withal, was done in order and reverently accord- 
ing to the leading of the Holy Ghost, and under the super- 
vision of the Superintendent, so that the powers of the new 
world were markedly manifested. After this had continued 
for half a year, and the common household of the Sisters 
had been dedicated, the Brethren were again dismissed in 
peace, and the Superintendent restored to them their pre- 
scribed rations. 

At this time the Lcctiones were first instituted in the 
Settlement; namely, the Superintendent ordered that weekly, 
on the evening of the sixth day, every one should examine 
his heart before God, in his own cell, and then hand in to 
the Superintendent a written statement of his spiritual con- 
dition, which he read at the meeting of the congregation on 
the following Sabbath. These confessional papers were 
called Lectiones, and several hundred of them were after- 
wards published in printed form. It is remarkable that the 
most unlearned and simple-minded stated their condition so 
artlessly, unreservedly, and simply that one cannot but be 
astonished at their simplicity. 



CHAPTER XV. 

New Persecutions are Commenced ; in Part by the Mem- 
bers of the Congregation. 

There are some things in the Superintendent's course 
which are specially remarkable and scarcely can be under- 
stood. Such is this, that people who at first exalted him to 
the heavens, afterwards became his worst opponents. In the 
preceding chapter we described the earnest conversion of a 
Brother, C. W. But as he did not keep watch over himself, 
there grew from the root of enmity to God within him, which 
had not been killed, an antagonism against the Superinten- 
dent, which was the cause of his renouncing the testimony 
of God again, and allowing himself to be taken up by the 
world. Since, however, God finally vindicated his glory in 
him, and through many circuitous by-ways brought him 
back to his first love and the wife of his youth, we do not 
hesitate to incorporate in this history so much as belongs 
here of the mistakes and circumstances of this remarkable 
man. As he possessed great natural talents in matters per- 
taining to the government of the land, and, besides, was 
Indian interpreter, having been adopted into their tribes, so 
that the country could neither wage war nor make peace 
with the Indians without him, everybody was sorry that so 
useful a man should have allowed himself to be fooled so. 
Wherefore Governor Th. who then was ruler, and who well 
understood the art of dissimulation, took measures to bring 
him over to his side again, to cope with which the good 
Brother was by no means competent. The former took hold 
of the matter very shrewdly, spoke in praise of the organi- 
zation at Ephrata, and that he was not disinclined to come 
into closer relations with such a people. This he could well 
say, for he went to. the trouble to visit the Settlement with a 
following of twenty horses and accompanied by many people 
of quality from Virginia and Maryland. He was worthily 
received by the Brethren, though the Superintendent and 
(82) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 83 

the Mother Superior of the Sisters held themselves aloof. 
He declared himself well pleased with the institution. But 
when he saw that the families also had an own household in 
the Settlement, he wanted to know what the object of this 
was ; and on being told that they too had entered the celibate 
state, he regarded it as something curious. Having made a 
favorable impression on the Brother [C. W.], he now ten- 
dered him the office of a justice of the peace, which the 
Brother would no doubt have gladly accepted if it were not 
against the principles of his people; he did so, however, only 
on condition that the congregation would permit it. There- 
upon at his request a council was held to decide the question 
whether a Brother of this confession might be allowed to 
hold a governmental office. The fathers were of opinion 
that this could not be done. But the Superintendent 
thought differently, and asked them whether they had a 
right to restrict a Brother's conscience. And when he [C. 
W.] was asked about it, he declared that his conscience did 
not forbid him to accept; upon which full liberty was granted 
him. The Governor also gave him the privilege to with- 
draw from court whenever such matters should happen to 
come up as were against his conscience. 

For a time favorable winds blew for him after this, and he 
could soon be seen as chief justice of court seated beneath 
the crown wearing his accustomed beard. At length, how- 
ever, his office came to occupy him so much that he became 
estranged from his Brethren. He first and most severely 
took offence at his tried friend the Superintendent himself, 
of which the latter was himself the cause, for he loved the 
good Brother more than he could bear. He was indeed more 
than once repaid for his love in such coin, so that he used to 
say, that he trusted no one until he had been aggrieved by 
him. The occasion for his being offended C. W. took from a 
remark of the Superintendent, who told him that once, when 
he stood in the breach for a deceased Brother, the blood was 
forced from his finger nails; from which he inferred that the 
Superintendent must think himself to be Christ. Moreover, 
because the Superintendent on account of his office had to 
be in the Sisters' Convent a great deal, he forbade him this 



84 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

under penalty of severe punishment; because he took for 
granted that things were not as they should be. At length 
he was given an opportunity to carry out his purpose. It 
was thus: One of the first spiritual virgins took the liberty 
to propose marriage to the Superintendent. And when he 
told her that if he were to do that he would have to deny 
God, she insisted on it no more; but still she thought he 
should allow her to assume his name. And when he declined 
this also, and when furthermore her younger sister after the 
flesh was preferred before her and appointed Mother Superior 
of the Sisters' Convent, her love changed to hatred, and she 
sought the Superintendent's life at the risk of her own. For 
she testified to the afore-mentioned C. W. that she and the 
Superintendent had made away with a bastard child. This 
he at once reported to the Governor. Just at the time when 
this was made known in the Settlement the Superintendent 
was in a sad condition, as the powers of darkness, whose lords 
rule in the air, lay heavily upon him, in addition to which 
sickness came from without. For, though he lived an inno- 
cent life before God and men, yet this did not protect him 
against the tempter,- in whose domain his natural body had 
grown up. Meanwhile two Solitary Brethren were sent to 
him [C. W.], who implored him for God's sake not to imbrue 
himself in innocent blood; to whom he also promised, if it 
were possible, to withdraw the matter. But the Governor 
wrote to him that he should give the witness another hearing, 
and then bring the case before the court at Lancaster. 
Thereupon he had another hearing of the witness in pres- 
ence of a housefather, when she again confessed the whole 
thing; though soon after, when she heard that her own life 
was endangered, she took it all back, and confessed that her 
temptations had brought her to make the charge. And 
since she no longer had any guardian, she married. But 
just after she was wedded, and was about to retire to the 
bridal bed of the old Adam, she was suddenly called into 
eternity; which we consider to have been a divine favor 
rather than a judgment. 

As this attempt failed, he [C. W] again sought out those 
who had been his acquaintances before his conversion, who 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 85 

rejoiced over him exceedingly, and in all things put him at 
the head; although there was little cause for rejoicing over 
one whose conversion had been such a failure. He may 
have formed many plans at that time to bring to naught 
the judgment of God against fallen man. Once he tried to 
prove in a writing that Adam had been created for nothing 
higher than the natural life; that God had offered him a 
higher destiny under certain conditions, which was to be 
attained if these latter were fulfilled, but if not, then he 
would remain as he had been created. This effort, however, 
never saw the light of day, as no one gave any countenance 
to it. 

Another incident concerning him must be mentioned. 
When he saw how heavily burdened the household of the 
congregation was, it did not seem right to him, and there- 
fore he wrote the following letter to the organization: — "C. 
W. , your former Brother, has the following to say to you in 
this writing, on behalf of the poor, sighing souls, of whom 
there are not a few among you, who are groaning day and 
night unto God because of the heavy Pharaohic and Egyp- 
tian bond-service with which the congregation is so heavily 
laden and burdened that it scarcely can endure it any longer. 
Besides which, this bond-service is much worse than the 
Egyptian; for the latter was for the payment of debts, but 
with that under which the congregation is in bondage no 
debts can be paid. Yea, what am I saying? Pay? The 
more one lets oneself come under this service, the more one 
sinks into debt. But they who withdraw from it, because 
they see that no debts can be paid with this bond-service, 
and that one cannot fulfill it so long as one lives, are refused 
fellowship as though they were evil-doers, and are even ex- 
pelled from the congregation, etc." Moreover he advised 
that a reformation be commenced in the church which was 
very necessary, and said that if he were given word of it, he 
would come and help reform the church. The Superinten- 
dent made this letter known, but it was not taken into con- 
sideration, for every one knew that it had been written du- 
ring temptation and with no good purpose. 

After this all remembrance of him ceased in the Settle- 



bb CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

ment, though various offices in the worldly life were heaped 
upon him. Meanwhile, however, God, in view of his earlier 
faithfulness in the work of God, bore him in mind, and 
opened the door of his long spiritual captivity, so that he vis- 
ited first of all his old friend P. M. at the Settlement And 
when he noticed that no one passed severe judgment upon 
him, he also hunted up the Superintendent, who soon be- 
came aware that the good once done for him had not been in 
vain, and received him with open arms of love, taking him 
into the Sisters' house, where his old acquaintances rejoiced 
with him that he had found again his piece of silver that had 
been lost. Soon after the congregation assembled for a love- 
feast, at which he by partaking of the holy sacraments, was 
re-incorporated in the spiritual communion; although we wil- 
lingly yield to his mother-church the honor of having gar- 
nered in his body. 

Now we will take up again the regular course of our story. 
The fathers in the Egyptian deserts practiced works of love 
to such an extent that with the earnings of the harvest they 
supplied with bread the poor and captive; wherefore Theo- 
dosius and other Christian emperors absolved them from all 
taxes. The Solitary at the Settlement were an Order equally 
useful to the human race, because of the many services they 
rendered to the poor of their neighborhood; wherefore also 
they insisted that similar privileges should be accorded them. 
But there was no statute to that efife6t in the laws of the land. 
Six Brethren however joined themselves together to try their 
fortune (more did not venture to make the attempt). These 
refused to pay tax, so that their neighbors had to deliver 
them up to prison, which they did very willingly, mingling 
their malice with it; for they hoped that it would become a 
cause for persecuting them. Hardly were they in prison, 
however, ere the rumor went forth that the Sabbatists in Lan- 
caster County were being persecuted, so that crowds stood 
all day before the prison bars, although the authorities were 
quite innocent, and had no hand in the matter. But in the 
congregation there was great fear lest a persecution might 
arise in which all one's possessions might be lost. The Su- 
perintendent, however, stood up for them; for the more 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 87 

strange the circumstances the more fully he rose to meet 
them. After they had been prisoners for ten days, the justices 
of the county held a council, and gave them a hearing, when 
a venerable justice, Tobias Hendricks by name, offered to 
go security for them if they would promise him to appear at 
the next court, which they did, and therefore were released 
from captivity. May God recompense him for this act of 
love on the day of judgment. 

At the following May Court of the year 1737 they were 
brought up for a hearing before the Commissioners and 
Assessors of Taxes, over whom, when they saw before them 
the men who in the bloom of youth had raised such a war- 
fare against the world, the fear of the Lord came so that they 
did not speak to them otherwise than friendly, and offered 
them every favor. The first question was, Whether they 
would be loyal subjects of the king? To which they ans- 
wered respectfully, that they had already pledged allegiance 
to another King, and therefore could obey the King only in 
so far as his rights agreed with those of their king. The 
other question was, Whether they would pay the taxes? 
Answer: " Not the head-tax; because they acknowledged no 
worldly authority's right over their bodies, since they had 
been redeemed from the world and men." Moreover, they 
considered it unjust that, as they were pledged to .spend their 
lives in their present condition, they should be measured by 
the same standard as vagabonds, and be made to pay the 
same tax as these. If they would consider them as a spiritual 
family, however, they would be willing to pay of their earthly 
possessions according to what was just. All this was granted 
them, and remains unchanged to the present day. This was 
the last time that the Solitary came in conflict with the civil 
authorities. . The latter had always shown themselves of a 
mild and Christian character. When these Brethren returned 
to their own, during one of the midnight services, they were 
welcomed with the hymn: "A mighty fortress is our God, 
etc," after which the Superintendent made an impressive 
address on the power of the Beast upon earth. Upon those 
neighbors, however, who had gloated over the misfortune of 
the Brethren, there fell the terror of the Lord, so that they 
hurriedly left this region. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

The Household of the Solitary is so Constituted as to 
Oppose the World in Everything. A Visitation from 
the Baptists Arrives at the Settlement. 

It is maintained, not without reason, that the Solitary in 
the Settlement would have been happy people if it had been 
granted to them to end their days in the Settlement in the 
spirit of self-denial which God had put into their hearts. 
Certainly there would not have been revealed in them so 
much of what was evil. But afterwards through the guid- 
ance of the Holy Spirit there was established such a house- 
hold, in which were to be found all the instrumentalities 
belonging to a spiritual martyrdom. For the Spirit sought 
to restore, even externally, that unity in all things, which 
was destroyed by the fall of man, and transformed into 
diversity. Accordingly the condition of the Solitary Breth- 
ren was first taken up; for since the dress of the male sex is 
designed so as to please the female, it was resolved in coun- 
cil to muffle the mortal body in such a style of garment, 
for its humiliation, that but little of it should be visible. 
Even before this matter was taken up, and when the gar- 
ments of the world had already been laid aside, all sorts of 
strange garbs were donned by the Solitary, whereby the 
world was much offended; so that necessity demanded a uni- 
formity of dress. The garb of the Order of the Brotherhood 
was designed with particular care in the council, and was 
intended to represent a spiritual man. It consisted of a Tha- 
lar [surplice] reaching down to the feet; over this was a gar- 
ment having an apron in front and a veil behind which 
covered the back, and to which was fastened a pointed 
monk's hood, which could be put on or allowed to hang 
down the back as one pleased; the whole was provided with 
a girdle around the waist. During services they wore a cloak 
besides, reaching down to the girdle, to which also a hood 
was fastened. Upon contemplating this garb it was found 
(88) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 89 

that they who had designed it for the Order had, without 
knowing it, borrowed the style from the Order of Capuchins; 
and as said Order prided itself that its habit had been the 
dress of the first Christians, the Solitary at Ephrata felt flat- 
tered that they should have the honor to dip water from the 
same well with so venerable, famous and ancient an Order. 
This costume of the Order all the Solitary Brethren at that 
time adopted without any objections; and have kept it this 
long time; nor did they permit it to be worn either by a 
widower who might be among them, nor by a novice until 
after the close of his year of trial. 

Soon afterwards the Sisters undertook a similar work in 
their convent, with the co-operation of the Superintendent. 
Their costume, like that of the Brethren, was designed so 
that but little was visible of that humiliating image revealed 
by sin. They wore hoods like the Brethren, but rounded 
instead of pointed, which while they were at work hung 
down the back; whenever they noticed anyone coining, 
however, they drew the same up over the head and face, so 
that one could see little of the latter. The distinguishing 
mark of their spiritual betrothal, however, was a large veil, 
which covered them entirely in front, and down to the girdle 
behind; of this members of Roman Catholic Orders, who 
saw it, said that it was known among them as the Scapula. 
This costume of the Order the Sisterhood has retained with 
particular care in its establishment, called Sharon, for now 
nigh unto fifty years. 

As the Solitary of both sexes in the Settlement had now 
firmly established themselves in their newly formed Orders, 
the domestic households did the same, in view of the fac~t 
that at all awakenings a change of dress has ever followed 
upon a change in forms of worship {vide Gen. xxxv, 2). 
They therefore applied to the Superintendent for a reforma- 
tion; for at that time there still nourished the first love and 
unity of spirit, and as the Solitary followed the Superinten- 
dent, so the domestic households ordered themselves accord- 
ing to the Solitary. Accordingly the households at that 
time also laid aside the worldly dress of their members, and 
both sexes adopted a new garb which differed from that of 



90 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

the Solitary (besides some unimportant details) only in this, 
that the Solitary appeared at divine services in white gar- 
ments, but the married in gray ones. Thus whenever there 
was a public procession, as commonly was the case at bap- 
tisms, one saw the host of God stand by the water divided 
into four regiments. The households, however, afterwards 
changed about again, and conformed themselves to the world 
in dress as in other respects. 

About this same time the Settlement together with the 
surrounding district took a new form; for it appeared as if 
Joel's prophecy would again be fulfilled, and the last temple 
be built up as the temple of the Holy Ghost. Prophecies 
streamed forth from the Superintendent at all the meetings, 
witnesses whereof are still to be found in the hymns then 
composed by him. But this power of the Spirit in the Set- 
tlement at that time was like fuller's soap and a refiner's fire, 
whereby men's natures were tamed to such a degree that, 
although both sexes were in the very bloom of youth, they 
nevertheless led an angelic and separate walk. Whoso will 
compare these circumstances with those of the holy fathers 
of old in the desert, will confess that the Superintendent, at 
least in some respects, surpassed them in his course; for 
while the former were wont to shun danger, he on the con- 
trary plunged his followers into the very midst of it. The 
Superintendent stood high in the esteem of the Sisterhood 
and house-wives, they being so firmly convinced of his 
divine mission, that the former would rather have laid down 
their lives than submit to a man. The latter, with the consent 
of the house-fathers, their husbands, committed themselves 
to his leading, for both were convinced that the married 
state had originated in sin, and therefore would have to come 
to an end. He frequently also submitted to their counsel. 
It* has already been mentioned that they were the first to 
clothe him, and gave him the advice for the sake of God's 
work to renounce other labors. On one occasion, too, they 
would have ejected a Swedish preacher, who had caused a 
disturbance in meeting, if the Superintendent had not inter- 
fered in his behalf. 

A matter, the like of which one does not find in church 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 9 1 

histories, is worthy of special notice here. He held love- 
feasts with the female portion, no Brethren participating, at 
which the Sisters were his Diaconae, and officiated in all 
things. At the same time there was in the Settlement a 
special band of holy Matrons and Virgins who acknowledged 
no headship but that of Christ, and no guardianship but that 
of the Christian Church. The reader will learn in the sequel 
how this glorious state at last ended in a strange tragedy. 
As it would seem, God made use of him to manifest forth the 
wonders of eternity, and after this was accomplished he was 
divested of this ecclesiastical dignity, and clothed again with 
his former orphaned condition, in which also he ended his 
life, and which perhaps was better for him than if he had 
died as a famous saint; since his Master too, notwithstanding 
that he had excelled in great miracles, yet at last, hanging 
on the cross, naked between two murderers, had to vanquish 
the evil one, and then first was enabled to speak of the en- 
trance into paradise. Remarkable it is that neither did the 
gifts vouchsafed to him distort his mind, nor did his frequent 
contact with the other sex leave a stain upon his character, 
although he was not exempt from slanderous misrepresenta- 
tions. Now we proceed to the order of our narration. 

About this same time, namely, in the year 1736, the Bap- 
tists of Germantown undertook a visitation to the Settle- 
ment. When the Superintendent heard of this, he made 
preparations to receive them. But when they did not arrive 
at the appointed time, he was invited to make a visit to 
Tulpehocken, where he had to tarry longer than he had 
anticipated. They arrived during his absence, and when 
they did not find him at home, they concluded that he had 
purposely avoided them. This was ordained by God as a 
test for the congregation, whether they would enter upon 
the mode of worship of these people and unite with them. 
Had they done so, the Superintendent would have been 
released from his vow, and would have been free to take 
up again his former way of life. For it was not unknown 
to him that some were already tired of his leading, and 
hungered after an easier way of serving God. Meanwhile 
the householders opened their doors unto the Baptist visitors 



92 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

and received them well; but they could not tarry long in 
the Settlement, the weight of the Spirit was too heavy upon 
them. Among the visitors was an old and venerable teacher, 
who had but recently come from Germany; his name was 
Naass, and when he saw the beautiful way of child-training, 
and the quiet life in the houses, he was so much edified 
thereby that he declared, that while he had lived through 
many awakenings in Germany, he had never seen the like 
of this; and that he would not rest until he had seen the man 
who had instituted this awakening. In this indeed he was 
not successful at that time; but later he met the Superinten- 
dent, and had the latter not prevented it, the strong attrac- 
tion of love would have caused him to come over into mem- 
bership with the congregation, as was done by the good Kalk- 
glasser. When the Superintendent returned home he soon 
noticed that something was wrong with the divine clock- 
work here; for there had been spiritual adultery committed, 
according to the teaching of Christ "Whosoever looketh 
upon a woman to lust after her," etc. This circumstance 
caused him on the following Sabbath to make an address on 
Spiritual Whoredom and Adultery, which on account of its 
importance is herewith reproduced, as follows: — 

' ' I have something important to remark, partly as a warn- 
ing, partly as instruction; namely, about spiritual whoredom 
and adultery, which so beset us on our way to God. There 
are in the natural realm whoremongers and adulterers, who 
are alike in this, that both follow after their lusts, and seek 
to avoid the burdens of matrimonial life. They are unlike, 
however, in that the one shuns the bonds of matrimony, 
while the other breaks them. Now it cannot be denied that 
matrimony is an ordinance of God in the natural realm. 
But that whereby God still maintains his hold on this estate 
is the cross, through whose severity married people still can 
be brought right and to God. So is it also in the Christian 
Church. For although the gospel is glad tidings which 
attracts to it the free will of man,, there yet is always some- 
thing more behind the hill, which man at the beginning of 
his conversion, when he enters into the covenant with Christ, 
does not yet understand, namely, the cross, and the severe 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 93 

disciplinary training by which he is to be humbled and 
brought right. When God then brings a person to that 
point where the old man of sin is to be condemned and he 
to be refined in the furnace of tribulation, it often happens 
that one transgresses the bonds of one's spiritual married 
estate; and as there are plenty of people who live in a hypo- 
critical semblance of piety even while they hate the spiritual 
matrimony and are unwilling to bear its burdens, (even as 
whoremongers and adulterers despise the outer, physical 
estate of matrimony,) one allows oneself to associate with 
such people, carries on coquetry with them, and so cools 
oneself off again, by which the mind has secretly sown in it 
deceit and suspicion against the good, of which it is difficult 
afterwards to be cured again. 

" For man is thereby made spiritually reckless, so that he 
tries to tread under foot that which is put over him in spirit 
and through which he is meant to be made better; and, as 
Lucifer did, so he puts himself above everything that is of 
God. To this end he takes opportunity also to use the 
instruments of the congregation, whence proceeds the Word 
of life, who usually are bad, insignificant and despised peo- 
ple; even as also the Jews made the person of Christ a 
ground for belittling his miracles. Such conduct brings 
heavy judgments with it, and is more wicked than physical 
whoredom; for the latter is judged of men, but the former is 
spiriUial and awaits the great universal judgment to come. 
Such illicit courtship, however, is not made manifest except 
where there is a Christian organization with matrimonial 
vows and birth apparatus, where children are born. Prom 
long experience one could mention several things on this 
subject; but this is not the time for it. We can only wish 
that the spirit of Phinehas might awaken again, and pierce 
such damnable whoremongery through the belly. It is not 
without significance that the Apostles had so much trouble 
with whoremongers and adulterers, all which belongs in 
this connection. As such whoremongers we designate all 
fortune-tellers, star-gazers, and interpreters of omens, who 
have not come over in their calling to the simplicity of 
Christ, but who, because the secrets of the starry magia are 



94 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

disclosed in them, have taken this instead of their heavenly 
inheritance. For this reason they are at pains to destroy the 
innocent child-life wherever it shines forth, and to ascribe 
everything to the stars. Remarkable it is that such persons 
always have done great injury to the kingdom of Christ. 
Already in Moses' time the sorcerers took pains to imitate 
him; and they succeeded till it came to the lice, there they 
came to a standstill. Consequently the Jews had a severe 
law according to which all soothsayers must be punished 
with death. When Christ came with his miracles, the Jew- 
ish star-gazers, the Pharisees, also came, and knew how to 
explain it all, and to attribute it to Beelzebub. And when 
the truth rose highest with the apostles the powers of sorcery 
also rose highest in Simon the sorcerer, who wished to 
overcome the mysteries of God by violence. Therefore we 
close with the teaching of the precious John: 'If there 
come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him 
not into your house. ' ' ' 

At the conclusion of this address, which was held on Nov. 
20th, 1736, a Brother named John Roland arose and said: 
' ' This is a hard saying. ' ' Thereupon he went away, and no 
longer dwelt with the congregation. 




CHAPTER XVII. 

An Awakening Takes Place in the Congregation of Bap- 
tists AT GERMANTOWN, THE MOST OP WHOSE MEMBERS JOIN 

the Awakening at Ephrata. 

Chronologically there follows now this important awaken- 
ing at Germantown, an account of which shall now be given, 
together with various other circumstances which belong to 
this period. A holy impulse to have a share in the great 
store of hymns which the awakened in Germany brought to 
light, induced the Solitary to make a collection of said 
hymns, which also was published through the celebrated 
high-German printing press there, under the title of Zioni- 
tischer Weyrau ch's Hiigel. 1 Now it may also be that the 
Community, which at that time had an open door of access 
at Germantown, contributed something from without to this 
awakening. It is made clear, however, by certain facts 
which shall now be related, that the same was a work of the 
Spirit. At that time there was among the Baptists at Ger- 
mantown an old experienced Solitary Brother, Stephen Koch 
by name, who stood in good repute because of his piety, and 
who ended his holy walk in the Settlement. This person 
gives the following account of the awakening referred to. 

"It is known, ' ' he says, ' ' that the Schwarzenau Baptists 
at first were an awakened people, among whom the spirit of 
virginity had his abode, and the way of holiness was walked. 
It was noticed, however, that after they became a people by 
covenant and thereby were joined together into an external 
brotherhood, the revival spirit gradually was extinguished 
among them, and they instead fell back upon mere external 
forms of divine worship as that upon which flesh and blood 
depended for redemption. Though these were instituted by 
God himself, they yet were never meant to be the end itself, 
as though everything were fulfilled if one meets once every 

1 The Zionitic Hill of Incense. 

(95) 



96 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

week and hears something talked about, which after all nc 
one intends to carry out, and then devotes the remaining 
days of the week to the world. For this cause God kept the 
worship of the Jews in constant disturbance, and often de- 
stroyed their temple, so that it might not become the essen- 
tial thing for them. 

' ' In this, however, they did not succeed any better than 
the other parties in the Christian church; for each one has 
inculcated a form of service peculiar to its own people, 
whereby it is distinguished from every other people, until so 
many religious hedges have come into being that it is hardly 
possible to count them any longer. Thus among these good 
people the outer forms of service, which should have helped 
them in their awakening, became their lord and master, and 
they all became bondsmen to them. It is consequently no 
wonder that the spirit of awakening, in its virgin strictness, 
had to leave them, and place their ordering into the hands of 
that man who everywhere builds up again the church of 
Adam. Wherefore among them as among other parties the 
claim is made: Come hither! We have the true Church; 
here one baptizes into the faith in Jesus, etc. 

"As they have been sold into bonds under their forms of 
worship, so also with their water baptism; for they recognize 
no one as a Brother who has not been baptized, even though 
he should surpass them in knowledge and experience; such 
an one has to be satisfied with the title of friend. They 
went still further in this literal and narrow manner, and 
committed the teaching office mostly into the hands of 
married men. Thereby they brought matrimony into high 
favor, and finally cast off the estate of virginity, which before 
their baptism they had rated so high. Young people, when 
they saw that the married state was so highly honored, lusted 
after it; but as long as they were unbaptized they were 
regarded as heathen, for according to their principles 
marriage is consummated only between two believers. If 
therefore they wished to marry, they first had to have them- 
selves baptized; which at last opened a wide door for carnal 
presumption. 

' ' Under such circumstances, when there were still many 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 97 

who had witnessed the awakening at Schwarzenan, it is no 
wonder that the fire yet smouldering under the ashes should 
have been rekindled. About this same time, however, an 
important Brother, Henry Traut by name, passed out of 
time into eternity, on Jan. 4th, 1733. When with sorrowful 
heart and deeply grieved I saw him pass into eternity, it 
made so deep an impression on me that I continually sighed 
unto God whether it were not possible that in this life yet I 
might attain unto health of conscience. For I might do 
what I would, yet I always lacked that which was best, 
because it appeared to me that I had never in my heart been 
converted to God, which indeed also I experienced to be the 
case. The deeper I searched, the more I became aware that 
in my deepest nature I was still lacking that true change of 
heart, without which the peace of God, which passeth all 
understanding, could not reveal itself in me. From this I 
could well see that there was nothing else for me to do than 
to repent anew and be heartily converted unto God. Where- 
fore I constantly prayed to God that for Jesus Christ's sake 
he would graciously regard me, and cleanse me from all my 
transgressions. 

1 " For this repentance and conversion, however, I had no 
power within me. A long while I went about in grief and 
with sighing, and I was even as it is written : ' The children 
are come to the birth and there is no strength to bear them.' 
But at length the power of Darkness so revolted within me, 
that for the life of me I had no resource left; and I now could 
realize in what grievous condition the deceased Brother, 
Henry Traut, had been when at times he had so sorely wept, 
for I was in like condition. But I did not feel free to tell any 
man of it. To God, however, I often said: 'Must I then 
forever be cast off from Thee ? Alas, must I now become the 
prey of unclean spirits! Was it in vain that so many years I 
have shed so many tears, and poured out unto Thee, my God, 

1 His temptations were the following : He was a wooer of the Virgin [ ' ' So- 
phia," the heavenly Wisdom, i. e. saving faith], but because he incautiously 
forsook his stronghold [celibacy], and betrothed himself to a widow, his 
Virgin left him, and he fell into earthly ways, until, finally, after many tears 
of penitence, she again took him up. See Matt. XIX : 10, 11 and 12. 



98 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

so many heart-sighings ? Have mercy upon me, or I perish, 
for my uncleanness is become so great that it ever hangs over 
my head, and my enemies rejoice over me, and say, aha ! 
aha ! this we gladly see ! when once he is down, he shall not 
rise again ! ' (Ps. XXXV.) And this' I had to hear continu- 
ally. 

" But with all this I found no salvation; but it grew ever 
worse, so that at last I became very fearful, and thought, 
Now it will continue until my poor life is consumed, and 
what will happen after that, God knows. In this way I spent 
several years, and had, besides, great pain from stones in the 
bladder, so that I often lay two or three days in the greatest 
extremity, and had death ever before me, until I was again 
relieved from it for a time. But God finally regarded my 
misery, and came to my help in a wonderful manner. On 
the 3d of May, 1735, at Germantown, as late at night I went 
behind the house into the orchard, it being bright moon- 
light, there came to me a delightful odor, partly from the 
blossoms of the trees, partly from the flowers in the garden, 
whereat I sobbing spoke to God: ' O, my God, everything is 
in its order and contributes to Thy glory and honor, save I 
alone! For I am created and called by a holy calling to 
love Thee above everything, and to become a pleasant savor 
unto the glorifying of Thy name. Now, however, I behold 
the contradiction; for I not only do not love Thee as I ought, 
but am also become an evil smell in Thy nostrils. Alas, 
unfortunate that I am! Must I then pass my days in such 
misery ? I gladly would love God, the highest Good, but I 
cannot. The world with all its glories cannot satisfy my 
sad spirit, for I ever see before my eyes spiritual and bodily 
death. ' 

' ' While I lamented thus to God it seemed to me as though 
suddenly a flame of God's love struck into me, which en- 
tirely illumined me inside, and I heard a voice say to me: 
' Yet one thing thou lackest. ' I asked, ' What is it then ? ' 
The answer was, ' You do not know God, and never have 
really known him.' I said, ' Yes, that is so; but how shall I 
attain to it?' Then it seemed as though I were- beside 
myself. But when I came to myself again, I felt an inex- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 99 

pressibly pleasing love to God in my heart; and on the other 
hand all anxiety, with all the temptations of the unclean 
spirits, had vanished. Yea, it seemed as if all my trans- 
gressions were pardoned and sealed, and day and night there 
was nothing else in my heart but joy, love, and praise to God. 
After several days I came to my intimate Brother,, the young 
Alexander Mack, who told me that he was in so sorrowful a 
state that he believed he would soon die. Therefore he had 
made his last testament, wherein he had made several whom 
he mentioned to me by name his heirs. I told him how I 
too had made a testament that I would belong wholly to my 
God. He asked me how that had happened. I said that he 
probably had noticed that for several years already I had 
been in a sorrowful condition. Thereupon I recounted the 
whole matter to him, what had happened to me, and how 
God had saved me from all my misery in a wonderful man- 
ner, and that I now felt in my heart such a love to God that 
I could not express it. He said: ' O, if you really are such 
as you say, then are you happy indeed! I believe you will 
remain thus, and will come to quite a different estate from 
what you were before. I feel from what you say that some- 
thing marvelous has happened to you, and I rejoice greatly 
thereat' We often had similar conversations with each 
other, and it was not long before he also came to an 
awakened condition. As he was a ready speaker, he began 
to speak in the meeting so powerfully that it was a marvel 
to hear him, and aroused much notice in the congregation. 
Some were well pleased at it; but others could not compre- 
hend it. At that time we had a meeting for the unmarried 
every Sunday afternoon, where we also spoke together as 
narrated above. At last the spirit of revival came upon all 
who were assembled together, so that one often heard with 
astonishment how they praised God; however with many it 
did not last long. 

"In the meantime it happened that the people in the 
house in which I had lived so long were no longer satisfied 
with me; for the life that I now led was a witness against 
their life. Accordingly the afore-mentioned A. Mack re- 
ceived me into his house; but he lived together with another 



IOO CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Brother, Henry Hoecker, in half the house, while the other 
half was occupied by his brother after the flesh, Valentine 
Mack. At this time Henry Kalckglasser, then the oldest 
teacher of the congregation at Germantown, who afterwards 
ended his course at Ephrata, came to us in the house, and 
said : ' I hear so much said about you among the people, 
Brother Stephen Koch; tell me the truth: In what condition 
were you ? how did you come to another condition ? and how 
are you now ? ' I told him first of all in what a sad state I had 
been; how marvelously God had brought me out of it; and 
that I now day and night felt such a love to God in my heart 
that no tongue could express it. Thereupon he answered, 
' O, I know your condition very well, for I was in the same 
state a long while; but through the various occurrences one 
meets therein, I fell away from it again. Now I will learn 
anew to walk before God.' He rejoiced greatly that the 
good old way shown him at the beginning of his conversion 
was again revealed to him; in everything of which we had 
spoken he agreed with us. For we spoke yet much more 
concerning the celibate estate, and a life of virginity, of 
which he said, that all this had been revealed to him at his 
first conversion. Thus this old Brother was quickened again, 
and spake openly at the meeting concerning such things 
with much impressiveness, remarking also that he believed 
that if he had died in the condition in which he had been he 
would have been found to be a foolish virgin. Many of the 
congregation, however, took this amiss of him, and said that 
he had been a teacher so long already, and had baptized so 
many, and yet now spoke of himself thus doubtfully. But 
he insisted that such had been his experience. 

"At another time the other teacher, Peter Becker, also 
came to us. During the night we spoke much together, so 
that in the morning he tearfully bade us farewell. He said 
to us, that he also would begin anew to walk before God; 
but this was so far reversed in him again, that he at last 
declared himself against us. 

' ' Before I came to live with Brother A. Mack I saw in a 
vision a beautiful virgin come into our meeting, who preached 
wonderfully concerning sanctification and a life of virginity. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. IOI 

At this I was so glad that in the morning I said to the 
Brethren that I had seen a most beautiful virgin come into 
onr meeting, who had held an extraordinary address con- 
cerning purity and the life of virginity; whereat they re- 
joiced with me. At the time when I saw this vision, V. 
Mack saw me go to his brother Alexander very often, and 
said to me: 'Yon come into the house so often, yet never 
come to see me. ' I answered, ' Perhaps your house-sister 
[wife] would not like it.' From that time on I frequently 
visited them, and spoke with them of the way of holiness, 
when she always listened with devout attention (of her edify- 
ing life and blessed departure mention will be made at the 
proper place). 

"On April 12th, 1736, therefore, I moved to Brother A. 
Mack, when for a time we three lived together. In the year 
1737 we built a house, in a valley, a mile from Germantown, 
into which we moved on October 14th of said year. There 
another Solitary Brother, named John Riesmann, besides a 
pious married couple, came to live with us. But on March 
21st, 1738, my three Brethren, Alexander Mack, Henry 
Hcecker, and John Riesmann, removed to the Solitary at 
Ephrata, and the housefather, before mentioned, went back 
to his own piece of land. Thereupon another pious house- 
father, Lewis Hcecker by name, came to live with me; but we 
did not live together any longer than until March 27th, 1739, 
when I also removed to the Solitary at Ephrata. Thus my 
first call came back to me again, and thus I found again the. 
piece of silver I had lost, whereat I exceedingly rejoice. 
May God comfort all the sorrowing in Zion, and redeem 
Israel from the rod of the oppressor, Amen." 

This tried warrior of Jesus Christ lived many years more 
among the Solitary in the Settlement, and finally entered 
upon his rest on the 7th of June, 1763. 

From this small beginning there finally arose a great 
awakening in and about Germantown, which so many young 
people joined that, if persons of experience had been con- 
nected with it, something very useful might have been the 
outcome. The fame of it soon resounded through the whole 
land; for they held their meetings in the woods, and then 



102 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

walked through Germantown hand in hand, which attracted 
much attention. Besides, they had frequent meetings at 
night. The teachers of the Baptists themselves went astray 
in this movement. Some of them, like Henry Kalckglasser, 
Valentine Mack, John Hildebrand, supported it; while oth- 
ers, like P. Becker, Naass, etc, who had had a similar experi- 
ence in Germany, opposed it. Yes, Peter Becker often said 
to them: "Dear children, it is the seventh-day-spirit of 
Conestoga ! " At length the affair came to .another separa- 
tion, in which the Baptists a second time were made naked, 
and the flower of the congregation was lost. The separa- 
tists went together to the Settlement of the Solitary, while 
the rest of this awakening gradually became extinguished 
like a straw fire. It must be known that this Baptist re- 
moval to Ephrata was wholly unexpected to the Superin- 
tendent and the congregation. Indeed they had resolved 
not long before, because those of the Baptists who had gone 
over to them had turned out so badly, that they would not 
receive any more of this people: but who can withstand the 
counsels of God ? and who can set bounds to his Spirit ? It 
was indeed a great marvel to the Superintendent, that those 
who, according to their spiritual age, could have been his 
fathers, now became as children unto him, and put them- 
selves under his leading. It appears also that these occur- 
rences gave him an insight into his own circumstances, 
whereof he knew nothing before, or wished to know nothing, 
because of his own self-depreciation. For P consider it un- 
questionable that this occurrence gave occasion to him to 
compose that hymn, whereof as a specimen I have given the 
first three verses, and in which he clearly shows that all 
these awakenings were in their spirit dependent on him. 

Before I lay aside this matter, however, I will here men- 
tion for hallowed remembrance the names of all those who 
in this awakening came to the congregation at Ephrata, 
from among whom arose some of the most trusty Solitary 
ones. The married ones were Henry Kalckglasser, Valen- 
tine Mack, John Hildebrand, Eewis Hcecker, Pettikofer, the 
widow Gorgas, and their children; to the Solitary belonged 
Henry Hoecker, Alexander Mack, John Riesmann, Christian 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 103 

Eckstein, Elizabeth Eckstein, Martha Kinsing, Miriam 
Gorgas. 

The printing of the above-mentioned hymn-book now 
went forward. But towards the end there happened a matter 
which caused a great stir in the land, and which shall now 
be communicated. The printer Saur had already in Ger- 
many become acquainted with the Superintendent during 
the awakening there. He considered him indeed to be a 
God-fearing man; but when Providence placed him at the 
head of a great awakening in Conestoga, the good man held 
him in suspicion of seeking to become a pope, to which there 
came yet a secret dislike for the Superintendent because the 
latter received his wife, who had separated from him, under 
his leading, and even made her sub-superintendent of the 
Sisters' House. At that time opinions concerning the Su- 
perintendent varied in the country. The greater and coarser 
part of the people regarded him as a great wizard, whereto 
certain things that had happened gave an appearance of 
plausibility. As has been mentioned above, the spirit under 
whose guidance he was, at times 'made him invisible, con- 
cerning which the following is yet to be mentioned in pass- 
ing. A justice of the peace sent a constable after him with 
a warrant; he took an assistant with him, named Martin 
Graff. As they came towards the house, they saw him go in 
with a pitcher of water. They followed him, and while one 
stationed himself at the door, the other searched the house 
from top to bottom; but no Superintendent was to be found. 
As they departed, however, and were quite a distance from 
the house, they saw him come out again. 

His Brethren, however, who were daily with him, and may 
have seen much of this kind of thing, fell into the opposite 
extreme, and like the Jews concerning John, thought whether 
he might not be Christ. Even Brother Prior Onesimus said 
that such thoughts often came to him. Of all this the 
printer was aware. Wherefore when in printing the hymn- 
book he came upon the hymn: 2 " Since the pillar of cloud 

2 The fact that the printer took such violent offence at this hymn, as did 
also not a few others, merits closer examination. In a congregation in 
. which the way of holiness is pursued, the stone of stumbling and rock of 



104 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

dissolvetli, " etc., he wanted to force out of the 37th verse a 
meaning as if the Superintendent intended himself thereby. 
He accordingly took the corrector to task about it, who how- 
ever, asked him, whether he then believed only in one 
Christ ? This so outraged him that he wrote a sharp letter to 
the Superintendent, in which he reproached him for his spir- 
itual pride. The Superintendent, who in such things never 
remained anyone's debtor, sent back to him a short reply 
to the following intent : ' 'Answer not a fool according to 
his folly, etc." "As vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth 
songs to an heavy heart." (Prov. XXV, 20.) This aroused 
the good man to a fiery heat, and he resolved to avenge 
himself for this affront. Therefore he published a document 
against the Superintendent in which he told under how 
strange a conjunction of the stars the Superintendent was, 
and how each planet manifested in him its own character- 
offence is set up. Whoso goes beyond him becomes Anti-Christ, and 
whoso comes under him is crushed and ground to dust ; to such an object 
of contention did God ordain him among his people, nor did it cease with 
the close of his life. For, when the glories of paradise were revealed in 
him prophetically, everybody ran after him ; but when it became known 
what was behind this, the cross of Christ, many took so great offence 
thereat that they tried every means to overthrow him, although they never 
accomplished anything. For he himself had experienced such opposition 
in his own private inner life far more powerfully, so that he said at times 
that there was no harder work under the sun than to serve God, for do 
what one please it was never right, and that he wondered what would 
happen if his fellow-laborers were tried as sorely as he. His followers, 
however, were not aware of these circumstances, and by their mistaken 
zeal made the life of this witness of God so bitter, that judgment finally 
overtook them, and then, so long as there was a possibility of saving, he 
had to step into the breach, and redeem that which he had never robbed. 
Accordingly it is no wonder that there were so many strange happenings 
at the Settlement during his superintendency, which will yet be mentioned. 
Certain it is that he spent his life in such a fervor that but few of his fol- 
lowers were able to keep up with him. Since, therefore, he was a saviour 
of his people, whose transgressions were bound upon his back, no one 
need be surprised that he permitted something of his difficult priesthood to 
enter into this hymn, though he was constrained for reason's sake to rep- 
resent it in so flowery and ambiguous a wise that one could not know of 
whom he spoke. The printer, however, had him in suspicion before 
already, and hence was all the more able to kindle such a fire. One can 
surely conclude, then, that a congregation which has not produced Anti- 
Christ is not a congregation of Christ. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. IO5 

istics: from Mars he had his great severity, from Jupiter his 
friendliness, from Venus that the female sex ran after him, 
Mercury had taught him the art of a comedian, etc. He 
even found in his name, Com-adus Beusselus, the numbers 
of the Beast, 666. By this occurrence the good understand- 
ing between the printer and the Community at Ephrata was 
interrupted for many years, and was not restored until the 
printer's wife, who had hitherto lived at Ephrata, went back 
to him again. From that time on until his death, he lived 
on good terms with the Superintendent and all the Solitary 
in the Settlement, and won for himself an everlasting re- 
membrance among them by many deeds of love. May the 
Lord grant him to enjoy the fruits of this good seed in the 
resurrection of the righteous ! 

Before I close this chapter it is yet to be remarked that 
about this same time the first Moravian Brethren arrived in 
Pennsylvania, viz: Spangenberg and Nitschmann, whom 
three Solitary Brethren soon visited at Shippack, in a family 
by the name of Wiigner. At first sight there was felt by 
both parties a magnetic attraction between their spirits; for 
both were yet in their first love. Therefore also they re- 
solved to journey with the afore-mentioned Solitary Brethren 
and to pay a visit to the Settlement; which also was done 
with great blessing. On their return, the Brethren accom- 
panied them part of the way, formed a circle, and after 
having praised God in a hymn, they embraced and com- 
mended one another to God. It has been reported concern- 
ing them that in St. Thomas, whither they went from 
Ephrata, they baptized the blacks whom they converted 
there, by baptizing them under the water, according to the 
Ephrata manner; which I give as reported. It is to be de- 
sired that this good feeling and confidence might not so soon 
have been lost on both sides, as much offence might thus 
have been avoided in succeeding times. All these things 
happened about the year 1739. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

The Brothers' Convent, Named Zion, is Buii/t. 

In Chap. XIV we mentioned how the first meeting-house in 
the Settlement, named Kedar, fell into the hands of the 
Sisters, and was constituted a convent; and how a house- 
father of means had a chapel for them added to it. At that 
time the Brethren still dwelt scattered here and there in the 
Settlement, while each one was allowed a small possession in 
land, because it was not considered right to constrain any- 
one to self-denial against his will. Among the Brethren 
there were four who lived together in a house, viz : Brother 
Onesimus, who afterwards became Prior, Brother Jotham, 
his brother according to the flesh, Brother Nehemiah and 
Brother Jabez; these because of their superior excellence 
were regarded as the choicest of the Brethren. Their house 
was built half against the hill, and therefore was called the 
Hill House. Moreover they were well furnished for the en- 
tertainment of guests, had cleared a goodly tract of land, 
and established a right pleasant settlement, where they 
thought to maintain themselves even though all else should 
go to nothing; but these were mere men's thoughts. With 
them the Superintendent was on confidential terms; all love- 
feasts in the Settlement were held in their house; and all 
guests were harbored there; on which account the rest of 
the Brethren harbored ill-will against them. But what 
would be the final outcome no one knew at that time; God 
had hidden it from their eyes, otherwise none would have 
gone into the net. 

As now so many wooers of the Virgin continually an- 
nounced themselves at the Settlement, the Superintendent 
was at a loss what should be done with these numerous 
young people, and whether it were not better to teach them 
to renounce their self-will in convents under spiritual author- 
ity, than to let them raise up their own altars of self hood in 
corners; in this matter a certain occurrence brought him to 
(106) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. IO7 

a decision. At that time a very rich young Swiss had him- 
self received in the Settlement, Benedict Yuchly 1 by name, 
from Kilchery-turnen in the district of Berne. Inflamed by 
the love of God he resolved to devote his fortune to the erec- 
tion of a convent; which was accepted as coming by divine 
direction, and his proposition granted. There was in the 
Settlement a pleasant elevation from which one had a beau- 
tiful view of the fertile valley and the mountains lying oppo- 
site; of this height the Brethren in the Hill House at that 
time held possession. When now it came to the selection of 
a site, the most held that the valley along the Cocalico creek 
was the most desirable, on account of the water; the Su- 
perintendent, however, went up the hill until he came within 

1 This Benedict Yuchly, after having lived in this new convent several 
years, became very much disgusted with this narrowly circumscribed life, 
and sought some good excuse again to become free. As he still had large 
possessions in Switzerland, he asked permission to go and get this fortune, 
promising to hand it over to the Community. In reality, however, his in- 
tention was again to take up his residence in his native land, though at 
first only as an immigrant settler. This request was granted in a brotherly 
council, and his traveling expenses advanced out of the treasury, in return 
for which he made the Brethren his heirs in his will, if he should die on 
the journey. But who can understand the wonderful ways of God ; for, in 
his covenant with God sealed in the water, he had pledged himself not to 
love his life unto death, which could not be broken. Therefore, as long as 
there still was some good to be found in him, and that his transgressions 
might not multiply, the judgment overtook him even before he had arrived 
outside the boundaries of God's people, and severed the thread of his life in 
Philadelphia, just as he was ready to go on board the ship. 

If this had been the only one in the Settlement who shortened his life 
"by his heedlessness, one might perhaps regard it as a mere coincidence. 
But since there were probably more than twenty, of both sexes in the Set- 
tlement, who similarly paid the penalty with their lives, it must be ac- 
knowledged that the hand of Providence was concerned therein, for they 
would after all have gained no more than to make their offence against the 
Lord greater. 

Thereupon two Brethren were sent to Philadelphia. But they came too 
late for his funeral, and therefore were going to disinter his remains and 
bring them here to his Brethren, which however caused a great tumult of 
the people, and caused them to be ill thought of after their return home. 
This deceased Brother's memory will be hallowed so long as tho Settlement 
of the Solitary remains inhabited ; for although he departed out of time 
as one prematurely born, yet he left his Brethren so much by his will, that 
they bought a mill therewith, which for this long while has furnished the 
bread for the entire Settlement. 



108 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

the limits of the property of the Brethren of the Hill House > 
and there was the site chosen. By this the spirit of wonders 
indicated at the very beginning that the Brotherhood would 
at first build its structure on the heights of reason, and thus 
soar aloft, until at length by a great storm they would be 
cast down into the valley; all which was afterwards fulfilled 
in minutest detail. But the good Brethren of the Hill 
House were moved to sensitiveness by this, for they realized 
that this convent would be at their expense. This hill was 
called Zion, and from it the society afterwards went by the 
name of the Zionitic Brotherhood, which name clung to 
them in all their doings. At this time, too, the name Ephrata 
was given to the Settlement by the Superintendent, of which 
he said, that here his Rachel, for whom he had served so 
many years, was buried, after she had borne to him Benoni, 
the child of anguish; whereby he pointed to the history of 
the patriarch Jacob. 

Work on this great house went forward rapidly. Its frame 
was erected in May, 1738, and in the following October the 
first Brethren moved into it; they were, with a few excep- 
tions, all novices, and had but little experience in the 
spiritual life. Soon after they moved in there were certain 
happenings from which one could infer that this house would 
be a source of many sorrows for its inmates; for each one 
brought with him his inflammable passions, while the divine 
fount by which all acerbity is softened, had not yet been 
opened in them; besides this, the older Brethren had not yet 
put their interest in this house. The house was not entirely 
finished nor fully occupied until five years after this. 

The Superintendent spoke much with the older Brethren 
concerning this new institution, how it demanded a man 
who would be its sole head, without whom the institution 
would not be able to be maintained. But when he noticed 
that his words did not make any impression on them, he 
made use of a trick, and pretended that he would place the 
two Brethren Nehemiah and Jabez in authority at Zion; 
which when the Eckerlins heard, they regarded it as an in- 
sult that Brethren who were younger than they in their call- 
ing should be preferred before them. Therefore the youngest 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. IOO, 

among them, Jotham by name, went off, and moved to Zion 
with the two Brethren named; but his elder brother, Onesi- 
mus, who was intended for the office, at that time yet held 
back. As now the Brethren in Zion were obliged to accept 
this authority, they came into great temptations, and thought 
their freedom was lost forever; for although they were very 
earnest, they had not yet learned that obedience by which 
the Son of God overcame the evil one; nor was it any wonder, 
because their superiors also lacked the same. Consequently 
their natural characteristics came into collision, so that often, 
if the Superintendent had not come into the breach, the 
name of God would have been brought into dishonor among 
them. Now it became apparent what the Superintendent 
had intended when he said that the house demanded a man; 
there was no one of dignity enough among them to be 
chosen. For notwithstanding that the same Brother used 
every effort to bring the house into subjection, in which also 
he in a measure succeeded, it yet was only a government of 
selfishness; wherefore also it broke up again the following 
year, 1740. 

Thus at length the hermit Order in the Settlement was 
converted, amid many temptations, to a conventual life. 
Our predecessors of both sexes followed this angelic life in 
the forests of Conestoga for ten years before Ephrata was 
built, and it was spread abroad in different parts of the land. 
And that God first practices his saints in a separate and soli- 
tary life ere he hires them for his vineyard, is shown by the 
example of John the Baptist, as well as by that of Moses in 
the wilderness where he tended sheep for forty years. The 
Superintendent was able to adapt himself pretty well to 
these peculiar conditions, though it cost him a thousand 
tears to renounce his angelic way of life and again to plunge 
into the ocean of humanity; for he clearly saw that the 
hermit life, however innocent it be, could yet contribute 
nothing to the fruitfulness of the house of God, because, as 
he says in his discourses, no hermit enters the kingdom of 
God. Therefore when afterwards every spring the cry arose 
that the Brethren in Zion would go forth into the wilderness, 
it did not move him, since he foresaw that the sons of 



IIO CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Ephraim, who clad in armor were bearing the bow, would 
yet fall away in the time of battle, which the Eckerlins ven- 
tured to do when they wanted to revive the hermit-life on 
New River, where the storm of the Almighty Lord then 
overthrew their structure, erected in selfishness, so that 
several lost their lives, and others fell away and afterwards 
multiplied in the flesh. 

With the other Solitary ones, however, it was different; 
for their longing was always after solitariness, so that, when 
the Superintendent installed the first Mother over the Sisters, 
their house was so violently moved that several ran away; 
yet they came back again after the storm had passed. So 
hard it is to learn to fight orderly under command. *The 
Brethren had so thoroughly prepared everything for their 
solitary life that, when they brought their household furni- 
ture together to Zion, it was a matter of astonishment how 
they were furnished in every detail. That God must have 
specially blessed this Order is known to those who at that 
time visited the Solitary saints in their huts; yes, even long 
after their departure one could notice something attractive 
in said huts. O, how many fiery trials these warriors might 
have avoided, if it had been permitted them to end their 
lives in this angelic existence! But since its course was run, 
the Order will probably not again be restored to its former 
estate; the light has risen higher, wherefore also we wished 
to speak their eulogy at its funeral. Remarkable it is that 
the holy fathers in the desert made their disciples first learn 
obedience in convents, and afterwards sent them into the 
desert for higher schooling; here it was turned around, they 
went from solitude to convent life. And although then 
already everyone was convinced that this was the leading of 
God, there nevertheless were some who even thus early 
ran off the track, among whom Peter Gehr was one of the 
first, whose biography, since it was a remarkable one, we 
will add here. 2 

2 He was born at Seckenheim near Heidelberg in the Palatinate, and was 
brought to his conversion early in life under the Superintendent's ministry 
in Pennsylvania And as his walk shone forth with special brilliance he 
was also employed by the latter to baptize others ; but as it happened that 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. Ill 

the Superintendent rebaptized several of those baptized by him, this young 
warrior came to harbor suspicions against his spiritual leader, which at 
length resulted in a root of bitterness. Soon after his conversion he be- 
came intimate with a young Sister, Rebecca by name, who had been conse- 
crated to God, and married her in presence of the congregation ; which 
indeed was imputed to him as a mistaken act ; but as he led an angelic life 
with her he began to exalt his estate above that of the Solitary Brethren, 
because he was able to do more than they did. Finally the Solitary Sisters 
took his helpmate up in their Convent, wherefore he gave her a bill of 
divorce, and as mentioned above, betook himself to the Brethren in Zion 
whom, however, he also soon left again. On January 9th, 1740, he made 
another attempt to live with the Brethren in Zion, when the Superintendent 
with much love offered him in spirit the hand of fellowship. Notwithstand- 
ing this, his temptations overcame him. so that he soon went away again, 
which happened in October of the year mentioned. 

Since he was not capable of living in subjection to a spiritual Order, on 
account of his strong spirit of selfhood, he spent the remainder of the time 
in separatism. There he outwardly led a quiet and retiring life, though 
within himself he may have been very much exercised, as one- who had 
missed God's purpose, in trying to bring God's testimony under his feet, a 
testimony which so marvellously makes a fool of one. Certain it is that on 
his death-bed he ordered a whole ream of paper, which he had written full, 
to be torn up and thrown into the water; wherein, perchance, his counsels 
and plans against the simplicity of God may have been contained. In 
this state he lived about twenty years without expressing any accusations 
against the community which he had left, although he associated with those 
who were dissatisfied with God's leading in the organization, which also 
caused him severe trials at his departure into eternity. 

Finally he came to die ; whereupon, instead of passing away in peace, 
stern justice delivered him over to the powers of darkness, who delayed his 
end so that for twenty-four hours he was dying and lying in the midst of 
the severest temptations. The relatives noticed that heavy stones of 
offence lay at the bottom of this, and therefore asked him whether he were 
reconciled with his former Brethren. This hit the mark ; for at his request 
a messenger quickly had to go and bring three of his former most intimate 
Brethren. They found him in a state of struggling with despair, like 
another Spira, and this was his constant lamentation : " I am fallen among 
murderers ! " The presence of his Brethren, however, gave him more con- 
fidence, and he expressed to them his condition in the following wise : 
" You are my Brethren ! Unto you will I live, and unto you will I die, and 
you shall also bury me" Thereupon he reverted to the Sisterhood, and 
as he was made aware that these still held him in some favor, his desire 
was that the Brethren should hasten home, and in fellowship with these 
Sisters should bow their knees in their chapel in prayer to God on his 
behalf. Meanwhile the door opened, and there entered one of his fellow- 
separatists, who greeted him in a friendly way, but which, as was remarked 
with astonishment, renewed his temptations, wherefore he turned his back 
to him, and faced the wall. May God preserve his saints from falling into 



112 CRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

folly ! For persons who are joined together against the Divine counsels, 
and thereby have embittered the life of the laborers in the vineyard, will 
have a heavy responsibility to answer for in eternity. 

The Brother's condition was not yet relieved, however, for there still lay a 
heavy weight upon him in reference to the Superintendent, from whose 
authority, under which he should have wrought out his salvation, he had 
withdrawn himself in willful manner. At last he drew to himself a Brother 
who he knew availed much with the Superiu tendent, and whispered in his 
ear that he should take his cordial greeting to the Superintendent. That 
settled it. The brotherly balsam flowed forth and entered his soul, especi- 
ally when the Brother mentioned laid his hands upon him and blessed him; 
whereupon, to the amazement of all who were gathered about him, most of 
whom were of the Lutheran chnrch, he was relieved of all his temptations, 
and entered upon a divine peacefulness. Soon after the departure of the 
Brethren he died, as we hope, happily. This threw into great terror all 
those who had cast under foot the testimony of God, forasmuch as such a 
person even, who had lived so irreproachable a life, at last, at the end of his 
life, again had to subject himself humbly under that very cause above 
which he had impiously tried to set himself. But the Solitary at the Set- 
tlement took fresh courage therefrom, so that next day they hastened to 
dress the deceased in the garb of their Order, and thus at the same time 
raised over him the standard of victory, as a sign that by the grace of God 
they had snatched his prey from the hellish blood-avenger ; whereat surely 
all the saints in heaven and on earth will rejoice. The tragedy aroused 
much commotion in that region. Some said to the deceased: "Poor 
Gehr ! must you now again be that against which during life you strove so 
earnestly?" Others declared that it was wonderful that so strict an orga- 
nization existed among the Solitary at Ephrata. But no one ventured to 
deny that the hand of God was in the affair ; for everyone well knew that 
all these changes had wrought themselves out in him freely, and that no 
one had persuaded him. He was committed to the earth among the Soli- 
tary at Ephrata, where may God grant him his portion in the first resurrec- 
tion ! I have purposely gone into details in this narrative. The reader 
will notice therefrom that God has his eye specially upon the footsteps of 
such persons as have once come to his hand. Had this warrior gone over 
iu to eternity in his unreconciled condition, how hard would it have been to 
redeem him out of the same, because his freedom of will would have been 
gone. It appears, however, that in the days of his innocence he had 
wrought much good, whereby God had become his debtor to stand faith- 
fully by him in the time of need ; which also the good God did, whose 
name be praised ! 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The Titee of Father is Given to the Superintendent; 
and Concerning the Quarrels that Arose on Account 
of IT. 

It early came to be the custom in the Settlement to lay 
aside one's common name, and take a new one, which was 
called the church-name. The common name of the Superin- 
tendent was Conrad Beissel, wherefore he was usually called 
Brother Conrad. Finally, however, he assumed another 
name, either because the old one had made him seem too 
familiar [alletagisch], or because a new epoch in his life had 
begun. That pride should have impelled him to do so no 
one can believe who was acquainted with his circumstances. 
He expressed his wish to several house-fathers, who went to 
great trouble to find a name for him that should be suitable; 
but none of all those suggested seemed to harmonize with 
his estate. Thereupon he proposed to them the name 
Brother Friedsam, which met with their approval; and when 
they had adopted it, it was at once made known to the con- 
gregation. 

When the Solitary Brethren at the Settlement heard it, it 
appeared a bad thing to them simply to call him a Brother, 
since to many of them he had been, next to God, the cause 
of their salvation. Therefore they resolved in their council 
to call him a Father, of which they notified him through 
two deputies, and which also he accepted without contradic- 
tion; for he was so instructed from above that he would not 
readily have refused the good intentions of anyone, even 
though he might therefor reap the greatest reproach, as 
happened in this case. When it was made known at a love- 
feast, it offended the house-fathers, particularly because the 
Eckerlins were movers in the matter, against whom they 
had a grudge as it was, for trying to exalt the Superintend- 
ent beyond measure. This occasioned various conferences, 
where it was decided that the Solitary should call him Father, 

i (113) 



114 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

while those of the domestic households should call him 
Brother; though this was never strictly observed. 

•Thus the matter stood until the year 1741, when a house- 
father of the congregation, John Hildebrand by name, was 
moved to draw up a great document, and to present it to the 
Superintendent, wherein he proved from many Scripture 
passages that strictly speaking the title of Father belonged 
to no one but God. It came to us from the times of apostasy 
and the Roman church, when one had placed himself upon 
a chair whom they called Holy Father. The Superintendent 
did not permit himself to quarrel about it, but received the 
Brother's work, and said he believed there was good con- 
tained in it. At the same time he told him that he felt that 
people had put him into an evil situation, in which, he 
feared, harm might come to the testimony of God; wherefore 
also he had asked for another name, upon which the Solitary 
Brethren had imposed this name upon him. When the 
Superintendent showed this condescension to the Brother, 
he went home apparently quite satisfied and happy. Soon 
after, however, he brought the Superintendent a long letter 
of similar purport with the preceding document. The Super- 
intendent had him read his letter in the presence of two of 
the house-fathers themselves. In it he went so far as almost 
to deny the incarnation of Christ. Then the Superintendent 
declared that it would be easier for him to give up this title 
entirely if by the same he would be obligated to stand for 
something which he would not have to do if this name were 
taken from him. It was difficult to discern from the Super- 
intendent's conduct whether he was in favor of or against 
the title. Those who regarded his action only superficially 
and from the outside were indeed tempted to think that he 
coveted titles of honor, as also the good Hildebrand thought. 
But those who had an insight into his spiritual condition, 
knew very well that for conscience sake he might not avoid 
any reproach, such as also this Father-title was. And surely 
this title would not have been set for a stone of stumbling to 
these men wise in their own conceits by God's providence. 
Why then did men, even after his death, rave so violently, 
since it is not their wont to be so zealous against evil, else 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 115 

they would have had occasion enough, even without this 
title, to kindle their wild natural passions by their zeal. 

After Brother Hildebrand had now read his letter, as was 
mentioned, the Superintendent called into the council three 
Solitary Brethren, namely, Jephune, Jotham and Jethro, be- 
sides two house-fathers, and thus addressed them: "Brother 
Hildebrand has been moved within himself on account of 
me with regard to the title Father, which the Solitary Breth- 
ren and some house-fathers applied to me, and says that it 
belongs to no creature, but to God alone, whereupon a con- 
troversy has arisen." The Solitary Brethren, who first had 
manufactured the title, were soon ready, and cast aside at 
once the great things of Brother Hildebrand. But the two 
house-fathers held back, and only said that they had lost the 
Superintendent after he had assumed this title. It appears 
from this -how, from the beginning of the Community, the 
Solitary Brethren and the householders quarreled about the 
person of the Superintendent, even like Judah and Israel 
about King David, 

This strife continued throughout the Superintendent's 
life-time, and became a bitter cross unto them who were 
involved in it. It was commonly spoken of as the strife 
between Judah and Ephraim, of which Isaiah makes fre- 
quent mention. It surely is a difficult matter to keep in 
unity a church composed of such unequal estates; for the 
solitary estate would not stand under the domestic, nor the 
latter under the former; but with the Superintendent as 
head they all hung together, and whichever had him was 
usually on top. Of this our Protestants know' nothing, for 
among them everything is shorn over one comb. In church 
history we find that this strife was often brought up before 
the councils; whereupon canons were enacted that the soli- 
tary should not exalt itself over the domestic estate. Now 
in this organization too, as still is the case in the Romish 
church, the church government was wholly in the hands of 
the Solitary, so that even the domestic estate would not 
receive a married man or widower as priest. But in order 
that the domestic estate, as being the weaker part, might 
not be oppressed by the Solitary, God had given the balance 



Il6 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

into the hands of the Superintendent, so that they to whom 
he gave his fellowship, rose up, and they from whom he 
withdrew it sank down, by which means he kept the work in 
continual motion. He never gave his favor too long to the 
one or to the other, thereby preventing anyone from getting 
undue advantage. But as I am going to describe the spirit- 
ual government of the Settlement in another chapter, I will 
save until then the rest of this subject. 

After the council mentioned, the Superintendent censured 
the two house-fathers, Joiada and Lamech, for not having 
defended Brother Hildebrand better against the Brethren in 
Zion, for at that time this Brotherhood was strong and had 
the preponderance in the Settlement. Thereupon next day 
the two house-fathers went to the convent of Zion, and told 
the Brethren how greatly concerned they were about the 
Father-title. "For," said they, "if this name is not made 
more general, the Superintendent is as good as taken from 
the congregation, and you have brought him over to your 
side by means of this title." But they effected nothing by 
this; for the Zion's Brethren had two principal accusations 
against them: i. That they had made common cause with 
the Brother Hildebrand in his affairs against the Superin- 
tendent. 2. That they had not maintained a close enough 
fellowship with the Zion's Brethren; if they had done so, 
they would also have found again the Superintendent. 

Soon after this the Superintendent went to the Zion's 
Brethren and gave them to know that he would now no 
longer be responsible for the title of Father; but that if the 
Brethren would stand for it, it would have to be settled at a 
general council. Thereupon the Brethren agreed upon the 
following resolutions in their council, which also they handed 
to him in writing, namely: That they recognized and ac- 
knowledged the Superintendent to be their spiritual father, 
since he bore the testimony out of which the Solitary in 
the Settlement as well as the congregation had sprung, 
and that they would defend this title for the Superintendent 
against all objectors. Because of this the Superintendent 
also bore the Brethren in Zion in special remembrance before 
God. This is now the second time that the Brethren in Zion 



A HISTORY OF F.PHRATA. 117 

defended the Father-title against the adversaries, wherefore 
it was adopted at both the convents, though it was not yet 
approved by the congregation. All this happened on a sixth 
day of the week. On the following Sabbath, however, the 
Superintendent declared himself as follows before the entire 
congregation: " Brother John Hildebrand this week testified 
against me, both in writing and by word of mouth, that it 
was not right that I allowed myself to be called a Father, 
because that title belonged to God alone." He desired to 
bring this before the congregation. Now they would have 
to choose one or the other, namely, either to stand by the 
title, or not to do so. 

At this the congregation was greatly surprised. But 
Brother John Hildebrand began to justify his course, and 
to call upon God as the one at whose command he had borne 
this testimony. With many other words also he disclosed 
his motives. Upon this the Superintendent expressed him- 
self thus: That henceforth he would have nothing more to 
do with the Father- title; the congregation should decide 
what was to be done. And that it might feel freer in its 
judgment, he would withdraw; whereupon he betook him- 
self to the upper hall. Now the votes of the congregation 
were gathered, when it was found that all, with a few excep- 
tions, were of opinion that he should be confirmed in the 
title by common consent. This they announced to him, 
with the added condition, that, if the title were burdensome 
to him, he should not be obliged to take it. This offer of 
the congregation the Superintendent respectfully accepted, 
and so the matter was concluded thus: that the two Solitary 
Orders, and all in the congregation who thought well of it, 
should call him Father; while the rest should be free to do 
as they pleased. Thus Brother Hildebrand, with his testi- 
mony, came to nought. 

I have deemed it necessary to trace this affair to its source, 
in order to convince the reader that the Superintendent did 
not arbitrarily assume this title, as was charged by many. 
It were to be wished that the entire congregation had 
remained steadfast in its original simplicity; but it was here 
even as in the time of the Apostles. As soon as the Super- 



Il8 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

intendent had fallen asleep in the Lord many betrayed 
themselves that they were not satisfied with this title. 
Therefore when seven years after the Superintendent's death 
a monument was erected to him, and counsel was taken with 
reference to the inscription to be put thereon, it was resolved, 
in order not to give offence to any, to leave off the two names 
of Father and Gottrecht. Upon others, who are unworthy, 
the title is freely bestowed; but from this one, because he 
was worthy, it was taken away even after his death; so 
everything in this world must be mixed with hypocrisy if it 
is to be acceptable. The above mentioned Brother Hilde- 
brand was one of the first awakened in Germany during this 
century, and lived with such ascetic rigor that at the begin- 
ning he even ate his bread by weight. He was a man of 
peculiar gifts, and had a deep insight into the writings of 
Jacob Boehme. Nevertheless he had become pretty well 
cooled off; but when the fires of the. awakening in Conestoga 
burned so brightly, it warmed him up too, so that he joined 
the congregation. His oldest daughter was the first virgin 
to be consecrated, and also the first one to exchange her 
angelic estate for matrimony, being wedded to the middle 
son of Alexander Mack. Because her father became sorely 
offended at the rock of offence in the congregation, he 
separated from it again, and for a time took up with the 
opposing party in Conestoga. Afterwards he followed his 
daughter and moved to Germantown, where the Baptists 
made him one of their teachers. But when the awakening 
referred to made itself felt at Germantown, he again removed 
to the congregation at Ephrata, with his son-in-law and 
daughter. From that time on he stood in the wav of the 
Superintendent, which caused many quarrels; for because he 
was older in his spiritual calling than the Superintendent, he 
was unable to subject himself to the latter; besides which he 
also was very wise in his own conceit. Yet the Superinten- 
dent rose above his opposition in the spirit of love, and after 
his death committed him to the earth with expressions of 
high esteem. 



CHAPTER XX. 

A House of Prayer is Buiet in Zion; Besides Other 
Occurrences Which Took Peace in the Congregation 
and Settlement About the Year 1740. 

In Oclober of the year 1739 the sons of two of the house- 
fathers adopted the solitary life, and were received by the 
Brotherhood in Zion. After their year of probation was 
over, they were invested with the dress of the Order, and the 
one received the name of Zephaniah, the other Obadiah. 
Both endured their trial, and are now in eternity. May 
God give them grace on the day of doom! Hitherto divine 
service had been held in the chapel of the Sisters; but now 
the fathers of the two mentioned Brethren, named Nagele 
and Funck, offered in the name of their sons to build a 
prayer and school house, which it was granted them to do. 
They furnished all the material for it, and the Brethren did 
the work. The mason- work was done in six weeks, in which 
time it neither snowed nor rained, and was raised up in 
December of the year 1739. At that time things were done 
as in the days of the restoration of Jerusalem; all the Breth- 
ren were masons, builders, carpenters, etc., for God gave 
them wisdom and great patience in their daily work; more- 
over they were greatly concerned that none of the show of 
the world-spirit should be introduced. This house of prayer 1 
was a large and sightly structure. Below was a large room 
furnished with chairs, and adorned with texts in Gothic 
letters, for the congregation. Here the Superintendent had 
his seat; behind him a choir-gallery was built, in the lower 
part of which sat the Solitary Brethren, and in the upper, 
the Sisters. In the second story there was another large 
hall, furnished with everything needed for holding the 

1 This handsome Prayer-house, in which were manifested forth many- 
wonders of God, did not stand more than 38 years, being converted into a 
hospital during the war of the Americans, after which it was never restored 
again. 

(119) 



120 



CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 



Agapse. In the third story were dwelling rooms for eight 
Solitary persons. In this house many wonders of God were 
manifested forth, so that its future fate was much lamented. 
In August of the year 1740 the rest of the Brethren in the 
Settlement also left their solitary dwellings and moved into 
the convent Zion; among these was the later so well known 
Prior Onesimus. Him the Superintendent, as his first-born 
son, not only appointed to be Prior in Zion, but also, 
together with two other Brethren, Enoch and Jabez, solemnly 
consecrated to the work of the Lord by the laying on of hands 
in presence of the congregation. But great difficulties arose 
in Zion upon his entrance there, for his brother after the flesh, 
Jotham, held the authority there, and had all the Brethren 
on his side. In hallowed commemoration we will here give 
the names of all the Brethren who at that time dwelt in 
Zion, as also of all belonging to the Order of the Sisters. 
At the present time, 1785, there are seven of the former, and 
nine of the latter, still living. 



Brother 

Br. Agonius, 
Br. Jotham, 
Br. Elimelech, 
Br. Jabez, 
Br. Jephune, 
Br. Obed, 
Br. Timotheus, 
Br. Joel, 
Br. Theonis, 
Br. Beno, 
Br. Ephraim, 
Br. Jonadab, 



Onesimus, Prior of 
Br. Jonathan, 
Br. Philemon, 
Br. Agabus, 
Br. Zephaniah, 
Br. Obadiah, 
Br. Nehemiah, 
Br. Gideon, 
Br. William, 
Br. Just, 
Br. Joseph, 
Br. Amos, 
Br. Solomon, 



the Convent. 
Br. Benjamin, 
Br. Nathanael, 
Br. Enoch, 
Br. Abel, 
Br. Simeon, 
Br. Gottlieb, 
Br. Jemini, 
Br. Benedict, 
Br. Isai, 
Br. Sealthiel. 



Sister Maria, Mother of the Sisters. 
Sr. Jael, Sr. Eugenia, Sr. Paulina, 

Sr. Iphigenia, Sr. Phoebe, Sr. Syncletica, 

Sr. Hannah, Sr. Armella, Sr. Keturah, 

Sr. Euphrosina, Sr. Rebecca, Sr. Bernice, 

Sr. Anna, Sr. Maria Christiana, Sr. Catharine, 

Sr. Eunice, Sr. Persida, Sr. Esther, 

Sr. Deborah, Sr. Louisa, Sr. Rachel, 



a history of ephrata. 121 

Sr. Naemi, Sr. Thekla, Sr. Naema, 

Sr. Prisca, Sr. Theresia, Sr. Anastasia, 

Sr. Miriam, Sr. Basila, Sr. Drusianna, 

Sr. Flavia, Sr. Barbara, Sr. Martha. 

Now they began to order their life in every respect in 
monastic wise. First of all, property was declared sinful, 
and everything was brought together in common, in support 
of a fund, out of which everything needed for the suste- 
nance of the Brethren was bought; the same was also done 
in the Sisters' Convent. It was therefore a great reproach 
for anyone to be accused of ownership. This lasted many 
years, namely, that no one owned anything, until at last 
necessity forced a return to ownership; although to this day 
everything in the main work is held in common. And in 
order that no one who had contributed anything might even 
in the future claim it, as for example, if he should leave the 
convent, it was resolved that anyone who should leave it, 
should forfeit whatever he had contributed; to which all 
agreed without any objections. When, owing to an absurd 
separation which then was mutually observed, the Sisters 
had been obliged to cut their own fire-wood, there was after- 
wards a contract made with them, agreed to by the Superin- 
tendent, that the Brethren should supply the Settlement with 
wood, while the Sisters, on their part, should look after the 
Brethren's wash. A common table was also introduced in 
both convents, during the first hour of the evening. Now 
they also began to tear down the separate hermit houses in 
the Settlement, out of which several work-shops were built. 

On the 21st of September of this year the two societies 
separated from each other in divine worship, and the Breth- 
ren held their first midnight prayer meeting in their new 
house of prayer. As at this time a bell was sent as a present 
to one of the Brethren in the convent by his father in Ger- 
many, the Brethren prevailed upon the Superintendent, after 
much begging, to let them hang it in their prayer-house. 
When this was rung at midnight, not only did all the Settle- 
ment arise, but as one could hear it for four English miles 
around the Settlement, all the families also rose and held 
their home worship at the same time; for in those days the 



122 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

fires of the first love still burned everywhere. The Brethren 
attended their services clothed in the garb of the Order, 
wearing in addition also a mantle with a hood like that of 
the Capuchins. I shall speak of the spirit and power of 
this worship at another place. 

There is another circumstance that belongs here, though 
it happened in the year 1738. About that time the custom 
came into vogue to have one's self baptized for the dead, as 
it was supposed from the words of Paul that the first Chris- 
tians did the same. Two Brethren first originated this at 
the Settlement, Klimelech 2 and Timotheus, 3 the first of 
whom had himself baptized for his deceased mother, and 
the other for his deceased father, although it was known 
that both their parents had been baptized in Germany. 
This custom was practiced for many years in the households, 
and has not yet wholly died out, there always being some 
who became substitutes and pledges for their parents, or 
other relatives, though these had in their life time received 
their divine calling, but had not attained unto the covenant 
of God. 

In December of the year mentioned the Superintendent, 
with many of the Solitary, made a considerable visit to the 
Baptists at Amwell, in Jersey. These people, from the time 
of their first awakening, had a great love for the work of the 
Lord in the Settlement; whereupon this visit opened the door 
for the breaking of bread together, which otherwise, because 
they were united with a congregation of Baptists in German- 
town, would not have been looked upon with approval. 
When the Superintendent returned home, he called together 
a church-council, and announced with what love they had 
been received in those regions by the children of God (may 
this be recorded in their favor in the book of holy remem- 
brance before God!). At the same time he announced how 
concerned he was for those poor people,, and that they would 
have to be helped out with a Brother from Bphrata. These 
good people in Amwell specially availed themselves of this 
open Philadelphian church door, and made many a visit of 
more than a hundred English miles to the Settlement, and 

2 [Emmanuel Eckerlin]. 3 [Alexander Mack]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. I '2 3 

built themselves up in the unity of the Spirit on the death of 
Jesus Christ. Thereby the Superintendent was induced to 
undertake another visit, on which he was accompanied only 
by Solitary Brethren. As many of the Baptists there stood 
in judgment against the work of God in the Settlement, 
some feared that the two parties might get into each other's 
wool, whereby the general edification might be hindered. 
Yea, some sought to bring the visitors to the then Baptist 
teacher, Bechtelsheimer by name, in the hope that then 
matters might occur over which they might gloat; but they 
were disappointed in this* hope. The Superintendent, who 
bore in his heart the seal of the redemption of the whole 
world, started on his visit, and was received with all affec- 
tion by the teacher referred to and his helpmate. They sat 
down with him and listened to him for more than an hour, 
during which there flowed from him in a flood all that the 
Spirit gave him. And as everybody thought the visitors 
might now be dismissed in peace, these good people first 
showed forth their particular love by treating them to a rich 
collation. May God reward them on the day of reckoning! 
So likewise the whole organization helped the visitors across 
the water again at its own expense. This is mentioned here 
with the intent that, if any of these dear people should still 
be living and should read this, they may know that their 
faithfulness shown towards the work of God has been held 
in hallowed remembrance. 

Meanwhile some among them longed that there might be 
established among them a.household, such as they had seen at 
the Settlement, for they had well brought up young people, 
and hoped something useful might be accomplished among 
them. It would indeed have been easy to introduce the 
form among them, but to fill this effigy with the Spirit was 
not a human work. At that time there was among the 
Brethren at the Settlement one by the name of Eiimelech, 
one of the Eckerlins, whom the stars had formed for a priest 
and redeemer of the bodily life, so that while other Brethren, 
spent their time in hard labor, he sought his own pastures 
and imposed his priesthood upon people. And though he 
was a great opponent of the Germantown Baptists, so that at 



1^4 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

theix' meetings he often preached them all out of the room; he 
nevertheless finally left the convent, and removed to them, 
when Peter BY.cker received him on condition that he must 
suspend his priesthood. But he did not carry this out; but 
established a large congregation in South Carolina under 
their auspices, where also he ended his life under the follow- 
ing circumstances. Latterly there arose in the congregation 
some young people by the name of Martin, who by their 
powers of speech drew the people to themselves. When he 
noticed this, he openly declared that he must be better re- 
ceived or he would die. And when he afterwards repeated 
these words, albeit with poor results, he soon after did die, 
which may well cause thoughtful persons to reflect. May 
God grant him a blessed resurrection ! The Superintendent, 
who knew how to use all manner of instruments in the up- 
building of his church, made use of this Brother in all revi- 
vals. This he did in holy simplicity and self-depreciation, 
wherefore God treated him so sorely, since it gave occasion 
to many to elevate themselves above him, who afterwards 
had such severe falls; as he sings in a hymn: "Our mistakes 
the cause have been, That we oft our aim have missed, And 
have others raised up seen; Though we always want the 
best." 

After the Superintendent had ordained Brother Elimelech 
to be teacher at Amwell, he publicly consecrated him to this 
office by the laying on of hands, on account of which many 
maintained that he would become the Superintendent's suc- 
cessor in his office, as he was already his right hand. About 
this same time also church-books were introduced, in which 
the congregation and the Solitary had to pledge themselves, 
by subscribing their names, to recognize a head of the 
church, which was the Elimelech referred to. The Superin- 
tendent, however, was so cautious that he never bound any- 
one formally to himself. This affair therefore caused so 
much offence to some that they left the congregation. 
Among the Superintendent's printed Letters, the 54th was 
written to Elimelech at that time, and is full of priestly 
unction; therein he speaks thus: "Continue steadfast in 
prayer and with watchfulness of spirit for the flock of Christ, 
that thou may est rightly divide the Word of Truth which 
hath been sown in you. ' ' 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 125 

This letter he took with him to Amwell, where he showed 
it to everyone as his credentials which he had received from 
the Superintendent. His people indeed sought to sustain 
him in his office, but when they noticed that it was an imi- 
tated affair and not inborn, they lost courage, so that when 
he wanted to institute midnight meetings, like those in the 
Settlement, and invited their daughters to the same, they 
feared that offences might arise, and dismissed him; where- 
upon he returned again to the Settlement in disgrace. 
Thereupon several families in Amwell left, and removed to 
the Settlement, namely, Dietrich Fahnstick, Conrad Bold- 
hausen, John Mohr, Bernhard Gitter, etc. , which added 
several Solitary ones to the Sisters' House, though none of 
them remained steadfast save one, Armella by name, who 
ended her course among them. 

In this year, too, the ordinary Tonsure, or head-shearing, 
was introduced in the convents, which deserves to be men- 
tioned here, as it contributed not a little to the vicissitudes 
of the Settlement. Two Brethren 4 engaged in an intimate 
conversation with the Superintendent with reference to their 
spiritual course, and confided to him that something was still 
wanting in their consecration; they were indeed baptized 
in the name of Christ, but they could still marry and have 
intercourse with the world; there was still wanting some 
special pledge for their particular estate, otherwise there was 
no difference between them and the domestic households. 
On this they were agreed; but they could come to no deci- 
sion as to the nature of the covenant desired, until at last 
they unanimously chose the Virgin Mary as the Patroness 
of their Order. After they had arrived at this conclusion 
they sought to propagate the same secretly, for they sup- 
posed that it would cause a great stir in the Settlement. 
But the Brethren discovered their secret, and consulted one 
of their private counsellors, who opposed their project for 
three hours. They, .however, did not care for this, but the 
Superintendent ordered the Prior to kneel down, and after 
the latter had made a vow of perpetual chastity, he cut a 

4 [Israel Eckerlin and Alexander Mack]. 



126 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

large bald spot on his head; after which he- and the other 
Brethren had the same done to themselves by the Prior. 
Thereupon a day was ordained as a festival on which the 
Order of the Solitary should take their vows of perpetual 
chastity. And notwithstanding that secretly many objec- 
tions were made to it, because the Scriptiires expressly for- 
bid the shaving of the head, and because it was nothing but 
the warming up again of a custom that had originated in 
•the Popish church, yet at the time set, in holy obedience, the 
entire Brotherhood appeared in its chapel; for they knew 
that the Superintendent stood under God, and that whoever 
opposed him struck at the very apple of God's eye. After 
the pledges were openly read, one Brother after the other 
kneeled down, and had his hair cut and afterwards his crown 
shorn. Then the Superintendent went over to the Sisters, 
who were awaiting him in their chapel, and after their hair 
had been cut, after the manner of virgins in the primitive 
church, they all took the vow, and then had their crowns 
likewise shorn. Since this ordinance was instituted in the 
face of such strong opposition of the reason, it is fair to con- 
clude that the Holy Ghost was in the work, for He shall sit 
as a refiner, and shall purify the sons of Levi. But Thou, 
good God, hast drawn us, Thy servants and handmaidens, 
into the holy net, where indeed a large measure of the suffer- 
ings of Christ fell to our share, until we have become the 
offscouring of the tribes of the earth, and our mothers' chil- 
dren know us no more; but the times of refreshing from 
before Thy presence Thou hast hidden from us till this hour. 
Therefore do we pray to Thee, Give unto us, Thy servants 
and handmaidens, courage and strength in our weakness, 
that we may carry on Thy work, and that we may not, 
besides all this, through our negligence, become a cause of 
delaying Thy appearance. 

After the consecration of the Sisters was done, the Super- 
intendent returned to the Brethren, bringing with him the 
hair of the Sisters, which he laid on the table with the 
wish that he might live until their heads were gray ; 
which God granted him, for he did not enter upon his rest 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 127 

until the year 1768. Afterwards it was ordained that the 
memorial of this consecration should be celebrated every 
quarter of a year, when their hair should be cut again and 
their tonsures renewed; in the meantime no one was allowed 
to put a shear to his head. 

On the 5th of July, 1740, the last divine service of the 
congregation was held in the prayer-house of the Sisters, 
named Kedar. Thereafter the entire house fell to the use 
of the Sisters alone, a thing which no one had thought of 
when it was built; for at that time one lived without plans 
for the future, but allowed oneself to be governed by the 
spirit of the Community, without knowing what would be 
the outcome of the matter. Then a house-father, Henry 
Miller, paid the expenses for dedicating the prayer-house on 
Zion, which took place on the 16th of the same month; and 
now the congregation began to hold its services in this 
house. But it was not long before the Superintendent de- 
clared himself thus: That it was not yet a settled thing for 
the congregation to hold its meetings in this house, and it 
would only be to its disadvantage if this should continue for 
any length of time. The congregation must build itself an 
own house of prayer; thus is it ordained in the divine order 
of the work, and I will render aid thereto in the spirit. In this 
way God kept the household in the Settlement in continual 
straits, in which all human reason was turned into folly. 
After this speech, however, a house-father named John 
Mayer arose and said: That if these words were truth, then 
he did not yet know what truth was; therefore he would go 
home, and do penance for himself. In his footsteps another 
one, John Mergel by name, followed, and soon after two 
more house-fathers, namely Henry Gut and Abraham Paul, 
likewise went away. Thus God ever purged the fold of such 
persons as loved their own life better than the leading of 
God. But neither the congregation nor the Superintendent 
cared about such matters; for in the winter of 1740, which is 
still remembered for its severe cold, the Brethren in Zion and 
in the congregation joined together and provided a great 
supply of building lumber with which, the following summer, 
a large prayer-house was built and named Peniel.' Whoever 



128 



CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 



beholds the various large edifices which the Brethren, aided 
by the congregation, erected inside of four years, must be 
astonished and marvel whence they received the strength 
and courage to accomplish such great things. And here- 
with we will close this chapter. 




CHAPTER XXI. 

Concerning the Spiritual Course op the Church in the 
Settlement ; and the Various Prophetic Gifts. 

As introductory to this chapter it is to be remarked that 
all the mysteries of eternity, in order to be manifested in 
time, must clothe themselves in a body, otherwise they can- 
not impart themselves to man; and everything divine that 
does not become human, remains unfruitful, for fruitfulness 
lies in the body; and therein is contained the mystery of the 
incarnation of Christ. As has been remarked, there was in- 
trusted to the Superintendent, at his conversion, a good 
thing, which he in general calls the fundamental good. 
Note well, reader, it is the goodness of God, which ruled 
before the fall, whereby the fallen angel became the devil, 
and over which Adam stumbled too, which therefore will 
also become a cause of restoration. Now, the fall might 
perhaps have been prevented if the cherub had sooner been 
placed as guardian over man, as was afterwards done. But 
the pure simplicity of God did not permit him to know this, 
otherwise he would have become impure. Now, Adam was 
created to repair the evil, and he should have taken the 
Virgin into his domicile. It happened with him, however,, 
as with the fallen angel, he wanted to have the good in his. 
own peculiar possession, and therefore God was obliged to- 
construe!: a helpmate for him out of his own body, so that he 
might by all means have something over which to rule. 

With this good the Superintendent was loaded at his 
first awakening at Heidelberg; for in conversion everything 
depends upon the first impregnation. Hence his portion, 
and that of all who came nigh him, was such a bitter one. 
When he was obliged to enter the world of men with this 
good, he foresaw the danger of losing it, and that if he 
would maintain his post, he would call down upon his head 
the hatred of all the children of Adam; and this was also 
the case. For many of his followers, who seemed to have 

K (I2 9 ) 



I3O CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. ■ 

much love for him, when they noticed that they could not 
possess themselves of his good, but rather that it sought to 
possess them, exchanged their love for a deadly hatred. It 
was noticed that his first followers, who entered the work 
with him before the schools of the solitary life had been 
opened, either suffered shipwreck, or had to pass through 
seasons of sore trial, because they pocketed too much of the 
good into their natural life. Among the first belong John 
Landes and A. E. , * who have been mentioned before, and of 
whom the first became a thistle on the road, and the other, 
one of his spiritual daughters, became offended, and ended 
her life in that state. At this dangerous post all the Eckerlins 
were wrecked, especially that one of them who was Breth- 
ren's Prior; for in spite of the fa6l that he was an ardent 
wooer of the Virgin, his efforts only resulted in bringing her 
under his man-power. The Superintendent once warned 
him not to presume too much upon the good, when he wrote 
to him, in the 66th of his printed Letters: "If you should 
find that the body seems heavier than the feet and ankles can 
bear, remember that this may be because of the superfluous 
breast-milk which you drank so abundantly on the mother's 
lap, and that the difficulty will be helped of itself by your 
merely weaning yourself from the mother's lap and breast." 
After the Solitary in the Settlement, however, were lodged 
in their convents, the schools of the solitary life began, 
where such lessons had to be learned that one often almost 
lost sight and hearing, and to which the oldest Solitary 
ones had become as little used in their hermit-life as the 
novice who had been received only the day before. And 
now the cause became known why the hermit-life came to be 
changed into the communal; and that the holy fathers in the 
desert had erred when they maintained that the foundations 
of the Solitary life were to be laid in the convent, but that 
its perfection would be reached only in the desert. The 
Superintendent now so managed with the good, that while 
everyone might partake of it, yet no one could gain selfish 
possession of it. He was on his feet day and night, and 
whoso wanted to be rid of him had to lock his door at night; 

x [Anna Eicher]. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 131 

for he was in the service of the four living creatures which 
have no rest by day or night, so that he was often accused by 
his calumniators of being under the spur of his natural 
spirit. There was accordingly a constant stir in the Settle- 
ment, so that, if anyone were absent but for three days, he 
became a stranger, and had much trouble afterwards again 
to work his way into the order of affairs. No one would 
have been able, even though he had lived in the Settlement 
for many years, to give a correct description of the course 
of events there; it was inconceivable, and at the same time 
highly offensive to the mere reason. Falling and rising 
alternated continually; he who to-day was exalted on spir- 
itual heights, to-morrow was laid low; and this was unavoid- 
able. He whom the Superintendent took into his confidence, 
was elevated on high; he from whom he withdrew it, sank 
down again, sometimes even into the darkest depths, where 
then he was nailed to the cross; which things happened fre- 
quently. Here was the post of danger, where many of his 
followers were offended in him, and afterwards closed them- 
selves against him, some of whom, through God's grace, were 
loosed again upon their death-beds, as the Brother Peter Gehr 
mentioned above; others bore the offence with them into 
eternity, in spite of the fact that he offered them the peace 
of God in Christ Jesus; wherefore it may well be said: 
Blessed are they who are not offended in me. Others com- 
bined themselves against him, and though they accomplished 
nothing, they yet often drew deep furrows across his back. 
In the bestowal and withdrawal of his confidence he was 
immoderate. When he imposed himself upon one, the sharp- 
ness of his spirit pierced such an one through bone and 
marrow, so that he soon was too much for him. But if he 
withdrew himself, he did not show himself for a long time, 
for he had no need of men since he had his power from above. 
In his intercourse he was not natural, and they who were 
nigh to him had to adapt themselves accordingly; wherefore 
no one could lay hold on him with his personality. Divine 
worship he appointed for the most inconvenient time, at mid- 
night, and took special delight in the spirit if he could carry 
it on until daylight. If anyone offered him refreshment, he 



132 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

often said, "It gives me none," for his emaciated body was 
nourished by the Word that proceeded out of the mouth of 
God, otherwise he could not have endured such severity. 
When, constrained by love, he was often seen to eat during 
the day, it nevertheless made no change either in his body 
or his spirit, for he was a living skeleton until his death. 
Whenever he went into the Sisters' convent the whole house 
was moved; and when out of every corner they called to 
him, he was pleased with this open-heartedness, and said: 
"The young birds have the same simplicity when their pro- 
vider comes to feed them." He was most careful to maintain 
the equilibrium of the Settlement, for God had placed the 
balances in his hand; and although, during the revolt of 
Korah, he was for a time deposed from the government, still 
finally it all fell into his hands again. His house was an 
asylum and city of refuge for all widows, orphans, and desti- 
tute ones; and whoso could reach its borders was safe against 
the avenger of blood. 

As such discipline, so unpleasant to the flesh, was imposed 
upon the good Brethren of the Settlement, the passion of 
the body of Christ increased among them; whoever beheld 
them was amazed at their lean and pale appearance. This 
was indeed made known to the world by writings, but no 
one entered into the secret of it, because they were reticent 
and silent about it. 

Now we again come to the Brethren in Zion. After 
Brother Onesimus had been made Prior of the convent of 
Zion by the Superintendent, the latter gave him his intimate 
confidence and fellowship, by reason of which the Prior ruled 
the Brethren with such severity that, if anyone lifted but a 
hand against him, it was an understood thing that such an 
one sinned against God, and jeopardized his eternal salva- 
tion; and though they often intended to rebel against him, 
yet they feared the Superintendent, whom they held to be an 
ambassador of God. Thus the Prior brought the Brother- 
hood into such thralldom that the only difference between a 
Brother of Zion and a negro was that the latter was a black 
and involuntary slave, while the former was a white and 
voluntary one. Yet one must bear witness of the Prior that 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 33 

lie never ordered another one to do anything that he would 
not himself have been willing to do; for he was the first to 
go to work, and the last to leave it. It was, however, soon 
evident that it would cost the Prior dearly to maintain this 
intimacy; for the Superintendent was exceedingly watchful 
lest his fellowship should be misappropriated, and if any did 
do so, he was excluded by him. Now the Prior had three 
brothers after the flesh, who indeed were continually striving 
with him for the priesthood, but who nevertheless always 
stood up for him when he was attacked by others. It was 
also correctly supposed that the Mother of the Sisters was 
another cause of his fall and of his later tearing himself 
away from his spiritual Father, in that she brought to him 
much sympathy from the Sisters' House; for she sought to 
further her own profit by stirring up differences between the 
Superintendent and the Prior. 

In spite of all this, however, everything went on all right 
for awhile. The Prior showed all conceivable honor to his 
spiritual Father. He wrote several books in praise of him; 
and in his letters to him he always called him a Holy Father, 
and although such eulogies did not blind the Superinten- 
dent's eyes, it yet kept the Prior in his good graces, which 
also was very needful, for there were already various ones in 
the Settlement who would have liked to have him over- 
thrown. The Superintendent, moreover, had a superhuman 
fidelity to him, and gave him every protection, even though 
the entire Brotherhood was against him. Once it was 
proposed to elect a new Prior, which the Superintendent 
granted. The votes were gathered, and it was found that 
the Prior lacked two votes of being elected. Then the Su- 
perintendent, who, by virtue of his office, was entitled to 
two votes, cast these for the Prior, and so again secured the 
office for him. The greatest difficulties at that time were 
caused by the Night- Watches of the Brethren in Zion; for 
despite the fact that at that time several of the Brethren had 
already for ten years lived a Solitary life, there yet was no 
commingling of spirits among them, still less anything 
priestly, that might have filled in the breach and closed up 
the] fissures. The Prior, however, was seized by the spirit 



/• 



134 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

of office, so that he considered himself bound to bring the 
Brethren under; if he had not done so, his conscience would 
have smitten him. This occasioned much quarrelling at the 
divine worship, which at times was kept up for several hours. 
But whenever they called in the Superintendent, he soon 
had everything adjusted to everyone's satisfaction. In those 
days many an one may have cried unto God for release from 
this spiritual tyranny, but the answer to their prayers was 
postponed for yet greater trials. Meanwhile the Prior was 
diligent in his office. He employed two Brethren who had 
to transcribe his writings; and if he was tired of preaching 
at the matins, he had his Lectors who had to read from his 
writings the rest of the time, wherefore many an one in his 
vexation exclaimed: " He preached us to death again! " 

Unedifying as these things may seem, it must yet be con- 
fessed that there was no lack of that essential of true service 
of God, the crucifying of the flesh; hence we make remem- 
brance of those blessed times when, beside these sorrows, 
the spirit of prophecy also manifested itself so strongly. 
The Superintendent in those days was lifted above the world 
of sense, and had surmounted time with its changes. His 
hymns composed then are full of prophecy, and belong to 
the evening of the sixth time-period, that is, to the holy 
Ante-Sabbath. They represent the mysteries of the last 
times so impressively, that it seems as though the kingdom 
were already dawning. It appears that it was the intention 
to set upon a candlestick the wonders of the last times 
through the revelation of the heavenly Virgin-estate and of 
the Melchizedekian priesthood in America; for that these 
hymns were given unto him in visions he at times betrays, 
when he adds, "This did we see in the spirit," while ordin- 
arily under similar circumstances he is very self-reliant. 
All these hymns are to be found in a new collection under 
the title " Paradiesisches Wnnder spiel." Soon after he 
undertook an important work in the spirit, namely, he in- 
vestigated what must have moved God to have so many 
animals slaughtered in his service for the redemption of 
man, which his righteousness would not have permitted if 
animals had not guilt resting upon them because of the 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 35 

fall of man. About this lie became spiritually exercised, 
and produced a singular writing which he called " Wunder 
ScJiriffty Because he thereby disregarded nature too much, 
he contracted a severe illness. On account of its excellence 
it was printed in English with the title: "Dissertation on 
Man's Fall." Unless, however, the reader is versed in the 
spirit of the Virgin-estate, it is somewhat unclear in its ex- 
pressions. In it, however, he has opened up a far outlook 
into eternity, and has gone further than even the holy 
Apostles in their revelations, bringing glorious things to 
light concerning the Mother Church, and how the Father 
finally shall deliver his office to the Mother; similarly con- 
cerning the Sabbatic Church in the time of the bound 
dragon; what God's purposes are with this Church; and 
why he permitted her to be so severely tried by Gog and 
Magog. 

His followers had their part also in all this. Through 
their heavenly calling they were instructed thoroughly to 
plow up their human nature as being the soil into which are 
to be sown the seeds of the new manhood; and because thus 
their humanity was under the sword of the Cherub, God 
opened unto them again an entrance unto the tree of life, so 
that they again ate of the Verbo Domini, and so satisfied 
themselves with unceasing prayer as though they had been 
at some sumptuous banquet; all which Adam forfeited when 
he descended to earthly things. How otherwise would it 
have been possible for them, amidst their severe labors, to 
live in such abstemiousness ? The attractions of the angelic 
life had overcome all mercy towards the body, so that the Su- 
perintendent was obliged to restrain many an one in his too 
great zeal. It was now no secret among them any more how 
Adam before the fall had eaten; also how it was still possible 
to live without animal food and without evacuation of the 
bowels. Clem. Alex. , Lib. Ill, left a glorious witness of this, 
where he says: "Jesus ate and drank in ordinary fashion, 
and did not expel the food from him;" so great power of 
abstinence had he, that the food within him was not con- 
sumed, because there was no corruptibility in him. 

It was remarked that afterwards the spirit of prophecy 
descended upon the offices, and therefore hit also the Prior 



I36 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

of the Brethren and the Mother of the Sisters; even as 
among the Jews, when the spirit of prophecy entered into 
the room, the high-priest began to prophecy. The Prior 
wrote so much at this time, that he employed two Brethren 
in copying; but as he was then himself but only rising, his 
witness also was confused and unclear. His writings were 
kept hidden by his admirers long after his death; but now 
no one knows anything of them. After the prophetic spirit 
had withdrawn again into his chamber, an echo of it yet re- 
mained from the time of the bound dragon or the Sabbatic 
Church, with which the meeting was entertained for years. 
Herewith we will close this chapter. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Concerning the Temporal Course of Events Among the 
Brethren in Zion, and How They Lapsed into the 
World. Item, the Superintendent's Co- Worker Dies. 

Before the government among the Solitary was systema- 
tized a certain simplicity reigned among all; the Superin- 
tendent was the father of all of them, and they all were his 
children; and when they travelled, it looked like a hen 
going with her brood of chicks. He held the funds, and 
whoever had any money, handed it over to him; and he 
appropriated it in such wise that the Settlement always 
remained poor. Not till after his death was it revealed that 
the most of it was carried away by beggars. But after the 
Brethren and Sisters were established in their convents, 
they were so abundantly supplied with spiritual officials that 
no one could stir a step without them; and the hours of day 
and night were so apportioned that no one had any time left 
for recreation except the holy Sabbath. Now everyone was 
diligent in a blind obedience, which was indeed the easiest 
but not the most excellent way of procedure; for it was this 
that hastened the fall of their rulers, who, as it was, had 
already assumed too much authority. It was remarked that 
those Brethren fared best who kept on good terms with the 
Superintendent and maintained a constant strife with the 
Prior. The Superintendent was much concerned about this 
singular economy, for he was obliged to give up his best 
beloved sons and daughters, since he ever impressed upon 
the Solitary that they must be obedient to their superiors; 
such was his innocence. This one thing yet remained to 
him, that at the same time the Prior still clung to him as a 
son to his father, wherefore also he favored him with all 
fidelity. For this, one may refer to the 65th, 66th and 67th 
of his printed Letters, in one of which he writes thus: "I 
think, indeed, that my resources would be sufficient to supply 
all your deficiencies; for when I consider the state of your 

(i37) 



I38 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

mind, I feel that at this time yon may be helped by courage 
coupled with fear and trembling. Exercise yourself in a 
right childlike boldness in your walk, regardless of the falls 
that may happen. ' ' The Superintendent at that time also 
occasionally visited the Brethren in their sad condition at 
their matins, when their miserable state deeply moved him 
so that he often was melted to overflowing. But the Prior 
hedged the Brethren in against any approach to intimacy 
with the Superintendent, for fear they might become too 
exalted; so that many an one did not enter his spiritual 
Father's house for a whole year at a time, which was prob- 
ably a Nicolaitan teaching. 

The domestic households at that time still had a high- 
regard for the work of God in the Settlement. Their daily 
offerings were the main sustenance of the Solitary; yes, they 
brought tithes of their crops into the Settlement, although 
these were not placed upon the altar according to their sense 
of it, but were used in trade, on which account no one 
wanted to make any more offerings. Meanwhile God's work 
went forward rightly in the two convents of Zion and Sharon 
(which was the name of the Sisters' convent), which caused 
a great stir in the land; for the people again fell into the old 
suspicion that there must be Jesuits from Mexico concerned 
in the matter. The simplicity which the Brethren in Zion 
had learned from their spiritual father prevailed among them 
for quite a time. They drew their cart themselves, and were 
their own horses; when they travelled, they went heavily 
laden like camels, and sometimes the whole Brotherhood 
might be seen trooping around the hill of Zion. The com- 
munal life was now formally instituted, and all private 
ownership was declared to be an Ananias-sin; this was a 
matter which the Prior was continually impressing upon the 
Brethren, from which it was apparent that it was artificial 
rather than inspired by the Spirit. Nevertheless the Super- 
intendent supported him herein, for he writes in a letter to 
the Brethren thus: "If one could not deny oneself of this 
stale and childish I and Mine, how would it be if one would 
have to deny oneself of life itself? I for my part could not 
live so, and would rather die than disappoint God and cause 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 39 

men to be deceived in me." (See Del. Epbr. P. 2, page 247). 

After the number of the Brethren increased, it was asked 
how so many young people should be kept employed, outside 
of the work of divine worship, and preserved from idleness. 
Circumstances, too, demanded this, for the convent was poor, 
because the good Brethren cared for others more than for 
themselves. And since at this time also the offerings did 
not come in very plentifully anymore, the Prior was seized 
with unbelief, and sank into purely temporal prospects. 
And as the Mother of the Sisters also fell into this faithless- 
ness, they secretly took counsel together how they might 
organize the economy so as to provide a living without hav- 
ing to depend upon the favor of the domestic households 
upon which dependence could no longer be placed. All 
this took place behind the Superintendent's back, who had 
ever been solicitous that the things of this world might not 
find entrance in the Settlement; although the Mother herself 
complained of the Brethren to the Superintendent when 
they carried it to extremes; for she sought her own interest 
in arousing differences between the Superintendent and the 
Prior. Now therefore there was instituted in the Settlement 
a worldly economy for the sustenance of the natural life, 
which represented a ducal court-economy, wherein the Breth- 
ren and Sisters were made men servants and women servants. 
Through this much of the primitive simplicity was lost, 
wherein God had manifested his wonders; and in its stead 
was opened a wide outlook into the world, for the Brethren, 
whose intelligence had been widened at their conversion, set 
up various mechanical trades, which brought in great profits, 
and which they handed over to the Prior, so that in a short 
time the treasury became so rich that money began to be 
loaned out; yes, it is likely that if God had not destroyed 
this economy, the Brethren would by this time have ships 
upon the sea. 

Besides this, the possessions of those who entered the 
Order were taken from them without considering whether 
or not these would find their benefit in the Order; and if 
they left the Order again, they received nothing back, and 
this by virtue of a rule that anyone who should leave the 



I40 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Order would lose whatever he had contributed to the same. 
Not even the Courts could prevent this, for it was always 
claimed that there were no laws covering such cases. One 
by the name of Henry Bone moved into Zion and surren- 
dered his possessions; but because he did not have any 
pleasure in the house, he left the Order, and demanded the 
return of his property. But this was refused him; where- 
upon in despair he took his own life. This and other acts 
of injustice might have redounded to the disadvantage of 
the Brotherhood, if in after times amends had not been 
made therefor as far as possible. Soon after this the Breth- 
ren purchased a mill near by, where they, afterwards set up 
the seat of their worldly realm. Sad it is that so many 
otherwise earnest Brethren fortified their calling there. For 
market was held there every day, and everybody wished to 
deal with these pious people, not only because of their 
honesty, but because there was erecled an altar for a spuri- 
ous atonement. This was the reason, too, that whenever 
his' quarters became too narrow for a Brother at the Settle- 
ment, he betook himself to the mill, for there he could live 
according to his natural inclinations. 

At this time Brother Agonius 1 died, who had been a great 
restraint upon the Prior in his worldly tendencies. His death 

1 This remarkable man, otherwise called Michael Wohlfahrt, was born at 
the fortress of Memel, on the Baltic sea. How he first became ac- 
quainted with the Superintendent, when the latter yet lived in solitude, has 
already been recounted. All his life he was a faithful assistant of the 
Superintendent, and not only was his companion on all his travels when 
he declared to the people in Pennsylvania the counsels of God concerning 
their salvation, but also sat by his side at all meetings, and followed him in 
speaking. Otherwise, according to the manner of the time, he was in 
pretty close agreement with the Inspirationists, and at Philadelphia spoke 
prophetically both in the market-place and at the Quaker meetings ; so 
also at other places, though he never received therefor more than a 
prophet's reward. In the difficulty between the Superintendent and the 
Baptists he incautiously proceeded too far in judgment with those people, 
which rose up against him severely on his death-bed This was expressed 
by the Superintendent as follows in the last verse of his funeral hymn: 
"This in time my error was, 

Wherefore it must be the cause 

Why so sore my strife must be, 

Ere by death I was set free." 



A HISTORY OF FPHRATA. I4I 

secured to the Prior and his three brothers after the flesh 
the preponderance in the Settlement, and they were en- 
abled to perforin great things, because the Brethren lived in 
blind obedience. The Prior was really pregnant with im- 
portant projects; three wagons were kept, on which a great 
deal of lumber was brought, for it was intended to add another 
wing to the convent, also to build the mill and all the bridges 

His great merit, which stood by him in every temptation, was this, that 
he was a man after God's own heart, like David, who knew how to humble 
himself when brought into judgment. For, especially in the beginning, he 
often stood in the way of the Superintendent's spiritual work ; and because 
a hidden hand always protected the Superintendent, the good Brother was 
often thereby brought into severe condemnation, when he might, like 
others did, have parted from him in anger ; but as he walked in David's 
footsteps he humbled himself, and accepted the judgment, even as his 
hymns bear witness. When, contrary to his and others' supposition, the 
large houses were built in the Settlement, he was sore confounded, especi- 
ally when he saw that great churches with bells were being procured, 
abuses against which he and others had so earnestly striven. This tempted 
him not a little to mistrust whether the Superintendent had not perhaps 
forsaken his post. And although he never broke the bond of brotherly love 
between them, these temptations yet brought him so far that he again be- 
came a hermit, though without withdrawing from fellowship. To this end 
the Brethren built him a solitary dwelling in the mountains of Zoar, some 
five miles from the Settlement. Finally, however, he was especially 
strengthened in the faith that God's hand was in the work, by considering 
that there were already seventy persons, of both sexes, and mostly young 
people, dwelling together in the Settlement, who had renounced all their 
earthly happiness for the sake of the kingdom of God. Wherefore he 
again renounced his seclusion and removed to the convent of Zion, where 
he led a very edifying life until its close, being subject to all the rules of the 
Order. His decease was greatly deplored, because, as has already been 
mentioned, he brought about great changes. 

His departure into eternity fell into the year 1741. The circumstances 
thereof are as follows: This important change was made known to him 
some time before, though he did not think it was so near. Though a weak- 
ness overcame him a short time before, he yet recovered so far that on the 
Sabbath before his death he was at meeting, and the following evening at 
the Brethren's table, so that there were good hopes of his entire recovery. 
But his malady returned with such violence that, when the Brethren came 
from their midnight devotions they found him in such a condition that they 
saw that now his eager desire to depart would soon be fulfilled. His illness 
was brief and very severe, lasting only four days; in which time God's hand 
lay heavily upon him, and fulfilled the remainder of his sufferings until his 
sacrifice on the cross was complete, wherefore also he said: that he did not 
know whether any saint had ever endured such martyrdom. On the fol- 



142 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

of stone; besides a vault was to be built in Zion wherein the 
deceased were to be entombed. The old Brethren he wanted 
to exempt from all work; for it was his way to throw sus- 
picion upon the worldly life of the domestic households; and 
had he succeeded, all plantations for about two miles around 
the Settlement would have been convent-land, and he would 
have received the families into the Settlement, and laid the 

lowing second day, at night, just as the Brethren were at their service and 
were singing the hyinn, "The time is not yet come," &c, their intercessions 
were asked for that God might open to him his prison door. 

All his words during his severe conflicts were weighty, and flowed from 
him in streams, as the anguish of his heart wrung them from him. Being 
concerned lest his words might be burdensome to the Brethren, he finally 
said : " I am not yet such a saint as to be able to keep silence in my suffer- 
ing." He was wont especially to repeat such words as these : " The arrows 
of the Almighty are within me. He hath reckoned me with the godless, 
and hath become cruel towards me. Whither shall I turn myself? How 
shall a creature endure all this, for it is not made of iron ? Yet, who shall 
contend with Him ? he cannot answer Him one of a thousand. He is God ! 
who can stand against His will ?" He had the LXXXVIII and CII Psalms 
read to him, in which two Psalms his condition was particularly described ; 
and whenever anything was expressed that specially fit him, he would ex- 
claim : " That is I !" His conflict was really not with the weakness of his 
flesh, but with the powers of the air ; for, as I remarked above, he had sown 
too much seed in the fields of righteousness, whereby the spirits of right- 
eousness obtained the right to cut off his approach to the kingdom of grace. 
Wherefore he often used to say, that he was fallen among murderers, and 
the hatred of the devil and the weight of hell were about his neck, and that 
he knew not whether he were humbled enough for God to protect him 
against these powers. He also had Tauler's "Last Hours" read to him, 
probably because this one's departure was like unto his. 

These peculiar trials were not strange to the Superintendent, for he un- 
derstood the good Brother's condition better than he himself did ; but he 
was aware of still worse temptations impending, and feared lest even blas- 
phemy against God might result therefrom. From this, however, God 
graciously preserved him. Meanwhile the Superintendent, in his priestly 
spirit, penetrated through all the powers of darkness, and reached with his 
prayers even unto the blood of the atonement, which he applied unto the 
salvation of this lost sinner. Wherefore the dying man at last spoke thus 
to him : " If thou hast nothing more for me, I am forever lost ; I desire, 
according to the usage of the first Christians, to be anointed by thee." 

Thereupon preparation was made to comply with his request. But they 
were amazed to notice how upon this the brother-balsam penetrated to him 
in his prison house, and the powers of darkness soon released their prisoner. 
His whole form and demeanor were changed, so that for joy he repeated 
the words of the prophet: " Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 143 

foundations of a nursery for the boys. The Superintendent 
did not know what to say to these actions of the Prior; the 
welfare of those who were entrusted to his guidance, lay 
near to his heart; but to put a stop to this world-conformed 
life, was not in accordance with faith; for he had kept them 
for a long time under restraint, but now they had got the 
ascendency over him, and when they were brought to judg- 
ment on account of some worldly affair, they held out until 
it was over, and afterwards, nevertheless, did as they pleased. 



my beloved touching his vineyard." Then he commenced to speak pro- 
phetically, and pronounced judgment against the spirits of evil who sought 
to close against him the entrance into the kingdom of God. Finally he 
said that he now saw his redemption; only God could take him up. Mean- 
while, the 4th day of his sickness approaches, and with it his blessed end. 
He was overfilled with great joy, and at last broke forth in these words : 
" Oh how glorious a thing it is to endure unto the end ! Oh what peace does 
it bring, to persevere without yielding up to the last fight !" Thereupon he 
related how he had been delivered over to strange spirits, who had taken 
him to a narrow pass, and treated him harshly, so that he applied to him- 
self the words of the 129th Psalm: " The plowers plowed upon my back, 
they made long their furrows." It appears as if it had been revealed to 
him that his end would come at the 9th hour of the day; therefore he 
looked keenly towards the hour-glass, whether the 8th hour was not soon 
to pass. As soon as it struck 9 he had himself set upright, and thus he 
expired, but when again let down, he once more revived and asked whether 
he had not yet died. After that he expired at the end of the 9th hour, aged 
54 years, 4 months and 28 days, and afterwards was interred at the Settle- 
ment in a coffin neatly prepared for the occasion, May 21st. The following 
verses, taken from his funeral hymn, are notable: 

See all the anguish, trouble and pain 

I suffered before death in vain, 

Until the oil of grace so mild 

Refreshed my soul, 

Was poured upon my head. 

Oh comfort rich! which I enjoyed; 

The brother-balm, it entered me 

And made my heart at rest to be. 
His epitaph is the following: 

Here rests the godly wrestler, Agouius, died anno 1741, aged 54 years, 4 
months, 28 days. 

Victory brings the crown, 

In the fight for faith, grace and renown. 

Thus blessings crown the warrior true 

Who bravely Sin and Belial slew. 

Peaceful he passed to his chamber of rest, 

Where now he is free of all pain and distress. 



144 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

But it cannot be said that the Brotherhood in Zion had, at 
the time, fallen away from its holy calling, for their house- 
hold was regulated in such a manner, that one could hardly 
live, so that whoever was not well accustomed to fasting, 
had to resort to stealing; and, perhaps, those good recluses 
in the Roman Catholic church experienced the same, not- 
withstanding the riches their convents possessed. The Super- 
intendent, at least, saw herein the divine government when 
he thus writes to the Prior: "What else relates to the chief 
matters of the Brotherhood in Zion, I have, in consideration 
of how the matter rests with God, to overlook not a little in 
many things which have changed my opinion considerably; 
although only my opinion. As concerns the matter other- 
wise, as it lies straight before God, I have such. a fullness 
and steadiness of faith, that I want nothing; neither do I, in 
this our Community, grant any good to either young or old, 
without it's being connected with the suffering or the original 
good of the Brotherhood in Zion." (Vide Del. Ephr. Par. II, 
page 283. ) And now let us leave the narrow boundaries of 
Mount Zion, and turn again to the great church. 







CHAPTER XXIII. 

Contains the Disputes which Occurred Between the so- 
called Moravian Brethren and the Congregation in 
Bphrata. 

Hardly anybody would believe what difficulties this Com- 
munity encountered on its arrival in Pennsylvania, in order 
to be received among the tribes as a Christian Community, 
did not many polemical writings plainly reveal it; for all 
different denominations declared against it, and although 
they were a complete Babel among themselves, they all were 
united in opposition against these newly arrived guests. It 
is remarkable that these good people came to this country to 
destroy the Babel therein, of which they might have heard 
in Germany; but, because they did not understand the lan- 
guage in which the Apostles had spoken on the day of Pente- 
cost, so that they might have been able to speak with every 
one in his own tongue, the only result was, that the schism 
became wider, and there was one more faction in the land. 
The present account contains the subjects of dispute which 
occurred between them and the Solitary in the Settlement. 

In the year 1739, two delegates of their denomination, 
namely, Spangenberg and Nitschmann, arrived in Pennsyl- 
vania, who met with great success, and might have proved 
of edification to many, had they had more experience, and 
not been novices themselves. After the Brethren had heard 
of them, three went down the country and visited them 
at Wuegner's, a venerable family, descendents of the 
Schw'enkfelders; and because at that time the fire of first 
love was still burning, their spirits united into one, so that 
they returned with them. When telling of their institutions 
at Herrnhut, the Brethren became so perceptibly moved by 
it that little was wanting and some would have accompanied 
them thither. Having tarried a few days in the Settlement, 
and also been present at a love-feast, they were dismissed 
with the kiss of peace, in all tenderness, as became the mes- 
L ( 145 ) 



I46 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

sengers of such a renowned people; then they left there for 
St. Thomas. (See Chap. XVII.) 

Some time after this, one by the name of Haberecht, who 
was decended from them, applied to the Superintendent for 
baptism, who complied with his request; in consequence he 
moved into the convent Zion; but brought upon himself 
many temptations thereby. Anna Nitschmann, however, 
when she visited the Settlement, drew him back to her com- 
munion; and then only it was understood why the Superin- 
tendent had baptized him into the faith of his own people. 
He again returned with them to Germany, and afterwards 
served their laborers in Algiers, from where he again jour- 
neyed to Pennsylvania and ended his life in their institution; 
may God give him a blessed resurrection. Meanwhile more 
important laborers of their communion arrived in the country 
— everyone of whom made the attempt to bring the people in 
the Settlement on the right road again; for they believed 
that he had no true faith in the blood of Christ, who was so 
much occupied with work. They must either have laid this 
plan in Germany, or many among them must have been 
possessed of a false spirit of priesthood. One of their most 
eminent single Sisters stayed for three days in the Sisters' 
House, during which time she enjoyed much love; this 
Sister afterwards spread the report in Germantown that 
most of the Sisters in the Settlement would like to throw 
off the yoke if they but knew of another retreat. When 
this became known to the friends of the Separation there 
they were much grieved, because they had much confidence 
in the House mentioned, and on that account wrote thither 
for information. Thereupon one of the Sisters answered 
that she had always been about the person mentioned, but 
she never heard any of the Sisters say the like of ' it to 
her. This letter can be found among the papers published 
against them in Frankfurth. 

But, in order that the reader may receive a proper insight 
into this quarrel, let him know that it chiefly related to justi- 
fication and the married state. The Superintendent com- 
plained a great deal that in the churches the blood of atone- 
ment was permitted to become a shield in the hands of the old 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. I47 

Adam, the consequence of which was a carnal security, and 
for that reason the blood of atonement was considered by us to 
be too holy to be talked about with levity, which they inter- 
preted as not believing in Christ. But it must be known, 
that man committed a double fall; at first he fell off from 
God under the law of nature, after that he fell from the 
law into unrighteousness. Thus also there is a double con- 
version, the first through the drawing of the Father, where 
Moses holds the rule; here man tries to satisfy the demands 
of his conscience, and endeavors to do works of righteous- 
ness, whereby he gains a degree of blessedness, as is written: 
Do this, and you will live; but this is not yet the true 
blessedness. When man has fulfilled the righteousness of 
the law under Moses, he is sent by Moses to God. Now 
only the axe is laid at the root of the tree, and all his good 
works become sin, as Paul says : He has resolved all under 
sin, not the wickedness of man, for it already is sin, but his 
good works, for the great contention between God and man 
does not originate in the evil of man, but in his goodness, 
and here alone is the road to salvation where the primitive 
cause of all corruption is excited, and if here the blood of 
the covenant did not prevail, there would be no getting off, 
therefore says Christ: "Blessed is he who shall not be 
offended in me," namely, when his goodness is turned into sin 
for him. Whoever preaches the gospel to one who is still a 
debtor to the law, turns Christ into a servant of sin: for it is 
our schoolmaster who points to Christ; therefore also the good 
Master, when asked by that youth, what he should do in 
order to be saved, did not answer: Believe in me, but showed 
him the commandments. Such like speech he had with 
them at times, but it found no entrance. They said they 
could make a Christian in three days. 

There were also difficulties respecting the married state; 
the Superintendent called it a house of correction for carnal 
minded persons, but they gave it a place in the sanctuary. 
Perhaps the spirit of virginity was given to them at their 
awakening, because there is no conversion without it, but it 
seems that the leaders of their awakening left their posts, 
whereby the married state became privileged again, for every- 



I48 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

thing depends upon the government. However, the seal- 
ing of the elect number has been put back so far, since 
God cannot complete it, until the number of four hundred 
and forty thousand is made up. They gave great offence, in 
that they forthwith married a great number of young people 
by lot, who had visited them for the sake of edification, as 
happened to several daughters of a merchant, perhaps without 
his knowledge. One of their most prominent Brethren (as 
can be seen in his biography), when he intended to change 
his state, sought consent in the Scriptures; and came as far 
as Enoch, of whom it is written that he walked with God for 
300 years, and begot sons and daughters. It would not have 
been necessary to go back so far; the example of the good 
Master would have been nearer, as also Paul's church ordi- 
nance, I Cor. VII, for as far as Enoch is concerned, it is 
known that the fathers before the deluge represented but 
figures of the future, and that Enoch represents the fruitful- 
ness of the Sabbatical church. 

In the year 1742 the Ordinarius Fratrum arrived in Penn- 
sylvania, and found soon after his arrival, a perfect Babel, as 
he himself acknowledged; he also saw that all parties were 
greatly alarmed by the works of God in Ephrata, and that it 
was necessary for him to declare for one or the other side. 
Meanwhile preparations were made for conferences, for the 
chief purpose of uniting all the different parties into one 
great church-body, which would have given joy to all the 
saints, had only the workmen themselves been separated from 
the Babel. He undertook a journey up the country, even 
before the conferences, but visited only the door-sill of the 
Ephrata House. The first conference was to be held at Ger- 
mantown, and circulars were distributed through the land by 
Henry Antes; when they arrived in the Settlement, a church 
council was held, and resolved that one Brother in Zion, 
together with several Fathers, should attend; but the Prior 
whose dignity did not allow that another should be pre- 
ferred to him, brought it about that he was appointed. Besides 
those of Ephrata, men of all kinds of opinions made their 
appearance, even apostates of the Settlement; for many hoped 
that a nearer road to the Kingdom of Heaven than known in 
this country, might be found, because the hand of God lay 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 49 

heavily upon men, and many were driven into such straits by 
his witnesses that they did not know what to believe. The 
Ordinarius received the Prior with all tenderness, and placed 
him at his side at the meeting. Then he reproved all the 
communions, because they had stricken the Ephrata Society 
off the roll of Christian fellowship. He spoke a good deal with 
the Prior about the economy of the Solitary in the Settle- 
ment, and foretold him that he would be the Superinten- 
dent's successor in office, which was an easy prophecy, for 
Tacitus says: " Cupido dominandi cundlis affectibus flagran- 
tior est" — the lust to govern surpasses all passions. The 
prophecy, however, was not fulfilled, for the Prior departed 
this life perhaps twenty years before the Superintendent; but 
what he said behind the back of the Prior, happened, namely: 
That he was one of those who tried to deprive the Superin- 
tendent of his good. The Ordinarius showed his passion- 
ate temper at this conference, or at least pretended to, in 
order that others might find cause to dispute with him, and 
he succeeded well; for a delegate of the Baptist congrega- 
tion, Joseph Miiller by name, gave him a sharp reproof 
about his violent ways; whereupon he begged him on his 
knees to save him from this evil by laying on of hands, 
which the above-mentioned Miiller did, by which ac~t he was 
converted by him, whom he had endeavored to convert from 
his impetuosness, and became a proselyte. When the con- 
ference came to an end, the next was appointed to meet at 
Ephrata; and thus every one went his way. 

When the Brethren in the Settlement heard that the next 
conference was to be held there, they complained greatly 
about the arbitrary conduct of their Prior, and said: "These 
people appeared to them like the foolish virgins, who tried to 
borrow the little oil left; they did not know what these con- 
ferences were for; people who were not sure of their road, 
might consult about it, they had no need of it, and no confer- 
ence would render the road easier. This determined the 
Superintendent to write to Henry Antes, and to revoke the 
conference; among the rest he wrote thus: "With regard 
to the matter with which we have been mutually con- 
cerned through the Brethren delegated by our Community, I 



I5O CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

shall remain your kind patron and well-wisher; but in regard 
to the matter itself, I stand still, and will do nothing either 
against or for it, and try to maintain with my people, by the 
help of God, the peace in Christ Jesus, together with all who 
are children of the same peace. ' ' (See his 6th printed Epistle. ) 
After the failure to hold the conference in Ephrata, the same 
was held in Falckner's Swamp, at Henry Antes', Jan. 29, 
1842; but the particulars did not come to hand. 

About the same time, the Ordinarius paid another visit to 
the Settlement accompanied by Brother Eischy, and they 
were hospitably lodged in the convent Zion, because his 
friendly manners were especially agreeable to the Brethren. 
The following morning he called on the Prior, and told of 
.his intention to visit the Siiperintendent; and that he was 
going to use the lot about it. The Prior advised against the 
lot, and announced him to the Superintendent, who, after 
some reflection, answered: That * * * was no marvel to 
him, but if he were a marvel to him, he must come to him. 
This short answer made the Ordinarius doubt what to do, 
and he surely had cause, for here he had to deal not with a 
coat, surplice or vestment, but with the head of a united 
and organized Community which, moreover, was founded on 
the Testament of J. C. And had he had more faith, a 
beautiful crown might have been put on his head, for the 
sake of the great fidelity he showed in the work of God, for 
the Superintendent never bestowed his favor on any one 
whom he had not tested; but he made various pretences and 
departed without having seen the Superintendent; and thus 
two great lights of the Church came to each other's thresh- 
olds and neither saw the other in his life. But soon after he 
wrote a letter to the Superintendent, to the purport that he 
should descend from his spiritual height that others might 
sit along side of him without danger to their lives, of which 
the Superintendent remarked: "If I were as great as he 
supposes, he would not have been afraid of me." This letter 
was afterwards inserted into the Biidingen Collections, but 
joined with other remarks. About this time the Prior was 
attacked by a dangerous disease, and it was supposed that he 
had disclosed too much of himself to the Ordinarius, for just 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. I5I 

at that time a letter arrived for the Prior, wherein he men- 
tioned many incidents of his life, which, however, was 
destroyed, because it was not thought advisable to burden 
the Prior with it during his sickness. Of this the Ordinarius 
complained, and commanded the return of his letter by an 
express messenger. Anno 1742 still another conference was 
held in Oley, at which four Brethren of the Ephrata congre- 
gation appeared; for the Solitary Brethren were so suspicious 
of the thing, that they did not want to have anything to do 
with it. They had composed a writing on the married state, 
namely, how much God had to do with it, and that it was but 
a praiseworthy order of nature; this they handed in, which 
occasioned a passionate dispute. The Ordinarius said that he 
was not in any way pleased with this writing, he had not com- 
menced his married state in that way, and his married state 
occupied a higher position than the Solitary state in Ephrata. 
The delegates from Ephrata tried to smooth the thing over, 
and said: They were no enemies to the married state; there 
were families in the congregation who had a child every 
year. At that he lifted his hands in astonishment and said: 
He was amazed that people who pretended to bear such 
important testimony would lead such a carnal life. The 
Ordinarius became so violent after this, that he was deposed 
from his office in the conference, and a Scotchman was 
installed in his place; and thus the conference ended to the 
disgust of all present. 

But their greediness for fishing drove them again and 
again to the Solitary in the Settlement, and often they 
quarrelled through half the night and called each other 
heretics, for the Solitary imprudently engaged themselves too 
much with them, and were enticed to leave their fortress; and 
when they did not do this, they engaged in spiritual whor- 
ing with each other. Therefore, when Spangenberg and a 
large following visited the Settlement at one time, amongst 
them Andreas Frey and several renegades from the Commu- 
nity, and as the Solitary seemed to make a covenant with 
them, the Superintendent was obliged to expose their frivol- 
ous behavior before the eyes of the visitors, wherefore Span- 
genberg accused him of being angry, and said afterwards to 



152 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

others that his scolding had opened all his pores, and that fire 
had shot out of them. The Superintendent, at last, found a 
way how to get rid of this man. He summoned a Brother, and 
commanded him to compose a writing, and to sharply rebuke 
these people because of their disorderly lives and carnal 
passion for making proselytes. The Brother soon had it 
finished and brought him a sketch, which he sanctioned; but 
observed that he might have been more severe, the Brother 
accordingly added more salt. The Brother Prior embraced 
this occasion to free himself again, because he had too freely 
communicated with them, and added a supplement not less 
biting. But that was not all, for a housekeeper by the 
name of Hildebrand brought still another supplement, in 
which he laboriously proved that the married state origi- 
nated in the fall of man. The Superintendent gained his 
end by these polemical writings, since these people did not 
trouble him again in the future; there is nothing to be found 
to show that they defended themselves against these accusa- 
tions, except what they did at the seventh and last confer- 
ence in Philadelphia, where they attempted to declare by 
lot that the Solitary in the Settlement were a recognized 
masterpiece of Satan; but the lot not answering favorably, 
they changed this saying and called them a rabble of Bap- 
tists, who had stolen from them baptism and vocation, at 
which the Brethren of the Settlement were not offended, 
because they had already explained their opinion about the 
extreme unclion, which the devil had poured out on the 
Christian Church. Soon after a printing press was set up in 
the Settlement, and there, by the Prior's orders, the same 
writing had also to be printed in the English language; but 
because he had done this arbitrarily, and soon after left the 
Order, all his acts were annulled, and also the English print 
condemned to the flames. These are the principal incidents 
which occurred between the two communions. 

At the same time an Englishman, named Thomas Hardie, 
arrived and joined the Order. His biography will conclude 
this chapter. Of his descent he only revealed that his 
grandfather had been English ambassador in Spain, and 
that his father married a lady of Normandy and had lived 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 53 

in London. In his youth he studied the languages and 
law, but was early awakened by God, on account of which 
he left his father's house. When his father perceived that 
he had the intention to go on shipboard, he gave orders for- 
bidding it at all sea-ports; but he assumed the dress of a 
sailor and safely escaped to Pennsylvania. On the voyage 
he threw his seal and everything by which his family might 
be recognized, into the sea; his other property, however, the 
sailors stole, so that he had to submit to the fate of being 
sold in Philadelphia; it was lucky for him that just then a Ger- 
man inhabitant from near Maxatawny, Siegfried by name, 
bought him for four years as an English teacher. His master 
realized great profits through him, for, because he was versed 
in law, he executed all necessary writings for the neighbor- 
hood, besides teaching school, which pleased his master so 
much that he made him the offer of his daughter and ioo 
acres of land; but there lived another spirit in him, so that he 
courageously declined the offer. After the termination of 
his bondage, he wandered about among the Germans, in 
order to find agreement to his holy calling. He came first 
to Bethlehem; but because he found hard opposition there, 
his wits were unsettled for the first time; of which failing 
he was never entirely free as long as he lived; thus God 
hides his treasures in such shells. But he never laid this to 
the charge of those good people, though he was of opinion 
that, if their head-master whom he greatly esteemed, had 
been present at the time, it might have turned out differ- 
ently. 

After his recovery, he undertook a journey to Ephrata, for 
these places, Bethlehem and Ephrata, were at that time, and 
still are, objects of interest for all foreigners who wish to get 
acquainted with the different sentiments in this country, 
because you find there everything in compendio. As soon 
as he got sight of the person of the Superintendent, the 
celestial Venus in him became so eager to embrace the 
heavenly Virgin, that he soon after entered into the Actum 
of betrothal in the water of baptism, since which time he en- 
tertained a child-like love for his spiritual Father, as is evi- 
dent from the following letter which he wrote much later to 



154 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

the Superintendent in broken German: "To Father Fried- 
sam: I thank thee for all the acts of love done to me, for all 
thy innocent suffering on my account, for all thy faithfulness. 
My friend, my Brother, how beautiful thou art in priestly 
adornment when thou enterest the sanctuary with the golden 
censer, on the days of atonement, with many priests, when 
the bride Sophia, in a column of clouds, with many thousand 
saints, fills thy hand with incense. Praised be thy God, who 
elected thee. May he bless thee with everlasting comfort, 
from his loving heart, and be this the reward for all the affa- 
bility thou ditlst show to the children of man. Now, my 
good heart, soul living in God, I wish thee inexpressibly much 
good, my dear prophet, thou servant of God, pray incessantly 
for me to thy and my God and the God of us all. Highpriest 
of God, in whom dwelleth his paternal love, to whom he 
delivered the kingdom in order that he might keep me from 
evil ! 

' ' Now, my dear one, receive from me, in spirit, a hearty, 
mutual, loving kiss, and enter the sanctuary in peace. Love 
the Lord in his holiness, praise the work of his hands, for 
his grace abideth for ever and ever. Theodorus. 

"P. S. Now I depart from thy presence with a weeping 
heart, the heart tells more than the pen. I shall greet thee 
above in the garden of him who has loved thee and me." 

After he had entered the covenant of grace in the water 
of baptism, he entered the convent Zion, and was named by 
the Brethren, Theodoras. The office of translator from 
German into English was given him; but because he could 
not stand the confined way of living in the convent, he left 
it again after six months. And although he kept up in 
spirit the communion with the Brethren until he died, he 
did not from that time on live in the Settlement, but exer- 
cised the office of teacher in the back regions of the country 
under the protection of the Community. He could not 
bridle his spirit when making an address, and was frequently 
inspired in his preaching, so that often but little more would 
have been needed to upset the table. He led a very humble 
life, and loved poverty; but he often led so austere a life that 
it had to be forbidden him. Because his life is still in our 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 155 

remembrance, it will be needless to expose his foibles which 
originated in his national character, the altar of atonement 
must stand before them. His death 1 took place in 1784, and 
had something remarkable about it. When taking leave from 
his friends in Pittsburg, intending to visit his Brethren in 
the Settlement, one of his friends told me that he had seen 

1 The following was sung to his memory over his grave : 

1. The call came loud from heaven's sphere 
To change my mind of sin, 

The Virgin's net caught me, and here 

A doctrine pure received my heart within. 

Others with me ran for the prize, 

Ready to die for it. 

That was a love-sick game, the choice 

Of many, to memory knit. 

2. And hardly by the flood so pure 

Was I united with the warrior's throng, 

What love can do, I was made sure — 

Nor hate nor anger can outlive it long ; 

Always I blew again upon 

The dying love-lit flame, 

For God Almighty's breath hath blown 

To guide our path unto his cross of shame. 

3. Although I sometimes slipped as well 
As other warriors will, I ne'er did fly ; 
Nor ever did I join to swell 

The crowd that spurned his might on high. 

I patiently did bear my shame, 

Like one who missed the proper road, 

Until again the day-time came, 

Brought comfort and relieved my load. 

4. O, vigilance, thou pledge so dear, 

Thou open kept'st the broken gate in me ; 
Not vainly did I strive, although with fear, 
To reach the goal, I and my brethren free. 
I always knew that I was bound 
In youth's spring-time, to Thee, High Priest ; 
Thou are the bridegroom whom I found, 
And vowed to live for, unreleased. 

5. Therefore did I not soil the garment white 
On my long journey, whilst on earth I staid, 
The virgin, she stood at my side 
Whene'er the fiend began his play, and said : 



156 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

in a dream, that he would die there; he, therefore, delayed 
his journey for another week; but a hidden hand moved him 
to take up the project again, for it was decreed that his body 
should be again delivered to his Brethren as a pledge. As 
soon as he arrived in the Settlement, he was seized with 
sickness, and recollecting what had been prophesied of him, 
he prepared for his decease, and departed after a short illness. 
May God give him a blessed resurrection! 

Remember thy first ardent passion, 
When love of one did friendly aid afford. 
My favor will remain then, and not lessen, 
Be in the fight thy strength, until in port. 

6. Now the fight is ended, all the pressure 
I once did feel is swept away ; 

I woke, as my dear Lord's own treasure, 
I am clothed without shame's array. 
My mother dressed me in a new garment, 
And the change it suited well ; 
Upon her lap receives he preferment 
Who gave to this vain world farewell. 

7. So let us then conclude ; 
I left the Brotherhood. 

Whene'er your journey, too, is ended, 
In unity we shall be blended. 
You from afar me oft remind : 
Remember those thou leav'st behind ! 
Until, all spotless 'fore God's throne 
We meet again, through his dear Son. 



G^©* 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

A New Convent for the Sisters is Built, Called Sharon ; 
the Singing-Schools Come Into Vogue at the Settle- 
ment. 

Above we mentioned that the Superintendent informed the 
congregation at a meeting, that it would be necessary now to 
build a chapel for them, in order that the domestic household 
need not be dependent on the Brotherhood in Zion, as this 
had been a cause of offence to several families, who left the 
Community. Hereby you can see again that the Superin- 
tendent stood under a high hand, since two chapels had 
already been built in the Settlement, and one might well 
have asked, who gave him the right thus to put a load upon 
a whole Community, and had God not secretly urged him on 
to this work, the people would certainly soon have been done 
with him. ' But he had learnt so much by experience, that 
nearly all the awakened, having expressed displeasure for a 
time, will soon again prepare for themselves a resting place 
in the ease of their natural life, and he, therefore, always 
took care not to relapse again into comfort after so tedious a 
journey. He consequently frequently used to say that he had 
renounced himself to such a degree that not even a melt- 
ing-pan was left him. 

The building of this new church was commenced in spite 
of all opposition, and finished in September, Anno 1741, after 
the Community, together with the Brotherhood, had worked 
at it for ten months. In December following, the house was 
consecrated by a meeting and love-feast, and called Peniel. 
A brother, Elimelech by name, who has been made mention 
of before, was put over the house as Superintendent, and 
divine service was held therein for the Community until 1746; 
but how it happened that Peniel with all its belongings got 
into the hands of the Sisterhood, will be mentioned in its 
proper place. 

(i57) 



I58 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Soon after these events, the house-fathers and mothers 
were induced to attempt to bring their state to a higher 
condition, for they were convinced that it was founded on 
sin, and they knew that Rudolph Nagele and Sigmund Lan- 
dert, who still lived at that time, had succeeded. The 
Superintendent gave his moral support to the matter, 
although it was conjectured that the affair was instigated by 
the Eckerlins, for it was known that they intended to turn the 
farms of the household into convent-land. Meanwhile the 
households courageously furthered the work. They built a 
great convent adjoining their chapel. The same was divided 
into two parts, of which one was arranged for the fathers, 
the other for the mothers. Besides this the house was 
provided with rooms, chambers and a hall for love-feasts, 
just as it had been done in that of the Solitary. And in 
order that the house might be thoroughly incorporated into 
the Community of the Solitary, some Brethren of Zion 
moved into it, and administered their divine service, 
because at the time a particular harmony existed between 
the two Orders, since both held the unmarried state 
high. After the household was thus arranged, a venerable 
house-father, John Senseman by name, was installed as 
steward, who had the management of the household. But, 
when the house was to be inhabited, the house-mothers 
objected, and said: They had first again to be on a free 
footing, and this must be done by divorce; for, although 
they had thus far lived a life of continence, they still stood 
under the will of their husbands, and lived at their mercy. 
The Superintendent granted their request, to which the care 
for their eternal salvation had actuated them. Consequently 
one of the Brethren had to write the letters of separation, 
which afterwards, being sealed, one part handed to the other. 

This new institution was for some time richly blessed by 
God, for these good people were not only very simple minded, 
but bore a great love towards God; they also were very 
benevolent and harbored many poor widows whom they 
maintained out of their own means, so that their household 
resembled a hospital more than a convent. But the tempter 
pressed so hard upon this work, that it was sifted to the 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 59 

utmost, and at last broke up. The beginning was made by 
the house-mothers, every one of whom, being excluded from 
creature-comfort, took hold again of her husband; and this 
was not to be wondered at, for their children, who they had 
vainly hoped would follow them, remained on the farms in a 
neglected state, and drew the hearts of the mothers towards 
them. Another cause was added, for about this time the 
Kckerlins, who had been a great defence against the natural 
life, left the Settlement. When the Superintendent observed 
that the means of the household were not sufficient to con- 
tinue in these limits, he again gave these dear people their 
liberty, and advised every house-father to again receive his 
helpmate, which they did, and then all letters of separation 
were burnt on one pile. And thus, according to human 
insight, we often work in vain when we think to have done 
our best; as happened to these dear people, all of whom 
have by this time entered eternity, where they perhaps 
received through grace what they strove after with great 
labor here below. For although God cannot allow man to 
believe that success rests with himself, (how else could he be 
humbled ?) yet he will not allow anyone to be deceived in 
him. Oh, that such a zeal might awake again within the 
household! Then salvation would obtain in all the bounda- 
ries of Israel. The people of the household, therefore, moved 
upon the farms again, and left the widows and all the rest of 
the poor to the Settlement, who were maintained in Zion by 
the diligent labor of some of the Brethren, until at last they 
died. The expenses which the household had incurred were 
partly refunded, as much as possible. For instance, one 
house-father was paid with ioo acres of land; besides, the 
Zion's Church was handed over to them. In return, they 
renounced all claim on the newly erected house, which later 
on was given to the Sisters as their convent, and called 
Sharon; they have possession of it at the present day. Thus 
God secretly carried out his counsel, and helped them to a 
house, and the households unknowingly had to assist him in 
it, which God at the day of judgment may remember to their 
benefit. Although the Superintendent has been falsely 
accused of having outwitted the households, this is only 



l6o CHRONICON KPHRATENSE. 

another proof that Ephrata was not built after a previously 
conceived plan. 

Now we will again return to the Solitary. Thus far they 
had sought self-sacrifice in hard labor; but now the Superin- 
tendent was urged by his Guide to establish higher schools, 
of which the singing-school was the beginning. This 
science belongs more to the angelic world than to ours. 
The principles of it are not only the same all over the world, 
but the angels themselves, when they sang at the birth of 
Christ, had to make use of our rules. The whole art consists 
of seven notes, which form two thirds and one oclave, which 
are always sung in such a way that you do not hear the tone 
which stands between two notes, thus occasioning a sweet 
dissonance, which renders the art a great wonder. It is also 
remarkable, that, although so great confusion of languages 
arose, the singing remained untouched. But as everything 
necessary in the Settlement had to be stolen from the world- 
spirit, so also in respect to singing. The Superintendent did 
not know anything about it, except some notes which he had 
learned on the violin. But a certain house-father, by the 
name of Laidwig Blum, was a master-singer, and was also 
versed in composition; he once brought some artistic pieces 
to the Superintendent, which induced him to make use of 
the Brother in his church building. 

Now those of the Solitary, of whom about seventy of both 
sexes were in the Settlement, were selected who had talent 
for singing, and the above mentioned Ludwig Blum, together 
with the Superintendent, arranged a singing-school in the 
Settlement, and everything prospered for a time. But the 
Sisters at last 'complained to the Superintendent that they 
were sold to one man, and petitioned him to manage the 
school himself, saying that the)'- would steal the whole secret 
of the schoolmaster and hand it over to him. The Superin- 
tendent soon perceived that this advice came from God, for 
as the event proved, quite different things were hidden under 
it, for which the good school-master's hands were not made. 
And now the Sisters told the Superintendent everything they 
had learnt in the school, and as soon as they saw that he had 
mastered the art, they dismissed their school-master, at 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. l6l 

which he took such offence, that he left the Settlement, and 
did not walk with them any more, and when asked, why he 
had left the Settlement he said: The singing broke my 
neck. Before he left he made the following declaration to 
the Superintendent: "A king's daughter took a poor peas- 
ant's daughter into her company, because she was gifted with 
various arts and abilities; however, after she had learnt all 
her arts, she thrust her off and banished her into misery. I, 
therefore, ask the Superintendent, whether the king's daugh- 
ter treated the peasant's daughter justly?" The Superin- 
tendent thereat showed him all kindness, and promised him, 
since there was not anything more for him to do in the Com- 
munity, he would go with him in spirit, and remember him 
in his prayers before God. He afterwards showed him much 
favor, and thus the Superintendent was against his will 
inveigled into this important school. • 

Before the commencement was made, he entered upon a 
strict examination of those things which are either injurious 
or beneficial to the human voice, in consequence of which 
he declared all fruit, milk, meat, to be viands injurious 
to the voice. One might have thought that he borrowed 
this from the teaching of Pythagoras, in order to break his 
scholars of the animal habit of eating meat, of which habit 
he was never in favor. When bringing all this before the 
Brethren for examination, they observed that he crossed 
some words with his pen, by which he had declared the love 
of women as also injurious to the voice. When asked why 
he did this, he answered that some might take offence at it. 
But the sentence was retained with full consent of the Breth- 
ren, and the writing was added as preface to the hymn-book. 
This was but fair, for who does not know that carnal inter- 
course stains not only the soul, but also weakens the body, 
and renders the voice coarse and rough; so that the senses of 
him must be very blunt who cannot distinguish a virgin from 
a married woman by her voice. Much concerning the fall 
of man can be explained from the voice. It is a well-known 
fact that the voices of nearly all people are too low, and this 
occasions the sinking of the voice in church-songs. On the 
contrary, it cannot be explained how the voices of friars who 

M 



1 62 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

keep their vows change for the better; he who in his youth 
was a skillful bass singer, may become an excellent tenor 
singer in his old age. 

But he also added to the things necessary to be observed 
in united song, that godly virtue must be at the source of our 
whole walk, because by it you obtain favor with the spirit 
of singing, which is the Holy Spirit. It has been observed 
that the least dissension of spirit in a choir of singers has 
brought confusion into the whole concert. The singing- 
schools began with the Sisters, lasted four hours, and ended 
at midnight. Both master and scholars appeared in white 
habits, which made a singular procession, on which account 
people of quality frequently visited the school. The Su- 
perintendent, animated by the spirit of eternity, kept the 
school in great strictness and every fault was sharply cen- 
sured. The whole' ? 'neighborhood, however, was touched by 
the sound of this heavenly music, a prelude of a new world 
and a wonder to the neighbors. But it soon appeared what 
God intended with this school. Afflictions were aimed at, 
and these were plentifully imposed upon both sexes, in so 
far that a lesson seldom ended without tears; although 
within the Brethren the essence of wrath was stirred. And 
though strange scenes occurred, no one ventured to check 
the Superintendent, for so far everyone believed that he 
acted as God's commissioner, until at last Samuel Eckerlin, 
one of his principal adherents, when required to submit to 
the rules, left the school, whereby he fell under the hatred 
of the Brethren, and his spiritual growth faded in conse- 
quence of it. 

The Superintendent conducted the school with great 
sternness, so that whoever did not know him, might have 
thought him to be a man of unchecked passions. At times 
he scolded for one or two hours in succession, especially 
when he saw that they were under a ban, and at such times 
he looked really majestic, so that even his countenance glis- 
tened. When the Sisters saw that a continual quarreling 
was going on in their school, they took counsel among them- 
selves to find out the cause of this quarreling, and came at 
last to the conclusion that it must be in the difference of sex, 
and, therefore, determined to give up the school. But they 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 63 

were greatly mistaken in the cause. It was the very oppo- 
site. For God assigned to him a dangerous post, where 
many a saint had already lost his crown; besides some had 
even tried to cut off his locks, and who knows whether 
some such people were not among his choir. Meanwhile 
they sent a Sister, Tabea by name, who was bold enough 
for such a mission, to inform the Superintendent that they 
would break off all connection with the school entirely. 
Thereupon the Superintendent asked them, whether they 
would free him of all responsibility before God, to which 
they answered "Yes." Thus was the spiritual union 
between the Superintendent and the Sisters sundered by 
this imprudent counsel, and he entirely withdrew his favor 
from their house. 

About this time a young man, named Daniel Scheibly, 
was bought from a ship by the Brethren, and because he was 
of good manners, they extended to him the right hand of 
Brotherhood. Because the above mentioned Sister Tabea 
had thrown off the yoke of Christ and was become a freed- 
woman, she incautiously engaged in a secret correspondence 
with this young man, and at last promised to marry him. 
Such an uncommon thing in the Settlement soon became 
rumored abroad. A conference was held about it, and she was 
asked by the Brethren why she had seduced their servant, 
and they demanded back the money they had expended 
for him; but at last they came to an amicable settlement 
for conscience sake, and relieved her of the debt. Finally 
the time of their marriage arrived. One of the house-fathers 
was to officiate; then, while she stood before him in the dress 
of a matron, having laid aside- the habit of the Order, and 
the moment had arrived, for them to be united, the Superin- 
tendent called her apart, and took her again under his pro- 
tection; whereupon she dismissed her bridegroom and again 
entered the Sisters' House. To atone for the scandal she had 
caused she shed many tears of fervent repentance, by which 
she washed off the stain from her habit, wherefore also her 
name Tabea was changed to Anastasia, 1 which means "One 

: It seems fit briefly to mention some incidents in the life of this Sister. 
She was the youngest child of a respectable family in the Canton of Basel, 



164 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

risen from the dead." Her bridegroom, however, left the 
Order, and fell back into the world. 

The example of this Sister influenced the others again to 
submit to the guardianship of the Superintendent, so that 
the school was re-commenced. Soon after a choir of Sisters 
appeared in the meeting, and sang the hymn, "God, we 
come to meet Thee, ' ' with five voices, which was so well 
received in the Settlement, that everyone had his name en- 
tered for the choir, so that one did not know who should per- 
form the outside work. But this heavenly art also soon found 
its enviers, for one of the house-fathers publicly testified and 
wrote against it, but the Brethren reprimanded him and said: 
The wisdom of God had ordered this school to their sanctifi- 

Thomen by name, and she was the first in the family who was among the 
elect, and entered the Sisters' convent in the bloom of youth. Her brother 
and sister soon followed her, joined the Order, and ended their course in the 
Settlement, and last the parents followed. That is what a pious minister in 
Switzerland, Lucius by name, had told them when taking leave, namely, 
that there were many sects in the country they were going to, therefore 
they should join the most despised. She was accomplished and well 
formed, endowed with fine natural gifts, and was an excellent singer, on 
which account she was of much value to the Order. She was fortunate also 
in enjoying the confidence of the Superintendent, and was his right hand in 
the important work of the singing-school, spending many a sleepless night 
over it. At one time he gave her many tunes of his composition to copy, 
which so fatigued her that she at last fell asleep, and cut his tunes into 
pieces. 

Her subsequent fall was the consequence of her excessive human nature. 
The Superintendent had at that time often warned the Solitary against the 
outward church, because it usually produced husbands and wives. She, 
nevertheless, was always prominent in church visitations, and her friendly 
disposition drew everyone toward her, so that her fellow-combatants were 
little noticed aside of her. This stirred up envy within them, and they 
mockingly called her Court Cavalier. To this was added, finally, the death 
of her faithful guide, the Superintendent ; in consequence of which she 
confided m others who could not help her in her Solitary life. Meanwhile 
by her travels she lost her fellowship with her Sisters, and thus also her 
home in the convent, which obliged her in her old age to marry a rich mer- 
chant, after having been a nun 30 years. For all this she was indebted to 
her unsandttfied natural gifts. This, however, was a great loss to her, 
because she had taken the vow of perpetual virginity, and had on that 
occasion allowed her head to be shaved. After a short period of wedlock 
she was transferred into eternity. May God give her a blessed resurrection, 
and not repent him of His gifts and calling. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 65 

cation, they had sweated in it and endured school discipline, 
therefore they would not permit a stranger to interfere. 
After the Superintendent had with much trouble broken the 
ice, and taught the first principles of singing to the scholars, 
he divided them into five choirs with five persons to each 
choir, namely, one air, one tenor, one alto, and two bass 
singers. The Sisters were divided into three choirs, the 
upper, middle and lower; and in the choruses a sign was 
made for each choir, when to be silent and when to join in 
the singing. These three choirs had their separate seats at 
the table of the Sisters during love-feasts, the upper choir 
at the upper end, the middle at the middle, and the lower at 
the lower end; in singing antiphonally, therefore, the sing- 
ing went alternately up and down the table. Not only had 
each choir to observe its time when to join in, but, because 
there were solos in each chorale, every voice knew when to 
keep silent, all of which was most attentively observed^ 
And now the reason appeared which induced him to estab- 
lish such choirs of virgins. It was with him as with Solomon, 
he was zealous to make manifest the wonderful harmony of 
eternity, in a country which but lately wild savages had in- 
habited; for God owed this to North America as an initiation 
into the Christian church, therefore these choirs belong to 
the firstlings of America. The contents of these songs were 
entirely prophetic, and treated of the restoration of the 
image of Adam before his division, of the heavenly virginity, 
the priesthood of Melchizedek, etc. The gift of prophecy 
overflowed the Settlement like a river at that time; and 
close observation showed that the beautiful sun of Paradise 
had then already reached its meridian, but afterwards 
inclined towards its setting, and was at last followed by a 
sorrowful night, as will be shown in its place. This wonder- 
ful harmony resounded over the country; whoever heard of 
it, wished to see it, and whoever saw it, acknowledged that 
God truly lived among these people. 

And now let us tell for the information of those who are 
versed in this art, how he explained the first principles of 
singing so simply that even a child could understand them; 
therefore he did not care for the artificial terms of the 



1 66 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

masters, which rather obscure than enlighten the art. Ac- 
cordingly, whenever he took a hymn in hand, in order to 
compose a tune to it, he was careful to represent the spirit of 
the hymn by the tune; then after he had composed a choral- 
song, he fixed the metre, not according to custom, but as the 
nature of the thing required it. He, however, soon found 
out that some of the melodies were very strained, and that 
notes occurred which did not belong there. Thus he dis- 
covered the key, for every key has its own peculiarity, and 
adopts only such notes as are natural to it, and this is the 
reason why the melodies of I^obwasser have a strained sound, 
because the key to them was not understood, and notes were 
thus used which were not suitable. In order that he might 
not make mistakes in composing, he had for each key certain 
dominant notes, commonly four to the octave, which he 
called rulers, but the three other notes, servants. Thus in 
the/tunes,/^ a, c,f } are the rulers, but c ^-, b, rt'the servants, and 
although it sounds ill if a servant is made ruler, the com- 
poser, nevertheless, must know when it is proper to swerve 
into another key. This gives a very charming variation to 
the song, provided it resolves itself again into the original 
key before the end. The Superintendent was a master in 
this, but his scholars suspected that he had done it in order 
to find a cause for fault-finding with them; for as soon as they 
changed to another key their voices fell into disorder. 

When he attempted to compose the bass and middle- 
voices he encountered new difficulties, for you must know 
that vocal music, as well as mathesis, have their unalterable 
first principles, which angels even observe in their song. 
These he did not know, neither was he able, like masters in 
music, to find the concordance by means of instruments; at 
last he invented certain schedules, a special one for each key, 
in which he. laid down the proportion between the soprano 
and the other voices, whereby composition was greatly facili- 
tated. For instance, in the key ofy^ the f in the soprano 
corresponds to a in the tenor, and c in the alto; the bass, 
however, has the octave of the middle voices. All his tunes 
have two basses; but he also composed some for six voices, 
and even for seven, namely, two soprano, one alto, two 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 67' 

tenor, and two bass; for that purpose, however, he after all 
had to use two octaves. His last work, by many masters 
declared the most important, were the choral-songs. They 
were brought to light, partly printed, partly written, Anno 
1754, under the title: " Paradisiacal Wonder Music, 2 which in 
these latter times and days became prominent in the occi- 
dental parts of the world as a prevision of the New World, 
consisting of an entirely new and uncommon manner of sing- 
ing, arranged in accord with the angelic and heavenly choirs. 
Herein the song of Moses and the Lamb, also the Song of 
Solomon, and other witnesses out of the Bible and from other 
saints, are brought into sweet harmony. Everything arranged 
with much labor and great trouble, after the manner of sing- 
ing of the angelic choirs, by a Peaceful one, 3 who desires no 
other name or title in this world." 

It is reported that the angels singing antiphonally appeared 
in a vision to St. Ignatius, and thus their methods found 
their way into the church. It is possible that in former ages 
they were more in use in the convents; now but little is known 
of them. Yet one of these tune-books came over the ocean, 
and we are informed that, being engraved on copper, it was 
printed at Augsburg; but we cannot answer for it. When 
already half the Settlement was burdened with this work, the 
house-fathers, too, came to engage in the wonderful music, for 
the powers of eternity, which were embodied in it, had such an 
effect that whoever heard the song was forcibly attracted by 
the goodness of God. Some time during the night was fixed 
for the school -hour, and two Brethren were appointed 
teachers; but they showed such diligence in the school dur- 
ing winter that they neglected their domestic duties, which 
rendered it necessary to close the school. But' the Superin- 
tendent, in consideration of the fact that such gray heads 
had paid so much honor to the work of God, in so far that 
they suffered themselves to be children again, had a music 
book for four voices written for them, which he presented to 
their Community. Their veneration for this music was 
so great that everyone wished to possess the book, and who- 

2 [Paradiesisches Wunderspiel]. 

3 [Einem Friedsamen, the Superintendent's "church-name" was Friedsam]. 



1 68 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

ever had it accordingly fell under judgment, as happened 
yonder with the ark of the covenant. The book thus wan- 
dered from house to house, till at last nobody wished to have 
anything to do with it. 

After the Superintendent had accomplished such an im- 
portant work for the benefit of the spiritual Order in Ephrata, 
it was resolved, at a general council, that both convents pre- 
sent him with a worthy reward as a testimonial of filial 
esteem. This was to consist of two complete music books, 
furnished for all voices, one of which was to be made by the 
society of the Brethren, the other by that of the Sisters. 
Both parties put their most skillful members to the task. 
On the part of the Brethren three of them worked at it for 
three-quarters of a year. It contained about 500 tunes for 
five voices; everything was artistically ornamented with the 
pen, and every leaf had its own head-piece. The Superin- 
tendent's name stood in front, skillfully designed in Gothic 
text; around it was a text of blessing added by each Brother. 
The work of the Sisters was not less remarkable. It was 
artless and simple, but something wonderful shone forth 
from it, for which no name can be found. 

These two books were reverently presented to him, and 
the Brother deputed thereto thanked him in the name of 
the whole Brotherhood for his faithfulness and care. He 
accepted their present graciously, and promised to remember 
them in his 'prayers. There were some instances when the 
Superintendent showed himself to be a great man, and this 
was one of them. Many might objecl: that he was ambitious, 
but those who knew him more intimately, know how far he 
was from it. But the fact is, he was to make manifest the 
manners of the New World among his followers, and how 
everyone must esteem his neighbor higher than himself; 
and herein did his disciples faithfully follow him, according 
to the simplicity of those times. 

Before we conclude this chapter, let us mention the writing- 
school, where the writing in ornamental Gothic text was done, 
and which was chiefly instituted for the benefit of those who 
had no musical talents. The outlines of the letters he himself 
designed, but the shading of them was left to the scholar, in 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 



169 



order to exercise himself in it. But none was permitted to 
borrow a design anywhere, for he said: ' ' We dare not borrow 
from each other, because the power to produce rests within 
everybody. ' ' Many Solitary spent days and years in these 
schools, which also served them as a means of sanclification 
to crucify their flesh. The writings were hung up in the 
chapels as ornaments, or distributed to admirers. 




CHAPTER XXV. 

Concerning the Domestic Contentions in the Settlement, 
Up to the Time When the Eckeruns Moved Into the 
Desert. 

The course of events brings us to the strange division 
which took place in the Brotherhood of Zion, which had its 
origin in the dissensions which arose between the Superin- 
tendent and his first-born spiritual son, Onesimus, the Prior 
of the Brethren, whereby such a winnowing was brought 
about in the Settlement that it almost ended in a complete 
disruption of the same. It has already been mentioned that 
the Prior frequently became too powerful for the Superin- 
tendent, and that the Superintendent had much trouble to 
bring him to order again with the assistance of the Brethren; 
but what prompted the Prior to act as he did, was at that 
time still hidden from him. It was the secret of apostasy 
which was to be revealed through him, and which the Super- 
intendent's spirit still hindered at that time. Because these 
events have a great resemblance to the fall of the angel of 
envy and of the first man, let us go back to the source from 
which this evil flowed. Whoever is acquainted with the 
affairs of the Superintendent knows that much was entrusted 
to him by God at his awakening, namely, it was that good 
through which the grand-duke Lucifer was turned into the 
devil, and which also occasioned the fall of the first-created 
man, because both of them tried to bring this same good into 
they own possession. For the Superintendent, a man of great 
simplicity before he was taught wisdom by experience, it was 
impossible to imagine that any of his disciples would dare 
to rob him of this good, especially since he himself had 
nothing in his own hand, but had to do as God had imparted 
to him. Being thus minded he entrusted many things to the 
Prior, hoping that he would not betray his trust. And dur- 
ing the first years of his official employment the Prior was so 
faithful to his spiritual Father that he did not enter into inti- 
(170) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 171 

macy with any of the other Brethren, not even with his own 
brothers. This intimacy between the Prior and the Superin- 
tendent was often the talk of the whole Settlement. The 
Prior, therefore, was often in the balance agains't the whole 
Brotherhood, and yet they could not outweigh him, so 
strong was the confidence of the Superintendent. But it 
was no small matter to continue this intimacy with the 
Superintendent, for his intercourse was like unto fuller's 
soap or a refiner's fire. Therefore, as soon as the Prior per- 
ceived that in this narrow life the Superintendent never 
would put any advantage into his hands, but that he would 
always be obliged to live by his grace, he gradually with- 
drew from him and joined his own brothers, and thus 
betrayed the trust which the Superintendent had put in him. 
The Brethren also objected to being any longer used for the 
latter's humiliation by the Prior, saying: "It is only a war 
for the cap." 

Thus was the household in Zion conducted amid incessant 
changes, because the Prior did not possess sufficient right- 
eousness to humble himself before his spiritual Father, nor 
sufficient boldness to withdraw from his subordination. Yet 
was his fall meanwhile a foregone conclusion, for the Superin- 
tendent, possessed of a keen perception, knew very well that 
the Prior had betrayed his intimacy with him to his natural 
brothers, to such an extent that they became masters of 
him and of his goods, and he was in the same situation 
towards them as David to Zeruiah's children. They, mean- 
while, usurped the government, and commenced great things, 
which they were also able to carry out, because they had the 
whole Brotherhood on their side. For it was their intention 
to add yet another wing to the convent, to purchase more 
bells, a clock, doors and other unnecesssry things, wherefore 
they kept four wagons, two for the purpose of maintaining 
the trade with the forges and with Philadelphia, and the 
other two to bring together an indescribably large quantity 
of lumber. All this the Superintendent did not hinder. 
He did not consider it advisable to check it with his own 
will, because the whole of Ephrata was built on the founda- 
tion of his self-denial and the sacrifice of his will to the will 



172 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

of God; and therefore the poor Brethren of Zion also had 
to deny themselves well. 

About this time adverse circumstances brought it about, 
that the Superintendent fell sick, and everybody thought he 
would depart this life, which, at the time, would have been 
welcome to many, since he was a great burden to some as a 
witness before God. The Prior, at least, entertained this hope; 
for although the Superintendent outlived him by fully twenty 
years, the Prior used to say of him: The Superintendent, to 
be sure, had received of God the gift to awaken men, but 
not to be their spiritual guide, and therefore, as soon as the 
Father had transferred his witnessing power to the children, 
he had to give way, and leave the work to the children; the 
Superintendent has finished his day's work. Besides, the 
tomb-stone of the Superintendent was already made and 
laid by for use. So every one could perceive what their 
opinions of the Superintendent were. During this illness, 
the Prior visited his spiritual Father, and since the Fathers 
of the old covenant when departing this life blessed their 
children, he asked that he also should please, before he 
departed, from the Community, honor the Brotherhood with 
his blessing. The Superintendent consented; and these 
blessings were afterwards entered upon the minutes of the 
Brethren. 

But the Superintendent recovered, and, although very 
weak, appeared again publicly at the meetings, at which 
many rejoiced. But the Prior did not know how to conduct 
himself, for he had already instilled too much of his own 
will into the work, and did not know how again to disen- 
tangle himself. Only two ways were open for him, either to 
lay down his office voluntarily, or to try to bring the Superin- 
tendent under his feet; the first would surely have been the 
safest, provided he could have endured all the judgment and 
shame connected with it without running away from school; 
then he would again have been an ordinary Brother, as others 
who had fallen under the same tribulations, tried after him 
with good success. But he was too great a man for this, there- 
fore he followed the second way as the nearest, and thereby 
brought about his fall. The Superintendent foresaw all 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 73 

this, for everybody could see that the Brethren's household 
in Zion was not founded on the rock Jesus Christ, since you 
heard there no other talk but about buying, selling, taking 
in or lending out money, dissolving marriages, acquiring 
land, keeping servants, wagons, horses, oxen, cows, etc. 
The Governors even were induced to notice this new institu- 
tion, and yet all this was put to God's account. Therefore 
he prophesied several times that the Brotherhood in Zion 
would yet have a great fall. And of the Prior in particular, 
he said, he resembled one, who climbed too high, and the 
ladder was taken away from under him. This the poor Breth- 
ren did not believe, because they were already so heavily 
laden that nothing heavier could befall them except martyr- 
dom. But it was as little his part to advise, as it had been 
God's part to prevent the fall of the angel of envy. For if the 
Superintendent had held back anything from him, he might 
have been accused of not having dealt honestly with him. 
On the contrary, he afterwards accused the Superintendent 
of being the cause of his fall, because he had loaded him 
with more good than he was able to carry, which even now is 
the accusation of the fallen angels against God. Thus you 
see that everything has to be brought to an end by the good- 
ness of God. The Prior himself was not without experience 
in these dangerous ways. He was several times heard to 
say: " If a vessel on a potter's wheel turns out badly, he can 
work it over again and make something else out of it, but 
when it cracks in the fire it cannot anymore be made use 
of;" by which he meant himself. Again he said at times: 
"God be gracious to me, that I may not run away from 
school, for if I once run off I shall not return as long as I 
live." And he was his own prophet. 

All these things were hidden for a while in the breasts of 
the Superintendent and Prior, without the public noticing 
anything of it, for the Superintendent treated him at the time 
with all the honor due to his office. An especial dress was 
made for him, which he put on when officiating at a baptism, 
which no one wore either before or after him. The Sisters 
had to stitch a clever breast-plate on it, which he, like the 
high priest of the old covenant, wore on the breast, as a sign 



174 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

that he had to bear the sins of his people on his breast, to 
which fancy, it is reported, he clung to his death. He also 
bestowed upon him a title of honor, so that the whole Settle- 
ment had to call him par excellence "The Brother," and he 
consigned his own house to him as residence. But because 
the same stood too near the Sisters' convent, he hindered 
them ; for they soon perceived that his intention was to bring 
their house under his man-power. Although their Mother 
visited him at least once a week in her virginal pomp, as 
already mentioned, their intercourse contributed much to his 
misfortune. Whilst the Brethren's Prior and the Sisters' 
Abbess made such an ecclesiastical show together, the Super- 
intendent sat in his house forsaken by God, men and angels, 
wherefore no judgment could be passed against him, since 
he did not lay claim to any good for himself, while on the 
contrary the Prior and the Mother had to pay dearly for this 
ecclesiastical show. The greatest wonder of the whole play 
was that the Prior always imagined himself obedient to the 
Superintendent, though after the case was carefully inquired 
into, it was found that the Superintendent in everything he 
did stood under the Prior's influence. I will not deny that 
this was the severest school through which the Superin- 
tendent went in all his life, and that he was greatly humbled 
durino- the domestic administration of the Eckerlins. As for 
the Community, most of the members were ignorant of these 
things, and therefore pleased when the Superintendent 
charged, the Prior with keeping the meetings in the Commu- 
nity. Thus he conducted the divine service for nine months 
in Peniel, the chapel of the Community, during which time 
the Superintendent remained quietly in his retirement, and 
thus proved that he had learned, if necessary, to dispos- 
sess himself of everything. The meetings lasted mostly four 
hours, and were a medley of useless repetitions without any 
connection or order; they aimed at sternly trying the patience 
of the listeners. It was a wonder that so many gray heads 
were able to bear all this in patience, but respect for the office 
and esteem of the Superintendent's person restrained them, 
though some publicly called him a babbler, for which, how- 
ever, they were very sorry. The Superintendent, besides all 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 75 

this, surrendered also the love-feasts to his charge, and 
allowed him to break the bread for him, as for an ordinary 
Brother; so that everything was now in his hands, and 
nothing in those of the Superintendent. But all this did 
not satisfy him, for he was still in his exaltation and 
not yet humbled; he wanted to have all this absolutely 
in his possession, but that could not be. His domineer- 
ing was so easily detected, that once he and another 
Solitary Brother, G. A. Martin, had a violent alterca- 
tion on their journey, and the Prior told him: "You 
will have a wife within three years;" he was answered, 
"And you will not be in Ephrata after three years," which 
was easy for him to prophecy, knowing the Prior's affairs, 
and this was exactly fulfilled to both of them. All this is not 
mentioned in order to derogate from the Prior's personality, 
for there are thousands who have been converted and do not 
get into such a dangerous position as he occupied at the 
time; even the Superintendent acknowledged that God stood 
in debt to the Prior, for he was dragged as by the hair to his 
office. 

All these things were very sad to the Prior, and had to be 
bewailed, especially when he considered how tenderly he 
had loved his spiritual Father when still an ordinary Brother, 
so that he would have given his life for him at any time, and 
how happy he had been while he was still a hermit and sought 
to win the grace of God by watching, fasting and prayer. 
But now it had turned out through the guile of the tempter 
that the Superintendent and he had mutually come into each 
other's way. He, therefore, determined to go out of the way 
for some time, hoping that 'meanwhile his place might be 
filled by another Brother. This he made known to the 
Superintendent, who gave his consent to it, and gave him as 
travelling companions his most faithful Brethren, Jephune (he 
was his oldest brother after the flesh), Timotheus and Jabez. 
The Superintendent meanwhile himself attended to the 
meetings which the Prior had conducted for nine months, 
and also installed another Brother as steward of the domestic 
household in Zion. 

Now it will be necessary to drop the main subject for some 



I76 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

time, and to give a circumstantial account of this visit. 
These four brethren commenced their journey September 22d, 
1744, and having in Jersey visited the Baptists at Am well, 
they turned towards Bast Jersey to a place named Barnegat, 
situated by the sea. There some Baptists lived, who had 
come from New England, and had paid several visits to the 
Settlement; the name of this family was Colvert. The 
founder of these .people was John Rogers, on which account 
they were called Rogerians. He was the proprietor of a 
large tract of land in the Connecticut province, but because 
he differed in his religious belief from that of the country, he 
had been persecuted, (some say condemned to death, but par- 
doned under the gallows). His followers still are very trouble- 
some to the government on account of their untimely zeal ; and 
thus far no way could be found to satisfy them. These dear peo- 
ple of Barnegat received their German Brethren with special 
love, arranged several meetings in their honor, to which they 
brought their sick, in hopes that they might be cured. They 
also spoke a great deal to their visitors of their Brethren in New 
England, and said at last it might prove edifying if the Breth- 
ren would pay a visit there. This was a desirable opportunity 
for the Prior to execute his plan, and therefore they under- 
took the journey to New England. Having taken leave of 
these good people, they journeyed through Crosswick, where 
they visited an old Pythagorean, John Lovell by name, to 
Brunswick, where they took passage on a ship which was 
just ready to sail to Rhode Island, where they landed seven 
miles from New London, at a place called Black Point. 
Now they were in a strange country, 300 miles from their 
Settlement, without friends, and so despised on account of 
their dress, that whoever saw them, ran off. They at last 
gained their object, and came to a respectable family, Boles 
by name, who were members of the Rogerian congregation. 
These received them very affectionately, after the Brethren 
had delivered the greetings of their Brethren at Barnegat. 
Meanwhile the rumor about these strange people reached 
New London, and because England was at the time involved 
in a war with Spain, it was suspected that they might be 
Jesuits of New Spain; therefore they sent messengers to 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 77 

them and inquired into their circumstances, and hearing 
that they were Protestants by birth, they permitted them to 
pass. Now they had the opportunity to visit the above men- 
tioned Rogerians, who were distinguished from other people 
by their quiet life; among whom the Brethren found so much 
favor that wherever they went they had a train of more than 
fifty persons, white and black, about them. In this very 
region the pernicious custom of disputation was at that time 
carried to its highest point; whenever they came together 
they placed two chairs in the middle of the space, on which 
the disputants sat, the listeners sitting around them in a 
circle, when they often gave vent to violent passion. At 
that time they mostly disputed "about the Perseverance of 
the Saints." 

After their country visit came to a happy end, they were 
brought into the town of New London, and lodgings were pre- 
pared for them with a merchant, Ebenezer Boles, who was a 
member of their Community and a blessed, virtuous man. 
He, at that time, lived single; but married afterwards. His 
death was brought about by poisonous wood, against which 
the principles of the Rogerians did not allow him the use of 
medicine. May God give him a blessed resurrection ! 

The town of New London resembled at the time a fruitful 
garden of God, and everybody was anxious to prove his good 
will to the newly arrived strangers, for there were many con- 
verted souls among them who were commonly called ' ' New- 
lights. " May God remember them graciously on the day of 
judgment! When the time for their departure approached, 
their friends hunted up a ship for them, paid for their pas- 
sage, and gave them so much for on the way, that they 
returned home richer than when they left. When they went 
on board, the town accompanied them to the harbor with 
many blessings. 

They would have been imprisoned in New York, under 
suspicion of being Jesuits from New Spain, had not a justice 
of the peace, who was acquainted with their circumstances, 
gone bail for them. After having arrived at the Settlement, 
they handed in a journal of their doings, and .everyone 
returned to his work. But the Prior was greatly deceived in 

N 



I78 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

his calculations, for his office called him again, and his 
former burdens rested once more on his shoulders. Since he 
saw that he could not get rid of his office, and far less could 
master the same, because the Superintendent stood in his 
way, he at last came to the determination to act as the 
tempter had insinuated, and make himself independent of 
the Superintendent. This he disclosed to one of his most 
confidential Brethren, adding that he had determined to 
leave it in the hands of God. The Brother counselled 
against it, and represented to him that he had to do with an 
old warrior, who had learnt many a stratagem; he might 
easily lose. But he insisted upon it, and to prove it he 
tore up, before the eyes of the Brother, a letter which the 
Superintendent had written to him; and thus the dark magia 
took hold of him, finally breaking out into a mighty storm, 
b>y which the household of the Brotherhood in Zion at last 
found its end. 

The Superintendent, who felt all this very keenly, knew 
that henceforth he would have to battle again with the 
Prince of Wrath. But he found consolation in this, that he 
had been compelled by God to build up the Community, and 
was not conscious of any transgression, except that he had 
given into the hands of the Prior, while yet a novice, too in- 
timate a fellowship, by the power of which the Prior was 
enabled to put his foot upon him, of which the Superintend- 
ent had deeply to repent. The Superintendent, soon after 
the return of the Prior, assembled the Fathers, and they 
deliberated who should be appointed over the new domestic 
household of the Fathers, when some of the household and 
some Solitary were proposed. The Prior, perceiving this, 
said: That he was greatly surprised, that in regard to such 
an important position the rule of the covenant was not 
taken; which in plain German meant that they should appoint 
him. This induced the Superintendent, in the Prior's pres- 
ence, to entreat the Fathers in the name of God to relieve 
him of his office, else death would overtake him; which they 
did, and thus it came about that the Prior was his successor 
in office, .of which he jocundly remarked: That the Superin- 
tendent had made him daaice with an old woman. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 79 

All these happenings occasioned great disorder in the 
Community, which is always the consequence of a change 
in the priesthood. For now it became evident that a spiritual 
separation had taken place between the Superintendent and 
the Prior; many were anxious to see the end of it, knowing 
that the Superintendent stood under a high Guide, and God 
had always been his God in all his troubles. Some of the 
Community held back and did not want to desert the man 
who, for their sake, had poured out his soul, and to follow a 
novice instead. Some said: The thing could not last, for 
nobody ever heard that an Apostle had revolted against 
Christ, or a disciple of the Apostles against the Apostles. 
Many, however, of the Community accepted him as their 
priest, and permitted him to break bread in their houses; 
but I suppose there was little blessing connected with it, 
because these were thievish burnt-offerings, which cannot be 
pleasing to God. All the Brethren stood at the time, at least 
to outward appearance, obedient to the Prior, and bore their 
yoke willingly, because they had no hope of regaining their 
liberty again. But in the Sisterhood there lay a heavy stone 
for the Prior to lift, and although he strenuously tried to 
force himself upon them, they opposed him so vigorously 
that he at last had to give it up. 

But there was still another task which gave the Prior 
much trouble; for the Superintendent still stood in his way, 
and he could not think of any means by which he might 
render him submissive. He at last seized his person, and 
obliged him to change his dwelling five times within one 
half year; 1 and if he should not effectually gain his object 

x Of this fight he wrote the following to Euphrosina, a Sister in Sharon: 
Regarding my journey and wanderings, in the midst of which I am still 
engaged, it will, without doubt, be known, that it happened during very 
cold days of winter, when an agreeable and fine day was hardly to be 
expected, which proved to be the case. The rough and severe weather con- 
tinued almost to the present time ; for surely, should I tell by letter all that 
happened from the beginning, when I was obliged to wander forth out 
of my little house, and endure hard procedures, I would hardly be able to 
do so. For there was nothing but a continuous martyrdom, during day and 
night, and this from within and without, so that nothing else was left to me 
but incessant prayers and supplications, by day and by night, that God 
might not let me be quite ruined, and fall a prey to my enemies. And 



IOO CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

so, he had determined to make him live in one of the rooms 
of the Brethren, and thus to degrade him to the state of an 
ordinary Brother. But before he put this in practice he was 
himself overthrown. To give a correct report of this, it 
happened that as the Prior, with his most faithful Brother, 
Jabez by name, worked at the composing cases, God sud- 
denly revealed to that Brother that the founder of that 
Community was being persecuted; wherefore he said to the 
Prior: "Why did you cashier the Superintendent?" The 
Prior answered, "That is none of your business; you attend 
to your work." Hardly was this said, when the Superinten- 
dent knocked at the door of the printing office (for the 
reader must know that at that time the language of the 
spirit, which requires no words, was still spoken in the Set- 
tlement, and therefore the Superintendent was able to 
understand the matter at once). He called the Brother out, 
and spoke with him about different matters, and then went 
his way. But when the same Brother entered the room 
again, he found the Prior sad and dejected. The Superin- 
tendent, after he saw that God himself had sown the seed of 
discord between these two Brethren, took advantage of the 
occasion. He consulted with the Prior's youngest brother 
after the flesh, called Jotham, how this Brother, who formerly 
had occupied a high office in. the great church, had come to 
this Community by divine will, and had without cause 
become entangled in the quarrels of the Brethren; that he 
wished to tell him this as a word of truth from the Lord, 
that, if he should miscarry in this institution, it would never 
gain any prosperity. He at last persuaded him in conjunction 
with this Brother to take up the work of God, which was at 
its last extremity. After having obtained his consent, he 
commanded the house-fathers to be called together, and hav- 
ing spoken a great deal with them about how the testimony 
of God had fared thus far, he said: " Two Brethren of Zion 
have ventured their lives for the general good, whom I 
hereby recommend to your prayers." For he said it might 

although I remained well preserved, still I could not be relieved of the 
bitter draught ; for the bloody wine press had to be trodden, and I shall 
remember such wretchedness all my life long, etc. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. IOI 

likely cost them their temporal lives. And he was not 
mistaken in this; for dark powers had taken possession of 
the Prior, which tried to destroy the work, and therefore the 
task of these two Brethren was considered highly dangerous. 
Afterwards he put a warrant 2 into the hands of these two 
Brethren, by virtue of which they should fearlessly under- 
take the work of God. They, therefore, went to their Prior, 
and declared to him that their consciences did not permit 
them to be any longer subject to him, because he had re- 
belled against his spiritual Father, and, therefore, they re- 
nounced all obedience to him. There were at the time two 
Brethren with him who considered these proceedings very 
bold; but the Prior himself frustrated their doings, and tried 
to get over it all as well as he could. It is remarkable that 
whenever the power of God has manifested itself in a people, 
the powers of darkness also stood forth to obstruct the good, 
as happened to Moses through Jannes and Jambres, and to 
the Apostle through Simon the sorcerer. And the same 
happened here; but it is a pity that the Prior permitted such 
dark powers to take possession of him. He knew well how 
to bring God's wrath into the soul of others, as if by magic, 
and on this he relied. But he knew little of that magic of 
the light by which the fiery darts of the wicked are quenched, 
through holy humility. 

This conflict continued for three weeks, without anybody 
knowing what would be the outcome of it, during which 
time the Prior, whenever he found a door open for his dark 
magic, went there, and like a prophet pronounced judgment 
in the name of God, which, however, had no other effect on 
them than to make trouble;. for they knew that he had 
trampled under foot a man to whom God stood as debtor, 
because he had hazarded his own dearly gained life for the 
salvation of others. But the Superintendent had no inter- 
course with these two Brethren during this time, for he had 

2 The warrant was in these words: "To Brother Jabez and Brother 
Jotham : Be valiant, and do what you have to do, and leave nothing undone 
which might prove a hindrance to bringing the matter to its proper end. I, 
for my part, am strongly engaged in my mind before God, that this is the 
right way. May God give to all of us life, and the enjoyment of him in 
the world to come. Friedsam, a Nonentity." 



1 82 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

to await the result from God. The Prior at this time worked 
at the saw-mill, for all the Brethren had their hands full with 
the convent, which was about to be built. But he had been 
mortified to such a degree, that he outdid all the Brethren, 
and by these means often saved himself from severe judg- 
ment, wherefore he hoped, although in vain, that he would 
now also succeed. The Superintendent once visited the 
supper-table of the Brethren, and when he saw him stagger- 
ing towards the table as if he were going to fall, he said to 
him: "Do not mar it, there is something good in it." For 
he well knew that the Prior intended to get rid of his life in 
an honest way. How he must have felt to see his darling 
child, whom he had so tenderly loved, in such a sorrowful 
state, can easily be conceived. 

Meanwhile the Brethren began to awaken and to compre- 
hend that the day of their liberation was at hand. They 
entered into fellowship with those two Brethren; all of 
which came from God, for in a short time they had the 
whole Brotherhood on their side. When it was rumored 
that the Prior had rebelled against the Superintendent, the 
Brethren began to revile everything he had done when in 
office. It has already been mentioned that a writing had 
been published in the English language in the Settlement; 
this was burnt, because it had been printed by his order 
without general consent. There were also condemned to 
the flames a title and preface which he had written for the 
Superintendent's printed Theosophic Epistles; for both were 
offensive, because he had extolled the Superintendent with- 
out measure in the title, and had rashly said in the preface 
that most mystical books were not worth more than to be 
burnt afterwards; however, another title and preface were 
substituted. The Sisters followed this example and burnt 
all hymns and writings they had which were composed by 
him, among which two writings especially are to be named, 
one, "The Life of a Solitary," and the other, "Rules 
and Precepts of a Soldier of Jesus Christ." The Brethren 
likewise collected everything that originated with him, and 
delivered it to a Brother to have it burnt. 

This was a heart-thrust to the Prior, and now it became 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 83 

evident that he had his greatness only through the fellow- 
ship of the Brethren, so that when he lost this, he felt so 
forsaken that he was seized with sickness. It is strange 
that at that time he was kept prisoner in the same place 
where the Superintendent shortly before had undergone the 
the greatest temptations he had met with in his life; 
though he never was really in prison, it was only a common 
saying. But when it was noticed that some Brethren wanted 
to carry water on both shoulders, and always betrayed to 
him the secrets of the Brethren, it was ordered that whoever 
should visit the Prior without company, such a one should 
not be considered a Brother any longer. Some did not mind 
this, and these afterwards escaped with him into the desert. 
Thereafter two Brethren were ordered to attend him in his 
sickness, and then the whole Brotherhood clung again to 
the Superintendent as the man who under God was the 
cause of their conversion. They also arranged a night- 
school in their hall, at which they always had him with 
them, which the Prior in his spiritual prison could hear 
to his great grief. At last, when the Prior became aware 
that the loss of his office and his priestly dignity was in 
store for him, deep repentance took hold of him and he wept 
Esau's tears for a thing which he had once possessed in 
his own person, and which to all eternity could not be his 
again. Nevertheless, he took forty pounds out of the Breth- 
ren's treasury, and with it tried to bribe the Mother of the 
Sisters to intercede for him with the Superintendent. But 
the Sisters did not agree about this money. The most of 
them declared it would bring some misfortune, and should 
not be accepted. But the Mother took it. Her intercession, 
however, was of no avail. A Brother of Zion did the same; 
but everything was in vain. The good Prior would have 
done better had he laid down his office forever, because he 
only administered it in selfishness; it could only aggra- 
vate his fate. When he saw that the Superintendent was 
firm against entreaties, he made an attempt with the Breth- 
ren. He appeared before them, reduced by deep grief to be 
more like an incorporeal spirit than a human being. They 
were just assembled in writing-school. He said: " I beg of 



184 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

you for God's sake, Brethren, receive me again, for I cannot 
be separated from you in time and eternity." But no one 
had an answer for him, for everyone understood that he 
wished to regain his office. But in order to satisfy his 
entreaties, they held a council in the presence of the Su- 
perintendent, in which it was agreed that he should leave 
the Settlement for a time, and manage the business in the 
fulling-mill. The Brotherhood should meanwhile be reformed 
and as soon as everything stood on a proper footing again he 
should have the choice, either to again live with them, 
though only as a common Brother, or if this did not please 
him, that a small house should be built for him in the Settle- 
ment and he be cared for there as long as he lived. When 
this resolution was communicated to him, he by no means 
objected, but promised to move next day into the fulling-mill, 
and was greatly rejoiced, because he perceived that the severe 
judgment, which was the result of his administration, would 
soon reach its end. But, good God! it was a short joy, for 
when his oldest brother, to whose advice he had always paid 
more obedience than to that of his faithful spiritual Father, 
came home and heard the resolve of his brother, he said to 
him: " It is time again to turn to a hermit's life;" that he 
should escape with him into the desert, and leave misfortune 
to the Brethren; they would not carry on matters for any 
length of time, for they had not intelligence enough to con- 
duct- a household. This proposition pleased the Prior, there- 
fore he left the Settlement on the following day, September 
4th, 1745, with his above-mentioned brother Jephune, and 
another, Timotheus by name, and moved towards the wilder- 
ness, after having administered the office of Prior among the 
Brethren for not much longer than four years. They fled about 
400 English miles, towards the setting of the sun, as if some 
one were chasing them, for justice pursued them on account 
of the spiritual debts which they had contracted in the Settle- 
ment, until, beyond all Christian governments, they had 
reached a stream which runs towards the Mississippi, New 
River by name. Here they settled, in the midst of a pack of 
nothing but raggamuffins, the dregs of human society, who 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 85 

spent their time in murdering wild beasts. These they had 
to take into their companionship instead of the Brethren they 
had left behind. Bnt how incomprehensible, O Lord, onr 
God! are Thy counsels, for those who dishonored Thee to 
stumble and fall, because they followed their own under- 
standing more than the guidance of Thy cross; therefore 
they were despised; bnt Thon who scatteredst Israel wilt 
gather it again, for Thon canst not repent of Thy gifts and 
calling; Thon wast our God in our great misery, therefore, 
build us up again and mend our faults for we are Thy 
people and the flock of Thy pasture. 

It was necessary to give a clear record of these matters, 
because nearly everyone had the suspicion that the Superin- 
tendent had persecuted the Prior and his brothers; and no 
one can be blamed for it, because many in the Com- 
munity were not cognizant of the condition of the house- 
hold in the Settlement. The rock of offence 3 and the stone of 
stumbling were erecled in the Settlement, and this was the 
cause why hypocrisy did not thrive, for everyone's secret was 
brought to light. 

The first who stumbled over this rock was the Superin- 
tendent himself. But his trial was between God and him- 

*Of this he sings in the large hymn book, page 227, "thus: 

This hardest priest's condition 

Scarce hath aught to deplore, 
Since he's God's near relation 
Such things he must endure: 
In the end 
Peace is sent 
E'en to those despising 
Things of God's devising. 

Such task to me is hardest, 

Too hard for words to tell, 
Which Thou, O God, demandest 
Of me to learn full well ; 
That e'en they 
Who to-day 
Treat God with derision, 
May have his salvation. 



1 86 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

self, and therefore all the more weighty, as he sings in a 

hymn: 

" Now all vexation it is still, 

God, lie himself avenged it ; 
That rock, so hard, has crushed my will 

And all to pieces broke it ; 
Because I took offense thereat 

Which no one else escaped had." 

To his successors, however, he was a source of offence. At 
least it appears from the Superintendent's testimony that 
he bore this condition for them, and most likely carried it 
with him to eternity, where only such hard states are 
resolved. 

Since the time of the Superintendent's flight into the wil- 
derness where Ephrata now stands, which happened in 
Oclober, 1732, to the flight of the Prior into the wilderness, 
which happened September 4th, 1745, a period of thirteen 
years intervenes. Let this be the end of this chapter. 




CHAPTER XXVI. 

The Brotherhood Recovers Again From the Various 
Tribulations Caused by This Separation. New Church- 
work Takes Peace in Philadelphia, Besides an Awaken- 
ing Among the English People. 

While the vengeance kindled in the Brotherhood of Zion 
ferociously raged, it looked as if each Brother were about to 
turn out the others, and as if no deliverer were at hand who 
could control the conflagration. For when judgment had 
driven one Brother out of the Settlement it soon took hold of 
another, so that even the oldest Brethren were in danger of 
becoming victims of vengeance. As soon as the office of 
Prior had become vacant by the departure of the Prior, 
his youngest brother Jotham successfully worked himself 
into the position, for the Eckerlins had the delusion that the 
office was hereditary in their family, so that the Prior was 
once heard to say: " The Community is mine," to which his 
brother Jotham answered: "Then the Brotherhood belongs 
to me," which the third, Elimelech, heard and replied: " By 
God, brothers, both of you are mistaken," for in his opinion 
both belonged to him! It is strange that men who were 
already divorced from the wife of the world were still thus 
extraordinarily tempted by the false priest-spirit; and it seems 
that this was harder to overcome than the attractions of a 
mortal wife. Even Aaron's priesthood availed no more than 
for the reconciliation of Aaron's murderous church, where- 
fore it was overthrown when the true Priest appeared from 
heaven. Soon after Brother Jotham assumed the office the 
spirits of judgment, which had overthrown his Brother, took 
possession of him also, for he began arbitrary reforms. There 
were several Brethren of the household whom he would have 
mustered out of the Settlement if the Superintendent had 
not opposed it. He also had various plans of his own, and 
did not know that this had been the cause of his brother's 
downfall. The Brethren, however, did not allow him to get 

(187) 



1 88 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

warm in his seat before they declared against him; they did 
not want again to have an Eckerlin as their Prior; they wanted 
him to move into the house which the Eckerlins had in the 
Settlement, and to let them reform the Brotherhood; after 
that he might again dwell with the Brethren. He, however, 
did not wait that long, for in the winter following his brother 
Jephune came for him and took him to the New River. Thus 
all the Eckerlins lost their right in the inheritance of the 
Lord, for which they had to thank their carnal connection 
alone, which had helped them to bring everything, even the 
Superintendent, under their sway. But the scandal of this 
schism spread through the whole country, and just as for- 
merly this small Community had by its harmony brought 
everything close together so did this disunion now dissolve 
everything. The merchants of Philadelphia, who had traded 
with them, were displeased at this loss. They had expected 
to find indulgence for their worldly life from these supposed 
saints, and if the government had been able to interfere the 
affair would have been brought before the courts; but the sins 
were not against the government, but against God. Every- 
body wished them well, for it was hoped they would discover 
a nearer road to the kingdom of God than the one the Soli- 
tary in the Settlement thus far had walked in. The pious of 
the country were the most beguiled by this deception towards • 
God; the friends of the Separation in Germantown were all 
ready to follow them, but were prevented by the subsequent 
Indian war; for nothing is sweeter in the world than to again 
desert God after having lived for some time nearer to Him. 
It is this that does more harm to the kingdom of heaven than 
ten Neros. A man of note wrote from Frankford : ' ' The flight 
of the Eckerlins into the wilderness is a great marvel,' let me 
know the result of it." And now a pilgrimage was under- 
taken to those regions, for whoever became troubled about his 
salvation took refuge with them, and they understood how to 
cure him. Others hoped to find out some of the sins and infa- 
mies which, as was supposed, were carried on in the Settle- 
ment. A famous doctor was most likely induced thereby to 
undertake his long journey to them. A young Brother in 
the Settlement, Henry Zinn by name, also longed at last for 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 89 

such a life of license; he begged the Brethren to accompany 
him thither, and promised in return to love them all his life 
long. He and the whole family of Bingeman were there j 
killed by the Indians. 

When judgment blazed so fiercely to sift the Brotherhood 
in Zion, the Superintendent gave his assistance to the same, 
as a test, whether their work were of God or not; therefore 
he said he would not desist from tearing down, so long as 
one stone was yet resting on the other in the household of 
Zion. And because he knew that several Brethren were but 
outwardly captured by the power of God's testimony, and 
that they did not internally live a life of mortifying their 
carnal senses, he made known by one of the Brethren, that 
whatever Brother were inclined to leave the Settlement, 
should at once make use of his liberty. The fence was thus 
completely torn down; some left in the day time, others 
secretly at night ; some asked for their wages, others de- 
manded again what they had contributed. About this time 
the printer in Germantown, urged by a hidden authority, 
proclaimed in the paper, that any who had contributed any- 
thing to Ephrata, should make application for it at that 
place, and it would be restored. Some in the Sisters' House 
also took their leave, and followed this licentious life, which 
gave rise to marriages and other forbidden deeds. It was 
observed that very few of them met with success. This 
disorderly crowd of people turned towards the New River. 
Several of the Community also followed them, for there they 
found an altar erected for flesh and blood, and the number of 
disorderly persons increased so fast among these Solitary that 
they sent a request to the Settlement not to send any more 
people to them. Although they tried to establish divine ser- 
vice, they could not accomplish anything with people who 
had stepped beyond God and trodden his testimony under 
their feet. At last they were dispersed through all countries. 
The last who left the Settlement was Beno, and therewith 
the judgment against the Brethren ended. When about 100 
miles distant from the Settlement, the Spirit told him to stop, 
and he turned back, and was again received in the Settle- 
ment after much supplication. He ended his life there. 



I90 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Thus the household of the Brotherhood in Zion, after a 
short but lamentable period of time came to a sorrowful 
end; all of which the Superintendent had predicted. It is 
remarkable that by this schism the whole was divided into 
three parts, according to the three principles, for some fell 
into possession of the empire of the outer world, and again 
become through marriage, citizens of it. The Eckerlins 
and others permitted themselves to be captured by the dark 
magic, and consumed their time in judging and calumniat- 
ing their innocent Brethren, from whom they had wickedly 
separated. The remnant was a small, poor and despised 
crowd. The Superintendent remembered this business at 
times with sadness, and said: He was the cause of this mis- 
fortune, because he had put too much into the hands of 
inexperienced men, and if he had not been too weak he 
might have prevented it all, but thus he had exposed him- 
self to the danger of falling. The Eckerlins did not possess 
the least degree of learning before their conversion, but 
because they were the first of the civil world who joined 
the Community, they revived secular life therein, tore the 
Superintendent away from the supposed holy simplicity of 
the Mennonites, and invested him again in his former secular 
way of living. And as they endeavored to gain his favor 
by various acts of goodness, they at last brought him under 
their influence, and thereby they became important men. 
However, after they had left the Settlement, and the Su- 
perintendent had suffered enough for the good he had 
accepted of them as long as he stood under their sway, he 
commenced an important work, namely, to deprive them 
again of the benefits which they had secured through 
church-robbery, and again to withdraw his fellowship from 
them, for he was one of the magi of light to a high degree. 
At this time he was always to be seen on his feet, and after 
he was done with his work in the spirit, his good which 
they had taken from him, returned to him, and there was 
nothing left them but their own good; and because they 
had possessed this in selfishness, they became a laughing- 
stock to the tempter in their hermitage; for God is not 
opposed to himself. Therefore they could not remain there 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 191 

any length of time, but returned again in order to commit 
a new church-robbery, which will be mentioned at the 
proper place. Besides all this, it must be said to their 
credit, that they did a great deal of good to the Brethren 
by the strictness of their rule in Zion, and that those who 
bore their yoke in patience had a great advantage over 
others in subsequent times. 

Of the reform undertaken in the Settlement and of its suc- 
cess, the following is in a few words to be mentioned. A 
Brother of Zion visited the Superintendent and disclosed to 
him his wish, namely: That it was his intention to renew 
his covenant with God by a repetition of his baptism. The 
Superintendent agreed to his request, but asked him to 
wait yet awhile, as he expected some more work of the 
same kind. And he was not deceived, for on the follow- 
ing day two other Brethren came to the Superintendent 
for the same cause; in consequence of which the 27th day of 
September, 1745, was chosen for this festival, on which day 
ten Brethren renewed their covenant with God by baptism, 
as a tribute of gratitude, because his mercy had sustained 
them in their adversities. These were at another time suc- 
ceeded by fourteen other Brethren; the others stood back. 
The Superintendent himself performed the act, and gave his 
sorely wounded heart to the Brethren who had been spared 
by the sword. After baptism the customary hair-cutting was 
performed, to which the Superintendent also submitted; the 
tonsure, however, was omitted, in order to avoid offence. 
The following day a breaking of bread was held in Zion, at 
which the venerable Sisters were also present. That was a 
day of great joy, since not only those expelled from Israel 
were again assembled together, but also because the Super- 
intendent was again installed in his office, after having been 
a fugitive for one year, six months, and one day, on account 
of his wicked son Absalom, during which time he had to flee 
out of one house into another in the Settlement. O, how 
blessed he, who in dark days, does not depart from the guid- 
ance of his God, and does not take offence when the cup 
of affliction is filled for him! Oh, how richly does God reward 
all those who have been steadfast in the faith even unto the 



I9 2 CHROXICOX EPHRATEXSE. 

sweating of blood! This edifying act of the Brethren moved 
the Sisters so that all of them were re-baptized by the Super- 
intendent in two days, namely, October 3d and 15th, 1745. 
Afterwards it was proposed, that in memory of this time, this 
day should be celebrated every year, and that all members 
of the Order should submit to re-baptism; but the necessary 
harmony was wanting. The reader can see from this, that 
re-baptism was rather a church-rite in the Settlement, than 
that it originated in hatred towards other Communities. 
When the last of the Brethren were baptized, as above 
mentioned, another breaking of bread was held in Zion, 
which also was the last held there; it lasted till two o'clock 
after midnight. The cause of its long duration was because 
there still lay a ban upon the Brethren which the Superin- 
tendent felt in his spirit, and which impelled him to speak 
so long and ardently, until three Brethren went off, there- 
upon the bread-breaking was considered as blessed. 

Soon another just as important work presented itself. 
The Brethren represented to the Superintendent that this 
convent was built under the direction of the Eckerlins, and 
therefore, these would have a right over them, as long as 
they lived in it. Therefore they had a mind to leave the 
hill and build a new convent near him in the plain, to which 
plan he gave his consent. This undertaking produced many 
changes in the Settlement, for the widowers and widows 
who at that time inhabited the convent Kedar, which 
belonged to the Sisters, made room there for the Brethren 
and moved into Zion, which the Brethren had left empty. 
The 22d of October, 1745, was the memorable day on which 
the Brethren moved down the hill out of their convent Zion, 
and handed this over to the Congregation for its poor. The 
first Brethren moved into Zion in October, Anno 1738, thir- 
teen in number, and from that time on for seven years the 
Brethren had lived in Zion. The rest of the Brethren 
followed them August 13th, 1740, as has already been men- 
tioned. September 21st, 1740, they held there the first 
Night Watches, and the last on August 4th, 1745. Since the 
death of Brother Agonius, when the government came 
completely into the hands of the Prior, the latter had ruled four 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 93 

years, two months and nineteen days. The number of Breth- 
ren who left Zion at that time was thirty -four. On December 
27th, 1745, the Brethren commenced to abolish their Baby- 
lonian bell-trash; they sold their clocks and bells to the Re- 
formed and Lutheran congregations in Lancaster, but tore 
down the spire in great zeal. And because it became known 
that young people used the common wash-house at night for 
courting purposes, the same was burnt down. At this time 
a pretty large bell arrived in Philadelphia from England, 
which the Eckerlins were said to have ordered. The follow- 
ing was inscribed around it: Sub Auspicio Viri Venerandi 
Onesimi Societatis Ephratensis Praepositi. Having received 
intelligence of this a council was held in presence of the 
Superintendent, which resulted very unfavorably to the bell, 
namely, that it should be knocked to pieces and buried in the 
ground. But how to pay for it nobody could tell, for its cost 
was ^80. The next morning the Superintendent appeared 
again in the council and said he had considered about it. 
Because the Brethren were poor, the bell should be pardoned, 
and that is how it became the property of the Lutheran 
church in Lancaster, as mentioned above. But the following 
incident sounds still stranger. The Eckerlins had laid out 
an orchard of 1,000 trees near their convent. The Superin- 
tendent once passed by it with several Brethren, and the 
question being asked, what to do with so much fruit, one 
Brother said: "Cut them down.' 1 The Superintendent 
agreed to it, for he had received the charge from God to lay 
open the inner man. This orchard, therefore, was rooted up 
during the night, to the great chagrin of the whole country; 
and when the originators announced it to the Superintendent, 
he asked them whether they had done right ? But they could 
not answer him. These were cases of judgment such as are 
common over the whole world, namely, that one nation 
sweeps away the other. 

After the building of a new convent for the Brethren was 
agreed upon in the council, the choice of the place became 
the common consideration, and this fell upon a fine orchard, 
which was speedlv rooted out. But after a considerable 
time objections were raised against this spot by the Superin- 
o 



194 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

tendent, and they looked in common for another. The Su- 
perintendent always tried to have it near the Sisters' convent, 
but the Brethren checked him, for they would have preferred 
to have a high mountain separate these two convents. At 
last the site for this new building was placed so near the 
Sisters' House, that conversation could be carried on from 
one to the other. The Brethren, in retaliation, afterwards 
played the Superintendent a trick ; for when a new dwel- 
ling house was to be built for him, they selected the space 
between the Brethren's and the Sisters' convents, at which 
some of the Sisters were not well pleased, and said it had 
exactly the appearance as if the Sisters could not live with- 
out the Superintendent. About the same time the Mother, 
accompanied by some of the oldest Sisters, most likely in 
company with the Superintendent, paid a visit to the Breth- 
ren. It was a very edifying and blessed one. May God 
recompense them on the day of judgment; for they needed 
consolation, especially since their church-body was still 
bleeding from those many wounds which they had received 
in their strife with the Prince of Wrath. After the Night 
Watches had been omitted for three months and twenty days, 
dating from the Prior's flight, they were again commenced 
December 24th, 1745, by the Brethren in Kedar, where they 
lived for the time being, and December 25th following, a 
morning and evening service was added. 

On March 23d the office which Brother Jethro held since 
the time when the Eckerlins left, was again taken from him 
and given to another Brother, called Jabez, after the former 
had been in charge of it for four months. There were always 
candidates enough whenever the Prior's place was empty, but 
as soon as it was again filled the Brethren either submitted in 
blind obedience, as they had done to the Eckerlins, or they 
abstained from all fellowship with him. Therefore the post 
of Prior was always a dangerous one ; but the Superin- 
tendent had learnt to sail with all kinds of wind, and was 
careful not to infuse his own will into any act. During the 
administration of this Prior the building of the convent was 
commenced, March 31st, 1746. This house met with strange 
changes. At first it was intended as a wing to the Zion con- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. I95 

vent, large enough to accommodate about ioo Solitary. The 
foundation had already been laid for this purpose, and a sur- 
prising mass of lumber procured for it by the Eckerlins, all 
of which the Brethren made use of. And because heaven 
was again open for the poor Brethren their work progressed 
in a blessed and quick manner, especially since one of their 
Brethren, Sealthiel, was an experienced carpenter. The 
house was so durably joined together by posts, beams and joists 
that you will hardly find its equal in North America. All 
this carpenter work was finished in thirty -five days. On May 
nth it was raised, which took three days, at which danger- 
ous task Providence took care of the work, so that nobody 
was hurt. Then they resolved to build a chapel, for which 
the remaining timber was used. They raised it in November, 
1746, after having worked at it for five weeks. This was a 
stately building, contained a meeting-hall for the Community, 
specially ornamented with Gothic letters, besides galleries and 
halls for the love-feasts. After these extensive buildings had 
been so well completed under the blessing of God, the Breth- 
ren moved into their new convent, called Bethany, where 
their different domiciles were distributed to them by lot. 

September 5th, 1746, Brother Jabez again lost his office, 
and Brother Jethro was installed the second time; and this 
was the way it happened. It was the custom of the other 
Priors to try to establish themselves firmly in their office by 
gaining the favor of the Brethren ; he on the contrary never 
cultivated ariy fellowship with any of the Brethren, which 
indeed was one cause of his early fall. With this he also came 
into too close intimacy with the Superintendent, whereby 
he was more heavily burdened with the weight of his spirit 
than his human nature could bear. For some time it ap- 
peared as if he might lose his senses; wherefore some of the 
Sisters entreated the Superintendent to set him free, lest he 
might break down under his hands. But the Superintendent 
had no intention to do so, and said nobody need think that 
the Prior had lost his senses, there were other causes. Yea, 
verily, other causes; for it was a most, melancholy wed- 
lock; the Superintendent was too great and too small for the 
Prior, so that he could neither put him down, nor gain 



I96 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

ascendancy over him. Being brought into such a wine press, 
and deprived of all hope of living, he proposed to lay down 
the office. But the Superintendent soon had a spiritual in- 
timation of this, and warned him to take care, that there was 
danger of life connected with it. He, nevertheless, at last 
was brought to the determination by these temptations, to 
pack up everything belonging to the vesture of a Prior, 
which had beea handed over to him, and with it to pay 
a visit to the Superintendent. He then represented to 
him in a proper manner, how strange a life he had led 
thus far, though it had been more like dying than 
living; that after close inquiry he had found that all his 
misfortune was contained in this dress, therefore he de- 
sired to return it to him; then he went his way. After 
this the Superintendent took counsel with three Brethren, 
and these, in company with the Superintendent, communi- 
cated their decision to the Prior, namely, that he should be 
freed and be again an ordinary Brother; to which he re- 
plied that he thanked God for their decision, if he were 
but permitted to remain in the Settlement, for he did not 
know whether any guilt was resting on him, because he had 
had a hand in the overthrow of the Eckerlins. After these 
events the Superintendent was attacked by severe sickness, 
which almost sent him to eternity, and which was com- 
mouly supposed to be the consequence of the dissension 
which had occurred between him and the Prior. When 
able to go out again he summoned him into the new Prior's 
dwelling, and after he had talked with him about this and 
that concerning his release, he commended him to God, 
and then turned his attention to the new Prior. Thus it 
happened that this Brother, after having enjoyed this dignity 
for six months, became an ordinary Brother. This was the 
divine comedy, which had to be learned with such pains in 
the Settlement, namely, that you must learn to be both high 
and low, rich and poor, etc. , without a change of mind. But 
the hardest for him was, that access to the Superintendent's 
person was prohibited him except by permission of the new 
Prior; and because the new Prior stood so much above him 
by virtue of his office, he endeavored again to gain the fel- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 197 

lowship of the Superintendent. For that purpose he com- 
posed a hymn about the virtues of his spiritual guide, (to 
be found among the Brethren's hymns, and commencing: 
"Come, come soon my friend," etc.,) which, after having 
enclosed it in a letter, he sent to the Superintendent through 
the above mentioned Prior. It produced its desired effect, for 
when the Superintendent read it to the latter, and the flattery 
■it contained, his countenance paled, and he began to doubt 
whether he would ever master his office. Some time after 
this the Superintendent came into the Brethren's writing- 
school, nodded to this Brother, led him aside, addressed 
him in a very friendly way, said that he had received his 
holy remembrance in the song, and that he would stand up 
for him. Thus was the union of spirit again established 
between him and the Superintendent and he advanced to a 
higher school, in so much that he was afterwards freed of 
all subjection to the Prior, and entrusted with more import- 
ant work. It is yet to be mentioned, that no Prior of the 
Brethren (with exception of the first) was ever clothed with 
the honors of priesthood; the Superintendent himself admin- 
istered the mystery of the altar and holy baptism, and only 
permitted a Brother to have a hand in it in extraordinary 
cases. / 

After the departure of the Eckerlins, an awakening took 
place among the English nation in the region of French 
Creek and Brandywine, in Chester county, to which the Set- 
tlement in Ephrata extended its hand. Anno 1746, the 
following households joined the Community, namely, Jere- 
miah Pearcol, John Derborough, Job Stretch, etc. , likewise 
some single persons, as: Abel Griffyth, Thomas Peascify, 
David Roger, Israel Seymour, his sister Hannah Hackly, 
and several others. Israel Seymour, his sister, and Abel 
Grifiyth lived in the Settlement for some time, but because > 
according to their allegations, they could not stand the 
confined way of living, they left it again. Of these Israel 
Seymour was a man of special natural gifts; the Su- 
perintendent, therefore, baptized him again after he had 
entered the Settlement, and ordained him to service among 
his nation. His nation afterwards accepted him as teacher, 



I98 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

and as such, in companionship with the Brethren, he held a 
meeting every three weeks at Bethany, in West Nantmill. 
But there was reason to believe that this work might deliver 
him into the hands of the tempter, because he was still a nov- 
vice and rising, as the end proved. He soon took offence at 
many things in the Settlement, especially at the person of 
the Superintendent. The Brethren, therefore, erected a her- 
mitage for him at the above mentioned West Nantmill, for 
his way of life was greatly admired by his people and he 
was daily overrun with various visitors. A young girl among 
the Sisters, who most likely had found little pleasure in her 
convent, moved to the above mentioned Seymour, in his her- 
mitage, under pretence of learning the English language from 
him; but her actual desire was to cut off the locks of this 
saint. Another visit was made after this by some from the Set- 
tlement, to see these people, because there was bitter com- 
plaint against their teacher in all the houses, that he could 
not preach so forcibly since the Sister lived with him. Then 
he was notified by authority of the Community, that if he 
wished to get rid of the Sister, he should come to them, they 
were ready to extend their hands to him; but if he desired 
to marry her, they had nothing to say against it The Sab- 
bath following he came to the Settlement with a long lettec 
of divorce, which he had read to her in both languages in 
presence of, all the Solitary; she then gave her assent to 
everything, and promised to renounce her right to him for- 
ever. .Knowing people said: " Now they have published 
their engagement." And so it was, for the next week their 
wedding was celebrated. 

A married life thus commenced in fraud and hypocrisy, 
could not bear good fruit, for he had not learnt to descend 
from his spiritual height and priestly dignity, and to take upon 
himself the burden of a household. And she, as a spiritual 
virgin, was not accustomed to submit to a man. After this he 
left the service of the Congregation and his hermitage, where 
the tempter had mocked him with false sanctity, and the 
Brethren erected for him another dwelling house. But the 
tempter did not rest. He breathed into him very suspicious 
thoughts towards the Superintendent, namely, that the same 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 1 99 

had envied him his gifts, and that this female, therefore, had 
been made use of to bring about his fall. All this caused 
him to lose his senses, and he was for some time a victim of 
madness. For all this he had to thank his having with 
unwashed hands engaged in so important official duties. 
After he had regained his reason he engaged in such cunning 
frauds that neither magistrate nor jurist could get behind his 
artifices, whereupon he left the country and fled to South 
Carolina. From that time on nothing was heard of him for 
fifteen years, until at last a letter from him was received in 
the Settlement, in which he gave the following suspicious 
account of his affairs. He had not expected to hear anything 
of the Community in Ephrata before the day when he would 
have to appear before the judgment and be condemned by 
them. After he had committed all kinds of wickedness he had 
added the folly of taking part in the Iroquois war. But when 
in battle he had seen men and horses fall down, and his own 
horse had been shot, he earnestly prayed to God, and made a 
vow that if God would save him out of this danger he would 
mend his life; then, after victory was won, he had retired from 
service, intending to return to his Community in Pennsyl- 
vania, but weakness had prevented him from getting further 
than to Little River, where he had since lived as a settler. 
This letter was followed by another, Anno 1783, signed by 
him and more than forty members of the Congregation, which 
shows that God afterwards made use of him to build up an 
Knglish Congregation according to the plan he had projected 
when still living a Solitary in the Settlement. And since he 
put his hand to the plough again, according to. his vow, and 
returned to his former faith, the preceding narrative will not 
be prejudicial to him, for the ways of God are incompre- 
hensible, and all of us will fall, although it were better we 
fell into the hands of God than into the judgment of the 
world. 

At the same time there lived in Philadelphia a Pietist, W. 
Y. 1 by name, who was accustomed to ingratiate himself with 
the pious and to raise money by all kinds of frauds. He is 
said to have done the same in Germany, and in Germantown 

^William Young]. 



200 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

he practiced the same with the Separatists. This man wrote 
a letter to the Superintendent, September 26th, 1746, and 
requested of him to read it to the whole Community. The 
contents of the letter were, that he had bought a house 
for ^300, but that he still needed ^40 or ^50, which he 
requested the Community to lend him. Besides this he 
also related much of his career, which had already com- 
menced in Germany, and that there already he had deter- 
mined to become a Capuchin, but that he was prevented 
from carrying out this holy design. He thought now he 
might attain his end in a different way, for after having 
paid for the house he had bought, he intended to set up 
therein a shop for his wife, and then to set out for Ephrata 
with his three children, and by these means to escape from 
his captivity. Two Brethren were sent to him, in consequence 
of this request, who in the name of the Community, made 
the following known to him, namely: As regards the money, 
they could not assist him this time, but in regard to the 
separation from his wife, they advised him to desist from it, 
because experience had taught that it would not be accom- 
plished. For there had happened in Ephrata not a few 
matrimonial separations in times past, and on that account 
letters of divorce had been executed; but when the Ecker- 
lins had lost the management of affairs, and the Superin- 
tendent had again assumed it, he stopped these disorders, 
ordered the letters of divorce to be burnt, and obliged the 
married couples to live together again. This unexpected 
answer greatly disturbed him. But nevertheless he sent 
another letter to the Superintendent by those two Brethren, 
in which he renewed his request for ^40 or ^50. The Su- 
perintendent, who, according to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, 
"Give unto him that asketh of you," could not easily refuse 
anyone who applied to him, at last, after two months, procured 
the money for him as a loan. The Superintendent hereby 
found an open door in the spirit to get further acquainted with 
the man by letter, and several long and important letters were 
sent to him at the time, which had such a powerful effect 
that he submitted to baptism in Ephrata, February 28th, 
1747. While still standing in the water he delivered an 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 201 

address, in which he called the water, trees, etc., to witness 
that he had betrothed himself to Jesus Christ. And because 
at a future time he wickedly broke the covenant entered 
into by water, it is to be believed that this innocent element 
will bear witness against him on that day. 

But the baptism did not bring him to himself, for soon 
after the same he commenced an unnecessary war with the 
friends of the Separatists in Germantown, and drove them 
into sore straits by means of the Community; he always took 
care first to send the letters which he wrote to them to 
Ephrata for sanction. But after he had discovered the good 
nature of the Community, it was clearly to be seen that the 
sole motive of his conversion was to obtain money. Many 
people pitied the Brethren at the time, that they had been 
deceived by so great an impostor; but they did not under- 
stand the guidance of God, which had for its object to make 
manifest the innermost depths of the human heart. The 
next year he again demanded ^30 to pay on his house. 
This greatly enraged the Brethren. It was strongly conjec- 
tured that the Superintendent used this opportunity to reduce 
the Brethren to their blissful state of poverty, for it is sure, 
that from that time on many refused to put their money into 
the treasury, under the pretence that they could themselves 
expend it more profitably on the poor. However, respect for 
the guidance of God was still so great at the time that some 
Brethren in the paper mill made up the money in a short 
time, and satisfied him. But in the autumn following he 
bought two shoemakers with that money, the trade which he 
followed, and permitted the Community in Ephrata to take 
care of the debt on his house. Soon another letter of his 
arrived in the Settlement, in which he again wanted to 
borrow the above mentioned ^30. Everybody now saw 
quite plainly that the man was a cheat; the Superintendent 
alone did not allow any suspicion against him to enter his 
mind, for he stood under an extraordinary guidance, totally in 
opposition to the general doings of man; and he, therefore, 
did not yield until the wishes of the man were in this case 
also complied with. 

This man, being thus thrown into the lap of the whole 



202 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Community, became so intoxicated with spiritual affairs that 
powers of inspiration appeared; for once in a letter to the 
Community he prophesied of tlje awakening in Virginia, 
Maryland, etc. He was, besides, possessed of such an acute 
feeling that he could tell to the minute when Brethren 
arrived in Philadelphia, and usually reprimanded them if 
they did not at once report to him. When the Superinten- 
dent became aware that the man was pregnant with priestly 
buffoonery, he felt impelled to grant him full fellowship, 
most likely in order to bring to light the mystery hidden in 
the man. And now he commenced to win recruits for the 
Community, and to proclaim himself their representative. 
For this purpose he demanded for himself a complete suit of 
a Solitary in Ephrata, as also for his daughter the garb of a 
spiritual virgin, and all of the finest cotton, which was also 
granted to him. 

In general, whenever he sent such new recruits to the 
Settlement, he did not forget to mention that their needs 
would have to be supplied, and thus he at once transmitted 
his impudence to them also. The first one recommended by 
him who arrived in the Settlement was the wife of a shoe- 
maker, John Mayer. She was baptized October 16th, 1747. 
In the year 1748 he again sent two single Brethren, Henry 
Sangmeister and Anthony Hollenthal by name, who were 
baptized on the very same day, and the first received the 
name Ezekiel. John Mayer and Peter Schmidt were bap- 
tized on April 9th, 1748. Soon after he also brought his 
sister to the Sisters' convent, where she was called Seraphia. 

Here I have to introduce several things, on account of the 
order of time, although they have no connection with the 
subject itself. There lived a fallen woman in the Settlement, 
Blandina by name, for whose conversion they had good hopes 
for some time, but when she was accused before the Superin- 
tendent of attempting to seduce young Brethren, of which he 
had already a spiritual monition, the spirit flamed up in him 
so violently that she had to quit the Settlement at once, 
although the house-fathers offered to go bail for her conduct. 
Because the house which formerly had been the residence of 
the Eckerlins was under suspicion of similar disorders, it was, 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 2O3 

by common counsel, torn down and cut up for fire-wood. 
Meanwhile a love-feast and breaking of bread was announced 
to be held in Philadelphia at the house of the before men- 
tioned W. Y. , to which the Superintendent went with twelve 
Solitary Brethren and Sisters, June 2d, 1747. This love-feast 
was kept at the expense of the Community, and cost them 
a great deal, for not only flour, butter, and whatever else 
belongs to it had to be sent from the Settlement, but all the 
necessary tinware, window-curtains, tables, etc., were also 
bought on account of the Community, which amounted to 
a large sum of money, since the tables alone cost ^10. I 
observed that during this whole journey the Superintendent 
stood entirely under the influence of this man. Thus he would 
not permit the poor Sisters to drink water on the way, merely 
because the same had written to him he should take care that 
the Sisters did not suffer any injury from drinking too much 
water on 'the journey. And when after the festival was over 
everyone prepared for the journey home, he requested the Su- 
perintendent to stay yet another day, which had to be done, 
notwithstanding it was hard for the company to be confined for 
a whole day and in such hot. weather, in so small a place. 
On this journey the powers of eternity manifested them- 
selves anew through the person of the Superintendent. 
When entering the city, the concourse of people was very 
great; for just at the time when the whole country hoped 
the Community would go to ruin, he unexpectedly appeared 
in Philadelphia. Moreover his people were better drilled in 
the rules of a Solitary life than ever the royal troops under- 
stood their military exercises; they all appeared in white 
dresses of most scrupulous cleanness. And although it 
could be seen from their lean and pale faces that they lived 
in a region where they had to suffer much for the sake of 
the kingdom of God, they understood to hide their afflictions 
so well under the mask of a serene countenance, that no 
one could read on their foreheads what transpired in their 
hearts. When they entered the house so great a number of 
people followed that if a stop had not been put to it the 
house could not have held them all. And when they com- 
menced to sing in the house, you could see through the 



204 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

windows that people were sitting on all the roofs. I almost 
forgot to mention, that as the visitors crossed a street in 
Philadelphia an Irish woman followed the people and said: 
"These persons should be left in peace, because she knew 
them well; they were holy persons; " for she had for a time 
led a strict life as a Sister in the Settlement, but was now 
fallen off. When the Brethren heard of it they sent after 
her, whether she would not like to be saved again out of the 
snares of Satan; but she sent word to them that she knew 
very well that the way of the Brethren was the right one, 
but she would not dare again to appear before their eyes. 

After the visit at the above mentioned house and to the 
other friends in Philadelphia had, through God's assistance, 
found a blessed end, preparations for the homeward journey 
were made, although various other church-work was yet done. 
On the journey he visited his old friend Conrad Matthei, not 
far from Germantown. He alone was left of a venerable 
society, which the celebrated John Kelpius had founded, 
which, after his death, however, was again scattered, as has 
been mentioned. At this visit, when they embraced each 
other, a difference which had existed between their spirits, 
was removed. They had formerly been good friends; but after 
the Superintendent had permitted himself to be instrumental 
in this new awakening in Conestoga, a separation of their 
spirits took place, which was healed again by this visit, as just 
mentioned. Therefore he wrote a favorable letter to him as 
soon as he returned home and likewise exhorted John Wiister, 
in Philadelphia, who was also his benefactor, not to with- 
draw his hands from him. This journey was one of the most 
important the Superintendent ever undertook, on account of 
God's mighty presence. It was executed only through the 
power of the spirit, for the meagre manner of living had 
crushed nature in such a way that without spiritual assistance 
the journey could hardly have been performed. Therefore, 
whenever he saw their spirits yield to the weakness of 
nature, he used to scold them until they were revived again. 

During the whole of the visit the Superintendent was 
entirely beyond the realm of sense and took little care of his 
outward life, or of the weakness of his companions, especially 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 205 

those of the females, who were already quite faint on account 
of previous severe exercises. When in hopes that they 
would soon reach the Settlement they were obliged to turn 
off from the road and go to West Nantmill, to the English 
congregation there, where a love-feast was held with the 
above-mentioned Israel Seymour. The visitors arrived at 
night, but the love-feast lasted till midnight, because the 
Superintendent talked much with them through an inter- 
preter of the falling and rising again of man. The spirit 
pervaded his human nature to such an extent that he knew 
very little of fatigue. Early the next morning, the visitors 
started for the Settlement. This whole journey was made 
without the help of any creature. 

On May 18th, 1748, a large number again visited the above 
mentioned W. Y. in Philadelphia, on account of a love-feast, 
which was held on the following 22d of May, the management 
of which the Superintendent put into the hands of a Brother, 
Jabez by name. By means of such movements this good 
man got so much to do that he at last imposed his whole 
household upon the community; for whenever he was in 
want of anything for his household he, without hesitation, 
applied for it, and he was mostly satisfied. Therefore every- 
thing had to be provided for him, flour, butter, flax, linen, 
bed sheets, table covers, etc. At last he made the attempt to 
put even his debts, amounting to ^200, on the Brethren in 
Bethany. He wrote to the Superintendent that it was impos- 
sible for him, loaded as he was with his debts, to assist at the 
spiritual building up of the church, and asked to be entirely 
freed from them. After the Superintendent had read this 
letter to the Brethren, a very important work was the con- 
sequence, for they declared this demand of the man to be the 
greatest injustice. But the Superintendent pressed them 
very hard to grant it, so that they at last perceived that this 
man was sent to them for their humiliation. They finally 
held a council about the debt, and it was resolved to 
request a merchant in Philadelphia to advance the sum to 
them. Because the Brethren had thus humbled themselves 
under God's decree, the game was wonderfully turned; for 
on August 9th, 1748, three Brethren, namely, Lamech, Jethro 



206 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

and Gideon, were sent to him in the name of the Community 
with the order to take his household again upon his own 
shoulders. Of these Brother Jethro spoke to him thus: 
"We came to you in the name of the Community at 
Ephrata, to make known to you that we are done with your 
household; for we have no more money in hand wherewith 
to manage it any longer. Therefore we advise you to attend 
to your household affairs yourself, and be responsible for 
them and leave us. For we are not able to do this for you, 
because we live not for such purposes; for being an outcast 
people, the thing you ask us to do for you, ought to be done 
for us." To make it quite sure, and prevent him from abus- 
ing the goodness of the Superintendent in the future, he 
handed him a short letter from the same, which was couched 
in sharp language. 

This aroused the original evil disposition of the man; and 
because an evil will was stirred in him he began to turn all 
the good he had enjoyed from the Community into evil. For 
instance, since the Community had an account of ^123 
against him he brought in a bill of the same amount for 
losses he had sustained during the time of his connection 
with the Community, which losses he chiefly attributed to 
his inability to attend the weekly markets in Philadelphia, 
on account of the Sabbath. Many to whom he formerly had 
given great offence, because of the support received from 
Ephrata, were reconciled again and were seen with him. But 
because none in the temporal world can live up to the princi- 
ple of wrath all the time, he also turned back on himself after 
he had foamed forth all his badness against the Community. 
Accordingly he wrote to the Superintendent, and accused 
himself of having offended the children of God, but at the 
same time petitioned to have his debt of ^123 cancelled, in 
order that after his death his children might not be held 
responsible. This was granted him. These are about the most 
important facts connected with this man. He at last tore 
loose again from the fraternal bond of the Brethren, and 
because by his actions he extinguished the few sparks of his 
conscience; it can be said with certainty that he was a perfect 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 207 

Atheist, 2 namely, such an one as trod under foot the house- 
hold of Jesus Christ. 3 

The covenant, nevertheless, which was made by him in 
the water will rise up against him on the last day, and witness 

2 The whole history of this man shows under what a high guidance the 
Superintendent must have stood at the time. He may have known all his 
frauds, for so much intelligence he still possessed; but it was not permitted 
him to see into the future. Everything that happened to him he accepted 
as coming from God, without his own choosing, and if his reasoning thus 
made a fool of him, his successors were put to the same test. In proof of 
it let us cite a few incidents. Once a beggar and his wife were brought 
before him, who desired to be baptized and received into the Settlement ; 
herein he did not act according to human understanding, for counsel was 
soon taken upon it as a very important matter. All the Solitary agreed not to 
receive them, and represented to the Superintendent that they were already 
so burdened with so many people who could not support themselves, that 
no honest person would in the future like to have anything to do with 
them. But the Superintendent asked them whence they had the right to 
close the door against the poor ? Had he done like them, and not given his 
possessions to the Community, Ephrata would never have been built, and 
none of them would be present here. Thus he compelled them through 
the strength of God to assent and to admit these people, and then author- 
ized a Brother to perform the rite. But what a wonder! As soon as these 
people had done their work, and the Solitary thus been humbled, the angel 
of judgment pursued them and they decamped without waiting for bap- 
tism. O, how blessed is the man who puts his trust in God and lets his 
goodness rule over him! He, indeed, experiences how faithfully God takes 
care of his own. 

Another incident, similar to this, happened some time later. Two other 
married people came, not much better than the former, and brought the 
same request. But in this case the Superintendent met with such strenuous 
opposition that he became helpless. At last he left it to the choice of these 
people to live in the Settlement without being baptized, or to receive bap- 
tism and go their way again. When they chose the former, he became 
convinced that baptism was not their true motive, and he let them go their 
way. 

'About the year 1782 he made a new attempt at intercourse with his 
former Brethren, for it cannot well be believed that he was fixed in his 
opinions; but perhaps, if he had obtained their consent it would have been 
some relief to him in his doubtful condition. He sent a letter of fifty sheets 
to the Settlement, in which he scoffingly spoke of their household and ridi- 
culed all the methods which they used to conquer the natural life. And 
that was no wonder, for since he had again put the old man on the throne, 
these things were of no use to him. On the contrary he said, Nature was 
able to bring happiness ; although a fall had occurred, this did not matter 
much, and a proper civil government could mend this. He offered to live 



208 



CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 



against him, and it will fall heavily upon him to have licked 
the thorns. Those people whom he had brought to the 
Community also left again, and thus nothing of his work 
remains. 

in the Settlement awhile. When this letter was published, the opinion was 
expressed that, according to the Apostle's teachings, such people should 
not be admitted into the houses. When this was made known to him, he 
thought that they were afraid of being seduced, and gave up his visit. His 
death occurred in 1785. 




CHAPTER XXVII. 

The Mills of the Solitary are Destroyed by Fire; a 
Book of Martyrs is Printed for the Mennonites; the 
Domestic Household Undertakes a Reform with the 
Help of the Solitary; and a Nursery is Established 
to Lead Boys to a Spiritual Life. 

Before I take in hand this singular event, I must make 
mention of the household of the Brethren in Zion, as it 
existed at the time before the mill was bought. I men- 
tioned above that at the foundation of this Order, the 
Brethren, without exception, had dedicated themselves to 
the service of God and the Community, and without expec- 
tation of any compensation, which at first was a means of 
supporting them in their poverty, since at that time they had 
their support' mostly from the offerings of the Community. 
But when these offerings began to be neglected, the Breth- 
ren fell into unbelief and bought the mill under the pre- 
tence that they had no need to live by the grace of other 
people. It is rightly maintained that this mill laid the 
foundation of their worldly household, as described above. 
The same, moreover, could never be brought under the 
dominion of the spirit which ruled in Kphrata; accordingly 
many Brethren turned towards the mill whenever they 
wished to escape the discipline of the Holy Spirit, which 
still was at the helm in the Settlement; since, besides hard 
work, they had the advantage also of being able to live their 
natural life, by which, however, they at last trifled away 
their holy calling and ran into the arms of the world. 

Shortly before the mill burnt down the Mennonites in 
Pennsylvania agreed that their great Book of Martyrs, which 
was printed in the Dutch language, should be translated 
and printed in German. No one in the whole country was 
considered better able to do this than the Brotherhood in 
Ephrata, especially since they possessed a new printing press 
and a paper-mill, and moreover were able to put a sufficient 
p ( 209 ) 



2IO CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

number of hands to work. The contract was very advan- 
tageous for the above-mentioned Mennonites, for it was agreed 
on both sides that the Brethren should translate and print 
the book, but the Mennonites should afterwards have liberty 
to buy or not to buy. But as soon as this compact became 
known it was everywhere feared that the good Brethren 
might gather mammon for themselves; they even received let- 
lers of warning from friends in Germany on that account. But 
the good God had other designs which even the Brethren 
were not aware of until they were so far involved in the work 
that they were unable to withdraw. The Superintendent, 
who was the instigator of this work, never allowed a suspen- 
sion of work or carnal rest in the Settlement, and therefore 
seized every opportunity to keep all those who were under his 
control in perpetual motion, so that no one might ever feel at 
home again in this life, and so forget the consolation from 
above, which purpose this Book of Martyrs excellently served, 
as will be told in its place. 

On September 5th, 1747, which was a Sabbath, the fol- 
lowing important circumstance happened. When, according 
to custom, the Brethren after supper on that day had allotted 
the work for the week in presence of the Superintendent, 
and had ordered that these Brethren should work at the 
printing press, others in the book-bindery, several in the 
paper-mill and flour-mill, and others again at shoemaking, 
etc, the Superintendent spoke these weighty words in con- 
clusion: "I now withdraw again from all that has been 
done, and leave it to God, in order to see what kind of a trial 
will come to me through this whole affair. For as yet I have 
no proof at hand by which I could know that God approves 
of it," etc. But when every person *in the Settlement was 
wrapped in the first sleep, and the millers were going to the 
work assigned them, on their way they saw the mill all in 
flames. They, therefore, gave the necessary alarm in the 
whole Settlement. Everybody, Brethren as well as Sisters, 
ran to the fire in one of the coldest nights of the whole winter, 
and each one strove to be the first to quench the flames. But 
careful examination showed that all labor would be in vain, 
therefore they did not make the attempt. Finally it was 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 211 

tried, not without danger, to life, to extinguish a wall of 
burning logs; and thus an advantage was gained, and the fire 
kept within its bounds, so that the saw-mill (which had already 
commenced to burn) and the paper-mill, which stood without 
the above-mentioned wall of wood, were saved from being 
burnt. * Many suspected envious persons of having caused 
it, but careful examination showed that the fire originated at 
the fulling-press. Within four hours in this fatal night, the 
whole flour-mill with three stones and a great quantity of 
wheat were consumed; a skillfully built oil-mill, with stones 
the like of which none before existed in America, besides a 
large store of oil, and above 500 bushels of flaxseed. A com- 
plete fulling-mill with all that belongs to it. 

Thus did the fire, with God's permission, make an end of 
all the mammon which the Eckerlins by their flaying, scrap- 
ing and miserly conduct had gathered in the former household. 
The old-time confidence in God was sought to be gained 
again, for the most of the Solitary remembered quite well 
how they formerly had often worked in the bakery for a long 
time, the supply being wonderfully increased without human 
help. Here the Superintendent again began to appeal to 
God, who had imposed such burdens on him; for all the sup- 
ply of bread in the Settlement was only enough to last for 
eight days. This moved the Fathers of the Community to 
hold a conference among themselves, in which one addressed 
the Community in the following way: "You, Brethren, 
what is to be advised in the matter ? You all know that the 
mill of the Brethren and all its contents have been turned into 
ashes, and in addition that the bake-house in Ephrata, from 

1 Although this mill was the cause of the Solitary Brethren engaging in all 
kinds of worldly pursuits, in oppositon to their heavenly calling, it never- 
theless must be acknowledged that it was of great benefit to the house- 
hold, for the poor Solitary have obtained their bread by it now for nearly 
fifty years. Therefore it is to be supposed that it had little favor to expect 
from the world-spirit and from the people who belong to it. This is 
proved not only by the conflagration of that time, but by the fact that 
after this mill had been rebuilt, in the year 1784, envious people dared to 
burn it down again, and to start the fire in a place which was overfilled with 
combustible material, occasioning a terrible conflagration, which, however, 
was early discovered and extinguished. 



212 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

which eighty Solitary Brethren and Sisters obtained their 
sustenance, is entirely empty. It would be very well if we 
would agree among ourselves to retrieve this loss." This 
speech opened their hearts so that every house-father will- 
ingly sacrificed all he had that was not needed for his own 
household for the service of the Solitary. And because all 
this proved insufficient they bought of their neighbors so 
much besides as they considered necessary until the mill 
should again be rebuilt. May God recompense them on the 
day of judgment. 

But this was not the end of their goodness. For after a 
consultation had been held about the matter, the whole 
Community offered to assist in every way to rebuild the 
mill for the Solitary Brethren. This was a wished-for 
opportunity for the Superintendent, since it had been his 
desire long ago to see the house-fathers have an interest in 
the mill, because it had thus far had the name of being the 
property of the Solitary Brethren, on which account he was 
afraid the Sisters might some day fall short. The rebuild- 
ing of the mill was, therefore, commenced with great energy 
by the Community and the Solitary Brethren during the 
coldest season of the year, so that already six weeks after 
the fire one set of stones was again in operation. I must 
not forget to mention at this place how remarkably God 
moved the hearts of the neighbors, so that everyone, accord- 
ing to his ability, contributed wood or helped with his team. 
And because these people were mostly people of the great 
religious denominations, their impartiality was all the more 
wonderful. The Brethren showed themselves grateful for it 
in later times and assisted them in every way at the building 
of their church. 

After the mill was finished, with the help of the Commu- 
nity, the Superintendent became debtor before God to the 
domestic households, because they had shown so much faith- 
fulness to the work of God at the time when the Solitary 
were so severely chastened; wherefore he sacrificed himself 
and all his property to the service of the Community. For, 
as already mentioned, there existed a disagreement between 
the Solitary and the domestic household, which it was not 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 213 

easy to remove, in which the household, because it stood 
nearest the world-realm, mostly had the worst; but as God 
had given the balance into the hands of the Superintendent, 
the latter preserved the equilibrium, and did not permit the 
Solitary to hold the married in dishonor on account of their 
condition. So he also brought it about that half of the 
new mill was awarded to the Community as a reward for 
their faithful services, to which the Solitary Brethren agreed. 
Thereupon the Community transferred their half to the 
Sisterhood as their particular property, and the Solitary 
Brethren gave a bill of emption to the afore mentioned 
Sisterhood for greater security. Through this the influ- 
ence of the Solitary Brethren was not only sensibly weak- 
ened in the Community, but the household of the Sisters 
almost obtained the preponderance and commenced to get 
too strong for the Solitary Brethren; in consequence of 
which many vexations arose, of which I shall speak at 
another place. 

After the building of the mill was completed, the printing 
of the Book of Martyrs was taken in hand, to which import- 
ant work fifteen Brethren were detailed, nine of whom had 
their work assigned in the printing department, namely, one 
corrector, who was at the same time the translator, four 
compositors and four pressmen; the rest had their work in 
the paper-mill. Three years were spent on this book, though 
not continuously, for there was often a want of paper. And 
because at that time, there was little other business in the 
Settlement, the household of the Brethren got deeply into 
debt, which, however, was soon liquidated by the heavy sales 
of the book. The book was printed in large folio form, 
contained sixteen reams of paper, and the edition consisted 
of 1300 copies. At a council with the Mennonites, the price 
of one copy was fixed at twenty shillings, (about ^1), which 
ought to be proof, that other causes than eagerness for gain 
led to the printing of the same. 2 

2 This book eventually met with strange experiences during the Revolu- 
tionary war in America. When there was a great lack of all war-material 
and also of paper, the fact was betrayed that there was a large quantity of 
printed paper in Ephrata, which then was pretty soon confiscated. Many 



214 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

That this Book of Martyrs was the cause of many trials 
among the Solitary, and contributed not a little to their 
spiritual martyrdom, is still in fresh remembrance. The 
Superintendent, who had started the work, had other reasons 
than gain for it. The welfare of those entrusted to him lay 
near his heart, and he therefore allowed no opportunity to 
pass which might contribute anything to it. Those three 
years, during which said book was in press, proved an excel- 
lent preparation for spiritual martyrdom, although during 
that time six failed and joined the world again. When this 
is taken into consideration, as also the low price, and how 
far those who worked at it were removed from self-interest, 
the biographies of the holy martyrs, which the book con- 
tains, cannot fail to be a source of edification to all who read 
them. Moderation and vigilance were observed during this 
task as strictly as ever in the convent; but everything was 
in such confusion, that in spite of all care, each had to 
submit to discipline at least once a day. God be praised that 
brotherly love did not suffer from it ! The Superintendent 
visited this school of correction once every day, in order to 
preserve the balance among the Brethren. 

About this time the domestic household had to experience 
perceptible changes, and certainly for the worse. Their 
children had in their young days lived according to the 
manner of the Community; their dress was simple; they also 
entered into the covenant of baptism; but the parents, 
instead of keeping them under the law during their youth, 
gave the freedom of the Gospel into their hands too early, so 
that vanity awoke within them, and being elated by their 
goodness, they took to scoffing, and soon to such an extent 

protests -were raised against this in the Settlement, and it was alleged, 
among the rest, that this might lead to evil consequences on account of the 
English army. They resolved not to give up anything voluntarily, but 
that it would have to be taken by force. Consequently there arrived two 
wagons and six soldiers, who took possession of all the copies of the Book of 
Martyrs, after making prompt payment for them. This gave great offence 
in the country, and many thought that the war would not end favorably for 
the country, because the memorials of the holy martyrs had been thus mal- 
treated. At last, however, they were honored again, for some sensible 
persons bought "in all that were left of them. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 215 

that none of the Solitary were willing to work with them. 
Having at last brought their parents to take their part, they 
abandoned the simple dress and clothed themselves after the 
fashion of the world. The Superintendent, who always was 
a true patron of the domestic household, took this much to 
heart. He spoke much with the parents, that under pre- 
tence of the Gospel they had surrendered their right over 
their children. But it was too late. An attempt was, how- 
ever, made to stem the evil. Accordingly the 15th of May, 
1749, was fixed as a day of fasting, repentance and prayer. 
On that day all abuses in the Community and among the 
Solitary were abolished as much as possible, and the parents, 
too, were prompted to burn the worldly dresses of their chil- 
dren. And because at that time the subject of matrimony 
was still weighing heavily on them, so that young people 
were obliged to follow disorderly ways in order to accommo- 
date themselves to it, the youth were given their freedom, 
but so that it was done in the Lord, without consent of the 
parents. 

About this time a young Brother, P. W. 3 by name, who 
wished to change his state, confided in the Superintendent 
and asked for one of his spiritual virgins. This, of course, 
was an encroachment upon the church government. But he 
consented, for he had as little right over the spiritual virgins 
as the great Apostle Paul himself. He, himself, attended the 
wedding and ordered one of the Solitary to perform the cere- 
mony; but it resembled more a devotional meeting than a 
wedding. The Superintendent and his brother took leave 
of the bridegroom with a kiss, who opened his heart too far 
to them, and thus weakened the conjugal love between him- 
self and his bride so much that they could not embrace each 
other for eight days. For the strife between the celestial 
Virgin and Eve's daughters for the possession of Adam's 
empty side is so severe that where the first, takes hold all the 
others must give way. The bridegroom came to the Super- 
intendent, and, with the bride's consent, asked for a separa- 
tion, for they were still free. Accordingly the Brother who 

had united them was called for and asked whether he were 

tr 

3 [Peter Weitner.] 



2l6 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

willing to separate thern again? The answer was: "Rather 
than unite them." Thereupon he wrote two letters of 
divorce, which they signed, and thus renounced forever all 
right over each other. But it was not long before the bride 
repented. She took her bridegroom before court, where the 
letters of divorce were produced. The justices were astonished 
at this transaction, and one of them said: " By God, this man 
can do more than God and the king." Then they resolved 
to fetch the writer by a writ; it was, however, decided that 
they had no right over him, because he had only been the 
writer. They obliged the bridegroom to receive his bride, 
to which decree he submitted. 

A door was also opened at that time to work upon the 
young people, a great number of whom were staying with 
the Brethren. Some had come from Germany, others 
attended the school. These were seized by the spirit of 
awakening, so that they commenced to hold prayer-meeting 
every morning and evening, and avoided the company of 
those who led a disorderly life. But the matter did not end 
there, for on December 2d, 1749, they immersed one another 
in the water, and on the same day held among themselves a 
love-feast and breaking of bread. The Fathers of the Com- 
munity, when they saw heaven again open for their youth, 
took advantage of the opportunity; and when an overseer 
was appointed for them, they committed their boys to his 
care, so that in a short time their church increased to twenty- 
two members. Now the building of a house for them was 
commenced, which was to be called Succoth, for which pur- 
pose much lumber had already been prepared. For the 
Superintendent was anxious that this awakening should not 
fall into the care of strangers, wherefore also they were 
not permitted to unite in prayer with the Brethren, but a 
separate prayer-meeting was held for them alone. The 
house, however, was never completed. 

It appears, however, that they were not satisfied with their 
first baptism, for they spoke with the Superintendent about it, 
who dared not deny them baptism on account of their youth, 
especially since there is proof that boys of such an age have 
been martyrs. Therefore he baptized six of them on Decern- 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 217 

ber 1 8th, 1749. Some of the Community mutinied against 
it, and accused the Superintendent of wishing to introduce 
the baptism of children again. They also agreed among 
themselves not to break bread with them; but through this 
they fell away from charity, and left the Community. On 
the 22d of the same month six more were baptized, with the 
performance of which the Superintendent charged one of 
the Brethren. On the following January 30th, 1750, a break- 
ing of bread was held for them, by which act they were com- 
pletely incorporated into the Community, two of them, 
Daniel Wiister and Philip Beussel washing the feet of all 
the Brethren. After this institution had existed eighteen 
months, it again fell to pieces, whereby many were defrauded 
of their hopes; but the Superintendent was not affected by 
it, because he had not sought anything therefrom. 

About the time that the printing of the Book of Martyrs 
referred to was commenced, the government of the Brethren 
underwent another change, and the Prior, Jethro by name, 
was dismissed from his office. When a new election was 
about to be held the Superintendent addressed the Brethren 
with great earnestness and admonished them to remember 
the future Prior in their prayers, because this office was fraught 
with great danger. As this was known to the Brethren none 
was willing to undertake it. But at last the choice fell upon 
one of the oldest Brethren, Eleazar. The above-mentioned 
Brother Jethro had indeed shown more liveliness in his admin- 
istration than circumstances allowed him, and therefore was 
much exercised over this change, especially since he was 
enrolled with the printers and thus became a common Brother. 
He grew tired of life and longed for his dissolution. This had 
such an effect that he sickened, and after an illness of seven 
weeks and five days he laid aside his earthly tabernacle, 
October 12th, 1749, and on the following day was gathered to 
his Brethren. His leave-taking of the Brother who attended 
him was very edifying: "Good night," he said, "now I set 
out for eternity. May God reward you for the faithfulness you 
have shown to me; there we shall see each other again." 
He is still kept in blessed remembrance among the Solitary. 
And with this we will conclude this chapter. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Concerning an Awakening in Gimsheim, in the Palati- 
nate, Which Brought Many People to the Settlement. 
Very Special Circumstances Connected with a Drought 
in Pennsylvania. 

We now have to speak of the awakening in Gimsheim, 
which brought many people to the Settlement. Gimsheim is a 
considerable place in the Palatinate, situated between Worms 
and Oppenheim, on the Rhine. The Superintendent had an 
own Brother there, who had been converted by him. The Su- 
perintendent exchanged letters with him from Pennsylvania 
(see his 4th printed Theosophic Epistle, page 84), and there is 
cause to think that the first fire of this awakening originated 
in these letters. The chief men of the awakening were 
Lohman and Kimmel. As these, on one occasion, before 
their awakening, spent the night in the tavern with cards 
and drinking, they were so violently seized by the hand of 
God that they melted into tears and resolved to begin a 
better life. The thing was soon known by report, and they 
were joined by those who had a like intention. At last it 
came so far that they began to hold meetings in the fields or 
at other places, when the power of God revealed itself so 
wondrously that powers of prophecy were often felt among 
them. But since they avoided the church, the Roman 
Catholic and Reformed . ministers sounded an alarm, and 
every Sunday thundered from their pulpits against these new 
Pietists, till at last they brought about that a commission 
was appointed by the chief bailiff in Altzey to look into the 
conduct of these people, and especially whether they were 
accustomed to sing and pray at their meetings, for this was 
forbidden under penalty. All but eighteen drew back at 
this examination, and the Reformed minister informed 
against these at the ecclesiastical council of the Palatinate 
in Heidelberg. The leaders of the awakening were then 
(218) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 219 

cited, tried, and found guilty; but before they reached home, 
the chief bailiff imposed a fine on them, and an execution of 
it was sent to Gimsheim. They paid the fine, but the affair 
was reported to the sovereign of the country', which had the 
result that the chief bailiff was ordered to remit the fine 
against the accused. By the death of the sovereign, how- 
ever, which soon after took place, this was prevented. There- 
fore they were obliged to look to other places for liberty of 
conscience. They consequently went to Herrnhaag and 
Gelnhausen. But because they did not find what they wanted 
at those places, they determined to go to America. 

In the year 1749 the first of them arrived in Pennsylvania, 
and soon turned their steps towards the Settlement; among 
these were some of the Superintendent's relations. The 
rest of his relatives arrived some years later, all of whom 
were poor people. This was a hard trial for the Superin- 
tendent, for how was it possible for him to acknowledge 
again the natural relationships from which he had severed 
himself at his first awakening. But the Community bore 
such love to its Superintendent, that it paid their passage. 
Thus every corner in the Settlement was for the time occu- 
pied by the persecuted, of whom the Brethren's and Sisters'. 
Houses gathered in many, all of whom eventually, however, 
joined the domestic household, except a few, who remained 
with the Sisters. The first arrivals, namely, four persons of 
the domestic household, were baptzied during October and 
November, 1749. In the year 1751 the leaders of said awak- 
ening, namely, Lohman and Kimmel, left Gimsheim, in com- 
pany with some others, and arrived all well in Pennsylvania; 
but they experienced. more difficulty in getting to the Settle- 
ment than those who had preceded them, for they were 
merchants, and therefore were much beset by the Pietists, 
who tried to entangle them in business affairs. But after 
they had successfully overcome this temptation, there was 
not one who did not go to the Settlement. This addition of 
new converts caused much work in the Settlement, for they 
hungered so after the bread of God, which comes from 
heaven, that their zeal roused the matrix of eternity so 
that powers of prophecy again were poured out. Hence 



220 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

several of them, in their spiritual intoxication, attempted 
to hand their possessions over to the Community, which, 
however, were not accepted. Meanwhile they professed 
that they had attained the aim of their awakening, and 
that they had no need to look for anything else. 

In December of the year 1751, six more of them were bap- 
tized, namely, Henry Lohman, Jeremiah Niess and Valen- 
tine Henry, with their wives. On the 25th of that month a 
love-feast was held, to which said Lohman contributed the 
costs; but with Kimmel more difficulties arose, for it was 
conjectured that he would leave the Settlement again before 
being baptized. But at last, in the spring following, he 
and his helpmate also submitted to the rules of the new 
covenant, and his children afterwards followed his example. 
After having spent about six months in the Settlement, he 
moved to York county, in the neighborhood of the Bermudian, 
but after living there for several years, his helpmate was torn 
from him by death, which subjected him to severe tempta- 
tions, since a second marriage was neither agreeable to his 
mind nor permitted according to apostolic church-govern- 
ment. When this became known in the Settlement the 
Solitary Brethren opened the door of their house to him; 
to whom he moved and where God compensated him for 
the loss of his wife, so that he lived with them for thirty 
years as a widower, and at last departed into eternity, 
in 1784, at a great age. These are the chief circum- 
stances connected with the Gimsheim awakening, and how 
at last it was united with the awakening in the Settle- 
ment. May God grant that all of them reached the aim and 
end of their calling, or may yet reach it. But, to take up 
our narrative in proper order, all the married people of Gims- 
heim afterwards joined the said Kimmel and settled about 
the Bermudian. But because they were followed by some of 
the Community, of whom it was known that they avoided 
bearing witness to God, and could not endure its keeness, 
said region began to be suspected in the Settlement, so that 
nobody ventured to go there on a spiritual visit any more. 

At that time Henry Lohman still lived in the Settlement. 
The Superintendent's mind was much occupied with this 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 221 

Brother, because he was a man richly endowed by God, who, 
therefore, could be useful in building up the kingdom of 
Christ in this wilderness; besides he had had much experi- 
ence during their awakening. On the other hand the Super- 
intendent saw clearly that he could not make proper use of 
his talents in the Settlement, because the passion of Christ's 
body pervaded everything there and he might come in danger 
of losing his acquired good. Therefore he represented to him 
how great a want there was of faithful laborers in the vine- 
yard of God, and how important it was to give himself up 
entirely to the service of God and his neighbors. Then he 
proposed to him that he also should move to the waters of 
Bermudian. "For," he said, "here I cannot any longer 
break bread with you, but when I seek you at the Bermu- 
dian I shall find you again and can then without difficulty 
break bread with you." The good Brother looked suspic- 
iously at this talk, and could not but suppose that a pitfall 
was being dug for him; but when he afterwards saw by a 
a certain incident that it was the will of God, he submitted 
to the Superintendent's counsel and moved thither, where 
God gave so much work into his hands that he took upon 
himself the care of the Community. The privileges of a 
Community, however, were not accorded to them until 
Brother George Adam Martin joined the Settlement, through 
Lohman's interposition, of which we will treat hereafter. 
He was a man of great natural gifts, and for many years 
helped to keep the church in proper repair by his means, 
and he never refused his help to anyone who requested 
it, although he frequently received poor reward for it. We 
will not be responsible for his deficiencies; we put them 
upon the Mediator; and he himself would not wish it, if he 
were present. He survived the Superintendent by ten years, 
and was gathered to his people at the Bermudian; and may 
God give him there a blessed and happy resurrection! 

The following was handed to the writer of this by the 
Superintendent himself as a fruit of his church-work, that 
it might he inserted here. The words run thus: The year 
1751 and 1752 were so productive in wheat and other fruit 
that people in their thoughtlessness tried, out of mere wan- 



222 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

tonness, to waste this supply; for they fattened their pigs, 
which in their luxury they afterwards ate, with this precious 
wheat, on which many poor might have lived. Moreover 
.distilling vessels were everywhere purchased and strong 
drinks distilled out of this blessed gift, which created great 
disorder. Thus affairs then stood in the worldly realm. But 
in the Settlement, especially in the Brotherhood, the Superin- 
tendent was greatly hindered in his spiritual work, wherefore 
he often complained that God was banished; he acknowledged 
also that he experienced essentially the same process through 
which Jonas passed in the belly of the whale. These were 
again difficult times for him; although the existing luxury in 
the worldly kingdom did not grieve him as much as to wit- 
ness that sins against the Holy Ghost were committed in 
the midst of the sancluary. x 

Nevertheless he took it much to heart that the inhabitants 
of the country abused the gifts of God in such a manner, 
therefore he once wrestled with God in his prayers in this 
way: "Thou good God, Thou seest how shamefully the in- 
habitants of the country abuse Thy gifts of love. Canst 
Thou, O God, stand still at their doings ? Thou hast means 
and ways sufficient to check this evil, for Thou art not hon- 
ored by it but dishonored! It is indeed not for me to dictate 
to Thee the means and ways, because Thou art master of 
Thy gifts and wishes. But may it please Thee to see to it, 
that in future the inhabitants of the land may not be able so 
often to enjoy Thy gifts of love, because T.hou, O God, art 
more dishonored than honored thereby." This happened in 
the year 1752. For three summers thereafter, such a drought 
followed, that not only plants withered but the poor beasts, 
too, almost died of hunger. Now it always had happened that 

1 After the rule of the Eckerlins in the Settlement had been overthrown, 
the Brethren ought to have cultivated willing obedience, because compul- 
sion was at an end, (although the Eckerlins never abused any of the 
Brethren, however strict their regime had been ; though they had abused 
their spiritual guide). After their fall, however, the whole household 
went too far in the opposite direction ; for wherever there were any rules, 
they were considered remnants of the Eckerlin management. Therefore 
the Superintendent once said to the Brethren: God can judge the Eckerlins, 
for they came so near him ; but your quarrels he cannot judge, because 
they are too far removed from him. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 223 

such public distress awakened people, who placed themselves 
in the breach, in order to stem the evil (see 1,1 Sam. XXI); 
and noboby took this severe judgment more to heart than the 
Superintendent. It pained him most that no one sought for 
the causes of this severe judgment, nor repented of the sins 
previously committed. He several times endeavored to better 
matters by prayer, in which he so far succeeded that it 
rained, though there was no blessing in it, because the judg- 
ment which was lying on the land was not revoked by it. 
Whenever he laid the distress of the country before God in 
his prayers, it was always brought back to his mind how he 
had put it before God at the time when he strove with him 
about the blessings he had vouchsafed the country. This 
embarrassed him all the more. Therefore he warned against 
finding fault with God on account of benefits he- had 
bestowed upon mankind. 

About the same time God brought it about that the Breth- 
ren in Bethany were again reconciled with the Superintend- 
ent, and thus a door was opened which brought a blessing 
upon all church movements. They had for a long time 
neglected their Night Watches during this dry season, but 
now the Superintendent said to them: " As soon as you will 
begin your Night Watches again it will rain," which, indeed, 
it did; for during the first night heavy showers fell; butitwas 
too late, the vegetation was already dried up. When, as men- 
tioned, a door had again been opened for good among the 
Brethren, the Prior applied to the Superintendent and told 
him that he and several of the Brethren intended to pay him 
a visit, in order to see whether anything could be done for 
the good of the country. This address gave into the hands 
of the Superintendent the key with which to open heaven 
again. And after the judgment which rested on the land, 
and to which the Brethren had contributed a great deal by 
their refractoriness, had been removed, the Superintendent 
also was permitted by God to take back what three years 
before he had laid before him in regard to the country. 

A blessed year followed. The elements again proved 
favorable to the country; wet and dry alternated; everthing 
proffered its riches for the sustenance of man, for which the 
name of God must be praised. Amen. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Continuation of the History of the Eckerlins to Its End. 

After the former Prior, together with his own brother and 
two other Brethren, namely Timotheus and Ephraim, had left 
their place in the Settlement of the Solitary, and had moved 
towards the wilderness, they built their lonely hut on the 
banks of the New River, on very fruitful soil, and called the 
place Mahanaim. When they commenced to inhabit their 
huts it was revealed to Brother Timotheus at night, in a 
dream, that the Indians were about to lay their hermitage in 
ruins; and because they actually arrived in a few days 
and laid waste their corn he revealed his dream to the 
Eckerlins, who answered him that if he had no faith in 
this way of living they would not object to his leaving 
them again. He, therefore, transferred his hut to them, 
said good night to the Solitary life, and returned to his 
people in Germantown, from whom he had come. The other 
Brother, called Ephraim, soon followed him, and ended 
his life at the house of a merchant of Philadelphia. These 
were two important proofs that a life chosen by our own 
will, if it appear to be ever so holy, finds no acceptance with 
God. Thus the three brothers alone were left, each of whom 
chose a special mode of making a livelihood. Jephune, the 
oldest, applied himself to medicine, and spent his time 
among the people on the border. The other, the former Prior, 
occupied himself with writing, of which we will speak here- 
after. But the youngest, Jonathan, became a hunter, an 
employment which is unfit for a Solitary, and which was 
looked upon with much suspicion in the Settlement. Alto- 
gether they soon became aware of their mistake; but the 
Prior, under whose influence the two other brothers stood, 
was a venturesome fellow, and still hoped to bring the 
Community in the Settlement to bow down before him, as 
the sons of Jacob did before Joseph. We are assured that 
the said Jonathan shed so many tears that it was feared he 
(224) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 225 

might lose his sight, for the Superintendent loved him so 
dearly on account of his innocent youth that, as already 
mentioned, he once omitted all divine service in the Settle- 
ment until he had freed him from the snares of the tempter. 
His brother also testified of him that it would have been im- 
possible for them to remain on the New River another day, 
such was his hunger for their mother-church. They had 
little or nothing to do with anything relating to divine 
worship, because they early fell into the fetters of free-think- 
ing; besides they thought meanly of the church ordinances 
in the Settlement, such as the Sabbath, baptism, breaking of 
bread, etc., for they pretended to honor God in a more 
important way. 

After the Brethren in the Settlement became aware that 
the rod of the taskmaster was broken, and that they were no 
longer kept captive under the rule of the Eckerlins, they 
dropped their violent opposition to them ; so also the Ecker- 
lins, who had obtained all their power in the Settlement from 
the opposition of the Brethren — when they perceived that 
this had subsided, thought it a favorable opportunity to visit 
the Settlement; and on February 23d, 1750, the two brothers, 
Onesimus and Jonathan, arrived in the neighborhood of the 
Settlement. As soon as this became known to the Brethren 
they assembled in their meeting-hall, with their Superinten- 
dent, and sent two delegates to them to welcome them, and 
offer them shelter in their convent, which these two Brethren 
thankfully accepted. Then both parties embraced each other 
in the Brethrens' meeting-hall, which was so edifying to 
behold that it did not pass off without tears, because the 
Philadelphiau brotherly spirit was then revived among 
Brethren who for many a year had eaten the bread of misery 
together. 

The Eckerlins were astonished at such kind behavior on the 
part of the Brethren, and offered not only to live with the 
Brethren again, as regarded their own persons, but also to 
deposit all their acquired property in the treasury of the 
Brethren. The Superintendent answered that they must 
bear patiently with us, as we had become a bad people 
after their departure; which gave them the more courage. 
Q 



226 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Thereafter they attended the evening meeting of the Breth- 
ren, and as many house-fathers were present at the time, 
these, too, received them with special love and admonished 
them to return again to the Brethren. After this they re- 
solved to visit their friends here and there in the country; but 
because the opinion was everywhere prevalent that they 
were inimical to the Solitary in the Settlement, they re- 
quested the Superintendent to give them a travelling com- 
panion. He appointed one who had formerly been the best 
friend of the Prior, but who had separated from him on 
account of his rebellion. At every place to which they 
came the people were astonished at the sudden change, 
and many worked up the old lies again, namely, that the 
Superintendent was a sorcerer and had drawn these two 
brothers into the Settlement by witchcraft. And since the 
said Prior, during his administration, had greatly wronged 
the Baptists by his judgments, he now tried to make amends. 
This he did to Peter Becker and Gantz, near Germantown, the 
latter of whom was a special enemy of the Superintendent, 
and commonly called him an arch-heretic. But even if the 
good Onesimus had in some measure been guilty, this recan- 
tation would not have been necessary; but herein lies the 
reason why God cannot get any more witnesses to condemn 
the sins of men; for if the sin and wickedness of men come 
upon them they recant, and so God loses his honor by them, 
as happened to Traut, Tennhard and several others in our 
fatherland. 

When they returned to the Settlement, after this visit, 
they prepared for their departure again. At the leave-taking 
the former Prior put £4.0 into the treasury of the Brethren, 
and it was supposed that he did it for conscience sake, either 
because they had robbed the treasury at their departure, or 
because he had formerly taken that sum out of it in order to 
bribe the Mother of the Sisters, as mentioned above; and 
therefore the money was not returned to him. After the 
Eckerlins had taken such an edifying farewell, they went 
their way back to their lonely homes. Thereupon two 
Brethren of the Settlement, Nathanael and Manasse, were 
sent after them, who were instructed to assist them in 
properly arranging their affairs. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 227 

But because their journey back was delayed on account of 
business, the time hung- too heavily for the good Prior, so 
he started alone and came to the Settlement April 25th, 
1750, which he did with good enough intentions but without 
sufficient consideration; for had he arrived in company 
with his brothers, he would again have been appointed 
to an important office in the Settlement, and if afterwards 
several Brethren had sided with them, the balance would 
have been restored. But he arrived alone and did not know 
whether or not he had a friend in the Settlement who would 
venture his life for him. Though as regards the Superintend- 
ent's faithfulness, that was not to be doubted, for he offered 
to give himself into the Prior's hands, and to go with him 
wherever lie wished, on condition that the Prior would be 
answerable for him, which the Prior did not venture to do. 
But when it now came so far that the Prior was to be a com- 
mon Brother again, the Superintendent was obliged to let 
the affair take its own course, and was not permitted to inter- 
fere between the schools of the Brethren. The only thing 
he could do was to pray and supplicate at the throne of 
grace for a blessed outcome. It seems, however, that a high 
hand impelled the Prior so that the Superintendent's inno- 
cence might come to light, because the country at large had 
the wrong impression that the Superintendent had persecuted 
the Prior. In this mirror all those awakened persons who 
have left their posts may see themselves reflected; for as 
long as the road leads to the cross God's presence is assured; 
but if you flee from the cross God stays behind. Thus it 
may happen that if God's plan is not fulfilled through the. 
awakening the whole game is wonderfully turned around; 
for then first the mystery of wickedness comes out of its 
concealment and does not stop until it has brought to light 
its first and last-born son; as happened to this good Brother. 

For when he had returned to Bethany, and attended their 
Night Watches for the first time, his old habit of long 
preaching, by which in former times he had rendered the 
life of the poor Brethren so very wearisome, again awoke 
within him; which showed that his retirement had benefitted 
him little, and had not helped to bring him to himself, 



228 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

and how could that have been possible? Did he not run 
away from his school ? And because he did not endure the 
trial, the desire to be a minister was not killed in him. 
The Brethren patiently listened to him for a while, but told 
him at last that this might do for novices, but they who had 
already walked this road for many a year were not in need 
of it any more; at least that it was now plainly proved, that 
the Brethren in Bethany were able to live without the addi- 
tion of any Bckerlins. Therefore he not only absented him- 
self from the devotions of the Brethren, but the tempter 
succeeded so far with him, that he left their convent, and at 
his request a house was consigned to him in the Settlement, 
with the assurance that he might live there according to his 
conscience, without being obliged to bear the common bur- 
dens; and that he should receive his sustenance from the 
Community as long as he lived. 

The Superintendent, it is true, saw in the spirit that the 
Prior would yet have a great fall; but since he had torn 
himself away from the Brotherhood, he was not able to help 
him. Nevertheless he once visited him in company with an- 
other Brother at his own house. They brought the holy bread 
along, and solemnly promised him not to have fellowship 
with any Prior or other Brother to his disadvantage. In this 
house he fell so deeply into the power of the spirits of temp- 
tation that he could no longer help himself. He made 
visits, and at one time was away from his house for three 
weeks; but on his return he found everything as he had left 
it. Moreover, men whose fathers he would not have thought 
worthy to be given a place among his shepherd dogs came 
to him to advise him. At last he commenced to alter his 
clothes, from which everybody saw his intentions; for, when- 
ever a Solitary intends to leave the Order, he first alters his 
dress, and that is a sign that he has renounced simplicity, 
wherefore also he will be more readily received again by the 
world. After he had spent five months and six days more here 
he moved away on Odlober 2d, 1750, and went to a neighbor, 
Jacob Sontag; at which removal he spoke these .significant 
words: that he would rather be burned at the stake seven 
times than return to live again a t the Settlement. But it 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 229 

troubled him not a little that his brothers, of whom he 
knew that they were on the road, might arrive at the Settle- 
ment during- his absence, according to their agreement, and 
be received by the Brethren to his disadvantage. Therefore 
he spent the whole day on the public road. Meanwhile his 
oldest brother, Jephune, arrived in the Settlement at mid- 
night and found the baker of the Community just at his 
work, whom he asked how his Brother was doing. He 
answered: " Your brother ran off for the second time." At 
this he began to weep and went back again to his team. At 
last they met each other on the road, when he asked them 
where they were going? They answered: "To Ephrata, 
according to our agreement." To this he replied: " If you 
go to Ephrata you shall have no part in me forever." Here 
the reader again has proof of the power a carnal relation- 
ship has to turn men away from God; for had they withstood 
him and adhered to the agreement they had made in the 
Settlement, they might have turned his mind towards better 
things and prevented his misfortune. But it seems the sins 
they had incurred were too great, therefore they were struck 
with blindness and could not see what tended to their peace. 
After he had brought his brothers over to his side they 
brought their Indian wares to market and traded them for 
other goods and prepared for their return to the wilder- 
ness; but because winter was at the door the Brethren offered 
them shelter until the weather should be milder, which they 
modestly declined and started on their journey. However, 
when they came to the Alleghany Mountains they met with 
such masses of snow that it was with great danger that they 
crossed these fearful mountains and came to inhabited re- 
gions. Then they directed their journey towards the Ohio 
River, into the neighborhood of the place where the French 
at the time were building a fort, named Duquesne. Here they 
placed themselves under the protection of the Delaware 
Indians who showed them great friendship. At that time one 
of the Brethren in the Settlement wrote to the Prior that now 
one of three things would fall to his lot: he would either be 
obliged to return again to his people, or be an instrument 
for the conversion of these Indians, or would have to live 



230 CHRONICON EPHRATKNSE. 

in harlotry with demons. This last pained him much, for 
a Solitary who neither approaches a carnal woman nor the 
church-wife falls at last into the hands of demons, which 
are barren spirits from out eternity; wherefore also the 
natural married state, on account of its fruitfulness is opposed 
by them, and it is in this sense that Paul calls the forbidding 
of marriage a doclrine of the demons. 

About this time a bloody war commenced between England 
and France, in which all the Indians took the part of the 
French. The Delawares, therefore, told the Eckerlins that 
they could not any longer guarantee them safety, as the 
French savages would overrun those regions. They, there- 
fore, led them to a region which the Indians believed would 
seldom be visited by their people, and said at the same time, 
that they would warn them whenever danger approached. 
This place was high up in the mountains, on a stream called 
Cheat River, which empties into the Monongahela River. 
There they built a well-arranged hermitage for themselves, 
kept servants, horses, etc. , as if they had to supply a large 
household. But there the mystery of wickedness awoke in 
the Prior in its innermost essence; and because a perverse 
spirit ruled him, all the good which he had reaped in the Set- 
tlement was turned into mockery. Therefore, instead of 
examining his record during the few remaining days of his life, 
in view of the great day of eternity, he wrote the most scorn- 
ful letters to the Community. To read his first letter to the 
Community took five hours, and as it was full of reviling and 
ridicule it was resolved not to accept any such letter in future. 
It did not last long, however, before his oldest brother, 
Jephune, made his appearance at a meeting, with a writing 
covering fifty sheets and asked permission to read it. The 
Fathers of the Community gave him permission, provided it 
contained peaceful matter. But he had hardly commenced 
to read before the former things of Ishmael's church again 
occurred; wherefore he was forbidden to continue. Conse- 
quently he took those excrements to the friends in German- 
town, so that by all means the Eckerlin's apostasy from God 
might be sure to become manifest everywhere. 

At that time two Brothers, Henry Sangmeister and Anthony 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 23 I 

Hollenthal, left the Settlement and settled as hermits on 
the river Schannedor, 2 in Virginia; but as they preferred 
an unfettered life to the discipline of God, which still reigned 
in the Settlement, they joined the Eckerlins; for like joins 
like, whereby they became participants in the judgment 
which rested on these, although they had not yet committed 
as many offences in the Settlement. This Sangmeister 
once brought a large manuscript of the Prior to the 
printer in the Settlement, which contained an account of the 
falling away in Ephrata, and desired to have it printed. 
The printer sent him the reply that the first writings which 
he had produced in the Settlement he had brought from 
the starry sky, but this last out of that dark region where 
brother-hate reigned, and that he did not want to have 
anything to do with such things. The messenger was ill 
pleased with this; he would have it printed at some other 
place, for the country should now realize that the Prior 
was a prophet. But it was not done; nor was his prophecy 
fulfilled, that the Indians would come to take vengeance 
on the Settlement, because the Brethren had resisted them,, 
and had sought to trample under foot an innocent man and 
witness of God. That this same judgment should soon over- 
take themselves, was at this time hidden from them. In their 
seclusion they lived in greatest security in the midst of the 
war; they raised horses, cleared land and made good use of the 
chase and other advantages of the country. At one time 
the Iroquois went to war against the northern Indians; it 
was winter, and they were so unlucky that they had to flee 
in nakedness. So they took all their clothes and carpets from 
the Eckerlins, and then left. This should have been a warn- 
ing to them. The Delaware Indians also sent word that 
they would no longer be secure at that place. But they 
took it to be a fable. They sometimes went to Virginia, 
and usually after their return home, the Indians invaded 
Virginia, which created the suspicion that the Eckerlins 
were spies, on which account the Prior was at one time kept 
captive in a fort. But when the Virginians did not want 
to let them live there any longer, Samuel Eckerlin tried to 

2 [Shenandoah ?] 



232 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

get permission to do so from the governor of Virginia; but it 
was refused, and a company of soldiers sent with him, in 
order to take his brothers safely to inhabited regions. They 
were not very far from their hermitage when seven hostile 
Mohawk Indians, under the command of a Frenchman, 
attacked it. The servant gave the alarm, but the Prior did 
not allow himself to be disturbed in his writing until they 
bound his hands on his back; they packed all their property 
on horses, of which these hermits possessed a great number, 
set the house on fire and decamped with their prisoners. 
Meanwhile Samuel Eckerlin arrived with the soldiers, while 
the fire was still glowing under the ashes. This distressing 
sight brought tears to his eyes; he stepped aside and allowed 
them to flow; an Indian who was concealed there, lying in 
wait according to their custom, to see whether anyone was 
looking after them, was moved by his tears to spare his life. 
Now let us lay before the reader the further fortunes and 
misfortunes of the above-mentioned Prior and of his brother 
Jotham to their end, following the account obtained from 
their fellow prisoners. Because an English army, uhdei Gen- 
eral Forbes, was at the time on its march to besiege Fort 
Duquesne, the Indians made a wide detour to said fort to 
avoid the English. It took them eight days to make this 
journey, on which they were sorely maltreated by the Indians, 
who cut off the beard of one of them so that a part of the 
cheek adhered to it. At the said fort they sold the two 
brothers to the French; but their servant, Schillig by name, 
they kept for themselves. During a severe season the French 
took their prisoners across the lakes to Montreal, where they 
were for some time lodged in the Jesuit College. From there 
they were sent to Quebec, where they had to endure a hard 
winter on poor fare; yet the Canadians had so much respect 
for a hermit's life, that they permitted them at times to beg 
in the town, and thus they became an object of pity to many, 
for which may God reward them. They wished to leave 
this unfriendly region in the coming spring, but there were 
no "flags of truce" there, such as used to go from there to 
Halifax with prisoners, so they resolved to let themselves 
be transported to France, along with other prisoners. They 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 233 

indeed arrived there, but both afflicted with a distemper, 
which also transported them to eternity. The Prior, when he 
felt his end approaching, had himself received as a mem- 
ber of an Order of Monks of the Roman church, which is 
the more credible as he had always entertained a particular 
esteem for friars. They gave him the tonsure, and after- 
wards called him Bon Chretien. Soon after both brothers 
departed this life. 

Such was the end of the first Prior of the Brethren. He 
lived but forty-six years, and was of a short, solid and strongly 
built figure. Of his awakening we have inserted his own 
account. We have seen his hut in the wilderness, where he 
lived for a considerable length of time, secluded from men, 
but at last had to give it up again, otherwise, he said, he would 
have lost his reason. After this he came under the guardian- 
ship of a Brother, Amos by name, who lived very austerely, 
and there, according to his testimony, he enjoyed the most 
blessed days of the whole period of his awakening. But 
because the Superintendent had selected him for a higher 
schooling, he was not permitted to remain in this lower grade 
any longer. As long as the Superintendent influenced him by 
his spirit, he was an humble and merciful person, and so long 
his own brothers were his greatest opponents. He was often 
seen to roll himself on the ground for grief when he saw that 
Brethren missed their calling, or fell back into the arms of 
the world. But at last he began to waver in his confidence 
in the Superintendent, and sided with his brothers; in con- 
sequence of which he and the Superintendent had important 
experiences between them, which induced him to open the 
door to the tempter. He determined to gain an independent 
position, and to obtain the privilege of his office directly 
from God. Those who were used for his overthrow were his 
most faithful Brethren. But there was no help for it, for the 
Prior had the seed of the spirit of Korah's rout within him, 
and if much care had not been taken the awakened in the 
Settlement would at last have been turned into nothing but 
Antichrists, just as the first Christians would have been 
seduced by the example of Ananias, and would have trampled 
underfoot God's testimony, if vengeance had not been taken 
on him. 



234 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

The remarkable thing in the affair is, that when the Prior 
had thus laid before God his purpose to break loose from the 
Superintendent, as mentioned above, his plan was accepted 
by God, and that he could not undo it until his death, 
although he made several attempts. God is to each man just 
as He is sought to be. He is pious to the pious, and wicked 
to the wicked; and herein lies the greatest danger in an 
awakening, wherefore also the good Master taught us to pray: 
Lead us not into temptation. And with this let us conclude 
the tragedy of the Eckerlins, and also this chapter. 




CHAPTER XXX. 

How the Country was Visited by War, and How the 
Solitary in the Settlement Fared by It. About the 
Quiet in the Land. Also the Prior's Office is Given to 
Another Brother. 

When this bloody war commenced, and the flames of it had 
already seized the neighboring provinces, Pennsylvania en- 
joyed quiet and peace; and everybody had so much confidence 
in the good understanding between the so-called Quakers and 
the Indians that it was thought this province would not be 
involved in the war. But, before it was thought of, the Indians 
overran the back counties, and this at a time when disagree- 
ment existed in the councils of the country with regard to 
resistance, some advocating a standing army, others militia 
service. According to the situation of the land and the 
manner of the Indians, who always traverse a country in a 
straight line, the Paxton road would have led them from 
Shamokin to Ephrata; but arriving at the north side of the 
Blue Mountains they turned to the left along these mountains, 
and therefore the inhabitants of Gnadenhutten had to fall 
the first victims of their revenge. That region became for a 
long time the theatre of war, and much human blood was 
shed before the inhabitants received help, and the New. 
Jersey militia raided across the Delaware and gained some 
advantage over the enemy. 

At that time a good understanding existed between those 
at the head of the government and the Solitary, although 
the common people were not well pleased with them, because 
they did not take up arms. Whenever the Governor pro- 
claimed a fast for the country, his secretary showed so much 
respedl for the Solitary that he sent them a copy, and then 
they united with the country in divine service, and observed 
their fasting most scrupulously. At such times you might have 
heard the Superintendent fervently pray to God for the success 
of the King's arms. But the time had not yet come to grant 

(235) 



236 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. . 

these prayers, for there were sins lying upon the country 
which it had to expiate; therefore they had to turn their 
backs to the enemy, and God ordered it so that the English 
General Braddock was defeated. (See Judges Chap. XX, 
where the children of Israel could not humble the tribe of 
Benjamin, before they themselves had been humbled.) The 
Christian disposition of the Superintendent and of the Soli- 
tary during this distress of the country, of which it may be 
they also were partly a cause, gained them the confidence 
of many people of high and low degree; and they were 
anxious not to disappoint their confidence. Many a time 
Ephrata was full of red-coats, because everybody was intent 
upon learning something of their strange way of living. The 
officers could not see enough of the Superintendent, for the 
wine-press, which tormented the inner man, showed forth in 
his bearing and caused everyone who saw him to become 
favorably disposed towards him. When the officers would 
hand him a present they took it to be a high honor if it was 
accepted by him. Governor Denny, of Pennsylvania, through 
an interpreter, had a special conference with him in the 
Sisters' prayer-room, concerning the condition of the country, 
in which the Governor promised him and the Order all pro- 
tection, and he agreed in return to remember the country 
before God. In the same way, whenever the enemy made a 
new inroad, the poor people would send messengers into the 
country for help, when their distress would be brought before 
the meeting and a liberal collection made for them in the 
Community. 

Meanwhile the enemy daily approached nearer to the Set- 
tlement of the Solitary, and was now only thirteen miles 
distant. Fugitives fled to Ephrata and sought protection 
from those who themselves needed it. Messengers daily 
brought new reports of murders, which they usually aug- 
mented by further additions. Then the hearts of all the 
Solitary became timid; even the Superintendent turned pale, 
which none had ever seen before. This determined the 
Fathers of the Community to offer their wagons in order to 
bring the Sisterhood, which was most exposed to danger, 
further down into the country. Thereupon a council was held, 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 237 

in which the Sisters declared that they would be a burden 
wherever they went; they were determined to stay, and in 
case of necessity assemble in the prayer-hall and there 
await the result from God. It appears that this unex- 
pected resolution touched the heart of God, for the fol- 
lowing night the Superintendent had a revelation from God, 
in accordance with which he summoned the Brethren and 
informed them that he had received the assurance from 
God that none of the Solitary should die at the hands of the 
Indians; but that we were still in danger from our own 
countrymen. For many had bound themselves by oath not 
to march against the enemy until every non-combatant in 
the country had been massacred. At the same time a report 
was spread over the country, and nobody knows who did it, 
that Ephrata was to be burnt down at a certain time, so that 
some of the neighbors made preparation to go to the assist- 
ance of the poor Solitary. But God brought their designs 
to naught, for which his name be praised. 

This address of the Superintendent had the effecl: that 
everybody again pursued his business as if peace reigned in 
the land, at which many were amazed. The Superintendent 
after this made several visits into the region where the danger 
was and spoke encouragingly to the people, as God moved 
him; and it always happened that the enemy came either 
shortly before his arrival or soon afterat Once he journeyed 
with a large company on account of church matters to An- 
titum, in Cumberland county, to which place he had been 
summoned. He heard on his way that the enemy had 
killed the schoolmaster and seven children; he, neverthe- 
less, continued his way and attended to his work there, 
although not safe from the enemy for one hour. These are 
the circumstances attending the war. 

Before the war broke out a company of awakened people 
of both sexes arrived in Philadelphia about midnight from 
Altoona under the leadership of a scholar, named L,udovic. 
The venturesomeness of these people was amazing. They 
had neither baggage nor any money for the journey; they 
wandered about in the city in the dark, until the watchmen 
seized them, and supposing them to be Moravian Brethren, 



230 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

took them to a Brethren's House. After more careful exami- 
nation, however, it was discovered that their religious views 
were nearest to those held in the Settlement; therefore some 
sent the report thither that some of their Brethren had arrived 
from Germany, and that they should take care of them. 
Upon this, visitors were sent to them, when a distinct mutual 
agreement of views was revealed, although only as regards 
their doctrines; they had good intentions but no experience. 
Their leader and some of the others concluded to pay a visit 
to the Settlement. With this the friends in Germantown 
were not at all satisfied, and accused the Brethren of always 
attempting to fish the best men away from them, for they 
intended erecting a new church of the Spirit. The Brethren 
promised to return their visitors to them again. But they 
especially warned the good Ludovic against the Pious in 
Pennsylvania, saying that it was their way to extol a person 
to the heavens, but that it only lasted until they had spied 
out his deficiencies, then he might depart in dishonor; all 
of which happened to the good Ludovic in full measure. 

These visitors were worthily received in the Settlement. 
The Superintendent especially communicated with the said 
L/udovic in all sincerity, for he had a pure virgin spirit, and 
all his people lived a life of continence. He believed in 
community of goods and adult baptism, according to the 
apostolic ordinance, although he himself had not attained to 
this, for in order to do this he would have had to lower him- 
self a little before that which was inferior to him, and for 
this his wings were not yet grown. Nevertheless he gave his 
assent to everything, and confessed this to be the Community 
which he had sought. He several times broke bread with 
them, though his Sisters never did even this. When he 
arrived again in Germantown he earnestly engaged in the 
work of building up the church, for which a door was opened 
to him ever and anon. In particular they arranged for divine 
service in a house which a merchant had assigned to them, 
by which they first made themselves suspected to their 
patrons in Germantown, for these had already many years 
ago separated themselves from the services of the great 
churches. Therefore they were not a little vexed when 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 239 

they saw him in meeting dressed in a black coat and priestly 
vestments; and jnst as much as they had favored him before, 
so much they now tried to get rid of him, all of which the 
Brethren had prophesied of him. Honest old Sanr, know- 
ing well that Ludovic stood in high credit with the Brethren, 
informed them of the whole affair, adding that he had no 
desire to carry any more manure to this tree, as it was already 
too fat. When the friends in Germantown perceived that 
he was pregnant with a new seel, and had not abandoned 
the hierarchical spirit, they began to despair of his church 
building, while he on the other hand thought very meanly 
of the American revival spirit, and wrote to the Superin- 
tendent that he was now entirely at an end with the 
awakened in Pennsylvania, and if he had not found a 
true heart in Ephrata the next thing for him would be to 
return to Germany. The Superintendent, in answer to this, 
explained to him by letter the difference between American 
and German awakenings, among the rest in the following 
words: "It is an undisputed fact that in Germany the 
church-government of the new covenant neither can nor 
dare step forth, for either the little boys are drowned in the 
water or the little girls are smothered at birth, so that neither 
a priestly nor a virgin race can grow up there." And at 
another place he says: "Be it known, that even the magis- 
terial office in Pennsylvania is not yet conducted in the 
strength of the dragon and of the great beast, but, with its 
judgments, stands under the authority of the saints, on which 
account not a few of those whom I know would soon be 
taught differently by the beast, should they administer their 
office in Germany as they do here. He, therefore, must 
praise Pennsylvania very highly in view of the eternal 
Providence of God, which so ordered it, that the spiritual 
lineage of the covenant, a priestly and virgin race, is again 
sought out, and thus a sanctuary is built, where the long 
dead priesthood is as a dry branch planted to grow in ever- 
lasting verdure," etc. 

Soon after he and his company settled in the barony of 
Lancaster, on the Pequea creek; although they knew nothing 
either of agriculture or breeding cattle, they rented a small 



240 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

farm, and besides had the good luck to find a merciful neigh- 
borhood which abundantly provided for them. Here he laid 
aside his old nameand was called Melchizedek by his people, 
which he most likely borrowed from the Solitary. Here he 
also engaged in an important correspondence, in which he, as 
a scholar, had the advantage over a man who possessed noth- 
ing except what he had learned in the school of the Holy 
Spirit. But the Superintendent caused another Brother to 
answer his letters. The same asked him who gave him the 
right to make reason the judge in divine matters? (For the 
said Ludovic was a good disciple of Wolff.) Whether Abra- 
ham took counsel with his reason when he sacrificed his son 
to God ? He also told him that he would have to surrender 
something to God before he could enter into any degree of 
fellowship with him. This last vexed him most. He de- 
manded what it was that he would have to surrender. But 
this nobody could tell him; he ought to have found it out 
from within himself. After this wordy dispute had lasted for 
some time the Superintendent pronounced the following ver- 
dict on it, namely : That he had vanquished the Brother with 
his philosophy, but the Brother had vanquished him with 
his experience. 

Meanwhile he labored to execute his plan of a new church 
building, but because the human will dominated in the mat- 
ter, all hearts were closed against it so that no one wanted to 
have anything to do with it. The Superintendent wrote sev- 
eral letters to him concerning it, full of un6tion, in which 
he represented to him that the household at Ephrata had been 
born by a holy chance, without the will of man, and that on 
this account the tempter had been unable to gain anything 
from it. Finally he frankly declared that of the following 
one would happen to them: either God would help them, 
and then sorrow would dwell with them; or it would turn 
out to be an ungodly success, or their ship would be shat- 
tered, and then they would have to save themselves by 
swimming, which last indeed happened to them. But he 
would not be convinced of this. He represented to the 
Community, that, because the establishment of such an 
institution at Ephrata had met with success by the blessing 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 24 1 

of God, they were bound also to assist others. This claim 
availed so much that it was promised to build them a large 
and spacious house; but as those who had promised to pro- 
cure the land for the new household did not keep their 
promise, nothing came of the matter. Amid these strange 
circumstances the good Ludovic was transplanted into eter- 
nity, and their ship was shattered, according to the Super- 
intendent's prediction. Thereupon some of his followers 
married, and the others returned to their native country. 

Before we conclude this chapter let us mention that at 
about the same time a change in the church government was 
again made in the Settlement; for the then Prior lost his 
office, whereupon some of the Brethren undertook the man- 
agement of the household; but since the office demanded a 
special person, the same was a second time put on the shoul- 
ders of Brother Jabez, during whose administration the Su- 
perintendent ended his life. 



1S&P 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

The Community at Ephrata is Extended by an Awakening, 
for Which Two Brethren of the Baptist Congregation, 
George Adam Martin and John Horn, Prepared the 
Way. 

This awakening took place during the above-mentioned 
war, and may have commenced about the year 1757. The 
members of this awakening, as well as their teacher, George 
Adam Martin, before this belonged to the Baptists, but left 
that congregation, induced by circumstances which had 
their first start with the said George Adam Martin. The 
causes of this separation are too outrageous to call for a 
special investigation here, and besides it is not permitted 
to trouble the reader with the like of it at this place. But 
because the said George Adam Martin handed in a writing, 
in which he minutely described how he was awakened, and 
how he had lived for a time with the Baptists, but at last 
united himself with the Community at Ephrata, we will give 
an extract from it, and then leave it to the consideration of 
the reader. This document is the answer to the question of 
a friend, why he had separated from the Baptists and gone 
over to the Seventh Day Saints. He speaks thus of his con- 
version: In the year 1733 I was strongly moved to repentance 
and a change of life, and all without any man's intervention, 
which confused me so that I did not know what to do. For 
my heart was troubled. Wherever I went or was my con- 
science was so disturbed that I avoided all company and 
felt grieved at any vanity I met with. I was constantly 
frightened and alarmed, for my conscience smote me every- 
where; besides I was young, bashful and timid. I therefore 
went about like a lost sheep, and thought all people better 
than myself, which opinion indeed . I still have. I never 
looked for much from men, and if I occasionally listened to 
some one preaching, I was not frightened by it, because I 
(242) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 243 

felt myself more damned than any preacher could damn me; 
nevertheless some little hope remained, and I thought per- 
chance I might yet be saved. Being in such a condition 
I was baptized on my faith in the year 1735. This I did 
to honor God in Christ Jesus and intended to follow him; but 
had no further thought about the piety of a Community, 
because my inner troubled state did not permit me to think 
about other things. All my thinking and striving were only 
as to how I might enter the kingdom of God. 

After my baptism, when alone in the woods, I knelt down 
behind a tree and prayed. After I had finished it came into 
my mind to open the New Testament, and whatever I found 
under my right thumb that should be my precept during life. 
Then I turned up: "Study to show thyself approved unto 
God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly 
dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy, II, 15). This 
troubled my mind excessively; sometimes I took it to be a 
temptation; then, again, as if I had tempted God; and again 
that the Spirit had mocked me. Taking all together I did 
not know what to make of it. To become a workman in the 
church of God, that I dared not harbor in my mind. Soon 
after I was led into such temptation for about sixteen weeks 
that I incessantly heard nothing but: " You are damned! you 
are damned!" This frightened me so that I enjoyed neither 
sleep, nor eating or drinking. My father asked me what was 
the matter with me, but I dared not tell him, for I thought 
that never before had a person lived on earth in such a damn- 
able state. At last I was delivered out of this bondage, 
received pardon, and became a recipient of the gracious 
visitation of my God in Christ Jesus, and of the power of 
regeneration, of which before I had known nothing. Thus by 
grace and compassion alone I became one of the redeemed of 
the Lord. After this I became cheerful and joyous in my 
Saviour, Jesus Christ, diligently read the Bible, exercised 
myself in prayer, took pleasure in divine things, and med- 
dled with nothing but what concerned my salvation; besides 
I held the Brethren in high esteem and had a sacred regard 
for everything good. 

It happened in the year 1737 that my Superintendent was 



244 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

called upon to go to the great Swamp, in order to baptize sev- 
eral persons. When he announced this at the meeting and 
asked who was willing to go with him, I was willing to go. 
After our arrival, when the meeting was over, the persons to 
be baptized were introduced, and a passage from Luke XIV 
was read to them, about the building of towers and waging 
war, which also was customary among them even in Ger- 
many; for when I was baptized this surprised me, and I did 
not know what to think of it. It was done as often as per- 
sons were to be baptized; so that you did not know whether 
you were to build or not, to go to war or not, or whether God 
had 10,000 and the devil 20,000 men. As soon as you came 
to the water the hymn was usually sung: "Count the cost 
says Jesus Christ, when the foundation Thou wouldst lay," 
etc, which A. M. x had composed already in Germany. When 
these confused transactions were now also enacted here, as was 
customary, it suddenly seized me so that my limbs trembled, 
and it flashed like a flame through my whole being, and 
before I knew it I heard myself speaking in an overloud voice. 
I was frightened at myself, for I thought of nothing less than 
of speaking. I said that it was not the Lord Jesus' intention 
to bring such things before candidates for baptism, for their 
purpose was to enter into their covenant with God by bap- 
tism, and to build upon the rock Jesus Christ; those who 
wished to build a tower besides the temple of God might 
have such things brought before them. This speech fright- 
ened everybody, and all were silent and dumb. At last our 
Superintendent, M. U., 2 of blessed memory, said, "What 
shall we do then, for something must be said to the people." 
Without taking thought I answered: "The 18th Chapter of 
Matthew, about exhortation and punishment, might be read;" 
which proposal was adopted from that hour, and is still cus- 
tomary with them to this day. 

This was the first stumbling block I found in their doc- 
trine. But because they adopted my suggestion throughout 
the whole country, and no person moved against me, but all 
were surprised and thought that this movement on the part 
of a young man which they saw and heard was the work of 
! [Alexander Mack.] 2 [Martin Urner.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 245 

the Spirit of God, I greatly honored them, since they in so 
childlike a way gave all the honor to God. Moreover they 
now noticed me more, especially did my Superintendent 
love me until he died, and he was much grieved when he 
had to lose me. But I did not respect the household of the 
Congregation, and nothing of the kind touched me; but I 
was earnest in my calling to gain favor before God by my 
life and behavior. I took no offence at any person, nor 
did I seek their esteem; I only endeavored to follow the 
dictates of my conscience. But it happened by and by 
that they, contrary to my wish, chose me as their Superin- 
tendent, after I had already obediently moved across the 
waters of the Susquehanna. Before this occurred it hap- 
pened that Count Zinzendorf and many of his Brethren 
came into the country and occasioned a great stir, especially 
by his conferences. And because all denominations were 
invited to them, I too was deputed by my Superintendent to 
attend them. When I arrived at the conference, which was 
held atOley, I found there some of our Baptists, Seventh Day 
men, Mennonites and Separatists. The Count himself was 
president, and for three days I heard queer and wonderful 
things there. After my return home I went to my Superin- 
tendent and said that I looked upon the Count's confer- 
ences as snares, for the purpose of bringing simple-minded 
and inexperienced converts back to infant baptism and 
church-going, and of erecting the old Babel again. We 
consulted with each other what to do, and agreed to get 
ahead of the danger, as some Baptists had already been 
smitten with this vain doctrine, and to hold a yearly con- 
ference, or as we called it, a Great Assembly, and fixed at 
once the time and place. This is the beginning and founda- 
tion of the Great Assemblies of the Baptists. 

After this general meeting had been established, the oppor- 
tunity was offered to speak of various matters whenever we 
met, and since most of the Baptists who had laid the founda- 
tion of their Congregation in Schwarzenau, were uneducated 
arch-idiots and ignoramuses, their followers, of course, 
brought their absurd notions also to this meeting, always 
appealing to their predecessors, saying the old Brethren in 
Germany did so, and we must not depart from their ways. 



246 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

When I heard this I contradicted them, which occasionally 
gave rise to disputes, in which I always had P. B. and M. U. 3 
and most of the common people on my side. But among 
other things something once occurred which appeared to me 
to be heretical, for when A. D., 4 who still was one of the first, 
once said that our old Brother A. M. had believed the same, 
I was at once aflame and boldly contradicted it. But another 
Brother, M. F., 5 took the affair out of my hands and said: 
"If it had not been for this I should not have joined the 
Brethren." To this I answered: "Then you have a poor 
reason for your change of religion." Meanwhile ears were 
pricked up and the matter was talked about, and I said I did 
not know how Christ Jesus could call himself a son of man if 
he had not taken upon himself something from the Virgin con- 
secrated for this purpose, for it was evident that she never had 
known a man. Then M. F. answered that he had not received 
more from the Virgin than a wanderer who passes through a 
town receives from the town; or than a ball which passes 
through a gun, or the water which runs through a pipe. I 
was frightened at such an expression. M. U. sat alongside of 
me and said: "May God protect: us against this!" , But he 
whispered into my ear: "Speak out against this, it is hereti- 
cal; do not spare it." I then said that if it were as they said 
it would have been all the same whether the Virgin was holy 
or not; a wanton might then as well have given birth to him 
since he received nothing from her, which is blasphemous to 
think and far more to say. This frightened them so that they 
left off defending this thing; the dispute, nevertheless, lasted 
two days before this Mohammedan Goliath was slain. It may 
be thought that I have deviated too far from my reasons why I 
left the Baptists; but no, these are the very reasons, for I took 
offence at the foundation and origin, because the originators 
deviated from their aim and basis, which in my opinion is 
the love of God towards all men, and formed a sect, like the 
Inspired, out of the great awakening which had taken hold 
of them in Germany, and aroused strife and hatred by their 
disputes. This George Graben told them to their faces, and 

3 [Peter Becker and Martin Urner.] ^[Abraham Diboy (Dubois?)] 

5 [Michael Frantz.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 247 

especially to A. M., at a public meeting in Holland, being 
inspired to it, saying: "You and all of you are dead, and 
have died to the life of God;" all which was listened to by 
W. K. , 6 who had just been liberated out of the prison in 
Gulch, where he had been incarcerated for the sake of the 
truth; he told me all this. At the very commencement they 
adopted needless restrictions, in that they did not allow any- 
one who was not baptized to partake with them of the 
Holy Sacrament. Had they not been so sectarian in 
this matter, and been more given to impartial love, 
they would have found entrance to more souls in their 
great awakening and largely promoted the glory of God. 
But, instead, sectarianism, quarrelsomeness and discord 
spread through their whole awakening in Germany as 
far as to Switzerland. Therefore, also, the incomparable 
teacher, J. N. , 7 separated from them, and stood alone, 
until he went to America and arrived in Philadelphia, to 
which place A. M. went to meet him, and entreated him for 
God's sake to forget and forgive what had happened in Eu- 
rope; to which the same agreed. A. M. by his diligence 
also prevented the above mentioned J. N. from coming to 
Ephrata at the time of the awakening, otherwise he would 
have been a victim of it too, for his testimony concerning the 
renunciation of the w T orld was as similar to the testimony in 
Ephrata as one drop of water is to another. He afterwards 
moved to Amwell, in New Jersey, and superintended the 
Community there. I visited him there several times, and was 
much edified by his conversation, and pleased and surprised 
at his great and sound mind and the gifts which God had 
bestowed on him. I might here mention many things 
which he made known to me. He told me that A. M. 
had been an honest and faithful man, but that he lacked 
enlightenment. Perhaps this was because they had fallen 
out with each other about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. 
He said to my face, " You will not agree with these people," 
meaning the Baptists; "either they will reject you, or you 
them, for a truly converted man cannot live with them; and 
I," he added', "should I live another year, shall again with- 

[ 6 Will. Kebinger.] 7 [John Naas.] 



248 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

draw ftom them." But he died within that very year, and is 
buried in Amwell, among twenty children, all of whom lie 
buried around him. 

With Christian Iibe, who also was a preacher among 
them, strange things likewise happened. He was taken 
prisoner in Basle, where he was engaged in divine affairs, 
and was sold into the galleys, but ransomed after two years. 
At last he settled in Creyfeld, where he and the above- 
mentioned J. N. superintended the Community, until they 
at last had a fall-out, because J. N. called him a pill-monger 
publicly before the whole Congregation, and then left. 
But Christian Libe tried to continue the Congregation, 
although everything wasted under their hands; the Brethren 
who had been prisoners withdrew, the whole Congregation 
was given up, and everything went to ruin. He himself 
became a merchant, and even at last a wine merchant, and 
married out of the Congregation, against their own rules, 
and not a branch is left of their Baptist business in all 
Europe. Such matters, and many others not mentioned, 
prove to me that their fundamental principles cannot endure 
before God and the world; for they neither know, nor are they 
able to conduct the office of the new covenant, because they 
have no true knowledge of salvation, nor of the righteous- 
ness which avails before God, and is reckoned to us as faith; 
but they want to force and perfect everything through right- 
eousness, by punishing, condemning and avoiding, which is 
not according to the new covenant, but the letter of the law, 
consisting of commandments and laws. 

If God had not spared a branch of the root of Hochmann 
from Hochenau, the whole brood would have died at birth, 
like the Baptists of Munster. This innocent branch was 
P. B., who was a spiritual son of Hochmann, but was 
baptized, and came to live at Creyfeld, where he energetically 
exercised the gifts he had received from God, in singing and 
fervent praying, to the benefit of the Congregation; although 
he was otherwise no orator, but led a quiet life. Soon after 
he had to experience what he had not expected, for his 
spiritual Father had taught him peace and love; but here 
he heard much quarreling and strife, which soon deeply 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 249 

grieved him. It happened that a young Brother, Hacker 
by name, who had studied, and who was full of love and an 
intimate friend of the said P. B. , wanted to marry the 
daughter of a merchant, who also had been baptized into 
the Congregation, but still served the Mennonites as preacher, 
because they did not wish to lose him, and gave him a yearly 
salary of 800 Gulden. This man was glad for such a son-in- 
law, and married them with great pleasure, not thinking that 
it would produce such a great excitement in the Congrega- 
tion. But when the affair became known the tumult in the 
Congregetion became so great that Christian Libe, the 
second teacher, and with him four single Brethren, rose up 
against it and excommunicated said Hacker, though J. N. 
and the Congregation wished only to suspend him from 
bread-breaking. This godless excommunication ruined the 
whole Congregation in the town of Creyfeld. I heard the 
blessed teacher, J. N. say that more than 100 persons in 
Creyfeld had been convinced in favor of the new baptism, but 
on account of this ban everything was ruined and killed. And 
since no Moses was there, who might have sent Aaron with 
the censer, the fire of the ban burned on and consumed the 
whole Congregation, which still pains my heart whenever I 
think of it. But it touched poor Hacker most, who took 
all the blame on himself. The spirits took possession of him 
so that he fell sick and died of consumption; as they were 
converted people they were able to accomplish something. 
His good friend P. B. , however, was with him in his utmost 
need, up to his death. 

After this P. B. concluded to move to Pennsylvania, and 
when this became known several others moved with him; 
but the spirit of discord and ban also moved with them, and 
so wounded and corrupted them on the other side of the 
ocean, that they could hardly be cured in America. But 
God, nevertheless, took care of this branch, that it should 
bear fruit from the root, and brought it about that the 
German ban-branches were broken off, in order that this 
branch might have room to grow, and at last it blossomed 
and bore fruit in America, as in a garden of God. But the 
dear soul, P. B. , could not attain his object, for the wild Bap- 



25O CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

tist ban-branches always tried to paint a European shadow- 
before his eyes; so that he died having fellowship with hardly 
anyone, for none of them understood his nature. Now I 
return to our yearly meeting, at which the European ban- 
branch continually became a topic of conversation, so that 
you always had to contend with these quarrels, until A. D. 
and M. F. at last died. Then other and thinner branches 
came forth, with which it was still more difficult to. deal, 
until at last they put me out. Then I thought the affair 
would end, but it only commenced in earnest; for as quiet 
as ever I kept they let fne have no peace. I was heartily 
tired of their affairs. Some, however, still adhered to me 
and could not leave me. They also were suspected and were 
avoided on my account, for whoever would not ban me him- 
self had to be banned. 

Now I became puzzled, for the wild European ban- 
branches threw such a shade, mist, darkness and gloom over 
the eyes of my mind that I could not see the light of the sun 
in the Gospel. I still lay buried under the hellish ban- 
doctrine, and my conflict was very great, for I was even afraid 
to doubt the ban-doctrine. In Germany I should willingly 
have entered the highest classes of the high schools, but here 
I had to attend high school against my will, had to learn the 
language of Canaan, and to begin with A. This, indeed, 
appeared very strange to me, because nearly everybody who 
knew me considered me a great doctor of Holy Writ. There 
I lay under a heavy rod, severely beaten both by God and 
men, for the treacherous dealt treacherously with me and I, was 
so lean. (Isaiah XXIV, 16.) For the justice of God pursued 
me and all the good in me was turned into evil, because I had 
taken it as my own. Here my earnestness was turned into 
hypocrisy, my singing and praying into boastfulness, my 
preaching into vanity, my journeying and visiting into an 
outrunning of God before He had sent me. My friendliness 
was dissimulation, my weeping and my tears a sectarian long- 
ing, my conversation with men on religious subjects a fraud, 
my piety a mere show, my reading and my studies a prying 
art, my desire to convert men a rebellion against God. For 
the cursers cursed me (namely, the old Baptists), and those 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 25 1 

who are ready to awaken the Leviathan (Job III, 8); for whoso 
banneth he curseth. Here I had to learn the language of 
Canaan, willing or not willing, like Balaam, who, whether he 
wished or not, was compelled to bless and could not help it, 
however mnch he wished to curse. (Num. XXIII, 20.) Here, 
then, God severed all fellowship of my conscience with the 
European ban-teachers and showed me how their foundation 
was laid in cursing and blessing. For, if a person does not 
wish to be blessed by them, they curse him like those who 
curse and who awaken the Leviathan, and they rejoice in the 
ruin of such people and say that that is the judgment of God 
(see A. M.'s little book, pages 107, 108, 109; also the answer 
to Gruber's twenty-second question), at which talk any one 
instructed by God should verily grieve in his heart. May God 
preserve mine and everybody's heart from such a doctrine, 
because it is so far removed from the doctrine of Christ, 
which teaches: " Love your enemies; bless them that curse 
you!" May God, the Almighty, have mercy. 

Therefore I believe that the Eiiropean Baptists have no 
business in America, but that they escaped hither as fugi- 
tives from the Spirit of God, which would not allow them to 
build their nest in Germany, because they were corrupt in 
their principles; for without knowing it they had been 
cheated by the spirit of Balaam, who rode and struck the 
she-ass before he was sent. (Num. XXII.) I further believe 
that it would have been better for the American awaken- 
ings if they had never come to America; but flight is per- 
mitted in the Old and New Testaments. However, had 
they fought out their fight in Europe, since they were there 
awakened, it would have been more to their honor. For 
although I disagree with their fundamental principles in 
time and eternity (except baptism, the Lord's supper and 
the rite of feet-washing), I nevertheless respect them before 
God, but especially A. M., a man who suffered much for 
God, in spite of the great and grave errors which he had, 
like many of the saints; for a man who with his congre- 
gation leaves his inherited religion, leaves Babel and Egypt, 
experiences what one who is no leader cannot experience, 
as did Moses, John Huss, Martin Luther, Ulric Zwingli, 
Menno Simon, Count Zinzendorf, Conrad Beissel, etc. 



252 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

There never was a false prophet, who had not also some 
truth. 

There never was a godless person, who had not before 
been converted. 

There never has been an accuser of his brother, or a 
despiser of his mother's son, who has not had the covenant 
of God on his lips and proclaimed the laws of God. 

There never was a calumniator, who had not before known 
the truth. 

There never was one who cursed, who had not before 
known how to bless. 

There never went a person astray, who had not before 
been on the right way. 

There never was a liar, who did not before fall from the 
truth. 

There never was a bitter envier, who was not before in the 
bonds of love. 

There never was an enemy, who was not a friend before. 

There never was one who recognized the truth, before he 
recognized the lies in himself. 

Now I will briefly answer a second question: How and 
why I might have joined the Seventh Day Baptists? Al- 
though you might as well have asked: How and why I 
might have joined the children of God ? For my Congrega- 
tion is the largest of all, since I am at one with all who 
belong to the kingdom of God. (Matth. XII, 50). But I 
must begin my narrative at the beginning. On my account 
nearly sixty souls were banished (a likeness to John, IX, 22), 
because they would not believe in lies, nor follow the envy 
of their preachers; therefore we formed a Congregation. 
However I continued to preach as before, and there was 
great commotion throughout almost the whole land, so that 
I was in demand at Conestoga, Philadelphia, Germantown, 
Conewago, Monocacy, as far as Virginia. And although 
I kept up fellowship with all unsectarian souls, I, never- 
theless, was most intimate with my own trusty Brethren 
and Sisters. About this time Brother Frederick Fuhrman 
held a love-feast, to which all this little flock gathered 
and some were baptized; this was the first love-feast. But 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 253 

the Congregation increased in membership by baptism, so 
that during a journey of four weeks twenty-six were bap- 
tized and twelve love-feasts held. But as the affair pro- 
gressed it happened that I was expected at Conestoga. I, 
therefore, got ready, and three Brethren with me. I long 
before had intended to see the Brethren at Ephrata. When 
we arrived at Lititz I sent two of my Brethren by another 
way to those who expected me, to announce to them that I 
was there, and if they wished to have a meeting held the said 
Brethren should come to Ephrata before the meeting and 
notify us. I and my Brother, John Horn, however, with 
staff in hand, went direct towards Ephrata. Following the 
road we first arrived at the Sisters' household, though we did 
not know who lived there. We went to a worthy matron and 
asked where Friedsam lived. She showed us the way. We 
went straight to it and knocked, when old Nagele came out 
and asked where these men came from. I answered that we 
came from far, for I did not wish them at once to know who 
we were, for they knew my name but not my person. Then 
he said: " Come in then," and opened the door. The old 
Father reverently rose and received us with a kiss, and the 
others did the same, for he had visitors at the time. Then he 
made us sit behind the table, he sitting before it, and said: 
"Where do these dear men come from?" I answered: 
"We come from far" (for I restrained myself). He asked: 
" But from where?" I said: " From Canecotschicken. " 8 He 
said: "Then you know George Adam?" I answered: 
"Yes, we know him well." He spoke: "Ah, how is he?" 
I said: "As you see," for I could no longer hold back. 
"Ah," he said to this, "are you George Adam? here lies 
the letter which you wrote; we were just speaking about 
you when you knocked." We continued the conversation, 
and nothing was said on either side to which we both did 
not agree. 

While conversing thus animatedly, a Sister entered, brought 

a tub of water and an apron, put them down and silently 

left; who she was, and who had ordered her to do so, I do 

not know even to this very hour. The old Father rose and 

8 [Couococheague ?] 



254 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

said: "Come Brethren, sit down here, I will wash your feet." 
So he washed our feet, and Brother Nagele dried them for 
us. Then I said: "You have washed our feet, now let us 
also wash yours," to which they consented; so I washed 
their feet, and Brother Horn dried them. When this was 
done, he said, ' ' Let us go into the Sisters' house. ' ' I said 
I should like also to visit my old pastor M. and Brother 
Obed. He said that could also be done, but desired that we 
first should go to the Sisters' house. We went there, and 
they prepared a splendid meal for us, during which we all 
the time continued our conversation; but nothing was said 
on which we did not agree. After this we ascended the hill 
where Brother Obed lived. On the way up he said to me, 
' ' God has done this, that you had to come to us, for with us 
everything lies prostrate, and we have for years been unable 
to hold any meetings; I hope you have come to raise up again 
the fallen down hut." I was surprised at this candor, and 
thought perhaps there was some trick behind it But I 
afterwards learned that it was sincerity, and through all my 
life until his death, I never heard of unfaithfulness in him. 
When we arrived there, and had welcomed each other, he 
said, "How do you do, Brother Obed? How about heaven?" 
Such speech continued and all was harmony, which pleased 
my Brother Horn so much that he afterwards remarked: 
' ' You will not bring me away from these people again, do 
what you please;" which I heard with pleasure. At the close 
of the visit the old Father asked whether we would not like 
to visit the Sisters ? I said we had no time now, we expected 
two other Brethren who had left us at Lititz, who were to 
inform us where and when the meeting was to be held. 
"Why, do you know what," he said, " I will make them 
assemble in their prayer-hall, so that you can see them all; 
it is also desired that you should make an address to them;" 
and this it was resolved to do. After this we visited our old 
pastor Miller, who reverently received us, and met us with 
all the modesty becoming an honorable man. In the 
course of conversation I asked him whether he did not still 
owe something to the R. 9 He said, "I no longer have a 

9 [Reformed.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 255 

drop of blood in me that is R d." I said, "That is not 

what I ask." "Oh!" he said, "I understand; not only to 

the R d but to all men, whatever I have and can;" which 

pleased me. 

Meanwhile it was some time before our two Brethren 
arrived, and reported how it was to be. At the same time 
news arrived that the old Father and the Sisters had assem- 
bled in their prayer-hall, and were waiting for us. Since 
our number of visitors was now again complete, we were 
all conducted thither by the old Brother Eleazar, and were 
shown to our seats. An inward emotion here seized me; my 
spirit felt the presence of a divine majesty; the veil was 
removed, in which all the nations are enveloped. I saw the 
pathway of the saints into the holy of holies; the spirits 
kissed each other in stillness, and a divine, holy, mutual, 
and profound unity was entered into without a word, voice, 
utterance, or speech, for there reigned silence for a long 
time as if no person were there. Smell, taste, feeling, even 
seeing and hearing, all were one, just as I have seen two 
small flocks of sheep unite in which there were no rams. 

At last my spirit was called back again. My eyes were 
full of tears when the Sisters began to sing a hymn, as well 
as I remember: "The streets of Zion are desolate;" which 
brought tears to many eyes. After this was finished, I spoke: 
"You sang a hymn for us, let us now also sing one for you." 
Then we sang the "Song of the Lilies," 10 but as it had 

10 We will here communicate this song to the reader on account of its 
strange expressions. 

1. The heavenly drama, the perfume of lilies, 
Awakened anew the spirit's desire ; 

The roses of Sharon, though low on the ground, 
Bring heaven to spirits for the covenant bound. 
The apple tree's shade bends forward in pleasure 
And seeks in the field of the lilies its treasure. 

2. The color of lilies, their figure so fine, 
Aroused all the love in this bosom of mine. 
The roses of Sharon that bloom in the field 
Are kindred to me, 'neath God's holy shield. 
So away with your crowns and treasures so rare, 
With lilies so beauteous you cannot compare. 



256 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

escaped my memory, I asked Brother Horn for the words, 
and he told them to me; then we sang it to the end, which 
simplicity astonished the Sisters. After quiet was restored, 
I made a short address, although I felt no particular inclina- 
tion to speak. I had various impressions from the spirit of 
prophecy, but since our time was limited we had to accom- 
modate ourselves to it. Thus everything passed most pleas- 
antly. A fellowship was formed, and the unity of spirits 
concluded without a word, without conditions, without ques- 
tioning as to how 01 when, without care, without labor, 
without fear, without distrust, without consideration; in 
love, with love, through love, out of love, and for eternal 
love; and neither world nor time, neither flesh nor blood, 
neither friend nor foe, neither the present nor the future, 
neither fear nor death, neither devil nor hell can break it, 
for Two became One, and were One before they knew it. 
And thus it is with all who are truly born again; for they 
are children, sons and daughters of God Almighty. So far 
the record. 

3. Oh heaven, how rich and how happy am I, 

For the beauty of lilies you showed to mine eye. 
She groweth as straight as the smoke on the plain, 
And love-like she clings to me, now and again. 
I stay with her always, because she so charms, 
As long as I breathe she'll rest in my arms. 

4. Thine odor divine, thy heavenly form 

My poor sinful heart did wondrously warm. 
My heart how it longeth to join in the hymn 
That swells from the throngs of Mahanaim. 
Oh might I, low bowing, without any fear, 
Pluck off all the roses so plentiful here. 

5. My life I would give it forever to thee, 

With heart and with soul ; yea so it should be! 
For thou art the lily, else nothing can clothe 
My poor naked form in peace to repose. 
If Prince I were called, I'd wish nothing more, 
Nor care for aught else that I wanted before. 

6. Enraptured I am by this beauty of thine, 

I sway like one drunken and vanquished by wine. 
The apple tree casteth its shadow so still 
Where the lilies abound by God's holy will. 
The carpets of Solomon ever so fine 
Are nothing compared to these beauties of mine. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 257 

Such are the particulars of this important union, related 
by the Brother himself. It must be known, however, that in 
spite of his banishment he still had a strong following among 
the Baptists, who were honest people, and began to think that 
he had been unjustly treated; and who, therefore, were dis- 
posed to stake their lives on his innocence. The most promi- 
nent of these were John Steiner, John Horn, Peter and 
Abraham Knipper, Frederick Fuhrman, George Scheitler, 
Peter Zug, Finck, etc. But the reception of these two 
Brethren brought about great changes; for, in the first place, 
these two visiting Brethren were seized with holy wonder 
when they saw that the union was made in the spirit without 
an>' words, as they had thought that articles of agreement 
would be laid before them. Afterwards the old hatred 
between the two Communities was again revived on this 
account, for the reception of Brother G. A., nullified the ban 
which the former Brethren had laid on him; all of which 
happened in the prayer-hall of the Sisters, as above men- 

7. Melchizedek's altar, here also it stands, 

As master it guardeth this purest of bands ; 

As oft as he thinks of them in his abode 

The manna of Paradise falls to their lot. 

The strength of the lilies, like secret-kept fire, 

Springs forth with new force in the virginal choir. 

8. Come dearest ! oh come ! and make me thine own, 
To rest on thy heart and have there my home. 

Oh give me the juice of the lilies so mild, 
The balsam of love and heaven's strong child. 
Baal-Hamon, my vineyard, brings splendid new wine, 
It robbed thee of life, oh beloved of mine. 

9. Let, therefore, the virgin by all be extolled 
As long as of crown and of scepter we're told. 
Although she despised the hot and the small, 

Through shame she high honor hath brought to them all. 

The little ones feed in the dale with the rose, 

For brides and espousal the Lamb did them choose. 

10. The flowers of Sharon are counted no dross, 

Because they're bethrothed to the Lamb on the cross ; 
And follow his footsteps through danger and chance, 
Drawn closer to him through the love of his name. 
Yet the}- are the virgins Christ chose for his brides, 
He made them his own and set others aside. 



258 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

tioned; for there the holy Mother came down from above 
with the oil of anointing, and healed his wounds; wherefore 
he was often heard to say: ' ■ Rejoice with me, for I have found 
the piece which I had lost." It appears that the Superin- 
tendent had received, as a trust from God, a blessing for the 
B Community, of which they would have become par- 
takers had they humbled themselves; for he was the greatest 
stumbling-stone which their Community ever encountered. 
But because they failed to endure the test, the choice fell 
upon another. For we must concede to this Brother the 
honor that he was the first among them, who arrived at a 
holy harmony and yet remained a Baptist. For all of this 
people who had joined the Community before him, sent their 
letters of withdrawal to their people, but Brother G. A., 
above spoken of, was faithful to their statutes, and neither a 
second baptism, nor the Sabbath, nor any of the various 
other ordinances of the Community, were urged upon him. 
Therefore it was ordained by God that Brother G. A. was 
to earn the blessing, which their whole Community might 
have had; and the Superintendent once addressed the fol- 
lowing impressive words to him: "You shall be blessed, 
and also remain blessed." When, shortly before his death, 
he once more visited the Superintendent, the latter said to 
him: " My salvation rests in your hands." All this created 
an extraordinary esteem for the Superintendent in this good 
Brother, and all the letters he wrote to him were full of 
special expressions of love, while the superscription some- 
times contained the title: Pontifex Maximus. 

Some of the Baptists who saw a little further, expected 
that the Superintendent's bearing towards this man would 
subdue him sooner than all their bans; but in the Commu- 
nity in and around Ephrata he occasioned great excitement, 
especially in the households. For up to this time the 
priestly office had been in the hands of one of the Solitary, 
but now the domestic household also wished to have part in 
it, which broiight with it such temptations, that one house- 
father, J. S., 11 declared on his death-bed that this Brother 
would be the cause of the Community's destruction. But 

11 [John Senseman.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 259 

because the Superintendent was the first to condescend to 
him, there was no help, everybody had to follow suit; and if 
any one had not done so, judgment would have come upon 
him, so that he would not have dared to lift up his hands 
towards God. All this was not unknown to the said Brother, 
therefore he once declared that all the good in Ephrata 
rested in his hands. After the visit was now concluded with 
blessing, the Superintendent dismissed them with letters of 
recommendation to the Brethren at the Bermudian. . Soon 
after, moreover, he sent two of the oldest Brethren, Jehoiada 
and Lamech, to the Brethren at the Bermudian, and ex- 
pressed himself in the following manner, namely, that they 
should receive Brother G. A. as if it were himself. This was 
saying as much as that they should take him as their priest, 
which greatly troubled them, so that they protested that 
their priests lived in Ephrata. A venerable house-sister was 
even seized with a fatal sickness on that account, of which 
she died; it happened to her like to the wife of the son of 
the priest Eli, who, when in labor, was more concerned for 
the glory of God, than for her own child, and said : ' ' The 
glory of Israel is taken captive," (I Sam. IV, 19.) But after 
they had learned to submit to God's wonderful guidance 
they became one Community, for before this they lay under 
suspicion, because most of those who had moved away from 
the Community at Ephrata had done so for improper 
reasons. If you wish to build churches you must lay the 
foundation .on the lowliness of Christ, else you build in 
the air. 

Through this movement a door was opened for a new 
church-period, during which much important spiritual work 
was transacted. The Superintendent called the awakening 
at Antitum from this period on, the Eagle church, after the 
fourth beast in the Apocalypse; although these good people 
considered themselves too lowly and unworthy of such a 
high title; but there was another secret connected with it. 
The Superintendent, who, during his whole awakened condi- 
tion, stood in the service of the four beasts, about this time 
came under the dominion of the Eagle, wherefore the renewal 
of the Eagle's youth showed itself so much in him that he 



26o CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

was entirely pervaded by it during his old age. During his 
first journey from the Settlement to Antitum he carried all 
his ecclesiastical vestments with him, because not only the 
oldest Brethren from Bethany, and the house-fathers, but 
also the oldest Sisters of Sharon, with their Mother, were 
his companions. They who beheld the glory of these two 
flocks of lambs when they united into one at Antitum (and 
many who saw it must still be alive), will well remember 
that then their mountains leaped for joy like sheep, and 
their hills like lambs, at the generation of the celestial 
Mother, which shall at last take possession of the Kingdom, 
when the adulterous seed is destroyed from the earth. The 
Superintendent made this whole journey on foot, except 
when they forced him to make use of a horse, and then he 
said: "In this way I cannot be edifying to anyone." In 
this lively spirit he was seen to travel over mountains and 
valleys, and no hut was too poor for him to enter with his 
company. And now the fire of the awakening spread over 
the whole region of Antitum. Many secretly stole away 
from their houses and ran after this wonder, for the former 
Brethren of Brother G. A. , in order to put a stop to this 
awakening, sent two of their Brethren, John Mack and 
Staub, to all their houses to warn them against being 
seduced. 

During the whole journey the Superintendent gave strange 
evidences of his humility and obedience. He never sat down 
in a house until the father of the house showed him a seat, 
which some observed and remarked: "He is more strictly 
led than we. ' ' But the circumstances forced him to this, for 
he was hired in a vineyard which already had its husband- 
men with whom he might easily have interfered; on which 
point also a law was made in the Jure Ca?wnico: Quod nnius 
ecclesiae umis dcbeat esse Sacerdos: that each church should 
have but one priest. When it was resolved to hold a bread- 
breaking, and a priest was required for it, his humility taught 
him to make room for Brother G. A., who, in consequence 
presided, though their love-feasts were at the time still held 
in Corinthian fashion, and not in the manner in which they 
were held at Ephrata. Soon after another breaking of bread 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 26l 

was held, the administration of which they conferred on the 
Superintendent, which he promised to undertake on con- 
dition that they would permit him to break in the manner in 
which he had been taught. To this they would not agree. 
They said: " It is strange that yon make such a difference in 
such small matters;" to which he answered: "It is also 
strange that you, to whom I yield in all points, cannot yield 
to me in this one point, which my conscience demands." 
Then they gave him the permission, and from that time they 
celebrated all their love-feasts in the same way that is cus- 
tomary with the Brethren at Ephrata. The reason why the 
Superintendent took offence at their way of breaking 
bread was because they were of opinion that all must be 
equals; and, therefore, they did not wish to allow any pre- 
rogative or privilege to any one person among them. On 
this account some of them were not pleased when the 
Superintendent, at a large meeting, held in the house of a 
Brother named Joseph Greybiihl, while the whole congre- 
gation were on their knees, consecrated this Brother by lay- 
ing on of hands, and thus confirmed him in his office. After 
the Brethren of Antitum had dismissed the Superintendent 
and the other visitors in peace, they went on their homeward 
journey. The spirit of awakening about this same time 
caused so much work between Ephrata, Bermudian and 
Antitum that visitors were continually on the march to and 
fro, which nourished the mutual love. For the Superintend- 
ent had scarcely settled down in his seclusion again when a 
new visit to Antitum was prepared for, which started six 
weeks after the first. The Superintendent charged an- 
other Brother with it, and ordered some Brethren and Sisters 
of the Settlement and some of the oldest house-fathers to 
accompany him. The Superintendent himself was at An- 
titum three times, and this in his old age, when his task was 
fast approaching its end. But those at Antitum reciprocated 
by many a fatiguing journey to Ephrata. For at that time 
the fire burnt in the Philadelphian church, which each and 
everyone at Antitum tried to keep up, even at the risk of 
his earthly possessions. At this time the before-mentioned 
Brethren, G. A. and H., paid a new visit to the Settlement, in 



262 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

order to see the Superintendent once more, for they expected 
that he would soon leave his earthly tabernacle. The Super- 
intendent received them with open arms and held a love- 
feast in their honor. After this the said Brother G. A., 
accompanied by some of the Fathers and some Sisters from 
Sharon, paid a visit to Philadelphia, but his companion 
meanwhile remained quietly in the Settlement; and after 
their visit was ended in blessing they gave the last kiss of 
peace to the Superintendent, for they did not see him again 
after this. Thus they returned in peace to their home. And 
with this we will conclude the chapter. 






CHAPTER XXXII. 

Concerning Various Strange Affairs which Occurred in 
the Country about the Same Time, and in which the 
Superintendent was Interested. 

At that time an old Separatist who had been the Superin- 
tendent's travelling companion across the ocean, Simon 
Konig by name, joined the Community, and thus another 
opportunity was given the Superintendent by spiritual alms 
to help an unfortunate, who had failed in his calling, to rise 
again. The way in which the said Konig was brought to the 
Community was quite extraordinary; for he had lived seventy 
days without any natural food, which produced such a 
change in his nature that he afterwards could not live in 
society any more. He published in print his own account of 
his reception, in which he calls the Ephrata Community the 
most noble in the world, at which his Separatist Brethren 
took great offence; but it happened to him like the new wine 
which bursts the new barrels, for the Pentacostal wine had 
intoxicated him. It is however to be deplored that such a 
paradisiacal foretaste was followed by such sad consequences; 
for not long after this he fell under displeasure, and left the 
Community again, which he had extolled to the skies; 
and although several attempts were made to snatch him out 
of the fire, everything was in vain, and he passed into 
eternity during his alienation. 

Now we come to the history of the spirits, which took their 
beginning in Virginia during January, 1761, and were laid at 
Ephrata in the following spring; but to understand it several 
other circumstances have to be mentioned also. There were 
two young married persons in the Community of Ephrata 
who were anxious about their eternal welfare; but because, 
according to the usage of those times, the wife entered upon 
the practice of continence without consent of her husband, 
he fell into great temptation, and at last sinned with a neigh- 
boring widow whom he had served in many ways. Because 

(263) 



264 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

on this account he lost his fellowship with the Community, 
he took his children and the said widow with him to Vir- 
ginia, and left his first wife in the Community. After he 
had three children by that widow, she died, and he married 
a person of noble birth, who had just arrived in the country, 
and who called herself Henrietta Wilhelmina von Honing, 
but who did not bring the best character with her into the 
country. 

It happened in January, 1761, that as this third wife of 
the man mentioned (his name was C. B.), was slumbering, 
an old woman appeared to her, who, according to the descrip- 
tion given by her, must have been the above mentioned 
widow. She took hold of the arm of said third wife, and 
placed her on a chair, and that part of the arm which she 
had taken hold of was blue for several days. Then she 
said to her: "Don't go away, but remain 'here with my hus- 
band, I am an old woman and do not mind it; I shall go 
away again; you are the third and legitimate wife. And 
because you are good to my children, I shall reveal every- 
thing to you, for you will not be here much longer. Go into 
the kitchen about the twelfth hour; there behind the tin 
closet you will find money." Afterwards she and her hus- 
band searched the kitchen and found there £$ hidden, in 
paper money. After this the spirit played a strange comedy 
with this person for four weeks, so that she thought it would 
cost her her life, as she suddenly spit half a pint of blood. 
Every night the spirit revealed some of the money which 
the woman had during her lifetime purloined from her hus- 
band, and which was found in the places where she had 
hidden it. But it appears that the spirit must have been 
greatly under the influence of a fierce temper, for whenever 
it was not obeyed, it would tear the clothes from the body of 
the wife; and that was a common thing. If she rode behind 
her husband her shoes and stockings were taken off her feet 
while sitting on the horse. Did she go to a neighbor, it 
always cost her part of her dress, which was torn; but if 
she remained at home, there was a continual racket all 
around the woman. Sometimes all the books were thrown 
down from the shelf, and hardly was this done when the 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 265 

tea-service followed and was broken to pieces. At length the 
report of these strange matters spread over the whole country, 
and a messenger, B. by name, was sent from Winchester to 
inform himself accurately about the thing. He spent the 
night there; but during the night the spirit rioted in throw- 
ing, knocking and pounding so that the afore-named B. 
commenced to curse on his couch, which so exasperated the 
spirit that it dragged the couch on which three persons were 
lying around the room, though B. resisted with much force. 
Then the spirit took hold of his arm and tried to twist it, 
whereupon he cried out in fear: " Lord Jesus, what is this?" 
Now the spirit fell down upon its knees before him, pushed 
him back with both its hands, and disappeared. 

They several times heard' the spirit utter the word Cone- 
stoga, at which place they had formerly lived; and because 
the wife was always seized by the arm by the spirit they in- 
terpreted it to be the spirit's meaning that they should go to 
Conestoga. In this they were not deceived, for as soon as 
they had resolved on this move two spirits appeared; the last 
stood behind the first and was quite tall and lean, which 
made them think it was C. B.'s first wife. Whenever the first 
said to his wife, "Come!" the second would stand behind 
and beckon with its hand that they should come, and be- 
haved very devoutly. After the wish of the spirit in regard 
to the journey was divined it plainly told them the whole 
affair, namely, that they were to go from Ephrata to Cone- 
stoga; about the twelfth hour of the night they should enter 
the great hall over the church, and to this place Conrad 
(this was the Superintendent whom the deceased during her 
lifetime had highly esteemed), Nagele, her husband, and a 
Sister who had long ago died (most likely Anna Eicher), 
should also come; it and Catharine (the first wife of said C. B.) 
would also appear, for they had died unreconciled with each 
other. Then the following two hymns were to be sung: 
"Oh God and Lord," and "Dearest Father, I Thy child." 
After this they should clasp each other's hands, but she 
should put her hand on them and say: " Christ is the recon- 
ciliation of us all; may he help you and forgive you your 
sins, and wash you with his blood." On this journey to 



266 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Ephrata it was observed that as often as she tarried longer 
than necessary the spirit became uneasy and threw her shoes 
towards the door; and in Lancaster it also tore her clothes 
in sight of all the people in the tavern. 

When they arrived at Ephrata the Superintendent was 
away from home on official duties, and of those present none 
was inclined to meddle with these things. A Brother, there- 
fore, was sent to him to tell him that his presence was 
required in the Settlement. At first he refused and said 
there would be a meeting next day, at which he had to be 
present. But the night following he received other instruc- 
tions and travelled home with the Brethren. He considered 
that these people and their important experiences had been 
sent to him by God, and as such accepted them. The meet- 
ing was held February 3d; it began at the eleventh hour of the 
night and lasted two hours. Besides those three persons from 
Virginia, eighteen from Ephrata were present, and among 
them those whom the deceased had especially named; but 
the chief person with whom the spirit had had to do refused 
to be present until she was at last persuaded to it after much 
trouble. The meeting was commenced by reading the 
last chapter of James, and after the first hymn had been 
sung, all knelt down; but when the spirit was mentioned in 
the prayer, strange emotion took possession of her, and she 
was seized by great fear, so that her husband and step-son 
had to support her. It was noticed at the time that her 
neckerchief became sprinkled with blood while they were 
on their knees; there were thirty drops, but where the 
blood came from did not become evident. This was the 
only extraordinary circumstance that happened at this meet- 
ing, for the spirit did not appear according to promise. But 
when the reconciliation was about to take place, the above 
mentioned person refused to do anything in the matter, and 
tried to put the management on others; but she was told 
that it was her duty, and that none else could do it. At 
last it was thought advisable that the two daughters of said 
C. B. (the one by his first wife, who was a member of the 
Sisterhood, the other by his second wife), should perform the 
act of reconciliation instead of their mothers. They clasped 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 267 

their hands, and the third wife spoke the above-mentioned 
words over them; then the exercises closed with prayer. 

After this ac~t the spirit did not trouble this person any- 
more. The opinions which were now and then passed on 
these occurrences we will leave untouched; but as the 
Superintendent clearly expressed his opinion on them, we 
will lay it before the friendly reader for further consideration; 
it was as follows: 

I cannot help but say a little something Vbout what hap- 
pened to me last night during my spiritual labor, especially 
since I expressed myself pretty plainly yesterday. In the 
first place, yesterday I had a very strange revelation to my 
spirit before the mercy seat, and in my usual manner, in the 
spirit of the prayer. I went to lie down to sleep at the proper 
time and woke up again at midnight, as, indeed, is commonly 
the case. I looked at once for the mercy seat and put my 
incense on the altar, and it filled my house. After a while I 
again lay down to rest on my bench, but soon I had to get 
up again in order to offer incense, so I took my golden censer 
and made the fire burn high; but myself remained bent low 
to the earth in prayer and intercession for the oppressed 
and innocent, and that God might vindicate his great mercy, 
goodness and compassion towards the innocent, just as he 
had sought to vindicate his honor on the unrighteous through 
his righteousness. 

After this sacrifice I lay down again to rest, slept for a 
while, and when I awoke looked around and waited in 
spirit for my watch- word; when it was told me that we 
labored in vain about this spirit; that we would be rid of it if 
the stolen goods were returned to their proper place; not 
indeed as the spirit had ordered, for then we would become 
partakers of its sins. For no part of them can be laid on the 
altar of God; it would not bring honor even to use them as 
alms, for it is written: "I hate robbery for burnt offering;" 
and again: Who restoreth to the debtor his pledge and 
payeth back what he hath robbed. Without this neither 
sacrifice nor prayer can be pleasing. It was further told me 
that if it were right, nobody could for conscience sake take 
away any of the money from the children for whom it was 



268 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

intended, for this would deprive the father of his honor and 
parental right, and they, the children, would rob themselves 
of the father's blessing, for it is written: "The father's 
blessing builds houses for the children, but the mother's 
wrath plucketh them down." 

Now I will speak: It came to my mind, after deep reflec- 
tion, that N. N. is the first-born child, who in this affair is 
nearest related to the mother. If now this should be so, 
then she (of course, if the others agree to it), instead of 
the mother, should gather up all, and should lay the money 
away in an unclean place (he meant a secretary) until seven 
periods had passed, and should give up the mother and 
try to gain the heart of the father, where thus far she had 
been a stranger through the mother's fault, and therefore 
could not fully love the father, which brings upon us the 
mother's wrath which plucketh down houses. For by such 
work the kingdom of heaven is not gained; and so likewise, 
as I understand it, the spirit had not had a hair to give for 
the kingdom of heaven while it was in its body, and had 
nothing else to do but to torment innocent hearts, and so 
assist in the evil design, etc. 

If the dear heart, N. N. , cannot agree to this as above 
explained, to give up her mother with her evil doings and 
try instead to lay hold of the father's heart, which has 
as it is been sufficiently wronged by the mother, then it 
may happen that good fortune will not be with her in her 
future course, for the mother's curse destroys it. Should 
it, however, come to pass that the money could be disposed 
of as explained, and the spirit should continue to lay any 
claim to it, then we must do what we can. I also considered 
whether the spirit would not have lost its right if the money 
were only kept at those same places where the deceased had 
put it. F. , One who Possesses 

Nothing on the this Earth. 

The history and revelations of Catharine Hummer follow 
now in order of time, and although we may have no right to 
connect them with this chronicle, especially since they 
began outside of this Community, they, nevertheless, deserve 
to find a place here, partly because they are edifying and 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 269 

partly because the Superintendent esteemed the person 
worthy of his favor; the account however is taken from her 
own confessions and is as follows: 

While sitting in the kitchen near the fire on the night of 
October 3d, 1762, between ten and eleven o'clock, somebody 
knocked at the door. I looked out, but nobody was there. 
It soon knocked again, and I again went out but found 
nobody. At last it knocked the third time, and going out 
and looking about I saw an angel standing at my right hand, 
who said: "Yes, my friend, it is midnight and late; the hour 
of midnight is approaching; alas, what shall I sav? love 
has grown cool among the members. Oh, that this were 
not so among those who are Brethren in the faith!" Then 
he sang, that it echoed through the skies, and I thought it 
must be heard far and wide. When he had ceased, I said: 
"Shall I go in and tell my friends that they may rejoice 
with me?" He said: "No; they have lain down. " I said: 
"They are not asleep." He said: " Yes, they sleep." Then 
I kept silence and thought, how well I feel, how well I feel! 
Thereupon the angel began to sing: " How. well I 'feel, how 
well I fell, when our God doth show himself in spirit to my 
soul, so that within I leap and jump for joy, and bring all 
praise and honor to the Lord, although the tongue oft silence 
keeps." x\t the middle of the verse he told me to join in the 
singing; then he knelt down and I with him; he prayed fer- 
vently and beautifully for the salvation of believers. Now I 
wept for joy, and he dried my tears; but I dared not touch him. 
Then I said: "Shall I go and tell my friends?" He laid 
his hands upon my shoulders and answered, " My dear child, 
they are asleep." I said: " My dear friend, they just now lay 
down, they do not sleep." After this we again commenced 
to sing: "The children of God indeed sow in sorrow and in 
tears; but at last the year yieldeth what they long for; for the 
time of the harvest cometh, when they gather the sheaves, and 
all their grief and pain is turned to pure joy and laughter." 
Then I again said: " Shall I go in and tell my father that he 
may rejoice with me?" He said: "No, all your friends are 
asleep, and their hearts also want to sleep." Then I wept 
bitterly, and the angel asked: "Why do you weep?" I 



270 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

answered: "I have committed many sins and often grieved 
my Saviour." He said: " Do not weep, your Saviour forgave 
you your sins, for he knows that you have gladly listened 
to the good, and that you did not delight in the great- 
ness of this world, that you have no pride in your heart, 
and that you have kept lowly company with the believers." 
Then the angel and I began to sing: " Who knows what shall 
come, what shall be our lot, when the Lord one day his own 
will take, his chaste bride so full of honor; he hath already 
known her in his mind, she follows well his guiding hand 
and much augments his honor." Then we knelt and prayed 
again, and he prayed for the sinners. Then I asked for the 
fourth time: " Shall I go in and call my friends ?" He said: 
" This is asked once too often; do you not know that the 
Saviour awakened his disciples three times ?' ' I said : ' ' This 
is too much;" and I wept. He said: "Weep not," and I 
kept silent. Then we began to sing: " O blessed he will be 
who shall enter in with me the realms of bliss; it surely is 
but right that we should here below us always well prepare." 
Then the* angel began to speak and said: "My dear child, 
did you ever see such ungodly display ? Did you notice the 
daughters of Jerusalem walking about in gay calico, of 
which things they have much on earth. They will be sent 
down to the wicked if they do not turn back, for they will 
not enter the kingdom of God; and there is still a great deal 
of this godless display upon earth; they will be shown down 
into hell. Then the Lord will say: Depart from me, ye sin- 
ners! I know you not! And then you will burn to all eternity 
and will be tormented from everlasting to everlasting." 

Then he ceased to speak of these things, and we again 
began to sing: " They all will see at once with pleasure and 
joy the beauties of the heavenly realm; and the beautiful 
throng will walk two by two on Zion's meadows." Then, 
for the third time, we knelt down on the ground and he 
prayed about the sufferings and the death of the Saviour, and 
then we got up. Now he said to me: "Go in and lie down;" 
and said: "Hallelujah! hallelujah in Christ Jesus! Amen." 
Then he ascended towards heaven and spoke in a loud voice, 
so that it reached to heaven: "Father, father, faithful 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 27 1 

father!" and called out three times in a loud voice say- 
ing: "I ascend into heaven." I looked after him until he 
disappeared from my sight; then I went in and lay down. 

After this I lay in a trance for the greater part of seven 
days and nights, so that my spirit was separated from the 
body. In this state I was led through strange conditions and 
dwelling places of spirits, and I saw such wonderful things that 
I greatly hesitate to reveal them. After this it became quite 
customary for me to talk with good spirits and angels, and also 
to be transferred in spirit out of my visible body into heavenly 
principalities, just as if it had happened bodily. The Al- 
mighty God in his mercy also allowed me to translate myself 
in spirit into eternity as often as I wished, either by day or 
night, and there to see, hear and touch the divine wonders. 
My body was always as if asleep until my spirit returned. I 
wandered through indescribable habitations of the blessed, 
and saw innumerable hosts; and once I was told their num- 
ber, but I could not remember it. Oh, what joy and happi- 
ness did I there behold! There you feel a bliss that is 
inexpressible and cannot be described. Now I will describe 
a few of the divine wonders which Jesus Christ, who had 
joined me and was my guide into eternity, revealed to me. 

In the year 1762, on November 12th, my spirit was taken 
from this visible creation, and out of my body, up into invisi- 
ble eternity. There I saw all the prophets and apostles, 
together with all the saints and patriarchs, and heard one of 
them say these words to the pious: Hallelujah, hallelujah, 
highly praised, highly honored; gather ye pious, gather all 
ye pious to the great supper; rejoice ye all and triumphantly 
declare how kindly the Lord leads you. To the godless the 
Lord will say: Depart ye wicked, I do not know you, go with 
him whom ye have followed. Then they will try to excuse 
themselves and implore the Lord, but he will say to them: 
Depart from me, ye evil-doers. And the Saviour then will 
say: Come, all ye pious, to the great supper. And they will 
hasten with gladness, and triumphantly shout and say: 
Highly, highly be praised the Lord's precious name! Then 
they will walk two and two on the meadows of Zion; then 
they will walk even by fours. Oh, how will the pious rejoice 



272 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

when the Saviour says: Come hither, ye pious! Then they 
will hasten by fours, and the gross, godless sinners, by hun- 
dreds, and on the middle path by sixties; and the unbelieving 
children, under seven years old, by twenties on the middle 
path. Then they are again divided on the middle path. 
What is here said about three paths is to be understood as 
follows: We human beings know what is meant by morn- 
ing, noon, evening and midnight; in the same way this is 
also to be understood in the other realm. A great water runs 
from Noon between Morning and Midnight which divides the 
earthly from the eternal realm. When man dies and leaves 
this earthly realm he imagines himself alive and does not 
know anything of his having died, and yet finds himself a 
stranger on earth. Then he comes to a great road that leads 
from Evening towards Morning; after he has travelled some 
distance on this road a broad road branches off to the left, 
leading to damnation and hell. The road ascends a little 
until it reaches a certain height, when it suddenly descends, 
and there hundreds on hundreds are travelling. But on the 
road which leads towards Morning there sixties on sixties 
are travelling; this road leads to the water mentioned, but the 
other one, almost directly towards Noon, brings you to the 
water sooner. On this road none but adults walk towards the 
temple of Mount Zion. Then the angel said: "And then 
the Lord will say: Come ye pious and baptized, who have 
persevered to the end, come over here; come, you are bap- 
tized and have persevered to the end." Again the angel 
spoke: " Behold the five chosen ones! Oh, how glorious and 
how mighty! Behold the Father, and the Son, and those 
three with him, God Abraham, God Isaac, and God Jacob!" 
And one of the three went into the water and baptized (what is 
not fulfilled here in this time must and inevitably will be ful- 
filled in the time to come). And the Saviour and the Father 
stood on the other side of the water, and the Saviour called 
the innocent by name, one after the other, to go in. Those 
who had here repented and believed in baptism he also called 
in. But those who had transgressed the Word of God, after 
having been baptized on earth, they must tarry at the water 
until they have repented anew. Those whom the world had 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 273 

bought, and who clung to it with their hearts, they must 
anew repent upon earth, for they must wait by the water 
and listen to what the Father preaches to them. These two, 
the Father and the Son, stood together on the other side. 
Then they also came to the water and preached, the Father 
to the godless, the Son to the pious. Now the pious also 
went into the water and were baptized, and the Saviour called 
to them to cross also; and they were glad and joined in the 
triumphant shout of the angels; and the angels stood in the 
water up to their hearts. I will yet add something important 
about baptism. I know a man, it is not necessary to mention 
his name, who when he died and came to the water was told 
that before he might cross he would have to be baptized. 
He answered that he had been baptized in his infancy, and 
had always thought that immersion was not so essential. 
Then he heard the words: Jesus too was circumcised on the 
eighth day, and nevertheless was also baptized in his thirtieth 
year; therefore he would have to follow, and so indeed he 
did. I saw him moreover until he had crossed. 

After they had come out of the water they went away 
from it, the Father first, then the Saviour and the Three, 
and after them the angels. The further they went the more 
beautiful it was, bright and shining. These five sat down, then 
the baptized, then the angels singing most charmingly. The 
Saviour preached the Gospel; he did not preach as he had 
to the Jews in their synagogues. And after he had preached 
the Gospel, he also preached faith. Then they stood up and 
prayed mightily and gloriously, and Jesus told the pious to 
t go their way, and they all departed; but the five chosen 
** ones returned again to the water, and the angels accom- 
panied them, and did as they had done before at the water. 
But the multitude of the pious, whom Jesus told to go their 
way, numbered one hundred; they departed and were pre- 
pared. Then one of the Three went into the water, and 
also the angels up to their hearts. Then the Lord of inno- 
cence called out and said: "Come hither ye innocent, ye 
must be baptized." Then they will hurry into the water 
and be baptized; and when they come out, the Lord will 
call to them: "Come over here!" and they will go to the 

T 



274 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Five. But those who are baptized here, and fall away again, 
but repent again and are converted during their lifetime, to 
them the Father will say, when after death they come to the 
water: " Halt, halt!" and will preach to them and tell them 
what they have done; but the Saviour will preach to the 
pious. Then the Saviour will say: "Come also into the 
water, you must be baptized again;" then they will go into 
the water and be called over to the other side, shining and 
glorious in their beauty. Thereupon they all will rejoice with 
shouts and jubilation, because the Lord has led them so 
kindly. But to those who but half repented the Lord will 
say: "Depart, depart, depart from the middle road!" And 
when those come who here on earth stood by themselves, 
the Lord will say to them: "Depart from me, I know you 
not!" He will say: "No standing alone availeth here!" 
and they will be turned off with the godless. 

Then the Saviour will say: "Come ye pious, rejoice and 
triumphantly shout, because the Lord leads you so kindly;" 
and he who baptized in the water said to me: "Behold 
Peter, and John, and James!" They were of the same de- 
gree; Peter and John had friendly countenances. Peter said 
to me: "Are you glad that your spirit will soon depart?" 
I said : " Yes, my friend, I am very glad. ' ' I sighed : ' ' Come, 
Jesus, take me up." I was so happy, my heart was never 
quiet. Peter said: " Yes, my dear child, you shall soon join 
the five chosen ones." He continued: "They may keep 
your body, but not your spirit; I shall soon bring you up to 
me, as soon as your spirit departs from you; but your friends 
will sleep, and not see it." I spoke: "I am glad, my heart 
is never quiet; soon I shall rejoice and shout in triumph, 
because the Lord so kindly leads me." I was very glad that 
I had seen the believers in eternity; but my heart was very 
sad as they took leave of me; and yet I was glad, and hoped 
to see them again in eternity. It also gave me much joy 
that two of them returned with me to the water. Then one 
of them spoke: "The Lord will say to them that are exalted: 
Go down, you stood high in the world, you must now be 
made low; you were not satisfied with shelter and food. 
But to the humble he will say: Ye must be raised up, you 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 275 

were low upon the earth. But woe to them who purchase 
the world; they must go with the godless. Oh, how will the 
humble rejoice! for those who purchased the world and are 
citizens thereof, they will cry woe! over themselves; hallelu- 
jah, amen." When I came to this side of the water I began 
to sing: I shall love my Jesus until I am carried to the grave, 
and until he shall awaken me, and they shall write on my 
coffin: Jesus is my hope and my light; I my Jesus shall never 
leave. 

Anno 1762, on December 6th, my spirit was again carried 
out of this visible creation and frame of flesh, up into the in- 
visible eternity, again to hear something new. Then one 
spoke the following words, and spoke very loudly to those in 
heaven and on earth: "Rejoice and shout triumphantly, 
you will soon be led to your rest; rejoice with might, ye 
pious, you soon will find your rest. Hallelujah, rejoice with 
might! High, high, as high as you can extol, rejoice ye all 
and triumphantly shout, for the Lord so kindly leads you! 
Oh, how glorious and how mighty! Rejoice ye all and shout 
in triumph: come all ye pious, come to the great supper! 
Hio! hio! hallelujah! Oh, how glorious and how mighty; 
rejoice ye all and shout in triumph; soon all the pious and 
all the lowly will find their rest! Oh, what joy! oh, what 
delight! rejoice ye all and shout in triumph, hallelujah, hal- 
lelujah! Come ye pious, come ye all, come to the great sup- 
per!" The angel further spoke to me: " Behold the angels 
without number, behold how splendid and shining; behold 
how they protect the pious on earth! Oh, how glorious and 
how mighty! Who can number the angels who sit above and 
protect the pious on earth? Rejoice ye all and shout in 
triumph, the Saviour will come soon to take home all the 
pious, and with him his angels in white array; then heaven 
shall be barred. Hallelujah, hallelujah, rejoice with might 
ye pious, you soon will come to your rest! High, high, extol 
as high as you can! High, high as he can be extolled! 
Rejoice ye all and shout in triumph! Oh, how glad the pious 
will be! Oh, how blessed are they who believe that the 
Saviour died for the world and who are baptized in His 
name," etc. 

On December 13th my immortal spirit was again carried 



276 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

up to eternity, and again heard the voice of a watchman 
resound aloud like a trumpet; the sound seemed to go through 
all the heavens and the earth. He again spoke: " Oh, how- 
glorious and how mighty! Rejoice ye all and shout in tri- 
umph; behold how the L,ord so kindly leads you! Rejoice 
with might, all ye pious, and ye pious all at once, come to 
the great supper!" etc., etc. 

I find that these visions continued at least till April, 1765. 
The father of this person was a respected Baptist preacher. 
He, because he also had a great desire to build churches, 
made use of this circumstance and travelled through the coun- 
try with his daughter, baptizing and preaching God's king- 
dom, whereby many were awakened from their spiritual sleep, 
some of whom he baptized in the stream Codorus, at York- 
town. It is beyond description how quickly this awakening 
spread through the country; people came from a distance of 
more than sixty miles to the house of the above-mentioned 
Hummer, so that the too numerous visitors emptied these 
good people's house and barn of their provisions. Night 
services were then arranged, to which people came every 
night; but if some tried to steal in from impure motives, the 
Instrument 1 was so keen to find it out that they were exposed 
and excluded from the service. That at the same time most 
charming hymns were sung by angels in the air, I give on 
the authority of those who allege that they heard them. 
Catharine Hummer, before mentioned, and her sisters, 
showed from the very beginning of this awakening a par- 
ticular esteem for the Solitary in the Settlement; therefore 
it was hoped that this awakening would be of great advan- 
tage to Kphrata; for as the Superintendent with a consider- 
able following of the Solitary was at this time officiating at 
the altar in this region, these daughters invited them to visit 
their house, and entertained them in Christian love, even 
without their parents' knowledge, who at the time were not 
particularly favorable to the visitors. May God repay them 
for this faithfulness on the day of judgment, because they 
without fear went to meet the reproach of Christ and 
sheltered under their roof such scourings of the world. 

1 [Catharine Hummer.] 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 277 

Thereupon it came to pass that two of them, namely, the 
chief person, Catharine, and her sister, Maria, paid a visit to 
the Solitary at a time when there was a service at the altar, 
so that they were initiated into its mystery, which produced 
great excitement in the whole Settlement as well as in the 
Congregation, because the hope was entertained that such 
respectable lasses would help to make up the church of the 
144,000 virgins of the Lamb, that so the new world might 
the sooner become manifest These matters at last induced 
the Superintendent to write an edifying letter to the Instru- 
ment, in which he, with his usual modesty, spoke in a very 
Christian way of this movement, and laid before this person 
certain signs by which to recognize whether the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ were its impelling force. He wrote as follows: 
" If our beloved and respected friend, or rather Sister, C. H. , 
wishes to be fully assured of the spirit of her divine youth, 
or of what she has further to expect of the whole affair 
which happened to her, then let her preserve right relations 
with her virginity. If so be that the Princess on the throne 
is using her sceptre in this affair, then let her be of good 
cheer, the matter is all right, and no doubt concerning it 
need arise in all eternity; for the Virgin never deceives, be- 
cause she is the mother of the eternal Wisdom, through 
which all things were created. If, however, the Virgin 
should have to lose her princely hat through the affair then 
it may be a result of the official or judging spirit of the 
fallen angel, administering his office for good and ill over the 
apostate life. But he does not get into the city of God or the 
New Jerusalem with his office, but has to live and lodge out- 
side the boundaries of Israel; and at last will even be utterly 
expelled, when the mother-church or the church of the Holy 
Spirit shall wield the sceptre and the kingdom. Then, of 
course, all the offices created by the fallen prince of angels 
shall be abolished." 

But it appears that after the above-mentioned person had 
changed her state and married, the spirit retired into its 
chambers again and the whole work stopped and fell into 
decay, which is usually the case with all angelic visions and 
revelations. May God grant that it may turn into a plentiful 
harvest in eternity. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Concerning the Last Circumstances Connected with the 
Life of the Superintendent, and How at Last He 
Laid Aside His Earthly Tabernacle. 

A father of old, when he was about to go home, and 
it went hard with him, raised his hands to God and said: 
"Lord, thou knowest I never let my prisoner escape." This 
can justly be conceded to the Superintendent also, namely, 
that he kept a sacred watch over his life from the first 
awakening unto his end. And as he was obliged to desist 
from his austere way of living, when compelled by God to 
mingle with the flood of humanity, so it was also observed that 
'towards the end of his life, he again withdrew himself from 
close fellowship with any one, and led so secluded a life that 
even those nearest to him could not reach up to him in spirit. 
All his aim was not to stand in God's way in reaching the 
consciences of those who were intrusted to his care. For 
even as the good Master himself had to stand off, in order that 
the Spirit might be imparted to his disciples, so the Super- 
intendent had to withdraw his fellowship even during his 
life-time, in order that his successors, weaned from him, 
might learn to walk on their own feet. The most important 
fact to be noted of his walk through life is, that all the 
strange situations into which he was brought during a pil- 
grimage of many years, could not turn him aside from the 
purpose once taken, to live a life disdainful of the world 
and serving God; of which he thus writes in a certain letter: 
"I know by this that I did not forsake my calling, because 
all carnal and worldly-minded people are still my enemies, 
just the same as at the time when I first entered upon this 
road." And to one of the Brethren who visited him shortly 
before his end, he said : "I am now again the same that I 
was when first exposed to the world-spirit, namely, an 
orphan." It surely is saying a good deal when a spiritual 
warrior can boast that during so long a time neither the flat- 
(278) 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 279 

teries nor the malice of men could lead him astray from his 
holy calling. But because he has been accused of having been 
addicted too much to strong drink for several years before 
his end, something would be wanting if this charge were not 
duly met. It appears that Providence ordered that he had 
to help his Master carry his shame even in this; for that God 
ha4 lost sight of him so far as to permit him to again fall 
under the power of the things from which he had freed him- 
self by his first repentance, is not easily to be believed, 
although one might, if it were necessary, make excuses on 
account of his old age and great bodily infirmities. This 
report he made excellent use of, and bore himself in 
appearance in such a manner that men were confirmed in 
their conjectures; for shame was his outer coat which he 
wore on his long life-journey so that his inner, pure white 
garment might be kept unspotted. But what great tempta- 
tions this occasioned in the Settlement cannot be described; 
for if God intends to humble a people, he allows contempt 
to be heaped on its priests, and makes fools of its princes. 
And now all the Solitary revealed their real feelings to- 
wards him. His spiritual daughters who formerly would 
have gone through fire and water for him, now withdrew 
themselves from him; some of them who meddled too much 
with his frailties, had great cause to thank God that Noah's 
curse against Ham did not fall upon them. All of this, how- 
ever, came from God, for had he died in the midst of the 
churchly honors which he had formerly enjoyed, his loss 
would have touched the Sisterhood most of all, for next to 
God, they esteemed their spiritual Father above everything. 
He once appeared to two of the Brethren in the form of one 
who is drunk, when they put him under severe discipline; 
but he went straight home from them, and composed a hymn 
about this occurrence, which soon after was printed and dis- 
tributed in the Settlement. This hymn shows that at the 
time he had full possession of his senses. Two of the verses 
are as follows: 

Once when I thought that I was from the illness freed, 
In which for days and years I'd suffered grief, indeed ; 

Some travellers came to me, all weary from the road, 

And gave me bitter gall, with blows a heavy load. 



28o CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Oh, God ! I bring to Thee my woe and bitter pain, 
Since Thou my Saviour art, to whom I ne'er in vain 
Did come, from early youth, for help to bear my cross, 
For heavenly bliss instead of pleasure's earthly dross. 

Nevertheless some, especially of the domestic household, 
would have nothing to do with the matter, but kept their 
senses in Christ Jesus, and said: "The Superintendent 
stands directly under God's orders and is responsible only 
to him." Herein he can be compared with David, whom 
the Sanhedrim also wished to strangle; but David well 
knew with whom he had to deal, and said: " Against Thee, 
Thee only have I sinned;" and whoever of the Community 
reads this will remember that all who laid hold of this pre- 
sumed weakness of the Superintendent fell under judgment. 
He once came to a Brother in the likeness of one who is 
drunk, and took him along to another Brother, where they 
prepared a love-feast. After this was done, the Brother, as 
was customary, accompanied him to his house, where he had 
a very edifying conversation with him; so that the Brother 
perceived that his drunkenness had been a holy pretence. 

It was observed of him that towards the end of his life he 
endeavored to remove all stones of stumbling out of the 
way of the Solitary. His quarrel with the Prior, which had 
lasted for years, he put entirely aside, and said: "I am done 
now, and dare not go one step further." He also took a 
Sister into his house, and went to the former Mother, Maria, 
who also had stumbled over the rock of offence, and called 
her his Sister, and offered her reconciliation in Christ; but 
she in no wise accepted it. 1 

1 Because the whole life of this Sister, even her stumbling and falling, 
contains much of edification, this work would be incomplete if it were not 
given to the kind reader. It has already been said that when the Spirit, 
who at that time wooed people who were to a6l in this strange drama, 
seized her, she and her elder sister fled, in tender youth, out of their father's 
house and placed themselves under the Superintendent's guidance, and that 
a small house was built for them at Mill Creek, where at that time stood 
the first Settlement of the Solitary after their exodus out of Egypt. When 
the Superintendent afterwards settled in the wilderness where Ephrata is 
now situated, they were the first of their sex who followed him thither, where 
on the banks of the Cocalico, a small house was built for them, so that 
this stream formed the boundary line between the Brethren and Sisters. 
There the Superintendent had much fellowship with them and dined with 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 28 1 

He attended to his official business up to within eight days 
before his death, when he officiated for the last time at a 
love-feast, being already so weak that he said on the way to 
it: "I am sick, I could just lie down and die." Three days 
before his decease one of the oldest house-mothers, Barbara 
Hofly by name, who thought very much of him, and was 
also breathing her last, sent to him and asked for a visit, 
even though he were not able to speak with her, if only she 
might be permitted to see him. Although he was at the 
time already wrestling with death he took a Brother along 

them several times during the week, for the miracle-play of eternity was 
"before his eyes and was to be applied to them. Her elder sister, Anna, was 
of an austere aud imperious disposition, by means of which she exercised 
a severe guardianship over her ; many, therefore, thought that this Anna 
would become Mother in the Sisters' convent ; but here it came to pass 
just as with the election of David, for because the elder had the purpose to 
deprive the Superintendent of the locks of his hair, she fell out of favor 
into contempt and died in this state ; while the choice fell on her younger 
sister, Maria. 

When the Sisters' convent was erected and filled with spiritual virgins 
the Superintendent installed her, with special church solemnities, in return 
for the faithfulness she had shown towards him ; and all the honor due 
to such an exalted office was portioned out to her. About the same time 
the Superintendent wrote several letters to her, which are full of 
unction. The following memorable words occur in one: "Because your 
person, during the time of severe and hard sifting and trials, risked not a 
little danger of loss ; and because you perseveringly helped us to endure in 
times of sorrow as well as joy, up to the present day, therefore I am obliged 
by all means to give you notice that like as the net of love then cap- 
tured a prize and made you partaker of such high and important processes 
of suffering, therewith granting unto you to be faithful until now, so the 
intention is now to make another catch, by which } t ou may at once be 
crowned with the captured prize and will consequently be doubly repaid 
for your shame and pain. And this it is to which my love and highly 
esteemed governess invites you as guest, namely : to the enjoyment of that 
heavenly harvest of joys, which only yonder will be manifested to its full 
extent. (See his printed epistles, page 201.) The spirit of prophecy was 
very strong at that time, and it appears that the heavenly Mother greatly 
rejoiced over this little band of people, and therefore sought again to per- 
form the miracle she had done at the time of Jesus Christ's humiliation. 
For when all the Sisters changed their names Mother Maria was excepted 
as being the representative of the Virgin Mary. And as then the Virgin Mary 
had two sons, two spiritual sons were also given to our Mother. But since 
her first-born, after the type of his Master, had to be crucified, it was time 
now to give another son to the Mother. Therefore the Spirit proceeded 
and said to another Brother: "Behold thy Mother!" It must be con 



252 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

and fulfilled her wish; she was buried yet before him. 
Another Sister, who had only lately joined and came from a 
foreign country, was also breathing her last at this time. 
She prayed to God that he might let her die with this holy 
man, and she also died yet before him. These are the travel- 
ling companions who accompanied him to eternity. At last 
the 6th day of July of the year 1768 came, when he laid 
aside his mortal raiment. On the morning of that day he 
had yet been in the Sisters' house, and nobody, therefore, 
thought that his departure was so near; nor could the powers 

fessed, however, that these two spiritual sons were a source of many- 
sorrows to her in the future. 

She conducted her office with great authority, and during her term she 
saw four Priors deposed among the Brethren, who therefore felt ashamed 
that so weak a vessel should have more godliness than they. Some said to 
the Superintendent that they were sure the Mother would yet be deposed, 
even should it only happen in eternity. The reason why she could main- 
tain herself in office so long was because she knew how to profit by the 
mistakes of each Prior; for she watched everything the Prior did, and as 
soon as she noticed a mistake, she went to the Superintendent and said: 
" Oh Father, the Brethren have a child in the cradle again, and it will most 
likely be sacrificed to the world-spirit." When thereupon the Superin- 
tendent in his zeal uttered something rash, this was at once known to the 
Prior. Thus she had incautiously given too great confidence to the first 
Prior, so that he raised himself up against his spiritual Father, and so she 
kept up continual disagreement between the Superintendent and his Prior, 
to her own advantage. But at last the game took another turn. The Su- 
perintendent got a Prior who walked in harmony of spirit with him, and 
after some unsuccessful attempts to turn one against the other, she became 
suspicious of her spiritual Father and closed her heart against him, and 
also induced some of those under her to do the same ; so that for several 
years her house was not open to the Superintendent as formerly. All this 
came from God ; for the time of her fall was near at hand, and she herself 
had to pave the way for it. The fire lay smouldering under the ashes for a 
long time and only broke forth on the visit to Antitum, during which she 
behaved so reservedly that the Superintendent at last said to her : "The 
worm of hell is sticking in you." Then she plotted to separate the Sister- 
hood entirely from the Brotherhood, and publicly declared that their Prior 
must be overthrown ; which was the chief cause of the succeeding uuedifying 
land dispute in the Settlement. The Superintendent who had learned to 
sail with all kinds of wind, took hold of this opportune and declared him- 
self publicly against the Brethren and their Prior. Whoever is anxious to 
know the reason for this action of his, is referred to the story of Job ; let 
him ask God how He could justify His entering into a compact with Satan 
against His faithful servant. But according to the wonderful government 
of our God, the right to the land in the Settlement was given into the hand 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 283 

of darkness prevail upon him to lie down on a sick bed. Mean- 
while a constant watch was kept, for strange happenings were 
expected, and that the powers of death would have a fierce 
struggle with him, especially since he was an old soldier, 
who was accustomed neither to call on men for mercy nor to 
yield to the powers of darkness. But at last the news came 
of his approaching end, whereupon all the Solitary assem- 
bled at his house. The Brethren stood nearest to him; 
behind them the Sisters, and those who were of short 
stature got upon benches to witness his sacrifice. In his 

of an outspoken enemy of the same, who was faithfully supported in all 
these transactions by the Mother. Possibly she may have done all this 
more out of a holy zeal against the other sex than out of malice ; for Abdias 
writes even of her Principal, the Virgin Mary, that she cursed all males. In 
this wise the Mother may in a measure be excused. This man and some 
other antagonists took possession of his land in the vSettlement, performed 
various acts of violence, and in general wielded such hellish power that the 
Superintendent, usually not in the habit of running away, forsook his 
house and tarried for eight days in the Sisters' prayer-hall ; during which 
time he published the following notice among the Solitary : 

The victory conies from on high, 

A strong and mighty leader nigh 

Commands the battle forces. 

He breaks the teeth of the evil host 

That mocks his gospel truth the most, 

That none by them be tempted, 

To enter sinful freedom's way 

Where all do act just as they may : 

Old Adam's things they take, 

And with the stuff themselves adorn 

In fashion new, quite lately born, 

That scarce they can be known. 

A mocking laugh is the comment, 

And this they but deserve ; 

E'en when their building shall fall down 

With all its false and glittering crown, 

For nothing else it is, 

Or was, but idle lust's display 

Which with his sins in full array 

Did Lucifer then show. 
But the opponents disregarded this accusation, as much as they could, 
and hung this notice up in their dwellings. At last the Brethren complained 
to the Superintendent of the Sisterhood, because the evil had originated in 
their house; the Superintendent heard their complaint, and promised an 
investigation. The Mother was called to appear for judgment before the 
older Sisters, who were innocent of this affair, in presence of the Superin- 



284 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

last trouble he clearly showed that he was anointed with 
the priestly spirit of Jesus Christ, for of all the adverse 
circumstances which had occurred during his administration 
in the Settlement, he declared himself to be the sole cause, 
and thus freed and acquitted all from every charge, and espe- 
cially those who accused themselves of having misunderstood 
him. Then he desired the Brethren to bless him, and to 
receive him into their fellowship, which was done, for the 
Prior gave him his blessing with laying on of hands, and 
thereafter all the Brethren gave him the kiss of peace to take 

teudent. They spoke affectionately with their Mother, saying that the two 
societies could never be separated, because they had been formed by the 
Spirit, as a miracle of the times, into an inseparable unity ; and that if she 
were willing to again break bread with the Brethren, everything should be 
peaceably adjusted. But she refused, and was, therefore, dismissed from 
her office. After this she dwelt in a corner of the Sisters' convent, 
because she was long in doubt whether she should not live in a holy sepa- 
rateness. After a considerable time, however, she again joined the Sister- 
hood, and died as one of its worthiest members. That the Superintendent 
offered her peace which she would not accept, has already been mentioned ; 
and so the matter stood until the Superintendent departed this life. Then 
a Sister admonished her quickly to make up with him, as he would soon 
leave this world , but she said: "I have nothing to make up," which cer- 
tainly was a great loss to her ; for he had hardly died when she was seized 
with great remorse. But she could not undo it ; the man was gone with 
whom she ought to have made her peace. Still, she went to the coffin and 
touched him, when one of the Sisters called out: "It is too late now !" 

After she had been divested of her official dignity, she commenced anew 
a rigorous life of penitence in her seclusion, and shed so many tears that 
her eyes were always swollen. It may well be believed that she pleased her 
bridegroom better, when bathed in this flood of tears, than at the time 
when she was the honored matron of an order of virgins ; and if, during 
her long pilgrimage, she got some spots on her bridal dress, she surely 
washed them all out by her tears of contrition. He who scattered Israel, 
will gather it again. May God not repent him of his gifts and calling. 

In person she was small, but she had keen senses. She was a great 
admirer of the humble life of Jesus Christ, and when still clothed in her 
dignity she often wore a garment with one patch upon the other. At the 
same time she kept herself very distant from the other sex and was never 
called to account on that point, although she once delivered her faithful 
leader out of the hands of the recruiting officer. Besides she had fine gifts 
in writing letters and hymns. In her letters she usually signed herself: 
"Maria, God's servant;" and her hymns are full of unction and spiritual 
thought. Her translation to eternity was sudden, for being missed for some 
time her door was broken open, and it was found that she had departed, 
which happened December 24th, 1784. Her age was 74 years, 3 months. 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 285 

along on his journey. Then they persuaded him to lie down 
on the bench, and he was heard several times to repeat the fol- 
lowing words: "Oh woe, oh woe! oh wonder, oh wonder!" 
But he did not explain himself about it, because his voice 
failed him; and soon after he fell asleep without a motion. 
Now the cry was, "My father, my father! The chariot of 
Israel and the horsemen thereof!" Yet nobody was seen to 
shed tears, but all thanked God most fervently that after so 
long a martyrdom he had delivered his servant from the body 
of this death. 

These are the most important events in the life and blessed 
death of a man who was a great wonder in this century. 
The first impregnation for a spiritual life he received at 
Heidelberg in the Palatinate, when the great weight of the 
Spirit was laid upon him, which was one cause of his many 
succeeding passions. Many awoke to a spiritual life through 
his labors, and many strove earnestly to follow his footsteps; 
but they could not keep step with him, for he had so com- 
pletely given himself to God, both body and soul, that he 
passed his life in wonderful strictness, even up to his death. 
The reason why most of the awakenings of our times come 
to such sad ends is, because people rely upon themselves, 
and do not renounce self more than their own interest 
demands, so that it may truly be said: All plans of self- 
interest bring death. It nevertheless remains a great wonder 
that, after God called him from his blessed life of seclusion 
to bathe in the flood of humanity, in order to fish for people, 
he had so much faith that he could risk his salvation on God; 
and it is a still greater wonder, that surrounded by so many 
dangers in this human flood, he did not forfeit his calling. 
And on account of this his faithfulness did God crown him 
with praise and honors, and ordain him to replace on the 
candlestick, at the sixth period, both the priesthood of 
'Melchizedek and the heavenly virginity. Because this 
could not be done in Europe, on account of the Beast's 
great power, God ordered it that he came over the ocean into 
this country, where his doctrine of the heavenly virginity 
and the priesthood, after some opposition, gained a firm foot- 
ing:, and where an altar was built to the Lord in such wise 



286 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

that all awakenings not in harmony with his testimony have 
no other effect than to bring forth children into servitude. 

Before him the wisdom of God attempted to reveal the 
mystery of eternal virginity in the old countries, through 
many precious instruments, of whom those dear men of 
God, Godfried Arnold and George Gichtel and many others, 
may especially be mentioned. The latter' s success was great, 
and I may well say that he had borne the light before the 
Superintendent; but he remained a virgin, nor did he attain 
to the secret nuptial couch of the Virgin Sophia, where 
children are born; still less did he reach the covenant house- 
hold .of Jesus Christ, but ended his life in a holy separate- 
ness. It is known that he and his first co-warriors were so 
severely sifted through the envy of the tempter, that he, in 
order to prevent similar siftings, did not want to allow two 
to live in one town. When we consider that the Super- 
intendent for about fifty years stood in a visible organiza- 
tion in which under God's decree one rebellion after the 
other broke forth against the testimony of God which was 
entrusted to him, it must be confessed that he fought on 
many more battlefields against the Prince of Wrath than 
did the venerable Brother Gichtel of blessed memory, and 
that he extended the borders of the generation of the divine 
Mother far more than he. It must also be conceded that the 
venerable John Kelpius, who had settled near Germantown 
with a company of spiritual wooers of the hand of the 
Virgin, as already mentioned, did much in spirit to assist the 
Superintendent in his church building. The same spirit 
inspired the sainted Kelpius that afterwards descended on 
the Superintendent; but when the good Kelpius departed this 
life, his work fell into the hands of the tempter to be sifted, 
and the spiritual ship broke up, so that Selig, Conrad Mathai 
and some others, had to save themselves by swimming. The 
Superintendent's work, on the contrary, with better success 
passed to posterity; for eighteen years have passed since he 
was transferred to eternity, during which time the Order and 
the Community have been built up in the unity of the 
spirit, although with much opposition. 

And if, as he maintains God promised him, a seed of his 



A HISTORY OF EPHRATA. 287 

labors is to remain until the second advent of Jesus Christ, 
this does not mean that the Settlement of the Solitary shall 
stand so long; although they are just as well entitled to this 
as any congregation of Christ on earth. But we believe that 
it is to be understood niore in a spiritual sense than literally: 
that wherever there is- anyone in this country who has a 
matrix ready to conceive, there the Spirit, who in the begin- 
ning overshadowed the Superintendent, will also overshadow 
and impregnate him. All of which, however, must be taken 
figuratively and not literally. And because this country at 
last, after much opposition, received this ambassador, who 
had been driven out of his fatherland, and granted him and 
his whole family complete liberty of conscience, therefore it 
will always be blessed and be a nursery of God, which, shall 
bear him much fruit, for the promise given to Abraham must 
be fulfilled: "In thy seed shall all generations of the earth 
be blessed. ' ' He was small in person, well formed and pro- 
portioned, had a high nose, high forehead and sharp eyes, so 
that everybody recognized in him an earnest and profound 
nature. He had excellent natural gifts, so that he might 
have become one of the most learned men if pains had been 
taken with his education. All secrets were opened to him, 
just as he wanted; and wherever he saw a piece of skillful work 
he was not satisfied until he had examined and understood it; 
he used to say it would be a shame for the human mind if it 
would be defeated in anything. He likewise was endowed 
with such a keen perception that he was enabled to discover 
with ease whatever might be hidden to others. But after he 
had dedicated himself wholly to the service of God these gifts 
were sanctified, and were used by him for the upbuilding of 
the temple of God in the Spirit. What he accomplished in 
the art of music, which he learned without any human in- 
struction, has already been mentioned; he composed not less 
than one thousand tunes for four voices, of which none inter- 
fered with the other. 

His printed hymns number 441. The reader will see 
his enlightened nature from them; many of them are pro- 
phetic, representing the near approach of the Sabbatic 
church, and the gathering together of the people' of God. 



288 CHRONICON EPHRATENSE. 

Of his printed discourses there are 66; besides which you 
will find many of his spiritual lectures printed. He also^ 
wrote many spiritual letters, of which 73 are printed; the 
rest are still in manuscript, but will also be communicated to 
the reader, though sub conditione Jacobcza. In conclusion we 
will here give the inscription on his tombstone, from which 
the reader may learn both his natural and spiritual age: 
" Here Rests an Offspring of the Love of God, 
FRIEDSAM, 
a Solitary, but later become a Leader, Guardian and Teacher 
of the Solitary and of the Congregation of Christ in and 
about Ephrata. Born at Eberbach in the Palatinate, called 
Conrad Beisel: Fell asleep July 6th, Anno 1768; aged ac- 
cording to his spiritual age 52 years, but according to his. 
natural, jj years and 4 months." 




THE END. 




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