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THE EARLY HISTORY 



OF THE 



Church of the United Brethren, 

(UNITAS FRATRUM) 
COMMONLY CALLED MORAVIANS, 

IN 

North America, 

A. 13. 1734-1748. 

BY THE 



Rev. LEVIN THEODORE REICHEL, 

Member of ///<• Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and 
of the Moravian Historical Society. 



NAZARETH, PA., 
Published for the Moravian Historical Society. 

1888. 



PREFATORY NOTE. 



FOR a number of years the MS. compiled by the Rev. Levin 
Theodore Reichel, and containing " the Early History of the 
Church of the United Brethren (Unitas Fratrum), commonly called 
Moravians, in North America, A. D. 1 734-1748," which is herewith 
produced in print for the Moravian Historical Society, was thought 
to be absolutely lost. Fortunately, however, it was discovered in the 
Summer of 1S87, and immediate steps were taken to prepare it for 
publication. Owing in great measure to the difficulty of handling 
the Germanisms to which the author so genially alludes in his Preface, 
the work of editing progressed slowly. In no case, however, has the 
Publication Committee taken upon itself to change any of the Rev. 
Mr. Reichel' s statements or sentiments except linguistically, and a 
recognizable flavor may still be perceived. The proof-sheets, in their 
several stages, as well as the original MS. have been deposited in the 
Archives of the Moravian Historical Society, where comparisons may 
be made. 

On account of its importance this little work will form Volume III 
of the Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society, comprising its 
publications for the years 1SS7, 1888 and 1889. 



PREFACE. 



WE propose in the following pages to give the history of the 
Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Brethren, in Pennsylvania 
and other English colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence. 
A careful study of a mass of documents, preserved in the Archives 

of the Moravian settlements, has furnished us with many interesting 
facts in reference to the early history of Pennsylvania, and especially 
its eastern Counties, which we believe will prove of general interest 
to intelligent readers in any denomination. Our object, therefore, 
is not to write exclusively for the members of that Church to 
which we belong, and which we cherish and esteem as the Church of 
our fathers and a chosen instrument in the hand of the Lord, by 
which, especially in olden times, much good was effected in this 
country; but, whilst we shall not try to hide our respect for the early 
Moravian fathers in this country, we will endeavor to relate carefully 
collected facts in such a manner that our pages may become inter- 
esting and instructive to all who take any interest in historical truth. 

By way of introduction to the History of the Moravian Church in 
North America, we deem it sufficient to make only a few remarks in 
reference to the Moravian Church in general. 

We <all ourselves the Unitas Fratrum or the Protestant Church of 
the United brethren, and date the origin of the Renewed Church to the 
17th of June, ry22, on which day the first tree was cut down on the 
estate of Count Zinzendorf — Berthelsdorf in Saxon) — by some poor 
exiles from Moravia, descendants of the Church of the brethren 
in Bohemia, Moravia and Poland, which flourished in those Slavonic 
countries from 1457-1627. Having for conscience' sake left their 
houses and homes in these bigoted papal regions, 1 1 seek religious liberty 



4 PREFACE. 

in a Protestant country, they, by the Providence of God, were led to 
Berthelsdorf, and there on the slopes of the Hutberg commenced the 
building of Herrnhut. Many of their countrymen followed them, 
and after they had been joined by other awakened souls from different 
parts of Germany this motley colony, by a gracious outpouring of the 
Spirit of God on the memorable 13th of August, 1727, became a 
congregation of true disciples of the Lord, firmly united in the bonds 
of fervent love to their Saviour and Redeemer — the embryo of a 
Church, which was soon to expand and to extend its operations to far 
distant countries. In 1732 the first missionaries were sent to the 
Danish West India Islands, and were followed by others to Greenland 
in 1733. In 1735 episcopal ordination was obtained from the two 
last remaining Bishops of the Ancient Church of the Brethren, Daniel 
E. Jablonsky in Berlin and Sitkovius in Lissa, Poland, which gave 
ecclesiastical rights to the Renewed Church of the Brethren. 

Rapidly increasing in numbers, not only by the accession of lay 
members from the evangelical churches of Germany, but also by a 
considerable number of professors and students of theology, the whole 
constitution of the Church, at first only calculated for a single congre- 
gation of emigrants, was gradually re-formed and fully developed in 
1 741, prior to the time of the first permanent American settlements. 

In order fully to understand the operations of the Brethren in Penn- 
sylvania, it will be necessary to give a detailed description of the re- 
ligious state of this English colony prior to 1 740, which we trust, will 
not prove uninteresting. 

As our documents are almost exclusively in German, many German- 
isms may occur and can hardly be avoided in the following pages, 
which however will matter very little for the intelligent reader. For 
the sake of those, who understand the German, we will occasionally 
add some notes in that language. 

LEVIN T. REICHEL. 
Salem, N. C, March i, 1857. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGES. 

Title, ....... i 

Prefatory Note, . . . . . .2 

Preface, . . . . . . . 3, 4 

Contents, ...... 5-7 

CHAPTER I. 

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION OF THE GERMANS 
IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

PAGES. 

i. Pensvlvania and its Inhabitants, . . 9-14 

2. The Settlements of the Germans in Pennsylvania, 14-21 

3. Moral and Religious State of the Germans in 

Pennsylvania, more especially of the Lutherans, 22-30 

4. The German Reformed, .... 30-35 

The Mennonites, ..... 35, 36 

The Tunkers, ..... 37-39 

The Siebentager, .... 40-48 

Separatists, ...... 48-50 

The Schwenkfelders, .... 50—53 

The Indians, ...... 53-59 

Signs of Life, ..... 59-60 



CHAPTER II. 

BEGINNING OF THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS IN 
NORTH AMERICA, 1 734-1 744. 

PAGES. 

1. Moravian Colony in Georgia, 1734, . . 62-68 

2. Spangenberg in Pennsylvania, 1736, . . 68-72 



PAGES. 
72-80 




81 


82- 


-91 


91 


-96 


96- 


I 12 



) CONTENTS. 

3. The Whitefield House at Nazareth, 1740, 

4. The Church at Oley, .... 

5. Settlement of Bethlehem, 1741, 

6. Zinzendorf's Visit in Pennsylvania in 1742, 

7. The Pennsylvania Synods, . 

8. Zinzendorf's Activity among the Lutherans and 

German Reformed, .... 11 3-1 17 

9. Zinzendorf at Bethlehem, .... 1 17-125 

10. Zinzendorf's Journeys to the Indians, . . 125-129 

11. Zinzendorf's Opponents, .... 129-136 

12. Zinzendorf's " Pennsylvania Testament. " Return 

to Europe, ...... 137-139 

13. Bethlehem and Nazareth, 1 743-1 744. Peter 

Bohler, ...... 139-152 

CHAPTER III. 

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BRETHREN'S CHURCH IN 
PENNSYLVANIA. 1 744-1 748. 

PAGES. 

i. Spangenberg, Vicarius Generalis, . . . 153-158 

2. Synods in 1745, ..... 158-162 

3. Bethlehem. — The "Church of Pilgrims," 1744- 

1745, . . . • . . . 163-165 

4. Bethlehem. — " Family Economy," 1747, . 165-172 

5. Nazareth. — " The Patriarchal Plan," 1744-1748, 173-178 

6. J. F. C. Cammerhof — His Influence, 1747, . , 178-182 

7. Pennsylvania Congregations in Connection with 

the Brethren, 1744-174S, . . . 183-196 

8. Moravian Schools, ..... 197-203 

9. Home Missions in Pennsylvania and other Colonies, 203-207 
10. Indian Mission, Gnadenhutten, 1746, . . 208-213 



CONTENTS. 



PAGES. 



ii. Persecutions, . . • • • .214-220 

12. The Synods of 1746, 1747, 1748, . , • 220-226 

13. Visitation by John de Wattevil£e, 1748, . • 227-230 

14. November 13, 1748, ■ 2 3° _2 35 
Index, . • 237-241 



CHAPTER I. 

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION OF THE 
GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

I. PENNSYLVANIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

The moral and religious as well as the social and polit- 
ical condition of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, about 
the year 1740, more than a century ago, was in many 
respects vastly different from the present state. The 
colony itself, though according to the royal charter com- 
prising three degrees of latitude and five of longitude, was 
in reality encompassed by very narrow boundaries, hardly 
extending to the Blue Mountains in the North and the 
Susquehanna in the West. Beyond there was a yet 
unexplored wilderness of endless mountains, dismal 
swamps and interminable forests. Even the four settled 
Counties of Pennsylvania contained not only many quite 
unsettled districts, but even much unexplored land, 
while other parts, now in the highest state ol cultivation, 
were passed by and rejected as unfit for any agricultural 
purposes. To reach any of the settlements in the inte- 
rior, which were few and far between, required days ol 
toil ; for in many instances roads had first to be cut 
through trackless forests, and bridges to be erected over 
swollen creeks and mountain torrents. Fortunate was 
he who could hail his next neighbor within the reasonable 
distance of only six or seven miles, or had only ten or 
fifteen miles to walk, on Indian paths, to reach the nearest 
mill. Whilst labor was plentiful and much hard work had 



IO RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

to be performed in the clearing of the ground, the erection 
of mills and the construction of roads, the first settlers, 
living in primitive simplicity in their unadorned log cabins, 
were perhaps happier than many of their descendants in 
their stately mansions. If they had not as many com- 
forts and luxuries, neither had they as many real or im- 
aginary wants. Oppressed and down-trodden in the old 
countries of Europe, they had left their homes, and had 
embarked for the shores of America, to seek liberty, 
religious and political, in the forests of Pennsyl- 
vania. The full consciousness of being free from all 
political oppression and every ecclesiastical restraint, of 
having entire liberty to maintain and extend as far as 
they pleased their own religious tenets and views, sweet- 
ened all their toil and seemed to lessen all their labor. 

There could not be found at that time on any other 
spot on the globe such a mixture of nationalities and lan- 
guages, such a medley of opinions and views, so freely 
maintained and so fearlessly proclaimed, as in Pennsyl- 
vania. English and Irish, Scotch and Welsh, Ger- 
mans and Swiss, Swedes and Danes, Dutch and 
French, Jews and Indians were scattered throughout the 
whole province, maintaining their nationalities without any 
political restraint ; and still more variegated perhaps were 
the religious views of the first settlers. Truth and error, 
genuine piety and utter indifference to all religion, fanati- 
cism and mere formality were to be found side by side in 
the enjoyment of equal rights and privileges. 

In 1 68 1, William Penn, of the Society of Friends, 
had opened an asylum in the wilds of North America 
for the oppressed of all nations. The English govern- 
ment was indebted largely to his father, Sir William 
Penn, a distinguished Admiral, for money as well as ser- 
vices, amounting, with interest, to about ,£16,000, in lieu 
of which, the government being unable or unwilling to 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. II 

settle with him in money, he proposed to receive land in 
America, and accordingly presented a petition to King- 
Charles II. asking for the issue of letters patent for the 
same. His request was granted, and by the King's order, 
much against Penn's inclination, the new province was to 
be called Pennsylvania^ in honor of the services of his 
illustrious father. The charter was dated March 4, 1 68 1 , 
and confirmed in April by royal proclamation. 

On April 5 Penn' wrote to his friend, Robert Turner: 
"Dear Friend. — My true love in the Lord salutes 
thee, and dear friends that love the Lord's precious truth 
in those parts. Thine I have, and for my business here, 
know that after many waitings, watchings, solicitings 
and disputes in Council, this day my country was con- 
firmed to me under the great seal of England, with large 
powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania, a 
name the King would give it, in honor of my father. I 
chose New Wales, being, as this, a pretty hilly country ; 
but Penn being Welsh for a head, as Penmanmoire in 
Wales, and Penrith, in Cumberland, and Penn, in Bucking"- 
hamshire, the highest land in England, called this Penn- 
sylvania, which is the high or head woodlands ; for I pro- 
posed, when the Secretary, a Welshman, refused to have 
it called New Wales, Sylvania, and they added Penn to 
it, and though I much opposed it, and went to the King 
to have it struck out and altered, he said it was past, 
and would take it upon him ; nor could twenty guineas 
move the under-secretaries to vary the name, for I feared 
lest it should be looked on as a vanity in me, and not as 
a respect in the King, as it truly was, to my father, 



1 Hazard's Annals <>f Pennsylvania, p. 500. 
A curious translation we find in an old German hymn. " Den 55 Briidem 
die aus Europa im November, 1754, in Amerika ankamen, wurde bei cinem 
Liebesmahl zugerufen : ' Wilkomm'n, liebe Herzelein, Wilkomm'n in Penn's 

(iebiisch ! ' " 



12 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

whom he often mentions with praise. Thou mayest 
communicate my grant to friends, and expect shortly my 
proposals. It is a clear and just thing, and my God, 
that has given it me through many difficulties, will, I 
believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation. I shall 
have a tender care to the government, that it will be well 
laid at first. No more now, but dear love in the truth. 

Thy true friend, 

William Penn." 

The extent of the province granted was three degrees 
of latitude in breadth by five degrees of longitude in 
length ; the eastern boundary being the Delaware River ; 
the northern, the beginning of the three and fortieth 
degree of northern latitude, and on the South a circle 
drawn at twelve miles' distance from New Castle, north- 
ward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth 
degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line 
westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned. 
This impossible southern line was afterwards the source 
of much dispute with Lord Baltimore. 

In 1682, October 27 (old style), Penn with a numerous 
company landed at New Castle, Del., and the next day, 
November 8 3 (new style), proceeded to Upland in Chester, 
Pa. Soon after the city of Philadelphia was laid out, 
and the province divided into three counties, Philadel- 
phia, Bucks and Chester. 

Philadelphia and Bucks counties comprised all the 
territory between the rivers Schuylkill and Delaware, 
separated by a straight line, running in a northeasterly 
direction to the limits of the province (the Kittatiny or 
Blue Mountains), or as far as the land might be pur- 
chased from the Indians. Chester contained all the ter- 



! November 8, the day of the landing of Penn in Chester, and the Anni- 
versary of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. I 3 

ritory southwest of the Schuylkill to the extreme western 
limits of the province, of course including the present 
county of Delaware. In 1729, Lancaster County was 
established as a fourth county, separated from Chester, 
" comprising- all the province lying to the northward of 
Octararo Creek, and westward of a line of marked trees 
running from the north branch of the said Octararo 
Creek northeasterly to the river Schuylkill." The city 
of Lancaster, at that time called Newtown, had been laid 
out by Governor Hamilton the previous year, and re- 
ceived its first charter in 1742. York County was 
separated from Lancaster in 1 749, and Berks and 
Northampton Counties were formed in 1752. Conse- 
quently when the Brethren made their first settlement in 
Pennsylvania there were only four counties between the 
Delaware and Susquehanna. 

Soon after his arrival, Penn called an assembly at 
Chester, where the "Great Law" was passed, so justly 
celebrated for " liberty of conscience." 4 There it was dis- 
tinctly expressed as the " principal desire and intention 
of the proprietary and governor and the freemen of the 
province of Pennsylvania, to make and establish such 
laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, 
in opposition to all un-Christian, licentious and unjust 
practices, whereby God may have His due, Caesar his 
due, and the people their due, from tyranny and op- 
pression of the one side, and insolency and licentious- 
ness of the other, so that the best and firmest foundation 
may be laid for the present and future happiness of both 
the governor and people of the province, and their 
posterity." 

By thus establishing his colony upon the broad prin- 
ciples of Christian charity and constitutional freedom, 

4 Hazard's Annals of Pennsylvania, p. 619. 



14 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

Penn very soon succeeded in drawing colonists to the 
wilds of Pennsylvania. In 1682 thirty vessels arrived in 
Pennsylvania, mostly from England, and in the following 
year fifty more brought settlers from England, Ireland, 
Wales, Holland and Germany. The banks of the Dela- 
ware were one building scene ; some lodged in the woods 
in hollow trees, some in caves, which were easily dug on 
the high banks of the Wissahickon and Delaware, and 
others in hastily erected huts. 

Thus the colony rapidly increased in numbers, and if 
the supposition be correct that the German population, 
in 1742 about 100,000, formed the third part, then the 
whole population of Pennsylvania in 1 740 may have been 
nearly 300,000 souls. Among those of English descent 
the Quakers at first predominated. Subsequently the 
Episcopalians and Presbyterians gained in number and 
influence, especially in the larger towns. 

2. THE SETTLEMENTS OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

It is not our intention nor are we able distinctly to 
point out all the different companies of Germans, who 
from 1682 to 1 74 1 settled in Pennsylvania. 5 Though many 
came for conscience' sake, others came to improve their 
temporal condition, and it may be well supposed that 
not nearly all, who finally made a permanent settlement in 
Pennsylvania, were led thither by a settled plan. How- 
ever, the first impulse to emigration, the first invitations 
to settle in North America came from Penn, who 
had some interest in West Jersey lands before he ob- 
tained the Charter of Pennsylvania. Well known in 
Germany, he had learned to esteem the people, and, in 
1677 and 1678, when traveling along the Rhine and in 

5 I. Daniel Rupp's Collection of 30,000 Names of Immigrants in Pennsyl- 
vania. 1 727-1 776. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 1 5 

Westphalia and Franconia, both by his letters to the 
governments and by his enthusiastic addresses to the peo- 
ple on Christian charity and benevolence, he had created 
more than a mere passing sensation. His words soon 
led to actions. 

In 1682 the " Frankfort Land Company" was formed 
by ten gentlemen of note, mostly Mennonites, living in 
Frankfort-on-the-Main. The object of this company 
was to procure an asylum in Pennsylvania for their 
friends and religious associates. In 1683, August 20, 
one of the leaders of this company, F. Daniel Pastorius, 
arrived on the shores of the Delaware with twenty Ger- 
man and Dutch families, and they were soon followed by 
others. They bought nearly 28,000 acres of land from 
Penn, the Germantown and the Manatauny patent, and 
in 1685, October 24, Germantown was laid out, and in 
1689 incorporated by the Assembly, the first German 
town in Pennsylvania. 

The comparatively small number of German immi- 
grants, which, however, gradually increased, was in 1709 
followed by an emigration en masse. The continual wars 
on the continent of Europe,, scarcity of provisions causing 
an actual famine, and above all the religious oppression 
of the different governments in connection with repeated 
changes in the confession of faith, especially in the Pala- 
tinate, awakened among the masses a desire for the land 
of liberty. The distress seemed to have reached its 
climax in the dreadful Winter of 1709, when thousands 
died of cold and starvation. The invitation of Queen Anne 
oi England, promising free transportation to America 
and good land without price, was therefore joyfully ac 
cepted, and in a short time no less than 30,000 Germans 
had left their native places, relying on the promise of the 
British Queen. So main - had not been expected. And 
though the first-comers were well provided for both with 



1 6 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

provisions and farming utensils — the Queen visiting them 
in person ; and though many Christian inhabitants of 
London provided great numbers with food and blankets, 
still there were thousands for whom no provision had 
been made, who, being strangers in a foreign land, had to 
go begging through the streets of London, while their 
wives and children lay almost naked and starving on 
Blackmoor. Many were even beaten or otherwise 
maltreated by the unfeeling populace of London. At 
last, when the famishing multitudes began to disperse 
over the country and fears were aroused, govern- 
ment took the matter in hand. Seven thousand, and 
amongst these especially the Roman Catholics, 3,584 in 
number, with their priest, were sent back to Germany. 
About 4,000 were taken to Ireland to settle some waste 
lands in county Limerick, and of the remaining 20,000 
hardly one-half were in 17 10 taken to America and 
scattered in the different British colonies, while many 
perished in England or at sea. 

About 5,000 came in ten ships with Governor Hunter 
of New York, arriving there June 10, 1710, part of whom 
immediately went to Germantown, while the rest founded 
several German villages on the Hudson, as Rhine- 
beck, Ancram, Palatine Town or the Camp, New 
Paltz, Germantown or the East Camp, and the German 
Flats. Though the Queen had promised them a 
tract ol land, 6 "to be granted for the maintenance of 
Lutheran parish schools and ministers for the Germans, 
who either had settled or who should hereafter settle in 
the neighborhood of the river Hudson," this grant was 
wrested from them under various pretenses, and the 
oppressions of New York land-owners obliged 2,000 
Germans to remove in 1 714 to Albany, Beaverdam, 
Schenectady and other places. 



Hazelius' History of Lutheran Church, p. 25. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. J J 

About one hundred and fifty families determined to 
remove to Schoharie, a place about forty miles to 
the west of Albany. They, therefore, sent deputies 
to the land of the Maquas to consult with the Indians 
about it, who allowed them to occupy Schoharie. For 
the Indian deputies, who were in England at the time the 
German people were lying in tents on Blackmoor, 
had presented Schoharie to Queen Anne that she 
might settle these people upon it. Indian guides 
were sent to show the Germans where Schoharie was. 
John Conrad Weiser, father of the well-known Indian 
interpreter, Conrad Weiser, was the first of the German 
deputies, and left his son Conrad, then seventeen years 
old, with an Indian chief to learn the Maqua language 
during the Winter. 7 

In November, 1 7 1 3, when the deputies had returned 
from the Maqua country, these one hundred and fifty 
families removed from Livingston Manor to Albany and 
Schenectady, so as to be able to move in the Spring to 
Schoharie. Bread was very dear, but the people worked 
very hard for a living, and were kindly assisted by many 
of the older settlers. In the Spring of 17 14 they 
removed from Schenectady to Schoharie, in great 
poverty. Borrowing horses and cows, plows and har- 
ness wherever they could, they made common stock, 
and broke up jointly so much land, that they raised 
nearly enough corn for their own consumption the 
following year. But this year they suffered much from 
hunger, and made many meals on the wild potatoes and 
ground beans which grew in great abundance at that place. 
When they wanted flour they had to travel thirty- 
five to forty miles to get it, and then had to borrow 
it on credit. They would get a bushel of wheat here, a 

7 Collections of Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. I, p. 2, et seq. 
Conrad Weiser's Family Register. 



1 8, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

couple at another place, and were often absent from 
home three or four days before they could reach their 
suffering wives and children, who were crying for bread. 

The people had settled in seven villages, in which they 
lived peaceably for several years without preachers or 
magistrates. Each one did as he thought proper. But 
as they had taken possession of the land without in- 
forming the Governor of New York, they were soon ex- 
posed to new trials and hardships ; for Governor Hunter, 
after letting- them know his dissatisfaction, sold the land 
to seven rich merchants, four of whom lived in Albany, 
the other three in New York. 

Upon this a great uproar arose both in Schoharie and 
Albany, because many in Albany wished the poor 
people to retain their lands. The people of Schoharie 
divided into two parties ; the stronger wished to 
keep the land, and, therefore, sent deputies to England 
to obtain a grant asking not only for Schoharie, but 
for more land in addition. But their plans did not 
succeed according to their wishes. The deputies had 
to leave secretly, and embarked at Philadelphia in 171 8. 
As soon as they got to sea they fell into the hands of 
pirates, who robbed them as well as the crew of their 
money, but then let them free. The ship had to put 
into Boston to purchase provisions for the crew and 
passengers, in place of those taken by the pirates. 
When they reached England they found times had 
changed, and that Queen Anne was no longer on 
the throne. However they found some of the old 
friends and advocates of the Germans among whom 
were the Chaplains at the King's German Chapel, 
Messrs. Bohn and Roberts, who did all in their power 
to help them. 

The affairs of the deputies finally reached the Lord 
Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, and the Gov- 



OF THE GERMANS IX PENNSYLVANIA. 1 9 

ernor of New York, Robert Hunter, was recalled. 
Meanwhile the deputies became involved in debts; 
one of them, becoming homesick, embarked for New 
York and died at sea. The other two were thrown into 
prison. They wrote promptly for money, but, owing to 
the ignorance and carelessness of the persons whose 
duty it was to transmit what the people had collected, 
it reached England very slowly. Meanwhile Robert 
Hunter, having arrived in England, had arranged the 
sale of the Schoharie lands in his own way before the 
Board of Trade and Plantations. The opposite party 
was in prison without friends or money. Finally, when 
a bill of exchange for £jo arrived, they were released 
from prison. Hereupon they petitioned anew, and finally 
obtained an order addressed to the newly-appointed 
Governor of New York, William Burnet, to grant vacant 
lands to the Germans who had been sent to New York 
by Queen Anne. 

Towards the end of the year 1720 William Burnet 
arrived in New York, and soon after J. Conrad Weiser 
presented a petition in behalf of the Germans. The 
Governor appeared friendly, and stated what kind of an 
order from the Lords of Trade and Plantations he had 
brought with him, with which he would comply, but that 
their deputies yet in England were not content with the 
decision, though they could get nothing more done. 

After the return of the deputies in 1723 Governor 
Burnet gave patents for land to the few who were willing 
to settle in the Maqua country, namely, in Stone Arabia. 
and above the Mohawk Falls, where they founded Cana- 
joharie, Little Falls, etc. The majority resolved to move 
into Pennsylvania, whither they had been invited by Gov- 
ernor William Keith, who, it is said, had at that time an 



8 Letters of James Logan. 



20 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

idea of forming an independent province in the West, to 
be supported by his friends, the Palatines and Irish ; for 
his chief popularity at that time was with these elements 
of the population. 

Many of the Germans in Schoharie united and cut a 
road through the forest to the Susquehanna River, car- 
ried their goods there, made canoes, and floated down 
the river to the mouth of Swatara Creek, driving their 
cattle overland. Going up the creek they found suit- 
able places in Tulpehoken, and here began a settlement 
in 1723. 

Others followed this party and settled here, without 
the permission of the Proprietary of Pennsylvania or his 
Commissioners and also against the consent of the 
Indians, from whom the land was not purchased till 1732. 
As their nearest white neighbors lived thirty miles off, 
they had to contend with many hardships. There was 
no one to govern them — each one did as he pleased. 
In 1729 Conrad Weiser, afterwards well known as an 
Indian interpreter, removed to the neighborhood of the 
present Womelsdorf, and soon became a man of influ- 
ence among the Palatines in Tulpehoken, Heidelberg, 
Mill Creek, etc. 

Their numbers steadily increased. In 17 19 Jonathan 
Dickinson remarks : " We are daily expecting ships from 
London which bring over Palatines, in number about six 
or seven thousand. We have a parcel who came out 
about five years ago, who purchased land about sixty 
miles west of Philadelphia and prove quiet and indus- 
trious. This is besides our common supply from Wales 
and England. Our friends do increase mightily, and a 
great people there is in the wilderness, which is fast 
becoming a fruitful field." 9 

9 Rupp's History of Northampton County, p. 7. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 2 I 

The great influx of Germans very soon roused the 
fears of the English colonists. It appears from a letter, 
written in 1725 by James Logan, afterwards Governor of 
Pennsylvania, that many of the Germans were not 
over-scrupulous in their compliance with the regulations 
of the Land Office. He says : " They come in in 
crowds, and as bold, indigent strangers from Germany, 
where many of them have been soldiers. All these go 
to the best vacant tracts, and seize upon them as places 
of common spoil." He says, they rarely approach him 
on their arrival to propose to purchase ; and when they 
are challenged for their right of occupancy, they allege 
it was published in Europe that we wanted and solicited 
colonists, and had a superabundance of land, and, 
therefore, they had come without the means to pay. 
Many of them, he states, are a surly people, divers of them 
Papists ; the men well armed, and as a body, a warlike, 
morose race. 

In 1727, he states, that six thousand Germans mOre 
are expected, and also many settlers from Ireland, and 
these migrations, he hopes, may be prevented in future 
by Act of Parliament, else he fears those colonies will be 
in time lost to the Crown. 

In 1729, he speaks of being glad to observe the influx 
of strangers as likely to attract the interference of Par- 
liament ; for truly, says he, they have danger to appre- 
hend for a country where not even a militia exists for 
government support. To arrest in some degree their 
arrival, the Assembly passed a tax of twenty shillings a 
head on newly-arrived servants. 

These extracts plainly show that the increasing number 
and prosperity of the Germans in Pennsylvania were 
watched with great jealousy on the part of the English 
colonists. 



2 2 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

3. MORAL AND RELIGIOUS STATE OF THE GERMANS IN 

PENNSYLVANIA, MORE ESPECIALLY OF THE 

LUTHERANS. 

The political history of Pennsylvania during the early 
part of the last century records a continual strife 
between the people and the government of the Proprie- 
taries, in which the German settlers more or less 
participated. Having escaped the political tyranny of 
their fatherland and the oppression of their former rulers, 
they were not willing quietly to submit to the dictates of 
those, whose language they could not understand. The 
idea of forming German communities and even German 
states in the land of promise was the sincere desire of 
many, and this idea might no doubt at that time have 
become a reality, if there had been more harmony. But 
this was wanting. 

Though jealously watching the progress of their 
English neighbors, and obstinately resisting the influences 
of the English spirit, they were no less suspicious of 
each other. Prejudices brought along from the Old 
World were not so easily laid aside, even amid 
very different outward circumstances of life, more 
especially as the majority of the German settlers 
belonged to those classes which had been oppressed 
and down-trodden for centuries, and were, therefore, 
more distrustful and sensitive than the more educated 
classes would have been. But this very distrust, which 
prevented a hearty co-operation, united them in opposing 
and resisting the aristocratic movements of the English 
party. The English or "Gentlemen's party" was stren- 
uously opposed by the " Freeman's party," consisting 
mostly of the Quakers or Friends and the Germans. 10 A 
manuscript pamphlet in the Philadelphia Library, 



Iu Rupp's History of Northampton County, p. 10. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 23 

supposed to have been written by Samuel Wharton 
in 1755, shows his ideas of passing events, saying 
" that the party on the side of the Friends derived much 
of their influence over the Germans through the aid of 
Christopher Sauer in Germantown, who since 1729 pub- 
lished a German paper — Der Pennsylvanisch Deutsche 
Berickter — which, being much read by that people, 
influenced them to the side of the Friends, and hostile to 
the Governor and Council. All who are not of their 
party, they call 'Governor's men,' and themselves they 
deem strong enough to make the country their own."" 

The anarchical political condition of the province 
necessarily had an influence on the moral and religious 
state of the people. Hence it is not surprising that 
irreligion and indifference to all forms of public worship 
prevailed to a fearful extent. Though there were many 
who had emigrated to Pennsylvania for conscience' sake 
to enjoy religious liberty (for instance, the Mennonites, 
Dunkers, Schwenkfelders, and the Lutherans and German 
Reformed from the Palatinate), still these were by no 
means the majority. Much larger was the number of 
those who, in order to escape political oppression or for 
the purpose of acquiring riches, had embarked for the 
New World, leaving in the Old also their old faith 
and whatever they may have had of the forms of religion. 
In their new homes they found no ministers, no school- 
masters of the German tongue, and English teachers and 
preachers they did not care for. The few preachers, who 
in 1 7 10 had accompanied the large numbers of emigrants, 
had gradually found their graves in the western wilds, or if 
yet living, their influence on new-comers was very slight. 
There were thousands, who, educated in Germany as 
Lutherans, but now scattered about in the forest wilds of 

" Compare Loh's Geschichte der Deutschen, |>. S4 91, 



24 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

Pennsylvania, never saw a church, nor cared for it. 
Many were so utterly indifferent to all religion, that 
it became proverbial to say of those, who cared nothing 
for God or His Word, that they belonged to the 
" Pennsylvania Church." 12 Many married people, nomi- 
nally Lutherans, had never been baptized, the same being 
true of their grown up sons and daughters. 

"If it had continued thus for some years longer," 
Muhlenberg said in 1743, "our poor Lutherans would 
have been scattered or turned into heathenism. Nu- 
merous sects and opinions fill the country." 13 

In another letter he describes the state of religion in 
the country as follows : " Atheists, Deists and Naturalists 
are to be met with everywhere ; in short, there is no sect 
in the world which has not followers here. You meet 
with persons from almost every nation in the world. 
Those that are not tolerated in Europe find a refuge 
here. God and His Word are openly blasphemed. 
Here there are thousands, who by birth, education and 
confirmation ought to belong to the Lutheran Church, 
but they are scattered to the four winds of heaven. The 
spiritual state of our poor Lutheran people is so wretched, 
that even with tears of blood it could not be bewailed 
enough. The young people have grown up without 
instruction and without knowledge of religion, and are 
turning- into heathenism. Thus I found it, when I 
arrived in Philadelphia." 14 

And really the religious arrangements of the Lutherans, 
the most numerous German denomination, were as poor 
and miserable as they possibly could be. Prior to 1730 
hardly anything seemed to have been done for the 
religious wants of those Germans who had settled in 

12 Spangenbcrg's Life of Zinzendorf, p. 1230. 

" Hallische Nachrichten, p. 16. 

14 Hazelius' History of the American Lutheran Church, p. 51. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 2$ 

Philadelphia and vicinity for ten years or longer. 
Having been accustomed to leave to the respective 
political governments all care for the Church and 
the schools, it naturally required some time before the 
Germans learned themselves to care for their ecclesias- 
tical wants. Far different it was among the neighboring 
Swedish Lutherans, who since 1636 had settled along 
the Delaware in New Jersey, and since 1643 were regu- 
larly supplied with ministers from Sweden. One of these 
ministers, Jacob Fabricius, 15 who took charge of the 
Swedish Church at Wicacao in 1677, had been for 
eight years previous the German Lutheran pastor in 
New Amsterdam (New York), where a Lutheran con- 
gregation existed since 1621, and the first church had 
been built in 1671. 

The activity of these Swedish Lutheran ministers, 
however, did not extend very far, there never being 
more than three engaged in the work at the same time. 
They were stationed at Wicacao (now Southwark, Phila- 
delphia), at Fort Christina (Delaware), and at Racoon 
and Penn's Neck (New Jersey). Nor was their influ- 
ence very great, for not all of these Swedish colonist 
preachers were men of sterling character — some being 
rather too much inclined to eo to the nearest tavern 
immediately after preaching and there spend the rest of 
the Lord's Day in drinking and frolicking in company 
with their parishioners. 

In 1727 a very large number of Lutherans came to 
Pennsylvania from the Palatinate, from Wiirtemberg, 
Darmstadt and other parts of Germany; and though 
they also were destitute of a regular ministry, yet there 
were some school-masters and other good men among 
them, who occasionally preached, assisted by the Swedish 



: Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 324. 



2 6 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

pastors. Many of these emigrants brought with them 
the spirit of true piety ; they also brought many devo- 
tional books, and often, for mutual edification, read 
Arndt's "True Christianity," and other similar works. 16 

Churches or meeting-houses were as yet very rare 
in Pennsylvania. One of the oldest, if not the very 
oldest church of the Germans in Pennsylvania, was a 
small wooden edifice in New Hanover, Montgomery 
County. 

In 1730 some Lutherans and German Reformed in 
Philadelphia rented an old log building on Arch Street 
which had been used as a barn or a carpenter-shop, and 
assembled there occasionally to listen to the reading of 
a printed sermon or to hear a short address, if anybody 
present was willing and able to officiate. For a time a 
certain J. Caspar Stiever (or Stcever), whose ordination, 
by an imposter Schulz, seems very suspicious, acted as 
minister. Soon afterwards he visited Germany, and col- 
lected a considerable sum of money in aid of the American 
Lutheran churches, part of which, however, was expended 
for the purchase of a plantation and negro slaves in Madi- 
son County, Virginia, where he preached for a time. 
Later he returned to Pennsylvania and made disturbances 
in Tulpehoken. 

In 1734 we find the name of J. Chr. Schulze as minister 
of the associate congregations of Philadelphia, New 
Providence and New Hanover. He seems not to have 
remained for any considerable length of time. 

Hence the applications, addressed already in 1732 
to Dr. Ziegenhagen, the German court-preacher in 
London, and to the theological faculties of Halle and 
Tubingen, to send suitable men, to feed them with the 
Bread of Life, were renewed again and again. 



16 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 326. Hallische Nachrirh- 
ten, p. 665. 



OF THE GERMANS TN PENNSYLVANIA. 27 

"Living in a land," they said, "in which divisions in 
religious opinions are almost countless, being destitute 
of that food for our souls which we need,, and unable to 
find ways and means in our own community to supply 
our wants, we pray God to show us through our friends 
abroad what may be done for us. The great bod) - of 
our young people, bewildered by the multitude of 
opinions, and in absolute want of schools and religious 
instruction, will go astray, and be led into paths of error. 
The Lord, the Searcher of hearts and the Trier of the 
reins, alone knows how greatly we stand in need of the 
assistance of fellow Christians, and that in asking our 
friends to lift collections for us — we have nothing in view 
but the honor of God and the spiritual welfare and 
eternal salvation of our fellow-men. . We do not ask for 
such contributions, as would enable us to build stately 
edifices and temples ; no ! we shall be fully satisfied if we 
can obtain sufficient aid to erect plain places of worship 
in different parts of the country, where we may meet for 
prayer and praise, and for the religious instruction of 
our youth. And we trust that a merciful God will not 
forsake us, but will excite the hearts of our fellow Chris- 
tians to assist us in our great spiritual distress, and that 
Your Reverence will grant us that aid which we so much 
need." 17 

Years elapsed and these touching petitions seemed 
to have been uttered in vain, partly because no men 
could be found at the time, suitable for such a service (as 
Dr. Ziegenhagen repeatedly assured Count Zinzendort ' 
in 1737), partly because no certain salary could be 
determined upon. 

For the present the Halle divines merely sent a supply 



17 Hazelius' History, p. 37. 

18 Zinzendort"*-, Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 207. Spangenberg's Life of Zin- 
zendorf, p. 1360. 



2 8 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

of Bibles, Testaments, hymn-books and prayer-books 
to Philadelphia ; and fully ten years elapsed until the 
desired pastor arrived there. 

Another Lutheran congregation had been formed in 
Tulpehoken by those Palatines who had removed thither 
from Schoharie in 1723. They also had no settled min- 
ister, but occasionally, at least once a year, Pastor Bern- 
hard van Dueren, from Schoharie, came over to baptize 
their children and administer the Lord's Supper. Occa- 
sionally also Pastor Henkel, from Falkner Swamp, visited 
here and administered the Communion. According to 
his advice the Palatines in 1727 built a log meeting-house, 
in which a German Reformed minister, Peter Miller, 
preached for several years, after 1730, and also Caspar 
Stiever now and then. 19 

However, these Palatines, accustomed as they had 
been to regular church organizations and abhorring 
sectarianism which threatened to make inroads in 
their settlements, could not be satisfied with this state of 
affairs, and desired to see a regularly ordained minister 
settled in their midst as soon as possible. They there- 
fore applied to Pastor Caspar Leutbecker, in Skippach, 
who had been ordained in London, and often visited 
them, and by his advice they sent a call to a minister in 
Germany in 1733. He accepted the call and the Pala- 
tines set about building a parsonage, under Leutbecker's 
direction. After a year's time, however, it was ascer- 
tained that the new minister had died at sea on his voy- 
age from Germany, and in 1734 the Rev. Caspar Leut- 
becker was appointed and accepted the call as minister 
of the Tulpehoken church, which he served with great 
faithfulness, insisting on practical Christianity, and observ- 
ing a strict conscientiousness in the administration of tlTe 
sacraments. 

■9 Kirchenbuch of Tulpehoken, in the Bethlehem Archives. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 29 

Having refused to baptize a child, whose father was 
intoxicated when making the request, the latter went 
to Caspar Stiever, who at that time stayed in Conestoga, 
and had the child baptized by him. Stiever made use of 
this opportunity to gain an entrance into this congrega- 
tion, and at last succeeded in taking possession of the 
church and keeping Leutbecker out of it. After much 
quarreling and strife between the two parties, the whole 
matter was referred to William Webb, of Chester 
County, one of the attorneys 20 of the proprietor of this 
land in England, by whose interposition an agreement 
was made September 1 5, 1 736, according to which Stiever 
was permitted to preach there on every fourth Sunday. 
But he did not care much for this arrangement. Finding 
the church door locked, he did not break the lock, but 
had a new door sawed out of the logs and kept the com- 
munion the next day. Leutbecker, peaceful, old and 
infirm, patiently suffered this outrageous conduct of a 
brother minister and at last avoided the church altoofether. 
But even in the parsonage he was not safe. Not only 
were stones thrown into his window, but an attempt was 
even made to demolish his home, while he was keeping a 
meeting there, by putting some wood filled with gun- 
powder into the fire, which, however, exploded without 
doing any damage. Leutbecker, sick and wearied, re- 
moved at last to the house of George Loesch, where he 
died in 1738. Brother Spangenberg, who had accident- 
ally come there from Skippach shortly before his death, 
held his funeral service. 

Stiever had now full sway in this congregation, until 
Count Zinzendorf came in 1742 and sent another 
minister. 

The above narrative, showing the anarchical state of 

The land — Manor of I'lumton — containing 5165 acres, belonged to John 
Page, of Austin Friars, London. 



30 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

Pennsylvania border-life more than a century ago, is taken 
from a German manuscript entitled, "Die Confusion von 
Tulpehoken," attested before Conrad Weiser, a Justice 
of the Peace, on August 16, 1742, by the trustees of the 
Lutheran Church at Tulpehoken. 21 

A third Lutheran cono-reofation we ^ nc | at Lancaster 
about the year 1 730. J. C. Schulze and C. Stiever vis- 
ited there in 1731 and 1732. In later years some of the 
Swedish ministers paid occasional visits there, and in 
the name of this congregation applied to the Archbishop 
of Upsala, in Sweden, for an ordained German minister. 
Meanwhile old Pastor Valentine Kraft visited here occa- 
sionally. The first regular Lutheran minister in Lancas- 
ter was Laurentius Theophilus Nyberg, a native of 
Western Gothland and a graduate of the University of 
Upsala. Having been ordained by Archbishop Jacob 
Benzelius, he arrived in Lancaster in 1743. 

4. THE GERMAN REFORMED. 

The destitution in a religious point of view and the 
lack of the means of grace among the Reformed 
" Kirchenleute " (church-people) were probably as great 
as among the Lutherans, though they may claim priority 
as regards the age of the first congregation in Mont- 
gomery County. The greater part of them came from 
the Palatinate, and therefore belonged to the German Re- 
formed Church. While in New York and New England 
Dutch Reformed and Scotch Reformed or Presbyterian 
ministers, sent from Europe, had collected and organized 
congregations more than one hundred years before, there 
were thousands of the German Reformed immigrants of 
Pennsylvania for whose spiritual welfare nobody seemed 
to care. Without churches, without schools, without 



Printed by Franklin, p. 8. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 31 

ministers, they grew up in ignorance and vice ; and 
though there certainly were diligent, sober, frugal and 
industrious people among them, still practical religion 
and vital godliness could hardly be expected of those 
who either had no means of grace at all, or, even when 
they heard an occasional sermon, were not led to Christ, 
the crucified Saviour of the world. In a German hymn 
written in 1 745 the following description is given of the 
manner of preaching prevalent at that time : 

A great deal is said concerning God's might, 
But still the hearts are covered with night. 
Concerning God none can have a true notion, 
Until he perceive by Christ's bitter passion 
God was made flesh. 

The preachers enlarge on morality ; 
Of Jesus Christ their sermons are free, 
Except on Good Friday — and sometimes in Lent — 
A great deal of power is uselessly spent 
Condemning the Jews. 22 

To whom these lines may refer more particularly, we 
are of course unable to say, but have reason to suppose, 
that in those remote times, among the German Reformed 
as well as among the Lutherans, there were worthless 
men, who dared to act as pastors without any ecclesi- 
astical sanction or authority. An instance of this kind 

22 We have attempted a free translation of the following stanzas, which, 
though imperfect, will give the Fmglish reader some idea at least of the 
quaint poetry of one hundred and ten years ago. For the sake of those 
who understand German, we subjoin the original : 

Man redet /.war viel von dem groszen Gott, 
Und bleibet im Herzen steinkalt und todt ; 
Denn kein Mensch kann etwas von Gott verstehen, 
\V\^ man lernt aus Jesu Wunden sehen 
Gott war im Fleisch. 

Man prediget nichts als Sittenlehr', 
Und von dem Herrn Jesu so ungefahr ; 
Zu Passionszeiten — in den Charwochen 
Thut man so was iiber die Juden pochen, 
Wie schlimm sie war'n. 



o- 



RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 



we find mentioned in the letters of Bishop Cammer- 
hof to Count Zinzendorf. 23 There was a Parson Freymuth 
in the neighborhood of Minisink beyond the Blue 
Mountains (now Monroe County), who for several years 
had baptized children, married people, and performed 
other ministerial acts, alleging that he had been regularly 
ordained. After the Rev, M. Schlatter's arrival in 1746, 
being convinced by him that his former ordination had no 
ecclesiastical validity, he applied to the Classis of Am- 
sterdam for ordination, which request was granted. At 
the same time he received an order, which he read in 
public, to rebaptize all those children whom he had bap- 
tized before, because they were not properly baptized. 
Some submitted ; others demanded their money back, 
because according to his own confession they had not re- 
ceived the value of their money. 24 

The oldest German Reformed congregation is sup- 
posed to be that at Goshenhoppen (Montgomery 
County), which was organized in 171 7. 25 The Rev. 
Henry Goetschy is mentioned as its first pastor, but 
the time and place of his ordination are not known. So 
much, however, seems certain, that he was the first who 
traversed the country as an itinerant preacher, officiating 
from time to time in Skippach, Falkner Swamp, Saucon, 
Egypt, 26 Macungie, Moselem, Oley, Bern and Tulpe- 
hoken, his circuit extending into the five counties of 
Montgomery, Chester, Berks, Lehigh and Lebanon. 

In 1726 George Michael Weiss, 27 who had studied in 

23 Cammerhof Epistola Sexta, 1747. 

-4 " Weil er ja selbst bekannt habe, dasz seine Waare nicht gut gewesen." 

25 Nevin's History of Heidelberg Catechism, p. 106. 

;6 In 1733 J- H. Gitschi commenced the church-book of Egypt (North 
Whitehall Township, Lehigh County). In 1734 Bbhm baptized the first 
child there. In 1742 a log church was erected. Jacob Conrad Wiirt, from 
Switzerland, served as minister a short time. 

27 Chronicon Ephratense, p, 57. Nevin, p. 107. 



OF THE GERMANS IX PENNSYLVANIA. 3$ 

Heidelberg in Germany, arrived in Pennsylvania, and 
preached for a while anions his countrymen in Philadel- 
phia. In 1730, in company with an elder named Reif, 
he visited Holland and other parts of Europe in order 
to make collections in aid of the feeble churches in Penn- 
sylvania. Great interest was taken in their mission, 
particularly on the part of the Church of Holland, which 
was now led in fact to assume a sort of missionary ma- 
ternal care over this German plantation in America. By 
the permission of the Classis of Amsterdam 28 J. P. Bohm, 
formerly school-master in the Palatinate, received in 1729 
ordination from the Dutch Reformed minister of New 
York, and preached after 1730 in the log- meeting-house, 
rented by the Lutherans and Reformed. This was evi- 
dently the first " gemeinschaftliche Kirche" (a church held 
in common by two denominations), which were to be 
met with everywhere among the German congregations 
of Pennsylvania, much to the detriment of the real 
welfare of both denominations. 

Many German Reformed had also settled in German- 
town, where they built a small church in 1733. As they 
could not obtain the services of an ordained minister, a 
pious mechanic, John Bechtel, who had settled there in 
1726. officiated as minister for more than sixteen years. 
besides maintaining daily morning and evening meet- 



28 Schreiben der Amsterdammer Classis an die Herrn und Briidervon der 
Reformirten Getneine in Pennsylvania. — Die Classis urtheilt, dasz alle 
Kirchenhandlun^en von Herrn Bohm als g'ultig anzuerkennen sind, dasz er 
aber durch einen Praedicanten von \\u York nach kirchlichem Gebrauch zu 
befestigen (ordinieren) sei; dasz diese Befestigung aber nicht sol] fortgehen, 
bevor und ehe der bewuszte Bohm an die Herrn Praedicanten zu Neu York 
verklart hat, dasz seine Ehrwurde den Heydelbergischen Catechismus und 
alle die Formularen von Einigkeit annimbt, umb darnach seinen Dienst 
tiptilyk zu richten, und sich unterwirfi der kirchlichen Ordnung von der 
Synode zu Dortregt." J. Bakker, 

Dep. CI. ad res ex /eras. 

20 Jltllj, /J2Q. 



34 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

ings in his own house. Though not ordained, he had a 
regular call and a written confirmation or license from the 
University in Heidelberg. 

In 1730 another minister, John Peter Miller, who had 
studied in Heidelberg, arrived in Tulpehoken, where he 
for a time served both the Lutheran and German Re- 
formed congregations. Having undergone an examina- 
tion in Philadelphia, he was by order of the Scotch Synod 
ordained by the Presbyterian ministers Tennent, An- 
drews, and Boyd, who gave him a very honorable testi- 
mony for his great learning. 29 A few years later, in 1 735, 
he united with the "Siebentager" (Seventh-Day Baptists) 
at Ephrata, and died as Prior of their monastery in 
1796. 

His university friend, John Bartholomew Riiger, also a 
Palatine, who had studied in Basel and Heidelberg, fol- 
lowed him to America in 1731 and settled in Lancaster 
County, where he served several German Reformed 
congregations. 

Besides these, a Pastor Dortius (or Peter Henry 
Torschi), who had settled about this time in Bucks 
County, is mentioned occasionally. 

These are all the German Reformed ministers, whose 
names we have been able to ascertain, and even if there 
had been double the number, they would not have sufficed 
to supply the most immediate wants. If learned men 
like Miller were misled, it is not surprising that many 
others of lower intellectual power and less firmly estab- 

29 "There is lately come over a Palatine candidate of the ministry, who 
having applied to us at the Synod for ordination, 'tis left to three ministers 
to do it. He is an extraordinary person for sense and learning. We gave 
him a question to discuss about Justification, and he answered it in a whole 
sheet of paper in a very notable manner. His name is John Peter Miller, 
and speaks Latin as readily as we do our vernacular tongue, and so does the 
other, Mr. Weis." — Extract from a letter of the Rev. Jedidiah Andrews, 
October 14, 1730. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 35 

lished in the faith, were led astray by the errorists and 
sectarians who at the time abounded in Pennsylvania. 

Though the Moravian Brethren had not much inter- 
course with most of these errorists and sectarians, still the 
description of the religious condition of Pennsylvania in 
1 740 would be incomplete without glancing at them also, 
more especially as the remnants of most and the influence 
of all is more or less to be felt in the eastern counties 
of Pennsylvania to the present day. 

5. THE MENNONITKS. 

The Menhonites 30 (or Manisten, as they are generally 
called in Pennsylvania) derive their name from Menno 
Simon, a monk of Friedland, who died in 1561. After a 
faithful study of the New Testament, he renounced his 
former popish views in 1530, and embraced the doctrines 
of Protestantism, with some modifications however, of 
which the following are the most important : 

1. Rejection of Infant Baptism. "All penitent be- 
lievers, who by faith, regeneration and the renewing of 
the Holy Ghost are made one with God and written in 
heaven, must upon their scriptural confession of faith 
and reformation of life be baptized with water. These 
alone constitute the Church of Christ." 

2. A steady refusal to take a judicial oath, or to 
bear arms under any circumstances, as contrary to 
the distinct commandments of Christ (Matt. 5: 34, 35, 

39-44)- 

In his travels through the northern part of Germany 
amidst trials and calamities of various kinds, Menno 
Simon gained many adherents and founded many con- 
gregations, more especially along the river Elbe. After 

30 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 406. 



36 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

his death and being exposed to many persecutions, they 
were scattered over Germany, Denmark, Holland and 
Switzerland, and became very numerous, especially in 
the two last-named countries. In the Netherlands they 
were left undisturbed, but in Switzerland a great perse- 
cution arose in 1650, which induced many to flee to the 
Palatinate, whence in 1683 some emigrated to Pennsyl- 
vania. Others followed in 1698 and 1708, and settled 
mostly in or near Germantown, where they built a meet- 
ing-house in 1708. 

The rest of the Swiss refugees prepared about this time 
for an emigration en masse by buying from William Penn, 
for five hundred pounds sterling, ten thousand acres of 
land on the Pequea Creek, then Chester, now Lancas- 
ter County. Led thither under the guidance of their 
Bishop, Hans Meylin, they settled in the midst of the 
Mingo or Conestoga, Pequea, and Shawanese Indians. 
After the most necessary arrangements had been made, 
they sent some of their number to Germany and 
Switzerland to bring over their relatives and friends. 
Some came in 171 1, the greatest number in 171 7, and 
others followed ten years later. Before 1735 there were 
five hundred Mennonite families in the present Lancaster 
County. Some settlements were also made near Skip- 
pach. 

As a body the Mennonites did not belong to the poor 
settlers ; almost all bringing some money in hand and 
good common sense, by which they were enabled to 
make a judicious selection for their future farms. 
Economy, industry, frugality, simplicity in dress and in 
their meeting-houses are to the present day the character- 
istics of their descendants, many of whom live on the 
very grounds purchased by their forefathers one hundred 
and forty years ago. They have become very rich 
farmers and enjoy the fat of the land. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 37 

6. THE TUN REUS. 

Of much later origin than the Mennonites are the 
Tunkers" or German Baptists (Die Taufer), who also 
refuse to take an oath or to bear arms, but differ from 
the former in the manner in which they perform baptism, 
viz., by immersion or dipping (Tunken). They have no 
connection whatever with the Anabaptists, however, who 
originated in the time of the Reformation. 

The founder (Urstander) of this sect was Alexander 
Mack, a native of Schriesheim, near Heidelberg, in the 
Palatinate. In i 708 he and seven others — all pietistically 
awakened souls, but quite uneducated, who lived in or near 
Schwarzenau, one of the hot-beds of fanaticism — cove- 
nanted together to study the New Testament carefully, and 
to be governed only by the undisputed precepts of Christ. 

" On a close and diligent search of the Scriptures, and 
a careful examination of the authentic history of the 
primitive Christian Church, they arrived at the inevitable 
conclusion, as they hopefully believed, that the apostles 
and primitive Christians administered the ordinance of 
baptism to believing adults only, by trine-immersion. 
And in conformity with this custom, they now resolved 
to be immersed as obedient servants of their Lord and 
Master." (Matt. 3 : 16.) 32 

"The question now arose : Who is the first to admin- 
ister this sacred ordination f None of them as yet had 
been immersed. To this end, one of their number visited, 
in various parts of Germany, Mennonite congregations, 
to confer with their ministers, touching the ordinance of 
baptism. Many of the Mennonites admitted that this 
ordinance, performed by immersion, if done from pure 



! ' Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 91 and 531, et scq. 
'-' Winebrenner's History of Denominations. Introduction to the History 
of the River Brethren, p. 551. 



38 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

motives and love to the Saviour, was proper, but still 
maintained that if administered by pouring or aspersion, 
it was equally valid ; as no particular mode had been pre- 
scribed." 

" Mack and his consociates did not concur with the views 
of the Mennonites on this subject ; they had determined 
to yield to their convictions, as the result of investigating 
the Scriptures and historical testimony. It was by 
common consent agreed, that Mack should assume the 
responsibility of baptizing the small number of believers. 
However, as he conceived himself still iinbaptized, he 
declined to comply, in this instance, with their ardent 
wishes. They now resolved to fast, and in prayer and 
supplication to the throne of grace, to ask God for direc- 
tions. As did the eleven (Acts 1 : 26), they now cast 
lots as to which of the brethren should be the first 
baptizer. Lots were accordingly cast ; and he upon whom 
it fell, baptized one of the brethren. The baptized one, 
now baptized him by whom he had been baptized, and 
the first baptizer then baptized the others. But upon 
whom the lot fell to baptize first, has been studiously 
concealed to this day. For it had been previously 
agreed among themselves, never to disclose the name 
upon whom the lot should fall." 33 

However, baptized they were, early one morning, in 
the river Eder, near Schwarzenau, and then formed 
themselves into a church, choosing Alexander Mack as 
their minister. Their numbers soon increased in various 
parts of Germany, and they were joined by men of 
superior intelligence, as John Henry Kalklceser, of 
Funkenthal, Peter Becker, of Dilsheim, and others. 



33 " Sie gaben," says Mack, " aber unter einander ihr Wort von sich, dasz es 
Niemand verrathen sollte, welcher der erste Taufer unter ihnen gewesen, damit 
Niemand Ursache nehmen mochte, sie irgend nach einem Menschen zu 
nennen, weilan sie solche Thorheit schon von Paulo an den Corinthern 
bestrafet funden." 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 39 

Being driven away by persecutions, many went to 
Holland, and thence migrated in 17 19 to America, where 
the first settlements were made near Germantown. The 
last followed in 1 729, 34 and thus all the "Tunker churches" 
of America sprang from the small church of Schwarzenau, 
which commenced with eight souls in 1 708. 

The most active and most influential man among the 
first settlers was Peter Becker, who in 1723 was chosen 
official baptizer of the church of Germantown. In 
succeeding years he collected the dispersed brethren in 
Lancaster County into a distinct society at Miihlbach 
(Mill Creek). Congregations were also organized under 
his supervision in Skippach, Falkner Swamp, Oley and 
Conestoga. 

The Tunkers have in course of time become pretty 
numerous, retaining to a certain degree the simplicity of 
their forefathers — commonly wearing long beards, and 
hence called " Bartleute," and paying but little attention 
to education. 

At an early period they lost their best educated men 
to the " Siebentager." Among these was one of their 
teachers, G. A. Martin, who, as well as others, character- 
ized the founders of this sect as uneducated "Erz Idioten 
und Ignoranten " (ignorant idiots). 

Zinzendorf, however, gave them in 1742 a more hon- 
orable testimony as a people who were unenlightened, 
but well-meaning and seriously inclined. 35 



;4 Im Jahr 1729 ist Alex. Mack, der Urstander der Taufer, sammt den 
librigen gedachter Gemeinde, von Friesland abgesetzt, und in Pennsylvanien 
angekommen. 

»s " Es ist cine Versammlung gottesfiirchtiger, ohne Licht nach Gewissen 
handelnder, ernstlicher, und urn dcswillen liebenswurdiger Menschen. So 
lange sich Kinder (iottes entschlieszen konnen unter ihnen zu leben, und 
Treue an ihnen zu beweisen, so sind sie gliicklich, und wir wollen dabei 
denken, dasz nur Christus gepredigt wird." — Budingische Sammlungen, 
II., p. 815. 



4-0 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

7. THE SIEBENTAGER. 

One of the most remarkable phenomena in the Penn- 
sylvania sect-life of the last century, is the rise and for a 
time astonishing progress of the " Siebentager" (the 
German Seventh-day Baptists, or Sabbatarians) — the 
Protestant monks and nuns of Ephrata in Lancaster 
County. Some of their wooden buildings with their 
small windows and narrow cells stand to the present day, 
a monument of bygone times. We would hardly believe 
that an order of Protestant Friars, adopting the most 
absurd and ridiculous customs, could have originated in 
this country ; much less, that men of learning and superior 
intelligence could have joined such an order and sub- 
mitted to the most arbitrary rules, if two members of this 
society (Bros. Lamech and Agrippa) in the " Chronicon 
Ephratense," which was printed in 1786, had not given a 
circumstantial, and to all appearances, faithful narrative 
of the doings and the times of Father Friedsam. 

Father Friedsam Gottrecht (Peaceable Godright) was 
the assumed monastic name of John Conrad Beisel, the 
founder and superintendent (Vorsteher) of the Spiritual 
Order of the Hermits of Ephrata. He was born in 1690 
in Eberbach in the Palatinate, where his father was a 
baker. He was a man of great natural abilities, and 
though of very limited education, of a very lively imagi- 
nation, which often seemed to gain the ascendency 
over his more sober judgment. In his wanderings 
through Germany as a journeyman baker, he succes- 
sively adopted the views of the Pietists, the Inspired and 
other Separatists, and resolved in 1720 to emigrate to 
Pennsylvania, in order to dedicate his life to God in con- 
templative -solitude. 

Having learned the weaver's trade with a Tunker, 
he removed in 1721 to Conestoga and settled near Mill 
Creek. In 1724, P. Becker visited this neighborhood, 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 41 

baptizing many, among them also Beisel, 36 who soon after 
was elected minister of the new Tunker congregation of 
Conestoga. 37 

Conceiving after a while that there was an error among 
the Tunkers in the observance of the day for the Sabbath 
— the seventh clay being established and sanctified by the 
Lord — he felt it his duty to contend for the observance 
of that da) r , and in 1728 published a pamphlet on this 
subject, in consequence of which the congregation 
at Mill Creek adopted the seventh day for public wor- 
ship and worked on Sundays, though often obliged to 
pay a fine. 

In the same year Beisel had himself re-baptized by 
Brother Amos, thereby returning their baptism unto 
the Tunkers. This action increased the breach between 
the two societies of Germantown and Conestoga, which 
even Alexander Mack was not able to heal. 

Meanwhile Beisel's congregation increased ; men and 
women flocking together from all sides ; even married 
women leaving their families 33 to lead "a more holy life," 



Y ' "Da ist auch dor Vorsteher von seiner geistlichen Hohe herunter- 
gestiegen, hat sich vor seinem Freund, Feter Becker, gedemlithiget, und ist 
also denselben Tag von ihm nach Apostolischer Ordnung unters Wasser L, r e- 
tauft worden." — Chron. Ephratense, p. 21. 

He now began to preach: " Wobey es ihm im Anfang nicht erlaubl 
war, eine Bibel zu gebrauchen, damit nemlich das Zeugnusz im Vortrag 
durch buchstabliches Wissen nicht geschwacht wiirde. Seinen Vortrag that 
er anfanglich mit vcrschlossenen Augen, und das bey einer grosen Menge 
Zuhorer; wann er aber die Augen wieder aufthat, so waren die meiste 
wieder fort, als die des Geistcs Scharfe nicht ertragen konnten. 

" Wann er fiihlte, das/ Menschen zugegen waren, welche suchten sein 
Reden in die Vernunffi einzusacken, ward er plotzlich getrieben, eine seiner 
vorigen Rede :4am/ entgegenlaufende Rede zu halten, und das mit ebenso 
wichtigem Grund als die vorige, wodurch die Zuhorer in eine II. Confusion 
gesetzt wurden. * * * Im Vortrag war er zu schnell, weil er dem Geist 
muszte nacheilen, dabey er sich oft wehnig um die Regeln der Sprache 
bekiimmert hat." — Chron. Ephratense, pp. 25, 26. 

38 As ,-. g. % the wife of Christopher Saner, primer, in ( Germantown. 
3 



42 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

which induced him to write a tract against matrimony, 
"the penitentiary of carnal men." 39 

In 1732 he suddenly retired from the settlement and 
went secretly to a cell on the banks of the Cocalico, which 
had previously been occupied by one Elimelech, a hermit. 
When his retreat was discovered, some of his adherents 
followed him, settling around him in solitary cottages, 
and imitating his ascetic mode of life. In 1735 he suc- 
ceeded in gaining over the young German Reformed 
minister of Tulpehocken, John Peter Miller who, as 
Brother Jabez, became his very valuable assistant. Some 
Lutherans also were for a time led away, men even like 
Conrad Weiser; 40 and a few years later some of the prin- 
cipal teachers of theTunkers — H. Kalklceser, Val. Mack, 
and John Hildebrand — joined the followers of Father 
Friedsam. 

As the number of hermits steadily increased, the soli- 
tary life was in 1735 changed into that of a conventicle, 



39 Die P^he das Zuchthaus fleischlicher Menschen. 1730. 

40 "Conrad Weiser war durch schwere Buszarbeit bald so heruntergesetzt, 
und liesz seinen Bard wachsen, dasz ihn fast Niemand kante ; daneben hat 
er Gott zu Ehren einen Theil seines Vermogens freywillig aufgeopfert zur 
Auferbauung" des Klosters Kedar. Da Conrad Weiser als Dolmetscher in 
den Verhandlungen mit den Indianern unentbehrlich war, kam Gouverneur 
Thomas selbst mit groszem Gefolge nach Ephrata, und bot ihm das Amt eines 
Friedens-Richters an, welches er mit des Vorstehers Bewilligung annahm > 
"Man hat ihn noch auf der Court als obersten Richter gesehen, unter der 
Krohne sitzen mit seinem gewohnlichen Bard; aber endlich hat doch sein 
Amt so viel vermocht, dasz er seinen Briidern ist fremd worden. Den ersten 
und schwersten Anstosz hatte er an seinen vertrauten Freund dem Vor- 
steher selbst, der ihm einmal erzehlete, er seye vor einen verstorbenen Bruder 
in den Risz getreten, und das habe ihm das Blut aus den Niigeln getrieben ; 
daraus er schlosz der Vorsteher miisse sich vor Christum halten. Auch war 
ihm sein vieler Aufenthalt im Schwestern-Konvent verdachtig, und bewog 
ihn einmal zu gerichtlicher Untersuchung gegen ihn. 

"Spaterhin besuchte er einmal seinen alten Freund, P. Miller im Lager. 
Bei der Gelegenheit ward ein Liebesmahl gehalten, bei welchem er durch 
den Gebrauch des heiligen Sacraments der Gemeinschaft im Geist wieder ist 
eingeleibt worden, wiewohl wir seiner Mutterkirche gern die Ehre lassen, 
dasz sie seinen Leib hat eingeerndtet." — CJiron. Ephratense, pp. 68 to 70. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 43 

and a Monastic Society was established. Kedar, the 
first convent for the sisters, was built in 1735, and 
Zion in 1738 for the brethren. The habit of the Capu- 
chins or White Friars was adopted by both the brethren 
and sisters. It consisted of a shirt, trowsers and vest, 
with a long, white gown or cowl, of woolen web in Winter 
and of linen in Summer. That of the sisters differed only 
in the substitution of petticoats for trowsers, and in some 
little peculiarity in the shape of the cowl. Monastic 
names were given to all who entered the cloister. 

In 1740 there were thirty-six single brethren in the 
cloister, and thirty-five sisters ; and at one time the 
Society, including the married members in the- neighbor- 
hood, numbered nearly three hundred. 

Though Dr. Fahnestock maintains 4 ' "that the com- 
munity was a republic in which all stood upon perfect 
equality and freedom," still it is evident from the candid 
narrative of Brother Lamech in the " Chronicon Ephra- 
tense," that Father Friedsam held very despotic sway 
and that he well knew how to gain his point and to main- 
tain his spiritual power as long as he lived. 4 ' 

41 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 1 10. 

*- We subjoin a longer extract from the Chronicon Ephratense, p. 1 10 : 
Vom geistlichen Kirc hen- Regiment im Lager. 

" Nachdeme die Einsamen im Lager in ihre Convente waren heimgebracht, 
fingen die Schulen des einsamen Lebensan. Da kamen solche Lectiones vor 
zu erlernen, das/ einem oft Horen und Sehen ist vergangen. 1><t Vorsteher 
war Tag und Nacht aufFiiszen, und wer seiner wolte loszwerden, muszte des 
Nachts seine Thtir verschliesen, dann er stund unter dem Dienst der vier 
lebendigen Thiere, welche Tag und Nacht keine Ruhe haben. Also war im 
Lager eine bestandige Herumarbeitung, also das/, wann einer nurdrey Tage 
abwesend war, er ein Fremder wurde; und muszte sich hernach wieder mit 
vie! Miihe in das Spiel schaffen, Keiner ware ira Stande gewesen, wann er 
auch viel Jahre hatte im Lager gewohnt, eine richtige Beschreibung von dem 
Regiment darinnen zu geben ; es war unbegreiflich, und dabey vor der Ver- 
nunft hochst anstosig. fallen und Aufstehen wechselte immer ab; wer 
heute in geistlichcr Hoh sasz, lag morgen darnieder, und das war eine un- 
vermeidliche Sache. Wem der Vorsteher seine Gemeinschaft grab, der 



44 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

Some of the most remarkable men of this curious 
society were Israel Eckerling and Peter Miller. The 
former of these, whose monastic name was Brother Onesi- 
mus, became Prior of the Brethren's Convent in 1740 
and, supported by Father Friedsam, soon gained such 
authority, that his word was supreme law and every- 
body was forced to submit to his views. 43 Assisted by his 
own brothers he endeavored to obtain the sole control 
of the considerable property of the brotherhood and 
by trade and extension of their worldly business to 
increase the power and the influence of the cloister. A 
grist-mill, saw-mill, oil-mill, fulling-mill, and even a paper- 
mill, were successively erected, and other still larger 
buildings were planned. A convent-bell was ordered 
in England, which was afterwards sold to the Lutheran 
conoreo-ation j n Lancaster. 44 For more than a year 
Prior Onesimus had undisputed sway, to such a degree 
that even Father Friedsam submitted to his authority 
and did his bidding"- But after a while the latter 



schwebte oben, unci wera er sie entzog, der sanck wieder unter sich, zu Zeiten 
ins funstere Principium, da er dann wurde ansCreutz genagelt, welche Processe 
haufig sind vorgekommen. Hierwar der gefahrliche Pfosten, wo viele seiner 
Nacbfolger in Aergernusz fielen. 

" Er war in seinem Umgang nicht natiirlich, und die nahe um ihn waren, 
muszten sich auch darnach richten, dahero ihn Niemand mit der Selbheit 
fassen konte. Den Gottesdienst stellete er in der unbequamsten, als in der 
Mitternachts-Zeit an, und hatte sonderlichs Vergniigen im Geist, wann er 
ihn bis an den Tag verzogern konte. 

" Besonders driickte der Prior die Br-Lider durch seine Zankereien in den 
Nachtmatten die oft der Vorsteher schlichten muszte. 

"So unerbaulich auch diese Dinge klingen, so musz man doch gestehen, 
dasz es an dem wesentlichen Theil des Gottesdiensts, als der Creutzigung 
der Natur, nichtgemangelt hat ; darum gedencken wir noch derselben seligen 
Zeiten." 

41 " Der Prior hat die Bruderschaft in solche Sclaverey gebracht, dasz 
zwischen einem Zionitischen Bruder und einem Neger nur der Unterschied 
gewesen, dasz dieser Schwartz und gezwungen, jcner aber weisz und freywillig 
ein Sclav gewesen." — Chron. Ephratense. 

44 Rupp's History of Lancaster County, p. 223. 



OF THE GERMANS IX PENNSYLVANIA. 45 

succeeded in winning some influential members over to 
his side and with their assistance expelled the Eckerlings, 
who in 1744 removed to the wilds of Virginia. 

Meanwhile a new sisters'-house, called Sharon, had 
been erected, which is standing to this day, and in 1 746 
the brothers' house, Bethania, was finished. The latter, 
being three stories high, contained eight large rooms, to 
each of which belonged six or eight small dormitories 
surrounding the larger rooms, barely large enough 
to contain the sleeping bench with a billet of wood for 
a pillow, a closet and an hour-glass. 15 The passages 
leading to the cells and through the different parts of 
both convents, are barely wide enough to admit one 
person. Altogether these buildings present a very 
singular appearance, with their small windows of only 
four panes of glass, and the outer walls entirely covered 
with shing'les. When Bethania was in course of 
erection, it is said, 4 ' 1 a long dispute was held among the 
brethren concerning the length of the house. Some con- 
tended that it ought to be • 66 feet, others preferred 
99, and some 100 feet. Those in favor of 99 feet, 
considered their proposal the best, "for," they said, "the 
circle means God, and the stroke signifies man. Now, 
in 66 God is placed below and man above; in 100 man 
stands before God ; hence 99 is preferable, where God 
stands above and man below." This anecdote, which 
was current at the time, is certainly characteristic, point- 
ing out the spirit of this society ami the eccentric notions 
of their spiritual father. 

The hour lor religious worship was, for a long time, at 
midnight, and the meeting was often prolonged till day- 
break, when every one had to go to work again. At 
other times there were no meetings at all, " in order that 



45 Rupp's History of Lancaster County, p. 213, et seq. 

46 Cammerhoff's Epistola IX, written in Xovember, 1747. 



46 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

all might have time to bring into practice, what they 
had been taught." 

A great deal of time was devoted to music and orna- 
mental writing (Fractur-Schriften), especially by the 
sisters, and Father Friedsam was himself a poet and 
musical composer, though of a very peculiar order. In the 
"Chronicon Ephratense" there are long essays on music, 
which are as strange and curious as everything else con- 
nected with this singular society. 

In a letter of a tourist during the proprietary adminis- 
tration of Governor Penn the following is said concerning 
their music, which was set in four, six, or eight parts: 47 

" The counter-treble, tenor and bass were all sung by 
women, with sweet, shrill and small voices, but with a 
truth and exactness in time and intonation that was 
admirable. The performers sat with their heads inclined, 
their countenances solemn and dejected, their faces pale 
and emaciated from their manner of living, the clothing 
exceeding white and quite picturesque, and their music 
such as thrilled to the very soul. I almost began to 
think myself in the world of spirits, and that the objects 
before me were ethereal." 

The most remarkable of the female members of the 
" Camp " was Mother Marie (daughter of Daniel Eicher), 
the prioress, who in spite of all intrigues maintained her 
authority for a much longer period than any of the priors 
of the brothers' convent, Peter Miller excepted. But at 
last she also was compelled to resign, and after many 
years of solitary penitential life, died, in 1784. Long 
before her, July 6, 1768, Father Friedsam had departed 
this life, well stricken in years. 48 



47 Rupp's History of Lancaster County, p. 227. 

48 The following inscription we read on his grave-stone : 

Hier ruhet eine Ausgeburt der Liebe Gottes 
FRIEDSAM, 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 47 

His faithful assistant, Prior Jabez (Peter Miller), man- 
aged the spiritual and temporal affairs of the society for 
nearly thirty years longer (he died in 1796) ; but, although 
he was undoubtedly a man of much greater ability than 
Conrad Beisel, still during his administration the decline of 
this society became more and more perceptible. And this 
can hardly be surprising, as the whole idea of a monastic 
institution of the Middle Ages, in which celibacy and 
ascetic exercises were considered the principal virtues, 
was too little in accordance with the views of the 
times, especially after the Revolutionary War. Hut it 
is surely surprising, that such a society could spring up 
in Pennsylvania one hundred and twenty-five years ago, 
exist for nearly fifty years, and exert no inconsiderable 
influence all around. This fact shows only too plainly 
how low must have been the state of religious and 
Christian life among the Germans of Pennsylvania in 
general and how much they needed not only the teaching 
of the Gospel, but also practical examples of true evan- 
gelical godliness. 

Spangenberg wrote to Count Zinzendorf in 1738 in 
reference to the "Siebentager" 49 : "These people triumph 
now ; their affairs prosper. Everybody must perceive 
that they have something peculiar in their external exer- 
cises. They sleep neither in beds nor on straw ; they 
eat no pork ; some live on bread and water only ; they 
wear the cowl of the monks ; they neither buy nor sell ; 
have no trades to earn money by ; some live separately. 



Ein Einsamer, nachmals aber geworden cin Anfuhrer, Aufscher 

und Lehrer der Einsamen und Gemeine Christi in und mn 

Ephrata. Geboren in Eberbach in der Pfalz, genannt 

Conrad Beisel ; entschlief d. 6ten Julius, Anno 1768, 

seines geistlichen Alters 52 Jahr, 

aber des natiirlichen 

77 Jahr, 4 Monat. 

** Risler's Life of Spangenberg, p. 149. 



48 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

as in a convent, spending their time in watching and 
fasting. 

" If I had never heard of Dio«-enes and his tub, nor of 
the doings of the Carthusian monks, I also might be 
dazzled by them. But I know from experience that 
external exercises do not constitute the new creature, or 
produce the new birth ; that all this comes by grace and 
through grace. Hence I can only look upon them 
sorrowfully, for they make their works holiness, thereby 
hoping to merit grace." 

8. SEPARATISTS. 

Besides the larger or smaller religious societies and 
communities, there were in the first part of the last cen- 
tury in Pennsylvania many individuals who, in Germany 
already, for some reason or other had separated from 
the Church, and were utterly opposed to any and every 
form of ecclesiastical organization. 

Among these Separatists there were some honest and 
sincere seekers of the truth, as for instance a certain 
Eckstein, 50 Spangenberg's companion on his journey 
from Pennsylvania to Georgia in 1737. But upon the 
whole their condition was most deplorable, as with- 
out any fixed principles, they agreed only in one point, 
namely, to disagree with and to oppose all other religious 
associations and societies. The principal food for this 
hatred was a certain book written in 1730 by Andrew 
Gross, 51 a well-known Separatist in Frankfurt, Germany, 
condemning the doctrine and constitution of the Mora- 
vian Church, which was much read in Pennsylvania at 
that time, and influenced men like Christopher Saner, the 
printer in Germantown, J. H. Schcenfeld and others to 

Spangenberg's Life, p. 140. 
51 Biidingische Sammlungen, II, pp.817, 867. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 49 

oppose Zinzendorf when he came to Pennsylvania in 
1742. 

Some of these Separatists not only refused to be con- 
nected with any Christian denomination, hut, impelled 
by sectarian fanaticism, avoided all other human 
society, and lived as hermits, scattered about in the; 
woods, and exposed to constant danger from the 
Indians ; for instance, John G. Stiefel, the traveling- 
companion of Beisel, who died in Bethlehem in 1745. 
Many of these hermits joined the Ephrata cloister, 
or went farther West, into the wilds where no white men 
had yet ventured to settle. Thus Prior Onesimus 
(I^ckerling) and his two brothers were the first settlers in 
Monongalia County, Virginia. Two were killed by the 
Indians in 1750. Onesimus was taken prisoner, but suc- 
ceeded in escaping to Canada, whence he went to France, 
where he closed his days in a Roman Catholic monaster)-. 

Others again pretended to have received especial 
divine revelations, and called themselves the' "Inspired." 
There was at that time a community of such fanatics 
in Western Germany, under the spiritual leadership 
of J. F. Rock. Some of his adherents may have 
come to Pennsylvania, without, however, forming distinct 
societies. John Adam Gruber, who will be mentioned 
hereafter, probably belonged to them. 

Another sect, which originated and flourished ior a 
short time in ( )ley Township (Berks County) was that of 
the "New Born." 5 ' A Palatine, Matthias Bauman (died 
in 1727), was the founder and leader of this sect. They 
professed sinless perfection, maintaining that those who 
had received the "new birth" could thenceforth sin no 
more ; consequently, whatever they might do, would 
be right and good. That this doctrine must lead to 



52 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 7. 



50 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION 

licentiousness, is self evident. Even twenty years after 
Bauman's death there were still some adherents of these 
doctrines. 

There is yet to be mentioned a "spiritual society," 53 
consisting- for the most part of unmarried men of liberal 
education. Their founder was John Kelpius, an Austrian 
by birth, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1694. Daniel 
Falkner, John Seelig and others, in all forty persons, 
joined him, and they settled on "the Ridge," (the ridge- 
road from Philadelphia to Reading), which at that time 
was a complete wilderness, and called their society the 
"Woman of the Wilderness" (Rev. 12: 6). In 1704 
Conrad Matthaei, a Swiss of noble connections, joined 
them (he died as a hermit in 1748) and also Christopher 
Wilt, a famous doctor and magician. 

9. THE SCHWENKFELDERS. 

One of the smallest of the German denominations in 
Pennsylvania is that of the Schwenkfelders, 54 who at pres- 
ent [1851] count only eight hundred members. Even in 
former times they were not numerous nor did they 
display any outward religious activity, either of the miss- 
ionary or polemical order, preferring to keep aloof from 
all religious controversies. Thankfully enjoying the 
religious freedom of Pennsylvania they led according to 
the dictates of their consciences a quiet and peaceable 
life in all godliness and honesty. 

Though among the least influential for the general 
history of the Church, still they deserve particular notice 
in the history of the American Brethren's Church, as 
their emigration to this country was the first cause for 
establishing a Moravian colony in America. 

53 Chronicon Ephratense, p. 11. 

4 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 557. Erlauterung fur 
Caspar Schvvenkfeld. Spangenberg's Leben, pp. 94, 150. 



OF THE GERMANS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 5 I 

Their founder was a Silesian noble and contemporary 
of Luther, Caspar Schwenkfeld von Ossing, counselor to 
the Duke of Lieomitz, a man of liberal education, well 
read in the Latin and Greek classics, and active in various 
ways in the service of his country. The movements of 
the Reformation early attracted his attention but, differing 
in some points from Luther and other friends of the 
Reformation, he began a controversy with Luther about 
the doctrine of the Holy Communion, which so irritated 
the latter that, in 1543, he wrote a maledictory 
letter to Schwenkfeld, breaking off all connection with 
him. Nevertheless Schwenkfeld gained many adherents 
among the higher classes, had an extensive corres- 
pondence all over the empire with persons of every rank 
and description, and wrote many learned treatises and 
pamphlets, in German and Latin. After man)- trials 
and hardships he died at Ulm in 1562, in the seventy- 
second year of his age. 

Schwenkfeld's followers, of whom the greater number 
lived in Silesia, were repeatedly persecuted by the 
Lutheran clergy, in the most cruel manner, especially in 
1590 and 1650. But still greater were the hardships to 
which they were exposed by the Jesuit missionaries of 
the Roman Catholic Church, in 1719. Thus pressed 
from two sides, many desired to leave their country. In 
1723 they became acquainted with Count Zinzendorf 
who, while on a journey through Silesia, interceded with 
the government for them, though without success. In 
1 726 many families left their homes ; some sought shelter 
under the protection of the Senate of Gorlitz (a city of 
Lusatia in Saxony) and others of Count Zinzendorf. The 
latter lived for awhile in Herrnhut, and then removed 
to L"pper Berthelsdorf, where they remained unmo- 
lested for some years, until in 1733 the Saxon Govern- 
ment withdrew its protection. Zinzendorf now endeav- 



52 RELIGIOUS AND MORAL CONDITION. 

ored to procure for them free transportation to Georgia, 
which was to be colonized by German Protestants, but 
succeeded only in procuring for them a grant of land. 
On May 26, 1734, forty families, numbering one hun- 
dred -and eighty souls, left Berthelsdorf, led by George 
Wiegner. Spangenberg was to follow them and be their 
minister in Georgia. In Altona (Denmark) and Harlem 
(Holland) Christian friends took an interest in them, 
and promised free transportation to Pennsylvania, in 
consequence of which the Georgia plan was dropped. 
Sailing from Rotterdam on June 28, they arrived in 
Philadelphia on September 2, 1734, after a long and 
tedious voyage. 

They settled principally on the Skippack and Perk- 
iomen (in Montgomery, Berks, Bucks and Lehigh 
Counties), and the large barns with tile-covered roofs 
show at the present day where their descendants 
live, distinguished alike by their wealth and the simplicity 
of their manners. They are most numerous in Goshen- 
hoppen, formerly called " Schlesisch Warte ; " they are 
connected in two congregations, with three hundred 
families, and five churches or school-houses. Their first 
minister was George Weiss, who died in 1760. 

In 1 736 Bro. Spangenberg paid a visit to the Schwenk- 
felders, scattered in the forest-wilds of Pennsylvania, 
and for a time assisted Christopher Wiegner in his farm 
labors. At the same time he made use of every oppor- 
tunity to preach the Word of Reconciliation in the blood 
of Christ, and to warn against self-righteousness. Many 
heard him willingly, but there were no lasting fruits of 
his endeavors. 

In 1738, when* visiting the Schwenkfelders for the 
third time, he complained of their exclusive sectarian 
spirit, by which the consciences are burdened ; but it is 
more than likely that Spangenberg himself, " still too 



THE INDIANS. 



53 



learned to be an apostle" (as Zinzendorf expressed it), 
and lacking experience, did not always meet them, and 
especially their minister, George Weiss, with that 
Christian candor and liberality, which alone awakens con- 
fidence, and which in later years was the brightest 
ornament of Bro. Spangenberg's character. 

Nevertheless his protracted sojourn among the 
Schwenkfelders was of great importance, as he was 
thereby enabled to gather correct information concern- 
ing the moral and religious state of the Germans 
in Pennsylvania and the many heathen Indian tribes. 

IO. THE INDIANS. 

The first reliable accounts of the Indians which Bro. 
Spangenberg received, were given to him in 1737 by 
Conrad Weiser, who by request of Governor Gooch, 
of Virginia, and under regular instructions from James 
Logan, Esq., at that time President of the Provincial 
Government of Pennsylvania, had undertaken a very 
tedious journey 53 through the wilderness of Northern 
Pennsylvania to Onondaga in New York. 

Onondaga was at that time the place of the great war 
council, or the headquarters of the Aquanuschioni or 
the allied Six Nations, by the French called Iroquois 
(Mingoes by others, and Maquas by the Dutch). This 
very powerful Indian Confederacy consisted at that time 
of the following six nations: 56 



'' Narrative of a Journey made in the year 1737, by Conrad Weiser, Indian 
Agent and Provincial Interpreter, from Tulpehokcn to Onondaga. Collec- 
tions of Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Vol. I., No. 1, p. 6. 

56 The relative position of the different Indian tribes is best seen on a 
map published in Philadelphia in 1755, by Lewis Evans, containing the 
.Middle British Colonies of America, tlu' country of the ( lonfederate Indians, 
Aquanishuonigy and the Lakes Erie, Ontario and Champlain and parts of 
New France. 



54 THE INDIANS 

i. The Maquas or Mohocks living between the 
Hudson and the Susquehanna, near the Kaatskill 
Mountains. 57 

2. The Oneidas or Onoycets, and 

3. The Tuscaroras (who formerly lived in Virginia 
and North Carolina and had joined the Confederacy 
quite lately, in 1713), lived westward of the north branch 
of the Susquehanna and around Onoydas Lake. 

4. The Onondagas, more to the South and on the 
Onondaga River. 

5. The Cayugas and 

6. The Senecas, near the Lakes, which still bear their 
names. 

By these six powerful nations some weaker tribes 
were overthrown and absorbed, as, for instance, the 
Susquehannocks, 58 who, before 1680 possessed the whole 
present Lancaster County. Settlements were gradually 
planted by the conquerors along both branches of the 
Susquehanna, and especially at Conestoga- which subse- 
quently became the chief place of council of the Indians 
seated on the Susquehanna, below the fork. The resi- 
dents there were chiefly of the Seneca tribe, mixed 
however, with Oneidas, Cayugas and Tuscaroras, and 
were generally called Mingoes or Conestogas by the 
white settlers. 

About the year 1698 some Shawanos from the South 
applied to the Conestogas, and through them to 
William Penn's government, for permission to settle 
near Conestoga. This being granted, they established 
themselves upon Pequea Creek, under Opessah, their 

57 Whether the Mohiccons (Mahicander of Loskiel) were a separate nation, 
is not quite certain. Proud, in his History of Pennsylvania, II, p. 297, dis- 
tinguishes the Mohocks belonging to the Six Nations from the Mohiccons, 
who were confederates of the Delawares. 

58 Notes Respecting the Indians of Lancaster County, by W. P. Foulke. 
Memoirs of Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. II, Part II, p. 212. 



IN PENNSYLVANIA. 55 

principal chief, and gradually extended their settlements 
to the North and West, until in the first part of the 
eighteenth century they all removed to the wilds of Ohio. 

In a similar manner, about 1 700, some Ganawese 
from the Potomac and Nanticokes and Conoys from 
Maryland appeared and settled in the same vicinity, 
under the protection of the Six Nations. 

While thus the power of the Six Nations on the 
North was constantly increasing, the influx ol Kuropean 
immigrants was pressing more and more upon the original 
owners of the soil in Pennsylvania — the Delawares. 

These were, according to their own traditions, direct 
descendants of the Algonkins, one of the most powerful 
nations of antiquity, and called themselves Lenni 
Lenape, 59 that is, " Indian Men," or Woapnachky, that is, 
"a people living towards the rising of the sun," having 
formerly inhabited the eastern coast of North America. 
They were divided into three tribes ; the Unami, 
the Wunalachtikos, and the Monsys. Many other 
tribes, like the Shawanos and Nanticokes, called the 
Delawares "Grandfathers," 6 " and never ventured to 
wage war against them, for they were alike celebrated 
for their courage, peaceful disposition, and powerful 
alliances. They were at one time the undisputed masters 
of all middle America, and extended their wars against 
the Alligewi as far as the Mississippi and maintained a 
determined hostility with the Mengwi. On the arrival of 
Penn their number in Pennsylvania was computed at 
thirty or forty thousand souls. 61 

Their history spoke only of conquest. They were a 
brave, proud and warlike race, who gloried in the preser- 

59 History of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Indians in 
North America, by G. H. Loskiel, translated by Christian Ignatius La 
Trobe, 1794. 

•~ Loskiel, I, 1 28. [36. 

01 Discourse on the Surviving Remnant of the Indian Race, by |. R.Tyson. 



56 THE INDIANS 

vation of a character for valor, which had come down 
to them from the remotest times. However, they 
were finally vanquished by the Confederacy of the Six 
Nations, and at a treaty at Albany, in 1717, had to submit 
to be declared "a nation of women." 

According- to their own tradition/' 2 the Delawares were 
always too powerful for the Six Nations, so that the latter 
were at last convinced, that if they continued at war, their 
total extirpation would be inevitable. They therefore 
sent the following message to the Delawares : "It is not 
profitable that all the nations should be at war with each 
other, for this will at length be the ruin of the whole 
Indian race. We have, therefore, considered a remedy, 
by which this evil may be prevented. One nation shall 
be the 'woman.' We will place her in the midst, and 
the other nations who make war shall be the 'man,' 
and live around the ' woman.' No one shall touch or 
hurt the ' woman,' and if any one does it, we will imme- 
diately say to him : ' Why do you beat the " woman ? " ' 
Then all the ' men ' shall fall upon him who has beaten 
her. The ' woman ' shall not go to war, but endeavor 
to keep peace with all. Therefore, if the ' men ' that 
surround her beat each other, and the war be carried on 
with violence, the ' woman ' shall have the rieht of 
addressing them : ' Ye men. what are ye about ; why do 
ye beat each other ? We are almost afraid. Consider 
that your wives and children must perish, unless ye 
desist. Do ye mean to destroy yourselves from the face 
of the earth ? ' The ' man ' shall then hear and obey 
the ' woman.' 

"The Delawares add, that not immediately perceiving 
the intention of the Six Nations, they had submitted to 
be the 'woman.' The Iroquois then appointed a great 
feast, and invited the Delaware Nation to it, when, 

62 Loskicl, p. 124. 



IN PENNSYLVANIA. 57 

in consequence of the authority given them, they made a 
solemn speech, containing three capital points. The first 
was, that they declared the Delaware Nation to be the 
'woman,' in the following words: 'We dress you in a 
woman's long habit, reaching down to your feet and 
adorn you with earrings,' meaning that they should no 
more take up anus. The second point was thus ex- 
pressed : ' We hang a calabash tilled with oil and medicines 
upon your arm. With the oil you shall cleanse the ears 
of the other nations, that they may attend to good, and 
not to bad words ; and with the medicines you shall heal 
those who are walking in foolish ways, that they may 
return to their senses, and incline their hearts to peace.' 
The third point, by which the Delawares were exhorted 
to make agriculture their future employ and means of 
subsistence, was thus worded: "We deliver into your 
hands a plant of Indian corn and a hoe." Each of these 
points was confirmed by delivering a belt of wampum, 
and these belts have been carefully laid up, and their 
meaning frequently repeated." 

If the tradition of the Delawares be correct, it is cer- 
tainly an extraordinary instance ol a nation voluntarily 
^ivinq up the means ot self-defense, tor the purpose 
of becoming mediators and arbiters between other 
nations ; and this in itself would be an evidence, that 
they were providentially prepared to accept the Gospel 
of Peace. He this as it may, so much is certain, that the 
missionaries ot the Brethren accomplished more among 
the Delawares than among any other Indian tribe. 

When Spangenberg received from Conrad Weiser 
the first accounts ot the deplorable moral and relig- 
ious state ot the Indians, he wrote in November, 
1737, a letter' 4 to Christian David, in which he com 



1 -oskiel, I, pp. 124-126. 
' 4 Briiderblatt tor 1X54, p. 155. Conrad Weiser's Narrative, p. 17. 

4 



58 THE INDIANS 

municated a prophecy current among the Indians at the 
time. One of their seers (the Indians told Weiser) had 
seen a vision of God, who had said to him the following- 
words : "You inquire after the cause why game has 
become scarce. I will tell you. You kill it for the sake 
of the skins, which you give for strong- liquor and drown 
your senses, and kill one another, and carry on a dreadful 
debauchery. Therefore, have I driven the wild animals 
out of the country, for they are Mine. If you will do 
good and cease from your sins, I will bring them back ; if 
not, I will destroy you from off the earth." 

When this letter arrived in Herrnhut, Saxony, it made a 
deep impression, especially on the single brethren, and 
forthwith twelve of them were selected as candidates 
for the Indian Mission, and after Spangenberg returned 
to Germany in 1 739, one of these. Christian Henry Rauch, 
was sent from Marienborn to New York, in order to 
ascertain whether and where he might find an open door 
to the Indians. Arriving in New York in 1740, he found 
but little encouragement, as the idea of Christianizing 
the Indians seemed to most people almost an impossi- 
bility. Nevertheless he did not suffer his confidence in 
God to be shaken in the least, and soon had an oppor- 
tunity to become acquainted with some Indians of the 
Mohiccon (Mahikander) tribe. These, Tschoop and Sha- 
bosh, both very much addicted to drinking, gave with 
true Indian solemnity their consent that he might be the 
teacher of their people, and promised to take him along, 
which, promise, however, was forgotten in a drinking 
frolic. 

Having waited for them in vain at the appointed place, 
near the North River, he at last set out alone for the 
nearest Indian town, Chekomeko, about twenty-five miles 
east of the Hudson on the borders of Connecticut, near 
the Stissik Mountain. The Indians at first listened 



]\" PENNSYLVANIA. 59 

quietly to his address, hut soon becoming weary they 
laughed at him, and when intoxicated, which was no 
unfrequent occurrence, even threatened his life. But, 
though suffering much in body and in mind, and repulsed 
from their huts repeatedly, he persevered, and soon 
forgot every grievance, when he discovered that the 
Word of the Cross began to be the power of God unto 
salvation. Tschoop, the greatest drunkard amongst 
them, was the first whose heart was powerfully 
awakened through the grace of Jesus Christ, and he 
was soon followed by others. 

This, of course, created a stir among those of the white 
settlers who were ungodly, and Ranch was soon the ob- 
ject of hatred and persecution, both by the white and the 
brown people. Nevertheless, the work of the Lord 
prospered, the number of the converts increased, and in 
1742 Bro. Rauch had the happiness of baptizing the three 
first Indian converts at a public Synod in ( )ley, Penn- 
sylvania. 

I I. SIGNS OF LIFE. 

Before going into a detailed account of the activity of 
the Brethren in this country, more than a century ago, 
we must point to some signs of religious life, of which 
the evidences have happily been preserved. Deplor- 
able as was the religious state 1 of the German settlers 
in Pennsylvania about 1740. even without distinct 
historical records we would hardly venture to assert 
that there were none amongst them who felt this 
spiritual destitution and desired a better state of 
affairs. On the contrary, there were certainly many, 
especially among those who had left Germany tor 
conscience' sake, who sincerely desired and earnestly 
prayed for the dawn of the spiritual day for these 
benighted regions : more especially when they perceived, 



60 RELIGIOUS AND MORA!, CONDITION. 

how vital religion was disappearing; more and more, and 
how die different religious associations, instead of bearing 
with each other in Christian charity, were finding fault 
and quarreling with each other. These secret wishes 
and desires found an expression in a printed pamphlet 
of twenty-six pages, written in 1736 by fohn Adam 
Gruber, and addressed to anxious inquirers in Penn- 
sylvania, 65 admonishing them to do away with their 
mutual animosity, and to pray for a new outpouring of 
the Spirit of God. " O ye souls," he exclaimed, " if there 
are any among you in whom there is real love to God, to 
yourselves, and to your neighbors, would that you might 
take to heart the affliction of Joseph (Amos 6 : 6), the 
breaches of Zion, the broken walls of Jerusalem, the devas- 
tation of the sanctuary ! O that you might be the first to 
humble yourselves, to embrace your erring fellow-ser- 
vants, to admonish them, and pray with them, that the 
hand of the Lord which is not yet shortened, may 
strengthen the covenant, that new life, and faith, and 
love may be granted unto us, and the work of God, in 
His kingdom on earth, be perfected, according to His 
gracious promise," (John 16: 23; 17: 21-23). 66 

Whilst Gruber, a man of considerable religious ex- 
perience, was thus trying by his writings to draw the 
attention of his countrymen to their spiritual wants, 
another man was endeavoring to promote the cause 
of religion by his oral testimony. This was Henry 
Antes, of the German Reformed Church, who lived 
in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, a man 
of great zeal and fervent piety, but of no great oratorical 



65 " John Adam Gruber's An- und Aufforderung an die ehmalig erweckte 
hier und dar zerstreute Seelen in Pensylvania, in oder ausser Partheyen, zur 
neuen Umfassung, gliedlicher Vereinigung, und Gebets-Gemeinschaft, dar- 
gelegt aus dringendem Hertzen eines urn Heilungder Briiche Zions angstlich 
beki'immerten Gemiiths, im Jahr 1736." — Biidingische Sammlungen, III, 

PP- 13-39- 

66 Biidingische Sammlungen, (If, p. 37, 38. 



STGNS OF LIFE. 6 1 

powers. Though well aware that he had no call to 
the ministry, nevertheless his love to his destitute 
countrymen induced him occasionally to address an 
assembly and to preach the Gospel. In Oley especially, 
where he preached in 1736 for the first time, there were 
many who rejoiced to hear a simple testimony of the truth 
as it is in Christ fesus, though as yet the " Newborn" 67 
with their erroneous doctrine were in the ascendent:)'. 
Nevertheless, the simple testimony of a pious me- 
chanic aroused many, and prepared the way for the Home 
Mission efforts of the Moravian Brethren. 

A few years later, in 1 739, George Whitefield, the well 
known leader of the Methodists, paid his first visit to 
Pennsylvania, where thousands flocked together to hear 
his "forest sermons." Seeing the moral destitution of 
the Germans and not being able to preach to them in 
their language, he wrote to Count Zinzendorf, requesting 
him to send German missionaries. Hereupon Andrew 
Eschenbach 68 was sent, in 1740. Thus Whitefield, who 
afterwards became a violent opponent of Zinzendorf, was 
instrumental in introducing the Moravian Brethren into 
Pennsylvania. 

'" See p. 49, ante. 

See " B. Ludewig's wahrer Bericht, de dato Germantown 20 Feb., 1742, 

>t. v. an seine liebe Teutsche, wegen sein und seiner Briider Zusammen- 
hanges mit Pennsylvanien," p. 6. 

The following remarks aboul Whitefield are nut without interest : 
" Mein Bruder Georg Whitefield ** * * hat mir mit clem Evangelio Halm 
gemacht, wie es am Tage ist, und als er mir von Philadelphia schrieb, und 
mich um Gehiilffen ersuchte, ist Andreas Eschenbach in seine Erndte ge 
sandt worden unter die Teutschen, der nun seiner lieben Gemeine in Oley 
/um Aufseher gesetzt ist." 

" Ich hatte von meines Bruders Georg Whitefields Arbeit eine bleibende 
Frucht gehoffet ; ich horte ihn aber mehr loben als mir lieb war, und was er 
lobliches gestiftet hatte, davon sah ich nicht genug. Ich wolte in seine 
Arbeit treten bey meinen Teutschen, aber wie konte ich, denn sein eignes 
Korn unter den Englischen frassen die Vogel in der l.uft weg; und die 
Lehre verriickter Sinnen " von der unbedungenen Yerw erffung der armen 
Gemffenen," deren Ausbreitung dieser junge Zeuge so unweislich befordert, 
war fast in aller seiner Jiinger Munde." 



CHAPTER II. 

BEGINNING OF THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS 
IN NORTH AMERICA, 1734-1744. 

I. MORAVIAN COLONY IN GEORGIA. 1734- 

The congregation at Herrnhut, founded June 17, 
1722, originally consisted of two elements — the Slavonic 
and the German ; the first comprising the descendants of 
the Ancient Unitas Fratrum in Bohemia and Moravia, 
who for conscience' sake had left the land of popish 
intolerance, to seek religious liberty in a Protestant 
country ; the latter consisting of members of the Luth- 
eran and Reformed Churches who were desirous of 
a more special care of souls than was at that time to be 
found in their own churches. Since the memorable 
Thirteenth of August, 1727, both these elements were 
firmly and intimately connected by the Spirit of God, into 
one congregation, consisting of members firmly estab- 
lished in faith, fervent in love to their Redeemer and 
ever ready to serve Him, wherever they might be called 
by the leadings of His providence. But though there 
was but one mind and one spirit, though Moravian and 
non-Moravian — David Nitschmann and Leonhard Dober 
— went out together as the first missionaries of the Re- 
newed Church of the Brethren, the political relations of 
the country and the continued animosity of other Churches 
rendered it advisable to make a distinction between the 
properly so-called " Moravian " congregation — the rem- 
nant of the Church of martyrs — and the "strangers," 
(62) 



THE COD >\Y l\ GE( >RGTA. 63 

who were willing for awhile to participate in the weal and 
woe of the Moravian Church. It seemed not unlikely, that 
just as the Saxon Government withdrew its protection 
from the Schwenkfelders in 1733, so also the Moravian 
and Bohemian emigrants might be ordered to leave the 
land. Especially was this possible in view of the fact 
that Count Zinzendorf had many enemies at court, 
who succeeded at last, in 1736, in having him banished 
from Saxony. His exile lasted ten years, and led to 
the settlement of Herrnhaag in 1740. 

To be prepared for such an emergency, Moravian 
colonies were settled in various parts of the world, 
according to the leading of Providence ; but the existence 
of all these colonies was only ephemeral. The first was a 
Moravian colon)- in St. Croix in 1731 ; the second a 
similar attempt in Georgia in 1734; the third a "place- 
congregation " at Pilgerruh in Denmark, commenced 
in 1737, and abandoned in 1741 ; and the fourth a 
mission-house at Heerendyk, in Holland, which in later 
years led to the establishment of the congregation at 
Zeyst. 

The Georgia colony became important for the Amer- 
ican branch of the Unitas Fratrum. and, therefore, 
deserves more than a passing notice. 

Georgia, thus named in honor of King George II, 
and separated from South Carolina in 1732, was the only 
English colony of the present United States, which was 
settled with direct support from the English Government. 
To prevent the Spaniards in Florida and the French on 
the Mississippi from encroaching on the English colonies, 
it was deemed important to take speed) possession of 
the country between the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers, 
and in order to induce emigrants to settle there, free 
passage and a grant of land were promised. Through 
the mediation of Pastor Urlsperger in Augsburg, many of 



64 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

the Protestant Salzburgers, who were driven from their 
own country by the intolerance of the Romish Arch- 
bishop, went there. The first company, consisting- of 
ninety-one persons, embarked in November, 1733, 
accompanied by their Lutheran pastors, Bolzius and 
Gronau, and settled at Eben-Ezer — twenty-four miles 
trom Savannah. They were soon followed by others of 
their countrymen. By the liberal support of Christian 
friends in Germany and England, and a grant by the 
British Parliament of ,£26,000, they were enabled not 
only to supply their immediate wants, but also to estab- 
lish an orphan-house at Eben-Ezer. 1 

It was the intention of Count Zinzendorf, as mentioned 
before," to procure an asylum in Georgia for the Schwenk- 
felders, for which purpose he entered into negotiations 
with the Trustees of this colony. After they had changed 
their mind and set sail for Pennsylvania, Zinzendorf was 
not inclined to drop the plan altogether, but wished to 
use this opportunity for finding a permanent abode 
tor the Moravian exiles, and, if possible, at the same 
time, for beginning a Mission among the Cherokee and 
Creek Indians. 

Having mentioned this idea to the conerecration at 
Herrnhut and called for volunteers, twenty brethren 
were at once ready to undertake this enterprise ; and 
in the same year (November, 1734) nine 3 of them pro- 
ceeded to England by way of Holland. Spangenberg 
had meanwhile preceded them to London, in order to 
make the necessary arrangements with the Trustees of 



1 Hazelius' History of the Lutheran Church, pp. 27-34. 

- See p. 52. 

3 Their names were : Anton Seiffert, John Toltschig, Gottfried Haberecht, 
Gotthard Demuth, Peter Rose, Michael Haberland, Frederick Seidel, Georg 
Haberland, and George Waschke ; most of them natives of Bohemia or 
Moravia. 



THE COLONY IN GEORGIA. 65 

the Georgia colony, and to obtain the promised grant of 
land and free passage for the colonists. But he met with 
unexpected difficulties. Applying first to the Rev. Mr. 
Ziegenhagen, the German court-preacher in London, who 
had come there from Halle, he found that his German 
friends, especially Count Stolberg Wernigerode (a hitter 
enemy of Count Zinzendori ) had prejudiced him against 
this enterprise of the Moravian Brethren. The divines 
at Halle as well as some of the Lutheran ministers 
who belonged to the so-called "orthodox party," had 
taken a lively interest in the transmigration of the 
Salzburgers to Georgia, but tried their host to prevent 
the Moravians from going there. Consequently Span- 
genberg found no favorable reception from the ma- 
jority of the Georgia Trustees. He, therefore, applied 
directly to General Oglethorpe, the Governor of Georgia, 
with whom he conversed in Latin, as he at that time- 
was not acquainted with the English language, at 
hast not sufficiently to converse in it, and the Governor 
did not understand German. After repeated interviews 
with the Governor, Spangenberg obtained the promised 
grant of land (viz., 500 acres for Count Zinzendorf and 
50 acres for himself) and the desired immunities, liberty 
oi worship and exemption from bearing arms, for his 
brethren. When they arrived in London, in January, 
1 735 the ( Governor had anticipated their needs, by kindly 
providing a dwelling for them until they could set sail 
on February 6, 1 735. 

Spangenberg accompanied the Brethren to Georgia, 
superintending at the same time, at the request oi the 
Trustees, a company of Swiss emigrants who sailed in 
the same vessel for Carolina. 

After a tract of 50 acres near the Savannah River had 
been conveyed to Spangenberg in the usual manner, the 
Brethren forthwith set about building a house of split 



66 the brethren's congregations. 

logs, and clearing land, though beset by many difficulties, 
and at times sorely taxed by sickness, as is more or less 
the case in all new settlements of this kind. Never- 
theless, they were able to provide for their most pressing 
wants (Bro. Spangenberg for a long time serving as 
cook for the company), and also to build another house 
in the town of Savannah for the reception of the second 
company of colonists 4 who arrived in February, 1736, 
led by Bishop David Nitschmann. 

In the same vessel with the Moravian brethren, the 
Governor of the colony, General Oglethorpe, also 
traveled, and with him John and Charles Wesley. 
John Wesley was to be minister of the Episcopal 
Church in Savannah. With him especially, Bishop 
Nitschmann became intimately acquainted, the one 
learning to speak German and the other English. 
This was the first connection of the Brethren with 
the leaders of the Methodists ; but it led to im- 
portant results, preparing for the Brethren an 
entrance into a great field of usefulness in En gland, 
and preparing Wesley to accept from the lips of 
Peter Bohler the doctrine of the free grace of 
God in Jesus Christ, and the all-sufficient merit of the 
Saviour, which led to his own conversion and made 
him a blessing to thousands of his countrymen. 

The impression made on Wesley by this intercourse 
with David Nitschmann, the first Bishop of the Renewed 
Church of the Brethren, was strengthened by his con- 
versations with Spangenberg who, uniting fervent piety 

4 The second company consisted of: John Bohner, Matthias Seybold, 
John Martin Mack, Augustine and George Neisser, David Jag, David and 
John Tanneberger, David Zeisberger and Anna, his wife, and some other 
sisters. 

They were, after some time, joined by two Moravian lads — David Zeis- 
berger and Shober — who had left Heerendyk secretly, to join their friends in 
< Georgia. 



THE COLONY IN GEORGIA. 67 

with great theological knowledge, soon gained the con- 
fidence and esteem of the English divine. 

Aft#r the departure of Spangenberg to Pennsylvania, 
Bishop Nitschmann and Anthony Seiffert superintended 

the affairs of the colon)', which were for a while very 
prosperous. God blessed their industry in such a 
manner, that, in a short time they not only procured a 
sufficient maintenance for themselves, hut even repaid 
the money advanced to them in London, and were also 
enabled to assist their neighbors, especially the newly 
arrived Salzburgers. At the same time the main object 
of their mission, preaching the Gospel to the Indians, 
was not lost sight of, and for this purpose a school-house 
was established for Indian children, on an island in the 
Savannah River, called Irene, about five miles from town. 
Bro. Peter Rose and his wife, A. Seiffert, John Bonner, 
and other brethren lived there for a while among - the 
Indians, endeavoring to learn their language. Most of 
these Indians, who had some knowledge of English, 
heard the Brethren gladly, and frequently brought their 
chief or king, Tomo Tschatschi, to hear " the great 
word," as they expressed it. 

The prosperity of this small Moravian colony, how- 
ever, received a sudden check in 1737 ; for when the 
neighboring Spaniards endeavored to expel the English 
from Georgia, the latter called upon the Brethren to 
join in taking up arms against them. This they re- 
fused, having declared when in London, "that they 
neither could nor would bear arms on any consideration." 
Some were in favor of leaving Georgia immediately, but 
following the advice of Bro. Toltschig they awaited the 
arrival of Spangenberg from Pennsylvania. Lie advised 
them to refer the whole matter to the Trustees of the 



Loskiel, Pari II, \>. j. 



68 the brethren's congregations. 

colony in England. For this purpose they sent John 
Toltschig to Europe, in company with the Rev. Benjamin 
Ingham, an English clergyman, who had materially 
assisted the Brethren in various ways. The decision by 
the Trustees, given August 3, 1737, was to the effect 
that the Brethren should be bound to furnish two men 6 
for military service, but should not be obliged themselves 
to bear arms. 

Thou of h this decision was as favorable as could be 
expected, still the jealousy of their neighbors was 
thereby aroused, internal harmony became disturbed 
and the death-blow was given to the colony. Already 
in 1738 twelve of the colonists removed to Pennsylvania 
and settled near Germantown. Among them were 
David Tanneberger, Gotthard Demuth, and Augustine 
Neisser. 

Leaving the Moravian colony in Georgia for a while 
we now follow Spangenberg on his first visit to Pennsyl- 
vania. 

2. SPANGENBERG IN PENNSYLVANIA, I 736. 

Pour times, for longer or shorter periods, Spangen- 
berg resided in Pennsylvania, and he may justly be 
called the founder of the American branch of the Unitas 
Fratrum, which owes as much to him as the German 
branch owes to Count Zinzendorf. 

Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg, among the Brethren 
generally called "Brother Joseph," was born July 15, 
1 704. He was the son of a Lutheran minister in Kletten- 
berg, in Northern Germany. Having received a classical 
education he went to the University of Jena in 1722, to 
study theology under the especial superintendence of Dr. 

6 That is, one man for Spangenberg's lot and one for Nitschmann's land. 
— Biidingische Sammlungen, III, pp. 479, 480. 



SPANGENBERG. 6g 

Francis Buddeus, from whom he adopted two important 
maxims: i. "That children of God may be found in all 
denominations ; and 2. That the true Christian Church 
consists of those who live in intimate communion with 
the Saviour." 7 

Havino- obtained the academical degree of Artium 
Magister, he held public lectures in Jena, from 1726 
to 1 732, which soon became very popular. Hut still more 
useful was his pastoral activity among the awakened stu- 
dents. From the year 1 72S on many of them entered 
into spiritual communion with the Church at Herrnhut, 
and afterwards became faithful ministers of the Unitas 
Fratrum. (as Peter Bohler, P. E. Leyritz, G. H. Molther, 
J. C. F. Cammerhof [. M. Graff, F. C. Lembke, G. A. 
( Hdendorp, etc.). 

In 1732 he accepted an appointment to Halle as Pro- 
fessor of the University, and Dr. Franke's assistant in 



: These maxims are beautifully expressed in a hymn ((imposed by 
Spangenberg, during the Synod at Lancaster in 1745 : 
Die Kirche Christi, die Er geweiht 
Zu Seinem Hause, ist weit und breit 
In der Welt zerstreuet — in Nord und Siiden, 
In Ost und West, und doch so hienieden 
Als droben Eins. 

Die Glieder sind sich meistens unbekannt, 
Und doch einander gar nah' verwandt ; 
Einer ist ihr Heiland, ihr Vater Einer, 
Ein deist regiert sie; und ihrer keiner 
Lebt mehr sich selbst. 

The Church of Christ, that He hath hallowed here 
To be His house, is scattered far and near, 
In North, and South, and East, and West abroad; 
And yet in earth and heaven, through Christ, her Lord, 
The Church is one. 

One member knoweth not another here, 

And yet their fellowship is true and near; 
( >ne is their Saviour, and their Father one ; 
One Spirit rules them, and anion- them none 
I.i\ e> to himself. 



JO THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

the Orphan-house, where, however, he never felt quite 
at home. His more liberal way of thinking, his willing- 
ness to serve everybody with the Gospel, which brought 
him into intercourse with many Separatists, and above 
all his continued connection with Zinzendorf and the 
Brethren in Herrnhut, created many enemies, who at last 
succeeded in having him expelled from the University. 

He now went to Herrnhut, where he arrived May 9, 
1733, and soon became Zinzendorf's most intimate 
friend and valuable assistant. Next to Zinzendorf he 
was the most influential man in the Renewed Church of 
the Brethren, which he served both in Europe and 
America for nearly forty years, with great ability and 
faithfulness, until his death at Berthelsdorf on Sep- 
tember 18, 1792. 

Spangenberg had spent about a year in the wilderness 
of Georgia, faithfully assisting by word and work in es- 
tablishing a Moravian colony. After this object had been 
accomplished and Bishop Nitschmann had taken charge 
of the infant settlement, he was instructed to proceed 
to Pennsylvania and visit the Schwenkfelders. With 
letters of recommendation from General Oglethorpe 
to Thomas Penn, Spangenberg left Georgia on March 
15, 1736, after having been ordained a presbyter of the 
Moravian Church by Bishop David Nitschmann. In 
April he arrived in Skippack, Pennsylvania, where his old 
friend, Christopher Wiegner, received him very cordially. 
Here he remained for a considerable time, and from 
occasional remarks in his letters to the Brethren in 
Germany, as well as from other sources, it is evident that 
the learned Professor of Theology took many practical 
lessons in ploughing, threshing and other agricultu- 
ral labors, by which he became well qualified for future 
practical usefulness in the "economies" of Bethlehem 
and Nazareth. 



SPANGENBERG. ;r 

"As regards my outward occupation," he wrote to 
Isaac Lelong in fune, [738, "it is at present farm-work ; 
but this is as much blessed to my soul as formerly my 
studying and writing-. For nothing, even in outward 
affairs, is in itself good or had ; hut whatever is done 
with the blessing of God, thereby becomes good, whilst 
anything, performed without God's blessing, becomes 
bad." 

But, though at times busily occupied on Wiegner's 
farm, Spangenberg did not neglect his mission to preach 
the Gospel whenever an opportunity offered. In 1737 
he went to Oley, accompanied by Chr. Wiegner, to visit 
those German Lutherans and Reformed (mostly from 
the Palatinate and Wirtemberg), among whom Henry 
Antes had been laboring with great success, until coun- 
teracted by the influence of "the Newborn." 

Here, as we read in the old Church-records of Oley, 
Spangenberg several times proclaimed the testimony of 
the meritorious death ot the Lamb, with such demonstra- 
tion of the Spirit and of power, that a lasting impression 
was made and a great victory obtained over the power of 
darkness. He kept his first meeting- in the house of 
Jonathan Herpdes; the second, in that of Abraham Rar- 
tholet. At the latter place he attacked the spirit of the 
" Newborn " in an address on 1 John 1 : 7-9, so vigor- 
ously that from that time they could never regain their 
influence. 

He also visited repeatedly inTulpehocken ; for instance, 
in 1738, shortly before the death of Pastor Leutbecker, 
whose funeral sermon he preached. One of his earliest 
acquaintances there was George Lcesch (who died at 
Nazareth in 1790), in whose house he held many an 
edifying and instructive meeting. Among the Men 
nonites and Tunkers, also, he had many friends and ac 
quaintances; and though opponents were not wanting, 



72 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS 

his humble, loving manner likewise made an impression 
on them. As the sequel will show, the seed sown by 
him in humble reliance on the blessing" of the Saviour 
was not altogether lost. 

When Peter Bohler came to Pennsylvania in 1740, he 
found that Spangenberg was well known everywhere, 
and often heard it said, " that he had come to Pennsyl- 
vania a very wise man ; but had returned from this 
high-school much wiser." 

And in truth he returned wiser than he had come ; 
richer in practical knowledge of the country and the 
manners and customs of the settlers ; richer in knowl- 
edge of the human mind and in pastoral experience. 

In a letter to Bishop Nitschmann in 1738, he said: 
" If Brethren are to come to Pennsylvania, the most 
firmly rooted, staid, practical and every way useful mer 
ought to be selected ; for they come into a country where 
there are people who have considerable spiritual exper- 
ience and can discern the spirits." 

To this class, however, most of the first-comers from 
Georgia did not belong. They left the colony without 
direct permission of the Church at home and settled in 
or near Germantown, preferring their own secular ad- 
vantage to the welfare of the congregation which had 
sent them, and were, therefore, a poor recommendation 
for the Moravian Brethren who came to Pennsylvania a 
few years later. 

3. THE WHITEFIELD HOUSE AT NAZARETH. 1 74O. 

Whilst Spangenberg was busily engaged in Pennsyl- 
vania in proclaiming the love of the Saviour and promot- 
ing His cause among sectarians and separatists of every 
kind, and thus prepared the field for future cultivation 
by the Brethren, another brother was no less actively 



THE WIITTEFIELD HOUSE. J 1, 

employed in Georgia in endeavoring to promote the 
spiritual and temporal interests of the Moravian colony, 
which already showed symptoms of decay. 

This was Peter Bohler, a man of great gifts and fer- 
vent piety, and, next to Spangenberg, the most important 
man in the early history of the American Moravian 
Church. Like Spangenberg he also was four times in 
Pennsylvania, and his services, especially in the earliest 
times of the Moravian settlements, were of the most 
valuable and self-denying kind. 

Peter Bohler was born December 31, 17 12, in Frank- 
furt-on-the-Main. Showing, even in early years, great 
ability, he was destined for the study of theology, and 
accordingly went to the University of Jena in April, 
1 73 1. At that time about thirty of his town-people 
were students at this University, mostly irreligious and 
profligate young men ; and as it was customary that 
those from the same city generally kept together, 
young Peter Bohler, only eighteen years of age, was 
in great danger of being led astray if the Lord had 
not graciously protected him. About a w r eek before 
his arrival one of his acquaintances from Frankfurt had 
come to Jena. After seeing the wild life and for a few 
days participating in the drinking frolics of his country- 
men, which often led to fighting, he had become so dis- 
gusted that he sought refuge among the more piously 
inclined students, who were in connection with the 
Church at Herrnhut. By him Peter Bohler was imme- 
diately led to the house of Dr. YValch, where the 
awakened students used to assemble, and, though his 
other countrymen tried their best to entice him away 
from the Pietists, he was graciously preserved by the 
hand of the Lord. While attending oik; of their religious 
meetings he heard a fervent address by Spangenberg on 

a tract of Spener, of which, however, he himself relates : 
5 



74 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

" I heard and remembered only that one sentence: 'The 
Saviour has the power to liberate from sin.' This went 
to my heart, and the Saviour soon proved to me prac- 
tically that He is able to free us from the power and 
dominion of sin." 

Having thus dedicated himself to the Lord he soon 
began to preach the Gospel in different village- 
churches, and was, after 1734, the acknowledged leader 
of the awakened students who maintained connection 
with Zinzendorf and the Brethren. Urged by the 
former, he applied for and obtained in 1735, when only 
twenty two years old, the academical degree of Magis- 
ter Lessens, and commenced to lecture on the Hebrew 
language. 

In 1737, when Count Christian Renatus de Zinzendorf, 
with some other young noblemen, accompanied by Bro. 
John Nitschmann, went to Jena, Peter Bohler was re- 
quested to direct their studies and select their teachers, 
and did so to the satisfaction of Count Zinzendorf. 

In October, 1737, he received and accepted an appoint- 
ment from the Church at Herrnhut to go to Georgia in 
company with George Schulius, and was commissioned 
to pay a visit to the students at Oxford, England, and 
speak with them about the Saviour. 

This visit led to important results, by preparing the 
entrance of the Moravian Brethren into Great Britain, 
and afterwards leading to the establishment of a number 
of Moravian congregations in England and Ireland. In 
London Peter Bohler became acquainted with John 
Wesley, who had just returned from Georgia, much dis- 
turbed in mind and convinced of the necessity of a 
change of heart. 

"These convictions" — we quote from the " Wesleyan 
Centenary" — "painful and humiliating as they were 
to a man who had done and suffered so much in what 



PETER BOHLER. 75 

he conceived to be the cause of true religion, were 
strengthened and confirmed by his intercourse with 
Peter Bohler, a learned minister of the Moravian Church, 
who arrived in England at this time. JHe was intro- 
duced to this distinguished German at the house of a 
Dutch merchant in London, February 7, 1738, and 
omitted no opportunity of conversing with him, till the 
beginning of May, when this pious stranger embarked 
for Carolina. Mr. Wesley appears to have derived 
more evangelical light from Peter Bohler than from 
any other man with whom he had been acquainted up 
to this period." 7 

The following notices in John Wesley's journal show 
the deep impression which Bohler' s conversation made 
upon his mind : 

" Friday, ij. — I set out for Oxford with Peter Bohler. 

''Saturday, 18. — We went to Staunton-Harcourt to 
visit Mr. Gambold. 8 At this time I conversed with Peter 
Bohler, but I understood him not, and least of all when 
he said : ' My brother, my brother, that philosophy of 
yours must be purged away.' 

"Saturday, MarcJi 4. — I found my brother at Oxford, 
recovering from pleurisy, and with him Peter Bohler, by 
whom (in the hand of God) I was on Sunday, the 5th. 
clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of faith whereby 
alone we are saved. Immediately it struck my mind : 
'Leave off preaching. How can you preach to others, 
who have not faith yourself?' I asked Bohler whether 
he thought I should or not? He answered: 'By no 
means.' I asked, 'But what can I preach?' He said. 
' Preach faith till you have it ; and then because you have 
it, you will preach faith.' 

Wesleyan Centenary, p. 55. 
8 At that time minister of the Established Church, afterwards the Inst 
Moravian Bishop in England. 



j6 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

" Thursday, 22. — I met Bohler again, who now amazed 
me more and more by the account he gave of the 
fruits of living faith ; the holiness and happiness which 
he affirmed to attend it. The next morning I began 
the Greek Testament again, resolving to abide by 
the law and the testimony ; and being confident that 
God would hereby show me whether this doctrine was 
of God. 

" Wednesday, May j. — My brother had a long and 
particular conversation with Peter Bohler. And now it 
pleased God to open his eyes, so that he also saw clearly 
what was the nature of that one true living faith, whereby 
alone through grace we are saved. 

o o 

" Thursday, May 4? — Peter Bohler left London in 
order to embark for Carolina. O what a woik hath God 
begun since his coming to England ! Such an one as 
shall never come to an end till heaven and earth pass 
away. 

On May 13, 1738, Peter Bohler and George Schulius 
embarked at Portsmouth in one of General Ogle- 
thorpe's vessels. Both were destined for South 
Carolina as missionaries among the negroes, and Peter 
Bohler was to be the regular pastor of the Moravian 
colony in Georgia, and had for this purpose been 
ordained by Bishop Nitschmann and Zinzendorf, at the 
Ronneburg, on December 15, 1737. 

Their journey lasted very long ; for it was September 
29 when they landed in St. Simons, Georgia, while they 
did not reach the settlement of the Brethren before 
October 15. In February, 1739, both removed to Purys- 
burg in South Carolina, twenty miles' from Savannah, 



" Peter Bohler's manuscript memoir states that he left London Thursday, 
May 15. Evidently the same day is meant, according to old and new 
style, which made a difference of eleven days. 



GEORGIA ABANDONED. jy 

a small town which in 1733 had been laid out by 
John Peter Pury, from Switzerland, and was inhabited 
mostly by Germans. Here Peter Bohler preached 
every Sunday for the Germans, while during- the week 
both endeavored to instruct the negroes, of whom, how- 
oxer, there were not many in that neighborhood. In 
the Summer both became sick with fever and Schulius 
died August 4. Towards Fall Peter Bohler left Purys- 
burg and wont to his brethren at Savannah, where his 
faithful instruction had a salutary effect on the internal 
well-being of this small colony. However, as the main 
object of the mission, to preach the Gospel to the 
Indians, could not be gained, because the colonial govern- 
ment prohibited their going into the interior, and as, 
after the breaking out of the war with the Spaniards, 
the Brethren were again urged to take up arms, they 
resolved to leave their houses and well-cultivated 
fields and to remove to Pennsylvania. Their number 
was already greatly reduced. Besides the twelve who 
had left in 1738, Peter Rose and his wife had gone 
to Pennsylvania ; Haberland had taken his sister, John 
Toltschig's wife, to Europe ; Shober had died, and 
Francis Regnier had deserted ; so that there remained 
only six brethren, viz., Peter Bohler, Anthony Seif 
fert, |ohn Bohner, John Martin Mack, George Zeis 
berger, and his son David, and George Zeisberger's 
wife. . 

It was deemed best to send John Bohner in ad- 
vance to find a place where they might settle ; but 
whilst he was gone on an unsuccessful mission, as was 
afterwards ascertained, the Lord had already prepared 
another way. On New Year Pay, 1740, Mr. White-field 
arrived in Georgia the second time, and immediately 
went to see Bro. Bohler. with whom he had not before 
been personally acquainted, though he had corresponded 



78 the brethren's congregations. 

with him. This led to a more intimate acquaintance both 
with Mr. Whitefield and with Mr. William Seward, his 
traveling- companion, which proved beneficial for the 
settlement of the Brethren in Pennsylvania. 

On April 13 the Moravian Brethren left Savannah, 
where they had gained many friends, of whom some, as 
John Brownfield, James Burnside, and H. T. Beck, after- 
wards followed them to Bethlehem, as also did Abraham 
Bl'ihninger, from Purysburg. 

They traveled in Mr. Whitefield' s company 10 to Phila- 
delphia, where they arrived on April 25. They were 
greatly disappointed at not finding either Spangen- 
berg, who had left for Europe, or Bishop Nitschmann, 
whose arrival was soon expected. They went to 
Wiegner's, next to Henry Antes, and then back 
again to Germantown. Those of the Georgia colonists 
who had settled in this village in 1738, tried to per- 
suade them to do the same ; but Peter Bohler and 
Anthony Seiffert, though for the moment at a loss what 
to do, preferred to await Bishop Nitschmann's arrival. 
Meanwhile Mr. Whitefield had bought 5,000 acres 
of land in the Forks of the Delaware (now Northamp- 
ton County) from Mr. Wm. Allen for ,£2,200, (Mr. 
Seward advancing the money), for the purpose of 
erecting there a school for negroes. On May 5 he came 
to Christopher Wiegner's plantation in Skippack, to 
see Peter Bohler concerning the intended building, and 
as some of the Brethren were carpenters, he offered to 
pay them for doing all the carpenter work and requested 
Peter Bohler to take general superintendence of the 
building. 

Many people having assembled to see and to hear the 
famous Mr. Whitefield, he preached to them in English, 



10 On board of Whiteheld's sloop. 



THE WHITEFIELD HOUSE. 79 

and Peter Bohler closed with a German address." The 
next day Peter Bohler and Anthony Seiffert, accom- 
panied by Henry Antes, set out to look for this tract 
in the northern forest-wilds of Pennsylvania ; and on 
Saturday, May 7, found a pretty considerable Indian 
village, on the site of what was later known as " Old 
Nazareth." 

They returned to Philadelphia and reported to Mr. 
Whitefield, who closed his contract with Mr. Allen, and 
called the tract Nazareth, and once more renewed his offer 
to the Brethren. After serious consideration they con- 
sulted the will of the Lord by Lot. The answer being- 
affirmative, they thereupon accepted Mr. Whitefield's 
proposal, glad to have found, at least, a temporary occu- 
pation till Bishop Nitschmann should arrive. 

After a three days' march from Germantown the com- 
pany of seven brethren, two sisters and two boys I2 might 
have been found (May 30) seated under a large forest 
tree, singing song-s of praise and prayer to their Lord 
and Saviour. 

Two days later the commissioners sent by Whitefield 
arrived and marked off the spot where the house was to 
be built. The entire management of the erection of the 
building was left to Peter Bohler and his brethren. The 
common tradition that Whitefield had commenced this 



" W. Seward wrote in his journal, April 24, old style : " It was surprising 
to see such a multitude of people gathered together in such a wilderness 
country, thirty miles distant from Philadelphia. Our brother was exceedingly 
carried out in his sermon, to press poor sinners to come to Christ by faith, 
and claim all their privileges, viz., not only righteousness and peace, but joy 
in the Holy Ghost: and after he had done, our dear friend, Peter Bohler, 
preached in Dutch [German] to those who could not understand our brother 
in English." — Gillie's Memoir of Whitefield, p. 36. 

1 Peter Bohler, Anthony Seiffert, John Martin Mack, John Bohner, George 
Zeisberger, and his wife Rosina, David Zeisberger, Matthias Seybold, Hannah 
Hummel, who had accompanied them from Purysburg, and two boys, Ben- 
jamin Summers and James. 



8o THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

building and that it was afterwards finished by the 
Brethren, is, therefore, erroneous. Whitefield himself 
was never on the spot as long- as he was the owner 
of the land, and his commissioners only marked the 
size of the house, and may possibly have brought a 
plan for the external and internal arrangement of the 
house, but the execution of the work was left to the 
Moravian Brethren. 

For about four weeks they could not do much on 
account of the almost continual rains, and so they built 
the small log house which was afterwards enlarged 
and is inhabited to this day. As soon as the weather 
permitted they engaged as many people as they could 
to push on the work, but they were exposed to many 
disappointments and delays. Three hundred pounds 
sterling were expended before the cellar-walls were 
finished in September ; to run up a massive two-story 
building and roof it before Winter would have been 
an impossibility. Therefore it was deemed the best 
policy to provide for their own immediate wants and 
to erect a two-story log building. This was finished in 
November, and is also inhabited to this day. 

Though exposed to want and privation, nevertheless 
these pious workmen enjoyed happy times in com- 
munion with their Saviour, and often in later years 
remembered how brotherly union and willingness to 
serve each other had sweetened all labor. Peter Bohler 
not only kept daily meetings for his brethren, but 
faithfully assisted them in their work and generally 
walked every week some eight or ten miles to the 
nearest mill to fetch needed provisions. 

In October the Brethren were unexpectedly cheered 
by the arrival of Andrew Eschenbach from Europe, who 
told them that more brethren and sisters were comine 
in a short time. 



THE CHURCH AT OLEV. 8 1 



THE CHURCH AT OLEY 



Andrew Eschenbach had been sent, in consequence 
of Whitefield's request to Count Zinzendorf, to labor 
amono- the destitute Germans in Pennsylvania, for which 
work he seemed peculiarly qualified. 1 le was a shoe- 
maker by trade and had joined the Brethren only a 
few years before, but soon distinguished himself by his 
eloquent address, and his humble and exemplary 
walk and conversation. Whenever not employed in 
the service of the Church, he was wont to take his 
seat again on the shoemaker's bench, never arrogating 
any importance to himself as one of the Elders of the 



congregation. 



Being introduced in Oley by Henry Antes, he 
remained there for a time, lodging at first at Jean 
Bertholet's and afterwards in John Leinbach's family, 
and proclaiming the Word of God in houses and in 
barns, wherever opportunity offered, with great power 
and demonstration of the Spirit. Soon the whole town- 
ship was excited ; the people came in crowds to hear the 
Word, and though after a while the first excitement 
subsided, still there were many on whose hearts deeper 
impressions were made, and who gladly availed them- 
selves by private conversation with Bro. Eschenbach 
of the opportunity to be strengthened and confirmed in 
spiritual knowledge and experience. 

In 1 74 1 there were already fifty-one awakened souls 
in this neighborhood, of whom many in later years 
became members of the Brethren's Church, e.g., several 
Leinbachs, originally German Reformed from Wetter- 
avia, the Burstlers, who were Lutherans from the Palati- 
nate, John de Turk, a Mennonite, and others. 

For the present, however, only a small beginning was 
made. 



82 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS 

5. SETTLEMENT OF BETHLEHEM, I 74I . 

The brethren and sisters whose coming- was an- 
nounced by Andrew Eschenbach, arrived at the two- 
story log-house of Nazareth Manor in December, 1740. 
It was only a small company, consisting of Bishop David 
Nitschmann, old Father David Nitschmann and his 
daughter Anna, Sister Molther and Brother Frohlich. 

Bishop David Nitschmann, born at Zauchtenthal, 
Moravia, in 1696, was one of those three David Nitsch- 
manns who, in company with Melchior Zeisberger and 
John Toltschig, arrived in Herrnhut May 12, 1724, when 
the corner-stone of the first meeting-house was being laid. 
They were all young men of good families, with the best 
prospects before them in their own country, but rather 
than give up their religious meetings and submit to the 
errors of popery, they left house and home, wealth and 
fame, to seek among strangers a spot where they could 
serve the Lord according to the dictates of their con- 
science. Leaving their native village by night they 
expressed their feelings in the Moravian Emigrant's 
song : 

" Blessed be the day when I must roam, 
Far from my country, friends, and home, 

An exile, poor and mean ; 
My fathers' God will be my guide, — 
Will angel guards for me provide, — 

My soul from dangers screen. 

Himself will lead me to a spot, 
Where, all my cares and griefs forgot, 

I shall enjoy sweet rest. 
As pants the hart for water-brooks, — 
My thirsting soul, with longing looks 

To God, my refuge blest. 

By the providence of God they were led to Herrnhut 
just when Frederick de Watteville was in the act of 
praying at the solemn consecration of the corner-stone 



BETHLEHEM. 8$ 

of that house which was to contain the first Moravian 
chapel. Such a prayer they had never heard before, 
and they at once decided to cast their lot with these 
people. David Nitschmann and Melchior Zeisberger 
learned the carpenter's trade with Christian David, and 
were much happier here, though their fare was very 
poor and scant, than they had been at home in the 
plentiful enjoyment of the good things of this life. 

On May 20, 1727, David Nitschmann was chosen one 
of the twelve brethren who constituted the first Elders' 
Conference of the Unity in the Renewed Church. In 
1728 he was one of the three brethren who were sent to 
England to make the Moravian Church known there. 
On-August 21, 1732, he went out with Leonhard Dober 
to St. Thomas, to preach the Gospel to the negro slaves, 
thus beginning the first missionary work of the 
Church of the United Brethren among the heathen. 
After spending a year among the negroes, he was 
recalled to Herrnhut and on March 13, 1735, he was 
consecrated to the episcopal office as the first Bishop of 
the Renewed Church. This solemn transaction took 
place in Berlin in the presence of several Bohemian and 
Moravian brethren, when Bishop Daniel Ernst Jablonsky, 
court-preacher in Berlin and senior Bishop of the Ancient 
( T nitas FratniDL with the concurrence of Bishop Chris- 
tian Sitkovius of Lissa, Poland, thus transferred the epis- 
copacy again from the Polish to the Moravian branch of 
the Unity. Both Bishops furnished him with the usual 
certificate, giving him full authority "to hold visitations, 
ordain presbyters and deacons, and perform all the 
functions which belong to a bishop in the Church of 
Christ." 

Zinzendorf characterizes David Nitschmann in these 
words: " His genuine conversion, his humble walk and 
conversation, his straightforward manner, his authority 



84 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS 

before the world ; his indefatigable zeal to spread the 
Gospel, his skill in planning and building-up settlements, 
his first attempt among the heathen, since so abundantly 
blessed by God — all this taken together pointed him out 
as the only candidate, when it was time to renew the 
Episcopacy of the Moravian Church. He spent most 
of his time in visiting the Moravian colonies in foreign 
countries." 

In 1736 he accompanied the second company of col- 
onists to Georgia, assisted in 1738 in the establishment 
of Herrnhaag in Western Germany; and now in 1740 
he arrived in Pennsylvania to superintend a settlement 
there. 

He was accompanied by his aged uncle, David 
Nitschmann, generally called "old Father Nitschmann," 
who, though already sixty-four years old, was still very 
vigorous, both in body and in mind. This venerable 
patriarch of the Brethren, a genuine descendant of the 
Church of Martyrs, was born in Zauchtenthal in 1676. 
In early life he obtained a knowledge of evangelical 
truth by studying the writings of the forefathers, which 
were carefully hidden in secret places, and, later in life, 
in 1723, in consequence of the preaching of Christian 
David, he was led to open his house at Kunewalde for 
the preaching of the Gospel. This, of course, exposed 
him to persecution and he was repeatedly thrown into 
prison, as "an arch-heretic," loaded with irons, and was 
even put to the torture. 

Having resolved to make his escape, Nitschmann made 
known his intention to one of his fellow prisoners, David 
Schneider, who decided to accompany him. About 
eleven o'clock at night, as he was trying to unloose his 
feet, to his astonishment he found that the stocks were 
unlocked ; and having assisted Schneider to take off his 
irons, they proceeded with cautious steps across the court 



BETHLEHEM. 85 

of the prison, and finding the doors open, hastened to 
Nitschmann's wife, to give her the necessary directions, 
and commenced their arduous journey out of the coun- 
try, fanuary 2.5, [725. They escaped into Silesia, where 
Nitschmann was joined by his wife and children (Melchior 
and [ohn, Rosina and Anna) and on February 25 they 
arrived at Herrnhut. 

In [733 he went with the? first company of colonists to 
St. Croix, W. I., where his wife died in 1735. Having 
spent some time at I lerrnhut, lie assisted in building the 
Moravian settlement at Pilgerruh in Denmark, and when 
this plan failed, he; was requested to take an active part 
in the settlement of a third Moravian colony, which was 
more successful than the two former attempts. Having 
been duly naturalized in 1750, he became the nominal 
proprietor of all the lands belonging to the Brethren in 
America. He died at Bethlehem, in 1758, aged eighty- 
two years. 

Old Father Nitschmann was accompanied to the New 
World by his youngest daughter, Anna Charity, (born 
November 24, 1715,) who exercised great influence in 
the earlier times of the Renewed Church. When but in 
her fifteenth year, on March 15, 1730, she was nominated 
by the sisters of Herrnhut to the office of Eldress, 
according- to the custom of the Ancient Church, and the 
remarkable choice of so young a person to such an 
office was confirmed by the Lord through the Lot. She 
gained her livelihood by spinning wool. Whole nights 
were frequently spent by her in prayer and communion 
with her Saviour. While she thus led a peaceful and 
happy life, she was of signal service in building up her 
sisters in the faith and love of God. When the number 
of chief elders decreased and their authority was virtu- 
ally exercised by a single individual, she was regarded by 
the Church as holding 1 a similar office among the sisters. 



86 the brethren's congregations 

On May 4, 1730, she entered into a special covenant 
with seventeen of her sisters, to devote themselves 
wholly to the Lord. This covenant laid the foundation 
for the celebration of the fourth of May as a memorial 
day, for a solemn renewal of the pledge in the case of 
all those unmarried women who feel themselves drawn, 
by the grace of God, into the same spirit which was mani- 
fested by Anna Nitschmann and her faithful companions. 
No one, Zinzendorf not excepted, has been so highly 
esteemed, nay almost venerated among the Brethren, as 
this poor Moravian exile girl, Anna Nitschmann. From 
affection she was generally called " Mother Anna," or 
"The Mother." 

For a time she laid aside her office as Eldress of the 
Single Sisters, in order to labor as a free handmaid of 
the Lord among her own sex in Pennsylvania. She was 
accompanied to America by Sister Hannah Molther, 
whose husband, the Rev. Philip H. Molther, was mean- 
while active in England. 

The fifth of this company was Christian Frohlich, from 
Holstein, a baker by trade, and destined for missionary 
service among the Indians. 

The Brethren at Nazareth were highly rejoiced at the 
opportune arrival of Bishop Nitschmann and his com- 
pany ; for they were just then quite at a loss in refer- 
ence to the future, as they had received a peremptory 
order from Mr. Whitefield, to leave his lands forthwith. 
The following was the reason for this strange proceeding : 

When the Brethren left Georgia, they wished, if 
possible, to preserve the influence which they had gained 
among the heathen, and accordingly accepted an offer 
made to them by Mr. Whitefield to assist him in his 
establishment in Georgia, and Bro. John Hagen was sent 
there in 1740. Living in Whitefield's house and being 
in daily intercourse with his people, he often heard the 



BETHLEHEM. 87 

opinion expressed, that Christ had not died for all men, 
but only for those predestinated to salvation. Though 
avoiding- disputes as much as possible, still he could re- 
frain from maintaining his views, for he disapproved of 
the doctrine of election and reprobation as un-Scriptural. 
In consequence of this, White-field ordered his people 
to break off all intercourse with Bro. Hagen, while he 
took a journey to New England. 

In Philadelphia he met Peter Bohler and disputed with 
him also on this doctrinal point, and as he could not con- 
vince him, resorted to a very practical argument and 
ordered the Brethren to leave his land. In justice to Mr. 
Whitefield, however, we must add that this doctrinal 
difference was probably not the only cause for such a 
summary proceeding; for Whitefield had become preju- 
diced against the Germans by the slanderous insinuations 
of some of their Irish neighbors, who looked with envy 
and jealousy on the German settlement. It was only 
the commericement of many subsequent similar perse- 
cutions, which in reality were caused not so much by 
different religious convictions as by the innate antag- 
onistic feeling- between the different races. 

It was out of the question to remove "forthwith," as 
Winter was at hand ; but still they had to look for 
another place of refuge. Bishop Nitschmann's arrival 
was, therefore, a very joyful event ; for he had been 
commissioned to buy land in Pennsylvania for a settle- 
ment of the Brethren. Of various offers that of Justice 
Irish, agent of William Allen, of Philadelphia, seemed 
the most acceptable. Irish had seen Peter Bohler occa- 
sionally at the mill, and though not himself a professor 
of religion, yet he esteemed the Brethren as moral and 
industrious men, ami highly disapproved of Mr. White- 
field's arbitrary conduct. He, therefore, offered them 
five hundred acres of woodland at the confluence of the 



8& THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS 

Manakasy Creek and Lehigh River (or West Branch 
of the Delaware). 

Having been recalled to Europe, Peter Bohler, left the 
care and superintendence of the intended colony to 
Bishop Nitschmann, and set sail for England in January, 
1 741, from New York. In that city he became ac- 
quainted with the Noble and Horsfield families, which 
was the first step towards the formation of a Moravian 
congregation in New York City. 

The Brethren went to work directly, cutting logs and 
clearing the ground, and in March, 1 741 — the weather 
being still very severe and the snow very deep — the first 
house was blocked up, old Father Nitschmann surpass 
ing all in industry and perseverance. In April, Bishop 
Nitschmann closed the contract with Mr. Allen, and on 
June 26, after all the brethren and sisters had removed 
from Nazareth into the new house near the Lehigh, 13 they 
immediately began preparations for the erection of a 
two-story " clergy-house," in which work they were 
faithfully assisted by Henry Antes. 

While thus engaged they received letters from Europe 
announcing- that the Nazareth tract had been bought for 
the Church. Mr. Seward having died suddenly, Mr. 
Whitefield was called upon to refund the advanced 
money, for which purpose he offered to sell a part of the 
land, retaining only five hundred acres for himself. Peter 
Bohler heard of it and consulted with Spangenberg, who 
was in England at the time, and the latter, resolved to 

13 They must have been rather crowded in that small one-story log building, 
for the company consisted of ten brethren, two sisters and two boys, viz., 
Anthony Seiffert, George Zeisberger and his son David, M. Seybold, John 
Martin Mack, George Neisser (who had left Georgia and for a time had lived 
with Henry Antes), John Bohner, Bishop Nitschmann, Father Nitschmann, 
C. Frohlich ; Sisters Zeisberger and Hannah Hummel; Benjamin Summers 
and James. Sister Anna Nitschmann and Sister H. Molther had meanwhile 
gone to Oley, to assist Andrew Eschenbach in his spiritual labors. 



BETHLEHEM. 89 

prevent needless discussions with Whitefield, decided 
either to buy the whole tract, or not to meddle with it at 
all. Whitefield agreed, on condition that the Brethren, 
in addition to the original sum, should assume all the 
expense already incurred. Thus those who had been at 
first day-laborers on the land and afterwards exiles from 
it, now became the lawful owners of the soil, which in 
later years proved a very valuable property, comprising 
as it did the whole of Upper Nazareth township.' 4 

For the present it was impossible to go on with the 
building of the Whitefield house, as the large house at 
the Lehigh had first to be finished. The corner-stone of 
this building was solemnly laid on September 20, Bishop 
Xitschmann and Bro. Andrew Eschenbach conducting 
the religious ceremonies. 

On October 26 three brethren arrived from Europe, 
John Christopher Pyrlaeus, who had studied at Leipzig, 
and Gottlob Biittner and William Zander, from the 
Brethren's Theological Seminary, who were destined to 
serve as missionaries among the Indians. They were 
followed by Count Zinzendorf and his company, who 
arrived on December 24, or December 13 old style. In 
the same night Christmas Eve was celebrated by the 
whole company in the small log-house, which was as yet 
the only finished building. 

John Martin Mack relates: "The place having as yet 
no name, it so happened, that on Christmas Eve we called 

u In reference to the title to the Nazareth tract we find the following notes 
in a litter of Spangenberg to Matthew Hehl : 

Mr. I'enn bought this land from the Indians, conveyed five hundred acres 
to Laetitia Aubrey as a Barony, without quit-rent. From her Mr. William 
Allen bought it, paying /"500 ; sold it again to Whitefield for ^"2200. By 
him it was transferred to G. Stonehouse, and then to Countess Zinzendorf 
for the Moravian Church. 

Therefore it was not Indian land when the Brethren bought it, though there 
wen- Indians living on it, who < [aimed to be the rightful owners despite the 
fact that it had been sold long ago both by the Delawares and the Iroquois. 



90 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

to mind the birth of our Saviour, and as there was a thin 
partition-wall between our dwelling-room and the cow- 
and horse-stable, the ' Ordinary ' in the tenth hour of 
the night went over to the stable and commenced to 
sing with great fervency of spirit : 

' Not Jerusalem, — 
No, from Bethlehem 
We receive life and salvation, etc.' I5 

"And thus on Christmas Eve, i 74 1 , this new settlement 
received the name of 'Bethlehem.'" 16 

Thus passed the year 1741, in which the first steps 
were taken for a permanent settlement of the Brethren 
in Pennsylvania. Though their time was fully occupied 
with building and clearing the land, one or the other 
of the brethren occasionally visited the older German 
settlements, to become acquainted with the spiritual 
needs of the country. Bishop Nitschmann paid a 
longer visit to Checomeko, to observe the work of 
grace prevailing among the Indians. 17 He found great 
reason to rejoice at the blessing which attended Brother 
Rauch's faithful and self-denying labors. Upon his 
return he made a very favorable report of what he had 
seen in Checomeko, in consequence of which John Martin 
Mack was appointed Rauch's assistant. The Delawares 
living in the neighborhood were an especial object of 
solicitude to the Brethren, who omitted no opportunity 
of showing a kind disposition to serve them in various 
ways. Bro. Christian Frohlich soon became a favorite 
among the Indians, and their Captain, Jan or John, who 



15 " Nicht Jerusalem, — - 

Sondern Bethlehem, 
Aus dir kommet, was mir frommet." 
— Hymn-book of 1735, No. 940, parts of stanzas 2 and 3. 
16 Another derivation of the name, but probably of later origin, makes it 
"the house on the Lehigh" (or Lecha). 
*7 Loskiel, II., p. 17. 



ZINZENDORF. 9 1 

could speak a little English, conceived such an affection 
for him, that he offered to make him a present of his 
son, a boy about eleven years old. 

Sister Anna Nitschmann visited in Skippack, Oley and 
Ephrata. At the latter place she found Gottfried Habe- 
recht, one of the Georgia colonists, who had been living 
in the monaster)- for several years and now joyfully re- 
ceived permission to return to his brethren. The 
Ephrata monks and man)- others often visited the new 
settlement on the Lehigh, where, especially in August, 
an abundance of rockfish proved a very acceptable 
supply for the colonists and their visitors. 

It may be said, in truth, that from its very commence- 
ment Bethlehem attracted the attention of all German 
Pennsylvania. Now Zinzendorf had arrived, and soon 
the whole country was excited either for or against the 
Moravian Brethren. 

6. ZINZENDORF'S VISIT IX PENNSYLVANIA IX I 742. 

Ix 1737 Count Zinzendorf had been consecrated a 
Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren, thus re- 
nouncing- for ever all prospects of worldly fame and 
political distinction, and thereby dedicating- himself en- 
tirely to the service of the Lord in His Church militant 
on earth. But though he was now a Moravian Bishop, 
it was by no means his intention to devote all the strength 
and energy of his mind exclusively to the service of the 
Moravian Church. Considering himself a servant of 
Christ in His Church on earth, his active mind could not 
be restrained within the narrow bounds of any particular 
branch of the universal Church. Wherever his Master 
had work for him, he was ready to do it, quite uncon- 
cerned whether his services would be acceptable to man 
or not, caring as little for the praise or good will of his 



92 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

fellow Christians as for the hatred and persecution of 
the worldly-minded. 

When in 1736 the decree of banishment from Saxony 
was placed in his hands, he said : " Within the next ten 
years I can not at any rate return to Herrnhut to re- 
main there, for now we must collect the ' Pilgergemeine ' 
(the congregation of pilgrims), and proclaim the Saviour 
to the world. Our home will be wherever the most real 
service (das Reelste) is to be done for the Saviour." 

In the same year a letter arrived from Spangenberg 
in Pennsylvania, which seems to have made a deep im- 
pression on Zinzendorf's mind, and which he afterwards 
designated as his first call to Pennsylvania. 18 On the 
point of leaving for St. Thomas to visit the Mission 
there, whilst Bishop Nitschmann intended to sail for 
Europe in a short time, Spangenberg wrote, June, 1737: 
"His (viz., Bishop Nitschmann's) walk and conversation 
have been among all with whom he has become ac- 
quainted, a shining light, whereby they might have 
learned to know themselves, and to find the right way in 
which they ought to walk. Yet there is a much greater 
harvest awaiting you, dear brother, for it has been 
impossible to speak thoroughly with all the souls that 
hunger for the truth. There is not one in these parts, 
among those with whom I have become acquainted, who 
does not wish to see you and to hear you. I wish you 
wings to cross the sea, and to collect for the warfare 
of the Lord all those that have hitherto hid themselves 
in caverns, in holes, and in the rocks. They promise 
themselves a great blessing if a branch (Pfropfreis) of 
the Church at Herrnhut could be transplanted here, con- 
cerning which Nitschmann will tell you more. The 
Lord will surely do much more than we expect, and 



18 Ludewig's alissere erste Vocation nach Pennsylvanien. — MS in the Beth- 
lehem Archives. See also "B. Ludewig's Wahrer Bericht," pp. 15 and 16. 



ZINZENDORF. 93 

eyes, ears, tongues and hands will fail us to see, hear, 
tell and write it all. The Lord be praised for all His 
faithfulness towards His people. I must conclude, as 
the vessel is ready to sail ; but I remain for ever, 

Your faithful 

Span(;knp.kr(;." 

The subsequent written and oral reports of Nitsch- 
mann and Spangenberg, the accounts of the great desti- 
tution of the Germans in Pennsylvania and of the miser- 
able condition of the Indians, had their effect both on 
Zinzendorf and on the congregation in general. The 
failure of the Moravian colony of Pilgerruh in Denmark, 
caused by the enemies of Zinzendorf, seemed a plain 
indication of Providence that it was now time to look 
for a permanent place of refuge for the Moravian exiles 
in Pennsylvania, this being at that time the freest and 
most tolerant country in the world. Therefore Bishop 
Nitschmann and his company were sent out in 1740 to 
found a colony in Pennsylvania, which in the providence 
of God was destined soon to increase by numbers of 
those who from all parts of Protestant Christendom 
swelled the ranks of the Moravian Church. 

A personal visit of Count Zinzendorf in Pennsylvania 
would not have been absolutely necessary for the further- 
ance of this Moravian colony. Either Nitschmann or 
Spangenberg or Peter Bohler was much better qualified 
than Zinzendorf to direct such an undertaking. But 
his plans and ideas reached far beyond the narrow 
boundaries of the Moravian Church, as may be gathered 
from an address, delivered in Herrendyk, August 6, 
1741, when he declared publicly: "I am destined by 
the Lord to proclaim the message of the death and 
blood of Jesus, not with human ingenuity, but with 
divine power, unmindful of personal consequences t<> 
myself. And this was my vocation long before 1 knew 



94 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

anything of the Moravian Brethren. Though I am and 
shall remain connected with the Moravian Brethren, who 
have accepted and taken to heart the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ, and have called me and other brethren to the 
ministry in their congregations, still I do not on that ac- 
count by any means separate myself from the Lutheran 
Church, for a witness of Jesus can well live and remain 
in this Church. Nevertheless I can not with my testi- 
mony confine myself to one denomination ; for the whole , 
earth is the Lord's, and all sou/s are His ; I am a debtor 
to all. I know that I shall find opposition in future as 
well as hitherto ; but the message of the crucified Jesus 
is divine power and divine wisdom, and whosoever op- 
poses it, will be confounded." 

Zinzendorf was of the opinion that the best field for 
unrestrained general activity for the Kingdom of God 
would be found in Pennsylvania ; for in a country and 
among a people where there were as yet no ecclesiastical 
organizations whatever, there could not be hindrances 
such as he had met elsewhere — hindrances founded upon 
and emanating from ecclesiastical usages and customs of 
old standing. Therefore if anywhere on earth his ideal 
of " a Church of God in the Spirit" could be realized, 
Pennsylvania, he thought, might be that country. 

In order not to be restrained in any way in his general 
activity for the Lord, Zinzendorf for a while severed his 
connection with the Moravian Church, and in June, 1 741 , 
laid down his episcopal office. When he landed in 
Philadelphia, in December, he announced himself to 
Governor Thomas not as Count de Zinzendorf, but as 
Dominie de Thlirnstein, wishing his rank as nobleman 
not to become known in this country. Nevertheless 
it became known that Dominie de Thlirnstein was the 
famous Count de Zinzendorf, and so he tried to escape 
the difficulties growing out of his rank by renouncing his 



ZINZENDORF. 95 

title as Count. This he did in a Latin oration before 
Governor Thomas and other persons of distinction 19 . 
But whether he called himself "Dominie de Thiirnstein," 
" Friend Lewis," " Brother Ludwig," " Johanan," or " the 
Ordinary" everybody knew him to be and treated him 
as the Count de Zinzendorf. 20 

He was accompanied to America by his daughter 
Benigna, then sixteen years of age, Rosina Nitschmann, 

1 In tin- Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 330 etc., the following memor- 
andum of May 15 (Old Style, May 26, New Style), [742, is found: 

Inclosed latin Oration and Declaration was made and pronounced by the 
Right Honnble Count Lewis de Zinzendorff before the Honnble George 
Thomas, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Pro- 
vince of Pensylvania and Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex on 
Delaware, at his Dwelling-house in the City of Philadelphia. 
Present: — Doctor Thomas Graeme, one of the Provincial Judg -. 
Willm. Allen, Recorder of the said City. 
Tench Francis, Attorney General 
James Hamilton, one of the Justices of the Peace and Protont. of the 

Court of Common Pleace. 
Thorn. Lawrence, one of the Governour's Council and one of the Jus- 
tices of the peace. 
Doctor Patrick Bard, the Governor's Secretary. 
William Peters, Esq. 
James Read, Esq. 

The Rev. Mr. Eneas Ross, Minister of Christ's Church, Philad. 
The Rev. Mr. Cross, Minister of a Congreg. of Dissenters, Philadelphia. 
The Rev. Pyrlaeus. 
Mr. Benezet, Merchant. 
Mr. Jn. Sober, D. 
Mr. Graydon, I). 
Mr. Sam. M. Call, 1). 
Mr. Cha. Willing, D. 
Mr. Benj. Franklin, Postmaster. 

And Mr. Cha. Brockden, Deputy-Master of the Rolls of the said Pro- 
vince and Recorder of Deeds for the City and County of Philadelphia. 
The Count reading over the printed Copy, each Gentleman in the mean- 
time perused the other Copies, wich ware all herein inclosed under my Seal, 
wich I affixed in the Presence of the Governour. 

(A true copy.) C. BROCKDEN, 

30 Zinzendorf, as Count and Lord of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf, Lord of 
the Manors of Freydeck, Schoneck, Thiirnstein and the Wachau Valley, 
and Lord of the Estates of Upper-, Middle-, and Lower Bertholdsdorf, 



96 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

wife of Bishop Nitschmann, John Jacob Miiller, his 
secretary, Abraham Meinung and his wife, Henry Miiller, 
and David Bruce, who had been a Scotch Presbyterian. 

7. THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS, 1 742. 

Hardly had Zinzendorf arrived in Pennsylvania, when 
he felt as if he ought to call out in the words of Moses : 
"Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me." 
Ex. 3:26. When he became acquainted with the moral 
and religious state of society, he was for a time at a loss 
how to find among- the crowd of infidels, scoffers and self- 
rigfhteous saints, those humble and contrite souls who 
were really desirous of a revival of religion. From the 
accounts received through Spangenbergand others he had 
conceived the idea that there was a general desire for 
the glad tidings of the Gospel, and that therefore he, as 
an ambassador of Christ, would be every where received 
with open arms. But he found it very different. " I ex- 
pected," he said in an open letter to the Germans in 
February, i 742, " to be received with love and confidence, 
but I encountered a great deal of mistrust and oppo- 
sition. Is it to be wondered at, that I felt dejected, and 
that the lukewarmness of my countrymen in Philadelphia 
depressed me. But I thought : I will keep silent, and 
not open my mouth. The Lord will help. 

" I traveled through Pennsylvania, but could not speak 
anywhere, except in Oley. Therefore, I can tell you, 
my countrymen, in a few words, what I have done in 



including Herrnhut, etc., etc., was fully and legitimately entitled to use any of 
these feudal names, whenever he so wished, especially when he preferred to 
travel incognito. See Preface to Spangenberg's Life of Zinzendorf, pp. 3 
and 4. He was called " Friend Ludwig " or " Friend Lewis " by the mem- 
bers of the Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers; while 
" Johanan " was the name given him by the Indians. " The Ordinary " was 
the easy English of a Latin official title conferred upon him by the Moravian 
Brethren, namely, Ordinarius et Advocatus Fratrum. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. 97 

these two months : I traveled and prayed, and wept and 
bore witness, and sought for peace, and seek it still." 

However, his bold testimony in Oley, his sermons and 
other devotional meeting's in his rooms in Germantown 
soon attracted the attention of those who were secretly 
sighing over the deplorable state of religion among; their 
countrymen. Henry Antes, John Bechtel, Adam Gruber, 
Christopher Wiegner and others had often, in their 
meetings at Bechtel's house, expressed the wish that 
there might be less envy, malice and slander displayed, 
both in conversation and in the public prints, and had 
only waited for a favorable opportunity to do something 
in the matter. Now the time seemed to have come, 
and they thought that Count Zinzendorf, with whom they 
had become acquainted, might be of essential service in 
conciliating the clashing views, and in bringing about more 
friendly relations between the different denominations. 

On December 26, 1 74 1 , Henry Antes sent out a cir- 
cular, inviting members of all denominations to attend a 
general meeting at Germantown " not for the purpose of 
disputing, but in order to treat peaceably concerning the 
most important articles of faith, and to ascertain how far 
they all might agree in the most essential points, for the 
purpose of promoting mutual love and forbearance." 21 

Pursuant to the invitation a considerable number of 
delegates of different German denominations assembled 
at Germantown at the house of Theobald Endt, on 
January 12, 1742 (New Year's Day of Old Style). The 
minutes or summary results 22 of these meetings are 

31 Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 722. 

32 Authentische | Relation | von dem | Anlass, Fortgang und Schlusse | 
Der .mi rsten u\u\ 2ten Januarii Anno 174.1 | In Germantown gehaltenen | 
Versammlung | Einiger Arbeiter | Derer meisten Christlichen Relijjionen ; 
und I Yielei voi >uh selbst Gott-dienenden Christen-Menschen | in Pennsyl- 
vania. I Aufgesetzt | In Germantown am Abend des 2ten obigen Monats. 
Philadelphia, | Gedruckt und zu haben bey B. Franklin. | 

Extracts in the Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 722, et seq. 



98 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

extant in print, though the number of the members is 
nowhere mentioned ; but more than fifty persons are 
named as taking an active part in these deliberations. 
The following seem to have been the most prominent : 
Lutheran : Conrad Weiser. 
German Reformed : Henry Antes, John Bechtel, John 

Leinbach. 
Mennonite : John de Turk (Oley). 
Tunkers : Joseph Miiller, Andrew Frey, Abraham du 

Bois, G. A. Martin. 
Schwenkj elder : C. Wiegner. 
Siebentager ; Prior Onesimus (Israel Eckerlin), John 

Hildebrand, H. Kalkloser. 
Separatists: J. A. Gruber, Theobald Endt, Conrad 

Matthai. 
Hermit: J. G. Stieffel. 

Moravians : de Thlirnstein, John Jacob Miiller, 
(Secretary of the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and 
seventh Synods,) Bishop David Nitschmann, 
Andrew Eschenbach, Pyrlaeus, Biittner, Rauch, 
and others. 23 
When Antes' circular arrived at Ephrata, " a council of 
war was held in the camp," and it was resolved that a 
brother in Zion and some fathers should make their ap- 
pearance there ; but the Prior, against whose dignity it 



23 The following are some additional names whose Church-relations are 
not mentioned : 

Cornelius Weygand and Christopher Meng, from Germantown. 

Adam Schaues, from Frederick Township, Secretary of the second Synod. 

John Peter Jacobs von Larschett, Amwell Township, West Jersey. 

John Kooken, Worcester Township. 

Christian Kintsy, Oley. 

John Bartley, Oley. 

G. Merckel, Skippack. 

Jacob Vetter and John Herpein, Oley. 

Christian Baus, Skippack. 

Heinrich Hollstein, Falkner Swamp. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. 99 

would have been that another should be preferred to 
him, knew how to manage that his hands were filled. 24 

The Mennonites at Skippack sent no delegates to the 
first meeting. 

According- to Zinzendort's statement, there were 
generally about one hundred or more persons present at 
these Synods, but he declares distinctly in his " Naturelle 
Reflexionen : " a5 " I was neither the author nor adviser 
(suasor) of these meetings, which were called by Penn- 
sylvanians who had become tired of their own ways. 
What the object ol these meetings may have been, I 
am not able to determine. I should almost think that 
every deputy had his own instructions. What my ulti- 
nnis fines (ultimate object) was, I know well enough, and 
have not for a moment endeavored to conceal. I wished 
to make use of this opportunity to place on the 
throne (inthronisiren) the Lamb of God, as the real 
(eigentliche) Creator, Preserver, Redeemer and Sancti- 
fier of the whole world, and at the same time to intro- 
duce in thcoria et praxi the catholicity of the doctrine of 
His Passion, as a universal theology for the German 
Pennsylvanians." 

It is difficult to decide whether the original purposes of 
those who convened these meetings were always kept in 
view and finally obtained, but as far as we are acquainted 
with the proceedings, it may be said that they were not. 
It appears as if Antes and other "lovers of peace" 
would have been satisfied if they could only have 
succeeded in forming a kind of confederacy among all 
the different denominations and sects, henceforth to 
avoid all animosities and, without condemning others 
in minor particulars, to agree in the essential point 
of the orthodox and evangelical doctrine, " Justifi- 



* 4 Chronicon Ephratense, p. 126. 

■s Naturelle Reflexionen, pp. 194, 195. 



IOO THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

cation by faith in Christ," lest the children of this world 
might have reason to say: "They that preach peace and 
conversion are at enmity 'amongst themselves." 

Others may have attended with the intention of defend- 
ing and spreading their peculiar views, and kept aloof 
when they perceived that they could not succeed in their 
design. 

A Christian Union, in the modern acceptation of the 
term, was not broug-ht about, nor was it intended, as far 
as Zinzendorf was concerned. On the contrary, these 
synodal meetings had rather the effect of increasing 
the religious warfare between churchmen and dissen- 
ters, errorists and indifferentists, lukewarm disciples and 
fanatics. But the standard of the Gospel was raised 
higher ; the warfare was no longer concerning outward 
forms and ceremonies merely, but about the very 
essence of Christianity itself. A fermenting leaven 
was thrown into the corrupt mass, and many who had 
been indifferent about the concerns of their souls, 
began to inquire for the truth and to wish for the long- 
neglected means of grace. 

Hence more than a mere passing notice of these 
Synods is important, not only for the history of the 
Brethren's Church in America, but for the general Church 
History of Pennsylvania. 

. The first Synod was held at Germantown in Theobald 
Endt's house, on January 12 and 13, 1742, (New Style.) 
Henry Antes opened the meeting by once more stating its 
object, as expressed in his circular mentioned above. 
Thereupon a Separatist (whose name is not mentioned), 
handed in a paper containing some stringent remarks 
"about some sermons of a newly arrived German min- 
ister and his uncharitable expressions." Zinzendorf thus 
gained an opportunity to repeat what he had said in 
a sermon in Germantown and to point out Christ and 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. IOI 

His meritorious suffering and death as the only source 
of our salvation. His words made a deep impression 
and his proposal that they all. instead of judging and 
condemning- each other, ought to how down before the 
Saviour and implore His forgiveness, was generally ap- 
proved of. 

But as there were not only such present who desired 
a closer connection with each other, but also Separatists, 
who had conscientious scruples concerning too in- 
timate and close connection, this point was thoroughly 
discussed on the second day, and according to the 
Saviour's declaration (John i 7 : 10-23), it was maintained, 
that the closer fellowship of believers was in itself no 
sign of sinful attachment. " The true communion of 
the saints," it was said, "is the Church of God in the 
Spirit throughout the whole world, constituting that 
spiritual body whose Head is Christ. But they also 
constitute a communion of saints who, though outwardly 
belonging to different denominations, agree in all essen- 
tial points of doctrine pertaining to salvation. And 
lastly those small societies or congregations are called 
a commmunion of saints, who form a closer and more 
intimate connection among themselves in order that 
their ministers, as they who must give account, may be 
enabled to watch the better over their souls." (Heb. 
13: 17.) 

After these preliminaries the following resolutions were 
unanimously adopted : 

" We believe and unanimously confess, that no one 
else could have saved us from eternal death, save our 
Lord and God, Jesus Christ alone, by His blood. We be- 
lieve that He must die for the world ; not that any one in 
heaven or on earth could have forced Him, but because 
there was no other way in heaven or on earth to save us ; 
His compassion for us sinners constraining Him. 



102 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

"The Father, who loved His only-begotten Son, es- 
pecially because He (the Son) willed to give His life for 
the world, even before its creation, has sent Him for this 
purpose. He has given Him for the whole world, and 
Jesus is, therefore, called not only the Saviour of believers 
and the propitiation for their sins, but also for the sins of 
the whole world, and the Saviour of all men. * * * 

" Every one remaineth dead in sin, except he be called 
to life by Christ. Every one must be regenerated ; but 
when and in what manner, is known only to the Lord. It 
is not our office to bring souls to life, but to impart the 
Word of Life to those that have been awakened by 
Christ. * * * 

" The pardoned sinner has the privilege or the right, 
henceforth not to sin any more, but to become holy ; and 
lest Satan again pervert his senses, he must have his 
heart and mind guarded by the grace of the Lord, our 
God." 

In conclusion all agreed to abstain in future from dis- 
puting about all plain passages of Scripture ; and thus the 
conference ended peaceably, orderly and in the most per- 
fect unanimity, as is testified by the signing of the minutes 
by nine witnesses, chosen from different denominations. 

But we may well suppose that the oral and printed 
reports of this meeting were not received alike favorably 
everywhere. Here and there more or less opposition 
was thereby called forth, and especially was this the case 
at the Ephrata Monastery. Prior Onesimus, who had 
been treated by Zinzendorf with great consideration, in- 
sisted that the next Synod should be held "in the camp," 
that is, at Ephrata. But Father Friedsam strenuously op- 
posed it, probably foreseeing danger for his own authority 
in these public meetings. On this account, also, he took 
care never to come into personal contact with Count 
Zinzendorf, whose mental superiority he could not but 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. IO3 

secretly acknowledge. He found it a good opportunity, 
however, to break the increasing power of the Prior. 
Meanwhile he permitted some of his community to 
attend several of the succeeding meetings. 26 

The second Synod was held in the house of George 
Huebner in Falkner Swamp, on January 25 and 26. 
Zinzendorf was at once elected presiding officer, and for 
the purpose of bringing some order into this chaos of 
most contradictory views and opinions, and to avoid 
unnecessary and lengthy discussions about trifling mat- 
ters, proposed to decide by the Lot what subjects should 
be discussed, and also whether any one should, or should 
not, produce his own views, which might possibly prove 
to be very undigested. Whether Zinzendorf himself 
always strictly adhered to this rule, might be difficult to 
decide. 

The most important decision of this meeting was the 
following- : 27 

"The proper object of this assembly of all evangelical 
denominations is, that henceforth a poor inquirer for the 
way of life may not be directed in twelve different ways, 
but only in one, let him ask whom he will. But if any 
one should take a fancy to him who directed him in the 
way, and should wish to travel on the same according to 
his method, he has full liberty to do so, provided he be as 
yet in no connection with any religious society." 

The third Synod met at ( )ley, in John de Turk's house, 
on February 2 1-23. 

Through the evangelical testimony of Bro. Andrew 
Eschenbach, a small congregation of believers, consisting 
of Lutherans, German Reformed, Mennonites and others 
had been gathered at this place ; their minister being 
a Moravian. The most natural course would have been 



36 Chron. Ephratense, p. i 26. 

1 Fourth Question ; see Report, p. 26. 



104 

at once to organize these believers as a Moravian con- 
gregation, and it is probable that all concerned would 
have agreed. But Zinzendorf opposed this plan. He 
did not wish to gain proselytes for the Brethren's Church, 
his idea being that "if all could only agree in the most 
essential points, every one might remain in his denomi- 
nation." 

The Synod, therefore, coinciding with Zinzendort's 
views, recognized the Oley congregation as an undenomi- 
national Church, and Andrew Eschenbach, who was to 
continue his apostolic labors in this congregation, was sol- 
emnly ordained a minister of the Gospel by the Moravian 
Bishop, David Nitschmann, assisted by Brother Ludwig, 
as a theologian from Tubingen 28 , and by Brother 
Anthony Seiffert, an elder and teacher of the Moravian 
colony in Georgia. 

At the same time also, three other Brethren received 
ordination, viz., Christian Henry Ranch, missionary among 
the Indians between Esopus and Albany ; Gottlob Blittner, 
destined to be a missionary among the Six Nations ; and 
J. Christopher Pyrlaeus, minister-elect of the Lutheran 
congregation in Philadelphia. 

After this act, preparations were made for the baptism 
of three converted Indians, who had come with the mis- 
sionary, Brother Rauch, from Checomeko. The whole 
assembly being met in a barn belonging to Mr. de Turk, 
the three catechumens were placed in the midst, and with 
fervent prayer and supplication were devoted to the Lord 
Jesus Christ, as His eternal property ; upon which Brother 
Rauch, with great emotion of heart, baptized these three 
first fruits of the North American Indians into the death of 
Jesus, calling Shabash, Abraham ; Seim, Isaac ; and Kiop, 

28 Zinzendorf had been approved as a Lutheran theologian by the 
Lutheran Superintendent and Divines at Stralsund, April 26, 1734, and had 
been formally recognized as such by the Theological Faculty of the Univer- 
sity of Tubingen, December 19, 1734. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. I05 

Jacob. The Tunker brethren were present at this trans- 
action, though the baptism was performed by sprinkling. 

These solemn acts had a great influence on the spirit of 
the whole assembly, which at first, when the Siebentager 
brought forward a paper against matrimony, and a Scotch 
Presbyterian addressed them, speaking of the secret 
enemies of Jerusalem, threatened to become very stormy ; 
but when the Siebentager had departed, so much harmony 
prevailed, or seemed to prevail, and the guidance of the 
Holy Spirit was felt in so powerful a manner, that all the 
members present (Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Mora- 
vians, Schwenkfelders) felt, for the moment at least, that 
the)- were, indeed, one Church of God in the Spirit, 
though outwardly divided into different denominations 
and communities. 

Fearing that this spiritual union might again be broken, 
they made the following provision, which may be objected 
to as inadequate, though it at least shows the sincerity ' 
of their convictions and the fervency of their brotherly 
love. From fifty men there were selected by Lot, first 
thirty, then twenty, then ten, and then five, and from these 
five, appointed by Lot, three were elected as trustees of 
the Synod, viz., Andrew Frey, a Baptist or Tunker ; Gott- 
tried Haberecht, who had been a member of the Ephrata 
community, and Anthony Seiffert, from Bethlehem. 

These trustees were ordered by the Synod to select 
from the children of God in this country two worthy men, 
and to have them confirmed by Lot. These men, known 
only to the trustees, should superintend the Church 
of God in the Spirit, and should try to prevent, as much 
as was in their power, this spiritual union from being 
again dissolved, or from becoming a new sect without 
spirit. In case their names should become known, their 
commission was to cease, and others were to be elected 

by the trustees. 

7 



106 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

Whether this resolution was ever acted upon, it would 
of course, be difficult to determine, but from some hints 
in the manuscript minutes 29 of the sixth Synod it would 
appear as if the selection of these two men had not been 
made. But even if these proceedings should be called 
unpractical, they at least prove that Zinzendorf aimed 
at no spiritual dominion in this country ; that he did not 
wish to become the founder of a new Church ; but that 
his aim was that "all Christians might be perfect in 
one." John 17: 21—23. 

However, the immediate effect of this arrangement was 
that the Mennonites and Schwenkfelders withdrew alto- 
gether ; the Tunkers arranged their own annual meet- 
ings, 30 which continue to this day 31 ; and the Sieben- 
tager also refused to have any further connection with 
these Synods. Hence the next meeting, which had been 
appointed for Conestoga, had to be transferred to Ger- 
mantown. 

The fourth Synod met at Germantown in Mr. Ash- 
mead's house, on March 21—23. 

2 ? MS, Bethlehem Archives. 

30 Chron. Ephratense, p. 210. George Adam Martin, at that time a min- 
ister of the Tunkers and later a monk at Ephrata, speaks as follows con- 
cerning these Synods: " Und weilen alle Gesinntheiten darzu eingeladen 
wurden, wurde ich auch von meinero Vorsteher deputirt, dahin zu gehen : als 
ich zur Conferenz kam, welche in Oley gehalten wurde, fand ich daselbst 
von unsern Taufern, Siebentager, Mennonisten und Separatisten ; der Graf 
aber selbst war Vorsitzer, daselbst horete ich drey Tage wunderliche u. 
seltsame Sachen. Als ich nun wieder heimkam, brachte ich mich bey 
meinen Vorstehern an, und sagte ; dasz ich des Grafen Conferenzen ansehe 
als einen Fallstrick, um einfaltige und ungeiibte erweckte Leute wieder an 
die Kindertaufe und den Kirchengang zu bringen, und das alte Babel 
wieder auf zu richten. Wir hielten Rath, was zu thun seye, und wurden einig, 
dieser Gefahr zu vor zu kommen, weil schon einige Taufer sich an dieser 
nichtigen Lehre vergaft hatten, jahrlich eine Conferenz zu halten, oder, wie 
wirs nannten, eine grose Versammlung, (a big meeting) und wurde zugleich 
Zeit und Ort bestimmt : dieses ist der Anfang und das Fundament von der 
grosen Versammlung der Taufer." 

31 Winebrenner's History of Denominations, p. 93. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. ICJ 

When Zinzendorf entered and found that only those 
had made their appearance who were really one in spirit 
— the Mennonites and Schwenkfelders having sent no 
deputies — he felt that the proper object of these meet- 
ings would not be gained, and proposed to dissolve the 
meeting at once, but this proposition was overruled by 
the Synod. 

The discussion soon turned from general matters to 
the especial wants of particular localities, and different 
proposals and resolutions were passed, which, however, 
are of no general interest. 

The most important matter was Zinzendorf's inci- 
dental declaration concerning the Lutheran Church. 
When a Tunker and Siebentagfer began a theological 
dispute, he made use of this opportunity to request 
permission of the Synod to demonstrate that the 
Lutheran denomination, of which he still held himself to 
be a member, was properly the most blessed one and, as 
to the internal concerns of the soul, preferable even to 
the old Moravian, and open for all apostolic graces, if 
only its ministers would be valiant, single-minded, well- 
grounded in doctrine and would act with divine wisdom. 
He further stated, that it was a great question whether 
a servant of Christ who had separated himself from the 
Lutheran Church, had gained anything by joining 
another sect ; he considered it very doubtful. 

As regards the Reformed Church he referred to the 
first part of the published proceedings of the Synod of 
Berne, saying that the chief points of doctrine were there 
set forth according to the truth, in such a manner, that a 
servant of Jesus in that Church, might, under the shield 
of his denominational creed, proclaim the pure Gospel. 

Hence it would naturally follow, that if these two 
Churches would unite and hold their spiritual treasure 
in common, they might form a real apostolic Church, and 



108 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

gradually absorb all smaller sects, whereupon the Mora 
vian Church, seeing" her dear brothers in one house, 
would be their faithful sister. 

The fifth Synod was held in a more public manner, 
on April 17-20, in the German Reformed Church in 
Germantown, and was attended by those only who were 
of one mind and one spirit. Concerning the ecclesiastico- 
religious state of Pennsylvania the Synod declared : 

" Pennsylvania is a complete Babel. The first to be 
accomplished is to liberate its sighing prisoners, which 
cannot be done according to the common rules ; apostolic 
powers are required." 

Quite unexpectedly Bro. C. G. Israel, missionary in 
St. Croix, W. I., arrived while the Synod was yet in 
session, and related his wonderful preservation in a ship- 
wreck near Tortola, December, 1739, where his com- 
panion, Albinus Feder, perished. 32 

Immediately after the Synod the minister of the Re- 
formed Church in Germantown, John Bechtel, was 
ordained by Bishop Nitschmann, who thereupon de- 
parted on a visitation of the Moravian Missions in the 
Danish West Indies. 

The sixth Synod, also held at Germantown, on May 
16-18, seems to have been but sparsely attended, and 
was the least important of all. It is evident that these 
meetings followed each other in too quick succession, 
and it is not to be wondered at, if even those who at 
first had taken a lively interest became tired and 
remained away. 

A proposal to invite all parents in the four counties of 
Pennsylvania to send one man from each township to a 
conference in Bethlehem, to devise ways and means for 
the establishment of a general boarding-school, led to no 
results. 

32 Oldendorp's Missions-Geschichte, p. 627, et scq. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. IO9 

The seventh Synod was convened at Philadelphia, on 
June 13 and 14, "in Mr. Evans' house," and was numer- 
ously attended, partly because it was intended to be the 
last of these meetings, and partly because it had become 
known that a considerable company of Moravians had 
arrived, and curiosity was excited to see these people. 

It must be borne in mind, that when these Synods 
began, there was no Moravian Church in this country, 
and therefore no deputies of the Moravians could 
attend them. There were some members of the Church 
living in the woods where Nazareth and Bethlehem 
are now located, who had made the first beginnings 
of a settlement. As they enjoyed the love and confi- 
dence of other children of God, they were freely per- 
mitted, as far as they themselves were concerned, to take 
part in the deliberations of the Synods, and some, for 
instance, Bishop Nitschmann and Anthony Seiffert, even 
became active members. Still, as Zinzendorf expresses 
it, 33 "as the)' had nothing to do with the prevailing con- 
fusion of tongues in Pennsylvania," not having any 
established congregations in the country, they could not 
participate in the deliberations of the Synod in the same 
manner as did other denominations. But now the time 
was come when the first Moravian Church in .America 
was to be established, under the direction of the Lord. 

A colon)- of Moravian pilgrims, fifty-seven in number, 
had arrived in Philadelphia, on June 7, a few days before 
the opening of the seventh Synod, and had made applica- 
tion to be received into the spiritual connection of the 
"Church of Ood in the Spirit." After several letters 
addressed to the Synod had been read, Peter Bohler, the 
leader of this company which had been regularly organ- 
ized as a "Sea Congregation," and three elders, George 
Piesch, John Brandmuller, and Adolph Meyer, were then 

53 Zinzendorf's Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 192. 



IIO THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

summoned, and closely questioned concerning their doc- 
trine ; the names of all the brethren and sisters who were 
to constitute the Church at Bethlehem, were read — one 
hundred and twenty in all — and a vote having been 
taken, all present in Philadelphia were permitted to 
enter. 34 

After a fervent prayer by Andrew Frey, one of the 
trustees of the Synod, and a short address by the Presi- 
dent, Zinzendorf, Henry Antes declared in the name of 
all the members present, " that the undenominational 35 
Synod of Pennsylvania acknowledges the old Moravian 
Church just arrived, as a true Church of the Lord ; that 
their ministers especially will be considered their brethren 
and fellow-servants ; that as regards the internal arrange- 
ments of their Church, the Synod, according to its 
fundamental rules, will not interfere in any way, deeming 
this, as well as any other, Church ' independent and 
inviolable;" and finally expressed the wish, that the 
grace of the Lamb might be with them. 

Anthony Seiffert, another trustee of the Synod, and an 
Elder of the Church, concluded the solemnity by prayer. 
In the afternoon the members of the Synod and the 
" Sea Conereofation " held a love-feast on board the 
vessel. 

The second day was altogether devoted to the regular 
business of the Synod. After full discussion the views 
of its members in reference to the religious state of nine 
denominations, viz., the Friends, Moravians, Lutherans, 
German Reformed, Mennonites, Schwenkfelders, Tunkers, 
Conestoga Siebentager, and Separatists, were recorded 
and published in nine paragraphs as the " unanimous 
result of the General Synod of Pennsylvania." 36 

" Authentisch? Relation der siebenten Synodus der Gemeine Gottes im 
Cxeist, p. 109. 

& " Unpartheyische " = undenominational. 

36 Authentische Relation der siebenten Synodus, p. 113. 



THE PENNSYLVANIA SYNODS. Ill 

It was further resolved to convene as regularly as 
possible a quarterly Ministerial Conference (Arbeiter 
Rath,) either at Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Conestoga, or 
somewhere else in the country, to be attended by all 
those who had remained faithful to the decisions of the 
first conference, and open to all servants of Christ who 
acknowledged His divinity, did not believe in the doctrine 
of reprobation and promised not to abuse the confidence 
of the Synod. 

Lastly, Henry Antes was commissioned to prepare, in 
the name of the Synod, a circular to the whole country, 
in which all the children of God should be invited to join 
the Church of God in the Spirit. In this circular 
occurs the following passage, which will easily be recog- 
nized as Zinzendorf s own resume of these seven Synods : 

" All of us, taken together, constitute the body of Jesus 
in Pennsylvania, which was recognized as such in the first 
conference of all denominations ; acknowledged anew in 
the second Synod ; sealed in the third ; opened in the 
fourth ; demonstrated in the fifth and sixth ; and in the 
seventh and last general conference of denominations 
cheered by the presence of a visible Church of Jesus. 
We intend to continue holding this Church-council every 
quarter of a year, with all quietness, according to the 
wisdom which the Lord will grant. Our members will 
assist; for as regards externals all are called and spirit 
ually all are known. Whoever belongs to the Lord, let 
him come to us ! 

"These are the words of the Church of the Lord to 
all her members, whether hidden or known, yea, to all 
whom the Lord our God will yet call. Have Thou mercy 
on Zion ! " 37 

37 " Wir alle zusammen machen den Leib Jesu in Pennsylvania aus, der 
auf der ersten Conferenz von alien Religionen bekannt, auf der zweiten 
nochmals eingestanden, auf der dritten versiegelt, auf der vierten eroffnet, 



I I 2 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

Thus ended the Pennsylvania Synods in which Zin- 
zendorf personally participated ; but though he had to 
turn his attention to other matters, they were still con- 
tinued as general meetings for all denominations until 
they gradually assumed a different character and changed 
into Synods of the Moravian Church. 

During Zinzendorf's absence among the Indians the 
eighth Synod was held on October 16, 1742, in Frederick 
Township, at the house of Henry Antes. Seven brethren 
from Bethlehem were present and Peter Bohler presided. 
The number of members cannot be ascertained, but there 
still exists a short manuscript report and a printed cata- 
logue of the standing members of these Synods, which 
was probably drawn up at this meeting, to which were 
invited "all those children of God, who have the greatest 
insight into John 17, and serve their own churches most 
faithfully ; to be elected per vota, and to be confirmed by 
Lot.3 8 

It was resolved at this meetinpf : 

1. To establish a boys' school for the whole country at 
Philadelphia and a girls' school at Germantown. 

2. To build a church in Philadelphia by the Moravians 
for the use of the Lutherans, as long- as these are willing 1 
to hear the Gospel proclaimed by the Moravian Brethren. 

auf der fiinften und sechsten bewiesen, und auf dieser siebenden und letzten 
allgemeinen Religions-Conferenz durch die auswesende sichtbare Gemeine 
Jesu begliicket worden. Wir werden auch diesen Kirchen-Rath, nach der 
Weisheit die der Herk darreichen wird, vierteljahrig in aller stille fortsetzen. 
Unsere Glieder werden dabey assistiren; dem aussren nach alle beruffen, 
dem geiste nach alle gekannt. Her zu uns, wer dem Herrn angehoret ! 

" Das sind die Worte der Gemeine des Herrn an alle ihre verborgene und 
bekannte Mitglieder, und alle die der Herr unser Gott noch herzu ruffen 
wird. Du wollestdich iiber Zion erbarmen /" — Authentische Relation, p. 120. 

38 Budingische Sammlungen, III, p. 95. 



LUTHERANS AND GERMAN REFORMED. I I 3 

8. XINZENDORF's ACTIVITY AMONG LUTHERANS AND GERMAN 

RIM IRMED. 

In the intervals between these Synods Zinzendorf de- 
voted most of his time to the spiritual needs of his 
Lutheran brethren. For he had come to Pennsylvania 
not as a Moravian Bishop, but as a Lutheran clergyman, 
and he wished and endeavored to be considered in this 
light only. 

His first sermon in Pennsylvania was preached at Oley, 
and soon after, on December 31, he was invited to occupy 
the pulpit of the German Reformed Church in German- 
town, where he delivered a series of discourses on 1 
Tim. 3 : 16. In Philadelphia, where he had taken private 
lodgings, he held daily family worship which was often 
attended by visitors. After a time, when the Lutherans 
who attended his meetings had become fully convinced 
that his doctrine was exactly the same as that which they 
in their earlier days had learned in Luther's Smaller Cate- 
chism and in many of those evangelical hymns which 
still clung to their memory, they requested him to preach 
occasionally in their meeting house in the city. Count 
Zinzendorf, or Brother Ludwig. as he preferred to be 
called, cheerfully complied with this request, and having 
made the needful arrangements with the Reformed pastor, 
Mr. Bohm, as to the time for the services, he began on 
Sunday, January 21, and continued regularly every 
Lord's Day as far as circumstances permitted, preaching 
in the morning in Philadelphia and in the afternoon in 
Germantown. 

Many of his auditors, who for years had had no oppor- 
tunity to partake of the Lord's Supper, requested him 
to administer to them this holy ordinance. For a 
time he refused, not being willing to permit a mixed 
company of godly and ungodly people to approach 
the sacramental table. Rut when the blessed fruits 



114 THE BRETHREN S CONCxREGATIONS. 

of his faithful ministration became more evident, and 
especially when an extraordinary emotion pervaded the 
whole assembly during the service on Palm Sunday, 
April 2 2, 39 he declared his willingness to administer 
the Lord's Supper, which was done on Easter Monday, 
April 30, according to the Lutheran ritual. 

About this time all the German Lutherans in and around 
Philadelphia unanimously expressed the desire that 
Brother Ludwig might become their permanent pastor. 
Before answering their request he called them together, 
and proposed a number of questions, to which he re- 
quired their answers in writing. From these it is evi- 
dent, that the Lutherans in Philadelphia at that time had 
no other minister, that they were in no connection what- 
ever with any other congregation, and that they had, or 
at least professed, full confidence in the Count and his 
advice. 40 

Still Zinzendorf was not over-anxious to accept this 
vocation at once, knowing- well that he was watched from 
beyond the ocean, and that especially his opponents at 
Halle would misrepresent and misconstrue his motives. 41 
He therefore wished his countrymen to reflect a little 
longer on this important matter, and after some weeks, 
when they all remained firm in their resolution and not 
one objected, he accepted the vocation, on May 19, in 
which document also the Rev. J. C. Pyrlaeus was named 
as his assistant and successor. 42 

Thus Count Zinzendorf became the regularly called 
pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Philadelphia, 
the first one who had received regular ordination, and 

39 Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 580. 

40 Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 827. 

41 A proof of this may be found in Weisman's Church History, p. 1104, 
et seq., and p. 1 1 1 3, et seq., to which Zinzendorf replied at length in his 
Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 190, et seq. 

42 Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 828. 



LUTHERANS AND GERMAN REFORMED. I 1 5 

as such he performed all ministerial functions, though 
only for a short time. 

Immediately after the Synod at Oley, Zinzendorf had 
paid a visit to Tulpehocken, and preached there on Feb- 
ruary 25. Since the death of Pastor Leutbecker, as 
related above, the greatest confusion had prevailed in this 
Lutheran Church. At the request of the more respect- 
able part of the congregation, Zinzendorf took an active 
part in its affairs and sent the Rev. Gottlob Biittner to 
be their Lutheran minister. He, however, was recalled 
in the same year, and sent as missionary among the 
Indians. 43 In his place John Philip Meurer was nomi- 
nated by Zinzendorf as minister of this congregation, 
and as such ordained December 9, at Tulpehocken. 

Thereupon both these Lutheran congregations ac- 
knowledged Zinzendorf not only as a Lutheran minister, 
but as the Superintendent of the Lutheran Church in 
Pennsylvania, investing him for the time with the right of 
installing and recalling ministers according to his judg- 
ment. 

But though he wished to be considered a Lutheran 
minister only, he was a man of too liberal principles 
to suffer himself to be restrained in serving his Lord 
and Master in any way, and therefore he cheerfully pro- 
claimed the Gospel of Christ, the crucified Redeemer of 
the world, whenever and wherever opportunity offered. 
He had no objection to preach frequently in the German 
Reformed church in Germantown, though he carefully 
abstained from interfering in any other way in the affairs 
of the German Reformed Church, and when the desire 
was expressed that John Bechtel, who had preached in 
Germantown for many years, might be ordained, Zinzen- 
dorf very properly left it to Bishop David Nitschmann to 
perform this solemn act, which was done on Palm Sunday. 

43 Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 830. 



Il6 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

With the Reformed congregation in Philadelphia he 
had, of course, no connection whatever, as their minister, 
the Rev. Mr. Bohm, had become one of his most violent 
opponents. 

But there was yet another mixed congregation, that at 
Oley, which consisted of Lutherans, Reformed and 
Mennonites. Andrew Eschenbach was minister and 
John Leinbach elder. It was resolved to build a new 
church, John de Turk, a Mennonite, having presented 
to this congregation a piece of ground for that purpose. 
Gradually the peace of this congregation was disturbed. 
Eschenbach, not satisfied with a loo--buildincr desired a 
large two-story building like the clergy-house at Bethle- 
hem, and not succeeding in his plans, manifested his 
disappointment so plainly in his public discourses, that 
he at last entirely lost the confidence of the congregation. 
On this account Zinzendorf, as President of the Penn- 
sylvania Synod which had recognized this congregation, 
considered it expedient to recall Bro. Eschenbach, 44 and 
proposed Henry Antes as minister in his stead. 

The various sermons 45 which Zinzendorf preached in 
Pennsylvania, have been published in a separate volume, 
and are a standing memorial of his activity among 
Lutherans and German Reformed. 

Concerning the manner and substance of his sermons 
we find the following passage in a letter written " to his 
brethren among different people," May 28, 1742 46 : 

"Our method in proclaiming salvation is this: To point 
out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us 

44 Andrew Eschenbach returned to Bethlehem, served for a time as itiner- 
ant preacher here and there, but the success of his ministry was gone. In 
1745 he left Bethlehem and became a farmer. 

45 Pennsylvanische Reden. 

46 Zinzendorf's Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 38, et seq. Schreiben an seine 
Briider unter allerlei Volk, wahrend der Pennsylvanische Synode verfasst. 
Philadelphia, am \\ Maji, 1742. 



ZINZENDORF AT BETHLEHEM. I 1 7 

and, although He was the Son of God, offered Himself 
for our sins, as his God, his Mediator between God and 
man, his throne of grace, his example, his brother, his 
preacher of the law, his comforter, his confessor, his 
Saviour, in short, his all in all, by the preaching of His 
blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the 
cross ; never, either in the discourse or in the argument, 
to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving 
Lamb ; to name no virtue, except in Him and from Him 
and on His account ; to preach no commandment except 
faith in Him ; no other justification but that He atoned 
for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin 
no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, 
to think of Him and do His pleasure ; no other self- 
denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings ; no 
other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in 
Him." 

This method of referring everything to Christ and of 
regarding Him as all in all, made Zinzendorf s sermons 
very powerful, impressive and effective, and many could 
be pointed out in later years, who traced their first 
impressions of divine truth to one or the other of these 
animated Gospel discourses. 

9. ZINZENDORF AT BETHLEHEM. 

Count Zinzendorf had been in Pennsylvania more 
than six months, without bestowing any special attention 
to the small Moravian colony at Bethlehem. His mind, as 
well as his time, was fully occupied with that kind of 
activity for the Kingdom of Christ, which he found at the 
Pennsylvania Synods and as Lutheran pastor in Phila- 
delphia. Moreover, his extensive correspondence and 
voluminous writings in pamphlets and newspapers, forced 
upon him by his opponents, demanded not a little part of 



Il8 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

his time and labor ; hence he actually had no leisure to 
attend to the affairs of the infant colony at Bethlehem ; 
and, in truth, there was as yet no occasion to pay a 
longer visit there. The number of colonists was very 
small, and as each Synod was attended by some of their 
number, whilst others were visiting here and there in the 
country, the building of the "house of the pilgrims" on 
the Lehigh proceeded very slowly, and when Father 
Nitschmann demanded more assistance, he was told 
that the spiritual work must be attended to first. 47 

After the close of the seventh Synod, however, which 
also for a time closed the home-mission labors of 
Brother Ludwig, and after the " Sea Congregation " had 
arrived, the time was at hand when, either in Bethlehem 
or elsewhere, a more definite arrangement had to be made 
for the organization of the first Moravian congregation 
in America, and for a while Zinzendorf turned his whole 
attention to this matter. 

After the celebration of the festival of Pentecost, June 
17, 48 (we read in the Diary of Bethlehem, which Brother 
George Neisser commenced on that day.) thirty-five of 
the European Brethren and Sisters left Germantown and 
marched on foot by way of Skippack, Falkner Swamp 
and the Great Swamp to Bethlehem. On account of the 
great heat they did not reach the settlement before the 
fourth day, June 21, 49 when they were welcomed in a 
love-feast. 

On Sunday, June 24, Brother Andrew Eschenbach 
preached in the morning, and in the afternoon the first 

47 Es wurde uber den Mangel an leiblichen Arbeitern vor Bethlehem und 
Nazareth, nun Nitschmann nach [St.] Thomas <,nenge, geklaget ; und von 
Bruder Ludewig zur antwort gegeben, es moge lieber noch ein jahr brache 
liegen, und das brodt gekaufft werden ; die Seelen-saaten im Lande giengen 
vor. — Authentische Relation, p. 97. 

48 According to Old Style five weeks later than according to New Style. 

49 Now hardly a two hours' ride by railroad. 



ZINZENDORF AT BETHLEHEM. 119 

church-council was held, which in this case, there 
being no children among the emigrants, was a delibera- 
tive meeting of all the members of the Church present 
at that time. In this council two very important 
resolutions were passed, which in a manner decided the 
character of this congregation for main' years to come. 

The first was "to observe as a day of rest not only 
Sunday — the da) - of the Lord, but also Saturday, the 
Jewish Sabbath," partly in order to avoid giving offense 
to the Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata, partly on account 
of the Indians and missionary labors among them, as not 
a few at that time supposed that the Indians might be 
descendants of the ten tribes of Israel which had been 
led into the Assyrian captivity. 

The second resolution was " to divide this church 
into two parts, the home-church, (Hausgemeine) and 
the church of pilgrims, ( Pilgergemeine)," with the 
intention that the former should principally attend to 
the work of the general housekeepi ng, whilst the latter 
should devote its time and strength to spiritual labor 
throughout the country. 

According to this arrangement the church at Beth- 
lehem was solemnly organized, June 25, 1741, in an 
evening-meeting kept by Zinzendorf, in which he ad- 
dressed the congregation on the daily word: "Strong 
is thy dwelling-place, and thou puttest thy nest in a 
rock," Num. 24 : 21. Ever since 1752, this day has 
been annually celebrated as the church-festival of Beth- 
lehem. 

To the congregation of pilgrims belonged Abraham 
Meinnng, [ohn Brucker, Adolph Meyer, A. Eschenbach, 
Anthony Seiffert, C. H. Ranch, \Y. Zander, John Hagen, 
J. C. Pyrlffius, David Bruce, Nathanael Seidel, George 
Neisser, Jacob Lischy, Christian Frederick Post, Leon- 
hard Schnell, Philip Meurer, John Bohner and John 



I 20 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

Reinhard Ronner, all of whom were employed in 
various ways in the service of the Church, either in 
Pennsylvania or on missionary stations. There were 
some among those who were reckoned at first to the 
home-church who later entered the missionary or minis- 
terial service, e. g„ Joachim Senseman, David Zeisberger, 
and Paul Daniel Bryzelius, a Swede, who had studied at 
Upsala. Of the English brethren who subsequently 
arrived in Bethlehem in company with Peter Bohler, 
the following ought to be mentioned here, as having 
soon after entered the service of the Church : Owen Rice, 
Thomas Yarrell, Joseph Powel, Joseph Shaw and Hector 
Gambold. 

From its very commencement, the whole organiza- 
tion of the church at Bethlehem according to this plan 
was a very peculiar one. It might be called an econ- 
omy of pilgrims, a missionary family on a grand scale ; 
or it might appear to some as a socialistic commu- 
nity directed by some secret power ; and there were, 
no doubt, many who were utterly at a loss what to make 
of this colony, so utterly different from any other in the 
country. And in truth it was a strange mixture ; from 
one point of view, a colony in its incipient stage of 
gradual growth, expansion and development only ; but 
at the same time a fully organized church, ruled and 
directed by men of no ordinary powers. Whilst some 
were working on, steadily building houses, clearing 
lands, or making roads, others were going and coming, 
and strangers who visited Bethlehem — and their number 
was considerable — received very different impressions, 
and accordingly spread very different reports concerning 
"these Moravians and their outlandish ways." Though 
many of these reports, no doubt, were not in accordance 
with the real state of the case, still many misconceptions 
were excusable, especially in the early period, when all 



ZINZENDORF AT BETHLEHEM. 121 

arrangements for the social and religfious life of the in- 
habitants of Bethlehem were as yet unstable and subject 
to constant changes. This was especially the case as 
long as Count Zinzendorf was personally present, for 
his inventive genius constantly proposed new plans, or 
modifications and alterations of those already adopted. 
Hence it is extremely difficult to sketch a faithful picture 
of the early days of the Moravian mother-church in 
America, without transcribing almost literally the Diary 
of the Church. We trust, however, that the following 
condensed extracts will give some idea of the state of 
affairs during Zinzendorf's visit in Bethlehem. 

On Sunday morning the first meeting, after the daily 
morning prayers, was generally a church-council in 
which all the external and internal affairs of the 
Church were fully and fraternally discussed. Then 
followed German preaching, kept by Zinzendorf, Peter 
Bohler, Bishop Nitschmann, Anthony Seiffert and others. 
In the afternoon there was English preaching, or Bible 
lectures, or private meetings for the different choirs or 
classes of the congregation, for which services the church 
of the pilgrims afforded a great variety of speakers. 

Whenever he was present, Count Zinzendorf was con- 
sidered the ordinary or pastor of the congregation, and 
during his absence and after his return to Europe, Bro. 
Peter Bohler held this first and most important office 
until Bishop Spangenberg arrived. But besides their 
pastor the congregation had, like the early congregation 
in Herrnhut in 1727, a spiritual elder. Anthony Seiffert 
held this office for a time, being publicly confirmed in 
it l>v Zinzendorf, fuly 9, and after him Andrew Esch 
enbach. There were besides vice-elders and eldresses 
for the different choirs. 

In a church-council on July 15, ten brethren were 
nominated as "fishermen" 1 Matt. 4: [8, ig) and the 



122 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

places pointed out in which to cast out the net of the 
Gospel. After an absence of five weeks they returned, 
made their reports to the congregation, and were sent 
out agfain, with the distinct direction, not to interfere 
with the labors of any servant of Christ and to avoid all 
useless disputes. 

On November 26 we find the following quaint notice: 
" To-day the wheel ran out," i. e., one of those four 
brethren and sisters who for the time formed the 
" Pennsylvania wagon," (consisting of one married and 
one single brother, one married and one single sister) 
— the idea being taken from Ezekiel. 

In July a regular mail service was arranged by the 
brethren for their own use, to expedite letters, diaries 
and reports between Bethlehem and Philadelphia, prob- 
ably the first arrangement of this kind for the interior 
parts of Pennsylvania. The first postmasters were : 
Bro. Pyrl?eus in Philadelphia, and George Neisser in 
Bethlehem. The letter carriers were: Abraham Btihn- 
inger, Andrew, the negro, Christian Werner and George 
Schneider; their resting-places being in Philadelphia at 
John Stephen Benezet's, and in Falkner Swamp at 
Brother Holstein's. They left Bethlehem every Monday 
morning, walked as far as Falkner Swamp ; reached 
Germantown on Tuesday night ; went on Wednesday 
morning to Philadelphia, and returned again to German- 
town ; on Thursday back again to Holstein's, and on 
Friday returned to Bethlehem. Verily, our ancestors 
were great pedestrians. After a time Henry Antes 
provided them with horses for this mail service. 

According to an arrangement adopted at Herrnhut in 
1727, some brethren and sisters were appointed as 
hourly intercessors, 50 others as watchmen for the night ; 
others as attendants on the sick ; and as all these services 

5 " Memorial Days of the Renewed Church of the Brethren, p. 131, et. seq. 



ZINZENDORF AT BETHLEHEM. I 23 

were gratuitous, these various offices often changed 
among the members of the congregation. 

Meanwhile old Father Nitschmann superintended the 
outward affairs of the colony and himself helped faithfully 
in the erection of houses and barns, assisted by young 
and old, not only 1)>' the members of the home-church 
but also by the brethren whose main calling was to pro- 
claim the Gospel of salvation to their destitute neighbors. 
Whenever one or the other of these "pilgrims" or 
"fishermen" returned to Bethlehem for a day or two, 
he would not idle away his time, but cheerfully assisted 
in burning bricks, in making fence rails, or mending his 
own shoes. All were cheerful and happy, although their 
fare was at times very scant, and the labor and toil 
were severe. 

From all parts of the country there constantly arrived 
visitors who wished to see this colony, which by these 
means became known far and near. To accommodate 
them, without interfering with daily avocations, a 
" Fremdenstube." — a room for visitors and strangers — 
was devoted to this purpose. Among the: rest a visit of 
ten Mennonites is mentioned in October, and in No- 
vember several of the Siebentager from Ephrata came 
to spy out the land. Among these visitors were some 
who came for curiosity's sake merely and never returned 
again ; but others frequently repeated their visits, and, 
at last, applied to be received as members of this con- 
gregation. 

( )n December 22 thirteen persons, mostly from Oley 
(John and Frederick Leinbach, and others), were sol- 
emnly received into the Church, and their number was 
farther increased on December 29, by the admission of 
seventeen persons to church-membership, partly from 
the neighborhood and partly from Philadelphia. Among 
these we mention especially Sebastian Knauss and Jacob 



124 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

Ehrenhard, the fathers and founders of the Emmaus 
congregation. And probably the number would have 
increased still faster, if Count Zinzendorf had not warned 
his brethren repeatedly, not to be too hasty with the 
reception and admission of new members ; nay, he 
even required that brethren and sisters who came from 
European congregations should undergo a certain time 
of probation before being admitted to all the rights and 
privileges of full membership in the Church in this coun- 
try. "Not to proselyte, but to evangelize," had always 
been his motto. 

Among the brethren and sisters who had come from 
Europe in June, there were some fifteen or twenty from 
England. These were sent to the Nazareth lands in 
July, with the intention of forming the nucleus of an 
English congregation to be collected there, of which 
David Bruce was to be the Elder and John Hagen 
the Warden. Zinzendorf visited there in July and wrote 
to the congregation of Bethlehem, July 27 : 

"Dear Brethren: — Do, I entreat you, nurse and 
care faithfully, both bodily and spiritually, for your Sister 
Nazareth, upon whose door I have written: 'We have 
nothing to do but to be happy.' Adopt bold measures 
to promote their building-up and everything else to their 
best advantage, even if it should be to your own disad- 
vantage. Never say No to anything that they may 
demand. The Saviour will help you and enable you to 
assist liberally. 

"Your faithful and happy foster-son, 

LUDWIG JOHANAN." 

Soon, however, the brethren became convinced that 
it would be impracticable to adopt any national dis- 
tinction for the congregations at Bethlehem and Nazareth, 
and hence it was resolved (September 10) to take 
measures to make Nazareth a "place-congregation," 



ZINZENDORFS JOURNEYS TO THE INDIANS. 125 

according to the model of the European congregations, 
though this plan was not carried into effect until 1772. 

Meanwhile the English brethren were recalled and 
removed in October, mostly to Philadelphia. The two 
log-houses in the woods at Nazareth were occupied 
for the Winter by M. Seybold, who removed thither with 
his wife on October 16. It was necessary that some one 
should live there on account of the Indians, who would 
not give up their claim to the land. In December, how- 
ever, an agreement was made with them," upon 
which they peaceably relinquished their claim, and the 
Brethren resolved, though the full value of the land had 
been paid, to give to the Indians, as soon as they should 
have permanently settled elsewhere, the same amount 
as a present which they had demanded as the price oi 
the land ; thus proving by deeds as well as by words 
that they were friends of the redmen of the forest. 

IO. ZINZENDORF'S JOURNEYS TO THE INDIANS. 

Hardly had the most necessary arrangements been 
made for the temporal and spiritual organization of the 
Moravian colonies at Bethlehem and Nazareth, when 
Count Zinzendorf again set out to visit the Indians, in order 
to convince himself, from personal observations on the 
spot, how far his brethren could become useful to them. 

From July 24 to November 8, he successively under- 
took three journeys to the Indians, the first having for its 
object the Delaware's within the borders of the Province; 
the second the Mohicans in the Province of New York, 
and the third the Shawanese in the Indian Country. 

Without entering into any details, we will merely 
sketch 52 the route of these wanderings, which as far as 



51 Budingische Sammlungen, II, p. 933. 

5 J For a full account, see Loskiel's History of the Mission among the 

Indians, II, pp. 24-33. 



126 THE BRETHREN'S C< )NCREGATIONS. 

the Indians were concerned, did not lead to any great 
results, though they testify to the zeal of Count Zinzen- 
dorf in promoting the Kingdom of Christ to the utmost 
of his power. 

On July 24 Count Zinzendorf set out from Bethlehem 
for his first Indian journey, accompanied by his daughter, 
Beniena, and eleven brethren, Eschenbach, Zander, 
Lischy, and others. Having visited Patemi 53 and other 
Indians, who were yet living on the Nazareth lands, they 
found beyond the Blue Mountains a larger Indian village, 
Meniologameka, which afterwards for a time became a 
flourishing missionary station of the Brethren. Without 
returning again to Bethlehem, they rode across the 
country to Maguntsche (now Emmaus) and thence to 
Allemangel (now Lynn Township, Lehigh County), 
where Zinzendorf became acquainted with some piously 
inclined German settlers, who afterwards became the 
pillars of Moravian country congregations. 

Toiling on through forests and through swamps, and 
crossing hills on roads which now would hardly receive 
that name, and having forded the Schuylkill, 54 they at 
last reached the house of Conrad Weiser, at Tulpehocken, 



53 Patemy or Tatemy (Moses) owned a tract of three hundred acres, bought 
from the Proprietors, occupying the site of Stockertown, not far from 
Friedensthal." 

54 August 1. On the Schuylkill: 

" Hier schrieb ich einen Brief, 
Als alles um mich schlief ; 
In der finstern Wiisten 
Sickihillehoken, 
Wo wenig Vbglein nisten ; 
Werd' ich doch kaum inn', 
Dasz die Schuylkill rinn' 
Ueber Nachbar Green." — Zinzendorf. 

As I write, I vigils keep, 
While all around me silent sleep, 
In the forest, dark and deep, 
Of Sickihillehocken, etc. 



ZINZENDORF S JOURNEYS TO THE INDIAN'S. 1 2 7 

where Zinzendorf had the satisfaction of meeting some 
sachems or chiefs of the Six Nations, who invited him to 
visit them in their own country, and as a token of their 
good-will presented him with a fathom of wampum, 
which afterwards became very useful to Bishop Spangen- 
berg in his intercourse with these savages. 

Having returned to Bethlehem on August 7, by way <>l 
Philadelphia, Count Zinzendorf forthwith made prepara- 
tions for his second Indian journey to the Mohicans at 
Shecomeko, beyond the Hudson. His daughter Benigna, 
Anna Nitschmann, Anthony Seiffert and Conrad YVeiser 
accompanied him. After a fatiguing ride of six days over 
mountains, through woods and swamps, they arrived 
safely on August 16 at Brother Rauch's hut, and found a 
cottage of bark prepared for their reception. During the 
Count's abode at Shecomeko six converted Indians were 
baptized and several useful regulations were introduced. 

While returning to Bethlehem he had to experience an 
instance of Puritanic intolerance which bordered on the 
ridiculous. Resting on the Sabbath, near Hurley, some 
people assembled near his tent, and tried to commence 
a dispute with him, and finding him engaged in writing 
and unwilling to listen, one of them, as a justice of the 
peace, had him fined the next day, six shillings for 
breaking the Sabbath!" 

The third Indian journey to the Shawanese on the 
Susquehanna beyond Wajomik 56 was by far the most 
dangerous and fatiguing. Brother Mack and his wife, 
Peter Bohler, H. Leinbach, from Oley, and two baptized 
Indians, accompanied the Count, who left Bethlehem on 
September 2 1. 

Conrad Weiser also went with them from Tulpehocken. 
The Susquehanna not being navigable, they took the 



---" Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 332. 

56 Wajomik, Wajomic, and Waimoic were forms of the name Wyoming. 



128 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

land road, through thick woods, low swamps, and over 
unfrequented and steep mountains, and after much 
fatigue arrived on September 25 in Shamokin, a populous 
Indian town, where they had the pleasure of meeting the 
friendly chief Shikellimus, whom Zinzendorf had seen at 
Weiser's in August. 

In another Indian village, Otstonwakin, which was 
deserted a few years after, they met a French woman, 
Madame Montour, who had married an Indian warrior, 
and rested at her house for two clays. Bohler, Weiser 
and the two Indians now turned back whilst Zin- 
zendorf and his few companions ventured still farther 
into the trackless wilderness, 57 as far as Wajomik, where 

57 Count Zinzendorf gave the following graphic description of this journey : 
Wir dachten an die Hirtentreu' 

Des Jesuah Jehovah, 
In der betriibten Wiisteney 
Mit Namen Skehandowa. 

Des Zeltes erster Ruheplatz 

Das waren Dorn und Disteln, 
Der dritte ein verborg'ner Schatz. 

Wo Blaseschlangen nisteln. 

Der viert' ein unwegsame Spitz 

Der Susquehanna Ouellen, 
Der and're und der fiinfte Sitz, 

Das waren gleiche Stellen. 

Da sassen wir das erste Mai 

Acht Tage, zu erfahren 
Was unsers Lammes Hochzeitsaal 

Zum Theil mag offenbaren. 
******* 
Allein das morderische Herz 

Der wilden Schawanosen, 
Verdrosz so wohl der Zeugenschmerz, 

Als all' ihr Liebekosen. 

Der Konig liebete uns zwar; 

Alleine kam's zur Sache, 
Wo uns urn Trost so bange war, 

So that er wie der Drache. 



ZINZENDORF S OPPONENTS. I 29 

the wild Shawanese received diem rather suspiciously. 
However, trusting in their Lord and Saviour, they ven- 
tured to pitch their tent in the midst of this treacherous 
tribe and remained twenty days among them. lint all their 
endeavors to make them acquainted with the way of 
salvation proved abortive, and the savages resolved at 
last to murder these intruders. This, however, was 
prevented by the providential arrival of Conrad Weiser 
who, becoming uneasy at their long delay, had hastened 
to seek them, and arrived just in time to discover and 
prevent the execution of the murderous plan. 

The return of the Count and his company to the cul- 
tivated parts of Pennsylvania was very laborious and 
even dangerous, on account of the late season of the 
year and the great floods; but by the mercy of God 
they all arrived safely at Bethlehem on November 8. 

11. zinzendorf's opponents. 

Tin: appearance of a German Count in Pennsylvania, 
who came not as a common tourist, merely to see the 
country, but as an ambassador of Christ ; who attended 
and even conducted large meetings of the Germans ; 
who held piublic and private meetings without number, 
and never hesitated to give his opinion boldly and fear- 
lessly — naturally not only attracted the attention of 
everybody, but also provoked opposition and discussion 
pro and con in the'public papers. To go into details and 
to take part with either of the contending parties after 
a lapse of more than a century, when these quarrels 
have long ago been forgotten, would be useless and in- 
judicious. On the other hand it does not appear advisa- 
ble to omit all reference to these matters of history ; 
since the effects of misrepresentations, even if made 
one hundred and thirty-six years ago, occasionally mani- 



I 30 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

fest themselves here and there, even at the present day 
and, we apprehend, partly at least because for many 
years this subject has not be'en touched upon by Mora- 
vian writers. 

Our Christian friends in the Lutheran, German 
Reformed, Presbyterian and other churches, and all who 
are friendly inclined to the Moravian Church, will no 
doubt kindly bear in mind that what we are about to say 
in strict accordance with the truth, merely stating histori- 
cal facts, refers to a time passed long ago, and is not in- 
tended to imply any reflections on the present relation 
of the Moravian Church to other American sister- 
churches, which is of the most friendly kind. 

The first who opposed Zinzendorf, soon after his 
arrival in this country, were the Separatists in and near 
Germantown, who succeeded in entangling him in a 
controversy which, both as to its contents and to its form, 
was quite beneath the dignity of his social and religious 
standing. They called him the beast of Revelation or 
the false prophet, accused him of intemperance and 
invented various stories which were printed in the 
Pennsylvanische Geschieht-Sclireiber^ and went the round 
of the German newspapers. Some even maintained 
that Beniofnade Zinzendorf was not his daughter, but the 
daughter of an officer in the navy, whom he had kid- 
napped. 59 Zinzendorf answered these newspaper articles 
by several replies inserted in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 
edited by Benjamin Franklin, as well as by separate 
German pamphlets, and at last demanded, that his 
slanderers should come forward and prove their asser- 
tions, for which purpose he offerred to give them six or 



58 Published in Germantown by Christopher Sauer. 

59" William Tennent, minister at Philadelphia, preached from the pulpit in 
New York, that Benigna, Countess of Zinzendorf, is not my daughter, but a 
child I had taken from a lieutenant of a vessel; and everybody ask'd my 
child, if it is so?" — Zinzendorf 's Letter to Lord Granville, May, 1753. 



ZINZENDORF S OPPONENTS. I 3 I 

eight months' time. This, however, as might have been 
expected, was not done. 

These mere personal attacks, which Zinzendorf ought 
not to have noticed at all, were the towntalk for a short 
time, but were, of course, soon forgotten in America, 
though they diverted his opponents in Germany a little 
longer. Hut it can not he denied that Zinzendorf, in his 
zeal for the cause of the Redeemer, sometimes exceeded 
the bounds of prudence and used expressions which 
gave just cause lor complaint and afforded ample mate- 
rials for malicious accusations on the part of his oppo- 
nents, even ten years after." 

Of greater consequence, however, was the controversy 
with the leaders of Puritanism, the effects of which were 

60 A great 111. my papers referring to this controversy taken from the 
American papers, were published, in the Biidingische Sammlungen, of 
which we mention the following : 

" Anerbietungsschreiben an das ganze Land Pennsylvania." See 
Pennsylvanischer GescAicAl-Schreider, No. 19, 1742. Philadelphia, Febru- 
ary 1, 174.1. — Z. Vol. II. p. 851. 

"Johann Heinrich Schonfelds Beschwerung liber gedachtes Schreiben." 
— See Pennsylvanischer Gesckicht-Schreiber, No. 20. — Vol. II, p. 854. 

"Brief an den Pennsylvanischen Gazettier." March 1 6, Old Style. See 
Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 692. — Vol. II, p. 860. 

" Antwort daraufvon J[acob] W[eiss]." Mertz 22. See Pennsylvania Ga- 
sette. No. 693.— Vol. II, p. 862. 

Zinzendorfs Letter to the Secretary of the Proprietors concerning this 
Matter, in French; March 27. Vol. II, p. 864. 

"Zinzendorfs Privat Erinnerung an Christoph Sauern, Johann H. Schon- 
felden, Johannes Ecksteinen, Adam ( '.rubern, Theobald Enten und Consorten 
in Germantown." Philadelphia, Marz 27, 1742. — Vol. II, p- 865. 

" Zinzendorfs Brief an Kieter Fende und sein Iran. December 26, 1742. 
— Biidingische Sammlungen, Vol. Ill, p. 101. 

Letter of Zinzendorf to the Pennsylvania Government. November, 174}. 
— Biidingische Sammlungen, III. p. 183. 

Spangenbergs Darlegung richtiger Antwortcn auf mehr als drei Hundert 
Beschuldigungen gegen den Ordinarium Fratrum, 1751. Apologetische Er- 
klarung. Erstes Schreiben, p. 21. 

It would be more than useless to repeat the harsh expressions used more 
than a century ago. The curious in such matters may rind them in the 
works quoted above. 



I32 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

felt by the Moravian Brethren when the mere personal 
quarrels of the Count had been forgotten. 

Soon after his arrival in this country, Count Zinzen- 
dorf had become acquainted with the Rev. Gilbert 
Tennent, a friend of Whitefield, and had freely expressed 
his views in condemnation of the Calvinistic doctrine of 
reprobation. All the English ministers who held this 
view were, thereupon and very naturally, arrayed against 
him. Thus ensued a controversy, which was carried on 
on both sides in terms by no means the most polite or 
the most charitable. 62 

Tennent, S. Blair and other Presbyterian ministers 
preached publicly against Zinzendorf and the "damnable 
doctrines of the Moravians," calling them " locusts out 
of the bottomless pit;" "foxes who spoil the vineyard 
of the Lord;" "heretics which the devil has sent in these 
last times to delude the earth," 63 etc. 

The press also was used against Zinzendorf and 
the Moravian Brethren, and "A Compendious Extract, 
* * * * " published, in which Zinzendorf and his partici- 
pation in the Pennsylvania Synods was severely criticised. 
This pamphlet of more than thirty pages was answered 



62 In the Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 308, the following letter is pre- 
served, which was inserted in the Philadelphia papers, thus attracting the 
attention of the English population to the German Count and his followers: 

"mr. franklin: I have read in a Letter from Philadelphia, dated Jan. 
13, 1 741, which is inserted in the Boston Gazette, No. 1042, that Count Zin- 
zendorf has been in conference with Mr. Gilbert Tennent. I was surprised 
by reading the 20. Errors which it is said Mr. Gilbert Tennent took down. 

" The Count says in very serious terms that he never was in conference with 
Mr. Gilbert. He remembers, that Mr. Gilbert Tennent gave him a Visit at 
New Brunswick ; but, besides that the Count could not understand Mr. 
Gilbert, because he spoke in such Latin as was very strange for a ( Jerman, and 
that the Count himself could not find expressions which were plain enough 
for Mr. Gilbert ; he had not a mind to confer with that Gentleman in such a 
matter, being convinced by long experience, that he must not discourse with 
any Presbyterian Reprobant, except in a Company of different Principles," 

63 Letter of Peter Bohler to S. Blair, March, 1743. 



ZINZENDORF S l >PP< INENTS. I 33 

in German by Zinzendorf's private secretary, John Jacob 
Miiller." 

About the same time George Neisser, school-master 
in Bethlehem, answered another libel against the 
"Herrnhuter" (the Moravians settled in the forks of the 
Delaware) written by Ae Rev. |. Philip Bohm, German 
Reformed pastor in Philadelphia. 65 This Mr. Bohm, 
confirmed in his office by the Classis of Amsterdam and 
ordained on their order by the Dutch Reformed min- 
isters of New York, had, by publishing a pastoral letter, 
written against Zinzendorf by some ministers in Amster- 
dam in 1735.'' proved plainly what position he would 
take in reference to Count Zinzendorf. 

Though he could not hinder Zinzendorf from preach- 
ing in the log- meeting-house in which the Lutherans 
and German Reformed of Philadelphia worshiped 
alternately, yet the very correspondence 67 into which 
Zinzendorf entered on this account, not asking- his 
permission, but merely inquiring whether he (Bohm) had 
a right to hinder him (Zinzendorf) from preaching there, 
created ill feeling, and Mr. Bohm in his answer gave 
plainly to understand that he would work against Zin- 
zendorf with might and main. However, as long as 
Zinzendorf himself was in Philadelphia, Bohm refrained 
from taking any decisive steps. But when he had left 
on a journey to the Indians, an attempt was made to 



- 1 Extracts in the Biidingisqhe Sammlungen, II, p. 906. 
Biidingische Sammlungen, II, p. 

Biidingische Sammlungen, II, pp. 289-339. Vaterlicher Hirten-Brieff an 
die bliihende Reformirte Gemeine in Amsterdam, zur Entdeckung von, und 
Warnung gegen die gefahrliche [rrthiimer von denen Leuten welche unter 
(1cm Nahmen der Herrnhuter bekannt sind. Geschrieben (lurch die Prei 
und Aeltesten des Kirchen-Raths von Amsterdam, 1738. 

67 Anfrage an den Reformirten Inspector der Hollandischen Conferentz in 
Philadelphia, (January , 7 S , I7J.\) und AntWOIl von Bohm, (January 8, 1742). 

— Biidingische Sammlungen, III. pp. ^2-63. 



134 

exclude the Lutherans and their minister, the Rev. Mr. 
Pyrlaeus, from the meeting-house. For this purpose, at 
the suggestion of Mr. Bohm, a padlock was attached to the 
door, under the pretense of keeping out the cattle. On 
the next Sunday, when the Lutherans came at the usual 
time and found the door locked, and the man who had 
the key had absented himself, they forced the door open. 
But hardly had Mr. Pyrlaeus commenced divine worship, 
when a number of ruffians entered the meeting-house, 
pulled him from the pulpit and kicked him into the street. 
The whole congregation followed their pastor without 
offering any resistance. Zinzendorf, however, having 
heard of this scandalous affair at Tulpehocken, con- 
sidered it his duty to interfere, and therefore went to 
Philadelphia and entered the church, which was filled 
with German Reformed and others to the exclusion of 
the Lutherans, and boldly and fearlessly told them that 
he would not suffer himself to be intimidated in his 
Master's cause by any mob. The whole matter was then 
referred to the court, which after long delay decided 
favorably for Zinzendorf. 68 

Meanwhile the Reformed congregation kept pos- 
session of the house, and Zinzendorf promised the 
Lutherans to have another church built for them. But 
before this plan could be executed the state of affairs in 
the Lutheran congregation of Philadelphia was materially 
changed by the arrival of the Rev. Henry Melchior 
Muhlenberg. 

Mr. Muhlenberg, 69 born September 6, 171 1, at Ein- 
beck, in Hanover, had studied theology in Gottingen, 
and served for several years as superintendent of the 
orphan-house at Hennersdorf, belonging to Henrietta, 



08 Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 579; p. So and p. 91. 
°9 Evangelical Review, October, 1851. 



ZINZENDORF S OPPONENTS. [35 

Baroness de Gersdorf, Zinzendorf's aunt, who supported 
it from private means to the utmost of her ability. 
When in 1741 want of means compelled retrench- 
ment, Mr. Muhlenberg endeavored to assist in pecu 
niary matters by raising collections. 

This led him to Halle, where Prof. Franke told him 
that a Lutheran minister had been urgently demanded 
lor Pennsylvania by Dr. Ziegenhagen, of London. 
Muhlenberg declared his willingness to go there, and 
being satisfied with the offers and conditions made by 
Dr. Ziegenhagen, left Hennersdorf in December, 1741, 
and set sail from England for the New World in June, 
1742. In September he arrived in Georgia, w r h«re he 
wished to consult with Pastors Bolzius and Gronau 
on the affairs of the Lutheran Church in the American 
colonies. He reached Philadelphia November 25, long 
after the disturbances mentioned above, with wdiich he 
had nothing to do. Nevertheless Zinzendorf and his 
brethren suspected 70 at the time,- that jealousy against 
him and his activity among the Lutherans in Pennsyl- 
vania might at least have been one of the reasons, if 
not the sole cause, why the Halle divines suddenly 
became anxious to supply the wants of their Lutheran 



: Spangenherg, who always expresses himself with great caution, ^ays in 
his " Life of Zinzendorf," |>. [398: "Eskamein Lutherischer Prediger aus 
Deutschland und fing an gegen den Grafen zu arbeiten. Denn da man 
bis daherdie Lutheraner in Pennsilvanien, ihres wiederholten Bittens ohnge- 
achtet, ohne Prediger gelassen hatte; so wurde man anderer Gedanken, als 
der Graf, ihnen zum besten, si< h hergegeben hatte. Dadurch entstand nun 
eine Trennung unter den Lutheranern. Der neuangekommene Prediger, ein 
geschickter und begabter Mann, land bald eine Parthej , die sich zu ihm hiell ; 
und diejenigen, an denen der Diensl des Grafen gesegnet gewesen war, 
hiclten wieder iiber demselben. Der Erfolg war endlich dieser, dasz der 
Graf fur gut (and, besagten Prediger und seine nachherigen Gehiilfen 
machen zu lassen, weil es ihm genug war, wenn nur Christus geprediget 
wurde." — See also Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 207; Biidingische Samm- 
lungen, 111, p. <>\ . 



I36 THE BRETHREN'S C< >N< iREGATIONS. 

brethren in Pennsylvania, who had been neglected for 
so many years. Hence it is not surprising that 
Zinzendorf, being harassed and attacked on all sides, 
and considering Mr. Muhlenberg an intruder, should 
freely have expressed himself to that effect, though there 
could not have been any personal enmity between them, 
since, as far as known, they met only once, and that 
shortly before Zinzendorf returned to Europe. 71 On 
the other hand, it is no less natural that Muhlenberg, 
denying with all the Halle divines Zinzendorf s right to 
act as a Lutheran pastor, made the best use of these 
unhappy disturbances in the Lutheran congregation, to 
gain 9. party for himself, which for a while was the 
smaller fraction. 

We are far from wishing to detract one jot or tittle 
from the fair fame of Pastor Muhlenberg, whose inde- 
fatigfable zeal and long; and arduous labors for his 
Master's cause justly entitle him to the appellation of 
Patriarch of the American Lutheran Church, 72 but his- 
torical truth compels us to repeat the fact, that Count 
Zinzendorf was as Lutheran pastor actively engaged in 
Philadelphia before he could possibly know anything of 
Muhlenberg's intended arrival, and that the subsequent 
divisions in this congregation were not brought about by 
him. 

While Muhlenberg built a meeting-house at New 
Providence, the Moravian brethren erected a church on 
Race Street for the use of those German Lutherans 
who wished to continue in connection with the 
Brethren at Bethlehem. The Lutheran St. Michael's 
Church was consecrated April 5, 1745. 



71 Zinzendorf 's Naturelle Reflexionen, p. 211. 

72 Winebrenners's History of Denominations, p. 327. 



ZINZENDORFS "PENNSYLVANIA TESTAMENT. 1 37 

12. ZINZENDORF'S " PENNSYLVANIA TESTAMENT." 
RETURN TO EUROPE. 

On his return to Bethlehem from his third Indian jour- 
ney, in November, i 742, Count Zinzendorf found various 
letters and reports from the European congregations, 
in reference to the undertakings of his fellow-laborers 
there, which deeply affected and even irritated him. 
The bishops and ministers of the Church, making use of 
the favorable circumstances of the times, had obtained 
several concessions from the Government for the establish- 
ment of new congregations, without consulting the Count 
and in opposition to his well-known views. Zinzendorf 
not only protested in writing, but resolved to return as 
soon as possible, and to use all his influence to readjust 
those matters in which his brethren, in his judgment, 
had acted too hastily. But there was yet a great deal to 
be arranged in this country, and he was detained two 
months longer. On November 13 a "Congregation 
Day" was held, for the purpose of communicating in 
public meetings the last news received from the Euro- 
pean congregations; two brethren were also ordained as 
ministers, viz., Valentine Lohans, missionary for St. 
Thomas, and John Martin Mack, Indian missionary ; 
three traveling ministers, Bryzelius, Kohn, and Schnell, 
received their commissions, and several brethren and 
sisters, lately arrived from Europe, were received as 
members of the Bethlehem congregation. 

On November 14, the Lord's Supper was admin- 
istered, and on November 15 resolutions were passed 
and plans adopted for the furtherance of the work of 
the Lord in this country by the "Pilgrim's Wheel" 
(Pilgerrad) or "Pennsylvania wagon," the traveling 
ministers, "the fishers" and other laborers. 

In the beginning of December Count Zinzendorf, ac- 
companied by Anna Nitschmann and Andrew Eschm 



I38 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

bach, once more visited his friends and acquaintances in 
Maguntsche, Oley, Tulpehocken, Conestoga, Heidelberg, 
and Lancaster, returning to Bethlehem on December 12, 
after he had preached seventeen times at different places. 
The rest of the month he spent at Bethlehem and Naza- 
reth making his final arrangements. 

On December 31, 1742, Zinzendorf and his company 
of twenty-one persons took leave of the Bethlehem 
congregation in a general love-feast, and departed to 
Philadelphia. Having organized an English congrega- 
tion here, he once more assembled some of his fellow- 
laborers in a deliberative meeting on "the Ridge" near 
Philadelphia, January 7, 1743, of which, however, no 
minutes have been preserved, and on January 9 de- 
livered a valedictory address in John Stephen Benezet's 
house, which he used to call his "Pennsylvania Testa- 
ment." 73 This is a long and very important document, 
containing his views and ideas in reference to the activity 
of the Brethren in America, the "Church of God in the 
Spirit" and the "Church of Pilgrims" at Bethlehem. 

"Of two truths," he says, "I am fully convinced in my 
heart. The first is this : that America as well as Europe 
must be clipped into the blood of Christ; but — and 
this is the second — America must be treated in quite a 
different manner from Europe, for to stretch both over 
the same last, would spoil everything in the Saviour's 
cause. 

"You know that we have commenced here with the 
Church of God in the Spirit. This is a great advantage 
which America has over Europe. It is certainly a great 
thine, that we could commence thus. And if we in 
future also watch over it, that the Church of God in the 
Spirit may remain our abiding-place, then we are on the 
right track. In Europe, on the other hand, the Moravian 

re Biidingische Sammlungen, III, pp. 188-252. 



BETHLEHEM AND NAZARETH. 1743-I744. 1 39 

Church is that house in which the Saviour dwells with 
His people, and in which He directs His affairs and dis- 
poses of His servants with absolute power. But here 
the Church of God in the Spirit is the factotum, and not 
the Moravian Church." 

These remarks contain important truths, but it seems 
that not only his fellow-laborers, but Zinzendorf himself 
forgot in 1755 what he had said in 1743, that America 
ought not to be treated in the same manner as Europe; 
for at the latter date European institutions were intro- 
duced which were not adapted to the American spirit 
and, though well meant, proved, in the end, detrimental 
to the cause of the Saviour. 

On January 11, 1743 (December 31, Old Style), Zin- 
zendorf concluded his labors in America with a public 
sermon in Philadelphia on Matt. 14:7: "She hath done 
what she could," immediately after which he departed to 
New York, whence he sailed on January 20, and reached 
Dover, England, February 28. 

13. BETHLEHEM AND NAZARETH. 1743-1744. 
PETER BOHLER. 

Shortly before his departure for Europe, Count 
Zinzendorf had made the following- interimistic arrange- 
ments until Bro. Spangenberg should arrive, to whom 
he wished to entrust the whole management of the 
work of the Brethren in America: — Bro. Peter Bohler, 74 
now for the second time in America, was appointed Vice- 
Inspector of the Lutheran Church in America and 
Syndic of the Pennsylvania Synod, and also ordinary or 
pastor of the church at Bethlehem; and was to be 
assisted by Anthony SeyHert, Vice-Elder of the congre- 

■ Peter Bohler, recalled to Europe in 1 741 . had spent nearly a year in 
England, mostly in Yorkshire. On February 20, 1742, he married Sister 
Elizabeth Hopson, in London, Spangenberg performing the ceremony. 



I40 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

gation at Bethlehem, and Bishop David Nitschmann, 
Superintendent of the Indian Mission. 

Bro. Bohler accompanied Zinzendorf to New York, 
and remained there, according to his direction, about 
a month, in order to preach the Saviour to the friends 
of the Brethren. He did so faithfully, but very soon his 
daily sermons attracted not only attention but also 
opposition on the part of the Presbyterian clergy. At 
their instigation Bro. Bohler was ordered to make his 
appearance before the Mayor and six Aldermen, January 
31, who came to the wise conclusion, that he was a 
papist ! and thereupon ordered him to leave the city 
forthwith. He protested, both orally and in writing, 
against these unjust proceedings, but without effect, and 
therefore returned to Bethlehem about the middle of 
February. 

In connection with this instance of Presbyterian in- 
tolerance, a correspondence of Peter Bohler with S. 
Blair, minister in Londonderry, Chester County, Pa., 
must be mentioned here, in which a conference was 
proposed by the Presbyterians between some of their 
preachers on the one side, and some Moravian brethren 
on the other, to meet March 30, at Mr. Howard's house 
in Philadelphia, for the purpose of discussing the doc- 
trine of the Moravians. Though Bohler had neither 
time nor inclination for such controversies, he declared 
his willingness at any time to meet Mr. William Tennent, 
as the most moderate of these Presbyterian opponents. 

Such a conference as proposed by the Presbyterian 
ministers, regarding the doctrine and the social arrange- 
ments of the Moravian brethren, seemed superfluous to 
the latter. They were conscious of the rectitude of 
their intentions ; they were ready to receive and entertain 
visiting strangers and to give them a full account of their 
doings, of their escape from the land of popery, of their 



BETHLEHEM AND NAZARETH. 1743-1744. 141 

sufferings for Christ's sake, of their missionary under- 
takings, of their connection with Count Zinzendorf, of 
their doctrine, and of their ecclesiastical and social 
arrangements. Bethlehem being settled by German 
emigrants, the German language was, of course, used 
exclusively, and hence those who knew only the English 
language would he apt to misapprehend and misconstrue 
many things. But were the Brethren to be blamed for this? 

Besides, there were the public Synods, open for all 
servants of Christ ; for it was the wish and desire; of 
Count Zinzendorf that they might be continued as 
General Pennsylvania Synods of all denominations. 
Any Presbyterian minister might attend them and 
express his views and opinions as freely as the German 
Reformed, the Lutheran, or the Moravian Brethren, but 
as the majority of the delegates were Germans, their lan- 
ouaore, of course, was used. 

In 1743 four Synods were held, generally lasting two 
days, Peter Bohler presiding, which, however, are of 
less general interest than those of 1742, in which Zin- 
zendorf presided, and the subsequent ones under Span- 
genberg's direction. It will, therefore, suffice to mention 
them in only a few words. 

The first was held in Philadelphia in March. The 
English congregation established there requested to be 
acknowledged as such by the Church of God in the 
Spirit, that is, by the General Pennsylvania Synod. In 
consequence of this recognition there were now two 
congregations in Philadelphia in connection with the 
Brethren at Bethlehem, neither of which was as yet a 
Moravian congregation. The one was the German 
Lutheran congregation on Race Street, attended to by a 
Lutheran brother from Bethlehem and separate from the 
German Lutheran congregation under Pastor Muhlen- 
berg; the other was this English congregation with 



I42 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

laborers from Bethlehem, under the superintendence of 
the General Synod. These were the elements from 
which the Moravian congregation of Philadelphia was 
formed in 1749. 

The second Synod of 1743 was held in June at Miihl- 
bach (Mill Creek, Berks County), not far from Tulpe- 
hocken, and a congregation "without a name," that is, 
undenominational, not in connection with any denomina- 
tion but under the superintendence of the General 
Synod, was organized there. 

The third Synod, held at Bethlehem in September, 
was occupied with reading and discussing a pamphlet 
written against the Moravians by the Siebentager at 
Ephrata. 

In December a fourth Synod was held at Philadelphia, 
in which the latest reports from the Moravian congre- 
gations in Europe were communicated. 

In 1 744 there were two General Synods, one at Oley 
in March, and the other at Heidelberg in November. 

At the former George Nicke, pastor-elect of the 
Lutheran church at Tulpehocken was ordained by 
Peter Bohler, as the Lutheran superintendent. Peter 
Bohler was not yet a Bishop of the Moravian Church, 
and consequently this ordination must be viewed as a 
bona fide Lutheran ordination. 

At the latter the new meeting-house at Heidelberg was 
solemnly dedicated to the service of the Triune God. 

Besides these Synods there were also other public 
meetings, in which the Moravian element was more 
predominant, especially the annual "great love-feast" at 
Philadelphia. The first meeting of this kind was held 
in May, 1743, and lasted two days. More than two 
hundred persons of different denominations and lan- 
guages were present. Lutherans, Reformed, Tunkers, 
and Moravian brethren (or according to their nationali- 



BOHLER S ACTIVITY, I 744. I 43 

ties, emigrants from Moravia, Germany, Sweden, Eng- 
land, and native Indians) after a public sermon, partook 
in fraternal harmony of a love-feast, consisting of 
bread, meat and beer, whilst letters and reports from 
Europe and America were communicated. One of 
these letters, from Spangenberg, urged the organization 
of a society for the Furtherance of the Gospel. Peter 
Bohler and Henry Antes were the principal speakers. 

Such meetings, not of a deliberative nature but of 
an exclusively devotional character, naturally served 
to strengthen the bond of love between the members 
of the Moravian Church and their friends in different 
parts of the country, and above all increased their 
love and devotion to their common Lord and Master. 
But at the same time the antagonistic zeal of their 
opponents was also augmented thereby, and it is not 
surprising that the Presbyterians of these days took 
offense at such meetings, which, as devotional exercises, 
were perfectly unintelligible to the spirit of Puritanism. 

Upon the whole, this was a time of universal excite- 
ment either for or against the Brethren. Many among 
the Lutherans and German Reformed, who had desired 
and written for ministers of the Gospel to their friends 
in Europe, and had waited in vain from year to year, 
now joyfully embraced the offer made by the Brethren 
at Bethlehem, to supply their spiritual wants, without 
any compensation. Thus many congregations were 
organized at the time and supplied with the means of 
grace by the itinerant ministers sent from Bethlehem. 

The most active of these itinerant ministers of the 
Brethren was Jacob Lischy, a native of Switzerland. 
1 laving accompanied Count Zinzendorf on his first 
Indian journey within the borders of the Province of 
Pennsylvania, he became acquainted with many <>i his 
German Reformed brethren, and soon received a number 



144 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

of vocations 75 or calls from various parts, either to 
organize new conoreofations or j- se rve as minister for 
those who for a longer or shorter period had been 
destitute of Gospel privileges. Willing to serve his 
countrymen to the utmost of his power, he accepted 
these calls and preached alternately at eighteen different 
places, among them Heidelberg, Berne, Mill Creek, 
Warwick, Coventry, Donegal, and York. 76 As his 
evangelical sermons were gladly received by the people 
and the number of his hearers increased everywhere, 
opposition on the part of the enemies of the cross of 
Christ soon manifested itself, and was augmented by 
Pastor Bohm who, both in the public papers and in the 
pulpit, condemned him and his doctrine. This induced 
Lischy to convene a church council of the different 
German Reformed churches, at Heidelberg, August 29, 
t 743, which was attended by fifty elders and deacons, 
besides by many lay members of twelve different 
congregations. Many complaints were preferred against 
him; he was called a Zinzendorfler (a follower of Zinzen- 
dorf ) ; it was said that he had promised him to try to 
gain over to his interest all the German Reformed ; 
and his ordination was declared invalid. To refute 
these charges, Lischy produced his certificate of ordina- 
tion, and related candidly how he had become awakened 
by the preaching of the Moravian Brethren in Switzer- 
land, and showed that there was nothing in their doctrine 
to which the German Reformed (who did not hold the 
doctrine of Reprobation which was defended by the 
Holland classis) could object. 

All these German Reformed congregations, satisfied 
with his defense, gave him renewed vocations, which he 

75 Vocation to Coventry. Biidingische Sammlungen, III, p. 109. 

76 Aufrichtige Relation vom Anfang der Reformirten Sache in Penn- 
sylvanien, December, 1744," written by Lischy for Spangenberg.— Beth- 
lehem Archives. 



BOHLER S ACTIVITY, 1/44- , 1 45 

had printed, in order to justify himself before the ene- 
mies of the Brethren. Nevertheless, the Brethren at 
Bethlehem did not fully approve of the manner in which 
Lischy carried on the work of the Lord in these German 
Reformed congregations, and a few years later it became 
manifest that their fears had not been unfounded. 

Besides Andrew Eschenbach, Bro. Leonhard Schnell 
was at that time a very active and efficient itinerant 
minister among- the Lutherans. The first awakenings 
in Maguntsche (now Emmaus) were produced by his 
preaching there in 1742. In November, 1 743," accom- 
panied by Robert Hussey, he undertook a journey from 
Bethlehem to Georgia, on foot, during which journey he 
proclaimed the ( rospel in Virginia and North Carolina, in 
many instances in places where there never before 
had been any preaching. Here and there he heard 
very strange reports concerning the Zinzendorflers, 
which in part at least could be traced to either willful or 
unintentional misrepresentations in the'letters of Gilbert 
Tennent and Mr. Muhlenberg. Brownfield, Conrad 
Fiihrer, and others, rejoiced at his arrival in Georgia. 
Pastor Bolzius and many of his parishioners opposed 
him openly, but still he found opportunity of preaching 
the Saviour's love even among the enemies of the 
Brethren. In April, 1744, they returned by sea to 
Bethlehem. 

A third itinerant minister to be mentioned here was 
Paul Daniel Bryzelius, a native of Sweden, who had 
studied at Upsala. The field of action assigned him was 
among his countrymen in New [ersey, along the Dela- 
ware, south of Philadelphia, where there had been no 
regular pastor for some years. On January 13, 1743," 



Journal of Schnell and Hussey, of their journey to Georgia, November 
6, 1743, to April 10, 1744. 

78 Bryzelius' Report of his Labors .1111011- the Swedes. MS.. Bethlehem 
Archives. 



I46 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

Bryzelius (Pryzelius) left Bethlehem and traveled directly 
to Provost Tranberg, at that time the only Swedish 
pastor in the country, who received him very kindly. 79 
Having- candidly related the object of his visit, Tranberg 
not only made no objections, but urgently invited him 
to take charge of three Swedish and one German con- 
gregation, on the Jersey shore of the Delaware. Bryze- 
lius soon found kindred souls who received him joyfully 
and invited him to preach among them. 

On January 26, he did so for the first time in the 
Swedish language, in the house of Joran Kyn, near 
Maurice River. Soon after a small church was built in 
this neighborhood, and Bryzelius received a regular call 
as pastor, and accepted it. His second preaching-place 
was in Cohansy, where a neglected German Lutheran 
congregation gladly availed itself of his services in the 
church near the so-called Glasshouse, or the Emmanuel 
Church. Leonhard Schnell afterwards took charge of this 
congregation until Pastor Muhlenberg's influence became 
predominant. A third preaching-place was the Swedish 
church at Penn's Neck, where Bryzelius served as minister 
for upwards of a year, until Gabriel Falk, a deposed 
Swedish minister, began disburbances. As occasional 
preaching-stations the following are to be mentioned : 
Wicacoa, Manathanim, Ammas' Land, Potomack and 
Kalckenhucken ; but the principal station was the church 
at Racoon, near which Bryzelius resided with his family, 
after having received a regular call from thirty-three 
members of the congregation. Here he was to all 
intents and purposes the regularly installed pastor, and 
his name outrht, therefore, not to be omitted in the list 
of the Swedish ministers on the Delaware. 



79 Evangelical Review, Vol. I., No. 2, The Swedish Churches on the 
Delaware, by Prof. W. M. Reynolds. 



BRYZELIUS AND TTIE SWEDES. 1 47 

That the faithful ministration of Brother Bryzelius, and 
especially the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, 
was not without the blessing of the Lord, no one can 
deny, who will attentively consider the circumstances 
connected with some unpleasant affairs which at last 
induced him to give up his charge. Nearly a year had 
he performed all the pastoral functions, clear])' beloved 
by the greater part of his congregation, when Magister 
Naesman arrived from Sweden. His first public act was 
on December 23, 1743, forcibly to enter the church at 
Racoon, and to preach against Bryzelius. In his polem- 
ical harangue he produced his diploma as Magister, and 
maintained that Bryzelius could not be an orthodox 
teacher without such a diploma. One of the people 
exclaimed : "We do not believe this, for to-day we have 
both seen and heard, that in spite of your bio- paper, 
you are not sent by God, for you are angry and uncon- 
verted, and tell lies." Another said : "We do not 
want you, for we are afraid you are a son of old Falk," 
who, when his people could not answer his scriptural 
questions, is said to have pulled them by the hair. 
Magister Naesman became exceedingly angry, and 
threatened publicly to excommunicate Bryzelius. The 
latter did not answer, but looked at him in a friendly 
way, whereupon one of his opponents exclaimed: "You 
are a Satan, for you laugh in church," to which Bryzelius 
replied: "But what are you, that you get angry in 
church?" As might bo expected, the meeting dissolved 
in great tumult, but the majority sided with Bryzelius. 
On Christmas-day he went to the church as usual, but 
found that it had been locked, probably at the instigation 
of Naesman. The door was forcibly opened, and he 
preached to a large congregation. 

Two weeks after this, fifteen stout men, Swedes, 
Germans and Irish, were ordered to guard the door, 



148 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

one of whom even attacked Bryzelius, who found great 
difficulty in prevailing upon his people to refrain from 
resorting to violent measures. The consistory imme- 
diately reported this disgraceful proceeding to the Gover- 
nor, who ordered the fifteen men to be lodged in jail. 

Bryzelius left for a time, visiting Pastor Nyberg at 
Lancaster, and afterwards at Bethlehem. Upon his 
return he found a warrant against him "as a common 
breaker of the King's peace," because his sermons had 
caused disturbances. On March 13, 1744, a constable, 
with fear and trembling, took him prisoner and led him 
to a tavern. The Swedish landlord was his bitter enemy, 
because owing to his preaching, his traffic in ardent 
spirits had been seriously diminished during the past 
year. For formerly the Swedes had been accustomed 
after sermons to frequent taverns, and to spend whole 
nights in drinking and dancing, but since Bryzelius had 
preached of the sufferings and death of Christ, many 
had been awakened, and even those who would have 
liked to stop at the tavern, were often ashamed to do so, 
because the rest passed by. In this place he had to pass 
the night, and he himself relates the following circum- 
stances : "The wife of one of my accusers accidentally 
came into the room, and when she saw me a prisoner, 
she began to weep, and publicly affirmed, that I was 
persecuted without' a cause, for she had felt that I 
preached the truth. My adversaries, both men and 
women, assembled, abusing and reviling me in the most 
absurd manner. I remained silent. At last they became 
ashamed, and would have set me free, had I promised 
never to return; but I said: T shall not go away on 
account of your persecutions ; you have cited me before 
the judge, and to the judge will I go.' ' 

Judge Hingsman, of Gloucester, before whom Bryze- 
lius had his first hearing, treated him very kindly, and 



BRYZELIUS AMi Till: SWEDES. 1 49 

soon perceiving how matters stood and that he was not 
the disturber of the King's peace, but rather that his 
adversaries were, cheerfully gave him permission to con- 
tinue his ministerial service at Maurice River and Penn's 
Neck until the next term of the Court, satisfied that his 
mere verbal promise would be sufficient to insure his 
appearance before the Court. And so it was. At the ap- 
pointed time, on April 17, Bryzelius entered the court 
house at Gloucester, unattended by any legal adviser 
(although his adversaries had employed three lawyers 
against him), trusting alone in Him who can bring to 
naught the counsels ot the worldly wise. 

His enemies insisted upon his being examined by 
some ministers, of course, of their own selection. This 
he refused, not acknowledging their jurisdiction over 
him. As the grand jury found no bill against him, he 
was dismissed the same day, with the friendly advice, 
however, not to preach in the church at Racoon, until 
the arbitration ordered by the Court had taken place. 

The Society of Friends offered him a meeting-house, 
in which he continued to preach before larger audiences 
than ever, and with the manifest blessing of the Lord. 
Many became awakened, and Magister Naesman, at a 
later period, made an apology for what he had done. 

Magister Naesman was not satisfied with having 
shown his ill-will against Brother Bryzelius, but en- 
deavored to array the whole Lutheran clergy against 
the Moravian Brethren. For this purpose a meeting 
was convened at the house of a Swedish merchant ot 
Philadelphia, in May, 1744, which was attended by the 
Swedish pastors Tranberg of Christina, Nyberg ol 
Lancaster, Naesman of Wicacoa, and the ( ierman pastors 
Muhlenberg and Wagner. \\<rr the question was 
discussed "whether the Moravian Brethren should be 
acknowledged to be in the same communion with them 



I 50 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

according to the Augsburg Confession." This question 
had been decided affirmatively in Germany again and 
again, and, therefore, a negative decision of five Lutheran 
ministers in America would not in the least have affected 
the standing of the Moravian Church. But even here 
the opponents of the Brethren could not have it all 
their own way, for one of these five Lutheran pastors, 
Laurentius Theophilus Nyberg, of Lancaster, unex- 
pectedly stepped forth as a defender of the Brethren, 
with whom at that time he had no further connection 
except an acquaintance with his countryman Bryzelius. 
But in Sweden already he had heard favorable reports 
of the Moravian Brethren and Bishop Benzelius had 
warned him to beware of the Hallensians, and hence the 
proposed union of the .Swedish and German Lutheran 
churches, defensive and offensive against the Moravians, 
was not brought about. 

While the itinerant ministers sent out from Bethlehem 
and supported by the congregation there, were actively 
engaged in making known the truth as it is in Christ 
Jesus, the brethren at Bethlehem were not idle. Be- 
sides some smaller buildings, the mill was finished in June 
and the clergy-house, which already had to be enlarged, 
was completed in August. In September, as many 
brethren as could be spared from the framework went 
to Nazareth to assist the masons, who had to be pro- 
cured from Germantown, in finishing" the laree house 
there, which task was accomplished in December, just 
in time to accommodate a part of the brethren and 
sisters lately arrived from Europe. This second "Sea 
Congregation" landed at New York in December, 1743, 
and consisted of one hundred and twenty persons. 
Among these were thirty-three young couples who had 
all been married in Herrnhaag on one day, May 27, 
and were destined for Pennsylvania. The more promi- 



THE SECOND "SKA CONGREGATION. I 5 I 

nent among the newly arrived brethren who were after- 
wards more or less engaged in the service of the 
congregation were : Matthew Schropp, George Ohne- 
berg, Matthew Reuz, John Wolfgang Michler, George 
Nicke, Anton Wagner, and the English brethren, Richard 
Utley, Jasper Payne and James Greening. 

After having refreshed themselves at Bethlehem and 
partaken of the Lord's Supper with the congregation 
there, a part of these newcomers (among them twenty- 
five young married couples) set out for Nazareth on Jan- 
uary 2, 1744, the brethren walking ahead with axes and 
cutting out a new road through the woods. Having 
arrived there in the evening, they were welcomed by the 
Brethren Peter Bohler, Anthony SeyfTert, Nathanael 
Seidel, and Bishop Nitschmann, and the meeting-hall in 
the "big house" was consecrated to the service of the 
Triune God. Brother Adolph Meyer was the superin- 
tendent of this colony, and Brother J. C. Franke his 
assistant, especially in all spiritual matters. For the 
present, at all communion services and special festival 
days of the Church, the Nazareth brethren and sisters 
went to Bethlehem, both congregations being considered 
as one church. 

In Bethlehem the choir of single brethren constantly 
increased. Though twenty of the thirty-six single 
brethren sent from Europe, had married by the 
end of 1744, twenty-four young men from Oley, 
Philadelphia, Staten Island, and other places, had in- 
creased their ranks, and therefore a separate building 
for them seemed indispensable. Brother Nathanael 
Seidel, the Elder of the single brethren, laid the corner- 
stone for the Brethren's House (now the Sisters' I [ouse) 
on August S, 1744. Within sixteen weeks it was read) 
for the reception of its inmates and was solemnly con- 
secrated on December 6 by Bishop Spangenberg, who 



152 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

had arrived in Bethlehem a few days before, accompa- 
nied by his wife. Brother Abraham Rein eke and his wife, 
and some other brethren and sisters. 

Brother Spangenberg now came to Pennsylvania for 
the second time and remained until October, 1749. 
Since his return from Pennsylvania in 1739 he had been 
employed in the service of the Church in various ways 
in Germany and England, for some time acting as 
steward of the great "church of pilgrims" in Marien- 
born, where, on March 5, 1 740, he was married to the 
widowed sister Eva Maria Immigf, late Zie«"elbauer. 
In 1 74 1 he went to England, founded in London the 
Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel among the 
Heathen, assisted in the deliberations of the Synodal 
Conference in September, took charge of the General 
Diaconate, that is, the economical affairs of the whole 
Church, sent several companies of pilgrims to Penn- 
sylvania, organized congregations in London and York- 
shire, held several important interviews with the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and in short, was indefatigable in 
his service of the Church while he remained a pattern of 
Christian humility and childlike simplicity for all men. 8 " 

He now entered a new sphere of labor and became 
the ruling spirit in the American Moravian Church 
until 1748. Brother Bohler returned to Europe in 
April, 1745. 

80 Compare his famous hymn : 

" Heil'ge Einfalt, Gnadenwunder ! 
Tiefste Weisheit, grosste Kraft ! 
Schonste Zierde, Liebeszunder ! 
Werk das Gott alleine schafft." 
A very inadequate rendering of some of the thoughts is found in the 
attempted translation : "When simplicity we cherish," etc. 



CHAPTER III. 

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BRETHREN'S CHURCH 
IN PENNSYLVANIA, 1744-174S. 

I. SPANGENBERG, VICARIUS GENERAI.IS. 1/44- 

It was one of the favorite ideas of Count Zinzendorf, 
to endeavor to bring about a union of the Evangelical 
Churches. His attention had already been directed 
to this subject while a student at Halle and Witten- 
berg, but though he did not succeed in his well-meant 
attempts at bringing about a reconciliation of the 
faculties of these two universities, and though he was in 
later years constantly opposed and even slandered and 
persecuted by man) - members of high standing, both in 
the Lutheran and in the Reformed Church, still he 
repeatedly turned his thoughts to this subject. 

After his return from America and after his appoint- 
ment as minister plenipotentiary of the Unity, as 
expressed in the title, " Advocatus et Ordinarius 
Fratrum," when his brethren had solemnly declared 
"that henceforth nothing of any importance should be 
undertaken in the external or internal arrangements ot 
the Moravian congregations, without his consent," and 
he had thus, de facto, become the head and ruler ol 
the Church, he thought the time had come for the 
realization of his favorite idea. 

Looking at the different congregations of the Brethren 
(Niesky, Gnadenberg, Gnadenfrei, Neusalz and Fulneck 
were commenced at this time?) and the almost daily 



154 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

increase in their membership from other denominations, 
he found "in their totality," that is, in the Moravian 
Church, as it now developed itself, "a realization of an 
ancient idea of the Brethren, as expressed by the 
Consensus Sendomiriensis" when in 1570 the Lutheran, 
Reformed and Moravian Churches of Poland, by 
common consent at a Synod in Sendomir, brought about 
a temporary union of these three denominations. And 
looking still farther back into the history of the Refor- 
mation and examining the characteristic peculiarities, 
whether of doctrine or church-o-overnment, as set forth 
in the Church of the Bohemian Brethren, in the Lutheran 
Church and in the Reformed Church, he found that what 
others were wont to consider merely "marks of distinc- 
tion and points of dispute," were really "successive 
and distinct conceptions of one and the same gospel 
truth and of the apostolic ideal of the Church as 
portrayed in Holy Scripture" ; and that the apparent 
divergence was due to the fact that parts of the whole 
truth had become unduly prominent, by being urged 
singly and without due reference to other parts which 
were of equal necessity to a complete view. Herein he 
acknowledged the direction of divine wisdom, and felt 
convinced, that this must be so, from many declarations 
of Holy Writ in reference to "the household of God" 
(Eph. 2: 19-22), or "the preparatory education for 
Christ" (Gal. 3 : 24). Regarding the Reformation as a 
renewed instruction in righteousness (naidsia ev 61- 
KaioGvvr\, 2 Tim. 3 : 16), the successive rise of the three 
Evangelical Churches of the Continent of Europe was 
considered by him as so many different modes of instruc- 
tion [rpoitoi 7t aide las) for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the edifying of the body of Christ, till all should come 
in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the 
Son of God, unto a perfect man (Eph. 4 : 1 1-16). 



SPANGENBERG, VICARIUS GENERALIS. 1 55 

Meanwhile it became more and more his favorite idea, 
(applying the rponoi rtaideias to the Moravian, Lutheran 
and Reformed Churches), to look upon them theoretically 
not as a separate organization, but as tropes (t/jottoi) or 
branches of the One Evangelical Church ; and he 
rejoiced to see a commencement of this Unity in the 
Brethren's Church. Hence it was his sincere desire and 
earnest endeavor, especially at the different Synods held 
at Marienborn in 1743, 1744 and 1745, to induce his 
brethren to accept his standpoint, in order to keep 
them in intimate connection with the Evangelical Church, 
and to counteract the Moravian spirit of independence. 
He hoped that the time would come, when this idea 
would be universally acknowledged as biblical, true and 
also practicable for the whole Church.' For the present, 
at least in German)-, he saw in the Brethren's Church 
alone a field for the practical application of these ideas. 
He, therefore, made a distinction between the members 
of the strictly Moravian, of the Lutheran and of the 
Reformed Tropus, each of which might retain the doc- 
trinal preferences of his own Church, especially in 
reference to the Lord's Supper, and thus join the Breth- 
ren's Unit)' and enjoy her peculiarities of ritual 
and constitution, without separating from his former 
denomination. This idea was accepted and reinforced 
by succeeding General Synods. 

However, a farther application to the then existing 
congregations, according to which some, tor example. 

1 More than one hundred years Inter .1 < ommern emenl was made tow ards 
the realization of these ideas by the German Kirchentag, which met at 
Wittenberg, September 21-23, l,s 45. '>> which an Evangelical Church 
confederaey was to be established. This confederal \ was to contain (see 
Resolution, 'i 3): "All those denominations which stand on the basis 
of the confessions of the Reformation, namely, the Lutheran, Reformed, 
United Evangelical and Herrnhut Brethren." 

F. W. Kolbing, deputy on the part of the (Jnitas I'ratrum, declared that 
the brethren, though not inclined to join a mere outward confederacy, 
would acknowledge the idea of .1 spiritual union of all believers. 



156 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

Herrnhut, were to be considered con ere rations of the 
Lutheran Tropus, others (like Herrnhaag) as belonging 
to the Reformed Tropus, could not be practically carried 
out in Europe. In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, this 
idea was apparently already being realized. The 
Moravian, the Lutheran, the Reformed Churches were 
as yet in the most incipient states of their existence ; 
there was no distinct organization or connection of the 
different congregations of one confession. By far the 
greater part of the Lutheran and German Reformed 
congregations of Pennsylvania, as well as the "Pilgrim 
Church." at Bethlehem and the Moravian colony at 
Nazareth, were joined under one General Synod, which, 
as "the Church of God in the Spirit," had theoretically 
an independent position, though practically it was 
under the indirect influence of Count Zinzendorf. 
Spangenberg was now sent to America, not only to super- 
intend the affairs of the Bethlehem congregation and the 
Moravian Missions among the Indians, but also to con- 
tinue the work commenced by Count Zinzendorf during 
the Pennsylvania Synods, and to be, as it were, the center 
for the three united Churches. Therefore, at Herrnhaae, 
on June 15, 1744, he was consecrated a Bishop, by 
Bishops Zinzendorf and Frederick de Watteville. Under 
the influence of the current mode of thought, it was 
becoming the custom to consecrate Bishops for each 
Tropus, as, for instance, Frederick de Watteville for the 
Reformed Tropus, and John Langguth for the Lutheran 
Tropus ; but Spangenberg's consecration was as Vicarius 
Generalis Episcoporum in America (or Vicar General 
of the three Tropoi) in puncto ordinationis. That is, he 
received from the Unitas Fratrum ecclesiastical power 
and authority to ordain, not only ministers of the 
Moravian Church, but also Lutheran and Reformed 
pastors. It must be noted, however, that this power 



SPANGENBERG, VICARIUS GENERALIS. I 57 

was not acknowledged by the Lutheran or Reformed 
opponents of the Brethren's Church. 

Besides this ecclesiastical office, Spangenberg held 
another peculiar office which, however, referred only 
to a certain time and to the peculiar situation of the 
congregation at Bethlehem. According to a decision of 
the London Conference of 1741, which was confirmed by 
Lot, he was appointed Chief Elder for the " Church of 
the Pilgrims" at Bethlehem and of all real Moravian 
Brethren scattered over the; country. For though Leon- 
hard Dober had resigned the office of General Elder of 
the Church and the Brethren assembled at London 
(September 16, 1741) had felt that no one could comply 
with the requirements of this office but He who is the 
Lord and Head of His Church ; though that which justly 
may be considered the Magna Charta of our church- 
government, that Christ, and He alone, is the General 
Elder, the Head and Ruler of the Moravian Church, 
had been published to the European congregations, 
still Spangenberg, the Vicarius Generalis Episcoporum in 
America, was — by an especial decision of the Lot — for 
the time being appointed per Americam in Pres- 
byterio Vicarius. That is, the Chief Eldership of Jesus, 
though known and appreciated by the European 
brethren and sisters, was for the present not to be 
published in America. Strange as this may appear, 
subsequent events fully justified this decision ; for 
the promulgation of these ideas to people who had 
never before had any connection with the Moravian 
Church, and therefore could neither understand nor 
appreciate them, might have done more harm than good. 4 

4 Even now, while we write, we are doubtful whether all our readers, 
especially those not belonging to, or not knowing the Moravian Church, 
will fully understand our meaning. But we refer them for further infor- 
mation to historical documents, namely, the Memorial Days of the Renewed 
Church of the Brethren, pp. 184-222. See also many of our hymns and 
Crceger's Brethren's History, II, p. 62. 



158 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

Spangenberg had a very faithful and efficient assist- 
ant in his wife, Mary. She was one of the most extra- 
ordinary women of the olden times, of lively tempera- 
ment and great energy of character. Born in Dresden 
in 1696 (February 25), she had married a Dr. Immig 
and, on their becoming acquainted with Count Zinzen- 
dorf, had gone to Herrnhut in 1727, where her husband 
died the next year. She was one of the first female 
elders of the congregation, and served for twelve 
years as spiritual laboress of the widowed sisters, at 
the same time assisting Brother Martin Dober in the 
outward concerns of the congregation in Herrnhut. 
She had too practical a mind ever to become senti- 
mental ; was serious, faithful, sometimes rather severe 
and imperious to those under her authority ; well versed 
in domestic affairs, especially since she had had the charge 
of the housekeeping* of the "pilgrim congregation" 
at Marienborn, and was therefore peculiarly adapted to 
direct the Bethlehem Economy. She was also an efficient 
and tiuent speaker, at any time ready to keep a meeting 
for the sisters. Generally esteemed, she was more 
feared than beloved. She was usually called " the 
Mother," and acted as such with great fidelity in Beth- 
lehem until 1748. She died at Herrnhut in 1 75 1 . 

2. SYNODS IN 1745. 

Having landed at New York, Spangenberg first 
visited the Indian Mission in Checomeko, where the 
missionaries, harassed and persecuted by their English 
neighbors, were not a little comforted by his judicious 
counsels. He then proceeded to Bethlehem, where he 
arrived on November 30, 1744, and at once entered 
upon the discharge of his manifold official duties. The 
amount of labor performed by Bishop Spangenberg is 



SYNODS IN 1745. 159 

almost incredible, for his activity was directed to a variety 
oi subjects, each of which would seem sufficient for an 
ordinary man. 

1. Being sent to America by the Directing Board of 
the Unity, which was centered at that time in Count 
Zinzendorf and his immediate assistants, one of his 
duties was to conduct the correspondence with his Euro- 
pean brethren. This correspondence was very important 
in the earl)' times of the Church, when the whole con- 
nection of the work of the Brethren in America with 
their European brethren depended thereon. 

2. To him, as Chief Elder of the Moravian Brethren 
in America, was committed the especial care of souls of 
all the European colonists settled at Bethlehem and 
Nazareth, and man)- a time, especially at communion 
seasons, all the brethren and sisters of these settlements 
had private religious conversation with him or his wife. 
Thus he was the confidant and adviser of all, in the most 
important concerns of the soul. 

3. He was also the pater-familias (the* father of the 
family), the chief steward of the rapidly extending 
Family Economy of Bethlehem and Nazareth, ably and 
faithfully assisted by his wife, especially in the first years 
<>l great poverty. Well acquainted with the financial 
affairs of the Church, and knowing what great expenses 
had to be met in all the new settlements of the Brethren 
in Europe, he was loath to demand funds from Europe, 
and preferred to sacrifice his own private property, 
without, however, demanding the same from any of his 
brethren. 

4. As superintendent of the missionary affairs of the 
Brethren in America, he had not only to care, outwardly 
and inwardly, for the Indian Missions, but the Mis 
sions in the West Indies and Surinam were also, to a 
great extent, committed to his charge. To procure the 



l6o THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

necessary means, he proposed in August, 1745, the 
establishment of a "Society for the Furtherance of the 
Gospel," which was organized at a Synod in Lancaster 
in December and existed for about ten years. 

5. Lastly, the General Synods demanded a good deal 
of his time and labor. He not only presided at these 
meetings, but generally wrote the very compendious re- 
ports of the proceedings. 

Three Synods of this kind were held in 1745. The 
first met in Frederick Township, probably in Henry 
Antes' house, on March 21 and 22, and was attended 
by one hundred and four members. Among these are 
named three Elders of the Brethren's Church, namely, 
Spangenberg, Anthony SeyrTert, and Nathanaet Seidel, 
ten brethren who served as Lutheran pastors in different 
congregations, three ministers of Reformed congrega- 
tions, twelve wardens and trustees of congregations in 
Bethlehem, Nazareth, Tulpehocken, Philadelphia, German- 
town and Oley, eight missionaries, and others. Pastor 
Laurence Theophilus Nyberg, sent by the Swedish Con- 
sistory to the Lutheran congregation at Lancaster, at- 
tended this Synod, and was received as a member of it. 
The following passage contains the spirit of the report : 

"As the Synod still adheres to its original plan of af-. 
fording to all the children of God, though of different 
denominations, an opportunity, not only of strengthening 
the bond of Christian fellowship, but of assisting each 
other in the mutual prosecution of the work of God in 
this country ; therefore, be it resolved, in order to avoid 
confusion and to prevent disorderly men from entering 
into the ministry, that all the Lutheran and German Re- 
formed ministers of the congregations in connection with 
this Synod, be ordained only by Bishop Spangenberg." 

The second Synod convened at Bethlehem, August 
18 and 19. About two hundred members attended, 



SYNODS IN 1/45- l6l 

among: whom there were seventeen ordained ministers 
of the Gospel, twenty-eight assistant ministers and 
teachers, and nine missionaries. Anew it was resolved : 
"We will continue to preach the Gospel at all those 
places where the Saviour grants us open doors, and 
we are ready to supply with ministers all such congre- 
gations as desire teachers from us." Heidelberg, for 
instance, was acknowledged as a free congregation 
under the superintendence of the Synod, and was sup- 
plied with ministers from Bethlehem. 

The third Synod of this year assembled at Lancaster, 
December 8 and 9. Henry Antes had preached here 
in 1743, and quite lately the Swedish Lutheran pastor, 
the Rev. Mr. Nyberg, had joined the Synod. But there 
were not a few, especially among Pastor Nyberg' s 
congregation, who opposed the work of the Brethren, 
and who looked with very suspicious eyes on these 
assemblies. On this very account it was important 
to hold a Synod here and in as public a manner as pos- 
sible. Justice Smout courteously offered the court- 
house for the public sessions of the Synod, which, 
however, so enraged some of the more bitter enemies 
of the Brethren that they threw mud and stones at 
Spangenberg, when he rose to preach on the word of 
Jesus: "Father, forgive them for they know not what 
they do." His perfect composure, his meek and friendly 
deportment, but above all his fervent prayer for all the 
enemies of the cross of Christ, made a deep and lasting 
impression upon Justice Smout and many others. It is 
related that one man in particular, who had filled his 
pockets with stones to join in the premeditated attack, 
was so much struck by the fervency of Brother Spangen- 
berg's prayer, that he not only emptied his pockets, but 
with tearful eyes confessed his evil intentions, and him- 
self became a follower of the meek Lamb of God. 



1 62 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

The one hundred and eighty members of the Synod 
are thus classified : sixty-two Lutherans, seventy-seven 
German Reformed, eleven English Reformed, six Mora- 
vian Brethren, eleven Mennonites, seven Taufer (Tunker), 
two Siebentager, one Separatist, three Indians, and one 
without denominational name, that is, Spangenberg. 
They had come from twenty-four different localities. 
The following is the most important resolution: "We 
will carefully guard against any one favoring the idea 
that this or that denomination, this or that Church, 
is the Church of Christ to which he must belong in 
order to be saved ; for though we cheerfully acknowledge 
the happiness of our times, in which the Saviour col- 
lects His children into conorecjations here and there, 
still we firmly believe that there are children of God 
among the different denominations of various nations, 
of whom but few may possibly be known to us." 

This and many other similar passages prove plainly 
that Spangenberg, evidently the master-mind of these 
Synods, had firmly resolved to continue the work of 
the Lord in Zinzendorf's liberal spirit, not suffering 
himself to be bound and tied down by any outward 
forms, but endeavoring to promote the welfare of his 
fellow-men and to advance the Kingdom of Christ in 
Pennsylvania by all and every means in his power. 

Thus he went on in the strength of the Lord, actively 
engaged one clay in the affairs of the Bethlehem Economy, 
the next morning surprising the colonists at Nazareth at 
their morning devotions, having walked thither before 
breakfast. His wanderings frequently extended to 
the scattered Christian settlers of the Province, or 
even beyond its boundaries to the savages of the 
wilderness. But wherever he went, whatever he did, 
his sole aim and object was to win souls for Christ and 
to promote the cause of His Kingdom. 



BETHLEHEM — "THE CHURCH OF PILGRIMS." 163 

3. BETHLEHEM THE "CHURCH OF PILGRIMS," 

i 744-1 745. 

It would have been quite impossible for Brother 
Spangenberg to accomplish all that was expected of 
him, if the same courage, the same spirit of disinter- 
ested devotion to the cause of the Lord, the same steady 
endurance and persevering willingness amidst difficulties, 
toil and embarrassments of various kinds had not 
animated by far the greater part of the colonists, and 
above all if there had not been willing" and implicit 
obedience to their leader. This period, especially from 
1744 to 1748, may, in truth, be called the heroic age of 
our American Church. A careful perusal of the diaries, 
journals and other papers, preserved in the Bethle- 
hem Archives, proves abundantly that it was not love 
of ease or the desire for the treasures of this world 
that induced our ancestors to leave their own country, 
and to settle in the wilds of Pennsylvania ; but that it 
was their sincere and ardent desire to proclaim among 
Christians and heathen the Saviour's love, and to com- 
mend the cross of Christ, the saving power of which they 
had experienced in their own hearts. 

More especially was this the case with that part of the 
Church at Bethlehem which constituted the "Church 
of Pilgrims," and consisted of such only as had 
voluntarily dedicated themselves to the service of the 
Lord. Spangenberg remarks in one of his letters : 
"When the congregation in Bethlehem heard the news 
of the departure of our brethren in St. Thomas, all 
burned with desire to be permitted to venture their 
lives, and if I had called for volunteers to go to this 
pestilential spot, twenty or thirty brethren or sisters 
would at once have been willing to go." 

This spirit of devotion, this willingness to be spent in 
the service of the Lord, this readiness to undertake the 



164 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

most arduous enterprises, almost at a moment's warn- 
ing, was nourished and strengthened not only by their 
regular daily devotions at morning, noon and evening, 
but also by their peculiar manner of social life. The 
whole Church at Bethlehem, which numbered in 1 747 
about three hundred persons, was considered and treated 
as one family, eating at one common table. Partly from 
necessity, for want of house-room, partly from religious 
conviction, they were separated and divided into the 
different rooms of the clergy-house, and afterwards 
into different houses, according to their ages and sexes, 
which separation of the sexes and classification into 
different "choirs" was carried out to a much greater 
extent than in any of the European congregations. 

While in most of the settlements of the Brethren in 
Germany and England, separate houses (choir-houses) 
were erected for the single brethren, single sisters and 
widows, in Pennsylvania, from 1 744 to 1 748, all the 
single brethren (numbering in 1 747 with the older boys 
more than eighty souls) were assembled at Bethlehem 
under the spiritual superintendence of Nathanael Seidel 
and Gottlieb Pezold, while the single sisters (twenty in 
number) found their temporary abode at Nazareth. In 
1 748, after the single brethren had built a larger house 
for themselves — the present middle building of the 
Young Ladies' Seminary — the single sisters took perma- 
nent possession of the former Brethren's House, which 
has ever since retained the name of Sisters' House. 
The older girls were collected in Bethlehem, the smaller 
ones (from four to eleven years of age) in Nazareth, and 
the little boys in Henry Antes' house in Frederick 
Township. Even the married people lived separately in 
two buildings, where the present church is located. The 
mothers generally retained their children till they were 
about eighteen months old, when they were taken in 



BETHLEHEM — KAMI I ,Y ECONOMY. 1 65 

charge by the authorities of the Church and placed in 
the nursery at Bethlehem, and after 1749 at Nazareth. 

All this was an extension of the European choir-ar- 
rangements of a quite peculiar kind, and naturally 
led to more or less arbitrary, if not despotic rule, 
and could not be continued nor be recommended 
for imitation. Similar in some respects were the 
Ephrata convents, with this difference, however, that 
there the "solitary state " was considered the most holy 
and acceptable to God, while the Moravians not only 
esteemed and honored married life, but endeavored to 
sanctify it in a peculiar manner. Many verses, used at 
that time, referred directly to conjugal duties, or rep- 
resented the felicity of the children of God in terms 
taken from matrimonial life, exceeding sometimes those 
to be met with in Holy Writ, and were therefore liable 
to misconstruction and afforded abundant material for 
malicious and slanderous attacks from the opponents of 
the Brethren. Nevertheless, they were happy in the 
Lord and went on cheerfully in their works of duty and 
of love. 

4. BETHLEHEM. — FAMILY ECONOMY. 1/47- 

In commune oramus, 
In commune laboramus, 
In commune patimur, 
In commune gaudemus. 

This favorite motto of "Dr. Anton, in reference to the 
orphan-house and other institutions in Halle, was justly 
applied by Spangenberg to the external and internal 
affairs of the Moravian colonies at Bethlehem and 
Nazareth; for not only in a general or spiritual sense 
was the word of the Apostle applicable: "And 
whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with 
it, or one member be honored, all the members rejoice 
with it" (1 Cor. 12: 26); but actual!) and literally all 



1 66 the brethren's congregations. 

their joys and griefs, their labor as well as their worship 
was the joint affair of all and each. They formed but 
one family ; had but one house-keeping. 

In the "Life of Spangenberg," written by Jeremiah 
Risler, as well as in other German publications which refer 
to this time, only the general principles are pointed out 
by which this singular Family Economy was governed. 
A full detail has never been published, and without such 
a detailed account, the full extent of this Economy can 
not be appreciated. Therefore, we take from Bishop 
Cammerhof's letters the following statements, which, 
though referring particularly to the year 1747, show 
what expenses devolved at that time already upon this 
Economy, increasing, of course, from year to year, and 
what were their principal resources. 

To the annual expenses belonged the following 
items : 

1. Board and clothingf of the brethren, sisters and 
children in Bethlehem (about 300 in 1747), in Nazareth 
(100), Gnadenthal (20), Gnadenhutten (15, besides 
presents to the Indians), Frederickstown (40 boys and 
18 brethren and sisters who managed Henry Antes' mill 
and farm), and Germantown (about 12 persons) — in all 
about 500 persons, among whom there were many 
non-producers. Though the board was at first very 
plain and scant, meat being put on the table but twice 
a week, still the weekly consumption of wheat amounted 
to between forty and fifty bushels. In 1747 there were 
consumed: In Bethlehem, 2,307 bushels of wheat, 12,- 
832 eggs, 15,586 pounds of meat; in Nazareth, 1,011 
bushels of wheat, 6,875 e gg s > 4-99 2 pounds of meat, 
inclusive of 576 pounds of venison ; for which purpose 
60 sheep, 7 oxen, 7 steers, 16 cows and 20 calves were 
slaughtered ; not to mention many other not inconsider- 
able items. 



BETHLEHEM — FAMILY ECONOMY. I 67 

Besides, there were distributed 450 shirts, 150 pairs 
of stockings, and many other pieces of apparel, for ex- 
ample, 145 pairs of shoes, and none had to complain of 
the superabundance of his wardrobe. 

To the annual expenses belonged further: 

2. The support of the congregation-schools at Oley 
and Maguntsche, and of the Philadelphia ministerial 
laborers. 

3. Nearly the whole support of the two married 
couples who lived among the Indians at Shamokin. 

4. The clothing of all the brethren and sisters who 
were sent out on missionary tours, as well as of those 
who were stationed at various places as ministers or 
school-masters — about fifty persons in all. 

5. Traveling expenses for the itinerant ministers in 
Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New England. 

6. Various expenses in connection with the Indian 
Mission, and for presents in the negotiations with the 
Six Nations. 

7. Boarding of many visiting friends, especially during 
Synods. 

S. Expenses for the transportation of the brethren 
and sisters traveling in missionary service to and from 
St. Thomas and Berbice. 

9. There was annually a not inconsiderable item of 
expense for building purposes. For instance, in 1 747 
the following houses were erected for the Society ; 
a dwelling-house and blacksmith-shop at Shamokin, 
a minister's dwelling at Philadelphia, two barns and 
several stables at Bethlehem ; a new fiat-boat for 
the Lehigh River; a wash-house at Nazareth, a <rrist- 
mill and saw-mill at Gnadenthal, a farm-house at 
Christian's Spring, a grist-mill, saw-mill, blacksmith-shop, 
barn, stables and some Indian houses at Gnadenhiitten- 
on-the-Mahony. Much was yet to be done and was 
postponed for the following years. 



1 68 the brethren's congregations. 

To meet all these expenses the Brethren had the fol- 
lowing resources or capital : 

I. The most important, and in later times a valuable 
source of revenue was the land which was gradually 
bought up, having been selected very judiciously. Here 
they found building materials in abundance and in later 
years these very fertile acres yielded an abundance of all 
the necessaries of life. For the present, however, only a 
small part of these thousands of acres were cleared and 
in a state of cultivation, not nearly enough to raise 
sufficient grain for the rapidly increasing number of 
consumers. Belonging to the Bethlehem plantation 
there were only about 200 acres of arable land and 20 
acres of meadow-land ; at Nazareth, 250 acres were 
cleared, 20 acres meadow; at Gnadenthal, 125 acres of 
cleared land, 4 acres meadow ; on the new farm near 
Gnadenthal (afterwards known as Christian's Spring) 
there were as yet only 15 acres in cultivation, but it was 
hoped that much meadow-land might be obtained there ; 
the farm at Gnadenhlitten beyond the Blue Mountains 
contained 450 acres, of which only 50 were in a state of 
cultivation. 

Besides these farms which belonged to the Brethren, 
there were some others, which they cultivated and used, 
by agreement, without paying rent, namely: Widow 
Ysselstein's farm on the south side of the Lehigh ; Henry 
Antes' farm and mill in Frederick Township, and John 
Bechtel's house and garden in Germantown. 

Under the careful and judicious cultivation of these 
German practical farmers, these lands, orchards and gar- 
dens yielded a considerable amount for the support of the 
Family Economy, but not enough for home consumption ; 
hence the needful cash for Mass, iron, sugar, blankets 
and many other articles, all which were brought from 
Philadelphia, had to be procured by other means. 



BETHLEHEM FAMILY ECONOMY. I 69 

II. A second source of support and also of income 
were the following trades, carried on at different places : 

1. The grist-mills at Bethlehem, Gnadenhiitten, Gna- 
denthal, and in Frederick Township. 

2. The saw-mills at Bethlehem, Gnadenthal and Gna- 
denhiitten. 

3. The oil-mill at Bethlehem, under Father Nitsch- 
mann's superintendence. 

4. The tannery at Bethlehem — by far the most lucra- 
tive business. 

5. The smitheries at Bethlehem, Nazareth, Gnaden- 
hiitten and Shamokin (the; latter especially for the 
Indians). 

6. The locksmith shop at Bethlehem. 

7. The pottery. 

8. The joinery and glaziery. 

9. The turnery, under Father Bechtel. 

10. The wheelwright shop of Henry Antes. 

11. The linen weaving in Bethlehem and Nazareth, 
under the special charge of Mary Spangenberg and 
Anna Cammerhof. There were six looms in Bethlehem, 
on which 3,30cS yards of linen were woven. 

1 2. The stocking weaving and fulling-mill. 

13. The rope-making, under Henry Antes. 

14. The tailoring and furriery. 

15. The dyers' trade, under M. Weiss. 

16. The shoe-making at Nazareth, Frederick Town- 
ship, Gnadenhiitten and at Bethlehem under I). Tanne- 
berger. 

17. Father Demuth's box and spindle-making. 
iS. The cooper)-. 

19. The distiller)-, the products of which, however, 
were not for sale. 

20. The bakery. 

2 1. The butcher)-. 



I70 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

22. The medical and chirurgical business in the 
hands of die brethren Adolph Meyer, Otto, Owen Rice, 
Christian H. Ranch and Sisters Mary Spangenberg and 
Huber. Brother Otto had his own garden for medical 
herbs, where the eastern building - of the Young; Ladies' 
Seminar)' now stands. 

23. The soap boiling. 

24. The chimney sweeping. 

25. The mason-work, in which more skillful men 
would have been needed. 

26. The carpenter work. 

27. The brick-making, under L, Hiibner. 

28. The pewterer-work, under S. Powel and A. Bom- 
per. 

29. The tavern on the other side of the Lehigh, and 
the Ferry. 

30. The shoe cleaning. 

31. The tar-making at Gnadenhutten. 

32. The button making. 

Thirteen of these trades yielded in 1 747, besides what 
was consumed at home, a clear profit of ^221 14.S. 4c/. 
Pennsylvania currency, equivalent to about $591. 

III. A third source of income was the Society for the* 
Furtherance of the Gospel, founded by Bishop Spangen- 
berg, and consisting mostly of friends of the Brethren. 
From August 13, 1745, to December 31, 1747, this 
Society collected for missionary purposes, ^454 13^. 5c/., 
a not inconsiderable sum for those times. This was a 
material assistance to the Economy, on which the whole 
expense of the Indian Missions would otherwise have de- 
volved. 

According to a very low estimate, the annual ex- 
penses of this Family Economy exceeded $10,000, 
which would have required a very considerable capital, 
if all male and female members had been only con- 



BETHLEHEM FAMILY ECONOMY. I 7 I 

sinners and not producers. But though young and old 
worked diligently and faithfully, still it was often 
apparent, that the Lord had helped where human 
wisdom failed. 

"Well may we exclaim," says Cammerhof, astonished 
at the results of another year, "The Almighty Himself 
has managed for us; for if we. had not tin's comfort, we 
would often not know how to act ; but as the Saviour's 
credit is our proper stock, we leave the; management to 
Him." 

At the close of the year 1 747, there was about 
£200 cash in hand and about ^150 available assets in 
account current debtors. But the liabilities amounted 
to 7^4400, mostly occasioned by the purchase of land 
near Bethlehem and Gnadenhutten. The money for 
the Whitefield Tract, or the Nazareth lands, had been 
paid in Europe from the general funds of the Church, 
and the Bethlehem Economy was only to pay the 
interest thereon, as soon as they would be able to do 
so. In the debt of /4400 there were several items, 
which according to Cammerhof \s expression were 
"canceled by a draft on the Saviour's Conto," that is, 
a sum of ^1082 which Brother Spangenberg received 
as a personal legacy from Thomas Noble's estate, 
but which he gave to the Family Economy, hiding 
his disinterested liberality by saying that he lent 
it. There were many smaller sums belonging to 
the members of the Economy or to friends of the 
Brethren (for instance, Timothy Horsfield, of New 
York, and Captain Garrison), which could be re- 
claimed at an)- time, but for which no interest was 
demanded. 

Though there was a great deal of ill-will against 
the Brethren among many of their ungodly neigh 
bors, and main stories concerning their social and re 



172 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

ligious organization were freely circulated, still no one 
doubted their honesty, and they might have raised 
almost any amount of money to increase their landed 
property, if this had been the end and aim of their 
Family Economy. 

Honor to whom honor is due ! Therefore we mention 
the names of those who ably and faithfully assisted the 
pater familias, Brother Joseph and his wife, "Mother 
Mary," in these outward concerns. Besides Bishop 
Cammerhof, the general assistant of Bishop Spangen- 
berg since 1 747, these were the brethren Adolph 
Meyer, David Bischoff, Nathanael Seidel and, above 
all, the indefatigable and practical Henry Antes. Jas- 
per Payne was a well-informed and diligent book-keeper, 
who was succeeded by John Brownfield, formerly secre- 
tary of General Oglethorpe. Abraham Bomper and 
Timothy Horsfield were faithful agents in New York, 
especially in expediting brethren and sisters to St. 
Thomas and Berbice, and were succeeded a few years 
later by Brother Henry van Vleck (father of Bishop 
Jacob van Vleck, and grandfather of Bishop William 
Henry van Vleck), merchant in New York. 

Under the superintendence of these agents a vessel' 
was built in New York, the snow Irene, which was 
launched May 29, 1748. Henry Antes, as a naturalized 
citizen, was the nominal proprietor, while Spangenberg 
bore the greater part of the expenses from private 
means. On September 8, 1 748, the Irene, Captain 
Garrison, cleared for her first voyage to Europe, and 
served the Brethren for ten years, bringing many 
colonists to Pennsylvania and for North Carolina, until 
taken by a French privateer in 1758. 5 

5 See Bricder-Blatt, April 1S57. 



NAZARETH "THE PATRIARCHAL PLAN." I 73 

5. NAZARETH, "THE PATRIARCHAL PLAN." I 744— I 748. 

The Family Economy of the Brethren was not con- 
fined to Bethlehem, hut also comprised the settlements 
on the Nazareth tract ; hut while there was at Bethle 
hem a "church of pilgrims," and all brethren and 
sisters, capable in any way of spiritual labor, were re- 
tained in that "school of the prophets," the practical 
farmers were mostly sent to the Nazareth settlements, 
which were intended to raise the necessary means for 
carrying on the work oi the Lord by agricultural labor. 
Therefore, they called this colony the " Patriarchen 
Plan," (the Patriarchal Economy). Hut here also it was 
the main object of Spangenberg and his assistants, to 
promote the spiritual growth of the colonists and by 
every possible means to increase their love; to the 
Saviour. The sweat of the brow and faithfulness in 
business ; yea, all their labor of body and of mind was 
to be hallowed unto the Lord ; they were not to entangle 
themselves with the affairs of this life, but to work for 
the Lord, and always to be conscious of the fact that 
whether they worked in the field or in the stable, they were 
servants and handmaidens of the Lord as fully as the 
pilgrims of the Bethlehem Economy. Eor this purpose 
Brother Spangenberg and his wife visited them fre- 
quently, encouraged the brethren and sisters in their toil 
and labors, and endeavored in various ways to make 
the outward activity itself a means for spiritual edifica 
tion. Besides the regular love-feasts on every Saturday 
afternoon, commenced January 30, 1745, and continued 
for many years, there were others for smaller or larger 
companies on particular occasions. Thus, on February 
5, nine brethren had a love-feast, before commencing 
ploughing for that year. Love-feasts for the milkers, the 
washers, the threshers, and others, became very frequent. 
( )n August 1 * there was a general love-feast, after the 



174 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

greater part of the farmwork had been done, and a 
large stable for the sheep had been finished. It was 
quite a lively and edifying meeting and Mary Spangen- 
berg spoke very feelingly concerning child-like faith, 
especially referring to the corn crop in Gnadenthal, which 
for a long time had appeared very unpromising (these 
German farmers seeing the growth of this crop prob- 
ably for the first time). The spinning business among 
the sisters was properly organized and "Mother Mary" 
closed the service with prayer. 

From the latter part of 1 745 these love-feasts served also 
for the cultivation of the poetic talent, Brother Spangen- 
berg giving the impulse by composing a hymn on spinning 
for the spinning sisters, on October 27, in which he says : 

" Know, ye sisters, in this way 
Is your work a blessing, 
If for Jesus' sake you spin, 
Toiling without ceasing. 

Spin and weave ; compelled by love ; 

Sew and wash with fervor, 
And the Saviour's grace and love 

Make you glad for ever." 

Other brethren and sisters followed this example, not 
only those of a more liberal education, such as Abraham 
Reincke and his wife Sarah, but also common farmers, 
and though their productions are by no means poetic 
master-pieces, still they all breathe a spirit of fer- 
vent piety and entire devotion to the Lord, and are in 
themselves the best proof, that it was their sincere en- 
deavor to devote to the Lord all their powers of body 
and of mind, and that these pious farmers, though bur- 
dened with work and exposed to privations 6 of many 

6 March 13, 1746, Brother Reincke, minister at Nazareth, received a visit 
from Mr. Hughes, Presbyterian minister at Long Island, and after preach- 
ing, invited him to dinner, which consisted of mush, bread and salt and 
good spring water. The English gentleman was somewhat astonished at this 
entertainment, having expected that the minister at least would have better 
fare. But all ate at one table. 



NAZARETH "THE PATRIARCHAL PLAN. I 75 

kinds, had a mine of wealth in their love to their 

Saviour : 

" [f we can serve our Lord And King 
Ev'n in the verj meanest thing, 
It is indeed to us so sweet, 
That we do feel it drink and meat. 7 " 

Spangenberg remarks in one of his letters concerning 
the Nazareth colonists: "They connect the Saviour and 
His blood with all they do or say : they highly esteem 
their patriarchal economy; they grow in spiritual matters, 
while working bodily. Nowhere else have such beautiful 
and edifying hymns for shepherds, ploughers, threshers, 
reapers, spinners, knitters, washers, sewers, and others 
been composed as among them and by them. They 
would fill a whole farmer's hymn-book." 8 

'Sung on September 28, 1746. Most of these hymns are in German, ol 
which the following are specimens: 

Du siisster Herzbezwinger, 

Die Melker, Wascher, Schwinger, 

Die sehen jetzt auf Dich ; 
Und warten mit Verlangen, 
I in Segeitzu empfangen 
Aus Deinem blut'gen Seitenstich. 

Du bist bei alien Dingen 
Beim Melken, Wa.sch.en, Schwingen, 
Das einz'ge Augenmerk, 

Dir leben wir auf Erden, 
Bis wir Dich sehen werden, 
Dir Unit man jedes Tagewerk. 

8 Spangenberg himself composed many of these hymns; for instance, a 
hymn for a prayer-meeting in January, 1744, of which the following is the 
conclusion : 

Schlafen, Wachen, Ruhen, Machen, 

Essen, Trinken, Botschaft geh'n, 
Denken, Schweigen, Singen, Zeugen 

Lasz durch Gnad' im Blut gescheh'n. 
Thue, Lamm, was Dir beliebct, 
Deine Gnadenhand, die giebet 
Mehr, als wir begreifen konnen. 
O, wer wollte alles nennen ! 



176 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

In Nazareth as well as in Bethlehem, the special 
choir and class meetings were introduced, besides which 
there was also an especial day of festive remembrance 
for the original colonists, namely, the Twenty-seventh of 
May, on which day most of the married people, who 
were now living in one house and formed one family, 
had been married. 

Though their mode of housekeeping will naturally 
appear strange to us, still it can not be denied that 
much more labor could be performed by these concen- 
trated powers, than under the present system of separate 
housekeepings, and visitors often expressed their 
astonishment at the rapid growth of the colony and 
their excellent arrangements, especially in barns and 
stables. Yet before the end of their first year, 1744, 
preparations were made for the erection of extensive 
barns and stables at a spring not far from the "stone- 
building" which, with some dwelling-houses, one of 
which afterwards contained the meeting-hall of the 
congregation, is now called "Old Nazareth. 9 In January, 
1 742, a second farm was opened about a mile and a half 
to the west in a well-watered valley and was called Gna- 
denthal. 10 In 1747 a mill was built there. In 1748 a 
third farm was commenced, near a spring," half a mile 
farther south, which for many years was managed 
exclusively by single brethren. It was called Christians- 
brunn, in honor of Christian Renatus, the son of Count 
Zinzendorf. 

Most of the first colonists of Nazareth came from 
Silesia and Upper Lusatia in Germany, and had all 
belonged to the Lutheran Church before they joined the 

9 After more than a century the first house was sold and removed in 
1849, being for many years in a very dilapidated condition. 

10 Now the site of the Almshouse of Northampton County. 

11 Called Albrecht's Spring, later Christian's Spring. 



NAZARETH "THE PATRIARCHAL PLAN.' I 77 

congregation at Hcrrnhut. Now, as it was Zinzendorf's 
desire above all to build up the Lutheran Church in 
Pennsylvania, Nazareth, where the Lutheran element 
prevailed, for several years was counted among the 
Lutheran congregations connected with the General 
Synod of Pennsylvania. Accordingly the ministers oi 
this congregation, Brother Reinhard Ronner and, after 
him, Brother Abraham Reincke, took their seats in the 
Synod as Lutheran pastors, and wished to be considered 
as such. But the peculiar arrangements of their choirs 
and the whole outward organization which resembled that 
of the Church of Pilgrims at Bethlehem, was vastly dif- 
ferent from any other Lutheran congregation in the 
country, and especially after the introduction of the new 
hymns from Germany, in 1746, which deviated greatly 
from old orthodox Lutheranism, it became plain that it 
would be an absurdity any longer to call Nazareth a 
Lutheran congregation in the common acceptation of the 
term. Therefore, on January 25, 1747, a re-organization 
of the congregation in Nazareth was made by Bishop 
Spangenberg and his assistant. Bishop Cammerhot, five 
years after the organization of the congregation at Beth- 
lehem, whereby this congregation was duly declared 
a Moravian congregation, throwing off all further con- 
nection with the Lutheran Church. Brother Abraham 
Reincke returned to Bethlehem, after Brother Ohneberg 
had been introduced as Elder and Brother Schropp as 
Warden of the congregation. Both received a truly 
apostolic blessing from Brother Joseph. 

Bishop Cammerhof addressed the congregation in 
general and expressed the idea that the congregation at 
Nazareth, as the " Patriarchal Economy," ought to imi- 
tate, and, as it were, represent in a practical manner the 
lite of our blessed Saviour up to His thirtieth year, when 
Me lived in retirement at Nazareth, occupied with the 



178 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

every-day affairs of domestic life, while die Church of 
Pilgrims at Bethlehem would find their pattern especially 
in the ministerial life of our Saviour and imitate Him 
in going about from place to place and doing good. 
Thus both conprepations would serve the Lord in their 
peculiar ways, and it might be plainly seen, that not only 
by direct preaching of the Gospel, but also by the walk 
and conversation of pious and devout farmers, the truth 
as it is in Christ Jesus our Lord, might be proclaimed. 

6. J. C. F. CAMMERHOF. HIS INFLUENCE. 1747- 

Brother Spangenberg, to whom was entrusted the 
management of all the affairs of the Brethren in America, 
though able to accomplish a great deal and always 
willing to perform any kind of work, gradually be- 
came convinced that, without an able and efficient 
assistant, he could not do justice to the multifarious 
demands on his time and strength, and, therefore, in 
1744, urgently desired that his brethren in Europe 
might send him an assistant. Even before his letters 
arrived, the Synod of the Brethren assembled at Zeist in 
Holland, in May, 1746, had appointed Brother John 
Christian Frederic Cammerhof for this office, who arrived 
in Pennsylvania, January, 1747, and labored there for 
four years. By his influence considerable changes were 
brought about both in the spirit of the congregation and 
in the external arrangements. 

Schrautenbach characterizes him as a young man of 
amiable and affable disposition, well versed in the meta- 
physical and ecclesiastical sciences, of much spirit, great 
courage and untiring energy in the service of the Saviour 
and the Brethren's Church. He was born on July 28, 
1 72 1, near Magdeburg, and studied theology in the Uni- 
versity of Jena, where he became acquainted with the 



CAMMERHOF. 179 

Brethren and especially with Brother John Nitschmann 
(afterwards his colleague at Bethlehem), lie became 
teacher in Kloster Bergen, a Protestant school under the 
direction of Ala Steinmetz, who highly esteemed him and 
his fellow-student, Theophilus Shumann. Acquainted 
with the pietistic methods of edification, and not find- 
ing therein peace for their souls, Cammerhoi and Shu- 
mann left the ranks of the Lutheran Church and went, in 
1743, to Marienborn, where they were received into the 
Seminary of the Brethren and for a time assisted in 
transcribing missionary reports under the immediate 
superintendence of Count Zinzendorf. This was an im- 
portant school for their future practical usefulness, lor 
both were called to the missionary service — Cammerhoi 
to North America ; Shumann to South America, where 
he became the apostle of the Arawacks in Surinam from 
1 748 to 1760. 

Brother Cammerhof, having been married in July, 
1 746, to Anna de Pahlen, a Livonian baroness, was con- 
secrated in London, September, 1 746, by Zinzendorf, Mar- 
tin Dober and Steinhofer, as Bishop of the Brethren's 
Church, for the country congregations of North America 
[XGapsTtiffK07tos). Soon after his arrival in Pennsylvania 
he commenced his epistolary correspondence with the 
Directing Board of the Unity in Europe, which probably 
has never been carried on with such minuteness, lor some 
of these letters, of which copies have been preserved 
for the Bethlehem Archives, contain more than a hun- 
dred closely written pages, giving- a full insight into the 
work of the Brethren, even to its most minute details. 

From these letters of the youthful Bishop it appears 
plainly that the enthusiastic love lor the Saviour which 
was cherished by Cammerhof and that band of disciples 
with whom he was associated, bordered on fanaticism. 
1 le had left the new settlements of the Brethren in Wet- 



l8o THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

teravia (Herrnhaag, Marienborn, etc.) at a time, when 
the most sober-minded Brethren began to talk " senti- 
mental nonsense," and the whole Church was in immi- 
nent peril of being led away from the very substance of 
the Gospel by a puerile and often silly mode of expres- 
sion, and of embracing- fatal delusions. For more than 
a century the Brethren's Church has acknowledged that 
this was the period of "sifting," the time in which much 
chaff was separated from the wheat, the time in which 
much wood, hay and stubble was built on that foundation 
(i Cor. 3 : i i ), than which no other can be laid — a super- 
structure which but a few years later was consumed in 
that fiery persecution, by which Herrnhaag, the most 
numerous of all the conorecrations, was scattered to the 
winds. We would not revert to these times at all, if the 
assertions made now and then, that these delusions had 
not found their way to America, were perfectly correct. 
Bishop Cammerhof introduced them, 12 fostered them, 
and was praised for it. With his death all vestiges of 
these delusions ceased at once. 

And wherein did these delusions consist? Bishop 
Holmes 13 crives the following concise and sufficient 
answer : " In their zeal to root out self-righteousness, 
the Brethren were not sufficiently on their guard against 
levity in expression. The delight they took in speaking 
of the sufferings of Christ, which arose from the pene- 
trating sense they had of their infinite value, by degrees 
degenerated into fanciful representations of the various 
scenes of His passion. Their style in speaking and 
writing lost its former plainness and simplicity, and be- 

1 See Cammerhof s Epistola Tertia, where he speaks of himself in the fol- 
low-in- strain : "Cammerhof und seine Anna sind bekannt, sind Kreuzluft- 
Vogelein, verliebt in seine vier Nagelcin, krankelnd vor Liebespein nach 
Jesu Seitcnsc hrein ; wol zwei junge Kinder, aber doch Kinderlein und 
Siinderlein, und nicht ohne gute Hoffnung." 

13 History of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren, Vol. 1, p. 399. 



CAMMERHOF. 1 S I 



came turgid, puerile and fanatical, abounding in playful 
allusions to Christ as the Lamb, the Bridegroom, etc., 
by which He is described in Holy Writ, and in fanciful 
representations of the wound in His side. In describing 
the spiritual relation between Christ and His Church the 
highly figurative language of the Canticles was substi- 
tuted in the place of "the dignified simplicity, used by our 
Saviour and 1 lis Apostles, when speaking on this sub- 
ject. Some less experienced preachers even seemed to 
vie with each other in introducing into their discourses the 
most extravagant and often wholly unintelligible expres- 
sions. This kept the hearers in a state of constant ex- 
citement, hut was not calculated to subject every thought 
of the heart to the obedience of Christ. Religion, in- 
stead of enlightening the understanding, governing the 
affections, and regulating the general conduct, became- a 
play of the imagination. 

"This species of fanaticism first broke out at Herrn- 
haag in the year 1 746, and from thence; spread into 
several other congregations. Many were carried away 
by it, for it seemed to promise a certain joyous perfec- 
tion, representing believers as innocent, playful children, 
who might be quite at their ease amidst all the trials 
and difficulties incident to the present life. The effect 
produced was such as might be expected. The more 
serious members of the; Church (and these alter all 
formed the major part) bitterly lamented an evil, which 
they could not eradicate. Others, considering the 
malady as incurable, withdrew from its communion. 
The behavior of such as were most infected with this 
error, though not immoral and criminal, was yet highly 
disgraceful to their Christian profession." 

Pictorial representations of the sufferings of Christ, 
illuminations of the church and other public buildings, 
birthday celebrations, connected with expensive love 



1 82 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

feasts, were manifestations of the unnaturally excited 
poetic spirit of the congregation, which, in its practical 
consequence led to extravagance — and to debts. Peter 
Bohler, at that time in England, as superintendent of the 
monetary affairs of the Church there, was fully aware of 
the fearful increase of their liabilities, and raised a 
warning voice, but his protest was not heeded. Neither 
was any attention paid to the wise counsels of Spangen- 
berg who, in a letter to Count Zinzendorf in 1746, 
expressed his forebodings in reference to the lavish 
expenditures in the European settlements and their 
inevitable consequences. This letter was not answered, 
and Spangenberg, the most faithful and indefatigable 
of all the Brethren, had reason to suppose that some 
of the most influential of his fellow-laborers in Europe 
looked upon him with a suspicious eye, considering 
him as having become lukewarm, because he, the man 
of good common sense, could not appreciate their extrava- 
gant religious notions, nor approve of the sentimental 
nonsense, which in a flood of hymns was pouring over 
to America also. He rejoiced to receive in Cammerhof 
a faithful and able assistant, but was inwardly grieved, 
when he perceived, that the latter had received secret in- 
structions, according to which he acted in such a manner, 
that the original idea of Zinzendorf of a Church of God 
in the Spirit was gradually but entirely set aside. The 
hymns of the twelfth addition to the German hymn- 
book — set aside long ago as puerile in the extreme — 
were eagerly received, and Cammerhof s addresses, in 
the same perverted style, found many willing listeners. 14 

14 It is almost impossible to translate into English the religious jargon, 
which for a time — happily only a short time — took the place of sober Gos- 
pel language. The following short extracts from Cammerhof s letters may 
serve as a specimen: 

Im Juny 1747 wircl ein besonders gesegnetes Abendmahl in Bethlehem so 
erwahnt : 



CONGREGATIONS CONNECTED WITH THE BRETHREN. l8 



J 



7. PENNSYLVANIA CONGREGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH 
THE BRETHREN, 1744-J74X. 

Besides the two colonics of the Brethren, the Church 
of Pilgrims at Bethlehem and the Patriarchal Economy 
at Nazareth, there were organized in Pennsylvania in 

this period quite a number of congregations, all more 
or less in connection with the General Synod and 
thus also with the Brethren, some of which afterwards 



" Uns alien war's vor Kreuzesfreuden weinerlich, 
Und Brustblattjungermasziglich 
Und Jesu Schweisz theilhaftiglich." 
Im Februar 1748 schreibt Cammerhof, Epist. X : " Ms schmeckt der 
Gemeine nichts als die blutige Kost aus des Lammes Seite, unci was nicht 
den blutigen Strich hat, das ist ekelhaft, und das Lammlein thut uns audi die 
Gnade, und liiszt unsern Gemeinbau immermehr zusammensinken, so das 
alles, was nicht blutig und ins Blut gelegt ist, herausgedrangt und zuriick- 
gewiesen wird. Un's Herzel, dies Lammlein in's Herzelhafte spielerliche 
Fachel hineirigebracht.damitwirauch andern wasvorspielen konnen, bis alles 
Volk, einjedes nach seiner Art, doch harmonisch mitspielen kann, vordem 
der uns erwahlet hat, hat er in einem seligen Liebesbunde erhalten, und 
noch mehr zusammenrilcken lassen, sodasz unser Arbeiter-Haiiflein den 
blutigen Siinder-Character zu seiner einigen Schone hat, und die Mutter 
(d. h. Geist) ist geschaftig, es noch lieblich scheinender und allgemeiner zu 
machen." 

5 Mar/ '48 wurden 2 Kindlein getauft, geboren den 4ten : " lis sah sehr 
niedlich aus, da die beiden Vater mit einander ihre Kinder in die Gemeine 
brachten, just da ihnen die Gemeine entgegensang : 
Hi r sel'gen Kreuzluft-Kiichelein, 
Willkommen in der Kreuzgemein', 
In unsere freien Kin henluft, u. s. w. 

und darauf wurde dann zuersf die kleine Anna Miksch und dann der kleine 
Joachim Senseman mit Hint und Wasser aus der Pleura bestromt, und 
dann gesungen : 

Du Kreuzluft-Magdlein bleibe Braut, 

Dem Marterlamm durch Blut vertraut, 
Auf e\\ 'ge Zeiten. 

Du Kreuzluft-Knablein zeige dich 

Recht Jesuskinderhaftiglii h, 

I "nd wachs <\\u< li alle deine Zeil 

Fort in der Jesushaftigkeit, 

Und so bleibt alle beide 

Des Kreuzvolks ew'ee Freude. 



184 the brethren's congregations. 

became Moravian conoreeations. As was the case in 
Europe, so also in Pennsylvania Moravianism gradually 
developed itself and was finally separated from Luther- 
anism and Calvinism, and Zinzendorf's idea of bringing 
about a union of the three Churches has not been 
realized Yet this idea gives a peculiar stamp to the his- 
tory of the times, and it would be impossible fully to 
describe the development of the American Brethren's 
Church without reverting at least briefly, to the organiza- 
tion of the Lutheran and German Reformed Churches 
in America. Accordingly we will have to make a distinc- 
tion among those congregations which at that time were 
more or less in connection with the Brethren, and will 
for brevity's sake call those churches Lutheran or 
Reformed, in which the one or the other element pre- 
vailed, to which, however, a third class is to be added, 
namely, the free or mixed congregations. 



A. LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS. 

When Zinzendorf left Pennsylvania in 1743 there 
were five organized Lutheran congregations : 

1. Philadelphia, organized by Count Zinzendorf ; but 
in consequence of the riot mentioned before, split into 
two parties, for and against the Brethren. 

2. Tulpehocken, attended to by ministers sent from 
Bethlehem. 

3. Lancaster, since 1743 supplied with a Swedish 
pastor. 

4. New Hanover, and 

5. New Providence. 

Both these latter neighborhoods had never been in 
any connection with the Brethren, and here the Rev. 
Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg found his first field of labor. 
In 1743 he built a new church in New Hanover, minis- 



LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS. 185 

tered in this congregation and also in New Providence, 
and gradually also gained a party in the Philadelphia 
congregation. He had been sent to America from 
Halle for the purpose of organizing congregations here 
and there, in which by the faithful preaching of the Gos- 
pel and the administration of the Sacraments, Chris- 
tian life was to be awakened gradually ; while on the 
other hand the Brethren never commenced with outward 
organizations of conoreiiations, but endeavored rather 
to gain souls for the Saviour, and to assist in the 
further development of the Christian life already mani- 
fested, leaving it to the Lord and the leadings of His 
providence, whether such small companies of truly 
awakened souls should organize into congregations or 
not. Add to this, that among these awakened persons 
many regulations were introduced, which were con- 
sidered important at the time, but untenable on Scrip- 
tural grounds, and it is certainly not surprising that 
Muhlenberg's congregations soon surpassed those of 
Zinzendort's in numbers and in influence. 

In 1 745 Pastor Muhlenberg welcomed three assistants, 
sent to him from Germany, the Rev. Mr. Brennholz, who 
had been ordained by the Consistory of Wernigerode, 
the candidates of the ministry, Schaum and Nicholas 
Kurtz, and thus was enabled to extend operations to 
Germantown and to Cohansey in New Jersey, and occa- 
sionally also to visit in Tulpehocken. 15 

(In the part of the Brethren about this time eight or 
ten Lutheran ministers could be counted, but there were 
not as many Lutheran congregations. Besides Naza- 
reth, which till 1747 was reckoned as Lutheran, there 
were but three in connection with the Brethren. 

1. Philadelphia. — Since 1743 there was in this city a 



1 I [azelius I listory, p. 53. 



1 86 the brethren's congregations. 

German Lutheran congregation, to which also some 
German Reformed and a few Separatists belonged, and 
an English congregation, formed partly of English 
brethren and sisters of the first " Sea Congregation " of 
1742 and partly of members of the Society of Friends. 
Both congregations had been acknowledged as such by 
the General Pennsylvania Synod, and received their 
ministers from Bethlehem. Matthew Reuz and after him 
Abraham Reincke were the German Lutheran pastors ; 
and James Greening, Thomas Yarrell, Owen Rice and 
Hector Gambold served as their assistants and kept the 
English meetings, so that generally two, sometimes 
three ministering brethren resided at Philadelphia. 

The peculiar regulations of the Moravian congrega- 
tions were at that time not yet introduced, as there was 
rather an anti-Moravian spirit manifesting itself, the Eng- 
lish congregation especially taking a very independent 
position, which was fostered by national jealousies. They 
would not let the Germans "lord it" over them, com- 
plained that their children were "dutchified," and took 
offense at the simple word of the cross. The influence of 
Whitefield became very evident, especially in the case of 
Edward Evans and others, who kept their own private 
meetings in and near Philadelphia, in which more stress 
was laid on "many exercises," prayers, etc., than on the 
"free erace in the blood of the Lamb." Even after 
Evans had been excluded from church-fellowship by a 
Synod in 1748, the effects of these disturbances were 
felt for a long while. 

2. Tulpehocken. — From the Church Register (Kirchen- 
buch) of this congregation, deposited in the Bethlehem 
Archives, it plainly appears that there was here a regu- 
larly organized Lutheran congregation. Count Zinzen- 
dorf before his return to Europe had installed John 
Philip Meurer as minister of this congregation. In 



LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS. I 87 

February, 1744, Peter Bohler, as Vice-Inspector, "held a 
church-and school-visitation, and with the consent of the 
trustees (Kirchen-Vorsteher) introduced George Niekeas 
assistant minister and ordained him in a Synod at Oley 
in the Lutheran manner, assisted by Pastor Pyrlams and 
Pastor Meurer. He also made some new regulations 
for the parochial school at Tulpehocken. 

In 1 745 the trustees resolved to build a new church of 
free-stone, and invited the Lutheran Vice-Inspector, 
Spangenbeg, to conduct the religious ceremonies of the 
laying of the corner-stone. This was done April 1, and 
a hymn composed for the occasion was sung, which found 
a place in the appendix to the Moravian hymn-book of 

1 735- 

From the documents placed in the corner-stone it ap- 
pears that the congregation consisted of thirteen fami- 
lies and seventy-seven children. On December 1 of the 
same year, the church was solemnly dedicated to the ser- 
vice of the Triune God by Spangenberg, the Lutheran 
Vice-Inspector, the Swedish pastor Abraham Reincke and 
Pastor Meurer, who concluded the solemnities by admin- 
istering the Holy Communion to twenty-two persons. 
In January, 1746, Pastor Meurer was recalled, and John 
Brucker sent there as school-master. Meanwhile the 
I lallensian Kurtz had gained a party for himself, and dis- 



16 Zugaben, No. 2249. Briider-Gesangbuch, 404: 10, 11 : 
Wollt's Gott, wir bauen cin Hiittlein her, 
Da fort zu pred'gen die reine Lehr, 
Von dern Opfer Jesu, darin zu linden 
Gnade und Rettung von alien Sunden, 
Fur alle Welt. 

Da legen wir nun den ersten Stein, 
Lamm, das geschehe inn Namen Dein ; 
Spricb Du : sei gesegnet! zu diesem Werke 
Gib mis Gnade und Geistes Starke, 
S<> eehl es fort. 



sensions arose in the congregation. Q n fals account the 
trustees preferred a request to the Synod that a brother 
who had studied theology in Germany might be sent to 
them. This request was not complied with, and Count 
Zinzendorf made use of this opportunity in a long letter, 
dated London, September 1 3, 1 746, formally to re- 
nounce 17 his superintendence of the Lutheran Churches 
in Pennsylvania. 

This letter of Zinzendorf was discussed in a session of 
the Lutheran Consistory at Bethlehem, January 27, 1747, 
twelve Lutheran brethren being present, who could not 
agree with the view taken by Zinzendorf, and especially 
protested against the idea that their preaching among 
the Lutherans would produce a schism in the Lutheran 
Church in Pennsylvania. For as yet the Lutheran 
Church was not organized. On the other hand, Zinzen- 
dorf's former ideas of Church Union were far from 
realization, and the Brethren became more and more 
convinced that they could hardly expect to be permitted 
to preach in many Lutheran pulpits, partly because the 
number of Lutheran ministers was increasing, partly be- 
cause their present mode of expression was not calcu- 
lated for the great mass of unconverted souls. There- 
fore, in Tulpehocken as well as elsewhere, the people 
would have to decide for themselves either for or against 
the Moravians. 

17 Zinzendorf says : " Ich will kein Religions-Schisma haben. Wenn es 
nur um den Naracn, oder gar nur darum zu thun ist, dasz der point d' 
honneur des Bruder Ludwigs gegen den Pfr. Muhlenberg behauptet werde, 
den gab ich hiemit von Herzen los, und ein solcher kann zu den Schwe- 
dischen oder Hallischen Theologis, ohne deswegen von mir einiger Untreue 
und Unbestandigkeit oder Unbefugniss schuldig geachtet zu werden, jetzt 
und allemal iibergehen nach kurzer Anzeige. Und das ist der gegenwartige 
casus, wafum ich meinem Amt bei dieser Religion in Pennsylvanien in 
tantum renuntiire. Denn meine Vocation griindet sich auf die absolute 
Noth, und eine giinzliche Eutbloszung der sammtlichen Lutheraner von 
allem verniinftigen Gottesdienst, als voriiber im Monat Marz, 1742, in aller 
Vorsteher Gegenwart ein Instrument errichtet worden." 



LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS. 1 89 

3. Lancaster. — The circumstances and outward rela- 
tions of the Lutheran Church at Lancaster were of 
a different character. In 1743 Laurentius Theophilus 
Nyberg, who had studied at Upsala, Sweden, and had 
been ordained by the Swedish Archbishop Jacob Benze- 
lius, had arrived here and labored faithfully and success- 
fully. From far and near people came to hear his edi- 
fying discourses and many entreated him to preach 
also at other places. In 1744 a small log church 
called St. lames' Church, was built eight miles from 
Lancaster in Warwick Township, on George Klein's 
land. Here Pastor Nyberg preached at stated times, 
commencing July 25, 1744. In 1745 he became a mem- 
ber of the General Pennsylvania Synod and soon also 
a faithful friend and bold champion of the persecuted 
Moravians, in consequence of which two parties were 
formed in his Lutheran congregation. The larger of 
these, which was not favorably inclined towards the 
Brethren, kept the old church. The smaller one in 1 746 
built a new church, which, being dedicated on St. Andrew's 
Day, November 30, was called St. Andrew's Church. On 
account of these dissensions Pastor Nyberg resigned his 
office, but on February 8, 1747, he accepted a new voca- 
tion to St. Andrew's Church, in which call was inserted 
the special clause, that he might have connection with 
the Brethren in Bethlehem and visit their Synod, without 
thereby being considered a member of their Society. 
Meanwhile his enemies sent formal complaints concerning 
him to the Swedish ecclesiastical courts, his Swedish fel- 
low-ministers publicly condemned his "heresies," the 
Hallensians stirred up the fire in his congregation, and 
Pastor Nyberg, expelled by his own communion, felt 
himself more and more drawn to the Brethren. Altera 
long delay he at last received permission to move to 
Bethlehem, whereon August 13, 1 74S. he was formally 
received as a member of the Brethren's Church. 



I9O THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

Those amonor the Lutherans in Lancaster who were 
favorably inclined to the Brethren and who had sent 
their children to a school, commenced by Brother J. G. 
Nixdorf, now requested the authorities at Bethlehem to 
send them a minister ; which request led to the organi- 
zation of a Moravian congregation at Lancaster, at a 
somewhat later date. 

B. REFORMED CONGREGATIONS. 

There were not many ministering brethren of the 
Reformed Tropus, that is, Moravians who for a while 
served as German Reformed ministers, but there was 
a great number of congregations and preaching-places, 
of which, however, the greater number never desired a 
closer connection with the Moravian Church. 

Thus it was, for instance, in Germantown. Here John 
Bechtel had served his countrymen for many years as 
minister and by the advice of Count Zinzendorf had 
been ordained by Bishop Nitschmann in 1742, and thus 
this German Reformed congregation had been regularly 
organized. But Germantown was at that time a hot-bed 
of Sectarianism, and hence it is not surprising that the 
peace of the Reformed congregation was soon disturbed. 
The enemies of the Brethren did not rest until Bechtel 
was dismissed from his ministerial office, February 9, 
1 744, and expelled from the Reformed congregation. 
In September, 1 746, he removed to Bethlehem, where, 
abstaining from all spiritual labor, he served the Econ- 
omy as turner, and died in 1777, eighty-seven years old. 
The connection of the Brethren with the Reformed con- 
gregation in Germantown was never renewed. Brother 
Bechtel's house was used for a time for school purposes. 

Among the German Reformed congregations under 
the charge of Jacob Lischy there were several which 
were only preaching-places, and never afterwards were 



REFORMED CONGREGATIONS. I 9 I 

served by the Brethren, that is, Heme, Cocalico, 
Coventry Town, Erlentown and Cushehoppen. In other 
neighborhoods Lischy made the commencement of a 
lasting connection with the Brethren, though his own 
relation to the Brethren was for a time of rather an am- 
biguous nature, until he became an open opponent and 
severed his connection with the Moravian Church. Al 
read\- in 1 744 misunderstandings and distrust are observ 
able, most probably occasioned on the part of Lischy, 
by his endeavors to appear at Bethlehem as a devoted 
Moravian brother, while elsewhere his aim was to be 
considered only a Reformed pastor. On March 21, 
1745, a second grand church council oi the Reformed 
congregations was held at Muddy Creek, attended by 
sixty elders and trustees of twelve different congrega- 
tions. Lischy was asked whether he was a "I Icrrn- 
huter? " At first he evaded the question, " carrying the 
church around the village," as Henry Antes expressed 
it. Being more closely questioned by the other Re- 
formed ministering- brethren, J. H. Ranch, Bechtel and 
Antes, he publicly avowed that he was in connection with 
the Brethren at Bethlehem. In answer to a question of 
one of the trustees, how their con<>-recrations were to be 
provided for, if Pastor Lischy should die, Antes gave a 
brief statement in reference to the Reformed Church 
College (or Consistory) at Bethlehem and Spangenberg's 
authorization to ordain Reformed pastors, vested in him 
by his ordination as Bishop ; to him, therefore, they 
would have to apply in such a case. Everybody seemed 
satisfied with this declaration, except Lischy, who was 
afraid that his ministerial dignity might suiter thereby. 
Meanwhile he labored on in his own way, and the differ- 
ences between him and his brethren at Bethlehem became 
more and more apparent, until the Synod of May, 1 747, 
resolved that he should give a written declaration, 



I92 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

whether he wished to be considered a member of the 
Moravian Church, and hence accountable to their Gov- 
erning Board, or a Reformed pastor under the direction 
of the Reformed Consistory of the Brethren, or an inde- 
pendent German Reformed pastor. Lischy refused for 
some time to give any declaration by which his position 
might be defined, but at last decided for the third alterna- 
tive by joining the Rev. Michael Schlatter, who arrived 
from Switzerland in 1 746, and by becoming a member of 
the Reformed Pennsylvania Coetus, organized by Schlat- 
ter, Bohm and Weiss, September 9, 1747, as the nucleus 
of the present German Reformed Church of North 
America. 18 

Inasmuch as the greater portion of the Reformed 
Church people, that is, "such who coute qu'il coute will 
maintain verbis et, si opus fuerit, verberibus that they are 
such" — as Cammerhof put it — did not desire the Brethren, 
the Reformed Brethren's Consistory was, of course, 
dissolved. In many of the neighborhoods, however, 
where the Brethren had preached, small companies of 
awakened souls gradually associated themselves to- 
gether, and at a later period were organized as Mora- 
vian congregations. As such are to be named : 

1. Warwick, now Lititz. — Here a school-house had 
been built for the Brethren. In 1747 Daniel Neubert 
moved there as the first Moravian minister. 

2. Muddy Creek or Moden Creek. — Here also a 
school-house had been built, and several brethren 
labored here, until Pastor Conrad Tempelman forcibly 
took possession of it. 

3. Tonigall, now Donegal, near Mount yoy. — In 1 745 
Lischy had dedicated a German Reformed Church, which 
became a bone of contention. 

18 Nevin on the Catechism, p. no. 



FREE CONGREGATIONS. I 93 

5. Quittopehille, in later times Hebron, near Lebanon. 
— In February, 1747, a Synod was held here. 

5. Swatara, afterwards Bethel. 

6. York. — Mere and on die Crice Creek (or Grist 
Creek) man)- had been awakened by Lischy's evangel] 
cal testimony, who were afterwards, by his hostile be- 
havior towards the Moravians, again led away. 



C. — FREE C( >NGREGATIONS. 

Besides the Lutheran and German Reformed con- 
gregations mentioned above, there were yet some others, 
composed of members of different denominations, which 
at first would not submit to any formula, but applied for 
admission to the Synod as "free congregations" or 
" congregations without name." Most of these became 
Moravian conoreQfations. 

1. Oley. — The first commencements at Oley have 
been mentioned already, as well as the disturbances 
in 1742. Henry Antes had been installed there as 
minister, instead of Andrew Eschenbach, but he was 
not able fully to reconcile the embittered minds, and was 
at last obliged to leave this once promising field to a 
Separatistic minister, by the name of Bennville, who 
gained over the greater part of this congregation, and 
openly opposed the Brethren. However, forty-five souls 
remained faithful in their connection with the Brethren 
at Bethlehem. They resolved to build a school-house, 
which was finished in 1744. From 1745 to 1751 a kind 
of boarding-school was established there, and in connec- 
tion with it a small Moravian congregation, which, how- 
ever, was dissolved before 1770. 

2. Heidelberg. — According to a desire expressed by 
several awakened persons in Heidelberg, Brother Anton 
Wagner was sent there in January, 1744, to visit and en- 



194 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

courage them. In November of the same year a Synod 
was held in a school-house which had just been built and 
was then solemnly dedicated for religious worship. The 
awakened of this neighborhood applied to the Synod to 
be permitted to enter their connection as a congregation 
without name. 

On April 9, 1745, Brother Spangenberg organized this 
congregation, and kept the Lord's Supper for eight per- 
sons according to the ritual of the Brethren's Church. 
Friedrich Bockel was the first elder. The "Congre- 
gation days " were also introduced, that is, days on 
which, in connection with singing and prayer, reports 
and letters from the different Moravian congregations 
and missionary stations were communicated.. Thus 
Heidelberg was the first and oldest of the "country 
congregations." 

3. — Miihlbach [Mill Creek). — Already in 1743 a free 
congregation had been organized here, which was ac- 
knowledged as such by the Synod held there in June, 
1743. Wendel Lautermilch was elected elder, Michael 
Brecht teacher. In 1 745 a school and meeting-house 
was built, in which the Brethren officiated now and then, 
but their visits ceased entirely before 1760. 

4. Machkunschi {Makuntsche, Macungie = Emmaus.) 
— Most of these small congregations in connection with 
the Brethren were at some distance from Bethlehem ; 
but also in the immediate neighborhood there were to 
be found friends of the Moravians, who desired to par- 
ticipate in their religious blessings. A number of these 
lived beyond the Lehigh Hills in a south-westerly direc- 
tion, but too far off to be able to visit the meetings at 
Bethlehem regularly. These, and more especially 
Sebastian Henry Knauss, Jacob Ehrenhardt and 
Andrew Schaus, had, already in 1472, while Count 
Zinzendorf visited Pennsylvania, preferred the request, 



FREE CONGREGATIONS. I 95 

that the Brethren might attend to their spiritual wants. 
This request was granted, on condition, however, that 
this congregation was to be organized as a Lutheran 
congregation. Accordingly Brother Leonhard Schnell 
commenced regular preaching in a small log church, 
built in 1742, somewhere near the old Moravian burying- 
ground at Emmaus, and also administered the Lord's 
Supper according to the Lutheran ritual, though some 
German Reformed and others participated. In 1746 a 
school-house was built, in which Christopher Demuth, a 
native of Moravia, served as first school-master. In 
1 747 this day-school was enlarged to a boarding- 
school and according to the desire of the friends of 
the Brethren a Moravian congregation was formally 
organized, on July $0, 1747, consisting of forty-four 
persons who, for this purpose, had assembled at Beth- 
lehem. Anton Wagner was the first pastor of this 
congregation. 

To give permanency to this undertaking and secure 
the support of their minister, facob Ehrenhardt and 
Sebastian Henry Knauss made a liberal donation of one 
hundred acres of excellent land, on which in later years 
the village of Emmaus has been built. To the present 
day these two worthy men are kept in grateful remem- 
brance as the grandfathers of a considerable number 
of the Emmaus congregation. 

There is yet one place to be named, beyond the 
boundaries of Pennsylvania, in which at this time the first 
steps were taken for the formation of a Moravian con 
gregation, namely, the city of 

5. New York. — The commencement of this congre- 
gation can be traced to the year 1736, when Bishop 
Nitschmann and Brother Spangenberg became ac- 
quainted with some awakened persons. This acquaint- 
ance was cultivated by other Brethren, in passing through 



I96 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

New York, especially by Peter Bohler, who in January, 
1 74 1, enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of the 
Noble and Horsfield families. Zinzendorf also became 
acquainted with them, and the visits of the Brethren 
were regularly continued since 1 742. In February, 1 748, 
Abraham Bomper was commissioned to make an ar- 
rangement with the trustees of the Lutheran or any of 
the Reformed Churches in New York, to obtain permis- 
sion for Moravian worship at stated times. This request 
was not granted, and in consequence the Brethren built 
a church of their own, in 1752. 

Beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania there was 
yet another neighborhood, in which the services of the 
Brethren were desired at this time and where at a later 
period the country congregation of Graceham was 
organized, namely : 

6. Monocasy in Maryland. — The first acquaintance 
with the Brethren was occasioned by Pastor Nyberg, who 
in 1745 kept the funeral of the Lutheran Pastor Canzler. 
By his powerful testimony of the sufferings and death of 
the Saviour many became awakened and requested 
Pastor Nyberg to procure for them a minister or school- 
master or lector. Upon his application to the Brethren 
at Bethlehem, J. H. Herzer was sent there as Bible- 
reader, and was succeeded in 1 746 by the ordained 
Brother George Nieke, who for a while was in blessed 
activity there as a Lutheran pastor, until dissensions 
arose and he had to be recalled. Thereupon fifteen 
English families requested ' a minister, and Daniel 
Dulaney, of Annapolis, made a present of ten acres of 
land for church and school purposes, which tract, called 
" Dulaney's gift," was secured to the Brethren by law in 
1 75 1, a school-house having been built upon it in 1749. 
A number of years elapsed, however, before a congrega- 
tion was organized. 



MORAVIAN SCHOOLS. 1 97 

8. MORAVIAN SCHOOLS. 

A peculiar feature of the Brethren's Church from its 
earliest times, and retained to the present day, lias been 
their solicitude not only to preach the Gospel to the 
adults among Christians and heathen, but to suffer little 
children to come to the Saviour and for this purpose to 
conduct their schools in such a manner, that not only the 
faculties of the mind might become developed and 
strengthened by judicious training, but the affections of 
the heart be drawn in early years to the best Friend 
of children. Before Count Zinzendorf left America 
he said in his " Pennsylvania Testament :" " It is one of 
my greatest hopes and desires that Bethlehem may 
become a pattern of the education of children." 

This desire was remembered and acted upon by 
those brethren to whom the superintendence and di- 
rection of all congregational affairs was entrusted, and a 
system of education was introduced, the like of which 
may probably never be found in any other community. 
The peculiar situation of the Bethlehem congregation, 
forming one very extended Family Economy, connected 
with their peculiar religious tenets, led to a system which 
we, a century later, would hardly wish to imitate, but 
which nevertheless, was a most judicious arrangement 
under the peculiar circumstances of the times. The infants 
were hardly weaned from their mother's breast when the 
Church as'sumed all further care for their support and 
early training. With very rare exceptions all the infants 
of the colonists at Bethlehem and Nazareth were placed 
by their mothers in the "Nursery," when hardly sixteen 
or eighteen months old, where widowed or unmarried 
sisters devoted all their time to nursing them. And 
as it was not considered the main object of educa- 
tion to aim at a ripe scholarship for all their children, 
but to nurse and train them for the Lord and 1 lis King- 



I98 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

dom, their tutors and nurses endeavored to make them 
acquainted with the Saviour, and their infant lispings 
and their juvenile plays were governed and biased by 
this one and all-important idea. 

Cammerhof remarks in one of his letters : "The dear 
little ones are very lively, playful and unaffected. The 
wounds and the blood are their favorite theme, and their 
parents rejoice when they hear of the life and sufferings 
of the Saviour. Now and then some five or six sit to- 
gether on a bench and have a meeting. They sing a 
hymn, and one or the other tells of the Saviour's blood, 
how many wounds He had, etc., or they keep a 
love-feast." J. C. Franke, a man peculiarly adapted 
for such a station, was the superintendent of this school. 
In May, 1747, there were in this nursery more than fifty 
infants, all under five years of age. Hence it may justly 
be called the first infant school that ever existed. 

On January 7, 1749, the Nursery was transferred 
from Bethlehem to Nazareth and found its dwelling- 
place in the so-called Whitefield House, which gradually 
was devoted entirely to this purpose. On June 5, 1758, 
the little girls were removed to Bethlehem, but the little 
boys remained till 1764, when the remaining seven were 
transferred to Nazareth Hall and this Nursery came to 
an end. 

When five or six years old, the boys were trans- 
ferred from the Nursery to the Boys' School, which 
was commenced in Nazareth in July, 1743, and was 
removed to Frederick Township in May, 1745, where 
Henry Antes had ofTered his own house for this pur- 
pose. Besides the sons of the colonists at Bethlehem 
and Nazareth, some children of friends of the 
Brethren were admitted, and in November, 1 747, 
there were about forty boys in this school, including 
seven Indians and a few negroes. Brother Adolph 



MORAVIAN SCHOOLS. I 99 

Meyer was the superintendent of this school. The 
plantation and mill of Henry Antes, and for a time 
also the farm of William Frey, a Baptist, were man- 
aged for the benefit of this school, around which a 
small con erection was collected. 

"Such a company of white, brown and black children, 
as was assembled here, who were singing and speaking 
of the wounds of the Saviour," could not fail to make a 
deep impression on the hearts of all visitors. Brother 
Spangenberg always found time to keep up a regular 
correspondence with the larger boys. In 1750 this 
school was connected with that in Oley. 

The school for the little girls, of five to eleven years 
of age, was commenced in Bethlehem in 1743, trans- 
ferred to Nazareth in June, 1745, and afterwards again 
removed to Bethlehem. In 1 747 it contained about 
thirty girls, among whom there were some Indians, for in- 
stance, one adopted by Spangenberg and called Mary 
Spangenberg. Amongst themselves these children 
elected a spiritual elder, Elizabeth Horsfield, of New 
York, who, though young in years, was a faithful hand- 
maiden of the Lord. There was a great work ot grace 
among these children and many impressions were made 
on their youthful hearts which lasted for life. 

On July 27, 1746, Mr. Whitefield paid his first and 
only visit to Nazareth, accompanied by Henry Antes : 
" He was very friendly and polite, and when he heard the 
name of Brother Abraham Reincke he remembered that 
he had seen him formerly in London. He admired our 
whole arrangement, and especially the order prevailing 
everywhere. He was pleased to observe the industry of 
the children, especially in spinning. The Indian girls 
greatly attracted his attention and enlisted his most lively 
interest, and he was pleased to sec his original plan ot a 
school executed in this way." Amongst the children he 



200 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

found one whom he six years before had baptized in 
Georgia — Rebecca Burnside. Soon after she died of the 
small-pox, after a great deal of patient suffering. Besides 
her some ten or twelve girls were suffering from the same 
disease, and it was a great comfort when Brother Pyrlaeus 
had his spinet 19 brought into their sick-room and kept a 
singing-meeting there. Two little Indian girls also died 
from this sickness — one commonly called "Little 
Chicken," baptized Beata, the other, "Little Worm," 
and in baptism called Sarah. When they were buried 
on the old grave-yard (once a desolate spot in the fields) 
a brother had to precede to point out the way through the 
dense forest. 

As a peculiar feature of this first American Moravian 
Female Academy must be mentioned the industry of the 
little girls in spinning, which was not only a regular 
branch of instruction, considered needful for a complete 
female education,. but also a source of income for the chil- 
dren themselves and a means by which they were enabled 
to assist in repaying, in part, the expenses of their educa- 
tion. And when, from time to time, these little spinners 
had their special love-feasts, the extra toil was fully com- 
pensated by this additional pleasure and the conscious- 
ness of having learned in early years to do their duty. 

From these schools the larger boys and girls, at the age 
of twelve or fourteen years, entered the choir-houses of 
the unmarried brethren and unmarried sisters, where they 
remained under the spiritual and temporal superinten- 
dence of the "laborers of the congregation" or the 
"choir elders," until they entered the service of the 
Church either as members of the " Church of Pilgrims " 
or as economists, or settled in some other place where 
the Family Economy system was not introduced. 



19 Spinet, an old-fashioned piano ; probably the first musical instrument of 
this kind in these parts of Pennsylvania. 



MORAVIAN SCHOOLS. 201 

In this manner the idea which at that time prevailed 
among the Brethren, that it is the duty of the Church 
to care for the education of the rising generation, was 
carried out at Bethlehem and Nazareth to such an 
extent, that very little scope was left for parental training 
or maternal home influences. 

Nevertheless, though fully occupied with the care of 
their own children, the Brethren also tried to assist 
their countrymen in this respect, by opening here and 
there both day-schools and boarding-schools, the com- 
mencement of which we can trace to Count Zinzendorf. 
In a sermon preached at Manatawny in April, 1742, he 
suggested the necessity and usefulness of a General 
Boarding-school. In consequence of this suggestion 
some applications were made to Zinzendorf concerning 
the education of children of friends of the Brethren in 
Germantown, and the young Countess Benigna de Zin- 
zendorf undertook the care of a school for little girls, 
which numbered twenty-five pupils and to which she at- 
tended for some months, endeavoring to lead these chil- 
dren to the Saviour, whom she had found in early years. 

Count Zinzendorf wished to benefit, if possible, all the 
children of his German countrymen in Pennsylvania by 
the establishment of such a General Boarding-school, 
and in his "Pennsylvania Testament" (in which he fully 
acknowledges the skill of the Hallensians with regard to 
education) he once more proposed the establishment of 
a General Boys' School at Philadelphia and a General 
Girls' School (ein Madchenhaus furs Land) at German- 
town or elsewhere. This project of erecting a General 
Boardine-school for the whole Province was, of course' 
impracticable, but gave the first impulse for diffusing 
more knowledge amon£ the scattered German settlers. 
Ten years later, Michael Schlatter,' the founder of the 



Deutsche Kirchenfreund, 1849, p. 13. 

13 



202 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

German Reformed Church in America, proposed to 
erect free schools for the pious education of German 
youths of all denominations, but this proposition also 
did not succeed. 

Meanwhile the Brethren established and for about 
ten years maintained day-schools and boarding-schools at 
various places. In 1743 Brother Lischy commenced a 
day-school at Muddy Creek, for which a house was built 
and finished in six days by Lutherans and German Re- 
formed. The enemies of the Brethren called it "Little 
Bethlehem." Brother Adam Luckenbach was the first 
school-master here. Similar schools were commenced 
at Lancaster, Oley, Mill Creek (Muhlbach), Warwick, 
Heidelberg, Maguntsche and Walpack, beyond the Blue 
Mountains. All these schools were kept by married 
brethren from Bethlehem, who received the principal part 
of their support from the Bethlehem Economy. 

In 1746 a Boarding School was commenced at Ger- 
mantown in Bechtel's house " shining as a light into all 
directions." This being quite a new undertaking, it 
attracted a great deal of attention and called forth both 
friendly and censorious remarks from the neighborhood. 
Brother and Sister Greening, Jasper Payne and John 
Leighton had charge of this school, which in 1748 
counted eleven boys and eighteen girls as boarders. 
The boys were transferred to Oley and the number of 
girls increased to twenty-seven by some newcomers 
from Nazareth. 

Still larger was the school at Oley, commenced in 1745. 
Henry Antes built a house for this purpose on John 
Leinbach's plantation, and in 1748 a second larger one. 
Thus room was gained for the reception of the boys from 
Germantown and Frederick Township. Brother John 
Wolfgang Michler and Brother Robert Hussey were the 
first teachers, in 1745. In 1749 the number of boarders 
was thirty-eight — twenty-one girls and seventeen boys. 



HOME MISSIONS. 203 

Apart from the great expense of conducting this 
school on account of its distance from Bethlehem, the 
Brethren became fully convinced that the main object 
was not gained, as the good impressions made upon the 
hearts of the children were generally obliterated after 
their return home, and thus no abiding fruits of right- 
eousness were obtained. In 1 75 1, therefore, this school 
was given up. The boys were transferred into the 
strictly Moravian Boys' School at Maguntsche, com- 
menced in 1747, and the girls into a house near Beth- 
lehem beyond the Lehigh. In 1754. these two schools 
were also given up, and the Brethren confined them- 
selves to the education of their own children. 

The present Boarding-schools at Bethlehem, Naza- 
reth, Lititz, Pa., and Salem, N. C, are of later date. 



9. HOME MISSIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA AND OTHER 

COLONIES. 

Besides the Lutheran and Reformed congregations 
which were served regularly by the Brethren, there was 
a large field open for cultivation among those who as 
yet belonged to no church organization whatever. This 
required, besides the settled ministry, a number of itin- 
erant preachers and visitors, who were ready and willing 
to go and proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all who 
wished to hear it or were indifferent about it. thus devel- 
oping a Home Missionary activity of a novel kind, and 
not without blessed results. Time and space would not 
permit a detailed account of all the journeys of the 
itinerant preachers, or the joys and sorrows of these 
evangelists. It will suffice briefly to sketch the field of 
their activity. 



204 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 
A. IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

In Brother Bohler's time in 1743, the commencement 
was made of ministerial itinerancy, which seems to have 
flourished most from 1746 to 1749. 

At the Synod at Bethlehem in February, 1 746, Brother 
Leonhard Schnell was appointed to preach to all the 
Lutherans within the Province, and he visited sixteen 
places, whilst Christian Henry Rauch, sent to the Ger- 
man Reformed, preached at fifteen places. David Bruce, 
a Scotchman, preached to the English and Irish in ten 
different neighborhoods. Everywhere these itinerant 
ministers were gladly received, and the only complaint 
was that their visits were too few and far between. 
Bishop Cammerhof greatly encouraged this kind of 
activity, as being well calculated to counteract the plan 
pursued hitherto of supplying Lutheran and Reformed 
congregations with ministers, thus putting pseudo- 
Lutheran and pseudo-Reformed ministers into a wrong 
position, or at least a situation which, being liable to mis- 
construction, was not tenable for any length of time. 
The intinerant ministers had no system to maintain, no 
ecclesiastical rules to observe, but merely preached 
Christ crucified, and could, therefore, often reach those 
who, filled with denominational prejudices, would not 
have listened to Lutheran or Reformed pastors. Cam- 
merhof himself undertook such a circuit from October 
1 to November 5, 1747, extending it beyond the 
southern boundaries of Pennsylvania and preaching 
at twenty-nine different places. In Allemangel (Lynn 
Township) he renewed acquaintance with those who, 
formerly awakened by the Tunkers, had been visited by 
Count Zinzendorf. They now entered into closer con- 
nection with Bethlehem, which led to the formation of a 
small Moravian congregation in 1 749. 

Brother Nathanael Seidel and Brother John E. West- 
man undertook a similar journey in December, 1747, 



HOME MISSIONS. 205 

which was attended with much bodily hardship and dan- 
ger, especially their crossing- the Susquehanna on very 
thin ice. In general it is to be remarked, that the state 
of the road or the weather, heat or cold, were never 
taken into account when starting on foot for their mis- 
sionary trips — and in this respect they undoubtedly 
underwent greater hardships, than their less hardy 
descendants would be willing to bear. 

In February, i 748, Brother Spangenberg made a longer 
visit amongst the Mennonites of Lancaster County, where 
eleven of their teachers and ministers received him in a 
very friendly manner. Trusting mostly to their own 
righteousness, they would not exactly contradict the 
doctrine of the free grace of Christ, but seemed not to 
appreciate it very much. Still some of their number 
became members of the Brethren's Church. 

The Society of Friends was visited by John Wade 
and Ludwig Hiibner, who were received very kindly, 
but made very little impression with their Gospel-mes- 
sage. The intercourse with the Schwenkfelders and 
Tunkers had ceased almost entirely. 

B. BEYOND PENNSYLVANIA. 

Beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania the Brethren 
had found a large field of usefulness among the Swedes 
on the east side of the Delaware. Here Bryzelius had 
preached for more than a year, until driven away by 
Magister Naesman. Since then the Brethren had 
visited here regularly both among the Swedes and 
the English. Abraham Reincke, Thomas Yarrell, Owen 
Rice, Joseph Powell and Sven Roseen (all Swedish or 
English brethren) stayed there for a longer time. In 
1746 a church was built for the Brethren near Maurice 
River, which was dedicated to the worship of God by the 
Brethren Reincke, Rice, Nyberg and Reuz. Here the 



206 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

Brethren were at liberty to preach as often as they 
pleased. Also at Oldman's Creek and Penn's Neck 
they were always welcomed and permitted to preach in 
the Swedish churches. 

In Maryland and Virginia the Brethren had many ' 
friends, who were not deterred from listening to the ser- 
mons and addresses of Leonhard Schnell and Matthew 
Gottschalk by a proclamation of the Governor of the 
latter colony. Cammerhof visited Maryland in i 747, but 
found Frederickstown occupied by Schlatter and Muhlen- 
berg since Schnell had been there. 

In July and August, 1748, Brother Spangenberg, ac- 
companied by Matthew Reuz, made a longer journey 
through Maryland and Virginia to near the boundary of 
North Carolina, preaching, wherever an opportunity 
offered, to Germans and English. 

In 'the northern part of Pennsylvania, beyond the 
Blue Mountains, in the " Minisink Country," as well as in 
the adjoining counties of New Jersey, English breth- 
ren were actively engaged both as itinerant preachers 
and as settled school-masters. Though they were 
not welcome every where, especially where Presbyterian 
influences prevailed, still there were many who heard 
them gladly and rejoiced whenever their visits were re- 
peated. In Dansbury, 21 beyond the Blue Mountains, 
where Shaw and Burnside had visited for several years, 
Brother Nathanael Seidel found the people, in Janu- 
ary, 1748, making preparations for building a church for 
the Brethren ; in Walpack, fifteen miles east of Dans- 
bury, beyond the Delaware, Brother Bruce had erected a 
school-house in 1 746, which served also as a meeting- 
house for the Moravian itinerant preachers. Still farther 
north along Pawlins Kill, in New Jersey, some .Ger- 
man families were visited occasionally. 

21 In the present Monroe County. 



HOME MISSIONS. 20"J 

According to a resolution of a Synod held at Bethle- 
hem in 1 743, the visits of the Brethren were extended 
to Long Island and the New England provinces. Staten 
Island was visited about this time ; on Long Island lived 
Timothy Horsfield, a friend of the Brethren ; in New- 
port, R. I., the Brethren were introduced by two mission- 
aries — M. Reuz and G. Kaske — who sailed from this port 
for Berbice in South America in 1747, after having spent 
some days in the house of Richard Hayward. In 1748, 
Jasper Payne and Christian Frohlich, having returned 
from a visit to the negroes in Maryland and Virginia, 
undertook a longer journey to New England, walking 
through snow and ice even beyond Boston. They visited 
Saybrook, New London, Providence, Boston, Newport, 
and New Haven, and found many awakened souls, who 
would have liked to see Bethlehem. Sixty miles be- 
yond Boston, in Durham, they found a new sect of quite 
a peculiar kind. The religious exercises of these people 
consisted in dancing and yelling, clapping of hands, and 
especially cursing, since they maintained and probably 
firmly believed that it was their special commission from 
the Lord to curse Satan in man. In other respects they 
seemed truly awakened people, ready to receive the 
Gospel of Christ. 

In February, 1 747, Leonhard Schnell and Burnside 
paid a visit to the Germans settled in Canatschochary 
(Canajoharie), beyond Albany, N. Y., most of whom 
were Lutherans, but destitute of a regular ministry and, 
therefore, very glad once again to hear the sweet sound 
of the Gospel in their own language. 

At the close of 1747 there were altogether thirty-one 
localities in which the Brethren or friends of the Mora- 
vian^Church were to be found, exclusive of the mission- 
ary stations among the heathen. 



208 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

IO. INDIAN MISSION, GNADENHUTTEN. I 746. 

The missionary stations in the Danish West Indies 
and Berbice (South America) being under the immedi- 
ate supervision of Brother Spangenberg, the Church 
of Pilgrims at Bethlehem took a lively interest in these 
Missions, partly by sending pecuniary aid and still more 
by furnishing missionaries. Some of the first colonists of 
Bethlehem and Nazareth finished their pilgrimage in the 
Danish West Indies, for instance, Abraham Meinung (died 
1749), and Joseph Shaw (perished on the voyage, 1747). 
Others, as Christian Frohlich, John E. Westman, George 
Ohneberg, J. Reinhard Ronner, Abraham Biininger, hav- 
ing spent a number of years there in the service of the 
Lord, returned to North America ; Christian Henry 
Rauch and Nathanael Seidel made repeated visitations ; 
W. Zander, G. Kaske and M. Reuz went from Bethlehem 
to serve on the Mission amono- the Arawack Indians; all 
of which served to increase the missionary spirit of the 
congregation. 

The main activity of the Brethren in Bethlehem, how- 
ever, was manifested in the Indian Mission. Brother 
Christian Henry Rauch had commenced this Mission in 
1745 among the Delawares and Mohicans in Cheko- 
meko. In 1 747, John Martin Mack commenced a second 
station twenty miles farther east in Pachgatgoch, Conn., 
and visited also in the Indian village Potatik, about 
seventy miles off, where he was very kindly received. 
A few years later we find flourishing Indian congregations 
at Checomeko, Pachgatgoch and Wechquadnach, which 
were well calculated to awaken the most pleasing antici- 
pations. But already the powers of darkness were ac- 
tive to undermine this work of the Lord. White neigh- 
bors, enemies of the Gospel and of vital religion, began 
to harass the missionaries in 1744, by enticing the 
Indians to indulge in strong drink and by spreading evil 



INDIAN MISSION. 2O0 

reports concerning the Brethren. The most dangerous 
of all their insinuations was that the Brethren were in 
secret alliance with the French in Canada, and that they 
fomented the disturbances which took place, and in- 
tended to furnish the Indians with arms to fight against 
the English. This falsehood was spread about with 
such boldness, that at last the whole country was 
alarmed and filled with terror. The missionaries were, 
therefore, cited before the magistrates, were ordered 
to drill with the militia and were required to take 
the following oaths: first, "That King George being 
the lawful" sovereign of the kingdom, they would not in 
any way encourage the Pretender;" the other: "That 
they rejected transubstantiation, the worship of the 
Virgin Mary, purgatory," etc. The missionaries cheer- 
fully assented to every point contained in the oaths, but 
begged for conscience' sake to be excused from swear- 
ing as well as from bearing arms. Impartial magistrates 
and all who, not blinded by prejudice and fanatical zeal, 
could appreciate their motives, were fully convinced of 
their innocence and spoke of them in the most honor- 
able terms, and even Governor Clinton took their part. 
But their enemies succeeded in having an Act passed in 
the Colonial Assembly, September 21, 1744, by which 
they were forced to leave the country or to act against 
their consciences. In this Act — " An Act for Securing 
of his Majestie's Government of New York" — the 
following passages occur: 

"Whereas, an Invasion hath been lately attempted 
against his Majestie's kingdom and government in favor 
of a popish Pretender : 

"Be it enacted — that it shall be lawful for any of the 
Judges of the Court of Common Pleas with any two 
Justices of the Peace, to summon any person, whom 
they shall suspect to be disaffected to the government, to 
appear before them to take the oath of Allegiance." 



2IO THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

The Society of Friends, however, was excepted from 
this enactment, and their simple affirmation that they 
were faithful subjects of King George, and detested the 
damnable doctrine of the Pope, was to be received in- 
stead of an oath. But in reference to the Moravians 
we read : 

" And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid ; 
that no Vagrant Preacher, Moravian or Disguised Papist 
should preach or teach either in public or private without 
first taking the Oaths appointed by this Act, and ob- 
taining a License from the Governor or Commander-in- 
Chief for the time being, and every Vagrant 'Preacher, 
Moravian or Disguised Papist, that shall preach without 
taking such Oaths, or obtaining such License as afore- 
said shall forfeit the sum of £40 with six months Im- 
prisonment without Bail or Mainprize, and for the second 
offence shall be obliged to leave the Colony, and if they 
do not leave this Colony or shall return, they shall suffer 
such punishment as shall be inflicted by the Justices of the 
Supreme Court, not extending to Life and Limb. 

" And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 
that no person or persons whatsoever shall take upon 
them to reside among the Indians under the pretense of 
bringing them over to the Christian Faith, but such as 
shall be duly authorized so to do by License from the 
Governor or Commander-in-Chief for the time being, by 
and with the Advice and Consent of the Council, and 
every Vagrant Preacher, Moravian, Disguised Papist or 
any other person presuming to reside among and teach 
the Indians without such License as aforesaid shall be 
taken up and treated as a person taking upon him to se- 
duce the Indians from his Majestie's Interest and shall 
suffer such punishment as shall be inflicted by the Justices 
the Supreme Court, not extending to Life and Limb. 

"Provided always and be it enacted by the Authority 
aforesaid, that nothing in this Act contained shall be con- 



INDIAN MISSION. 2 I I 

strued to oblige the Ministers of the Dutch and French 
protestant reformed Churches, the Presbyterian Minis- 
ters, Ministers of the Kirk of Scotland, the Lutherans, 
the Conoreo-ational Ministers, the Quakers and the Ana- 
baptists to obtain Certificates for their several places of 
public worship already erected or that shall be hereafter 
erected within this Colony, anything in this Act to the 
Contrary notwithstanding. 

"This Act to be and remain of force from the publica- 
tion hereof for the term of one year and no longer. 

"Third reading, September 13, 1744. 

Adolph Philipse, Speaker. 

" Signed by Gov. G. Clinton, New York, September 
21, 1744." 

It is pretty evident that the sole aim and object of this 
Act of the Colonial Assembly of New York was, if pos- 
sible, to destroy the work of the Brethren among the 
Indians at one stroke. Of this Bishop Spangenberg 
was fully convinced when he visited the persecuted 
band of missionaries after his arrival in New York 
in November, 1744, and presently all were recalled to 
Bethlehem. One of them, however, Brother Gottlob 
Biittner, finished his pilgrimage in Chekomeko. Being 
of a weak constitution, the hard life which he led 
among the Indians, and above all the persecutions at- 
tended with frequent and troublesome journeys in bad 
weather, increased his infirmities and hastened his disso- 
lution. He gently fell asleep in Jesus, February 25, 
1745, and his grave was for a long time — until the 
plough passed over the spot — a continual remembrance 
of the blessed work of the Brethren, but also of the bitter 
enmity of their fellow-Christians. How intense this 
hatred was, soon became manifest by the imprisonment of 
C. Frederick Post and David Zeisberger. The)' had gone 
to Canatschochary (Canajoharie), beyond Albany, not for 



2 I 2 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

the purpose of preaching, which they could not do under 
existing laws, but in order to improve in the Maqua 
language, and thus to prepare themselves for farther 
usefulness among the Six Nations. On the mere sus- 
picion of treacherous views they were taken prisoners, 
brought to New York, February 22, 1745, and were 
confined in the City Hall. Here they were required 
to take the oath of allegiance and to abjure the Pope. 
They declared again and again that they were faithful 
subjects of King George, but refused to take any oath, 
for conscience' sake, which besides could hardly be 
required from mere travelers. This affair created not 
a little stir and the City Council was at a loss what to 
do with these refractory "vagrant preachers." Many 
Christians came to visit them in prison and kindly cared 
for their bodily wants, among whom are especially to be 
noticed : Mr. Thomas Noble, a respectable merchant of 
New York, and his clerk, Henry Van Vleck. 

As no charge against them could be proved and Gov- 
ernor Thomas, of Pennsylvania, cheerfully signed a 
testimonial to their faithfulness as citizens of that colony, 
they were dismissed, April 10, after an imprisonment of 
seven weeks. 

Under these circumstances it was not to be expected 
that the Indians themselves would be left at rest at 
Chekomeko for any length of time, and the Brethren at 
Bethlehem were of opinion that it would be best for 
them to remove entirely from the neighborhood of the 
white people and settle near their countrymen at 
Wajomik (Wyoming) on the Susquehanna. In order 
that no difficulty might be made on the part of the Six 
Nations, to whom this part of the country belonged, 
Bishop Spangenberg himself, accompanied by Conrad 
Weiser, David Zeisberger and Shebosh, undertook a 
tedious and fatiguing journey to Onondaga, May to 



INDIAN MISSION. 213 

July, 1745, where the great council of the Six Nations, 
with great solemnity, renewed with T'gerhitonti 
(Spangenberg) the covenant made three years before 
with Count Zinzendorf, granting the believing Indians 
permission to remove to Wajomik. 

Contrary to all expectation the Indians at Chekomeko 
refused to accept this offer and remained until they were 
expelled by the white people by main force. Having 
taken refuge on Pennsylvania soil, they tarried for a 
while at Friedenshutten, near Bethlehem, whence they 
removed to a tract of land purchased by the Brethren 
beyond the Blue Mountains, at the junction of the 
Mahony Creek and the Lehigh River. Here the Mission- 
station Gnadenhiitten was founded in 1 746 by Brother 
John Martin Mack, who soon became one of the most 
prominent servants of the Lord in the Mission cause, in 
which he was active until 1 784, both among the Indians 
in North America and the negroes in the West Indies. 
He died in 1784, a Bishop of the Brethren's Church. 

While the greater part of the believing Indians re- 
moved to Pennsylvania, there were still some left in 
Connecticut, both at Pachgatgoch and Wechquadnach. 
These were also supplied with missionaries, until they 
gradually followed their brethren westward. 

According to the wish of the Indian Chief Shikellimus, 
a blacksmith shop was established at Shamokin (now 
Sunbury, Pa.), which was considered an outpost, from 
which, as soon as opportunity should offer, the Gospel- 
message might be brought to the headquarters of the 
Six Nations. Bishop Cammerhof visited here in Janu- 
ary, 1 74S, performing one of the most dangerous and 
adventuresome journeys, exposed to hardships of all 
kinds, but trusting the protecting hand of his Lord and 
Saviour, by whom he was graciously preserved through 
snow and ice and flood. 22 

Moravian Church Miscellany, 1855, p. 41. 



214 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

I I . PERSECUTIONS 

The persecutions of the Moravian missionaries in the 
Colony of New York induced Count Zinzendorf to 
apply for protection to the Board of Trade in England. 
By this Board Governor Clinton was ordered to state 
the reasons why a law had been passed against the Mo- 
ravians residing- among- the Indians. In the official 
answer, dated May, 1746, 23 the following passages occur 
which we insert here, as an exposition of the popular 
feeling of .the English part of the population against the 
German Brethren : 

"This Count & his Moravian Brethren have by 
many Prudent People been lookt upon with a Jealous 
Eye, ever Since his Arrival in these Parts. He is called 
a German Count, & as Many of his Countrymen have 
for several years Successively been imported into and 
Settled in Pensilvania, Roman Catholicks as well as 
Protestants Without Distinction, Where it Seems by the 
Indulgence of the Crown, their Constitution Granted by 
Charter, all Perswasions Roman Catholicks as well as 
others are tollerated the free Exercise of their Religion ; 
the Increase of the People in that Colony has been so 
Great that they are Computed to be Already much an 
Overbalance to the English Subjects there ; And from the 
Priviledge given them of Settling in Bodys by themselves, 
they are like ever to Remain a Distinct People ; and this 
seems to be their Aim, for they are fond of keeping up 
the [German] Language by Retaining Clergy, School- 
masters & even Printers of their own Country; and 
Language ; nor, as is credibly reported, will they Suffer 
any of their People to Intermarry with the English, so 
that by these means & the Privi.ledges the Government 
of Pensilvania Admits them to upon Importation, in 

23 Documentary History of the State of New York, by E. B. O'C'allaghan, 
Vol. Ill, p. 1022. 



PERSECUTIONS. 2 15 

Common with the English Subjects, they may in a Short 
Time bear the Chief Say in the Government of that 
Colony, which from the aforegoing observations may 
Probably be attended with Dangerous Consequences not 
only to Pensilvania, But his Majesty's other Colonies in 
North America. 

"These Moravians have Compassed Sea & Land to 
make Proselytes, & have so far Succeeded as to Gain 
in Pennsilvania, this and other Colonys ; And the house 
at the Forks before-mentioned, [/. e., the house built for 
and afterwards bought from Whitefield at the forks 
of the Delaware — Nazareth] is the principal place of 
Rendezvouz & Quarter of the Chiefs of them ; 'tis kept 
according to Whitefield's Scheme as a Seminary for Con- 
verts, & house of Support to their deluded Votaries, 
and many have Resorted thither ; from thence they dis- 
patch their Itinerant Emissarys, Teachers or Preachers, 
Simple, illiterate persons, who were wont to be Content 
to busy themselves in their Native Country in the Or- 
dinary & humble Occupations they were bred to, viz 1 , 
Bricklayers, Carpenters, Woolcombers, Taylors, and 
Such like Mechanical or handy-Craft Trades, 'till they 
were infatuated with a certain decree of Enthusiasm or 
Folly, Sufficient for Qualifying them for the plantation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts ; of whose Delusions, It 
seems, the Count has laid hold & thought them proper 
Tools to be Employed in his Service, perhaps with views 
unknown to these Creatures themselves, though at the 
same Time they are forwarding his Schemes." 

These extracts show sufficiently the spirit of the times ; 
the national jealousy of the English against the Ger- 
mans ; the hatred of ungodly people against sincere dis- 
ciples of the Saviour, the scorn of the proud and worldly- 
wise against the humble lovers of their fellow men. 
That poor and illiterate mechanics should travel about 



2l6 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

through forests and swamps, in heat and cold, for no 
purpose whatever than to gain souls for Christ, who 
would believe that? And that these men "though un- 
qualified as to the knowledge of the Indian language or 
any other but their own mother-tongue," should live 
among the Indians, to convert, to Christianize and 
civilize the untutored sons of the forest, seemed so un- 
likely, that the most absurd notions would sooner be be- 
lieved than this. They may be emissaries from the Pope, 
they may be secret allies of the French ; they refuse to 
swear allegiance to the King, will not participate in mili- 
tary exercise. Why should we suffer them among us ? 
Who are these Moravians ? Where do they come 
from ? Why do they assume such an unintelligible 
name ? That questions of this kind were really pro- 
posed and discussed publicly is evident from the follow- 
ing answer of Peter Bohler, written in March, 1745, in 
New York, before his return to Europe : 

" I suppose that the Author means by Moravians that 
Protestant People of God, which these several centuries 
past was called the United Brethren, of which a Congre- 
gation lives in the Forks of the Delaware, and suppos- 
ing that, I must say : 

"That this is a denomination altogether improper and 
quite out of the way, to call the United Brethren Mora- 
vians : for Moravia is a marquisate in Germany, belong- 
ing to the Queen of Hungary : And tho' some natives 
of Moravia belong to the United Brethren, yet they are 
by far the least part of the United Brethren. For we 
consist of all nations almost, namely, Germans, English, 
Scotch, Irish, Low Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Welsh, 
Livonians, Esthonians, Gronlanders, Hottentots, Mala- 
bars, Negroes, Indians, and others — and under what pre- 
tence can they be called ' natives of Moravia,' for that is, 
what ' Moravian ' signifies ? 



PERSECUTIONS. 2 I 7 

" But if one would say : We don't mean Natives of such 
a Marquisate, but such as belong to that Religion. But 
in this sense is the denomination as improper for the 
United Brethren as in the above sense. For the United 
Brethren do not only consist of properly such-called 
' Moravian Brethren,' but also of Lutherans, Calvinists, 
Church of England-men, Independents, Baptists, and 
other Protestant Denominations. And indeed the 
properly so-called Moravian Brethren are the very least 
part of the United Brethren. And therefore as logically 
a miuori nunquam Jit denomination it is very improper to 
use the word Moravian for a distinguishing denomina- 
tion for the United Brethren ; and we can never allow of 
it, to call us so in general." 

In conformity with this declaration of Peter Bohler, the 
Synod at Germantown, May, 1747, protested against the 
appellation " Moravian Brethren," as being a sectarian 
name. Nevertheless this name has maintained itself, and 
is now — and justly so — considered the most honorable ap- 
pellation for all true members of the Unitas Fratrum ; for 
though, even at the present day and among those where it 
should be least expected, much ignorance prevails in refer- 
ence to the origin and the religious views of the Moravian 
Brethren, still neither ignorance nor malice will confound 
them with "vagrant preachers" or "disguised Papists." 
Thus they were designated in the Commonwealth of New 
York more than a century ago ; as such they were perse- 
cuted and driven beyond the boundaries of the Colon) - . 

A few years later the following Proclamation was pub- 
lished in Virginia : 

" Whereas it is represented to me that several 
Itinerant Preachers have lately crept into this Colony 
and that the suffering those corruptors of our faith and 
true religion to propagate their shocking doctrine may 
be of mischievous consequences : 



2l8 

" I have therefore thought fit, by and with the advice of 
his Majesty's council, to issue this proclamation, strictly 
requiring all Magistrates and officers to discourage and 
prohibit as far as legally they can all itinerant preachers, 
whether New Lights, Moravians or Methodists from 
teaching, preaching or holding any meeting in this 
Colony and that all persons be enjoined to be aiding 
and assisting to that purpose. 

" Given under my Hand at Williamsburg, this 3d day of 
April, 1747, in the 20th year of his Majesty's reign. 
God save the King, William Gooch, 

His Majesty s Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in- 
Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia." 
By this proclamation of the governor of the estab- 
lished High Church, all Episcopalians were warned 
aeainst Moravians, Methodists and New Lights. The 
last were an ultra-Puritanic sect, who maintained and 
proved by many arguments that God was a great tyrant, 
plaguing people with His unmerciful cruelty. They hated 
and detested the "Free-grace preachers" and warned 
people against the Moravians by public placards. One 
of these, attached to the church door in Penn's Neck, 
was worded thus : 

"Read the 16th Chapter of Luke, and you will find 
whole households in a damned condition without they 
repent before it be too late. So therefore consider this, 
Ye Moravians, lest a curse come upon You when it is 
too late to help it : Therefore depart ye Flatterers from 
hence, for You tell all the promises but not the threaten- 
ings. Therefore begone, Ye Deceivers, which put no 

charge to your , but say : Come to Christ, but how 

Ye tell us not ; therefore, begone, we want none of 
Your sort here — Amen." 

Among the Swedes in New Jersey, where these 
fanatical New Lights seem to have been most numerous, 



PERSECUTIONS. 2IQ 

the Swedish Lutheran ministers, Naesman, Sandin, and 
even Tranberg, openly or secretly opposed the Breth- 
ren, as "the followers of the Count" (die Grafischen), 
hut could not hinder their labors altogether. For a sea- 
son the Brethren were kept out of the church in 
Penn's Neck by an English minister in Salem, but after 
his death the people there requested the Brethren to 
come again, and more especially Owen Rice, who exerted 
a very blessed influence among the Swedes. The 
Swedish Church at Maurice River was placed under the 
trusteeship of the Brethren A. Reincke, O. Rice and 
Nyberg, and when Pastor Sandin tried to take posses- 
sion of this church, he was told that he must first get a 
letter from Brother Spangenberg, for him they had 
asked for a minister. Pastor Sandin died in 1 748, de- 
serted by his own people, and nursed by the Moravians. 
Pastor Tranberg and Brother Greening kept his funeral 
in Christian fellowship. 

While in the neighboring Provinces the persecutions 
to which the Moravian Brethren were exposed originated 
in ignorance and misconception of their true motives, 
we might suppose that in Pennsylvania, among their 
own countrymen, who spoke the same language and 
could more closely observe their whole walk and con- 
versation, all unfriendly feelings would gradually dis- 
appear. This was, however, not yet the case. On the 
contrary, the jealousies brought across the Atlantic Ocean 
from the German mother-country were nourished for 
a while and led to some unjust actions. In Tulpe- 
hocken, for instance, the Hallensian Kurtz had gained 
a party for himself, and, a funeral occurring in the 
neighborhood, he forcibly took possession of the 
church built by the friends of the Brethren. " It is a 
Lutheran church," he reasoned ; " I am a Lutheran pas- 
tor, and therefore entitled to the use of this church." 



2 20 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

He was assisted by Conrad Weiser, who had been a 
friend and faithful counselor of the Moravian Brethren ; 
but after Pastor Muhlenberg had married his daughter 
this friendship gradually cooled off and by his influence 
those who had no legal right or claim to this church, 
kept possession of it. 

In a similar manner the German Reformed Pastor 
Tempelman took possession of the school-house at 
Mode Creek, [Muddy Creek] January 13, 1748, forcibly 
expelling the brother who was living there, on the plea 
that he, as Reformed pastor, had the first right to a 
school-house built by and for the Reformed. 

In Lancaster, the Brethren were expelled from their 
burying-ground and obliged to lay out a new one. 

But as Brother Spangenberg, on the part of the 
Brethren, refrained from retaliating and preferred to 
suffer injustice rather than increase the unhappy state of 
enmity between his fellow-ministers in the Gospel by 
controversy, Pastors Muhlenberg and Schlatter also 
refrained from personal participation in those acts of 
injustice which their followers committed. 

It thus became more and more manifest that Zinzen- 
dorf's original idea of a union of the German churches 
had to be altogether abandoned, and hence the Synods 
also gradually assumed a different character. 

12. THE SYNODS OF I 746, I 747, AND I 748. 

The Synods held by Brother Spangenberg in 1745 
were, in spirit and in outward arrangements, not 
materially different from the General Pennsylvania 
Synods at which Count Zinzendorf had presided in 1742. 
The same also may be said in reference to the Synods of 
1 746, though we already find some traces of the increas- 
ing opposition of the Lutheran clergy, which as yet was 



SYNODS OF I746, 1747, AND 1 748. 22 1 

met by a very conciliatory spirit on the part of the 
Brethren. 

There were four Synods in 1746: The first met at 
Bethlehem, February 4 to 8, and consisted of one hundred 
and thirty-nine members from twenty-five different 
places. In the voluminous minutes the following 
passages occur : 

"If the Saviour will take our part and defend us 
against the calumnies heaped upon us, He can do it 
easily and effectively. We, however, will not enter on 
any defenses for the present, for we have no time." (§30.) 

" We would like to see in Pennsylvania both Lutheran 
and Reformed congregations, maintaining not only their 
doctrine, but also their church government." (§49-) 

"In reference to those ministers, who storm against 
us, to detain people from us, or who speak our language 
to draw people to themselves, we will act as hitherto. 
We suffer them to go on and wait on the Lord." (§61.) 

The second Synod was convened at Philadelphia, 
April 5 to 7. 

In the minutes we read : 

"It is not right to call this Synod a Moravian Synod. 
It is an assembly of persons from different denomina- 
tions for the purpose of caring for their own and their 
neighbors' real well-being, according to the maxims 
of the doctrine of Jesus and the general plan of love of 
the children of God." 

The third Synod of the year also met at Philadelphia, 
August 11 to 14, numbering sixty-seven members. 

The following are extracts from the minutes : 

"The Brethren are accused of enticing people from 
their religion by pretending to be Lutherans or German 
Reformed, which they are not." This current accusa- 
tion was met by the Synod by the following statement : 
" Those amontr U s who adhere to the Confession of Augfs- 



222 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

burg, as Leonhard Schnell and others, are Lutherans, 
while those who subscribe to the Synod of Berne, as 
Rauch, Lischy and others, are Reformed. It is a wrong 
imputation, as if we intended to draw away people from 
their own denominations. The truth is this : As soon as 
any one begins to strive after godliness in Christ Jesus in 
his own denomination, he is rejected by the ministers and 
members of his own Church as an errorist, and set down 
as a Moravian Brother, even if he should never have 
seen one." 

The fourth Synod assembled at Grist Creek (Kreuz 
Creek), and was probably the first meeting of the kind 
ever held west of the Susquehanna. One hundred and 
sixty members had come together from twenty-two 
different places. 

There it was again publicly declared: "The aim and 
object of the Synod is, that that religious animosity which 
is but too common in this country, may cease amongst 
awakened persons, who live in different denominations. 
It is no Moravian Synod, but a General Religious Con- 
ference. No Church in the world dare pretend to be 
the only true and real Church of God. Religion and 
faith are not the same, though they are continually 
confounded. The Church of the Brethren in our 
days is no new religion, no new sect, but is an 
institution (Anstalt) established by the Saviour, for 
the salvation and preservation of souls. He Himself 
collects those souls, whom He will not only save, but 
also use for His holy purposes ; these He baptizes with 
His own Spirit into one body." 

In 1747 these Synods began to assume a different 
character, caused probably by the arrival of Bishop 
Cammerhof, and the new manner of teaching which he 
introduced. Even the outward arrangement G f the 
Synod became different, as a distinction was made 



SYNODS OF I746, 1747, AND 1 748. 223 

between the proper members of the Synod and the in- 
vited guests. Pastor Nyberg, for instance, always a 
regular attendant and a full member of the Synod, is 
mentioned at the second Synod of 1747 as one of the 
guests, which, however, may have been caused by his 
peculiar situation in the Lancaster congregation. 

The first Synod of 1747 assembled at Bethlehem, 
January 26 to 29. Brother Spangenberg said in his 
opening address : " We are still in our novitiate ; we are 
yet tender plants, which are not deeply rooted ; we are 
exposed to many dangers, which we cannot meet in our 
own strength ; but we are the novitiate of the Saviour." 

" Our Synod is and shall remain a general (ocumen- 
ische) Synod." 

Accordingly the discussions referred first to the state 
of religion in Pennsylvania in general. As a new sect 
mentioned the New-mooners (Neumonder), who had 
lately separated from the Mennonites, and kept their 
meetings only at the time of new moon. By far the 
greater part of the discussions, however, referred to the 
different spheres of activity of the Moravian Brethren, 
their congregations, schools, missions, etc. 

The second Synod of 1 747, consisting of fifty-two 
brethren, twenty-five sisters and thirty-nine guests, met 
in Germantown, May 10 to 14. The Trustees of the 
German Reformed Church had been asked to allow 
the members of the Synod to assemble in their meeting- 
house, but refused. A suitable place, however, was found 
at the house of Engfelbert Lack, a baker. When the time 
for the Synod arrived, the rain poured down incessantly, 
and the enemies of the Brethren openly triumphed at 
their supposed disappointment. But their exultation 
was premature. At the appointed day the brethren and 
sisters from Bethlehem and many other places arrived 
at Germantown in spite <>t rain und mud and mire. 



2 24 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

While their enemies maintained that the elements of 
heaven had opposed them, and ascribed their arrival to 
their obstinacy and stubbornness, Cammerhof and his 
brethren said : " We know it was the strength and grace 
of the Lamb." 24 

Such synodical meetings of the Brethren, convened in 
the midst of their most bitter opponents, were surely 
powerful testimonies to their cheerful reliance and confi- 
dence in the Lord, and if men of high standing, like 
Justice Smout, of Lancaster, Recorder Brockden, of 
Philadelphia, and Mr. Brodhead, Indian-trader at Mini- 
sink, participated in these meetings, their testimony in 
favor of the Brethren would surely have had weight with 
many, whilst others were perhaps still more favorably 
inclined to them on beholding the Christian Indians, who 
by their instrumentality had been led from darkness to 
light, and freely took part in these meetings. 

The Synod again protested against the name " Mora- 
vian Brethren," as being sectarian. 

"We are no sect, but free servants of Christ. There 
is but one true and saving religion, which consists not in 
written formulas and confessions of faith or outward 
ceremonies, but is exclusively a matter of the heart, and 
depends only on this, that the individual soul may be- 
come truly acquainted with Christ the Lamb of God, as 
his Saviour, and find grace, and forgiveness of sin in 
His blood, and thus enter into communion with Him 
and with all His children. This is our aim and object." 

In the third Synod, however, held at Bethlehem in 
September, quite a different spirit prevailed and the 
influence of Cammerhof had evidently gained the 
ascendency. 

" By grace we have received the great privilege, that 
we can say : Where is a people to be found on earth, 

24 Cammerhof's Letters, No. 4. 



SYNODS OF 1746, 1747, AND 1 748. 225 

among whom the presence of our God may be found 
and felt as sensibly as among - us. If you seek the king- 
dom of the cross — here it is." (Wir diirfen hier be- 
zeugen : Wer's Kreuzreich sucht — Ich bin's.) 

The Synod was held in two divisions. The first 
(September 14 and 15) was attended exclusively by 
members of the Brethren's Church, to which the congre- 
gations of Nazareth and Maguntsche now belonged, 
and many resolutions were passed in direct opposition to 
the principles professed at former Synods. 

The second division (September 16 to 19) was attended 
besides by ninety-four friends of the Brethren's Church 
from twenty different localities. These public meetings, 
however, can hardly be called synodical meetings, as 
they were not so much of a deliberative, but rather of 
an edifying character. They were opened by singing and 
an address on the daily word, whereupon reports from 
the different congregations and missionary stations were 
communicated. Now and then some of the friends would 
make proposals or prefer their wishes, but in these 
public meetings no resolutions were passed. 

In 1756 Spangenberg said in reference to this and the 
next Synod : "At these Synods the meetings of other 
denominations ceased. Thus far it had been our inten- 
tion : 'We would have healed Babylon' (Jer. 51: 9), but 
now it became evident that ' she will not be healed.' ' 

The first Synod of 1748, held in Ouittopehille (Hebron, 
Lebanon County), February 11 to 14, is still called a 
Pennsylvania Synod, but it is the last time that this 
term occurs in the Synodal Acts. It had to be acknowl- 
edged, that "in certain respects the Synod which we 
used to hold in Pennsylvania, has assumed another 
type than had been intended at first." 

And this could hardly be otherwise after the Lutheran 
Church had become fully and independently organized 



2 26 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

by the formation of a synodical body by Dr. Muhlenberg, 
convened at Philadelphia, August 14, 1748, 25 and after 
the German Reformed Church, under Schlatter's influence, 
had entered into a closer connection with the Classis of 
Amsterdam. The natural consequence was, that all 
those congregations, which had hitherto been served by 
the Brethren — if they did not join one or the other of 
these new church organizations — now entered into closer 
connection with the Moravian Church. This organization 
of the American Brethren's Church was brought about at 
the twenty-seventh Synod, the third of the year 1 748, 
held in October at Bethlehem, at which Bishop John de 
Watteville presided. 

Before this, however, there was yet one Synod, the 
second of 1748, held at Bethlehem, June 13 to 16, which 
may be called the transition Synod. 

In his opening address Brother Cammerhof stated the 
object of this meeting to be ''the renewal and sealing 
(Versiegelung) of our covenant of grace, the common 
(gemeinschaftliche) joy and recreation by a new view of 
our election of grace and the blessed calling of the 
Church." 

Brother Cammerhof remarks in one of his letters in 
reference to this Synod: "We see more and more 
plainly every day, that among no denomination in this 
country we can act successfully and with blessing except 
by taking an independent position as free servants of the 
Lord.'' The separation from the other denominations 
had taken place already, and it was only necessary to 
give a public declaration of this fact. This was done by 
John de Watteville. 26 

25 Hazelius' History of the Lutheran Church, p. 66. 

26 Die ausfuhrlichen Erklarungen iiber das Kreuzluft-Vogelein und dessen 
Lebenslauf beweisen deutlicher als alles andere, dasz auch die Synode 
bereit sei, neue Blicke zu thun in den seligen Gemeinberuf. 

Spangenberg sagte, 1756, von dieser Synode : " Bei dieser Synode hat das 
Versel regiert : Seitenhohlchen, du bist mein, u.s.w. — Ein schones Versel ! " 



VISITATION BY JOHN DE WATTEVILLE. 22 7 

13. VISITATION 15V JOHN DE WATTEVILLE. 1 748. 

On September 19, 1748, Bishop John de Watteville 
arrived in Bethlehem, accompanied by his wife, Benigna, 
oldest daughter of Count Zinzendorf. Having informed 
himself as to the internal state of the congregation in 
Bethlehem, he visited, in company with Brother Spangen- 
berg, in Maguntsche, Frederickstown, Germantown, 
Philadelphia, Nazareth and Gnadenthal. In October, ac- 
companied by Brother Cammerhof, he undertook a jour- 
ney to the Indians, in whom he took great interest. 
They went to Gnadenhtitten, Wajomik (Wyoming) and 
Shamokin; and rejoiced to find the very spots where Count 
Zinzendorf had pitched his tent six years ago, which could 
be recognized by the "J " (Johanan being Zinzendorf's 
Indian name) cut on many trees. 27 He became ac- 
quainted with the Chiefs of the Shawanese, Chickasaws 
and Nanticokes, and renewed the covenant with Shikel- 
limus which Johanan (Zinzendorf) had entered into. 

Immediately after his return from this Indian journey, 
a Synod was held at Bethlehem, October 23 to 27, which 
must be considered the first properly Moravian Synod, 
being that assembly in which the Brethren's Church in 
America was organized. 

All the ministers and laborers of the congregation, 
about one hundred and ten brethren and eighty sisters, 
and about one hundred guests from twenty-one different 
places assembled in a large room of the newly-erected 
Single Brethren's House (now the " old building " of the 
Young Ladies' Seminary). Brother Spangenberg opened 
the Synod, but John de Watteville was the principal 
speaker and evidently the ruling spirit. In reference to 
the Church and doctrine of the Brethren he made the 
following statements : 

27 Des Zeltes dritten Ruheplatz, Wo Blaseschlangen nisteln. 



2 28 THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS. 

" Our doctrine of the Lamb and His wounds is a 
power of God, and contains a certain something which 
all must feel, who come near us. The description of 
the pleura and the nail prints of the Lamb shines power- 
fully into the hearts and eyes, leaving something behind, 
which cannot be erased. And this power of God be- 
longs to the doctrine of the pleura exclusively, com- 
pared to which all other methods of doctrine, be they 
arranged ever so ingeniously, are dry and empty, nor 
can they leave a real blessing for the heart." 

Intimately connected with this new manner of doc- 
trine was the sectarian idea : "We are the visible body 
of the Lord." 

" By His wounds and His blood, and by the Spirit 
from His pleura and His Philadelphia, the Saviour has 
formed and sealed the Brethren's Church, and whoever 
is seeking the kingdom of the cross, to him we say: 
Here it is ! Therefore we believe that all those who 
are born out of the pleura, and therefore are children of 
God, will love us, and appreciate our doctrine of the 
Lamb." 

After this the different plans of usefulness and insti- 
tutions of the Brethren were considered, not, as ex- 
pressed formerly, as being under the direction of the 
" Church of God in the Spirit," but as being under the 
superintendence of the Brethren's Church and in con- 
nection therewith. 

The position of the congregations having been thus 
defined, it became necessary to regulate the service of 
the Church (Kirchendienst) according to the resolutions 
of the Synod of 1745 at Marienborn, by the introduc- 
tion of the different ecclesiastical grades or degrees of 
Presbyters and Deacons. Not all the ' Ordinati ' 
(which thus far had been the only grade under the 
Bishops) were declared Presbyters, as had been the case 



VISITATION BY JOHN DE WATTEVILLE. 229 

in Europe, but some were ranged among the Deacons 
" because they had been ordained merely for the service 
of other denominations." 

On October 27 solemn ordinations took place, and 
thus the following were the ordained brethren of the 
Brethren's Church of America : 

John de Watteville, Bishop. Spangenberg and Cam- 
merhof, Co-episcopi. 

These three brethren ordained Henry Antes Consenior 
chilis or Senior politicus, because he, as Justice of the 
Peace, had charge of the political affairs of the con- 
gregation, which, however, amounted to very little, as 
the Brethren abstained from meddling with the politics 
of the country. 

Ordinati, now declared to be Presbyters, were the fol- 
lowing : B. A. Grube, C. H. Rauch, J. C. Pyrkeus, J. M. 
Mack, A. Reincke, G. Weber and R. Utley. 

Besides these there were ordained as Presbyters the 
Brethren : N. Seidel, A. Meyer, M. Reuz and L. Schnell. 

The following- Ordinati were declared to be Deacons : 
J. Bechtel, P. Meurer, J. Bonner, J. Brucker, J. R. Ronner, 
G. Nieke, J. Brandmuller and G. Geitner. 

The following were ordained Deacons : O. Rice, G. 
Neisser, S. Roseen, M. Schropp and G. Pezold. 

Furthermore the rule was laid down: "Those who 
have received ordination in the Lutheran and Reformed 
Churches, we of the Brethren's Church can hardly 
acknowledge to be more than Deacons." But even this 
was not done in the only case of the kind which came 
before the Synod, namely, that of Pastor Nyberg, since 
1745 a faithful friend of the Brethren, and persecuted 
on their account in his own Church. He had studied at 
Upsala, Sweden, had received ordination as presbyter by 
the laying on of hands of the Swedish Archbishop, Jacob 
Benzelius, and now — probably to show other Churches 



23O THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

how independently the Brethren's Church could act — 
Pastor Nyberg, ordained by a Lutheran Bishop in 
regular form, was not even acknowledged as a Deacon, 
but was only received as an Acolyte of the Brethren's 
Church. In 1752 he was ordained a Deacon, in 1754 
a Presbyter of the Brethren's Church, both ordinations 
taking place in London. 

We would by no means defend the Synod of 1 748 in 
this irregular ecclesiastical action, but merely remark 
that the many unjust attacks of their fellow-servants in 
other Churches and the prevailing enthusiastic view — 
"we are the Church" — blinded their better judgment 
for the time. 

In honor of the Lutheran Church we would here state, 
that P. D. Bryzelius, when he entered the ranks of the 
Lutheran ministers in 1760, was, as far as we know, 
not re-ordained, his ordination in 1742 being considered 
valid, as it ought to be among sister-churches. 

We believe that the case of Pastor Nyberg is the only 
one to be found in the annals of the Brethren's Church, 
in which regular ordination in another established Church 
has been set aside in the Moravian Church. 

14. NOVEMBER I 3, I 748. 

In the gradual development and final organization of 
the Church of the Brethren in America we can plainly 
trace the wonderful direction and providential guidance 
of the Lord. The Moravian Brethren had come to this 
country not with the view of extending their peculiar 
church-organization, but for the sole purpose of gaining 
souls for Christ. They had taken active part in the 
Pennsylvania Synods, which gradually came under their 
exclusive influence and control ; they had sent out 
itinerant ministers and collected small bands of disciples 
of the Lord here and there ; they had met opposition 



NOVEMBER 13, I 748. 23 I 

and persecution in various ways, hut these very persecu- 
tions served only to connect them more closely, and 
were one of the means in the hand of the Lord, to con- 
vince them that in this country an ecclesiastical organi- 
zation, independent of all other churches, was absolutely 
necessary for the furtherance of the work of the Lord. 
For if Bethlehem and Nazareth had only been and 
remained colonies of the Brethren in America, as 
Sarepta is to this day a German colony in Russia, we 
might possibly as little be able to speak of an American 
Brethren's Church, as we can speak to-day of a 
Russian Brethren's Church. But the Lord in His wis- 
dom overruled all the errors of His servants and led to 
the organization of the American Brethren's Church, 
which though intimately and at times very closely con- 
nected with the other parts of the Unitas Fratrum in 
Europe, and especially with the Supreme Governing 
Board of the Unity in Germany, in many respects has 
from the very commencement assumed and maintained 
"in local matters" a more or less independent position. 
There is yet one feature to which particular attention 
must be directed in connection with the final ecclesiasti- 
cal organization of the Moravian Church in America. 
Brother Spangenberg had been sent over from Europe 
to guide the spiritual and temporal affairs of the Brethren 
both in their relation to other Christians and denomina- 
tions within the borders of the English colony of Penn- 
sylvania, and in regard to their connection with the Ger- 
man mother country. He had come to Pennsylvania as 

Vicarins Gcneralis Episcoporum in America and, as 
Moravian Bishop, he had been the universally acknowl- 
edged presiding officer at the Synods. At the same time 
he had been appointed Agni per Americam in Presbyterio 

I "icarius, that is, the chief elder and spiritual head of the 
Moravian congregation. It is true, this office could 



232 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

only have reference to those who claimed to be "the 
Moravians " in this yet undefined union of congregations 
in connection with the Brethren, as those only of the 
colonists at Bethlehem and Nazareth who had lived for 
some time in the European congregations, could under- 
stand and appreciate the idea of " Chief Eldership." 
But since a number of congregations, composed of 
persons who in Germany had not been connected with 
the Moravian Church, had become American Moravian 
congregations, and had adopted more or less the new 
doctrinal views which Bishop Cammerhof had introduced 
with great zeal, and since the plan of union with the 
other German denominations had been dropped entirely, 
and Spangenberg's General Episcopacy was, therefore, 
of less moment than before, his chief eldership, as it be- 
came better known and understood among the new 
members of the Church, might have given an hierarchi- 
cal form quite incompatible with the ideas of true Mora- 
vianism. But the Lord preserved him and preserved 
the Church from this danger. Brother Spangenberg re- 
signed his office as " Chief Elder" of the American con- 
gregations. Even without this peculiar office, we should 
suppose, he might have remained the presiding Brother 
in the Executive Board of the Province, but at the sug- 
gestion and by the counsel of John de Watteville, who had 
instructions from Count Zinzendorf to that effect, Brother 
Spangenberg suffered himself to be sent to Philadelphia, 
where he spent nearly a year in retirement and great 
discontent. There must have been some difference be- 
tween him and his fellow-laborers, concerning which, 
however, no documents are extant ; but whatever er- 
rors he may have committed, and however salutary 
for his inward man this, as we believe, unbrotherly 
action may have been, the events of the following years 
showed plainly, that no one was as able and as well 



NOVEMBER I 3, I 748. 233 

qualified to guide and direct the American work as 
Brother Spangenberg. He returned to Europe in Feb- 
ruary, 1750, where his wife died in March, 1751. 
When her memoir was communicated to the congrega- 
tion at Herrnhut, Count Zinzendorf remarked: "The 
great things which she has done, were not always appre- 
ciated at the time, nor has she always received the thanks 
which she deserved." This was certainly the case;, 
when Brother and Sister Spangenberg, in return for 
their faithful and self-denying labors in Bethlehem and 
Nazareth, were sent for a season into retirement and 
almost complete inactivity in Philadelphia. 

Nevertheless, it was good for the American Church 
that he resigned his chief eldership, which he did in a 
written communication to the Elders' Conference, No- 
vember 5. This resignation was accepted, and the 
members of the Conference felt at once that it was time 
now to publish in the American congregations, what 
seven years before had been a cause of rejoicing in the 
European congregations, namely, "that the government 
amongst us belongs not to man, but that the Saviour is 
the Chief Elder of our brotherly covenant." 

This was solemnly communicated to the congregation 
of Bethlehem, on November 13, by John de Watteville. 
He said among the rest, that the doors were now opened 
for any one either to leave or to re-enter the congrega- 
tion ; and if there should be any one who had been 
hitherto in connection with the Brethren, but had no in- 
clination to belong to that Church of which Jesus 
Christ is Elder, he was at full liberty to follow his own 
inclination and leave. No case of this kind occurred, 
however, while not a few who had been excluded from 
church-fellowship, applied for readmission. In the after- 
noon there were separate meetings for the ditlerent 

Life of Spangenberg, ]>. 25''. 

'5 



234 THE BRETHREN S CONGREGATIONS. 

choirs of the congregation and in the evening a general 
love-feast connected with the adult baptism of the 
Siebentager J. F. Lesley. 

On November 14, three Indians and a mulatto from 
Berbice were baptized by Cammerhof and John de 
Watteville, and in the afternoon three hundred and 
thirty-four communicants (including those from Nazareth 
and other places) participated in the celebration of the 
Lord's Supper. This latter meeting was held in the 
prayer-hall of the Single Brethren's House. On the 
same day one hundred and ten brethren and boys 
moved into this house. Spangenberg devoted these 
days, to private meditation and prayer. 

In the following weeks similar festival days were cele- 
brated in all the other congregations : At Maguntsche, 
November 20 ; at Fredericktown, November 21 ; at 
Oley, November 22 ; at Heidelberg, November 24; (at 
the latter place the brethren and sisters from Tulpe- 
hocken, Muddy Creek, Miihlbach, Warwick and Lan- 
caster were present) ; at Nazareth and Gnadenthal, 
November 23 ; at Gnadenhiitten, November 26 ; at 
Shamokin, December 11. 

In December Bishop de Watteville, accompanied by 
Bishop Cammerhof and Nathanael Seidel, visited the 
Indian congregations in the East and promulgated the 
Eldership of the Saviour at Wechquadnach, December 
19 ; at Pachgatgoch, December 21, and at New York, 
December 27. 

In January, 1749, de Watteville and Spangenberg 
visited Philadelphia for the same purpose and, as had 
been done at all the other places, kept a love-feast with 
ninety-six persons, and the Holy Communion with 
thirty-one. In all these places about six hundred 
communicants were counted, among them fifty-five 
Indians. 



NOVEMBER I 3, I 748. 235 

From January 23 to 26, 1749, a second Moravian 
Synod was held at Bethlehem at which all those who had 
participated in the celebration of the Lord's Supper at 
the above-mentioned places, were recognized as mem- 
bers of the Brethren's Church. During this Synod 
twenty persons were baptized, among them an Indian 
seventy-six years old, several negro boys, one Tunker 
and six Mennonites. 

In February, 1749, John de Watteville once more- 
visited all the country congregations and left Pennsyl- 
vania in April to make a visitation in St. Thomas. 

Since November 13, 1748, all those congregations 
which were now recognized as Churches of the United 
Brethren had increased rapidly, no less than one hundred 
adults having been received into church-fellowship by 
baptism during the time of his visitation ; and when 
Bishop de Wateville left for the West Indies, there were 
in connection with and forming the American Brethren's 
Church, 630 communicant members; 125 adults, not 
communicants ; 245 children — a total of 1000 members 
of the Brethren's Church in America. 



INDEX. 



Allemangel, congregation organized, ..... 204 

Antes, Henry, as preacher, . . . . . . 6l 

call for Pennsylvania Synod, . . . .97 

appeal for church union, . . . . 1 1 1 

ordained Consenior civilis, .... 228 

Baptists, the German, ...... 37 

the Seventh-day, ...... 40 

Bechtel, John, preacher in Germantown, .... 33 

" " ordination of, ..... 108, 115 

" expelled from Reformed Church, . . . [90 

Becker, Peter, supervisor of Tunker congregations, . . 39.4' 

Beisel, John Conrad, ...... 40 

Berks County, Pa., establishment of, ..... 13 

Bethlehem, first house built, . . . . .82, 88 

" congregation organized, . . . . 1 1 < > 

a family economy, . . . . . 105 

Holder, Peter, sketch of, . . . . . . 7 3 

return to Europe, . . 152 

in defense of missionaries, .... 216 

Bohm, Rev. J. P., ordination of, . . . . 33 

" ." " opponent of Zinzendorf, .... 133 

Brethren's House, erection of, in Bethlehem, ... 151 

Brownfield, John, acquaintance with the Brethren, . . .79 

Urine, Rev. David, arrival in Pennsylvania, . . . 96 

Bryzelius, Rev. Paul Daniel, ..... 145, 230 

Bucks County, Pa., boundaries of, ..... 13 

Buttner, Rev. Gottlob, ordination of, ..... 104 

Burnside, James, acquaintance with the Brethren, . . 70 

Cammerhof, Bishop J: C. F., sketch of, .... 178 

Canajoharie, founding of, ...... [9 

Schnell and Burnside's visit to, .... 207 

Checomeco, visited by Rev. C. H. Rauch, .... 58 

Indian mission at, ...... 208 

" abandoned, . . 212 
Chester County, I 'a., boundaries of, . . . . .12 

Choir Houses in Bethlehem and Nazareth, . . . [64 

Chrisriansbrunn laid out, . . . . . Y]& 

" Chronicon Ephratense," ...... 40 



238 INDEX. 



PAGE. 



Dansbury, church built at, ...... 207 

Donegal, church built at, . ... . . 192 

Eckerling, Israel, career of, . . . . . 44. 49 

Emmaus, Pa., congregation organized, .... 195 

Ephrata, the hermits of, . . . . . . .40 

Eschenbach, Andrew, arrival in Pennsylvania, . . . 61, 80 

" preacher at Oley, . . . .81 

ordained, ..... 104 

h " recalled from Oley, . . . .116 

Fort Christina, Swedish settlement, . . . . 25 

Frankfort Land Company, . . . . . .15 

Frohlich, Christian, arrival in America, .... 86 

Georgia, Brethren's colony in, . . . . . .62, 76 

German, settlements in Pennsylvania, . . . . 14 

immigration under Queen Anne's Grant, . . .15 

Germantown, incorporated, . . . . . . 15 

first Moravian settlers in, . . . .68 

Gnadenthal laid out, . . . . . . 176 

Gruber, J. Adam, the Separatist, .... 49, 60 

Goetschy, Rev. Henry, Reformed Pastor in Pennsylvania, . 32 

Heidelberg, Pa., congregation organized, .... 194 

Hiibner, Ludwig, as itinerant preacher, .... 205 
Hussey, Robert, teacher at Oley, ..... 202 

Indian Confederacy, tribes of the, ..... 53 

converts baptized at Oley, ..... 104 

" traditions, . . . . . . . 55 

" C. H. Rauch's first visit to the, . . . . .58 

mission at Checomeco and Pachgatgoch, . . . 208 

" abandoned, . . . .212 

" " at Gnadenhiitten, Pa., .... 213 

Irene, the ship, . . . . . . . .172 

Itinerant preachers, ....... 204 

Lancaster County, Pa., establishment of, . . . .13 

" town of, laid out, . . . • . . 13 
" congregation organized, ..... 189 

Leinbach family at Oley, Pa., . . . . . 81 

" received by the Moravians, . . . .123 

Leutbecker, Rev. Casper, pastor in Tulpehocken, . . 28, 29 
Lighton, John, teacher in Germantown, .... 202 

Lischy, Rev. Jacob, . . . . . . . 145 

" as opponent to the Brethren, . . . 191 

Lititz, first Moravian pastor in, . . . . . I92 



INDEX. 239 

PAGE. 

Long Island, Moravian work in, . . . . . 207 

Luckenbach, Adam, teacher at Muddy Creek, . . . 202 

Lutheran congregations served by Moravian pastors, . . .184 

Mack, Alexander, ....... 37 

Mack, Rev. J. Martin, at Shccomeco, . . . . .90 

Maguntche (Macungie) congregation organized, . . . 195 
Mail service, first in Pennsylvania, ..... 122 

Maurice River, church built at, .... . 205 

Mcnnonites, origin of, . . . . . . . 35 

immigration of, . . . . 36 

Miller, Rev. J. P., preacher at Tulpehocken, . . . .34 

" " " convert to the Siebcntager, ... 42 

death of, ...... 47 

Minnisink Country visited by the Brethren, . . ". 206 

Missionaries persecuted by Government, . . . 210, 214 

Monocacy, Md., Moravian work at, .... 196 
Muddy Creek, school-house built, ..... 192 

Miihlbach, meeting-house built, ..... I94 

Muhlenberg, Rev. H. M., sketch of, . . . . 134 

" Pennsylvania congregations organized by, . 184 

Nazareth, building of, . . . . . . 173 

Newtown, Lancaster County, Pa., laid out, . . . . 13 

Newport, R. I., Moravian work in, ..... 207 

New Born, the sect at Oley, ...... 49 

" " assailed by Spangenberg, . . . . .71 

New England towns, Moravian labors in, .... 207 

New Hanover, old church at, . . . . . .26 

New York City, church built, ..... 196 

Nitschmann, Anna, ....... 85. 

Nitschmann, David (Bishop), sketch of, ... . 82 

Nitschmann, David, {Sen. civ.) sketch of, . . . .84 

Northampton County, Pa., establishment of, ... 13 

Nyberg, Rev. I.. Thcophilus, arrival of, . . . .30 

" " labors at Lancaster, Pa., .... 161 

received by the Brethren, . . . .189 

" ordination of, ..... 230 

Oley, Pa., church built at, . . . . . .116 

" " " and school at, . . . . . 193 

Palatinate immigrants into Pennsylvania, . . . .20 

Pastorius, F. 1)., . . . . . . . 15 

Payne, Jasper, arrival in Pennsylvania, . . . .151 

" teacher in Germantown, .... 202 

Penn, William, landing of, ...... 12 

Pennsylvania, Charter of, proclaimed, . . . . ti 



24O INDEX. 



PAGE. 



Philadelphia, County, boundaries of, . . . .12 

" rirst German services in, ... . 26 

Lutheran church built by the Brethren, . . 136, 185 

" Moravian congregation organized, . . . 142 

Pyrlaeus, Rev. J. C, arrival in America, . . . .89 

" " " ordination of, . . . . . 104 

Queen Anne's Grant, . . . . . . .15 

Racoon, N. J., Swedish settlement at, . . . 25 

Rauch, Rev. C. H., first visit to the Indians, . . . .58 

" ordained, ..... 104 

Reformed, German, first congregation in Pennsylvania, . . 32 

Reincke, Rev. Abrm., arrival in Pennsylvania, . . . 152 

" " " preacher to the Swedes, . . . 205 

Reuz, Matthew, arrival in Pennsylvania, . . . . 151 

Rhinebeck, N. Y., founding of, . . . . . .16 

Rice, Owen, preacher to the Swedes, .... 205 

Sabbatarians, the, ....... 40 

Sauer, Christopher, Printer, . . . ... . 23 

" opponent of Zinzendorf, . . . .49 

Schnell, Rev. Leonhard, . . . . . . 145 

Schoharie, German settlers of, . . . . . .17 

Schools, infant, boys' and girls', ..... 198, 199 

in Germantown, ...... 201 

at Muddy Creek, ...... 202 

Lancaster, Oley, etc., ...... 202 

Schropp, Matthew, arrival in Pennsylvania, •. . . 151 

Schwenkfelder, origin of the, . . . . . .51 

" visited by Spangenberg, .... 52 

Sea-congregation, the first, ...... 109 

" " the second, ..... 124, 150 

Separatists in Pennsylvania, . . . . . .48 

Siebentager, sketch of the, ...... 40 

Spangenberg's opinion of the, . . .47 

Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, . . . . 170 

Spangenberg, Rev. A. G., sketch of, . . . . .68 

visit to Georgia, ..... 65 

" consecrated as Bishop, . . . . .156 

second visit to America, . . . 152, 156, 157 

return to Europe, 1750, . . . . . . 233 

Stiever, Rev. J. Casper, at Philadelphia, .... 26 

" " " at Lancaster, . . . . .30 

" at Tulpehocken, .... 28 

Swedish Lutheran settlements, ...... 25 

Swedes in New Jersey, visited by the Brethren, . . . 205 

Synod, first Pennsylvania, . . . . . .96 



INDEX. 



24I 



Synod, second and third Pennsylvania, 
" fourth, fifth and sixth Pennsylvania, 
" seventh and eighth, . 
" of 1743, .... 
" of 1744, .... 

" of 1745, .... 

of 1746-7-8, .... 

Tschoop, awakened by Rauch's testimony, 
Tulpehocken, Palatinates occupy, . 

early German services at, 
visited by Spangenberg, 
visited by Zinzendorf, 
church built by the Brethren, 
church seized by the Lutherans, 
Tunkers, origin of the, 

" immigration of the, 

Warwick, first Moravian minister at, 
Watteville, Bishop John de, visit to America, 
Weiser, Conrad, as Mohican scholar, 

settles in Penna., 
Wesley, John, connection with Moravians, . 
Whitefield, J., in Pennsylvania, . 
" in Georgia, 

" purchase of the Nazareth tract, 
" dismisses the Moravians, 
" sells the Nazareth tract, . 
" only visit to Nazareth, 
house at Nazareth, 
Wicacao, Swedish settlement of, 

York County, Pa., establishment of, 



Zeisberger, David, imprisonment in New York, 
Zinzendorf, Count Ludwig von, arrival in Pennsylvania, 

testimony of the Tunkers, 

banished from Saxony, 

at Oley, Pa., ..... 

declares his preference to the Lutheran Church, 

labors among Lutherans and Reformed, 

as Lutheran Pastor in Philadelphia, 

sermons in Pennsylvania, 

first visit to Bethlehem, 

journeys into the Indian country, 
" opponents in America, 

advocates Boarding Schools, 
" return to Europe, .... 



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