Of the two pastors, Mr. Boltzius and Mr. Gronau
From January 1st to the end of the year 1738
Sunday, the 1st of January. Before the afternoon divine service I received a visit from a man who recently sinned grievously against God and His commandments, but whose heart is now penitent. It is very difficult for him to win God’s grace again after he has once been unfaithful; but, if the Lord helps him through it, he will surely guard himself his life long from such vexation of his soul. He could hardly speak because of his tears; and it was hardly necessary for him to do so, because I had already known for a long time of his sin and his pangs of conscience caused by it. Such souls who begin to feel their sins and the anger they cause God will surely receive comfort and the wealth of God’s mercy in due time, provided they remain faithful. Concerning this, we preached from the twelfth chapter of Isaiah briefly at the beginning of the morning prayer meeting and in more detail in the repetition hour. God be praised for all the blessings he has bestowed already today on us two and on several of the congregation from the sweet gospel of Jesus our Savior. May He allow some fruit therefrom to remain into eternity to the praise of his glory!
Already two days ago N. [Pichler] announced that he had resolved, through God’s mercy, to partake of Holy Communion together with his sick wife. This time he was able to bear better witness of her than he had been able to the last time. Previously his wife had always resented it when my dear colleague and I could not consider her to be what she wanted us to think she was; and she usually expressed her anger about this more against her husband than against us. We hope from our hearts that she will so arrange her affairs that she will not stand naked and disgraced on the Day of Judgment.
In the past year one couple has been married in our congregation, seven children have been born, twelve persons have died, and from the very start up to this time sixty-four persons have died.
Monday, the 2nd of January. Mrs. Schweighofer visited me before the prayer hour and asked me about the meaning of the dear words of Christ in Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” etc., likewise, “Blessed are the merciful.” She wished to know whether she too might partake of this blessedness. I gave her examples of both of these that she herself practiced daily and tried to apply to her the goodness that flows to us from the heart of our dear Savior. And, because she constantly complains and worries about her perdition and great spiritual wretchedness, I referred her again to the well-spring of salvation in Christ, to which she should flee or crawl as a sick and miserable wretch; for here everything that pains us will be removed and everything we are lacking will be abundantly restored. She is joyful in her heart that she will soon move into the orphanage and will enjoy, both mornings and evenings, not only bodily food but also the divine Word as the food much desired by her soul. Since she is being relieved of her two other children, who have been causing her much care and worry, she hopes to be all the less hindered in preparing herself for eternity. She prays diligently and with faith and will help to petition divine blessings as compensation for all our dear benefactors whose charitable donations supported the beginnings of our orphanage.
Tuesday, the 3rd of January. Today my dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, returned to Savannah in order to preach the word of the Lord to the newly arrived Germans12 and to administer Holy Communion. May the Lord Jesus bless all this and let much good be caused by it!
After school this morning three children came to me and said they would like to learn to believe. This may well be the occasion for such a resolution: yesterday in the prayer hour my dear colleague said how much it would please him when he returned from Savannah, if one or more children would bring him the joyful tidings and could truthfully say that the Lord Jesus had accepted them and had shown mercy on them, in which case he would at once kneel with such a child and heartily praise God for it. I spoke with these three children and told them I was pleased that they had made such a resolution, but they should not let matters rest at that but should not cease until it had come to pass. It was not enough to begin well (as they had often done before), but they must give their hearts entirely unto the Lord. I also told them to their comfort that the dear Lord would so bless them in Christ that each of them could turn himself from evil. He had exalted Jesus to be a prince and savior in order to give Israel penitence and forgiveness of sins, these last words being the ones I had used this very morning in the prayer hour.
Wednesday, the 4th of January. Mrs. H. [Helfenstein] visited me this morning and told me with joy how the dear Lord had greatly blessed her soul at the last prayer meeting that Mr. Boltzius had held on Monday.13 When she had come home she had not found her daughter and had waited for her a long time.14 When the daughter finally returned, she learned that the dear Lord had also blessed the prayer hour in her, for which reason she (the daughter) had gone out immediately after the prayer hour and had called upon the dear Lord with all her heart to make her truly poor in spirit and to bring her to a recognition of her sins. She also told her that it had always seemed to her that she should first go home and get warm and then pray, but she did not wish to let herself be deterred from her resolution. At the same time she15 gave her good advice and admonished her how she should continue in this way so that she would someday come straight to Jesus. She told me that God is working on both16 her sons, but that they are still much too frivolous.
Recently one of them dreamed that he had to hurry, for the axe was already placed at the root of the tree and, if it did not soon bear good fruit, it would be cut down and cast into the fire. Thereupon he prayed diligently to God in bed until he got up. The other one also dreamed that he was standing at the edge of the water with many other people, when a crocodile came out and approached him alone and wished to eat him. Therefore she admonished him not to be so frivolous but to think of his salvation: Satan, who is compared in Holy Scripture to the Leviathan, wished to swallow him up completely. These were merely dreams, she said; yet she thought one should not ignore them entirely. She also said that her daughter had told her how there were still some children in the school who were giving themselves to Jesus. She had asked one of the girls how she was doing, whereupon she answered that she was earnestly trying to improve.
After the evening prayer meeting the previously mentioned three children came to me and said they would not slacken until they had won Jesus and that I should pray for them. One sees how these children now pray diligently in the prayer meeting, as they have not previously done.
Thursday, the 5th of January. In the evening after the prayer hour not only the first three children but also two other ones from the orphanage came to pray with me. First I told them something about the joy the Lord Jesus would have if they came to Him in truth, and I told them that they should not rest until they had come to Him entirely and given themselves to Him. They would have to undertake this with true seriousness and with great daring, they must be concerned only with the Lord Jesus and His mercy, even if they were to be ridiculed for it by ill behaved children. For all this the Savior Himself would give them strength, for without Him they could do nothing. Thereupon we knelt down together and prayed. Now may the Lord Jesus, as the good Shepherd, let these lambs be commended to His pastoral care and may He also give me wisdom to advise them rightly.
Friday, the 6th of January. Shortly before the noon service my dear God brought me (Boltzius) home again. At first I was of a mind to spend this day, the Feast of Epiphany, preaching the divine Word in Purysburg; but I was too weak physically and I also heard there that they knew nothing of this holy day, and therefore I traveled home as quickly as I could. I was already indisposed at my departure from Ebenezer; but, since the trip had to take place, the Lord strengthened me so much in Savannah that I was able to consort with the German people there both Tuesday afternoon and also on Wednesday and to prepare them from God’s word to receive Holy Communion. Now that they have received spiritual guidance and have been clearly shown the way to the Kingdom of God, we must wait to see whether any fruit will result from it. There are dreadful swearers and other ill behaved people among them, as the Salzburgers who took me down noted. If they should be disobedient or unfaithful in the service of the Lord Trustees and thus cause great annoyance, we will withdraw from them or at least exclude the misbehavers from Communion as an example for the others, after first warning them sincerely and kindly.
They consider themselves unfortunate for having come to this province of Georgia and not to Pennsylvania, from where some of them have received good letters. However, because I know from oral and written reports of the miserable condition of the people there, who have been sold by the ship captains as indentured servants for several years, I showed them all in an hour what advantages they had not only over the servants in Pennsylvania and Carolina but also over the other servants here in Georgia because of the concern of the Lord Trustees so that, through these remonstrances, they might be restrained from all grumbling, recalcitrancy, and other misbehavior. If they behave themselves they will profit from it and Mr. Causton will take all possible care of them and their children. At my request he will compensate one or two schoolmasters with clothing, provisions, etc., if they will teach the children. But there is no time here for that except before day in winter and evenings after the work has been done: men, women, and children must apply the whole day to work. In the summer they have a few hours free when the heat is too great, at which time school could be held. I was asked for ABC books for children and for New Testaments and Bibles for the adults, which are to be brought down for them in the future when one of us comes down. They would be pleased if the Word of God were preached to them at least once every four weeks, which, with God’s help, is to be done. If we should come down to Savannah from time to time for other reasons (as has often been necessary up to now), then we will hold an evening prayer hour with them. Mr. Causton is very pleased with all this and will give provisions and one shilling per day as pay for the Salzburgers who bring me or my dear colleague down for this purpose.
[Capt. Thomson17 was still in Savannah with his ship, and I would have liked to give him a letter to Court Preacher Ziegenhagen, if only I had not been interrupted after starting to write. We are expecting a ship from London any day, at which time we will immediately answer the letters for which we are hoping.]
Saturday, the 7th of January. Mr. Causton is willing for me to accept the Purysburg shoemaker Reck into our congregation; but he reminded me of the hypocrisy of N. [Rheinlaender], who was accepted upon my intercession. I told him clearly that he had not lived well in general but that he was resolved to improve his ways and to tear himself away earnestly from his dissolute comrades. After my return I reported Mr. Causton’s worries to shoemaker Reck and let him know that I would not allow him to entertain old acquaintances or to drink or misbehave, etc. He promises much, and we can only hope for the best.
N. [Ott] came to me and reported that a young Salzburger had brought him several shillings with which he wished to repay him for some damage for which he felt responsible. However, he was not to blame, rather the damage was caused by something else; and therefore he felt pangs of conscience at keeping the money. I advised him to return it and, if the Salzburger did not wish to accept it, to bring it to me. His overly sensitive conscience may have been touched again by God’s word; and therefore he wishes to be freed from anything that might cause him any disquiet, even though he is very poor. Ott will not yet resign himself to the divine dispensation, yet I am pleased that he will not accept and keep money that does not belong to him.
Because the chapters concerning the particular unrighteous acts of the Children of Israel have been completed in the previous prayer hours, I spoke this evening about the general purpose God has in presenting them. This cannot only be so that we will know what kind of uncleanliness and repulsive sicknesses His people had and the means he ordered against them, but rather that we will recognize sin as the source of all, even physical, evil and the resulting repulsive spiritual uncleanliness because of which we would have to be expelled from communion with God and the holy angels and so will seek purification from it in Christ and his blood of reconciliation. For an explanation and application of this matter I read from, and briefly explained, 1 John 1:7–10 and 2:1–2; and, from this, frivolous and confident people were warned, whereas penitent and sin-laden souls were comforted in Christ. After the prayer hour a certain man [the schoolmaster Ortmann] complained to me that he could lay hold of no hope because he had spent his youth so disgracefully and in such worldly pleasures and had served the devil so much and had become such an old tree that he did not know what would become of him. For his comfort I spoke a bit with him about the above-mentioned passage and also about 1 Peter 4:3.
Sunday, the 8th of January. Today has been a most refreshing and blessed Sunday for me and, as I have learned, also for others, for which may His holy Name be for ever and eternally praised and exalted! In today’s prayer hour, which was again held in the medico’s hut as has been done before, we repeated that part of the morning sermon that we could not complete in the repetition hour because of lack of time. Today the children caused me more pleasure than usual.
The day before yesterday Mrs. Rothenberger bore a young daughter, who was baptized publicly today.
Monday, the 9th of January. Last Sunday the surveyor18 returned to us from Purysburg to complete his work once and for all [because he surmises that Mr. Oglethorpe will come soon and may not be pleased with his negligence]. He is now surveying all the land that belongs to the city, as well as all the gardens, as we would have liked long ago. He led both of us to the piece of land which he is planning to measure out for our gardens. It lies in the angle made by the Savannah River and Ebenezer Creek and therefore could not be surveyed for the Salzburgers according to Mr. Oglethorpe’s plan. It is large enough for each of us to receive a well laid out garden.
Last week, with divine assistance, we completed all the structures which were required for our home for orphans and widows.19 In addition to the orphanage, which consists of three sitting rooms and three bedrooms, we have built: 1) a spacious kitchen with an attached pantry, 2) a large cowshed for the cows we now have and for those we hope to receive from divine providence, 3) a firm pigpen with a chicken coop above it under its roof, 4) a spacious toilette with three separate booths for married people, boys, and girls, 5) a spacious hut for the mill, bake-oven, and wash cauldrons, which we are expecting from the generous hand of God. These structures, which are indispensable for our housekeeping, have required so much money and expense that neither we ourselves nor the builders could have imagined it. But everything has been built so solidly, neatly, and comfortably that everyone who knows about it must evaluate it even higher than the expenses have run.
Now, even if we have expended the provision that God has granted us for it, and even a bit more, it will be easy for the Lord to grant enough more to enable us to accept poor children and impecunious widows or at least to maintain those whom we have already accepted with His blessing. [Nothing can be expected from Savannah, for promises from there are subject to many changes and exceptions.] During the entire construction God has averted all injury and strengthened all the workers right noticeably in their bodies. They in turn began their work every morning and ended it every evening with prayer; and, to my joy and to the furtherance of the work, they showed great diligence, loyalty, and unity, as befits Christian workers.
Now that they have moved from the doctor’s hut into this new home to take care of the children, Kalcher and his wife are in great distress and consider themselves entirely unqualified by their previous experience for this important office as directors and parents. I had to make every effort to raise their troubled and depressed spirits and to direct them to the true source from which all strength for good works may be obtained. In my duties concerning the orphanage they are truly my right hand; and through God’s grace they are the kind of people whom the Lord has prepared as vessels of his mercy and whom he already uses and will continue to use as tools of his mercy on the children and others. And therefore I am very pleased that they are growing smaller and smaller in their own eyes and see better and better the importance of their office and therefore strive all the more zealously to ask, seek, and knock. They administer the housekeeping so orderly and exactly that they could serve as models for others. The children whom they have under their supervision so far have, through God’s mercy, become much better behaved and much better mannered and at ease in their social conduct; and this gives us good hope also in regard to those who will be added. The Salzburger Herzog has requested, through other people and in person, to be accepted and cared for in the orphanage; because, as a result of his natural simplicity and special circumstances, he is not in a position to earn his bread. At times his physical circumstances have made him miserable in body and soul; and, because, as all those familiar with his circumstances know, he would perish, he has been accepted and is doing right good service in the housekeeping for Kalcher, who is now supervising him. He genuinely fears God but has his weaknesses, which we must bear. The Lord be praised for everything!
Tuesday, the 10th of January. This evening our regular prayer meeting was canceled and the time destined for it was used for the dedication of our new orphanage. To be sure, no signal for this was given by the bell as is made for the prayer meeting; yet almost the entire congregation had gathered, and we attempted to pass our time together in the new house with singing, praying, and the contemplation of the edifying example of the Lord Jesus in order to urge both adults and children to follow in His steps. The text was from the recent Sunday gospel Luke 2:49–52; and, after quoting it, I especially stressed the two major points, the godliness and obedience that can be presented in the dear example of Christ for imitation by children and adults; and I designated Psalms 99:4 as a source from which they could gain strength for such imitation. After the sermon we fell on our knees together and praised God for all the physical and spiritual blessings he has granted us so far and implored Him, for us and for our benefactors, all gifts and benefactions necessary for this life and for the life to come.
The people who live together in the house are 1) Kalcher and his wife and child, 2) Mrs. Schweighofer, a true Hannah (Luke 2:3), 3) the Salzburger Herzog as handyman, and 4) the orphans, namely three boys and eight girls. The ninth, to wit, Margaret Huber, remains for cogent reasons under the supervision of Peter Gruber and his wife but receives her subsistence from the orphanage. Four children are still expected from Purysburg, whose parents promise to repay their rations after the harvest.
The names and the conditions of the orphans are as follows: 1) Catharina Holtzer, 14 years old. Her mother died here as a widow on 28 August 1737. She is now being prepared for Holy Communion; afterwards, if she is strong enough, she will be trained for housekeeping and domestic chores. 2) Sophia Catharina Elisabeth Arnsdorf, 14 years old, and 3) Dorothea Catharina Arnsdorf, 6 years old, are the children of the shoemaker who lost his life in the water at Purysburg on 1 July 1737.20 The widow is still living with us and is still keeping two of the children with her to help in her work. 4) Thomas Schweighofer, 9 years old, and 5) Maria Schweighofer, 11 years old, and 6) Ursula Schweighofer, 5¼ years old, are the children of the above-named widow who was paralyzed by a stroke. The father died in Old Ebenezer on 21 March 1736. 7) Susanna Haberfehner, 16 years old, and 8) Magdalena Haberfehner, 14 years old, are the children of a pious Austrian. The father died on 29 April 1736 and the mother on 28 October 1736. The oldest girl is weakminded and must still go to school in order to learn to recognize the path to salvation. 9) Johann Jacob Helfenstein, 12 years old, and 10) Jeremiah Helfenstein, 10 years old, are the children of the tanner who came to us with the third transport. He died on 23 October 1736; and his widow leads an edifying life among us in great physical poverty. Besides these two children she has four others. The oldest daughter is a maid in my service; the oldest son is to learn the shoemaker’s trade in Savannah, the middle daughter helps her mother, and the youngest son of four years still needs his mother’s care. 11) Eva Rosina Unselt, 10 years old, is the youngest daughter of the old schoolmaster who came to Purysburg four years ago with his wife and four daughters. Both parents are dead. 12) Margareta Huber, ten years old, is the only surviving daughter of the entire Huber family, which consisted of six persons. She is still under Peter Gruber’s supervision.
In addition to these children, we also take care of the widowed Austrian Grimmiger’s child Catharina, 2 years old; and, since it cannot be taken into the orphanage because of its tender age, Mrs. Rieser is being paid from the poor box, as previously, to take motherly care of this child. The father of this child is almost always sick and unable to support it. To maintain a child, when large and small are averaged out, requires at least three pounds sterling, which, to be sure, is very much according to German money; but here in this country, where everything is very expensive and money is scarce, it will buy very little. No matter how much the maintenance of the orphanage and the education of the orphans may cost, our dear Lord cares more about one soul, if it can be saved from physical, spiritual, and eternal death, than for all the treasures and wealth of this world.
How miserable it would be if our orphans were scattered here and there throughout the country to earn their bread; for then, like other miserable children, they would grow up not only in ignorance but also in wickedness and heathen horror and would be of no future value either to God or man. Our Salzburgers are so occupied with their own poverty that they are unable to contribute towards the maintenance of the orphans. For our part, we could not help but risk this undertaking in faith and await divine approbation through God’s granting of support for it. Our loyal Savior, who so dearly loves children and wishes to have them led to Him so that He may bless them, has sufficient physical blessings and will surely grant enough to enable us to maintain the few lambs that we now have as well as others. Yesterday, while I was inspiring the childish fear of and love for God that have been presented to us for our imitation of the example of Christ, it occurred to me what is meant by Psalm 34:11: “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” We have accepted this word of God in faith and will await its fulfilment.
The program with the children is as follows: they all arise early in the morning before five o’clock, wash, and get dressed, whereupon one of us sings a song with them and lets them read a chapter from the Bible in regular order. We then discuss it briefly for their edification, and finally we kneel to pray and close with one or two versicles. When they are completely dressed, they are assigned some housekeeping task until breakfast; or, if they have something to learn, they have time for that. After breakfast, which is always a hot meal, they go together to school, which lasts until midday. After the noonday meal, as also after the afternoon school, which lasts from two to four o’clock, the boys, who are still very little, are put to some work in the garden or to something else useful, whereas the girls are put to some female work (to which more attention will be paid from now on). As can be easily guessed, their work does not amount to much but is necessary for its own sake so that they will soon be accustomed from youth up to useful things and be kept from idleness. When evening comes, which is now at about six o’clock, they are led to the prayer meeting and afterwards they repeat in their private prayer what they have already had in catechism. Everything for the glory of God!
Wednesday, the 11th of January. I assembled the men to discuss general matters with them in order to maintain good order and good understanding among all members of the congregation. This time we have a very pleasant winter. The frost, which has fallen a few times, has never lasted but has soon changed into a right pleasant and temperate warmth by day and sometimes at night too.
Mrs. Kalcher has attested to me her right sincere pleasure that God has ordained for Mrs. Schweighofer to be accepted into the orphanage, because she finds in her a right serious companion in prayer and spiritual struggle. She applies her sojourn like the godly Hanna (Luke 2) and is trying, through the grace of God, to make careful use of this beautiful example of a righteous widow. She has always wished sincerely before the Lord for her three children to change; and now it appears that the Lord has looked with mercy on her prayers and tears, since both the boy and the girl are now giving more hope than previously.
Thursday, the 12th of January. Mrs. P. [Pichler] is still sick and yearns to go to Savannah to be cured by a doctor there; and her husband has agreed to this because he cannot contradict her in her excessive self-will. We have wished to treat her with medications, as we have done for other people in her condition with good success, God be praised! However, because they did not take effect at once, especially since she did not care to take them according to the given directions, she considered them more harmful than helpful. Her worldly nature longs for comfort and greater relaxation for her body than she finds here; and therefore she will surely nag and drive her husband until he finally resolves to leave here completely, since he himself is not yet firm in his Christianity but has it more in thoughts and resolutions than in deeds. He has had to put up with a great deal from her so far, and she has blamed him for all her physical and spiritual misery and made the most bitter and dreadful reproaches so that, when he complained to us about it, we were horribly shocked. Her head is full of Pennsylvania and the alleged good times there, but things could go very wrong for her there and it might be well if she would let herself be warned. The most horrible thing about it is that she is risking the most extreme danger of going to eternal damnation yet does not wish to believe it.
Today, in the course of my work, I paid a visit to H. F.’s [Hans Floerel’s] wife, which she herself recognized, with tears, as a fatherly dispensation of the Lord. She is deeply aware of her sins and stands as a right poor sinner in a pure and sincere yearning for her salvation in Christ, which she herself, however, cannot recognize as sincere and pure. She only said that she would have prayed but that she could not find any words for it, for which reason she was holding the 55th Psalm in her hands when I found her. I read the Psalm to her and showed her that in it our Lord Jesus had prayed for His suffering and struggling members those things that they should pray after Him in His spirit. From His own experience He assured them with these words, among others, that they would be heard: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” I then spoke further with her according to her condition and prayed with her as simply as I could, and the Lord gave His blessing.
Friday, the 13th of January. Yesterday N. [Eischberger] asked me to drop in on him sometime, and I did it today and led a very necessary discussion with him and his wife concerning what pertains to salvation. For some time God has been awakening the man mightily with His word, and now he well recognizes that he is lacking in a thorough conversion and change of heart and that he cannot yet say with truth: “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded”; yet he has made the good resolution to hurry and save his soul. For some time his wife has not been able to come to church or to the prayer meeting because of her situation, since she has been sick some of the time and has borne a little child. We can notice bad consequences of this very much in that she has become more indolent and careless, and for this reason I attempted to awaken her today to a real seriousness.
God has caused us an unexpected pleasure through the unexpected arrival of Mr. Thilo. He came to us with our boat, which had been sent already on Monday for provisions, and brought some very enjoyable letters from Court Preacher Ziegenhagen, Senior Urlsperger, and Professor Francke, from which we could again take much material for the praise of our merciful Lord. God brought our dear Mr. Thilo here healthy and happy on the ship that has brought provisions from Ireland for this colony;21 and today he joined us in humbly praising the Lord for all the mercy that has been shown him. Praise be to the Lord, who has fulfilled our wish even sooner than we expected. An unusual joy has arisen among the congregation at his arrival, especially since they still remember clearly the good recommendation I once read to them out of a letter from Professor Francke. Those things he brought for himself, for us, and for the congregation are still in Savannah; and arrangements will soon be made to fetch them. Now God has shown us again in our want that His river is full of water and that he has awakened various benefactors to various charitable gifts; and may He reveal Himself as a gracious and bountiful rewarder of them.22
Saturday, the 14th of January. This morning my dear colleague, Mr. Boltzius, has gone to Savannah with Mr. Thilo in order to fetch his and our things and to speak with Mr. Causton concerning Mr. Thilo’s provisions. He hopes, God willing, to hold divine services with the German people in Savannah. The reason that he hurried so much is this: there is a sick woman here who would like to be treated by Mr. Thilo. However, he has none of his medicines here and would therefore like to fetch them. It is very peculiar about this woman:23 as previously reported, she had always wished to go to Savannah, but the trip was always postponed. Finally it was firmly resolved that she would go down as soon as our boat returned. But, when the time came, our dear Mr. Thilo arrived with our boat; so it was not necessary. This sick woman’s husband could hardly speak a word because of his tears and amazement. Thus does our dear Lord provide! [Meanwhile, he has prescribed some of our pulv. bozoard. for her.]24
Sunday, the 15th of January. I tried to show the congregation from today’s gospel, John 2:1 ff., how the dear Lord guides his people, amazingly to be sure, but also gloriously and blissfully. May the Lord bless this on them all! This evening in the prayer meeting, which was held for the first time in the kitchen of the orphanage, I read to those present about the edifying death of the late Römer from the Collection for the Building of the Kingdom of God.25 Our so loyal and loving God greatly blessed this for me and the others.
Monday, the 16th of January. Last Saturday four more children came to us from Purysburg who have been taken in by the orphanage and whose parents wish to repay their rations after the harvest. Now there are thirty-two children altogether in the school. May the Lord Jesus have mercy upon them, and may they let themselves be gathered as lambs in His arms! In the evening during the prayer meeting we had the verse: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings, etc.” That’s the way it is: no one is better off than he who fears the name of the Lord! This will be revealed on Judgment Day. Here the world is blind; but there one shall see what a difference there is between the righteous and the godless, between him who serves God and him who does not.
Tuesday, the 17th of January. By Mr. Thilo’s return everything in his hut will have been put into good order so that he will be able to enjoy the greatest possible comfort in it. The hut, like the roof, is well guarded all around against the wind and rain and is furnished with two bedrooms, both of them provided with thick oaken floor boards. The courtyard is separated from the garden by a firm fence. In the yard, in addition to the house, there is a spacious kitchen along with a hearth, also a pigpen and chicken coop and other necessary conveniences.26 Across the street on the right side is the orphanage, and behind the garden lies the place where, with divine blessing, the church and school are to be built.
Wednesday, the 18th of January. I (Boltzius) was held up along with Mr. Thilo in Savannah longer than we had imagined. The ship did not arrive before Savannah until Monday noon, and yesterday morning his things were delivered to our boat so that we departed at about noon and came to our dear Ebenezer at about noon today with comfort of body and soul. The captain of the ship could not yet give us what was sent to us and the congregation in the way of money and things, but he comforted us with the knowledge that everything could be fetched next week. Captain Daubatz has proved friendly to Mr. Thilo. We told him how meanly the ship captains are accustomed to treat their passengers and that the good treatment he gave will serve as material for the praise of God and for intercessions for those who helped him in the task. Also, he was unable to tell of any storm or danger at sea. Mr. Causton has shown Mr. Thilo every kindness and was ready to give him the allotted provisions, kitchen utensils, and house tools, that are usually give by the Lord Trustees. However, since there are now few in the store-house, he will get them later.
On Sunday morning and afternoon I held divine services for the newly arrived German people in the regular church. In the morning I preached those truths from the gospel for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, John 2:1 ff., first those that lie in the text, namely that the friends of the Lord Jesus have, to be sure, their hardship and distress of soul and body in this pilgrimage yet do not despair in them but exercise themselves in praying, waiting, and obeying according to the example of the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. Help will come at a certain and already ordained time; at which hour the Lord Jesus will appear to us all the greater and sweeter in His glory and loving qualities. As an application I explained to them what an important difference there is between the hardship and distress of the righteous and that of the godless; and I told them that they should consider it to be the real affliction of unconverted people in Christendom and in every congregation that such people lie in their sins and under the anger of the Lord and yet neither know it nor believe it. In this regard they have received sufficient instruction for their salvation.
In the afternoon I briefly repeated the morning sermon and applied the verse 2 Peter 2:9 to it as a basis for edification; and I showed what godly and unrighteous people may finally expect according to the witness of the Holy Spirit. These people from the Palatinate come, to be sure, diligently and show a desire and reverence for the Word of God; but I have not yet been able to recognize any other fruit but this. They know very few edifying songs, so that we must accommodate ourselves to them. Most of them are full of grumbling and complaints, although Mr. Causton takes good care of them and they receive more kindness through the good orders of the Lord Trustees than other servants in the colony. They would like to be free, but they have engaged themselves as servants in writing. The most grievous thing is that their children must serve until they are twenty-five years old even though the parents and adults are free after five years. They besieged me with requests to speak to Mr. Causton on their behalf and to ask for this or that for them, which I gladly did as far as was feasible. Unreasonable demands we refuse to accept.
Senior Urlsperger has written a very edifying and affectionate letter to our congregation, which, with God’s grace, I shall put to use for our listeners in the prayer meeting. According to church order I am to treat a very edifying and pure evangelical matter in Leviticus 16 concerning the typical reconciliation in the Old Testament, and in this I shall refer my listeners constantly to Christ and the reconciliation he has instituted, which is the principal treasure of the New Testament and is recommended to us by the gospel. Today the example of the high priest showed us that the day of reconciliation of the New Testament was, to be sure, a bitter and burdensome day for our High Priest but that He embraced it with the greatest willingness in order to win salvation for us. How willing He shall be to grant it to all poor distressed sinners! Likewise, our High Priest has gone to the Allhighest with prayer and blood, which, in Hebrews XII, is speaking blood which cries out for reconciliation and mercy, again a glorious comfort for penitent souls who would gladly be saved [but cannot].
We shall soon receive from the ship the charitable benefactions that have again flowed to us abundantly through the hands of our righteous Fathers in Christ in London, Augsburg, and Halle. We can already take much in advance for our edification, comfort, and instruction from their strength- and pith-filled letters. May our dear Lord, whose goodness is renewed over us every morning, bless all this in us for His glory and our true salvation; and may He be a rich rewarder in Christ’s name for all the physical and spiritual gifts that have flowed to us so far from their love and care. [This time we have received no letter from Secretary Newman. Perhaps something will arrive soon when Mr. Oglethorpe comes.]
Thursday, the 19th of January. An unknown benefactress from London has sent the two sisters who are our helpmeets a welcome gift of all kinds of useful linen things, which Mr. Thilo delivered today. The letter that was enclosed with it reveals, in addition to the truly kind gift, the glorious treasure of righteousness and the sincere humility that dwells in the heart of this unknown benefactress, who is so dear to God; and the edification that all of us received from it to the praise of the Lord is worth more than the value the benefactress, in her humility and disdain for temporal things, could place upon the gifts she sent. May our loving Jesus, who has filled her with His love that also flowed out so lovingly even to His poor members dwelling in the wilderness, endow her further with the garments of His salvation as a complete possession of her soul! Instead of a simple recompense, we and our helpmeets wish this worthy person the heart and the treasure of the God-devoted Maria, Luke 10:42. And, since I was greatly edified with the children today by the extremely delightful song: “One thing is needful, oh Lord, this one,” etc.,27 we shall send her the same as a token of our love and respect. May the Lord Jesus fill all his children with the spirit of faith, love, and humility.
A student of theology from Halle, Mr. N. [Hirte], sent me a short letter in which he reminded me of several things that led me back to the great mercy of God and His fatherly guidance that I experienced in Halle. In it he said with great simplicity that the dear Lord had blessed my poor services in him, etc., for which may the name of the Lord be praised. May He make this Mr. N. [Hirte], who is no longer known to me, loyal in the grace he has received and make him into a vessel of His mercy and an instrument of His grace so that the blessed orphanage there, as well as other people, may have in him a righteous and loyal worker!
Friday, the 20th of January. I learned in the case of two people in an evening prayer meeting that God had so blessed the few words “Have thanks for Thy love”28 from the glorious song “Bridegroom of the Soul” that this is now the content of the prayers every day. On the occasion of the 16th chapter of Leviticus, when we were recalling our Lord Jesus’ bitter day of suffering, the words “Thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities” cried out to each and every one of us from the mouth and heart of the Lord Jesus; and we encouraged each other to learn to call back to our Lord Jesus, our meritorious Savior: “Have thanks for thy love,” which, however, should not be mere lip service.
In today’s evening prayer meeting I read the letter of Senior Urlsperger, which he wrote this time to the congregation, with a few observations aimed at its application to our circumstances. With divine blessing this made such an impression that I heard someone say afterwards: “I would not have missed the prayer meeting for anything.” The Lord has certainly inspired our dear Senior to write precisely what was in the letter, because it exactly fitted the circumstances of the congregation. The example of the late Riedelsperger, who was mentioned in it as a victor, was without doubt impressive for all those who knew him well. At the same time I cited the example of his brother who, during his good days in the Empire, learned to love the world again and even became a Papist.
Oh, if only everyone would believe that the paths of the Cross which God has walked with us so far are the surest and most blessed paths! I attempted to present this matter to my listeners as simply and earnestly as our dear Lord granted me to do so. I promised to begin house visitations as soon as I have finished writing letters to England and Germany and to ask around what effect was had by the prayer hours we have had so far concerning reconciliation and salvation in Christ and also by today’s prayer hour and all the other good things that God has shown us this week so that the name of the Lord will be praised here and also elsewhere, when word spreads about the righteous paths of our people here.
Saturday, the 21st of January. The men of the congregation gathered again today at noon in order to discuss a few material things together. Especially, they hired new herdsmen, of which there are three for two herds, for an entire year. Because of their need, we have given the congregation some of the blessings that have flowed to us so that they may help them with money and clothes. [And, because the Salzburgers are unable to pay such people for their work as a result of the hard times and the poor harvest and the holding back of provisions by the storehouse, they will be given not only the necessary clothes, as was done last year, but also 2 £ sterling as support from these blessings.] If this arrangement with the three herdsmen had not been made last year, most of the cattle would have perished, since they must be grazed in various places.
[Since my return from Savannah I have been occupied in writing letters, which were finished today and are to be given to Capt. Thomson next Monday when my dear colleague journeys to Savannah on account of our things and money that are still on the ship. Because we have written this time in haste and not to all benefactors and friends, the remainder will be added in about fourteen days with Capt. Daubaz, who brought Mr. Thilo to us with letters and other things. The present letters are from me and my dear colleague to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, Court Preacher Butjenter, Senior Urlsperger, Professor Francke, also to an unknown benefactress in London and to two theological students in Halle. The diary, up to this point, accompanies them.]
Continuation of the Diary
Sunday, the 22nd of January 1738. Some of the girls among the school children have shown more seriousness in their Christianity recently than formerly; and Kalcher reports that some of the orphans secretly kneel in diligent prayer. They are, to be sure, often awakened; but their frivolity hinders them from achieving a righteous nature and entering into a communion with the Lord Jesus. It is of great value if we can talk and pray with each individual child in private; and for this reason I would like to be freed of the burden of administrating the provisions, which compels me to travel so often and takes so much time.
H. Floerel brought me a letter that he had written to Senior Urlsperger and asked me to enclose it. Our dear Lord blessed in him the Senior’s edifying letter when it was read aloud last Friday for general edification; for it moved him to write to him about what is going through his mind through the blessing of God. For the good of our congregation we try to make use of all the letters that come to us from our dear Fathers in London and Germany, as occurred last evening and will occur in further prayer meetings. From the letters we reveal to them only that which suits them and serves for their edification. [What is written privately for our information is kept secret.]
Today we discussed the gospel for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, Matthew 8:1 ff., concerning true faith; and, to clarify and emphasize this important material in the evening prayer meeting, we read and applied a pertinent passage from the blessed Luther’s golden foreword to the Epistle to the Romans. Oh, how greatly both old and young in all places are hindered from a true faith by superstitious belief in the use of the means of salvation and in natural honesty29 (Galatians 6:6). The description of true faith in said preface is worth being learned by heart, and it will be taught to our children. [We also find it very useful on occasion to teach the children some edifying apophthegmata and emphatic sayings of pious clergymen; and they have already learned several of these.]
Monday, the 23rd of January. We were told that a member of the congregation had fallen into such sorrow because of his sins that he might founder in them and even risk mortal danger. When we learned about it yesterday evening it was already too late to speak to the person, so this morning I sought the earliest opportunity to bring a word of the gospel and of comfort to his anguished conscience. May the Lord give His blessing! Oh, how easily is sin committed, but how much it costs later to return to grace! All my life long I shall remember this example and another in the congregation; and, as long as my eyes remain open, I shall warn with love and sincerity against the deceit of sin and will call out to pious people: “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” [I had intended to go to Savannah this morning to fetch the benefactions that we had received from Europe and to terminate the provision accounts for once and for all; but I was prevented, and the trip must take place tomorrow, God willing.]
In the evening prayer hour I again read an inspiring letter from those that have just arrived; [and on this occasion I could not help but pour forth, more with tears than with words, the distress that is weighing upon me because of my usual lack of time for my spiritual office.] May God grant, however, that the emotions that were aroused will not remain only as such but that each and every one will become serious and loyal and that all limping will stop on both sides.30
Tuesday, the 24th of January. This evening in the prayer hour I (Gronau) began the contemplation of the stories of the New Testament, and I plan to continue with them as often as my dear colleague is not at home or is prevented from holding the prayer meeting. I have undertaken this task in the name of God, and He will stand by me. Without Jesus I can do nothing; but with him I can do everything. Also, my Savior, let me learn to believe both right firmly!
Wednesday, the 25th of January. This morning Mr. Thilo and I visited a sick person who showed us a certain song and pointed at a verse in it with her finger, and from this we could see how dark it appeared in her soul. Mr. Thilo spoke to her about it and showed her what she should do: she should merely persist in asking, seeking, and knocking, for Jesus would finally help. It is a great joy for us that dear Mr. Thilo takes such care of the sick both spiritually and physically. The sick too are happy that they have received a doctor who not only gives them medicine but who also cares for their souls. May the dear Lord be praised for that, and may He stand by him and us!
Thursday, the 26th of January. Mr. Thilo believes that our huts, where the wind can blow through, may be contributing much to the sickness that has been prevailing among us. Therefore he wishes nothing more than that we might receive better huts; and also, for the same reason, he would like to see Mr. Boltzius do something soon towards building his house. Perhaps the dear Lord will help him start soon, especially since some money has recently been sent for this purpose.
Friday, the 27th of January. Last night the boats arrived, but my dear colleague remained down there to balance the accounts completely. The boats returned immediately and will fetch more provisions.
Saturday, the 28th of January. Toward evening one of the boats returned and brought up the things that were sent from England, among other things three iron mills and an iron wheel, with which the mills can be driven all the faster. [The chest of books, medicines, and linens which were sent from Halle to England and were reported by Mr. Ziegenhagen to be coming with them was, however, forgotten but will probably be sent after them on Mr. Oglethorpe’s ship.] May the dear Lord mercifully and bountifully repay everything that we now have and that will be sent later!
Sunday, the 29th of January. This morning the daughters of both Hans Floerel and Hans Maurer were baptized. We have tried all day long to arouse people from the word of God to a true seriousness in their Christianity. May the dear Lord lay his blessing on this endeavor. [My dear colleague has probably preached the Word of the Lord to the Germans in Savannah today, since he had to remain there because of the accounts.]
Monday, the 30th of January. This evening in the prayer meeting I told the story of how Mary visited Elisabeth and how God laid such a blessing on the visit. Thus I showed how God would not fail to bless us assembled in the prayer meeting or elsewhere, if only we continue to strive for His blessing. The dear Lord did not fail to bless this and the other things recalled in the prayer meeting, as I have learned. For that may the Lord be praised, and may He make us hunger at all times, for He fills the hungry with good but leaves rich men empty.
Tuesday, the 31st of January. In the evening after school I visited a woman in our congregation who, like her son, seldom comes to church. To be sure, she is not very well; yet we see that she goes elsewhere. She tells how previously at home in Upper Austria she had liked to pray and read God’s Word; but, when I asked her whether she still did so, she had to confess that she was no longer so serious. Therefore I showed her that she could know from that how bad things stood with her. If St. Paul, who went so far in his Christianity and with whom we cannot compare ourselves, said: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” yea, how much more seriously we should take it; for the Lord Jesus would spew the lukewarm out of His mouth, as she herself knows how to cite from the Revelations of St. John. Even though I spoke to her in that way, I did not notice that she took it so ill as she used to do when we told her that she could not be saved in such a condition. The Lord have mercy on her!
Wednesday, the 1st of February. Today our large boat arrived again and brought up the chest of books, linen, and medicines for us [which had been sent from Halle and was said to have been forgotten]. This is truly a great blessing. [May the dear Lord richly reward Professor Francke for it and bless him and all the Orphanage in compensation.] Oh what the Lord does even for us poor people here in the wilderness! How can we begin to tell of His benefactions, Oh my God, we are too insignificant for all the mercy and loyalty that you show us miserable exiles! Let Thy goodness lead us all to true penitence and let us give ourselves to Thee truly as a sacrifice that is living, holy, and pleasing to Thee. Amen.
Thursday, the 2nd of February. This afternoon I (Boltzius) returned to Ebenezer wet with rain but sound in body and joyful in spirit about the goodness and loyalty of the Lord that I have experienced. And again I have reason enough to praise the name of our merciful Lord for all the kindness and benefactions that He has shown me and my dear people. My absence from the congregation lasted longer this time than I had expected; but now, God be praised, all the accounts have been fully examined, closed, and signed, and Mr. Causton knows how much the storehouse in Savannah still owes us. In the past we have suffered for want of some of the provisions due to us; but this has not harmed us, since it is now very opportune for the poor people to receive the outstanding provisions in these hard times, since some foodstuffs cannot be bought for money. Mr. Causton immediately delivered to me meat, flour, rice, butter, cheese, and soap, all that he had on hand; and I let these be brought to an empty house near the water so that the Salzburgers would not disturb the storehouse and Mr. Causton’s employees when fetching the provisions and so that they could stay there themselves and I could make new accounts. He could not give me the additional rice, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, and syrup for making beer; but he will deliver it all as soon as what he is expecting arrives in Savannah. To be sure, there are some corn and beans there; but at the present time we are lacking containers for storing them. In Purysburg we are going to get a big boat for a couple of weeks so that everything can be brought up in a few trips and our people will not have to be kept so long from their agriculture. Mr. Causton again showed me every possible kindness and was satisfied with all the remonstrances I made on behalf of the congregation; and he also proved ready to advance certain foodstuffs against future payment to those among us who prove themselves diligent and orderly.
[From Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen I received a new letter with a copy of the letter he had sent to us by Mr. Thilo. Likewise, a chest has arrived from Halle with linen, books, and medicines that Capt. Daubaz must have forgotten and which another ship’s captain brought to Charleston, from where it was sent to Mr. Causton. Mr. Causton was writing to London and, because he was willing to forward some letters for me, I wrote to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen and also to the praiseworthy Society and to the Lord Trustees even though I had recently sent the letters I had written on the 20th of January and the enclosed diary by safe hands to Capt. Thomson for him to forward to Charleston.]
On Sunday I preached the Word of God twice to the Palatines in Savannah and distributed a few Bibles and New Testaments to those who had requested them and ABC books to the children. The Lord Trustees have commended these people to the good care of Mr. Causton and have ordered that those who have already paid the merchant in Rotterdam some money for their passage should be refunded such money. Therefore, any who can reimburse the Trustees for their passage will be released from their service and become free. [They are mostly restless and displeased, and many of them of a very mean nature. They quarrel and bite each other so that we hear many complaints. In Purysburg on my return trip I was given a letter from Mr. Secretary Newman, also one from Court Chaplain Butjenter to us and one from Dr. Gerdes to the schoolmaster, which I should have received several weeks ago, if the bringer had not been so dilatory. We plan to write again soon and then to answer all these.]
In my last letter of the 30th of January I thanked the Society for their kindness in sending the doctor, the three iron mills, and our salaries; and I also gave them a short account of the building and purpose of our orphanage. Through Mr. Vernon I likewise thanked the Lord Trustees for all the benefactions they have shown us so far, especially because they have given our Salzburgers at our new place provisions for six quarters, the accounts for which have now been signed and which will soon be forwarded to them by Mr. Causton. I recommend our poor people, especially in these hard times, to their further care and affection. I am also sending Mr. Vernon a short report on our orphanage. [I enclosed a copy of this letter for Court Preacher Ziegenhagen. Mr. Manitius sent us a continuation of the work he has been performing among the Jewish people, along with a few lines. I am sorry that I could not answer him, since he has already written to us for the third time. Our friends will be so good as to excuse us if we do not write as often and to everyone as we would like to.]
Friday, the 3rd of February. This evening the prayer meeting was held in the orphanage because the distribution of the gifts we have been sent, which is to occur this evening, is more convenient here than in the old hut where church is usually held. We sang together the edifying song: “Praise and glory be to the Highest Good.”31 Then I spoke a bit with the dear congregation about the beautiful words in Psalms 68:20-22 and showed them with what we must provide ourselves if we wish to fit ourselves into the order of salvation of our Savior, who has received gifts even for the apostates. I also told them something about the value of the tribulations, after which God refreshes us again. In this I reminded the congregation about their previous experiences and especially about the many provisions which they have received and are to receive from the storehouse in Savannah. Finally, we fell on our knees and thanked the dear Lord for his goodness, as well as for the benefactions that came with the last ship; and we called on Him with one voice to repay everything which we have received from charitable hearts.
Next the beautiful supply of linen, which had been sent through the care of Mr. N. [Prof. Francke], was distributed as far as it would go. Married couples received an entire piece sewn together, and two unmarried persons must share a piece [which can be done easily by separating the seam]. The names of those who receive something are always written in a book so that those who have not received anything this time will be remembered in the future, if God again grants something. The [young] children who behave well and follow the gospel of Christ have been promised at this time that they will receive shirts made of this linen, and for this purpose two pieces were reserved. One piece was put aside for table cloths for the orphans. Finally the twenty florins that were sent by Pastor Riesch as a gift and amount to 2 £ 6 sh. 8 p. sterling were distributed to thirteen Salzburgers, men and women, who came to America from Lindau. The names of those who received something are as follows: Simon Steiner, Ruprecht Steiner, Kogler, Kalcher, Eischberger and his wife Maria, née Riedelsperger, Brandner and his wife Maria, née Hürl, Rothenberger and his wife Catharina, née Piedler, Gabriel Maurer, Burgsteiner, Christian Riedelsperger. The remainder of those who came from Lindau are dead and surely all in heaven. Each of these people received 3 shillings 7 pence. May God richly repay these and all other benefactions we have received and arouse us all to praise of His name.
Saturday, the 4th of February. The surveyor is now finished measuring all our land down to those fields that are called “gentlemen’s lots” and is asking me for a certificate for the work he has done so that he can be paid by Mr. Causton in Savannah. He has proved himself loyal and diligent in his work, so I can recommend him well to Mr. Causton.
The weather is very variable at present—now warm, now cold, now sunshine, now rain. Some people are now noticing the fever again, which, however, does not last long at this time.
Sunday, the 5th of February. [The prayer meeting held in the orphanage at night after supper is not only visited industriously by young and old, but has today and on other occasions brought much blessing for our edification. We either repeat from the sermon, or else we read an edifying example and pray to the Lord on bended knees. We trust in the Lord that He will legitimize this house as his abode if He attracts some souls to Himself in these surroundings and strengthens the spirit of others in the grace received.]
In the evening after the repetition I received a letter from Purysburg in which I was asked to marry the German and French preacher there, Chifelle. My dear colleague will take over this task for me because, after my return from Savannah, I would like at least to remain for a time with my congregation and to perform my duties undisturbed. The matter of provisions still causes me much work and worry; but God will soon free me from this as soon as what is still owed us from the storehouse is brought up and distributed.
Monday, the 6th of February. The good people who recently received some linen hardly know how to give enough thanks for it and to wish the benefactors God’s blessings for it. The beautiful supply of books, which were enclosed in this same linen-chest, are worthy of much thanks and praise. With them we serve both young and old for their edification, and we have our own enjoyment from them. May the Lord graciously deign to hear our prayers for His rewarding of these and other benefactions!
After the evening prayer meeting, a Salzburger invited me to dedicate his new hut, into which he and his wife moved today, with prayer and the word of God. All the neighbors assembled there. After we had sung a song of praise, I read, explained, and applied the words of the Lord Jesus: “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.” Finally we prayed for blessings for us, for this hut, and for our entire village; and we parted from one another with blessings and peace. The man to whom the hut belongs was especially joyful at the emphasis of the divine Word, which he felt in his heart; and, while accompanying me home with a lighted pine torch, he assured me that he would remember this dedication all his life.
A widow from Purysburg and also a German man from Old Ebenezer, who is an indentured servant of the Lord Trustees, urged us to accept their children into our orphanage. And there are surely many others both near and far who would like their children to be with us. However, it not yet possible to accept as many as request it; but first we must observe what the Lord will show us as the footsteps of His care and at the same time of His will. Besides that, it is good for us not to be crowded with children while first getting established. May the Lord do what pleaseth Him, and may He grant us wisdom and loyalty to do His will in all things.
Tuesday, the 7th of February. We have been sent a barrel of dried apples from [the hands of the Herrnhuters in] Savannah, which have been sent here from Pennsylvania and are for refreshing our sick people. God be praised for this and all other benefactions! The two Zueblin brothers who left Purysburg some time ago and moved to Ebenezer with Mr. Causton’s permission are showing great diligence in winning their salvation, after God has let them recognize out of His Word that more is demanded for being saved than external appearances, blameless behavior, and good practices, for which they were not lacking previously.32 They are very poor and receive not the least aid from their wealthy brother in Purysburg.33
[Soon after his arrival, that good man learned to love the world, and he strays deeper and deeper into it. The letter he wrote me about these two brothers when I asked about them was so written that one could clearly recognize his fall. Mr. Causton recently complained to me that this Mr. Zueblin in Purysburg advanced some money to a subject of the Lord Trustees in order to alienate him from them; and this came close to causing prejudice against these two brothers who have been accepted by us. However, I showed Mr. Causton of what mind these were and how they could not harmonize with the other brother and much less take part in this deed.]
Mrs. Pichler is coming closer and closer to death. God has brought her to a recognition of her misery and perverted heart; and she now considers herself an unworthy worm and realizes that God means well with this long lasting and painful sickness and that she would not have fared well if God had snatched her away in her self-assuredness. She appears to me as a penitent and fearful sinner who is crying with all her might for help and salvation in Christ. May God help her along and grant her a blessed end for the sake of Christ and His death!
Wednesday, the 8th of February. We intend to go to Holy Communion next Sunday; and therefore our listeners visit me daily and give me an opportunity to speak and pray with them. A young man asked me whether I thought he should go to Holy Communion. He says that he recognizes himself, to be sure, as an abominably sinful worm and that he cannot believe that the Lord Jesus wishes to accept him. To be sure, last Sunday the Lord blessed His word in him so that he could grasp some comfort and even felt rather good about it yesterday evening when he commended himself to the mercy of God both in communal prayer with some children of God and also in private prayer before going to sleep. However, during the night he was awakened two times in a row and greatly daunted by a frightful dream in which he was damned with other godless people before the judgment seat of God to eternal death and cast into a bottomless pit. He got up twice, he said, and prayed to God and again achieved some comfort of soul; yet even then it seemed to him that someone had said into his ear: “Your prayer will not help you, it is all over, etc.”
In this discussion I led him over and beyond anything that might ever occur to him and led him only to the firm and certain word of God, where he will find that God has promised the penitent sinner mercy in Christ and forgiveness of sins. I also read him something about a man whose life the devil embittered during his conversion with all sorts of temptations and suggestions, yet who finally succeeded and overcame through the strength of Christ. I also told him that the Lord Jesus would not exclude him from the use of His body and blood, but rather invites precisely those who are laden and heavy of heart. Since he needs strength for struggle and victory, he must fetch it from Him and therefore go to Holy Communion. The sacrifices that please God are a fearful spirit. God will not disdain a fearful and battered heart, even if the burdened sinner thinks so.
A woman complained to me that she would have signed up for Holy Communion but that she did not know whether she dared do so. Whenever she thinks of Holy Communion, the time for which is so near, she gets such a blow and pressure on her heart that she can keenly feel it. Before registering she had prayed to God with tears to cause me to hold her back if she would suffer harm from going. I told her, however, that the Lord Jesus calls poor sinners, receives them, and eats with them; and now it is right for a servant of the Lord to consort with poor penitent sinners as He did, etc. Her husband was not present, but we were joined by a couple others whom the husband had promised to call when I came to his hut. The condition of the woman and also of the others called for me to read the fourth chapter of St. John and to apply briefly to their profit what is written there about the Lord Jesus’ uncommon desire to save sinners and about His gentleness toward the woman of Samaria, who was mired down in her sins. The loving Savior did not leave this without his blessing, as they let me know by their bright faces and by giving me their hands in thanks for the gospel I had proclaimed.
Thursday, the 9th of February. This morning I visited a few people who had assembled for the purpose of preparing themselves for Holy Communion. They were all very attentive before the Lord in order to hear what was to be told them for the sake of their salvation. I spoke with them a bit about Malachi 4:2. They were all fearful of the Lord Jesus, because they felt themselves sinful; so I attempted to lure them under the widespread merciful wings of the Lord Jesus, who, since He sought and wished to assemble even the hostile Jews, would certainly not scorn souls that were awakened yet were still timid. In doing this, I showed them how it had come about that many souls still remained so pitiful: it resulted from the fact that, even though they did practice the denial of themselves and the crucifixion of their sinful pleasures, they did not wish to enter and penetrate rightly into Christ and into the gospel as the rich pasture, for which they still considered themselves unworthy. Let Him call: “Come unto me, all ye that are, etc.” Hereupon I knelt down with them and reminded the Lord Jesus of all His promises and asked Him to fulfill them for these souls who had sighed and longed for Him for so long, etc.
After the prayer a woman complained to me with tears that she did not know whether she should go to Holy Communion: she was afraid that she was still mired under the law and she saw herself fully portrayed in the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, etc. Thereupon I told her that the verse from the eighth chapter applied to her better: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The children of God, I told her, not only have the flesh of original sin in themselves but also feel the desires and temptations of the flesh, which they do not consummate but against which they earnestly struggle. Doing this is often as bitter for them as having an eye plucked from the head or a hand and foot cut off (as the Lord Himself presented it in Mark 9:43, 45, 47). This struggle results, not as in the case of those who obey the law only through fear of hell while feeling a secret love for, and joy in, sin and secretly murmuring against the Law Giver and holy God, but rather from a general and serious hate against sin and an honest love for God, whom one does not wish to sadden with sins even if it should cost his life a thousand times. And what causes a child of God such distress is precisely the fact that his flesh is so active. Wherever this takes place in a person’s soul, I told her, as I knew it was doing in hers, that was a sign that she was in Jesus Christ and was not damned, for she was living not according to the body but according to the spirit. To be sure, the flesh struggles against the spirit, but the spirit also struggles against the flesh so that it will not do what the flesh wishes, etc.
Another woman stepped up and showed me what she had chanced upon in the Treasure Chest but had not, as she said, been able to apply to herself. The right golden words, which impress me greatly, are found on p. 365 and are worthy of being written down here for my own refreshment because of their more than balmy strength: “In those days and at that time, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for; and there shall be none” (Jeremiah 50:20) and “I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). I am ashamed, oh Lord, when I think of my sins and consider how Thy pure eyes have seen all my sins. But Thou wilt not only forgive and no longer reproach or be angered as a man does; but Thou wilt actually forget everything and act as if Thou didst not know what I have committed in the years of my sinful life, so that I in time and eternity shall be considered a dear child as if I had never done anything evil in all my life. For Thou seest in me no sin, yea, no spot nor wrinkle, but only Thy dear Son and his blood and therefore only what is loveable. Therefore Thou lovest me too, like Thy Son himself.
If the sin falls into the sea,
It must vanish like a mist:
Who will find my sin?
No, it must be forgotten,
Now and forever,
Because I am entirely in Jesus.34
A man there was likewise so comforted and edified that he took courage to go to Holy Communion too, although he had previously been timid and worried.
Mrs. Landfelder showed me three verses in the Bible that she wished to send to Senior Urlsperger in thanks for the love he bears our congregation; and she asked me to write a few lines for her, for which she told me the content. The verses were Psalms 41:2, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor,” etc.; Psalms 68:20, “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits,” etc.; and Psalms 37:19, “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,” etc. [My dear colleague is kept quite busy with such letter writing, because many of the people wish to have letters written to express the gratitude of their hearts.]
Friday, the 10th of February. We have had very little rain all summer, fall, and winter; but now a rainy season seems to be starting which the earth greatly needs. [Our people brought fifty-three bushels of beans from Savannah that had gotten rather wet. They had to be distributed at once in the boat in a most violent rain, because they had been poured in loose without containers; and otherwise they would have been spoiled entirely. In this way, the loss was not great.]
Sanftleben, a carpenter, has resolved to travel to Silesia, his fatherland. I have not wished to disapprove or advise against this trip altogether, because he has assured me that he has been brought to this difficult and costly journey by his sincere love for his sister, who is being tempted to return to Popery. He is leaving his cattle and whatever else he has behind and hopes to return as soon as possible and to bring his sister with him.35 He has been a diligent and loyal hearer of the word of God among us, through which God has brought him to a recognition of himself and of the order of salvation; and he is earnestly resolved to penetrate earnestly through the narrow gate and to save his soul. Mr. Causton is well pleased with this intended journey. With this opportunity we and several people of the congregation will write to our friends and benefactors.
The shoemaker Reck of Purysburg brought his seven year old son to us with the request that we accept him into our school. He must provide him with food, which he can well do [since he has plenty of money left over to drink away in evil company.]
Saturday, the 11th of February. I notice that the Lord Jesus has been active this week in bringing some souls to Christian struggle and seriousness; but I have also noticed, and I have been told by several people [souls], that Satan is also trying to make their struggle and the salvation of their souls difficult for them in every way or even to mislead them from it through all sorts of delusions that lead them to frivolity or desperation. After some of them have their consciences awakened, they have restless nights, dreadful dreams and fantasies, etc., even though they have previously slept very well. Late in the afternoon one of them came to me and said that, because of his feeling of great sin, he would have been pleased if I had kept him from Holy Communion, because he considered himself a great sinner. However, I could not do this, since he greatly needed this spiritual medicine of the soul and reinforcement in his difficult struggle. I let him precede me into the prayer meeting, which we held in the orphanage for those who wished to go to Holy Communion and for others who joined us. After the singing of two songs, I read the passion story from St. Matthew and we prayed to our Lord Jesus on our knees.
Sunday, the 12th of February. [Mrs. Pichler has come very close to her death, yet I cannot accept the condition of her soul. To be sure, he and she have made good pretences so far; yet we cannot make heads or tails out of some things that have occurred from time to time. He believes that God is letting things take place in him for his conversion such as he has never experienced before. Time will tell whether there is any truth in it. Otherwise he belongs among those who place their Christianity in good intentions and rationalizations. He does not lack in conviction. Mrs. Rheinlaender sent me a pious widow36 and let me know that our merciful God has brought her to the recognition of and remorse for her sins but that she was too timid and fearful to come to us herself because, as she said, she had deceived us from time to time in the past with her pretences. This widow told me much about her earnest prayer and struggle and said that she has high hopes that the truth will be found in her. She37 hopes her husband will soon return from New York because she wishes to tell and explain to him real soon that he is as blind as she, etc. Because of her obvious wickedness and annoyance she has been kept away from Holy Communion until now, which greatly hurt the Old Adam in her.]
Today there were thirty-four persons at Holy Communion. May God transfigure His Jesus-love in all of them so that their hearts and mouths will be filled with Christ crucified!
Monday, the 13th of February. Mrs. Pichler died this morning before day. I was called to her from bed late last night, but she could understand neither my consolation nor prayer. In previous times she had sinned against me and my office with as much blasphemy as N. [Paul Lemmenhofer] did, who went to eternity without penitence. [To be sure, this once caused her a great fright; but we must hope in Christian love that she has done proper penance for this and her other sins, since] on her sick bed she at last gave appearances of doing so. God is a holy God! From the very time that she so greatly sinned, to the scandal of many in the congregation, she had bodily pain and great suffering right to the end of her life.
Both children and adults are now very busy in writing letters to send with the departing carpenter Sanftleben to our benefactors in England and to friends. The recent benefactions have made an especial impression on many in the congregation. For some time the people have been showing themselves much more contented with the dispensations of God, which are surely good and salutary, than ever before. Therefore many of them wish that their kinsmen might also be here, and that is what they are writing for. If the Lord should ordain that still more honest Salzburgers should be sent here, they would surely find their subsistence here. There are still many pieces of land that have been surveyed for gardens and that have the richest soil in our region, but which our people will not be allowed to cultivate because they already have their gardens and now also their plantations. Because their plantations were surveyed so late, they will not be able to plant anything on them this year, with the time for planting being already at our door. Meanwhile they have cleared lovely pieces of land around the town and prepared them for planting. This is very useful for them, and gives the town a pretty appearance; and now everything is beginning to be airier and healthier.
Tuesday, the 14th of February. A Frenchman38 has begun to build a tavern not far from us in Carolina and is selling rum and brandy. I sent him word via the shoemaker Reck as to what I was intending to do, namely, first to complain in Savannah and then to have the matter carried further by Mr. Causton so that his business will be suppressed. I also told him that I would earnestly forbid the congregation to buy anything whatever from him and that I was assured in advance that they would obey me in this. He sent very good words as an answer and promised to remove the present supply of rum and not to bring any more up. He had not known that it would matter.
Yesterday and today we have been busy writing letters to our patrons and benefactors, which Sanftleben is to take with him.39 [We are writing to Court Preacher Ziegenhagen, Senior Urlsperger, Prof. Francke, Court Preacher Butjenter, Mr. Lau, Privy Counselor Walbaum, and several merchants in Venice who have sent the congregation some benefactions.] Through Sanftleben the Salzburgers are inviting several of their countrymen in the Empire to come here, and for this reason they are writing letters. Should some of these join together, they could come here very well with this Sanftleben and have in him a loyal helper, adviser, and companion in prayer. Should it come about that a transport were sent here and our benefactors wished to help my mother come, I would especially thank the Lord for it. Perhaps it would serve to save her soul (as I trust the dear Lord would). [My brother, who has yearned for a long time to come here, I do not desire to come except under the conditions which I once sent to Senior Urlsperger and Prof. Francke.] We greatly need a shoemaker and a smith.
Continuation of the Diary
Wednesday, the 15th of February. [An Englishman wrote me a rather rude letter because he thought I was to blame that he could not get any of our people to work for him for a couple of months. I prefer for the people to remain here rather than go away, especially now that the time for planting is nearing. The young people who have hired themselves out elsewhere have tired of such work because the loss has been greater than the gain.] Sanftleben’s trip has been delayed for a few more days, for which reason we have written letters to several friends [especially to Court Chaplain Lau in Wernigerode]. I have also requested the merchant Mr. Eveleigh in Charleston to see to it that Sanftleben can journey to London with a good captain, and my dear colleague is writing to a German carpenter in Charleston for the same purpose.
Thursday, the 16th of February. For some days we have had beautiful spring weather, and therefore the peach trees quickly became full of blossoms; but now a heavy frost has fallen again, which we did not expect. The weather here is very inconstant. Our people have already brought up all the provisions from Savannah, at which Mr. Causton is much amazed. As mentioned previously, I had all the outstanding provisions that Mr. Causton had been able to give me transferred to a house situated on the water, and from it the Salzburgers could fetch them without being held up in the least. Also, the trading boat that we borrowed in Purysburg did us good service. If they had supplied us in the beginning with a large light boat, then we would not have had such difficulties and lost so much time in bringing up the provisions. [Coming Saturday, God willing, I intend to go to Savannah to hold divine services there with the German people and to let Mr. Causton deliver the still remaining provisions due us.]
Friday, the 17th of February. [This time Mr. Thilo has not written with us to England and Germany but is waiting for the chest of medicines which was given to him in Halle.] Our Salzburgers have written many letters in which they not only show their contentedness and praise God for all the good things that have come to them so far from near and far but also advise their countrymen and friends to follow them here. They tell them that there are many trials and tribulations here, but there is also much good.
Saturday, the 18th of February. My dear colleague Mr. Boltzius went to Savannah this morning [in order to preach the word of the Lord to the Germans there.] May the dear Lord be with him and let such journeys redound to His glory!
A pious widow40 visited me today and complained of the naughtiness of her children; but at the same time she said that this drove her all the more to prayer and that already God had often heard her prayers. Recently she had a special request, for which she prayed to the dear Lord and reminded Him that He was a living and a true God who had, as we know, said that He would take care of widows so now He should prove it and ordain this particular matter according to His pleasure. It was in the evening that she had so prayed, and in the morning God let her experience His hearing of her prayer and petition. This strengthened her in her faith that God would not let her pray in vain in regard to her children.
Sunday, the 19th of February. This afternoon we began the passion story from the gospel of St. John. May the dear Savior let it be blessed and reveal Himself to us as the crucified Jesus. If He revealed Himself to His enemies, how much more will He do it for His friends who seek Him with all their heart? [Something else occurred of which I cannot approve and which has caused me much worry.]
Monday, the 20th of February. This afternoon the Lord helped me (Boltzius) back home again. We left this morning at about two o’clock from Savannah; and, because I had two good oarsmen, we reached our dear Ebenezer very early with good weather. Mr. Causton again showed me much affection and is doing everything for our Salzburgers that is possible and in keeping with his orders. I recommended to him the carpenter, Sanftleben, who is journeying to Germany; and he agreed readily and will find a good opportunity for him to go to Charleston. Meanwhile, he is having him provided with food from the store-house.
The Lord Trustees’ German servants, to whom I preached the word of God again yesterday in the morning and afternoon, ask me for Bibles, testaments, hymnals, and other books. The last of these we lack, and there are even some people in our congregation who have recently learned to read but are not yet provided with them. We also desire more Bibles of smaller size, which are also cheaper. [These people have almost no books, are in great ignorance, and are so wicked that one complains to us about the other. There are also some Catholics among them who have probably slipped in without the knowledge of the Lord Trustees.]
Tuesday, the 21st of February. Because Sanftleben is remaining a few more days in Savannah, I have found time to write to the praiseworthy Society and also to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, which letters are to be sent along with our boat that is going for provisions. Enclosed with them is a letter to Mr. Manitius, who has written to us several times. God let everything serve for the glorification of His name! The hard freeze has turned into a right cold rain, which affects us more than when things are frozen. Some of the peach blossoms are falling and will probably suffer damage from it.
Wednesday, the 22nd of February. The nights have again become as cold as any we have had this winter, and even in the day the winds are rather raw. Some people have been misled by the past lovely spring weather to plant something, but perhaps nothing will come of it. The time for planting actually begins in the middle of March, when the cold night freezes are over. [When we sent away our latest letters, which were recently forwarded to Sanftleben, something happened to us of such a nature that we could not have expected it. Our friends will hardly be able to believe it when we have to report it to them, which we are trying diligently to postpone until the matter either improves (since we would like to bury the matter entirely) or comes to light even more. In this regard a pious woman told me that she suspects that the letters will serve for the glory and praise of God and that the devil well sees this and therefore is opposing it with all his might, even under good appearances. Meanwhile it extracts many a sigh from us, and it also prevented me from holding the prayer meeting this evening. How wonderful art Thou, oh God, in Thy ways that Thou lettest so many kinds of unfamiliar trials come over us! Now Thou shall help us through: we trust in Thy word.]
Thursday, the 23rd of February. Yesterday our boat brought sixty bushels of corn, which had come from New York into the store-house in Savannah. Today it was sent back to fetch more. Our dear people cannot marvel enough at the wonderful care of our heavenly Father, who lets so much flow to us during this famine, since none of us had expected it. This morning someone told me that he had never been so rich as now and that he often talks with his wife about such especial blessings of God. The long omission of provisions in the past has served only to our benefit. When I was with Mr. Causton on Saturday and Sunday, he gave me a bill of exchange for fifty barrels of rice each of 500 lbs., that our people are to fetch from Mr. Montagut’s plantation. I often think of the text of Psalm 81:14-15, which we had at our memorial service last year.
A pious woman finds her present condition fully expressed in the song “Release me, Lord, from all my Bonds”;41 and, because she would like to learn the melody, she asked me to sing it with the children, in which manner she hopes to learn it quickly. The songs in our hymnal are a great treasure for us and bring much edification with divine blessing. It is too bad that several right excellent songs are in neither the First Part nor in the Extract, but only in the Second Part, e.g. “Crucified Lord, my heart seeketh.”42 Also, we cannot sing such songs well publicly which stand only in the First Part or only in the Extract, because some members of the congregation are provided only with the Extract and some others only with the First Part. The songs “Jesus is the fairest Light”, “It is finished, etc.”, “Break through, my troubled Heart, etc.”, “To Thee, Lord Jesus”, “My God, Thou knowest best of all”, “When Thy dearly beloved Son, oh God”,43 and so forth are right dear songs; yet they are lacking from one or the other of the aforementioned songbooks.
Friday, the 24th of February. Hernberger told me that he praises God for having saved him and brought him to our congregation from all kinds of sects with which he almost became entangled in Germany and also from his uncertainty as to which religion and teaching might be the right and true one; for God has fully assured him and convinced his heart that the right way and order of salvation is taught by the Evangelical faith, even if few really accept it. When he abjured popery he had observed the life of Christians and met up with various parties and had therefore sought a congregation who lived the true teachings as they professed them with their mouths, but he had sought in vain and could therefore not actually join any party for a long time. He is a man who is honest at heart and useful to us. In his Treasure Chest, which a pious tailor in Augsburg [by the name of Wendel] gave him, I found these words written in his own hand: “On the 5th and 6th of August 1737 my dear and true Savior had mercy upon me and showed me that His Holy Communion should be my love-feast.”
Saturday, the 25th of February. The bitter cold is now abating and it is becoming mild and lovely again. The fever is already bothering some of the people again among both children and adults. I too seem to have had some fever yesterday, of which, however, I notice nothing today. All winter long there has been something in our family, which God has surely ordained for some very salutary purpose. We too can say, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.”
[This afternoon I found enough time to read the recently arrived letters through, since I had been hindered from reading them carefully. God be praised for the blessing which He has granted to me this time again from them. May He repay our dear Fathers and friends for what they have accomplished in us through their wise and edifying writings.]
Sunday, the 26th of February. [The ill-behaved Purysburg shoemaker, who has been working here for a while, still continues his evil custom of going to Purysburg on Saturday and remaining over Sunday; and therefore he is to get no more work from us unless he improves. Mrs. Ortmann kept him company yesterday and travelled with him to make some purchases, and this scandalized our congregation and the people in Purysburg, who well know how seriously we observe Sundays and holy days. I spoke with the schoolmaster Ortmann and showed him what his wife had heard last Friday in the prayer meeting (in which she, but not he, was present) about Leviticus 19:3, namely that God wishes the third commandment to be observed as well as the fourth, for which reason He brought the two commandments together as if one and proclaimed them one with the other.44
[I also showed him that those who transgress the third commandment by neglecting the Sabbath and divine service are sinning at the same time against the fourth commandment, in which God demands obedience not only from children but also from adults towards their ministers and all good church regulations and orders made by the authorities. His wife, however, does not observe these commandments and thus rejects the blessings of the third and fourth commandments. She had already done this several times, and she is not improving. He well recognized that she was doing wrong but could not hold her back. Now he assured me that he was freeing himself more and more from harboring wicked people, because it caused him nothing but loss. They have let a young fellow go in and out of their house whose wickedness was otherwise generally known but has now become public in that he disguised a girl in men’s clothing in Savannah and helped her to Purysburg and beyond.45 Because we have not wished to put up with such company, he and she have been very angry at us. Now he thinks he has learned from his loss, and he is making a better pretence.]
Afternoons, instead of the Sunday epistle, we are again contemplating the passion story, this year from the gospel of St. John, of which my dear colleague made the beginning a week ago. So far our dear Lord has always laid a blessing of edification on us and on others, and He will surely have mercy upon us this time too. With regard to our office, since last Sunday there has been a time of tribulation, in which may our merciful Lord stand by us! We shall be able to be a bit more explicit in letters.
Monday, the 27th of February. Since yesterday the cold has again become very intense, and thus the winter has actually begun this month, since it was formerly rather tolerable and not so cold as last year. [Yesterday morning before dawn our boat returned with sixty bushels of very beautiful corn, which I distributed this morning. I shall send the boat back to Savannah today because the congregation is to receive more corn or beans.] Much corn and flour is now brought from New York and Pennsylvania to Savannah in sloops, because nothing has grown in this country and in South Carolina.
Yesterday I received a letter from Savannah in which I was asked to baptize the child of a German family there. My dear colleague will undertake this journey today and [I shall give him a letter to Prof. Francke for Sanftleben, who is still there, to forward.]
Continuation of the Diary
Tuesday, the 28th of February. N. [Spielbiegler] visited me at my request, and because of certain circumstances I had to reveal to him his miserable blindness and wickedness. One would not expect to find such darkness in people who enjoy the abundant preaching of the divine word as I find in this man and his mother. It is unbearable for him and for her if we prove to them that they cannot achieve salvation in their present condition. If we cannot be content with their Christianity, but admonish them sincerely to reform and do penance, then they look upon it as hate and hostility or even as a new kind of dogma that they have not heard in other places, where, they claim, people were not treated so severely and were not damned forthwith. If the Lord does not open these people’s eyes, they will surely remain blind and perish in their sins.
[The shoemaker from Purysburg took not only Mrs. Ortmann but, as I was told, also Rauner and Michael Kiefer (both of whom are worthless) and thereby gave them an opportunity to desecrate the Sabbath. This compelled me to mention this vexatious behavior yesterday in the evening prayer meeting and to remind the listeners of what had been preached in last Friday’s prayer meeting about the third and fourth commandments, which God has joined together most exactly.46 I also expressed my displeasure at such willful transgression of the Lord’s commandments. Today I called the two men to me and told them my opinion in the name of the Lord and admonished them to penitence. They admitted their guilt, accepted the chastisement well and promised to accept the advice I gave them to convert themselves earnestly to God. I shall also speak seriously with the shoemaker and advise him that we shall expell him entirely from us if he wishes to continue in his vexatious practice of desecrating the Sabbath.]
Wednesday, the 1st of March. N. [Stephan Riedelsperger] is a very inconstant person. He had firmly resolved not to move away from us, as he had gotten it in his head to do some time ago; and for this reason he wished to buy back some of the cattle he had sold at that time. Now, however, he yearns for Pennsylvania and promises himself there many advantages over Ebenezer, which, however, he could enjoy here if he wished to work. But he was already used to a vagabond and disorderly life in Germany, and therefore it has been painful for him to sit still in one place. With all his selfish seeking he will surely run into his misfortune. P. [Pichler], who lost his wife through death a few weeks ago, told me of R. [Riedelsperger’s] intention and has an inclination himself to move with him, if it were not against my wishes. Mrs. R. [Riedelsperger] wished to take on his child as if it were her own, and he wishes to work jointly with R. [Riedelsperger] in Pennsylvania and keep house jointly, otherwise he cannot bring up this young child properly without a wife. Someone in Savannah, he says, praised Pennsylvania, etc. I told him that, if he had no other reason for moving away except that he had a two year old child and no wife, then this reason was not adequate. I myself would give him some help in raising the child and we would easily find a Christian woman in the community who would take care of it. Otherwise he would have to help himself as other unmarried Salzburgers have to do. I warned him against being too hasty and asked him to consider his plan well; and I told him also that it would displease Mr. Causton and our benefactors, who had spent so much on the Salzburgers, and that they would consider it a sign of shameful ingratitude if a Salzburger wished to leave this colony without adequate reasons.
Thursday, the 2nd of March. After my school hour I summoned the two men P. [Pichler] and R. [Riedelsperger] to me again in order to express clearly my opinion of their thoughtless, ungrateful, and repugnant attitude. I sincerely warned them against harm and predicted for them what righteous indignation their moving away would cause our dear benefactors, [and what sighs it would cause the servants of God who care and pray for us.] And because P. [Pichler] asked me yesterday to present his intention to God and give him good advice and because R. [Riedelsperger] requested the same this morning, I read the two of them the 42nd chapter of Jeremiah, to which, however, they said nothing. I reminded them of this chapter again upon their departure. I offered them reasons enough regarding the danger to their souls and their physical circumstances to hold them back; but they choose their reason as their guide and will therefore surely run into perdition.
[We are sorry for Pichler’s child, which he will sacrifice to Moloch, since he wishes to move to a place where churches and schools are lacking; yet he is neither able nor willing to believe this.] Neither of them suffers any want here, they have enough provisions, better land for gardens and plantations than the others have, and also a few pieces near their houses that they themselves have fenced in only recently and fully prepared for planting. And now they are hurrying away so fast that they are already selling their belongings, provisions, cattle, etc. They will probably have to leave behind them those things they have received from the Lord Trustees such as cattle, household utensils, etc. for use in this colony; and they must and desire to speak to Mr. Causton himself about them. To be sure they do not say so, but I hear it from others that N.N. [Mr. Zwiffler] had praised the splendor of the Pennsylvania land, which well agrees with his worldly nature. I warned them sincerely against such letters if they should ever get to Pennsylvania; for through shame they would not wish to report that things had turned out badly, etc. This much they well know, that there they must buy their land, which they receive and possess here for nothing. They wish to work as day laborers there; and it seems to me that they wish to earn some money there and return to Germany.
A few weeks ago, when so many letters were being written by the congregation to Germany, they had not yet thought of moving away; and therefore P. [Pichler] himself had written to his brother-in-law to come over here but to consider everything well in advance and to be certain of the divine will. Moreover, R. [Riedelsperger] had begun to cut boards for the orphanage floor, from which he would have earned rather much money. They do not have as much taste as true Christians should have for God’s Word, which usually restrains people from such thoughtless undertakings; for they have withdrawn from hearing it publicly with many pretexts and to the great scandal of other people. They are neither cold nor warm, but lukewarm, and the Lord will spue them out; and I am concerned with what God has said in the 22nd verse of Leviticus 20 (which chapter we have just had in the evening prayer meeting): “Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.”
Friday, the 3rd of March. A Salzburger told me that he was actually driven out of his fatherland by the lascivious dancing, gambling, and other vexatious things; for he had been in such circumstances that he might well have become entangled in that wicked company. He had thought, he confessed, that he was well grounded in his Christianity and that he would be saved if only he would learn a few more songs and prayers by heart. However, once he had come to God’s Word, he had realized for the first time how much he was lacking and that he had not yet recognized his sins, nor had he laid a firm foundation for his Christianity. He now earnestly desired to attain salvation. He noticed, much to his grief, that his wife was lazy in spirit and much addicted to the things of the world. For some time now he had begun reading a chapter every morning, noon, and evening; and he would not let himself be distracted from this by any work. However, his wife did not seem to be truly involved in this, etc. [This pious man told me that everything that is said in my hut can be heard from outside, with the result that many misunderstandings arise among the people and they are afraid to come here, etc.] From this pious man’s story I notice how necessary it would be to have a house instead of a hut, where one can hear everything from outside. However, I can not help myself but must be satisfied with this hut until God grants a house. Sometime I shall ask Mr. Causton whether I may dare to have the wood cut for a house so that it can dry out. I do not dare do it on my own until I have explicit orders and authority.
Saturday, the 4th of March. There have been many annoying things this week and again today; yet the dear Lord has always helped and will continue to help. [From time to time our office becomes very difficult for us and becomes a burden from which we would otherwise hope for relief.] P. [Pichler is not taking his child to Pennsylvania] is giving his child, that is somewhat more than two years old, to a pious Salzburger here to take care of. May God convert him and bring him onto straight paths so that he will not err!
[The shoemaker Reck promises to behave more orderly among us, and he claims that his wife’s dangerous condition has obliged him to leave here some Sundays. We very greatly need a shoemaker.]
Sunday, the 5th of March. Frantz Hernberger declared his banns with Anna Justina Unselt, and Michael Rieser declared his with a Swiss widow from Purysburg.47 The first pair will be married tomorrow, but the latter pair must declare their banns three times both here and in Purysburg, for which reason I have written to the preacher in Purysburg. The dear Lord let us preach His word abundantly several times again today, so that we feel in ourselves a noticeable blessing from it in the disquiet and worry that has been oppressing us for the last few days.
P. [Pichler] and R. [Riedelsperger] heard the morning sermon about the actual work of the Lord Jesus in the soul of man based on Luke 11:14 ff.; and, if they had even the least desire to begin and to lead a true Christianity, they would soon change their shameful resolution and prefer to remain with the Word of God at a place where there is opportunity to save their souls rather than to move to a spiritual desert. They have been warned publicly and often enough; for only the day before yesterday my dear colleague told P. [Pichler] as much and even more than he cared to hear.
[There are several other inconstant, ungrateful, and frivolous people among us who are not averse to following this example, provided they find an occasion and the means to do so. Some of the young Salzburgers, as they have been heard to say on occasion, have come to America in a way not unlike that of the young journey-men in Germany, who like to travel to faraway cities and foreign countries but return home if they do not find it to their liking there. Now for some years, however, they have heard so much advice from God regarding their salvation and have been told every day so clearly what is necessary for Christianity and salvation that they will have no excuse on that day of judgment.]
Monday, the 6th of March. I have considered it necessary and according to my duty to report to Mr. Causton about the two men’s intentions. [The letter, which is to go to Mr. Causton with the first opportunity, reads thus: “Here are 2 Men in my Congregation, Pichler & Riedelsperger by name, who have sold all their Provisions & things, & design to leave the Colonie & to go to Pensylvanie by next Opportunity, which they have resolved to do with such a start of fancy, that we cannot but be supprised at it. No body can tell, what reason they have to such a foolish & scandalous thing, which, I am afraid, will be of Consequence, if they succeed well in their shameful, Intention. I endeavoured my self to the utmost of my power to turn them from it, but all was in vain. It is a scandalous thing & and plain proof of Ingratitude towards all the Benefits, which the Honourable the Trustees as well as the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge have bestowed upon them in bringing them with Great many charges from Germany to London, sending them over to Georgia, & providing them with Provisions & other Necessaries. They tell me, that Mr. Vat hath assured them, to have liberty to leave the Colony, after 3 years are past. I believe, a sweet letter from Mr. Zwiffler, who is still at Philadelphia, has encouraged them to such a sudden Resolution to my & Mr. Gronaus very great Grief. Please to advise me, what must be done in this matter, especially in regard to their Cattel, Hoggs, Poultry & Utensils, which are given them by Charge of the Trustees, some of them, they say, are lost & killed by misfortune. Pichler came to my Congregation under Conduct of Mr. Vat, & Riedelsperger with the first Salzburgers; but his Wife 2 years ago under Conduct of Mr. von Reck. I suppose, they would abide in Pensylvany, but will go to Germany having some money in their pockets, which will happen to many sorrows of our frinds in Europe & to their own Ruin. Relying on your Wisdom & long Experience, I hope, you will do in this melancholy matter, what will redound to my Consolation & to a Stop of ill Consequences. Wishing you the Conduct of God Almighty & good success in your weighty Affairs, . . .”]
This morning I sent our boat to Mr. Montagut’s48 plantation to fetch some of the rice from the twenty barrels still due us.
Tuesday, the 7th of March. A sick woman complained to me that she thought she had gotten fever and suffered attacks as a result of her troubled mind; because ever since Friday her conscience has been disturbed by a sin that she committed in her youth when, in a certain place, she took something with which the children were playing and which did not belong to her and then threw it away again. She would have no rest, she said, until she confessed it and gave something in its place to a poor person, which she is now arranging to do. Last Sunday she was very pleased that, in the evening prayer meeting in the orphanage, my dear colleague had prayed to our dear God to forgive youthful sins in the name of the Lord Jesus because this had well applied to her, and she had thought of the verse “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (for others too). At the same time I pointed out to her the complete reconciliation that occurs through Jesus, who has atoned for her youthful sins too and gladly forgives her everything, since she has a displeasure in it and turns to His blood of reconciliation like a poor sinner in faith. I was very pleased to hear her acknowledge the value of common prayer, [because even among us there are people who are opposed to it in word and deed.49]
If anyone among us sincerely contemplates being saved and learns to feel his need and danger, he makes use of everything that can advance him to his purpose. Moreover, this does no harm when, in addition to the dear teaching of the gospel (which, to be sure, should be a Protestant minister’s chief point of instruction), the law is practiced in its order and application, as we, God be praised, have experienced in many souls! Granted that some troubled souls here and there might apply it wrongly to themselves and would become even more troubled and depressed, still this would not do as much damage as the false or premature appropriation of the gospel does to impious people or merely awakened souls.
We make it our business to be concerned about each and every one in our little congregation and to follow after the troubled and tired souls to hear whether they have heard the sermon correctly and profitably according to their circumstances. If they have not done so, we put them right, just as we make distinctions among our hearers according to their condition every time we preach the Word of the Lord; and we distribute the Word according to the Lord’s precepts. [We cannot and will not be divided by idle criticism.]
The raw wind is lasting long this time and will do damage to the blossoms and other things that have sprouted. Last night and today we had a very cold north wind, which also prevented us from holding regular school. In the hut where school is held the wind, which blows in from all sides, will tolerate no fire. A few days ago it appeared that spring was starting seriously.50
Wednesday, the 8th of March. For a long time our Salzburgers have wished for some German seeds such as barley, wheat, corn, oats, buckwheat, etc. in order to make a try with them here; but they have not been able to get any of them. Soon after our arrival in Old Ebenezer the first Salzburgers received many such seeds; but some of these were eaten up and the poor soil there and the lack of experience in this strange land did not suit the others. I was told that in the corn that was brought from New York and Pennsylvania to Savannah and then distributed among us some grains of the above-mentioned seeds were found, which they carefully collected and sowed in the ground. When these sprout and ripen, they can serve to produce more seeds. Last year some of the Salzburgers did that with barley and oats, from which they gained a couple of handfuls and can now sow a few small patches. They have tried diligently with flax and are still trying; but it seems to be too hot here for such seeds: the hemp simply did not wish to grow. Perhaps they will gain more and more experience.
In today’s evening prayer meeting we began the 23rd chapter of Leviticus, whereby we showed what, after the symbol of Christ, was the second purpose of the holy days, especially of the three chief holy days: Easter, Whitsuntide, and the Feast of the Tabernacles. This is, namely, to remember the spiritual and physical benefactions we have received from God and to bring him especial offerings of thanks and praise for them. That is, I said, also the purpose of our commemoration and thanksgiving festival, which is to be held next Saturday in accordance with the announcement made last Sunday. Now, in order that the devil cannot bring disgrace upon our thanksgiving feast, the congregation has been sincerely warned not to forget, because of this or that trial or tribulation, the benefactions they have enjoyed or to belittle them, as is so often done.
In general I reminded them of what especial benefactions the Lord had showed the Salzburgers when He saved them from their spiritual Egypt [and from Popery] and inclined the hearts of good people who soon took them up and cared for them and even aroused entirely strange people, like the English, to expend so much money on bringing them here from Germany and maintaining them so far. Further, I reminded them that ministers and a teacher had been provided, that they enjoy all liberties and much good, and that anyone who wishes to reflect about it must well marvel at it. They should remember these and similar benefactions and begin to praise the Lord. [Because the two men who are leaving, as well as others of their kind, think they are mistreated because they may not sell their land if they move away and because the female sex may not inherit their property after their death, I both explained and showed how such a regulation aimed only at their best interest and how the Lord Trustees wished to further the welfare of the land and of the inhabitants thereby. E.g., if cleared land were for sale here, then rich people would buy it and gradually oppress the poor folk.]
I also read to them the four points that Secretary Newman had written to Senior Urlsperger on behalf of the Lord Trustees and which announced not only the hoped-for inheritance through the female line but also other points that are advantageous to us. From the newspapers of the year 1737 I made them familiar with the dangerous wars, inundations, great famines, and other tribulations which are afflicting many thousands of people in Europe and Germany and showed them their advantages, which many thousands of people would wish to have. It was therefore a shameful and irresponsible thing if one or the other wished to move away from us for trivial reasons and from pure lack of faith, by which he would bring down on our necks the sighs of our honest friends and benefactors and the displeasure of the authorities. At the same time I reminded them of what I had observed when the Appenzellers wished to lay out their new city of New Windsor and some young and inconstant Salzburgers wanted to move with them because the said people had praised the place as a paradise: now, however, they see what advantages we have here. [Therefore it is very regrettable, I said, that on the occasion of Pichler’s and Stephan Riedelsperger’s intended departure several others have gained the desire to move away and to seek their luck in the world in heathen fashion. Therefore I again expressed my opinion clearly to them so that they will all know that they have been warned against their perdition, if they run into it.]
Sunday, the 9th of March. This morning P. [Pichler] and R. [Riedelsperger] announced that they wished to go to Savannah and inform Mr. Causton of their designs and therefore requested the letter I had already written to him. They were also at the prayer meeting yesterday and seemed to be very confused and depressed because they had been deprived of their foolish reasons for their departure, [and now they are seizing any excuse in order to be able to say something. They claim, for example, that there is so little love among the Salzburgers that they have never experienced the likes of it even in dark Popery, also that various people, including the recent Zuebli brothers, have been taken into our village even though Senior Urlsperger had expressly promised that none but Salzburgers would come to them. We have, they said, had nothing but inconvenience and annoyance from such people, as has been the case so far with the Rheinlaender family; and this matter is making many people restless and will motivate them to move away. This is, indeed, a miserable reason. We have, to be sure, always wished that only Salzburgers might be here; but, since others have come to us too, we have been neither able to nor desirous of opposing them, because God may perhaps have let it occur for their salvation or at least in order that they will have no excuse on the day of judgment. From that I see that some people must have been displeased by what I reminded them of concerning their behavior towards strangers according to Leviticus 19:10 & 33 (cf. Exodus 22:21 and especially Exodus 23:9), along with other verses.
[In the case of the first mentioned point, I remember how, in my time, some people in the Orphanage in Halle always complained violently of the lack of love the workers there were said to have for one another and took that as a very evil sign. When Pastor Freylinghausen thereupon addressed the people who were in the service of the Orphanage and mentioned Psalm 133, he also mentioned this complaint but said in this connection that he knew how much of it he should believe; and he revealed the basis of his complaint, which lay for the most part in the complainers themselves, in that they looked upon others but not upon themselves and demanded that others should practice love first yet let themselves lack it. As far as the younger Zuebli is concerned, we had not expected such impure behavior on his part, through which he has made himself very suspicious to the congregation by causing grief and misunderstandings through his gossip and unkind judgments. The older Zuebli behaves better, and the community is quite contented with him. Rheinlaender is still in New York or Pennsylvania; and his wife has been using means to salvation diligently and has resolved, she says, to convert her heart through the grace of God.]
Friday, the 10th of March. Last night rainy weather began, with somewhat warmer temperature than we have had for some days running. The flax, the blossoming peach trees, the sprouting grape vines, and other green things that cannot stand much frost are frozen because the cold was too severe. Now our people are very occupied in putting their sweet potatoes into the ground. Mr. Causton wished to give us sweet potato seeds but could not get any; but we do not need them, because all the seed potatoes that the people buried in the earth here, if they have not been damaged by either the mice or the frost, have remained as fresh as when they were buried. For setting or planting, one needs only the smallest and thinnest, which are cut into several pieces; and therefore one can plant a rather large area with one bushel. As soon as the vine has grown three or four feet out of the ground (which generally occurs about the month of May), it is cut off and laid in piled-up earth so that the ends stick out of both sides of the pile; and the potatoes from these are better than those from the roots.
Because Mr. Thilo is a great fancier of this root, the entire garden belonging to the storehouse is being planted with them for him. In the garden at his house all sorts of garden plants are being sowed such as parsley, squash, melons, cabbage, etc. and other things that belong in the kitchen. On the other hand, the large garden of two acres is being planted with corn and beans; and with all this he has not the least work. The potatoes have dangerous enemies not only in the many field mice but also in hares and deer, the latter of which not only devour the leaves but also dig up the roots, for which reason the people must plant them not far from their huts and keep watch over them. Last year the hares, which are very small in this country, got into several gardens by the huts and did much damage to the cabbage, peas, and potatoes, even though the fences were well protected with six-foot high shingles or split pallisades. But now this is of less concern, since the many trees and bushes all around the town have been completely cut down.
Saturday, the 11th of March. Today we celebrated together our commemoration and thanksgiving feast in grateful memory of all spiritual and physical benefactions that our gracious and merciful God has so abundantly shown us on our pilgrimage by water and land. The morning text was from Psalm 33:18-19: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them who fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy,” and the afternoon text from Psalm 9:10-11: “And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee.” In the application for the listeners I utilized what I had read yesterday in the recently received Halle newspapers from 1737, namely how miserable things stand in some places in Germany with respect to foodstuffs, [where poor people have dug up the cattle that had died and had been buried], and also that in Regensburg they had resolved upon a weekly tax for the emigrants who have had to suffer much there because of financial difficulties and winter scarcity and are in great need of help.
With the grace of God we make every effort to convince our dear listeners of the many advantages, both physical and spiritual, that they enjoy in Ebenezer from the hand of the heavenly Father so that they will be grateful to God and man. God is also giving his blessing so that the intended purpose is being attained, and the two Salzburgers who wish to move from us have much aggrieved most of the congregation for persisting in their obstinate resolution. Honest souls sigh at this, and this can not be good for such annoying and ungrateful people. Before anyone else knew that they had wished to move away, they suddenly sold their provisions and things, perhaps because they feared they might be dissuaded by honest people, a thing that is even less possible now because they have nothing of their own except what they wear on their backs. It occurred to me today on the occasion of the morning text what I once said to the congregation in Old Ebenezer about the words in Amos 8:11-12, namely, how miserable it is in Pennsylvania with regard to the word of God and the holy sacraments and what a spiritual famine is afflicting the land, and yet these are running into such a famine.
Sunday, the 12th of March. Today, using the regular gospel for Laetare Sunday, John 6:1 ff., we contemplated the loving provision of the Lord Jesus for his people; and during the sermon and repetition hour we again had opportunity enough to remind one another gratefully of the many fatherly benefactions of God that we have experienced so far and to strengthen ourselves in our trust in His continued care, both from His promises and from our previous experience. We see it as a special proof of the Lord’s loving providence that He has awakened various ones of his righteous servants [the Protestant ministers] in England and Germany to embrace us before God and men; and therefore during the repetition hour I read our congregation something from the last letter of our very dear Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, in which he announces for the strengthening of our faith that, when he contemplated the gospel on the seventh Sunday after Trinity and again on the fifteenth after Trinity, our dear congregation was especially on his mind at the words “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” to which he added this: “Perhaps at the hour at which I am writing this, they are already enjoying some of the fulfilment of the delightful promise that lies in such words.” If anyone among us has eyes to see, he sees and says that the Lord has done great things in us and is doing them daily. In these days we have often called to each other: “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”
The two Salzburgers who wish to move away [Pichler and Riedelsperger have lapsed so far that they] traveled to Savannah shortly before evening last Friday and thereby willfully missed and scorned both our memorial and thanksgiving ceremony and also this Sunday, as well as all the spiritual good that our Lord has offered us. The Lord will certainly not allow them to succeed in such shameful transgression of the third commandment and to insult and affront the ministers contrary to the fourth commandment. I hear that they returned very late this evening, and now we shall soon learn what they have arranged with Mr. Causton concerning the journey they have planned.
Monday, the 13th of March. [A few days ago a Frenchman asked me to change some Carolina paper money for him and to give him English and Spanish money for it; but we are not accustomed to enter into such deals even though some advantages are supposed to be connected with them. Now I have learned that he has deserted to the Spaniards or the French and that he had stolen the trading boat that he was to take upstream to the Indians with a full cargo, and therefore I am happy I rejected him outright with his money exchange. He won’t get far with Carolina paper money.] There are many secret Papists here in this and the neighboring country, who make all sorts of intrigues here and then desert.
A woman [Schweiger’s wife] is claiming that God is working mightily on her with His word; and in the presence of her husband she gave good testimony of a recognition of her very corrupted heart and of the inevitable necessity of changing it. I cannot accept the protestations of the wife of N. [Mueller, the watchmaker]. She speaks very edifyingly and thoroughly about the way to salvation and about the proper preparation for blessed eternity, to which she is coming nearer and nearer because of her age. Yet much is revealed in her that does not rhyme with this blessed dogma, and one cannot just consider it mere weakness and the kind of frailty that is accustomed to cling to the children of God. Time will gradually manifest what is in her. We shall often stress and call to mind the dogma of the difference between nature and grace and how easily nature can imitate grace and how often it appears to go a long way.51
Tuesday, the 14th of March. [The shoemaker Reck, who is still working here, told me about the recent death of a man in Purysburg, whom we knew very well and who was repugnant to everyone because of his injustice and wickedness. He was one of those French Swiss who were sent a few years ago to Mississippi but compelled the captain of the ship to go to Carolina. On this occasion I warned the shoemaker movingly to turn himself to God and to guard himself carefully from the frivolity in which many people are mired as if they could be saved without conversion on their death beds through sighs, partaking of Holy Communion, etc. I gave him the booklet Dogma of the Commencement of Christian Life52 with the request to read it through not just once but many times. He testified that he had been awakened mightily several times by God’s word, especially a short time ago when we catechised the passion story. He had also acknowledged this to Mr. Gronau yesterday evening and had accused himself greatly. He is very fond of lying (as of other vices); and therefore I will believe nothing until I see that it is the truth. I also warned him sincerely against evil company.
[Pichler brought me the news] I learned that Mr. Causton was very angry about the departure planned by [him and Riedelsperger] the two Salzburgers and would not agree to it at all unless they repaid the expenses that were spent on them. I too think it quite proper that such people not be allowed to leave whenever it occurs to them and they think it a good idea; for 1) it is apparent that an unusual amount of money has been spent on them to bring them and their belongings from Germany to England and from there to here. [Nothing like it has been spent on any Englishman.] 2) They were provided with chaplains for their journey and with regular ministers in such a way that it did not cost them a thing, and every conceivable effort is being made to make things easy for them and to further their physical and spiritual welfare, and not the least contribution or payment is demanded of them or their children, who are maintained entirely free in school. Therefore, 3) it is an ungrateful and irresponsible act if the listeners, out of invalid and entirely wordly reasons, wish to abandon their ministers, who have undertaken such a journey out of love for them and are still prepared to sacrifice their health and strength for their good right to the last drop of blood. 4) They are lacking nothing here, and they have a better living than most peasants in Germany have under strict authority. They have provisions, cattle, and their own land, and all the liberties that they could desire in Christian fashion. No man oppresses them, they do not need to pay anyone any tax or tribute, they and their children are provided with God’s Word and the holy sacraments, in case of accidental shortage they are assisted from the poor-box, they are cared for in sickness, and a new doctor has been sent here for their good at great expense, even after Mr. Zwiffler (like Mr. Thilo now) had received considerable presents from the Society. Even though, with all the physical and spiritual advantages, there are some tribulations, most of these have been borne with God’s grace; and righteous souls have found them more useful than harmful.
The Lord Trustees take care of this colony in every way; and we could not wish for better authorities, especially since we have their promise that they will continue to take an interest in our Salzburgers in every way and take care of them. Mr. Causton has orders to give our Salzburgers every assistance, and none of them who works loyally will suffer want. 5) After the honorable Trustees have risked settling this colony with people, the Spaniards and other enemies have become jealous and are anxious to harm this colony in every way; and therefore it is improper to move away and leave others in the lurch who, because of their smaller number, will be less able to be formidable to the enemy. And 6), what kind of salvation will such people find in another place like Pennsylvania? Even if it is cheaper there and there is more food, money is scarcer and the opportunity to earn something is all the rarer, whereas in this colony, where there are no Negro slaves, every laborer can earn at least 25 sh. Sterl. per month and receive complete provisions at the same time. 7) Such removal does not become a Salzburger who has the reputation of having emigrated for the sake of the gospel; and nothing else can arise from that but defamation and suppression of the true good that God is doing in the emigration work. Everyone who hears about it will have to believe that the people have not been concerned with the word of God and the free practice of religion, as they claim, since they have it in Ebenezer; they must [be restless characters and vagabonds who] wish to withdraw from good order and their obedience to the authorities. I shall not mention 8) what damage such renegades would do in other places; for, having no scruples against distressing God and His people through such ungrateful behavior, what scruples would they have against broadcasting lies and calumnies against the land and its inhabitants whom they had abandoned, especially since they would have to give some excuse for not having remained.
[These and other reasons require me to hinder the Salzburgers from moving away as best I can; yet I must guard myself in this against all violence and evil appearances and pray to God and communicate our concern to Mr. Causton.] Therefore I think that Mr. Causton has done very well in not agreeing to their request. For ingratitude is a punishable sin; and it, along with their obstinacy and worldly attitude, could not be more gently chastised than in that manner. Should these ill-behaved people accomplish their design and if others should follow them because of letters they send, then our little flock and congregation would not only become smaller, against the intention of the praiseworthy Society (which wishes to accept 300 Salzburgers), but it would also change the affection of the authorities into indifference towards, or repugnance against, the Salzburgers remaining here; and therefore the innocent would pay for the ingratitude and wickedness of their renegade countrymen. To this I may add merely incidentally that the enemies of truth act without grounds when they hear of the evil and especially of the ungrateful behavior of these or those Salzburger emigrants and therefore suspect that entire emigration work; / because no one has ever wished to maintain that there are no tares among this Salzburg wheat.
Wednesday, the 15th of March. [Kalcher], the master of the orphans, who is showing all possible loyalty in caring for their spiritual and physical needs, has made several suggestions concerning the economy. [is subjected to the criticism of several people. Some think that he expends too much on the housekeeping, but others think he saves too much, and therefore he cannot please any of those censorious people. Hertzog, who was accepted into the orphanage at his own request and out of commiseration for his physical and mental state, is making secret but obviously ungrounded complaints about the food, which, however, is so good that one has reason to thank the good Giver for it.] The meals they receive consist of flour, rice, ground Indian corn, beans, cabbage, beef, and pork, and are well prepared three times a day [as well as cooked with sufficient lard]. In addition they always have good bread and strong well-brewed beer. [If God grants the house manager and his wife something exceptional, he lets Hertzog and others enjoy some of it too, as far as it will go. It customarily happens that people value less and less what they at first appreciated highly, or they even scorn it when they have enjoyed such benefactions daily and abundantly. Otherwise this Hertzog is an honest, yet very simple, obstinate, and suspicious man; and Kalcher tries to help him in his weakness in every way. For this reason I have admonished him even more and given him some suggestions about managing the economy; and finally I prayed with him for us, his orphanage, and for others.]
Since yesterday the wind has been as violent and cold as it is accustomed to be in the middle of cold winter; I have never felt the wind in Germany so raw at this time of year. The flax, which the people had sowed and which had sprouted up nicely, is totally ruined along with other tender plants. It is planted here so early because otherwise it is burned up by the great heat of summer.
Thursday, the 16th of March. Some Indians have come to our place again with their wives and children and are bringing the people pieces of meat for rice. One of them brought an entire deer to the orphanage, presumably because he had seen that many people were eating there at one table and therefore needed more than individual persons. We like to do as much as we can for them; but then we have them around our necks all the more, as long as they are at our place. At our recent memorial service an Indian received some food and drink from us and also some rice for his journey; and that must be what motivated him to return here on horseback all the way from Palachocolas a couple of days later with two others. They were all very drunk and had more rum with them, therefore they caused much shouting and annoyance. In addition, they were bolder than they are when they are sober; and they therefore demanded whatever occurred to them, especially bread and also syrup, in which they dunked the bread. They came without their muskets, which some sober Indian must have taken away from them with good grace as is customarily done, so that they will not harm anyone. I have been told that, after waking up from their intoxication, they are accustomed to give thanks for this service. At such times we must bear all annoyance patiently and not let them notice any anger or displeasure at it.
[Yesterday towards evening I received a written report from the minister in Purysburg that he had declared the banns three times for Michael Rieser and the widow Ihler, named Maria, of Purysburg and that there were no impediments to postpone their marriage, and, because this couple had also posted their banns here for the third time last Sunday, they were married today.]
Friday, the 17th of March. The cold weather has abated, and today we have had a right pleasant day. It appears as if the weather wishes to change now completely and gradually become warm. On Fridays I still hold a conference with the leaders of the congregation, if neither they nor I am prevented, about those things that concern the good of the entire community. [Today we took up the case of the ill-behaved Ernst, who had not only attacked a Salzburger family with scandalous words but had even uttered wicked threats. He denied both in his usual way, because no witnesses were present. Meanwhile, he was warned sincerely against carrying out his threats and was shown that, if any harm were inflicted or any trick played on the Salzburger and his wife, the strongest suspicion or blame would fall on him. Because he willfully mistreated one of the three iron mills we recently received from the praiseworthy Society, the use of the iron mill was denied him until he improves. Meanwhile, he will have to help himself with the stone mill, which is now in good condition and which he cannot so easily damage. The man will probably behave like this until the country, or our Ebenezer through God’s judgment, spues him out.]
Saturday, the 18th of March. Very early this morning my dear colleague journeyed to Savannah to hold divine services again for the German people there. We must always schedule our departure according to the flood and ebb tides so that we reach Purysburg just at the time of flood or ebb, otherwise it is very difficult if one must go against the current.53 When the water in the Savannah River has not risen too high, one can observe the tide as far as Purysburg. My dear colleague also took along a couple of Bibles and Arndt’s book Of True Christianity, for which some people have recently asked. May the Lord accompany him and let much good be accomplished through the word of the gospel when he preaches it in His name.
[Sunday, the 19th of March.] A pious Salzburger told me that he had recently read in a booklet that those who had not learned the catechism could not be saved. He had told his wife that, and she was not a little disquieted by it because she had never been sent to school in her youth and she now found it so hard to understand the catechism with Luther’s explication.54 She could, she said, recite it somewhat without the explication. The wife was present herself while the man was pouring out his and her troubles. I let them show me the booklet and the cited passage; and then, as I had expected, I did not find the expression so severe as the man had understood it. The question was posed thus with the answer: “Whither will you come if you learn the catechism and live according to it?” Ans. “To the joys of heaven.” “But whither will they come, who do not wish to learn the catechism or to live according to it?” Ans. “To hell.”
To comfort them I told them that it was a loving benefaction of God if He granted someone the opportunity to go to school and to learn to read, and the parents in our place should recognize with gratitude the benefaction that God is granting their children. Meanwhile, no one’s salvation is really being damaged because he cannot read or has too weak a memory to learn the words of the catechism fully. It is good, I continued, if grown people who were neglected in their youth make the effort, with prayers to God, to learn by heart at least five chief items of the catechism without the explication, as some among us have done. But, even for the simplest man who wishes to be saved, the most important thing is to understand and wish to believe the basic truths of the Christian dogma that are found in the catechism. For example, according to the content of the ten commandments he should learn to know his fall and deep perdition and, at the same time, according to the three chief articles he should know that our most merciful God, through His only-begotten Son, has redeemed His noble creation, which has become so corrupted through Satan’s seduction and his own guilt, and that He is now working on it through His spirit in order to put it aright. For this purpose, however, man must make loyal use of the means of salvation in the divine order. In this regard I referred to several very simple people of humble class whom I knew and who have nevertheless come to a living recognition of the salvation in Christ, even though they could neither read nor write. This woman is a diligent house-keeper, but because of that she sometimes neglects the necessary seriousness and zealousness in her use of the means of salvation, a fact which causes her husband to worry and struggle. Therefore I spoke a bit about the example of Martha and Mary in Luke 10 according to their circumstances and read with them the song “One thing is necessary.”55
A pious widow told me that a few days ago she had learned to practice and understand the words “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” She said she had been in peculiar circumstances, which she hesitated to reveal to me because of the presence of some people; but the Lord had helped her.
Monday, the 20th of March. Yesterday we had a thunder storm that soon passed over, and in the night a cloudburst. Yesterday and today the wind has been stormy and cold again, and the pleasant springtime just won’t start rightly. Most of the peach blossoms are falling off and are spoiled by the frost. Some people are worried that their sweet potatoes that they planted before the last cold may have frozen in the ground. One supposes, however, that this has happened only to those that were not buried deeply enough in the earth.
A German man who heard us preach a couple of times some months ago and had come to a recognition of true Christianity called on me and said he was coming from the newly built fortress of this province, Augusta, via Savannah-Town, where he was serving as a soldier. They have built a fortification of pallisades, together with a house for the captain and lieutenant and also a hut for the soldiers; but otherwise there is nothing there. They have nothing at all to fear from the Indians, who harmonize fully with the [English] Europeans in drinking, misbehavior, and in the most dissolute things, that no one holds against the other. He could not sufficiently describe the shameful manner of life [the swinish behavior and lewdness] that he had to witness there. The captain56 is otherwise an honorable man but has been lying sick at his plantation near Savannah with epilepsy,57 which he is said to have contracted from drinking and anger. Things are miserable in that land. However, because there are still some just men and children of God there, who step up to the abyss,58 our merciful Father in heaven will probably withhold His judgment over the country and its inhabitants. Just now we hear nothing more about the Spaniards’ designs against this colony.
Tuesday, the 21st of March. It was very cold again last night, and the wind was so violent that the ships at sea must have run a considerable danger if this wind struck them. It is a northwest wind and therefore exactly opposite those that come from England to Carolina or this province. [My dear colleague, as well as the Salzburgers who are fetching rice, will be greatly hindered in coming back up or will have to remain on shore, because the violent wind is still blowing. Nevertheless,] my dear colleague arrived this noon safe and sound; and God had strengthened him in Savannah to preach to the people there both in the morning from the regular gospel John 8 and in the afternoon from the passion-text John 19:1–11, which follows in our order. [In answer to my recent letter, Mr. Causton sent the following one, which we judge necessary to quote here: “Your favour of the 7th Inst. was delivered past Saturday by Pichler & Riedelsperger, I must own the Contents little surprized me, & as I was apprehensive, how dangerous it would be for Resolutions of that Kind to grow, I thought it necessary to stop them in the bud, & I hope those people are convinced, that it is nither just nor reasonable to quitt a Countrey without repaying the Charges anvanced in bringing & settling them there, when such bringing & Settling was at their Intercession et Request.
[“As to the term of Continuance for the particular time of 3 years (which they might be possibly be told of by Mr. Vat or others) they could have no Pretence to make any Claim thereby, since it is hardly 2 years, since they were removed from their old Town, & new Charges defryed (defrayed) on that account. In my Discourse to them, I acquainted them, that the Trustees did not intend or would desire, that any man should be kept in the Province contrary to his liking, therefore if they were able to pay their Charges, they might as well go the first Week, first Month or first year as the last. Upon the Whole, I told them, that if they had any desire to preserve the Character of honest men, their business was to petition the Trustees, & set forth their Reasons, because without their Authority I could not suffer their desire to be put in Execution. As you was pleased to write fully to me your Sentiments, you will see, I have not been behind hand in giving you mine, earnestly recommending you to the Disposer of all Things, hoping that by his Assistance you will comfort the feable minded, who seem to stagger under diversity of Opinions. I take liberty of using this Expression, as being well acquainted with the artful Insinuations, that all our industrious people are attacked with, but if they draw their Conclusions from Reason, it cannot be supposed, that the Trustees, who have taken so much Pains to distribute the Blessings of this Life to the Industrious, will ever let them sink under Disappointment whatsoever, I am etc. Savannah, March 15th 1738. Th. Causton.”
[Because even before my dear colleague’s return the two men asked about a letter that Mr. Causton had wished to write to me on their behalf and because they returned after his arrival, I told them the contents of the letter, which was, however, very offensive to their worldly desires and designs so that they revealed their anger in a rather rude way. Pichler remained behind with me and let me know that he would be content if we would help take care of his child because, not having a wife, he could not keep it with him, since it would greatly hinder him in his work. Recently, when he used the child as an excuse for moving away, I had promised to do as much for the child as was in our power; and I repeated that this time. We shall gladly do what we can just to avoid the vexation that would doubtless arise if one or more Salzburgers were to leave Ebenezer and move elsewhere.]
Wednesday, the 22nd of March. We have very little profit from the Indians when they are at our place; and therefore it is good that our village does not lie on their path, or otherwise we would have them here more often. Their dogs almost tore a poor young man’s cow apart and made her useless for giving milk. [Some time ago the Salzburgers’ pigs were wounded or even killed.]
Mrs. Schweighoffer was sick for a couple of days, of which circumstance she made very good use. For her the words are very true: “He must wax, but I must wane.” I received much edification from her, and Kalcher and his wife cherish her as a jewel and receive no little advantage from her prayer and Christian conduct. While they were telling me about her spiritual condition, I remembered the late Prof. Francke’s sermon, “The First Kösteritz Memorial,”59 which I promised to lend them and from which I hope they will receive good instruction and encouragement in their troubles and anxiety.
Thursday, the 23rd of March. Among the children who are being prepared for Holy Communion daily from two to three o’clock in the afternoon there are some who are becoming obedient to the gospel and wish to leave a place for grace in their hearts. We are planning next time, which will be on Maundy Thursday, to present some of them to the congregation, to confirm them, and to let them attend Holy Communion for the first time, provided they continue to give us and others a dependable proof of a changed attitude.
Since the boy Zettler has been under the supervision of Ruprecht Steiner, he has become better behaved and more obedient to the word of the Lord, so that one can well see what an impression persistent admonitions and a good example can make.
On the occasion of the 25th chapter of Leviticus, which follows for our contemplation in the prayer meeting, the listeners were shown, among other things, what merciful care God takes of the poor, whom He does not wish to be oppressed by the rich. For this reason He has wisely and earnestly ordained not only the remission of debts and redemption from servitude but also the restitution of land that was pawned or sold because of bitter poverty. For, if the rich among the people had been permitted to buy and keep whatever they wished, it would finally have gone so far that many a poor man would have to leave the country because of poverty and thereby remove himself from the practice of the proper public services, to the great danger of his soul. With this I had an opportunity to say something about the good intentions of the authorities of this land, the Lord Trustees, who, in their ordinance that no one might sell his land, were thinking mainly of the poor in the land, who would otherwise soon be pushed out. In this I could refer not only to experience in Germany, but also in neighboring Purysburg. As I could again assure them in Mr. Causton’s very own words from his last letter, the Lord Trustees wish to let no diligent and honest worker fail but to help him as best they can. Therefore no one should be moved by poverty to sell his land and the work he has put into it. Nor were disorderly, frivolous, or dissolute people allowed to do so in the Old Testament, etc.
Friday, the 24th of March. For some time our dear Lord has granted Mrs. N. [the wife of the Austrian, Schmidt] much grace for her conversion, so that we who knew her previous condition are glad in heart about it. Today she told me this and that about the condition of her soul, and from this I could clearly note her growth in goodness. Again she assured me, as she has often done before, that our wilderness has become an opportunity for her salvation through God’s mercy, which she would never have achieved if she had remained in her former place in Germany. She marveled at her previous blindness, when, for example, she took it amiss that her husband admonished her to love her enemies and to repay evil with good, which she had considered unnecessary and impossible. For instance, she continued, she had not been able to understand it in N. [Regensburg]60 when other people had made so much of a Biblical verse and had found edification in it, whereas she found it as insignificant as any human words. Now, however, God is letting her feel the strength of His word, law, and gospel.
Saturday, the 25th of March. A Salzburger woman could not thank God enough for having given her His blessing in learning to read, which brings her so much advantage in her edification. A few days ago I heard a very similar thing from another woman who wished to reward a man, if he would only accept it, for his efforts in giving her some initial instruction in reading. The aforementioned Salzburger woman praised her neighbor for often coming to her and being very useful to her with edifying conversations from God’s Word and also with singing and praying. While at work during this Passion Season her mind was always on our suffering Savior and His love. Concerning this woman one can well say that humility and simplicity well rule her heart and lead her to heavenly wisdom. She considers herself the most useless and lowly creature in the world; yet, as she says, God is doing much good to her unworthy person and is letting her gain a better and better recognition of Him.
[Pichler called on me with Brandner because of his child, which he wished to entrust to him and his wife, in order to make this definite and to ask my approbation and help. The matter was agreed upon in the following manner: “Thomas Pichler has agreed with Matthias Brandner to entrust him with the care and education of his child and to pay him 4 £ sterling yearly for food and care (which includes washing and mending). From the poor box he will receive 2 £ sterling assistance, provided he remains in this colony and pursues his profession in Ebenezer, for otherwise we have no authority to grant such a benefaction.”]
Sunday, the 26th of March. The booklet Dogma of the Commencement of Christian Life61 is in the hands of some Salzburgers, some of whom received it from Senior Urlsperger for the trip; and it does much good to those who read it devoutly. During our visits we discover in what kind of books our listeners seek and find their edification; and at the same time we always recommend the chief book, namely, the Holy Scriptures; and in the said booklet there are excellent instructions for useful and edifying Bible reading. Some people make good use of our hymnal and of the songs in it. While walking past, I heard that a family had several children in their hut and were singing “So I am a stranger no more.”62 The children, especially girls, who were with me today are giving me good hopes in this Holy Week that they will vie with one another in loving and praising the Lord Jesus, who loved them unto His death; and for this reason, as I hear, they have gathered together. I sang with them the song, “Crucified Lord, my Heart is seeking,”63 which some of them know by heart and without prompting. I spoke to them about the beautiful behavior of the children in Matthew 21:15, for them to imitate, prayed with them, and gave them the pious wish to take home with them: “Let my soul be a little bee on Thy roseate wounds, etc.”64
Monday, the 27th of March. N. [Rieser’s] middle son has been in preparation for Holy Communion too up till now and would like to go if we would let him. The great frivolity to which he is more devoted than his brothers has hindered him from receiving the divine word rightly. The older brother was on good paths both before first partaking of Holy Communion and afterwards in his sickness, but now he has fallen by the wayside and become frivolous and careless. I called them both to me and spoke to their consciences and gave them the advice not to be too hasty with Holy Communion but to prepare themselves with sincere prayer so well that they can go to Holy Communion with profit. I gave them Prof. Francke’s little book: Necessary Self-examination before Taking Holy Communion,65 in which very fine and inspiring instruction is given not only for those who wish to go to Communion for the first time but also for others.
[The parents of these boys, particularly the father, will also find their lesson in it; for, although he always reads and hears much good, he still does not wish to tear his heart away from all sins and to devote it to Jesus, and therefore he is still limping on both sides.66 At the same time he knows himself very well and can say clearly what it is he is lacking.]
Today I distributed the last rice from the twenty barrels that the Salzburgers have fetched from Mr. Montagut’s plantation. There has never been so much rice in our place as now, even though the last harvest did not turn out well. And similarly no one is lacking corn, beans, and meat; and all this is a manifest blessing of the Lord and is recognized as such by those who are understanding.
After Easter I shall have to go to Mr. Causton to put our accounts entirely into order and especially to obtain the cattle the third transport should receive, and also a few tools.
Tuesday, the 28th of March. At last we have had a gentle rain that has lasted since yesterday and which the soil needed for planting corn, from which the people have been kept so far by the continuous cold and drought. Yet nothing has been lost, because one can plant on good soil until May; that is not too late, provided the weather is favorable. The sweet potatoes that were planted deep enough in the soil have, I understand, received no damage from the heavy frost.
[Eischberger and his wife have been living for some time in disharmony; and therefore last Sunday one of them complained about the other to my dear colleague. I spoke with both of them today separately and will speak to them jointly when I have more time. They are probably both to blame; and the husband tried to hide his rashness, anger, and foolish behavior behind all sorts of good appearances, but they were easily revealed. Neither he nor his wife can now be permitted to take Holy Communion until everything is in Christian order again, a fact which he has accepted and recognized as necessary. I told him something concerning the verses 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, and likewise something about our Lord Jesus, who is the head of our congregation and rules over it with great meekness and gentleness (2 Corinthians 10:1). In this manner Christian men, who are their wives’ heads, should imitate the Lord and rule with wisdom, love, and gentleness over the female sex, which is like a weak tool in its weakness. I also gave the woman a lesson appropriate to her understanding. She complained especially that her husband would not remain at home with the child on Sundays or during the prayer meeting but preferred to go to church, so that, if she wished to hear something, she would have to take the child along and thereby be hindered in hearing.]
Wednesday, the 29th of March. Ott came to me this morning and announced that he could not go to Holy Communion this time because he wished to prepare himself better beforehand. Last evening at Rieser’s house he heard someone read from the booklet Necessary Examination of One’s Self,67 and he must have become even more aware of the disloyalty and ingratitude he has shown since he first took Holy Communion. He requested said booklet; but I could not serve him this time, since we have only one copy left.
A [Salzburger] woman told me that her husband had become irritable and angry several times because he had been told by my dear colleague both during his field work and also in his hut that his condition was not yet adequate and that he was still lacking in true conversion. However, she directed him to prayer and kept after him with admonitions and remonstrances until he finally recognized that such chastisements were meant not badly but sincerely. She too is fully convinced that, despite all his knowledge and reading, he still lacks faith and that his unbelieving and worldly heart often betrays itself, of which she divulged to me several especial illustrations. This news will help me to work on him in all possible ways.
In the private preparation for Holy Communion we contemplated Christ’s first words on the cross: “Father, forgive them, etc.” As I learned later, they immediately caused a blessing; for a righteous young man came to me and, for the sake of his conscience, told me something about another man of whom he had seen and heard something for which he had already admonished him, but without accomplishing what he had wished. Therefore he asked me to speak with him too. I did this right away; and, God be praised!, it had very good effect in that he not only recognized and regretted his deed but thanked me for my admonition with hand and mouth and with great emotion.
In the evening many of us gathered together for prayer in the orphanage, because we have a better opportunity there [for kneeling because of the well laid floor] than in the hut, where divine services are otherwise held. Here I read out loud the last part from the afore-mentioned booklet Necessary Examination of One’s Self, after I had already used the first part in the morning prayer meeting for the good of the children and others who are going to Holy Communion from the orphanage. This booklet has been of great use to us for our edification and confirmation in the dear dogma of the right use of Holy Communion. From it our people learn that what they hear from us out of God’s word is also the well founded dogma of other people, especially of the dear servant of Christ, the late Prof. Francke, and this is a beautiful answer against our calumniators.
Thursday, the 30th of March. Today fifty-six people of our congregation went to Holy Communion; in addition came the shoemaker Reck and two families or four persons of the Trustees’ indentured servants from Old Ebenezer. Of the children who have been prepared for Communion, three girls, namely, Sibylla Friderica Unselt, Catharina Holtzer, and Susanna Haberfehner, were confirmed before the congregation after a public examination on today’s epistle 1 Corinthians 11:23 ff. and then admitted to Communion with the others. We believe that the congregation was edified by their example and good conduct as well as by the entire company in which they participated. Zettler and my English boy Bischoff,68 whom I have taken on, were also among those who have been prepared. However, because the former had already gone to Holy Communion several times in Germany and the latter was baptized and nurtured in the English Church, they were both admitted without any such confirmation ceremony after previously having received enough instruction and after we were able to detect some certain signs of the grace of God that was working on them and for which they had made room. The said English boy speaks German, can read German books well, and attends our divine services gladly and diligently. May God let all this be commended to His blessing!
In today’s evening prayer meeting we completed the last chapter of the book of Leviticus; and, God willing, we shall begin the fourth book after Easter. May God be humbly praised for all aid and blessing which He has graciously granted so far! May He let His Son with all His virtues and acquired merits be painted right before our eyes and written in our hearts as the One who has been presented to us so far on almost every page of the book of Leviticus which we have been contemplating, so that what He himself has said will come true: “Moses has written of me,” “Search in the scriptures,” and “They are they which testify of me.”69
Friday, the 31st of March. N. [Rauner] complained to me yesterday with many tears about his plight and testified that, to be sure, his great poverty was depressing him but that that was negligible in comparison with his spiritual misery. I summoned him to come to me today, at which time he told me in more detail how badly he is faring in his child raising and what an obstacle it is to his conversion. The oldest son of his wife, whom he married three years ago in Purysburg, is full of cunning and wickedness and cannot be brought to order by any discipline on his or his wife’s part. He brought this misery on himself through his rash marriage, against which we warned him at the time with all our might. It will probably come to the point that he will put this evil boy to a profession or into the service of a strict master. But this is not poor N. [Rauner]’s only obstacle to a serious conversion to God, as he himself will well see once he has gotten rid of this troublesome and wicked boy. Meanwhile, however, it is good that he recognizes what he is still lacking and claims to be resolved to turn fully to God. I told him that, if things were better with him and his wife, then it would also go better with the child raising.
This year, as we do every year, we have spent Good Friday as a regular holy day by holding public services both morning and afternoon; and in the evening we held a prayer meeting with the congregation in the orphanage. May God be humbly praised for all the blessings that He has granted us publicly and privately during this passion season through the contemplation of the suffering and death of our Savior!
Saturday, the 1st of April. This evening in the orphanage we attempted to prepare ourselves for our holy Easter Sunday with our dear congregation on our knees before the countenance of the Lord. Before the prayer we read out loud the biography of the late Provost Porst, as it appears in the ninth Contribution to the Building of the Kingdom of God;70 and we reminded them of some of it for closer application. It contains some beautiful Easter matter, namely, the revelation of Joseph to his brothers, which is an excellent prefiguration of the merciful and compassionate love of the Lord Jesus for His weak children and all those who would like to be saved through Him; for this was the very matter which our faithful God blessed in that blessed man for his complete penetration into the living recognition of our dear Savior and which granted him the forgiveness of sins.
Although the dear Lord does not walk the same paths with the people who let Him lead them to heaven on the narrow way of the imitation of Christ; and, although no one may demand from Him the specific experiences that this or that person has had, one nevertheless has a good opportunity to show the listeners what seriousness and struggle are required for true Christianity, and that it is not only necessary but also possible to be changed in heart, mind, mood, and all one’s forces and to become a new man, especially if one carefully perceives the great loyalty of the Savior that is revealed in His guidance of His children. We are already experiencing profit in our congregation that is encouraging us to read such examples from time to time. Sometimes we hear that this or that person about whom something is read has had to fight the very same sins, temptations, obstacles, etc. as this or that person among us. Therefore, if God has helped in these cases, then such fighters in our congregation grow in courage so that they will attack the matter afresh and in the name of Jesus, our predecessor and victor. And behold, the Lord Jesus helps, yea, He is still helping. Hallelujah!
Sunday and Monday were Easter. During these holy days both of us had a strong catarrh and hoarseness; but the dear Lord so helped that we were not hindered in either the public service or the repetition hour and prayer meeting, even though the sermon was a bit more difficult for us. In so far as it was possible, we also visited our listeners in order to bring closer home to them those things that had been read from the dear gospel during the public service. Before Easter Mrs. N. [Arnsdorf] came to a deep recognition of her sins and great perdition and therefore she celebrated Easter this time only with sighs, moans, and weeping. However, this will be many thousands of times more pleasing to the Lord Jesus than the worldly Easter joy of secure people. Her heart was somewhat comforted by the exposition on Easter Sunday of the resurrected Savior’s patience and love for those of weak faith and the troubled souls as exemplified by the godly women of Galilee. After the Easter holidays we shall probably see what other good has been caused in our congregation through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus, the resurrected, glorious, sweet, most beautiful, dearest Savior, to which all the congregation, both large and small, found their way often and in Christian order.
A weak timid little lamb called me to him last Saturday to complain of his troubles, but I have not yet had time to go. The Lord Jesus will surely have gone to him, for He wishes to wait upon the weak and to care for all, as is right.
A young Salzburger complained to me that he had begun to pray after God had mightily awakened him to penitence; but it seemed only to get worse, for he was remembering more and more the dreadful sins of his youth which he had committed as apprentice and journeyman and now he was experiencing what is meant by: “To be a Christian costs you much.” I cited to him the verse: “Yet the effort it is worth,”71 and related the parable about the manure pile or the filthy cesspool. If one disturbs it or wishes to remove the filth, then it stinks all the worse. As reading matter I gave him the late Prof. Francke’s Preparation for Easter Sunday72 concerning John 11:25–26, which God had recently blessed in me.
Tuesday, the fourth of April. My dear colleague Mr. Boltzius went to Savannah this morning in order to speak with Mr. Causton about this and that circumstance concerning the congregation. May the Lord give him wisdom for this and let it advance His glory!
I have spoken with one and the other of our community and learned with joy how our dear Lord has not left this Easter celebration unblessed. They could say that the Lord is living, that He is truly arisen. A woman said that last year she had had a troubled Easter and that this time she had been very worried before the celebration, but the dear Savior had had mercy upon her and refreshed her. This person cannot read, yet in spite of that she has such a recognition that one can soon hear from what kind of foundation it comes; and we can consort with her most edifyingly.
A certain man said that he had been very sad on the first Easter day but that he had seen the light during the evening repetition hour. Still another told me how hard it had been for him to believe that all his sins would be forgotten, but now God has wrought such a faith in him. This is N. [Gschwandl], who came to America with the first transport. In such a manner the right hand of the Lord wins victory in many souls, even among us. The Lord be praised! This encourages us to continue conducting our office ever more loyally; for it is not in vain. May the Lord let us ourselves experience the strength of His resurrection better and better so that we can praise it ever more to our listeners.
Wednesday, the 5th of April. So far God has given N. [Mrs. Rheinlaender] much grace at the commencement of her conversion; but for some time it has seemed to me that she does not mean it honestly and that her love for Jesus is not yet right, for she loves the world and pleasure even more than the glory of Jesus Christ. Therefore I sincerely admonished her to begin with true earnestness in the name of Jesus Christ to free herself from everything, let it cost what it will. Should the Lord Jesus see that there is truth in her, I told her, He would help her through the greatest difficulties. Because she prays more now than formerly, and God’s word goes more to her heart than in former times, this poor woman thinks that everything is now all right. Nevertheless, although her heart has expelled so many things, it does not yet belong entirely to the Lord Jesus and she cannot yet believe. Among other things, she said that she has been among us for a long time, has listened to God’s word, and has sung and prayed with us; and with all this she thought she was pious. Some time ago, however, she had learned to know it had been hypocrisy previously. Thereupon I told her that, even though she had considered herself pious then, we had not been able to recognize her as such and, if we had spoken to her about it, she would not have been able to believe it.73 That is the way it still is, I told her; for now she has begun to show more seriousness in her Christianity and thinks that things stand all right with her. She would not be able to believe it if we told her that she does not yet mean it honestly. But she would recognize it quite differently if she would accept good advice. She accepted, with many thanks, this and other things that were told her. May God make her sincere!
Thursday, the 6th of April. Mr. Causton has been sick for several days and has therefore remained at his estate,74 to which I had myself directed in order to settle my business with him. Because very little could be accomplished this time, I have been summoned to him again in fourteen days, when everything that concerns the Salzburgers’ provisions will, hopefully, be taken care of. One must resign oneself to making a trip almost in vain from time to time; yet this one was not entirely in vain, because I could get the provisions due to Mr. Thilo and the two Zueblin brothers from the store-house for them and adjust some matters. I found a letter to me from Mr. Verelst from 24 December 1737, in which he answered mine of 29 July. [It appears that the Lord Trustees were not happy with everything that was written in my aforementioned letter, yet] The Lord Trustees have consented to most of the things which were requested on behalf of the Salzburgers, and they sent a very friendly letter.
[In Savannah I wrote a letter in answer but could not mail it because of my hasty departure. Next week there will be an opportunity via Purysburg to Charleston, so we will forward several letters to London then. The merchant of St. Gall, Mr. Schlatter, sent me from London two copies of the letter he had sent me some time ago together with a barrel full of linen. He has not yet received my previous answer, so he wonders how things must be going. Mr. Causton accepted the linen; but, as he told me, he cannot dispose of it anywhere because the people here have no money. Nevertheless, he again promised to send the money for it to London, and I shall remind him of it as soon as I come to Savannah. We hope very much that this man, who had very honorable intentions in this deal, will not suffer any loss.]
Mr. Causton has had the picture of Mr. N. [Urlsperger], which was recently sent to him, mounted under glass and set up in his room; and under it are the English words: “This Print was transmitted from Germany by himself to Mr. Thomas Causton at Savannah Jan. 31, 1737, as a Token of his particular Regard to him for Kindnesses shown to the Salzburgers at Eben Ezer in Georgia.”
Friday, the 7th of April. I had to speak to a Salzburger about some external matters; and, when I could not agree to his request or let him commit a wrong against a widow, he revealed his considerable anger; but later, when he had thought it over, this caused him to shed many tears and to make a sincere apology. External matters cause us much difficulty, yet the dear Lord always helps us through them.
So far the weather has been very pleasant; we have had penetrating rains several times. The nights are quite cool, but without frost. The people complain not only that the large birds are pulling up the sprouting corn75 but also that the field mice are doing much damage, and therefore they must plant again and guard diligently against the birds.
Saturday, the 8th of April. N.’s [Rauner’s] wife is suspected by several people in the congregation of having let herself get intoxicated with strong drink on a neighboring plantation in South Carolina; but I could learn nothing certain except conjectures. Nor could I get any confession out of her, rather she wept and complained much about calumniators and false people. This may serve to cause her to avoid evil appearances and not keep close company with such an ill-bred lot like the people on said plantation. It is good if tipsters, and even those who appear to be such, are chastised and denounced in the congregation. This vice is far too common in this country, and therefore we must try in every way to prevent such a plague in the congregation. I have spoken with Mr. Causton about the Frenchman who sells rum and wine on this plantation and he has consoled me with the arrival of the new governor in Carolina; he is said to be a good friend of our colony who will soon put such disorderly people out of business.
Sunday, the 9th of April. A German man in Old Ebenezer is still hoping that we will accept his oldest girl into our school, since she cannot help him in his work now and can therefore go to school all the better. I have promised the man to speak to Mr. Causton about it, because I would not like to do this without his permission. He generally insists that children from eight to ten years old who get provisions from the storehouse be kept at work and therefore be spared from going to school. No arrangements are yet being made for the German children in Savannah to go to school. Perhaps it will happen when Mr. Oglethorpe returns to this country. We continue to hear that he is coming, but no one, not even Mr. Causton, knows when.
Monday, the 10th of April. For exercise this morning we took a trip to Old Ebenezer in order to see how things are going with the saw mill there. A small ditch has been dug through the garden we used to have; and the water in the regular river is held back by a dam so that it collects and the collected water then drives the mill, which stands on the new ditch. Two saws cut the outside parts from the wood, and on the other side as many saws as one wishes to apply cut the wood entirely into boards, at which time the two remaining rough sides of the wood are cut off. As a favor to us the miller had a piece of wood placed on and the mill run; but there did not seem to be enough water on hand, and therefore it was cut only slowly and with only one saw.76 The entire works must have cost a lot of money; yet the mill run is not yet furnished with posts and thick boards, and there is still much else to be fixed. The greatest value that they see from their work so far is that, after they have let out the water, they can catch the most beautiful trout, pickerel, carp, and other fish with their hands in great quantities and as often as they wish.77 The miller gave the Salzburger who had gone with us eight large trout for us, and he offered to give us more like them as often as we might send for them.
We were told that Lackner, who is grazing the second herd of cows on a grassy spot in the forest, had stepped on a large snake that had wrapped itself around his foot but could not hurt him any more because he had crushed its head when he accidentally stepped on it. This is an example of God’s fatherly providence which, in this instance too, has swayed over this man, who fears Him. So far, our dear Lord has mercifully kept all of us from the misfortune of being bitten by a snake, although many have come close to that danger. A year ago a cow was bitten and quickly swelled up and collapsed. There are many such vermin in this wild land. Whenever a person sees one, it is killed or shot so that gradually there should be fewer of them.
Tuesday, the 11th of April. [Christ, the baptized Jew, who learned the tailor’s trade in Germany, cannot earn his bread with his profession, especially since he does not work diligently without supervision. He is entirely unsuited for working in the field because of his many hemorrhages.78 He has often requested to be taken into the orphanage and to be provided there with food and clothing in return for his work. We may finally come to do it from pity for his sick and needy circumstances, although we are afraid he might become a burden to Kalcher and his wife because of his obstinacy and laziness. Kalcher does not refuse to accept the burden gladly just so the poor man will not suffer harm, since he is lacking everything, except that he now has more provisions than previously. I told him both today and recently in what way we are worried about him, and therefore I suggested to him that he work in his profession for perhaps fourteen days in the orphanage and see how the set-up there pleases him. At the orphanage, proper conduct is observed both by day and by night, and everyone has to be satisfied with the food God grants. He should hope to get no more from his work than maintenance, necessary clothing and, against the winter, a better bed than his present one. In return for this he must work for the orphanage in his profession to the best of his ability and in anything else for which his help is needed; and he said he would gladly do so. He has made some start in Christianity and shows much love and reverence for the preaching of the gospel.
[Herzog, of whose conduct mention has recently been made, now appears to be more content; but he gives others in the orphanage occasion to practice their patience. He is often told that he is at liberty to move out of the orphans’ home again and to work on his own if he cares to; but now he himself considers this more of a punishment than a benefaction.]
For the past two years Grimmiger’s little child has required much work and care because of its sick and miserable bodily condition, and therefore also much expense; its mother died when it was scarcely half a year old and its father was not in a position to raise it himself or to have it raised because of his poverty and long lasting sickness. All this time Bartholomew Rieser’s wife has had it in her care and has received 6 £ sterling yearly from the poor box for her considerable effort and right motherly loyalty. Now that the child is over the worst and is fully strong and healthy, we have come to an agreement with this woman and her husband to give her 3 £ sterling for the current year; and the child’s father must also contribute as much as is in his means, especially since he is now healthy and able-bodied.
Wednesday, the 12th of April. Last night we had a very violent cloudburst with lightning and thunder, which had already begun last evening. During the day some hailstones fell with the rain, and now it has become cool and fresh again. The soil has now become softened, and the planted corn is sprouting. [Susanne Haberfehner is the third of the girls who were recently admitted to Holy Communion for the first time. Although the other two no longer go to school but must do regular work like other people, it will nevertheless be necessary for her, because of her simple and rather restricted understanding, to attend the two catechism lessons, namely, the first in the morning and the second in the afternoon.]
A woman in the congregation assured me that God is opening her eyes more and more through His word to recognize the path to salvation. She often thinks, she said, that she would have gone to hell if she had remained in N. [Memmingen].79 To be sure, she had disliked obvious wickedness and had even disapproved of it and was ridiculed because of that; but, she added, that is still not Christianity. This woman, along with her likewise honest husband, has suffered much here because of sickness and poverty; and therefore this speech and witness are all the purer.
Thursday, the 13th of April. I hear and see in some of the Salzburgers’ gardens that in the present fruitful spring weather the flax damaged by the long-lasting freeze has recovered, and that that which was planted later is growing well too. The people show great zeal in raising flax because string and linen are very expensive. They have noticed that, if the frosts do not last too long in the spring and the heat is not too great at first, the flax will flourish on well manured soil, provided rain is not lacking. Everything is growing very nicely in our people’s gardens; for their cattle they are planting much cabbage, which grows well here, but without heads, only with leaves.
[The shoemaker Reck of Purysburg is leaving his child, a boy of six,80 with us and is putting him under the supervision of the orphanage, for which he will pay 2 shillings sterling per week for food, laundry, and care.]
Friday, the 14th of April. [When I was in Savannah the last time, Mr. Causton summoned me for another time; he was out of town because of sickness and could not expedite my business.] The day after tomorrow the German indentured servants of the Trustees wish to have Holy Communion; and I find it necessary to go there already today in order to have all the more time to talk with those who wish to confess and to give them cause for a worthy preparation for the Lord’s Table. Perhaps God will give His blessing so that the matter of the Salzburgers’ provisions, which is almost settled, will be finally completed and that the other things that the Lord Trustees have ordered for our congregation will be carried out.
Saturday, the 15th of April. In the afternoon Mrs. N. [Schweighofer] came to me and tearfully complained of the troubles of her heart. Last Sunday, she said, she had felt very well, for the Lord Jesus had especially refreshed her and made her joyful; but now she was again so miserable and, even if she prayed ever so much, her heart was and remained as hard as stone. Thereupon I read to her the song: “Away, my heart, with all such thoughts,”81 and spoke with her of the heart of the Lord Jesus, referring to the 16th chapter of Ezechiel and the 11th chapter of Isaiah. In the latter place it is written of the Lord Jesus: “He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears,” and: “The spirit of wisdom shall rest upon him.” He knows therefore how to consort with miserable people and to have compassion on them. We also prayed together, and finally I read something from the historical commentary that the late Dr. Anton added to his Household Conversations about the Redemption82 and especially what is written on pages 180 and 183-186, which is appropriate for such souls as are earnestly seeking to be saved. Praise be to our dear Lord, who has not failed to grant His blessing to this simple affair.
Sunday, the 16th of April. Yesterday evening we received the news from Savannah that the Spaniards were intending to attack this colony. Therefore I arranged the prayer meeting accordingly, in that I had reached the second part of the second chapter of Matthew for contemplation in the story of the New Testament.83
Both in the morning and afternoon today we have heard good things about the Lord Jesus as a good shepherd, and all this has led to making our hearts right familiar with His shepherd-like heart.
After the afternoon divine service I visited a certain family and spoke particularly with the husband, who remembered the 23rd Psalm, which I had used as an exordium, and said: “Oh, if I could only say with truth, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’” Thereupon I asked what was preventing him from it, and he answered, “sin.” So I showed him fully how He had given up His life in order to take away our sin. In the evening I held the prayer meeting in the orphanage and, because I had heard much today about the heart of the Lord Jesus, I read a letter from the Contribution to the Kingdom of God84 that was written concerning Ezechiel 34:24 and presented the heart of our heavenly Father most gloriously. Among other things, it showed how a child of God, who had God as His God, could derive comfort from all circumstances, for it knew that the Father in heaven would do nothing that might cause harm to His children. Finally we prayed together and presented our special troubles to the heavenly Father and begged Him, if it were His will, that He might leave us still longer in quiet and peace for Christ’s sake so that we might make even better use of His gospel. We asked that He might treat us not according to our sins, but according to His mercy.
Monday, the 17th of April. Stephan Riedelsperger has taken a very angry departure from us and has dragged his wife, the Valentin woman, who was at first of a docile and agreeable disposition, with him on his disorderly paths. Early yesterday morning he embarked on the boat of the Purysburg shoemaker, Reck, and went secretly to Purysburg with this shoemaker after, as is being said, he had sent his heavy copper money, which he had exchanged here, in advance on a trading boat that recently passed here on its way from Savannah-Town to Charleston. By this, the shoemaker has revealed himself as a treacherous and evil man, who, while wicked, wishes to keep up good appearances. In Purysburg he told the Salzburgers who had travelled up from Savannah with me that Riedelsperger had journeyed to Carolina to buy cattle; yet he concealed the departure of this disorderly man from me entirely; and the Salzburgers accepted his story as true so that they told me nothing about it until we were nearly home. With his departure yesterday morning, the shoemaker has now broken the third commandment85 again so grossly despite all previous warnings and remonstrances that we can no longer tolerate it but wish to free ourselves completely from him and from his work, with which he has earned much money up until now. I sent our small boat to Purysburg to learn about the circumstances of the runaway Riedelsperger and to demand from the shoemaker the money he had received as advance payment for his shoes, and also to let him know my anger at his shamefully ungrateful conduct. I also sent his child, which he had put in our orphanage, home to him so that all connections between him and our congregation would be cut until he finally improves.
His wife in Purysburg tearfully complained to me that he is squandering in dissolute drinking company what he has earned in Ebenezer as a result of which she and her children must suffer lack of food and clothing, etc. He had seriously forbidden her to tell us of his new disorderliness, otherwise he would beat her and go to the West Indies and leave her behind with the children. This woman has a timid disposition and could be won over if she were with us for some time and understood German better.86 After my arrival in Ebenezer I sent news about this to Mr. Causton, who will doubtless be as annoyed by this as we are. So far Riedelsperger has not been working but has been consorting with Reck and another dissolute Frenchman, who have also helped conceal his treacherous designs.
Tuesday, the 18th of April. In my absence Mr. Causton had sent a letter to me here, of which he had told me the contents when I came to him last Saturday. I reported it today to the congregation, especially because so much gossip and frightening reports had been spread through our community about the threatening war and the attack we feared from the Spaniards. The facts are as follows: Mr. Causton has received unexpected reports that the Spaniards intended to attack this colony from four directions; and for this purpose several warships had come from Spain to St. Augustine and a body of Florida Indians had gathered together with Negro slaves who had run away from Carolina and other English plantations and who had been promised their freedom, along with others who would run away and join them when the drums beat. Just as they wished to carry out their designs, and before the arrival of the English troops that are being expected daily, an order came from Madrid that the warships should return but that the small vessels and also the said Indians and the other assembled rabble should wait for new orders.
Now, since the Spaniards have nothing good in mind, the order has been given in this and the neighboring colony of Carolina that everyone should be on guard and should march at the first indication to the place where they are needed. In Purysburg the inhabitants had assembled from the plantations there to practice in arms and to hear the orders that had come from Charleston, and with this there had been much drinking and disorder. Through drinking, shouting, and shooting, the Indians, too, showed their joy that there was to be war with the Spaniards; and in N. [Savannah] people are almost making a joke of these plans, instead of letting the unpleasant news serve a good purpose according to the will of God. [There is no minister there at all now.]87
There is a smithy for sale in Purysburg; and, because one of the Salzburgers can practice this profession and thereby be of great use to the community, I advanced him three pounds sterling for it.88 The smith in Abercorn who worked for our people has moved to Port Royal; and in Savannah, as in Purysburg, it is excessively expensive, and therefore we would be very pleased to have a smith at our place. We are in equal need of a shoemaker.
Wednesday, the 19th of April. I have now completely finished the Salzburgers’ accounts with the storehouse in Savannah; and Mr. Causton owes us no more than eighty-eight gallons of syrup and four hundred and ninety-two pounds of brown sugar, which he is now sending up to us on our boat. Praise be to God, who has helped so far and has so abundantly and clearly fulfilled His promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” He will also show Himself to be a helper and guardian in the threatening danger of war. My soul now hangs on the words of the Lord in Philippians 4: “The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
On Saturday and Sunday I worked on the German people in Savannah with all the strength that the Lord granted me; and with God’s grace I presented the order of salvation and the way to life so clearly and simply that several of them told me themselves that they had never heard and understood it that way anywhere else. God caused some of them to be moved now and then. Some [Reformed people] are very obstinate and expect to be saved through their [old] faith. Yet they hear the word and approve of it. I have shown these people who are served by our office that we wish to hold Holy Communion every eight weeks for them so that those whom we find unprepared can be instructed for the next time. I also told them that I had made their elders morally responsible to observe each individual’s conduct and way of life and to report to me as often as I or my colleague comes to them in our office in order to prevent the sacrament from being cast to the dogs and the pearls to the swine. This despite the fact that we do not yet at this time know any [true, let alone] well grounded exemplary Christian among them whom we might appoint as leader, but we must do what we can.
The wife of a [Reformed] German man has become delirious; and the main cause of this may have been above all her great distress at her present condition of servitude and the home-sickness,89 which was very strong in her. Some time ago both these people yearned to be accepted at our place; but I see no possibility of this because we could not pay so much passage money for them or furnish them with provisions. If they had been accepted and if the woman had fallen into such miserable circumstances here, then we and the word of the Lord, which is earnestly preached, would be held to blame. This is the case with the Herrnhuters in Savannah, where she had been several times and where she is now being treated by their doctor;90 they are now being blamed for her condition. Because the man is poor, I gave him five shillings sterling from the poor box.
In yesterday’s prayer meeting we discussed, following chapter 5 of Numbers, God’s statute according to which all unclean persons had to be put out of camp. This was applied to the discipline ordered by God in the Christian Church according to I Corinthians 5:13, and II Corinthians 6:17; and in this I could not help reminding the listeners, in reference to the renegade N. [Riedelsperger], how God acts with those who not only are unclean and unbelieving but also skillfully conceal their uncleanness and wickedness and can always extricate themselves. To wit, He finally does through His judgments what His servants are prevented from doing and puts the wicked out of the community; all of which such people may later consider not a judgment of God but a kindness and even pride themselves on their artful deceit of others and on how they can disentangle themselves from Christian statutes and shackles (as they probably call good order). Finally I emphatically reminded both children and adults of the two verses, Revelations 21:27 and 22:15. I also asked those who can pray to commend to God and his mercy poor N.’s [Riedelsperger’s] and his wife’s deplorable ways so that they will not plunge into eternal damnation.
This evening we contemplated the second part of the fifth chapter91 concerning sinning against one’s neighbor with regard to the seventh commandment92 and concerning absolution according to divine decree, which should proceed 1) through an openhearted confession of the sin, 2) through an expiatory offering, 3) through restitution, to which a fifth part must be given in addition. In this we referred to I Corinthians 6:9; and I emphasized particularly these words: “Be not deceived” (not even by the false heart that so gladly excuses and belittles the sin against the seventh commandment with all sorts of pretexts.) With this I earnestly warned against the very common self-deception and false comfort of being saved without such confession and without being freed from sin and unrighteousness through the merits of Christ.
Likewise, I showed that the runaway N. [Riedelsperger] is to be pitied, not only because he so wickedly withdrew from his obedience to and from the orders of the authorities, but also because he had neither repaid nor made good what could rightfully be demanded of him, and that no excuse would help him before God. Those who knew of his designs and did not prevent them but even secretly helped him in them, have made themselves guilty of the sin of collusion93 and will not succeed either unless they are truly penitent. We must show the people that such misdeeds are not to be taken lightly but that we should rightly be disgusted and displeased by them so that others should have no excuse on the day of judgment if they followed their example or made intrigues or deceived and took advantage of the authorities or their neighbors.
Thursday, the 20th of April. Yesterday two soldiers came to us on horseback, whom Mr. Causton had promised me to send so they could ride out every day and give prompt reports here and in Savannah of anything they may discover. They will not cost the congregation anything but will be maintained at the expense of the Trustees. One of them is from Hamburg,94 but he has almost forgotten the German language because he came to America already as a child and has lived among the English.
Last Saturday I delivered to Mr. Causton, for forwarding, a letter to the Lord Trustees dated 13 April. It is addressed to Mr. Verelst. In it I reported that I had received their letter of 14 December of last year; and I thanked them for the benefactions they had shown to us and to the Salzburgers, especially by increasing the sixteen pounds destined for the building of the parsonage and school house to thirty pounds and for sending new orders that five persons of the third transport would receive a cow, pig, Welsh hen, and goose, and every family a hen and rooster. In my letter that was answered by this one of 14 December I had requested that each family might have a cow, but they merely repeated their first order. Even though, as one can easily guess, thirty pounds is by no means adequate for building three houses, I shall give no more thought to having it increased because [from the letter of Mr. Verelst, who usually writes to us in the name of the Trustees,] I see that they think they have allowed much for the construction.
My dear colleague finds it necessary for reasons of health and his office to build a dwelling that is larger than a hut; and I shall gladly help him to further this because I can well see its necessity. I, however, am almost accustomed to the disquiet and will therefore be satisfied with what I have until it pleases our dear Father in heaven to provide for me too and let me recognize the traces of His good will. The said house, which the carpenters will soon begin, will cost about 27 £ sterling; and even then we will economize as much as is possible, and it will lack outbuildings such as kitchen and stable, as well as chimneys and windows. The circumstances and the love I owe as a colleague (because of which I do not begrudge my dear colleague what I wish for myself) require me to let him have the 14 £ sterling which we recently received from Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen and Senior Urlsperger to help with the construction until God lets His river of providence flow in another manner.
Friday, the 21st of April. Yesterday we received a letter from Savannah in which we were asked to baptize the child of a German family there. My dear colleague undertook the journey and hopes to be here again by Sunday. Yesterday and today I have distributed the last syrup, rice, meat, corn, and sugar; and I rightfully thank our dear Lord for all the assistance He has granted. He has looked upon my sighs graciously and so legitimated me and my efforts that everyone, even those who are usually not too satisfied or content, must recognize that the previous distributions had been handled rightly and fairly and that each family has received its provisions as fully and properly as was possible. Only today I asked a suspicious man, who had formerly checked on my accounting, about a certain item of provisions in order to avoid any error and to be certain; but I received the answer that he had ceased to write down and calculate these because it seemed to him that he had long ago received his and his wife’s allowance and that he would consider anything given later to be a mere gift and benefaction. If another transport should come here some time, I could not undertake such work again.
Saturday, the 22nd of April. [My dear colleague came back from Savannah already this afternoon, having travelled all night in order to be home again sooner. One of the two Salzburgers who rowed him down in the boat fell sick and has remained with the Herrnhuters’ doctor in order to take some of his medicines.95 Meanwhile Mr. Causton let one of the German indentured servants in Savannah help bring the boat back.]
I knew that a couple of members of our congregation deeply feel the sins they committed in their previous life and are therefore very troubled and depressed. Therefore I took the occasion to speak with them and to tell them, from the gospel, of the gracious Friend of man. May the dear Lord place His blessing on all this and lead them and all suffering souls to the dear wounds of His Son, so that they may be well advised!
Sunday, the 23rd of April. After the afternoon divine service a member of the congregation came to me to speak with me about the condition and guidance of her96 soul, for there had been too little opportunity to speak with me quite alone in her hut while I was there yesterday. She was a very contrite soul, much bowed in her heart, to whom God had granted a beautiful blessing through the preaching of His word both last week and also today, when we treated the gospel for Jubilate Sunday concerning some of the causes of the sorrow and joy of good souls and when, as an exordium, we preached something about the words Psalms 30:5-6. This caused her to shed many thousands of tears, but she well recognizes how necessary it is for her false and frivolous nature to be properly bowed under the cross of Christ and to be divinely distressed in the true recognition of her sins.
Among other things, she said that God had granted her the resolution to free herself from everything through His grace and that she could not sufficiently lament the sins of her youth or describe them as disgustingly as they were. She also regretted with many tears that she was not in a position to restore what she had ruined for other people through her disloyalty and carelessness. It touches her to the very marrow when she hears in the sermons the beautiful title of true believers, namely, the children of God; and she desires nothing so keenly as to appropriate this beautiful name for herself in truth. As soon as she came home she was compelled to kneel before the Lord in the very first corner to call out to Him for His grace and to be accepted as His child. The comfort and splendor of the gospel is, she thinks, still too brilliant and overwhelming; and she will work very hard to apply it. She has great need, she said, of sermons about the law in which the deep perdition of her heart is rightly revealed and her conscience is made active.
Another suffering person told me that she97 had been in very low spirits at Easter because she could not possibly presume to have the comfort of the gospel, since it was all too good for her; yet the dear Lord had granted her a little blessing on the Sunday after Easter from the words Isaiah 27:6: “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root.” She also referred me to some words from the song “Help Jesus, help Conquer,” verse 2: “I have heard your praying, and I have seen the misery in your heart, the bitter pain,” and this gave her hope that the Savior will have mercy on her too.
Tuesday, the 24th of April. The heat is very great by day, and the soil is very dry because of the lack of rain. The Lord, who looks from heaven upon the earth and knows the needs of His creatures, will come with His help at the proper time. Well for him who trusts Him in all things! [Michael Rieser still remains the old angry and spiteful man who simply cannot bear it if we do not approve of his disorderly ways. I fear that sometime it will turn out as badly with him as it has turned out with Riedelsperger, whose language he is already speaking and of whose godless conduct he seems clearly to approve. We hear neither good nor evil of his wife, whom he married not long ago from Purysburg.98 She appears to be a quiet, simple, and tolerable woman, who adapts herself best in this way to him and his violent temperament.]
Tuesday, the 25th of April. Now that my dear colleague has resolved in the name of God to build himself a house, for which I shall advance the recently received 14 £ sterling until perhaps the Lord Trustees pay the expenses, I have learned with joy that the members of our dear congregation will contribute their part toward it according to their ability, in that some of them will help the carpenters every day in felling trees and boarding the house; and this will greatly decrease the construction costs and make them bearable. At first the carpenters had wished to build the house in the same way the orphanage was built so that it would be panelled on the inside with boards and thus have a double wall, namely, on the outside with shingles and inside with boards. However, because they now have so much help from the men in the congregation, they intend to build a house of pure wood that will be neatly panelled and jointed in just the manner that I have recently written to the Right Reverend Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen.
Because we had resolved to build one spacious house for the two of us in which both my dear colleague and I would have private studies separated from the household, the costs would have amounted to as much as 100 £ sterling. However, now that the congregation is so eager, it would come to much less if it were built with their help, which, however, we really could not presume upon. I hope that the dear Lord will provide for me too in His time. At Mr. Causton’s request a few months ago, I had sent him the itemized expenses for our house for him to present to the Lord Trustees. However, because I could clearly read out of the Lord Trustees’ last letter that the 30 £ sterling which they had destined for two parsonages and a school seemed very much, I asked Mr. Causton not to forward my report. I am resolved not to insist upon a house and would rather remain in my hut than to live in a wooden house like the ones they are accustomed to build in Savannah and thus cause new expenses. The dear Lord knows what is good for us, and therefore He shall and certainly will act according to His will. I would that my dear colleague rather than I receive a well constructed house soon, and I thank the dear Lord for having made the members of the congregation so willing to help through love for Him and his office, too.
Wednesday, the 26th of April. [I have asked at the Eischbergers’ hut several times since their last discord whether the two of them are getting on better together after the advice we gave them, since recently, and even more now, we have heard that God has blessed our exhortation. The woman said that we must have prayed diligently for her and her husband, because God quickly gave His blessing for their betterment, and that she was heartily and joyfully thanking God for it.]
A woman with whom I had briefly spoken in her hut for edification asked me at my departure to drop in again often, for she considered it a great benefaction and honor. At the same time she told me how much good it had done for her recently when my dear colleague reminded her on the street about her indolence and frivolity; because of it she had humbled herself before God and had received a new grace for a new seriousness. It was pleasing to her, she said, if anyone would say something to her to reveal her sins and to encourage her; on the other hand she did not like it if anyone wished to flatter her and keep quiet about her faults. All of this she said with many tears and great emotion. She could now say more good about her husband than she usually could; among other things, she said that he was learning more and more to recognize how useful a zealous prayer is, whereas he had previously thought and said that his prayers did not help him.
[On Monday I had sent our small boat to Savannah to bring back some things for the congregation that could not be loaded recently and also to bring back Pichler, who could not return at the time because of bodily weakness. He had become even sicker there and has had to spend much money for little medicine, even though the Herrnhuters’ doctor had not demanded anything for his troubles.99 May God convert him thoroughly and free him from his own righteousness and intentions. I fear that this sickness came to him, as it did to his late wife, from the sorrow of the world (II Corinthians 7:10), whereas he, as his wife had done, will probably lay the blame on others.]
Thursday, the 27th of April. A Salzburger sought as much opportunity as was possible in my hut to speak entirely alone with me and to tell me something privately about the sins of his youth, which are only now occurring to him, and to receive instruction from me. To be sure, the world would probably not make much of such matters and only laugh if anyone made a scruple of them. But it is a different matter for those who are being saved with fear and trembling and wish to penetrate into the Kingdom of God through the narrow gates, and their hearts must be freed of everything if they wish to get through. He wished Senior U [Urlsperger] thousandfold divine blessings as a reward for having helped him to the journey to America and Ebenezer; because, as he said, it was God who had done it through him. He had long considered himself saved and yet had never really made a proper beginning. God had, however, now given him the resolution to renounce everything through His grace and to turn himself entirely to Christ, for otherwise he would not find peace. He considers his wife and another pious soul, with whom he often has occasion to consort, to be much further in their Christianity than he. Consequently he thinks that he is not worthy to attend their prayers, even though they earnestly request it of him; and therefore he wished to hear my opinion. I told him, however, that the heavenly Father loves all His children, whether they speak clearly or mumble, jubilate, or weep. The stronger person’s prayers must be useful for the weaker one, just as the stronger, if he stands in poverty of the spirit, would know how to use the weaker one’s help in prayer.
I could tell him that his wife had the very same worry that she did not consider herself worthy to share in his prayer or in that of the previously mentioned person and therefore preferred to pray alone, against which, however, I had strongly advised her. In the poverty of her spirit the good woman values her husband’s piety and seriousness so highly that she considers herself entirely unworthy to have him as a husband, especially since she is conscious of so many youthful sins, which, if he had known them, would have held him back (as she thinks) from entering wedlock with her. However, by this she should realize that this marriage will be her opportunity to save her soul. This Christian simplicity in marriage made a deep impression on me. In her spiritual trouble this woman asked me where the verse was written which she had heard several times from me to her comfort: “The Lord Jesus’ merits extend over all sins and over all sinners.” Thereupon I showed her from Biblical verses and examples that it is written in the scripture of both the Old and the New Testaments, if not in just those words, then at least with that meaning.
N. [Pichler] has been taken by N. [Kogler] into his well constructed cool house that he has recently built so that he can be better cared for here, since he has no wife. When I spoke and prayed with him today he pressed my hand with tears in his eyes and asked me to stop in on him often, for he appreciated my consolation greatly. It seemed to me that he wished to confess something, perhaps concerning his previous ill-bred behavior towards me; but his bodily pain, difficult breathing, and tears prevented him from doing it. Upon leaving, I cited the verse II Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the world worketh death.” I also told him of its prodromos100 and applied it to him, because he had only shortly before been worried because of such temporal things, of which he might now well be freed.
Friday, the 28th of April.101 The dry weather is still lasting and causes us both publicly and privately to present our plight to the dear Lord. I spoke with the poor N. [Herzog] while he was working in the field, since elsewhere [at the orphanage] we cannot speak to him as necessary [because of his hard hearing.] To be sure, it seems that he is now more content [with his treatment at the orphanage] than previously; yet his soul is full of disquiet, doubts, and distrust toward God; and he has even revealed his spiritual condition several times in the presence of the children in offensive expressions. I warned him against this and requested him to come to me or to my dear colleague with his doubts to discuss them and pray with us, since that would be healthier for him than to seek out those for whom such things are unsuitable and to speak incautiously. I called his attention to several Bible verses, especially those that treat of the general love of God in Christ and also of the order which He wishes to help us obtain. He well comprehended all of this and agreed with the word of the Lord.
To be sure, he diligently practices in God’s word and prayer; but at the same time he neglects his vigil and earnest struggle. He himself had to admit that his heart still clings to self-will and other inclinations; and thus it is no wonder if a man can [not become a Christian and can] achieve no peace despite all use of the means of salvation. There are, to be sure, people among us who wish to be Christians merely through the use of the means of salvation but without struggle and without rightly attacking the enemy in their hearts through the strength of Christ, yet this is in vain. If they make no progress because of their wicked hearts, then the dear Lord must be to blame, or they come upon the evil idea that it is not possible to become as is demanded according to God’s word in the sermons and prayer meetings or even in private intercourse. It is said: “Drop all, and join with Christ, then the matter is settled.”102
[Today I reminded Pichler that he had distressed me no little bit with his wilful absence from our thanksgiving ceremony and the following Sunday when he had travelled to Savannah with Riedelsperger, which sin against the third commandment he would have to recognize penitently. He wept at this and said: “I have thought well about that and am deeply sorry. Alas, no matter how depraved Riedelsperger was, I still had a chance to speak with him. I feel, for sure, that his conscience will disturb him and he will be sorry; but his pride will not allow him to return.” At these and other words he was very depressed, especially because he had been implicated with Riedelsperger in one matter, namely, leaving this colony; and it almost seemed as if he were to blame that he had run away. He was at least pleased by the fact that he had told him and his wife that he would not go along unless he could leave in joy and love, at which both had become indignant and angry and had begun to pretend to him and others that they would remain too; and to give this appearance he had planted a little. [Pichler believes that Riedelsperger’s wife is more to blame than he for this running off; she had driven him into moving away. She had not taken part in the farm work and she had not economized in the housekeeping and cooking but had squandered much unnecessarily and in luxury, so that it was impossible to prosper here, especially since they did not like the local diet such as rice. He had wished to buy a couple of Negro slaves; but, because it is not allowed in this colony, he had preferred to go to Pennsylvania and, if he did not succeed there, he was thinking of going to Holland, where he knew of a merchant with whom he thought he could achieve his purpose.]
N. [Pichler] told me that since yesterday the dear Lord has again given him some bodily strength as well as the grace of penitential tears at the recognition of his sins, by which his heart has already been softened. Nevertheless, he was somewhat worried by the fact that he remembered having heard that penance on one’s sick bed or death bed does not count. I told him, however, that he had not heard correctly. The thought must have been that the people who postpone their penitence until they reach the gates of eternity, generally wish to be penitent and to convert themselves to God only out of fear of hell; and, when they are well again, they show well enough through their new godless nature that it was only hypocrisy. Therefore, when they were called to account, they would die in hypocritical penitence, as I could illustrate in the example of the renegade N. [Riedelsperger]. In his sickness he had once accused himself so severely and made so many good resolutions that one might have thought that there was truth in him, yet soon thereafter he fell so dreadfully. And that is just the way it was with his wife in her last illness. But the dear Lord in His mercy earnestly wishes to offer and grant the sinner grace for conversion to the very end of his life and even in the eleventh hour, as is taught in Holy Scripture and as he has also heard in the beautiful examples that are read from time to time.
Saturday, the 28th of April. [However much a married couple in Old Ebenezer would like to send their girl to our school, it will not be possible because Mr. Causton will not allow it but wishes to have even such children of the Trustees kept at some kind of work according to their abilities.]
N. [Rottenberger] and his wife belong to the well-meaning people who would gladly be saved, if only it could occur without self-denial and serious struggle. I spoke with her today and asked her to take serious care that she might truthfully say that she is a child of God and has surely received forgiveness of sins, at which time I described the children of God’s state of grace as delightfully as I could. She recited a few verses from the sixth psalm for me and wished to know what the number of the psalm was, and I looked it up for her. Since she had learned it almost by heart, I told her that many people learn this psalm by heart as a penitence psalm and pray it but do not consider what they are praying, for they often confess something about themselves with the words of this psalm which they could not truly find in themselves if they would only examine themselves a little. For example: “I am weary with my groaning, all the night make I my bed to swim, etc.” But out of all the words that David uses here, and all other penitent sinners with him, she should recognize what is going on in her own heart, where true recognition and remorse for sins is found.
Sunday, the 30th of April. [A man from Purysburg103 asked me to accept his ten-year-old girl into our school whom he would board with his brother-in-law Michael Rieser. We will see whether the child will be cared for here; if not, some change will have to be made.]
We treated the gospel for Cantate Sunday concerning the condition of man before, during, and after conversion and took as our exordium Acts 7:51: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.”104 In the repetition hour, as is always done, these words were discussed more extensively and applied, at which time I showed, among other things, what good emotions and resolutions the dear Lord has wrought in the hearts of many (even if not all) of our congregation during the past four years while we have been together as a congregation in this land. These resolutions, however, have been to a good part rejected and expelled again, for which reason many are still lacking a true conversion and state of grace. At the same time I warned with all my might against disloyalty and resistance, for the harm gets greater and greater and it finally comes to a point that the heart becomes insensitive and incapable of faith.
At that point I had to think again of poor N. [Riedelsperger] and tell the congregation how mightily God had worked on him during the sea voyage and also afterwards during his dangerous sickness and how much good he had promised his Creator and Savior in my presence; yet he had subsequently become disloyal and ever worse. Because he had revealed his hardheadedness in many ways, I had him tearfully in mind, I told them, and sincerely wished for his improvement once as he sat in church before me while I was stressing the verse Habakkuk 2:4: “Behold, he who is stiffnecked shall find no peace in his heart.” However, he has remained hardheaded; and only yesterday an honest Salzburger who had consorted with him often told me that he had such a hard head that, if he had once planned something, he could not be dissuaded from it even if it were to his great detriment; in fact he would do it just to spite other people. As a warning in this connection I reminded the listeners of the verse II Timothy 4:10: “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.” I wish from the depth of my heart that it will turn out as well for this poor man as it did for Onesimus, who, to be sure, left the family and supervision of Philemon after committing disloyalty but came to the Apostle Paul through the grace of God and was brought by him to conversion and finally to recognition and absolution of his sin and was sent back to his former master no longer as a useless servant but rather as his dear brother.
Monday, the 1st of May. I reminded a Salzburger woman about yesterday’s sermon concerning people’s varying condition with regard to conversion, and asked her in which class she counted herself. The answer was that she was still an unconverted person; and she greatly complained about her temper, which her neighbor had recently provoked. She thanked the Lord for her husband, who always worked on her like a tutor, examined her according to the sermons, and recited one or two Bible verses every morning before he went to work, about which she could think all day and with which she could edify herself. When he came home he would ask her about them again. I reminded her how much earnestness her husband would have to use, and does use, since he wishes to be saved, and that God demanded the same of her; and after our prayer I left her the verse: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Another woman recognized it as a great benefaction that she had an opportunity here to find the way to life. Previously, while she was in service, the order of salvation had seemed, she said, very dark; but the dear Lord now had her in His service, and only her disloyalty was to blame that she was not progressing better. It will be hard work for her, but she trusts that the Lord will not cast her away. She remembered a song of which the third verse was very dear to her. It runs: “Jesus, thou Comfort of Souls, no one hast thou rejected who would have liked to remain with you. Lord, thou wilt not now begin.”105 I cited for her good the words of a hopeful and penitent soul: “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; /and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”/ Micah: 7:19.
Mrs. N. [Schweighofer] complained to me [in the orphanage and again in my hut] of her spiritual plight; and she was especially troubled that she is, she said, still so lacking in understanding and can scarcely remember anything from Holy Scripture when she reads in it herself, and therefore has little profit from her Bible reading. I told her that I too could not understand many things in the Bible, but I restricted myself to the clearest verses. She should do likewise and pray diligently and the Holy Ghost would reveal to her, one after the other, the things that are necessary for her salvation. I gave her a pencil to mark, while reading, those verses that she would like to remember and note; and, as soon as she has collected some of them, she should let me underline them with red ink so that they will catch her eye all the better. This suggestion pleased her very much. We read a few chapters of the prophet Isaiah and prayed; and it seemed as if the dear Lord had again blessed in her the reading, encouragement, and prayer. She is like a parched soil where the rain comes just right; but it sinks soon again, and she is therefore again full of panting, thirsting, and languishing.