During the years 1736 and 1737 it pleased our miraculous God to let the whole community get seriously ill one after the other but, after having attained His aim, He gave back health again at the right time; and, although the worms had eaten up all field products, the almighty Creator of heaven and earth knew how to find means so that nobody had to suffer hunger and harm in these scarce years. This was because the authorities had previously been very economical in distributing provisions, since they had supposed that we had already received our allowance and allotment; but they discovered later on in the accounts that very much rice, corn, beans, meat, molasses, and other things were still set aside for the community, which we rightly received one after the other and from which we could live up to the next harvest.
By 1738 we had learned more about the country and understood better than before that the high and dry soil, although good, was not the best; and, since very rich soil was available in our neighborhood at Abercorn Creek, some men were sent out to investigate it. At first they brought a moderate, later on, however, a hopeful report. Therefore we presented our request first to Mr. Causton, whose answer was completely negative. However, God set him aside, and we went with our Supplique immediate17 to General Oglethorpe, who had just arrived in this country. At his first glance at our Supplique God had already directed his heart to grant us the land for which we asked. If this land had been given to us the first time, we would have regarded it as a great misfortune; because at that time we did not understand it better. At the beginning everybody wanted land which was dry all year.
How mercifully God helped us to occupy and cultivate this land in 1739 is still fresh in everyone’s memory. He wisely directed that all people live side by side in one row from east to west, almost as in town, and help each other in fence-building, farming, cattle breeding, etc., which is a great physical benefit to them and corresponds to the purpose for which the Salzburgers left their homeland, namely, to be constantly near God’s Word. No human mind could arrange things so well, and everybody must say that our Lord has done it! Free provision from the storehouse had completely stopped and the Salzburgers sincerely wished to eat their own bread, and -- Behold! God gave them such a rich harvest in all crops that they could sell part of it and buy clothes and other necessities, not to speak of the many good gifts from Europe of linen and other things. They also had an opportunity to earn something at the orphanage.
A remaining troublesome matter that caused them sweat and sighs was that they had to grind their corn to flour on very incommodious hand mills; and this caused them more trouble than planting the corn. However, in 1740 our heavenly Father took care of this too by uniting the hearts and hands of all men in the community to build a flour mill in the so-called Abercorn Creek, where the plantations are. This mill He so well protected during the twice repeated great floods that it seemed quite unbelievable to strangers and even to General Oglethorpe. Now they make good use not only of their corn but also of rice; and that gives them new courage to plant their land rather than to look for other profitable work. And, although reports are being spread of war and rumors of war, we remain undisturbed under the wings of God’s grace, except that we have been somewhat disturbed by one or two renegade servants, so that we realize how it would be if God permitted a whole swarm of enemies to fall upon us. What our gracious God has already given us during this year is especially worthy of consideration and gratitude. That is to say; the start of the church-building was made, for which He had already sent us a bell the previous year and much else [much iron material and some 60 pounds Sterling]. How excellent is Thy loving kindness, 0 God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.
When would I finish (I added at the end of my report), if I counted up all the special benefactions which our dear God has showed to my dear colleague, to myself and our families, and to every individual of our community at Old and New Ebenezer in spiritual and material things. Forget it not, oh my soul! Because at our commemoration and thanksgiving feast, which will be held tomorrow, we will remember as best we can the mercy God has shown us in former days and still now, and thank Him with mouth and heart for it, I wished to read to them for this purpose from some letters from the worthy Dr. Francke and also from what the worthy Senior Urlsperger had printed in Germany on our behalf and which he sent to us some time ago. From the former they should recognize what splendid benefits God has shown to our community, and from the latter, what He will do for our good in the future so that we may be thankful for the already received and still coming favors. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me, and to him” . . . etc.18
The other thing I read to the listeners to encourage them to celebrate our commemoration and thanksgiving service rightly was the Honorable Senior Urlsperger’s short encouragement for a voluntary Christian charitable contribution for Ebenezer, and also something from the preface of the Third Continuation, which includes a beautiful passage from the letter of our dear Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen. From both of them it can be wonderfully seen what God has done for us already and what else He will do for our good later on. Our merciful God has given Senior Urlsperger a special religious security and joyousness, and he also mentions several good examples of the wonderful care of our Lord for Ebenezer. Since our dear Senior already proposes a Hallelujah to our Lord in advance and in hope, why should we not do the same? And why should we not praise God in the hope that He will bring all our troubles and afflictions to a desired end. The verses that are referred to on this occasion and are applied to Ebenezer serve us as a special encouragement, joy, and comfort. May the Lord be a rich compensator for everything and may He do further for us what is well pleasing to Him. We knelt down at last together and praised the Lord with all our strength, prayed also for our known and unknown, but to the Lord known, benefactors.
Because I received new assurance today that Captain Thomson (of whom we have often heard up to now that he had an accident) has certainly reached Frederica with his ship quite without a damage, I remembered that this message too could incite us to joy and the praise of God. For, even if there were nothing in the ship for us (although we hope for the contrary), then at least fresh goods would be brought to this almost barren colony, which can probably be bought cheaper and better than until now. Moreover, the Lord Trustees, as our dear benefactors and provincial authorities, usually load this ship with various goods for this colony. Now, just as an honest child is pleased and thanks God when his parents’ goods arrive without damage, this is also the duty of every inhabitant of this colony and especially of us, etc. What was read and impressed on the listeners here at the plantations was done in town too, both last Tuesday and also this evening, so that all members of the community, both grown-ups and children, would be prepared for the right celebration of the approaching day under the blessings of God.
Saturday, the 14th of March. Just as the Lord God lets the sun shine refreshingly on the vault of heaven this day: in the same way He has let the sun of His grace rise and shine upon us and into many hearts through the preaching of the gospel at this our dear commemoration and thanksgiving day. For He has powerfully edified us through singing, praying, preaching of some chapters and psalms, and by the preaching of the word of God in the forenoon and afternoon, so we believe and hope that a fruit of this feast will be noticed in the later life and found again in eternity. Oh, may the Lord grant it for Christ’s sake! In the morning we had as an exordium the word of God from Hosea 11:3: “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms,” etc., whereby it is shown that our community has much in common with the old Israelites whom God with His mighty hand led out of Egypt, and therefore these words suit us excellently too. For therein is shown, on one hand, the friendly mother-heart of God, who took the children of Israel by their arms in Egypt, led them through the Red Sea, provided for them in the deserts, had unspeakable great patience with their sins, helped them after leading them to Canaan, guarded their land, and heaped spiritual and material benefits upon them. On the one hand it shows the careless and unthankful heart of Ephraim or the Israelites, etc.
In the application it was shown that the Israelites were cast down because of their sins and that, after God’s richly shown mercy, we have taken their place and that our fatherly and motherly disposed God has shown His astonishingly miraculous kindness to the Salzburgers in their spiritual Egypt, in Papism, on their journey over land and sea, and also here in this country, all of which was pointed out to the audience with specific examples. It was left to the meditation of the audience whether or not many of the grown-ups and children still have a thoughtless and unthankful heart; and necessary comfort was given for those who, as believers, recognize their imperfection. As a text we had the important words of Isaiah 1:19-20; and from them we heard partly a comforting promise, partly a terrible threat to those people concerned.
In the afternoon my dear colleague had as an exordium Hebrews 13:5-6: “For He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,” etc. and as a text Psalms 68:20-21, wherein it is shown to us what use the already received help of the Lord will be to us. Here two points were considered: 1) The help of our Lord, we have already experienced, 2) How we should make use of it, namely, to His praise and in confidence of His further help.
In the morning and afternoon we read such chapters and psalms as very well fit our present conditions and the sermon, such as Deuteronomy 28, Psalms 37, and Psalms 78. Instead of the epistle, which is usually read in the morning between the first and second hymns, a few children recited Psalm 23 iteratis vocibus;19 and in the afternoon, instead of the catechism, Psalms 145 and 146, which they have learned by heart as usual for the day. To our known and unknown benefactors, who from the beginning have done much good to us spiritually and materially, we wished in cordial intercession what is said in Jeremiah 32:38-41; and those dear promises of the Lord were cited as an explanation of the promises in the morning text.
Because there was no time left yesterday to read anything from various very beautiful, instructive, and consoling letters from our dear Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen as a remembrance of the mercy of God shown to us, it happened today at the repetition hour, which passages gave me and others much pleasure, strengthened us in our belief and confidence in the grace of God, and encouraged us to His cordial praise. They deserve to be given a place in the diary for our constant memory and for the edification of others [which our dear Court Chaplain as well as Dr. Francke can best interpret according to their fatherly love. It is done in humility and childlike joy at the blessings received from them and from the humble desire to grant edification also to others who might deign to read our diary.]20
Sunday, the 15th of March. Praise to the Lord who has given us also on this day much edification and spiritual pleasure from His word and has also let us come together towards evening with the grace hungry listeners for common prayer and praise of the Lord. May this praise, prayer, and intercession for the sake of Christ be agreeable and pleasing to Him and may He soon put in our mouths matter for His Praise through hoped-for news from Europe.
Monday, the 16th of March. Three weeks ago the wife of N.N. [Hans Schmied] was in a very painful and dangerous condition from a fright and she had to take some medicine which, however, did not prevent her from having a miscarriage yesterday, as he told me this morning. For some time God has begun a very good work in her, wherein, by His grace, she has also shown more faithfulness than at first. Therefore I do not doubt that this heavy blow will serve for her spiritual good. How confident a believer can be in difficult circumstances if he knows that our Almighty God is his father in whose hands is placed everything, our ways and paths and whatever meets with us and who directs everything to His glory and our good. She was frightened one night by a crashing noise and feared that the thievish person /Carpenter/ was breaking into her hut just when her husband was not at home. This evil creature had not been seen at our place since the time he slaughtered the cow at Old Ebenezer; but for some nights now he has again sneaked into some huts and courtyards and in two nights he purloined some brood hens with eggs, an iron pot with wash, four young pigs, and whatever else came into his hands. Old Mrs. Spielbigler saw him and could have grabbed him with her hands if she had not been too weak. Landfelder also surprised him and retrieved from him a piece of canvas that he had stolen in his courtyard at night, but he could not catch up with him. Our people will have to resolve together more seriously to find him. I have also informed the Englishman at Old Ebenezer [that he, and presumably more than one man, has appeared again and] that he, together with others on horseback, should make an effort to find him. He told me that the other day he had, together with some other men, spared no pains to find his trace but had ridden around in vain. [If our community had received the seven horses promised us by Mr. Oglethorpe for reconnoitering the woods, this creature would possibly have already been found or driven away.] All the lower places are full of water, therefore he must be staying either on dry land in the fir or spruce woods or on an island, where our people do not know the trails for going by foot. [Today it has again rained and thundered heavily, although for some days and also nights we have had very pleasant and warm weather.]
The Savannah River is now rising again very much and is higher than before. Therefore the good Kieffer family has fled from their land, which stands completely under water, with their belongings and cattle and have moved into an empty hut of the orphanage. None of us has had to suffer such inconvenience, since even the Salzburgers whose plantations are situated on the mill river have their lodgings and households on high lands, which people here call “bluffs.” This is a real blessing which should be appreciated with much gratitude towards God. At Old Ebenezer our people would have had to suffer the same, since their house lots were placed on swampy, low land.
One Salzburger had such a revival from our thanksgiving texts that he recites them eagerly to his wife and children in the morning and evening for them to learn by heart. The introductory verse from Hosea 2:3 reminded him forcefully of what God had done for him, especially before his emigration. He had been in the house of Catholic people, he said; and, while the Protestants were being pursued and banished, he had fallen down on his knees in a corner and prayed to God imploringly to lead him as a mother leads her child, etc. Although he was interrupted in his prayer by the Catholic people in the house, our dear God had heard him favorably and given him much joy and comfort during his pilgrimage. He told that with great cheerfulness and to the praise of God.
Tuesday, the 17th of March. The water in the river has risen almost to the highest point and is standing high above the dam in the mill river but so quietly that we cannot hear it flowing, because more water is flowing back from Abercorn than down from the Savannah River. Even on horseback it is almost impossible to go to the plantations without danger; therefore I had myself ferried back across the river by boat. The large tree trunk along which one lets the horses swim through the river is now lying for the most part under water and is also floating, so that we cannot walk on it.
[Yesterday without our knowledge the people of Old Ebenezer brought to our place the maid made pregnant by the preacher of Frederica, Mr. Norris.21 Her master had taken her with some pounds Sterling and her belongings to Musgrove’s cowpen; she was ordered to travel via Purysburg to Charleston and wait for her master there. But, since the boat she had taken at the cowpen had come up the mill river and did not get to Purysburg, she came to our place and wanted to be taken to Purysburg today in a small boat. Since I encouraged her and she understood that I already knew of her questionable affairs, she told me of such unpleasant things and such bad behavior of her master and other persons against her that I was shocked about it. She herself wanted to return to Savannah because she does not want to stay away from her master but wishes to follow him to Frederica, for which he has already left, because she can see the deception. I was in any event obligated to send her down, because I had learned from a letter from Mr. Jones, which he had written to his bookkeeper concerning her, that she should not be let out of the colony because she belongs to the Lord Trustees and because her case should be investigated. I was glad that she herself wished to return to Savannah and therefore no pressure was necessary. I hope that our people will be well rewarded for their trouble. Oh, these terrible things, whereby only harm is caused to the colony, if they are not settled by divine and human judges. I am therefore sending a letter with her.]22
Wednesday, the 18th of March. Yesterday afternoon an Englishman came to tell us that he had found the place where the thievish person has his shelter and camp. He has built himself a hut deep in the bushes on Ebenezer Creek, where there is nothing but water around and where large heaps of ashes and many egg shells are lying, also many feathers from poultry. Two young pigs which he had stolen recently were still hanging in the hut. The fellow himself he could not catch, because he disappeared as soon as he heard a noise. Our people had already agreed yesterday to search the surroundings together, which they also did today, but this time too they went in vain. If he is not caught during the night when he is slinking about the people’s huts, it will not be easy to get him in the woods. He is very fast on his feet and does not shrink from water even if he would have to go in it very deeply, as the Englishman reports. Our dear God, who has kept mighty enemies away from us up to now, will free us from this evil person if we heartily appeal to Him.
In this country grow many large and small sassafras trees, which bear very pleasantly smelling leaves [blossoms]. We have been assured that one can dry the blossoms and use them instead of tea, and they are said to be preferable to the usual tea from East India. We have gathered some and will make a test with it.
The Frenchman in our neighborhood on the other side of the Savannah River, whom I have mentioned several times, will move away from here soon and wants to earn his living either in Charleston or else in Holland. We will be glad to get rid of him because he sells rum from greed and has attracted bad people like Indians and other rabble, who afterwards cause us trouble in their drunkenness.
The orphanage is short of corn; and, since none can be obtained in the community because everybody needs much for his own cows and pigs besides his own needs, I have bought ten bushels from this man and must pay him 2 sh. for every bushel. Corn is scarce in the whole country, and one is lucky to get it in the vicinity for this much money. The orphanage needs much cornmeal for bread and other food and must also fatten pigs with corn because no other meat can be brought to this country. Should God bestow some money upon us, we would buy live oxen and let them graze all summer; in autumn they could be slaughtered one at a time and the meat conserved with salt for a long time. Some time ago a planter in Carolina offered me four or five-year-old oxen for 12 pounds in Carolina paper money, which equals 30 sh. Sterling, which he will deliver up to our place together with some cows, which are said to be 2 sh. 6 d. cheaper.
Thursday, the 19th of March. Our people brought me a very friendly letter from Mr. /Thomas/ Jones, who came to Savannah at the end of last week. He informs me that he has received some packets with letters for me from Captain Thomson which he does not wish to hand over to anybody but myself. Besides that, he had to talk over some necessary matters with me, therefore he would be pleased for me to come down immediately after receiving this letter, before he returns to Frederica, which he will do in a few days. Although I would rather have stayed home during this important Passion time and prepared myself together with my congregation in silence for the holy Easter and the celebration of Holy Communion, I had to resolve to travel to Savannah this afternoon. May our Lord bless my departure and return.
[Friday, the 20th of March. I plan to read the Passion story with the help of the Holy Spirit next Sunday in the morning as well as in the afternoon. Luke 23:26-28 now follows in the right order. Our dear God has sent me great benediction and refreshment from previous contemplations and also for future meditations; and therefore I am glad that God has ordained that I will be able to repeat here in town during three prayer hours what I will read next Sunday on the plantations; and how also since otherwise, if my dear colleague had stayed here, I would have had only one hour for it, namely on Saturday. I started yesterday and will continue today and tomorrow with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Lord be praised for all that He has already given to us and will give us further from reflecting on the Passion story. This gives us the greatest comfort and strength; and therefore I wish nothing more than to lie down at the feet of our Lord and His cross, so that His warm blood may flow down on me along with all the salvation and blessing that He has merited; if I hold to Him, our Father cannot reject my request. May He send me and all others the Holy Spirit to teach us how to get on according to His will with His dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.]
Saturday, the 21st of March. Since Sunday is so near and I would like to be together with our dear parishioners in quiet, especially during this holy time, I accomplished my business with Mr. /Thomas/ Jones with the greatest haste possible and rejoined my family around noontime today under divine guidance. To be sure, a man who was helping as a rower became sick on the way back, when an unexpected fever afflicted him with chills and a headache, but nevertheless the providence of our dear God brought us home soon and safe. I had much pleasure from the company and conversation of my fellow travelers but took even more pleasure in the beautiful supply of letters from Europe which was delivered to me by Mr. Jones. As much as my time permitted, I had read them already in Savannah; because my desire to know what our Lord is doing [has sent us] through the service of His servants, our dear Fathers23 in Europe, was all the greater since we had waited for news for such a long time with ardent longing. Next week, God willing, I will note what kind of new blessings our merciful God is offering me and the whole parish from them, especially those eager souls who know to esteem the benefaction of letters written to us by annointed persons; and, as far as the preparation for Easter will allow, I will also read one or another for common edification.
Mr. Verelst has not written to us this time, because the letters we and other benefactors sent him in the past year had not arrived there before the departure of the ship that brought Captain Thomson across and because he had already answered the preceding letters a short time ago. Besides, Mr. Jones told me that a certain man who has been sent to us as an English schoolmaster has brought some more letters along, but he is still in Frederica.24 God be praised for His kindness and benevolence in keeping our dear Fathers, brothers, and friends in Christ alive up to now [and supporting their infirm bodily condition with His strength], and giving His blessings to their spiritual and physical activities, for which we in the New World are again very pleased. For, in spite of the high cost of living and other troublesome circumstances that our beloved Fatherland has had to go through during the previous years, He has blessed their thoughtfulness and loving efforts before God and men so that in Augsburg (and Halle)25 a considerable amount of money has been received for various necessary things, e.g., for the house for widows and orphans, for construction of the church, and for needy members of the parish, also for paying the building costs for my own house, which will be drawn as bills here in Savannah in the name of the Honorable Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen. The sum amounts to 40 pounds Sterling.
Several months ago necessity required us to draw bills for 24 pounds Sterling for the orphanage and other urgent expenses for the community, whereas I also informed the honorable Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen in two letters and asked for approbation of such proceedings. I did this with confidence in the providence of God which has been granted to us in such a singular way up to now. Now I am happy that our dear Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen approves and permits it, although he has not yet received the mentioned letters. My faith was also strengthened by the fact that before the bill of 24 pounds Sterling had arrived in London and the payment had been demanded of him, God had put in his hands this amount and even more from Germany. Oh, what a true God! After trials He sends us comfort, as we very well have observed from many marvelous samples which the Honorable Senior Urlsperger has mentioned in his preface to two Continuations.
How much joy and praise of God will be caused in the hearts of our families when they hear that our omnipotent Ruler, whose name sounds glorious in all countries, has provided for linen, shoes, and various things necessary for clothing as well as for edifying books, which, to be sure, have not arrived with this ship but are waiting ready in Augsburg and Halle to be sent to London. Everything is lying in His almighty hands, He will, as in previous days, let us receive it in good condition. May His name be praised and spread itself out like an ointment poured over all known and unknown benefactors and benefactresses. Yes, in these sorrowful days in which Germany finds itself,26 may it be a mighty fortress for them, to which they can confidently escape and be abundantly and powerfully protected.
Besides that, Secretary Newman has written us a very friendly, loving letter and assured us again of the incessant affection of the Honorable Society.27 He has sent us some copies of the thank-you letter from our community to all dear benefactors in Europe, which they have translated into English and printed. He notifies us that the Honorable Society had them printed in order to send them now and then to their corresponding members, so that the benefactors in England too may realize how their charitable gifts are being received and used. Perhaps God will dispose their hearts anew to some gifts for our community [which the Honorable Society will gladly bestow on us].
May the dear Lord make us grateful from all our heart not only for these benefactions, but also for the affectionate memory of His servants and children before God and men of which we rightly deem ourselves quite unworthy. How great is the goodness of God that our dear benefactors, although they have enough to do with their own rural and urban poor of which there are certainly very many in these hard times, think of our poor community and orphanage with much love and benefaction, [and managed to bring together a tidy gift, partly in money and partly in various other things, which we hope to receive with the next ship]. In our days too we see the truth of what St. Paul extols as a true grace of God in the believers of Macedonia: 2 Corinthians 8:1 ff.
Mr. /Thomas/ Jones was especially friendly to me and assured me he had tried everything possible to persuade General Oglethorpe to pay the money promised to the Salzburgers for the 1739 harvest, which was paid to other colonists completely, if not twofold (because our community will be satisfied with one instead of two shillings for each bushel), [but has not succeeded this time, for which he revealed to me special reasons one better keep to oneself]. In the meantime Mr. Oglethorpe has a kind affection for all of us, so we will hope that the dear Lord who knows about the want and need of the community especially for clothing will provide us with ways and means from near and far, which will compensate us for the things that we might lose in this promised benefit, as, for example, by the aforementioned and eagerly expected crates. He knows counsel and deed for all things. [I am sorry that I have now and again given the community sure hope of this benefit from the mouths of Mr. Oglethorpe and Mr. Jones and must now inform them of the contrary. If I could only quote important reasons why the superiors have changed their mind, it would be easier. We would like the listeners to maintain the good opinion they have of their charitable superiors and be preserved from all the defamatory gossip that other people exercise.]
Mr. Oglethorpe has written a letter to me which, however, was misplaced or lost at the storehouse, but Mr. Jones knew the contents, i.e., he found the recently sent cornmeal from our mill very good and wishes a number of barrels of the same meal for his soldiers. [But he wants to pay no more than 5 sh. 6 d. per hundred pounds and the Salzburgers should bring it down to Frederica. Mr. Jones made it clear to him that, since a bushel of corn costs 2 sh. and that approximately 2-1/2 bushels make 100 pounds, we cannot hand it over for less. He also explained that, although wheat flour costs 15 sh. and the third part of it is baked in the bread, nevertheless one pound of bread costs no more than one penal and is therefore cheap enough:] I had a planter test our cornmeal bread, in which far less than a third part is of wheat flour, and he was most astonished and prefers this bread to that baked from pure wheat flour, as everyone must do, since its appearance and taste make it clearly preferable. Our people also mix the cornmeal with some rice flour and bake an exceedingly beautiful, sweet, and tasty bread from it, which one would not disdain even on distinguished people’s tables.
Pious people among us praise the grace of God, which He has shown to us by the gift of daily bread (which they all enjoy plentifully from the hand of our Creator during their hard work), and especially by the mill; and they marvel that our merciful God has gradually and in so short a time (as it seems to them after enduring many trials) ordained that they can now eat their own nourishing bread, even though they have only little or no money at all to buy wheat flour. Who would have thought of this some years ago, they often add. One of them told me on the way that he would have been content if, in Old Ebenezer at the time that things sometimes looked very miserable, he had just had enough roughly ground and crushed corn, which he and other Salzburgers had eaten without fat and only with a little vinegar. Since his iron pan, in which he cooked it, was always bright and shining (which was the effect of the vinegar), a carpenter who cooked his meals with fat and meat was amazed that he could not polish his pan as brightly in spite of all scrubbing. Well now, our Lord Jesus let Himself be given vinegar to drink on His cross; and by this He merited for us to have it better now. Hallelujah!
The manager of Mr. N’s (Whitefield’s) orphanage (Habersham) wrote that he too considers the flour we sent to be extremely good. He wishes to have still more barrels of it. Our orphanage owes him some pounds Sterling for different things, which we plan to repay him by and by with such flour, if we can purchase corn. Our people are not able to spare any of theirs, and it is scarce in the whole country. That is probably the reason why so few strangers have their corn ground at our mill. The mill needs something for its maintenance and, since Mr. Oglethorpe can contribute to neither the building costs nor to this, we must wait until the dear Lord lets us have something else. Rice is also very expensive and costs more than usual, since much is demanded for England and the warships. [The Lord Trustees’ Sola-Bills are discounted in Carolina and one loses 2 sh. 8 d. on each pound Sterling, which is also a reason that the merchandise in Savannah goes up, because the merchants do much business with Carolina. It is astonishing that the value of money is so different and variable in one kingdom, which does much harm.
The annoying matter of preacher Norris has been better investigated since Mr. Jones’ arrival, but his followers do their utmost to maintain his reputation. When the maid was examined by the magistrates, a Jew28 interpreted, since she understands only little English; but he interpreted her maliciously and superficially in favor of the said preacher’s followers, whereupon the maid complained through me to Mr. Jones. He asked me to put the maid’s statement down in writing.29 I, however, do not wish to get involved in this matter, which is none of my business.] Mr. Jones has a German maid in his house, who was well brought up by her parents who died in this country and is very serviceable. However, since he is noticing that Englishmen hang around her, who wish to redeem her and seduce her under the guise of freeing her, he suggested setting her free and also presenting her with gifts if she found the opportunity to marry at our place; for he thinks highly of our people and believes that she will be supported best at our place. Most of our young men are now provided with helpmeets, it is true, but there are still some [such as Riedelsperger, Zant, Paul Müller, Ott, Zettler, C. Floerl, Zübli, Peter Reuter, Leitner] who would like to get married if they had the opportunity. Perhaps God will ordain for the said maid to be brought to our place.
Sunday, the 22nd of March. Because Holy Communion will be held next Good Friday and the congregation will assemble in town on the previous Tuesday to prepare for and hear the dear dogma of Holy Communion, divine service was held at the plantations today as it was eight days ago, and I was alone in town again. Our dear Lord has strengthened my body and heart very much since our commemoration and thanksgiving day service, so I found it easy not only to preach the morning sermon and have the repetition afterwards but also to read something from the letter of our dear Fathers at the evening prayer hour and thus contribute to our common edification. To all this our dear Lord gave His rich blessings, as I not only heard after the hour but could also recognize from our dear parishioners’ hearty prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving in connection with the sermon. The children too were strongly moved in their hearts, because this time I did not send them to schoolmaster Ortmann during the prayer hour as usual, but let them attend the reading of the letter. [Old Mrs. Spielbigler was present in the morning and at this prayer hour, and I hope from all my heart that she has comprehended everything that was preached also on her behalf and has made use of it for her own salvation.] Eight days ago, which was the 5th Sunday in Lent, we dealt with the dead faith and today with the gospel Matthew 21:1 ff. concerning the living faith, which proves alive and effective, partly by taking, partly by giving; and in the exordium speciale30 the contents of the last sermon about the dead faith were repeated.
Monday, the 23rd of March. A pious young husband, who wishes to save his own and his wife’s soul, consulted with me about certain matters of married life and received by God’s help such information that his conscience, which had some scruples about a certain thing, was satisfied. [When unknown sins have to be chastised in the sermon, we cannot be cautious enough not to disturb tender consciences and make them consider quite innocent things as sinful; but it is very good if they talk to us about it soon. Being scrupulous and anxious, however, is better than becoming too sure and full of comfort in the old lees of sensuality.]31
Because this man’s wife does not earnestly wish to practice her Christianity and to lay a real foundation, this causes him many sighs and tears. He is working on her loyally and, since she is very much in love with him, she accepts the admonishments and chastisements willingly; but the improvement he wants is not yet taking place. It also touched his heart that so many people in Europe are praying, caring, talking, and writing for us and that he and others are so ungrateful to God and man for these great benefactions. While praying, people sometimes use expressions from which we can hear that they feel themselves unworthy of the grace which God has given to them through letters and other benefactions; and they praise God humbly from the bottom of their souls, as occurred again in today’s prayer hour.
Pastor Plaschnig from Petersburg has sent me a letter together with a message about the kingdom of God in that town, from which we get much material for the praise of God, cordial intercession, and imitation of Christ. Whereas it sounds deplorable when he writes of certain persons [of the corps of cadets in Petersburg]:32 “Not much can be effected on the N.N. [cadets]. Even those who were awakened before and strove for the good for some years, have, to my regret, turned completely around again,” all the more pleasant is the following message about the blessings he notices in his office among the burghers and also among some of the people of rank. What he says about N. [Reval]33 sounds especially wonderful: “In N. everything looks very glorious with regard to belief in God. The number of believers is increasing rapidly, and I have positive reports that there is almost no house in town where the effect of Jesus’ grace is not being experienced.”
Tuesday, the 24th of March. The wife /Anna Elisabeth/ of young K. [Kieffer] has eagerly visited the preparation hours for Holy Communion till now and has learned the most excellent dogma of our dear religion from the Compendium Theologicum of Pastor Freylinghausen and before that from some psalms and has also understood it fairly well, although she came to us in the most deplorable ignorance.34 Since some girls and a boy, who give reason for good hope, will attend the Lord’s Table for the first time, praevio actu Confirmationis,35 she too asked for this benefit but left the decision up to me. I told her some of the reasons why I would prefer her to visit the preparation hours for some time longer and perhaps she could participate in the Holy Sacrament when, in the new church, we again admit some children who have submitted loyally to the discipline of the Holy Spirit. In the meantime she would be better established in the knowledge and practice of Christianity, would have learned to read better, and would have memorized more basic Bible verses and Verba Catechismi,36 etc. She seemed to be quite satisfied.
[Her husband told me later on that she was rather depressed because she could not fulfill her wish. I instructed him to teach her, for he well knew that it would be better for her to wait than to hurry too much.] I noticed from his expressions that dissension sometimes arises between some members of his large family, therefore I admonished him to be careful that the devil not separate them like wheat and hinder the good work the dear Lord has started on them. Satan soon notices where God is building a temple, therefore he tries to build a chapel opposite it; and if he can disseminate disunion on believing minds, all blessing soon disappears as if it were cut down with a sickle or scythe. A man [this Kieffer] intends to travel to his mother-in-law at Orangeburg in North Carolina37 after the Easter holidays. On this occasion he will take with him and deliver personally the money which has been destined and sent here by a benefactor in Switzerland for the preacher Giessendanner (who died a long time ago) or his grandchild.38
The middle son /Balthaser/ of old R. /Bartholomäus/[Reiser] is also asking to be admitted to the Lord’s Table, as he has been preparing for it for a long time. I called on his parents in order to hear whether they noticed any grace in him. They gave him a good testimony, and he himself made a confession about the grace which God has begun to send to his heart; he has also earnestly resolved to use the means of salvation to devote himself to our Lord Jesus as His own forever. I as well as the parents reminded him of the example of his brother, who started very well but by and by has neglected the good, which has caused much grief to his parents. Both the old people talked very edifyingly and emphatically about matters of Christianity, so that I could well notice that God is blessing His word in them. With deep humility and thankfulness they remembered the much good they had received with their children at the poor-house in Augsburg;39 and they can cite many special benefits rendered to them before starting their journey to America.
In the prayer meeting last night we began to make use of the blessed Luther’s explication of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah dealing with the passion and the glory of Christ, which the late Professor Francke40 has prefaced with a very edifying and golden extract from another sermon of the blessed Luther about the passion of Christ; the same I did today with divine blessing and assistance at the edification hour at the plantations. We have remained at the preface this time, it is true; but we have learned so much from it that everybody seeking salvation could go home with an awakened heart. From different people with whom I afterwards had the opportunity to talk about it, I heard that the power of God has worked in their hearts mightily, so that they are able to realize the horror of sin as well as the incomparably great love of God in Christ for fallen sinners and the way to their complete and blissful salvation. [Here in town we will cover as much from this booklet as possible during the passion week. The people of the plantations, however, will have to be content with what they heard today, because no more edification hour can be held out there this week. On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday we shall assemble in town to hear the word of God from the regular text and to take Holy Communion.]
Wednesday, the 25th of March. The widow Gr. [Mrs. Gruber] told me of her heartfelt desire to partake of the Lord’s Supper wth the congregation on Good Friday. She is full of God’s praise for all the mercy she has experienced in the Salzburger country and also here, especially that He had assured her two years ago of her remission and His mercy. With tears she bewailed her unfaithfulness; and she is very depressed because of the evil in her heart that bothers her very much, so she creeps like the biggest sinner to the cross of Christ. I was very much edified when she told me different things that our dear God had blessed in her from the sermons, prayer hours, and common conversation. About her girl, who has been hard and unimpressionable until now, she told me the happy news that God blessed the last Sunday prayer meeting in her when the letter of dear Senior Urlsperger of 11 June 1740 was read to the congregation, and the important truths mentioned in this letter were brought to the conscience of the listeners, so that she has fully resolved to deliver herself up sincerely to the Lord. Her heart had been quite shaken [and something like a hard knot had risen from her heart to her head as if she were being strangled, but it disappeared and she felt light and life in her heart. She gave the following explanation: Satan had been expelled from her heart by our Lord Jesus and He had installed His kingdom in her heart, etc.]
I was told about another girl who had previously been lightminded and ill behaved, but in said hour God gave her so much edification with the power of His word that she lost the hunger she had had before [because the prayer hour was held before the evening meal]. I notice that ever since last Sunday God has been working on the listeners to awaken the ones who feel safe41 and are indolent and to draw the beginners more and more to His son. [From the preface of the explication of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, about which some necessary details were preached in yesterday’s evening prayer hour, people had great blessings, as I often hear.]
My dear colleague read to me last night the exceedingly edifying verses our dear Mr. Bogatzky sent to Senior Urlsperger with a material gift for Ebenezer, and from these God gave me great refreshment. May He never let me forget the lasting impression effected in my heart by it, and may He let the esteemed author fare well in time and eternity. Until now my time and business have not permitted me to read attentively and completely the beautiful writings and messages from Europe that have come to our hands this time as a special benefit. This will be better possible after the Holy Day with the help of God; and the congregation can also hope for much spiritual elevation. God has already given the first fruits with said letter, Hallelujah.
[After the Easter Holidays necessity will require me to travel to Mr. Jones in Savannah. One and another thing have to be discussed and cleared up before his departure to Frederica. For this reason] I wrote a letter to General Oglethorpe that Mr. Jones will take with him and insinuate in the best possible way. The contents consist of the following: 1) I thank him for the mill stones he has given us as a present for a new course for the mill, telling him at the same time that we will not be able to install them before God puts some money from our benefactors into our hands to arrange one thing and another at the mill. 2) I report to him that we have higher and stronger water at the mill this year than we have ever had before and yet the dam is still standing immovable through the providence of God, and the mill has not suffered any damage. I said I knew that the Lord Trustees will approve anything that Mr. Oglethorpe attempts for the best of this colony, therefore they would not mind if he would present us with some money for the maintenance of the mill and the miller, without awaiting a reply. 3) That our inhabitants cannot sell any more corn or corn meal this year, otherwise they would gladly supply Mr. Oglethorpe and his regiment with flour. If, however, he would order up corn from Savannah [for which the mill river offers a convenient and pleasing way of transportation], our people would gladly grind it for him. 4) That Doctor Francke is willing and ready to send an honest Studiosum Theologiae42 as a preacher to the German people at Frederica; but, since the Lord Trustees do not know yet of this fact and therefore cannot provide for his travel expenses, I asked Mr. Oglethorpe for instructions as to what can be done in this matter. 5) That [Reverend Mr.] Senior Urlsperger is very happy to hear that General Oglethorpe is still well and always shows much affection towards our community. He is being informed by letters from different places that prayers from many humble souls are being offered to God for him, etc. I also enclosed the letter of thanks from the community to all dear benefactors in Europe, translated into English, and asked him to accept it benevolently. 6) I asked again most sincerely for the benefit of the corn subsidy which General Oglethorpe promised to our community here in Savannah for the harvest of the year 1739; and I also gave reasons to persuade him. 7) I recommended our orphanage to him in the most humble way and assured him, if ever he took interest in it by word and deed, he would surely receive the reward of the One who is called a Father of the orphans and a Judge of the widows.
Thursday, the 26th of March. By the grace of our dear God Mrs. Kalcher gave birth to a child /Maria Magdalena/ at the orphanage, and she and her husband are blessed with a healthy and well formed little daughter who was baptized before the divine service in the presence of the congregation. Her bodily health has been rather defective for several years because of a dangerous condition, which caused her to even more prayer before the birth of her child. God heard her prayers, although there was much pain and misery, which she is putting to good use. She still attended last night’s prayer meeting and heard the verse from the blessed Luther’s aforementioned explication of Isaiah 53: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” . . . etc. At the same time something else was also told to the female sex, especially the married women, from the comparison of Matthew 8:17 with Genesis 3:16 for their comfort and good advice; and this was was of much use to her, also Mr. Kalcher told me this morning. Thank God, there is enough comfort and instruction for fallen sinners like us in the gospel!
Today, besides the regular text of Maundy Thursday, 1 Corinthians 11, we contemplated some important points of Holy Communion, whereby the true God has again strengthened me noticeably and has let me and others realize what an inexpressible treasure we have in Holy Communion. As an exordium we had 1 Corinthians 2:12. After the sermon we held the repentence and confession ceremony as usual, in which a few people from Purysburg also participated. In the evening prayer meeting we continued to read from the mentioned booklet, which is to be esteemed more highly than gold. In a masterly manner and with the help of the Holy Spirit our blessed Luther has understood the most important article about the justification of a poor sinner before God; and therefore to us he is a blessed preacher. Whoever reads this book superficially and does not ask for a right teacher, the Holy Spirit (as he himself says), will find little or nothing for his edification, and it will be for him like a hidden treasure in the field. God be praised for the blessings He gives us from it in this desert.
Z. [Zant] visited me yesterday and today to complain about his spiritual plight; according to him, he is not making any progress. He is fighting, but cannot get free from his evil thoughts and ideas and therefore thought himself unworthy to participate in Holy Communion. I asked him whether he believes that it will go better with him without the continuous and earnest use of the means ordered by God? He answered that he surely knows that it will not become better that way but even worse; and he explained that some time ago he had felt perdition working in him very strongly. However, on my advice he had not refrained from Holy Communion, which God blessed in him already the evening before, so that his heart became soft and he received great blessings and grace. Such experience I turned to his advantage and admonished him to be faithful only through the grace he has received and to become more and more faithful and to wait confidently for the help of the Lord, from one morning vigil to the next, for it certainly will come. Did God not have to wait for him a long time? Now he should also have to learn to wait. I gave him something to read, fitting his present spiritual condition, from one of the Contributions to the Building of the Kingdom of God,43 which gave him instruction and comfort.
During the sermon today Mrs. R [Rottenberger] was strongly moved and awakened to understand her sinfulness; therefore she was afraid to go to the Lord’s Table but discussed this matter with me. I reminded her that she had been drawn to God several times but had again slipped away from Him and sided with the world. If she acted this way again now, how would it finally end? She realized very well how much harm it had done her. Therefore I admonished her not to be so bashful toward other people who also come from the plantations and stop at her house on Sundays and not to let herself be deterred from prayer and Christian conversation after the sermon by her own bashfulness. [One is as bashful as the other; and it is a pity for all] because she knows well what a great advantage her former neighbor, Mrs. N. [Maurer] had from her company with pious women, so I advised her to seek it too. In case she could not go out because of her two small children, others would come to her if she wished.
Friday, the 27th of March. On this Good Friday, which is celebrated among us every year as a high holiday, our Lord has gloriously revived us not only with His dear gospel from the last part of the Passion story from Luke 23 but also through the use of the body and blood of our Lord in Holy Communion. May He let us never forget what He has done in our souls. Sixty-two persons went to the Lord’s Table, among them were four girls and one boy, who praevio Actu Confirmationis publici44 participated for the first time in Holy Communion. Since this confirmation ceremony and the public renewal of the baptismal covenant have made a great impression on the parish and caused much blessing at other times, I hope the same also from the one today, all the more so as the dear Lord had strongly prepared us for it through His word. For we saw various examples from the Passion story in Luke 23:39-49 that our Lord Jesus has opened and spread out His hands and heart extensively to all lost and damned sinners. At such a renewed confirmation ceremony God sends a new emotion and revival especially to those who have stood on this same spot in previous years to renew their baptismal covenant after previous preparation through the word of God and prayer but who may have perhaps slackened again in the good they have begun. At such an opportunity we do not neglect to persuade those people in the most friendly way and to awaken them to remember their dear promise given before God and the congregation. To the five children, whom we have commended to the five wounds of our Lord Jesus, I hopefully apply the dear verse which the Honorable Senior Urlsperger has sent to the beginners in Christianity. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it,” . . . etc.
Last night Ruprecht Zittrauer’s wife bore a little son, who was brought here this morning from the plantations and baptized in public before the divine service. People are now accustomed to give their children names that have a good meaning45 in order to remind them of edifying and blessed persons for Christian imitation. [Therefore some are named Jacob, Israel, Samuel, Johannes, David, Maria, Magdalena, Hanna, Elisabeth.] God has given much edification and comfort to Mrs. Kalcher in her struggle for atonement from the example of Maria Magdalena and of the great sinner in Luke 7, who is also taken for Maria Magdalena by some people, so that she gave this name to her little child who was baptized yesterday.
Saturday, the 28th of March. Some parties of Indians, men, women and children, have turned up and pitched their camp here. Therefore another family, belonging to the Uchi Indians, who has been staying here for more than half a year partly near the town and partly at the plantations, had to flee across the water to Carolina, since they would be in great danger of life because of the newly arrived Creek Indians. For they live in constant conflict, and the stronger ones suppress and destroy the weaker ones. Because the often mentioned Frenchman in our neighborhood will move away after the holidays, they will find no opportunity for drunkenness in our region, otherwise there will be unrest and disturbance. God has always kept His hand above us so that they cannot commit excesses and do us harm.
[Mrs. Rauner has not yet received any payment on account of her late husband, who fought at St. Augustine;46 and therefore she had a letter written to a certain gentleman in Charleston. The Frenchman will take it with him and promise to lend her a helping hand with the payment. There are still several persons at our place who have not received anything up to now; and, when I asked Mr. /Thomas/ Jones the other day to assist the poor people in that matter, he said that it is the same in Savannah. The government in Charleston is not well disposed towards General Oglethorpe and this colony, therefore all sorts of anomalies happen. Nothing can be expected before they are obliged to by the King’s authority, which General Oglethorpe will try to accomplish. Whoever wishes to receive money in this country has many difficulties.]
A Swiss girl from Savannah /Magdalena Meyer/ has been at our place for some time and has performed all sorts of domestic chores and attended school a few hours every day. But since Hans Floerl, at whose house she has lived, is now moving to his plantation and there is no vacancy for her at the orphanage, or any other possibility to shelter her, I will have to take her with me to Savannah after the holidays. Some people at the plantations would be glad to have such a girl for their little children, but this would not accomplish her mother’s purpose to have her go to school. This is also the desire of the girl herself and is necessary for her.
We still have to act according to circumstances because money is scarce and things are expensive; and we have to use the blessings we have received until now to appease those who have worked for the orphanage or lent it money. Furthermore, we have to buy clothes and other necessary things; and therefore we cannot accept other poor children, especially from strange places, before God sends us the means for it. The same God who has let the well of His grace flow plentifully upon us from Europe will certainly send us enough at the right time to enable us to let more children enjoy the benefit of education. This girl’s mother is serving a well off and pious merchant and receives sufficient wages; so perhaps she will be willing to pay for her girl here. I will have to talk to her about that. I hear that, in Savannah, children from Purysburg, who are badly provided with schooling, pay 5 sh. Sterling a week for lodging and food. Nobody would have to pay that much at our place, since people manage as economically as possible.
Sunday and Monday were Holy Easter.
Young Mrs. K. /Anna Elisabeth/ [Kieffer] was very much awakened again last Friday by the sermon and the confirmation ceremony and also by this holiday to devote herself with all her heart to our Lord Jesus. In some members of her great family she does not find what is always insisted upon in the sermons: they are especially lacking in a diligent and eager prayer and in the necessary silence, therefore she asked me to contribute my share to make things go better for them.
Our loving heavenly Father, who has been reconciled by Christ, has again granted us many blessings, as we have learned from the prayer and talk of our parishioners as well as from our own experience. May He be praised! On the first day of Easter the divine service was held separately here and there. On the second day all of us were together in town. The weather has been constantly dry and pleasing for eight days and was very agreeable at this holiday too. The water in the river is still so high that we cannot cross the little river between our place and the plantation without a boat, so our people have used it at Easter.
Tuesday, the 31st of March. My dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, traveled to Savannah this morning. May our Lord accompany him and bring him back to us soon. [The past holiday certainly was very much blessed. Yes, I may say that the days before Easter and the Easter days themselves have been very silent days. Today I went for a short time to the orphanage, where I also heard of much blessing.]
To a person who could not attend public worship this time and was in a sad cast of mind I cited the words of Isaiah 40:1-2, which were the exordium on the first Easter holiday; and I showed her that it was God’s will for me to preach to her also according to this verse. She should accept it as a word of God and take all the good enclosed therein from the hand of the Lord. [Also Hertzog at the orphanage has received a blessing, has again placed his confidence in the dear Lord and now wishes to surrender to Him completely.] F. [Mr. /Hans/ Floerl] and his family, who will move to the plantations tomorrow, God willing, came to see me in the evening after the prayer hour and we bade farewell to each other with a prayer. They would rather stay in town because they have greater opportunity for edification here. However they are also asking the dear Lord to give them a resigned spirit.
Wednesday, the 1st of April. Toward evening I had the opportunity to speak with the older N. /Ambrose/ [Zuebli] who could also praise the kindness God showed him at the Easter service. He said that his heart was moved so much by the sermon that he had to force himself not to weep. Quite a fire arises in his soul, so that it may be said of him as of the disciples traveling to Emmaus: “Did not our heart burn within us . . .” etc. He and his younger brother /Johann Jacob/are indeed poor but they are also cheerful, and God always gives them as much as they need for their utmost necessity. Their brother /David/in N. [Purysburg] is much better off materially; however, since he has to live there amid great distraction they would not wish to change with him, because at our place they live in greater quiet and have more time and occasion to save their souls. These two brothers live together harmoniously. They help each other in spiritual and bodily needs; if one of them is dejected the other tries to comfort him through friendly words from the word of God and by prayers and songs.
Yesterday and today I continued to read from the previously mentioned interpretation of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. [The dear Lord has given us a right great blessing from it. May He be praised for it. May He fill us with the Holy Spirit so that, in His light, we may grow and gain in the grace and recognition of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.] Our blessed Luther in fact thought highly of the article: “Christ has borne our sins and He has died for us.” May our dear God be praised for having made us better understand during these days what that means. [May He give us grace to let this be our main study from now on; because, where this is, the other is also.] Among other things the mentioned interpretation reads as follows: “The devil has never been so concerned with any other article as with this one in order to overturn it. For he knows that everything depends upon it and that this is the only article that makes a great and eternal difference between our religion and all other human religions on earth. For only Christians believe in this article, and they alone are therefore called Christians, not because they do good works like the others but because they believe in this article that Christ died for us and because they rely on the alien work that Christ has done and appropriate it to themselves.”1
This really is a unique description of Christians, whereby the works of all other parties and sects, even if they were miraculous, and also all their virtues, are brought to naught if they lack this elementary basis. [What does love for Christ mean, even if it is avowed, without this foundation? For it is very common for these or other people to say that they love the Lord Jesus. We will gladly let it stand, if their love is based on this foundation. If this is not the case, then all their pretention means nothing and we cannot let them pass as true Christians. For, if it were true that their love for Christ originated from this cause, then they would not leave us and start a new sect! Oh, may the Lord strengthen us in this belief more and more by His Holy Spirit! That gives us comfort and refreshment in all circumstances, that also gives us the strength to honor God through a pious life; and the good works that arise from such a belief are such as are inspired by the spirit of faith and are therefore agreeable to God through Christ, on whom the poor sinner depends despite all his good works. Hallelujah for such comfort and powerful dogma! May God let the same resound after this Easter feast with right special vigor and blessing so that our whole congregation will be only one community in Christ, in which much praise and honor is offered to Him, Amen!]
Thursday, the 2nd of April. Soon after dinner, thanks be to God, I (Boltzius) came back from Savannah and have all reason to thank the dear Lord, who again assisted me in a fatherly way during the journey and in Savannah to accomplish the aim of my travel down there. To be sure, Captain Thomson had not yet arrived in Savannah with his ship from Frederica, since the investigation of some great thefts from his merchandise has kept him there. Meanwhile, I could buy the most necessary items for the orphanage as well as for others in our parish and for our house from Mr. /Thomas/ Jones and from other stores and bring them home with me. [It is said that the said captain is not only selling most of his goods very expensively but is selling almost everything already in Frederica; therefore only things that others do not wish will come to Savannah.]
Things are becoming more expensive all the time. In Charleston a bushel of corn is worth almost half a crown Sterling and all export is to be prohibited. A certain captain in whose storehouses we are accustomed to buy many things will procure fifty or sixty bushels of corn and a barrel of rice for our orphanage and will transport it up to the region of Savannah in his sloop. This, I think, is a sign of the fatherly care of God, since the Salzburgers in the community now need their goods themselves and cannot sell anything (except in emergency). Although the price is high, our dear God will know how to grant us enough so we can pay for this. [Mr. Jones is not yet traveling to General Oglethorpe but is waiting for Captain Thomson’s ship. I let him read my recently mentioned letter to General Oglethorpe, which he approved and will present himself at a favorable occasion. Perhaps God will incline the mind of this gentleman to the favor of our community and orphanage, as Mr. Jones heartily wishes along with us and is prepared to further to the best of his ability. Since the St. Augustine campaign many things have deteriorated, of which he told me some sad details.]
Since I have no opportunity to talk privately with the German people in Mr. Jones’ house, I have asked him for an uninhabited house (of which there are many in Savannah), which is to be repaired the coming week. Here our traveling companions and the members of our community will find their own comfortable shelter as often as they travel to Savannah, to pause there quietly and to lock up their goods; and I expect a great spiritual and physical advantage from it. [This time I took with me two copies of Arndt’s True Christianity for some men, who are very glad about it because God has given them much blessing therefrom already and has shown them the corruption of their hearts. One man lost all his books and other belongings in a fire near Savannah; and, because his little child was alone in their hut, it was very badly hurt too and died shortly thereafter.] It is being told for certain in Savannah that Admiral Vernon has destroyed a French war-fleet of fifteen or seventeen ships in the region of Mexico and that the war against Spain is to be continued with great force here in America. In Germany the death of the Roman Emperor is expected to have some bad consequences.2 May God hold back His judgments for some time, which He certainly will do because of His great mercy and on account of the prayers of His children, since He in His omniscience sees that some people still want to convert to Him and save their souls.
A man named Hamilton, together with his wife, came to Georgia on Captain Thomson’s ship. He is a born Englishman; but he lived for ten years in Germany, especially in Breslau, and also married there. His profession is wig-maker, and he has requested the Lord Trustees to let him join the Salzburgers at Ebenezer where, he said, he will honestly support himself. Since he speaks the English language thoroughly and also a rather good German, he will hold the English lessons if we find him competent. For that, as Mr. Verelst writes in an open letter brought by this man, the Lord Trustees wish to pay his own and his wife’s travel expenses; and instead of ready money Captain Thomson will take a written testimony of this man’s ability and will be paid after his return to London. In case he should not suit us, the Captain has the power to sell both of them as servants wherever he can get the most money for them. Mr. Newman accompanied this open letter of Mr. Verelst with a few lines of almost the same content and sent it with him unsealed.
For this man it is a great benefit to gain his freedom under the said conditions, but he seems not to believe it, since he has heard that he will have to work in the fields too and earn his living by the sweat of his brow because it would be impossible for him to make his living as an English schoolmaster. If he is faithful and honest he will receive an additional five pounds Sterling as a salary from the Lord Trustees’ storehouse; and, if he will turn to God and live with his wife in a Christian way and if God presents us with some means, I would like to use him to supervise the children at the orphanage and to use his wife for all sorts of womanly occupations, but already in advance this does not seem to suit them. They act very grand yet have no money, no beds or blankets, and no housewares or working tools. Indeed, they are beggarly poor, since they, as they say, have lost everything through lawsuits. Mr. Jones is not willing to give or to lend them the slightest thing in the way of provisions and other necessities, so I cannot see what they are going to do at our place.
With regard to the open letters they have brought along, I talked to them on Tuesday and Wednesday in detail about their present circumstances and distinctly told them how hard the Salzburgers and other people in the country have to work if they wish to survive with divine blessings. However, they still wish to come to Ebenezer and try to establish themselves. Mr. Jones has promised to take them away from us again in case they are a burden on us. May God grant them to be won over by His word and then they will be content and will also experience what our Lord has said: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, . . . etc. and all these things shall be added unto you.” As soon as a boat goes down from our place to Savannah, they wish to come. Here they will soon be assigned an empty hut and a piece of land on which no other work has to be done except the actual planting.
[In Savannah a Jew3 told me what abominable horrors are being practiced quite with impunity in the town through adultery and fornication, although it is patently against the Torah and the Sixth Commandment of the Almighty. Such abominations are known to me well enough; and I also hear from Mr. Jones that he shows his highest detestation of it. However, since he has no power by himself alone but has to act in conjunction with the other persons of the town council, it remains at his detestation, so that the punishment of such and the like scotfree sins will have to be taken by our Lord into His own hands. In Frederica it is said to be even worse;4 what will finally result from this? May God have pity, and may He let us realize what a special grace we enjoy at our place, where we do not have to hear and to see such insults to the Christian name. When I went down there on Tuesday afternoon I saw some inhabitants and their friends squandering their precious time by playing ball with crying and cursing on the public market place and thereby giving offense to the youth. They are said not to have behaved any better even during the Holy Days (though in a different way).]
In Purysburg the often mentioned German shoemaker /Jacob Reck/, together with his wife, is said to have practiced his usual disorder at the inn even on Holy Easter. At the very time his dwelling caught fire and burned out completely; and much leather, shoes, boots and tools were destroyed by the fire, too. But he does not recognize the hand of God; rather, as our people tell me, became drunk again recently in Savannah. Oh that such people would sober up and escape from the devil’s snares, with which they are bound according to His will! However, they withdraw from every opportunity whereby their conscience could be moved. This shoemaker is now moving away from Pursyburg and will settle in the country even further away from Ebenezer, although he has not visited the public worship at our place for a long time.
Friday, the 3rd of April. Today a great number of people from the plantations came to Ruprecht Steiner’s house, where the public worship is still being held, to listen to what I had promised the other day to read to them after Easter. After songs and prayers, we used the whole hour to apply the contents of Senior Urlsperger’s short letter that I had already made known to the listeners in town before the Holy Day, to the great edification of my and their souls; and I do not doubt that the Lord has given us much blessing from it. Since on the occasion of this letter I also told them of the physical blessings gathered for us in Augsburg and Halle, which should be on the way to us now, and also mentioned the letter of thanks from our community to our dear known and unknown benefactors which is now being printed in England and Germany in our favor. I told them that scarcely a parish in Christendom could be found on which our Lord heaps His grace spiritually and physically in such a singular way as on ours. For, besides the fact that He is working heavily on all our souls by word and sacrament in a great physical peace and Christian freedom, it is a true benefaction that at many places in Europe people are kindly thinking of us and speaking, writing, praying, and caring for us and that the righteous people in Germany are as eager to get news about our situation as Ebenezer would be to learn how their sons are faring in strange countries. What they learn about laetis and adversis5 affects them as if it were happening to themselves.
The fact that people are praying so much for us in many places I consider more than whole chests full of gold and silver, for these cannot save us in times of want, whereas a faithful prayer can. If the prayer of one righteous person may attain much, how much more will be attained by the prayers of so many? Because most people of the parish are lacking in clothing and because God cares for it from time to time, as in this case (even though there is need and poverty enough in Germany itself), we have to recognize that our dear Father in heaven is letting us experience the Fata6 which the poor believers in Judea experienced, according to the testimony of Holy Scripture [which means a great honor and benefit to us]. In this connection I read to them 2 Corinthians 8:1-4, and I especially showed them the words: “the saints” v.4, for what reason the gifts are flowing to us in America through the hands of the benefactors. Whoever has not been a saint up to now can become one according to 1 Corinthians 6:11. This evening I read to them the first part of the long and very pleasing letter of last October 8 from our dear Senior Urlsperger, in which we especially enjoyed the beautiful verse: “Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.”
Saturday, the fourth of April. Although the water has risen very high until now and overflowed the low land all over and also along the mill river, it has done no damage to the mill; and therefore the mill has, as far as we can judge from a human view, passed its test this winter. Because Mr. /Thomas/ Jones, our great patron, will soon travel to General Oglethorpe at Frederica, some knowledgeable people of our community hope he will see the mill himself beforehand and thus be able to recommend its durable construction to General Oglethorpe as testis oculatis,7 in order to persuade him to pay some of the construction costs. Therefore it is resolved that our boat will be sent to Savannah next Monday to bring him quickly to our place, if he is willing; for that reason I will also write him a letter. [There would have been no room for him in the boat I used some days ago, since it was carrying many things. Should he be unable to come up to us, the boat would not go down in vain, because the previously mentioned couple, if they abide by their decision and cannot be sheltered in Savannah, should come up, for it is high time for planting and I should not like them to miss it.
[This evening I could not continue reading the letter mentioned yesterday; because, as is usual every two weeks at the Saturday prayer meeting, my dear colleague discussed a part of the catechism, which will also be treated tomorrow afternoon at the plantations. Perhaps the dear Lord will strengthen me enough to enable me to continue with the instructive and consoling letter during the evening prayer hour in addition to the sermon in the morning and the repetition in the afternoon.]
In today’s house prayer meeting I read a letter written to me by a Christian patron in which a fine testimony was given about the fatherly care and intercession of Mr. S.U. [Senior Urlsperger] for our community.
Sunday, the fifth of April. At the beginning of the morning servicea sudden fire arose in the [Mrs. Rheinlander’s] kitchen and quickly destroyed the kitchen, the hut, the stables, and a great part of the garden fence. Her daughter was at home and tried to extinguish the first small fire on the little roof above the fireplace, but the wind spread it too quickly; and, since the people were in church and could not help swiftly, everything caught fire. I had the men go out of church; and, with God’s help they managed to stop the fire from spreading further. Most items of the house were saved, but one and another thing, especially much corn and paper money, were burned. After the fire had been extinguished, the people came together once more; and in my sermon I continued meditating, as long as time allowed, about the peace of God as an unspeakably great benefaction of the Lord. The remainder was added in the afternoon, along with a short repetition of what had preceded.
Zuebli8 came back from Savannah today and told us that six houses in Savannah had burned down with their furnishings in only a few hours. May God let us be strongly awakened by this hammer of His chastisement to be devoted to Him with all our hearts and, by His grace, to discard what is displeasing to Him so that He may find us innocent and at peace with Him. I hereby think of our feast proverb: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” In today’s evening prayer meeting we continued reading the fatherly letter from dear Senior Urlsperger and included the contents of same in our common prayer. We are all glad to learn from this letter how things are going in our dear fatherland; and, since we hear that great spiritual and physical want, turmoil, and shortages can be found everywhere, it drives us to prayer, and we see how much reason we have to thank and praise the dear Lord for His great kindness that is still ruling over us. Without doubt the heart of our dear Senior will be comforted by seeing from our letters and diaries that, by the time he was worrying about us because of newspaper reports, the hardships we had feared had not occurred, but, on the contrary, we were enjoying special signs of God’s help and His fatherly care. For we had a good harvest, and besides God helped us to a flour mill for using our corn in the best possible way. Oh, a true God! That should awaken us anew to keep to the confession of hope and not to waiver, etc. [I do not doubt that God is giving great blessings from the letters received from Europe not only to the two of us and the others in our house, but also to all of our listeners, so I intend to read them all one after the other during this week. We are taking our time for it so that we can be edified from every point.]
Senior Urlsperger’s letter is dated 8 October 1740; and, since our wise and kind God, especially by the verse Hebrews 10:23, has strengthened his belief that He will help us through all afflictions at Ebenezer, I looked up the notes in our diary from 8 October of that year. From the comparison of the Senior’s religious strength and our understanding I was awakened to holy admiration for God’s gracious care, wisdom, and grace, and to fervent praise of His glorious name. For on the same day and at the same time He gave us much spiritual and physical edification from His care and from the believing and hopeful behavior of our dear listeners. Also at the mill construction, which suffered various difficulties at that time, He gave us much comfort and edification from His word, of which only the least part has been put down. That means: “O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea.” Psalms 65:5.
Monday, the sixth of April. This morning Peter Reiter was married to /Magdalena/ the widow of the late Simon Steiner, and I explained to them and their friends who accompanied them to their wedding the words of Christ from yesterday’s gospel to their benefit: “Peace be with you,” because it includes the whole complex, the core, and the quintessence of all the good which, through the redemption and reconciliation of our dear Savior, flows upon all who convert to Him and also upon those who sorrow and mourn, even if they were as weak and frail as the Apostle Thomas.
A woman attending the wedding told me that her late husband had often thanked the dear Lord that he was not married in the Salzburger country because then, like most of the people, he would not have started his marriage with God and thereby would have called upon himself curses instead of blessings. I had some thoughts of my own about that, especially that God is only mocked at most weddings. For the word of God, singing, and praying are almost empty ceremonies, as I could well observe in Germany during and after the wedding feast of most so-called Christians. Consequently, all misfortune and misery may later pour on most married couples’ matrimony and child raising. May God prevent such disorder among us! The wedding was held in Ruprecht Steiner’s house, the place of public worship on the plantations, since Peter Reiter, the bridegroom, has his plantations out there too. The wedding guests, of whom there were but few, made use of their time during the meal by a useful, edifying, and intimate talk, for which we readily provide an opportunity. We also pray and sing with them, and this is the only reason that one of us willingly attends such an occasion at the request of our dear listeners. I also like to ask young married couples who have been married among us from the beginning about their wedding text; for this gives me an opportunity to remind them of the former admonitions and the comfort they received.
[The honorable Senior Urlsperger has written an answer in Latin to Mr. Whitefield and mailed it in the last package. However, since he had traveled back to England via Charleston already around Christmas, I found it necessary to send the same by the manager of his orphanage to him to London or wherever he is staying. At the same time my mind was strongly inclined to write a letter to him myself and inform him about the just started church construction, the mill, the still uncovered expenses, and the orphanage and its circumstances, etc., also most sincerely to thank him and the unknown dear benefactors who have contributed so much in ready money for the church building. While writing the letter I found the special help of God so that I believe it has not been only human impulse and inspiration. Maybe God will bless the same for the best of our community. Before his departure Mr. Whitefield wanted a report of our situation anyhow; and the manager, Mr. Habersham, also admonished me to send it.]
Tuesday, the seventh of April. I hear that our people see a special care of God in connection with the fire at R.’s [Mrs. Rheinländer’s] hut, because it happened not only suddenly during daytime but also at a time when all men were together at church and not scattered at their field work, so that they could save many things from the fire with the utmost speed and tear down the nearest fences and huts to prevent the flames from spreading out. Also the wind turned towards the water, where there is only an empty field and no houses; and this was almost the greatest advantage.
R.’s [Mrs. Rheinländer’s] rotten and hypocritical character has become evident through this conflagration. She had always, last Saturday too, pretended to me to be living in the utmost poverty so that her children do not have a whole shirt and she does not have a bit of flour and so that she is also lacking blankets and other things. Since she wanted to travel to Savannah on the following Monday to buy some necessities of life, she had to borrow money here and there. She had also made a certain debt difficult for Mrs. Gruber, a poor and honest widow; and she told me the most scandalous lies about this upright woman and accompanied them with the best make-believe and cover of dissimulation.
As soon as she came to her burning hut on Sunday, she cried for the money which she had hidden in her bed and which her son handed over to her through the window, whereupon she thanked God in front of other people with uplifted hands and then put the money in her pocket. Right after this she pretended, with many accusations against the very bad people in our community, that nine or ten pounds Sterling in Spanish and English silver had been stolen; and she tried to accuse the very people who had saved her belongings of theft. However, since her supply of money did not concur with her pretended great poverty, she calls this her “emergency money,” which she did not wish to touch, and therefore she could plead poverty. I also noticed that she had saved half a barrel of flour from the fire; yet on Saturday she had complained of not having a speck of flour or any fat, of which she still had a great pot half filled. To say nothing of other obvious lies and snaky slyness that God revealed all at once.
Last Saturday during the prayer meeting my dear colleague had explained the ninth commandment and impressed extensively, clearly, and earnestly the important words of God in Psalms 50:19 ff., which she also heard, but it did not stir up her fresh sins in her conscience or lead her to atonement. Therefore God had to awaken and excite her through fire and call her to repentance. She had been led to this already, but I fear she will again make hypocrisy her refuge as before. It is a great benefit for her that God has torn off her cap of simulation and disgraced her in front of the whole parish, since almost everyone knows of her pretended poverty, which is untrue; and now we all know what we have in her and can work on her more seriously if she agrees.
[Since I have heard that the young /Johann Jacob/ Zuebli wishes to marry her and is therefore now always sticking close to her, to the scandal of others, I summoned him tonight after eight o’clock from her quarters and warned him with hearty love against an overgreat hurry in such a marriage, which could make him, like the deceased Rheinlaender,9 into a miserable wretch for all his lifetime, because she has not converted to God but has cheated us with flagrant dissimulation again this time. Also, for some time now she had already proved herself not so much with regard to us but to others to be an unconverted, dissimulating person. I asked him therefore not to look at the present situation with blind love but impartially and to watch her further before actually marrying her. I added it was my duty to warn him against misfortune, otherwise he would give me no thanks for not having done it, since I had well known what the matter is with Mrs. Rheinlaender. But natural passion and over-haste flared out from his blind love in a way which I had not foreseen, for I had expected more grace and control of his natural emotions.
[He called Mrs. Rheinlaender’s gross lies and simulations mistakes and furiously railed at our community and the true members of same and accused them of many bad acts -- all this in defense of the Rheinlaender woman. When I urged him to tell me the ones of whom he knew so many offenses of unkindness, defamation, etc., he mentioned his fellow-countryman, the old Swiss carpenter /Krusy/ who is demanding back the money lent to her for flour and meat, and nobody else.
[Afterwards he withdrew so far as to admit that he did consider some of the people to be upright souls. He complained about having suffered great poverty at our place and having lost much by thefts at his plantation; and he belittled all the good he has enjoyed despite the fact that he is not a Salzburger! He thinks himself fortunate that he and his brother got work at the orphanage in Savannah, and he used very crude expressions towards me, for which at last he repented and begged my pardon.
[I pity this poor man because he has been so taken in by this tricky and double-faced person. He will forfeit all good things; and who knows how else he will deteriorate, because his temperament is very dissolute, unstable, and inclined to unbidden interference. I only told him I believed that there would come a time when he would realize that I have spoken the truth and have really meant well; but he took it in bad part. Maybe he will soon remember, to his shame, that he has received more good things from people whom he has now abused to please Mrs. Rheinlaender than from his own brother in Purysburg,10 although I understand this quarrel between them and the reasons for their separation now better than before. I hope God will set him right again. With people like him, who are not Salzburgers, we usually have the most trouble.]
Wednesday, the eighth of April. [This morning poor /Johann Jacob/ Zuebli came once more and railed against some unnamed people in a coarser way than any man of the world would do if he knew even a little bit how to behave himself. He had heard from our cowherd that someone had spoken behind his back about his bringing Mrs. Rheinlaender provisions and money, as if this were such a great and awful matter. Since his spirit was assuaged last night, I asked him where he thinks the Englishman who helped to extinguish the fire might have lodged. One of them, who is a disgraceful and ill reputed fellow because of his uncleanliness, had acquaintance with her in Purysburg and also here; and, because I know this, I asked this question in order to make sure of it.
Instead of informing me, he grew extremely angry because I listen to people who say such things about Mrs. Rheinlaender; and he spoke of God’s judgment which would come upon these bad persons. People abandon the poor widow, he said, do not give her anything, and will make her desperate if they treat her like this. It is a lie to say that she has gotten her money and would deny it; by this people will be held back from conferring benefits upon her. I looked with pity on him in his emotion and recited to him the verses in 1 Peter 2:22-23; and I asked him to examine himself as to whether he is acting like our Lord Jesus, to whose example we are directed.
I also told him that, by the miraculous governance of God, it will come to light at last whether Mrs. Rheinlaender is denying the recovery of her money only in order to move others to pity and to get gifts for her; for avarice still governs her. He should only keep quiet, wait, and hold his eyes open, etc. His complaint that we are not giving her anything is another groundless matter. He himself had to admit that some people have brought her various and ample food, her children have received food and drink at the orphanage. People have given her linen and also wood for a new hut, in summa she has easily gotten as much back as she lost in the fire, since the burned-down hut too was a gift from the orphanage, for which she had not yet expressed her thanks. I am quite sure in my heart that Mrs. Rheinlaender and this Zuebli have received more material things from us than anybody else in the community. These bitter pills were sweetened for me by some letters.] Several members of the congregation brought me letters to be written to the Honorable senior, letters which show the blessings our Lord put yesterday on the letter read to them on the plantations. We will enter two of them here, which read as follows:
“Reverend Mr. Senior:
I and my wife often remember with humble and thankful hearts the many benefactions that the dear Lord has shown to us through you in Germany and also here in this country. We cannot thank God enough and have only realized too little up to now that we were rescued from dark and tyrannical Popery and led to the holy gospel and full freedom of conscience and sent to Ebenezer as a little flock. We feel better spiritually and physically than we would have expected to some years ago. The dear Lord has blessed our matrimony and sent us a healthy little daughter, whose name is Hanna. We have been very much edified by your letters, which have been read to us at our gathering on the plantations; they are very dear to our hearts. God be praised for it.’ We are longing very much to hear how it goes in spiritual and physical matters with our dear fellow-countrymen who live in the cities of Germany in these bad times, when temptation and bad examples are so common. We will heartily pray for them to save their souls and be blessed with you and we with them.
We send our kindest regards to Mr. N. [Hohleisen] and thank him for his Christian remembrance. May God bless him and his dear wife. May God also bless you and your family, also our dear benefactor in Augsburg and elsewhere.
We remain, the esteemed Mr. Senior’s most obedient children.
Martin Lackner, Margar. Lackner, nee Egger,
Ebenezer, the 8th of April 1741.”
“Highly esteemed Mr. Senior,
May the Honorable Senior not be offended that I am having a few lines written to you. I wish to thank you for sending me together with others to Ebenezer, where the dear Lord through His word is working very strongly on my heart in order to reveal the perdition of my heart to me and also to show me my dear Savior, who calls upon all who are miserable and burdened. Although it goes rather bad with me right now, He will help me to become better some time so I can give a good report. Mr. Senior will probably remember that I served at Mr. N.’s [Hermann’s] bleachery [and that he still owes me] my salary, i.e., 140 guilders, is still on account in N. [Kempten] at the house of his daughter Mrs. N. [the bleacher’s daughter, Mrs. Zorn]. I was promised it would be forwarded to me; however, since I have not heard anything more about it, I beg you to take up the matter and help me. God will reward you for such a benefaction. I would like to have linen, instead of the money due me, in case it has not yet been forwarded. I send you the verses which were called to me this morning, as I was going to town: Come unto me all ye who are burdened, etc., He who cometh today, will be accepted today.
I remain Mr. Senior’s most obedient daughter
Margar. Zimmermann,11 nee Bernberger
Ebenezer, the 8th of April, 1741.”
Thursday, the ninth of April. [Last night the dear Lord again gave us much edification from the very edifying letters from our dear Fathers in Europe, which we will use in the best possible way during this week. I started yesterday to write a few letters in reply, and I will try to finish them all by Saturday, for then with the help of God I will travel to Savannah to preach the word of God to the German people, at which occasion I wish to mail our rather big diary and some letters.]
N.N. [young Kieffer]12 visited me [because of a bodily harm that his brother suffered on his leg] and told me various good things about his helpmeet [Anna Elisabeth], how God is saving her more and more from her frivolousness, and driving her to prayer and tearing mightily at her heart. She is edified by the letters written to us and the parish; and in Christian simplicity she sends to the friends in Europe two powerful verses which have given her comfort: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” and “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden.”
[For some time we have noticed some annoyance and vexation in the shoemaker Adde, and today we heard from his wife that he wishes to move back to Savannah. I visited him and told him that in this case he would deprive his child of the benefit of a school and plunge himself into danger. As his reason he told me that he cannot buy provisions here; in Savannah it would be easy to get something. However, when I told him that in this way he esteems physical matters more than spiritual ones, he gave me another reason which was that he was not respected here like other inhabitants, for he has to pay three pence for a bushel of corn while others only give two quarts.13 Since I had agreed to this since he had not worked any on the mill, he was embittered at me. He told me something else, by which we could perceive his suspicious and easily offended sense. I set him right in the most gentle way and wished he would realize how much good he has enjoyed here in spiritual and physical matters, since not only church, school, and books are without charge, but we also advanced him sixty sh. Sterling for his profession, although we needed the money urgently ourselves. Such people always behave like this, and we gladly give in to win their souls. They closely watch the Salzburgers and always know to use them to their worldly advantage according to their evil minds, and they accuse us of being prejudiced.
[In tonight’s prayer meeting we remembered the runaway Volmer,14 a German carpenter from London, who secretly left our place five years ago and supposedly lost his way and died in the woods between Purysburg and Port Royal. He rejected the grace of God that was working on him, followed his own head, and disdained the good of the ministers. Therefore he came off badly, like some other people. The shoemaker was also present and found his lesson in this. In the prayer meeting we had profited from two short but important letters from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen and from the inquiry of Mr. Berein concerning Volmer, where he might be, we were led to his running away. Oh, how many blessed hours we have already received from the recent letters sent us; and we will have even more by God’s help, when we take up the letters and message of Dr. /Gotthilf August/ Francke and others.]
This time we have written to the Honorable Society at greater length, partly to render our sincere thanks for their continuous affection toward our community (which they have also demonstrated by publishing our letter of thanks), partly to ask for their future affection, and partly to inform them of the conditions of our community and of the orphanage [where help is still necessary; also, concerning the durability and great advantage of our corn-mill; concerning the newly arrived English schoolmaster and the provisions he is to claim; also of our attitude towards him and some other matters].
Friday, the tenth of April. My dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, traveled to Savannah this afternoon in order to preach the word of God to the German people there in the future, God willing, and to give Holy Communion to some of those who have followed their given instructions. Before he left he held the usual edification hour at the plantations, in which he again read to the listeners something from the received letters. He did not come back to town but stayed out there, and the boat was brought to him. Since I still had something to talk about with him, I went with the boat to S.’s [Sanftleben’s] hut, where he was staying. He told me joyfully in praise of God that the dear Lord has given him great blessings in the edification meeting. When S. [Sanftleben] came in, he said he would have regretted it very much if he had not been at the meeting; for, even if others had told him about it, he would not have had the same profit that he has now because he heard it himself. He would never let himself be kept away from this meeting in the future unless he were not well. [May the Lord be praised for having already given many a blessing from the reading and publication of the letters.]
Saturday, the eleventh of April. [Under the entry of 31 March I reported that I had brought a certain person a verse from Isaiah 10:12. Last night I visited her again, whereupon she told me that the dear Lord had recently blessed the same in her plentifully. But since that time she has not lacked for great temptations, especially at night, indeed for several nights in succession. In her sleep she has felt great fear and anxiety, from which she woke up; but as soon as she thought of the sufferings of her Savior, it disappeared. When she fell asleep again, however, it came back. Now last night it ceased completely.]
In the evening two women came in from the plantations to attend the public worship tomorrow, God willing. Therefore they remained for the night and visited the prayer meeting, where the dear Lord gave them great blessings. I continued the reading of Luther’s interpretation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah and especially the words: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities: chastisement of our peace was upon him.” Both the women told me with joy and to the praise of God that the Lord has given them much delight from yesterday’s edification meeting at the plantations.
Sunday, the twelfth of April. Today the Lord let us hear a very beautiful gospel. May He bless it very much for His charity’s sake. In the morning we had the gospel of the good shepherd who gave his life for his sheep, in the afternoon the tenth commandment and, as an exordium, Galatians 3:13-14. Mr. /David/ Zuebli of Purysburg also attended the public worship. He told us various sad things, how spite and ungodliness are gaining ground in the country, for which divine judgment does not fail to appear. [He also reported of the before-mentioned shoemaker of Purysburg that this man, on the day before he went to Holy Communion, had sat at the tavern making merry; but at night a fire broke out and destroyed his belongings, yet he was admitted to Holy Communion the next day, which was Sunday.]
Concerning a certain planter in Carolina he also reported that, as is quite usual, he keeps his house in good order, prays with his family in the morning and at night, and does not permit ungodliness or cursing. Cursing is common with most people of this country. From Savannah Town, a town situated up near the Indians, such things are so often reported that one is shocked and cannot be surprised that the heathens do not come to a better recognition but become more and more wicked, because those who bear the name of Christians live frightfully godlessly. What terrible judgment will finally follow! [May God have mercy and teach us how to pray!]
Monday, the thirteenth of April. This noon some people came to me for prayers; and this was, God be praised!, a blessed hour for me. We sang the hymn: Guter Hirte willst du nicht . . . etc.; and I read the 10th chapter of St. John, from which yesterday’s gospel was taken, then we prayed and again laid before God what had been read and heard yesterday, whereby we strongly perceived the powerful and merciful presence of the Lord Jesus, Hallelujah! Our friendly God has already placed great blessings upon the simple edification of the eager souls among us. Last week I had to stay out at the plantations because of certain circumstances. Since some people were notified of this, they gathered late in the evening at the place where I was staying; and, since I carried with me Luther’s explanation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, I read them something from it which the Lord blessed, as I was told especially by one of the listeners after the prayer hour. [Thus our dear Lord has already honored us often with His blessings from this booklet so that some souls have been raised up, comforted, and strengthened by this gospel of the passion and death of Christ. Be He praised for this eternally and may He give us the support of the Holy Spirit to work with this gospel truly, eagerly, and carefully.]
Tuesday, the fourteenth of April. I (Boltzius) arrived, thank the Lord, healthy and happy at the mill at 12 o’clock last night together with my traveling companions; and, since it was too late to travel further to town, I lodged at Burgsteiner’s hut and also stayed this forenoon at the plantations and read the letters which Dr. /Gottfried August/ Francke has written to us lately. They again contain many salutary reflections about some points in our letters and the diary, for example, powerful awakenings for a true seriousness in Christianity, as well as some news about various miserable circumstances in Europe, where our loving God has nevertheless caused many charitable gifts to be collected for the comfort of the poor at Ebenezer. God invigorated me in a special way while reading these letters; and, although the listeners this time were held up longer than usual, I did not notice any defects in their attention. Also Mr. /David/ Zuebli from Purysburg came with his son16 to S. [Burgsteiner’s] house at the time of the meeting to attend the edification and traveled back to his family afterwards. He will return soon to come to an agreement with me concerning his children, whom he wishes to send to school again.
The Lord has again blessed my journey. Kiefer’s middle son17 traveled with me to Savannah, because he wished for a wound on his foot to be cured there. He gave me much material for a good conversation. The knowledge of the right way to salvation is very deeply established in him; and he truthfully makes the most of the received grace, humbly and without proselytism. We arrived late in Savannah; but Mr. /Thomas/ Jones was still up and handed me the key for the recently mentioned house, which suits me and my traveling companions very well. I performed my external business, which is usually considerable because of the congregation and the orphanage, with Mr. Jones and other people in Savannah as briefly as possible so that I would have enough time on Saturday morning and afternoon to talk of God’s word publicly and privately with the German people. They gathered in the said house in the forenoon, where I informed them in the beginning of the reason why we had not been able to serve them with our ministry for a certain period of time; [namely, because they had wanted to accept it only half way, i.e., for the use of Holy Communion and not all the way by accepting the word of truth for their conversion and by preparing themselves for Holy Communion in divine order.]
Then I showed them clearly from the word of God how miserable a man looks before his conversion and how he does not wish to believe it but thinks himself to be better than he really is through self-love and prejudice, which hinder him from a true conversion and a God-pleasing preparation for Holy Communion. The saying of the Savior in enticing the sinners: “Come unto me, all ye who, . . . etc.” was still alive and edifying in my soul from the meeting on Friday; and from this my present listeners could also see what kind of happy people they can become if they penitently allow the judgment of the Holy Spirit to convince them of their misery and distress and allow themselves to be brought in faith to this friendly Savior through His holy office. [Who cometh today will be accepted today.] At last we all knelt down and prayed to God for His blessing.
Toward evening even more persons assembled, whereupon I briefly recapitulated and, as a basis of my invitation to surrender their hearts honestly to our Lord Jesus, I recited the verse: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, etc. . . .”, wherein are disclosed and revealed not only the unique treasures from the heart and the hands of our Lord Jesus but also His extraordinary desire to impart them to us along with the things that are required of us in an evangelical manner. After the prayer I asked them whether, through this double sermon from the infallible word of God, they had understood the counsel and command of God concerning men’s salvation and had examined their hearts with sighing and praying in order to learn whether they had experienced all this and had therefore obtained from God the preparation for the blissful use of Holy Communion? They should consider that, if God had begun to show them their depravity, they should not hurry at once to the Lord’s Table but enter into external and internal quietness, fall upon their knees, and implore and pray until they come to a real change of heart and to faith in our Lord Jesus; then they will be pleasant guests at His table. This I illustrated to them through the important example of the prodigal son. I said I would be willing, if they would accept the good lessons, [and obey the word of God] to come to them more often and hold Holy Communion ith those who have been prepared in the right order by God the Lord Himself.
Thereafter the N. [schoolmaster] asked me in the name of the others to give them Holy Communion tomorrow, for God would not reject even a small faith, etc. I, however, warned him and others of self-deception. With this snare of imagined small and weak faith, I said, Satan catches many persons etc. God granted me much grace to convince him and others with love that their small faith was nothing but unbelief and a dead thing, as both words and works clearly show in them. Finally some women stepped forward and offered with humble terms and expressions to postpone the use of Holy Communion. It is better to wait, they said, than to be hasty in this important matter. Some men, and by and by all of them, agreed and asked me to come again and serve them with my office. Now the N.N. [schoolmaster] was left alone with his small faith, rather ashamed, but not embittered, as I perceived from my subsequent relations with him. Already before the meeting this man tried to induce me to let his girl of thirteen or fourteen years go to the Lord’s table for the first time. He has let her learn by heart many things from the catechism and the Württemberg Confirmation Booklet;18 besides that, her knowledge was bad and her spiritual life in Christ even worse, or nothing at all. If the father were to be converted, he would lead the girl to more than a literal recognition.
On Sunday the Reformed preacher /Chifelle/from Purysburg held Holy Communion, therefore we had our meeting again in the house. [If I had preached the sermon in church as the German people wanted (I am entitled to hold the first service), then the Reformed people would have been exasperated at me and would have stayed away from our divine service in the afternoon through vexation, as has happened once before, but] all the more Reformed19 people appeared in the afternoon, and God gave us much grace for the preaching of His word, so that it was preached and moved our hearts like yesterday. In the morning as well as in the afternoon my text was about Romans 5:1, a verse which was very much blessed in our parish a short time ago. As I also wished to make use of the regular gospel for this 2nd Sunday after Easter, as an exordium [whereby, because of the name of this Sunday, Dominica Misericordiae Domini,20 I presented to them the extremely great charity of God in Christ to all men], this time I could only explain the important dogma of justification with the necessary application. The evangelical dogma of peace with God and whatever flows therefrom I saved until next time.
A young man who had lost his health at St. Augustine and has been lying very miserably ill since then had already asked for Holy Communion some time ago and participated on Sunday in a fine state of mind, as it seemed to me. I told him on Saturday and Sunday the necessary things about the verse: “Come unto me all ye, etc.” and heard from his confession that God has blessed his miserable sickbed for the salvation of his soul. I was told that, in spite of his great pains, he would untiringly listen for five hours and more if one would read to him, encourage him, and pray with him.
I have also heard with much pleasure that the late Arndt’s Book of True Christianity is very useful to the German people; and at the same time was amazed when I heard from three persons whom N.N. [the Herrnhuters]21 wished to draw to their party that said N. does not make much of it, but talks rather indifferently and disparagingly about it and refers people only to the Bible and his song book. When a Reformed shoemaker asked him what he thought about that book, he answered that it really is a good book but the man gives more glory to God the Father than to the dear Savior. That is the way he learned to reason in N. [Herrnhut] because such unkind, unfounded judgments are boldly passed on pious persons, living or dead, who do not belong to their party, as I myself have heard with great astonishment.
A Reformed woman, intelligent and experienced in the Scriptures, approached me on a public street and asked me whether what N., together with another Reformed family that is devoted to him, teaches is in accordance with the word of God, namely, that nothing else will be required of the sinner but to ask the dear Savior to forgive his sins and that in this way he will receive remission right away and will never again have to ask for forgiveness of his sins or ever have to think of them, even if they occur to his mind. For example, if a proselyte has taken the Sacrament with them only once, he arrives at such a state of perfection that he has and feels no sins any more. She and her husband live in the house of N., and he tries together with the other family to persuade her and her husband to approve his doctrine. She said that as much as he can, he impedes her going to church. I reported God’s truth to this woman and gave her the 32nd Psalm, which reads: “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee,” also Revelations 1:8: “If we say we [whereby John includes himself] have no sin, etc.” This wretched person claimed that he once so stopped my mouth that I could not utter anything against him. If I had not had to leave right away after hearing this, I would have called him to account, because it is a very flagrant mendacity. These people do not consider lies, defamation, and boasting to be sins, as one can see to one’s amazement from the reports of their deeds in the world.
[I brought down our letters and the diary at just the right time, since this week a packet will be sent to the Lord Trustees. If we had waited for the return of Captain Thomson, we would have had to hold back our packet for a long time, since he still has business in Frederica. This time we have written to Secretary Newman, to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, to Senior Urlsperger, and to Dr. /Gottlieb August/ Francke and informed them about the circumstances in our community. I have also answered Mr. Berein about the points he asked concerning the great things claimed by the Herrnhuters in America; and I explained the incorrectness of their pretensions. Mr. /Thomas/Jones in Savannah wanted to have a translation of the mentioned report on the Herrnhuters, whereupon he will inform others in England of his opinion. He also intends to write to Mr. Newman and tell him what damage is done in America by young unconverted preachers so that the Society for Promoting the Gospel will be more careful whom they send over.
[Some days ago the German maid of preacher Norris about whom I reported in the last diary told Mr. Jones and me such horrible things that we were shocked at them. May God restrain such grievance. Oh, how great is the forbearance and patience of our Lord.]
On Saturday I drew a note on the money that our dear benefactors in Europe have gathered for the congregation, orphanage, and church-building. God has also disposed their hearts to give something to the costs of building my house, which I, however, had to leave to the orphanage this time, because it was and still is in need of it and I wanted to pay its most urgent debts. The people to whom I still owe something for my house will wait till some other time. We help each other as much as we can; and God has given us enough little by little to satisfy one another in the community.
Since no corn can be obtained in Georgia and Carolina even if one wishes to pay three shillings per bushel, I asked the members of the congregation after today’s edification hour to estimate their stock and to help the orphanage out with some bushels, as some people are already willing to do. It was very bad for the orphanage’s harvest that in the spring three servants and the tailor Christ22 were talked into engaging themselves for the siege of St. Augustine, for which reason most of the field work remained undone. This year Kalcher is alone again and can plant only a little, since he has his hands full of work at the orphanage with the management and the children; yet he works with the boys as much as he can. Even if we cannot hope for a great harvest from the fields of the orphanage, God can easily send us some subsidies from other places so that we may share in the harvest of the Salzburgers for pay. May the Lord reward richly for the present and satisfy all our dear benefactors as in Isaiah 58:5-11.
Wednesday, the fifteenth of April. The recently mentioned Englishman /Hamilton/ who wishes to work here as schoolmaster arrived at our place today by boat, together with his wife. Both are still a little unwell from the discomfort of the crossing, and therefore they could not go to town yesterday. A hut has been assigned to them, which they will be able to exchange for a very spacious one as soon as I have talked to the owner, who lives on the plantations. They have an advantage over the Salzburgers because they get a roof over their head at once, find a cleared and fenced-in piece of land for planting, and can make use of the mill right away, whereas the Salzburgers lacked all these for a long time and suffered many inconveniences. The edifying letters we have just received have firmly reminded us both of the previous afflictions and also of the assistance we have received up to now. Since 1739, the time to which said letters refer, many things have changed for the better, God be praised. We often think of the verse: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land, etc.” Once more there is a tribulation in our fields, in that worms are causing much damage. In the gardens the items necessary for the household cannot be freed of the worms. The same complaints we also hear in Savannah.
Last week, while I was occupied with letter writing, Mrs. Rheinlaender wanted to see me to justify her exposed guilt; but I could not listen to her, so she has come again today and revealed herself even more as a person who has never felt true atonement but has tried to cheat God and men with hypocrisy and dissimulation. Therefore I admonished her earnestly and with love to do atonement, as God too has preached to her through the lately suffered conflagration. However, she took this in bad part. Her son, to whom I did not wish to concede some ill-gotten goods, was annoyed too and used imprudent and sinful expressions, for he is like other obstinate persons who are bitter if one cannot agree with them.]
In the letter from Dr. /Gottlieb August/ Francke, which we read today, something appeared that gave me an opportunity to express to the parish the grief that often arises because some people get angry with us if, in settling external matters between them, we act according to our conscience and do not agree to evil. Then I pointed out to them how much the devil gains by this and how much harm the kingdom of Christ and the edification of the soul suffers; for by this he proves to be a troublemaker between the preacher and the congregation. This is even more the case since they should consider it a benefaction that, besides the ministry, we also bear the burden of the civil authority and try to arrange everything in the best and easiest way, as good impartial people also realize. Because they have many advantages over other communities and do not have to contribute anything for the payment of ministers and other things necessary for divine service and get free books for themselves and their children and also receive the best possible help in both healthy and sick days, they should know that they are therefore sinning even more by ingratitude, suspicion, and rudeness against their superiors.
[I brought to their attention the verses: “He that despiseth you despiseth me,” also. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 and Hebrews 13:17. The shoemaker /Adde/ who was mentioned in the diary of 9 April set a bad example.]
It was very impressive to me and others to read this evening in a letter from Dr. [Dresden] to the worthy Mrs. N.N. that our miraculous God has awakened some benefactors in Dr. [Dresden] to spend 12 Reichstaler for linen for the poor Salzburgers at Ebenezer. These 12 Reichstaler He soon multiplied into fifty-six by awakening other people to feel a concern for the want of linen at Ebenezer. Thus, He can add things, make something from nothing and much from little, if He sees that it is necessary. It is also no minor benefaction that the transport and other expenses for sending us the books and other items are being taken care of in Europe adn that we have no trouble and efforts with them other than to receive them and share them conscientiously according to the intentions of our benefactors and to thank our good Lord with heart, mouth, and our way of life. Oh, a good and true God! May He never let us forget how much good He has done for us and still does from near and far!
Thursday, the sixteenth of April. This forenoon N. [the young /Jacob/ Kieffer] had me ride to his plantation in his boat so that I could reason with the N. woman [his wife] who had been seized by a wild fancy to travel with a trading-boat to Charleston and further on23 against the will of her husband. When I arrived I found neither of them at home but had to wait a rather long time until the husband came back from the woods with tears in his eyes and poured out his troubles to me about the excesses she would have committed if he had not held her back with force, when entreaties would not help. Because at first she did not return from the woods, we went to the hut for prayer and intercession; in the meantime she came nearer and, since she had hidden with shame, I went to her and by friendly exhortation tried to persuade her to let herself be led back from the confusion of her emotions and desires and to come into the hut. This she willingly did; and finally, after my encouragement by the word of God, she [embraced her husband] with tears and apologized to him with hand and mouth and promised to change for the better.
I warned her against ingratitude for the spiritual and bodily benefactions she had received and against disobedience to the law of God [in respect to the submission of women to men]. It seems that she wishes, by the grace of God, to become free from the snares of Satan, whereby she has been caught long enough [and served him by indulging in her youthful desires]; therefore he tries everything possible to plunge her again into a new disorder, as could easily happen on the trading-boat and in Charleston. [The young Kieffer lacks wisdom to treat her correctly with love and seriousness, and she must soon ask God for it. I told him various things that I found necessary with respect to the present situation.]
I wrote a letter to Mr. /Thomas/ Jones today in which I sent him, at his request, a translation of the report about the blessings of the gospel the N.N. [Herrnhuters] claim among the heathens here in Georgia and in Carolina. While I was writing, a pious man came to me; and I asked him whether he knew N.N. [the Herrnhuter Doctor], to whom the pretended miracle with a crocodile is attributed. He knew him well and remembered with great amazement that more than three years ago he had almost murdered the Salzburger N., who got sick during some business in N. [Savannah] by his imprudent and violent cure. This man added that it was a miracle of God’s grace that he was saved from his extreme mortal danger, for the said N. [the said doctor, a Swiss man by the name of John Renniger]24 had given him such a great dose of mercury and other strong things to cure his constipation that Mr. Thilo was very shocked and also called it a murder-cure, as far as I remember. The man even had to pay half a guinea for it. Soon after that he had the most severe convulsions; and, after the mercury had been expelled from him, he gradually gained his health again even though the said N. [doctor] had lost all hope for his recovery.
The N.N. [The Herrnhuter Hagen] in N. [Savannah] does not consider said N. [the doctor], who came here as an Anabaptist from Pennsylvania, to be a brother. However, not only is he called a brother in the said report; but in an English letter to Dr. Watts in London, in which the deeds of the N.N. [Herrnhuters] are especially praised, he is even called an elder or superior. How does that make any sense? I hope that such people’s seduction in the name of God will become evident by and by. But the Lord will not leave unpunished him who abuses His name.
Friday, the seventeenth of April. Our dear Mr. N. [Senior] has written a letter to our Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen that he and his worthy family have been very much delighted by the very edifying poetry of our dear Mr. Bogatzky, which he has sent to him along with a gift for Ebenezer. This we also experienced abundantly last night in town and today in the congregation at the plantations, to the praise of God and to the mighty illumination of our hearts. In it he has reminded us with very insinuating expressions of the many spiritual and worldly goods that our wise and kind God has granted us at Old and New Ebenezer during and after various trials, and this was very necessary for us [as we think it a great benefaction that, in different letters we have received from Europe in answer to our letters or as reflections on some points of the transmitted journals, we have been strongly reminded of the latest proofs of divine providence and encouraged to put our trust in the future help of God].
God be praised highly for having erected for us in Ebenezer more than an Ebenezer;25 i.e. we have reason to say every year, month, week, and day: “Up to here the Lord hath helped us.” It is also marvelous that the worthy author of this edifying poetry reminds the Salzburgers of the great grace of God in having led them from Babel’s walls and from the Old World and having transplanted them into the New World and having ruled them there in a fatherly way. It is necessary for the Salzburgers in all places in Evangelical Christendom, and therefore here, too, to be reminded that not kings or princes but God Himself has shown them, as formerly the children of Israel, a way, door, and gate through Babel’s walls. Others inside and outside of Salzburg did not fare so well afterwards, even though important people have interceded on their behalf. What God proclaimed to His people: “Forget it not, etc. ...” the same He is now proclaiming to our Salzburgers too through His servants and children from afar. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in this very beautiful poetry is the fact that, as a warning, he describes in a most beautiful way the spiritual guidance of a soul which, despite all feeling of sin, yet struggles to enter the wounds of Jesus and His meritorious justification and there comes to peace and is chosen. For example, he describes how a believing soul who sees nothing but death and darkness should act humbly, go through straight ahead and come to peace, and safely avoid all side paths. His own words deserve to be cited here:
“Ja so alle Leibes-Noth völlig wäre schon gehoben,
Ach.’ so geht die Glaubens-Prüfung in den Seelen-Nöthen an, etc.”
The last expression:
“Bleibt in der Einfalt stehen, gehet ja auf keine Höhen,
Bleibt mit euren Lehrern fein in der wahren Eintracht stehen.”26
gave me the opportunity to confirm and impress the contents of Dr. /Gottfried August/ Francke’s letter dated April 15th as a most necessary admonition. May God unite our hearts more and more and let cordial evangelical admonishments that have flown into the hearts of our congregation here and outside bear delightful fruit until eternity. May He also repay other worthy benefactors and friends for the great love they have shown to us not only by the gifts sent us from Halle and Augsburg, but especially by these and other letters of the kind. Especially our dear Privy Counselor N. [Wallbaum] has accommodated us with his very edifying letter of 20 December 1739, which arrived at the same time and calls to our attention various matters about our most precious Jesus, who is the common treasure of all believers. This letter too will be applied to the good of the parish soon.
At the beginning of this year, when we treated the gospel of Luke 2:21 concerning the authority and importance of the work of our redemption, it was our intention, by the grace and help of the Holy Spirit, to enter into a reflection and faithful application of the lovely article of justification and thereby to help build up the Christianity of our dear congregation as on a firm foundation which even the gates of hell cannot overcome. Who at that time would have thought that our wise and gracious God would have such excellent material sent to us from near and far for our intention, as it has now happened [e.g. from Luther’s interpretation of Chapter 53 of Isaiah and from the letters we have now received, from the recently mentioned poetry and also from the edifying reports? Hallelujah!] The pithy and bold language of the blessed Luther is very impressive to me.27
[Eight days ago, when I was preparing to travel to Savannah, and again today before the edification hour, I was at Kaesemeyer’s plantation (a former servant of the Trustees, but now a helper of the clockmaker Mueller). In his apparently dangerous illness I tried as best I could to urge him with the law and the gospel to come, through the punitive office of the Holy Spirit, to a realization of his corruption and many sins and to be brought by its ministry to true faith in our Lord Jesus. He claimed, however, to understand all of it and sighed about his troubles, yet he does not wish to confess, although his mouth would certainly testify if his sins were really pressing on his conscience. He was a soldier for a long time and collected a great number of sins; yet he has not troubled much about the rich preaching of the word of God, and this has distressed some of our pious people. On Good Friday he participated in Holy Communion, after we had held him back for a long time and given him time to prepare himself together with his wife. Before he last partook of Holy Communion both of us also admonished him emphatically and told him to think of his salvation and not to participate before a real Christian preparation has taken place. He participated nevertheless, and since that time God has laid him on his sickbed. I told him what a beneficial intention God has in this salvation of his vain soul.
[The water has again risen so high that we cannot take the shortest way to the plantations but have to make a great detour, especially to this man’s plantation, which means a great loss of time and debilitation of our physical strength; otherwise we would visit him more often. He told us that Christian people often come and read him something out of Schaidtberger’s Send-Schreiben.]28
Saturday, the eighteenth of April. The schoolmaster Ortmann revealed a bit of his life to me, and this was an occasion for me to give him and his wife some very urgent admonishments to prepare earnestly for eternity. The man has traveled far in the world as a soldier and has suffered a lot; he has also experienced some very remarkable things that could still be of good use to him in this life, if only he would ask God’s grace for it. He is almost sixty years of age; and, despite the many hardships he has endured, he still has strength enough not only to hold school but also to plant his field, for which he uses the morning and evening hours.
[Mrs. Rheinlaender well sees that we are not taken in by her trickery, and therefore she is now speaking humbly again and promises to submit to God’s commands so as to be able to do atonement. We will not trust her as easily as we did before. May God grant that the misfortune that befell her will become an opportunity for her to come to eternal bliss. I am always afraid that she will be accommodating only so that we will help her again in her present situation and provide her with another dwelling. We will do whatever is possible, and we have already offered her many things. However, she has not previously been easy to satisfy; and, if we did not act according to her self-will and greediness, we had to hear her complaints about a want of love.
[I was told that Michael Rieser went to Abercorn last Sunday morning to work for the Englishmen there for nine months as a day laborer. Thus he not only ignores me and my ministry but also my dear colleague although, as usual, most of the anger and indignation are aimed at me. I asked his wife whether it was true that, against the express orders of God and others in the congregation and in Abercorn and to their vexation, he had traveled on a Sunday. Of course she could not deny this, although she herself regretted it but could not prevent it because he cannot stand any contradiction or admonition, but immediately flies into a rage. She admitted to having much to bear with him; and this may be to a large extent the cause of her physical weakness. I warned her again not to take part in this man’s sins: a Christian should not sin in order to please anybody else, even if it were the greatest person in the world; but he would better suffer the utmost, since God, through His grace, would repay him for this. She should pray God to let her husband recognize these and other sins penitently and hold back His judgment and punishment. For the word still holds that God will punish the transgressors of His commandments to the third and fourth generations. Woe to the man who causes annoyance! In Abercorn things are very profane, they do not celebrate Sundays and holy days; and, if people from Ebenezer act likewise, how greatly they will be confirmed, as it were, in their wickedness. There is a man there who is said to be a Socinianer,29 he celebrates the seventh day, i.e. Saturday, in external matters almost as strictly as the Jews do and thereby also causes offense. God will judge, if this miserable man does not do atonement.]
Sunday, the nineteenth of April. The very edifying letter we recently received from our dear counselor N. [Wallbaum] brought us many blessings last night through the help of the Holy Ghost and gave us rich material for good admonitions to be much concerned in the main thing of Christianity, namely, the living recognition of Jesus Christ. He dedicated to us especially the exceptionally beautiful promise of God from Jeremiah 32:38-41, which has impressed me and others all the more since it was laid on our hearts and consciences during our last commemoration and thanksgiving feast during the interpretation of Isaiah 1:19-20. But today, from the regular gospel for the Third Sunday after Easter, we discussed the comfort of those who believe during their sorrow; and we cited as a special sorrow among others that believers suffer much pain in their souls when they have to see in the case of their families and others that the merits of Christ are lost on them and that they are walking the broad way to hell etc. Therefore we sincerely wished that there would be a total cessation in our congregation of the kind of sorrow that spouses, parents, neighbors, ministers, etc. have to feel because of the dangerous condition of other unconverted members. This would happen if we would search and attain by a cordial and lasting prayer what our friendly God promises us so dearly in the above-mentioned words of Jeremiah 32:38 ff. And, because our wise and kind God is letting us hear these dear words not only from nearby at the commemoration and thanksgiving day services, but also from afar [through a very dear, honest, and also distinguished benefactor, who searches for nothing in the world but to save his own and other people’s souls], we have reason to remain silent in order not to miss the offered grace.
What a blessed situation would exist in the congregation if everybody, old and young, married and unmarried, male and female, would let themselves be favored with such benefactions. Well, it made an impression, and I believe God will let a fruit remain from it. He should make the dear town of N. [Saalfeld] into a blessed field and merry paradise filled with trees of righteousness and plants of praise and let us hear from there in the future many more lovely things for our edification and awakening. May He also reward all high and low people with more than thousandfold blessings for all the physical benefactions that have flown to our congregation and the orphanage [via Halle and Augsburg]. A Salzburger wished to return to his family and plantation last night after finishing his work; but, since he heard that another beautiful letter would be read in the evening prayer meeting, he came back and managed today without his Sunday clothes. [I hope he will not regret it and that God will lay a special blessing to the good because he has acquired an additional knowledge from the edifying poetry that we recited in two prayer meetings.]
Some time ago and again recently one of us was requested to preach the word of God in Purysburg this Sunday; the preacher himself asked me for it last week when I was in Savannah. Therefore my dear colleague traveled down this morning to preach in the morning and afternoon about the important words of the Revelation of St. John 1:5-6: “Jesus Christ has loved us, etc.” He did not return this evening as he had intended, so I was alone with my listeners at today’s evening prayer hour.
Monday, the twentieth of April. A woman from the plantations called on me and poured out many tears about her spiritual condition. Since she did not say a word for a long time and I well knew what desires she had had before, I comforted her from yesterday’s sermon, which she had also heard, and from various important scriptural verses. I especially reminded her of what we heard yesterday as an exordium from Exodus 3:1 ff. about the bush wherein God revealed His glory without impugning or diminishing His majesty; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26 ff. with the application that, even if we become quite dry, low, despised, and small in our grief and atonement, God will not disdain our souls but elect them to His throne and royal seat, as is written in Isaiah 66:2 and 57:17. She replied that it seemed to her that she is not lacking comfort at the present time, but she is grieved that she recognizes much too little her depravity and misery and therefore the peace and silence of her heart does not mean a comfort to her, rather she fears that it might be thoughtlessness and false security. She referred to another pious woman who has much comfort and delight in her Savior, but has a true base and foundation in her. She herself, on the other hand, does not know enough about the real cross of Christians, which we treated yesterday. She lays her misery and spiritual distress before God as much as it is revealed to her; and, since her heart then becomes calm and contented much too quickly, she begins to suspect that it might be self-delusion etc. Yet she could not deny that our Lord has granted her the grace to hate all sins heartily and to live in this world only for His glory and by His help to remove from her path everything that hinders her in doing so. Therefore I told her what a fatherly heart God has for her; she can never be as kindly disposed to her child as the heavenly Father is to her.
Because charity, refreshment, comfort, and blessing are His own work (Isaiah 66:13) and because the soul is more important than the body, He hastens, like the father in Luke 15, to proffer His grace to the penitent, mourning sinners. They, however, should not be bashful, shy, and doubtful, but should make use of the offered grace and humbly accept it. And, although many a dishonesty, weakness, and unfaithfulness will reveal itself (just as perdition is even more revealed the further one progresses in grace), this should not cast us down so much that we consider the received grace and comfort to be nothing but delusion. Rather, if we wish to please God, our recognized misery shall drive us all the more to our Savior and into His wounds, to which we should carry nothing but sin and also a heart that is full of regret and pain and longs for grace.
Furthermore she should try to bring into practice the verse James 5: “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? etc.”. . . A Christian should accept with true resignation whatever God grants him; and it should be consoling to us that in pain as well as in good spirits we can always do God’s will, for this is why we are in the world. At last I recommended to her the verse: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your [reconciled] Father which is, etc. ...” By a humble prayer she could get Him into her heart not only by His gracious gifts but truly and in essence: He will lead her with truth and in no way deceive her. At last we prayed together, and she left with signs of a grace-filled heart, although she herself hardly noticed it. Before and after the prayer we discussed some matters that served to refresh not only her but also me and to make us recognize the pleasant and wonderful ways of God in which He reveals Himself so gloriously to His simple children, so I praise the Lord for this hour.
It is exceedingly refreshing to hear from the congregation that our gracious and friendly God often lets them hear matters in public sermons that especially affect them and their special conditions and that, whenever they do not quite understand things and have scruples, they unexpectedly receive an answer to the questions of their heart from the sermon as if they had asked for private instruction. May God teach us to leave our hearts and souls completely to His spirit in order that we may teach our listeners the things He puts into our hearts and tongues so that our ministry and work will be blessed in everybody.
My preparation hour for Holy Communion has been increased by two women from town who understand that they are lacking instruction in the articles of faith of the Christian religion. One of them /Engel Koller/ is a relative of the old Swiss carpenter /Krusy/, a quiet, peaceable widow who has been living at our place for some time but has been prevented from regularly visiting our divine service because of her sick little child /Maria Anna/. The other one is N. (Mrs. Maurer), who cannot yet completely understand and speak the German language; therefore it is rather difficult to deal with her and hard to teach her anything.30
[The letters and reports from Europe we have read up to now have strongly awakened us and our listeners to pray for our benefactors diligently and also by name, as I have learned with pleasure both last night in public and also today at the house prayer meeting. Since some of the dear benefactors are still known to us and the members of the congregation by sight, their edifying example, which made a deep impression on us before, is being revived by the reports we have received; and they give us a very refreshing odor of sanctity. The above mentioned woman also remembered a dear benefactress whom she had met in Germany; and she attested that the memory of her quiet and humble conduct was very edifying and that the things that were told about her a short time ago also made a deep impression on her. Last Saturday too the Lord blessed in all of us a similar absent example. Examples make a deep and long lasting impression.]
Tuesday, the 21st of April. Last Sunday after preaching the two sermons at Purysburg on Revelations 1:5-6 for a small congregation of German people, my dear colleague stayed yesterday at Kieffer’s plantation where he had the opportunity to do good by virtue of his ministry and also to reconcile young married people. In that region there are some hungry people for whose souls something could be done if they could often hear a wholesome sermon from the word of God.
[The preacher there31 takes even less care of the German people than of the French; and therefore they go astray like sheep. However, because they make many unnecessary trips back and forth by water and land, we wonder why they do not come the short way to our place.] The cares of earning a living and the desire to get rich corrupt body and soul. They would like one of us to preach there more often, but our official duties at Ebenezer will not permit this unless the Lord will better convince us of His wish and the necessity.
In his last letter Mr. Berein inquired about an English boy, whom Mr. N. and N. [Bühler and Schulius], two [Herrnhuter] missionaries, brought over and left here after their departure. In our reply we could only report that he is in N. [Purysburg] at a shoemaker’s place. Now my dear colleague has learned more about his situation, i.e. that he was first treated very harshly and cruelly by Mr. N. [Bühler] and was beaten very hard on his knee-caps and other sensitive places, he was thrust with the tip of his elbows on the top of the table and stood at a stake on top of sharp wooden sticks like the soldiers.32 Thereupon he fled to a Frenchman and finally to a German at Purysburg, where he was treated as severely as a Negro and almost starved, so that his arms became as thin as fingers and he looked like nothing but skin and bones. A conscientious N.N. [Swiss shoemaker], at whose place my dear colleague stayed this time, has taken care of him through pity and provided for him up to now. With him he is quite well off and shows a very active mind by quickly understanding every task given to him. The name of this boy is Simon Harper, and his parents live in London. He speaks English and German well and is well taken care of at this shoemaker’s. This matter is mentioned here to give an example to our compassionate benefactors in Europe of how deplorably many poor children live, who are thrust back and forth only to earn their bread. A barbarian behavior like this should hardly be expected of the N.N. [Herrnhuters], who talk so much about love, if it could not be proved by examples like this and others in Savannah. Mr. /Thomas/ Jones in Savannah cannot think without horror of the way this poor child was treated by Mr. N. [Bühler] on the ship and, as he adds, not because of over-haste in a passion, but quite intentionally after careful consideration, and repeatedly. Surely this kind of discipline is not practiced at the almshouse in N. [Jena], where Mr. N. [Bühler] had formerly taught. Mr. Jones doubts that Mr. N. [Bühler] had the right to leave the boy at Purysburg, since he very likely was destined by his parents for the colony of Georgia.
[In this connection I remember that H.M. Spangenberg in Halle inclined to the other extreme and did not tolerate austerity and severity at the schools of the orphanage, and the students were led to Christian order and the means of salvation only through giving and withdrawing the benedictions. He thought that hypocrites were created that way, and once he told me in his room that he would rather allow a student to commit harlotry and adultery on Sunday than to force him to go to church, which seemed exceedingly strange to me. The students of the Latin School had to walk two by two to the church at Glaucha on Sunday under the supervision of several praeceptors, and any who withdrew from this regulation and went their own ways would have been called to account and (if deemed advisable) punished. What a confusion would have taken place if they had been granted their self-willed freedom with regard to going to church or visiting other occasions for edification, particularly since we often received students who had already passed through many stages of wickedness and discipline at other places. We know, thank God by experience too, how urgent such a yoke is for the old unbroken Man who always wants to be free and easy, a yoke that also pulls him back externally from bad company and the opportunity for mischief and at the same time draws him to observe good order. The disciplinary instruction for the praeceptors at the orphanage in Halle is very wisely arranged, and therefore the censorious spirit of Mr. Spangenberg and others is all the more irresponsible.]
A man told me that the pious woman [with whom I had an enjoyable hour in the Lord yesterday in my room] went home very much revived and strengthened in Jesus and was very edifying for two others, who also went the same way. Since she worried that the comfort and peace she often feels during her prayer might not be the truth but may be self-deception because it is heard too quickly, I quoted some examples from the Psalms of David, from the 6th and the 13th Psalm, where cries of distress and granting of comfort also come together almost in one breath; and precisely this she experienced on her way back home. A man in this small homeward-bound company had been bled; and before and afterwards he was so weak that he could walk only to the next plantation, where this pious woman and also other upright, active souls live. Today before the edification meeting I heard that our merciful God has obviously strengthened him in soul and body. That means that where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I (Jesus, your Physician and helper) am in the midst of you.
Wednesday, the 22nd of April. Last night we had a thunderstorm and strong rain, which will be very good for the thirsty soil, the plants, and the sprouted corn. On the already cultivated ground we have many worms this year, which are doing harm. Where the soil is fresh and has never been planted before there are far fewer of them. We suppose that this plague will not last longer than this month. Christian people accept everything from God and use it for the purpose shown by Holy Scripture. We also point this out to our people. The river water has continued to rise, so the land near the mill-river has not been able to be planted up to now. This is a sign that the snow in the mountains must have been very high last winter,33 because otherwise we do not know from where so much water comes.
Our worthy Mr. N. [Senior Urlsperger] sent us 40 florins worth of Schauer Balm34 on behalf of the orphanage some time ago. It was on the way for a long time, and therefore the little flasks became rather empty, but the remainder was very useful. It was not possible to sell the balm for the benefit of the orphanage; but we have needed it urgently for all sorts of misfortunes at the orphanage and in the community, and many a poor person has been refreshed by it. Besides, we have received a small quantity of this beneficial balm for our own domestic use and I in particular can say, to the praise of God, that it has done me excellent service in my headaches, gidiness, and other ailments. My family has also felt its rich effect and praises together with me the Donor of all these good gifts for this benefaction and also expresses our humblest thanks to the worthy benefactors. When enjoying the gifts and benefactions coming from Europe I often say in my heart, and I hope many others do too: “May the Lord show mercy unto the house of N., for he has often refreshed me.”
Today a new arrangement was made regarding the cowherds. [For the present quarter I must still pay the cowherd in town twenty-five sh. Sterling instead of clothing. However, since the orphanage is not in a position at the present time to maintain him and other herdsmen in clothes or to pay the money agreed upon], the community will collect as much as is necessary during the next quarter. [Should our dear God, who holds everything in His hands, grant us enough to help the community here and out there, we would be very glad of it, especially since the people are poor.] We cannot do without a herdsman, since either the people would leave their work undone if they had to guard the cows themselves, or they would lose many head of cattle if they left them alone in the woods. Cattle breeding, if it is made easy for them, is half of their livelihood. There are many extraordinary expenses everywhere for this community, which is still poor and badly needs help; and the dear Lord will repay everybody in Europe who will commend our shortages to their love and Christian charity.
Thursday, the 23rd of April. The blessings that our loving and pious God granted us in the last letters and reports from Europe are so great and magnificent that we were compelled by them to hold a special hour of prayer and thanks, and this happened last night with the congregation in town. After singing the hymn: Dir dir Jehovah will ich singen etc. ... I reminded the listeners briefly of the edifying and striking contents of the letters [how unusually inclined the hearts of our benefactors and friends are toward all of us, how eagerly they pray for us and how they take care of us as much as possible and how they do wish nothing else of us but to pray for them and to humbly beg the Father of all mercy and reward to take care of all those dear benefactors who are traveling.] Everyone, both old and young, should bend the knees of their hearts with me so that the spiritual blessings we have received in the letters will not disappear again and so that what is perhaps already buried will, so to speak, be revived by the Holy Spirit, who is a spirit of memory, and so that, both publicly and communally, we will fulfill our duty with regard to intercessory prayer for our known and unknown benefactors. We prayed therefore in the name of Jesus Christ on His merit, command, and promise; and we did it simply as is written in Matthew 18:19; and we do not doubt that God, who has strengthened and refreshed us by this prayer, will, for the sake of Christ’s intercession to which it is entrusted in good faith, bless it on our dear benefactors in and outside of Germany according to their spiritual and physical needs. And we do not doubt that He will recompense them with His spiritual and physical blessings a thousandfold for all the gifts sent to us such as books, money, linen, and other things necessary for life.
I was told last night that a Salzburger has a patch of wheat and rye growing in his garden, from which one can quite particularly see the wisdom, mercy, and omnipotence of God. Therefore I went there this morning and saw to my astonishment that 109 and at other places 112 stalks or stems had grown from one single rye seed.35 The ears had a length of eight inches, were full and thick, and a couple were growing on one stem like twins. The wheat was also fine, thick, and high, and full of ears, as I have rarely seen it. The hares had eaten it off repeatedly when it was young, also his wife had again and again made fodder for her calves, and yet it stands a good five feet high.36 Whereas much grass usually grows between the Indian corn and other seeds and is difficult to extirpate, wheat, rye, and barley do not allow it to sprout. Therefore one ought not weed out this German crop as must be done in Germany. It is not yet possible to sow all the fields with this seed, as can probably be done in the future. I believe that, with God’s blessings, they would harvest a thousandfold. Accordingly, those who disdain this land and denounce it as unproductive sin very much.
Friday, the 24th of April. N. [Zettler, who has learned the trade of shoemaker at Purysburg] and has worked in our community ever since, proposed some time ago to N.’s [Kieffer’s] daughter from N. [Purysburg]. Now she wants to give him up, and he is becoming very troubled. The good [Kieffer] people should have learned wisdom from the previous, bad experience [they had already with the marriage of their oldest son /Johann Jacob/37 and one daughter] and use every Christian prudence. But this time too it has not happened as I had wished and hoped, because the two young people promised themselves in the absence of their parents [at the plantation of the young Kieffer]; and afterwards they received the full parental consent, the same as before when, at their request, they were given reason for hope. N. [Zettler] as well as the girl wished me to set them right. He wishes her to stick to her “yes,” but she says that she is not bound by it, and for this she gives reasons.
I can do no more than to admonish them sincerely to repent of their overhaste in this important matter and to accommodate to the order of God, in which they can pray for a favorable hearing and test His will. Just as they hastened too much in saying “yes,” they should not do the same now with their “no” and the rejection of their mutual promise, but ask God to lead their hearts to what is pleasing to Him, so that they will come together or keep apart according to His will. [The parents have already been partially advised of what I disliked about this engagement this time. If I have an opportunity to talk to them, I will tell them more particulars, by the help of God, so that they can bear them in mind in consideration of their remaining children, who will also contract marriages by and by.]
The old Swiss carpenter /Krusy/ told me that God has blessed in him the letters we have already read and the things which were admonished; and he mentioned a point which was also impressive to me. Especially he could not praise enough the great value he received from the explanation and inculcation of some important articles from our blessed Luther’s interpretation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah concerning the right use of the Passion of Christ, our reconciliation, justification, and peace with God. Perhaps God will give us the opportunity, strength, and joy to take up this booklet once again and turn it to account from the beginning up to the end for common edification, since presently -- because of the shortage of time -- we have been able to select only a few, albeit the most important points from the preamble and the tractate.
We concluded today’s edification meeting at the plantations by reading the letters and reports from Europe and, as on Wednesday in town, we collected all the messages and all our benefactors and gifts in a humble prayer, that the Lord, who does not leave unrewarded even a drink of water that is given to His people as refreshment in their need, will richly reward here and there all the spiritual and earthly benefactions which we have received up to now and which are again on the way to us. May He give grace that our known and unknown benefactors, along with us, will be put and maintained in such a position that sometime sooner or later (as was the expression of Mr. N. [Sen. Urlsperger] in the preamble to the fourth continuation) we will enlarge the Triumphant Church, worship the Trinity together, and praise in eternity, according to the Church Militant, all benefactions received on earth according to the three main articles of Christian religion.
Many people of both sexes and some very little children were together today, and to all of them our friendly Savior has offered and presented many blessings. Because I arrived a little before the time of the gathering, I visited several people and heard some beautiful testimonies of the blessing God had given to them hitherto in their Christianity. A man who was hoeing the grass between the corn rows together with his wife rejoiced with me at the verse Psalms 68:11: “Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.” He tries to achieve these two points better and better, namely: a real deep recognition of his sin and a living recognition of Christ, his Savior, in whom he wishes to hide with all his sins through his faith. He believes that would be the safest way to heaven: this way all shame is due to us and all glory to God. He also told me that during his work he again suffered a weak paroxysm of fever and, since the work was therefore hard for him, he refreshed himself with the verse: “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Genesis 5.
[During my conversation with a woman and her husband, the woman reflected and finally said: “We have heard from the letters that pious people at other places are praying and caring for us as if we were their children. They must think what a pious flock we are. Therefore my heart aches because so much evil is found in myself, in my family, and in others and that sometimes misunderstandings and dissension arise from external things. God has done so much good for us, we have our livelihood, our own cattle, land, and much more, whereas in Salzburg we were only poor hired hands, etc. . . . and we are still so ungrateful to our dear God, etc.”]
Saturday, the 25th of April. I was called to Old Ebenezer this morning to baptize a child of German parents there.38 Godfather and godmother were the schoolmaster Ortmann, his wife, and a young English woman, for whose sake the baptism had to be held in the English language. When I entered this German couple’s dwelling I looked for the mother and her child and could not have believed that the woman walking about in the room was the lying-in woman, if she had not confirmed it at my question. I was amazed that she could stand up and walk around so early because I thought the child was born only yesterday morning, but she had given birth to it already last Monday, and they had neglected it for vain reasons until today. The early walking around of the mother and the delay of Holy Baptism both displeased me. Our people do not behave this way but are very cautious.
I had the opportunity to talk to the English mother and her daughter for their salvation. [The mother is usually a bad curser, yet she denied this and wished to hear the word of God. The daughter seems to have a better disposition, and a German man testified that she sings and reads the Bible, which one never sees or hears her parents do.] I promised both of them to send them one and another [German-] English tract, and they were very pleased by this. After the baptism I prayed with the German people, the schoolmaster, and his wife on bended knees, which pleased these two people very much. They too bent their knees. They told us that a courier on horseback recently went through Old Ebenezer on his way to the captain of Fort Palachocolas, and that from there another one was sent express with a secret order further on to Fort Augusta. It is said that some Spaniards together with their Indians have killed some people on a plantation near St. Augustine.
[When I was in Savannah the other day, Mr. /Thomas/Jones showed me a letter from General Oglethorpe in which it was mentioned that a man came to him and gave a report on the same, which he at that time could not fully believe; but by now he should have received confirmation. Mr. Jones has never approved of people settling at this dangerous spot, as they without doubt did for profit’s sake.]
This week Kogler and Rottenberger have built a cart for transporting timber for building the church, because the orphanage’s cart is too old and too weak for this. It is very light but durable, whereas the carts in Savannah are rather heavy and could not be used by us, since we have only one horse to draw them. They also cost much money, whereas this one costs only little. How good it is that our people can make many things themselves.
Sunday, the 26th of April. For several days it has been very fresh and cool in the nights and mornings, also during the days there is a pleasant cool breeze with warm sunshine, so that such weather is very comfortable and productive in all ways. Everybody who has lived in this country for some time prefers our climate to the one we were used to, since even the greatest summer heat is tolerable and bearable. [We are looking forward to our new church because it is becoming uncomfortable to sit together so closely in my house. We had hoped to hold the divine service there on Whitsuntide for the first time; but this is now completely impossible, since the timber could not be brought to the building place for lack of time and a cart. Also no roof shingles could be made, because during the present high water we could not cut down the cypress trees to make the shingles.]
Monday, the 27th of April. [After the house prayer meeting the tailor Christ bore a fine witness today about the blessing that our dear Lord is showing on his soul from time to time. He complained that he fell into some unrest because of external things, from which God has again helped him before he got quite entangled. He humbly recognizes his faithlessness against the grace of the Holy Spirit, etc. He well sees that we would like to grant him the benefaction of being provided for at the orphanage but that we lack the means right now. I admonished him to realize that it is not in vain that God is keeping him away from the pleasure of this benefaction through our inability, for he has often offended against it before. If God wants him to be helped by the orphanage He will easily make it possible for us. In his profession he is learning more and more the advantages of cutting-out, in which he has always been lacking up to now. His master taught him his profession badly. If he had not come to this place, where he has to work only for humble people who have much patience with his work, he probably would have come into great trouble in Germany with his bungling.]
During last week’s prayer meetings we repeated in summary the main points of the story of Samuel 2:10, dealing with the wars and victories of David with and over the Amorites and Syrians, and applied them for our edification. We have especially seen in a prefiguration to what a terrible end the enemies of Christ and their subjects will come if they do not convert to God, Psalms 7:13. Usually people cannot be convinced that they are enemies, rebels, and haters of God, their highest Benefactor; and therefore our listeners are being led to understand the nature of love toward believers. If anyone does not even recognize believers and children of God in the congregation but regards them all the same, or who hates, slanders, and criticizes the ones whose nature does not fit into his own, he is an enemy of God and does not know what is meant by: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” The other day it was pointed out to the listeners in detail, and this time briefly, what a grave sin it is to mock the emissaries of Jesus Christ, upright ministers, and to repay them for the performance of their ministry by rude and subtle ingratitude. Matthew 22:1 ff. This evening we heard some necessary points for the illustration of Chapter II, which is now to be discussed. May our gracious God give us much wisdom and strength.
Tuesday, the 28th of April. Mr. Causton as well as General Oglethorpe have often been after us to persuade our inhabitants to plant a sufficient quantity of white mulberry-trees and by and by to start the production of silk, which is to bring profit to this country. Some trees have been planted by our people, but they were not valued because they did not bear any fruit. They did not know how to handle silkworms; and also they had so much to do with farming and establishing their households that they could not think of making either wine or silk. Last year, after General Oglethorpe had seen our orphanage, he took many pains in Savannah to have me and another person from our community instructed in his presence by a French woman /Mary Camuse/, who works with the Lord Trustees’ silkworms, to show our people how they could earn a good deal of money without difficulty and at the same time fulfill the wishes and intentions of the Lord Trustees, who had aimed especially at silk manufacture when founding this colony.39 He had some young silkworms given to me for the orphanage, which were fed with the leaves grown here until they made their cocoons and gradually produced quite a quantity of seeds. Neither I nor the manager of the orphanage made much of it and, although General Oglethorpe had sent us a printed and detailed report in English as to how to handle the silkworms, I have had neither opportunity nor courage up to the present time to study it, because I thought that such things do not belong to my office.
However, it happens curiously that Mrs. Kalcher is being encouraged by a Frenchman on his own accord to do this easy work and gets instruction in propagating the seed and making silk. This work was assigned to two girls, who fed the leaves to the worms and raised them to such a size that now, to the astonishment of all of us, they have produced some hundreds of balls of silk [as large as pigeon eggs]. Two hundred of them weigh one pound, for which they pay 4 sh. Sterling in Savannah. Since the white mulberry trees [because the black ones are not as good, although a great number of them can be found in the woods], like the willows in Germany, are grown not only from seeds but also by putting the branches into the earth in spring, Kalcher intends, by the help of God, to cultivate a great number of such trees and to make another attempt together with his people. It is a labor for widows and weak women, whereby each of them can earn a few pounds Sterling within two months, if they have enough leaves and trees. The orphanage has only a few mulberry trees, but there are rather many near the town, which the owners have ceded to the orphanage this year voluntarily and without payment. There are many particulars which convince me that the providence of our Lord can be seen in this case, which we will continue to look into. Perhaps others in the community will also be encouraged to undertake the like to their advantage.
[I came by chance to the neighborhood of Kieffer’s plantation; and, since I saw young /Jacob/ Kieffer returning home from work with his implements, I told him that during two succeeding house prayer meetings we had heard from the Booklet of the Blessings of God,40 according to the three main articles, that (1) a good administration, (2) peace and bodily rest, and (3) blessings for our professional work are very great and indispensable gifts and benefactions of the Lord, which we should only use to His praise. He answered in the presence of his wife /Anna Elisabeth/ and his brothers* and sisters that these three things cannot be found in his house; and he started to tell me what a grief and trouble his wife is causing him. Her last promise of improvement lasted only a short time; she does everything to his displeasure, uses words that he would never have expected from her, and does things at the telling of which I was horrified. No persuasion, remonstration, threatening, etc. will help, but she behaves like one who has lost her sense and become desperate. I do not wish to write down her monstrous terms and her very bad behavior towards her husband because this is too wicked and vexing.
I talked to her earnestly and regretted that she is again rushing headlong into the jaws of Satan, although the Lord Jesus has kept on striving to rescue her and make her His daughter. She will have to account for all the grace received in vain; she will become a wretched instrument to alarm and depress not only her husband but also her old, upright parents-in-law, and that this will go ill with her, etc. I am also very much distressed at seeing that all the religious efforts employed on her openly and especially during the preparation hours were in vain; how much more I would be offended if I, at her and her husband’s request, had let her participate in the Lord’s table last time, since I now, as previously, have come to know such deplorable fruit. The husband was also glad that I had not consented to her request to go to Holy Communion at that time, but waited for certain proofs of a true conversion. I cannot forget that she shall have on her conscience not only the sin of fornication and perjury but also that of murdering her little child;41 and meanwhile I feel and believe that our holy, impartial God will not give her peace until she confesses, or she will have to feel His heavy hand upon her right seriously. God have mercy on her misery!]
The 29th of April. Hans Maurer’s wife bore a little son this morning before daybreak, who was baptized this afternoon at Ruprecht Steiner’s house on the planatations. Since the husband told me that God had helped his wife get through quickly, I admonished him to cast all his cares and troublesome circumstances on the Lord from now on. He can turn all misery to the best, better than we think; God lays only as much on His children in the present time as they can bear with His help because He is true; and nothing can assail us that cannot be borne, even if it is only a dram. Some time ago his wife had a dangerous open sore inside her throat near the uvula, and all remedies used did not help. Since her Christianity is based on a solid ground she always kept calm and thus gave an edifying example to others by her patience. Because of the great pains she had inside her throat we had all sorts of doubtful misconceptions before her childbed, which however were quite unnecessary. Perhaps in her childbed God will release her from her sick throat after all these tribulations, because the devouring humors will be able to be purged by nature and medicine better than before in some other way. Yesterday she still attended the edification meeting and collected something for the following night, [and our dear God granted us much good for our edification from the repetition of a main point in Samuel 2:10 and from the introduction of the following history in Chapter XI.]
Thursday, the 30th of April. I hear that [God enlarged his little band] at the plantations [where] a few simple persons associate and edify each other by religious conversations, prayers, and the word of God. May our wise God also bless this in other good souls, who are still just plodding along. A man complained to me how much harm bashfulness and fear of man has done to him; but, after God rescued him from it and let him come to a Christian simplicity, he feels the benefit all the more plentifully in his Christianity. A woman remembered that I advised her some time ago not to be too timid in encouraging her husband in what is good and to edify him more by prayers and a quiet pious way of life than by words; this our dear God has blessed in him very much, since he now is on a good path.
Some pious Salzburgers, to whom the heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit, has given a living knowledge of His Son from the holy gospel, intend to send an edifying message to their friends and relatives in Prussia. Therefore the other day Ruprecht Steiner, Brandner, and Simon Reiter and today also Brückner talked to me about it. They will discuss it among themselves and tell me the contents of the letter to be written. They will also seek edifying thoughts for it from the Writer of divine wisdom. Hans Schmidt carries on his Christianity eagerly and truly and, just as he works on his neighbor in simplicity and humility, he is also urged by his love for his brother, who lives in N. [Regensburg],42 to have a rather extensive letter written to him, and this was finished by myself and him in good order this forenoon.
Already a year ago he wrote to him how wonderfully the grace of God has been shown in him and his wife since his arrival at Ebenezer; but, since he is in fear that he might be attracted again by the N.N. [Herrnhuters, or the so-called Moravian Brethren], who had fascinated him before, and let himself be inclined to a subtle separatism, he is now writing him clearly how he came to know these people here and how he looks upon their whole case as dangerous and annoying and how he hopes that this reliable message will be serviceable and useful to him and other friends over there. For he believes that these persons will keep their dangerous doctrine secret and try to attract people to their doctrine by illusion as the N. [Herrnhuters] did in N. [Savannah] and as Mr. N. [Bühler] did in N. [Purysburg]. For in public he has not preached anything else but evangelical dogma, as it is taught in our evangelical books. However, whenever he found people who inclined toward him or had good, weak, and docile minds [as they expressed it], then he went on further.
What an advantage and joy we have in our evangelical dogma! With it we can step in front of everybody’s ears, hearts, and conscience; we need no mental reservations and ambiguous words, but are ready for a genuine confession towards anybody. [With sorrow I remember Mr. Spangenberg’s procedures in Halle. Did he not pretend by mouth and deed that he would harmonize perfectly with the righteous doctrines of the University and the Orphanage, and did he not say many nice things to me about the life of Professor /August Hermann/ Francke and others?
Therefore, after my return from Herrnhut to Halle,43 I could not make his behavior accord with the opinion of Count von Zinzendorff, who told us during the meal that Mr. Spangenberg had accepted a call to Halle and that now one could hope that everything there would have a different appearance. Mr. Spangenberg kept under control for a long time and tried a few changes in the beginning; and, although he did not succeed right away because the then curate inspectors of the Latin school were keeping good order up to that time. He then tried it again and finally rose up publicly, since his brotherhood and followers had become stronger quietly, to the affliction of the dear Fathers in Halle, who had not expected such misconduct and deceit and had therefore delegated much power to him. The same he also did at Old Ebenezer, not only when he was there alone for the first time but also the second time, when he came together with Mr. Wesley.44 On important questions he gave short and thorough information, some things he denied, or he wrapped them up in such phrases that we did not know what to think of them.
[All the while these people do not wish to admit (as I have heard from them personally before) that they are separatists. Rather they have taken the deceptive name of the old Moravian church so that it may not be said that they are only a new sect, as they without doubt are, and at the same time very sly and hypocritical separatists.] May God open the eyes of such souls as are letting themselves be separated from the Evangelical Church in Germany by the make-believe and eloquence of such people, so that they may realize the danger and soon turn back.
Friday, the 1st of May. It is a great help to us in the community to consider carefully with its leaders all the matters that are necessary for the furtherance and preservation of good order and to be able to hear their opinion and judgment about things that are better known to a farmer than to a man of letters. Thereby we discover many misunderstandings, and it is possible to advise people who cannot agree to this or that or are overly hasty in their judgments. After the edification hour today I had such a conference in the dwelling of a Salzburger, which was a matter of great importance for me and for them, although it concerned an external affair. We often experience that a good purpose and intent do not always suffice to make a good plan; and therefore it is a good thing for one to advise the other with love. All together we are only one “corpus,” and therefore one limb has to help the other one. While the head is the most noble limb, the others, even the smallest and weakest ones, are not a null -- but stand in the service of the head. In our opinion all classes of Christianity should view each other in that way.1
Saturday, the 2nd of May. This morning a soldier brought me a letter from General Oglethorpe in which this gentleman announces with pleasure that he, from a letter he has received, can give us hope for an enlargement of our community through a new transport.2 He assures me anew that Colonel Stephens and Mr. Jones have orders to obtain seven horses for our community to be used for reconnaissance in our area; and, since this letter was dated already on the 17th of March, he probably imagines that his repeated order has been executed by now and that we are already supplied with the promised horses. He writes various things in praise of our community which, however, I do not accept. May God guide his heart to comply with the things I requested in my last extensive letter.
[Last night the old Kieffer asked me to come to his son’s /Jacob’s/ plantation today and to try, with the help and blessing of God, to put one and another thing in order. His son rowed me over in a boat; and I heard that the father was very disgruntled with his daughter, who had promised to marry the young shoemaker Zettler and then withdrew her promise. He wished me, in his and other family members’ presence, to teach her what was necessary according to the circumstances. Also, the young Mrs. /Anna Elisabeth/ Kieffer had been rebellious again some days ago. From this, new troubles have arisen between her, her husband, and his brothers and sisters, for which my ministry and consolation was wanted too. In accord with my knowledge and the grace I had previously prayed for, I talked enough to all of them so that they must well realize that their present situation is pure disorder and would not be found in themselves or persist in them if they would obey the word of God and convert and become like children, as they must become if they wish to enter the kingdom of God, where one loves righteousness (and everything that conforms to the will of God according to the law and the gospel). I also read to them the whole twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, from which everybody took his lesson. At last all of us said a humble prayer; and now I will wait to see how much or little the Lord will bless my desire to support Christian order in that family. There are many children and housemates; and one easily vexes the other, whereby discord is caused. This would not happen if they would turn back and become like children.
[Sunday, the 3rd of May. Mrs. Rauner burst in on me this evening while I was in an edifying and intimate conversation with a Christian man about the many good things that our beloved God gave us today from His word. She has apprenticed her son /Matthias/ to an Englishman at Old Ebenezer. Also a contract was made and signed by her and the master in the presence of witnesses; but, since the boy does not like it there because he cannot follow his old ways anymore, he ran away last night. His master was looking for him here today toward evening; and, since the mother did not wish to turn him over and the man wanted to take him by force, she ran to me with great shouting, as is her bad habit. I settled the matter very quickly, referred her and her son to the written contract, and at last succeeded in persuading her to send the boy back to his master. We in the community greatly prefer not to have this very ill-bred and thievish boy at our place, because we have already had many inconveniences on account of him. I had already told the Englishman the other day that it would be difficult to bring him to a good order and that I could not do anything else but admonish and tell the mother with earnest words not to give him shelter and illegal refuge. If he had any weighty problem, he would have to go to the authorities in Savannah. Quite a long time ago he served as an apprentice with a potter3 in Savannah but had run away from him too, and this was also his mother’s fault.]
Monday, the 4th of May. [Yesterday Holy Communion was announced to be held with the congregation on the second Whitsuntide holiday. It should have happened this coming Sunday Exaudi; but, since I had promised the German people in Savannah to preach the gospel to them them and to give Holy Communion to the ones who have prepared in a Christian way, we had to postpone it a little longer this time at our place. This morning the Spielbiegler woman came to me and suddenly wanted to be admitted because she has not participated for a long time. She is a very blind and miserable woman and is not to be convinced of her deadly and errant faith and about the fact that, despite her age, she is lacking conversion to God like Nicodemus before her. Those persons in the congregation who show their real awe of God by external gestures, words, and deeds and behave quite differently from her, she considers as dissemblers, and she imitates their gestures quite maliciously, but I could not convince her that that reveals the bad foundation of her heart. She would rather do without Holy Communion than believe that she still has a very uninstructed and unbelieving heart. She claims to have been a good Christian in Swabia,4 the preachers there loved and cherished her, she also has good books and therefore she does not know why she should become a good Christian only now, etc. She went away from me very angry and was also dissatisfied with my dear colleague, because he told her quite the same that she has to hear from now and has always heard from me from the word of God. May God open her eyes.]
Last night we had a very heavy thunderstorm with strong rain; but our dear God has, by His grace, averted all damage. The rain is very good for the soil, since we have not had penetrating rain for a long time. Although the worms have done much damage to the fields so that various people had to plant several times, it seems to be changing by and by and the damage shows only in the corn planted in April; whatever was put into the earth in March is standing very beautifully. This will be a good reminder for the people for the future, as one knows by experience that a special kind of black worms only appears in April and disappears later on. [The land on the other side of the mill river is not yet dry enough and therefore has not been planted; but there is still plenty of time even if it is not done until right after Whitsuntide, since] the soil is very rich, and everything there grows more quickly than elsewhere.
Tuesday, the 5th of May. This year the white mulberries have turned out very well, they are not only good for eating but especially they have new seeds from which to get young trees. I hope that some people of the community will sow this seed, which can now be gathered plentifully, and will raise mulberry trees for the propagation of which they have land enough. They can set them here and there on their plantations; as long as they are small and young they throw only a little shadow and, when they spread out, they richly pay for the place they are standing on by their leaves, on which the silkworms are fed. Although our people do not yet know how to handle the silk worms or have no spare time for it, it is still good to plant the trees beforehand. Subsequent times will change much, and they will without doubt be happy if they have thought in time of the trees, which cause no trouble and need no manuring or pruning.
We have now an obliging French5 woman in the vicinity who is willing to show our people all that is necessary for silk-making. She made some pounds of silk last month in Carolina and intends to hatch silk worms and spin silk again this summer; and she will also lend a helping hand to our orphanage if only enough leaves are available.
It is a great advantage in this country that, when the worms have cocooned in the spring, one can get new seeds after a short time, also young worms and new silk. The two girls who were designated by the orphanage to pick the mulberry leaves have made some mistake while picking, whereby the young leaves are being prevented from sprouting. The said French woman will show the manager how to pick the leaves most advantageously so that in the future the trees will not be prevented from sprouting soon again. Much seed is now being sown into the soil that will come forth already in three weeks and so give new mulberry trees, which will be set out in the fall.
Wednesday, the 6th of May. NN. [Barbara Maurer], a free and single person, was admonished by me in her hut today to show in all seriousness that she can be saved from her misery6 and dangerous condition, as our dear God has already sought in her by His word. I reminded her of some verses that were known to her. I could not talk to her about last night’s prayer hour, in which, by the help of God, we learned many necessary and practical things through the story in 2 Samuel 11, because she was detained from visiting the same because of worldly matters, as careless people are accustomed to do. For some time she has been rather discontented with me because she could not be admitted to Holy Communion in her obviously perverted mind;7 but today she was very calm and behaved in a way which made me believe that she liked my exhortation, which was in any case more evangelical than legal and flowed ex affectu misericordiae.8 Perhaps our Lord will bless it in her. [She is a simple but also vainglorious and malicious person, and this is the reason that nobody has wanted to marry her up to now.]
The defiant and impudent N. [Ernst] pretends much good now. Great poverty and other hard circumstances are oppressing him, wherefrom it is quite obvious that God is not content with him and his work. He is now steadily keeping to the word of God, acknowledges it, sees in it the voice of conscience and the claim of justice, and he has the intention to convert to God. Should he again break away or try to dissemble, then the hand of God will be more and more heavy upon him.
[Our listeners have received great edification from the beautiful poetry that our dear Mr. von Bogatzky has composed for our Ebenezer, and therefore some of them have asked my dear colleague to copy it several times so that they might be edified and reminded often. All of us had much pleasure when it was read privately and in public in town and at the plantations and was employed for our common edification, the same as other letters and messages received at that time. May God repay the worthy author many times for this benefaction.]
It would be a great favor to our congregation if we were provided with some copies of the Treasure Chest,9 which was printed and reprinted in Halle at various times. Perhaps God will awaken a benefactor to buy it for us. In our congregation we need not worry that people will be led away from the well of God’s word by it, as I have heard such worries in Germany from an honest servant of God who has now gone to rest; rather it will serve to lead us better and deeper into Holy Scriptures and their right application.
Thursday, the 7th of May. [was the feast of the Ascension. Yesterday during the evening prayer meeting a thunderstorm came up that soon passed away, but the rain lasted longer. Also this morning it looked much like rain, but it stayed rather dry and cool. The weather now is very fruitful.] The harmful worms are disappearing, and this encourages us to joy and to the praise of God.
[Kieffer and his wife /Anna/ had come from Purysburg to our divine service. Since they wish to travel home tomorrow, they called on me together with their children after the afternoon service to discuss at length the matter concerning the engagement of their daughter with the shoemaker Zettler. The father was, to be sure, of the opinion that his daughter now had a greater inclination towards him and would now renew her at first given but later withdrawn “yes.” However, he heard it differently, so the whole marriage is being dropped with Zettler’s consent. I have exhorted them to recognition and repentance of their sins, also to an apology to Zettler; and I warned them of some things which have been told me as improper. The father may now perform his fatherly functions on her and proceed with her ratione Disciplinae10 as she has deserved it. All their children are too willful.
[A while ago Zettler came to me separately and attested that he is making good use of this rejection as it is proper for Christians to do. He now seems to be on a good path to true Christianity so that I believe, if he would get a true helpmeet, his progress would become even more evident. Kieffer would like to have all of his children at our place for edification’s sake; therefore he would have gladly furthered the said marriage together with his wife and the whole family.]
Friday, the 8th of May. Yesterday our dear God gave us much edification from the gospel, at the plantations as well, and I hardly remember that in all my life the contemplation of Christ’s ascension and His being seated at the right hand of God has ever given me such blessings. May the Lord be praised a thousand times and give us faith. A believer now knows certainly and will become more and more certain that, whenever he dies, he will come to heaven; for he can sing with confidence: “No sin, no death shall stand in the, way, He holds the path free and pure, Hallelujah!”11 He may still meet with many difficuties, since many things are laid in his way every day, but he is still of good hope; for he has a Brother to the right hand of God through whom he may appear in the sight of God with joy and receive everything from the hands of his Father. Yes, with Jesus he has a breaker, of whom already the Old Testament prophesies, Micah 2:13: “The breaker is come before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and their Lord on the head of them.” Through this the words of the Easter song Auf, auf! mein Hertz mit Freuen . . . etc. were blessed in me anew, [especially] “I cling and keep on clinging to Christ as a member. If my head has got through, He will take me too. He pulls us through death, through the world, through sin and hardship, He pulls us through hell, I am always His companion. He penetrates into the hall of glory; and I always follow Him and cannot be turned back by any discomfort. No matter how great the fury, my Head takes me on, my Savior is my shield, which calms all fury. He brings us to the Pearly Gates that lead into heaven, on which the rhyme can be read into His golden words: ‘Whoever is disgraced with Him there will be crowned with Him here. Whoever dies with him there will be exalted with Him here. Hallelujah!’”
This morning at nine o’clock my dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, traveled to Savannah to preach to the German people there and to give some of them Holy Communion. May the Lord be with him there and with poor me here, and may He bless our work. Amen!
Saturday, the 9th of May. Today I visited somebody in our community; and, since the person who has been mentioned often [since the 6th of May] happened to come along, I admonished both of them at the same time. The admonishment aimed at the complete and sincere surrender of their hearts to our dear Savior; if that would come about, I said, and they would keep praying and pleading, then things would soon become better and they would be placed into a rather blissful condition. It also seemed to me that, by the grace of God, this found an entrance into them. May He help me see the desired fruit therefrom to His praise and glory!
Yesterday and today I read in the New Testament the story of how our Lord Jesus taught His followers about humility both with words as well as with examples, Matthew 18:1 ff., Mark 9 and Luke 9, which is a very lovely and agreeable story. May the Lord bless it! It is something special that the Lord Jesus says: “And whoso shall receive one little such child in my name receiveth me,” etc. May our dear benefactors also remember this. Whatever they bestow on our orphanage and other poor members of Christ, who are like those children and try to become like them more and more, yea, whatever else they donate in good hope for the children and adults in our community and at our orphanage, even if they are not yet as they ought to be, our Lord Jesus will look on all this as if it happened to Him. The Lord Jesus says: “He that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” How could any person be more honored in this world than thus? That is indeed very marvelous. [Yea,] this and what else is said in the lovely story will make sweet and pleasant the work of all those who have to do with children. May He himself help us. When I came out of the room where the prayer hour was held, I met a woman in the front of the house who was carrying her child in her arms. She said she will spare no pains and work now to take proper care of her child.
Sunday, the 10th of May. [As often as we have met today, the Lord has given us His help and blessings for the preaching of His word.] It is a great benefaction of our Lord that we can come together undisturbed, nobody disturbs us even between and after the sermons. Whoever wants to can further meditate on what he has heard and gather from it a real blessing for eternity. It is a shame that Sundays are esteemed so little by most people in Christendom. Some of them drone it away loosely, others [the freethinkers] believe it is a day like other days, even though our dear God has promised to bless it if it is celebrated in the right way as, thank God, many people in Christendom and also among us can say from experience. May our dear God restrain all desecrations of the Sabbath and avert the judgments which are to come upon Christianity because of it.
Monday, the 11th of May. My journey ended this afternoon when our dear God brought me and my travelling companions, among them a redeemed12 German man from Savannah, back to Ebenezer healthy and happy, where I found everything in good order. In Savannah I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with right special joy; for I not only remained healthy and my body and soul were strengthened noticeably in spite of my many tasks in performing my ministry, but I have also seen my hope fulfilled that this time God has not let me be in Savannah in vain, but to His glory and to the benefit of the people there. This time Mr. Causton’s house was assigned to me and my companions as a lodging, since he is living at his plantation /Ockstead/. There the German people had a better opportunity to come together to hear the word of God and for prayer. They assembled on Friday evening and on both the following days in the morning and evening; and, after the singing of the songs, I tried to urge upon them the edifying texts from the Holy Scriptures. The texts were: Psalms 55:20, Romans 8:1 and 31:32, and Romans 5:1. Saturday at noon, when the people from the plantations had come in too, the preparation for Holy Communion was held in church; and on Sunday morning the people who wished to make confession came to me, some of them having called on me privately at my room already the day before. After the singing of a song, the verse: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him . . . etc.” was inculcated in them, so that nobody else might appear than those who, after an exact examination, found themselves as God wishes them in His word. The Sunday sermon concerned the regular gospel for Exaudi Sunday and the unspeakably great benefaction of the inherence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of repentants and believers and its strong and blessed consequences. In the afternoon everything was repeated and completed by the dear words: Romans 5:1: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” which remained from the other day’s contemplation. I have a childlike confidence in God, that He will know how to maintain the many good emotions which He has brought forth in the hearts of our listeners by His word and lead them to the right way and essence of Christianity.
A woman followed me to my room with her child and testified with tears that God has comforted her very much by His word; and, since she could not remember by heart one of the main verses, namely Isaiah 61:1-3, she sent her little girl to me with her Bible to mark it for her. She repented and bewailed that previously she had sometimes gone to the Lord’s table unworthily. She will not repeat this but will honestly open her heart to the Lord Jesus, and she also earnestly commended herself to my prayer and intercession. I gave her Arndt’s True Christianity, of which she will make good use. I also gave this beautiful book and New Testament to others whom I know as being eager for edification. By the grace of God I was able on Sunday to lead four children to our Lord Christ through Holy Baptism, for which honor and grace I consider myself quite unworthy. For use of the German people at their Sunday meetings I brought with me an edifying collection of gospels and epistles, which was a pleasing treasure for them.
Besides the aforementioned matters, God gave me the pleasure of receiving a little box with medicines and various books from the highly esteemed Society, which Captain Thomson has kept on his ship at Frederica up to now; and at the same time Mr. Oglethorpe sent the following letter to me:
“Frederica April 25th, 1741.
Your lettres to England were received and greatly approved of and The Proposal I made pursuant to your Desire for Sending over a Number of German Protestants for encreasing the Congregation at Ebenezer was approved by The Ministry and ordered to be layed before Parliament that Sufficient funds might be found for that purpose, what the Parliament have done there upon I don’t yet know. The following Parcells came in a Box directed to me from the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, which I forward unto you by Mr. Upton. If there is any thing that I can be of use to you please acquaint me” etc.
Shortly after this I received via Charleston a package of letters from Europe, wherein I also found the message that the three chests mentioned the other day containing linen, books, and other gifts from Halle and Augsburg were sent by the same ship that brought us the letters. However, since Colonel Stephens has not yet heard anything from his correspondent in Charleston about the delivery of these chests, necessity demanded me to go to his room and write to the correspondent [on that account], which letter Colonel Stephens also accompanied with a few lines, so that we now will hear, with the first opportunity, what happened to the chests. Last year during the prayer-weeks God gave us much pleasure, which I have often remembered; and I have hoped the Lord will hear the prayers of His children and give us the pleasure of new letters and other promised gifts. My heart therefore was aroused to a special joy and to the praise of God when I entirely unexpectedly received the beautiful letters and messages in Savannah even before the Exaudi or “Granting-Sunday.”
Among other things I received the extract of a letter from dear Mr. v. M. [von Münch], our very esteemed benefactor, wherein he expresses his deep desire that those German people in America who are badly provided with the word of God, the Holy Sacraments, and the necessary spiritual care will also be helped to obtain salvation. This extract about the great misery of most of the people in America I was reading with special emotion when a German woman came to my room in Savannah and asked me to hold an edification hour for her and others who had gathered this very Friday evening. God will help us and grant us wisdom and strength so that we can use our short time not only for the best of our own congregation, but also for other German people in this and the neighboring province, as is also our heart’s desire.
The struggle for bread and the love of all earthly things are a dangerous snare for them. To a few of them sin has become their second nature. Most of them have injured their consciences through ingratitude and faithlessness in their duty. For the Lord Trustees have done much for the German servants, have provided for them well, and have given them so much provisions and money for their surely bad work that, if they see fit to do so, they can start their own household and buy several head of cattle and other animals. Others around Savannah and Frederica indeed do not have it as good as the men and women servants of the Lord Trustees in Savannah. I believe, if they would do penance, their unfaithfulness, unthankfulness, and other bad conduct would drop as a heavy burden upon their hearts.
When, after reading the letters we had received, I held a prayer meeting on the verse, Psalms 55:10: “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God ...” I reminded them of the great good they have received in this country from the hands of God contrary to their deserts and merits, by which God wishes to lead them to repentance or to a true change. In Germany it looks rather miserable, I said, because of scarcity, inundations, and the threatening rumors of war and other tribulations, so that many a soul sighs like David in the 55th Psalm: “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away, and be at rest . . . etc.” I heard from several people that they are beginning to realize that God has shown them more benefactions during these three years than they could think of in their whole life in their fatherland. Therefore they do not wish to have back even their little finger (as their expression is). May God convert them all, [and let cease the partiality they have against each other as Reformed and Lutherans. To be sure, the Reformed eagerly attend our sermons and have their children baptized by us; otherwise they are full of prejudices and stubbornly insist on their mouth belief. We do not lead them to men’s doctrines and ceremonies, but to Christ, the only way of truth and life.]
The fact that we have withdrawn from these people for some time did not do any harm. It seems to me that this has made some people even more desirous of the word of God. I perceive that the books we have distributed are of good use, so that I hope the benefactors will find a blessing and sweet fruit therefrom in blissful eternity, such as they have sown with all their other charities. Oh how dear to me are the letters I have just received, for from them we receive not only messages about the life and state of health of our Fathers and friends but also much material for a heartfelt pleasure and for the praise of God. From them I again hope for a great blessing for the orphanage and the parish. May God prepare me in the right way to be able to make good use of the instructive and consoling contents of these letters for myself and the parish.
In spite of the fact that things are dear in Germany and matters look poorly here and there, the Lord has moved the hearts of various dear benefactors to refresh us, the community, and the orphanage with their very benevolent contributions of money. How marvelous is God! The orphanage was in need, but my heart and even more so the heart of the orphanage manager /Kalcher/ were comforted by God’s promise. During the last two months He blessed the work of two orphan girls, who made seventeen pounds of silk, which were sold in Savannah last Friday for 3 ь 8 sh. Sterling; from this amount the manager was supposed to meet expenses until God sent us something again. No sooner was the money received than I received the mentioned letters with the faith-strengthening message that God has passed on to the dear orphanage in Halle something per legatum,13 from which our orphanage will receive 100 Reichsthaler. Furthermore, our dear God has again sent something into the hands of Mr. N. [Senior Urlsperger] whereby our people shall be refreshed. Oh, He helps the wretched splendidly! God has also remembered Mr. Thilo, so that 20 pounds Sterling will be sent to him as a present by the Honorable Society in addition to what the Lord Trustees have promised to do for his provisioning. May God make us vigorous and active to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord and His people, so that the intention of the worthy benefactors will be achieved in all of us.
[The two Zueblis came from the orphanage at Savannah to celebrate the divine service and Holy Communion together with us. The younger /Johann Jacob/ Zuebli begged our pardon for behaving so badly in his emotion the other day because of Mrs. Rheinlaender. He had wished to ask my pardon already four weeks ago when he wanted to go to work at the orphanage,14 but his bashfulness prevented him from doing so. May God make him wise and careful through his mistakes and especially by His word.]
Many could not realize at the beginning that we had only their welfare at heart in spiritual and bodily needs, but after some time they realized it and testified to it. But some willful natures have also, against all advice, thrown themselves into misfortune, inconvenience, and danger; and afterwards their arrogance has prevented them from admitting their mistakes and from warning others by their example.
On my way back I visited a dangerously ill woman at Purysburg [whom the doctor has probably ruined even more]; she knew several gospel verses by heart, which I clearly expounded to her and urged on her heart. Everything was done to bring her to true acknowledgment and penitent feeling of her sins and of the deep perdition of her heart so that, as a miserable and heavily laden person like the great sinner in Luke 7 and the prodigal son in Luke 15, she may come to Christ and through Him to the Father. I also gave her some medicine.
Tuesday, the 12th of May. The missionary Mr. Obuch in brotherly love has sent us the report printed in Tranckenbar about the progress of God’s work among the Malabars in 1738,15 of which we will make good use by the help of God in tonight’s evening prayer meeting. I believe that, because of their thoughtlessness, Christian people realize much too little what an important task the conversion of the heathens of East India represents. But we are glad that honest people can still be found in Europe who, according to their means and at least by hearty prayers, are promoting this important task, which our dear God is also blessing by the conversion of many souls. If anyone knows what conversion and real Christianity mean and how much work our dear God has with those who have heard His word from their very infancy and sometimes with vigorous revivals, he will consider every converted Malabar a living miracle of God and will be edified by it. For our people it was pleasing to hear from this short report something about the condition of this praiseworthy institution, which is established for the conversion of these miserable heathens. Some of our people may use this partly for humiliation because of their present disloyalty toward the grace of the Lord, partly for emulation in the seriousness of their Christianity, partly for a hearty prayer for a blessed progress of the mission. If we had some spare time now, we would write to the worthy Mr. Obuch, but we are shortly before the holy days and in a week in which we have to do one thing and another with the confessors.
Wednesday, the 13th of May. (I.N.I.A.) [Tomorrow in the early morning our boat will leave for Savannah with some calves; and, since Colonel Stephens is willing to send a packet of letters to the Lord Trustees soon after the holidays, a few have been written today as an answer to the lately received ones and have been packed together with the recently written letters and the present diary in order to send them to the said gentleman tomorrow morning for safe forwarding. The letters now to be sent are addressed to the Head Chaplain Ziegenhagen, to Senior Urlsperger, and to Dr. /Gottlieb August/ Francke. We have also written to Mrs. von Hesslin, to Pastor Meyer in Halle, to Pastor Holeisen, and to Privy Councilor Walbaum at Saalfeld; and]; The Austrian /Johann/ Schmidt* has sent in our packet a long letter to his brother Thomas Schmidt, day laborer in N. [Regensburg].16 Time was too short, otherwise some others of the community would also have written.
As soon as the boxes arrive and the presents are distributed we will send a report about it to our benefactors, and by then we will make up for what has now been left undone. We rightly consider it as an example of the special providence that is ruling over us that the letters written to us arrived safely and that none of the items we have transmitted through this dangerous and unsafe voyage has been lost up to now. Our dear God surely knows how important it is for our dear Fathers and benefactors to receive reports of our circumstances and on the other hand of what a blessing it is for our community to receive the reports and written admonitions from Europe. This time also General Oglethorpe’s two letters, which followed one another closely, have been properly answered; and at the same time some matters have been reported that will, as I hope, be pleasing to him and also useful to us, by God’s direction.
The good people in N.’s [Kieffer’s] family cause much unrest and pain to themselves from which they could be relieved if they would not conform to the views of other people in this country in many so-called indifferent matters. Because they do not want to earn their bread by the sweat of their brows but want to have it easier like others in N. [Carolina], they bought three Negroes or Moorish slaves some time ago, for whom they still owe the money and have to give ten percent annual interest, as it is customary here. One of the slaves ran away at the very beginning and ruined both his feet in the water and cold so that they had to be amputated.17 Then last Monday one of them, on whom they depended very much, left and cannot be found again. Twice, while traveling from Purysburg to our place, their boat turned over and they lost various things and came into mortal danger. NN. [the young Mrs. /Anna Elisabeth/Kieffer] told me today they realized that they had deserved such misfortune because of their sins, [wherein the confused marriage matter bore a great share. With much effort the senior /Theobald/ Kieffer and his wife /Anna Margarita/have finally persuaded their daughter to keep to her promise to marry Zettler. She claims that her heart is now inclined towards him quite otherwise than before. May God grant them to do atonement for their confusion, otherwise they will not take many blessings with them to their married state. Lately I told both their parents that they allow their grownup children too much willfulness, and much evil comes from that because it is against the order of God. Who can hope for blessings in that case?]
Thursday, the 14th of May. N.N. [shoemaker Adde] intends to go to the Lord’s table coming Whitsuntide Monday, therefore I took the opportunity to talk with him about his spiritual condition and to show him the simple way of atonement and belief to come to Christ, the only physician and helper, for which I especially used the verse: “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden,” etc. Many people are of the opinion that they can become Christians even without Christ, partly by casting from their mind the sins and indiscretions done in youthful offense, partly as if they could wipe out the former stain through formal religious exercises and through the means of Christianity. Therefore, since they do not crawl to the cross as penitent sinners, their guilt and punishment are not extinguished and their hearts are not cleansed by the blood of Christ in order that afterwards new obedience or improvement of life may be brought about by the article of justification on a genuine evangelical basis. They very likely say: “to do it no more will be the best atonement,” but this is a vain doctrine even if it can be found in books, because I have experienced how blind people stick obstinately to it. Since this N. [shoemaker] did not like it at Ebenezer in all the ways of the flesh, he was rather inclined to move back to Savannah, and would also have fallen in with NN. [the Herrnhuter Hagen] for the sake of material aid. He has, however, found the right way again. I told him that when unpleasant things happen in the world, a person should not seek aid from other persons but should see the chastising and correcting hand of God, who truly tries through the law and the gospel, which are the real means, to wake up sinners from their sleep of security and to lead them to atonement. If, however, He does not attain His purpose by this, He will come with afflictions too, etc. Only in retrospect does one realize how well it was meant, especially since God’s gravity is always tempered with love and mercy. He understood it well and thanked God, who was still showing him mercy and was not making him suffer too much.
[Our merciful God has again given us a blessing at the beginning from two letters that have been read both at the orphanage and at today’s evening prayer meeting; and we hope by His grace that also in this week before Whitsuntide He will strongly awaken us with the remaining ones to truly enter into prayer, so that we will partake of all the wonderful good that is eagerly requested for us from God in the letters, but especially the best gift of the Holy Spirit; that He grants us His divine help for the evangelical exercise of the superscribed fatherly admonitions and that we have a sure testimony from God’s loyalty that we are His children.]
We have received many assurances from all our letters that prayers are being said for our Ebenezer in many, many places by many righteous ministers and parishioners and also by pious children (as is testified by the refreshing letters written to us from the Halle orphanage); and therefore this evening we remembered both the dearest promises of Christ in John 16:23, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask,” etc. and also those things we had previously read from the story of the diligent and blessed man of prayer, the prophet Samuel, who did not cease from praying for the Children of Israel, for which reason the well merited judgments were postponed during his lifetime but broke forth in great number after his death. Praise be to God, who has several such Samuels in Europe and especially in our beloved fatherland. Since he has not relieved them from their posts but rather has animated them by His spirit to plead and pray, such will be useful not only to us but also to our dear fatherland. It is comforting to us that, in the powerful prayer that was offered on the first day of the year 1741 in all the Evangelical churches of Augsburg, our dear Ebenezer too was remembered in a very hearty way before God and man.
Friday, the 15th of May. Today on the plantations I also started reading the letters we have received; and in this our dear God has given us a fine preparation for the holy day, at which these admonitions were aimed too. It was surely not in vain that God let us receive such dear and fervent letters from Europe last year and now again shortly before Whitsuntide; rather, from these and other things we should recognize His fatherly love and providence that rule over us. Without doubt He will reinforce the work we have done so far on the souls of our listeners close at hand through the lively encouragement of His servants from far away so that, through the conversion of all listeners, the present Whitsuntide will become as memorable as it was previously for [the inhabitants of Zezenow and] others. Oh, what a special grace our people enjoy in spiritual and physical things in comparison with others in Germany, for which we encouraged each other to a hearty and active praise of God. God has granted much spiritual emotion through this edification, and nobody stays away, so the Lord seizes at every soul and tries to bring it around. Even the mothers come a long way with their smallest children for His word [the edification hour]. In connection with the former and the present letters I must call to all of them, “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain,” for else there will be a stern judgment.
NN [tailor Christ] is still asking to be admitted again to the orphanage, since he is not able to earn as much as he needs for clothing and food. Because the dear Lord has now granted another physical blessing to the orphanage [through the hands of the worthy Senior Urlsperger and Dr. /Gottlieb August/ Francke] so that we can buy some items of clothing for grown-ups and children and therefore can give N. [Christ] enough work and also because the good of his soul and body requires it, we are inclined to accept him again, hoping he will recognize better than before the grace of God that the people of the orphanage are experiencing. He belongs, to be sure, to those who often let the work of conversion start in them powerfully but do not wish earnestly to deny and mortify themselves and crucify all desires. Since some desires still remain uncrucified, he is, before he realizes it, again carried away by them; and his unfounded Christianity soon becomes evident. He acknowledges and promises much and also attended today’s edification hour at the plantations where he is working now and, as he says, has received much edification.
Two Salzburgers from the plantations had business in Savannah yesterday and returned this afternoon. They came to my room and at their heartfelt request I informed them about the good that the Lord had granted the others at today’s gathering from the letters I had read to them, and this greatly pleased them. I gave one of them the short report of the East Indian mission from 1738 so he himself could read what the Lord is doing for the heathens there, which I had mentioned only briefly on the plantations. He already knew various matters from the compendium of the mission reports edited by Pastor Kleinknecht, which was given to him for reading some time ago.
Saturday, the 16th of May. /Hans Michael/Held, an unmarried redemptioner, had been a servant at the orphanage together with his father /Conrad/ before the siege of St. Augustine; but he let an untimely desire for freedom trap him into military service, and he as well as others came off so badly that he will think of it as long as he lives. His father even lost his life there. After his return he begged to be admitted again to our place, to which I was not so inclined at the beginning, especially because he had not brought a good testimonial. However, since, although uninvited, he had made a dangerous and fatiguing journey on land to return to us and since the Salzburgers needed a cowherd at the plantations, we tolerated him here; and our marvelous God blessed this for the salvation of his soul. He sees the grace of God in the fact that he was not called to eternity with others, but has still time for atonement; and he has prepared himself for the Lord’s table, to which he has now been admitted for the first time after his return, in such a way that it was edifying for myself and others. He regrets very much that he had not wished to obey previously and therefore had to feel the heavy hand of God. He is now trustworthy in his work, whereas previously, with better provisioning than he now has, he let us observe much naughtiness [his many tricks, perfidy, and hypocrisy].
This evening we came together according to yesterday’s public announcement in order to prepare for tomorrow’s Hold Whitsuntide [where we put into our prayers the things we had learned from the letters we had received and where we asked in the name of Jesus through the Holy Spirit for all the best in time and eternity for our dear benefactors. May our heavenly Father hear all this by virtue of the merits, intercession, and most precious promises of His son, our Savior: “Verily, verily I say unto you, if you but ask something of your father,” etc.]
Sunday and Monday were Holy Whitsuntide. Our dear God has granted us much outward peace, good weather, and bodily strength to celebrate together this Holy Whitsuntide without any impediments or disturbances. On the first holy day the divine service was divided, but on the second day we were all together in town and fifty-one persons went to Holy Communion. Our dear God did great things to us ministers as well as to many of our listeners through His word and holy sacraments, as we could see from their emotions and tears. The greatest part, however, we will recognize after the feast from their words and conduct. Just as our dear God has gladly given us a gentle and penetrating rain recently, by which He has wished to refresh our thirsty soil and plants, just as gladly, yea even a thousand times more gladly has He wished to send all of us the Holy Spirit in Christ through the gospel and sermon; and many parched and thirsty souls, which are a spiritual Zion, participated in this very best and dearest gift, for which may the Lord be praised!
The room destined for holding church was too small because the adjoining chamber has to be used for storing various victuals and outside the room the listeners’ attention will be very much distracted by the windows, and therefore I have ceded my study along with the adjoining spacious bedroom for the meeting. Also, because there is a spacious hallway in front of the study, many people can assemble here and almost everybody can see the minister through the wide open doors. The beginning was made here on this holy day and, thank God, to our and the listeners’ great relief. After the holy day the church construction will be taken up again in earnest, since the people have been very busy with the cultivation of their fields up to now. One thing has precedence over the other, and we hereby make use of our Christian freedom.
Tuesday, the 19th of May. This forenoon Kieffer’s third daughter /Elisabeth Catherine/ was married to Zettler. Before and during the ceremony I told them both so much from the word of God that, if they will comply with it, they will be happy people now and in eternity. The parents are very glad that the marriage has taken place, for they would like to have all their children at our place for very good reasons. They still have three uneducated children at home, who were at the orphanage some time ago. They will now board these children with the young married couple and have them to go school again.
Various good garden plants were shown to me in the orphanange garden, especially some apples on the trees, which are the first ones at our place. Thus God gives one thing after the other. Peaches and plums of different kinds we have in great quantity this year; all the trees, even the small ones, are hanging so full that they will break if they are not supported. Although the wheat and rye have been eaten up many times by a certain kind of small hare,18 they are still so beautiful that one cannot want them better. People here have a variety of garden plants but no cabbage, because the worms have eaten up many hundreds of plants down to the roots. The mulberry seeds, which were sown a short time ago, are already sprouting in great quantity, and we hope to get so many young trees from them that we will be able to supply our whole place with them.
If people apply diligently to this land, almost everything grows, as far as I can see, just as in Germany; and various things grow even better and more abundantly, so that it can be called a very blessed country. Because of the lack of people, time, and tools, many things in the country remain useless and cannot be turned to advantage. For example, nobody goes fishing,19 although the most beautiful fish can be seen in great numbers in the large and small rivers near the town and are sometimes caught by the boys with their fishing poles. At the orphanage they showed me a very beautiful carp20 which someone had caught with a small fishhook. God is heartily praised in the orphanage for His mercy, and therefore He will send His gifts to old and young people for their well-being and will always give as much as is necessary for our support. The promise of our Lord is comforting to me: “My people shall be satisfied with my goodness.”
Wednesday, the 20th of May. Some boys and girls from the orphanage in Halle have written simply and cordially to our orphans; and from these letters, which are very pleasing to me too, I read to children and grown-ups at the orphanage today after the meal. As I noticed, the Lord did not leave this without His blessings. As soon as I can I shall also read the rest of them, for our dear God will give much material to my hand [as has happened today too] to tell our people what they should know for a right foundation in Christianity, even if a beginning is made already, and for Christian caution.
[From the orphanage in Halle our orphanage enjoys much spiritual and physical good. May our heavenly Father richly repay this for the sake of His Son, and may He let so many children be born in spirit from this as there is dew from the dawn.]
The weather is so comfortable and fruitful this spring that every pious heart is awakened to a cordial praise of God. The nights are always cool and have a heavy dew; and during the day the heat of the sun is very much tempered by the cool air. The soil has not lacked moisture up to now, and therefore even the late planted corn is growing rather beautifully. The water in the mill river has fallen so steadily that the people can plant their plantations at the mill river without hindrance; it is even not too late to plant corn there because the rich soil drives the plants upward very quickly.
Thursday, the 21st of May. A conflict arose between two women who want to be better than others, and I tried to settle it. They both wanted to be right, as unconverted people are accustomed to do. The necessary advice has been given to both of them, and at the right time our righteous God will reveal right or wrong, both in their consciences as well as outwardly, as He has done already several times. When people do not wish to be convinced, we cannot do anything else but put it on their own consciences and tell them how much God loathes lies, falseness, and crookedness and how sharply He is accustomed to punish such sins, especially if they happen at hearings before the authorities or ministers. A girl was the cause of this dissension; and, because she was impudent and frivolous, she received her penalty in the presence of her mother.
Today a few letters were written, one of them to a German mason at Charleston in which I inquired about N., a carpenter [Volmer who left us five years ago. He was brought into this country by Mr. Spangenberg, and now his wife does not know what became of him].21 After the great fire much is being built in Charleston; and this carpenter has probably taken work there, if he is still alive, which I, however, doubt very much. I also wrote a letter to the young Mr. /Johann/ Giessendanner, present preacher at Orangeburg, or [as they also write it:] Oranienburg. I informed him that a gift of money [making nine guilders] was collected in Switzerland for him, concerning which a distinguished merchant in Zürich writes that, because the older Mr. /Johann Ulrich/ Giessendanner has died, the money should be delivered to his son or grandson.22 As soon as possible we will also send him the books which are being sent to him in the chests that we are still expecting to receive. I would have liked to send him the money earlier if there had only been a safe opportunity. I am asking him to write to me now and then as the late Mr. Giessendanner did, which might be of use to us.
This time our worthy Dr. /Gottlieb August/ Francke has again written us several long and very edifying letters, the reading of which I have purposely postponed till after the Whitsuntide holidays because, prior to the holy days we were using, for our benefit and that of the parish, some short but powerful letters from our Fathers and friends and were drawing many blessings from them instead of from the preparation. It was very impressive for us that the letter I read today was, contrary to all expectation, an answer to our letter dated this very day a year ago, from which we and our people received many salutary admonitions with regard to the spiritual and physical benefits we had enjoyed and still expected to enjoy and our clearly resulting duty towards God, our neighbors, and ourselves. Oh! God has done great things in all of us from the beginning, and it is very salutary for us to be reminded of it often. What we have not or only too little realized previously we now learn to know better and better by the aid of those beautiful letters and by the grace of God, so that we may praise Him for every benefit with a beautiful song, as David did.
What we were told of the wrong and unfounded method of the NN [Herrnhuters] to convert people, we have found proved in some examples, [e.g., in the case of the renegade tailor Herrnberger, Grüning, and another one who lives not far away from us]. NN [Herrnberger] was once on the right path to recognize his sins and to delve deeply in atonement; but some time later he fell by the wayside and considered it a law; and he put into the head of a pious woman various false, untrue, and slanderous things against the right order of penance and against the ministerial office. At this I remembered what I had read in the late Dr. Rogall’s jubilation sermons23 as a lovely extract from Luther, which I intend to read to our parish for their instruction; because it may also serve some people who will also read parts of it in our diary, I will enclose it hear. Page 29 reads as follows.
“But who can sufficiently express the misery caused by the fact that there are still people among us who fancy they have proceeded far on the path of salvation and who pass severe judgments on their neighbors and think they are fathers and mothers in Christ even though they have never laid a firm foundation in the penance of dead works and have never brought the Lord the sacrifices that please Him, namely, a broken spirit and a broken and a contrite heart (Psalms 51:19). Therefore, in their entire behavior they show through their dominating pride, obstinacy, anger, unkindness, and other sins that they have, to be sure, arrived at some new insights into divine truths but not to a new birth from God. In Luther’s day there were some people who claimed right extraordinary things, strutted about with a great appearance of external sanctity, and won the admiration of the best minds through their righteous speeches and apparent good behavior, so much so that Luther’s most intimate friend, Philipp Melanchthon, learned to love them and even accepted one of them into his house. However, when he detected so much impurity in these people, which he could not reconcile with their claims, he asked Luther how he should behave towards them. Along with other things in his answer Luther gave him the admonition to examine their spirits to see whether they suffered the terror and fear in their souls which all the saints had experienced. If they had not experienced that, but claimed only sweet, pleasant, and agreeable conversations with God, then he should not trust them; for the divine Majesty cannot hold intimate conversations with the Old Adam unless he is first mortified and dried out, for it is a consuming fire.”
In Savannah Mr. /Thomas/ Jones told me an almost identical example of a very pious merchant from N. [New York] whom he has already known as a righteous man for some years. This man fell for the beautiful words and the good semblances of NN. [Mr. Spangenberg] in such a way that he lodged him in his house, hoping to have a special profit in his Christianity from him and his special association. After a few months, however, he became aware of so many impurities and crooked things, that he could not reconcile them with the simplicity and truth of Christianity. Therefore he disengaged from him and asked said Mr. Jones in a letter about the nature of these people (the Herrnhuters) of whom N.N. [Mr. Spangenberg] without doubt had spoken in the highest terms.
Friday, the 22nd of May. Before the edification hour on the plantations I visited /Anna Catherina/ the wife of N.N. [Hans Maurer] because her throat ailment is not improving, although on Mr. Thilo’s advice we have given her some of our most dependable medicine. I pointed out to her that, according to St. Luke 18:1 ff. and James 5:13-18 the best medicine in many, even the most dangerous, sicknesses is a pious, earnest, and continuous prayer; both verses I found and read to her. It says in the last verse that it is not the remedy one uses but the prayer of belief that will help the patient and also will be of great value for the soul. She thinks only little of her own prayer; but she is very glad to know that so many believers in the world are praying for our community and that this may include her circumstances so that the dear God may make it tolerable for her.
About her husband, who was out working, she told me that he came home in great emotion on the second Whitsuntide Holiday and told her with tears in his eyes about the grace he had felt from the preaching of the gospel. This testimony pleased me greatly because, since I had been troubled after the holy day, I was now comforted again at hearing that the Lord had blessed His word on these and other souls. Her husband had formerly had a hard and indifferent heart; but, since his wife was touched by Jesus, a remarkable change was also noted in the husband. She also testified that he is very patient with her and is satisfied the way things are, although her sickness had lasted a very long time already and she cannot help him much with the household.
During the reading of two letters [from Dr. /Gottfried August/ Francke] at today’s meeting I remembered the hard conditions which our wonderful but also merciful God let come to our community at New Ebenezer, when we all got sick and some married couples had to be in bed at the same time and neglect their work and nobody could help the other one. However, our dear God has also sent us a period in which they got healthy again and could perform their work unhindered. This memory brings us much comfort, joy, and religious strength. In the continuing hardship of their work the Salzburgers were directed by these letters to the wise and good commandment of God: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” in which not only the commandment of God but also a lovely promise can be seen. I remembered what I had said in the fields a few days ago to a weak worker, who sometimes had to work in vain, for even if it seems that nothing is coming out of his work, it is of sufficient value that he is doing the will of God and remaining in the divine order.24 For to do the will of God is an angelic business and certainly has its reward, even if not the way we wish it, but certainly as God wills it and that is all right. Whatever the righteous man doeth, that turneth out well. [God also granted us much material for edification; and the Salzburgers were reminded of many physical and spiritual benefactions of God which they have enjoyed from their departure from Salzburg up to this place, and this is necessary and salutary to them.]
The N.N. [shoemaker Adde] who comes from N. [Tübingen], has asked me several times already to write a letter to his old mother, who is a widow [in Tübingen], and I could not refuse to today when he told me the contents. He had very much offended his mother and had also come to this country without her knowledge and permission, and therefore he has probably caused her many sighs. This, together with many other youthful sins, is now stirring his conscience; therefore he is now apologizing to her for everything and wishes to repay her for all the sorrow caused her and also to pay her travel expenses overseas to our place if she should find an opportunity to travel to this country. [This same shoemaker requested me to return his thanks to the worthy Senior Urlsperger for all the good he has received for his soul from his letters, and this I do herewith. Many in the community wish in humbleness and love to have a good verse (as they expressed it) written to Senior Urlsperger and other worthy benefactors. However, we are accustomed to summarize them in our letters in the greetings from the whole community.]
Saturday, the 23rd of May. Last night before the prayer meeting a strong rain fell which lasted for a few hours, refreshed the soil again, and made it fruitful. At this time it is a great blessing of the Lord, since it very much helps the young corn that had to be planted late because of the worms. We still held the prayer meeting, since I wished to read the last letter so that next week we could continue in the contemplation of the story from the Old Testament. [This evening in the prayer meeting my dear colleague is, as is customary every fortnight, to catechize a piece from the cathechism, which now follows with the second article.]
N.N. [Christian Riedelsperger] is showing great earnestness and truth in his Christianity, and therefore it is easy to get along with him. He has a real Christian conscientiousness, even for his relatives at other places; and he tries to help them with his prayers. He has written several times to some of them in the Empire; but he presumes that such letters were not well accepted, because he has received no answer yet. He considers it the greatest blessing that God has shown him in his life that Senior Urlsperger helped him, according to God’s dispensation, to come to Ebenezer. He is in no way selfish and does not bear the world in his mind; yet God is richly blessing him in his external work so that he is very well off, whereby he serves his neighbor in every way. He still has to receive the blessings of the orphanage, for he is an honest friend of it, although I have not been able to repay him for his kind services so far.
Sunday, the 24th of May. On today’s Trinity Sunday we dealt with the marvelous gospel St. John 3,1 ff. about the important differences between nature and grace; and in illustration of this most important and necessary material we read aloud in the evening prayer meeting about the example of the town mayor of Erfurt who was thoroughly converted to God, which example Pastor Sommer has printed in Cöthen along with some other tracts. Glory be to God, who by His words and by this example has edified and awakened us in a special way to work earnestly for our salvation. When I have to preach the word of God in town alone and my dear colleague has to do his work for the parish at the plantations, I treat, for my own and the audience’s sake, only one main subject of the gospel in the morning and afternoon and repeat it with young and old people as much as time and strength allow. Our dear God does not leave this without His blessings, as I heard today again from the joyful confession of a righteous woman.
After the divine service at the plantations a pious man confessed and repented his former blindness to my dear colleague, which he will remember in a salutary way every year on Trinity Sunday when the respective gospel is preached. In a repetition hour treating today’s gospel five years ago, it was attested to young and old people that, as far as one can see, only a few of us show unmistaken marks of rebirth and therefore only a few would see the kingdom of God and enter it, if they did not come to a true change. Now because both this dear man and others to whom one cannot deny a good beginning were startled at this and considered it to be a hard speech, they joined together in order to ask me about it. He can no longer remember what kind of an answer I gave to them, but he still knows this much, that I was very depressed because of their self-justification. Perhaps I myself thought that it was too rigorous and that we would alienate the affections of people by this, etc.; but God convinced this man and others by and by of the necessity and possibility of a new birth and brought them to a blessed experience of the same, and therefore they are now even more ashamed of their former blindness. I do not know how it comes about that some of our listeners attest that in various places in Germany they have not heard a sermon on rebirth, etc.
Monday, the 25th of May. This morning I visited N. [Mrs. Kronberger] at her plantation because I was told yesterday that she wished to speak with one of us in her hut. She is heartily pleased at the obvious change in her husband, thanks God for it with tears, and asks God with prayers and supplication that he will not again fall back but become confirmed in grace and the good he has received. Previously, when she had seen his bad habits and unchristian behavior, she had become angry and embittered, whereby he too flew into passion and so they both hurt each other. When she complained to me of the trouble she was having with her husband, I looked up this verse among others, for her: “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God,” and reminded her of her wifely duty and directed her to prayer. God has, she said, very clearly granted her prayers and broken her anger so that she treats her husband, who has to work hard, in a friendly way and always prays for him that God may change his disposition. Whenever he went to his unconverted comrades she would eagerly call on God that He should not allow her husband to sin by words and works; and, whenever he came back home and became angry and indignant at her friendly admonitions, she would again kneel down in her corner and complain to the Lord of her domestic troubles and ask for a merciful change.
At first her husband did not like such prayers and said that she did it in passion, but God finally convinced him that he was on the wrong path and she on the right. Then he began to pray with her eagerly and is quite a different man now. She cannot help him in the fields, because she has enough to do with her housework, but she prays that God may strengthen her husband doubly. God is doing this so that he now has enough physical strength to cultivate a large field. She sees in many ways, she said, that God is with them and is blessing them. From the story of David she heard that, in his good days, David used to pray three times a day, i.e. in the morning, at noon, and at night; and, since they formerly bent their knees before God only in the morning and evening, she has agreed with her husband to use the noontime for prayer too, and he willingly does this. I opened the Bible for her to where it says that David prayed in the morning, at noon, and at night and also prayed very eagerly and imploringly for recognition of his misery. That was in the 55th Psalm v. 18.
I also showed her the sixth chapter of Daniel where it also says that the dear prophet knelt down before God three times a day and prayed. I also referred to v. 23 of this Psalm: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord. . .” etc. If she does the same, I said, she will save the peace of their souls; and, since she knew how to praise so many benefactions and blessings of her dear Savior I told her the words: “Thou shalt see even greater things than there.” Also, “Have I not told thee that if thou wouldst believe,” etc. This married couple is very poor but very contented, and this caused me to promise to buy them a piece of coarse linen for five sh. Sterling in Savannah, which gift they will accept from the hand of the Lord with many thanks and praise of God. The husband was at the mill, for all men have gone to the mill together this morning to stop up two little streams which take away the influx of water from the mill and to build something at the dam so that the mill can grind even at low water in summertime.
[If only Mr. Oglethorpe would give us a little money, a mill course could be made with another pair of stones so that we could use it even at the lowest water. The people are poor and cannot do much extra work without pay, rather, if they can get away from their fieldwork for a few days, then they have to try to earn some shillings for clothes and other necessities.]
I was at the orphanage in the evening and knelt before the merciful throne of God in the name of Jesus Christ together with two honest persons [souls] who, in the school of the Holy Spirit, have learned the right art of praying. One of them [a cordially humble and believing woman] seems to carry on her heart the whole world, especially our Ebenezer, today’s work at the mill, and all friends and protectors of our community, and poured it out before the Lord in a way that was most edifying for me. When it was my turn to pray, I presented to our good Savior with the above-mentioned verses: “Thou shalt see even greater things than this,” and “Have I not told thee that if thou wouldst believe,” . . . etc. and asked for strength and for the right interpretation of religious faith. I also praised the Lord for showing such wonderful grace for our orphanage right from the beginning and always turning afflictions to our benefit and for letting us feel such a beautiful blessing for this small institution from the last letters from Europe. I closed with the words: “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” What happens? My helpmeet opens the door after the prayer and informs us that letters from England have arrived; and I was told by a passing traveler, who delivered the letters to my house, that Mr. /Thomas/ Jones wished me to come down right away. When I opened the letters I found very enjoyable signs of the fatherly care of God, for Mr. Newmann writes:
1) that the Lord Trustees will accept a new transport of fifty Salzburgers as soon as Senior Urlsperger can assemble it;
2) From his letter as well as from the one from Secretary Martyns I can see that the Lord Trustees and the Praiseworthy Society have thought of Mr. Thilo very lovingly and have arranged a better provisioning for him.
3) Mr. N.N. [Privy Councilor Walbaum] gives us a quite excellent report of the kingdom of God which is spreading out here and there [in Mecklenburg and Pomerania]. Furthermore he is sending us some tried prescriptions against fever and some very evangelical edifications and is donating ten guineas to our orphanage as compensation for the fire damage suffered last year.
When I had not even quite finished reading these enjoyable letters a man came back from the mill and told me that they had succeeded in stopping up the break in the dam so that the mill has water and can start again, although the small streams in which most of the water gathers cannot yet be dammed for lack of planks. I intend in the name of God to use part of the ten guineas for this purpose, since, as mentioned above, nothing for it can be expected very soon from General Oglethorpe. May the Lord be praised for His mercy and wonderful dispensation! This morning, when I visited the above-mentioned Salzburger woman and also two others who are also poor in goods but rich in faith, I wished from the bottom of my heart to be able to help them in their misery; and this evening I have already experienced what the Lord can do and further will do, when we fulfill what Tobias impressed on his son and I today on a poor Salzburger girl: “We are poor to be sure, but we shall have much good if we fear God, avoid sin, and do good.”
Tuesday, the 26th of May. Because my dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, traveled to Savannah very early this morning, I held the edification meeting at the plantations today. Yesterday I visited the workers at the mill and talked to some of them about the good that the Lord let us hear last Sunday; and I also told them that in the evening prayer meeting in town a special example was read which quite beautifully illustrated the gospel. If our dear God ordained for my dear colleague to travel sometime to Savannah and for me to hold the prayer meeting out there, I said, I would make known such an example to them also, and this pleased them greatly. Therefore I was all the more pleased that God gave us the opportunity for this so soon, namely today, since the gospel is still fresh in their minds and I hope the Lord will bless it too. A man stayed behind after the lesson and asked for the booklet, because the example contained therein was very impressive to him and he wanted to read it to his wife, who could not attend. [I also told him something from the letters, especially that I believe that the letter from Germany from which our dear God has given me such a great blessing will also procure great blessings for the parish, by the support of the Holy Spirit, when it will be made known by my dear colleague.]
Last Sunday [Saturday] I visited the person who was mentioned on the 9th of May and asked her how she had made use of the last visit. She told me that she had tried to make good use of the week before Whitsuntide, which is named the granting-week, for she thought that God would hear her too and give her a Pentecostal blessing. Therefore she had prayed to God wherever she was walking or standing, and God had heard her weak prayer and had not let her celebrate the feast without His blessings. She told me this with joy, and I hope she will be awakened by this to persist in prayer more and more with the certain confidence that God, our friendly Father, who is reconciled by Christ, will hear her and grant her still more, especially what is most necessary in her circumstances.
Wednesday, the 27th of May. Today our dear God has given me several opportunities to work on some people and to direct them to where they ought to be directed if their souls are to be saved. A person [that is, Mrs. Pletter] came in from the plantations and brought fourteen pounds of flax which she has spun [for Mr. Whitefield]. She is one of the seven persons who came to us last.25 Our dear God is certainly showing her that there is more to being saved than she believed before; and it also seems that God will still win this soul. She does not imagine herself to be wise enough, as her sister [the Landfelder woman] does, who believes she understands everything we discuss with her.
In yesterday’s and today’s evening prayer meetings our faithful Savior granted us great edification. We started with the 10th verse of Chapter 18 of Matthew and reached verse 20 today. The 11th, 12th, and 13th verses have given us a special edification; and it is my intention by the grace of God to eagerly meditate on the wonderful promise of verse 11. I will certainly never succeed in studying it completely; the more I meditate, the more I will find in it, as I can already see. Oh, what a wonderful Savior we sinners have! If somebody who thinks himself to be the greatest sinner comes to Jesus, he will give Him the greatest pleasure and on such a person He can really prove to be a Savior.
After today’s prayer meeting our friendly God granted us the pleasure of receiving the things which were sent to us from Halle and one chest from Augsburg. My dear colleague is still in Savannah, since he has not yet been able to finish his business there. Also, one more chest has to be fetched and brought up to our place; therefore he intends to wait that long and return with the boat that was sent down for this purpose today. May our faithful Savior, who holds everything in His hands, give us a very thankful heart for such gifts and presents and grant us to use them in the right way and to employ them to His glory. May He let all our dear benefactors realize and taste the bountiful good and the inexhaustible abundance of all happiness, as is written in the verse Matthew 18:11, to their heavenly delight already in time and more so in eternity, Amen! May that happen, Amen!
Thursday, the 28th of May. This morning the things were unpacked and brought up to my room. Mr. Kalcher of the orphanage and Christian Riedelsperger did it together wtih my and my dear colleague’s helpmeet. When it was finished and we saw the beautiful books, the plentiful linen, and the other things, we united in prayer according to Matthew 18:19-20. I had a very special feeling at this union of our hearts and confidently expect that everything we asked of the Father in the name of Jesus Christ will be heard. [First of all we confessed our sins and especially our former ingratitude for so many benefactions and asked for pardon; we also asked for grace and blessings; we praised our dear God for all the benefactions we have received and asked Him to bless our dear benefactors with the blessings written in Matthew 18:11. We begged Him that a new awakening might be caused in our congregation by these gifts and that the purpose sought through them might be reached.]
Among other things we also laid before our dear Father in heaven the special conditions under which our dear Germany suffers, and we certainly believe that everything has been heard. The dear Lord Jesus opened His heart especially during our prayer and imparted much good to us. May He be praised and thanked in eternity! Very remarkable in this connection is what Mr. R. W. [Privy Councilor Walbaum] writes in his very edifying letter of 30 January: “About the external conditions of your colony the last reports I have seen sound much pleasanter than the first ones. Thereby God wishes to tempt us to believe in Him and to consider Him our own father. May He do still more and as much in this matter as suits His loving care for you.” And behold! Now God, our wonderful and merciful God, is already fulfilling his heartfelt desire. It is written, as my dear colleague told a Salzburger woman the other day: “Thou shalt see even greater things than this.” Yes, I can say it to the praise of my dear Savior that I have experienced this according to His love in my poor self too [in this matter]; and I believe, God will grant me faith, then I will experience it still more, Hallelujah! For He heartily embraces my soul, Hallelujah!
Friday, the 29th of May. Praise be to God, who has let me (Boltzius) see our dear Ebenezer again and find everything in good order. My time, which sometimes became tiresome for me, I have not spent in vain in Savannah; because, besides the fact that I received the three chests of linen and books and arranged some other necessary things for Mr. Thilo, the orphanage, and the community with Mr. /Thomas/ Jones and at other places, I had much contact with the German people there, who assembled at my room every evening after their day’s work in a rather great number to edify themselves together with me through songs, the word of God, and prayers. On three evenings in succession I put to their hearts and consciences the three short and important verses: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, . . .” etc. “Ye must be born anew ...” etc. and “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, ...” The last verse strongly moved my mind while I was reading the short but important report written from Halle in 1740, which was delivered to me in Savannah together with a letter from Senior Urlsperger and Mr. Verelst, when I learned that our dear God has led to their last long rest through a temporal death some of our dear friends and acquaintances who had helped perform the works of the Lord in Halle. For me, however, who was the weakest and most miserably infirm when I said farewell, He has continued the period of grace up to this moment for an earnest preparation for a blessed departure. May our dear God keep His servants and children there in life and health for a long time and may He let us hear many more enjoyable things about their blessed labor in the work of our Lord.
Already in the past, when we used to preach in Savannah, a pious widow [named Ursula Meyer] availed herself of our ministry and blessings; but, because she lacked other opportunities for edification and was obedient to her master [because Mr. Wesley thinks a great deal of the Herrenhuters], she became involved with the often mentioned N. [Mr. Hagen]. Her little daughter /Magdalena/, however, was led at our place to the knowledge of salvation and to a real beginning of Christianity, while her soul and body had been very badly maltreated previously in Savannah. But, since Mr. N. [Mr. Hagen] is trying to turn her daughter against our ministry and our place and also thinks little of Arndt’s True Christianity, from which God grants her many blessings, she is growing tired of him and also longs to go to Ebenezer, if only she can leave her master in a proper way as soon as the time of her service comes to an end. She wanted to get an empty hut at our place for her girl, who had been sent back to Savannah a few months ago for reasons mentioned at the time, and to provide for her herself. Because the girl is again showing an eager desire to go to school and church at our place and because a place has just become vacant at the orphanage, I promised her to take her in at her request, and the mother and daughter were pleased at this. I dare say that God is awakening the good that was laid in her heart by our instruction in Savannah now and is making her eager for the word of life and for further opportunity to listen to it diligently.
Some of the German people have asked me to mail the letters they have written to their relatives with our parcel to London [hoping that they will be forwarded from there]. They well realize what advantages they have here in this country in the service of the Lord Trustees over other free and poor workers in Germany. Therefore they wish to have their families, if they wish to come to America, at no other place than in Georgia. From this it can be easily concluded how important and what a great favor it is to be accepted and provided for in the beginning by the Lord Trustees as was done for the Salzburgers. Thank God that, from Mr. Newman’s letter, we can take hope of a new transport.
Through a captain who lives in Savannah and is named Robert Williams [who has always opposed Mr. Oglethorpe and the plan of this colony] the Englishmen in Savannah have submitted a supplication in the name of the inhabitants to the Lord Trustees and to the Parliament;26 and at his present return they have received a message giving them reason for hope to procure some Negro slaves and other pretended liberties of which people in their colonies boast (though to their own and other people’s harm). This, however, Mr. /Thomas/ Jones does not wish to believe. At least our dear God will protect us at our place from the importation of those more harmful than useful Negroes, as well as for the liberty of everyone to sell his land in whatever way and to whomever he wishes to and to acquire by purchase other land that seems to be better to him and to buy as much as he wishes. Through this the rich people would get the best, and honest quiet people would have to accept as neighbors those who can give the most money for a piece of ground.
The very great blessing in linen and books had arrived in Savannah; and, since the chests had been sent no farther than to Charleston by Mr. Verelst, I had to pay 30 sh. Sterling for the transport from Charleston to Savannah. The first chests, which contained the things packed in Augsburg and Halle, may have been damaged, and therefore did not have the original markings; and, to be certain, we had to open them. Also two heavy packs of Spanish sewing-needles had been sent to us from Charleston, which, however, had been addressed to us erroneously, for so many sewing needles could not be used in all of Georgia and Carolina in twenty years. Through Mr. Habersham and other friends of the orphanage near Savannah I had a very good opportunity to send the nine florins received for Mr. Giessendanner to Orangeburg via Charleston. As soon as he writes that he has received the money, I shall also send him the books and letters that are in the box. They were sent from Switzerland together with the money by some benefactors. Because there is only little communication and trade between Savannah and Charleston at the present time [especially since people have almost no respect for the Sola-bills of the Lord Trustees and General Oglethorpe], it is difficult to mail something to that place and further on from there, as people in Germany surely cannot quite imagine. Captain Thomson’s ship had, to be sure, arrived in Savannah eight days ago, but he had traveled to Port Royal and Charleston to inquire about cargoes. Last year the rice did not turn out as well as usual and therefore it will be difficult for him to find his cargoes here in this country. The goods he brought to this country he has already sold at Frederica except for a few things which have already been picked over and are also very expensive.
A merchant in Savannah, whose wife went away a year and a day since, wishes to have his daughter, a girl of thirteen, at our place under good care so that she will be introduced to various womanly tasks, because in Savannah she would be spoiled without control and instructions. Another German man27 has a little boy, seven years of age, whom he would like to send to somebody, so that he would be raised as a Christian; but he is too young, and there are only a few people in town to whom one could entrust such a small child. He does not suit the orphanage, and the man is a servant of the Lord Trustees and will probably wish to board the child gratuitously. No corn, rice, beans, etc. can be obtained in Savannah and other places in this country; so people have to live on the expensive flour and biscuits that are being brought down from the northern colonies.28 Because food is very expensive, the Lord Trustees have increased the pay that their indentured servants receive instead of provision and clothes so that the men now get five shillings instead of four shillings per week and the women receive four shillings, whereas they previously had to manage with three shillings. Their labor is now quite tolerable, and they can work for themselves in the morning, midday, and evening hours and even cut grass for their cattle during their work. I am concerned that they do not work like the servants who are called “Servants in Christ” in Colossians 3; but they are of use to the Lord Trustees, as Mr. Jones assures me; for, if they did not have them, they would have to hire people to do much of the work that must be done at the expense of the storehouse, and this would cost them twice as much and would not produce any more. Furthermore, with their expenditures the Lord Trustees are looking out more for others than for their own profit. Not many people had authorities like that in Germany, as they well realize.