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_ I 

First Edition 


of the 


Complete History from Its Settlement in 1728 to the Present 

Time. Included is the Organization of Ephrata Borough 

and Other Information of Ephrata Connected 

With the Cloister 


Past Chaplain Penna. House of Representatives 1917-1919 

Ephrata, Pa. 

JOHN G. ZOOK, Publisher 
Lititz, Pa. 

Price $1.50. By mail, $1.60 

The Ephrata Cloister 
Copyrighted 1921 
By^ John G. Zook 


To the thousands of visitors who in the past 
have visited the Cloister and to the thousands 
who will in the future pay their respects to 
this historic ground this volume is respectfully- 

The Author, S. G. ZERFASS, B. D. 


Rev. S. G. Zerfass was born fifty years ago, on what is now known as 
the Fairview farm, on the historic Cloister premises at Ephrata, Pa. His 
paternal grandfather came from the Alsace Lorraine, Germany, whilst on 
his mother's side, his grandfather was Wm. Young who was married to 
Katharine McQuate giving Mr. Zerfass fifty per cent. German and fifty 
per cent. Irish blood, rather a happy combination. 

He attended the Academy school in Ephrata township during regime of 
the noted teacher, J. J. Yeager, whose fame as an instructor was spread far 
and wide. At the age of fourteen, Rev. Zerfass became an apprentice in 
Frank Royer's flour mill (formerly Cloister property), but on account of 
financial reverses of the owner, the subject of our sketch was thrown out of 
a job and after being coached by D. B. Kraatz, a former teacher, he began 
his profession as a teacher at the age of seventeen and since that time has 
been an active and successful teacher in the schools of his native county; 
fourteen years being spent at the head of the Ephrata Grammar School 
and for the last five years he has been principal of the Schoeneck Public 
Schools. He is six feet tall, weighs about two hundred and fifty pounds. 
He was elected and fully ordained as a minister of the German Seventh 
Day Baptists fifteen years ago, being honored with the B. D. degree some 
years ago, is now honorary chaplain of Galen Hall as well as the resident 
pastor of the Ephrata Church. For some years he was editor-in-chief of 
the Sabbath School literature, chairman of the hymnal committee, secretary 
of the ministerial convocation, chairman of the Pennsylvania Missionary 
Board, secretary of the committee on revision of faith and practice of the 
German Seventh Day Baptist Church, furnished an article on the Ephrata 
Community for the volume on American Communities by Hinds and con- 
ducted several successful series of meetings in different places, at present 
secretary-treasurer and custodian of the famous Cloister corporation. 

Rev. Zerfass was a close student at Millersville in 1884-85, an active 
member of the Normal Literary Society and since then was a member of 
more than twenty-five literary societies. Early in life became a public 
speaker especially much in demand on the stump in the political arena under 
state and county committee direction of the G. O. P. persuasion. He served 
as justice of the peace, census enumerator, delegate of his party to state 
convention, he is a past district president of the P. O. S. of A., Past Grand 
Conductor of the Grand Lodge I. O. O. F. of Pennsylvania, correspondent 
for many papers, officiated as editor of the Denver Press for four months 
(during vacation) and delivered thousands of addresses at picnics, reunions, 
fraternal events, etc. 

He was chairman of the Ephrata Borough Council during the historic 
water fight some years ago and has become well known as an orator and 
writer being chairman of the local history committee of the county institute 
since the inception of that committee twenty-five years ago. He can truly 
be said to serve as a many-sided man, with liberal and entertaining views of 
life. His present desire is to intensify the importance of the industry, 
frugality and sturdiness of the Pennsylvania German whose staunch de- 
fender he has been in the Penna. German Society, and in public in general, 
also being a member of the Lancaster County Historical Society. 

His wife was Laura Elizabeth Kauffman, of Lititz, Pa. She died nine 
years ago leaving him with two children, Minnie Mae, aged fifteen years, 
and Theodore Samuel, aged ten years. True service gives full and best 
endeavor to both man and God. He writes the sketch of Ephrata from a 
sense of duty to truth and right. Rev. S. G. Zerfass has served with con- 
siderable distinction as Chaplain of the State House of Representatives 1917. 

Rev. S. G. Zerfass, the Author 

Rev. Arthur E. Main, Alfred. N. Y. 
Dean University and Theological Seminary 


Ephrata with its historic Cloister stands in a class by itself. Its divers- 
ified historical associations, i. e., relics of pietistic, monastic, communistic, 
and industrial life, the early endeavor in education, in music, (composed 
and rendered) in art and its loyalty during the Revolutionary period as 
well as the Seventh Day Baptists of the present day, have been so grossly 
misrepresented, so recklessly intensified and so much overdrawn by writers 
of history and fiction, that the writer (who is a public school teacher and 
a minister of the Seventh Day Baptists) feels it his duty and privilege, to 
give his humble and honest efforts in a truthful recital of one of the oldest 
communities in Amercia, where many societies of a similar nature were 

Many communities of different types were organized, some less than 
fifty years ago; others have ceased to exist and some seem to be passing 
out of existence. In the grand old Keystone there seems to have been a 
laboratory where many social, religious, civic and industrial experiments 
were tried. 

Schools, lyceums, historical societies, persons of culture and refinement 
find in local history an inspiration not easily found in national or general 

The architecture of "ye olden buildings," the "lost industries," the 
"wholesome amusements," the "wit and humor," the "motives of these," 
some of our distinguished progenitors, are surely worth while studying. 

History in an ordinary sense is a narrative of human events, each event 
considered by itself becomes particular, but considered as a whole in mutual 
relations, it becomes general. 

The present generation has sprung from the past and seems pressing 
into the future. The past seems to us, in the present, enduring as finger 
points of environments. Because of progress the present is more than the 
past which is not infrequently obscure, meagerly and wrongly reported, yet 
history possesses the highest importance for us relative to govenrment, 
laws, institutions and real religion. The thoughts, acts and influences of 
great men often bear fruit not only an hundred fold, but ten times that, 
exerting silent yet potent influences on succeeding ages and our immediate 

Human reasoning should apprehend the value of history and our holiest 
conceptions must disclose the real significance and profoundly moral import 
of human history. With the fond hope and the sincere prayer that the 
author's efforts may be appreciated and that truth and right will prevail 
this unpretentious work is submitted. 

The writer is indebted to Julius Sachse, Esq., whose works of the early 
Pennsylvania Sabbatarians were exhaustive and immensely interesting; to 
Dr. Corliss F. Randolph, who as chairman of the Committee on Denomina- 

tional History of Seventh Day Baptists of America is the first and fore- 
most authority in the world; and to the Chronicon Ephratense compiled by 
Brothers Lamech and Agrippa in ancient Cloister ; besides these he acknowl- 
edges his native hereditary influences and environments as having been his 
source of inspiration. 

The kindly advice, the splendid encouragement, the lofty ideals and the 
sterling qualities of Prof. M. J. Brecht, formerly county superintendent of 
public instruction, now of the Pennsylvania Public Service Commission, in 
fully a quarter of a century's labors in our public schools has given me the 
premises of convictions in life's battle and the courage of my conviction. 
As an instructor my obligations to Dr. Brecht are incalculable. 

May the endeavor of all whose motives are pure be more than ever 
appreciated. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." May we thus have 
the pluck to take life as it comes and live conscientiously void of offense 
toward God and man and like Paul "lived in all good conscience before 

Respectfully submitted, 

S. G. ZERFASS, B. D., 

Pastor at Cloister. 



Academy 17 

Belief, Import of 75 

Beissel, Conrad 9-40-42 

Buildings and Practices 12 

Ceremonies, Lovefeasts 73 

Cloister, The Old— Poem 84 

Contents 7 

Cornerstone, Laying of 48 

Ephrata Boro, Incorporation of 50 

Ephrata, Legend of 22 

Ephrata and Snow Hill Today 38 

Faith and Practices 63-69 

Friend, To a 76 

Funerals 72 

Hocker, Ludwig, Schoolmaster 60 

Industrial Features 16 

Illustrations inserts 

Iron Scarce 15 

Keiper, Barbara 59 

Membership, Conditions of 71 

Miller, Peter, Gets Enemy Pardoned 11 

Miller, Peter 45-47 

Mission Churches 30 

Monument Unveiled 26 

Moravians Visit Ephrata 13 

Music 19-35 

Ordinances and Furnishings 14 

Patriots' Day, First Observance 54 

Preface 5 

Prominent Personages 24 

Public Park Not Favored 67 

Publications 17 

Religious Freedom 21 

Sectarians, Our Early 77 

Settlers, Early 9 

Snow Hill Buildings 34 

Soldiers, Commemorative Poem 53 

Sunday School Offspring 39 

Tree of Life, The 36 

War Attitude 65 

Weiser, Conrad 57 

Women, Charitable 18 

Zerfass, S. G., Biographical Sketch 4 




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Monument Proposed to Have Been 
Erected on Mt. Zion in 1845 


Early Settlers — Conrad Beissel 

Acts 13:16. Ye that fear God give audience 

j|ERMAN pietism seems to have been the natural result 
of conditions existing in Europe, in the seventeenth 
century. As a theory, it was dominant in a number 
of the most prominent universities of Germany, but 
ultimately it went to excess, and fanciful doctrines 
and apparently strange practices came to prevail. 

As a result, persecution drove Mennonites to America about 
1683, followed by the Labadists in 1684. In 1694 the Rosicru- 
cians landed in Philadelphia and in 17 19 the Dunkers or German 
Baptists settled in Germantown. The Ephrata Community on the 
Cocalico dates back to about 1725. The Schwenkfelders arrived 
in Philadelphia about 1734 and a small colony of Moravians set- 
tled where Bethlehem now stands 1734 to 1742. 

Among the leaders was John Conrad Beissel who in the year 
1720 fled from the Palatinate in Germany on account of religious 
intolerance. He was about thirty years old, short in stature, high 
forehead, prominent nose, sharp piercing eyes, a skillful baker 
and an adept in music, and possessed of projects of a solitary life. 

In 1 72 1, he and others visited the Conestoga Valley where in 
a secluded spot in the primitive forest, beside a sparkling spring 
of water, running into the mill creek, they built for themselves a 
log cabin. 

Here he (Beissel) was by common consent acknowledged as 
leader of a new congregation. Beissel inaugurated an aggressive 
campaign on the seventh day Sabbath question, a movement 
which proved quite successful. The doctrine was spread ably by 
use of the printing press and civilization. Following a series of 
personal disagreements Beissel withdrew to a place about ten 
miles north where on the banks of the romantic and now historic 
Cocalico, beside a never failing double spring of water, a cabin 
had been previously built far away from any habitation by Eman- 
uel Eckerlin. 

The location was peculiar because the meadow was shielded on 
the north by what is known as Zion's hill and was much avoided 
by Indians on account of the numberless snakes with which the 
meadows and banks of the Cocalico were infested. The spring 
is but a stone's throw from where Bethania, the brother-house, 

The Ephrata Cloister 

was built some time after. By the close of the year 1733 a steady 
stream of settlers set in, the first traces of distinctive clothing 
were worn and the Ephrata pioneers were accused of being Jesuits 
sent there to seduce the populace. 

Efforts were made by the surrounding people to burn down the 
entire community but the wind providentially changed the course 
of the fire and actually burned the barn and buildings of the chief 

A granary was built, several large brick bake ovens were made 
to supply bread and the almonry, a stone building still standing, 
built in 1730, was used to feed the poor without charge. A record 
of a communion in 1730, a school in 1735 in which some of the 
classics were taught, and a Sabbath School in 1738, a generation 
before Robert Raikes had the Bible or Sunday School in England, 
coupled with the second earliest printery in America located at 
Cloister, printing fifty different volumes, among them being one 
of the earliest hymnals, a prayer book and a work on genealogy 
are real history. 

In the year 1735 there was a great religious revival which re- 
sulted in large accessions to the Ephrata Community. Beissel 
seemed to have strange power as when he established his hermi- 
tage at Cloister it was then a desolate region, yet men and women 
came from distant parts and voluntarily assumed hardships, bear- 
ing burdens, drawing plows, sleeping on rude benches with a 
block of wood for a pillow some of which used by the solitary 
for sleeping purposes are still to be seen in the Sister House at 

The Tulpehocken awakening occasioned by visits on the part 
of Beissel brings to our notice Rev. Peter Miller, a graduate of 
Heidelberg University, pastor of a Reformed congregation be- 
tween Myerstown and Womelsdorf 1730 to 1735 when he was 
baptized into the Ephrata Community as Brother Jaebez (mean- 
ing height) and later became a leader in the solitary life until his 
death 1796. He ranked as a most devout and learned theologian 
and later translated the Declaration of Independence into seven 
different languages and corresponded with as many different 
nations during the period just prior to the adoption of the Dec- 
laration of Independence in the Revolutionary period, thus vir- 
tually officiating as a secretary of state although no such official 
position existed. 

Conrad Weiser, one of Rev. Peter Miller's church officers, a 
level headed pioneer, who was consulted by both civil and military 
authorities in times of need and danger and at the same time was 
the official Indian interpreter of the government, also entered the 
Ephrata cloister life as Brother "Enoch" which means conse- 
crated. He became a pioneer magistrate in Berks County. 

Peter Miller Gets Enemy Pardoned 

Peter Miller is described as a man tall in stature, with a kindly 
face and friendly manner, open hearted, modest, genial, meek and 
affable. A British officer after the Revolution said Miller was a 
judicious, sensible, scholarly gentleman, not apparently reticent 
which his life might imply but cheerful and exceedingly desirous 
to render any and all information in his power. 

Miller and Weiser leaving the faith of the Reformed Church 
created quite a commotion, strengthening the Ephrata Community 
and experiencing a doctrinal somersault. Members of Miller's 
congregation never forgave him for his defection. His course 
was very much disapproved, all expressed their contempt, some 
by spitting on him, but "Jaebez" would never resent the insults, 
merely holding his hands over his bosom and uttering a short 
prayer or blessing for his tormentors. 

One Michael Widman, who as a Tory was afterwards con- 
demned and incarcerated at the Paoli military prison, was saved 
by Peter Miller walking to Valley Forge to see Gen. George 
Washington to intercede for Widman who had been personally 
very abusive to Miller. 

When Miller asked Washington to pardon Widman, Washing- 
ton replied that it was contrary to the rules of war to pardon any 
enemy of the country and that he couldn't do anything for Mil- 
ler's friend. "Friend," exclaimed Miller, "he is the worst enemy 
I have." "Then," says Washington, "how can you ask for his 
pardon ?" Whereupon Miller with tears in his eyes replied, "My 
Savior did as much for me." Widman was pardoned because of 
Miller's meek forgiving spirit and the episode was beautifully 
immortalized by Rev. Dr. Henry Dubbs, late of Franklin and 
Marshall College, putting it in poetic effusion. 

The first prior, Father Friedsam (meaning peaceable), Conrad 
Beissel and the other member of the community of the solitary 
laid out the camp where Ephrata was finally established. 

The Sisterhood known as the Roses of Sharon or Spiritual 
Virgins were under a matron, a sort of "Mother Superior" and 
disobedience was reckoned a grievous sin. The community of 
the solitary and Roses of Sharon were celibates aping monks and 
nuns of Southwestern Europe, adopting monastic names, living 
celibate lives but having no known vow or regulation discipline. 
Petronella (real name Maria Hocker) was one of the leaders in 
the Spiritual. She was a sister of Ludwig Hocker, known as 
"Obed," meaning servant, the great teacher of the community and 
organizer of the school for religious instruction on the Sabbath 

The Hocker (Hacker) Memorial Fund of the Seventh Day 
Baptist Conference of America is preparing a suitable memorial 
to his memory. 


Buildings and Practices 

II Cor. 5:1. We have a building of God, a house not made with hands 

HE Berghaus was too small for the growing congrega- 
tion and Kedar was erected. "Bethania" or the 
Brother House, "Saron" or the Sister House, and the 
Saal, the present house of worship, were erected be- 
fore 1745. The present parsonage occupied by the 
writer was built in 1768. A story and a half cabin south of the 
present Saal built in 1760 was erected as a dwelling for (Fried- 
sam) Conrad Beissel but he refused to reside in it as it was too 
much of a distinction for one man. 

A decided innovation was the writing and reading of confes- 
sional papers known as lectiones. This was followed by a mission- 
ary movement that required walking pilgrimages. The ground, 
about one hundred acres, was tilled, two flour and grist mills, oil 
mill, fulling mill, paper mill, etc. All substantial assistance was 
never refused to such as needed it and a sweet spirit of charity 
pervaded the settlement. 

When an effort was made by a constable to collect the "single 
men's tax" known as the "head tax" the community was thrown 
into confusion. Peter Miller and others were seized and taken 
to Lancaster and in default of bail were imprisoned. Tobias 
Hendricks, a venerable justice of the peace, offered bail and took 
their word that they would appear in court when wanted. When 
court convened they made their appearance according to promise. 
They pled that they shouldn't pay the head tax as they acknowl- 
edged no worldly authority's right over their bodies as the habi- 
tation of the soul as they were redeemed from the world and men. 
The court accepted their proposition and discharged the prisoners 
after a payment for settlement of the whole. 

The brethren silently filed into the Saal where midnight 
services were in progress. With the entrance a hush cam< 
the assembly which was broken by Conrad Weiser intoning "A 
Mighty Fortress is Our God," the impressive Lutheran hymn. 

The provincial governor later visited the community and de- 
clared himself exceedingly pleased with the institution and offered 
a commission as Justice of the Peace to Conrad Weiser who sub- 
sequently accepted it. 



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Saal Chape] 1738, Present meeiing room 
■where r^tfular services are }»<?W 

Sisriet* House, or 

loor Kitchen. 

*>i«*ter House, or* Saxon 
I TR^istratioM room for visitors 

Inferior Saal showing Clock Pulpit. 

Moravians Visit Ephrata 

The fact that Weiser left the Ephrata Community displeased 
Jaebez who was not slow in expressing his displeasure whereupon 
Enoch (Weiser) reminded Jaebez that on the occasion of his ar- 
rest Jaebez had walked to Lancaster but that his Lord and Master 
went into Jerusalem riding an ass. Enoch was immediately in- 
formed that Jaebez had to walk inasmuch as the governor had 
appointed all his asses as magistrates. 

Upon Beissel's- invitation in 1736 Moravians visited Ephrata 
and friendly relations were established. 

Probably one of the oldest clocks in the United States is at 
present located on the third floor of the Saron or Sister House. 
It is a tower clock bearing date of 1735, with the initials of C. 
W. thereon, the production (beyond a shadow of a doubt) of 
Christian Witt, a former member of the Kelpins Community, who 
in due course of time became a clock maker and established him- 
self in business in Germantown in a trade that he followed for 
years afterward. 

Years ago, expert clockmakers tried to add a minute hand and 
change this timekeeper to an eight-day clock, along with having 
it keep accurate time and strike every hour on a fine bell. All 
failed and some years later Joseph Clarence Zerfass, then a pro- 
bationary member and son of Win. Y. Zerfass, president of the 
board of trustees, succeeded in having the clock run regularly and 
strike the hours merrily, and proved himself a mechanical genius. 
It is certainly one of the valued relics of the community coupled 
with the hour-glass formerly the property of Peter Miller, 

At first this peculiar settlement had no form of government, 
being subject to the dictates of ''Father Friedsam," Conrad Beis- 
sel, and his rulings were frequently ignored, as he had no means 
of discipline to enforce them. 

However this pietistic, monastic, mystical society had to learn 
obedience. They wore plain clothing, leaving their beards and hair 
on the head grow long, going barefooted when climatic conditions 
would allow and used practically a vegetarian diet to insure real 
health and attain a ripe old age. 


Ordinances and Furnishings 
Ecclesiastes 12:13. Fear God and Keep His Commandments 

N THE lovefeast ceremonies a frugal meal of bread, 
butter, apple butter, pickles and coffee was served as 
a meal of sociability or hospitality, a custom still ad- 
hered to, at least annually, to which everybody is wel- 
comed. This is observed about noon and followed 
in the evening (after candle lighting) by feet washing as in John, 
13th chapter, and the administration of bread and wine as most 
other Protestant churches do, having open communion which 
means an invitation is extended to everybody to commune with 
the society. 

In this particular they differ with denominations who serve a 
sort of a passover supper to their own membership only after 
spiritual examination, being close communicants and therefore ex- 
clude all except bonafide members of the particular congregation. 
We make this mark of distinction as a matter of history, not in 
the spirit of criticism. 

The holy kiss was passed between the brethren and among the 
sisters, evidently after II Samuel 20 :g and the apostolic practices 

The habits relative to their raiment were a slight modification 
of the White Friars, shirt, trousers, long gown and a monk's hood. 
The sisters used a skirt, gown and a rounded hood which can be 
seen at the parsonage at the present day. 

The sisters also wore large aprons and not infrequently capes, 
the materials being linen or wool according to the weather condi- 

They adopted monastic names and often the Christian and 
family names being lost sight of, and larger means of accommo- 
dation resulted in a movement in 1739 to build the Saal for these 

Later some of their buildings were used by the sisterhood as a 
military hospital, a Red Cross effort long before such a society 
existed when they cared for five hundred Revolutionary soldiers 
brought to Ephrata after the battle of Brandywine, two hundred 
of whom died of camp fever and wounds, being cared for abso- 
lutely free of charge by the sisters and their doctors, besides hav- 
ing been given Christian sepulture on Zion's hill where a modern 
monument now stands, erected through the efforts of the Ephrata 


Iron Scarce, Few Decorations 

Monument Association by state appropriation. Thus the Ephrata 
mystics, i. e. people who claim to be divinely informed and illum- 
inated, were indeed brilliantly devoted but sad to relate had in- 
ternal troubles occasioned by the introduction of the clock and 
other bells and strange manifestations of spiritual confession. 

There was a scant use of iron in the construction of the Ephrata 
buildings due to the teachings of the old dispensation relative to 
the building of the temple but probably more so because nails 
were then forged by hand on the anvil, being quite expensive. Of 
course in those days we find they used wooden plates, wooden 
candle sticks, wooden chalice or goblet used in the holy commun- 
ion and wooden blocks used as a flat iron probably to avoid the 
unholy as well as expensive use of iron. 

The interior of the Saal has undergone some changes in the 
early days. Its interior furnishings are severely plain, the walls 
being wainscoted about halfway up the sides with unpainted 
boards stained with age, the remainder white washed and the ceil- 
ing of wide boards also stained looking like walnut. 

There are no decorations except the unparalleled scriptural 
texts in quill writing known as Fracturscriften placed there over 
one hundred and fifty years ago. They are masterpieces of art 
showing patience and delicate lines and touch unequalled any- 
where. Surely education and art was characteristic of these, our 
early forefathers. 

To the rear of the Saal is a general purpose room filled with 
tables, utensils, desk, etc., for baking, cooking and business meet- 
ings. Further back a stone cookery cauldron and fireplace. 

The old benches and tables of the Saal are the same and ar- 
ranged as they always were. The method of lighting and venti- 
lating is poor indeed. The present pastor had electric lights in- 
troduced and holes made in the ceiling to bring in fresh air. On 
the ceiling are foot prints intensely interesting and shown to all 
visitors and that have been described as bloody footprints of the 
soldiers or the apostolic method of punishing the brethren. They 
can not be erased or washed off and the writer believes that some 
of the brethren (with feet greased to keep the skin from cracking 
whilst walking barefooted) accidentally walked over the unsea- 
soned timber before it was placed in the ceiling with the attendant 

It was heated by an old Ephrata cannon stove that was just 
recently replaced by a more modern type. The Saal is regularly 
used as a meeting place by the German Seventh Day Baptist con- 
gregation who were chartered by the State Assembly in 1814. 
Rev. S. G. Zerfass, B. D., is the pastor in charge. A Sabbath 
School continues to meet every Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon. 
Mrs. Katie Ward being superintendent. 


Industrial Features 
Prov. 13:4. But the soul of the diligent shall be made fat 

jflHE industrial and commercial features of Ephrata at 
one time promised to make it the greatest industrial 
community in this country. 

At first the cultivation of the soil was the chief 
labor done in rather a primitive style, followed by a 
bakery that made no charge for baking for the poor and in the 
almonry the indigent were fed gratis. 

A large orchard was set out and a vineyard was begun, several 
flour and grist mills, saw mill, oil mill, fulling mills, paper mill 
and a tannery were added. A pottery was operated and basket 
making was done by the sisters. Quarries were opened, bridges 
and roads were built and the Cloister was for a time a hive of 
industry, but the most important was the printery in which at 
least fifty different volumes were printed and bound, including 
the famous "Wunderspiel" of 1754; "Man's Fall" 1765; the first 
great hymnal of 1766 ; also a prayer book and a work of genealog- 
ical interest and the translation and reprinting of the "Mennonite 
Martyrs Mirror" which buried more than a dozen men over two 
and a half years and to say the least all the Ephrata printing was 
a splendid specimen of that art. 

Great material prosperity followed and their products were sold 
at a good profit in Philadelphia, but they needed a personage of 
excellent executive and administrative ability and an intellect to 
control the opposing influences and there came a decline, and to 
cap the climax a calamity in the shape of fire destroyed some of 
their industrial buildings, soon to be rebuilt. 

One of the printing presses is now in possession of the Penn- 
sylvania Historical Society at Philadelphia. The other is in the 
printing office of F. R. King, president of the Pennsylvania Con- 
ference of German Seventh Day Baptists, at Salemville, Bedford 
County, where church news, a publication in the interests of the 
society and general job printing of a most excellent kind is done. 

In 1786 the Chronicon Ephruteuse gave a spiritual history of 
the community, was published and since translated by Rev. Dr. 
J. Max Hark of the Moravian Church. 

Ludwig Hacker known as Obed was the pioneer of educational 
affairs at Cloister. Singing schools were organized, musical mel- 


Old Academy Building 

Ephrata Publications and Academy 

odies and hymns composed and transcribed by hand and an 
Alphabet Book with five different types of ornamental work by 
quill was produced about 1750 with a title page as follows : 

"De Christian A. B. C. 
Isht leiden, dulden, huffen, 
War dieses hadt galernt 
Dar hudt sein stiel gatroffen." 

A Translation 
"The Christian alphabet 
Is suffering, patience and hope. 
Whoever has learned these 
Has hit life's goal." 

After the Revolutionary period the Ephrata Academy was 
established by the Seventh Day Baptists, the present building 
being put up in 1837. Hoecker's Ephrata Primer was published 
in 1786. The Academy was patronized by people from Philadel- 
phia, New York and Baltimore and later as a public school in 
charge of such extraordinary teachers of Young America as the 
late J. J. Yeager and D. B. Kraatz, Esq., produced many of the 
county's most successful business and professional men and not 
a few of national repute. 

One of the first Sabbath School cards designed, printed and 
given to pupils of a Bible school were used in the Ephrata Sab- 
bath School, the organization of which antedates the Sunday 
School of Robert Raikes, of London, England, 1780, by a gen- 
eration as the Ephrata Bible School dates back to 1738. 

Snow Hill or Nunnery, a child of the Ephrata Community, 
located about 2^ miles north of Waynesboro in Franklin County, 
Pa., now numbers upwards of a hundred members and has made 
great endeavor to keep the famous Ephrata music alive, as all 
writers unite in speaking of the angelic quality of the Ephrata 
vocal selections rendered solemnly, in soft soul stirring melodies 
that seemed to transport one into the realms of spirits. 

Regular daily duties occupied the Ephrata celibates. Seven to 
nine p. m. was spent in writing, reading and study as well as de- 
votional, then sleep until midnight, when they arose and had an 
hour of matin (song service), not mass as there were no priests. 
Then slept until 5 a. m. when another matin was observed to 6 
a. m. Then work until 9 a. m. when the first meal ensued, then 
more bodily employment until 5 p. m. followed by the evening 
and final meal of the day. 

Gossiping was frowned upon and loud laughter, even in the 
boyhood days of the writer, was forbidden and thought to be the 
work of a fool. Probationary and novitiate living in the church 
existed. The former is still practiced as a companion to religious 


The Ephrata Cloister 

catechetical training of Seventh Day Baptists who are not emo- 
tional or of a high pressure religious type. 

The Ephrata women were noted in their acts of charity, nurs- 
ing the sick, comforting the afflicted and attending to various 
forms and missions of mercy. Migrations of members to Ber- 
mudian, extreme northern part of York and Adams County, to 
Virginia and places remote from Ephrata began about 1745. 
Snow Hill and Antietam churches and later Salemville, Bedford 
County, followed as Seventh Day Baptist settlements. 

Music of a Superior Order 

Acts 4:29. We ought to obey God rather than men 

T THE Nunnery, the daily monastic life was but 
slightly different from that of Ephrata (whose off- 
spring they were) in a few minor details. Peter Leh- 
man was their first leader, succeeded by Dr. Andreas 
Fahnestock who later served in the pulpit at Ephrata 
and Snow Hill (Nunnery) alternately. 

The Penn family were friendly to the Ephrata Community so 
that they held the Seventh Dayers in high esteem. Governor 
Penn and his staff frequently visited their meetings at Cloister. 
The governor sent for Peter Miller and other brethren and in- 
formed them that he had made them a grant of five thousand 
acres which he called the Seventh Day Baptist's Manor but these 
pietistic brethren declined the grant saying "it might make their 
purse rich and heart poor, and that it was against real pietism and 
their religion to become possessed of so large a portion of worldly 
possessions or real estate." 

Surely with them there was no pride of possessions, only lofty 
independence and meekness. 

The decadence of the Ephrata monastic experiment may be due 
to no fixed discipline ; the living in common which caused petty 
jealousies ; the inmates growing old with no membership to recruit 
from ; the changed conditions in the surrounding country ; a num- 
ber of buildings being destroyed after being used for hospital 
purpose after the Revolutionary War and the unnatural demands 
of pietism and monastic life. 

Above the door that enters from Sister House or Saron to the 
Saal hangs a German tablet on which is inscribed the following: 

"The house is entered through this door 
By peaceful soul that dwell within; 
Those that have come will part no more, 
For God protects them here from sin; 
Their bliss is found in forms of love 
That springs from loving God above." 

Over the pulpit in the Saal hangs another German motto mean- 
ing in English "God and the Immaculate abide with you even 
throughout eternity." How appropriate for the ministers! 

The Ephrata Cloister 

Music at Ephrata was highly cultivated and singing was carried 
to an extent quite beyond the ordinary attainments of that period 
and in many respects superior to the average attainment of the 
present day. 

Beissel was an excellent musician and as a composer left over 
two hundred melodies whilst Sister Angus was quite a hymn 

The style of music was possibly fashioned after Nature, the 
tones of the Aeolian harp being his primary inspiration and stand- 
ard. This music was written in four, six and eight parts, all the 
parts except bass seemed to be sung by the women, there being 
two bass parts. The prevailing tone was evidently a soft falsetto, 
minor strains being very prominent. A writer in Rupp's history 
of Lancaster County describes the music by saying "That the 
whole is sung in falsetto voice, the singers not opening their 
mouths as singers do now, and apparently threw their voices to 
the ceiling which was not high and the tones, which seemed more 
than human, at least so far from common church singing, ap- 
peared to be entering from above and hovering over the heads of 
the assembly." Another writer says "The treble, tenor and bass 
were all sung by women with sweet shrill and small voices, but 
with truth and exactness in tune and intonation that was admir- 
able. It was impossible to describe the hearer's feelings. The 
singers sat with their heads reclined, countenances solemn and 
dejected, their faces pale, emaciated from their manner of living, 
their clothing white and picturesque and their musical rendition 
such as thrilled the very soul. Auditors would begin to think 
themselves in the world of spirits and that the objects before 
them were ethereal. The wonderful impression caused by this 
spiritual and harmonious music continued strong for many days." 

Seventh Day Baptists were at times arrested for violating Sun- 
day laws, some of whom were brought to trial in New Jersey, 
which led to a campaign for religious liberty. After a struggle of 
some years, modifications of the ancient law secured comparative 
liberty and in 1846 this agitation reached the State Legislature of 
Pennsylvania, being discussed at length, but the oppressive fea- 
tures of the Pennsylvania laws were continued, in spite of all 
efforts to the contrary. 

An extract from an Ephrata pamphlet says that "On the 2nd 
day of October, 1798, at New Mills, Burlington County, State of 
New Jersey, a Seventh Day Baptist being indicted before a Jus- 
tice of the Peace for working on Sunday and finally he appealed. 
During the trial at court an extract of a letter from General 
Washington was produced by the Judge in his charge to the jury 
which was an answer to a Committee of a Society in Virginia 
dated August 4, 1789, where Washington says, "If I had the least 


Constitution Guarantees Religious Freedom 

idea of any difficulty resulting from the constitution adopted by 
the convention of which I had the honor to be President, when 
it was formed, so as to endanger the rights of any religious de- 
nomination, then I never should have attached my name to that 

If I had any idea that the General Government was so admin- 
istered that the liberty of conscience was endangered, I pray you 
be assured that no man would be more willing than myself to 
revise and alter that part of it, so as to avoid all religious perse- 

You can without doubt remember that I have often expressed 
as my opinion that every man who conducts himself as a good 
citizen is accountable alone to God for his religious faith and 
should be protected in worshipping God according to the dictates 
of his conscience. 

(Signed) George Washington." 

The result was acquittal. I hereby certify that I saw the orig- 
inal English from which the above German pamphlet was trans- 
lated at Ephrata, Pa., A. D., 1800. 

Andrew Fahnestock, 
Pastor of the Society at Snow Hill, Franklin County, Pa. 

The first amendment to the U. S. Constitution guarantees free- 
dom of religion. Section three of Article I of Pennsylvania Con- 
stitution gives man the right to worship Almighty God according 
to the dictates of their own conscience. 

Thomas Jefferson says : "Almighty God hath created the mind 
free and the Author of religion chose not to propagate it by co- 

James Madison : "Religion is not in the purview of human 
government and is distinct from government." 

Gen. Grant : "Leave the matter of religion to the family, church 
and private school." 

Historian Ridpath says: "Essential freedom is the right to 
differ and that right must be sacredly respected." 

John Wesley says : "Never attempt to force a man into, even, 

Jesus said : "Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's ; 
and unto God the things that are God's" means a separation of 
church and state. All which means limits to civil authority. 
Seventh Day Baptists ask for no laws but desire to be left alone. 
Surely the church at large proclaims her lack of love and divine 
power whenever she seeks to carry her work by coercion and the 
power of the state. Did Jesus ever ask for one law or ordinance 
to make man good ? 



JOSEPPTHENRY DUBBS, D. D., Late of F. & M. College 

Copyright 1888 

ETER MILLER was for many years Prior of the 
conventical life of the German Seventh Day Baptists 
of Ephrata. Though in some respects apparently 
fanatical his sincere piety was never questioned. The 
legend was actually related to Dr. Dubbs on a visit 
to Ephrata and is chronicled in print. It is further stated that the 
property of Michael Widman was confiscated by the government 
and sold in March, 1780. 

This is the story I heard one day 
In the ancient cloister at Ephrata: 

Miller was Prior here, you know, 
More than a hundred years ago. 
Here at his summons, at dawn's early light, 
Gathered the Brethren in garments of white, 
Singing their songs of devotion and praise, 
Raising to heaven their rapturous lays, 
Ere to their labor, through cold and heat, 
Forth they wandered with naked feet. 

Treasure of treasures, peace of mind ! 

Where can the weary spirit find, 

After temptation, heavenly rest? 

Where can the mourning soul be blest? 

Even within the convent's walls, 

Often a cloud of sorrow falls; 

And the saint that is pure as driven snow 

Can never escape from his ruthless foe, 

But must feel the blows of the monster grim 

That is sent by Satan to buffet him. 

Near the convent a tavern stood, 

Kept by a Tory, a man of blood, 

Michael Widman, whose dreaded name 

Was known and hated for deeds of shame, 

Often he stood at the convent gate 

Taunting the Brothers with words of hate 

Once he smote the Prior meek, 

Cruel blows on his aged cheek 

Adding the final deed of shame — 

A cruel insult I need not name — 

Which the soldiers wrought when they beat the knee 

On the fearful journey to Calvary. 


Saving the Life of a Foe 

Washington was at Valley Forge, 
Watching the army of old King George, 
But he sent one day a soldier band 
To seize the Tory that cursed the land; 
And Widman was borne away to die 
The shameful death of a British spy. 

Some of the Brothers were glad to know 

The coming fate of their wicked foe; 

But the Prior said: "I can not stay!" 

And over the hills he took his way. 

His limbs were weary, his feet were sore, 

When he stood at last at the chieftain's door, 

And prayed aloud: "O, General, save 

The man, who has sinned, from a traitor's grave !" 

"Pray," said the chieftain, "Tell me why 
You pled for the life of a British spy? 
Does your love to your country's foes extend? 
And why have you chosen this wicked friend?" 

"Friend," said the Prior, "It is not so, 

The man I believe is my only foe, 

But I seek to do what the Scriptures tell 

And those that hate me, I love full well. 

Save him, save him! I humbly pray, 

As you hope to stand on the Judgment Day!" 

The chieftain (Washington) mused: "Such love is rare 

And I can not deny your earnest prayer, 

I will save the life of the British spy; 

He must leave the country, but shall not die. 

You have taught a lesson that all should know, 

That a Christian prays for his vilest foe." 

Thus a way was found and the way was best 
That led the Brothers to peace and rest; 
For the cruel Tories were seen no more, 
Gathered around the tavern door; 
And their wicked leader away was sent 
To the foe, in lifelong banishment. 

But the Brothers sang with the rising sun, 
And patiently toiled till the day was done, 
Till the Lord at last gave their souls release, 
And took them home to the realms of peace. 


The Ephrata Cloister 

Prominent Personages 

N THE old God's Acre by the parsonage are many 
historic graves, among them the grave of Conrad 
Beissel with a large flat sandstone monument, bearing 
the following inscription on it: "Here rests an out- 
growth of the spirit of God, Friedsam, a Solitary 
brother, afterward a leader, ruler and teacher of the Solitary and 
the Congregation of Christ in and around Ephrata. Born in 
Eberbach in the Palatinate, called Conrad Beissel, fell asleep July 
6, 1768, in the fifty-second year of his spiritual life, but aged 
seventy-two years and four months in his natural life." 

BeisseFs successor as prior of the convent was Peter Miller, 
whose tombstone stands next to Beissel's with following epitaph : 
"Here lies buried Peter Miller, born in Oberant Lantern, Palati- 
nate, came as Reformed minister to America in 1730, was bap- 
tized into the congregation at Ephrata in 1735 and called Brother 
Jaebez, was afterward their teacher and leader to his end. Fell 
asleep September 11, 1796." 

Another stone reads: "Here rest the bones of an eminent 
Philosopher, Jacob Martin, born in Europe June, 1725, died a 
good Christian July 19, 1790." But this good Christian had been 
an astrologer and is not yet a sage, hence the ironical epitaph. 

Henry Hostetter died in 1833 and the inscription on his stone 
states that he was honored with a seat in the State Assembly in 
1828-29 fully eighty-eight years ago. 

Joseph Konigmacher lies buried here. He built the Mountain 
Springs resort and entertained many prominent persons there, 
I them Pres. Buchanan, the Great Commoner, Hon. Thad- 
deus Stevens, and others. Jos. Konigmacher is geographically 
responsible for locating modern Ephrata, having been instru- 
mental in having the R. and C. R. R. route changed to pass 
through near the little villa of Ephrata then, rather than through 
"New Ephrata." (Lincoln now.) 

Joseph Konigmacher was the first president of the Ephrata 
Monument Association, being elected in 1845. The next year he 
built the fine commodious hotel now known as the Mountain 
Springs. Joseph Konigmacher was prominent in politics, having 
been elected as a Representative to the State Assembly and later 


Rijjht siiie doorwuy 14" wkIo x second f loor ot S 

Saal kitchen , sink anol drain pips 

Prominent Personages 

as a Senator. He was chairman of the Committee on Lunacy that 
gave a favorable report for the erection of a State Lunatic 
Asylum at Harrisburg. He was also a member of the Reform 
Convention called to amend the Pennsylvania State Constitution. 

Edwin Konigmacher also lies buried here. His daughter Anna 
was the first wife of Gov. M. G. Brumbaugh. Mr. Konigmacher 
became a success as an old time storekeeper and druggist, being 
nicknamed "Dr. Peewee." 

Wm. Konigmacher, who for many years took a prominent part 
in the affairs of the Seventh Dayers, was the pioneer millstone 
maker and dealer. He also furnished the stone for the present 
court house and jail at Lancaster. He died in 1881. His son 
Adam, a staple tanner and farmer, also lies buried in this ceme- 

Quite a number of prominent persons lie buried in Mt. Zion 
cemetery where the monument stands. 

Quaint and intensely patriotic sentiments fired the hearts at 
Ephrata's first Fourth of July celebration in 1843, when a very 
eloquent oration was delivered by George W. McElroy, Esq., and 
it was proposed to build a monument if possible by public and 
private contributions. The sum deemed necessary was not to 
exceed two thousand dollars, 

In January, 1845, an act to incorporate the Ephrata Monument 
Association was passed. Matters evidently drifted until 1855 
when a supplement to the charter was enacted and approved. In 
1863 Jerre Mohler was elected president to succeed Joseph 
Konigmacher who had died in 1861. 


Monument Unveiled 
Josh. 4:6. What mean ye by these stones 

N 1894 the Monument Association revived efforts to 
build the monument and finally the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania appropriated five thousand dollars and 
the most handsome polished granite shaft, forty feet 
high, was erected and dedicated and unveiled May 1, 
1902, with impressive ceremonies in Mt. Zion cemetery on the 
ancient Cloister premises when upwards of twenty thousand peo- 
ple were present to view the military and civic parade and enjoy 
the exercises, where rest the remains of those who fought on the 
bloody fields of Brandywine. 

Ex-Governor Robert E. Pattison delivered the principal ora- 
tion. Hon. J. A. Stober, then State Senator, delivered the his- 
torical address. The then Governor Wm. A. Stone presented the 
monument in behalf of the State. Jerre Mohler, president of the 
association, accepted it. Miss Jean Wilson, of Washington, D. C, 
read a poem written by Mrs. Mary N. Robinson, of Lancaster. 

At one o'clock the big parade took place. It formed at the 
Square with the right resting on Main street. Harry C. Gem- 
perling, of Lancaster, who for years was a resident of Ephrata, 
was chief marshall of the parade, and his aides were : Dr. J. Mc- 
Caa, Dr. H. G. Reimensnyder, Dr. J. G. Leber, John M. Strohl, 
A. Lane and Martin G. Stamy. Among the organizations taking 
part in the parade were: Companies A and I, of Reading; Com- 
pany C, of Columbia, and Company K, of Lancaster, of the Penn- 
sylvania State National Guard, the battalion being in charge of 
Major E. B. Eckman, assisted by Hugh M. North, of Columbia; 
Manheim Fencibles, Millersville Cadets, Mountain Springs Rifles, 
of Ephrata. The uniformed American Mechanics guards of 
Lancaster; George H. Thomas and Admiral Reynolds posts of 
the Grand Army, from Lancaster, as well as posts from Christi- 
ana, Manheim, Downingtown, Quarryville and Marietta. In ad- 
dition there were lodges of Odd Fellows from Terre Hill, New 
Holland, and camps of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America 
from Downingtown, Ephrata, Terre Hill and other places. There 
were a great many representatives from the following chapters of 
Daughters of the American Revolution; Donegal, of Lancaster; 
Witness Tree, of Columbia ; Yorktown, of York ; Harrisburg and 

Monument Unveiled 

Marion, of Philadelphia. Some of the ladies took part in the 

In making up the line the Grand Army posts were given the 
right, and they were followed by the National Guard, and then 
the independent military companies of the county, including the 
Manheim Fencibles, Millersville Cadets, Mountain Springs Rifles 
and uniformed American Mechanics' guards, after which came 
the Patriotic Sons of America and other secret societies. The line 
of march was from the Square at Ephrata, to Washington avenue, 
to Locust street, to Lincoln avenue, to East Main street. In pass- 
ing Hotel Cocalico the parade was reviewed by Governor Stone, 
ex-Governor Pattison and other notables, who fell in line in car- 
riages. The line then moved to West Main street and thence to 
Mt. Zion's cemetery, which was soon crowded with people, while 
all the fields and roads in the immediate neighborhood were also 
filled. After music by the band, President Jere Mohler, of the 
Monument Association, opened the exercises, and there was an 
invocation by Rev. John S. King, a Seventh Day Baptist Bishop. 
A. F. Hostetter, of Lancaster, was announced as chairman of the 
meeting. Then followed the unveiling of the monument. At a 
given signal the flags were removed by Miss Helen Carter, great- 
great-granddaughter of Major William Wirth, a distinguished 
Lancaster county officer in the Continental army. 

The monument is in Mt. Zion cemetery, about a half-mile north- 
west of the town, on a hill overlooking the place. The cemetery 
is not large, but contains many very old graves, and it has recently 
been cleared and repaired until it presents a fine appearance. The 
monument is situated near the centre of the plot, and can be seen 
for some distance in every direction. The monument cost $5,000, 
which money was appropriated by the State Legislature, but the 
other expenses, including the celebration, etc., was about $2,000 
additional, which was raised by the trustees and people of 

The monument was built, taken to Ephrata and erected by 
Thomas & Miller, of Quincy, Massachusetts. It is a beautiful 
granite shaft 39 feet high, polished from bottom to top, and is 
said to be one of the largest monuments of its kind in America. 
It is inscribed and bears bronze tablets in relief. The inscriptions 
are as follows : 

North side: "Erected under the auspices of the Ephrata Monu- 
ment Association, which was duly chartered by the Legislature of 
the State of Pennsylvania. Unveiled and dedicated on May 1, 

East side : "A grateful acknowledgment is here inscribed to 
the religious society of the Seventh Day Baptists for its devotion 
in administering to the wounds and comforts of the brave heroes." 


The Ephrata Cloister 

South side: "Sacred to the memory of the patriotic soldiers of 
the American Revolution who fought in the battle of the Brandy- 
wine, September n, 1777. About five hundred of the sick and 
wounded were removed to Ephrata for treatment. Several hun- 
dred died who were buried in this consecrated ground." 

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." 

This inscription is surmounted by a bronze tablet of cross 
swords in relief. 

West side: ''More than a century the remains of these patriots 
rested in this hallowed spot without any commemoration except 
the following words on a plain board : 

" 'Hier Ruhen die Gebeine von viel Soldaten.' " 

(Here rest the remains of many soldiers.) 

This inscription is surmounted by a bronze tablet of a Conti- 
nental soldier in reilef. 

Around the base of the monument is an asphalt pavement, and 
at each corner are pyramids of cannon balls. Steps lead to the 
base of the monument, on either side of which is an old-fashioned 
cannon. The members of the Monument Association, through 
whose efforts this beautiful shaft was erected, are as follows : 
Jeremiah Mohler, president; Jacob Konigmacher, secretary rnid 
treasurer; Dr. J. F. Mentzer, J. L. Steinmetz, Joseph Zerfass, 
William Slump and Dr. B. Rhine Hertz. The president was a 
charter member of the association, who had been working for 
years in behalf of the monument, and now had the pleasure of 
seeing it unveiled. 

Poem by Mrs. Robinson on unveiling of Ephrata Monument: 

Here under the silent moonlight, 

And under the sunshine's glow 
At rest 'neath the summer grasses, 

At rest 'neath the winter's snow, 
Deep hid in earth's vast bosom 

And lulled by the robin song, 
Lie the men who fought for freedom, 

Who died to right the wrong. 

To-day we are come together 

To offer our meed of praise, 
To give to these silent heroes 

The shaft that o'er them we raise; 
We reap the fruit of their sowing, 

It sprang from each soldier's grave, 
And the baptism of our nation 

Was found in the blood they gave. 

Through the pangs of their dissolution 
Came the throes of a nation's birth; 

And a grand new constellation 

Flashes forth 'mid the stars of Earth; 

Monument in Zion Hill Cemetery in Memory of Revolution Soldiers 

Unveiling the Monument 

And the banner which binds our Union 
Was then to the winds unfurled, 

The banner of Truth, of Freedom, 
The banner to lead the world! 

The blue of its field tells their honor, 

Where glisten its many stars; 
And pure as their love of country 

Is the white of its stainless bars. 
They gave their blood for its crimson 

And the shaft which it veils to-day, 
Is a tribute paid to the valor 

Of those who have passed away! 

Oh! Land 'neath one flag united, 

The Flag of the Stripes and Stars ! 
Oh! youngest amid the Nations, 

Unconquered in all thy wars! 
Go till the sun knows no setting 

O'er the land of a people free, 
And all men bend in loyal greeting, 

To the Flag of Liberty ! 

Mission Churches 

Mark 16:15. Go into all the world — Preach the gospel 

LOSELY affiliated and a direct child of the Ephrata 
Seventh Dayers is the German Seventh Day Baptist 
Church of Morrison's Cove, Bedford County, Pa. It 
was organized early in the nineteenth century. Regu- 
lar services were held at first in private residences 
and special services such as love-feasts or like occasions were 
often held in a barn. The exact date of the Seventh Day Baptist 
revival in Bedford County is not now definitely known but the 
first resident ministers of the denomination ordained in the Cove 
were John Snoeberger and Henry Boyer. 

The commodious brick church now in use near Salemville, 
Bedford County, was erected in 1847, superintended by three 
members of the body ; viz : John Burger, Jacob Long and Ephrairrs 
Mentzer. The entire cost of the building at the time was $1713.00. 
It has since been covered with a slate roof at a cost of about 
$250.00 and the original furniture has been replaced with hard- 
wood pews of modern design costing $122.50. There is no par- 
sonage attached to the church building. The property rights of 
the church are held by a board of three trustees in connection with 
the regular ordained ministers. A beautifully located cemetery 
lies a short distance from the church ; it is under the direction of 
an association, composed of the three regular trustees for property 
and two others elected by the body of the church for a term of 
three years, same as the church property trustees. Both church 
and cemetery are valued together at $3000.00 and are entirely free 
from debt. All services at this time are conducted in the English 
language. Resident ministers are: Jeremiah Fyock, of Salem- 
ville, and W. K. Bechtel, of Baker's Summit. All serve without 
pay. At present the male communicants number 44; female 57; 
total 10 1. There were formerly two organizations in Somerset 
County ; one in Brother's Valley Township and another in Shade 
Township. The former has become extinct by death, removal, 
etc., and the remaining members at the latter place hold their 
membership with the Morrison's Cove Church at Salemville. 
There is a regular organized Sabbath School conducted here 
which meets every Seventh Day. It has ten officers and teachers 
and over a hundred scholars. 

Mission Churches 

Frank King, the choritser of the church and leader of the 
Salemville Silver Cornet Band, has a splendid choir that fur- 
nishes excellent special music at church occasions. He, true to 
the old Seventh Day Baptists' idea, of Ephrata, is an excellent 
printer and does splendid work for a large trade established, be- 
sides doing all the printing for the denomination in Pennsylvania. 
His father, Christian L. King, has long been a leader of church 
affairs there besides being one of the most prominent grangers of 

William King, a son of C. L. King, deals extensively in auto- 
mobiles throughout Bedford County and is another pillar of the 
Seventh Day Baptists. 

At Nunnery, two and one-half miles north of Waynesboro, 
Franklin Co., Pa., is a very flourishing church as a result of Eph- 
rata mission work. 

About one-fourth mile north of the main buildings on the 
northern extremity of the farm, consisting of one hundred and 
thirty acres of land, Nunnery, Franklin Co., Pa., is a graveyard 
used by the public. Here is found the grave of Peter Lehman, 
the supposed founder of the Snow Hill Institute. This place, 
commonly, is called the Nunnery. From whence the name orig- 
inated we have no account, but this much we know that about as 
soon as the place was occupied by ten or fifteen or more persons, 
and it became noted for religious meetings being held, the people 
commenced to call it the Nunnery. 

One of the sisters who was born on the place, and lived there 
to the advanced age of seventy-three years, told the writer, that 
in the year 1775 meetings were held at their house, and that upon 
one occasion a difference of opinion took place, on doctrines of 
religion, and the preacher went off and did not stay for dinner. 
After that, meetings were held by other preachers, among the 
number was Peter Miller, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, Penn- 

A number of letters, in the hand writing of Peter Miller, are 
still here, which show that requests had been sent to have appoint- 
ments made and meetings held. These letters date along the 
period of 1780-90. 

Conrad Beissel (By sel) of the religious institute of Ephrata, 
founded in about 1730, held meetings at the Antietam, in the 
southern portion of Franklin County, Pa., in the year 1764. At 
the time a school teacher and six children were killed by the In- 
dians near Greencastle. 

There is a letter, written by Peter Miller near the close of his 
life, to Peter Lehman, in which he says it would be in accordance 
with his wishes, if he, Peter Lehman, would take charge of the 
affairs of the church at the Antietam. 

The Ephrata Cloister 

The grave of Peter Lehman is found in the northern portion 
of the graveyard. There is a bluish marble stone about three feet 
high and twenty inches wide. On the one side is the following 
inscription in the German in English letter : 

"Here rest the mortal remains of Peter Lehman. — Was born 
on the 24th of May 1757 and passed from time to eternity on the 
4th of January 1823. Aged 65 years 7 months and 11 days." 

On the opposite side of the stone is the following : 

"Peter Lehman, upright in walk, righteous in life, just in faith, 
patient in hope, brings a blessed end. 

Look at me, I have had for a short time toil and labor. And 
have found great comfort. For the Lord has appeared unto me 
from afar. For the weary souls he will revive, and the troubled 
souls he will comfort." 

Peter Lehman came to the southern part of Franklin Co., Pa., 
in about 1795 or a few years earlier. He was a native of the 
Glades, Somerset County, Pa., and a descendant of the denomina- 
tion called Amish or Ornish. He adopted the persuasion of the 
Ephrata Church, Lancaster County, Pa. 

He became pastor of the Ephrata persuasion, at the Antietam. 
He had been at Ephrata, a religious institution in Lancaster 
County, Pa., and acquired a knowledge of the Ephrata church 
music, which he afterwards introduced at Snow Hill, and the 
probability seems to be, that he at once commenced making ar- 
rangements to found an institution like the one at Ephrata. 

Now in about the year 1800 there were eight heirs to the Snow 
Hill farm, three sons and five daughters, and their parents were 
both living. Some three of the children had married and com- 
menced house-keeping. Two, as we suppose, married sometime 
afterwards. Two daughters and one son, Barbara, Elizabeth and 
John, remained at home, and favored the founding of an institu- 

At one time a valuation was put on the property, what it was 
we never learned, and it was agreed that the heirs who had left 
would sell their shares to those who had remained at home. Time 
passed on, the property increased in value and the heirs who had 
left, became dissatisfied and wanted more. Then another valua- 
tion was made; what it was we do not know, but the probability 
seems to be, that it was eight thousand dollars. At all events 
Elizabeth Snowberger, one of the heirs, said in just so many 
words, "we all got one thousand dollars." 

We are nearly certain, that Peter Lehman and his friends did 
purchase of the heirs of Andrew Snowberger for the sum of 
eight thousand dollars all their interests in the Snow Hill farm. 

Then further, Andrew Snowberger did agree to make a lawful 
deed to a Board of Trustees by taking a bond for the sum of six- 


Mission Churches 

teen hundred and fifty dollars. He died in the year 1825, and 
the estate was finally settled in the year 1828. He made a will, 
and willed those sixteen hundred and fifty dollars to the heirs. 
This sum we suppose was included in the sum paid to the heirs. 

The grist mill was built in the year 1807 with one pair of burrs 
and one pair of choppers. It was said it was built by Peter Leh- 
man. For a number of years, as we understand, it was run by 
Peter Lehman & Company. The merchants in Baltimore made 
inquiry of the teamsters, who it was that made such excellent 
flour. The mystery was this, only the best was taken out, and the 
balance the women fed to the cows, and made an abundance of 

John Snowberger and his family came from Switzerland in the 
year 1750. 

The mill in 1830 rented for about three hundred dollars, in 
1840 for about four hundred. It is a question whether Peter 
Lehman in money, land and labor did not pay three thousand 
dollars towards the founding of the Snow Hill institution. He 
died in 1823, aged 65 years, some months and days. 


Snow Hill Buildings — Music 

Ps. 24:3. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord 

|HE FIRST house ever erected on the grounds was a 
log house built about one-fourth mile south of where 
the buildings now stand. We suppose in about 1765. 
The land being purchased from the Proprietaries of 
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, then under the 
British Government, in 1763. 

The second was a two-story stone house of good size, erected 
where the first brick building at the west end now stands. It was 
built in 1793. 

The first brick house erected on the grounds was built in 1814. 
It was said, it was built by Peter Lehman. It is the third house 
from the west end ; forty feet long, thirty feet wide, two stories 
high, ten by twelve glass. At the east end, on the second floor, 
was a large room, set apart for meeting purposes. 

Here meetings were held, small and large, as was customary in 
those days, until 1829 when the meeting-house was built. 

The second house erected was built in 1835. It is the second 
one from the west end, and was put up between the old stone 
house and the brick house first built. It is thirty feet square, two 
stories high, for dining room purposes, and chapel above. 

The third house erected was the first one at the west end, is 
forty feet long, thirty wide, two stories high, was built in 1838. 

The fourth one erected is the one at the east end. Forty feet 
long, thirty wide, two stories high. Was built in 1843. 

The meeting-house was built by the church. It was built by 
subscription by the church, and the public, at an expense of about 
fifteen hundred dollars. 

We would perhaps not make the estimate too high, if we were 
to say, that in the course of one hundred and more years, hun- 
dreds and thousands of people have attended religious meetings 
on these Snow Hill grounds. 

In years gone by, on a fine summer's morning, the people would 
drive in their carriages ten, twenty and thirty miles, to attend 
large meetings. And in the afternoon get their dinner with- 
out charge, of good bread, butter, coffee, and a few other articles. 
We once heard a man say, he was among a company that had 

Unusual System of Music 

come thirty miles, and he ate heartily, the bread and coffee he said 
was excellent. 

But some people do not know how these meetings were held. 

Well, the public has had a great deal to do with making them 
just what they were. The church would decide on a day for a 
meeting, at which arrangements would be made to entertain visi- 
tors from a distance. Then very soon the public would find it out. 
Presently you would hear that tailors and seamstresses round 
about were all busy getting up new styles for the young people to 
go to the large meeting. 

The number of people generally in attendance at these meetings 
is variously estimated at from five hundred to a thousand. 

The number of loaves of bread prepared on such occasions was 
from sixty to ninety. At times there would be some left, while 
at others it would be used up entirely. The size of the loaves was 
eight to one bushel. 

Snow Hill Institute is one of the Literary Institutes of the 
whole church of the Ephrata persuasion, whose members chiefly 
reside in Lancaster, Franklin, Bedford and Somerset counties, 

In about 1800 Peter Lehman and others began to devise a plan 
to found an Institute like the one at Ephrata. 

Quite a number of books were obtained from Ephrata — music 
books and others. By 1820 the music became noted for excellence, 
and accounts written by those who heard it at the time found their 
way into periodicals and histories. 

The music is chiefly composed in five parts, a few pieces in 
seven parts. 

We turn to page 199 of the Choir music, published at Ephrata, 
1754, composed by Conrad Beissel, (By sel) Gott ein Hersher 
alter Heideii. "God a ruler of all the nations." The piece is in 
seven parts, Major scale on D. The composition is arranged on 
the Treble pitch, or in other words, on the female voice. There 
is an upper bass and a lower bass, but the lower bass runs just as 
high as the upper. They are pitched an octave higher than the 
ordinary church music of the present day. 

The scale upon which the music is arranged includes three 
whole octaves, bass, tenor and treble tones. There are used the 
lowest tones of the male voice, and the highest tones of the 
female voice. The leading part is sung by the best female voice. 

Counting from below, the first part is lower bass, second upper 
bass, third female tenor, fourth female treble, fifth counter high 
female voice, sixth leading voice, seventh second leading voice. 

The lower and upper bass have the F cleff on the fourth line. 
Third and fourth part have the C cleff on the fourth line. The 

The Ephrata Cloister 

fifth part, the C cleff on the third line. The sixth and seventh 
part, the C cleff on the first line. 

The book containing the music has the following in the German. 

"paradise wonders" 

''Which in these last times and ages, in these evening lands, and 
parts of the earth have come forth as an approaching sound of the 
new world." 

"Consisting of a new and unusual system of music arranged 
after the manner of the angelic and heavenly choirs." 

Ephrata print 1754. 

The following is a translation of the words to the first piece of 
the work : 


How deep within us hidden lies, 
That noble branch and tree of life; 
How many toils and cares arise, 
Until again that state we find, 
Wherein the branch is seen to glow, 
And opens Paradise again; 
He that is taught of God will know, 
His soul shall heavenly bread obtain. 

And should the tree in beauty glow, 
And heavenly light be thrown around; 
And fruit upon its branches grow, 
Such as in Paradise are found, 
Still must the root remain to stand, 
Here in this world of sin and death, 
Where there is pain on every hand, 
Until the last expiring breath. 

To look upward brings with it pain, 
To him who clings to things of earth. 
And though the branches beauty gain, 
And Life and strength is springing forth, 
Yet can the root no light shed forth, 
Since it is hidden out of sight; 
And should a dew moisten the earth, 
It still remains concealed from light. 

When flesh and blood will roses break, 
It turns to earth the prize to find, 
Where curse and thorns it overtake, 
And pain torment the loving mind, 
Since man this does not fully know, 
That life blooms in eternity; 
And things of earth cannot bestow, 
A life divine from pain set free. 

Unusual System of Music 

Hence, wisdom has contrived a plan, 
To send her glories down to earth; 
That long were hidden unto man, 
But now anew are breaking forth: 
And pressing on in streams of light, 
To plant a new and heavenly mind: 
Her path shall be our chief delight, 
So shall we full redemption find. 

— Conrad Beissel. 



Ephrata and Snow Hill Today 
Ps. 1:3. Like a tree planted by the rivers of water 

EV. JOHN A. PENTZ, Bishop of the Church in 
Pennsylvania, is the minister in charge of the Snow 
^ Hill congregation at present. Ninety-two communed 
there in June, 1917. Rev. Wm. A. Resser assists 
Rev. Pentz. The church also has preaching at Mt. 
Zion, four miles northwest of Nunnery, and at stated times at 
Tomstown, due north about same distance. New furnishing, fres- 
coing, an organ and choir were recently introduced. 

George Walk, of Quincy, one mile northwest of Nunnery, has 
been- treasurer for many years. His father, the venerable Rev. 
John Walk, was a former pastor of the Snow Hill congregation. 
He died about five years ago. George Walk is now retired after 
having led a very busy life as postmaster, teacher and farmer. 

Miss Emma Mohn, a graduate of Lock Haven Normal School, 
is one of the active members here as well as the Recording Secre- 
tary of Pennsylvania Conference of German Seventh Day Bap- 
tists. Ulcie Pentz is the Nunnery farmer assisted by his father, 
Rev. John A. Pentz. 

The Sunday School connected with Zion Reformed Church, 
Lincoln, Pa., one mile distant from Cloister, was organized in the 
Ephrata Academy building in 1844, by a Mr. E. A. Wiggins and 
some time thereafter moved to New Ephrata, now called Lincoln, 
with the late Albert Bowman of Ephrata as its superintendent, 
being known as the Lincoln Union Sunday School. 

Superintendent Bowman was succeeded by Joseph M. Shenk 
and Mr. Shenk was succeeded by Hon. Christian W. Myers, Chief 
of Bureau of Colled n Public Officers, of Harrisbug, 

Pa., in Auditor General's Department, and Mr. Myers was suc- 
ceeded by L. E. Miller, Esq., who since 1876 has been its superin- 
tendent. Upon completion of the new Zion Reformed Church 
building in 1901, the school was removed from the Lutheran and 
Reformed church edifice to the new building and named Zion 
Reformed Sunday-School. 

The fortieth anniversary of L. E. Miller as Sunday School 
superintendent became a matter of history when on Sunday, June 
\y, i') 1 7, an appropriate service was held, namely: A. M., a ser- 
mon by Pastor Rev. M. \Y. Schweitzer. P. M., a community 

Sunday School Offspring of Cloister 

reunion service with opening prayer by Rev. C. F. Glessner, of 
Bethany Reformed Church, Ephrata. Historical address by L. 
E. Miller. Reminiscent addresses by A. K. Hostetter, Cashier 
Conestoga National Bank, Lancaster; Rev. S. G. Zerfass, Pastor 
at Cloister and Chaplain of House of Representatives at Harris- 
burg; John M. Fry, Editor Ephrata Reporter, recently deceased; 
Rev. Thos. Hacker, of Wyomissing; and a presentation address 
by Rev. M. W. Schweitzer by which a fine Morris chair and flow- 
ers were presented to the honored superintendent, L. E. Miller, 
also teller in the Lincoln National Bank. The exercises were 
brought to a close in the evening with a sermon by Rev. Dr. F. J. 
Hacker, pastor of the Reformed Church at Wyomissing, also a 
Past State Pres., P. O. S. of A. of Virginia. Mrs. Andrew H. 
Garber rendered a splendid solo. The attendance throughout the 
day was large. 

L. E. Miller, Edwin Musser, Catharine Stuber Stephan, Sue 
Andes Reinhold, Lillie K. Eitnier, Mary Wolf Ditzler, Mary Mel- 
linger Serena Schaeffer Wissler, Martin W. Schweitzer, Henry 
M. Wolf and Henry B. Keller are the living Sunday School pupils 
of 1877, twenty-nine having passed to the great beyond. Most of 
the pupils were formerly enrolled in the old New Ephrata and 
Academy public schools, the latter of which being on the Cloister 
premises will be described later. 

Extensive religious combinations to effect a political object are 
always dangerous. The combinations here, however, only worked 
for good, politics being forgotten in the promulgation of truth. 


John Conrad Beissel 

Ps. 1:6. The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous 

OHN CONRAD BEISSEL, the founder of the Sev- 
enth Day Baptists and the now prosperous borough of 
Ephrata, first saw the light of the world in 1690, at 
Eberbach, a village on the Neckar, belonging to a 
sub-bailiwick of the domain of Mossbach in the 
Palatinate. His father was a baker, but of such intemperate habits 
that he spent all his money and died soon after, leaving a poor 
widow with a numerous family, and Conrad his youngest son was 
born two months after his father's death, and was therefore a true 
opus postumum; by which orphan birth the Spirit indicated his 
future lone condition and as one preordained, he derived no com- 
fort from his natural kindred. His mother was a godly person 
and raised him until he was eight years old when she, too, died. 
From that time he led a sorry life until he was old enough to 
learn a trade. With his growth of years he displayed extraordi- 
nary natural gifts. He showed a wonderful facility for learning 
many things, without any instruction, merely with reflection, his 
brother frequently telling him that he (Conrad) would yet make 
a fool of himself. He was apprenticed to a baker who also 
taught him how to play the violin and as he frequently danced at 
weddings and carousals, it was all the more wonderful to have 
him become a Pietist. 

He was converted in 171 5, when twenty-five years old. His 
fame as a baker spread, many grew jealous and once at a guild 
banquet he reproved the others for their idle practices, in conse- 
quence of which, the masters managed with the city councils to 
have him arrested and put in jail. His trial soon took place and 
no just cause was found, so his accusers declared that he was a 
Pietist and he was tried by an ecclesiastical court of the clergy of 
the three dominant religions. They decided to give him the 
choice to join one of these three religions or leave the country, 
but the former was against his conscience and he had to leave 
notwithstanding the fact that his master and a Jew made stren- 
uous efforts to gain his pardon. Therefore in 1720 he set out for 
America, landing in autumn at Boston and because of the religious 
freedom in Pennsylvania, Beissel went to Germantown and made 

John Conrad Beissel 

friends with one John Kelpius, a leader of a solitary life residing 

His trade of baker being no benefit to him in America, he 
learned the weaver's trade with Peter Becker, a member of the 
Baptists. These good people loved him much and he was instru- 
mental in arousing many to a sense of duty. 

In the fall of the year 1721, he went into a country known as 
Conestoga, this county, and with the aid of his traveling com- 
panion Stuntz built a solitary home at Muehlbach or Mill Creek. 
Isaac Von Bebren and George Stiefel joined them soon afterward 
and the latter declared that they should observe the seventh day or 
Sabbath and work on the first day or Sunday. His companions 
did not like this solitary life and in a short time deserted Beissel 
who on his visits frequently did not eat for three days for his own 
devotion but greatly to the offense of a kind and hospitable people. 

Soon afterward Peter Becker, his former master, was on a tour 
of preaching baptism and Beissel decided to humble himself and 
was baptized and the first lovefeast of any religious sect in this 
county was held on November 12, 1724, just 170 years ago. 

Shortly after his baptism, Beissel and some others of the same 
faith united. Some chose to call him a fool but he conducted 
meetings with astonishing strength of spirit and was quite an 
orator. The congregation in September of that year observed 
their first Lord's Supper . 

He composed a very large number of tunes for four voices and 
was quite a poet, his printed hymns numbering four hundred and 
forty-one, many being quite prophetic. There remain sixty-six 
printed discourses and seventy-three spiritual letters, therefore 
your humble servant veritably believes Conrad Beissel should be 
given a more prominent place in our history. 



John Conrad Beissel's Death 
Rev. 2:10. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life 

OHN CONRAD BEISSEL, originator of the Ephrata 
community, died July 6, 1768, in the 77th year of his 

He attended to his ministerial duties until within 
eight days of his departure at which time he per- 
formed his official duties at his last lovefeast, in other words the 
holy communion. He was then already so weak that on his way 
"he was so sick he could just lie down and die." 

Three days before his death an aged sister who held him in high 
esteem came to her last moments and requested Beissel to visit her 
even if he could not speak, if she only might see him. Notwith- 
standing his conflict with death he called a brother to his aid and 
complied with her request, soon after which her spirit fled. 

At the same time there was another, who had come from a far 
distant land, and had but shortly before become a sister, in a low 
state of sickness ; and she desired of the Lord, that he would but 
let her die with this righteous man : and it was her lot to depart 
before him, some hours only. 

At length came the 6th day of Jply 1768, upon which his time 
of probation was brought to a close. In the morning he was seen 
a short distance abroad, in consequence of which, no one appre- 
hended that the spirit's final flight was so near at hand ; neither 
could the powers of death prostrate him so far as to oblige him 
to take the bed of sickness. In the mean time, however, constant 
watch was kept; for it was presumed that strange things would 
yet take place, and that the powers of death would yet have much 
with him to do; since he was an old warrior that was not accus- 
tomed to depend upon the good usage of men, nor to flee before 
the powers of darkness. 

But at length the message came of his fast approaching end ; 
when a number of persons gathered into his house : the brethren 
stood nearest around him, and next stood the sisters ; and such 
of them as were small, stood upon benches to witness the last of 
his transitory existence. Of his approaching end he was con- 
scious ; and having his powers of speech, he conversed of differ- 
ent religious matters ; when he at length requested of the brethren 
to be blessed, and taken into their communion ; which was assented 



to, and prayer pronounced with the laying on of hands, after 
which all the brethren gave him the kiss of peace upon the way. 

He was then persuaded to lie down upon his bench, when he 
was heard to repeat several times the words, "O way! way! 
O woonder! O woonder!" upon which his voice failed, and soon 
after he fell quietly asleep. Then was the saying of old remem- 
bered, "My father, my father, the Chariot of Israel, and the 
horsemen thereof." (See 2 Kings 2:12.) Yet no one was seen 
to shed tears, for there was within all an inward emotion of 
thanksgiving unto God, that he with so much mercy, after a so 
long continued martyrdom, had delivered his servant, from the 
death of the natural body. 

The words which he made use of, are in identical English : O 
woe ! O woe ! O wonder ! O wonder ! Under what reflections he 
repeated those words, can of course only be conjectured. If his 
modes of expression, as found in his writings, can to any degree 
be relied on, in solving the mystery, there is reason to believe that 
he in the first place, had reference to the destiny of the wicked; 
and in the second, to the salvation of the righteous. This conclu- 
sion, would fully agree with different subjects, which near his 
last engaged his mind. 

In person he was small, yet well formed ; in features, his fore- 
head was high, his nose prominent, and his eyes sharp. His ap- 
pearance generally made the impression upon others, that he was 
a man of deep and profound thought. Otherwise he had excel- 
lent natural talents, that under favorable circumstances, he might 
have become one of the most learned men. Many through his 
labors, were awakened to a spiritual life; and many strove earn- 
estly to follow in his footsteps, but could not keep equal pace ; for 
he had given himself so far out of his own hands, both naturally 
and spiritually, that he lived in a singular narrowed-up way, that 
continued to the close of his life. In accordance with the dictates 
of his conscience he lived and died in a single state of life, and 
owned no property. 

He was born in the year 1609, his repentance was brought about, 
without any human agency, in the year 171 5, in the 25th year of 
his age. His whole age he brought to yy years, 4 months, and 6 

If it had been possible to develop and control the natural talents 
and the spiritual along certain lines there is no conjecture as to the 
ultimate and inestimable greatness of men of this type. He was 
great beyond comparison in his sphere. Surely his efforts were 
indefatigable to do the right as he believed God gave him power 
to know the right, to exercise a sincerity of purpose worthy of 
consideration and emulation. 


The Ephrata Cloister 

The death of Beissel was followed by some internal dissensions 
as he was the leading spirit with an iron hand. The new prior 
was of a retiring disposition and very meek and unassuming and 
the time of aggressive policy in the community life was past. 
This is not said to detract from the culture and scholarly traits of 
Peter Miller, his successor. 


r V 





Peter Miller's Tombstone, Virtually Secretary of State. Translated 
Declaration of Indedendence into Seven Languages 


Peter Miller 

Matthew 5:44. Love your enemies 

ETER MILLER was the son of a Reformed minister, 
born early in the year 1710 at Altzborn Oberant, 
Kaiserlautern in the Palatinate. He was educated at 
Heidleberg University, where he graduated as an 
honor student with a skillful training in theology and 
law, alike, afterwards elected a member of the American Philo- 
sophical Society. In his twentieth year he responded to a call for 
clergymen from Pennsylvania, where he arrived August 28, 1730, 
and was ordained in November, becoming pastor of the Tulpe- 
hocken Church between Womelsdorf and Myerstown where there 
was a union congregation of Lutherans and Reformed made up 
of Germans, many of whom lived in the Cocalico valley and 
Bucherthal in the upper Conestoga country. 

Peter Miller was tall of stature, with a kindly face, friendly 
manner, distinguished looking, open hearted toward those to 
whom he took a liking. He was modest and extremely meek. 
Many visiting strangers always tried to get an introduction to him, 
seeking his society, some for reputation's sake, others to mix with 
culture and refinement, others because they recognized him as a 
man of much learning, an expert linkuist and had much theologi- 
cal training. 

His disposition, in addition to the pietistic simplicity of char- 
acter and kndness of manner, was open, frank, affable, easy of 
access and entertaining, instructive and agreeable in conversation. 
He was judicious, sensible, well informed, easy and cheerful, a 
man who had received from God most remarkable gifts and sound 
judgment and on account of that, carried great weight with him 
into whatever sphere he might turn calling for honorable sacred 
performance of duty to God and man. 

Yet when Jaebez (Peter Miller) assumed management of the 
Ephrata Community the settlement was already on the decline 
due to conditions not to Miller. 

When the American Revolution broke out. Congress needed to 
find a trustworthy scholar to translate the diplomatic correspond- 
ence into different tongues of Europe. Many who had the ability 
were suspected or being fugitives or Tories. This being true of 
the clergy of the Established Church. At this time, Charles 

The Ephrata Cloister 

Tompson thought of Jaebez. The offer was made to him to do 
this work. He promptly accepted and didn't receive a penny for 
his services, all of which appears as a matter of record. 

This humble recluse of Ephrata translated the Declaration of 
Independence into seven different languages and sent it to the 
different courts of Europe, the work being done in a cabin shown 
in this book, possibly most of it by the light of a schmaltz-lamppe 
(fed licht), lard lamp. 

Surely the services rendered by Jaebez can hardly be estimated 
at the present time. He was alike author of a song book, an ex- 
pert proof reader, and translator of the Mennonite Martyr's Mir- 
ror, upward of 1500 pages. The making of the paper, setting the 
type, printing, translating and binding of which occupied more 
than a dozen men over two and a half years. 

Peter Miller was well known to Washington by whom he was 
greatly respected. It is said and handed down from generation 
to generation that Washington visited the Cloister on three dif- 
ferent occasions, being received by Miller and the Ephrata Com- 
munity at the west end of the Saron. His favorite chair can be 
seen in the Saron. 

Jaebez exercised great diligence and activity as well as foster- 
ing care of the mission churches or congregations west of the 
Susquehanna and his interest continued until his death ensued. 
His love and solicitude for the churches at Bermudian and An- 
tietam were very marked even in his declining years. 

A few years prior to his death he fractured his hip by a severe 
fall and so lamed him that any journey, let alone pilgrimages, 
were out of the question. Little is known of his latter days. He 
died September 25, 1796, aged 86 years and 9 months, having 
lived on some borrowed time. Truly his days were "many" and 
useful. Some time before his departure from this life his health 
was poor and it is reported that he had a second fall causing him 
to take his bed until the day he died. His remains were interred 
besides the grave of Beissel. A large and sad funeral ensued. A 
terrific storm broke upon the concourse which was in attendance, 
a suitable sermon being delivered with the text from Rev. XIV : 
12 :i3 as a basis of eulogy. 

"Here is the patience of the saints ; here are they that keep the 
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." 

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, 
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. 
Yea saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their 
works do follow them." 

He was also the author of the Chronicon Ephratense. Truly 
Peter Miller needs no monument to be remembered but deserves 
one for services rendered to God and man. 

Peter Miller 

It is said that the following was penned by Francis Hopkinson: 

The Eternal God from His exalted throne 
Surveys at once earth, heaven and worlds unknown, 
All things that are before His piercing eye 
Like the plain tracings of a picture lie; 
Unuttered thoughts, deep in the heart concealed, 
In strong expression stands to Him revealed. 
Thousands and twice ten thousands every day 
To Him a feigned or real homage pay: 
Like clouds of incense rolling to the skies, 
In various forms their supplications rise. 
Their various forms to Him no access gain 
Without the heart's true incense, all are vain; 
The suppliant's secret motives there appear, 
The genuine source of every offered prayer. 

Some place Religion on a throne superb, 

And deck with jewels her resplendent gray; 

Painting and sculpture all their powers display, 

And lofty tapers shed a lambent ray. 

High on the full toned organ swelling sound, 

The pleasing anthem floats serenely round; 

Harmonious strains their thrilling powers combine 

And lift the soul in ecstacy divine. 

In Ephrata's deep gloom you fix your seat 

And seek religion in the dark retreat. 

In sable weeds you dress the heaven born maid, 

And place her pensive in the lonely shade; 

Recluse unsocial, you your hours employ 

And fearful banish every harmless joy. 

Each may admire and use their favorite form, 

If Heaven's own flame their glowing bosoms warm, 

If love divine of God and man be there, 

The deep felt want that forms the ardent prayer. 

The grateful sense of blessings freely given 

The boon unsought, unmerited of heaven. 

'Tis true devotion— and the Lord of love, 

Such prayers and praises kindly will approve, 

Whether from golden altars they arise, 

And wrapt in sound and incense reach the skies; 

Or from your Ephrata so meek and low, 

In soft and silent aspirations flow. 

O let the Christian bless that glorious day, 
When outward forms shall sure be done away, 
When we in spirit and in truth alone, 
Shall bend O Lord! before thy awful throne 
And thou our purer worship shall approve 
By sweet returns of everlasting love. 



Laying Corner-Stone for Monument 
Exodus 3:15. This is my memorial to all generations 


jHE following is a short account of the laying of the 
corner-stone of the proposed monument at Mt. Zion, 
Sept. nth, 1845. 

On the 4th of July, 1843, a movement was made to 
have a monument erected at the bury-ground on Mt. 
Zion, where many of the first settlers of Ephrata rest, and whose 
graves bear different marks of respect and love from those left 
behind. The soldiers buried in this ground up to the year 1843, 
had nothing but the recollections of a few old citizens, and the 
time-worn inscription on a pine board, 6 in. wide and 6 fet. long, 
placed over the entrance to where lay the remains — many in one 
grave, and altogether occupying about as much space as is usually 
allotted to twenty graves at this period. The board bears this in- 
scription : 

"Hier ruhen die Gebeine von viel Soldaten" 

which means "Here rest the remains of many soldiers" — a simple 
but touching memorial. 

At this time a society was formed for erecting the proposed 
monument, at the head of which was Joseph Konigmacher, Esq., 
of Ephrata. Slowly and carefully did they work until on Sept. 
nth, 1845, the following imposing and solemn ceremonies took 
place, being the anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine, Sept. 
nth, 1777, an encampment of soldiers which was commenced on 
Tuesday, on the open space in which Mt. Zion is located. 

The peaceful abode of the pious and learned fathers of Ephrata 
had rarely been the scene of strong worldly gatherings. The val- 
ley had often resounded to the almost heavenly music, written by 
Father Beissel, the head of the institution. None but those who 
had heard the music, were able to judge of its effects. Those who 
had heard it, spoke of it as realizing their fancy of the song of 
angels. But this occasion brought into the lovely place for the 
third time the men of battle, and thousands of the young and old 
of the county and those adjoining. 

Among the strangers present were Col. Scott, of New Bruns- 
wick, N. J., and his interesting sister, Miss Hannah Scott. She 
was then about 80 years of age, yet healthful, cheerful and active. 

Laying Corner-stone for Monument 

She was here while the sick soldiers were in the society's houses. 
Her father, Dr. Scott, afterwards Surgeon General of the army, 
was one of the three physicians who had care of the sick and 
wounded soldiers, and he brought thither his family. Miss Scott 
was then nearly twelve years of age, and her memory was very 
distinct upon many events, especially as it was subsequently re- 
freshed by conversations with her father. 

At 10 o'clock there was a review of the soldiery of his Excel- 
lency, the Governor of the Commonwealth, Hon. Francis R. 
Shunk, who, with part of his staff and Cabinet, had come to assist 
in the ceremonies of the day. After the review, the military 
formed around the site of the monument, when the Rev. Daniel 
Hertz offered a prayer. 

Mr. Fagan, a marble mason of Lancaster, then put into the 
Governor's hands some implements, when his Excellency ad- 
dressed the immense assemblage in English, on the nature of the 
ceremony and the object of the monument. He then read a list 
of papers about to be deposited, and turned and addressed the 
company in German. Both addresses were appropriate and stir- 
ring. The ceremonies having been concluded, the miltary formed 
and received the Governor, the Orator of the day, the President 
of the day, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the President of 
the Society, the Treasurer of the State, the Clergy and others 
(the present President walking with the President at that time). 
The whole body then moved towards an adjacent grove, where a 
rostrum had been erected and seats provided for a goodly number. 

After the company had seated, the military was formed on the 
outside, and the Rev. Mr. Buchanan opened the meeting with 
prayer. The President of the day, Col. Scott, of New Jersey, 
then made a very touching and eloquent address, and introduced 
Joseph R. Chandler, who delivered an oration ; after which Mr. 
J. Beck, the Principal of Lititz Academy, spoke for a considerable 
time in German. His address was fervent, eloquent and stirring, 
and his appeal to the spirit of the dead, and to one venerable man 
present, who was at the Battle of Brandywine, was touching in 
the highest degree. The ceremonies of the morning were closed 
with a fervent prayer and benediction by the Rev. Mr. Wooley, of 
Lititz, a clergyman well known and respected in Philadelphia. At 
half past 3 p. m. an historical address was delivered by George W. 
McElroy, Esq., of Lancaster. It was a beautiful compend of the 
story of the valley and the hill, eloquent and gratifying. 

Among the military were two companies from Philadelphia, 
one of which was commanded by Col. Murphy. We believe none 
visited the beautiful valley for the first time on that occasion, that 
did not feel delighted with the place, and spoke favorably and 
encouragingly of the project. 



Incorporation of Ephrata Borough 

Gen. 4:17. And He Builded a City 

N application for the incorporation of Ephrata into a 
borough was presented to Quarter Sessions Court, 
April 20th, 1 89 1. The application was the outcome of 
the agitation of the two months prior. Of the 298 
property holders of the town, 170 had signed the peti- 
tion, but of course, as in all progressive movements, a counter 
petition was originated and circulated, and presented in opposition 
at Court, with 102 names attached, a number of whom were non- 
residents. Messrs. Brown and Hensel represented the petitioners, 
and Messrs. Steinmetz, Malone and Whitson were attorneys for 
the remonstrants. 

During the ten years prior to this move the town had a rate of 
growth of about 300 per cent. The population at the time of in- 
corporation was about 2200. A bank, four churches and various 
industries desired the advantages of municipal privileges ; a police 
system was needed; better school facilities, graded streets and 
suitable pavements. 

According to announcement a meeting was held in Mentzer's 
Hall on Saturday afternoon, February 14th, 1891, to define the 
boundaries of the new borough of Ephrata. There was a large 
attendance of property holders and great interest was manifested 
in the movement. The advantages of having borough regulations 
were presented and fully explained. The spirit of the meeting 
was good and the sentiment in favor of the advance movement 
was almost unanimous, but very few making exceptions to the 
step. Messrs. George Wise, John R. Messner, J. B. Kellar, J. J. 
Baer and J. B. Eshleman were appointed a committee to make a 
draft of the proposed lines. George A. Kemper, of Akron, was 
the surveyor, and the entire work was performed with promptness 
and little or no opposition from the property holders along the line 
surveyed, almost all being anxious to be included in the borough 

The petition for the incorporation of our town into a borough 
having gone through all the preliminary stages, the Court on Sat- 
urday afternoon, August 22d, 1891, made a decree incorporating 
it into a borough, Judge Patterson issuing the decree. 


Incorporation of Ephrata Borough 

An editorial from the Ephrata Review, August 28th, 1891, says: 
"At last the wish of our citizens has been granted and we are an 
incorporated borough. If we citizens perform our duties consci- 
entiously and with a desire for realizing the best good to the 
greatest number, we will soon reap the advantages to be derived 
from incorporation. It is now necessary to elect to the several 
borough offices, men who will advance the interests of the town. 
If they are wise and prudent, our streets and sidewalks will soon 
be in better condition than at present, and at a cost but little in ad- 
vance of our past taxation for road purposes. An economical and 
wise borough council can soon put into operation plans whereby 
our streets can be lighted, our schools better regulated, and the 
town well supplied with water. These are questions of the great- 
est importance, and must be met now and discussed and acted 

The first borough election was held at the public house of L. 
E. Royer in Ephrata, on Tuesday, September 15th, 1891, between 
the hours of 7 A. M. and 7 P. M. The following officers having 
been appointed by the Court officiated : Judge, H. C. Gemperling ; 
Inspectors, John H. Spera and A. B. Urich; F. S. Klinger and 
W. K. Mohler were chosen as Clerks. This special election was 
to elect officers to serve until the regular election in February fol- 
lowing. The total number of votes cast was 443, and was quite 
large in consideration that the registered voters numbered 536. 
No party tickets were settled by primary election or caucus, and 
the election was very quiet, there being no disorder of any kind, 
though there was considerable electioneering done. The candi- 
dates for councilmen were most numerous, as there were seven- 
teen persons who aspired to an office for which six could be 
elected. The entire list of candidates numbered forty-eight. The 
successful candidates were as follows : Burgess, G. S. Wise ; 
Council, J. B. Brugger, G. F. Groff, J. J. Baer, J. S. Spangler, 
Joseph Cooper and A. W. Mentzer ; School Directors, C. B. Kel- 
ler, J. M. Shaeffer, J. Frank Eckert, Samuel R. Hess, Levi S. 
Landes and Wm. Heilig; Judge of Elections, John A. Heyser; 
Inspectors, H. H. Stroble and B. F. Emmert; Assessor, Samuel 
R. Nagel ; Assistant Assessors, Edwin Konigmacher and David 
Kraatz; Tax Collector, Levi B. Snader; Auditor, J. J. Yeager; 
Constable, H. W. Gier. 

On Friday evening, September 18th, following the first borough 
election, the newly elected Borough Council held a preliminary 
meeting at the Eagle Hotel for the purpose of organization. S. L. 
Sharp, resident Justice of the Peace, was in attendance and ad- 
ministered the oath of office. Burgess George S. Wise presided. 
Hon. J. Hay Brown, Esq., of Lancaster, was elected Borough 
Solicitor, and promised to explain the duties of Council on Thurs- 

The Ephrata Cloister 

day evening, September 24th. S. L. Sharp, Esq., was elected 
Clerk. Much laborious and disagreeable work was necessarily 
well performed by the first set of Councilmen, and to them belong 
much credit for their bold stand in the new enterprise. 

The present officer of the borough (1901) are: Burgess, W. K. 
Mohler; Councilmen, Jacob S. Spangler, George Groff, A. P. 
Snader, J. B. Brugger, George Mohler and J. J. Baer; Clerk of 
Council, W. L. Bixler; Justices of the Peace, W. K. Seltzer and 
S. L. Sharp; High Constable, Wm. Dunn; Constable, H. W. Gier. 

The town has enjoyed general prosperity and has made rapid 
strides of improvement since its organization. The Board of 
School Directors immediately set to work and built a fine eight- 
roomed school-house at a cost of over $15,000, and Prof. H. E. 
Gehman, with an able corps of teachers, was elected principal. 
He graduated the first class from the Ephrata High School in 
1893-94. It consisted of five young men and three young ladies, 
all of whom were exceptionally bright. The most notable and 
marvelous change due to incorporation is the educational work, 
and too much can not be said for all the members of the School 
Board and the honest, conscientious work of Prof. Gehman and 
his corps of instructors, as we have officially been ranked at the 
head of schools in this county. Thus may it ever be, let results 
prove the system and no one will dare raise his voice against the 
most glorious of our free institutions. 

The town of Ephrata is nicely laid out, though somewhat ir- 
regularly, and lies on the north and west of the Ephrata hills, and 
by the Lancaster papers is often called the "mountain town," 
whilst writers in magazines and the daily press have termed it the 
"quaint and quiet village." Suffice it to say that Ephrata has 
nicely graded streets, fine pavements, elegant homes, good water, 
excellent schools, plenty of churches and societies, and is ever 
hospitable to all respectable visitors. In fact, there is that warmth 
of greeting with our people, that all strangers are loath to leave 
us when once here. It has had a steady growth, such as can with- 
stand the shocks of time and a financial crisis without much dis- 
tress. We are therefore not of a mushroom growth, but staple, 
productive, intelligent, progressive, active, energetic, and awake 
to true citizenship, the highest aim of man after the saving of his 
soul. Much more might be said as to the general push of the 
citizens and the unconscious working together of the same forces. 
When a new venture is proposed, it is generally well discussed and 
made plain to all before it is adopted, hence the few downright 
failures in whatever Ephrata has undertaken to do. — S. G. Z. 


Poem Commerative of Soldiers 


Commemorative of the Soldiers buried at Ephrata, Pa. 

By Adelaide A. Conger. 

"I am the Resurrection and the Life, 

And though man die, yet shall he live again !" 

This being so, may not the purple air 

Be filled with forms of men who once were slain? 

Who died that we, their sons, might live and breathe, 
The air of freedom, both on land and sea, 

And proudly fling on every breeze that blows, 
The stars and stripes, the banner of the free. 

We love to sing the songs they used to sing, 
And which from memory cannot depart, 

Electric fires from their past lives leap down, 
And light the altar in each living heart. 

As years roll down on Time's resistless tide, 
And onward sweep to the great living head, 

May we commemorate as now we do- 
Heroic virtues of these soldiers dead. 

May they to us as beacon lights, lead on 

To lofty purpose and to actions brave, 
And find unstained and pure within our hands, 

The freedom which they gave their lives to save. 

On blood-stained fields of Brandywine they fell, 
As falls the wheat before the reaper's blade, 

Or as the leaves by wintry blasts are strewn, 
And on the bosom of the earth are laid. 

Four hundred of the men who fell that day, 
On which the issues of the battle turned, 

Were brought by loving hands to this sweet vale, 
And given the care their sacrifice had earned. 

And to the sisters who by constant care 

Smoothed soft the pillow of each dying son, 

To one and all we pay this tribute just: 

Thou faithful servant, well thy work was done. 

And as the breath from each worn frame went out, 
Like light of lamps in which the oil is spent, 

Within the gracious arms and on the breast 
Of Mother Earth, dust unto dust, is lent. 

Lent till the resurrection morning dawns, 

And worlds on worlds like wax shall melt away, 

And all the ills and gloom of mortal life, 
Be lost in light of everlasting day. 


First Observance of Patriots' Day 

Sleep on, brave hearts beneath the stars, sleep on; 

Earth unto earth, dust unto dust is given, 
Their bugle call is stilled, the moans have ceased, 

The soldier finds his rest and crown in Heaven. 

— From Patriot's Day Souvenir, 1895. 

The first annual observance of Patriot's Day on Tuesday, Sep- 
tember nth, 1894, will pass down upon the annals of the historic 
community of Ephrata, as one of the brightest and best, as well 
as the most memorable of days. The people of the borough and 
surrounding towns, also numbers from a distance, turned out in 
vast crowds to join the Trustees of the Monument Association 
and the General Executive Committee in the celebration of Patri- 
ot's Day, a day set apart by the Association for suitable observ- 
ance in memory of the Revolutionary soldiers brought here after 
the battle of Brandywine, whose remains lie buried in the Zion's 
Hill of the noted Cloister grounds and possessions. " 

A general Executive Committee of fifteen or twenty citizens, 
was chosen to assist the Association and all concerned can feel 
elated with the success of the affair. The exercises of the day 
took place in the orchard grove adjoining Mount Zion cemetery, 
where as is well known, there are buried nearly two hundred 
sturdy patriots of the Revolution, who were brought to the Eph- 
rata Cloister in a sick and wounded condition, after the battle of 
Brandywine, and who subsequently died. A movement to build 
a monument had been started in 1845, but owing to mismanage- 
ment and a lack of funds, no more than the base of the sacred 
shaft was built at that time. 

Of the original Trustees of the Monument Association, only 
three survive, viz : William Spera, Christian Smith and Jerre 
Mohler. About three years ago these survivors of the old asso- 
ciation resolved to make an effort to complete the memorial, and 
last year's demonstration marks a fitting start toward the realiza- 
tion of their hopes and desires. In honor of the occasion the 
stores and places of business of the borough were closed and a 
general holiday air prevailed. Qunite a number of residences and 
business places in the several streets were handsomely decorated 
with the national colors. Many persons in the vast crowds wore 
the national emblems conspicuously, all of which added enchant- 
ment to patriotism. 

The programme of the day included a parade, composed as 
follows : Chief Marshal, Captain H. C. Gemperling and six aids ; 
Reamstown Band; Major Ricksecker Post, G. A. R., of Lincoln; 
Mountain Springs Rifles ; Washington Camp, 590, P. O. S. of A., 
of Rothsville; Washington Camp, 227, P. O. S. of A., of Ephrata; 
Columbia Band, of Stevens; Clay Lodge, No. 915, I. O. O. F., of 
Lincoln ; Representatives of Ephrata School Board ; Caernarvon 


The Ephrata Cloister 

Band ; the Ephrata Schools, nine in number, and teachers ; Pioneer 
Fire Company, of Ephrata ; Ephrata's noted band ; Ephrata 
Lodge, 406, I. O. O. F. ; twenty carriages, with members of the 
Association, the Executive Committee, clergy and speakers, and a 
number of mounted men, all making a large and imposing parade, 
which was viewed by several thousand citizens and visitors, who 
were much pleased with the splendid display. 

The schools of Lincoln and Hinkletown had also been closed 
to give the pupils a chance to have an object lesson in history. 

Upon arrival at the monument, Dr. D. R. Hertz, Chairman of 
the Executive Committee, opened the day's exercises. Prayer was 
offered by Rev. A. L. Shannon, of the U. B. Church, and Jere. 
Mohler, the honored president of the association, welcomed the 
great concourse of people in a most fitting manner. "America" 
was then sung by the assemblage, after which Rev. Dr. J. H. 
Dubbs, of the Theological Seminary, Lancaster, delivered the 
memorial address, which was a most eloquent and fitting tribute, 
and was greeted with continued applause, and at its close, the 
noon hour having arrived, the exercises of the morning closed 
with the benediction of Rev. S. Schweitzer, of the First Reformed 

Rev. F. Pilgrim, of Bethany Reformed Church, opened the 
exercises of the afternoon with an invocation, after which A. F. 
Hostetter, Esq., of the Lancaster Bar, was introduced, and deliv- 
ered the historical address, which was a fine production, and duly 
appreciated by the many willing and eager listeners. After sev- 
eral patriotic selections by the bands, brief addresses were made 
by Rev. Pilgrim, M. S. Fry, Clerk of Quarter Sessions Court, and 
Jere. Mohler, after which the afternoon's exercises were formally 
closed with the benediction by Rev. B. G. Welder, of the Reams- 
town Lutheran Church. 

The excellent drilling by the Mountain Springs Rifles was a 
feature of the day. 

In the evening an open air concert was held in the vacant lot 
adjoining the public school building on Franklin Street in the bor- 
ough of Ephrata. The Ephrata, Caernarvon and Reamstown cor- 
net bands rendering their choicest selections, all of which were 
highly appreciated. 

The feature of the evening was the grand display of fireworks. 
A handsome souvenir in the shape of a pamphlet, finely illustrated, 
containing a history of the association, a sketch of the Cloister, 
and noteworthy facts of Ephrata borough was sold in large num- 
bers. The projector of this scheme was the late Dr. D. Rhine 

An editorial in the Ephrata Review of that time says: "The 
weather could not have been more delightful than that of Tuesday 


The Ephrata Cloister 

for the first big demonstration here on that day in memory of the 
Revolutionary heroes. The response to the invitation to celebrate 
the day was hearty and liberal and shows a truly patriotic spirit. 
The exercises were of an elevating character, uplifting and en- 
nobling, entirely fitting to the day and the enthusiasm aroused is 

The excellent addresses by A. F. Hostetter, Esq., of the Lan- 
caster bar, and Rev. Dr. J. H. Dubbs, of F. and M. faculty, both 
now deceased, are splendid productions. 

All the organizations, especially the Monument Association, 
deserve the greatest praise for the successful issue of Patriot's 
Day, September n, 1894. 

May this living, real object lesson of good will, peace and 
patriotism be a stimulus for those who at present live and move 
and have their being in this great republic though progressive, 
prosperous and happy, nevertheless in an anomalous condition. 


Progenitor — Conrad Beissell's Tomb— Monastic Name Friedsam (Peaceable) 


Conrad Weiser 
Pro. 10:20. The tongue of the just is as choice silver 

TRANGE to say, such an important personage as Con- 
rad Weiser was carried away by the eloquence and 
argument of Conrad Beissel, and Weiser and Peter 
Miller were on intimate terms together, which death 
itself didn't destroy. 
Conrad Weiser was born in Wurtemberg, a part of the famous 
Palatinate of the Rhine in the town of Gross- Aspad, November 
2, 1696, and followed the trade of baking and by diligence and 
self culture attained the position of Esquire. 

He assisted in the supervising of the publication of the Wey- 
rauch's Hiigel. He had served as an elder in the Tulpehocken 
Reformed Church and with Peter Miller in 1735 was baptized 
into the Ephrata Community. His oldest son and daughter both 
became celibates at Ephrata. He was consecrated to, the priest- 
hood and had the order of Melchizedek conferred upon him. Later 
he was offered a justiceship, having prepared himself in the law 
as practiced in England. Weiser's fame rests on his ability as an 
interpreter for the early settlers with the Indians. He was sent to 
treat with the Iroquois so as to settle a dispute amicably. He 
journeyed nearly five hundred miles ; the winter weather being 
very severe, he suffered untold hardships but was very successful. 
Weiser also became intimate with early Moravian missionaries. 
He had lived in the Ephrata Community as Brother Enoch 
(meaning consecrated) about seven or eight years. 

Subsequently he and Beissel had an estrangement which seemed 
serious but they later became reconciled. 

His daughter was married to the Rev. Henry Melchor Muhlen- 
berg, who was really the founder of American Lutheranism. Ac- 
cording to the Chronicon there is some reason to believe that in 
later years he was in full communion with the Brotherhood at 
Ephrata. Weiser died on first day, July 13, 1760, on his farm in 
Heidelberg township, near Womelsdorf, Berks Co., Pa., where 
his remains are interred. 

Weiser was officially recognized as interpreter of Pennsylvania 
covering many years of constant service above all taint and sus- 
picion, something that might well be emulated by public servants 
of today, even by some justices of the peace. 

The Ephrata Cloister 

His private life, his official record, his religious zeal as a mem- 
ber of the Reformed Church, as a celibate at Ephrata, therefore 
a Seventh Day Baptist, had fealty to the Lutheran Church in 
which he did energetic service, make him a beautiful character to 

He was superintendent of the Indian Bureau and Governor 
Morris gave him a commission as "Colonel," and he was not mere- 
ly an ornamental colonel, but commanded a regiment of volunteers 
and had charge of the Second Battalion in 1755. 

A monument was erected in front of the Womelsdorf public 
school buildings some years ago in his honor. He has lived to 
be remembered. Monuments contribute nothing towards a 
blessed immortality but it is eminently fitting that a memorial was 
raised in his memory, though marble shafts or granite pillars do 
not immortalize a personage that has died. His record is his 
proudest monument. 

Dr. Wm. M. Fahnestock of the Ephrata Community was ap- 
pointed the delegate to the Seventh Day Baptist General Confer- 
ence held at Shiloh, New Jersey, September 9 to 13 inclusive, 
1846, probably the first Ephratanian to attain this honor but un- 
fortunately Dr. Fahnestock was unable to attend sending a letter 
of regret. Benjamin Konigmacher was the moderator and 
Joseph Konigmacher the secretary who signed the credentials. 

In 1846 Dr. Fahnestock was made a vice president of the 
American Sabbath Tract Society and served for five years. 

In 1849 ne was present at the General Conference and in 1852 
he was present at special church occasions at Plainfield, N. J. In 
1854 he was made a director of the Seventh Day Baptist Publish- 
ing House at Little Genesee, N. Y. 

He was a generous contributor to the work of the American 
Sabbath Tract Society, as was also William Konigmacher, of 
Ephrata, Pa. 

Dr. Fahnestock was a voluminous writer on the Sabbath Re- 
corder (our weekly church paper) staff and was the author of a 
twenty four page tract entitled The Bible Sabbath published 
about 1850. 

In 1854 on the 15th of December in a hospital in the city of 
Philadelphia, Dr. Wm. M. Fahnestock died from injuries received 
in a fall down the stairway of a private house in that city. 

Benjamin Konigmacher, who was a deacon for fifty years, died 
March 24, 1850, seventy-seven years old. He was a most efficient 
lay leader for forty years and frequently took charge when there 
was no preacher present. 

Barbara Keiper ("Sister Beverly"), one of the last survivors 
of the recruits to the monastic sisterhood, passed to her eternal 
resting place, on March 16, 1852. She entered Saron, the Sister 

Death of Barbara Keiper 

House, at the age of sixteen and died there in the eightieth year 
of her age. 

She had witnessed the death of each of the last sixteen of the 
solitary sisters, closing their eyes before her in the endless sleep. 
Sometime before her demise she gave all her earthly belongings 
amounting to about two thousand dollars per annum, to be shared 
by the needy and indigent of the church and she herself accepted 
only house room, fuel, flour and other necessities of life as pro- 
vided for to all other sharers of her bounty which in sickness or 
helpless old age provided everything. 

Ludwig Hoecker. Schoolmaster 

Gal. 3:24. The law was our schoolmaster 

UDWIG HOECKER (Hacker) Brother Obed organ- 
ized the educational department of the Ephrata Com- 
munity. Hoecker was one of the Brethren who for a 
time lived on the banks of the Wissahickon. He was 
married, had one daughter, Maria, who afterward? 
entered the Ephrata monastery under the name of Petronella. 
His wife also entered Saron and soon after "Obed's" arrival he 
was installed as the schoolmaster of the congregation, instructing 
the youths in elementary education. 

Regular hours were set apart by both sexes for instruction, for 
practice of ornamental penmanship, engrossing and the study and 
transcribing of music. It is, however, by no means certain who 
the writing master was but Hoecker introduced some of the 
classics in his early school efforts and had a Sabbath School or- 
ganized for religious instruction of the young on the Seventh Day 
Sabbath, fully a generation before Robert Raikes had organized 
the Sunday School in London, England, in 1780. 

"Obed" at an early day compiled and published a German 
School Book for the use of pupils entitled as follows : "A short, 
comprehensive school book to instruct children in spelling, read- 
ing and learning by heart, to which is appended a short clear in- 
struction in arithmetic. Compiled for the use and service of chil- 
dren by Ludwig Hoecker, Ephrata. Printed and to be had of the 
school master." This title is from the second edition issued 1786. 
The Psalter and Testament were used in an instruction that was 
religious based on the Bible, similar to the early practice of the 
Lutheran and Reformed churches who used their catechisms as 
text books. 

In the organization of the Ephrata Sabbath School "Obed" was 
assisted by his daughter Maria, "Sister Petronella," who was 
known as a beautiful and lovely girl, not in comely form, but in 
her Christian character, being undoubtedly the first female Sab- 
bath school teacher of whom history has a record. 

The object was "to give instruction to indigent children of the 
vicinity who were kept from the regular school by the employ- 
ments which their necessities obliged them to be engaged in during 


the week as well as to give religious instructions to those of better 
circumstances." What noble ideals ! 

Hoecker and Peter Miller were the principal speakers at the 
funeral of Beissel, both masterly in their efforts. 

In 1 791 Sister Petronella died, having served as a teacher of 
embroidery, fine needle work and the early educational efforts. 
She was bedridden for four years prior to her death. 

In 1792 Ludwig Hoecker himself died, having been one of the 
leading characters of the Community and for many years its edu- 
cational head and leader. 

In 1749 Succoth, a building was erected for him, where during 
his old age he lived as a printer and book binder having lived the 
import of his monastic name Obed which means "server," giving 
service. "Albina" was the monastic name of Margaret Hoecker, 
wife of Obed, who was divinely devout. 

"Bevely" was quite a reputed guide to the many visitors who 
came to see the Cloister in her life time and was personally ac- 
quainted with many prominent personages. She supported herself 
by knitting stockings, making mittens, gloves and similar trinkets. 
Reminiscent pages from her experiences might prove very inter- 
esting. Suffice it to say she was a unique intensely interesting 
lady whose charitable acts and spirit of devotion to the truth were 
most commendable. 

The late Abram H. Lewis, D.D., in response to a request on the 
part of Rev. S. G. Zerfass, visited the Ephrata Cloister in April, 
1906. It should be remembered that Dr. Lewis was former head of 
our educational institutions and editor of the Sabbath Recorder. 
He preached sixth day eve April 27 on Matt. 5:17, on Sabbath 
28th he spoke on Music to the Sabbath School and in the regular 
service he spoke on Luke 12:32; and on first day, 29th, he spoke 
on Sunday Legislation basing his remarks on Matt. 22:21. All 
his talks were logical, forceful, very impressive, coming from one 
of the greatest men of his time. 

Since August, 1908, Dr. Corliss F. Randolph, principal of the 
Newark High School, has been making annual visits to Ephrata, 
Nunnery and Salemville churches. He too is a conscientious fear- 
less Seventh Day Baptist who has a many-sided life and is very 
actively prominent in the church today. 

After the death of Dr. Fahnestock Ephrata passed through a 
long siege of untoward circumstances that greatly retarded the 
growth of the church, reducing the membership and apparently 
threatened to destroy. Its present membership is full of courage, 
vigor, hope and determination. 

The Ephrata Community became a legal corporate body under 
the laws of the State of Pennsylvania in 1814 with a board of 
trustees consisting of three members, to manage its affairs. 


The Ephrata Cloister 

The president of the board, William G. Zerfass, is also the 
farmer of the Fairview farm of the society. Reuben Kachel, the 
third member of the board of trustees, is farmer of the Shady 
Nook farm. Rev. S. G. Zerfass is the secretary and custodian. 

The Snow Hill society, a child of the Ephrata society, was in- 
corporated in 1823. 

The German Seventh Day Baptist Church building at Salem- 
ville was erected in 1848. 

The expose of faith reduced to its lowest terms is to accept the 
Bible as the only rule of faith and practice, an acceptance of the 
divinity of Jesus, and a belief in the Trinity. Belief in salvation 
for all of mankind through the acceptance of Christ as the Savior 
of men, the observance of the Seventh Day of the week as the 
Sabbath, baptism by immersion and the celebration of the Lord's 



Faith and Practices of German Seventh Day Baptist Church 

John 5:39. Search the Scriptures 

j|RT. i. We believe that all Scripture given by inspira- 
tion in the Old and the New Testaments is the Word 
of God, and is the only rule of Faith and Practice. 
2 Tim. 3 :i6 ; 2 Peter 1 :i9, 20, 21 ; Mark 7:13; 1 Thes. 
2:13; Acts 4:29, 30, 31. 

Art. 2. We believe that unto us there is but one God, the 
Father ; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator between 
God and mankind, and that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. 
1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1 :2i ; John 14:26. 

Art. 3. We believe that the Ten Commandments which were 
written on two tables of stone by the finger of God, continue to be 
the rule of righteousness for all mankind. We further believe 
that active participation in war by military service in the army or 
navy is in violation of the sixth commandment and the teachings 
of Jesus Christ. Ex. 20; Matt. 5:17, 18; Mai. 4:4; Isaiah 1:25 
and 2:10; Rom. 3:31 ; 7:25; 13:8, 9, 10; Eph. 6:2. 

Art. 4. We believe that all persons ought to be baptized in 
water by trine immersion in a forward position after confession 
of their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Matt. 28 : 18-26 ; 
Acts 2:38 and 8:36; Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12. 

Art. 5. We believe that the Lord's Supper ought to be admin- 
istered and received in all Christian Churches, accompanied with 
the washing of one another's feet previous to the breaking of the 
bread. Luke 22:19, 2 °5 l Cor. 11 :23, 24, 25, 26; Jno. 13:4-17. 

Art. 6. We believe in the anointing of the sick with oil in the 
name of the Lord. James 5:13, 14, 15. 

Art. 7. We believe in the invocation of Infant Blessing. Matt. 
19:13, 14, 15; Mark 10:13, 14, 15, 16; Luke 18:15, 16. 

Art. 8. We believe that all Christian Churches should have 
Elders and Deacons. Titus 1 :5 ; Acts 6:3. 

Art. 9. We believe that the duties of the Deacons to be : 

To provide for the Communion Service of the Church, and 
officiate thereat when necessary; to seek out and report to the 
Church all cases of destitution or suffering within bounds of the 
Church, especially such as arise from sickness ; to provide neces- 
sary relief in behalf of the Church. They shall also be deemed 

The Ephrata Cloister 

co-workers in the ministry and counsellors in spiritual matters. 
They shall continue in office for life or during good behavior. 

Art. 10. We believe in observing the Seventh Day (Sabbath). 
He whom we worship was its first observer. Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 
20:8-11; Ex. 16:23, 25, 29; Lev. 13:32; Nehemiah 9:14; Nehe- 
miah 13:15, 16, 21; Isaiah 56:2-6; Matt. 28:1; Mark 2:27, 28; 
Luke 13:10; Acts 13:42; Acts 16:13; Acts 18:4; Heb. 4:4. 

His law by which we are to be judged. James 2 : 10-22. 


Monk and Nun Costu 



Resolutions Showing War Attitude 
Ps. 120:7. I am for peace, they for war 

Waynesboro, Pa., June 10, 1917. 
HE German Seventh Day Baptists of Pennsylvania in 
Conference assembled, adopted the following pream- 
ble and resolutions : 

Whereas, our country is at war and public peril 
exists, calling upon all good citizens for devotion to 
our government, we recognize our duty and privilege of loyalty to 
our government, our country and its flag; and 

Whereas, our church in the dark days of the American Revolu- 
tion showed marked loyalty by allowing paper to the Colonial 
troops; by interpreting the Declaration of Independence into 
seven different languages through Rev. Peter Miller; and by car- 
ing for five hundred American soldiers, absolutely free of charge, 
after the Battle of Brandywine, at Ephrata by the sisterhood ; and 

Whereas, it becomes us all to contribute our moral and financial 
support, and do our utmost to relieve the sufferings consequent to 
war; to aid in restoring normal conditions; and therefore exer- 
cise all possible diligence to increase the food products and food 
supply of our country ; and 

Whereas, German Seventh Day Baptists during all their exist- 
ence took the stand that war is inconsistent with the teachings of 
Christ, our church always considered, practiced, and believed, as 
fundamental in sound doctrine the principle of peace and non- 

We Hereby Reaffirm our decided conviction that the bearing 
of arms and the participation in war are in violation of the com- 
mand "Thou shalt not kill," as well as contrary to the teachings 
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as our church has always 
taught and practiced; and 

Whereas, our members were all urged to promptly register on 
June 5, 1917, as required by law, — 

Be It Resolved: — 

That we pledge our loyalty to the United States ; 

That we remain true to our fundamental principles of peace 
and non-resistance ; 


The Ephrata Cloister 

That we humbly request the full exercise of religious liberty 
and exemption from military service in the army and navy ; and 

That we, as a people do our best to relieve distress, giving food, 
shelter, clothing, and medical attention to our wounded soldiers ; 
and more than ever produce greater amounts of food, and recom- 
mend all who are able to invest in government bonds. 

Resolved, also, that we have this action recorded in our min- 
utes, and a copy transmitted to the President of the United States 
by this Committee. 

S. G. Zerfass, 
H. W. Fetter, 
U. A. Pentz, 

Special Committee. 

Rev. W. K. Bechtel moved that the resolution be adopted as 
read. Carried unanimously. 

Public Park Not Favored 

HY should a civic club, or patriotic societies and indi- 
viduals make strong effort to turn the premises into a 
public park? 

Do these people fail to know that the German Sev- 
enth Day Baptist Conference of Pennsylvania is un- 
alterably opposed to any such project? Why shouldn't we as 
Seventh Day Baptists really believe the place too sacred to be 
turned into a public park ? And the Pennsylvania Conference is 
under the General Conference of Seventh Day Baptists of Amer- 
ica, composed of upwards of 30,000 members, and that Pennsyl- 
vania Conference has half a dozen active ministers of the gospel, 
a number of regular churches, prosperous, and several missions 
besides, probably upwards of three hundred members? 

Is it not much more fitting and interesting for tourists and per- 
sons of culture and scholarship to find that the parent church in 
Pennsylvania has a congregation (though small in numbers) and 
regular Sabbath School intact and in regular worship on the orig- 
inal Sabbath? 

Why not know the truth and the truth shall make you free? 

And now abideth faith, hope and love. The greatest of these 
is love ! 

The early German Seventh Day Baptists, like the Quakers, the 
Amish, the Dunkards, and the Mennonites, did not and do not at 
present believe in carnal warfare and are and were opposed to 
bearing arms believing that active participating in war by military 
service in the army or navy is in violation of the sixth command- 
ment and the teachings of Jesus Christ. See Exodus 20:13; 
Matt. 5:17, 18.. 19; Malachi 4:4; Isa. 2:10; Romans 3:31, also 
7:25 ; Romans 13 :8, 9, 10, etc., that Christ's sword was the sword 
of peace, Peter being told to put up his sword. Yet we have been 
called traitors. 

The ministers and membership of the church believe in a uni- 
versal brotherhood of man and the general fatherhood of God, in 
real practice not platitudes only. 

The spirit of loyalty to truth, of consecration to and willing- 
ness to suffer, if need be, for the sake of truth and duty, were the 
prominent and immediate source of the development of Seventh 


The Ephrata Cloister 

Day Baptists who were notably industrious and frugal, severely 
simple in their tastes and habits, and there was an entire absence 
of indolence and of that pernicious doctrine of some in these 
modern days, "The world owes me a living," which is character- 
istic of too many communistic theories. 

With their intellectual and physical ability their habits of thrift 
and economy ; had they been avaricious, they might have secured 
possessions in that early time which would have made them 
abundantly weatlhy at the present day. 

True the stories, legends and even anecdotes handed down to 
us are many indeed. It is said that sisters Sphigenia and Ana- 
tasia, the latter born in Switzerland, were expert skillful writers. 
Anatasia entered the convent as a young maiden of very comely 
appearance and gifted with musical talents of a high order. As 
a nun she was first named "Tabea" and seemed to be a favorite 
with everybody, especially the spiritual leader Friedsam. Falling 
in love with a young man named Daniel Scheibly whom the Soli- 
tary Brethren had "purchased" by paying his "passage money," 
she decided to leave the community and to be married to the ob- 
ject of her affections. 

On the day set for the wedding she took leave of the sisterhood, 
no longer robed in the white habit of her religious order ; but upon 
having a final interview with the superintendent, her heart failed 
her and, bursting into tears, she vowed that she would remain as a 
Rose of Sharon. "Friedsam" declared her tears had washed 
away the stain of her apostasy and ever thereafter she was called 
"anatasia," which means the resurrected. Surely this is very in- 
teresting, especially to our ladies. 

Miss Mabel Meek, a recent bride married 
the Saal 

Farmer Kachel and wife Shady Nook 

Dr. Corliss F. Randolph, Newark, N. J. 
Author of Seventh Day Baptist Histories 

Twin Sisters, 85, Life Long Members 

Rev. Edwin Shaw. Tract Society 

~* t 

One of the Mills of the Sevent.i Day Baptists on the Cocalico is now 
included in the Knitting Mills of W. W. Moyer 


Faith and Practices of German Seventh Day Baptist Church 
John 5:39. Search the Scriptures 

TEADFASTNESS of purpose and the determination 
"to stand and having done all to stand" was preached 
as a cardinal duty from the first and that spirit 
abounds in the hearts of those who remain to this day. 
Though the faith and practice of the Ephrata Seventh 
Day Baptists have been both misunderstood and frequently misin- 
terpreted by writers in magazines and reporters of metropolitan 
papers, in particular, the facts show that they have always been 
social, liberal minded, hospitable, abundant in good works and in 
genuine Christian faith. 

When some writer reported the footprints on the ceiling as 
being bloody foot prints of soldiers or the apostolic method of 
punishing the brethren by walking on the ceiling, it looks like a 
wrong interpretation for notoriety's sake. 

When a Philadelphia daily that "always tells the truth" reports 
that the day is not far distant when the remaining members of 
Ephrata will amalgamate with the Holy Redemptorists east of the 
Cocalico creek, that journal either wilfully falsifies or does not 
know what they are talking about. 

Surely, the doctrine of immersion in baptism, as well as the 
observance of the Seventh Day Sabbath makes the German Sev- 
enth Day Baptists anti-Catholic (not necessarily antagonistic) in 
doctrine, as the Catholic Church instituted aspersion or sprinkling 
for baptism. See Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, A. D. 248, and 
infant baptism under Tertullian, A. D. 194-220. The Catholics 
also instituted the observance of the Sabbath on the first day by 
Constantine in A. D. 321. 

The salutation of the "holy kiss," as was practiced by the Apos- 
tles and these German Seventh Dayers, has been made light of by 
newspaper writers because these writers don't know their Bible 
or man to falsify. See Acts 20:37, Romans 16:16, I Peter 5:14. 

The anointing of the sick practiced by the ancient and modern 
Ephratanians according to James 5:14 and 15, is plainly an evi- 
dence of faith, and not a species of Christian Scientism as insin- 
uated by some recent writers. 

Infant blessing, the Seventh Day Baptist interpretation of Mark 
10:14, Luke 18:16, has been very much distorted by some in- 

The Ephrata Cloister 

famous writers, when it is really a solemn practice, uplifting, 
ennobling and scriptural to say the least. 

Feet washing, an ordinance of many other churches, as well as 
of these Ephrata Sabbatarians, according to John, 13th chapter, 
is held in a ludicrous manner by a novelist who professes friend- 
ship for the Pennsylvania German, in a subtle manner. 

The writer means to denounce the evident tendency on the part 
of a certain class of writers to misrepresent, to overdraw, and 
place these historic and devoted progenitors of ours in the wrong 

Many people seem to think that the present ninety-five acres of 
land owned by the society as a corporation, are public property, 
donated as it were by the Commonwealth, when any one can go 
to the Recorder's Office at Lancaster and find out for himself 
that several individuals gave deeds to the society for the property 
and the membership, as well as the best informed people every- 
where know that the Commonwealth has nothing to do with it so 
far as ownership is concerned and Seventh Day Baptists know 
their rights. 

All this palaver and gross exaggeration, to say the least, is not 
edifying and very discouraging to the membership. 



Conditions of Membership 

iT WAS a condition that the inmates of the Cloister 
shall be single persons ; whether they have ever been 
married before or not was not stipulated. They had 
to be strict observers of the Seventh Day Sabbath and 
baptized persons of reputed piety, quite a few being 
first admitted as probationary members, with a voice and vote; 
even to this day the charter requires members to be in union and 

The application for membership had to be made to the prior or 
pastor and the trustees who were the authorized judges of the 
applicant's eligibility. No vow, no promise of continued celibacy 
were required, but the simple condition that if they ever changed 
their mind and desired to marry they had to leave the monastery. 

No wages were paid but all shared alike the comforts of the 
establishment and no one could enter and retain independent 
estate or control of personal property or real estate. If they 
brought any property, a certificate of appraised valuation was 
given and if the inmate should afterwards leave the institution 
their property (personal) was returned to them without interest. 
If, however, the inmate died, all of their belongings accrued per- 
manently to the establishment. 

The labors of the establishment were shared alike by all who 
could work in a well arranged series. The Brethren, under the 
direction of the Prior or Superintendent and the Sisters, under 
the direction of the Prioress, a kind of Mother Superior. 

In no respect, however, was there any preeminence of class, as 
there were officers simply for order's sake only. They were in 
truth a band of brothers and sisters and equals in every respect 
affecting their life, their honor and their happiness, all being en- 
titled to food, shelter and necessary clothing. They were really 
known as indoor members. 

The outdoor members of the congregation were married folks 
mostly and had no personal rights in the property and there was 
no more community of interest among them than among the mem- 
bers of other denominations of Christians. 

The religious interests were and continued to be congregational, 
as truly republican as any other congregation. Their officers were 


The Ephrata Cloister 

voluntarily elected. They did not hold to paying any salary to- 
their ministers. At Ephrata he was given a house, rent free, a 
load of hay, potatoes and six bushels of wheat. 

If necessity called for it the minister was given voluntary as- 
sistance. The ministers were elected by the congregation after 
having been led in prayer, requesting divine guidance in their 
selection, which meant voting without nomination. 

On bended knees with laying on of hands, the minister was 
ordained and after a reasonable probationary service the applicant 
was given a full ordination which entitled the minister to perform 
all ecclesiastical functions making him fully entitled to the bish- 
opric. Similar to some fraternities, the minister is not supposed 
to use any ritual at any funeral, wedding or communion service. 
In the early days their preaching was supposed to be without 
manuscript, almost entirely inspirational. At present time there 
is but one minister in Pennsylvania who attempts to preach in 
German and he (the writer) confesses that his vocabulary in 
German is rather limited. The Ephrata Saal or Church is the 
only known church building not now having an organ or an or- 
ganized choir, chorister and modern appurtenances. No collec- 
tions are taken in the Ephrata Church. Even the arrangement of 
the seats, etc., are practically unchanged. 

On funeral occasions the corpse was taken into the church (ex- 
cept in case of contagious disease). The services consisted of 
several hymns, a prayer and a short sermon, after which the 
casket with the corpse was generally removed to the space in front 
of the Saal for a final viewing of the remains and not for the 
purpose of having the sun shine on the face of the dead once more 
before interment as some writers have said. 

A sad procession was then formed to the cemetery where short 
final obsequies were observed after which meals were furnished 
in the Saal. 

Teams and help were all furnished free of all charges and little 
or no display of any ostentatious character was observed. 

Wooden Communion Service. Presented by George Washington 

Chair on Which Washington Sat. Hour Glass. Turned Twice When Peter Miller Preached 




Ceremonies — Lovefeasts 

HE LOVEFEAST meal intended as a season of soci- 
ability and hospitality is somewhat similar to the 
Methodist idea of serving bread and water, more like 
the Moravians who serve (streislers) rusks and cof- 
fee, the Seventh Day Baptists serve a regular well 
provided meal on the tables and the exuberance of their benevo- 
lence did not confine it to their members or professing Christians 
but extended an invitation to all persons present. 

In this the Seventh Dayers imitate very closely the festival of 
the primitive Christians who originally observed it as a social re- 
past, truly a lovefeast gathering preceded by prayer and followed 
by table hymns and parting words of prayer. 

Bountiful preparations had to be made in advance of the love- 
feast event. The meeting usually begins with sixth day evening, 
services on Sabbath morning (seventh day) ; Sabbath School in 
the afternoon, feet-washing and regular open communion follow- 
ing in the evening. 

This custom may have arisen from force of conditions and cir- 
cumstances in the infancy of the church, which was planted in 
the wilderness and sparse settlements and the members and visi- 
tors came from far and near, from all the surrounding regions 
and the society acting on the principle which moved our Divine 
Master when the multitude came to hear His words and were 
empty, he took pity on them and fed them, and thus they got into 
this custom which has been continued to the present day. 

The lovefeast was regarded among them as the meeting of all 
members and friends of the entire neighborhood and from abroad 
together as one family, to engage in holy exercises, enjoying dur- 
ing the continuance thereof, a common board (table) supplied for 
that purpose, and in renewing their pledges of love in Christ 
Jesus, by partaking of the emblems of His broken body and shed 

To say the least the intention and result on people of right 
motives is good, so that all who have thus participated, even chil- 
dren, are anxious for more lovefeasts but some of the reckless, 
thoughtless people, many of whom are the younger element whose 
educational facilities should make them more thoughtful, also 

The Ephrata Cloister 

curiosity seekers as well as sensational newspaper reporters for 
miles have taken advantage of the great liberality and make a 
frolic of it instead of respecting it as a sacred religious festival 
and by so doing apparently frustrate, in a decided measure ,its 
superb design and in addition thereto destroy the comfort and 
satisfaction to those who solemnly engage in it. 

Efforts are in progress to make the slight changes in the love- 
feast occasion, so that it be a practical family recognition in the 
future, probably issuing ticket invitations similar to our Mora- 
vian brethren and making prepartion to entertain all members 
and invited friends in a plain, frugal manner but exclude the friv- 
olous rabble that detract, making the feet-washing ordinance and 
administration of the Holy Communion less of a public service so 
that the members and serious-minded people who desire to be 
present as spectators to meet alone and attend to those solemn 
services in real privacy and quietness essential to fully commune 
with our Lord. 

At present regular lovefeasts are celebrated by the principal 
surviving churches of German Seventh Day Baptists at Snow 
Hill, Nunnery, Franklin County, at Salemville, Bedford County 
(Morrison's Cove) and at Ephrata. They are usually attended by 
a large company, many of whom are not members of the church. 

At Ephrata and Salemville the lovefeasts (annual) are cele- 
brated in autumn whilst at Nunnery and Snow Hill the annual 
lovefeast is usually held near Whitsuntide. There are also Christ- 
mas, Easter and Harvest lovefeasts. 

Snow Hill and Ephrata congregations have church farms but 
Salemville Church has no farm connected with it. 



The Import of Belief 

T MAKES a great difference what a man believes, 
even if sincere. We must prove all things, hold fast 
to that which is good. 

Every religious tenet must have the foundation of 
the Apostles and prophets with Christ as the chief 
corner-stone. All scripture is profitable for doctrine and the min- 
isters must continue in the work, preach the Word, reprove, re- 
buke, exhort with longsuffering, and this duty is imperative, lest 
the truth be turned into fables. Why not show uncorruptness and 
convince gainsayers? God will not accept the homage of any who 
teach contrary to his will nor can we close our ears to the truth 
and remain innocent lest our prayers be an abomination. The 
gates of the heavenly city are open that the righteous may enter 

Christ must be preached with that naturalness, suggestiveness, 
tenderness, consistency and devoutness, as well as soundness 
which characterized his discourses, making him our model both 
in matter and in manner. A correct theology based on solid truth 
the same yesterday, today and forever, and a correct practice are 
as necessary to perfect spiritual life as a perfectly developed body 
and soul are to the natural. 

The earnest teacher is often apparently rough ; God does not 
polish the bark of the oak tree. Proverbs 23 123. "Buy the truth 
and sell it not." 

In the blackest soil grow some of the richest flowers and some 
of the loftiest, strongest and most beautiful trees spring heaven- 
ward among the rocks. 

Men are not always to be taken for what they appear. One may 
have a rough unseemly exterior but a good true heart within ; 
while another possessing a captivating person and manner, may be 
destitute of all genuine principle. 

Say not "welcome" when I come, 

Say not "farewell" when I go, 
For I come not when I come 

And I go not when I go. 


The Ephrata Cloister 

For a welcome ne'er I'd give you, 
And farewell I'd never say; 

In my heart I'm always with you, 
Always will he — every day. 

— S. G. 


May a little bit of gladness 
Come into your life each day; 

May a little bit of sunshine 
Ever fall upon your way. 

Tho your life be sad and lonely, 
Tho your path be rough and long, 

May the joy of blessed sunshine 
Change your sorrow into song. 

Tho the clouds look black and heavy, 
As above your head they sweep, 

May that little ray of sunshine 

Ever through their darkness creep. 

Tho with shadows it is blended, 
May your sunshine never end, 

'Tis my wish to you extended. 
I who write this am your friend. 

What a picture all this Cloister history brings before us. No 
doubt these our progenitors with all their deprivations and hard 
lot were more contented than many now living in luxury. Godli- 
ness with contentment is great gain. 

S. G. Zerfass. 


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Past Chaplain Pennsylvania H. of R. (1917 to 1919) 

The "Early Sectarians," more especially of Lancaster County as well as 
their descendants are noted for their thrift, their industry, their loyalty 
and their religious devotion. They are so numerous, of such sturdy stock 
and such devoted, pious, frugal, unostentatious citizens, and so generally 
respected and recognized by the most intelligent, the most thoughtful and 
discriminating as well as most cultured people everywhere, and yet so 
frequently and slanderously misrepresented by not a few newspaper writ- 
ers, by self-assumed (pulpit) critics and fiends, by magazine articles and 
supposed authorities as well as fiction writers; that your humble servant 
feels it his duty as well as a privilege, to defend them from this merciless 
and uncalled-for calumny, the insinuating innuendo and baseless misrepre- 
sentation of a conscientious and God-fearing people. 

No subject offers a greater and more interesting field for study, espe- 
cially to the historical student, nor is of greater interest to the general 
public than our Early Sectarians. More especially is this true of the 
"Garden Spot" and adjacent counties known for their Pennsylvania German 
customs and manners. By the Early Sectarians I mean the Amish, the 
Mennonites, German Baptists, et al., as well as the Seventh Day Baptists 
who left and were obliged to leave Switzerland, the Palatinate, Alsace Lor- 
raine and portions of Prussia for conscience sake being practically driven 
from Europe by bigoted persecution and unjust prosecution and upon 
their arrival in America, for religious and social reasons kept aloof from 
any dissenting country people and their English speaking newly acquired 

They adhered to their native tongue, were but devotedly peculiar in 
religious ceremonies due to their pietistic leanings and became objects of 
suspicion. For instance the Ephratanian brethren were first believed to be 
papal representatives and incendiary efforts to clean out the supposed 
Catholics were blamed on the Indians when as a matter of fact the fires 
were due to the prejudice of the whites living adjacent to the Ephrata 
community — so that our early sects were maligned, injured personally and 
considerably oppressed, more especially so when after the French and 
Indian wars, nearly all of our Early Sectarians like the orthodox Quakers, 
were known as non-combatants, anti-war or non-resistants. 

They were peaceful, paying their taxes and had domestic habits worthy 
of emulation. Of course, many of them refused to meddle with politics or 
affairs of state yet they were almost invariably successful in their several 
undertakings, industrial or agricultural, all of which tended to excite the 
envy and jealousy of their more intemperate and turbulent neighbors, and, 
as a result there were ridiculous and numerous charges of heresy and 
slander, when as a matter of fact, these sectarians were composed of none 
but God-fearing men and women. Some egotistical self-established critics, 
and who lay claim to being educated, continue to receive these calumnies 
as truth and would classify our Early Sectarians well nigh to the animal 


The Ephrata Cloister 

Not for a moment would I have you believe the non-combatant deficient 
in courage; they may meekly submit but this not because of lack of man- 
hood; they merely practice their religious teachings and live their creed. 

Did these Early Sectarians bring with them from the Prussian soil, the 
murderous weapons of warfare? No! Yet nearly every Pennsylvania- 
German family points out with pride the old family Bible (des gasang 
buch) a hymnal (an altes catechismus) an old catechism or a devotional 
book (Das Wares Christentum) of Lutheran production, the (Paradieses 
Gurtlein) Garden of Paradise and many other volumes that formed their 
chief treasure in numerous homes of these Pennsylvania-German Early 

From these volumes they got their code of ethics, their grain of com- 
fort, in times of sorrow and trial. 

Implements of peaceful art used in farm economy or domestic house but 
no arsenal occupied their houses and homes, after the pietistic ways which 
followed the thirty years war in Prussia. 

The Mennonites, including thirteen families, came to Germantown in 
1683. Then the Labadists to New Castle, now Delaware, in 1684 and 
neither of them carried weapons. The real pietists came to the banks of 
the Wissahickon in 1694 and the Dunkers, afterwards called German Bap- 
tists, now the Brethren, followed in 1719, whilst the Seventh Day Baptists 
first preached in this county in 1728. The Schwenkfelders settled in Bucks 
County in 1734, the Moravians in Lehigh and at Lititz in 1742, all of which 
forms a most romantic episode in the history and future importance of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the influence they exerted for good in 
the early days of our development extends down even to the present day. 

None of these sects were emotional in their services nor of a high pres- 
sure, dynamic (pertaining to forces not in equilibrium), hysterical, im- 
pulsive or spontaneous religious tendencies, but rather dignified, always 
educated to their faith. The Moravians were always an educated people, 
yet they in the early days buried married women, married men, single men, 
single women, in respective sections of their early cemeteries and their love- 
feasts consisting of an excellent sermon, splendid music, sincere devotion 
and the hospitality of the coveted streisler bun and coffee, are adhered to 
and quite properly so to this day. 

Their schools, seminaries and love for art, music and care for the aged 
are most praiseworthy. 

The Brethren with their close communion, their lovefeast, feet-washing 
and holy kiss, have colleges and publishing houses and number among them 
some of the intellectual giants of the present day. 

The Mennonites, who were originally followers of Menno Simon, an ex- 
priest from Holland, had a conscientious, able, and fearless leader and 
they have colleges and publishing houses. Their faith spread in Europe un- 
til Wm. Penn in 1683 invited the Mennonites to Penn's woodland, Pennsyl- 
vania, and to-day we find them in nearly every state, with 18 conferences 
and numerous organized missions. 

The Amish, an offspring of the Mennonites, a little more severe in the 
garb proposition, a branch of the orthodox Amish tolerating no houses of 
worship, whilst the church Amish have church buildings for worship. Yet 
their articles of faith and creed include the Triune God, baptism by pour- 
ing, self denial, bishops, elders, etc., by lot; the bread and wine as sym- 
bols; feet-washing; sisters devotional covering, I Cor. 11, 2 to 16; anointing 
with oil, Jas. 5:14, etc.; holy kiss, I Peter 5:14; marriage only in the Lord, 
I Cor. 7:39; divorce contrary to the Spirit, Matt. 19:5 to 9; non-conformity 
in dress, in association, in business or politics, Rom. 12:2; no oaths, secret 
orders, or life insurance, Matt. 5, 33 to 44, II Cor. 6:14, Jere 49:11; obsti- 
nate sinners to be expelled, I Cor. 5:13; obedience to magistrates within 


Our Early Sectarians 

gospel limits, Rom. 13:1 to 7; churches to evangelize, Matt. 28, 19 and 20; a 
final judgment, eternal reward and punishment, II Cor. 5:10, Matt. 25:46; 
unaccountable children will be saved, Mark 10:14; no open communion, 
pay taxes, but indulge in no political conspiracies, nor hold public office, and 
bring Christ into disrepute; no revenge on any be they English, German, 
French or Japanese, etc., nor any human nor even brutes; the right to flee' 
from wrong accusers and rather than build battleships, feed the hungry, 
give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, care for the 

They countenance no partnership with Satan, no suing in court, only 
when forced there by self defense, preaching ex-communication, believing 
in an evolution of the mind, educating the heart, all being astray sheep who 
must be redeemed, they practice no infant baptism, admit of figurative cir- 
cumcision but tolerate no whites and blacks to intermarry, non-believer and 
believers not to intermarry, II Cor. 6:14, I Cor. 7:38; practice non-resist- 
ance, Matt. 5:33 to 37; Matt. 26:51 to '2; Luke 9:51 to 57; II Cor. 10:4; 
Rom. 12:19 to 21, and the commandment "Thou shalt not kill!" 

They are opposed to salaried ministers, Isa. 55:1, Matt. 10:8, I Peter 
5:2; weakening the spirituality of the church, I Cor. 9:19, etc.; commercial- 
ize high calling, II Peter 2:3; and a hindrance to preaching the truth, 
II Tim 4:2-4. 

They advise members who marry a companion who belongs to a church 
not of non-resistant faith and a member of lodges to receive definite teach- 
ing and in case of transgression inform them of their error, if possible lead 
them to repentance and if they make no amends deal with them as II Thess. 

According to Matt. 5:40 and I Cor. 6:1 to 8 they deem it unscriptural to 
take aggressive part in lawsuits. 

A brother being elected to the legislature and their congregation sup- 
porting his election shows the ministers to have failed and all should be 
dealt with according to the spirit of the gospel as in Gal. 6:1. 

Since to the powers of the world are delegated the use of force and 
carnal weapons and fobridden to the children of God these sectarians, or a 
majority thereof, deem it inconsistent with the teaching of God's word for 
our brethren to hold office in the legislature and any one being a candidate 
for such office should be instructed to withdraw his candidacy. 

If a brother and sister neglected to commune for a number of years 
they should be duly and prayerfully admonished and instructed and if they 
refuse should not be considered members. According to II Cor. 10:45, and 
our faith we should teach the evils of wars and their results. But to ex- 
emplify this doctrine guard well the tongue and do not abuse your Christian 
liberty by appealing to law for protection of life and property. Family 
reunions are frowned upon unless in a Godly way and manner conducted. 

The Amish say that inasmuch as our forefathers in Europe suffered 
because of non-resistance principles we came to America on the promise of 
liberty of conscience and religious freedom and inasmuch as we to-day hold 
sacred the same principles and are conscientious in that matter that we 
cannot engage in war in any form. Our opposition to war is not founded 
on cowardice or disloyalty to our government but on the conviction that the 
gospel of Christ is a gospel of peace, I Tim. 2:1, 2. Lead a quiet, peaceful 
life, good and acceptable in the sight of the Savior. 

1. To the ministry: that they be ensamples of the flock, that they 
preach, teach and exemplify, reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long- 
suffering and doctrine (II Tim. 4:3-4) and, where needed, to discipline in 
the spirit of love and meekness; that in the line of dress they wear the 
regulation plain coat and avoid all outward ornamentation, that they en- 
courage the plain coat and modest apparel with no uncertain sound. 


The Ephrata Cloister 

2. To the brethren: that they submit themselves to the Word of God 
and to them that watch for their souls as they that must give account. The 
fashionable neckties, ornamental chains, studs, rings or other jewelry, not 
in harmony with the aforesaid scriptures, and are to be refrained, as well 
as all other changing follies, fashions in attire, cutting and combing the 
hair to the latest styles, etc. 

To the sisters: that they read the above Scriptures in the fear of God. 
That in the line of dress they adhere to the plain cloth bonnet, fastened with 
strings, (not hatpins) for summer protection, and to the plain hood or bon- 
net for winter, that costly silks, laces, embroideries, low cut or unbecoming 
short dresses, short sleeves, transparent fabrics that give an immodest ap- 
pearance, also jewelry in the line of wearing gold, pearls, rings, bracelets, 
broaches, pins, chains, wrist watches and all outward ornamentation be 
avoided. That our sisters should part their hair in the middle, comb it flat 
and put it up in a becoming way, to wear the devotional covering, which 
should be of proper size, so as to be kept on the head, and be readily seen 
answering the purpose for which it is intended and not so as to bring re- 
proach to the cause of Christ. Lastly, 

To the brotherhood in general: that we so live as to promote the spirit 
of unity of the body of Christ and in example and teaching uphold the 
Bible principles on the subject of simplicity and non-conformity, in all 
things being a light to the world, ever pointing to the fact that we are 
strangers and pilgrims here and that we seek a city whose builder and 
maker is God. 

They practice the golden rule, and are of a quiet, unobtrusive nature, 
quick to sympathize, rather sunny in disposition, not boisterous in laughter, 
try to understand others, lend a hand and material help when possible, 
looking for the best in others, are loth to believe bad reports or hearsay, 
don't recite their own worries, in public don't preach what they think, but 
what they believe, and admonish the practice thereof. "Bearing all things, 
hoping all things, and enduring all things." 

Few if any of these Early Sectarians are punished by getting to our 
jails, none if any are found in our almshouse and the writer never saw one 
of them in our insane asylum. 

The lesson most impressive from this glimpse into the lives of our Early 
Sectarians, looking at perils and hardships endured, to the writer, means 
unselfish labors for posterity having built on the solid rock of sound moral- 
ity and religion, acting in faith, living with hope, and practicing charity; 
showing by their aims, culture, purposes, ideals and achievements, the high- 
est, noblest and most adorable types of real manhood and womanhood, 
leaving to us a magnificent heritage. 

Will we emulate them to the utmost of our ability, by sturdiness of 
character, by devotion to faith, by being real Christians? 

They learned in Prussia that religion ceases to be religion in proportion 
as it is forced. They have studied in detail that 

"There is no such good soil anywhere to be found for the growth of the 
seeds of hypocrisy as that furnished by a state-enforced religion. He who 
counts himself an acceptable servant of God because of his observance of 
religious regulations made and enforced by the state, has not learned the 
first principles of the kingdom of Christ. The gospel of that kingdom is 
not thus proclaimed, and no such organization was ever commissioned of 
heaven to give it. Men are not to be made good by statute. No; but men 
can be made civil by law, and that is the province of civil law. The state 
can only deal with those things of civil character. Those things which are 
religious and pertain to the consciences of men, are wholly outside the 
jurisdiction of the state. Let this distinction be clearly drawn. 

Our Early Sectarians 

"God requires of every man obedience and worship. Each must obey for 
himself; each must worship for himself. No man has authority from God 
to delegate those duties to another. Neither has any man authority from 
God to require another to obey God in the manner he thinks that other 
ought to obey, or to worship God in the manner he believes that other 
ought to worship. Liberty in these matters is the foundation of all liberty. 

"Compulsion is no part of the gospel of Christ. He who can not be 
drawn to the service of Christ by the love of Christ and the beauty of his 
character, can not be driven to acceptable service through human laws and 
human punishments. 

"The church proclaims her lack of love and divine po\ver whenever she 
seeks to carry on her work by coercion and the power of the state. 

"The utmost that severity can do is to make men hypocrites; it can 
never make them converts. 

"When the church goes into politics you can expect politics to go into 
the church. 

"Should he [the ruler] persecute his obedient, loyal subjects, on any 
religious account, this is contrary to all law and right; and his doing so 
renders him unworthy of their confidence, and they must consider him not a 
blessing but a plague." — Adam, Clarke, on Romans 13. 

George Washington on Religious Liberty 

To the Quakers, in October, 1789, George Washington said: 

"Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the 
persons and consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of 
rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but, according to their sta- 
tions, to prevent it in others. 

"The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States, of worshiping Al- 
mighty God agreeably to their consciences, is not only among the choicest 
of their blessings, but also of their rights." — Sparks's "Writings of George 
Washington" Vol. XII, page 168. 

George Washington, replying to congratulations of the Baptists in Vir- 
ginia on his election to the presidency, in May, 1789, said: 

"If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the consti- 
tution framed in the convention, where I had the honor, to preside, might 
possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly 
I would never have placed my signature to it; and if I could now conceive 
that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the 
liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one 
would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against 
the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution. 
For you doubtless remember that I have often expressed my sentiments, 
that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable 
to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshiping 
the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." — Id., Vol. XII, 
p. 155. 

To the New Church, Baltimore, January, 1793, George Washington said: 

"We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of 
truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, 
and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of 
his own heart." — Id., Vol. XII, page SO4. 

These sectarians accept Thomas Jefferson when he says "Among the 
most inestimable of our blessings is that of liberty to worship our Creator 
in the way we think most agreeable to His will — a liberty deemed in other 
countries incompatible with good government any yet provided by our ex- 
perience to be its best support." 

The Ephrata Cloister 

Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts in 1635 for maintain- 
ing the doctrine of religious freedom, saying that no man could be held 
responsible to his fellow-man for his religious belief. 

James Madison: "Religion is not in the purview of human government. 
Religion is essentially distinct from government and exempt from its cog- 
nizance. A connection between them is injurious to both." 

U. S. Grant: "Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the 
church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contribution. 
Keep the state and the church forever separate." 

Thomas Jefferson also said: "Almighty God hath created the mind free; 
all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil 
incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and 
are a departure from the plan of the holy Author of our religion, who, 
being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by co- 
ercion on either, as was in his almighty power to do." 

Wm. Penn, when a prisoner in the Tower of London, wrote: "To conceit 
that men must form their faith of things proper to Another World by the 
Prescriptions of mortal Men, or else they can have no right to eat, drink* 
sleep, walk, trade, be at liberty, or live in This, to me seems both ridiculous 
and dangerous." 

Spurgeon, the great English preacher, has well said: "I am ashamed of 
some Christians because they have so much dependence on Parliament and 
the law of the land. Much good may Parliament ever do true religion, 
except by mistake ! As to getting the law of the land to touch our religion, 
we earnestly cry, 'Hands off! leave us alone!' All forms of act-of-Parlia- 
ment religion seem to me to be all wrong. Give us a fair field and no favor, 
and our faith has no cause to fear. Christ wants no help from Caesar. I 
should be afraid to borrow help from government; it would look to me as 
if I rested on an arm of flesh, instead of depending on the living God. Let 
the religion triumph by the power of God in men's hearts, and not by the 
power of fines and punishments." 

No power but that of love can rightfully compel the conscience. Relig- 
ion is a matter for the individual conscience. 

All of these quotations are to show a side generally misunderstood. 

Characters like those of our Early Sectarians gave service, sacrifices, 
suffering as well as sympathy, four S's that form a sacred legacy transmit- 
ted to our veneration, to be cherished, to be preserved unimpaired and 
gladly given to our descendants after and for ages. 

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 
Article I, Sections 3 and 4 
Religious Freedom 
Section 3. All men have a natural and indefensible right to worship 
Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, no man 
can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship; 
or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, 
in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, 
and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establish- 
ments or modes of worship. 

Section 4. No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a 
future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious 
sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit un- 
der this Commonwealth. 

Our Early Sectarians 


Article I. — Freedom of Religion, of Speech, of the Press, and Right of 


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or 
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, 
or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to 
petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

You can forge a crowbar but you can't hammer out a conscience. Christ 
never petitioned the government to make people good by law or ordinance. 

The present hysterical age of emotional revivalism which tends to mob 
rule in land slides of opinion, radically and spontaneously bursting like 
bubbles, condemning the right, forgetting that ours is a land of liberty to 
worship as we believe is most agreeable to God's will and when the reform 
associations want law to touch our religions we earnestly cry "Hands off !" 
Learn a lesson of calm, considerate, conservative action, being unassuming 
and thereby emulate the lives of the Early Sectarians. And as Christ says: 
"Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they 
are they which testify of me," and as Paul says: "Study to show thyself 
approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly di- 
viding the word of truth"; also "For this cause God shall send them strong 
delusions that they should believe a lie." 

When not misunderstood the lives of the Early Sectarians recognize the 
law of our great country in all secular matters, and the laws of God and of 
God alone in religious faith and practice. These are but the inalienable 
rights of all the members of the greatest of all nations. 

May God, The Immaculate Lamb, rest and abide with us throughout 


By Louisa A. Weitzel 

'Twas October, dreamy, tender, all the land was bathed in splendor, 
And our hearts did melt within us as we loitered by the way 
O'er the old stone bridge we wandered and half audibly we pondered 
How a million feet had passed it ere we saw the light of day. 

Soon we reached a stile and climbing landed in green clover 
Carpeting the field surrounding buildings men come far to see. 
Here they lived, the old and sainted Brethren history has painted, 
In their simple lives and labors, in their rare old piety. 

As they reared the quaint, high gables naught cared they for lettered fables 
But the glory of the Highest whom their daily walk adored, 
Hence these temples more enduring, to the pious more alluring, 
Built they than Old World cathedrals in their splendor can afford. 

As we passed through narrow doorways, as we trod the firm, hard fioorways, 
Paced the narrow halls and entries and each bare and cell-like room 
Oft we seemed to see the stately Sisters passing, prim, sedately, 
Kneeling in the chapel, working at the distaff or the loom. 

And we wondered if they hovered, by kind Providence empowered, 
In those dim and low ceiled chambers, once so dear to them of yore, 
Curious, too, to see the zealous — and, perhaps a little jealous 
Of these desecrating fingers — linger o'er their work to pore. 

Did they revel in the beauty of kind Nature or did duty 

Chain them to their tasks more closely than we heirs of later date? 

Artist souls felt no repression, see we by their own confession, 

In the charts and books they left us, spared as yet by time and fate. 

All around is changed and changing, as each wanderer sees found ranging 
'Round the weather-beaten structures, which alone unchanged remain, 
And those pictured forms uncanny of the Sisters few, if any, 
Scenes familiar would discover, if to life returned again. 

One thing only changes never; for the human heart forever 

Find we in all times and places beating to the same old tune; 

And the same old joys and sorrows, yesterdays and same to-morrows 

Share we with those ancient Brethren, like the changes of the moon. 

Virtue, too, is found not only grown in sheltered cloisters lonely, 
But it blooms wherever shineth God's free sunshine o'er the land. 
Yea, we find it in all ages, in this old world's passing stages, 
Cloistered halls may fall and crumble, but His kingdom still shall stand. 

— From "A Quiver of Arrows," a book of poems by the author. 


iL2S ftRY ° F C0N GRESS 


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