On Tuesday evening the Germans in town and on the plantations around the town gathered at my lodgings to hear the word of God; with the help of the Holy Ghost so much was preached to them again that they will have no excuse on that day. Although they had worked hard all day and had work to do at home in the evening, they came eagerly and in great numbers. In Purysburg I spent that night with a captain and judge of that place [Lindner] whom God had visited with a severe illness for a long time. My dear colleague had recently visited him, and God had greatly blessed what had been discussed and prayed with this patient and he considered it a great benevolence that God had arranged it for me to stay with him on my way back home. [He was treated horribly by an unskilled doctor with vomiting and six Sesicutoria;45 two hands wide and long, each was laid on various parts of his body for several days and not only did he suffer indescribable pain in this torture but he was extremely weakened and has severe stomach and breast pains and is weak in the head. What a blessing it is for us that our patients are not exposed to such tormenting cures.
While I was in Savannah, a lying-in woman who had given premature birth was neglected almost to the point of death, and she has probably died. There is no doctor in town and the /Bethesda/ orphanage doctor /Hunter/ is rather far away.] Our dear God gave me much evidence of His blessing during this trip, which I cannot yet report. May He be humbly praised for everything. The authorities in Savannah are entirely pleased with the arrangements with our community and do not wish us to be disturbed by evil, rebellious people.
Monday, the 31st of July. [Following the edification hour I informed the congregation that I had not yet received their corn-shillings when I was in Savannah and that I hoped they could be patient a while longer. They were all content; pious people leave everything in the hands of God, who will give everything in His time. However much they would have liked to plow the fields as General Oglethorpe wished, it will not be feasible this year, since the present native crops are still standing in the fields and other land is not yet ready to be plowed. There are old fields near the town which could be cultivated soon. In the meantime, almost every family wishes to cultivate the fields the European way with a plow because it is less laborious and more profitable than working with the hoe.] In the afternoon the captain and judge, Mr. Lindner, came from Purysburg with Mr. Thilo, who had traveled to him by boat yesterday. He was seeking some peace and quiet medical attention. He is being cared for in my house to the best of my present abilities. He is a welcome guest, because I hope his presence will serve more than one purpose. His room is right above the room where the prayer meetings are held, and he can hear every word clearly; even this evening he heard much from the Bible story for the edification of his soul. May God realize His salutary purpose in him better than in a certain woman in Purysburg who was recently strongly convinced from the sermons and prayer hours; but I was just told in Purysburg that she has cooled off again and has learned to love the world.
Saturday, the 1st of August. In our church construction we have reached the point of laying the rafters, and we have more and more hope of being able to hold our public services here soon. At about noon we and the builders concluded the work with prayer and thanksgiving to God; and we knelt down right in the middle of the church. We had scarcely begun to pray before being overtaken by a great and entirely unexpected cloudburst, by which we were wet through and through. Our hearty wish in this was that the Lord will pour out the Holy Spirit like a fruitful rain abundantly on all those who, in the future, will properly use the means to salvation in this house of God and that He will make everyone green, flourishing and fruitful [as it is now in our fields and gardens]. I remembered our ordination text, Isaiah 44:3-5, on which Court Chaplain Laue in Wernigerode based his sermon at that time.
[Today we have made a start at paying for the larger part of the work done on the mill, and this has made the carpenters willing to construct the new mill-course as soon as possible so that we can grind even when the water is low. Of the hundred pounds we received through a bill of exchange in Savannah at General Oglethorpe’s order, fifty pounds were used for paying the costs of the mill. The people will gladly let the remaining wages be postponed to the future and will also gladly continue working in hopes of more later on and not demand any pay at present. It is a new and great benefaction of God that, although the Salzburgers have built the mill for their own good and must maintain it, they are gradually getting money for their mill that is very useful to them in many ways in their housekeeping. May He make them all grateful, and may He hold before our eyes and spirits the great benefactions, the great sins, and the great judgments on the people of Israel that we can recognize in tomorrow’s gospel.]
Sunday, the 2nd of August. Today toward evening the previously mentioned Mr. Lindner returned to Purysburg when an opportunity for travel appeared, after having been strengthened in body and edified in spirit. Like David, he would like to remain in the house of the Lord all his life and see the beautiful services of the Lord, as he had an opportunity to do at our place. He complained of the poor situation of the Purysburg plantations, which lie so dispersed that much spiritual and physical harm is caused. [If God helps him back to health, he wishes to come back to us. Mr. Thilo gave him some medicine to take back home.]
In the evening two men called on me whose visit struck me at first as very inopportune because I was right weak and tired after having held divine services twice and also having held prayer meeting. Afterwards, however, I was very pleased, because we carried on an edifying conversation and prayed together; and this noticeably restored my spiritual and physical strength. They remembered their former circumstances in Salzburg to the praise of God. It has been precisely ten years since they were sought out and expelled;1 and they could not marvel enough at the goodness of God they had experienced during this time in spiritual and physical matters. God has brought both of them to a recognition of their sinfulness, but also to a faith in the Lord Jesus so that they now know in Whom they believe and are compelled by the love of Christ to lead others to Him too in as far as God gives them opportunity and ability.
[Monday, the 3rd of August. Both Sanftleben and his stepmother-in-law, the Arnsdorff woman, have requested that their two little girls, Sophia and Dorothea Arnsdorff, be sent back home from the orphanage; and they were dismissed today with the necessary clothing. They wish to use them in their own household, and we are pleased to let this be done, since the orphanage does not seek any gain from the children but only endeavors to raise them up to the glory of God, to the benefit of their neighbors and themselves, and to their own salvation.]
I was recently told that the Indian who had remained for a long time in our area with his two women, one of whom is the natural daughter of his wife, had been bound and shot to death by an Indian; but the report was wrong as to the person, since this family has now returned here and therefore must have escaped the anger of their enemies who had been looking for them. This much is certain: an Indian in Savannah was dreadfully shot up by another one and was buried by his wife near the water. This abuse [disorder] rules among them: they avenge all insults, especially if anyone shoots their brother or friend, by shooting or killing him; and the Englishmen do not intervene in this. In Savannah lives the frequently mentioned Mrs. Musgrove, who has the liberty of selling the Indians rum or brandy; and the Indians had drunk themselves full on the days I had business there last week. They were shouting and making a lot of noise, and this caused a great nuisance.
The Lord Trustees mean very well with their regulations in general, especially with the prohibition against selling rum, and are seeking only the good of the Indians and colonists; but they can accomplish very little because of the great resistance of the greedy people. I was very much amazed when Col. Stephens told me that even people whom the Lord Trustees have helped by advancing them money for their subsistence and advancement are opposing them with word and deed and with all sorts of obvious intrigues and wish to introduce an unbridled [improper] freedom, or rather a licentiousness, which would be very harmful for the public.
Tuesday, the 4th of August. Before the edification hour I visited N.N. [Ruprecht /Zimmerebner/ (who has been erroneously called Zimmerman so far)] and his wife /Margaretha/ [on her plantation] and tried to speak especially to her conscience so that she might free herself from her secret sins that have made her conversion difficult, indeed impossible, so far. God has been working on her for some time very powerfully through His word; and a start in this had already been made [when she was single in the orphanage, where she was a maid]. Her husband is a righteous and serious Christian who knows from experience that it indeed costs a lot to be a Christian2 but that it is surely worth the effort; and therefore he has sought nothing so sincerely up till now as to bring this wife of his [the Berenberger woman] along the path of penance and faith. It is known to me only through the confession of a certain man that she sinned grievously in her single state yet wishes to be considered better than she is. I told her various things about the order of salvation, in which God looks for frankness and honesty above all things. If anyone does not conform to that, he is merely holding himself back. I have known examples of people who have borne the best resolutions for year after year and have used the means to salvation diligently and yet, because of their secret trickery, have not achieved a true state of Christianity. When we have visited them, their Christianity consisted only in complaints and wishes, which will save no one.
Her husband discussed this and that from personal experience; and his wife took this so much to heart that she fell on her knees with us and shed many thousands of tears during the prayer and was so depressed that she could hardly stand up from the ground. She asked me with [sighs and] loud crying to visit her again this week because she wishes to speak with me alone; and, with God’s aid, I shall do this [by Friday before the edification hour, if not sooner]. I was pleased that she had diligently used the opportunities to hear the stories of David’s sinful fall and penitence and that she will learn to understand them and apply them better if she allows herself to be brought to a recognition of her sins. Today I was visited by a man who told me he had thought himself well able to understand everything that had been preached to him in the sermons and the prayer meetings and what he himself had read but that he had been much mistaken; for, now that God is revealing to him his heart and the sins hiding in it, he is beginning to see with other eyes. He added that he had often heard and read the verse, “He leadeth to hell, and back out again,” but he could not understand how that was possible. But now he feels hell and fear of hell in his conscience and hopes that, through Christ, God will save him from it.
N.N.’s [Peter Reiter’s] wife /Magdalena/ registered for Holy Communion yesterday; but I did not have time to speak with her about her circumstances because the home prayer hour was about to begin. She herself did not have time to remain in town, so I promised to come to her on the plantation, since I had some things to discuss with her husband anyway. Although he is very weak in body [for it appears that last year before St. Augustine he caught the tendency to have hectic fever], he came to me today and God granted him much blessing. For a long time he was a coarse man, even though he kept his wickedness hidden from us. Once here in town, while he was still single, God laid him on his sickbed; and the grace of God that was working on him so mightily came close to making a true Christian of him. He accused himself greatly of the disloyalty he had shown and of the hardness of heart he has since felt; and he well knows he was greatly hindered from becoming a Christian by frivolous companionship, gossip, neglect of fervent prayer, etc. But he has now made the honest resolution to convert truly to the Lord.
He was very humbled and spoke of his sin with tear-filled eyes; and he could not marvel enough at the divine patience and forebearance God had shown him in his impenitence [not only in the danger before St. Augustine but also here] for a whole year. However, because his heart was very hard, he thought it almost impossible for him, as a great sinner, to come to conversion. He is usually timid by nature, therefore it is difficult for him to take leave of his comrades and let them notice that his heart yearns for conversion to God and for the salvation of his soul. He could also tell me that the grace he had received and gathered from God’s word and from prayer had been lost again in a quarter of an hour of gossip and that he hoped this loss and danger would make him wise. [Because he is named Peter] I told him what is written after the fall of our dear St. Peter in the Passion story: “He went out, and wept bitterly.”
Departure from frivolous companionship belongs to the first step of conversion, I said; if he comes properly to external and internal solitude and quietude, raises his heart diligently to God [and prays for the grace of tears], and diligently contemplates God’s word, especially Christ’s passion story and edifying passion hymns, then God will surely soften his heart and show him that this is true: “As I live, I wish not the death of a sinner,” etc. That God did not wish him in hell but in heaven, he could see not only from the said verse but also from the fact that God had not snatched him away but had suffered him so long and was now working on his heart. It should now come true in his case, I said, that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner,” etc. He wishes to come to me often, and it is my resolution to visit him as often as I can in the hope that the Lord will grant grace that this soul can be saved. [His wife is the widow of the late Simon Steiner, and I was pleased that he said of the deceased that he was a true Christian and had well governed his wife, which made it all the easier for me to set him an example in the deceased.]
Wednesday, the 5th of August. The young N. [the unmarried Kieffer /Theobald, Jr./, is endeavoring right earnestly to seize the jewel that the heavenly vocation of God in Jesus Christ is holding out to him. When he visited me yesterday, I was too weak and tired to speak with him about the state of his soul, so he visited me again today. He had been greatly impressed by yesterday’s prayer meeting, in which instructions were given for a correct understanding and application of the sad story in 2 Samuel 13. He can well see what sin causes; and certain other people have reason to reflect about this story and to eradicate sin, which is the cause of all evil, through true conversion. Like the children of David, they too have had enough opportunity so far [especially at the time of their preparation for Holy Communion] to become righteous, and the grace of God has come close to their hearts. However, because they have dealt with it disloyally, some very evil and distressing things have occurred [in their family, especially in the marriages of three children]; and now they can observe what it means when God withdraws His hand and leaves them to their own desires and devices and what judgment follows upon the rejected grace.
In the case of David’s punishment for his offense, we have tried to profit from the verse 1 Peter: 17-19, which must be of great importance. This young N. /Theobald/ [Kieffer] wishes to go to the Lord’s Table and let himself be examined according to the command of the Holy Ghost through St. Paul: “But let a man examine himself.” I gave him some instruction for his recognition of himself and of his dear Savior in my conversation and recommended to him, among other things, a daily testing and examination of his heart, the practice of which every Christian will find very profitable for furthering his Christianity.
Our dear God has so powerfully awakened N.’s [Sanftleben’s] wife /Magdalena/ through His word [and through a couple of remarkable dreams] in which the danger to her soul and the path to salvation were presented to her that I have good hope for her conversion. I visited her this morning, and she used such expressions about her feeling of sin that I could conclude that there were murmurings in her soul. Her conscience was burdened and disquieted by some sins for which she was given the opportunity and actually incited and driven by many people [by her own father, who had died unfortunately, and by the people in Carolina, whom she had had to serve six years for her passage money.]
I warned her against disloyalty, frivolity, and indolence and encouraged her to quietude, diligent prayer, and diligent examination of her conscience, also to true application of the word of God that she had heard and read. I assured her from the experience she has already had that God would gladly have mercy on her and pull her from all sin only if she wished to grasp the merciful hand He was offering her. Since she has now come so far that she is penitent like the prodigal son, she should follow in his footsteps to a total conversion. This time she was particularly pleased with my visit, especially since she had visited me twice but had never been able to speak with me alone. The secular affairs we have to worry about rob us of many a lovely hour we would like to apply to the spiritual good of our parishioners. [Her husband was not at home, being very occupied with a couple of friends in making eight thousand shingles of cypress wood for the church.]
Thursday, the 6th of August. N.N.’s [Peter Reiter’s] wife /Magdalena/ was with me this morning too and testified that our dear God had granted her much grace and refreshment the last time she had taken Holy Communion. She was now resolving to be more concerned with being saved than she was previously. I admonished her to use the word of God earnestly and to say her prayers; for without these means of grace and their proper use her resolutions would only remain resolutions and never be seriously realized. She would have to recognize the good and gracious will of God from holy scripture and derive strength through prayer to become obedient to Him. She promised to follow my admonitions, the grace of the Lord willing.
N. [Mrs. /Ursula/ Landfelder] wishes to move to New York with her husband and child, and for this purpose she is already beginning to sell her cattle and belongings. She is undertaking this change, which is no benefaction for her and her family but a judgment of God, in pure obstinacy and disobedience, which was also caused by a letter the wicked Muggitzer had written from there. This miserable person had led a very dissolute life in Savannah for a long time and finally moved to New York with his equally perverse wife; and now he is said to have greatly praised the splendor and the good life of the people in that country in a letter sent to I do not know whom. [Mrs. Landfelder was formerly very fond of him and even wished to marry him before her present husband, although she was aware of his disgraceful life in Germany and here in this country; I later learned that she had acted against the seventh commandment in Germany.]
She is very well established here in her household and has cattle, and her husband earns many a shilling from barrel making as well as from agriculture. As other Salzburgers tell, on the sea voyage she enjoyed more good than the others as a pregnant person under the supervision of Commissioner Vat. Here in this land too she has received so many benefactions, and people have put up with her so long despite all her misbehavior and wickedness in hopes of winning her, that her ingratitude is an even greater sin and she is surely running into her perdition because of it. Among other things last Sunday we inculcated the verse 2 Timothy 3:1-3, in which she can especially find her image and description. Let her go where she will, she will take her abominations with her and will make her own time and everything she does abominable. [Her husband is her slave and must follow her blindly, and this is most regrettable for a Salzburger; but he has been made totally corrupt and refractory by her and Michael Rieser, who is a very harmful man. Previously we could neither let these people go to the Lord’s Table nor approve of their vexing ways, for which reason they are not a little bit embittered against us and our office; and they claim that in Memmingen they never experienced such doings as we perform in our office.
[This Mrs. Landfelder, Michael Rieser, Spielbigler and his mother came together from Memmingen, have lived next to each other here, and have caused us much grief these six years through their disobedience against the gospel, even though Mrs. Landfelder was able to conceal her disgraceful wickedness for a long time through hypocrisy and good pretenses or else paint them a good color. She has a little girl of eight or nine years /Sara/ by her former husband, the pious Schoppacher, whom the dying man already wished to have taken away from her wicked and vexing mother and to have better cared for; but after his death she would not allow this to be done. Kalcher offered to take this child and care for it as his own, because he and others are heartily grieved that the child is to be led from light into darkness and from good opportunities to all sorts of uncertainty; but she will hear none of that but considers herself clever and cautious in all this and thinks (as she pretends in her sin) she is acting according to God’s will in this obviously harmful change.
[Last Sunday we had as an exordium Revelations 3:17, “Thou knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable,” etc., which certainly applies especially to this woman and the other said people. Because, in all love and meekness we have frequently held up to them their lamentable blindness and the dangerous state of their souls, they have not only claimed that they know themselves better than we do but have interpreted such ideas as hostility and have hardened their hearts all the more. They rely on their literal and, in addition, inadequate knowledge of the Christian religion, their faith, their diligent prayer, and great longing for Holy Communion and the fact that they do no one harm as long as they are left in peace, etc.] It is surely a great judgment over such people that they are willfully leaving our place, where God is giving them an opportunity to come to penitence and faith. But we can also look upon it as the hearing of the prayers of the faithful in our and other places when such people leave who are merely disturbers of the peace and cause grief for the ministers and others.
Poor N.N. [Landfelder, Michael Rieser, and Ernst] almost suffered a great misfortune recently when they journeyed from here to Savannah by land. They ran into a party of Cherokee Indians who are patrolling around in the forest to protect the colony. Since these thought they were Spaniards, they led them bound to Musgrove’s Cowpen, where they were finally let loose again after other people testified that they were not Spaniards but local colonists. The captain who told me this added that it was lucky they let themselves be tied up and made no attempt to escape; for otherwise they would have been shot on the spot. About a half year ago our worthy Senior Urlsperger wrote in a letter a verse for the disobedient in the congregation: “How shall ye escape, if ye neglect so great a salvation?” which words have often echoed both publicly and privately in the congregation. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
I found Landfelder at work on his sister-in-law’s /Elisabeth Pletter’s/ plantation and spoke with him most movingly to dissuade him from his intention; and I told him about the weaver Schönmannsgruber, how at his wife’s willful urging he had wished to return to New York or Pennsylvania and how on the way he had perished miserably with all his things and how his widow, who finally arrived there, had written a pitiful letter to me and to /Theobald/ Kieffer in Purysburg. I reminded him of his many physical infirmities and the great danger to his soul into which he was plunging himself, etc. He put the blame on his wife, but I reminded him of his duty by citing the catechism and what was read at his wedding, namely, his duty to be his wife’s master and not to let the dear Lord’s order be perverted.
He should merely think of Rheinlander, who died there from distress and yearning to be back in Ebenezer. He should also inquire of the potter /Duche/ in Savannah, who was born there, whether everything Muggitzer had written was true. He and others would have surely remained there if that land had any advantage over ours. His sister-in-law /Elisabeth Pletter/ also asked him not to follow his wife, who is her sister, so blindly. There had never been any good in her all her life. She had never wished to obey her father, and that his why he so gladly let her move to America. He would never have let her (Mrs. Pletter, Mrs. Landfelder’s sister), as sister, follow her if he had not thought that she had been converted. She reminded him, she said, of the good situation of his household and the good opportunity for edification and of the danger into which he was subjecting his child, but it was all in vain for him and for his wife, to whom she had also spoken.
Friday, the 7th of August. Our dear God has ordained a tribulation on our mill: the water has risen unexpectedly and has made a hole on one side of the dike, which has spread out rather far in one night because the miller was in Savannah for a few days with some of the men. It has also forced one corner of the dike a half foot further, although it consists of very heavy wood. As soon as it was reported yesterday, all the men of the community went there without delay to prevent damage with communal effort, for which may God grant them blessing and assistance. God is coming at the right time with this tribulation; for the people have no fieldwork now and can best leave their domestic chores. Also, the water is very warm so that they can work in it without harm to their health. Also God had especially inclined General Oglethorpe’s heart to advance some money with which most of what was previously done on the mill could be paid. Nearly all the people have earned something, some of them a considerable amount, depending upon how much each of them worked; and therefore they are doing the new work all the more willingly and spiritedly even though it is very difficult and hard on their clothes.
I called on N. [Mrs. Zimmerebner], who spoke very frankly this time and emptied before God and with many tears her conscience, which was burdened by all sorts of sins. How much harm is done in so many places in Germany by permitting man and maid servants and boys and girls to join together for dancing and other pleasures of the flesh! Both the Christian authorities and righteous ministers should seriously and emphatically oppose this impropriety and heathen abomination. This N. [Berenberger woman] /Margaretha/, behaved very unruly when she first arrived at Ebenezer and caused vexation with her misbehavior; but now I know the cause of this better than before from her accounts. Both on the sea voyage and in N.N. [Charleston] she inflicted such wounds on her conscience that she will feel them all her life even if she comes to grace and forgiveness at once. This poor and so evilly treated woman has resolved to keep nothing on her conscience but to clear away all her abominations through the grace and strength of Jesus Christ. For this reason she will gladly follow the good advice given her by her pious husband and ministers. She is also tormented by her greedy, earthy, and world-loving heart, and she would gladly be free of such evil.
N. [Mrs. Schmidt] has been seriously sick since her severe accident [miscarriage, and it appears that Mr. Thilo himself cannot get to the bottom of her sickness]. In this case it can be rightly said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” For several years already she has repeatedly felt the Holy Ghost working mightily through the word of God, and for some time a noteworthy change has taken place in her. Because of that, her pious husband, to whom she has been much more profitable since that time [Philomen 11], has praised the Lord right heartily.
Now the Lord is fully realizing His purpose in her, for her heart is free of everything and she lies bare and naked in true denial of her self and of the world and only in the will of our heavenly Father, and she is very well contented with His good, even though painful, dispensations; and how that He has had mercy upon her, she would rather die than live if it be His will. She cannot describe her previous blindness and state of sin dreadfully enough: on the other hand she cannot praise God’s patience and forebearance with her enough, especially since she knows that many of her kind have remained and died in blindness and selfmade piety. But in her case one can well say, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” She shed many penitent tears and was troubled because she could not pray much because of her great physical infirmity, yet she comforts herself so that the sighs of her soul were also a pleasing prayer to God. “May God look at the heart,” etc. I recited for her the verse, “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble,” etc.; and I directed her to the Lamb of God that has carried her sins. She was very pleased by my visit, for she had yearned for it for a long time. She thanked me for it most gratefully and commended herself to our intercession.
Saturday, the 8th of August. The English girl’s father came at her request from Savannah to our place to visit her in her sickness. This morning he told me that several children of prominent people in Savannah who had been cured in the orphanage of scabies with yellow sulphur, as his daughter was, had gotten such sore throats and that some were in a miserable state. That strengthened his belief in what I had written about the chief cause of his daughter’s sickness, which he had not been able to believe at that time because this cure with sulphur is the usual method in England. They have still other cruel and dangerous cures in this land too; and therefore many men, women and children have been brought to their graves prematurely. The driving away of fever3 is also very common, and some are very proud that they can predict the day on which it will cease. But they could grasp the fatal consequences with their hands if only they wished. However, they attribute such symptoms as dangerous colic, bloody dysentery, tumors, epilepsy, etc., to things other than this fever-stoppage. At least we do not have such things here, since the said evil fever cure has not been introduced here. I believe the fever would not last so long among us if, among other things, the patients would observe a better diet [and the doctor would be more active in his applications]. During these dog-days several adults and children have had fever, which is very beneficial for their Christianity.
This morning we disposed of a serving girl’s affair that ran counter to God’s word and Christian order; and now we have some hope that this procedure, which took place with God’s word and prayer (the actual punishment, however was deferred), will contribute to her true conversion, since she sees that God will not long let Himself be mocked by the continued rejection of His grace, but that things will go worse and worse for her. She is the oldest child of the family; and therefore in both the public prayer hour and in today’s Bible story we called to her heart and mind that it is disgraceful and dreadful if (as can be seen in the case of David’s children) the oldest are the worst who, after all the great effort their parents have made, cause nothing but vexation instead of gladdening them with Christian behavior, and also cause scandal for their smaller and younger brothers and sisters. Such wickedness and ingratitude are, I said, followed by woe and lack of blessing, and such children usually do not prosper, as can be clearly seen here in certain examples.
Yesterday we recommended to our listeners the important first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, especially from v.18 to the end, from which one can conclude that, if God had so emphatically punished the heathens because of their disloyalty and misuse of the light of natural recognition of God that He granted and especially because they had held the known truth in unrighteousness, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? We read this to the girl this morning too and repeated what was most necessary to awaken in her a holy dread of sin. The said passage is very parallel to the sad story we are about to contemplate in 2 Samuel 13 and shows what a dreadful judgment it is when God withdraws His hand from the willful sinners who reject His grace and punishes sin with sin. Amnon, the firstborn son of David, gives a warning to everyone, especially to grown sons and daughters (for it is written in 1 Corinthians 10 as a warning to us): Do not lust for sin or the pleasures of the flesh, which strive against the soul, destroy and devastate body and soul, and rob one of temporal and eternal welfare, as we have also seen in the case of Ruben and Esau in Hebrews 12:15-17. Brief worldly pleasure is followed by pain and disgust. If only people would believe it rather than experience it.
N. [Mrs. Schweiger] called on me today; and, for the sake of her salvation, I had to remind her again of these points that she had heard yesterday at the edification hour on the plantations. She had sinned not a little against her parents and scandalized her younger brothers and sisters4 and had not yet done penance; and for that reason she has had to feel enough on her body, in her marriage, and in her housekeeping. Recently, when I reproved her in a friendly manner, she sinned angrily and wrathfully against a man whom she thought to be her accuser; and I had to hold this up to her as a bad sign. She seemed to accept everything better today and promised to convert sincerely, and she testified that God had begun to soften her heart and to bring her to recognition. She asked for my intercession.
Sunday, the 9th of August. Based on the very edifying gospel for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity, I preached to the congregation about the good and right way to true conversion and salvation; and beforehand in the exordium we profited from the impressive words of the dear prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 12:23 to consider it a valuable benefaction if God gives a congregation righteous ministers who perform their office honestly with hearty intercession and the thorough instruction of the parishioners. Otherwise almost no one would find the narrow path to life, rather everyone would journey calmly and secure in his blindness on the way to damnation.
In this connection we remembered the great benefaction we are enjoying beyond all others in this wilderness, namely, that our pious and good God is inclining to us the hearts of so many of the righteous servants in Europe, who are looking out for our congregation so earnestly with intercession and instruction in the letters and in edifying books they have sent us as if we were their own; and it would be a grave sin against all our parishioners, which would be followed by punishment and misfortune (as in the case of the Israelites in Samuel’s time), if we did not wish to pray with them earnestly and follow the instructions we have received for true conversion and salvation.
In the afternoon my dear colleague preached about various very important matters with regard to the fourth main article of the catechism, which concerns the holy baptism, to wit, its institution and power. May God superabundantly bless His word and the partaking of Holy Communion, in which forty-eight persons participated, in all souls through the Holy Ghost and give us the pleasure from now on of seeing all our parishioners walking in truth and on the good and right way we have again shown them so that we may say our prayers and intercessions not with sighs, but with joy (like dear St. Paul in Philemon 1:4). But those who scorn the dear and inestimable ministry, how can they answer to their consciences and to God? [as Spielbigler, his mother, Michael Rieser, and Landfelder and his wife are doing at the present time? Today too they were physically present at the preaching of the divine word, and they as well as others were told that unconverted people are miserable, lamentable, poor, blind, and naked yet do not know it yet make for themselves a vain comfort from their literal recognition and from the Bible and good books, as if they could find their way to heaven from them without the ministry, and are plunging themselves into the danger of losing their souls forever.]
We have many examples in the congregation who formerly considered themselves very clever and knowledgeable in scripture; but, after God has brought them to penitence, they are ashamed of their former blindness and thank God for the blessing He has granted them through the service of the ministry. During today’s sermon, the coarse and subtle disobedience of many parishioners against the dear grace of the gospel preached among us went to my heart so keenly that I was almost hindered in my sermon by sorrow and tears. May God convince everyone, even those refractory persons who sin against us in all sorts of ways in both spiritual and secular matters (the latter of which are always weighing on our backs), that we mean very well with their souls and also with their physical wellbeing. When we consider paralelismum praeteriti & nostri temporis5 and reflect on what kind of spiritual and physical judgments have always followed upon the benefactions of God when God’s purpose could not be achieved thereby among His people, we become frightened and afraid, because so many ungrateful and disloyal people are found among us. In the repetition hour that which is written in Romans 1:28-32 was impressed on our hearts in great detail, and this well suited today’s sermon and the matter of the Bible story intended for today.
Monday, the 10th of August. [Schoolmaster Ortmann returned from Charleston at the end of last week and complained that he had suffered loss because people will not accept a shilling of Georgia’s paper money for more than nine pence Sterling and that this amounts to a lot in the long run. However, it is good that we can do without the Carolinians, who are going to great efforts to cause distress for General Oglethorpe and also for the Lord Trustees.] Several years ago, when people were buying a great deal in Savannah and needed people for all sorts of work, Carolina and especially the poor people in Purysburg, as well as many planters, received much good from this colony; and who knows how the leaf will turn in the future through God’s dispensation? In regard to such practices I often think of what occurred to the late Ehlers in Leipzig, who comforted his boy who had been frightened by the stones thrown through their window by enemies and jealous people: he would wait quietly, in the future these people would bring money instead of stones. Indeed, this was proved by the success of this blessed [and widely expanding] bookstore.
In many places in Carolina no rain has fallen for three months, and therefore the crops appear entirely burned up. So far, and even today, our dear God has granted us and others in the neighborhood as much rain and good weather as is needed, and therefore the crops in the field are standing nicely. We have such a quantity of peaches that we are not only distilling brandy every day and drying many in the ovens; but many people must feed them to the pigs because this fruit does not last long and would otherwise spoil. Who would have thought that a few years ago! While I was writing this, a man brought me a big basin full of blue grapes he had cut in the forest in large quantities for eating and making vinegar. They taste sweet and have the same appearance as in Europe; and this again confirms my belief that very good and useful wine could be made from these wild vines if the necessary work were applied to the task. Praise be to God who grants us to enjoy all sorts of good here! This evening in the prayer meeting we had, among others, the verse Proverbs 1:33, which well agrees with the verse we had on our Commemoration and Thanksgiving Day ceremony, Isaiah 1:19-20.
N. [Schmidt] called on the doctor because of his sick wife; because it was too late to go home, he remained overnight in my house and gave me much pleasure through his conversation and deportment. Because he is now leading a contented life with his wife, who has converted righteously to God, he would like to keep this wife longer if our heavenly Father finds it right. Nevertheless, he will be content with His dispensation, even if it hurt him. He knows that Christian spouses are only lent6 to each other: if one of them is prepared first for departure through the grace of God, that is only for a short time, and soon they will be together again forever. He can never think without the deepest joy in his heart of what happiness will arise when the blessedly deceased children and spouses receive their parents and spouses who have followed them to the Pearly Gates. He also has a little son at the throne of God.
He hopes that his older brother is still alive in N. [Regensburg] in whom, as far as the external practice of Christianity is concerned, he has perceived much that is good and edifying. However, since he himself has discovered that one may, to be sure, be externally pious but not yet converted and changed in heart, he wishes to write to him sometime and to call to his mind this so very hidden [and subtle] self-deception. He told me a couple of points that cannot rhyme with true Christianity. May God open all their eyes and teach them to distinguish well between nature and grace! His other brother, to whom he had sent letters several times, died a couple of years ago. He had had very beautiful insights and many experiences in the ways of Christianity; therefore it is more than probable that he served his brother with his gifts.
Tuesday, the 11th of August. I traveled very early this morning to the edification hour on the plantations, both to visit some people before the meeting and to put in order a matter of which I had been informed. Again many trees are being felled for strengthening the mill dike; and, because the men prefer to take the nearest trees on the adjoining plantations because of the lack of draft horses, the owners have complained against it and wish to prevent further cutting of their timber. I had already been asked out there yesterday evening to settle the matter; and I discovered that God had heard our prayers; for I found everything in good order. The owners of the plantations, namely, Pichler, Leitner, Lackner, and Zimmerebner, had each allowed a certain number of trees, in return for which they can take wood, in case of need, from the empty plantations behind them that are called Trust-lots and are for the good of the entire community; and the congregation will allow them the wagon and horse free of charge because the wood will have to be brought from somewhat further away.
I was pleased at this willingness and promised to grant them some payment for it if God gives us the means. They will have finished preparing the wood by tomorrow, but they will have to postpone the actual repair of the dike until the water, which has now risen as high as last time and is rising even more, has fallen again. The current has violently eroded the soil on the left side of the dike and has made a new channel that is causing the good people much work. However, I am most pleased that they are working very willingly and in Christian unity; and I hope God will give the means to pay one thing after the other.
Wednesday, the 12th of August. Young /Theo-bald/Kieffer brought me some sweet grapes and a kind of pear that is so sweet that one can well compare its juice with honey and therefore call it a honeypear. He found it, like these right beautiful grapes, in the forest, where they grow on rather high trees and become as large as pears in Germany. They are worth being planted in our gardens, and we can hope to improve their fruit greatly if we plant the trees in the open air and on good soil. The bears like to eat them. This year the beasts are doing much damage to the people’s corn on the plantations. Schmidt alone has lost over ten bushels, even though his corn was planted later than the others’ and is still young. From the accounts of the Salzburgers, all of whom make this complaint, we can conclude that there must be a great number of bears on the fertile island in the mill river. It does not help to follow and seek them there, because everything is so overgrown with reeds, thorns, and bushes that you cannot get through it. They are still losing pigs and are therefore suffering a lack of food and nourishment. May God let no one lose courage but help these and all tribulations to take such an end that we can bear them!
I sent word to N. [Mrs. Landfelder] to come to me for a few words; but, because she refused, I went to her myself. However, I did not find her alone, rather N.N.’s [Michael Rieser’s] wife /Anna Margaretha/ was with her in her room as usual. Nevertheless, I discussed what was most necessary with her and her little girl /Ihler/,8 for whom her father had cared so earnestly even when dying. To her too applied the verse that Senior Urlsperger called out some time ago to the disobedient in the congregation: “How would ye escape if ye neglect so great a salvation?” She belongs among those miserable people who do not recognize their spiritual misery and great danger because of their spiritual blindness and do not contemplate Christ’s dictum: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world?” etc. Her ingratitude for the great good she has received on the voyage and here in this country from the Lord Trustees and other patrons in England and Germany is so great, I said, that she cannot answer for it to God or man because its purpose has not been reached in her.
Because she is selling her cattle and possessions before departing and has sought permission to lay claim to the things she has received from the Lord Trustees such as cows, pigs, tools, and kitchen utensils, it seems to me that she wishes to do as Riedelsperger did and leave secretly while retaining what does not belong to her, a thing that would not do her any good. She denied this and knew how to justify herself in all matters as if she had a perfect and divine calling to leave our place, and she makes much of her conviction; but through this as through other ways she reveals her miserable blindness. She believes that, if she died in her present intention, she would certainly go to heaven. She thinks she is so firmly based in her religion that she could not be diverted by any sect in Pennsylvania or New York or wherever she might end up.9
In the prayer meeting we heard that it is a characteristic of unconverted worldly-minded people to prefer to follow the wicked counsel of their like-minded friends that will lead them to perdition rather than the voice and counsel of our true God, which He proclaims to man through His word and through His servants; but by this they will plunge themselves into temporal and eternal misfortune just as the filthy Amnon did. Then they cry, “alack, alas!” to such unhappy counselors, but too late. In this regard the parishioners were referred to the remarkable first chapter of Proverbs, which very emphatically expresses what great harm is caused when blind and foolish people follow the evil counsel of their hearts or of unconverted although worldly-wise friends (as Jonadab was) and thereby disobey the counsel and will of God. Here too was applicable: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,” etc. “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory.”
Thursday, the 13th of August. [Last night we had a great storm wind with heavy rain, an it appears that the rain and wind will continue. The water in the river is already unusually high again and is rising ever higher so that they cannot work on the mill.] Gabriel Maurer’s wife /Elisabeth/ brought a little girl into the world yesterday evening; and for this reason I was asked to go out to baptize the child. [Because it was raining, the baptism was held in Gabriel Maurer’s house, otherwise the children on the plantations, when healthy, are brought to the place where church is usually held.] Before the baptism I admonished the parents as well as the sponsors not only to bring the little child to Christ and to His inestimable grace through the means of holy baptism but also to become participants in this grace through divine order or to become better grounded in it.
What our Triune God now wishes to grant this little child through pure mercy, I said, He wishes just as sincerely to grant to each and every one of us; and this treasure of grace is well worth our humbling ourselves together before the throne of grace. This was then done, and the baptismal ceremony followed in Christian order. Mrs. Schmidt had recovered so much through God’s help from her dangerous and painful illness that she could help Mrs. Maurer in her childbirth and also attend the baptism to her and her little child’s edification. She praises the Lord for the undeserved grace she has enjoyed in her soul during her sickness; and she has earnestly resolved to apply her still remaining healthy days entirely to a worthy preparation for that day of glory and for that reason to let nothing keep her from a humble and trusting prayer. Mrs. Leinberger calls on her from time to time; and I was pleased that she could testify that she regrets her sins and wishes to be freed from them through Christ.
N. /Ruprecht/ [Steiner] told me yesterday evening that his wife had felt such great sorrow on Sunday while they were going home together from divine services in town that her health had suffered greatly from it and that Satan was planning something similar for him, namely, to do him harm. From a certain speech she had concluded that she had formerly been impenitent all the time and had gone to Holy Communion unworthily and therefore to her judgment; and, because she had again gone to it last Sunday after preparing herself penitently for it [as she and her husband believed], the previous and present unworthy partaking of Holy Communion had penetrated so deeply into her heart, she said, that she could not free herself from immoderate sorrow, and her pious and very honest husband was seized by fear. Yesterday I set him aright and gave him some words to take with him to instruct and comfort her troubled soul.
Today I came to her myself and found her in such a condition that I believed that, from her testimony, I can consider her a sinner who is hungering for mercy in Christ, a sinner who was at the Lord’s Table with profit this time too. This profit was not abolished by the fear and distress she felt, rather its right enjoyment had been postponed. She has her weaknesses, which she regrets; and she yearns sincerely for improvement. Her husband himself, who does not flatter her because he too wishes to take certain steps on this path himself, notices a remarkable change in her; and I too know from experience how much good our dear God has done for her soul. By quoting her several verses, I presented her our Savior’s good and pious feelings for poor sinners and then catechized her briefly about them in order to come to the foundation of her faith and to apply the Bible verses. May our dear Savior, who was sent and still sends His servants to preach to sinners and to comfort all the sorrowful, bless His word in her soul to console her in her present sorrow and to enhance her growth in Christianity.
The oldest son of Kieffer in Purysburg /Theobald/has returned again from his trip to Charleston, where he had been sent by his father and other German people to arrange for remission of their passage money, but he accomplished nothing. Therefore the said people wish to compose and send a memorial to London, I do not know to whom, because, as they say, it is impossible to pay the passage money with the accrued interest. Because some of these people have lost their cattle, or at least some of them, through a cattle disease, they are all the less able to pay this great debt. What a benefaction it is for our people that they are not such debtors but were transported here free, and how great is the ingratitude of those who do not recognize it [like Mrs. Landfelder and her husband and childand wish to move away, after so much money has been spent on them, from the land where they are provided for in both body and soul, and where their benefactors would continue to help them].
In Charleston a Negro set a fire that could have turned the second half of the city into ashes before the first half was rebuilt if the misfortune had not been discovered quickly and the fire not put out in time. One often hears of misfortunes caused by the Moorish slaves in Carolina, yet people in this colony are yearning for such folk. In Charleston they claim that they have trustworthy letters that the Lord Trustees have already given the establishment and government of this colony back to the King and that it would therefore be attached to Carolina and be ruled by one set of laws and by one governor, who is to be sent here (for they have had no governor for five years). I shall not believe this until I learn more about it. Foodstuffs are very expensive and hardly to be had because Spanish privateers capture many provision-laden sloops from the English.
Through letters, orally, and thrugh young /Jacob/ Kieffer, I have inquired about the German carpenter Volmer, who has been mentioned a couple of times in this diary, to see whether he ever reached Charleston, as was his intent. However, no one there has seen him, and therefore he may well have gotten lost on his way between Purysburg and Charleston and lost his life, which he had already lived for sixty years, as has happened to many people on such paths. A German tailor, who had sinned greatly with a certain single woman /Anna Elisabeth Depp/ and boasted of his wickedness [against this Kieffer too] in Charleston and threatened all sorts of other evil, died a few days afterward. This may have been a good example for those who knew the tailor, and I hope it will continue to be. [Said woman is now on the way to repentance in her present illness. May God help her through and give her faith and an honest heart to this end! On the Sunday Kieffer was there the preacher did not preach but took a trip, and therefore there was no Sunday among the people. The conversation the preacher had with him sounds very bad; but the letter he wrote to me is better, so I do not know what to think of the man.]
Because Kieffer had time, he traveled to his mother-in-law /Depp/10 in Orangeburg or Oranienburg (which is, to be sure, very far to the north, yet still in South, Carolina).11 The town appears even more miserable12 than Purysburg. The people there are almost all Germans and live very scandalously. The land is fertile, but because it lies very far from Charleston and has no communication by water, they cannot turn their extra crops into money, and therefore there is not much money among them. One sees no trace of godliness, and there is nothing but misunderstanding between the preacher N. [Giesendanner] and the parishioners.13 The money that was sent to us for him by some benefactors in Switzerland has arrived safely; and he sent me the address in Charleston to which I should forward the books that belong to him. Opportunities to send things from Charleston to Orangeburg are rare and difficult, yet he will arrange to get the books from there.
[Friday, the 14th of August. I came into N.N.’s dwelling; and, because his wife as well as himself have neglected participation in Holy Communion for a long time, I asked her the reason for this neglect. She should reveal it to me, I said; perhaps I could set her right through God’s word. I hoped she had no scruple or objection to the office of the gospel that was entrusted to me. She told me that she had shown her husband the reason for her previous failure to take Holy Communion and that she had nothing against the ministry. What Mrs. Rheinländer had said about her was not true, namely, that she had sinned through a very bad opinion of us and our office. I requested her to reveal her scruple against Holy Communion; but, since her husband was absent, she did not wish to do it.
[I had requested him to disclose to me the reason his wife had confided in him so that I might better understand her, and today he himself came to my room. I at once reminded him ofthe words I had held with him recently, namely, that it was according to Christ’s express command, the duty of a true and spiritually humble Christian to take Holy Communion often as a valuable treasure of our salvation; and I reminded him that he had answered that Christ had not prescribed any law as to how often one was to partake of it, rather it was a matter of Christian liberty. It was his custom, after partaking of Holy Communion, to begin his preparation for the following participation; and he could not say when he would complete it.
[Because he had abstained from Holy Communion this time too, I asked him whether or not he was finished with this preparation, which struck me as entirely unusual and unheard of and unfounded in God’s word and Christian practice. I added that I could assure him before God and according to the testimony of my conscience that I felt a cordial and hearty love for him and would therefore like to unite with him and also try to help him in every way with the congregation. However, I was being prevented from that by his protracted withdrawal from Holy Communion; for the people must be offended by him and also by me if I consort in a familiar way with someone, who does not act Kata taxin kai euchemosynen,14 1 Corinthians 14:40.
[He soon interrupted and asked why a Christian should be concerned with others if he surely had enough to do to look after himself. There was no reason, he said, for other people to be offended because he did not go as often as they. One should give everyone his freedom and not judge at once. I said there were weak and strong Christians among us; the weak, to be sure, are offended and are harmed, especially when one cannot give any real reason for being absent. He surely knew the verse, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father,” etc. How could this be accomplished in this way?
[Again he could give no reason for his absence from Holy Communion this time other than his continued and never-ending preparation for his next Communion; and therefore, among other things, I answered that I trusted that he was a Christian and was ready to die any day; therefore he had to prepare himself every day and complete his preparation for that. Therefore he would also be able to prepare his heart to go worthily to the Lord’s Table with other people. God, I said, demands from us no perfection that cannot be achieved in this world. Man should merely come to poverty of spirit and to true hunger and thirst. If he did not have that, he could, as he knew, achieve everything through a humble and trusting prayer. However, that we should take Holy Communion often we can see from Christ’s command in the New Testament: “For as often as ye eat this bread,” as our dear Apostle Paul, who received it from the Lord, inculcates in detail in 1 Corinthians 9:26.
[He well knew the meaning of “often,” I said; and he could recognize sufficiently ex praxi primitivae Ecclesiae15 of our blessed Luther and other solid Christians, who are known to him from church history. It also behooved him to believe that the dear Apostles and the early Christians, who took it so diligently and actively, had well understood the meaning of Christ’s words: “Do this, so often as ye,” etc. and had given us through their example very salutary admonitions concerning this dear feast. If he believed, I said, that the worthy use of Holy Communion contains and imparts an incomparably valuable treasure, namely, the entire Savior with His entire reconciliation and merited treasures of salvation that are applied individually for the trusting communicant for his superabundant comfort, and if he valued these treasures right highly and also felt his misery and sin, then hunger and thirst would arise afterwards. He would be able to find further instruction in the last two questions of the interrogative parts16 of our blessed Luther (which are disdained by many, not without great sin, just as the entire catechism is disdained), and also from the verses that accompany them. He answered little to that, yet it was enough for me to recognize that he is not to be dissuaded by any arguments from the errors of his opinion, by which he causes scandal for others and sorrow for us, as he does also by his general behavior.
[Several times he expressed the opinion that one might well believe that the Holy Ghost would lead to truth those who give themselves to Him, and he almost said that the Holy Ghost would lead them and do his work in them even without intercession. However, he could not quite succeed in that argument in view of the people who enjoy the means of salvation regularly, adequately, and often as we do in Ebenezer. Rather I affirmed that God had obliged us to the means of salvation and that we are not free to separate what God has joined together and that therefore those people are sinning who, like him and his wife, use the gospel diligently, to be sure, but never or very seldom use one seal of the gospel, namely, Holy Communion. If a patient who knew how to gain his health and strength would not act according to his doctor’s prescription or use his medicine in proper order, one would not believe he was serious about getting well.
[He finally came around to his wife and to the reason she had revealed to him for remaining away from Holy Communion for so long. She did not, he said, like to let her peace of mind be disturbed, as would happen if she should go to Holy Communion to please some other person. I was amazed at this unexpected reason and told him that, according to Colossians 3:23, a true Christian would not do external things merely to please men, far less would he do it in such a holy matter as Holy Communion from so impure reasons and for such a reprehensible purpose. He should just tell me how she can imagine she can go to church, read God’s word, and go to Communion just to please men. She should do it to please the Lord Jesus, whose command it is and who through this has given the sweetest and dearest promise to invite to Himself and His Table all poor sinners who feel their sin and weakness.
[At the same time I told him my fear that she has been decreasing greatly in her Christianity since she has lived in wedlock with him, as can be clearly recognized from her present behavior toward Holy Communion an also from her indifferent attendance at divine services. She had, I said, made good resolutions at their marriage and had, as he recently revealed to me, asked to retain her freedom to go to divine services regularly, but she must have been harmfully influenced. In the diary he had borrowed from us he would find evidence of how righteous she had shown herself to be in her single state both before and after her first attendance at Holy Communion. He agreed that he knew that she loved the Lord Jesus and that she was sorry that she had loved Him so late. But I could not comprehend how anyone could love the Lord Jesus yet disdain or disobey His express command, 1 John 2:3-6.
[The said amazing reason for missing Holy Communion thus far suggested some thoughts which I expressed to him clearly: she was, as he knew, born of Reformed parents, perhaps she still adhered to the erroneous dogma of Holy Communion that is taught in the Heidelberg Catechism17 and feels it a disturbance to her peace of mind if she must go to Holy Communion in our church in order to please people. If it were true that she always believed in the significatio and not in the realis Participatio Corporis et Sanguinis Christi,18 then it was very serious that she had let herself be publicly confirmed in our church and had gone several times to Holy Communion, especially before her marriage; for this would, of course, mean to please people and could not help but cause unrest. He could not answer anything to that. I further showed that I could not condone her never using my office privately as other grace-hungry parishioners do: she never asks me to come to her and she never comes to me to get counsel or instruction in her Christianity, rather she just lives without direction.
[She must consider herself already rather clever and must think she does not need her ministers’ counsel, encouragement, or help in prayer. If she would allow herself to be instructed from God’s word concerning Holy Communion, she could come to me or I would call on her. However, he said, she loved her rest and quietude and a minister’s encouragement would therefore be a disturbance, whereas our honest parishioners consider a private visit to be a great benefaction and are much saddened when they have to forego it for some time. Its value has been very remarkable so far, praised be God. For later reading I offered him and his wife the late Professor /August Hermann/ Francke’s and the late Pastor Freylinghausen’s very thorough and often blessed sermons: Necessary Examination of Oneself and Holy Observance of Holy Communion.19 However, he did not want them, so we can well see that they do not wish to let themselves be convinced.]
Saturday, the 15th of August. Young N. /Jacob/[Zuebli], who left us last spring with his brother /Ambrosius/ to work in Savannah as a day laborer, sent me a letter by way of our boat in which he requested some medicine for his violent fever. He had engaged himself for six months as a rower on a so-called scout boat, which is sent out from time to time to reconnoiter; and, as he wrote, he has had to suffer much discomfort among the rough people.20 Therefore he would like to be free; but he cannot get free and would be pleased if I would help him do so, which, however, is not my office. He will surely have often remembered how heated and angry he was at my frank and well-intended advice when he and his brother were about to leave our place, his profession, and divine services. The wicked N.N. [Michael Rieser] is also a rower on the same boat, and from that we can see what kind of comrades he must have, among whom his conscience will have to suffer greatly.
[Both brothers were day laborers at the /Bethesda/orphanage near Savannah for three months. However, because they were not up to the work, they were dismissed; and the manager /Habersham/sent me many complaints of their poor work. Because they had come there from our place, these complaints did not please me. I am sorry for them: they left at planting time; what will they do if they return at harvest time, as the older /Ambrosius/Zuebli will do according to the letter I have received? The money they have earned will soon be spent if they have to buy all their food. Many people do not recognize what advantages they enjoy at our place in healthy and in sick days. If they become wise through their loss, then they can warn other people from their experience. A couple of knowledgeable men, one of whom tried to earn money at the siege of Fort St. Augustine, approached Landfelder to dissuade him from moving away; they would have persuaded him to remain if only his wife did not have the upper hand. What good can come from such a perversion of God’s order in a marriage in which the wife is the husband’s master and head?]
Sunday, the 16th of August. Young /Jacob/ Kieffer has brought his wife’s brother /Depp/ from Orangeburg in order to learn the trade [of shoemaking] at our place. He is said to be very ignorant of the basic truths of the Christian religion; indeed, his sister /Anna Elisabeth Depp/ was so ignorant that we could hardly believe it. It was surely not without reason that God let this young man of some sixteen years come here. Perhaps he will let himself be won through the word of God, which he can hear on Sundays and work days and which he has heard diligently since his arrival here. Perhaps he will let himself be brought to the Lord Jesus like the miserable person in today’s gospel, Mark 7:31 ff., which would cause us unusually great joy. If N. [Zettler], from whom he wishes to learn, becomes a true Christian [he has already resolved to several times but has fallen by the way], then we could promise ourselves much good from their association.
[Monday, the 17th of August. On this my bloodletting day, the old widow Spielbigler treated me very badly. She wishes to follow her son to Charleston but first to sell all her belongings and cattle, even what was given her and him as aid by the Lord Trustees; but for this she must first obtain permission from Savannah. Since I cannot consent to her sales until she brings the permission, she is attacking me; and this morning she spewed forth right dreadful things. God gave me the grace to remain silent, and I listened to all her accusations, reproaches, and curses without feeling the least insult. I thought of the Savior’s words: “Let them curse, but bless thou,” and from my heart I wished her the experience of divine mercy for penitence and salvation.
[I shall soon instruct the congregation as to what General Oglethorpe, and consequently the Lord Trustees, are seeking when they prevent those who leave from selling their cattle and other things with which they had supported them and wished to help maintain them as colonists. They are demanding nothing for themselves, rather they wish the said gifts to remain in Ebenezer. Whoever remains here and wishes to support himself honestly can keep everything all his life; but whoever wishes to move to another colony can ask the government there to do the same for him (if it can be done) as the Lord Trustees have done for him here. They are not obligated to give such help to other colonists as they do to their own. Besides, it is ungrateful enough of such people to have enjoyed free passage, a couple of years’ provisions, and other benefactions and then to leave the country as soon as they have progressed enough to bear the costs of a journey to another area and to establish a new household.
[By the same token it is entirely irresponsible to claim the right to take along the cattle, household utensils, and tools that were to be used here. In other places one would demand an emigration fee.21 What such ungrateful people must leave behind (although they use such tricks and stratagems that little is forthcoming, by which they greatly sin), General Oglethorpe has donated for public use, especially for the orphanage. However, because we do not wish for wicked people to gain any apparent reason to malign this institution, it will be given to the community and to cover the present costs and expenses of the mill. I am a thorn in the eye of poor Mrs. Spielbigler and others of her kind, because I have to bear the secular authority and look out for the temporal affairs and arrangements in the community; and this she calls Papist. I believe, however, if another authority were here who did not give in to wicked and obstinate people, they would come running to me and wish to misuse my office against the authorities. If we would not concede to them and would not or could not let ourselves be pitted against another’s office, then they would act like unknowing people in Germany, of whom I have heard, who have called righteous ministers dumb dogs and so forth who fear men more than God and do not wish to bite big people, etc.]
Tuesday, the 18th of August. In accordance with His wisdom and holiness, God ordained for this and that parishioner’s impure paths to be revealed; and now I do not wonder that such people have not achieved much in their Christianity so far even though they have sometimes made much effort. In view of such disloyalty toward the grace of the Holy Ghost, the judgments of God cannot fail to take place. He has withdrawn His hand, and they have fallen and struck deep wounds in their consciences. On the occasion of the Bible story in 2 Samuel 13 may God draw from darkness into light all the evil in which this or that person is mired so that it will be abolished and the poor captured souls may be helped. May He also give us wisdom to deal rightly with all the sins we recognize in our parishioners and to prevent not only the sins but also the opportunity to do them, especially since, from the examples in the Bible story we are to have and also from our own experience, we sufficiently recognize that it truly means almost as much to avoid the opportunity to sin as it means to avoid the sin itself. From the first part of the 13th chapter of 2 Samuel, both in the prayer meeting in town and today on the plantations, parents and children, as well as single people of both sexes, have received the most important admonitions to recognize their Christian duties at present and in future times, and may the Lord not let us forget them.
Before the edification hour the orphanage herdsman /Schneider/ gave me an opportunity to lay on his heart something from God’s word to further his conversion. He too is one of those who (as the blessed Luther says) has already passed through faith even though he knows nothing of remorse and sorow because of sin and nothing of the fearful and contrite heart in which faith is born. He considers himself not like the Pharisee, but like the Publican in Luke 18. He and his wife /Elisabeth/ [who is Sanftleben’s sister] are probably like the Publican in his sins but not in his conversion, as I was trying to explain to him. However, I shall accomplish just as little with him as with N. [Mrs. Spielbigler], N. [Michael Rieser] and his wife, and N. [Mrs. Landfelder] and others of their kind.
We can rightfully apply to such people what I have read in the clever writing of a theologian: “Concerning such people one can say that Satan effects and maintains such false belief in them; and from it, with God’s just dispensation, he gives them such assurance that they audaciously scorn all warning and admonition and are indignant at anyone who dares to tell them otherwise and wishes, as they say, to send them back to school in their old age. They can recite their three articles of faith and have also learned a few verses of scripture; and they wish to be saved by that even though they live in daily sin and know nothing, or wish to know nothing, of any struggle of faith, of any sighs and yearning for Christ, of any savor or feeling of His power, of any zeal in godliness, of any self-denial, or of any rejection of the world.”
The vestrymen have complained to me several times that N.’s [Grimmiger’s] little girl /Catherina/ has been very badly treated by her father and her stepmother and has not been made to go to divine services or do anything else that is good. Therefore the congregation have requested me in their name to take away the child, who is about six years of age, and to have her better cared for in the orphanage or else with Christian people. I have also endeavored to persuade the parents to let the child go, but they have not wished to. Nor have they let themselves be convinced of their severity, and I have not been able to use force because there has been a lack of sufficient witnesses and testimony to convince them of their wickedness and unchristian behavior toward the child. I advised some knowledgeable men to speak with the parents and give them some suggestions for the Christian treatment of the child; if that did not help, then I would speak about it to the authorities in Savannah. However, it has now come to the point that they have willingly given the child over to N. [Leinberger] to bring up, who, with his wife /Margaretha/ will make every effort to raise her in a Christian way and to send her to school regularly.
Since Hans Floerel cannot serve as schoolmaster on the plantations because of the remoteness of his place, the calling has devolved upon the very industrious and zealous Ruprecht Steiner, who enjoys a good testimony from everyone and has a plantation right at the spot where church and school are to be held. He has had experience in Christianity and is most anxious to learn and experience more and more, and he is also skilled in reading. It will be easy to teach him whatever he lacks in the accustomed way of getting on with children. [I shall speak with the parents who have children on the plantations in order to learn whether they are willing to send their children to school regularly, as I do not doubt they are. A start in this can be made with God’s help after the harvest.]
N.N. [Ruprecht Zittrauer] and his wife are both ignorant, and for several years I have been after them to persuade them to go to one of their neighbors for the purpose of learning. They did this for a short time and learned a bit; yet they have dropped it again despite being reminded repeatedly and being kept from Holy Communion. Now this /Ruprecht/ Steiner is taking the trouble to go the considerable distance to their hut to recite to them the words of the catechism, Biblical verses, and little prayers for them to memorize and to work on their souls in simplicity and humility; and these people are now feeling a new joy in this. May God give them seriousness and steadfastness!
Wednesday, the 19th of August. [It rained a great deal yesterday afternoon and last night and began again this morning, but then it cleared up again. The water in the river has fallen almost visibly in a few days; if it does not rise again because of this violent rain, the people will soon begin to repair the mill dike, for which they were encouraged yesterdy in the edification hour.] This morning three men traveled to a certain plantation in Carolina to fetch sixteen horses from there for the community that General Oglethorpe has advanced and are to be trained for plowing. They are requesting only mares, from which the people hope gradually to acquire more horses for that will help lighten their lives in many ways. I wrote to a planter I know named Jonathan Bryan, who is a Christian man and a good friend of our congregation. He will serve us as best he can in buying the horses.
Our dear God let some men recognize their images in the mirrors that were held up to us in the Bible stories to help us know the state of our hearts. Therefore they came to me today individually to discuss their situations. One of the men showed me a little verse from a song in which the condition of his heart is expressed. He thinks of more and more youthful sins that so discourage him that sometimes he almost despairs of his state of grace; yet our dear Savior, he says, helps him again and again. Among the many especial tests of God’s patience and forebearance he counts the fact that He did not let him get mired down in his Popish fatherland, even though he had plunged himself into the danger of being misled again into such error, for after having escaped once, he became mired in it for several years. Even among the Protestants he had not worried himself much in his heart about experiencing the gospel; and he was satisfied with fulfilling the verses 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 by having physically left the country.
Nevertheless, in his blindness and mouth-Christianity of that time he was vexed that a certain learned and famous preacher arranged all sorts of worldly entertainments until late at night with merchants and other people, entertainments that had never been found in Christ or His Apostles. He considers it a great benefaction that the parishioners, in their remorse, can lament their sins to their ministers according to the directions of our catechism: “We should acknowledge before our confessor the sins we know and feel in our hearts” (without any legal compulsion) and can profit from their advice and encouragement. He does not begrudge this benefaction but wishes it for all people in Protestant Christendom because he knows from his and his wife’s experience how much blessing our merciful God, who is accustomed to deal with men through man because of His love for man, has laid on such simple and intimate intercourse.
The other man had sinned against his neighbor through anger and rather rough and threatening words. However, he had been very frightened about it during and after yesterday’s edification hour (in which, on the occasion of the situation in the story in 2 Samuel 13:21-22, we applied the words of St. Paul in Ephesians 4:26-27); and he could not rest until he had been reconciled and had spoken to me about it. His great enemy is his lightheadedness. However, God is beginning to open his eyes so that he is learning to recognize his previous blindness, shortcomings, and danger. The Devil sometimes attempts to strew disunity among neighbors; but God is so loyal as to get after it at once with His word and with the discipline of His spirit in order to put out the first spark. We show our parishioners from God’s word that, after having had angry and discordant altercations, it is not enough for them to get along with each other externally and become good friends, rather, because anger and strife are damnable sins according to Galatians 5, they must be redeemed by the blood of Christ and the sins they have committed and incurred must be abolished.
Thursday, the 20th of August. N. /Martin/ [Lackner] fetched some medicine from the doctor for his wife and told me that our dear God was bringing her to a recognition of her sins by her sickness. She was very worried, he said, whether she will attain grace because of her many and great sins. She recently complained to me that she had previously considered herself a good Christian, but now her sins are becoming so great that she does not know whether or not she will be saved. I encouraged her, however, at that time; and today I gave her husband a little verse to take to her: “Come unto me all ye that labor,” etc. and promised to visit her tomorrow, God willing. He should remind her, I said, that God loves sincerity and that she should therefore freely confess the sins that are on her conscience if she notices that she cannot come to rest. She had her husband ask me and my dear colleague to intercede for her.
We hear that last week a more violent storm arose along the sea than has been felt for some years, and therefore that people fear there has been much damage to the ships before Charleston. The large boats that wanted to go from Savannah or Charleston to Frederica have returned suddenly through fear of the storm. The corn has been blown down for several miles between Savannah and our place and been leveled with the ground. To be sure, we have had some strong wind here too, but not nearly so strong as it is described in Savannah. Also, God averted all damage from the fields.
Friday, the 21st of August. Before the edification hour I visited two neighboring families [Lackner and Zimmerebner] and told them various things about the little verse: “Fear not, for thou hast found favor with God” and prayed with them. A misunderstanding had arisen between N. [Zimmerebner] and his wife /Margaretha/ because of some external matter, of which they complained in such a way that I could easily see that it was all but settled. After thinking about it, the wife admitted she was in the wrong, and I showed that she was even more so by citing what had been read to them at their marriage. She recognizes her worldly-minded and mistrusting heart and will try diligently to rid herself of this enemy as well. They were greatly frightened by the verse in Philippians 3:19, “Destruction is the end of those who mind worldly things.”
N. [Ernst] came to me after my return and told me the diagnosis he had had to hear from the bone-setter and surgeon in Purysburg concerning his hand, namely, that it was entirely putrid and that there was nothing to do but amputate it before gangrene or cancer set in, and he had resolved to have this done.22 In Purysburg they like to use all kinds of violent Negro-cures23 before necessity demands, and therefore I advised him to seek better advice first before taking this brutal and extreme step.24 [For this reason I went with him to Mr. Thilo, under whose treatment he had been until now and who also told him that there was still time with the amputation. Beforehand he should try all other alleviating means, I said; and he and his wife were satisfied with this.] He has much pain in his hand. I wish, and I always direct my conversation to that end, that he will penitentially acknowledge his sins with which he has piled up his measure of sins in Germany, on the voyage, and here in this country and that he will cry out to the Lord about them day and night. He reads Arndt’s True Christianity diligently because he now has time to do so; and he claims that he now recognizes much in it that he did not recognize before. In my presence he behaves very well, but N. [Sanftleben] gives him and his wife a very bad testimony. Nor can I persuade them to seek a good opportunity for edification or perhaps to seek the acquaintance of a good Christian man to edify them through prayer and simple conversation.
[Today he expressed the opinion that he finds that only a few people in Ebenezer will be saved because they do not live as it is described in Arndt; but I diverted him from other people and to himself, for it is the nature of such people to judge and quickly curse those who do not do as they wish. If anyone approaches them at all earnestly and tells them the truth, then he is sinning against the rules of Christianity, as we have discovered to be true so far in the case of Michael Rieser and others.
[Sunday, the 22nd of August. Old /Theobald/ Kieffer of Purysburg has been here several days with his children and will remain here until Monday in order to be edified from God’s word. Today he had me write a letter in his name and that of other Germans to a man in Charleston who had told young /Jacob/ Kieffer that he had received reliable information in a letter from a member of Parliament in London that the passage money for all the people in Purysburg, and therefore also for the first transport, had been fully paid by unknown benefactors (perhaps even by the very blessed Queen) and that the merchant Simons,25 who had advanced it, had been appeased. However, because he had lost this letter and the poor people in Purysburg would like some certainty, they are asking in their letter that another letter be written to London to inquire again more closely about the paid passage. I wish dependable settlement would come of this; but it seems to me that it is only imagined that the travel costs should have been paid for all people who have come to Purysburg since the beginning, some of whom have died and some of whom have moved away.
[I consider young /Charles/ Purry too honest to demand this money in the name of the merchant Simons if it were already paid. However, the people are not to be convinced, and we are immediately suspected in all sorts of ways if we will not speak according to their sentiments, as has already happened to me with the German people in this country and their unreasonable demands and as is now happening in the case of the English schoolmaster /Hamilton/ and his wife. What I had feared and what I told him in Savannah before these two people moved to us is being fulfilled more than enough, namely, that they would cause me much distress and inconvenience if they did not have their way in Ebenezer. These people, who wish to play the lady and gentleman, desire complete subsistence from me; and, because that is not within my means, they deceive me and judge me in every way. He claims he was sent here from London as schoolmaster at my request, although he had been accepted as an indentured servant by Captain Thomson more than three months before I mentioned a schoolmaster in my letter to the Society.
[It seems too much for him to instruct for two hours each day for four years to pay off 16 ь Sterling for his and his wife’s passage money, unless we also give them their entire subsistence. We have offered him the orphanage several times if he will let himself be used for the children and his wife will perform various female tasks. However, they would rather be alone; and, since they do not wish to work the land and support themselves like other people (even though they were assigned a prepared piece of land just in front of their dwelling), I do not know how they will support themselves. They contracted themselves to Captain Thomson by a usual indenture as man and maid servant for four years and are therefore angry that I will not give them back the said written contract and thus let them pass as free before their time. As a wigmaker who is a native born Englishman and has been in Germany for several years, he is not well suited to head the English school. Nevertheless, in the hope he would be diligent and make himself useful through practice, I gave the captain a receipt and thus accepted him into our place, because otherwise he would have been sold along with his wife for four years of service elsewhere, a fact that these poor people should recognize with gratitude. I believe that for various reasons it is necessary to write down here what Mr. Verelst wrote concerning this man in an open letter of 29 October 1740, which this man himself brought me:
[“The Bearer, Henry Hamilton being disirous to settle with the Saltzburghers at Ebenezer in understanding both the German and English Languages; I persuaded Capt. Thomson to carry him and his Wife and Child over and in case of examination you will find him of use to the Saltzburghers, for instructing them in the English Tongue or teaching the Children, please to give the Capitain a Receipt for them to intitle him to apply to the Trustees for Payment of their Passage and the Capitains Charges on them. On which Receipt the Indenture for Security to the Capitain is to be vacated, but otherwise to continue in force for the Benefit of Such Person as will reimburse the Captain. I am etc.”
[Together with Mr. Jones I spoke with him a great deal in Savannah before he was brought to our place and I tried to persuade him to go somewhere else if he did not wish to support himself by the work of his hands; for otherwise there would be no means to maintain him among us. Nevertheless, he wished to come here; and now we have enough burden with him and his wife. The man is an unprincipled curser who has angered not only some members of the congregation but also some Indians; and, in addition, he is said to have been punished by an Indian woman from whom he had bartered some game. Right at the beginning a pious Salzburger woman heard his wife cursing and had admonished her in a friendly way according to the content of the verse Leviticus 19:17, which is well known among us; but it was received very evilly. So far they have shown no love for God’s word and have made it clear that they greatly adhered to the opere operato26 and external ceremonies in the largest churches in Germany and therefore take little pleasure in the simple arrangement of our divine services.]
Sunday, the 23rd of August. This morning N. [Ernst] sent his neighbor [young /Peter/ Arnsdorff] to ask me to come to him as soon as possible because he had things to discuss with me that concerned his eternal salvation, and he asked me not to delay. I could not go out to him until the morning divine service was over. I would have gladly taken the doctor along, but he considered it unnecessary, and it was good that I could speak alone with this N. [Ernst], whom I found lying very weak in bed. God has now driven this sinner so far into a corner that he can no longer conceal his great and right loathsome sins any longer, rather he had revealed them to his wife who, to be sure, wished for invalid reasons to keep him from revealing them honestly to me and before the countenance of God; but she was unable to do it.
He complained that he had great pangs of conscience because of his great sins but that he had formerly not wished to confess them through fear of disgrace and loss; but now he would tell everything because it was high time for him to repent. God might attack him as hard as He wished, he would suffer it all gladly, for he had deserved Hell a thousand times [and some dreadful things came out], because he had stolen various tools from the N.N. [Herrnhuters], who had hired him for some jobs in Savannah for a few weeks. He asked me to write to them in N. [Pennsylvania] to learn where they should be delivered. [Hagen is in Savannah, perhaps we can ask him whether he wishes to accept everything that Ernst wishes to restore]. He requested a couple of pious Salzburgers, a man and his wife, to come to him so he could ask their forgiveness for the sin he had committed against them, also for his murderous assault (which God mercifully averted). He asked me to write down all his debts, which he willingly promised to pay off if only God would let him recover again. Moreover, he would commend everything to God, who would know how to pay it. After his death his wife too should give up what she has. He requested me to ask the entire congregation to pray God to bring him to penitence and receive him in grace.
Because he had vexed the entire community, he was asking for forgiveness; and, if he had sinned against any one person in particular or owed him anything, he should tell him so, and he would recognize it as a benefaction. [He had committed something with a Catholic student in Germany that he has not been able to make good, so he must humble himself before God so that He will do it.] He had greatly offended his father and caused him much sorrow, he said, as he had also caused us ministers, and this also causes him great sorrow; and he asked our forgiveness sincerely and with tears. He acknowledged that he had told innumerable lies and had also cursed and conducted his married life very scandalously, also that he had had little interest in divine services and the means of salvation and had pursued all sorts of debauchery in other places at the time of divine services. He recognized it as a blessing that God was attacking him so severely, for by this he had been brought to quietude and given the time to reflect and to read in Arndt’s True Christianity and thus have his eyes opened.
He begged most sincerely for my and my dear colleague’s intercession and promised not to let anything distract him from his resolution to convert to God with all his heart. I talked with him about his circumstances; and after our prayer I commended him to God’s mercy, which is as great as He Himself is and which has often been granted to many a great sinner through the reconciliation of Christ. His example reminded me of King Manasse, who did not come to true penitence until God let him feel on his body the bitter fruits of his sinful life. He also told me he was thinking of what he had heard from us but had not wished to believe, namely, that a man disregards sins while he is healthy and feels secure; but, when he is lying on his sickbed or deathbed, they lie on his conscience as heavy as whole mountains.
Monday, the 24th of August. [My dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, must tend to various important affairs in Savannah; and, because he just found an opportunity to go there, he left here early this morning long before daybreak. May the Lord accompany him and strengthen him in soul and body, may He let him arrange everything well and bring him back to us soon!] Yesterday N. [Ernst] spoke with my dear colleague [Mr. Boltzius] also about his physical condition; and, because he had promised to report it to Mr. Thilo, I went to him yesterday evening and asked him to visit the man so that he would better judge what was to be done. He said, however, that the condition was so bad that he believed it could not be postponed any longer, rather the man should be brought to Purysburg as soon as possible so that could be done which the doctor there thought best.
Because N. [Ernst] had recently asked if I would be so kind as to accompany him, and my dear colleague considered it good and necessary; therefore this morning I went to N. [Ernst], took him into the boat, and traveled in God’s name to Purysburg. Just as I entered his house, we were joined by the pious Salzburger woman whom I mentioned yesterday and with whom he wished to speak alone [her husband had been there already]. Before we went away, we [knelt down in prayer and] prayed to our dear God about these important circumstances. The Salzburger woman also spoke movingly to N. [Ernst], and we departed in God’s name.
Underway I spoke much with the man, and showed him how these were punishments for his sins, he should beg God diligently for right recognition and confession of his sins and not merely recognize and confess sins in general [rather he should recognize specifically how thereby he insulted such a pious God, who has never done anything against him, and how they have caused his Savior so many pains, as the Lord Jesus Himself says: “Thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities,” etc. If it came to the point that he would come to Him with all his sins and look upon Him on the cross like the raised serpent,27 I said, then he too would hear these words: “I shall blot out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Already in his hut and afterwards in Purysburg he told me things which are terrible and which have wounded his conscience. In all this I directed him to and showed him the right way to his comfort thus: when sin has become great, mercy is much greater. He well recognizes that the reason he has never seriously sought true conversion was this: he thought he would not come through because the sins he committed were too many. However, I directed him to Jesus, of whom it is written: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [He should invoke God diligently for a right recognition of sin and for true faith in this Lamb of God.]
In Purysburg we at once went to the doctor [who, however, said he had not expected me and had therefore not prepared for anything. The operation cannot take place until tomorrow morning after breakfast. This displeased me because I would have liked to be back home today because my dear colleague is also away; but I had to accept it because I had come for Ernst’s sake and because I wish to begin and end the treatment with prayer. Because I had time, I went to Mr. Lindner, who had been with us recently, and I discussed various things with him; and I especially admonished the children with the parable of the prodigal son and prayed with them. Then I went back to Ernst, admonished him again, and prayed with him.] Because the operation had been postponed, I went to Mr. /David/ Zuebli on his plantation, where I spent the night. Here our dear Lord granted me right great edification and first we sang [the song Nun freut euch liebe Christen gemein, etc.]. Afterwards I told them something of the words I had used yesterday as an exordium, Galatians 2:19-20, “I am crucified with Christ,” etc.; and I closed with prayer. [During the prayer God especially refreshed and strengthened me and also assured me again of His grace, and He strengthened me in His covenant of grace so that I could eat something and fall asleep in joy.]
Tuesday, the 25th of August. [As soon as I had prayed to God concerning my and other people’s circumstances and had eaten some breakfast, I went to the doctor accompanied by Mr. /David/Zuebli. Because the doctor now wished to eat breakfast first, I had time to speak and pray with Ernst alone. I especially brought to his mind the words “He hath not dealt with us after our sins,” etc. Likewise, “Surely He hath borne our griefs,” etc.] When the doctor was actually about to perform the above-mentioned bloody and painful operation, I fell on my knees with the other people present and presented the situation to God; and this made an impression on the others, even on those with unusually harsh dispositions. When it was over I thanked our dear God for His aid, commended N.’s [Ernst’s] spiritual and physical condition to our dear God [and assured him that, if he would let himself be completely won, he would henceforth be able to serve God better with one hand than formerly with two] and took leave of him with the words: “Lo, I am with you always, until,” etc. [He asked me movingly whether I really believed it, and I said yes, he could depend upon it.]
The doctor cut open the amputated hand and showed me that it was all putrid and could not have been healed again and that it had been necessary to delay no longer. I departed again in the afternoon in God’s name with my companions and reached home sound and strengthened in soul and body so that I could still hold the prayer meeting. [In the prayer meeting I sang the beautiful song Sei mir tausendmal gegrüsset, der mich je und je geliebt, etc. and repeated the exordium verse Galatians 2:19-20, about which I catechized the children in the presence of the adults.]
May the dear Lord let us all recognize what a blessing it is to have all our limbs whole. May He convert us all to Him so that we will all be put in a position to use all our limbs for His glory and for the good of our neighbors. Mr. Zuebli is willing to go to N. [Ernst] regularly to speak with him from God’s word in his spiritual and physical misery, and this will be right salutary for N. [Ernst] through the grace of God.
Wednesday, the 26th of August. Toward the time of the afternoon school I (Boltzius) returned to Ebenezer safe and sound. [The water in the river has risen very high from the strong and lasting rain, so the rowing was very difficult for the people in the boat. This time I did not have to trouble the people of the congregation to take me to Savannah, rather I found enough room in young /Jacob/ Kieffer’s boat to travel down and back with him and his brother /Theobald/]. In Savannah I complained to the authorities that even last year the Uchee Indians had taken corn from the fields and fruit from the gardens both openly and secretly and are now becoming so audacious as to ride around on their horses in the corn and beans, cut cords in the stables, and take away milk, butter, laundry, and whatever they wish. The same complaints are made in Savannah, and there is even more trouble there because they have an opportunity to get drunk. [Because the members of the magistry gave me only cold comfort and the opportunity presented itself], I also wrote concerning this to General Oglethorpe requesting him to prevent such violence through his authority, because otherwise there would be sad consequences for our poor people, who work hard enough already earning their bread.
[I also reported to him that a certain captain near Palachocolas /Eneas McIntosh/ has been using our strong draft horse for five years and that, when I requested it, he denied he had it but kept on using it secretly in his service. There are witnesses who say that the horse belongs to our congregation; therefore we are demanding it rightly and justly and hope that Mr. Oglethorpe will require the unjust man to make good the loss we have suffered for so long for lack of the horse. The horses Mr. Oglethorpe ordered to be brought a long time ago for our place are loose in the woods near Savannah and cannot be given to the riders for their reconnaissance until all the horses that were bought for the same purpose at other places can be collected; but this will proceed very slowly. Mr. Oglethorpe is of the opinion (as a certain captain told me) that everything has been in order for a long time. I do not wish to mention this in my letter to Mr. Oglethorpe, because I would arouse anger in Savannah.]
A ship that lost its mast in the last storm has arrived off Savannah. A good while ago the Spaniards had taken it from the English and made a warship of it with which they did much harm to the English shipping; and just before the last great storm they captured two rice-laden ships not far from Charleston. The two captains and fifteen sailors who were in the two merchant ships were put into this warship as prisoners and well guarded. However, before St. Augustine the storm drove the ship into the region of Frederica; and, because the Spaniards were afraid of being captured, they took off with the longboat, threw the cannons overboard, secretly bored holes in the ship, and plugged up the pumps with the intention of sinking the ship. Nevertheless, the captured Englishmen noticed the treachery, plugged up the holes after the Spaniards had fled, and finally reached the shores of Georgia with a good wind. [The captains and sailors are to be examined in the next few days in order to learn whether they are telling the truth. The Spaniards are said to be very active at sea, whereas the English are rather sleepy, so the latter are suffering losses on all sides.]
In four weeks a man /Duche] is going to England with the permission and at the expense of Mr. Oglethorpe to gain some advantage from the Lord Trustees. He is willing to take our letters along and perform whatever we commission him to do. He is a potter by trade and has so far supplied the country and the neighborhood with earthenware; and, because he generally has great skill and understanding, he has discovered the secret of making porcelain that is just as good as that made in China, but for this he needs some advances from the Lord Trustees. He was born in Pennsylvania and still has a father and brothers and sisters there, but he finds so many advantages in the climate of our colony that he does not wish to go home. He is assured that, if the Lord Trustees would concede one great point, hundreds of people would move here from New York and Pennsylvania, where they must work very hard and can scarcely earn their livelihood. There are far too many people there already, and there are already many complaints.
On Monday evening I held a prayer meeting with the German people on John 8:36 and presented them with the misery outside of Christ and the bliss in Him [Cf. v. 34-35] and briefly repeated what I had preached to them four weeks ago on Hebrews 11:10 [Cf. 13-14] and Colossians 3:22 ff. Two English families asked me to baptize their children, which occurred on Monday before the prayer meeting and Tuesday afternoon.
[No letters have come from England to Savannah for a long time; and people there, as here, are yearning for good news from our patrons and friends. The older /Ambrosius/ Zuebli is tired of the disquiet in Savannah, and therefore he came to Ebenezer with us in our boat. His brother /Jacob/ has not only had much difficulty in his present service and has even been beaten and thrown into prison; but such disorder will probably last as long as he performs his six-months service, for which he can thank no one but himself and his overhastiness. He was not in Savannah, but at his post. At night he has fever; and by day, if he is not rowing in the boat, he must work on the land and with this he has poor provisions and bad company, which causes him much external and internal distress and disquiet.
In Purysburg I let our boat go on ahead, while I went to N. [Ernst] at the surgeon’s plantation to talk with him briefly and to pray. Almost his entire left arm has been cut off so that you can see only a stump of about five inches. Last night he had great pain, which, as the doctor said, will last another two days. In this condition he cannot pray, as he said to me, but he can sigh to God, whom he has so greatly insulted and whom he would like to serve well in this life through Christ. I reminded him of the little verse, “Sin is a reproach to any people,” with the request to let himself recognize his sin and deep perdition of heart better and better; because the wounds of the soul cannot be thoroughly cured unless one reaches their foundation and removes all that is harmful. He is not out of mortal danger, I said, and therefore it is all the more necessary for him to prepare earnestly for death. The surgeon himself is supplying him with food and drink in the way he finds necessary for the patient’s circumstances, and for this he should be paid one shilling a day in addition to the medical fee, which we will not know until the man is cured again. It will amount to a great deal. The man himself has not a single penny in his possession except for his crops; and therefore we will probably have to cover the expenses from the blessings God has granted us. This will happen with heartfelt pleasure and joy, if only God can achieve His purpose in this poor soul.
After this I journeyed by way of /David/ Zuebli’s plantation to the bank of the Savannah River, where the boat that was to pick me up was to land. However, because of the high water I found so many difficulties and so much danger on the way that I cannot describe them. Our dear God had wisely ordained that /Christian/ Riedelsperger, who had been sent with two others to Carolina to buy horses, was just then at Mr. Zuebli’s plantation and carried me on his shoulders across the ditches that were filled with water. He could travel home with us in the boat, whereas he would otherwise have had to wait longer for an opportunity if I had not come this morning; and thus we were both helped by God’s fatherly dispensation.
People in Europe cannot imagine the miserable condition of the roads in this country or that they are as bad and dangerous as they really are; and, although the people in Carolina have many Negroes, nothing is put into good order anywhere. Even those who call themselves gentlemen and cut a fine figure when they come to town have to get along so badly with food, clothes, and dwellings as any among us; so we have good reason to praise God heartily for the good He grants us. The three men just mentioned also underwent much hardship on their journey yet could not accomplish much. From Jonathan Bryan, to whom I had recommended them, they received so much love and kindness that they cannot praise it enough; and they also saw and heard many edifying things in his house, where God’s word dwells abundantly, which is something very rare in this country.
[He wrote me a friendly letter in which he reports that at present he can procure us not more than three mares and that these will be rather expensive. He promises to buy us more in six weeks if it suits us at 4 ь 10 sh. Sterl. for each mare, without foals. If they were delivered to our place at this price, then they would not be too expensive; but the expense and danger of fetching them runs very high, and therefore I must speak about it with the congregation. The three mares, which are said to be young and good, are still on a plantation at Palachacolas because they could not be brought down here on account of the very high water, and therefore it will be very expensive to fetch them. In this country everything has its difficulties. Danger is also involved with these horses. Our people say they have been grazing on salt water meadows; here they will find only fresh pasturage. This change, however, can often have serious consequences, and they often die. May God avert all loss! Many cows are dying at Purysburg, and the people fear the cattle disease will spread further.]
The Uchee Indians have also driven off horses from a plantation there and committed other offenses, so one must be serious and cautious. We are also worried that they will capture our few horses and ride off on them as they have also done in Savannah and Old Ebenezer. This evening I told the congregation how they should behave toward this thieving band to get rid of them and not to draw back again. We should not buy anything from them and not associate with them and be serious toward them when they misbehave. The more friendly we are and the more we give in and trade with them (which, in any case, is strictly forbidden by the Lord Trustees in order to prevent harm), the more we will have them around our necks and suffer trouble. Selfishness always brings harm.
Thursday, the 27th of August. We have had steady rain for almost two weeks, and the Savannah River has risen so high from it again that it is leaving its banks and will probably cause some damage to the beans and squash and to the corn and rice that has been blown down. All of /Theobald/ Kieffer’s people are badly off, because rising water prevents them from working and even forces them to flee. During this high water that keeps them from working on their own plantations they wished to make some tar on our side and to use their two Negroes or Moorish slaves for it too. However, we cannot permit this because it is against the colony’s laws, even though otherwise we like to serve them as members of our congregation in all lawful things, especially since they show themselves very friendly and helpful to the community.
They do not get as much use from their Negroes as they had expected; and therefore they have been regretting it for some time yet cannot sell them to anyone else to get their money back. In buying them they had the good intention of leading them to the Christian religion; but they, just like N.N. [Mr. /David/ Zuebli] and others, have extended themselves too far and find no time to teach their slaves even the first letters of Christian dogma. We can see in their case that they were not concerned with the souls of those slaves but with their labor, and therefore with self-interest. As an excuse, many claim that these Negroes are such stupid people that they cannot understand anything; yet they make no effort to teach them anything in the course of time.
With himself and with others, a Christian should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things shall be added unto him according to Christ’s promise. But here in this country it is the opposite with most people, even with those who wish to be better than others: they seek temporal things with all their strength and use all their people, both free and servants, to that end. Many die in doing this and must render a grave account for such a perverse domestic economy. In contemplating the conditions in this country and in our neighborhood I sometimes think of the words of St. Paul: “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare.” God’s commandment is, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” etc. If the people would remain with this wise commandment of God and be content with what He let fall to them from their work, how much inconvenience, unrest, and trouble they would avoid! May God make our people wise and lead them more and more to simplicity and contentedness!
Much harm is caused here and there by the Negroes, and the most atrocious things are done by and among them; but, unfortunately, their masters make little of this if only they do their work. In Savannah I heard from the authorities of a new example of what harm is caused when a master has Negroes and white servants. The things that occurred at Fort Augustine28 are so dreadful and ugly that I shrink from expressing them with my pen. There are sworn witnesses, so the atrocities and monstrous wickedness committed there cannot be denied; and I have been requested by the authorities to send some people with our small boat up there so that two Negroes and two German children, namely, a boy and a girl, can be brought down and so that the two Negroes, together with their masters as accomplices in the shameful matter, can be emphatically punished (perhaps with their lives) and the two children be saved from their clutches. The two children belong to the man /Peter Heinrich/ who died two years ago in my house as a pious servant and whose oldest daughter /Anna Maria/is married to a Salzburger /Paulus Zittrauer / while the two little girls are in another house.29
Friday, the 28th of August. This summer some people are being afflicted rather severely with fever, and I do not know what the reason is that we have so much longlasting fever in our place, while one hears little about it in Savannah and Purysburg. N.N. [Ruprecht Steiner] has it so violently that he is delirious with paroxysms and has hallucinations. I told him for his comfort the little verse: “All things, and therefore sickness too, must serve for the best of them whom the Lord loveth.” He and his family had read in the book of Tobias, in which he has found much good instruction and comfort for his domestic situation, since his wife and both children are sickly. What is written in Chapter 12, verse 12, and several other things seemed suspicious to him, therefore he asked me and was quite content with my answer. I told him among other things that the Apocrypha (to which this book of Tobias belongs) are not divine but human books, which are, to be sure, very good in most ways. Yet it is always said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
As far as his strength allows, he is instructing N.N. [Ruprecht Zittrauer] and his wife /Anna/loyally; and he testifies that the husband has ability and is showing zeal in learning. To be sure, his wife is not so capable; yet she grasps this and that and will come along all right if she diligently repeats with her husband what they have learned. May God bless the good encouragement of the honest N. /Simon/ [Steiner] in their souls! For a long time they were [coarse people] almost like N. [Ernst] and his wife, and it was high time for them to turn seriously to a true conversion. The husband belongs to those exiles who, like Absalom, go from one country to another with a bad conscience and can therefore be better called vagrants than exiles. He has already been in Prussia;30 but, because it did not suit him there, he ran away again and finally came here.
Oh, if only all those in this country who came across the sea with a guilty conscience might look at the example of Absalom and fall humbly and penitently at the feet of our insulted and angered God in the name of Jesus Christ instead of being carefree about it and secure because they do not have to fear any further punishment here for the misdeeds they have committed in other countries. There are many people in Georgia and Carolina who have fled from the hands of the authorities after committing evil deeds in Germany. We are amazed when we hear German people in Savannah tell of their compatriots with whom they crossed the sea. The judgment that someone made about Holland, namely, that because it is low, all sorts of filthy sects and sectarians flow there,31 one could especially apply to America not only because the most absurd sects and opinions are tolerated but also because the most shameful things go unpunished if only the malefactors can get out of one colony and into the next.
The Indians have been very willful and have caused great damage on the plantations, about which I received a special report today [with special assurances which are to be sent to the authorities in Savannah and then on to General Oglethorpe]. They have even shot pigs, chased the cattle with horses and dogs, taken shirts from the wash tubs and from the clothes line, taken new shoes, salt, and household utensils from the huts and corn from the fields; and they have stamped down the beans with their horses and also eaten milk, butter, bread, etc. without permission and carried away a great quantity of peaches. They had ridden off from Old Ebenezer with two horses, which the Englishman fetched back by force without meeting any resistance on the part of the Indians. Both in the parishioners’ sickness and in this tribulation humble and trusting prayer will be the best means to guard ourselves from this hardship and at the same time to raise up our hearts through the word of God. Yet all permissible temporal means should also be used to remove these wild and uninvited guests from our place or to hinder them in their wickedness.
[Saturday, the 29th of August. The English girl from Savannah is still dangerously sick in Ortmann’s house. Some time ago she seemed to have a hectic fever, whereas the throat was getting better. Now the fever has abated and the throat is again taking the previous bad appearance. When medication is applied, the child must suffer very much, and the schoolmaster and his wife have great disquiet and difficulty. They gave me a letter to read that the father of the girl recently wrote to Mrs. Ortmann in which he reports in his postscript that the people in Savannah are very embittered against him for having sent his daughter to them but that they should not make much of it, etc.
[Whether this expression concerned Ortmann’s family alone or our entire community, I do not know. But so much we know in advance, there will be no lack of lies and calumnies about our place and judgments against the father if the girl were to die. He is neither willing nor able to take her down to Savannah because his wife is in London and he already is having much trouble with his two small children. He is also assured that the girl is being cared for here better than at his home, and I must give Mrs. Ortmann testimony that she is doing more for her than would be done for her by her arrogant and vexatious mother, from whom the husband himself has much to bear, as the girl herself well knows and makes very clear.
[Today there was trouble again with old Mrs. Spielbigler, and a couple of men in my room could see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears what kind of spirit dwells in her; and therefore they know from experience and also tell others what difficulty we have had with her so far even when we were busy furthering her spiritual and physical good. She had made a bargain with the old Swiss carpenter /Krüsy/ about her cows and hut and had even let him move in, about which, however, a very angry squabble arose yesterday and today, during which the woman was like an infernal fury. She told me that, when Michael Rieser returns to our place, he will do to me what no one else has ever done. What that is, experience will tell. She has now sold everything and will probably soon move to her son in Charleston. We cannot accomplish anything in her through the word of God: full of unrighteousness, she is determined in her perverse mind to do what is wrong.
Sunday, the 30th of August. Today we gave salutary instruction for both the sick and the sound from the gospel, Luke 17:11 ff.; and our dear God granted much blessing for our edification both in the preaching of this material and also with the exordial words from John 5:14, “Behold, thou art made whole,” etc. It is surely most necessary to be instructed from holy scripture how we should conduct ourselves in healthy and sick days according to God’s will, since health and sickness are still alternating among us. Christians should see all of this with other eyes than natural men do. Who remembers that it is a very great sin, which draws new and even greater judgments after it, if a man, despite all good promises and resolutions, resumes his old sinful ways after recovering his health? Many a person has already suffered something worse, and clear examples of such judgments have been seen among us, yet the blind and secure32 people have not recognized them. In this connection we gave the parishioners the important 26th chapter of Leviticus to take home to read, in which things are written that apply especially to us in this country and from which one can see that sin is the root of so much of the evil that can be found in this country and in the neighborhood.
[The flock in town today was very small because several were sick and several had traveled to Augusta at the command of the authorities; also Kieffer’s people had obstacles that kept them from attending public services as regularly as they are accustomed to do. Landfelder’s family, Mrs. Rieser, and Mrs. Spielbigler come very irregularly and are generally right bad off in all matters.]
After sunset we had a very violent cloudburst with wind, thunder, and lightning, by which our majestic and holy God again revealed Himself to the godless as a terror and warning and to His children for their childlike fear and humble reverence toward such a holy God. [Such dreadful storms are surely always a sign of His wrath, with which He could visit the earth and destroy the sinners if He wished to deal according to His justice and man’s merits. But it is still written: “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Therefore His name, so worthy of adoration, should be praised and lauded among us and in the whole world.] We never hear of any fire damage being caused by the heavy thunderstorms that are customary here. The only signs can be found in the woods, where some of the trees are marked by lightning. Also, Jacob Kieffer told me that during his recent stay in Charleston, a woman had been felled by lightning in her very doorway, yet the small child she was holding in her arms had not been harmed at all. This, if I remember correctly, is the first example I have heard in this country of a thunderstorm having caused fire damage.
Monday, the 31st of August. [The English schoolmaster /Hamilton/ has been sick again after having previously recovered somewhat. I still hoped he would ask me to come to him, but he would rather send for bread, wine, and other things than for me and my dear colleague, since he and his wife have little concern for his sins and how he should find the way to life. Even if we go to them and wish to say something for the salvation of their souls, we cannot get into any spiritual conversation with them, rather we must, so to speak, just preach to them, which is against the purpose of the house visitation. When he was healthier and could go out, he never came to church; and now his wife can remain for whole hours where she bakes her bread, but she never sets foot in the meetings. A serving girl heard her say that she was amazed that the girl’s mistress went to church even though she had a suckling child, for in this condition she would never have gone to church.] Pious women among us [for that reason] have themselves churched as soon as possible so that they can attend public services soon again for their edification. They are as thirsty for the rational pure milk as the newly born babe; but natural man and mouth-Christians know nothing of this but find hypocrisy in the simplest and best actions of faithful people.
[This afternoon I called on the schoolmaster, whose name is Hamilton, and led him into yesterday’s gospel with the request that, like the lepers, he learn to recognize and feel sin as the source of all evil in this and the next world. This hardship, which would be the greatest, should drive him with sighs and prayers to Jesus, who accepts only poor humble sinners and dignifies them with His help. Even his present bad circumstances had sin as their chief cause. I repeated these words twice, but he remained silent about everything until I began to speak again about external matters. He complained that he had had many temptations because of his belief: certain wicked people had dragged him to a neighboring town and had tried to persuade him to defect, and he was surprised that I knew nothing about it. Last Friday he was in a delirious state and attacked his wife very angrily and otherwise acted most unruly, and his present speech well showed that things were not yet right in his head. Therefore I asked him to avail himself of the directions and cure of Mr. Thilo and gave him a little vial of Balsam Cephal nervino33 that I happened to have with me. He said, however, that he was not sick but just tired in all his limbs, he would soon be better if he just had meat to eat and other things that pleased his palate. His wife was not at home, so I could not speak with her.]
Tuesday, the 1st of September. The honest N.N. [Ruprecht Steiner] has a rather violent quartan-fever, and in his paroxysms he has been quite beside himself now and then. Mr. Thilo sent him some medicine through me, and I found him in his bedroom teaching Ruprecht Zittrauer and his wife from his catechism, although he had had a strong attack of the fever. This was a good admonition for me, through the grace of God, to put aside all indolence in the execution of my ministry as well as in the necessary care of my body when the situation demands it, because time is very short for ministers and listeners. He took the medicine I gave him according to the doctor’s prescription and God gave a favorable hearing to his prayer so that, despite his fever, he maintained the complete use of his spirit and frame of mind so that he was able to hear the whole sermon on the story from 2 Samuel 14 along with the repetition of the preceding one in his little room.
After the lesson he had me come to him again and told me that God had again presented him a great blessing through His word, and that he felt very much urged by his conscience to reveal to me certain things that are very painful to his heart, until then he cannot find peace. It concerned some youthful sins, for which his parents’ lack of caution was partially to blame. It is of great harm if parents, who sometimes cannot help it because of their poverty, let their children sleep together. This is a point in which we must also remind the parents in our community to show Christian caution. He recited for me the verse Isaiah 44:22, which helped him in his pangs of conscience; and I added the dear words of Isaiah 43:24-25; and from the gospel I proclaimed the gracious repentance of all his sins, including the ones he had just confessed. He asked me to watch him carefully and to point out his faults to him, he would thank me for doing this. He considered himself completely unworthy and incompetent for many necessary tasks in the community to which we had assigned him so far; but I referred him to the little verse in James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom (even if he be among the believers), let him ask of God,” etc. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. ...” He gives them simply to simple people and makes them become diligent to the praise of His glory.
We heard from the example of David that Christian parents and other true Christians are not only painfully distressed if their house-mates lead a godless life and cause scandal but also if they do not come to Christ through true conversion and do not want to participate in His grace for living a holy life; because in them can be found the aim of Christ, who is very hungry and thirsty for the salvation of men. This aim N. /Simon/[Steiner] also finds in himself in spite of the humility of his spirit, and therefore he should not doubt about his state of grace despite his feeling of misery. That our dear David accepted the fratricide Absalom without a real punishment, against the Lord’s express commandment, was his great weakness, for which the Lord sharply punished him through this Absalom as a warning to all parents. This is a sign that he did not make good use of Eli’s example. Therefore our people are often reminded to make better use of the examples of Eli and David in bringing up their children, to use love and earnestness with godlike wisdom. This, however, can be done only by converted parents who share in the spirit of discipline (sophronisma); for the intention of God is completely perverted if unconverted people marry, or remain unconverted and produce children whom they do not know how to lead back to the God who has given them. But it is not always the parents’ fault if children do not turn out well, since true Christianity is not transmitted with blood but must be achieved and preserved by struggles. Therefore this conclusion is incorrect: “Since the children are good for nothing, the parents are of no use either,” etc. Great trials come upon the children of pious parents, who -- more than others -- have good opportunities for righteous behavior, if they disdain them, as can be seen from this story as well as from the house of Job.
N. [Leinberger] and his wife, who also have the fever, do not consider it as a sign of God’s anger but of His grace that our community is being afflicted by sickness more than other people in this country. I admonished them to learn better and better to recognize sin as the cause of all evil, including sickness. Although sin has caused, right from the beginning, and still daily causes, so much evil on earth, it is loved by frivolous and secure people, which is a testimony of deep corruption of the human heart. If sin is recognized and felt correctly, I said, an earnest and steadfast hatred arises against it as a filthy, and highly dangerous matter; and, since one cannot rescue oneself from it and cannot guard against new attacks, one begins to yearn for the Redeemer and Savior Christ, who gladly helps and saves. The main thing in conversion is the true surrender of our heart to Christ, which must be continued later on by a constant fight against everything that would draw us away from Christ.
N. [Bruckner] is also finding his way to salvation better and better, and he confirmed some new matters to my dear colleague that caused him great obstacles while his heart was still on a wrong path. He found a companion in N.N. [Peter Reiter]; and, as they have been rather similar in their sinfulness, I hope that from now on they will both struggle for the crown through denial of self and the world.
In hearing about Absalom, whom God did not condemn at once in his sins but gave much time for atonement, we remembered the great patience and forbearance God has shown to all of us, even the most wicked ones, not only during this August but also during all the summer. He alone knows whether or not many of us, like the leaves on the trees, will fade and fall down sooner or later; therefore the listeners were admonished to put their house in order in time and to seek with atonement and belief for the grace of God in Christ that has been held in readiness for them for a long time already. Since Christ has established an eternal salvation and reconciliation, our dear God is much more willing to show grace to poor sinners than David in respect to his undutiful son Absalom. For a long time His heart has had a great desire for them (2 Samuel 14:1 according to the Hebrew). The example of Joab also warned us against such good deeds as our blessed Luther called Splendida vitia.1 Joab spared no pains to cause David to take Absalom into his favor and therefore was a peacemaker. However, since this happened from a rotten, stinking reason of selfishness and false intention, it did not help him before God. Matthew 6:22-23.
Wednesday, the 2nd of September. The Indians who were here a short time ago with their horses also scattered the congregation’s cattle that graze between the plantations and the orphanage cowpen. Therefore our people gathered the few horses we now have and rode out in order to gather them together again, after having been unable to accomplish much on foot. These wicked people caused much damage this time. Our dear listeners have enough trouble, since bears and wolves are still killing many pigs and also doing much damage to our corn. May God show us His mercy and avert greater damage and also help all of us to remember what can be found in Leviticus 26, where we can see that God held wild animals and other harmful things in His hands for the chastisement of His people. If all of us at Ebenezer, both great and small, would heartily fear our Lord, it would be easy for Him to fulfill in us, as in the above-mentioned passage, the promise given to His people cum exceptione crucis.2 If even manifold trials came upon us, all of this would have to serve us for our best in this order. I hope that God will continue to use love and earnestness so that all people will be drawn towards Him.
[N. /Johann Gottfried Christ/ led me to a lonely place to reveal to me a matter that has held him back from Holy Communion a few times already. Whenever his master in Germany had to measure his women clients for new clothes, he had seen and heard various scandalous gestures, words, and actions that he now remembers during his daily work, since he is already entertaining thoughts of marriage. From this he has very bad fantasies at night and, since he does not think he can get rid of them except by marrying and since he can find no opportunity to do so here, he has resolved to go away from here to another place. For this reason he got involved with old Mrs. Spielbigler, who wants to move away shortly. But good people, he said, have touchingly persuaded him to stay here, especially Mr. Kalcher and his wife /Margaretha/, of whom he said that they were bearing his physical and spiritual welfare in their hearts and were showing him all their love. Now he has changed his mind again and wants to stay here.
[However, since he wishes to participate in Holy Communion again, he wanted to reveal to me his anxiety that he has sinned several times at night in his sleep.3 I clearly displayed this sin to him as a stain of the flesh and admonished him to watch and to pray so that no thoughts would come up in his mind which might give him an occasion to shameful fantasies, etc. In case it should happen again against his will and doing he should, as soon as he notices it at night or in the morning, humiliate himself deeply before our holy God and apologize for such sins in the name of Jesus Christ, for it is said: “Before God the thought is like the deed,” and how much more this is true of such dirty fantasies and acts. But, as far as his intentions of moving away are concerned, I believe he would plunge into a great misery. Here he is under supervision and has no such opportunity to fall into real uncleanliness, which Satan, who well knows his inclination, would procure for him in other places if he went away from God’s word, control, and discipline. It is also not easy to marry well; and by his hastiness, which is especially great in his case, he could easily fall into such great misery that he would be a beaten and unhappy human being all his life. He knows, he told me, that he has often been obstinate and caused himself great hardship, but God in His great mercy has always helped him out. From the Bible stories he has heard so far he has learned that, if people push away His grace, God will finally withdraw His hand also away from them and let them do what is wrong, etc.]
Thursday, the 3rd of September. Since my dear colleague is planning to travel to Savannah tomorrow, if it pleases God, to perform his ministry among the German people there, I have composed for the authorities an account of the damage the Indians have done to our place lately, which I want to send along in the hope that it will reach General Oglethorpe. I hope the damage suffered by the poor people will be made good and also that necessary measures be taken to prevent future damage.
Sanftleben’s wife /Magdalena/ has borne a little son, who was baptized in his house this afternoon. She was hurt by the kick of a cow, but our gracious God has averted greater damage, for which we and the godparents praised and glorified his name.
Friday, the 4th of September. N. /Ruprecht/ [Steiner] told me that God has granted him a large measure of sadness but also of joy. He has never before felt his sins so much as at this time, but it is all over now and his heart is filled with consolation in Christ. Although there is much tribulation in his home since all his family are sick with fever, he is not at all anxious about it: everything will be all right again. He told me something from the Epistle of St. John 1, because he was impressed that one was able to give the others an opportunity to come to Christ, who, despite their weaknesses, graciously accepted all of them who let themselves be brought to Him. I referred him to the verse: “And of His fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.” This fullness is open for us too, because Jesus is the savior of all men. I also recommended to him Isaiah 38 where it is written: “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness,” etc.
[The men who have been searching for their scattered cattle on horseback and on foot for several days already are still continuing but are accomplishing little. May God keep their trials from damaging their souls!. The Englishman at Old Ebenezer has found some and wants 2 sh. 6 pence Sterl. per head, which is much for poor people, but better than losing the cattle.
[The repair of the millrace cannot be started yet, since the water is still rising. If all of us would really seek first the kingdom of God, then the mill and everything they need for conducting this life would be given to them as a bonus: but cum exceptione crucis. It is remarkable that God is giving us our church so quickly yet is letting great damage occur to the mill, which we thought to be very well protected. All this should serve for the good of those who love God.
[The floor will be finished this week, so that, if necessary, we will be able to hold the public sermon there. But, since my dear colleague has traveled to Savannah on official business and will stay there over Sunday, we will postpone the consecration of the church for two weeks, when the whole community will be assembled in town again. May our good and pious God, who does so much for Ebenezer, prepare our hearts for the Christian consecration of this House of God so that we will gratefully remember His grace and the benefactions we have enjoyed at Ebenezer and will encourage ourselves by His word to further trust in His help, which we urgently need at this difficult time, so it will often be said: “Ebenezer, up to here the Lord hath helped us.”4
[Last night old Mrs. Spielbigler traveled with a trading-boat to her like-minded son in Charleston and took with her all her belongings she had not sold, so that we are rid of her at our place. Her conscience is like a big wide sack, in which she gathered much evil to the very end and took it away with her. As before she used her slanderous tongue against me just in the last days, as I have never heard or experienced in all my life. It should not be put to her account: I wish her true atonement which, however, can scarcely be hoped for because of her utmost blindness, whereby she as an old widow with all her wickedness always wants to be in the right, contrary to the express commandment of God in Exodus 23:3. She and people like her do not make it the hardest for me to exercise my ministry; that is done by those among us who wish to come to a literal recognition but actually delay truth through injustice and therefore become less and less fit in their faith and fall deeper and deeper into the spiritual judgments of God. If we used real official severity against them, some would gang together and move away, because here in America it is almost the fashion to move from one place to the other and run to a place where people can live as they please according to their carnal minds in emulation of other worldly people or mouth-Christians. I fear similar judgments of God will fall upon some of them, if atonement does not follow in due time. May God, on account of His Son, our dearest Savior, grant us wisdom, gentleness, and patience but also good zeal!
The burden of worldly duties that still presses heavily upon us does much harm to our spiritual ministry; and necessity will finally require for it to be taken away from us. I hope the next letters will bring us some clarity in this matter. If we put down the adventures we encounter in taking care of external matters with strangers and our own people, when would we finish and what great distress it would cause our friends! Enough can already be seen from matters we report from time to time. May God present us with an able man who will have the physical and spiritual well-being of our people at heart. The other day the judge at Purysburg, Mr. Lindner, who has already been mentioned in the diary, told me that he intends to turn over to his very selfish and self-willed son all his trade with various goods at Purysburg, whereas he himself would like to spend the remaining days of life together with his family at Ebenezer near the word of God, if he could become a judge here and receive a yearly pension from the Lord Trustees like the official persons in Savannah. Even if the man suited us (to which, however, I would not contribute anything), there is much to be concerned about in regard to his family. Nor do I believe that the Lord Trustees would spend 50 ь Sterl. for a judge at Ebenezer, as is done in Savannah. May God have mercy on our circumstances.]
Saturday, the 5th of September. [It is still raining very strongly off and on, and the water in the river is still rising, so that it is now almost as high as it was in the spring.] The Kieffers, along with their neighbors, are suffering great damage at their plantations because the pumpkins, beans, turnips, rice, etc. are ruined in the water during the continuous rainfall, which has overflowed the whole plantation; and, since wind and bears have overturned much of the corn, it too must rot in the water. Our people who have planted something on low land will also have to suffer. May God grant them the grace to be able to resign themselves to it. May we recognize the punishing hand of God and kiss it in atonement and humility! Otherwise, according to Leviticus 26, still worse things can be expected.
N.N. [young /Jacob/ Kieffer], who has a weak body, complained about the lack of a Christian life in himself. A short time ago God let him experience a divine sadness about his sins and also gave him the assurance of forgiveness; but now all that, he says, is dead in him. I encouraged him to fervent prayer, by which he can obtain everything, if it is done in the name of Christ. At the same time I warned him against distraction by too many matters. “But one thing is needful,” etc.
Sunday, the 6th of September. Yesterday and today it stormed heavily, and at sea there may be very bad weather and great danger. Today the public sermon was held in town, and I was glad that our dear listeners, who like newborn children are eager for the rational pure milk, were not afraid of the rain or the bad road and came in from the plantations to listen to the word of God; for this loyalty our gracious God has surely rewarded them through the sweet gospel. This time we heard from the regular gospel the important words, Matthew 6:33. From them we learned our Lord Christ’s command and promise, and as an exordium we made use of the magnificent verse Isaiah 48:18. Five persons from Purysburg came up to us, whom the Lord also, as I hope, has given a blessing from His word as He has to me and others.
Today it was also announced that in a fortnight we intend to consecrate our House of God and to hold Holy Communion together with those who would prepare for and be worthy of it. The parents were asked not to leave their children back home, for they are a considerable part of the Christian church and our hope to have them as Christian inhabitants in the future. It is said of them: “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained thee a praise,” and therefore ours and their praise, which the Holy Spirit puts in their tender hearts in a way unknown to us, shall be united; and the benediction in the name of the threefold God shall be given to them as well as to others.
[The river has swollen up and backed into other small rivers between the plantations so much that people cannot come back and forth except in big and small boats.]
The Kieffer family had to flee from their plantation already yesterday because of the flood and is staying at our place. This is a great handicap for them in their work and is destroying almost the whole harvest. God has already helped them so much by His word that they are resigned to His will and are content with His guidance. The present flood exceeds the one we had last spring, which in our opinion was extraordinary. May God impress today’s gospel deeply into the hearts of all people, especially the dear words: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. . . .” Then it will be unnecessary for us to worry about the adverse circumstances we meet here and be fearful about our daily bread as heathen hearts are. He gives it to His friends in their sleep, He lets them get their necessities so wonderfully that they often do not know where this and that comes from. We have had manifold proof of the kind care of our heavenly father at our place, and these should strengthen our belief.
At the end of the divine service today we read especially Leviticus 26, which made a good impression, as I heard afterwards. For tribulations teach us to listen to the word, and experience makes everything clearer. May God give us grace to regard everything that happens to us as coming not by chance but from the hand of God and to thank Him for His grace and to fall down penitently at His feet when He punishes!
Monday, the 7th of September. The storm at night was rather terrible and drove the strong rain through the walls into my house. It surely broke into other houses and huts also. A man from the plantations requested that he and others be helped to get wheat. A certain captain has promised General Oglethorpe and me to send some bushels of wheat for seeds with the first trading-boat that passes us, but there have been many opportunities already and nothing has been sent yet. I will see whether our people, to whom I am giving a letter to this captain, will bring something with them. This Salzburger told me that the water had never risen as much as at this time and that, while the corn in the lower places was still standing out of the water yesterday, the heavy wind beat it down last night so that everything is now lying in the water. In spring they were prevented from an early planting by the high water and therefore it is now not even as ripe as on dry land; consequently the damage the poor people have to suffer is very great. It pleased me and gave me comfort that this man did not care about the damage that he and his neighbors have but believed that God will send some help in time and that what He takes with one hand He can easily give again with the other one. This may happen so that those who are honest5 will become known and their confident trust in God will be distinguished from others who have not yet let the words of the gospel affect them.
[For some time now we have had much trouble and unrest with Mrs. Rheinländer, in spite of her diligent use of the means of salvation and all her good pretenses. She misuses her tongue against her neighbors, meddles in many affairs that do not concern her, is a burden to people in many ways and complains about others; but she does not know herself, nor does she believe that she is still lacking a real foundation of Christianity. For good reason the Salzburgers do not want to have much to do with her, and she interprets this as enmity. For a long time already she has made do with a miserable hut of a Salzburger; and, although we have allowed her ready cut lumber and some men for help, she has preferred to let her son earn money by outside work than to let him work on a better hut. Egotism and selfishness are not yet crucified in her.]
Tuesday, the 8th of September. Yesterday morning some men from the plantations informed me that Peter Reiter has injured his foot6 very badly and therefore is longing to see Mr. Thilo and myself. We traveled out there together, and as soon as I crossed the water I was informed by /Martin/ Lackner that Mrs. Zimmerebner had borne two little girls and that, because they were very weak, they wanted them to be baptized as soon as possible. In the meantime the husband had taken much trouble to come to town across the high water in order to get Mrs. Rheinländer as midwife for his wife, and during his absence he did not know that, by the help of a neighbor woman, God had already helped his wife through. This was a great strengthening of his belief, because while running back and forth he had laid his obvious need before our most merciful God by hearty sighs. And for me God cast a light on the verse that I so dearly love: “So he giveth his beloved sleeping.” Likewise: “All these things shall be added unto you.” Mrs. Rheinländer made up her mind yesterday not to work for anybody anymore as a midwife or in other ways; and today God showed us that He can devise means even without her help, although Mrs. Bacher, who is liked by everybody because of her deep devoutness, is sick in bed.
It was a rather long way by foot to Zimmerebner’s plantation; therefore I hoped our Lord would let the weak little children live until they could receive holy baptism, which also came true. Indeed, they had, as the neighbor woman told me, visibly recovered and had become stronger. We praised our good Lord together with the pious godparents and performed the devotion in the fear of the Lord.
People complained of N.N.’s [Mrs. Zimmerebner’s] lack of faith and patience, and she too accused herself and got to know her heart better now to her confusion. It was only after the edification hour, which repeated what was recently preached about 2 Samuel 14:21-27, that I could go to the above-mentioned patient /Reiter/, with whom I spoke as necessary from the word of God; and I prayed with him and those present. For some time he has appeared to be a penitent sinner; and our dear God, who likes to hasten the conversion and salvation of men, is again seizing him for that very reason so firmly that he, by His grace, may get rid of the obstacles to his conversion and use the means for this purpose even more earnestly. Last night he, together with his neighbor, chased a very big bear, which had done much damage to the corn, up a tree and shot it; and, because it did not fall down, they wanted to fell the tree. In the meantime the bear tried to jump to another tree but fell down like a young ox or a big sack of corn and knocked this N.N. [Peter Reiter] to the ground. From this he suffered no harm other than that his whole left leg up to his hip was dislocated or otherwise injured, and this is causing him very great pain. It is very easy to talk to him, because he is concerned about edification and salvation. His neighbor told me that he had complained to him with weeping eyes about the corruption of his heart, etc.
At his safe return from Savannah my dear colleague met me at the plantations and brought with him some letters that were written to us from Europe. The Lord Trustees have sent us through Mr. Verelst a very kind reply to my letter of 29 December of last year, for which they have not only paid the correspondents of Mr. Schlatter of St. Gall’s the long since requested 71 ь Sterl. for the Swiss linen,7 which has been mentioned several times in the diary, but also completely approved the costs of our mill and sent orders to Savannah to pay them to us. They also offer to grant money for building the rice-mill, if the costs are proposed to them. May God be praised for this gift, which He lets fall to our share just in this time of trial which is coming over the mill because of the high water; by this the pious people will be strengthened and encouraged no little bit in their belief and the unbelievers will be put to shame.
A pious midwife in our dear N. [Augsburg] has written a very long Christian letter to one among us in answer to certain matters that were written to her, and has listed various very necessary means, which she knows from experience, to proceed in certain delicate circumstances, for which we have lacked advice up to now. May God repay her for this benefaction and also for the practical remedies that are to arrive later on in a chest.
[It seems that this letter, which was written already the 11th of February of this year, remained in London for lack of an opportunity. Mr. Verelst’s letter was dated the 27th of April of this year. The previously mentioned letter from Augsburg as well as the new benefactions of the Lord Trustees will awaken us and our people to the praise of God, wherefore our Lord, who dwells above the praise of Israel, will send rich blessings to our worthy benefactors.]
We are preparing ourselves for the consecration of our church; and our Lord himself is making new preparations to lay a new song in our mouths so that we may humbly and ardently praise Him for past and present benefactions, indeed, in belief and hope also for future ones. How wonderfully God treats us! Last week I had many troubles, and this week He is already giving much cause for a real joy in His fatherly care. Already last Sunday He comforted and strengthened me poor man from His word; and even today He is letting me experience some beautiful fruit from the gospel preached to the people. Hallelujah! Soli deo Gloria!8
Wednesday, the 9th of September. Today I was again confirmed in what I had written to Europe recently from our previous experience, namely, that under the blessings of God the good, well cultivated land here bears not only hundredfold but a thousandfold, which seems almost incredible to others. A woman brought me German corn or rye to send to Europe together with other seeds at the request of a certain distinguished benefactor /Chretien von Münch/. A few years ago she picked out and planted only three grains of such rye or German corn from some Indian corn that had been brought into our country from Pennsylvania, and at the time of harvest she got a whole little sack, like a shirt pocket, of beautiful, full-grained seeds. From a single seed about 170 beautiful ears have grown.9 Wheat, barley, oats, etc. grow just as abundantly. A Salzburger once showed me a similar little sack full of beans, all of which had grown from one single bean or red Indian pea (as they call this crop here). Nevertheless, in this wild country that is filled with dangerous animals, those people who, as it were, have to break the ice suffer much in spite of all the fertility of the country. But their descendants will enjoy it, if they fear God. It is a country where almost everything grows, and there are good pastures everywhere. It is very easy to make hay: for the best grass grows astonishingly where crops have stood, but at present this is only a burden to the inhabitants.
The saddest thing in this country is the excessively great malice and sinfulness of most of the inhabitants, especially amongst the Indians, which is not especially prevalent among those who are employed and well paid by the government. We are really shocked when we inquire about the behavior of the people now and then; therefore, it is no wonder that we also hear of the great punishments of God which, of course, cannot fail to appear. I know of no example that such people (as one says) prosper, although it seems that they earn much from their cattle and other trade and also get good wages, rather they [generally have large debts because they] consume their wealth with harlots and lose it in other ways. May God see to it and grant much wisdom to the Lord Trustees, as the country’s authorities, to put a stop to all the evil that calls down curses upon the country and may He fulfil the 85th Psalm also in this colony.
Zimmerebner informed me today that his two little children have died, one last night and one this morning. Both of them were buried this afternoon on the plantations (where, as in town, a certain place near the church is destined as the cemetery).
N. [Schartner, who is one of the cowherds on the plantations], has already sinned seriously at N. [Old Ebenezer] and God in His wisdom and holiness has now ordained for it to be revealed; and I wish from all my heart that it will serve to his true conversion. I had summoned him to come to me, and he has searched in his heart for the reason and has stood in fear about it. But he was so honest as to confess it in every detail. May God grant us wisdom to meet all the evil among us according to His word so that it will be settled in a Christian way and so that further seduction and spiritual harm will be prevented.
Some days ago someone told me that the stories of the Old Testament had never been urged upon his mind as strongly as after the time of his fall. Many old sins are awakened on such occasions, when God holds up to us such living mirrors of deep human corruption and His judgments. Otherwise some fare like the field-captain Joab, who concluded from David’s merciful behavior toward the fratricide Absalom in 2 Samuel 14:22 that David had pardoned him too, which was a great error that, to his astonishment, he had had to experience to the contrary at the end of his days. 1 Kings 2:31-32. How terrible it is to imagine the forgiveness of old forgotten sins and then, before the judgment-seat of Christ, to find them still written in God’s account book and to suffer eternal punishment because of them.
Thursday, the 10th of September. The Salzburger N. [Hertzog] is again feeling the grace of God strongly in his soul; and, since he is subjected to much bodily weakness, he surely believes that our dear God is again earnestly touching him with His grace and that, if he refused it this time, it would not be good for him. We have to deal with him very carefully if we do not want to avert his feelings. Therefore I have thought about it for several weeks and sought a convenient opportunity to call one matter to his mind especially [privately] and to bring him to an awareness of its sinfulness. Today our Lord mercifully granted me to accomplish some of my purpose with him. Because of David’s very merciful conduct toward his undutiful son Absalom in 2 Samuel 14, my mind was full of God’s inexplicably great mercy with which He pursues with love and earnestness even those sinners who seem to be lost already, according to Matthew 18:11, and likewise already have, as it were, one foot in hell, and is highly pleased at the return of a penitent sinner, as can be seen by the lively presentation of our Savior in Luke 15 and Jeremiah 31:18-20.
I told him something of this lovely subject and also informed him that I wished an opportunity to speak alone with him sometime during his field-work, since one has to speak very loudly with him because of his bad hearing. He wished it too and said that he already knew what I wanted to talk to him about. He had understood it the other day from some words of my dear colleague; he would be pleased and he had wanted it for a long time but had not had the courage to begin. I warned him against his great emotions of rage and exasperation, since he knew from experience what damage he had suffered from it. Also through them the devil had suppressed and stolen the word of God. As soon as such evil comes upon him, he should pray rather than indulge in it, otherwise our dear God’s good work would often be ruined in him and perhaps to the bitter end. During the first attacks it would certainly be hard to bridle this sinful habit and bad inclination, which has become his second nature; and upon his earnest prayer Jesus will give him the strength to overcome it, and afterwards it will gradually become easier through the grace of God. Already here our good Savior gives every believing and self-controlled person a kind of crown through a new flow of grace. How much will finally happen in blessed eternity after the good fight is fought and complete victory is achieved!
He wanted to know what it means to seek his salvation not elsewhere but only in Christ. I tried to make it clear to him partly from the example of the lost son and partly from the example of the deadly wounded Israelites in Numbers 21 who, at the feeling of their deserved death, had to make retreat with penitence and pains, as much as they could, to the sign of salvation. Also, since he was of the opinion that believers should reach such a perfection in this life that they should not suffer any inducement to sin, etc., I gave him necessary instruction in this respect too.
Friday, the 11th of September. After the sermon from the last part of the story in 2 Samuel, I informed the listeners on the plantations as well as in this evening’s prayer meeting how our living God is continuing to let us feel the footsteps of His fatherly care for our community even in this present time of trial that has come over the mill and the fields by inclining the hearts of the dear Lord Trustees to bear the costs of the mill and also to spend as much money for the future building of the rice mill and the stamp mill as will be necessary. The disbelievers among us who were rather irregular in their work on the mill because no ready money was at hand were put to shame; but others, who had done their work fruitfully and trusted in God’s grace, were strengthened in their belief with us and encouraged to new diligence. May God not send us this new help in vain at a time when we are preparing to consecrate our church, but may He rather encourage us to marvel at His mercy and praise His name also to intercede for our dear benefactors heartily and eagerly. We may well exclaim together with other believers from Psalms 20:6: “We will rejoice in thy salvation and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.”
[For some time young Mrs. /Anna Elisabeth/ Kieffer has longed to participate at the Lord’s table together with the congregation, but she could not be admitted for want of necessary knowledge in the basic truths of the Christian religion and also propter curentium criterium conversionis.10 Therefore she came to me again this afternoon, and it seems to me that she is penitent and that her longing for this heavenly meal is sincere. I asked her to come back again with her husband.]
I visited the two patients, Mrs. Bacher and Peter Reiter, on the plantations and talked and prayed with them so far as my strength allowed. In both of them our Lord Jesus will certainly reach His merciful intention with respect to their sickness; their words and hearty attestation give very good hope for it. They realize what a very great mercy it is when God leads hearts to quietude and into a wilderness where He can talk kindly to their souls and continue the work He has started. Peter Reiter realizes better now how beneficial it is to have the gospel in healthy and in sick days and regrets very much that N. [his wife’s stepmother, Mrs. /Ursula/ Landfelder] wants to move away with her family in her deplorable blindness.
[Saturday, the 12th of September. Zettler was kept from Holy Communion last time because of his disagreement with his wife and other people. He is now applying again and promises to prepare earnestly for this holy project with the help of God so that nobody will hear any more about his former bad behavior. He has already reconciled himself with some of his neighbors and he wishes to keep on doing so. To further this necessary matter I read to him and his wife, from Matthew 5:23 ff., our dear Savior’s important idea and showed them that, according to our Lord Jesus, our sacrifice and divine service will be unpleasant and displeasing to our Lord if we have not made peace beforehand with our neighbor in a Christian way, and that it is not only a matter of mere words but of the honesty of one’s heart. From the political behavior of Absalom towards Amnon we have seen that some people can consort and speak to each other in an ostensibly friendly way yet bear enmity in their hearts. We have warned our people against this Belial-perfidy.
[Mrs. Rheinlander finds it hard to be reconciled with others. She is full of suspicion and hard to convince. Therefore she finds it objectionable if one or the other person participate in the Lord’s Table without admitting guilt. Also, her words and deeds give people reason to be dissatisfied with her, as happened to Zettler. Afterwards she insists on an apology; and, even if this is done according to my advice and discretion, she brings up things that disturb rather than advance peace. She is firmly convinced that the change in her heart has taken place, but it seems to me that there is no more than a good and gradually acquired literal recognition and some proficiency in an outward exercise of Christian religion. She cannot be convinced of the bad quality of her Christianity.]
Sunday, the 13th of September. Today our listeners were given an opportunity to remember with thanks the rich mercy of God that they have experienced, both in the old church hut and also in my house, from the preaching of the gospel and the enjoyment of the Holy Sacraments and to search their hearts as to whether our dear God has reached His purpose in all of them. Ministers and listeners humbled themselves before God at the usual Sunday prayer meetings and humbly asked His pardon in the name of Jesus Christ for all faithlessness towards His word, the Sacraments, and the grace of the Holy Spirit. They heartily implored Him for wisdom to preach and to put to good use His holy word, which He will also present to us in the new church. Since Holy Communion will be held eight days from now during the Christian consecration of this little church which has been built to the glory of God, it is our thought and intention to take it with His help and blessings as if it were for the first time in our life, etc. It so happened that, according to the order of the catechism, it was now time for us to consider the fifth main division concerning Holy communion, and at this time the first two questions were thoroughly catechized. As an exordium we heard the very comforting words of Psalms 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.” We also meditated on the gospel St. Luke 8:11 ff., concerning the resurrection of the faithful to eternal life, whereby we stressed 1) its certainty, and 2) its majesty. The preamble was taken from John 5:28-29. May God bless the word that was preached today to His glory and our eternal bliss!
N.N [Michael Rieser, Landfelder] and their wives are so wicked as to withdraw from the public hearing of the word of God, which gives me and the pious listeners reason for sighing. They should know, and they will remember too late, that the kingdom of God was near to them; and at the Last Judgment the heathens of the country will fare better than those people, as the future Judge himself has clearly announced in Luke 10. They care nothing about the verses: “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you. ...” etc. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves. ...” etc. May God have mercy on them!
Monday, the 14th of September. [For eight days we have constantly dry weather, which is very useful for the ripening and harvesting of the crops. For some days the water of the river has begun to fall and we have started to hope to undertake the repair of the mill the sooner the better; but it will be necessary to wait because the water is again rising noticeably. What God does is done well.]
At the beginning of last week the mother /Ursula Meyer/ of an orphan girl /Magdalena/ came up to us from Savannah to visit her girl and to edify herself here from the word of God. She had something to talk to me about today, and she gave testimony of the good that God has shown to her soul. She wants to be freed of her voluntary (but good) service the sooner the better and to move completely to Ebenezer. She trusts that her heavenly Father will take care of her poor body here as well as in Savannah. He has taught her by His grace to be content with everything. Our dear God has also shown much good to her little girl here, both spiritually and physically. The mother, who still remembers her past bad circumstances, is very happy at this and is revived to the praise of God and is also edified by the prayer and good discourse of her girl. She is a very pious woman and very eager for the rational pure milk.
Tuesday, the 15th of September. N.N. [Peter Reiter] is very happy whenever one of us encourages and edifies him by prayer and the word of God on his sickbed. He is penitently recognizing sin as the root of all evil and would rather remain lame than to give offense to God, his Benefactor, with healthy legs, since he still well remembers the sinful paths he has gone since his youth, indeed, even since childhood, and that he has misused his body and soul to insult his Creator and Savior. Today, when I visited him upon his urgent desire, he made his confession in such a way that I was, to be sure, disgusted at the amount of sins that he admits to, but also glad in my heart that God has been able, through His word and the chastisement of physical pain, to bring this soul to the point that he feels a real horror, disgust, and hatred for all his sins and also complains that his heart is still so hard and that tears of atonement will not flow. He knows what harm other youngsters have done to him; and because he has sinned together with them in various ways, he will recall their sinfulness to their minds so that they will do atonement too.
He is very bashful by nature, but our dear God will help him like Nicodemus in John 7:50 to overcome his fear of man. He regrets very much that his parents did not look after him but let him grow up in blindness and let him have his own way; therefore he has committed very great sins. To be sure, he has begun to hope that Jesus will show him grace as a great sinner, but this hope soon disappeared again, etc. [He shudders when he looks at his wife’s child /Sara Steiner/, remembering that he had run into bad things even as a little child, etc.] I paraphrased Psalm 130 for him and gave him the instruction he needs for persistence in atonement, for loyalty for the grace he has received (Acts 3:26), and for the careful and continuous use of the means of salvation. Now that he is confined to his house, he is suffering loss because the deer are eating up all his beans at night, which he has guarded all summer. Also the bears would damage much of his corn if he did not have it harvested and carried to his house by other people. Some ill-feeling arose in him because of this, but God has helped him to defeat and overcome it.
This morning my dear colleague traveled to N. [Ernst] at the surgeon’s11 plantation near Purysburg and returned from there this evening. Since the water was very high, he was able to travel by boat across Mr. Zuebli’s plantation up to the high land and could return earlier this way. Besides the pain of his amputated hand,12 the patient had a dangerous catarrh; but this has improved again. He hopes to be discharged by the surgeon in fourteen days and to be sent back to Ebenezer, which he is longing for, since it is rather turbulent at this plantation, where many people come and go. He still seems to be true to our dear God and His mercy and has a strong feeling of his misery, and sometimes it strikes him that he will never find grace, etc. During the present cool nights he is supplied with poor bedclothes, therefore some blankets will be sent to him at first opportunity.
Wednesday, the 16th of September. [The merchant from Savannah whose daughter is sick in bed at schoolmaster Ortmann’s house wants her back home again now that his wife has returned from London and wishes to see the girl. Her health has varied very much; even though her hectic fever and bad throat sometimes begin to improve, there is often an unexpected change and a rash is seen over the uvula that looks like scabies on the outer skin, and it spreads so quickly that abcesses can be seen after a short time, so the illness must be very sharp and scorbutic. Following Mr. Thilo’s prescription various things have been tried up to now both internally and also externally, but nothing has had any lasting effect. Mrs. Maurer’s throat looks more and more dangerous too; and we do not know whether to advise her to go to another place for a cure.]
N. [young /Jacob/ Kieffer] registered himself and his wife /Anna Elisabeth/ for Holy Communion next Sunday. As long as she has been married, she has visited the preparation hours diligently and has heard all the Christian doctrine according to the instructions of the Compendium of late Pastor Freylinghausen, which is now finished. Therefore she knows what Christian doctrine and Holy Communion mean, whereas she was previously rather ignorant. Her heart is now in such a condition that I hope she will partake with profit and that her Christianity will be founded deeper and deeper in Christ, the rock and keystone of our salvation.
[She started her married life in a very irregular way; before her engagement to Kieffer she had lived together with an impudent journeyman-tailor at Charleston, who recently passed away in his sins, and five months after the marriage she bore a well-built but dead child. About these and other things concerning her conscience, she was earnestly and lovingly examined today according to the words of God, in the presence of her husband (as had been done before privately) in order to find out completely in what means the death of her little child and other alleged things were her fault, so that all this could be settled before God and men before taking Holy Communion.] They both most willingly agreed that next Sunday the whole congregation will be informed that she has, to be sure, caused great scandals, as already known, but that she has been brought to atonement by God’s grace. Therefore she heartily regrets all her sins and is longing to reconcile herself with God and men. They do not regard the public confession and apology as a punishment, but as a beenfit; and they do not care what unconverted people, who look at such church-discipline as a disgrace, will say of it. Just as she did not hesitate to sin, she will not hesitate to do atonement for her sins in a Christian way, even though some people from N. [Purysburg] will attend the consecration of the church and the divine service next Sunday.
Thursday, the 17th of September. N. [Hertzog] is also longing to participate in Holy Communion, but he wanted to talk to me beforehand in a field where nobody could hear us about a certain matter that weighs on his conscience heavily. He certainly stands in the fear of the Lord, but this fear is still very slavish for various reasons [partly because of his temperament and his very frail constitution]. I tried to set him right as far as I could by the grace of God. He deeply wounded his conscience in N. [Salzburg] and, since he has done some forbidden things here too that are known to several people [including the children], he is in great grief and sorrow because of the public vexation. [I told him what I would do to avert this; but it was up to him, in penitent, steady prayer, to concern himself about the dear blood of Christ that can cleanse our conscience from dead works to our living God and also to plead diligently to our dear God that He by His omnipotence, wisdom, and grace, may remove the vexation so that it will be of no harm anymore.]
A penitent woman who for several years has painfully regretted sins she committed in her single state and has struggled for forgiveness in Christ complained to me that she could not yet reach the grace that another woman she knows has achieved, and she said it must be her fault. She has formed the hearty resolution not to bring any old sins into the new church; and, since she has not completely confessed them publicly as her conscience has been urging her to do, she wished to do it today. Therefore she came to my house and bent her knees before the Lord together with me and my family, and then she revealed the very heavy wounds of her conscience to me as if to the Lord. She regards herself as being worthy of all temporal and eternal chastisements of God and does not shrink from accepting all adversities in the world, if only our dear God in Christ, the world-Savior, will have mercy upon her. As long as she lives, she will certainly feel what a misery and heartbreak it is to leave our Lord and God and to insult Him with coarse sins. The Bible stories from the Old Testament gave her great insight into her own affairs and she finds a clear commentary in them for her sad circumstances and diverse internal and external sufferings.
The girls who have attended the preparation-hour diligently up to now asked me movingly to admit them to the Lord’s table this time. However, this will not be possible right now; and it will also be better for them to wait until next time. Perhaps the two boys will accept the word of God to their conversion and Christian preparation too, so that later on all the more children can be confirmed and admitted to the Lord’s table and perhaps with greater blessings. In this important matter we should not hurry but should use great caution.
Friday, the 18th of September. After the edification hour on the plantations a pious man told me that our dear God has blessed all that he told me a short time ago about his spiritual condition and also the instruction I gave him from God’s word so that he is convinced now that God has forgiven his sins in the name of Christ. The 15th Chapter of Luke is very dear to him, therefore he often reads it and wants to learn it by heart. He too is longing for Holy Communion, and I believe our dear God will so strengthen him at this wedding-table this time that he will become more and more certain of his state of grace. If only God can cause a poor man who is separated from Him by sin to recognize and feel that he has made himself a horror to God and all saints in heaven and earth through his inner and outer sins and is therefore under the wrath of God and in the utmost danger of being rejected, then (as was the case of the old Israelites in Deuteronomy 21) the longing for the Savior will soon appear through the working of the Holy Spirit until there is a final victory of faith in the enjoyment of all the good that our Father has let us achieve through Christ and which He most lovingly offers through the gospel to the most miserable sinners.
Most people do not wish to put their confidence in God in Christ until they become more pious and better; and they do not wish to accept the freely acquired and freely presented dear grace of the New Testament through a simple belief which shows itself in spiritual hunger and thirst, until they really [almost physically] feel the forgiveness of their sins, peace with and in God, etc.; but faith and feeling are still two quite different things. May our dear Savior teach us through the Holy Spirit to understand better the high, important, and comforting article of the justification of a penitent sinner who has completely shed his own justification and works, etc., so that we will not confuse it in the least with sanctification but leave each in its own place. In our Lord we find both righteousness and strength, which, to be sure, belong fully together and certainly cannot be separated but should also not be confounded. This, however, commonly happens to penitent sinners, who would rather come to Christ piously than in their utmost sin and shame.
Today our carpenters finished their work on our little church, so both of us were asked to pray with them and to thank our heavenly Father for the divine help we have clearly felt so far. We did it unanimously and finished with the beautiful verses: “So come before His countenance with jubilant dances, perform thy promised duty and let us sing joyfully. God has considered all things well and made all things right. Give glory to our God.”13 The church is completely finished except for the attic floor, the doors, and the shutters. The pews are arranged like the benches in the singing-hall at Halle; and, together with the elevated pulpit, they give a beautiful appearance to the whole church. If we had not lacked boards, the attic, doors, and shutters would have been finished too. Now the carpenters will do their harvesting until the sawyers are healthy again and finished with their house-work so they can saw the remaining boards. When this house of God is completely constructed, we will put an adequate description of it in the diary. The previously mentioned items that are still missing at the church do not prevent us from holding divine services here from now on; and surely everybody among us in whom there is even a small beginning of good is looking forward to its consecration with the word of God, prayer, and song of praise, which will take place next Sunday, God willing. May God fill up this house and our hearts with the Holy Spirit and fulfill His very sweet promise to ministers and listeners as well as to our dear benefactors, Jeremiah 31:14: “I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.” Amen, Hallelujah!
Saturday, the 19th of September. [Last evening it started to rain and continued all night. The wind was again so strong that it caused much damage to the fences and perhaps also elsewhere.] The posts in the earth become rotten rapidly here; and the cross-timbers on which the six-year-old weather boards are fastened perpendicularly are thrown down easily by the wind when their two ends hanging from the posts are dried out; so there is always something to be fixed. People who have to live in weather board huts are badly off because wind and rain can easily get in. If there are rain and wind at the same time and the former is thrown against the houses with force, nobody is very dry even in well-built houses.
It would be very difficult for most of the parishioners on the plantations to come in for the confession today and for the divine service tomorrow, since the road is not yet passable because of the high water, rather the people must be ferried over by and by in small boats. Therefore I proposed to them yesterday to assemble at the time of the usual edification hour at the place of public worship, where I would preach the word of God to them. The weather cleared up so that the journey back and forth was not difficult, except that the heavy movement of the highest trees during the very strong wind was fearful to look at. They had already assembled before my arrival, and after a song I interpreted and applied to them the excellent and beautiful verse of Luke 15:10: “I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God,” etc.
I visited N. [Peter Reiter] on my way back and found him very depressed and downhearted. He had longed to see me already yesterday, but time and strength did not allow me to visit him then. After his last confession he had remembered another old sin that was bothering his conscience very much. I recommended to him the 15th chapter of Luke along with the lovely song: Weg mein Hertz mit den Gedanken... etc. A pious Salzburger had visited him and comforted him from personal experience, and this had been blessed in him. It seems to him that something is broken in his left leg, therefore he wants God to ordain for somebody experienced in such things to look at him and order the necessary treatment. He is quite resigned.
During today’s confession service in town, in which God gave us great edification from His holy word, the scandalous case of N.N. [young Mrs. /Anna Elisabeth/ Kieffer], for which she is undergoing real penance, was settled with her and her husband’s assent in a way that made an edifying impression on all persons who have a Christian mind; it will be of great use for the congregation. God Himself inclined my mind to do it today rather than tomorrow, when we will consecrate our little church that has been given to us by God’s grace, and therefore I did not want to act contrary to my inclination. This was of good use to everybody. Although not all the members of the congregation were present, this was by no means necessary, since we asked those present to make this act known to others who were scandalized by her, and it cannot be kept secret. She has promised much good, and the whole congregation will now witness whether she will keep her promise and intent through the grace of God.
Sunday, the 20th of September. Today was a very blessed day for the inhabitants and also for the visitors who came here from Purysburg, a day on which God gave us the pleasure of consecrating the church, which was built to His glory and our edification, with prayer, God’s word, and song. For this purpose many people from the plantations assembled and also brought their children along. God granted us very pleasant weather so that they could be ferried across the water rather comfortably in small boats.
After men, women, and children had assembled at a given signal, we stood before the countenance of the Lord; and, standing, we sang the song: Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott. . . etc. After that my dear colleague said a prayer and read the 24th chapter of Joshua and after we had sung two more songs, namely: Sey lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut. . . etc. and Sey hochgelobt barmhertzger Gott. . . etc., we preached to the congregation concerning the regular gospel for the 17th Sunday after Trinity from Luke 14:1 ff., the sermon: “The Friendly and Helpful Heart of our Lord Jesus towards the People of Ebenezer.” We meditated 1) upon some special signs of the friendliness and helpfulness of our Lord Jesus that we have experienced, i.e., that He has shown us, like the people of the gospel, His grace in the past and also wil gladly show it to us in the future, etc. and that He has also taken care of our need and still will do so in the future; likewise, that He has also shown us, like them, the good and right way to our salvation and will show it further on too. 2) upon the duties we are bound to do because of the friendliness and help of our Lord, partly with regard to the foundation and conduct of our Christianity, partly with regard to the church which is to be consecrated now, in order to make good use of it in the name of God.
The introductory words were taken from Psalms 20:6: “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.” Both in the exordium and in the sermon various details were mentioned of the help and gracious care of our Lord upon Ebenezer for the encouragement of a hearty gratitude and praise of God our Lord. In the afternoon before and after the catechisation we read the complete First Epistle to the Thessalonians and from 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 we preached “The Believers as the Temple of the Living God,” i.e., 1) its great majesty, and 2) the method of reaching it. The exordium was Revelations of St. John 21:3: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men!” We also held Holy Communion with fifty-five persons, both residents and guests; and in the afternoon Mrs. Sanftleben, who was there for her churching, was blessed in public with her little child. May our heavenly Father be well pleased with this exercise in His holy sight for the sake of Christ’s merits and may He hear all the prayers that were sent up to Him for His divine blessing on all services in this church [e.g. for the preaching of law and gospel, for the administering of the Holy Sacraments, for catechisation, marriage, confirmation, and churching of women.] May He also give the worthy benefactors in Europe whose generous gifts swam across the sea for the construction of this comfortable little church, all the grace and blessings as abundantly as we have heartily desired and prayed for them.
[Continuation of the Diary
[Monday, the 21st of September. Our three men who were sent to Savannah Town three weeks ago by order of the authorities came back Saturday evening and brought two Negro slaves and the two German children whose sisters live in my house.14 It is all too certain that they were treated very badly there and that they forgot everything good, even their mother-tongue and that they would have become completely brutalized if God had not ordained that they be rescued from the claws of these wicked people. They should be thankful to God as long as they live. Tomorrow morning they and the Negroes will be brought to Savannah, and we will wait for the judgment that will be passed on them and their tyrannic masters.
[On this occasion the old Swiss carpenter /Krüsy/ received a letter from a Swiss living near Savannah Town, in which the following expression was found: the poor Swiss are regarded like Negroes or dogs by the Englishmen in and around Savannah Town, therefore he and his family long with all their hearts to come to our place. But before that he wishes to know whether it is true, as he heard from his countryman, Governor Dobler /John Tobler/, who is also living there, and from other people, that one has to change one’s religion at Ebenezer. The old carpenter had already written to him the other day about our whole organization and that we do not direct people here to parties or human matters, but to the only way to come to God through Christ and be saved. He also wrote that we keep good external Christian order so that people who do not conform to Christian order better stay away from our place rather than disturb themselves and others. But people who love the word of God and wish to regulate their conduct accordingly are welcome here, and nothing will be demanded against their confession and conscience.]
Tuesday, the 22nd of September. [This morning some men went to Savannah with our big boat to deliver the chained Negroes to the authorities. The two German children, whose father /Peter Heinrich/ worked and died in my house, are orphans without father or mother and have nobody in this country to take care of them; therefore I am traveling with them to look out for their best according to my means. I am taking our diary and a few letters with me to send to London if a safe opportunity can be found there. Furthermore, there are many things to do for the congregation in Savannah; I have also to talk with Mr. /Thomas/ Jones about some very urgent matters; and, if he approves, also with the authorities. Therefore I am pleased not to have to bother our community with my journey separately, but to be able to make use of this opportunity. Perhaps Mr. Jones is willing and able to pay me the money the Lord Trustees have ordered for the payment of the mill costs; at least it will be good to ask for it, for money matters are very difficult in any case here in this country.]
Since my dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, traveled to Savannah this morning, I went to the plantations today to hold the edification hour there. As a basis for the edification I took what had taken place in town last time during the prayer meetings in the absence of my dear colleague, Luke 9:51 ff., and explained to the listeners how it is the will of our Lord Jesus for me to install a shelter for Him in their hearts, and I heartily admonished them and asked them to consent to everything, etc. This material was very dear to me because it was a continuation of what I had preached last Sunday about 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.
[Oh, what joy it is! God does not only forgive the penitents’ sins but also makes His permanent dwelling in them and bestows Himself upon them with all His treasures.]
On my journey to the meeting place I visited Peter Reiter. I found in him a well composed mental state; since God has brought him to a realization of his sinful condition, he is not concerned for anything else but to find grace before God. He is glad that God has not swept him away in his sinfulness as He has done with others, of whom he mentioned two examples. What God has done with this Peter Reiter and others in the community is something really great, as everybody can understand who knows of the circumstances. This gives us courage and gives us good hope that others may be won too. May He help us in this! To Him be fame and praise for everything. It is written here too: “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of God we will set up our banners.”
Wednesday, the 23rd of September. For some time our dear God has been doing very great things in our community, so that we find various souls to whom our Lord has shown His mercy. As long as we have been at Ebenezer I have not known of such a blessed time in which so many examples have been known to us. Especially two persons came to my mind who were formerly enemies of the children of God and despised them, etc., as they now confess with shame and humility. Now, however, they love them, cherish them more than themselves, and are ashamed that they thought so little of them, since they themselves are nothing compared with them. On the other hand, how happy are the people who have already received grace about the penitence of such persons, how gladly they visit them, whereas they formerly fled their company! How much they rejoice together with them at the good that our Lord is showing them. There is fulfilled what is written in the First Epistle of St. John 5:12: “Everyone that loveth him that begat loveth also him that is begotten of him.” Therefore we realize that we are God’s children when we love God and keep His commandments. Likewise, Chapter 3:14. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”
Among other things N.N. [Peter Reiter] confessed with shame and sadness of heart that he has often deceived his ministers when he wanted to take Holy Communion and had pretended to be better than he actually was. Oh what a grace it is if the sinner’s eyes open in time! Yea, there is joy among the angels of God for a sinner who does atonement; and how could it be possible for the children of God not to be glad when the little band of believers is increased? Now our gracious and merciful God will have mercy on even more, even on those of whom one would not have expected it!
[It seems to be something special that during these days a certain matter is being reported and urged upon our hearts several times. Last Sunday morning we heard, among other things, in the gospel of Luke 14:1 ff. that our Lord Jesus likes to visit people and take shelter in them; and in the afternoon we heard how glorious the believers are who are such living temples of God. Last evening during the prayer meeting I had to ask the listeners again in the name of our Lord Jesus to render their hearts to Him; and in today’s prayer meeting I again showed them, according to Luke 10:1, how the purpose of our ministry is to prepare the way for our Lord Jesus. From all this we can learn that our Lord Jesus is always ready to seek and to bless everyone who is lost at Ebenezer, not only to save the inhabitants from their perdition but even to come to them with His whole kingdom of heaven. Oh may our Lord equip us teachers with His strength and let us experience such great joy also in the case of the most hardened hearts.]
Thursday, the 24th of September. [About midday I visited a person; and, since I discovered that she had not been able to visit the prayer meeting because of her two small children, I asked her, by the grace of our dear Savior, to render her heart completely to our Lord Jesus. I told her not to consider it something human, because I was not doing it in my name, but in the name of our Lord Jesus, for it is written, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me.” If she would look at it this way and let her heart be turned completely to our Lord Jesus, a real beginning in her Christianity would soon be made. A struggle would not be lacking, to be sure, but our Lord Jesus Himself would pave the way, break through all things, thrust sin from the path, and take His place completely in her heart. Then there could be no possible lack of strength. We will learn in time what profit this admonition and the prayer we then sent to our Lord Jesus will have. May our Lord in His great mercy let me see a good gain from it.]
Mrs. N. [Schweighoffer] came to my room in the afternoon after school to pray with me. I prayed first, later I let her pray. She prayed right heartily for herself and others. It is her yearning desire to be presented some day with joy before the countenance of Jesus Christ, together with her ministers. She prays right heartily to our dear God to make her an upright widow; and, since He calls Himself the father of orphans, she diligently reminds Him of it with respect to her three children and asks Him to show mercy upon them and to draw them to Himself. She also thanked our dear God for the new church and at the same time for the good He presented her during its consecration. She is able to report all these circumstances to our dear God in a very special way. In her the orphanage has one who can pray diligently. She prays right heartily for the superiors there; and, although she is older than they, she begs our dear God to make her and others very submissive and obedient to them.
Friday, the 25th of September. Praise to the Lord, who let me [Boltzius] finish my journey with blessings last night during the prayer meeting. We traveled up the mill river;15 and thus I came home quickly, in spite of the strong and high water. In Savannah people ask very urgently about the repair to our mill, since they have no flour, bread, or biscuit. The flour and hardtack from the recently salvaged ship was sold at auction very expensively in Savannah, and now one hundred pounds of flour is being sold for 25 sh. Sterl. They are also lacking salt, and therefore our people and others are hindered from slaughtering. Col. Stephens showed me a letter from the Lord Trustees in which they asked him to buy the beautiful land on the other side of the Ebenezer Creek from the Uchee Indians for fifty Salzburgers who are said to have been in Rotterdam already at the beginning of this summer and who will be sent over here as soon as possible, and to have it surveyed before their arrival.16 Who would have thought we could expect such dear friends at our place during this time of war and that the Lord Trustees would let our congregation have the above mentioned land, which they had previously refused us point-blank. This means a lot to us, not only because of the land and pasture but also because of the neighborhood. That surely means: “Therefore even after pain, he who can wait shall rejoice.”
It is a great grace of God that the Lord Trustees refused to give us the land at that time, because it would not have been nearly as fitting and fertile for the construction of our town and plantations as our present region to and across the mill river. The other day we received notice that no new transport could be expected before a year’s time; but, since we now have a reliable message of their certain and, God willing, happy crossing, it will lead us to a hearty and humble prayer of intercession in our congregation that our Lord give His protection to this small flock on the wide and dangerous ocean at this dangerous time and bring them safely to our place. This pleasant news will also serve to make us hold back corn and other provisions and not to sell them at any other place, but to keep whatever everybody can spare for the good of our dear guests, especially since in this and the neighboring province no meat, flour, corn, rice, etc. is to be had and everything is very expensive.
[Col. Stephens intended to mail letters to London the following day; therefore it was good that I had taken our thick diary along, with which I enclosed a letter written to Mr. Senior Urlsperger shortly before my trip and also some words to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, which I wrote in Savannah, besides a short extract from the diary for Prof. Dr. /Gotthilf August/ Francke. A well-known man from Savannah who is willing to take our letters with him will soon go to London to request something from the Lord Trustees on the advice of Mr. Oglethorpe. Therefore we intend to write in greater detail in the near future. A small box is being held for us in Charleston which is presumably the box Senior Urlsperger mentioned at the end of the letter from Mrs. Wiedemann. It will be sent to us care of Col. Stephens at the first opportunity together with another little box, which is said to contain letters. Of all this we will report after receiving the box through the above-mentioned opportunity. We would be happy if there were also some letters to us from Europe, in which, without doubt, something will be written in advance about the conditions of our future listeners.]
I have talked with Mr. /Thomas/ Jones about some necessary matters concerning our community and have received very good news and instruction. He is a very honest man who has our and our community’s welfare at heart like a father with his children and is seeking to serve us to the best of his abilities. The two /Heinrich/ children who were saved from the claws of the Indian trader the other day are as well provided for in his own household as one could only wish for people who are servants elsewhere. The treatment they had to experience for several years was so miserable that one could scarcely hold back tears when reading what a judge of that place wrote down as being true. Their father well prepared himself in my house for eternity and a peaceful death, and now I see in his children too the fulfillment of the promise that our merciful God will do good to the seed for the sake of the pious parents.
I had two prayer meetings with the German people of Savannah, which they attended willingly and diligently. Many annoying matters among them have abated so that they have been receiving a good testimony for some time. They have reason to be thankful to our dear God, who has inclined the hearts of the Lord Trustees to give the German servants, after they finish their service years with good conduct, not only 50 acres of land and various house, kitchen, and working equipment, but also 8 d. Sterl. (per day) for a whole year, which means a great help to all of them. Their service up to now has been quite tolerable, they have had ample food and so much spare time that they could also plant and earn something. Therefore almost every family has bought some cows and other animals so that they can sell milk and what else they can spare at high prices. One thing I am afraid of: many of them get ahead to the detriment of the Lord Trustees and besmirch themselves with ill-gotten gain, which will go ill with them in the long run. I like to recite for them the verse: Colossians 3:22 ff.
Ten Englishmen who escaped the Spaniards from Havana arrived in Savannah last Sunday, hungry and miserable; but God’s care has been so especially shown on them that they should thankfully recognize all their life long.17 They had had enough of the miserable treatment in Havana that imprisoned Englishmen had to suffer. Therefore they broke out of the fort and hid themselves in the woods for three days, although they had no more than three hardtack and had to drink their own water. Necessity required them to move closer to the water, where they saw a fisherman’s boat on the other side of the river. They drew lots, and one of them had to go get the boat in the mortal danger of being drowned in the water or being seen by the enemy. All the ten sat down in this boat which, for lack of oars, they had to propel with sticks and the seat board found in the boat. In the evening they came between two small forts in Havana, where they heard the Spaniards talking. However, they moved their boat so quietly that nobody heard them; and before dawn they reached the open sea with their boat.
At daybreak they could still catch a glimpse of the land on one side, toward which they rowed along the shore until they saw a sloop. Although they assumed that there were Spaniards in it, their utmost need drove them to the desperate intent of attacking the people in the sloop with knives and sticks if they would not surrender peacefully. When they approached it with screams and bravura, three people in it begged for mercy and promised to surrender willingly. They inspected the sloop and found only these three men, who had left Havana to get wood. Here too they found no bread or water, except for seven hardtack. Therefore they sucked a few limes, which have a sourish taste like lemons, to quench their thirst and ate a very small piece of the hardtack or ship-bread. Then they soaked and boiled the hide of a cow or wild animal to appease their hunger somewhat. Although they had no compass and did not know the region at all, they sailed toward the English plantations until they arrived at Tybee at the mouth of the Savannah River and learned to their great relief that they were no longer on hostile but on English territory.
[We usually do not hear what happens at sea between the English and the Spaniards. Somebody told us for certain that Carthagena was taken and that people in Havana are in fear of the Royal Navy.] Praise be to God, who does not make us feel the least inconvenience from the war.
I had myself disembarked at the extreme end of the plantations in order to be home in the evening. Ruprecht Zittrauer approached me near his lodging in a deplorable condition and told me that on Tuesday evening he could have had a great misfortune if God had not saved him from it. [He would have fared well.] He wanted to return home from town across the water; but, since his boat was very small and soon ran against a piece of wood, he fell into the water. He pulled himself up from the depths by grasping the tail of his big dog and some thin branches, and he finally got ashore after much trouble. From all this he was still weak with fright and asked for some medicine from town. [This poor boat, that looks like a little trough, belongs to Sanftleben. Recently I requested him to cut it to pieces and throw it away rather than use it in case of need and take a risk to their own harm. Since I had him ferry me over the water near his plantation, I reminded him again to do so; and he promised to lock it so that nobody could misuse it and cause harm to himself. He is always short of time, otherwise he would have built a better one already. If one wishes to have even a small boat built by people who know how to do it, it would cost 25 sh. Sterl., which is too much for poor people. Therefore they make shift as best they can.]
I reminded Zittrauer that he had already had to feel the hand of God several times and that he had promised much good but had done only little. He added: “Praise and thanks to God; He has visited me severely several times this year,” etc. I reminded him that it is a great blessing that he is so closely acquainted with Ruprecht Steiner, he should imitate him and it would turn to great account.
Saturday, the 26th of September. Young N. [Zoberbüller], who has served as minister for some time at Purysburg and later on at Palachocolas to earn his bread, has submitted a request to General Oglethorpe to become preacher in Savannah for the Reformed people there. Mr. Oglethorpe wrote me a letter in this regard asking me to report on his adequacy and good behavior, because he could not agree to his request otherwise. This poor man resembles the Levite in Judges 17:7 ff. and the theological students in Germany who regard the preacher’s ministry as a worldly profession and when, as it were, they have completed their masterpiece by giving one or two sermons, they consider themselves qualified and are also considered qualified by unconverted people like themselves to become preachers and to earn their bread with this profession. However, they do not consider what frightful damnation will be brought by a thus undertaken ministry on those who will not let themselves be made qualified for it and loyal in it. If we did not know how this poor man is, we could only judge according to the old saying: noscitur ex socio, qui non cognoscitur ex se.18 [He himself has sent me a letter from Purysburg and asks me in it not to answer General Oglethorpe’s letter until he has spoken to me. In Savannah Mr. /Thomas/ Jones told me that recently in Frederica he had halfway married a certain captain who is known everywhere because of his vicious life and who belongs among Mr. Zoberbüller’s friends. After the marriage was half completed, he remembered that he had first to ask Mr. Oglethorpe about this intent; then he learned that the bride is the wife of another man. He has neither calling nor ordination, yet he dares to baptize and to marry.]
I heard today that N. [Mrs. Landfelder] is beginning to regret her intended moving away and the selling of her belongings, as I came to know even more definitely when, at the request of the authorities, I sent two men to her to warn her candidly against continuing her present and past disobedience. [She sent me word that she and her family want to move away because I have made it difficult for her to go to Holy Communion. The poor woman does not know what she is saying.] She is full of blindness and imaginary piety; and, if we kindly warn her of this dangerous rock on which she can suffer the shipwreck of her eternal salvation and if we show her the right way to God through Christ, then we are her friend no longer. Even our sermons concerning this matter have seemed offensive to her because, in her opinion, they disagree with her old postill. We would gladly use all the love and gentleness on her as far as our ministry and our conscience allows, but we cannot agree with her in her malice that has been revealed in recent times or let her misuse Holy Communion.
[Sunday, the 27th of September. Although the English schoolmaster Hamilton and his wife are healthy again, we do not detect in them the slightest desire for the word of God and we see them neither at prayer meetings nor at the sermons. Last week he went to Savannah and brought back the information that Col. Stephens and Mr. Jones have given him permission to move to Savannah and hold class there if I agree to it. Although I was not consulted about it, Mr. Jones has already heard from me and my dear colleague that we do not wish to keep this man, who is not an upright fellow anyhow but only concerned with worldly matters, and that we would not begrudge him a better opportunity to get ahead. So he intends to move away at next occasion. He hopes to earn enough money in Savannah to be able to pay his passage from England to Georgia, which is 16 ь Sterl. I regard it as very questionable for him to settle down in Savannah, where he will not find any assistance or support as he has here. He is not allowed to practice his profession as a wigmaker and barber, because he would deprive another already installed man of his bread.19 From teaching he will have only a small income, and everything concerning clothing and food is excessively expensive there and not even available.
[If he does not realize his purpose but suffers need, he will again be after me with his slander, for he sets the blame on me that he came into this country and that he is faring so badly. He even says that I am banishing him from Ebenezer. That’s what we have to suffer, we are already rather used to it. In a trashy book, printed in Charleston, with the title: True and Historical Narrative of the Colonie of Georgia, etc.,20 which was contrived and manipulated by three evil-minded former inhabitants of Savannah, the expression is used that my journals and letters had tricked many Englishmen. They are unable to quote any examples, but only refer the readers to such journals and letters that are written in German. They make great efforts not to tell any good of me and our community; but, since they are not able to quote anything bad (although they endeavor to place suspicion on every person in the country), one can easily see that they have intended to report no good of this colony.
[It would disconcert me if these lying scandalmongers, who led sinful lives in Savannah, had praised me or our community, since they treat even General Oglethorpe, Mr. Jones, and many others, yes even the Lord Trustees, in such a derisive and scandalous way that they could hardly have done worse. The greatest annoyance to them was that I and our community did not sign their petition and make common cause with them in applying to the Lord Trustees to get Negroes and other harmful things. It also displeases them that the members of our community earn their living honestly and respectably without Negroes and can also send various things for sale to Savannah. This they do not attribute to the blessings of God (because they do not know anything about God) and the industry of the people, rather they say we are being plentifully supported by benefactors from Europe and have more freedom than others in this country.
[In this trashy book, that is quite similar to a pasquinade, so many obvious lies are being expressed with great audacity and under the pretence of truth that misinformed people will be tricked, especially since the wretched authors, a doctor of medicine, a bankrupt merchant, and a lawyer, are bold enough not only to sign with their names but also to dedicate this mendacious calumny to General Oglethorpe. To be sure, some things in the book are true, but it is not the full truth and therefore all the more harmful. This is the gratitude the Lord Trustees get from most of the people of this country for their trouble and benefactions.
[Besides, an English letter has come to my hands that Mr. Whitefield sent from the orphanage near Savannah to Mr. Wesley (former preacher in Savannah and his very intimate friend and helper) and had printed in London. In it he wishes to refute the doctrine of the election by divine grace of our church, which is also taught by the English church as well as in the sermons and writings of Mr. Wesley. However, he only tries to refute it and should better drop it. Also, the things he cites in this letter are so bad that he would better have kept them to himself so as to avoid the offense he has caused by his very coarse contradiction and very unkind specification of certain matters and errors of Mr. Wesley’s he has heard and observed, at which the enemies will triumph, particularly the aforementioned authors, who have written the very worst about Mr. Wesley. All this, even the the unkind reproaches and condemnations, are being covered by make-believe devotion to the glory of God and the welfare of His church. It also seems that he regards the blessed Dr. Luther and Johann Arndt as people who endorse his wicked dogma of the Particularitas Meriti Christi and Electio ex absoluto Decreto.21 I wish that this young man, who cannot distinguish between natural ardor and enthusiasm for the glory of God, may become that which we used to our profit the other day on the occasion of the story from Sirach 3:19-30. We pray for him and are bound to do so, since God uses him as a helpful instrument to do good to our congregation and the orphanage. We regret that Mr. Wesley absorbed many errors from the Herrnhuters, as can also be recognized by the above-mentioned letter.
[Monday, the 28th of September. Mrs. Landfelder visited me this morning and asked my pardon for her disobedience and rudeness. She regrets having been persuaded by Michael Rieser to sell her cattle and move away from our place. She puts the greater blame on the said Rieser, although he himself testified to me and my dear colleague the other day that he has advised her and her husband against moving away because they will not find it as pleasant as here at any other place. For this woman it is now as clear as day what mischief can be done by bad company. She has not only distressed us but also caused the whole community great public annoyance and has also greatly offended God. Therefore I admonished her to atonement and to a conduct from which others may realize that she regrets her former bad behavior and really intends to change. Michael Rieser did not wish to receive a plantation up to now; but now, as Mrs. Landfelder tells us, he has gone out in our area to look for good land. Some years ago he was offered a very fertile piece of land near the mill river, which he will now probably accept, since it is one of the best plantations in our whole territory.]
Saturday and Sunday, the 27th and 28th of September. We now learn from the Bible story that David, who sinned in his dealings with Uriah in Jerusalem and especially in the castle of Zion, was expelled from it by his own son and his followers. On this occasion our listeners were warned not to pollute the land by sinning so that they will not be spewed out like other inhabitants of this country. This serious threat can be found in the Bible several times; Leviticus 18 and 22. This threat of God was already executed on several people in our community; [and Michael Rieser, Landfelder, and others will experience it too, if they do not do atonement]. The present 15th chapter of the second book of Samuel contains very lovely prefigurations that have their fulfillment in Christ and His members; and it is very edifying for us that the wisdom of God has arranged it in such a way that we read about the state of humiliation and sufferings in Christ not only in the passion-story but also in all the prefigurations of the Old Testament and therefore in the material we are presently engaged in.
Tuesday, the 29th of September. [Ruprecht] Steiner told me that N.N. [Ruprecht Zittrauer] visited him before the edification hour, and he is of the opinion that he has become quite another man and an upright Christian through the grace of God, although he had been very wicked before. The physical affliction that God had sent him various times during the past year made him quiet, set him thinking, and taught him to better listen to the word and to recognize penitently the danger in which he had formerly remained because of his impenitence. Today we heard the important verses Isaiah 1:2-3 and Jeremiah 2:12-13 about the apostacy of Absalom and the Israelites from their pious father and king, David. May God bless him and others and bring them to a holy dread and shame and also to a true conversion to God, who is kindly disposed even to the greatest evil-doers, Jeremiah 3:12.
When contemplating David’s calmness and resignation to God we heard the verse: Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” It is very necessary for this to be known and to be exercised by all beginning and advanced Christian persons in our community, to whom God has sent many afflictions. They get by easiest if they, like children, comply with the discipline of their parents. I also told Steiner of the penitent Peter Reiter, for whom everything he thought to have done well before, even his prayer and divine service, is turning to sin, of which he told me some details today. The believers among us whom he was mockina before are now as dear to him as his soul, and he considers their visits and consolation to be a great benefaction.
Our dear God gave me and others who were present a great refreshment at the home of the sick Mrs. Bacher. She is lying on her sickbed like a lamb bound with ropes of love and is quietly waiting for her Savior. Among other things I comforted her by saying that, after his conversion and attainment of forgiveness, David had many external and internal afflictions; and it would be wrong to conclude therefrom that God was still angry with him and had not forgiven his sins; rather one should judge as in Hebrews 12:5.
After the edification hour N. [Schweiger] asked me to visit him sometime. He has much trouble with his disobedient wife /Eva Regina/ and much loss in his household. I hope God will bless this domestic cross in him in a way that he will feel remorse and penitently discover sin as the cause of all evil. In his case, too, it is true that, “As a man sinneth, so shall he be plagued.” During his security and frivolity he often sinned with his wife by joking and tomfoolery, and he did not accept a warning when choosing this person as his marriage-partner.
Wednesday, the 30th of September. N.N. [the herdsman of the town and his wife] have been admitted to the Lord’s table only once as long as they have been at Ebenezer; and, since he has not registered for it as other people did, I admonished him to prepare for this holy and beneficial meal the sooner the better with his wife. He said that he realizes now better than before what is necessary for a worthy partaking in Holy Communion and that he and she are lacking many things before they can participate properly. He told me something else from which I saw that the prejudices he had formerly had against righteous behavior and our institutions aimed at it were gradually vanishing. What the heathen philosophers noted about worldly wisdom also applies to Christianity: Multi ad sapientiam pervenissent, nisi jam eo pervenisse credidissent.22 How much it costs our dear God to convince a blind man that he is lacking the true beginning of Christianity despite all ecclesiastical and religious exercises and that he is therefore without God’s grace!
This afternoon, contrary to my expectations, it happened that I could visit N. and N. [Schweiger and his wife] at their plantation, which is almost the furthest from town. [She has been constantly sick for nine weeks with epilepsy, which is her actual bodily misfortune, and there is probably no other reason for it than her anger and chagrin which she causes herself by her willfulness. In the presence of her husband I led her to recognize the sin as the only cause of her illness and all other evil in her marriage and household, and I endeavored to move her to do atonement. At the same time I told her what I had heard from other people about her completely wrong attitude towards her husband and asked the man whether this was correct, which he confirmed and she could not deny. Therefore, she dropped the suspicion she had entertained that her husband had often complained to me about her. I urged the two words of the interpretation of the seventh commandment upon them: “Everyone should love and honor his spouse.” Of these the first one seems to refer mainly to the duties of the wife towards her husband, as is confirmed also by other verses that are included in our marriage-formula, i.e., “Thy will shall be subject to thy husband and he shall be thy master,” likewise Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:14. At last all the hitherto existing confusion between them was settled and she apologized to her husband and me by mouth and hand for all she has done contrary to him and me.]23 Although today’s journey to them was very hard for me in the present summer heat, I was glad that it was not quite in vain and will be even more glad if the people comply with the given admonitions and convert to God, so that once we will be able to observe them in a Christian state of marriage.
[They have a girl with them who was educated at the orphanage; and, since they have caused her indignation by their bad behavior, I pointed out to them the damage that will result from it to them and to the girl and admonished them urgently to show her by word and deed that a change has taken place in them. The girl is Mrs. Schweiger’s sister.]24
Tuesday, the 1st of October. This afternoon, with prayer and the word of God, we dedicated /Martin/ Lackner’s new dwelling, to which he had invited his neighbors. We profited from the weighty verse drawn from the words of our Savior in last Sunday’s gospel: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, etc. . . . and thy neighbor as thyself.” My fatigue, which I felt from speaking and especially from the long road from town to the plantation, prevented me from visiting anyone else. [The water is still so high that we are forced to make a long detour to reach the plantations. As soon as it becomes possible, the men will jointly build a bridge which we hope will be passable even at the highest flood mark.]
An English merchant from Fort Augusta recently got some of our Schauer Balm for his sore eyes.1 Today he sent for more through a man on horseback because he perceives more benefit from it than from anything he has used till now. His sight was formerly good, but when driving cattle the great summer heat and copious dust have brought him to a point that he can hardly see any more. He is offering to pay a good 200 guineas if he could be cured. Along with the Schauer Balm I sent him some of our medicine and sent him written and oral instructions on its use and on the appropriate diet, which such people often fail to keep. If God lays a blessing on it, the Englishman should make a gift to our orphanage. [Most of this Schauer Balm, which the Reverend Senior once sent to our orphanage, had evaporated during its long voyage, but the remainder has been put to good use among our people for a variety of ills. Apart from a small gift made to people in Purysburg, it has not been requested elsewhere.] This noble balm is now running out, and it would be a great boon to us, the orphanage, and the congregation if our dear God should incline the heart of Mr. Schauer or other benefactors to send us more such medicine, which is almost indispensable in this wilderness.
[Although it started to rain this afternoon and there was some thunder in the distance, the clouds passed after several hours, so that clear weather for the harvest continues and the crops can be brought in dry. The flood in the river has not really subsided, so that work on the mill is still delayed, although we need it badly and the men are more than willing to start repairs the sooner the better.] We hear that the high water has done very great harm in our and the neighboring colony to crops like corn, beans, and rice through most unusual flooding. Hence even now 5 sh. is being offered for a bushel of corn. We cannot thank our dear Lord enough that the damage has not harmed us nearly as much as others in the vicinity and in other places. Some are losing most of their rice, but practically no corn and beans. There is so much corn at our place that we can hold a good quantity in reserve for the support of the Salzburgers who are said to be underway. The providence of God over us is quite miraculous, and here too it is written: “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” In the spring we had no one in the orphanage for field work and planting, and because the manager has much work with the housekeeping and the children I did not wish to demand of him that he take on such difficult field work, even if he himself was inclined to it at first. But I see now that God has disposed his heart to it and that he and the orphan boys have planted a big field with corn and beans and our dear Lord has caused right much fruit to grow upon it. I would not know where I should buy corn and beans even if I had the money, since at our place whatever anyone has left over is being put aside for the new colonists, our friends and brothers.
Friday, the 2nd of October. It is very profitable that the children on the plantations are diligently attending not only divine services on Sundays but also the edification hour on weekdays. We then have the opportunity briefly to repeat what we preached of the last time; from these repetitions the eager listeners get a great deal. In the evening prayer meetings near the town we arrange it so that the material of the previous day’s catechism is repeated before we take up the lesson of the following Bible story. In this manner the most important verses and matters are again laid upon the hearts and consciences of the listeners.
Before the edification hour I called on Brandner to give him comfort from God’s word for his domestic cross (which he and his entire household have been carrying in the form of bodily illness for quite some time). Man and wife were quite well satisfied with the dispensation of our heavenly Father and thanked Him heartily for what He had granted them in the last harvest, although the bears, the deer, and the last flood have done no small harm to them, almost more than to others. He recounted to me that the Maurer woman /Catherina/applied the story of David and his flight from the city of Zion to herself, saying tearfully and sadly that she too had surely deserved through her sins to have to go from our place to Purysburg with her sore throat. She had long used the prescribed means, yet nonetheless experienced no relief or comfort. Because the ailment in her neck, mouth, and nose has become extremely dangerous and Mr. Thilo is predicting no good outcome (since a violent quartan fever has struck her as well), she and her husband and a few other people, amongst them Peter Reiter, have traveled to Purysburg to the surgeon who recently took care of N. [Ernst] . He is said to understand external defects of all kinds very well.2
This autumn a trial is again afflicting our dear parishioners, in that not only almost all small children, but some grown ones and also many men and women, have tertian and quartan fever; and we have no means to cure these fevers thoroughly so that they will not come back soon. [Mr. Thilo does not have much medicine and can dispense very little.] The above-mentioned surgeon prides himself that he cures fevers of every type quickly, but I worry that it is more a blocking and suppressing of the fever than radically curing it. If we were to be properly instructed from Europe and provided with practical fever medicines, we would be happy [better placed to apply this knowledge. The concepts which I learned in Halle regarding the consideration and care of fevers prevented me from counseling anyone to make use of the cures that are customary here. But] on account of our dear parishioners’ physical condition we are now feeling much distress and trouble, and yet we cannot help as much as we would like to.
Just as I am writing this my dear colleague has returned from Purysburg. He had accompanied the honest Mauer woman (Mr. Hans Mauer’s wife) and the penitent Peter Reiter there, who, forced by necessity, had wished to place themselves in the care of the already mentioned French-Swiss surgeon there. Dear Peter Reiter has had to undergo a harsh treatment with his wrenched leg, and in his current circumstances he needs, as much as N. [Ernst], the heartfelt intercession of all the faithful. [Previously, it has always been said that the leg had not really been wrenched from the socket, and for four weeks he has been put off with all sorts of good instructions and false hopes. Now the leg has been reset in the socket, but with such brute force that one’s hair stands on end to hear the story of it. I wish my dear colleague would write down all the particulars, which resemble those of a torture treatment also practiced in Germany, so that our friends and Fathers may learn of the turmoil which this causes us and our flock and assist us with word and deed. They are both capable and willing to do so, of which I gave Mr. Thilo some specific examples today.]
The surgeon is hopeful, however, that the leg can be cured well enough with God’s blessing that he will be able to use it. Still, it is assumed that he will have to limp, if not for good, at least for some time. He would rather have both legs broken than have the setting of the one leg drawn out so long. The tale my dear colleague has told me of this surgeon’s activity and willingness to serve has given me quite another concept of him than I had before.
The surgeon is promising to say for certain within a week whether the Mauer woman’s very dangerous ailment [which has been patched up for fifteen months now, to her great harm] can be cured. N. [Ernst], with his almost cured arm, has again been in a new mortal danger: he had an internal apostema3 which broke open and almost brought him to the grave. He is now said to be out of danger. With all these immensely distressing matters our comfort is that our heavenly Father is holding His hand over everything and is arranging for all the best, for the patients and for us. My dear colleague has mentioned some right edifying details of their very Christian state of mind. May God further awaken Christian hearts who will come to our aid with charitable gifts so that we can assist these afflicted people in a material way. [The physical condition of our flock causes us much difficulty and grief, and we cannot help them as we would wish. May He mercifully avert the sad consequences that are to be feared now more than ever. We are glad to speak nothing but the best of such a man who is here for the sake of our patients and to put the best interpretation on all events, but we stand the danger of becoming the object of suspicion as well as he.]
Saturday, the 3rd of October. This year the acorns have been quite plentiful. We see this as a benefaction from the Lord because the flooding and in some places the lack of rain have damaged the crops. The people have brought quantities of them together as feed for the pigs, and therefore have been able to save that much more corn and beans. The trees are said to be so laden everywhere that the boughs are breaking down, as the peach trees did formerly. This autumn there are so many of those very tasty nuts similar to little chestnuts which grow sometimes in low bushes, in poor, dry earth and sometimes on trees standing in watery areas.4 Similarly, on the tall walnut trees we find many so-called walnuts or Welsh nuts of different kinds. They have a thicker shell than those in Germany, yet the kernel inside tastes just as sweet and lovely. Now is the time when we gather the little berries from which a green wax can be prepared by boiling.5 By mixing it with suet we can make fine green candles. The bushes on which the little berries hang so copiously grow in great profusion in swampy areas; but the berries are so small that we have to gather a great deal of them to make a pound, especially as the seeds and skins must be removed. They ripen just at the time when people have enough to do with the harvest, gathering acorns, making hay, and other things.
Sunday, the 4th of October. After the morning services we had to dispose of a certain scandal before the entire congregation. Doing so has proved to be the salvation of the sinner and an edification and good impression for the parishioners. All young people not yet admitted to Holy Communion were dismissed so that everything could be treated in an all the more orderly manner before understanding people. We instruct the congregation diligently on the necessity and profitability of church discipline. From our procedure they can, if they themselves fear God and look at it in its true perspective, realize that they should look upon the affair not as a legal punishment, but rather as a benefaction for the sinner and for the congregation. We are acting here from a feeling of pity and are seeking nothing other than to reset the dislocated member, straighten it out, and make it useful. [We will give particulars of this matter in one of our letters.] Many of the parishioners wept gently during the proceedings; and this affected me greatly.
On previous occasions our dear Lord has employed the public use of the keys to the kingdom of heaven to open up the conscience of many a hidden sinner and blessed what had to be spoken in order to touch the conscience, so that they came to a salutary repentence and understanding. As a woman said to me today, the sins of her youth now appeared so immense and abominable to her that it was not N., but she herself who was standing before the congregation, etc. The sins which she had previously regarded as negligible and minor were becoming immense and abominable to her, she said, and she was seeking only to be certain of the grace of forgiveness. In the case dealt with, the congregation was instructed not to look upon this procedure as strange and unusual: we showed that it was based on Christ’s teaching, as we had learned recently in the catechism concerning the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The fact, horrible as it is, that in many places in Germany it has come into decline, we said, was in large part the fault of the listeners themselves. Righteous ministers sigh that their hands are tied in such a manner.
Our congregation is still small and this procedure can be practiced better than in other places where the parishioners are in the hundreds and thousands and where scandals have inundated everything. They are always performed with the consent of those who caused the scandal. By contrast, those who do not like to subject themselves to such church discipline are relinquished to their Judge. Indeed, our gracious God Himself come to our aid with His providence by causing some sinners to come into such a dilemma and to feel His heavy hand in such a way that they would wish rather to absolve themselves of their abomination here in their time of grace and flee the wrath to come through the prescribed order of penitence and faith. The acknowledgment of the sinner today, which he declared with shame and tears after a few questions and answers, sounds thus: “I acknowledge here publicly that I have sinned . . . (such and so) against God, and have vexed the entire congregation. I ask all heartily for pardon, and promise through the grace of God to do true penance.” Thereupon we all fell to our knees and prayed to God according to our circumstances. We expostulated on the proper Gospel according to Matthew, 9:1 ff.: “The only way to be saved through Christ from sin as the most frightful abomination.” We said (1) that sin was the most horrifying abomination, and (2) that salvation from it was the very greatest benefaction. The exordium was taken from Psalms 51:16, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness,” which material was very useful to the present extraordinary procedure.
Monday, the 5th of October. [This morning, our large boat was sent to Savannah to fetch a German man and his belongings. He wants to settle here in Ebenezer. The English schoolmaster, Hamilton, and his German wife whom he married in Silesia have also gone down. He wants to work in Savannah as schoolmaster, church reader, wig maker, and barber to pay off his passage money. The shoemaker, Adde, had some money to claim from him, on which occasion this Hamilton sinned by anger and cursing and thus at the very end revealed his true spirit. I admonished him for his behavior and repeated to him the well-known adage: He who curses, curses himself and all that is his.]
Four men took our little boat up the river so that they could fetch the horses at Palachocolas that had been bought for the congregation six weeks ago but could not be brought across the river and the deep swamp because of high water. [I am using this opportunity to write again to the captain whose illegitimate use of our strong draft horse is now in its fifth year, to ask him to either send back the horse or, if it is still in the woods, one of his other horses. We need this horse to transport the long and thick timbers required to repair the mill dam. I have not yet received an answer to my letter to Mr. Oglethorpe, wherein I mentioned this horse and our loss of its use.
[Through an Englishman we have heard that two packets of letters had arrived for us in Savannah. We shall learn the truth of this rumor when our boat returns in a few days. Nothing could please us more than to have news from the hands of our Fathers and friends and could edify ourselves from their letters. We also hear that the dear friends whom we already consider as members of our community are expected shortly in Savannah. We shall soon learn the source of this news. In the meantime, we pray both publicly and privately for them, that the Lord may carry them on His hands throughout their dangerous and difficult sea voyage, may guide them with His eye, and bring them here in good health for their physical, spiritual, and eternal salvation. And may He prepare us through His holy spirit to receive them well and be useful to them in all manner of ways. Meanwhile, we wish for them what David wished for the honest Ittai, 2 Samuel 15, that is, charity and faithfulness of the Lord.]
Tuesday, the 6th of October. One of the elders told me he had heard that the N. [Landfelder] woman wished to stay among us. He asked whether she would also accommodate herself to proper Christian conduct. Until now she had considered her sermon book more valuable than the opportunity to hear God’s word. In fact she had scorned the sermons when they did not agree with her sermon book, and this may mean that the preaching of the gospel does not concur with what she finds in her book of sermons. While weeping, she promised to accommodate herself to proper Christian conduct, but that will go no further than external appearances. In previous times she could not be convinced of her dangerous condition; time will tell whether from now on God with His word will succeed better with her. We read Bible verses and divine truths in the prayer meetings and sermons which, we hope, will cause them all to see into the nature of their spiritual condition and, from this moment on, will turn them away from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. But prejudices and falsely absorbed doctrines are strong bars by which Satan keeps his nest, the unconverted heart, locked up so that for many old sinners it seems almost impossible to break through with God’s word. The deceit of sin, of which Paul warns in Hebrews 3:13, is very common.
The old N. [Spielbigler] woman had a copy of Dr. Luther’s Haus Postille and, although the divine truths are set forth therein abundantly and forcefully, she has not yet recognized the truth. Rather, she has applied everything in a perverted manner through false comfort and has not allowed herself to be shown the proper way. [To such cases we may well apply Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” That is the devil, helped by the perverted heart, so that many do not see with seeing eyes and hear with hearing ears; and the longer they have good opportunities the longer and more wicked and more perverted they turn away from the good. This we see clearly in poor Michael Rieser, who has come right close to the judgment for the unconverted. He makes no use of our ministry; but, in his undying hatred of us, he believes he will persevere by praying and reading at home.]
Wednesday, the 7th of October. [This morning, we dedicated in a Christian manner Hans Floerl’s new house and edified ourselves with the comforting words from Ecclesiastes 9:7, “God now accepteth thy works.” The Lord has given me and, I hope, all those present much edification from this. Lemmenhofer joined us and told me after the service that his little child had died, and that in his grief he had benefited much from the words that had been said with regard to the above passage. This afternoon my dear colleague went out to assist at the funeral in the Christian and customary way. In the afternoon an Englishman on a passing trading boat delivered a letter from Mr. Oglethorpe in reply to a letter I had written regarding the ill conduct of the Uchee Indians at our town a few weeks ago. There was inserted a note to a certain woman /Hewett/ living among these people in which she is requested to come to me with the chief of these Indians to discuss in detail several matters so as to prevent further damage. There are several points mentioned in this letter which our friends might wish to know. I shall therefore repeat the passage which treats of these Indians:
“You certainly know that the Indians were Natives and Owners of all America. When I came into this Country, the river Savannah was the Boundaries between the Indians and the English planters of Carolina. His Majesty gave liberty to the Trustees to purchase lands from the Indian Natives. I treated with the Indians and have obtained from them the rights of settling such lands as they gave unto the Trustees. The Creek Indians gave us liberty to settle from the River Ebenezer to the Sea, excepting what lies between Pipemaker’s Creek and the Town of Savannah. The Lands beyond the River Ebenezer, that is to say to the North thereof as far as the River of Briars, belonged to the Uchee Indians, who would not grant the same, and therefore I could not allow any settlements to be made beyond that river.
[“I suppose therefore some person has settled beyond that river, or injured their Com(?) there. If so, they do this by way of reprisals; if otherwise, perhaps it may be some young men that are set on by ill-minded people. However, the method is to apply to the chiefs, or King of the Uchee Indians, and he will see to get the matter right, for we must not injure the Indians, nor must they injure us. They by the Treaty are to complain to me of the white men, and I am to complain to their Chiefs of them. I send you inclosed a Letter for Mrs. Hewett who speaks their language, and she will bring to you the Indian Chiefs, who will settle this matter.
[“With respect to the Indians taking peaches or corn in the field, their Hospitality is such, that they allow all strangers to take and eat what they will of Corn, Watermelons, or Fruit in the Fields, and they naturally take the Same Liberty with our people; but if this matter is explained to their chiefs, they will speak to the young men, who will leave it off.”
[Concerning the matter of our draft horse, Mr. Oglethorpe will speak directly to the captain who has so long used it for his benefit.]
I had asked General Oglethorpe for grape vines, and on that account he gave out orders in two places in this colony for me to be supplied at the right time with cuttings which are inserted into the ground without roots. Also, from a certain man we are to get 5 ь worth of young mulberry trees, for which Mr. Oglethorpe himself paid the money. Praise God for these new benefactions! May He give grace that we may zealously pray to Him on account of the Indians; this is the best weapon for resisting these evil guests. They pay no attention to their chiefs or kings; and these act just as wickedly as the others. They plant not the least little thing, hence they cannot have had an opportunity to make good for the damage they caused us. [Mr. Oglethorpe has not even mentioned the excesses they committed here, although he probably knows that they behaved badly, if not worse, at Savannah and other places.] They are intractably unbridled and lawless folk, and General Oglethorpe, especially at this time of war, may not himself know how to guard against all misfortune.
Our people who fetched the horses from Palachocolas say that up there the Indians rode away on some very fine, expensive horses, and since then have not let themselves be seen anywhere. If our dear Lord had not turned away harm and had not blessed the Salzburgers’ diligence and precaution, the best horse would have drowned swimming across the stream. [The captain to whom I wrote concerning our horse was not at home, and a German doctor who trades with him wrote me that he did not know anything of this matter. He also pretended to our people that neither he nor the captain would keep the horse back if they had it. However, these are nothing but empty words.] We hear unbelievable stories of the way English act among themselves. None has honest intentions toward the other, and each acts slyly and deceitfully. Everywhere up there food is lacking; and corn, rice, and sweet potatoes cannot be had for any money. We, thank the Lord!, are experiencing nothing of that lack. This is once again a clear testimony of the fulfillment of Matthew 6, “But seek ye first,” etc., “and all these things shall be added unto you.” Especially, it is a new testimony of the paternal providence of God ruling over us that the little chest from Augsburg which the worthy Senior Urlsperger mentioned in the previous letters, most lately that of Mrs. Hüber, came to us here by a trading boat this afternoon. In it are not only the four very useful broadaxes requested for our industrious carpenters and a small box full of red marking stones,6 but also two trusses, hot water bottles for sick lying-in women along with a few remedies from the pious midwife and also porridge pans,7 little bonnets, and (children’s) drinking utensils of glass and pewter. There was also some linen, twine, and Bomasin8 packed along therewith. In like manner we have been provided with seventy-six vials of Schauer Balm at a time when our current supply is running out. [Both the Reverend Deacon Hildebrand and dear Mr. von Müller, the amanuensis of our Senior Urlsperger, have sent most edifying and pleasing letters to us and the congregation. May the Lord bless in you and our benefactors this benefaction as well as the other gifts we have received.]
Thursday, the 8th of October. At the beginning of this week something happened to one of our most skilled and industrious carpenters that made him lose his spirits to the point that he would have given up all his carpentry and applied himself simply to farm work, especially since his work had been made quite difficult by some people, and indeed there was also much willfulness in the matter. But God ordained for him to be invited and called to yesterday’s dedication of /Hans/Floerl’s dwelling; and the sermon on the previously mentioned little verse: “Thy work pleaseth God,” etc., sprang into his mind in such a way that he had gentler thoughts. He perceived, among other things, what bliss it is for the faithful that not a great potentate but rather the King of all kings, for the sake of Christ, has a paternal good will towards their persons and towards the products of their general and special professions. Thus, all their works, even the outwardly very modest ones scorned by haughty people, are a genuine service to God which are to be rewarded here in time and there in eternity.9
To the contrary, it is said of unbelievers: “God detests them both, the godless man and his godless doings.” God is displeased not only by their evil works but also by their natural and merely liturgical ones, and it does not help even if they are praised by everyone else, etc. All this we clarified and corroborated with verses from the Old and New Testaments.