David’s thoughtful words “Till I learn what God will do for me” encouraged us to observe God’s paths and guidance better. It happens that many have had this happen thus far, and I could not refrain from pointing out my joy at being reminded from the written word how wonderfully and blessedly God has led us from the very beginning. Since in Old Ebenezer I had already wished for God to spare my life a little while longer until I might learn what our thoroughly good God would do with our congregation, the Lord has granted my wish. We have been delivered hither not by counsel of men but rather according to God’s gracious and well-pleasing will, with much prayer of His servants and children. He has permitted me, to my great edification, to perceive much in the external, still more in the internal guidance of people who have died blessedly. Either nothing at all or much too little is observed by worldly people or unpracticed Christians of God’s work in the congregation and on the souls of those who let Him lead them into denial and rejection of their own wills. They look only at David, at his splendid virtues, and at what God did in him, and do not see that God has His own even now. People are likely to make more of the saints who have gone before than they are of those still living; things were the same at the time of Christ and the holy apostles. We can all quite certainly grasp the spirit of faith and righteous being which lived in David and all the saints from the beginning and which directed them all to good works, 2 Corinthians 4:13.
Wednesday, the 23rd of April. The four men who had been lending me a hand in the external business of the congregation have all moved to the plantations. Hence they suggested Stephan Rottenberger, who is still staying in the town, to me as manager and elder. After I talked with him this morning he agreed in God’s name. He is a fine man and is looked on with favor by all because of his orderly behavior and great fitness and because of his good insight into matters in our congregation. Everyone thinks highly of him because of his unselfish character. He will be quite suited for the office of manager because he understands the work and is so undaunted in taking all kinds of useful projects and is liked among the people. It never occurs to these dear people to claim a superiority and authority over their brothers,22 but rather they lend me their assistance only after considering the things that are for the best for the congregation and for each single member in it. Thereafter they let themselves be employed in carrying out what has been considered and decided, and in ordering people to jobs which must be done individually or communally and in reporting to me either what is occurring to harm Christianity and good order or how this or that good person may be helped.
If God should deliver something in the way of spiritual goods into my hands, love and equity would require me to give these loyal men, who really have great pains and inconvenience, something in compensation. Most people are quite out of money, because our own poverty has made us unable to let the members of the congregation earn anything either at our houses or at the orphanage. They do not lack means of livelihood, which God has allowed them from the fields and from their cattle-raising, but they do lack clothing. If they do not earn anything for it at our place, then they have nothing. The corn brings very little, and they can spare little of it from their household needs; and they cannot sell the rice as cheaply as people in Carolina who have black slaves.
Thursday, the 24th of April. This morning I had a very profitable conversation with three families, who had gathered in a hut for prayer, about the verse: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,” etc., and we remembered therewith various other verses and edifying examples from the scripture. When I came to Gabriel Maurer’s plantation, I was told that the new herdsman, who came to us six weeks ago in a delirium and was now being kept here with the approval of Mr. Jones in Savannah, had just gone to town to talk with me about his situation. Someone ran after him, however, to entreat him to remain, because they were afraid he might become delirious again. He had become quite confused yesterday, letting the cattle run and sleeping in the woods without eating. Because he had heard that I was on the plantations he came back; and I took pains to talk him out of his strange fancies and unnecessary fear. He is still very distrustful and is fearful where there is nothing to fear. Otherwise he is honest and speaks no untruth; but he will not put his trust in anyone until one has won it from him, so to speak. He pulled himself together; and, because he knows quite well that his mind is not what is used to be, he will willingly subject himself to the cure, most particularly the blood-letting, at Mr. Thilo’s discretion. He believes that we have the best intentions for him, although he has a great horror or blood-letting. I also spoke with Pichler about it and asked him to tell the other people who have cattle in his neighborhood under the herdsman’s care to be patient with the poor man, and for them to deal with him lovingly and charitably. Much good has come his way in his herdsman’s job, and I do not see that he is lacking in bodily needs.
Saturday, the 26th of April. The dry, arid weather still continues, and the earth has gotten almost as hard as iron because of it. I received a letter from Savannah in which Mr. Jones reported among other things that he had orders from Mr. Oglethorpe to pay us 10 or 12 ь Sterling for building the mill and that he would give it to me as soon as I came down. That things are turning out so well in the matter of a watermill, with stone, hardware, and money available for it, is one more right great benefaction of the Lord. All who have spoken of it with me recognize that and praise God for it. Kogler’s father is said to have been very experienced in such building; and because he always worked with him at it and helped him build various watermills, the congregation trusts that, with God’s blessing and assistance, he will be able to do something in this country that has not yet been possible. Several sawmills, and also a gristmill in Savannah, have been built at great cost; but none has ever been completed, even though much money has been applied unprofitably to the task. The whole congregation will willingly help with the building, if only the most commodious and useful place for it can be found. Several good spots have been suggested, from which the best, most convenient, and safest will be chosen.
Sunday, the 27th of April. Today I announced that I was planning to resume the preparation hour for the children who are to partake of the Lord’s Supper in the near future. Because I have things to do on the plantations, I can give only two hours a week to them at present. They have their daily prayer meetings and otherwise have enough opportunity to prepare themselves for this important intention, if they are intent on it.
For some weeks now we have been unable to hold our singing hour on weekdays because it does not fit into the short evening hours, and during the day as well no good time can be found for it. In the summer the repetition hour on Sundays is held at five o’clock, and we have time left over afterwards, after the people have eaten, to gather for spiritual music. Because it is only an hour, however, we cannot do anything other than repeat the songs we already know. This also is done in the weekly prayer meetings and brings the people, as I perceive, great spiritual joy. From Christmas through Easter they learned twenty-nine of the most beautiful songs.
Monday, the 28th of April. The old Swiss carpenter23 asked me to allow him to let his close relative from Purysburg, who has been here for eight days now, stay with him until autumn. He vouched for her, and she has been quite devout at our divine services so far. She is a widow; and, since her purpose in coming here is so good, I cannot do other than acquiesce in her desire.
The sins of Sodom are quite common in this country. How long the judgment of Sodom will be delayed is known to the Lord. At our place we have cause a thousand times over humbly to praise our gracious Father in Heaven for the great good he has shown us in bodily and spiritual things. The longer we are here the more we will dissociate ourselves from those people there,24 and allow none to Holy Communion if there is not adequate assurance that they are not conforming to the world but rather are directing themselves according to the teachings of Christ. I am indeed maligned for the earnestness I have applied to ill-bred people for their own salvation, and some are said especially to have threatened me with great evil; but I pay no attention to it.
Although few people are now in town and although they have field and housework during the day, nonetheless some still attend my home prayer meeting, in which our loving God does not leave us without edification. It gives me great joy that they are comprehending in a simple manner in their prayer the things about which I preach to them from God’s word. From this I can see how the divine truths go to their hearts, and how it is not just a matter of listening to the word, but rather of experiencing it and its strength. In addition, the circumstances of the congregation and the country are presented to our dear Lord, and His gracious name is praised for the spiritual and secular benefactions which have come to us so far.
Tuesday, the 29th of April. Last year we received a bee-swarm for our house, which has increased this year. I see it is just as easy, and perhaps easier, to get and keep bees here in this country than in Germany, if only the people can put more time to it and can take right good care of them. Our swarm has yielded so much beautiful honey that I am astounded when I look at it, and I must humbly praise God for this gift. I believe that by and by we will be able to set up our households just as well as the orderly housekeepers in Germany do. The Lord has already made much possible, has helped to overcome difficulties, and has blessed us in all sorts of ways. When the honest people of the congregation contemplate (as they do often and diligently) the kindness of the Lord, which they have perceived quite manifestly, they do so with much humility and praise of God.
Thursday, the 1st of May. Our gracious God refreshed our country with a fruitful rain today, for which He will be praised and thanked by pious hearts. If the Lord gives us another bountiful year, we may hope once again for much grain, that is, corn, beans, rice, and other produce from garden and field, because more fields were planted this spring than heretofore. A few fields which have been pretty well exhausted are lying fallow this year and are designated as meadows for the calves.
Yesterday I did not find the N. woman at home, so I called on her today. To be sure she is still going out and working a little, both in the house and in the garden, but she realizes from her many attacks that her death, burial, and eternity are not far off. She is not to be convinced that she lacks the right God-pleasing preparation for blessed eternity. Rather, she believes firmly and stoutly (and would live and die on it) that she has the correct faith and that she will be saved through the merits of Christ and the mercy of God. No matter how much we present the tokens and fruits through which the truth of conversion is proved, she acknowledges everything and believes that all such items which pertain to true Christianity are also to be found in her. As for items that are openly sinful and compatible with worldly life, such as impudent speech, innocent judging of one’s neighbor, quarreling, etc., she thinks they are to be found in others too, whom we do not condemn on that account. She says she is sorry for all her sins and asks God indeed a thousand times for pardon.
When I warned her of self-deception and requested her to implore God to open her eyes to the recognition of herself and the paths of blessedness, she said she was already certain of her salvation and recognized the right way from her good books. They would not deceive her; she need no longer doubt her salvation. I told her she could not understand her own books, such as Luther’s book of house prayers, Arndt’s Christianity, and whatever she was reading, if she did not ask God for grace in reading and correct understanding. I told her from Matthew 7 and from Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans how many people deceive themselves with their knowledge, false beliefs, and hopes, etc. I read to her from Ezekiel 3 that it was my office, that the Lord had commanded me at the risk of my own salvation, not to keep the truth from her. Hence I had to tell her anew that she did not have the signs of the penitent and faithful about her, and therefore her hope of being saved was an empty one.
I said I was extremely sorry about it; I wanted so much to help save her. And when she again brought up something about her previous preachers in N.N., with whom she had been quite close and who had never talked that way, etc., I told her curtly that I was afraid she had misunderstood her own preachers as well as her books and that she did not understand me now, however much I might say from God’s word. I said she had to experience in herself penitence, faith, new birth, and the imitation of Christ, if she wished to be saved; no excuses or self-made consolation would do. I worry no little about such people, because I can accomplish absolutely nothing. If the Lord Himself does not lead one, give wisdom for salutary intercourse with corrupted souls, lay the words in one’s mouth, and let them come to power amongst the blind and perverse, one only expends one’s strength in vain. Oh, how heavy is the office of a shepherd of souls! The late Korthold called the ministerial profession a heavy burden; one learns that only when one comes into the office itself and would like to save oneself and one’s listeners. The Lord have mercy on us and let the intercession of His servants and children work on our behalf!
Saturday, the 3rd of May. Several times this week, under the gracious guidance of God, I have happened to come across the late Abbot Breithaupt’s life story and the special circumstances of his Christianity and office, which are found here and there in the blessed monument dedicated to him. I found therein so much edification, encouragement, and consolation that I had cause humbly to praise our marvelous and loving God for it. Since the Lord allowed me the pleasure of his blessed instruction for a few years, all that I have read anew about this cherished and chosen servant of the Lord is all the more impressive.
Sunday, the 4th of May. Since Thursday we have had a bountiful rain, and today towards evening it also rained very heavily. This gift of the heavenly Father is recognized by us with all humble thanks. My dear colleague held divine services both morning and afternoon on the plantations; and our dear God once again strengthened me here right marvelously and manifestly in body and mind so that I was able to edify myself without any hindrance along with the congregation from His word, although yesterday towards evening and during the night I had been struck again by the bodily weakness which I have often had. The Lord is still doing great things, may He be praised for it! On the plantations we still have no place of our own for gathering; but Ruprecht Steiner is giving his quite commodious house for it. The one sitting room is provided with a good floor, ceiling, and windows, and is thus quite suited to our purpose. By and by arrangements will be made for a proper meeting house. In my own house here in the city, half the space, i.e., the sitting room, bedchamber, and hallway, has been designated for our meetings on Sundays and weekdays until the people have time to build the church.
The fact that we have such a good opportunity here for unhindered edification, in cold or hot or wet weather, contributes much to my peace of mind; and I believe that the Lord will bestow something to pay the costs of the house, which have run up so high, contrary to my guess and the promise of the builder.
Monday, the 5th of May. Zant has returned from Purysburg; and, since the expedition is not yet leaving, he wishes to be bled first. He has gotten the fever and is also depressed in his mind over the great disorder he has already had to see in the military life in Purysburg. He would like to be out of it again, and this morning he asked my advice about it. I can advise nothing in this matter, however, except to refer him to prayer, to the earnest care of his soul, and to his commending his circumstances to the gracious care of God, and also to submission and obedience to his current superiors, to whose authority he and others voluntarily subjected themselves as in 1 Peter 2:13, 14, 18.1
Tuesday, the 6th of May. The Rauner woman was at my house very early and indicated that the shoemaker Reck had persuaded her to follow her husband to the war, because she could earn money there as well as he. She wants to take her fourteen year-old boy along, who is also supposed to play the role of soldier. Besides the boy she has two girls whom she would have liked to push off on the orphanage if it had been possible. They are not orphans, however, but rather children of parents who go off to war and hope to gain much, and therefore they are not suited for the orphanage. The woman along with her children has planted much land and cleared it of grass, and also planted a few beans. There is much work still to be done on it before the harvest, however; and I don’t know whom she will delegate to do the work.
Wednesday, the 7th of May. This morning, I visited some families on the plantations who had announced at my dear colleague’s house last Sunday that they would go to Holy Communion. Our dear God is working powerfully through His word on N. and his wife, and they have come far enough to recognize that the condition of their souls is very dangerous. Hence is it necessary and also possible (on account of the inexpressible mercy of God in Christ) for them to become converted from the heart. The woman had read the 55th chapter of Isaiah and had brought up the verse: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” etc., which gave me both here and in another hut a very good opportunity for conversation and the necessary examination of my listeners’ consciences.
I found the N. woman at work in the field; and, when I asked about the state of her Christianity and whether she was faithfully applying the grace she had received and was making progress, she answered quite unsatisfactorily. I soon found the cause when her husband came. Weeping with sadness, he said that this time he could not go to Holy Communion; but, if his wife and the N.N. woman found joy in it, he would not stop them. His wife had been willful and disobedient heretofore, and he had overlooked it and let it go by. He wished, however, to point it out to me because things were getting no better with her, and he was obliged to look on her behavior as no small sin and because he, as head of the household, could not answer before God why he had neglected his wife’s willfulness, contradictions, and presumptions. It was known to the Lord that he was putting this household distress, which depressed him greatly, into his prayers diligently, but not so diligently and earnestly as should be, and he wished to do it further.
The woman said a few words to justify her behavior, from which I could see, although I did not know past details, that she had perverted God’s order, according to which the man is the wife’s master and should rule her and his house according to God’s word. I took a few verses from the Haustafel,2 such as Ephesians 5 and 1 and Peter 3, and made the points from them clear to her. I also showed what great harm to Christianity and external life was resulting from this opposition of hers in which she thought herself right. After the prayer I promised to visit them again soon, and I hoped to see things a little more joyful than at this time. The woman has a very violent temper, is quick to break out with hard words, scolds her husband, and is obstinate.
When they were still near the city God worked very powerfully on her through His word. He brought her to repeated and right humble recognition of this and other bad behavior, which had become a habit. She had also recognized the grace which God had showed to her husband and through him to her, and she praised God for it. Because, however, she had not yet let her stubbornness be broken in a true conversion, the Old Adam has come through at every opportunity, be it given or just taken. Her husband had borne this for a long time; and from her subsequent better attitude he had gathered fresh hope for a full improvement, but it has not yet taken place.
N.N attested tearfully that until now he had lived with his wife blind and ignorant from day to day and had always let himself be preached at; if God had called him away in that condition, he would have fared badly. Quite recently, however, his eyes had been opened to his miserable condition; God’s word was now penetrating better, and he was resolved, with God, to become a better man. He cannot read, and he came to the congregation quite uninstructed. I told him, however, what God had already done through His spirit by means of the word to people well known to him and her who had been very ignorant previously and who had gradually come to a living recognition and true Christianity. He and his wife could also come to it if he would only apply the primary grace faithfully, would pray earnestly as I have directed him before, and use God’s word correctly.
The herdsman Schneider is also living here with his wife, the Sanftleben woman; and, because I could not find him in his hut or nearby in the woods, I opened his Bible to the above-quoted verse from Isaiah and marked it in pencil and left it there for them with the request that he and his wife should tell me on the following Friday, before divine services on the plantations, whether they had learned anything from the content of this verse. They would have to do so if they wanted, to their salvation, to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
Thursday, the 8th of May. The N. woman has suffered great harm because she was unable, because of her severe bodily illness, to attend catechism lessons while she was near town. She knows the barest amount from the catechism, and what she does know is very incomplete. She has not even learned any Bible verses. She intensely regrets her lack of knowledge and hopes to learn a few things from her husband’s reading and repetition when he recovers. She means well and is sincere in all points, has great love for her Savior, and wants nothing more than to save her soul. Because she has always spoken in a very edifying and Christian manner and has accused herself and shown a great longing for true Christian improvement, I first assumed a better foundation in her than I have now gradually found while examining her.
To be sure she does have good notions and ideas of Christ, considers herself a great sinner, and hopes to be saved through Christ. If one thinks about it, however, these things she says are only expressions she has heard before and acquired; and, for all her good intentions, she does not know what a sin or the Lord Christ is. Her husband was not at home but in the town for a bleeding. When he visited me today, I suggested, as I had done before, that he aid her in her ignorance. I told him the items to which I had referred his wife for the recognition of the truth, and what pertained to being saved. I also delineated for him the last two chapters of the first book of Johann Arndt’s True Christianity, which he was to read to her and discuss with her a section at a time. He is also to take up the catechism, one point after the other, as much as she can grasp at one time. Various examples in the congregation have demonstrated that it is possible to bring even the most ignorant and depraved people to a recognition of Christian teaching, of themselves, and of true Christianity. The frail servant girl in my house is one example. She was quite ignorant, relied on her prayers which she had learned by rote, was mendacious, quarrelsome, etc., but God graciously brought her to recognition and awoke in her a great desire for the catechism and holy scriptures. Now the Lord has made her corruption so plain to her that she cannot humble and reproach herself enough, and I am very hopeful of her conversion to God.
Friday, the 9th of May. I have received no answer to my letter to Captain Richard,3 which I wrote on Tuesday concerning our herdsman who was led away from us.4 Hence I am obliged to write to Mr. Oglethorpe about it; I will first address the letter to the authorities in Savannah.
Three girls were at my house who were confirmed in their baptism some time ago and were then admitted to Holy Communion for the first time. The grace which was bestowed on them in their preparation is still manifest in them, praise God!; and the memory of the act performed at that time is still very impressive to them. Some of them had become quite slothful, but they are pulling themselves together; and I intend to work with them privately more often. The fourth child was the Arnsdorf woman’s son, whom I visited yesterday with his mother, who is with Sanftleben on the plantation; and there I received much joy and edification. Oh, would that everyone knew and believed that Christians and imitators of the most highly praised Son of God are the most blessed people! What the Lord in His gratuitous mercy had bestowed at our place is becoming a great and living thing to many once again, whenever they think and hear about all the wretchedness and disorder in the vicinity.
Saturday, the 10th of May. The N. woman’s tale of what the Lord is doing to her soul is very edifying to me. I perceived that she was using everything she heard and saw profitably, like a hungry little dove. Recently, after he had been with me, her husband brought home some things for her edification, and this afforded an opportunity for good conversation. Upon leaving, she said that I had exhorted her servant girl to ask Gruber and her, who were, in a manner of speaking, her parents, to include her from time to time in their private prayers. The girl had done my bidding, but she shamed them, the old people, because it was not they who reminded her of her duty but rather she who had to remind them of theirs. They had been praying together from that time on, the N. woman said, and this practice had now become so dear to them that, if it were missed even once, she did not feel right and suffered great harm. In that she was reminded of the words of one of our pious Salzburgers, who had told her that since his conversion he had been in the habit every day of tearing himself away from all external business and praying in solitude to his heavenly Father. Now he could no longer do without it, he was like a little child lying on the loving bosom of God, so that if he missed the practice even once he became anxious and upset.
N. often attests that she considers it a great blessing of God that He has brought her to this congregation, where she understands clearly everything that is told her for her salvation and feels its power in her heart. Her Christian and humble expressions give me good hope that she will change herself fundamentally and let herself be born again. She was very happy and thanked the dear Lord for taking awy her long-standing vomiting; hence she would like to go to the Lord’s Supper. How I rejoice and praise the Lord when I see that our parishioners are having their eyes opened and justify God’s word when he humbles the sinner and leaves him no shred of honor. If they become faithful, they will prevail all the sooner. On the other hand, I am right gravely depressed when people consider themselves better than they are and therefore do not let themselves be convinced of the fearful corruption of their souls. In the story we are now contemplating in 1 Samuel 24 we read that Saul said to David: “You are more righteous than I,” and that he indeed considered David to be better than himself but did not consider himself so bad; and in this he has very many imitators.
Sunday, the 11th of May. A Salzburger from the plantations was very edified by the example of Zaccheus, and he recognized in him his sense of honesty with regard to restitution. It occurred to him that he had besmirched his conscience with the sin (quite common in his homeland) of pilfering a few pocketfuls of fruit from his neighbor’s garden. Hence he wished to give a fairly large quantity of rice to some poor people for their nourishment. I suggested the N.N. couple who, more than others, are very badly off for food and clothing and who would thank the Lord earnestly for this physical refreshment. The man also realized that for some time now grace had changed N. considerably, which gladdens him greatly; and he asserted that he had been very edified by him when he was recently with him. With dear N. it had gone as with many who are pleased with their self-made piety and scorn truly pious souls, until the Lord opens their eyes. Then everything is reversed.
On this Rogate Sunday fifty-two people from the congregation were at Holy Communion. The Lord worked so powerfully on their hearts through His word that we hope this Sunday has been a very blessed day for many others, as it has been for us.
N.N.,5 who recently married a German person from N., said these words to me concerning himself and his wife: he believes with certainty that the Lord will tear them from Satan’s claws as He is striving to open their eyes better and better to recognize what the world does not recognize, namely, that being saved entails more than indifferent faith and the practice of divine works. She thanks God for rescuing her from N. and bewails her previous state of blindness. God help her not only to be convinced of the truth but also to be obedient to it.
Monday, the 12th of May. Because most people in our place are sorely lacking in clothes and other necessities, and we ourselves are too destitute to help them in any way, I wrote to Mr. Jones, the agent of Mr. Oglethorpe and the Trustees in Savannah. I asked them most emphatically to let them receive some of the benefits promised by Mr. Oglethorpe on the one last harvest of crops (1 shilling per bushel); even if it were not money they would be satisfied with getting goods in kind from the storehouse.6 The dear people’s lack, due to their new and very difficult arrangements on the plantations, goes to our hearts and will impel us to pray all the more.
The most precious promise of the Lord Jesus in yesterday’s gospel: “Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father,” etc., gives us certain hope that the Father will look graciously on our prayers and those of the congregation and will let us feel his succor, if not from nearby then from afar, as He has often done. Now is the time for prayer and patient waiting, but finally will come the time for granting our prayers and help, just as Exaudi Sunday follows on Rogate Sunday. A pious man, who has become sick in body and also in spirit with hard work and bodily wants, said that the following also applied to him: “Unless thy law had been my delights, I shall then have perished in mine affliction.” We hear little complaining, still less impatience and grumbling, but rather, to our great joy, the opposite: to wit, praise of God and such contented speech that anyone not aware of their pitiful circumstances would think they had enough of everything. Today’s quite heavily attended home prayer meeting gave me especial refreshment, with the singing of the splendid hymn: Mein Jesu, dem die Seraphinen, etc., as well as with the prayer itself.
I visited the N. woman today to find out what blessings the Lord had granted her from His word and from Holy Communion. Last week she had already said, to the praise of her good Savior, that she could now believe the Father would not cast her out, although she was a great sinner; and today she was all praise and glorification of God. There was honey in her vat, and she said what the Lord had sent her was a thousand times sweeter than the honey. The loving fire of God burned, as it were, in her soul. She would not take a thousand more worlds in preference to having had the Lord let her come hither, etc. She spoke words full of amazement at the marvelous kindness of God, who pitied a sinner as vile as she. In our conversation we came to the splendid hymn: O, wie selig sind die Seelen, etc.; and, when we read it, she became rapturously joyous. I was starting to sing it with her but was soon called away by a messenger who said that some English people from Savannah-Town were waiting for me and could not delay. I was again expected to marry a couple, which I refused to do. Immediately thereafter the Mueller woman, the clock maker’s wife, came into my room weeping and gesturing anxiously, to report that her son-in-law Bruckner, who was at the plantation, had had epileptic fits since ten o’clock. She wanted my advice, but I directed her to Mr. Thilo, whom she had already seen and from whom she was to get medicine in a couple of hours. How strangely things in this world are entwined in each other. Oh, may the Lord teach us the right wisdom and direct our hearts amidst all external disquiet and vicissitudes to the right cause, which has been prepared for us in Christ through sheer grace.
Tuesday, the 13th of May. It was too late yesterday to visit the sick Bruckner on his plantation. I would have been kept from holding the prayer meeting, hence I visited him this morning before the divine service which we are accustomed to hold on the plantations Tuesdays and Fridays from ten till about twelve. God blessed the use of the medicine on him: the violent paroxysm had already subsided last night and he was in bed but quite lively. Heretofore he and his wife have felt the tugging grace of God working very forcefully, and this sudden occurrence will make a great impression on them. I spoke with them according to the circumstances of their spirit and closed with a prayer, along with some others who were present. Otherwise he has never had an attack of epilepsy.7 I do not know what the cause of it might have been, except that some time ago he had had rheumatism up and down his joints and, when it finally settled in his knee, he tried curing it with snake oil.
This Sunday’s main lesson showed why, from ages past, this Sunday and the whole week have received the name of prayer:8 it reminded us of our evangelical duty to use this week in particular, both individually and communally, for our prayers and entreaties. Not only the dear Savior’s sweet promise and loving command, but also our and our neighbors’ need can and should drive us to mention some specific spiritual and physical things. By this means our dear God has moved our hearts powerfully, and He will be worshipped by many in spirit and in truth. At noontime a Christian man came to me, and others would have assembled too if it had not been getting too late. God be praised that there are many present who have learned through the Holy Ghost to recognize the new and living path which Christ won and prepared for us for stepping in His name up to the throne of grace. This gives us comfort in all trials and doubtful circumstances, because the Savior’s promises stand more firmly than heaven and earth.
To our great encouragement we recognize what our dear David accomplished for himself and others, when we compare the stories about him with his psalms, as we are in the habit of doing. The last part of 1 Samuel 24, which we had in today’s prayer meeting, has impressed me as much as a text from the New Testament, since we find our dear Savior prefigured by David everywhere;9 for example, when we compare the time he was expected to slay Saul but spared him because he desired his conversion, with Luke 9:54 ff.; or the fact that he did not go with Saul but rather remained in the wilderness, with John 2:22-23; 3:1-3.
Wednesday, the 14th of May. My dear colleague brought from Savannah the welcome news that the chests with linen from Halle, which had remained behind through oversight when Captain Thomson’s ship left, had arrived in Charlestown and were expected with the earliest favorable opportunity. He brought along the small chest with a large supply of Schauer Balm10 for the benefit of the orphanage as a present from the most worthy Mr. N., likewise both old and recent letters to us and a few members of the congregation. We have a good God, who fulfills His word here too: “Before they call, I will answer: and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” This example of divine providence brought me to a profound strengthening of faith; God does everything well in His time. Others in the congregation who came to me for prayer after the noon meal were also brought to this profound strengthening of faith, as was made manifest in their souls. We sang the hymn Sey Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, etc.; and in the name of Jesus we praised the heavenly Father, who had granted us a favorable hearing on Rogate Sunday even before Exaudi Sunday. When we tell them in the town and on the plantations of some of the contents of the letters we have received, we hope that both young and old will be awakened anew to a spiritual joy and praise of God as well as to a renewed heartfelt intercession for our valued and dearest benefactors. I think we are not mistaken when we simply hope that the Lord has also heard our prayer and intercession for the sake of His Son our Reconciler and advocate, and has once more strengthened His valued servants, our dear Fathers in London, Augsburg, and Halle, despite all physical frailty beneath the burden of their occupations. We wish to praise Him for it both privately and in the congregation. May He let them achieve the salutary purpose of their God-pleasing labors, to the joy of their hearts, in the East and West Indies and in all places. May He let them richly enjoy the fruits of their holy works here and may He long preserve them in His power for the best of His kingdom, strengthened in spirit and body! Amen, thus it will happen!
My dear colleague had much disquiet and difficulties with the impudent soldiers, also with the officers from Purysburg, who went to Savannah at the same time. They were so audacious as to take away one of his oarsmen and try to tie him up with a rope and they also behaved in an extremely coarse manner towards him because of our herdsman, whom the authorities would not allow to go war and drafted him because of his freedom.11 The recently contemplated story of David’s fight with Saul and his other enemies gave him much light, instruction, and comfort. Most of these soldiers are worse than heathens and have engaged in all sorts of impudent behavior in Savannah, under the pretext of military freedom, which may, however, do them harm. For “God is a righteous judge, and a God who threatens every day, etc.” as has been shown on the occasion of the story from the 7th Psalm.
Mr. Jones has been unable to send any of the promised shillings for the poor in the congregation,12 since he has no orders for it, but he did provide two gallons of syrup or molasses for the poor Helfenstein woman. But the Lord is still living, and has planned already from afar a blessing for our poor in the orphanage and in the congregation (as I perceive from the worthy Mr. N.’s letter and other enclosures). For this time, in addition to the many pieces of linen and the Schauer Balm, we will again be able to draw some money on a bill of exchange. God be praised for all help and assistance!
Thursday, the 15th of May. My dear colleague and I held divine services this Feast of the Assumption, he on the plantations and I here. Yesterday I made known the contents of Mr. N.’s letter to the congregation, and I can say (praise the Lord) that he has bestowed with it many spiritual blessings on me and, as I perceive, on many others. I first mentioned how very much the bodily wants and great needs of a few dear members had gone to my heart. I reported these wants to Mr. Jones, our very sympathetic benefactor, and had thought at the time that, if I contemplated our dear Savior’s recently heard promises that the believer’s prayer would be granted, then I would certainly have reason to hope He would let His help be meted out to us, whether from near or far, as He has done once before. They would well remember whither they were directed just this past Sunday with their own and their neighbor’s wants and needs, to wit, to the almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, who has been reconciled through Christ.
Now, to the praise of God, I could tell them that, although by the nature of present circumstances help was not forthcoming from nearby, it was come from afar. Our marvelous God had not only brought the apparently lost large chest of linen from Halle to our vicinity; He had also bestowed a second small box with books and twenty-two pieces of linen and had also advised us that the two cases filled with books and medicines, which were destined for Cuddalore13 but were sent here by mistake, should serve for our use too. Thereby He graciously rewarded our faithful waiting and praying with new benefactions and, on the other hand, shamed the unfaithful and wavering, who had given all up for lost.
To be sure, He did all this during the week of Rogate Sunday; for we can believe that He does all in His time and that whatever He intends for His children in His eternal loving counsel must come not before nor after but exactly at the appointed time. How joyful it is for us that our prayer and wishes were not in vain! How joyful it will be for the faithful in blessed eternity when they find their prayers with more than thousandfold blesings! For, since each of our hairs is numbered, as the Lord Jesus Himself attests, how much more the prayers, sighs, and tears of the faithful, etc., all of which should stimulate us to the praise of God and to zealous prayer for ourselves and others, and especially for our worthy benefactors. The enduring, right active, and paternal love of the most worthy Mr. N., of which so many attestations appear in the letter, has especially penetrated to our hearts. How many congregations are there who are cared for spiritually by so many valued and select instruments of Christ and with so much zeal both day and night? Oh, may the Lord make us all, both young and old, thankful and let us be right powerfully encouraged by His holy spirit to beseech and pray for those instruments through whose service and prayer so many good things befall us, one after another! Not only our Christian duty above all, but also the rules of Christian gratitude, obligate us to it.
The Lord often reminds us of the superscribed verse: “Have I not told thee, if thou, etc.,” which was truly edifying not only on our ocean journey (which was again recalled to the congregation’s memory), but also in the first sermon I delivered upon our arrival in our new Ebenezer four years ago after my severe fever. And, since our experience till now has taught us much that we could not have imagined in the beginning, still more of His marvelous and blessed works will be revealed to us if we become and remain right faithful. If only we could transmit to our dear Fathers and brothers the long-desired report that everyone in Ebenezer had converted to the Lord Jesus and had become reborn. That would indeed be most agreeable compensation for all their trouble, care, and untiring remembrance for our sake before God and man. It has been recently shown that this can and must come to pass if we wish to step into the spiritual and heavenly company of the children and servants of God. All the indolent and slothful people were awakened by certain circumstances mentioned in the letter.
If God in His wisdom and kindness wishes to let further material gifts flow to us from across the sea, as has happened this time once again, may He also wish to give us the wisdom to apply everything to the appropriate end. That is certain, and I can testify before God that, as often as something comes to our hands, a right heartfelt joy is caused among most of the congregation by these loving gifts and our hearts are awakened to His praise and to a prayer for our benefactors. Through God’s grace we can see that the members are being led to the true source by these little streams that so please us and also that each person is using his gifts for the purpose for which they were sent. Otherwise, we prefer to hold them back and lay them aside rather than act contrary to the purpose of God and the benefactors.
We are indebted for our life-time to the Trustees (our Christian and beneficent temporal authorities), as well as to the praiseworthy Society, for the many benefactions directed to our congregation. It would be a sin for us to cease praying for them, and they are so kind (as General Oglethorpe has twice mentioned to me) as not to regret the expenses made for our congregation because (I write down humbly his own words) they have attained their goals better with the Salzburgers than with others in the colony and are therefore further inclined and willing to do their utmost by us. How deep the Lord-Trustees stand in debt on account of this colony; how many extraordinary expenses will still be necessitated, in both war and peacetime, to establish and protect this colony; and how much it will cost to settle this country with inhabitants, since the first ones either died off or moved away after enjoying so many benefactions. Anyone who knows this will not blame the Trustees if they no longer support the community to such an extent as at first.
Hence our benefactors in Germany are unquestionably doing a good work when they let our Salzburgers benefit from what those benefactors apply to Christ’s followers out of love for Him. The Salzburgers indeed need it for getting established in a new, quite wild country, where they are subject to all kinds of obstacles and contingencies concerning their health, households, cattle-raising, etc., which others cannot imagine. It is also beyond their means to build the church, school, and parsonage themselves or to support widows and orphans and also the infirm. We unworthy servants of the Lord’s congregation in Ebenezer have presented the Salzburgers’ poverty only because our office as shepherds and the love we owe to the congregation require it. We also know from experience that Christian patrons are pleased to know how their gifts are applied and how they will be applied.
Jesus, however, will reward the beloved Mr. N.14 on the day of his appearance before angels and men for paying no heed to the world’s judgment, to which he must be subject. He has shown himself to be a true father to the Salzburgers and has provided for their spiritual and physical welfare in every way. Just as our beloved God has impressed many seals of His gracious approbation and favor on N.’s honest undertaking (which must glare in the eyes of God’s enemies if they do not maliciously close them), I have good hopes that it will continue thus, which will vex the enemies and gladden the friends of God’s cause.
In Friday’s evening prayer meeting we noted concerning Saul’s acknowledgment of David’s innocence in 1 Samuel 24 that God’s servants and children must not let envy, ingratitude, and the world’s malice deter them from doing good and bearing evil. A day surely is coming, possibly already in this life but most certainly at the world’s end, when the honest mind and pure intentions of the faithful, after being pelted with the filth of lies, perversions, suspicions, accusations, etc., will be revealed before angels and men. In this example the verse in Psalm 37:5, 6 became very clear and impressive to me: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
We again read in Mr. N.’s aforesaid edifying letter various names of our dear benefactors, who have sent material benefactions partly for us and partly for the orphanage and ill people. In today’s afternoon divine service we read, in order, the 14th chapter of Luke, where the idea of the Lord Jesus in vv. 12-14 caught my attention, and I wished in my heart for all of our benefactors, known and unknown, the treasured and sweet promise of the 14th verse: “And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee.” So said the Lord Jesus, the friend and brother of the poor blessed by God.
We were also pleased that, in his letter, our worthy Mr. N. used the expression: “They in H.15 also live in Ebenezer, and the Lord has helped them thus far. He will help further nor let those who trust in Him be shamed.” For that purpose the Lord has often built us a new Ebenezer in Ebenezer. When the great blessing arrives, i.e., the previously mentioned linen, we will report in detail about its condition and on what paths the Lord has led us to distribute it for the spiritual blessing of the congregation. In the meantime, in place of compensation, we are sending, with sighs and good wishes, the previously quoted promise of the Savior to our worthy Mr. N. as well as other dear friends who have contributed something to the purchase of the linen. There is a general lack of shirts among the Salzburgers, and certainly they will all be joyful at the filling of that need. May God rouse us all to His praise! Also Mr. N. has been untiring in providing us with good books and medicines; and, as the previously received specification shows, a fine supply of selected new books and a new batch of medicine will come in the next chest. May our bountiful God reward the dear orphanage16 and others who have contributed these and other benefactions with thousandfold spiritual and physical blessings!
I would prefer not to express further here with words how very much I and my dear colleague were refreshed by the dear letter from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, who has been untiring in caring for our physical and spiritual benefit. Rather, we thank the Lord, who favors us in every way; and we rejoice that we will be able to edify the hungry and desirous souls in the congregation by means of the edifying content of that letter, when we hold our next prayer meeting.
Friday, the 16th of May. In the meeting on the plantations I again made good and beneficial use (Glory be to the Lord alone!) of the joyful proofs of God’s paternal solicitude for us that had been mentioned yesterday here in town to the great edification of our hearts, along with the contents of the two letters of Mr. N. and Mr. N.17 I could perceive the emotion of their spirits from their eyes, and later from the humbly thankful words of two men who accompanied me for a while. One said: “The Lord has done great things for us, may He make us thankful,” etc. The other found in the current experience of God’s help a parallel to the help He rendered us a few years ago. Nothing had grown here, and what had grown had been consumed by worms in the fields, and there was nothing to be had for money in the whole country. God’s providence then ordained that, when the accounts at the storehouse were examined, we got so much provisions in meat, rice, corn, molasses, and other things that by this blessing the people had enough till the new harvest.
May God reward the two aforesaid dear Fathers18 as well as the worthy Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen for the trouble they take in writing such letters, amidst the otherwise very extensive and burdensome business of their offices. The letters lead us to the right cause of Christianity ratione Credendorum & Agendorum19 and are indeed right edifying for us. I had intended to read the Court Chaplain’s letter in today’s evening prayer meeting in the town, but because of my bodily weakness I could do almost nothing further than read aloud the heart-and-soul-refreshing words, as much as pertains to the congregation. I was hopeful of adding the remainder in the next prayer meeting (tomorrow, God willing) for further application and inculcation in certain points. Also, on the last page of this beautiful letter, our dear Mr. Berein, who participates so heartily in all the good things the Lord does in the congregation, had added his amen to the heartfelt good wishes for us from the most treasured name of our Redeemer and Reconciler. By this he edified us and the congregation, and may God reward him for it!
Saturday, the 17th of May. I had directed N. to come to me a week ago, but learned that he had suffered a very bad injury and therefore had been unable to come here. Hence I rode this morning to his plantation; and, on account of the high water, I had to take the long way by the most distant plantations. Even this was good, because I called on N. and N. and was able to edify myself with them.20 He complained a good deal about his worldly disposition and his spiritual slothfulness. He well recognized that the renown one has amongst men from one’s diligence and industry in household affairs and other external virtues is an abomination before God if it does not derive from a hallowed basis and that one may thereby stand in a damnable condition. He said people bear in mind much too little that they are only lent to this temporal world and that they must soon leave it. They care so little and far too little for their souls, which are their noblest part. I told him with the example of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, Chapter 3, of the right path to come to an evangelical, unconstrained denial of earthly and temporal things, no matter how beautifully they glisten; and I gave him a short instruction in how rightly to recognize and experience his Savior in His incomparable love for us sinners. If he becomes his treasure, then certainly his heart will follow after and there will be enough strength present for the struggle against the slothful flesh.
I had with me the late Professor Franke’s21 sermon about the glorious gospel for Mary Magdalene’s Day, which I gave to him; and I believe it will be very profitable for him and his wife, on whom he is working quite faithfully for her repentance and conversion, for our wise God would surely not have let it come into my hands in vain on this trip. His wife had told him something as well as she could from yesterday’s devotional hour. Her eyes are being opened more and more, through God’s grace. While she was still single, she practiced spelling and reading with Hans Flerl;22 and now she is continuing it with her husband, although it is proceeding slowly and arduously because of her inborn lack of ability. Her husband said she was very desirous of learning to read. She wept that there would be nothing but bad reports of her to Mr. N., who had done her so many good deeds. It was her earnest resolution to convert to the Lord. She would especially like to have written to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen to express thanks for the especially great love and solicitude shown her during her illness in London. In particular she cited gifts of money and physical refreshment and knew how to recount something from a sermon she had heard in the palace chapel about Christ crucified on Mount Golgatha. I asked at this point about her marriage text, which she knew well: “Behold, the lamb of God,” etc., which verse often lies in both their minds.
Mrs. Lackner remembered how Mr. N. had given her the courage to travel to Ebenezer and not allow herself to turn away from her plan, as others were inclined to do. She thanked him for it and said her Ebenezer was dear to her and that her journey hither had never become a burden to her even in her rather protracted illness. I read to her husband several proofs from the letter of how well remembered his late sister is in Mr. N.’s house. He and she both desire at the first opportunity to write to this man, their and his sister’s benefactor.
I had already indicated in yesterday’s evening prayer meeting that I remembered from Mr. S’23 letter of 19th June 1738 how, on the occasion of some letters of thanks, Mr. Schauer in Augsburg had been moved to present the congregation with 100 vials of his excellent medicine, which we prize very highly. This had now arrived with the supplies Senior Urlsperger had sent at that time for the orphanage and would be distributed to the townspeople after today’s evening prayer meeting and to those on the plantations tomorrow after divine services. In my prayer meeting at home today I mentioned before God this great benefaction (which amounts to almost 20 florins, and is not the first) along with the dear benefactor. I kept the people back to distribute the gift to them, every adult receiving one small bottle. Because the ointment has been so long in transit, in many bottles it is half evaporated and in many even more than half. Nonetheless, what we have we recognize with all gratitude before God and men. The bottles which came for the orphanage are fuller. They are also packed in small separate cases, which perhaps conserved the ointment better. Along with this gift I distributed to them Prof. Franke’s Introduction to the Reading of the Holy Scriptures,24 and Pastor Freylinghausen’s sermon on the evil of original sin. They had been found amongst the books in the two chests bound for Cuddalore.
In the boxes just mentioned are many copies of the 42d, 43d, and 44th continuations of the reports of mission operations in India.25 Some of the parishioners are very eager to read them; and by and by I will let them have them. May the Lord compensate the missionaries in some other way for the loss of the books and medicines, which were sent to us erroneously by the customs officials, and may He thereby achieve His intended salutary purpose amongst us!
Sunday, the 18th of May. After the close of the sermon, when I had recounted the wicked actions and malicious behavior of N. and his wife,26 I added my motives for making this sorrowful business publicly known. 1) That the congregation might know that God is a holy God. He may let the godless behavior go undisclosed and unpunished for a time, but not forever. And, since many have upon themselves the mire of unrighteousness and other abominations, hidden yet known to God’s eye and their own consciences, such persons should believe there will come a time or an eternity when everything not disposed of according to divine order here in this time of grace will have to be pulled before angels and men from the darkness to the light and before the seat of judgment. How terrible such disclosure and revelation will be! 2) That pious members might pray zealously to God to open these miserable people’s eyes to the wretched state of their hearts and to turn themselves away from the darkness to the light, etc.
As the present facts demonstrate, they were so sly and deceitful in their evil that they could find all sorts of plausible lies to gloss over their own condition and make themselves appear innocent. On the other hand, in regard to Christianity and the dogma of bliss they were so blind and ignorant that I could not find words enough to express it. 3) That the members should pray that wisdom from above be given to us so that, in this case and every case, we will conduct ourselves so as to act neither contrary to love nor contrary to righteousness, etc. In my mind I had one other motive for making this matter public; by this procedure frivolous and impudent spirits who are not disciplined by God’s word and not held back from committing sin may at least be held in check by such visible reins of discipline, since their vexations would not be approved of, etc.
May God choose the truly intended purpose to be achieved with N. and his wife, as with us all, so that we will recognize the Fall of Man and the abomination and the detestable corruption of the whole of human nature emanating from it. May He let us humble ourselves in the name of our great Restorer before God’s throne of grace, and let us attain to a fundamental salvation through Him!
In yesterday’s evening prayer meeting we edified ourselves once more from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen’s letter, for which may the cherished name of the Lord be praised. May it help us keep faith in the certain promises of the Lord, to which we have been directed, even in the present war troubles. Then the glory of God will certainly become manifest in us too.
The superscribed verse from Isaiah 54:15-17 likewise Psalm 20:8-9, are incomparably dear to us along with the entire contents of the letter. This reminded us of God’s dear words from Isaiah 33:20-24, which are very impressive and are cited à propos in the foreword to the 1st Continuation, as well as a little verse from the 46th Psalm, which was very edifying to us at the Feast of the Assumption, where it says: “. . .Though the earth be removed . . . nonetheless the city of God shall be made glad, with its little fountains, etc. . . . for God is in the midst of her,” etc.
At the end was appended a special admonition to the children of the orphanage, which I read in such a way that even our town and schoolchildren could see what undeserved benefactions the Lord is showing them and what their duty is because of them. I promised them to make even better use of the Court Chaplain’s dear expressions from Mark 10:13 ff., if they wished to come to me today after the afternoon divine service. But I requested only those children who would form and bring to me the good resolution to give way to the good admonitions better than up till now and let themselves be made by the Lord Jesus into pious children whom He can cherish and embrace. They all came at the appointed time, however, and asked to be edified from the letter, which is quite full of Christ’s gospel. Singly and as a group they promised to perform much good, whereupon I dismissed them with prayer and a gift of some of the separately printed sermons of the late Professor Francke and Pastor Freylinghausen.
Monday, the 19th of May. I kept Kalcher and his wife back after the prayer meeting at my home and read aloud to them from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen’s beautiful letter that which concerned especially the orphans’ “father and mother.” The cited verse (Matthew 25) “As you did it,” etc. was once more very impressive to them and me because God had seen fit to give us much edification and comfort them from it when the foundations were laid for the orphanage. I presented Kalcher with a copy of Christ’s prayer of the high priest, which was found in the chest for Cuddalore. To his wife I gave the large, beautifully bound Canstein Bible.27 She has never had a Bible from Halle but has made do with another with very small type; and, because she searches God’s word practically day and night and the small type hurts her eyes, I knew that she would praise the name of the Lord for this gift. I believe I am acting according to the wish of the worthy Professor Francke in presenting this Bible to her, which belongs to someone in India. I gave it to her with the wish that she might learn to form a childlike, positive trust in her Savior, for “to him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever,” etc. Mr. N. is also thinking of her in his fatherly missive to us when he writes: “The person who has written to me several times in a particular concern should indeed believe that all has been taken care of and remains so. She should now simply keep to the word in Hebrews 10:19-24.” May our eternally faithful God be inclined to bless this superabundantly, to the repose of her heart!
Pichler has a sick, miserable little girl who has had the so-called “fever clots”28 for some years, from which probably all the other symptoms may derive. Professor Dr. Ploss in Augsburg has received news of this illness through Senior Urlsperger. As a measure of his affection for our Salzburgers, he has sent us a plan and suggestions as to which medicines to use and how to use them properly, internally and externally, to counter this malady and thoroughly to cure the fever, with which several of our people have dragged on for some time. He does not consider the clots to be the fever’s cause, but rather the vestige or effect of a protracted or badly cured fever or even of bad diet and behavior during the fever. It had also appeared to me, as Dr. Ploss writes, that this clot or infurctus (as he calls the hard Ausdünstung29 found in the left side) has its origin in a badly cured fever. For we hear nothing about it amongst the English in Savannah, who have the fever only a short time. After a few symptoms it is cured for them; and they too use cortex Peruviana30 for it.
On the plantations we visited Ruprecht Zimmerman, who had been sick until now, and found him at his work, strengthened in body and soul. He could not praise sufficiently, to God’s glory, what great blessing he had received from Professor Francke’s newly communicated sermon for Mary Magdalene’s Day, which is “The Heart Alarmed and Battered by Sin,”31 since it fully suited to his circumstances. He wants to read it several times.
Tuesday, the 20th of May. At the meeting on the plantations before noon my dear colleague read aloud Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen’s letter, as well as one from Master Riesch from Lindau, which was already four years old, for the Salzburgers from there. May God also lay much blessing on it. God has well ordained for me to stay in town this time and to work in the meantime on N. and his family. I met him in the street on his way home; and, because otherwise I seldom find him at home because of his work in the fields, I went inside his hut with him (as head of the household) to inquire about his and his family’s Christianity. The testimony he gave of himself was indeed severe, and it amounted to the fact that he was convinced that his Christianity was worthless. He said that, if he and his family wished to be saved, they would have to reach the point that is always shown in sermons from God’s word and that he had read in Arndt’s Christianity and in Schaitberger. But, do what he would, he could not achieve it, he said -- he feared he had sinned too grossly previously and had waited too long to convert, etc.
Since it was quite clear to me why he was using such expressions, I told him that he could see from the time of grace that God was still granting him, as well as the good and powerful movement of his heart, and above all from Holy Scripture, that our exceedingly merciful God was not seeking his death but rather his eternal salvation. I said God would also gladly accept him to grace for Christ’s sake, as he had done thousands of others, if his penitence were serious and if he would not merely pray but combine a zealous and humble prayer with a serious struggle against everything evil without and within.
If he did this, I said, God would hear him favorably for the sake of Christ (in whose name he was seeking grace), and not reject him. If he wished to conclude something from the lack of favorable responses to his prayers, I told him, he should not conclude, as he had previously done, against God’s loving nature and word, but rather in the following way: “God has been working on me for a long time and has offered me much grace, especially in Augsburg. But I did not wish to hear or follow, hence I must not think it strange if God causes me to wait for a favorable hearing of my prayer, now that I am searching, through His mercy, for the grace of justification and salvation. He wishes to test the earnestness of my feelings. N. quite approved of this and well remembered how powerfully God had prompted him at the poorhouse32 in Augsburg and here; and how he had not followed the prompting.
His wife was weeping copiously nearby, especially when I began talking with her three children and admonished them no longer to thrust from themselves the abundant grace being offered them for their conversion. I said their conversion would otherwise become much harder as they grew older, as it was becoming harder for their father; they had more good opportunity in their youth than he had had. God is so holy, I said, that He cannot let continued scorn of His grace go unpunished. But great and generally spiritual judgments follow upon great spiritual grace; and, when the flesh fares well, it is not even considered a judgment, of which I gave them comprehensible examples.
The mother asked the second oldest boy if he still remembered the verse Senior Urlsperger had impressed upon him in his chamber, which was: “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth,” etc. etc., which fine verse gave me an opportunity to give parents and youngsters wholesome instruction, which was heard with much weeping.
I had with me a booklet of the beautiful material mentioned yesterday about the gospel for Mary Magdalene’s Day. I had thought to bring it into the orphanage; but, because N. had need of it, I left it behind for him. I guessed that our marvelous God had also kept a blessing in it for him, so I gave it to him and promised to come again in the afternoon and bring him another booklet with directions for Christian fathers and mothers of households to run their house in a godly manner and hold home services with their children. It was indeed the Glaucha Home Liturgy,33 which we found in the Cuddalore chest. Kalcher, to whom I had also given it, made right good use of it for himself.
When I returned to N.’s hut in the afternoon I found only the wife and youngest son at home; the rest were in the field. I gave her the aforementioned booklet and told her the contents and use of the same. I also bade her tell her husband that I considered God’s current powerful tugging at his soul to be a sign that he perhaps had only a very short time left to live in the world and that therefore he would do well to make haste.
She recounted to me how his worldly mind and concern for temporal things manifested itself far too often. If the most minor trial came up, his diligence in prayer and what God had wrought in him through His word were both gone then; and, whenever she reminded him not to act thus, he would use all sorts of language, which clearly ran counter to Christianity, about which his eldest son would also remind him. I admonished her to intercede sincerely for her husband and children and to let nothing make her err or become fatigued therein. She could tell how God recently made her experience her prayer when the soldiers from Purysburg wished in every way to persuade her son to go off to war. He had almost been persuaded, but his mother’s prayer and tears had prevented it and her son was now quite happy about it.
I was very highly pleased with the way she dissuaded her husband, through the extensive experience of God’s providence he had had in his homeland and here, from worrying mistrustfully about making a living. The youngest boy had contracted fever in the field and was lying in bed. Because he had wept considerably during my discourse this morning, I asked why. He raised himself up and wept copiously, saying: “Because I am so quarrelsome (contentious) and malicious.” I asked about his current intention, which was, as he had promised Sunday, to convert and become a different child. At that point I directed him especially to pray against his frivolousness and be on guard against everything of a frivolous nature; and, since his heart was becoming softened, to pray all the more zealously to God. He well knew how to distinguish a softened heart from a hard one. His mother also made him realize the cause of God’s making him get sick so often.
Wednesday, the 21st of May. N. is feeling his recent attacks anew and is recognizing the hand of God therein. He came to me with bowed spirits and acknowledged that God had been working powerfully on him and his wife for a considerable time. He related this especially to certain occurrences where he emphatically sensed the power of the word in his soul. He and she deplored with hot tears the fact that he could not get up courage to uncover himself to someone who also feared God, since people also failed to trust him because of his previously vain nature and frequent backsliding and were not inclined to get into any familiar conversation even when coming home from church. He said he had begun to pray with his wife zealously; but his conversion was not proceeding as he wished because he did not wish to cast away his old sins and come right out with his confession.
After he had recently recovered, he said, he thanked God that he had, as it were, returned to this life and treasured time of grace; and he was gladdened when informed that one of us would come out and visit him. However, because people had been with him just at the time of the visit, he had once more held back out of bashfulness.
Last Sunday he came to church and heard, with the necessary reflection and application, the behavior of N. and his wife recounted. Afterwards at Monday’s prayer meeting in my chambers he heard about the noteworthy words of the Savior, Luke 13:2 ff., that some have been punished and at the same time that some have been loved and warned, at which time his conscience got more and more upset until he was finally driven to me today. At this point he commenced sighing and weeping copiously over his ill-spent youth. He began with Salzburg and recounted the disloyalty he had committed even against his own mother, and how in doing it he had taken recourse to the worst kind of lies. He said he had had no desire for any good things and was almost completely unfit even for learning a trade; on the other hand, he soon found himself suited for all kinds of maliciousness. He well recognized that our holy God is exercising great judgment on the extensive grace offered to sinners in our locality, as is clearly to be seen in the aforementioned Lemmenhofer, Stephan Riedelsperger, Rauner, N., Muggitzer, and others.34 It was, he said, an undeserved mercy of God to follow him so closely, etc. I told him various things from the 1st Psalm about what kind of end is met by the godless who remain thus and how it is his and his wife’s obligation to take good heed of the warning in the 1st verse if the weal and good therein are to come over him; for vain, unconverted people have hindered him from carrying out his good intentions, as he himself well saw.
And, when he brought up how many things have intervened and gotten in the way of his banning his sins from his conscience, he said he had to gird and arm himself now, since he wanted honestly to convert to God against even more obstacles to his good intentions, obstacles from Satan’s malice, the world, and his own flesh. Prayer and struggle would have to be his constant weapons, and he especially would have to call on the Lord to lead him, by means of the chastising authority of the Holy Ghost, from his acknowledged outbursts to the right malicious source in his heart, as happened with David in the 51st Psalm. He should not aim at comfort immediately lest he comfort himself too soon and fall once more into self-assurance and frivolousness, which for him (as he recognized) has been one of Satan’s special nets.
Nonetheless I reminded him of the beautiful verse from Psalm 68:19-21, which I had previously impressed carefully upon him and his wife. From that he sees that grace has been obtained even for him and that the verse can be inspiring for him in his serious physical circumstances. As a sign of my love and my good trust that he will apply himself to his soul’s salvation more earnestly, I gave him dear Pastor Schubart’s three sermons that were found in the trunk for Cuddalore and from which I had read only a little today for my own edification. He will tell me what a blessing the Lord presented him from it. In addition to this I reminded him of what I had impressed on several people at yesterday’s evening prayer meeting in preparation for the feast of Holy Pentecost from Acts 1:12-14, to pray more than to read and to incorporate what one hears and reads into a right earnest prayer. For there are many good souls amongst us who err in reading and hearing much and not leaving themselves enough time, as it were, to chew it once more and digest it spiritually and convert it to strength and vigor from which comes more harm than profit.
If God would only grant him something for his physical needs, he would like to disengage himself from the ablatis realiter35 by means of restitution to Christ’s poor members. In this he has good precursors in the congregation, as I could tell him without revealing names, even though he might not make a merit or improvement of the rotten matter; but he well recognizes that this is a main requirement of a true contritition and abhorrence of the sins committed, in which one both drives every malicious intent out of one’s conscience and banishes all ill gained goods from his home. For thus is the true penitence.
Thursday, the 22nd of May. In his letter Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen mentioned a point regarding N. and N., to which he added a quite necessary admonition. This afternoon I talked with one of the men in the matter; and his expressions and entire behavior strengthened me in my opinion of him even more: to wit, he was shaping his salvation earnestly, was humbling himself most deeply before the Lord on account of his frailties and those things not in accord with our Savior’s wholesome instruction and example, and was seeking grace in Christ’s wounds for his justification and improvement and was even working faithfully on his neighbor with the gift received. I did not fail to give him various necessary admonitions, instruction, and consolation according to his heart’s sincerity. May the Lord accompany that with His blessing!
I also visited N. and asked what he and his wife were now doing. They said they were seeking to follow my admonition and were falling to their knees several times every day before God’s countenance and were calling on Him for recognition of their sins and true repentence, etc. I told them a great deal about the spiteful nature of their hearts, which was an abomination before God, and about the uprightness of hearts which was pleasing to Him; and I pointed them to the right foundation. They promised a good deal, and they say they want to attend closer instruction when their field is cultivated. They recounted that their oldest girl had been much better when she was small and had liked to pray more than now. I showed them the cause of that, to wit: the girl was coming to a greater understanding and, when she heard and saw so many disorderly things about her parents, a great deal of vexation and harm would be stirred up thereby. External and oral admonition to prayer and piety would avail nothing; but, if they made a true beginning at improvement and set a good example for the child, they could hope for more blessings.
On the plantation of Mueller, the clock maker, I found N. with his wife, who were working there,36 also N.’s son and N.N.’s wife. All four are beginners at Christianity, for whose edification I said something about the vigorous verse, “God so loved the world,” etc. It had edified me at home in the inexpressibly great, eternal, quite undeserved, real love of God.
Friday, the 23rd of May. In today’s gathering on the plantations we had as a basis for preparing the Holy Feast of Pentecost the three verses 12-14 from Acts 1, of which we have made use all this week according to every circumstance in the evening prayer meetings. May it please the Lord in His wisdom and kindness to lay a blessing on today’s treatment of His word. He has revealed examples of it in the town, in whom the contemplated truths have gained entrance and effected much good.
I called on the N. woman in passing yesterday and brought her the core verse: “For God so loved the world,” etc. I sought to encourage her to a simple, faithful trust in the eternally loving, completely faithful and pious, reconciled God. She said little about it; but, when I had left and was going on my way, she wept copiously. When I visited her and her husband again today, I learned why: she felt woe and unrest in her conscience because, just as I was entering the room, she had begun speaking of external things (which concerned her servant girl’s schooling and learning and were therefore necessary), and thereby neglected something better. The three of us together came upon much edifying material relevant to the foundation of faith and Christianity; and everything I said was directed at showing the good woman the nature of a sincere penitence and simple faith, which does not doubt and speaks directly.
She and her husband gave me the opportunity, she with the example of the sanctuaries of the Old Testament, he with the quotation of the important verses from Romans 4:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:21, to which I added something from Numbers 21 about the brazen serpent, the feeling of the snakebite, and how people ran up and looked at the raised serpent, upon which the Savior looks and remarks, John 3, and also of the sacrifices in the Old Testament.37 If the Israelites could come to the forgiveness of their sins by way of the scanty precepts in the Old Testament and without self-made subterfuge and unnecessary formalities, if they simply complied with the order made by God’s wisdom, so that, for example, they brought their sacrifices in penitent recognition of their sins and recognized the sins on their heads, recognized themselves as worthy of death and damnation, took refuge in faith in the reconciling death of the Lord Messiah and poured out the blood of the animal to this end and applied it to themselves by means of sprinkling it, why then should not we, who live under the bountiful grace of the New Covenant, come soon and without anxious digressions to the certainty and faithful conception of the gracious forgiveness of sins, if only we conform simply to God’s order? We remembered hereby various examples from the New Testament, that of Lydia, of the jailer, of the Samaritan woman, and others, who, setting honestly about their work, soon came into a state of grace. Good souls do not wish to deceive themselves with temporal comforts. Hence they desire much, indeed, more and more contrition, through which they wish first to make themselves capable of faith and the reception of consolation. That is to say, the Scripture, as we learned not long ago from Mark 16:14 (cf. Luke 24:25), certo respectu38 unbelief and hardness of heart, with which the good sweet Savior cannot be satisfied. For hidden behind it are self-will, works without faith, even self-esteem, which one would like to have before one claims grace as one’s own.
Dear N.N. gave me much joy through his prayers, tears, and heartfelt expressions of his great desire to penetrate thoroughly into the righteous essence of Christianity. I have good trust in God that He will make this man into a vessel of His mercy and an instrument of His grace, so that through him his wife and also others (who consider him dear and worthy because of his skill and many natural virtues) will be won and led to Christ. In my chamber, before the administration of Holy Communion, he had let me read and elucidate for him something about the certainty of death, the last judgment, and the eternity of Hell’s torture. It had lain on his mind till now, and he thanked God diligently with tears for not snatching him away in sin, when he had been so near death a short time previously. Although he was quite weak in body and had great pains in his neck, he asked me nonetheless to kneel and pray with him, in which he was very zealous and sincere. I left behind for him the beautiful verse and promise in Isaiah 44:3-5, which I found in the Bible for him.
His wife was in the field, and therefore I could not speak with her. Her husband hopes that by and by she will let her eyes be opened better. He is finding that she is faring as he once did when, to be sure, he heard God’s word but seemed to have no ears and always remained as in a dream, blind and ignorant. Frivolousness, self-assurance, and self-will are all terrible things to him, and sources of much evil.
As I was departing I said something to him of the blessing our faithful high priest, Jesus, when He ascended to heaven, placed on His dear disciples, who had previously been surrounded by all kinds of weakness. By it they were placed in a state to be obedient to the Lord Jesus, resigned to His will, and of good courage in all fearsome and doubtful circumstances, as we have learned so far in the prayer meeting from Acts 1. I said he and his wife would have to seek this blessing with prayer and supplication, which would have to be arranged with proper persistence, constancy, and union of heart, according to the edifying example of the disciples, both men and women (ibid.)
Saturday, the 24th of May. Among the many sweet benefactions we enjoy here in this country while we are getting established under God’s loving care, we rightly count the cellar and the well dug between our two dwellings. It is a cellar and well beneath one roof; and, since water was found soon, it did not cost as much as the well in the orphanage, which is some twenty feet deep.
The old huts we lived in were starting to collapse, so we were able to take the still usable lumber (beams and boards) from them for this closed-in cellar and well. Praise God for the right beautiful soft, pure water we now have in such abundance. May He make us right thirsty and eager for the promised water of life,39 especially since during these days (as has already happened this week) many magnificent things will be told and sung about it to our awakening.
Mr. Oglethorpe has advised people at our locality several times to apply themselves to growing German crops, such as barley, rye, wheat, and oats. We are finding, as has already been noticed, that these same crops, if they are sown timely (to wit, in September), grow and ripen very well and better than in Germany before the great heat comes. Even if the rains in spring fail to come, this does not cause much harm, because the ground gets enough moisture in the winter. One would hardly hear in Germany of a single grain producing thirty to forty stalks and as many full, beautiful ears. Because everything must be sown very thinly and spread out, only very few seeds are needed for sowing. What is stopping the people from cultivating such European crops are the stumps and roots in the earth, because of which they still cannot use a plow, and without a plow those crops cannot be grown. The fields planted for the last four years are becoming almost suitable for it, since the stumps are almost rotted. If God should grant the orphanage any sort of funds, the manager would engage in such crop cultivation first of all, as a good example to others. It can happen for him sooner than for others because old fields are already there and the orphanage has plowing oxen and a plow, even if an unfinished one.
If we could just use a plow, the field work would be easier for the people than it is in Germany, because there are no stones, only loose fine earth. In addition they can work in the fields the entire winter; and, by using plow and harrow, they could control the uncommonly thick and plentiful grass much sooner and easier than if they just used the hoe. If they had wheat and rye, they would plant that much less rice, for in planting the latter they destroy their health and clothes more than in other kinds of field work. They must often stand quite deep in the water or swamp.
Praised be the Lord, who has caused one or another kind of bodily assistance to come to our parishioners. If the little fountains of His kindness should continue, as we hope in faith they will, everything will become easier for the parishioners by and by. By divine grace they will be put in a position to lend a hand to those who come later, when they first settle. Things should hardly be as difficult for them as for those who had to break the ice.
The maintenance and provision of our herdsmen (who till now have consisted of four persons, to wit three men and a woman) have provided our poor congregation with a great physical benefaction. May our faithful God richly reward our benefactors in Europe, who have also contributed something to this end. Most of it probably came from the blessing that was sent to the orphanage, under which divine direction is also set up as a poor house and for the benefit of the congregation. The cost of clothes alone amounts to over 16 ь sterling, besides whatever is required whenever one of our regular herdsmen happens to take sick and we have to engage others.
Sunday and Monday, the 25th and 26th of May, were the Feast of Holy Pentecost. The Lord has let us spend these two holy days in bodily health, with cool weather and much edification of our hearts, for which we rightly bring praise and honor to His praiseworthy name. After the feast we will probably see what our faithful God has accomplished amongst our dear parishioners, through His word (which was indeed purely evangelical) through the grace of the Holy Ghost, although I could see the movement of the spirit in various individuals even during the sermon, in their eyes and faces. Once again on the second holy day my dear colleague held divine services on the plantations, as has taken place every two weeks. God be praised for strengthening us so that, with His aid, we can still attend to our office and profession unhindered. The attacks and weaknesses have always passed quickly, or our faithful and miraculous God has sent us a sharply felt aid to our powers of body and spirit during our work, as I have experienced often, glory be to God.
On Saturday Mr. Holzendorf,40 a brother of the distinguished men of that name in the royal Prussian service, came here to our place from Purysburg, as he said, to attend the divine service. He came into my chamber just when a few people had gathered to prepare themselves with me through God’s word and prayer for the feast of Holy Pentecost. He sang and prayed quite reverently with us; and, during the time of the celebration, he conducted himself publicly and privately in such a way that I hope something of the good which the Lord has given will fall into his heart. With great thanks he accepted from me a beautiful and edifying preparation by the late Professor Francke concerning a text from Romans 8, as well as the three sermons from Pastor Schubart, whom he knew well and whom he had heard as a sometime royal chamberlain.
Tuesday, the 27th of May. Towards evening I rode to N.’s plantation. I was very pleased that the dear Lord had arranged it thus, for I found him lying in bed and learned that as long as he had been living out there he had not been really healthy. His whole demeanor impressed me greatly. He was very resigned and recognized in this God’s kindness, which just intended to purify him. He said men could not help him, only God was his help. I referred him particularly to the seventh chapter of Micah, verse 7, where it says: “But as for me I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Among other things he said that things were not turning out as he had wished and desired. I told him there was good counsel for this, he should turn to Him who said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. Let him take the water of life freely.” With that I said a few other things, and finally we prayed. He wanted me to make a greater effort to come out to him. Still, even if that could not be, he thought I would keep him in mind in my prayers to God.
In the evening prayer meeting I took from the New Testament the verses John 6, vv. 48-58 in order, which are incomparable words. Along with them one could very well cry out from Psalm 36: “How excellent is thy loving kindness, 0 God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house,” etc. May our dear heavenly Father teach us day by day better to recognize the good we have in the Lord Jesus. May He give us grace to accept, appropriate to ourselves, and enjoy that good, so that through this, right strengthened, we may spend our short lifetimes to His glory.
Wednesday, the 28th of May. I learned from some women today how our dear God had sent them a Pentecost blessing. One of them knew how to praise God’s grace and hoped our dear God would take pity on her children also, because He said in Isaiah 44:3: “I will pour water, etc., I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” At the same time she is full of hunger and thirst and would gladly have more and more. The other one said she had often received refreshment during the sermon, but never so especially at this time. She said she had been well assured of the forgiveness of all her sins and that she had especially desired something like that, so that people could correctly say: “A thousand worlds indeed I would give thee, to pay back your faithful love.” Nonetheless, she said, she had readied herself for new conditions of suffering, and she had soon lost her sense of comfort. However, after she had once again become quite powerless, she opened her Bible; and the dear God caused the words from Luke 1, 45 to come into her sight and heart: “And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things that were told her from the Lord.”
Thursday, the 29th of May. Kieffer from Purysburg, who celebrated the holy days with us, told me that Mr. Holzendorff, who was mentioned above under the 26th of May, had told him that his (Kieffer’s) plantation was worth a good deal of money because it lay close to our locality where divine services and good order were kept. He assumed that land was still vacant in the neighborhood on the Carolina side, which he wants to have allocated to himself, presumably for a good purpose.
In Savannah I found the small trunk which our worthy Professor Francke had sent last with twenty-two pieces of linen, medicines, and books to London; but the large trunk had not arrived from Charlestown, because it could not be brought onto the boat on account of its size and weight. The petiaguas and other larger vessels are mostly being used against the Spanish, for carrying people, war supplies, and victuals back and forth. Nonetheless, Col. Stephens’ correspondent in Charlestown has promised to send it to Savannah as soon as possible.
To my great pleasure this Colonel Stephens delivered to me a packet of letters from Europe, whose contents gladdened me greatly, especially because I saw from them that a considerable benefaction had come anew from God’s paternal hand, through beneficent hearts, for our orphanage and congregation. It came just at a time that those Salzburgers who, because of their work on the orphanage, had been painfully awaiting physical assistance and had often asked whether they could not be given something for this and that.
For that reason, in Savannah I wrote out another promissory note for 44 ь in order to pay some debts here and in Savannah; and, along with the manager (who gladly does his utmost), I will try to manage as far as possible with what remains. We are very much obliged especially for what has been presented to us and our helpmeets by some unknown benefactors, as Senior Urlsperger and Professor Francke report, and we ask the dear Lord to repay a thousandfold, both here and in heaven, this and other gifts of money and material. To be sure, this time I will not apply any of this considerable gift towards the cost of my house, although it was included, because the orphanage is in much more dire need. At the storehouse in Savannah, however, where I am most deeply in debt, they will give me additional credit until the Lord causes His blessing to be felt here too. I have heard nothing from the Lord Trustees regarding my request about the house. Secretary Newman writes that, because of the war, there was no hope of the Trustees’ resolving on a new transport at this time. They have enough expenses, and these would also likely keep them from making any contribution to my house at this time.
While journeying down to Savannah I had spoken to a Salzburger sitting in front of me about the solicitude of God, which I had experienced during the building of my house, to the great strengthening of my faith, and which cheered me greatly in the face of the expenses that were amounting to more than anyone thought or expected. On our way back I read to the Salzburger, to our mutual joy, the words from the Professor’s letter: “The construction of a dwelling was necessary indeed, in your circumstances, etc. In building, costs always run higher than people estimate they will. But it is good to build when people can rely on divine providence, for He will provide everything that is lacking, although betimes He may test our faith in such circumstances.” Thereupon the Salzburger said with a smile: “The dear professor is doubtless writing from experience.” He explained to me from his own meager experience what the Lord’s blessing did, and how much He made out of little. He said: “Two years ago I was sick for a long time and harvested practically nothing. Last year God gave me so much nourishment from the little work I did and from the farming I did so poorly that I still have enough. If I figure the value of the harvest altogether, the work I did each day was worth maybe four pence. A person with a wife and two children cannot live from that, yet we are all living contentedly and this by means of God’s blessing.”
Friday, the 30th of May. Last night we had a severe thunderstorm, and with it came a rain squall which rushed by. Wednesday afternoon on my return trip from Savannah it rained violently for some hours, and here in Ebenezer hardly a drop of rain has fallen. Our soil is very parched and thirsty for rain; the things in the garden are almost withering.
The N. woman41 has been tanning for some time and seems to understand that craft quite well. Since she is poor and also God-fearing, one gladly lends her a hand as best one can; it is bestowed well on her, a poor and at the same time pious widow. She is asking me to help her get a kettle, it can be old, as long as it is whole, likewise an iron scraper and four blades for the plane. Such tools are not to be had here in this country, hence I wanted to incorporate it into this diary to see whether the dear Lord might provide something of the kind elsewhere, especially in London.
Saturday, the 31st of May. This afternoon at two o’clock the people on the plantations were summoned so that the beautiful gift of linen we received from Halle could be distributed to them and to those in the town. We prepared ourselves for this purpose in yesterday’s prayer meeting through prayer and God’s word, when something from the sermon on the second day of Pentecost concerning the glorious text, “God so loved the world,” etc. was repeated and it was demonstrated that the greatest ingratitude towards the greatest benefaction of God, which was the actual subject then being treated, consists of loving darkness more than the light -- by darkness is meant not just coarse sins but everything that is not of Christ and His grace, such as worrying about one’s belly and earthly things.
If anyone receives the eternal, fervent, and undeserved love of God into his heart and, as a sinner striving for grace, accepts this priceless gift of love, the Son of God himself, and therefore has experienced this verse, he will also believe: “how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” and not grieve over trials and wants, but consider it love, because it comes from God, who is love itself. However, if anyone does not acknowledge this priceless present, but rather thrusts it away from himself through lack of faith and concerns of the flesh, he is also unworthy of physical gifts. If God should nonetheless give them, he should let them awaken him to penitence and a change of attitude, from now on no longer to love the darkness but only the light, etc. During the application, we purposely spoke with adults and children according to their circumstances about the linen which we had already received and were still expecting.
Today we first sang the hymn Man lobt dich in der Stille, etc. Thereupon I pointed out that the story from 1 Samuel 25 we were then contemplating was very impressive and inspiring to me in the circumstances in which we had been and still are, as has been the case with several stories in which we have found an agreeable parallel to God’s path. David had traveled into the wilderness of Paran, outside Canaan’s borders and toward the south, where his forbears had experienced many trials and also the Lord’s assistance. This was not from willfulness but rather (as we have already noticed) according to the recognized will of God; for else he would have chosen a more convenient spot. Since he had suffered much want here (it could not be otherwise in the wilderness, with so many people), he no doubt made good use (as we know from the Psalms) of the story of the ancient Jewish people with regard to their trials, evil behavior, chastisement, and the help they got from the Lord, for his own instruction, the strengthening of his faith, and his comfort. It is also God’s purpose here in our own wilderness, into which we have been led according to God’s will (and of this there can indeed be not the least doubt), for us to make use of the stories of the olden times in every way.
David was in such great need that (although he was an anointed king and prominent man) he had to send his young men to appeal to Nabal for nourishment. This, however, was surely no sign of divine disfavor, as he himself recognized: “I have not seen the righteous forsaken, even if he or his seed (according to the Hebrew) go begging for bread.” However, Nabal, to whom David had sent the most amicable and humble words, received David’s young men quite rudely, not only giving them nothing but also adding coarse words. This was a new trial for David, who would have stumbled in error if the Lord had not held His hand over him. Nonetheless, in the end, what the Lord granted him had to befall him, although not from the unfriendly Nabal but rather from the friendly Abigail. God indeed will not let us get into such dire circumstances that we have to seek our bread at other people’s doors. Rather, as he knows our congregation’s poverty and the want which breaks out here and there (as is wont to happen in the wilderness), He always awakens good people who, quite unasked, will cause their bits of bread to float across the water.42 If it is not men, then it is women whose hearts are moved to this end; if not adults, then children, as we learn from the edifying reports in letters.
Even when we have informed our benefactors of our congregation’s need and have requested aid, we have received no hard answers but rather very friendly, heart-strengthening, and comforting letters, and indeed even more gifts than one could desire or expect. And even if, when our need was known, someone should have no desire to send us any of his wealth but should answer rudely in letters and malign us, perhaps asking (as happened to dear David): “Why didn’t you stay in this country, why did you throw away your service and good opportunities?” -- that person should remember that, long before it happened to us, it had also happened thus to the Lord’s servant, who was indeed wandering in God’s path, and that such speech is not wise but the foolish talk of Nabal, etc.
Moreover, just as David glorified the Lord with a beautiful song for each and every benefaction, it is also our duty to praise God for all help we experience and to pray for our dear benefactors. Next I read aloud from the very refreshing letters our worthy Professor Francke had written to both of us, in which there were so many beautiful things for the inspiration of the congregation and the comfort of those carrying crosses, and especially for the timid; and I also recalled this and that for further reflection. We finally fell upon our knees, prayed to the Lord, the Giver of all good gifts, and praised Him for all the kindness and benefactions He has shown us and our benefactors; and we prayed that they might continue to have the blessing of the Lord as a rich reward. We have been able to cut fifty-two complete shirts from the twenty-two pieces of very good linen. From that every family got a shirt, and a reason for joy and the praise of God.
Sunday, the 1st of June. Yesterday towards evening a man called at my house and recounted how much goodness our miraculous God had done him through His word during the distribution. He told me how good things are for him in view of his former way of life; and he said that, in his poverty, he is living quite from God’s hand as if his needs were fulfilled crumb by crumb every day. He cited many special examples of divine providence he felt from day to day, to his joy and to the strengthening of his faith. This reminded me of a righteous woman in Germany who, in her great poverty and extreme distress, determined to live only from the hand of her heavenly Father. She would rather reject every advantage contrary to her faith and not to the furtherance of her Christianity; and she and her family lived in penury, but she paid careful heed to God’s footsteps, which were often miraculous.
This man told me about a simple but nonetheless heartily pious Salzburg woman amongst us who, when he went to her husband’s hut on external business, had asked him to say a prayer. He said it, but was shamed by her powerful prayer and fervent praise of God. She could not read, had been under the Pope for a long time, and had come to the gospel only a few years previously, yet she had progressed further in the recognition of her Savior, His paths, and His benefactions than he, who had lived with the gospel from childhood.
A Salzburger was deeply impressed by the words of the Savior: “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God,” and by what was said as a warning in the example of the scribe in Mark 12 on the occasion of today’s gospel and John 3:1 ff. He was impressed, he said, because this exactly reproduced his former condition. May God help him break through and come to a righteous state. He has been dragging himself around with good motives and intentions for a long time. I had him especially in mind during the sermon, which was on the correct way to penetrate the kingdom of God, because I knew he has been getting along for some years with good resolutions and has probably said that conversion to God must have taken its proper time, and cannot happen so quickly. Hence I was pleased that the arrow of God’s love had touched his conscience. He recalled the recently heard words of Saul: “Thou art more righteous than I.” He had pondered them too little aforetimes, he said, and he found that many recognize their sins in this way and only exculpate themselves, especially when they compare themselves with others who have either more evil or less good about themselves than they.
Monday, the 2nd of June. This morning my dear colleague traveled to Savannah. A fruitful rain fell yesterday and is still continuing today, and because of it the journey will doubtless be made difficult; nonetheless we thank God for sending our dried-out earth and fields such a physical blessing. Our journeys are not as difficult and dangerous as what dear Pastor Weise in Astrachan described about himself in his diary, which came to us last time amongst many other edifying things. What a pleasure it is for me to hear out of distant lands once again from this honest friend of mine, from whose zealous sermons, edifying catechising, and righteous life I often edified myself in Halle. This afternoon at my home prayer meeting I told the dear assembled people one and another point from this diary and read aloud Pastor Weise’s most inspiring letter to Professor Francke, along with some observations -- all of which gave us matter for the praise of God and for a humble intercession for his important, very burdensome office.
Before noon, Andreas Grimmiger was married to Anna Maria (the widow Bischoff), who has served in my house for about eight months, and who was to be midwife to the congregation. The verse from Genesis 17: “I am the Almighty God; walk before me,” which my dear colleague had used as an exordium yesterday afternoon was presented to the hearts of the married couple as well as of their friends for their instruction and (if they follow it) for their comfort.
Because these valuable words are set before the covenant of grace which God made with Abraham and all his descendants (Ch. 17), I remembered the words of the covenant in Exodus 20:2-3, “I am the Lord, they God, thou shalt have,” etc. These two verses, in my opinion, harmonize very well, clarify one another, and have been very impressive to me. After their meal this newly married couple came to our prayer meeting, where the Lord’s blessing was requested for them. The N.N. woman is now beginning, as she said, to recognize that I had the good of her soul in mind and thanked me for the requisite earnestness which I had demonstrated towards her, but with great patience. God grant that she take notice of what was said to her from yesterday’s gospel concerning the one and only way into the kingdom of God. Whoever does not resolve from his heart to be born again, must be willing to be eternally damned; because God will not retreat from His holy order, confirmed with the seal of His truth: “Truly, truly, I say,” etc. The whole world would have to be damned before God would stop and do anything contrary to His holiness and truth.
Tuesday, the 3rd of June. Hernberger and his wife live alone by themselves but cheerfully. They are often sickly and hence cannot keep up their tailoring as industriously as they would like, nonetheless they are quite content. Nor do they lack the necessities of life, for he is the only tailor in Ebenezer and does good work and at the same time takes quite Christian and moderate pay for his work; so he and she are always busy and receive cash. He has a brother living in Hungary not far from Temeswar. Because he hears that war and pestilence hold sway there, he is worried about him. He could not convince him of the truth when he was with him, albeit he recognized pilgrimages and a few other things as being worthless.
A few years ago our inhabitants bought some young plum trees from Purysburg, which are already bearing fruit this spring. The fruit is quite round, red, and no larger than a type of apricot called, if I remember, Morello. The taste is delightful and sweet; and, as it is said, they are not unhealthy. They are growing quite copiously. The tree itself multiplies like thorns and weeds. From a single sapling the roots, which strike out in all directions, run throughout the entire garden, so that in two years a large area will be nothing but young plum trees, if they are not continually cut out, along with their roots. People call them “Cherokee plums,” because, supposedly, they are found amongst the Cherokee Indians. One can make living hedges and enclosures of them, as in time will surely happen.
Wednesday, the 4th of June. News has come from Savannah that Mr. Oglethorpe has taken another small fortress with a garrison of fifty men from the Spaniards without losing one of his own men. The soldiers were made prisoners of war. Gabriel Bach, who left us for the Ogeechee and took up military service, was attacked by Spanish Indians, shot, beheaded,1 and almost completely skinned. Because he was bold and knew well how to get around in the woods, Mr. Oglethorpe regretted losing him. His head is supposed to have been recaptured from the Indians and brought to Mr. Oglethorpe, who had it sent in a box to the commandant in St. Augustine and let him know that he and his people would fare no better because of that atrocity.
This Bach is one who came from Memmingen with the second transport and always kept company with disorderly people rather than keep good order with the congregation. How we finally proceeded with him and that woman2 he married against all our protestations before leaving us has been entered into the diary from time to time in detail. He always sinned heavily against our ministerial office and the dear means of salvation (not to mention other really base things) and never let himself be warned; and now the Lord is showing the truth of Psalm 7: “God is a righteous judge, and a God who threatens every day. If one does not repent, He has,” etc. Oh, if only all sinners would take heed and return with the Prodigal Son!
I again had a very sad hour today with the N. woman. I am really quite sorry for her; and, since she is walking along the abyss, I would like to help her to be saved, but she cannot stand for anyone not to let her pass as a true Christian. She was so exasperated today that she used quite coarse talk and unfounded reproaches, refused me her cottage and any further consolation, and looked on my admonitions and intercessions as quite unneeded. I would gladly bear all coarse accusations that are based on anger and malice if only I could see the way to reach her heart with the word so that she would still be saved; for we are sorry for her so dearly redeemed soul. The best thing will be for people to pray for her all the more earnestly, although she does not want it, but rather (as she said) can pray for herself. She has not come into any church for a long time.
Shortly before the prayer meeting Mr. Holzendorff was with me and requested six small glasses of Schauer Balm3 from the orphanage for the preacher in Purysburg. He stayed at the prayer meeting and received much good from the first verse of Chapter 1 of 1 Samuel (which may the Lord bless in him and all who were present)! He and the surveyor are really seeking out land in Carolina not far from us on the Savannah River, because he would like to live nearer us for his children’s sake. We would wish for all men to be helped and would come to the recognition of the truth!
Thursday, the 5th of June. Today before noon I visited N. and his wife, who were very happy with my visit and encouragement. He complained extensively about frivolousness and a hard heart, etc., and wept for getting so deep into sin. He again revealed to me a certain kind of suspicious thought and faultfinding words, which were causing him a good deal of unease and discomfort now that he saw things otherwise. On Sunday in the last devotional hour on the plantations the dear Lord gave his heart much new refreshment, which is very profitable for him in the course and struggle he has undertaken.
I found N.’s wife working in the fields while her husband was helping N. build a hut. She told me that God had struck her husband’s conscience by means of a violent, quickly passing fever and had shown him his perdition so that she had good hopes that he would finally turn to Jesus from his self-made righteousness and natural virtues. I told her what mercy God was showing N. and his wife, and I expressed the wish that they might become acquainted for the furtherance of their own good, especially since their plantations did not really lie far from one another. The above-mentioned people are still quite bashful, hence it is necessary for others who have gained some strength to work with them.
Two women from the plantations visited me, and since I had just received a short letter sent by an English trader, who was asking for our intercession, I read it to them. He was complaining that he lacked faith, love of God and His children, humility, and everything except sin and disbelief, of which he was entirely full and which were continuing to spread. He said, however, that he was seeking grace in Christ. These humble expressions were very impressive to me and these women gave us an opportunity for an edifying conversation.
Mr. Holzendorff wrote a short letter to me by way of the surveyor and requested another six glasses of Schauer’s Balm, and for himself he asked our intercession. He finally came out of the woods (where he intends to seek out land for himself) directly to me, because the surveyor had held him up too long, as is his way. All the land across from us in Carolina has been surveyed and belongs to a rich London merchant, Mr. Simonds, whose agents here are Mrs. Montaigut4 and Mr. Beaswin,5 a Frenchman. He advanced a great deal to the late Mr. Purry for transporting his people to Purysburg, and because of this he has a large share of Purysburg. Mr. Holzendorff and the surveyor have now discovered a great deal of confusion: to wit, the Purysburg preacher,6 the oft-mentioned Kieffer, and the shoemaker Reck had a large quantity of land in our neighborhood surveyed for themselves, land in fact on the property of the already-mentioned Mr. Simonds or Beawsin.
Although Kieffer has done much work on his land, and a Frenchman on Reck’s, it is now all for nothing, since the land cannot go to them. This surveyor, who called on me with Mr. Holzendorff, measured off the land for them on their own responsibility, because he did not know whether it was vacant or had already been surveyed by the deceased surveyor for someone else. He had not had time to follow up the lines and blazed trees, nor did he have any hope of getting paid. Such confusion to the detriment of the poor common people in Purysburg will become more glaring by and by. Rich people from England and Charlestown have many thousands of acres of land in the Purysburg region; and, because they pay the surveyors better than others do and can cater to their interests, they have taken the best part away and others have to take what they do not want. I do not see how the County of Purysburg can be settled with people if the present arrangement stays the same.
Rich people have the most land, and even the poor and humble ones who either have left or are still here have taken up as much as there are members of their families. For example, many a man with children, brothers, and sisters, and white and black servants takes up fifty acres for each individual, even for a one-day old child; and this remains theirs even if they lose their servants, children, etc. through death or otherwise. When others come afterwards, they have to buy the land; but they will hardly do this, since enough land is to be had free in the province.
Friday, the 6th of June. Secretary Newman has given us the report, in the name of the praiseworthy Society, that not only schoolmaster Ortmann’s wife but also all the women are to be heirs to the land which belonged to their husbands.7 And therefore we have been vouchsafed our wish on this point; and I have not been put to shame in my good hope that was based on the entirely disinterested paternal care and love of the Trustees for the inhabitants of this colony. Whenever our people had heard questionable things from our neighbors, I had comforted them and directed them to the heart-guiding grace and power of the Lord, who has done well by us from the very beginning.
Saturday, the 7th of June. I wanted to visit a few families towards the Savannah River; but something, I do not know what, moved me to turn to N.’s cottage first; but I later recognized quite well that the Lord had arranged it thus. The husband was on a plantation, so I found the wife alone. She told me many invigorating things about the grace of God she had sensed in her soul only yesterday, in a quite inexpressible way during prayer. She had already had such an extraordinary assurance of the grace and love of the heavenly Father several times, but the feeling did not last long. Because she was conscious of much unfaithfulness in herself, she had become quite uneasy and had let her courage fall. I sought to represent for her God’s loving heart in the best possible manner and to assure her from God’s word that He does not withdraw His grace from His children on account of faithlessness, rashness, and weakness. Rather, I said, He lets them recognize such errors for the very purpose that they hurry all the faster to the free and open well against sin and uncleanliness and wash themselves clean very often. I said, however, that it would be very displeasing to the dear heavenly Father if they wished to remain with their frailties and errors, become anxious about them, and then assiduously try to repair the damage first and only then to grasp a new trust in Christ and His merited reconciliation. That would basically be no different, I said, from wishing to win God’s grace and favor through good works.
Evangelical obedience goes first, I said, and obedience according to the law follows. The former consists of the poor penitent sinner’s hurrying, with all his wounds of sin and his bad conscience, to the saving blood of Christ (as did the bitten and wounded Israelites to the brazen serpent) and causing himself to be saved, for such is Christ’s will: “Come unto me all ye who are,” etc., likewise, “They that are whole need not a physician,” etc., “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence,” etc. If anyone becomes so obedient, he will receive the strength into his heart to become more and more faithful to Jesus. She marveled at God’s forebearance and kindness, she said, since she was worth no benefaction at all. Then she remembered what had caused her great trouble throughout the Feast of Pentecost and would have caused even more, if she had not been openly frank. I then showed what thoughts of tranquility God had had for her; since He let her recognize her errors so clearly. Since she had sensed so much pain from it, it was His purpose to preserve her spirit all the more from frivolity and from the pursuit of the world.
In N.’s8 cottage I was very pleased, and the wife was especially moved during the reading, conversation, and prayer, so that at my departure she was unable to speak for weeping. They are getting on quite well, and I especially noted that Bach’s sad case had made a strong impression on the husband. Bach dwelt with him the last time he was here and may have been rather frivolous again. Because N. likes reading, I promised to lend him the Second Continuation of the reports from Ebenezer, which makes several mentions of the edifying death of the late Adam Riedelsperger, whose widow is the N. woman. These contain our diaries, which we submitted from time to time in 1736 and which were delivered for printing by the worthy Senior Urlsperger in such a way that not the slightest scandal or misunderstanding is to be feared.9 May God let everything redound to His glory and the edification of the reader! When I read through those diaries I think of the morning text for our feast of commemoration and thanksgiving: “He shall deliver thee in six troubles,” etc. The year 1736 was a year of much affliction but also of much help and grace from the Lord for the congregation; and He showed Himself to us as a faithful and exceedingly gracious God, in that He let things get gradually better for us and never let us be tempted beyond our capacity. The pious among us would not wish to have missed the tribulations that our wise and loyal God ordained for us then. I am only ashamed at my great lack of understanding and imprudent actions, of which I have often been reminded when reading the diary. The Lord forgive me for the sake of Jesus, my and our Reconciler.
Sunday, the 8th of June. Today we again separated (as we have always done since Easter) so that one of us preached the Lord’s word in town and the other on the plantations. Towards evening we are together again and hold a prayer meeting, as is done at Professor Francke’s house on holy days, during which a few of the newly learned songs are sung between the prayers. Because the people on the plantations have regular public services every two weeks (as here in town), and prayer or devotional hours twice a week, and because in addition we visit them as often as possible in their homes, we need no further division of our office, whereby one of us would move out to them entirely. This would take place only with great difficulty for the congregation, who would have to build a new parsonage, and would also cause us great difficulty and harm, not to mention that by and by a lessening of the Salzburgers’ good harmony would be felt if they were to form two congregations. At this time there are only three children out there who can be sent to school; if more should be added, we can make arrangements for them. If the parents desire it, they can have them cared for in the orphanage; and we would leave it up to them whether or not they wished to show their gratitude by doing some work for it.
Monday, the 9th of June. I visited Sanftleben, who by day stays at the Arnsdorff woman’s cottage with her children and does them as much good as he can in their bodily and spiritual needs. He has a long-lasting infirmity in his legs, which he has not yet been able to cure with the medicaments he has been using. Otherwise he is a very industrious worker, and he is very sorry that he cannot pursue his profession now that the greatest and, because of the heat, the most difficult work is going on in the fields. Nonetheless, his spirit is quite calm and well composed in the matter. With him and the Arnsdorff woman, in the presence of the children, I had many good conversations, especially about the sermon from yesterday’s gospel, Luke 16:19 ff., wherein I showed what it means “to be lost,” in the example of the unhappy rich man, and what it means to “attain eternal life,” in the example of the poor Lazarus.
From here I came to N.’s plantation, where once again I received from him and her much matter for friendly and edifying conversation. She showed me a verse from John 7:14 ff. in which she had found the blessed state of those consummate righteous ones who have passed into the kingdom of God through great affliction. This passage has been constantly joyous and impressive for her, as often as she has read or heard it, because it was consecrated in her heart already in Old Ebenezer. In this regard we talked about the real tribulations of Christians, which are not the visible ones, but rather the daily struggle against the Old Adam and his especial lusts, which must be crucified. With that we came to other passages such as 1 John 2:15 ff., and Philippians 3:7 ff. which may the Lord bless in both of them. God has mightily inspired the man to seek his salvation earnestly but he will not reject the cares of the world and of nourishment. He easily lets himself be led astray, in his new inspiration and good resolutions, by temporal things; and hence he has never been able to come to a proper firmness of heart in God’s grace.
Tuesday, the 10th of June. Peter Gruber belongs to the first transport; and with his compatriots he put up with a great deal in the beginning and always showed himself undiscouraged and patient in all the great difficulties of the time. The Lord has given him grace, especially since he took the late Moshammer’s widow to wife, gradually to recognize his lack of a living recognition of the Savior. Amidst prayer and supplication and with diligent listening to and repetition of the divine word, he has honestly turned to God and Christ as a result of his pious wife’s Christian exhortation. He is now in truth a child in Christ’s love, and makes it his business to attain a proper disciple’s power and manly strength in Christ.
Although he deserved to be provided with a good and comfortably situated plantation like the remaining Salzburgers, especially since he belonged to the first transport which were first in hardships and should therefore be first in comforts, it has nonetheless pleased the Lord (doubtless for his testing, and hence for his salvation) to allow him to receive a plantation with good land but no neighbors. Because of this, and because it does not lie on either Abercorn Creek or the Savannah River, he has at least ten times the difficulties of the others. This can easily be seen if one is off in the woods by himself, has to build the fence around the field by himself, must endure the shadow of adjacent plantations’ trees, and must sacrifice his pigs, calves, and poultry to the wild animals because all around there is nothing but woods, where no people live.
With our permission he has been considering exchanging this plantation for one on Abercorn Creek, but it has always failed to come to pass. Because he would like to live near town and always be near us since neither he nor his wife can read but are zealously concerned for their salvation, he decided last winter to keep this plantation, the one which fell to him by lot through the heavenly Father, trusting God to stand by him. Zant, however, is not used to field work and hard circumstances, so he dropped this work and has gone off to war so that this Peter Gruber is alone again.
At this time our miraculous God is ordaining for us two to have to seek out two plantations, since the settled plantations in our locality are to be written up and sent to the Trustees, with the names of the occupants, by a pious merchant10 in Savannah. Since everything else that is even fairly good is possessed by the inhabitants of our locality, only two plantations remain next to this dear Peter Gruber, and they are right good for our purposes and situated quite well. Therefore we are recognizing them in God’s name for our own, and we will afford all possible assistance to our dear neighbor, who, through our wives, is our brother-in-law.11 This man and his wife are indeed gladdened over this unexpected matter, and they look on it as new testimony of the divine providence ruling over them.
To be sure, we are not really planning to farm; yet if the Lord grants us a physical blessing of money or we can save something from our salary, then we will let the poor and diligent workers in the congregation earn something if they help Gruber build fences, cut trees, etc. For this he will leave something from the additional crop in the new field for us to use in our housekeeping. Or if we can get a faithful servant from the congregation, this Gruber would become our manager on these plantations. We would provide him and his family with all their needs during his well and sick days; and we would have as much claim as he to what God lets grow in the field and also to cattle. Thus he and his family would be well provided for; and we would have the pleasure of investing well what God throws to us.
These plantations lie practically in the middle of the land belonging to Ebenezer. From them it is a short half-hour to the city and no farther to the plantations on Abercorn Creek. If we should have a cottage built here, we would not only have a little place to which we could repair for rest and quiet on Sundays, when public services are held out there, and then return again for the afternoon service. Also we could be visited by pious people who would like to talk with us at an appointed time for the sake of good exercises, not to mention that it is sometimes necessary to go out for recreation and exercise with one’s family. It would be easier if one had his own little place to rest up and get some quiet.
To be sure, our two plantations really have little land for planting corn, but there is therefore that much more pasture for cattle; and, since two small streams flow through both plantations, there is never any lack of water here. In addition there is the most beautiful timber in great profusion here, which Gruber would lack if the three plantations were not combined in this way and seen as one. His good crop bearing land will complement ours; and ours, suited for cattle raising and provided with timber, will complement his. May God further cause us to want and choose what is pleasing to Him and what is useful to our neighbor in this matter, and also what is appropriate to the aims of our ministerial office. Everyone who wishes Gruber good is gladdened by our intent and by the easing of the burden he will gain thereby.
Wednesday, the 11th of June. We have had, to be sure, less rain this spring and early summer than last year; yet the dear Lord has always given as much as is needed, so that the crops are standing handsomely everywhere, notwithstanding the long absence of rain. Some people have cleared and planted some of the land on the actual island in Abercorn Creek, where the corn is growing more beautifully than on any spot in our fields, from which the people what an especially material benefaction they have received in this land on Abercorn Creek. It can be as dry and arid as may be, nonetheless this land always retains enough moisture;12 and even when it rains a lot, the rain water can be led into the ditches situated around and into the river itself. They do not even have to improve it with manure or leave it lying fallow after a few years, because it is flooded for a short time, if not every year, at least sometimes in the fall and spring, and hence richly fertilized by the Savannah River, since the Savannah River carries a lot of silt and fertility with it.
This year the Salzburgers have had to clear the trees and bushes from the good high land lying near their cottages along Abercorn Creek. In the coming year, God willing, they will advance across the river to the above-mentioned island; and therefore they will all experience what till now only a few men have enjoyed from the especial fertility of the soil. Just about everything they sow should grow there. Especially the flax should come up much better on this low ground than on the high.
Whenever we consider the miraculous paths on which God leads us, we must marvel at his wisdom and kindness, and indeed we must never forget to give humble and hearty thanks to His holy name for all His good guidance in Old Ebenezer. It is too bad that the deer are becoming more numerous and are doing greater harm than heretofore. They eat the beans almost right up to the cottages and cause a good deal of harm to the sweet potato leaves. Our people do not have the time to lie in wait for them at night or go after them in the daytime, albeit at times while they are working they shoot a deer. There have been no Indians in our area for a long time. If we could just get one family at our place who would deport themselves properly, we would provide them with everything if they would just shoot the deer and other harmful beasts.
I found Michael Rieser’s and Simon Steiner’s wives in the Landfelder woman’s cottage, where I spoke with each of them about worldly feelings and cares about nourishment, which are clear signs of eternal damnation and still unaltered hearts. The N. woman13 came up, and I told her the same thing and asked her to take earnest care of her soul so that she may still be saved like a brand plucked from the fire. I pointed out she was walking along the abyss; and therefore I wished she would soon be saved from her blindness and love of sin and world and would be transplaced into a state of grace as a child of God. I said I was sorry she had forbidden me her cottage and also that she never came to church, whereby she was doing herself the greatest harm. In the meantime I would not be prevented from praying for her, even if she did not wish it. She remained a source of astonishment to the women gathered there, in that she said she did not need my own and others’ prayers as long as she could pray herself. And she had no intention of going to church, nor could she, she said, because I did not want to grant her Holy Communion. She cared nothing about anything, she said, because she knew better that she was going to heaven, because Christ had died for her and she believed in Him. She again used many impudent words, but saw no sin in that. I again read to her from James 1:26, “If any man bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his heart,” etc., and also from Matthew 12:37, “by thy words thou shalt be condemned,” etc. But she would not be convinced by anything.
A few hours later I spoke especially with the N. woman 14 and admonished her neither to deport herself like the N. woman nor give her any encouragement in her blasphemies, indiscreet remarks about her fellow man, false comfort, and empty hopes of salvation, otherwise she would be a party to alien sins15 and would be helping N. strengthen her blindness and malice. Rather, I said, she should experience for herself the valued and important effect of new birth and true change of heart, without which there is no hope of salvation. In that way she would be able to work profitably with her fellow man and her neighbor, to wit, the N. woman.
I now have four girls and two boys in preparation for Holy Communion, and I hope from my heart that the intended goal may be reached in them all. This time I am placing the psalms of David along with Luther’s catechisms as the basis for the admonishments I give to these children two hours a week. The psalms give me an opportunity to repeat the basic truth of Christian doctrine as it is brought home to them on other occasions. What I am really looking to do, however, is to bring them to a true conversion and to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ with the help of His spirit.
As I was taking a stroll through the tall stalks of corn, I found a girl who had come to the lesson for the first time today. She was on her knees, and her eyes and heart were raised to heaven. She surely had not seen me, much less been able to guess that I would come into this place in the field, which is most unusual for me. This sight brought my heart great joy, especially because I could see the good fruit of the admonitions I had given today, which, especially at the beginning of the lesson, aimed at teaching them to compose their hearts amidst sighs and prayers and to bring an eager soul along to God’s word, and thereafter throughout the day to ponder the expounded word of God heartily and also to find a little spot to pray to God concerning these things; then the preparation would achieve its desired effect. In this regard I catechized and applied the weighty expressions of the fifth psalm.
Thursday, the 12th of June. The N. woman is often full of astonishment at God’s inexpressible love, the fact that He sent His son to us sinners, and that He indeed has mercy on her. Her desire is for greater and greater hunger and thirst for His grace, which God is also giving to her to her great joy. In the afternoon after school I was planning to go out to visit one or two of the plantations, but I turned back because I thought I would be able to accomplish little in that short time. Therefore I visited Rottenberger and his wife in town and read them the passage from Isaiah 30:18, “Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you.” The husband liked this especially and caused me much pleasure. He also tried to present God’s love to his wife and to arouse her to accept with proper seriousness the grace which had been offered her once more. May the Lord bless their efforts!
Saturday, the 14th of June. A Christian donor gave me a 200 lb. barrel of flour, a barrel of biscuits or ship’s bread, a keg of butter, and a pound of tea and four coarse hats for our orphan house. May God richly compensate those gifts! I have posted the letters Pastor Riesch sent for forwarding to Philadelphia, but have received no written answer, just the assurance that they were correctly forwarded. They are addressed to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church society there, and concern a certain inheritance. I have not heard, however, that there is anything of that kind there; and therefore I do not know whether anything will be received from that inheritance. I am still keeping the copies of the letters here; and I intend to address them to Mr. Zwiffler, who is still there. I hope he will take the trouble, if possible, to get all or part of what is wanted.
Mr. Zwiffler has written me about the bad state of affairs in Pennsylvania, especially about the lack of righteous preachers. Nonetheless he has resolved to remain there until the end of his life, for he perceives that his medical practice is growing. He reports of Stephan Riedelsperger, who left our colony at this place some years ago, that he (namely, Riedelsperger) once wrote to him but had not indicated his place of residence or the date. However, Zwiffler concluded that he was living with his wife a hundred miles from Philadelphia. He did not indicate how he was faring. A German widow16 who moved there from Purysburg writes a note to me and Kieffer in Purysburg to say that she and her three orphans are having their troubles in Germantown (a city near Philadelphia, where for the most part Germans live). Nonetheless, she has bread, water, and healthy air. She has a house in Purysburg and would like to sell it, because she needs the money very badly.
Sunday, the 15th of June. Praise to God, who vouchsafes us not only to treat His holy word to the great edification of our own souls, but also to celebrate the Lord’s Holy Communion, which we held today with forty-five people. Amongst them were Kieffer’s family from Purysburg and the older Zuebli, who has been staying for some months with his brother at his plantation above Purysburg.17 Two families from Purysburg have asked if we would take their children into the school and board them in the orphanage. We will be happy to serve their wishes if they will only bear the costs of their maintenance. These children’s parents have the means to care for their own, hence they should burden the orphanage that much less.
Monday, the 16th of June. We are having a great deal of trouble with Ruprecht Zittrauer and his wife to rescue them from their extreme ignorance, but we are not succeeding as we wish. They cannot read and think they have no natural ability or time for it; and I am astounded that they have not learned even the most well-known little prayers. Eischberger is their neighbor; I visited his plantation today and summoned Ruprecht Zittrauer. He promised to come to this cottage every day with his wife and have Eischberger read him and her some short passages, prayers, and the words of the catechism for as long as it takes to get them firmly in their minds. In order for Eischberger to learn how to teach them to memorize their lessons simply, I myself undertook something with Zittrauer from the catechism and a short passage from the last sermon. I pronounced each single line for him until he comprehended it; and when he could also do the second and third, I would then always repeat the first. At this the man’s courage has grown to the point that he is diligently applying himself to learn such necessary pieces, as he sees it is not impossible to learn something by and by.
I also told him, using the Eischberger woman and others as examples, how very profitable it would be on Sundays or at other times when God’s word was being preached if, on his way home from church with his companions, he would carefully repeat what he has heard, would have others explain the texts or some points from the lecture, and would heartily pray with his wife before and after the sermon. Because other very simple folk amongst us have done likewise, I said, they have, with divine blessing, come to such salutary awareness that I am often edified by them and their conversation. Eischberger practices the catechism diligently with his wife and follows the directions I have given him. He is much edified by the awareness of the schoolchildren when they are examined; and he remembers, in a way that impresses me greatly, the good that God has effected in his soul whenever the children make their confession of faith before the whole congregation and are publicly confirmed. Among other things, he used the following expression: he said he wished to be young and a child again for no other reason than that he might be instructed from God’s word for his salvation the same as our children are and might be prepared for Holy Communion, etc., etc.
Mr.18 Schmidt has planted a piece of land beyond Abercorn Creek, to which he took me in his boat to show me the blessing of the Lord there. I had to marvel as much as he over the height, strength, and copiousness of the corn stalks, and it is easy to recognize the difference between this and other good land. He is finding that everything one plants here will grow, and he has many different things growing here in the most beautiful condition, such as beans, rice, pumpkins, greens, and sweet potatoes. He is worried that the deer, which hide amidst the tall corn and cannot be hunted as much as formerly, will not leave much of the beans, vegetables, and sweet potatoes. He has to go there from time to time at night and chase them away; yet he and others thank God that they do nothing to the corn and rice, not even eating a single small leaf, while all domestic cattle like to eat both green and dry corn leaves and even dry rice straw in winter. The Lord’s solicitude is wonderful in deeds of kindness, protecting, testing, maintaining, taking and giving. Happy he who sees this and subjects himself to the wise and gracious rule of the Lord in everything. He will also say: “The works of the Lord’s are great (in the realm of nature and grace), whosoever seeth them hath pleasure therein!”
Tuesday, the 17th of June. I had hardly come home from the edification on the plantations when I had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. N. and two other good friends of his family.19 He had indicated in a letter last week a desire to see our place, and, since Sunday was near, he could not travel with me; hence my dear colleague fetched him here yesterday in our small boat. These dear friends were extremely pleased when they saw the fields around the city and especially when they looked in on the orphanage and its installations, as they gave us to understand with expressions praising God and wishing us many blessings.
Today was set aside for children and adults at the orphanage to praise God for all the good He has recently shown to our little institution from Europe, and, contrary to expectation, from nearby, even through the hand of our friend who was present. These dear friends attended this holy exercise at four o’clock in the afternoon. We sang the hymn, Sey Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, etc.; and, after we had called on the Lord to bless our intentions, I catechized the children about the few words: “Now thank God who doeth great things in all ways,” and showed in short the causes from all three articles of the Christian faith. These should inspire and move everyone, including the children and adults in the orphanage, to hearty laud and praise of the Lord. I dwelt especially on the last words, “who doeth great things in all ways,” because they served my particular purpose. Ah, the Lord does not forget us in this corner of the earth, rather he has quite clearly shown us from near and far the footpaths of His kindness and solicitude. To awaken the children and adults to praise of God and hearty intercession for our benefactors, we read to them the new benefactions listed in the last letters received from the worthy Professor Francke and Senior Urlsperger, which gave the names of the benefactors from Halle, Augsburg, Schleswig, Bremen, Nuremberg, and other places, who were inspired by God to dispense benefits to us.
And, because Mr. N. was on hand, I also made known to them his love for our congregation and orphanage, to wit, not only how he had produced all sorts of iron tools and clothing to pay the surveyor for the current fine plantations, but also how he had recently and now again supplied the orphanage with clothing and provisions. I also told how today, when he had seen our fire damage for himself, he promised 10 ь sterling for new construction. What was also quite impressive to me, and doubtless to others, was that even a child in Augsburg presented something to the orphanage from its savings box. How they should apply all these great things which the Lord has done for them not only stands in the text but is also made clear in other verses. For example, they should impel themselves to do penance and to come to the sweet Savior himself and therefore let themselves be put in a condition to be thankful to God and man and to pray right zealously for their benefactors, for whom otherwise they can do nothing in recompense. We did not forget to remind them what great spiritual things the Lord is doing for them, to which end the example of Eischberger, whom we mentioned yesterday, was cited for their consideration. Finally, we fell upon our knees and presented to the dear Lord in Christ’s name what we had heard, and both our own and all men’s needs.
Wednesday, the 18th of June. Fairly early in the morning the dear Mr. N. rode with his friends to the Salzburgers’ plantations. As soon as we came to the very first one, he was gladdened by the beautiful crops standing there so green and in such profusion. He asked how long it had taken to clear the land; and, when he heard it had been done mostly this year, he was all the more astonished at the Salzburgers’ industry, since they had no field hands but worked alone. The sight of the beautiful fields gave him right great pleasure, for he took the trouble to go through practically all of them. He praised the dear Lord right heartily; and when he turned aside into the cottage where the woman served him milk to drink and a little fresh butter and bread, he prayed with his friends right heartily and powerfully before leaving for the good of our congregation.
We were happy that this worthy benefactor has seen our place for himself and that he has become more familiar with our circumstances. Now he and his friends will pray for us all the more zealously, for they pray very diligently in N., where we are not forgotten. Now, however, we will be remembered all the more, and we will be inspired all the more to think of them at our place. Finally we stopped at the Arnsdorf woman’s cottage, where we took such food as had been brought for us from the city. After the meal had been concluded with a hearty prayer by Mr. N., we went to the river, where the boat was already waiting for him. Here in the city he prayed also right heartily and named separately the worthy Mr. N. and N., for he has a great love and admiration for them. My dear colleague recounted for him the circumstances of the widow Helfenstein, especially that she needed a large cauldron for her work. He asked him, when he returned to N., to assist her in getting one, even if it were only an old one. Thereupon he promised to procure one from New England, whither he was thinking of going, if Mr. Bolzius would just remind him of it. May the dear Lord be inclined to reward the dear Mr. N. richly with all His love, to bless him spiritually and physically once more, to lead him down the proper paths, and to place him amidst great blessings!
Thursday, the 19th of June. There is surely nothing more gladdening to a minister than hearing and seeing that the word which he has preached in God’s name is blessed here and there. A certain woman was able to say, in truth and to the Lord’s glory, that He was merciful to her. This gladdened her and me. She complained only that her husband was making no progress, and this caused her great sorrow. Another woman complained of her great blindness and ignorance. She thought it would be better after Holy Communion, but then she saw more and more how simple she was. She said she had been that simple in everything from her youth on, and still was; and she did not think things were getting any better; but I told her that she should nonetheless worry only about the one main thing and be satisfied if she became better acquainted with it. I said otherwise she would just hold herself back and come to no real power; she should seek to thrust her way into the Lord Jesus, and not cease praising and thanking Him for what He is doing for her.
Friday, the 20th of June. With God’s help I arrived here this afternoon with the Salzburgers in a healthy state, and found everything, praise God! in good condition. This time the orphanage was not only presented with the already mentioned 10 ь Sterling for the construction of some needed outbuildings, but also with some soap and candles; and we two were given a few yards of black summer cloth by N. May the Lord make us thankful from our hearts for it. People in Savannah told me and the Salzburgers that at the evening prayer meeting on Thursday Mr. N. had made public mention of what he himself had seen here in the town, at the orphanage, and on the plantations, to the glory of God and to show his hearty joy. He told how he as well as the other friends on the trip down had been greatly pleased by the arrangement of our place and had recognized clear signs of divine blessing dwelling amongst us. May God be praised for that, and may He make us fit for praising His splendor.
Mr. N. is thinking again of traveling to Port Royal and Charleston this coming week. He told me he had already collected more money in America than in England for the orphanage to be erected in Savannah. He hopes to get even more blessings when he travels to New England in a little while. In Pennsylvania he has bought 5,000 acres of land for an institute for Negroes that cost him upwards of 700 ь sterling because all land there is very expensive. It lies rather distant from Philadelphia. The land is undeveloped, and he hopes to get such Negroes as have gotten their freedom (for whom he wants to establish a school) to work in the construction voluntarily, above all if they, as he has very good hopes, have been won by the gospel of Christ.
In Philadelphia he has had a letter printed, directed to the inhabitants of North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, in which he earnestly reproaches them for their irresponsible attitude towards the bodies and souls of these slaves and reveals to them the divine judgments which some have already experienced and some are waiting to experience, if there is no improvement.
I was received very kindly by Mr. Jones, who is serving us and our congregation in whatever way possible. He practically gave us several thousand nails for the intended orphanage construction and otherwise displayed clear witness to an upright good will. He assures me that General Oglethorpe, with whom he was for a short time, still shows constant good will towards us, and took it very ill that the recruiters from Purysburg had been so presumptuous here and in Savannah, as has been recently mentioned. I communicated to him the letter of 29th March of this year we received from Mr. Verelst, which answered my letter of 5th October of last year in the name of the Trustees. It says that, if Mr. Jones will certify to the Trustees that Mr. Causton used the linen I delivered to him from the merchant Mr. Schlatter in St. Gall for the best purposes of the colony, they should have no hesitancy to compensate the merchant properly.20 Mr. Jones has already sent a certificate with Captain Thomson and will write once again regarding it so that the good man will finally be paid.
The thievery of N., who is no Salzburger, I have made known to the magistrate, because I do not trust myself to take care of the matter here on account of other malicious acts of this man. He should be sent down there, but at my request that has been delayed until the harvest in his field is taken care of. Because he has not kept his promise of three years ago to the authorities to improve himself, but rather has gotten worse, I have requested that he simply be removed from us to another place. To be sure, I will be condemned once more by people who see the matter from one side only, but I really can proceed in no other way. I will do nothing further than lay the case and pertinent matters honestly before the authorities and suggest his removal, which is, in fact, a mild punishment and was recently his and his wife’s expressed desire. We have to be very serious in the matter of thievery, because through it not only is one’s innocent neighbor harmed and injured, but also the entire congregation is maligned, when it comes out that one cannot hold one’s own property with assurance in Ebenezer.
Sunday, the 22nd of June. On this third Sunday after trinity the Lord has richly edified us from His holy word, on the occasion of the very splendid gospel of Luke 15. Just as He has given a great blessing to my heart as well as to those of my family, I do not doubt that still other souls have shared in the good that has flowed upon us from the loving heart of the Lord Jesus by means of the gospel, for I have found the listeners very attentive and eager for the words of life. My dear colleague has held divine services on the plantations, as happens on Sunday every two weeks, and likewise preached and catechized on the treasured gospel. In the evening prayer meeting we sang the hymn: Mein Heyland nimmt die Sünder an, etc., and I was glad to see that the children and almost everyone in the congregation could sing it, although it has a difficult and musically intricate melody. It was very hot for a few hours today, nonetheless we had cool and refreshing breezes; and towards evening a thunderstorm came up which brought us a fruitful rain. The thunderstorm was soon past, as they have been quite weak and soon over this year.
Monday, the 23rd of June. As often as I come to the N. woman and her husband I steer the conversation to the main thing they still lack: the thorough recognition of the miserable condition of their still unchanged hearts. Even if they hear publicly the most impressive truths, nonetheless I still perceive that they have not grasped the principal matter and what is especially pertinent to their case, so that I have to direct them especially to it. I also visited N. and N. and found a great difference between their way of listening and that of the N.S. The N. woman’s eyes are being opened more and more, and she is coming to recognize better and better how merciful the Lord has been to her by bringing her here and rescuing her from the empty hopes she once had of being saved, and letting her see how much is involved in being saved. She has been fairly unfit and frivolous in her housekeeping, causing her husband much annoyance and both of them much inconvenience. Now, however, we are seeing how much an honest beginning in Christianity can influence one’s secular existence. They are both content. I showed her how to come further and further into the grace that has begun, and this made her very happy.
The N. woman is never satisfied with herself and her Christianity and most sharply accuses herself of unfaithfulness, frivolity, and lack of recognition of herself and Christ, etc. She is also very downcast because of her many faults and because she does not find in herself all and every single of the characteristics of God’s righteous children. She had to see that her current state is really different from her former one and that a real change has come to pass in her. However, because she does not know the difference between novices or weak Christians and disciples and elders she constantly compares herself with perfect ones, she errs and depresses her courage. She also applies her recognized errors to anxiety and worry instead of turning as a burdened and fragile sinner to our loving Savior, who loves sinners so heartily, and sinking all her transgressions in the unfathomable sea of His blood of atonement. One must always watch that members of the congregation do not mistake justification for sanctification and do not build their comfort and joy upon their improvement and increase in faith, which is quite slippery ground and disadvantageous for the merits of Christ.
When she was still in Germany, God let her recognize that the would-be faith which she found in herself and others would not suffice for salvation. In her heart she was worried when she heard that people were hoping to die in blessedness through their own selfmade faith. However, because there were so many obstacles to true faith and penitence, she always had the notion that she would either have to depart with the third transport or not be saved; she would not have left the city for the sake of this temporal life but was concerned only with the salvation of her soul. Since she had heard several times here about conversion and change of the heart and about the new birth and its urgency and necessity, she had indeed considered this, she said; but by and by she had let her heart be misled to think it was not so necessary and not even possible. But now she has learned otherwise and does not doubt in the least that she must experience a new birth if she wishes to enter God’s kingdom; and, since she does not think she has experienced this, she is very worried about it.
Tuesday, the 24th of June. Our Salzburgers have a great and universal desire for a flour mill, for which divine providence has made some preparations both by means of the millstones we received and also the twelve pounds sterling presented by General Oglethorpe. All the people are willing to work two or three weeks gratis on it, but it depends on Kogler’s leaving his fieldwork and giving himself entirely over to his profession. He does not really have the desire for that, and he cannot work both jobs at once. For such an important construction project twelve pounds sterling does not go far, but Mr. Oglethorpe let me know clearly that the Trustees as the lords of the land would bear the costs, at least the largest part thereof. They would then get, for the maintenance of the mill and the people, a small measure from each bushel. A flour mill would be very convenient for the whole countryside, especially for the people in Savannah, Purysburg, and in this neighborhood, because otherwise they cannot use the lovely Indian corn half so well and must also lose a lot of time getting even a moderately fine grind on iron mills or small stone ones.
With a proper mill, however, we could make flour which would yield very little in quality to the white flour that is brought from the northern parts of America and sold dearly. Our people now have a lot of corn which is devoured by the worms; but, if they could make it into flour, they would soon be able to sell it. Other people buy nothing for their livestock, for they either raise no pigs here or let them run wild on their plantations; and, before the English would go to the trouble to grind corn as food, they would rather eat rice and give their servants the same, or spend their money for white flour. We would arrange it with our mill so that we could also stamp rice and prepare it for selling, and such a machine would especially please the Trustees. Today after the devotional hour on the plantations I encouraged the people again not to leave it at wishing and longing but to bring this important matter into their prayers. I also told them to discuss amongst themselves how to lighten Kogler’s housekeeping,21 since he would be the builder, and how he could always have a certain number of people from the congregation working on behalf of the remaining people. I urged them to begin building soon, not only for necessity’s sake but also because I had learned in Savannah that Mr. Oglethorpe wishes to reconstruct the collapsed sawmill22 and is looking for a better place for it. Now we still have the choice of a suitable place in the river; if we let the time slip by, we will have to stand in line.
Mr. Jones complained to me in Savannah that the Trustees in England have quite a few enemies who, by means of all sorts of unfounded and only apparently valid complaints about Georgia’s infertility, wish to move Parliament to cease its yearly appropriations of money for the support of the colony. They say that all the costs would be lost and that all the inhabitants would never reach a condition of being able to earn their own livelihood. Because the opposite is now the case in our congregation, and because from our own experience we can be sure that the land has a natural, and to be sure not a meager, fertility, Mr. Jones, at the request of Mr. Oglethorpe, would like to keep me a few days in Savannah so that he could inform himself of special conditions in our congregation. If he will determine a particular day for me, I will happily go to his place. The last time I could not hold up our people who had brought me down, because of all their field work. I told him, however, that from time to time we transmit our diaries to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen. If the Trustees would put up the cost of translating them, they could extract many items showing how useful the planting, cattle raising, and housekeeping were proving here with divine blessing. The Trustees have probably already learned from our letters what the Lord is doing among us, as I can tell from the conclusion of Mr. Verelst’s letter of 29th March anni currentis: “It is [a] great Pleasure to hear of the Salzburgers well doing, whom God has blessed with happy Fruits of their Labour.”
Those of our people who understand agriculture find great advantages here in regard to the fertility and tilling of the land, hence they do not desire to go back to Germany even if they could have their own farm there. If they just had a mill they would plant European crops such as wheat and rye, etc., which produce a thousandfold here in this land, the ground being quite suitable for them. The fact that this country has received such a bad name comes probably, among other things, from the following: 1) the land was allotted to the colonists for planting according to a plan or sketch drawn up in England, hence most of them were supplied with very bad ground. They were not in a position to make it fertile with manure; and they either worked in vain or did no work from well-founded worry about working in vain, but rather applied themselves to other ways of making a living or left the region. If they had been allowed the freedom first to seek out the best land and earn their bread from it as we had always desired on our part and as was customary in other colonies, the poor land could have been used by and by, and the colony would have soon gained strength and a good reputation. In this way, however, provisions from the store house were given for a few years, but in the end the people were not capable of supporting themselves.
2) People were brought into the land who never held an axe or hoe in their hands in their entire life, much less did they bring the skill and strength and will to work the land. On the contrary they came here with the notion of living here comfortably and better, also doubtless of becoming richer and more prominent with less trouble than in Europe. Because the earth here too lies under the curse because of sin23 and bears thorns, thistles, and weeds, and because the inhabitants here also, according to God’s plan, must eat their bread in the sweat of their brow, that type of life does not suit most of the people in this country. Hence they apply themselves to trade or become lazy, wasting what they brought with them or was given them for assistance. Or some may take up a handicraft for a time which nonetheless brings in little, because each person must live with the barest necessities. They work as day laborers; and when they cannot get any further they leave, although they have good land, as I find around Savannah, in Abercorn, and in other places.
Some people bring a few servants along or get them here in this country. However, these sometimes understand as little about field work as their masters; or, because they long for their freedom and are kept badly in food, clothes and work, they make a lot of mischief, run away, or have to be forced to do their work, or only pretend to do it. If a person has to buy his own servants, he cannot succeed because the crops a servant can draw from the land in a year are not worth nearly the cost of keeping him. On account of the Negro slaves in the region, corn, beans, and rice are cheap. On the other hand meat, butter, clothing, and medicines, etc. are very expensive. Because of those conditions, if a man does not understand the work and if he and his family do not approach it very seriously and if he does not keep a very frugal house before gaining his strength, then he will not succeed. If he uses day laborers to work the fields or for other business, he cannot keep up long, for the daily wage is not in proportion to the work. For example, a man working in my field as a day laborer can produce at the most 4 pence for me, even when working diligently. But I have to pay him 18 pence in wages, which cannot be altered even though everyone clearly recognizes the sad consequences of that, as has been pointed out on occasion even to our people.
Our congregation has the advantage that people needing the help of others in their own work pay for it by exchanging services, so that, if the other person is ill or is building something or needs help on the boat, he pays him the days he owes him with work of all sorts. Otherwise, if the Salzburgers were to give daily wages in building their houses and cottages, they could not succeed. The incapacitated and ill get a lot of work done gratis by right minded people, or they get some assistance from the blessing God gives into our hands, which especially happens to the widows.
3) It causes great harm in the land when people on the plantations cannot choose neighbors with whom they get along but rather have to have the neighbors they are assigned. Hence a diligent worker gets a lazy neighbor, and as a consequence the diligent one gets no help building his fence; and, because all the trees and bushes in the neighborhood remain standing, not only does their shade hinder the growth of crops but also one cannot keep anything in the field on account of harmful vermin, wildcats,24 etc., not to mention that dwelling alone in the woods is unsafe, what with thieves, Indians, and other bad folk.
If our Salzburgers had not received the freedom to arrange their plantations, as happened through the pure, clear goodness and wisdom of God, so that the only ones who could get land were those who undertook to do industrious work, and so that they built one common fence around all the land and everyone had so much ground cleared on either side that everything was open to their neighbors’ land everywhere, then the shadows of the trees and all kinds of animals would do more harm than they do now, and we could not so quickly call the workers together in case of emergency as is necessary to promote good order and avoid misunderstanding.
Wednesday, the 25th of June. Because it has often come about that infants have had to be baptized soon after birth, and we cannot come to the plantations as quickly as necessary, I have to advise those persons whose delivery is near to come to town and lie in here, which is also necessary in order to care and better provide for them. Those women who have nowhere to go and have no one to attend to them except their husband, who has to perform his work on the plantation, shall have a little space and what care can be given in the orphanage or even in my house, as much as can be done in view of the daily meeting. Today or tomorrow the N. woman is coming here at my request and will stay with her sister, the Bischoff woman.25 These good people are too bashful to ask for such things or to ask our counsel. Therefore they are pleased when we offer them what is useful and wholesome for them.
I visited the N. woman, N.’s neighbor, and clearly noted God’s grace working in her. Her husband was in the forest, and I could talk and pray only with her. I asked how the two of them said their prayers throughout the day and learned that they avail themselves of the Little Garden of Paradise26 and some short prayers they have learned by heart. She said her husband, however, had begun to declaim their need to the dear Lord in his own words, but it was not yet going well (at which she wept). Otherwise he came to us with her, very simple and ignorant; but she told me, to God’s glory, how everything was becoming clearer to them in God’s word, after they had been with God’s word for some years. The stories they hear from it are good guides for them for understanding beautiful verses and divine truths. I left with her the 37th and 73rd Psalms, which she was to read out loud to her husband, because they fit the recently heard story of Nabal quite beautifully.
N. is quite content with his wife in all the trials he is suffering; previously he was rather hard on her. Married couples and other kinds of people have been receiving many salutary teachings from the story in 1 Samuel 25; and they have gone through it point by point according to need and applied it to general and specific uses.
Pichler said he had learned how it was going with his father-in-law Kieffer from Purysburg concerning his land across from us in Carolina. He will probably lose it now, after doing much work, because it belongs to a Purysburg judge, and in his name to the London merchant Simons. He said he and his wife thanked God for putting into Mr. Oglethorpe’s heart the idea of not allowing him, for good cause which he now recognizes better than before, to accept 50 acres from his father-in-law’s land along with his house lot in Ebenezer. He would have planted these 50 acres; on the other hand he had only wanted to have cattle in Ebenezer, so that he would have been spared building a fence there. He could remember the very words I reported to him from Mr. Oglethorpe’s mouth and wished that this dear benefactor might know how indebted he was to him for not accepting his request. For now he had settled down on his land, whereas his father-in-law was a poor man, despite all the famous Purysburg freedom. The law no longer held that women went empty-handed after their husband’s death,27 which, he said, was often held up to him to incline him to the Carolina side. People in Carolina boast of many excellent liberties which, as will from time to time become clear, are often more harmful than useful.
I have not been in the outermost region of the plantations for several weeks. In the meantime everything which was hardly planted has grown so high and large that I cannot marvel enough at the blessing God has manifested in the field. The land is so rich and good that the people here do not need to hoe their corn or pile up earth at its base around the roots, as we had to do twice in Old Ebenezer. Rather they simply keep it free of grass and have hardly half the trouble.
Thursday, the 26th of June. I have written to Mr. Zwiffler in Philadelphia. In his letter he had complained about the deteriorated divine services and ministerial office in that place. This gave me the chance to inquire whether the Lutherans there were really serious in their intention of having one or more upstanding preachers and schoolmasters, etc. I also requested Mr. Zwiffler to ask about the letter from Lindau which I had sent to Philadelphia and what had been done about the legacy discussed in it.
Friday, the 27th of June. I had given a pious Austrian who is seriously concerned about the salvation of his soul the late Professor Francke’s pithy explication of the sacerdotal prayer of Christ,28 for him to edify himself, his family, and his neighbors on the plantations. Today before the devotional hour he told me how much edification our good pious God is granting him. This man had been edified by the reports from India, especially by the missionaries’ letters; but the said book, as he himself said, had led him nearer his goal. On the plantations the good people must forego the daily refreshment in the evening prayer hour, hence we must give into their hands all sorts of good writings. And because the works of the late author are right clear and vigorous for them, we give them principally those because we have a large supply of them as separately printed sermons.
I learned that a snake had bitten a little German girl who had been with us in the school for some time. Her leg was tied off very tightly below the knee, and it was attempted to suck the poison out.29 She got thick swellings and blisters all over her leg, and is said to be out of danger now. From Mr. Thilo the father requested medicines, and from my dear colleague a plaster. We believe that it was not a so-called rattlesnake (which have little shells or rattles on their tails and are very poisonous), but rather some other less harmful one; otherwise, it would have cost her her life.30 This same man told me that once again several hundred Creek Indians from the mountains had marched to Mr. Oglethorpe’s camp, to be used there against the Spaniards. They would have come sooner if Mr. Oglethorpe had commissioned all the traders who deal with each town separately to send them down. However, because only one person was charged with this matter, he found opposition and jealousy until the error and misunderstanding were discovered.
Mr. Jones, who was in the camp for a few days, told me recently that, without losing a single man, Mr. Oglethorpe had seized not only two large herds of cattle but also an island lying between Augustine and Havanna,31 from which Fort Augustine received fresh provisions. He also said that they had advanced quite close to the fort, even though the Spaniards had been shooting out of it most violently day and night. At the time he had not more than twelve hundred men, to wit, about 600 regular English troops and about 400 people raised at the expense of the province of Carolina, along with 200 Indians. Also there are various warships in the area of St. Augustine that cut off all assistance, foodstuffs, and personnel for the fort.
Saturday, the 28th of June. As already mentioned, in our midday prayer meeting, after we sing, we are accustomed always to read one or more chapters from the New Testament. We also always repeat the main passage from last time, but today I read aloud to the men and women gathered there the notable example of a non-commissioned officer in Prussia, to whom God’s mercy became splendidly apparent for his conversion, as is found in the revised edition of the Building of God’s Kingdom,32 which the Lord had already blessed in me recently. May He bless it in others too according to His great mercy!
The Rheinlaender woman, who is midwife to the congregation, complains to me about various things pertaining to her office. She requires one thing and another with which I would gladly help, as necessity requires, if only the means were there. The good people of the congregation often think that we have more means in hand than there actually are for procuring this and that. This may stem from the fact that, for the glory of God and to encourage them to gratitude and Christian intercession, we often tell them that the dear Lord lets many quite magnificent gifts come from across the sea from the loving hands and hearts of our dear benefactors for the good of the orphanage and for the poor in the congregation. They do not consider the many expenses, however, and the fact that the gifts, which amount to a lot in German money, do not go as far in this land as they would there, and indeed most of these loving gifts come from German lands. For example, when we are presented 40 florins, that is about 4 ь 8 sh., which is soon spent, since here in this country everything must be paid in shillings and pounds. We must simply wait and hope in faith. One thing after the other will come, and the things we lack, when they are supplied us again through the paternal solicitude of God, will redound to our great joy and the glory of God, as has often happened. And even if, trusting in God, we must incur a few debts (which, however, we are now seeking to guard against), our worthy benefactors will not hold them against us in view of these and other circumstances they read of in our letters and diaries.
Mr. N.,33 who now knows from experience how much the directing and provisioning of an orphanage cost, asked me recently how many debts we had at our orphanage. Not counting the timber we had prepared for erecting the buildings to replace the ones burned away, they came to 32 ь and a few shillings. I delivered it to him in written form, as a reminder. We will wait amidst prayer and faith in God to see whether the dear Lord will bestow anything on him for the payment of these debts. It is hoped that the Trustees will donate to the orphanage what we had to take previously from the storehouse at Savannah in the way of foodstuffs and a few clothes. For urgent reasons the orphanage also bears the provisioning of the herdsmen, who cost a great deal in clothes and other incidental things.
Sunday, the 29th of June. Today after the divine service I discussed N.’s34 thievery and vexation publicly and indicated to the congregation that the authorities in Savannah wish to punish his wickedness, as I had made known to him last week. At the same time I let it be known that, if he wished it and if he requested it, his wicked affair could still be taken care of amongst ourselves. Because he now prefers being punished here rather than in Savannah, he has been sentenced, now and before the winter, to clear the town’s streets and public market place of bushes and weeds from now until winter. Although they are cut out and partially uprooted every year, we have not been able to eradicate them to the point that a great mass of bushes and weeds will not grow back, whereby the growth of good grass is hindered. If we let it grow freely for two years, it would soon look as wild in the town as it does in Purysburg, from which much harm arises. On this occasion adults and children were given many good admonitions. God pity N. and his wife; and may He let his punishment serve that for which it is imposed upon him, to wit, that he learn to feel his sins, quail before God’s wrath, and become converted to God in a righteous manner.35
Monday, the 30th of June. For the last several days we have had quite cool pleasant weather both mornings and nights, and even cool and refreshing air during the day, as if we were in springtime or fall. Since we have been in this country now for some years, the summer does not strike us as particularly burdensome. Rather it seems to us that our climate has a great advantage over what we were accustomed to.
This afternoon my spirits were rather downcast, but they became somewhat easier and lighter in the evening prayer meeting; and, after the prayer meeting, they became fully cheered through an edifying conversation with a man who called on me. To the praise of God he recounted how much good the Lord had done him through yesterday’s sermon; and at the same time he opened me to the whole state of his soul, which was very impressive to me. He prays very earnestly for himself and others, hence he increases well in the grace he receives, he recognizes better and better his former impurities, he esteems the good in other faithful people and edifies himself from it, and he considers Christ and His cherished redemption to be his own treasure and most cherished jewel.
Prior to noon a woman told how our loving God had strongly assured her during the afternoon divine service of His grace on the first feastday of Pentecost. She said the peace of God had spread so splendidly in her poor bowed heart that her good spirits went beyond all bounds. She would not have wished to take the whole world and all its treasures for one little drop of this divine comfort. Nonetheless, this sweet feeling did not last long; barren, sad hours soon intruded. I recited to her the little verse, “For we walk in faith, not in sight,” etc. and “Let His word be thee assuring, whether thy heart be demurring,” etc. She also desired to know the meaning of a few words in several verses, which I told her. I calmed her complaints about her laxity, for which such great chastisement is set in Jeremiah 48:10 and John 3:16; for I know, and her bitter laments, tears, and struggles bear witness enough, that it is not a laxity that completely rules her but rather a laxity that clings to all the faithful, and I direct her to go with it from Moses and all legalistic ideas to Christ and His fountain of salvation.
Tuesday, the 1st of July. A week ago at the gathering on the plantations I recommended most emphatically that the construction of the mill should begin; and, to make things easier, I made one of two suggestions. I learned thereupon from a Salzburger that the carpenter Kogler, who really understands such construction, declared to others that it was a hindrance that the workers’ wages had not been firmly set. He said he could not manage others properly at the construction unless a specific wage was agreed upon and promised. This gave me another opportunity, at the end of the devotional hour, to make public mention of the building of the mill, for which the entire congregation has a very great longing. I reminded them of what I had told them of the reconstruction of the saw mill in Old Ebenezer, and therefore I wished them to anticipate it by seeking out a suitable place on Abercorn Creek. I said that, since their plantations lay around this river, this was probably allowed them. Otherwise, if strangers were to place a mill in this river in the name of the Trustees, great harm and inconvenience would stem from their going back and forth, dragging wood, and cutting boards, etc. Since I now heard that the undetermined wage was still holding up construction, I reminded them
1. That I wanted them diligently to consider what I had carefully told them in a special prayer meeting, when we were encouraging one another to thank God for the bell, iron work, and money we had received for building the church, to wit, that it was fair and Christian for men of the congregation to work at building the church with just as loving and charitable hearts as those from which we got these contributions. Other people unknown to us were contributing so lovingly and beneficently to this construction that it would be absurd and unchristian for our workers to seek high wages and profits. Things stood the same way with the building of the mill. What they were building here was not for other people but for themselves and the congregation, hence they could not request such a wage as they heard others in this country were requesting and getting. If they were to agree to accept a fair wage, we would get further with what God has bestowed to this end. Even if we could not pay them right on the spot, I would make note of who was working, in the faithful hope (in which I had never yet come to grief) of paying everything by and by, so that their work would not be done vainly and unrewarded. I said they might also consider the Savior’s words from the recent Gospel, Luke 6, “Give and it shall be given unto you,” etc. If they applied the gifts God was granting them for His glory and service to their fellow-man, without selfishness and profit-seeking, God would know how to compensate them for it.
2. Concerning the wage given till now, however, I would ask them to understand me well this time, and weigh the following points well: I need not reveal my disposition towards them, which was shaped by God, for I believed them to be convinced that I had sought only so far what was best for them (in a material way, too). Therefore, if it were within my power to give them the old wage or even more, I would do it heartily and joyfully; but I had to tell them not only that I was in debt at the orphanage but also that I would go deeper if they intended to continue demanding the old wage in the present construction in the congregation, and especially in the orphanage. I said the orphanage was an institution erected for the spiritual and physical good of the congregation. Accordingly, whatever work they did for its fields and buildings, they were doing for themselves, indeed for God, who, if they did it in faith, would reward them richly enough. I said I trusted the dear Lord to help me again out of the debts I had made because of necessity and would guard me from making new ones. It was my intention, I said, to go no further than the Lord showed me the way.
I pointed out that they themselves should know that the disproportion between wages and work is the ruin of this country. To be sure, the daily wage earner or worker received a lot, but the employer was soon ruined, and this was unjustified throughout the entire world.1 I cited various miserable consequences of these unfair wages, with which they were all quite familiar. For example, because they see white servants from overseas doing nothing well, and because they cannot get along with day laborers, the people in Savannah are beginning to want black slaves as is customary in other colonies, etc. Even if they heard that such wages were being given in other places in the country, they should consider 1) the work done here is being done for the congregation, hence for themselves (as I had reminded them already); 2) that there is a great difference between elsewhere and here, where one can maintain one’s household and hear the preaching of God’s word. Also, they were expected to help at the construction only when they can most easily leave their own work and thereby earn something in between. In addition they are at liberty to return to their own business if they wish.
3. I said it was well to keep in mind that we were getting benefactions mostly from Germany for expenses in the congregation and orphanage. Even if considerable sums were sent over, we would still not get far, as it appears, unless we got field and construction work done cheaply in the German manner. If the orphanage were gradually freed of debts through their Christian fairness and assistance, and if God bestowed any supply of money, we would be able more often to give them some earnings. It also holds true here: a small profit often is better than a large one seldom.
With cash we could also have Christian and conscientious people in England, Charlestown, New York, and Pennsylvania buy rough linen, shoes (or leather for them), flour, and other needed items, which could be turned over to the workers at their first price, instead of money payment, in order to decrease the high wages which are the ruination of this country, hence of our place and of posterity. I also did not forget to place the following verse in their consciences: “Look not every man on his own things, but,” etc.
Wednesday, the 2nd of July. Schweiger’s little child died of epilepsy2 this afternoon. The mother had it some years ago. She had it more strongly than usual after her confinement, hence it is no wonder the child had similar attacks. They were resolved to bring it up without mother’s milk; but, since it had been at the breast more than once, it got unwholesome milk, and so the good idea and resolution were too late. God help the mother, who is in a miserable condition.
Three years ago the Salzburgers planted all sorts of peach trees, a good part of which are bearing fruit this year. Amongst them is an early type we did not expect. They are as delicate as apricots in Germany, quite yellow, very soft and full of pleasant juice; but they rot more quickly than others. They have already been ripe for ten or twelve days, although they bloomed later than the usual peaches. Since they bloom late and escape the night frost at the beginning of March, we can expect a decent crop from these trees. The usual peaches, which can or cannot be separated from the stones,3 are still quite green on the trees and look very small. The other kind also separates from the stone, but it is quite large and has much more pulp around it.
Some time ago Mr. Thilo decided to bleed the people in the congregation himself. The provisions he got for his livelihood out of the storehouse from the Trustees are, to be sure, good and abundant; but now that he is married and his family is increased, they do not reach as far as his household might require. Hence I would be glad if he applied himself to the blood-letting, for which the people of the congregation bring him a lot of things such as fresh butter, eggs, chickens, etc., which they have in their households. In the meantime I will take the opportunity to say some good things about Mr. Thilo’s growing family to Mr. Oglethorpe. It is only too bad that we cannot get anything done with letters and it may be a long time before he is finished with the Spaniards and returns!
Thursday, the 3rd of July. A thunderstorm came up this afternoon, which we could hear quite loudly from rather far off. On the plantations it rained heavily, yet hardly any drops fell in the town. The rain this year is rather scanty, nonetheless the fields have gotten enough for the crops to be able to keep growing. We know of no long-lasting thunderstorms this summer.
Sanftleben has had sores on his feet for some months. Whenever one sore heals another breaks out, and this has been going on till now. I was glad to hear he was content with this cross which keeps him quite out of his work in the fields and always makes him lie or at best sit in bed. In the late Arndt’s book on True Christianity he is finding directions for profiting from this cross. I was able to read and talk about many different edifying things with him and the widow Arnsdorf, who serves him as well as her children and looks after his housekeeping. I also reminded the children of their duties. We concluded with a heartfelt and humble prayer. N. is working here with his wife. He has come to an understanding about the punishment decreed upon him but has asked for a week’s grace, during which time he hopes to be finished with his own work.
Friday, the 4th of July. I visited Lackner and his wife on their plantation and found them both with God’s physical and spiritual blessing, which they relish contentedly and full of the praise of God. Especially he extolled the goodness of the Lord which had shown itself miraculously over him and his countrymen back in their fatherland. For the sake of religion he has come into all sorts of danger. For example, he and those like him were shot at as rebels, put in a pen, and threatened with being burned in it; and, when they could not be brought to deny the truth by those means, they were put on a boat with the threat of being sent out on the water without rudder or oars and being left to float, where they (all the more as they had no foodstuffs) would come to a bad end.4 To strike terror into the others, some of the group were tied up very roughly (he was one of those) and dragged through mud and muck. He was also hit on the head, and he still has a scar from it on his forehead, which he showed me and which made a very great impression on me.
I reminded him of the story of the children of Israel who were led from Egypt and said that more than once God had caused Moses to give them good reminders of what the Lord had done for them and to rouse them to a heartfelt gratitude for the miraculous escape they had experienced, and all sorts of benefactions. I also told him what I had recently heard from a woman who had compared the benefactions the dear God had bestowed on the ancient Hebrews and our present Salzburgers. She found to her great joy and the glory of God that we had advantages over the Hebrews in various matters, as Lackner also recognized.
N.N., whom I had really come out to visit, dwells next door. Since it happened that neither of us had come out to them for some time, the couple was sad and thought we must be dissatisfied with them. Because his and his wife’s spirit were very eager for God’s word and prayer, I had a right great pleasure here. They still find themselves so incomplete and meager in their Christianity that I disclosed to them as best I could the obstacles I still recognized in them and gave them instructions for forming for themselves a good foundation and for properly building upon the foundation they had formed. The woman has a burdensome condition in her body, which she puts to advantage according to God’s will and purpose.5 May God let everything spoken and prayed here have many blessings, for Christ’s sake!
Saturday, the 5th of July. Kogler advised me that this coming week he was planning to begin construction at the orphanage with eight or ten men; and, as soon as that is over, he will get to the construction of the mill, which is indeed very pleasing to us all. I learned from him that my proposal last Tuesday regarding wages had impressed the people and had therefore had a good effect. It is too bad the people on the plantations have to stand guard over their beans during the night, otherwise they are eaten by deer. Hence not everyone who would like to can help with the construction of the orphanage and the mill. Nonetheless, they will do what they can for the latter; for everyone is happy that there is hope for a flour mill.
The hand mill in the city, whose gear and drive shaft were quite worn out, has been repaired by Kogler and Rottenberg; indeed, because they corrected a mistake, it is now better to use than it was at the beginning. What a pleasure it is for us when the people work with willing and unselfish hearts. If God puts us in a position to reward the men who are performing so many good services in the congregation, it will give us right good pleasure.
A woman accompanied me on my way home, seeking an opportunity to speak in private about something concerning some quite raw winds of despair, which she had sensed in her conscience for some days because of a breach of faith in a material matter, as it seemed to her. She said she had prayed and sought instruction and comfort in the Scripture, especially Isaiah 55; but she had found no rest until she disclosed her worries to her husband, who was quite content with her conduct and instilled her with courage. Nonetheless, she recognized that such unease of heart and conscience had been very useful to her. Another person who did just this would probably have had no scruples but would have considered it a good deed; but she finds and feels in her conscience the tiniest flecks of impurity. However, because, through her ignorance and weakness, she causes herself to get into a legalistic fright and terror,6 I admonished her not to make a sin out of something that is not a sin, but to hasten in humility and faithful confidence to the throne of grace placed before us by the Father in the redeeming blood of Christ as soon as she perceived any transgressions.
Just as the Israelites used their Old Testament intercessor, Moses, so well when they had sinned and brought upon themselves the displeasure and chastisement of God, we too should even more have our merciful, great High Priest in Christ, the intercessor between God and man, who was constantly faced with temptation. Even good spirits sometimes set the repose of their conscience and the peace of their hearts, even if unnoticed, upon their righteous life and honest piety; yet even after justification the sinner should always live in the unmerited grace of Jesus Christ and the blood of His atonement, as in his element, for then the foundations of his repose would not waver. It is a precious thing for the heart to become firm, and this occurs through grace and not through divine service and things like that. In the meantime I learned from the woman how carefully the Lord had been teaching her and her husband to proceed with secular matters pertaining to the household, so that nothing would be applied for the wrong ends.
Sunday, the 6th of July. The N. woman7 was once again today in church, although she had made up her mind and even told me in a quite bold manner that she had no desire to come to church to a pastor like me, who had no desire to let her come to Holy Communion. She said she had enough good books to read.
N. was home for a few days but I did not see him any more. He is probably doing some outside work somewhere else. What will become of such disdainers of God’s word, we will have to wait and see. God’s word itself, which they are disdaining, prophesizes no good for them, of which we have indeed had serious examples amongst ourselves. The story we are now contemplating (1 Samuel 27) tells that David, from fear of Saul, went at the promptings of his own heart to live among the heathens, the Philistines. It teaches us into what difficulties a man can plunge if he seeks to escape the cross and abandons his profession for the sake of rest and gratification of the flesh and surrenders himself to worldly people. For David came into more danger to body and soul than ever before. See Chapters 27, 29, and 30.
Monday, the 7th of July. I found Ruprecht Zittrauer on his plantation in bed. He got up as well as he could, however, to tell me what he had learned through the arrangements he had recently made with his neighbor Eischberger: it was the prayers for grace, which he could recite in a quite clear and orderly manner (excepting one). To this end he promised to keep going to him, along with his wife. He could also recount to me the contents of the gospels, about which he had heard something preached yesterday on the plantations. This gladdened me greatly, for otherwise he had been not only ignorant but also lazy and inattentive. Necessity is driving them both to work diligently, and I admonished them to be diligent in spiritual matters so that they will be converted to Christ.
Bruckner and his wife are also sickly; and, because the dear Lord is meanwhile working on their souls (and is accomplishing something good), I admonished them to recognize bodily infirmity as well as poverty as a benefaction from God, and to let the wholesome intended purpose be attained in themselves. I told them various things for their information and comfort about the trials which had befallen Peter and his companions, according to yesterday’s gospel (Luke 5, 1 ff.). I cited for them the splendid verse in Hebrews 10: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath,” etc. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God,” etc. The three sermons of Pastor Schubart, which I presented to him some time previously, are giving them much edification.
Hans Schmidt had come to town tonight to cut boards for the approaching construction on the orphanage. He came to me shortly before the prayer meeting, and what he said to me was very edifying. The dear Lord is using the contemplations of the late Professor Francke on Christ’s sacerdotal prayer,8 which I had given to him, to good effect in his soul, and he is also using them for the spiritual growth of his family and others. He often thinks about his serious illness of two years ago when he was attacked in body and mind and could so taste the fruits of his sins that he will not forget it to his dying day. He thanks God heartily for all His guidance, for all His chastisements, and especially for bringing him to peace and to the gospel and working on him so faithfully.
Tuesday, the 8th of July. The Schweighofer woman is somewhat ill; and, as she has been longing for some time, if God wills it, for a blessed death and ascension, her longing is increasing the more the love of Christ is increasing in her heart, a love which quite manifests itself in her. From her words and entire demeanor today I learned impressively the meaning of the verse: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching for unto those things,” etc. Her heart is set upon no other temporal but otherwise permitted things, she is to them as if she were dead; her mind on the other hand is set on eternity. At the same time, because of the corruption moving in her, she stands in such poverty of spirit that we vividly recognize in her the verse: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” etc. She is in the realm of grace, it nourishes her in all difficult inner struggles, she has justification, peace, and joy; she is gladdened and has already the blessedness which the true Savior promises to all those who are poor in spirit. I could hardly begin to say anything of inner Christianity and how the Savior leads His children according to scripture and experience, before she brought forth the most splendid things from her heart’s treasury, in very great humility and recognition of her unworthiness, so that I was very much edified by it.
She often thinks abut her previous self-deception when she thought herself better than she really was. She said God had borne her for so long until He brought her to recognize the path to blessedness and to the experience of penitence and faith. She now knew the difference between nature and grace, between a self-made faith and Christianity, and how to bear magnificent witness to the truth of it. She thanks the Lord often for bringing her into the state of matrimony with her late husband, who not only had been Lutheran but had also understood God’s word better than she. She said that, after God, it was through him that she had been rescued from the darkness of Popery and had been led to this place upon the green pastures of His word.9 May the Lord long preserve the life of this precious soul and right faithful woman of prayer, who, as it were, carries the whole world upon her heart, especially for the good of our orphanage. Nonetheless -- everything according to His will!
Wednesday, the 9th of July. N.N. and his young wife10 are leading a Christian and contented state of matrimony. He himself shows great seriousness about saving his soul. And, because he is aware of some but not the correct seriousness in her, he keeps on with requests and admonitions not to be satisfied with one thing and another but rather to grasp Christianity as it is commanded of us in the Bible. They told me their wedding motto: “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth,” etc. This gave me the opportunity to repeat something from yesterday’s prayer meeting, where we perceived what harm is caused when true Christians form friendships with the world, as David did with the Philistine king Aschish, whereupon we took note of the verse James 4:4. They have arranged their husbandry so well that (as they themselves recognize, to God’s glory), they are not only eating sufficiently but indeed quite well, and have no lack at all. The husband assures me that, even with the hardest trials of the previous time, a regret has never entered his mind about coming to America. The wife has her parents in Frederica,11 and she sheds many tears on their account, because she worries that they are in a poor state of body and soul. No one knows why they have not answered the letter sent to them recently.
Thursday, the 10th of July. I visited the sick Gruber, whose wife brought me Arndt’s book on True Christianity and requested me to read something from it to her and her husband. She said she especially likes this book because the dear Lord had first blessed it in her so that she came to a true awareness. She turned to her sick husband’s bed and said: “Dear Peter, it is good being ill here because we are near the gospel. In Salzburg, it was quite otherwise.” At that she told of being dangerously ill once but said she knew and felt only the least discomfort, since she had prayed much and often to God to let her die soon and secretly, so that no Papist cleric would be fetched for her. She wished, she said, to hear and see nothing of that kind of person. She said God had accomplished the good work in her and had presented her with an inexpressible rapture in praying to Him as often as she could tear herself away from her work. She had then demonstrated to her Lord most movingly her need and desire to emigrate and had gotten the notion of emigrating alone if no one wished to accompany her. She had always felt in her heart: Either you must emigrate or you cannot be saved. She said God had now presented her from His word such grace and assurance of blessedness that no enemy could snatch it away. She would rather die, she said, than move away from here where God had shown such grace from His holy word, although she herself could not read.
The Lord has worked very powerfully on N. till now, and grace is manifesting itself quite splendidly in his current illness. As long as we have known him, he has been considered a good Christian and has practiced all the good things very precisely, and has caused many external virtues to be seen in himself. But he had lacked a true conversion, which he came gradually to recognzie; and through God’s grace he has learned better to understand the corruption of his heart, which has been covered with pure, good outward appearances. In such examples I have a living commentary on the Savior’s words: “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,” etc.
When I first began my duties I could not reconcile myself to perceiving in the Salzburgers so much good, so many external Christian virtues, and a great difference between them and the way of the world, while they could tell me nothing of experiencing a true penitence and change of heart. I thought mayhap they could not express themselves and could not give in words what they had experienced of the order of salvation, hence I was not happy in doubting the truth of their Christianity. But the dear Lord gradually revealed to us in various souls that they really lacked a firm foundation, and afterwards they caused themselves to be brought to penitence. On the other hand others, who do not have nearly as much good in themselves as many Salzburgers before their conversion, hold themselves to be pious, and we can accomplish nothing with them either publicly or privately.
Friday, the 11th of July. Herzog is very wasted by quartan fever, which he has had for some time; and after it left him he was almost more miserable than before. I found him lying in bed and gave him all kinds of admonitions salutary to body and soul on the verse: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which,” etc. “For ye have need of patience,” etc. He said he had not had a more beautiful night than the one just past. For, since he had been unable to work the previous day, he was worried he would have to spend the night sleepless. But the Kalcher woman came to him in the evening and read aloud the glorious hymn: . Gott, den ich als Liebe kenne, etc., and said many edifying things too, whereupon he soon fell asleep. And, because it seemed to him that in his sleep he saw the Lord Jesus by him in great friendship, the entire night passed quickly for him. I availed myself of this to arouse his mind, which has been rather moody until now, to a sweet trust in the Lord Jesus; and besides the foregoing things, I said to him a few times in this verse also: “Look unto me, and be saved,” etc. I reminded him of the brazen serpent and said that, through the merciful dispensation of God, everyone was called upon to creep to it with his wounds and become sound. He could not comprehend that Jesus blessed sinners even greater than he (Herzog) was, for he said weeping: “I am surely the greatest sinner.” I told him something of Manasseh and what the Lord did in him, to wit, that the Lord Jesus saves not the minor sinners (who consider their sins small and unimportant) but rather the hamartolas, the right gross sinners: I said none was too big for Him.
Saturday, the 12th of July. This year the raccoons, a kind of wild cat, are said to be doing great harm once more in the corn by pulling the young ears or cobs down to the ground with the stalks and, because they find few grains of corn, they reach out all the further. Every crop has its enemy. The corn has the raccoons at the planting as well as at the harvest; the beans, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes have the deer, and the rice has the birds which many a year settle on the stalks like a cloud. We would have to call out here too: “Cast not away your confidence,” etc. “Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God,” etc.
Sunday, the 13th of July. Once again today the dear Lord has given us much edification from His holy word; and, since temptation and the unpleasant report which arrived today concerning the war with the Spaniards teach us to take note of the word, everything said to us from God’s word makes all the greater an impression. Because of the rainy weather fewer came to the repetition hour than usual, hence only a little was repeated about the gospel for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity, and after that everyone kneeled and prayed. We are planning to get together for prayer more often during the week, in addition to the evening prayer meeting, so that we may communally present the plight of the country to our Almighty God and Father reconciled through Christ’s blood. The 124th Psalm impresses me greatly; I read it before the prayer today to those gathered there.
Monday, the 14th of July. In the current circumstances of war we are most troubled because of the black slaves in Carolina, who only recently in Santy,12 a city beyond Charlestown, would have stormed the church on Sunday and slaughtered the people there, had they not been betrayed by two Negroes. The whole country is overloaded with these black folk, and many a planter in Charlestown has some hundreds of such slaves, and not even one white or European for an overseer. Rather the Negroes born in this country, if they are considered loyal, are placed over the others as drivers. I was told that, because many whites had gone to war from Carolina against the Spaniards, the masters themselves in Charlestown are moving to New York or Pennsylvania from fear of their slaves. This will, of course, become known to the Negroes, who are very sly and suspicious. To be sure, for some time no more Negroes have been allowed to be brought to Carolina, but there are already some thirty thousands in the country. They are all, very few excepted, treated very harshly and barbarously, which will lead to troubling consequences, if the Lord does not hold back His judgments. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Tuesday, the 15th of July. Mr. Jones, whom I visited in Savannah, read me two letters from General Oglethorpe, dated the 30th of June. One was to him and the other to the Presbyterian preacher in Darien, Mr. MacClayd.13 In the first, Mr. Oglethorpe reported to Mr. Jones that some 20 men, Scots and Indians, had gotten into an empty fort against his orders and were attacked by the Spanish in a great fury. Several were killed, and five or six were led to St. Augustine as prisoners. They had orders to stay in the open field near this same fort so that, if the Spanish became too powerful for them, they could save themselves in quick flight.14
In the second letter Mr. Oglethorpe reported to the above-mentioned preacher that a number of his parishioners had given their lives for their king and country. He had made arrangements to bury them in military fashion, but still did not know all their names. In the meantime he was letting the widows in Darien know that he would write to the Trustees requesting them to give each widow two manservants and a serving girl free and supplied with provisions, to offset in some measure the loss of their husbands and to console them in their widowhood.
In like manner an officer also wrote that Mr. Oglethorpe had written to the governor in St. Augustine immediately upon the report of some of his people being taken prisoner. Mr. Oglethorpe indicated that, if the prisoners were treated badly, he would take reprisals and would have the captured Spaniards hanged before St. Augustine. But one of the prisoners immediately wrote to Mr. Oglethorpe reporting that the governor was treating them quite kindly, having them dine at his table daily, and that they all, except one who was badly wounded, were doing well.
Mr. Oglethorpe is not as near to St. Augustine as was previously told. Rather he took position behind a hill and had some bombs thrown into the city, and in addition a warship is said to have begun firing on the fortress, at which the Spaniards are said to be in great fear. The Indians who came to Mr. Oglethorpe’s aid have scattered throughout the entire countryside, observing the movements of the Spanish Indians so that there need be no worry about their excursions.
A Salzburger, who is a good weaver, is supposed to be used to Mr. N. to produce cotton material, and this time he got as many hand-tools as he could carry on the boat. A few people spin cotton at our place, and he hopes therefore shortly to produce a piece of rough and a piece of smooth material. Perhaps that is a beginning to preparing linen amongst us by and by. I will take the trouble to get some hemp and flax seeds, because many of the Salzburgers are willing, and have the land, to sow much flax and hemp.
Thursday, the 17th of July. N. cannot recover. Whenever a sore on his breast, back, or shoulder heals, others open up nearby. Whenever it appears that everything is becoming healed, he gets that many more pains in his arms and legs. He recognizes how he sinned in his previous life and that he has thus deserved not only this punishment but also hell and eternal death. He knows that God has a very salutary purpose with this wearisome illness, which He is attaining better and better in him. He regrets terribly not having thanked God sufficiently for sound physical strength, now he knows that he should treasure good health as a valued benefaction, since he has had to do without it for so long. N. and his wife are becoming more and more righteous and are using the means of salvation very earnestly. I found the wife at home and was able to discuss much with her that was pertinent to her situation. She is learning better and better to see how corrupt man is, and how difficult it remains to break through obstacles and to come to Christ. She has a five-year-old girl who gladdened me when she recited the whole 23rd Psalm and a few other small prayers, and also knew how to say grace quite clearly and properly when she wanted to eat breakfast.
Friday, the 18th of July. God’s wisdom has so ordained that we are observing now in succession such Biblical stories as pertain to the current war unrest, and we are getting many wholesome admonitions from them. In the prayer meeting today we are making use of the situation related in 1 Samuel 28, when the Philistines penetrated as far as the tribe of Isashar with their army, although the tribes of Judah, Dan, and Benjamin were nearer. The people of the tribe of Isashar thought themselves quite safe, as nowadays those persons are wont to who are most distant from the enemy; hence many retire farther north from this country and out of Carolina to gain safety. But the Lord’s hand can find sinners who are ripe for judgment anywhere, and therefore it is that much more serious a sin if a person feels safe from the onslaught of the enemy by reason of distance, or wishes to win safety through an unbelieving withdrawal. Believers, on the other hand, have their King with them everywhere; and, because His chief characteristic is to rule amidst His enemies, He will know how to protect us if we humble ourselves beneath His scepter, even if we were to be surrounded everywhere by enemies, especially if we can comfort ourselves with the zealous prayer of not just one but of many Samuels and servants of the Lord, whom our true God has left alive till now. I reminded the listeners once more of what Professor Francke had mentioned in his letter some time ago about a few pious people in Cr., to wit, how our miraculous God had known how to preserve and protect this little band in all the misfortunes of war so that they were able to stay together tranquilly.
Saturday, the 19th of July. Last year we had already wished to have a threshing floor and hayloft built for the orphanage, because we knew no place to store the crop. But many obstacles have intervened; especially our lack of means to carry out the construction. Because meanwhile the pen for the cattle and pigs burned down some months ago, necessity has not only demanded a new construction, but has compelled us to arrange the construction so that it can serve many purposes. To wit, a building is being erected which is 36 feet long and just as wide. In the middle goes a dividing wall the length of the room, which separates the cattle stall from the pig and poultry pens, which are also separated from one another. Above, the attic will be floored in the middle with well-nailed lumber five inches thick and boarded along the sides and arranged so that we have the threshing floor in the middle and storage bins on both sides, as it were, to store crops and feed for the cattle. Eight men worked on it this week, and to everyone’s astonishment they got quite far with it. I am pleased that the lesser wage has not decreased their industriousness; rather they are working as loyally and eagerly as before.
At the beginning of the week, when I was in Savannah, my dear colleague in two prayer meetings passed along something of the edifying report of God’s splendid work in New England which has been translated into German through the care of Abbott Steinmetz. Because everything in it, even what is in the beautiful preface, suits our congregation so extremely well, I started gradually going through the entire report today in the house prayer meetings for the purpose of communal edification. May God lay His blessing on it!
Today I received a letter from England, which had been enclosed in a letter to a Jew in Savannah. It comes from one N., who supposedly is the son of one Colonel N. in S.15 The thrust of the entire letter was to persuade me and the Salzburgers to petition the Trustees for permission to keep black slaves, because the Trustees are supposed to be almost inclined to it by now. It would not turn out well, he wrote, and it would even be harmful to us if there were Negroes in Savannah and Purysburg but not in Ebenezer. The writer claimed it was not possible to live in Georgia without Negroes, and, even though we said it, that was not enough; we had to make it as plain and clear as two times two. I believe the man learned that the congregation had petitioned General Oglethorpe as well as the Trustees some time ago not to allow Negroes to come into our region because the harm from it was obvious.16 In what distress would this colony now be, if such unreliable folk were in the country? People in Carolina were now already in great anxiety on account of the Negroes, especially if the war does not have a favorable outcome.
Kieffer from Purysburg and a Frenchman, almost directly across from us in Carolina, each have such a black man. They are said to have been secretly at our place a few times and to have stolen all kinds of things, although the broad Savannah River is between us and them. I also believe that no Christian can buy such a black in good conscience, since it is known how such things usually come to pass; for they are snatched away from their own country and brought here, although people seek to paint the matter in favorable colors.17
Monday, the 21st of July. By the grace of our dear Lord, a few persons are earnestly concerned about the righteous essence of Christianity. Without neglecting their work, they come together regularly and read and pray with one another. I met a couple of women on their way home from the plantation of a pious Salzburger woman. They were carrying the separately printed reflections of the late Professor Francke on the 139th Psalm and attested that they had had right heavenly delight together and that it was very painful to them to separate, each one having to return to her tasks. Such an edifying visit also occurred between the mother of our Savior and the pious Elizabeth.
A Salzburger woman attested to me her heartfelt joy at being able to bear witness that her husband was more seriously concerned about the salvation of his soul than formerly. Among other things she said: “He does not hate me any more; for previously, although I was a good wife to him, he did not like the conduct of my Christianity, but called me all kinds of names. Nor could he understand it whenever I told him anything of my heart’s Christianity. He would use my errors and transgressions to demolish my Christianity for me and to strengthen himself in his unconverted attitude. Hence I could speak little with him of what I experienced daily in my soul of God’s word, for he could not and would not comprehend it. During his sickness he became much concerned about his soul and prayed at night whenever he had even a little power; I would get up at those times and pray with him and for him as well as I could. Thereupon he became more intimate and asked me whence I knew that I had been born again and had come to the forgiveness of my sins; likewise, what should he do to come to such grace, etc. At his request she gave him such information as was based on God’s word and her own experience. I was heartily pleased by it, and also ashamed, finding that I still lack much of the Christian simplicity to be really comprehensible to those who are simple and unsophisticated. I was indeed especially pleased that she had so well recognized the time to come to her husband’s side and had learned in the school of the Holy Ghost the right time to speak and to be silent.
Tuesday, the 22nd of July. The watermelons are a great blessing from God in this hot land, which we enjoy with heartfelt praise for His loving kindness. Whenever we come to the plantations and are thirsty and somewhat tired, they commonly bring us such melons, which refresh us quite exceptionally and give us new powers, as it were, to conduct our business. On the plantations they grow more plentifully and much bigger and have a sweeter and more delicious taste than near town. People have noticed that this is due to the new land, which the melons prefer to that which has been planted several times over. Several people can eat their fill from one average-sized melon, and they cause not the slightest discomfort. The weather this year is indeed fruitful, and hence we are hoping for a good harvest.
Thursday, the 24th of July. The N.N. woman is still in a bad spiritual state. She is very weak and witless in her understanding, she can retain nothing, knows no Bible verses, and can make no sense out of anything we tell her about her soul and Christianity. Along with that, when she was in her country, she had put many such teachings which please the Old Adam into her mind, either through her own fault or through that of others; and she will not be dissuaded from them. She depends, in all her ignorance and unconverted being, upon her praying, reading, and outwardly quiet demeanor; and, even though her heart’s malice manifests itself through wrath, disobedience, scolding, etc., she knows how to justify herself in such a way that one would think she is not as simple and ignorant as she really is.
What should we do with such people, so that they can be helped? They understand nothing in the sermons and catechisations, and they believe the private consultations of their ministers and other pious Christians only as far as they agree with their incorrect ideas of Christianity. Because they take themselves for poor sinners, although they cannot specify any sins that they feel in their minds, and because they therefore think they believe in Christ, they are full of hope of being saved. A couple of men registering for Holy Communion spoke in another tone and brought me great joy by disclosing the state of their minds. The one recounted how, nine years ago during a protracted illness, God had let him recognize the size, weight, and quantity of his sins and had caused him to feel His wrath about it. He said he was in such distress of conscience that he sent for a priest; but that one could not come because he was too drunk, and sent another in his place. This one expounded much to him about Christ’s merits, about penitence and faith. This astonished the sick man, and it seemed to him that the Lord had enjoined him to encourage him thus and in no other way, for this encouragement had been a splendid balm to his poor wounded conscience. He said he had implored the Lord according to the example of Hezekiah to postpone his death and period of grace so that he could truly convert to Him and be certain of his salvation. God granted this, but he had been quite ungrateful. He marvelled at God’s forbearance and patience, and he accepted the instruction I gave him according to his circumstances very willingly and eagerly. There are many sorts of external circumstances in which a few uninformed folk are hindered in the earnestness of their Christianity: in this we must help straighten them out.
Friday, the 25th of July. Some women were involved in some disunity, which had spread also amongst a few men. The men have already been charged with their error and set straight, because they were in town working on the construction and therefore were nearby; and the women also wished nothing more than that they might be reconciled and that their old friendship might be restored again. Two other women had made a good beginning at it with prayer and exhortation. When I came out, all gathered in a cottage, where I read aloud to them something of the Christian constancy in good work one has begun and what means one must use; and they listened with great emotion and much weeping. Thereupon we prayed to the Lord for grace to apply His word properly as well as to bless our conference and reconciliation amongst ourselves. God caused the last to take place very well; and I hope this will be a new beginning to a Christian friendship and proper alliance of the hearts amongst them.
N. and his wife wish to go to Holy Communion, but they are nonetheless still unconverted. I have had them at my house and talked with them for fully an hour concerning their unconverted state and showed them what must take place in people if they do penance, but they have experienced nothing of that. I recounted to them the example of the late Schoppacher18 and otherwise tried to make it as comprehensible as possible to them that their nature is not adequate, but rather that a true change must occur in them if they wish to be saved. They are not such regular church-goers as other members, for which they excuse themselves with their bodily infirmities. They never visit us for edification, because they have no worries about their souls, but are satisfied with external praying and reading. I gave them the booklet: Necessary Examination of Oneself,19 etc., and I will also deliver to them the little tract: Commencement of a Christian Life,20 and betimes read something from them, whether they come to me in my room or I am at their dwelling.
Toward evening a dangerous evil might have befallen me and my wife, if our loving God had not mercifully averted it. We were taking a stroll along the field by the town; and, because we were conversing and observing the blessing in the fields on either side of the narrow footpath, we would have stepped on a large rattlesnake lying before us, if a little dog had not come before us, onto the snake. The dog, because it was bitten so severely by the snake, fell to the ground with great crying, yelping, and extremely grotesque twisting. We were reminded by that to look both around ourselves and in front of ourselves. The snake remained lying motionless and angry, until finally it crawled quite slowly into a bush by the path. We sought people in the fields to kill the snake but could find no one in the vicinity. Whoever does not have good power and speed to dispatch it with one stroke would not like trying it, particularly since this kind of snake is said to jump at people. Anyone bitten by one like it will not live. God be praised for His protecting grace.
Saturday, the 26th of July. Some people from Purysburg came to us to attend our divine services and to celebrate Holy Communion. They have had many kinds of prejudices against us, which fall away when they hear us themselves. For what is preached here is not teachings and opinions of men but divine truths, preached by Christ and His apostles, which must be preached by faithful ministers everywhere wherever they wish to save their own souls and the souls of the sheep entrusted to them. They also attended the penitence and confession ceremony, which treated the very beautiful verse in Acts 5:31 concerning the gracious purpose of the heavenly Father at the exaltation of His son. It is too bad that my wife and especially our little Gotthilf Israel are ill and that he causes disturbance; otherwise I would always have these dear guests with me, and I believe the Lord would place a blessing upon private associations with them. Because church services are held in my house and half the house is used for them, I can hardly put up a single person.
Mr. Zuebli from Purysburg is putting a little girl in the orphanage and our school, as is a captain’s wife from Purysburg. Mrs. Wallpurger21 is taking her two boys away from the Helfenstein woman and is bringing them too under the supervision and care of the orphanage. May God accomplish much good in the souls of the children, to His glory and to the joy of the parents. A small amount is paid for each child every month, to wit, 5 shillings sterling; all maintenance costs for eating, washing, cleaning, sewing, etc., are covered by it, for we do not seek profit, but rather the children’s welfare. God will surely bestow as much as is needed to attain the goals of the institution.
Sunday, the 27th of July. Forty-four persons went to Holy Communion. May our loving God bless it in all of us. A few persons were held back for justifiable reasons, and a few kept themselves away probably because their hearts told them that their ways displeased God, and because last Friday on the plantation I had to specify a few things which would declare a person to be an unworthy communicant.
Monday, the 28th of July. Mr. Zuebli and his wife went home from our place very early this morning, whereas the others stayed here till almost ten o’clock in the morning. I praise the Lord, who let me learn from others and let me hear and see myself that our pious God blessed His word highly in the hearts of these dear guests, so that they themselves praised the Lord for it. Mrs. Wallpurger departed amidst many tears.
Kieffer from Purysburg is going to go to Port-Royal; and, because our chest with the linen has been there for some time, we are sending a man along who will fetch it from there. I wrote Colonel Stephens a few lines about it this morning, beseeching him to give a written order to allow the box addressed to him to proceed from Port Royal.