I have never realized that so many delightful things pertaining unconstrainedly to Christ and the nature of His kingdom are to be found in the stories of the Old Testament. During our prayer, meditation, and re-reading, He reveals one thing after another in accordance with His unmerited kindness. In this regard I often think of the passage “Seek, or search in scripture . . . it is that which beareth witness of me,” namely, not only the prophetic but also the historical books. May He make us grateful from our hearts for the incomparably costly gold of the gospel, which we, so to speak, have found in large veins in this holy mine and which has been revealed to us in the said first chapter for our rich edification.
We have always been able to inculcate impressively the Order of Salvation that stands there in conversion and rebirth. What Solomon said to the supplicating rebel Adonijah at the conclusion of this chapter is what Christ says to each and every sinner: “If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth (bygones will all be forgotten and forgiven, and I shall receive him into my grace and protection): but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die,” etc.
Tuesday, the 6th of September. Matthias Kurtz, the Salzburger whom Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen helped come here from Cadzand, has been very well provided for so far in the orphanage. He and his wife have had very much physical weakness and would have gotten on very badly if he had received a plantation immediately. He and his family have now been in the orphanage for almost a year, and now they are insisting zealously on having a plantation. Young /Martin/ Lackner will become a helper to Kalcher in the orphanage, and he is sellling his plantation and crop to this Kurtz for a fair price. It is situated a good distance below the mill and is very inconvenient with regard to church and school; but the Salzburger Kurtz disregards all this. His three little girls, who are now studying, we wish to retain among the orphans; but he wishes to take them along. He is poor and has a frail body, and she is in the same condition. As a beginning the orphanage is giving him two pounds Sterling cash, two hundred pounds of beef, and ten bushels of corn.
Wednesday, the 7th of September. A German painter1 in Charleston /Jeremias Theus/ has completed in duplicate in our church the gospel verse: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: shout O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation.” Mr. Vigera offered to pay him, but he wishes to donate this work to our church.
Thursday, the 8th of September. Last Tuesday Mr. Causton2 brought us the news that General Oglethorpe will make every effort possible to prevent the introduction of Negroes because he knows better than any man in this country or in London it would cause great harm and danger. He intends to carry out the Lord Trustees’ design of having a large party of English and German hired hands brought into the country by whom the land can be occupied and the inhabitants can be helped. Their plans aim at having the serving men and women sent over here at the cost of the Lord Trustees. They would have to serve for five years and would receive four pounds Sterling annually as wages. From that they would receive two pounds for themselves for buying clothes, while two pounds would be paid back to the Trustees towards their passage money, which would amount to ten pounds in five years. From this (because a passage amounts to about six pounds) they would and should have a surplus if some servants died underway or in this country or if perhaps a householder were not in a position to pay the wages for his servants.
No householder would be able to hire his servant for more than one year; afterwards the servants could hire themselves out to other householders for a year, as is customary in England and Germany. In this way the Lord Trustees could benefit the householders who hired such servants by giving them a bounty of two shillings on every bushel of crops for the first year, one shilling for the second, and sixpence for the the third, etc.; and thus they would lend them a hand and put them in a position to carry on their farming with their own work force. However, it would be done differently with entire families; the householder would settle them on their lands and supply them during the first year with provisions, tools, and cattle. Then each year they would receive the half of all crops and cattle as a repayment of their expenses 3. These propositions pleased our inhabitants; and they have requested three entire families, thirty-six hired hands, and three maids under the above bounty conditions. For otherwise no one would be able to pay an annual wage of four pounds. We must wait to see whether so many single servants can be sent here.4
The people from the upper plantations on the Savannah and Mill Rivers have been occupied for several days in constructing a good and broad way for driving, riding, or walking and in building bridges and causeways over the swampy places so that they can go back and forth without getting wet. Formerly we have had to make a detour on horseback if we wished to go from the town to some plantations. On Sunday mornings, or whenever they wished to go in or out in bad weather, they have wet their shoes and clothes, and by this they have harmed their health. This will all be more convenient now. If we had the means, we would like to repay them for this necessary and useful work. I would have liked to do that for a long time, but we could not presume upon them because of their much other work until they encouraged one another to do it. Thus God gives one thing after another.
Friday, the 9th of September. A person with whom I spoke remembered once again what good Mr. N. did for her and her family; and she wishes to write to him and give him especial thanks. On this occasion she also mentioned her departure from Salzburg. She said she had had to suffer much underway. They often tried to take her children away from her, but the Lord had always prevented it. On the way they met a drayman who was heading for Augsburg. This pleased them very much and they went along with him in their wagon. When they came to Munich they crossed a long narrow bridge. When they came up to the gate, the drayman was let in, but the gate was shut to them. Because the bridge was very narrow, the man had to unharness his horse and push the wagon back over the bridge from behind, whereupon they were greatly laughed at. Afterwards they rode around the city and caught up with the drayman again at the other side of the city, which gave them much pleasure.
Finally they reached Augsburg, where people were greatly pleased at their arrival and took loving care of their reception. This was something very sweet after the rough treatment in Salzburg and on the way. May the Lord be a rich Rewarder of all the good that was shown to this family, both then in Augsburg and later in Memmingen. Once they were in great poverty, but then the Lord sent them through Mr. N. a bowl of flour and two pounds of rendered butter, which stood them in very good stead. They often suffered want, but it was never so great as at that time. Thus, the Lord knoweth how to provide for His people when the need is the greatest and to awaken someone who will send them something even if he does not know of the present great lack. This is indeed true: “Oh God! Thou art today so rich as thou hast been in eternity.”5 This contradicts the unbeliever when he says that God no longer shows himself as formerly; for I truly believe that He shows himself today as He used to do. He who believes will say, “My trust is entirely in Thee, strengthen me in my soul, then I shall have enough here and in eternity.”6
Sunday, the 11th of September. Praise be to God who hath strengthened poor me in these days to preach His gospel. For our today’s gospel for the 15th Sunday after Trinity we had as an exordium: “Doubtless thou art our father . . . thy name is from everlasting.” We heard from both the exordium and from the gospel how glorious it is to have God as your Father. Such people are very blessed and can be comforted in all difficult circumstances of body and soul. If one is a believer, then his belief can be powerfully strengthened by circumstances that are presented very simply in the gospel by the best Schoolmaster, our Lord Jesus. Otherwise it merely remains something literal which one can comprehend a bit with his reason but which will not hold water.
Among other things, we heard from the exordium and its last words, “Thy name is from everlasting,” that the believers had profited already at that time from everything that God had done for His children in early days. Thus they did not do, as many unfortunately do nowadays in Christendom. When the ancient miracles of God are related, they say, “Now God does no more miracles.” Unbelieving nominal Christians speak thus; but true Christians do not say this but show that they believe in the God who wrought miracles in olden days. All those who can not yet call God their Father were admonished to struggle first of all, as Jesus Christ says: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” May our dear Father strengthen His children in their faith so that their hearts will always be open and so that He will be able to enter into them more and more. And may He also teach them at the same time to follow their trade loyally and to let our heavenly Father take care as to how He will keep them. In conclusion we sang, “Act like a child and lay thee in thy Father’s arm. Ask Him and beg Him until He has mercy on thee, as is His custom. Then, after a well fought struggle, He will bring thee through His spirit out of all cares on ways that thou dost not yet know.”7 Isaiah 64:5 says, “And yet we were helped.” We, too, will learn this in our present time of hard tribulations caused by the cattle sickness.
Wednesday, the 14th of September. Now that Leitner has properly established himself, our congregation is provided with a good smithy. He burns his charcoal on his own plantation, even though he had never learned to; and now that I have helped him get inexpensive iron in Charleston, I hope he can give his services cheaper than in Savannah; and then he will have no lack of work. As he told me, he had a skillful master in Augsburg. However, he regrets that he was not more industrious during his apprenticeship; yet he did learn enough to give our community good service with his trade. His stepson /Peter/ Arnsdorf is learning blacksmithing from him. He is a skillful inventive type, and with time he will be able to do his stepfather good service. In addition to this smithy we also have two locksmiths in the community, who have set up their shops. One of them is Bruckner and the other is Schrempf, who has bought all his tools from his stepfather Lackner8 at a fair price and under certain conditions. If they will plant something for their own needs so that they will not have to buy everything, then they will get along quite well.
We are lacking carpenters and board-cutters, therefore we must postpone from one time to another many things that should be built. Cultivation with just a hoe costs the people so much time and effort that it can hardly be described. Therefore, as long as they do not advance seriously toward getting plows and perhaps getting hired hands, they will scarcely be able to run their own farms and with their money serve their neighbors who employ workers and day laborers and let them earn money.
Thursday, the 15th of September. At the request of Col. Stephens we have written down the names of all our inhabitants, both large and small. In Ebenezer there are now 81 men, 70 wives, 6 widows, 52 boys, 59 girls, and 11 serving girls, and thus 279 souls in all. Jesus has redeemed them all with His blood. May He make them all obedient to the gospel! He wishes, alas, that we all wished it!
Friday, the 16th of September. Mr. Meyer’s house was so far prepared last week that he could move in last Tuesday. As soon as I can get some sawyers I will have the house boarded all around, as has been done with the orphanage. Otherwise the beams into which the shingles of the four walls are fitted would rot very quickly because of the rain that penetrates them.9 This house has a heated room, a bedroom, a hall between the heated room and the bedroom from one door to the other10, and also a good attic over the heated room and the bedroom. The roof is as well protected with good cypress shingles as the church is. A good durable staircase leads to the attic. Near the house is a fine fenced-in courtyard with two gates, one giving to the street to the church and one to the orphanage yard. The kitchen stands on a convenient spot behind the house so that one can step with three steps from the back door of the house to the kitchen door11. To one side along the fence is a hut in which wood, barrels, or what you will can be stored dry. In the heated room there is a brand new iron stove, which is heated from outside; and therefore we do not have to worry about any discomfort from smoke in the house12.
In the heated room and the bedroom there are glass windows, which are something rare in this country. If we could get workers and if God would grant us money, a small cellar should be dug near the house, which Mr. Meyer greatly needs. No well is needed here because he can use the well at the orphanage, which is some thirty steps from his house. Mr. Meyer has sold his old house to the old /Theobald/ Kieffer, who with his family has made do until now in a very miserable hut. As an aid in his housekeeping Mr. Meyer will receive as much provisions as he needs each year; yet he himself will have to buy wheat, meal, butter, and molasses for brewing beer. A girl from the orphanage will serve him; and, because his wife is always sick, his laundry will be done in the orphanage. As a salary he will receive two pounds quarterly, and for that he will give his services to the orphanage and also hold a writing lesson in the school. I wish from my very heart to be useful to each and every person in the congregation and to lighten their burdensome lives as well as my own. One must resign oneself, however, to the will of God and be content with His guidance. For indeed we are not worthy of the least of His gifts; yet every day He doeth everything good for us.
Sunday, the 18th of September. If I had the means to provide the skillful carpenter Kogler and his wife and two children with a dwelling and livelihood near the orphanage, I would gladly do it for the sake of the community. It is too much for him to have to work hard from time to time as a carpenter but also tend to farming and cattle raising; and we well see that he will not be able to stand his all-too-great work very long. He himself hopes that it will become easier for him in the orphanage and that he would be able to help the community more with his work.
Monday, the 19th of September. Under the date 5 September the Charleston papers that Mr. Vigera sent me reported a dangerous throat disease is raging from time to time, by which many children have been carried away. Also, the last storm on 30 August is said to have done much damage to some ships and boats at Charleston and further out in the sea. Those are nothing but bells to penitence. If only we would all apply them to that purpose!
This morning I received the cards13 or silk curries which came to Charleston in the chests and have been brought to Savannah. They are a gift from Mr. N. from N., our great and worthy benefactor; and we learn from letters he has recently sent to Mr. Vigera that this gentleman is gladly contributing all he can to advance the good of Ebenezer and especially of its silk manufacture. During my meditation today I was blessed by the verses Psalms 113:5-7. May the Savior, who has ascended to the the right hand of God, look with the eyes of His mercy upon those who allow so much good to flow from their wealth to our widows, orphans, and others.
Tuesday, the 20th of September. Mrs. Glaner has taken leave of the orphanage, in which she has been for so long as a patient; and she praises God for this physical and spiritual good which she has experienced there. To be sure, her hand is not yet entirely healed, but it has recovered enough for her to help her husband in little things and lighten his household and farming tasks, especially since he and others now have their hands full with harvesting corn and beans.
Friday, the 23rd of September. This morning Mrs. Graniwetter told me on the way to church that she and her husband are witnessing God’s gracious blessing on their field this year, for they had all sorts of crops so abundantly that they could not rejoice and marvel enough at such divine kindness. This afternoon I visited this pious family to see for myself this physical blessing in the field and to praise with them the great and kind Giver. I let them lead me through their entire field and was very much pleased with the sight of the abundant corn, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and turnips; and I was encouraged to the praise of God. They did well in planting between the cornrows not only beans but also squash, which have grown very large and can be harvested much more easily than the beans, even if there are many of them, since they bear so abundantly here. Graniwetter must build a new hut in order to use the old dwelling as a barn for storing his crops.
From the last letter from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen we have learned that the deceased Duchess of Kendal in London remembered our orphanage in her will, but the amount of the legacy was not yet known to him.
In this country there is a kind of black wildcat that sprays water when a person or dog comes too close14. This causes an incredibly nasty stench and so penetrates one’s clothes and the horses and dogs that come to the spot that one can get sick from it. This stench does not disappear in many days even if not the least bit of the nasty water has been sprayed on anything. A few days ago Leimberger had such an experience and had to put his clothes, saddle, and bridle outside of his house and change all his clothes; for otherwise he would have filled the entire house with the unbearable stench he had brought back with him. Once, when I was passing by the woods at Purysburg in a boat, we could smell the stench of this disgraceful animal from far away, which made us very sensitive.
Saturday, the 24th of September. Some men were busy this week in preparing woodwork for the well at the orphanage, which is worth preserving. The posts and boards in this very beautiful well, which are exposed on all four sides from the bottom to the top, are rotten. Therefore we are afraid it may collapse if there is a heavy rain; and the repairs later would cost more than if a new well were to be dug. If someone among us could risk making bricks, then the first bricks should be bought and used to wall up this well, which is entirely indispensable for the orphanage and the neighborhood. Wood rots very quickly here in this country. Meanwhile we must do what we can; and I am happy that some people have found time for preparing this woodwork.
Simon Rieser of the fourth tranport has long been an invalid because of a badly cured fever, and therefore he has not been able to work much in the field. Today he told me that, praise God, he is well again and that he has entirely lost the swelling in his feet. I reminded him of the beautiful words of Psalm 119: 71. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (cf. Psalm 67).15 We have much to learn from David in I Chronicles 29, who well applied the short time after his recovery. In his time he served the will of God, and that is the duty of all Christians according to I Peter 4:1-3. “For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath”, etc. “That he no longer should live the rest of his time.”
In presenting this point publicly, I have been able to refer to the consciences of very many of our parishioners as witnesses that in their sicknesses the first statement: “For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased,” etc. had hit the mark. Their hearty and sincere confession of this, their reconciliation with their neighbor, the restitution of unjust wealth, and other tests give clear evidence. However, the injunctions “should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh,” etc. and “not to live to the lusts of men,” etc. have surely not been realized in all, rather they have again become frivolous and secure.16 It is from such disloyalty that, although they use the means of salvation diligently and always learn, they still never come to a recognition of the truth and therefore do not experience what David confessed about himself. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes,” likewise, “Before I was afflicted I went astray.”
Thus it stands with many among us: they go astray, they stick in prejudices, fall from one thing to another, come to no certainty of their state of grace and are thereby so distressed that they do not even rightly recognize their erring and misery. This will continue so long as they learn nothing right, so long as they do not labor and become heavy laden. For of them alone Jesus says in Matthew 11 that they should come to His school and learn gentleness and humility of heart. However, because God loves their souls, he bears them with the greatest patience, showers them with many benefactions, and also comes with His chastisements, as last year with the dreadful invasion of the Spaniards and in this year with the cattle disease, etc. Oh, if only He could achieve His purpose in us all with His words, benefactions, and chastisements as well as with our dear David, whose dear example and precious treasure of grace dwelling in his heart shine out to us very powerfully from our present Bible story in I Chronicales 29. The grace with God granted to him as a basis for his righteous nature He also wishes to grant others, yea, all of us, for He would gladly have many servants and children here in the struggling church and there in the Church Triumphant. In the New Testament the mercy of Christ no longer a future but rather a present and right abundant grace (I Peter 1:10).
Sunday, the 25th of September. On this 17th Sunday after Trinity at the beginning of the sermon we remembered the great blessing that our loving and merciful God granted us two years ago when he caused us the joy and satisfaction that we could consecrate our little church in town with the word of God and prayer; and in the past two years He has granted us a right rich opportunity to prepare ouselves for blessed eternity through His word, prayer, and trusting use of the holy sacraments. Whether everyone has applied this large part of his period of grace for this purpose was a question I presented the parishioners, who had assembled in a large number, for them to search in their consciences.
Not only in the times of the apostles, but even now in our days many souls have been converted to God through a single sermon and have thus been prepared for blessed eternity. It should therefore cause great embarrassment to all those of us who have not been righteously converted to God in the past two years (to say nothing of the previous badly applied period of grace). To the praise of God for the many spiritual blessings we have received in our little town church and elsewhere we sang the beautiful song: Singt dem Herrn nah und fern, and in the repetition hour we remembered the little verse that we had contemplated at the consecration: “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.”
Thus hath our gracious God shown Himself even in the greatest need and is still showing Himself, and will continue to show Himself (as we can hope from His goodness in Christ). Thus we could repeat St. Paul’s dear words in 2 Corinthians 1:10 to God’s praise and the strengthening of our faith. If our little church is small and simple in comparison with other churches in Christendom, and if the people who assemble there for divine service and edification are poor, unimportant, and simple people, our great God does not scorn the small and simple, rather He loves it and dignifies it with His providence, protection, grace, and help, as we recognize from many places in the gospel and from the edifying passages in Psalms 113:5-7 which served as its basis.
Thursday, the 29th of September. Old Mrs. Bacher revealed to me with tears that she is now in preparation for Holy Communion and that she is faring this time as before, namely, that the old sins that she committed in Salzburg and in the Empire17 were occurring to her again and causing disquiet and pain; and therefore she was very sorry that she could not break through and achieve rest. She was very afraid, she said, of sickness, death, and judgment. Because she had the characteristics of a penitent sinner, presented to her the feelings Jesus had for sick and miserable sinners; and (because she is in the preparation for Holy Communion) I made use of the hymn Jesus Christus, unser Heyland, der von uns den Zorn Gottes wand. Her daughter, the young Kieffer woman /Maria/ attested a contented heart at the words “It is finished,” from which she had profited this morning. Because the old mother was grieved that she could remember so little from the sermons and edfication hour, I gave her instruction in this, too, and a few mnemonic aids for remembering what she had heard.
Tuesday, the 4th of October. On some places on the plantations there are so many beans and peas that the householders and their families cannot collect them all. If a rain or heavy frost were to come over them they would all spoil. Therefore they are giving other people who have few or no beans permission to harvest as many as they wish for themselves. They do not all ripen at one time and cannot be mown like the peas but must be plucked. Meanwhile, others are standing on the poles in full bloom, or the young beans are gradually ripening. It is a very beautiful, useful, and productive crop; only the harvesting causes the greatest trouble. Whoever has many children can accomplish something with them.
Wednesday, the 5th of October. If Kogler moved to the orphanage, we would assign some boys, especially from the orphanage, who would learn from him carpentry and mill construction and also cabinet making, in which he is the most skillful man among us. It is too bad that we have no pious and skilled handworkers in this country or at our place. To be sure, we have shoemakers and tailors, but still too few carpenters. We could also use a good cooper or barrelmaker. We have no tanner for red or white leather here, who would have enough work to do all year. We also lack a wheelwright. We have smiths and locksmiths, who also have enough work even though the community is small.
Thursday, the 6th of October. Old Mrs. R. called me to her sickbed and told me with tears that some old and previously forgotten sins had occured to her in her fever paroxysm and that her conscience was compelling her to confess them. One case had occurred in Salzburg and the other in the poorhouse in Augsburg1. The first was a sin of commission and the second a sin of omission. She is praying diligently to God that He may properly reveal to her her wicked heart and all her transgressions and grant her true penitence. What she is now experiencing is to be seen as a hearing of her prayer and at the same time as a sign of grace, for it costs our dear God much to bring sinners to penitent recognition of their sins.
Tuesday, the 11th of October. My dear colleague Mr. Boltzius caught a severe fever this afternoon. In the morning he had ridden out to the plantations to hold the edification hour in the church, where he found the sermon easy, but the ride to and fro difficult. Last Sunday he gave them the 103rd Psalm to read at home, in which, among other things, stands something that we wish to note in these circumstances through the aid of the Holy Ghost: “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,” etc.
Thursday, the 14th of October. This morning our boat came from Savannah and brought the two large chests that were sent to our little flock from Augsburg and Halle. The former departed on 1 Feb. and the latter in March of this year. Both arrived here in very good order, and nothing was spoiled in them. Oh, what a great blessing there is in books, medicines, and linen! It is very great, we are not worthy of the least of it, yet the Lord doeth so much for us. Oh, if only the Lord, through so many signs of His love, could draw all of us in Ebenezer to Himself and strengthen and keep us in His grace. May He help us in this. I call upon Him among other things in the name of Jesus Christ. May he let all of us in our houses and huts come to the point that in all of them there will be lovers of the Lord Jesus like Martha, Maria, and Lazarus, who were a beautiful cloverleaf of pious brethren of whom we heard this evening in the prayer hour. He is glad to be with such people, He comes to them gladly and brings Himself along with all His grace and blessing.
Now the Lord will help us to come together for ever with all dear benefactors whose hearts love Jesus alone and to love and praise eternally the Friend of our souls, our dear Lord Jesus Christ, for all the good that He has done for us and them. In our prayer hour we particularly requested for our dear benefactors that our dear Lord Jesus might raise His hands and bless them as we read in Luke 24:50-51. For, when He took His leave there from his dear disciples, He raised His hands and blessed them; and while blessing them He ascended into heaven, where He sits on the right hand of His dear Father and distributes nothing but blessings. Consequently, He will also hear our poor prayer for our worthy benefactors and do nothing more gladly than bless them. May He let them experience this whenever they might need it.
Tuesday, the 18th of October. In the past week I had an opportunity to speak with N. and her family; and I had to tell them that they should not just darn and patch on their Christianity and merely set a new rag here and there on their old heart. Their entire heart must be new, and the dear Lord Jesus will gladly grant it to them. That should be dear to them, so they should pray for it.
Friday, the 21st of October. In the name of my dear Lord Jesus Christ I (Boltzius) am beginning to enter into our journal some points about what the Lord is doing for us in spiritual and physical matters, now that our dear Physician, whom we must ever trust and love, has begun again to strengthen my poor frail body mightily. May He be humbly praised for the salutary chastisement I have experienced. I had deserved swords, and there were only rods, yea, little rods, with which He wished to correct me for my good. May He let me spend the remaining days of my life zealously in His service and for the good of my parishioners, just like the man of His own heart, our dear David after his recovery. Like St. Paul, may I forget what is past and reach forward for what is before us. Resolution and will are there; and, because He is Alpha and Omega, Beginner and Perfecter, He will also grant success. May He be heartily and humbly praised for having, according to His great mercy, right noticeably strengthened my dear colleague in his physical and mental powers and having granted him joy and blessing (of which I have evidence) in the performance of his office and also strength for keeping and copying our diary. May He repay him and all righteous parishioners for their zealous intercession for me.
To be sure, my double tertian fever has been dispelled already for several days through the constant use of medicines from Halle, but chiefly through the blessing of God. Beforehand and afterwards I have had rather good rest at night, yet my lassitude and physical weakness was so great yesterday noon that I was unable to undertake any work. Since yesterday afternoon my strength has been increasing gradually. Last night I gained still further strength through a healthy sleep in the midst of the charitable gifts in my room; and our dear heavenly Father right distinctly prepared me, my dear colleague, and others to hold the thanksgiving sermon for this day of the suffering and death of our dearest Savior, whom I always had in mind during the distribution. This was the thanksgiving sermon for the abundantly received harvest and for the spiritual and physical blessings received from Augsburg and Halle in the two chests. This, God be praised, was done to my and others’ inner satisfaction and to the stregthening of our faith!
The linen, stockings, ticking, feather beds, black and green linen, crape, etc. which were to be distributed had been divided in past days and yesterday afternoon by me and my dear colleague in the presence of his and my wife and laid out very regularly. Of me this was true: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” And it is truly a dear benefaction to have a loyal colleague. Contrary to expectation, last Sunday in my solitude God let the verse Tobit 13:5 fall into my eyes and heart: “See what the Lord hath done for us! With fear and trembling praise him in his works, and laud him who ever reigneth.” The godly and reverend Tobias encouraged his dear people to this, namely, to a living recognition of the goodness and benefactions of the Lord and to a hearty and humble gratitude for them; and to that all of us were publicly awakened and encouraged.
It has now been ten years since the Salzburgers of the first transport gathered in Augsburg to come here to America and since we in Halle received the call to come to them with much prayer and cordial wishes for blessing. When we now think back on what has happened among us since then on the journey and here in this country, where one transport after the other has come to the Ebenezer congregation, we may well call to one another: “See what the Lord hath done unto us!” This is true also in regard to the richly received harvest and to the beautiful damask church cloth that has been prepared for us and to the all the gifts that we have now received from Europe. We diligently remembered the gifts in the former chest, especially the beautiful books which were distributed at that time to us and the congregation; and we remembered that we had received a beautiful spiritual blessing from the hymn Was gibst du denn, o meine Seele, Gott, der dir, etc.
Afterwards the present books that were to be distributed among both young and old were named, and the proper use of this great and unmerited benefaction was praised to them. It was also a great thing, we said, that God had provided so abundantly not only through linen and books for the healthy but also through a large supply of sure and proved medicines for the sick and those who might become sick. It is truly written: “Knowest thou not that God’s kindness is drawing thee (oh Ebenezer) to penitence” (not compelling thee through frightful things and judgments, but through benefaction as bonds of love)? Or, according to our saying: “See what the Lord hath done unto us!” and is still doing.
Finally we all knelt, praised our Father reconciled in Christ for all His kindness and benefactions shown to us and our benefactors and requested for them as a reward for their love all that He Himself recognizes as useful and salutary for them. After the blessing had been said we went to my house for the distribution, where 103 adults and 65 children of the second and third transports and a few others here in this country who had come to our community for the sake of God’s word received, some of them linen, some of them ready-made shirts, some of them other things pertaining to clothing, Treasure Chests,2 and other edifying little tractates.
The first and last transports had been supplied with linen the previous time, that is, on 8 June of the current year, and these people received the Treasure Chest, The Glory and Dogma A.C, the splendid little tractate of the conversion, some very important sermons, some Bibles, hymnbooks, and Arndt’s books of True Christianity.3 Some men who have until now done very good service in the community and have not demanded payment received something special from the gifts as repayment for their disinterested industry. This will serve them and others as an encouragement. The distribution took place in the most beautiful order and to our great pleasure; and I believe that most went home laden with a spiritual and physical blessing and in their own houses and huts will praise the Lord according to the instructions they have received for His goodness and allow their hearts to be filled with the living recognition of His goodness and benefactions as we saw in the case of the godly Tobias. For their mouths will flow over, and housefathers and housemothers will be, as it were, ministers and tools of God in their homes, which will greatly expand the kingdom of God among us. Hallelujah! Bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not what good He hath done unto thee.
In Savannah we and our congregation always enjoy very much good from a German man Löwenberger and his wife,4 and we cause them much disquiet both day and night in our lodgings. Therefore we are going to allow them something from this beautiful blessing from the crate in place of any repayment. We also gave some other honest Germans in Savannah some Treasure Chests that were sent here abundantly in the former and present crates for our general enjoyment. From them God sends much edification to both the sick and the whole. In Abercorn there is but one obliging Englishman with two sons, who always receives us both day and night when we come up from Savannah and entertains us as best he can in his great poverty. We gave him, too, a ready-made shirt, which he will surely consider a great benefaction, since I know how he has acted in the case of much simpler things we have given him.
A great benefaction has also been made through the Venetian theriac and the 50 vials of Schauer Balm, which the worthy Mr. Caspar Schauer has sent here as a gift and which has already served the needy when circumstances required.
Saturday, the 22nd of October. Toward noon I went to young /Jacob/ Kieffer’s plantation as exercise and also to conduct some external business; yet God granted me a spiritual blessing in a short conversation with him and his wife. When I asked her how her heart had occupied itself this morning for her edification, she told me that she concerned herself with the important Bible story of the circumstances of Solomon’s anointment, which we had contemplated publicly some time ago, especially that the people, both large and small, had shown themselves so joyful and merry at it as had also happened in the New Testament at the entry of Christ, the true Son of the daughter of Zion, into Jerusalem. Just as David’s heart must have rejoiced deeply that everyone had received his dear Solomon with pleasure and joy of heart and were pleased with David’s counsel and commands, it is our heavenly Father’s earnest desire and most deepfelt pleasure when poor penitent sinners comfort themselves and rejoice in His Son as their Redeemer and Savior; and it is a shame that so few rightly understand the essence of Christianity. They put it all into mere legalistic practices, in omission of evil, and the exercise of good or at most into prayer; and they forget the most desirable thing, namely, the trusting acceptance, savoring, and seeing how loving the Lord is.
In a lovely hymn of the late Pastor Freylinghausen it says: “Moses no longer rules, Christ’s free spirit leads us, captivity is over. Whoever belongs in God’s house can now enjoy being His child through the penitence of Goel. Halleluja!”5 I am deeply impressed whenever I perceive from the words and stories of my parishioners that the word I have preached has taken root in their hearts and is bearing good fruit. The Bible stories are, as it were, an excellent vehicle to teach and instill the most important truths into their souls and also an adminiculum memoriae6 in order to remember the most important points again.
Sunday, the 23rd of October. This evening we came together in my study for the first time this fall to begin our song and prayer hour. The beginning was made with song and praise of God, then we learned the song that suited today’s text: So führst du denn recht selig, HErr, die Deinen.
Sunday, the 30th of October. In today’s gospel for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity I laid the important words of 2 Samuel 12:13, in which David’s sincere confession and Nathan’s gracious absolution stand close together, as a basis for my sermon and for the edification hour. Because, in the absence of my dear colleague, I had to present my meditations about them in both the morning and afternoon, I took the time to explain each and every point with the noticeable assistance of the Holy Ghost and to lay it on their consciences. A woman’s conscience had become aroused; and following the afternoon sermon (which was also a catechisation) she came to my study and poured forth her troubled soul. She is already a blessed soul, and that which God with His light has granted her to recognize concerning her perdition and her deficient penitence and faith will serve her for much progress toward good.
Monday, the 31st of October. The manager Kalcher showed me an English letter that a widow from Frederica had written him to thank him for all the good that she had enjoyed from him and his wife at the time of the Spanish invasion; and she sent his wife a pound of coffee and some silk ribbons as a token of her gratitude. At that time, at the request of the minister Orton, a private hut was evacuated for her and her children next to the orphanage; and she may have also received some service from the orphanage, which she still recognizes with thanks.
Thursday, the 3rd of November. Until now the young locksmith Schrempf has been looking around in the community for a helpmeet and has finally proposed to Kieffer’s fourth daughter;1 and her parents have promised him their consent. Both old parents, the betrothed, and Pichler and his wife / Margaretha Kieffer / came to my study yesterday towards evening with the request that the engagement take place in my presence and be consecrated through the word of God and prayer. I first gave them some admonitions as to how they should conduct their marriage in a Christian way if they wished to be comforted with all proofs of divine blessing. Afterwards I read them the very lovely 61st chapter of Isaiah, from which I had refreshed myself and my family at our morning prayer hour. Here I had a rich opportunity to present to them the splendid treasures of the New Testament that our Lord Christ merited for us so bitterly and which He now grants so readily through the gospel to all the miserable and brokenhearted, to them that mourn in Zion, and to spiritual captives. It was an opportunity to ask them to concern themselves earnestly with these treasures and with the royal bridal jewels, as stands in vv. 1-3, 6-10. Finally, we knelt and requested from our merciful and loving God a manifold blessing for this engaged couple and other people.
Saturday the 5th of November. A woman from the plantations sold my family for two shillings one pound of cotton ready for spinning, which money she will use this evening to pay toward her shoes. She is very poor and has always gone barefoot until now and has always borrowed shoes from her sisters for a few hours to go to church. This so touched my heart that I gave her the remaining two shillings necessary to cover the cost of the shoes. She has an honest disposition.
Tuesday, the 8th of November. According to His great mercy, our dear God granted me a great blessing from the catechism. May He let me remain forever a student of the same! This time the 17th and 18th questions followed in regular order from the Questionnaire. Oh, how much lies in it! It is good for me that I have to preach one thing at various places and therefore frequently; thus our loving Savior grants me His blessing often. May He be praised for the catechism. Oh, how blind man is to have made so little of it in previous times. Now may He be praised for forgiving this, as He does everything; and may He grant me, and all others, both large and small, a fine spirit to make better use of it.
Friday, the 11th of November. This morning N. informed me that the Lord took his little child to Himself last night. He said his wife was requesting me to come to her before the edification hour. Therefore I rode to her and learned that in the past night she had been in a strange mood. It had seemed to her that death was seizing her as well as her child. Because she did not know that she could die saved, she felt such fear and trembling that she did not know what she should do. It would not have been possible to speak with my dear colleague or with me, so she had Mrs. Thomas Stocher come to her as a pious woman.2 I told her that our dear God wished by that to make a new attempt and to see whether He could now win her completely. Until now, I said, she had often been forcefully awakened, but it had not yet come to a change of heart. Her heart was still malicious, it clung to both Jesus and the world; and therefore she should beg Him to make her hard heart both mellow and soft and draw it entirely to Him. The world should see that she is otherwise and no longer has her old mind. There was still grace for her, I said, and that is why our dear God had let her live, but it must become truth.
Tuesday, the 15th of November. After the edification hour I was called to M.K. /Matthias Kurtz/, who now dwells at the end of the plantations but was in the orphanage. I visited him because he had become weak since yesterday. He could now tell me with certainty that the Lord Jesus has forgiven him all his sins. He must trust Him in this now, he said; for, after all, one trusts even a man when he promises something. Soon thereafter I learned from his wife how he had come to that conclusion. To wit, last Sunday night he had become very miserable in his body, and then he saw at once what a miserable sinner he was, so that he became very frightened. In these same circumstances he was able to learn what he had not been able to believe before, namely, that a person could not die blessedly despite all his external good practices if he did not truly participate in the grace of God.
When the wife noticed this in her husband, she told him what he should do as she had heard it in the sermon: “Approach God, and He will approach you.” When he did this, he also experienced it. Oh, a loyal God, who so gladly comes to poor sinners. Among other things I told him that it is written there concerning our Lord Jesus, “He will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love and will forgive thee, he will joy over thee with singing.” If the Lord had forgiven him according to His loving kindness, then He would do him even more good according to his heart’s desire and show him one mercy after the other. That should awaken him to strive toward Him with even greater hunger and thirst and thus apply the short remainder of his life well.
The old tailor M. /Metzger/, who is an old sinner, also summoned me in the evening because he had become very sick. I told him that our dear God meant well with this sickness. He wished to bring him into quietude and to a recognition and a feeling of his sins. Therefore he should run through his entire life from youth on, for there he would find many dreadful sins, with which he has caused his Savior so much sorrow and effort. It is better, I said, if the sinner allows himself to be brought to a recognition of his sins during his period of grace rather than have them all presented to him on the day of judgment. There will be no more mercy there, but here even the greatest sinner can achieve mercy if he will just let himself be brought to true penitence and conversion. Therefore he should ask our dear God for this. At my departure I told his wife that she should hurry, for it is better for a person to think of his salvation in healthy days. She did not know, I said, whether she would become sick. If she did, she would feel physical pains at that time.
Tuesday, the 22nd of November. After today’s edification hour I spoke on the way home with a person who always wished to learn better to consort with the Lord Jesus in a childlike and trusting manner. In the previous week she had heard about that and had wished to hear about it again because she was greatly lacking in it. She is already with Jesus but allows herself to be drawn away from Him easily by the feeling of her frailties. Then she must begin all over, and thus she cannot progress further. In this regard I told her something of the love that she, as a mother, had for her children. If they did something wrong and felt sorry about it, what would her attitude be? She should reflect whether our Lord Jesus would act the way she would expect Him to be disposed toward her. This she could well understand. Therefore I said to her the words of Jesus: “Abide in my love.”
In the afternoon another person came to me who wished to know definitely that she stood in well with Jesus. She had so many obstacles, she said, and could not reach Him. Therefore I told her how, through the power of Jesus Christ, she should seek to break through all the way to Jesus like that woman. In addition she should bring all her burden to Him and ask Him to do with her what he said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Then she should remain still before Him so that He might do to her according to His heart’s pleasure what he so gladly does to poor sinners. He washes them in his blood, rejoices over them, forgives them everything so that such souls gain strength through such attestations of love of the Lord Jesus to love Him in return.
Wednesday, the 23rd of November. I visited a couple of children who have been in the preparation hour until now. First I spoke to the parents alone. I asked about their divine services at home and asked whether the father prayed jointly with the mother and children. She answered that they were not yet doing so, he was too shy to do so and thought the children could do it better. But I encouraged him in this and promised him to send the little book that the late Professor /August Hermann/ Francke had published for the good of the Glaucha congregation3.
Friday, the 25th of November. In the evening we buried the little English boy whom the schoolmaster Ortmann had taken in and who died this morning. At the interment I and others profited from the words that the Lord granted and that Pastor Muhlenberg called out to us in a letter: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” If this is to be comforting to us in the future, then we must really love it now. For who should be afraid of conversion? The Bridegroom is indeed there, who demands only the “Yea” word and one’s entire heart. He wishes to do it all Himself: wash us and purify us, confide in us with grace and mercy, give Himself entirely to us, and celebrate marriage with us in time and eternity.
Saturday, the 26th of November. I (Boltzius) surely have good grounds to praise our merciful God for the chastisements of sickness He has sent so far by which He has deigned to dignify me for my salvation. He has revealed to me all my sin and many of the spiritual trespasses which I have committed since childhood so vividly and has drawn me thereby to His throne of judgment that I have well learned to crawl to the cross of Jesus Christ and to the free and open Spring. In me, too, Jesus has made true His own words: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” likewise, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He has comforted me greatly through new assurances of His merciful forgiveness of all my sins and the gift of being a child of God and caused me to rejoice in my Christianity and my office. Now, among others, I dearly love the 34th Psalm, of which I made use during my journey to Savannah with all its dangers and which I made profitable to the other German people through the assistance of the Holy Ghost.
Sunday, the 27th of November. With this Sunday we began the new church year; and we must recognize, to the praise of God, that he has noticeably strengthened us in body and mind through the preaching of His word and that He has granted our souls much blessing, just as we have perceived this in some of our parishioners and hope to experience further. May Jesus transfigure Himself in our hearts through His spirit by means of the holy gospel through His entire merits so that, in this year, too, we can present Him and the whole abundance of his mercy to our dear parishioners and thus draw them to true conversion and godliness.
After the morning service I received the news that Matthias Kurtz had died this morning and (as we do not doubt) passed away in peace.
Monday, the 28th of November. This morning at eleven o’clock Matthias Kurtz was interred, and I took as the theme of my address in the churchyard the lovely song: Allenthalben, wo ich gehe, etc. For some time at all the burials of our dead I have begun to read a funeral hymn out of our hymnbook to the pallbearers in the cemetary and instructed them to understand it correctly and to apply it to their own salvation. Most beautiful and impressive funeral hymns would otherwise remain, as it were, a hidden treasure in the field, since such hymns are seldom sung publicly, and do us little good. With the above-mentioned hymn, which is composed very edifyingly and at the same time clearly and simply, I profited in two places today while visiting my parishioners. When there is a body to be buried on the plantations, it is brought to the Zion Church and set down at the door. The minister goes into church with the people and we sing before the body is carried away and a suitable chapter or psalm is read aloud and everyone sings. In town the funeral party assembles in the house where the body is; and the body is carried from here to the cemetary after the singing, prayers, and reading of the chapter.
Wednesday, the 30th of November. Some time ago, with the approval of the community, the Salzburger Stichler4 began to establish a tavern in an orderly and Christian manner (not for the harm, but for the use and convenience of his neighbors). For this he recently received, in my presence and at my recommendation, a written permission or licentia, which the English call a “licence.” In it is written his duty, namely, not to allow any disorder, gambling, or suchlikes and that he will appear at Easter again before the council with two witnesses, from whose mouths they wish to hear about his conduct. This license serves primarily to prevent any barroom from arising in that it forbids any and every person at our place to sell or serve strong drinks to guests. We greatly need an orderly host among us not only for the sake of the local inhabitants but also for the sake of strangers, for otherwise the people come to our houses as if they were taverns and demand everything for money or gratis; and, if they are refused, they grumble.
The two pious men, Hans Flerl and Theobald Kieffer, Jr., who are cutting boards for the orphanage, have hit upon a fine invention to cut cypress boards, which grow in low areas where the trees grow in great number. Here the land is full of water, because most of the year all the places in which such trees grow are flooded. Therefore they cannot dig a saw-pit for cutting boards as is usual, upon which the wood that is to be sawed is rolled and sawed by the man above and the man in the pit. Therefore they have made four ladders upon which they can saw the tree into boards up high. I am please that we are getting cypress boards for covering the walls of the houses all around, which boards last much longer in all kinds of weather than the boards of pine and fir,5 as we have sufficiently experienced in the case of roof shingles.
Friday, the 2nd of December. As I was riding to the edification hour on the plantations this morning, a pious Salzburger spoke to me through his fence and told me that the Lord had done great things in him at the end of the old and the beginning of the new church year and that he was right joyful in his faith and in his love for Jesus. Since yesterday he has had great refreshment from the pithy verse in Galatians 4:4, “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son,” etc. From it he had received much edification a year ago on the first Christmas day.
Tuesday, the 6th of December. During the day there was lovely sunshine; wherever it could penetrate, the snow and ice were melted, whereas they remained where it did not reach. On the way to the plantations some bushes hung so far down that one could not ride properly on the path. The snow must have bent them down. May our dear God grant us grace to contemplate better now how great He is in the realm of Nature. Because we see the snow so seldom, it appears so marvelous to us and we must be ashamed that we did not contemplate it in Germany.
Wednesday, the 7th of December. I spoke with a man about his condition. He said the Lord had already done much in him and had already awakened him often, but it had not come any further. I told him that our dear God had often held before him the sugar of His grace and had wished to lure him with it but that he had not wished to follow. It is written not only “Wake up, ye who sleep,” but also “Arise from the dead.” This last he should do. The Lord Jesus has enough power, I said, as He called to Lazarus in the tomb: “Lazarus, come out.” Thus he calls to the spiritually dead, if only they wish to follow His call; and the Lord Jesus will loosen all bonds so that they will be free, and that means that, when that occurs, Jesus receives the sinners and eats with them.
Saturday, the 10th of December. Because there are no plowshares to be had here in this land or in Carolina and it is uncertain whether Mr. Vigera can send such things from New York and Pennsylvania, we would be glad to see a Christian friend in London, to whom our desire for such farm implements was made known, buy for us a few metal plates or unfinished plowshares with the necessary saws or blades. Each pair of neighbors would like to have a plow of their own.
Sunday, the 11th of December. The many catechism books that we received in a large book chest through the care of Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen have been fetched in large numbers by both adults and children especially in the last church year, since on Sundays, instead of the Sunday epistles, the catechism has been treated clearly and edifyingly through questions and answers. We detect a greater love and respect for this dear little book in many of our parishioners than we did in past years. For the old fantasy had set itself very firmly in many hearts that the catechism was only for children. Now very few of these catechism booklets are remaining. For our congregation, and for other Germans of our confession in the country, it would be a great benefaction if we could again receive a supply of such books.
Tuesday, the 13th of December. Among us there is a great desire for Christian servants of both sexes and all ages, of which a rather large number could be used. Our married couples are mostly young and have small children and therefore greatly need maids for the children and other household chores. The men would progress much better in farming and cattle-raising and accomplish more if they could get loyal hired hands for a fair wage. May God provide in this lack, too, and let us detect the footsteps of His providence.
Tuesday, the 20th of December. The young locksmith Schrempf is a skillful and industrious worker; and, because he can make all sorts of things, there is always enough work for him. It is a great obstacle in his profession that he can get no black sheet-iron in either Savannah or Charleston and that he is required to disassemble old hoes and pans and hammer the plate when he needs it. He would also make wind stoves at a cheap price for our people in their rooms if only he could get sheet metal; and this would be a great benefaction for many, especially for those who are sick or have small children. He has asked me to help him acquire a hundredweight of sheet metal from London, for which he will gladly pay. We do not like to burden our friends with such matters, since they have other important and complicated business; yet we also know that this will not displease them, rather, in accordance with the great affection which they bear for us, they have asked us to write them frankly about all the things we lack. Therefore, we have taken the liberty of allowing the lacks and the desires of our parishioners to flow into our diaries and into the letters to them.
Wednesday, the 21st of December. We have now transfered our singing lesson to the church. My heated study, in which we formerly held it, was always filled with people and with dense smoke and heavy vapor that was very uncomfortable for us in our singing lesson and prayers and especially for me afterwards, because I do my business in this study. We have enough room in the Jerusalem Church, also the windows and doors are protected so that it is tolerably warm even in cold weather. If anyone sings and prays with holy zeal, he sings and prays himself warm and disregards a little external discomfort for the sake of the great spiritual profit. This singing lesson is now held immediately after the regular prayer hour. For this purpose those people whose circumstances allow them to attend the singing lesson remain in the church. We sing for only a half an hour, then we pray so that not more than three quarters of an hour are spent. We keep it short because many still have chores in the evening or else have small children and would for that reason have to miss the prayer hour or the singing lesson if they lasted too long. Yesterday we learned the very important communion song: Jesus Christus, unser Heyland, der von uns, etc.
Sunday and Monday were the Christmas Celebration
In it God granted us not only mild weather and much rest and tranquility, but also rich edification from the grace-filled and comforting gospel of the incarnation and birth of our highly meritorious Savior. On the first day of Christmas the entire congregation was together in the Jerusalem Church in great numbers. In the morning we preached from the regular Christmas gospel and in the afternoon from the epistle reading in Titus 2; and we also held catechism. It was all directed toward helping both old and young to be able trustingly and actively to recognize our Jesus, who sold Himself dearly for us and came into the world and into flesh through incomprehensible and ineffable love. On the second day of Christmas the congregation was divided and the divine service was held simultaneously in the Jerusalem Church and the Zion Church as is usual on Sundays and feast days. The word of God was preached from the gospel of Luke 2:15 ff.; and it was repeated in the afternoon through questions and answers.
Wednesday, the 28th of December. After the death of her mother the young Kieffer woman / Anna Elisabetha Depp/ had her brother and sister come to our place, for which she, and especially her husband, Jacob Kieffer, had a good purpose. Her brother is an apprentice with the shoemaker Zettler and has gone until now to the preparation hour; and, because he is also diligent and attentive during the sermons and prayers, he has noticeably lost the blindness in spiritual matters that he brought here with him and has experienced the power of the word in his heart for a recognition of his self and his salvation in Christ. He took Holy Communion once in Orangeburg1 but little understood what it meant and experienced even less with regard to penitence and faith. Now he longs for Holy Communion among us and will probably be admitted to it next time.
Friday, the 30th of December. Mrs. Schweighoffer has arisen again from her sickbed and has gone out again. She visited me in the afternoon and registered for Holy Communion and praised the grace and love of God that she had experienced on her sickbed. It now holds of her too: “I shall guard myself all my life long from such anguish of my soul.” She was misled by her own heart which she trusted more than other people who had insight and experience. Formerly she could not be at all convinced of her obstinacy, inordinate love for her children, and suspicion against other pious people. Now Mr. N. has convinced her, changed her heart, and brought it to grace so that she rejoyces, albeit with trembling.
Sunday, the 31st of December. N. /Ruprecht Steiner/ told me that in the last edification hour God had opened his wife’s /Maria’s/ eyes through His word so that she is beginning to recognize her blindness in spiritual matters and to be ashamed of her poor Christianity. He is working loyally on her; but he is also requesting me to visit her. She is ashamed to learn to read and to let us instruct her further in Christian dogma; and that is why her husband asked me for advice. The chief and basic truths of the Christian religion, which everyone must necessarily know to achieve salvation, are already known to this honest and diligent woman. However, because God has revealed her perdition to her, she considers herself blind in all things and wishes to continue with instruction in town if no other arrangements can be made for it.
I do not believe that this woman has to go to a special instruction lesson, if only she will diligently visit the sermons and edification hours as she has done so far, and carefully repeat with her husband what she has heard and pray zealously about it. Concerning the last two points she failed in previous times, and this was a cross for her husband. He is very much concerned with his Christianity. If the Holy Ghost can penetrate to him with its office of chastisement and persuasion, then it can also perform its instructive office in her and transfigure in her the divine truths that she hears and which she herself is gradually learning to read. Then she will find everything that is necessary for salvation to be clear and savory.
It is a pity that our Salzburgers cannot acquire any hired hands or maids and that all their work lies on their own necks. Most of them have small children and they are sometimes sick, and all this hinders them in many spiritual practices. God will also care for them more in this. This story by Steiner will serve me through God’s grace to make better use of simplicity in my sermons and to repeat the matter preached all the more diligently.2
May our loving and gracious God be cordially and humbly praised for all His assistance that He has granted us in our office so abundantly in this year that has just ended.