Tuesday, the 2nd of May. The wind was very violent today and at the same time so cool that we would have had a frost if it were not already so late in the spring. There is still no rain, and the Lord is teaching us to wait for His goodness with faith and patience. Mrs. N. [the old Mrs. Spielbiegler] is not to be convinced that she is not yet in a state of grace and therefore not ready to die a blessed death. And another person with her [her son] is just as blind. They both rely on their reading and praying at home and go to church when they see fit. And even from the simplest sermon they do not have the benefit that we seek and wish from our listeners. Their right pitiful blindness and dreadful disbelief distress me greatly, and we do not know how we should undertake to convince them that their opus operatum and their trust in it, as well as in the merits of Christ, will not help them without a change of heart. We wish to present their miserable condition to the merciful Savior even more diligently.
Because she so highly values her faith, which she claims to have received already twenty years ago, and does not consider a godly life to be necessary for salvation, or even possible, I opened her Bible to the passage about real faith of Christians in the late Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans, which she marked and promised to read again [with her son, who was not then at home.] She can make neither heads nor tails of why I am not satisfied with her; after all, she is not doing anything to anyone, evil people must be telling stories about her. With such a distressing example I sometimes think of what the worthy Pastor N. [Sommer] told me once about the piteous blindness of some of his listeners in C. [Köthen], among others about a woman who made a confession to him which suited only an unmarried serving girl, and, when he wished to straighten her out in this matter, she became angry because, as she said, he wished to ruin God’s word.
Wednesday, the 3rd of May. I took the opportunity to talk with poor N. [Herzog] in the field, where he confessed to me a double sin against the seventh commandment,106 which unrighteous act, as he said, was lying on him like a curse; and therefore it is no wonder that the word of God has, so far, had the effect on him that he has merely become more miserable and has never been converted. He wishes to free himself from this sin externally too, and he promised to accept the advice I gave him. He is full of mistrust, and even secret calumny, against God and cannot believe that God wishes him to be converted and saved; and at the same time he is sinning through severe and offensive expressions. I explained to him what the devil is, namely, a calumniator, and that his purpose is to calumniate our good Lord among people as if He did not mean well with them. However, because He, as the one good God and the highest goodness, cannot wish any evil and has explained Himself that way sufficiently in His word, then one does Him the greatest insult and outrage if one does not believe the evidence of His love but wishes to follow one’s own suspicious and scandalous thoughts.
I admonished him to come to me often and also to put aside all external work107 [that he is doing for the orphanage] for the time rather than to neglect a zealous and lasting prayer in the extreme danger to his soul. I assured him that the good shepherd Jesus was seeking him and would accept him with a thousand joys. In his presence I indicated that I would remember the troubled condition of his soul in my prayer, and this pleased him very much. Many a man may have a curse on himself; and, because he does not honestly wish to free himself from it but wishes to be confounded by his sin, things will get worse and worse. This poor man himself recognizes that he is standing on the very brink of his eternal perdition.
[At the home of a woman who had been present during my conversation with old Mrs. Spielbiegler, I inquired whether she had understood me better than the former. I then learned that she had told her husband of her miserable excuses and the evidence of her blindness, and both of them gave testimony of great repugnance for her godless behavior and sincere pity for the danger to her soul. Here I heard clearly what I had previously feared, namely, that Mrs. Spielbiegler had been happy that I had left. She thinks I do not like her and her son; and she uttered other angry words, for which this woman chastised her but without accomplishing anything.]
Thursday, the 4th of May. Last night we had a gentle rain which, to be sure, lasted only until morning yet was very useful for the soil and conducive to growth. Toward evening I met the woman from whom N. [Herzog] had purloined some things; and, because I knew that he had already spoken with her about it yesterday and had offered her restitution either in natura or specie,108 I asked about various things of which I had to know. She told me something about N. [her husband], who did not wish to let go of a thing which, to be sure, is insignificant yet does not belong to him; and he resents any admonition from her about this or anything else. He is often mightily moved by God’s word and also disquieted; yet he has all sorts of excuses and comforts himself, as others do, with the kind of comfort that will not hold up in the hour of death and before God’s judgment seat. This news was welcome to me because I had considered this man to be one who is preparing his salvation in good order; and therefore, during his frequent complaints about his corrupt heart, his indolence,109 disloyalty, etc., I have preached more from the gospel than from the law.110 His wife is honest-hearted and fights the good fight of faith with great loyalty.
Friday, the 5th of May. Necessity has required us to dig a small cellar in the orphanage and to provide it with a roof, because in this hot season neither milk nor other things can be preserved anywhere but in a cellar. However, if we dig only five feet, we strike water; and it is therefore hard to get an effective cellar in this water-rich land. We have equal need of a regular well; but, since we must first wait for another supply of divine blessing, we cannot yet make any arrangements for it at the present time.
Many in the congregation would welcome an opportunity to buy some cows, or at least one, with the money they earned in the past and have kept in reserve because they would be exceedingly advantageous for their maintenance. But one cannot buy cattle anywhere except in Carolina, and large marshes and the Savannah River are in the way so that they cannot be brought here except with great difficulty and with the loss of one or more head.
[Mr. Causton won’t sell any of the Lord Trustees’ cattle in Old Ebenezer and is also making no arrangements for the third transport to receive the cattle and other livestock that the Lord Trustees have ordered. How much advantage the poor people would have had if it had been given to them soon after their arrival almost two years ago. It would have cost the Lord Trustees the same amount of money whether they had bought them now or then, and advantage would have accrued to the people if they had been bought then. What is difficult and impossible for other people is easy and possible for Mr. Causton. So far, there has been no lack of reminders, both written and oral, and, on his side, of good promises. We believe in a divine providence, according to which what the Lord grants us must be given in due time. I, for my part, would not like to overlook anything in this regard; and therefore I shall continue to ask and urge that the promised gift be delivered to the people, the sooner the better.]
In an open hut I found two suffering souls who were troubled that a large part of their planted corn has been dug up and eaten at night by wild cats, or whatever they are,111 for the sixth time. Actually, however, it is serious sins committed in previous times, by which such grave wounds have been struck in their consciences that they leave them no peace by day or night. I presented them the gospel as simply as was possible and tried to lure them to this food that God has offered poor troubled souls according to His great love. And, when they said that the comfort of the gospel belongs only to penitent sinners, I explained to them what God actually demands for penitence, namely, that through the grace of God a person recognize his dreadful perdition, regret it, and feel a deep disgust and repugnance for the sins he has committed in having so grievously offended so good a God, who is worthy of all love.
The gospel says, I told them, what God has done for sinners, even for the greatest, namely, He has, through pure mercy, given them the Child of His Love as their Redeemer and Savior who has atoned and made good everything that could have oppressed us for ever. Now the Son of the Father is stepping through the gospel in front of the sinners; and He does not say, “Go hence, because ye are so full of sin and so evil,” but “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” They should not wait until they are led, as it were, physically or in a sensual way to the wounds of Jesus, to the free and open well-spring against sin and uncleanness, and are brought to the application of the forgiveness of sins that is found therein; but rather, since they can trust the reconciled God with all good, they should also trust that He means them in the gospel and does not wish to exclude them. I asked them whether they did not find it to be the case with them that, if they could make good their sin through an external deed, through penitence, through an especially good work, they would gladly do so in order to be free of the sin. And when they affirmed this, I showed them that this would diminish the glory of God and the merits of Jesus, whereas God is greatly magnified in His love by granting forgiveness of sins through grace and accepting even the greatest sinner for the sake of Christ’s merits. They should show Him the glory of finally believing in His gospel and throwing themselves bare and naked at the feet of Jesus. After the prayer I read to them the short but right comforting song “Oh, a word of Lasting Love.”112
Saturday, the 6th of May. There are people among us who can always find something, and which they consider to be great and truly major faults, to reprove in even the most honest members of our congregation and who can pass judgment rather immodestly and unkindly. However, since it is unauthorized and contrary to truth, their judgment does not amount to much except that it tends to raise suspicions and give offense to those who are not familiar with the matter in context and according to all circumstances. Such calumniators set their piety in external and law-abiding conduct and know nothing of the living faith in the hearts. When they see true Christians stumble or do not see them doing precisely those good works that they consider necessary and beautiful according to the inclination of their own temperament, then they consider them hypocrites and scorn the spirit of grace that truly dwells through faith in His children among us and knows how to chasten and correct them in their errors, not according to the way of this world, but in a heavenly and divine manner. Some of our dear people feel their sins and are also externally sad; and therefore their natures will not adapt to the frivolous and false evangelicals. Moreover, we wish that all among us would become more and more righteous, and then they would also conduct themselves more prudently (akribós) and thereby give the enemies of the Salzburgers less opportunity for sinning by calumny.
Sunday, the 7th of May. A young man visited me before the noon divine service to discuss his spiritual circumstances with me. He shudders and is horrified at the sin that he previously committed; and, since he feels its poisonous serpent bite, he is running ever further from the Lord Jesus. He thinks it is good for him if he can be right sorrowful; for otherwise he will merely become frivolous again. He does not feel himself good enough for what he heard today from the gospel of John 16:23 ff. about the Lord Jesus’ comforting assurance of the Father’s love toward even His weak children, and he does not think it suits his circumstances. However, the clarity from the loving heart and countenance of the Lord expelled some of his inner darkness; and I attempted to apply to him some meditations and verses that had been read today, such as I John 4:8-9: “God is love. In this was manifested the love of God, etc.”, also Jeremiah 3:12: “Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you, etc.” cf. Luke 15:20 ff. At last I prayed with him and presented to the Lord Jesus in prayer especially His own words: “I am come to seek and to save that which was lost.” I also gave him the first Kösteritz Memorial113 of the late Professor Francke concerning Romans 8:1 ff., in which this person’s present spiritual condition is beautifully depicted and necessary instruction is given to reach an experience of the power of the gospel.
May the Lord teach me how to associate wisely with such heart-troubled and bowed souls so that they will not become enmeshed in the law or relapse into the state of worldly security. How much I myself have realized my ineptitude and inexperience in dealing with such souls who should not merely remain in their first awakening but should be led entirely to Jesus, the only helper! Last week I was greatly humbled by this. Were I permitted, I would like to choose the least place in the congregation and make room for another, who has received more wisdom and experience from God. One thinks much too little of the importance of the office before letting oneself get placed in it. I would gladly remain in the Lord’s vineyard in Ebenezer, if only I did not have to be minister and preacher. But may the Lord’s will be done! Acts 21:14.
Monday, the 8th of May. Yesterday and today we have had such a mild continuous rain that we could not wish for a better one. The soil was very dry, yet the planted corn and sweet potatoes were not damaged. If our dear Lord holds back a while with good weather, it does no harm but merely means: “These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season” (Psalms 104:27), also in Book of Wisdom 16:21, “When one waits upon thee, it reveals unto thy children how sweet thou art.”
Our dear Lord revealed to me both yesterday and today that He did not let His word be preached without noticeable blessing. The sweet love of the Father that He bears in His Son for miserable men pressed many tears from a man at his work, whereupon he remembered what he had heard eight days ago about well meaning and obstinate souls; and he had to confess that he had meant well so far, to be sure, but had lacked serious struggle to be saved. A man who came to me told me some facts about others which I shall be able to use for much good through God’s grace, especially for Christian prudence in preaching the divine word. Oh, how much one still must learn! May Jesus take us into His school and teach us through His spirit to share His word correctly and to give each and every one his own! The listeners are often instructed to apply the truths we preach in a proper manner, and therefore it is necessary for them to endeavor to implore God for a recognition of their spiritual condition and be content when they are told by their ministers or other pious people what their actual condition is if they do not recognize it themselves. Then it will come to pass in accordance with God’s will that they will acquire what is especially appropriate for their spiritual condition.
Tuesday, the 9th of May. For several days I have been impressed that, out of love for God and for their own salvation, several people have recognized their lack of righteousness and have promised to free themselves of it through restitution. May God let these awakened souls go so far as to hasten straight to Jesus, the righteous Helper, through their faith and allow Him to save them truly and entirely.
[Certain domestic conditions required me to go to Purysburg at noon, whence I returned already in the evening. I had to speak with the preacher114 there on behalf of a Reformed Swiss who lives near Savannah. However, we did not find him at home but had to seek him at his plantation, from which he comes occasionally (not even every Sunday) to read a sermon. A new house and a church next to it have been built for him, for which money is said to have been collected in Charleston. The hut we use as a church is gradually becoming more and more unsuitable for holding divine services; this the Lord well knows and can easily grant enough so that we too can receive a somewhat more comfortable place for our spiritual assemblies, like the arrangements that are being made in Savannah and Purysburg.
[Wednesday, the 10th of May. The Purysburg man whom I recently mentioned brought his daughter to our school today. God give His blessing to this! A certain physical problem is again burdening us in the community, of which we would at this time rather complain to God than to report more clearly. The dear Father in heaven has already helped us through much; in this case too He will look upon our sighs with mercy and give help.]
Thursday, the 11th of May. On this Feast of the Ascension, as always happens, we have edified ourselves from God’s Word both morning and afternoon. We visited a few people, in whose homes we ourselves received some [much] edification. They are usually very intimate with us and tell us everything that is on their hearts, and thus we can better provide them with instruction from God’s word. On Sundays and holy days we find them at home, whereas on work days we must seek them in the fields.
Friday, the 12th of May. The two soldiers who have to reconnoiter in our region have received orders to return to their fortress after, as they tell us, six hundred royal troops arrived last Saturday in Savannah who are to be transferred to the new fortresses that have been established against the Spaniards.115 One of them, who was born in Hamburg, asked me this morning to help him to settle in our place.116 He is tired of the soldier’s life; and, because he finds German people here and an opportunity to practice his profession as a tailor and to attend divine services, he would gladly live among us. His enlistment is finished next September. I do not yet know what I should do about this. I shall consider it with several informed members of the congregation so that I can hear their opinion about it too. Next Sunday the word of God should again be preached to the German people in Savannah and, because I have something to settle with Mr. Causton, I shall undertake the journey. May the dear Lord stand by me so that I will at last accomplish something that I have long wished to accomplish.
Saturday, the 13th of May. During a visit117 I spoke with a person who was full of yearning to receive some assurance of God’s mercy and her Savior’s love. She is looking forward keenly to Whitsuntide and wishes with great longing to be filled with the Holy Ghost. She says that, when the bell rings in church for prayer meeting or other things, she is happy and thinks that now perhaps is the hour when your Jesus will look upon you with love.
Sunday, the 14th of May. Today through the grace of God I have learned better to understand how necessary the Holy Ghost is in order to arrive at a living recognition of Jesus Christ. When it gives testimony in the heart about Jesus Christ, and especially of His death, blood, and wounds, then all pain vanishes and one achieves new strength to continue merrily on one’s course. May our dear heavenly Father truly transfigure His child Jesus in us and for this bless the office of the Holy Ghost!
Monday, the 15th of May. This afternoon I returned to Ebenezer from Savannah. Mr. Causton was very kind and donated various provisions and blankets to our orphanage, for which the name of the Lord be praised! He will now take serious steps to send us the cows that were ordered by the Lord Trustees for the members of the last transport. The pigs and poultry will surely also come in due time. He is pleased that the soldier who was born in Hamburg wishes to live among us and take up land. Our Salzburgers give him a good recommendation; and therefore I shall let it happen in the hope that it will be to the poor man’s good, especially spiritually.
Among the German people in Savannah, to whom the word of God has again been preached, things look right miserable; and because of their own fault, I do not see what can be done for them. [We learn of the most dreadful sins they have committed in Germany and on the voyage over here, and they all live together in such discord that it cannot be described. The Trustees also receive little good from their work.]118 This time I let them give me the names of those who intend to partake of Holy Communion in four weeks, when we come to them again, so that they can better understand and test themselves in advance.
A new preacher119 has arrived in Savannah, who was actually destined for Frederica but is now remaining in Savannah for a while because there is no preacher there. I had an opportunity to become acquainted with him and I learned that he is an upstanding [pious and Godfearing] man. [It is uncertain whether Mr. Wesley will return.]
Tuesday, the 16th of May. On one of the ships, which are bringing not six hundred but three hundred soldiers from Gibraltar to garrison the frontier fortresses, there are two chests for us that were sent to the Lord Trustees via Hamburg. The ships are now standing off Tybee Island, and therefore I have not been able to get them this time. After Whitsuntide our boat will fetch the remaining provisions that Mr. Causton has given to our orphanage, and then the chests can be brought along too. Presumably they contain medicine for Mr. Thilo and something for the congregation from Senior Urlsperger. We received no letters this time, except that Mr. Verelst mentioned the chests in two lines and referred me to Mr. Causton about them.
Mr. Delamotte, former schoolmaster in Savannah, is now returning to London, after having been replaced by another,120 who has come with the new preacher. He has performed his work on the youth in Savannah with great loyalty and self-denial. [He is honest at heart but adheres too much to Mr. Wesley and his personal principles, even though I learned that he does not attribute as much divine power to episcopal ordination as Mr. Wesley does.121 Nor does he approve of Mr. Wesley’s taking so much trouble in rebaptizing those people who were not baptized by an episcopally ordained preacher, as he did to several on the sea voyage, especially to a locksmith who was born in Ulm, as is mentioned in Mr. Ingham’s journal, and as he also wished to do, but without receiving his permission, to the carpenter Volmar,122 who is well known to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen.] In Mr. Delamotte we have a safe opportunity to send our diary and various letters to Europe. [It is now Whitsuntide week, in which the people are reporting to me to register for Holy Communion but I must see to it that I write at least a few letters in order for our dear benefactors and friends to receive some news about the condition of our congregation.] He is leaving shortly.
[The clockmaker Mueller’s] two [oldest] children registered for Holy Communion.123 The word of truth penetrates into their hearts and is making them into new creatures. The girl was publicly confirmed and blessed here and partook of Holy Communion for the first time after previous preparation, from which time the dear Lord has begun His work in her and will surely carry it out gloriously if she remains true, as she has resolved to do. [The two children work untiringly with their feeble father in the field, but they received such a bad lot that not a fourth part of their work is repaid. Last year, while the oldest son was still alive, they cleared and planted two more acres, which they are now abandoning, because the land is far too poor and dry. We have tried often enough to see whether this sandy soil will bear anything or not; and now no one will persuade us that any person can maintain himself on it properly, unless he can improve it with manure; but we still lack enough cattle and means of transportation to improve the fields.
[This Mueller with his large family now has only a year-old calf, the cow that he bought having died. I am sorry for the good man and would gladly do what is in my power if only he could be helped. He would have been better able to support himself in Germany than here, for here his wooden clocks are worthless and there are no paper mills here in which he could practice his profession (for he is actually a paper-maker). He is frail, his wife is old and weak, both are unaccustomed to field work, and they have four children, of whom only the two oldest can work a little, while the two younger girls are still in school.
[If a new transport should come, it would be good if the Lord Trustees would give permission for the people to seek out their land in our region themselves and not have to accept it according to the surveyor’s chain.124 We are requesting nothing on the far side of Ebenezer Creek, because this is supposed to belong to the Indians; but we only wish freedom to take up land down the Savannah River in the direction of Abercorn and Purysburg. The surveyed area extends no more than two English miles downstream, measured from our place, and it is only sandy and infertile soil.]
Wednesday, the 17th of May. Now that the listeners who wish to take Holy Communion on the coming second day of Whitsuntide are reporting to me, some of them are confessing their sins so frankly that they would probably be much too bashful to do it in the confessional booth. In particular, one young man revealed to me that, already in his ninth year when he had had to guard the cattle, he had been tempted by others to some right loathsome sins and that afterwards, when he was in service in Germany, the temptation had continued.125 Once infected by it, he could not get rid of this disease right away here; and some time ago he had freed his heart of some of it through confession, but he had been afraid to confess the truly gross things. However, since a worm was always gnawing at his conscience and he was becoming more and more miserable in his silence and could find no tranquility, he now confessed clearly more than I wished to hear. But this confession was made with such expressions and in so pitiful tones that I could well recognize from them the deep humiliation of his heart. What a wilderness of sin lies in the hearts of even untutored children that grows and breaks out so early, if any opportunity presents itself. Whoever has children might well watch over them; for we have learned from many examples in our congregation that this is most necessary.
Thursday, the 18th of May. Mrs. N. [Arnsdorf] told me what comfort and trust in further divine aid has been wrought in her by the experience of God’s wonderful ways that He has gone with her and her family in this country. It pleases me very well that she is able to use everything that occurs to her in a Christian manner and does not ascribe it to luck or to this or that person. She does good service in the orphanage with laundry and washing the children, for which a certain stipulated sum is paid to her. She asked me to help her get a better hut set up for her and the two children who are still with her, and for this some Salzburgers have already offered themselves to help her for nothing on certain days. Before his departure the carpenter Sanftleben prepared as much lumber and shingles as are necessary for a spacious hut and brought them right to her door, so that now it merely needs to be fitted together, raised, and finished as a dwelling.
Mrs. N. [Schweighofer] is greatly troubled that her children are still so frivolous and do not wish to obey the gospel of Christ. She would consider it her greatest joy and superior to an empire if one of the three would begin in truth to love the Lord Jesus and to live in His truth. While visiting me she remembered what joy she had had some time ago in her oldest girl because she had begun to pray seriously and to give her heart up to our dear God. She [the girl] had then told her that she was awaiting me with longing and wished to jump towards me with joy when I returned home from Savannah to tell me that God had begun to give her His grace for conversion. She had also said she would no longer resist her mother if she wished to chastise her because of her naughtiness. But now she was again frivolous. I comforted this pious mother concerning her children and spoke with her about the marvelous yet blessed guidance of our loving God which a true Christian experiences, once he has begun his pilgrimage, and how one finally comes from unrest to peace and from struggle and victory to triumph and the crown. She desired from her heart soon to be at home with her Lord; and today she twice thought that the Father would fetch her, His miserable maid, because, while praying in the cowshed, she lost almost all strength and breath. This Godfearing and richly anointed widow is dearer to me in the orphanage than a great capital, for her prayer is strong and brings the Lord’s blessings over our little institution.
Friday, the 19th of May. Now that Whitsuntide is so near, we have been able to write only a few letters, namely to Court Preacher Ziegenhagen, Senior Urlsperger, Professor Francke, Court Chaplain Butjenter, and to the merchant in Switzerland, Mr. Schlatter, to whom I must report that Mr. Causton wishes to send the payment for the linen he received in money or in rice as soon as Mr. Oglethorpe arrives, whose directions he wishes to follow. To the Lord Trustees and the Society I wrote only a short time ago and will do so again as soon as I have more time.
[The shoemaker from Purysburg, Reck, is bringing his little son back to our school and is having it boarded in the orphanage for a small payment. He is denying strongly that he played any part in the disorderly behavior of the renegade Riedelsperger and promises to be more prudent in his conduct. Because we have no shoemaker and because ready-made shoes in Savannah are not much good and are also not to be had, we can hardly do without the man. I have come to an agreement with him that he will put aside especially good leather for our orphanage, from which he will make durable shoes for our children, and I prefer to advance him the money for buying such good leather. He attended yesterday’s prayer meeting about the last part of Numbers, Chapter 12, with us, which, he claimed, had touched his soul. God grant that he will finally become wise!]
Saturday, the 20th of May. The poor people in the congregation, of whom there are many, are now asking us for linen for summer clothes, for we are accustomed to buy, as we have previously done, coarse linen that is said to come from Osnabruck. An entire piece of ninety-six ells that costs about four pounds sterling is quickly distributed. Praise be to God, who has still granted us so much through the generous hands of some Christian persons that we have been able to help widows, orphans, and other poor people with it. Such offerings please God well. In today’s preparation I used the words from Numbers 14:22-24 as a basis for our communal awakening in order to recognize our salvation in these days, but in such a way that I touched upon the main points of the entire chapter, as well as the story of the guidance of the Children of Israel from Egypt. The main exposition was meant to show what ways God is accustomed to go with the people whom He is leading from the spiritual Egypt to the promised Canaan and how the pilgrims should behave and how they are accustomed to behave.
The story especially suits our listeners, who also have many vexations and temptations because of the land and external matters, and who should be warned not to fall into the very same example of disbelief but rather concern themselves righteously with the spirit that dwelt in both Caleb and Joshua and inclined their hearts to obedience towards the commandments of God. Psalm 143:10, Sirach 46:12. This preparation was held from four to five o’clock, so in the evening at the time of prayer meeting we had plenty of time to bow ourselves with our congregation before God and to invoke Him (our kind heavenly Father, Luke 11:13) for the promised spirit in the name of His Son. Before the prayer I read them Book III, chapter 16, from Johann Arndt’s Book of True Christianity, which occurred to me during the sermon and which I recommended to them for later reading. May God make us into a spiritual mother hen, who presents her biddies the little grain she has found for their nourishment and praises it with her clucking.
Sunday and Monday, the 21st and 22nd of May, were Holy Whitsuntide. Two Evangelical-Lutheran families126 came from Purysburg yesterday before the preparation to attend the divine service during these holy days and to go to Holy Communion with the congregation. We preached movingly both to them and to all our own dear listeners from the dear gospel straight to their hearts to become true New Testament Christians and fruitful trees in the garden of the Lord. The dear Lord will not let it all be entirely in vain. [Perhaps the people in Purysburg can hear a good word now and then, since] the old Mr. Zouberbühler,127 a Reformed preacher from Switzerland, has arrived in Purysburg with the intention of remaining there with his daughter. He preached there on Exaudi Sunday, and the people there tell many edifying things about this sermon. This preacher actually belongs to New Windsor near Savannah-Town, where his son128 has had a town and the land appertaining to it surveyed for the Appenzellers; [but he remained for so long in Charleston, I don’t know for what reasons, that meanwhile most of his congregation in the above-mentioned city had died. People tell a lot of evil stories about this old man, whom I do not know; but they cannot be considered true. Love hopes the best.
[Some provisions were brought to us for the German people in Old Ebenezer; and our people would have been burdened with them on the two holy days, if it had been permitted. The desecration of Sundays and holy days is as common in this country as any sin may be and is not even noticed. We do not wish our people to be dragged into such improper and profane behavior. Honest people have a repugnance against it, and we are after the frivolous ones with warning and chastisement.] I was prevented from visiting our dear listeners in their homes and seeing whether the sown seed of the divine word has sprung up and is bringing forth good fruit. Nevertheless, I visited one family, where I myself found so much edification that I returned home praising God. The wife told me how the dear Lord taught her to pay attention to little things that He is undertaking in her, for she will find in them many traces of divine wisdom and goodness for the strengthening of her faith. Yesterday, she said, God had given her a blessing from His own word; but today she has been entirely barren and complained to her husband, who was present, that she could not go to Holy Communion with such a heart as she now had. Thereupon she went into a corner and wept about her condition and asked God with great simplicity that He might grant her to recognize and feel all her sins truly; and, she continued, He had looked upon her tears and prayers graciously and during the prayer had revealed her sin to her and had greatly comforted her. At the beginning of the divine service, when a psalm was being read to the congregation, He had greatly comforted her through the assurance of the forgiveness of her sins. But, because she had previously wept greatly and been very troubled, she had suffered many pains in her body because of her pregnancy and had thought people would have to carry her to Holy Communion, but she had reminded the Father with tears of His promises and of the spiritual help she had received shortly before then, and God had, she said, soon heard her and strengthened her, to her great amazement. This pious woman knows how to get along so simply and childishly with the noble promises of God (as she expresses it), that she can certainly win something from God through her faith. She told with especial emotion what a great blessing God had granted her during the last Easter festival, which blessing He had maintained so far and increased according to His great mercy. She so greatly enjoys hearing us sing the song: “Hallelujah, laud, praise, and glory,”129 and hopes to be able to sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy” with true holy reverence before the allhighest God.
Tuesday, the 23rd of May. This morning we sent our boat down to Savannah on account of provisions for the orphanage, at which time our letters and diary were forwarded to Mr. Delamotte, who is returning to London. I had recently asked Mr. Causton to buy twenty cows and calves for our congregation and to have them sent here along with the cows that he wishes to send for the third transport. Now I had to tell him that our Salzburgers request 30 milk cows. The good people save their money as best they can to buy cows with it, for the gain from them is very great.
A pious woman sent me word that she wished to speak with me when there was an opportunity, and I soon made one for her. She told me that on Whitsun Monday the dear Lord had granted her such refreshment from His word that she could have constantly laughed with joy, but had restrained herself. However, in the evening all this had vanished again and she had, she said, become so miserable that she could not express it; and in this regard she was in such bad spirits only because she was afraid that Satan might tear the good word from her heart, against which the listeners have been warned in the repetition hour. She had not been able to go to bed, she said, but had prayed and implored until God had shown mercy upon her and had granted her another sight of His grace, although not such a perceptible one as previously. She marvelled at this goodness of God, namely, that she had been able to remember everything that had been preached in the sermons, since she is usually so weak in her memory. Everything had been fresh and alive for her, and she would have liked to remain that way forever. I told her that she should not consider the good word, which she now no longer perceives so clearly, to be lost or torn away; but rather the dear Lord had let it fall like a good seed into the furrow of her heart so that it would not be lost but would surely reveal itself in due time. God, I continued, wishes to accustom His children to trust without feeling and to believe without seeing and the word of the promise must be more certain for her than the feeling of joy. I read her the 35th chapter of Isaiah and gave it to her after the prayer to take home. She remembered with much melancholy her father and other relatives, of whom some are in Salzburg and others in Germany, and she is not a little worried about their salvation. She prays unceasingly to God that He might bring all men, including her acquaintances, to penitence and bliss, since she knows from her own example how great the danger of self-deception is. Previously she had not doubted that she was saved; yet she would have gone to hell if she had died that way.
Yesterday I heard a married couple praise the dear Lord for having brought them in this wilderness to the recognition of the way to bliss and to faith in His dear Son. They marvelled that they had been so blind at their departure from Salzburg and afterwards that they had considered themselves good Christians; how greatly the dear Lord had revealed to them only later that they were still lacking a firm foundation. To the glory of God they said that the Bible stories that we contemplate in the evening prayer hour profit them so much and reveal to them various previously unrecognized sins. The woman admitted that, while we were still camped in Abercorn, she had been very restless in our depressing circumstances and had not considered it the will of God but rather a human error that she had come here from Germany. Her late husband had reminded her of the wonderful and a priori unknown ways of God and had assured her from the divine word that everything would turn out all right. The dear Lord had done so well by her that she was ashamed of her disbelief and believed with certainty that this journey would serve her for her salvation and bliss. She praised God for His patience and forbearance, and her husband did so too, and added “God wishes to teach us through His example how we should behave with other people, namely, we must have patience if they cannot accept everything or if they betray some discontent in case of want, sickness, etc.”
Wednesday, the 24th of May. Since the last rain we have had no more for over fourteen days, but only hot weather. The nights are cool, and the lovely dew is of great help to the crops. [Rauner’s son, who had been placed in apprenticeship in Savannah, has run away from there and travelled to Purysburg with a little boat which he had taken, and thence came back to us as soon as an opportunity offered itself. The boy complained much about his master’s treatment of him, in that he had to work hard, even on Sundays, did not receive enough to eat, etc. I do not know at this point whether the man in Purysburg130 will have him back, and what should be done with this naughty child of an equally frivolous mother.]
Necessity has required me to buy in Savannah for the orphanage a large cast-iron cauldron that holds forty gallons, since it is indispensable for washing and brewing beer.131 To be sure, the second and third transports have each received a copper kettle through the kindness of Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen and Mr. Butjenter, which, however, we hesitate to use too often, since they are used by the entire congregation for beer boiling and partly for washing. This iron cauldron weighs two hundred pounds and costs 2 £ 10 sh. sterling. Now we are having bricks made, as well as they can be made here without kilns, so that the said cauldron can be properly set in a hearth and made convenient for use. To be sure, the money for this, as for several other things, had to be borrowed; yet the hand of the Lord has not been shortened to grant a new blessing, and His fountain132 has an abundance of water.
Thursday, the 25th of May. Today a man reported to me that he had freed himself of the sin of unrighteousness, about which he had recently confessed to me, through restitution and that the person whom it concerned was well content with it. I told him the most important thing that had to happen, namely, that he would not stop at that but take his wounded conscience to the only Helper, the Lord Jesus, as a poor sinner and seek forgiveness in His blood. He requested a small separately printed sermon by the late Professor Francke; he had seen one at the house of another person, and it had pleased him very much.
Friday, the 26th of May. Today our boat came home again; and, because the things that had to be loaded on it were too much, another boat had to be taken in Purysburg. Among them are the beautiful blessing that is flowing to our orphanage from the storehouse in Savannah, with it the large iron cauldron and the two chests from Europe, one with medicine for Mr. Thilo and the other from S. U. [Senior Urlsperger] for the congregation. May our loyal God repay the dear Orphanage in Halle for all the good in the form of medicine and other benefactions that we have received so far from it through the hands of the most worthy Professor Francke. May He also repay the dear Mr. S. U. [Senior Urlsperger] for his remembrance of love and let the gifts received have the sought-for effect on the whole congregation.
In this chest there are just as many kinds of useful things as we received for the congregation at the arrival of the third transport; and, since much joy and praise of God arose then, I do not doubt that this considerable benefaction will have the same lovely effect. The chosen Frau von Heslin has doubtlessly contributed the greatest part of this considerable benefaction this time, as she did last time; and may our loving God repay her, like all the rest of our worthy benefactors, according to His great mercy in time and eternity! In the chest we also found the late Schaitberger’s book, in which this dear benefactress’ whole name was written, which gave me occasion for some good thoughts about its honest purpose. We are accepting it as a gift for our church library. Likewise, Mr. Schauer has thought of our congregation with much love by sending them sixty vials of his well proven balm, which the Salzburgers greatly respect. We and the Salzburgers wish him the rich blessing of God as a rich compensation for it. Toward evening we had a storm with a gentle rain, which stopped again about midnight. It has greatly refreshed the soil, even though it penetrated the earth only a hand deep.
Saturday, the 27th of May. [Among the objects received there is also something for Stephan Riedelsperger’s wife, née Valentin, which was wrapped in a special package, sealed, and addressed to her. All the things were a little damp, and therefore we had to open this package too in order to preserve the things in it from spoiling. We are keeping it with us because we do not know where this degenerate woman has run with her miserable husband. We are herewith asking Senior Urlsperger what we are to do with the package if in time we discover where she is staying, and if it is the benefactor’s intent that it should be sent to her. The two are surely to be pitied, and without doubt they will cause sorrow by their offensive conduct to those who knew them in Germany.]
In distributing the received benefactions, among which are forty-six yards133 of linen, six axes, stockings, much yarn, needles, fasteners,134 knives, hooks, ribbons, combs, etc., it has been our policy to distribute everything in such portions that even the smallest child has received something, and therefore it has caused general rejoicing. The children, both large and small and even down to infants, received their gifts first, after I had first spoken to them for their awakening from God’s word and had prayed with them. I told them that they should recognize from these benefactions from afar that godliness is useful in all things and promises much in this and the next life. I told them that God had inclined the hearts of many pious people in Germany to our congregation who were pleased to help us and would be most joyful to hear that our children are walking in Christian truth and that they would gladly reveal their joy on occasion by sending various physical benefactions.
I also reminded them again that a few years ago a certain benefactor had remembered the names of four children of whom he had heard good reports and had sent them something. They should let the present gift serve to make them 1) praise God for it humbly, 2) pray heartily for their benefactors, even though unknown, 3) be content and satisfied with their gifts even if they were small, since they had to be divided among so many people; for they should consider themselves unworthy of even the least of God’s benefactions. If they make good use of the small gift, the dear Lord could very easily grant something larger. As soon as we were finished with the children we distributed to the men and then to the women, after having spoken briefly to them about something that served this purpose. Each family received a vial of Schauer’s balm. God be praised for all his goodness. He lets it be known through this His benefaction that His hand has not been shortened but still reaches out over us to do us good. Soon after the distribution two Salzburgers called on us again and asked us to send many thanks to our benefactors. The joy was great on all sides. There were also a few articles of clothing which our benefactors had intended for us and our helpmeets just as they had done the last time, even though there was no letter or instructions concerning the disposition of these things.
Sunday, the 28th of May. During the afternoon divine service a violent storm wind and cloudburst occurred, which inconvenienced us somewhat in the church, but it soon passed by. Mrs. N. [the old Spielbiegler woman and her son] was [were] somewhat cheerful today in noting what I had told them in a private visit for their salvation. She accused herself greatly because of the sins of her youth and praised the fact that in our place the path to salvation is so clearly marked that neither she nor anyone else can blame the ministers if they are not saved. She seems to feel displeasure at the godless behavior in N. [Memmingen], where she was [for many years]; yet, in spite of all that, she will not make an effort to convert herself to God honestly but knows how to give herself enough comfort despite all her self-accusation. She has a few old books, which she considers very important. There may be many divine truths presented in them; but perhaps the order of salvation is not indicated as it should be. There are several people in the congregation who think they really have something if they possess an old postil or some other book, which perhaps doesn’t even have a title page. They consider such books very valuable, but we also learn that many of them are not used correctly and that the truths they present are not applied rightly.
[Monday, the 29th of May. The Englishman in Old Ebenezer, who is in charge of the Lord Trustees’ cattle,135 has withheld our two horses for as long as he has been there; and whenever we have wished to use one we have had to ask him. Because he has now almost ruined them and because friendly reminders are in vain, I asked Mr. Causton last week in a letter to make a judicial investigation into this man’s unjust behavior and to protect us in our possession. He wrote him a few, but very emphatic, lines, which I sent to the man; but today I received the answer that he refuses in spite of it to release one of the horses, which he has been able to use very well until now. I have given him eight days to reflect; and, if he does not obey orders within this time, I shall denounce his disobedience in Savannah. We need the horses now in order to haul up the sawed boards.]
Mr. Delamotte, until now schoolmaster in Savannah, would like to see our place and the Salzburgers’ arrangements; and he would have come up with our provision boat already last week if it had not been loaded too full. Tomorrow I shall send our small boat to Savannah to fetch some meat that Mr. Causton is giving to our needy from the storehouse; and I am inviting him to come to us on this occasion. Perhaps it will be useful, because he intends to tell our friends in London directly how he found things here. Last Sunday a couple of men from Savannah were with us who were here also about a year and a half ago, and they could not marvel enough at the great changes that have taken place meanwhile in the huts and cultivation, even though they saw only the front part of our place.
Tuesday, the 30th of May. Today the dear Lord has revealed in several people that it has pleased Him, for the edification of our congregation, to bless that which was presented in the last repetition hour on Sunday and again inculcated in them. In the morning I preached on the regular gospel for Trinity Sunday, using the initial words of 2 Peter 1:11, and presented the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, to be sure, men do not know by nature or from their own reason, but will be shown by Jesus in His school. We were told especially by N. [Rothenberger] that God had awakened him mightily to care for his salvation earnestly and that he had great need of frequent visits, and I soon did this. I found another eager man at his house, and I soon found occasion to edify myself with them through a simple conversation and prayer. N. [Rothenberger] heard the word of God and the prayer with many tears. His spirit is so softened by the word that the Lord will soon be able to plant His image in him if only, as we hope, he will remain true to the grace he has received.
N. [Pichler] has had a relapse, and he seems in great danger. He has the most excruciating pains and vomits up all medicine. While I was visiting him today he grasped my hand and wept greatly, and at the same time he thanked me for my efforts and appeared very moved. When I asked him the cause of his tears and his humility, he said: “If only God will not reject me, if only I were soon there, etc.” I had given him the verse: “The son of man is come to save that which is lost.” At the same time I reminded him how loyally Jesus has sought him so far and how He had sought him so much on the recent holy day that he could well perceive it. Even now, when He is seizing him on his body, He is seeking him; he should merely turn himself entirely with everything he has, even with all his sins, to this merciful Savior and sigh to Him unceasingly that He prepare him properly for a blessed departure. And, since he well knows how much is necessary for a blessed death, he might give a good admonition or warning to those people who visit him or watch him at night. He knows, I continued, how necessary this is for some people who wish to be his friends and acquaintances.
At my request last Sunday he had revealed to me some disorder which had occurred before Whitsuntide among some of the young people, which news was very necessary for me. I was very pleased when he told me that he had seriously reproved a disorder that had occurred, and he also told me the actual words and expressions. He can express himself very orderly, clearly, and impressively. After he had been prevented from his design of moving away he noted that, through the word of the gospel, he had made room in his heart for grace; and since then he has not been embittered toward us, as one feared. May the Lord look graciously on our prayer for him and help him fight his way entirely through the narrow gates and through everything that must be overcome before one can come to the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
Wednesday, the 31st of May. An Englishman brought a woman down to our place from Savannah-Town and wanted to leave her at our place until he could return from Charleston. However, he took her with him again, because he could find no lodging for her; and this pleased me when I learned of it. For this reason I made a necessary admonition in yesterday’s evening prayer hour that people should not burden themselves with such riffraff, who might cause us great harm and bring the displeasure of our benefactors upon us.
My dear colleague lent a woman the printed preparation for Whitsuntide concerning the dear words of Revelations 22:17: “Let him that is athirst come,” in which she has been reading and from which she has felt such edification that she could highly praise it with much emotion and many tears. She always carries the booklet with her and reads, kneeling, one section after another to her Savior; and she does not do this hastily but first ruminates on one piece for a good while before she reaches for the following one. She is a right needy soul, yet does not know it. She is very impressed by the passage when the blessed preacher is very friendly towards those who feel no thirst and tries to awaken them.136
The sins of her youth humiliate her greatly; and, because of their magnitude and loathsomeness, they make her afraid to apply to herself the gospel of God’s forgiveness, which the Savior has won for all poor sinners. Her husband was standing there and said that a certain Salzburger, who had been working with him for the past few days, had told him that he had been dragging himself around for a long time with his sins and had been held back by them; but, after he had cast down all his burden at the feet of the crucified Savior and had come to him bare and naked, he had achieved peace.
Thursday, the 1st of June. In answer to our letter Mr. Delamotte replied that he did not have enough time to come to us before his departure, since the ship wished to leave in two days. I had written another letter to Senior Urlsperger which I would have given to him, along with two others to a couple of the Salzburgers’ benefactors in Augsburg if he had come to us. I have also written to Mr. Plaschnig, cadet preacher137 in Petersburg and given him, at his request, a report of our congregation and its spiritual and physical circumstances. [We shall see whether we cannot manage to have these letters sent off, together with the last portion of this diary.]
Pichler has come very close to his end. Yesterday and today he has had the most violent convulsions and has lain several times without consciousness. As far as possible we have shouted many comforting words to him and prayed for him with others in his hut. He has made no provisions for his child and material affairs but has left it all to me. During Whitsuntide he had asked Kiefer in Purysburg for his daughter in marriage, therefore he must not have imagined that his end was so near after he had recently recovered.
Friday, the 2nd of June. Pichler, who had come so close to death yesterday, recovered so much last night that he is fully conscious again and is gaining new strength. His pains are gone, and the entire sickness seems to have been broken by an unusually strong sweat that followed his epileptic seizure.138 It was probably not medicine that did this, because he has received no medication since Sunday except for two prescribed enemas, for which I hope our medico has his well-founded reasons. We diligently call to him “Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” He well recognizes that it is a great grace of God that he still has time to prepare himself properly for a blessed eternity. I also read him the parable about the wise and the foolish virgins.
Saturday, the 3rd of June. Yesterday I reported something in a letter to Mr. Causton about the evil conduct of the man in Old Ebenezer who did not wish to obey his orders concerning our horses, whereupon the man again received a very serious command not to hold back our horses from us under any pretext. He is said to be very angry at me about this, but that does no harm. I have been very patient and have been unable to accomplish anything by good words.
[For a couple of days thunderstorms were threatening, but they soon pass on. It may have rained and thundered heavily in other places, but the wind did not let it come up here. The soil is very dry because it has not rained for a long time.] A couple of times we had a little rain, which, however, was soon dried up by the great heat. Nevertheless, the crops look fine, only the people cannot plant their sweet-potato vines as long as it is so dry.
Sunday, the 4th of June. Our sermon today was about the gospel for the first Sunday after Trinity, repentance and faith being preached as if from the eternal kingdom. Our dear Lord has blessed today’s message in several listeners, as was revealed to me during visitation. A Salzburger told me in the presence of his wife that he cannot come to any certainty of his state of grace and he believes that he has been greatly hindered by having kept something among his things that does not belong to him, but to the storehouse, after he who had owned them had long since been dead. After the repetition hour this man’s wife came to me and asked me to awaken her husband when the opportunity presented itself; because, she said, he was lax and made no serious effort to be saved and caused her much struggle. She would like to break through and experience the great salvation in Christ, but she found it so difficult. I was pleased with the news from the husband, and I referred her and her troubles to what I had said in the repetition hour for the comfort of the penitent and remorseful sinners.
Another Salzburg woman deplored her present condition so sincerely that she could hardly speak for her sobs. She regrets that she has been living for so long in uncertainty. Her husband, she said, admonishes her well and can remember and repeat what is said in the sermons better than she, and she herself is always mightily moved. Nevertheless she never reaches the point of being certain that she would be saved if she died now. I admonished her to continuous and zealous prayer, to quiet vigilance over herself, and to obedience to the discipline and chastisement of the Holy Ghost; and I asked her not to adhere to any sin with her heart and to free herself honestly from any filth of unrighteousness, if she has any in her, as we have become aware of in many members of the congregation. Her husband was not present; and she said that he would be sorry, since he enjoyed our encouragement. She assured me that he does not go out elsewhere to spend his time evilly, since he well knows how harmful it is if one gossips too much, especially on Sundays.
[Monday, the 5th of June. Today we had an event that has not yet occurred in the performance of our office, for which we wish to enter all the circumstances here with the request that our dear Fathers who read it will correct us according to their experience if we have not acted wisely. On Exaudi Sunday, Paul Zittrauer and Barbara Maurer (two unmarried and at the same time unconverted people) were together in the evening in a Salzburger’s hut and sinned by frivolous talk in the presence of two other men, who probably helped them in it. After they had separated, Zittrauer accompanied the Maurer woman to her house under the pretext of fetching his shirt from her, but he remained with her for a half an hour. A man in the neighborhood noticed it and told the watch, which is held every night to keep good order; and after some time it was reported to me, not immediately after my return from Savannah but only after Whitsuntide.
[I had both the witnesses and also the two suspected people come to me, but separately, spoke emphatically to their consciences, and hoped to elicit a confession of their presumed uncleanliness. They did not deny that they had been together for almost half an hour at ten o’clock in the evening in the Maurer woman’s dark hut, which the righteous Schmidt had given up to her next to his own hut for her to dwell in. However, they had not done anything except that the servant girl had looked for the young man’s shirt but had not been able to find it, and then they had chatted together about trivial things and then parted from each other. I gave them both time to think it over until today and, before holding an exact examination, I wished to let pass yesterday, which was Sunday, when such an important matter touching our salvation or damnation was treated, in hopes they might reconsider and come out all the more readily with a confession.
[This morning they both came as they had been summoned to our hut, where seven other men had come who knew of the scandalous event or at least of the very wicked appearance of evil. First we prayed together, then I invoked the dear Lord to let it resound deep into our hearts that He is not only a gracious and merciful but also a holy and just God who will not bring us to salvation but in His holy order. I also asked Him to let us, especially these two people for whose sake we had come together, well consider what this means: “You destroy the liars, the Lord abhors, etc.,”139 likewise, “He is not a God who is pleased by godless ways.” Then, in the presence of my dear colleague, I conducted the matter as follows:
[1) I told them briefly why I had had them assemble here, namely to clear up the occurrence and the scandal that was known to them, for which reason I wished to have no one present except them who knew about it. 2) I indicated that I had spoken to the consciences of Paul Zittrauer and the Maurer woman according to my office and duty and wished to do so again in the presence of several witnesses, whereby I was asking them in advance not to sin and to burden themselves with God’s dreadful anger by denying. 3) We stood up, and I read the two people the following slowly and clearly: “Note what I say: God says in Proverbs 28:13, ‘He that covereth up his sins shall not prosper.’ You know what suspicion has fallen upon you and how, because you were together late at night for almost a half an hour, people can not help but think that you have sinned through fornication and carnal union. Now should it happen that you have let yourself be seduced to such disgusting sin of uncleanness by the devil and your own worldly hearts, then I beg you for God’s sake, if salvation is dear to you, not to deny it, for God says in the quoted verse that you will not succeed if you deny it, you will fall into His judgment and will certainly lose your blessed state, for it is expressly written: ‘Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.’ Do not think you can pray away this sin if you deceive me, that the disgrace would not allow you to confess it, for you would be disgraced before the entire congregation.”
[“But now listen, is it not better to be disgraced here in this world before a few people than to appear one time in everlasting shame and disgrace before the judgment seat of Christ and to be damned there before all the angels and people as a whoremonger and scoundrel and to be cast for ever and ever (oh listen!) into the eternal tortures of hell? I am not speaking to you now in my name but in the name of Jesus Christ the future judge of the quick and the dead, who has said: ‘He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me.’ Think how Ananias and his wife Sapphira fared according to the 5th chapter of Acts, who brought a dreadful judgment from the Lord on their head. Your ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ which you will now answer? to my question, which I am posing also in the name of Jesus Christ, (mind you well) in the name of Jesus Christ, is before God just as much as an oath; and you well know (and should well know) what a dreadful sin a perjury or false oath is, through which a man can surely be everlastingly lost if he does not recognize and confess his perjury and do penance for it while there is still time.”
[“Therefore, in the place of God and Christ, I ask you, Paul Zittrauer, in the presence of these people, who will someday be witnesses of your statements at the day of judgment, whether you have had carnal relations with this Barbara Maurer and committed the disgrace of fornication with her or not. Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with great deliberation. Barbara Maurer, I also ask you in the place of God and Christ in the presence of these people who will someday be witnesses of your statements at the day of judgment whether the said Paul Zittrauer has had carnal relations with you and whether you have committed the disgrace of fornication with him or not. Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with great deliberation.”
[Because both of them denied it, the next address to them was as follows: “Now you have it on your conscience, before God your ‘no’ is equal to an oath. If you are guilty of the deed, God will surely not leave you unpunished. The Lord Jesus says in Matthew 12: ‘Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.’ How much more you will have to give account for your present denial, if you really did the evil deed. And it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:10: ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one, etc.’ You are all witnesses that I have performed my office on these people, I can do no more.”
[“Now that they have so solemnly shown that they are innocent of this misdeed it is our duty to drop all suspicion and to warn others not to sin through judgments of these two people. You can tell those who know about the scandal that they have declared under oath before the living God that they are innocent; and therefore everyone must leave them in peace. Meanwhile, it is a shameful matter that you have been together at night; and, because you have caused much vexation and harm and have caused us ministers much distress and sorrow, you have cause to confess such a sin penitently and to invoke the dear Lord humbly and zealously for the grace of penance and henceforth to be diligent in all Christian prudence.” 4) We fell on our knees together and prayed.]
Tuesday, the 6th of June. A young man wanted to borrow an implement for farm work from us; and, when we gave him an old one, he was very joyful about it and said, “It shall last this year, to be sure; who knows whether I will need it any more in another year.” I said that it does not matter if a man dies soon, if only one is deemed worthy to see the good that cometh (which were the opening words last Sunday from Jeremiah 17:6). Hereupon he began praising God for having given him grace not to fear death any more, since he was now certain of his state of grace. “Oh,” he said, “I did not know formerly how blessed Christianity is and what a gracious and loving God we have. Alas, that not everyone wishes to believe it! They do not wish a new birth, but remain in the world; and therefore they cannot experience the good.”
I asked him to work on N. [Herzog] on occasion and to dissuade him from the suspicious thoughts he has about God, since he is otherwise so well acquainted with him. This very man said to me some time ago when I visited him that once in an attack of his severe fever it had seemed to him that he was at the gates of eternity and that, if he had been just a little more wicked, he would have fallen into the abyss. He had used this to be right sure of his state of grace and to penetrate into the rich grace of God in Christ. I thought of the verse: “And if the righteous scarcely (molis) be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:18.
[Pichler has recovered and goes out again, but he is again walking his previous apparently sinful paths even though I reminded him of his duty, now that his recovery has begun, with the verses: “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, etc.” and “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most high.” If he had died in his present condition, he would have fared very badly, because before his sickness he had sinned by writing an angry letter to Barbara Maurer and after his sickness he had compounded this sin with the right horrible sin of disavowing and of involving other people in his wickedness. Yesterday evening he could not escape me here, even though his clever mind usually helps him do so; and because the circumstances were so deceitful, hypocritical, and heinous, I have seriously preached penitence to him in his hut and on the street. He will not succeed in his wickedness, which he commits under good appearances; and it is a divine mercy that his deceitful heart is so clearly revealed, for now one can understand him better, whereas he can usually wiggle out. From this fact we can easily conclude that he has not yet done penance for the disorders he committed with the renegade Riedelsperger at his planned departure. On the occasion of yesterday’s examination much was made known that was, to be sure, unpleasant, but which was necessary for us to know for the sake of the souls who are concerned and on which we must work.]
Wednesday, the 7th of June. Yesterday there was an outburst of anger between two families that could have caused a harmful break between them, if we had not intervened in time with love and seriousness. I was not a little distressed yesterday evening and this morning when I had this squabble on my hands; but finally God helped me calm the tempers and bring them to a recognition of the cunning of the devil, who can fan a great fire from a small spark. Finally it cost many tears, through which the hearts became all the more gentle and intimate again. I remembered that which is in Apostles 15:37-39.
In spite of the longlasting drought, the corn in the fields, as well as the rice, are still beautiful. The deer do much damage to the beans, which are planted between the corn and are still young, by eating away whole areas at night. Yesterday evening and this afternoon several people have joined together to search the woods around the fields and to flush the game. Perhaps they will be lucky enough to shoot something, and for this purpose they have supplied themselves with muskets. They work in the fields during the day until they are too tired to keep watch over their fields at night, which would help little, especially when the moon is not shining.
Thursday, the 8th of June. [The surveyor is again breaking his promise. At his departure he promised to be with us soon again and to put the people’s plantations into final shape; and even though I have reminded him about it several times he always turns us away with good promises. The Salzburgers wish to divide the good land and then later to distribute the bad plantations too, which, however, cannot occur without a surveyor; especially since he has not yet completed all the surveyed and distributed plantations on his sketch. God willing, I shall go at noon tomorrow to Savannah on account of the German people to preach them the word of God, and I shall seek out this surveyor in Purysburg or remind him by letter of his promise.]
When I read the cordial wishes sent to us and our congregation by the worthy Master Hildebrand, a simple but honest Salzburger remembered this righteous man as well as other dear benefactors known to him in Augsburg and wished to know when we were going to write again to Germany, since he wished to send a thank-you letter along and report, to the praise of God, that he is faring well, and he wished to mention in it the cattle and field with which God has blessed him.
Friday, the 9th of June. In visiting the people we find souls thirsting for grace in different degrees, who have no greater desire than to be certain of their state of grace. The dear Lord gives them many a glimpse of His love; but, because the sins of their youth are always lying in their minds, they do not rightly know whether they may be truly assured of the grace which the Lord has shown them. They would like to come to certainty yet also not deceive themselves, because they well know that many thousands will someday be damned who had good hopes here for their salvation. For eight days I have been much impressed by the words from I John 1:9, therefore I have told and shown such diverse souls how they should act very simply and go to the dear Lord with all the sins of their youth, confess them frankly, and also, if it is necessary, reveal special circumstances to their ministers or to others in whom they have confidence, especially if the dear Lord Himself give them an impulse to do so. If they would only do this in all simplicity and if God would see that they honestly wished nothing but His grace, then He would be loyal and just, forgive them their sins, and cleanse them from all vice. Yea, even if they could not notice right away that all their sins had been forgiven, they should believe it if for no other reason than that the Bible promises it to those who confess their sins in truth; and they should merely persist in prayer, for, when God sees the right time, He will grant them to perceive and enjoy the comfort of the forgiveness of their sins.
A week ago, as I was about to make my way to the orphanage to hold the prayer meeting and to speak the said words to the hearts of those present, I met three women on the street to whom I said these words too, whereupon one of them, who is especially sincere, answered that they had just been discussing together how loyal God is and that they need only to have complete confidence in Him, come to Him, and believe that He will receive them.
Saturday, the 10th of June. Toward evening I was visited by a woman whom I admonished to be right serious in her Christianity. She told me that she had had great fear in her heart some time ago and that she had wished to come to us, but she thought, “What will you do there? You will not be able to speak because of your great distress.” Then the dear Lord brought it about that her daughter had to come from the orphanage and, as soon as she had seen how depressed her mother was, she took her hymnal, looked up a song, and said: “Here, mother, is a song. Read it, and you will be comforted.” The song is named “Ah, my heart, be undaunted, don’t you know God’s love?”140 Because of this she marvelled that it was precisely her child who had to come and be her occasion for some encouragement. But now she had to admit that she had not loyally used such grace.
Sunday, the 11th of June. The dear Lord granted us much blessing from his gospel today and especially called to us: “Come unto the marriage.”141 Toward evening I had to bury a child, at which occasion I showed from Revelations 19:5-9 how well off those will be who properly accept the call of God or had already accepted it through His grace. It is H. Flörel’s child. I had just come into their hut yesterday evening when the child was about to die, and the mother asked me to pray with her and those present. She said that she loved the child, to be sure, but she preferred for the dear Lord to take it to Him, for now she knows that it is dying a blessed death. Hardly a quarter of an hour passed before the Lord had taken it to Himself.
Monday, the 12th of June. This morning I returned from Savannah, where I had gone in the performance of my office. We made use of last night, and this speeded up the trip. Again I have had an opportunity, both Saturday and Sunday, to proclaim the word of the gospel publicly to the assembled German people there [both Reformed and Lutheran]; but it is known only unto the Lord whether any blessing has been caused by it. One entices, calls, warns, and chastises as the circumstances demand; but up till now it has not borne the fruit that we wished. Because the meanness of most of them is quite apparent and the office of the gospel is merely blasphemed because of them, I let them know during the afternoon sermon with what a heavy heart I come to them because of the want of resulting fruit and that, if it continues in this way, I would rather remain at home. I would try it, I said, a couple of times more and see whether or not anything could be gained in a few of them, even if it were only one person. Four [nine]142 weeks ago some had registered to go to Holy Communion this time; but a couple were angry and irritated and a couple were sick or had been prevented from coming; and therefore Holy Communion was postponed for four more weeks.
After the morning service a couple of these people were married; and another couple, whom I had referred to the minister in Purysburg, [because the bridegroom was of his flock]143 persuaded me through Mr. Causton to marry them after the afternoon services. Because we cannot declare their banns every Sunday in succession, the intended marriage is announced to the assembled congregation; and they are asked in the presence of the couple whether anyone knows a just reason why they should not be married. If there is no obstacle, the marriage takes place in the presence of the whole congregation. Also, we must have the oral or written consent not only of the parents, but also of the master in whose service they are.
It is too bad that we do not have a place where these ignorant and misbehaved German people could come to us. It is much too hot for visitation, and when we visit them we do not always find them the way we would like them to be in order to say a good word to them. Before my departure some of them spoke to me and wished to assure me that God had already blessed in them the sermons preached so far, they had felt it in their hearts, and things had already changed, etc. They asked me not to stay away from them because of those who are so wicked; after all, for the sake of a few righteous people, God did wish to show patience with all the rest in Sodom and Gomorrha. I gave them some admonitions according to their circumstances and dismissed them.
[This time I made the acquaintance of the new preacher in Savannah, Mr. Whitefield, who gave me many proofs of an honest friendship and affection. God gave us an opportunity so to join ourselves in the Lord that I promise myself much profit from it. He is only a deacon and therefore cannot hold Holy Communion: he would like to return to London within six months to be ordained as priest. He was actually called to Frederica; but, because there is no preacher in Savannah and one is needed more here than elsewhere, he has remained here at the request of the city council until he is replaced by Mr. Wesley, as people hope, or by someone else. This Mr. Whitefield is zealous in his office, and he gives awakening and edifying sermons. He has no regard for peculiar opinions that do not concern the essentials and only instigate unrest.]
Tuesday, the 13th of June. The dry weather is still continuing and is a new tribulation on the country. May God grant that all among us learn to resign ourselves to it better than others in this country, from whom we occasionally hear only unbelieving complaints and despair. In our contemplation of the Bible stories we have come to the fourth144 year of the wandering of the Israelites; and in today’s evening prayer hour I gave a recapitulation of the content of the story of the first two years after the exodus from Egypt, namely, God’s exceptionally loving care and goodness toward His people but also their ungrateful conduct toward their Benefactor, upon which nothing else but many physical and spiritual judgments could follow; and, since people of this time still behave so ungratefully toward the kindness and goodness of God, it is no wonder if God is sitting in judgment, which fact, however, is not recognized by blind men, who attribute the evil that befalls them to the nature of the country, the climate, other people, etc., even though one should apply such an experience as it is written in Daniel 5:22. The chastisements that the Lord inflicts on his children, now as then, have a very salutary purpose. God is accustomed, I told them, often to punish here and to spare there, and often to spare here and punish there.
Wednesday, the 14th of June. Mr. Causton sent me word that he had bought as many cows for the third transport and for other people as I had requested and that they would soon be brought to us. A cow and calf come to two pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence, which the Salzburgers are glad to pay if only, as has been promised, good and tame cattle are brought; and in this one must take one’s chances. The third transport received twelve cows and as many calves; ten head were donated almost two years ago by Mr. Ogelthorpe, of which five have either run away or died; those that survived were so distributed among the people that two persons share a cow and a calf, even though the Lord Trustees had provided for only a cow and calf for five people. Mr. Causton has again assured me he will send pigs and poultry shortly, for which we have long been waiting. The dear Lord has always treated us this way, He does not grant us everything at one time but lets us receive one thing after the other so that we will be reminded by each benefaction of His providence and praise.
In this evening’s prayer hour we have again had much to note on the occasion of the story in Numbers 20 about the Israelites’ lack of water, especially the fact that this is still the way of God to test his people with many wants so as better to reveal the foundation of their hearts, which one knows far too little in good days or rich enjoyment of physical benefactions. True believers learn thereby to recognize that they still live in the imperfect world and not yet in the all-sufficient paradise of God, where God Himself will be their everlasting portion and inheritance, for which they should strive all the more zealously the more they are burdened by want and misery.
I showed them that, in the present lack of rain, God has the salutary purpose as in the Israelites’ lack of water, namely, to show what a benefaction water is, and therefore also rain, of which one does not think when there is no lack of it. Our wise God wishes to test our faith and confidence through such lack, and when He has achieved His purpose, it will be as easy for Him to give rain as it was for Him to bring forth water from the rock, for His hand has not waxed short. Worldly people have an opportunity to recognize their thoughts and language in the example of the worldly Israelites, who not only uttered the harshest words against Moses and Aaron but also called the wilderness a bad place because it did not go according to the desires and devices of the body even though God had shown them so many physical and spiritual benefactions there and had been present Himself as the highest good among them. On the other hand, in their language they call it a good place and a good time where their flesh and blood fare well, even if they have less or no opportunity for conversion or the salvation of their souls.
Thursday, the 15th of June. The Frenchman who has established a brandy house in our neighborhood in Carolina must sell all that he has on account of his debts in order to pay his creditors. His large barrel of rum, of which he is said to have sold very little, was taken back to Purysburg recently, because he had borrowed it from another and cannot pay for it. Such a profession, which is undertaken for the harm of other people, can have no blessing and no long duration. After the harvest he will probably go away entirely, because he did not achieve his purpose.
The widow Helfenstein needs a dwelling; and, because she is poor, she is asking for some help to be given her from the poor box. Some men of the congregation will help her for several days without pay when they have completed their field work. She has two children in the orphanage, the oldest daughter serves in my house, and she still has in her care three children, of whom she needs two, and the smallest, about three years old, for whom she receives aid as far as that is possible.145 [Baron von Reck picked her up in London with her late husband and brought them here, whereas with her many children she might have been better provided for in London.] The widow is honest and attends public worship diligently, and she also works with her children as much as she can, but she accomplishes little since she and the children are weak.
Friday, the 16th of June. Toward evening today the dear Lord again showed us a rain in the clouds, but soon took it back again. Several times a dark thunderstorm gathered, which gradually passed on. As easily as He can give, as easily He can take it away. Well for him who is fully happy with His guidance. In reading the 4th chapter of Numbers, which we are now reading in the evening prayer hour, I marvel that it would have been so easy for the dear Lord, when He had brought His people to the frontiers of the earthly Canaan, to lead them to complete rest and great comfort in the promised land if only he had compelled the Edomites to permit them to pass through; yet it had pleased Him to let them wander again from south to east with many tribulations so that their souls would be even more revealed through such new trials and the Lord would have an opportunity to open his merciful heart even further at a time when things looked especially sad and depressing. Compare Numbers 21:8-9. Our wise God doubtless has a salutary purpose if He does not let our crops grow this time and thereby let the Salzburgers come to rest and comfort. In such new tribulations, many hearts would be revealed and God would be sure to reveal His glory even when things look outwardly most depressing.
Saturday, the 17th of June. A Salzburger, who had returned some property several weeks ago that did not belong to him, came to me and deplored his miserable condition, which he now recognizes better than previously. He is sorry that he retained it so long and that he had sinned so grievously in his youth and had now become so old; and now it seems to him that God will not accept him because he has waited too long and his sins are too many. He thanks the Lord that, while he was sick a year ago, He did not snatch him away like an unripe fruit; he would not have been saved, because he knew of no real conversion. To be sure, after being awakened by God’s word, he had begun several times to pray and be serious; but again and again nothing came of it, and all the fault was his. I told him some of what, God willing, I shall present tomorrow from the Gospel of Luke, 15:1 ff., namely, that the Lord Jesus rejects no poor sinner but seeks each and every one with much effort and finally receives him with a thousand joys. Thereupon I referred him to a right simple, zealous prayer, in which he should join diligently with his wife, who is very much preoccupied with being saved. Then the promise will be fulfilled of which the Savior speaks in Matthew 18:19.
[Kiefer of Purysburg came to us with his family and will remain here several days. Pichler had asked for the hand of his oldest daughter even before his recent sickness, and she came up here too to post her banns and to be married to him. The said man has long wished for all his daughters, of whom three are grown, to be married to pious men in our congregation; but for a year he has not been able to achieve what he wanted with his daughters, although there have been several opportunities for him to marry off his two oldest girls here. May God grant that it turn out well for this one! She is very ignorant;146 but she will be able to be cured of that gradually through this good opportunity that God is now putting in her hands, provided she will accept instruction.]
In today’s evening prayer meeting, in telling the story of how the Edomites, the close relatives of the Children of Israel, had been the cause that they had been prevented from a prompt entry into their promised Land of Canaan (Numbers 20:1820), I reminded the listeners that often either their best friends hinder them from entering and penetrating the Kingdom of God or else they and their best friends hold each other up; and I reminded them what the duty of each of them was, namely, to hasten to save his soul and not to go backwards. N. [Pichler] confirmed this after the prayer meeting from his experience, in that during his wife’s lifetime he had had more hindrance than furtherance in his Christianity. I wish he would recognize on whom the blame lay and on whom it still lies, since he still allows himself to be held up and does not penetrate into the kingdom of heaven with violence.147
Sunday, the 18th of June. Today God gave us much edification from His word, especially from the soothing booklet and source of comfort of penitent sinners, namely, from Luke 15; and we hope some blessing will remain therefrom until blessed eternity. Both yesterday and today Kiefer [and his sons, who are also with him]148 was so mightily awakened by the word of God that you could see the effect of the heart-penetrating word in the church, and he also came to me after the sermon and informed me that he was fully resolved to resell his plantation, which he bought only a year ago, and to move here; for it is a delightful thing, he said, if one can be with the word of God and prepare oneself for eternity. I was especially pleased at this, because he has many children who need church and school; yet I admonished him not to be too hasty in his decision but to consider everything well and particularly to pray about it. I said that I too hoped that his design would be recommended to me in prayer.
Many of the congregation take great pleasure in the new, good, and to a large extent unknown songs in our hymnal. Although we have taught some of them to the congregation through the children, with whom we learn them in school, it is not so easy to do so now that the grown children whose voices have changed have been dismissed and no longer do so well. Therefore I have resolved to apply an hour on Sundays after the catechism lesson for learning the unfamiliar melodies, for which a beginning was made today in God’s name. Only the female persons, and of those only those who possess good voices and some ability, sing out loud with me, the men and children softly after us. Today we had the song “Where is my little lamb that I love?”, also “Where is the fairest whom I love?”,149 which two have the same melody. The spiritual enjoyment that I had in this was a rich compensation for the easy effort. God bless this undertaking and also what I quoted about the authoress of the first song, the late Fräulein von Schuttin, for the edification of those present, especially for those of the female sex!
Monday, the 19th of June. Toward evening a storm gathered, which brought us a splendid rain. Yesterday afternoon we were encouraged to cast all our anxieties upon our heavenly Father, who has promised to further our true salvation without any of our doing; and we well see even this physical benefaction as a sign of His fatherly care, which encourages us to His praise and to further trust in His divine help. It pleased Him to lead the people of His covenant under many tribulations into the promised land; so why should we demand any other treatment?
Tuesday, the 20th of June. After the rain the air has become so cool that one must marvel, if one thinks of the previous heat. Such rapid and striking changes tend to bring fever, if one does not guard oneself. So far, God be praised, we have remained free of fever, although this is the time in which last year and two years ago almost the entire congregation was sick with it. Our life and health are and remain in God’s hands; therefore may our land and the crops upon it be further commended to His blessing! The longlasting drought has damaged much corn and spoiled it while it was flourishing. Yet it is easy for the Lord to bless the remainder so that the apparent loss can easily be replaced. The present rain has not been able to soften the soil through and through; yet, now that it has rained a little bit, the people are very busy planting sweet potato vines in the heaped-up earth, because it is high time. Perhaps the dear Lord, who knows our needs, will soon grant us a fertile rain again.
Wednesday, the 21st of June. The tailor Hernberger has moved into his new house; and he invited us there because he wished it to be blessed and consecrated with the word of God and with prayer. We sang a song of praise; and then I read the 19th chapter of Luke, and from it I made useful to me and others especially the words of v. 9, which were appropriate for the purpose. Then I showed what kind of a mind the Lord Jesus demands of us if He is to come to us and move into our dwelling and what an incomparable profit and blessing we have from that if we are deemed worthy of His gracious presence (for which He is sincerely ready, cf. Revelations 3:20). This honest man surely practices his profession the way it was required of the Christian servants in Colossians 3:23-24. He works without interest and personal profit, adjusts himself to the poor, and is content with little pay for his well done work. He lives with his helpmeet, whom he married not long ago, in such quiet, love, and contentedness, that others could follow his example. He is now always sickly, and this state he uses to prepare himself all the more earnestly for eternity.
Thursday, the 22nd of June. The water in the river is now lower than it has ever been since we have been in the country. Usually the flood tide reaches Purysburg only during low water; but now it comes to the so-called Indian Hut, which lies an hour away from us by water. Our people are using this opportunity to dig wells, because they can dig deeper in this dry weather. At other times the water comes, to be sure, quickly, but it disappears again with lasting drought. They have also agreed to clear the creek toward Abercorn of its many trees, and this will be very useful for those who have their plantations on this river. This creek comes out of the Savannah River two English miles from our place (calculated by land) and flows back into the Savannah below Abercorn, so that it makes a big island between Purysburg and Abercorn. On the map of Georgia this creek is indicated as an estuary of the Ebenezer River, as if the latter divided into two arms and flowed thus into the Savannah River. We hope to have better passage back from Savannah when this Abercorn Creek, as it is called, has been cleared and made convenient for travelling, and when the saw mill, which was built a few years ago by a native Swede, Purker [Parcker], not far from Abercorn, has been torn down as an unusable and useless thing.150
Friday, the 23rd of June. This afternoon Mrs. N. [Schweighofer] was at my house and let me underline in red ink those verses in the Bible for her that she had already marked with a pencil as noteworthy. I read her one verse after the other and explained those to her that appeared difficult to her. She watched and listened with many tears and wished nothing more than for God to save her out of mercy for Christ’s sake, since, as she says, she is the greatest sinner. She yearns for her death, even though she suffers no want in physical things. Her yearning arises entirely from her longing desire to be able to serve her dear Father and Savior in blessed eternity without sin and to thank Him for the benefactions He has shown her so abundantly. She truly considers herself to be the greatest sinner and knows nothing of her own merits, but only of the free grace of God in Christ. The prayer meetings in the orphanage, which are held by us alternately at five o’clock in the morning, bring her much edification; and we hear from her words that she is always thirsty for the word of God.
Saturday, the 24th of June. At about noon Col. Stephens and a magistrate151 from Savannah came to inspect our place. The first-mentioned gentleman has been sent by the Lord Trustees to this colony to inform himself exactly about all the circumstances of the people whom they have sent here at their own expense and to send back reports about them. As far as the heat of the day would allow, he viewed our people at their field work; and he used such good words about it that we may well praise the dear Lord for having let such an impartial man come to us, who will without doubt report to the Lord Trustees honestly what he sees here and what pleases him so well. He considers our Salzburgers superior to all others in this colony in their field work and the arrangements of their town; and he is happy that, in what he has reported to the Lord Trustees from hearsay, he not only has not erred but has even reported too little. He showed a particularly great pleasure in our orphanage and its external and internal arrangements, and he wishes to recommend it diligently to the benefactors as a useful and blessed work.152 God be praised for this benefaction too!
Sunday, the 25th of June. Before the afternoon divine service it pleased our dear Lord to send me a slight fever, by which I was prevented from continuing the singing lesson we had begun. I had already announced the hymn, “My Father beget me,”153 the text of which the listeners were supposed to learn before we assembled. May God let me reflect that man’s life is nothing and perishes like a flower.154 By evening I had recovered enough to hold the repetition hour, which we do not like to miss. The two gentlemen travelled this morning to Old Ebenezer and returned again this evening.155 They found great pleasure in our melodies, which are very different from the English ones. We told them how we conduct things in the school and in the entire community and what is the most blessed means to keep external good order, which they had noticed particularly. They are both honest people and would not have journeyed from Savannah over Sunday if their circumstances had not required it. They went to Old Ebenezer this morning only so that they would not be a burden to us here or cause any inconvenience, since they cannot understand our German service.
Monday, the 26th of June. This morning the magistrate rode out with my dear colleague to inspect our herds, which are being grazed an hour away from here; and I was busy with Col. Stephens giving him a written list of the names of our people and the work they have done, of which he must give an adequate report to the Lord Trustees. He himself inspected a great deal of corn plantings in the fields; and what he could not see has been reported to him by the other gentleman, who has seen more with my dear colleague, and all this to the praise of our people. He wished that more such people might come into this country; and, because he heard that lack of good land is an important obstacle, he has resolved to request the Lord Trustees to extend our township156 a couple of English miles further downstream, where there is still much good land for any latecomers.157 Both of them were greatly pleased that our people have agreed to divide the good plantations so that everyone will get a good piece, and so that a large forest can be all the better cut down and fenced in; and they will speak about it diligently to Mr. Causton so that we will not be thwarted through some misunderstanding because of this design.
Now that they have seen Old Ebenezer, they are not astonished that we moved away from there, since they, like us, find it entirely impossible to build a regular town there, to say nothing of the soil itself and the remoteness of the place. Toward evening the two rode back to Old Ebenezer to inspect both the Trustees’ cattle and the saw mill. Tomorrow they intend to journey back to Savannah via Abercorn and a few other places en route, which are not yet well settled, however. They have let us see many signs of their love and affection, and we do not doubt that God will bless their report both in Mr. Causton and especially in the Lord Trustees, so that they will give less credence to those who calumniate us under whatever pretenses but will continue to show all possible aid to our poor Salzburgers. We spoke a great deal with them regarding the best interests of our listeners and also regarding the support of the entire colony, and they fully approved of everything.
Tuesday, the 27th of June. We heard that Samuel Eveleigh, Senior, a wealthy merchant in Charleston, died two months ago. He always showed himself very friendly toward us and forwarded our letters, which we had addressed to him, to London by the safest opportunity. Before Sanftleben’s departure we sent a couple of small packets of letters in succession to him but received no answer as to whether they had been correctly delivered to him or not. We do not yet know whom we can now find to entrust our letters and diaries safely. [We would now write at least one letter to Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen, if there were any opportunity. God is again letting us experience something new that can have no good consequences and which we would like to report soon with the request for good advice.]
Rain has been lacking for a long time and therefore the corn is suffering in the field, and the sweet potatoes too are suffering much damage. The two gentlemen from Savannah who left us yesterday have well seen our Salzburgers’ great industry in the fields and have assured us that they have not seen such beautiful corn in the entire colony and that, if they should have a bad harvest this year too, it would again be without their fault. The colonel especially wrote down the point that our harvest last year was spoiled by worms and caterpillars, in order to ask the Lord Trustees to give the Salzburgers some assistance, especially since they have actually received no provisions from the storehouse since September but have lived on what was due them from previous times. Some time ago Mr. Causton sent four kegs of meat for the poor in the congregation; but, since it is only for the poor, some people are bashful to ask for any.
Wednesday, the 28th of June. I was shown a couple of ears of corn that a certain vermin had eaten up entirely, and they say that entire areas along the woods and swamps have been damaged in this way. During the day these harmful animals remain in hollow trees, and at night they go out robbing.158 In a newly established colony there are many difficulties and strange unexpected circumstances; and for that reason those who have had to break the ice with so many troubles should be given the freedom to seek out the best land for themselves and to enjoy all other advantages.
We plan to go next Sunday to Holy Communion, for which sixty-one people have registered. My fever, which was severe yesterday, prevented me from speaking to the confessors privately, and my dear colleague had his hands full with the school; yet he visited our listeners as far as time allowed. Therefore I admonished our dear listeners with all the strength that God gave me to guard themselves well during this week and to prepare themselves right carefully for this holy undertaking. A few of them will have to be held back for good reason.
Thursday, the 29th of June. [Michael Rieser’s wife now wishes to go to Holy Communion with us for the first time. Otherwise she is Reformed,159 and when she was in Purysburg two weeks ago the Reformed people there exhorted her not to apostatize but to remain with the faith of her fathers. She has now been listening to the word of God for some time with us and has been able to recognize the way to heaven as it is preached among us. I have now spoken to her about the difference between us and the Reformed with regard to the dogma of Holy Communion; and I warned her not to go against her recognition and conscience, because God would have no pleasure in it and she would have no gain but great loss. Purysburg is not far, I said; if she has more confidence in the Reformed way, she was free to go to Communion there. She was quite pleased with the given explanation, appeared to accept it well, and promised to prepare herself carefully for it. She also received Luther’s Catechism in order to familiarize herself with the questions in it. She can read well and attends the preaching of God’s word.]
The dear Lord showed us a blessing both this morning and especially in the evening, when a great thunderstorm arose, but it soon passed on again both times.
Friday, the 30th of June. According to the way this country is set up, our town owns only a small parcel of free wood, which will be cut away in a short time and used for building and fuel. The Salzburgers are beginning to build houses of solid thick trees that are flattened on the sides. These may make very comfortable houses in this hot country, but they demand much wood. It remains to be seen whether or not Mr. Oglethorpe will give more forest to the town if we ask him for it. Otherwise things will remain according to the prescribed plan. There is said to be no more free wood in Savannah; but it must be bought from the plantations, for which reason fire-wood is already right expensive.
[Mrs. Rheinlaender is receiving no news from her husband, who has been away from us for a year, as to where he is or how he is faring. I am afraid that it is a pre-arranged matter, which will soon be explained. I understand that she has agreed with an Englishman, who carried supplies to Savannah-Town, that he will take her to Charleston when he passes by and that she is planning to leave the two oldest children around our neck, to which, however, we are opposed and about which we will notify Mr. Causton. She still pretends that she is converted to God and is therefore a child of God, even if we notice in her none of that spirit which such people should have.]
Saturday, the 1st of July. A Salzburger woman complained to me that she had wished to pray and prepare herself [on her knees] for Holy Communion but had felt no strength to do so. Therefore she had wished to come to me so that I would refresh her with a good Biblical verse and so that she might pray with me. She was full of spiritual hunger and thirst, and her words were so expressive both before and after the prayer that I was very pleased with her visit. She complained about indolence most of all.
During our confessional, which my dear colleague held today in my place, a thunderstorm arose and brought us some rain at the same time, which, however, did not penetrate very deeply because of the long drought. Yet it is a benefaction of the Lord which He can increase according to His gracious will and our need. Today we assembled in the orphanage, as we are accustomed to do before taking Holy Communion, to prepare ourselves even better through prayer for our holy undertaking.
Sunday, the 2nd of July. On this day fifty-eight members of the congregation attended Holy Communion, which our gracious God may bless in them all for their eternal salvation. Last night my fever caused me discomfort in my stomach like that which I had a year ago when I had to keep to my bed for almost eight days; yet our loving God heard my and other pious souls’ prayer and let me get up again rather healthy and with new strength so that I could perform my duties all day today unhindered. May His name be humbly praised both for this benefaction and for all physical and spiritual good.
In our scheduled singing-lesson we sang the song “My Father beget me” with uncommon joy.160 Many people of both sexes joined us, and some of them learned the lovely melodies quickly.
Today’s gospel largely concerns St. Peter’s and his companions’ work, which appeared to have been in vain yet was not; and this gave me a good opportunity to instruct the congregation about the steps that God is taking with His children in regard to their worldly profession: namely, He sometimes lets them work in vain and, when He shows them a blessing, He takes it away from them as a trial. However, if a man remains loyal and patient in his work and does not immediately give up entirely but casts his net out again at God’s command, then He finally lets the hour of His help and blessing come. Yet it is already a blessing if a man knows that he has done his work in the fear of the Lord and in faith; for it is written: “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper,” as that future harvest shall show. A pious worker could sing every evening: “Thine be the Glory that all has turned out well, NB according to Thy counsel, even if I do not understand,” etc.161
[Monday, the 3rd of July. Several thefts have been committed in our community, and a strong suspicion has fallen on the Austrian Grimmiger. Last week a few things turned up that make it rather certain that more than two years ago he had already taken more than 3 £ sterling in money from Pletter’s chest. We examined him last Friday, and he was very bold in denying it, as he has been previously; and would have gone to Holy Communion in that state of mind if I had allowed it. I well know his devious nature. Not only did he come to us entirely ignorant, but he also brought along a very wicked nature, which may not have been known in Regensburg.162 He began an irregular marriage with his wife, who died two years ago, in that he was married to her not long before his departure from Regensburg, yet already in Frankfurt had a child baptized, which he then brought here.
[Because this ill-behaved man noticed that people would further follow up the clue that had been discovered about his previous thefts and would finally convict him fully, he suddenly absconded and has not been seen again since Saturday afternoon. He is said to have taken along an old boat that has been lying here, in which he probably travelled to Purysburg. He will perhaps follow Riedelsperger, even though he is entirely without money. In his work he is also unintelligent, lazy, and disorderly. He would surely have let his child perish, if we had not taken it in and borne the expense of maintaining it. He has not taken any of his clothes and things with him but ran away in the clothes he then had on. Everything has been brought into our storehouse for safe-keeping.]
Tuesday, the 4th of July. All sorts of suspicion and misunderstanding had spread through the community about a certain unexpected matter; and, because we did not know what we were to believe about it, and wish to prevent all the harm that may come from such matters, we let the most experienced men of the congregation assemble in my hut in order to inform ourselves of the circumstances and to hear their appraisals and judgments. Such things often occur during the conduct of our office; and we can size up the matter only after we have discussed it with the congregation.
Wednesday, the 5th of July. Toward noon we had a fruitful penetrating rain, for which we had been looking for a long time. Since this weather coincides with the new moon, we hope it will last, it being very necessary for the parched soil. Just as we have prayed so far to the Giver of all good gifts for this benefaction, we now wish to praise Him publicly for it too.
Mrs. N. [Schweighofer] had an unnecessary worry concerning her late husband; she had remembered this and that in his previous behavior that had not pleased her, even though she also knew of clear signs of his patience, love for God’s word and prayer, readiness to die, etc. Concerning herself she has often said that she was blind during her husband’s lifetime and that she had reason to thank the merciful Lord day and night for not tearing her away but for bringing her to a recognition of her disbelief and also to a belief in her Savior.
Thursday, the 6th of July. [Christ, the Jew who was baptized in Germany, was accepted into the orphanage from compassion; and, before that was done, he was given a long period to think it over in advance and was admonished to become orderly, since previously he was never steady in any work but was accustomed to bumming around and being idle. For several weeks he behaved in an orderly fashion and thanked God for the benefactions that came to him in the orphanage; but soon thereafter he again longed for his earlier way of life. Intelligent people advised him as best they could against his obstinacy, and this held him back for a couple of more weeks; but now he has departed without my knowledge and cannot give any real reason, except that he cannot stand the submissiveness any longer, likewise, that the children annoy him. He will recover the provisions that he brought to us, and a bit more in addition; but he will probably soon learn how thoughtless he has acted and to whom he has caused the greatest harm with his departure.]
We have not yet had a well in our orphanage; and up to now carrying water has been a right difficult matter, especially since much water is required in such a household for washing, brewing beer,163 etc. Whatever water happened to collect in the newly dug cellar is very little and also dirty and disappears in dry weather. Therefore we found it necessary to think about a regular well. During the dry weather we have been able to dig a hole twenty-five feet deep and seven feet wide on each side, and we have found a living and very fresh source. This week the carpenters have been busy putting the well into a right usable condition. To be sure, it is costing a lot of work, but it will be of great use. It is quite near the kitchen164 and garden; and, since it had a couple of feet of water even during the long-lasting drought, we hope we will never lack water. Our dear Lord (as we trust Him in Christ for this and all good) will surely grant the expenses for this.
Friday, the 7th of July. Our people are now beginning to build better houses, for the old huts are about to rot because the corner posts are stuck into the ground and the lower beams are lying on the earth. At first they could not build anything better, because time was very short and there was also their long lasting fever; but now they take more time for it, lay a regular foundation of pine wood that does not easily rot, and build a regular house on it. In such constructions each helps the other; if one of them has helped another for several days in the field or in some other work, then the latter helps him for the same number of days in his construction. The carpenters do it this way too; and, even though they earn sixpence more than other workers, they are willing to let it go.
Saturday, the 8th of July. This year the fever does not last long; even if someone catches it several times, it soon abates again. It is that way here in Ebenezer and also in other places. They say that many people in Charleston are dying of smallpox; this is something unusual among the English and therefore all the more frightening. We in our place, praise the Lord! have been spared from it so far.165
Sunday, the 9th of July. The dear Lord has again blessed this Sunday in trying to magnify in us His Son with His righteousness and entire merit so that our hearts have well felt the power of it. May He salve our eyes with eye-salve so that we will learn ever better to recognize both ourselves and also the great salvation in Christ and to consider everything else, even our own righteousness, as loss, dirt, and filth in comparison with such superabundant recognition of Jesus Christ. Great is the mercy that He shows us.
Monday, the 10th of July. This morning I took a stroll a short distance into the forest, and there I met a man at his work who soon began to talk about the good that the Lord had granted him from His word on the previous day. He was very happy that the Lord Jesus has earned for us a [marvelous] righteousness that well suits poor sinners. The dear Lord in His mercy had, he said, strengthened him even more through such contemplation; and he trusted that He would always show him even more goodness and not leave his prayers unheard. Even though he could not always feel perceptibly that he had received what he had prayed for, he nevertheless believes that he had it because His word, which is so friendly, says so. Soon thereafter I met another pair of workers with whom I spoke according to their circumstances, especially with one of them who cannot persevere because of his great sins. I told him that the righteousness of the Son of God is the kind of righteousness that cannot be daunted, even if it summons the greatest rascal to the judgment of God. May the Lord help this man persevere too according to the wealth of His mercy, with which He has loved us.
Tuesday, the 11th of July. Last Friday I travelled to Savannah in order to hold divine services there with the Germans (as has occurred every four weeks so far) and to take Holy Communion with some who have recently registered for it. Yesterday evening I returned to Ebenezer well and happy under God’s protection and brought with me the preacher from Savannah [Mr. Whitefield], who is to return to London in a few months but first wishes to see our place and establishments himself, even though Colonel Stephens has already told him much good about our Salzburgers and their fine conduct during divine services and in their work. [God gave us another opportunity to join our hearts again most closely.] He showed his love for me, my dear colleague, and our congregation not only through this friendly visit but also through many other proofs, especially through physical gifts that he had brought with him from London for this colony. He had been so pleased by Col. Stephen’s report about our orphanage and all its arrangements that he has given it all sorts of things such as stockings, hats, ribbons, knives, spoons, tin pots, bonnets for boys and girls, and as well about a hundred pounds of large raisins, in which the sick people in the community are also to share.
This morning after the prayer I distributed everything but the raisins in my hut in his presence, and, to be sure, in the following manner: I told the children something about God’s fatherly providence, according to which He does much good for all His creatures, especially for human beings and most of all for His children. He is also doing it for them, even if they are not, as they themselves must recognize, His dear and obedient children. How much more gladly He would do it if they would offer up their hearts to Him and devote all their time to His service and glory. I also told them something about the purpose that He had in the distribution of His benefactions, namely, to lead ungrateful people to penitence and a change of heart, but to cause His children, who have so dear and benevolent a Father, to be even more zealous in His service. He has, I said, this very purpose in these physical benefactions that are lying before them and which He has so kindly granted contrary to my and their expectations.
Because I learned on this trip how miserably some people in Purysburg are faring, I could not help but tell the children that such want was also afflicting the parents of the four children who are with us in the orphanage and that therefore they had all the more reason to thank our Father in heaven for inclining to them the hearts even of strange people who grant and give them good. Hereupon we knelt down together, thanked the dear Lord for all His goodness, and especially for the present benefactions, and prayed for all divine blessings as a reward for this and other benefactors. Finally, I let a couple of children pray and closed with the last stanza from the song “Praise and Glory be to the Highest God.”166
The gifts were distributed only generally, and something was placed in the hands of each child for him to carry, for which they thanked the minister obligingly with outstretched hands; and then they went home, where each child received his own particular gift. The dear man expressed great satisfaction with what he saw and heard during the distribution and praised God for letting us come so far. And, because some gifts did not suffice for all children, he wrote it all down and promised, at the next opportunity, to send every child a full amount in proportion to the number of children.167
He inspected our entire place, the fields of the Salzburgers, and especially the orphanage; and above all he praised the goodness of the Lord, to whom alone we should ascribe all blessings in the houses and fields. We had to give him complete reports about everything, even about the wants of our dear listeners, all of which he wrote down; and he voluntarily promised to look out for us as he does for his own congregation. He said that, when the ship arrived, we would share in the things that he bought in London for 15 £ sterling and loaded on a ship that was coming here. [He is not yet ordained, and this is the chief reason for his return, at which time he will again have an opportunity, as previously, to recommend this colony and the poor inhabitants in it, as well as our congregation and orphanage, to charitable persons in England.]
He has a beautiful talent for preaching, and he is said to have enjoyed large attendance and approbation and to have seen the good effect of preaching in many charitable gifts. He performs his office very zealously and with much advantage. Next week, after having made good arrangements in the church and school in Savannah, he will travel to Frederica, where he will remain for about a month in order to establish a school; and soon thereafter he will go to London. He brought three schoolmasters with him, who have no other purpose than the glory of the Savior. We had to tell him something about the arrangements of the Orphanage in Halle, which pleased him very much. Toward noon he departed from us in the company of my dear colleague. God bless him and remember him kindly.
Mr. Causton gave our orphan girls two spinning wheels and five pounds of wool and gave the widows and orphans a large piece of linen of 139 yards and a piece of colored material of 35 yards, each yard reckoned as three mathematical feet. In addition he is ready to give the poor of the community aid in meat and corn as often as I request it. God be praised for His ineffable mercy!
As far as the performance of my office is concerned, I held a preparation hour for Holy Communion and used as a basis the gospel of Matthew 5:25 ff., which was scheduled for Sunday and in which our Savior explains the fifth168 commandment and gives direction how people who live in enmity and anger with one another are to behave if they wish to do the will of God and to go to Holy Communion with profit. This is a matter that is very necessary for the quarrelsome and ill-behaved people there [for those who belong to the quarrelsome and ill-behaved sort].169 After the prayer an old woman stepped forth and offered her hand to a young man with whom she had quarreled and asked for forgiveness because she had taken to heart the word about reconciliation with one’s neighbor being the fruit of reconciliation found with God (which also belongs to good order). Because I knew that some people had caused great annoyance through drunkenness and disobedience, I publicly separated these and deferred their Communion until their true improvement. There were five persons. A child who had received emergency baptism from the English preacher was brought to church, and the emergency baptism confirmed. After the afternoon service a couple of young people were married. My text on Sunday morning and afternoon was Titus 2:14. [It is very hot; and, because I was busy administering Holy Communion and marrying and confirming the emergency baptism, the sermon lasted not much over three quarters of an hour each time.]
In Purysburg I visited Pastor Zoberbiller, who lay very sick with fever. He appreciated my visit, even if I could not remain with him much more than a quarter of an hour. His wife died two weeks ago and his daughter one week ago. His son is also sick; and now he and his sick son are being cared for by his oldest daughter, whose husband died in Purysburg a few months ago. His words were very edifying; and he well sees what the Father’s purpose is in this apparently severe chastisement, which he and his entire family have had to feel according to His will. I told him what kind of a diet I have been accustomed to keep, even the last time, with fever; and I promised him at his request to send him some medicine, which my dear colleague has taken to him.
Wednesday, the 12th of July. Yesterday evening we had a violent thunderstorm with much rain and strong wind; it all passed on without any damage except that some roofs were torn apart. Our roofs are all without nails, because the people did not receive any for building in New Ebenezer.
N.N. [Grimmiger], who is not a Salzburger, could not escape the hand of God by running away. He got lost in the forest behind Purysburg and ran around hungry and thirsty for four days and tore his few clothes and the skin of his hands and feet on the thorns. Because during his wandering he could see nothing ahead of himself but death and hell and suffered extreme thirst, he began to recognize his sin and promised God in his need to confess everything frankly if only He in His mercy would help him back to Ebenezer. Thereupon he caught sight of a small footpath that brought him to a small plantation. Here the people refreshed him for a day and, as soon as he had recovered, brought him to Purysburg, from whence he was brought here last Sunday at his own request but full of fear, by the shoemaker Reck and two other people.
When he came to me, he fell on his knees and begged us not to send him to Savannah but to proceed with him mercifully. He said he wished to confess everything freely, and this he did; and he admitted the theft that he had committed against the poor Pletter and had so shamefully denied at repeated questionings. He wishes to submit, and to pray and implore until God converts him from his wickedness and accepts him into His grace for His dear Son’s sake. He also confessed the lewdness [unchastity] he had committed in N. [Regensburg]170 before his marriage and showed remorse because of it. People are now getting after him to make him confess other thefts, because at various times objects have disappeared from our place, even if they were petty things. We will consider together and with the congregation what is to be done further regarding his punishment. I have not yet reported anything to Mr. Causton about his running away and other offenses; and, since the matter has taken such an end, I think I shall not do so in order to avoid embarassment, especially since he does not like to pass judgments on the members of our community or to intervene in our affairs. May God give us wisdom and not let His name be blasphemed, but glorified, and let Satan’s kingdom be more and more destroyed.
Thursday, the 13th of July. [Christ, who recently left the orphanage and its regular way of life, soon recognized to whom he had caused the greatest harm. He has again requested me through various people to be accepted again and has now called on me himself. He complains of his inconstancy and obstinacy, is ashamed of his folly, and wishes to promise before witnesses to accommodate himself to all good order if I will just accept him once more. Kalcher and his wife have in him, to be sure, a great trial of their patience; yet they will gladly accept him again through compassion, or else I would not force this person on them. He gladly hears God’s word, and not without profit. However, he is accustomed to fooling around and idleness; and therefore he sometimes considers good order to be a yoke.]
Today we had another beautiful rain, which was very convenient for planting sweet potato vines. The corn that appeared half dried out is becoming green again and is getting ears; and thus the dear Lord knows how to preserve easily that which He hath given. Damage will be caused this year by the fact that our people, as well as others in this colony, have let themselves be talked into planting yellow corn, which is often brought here from New York and Pennsylvania but does not bear so abundantly here as it may in the North. In the future such corn will probably not be planted any more in this country, because the loss is apparent. It grows very short stalks; and therefore the fruit can be much more easily damaged and devoured by wild animals than on the corn of this area, which grows a good nine feet tall. Col. Stephens and the councilman who were with us recently could not complain enough about the loss that people suffered in Savannah because of this foreign corn.171
Friday, the 14th of July. The rain has lasted until today. I received news that the Salzburgers’ cows had been brought to Old Ebenezer, and therefore several people were sent to fetch them.
[Today our widows have distributed the linen and colored material that God has granted them. Mrs. Helfenstein received the most because of her large family, just as she and her children always receive more good in physical gifts than anyone among the Salzburgers; yet we have to suffer that she too judges these simple and honest people harshly. She betrays herself ever more clearly in that, while she may not be lacking in good words, she does not have a right foundation. She herself told me that her house in Heidelberg had been as good as the common meeting place of the Inspirationists172 and other inordinate people; and, although she claims that she took no part in their disorderliness, we believe her less now that she has revealed that she excuses strange Enthusiastic opinions, indeed, even approves of them ipso facto. She lets her children have their own way and will make very little good of them.]
Saturday, the 15th of July. Our people have now divided their new cattle. The third transport received twelve cows and the same number of calves, and the other seventeen were bought by individual Salzburgers. Thirty-five head had been ordered; but the man lost six underway while driving them here and therefore six families must have patience till some other time. These cows do not look so fine as we had hoped from the man’s promises and from the high price, for every cow cost 53 shillings 4 pence sterling, whereas people usually buy them for 40 shillings sterling. The third transport now lacks hogs and poultry, concerning which I have sent Mr. Causton several reminders.
Sunday, the 16th of July. Today after the morning sermon N.’s [Grimmiger’s] annoying case was tried publicly, and he was cut off from the Christian community like a rotten limb until his true conversion. First I told the congregation that the theft that N. [Grimmiger] had committed against poor N. [Pletter] had occurred somewhat more than two years ago and that at that time the gravest suspicion had fallen on him because he had been at home alone in the same hut in which Pletter lived and no one else had come into the hut. I had, to be sure, made every effort to persuade the man to confess this injustice and had often spoken with him movingly, especially while he was dangerously sick; but he had always referred to his conscience, to divine omniscience, etc., and so it had been impossible to get anything out of him. In this state of mind he had gone to Holy Communion various times in two years; and even in the preparation hour he could not be moved to free himself of such a curse, concerning which the listeners were frequently admonished sincerely and with all our strength. His heart had always remained hard and insensitive, even though the dear Lord had blessed such admonitions to this purpose in several others, who had confessed their own sins of injustice and had restored what they had stolen. What indescribable forbearance and patience God has let this man experience on his sinful path!
Yet God has shown that He is a holy and just God, who will not always let the godless man succeed but surely knows how to reveal his wickedness. The opportunity for this was a chisel or smoothing iron that Pletter had seen being used by another man who had gotten it from Grimmiger; and, because he remembered that it had lain in the chest with the lost money, he brought it to me. I immediately examined Grimmiger on the street in the presence of two men; but he again boldly claimed, with an appeal to divine omniscience and legal justice, that he had brought this steel tool with him from Germany. With this new suspicion it became known that he had spent much money in Savannah and here as well and had bought all sorts of things that amounted to two guineas.
Because of this we summoned him to a hearing with three elders again and spoke to him sincerely but could not accomplish anything. Because the suspicion was very strong and because another, albeit smaller, theft had come to light from the time of our voyage, I excluded him from taking Holy Communion that time. This excommunication must not have prophesied much good for him, so on that same Sunday he took an old boat from our landing and went with it to Purysburg with the intention of travelling to Charleston and thus escaping the physical punishment for his theft. But he was unable to escape the hand of God; for, when he had become entirely lost, God let him come into such straits that, in his great thirst and extreme physical weakness, he swore to confess his sin gladly and to submit to the proper punishment if only God would save him from his wandering and mortal danger.
Hereupon I asked him the following questions: 1) Whether everything I had said was true? 2) Whether he admitted that he had taken poor Pletter’s money and denied it for so long? 3) Whether his conscience did not tell him that he had committed other thefts as well? Answ. “No.” 4) Whether he knew that such theft is a serious sin? I confirmed his “Yes” by reading out the verses 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. 5) Whether he also knew that God in His word insists upon the restitution of what is stolen? I again confirmed this from Ezekiel 33:14-16 and Numbers 5:6-8. 6) Whether he agreed to such restitution? 7) Whether he wished to submit to the [spiritual and physical] punishment which he had merited through such repeated wickedness? He affirmed all this with humble spirit. Hereupon we announced his exclusion from Holy Communion and all privileges that Christ gave His church and told him that we could not accept him again until we could detect infallible signs of a true conversion and until he had freed himself from his ban by an effective restitution. However sorrowful his exclusion was for us now, I said, his reception would be just as joyous for us. 8) Since, as an example for others, such a wicked deed must be assigned a physical punishment, I asked him where he would rather be punished, here or in Savannah? Answ. Rather here.173
I shall speak further with the congregation as to what is to be done. With the increase of our herd we need a new herdsman, and it might well be N.’s [Grimmiger’s] punishment to guard the cattle until Christmas without pay. He would receive clothes and provisions, but no money. However, this has not yet been announced to him. I finally admonished him to a complete change of heart, for which purpose he would have to use the means of salvation better than up to now. For he himself had to admit that he often missed the prayer meeting and has therefore not heard what he needed. I also told the congregation how I hoped from my heart that others who had sinned against the Lord in this or in other bad ways would be revealed so that they could be helped.
It was no misfortune for poor N. [Grimmiger] that his wickedness had come to light and he had been disgraced: better here than there before the judgment seat of Christ. Now we would have all the more time to work on him in his condition, I said, and now he could comfort himself with the help of the prayers of all the righteous people in our congregation, which would be denied to those who kept their curse hidden. And because, as N. [Grimmiger] had done to his own harm, several people had stayed away from the evening prayer hour without compelling reason or at least had missed it from time to time, I admonished them to reflect on their salvation and to take advantage of the good opportunity in which they could receive so many necessary admonitions from the Biblical stories. Also, they should drop all suspicions that N. [Grimmiger] might have been the thief who stole other secretly taken things, since he had declared not only publicly now but also privately to me and others that he had played no part in the other thefts, in which here and there a few not very important things had disappeared. Finally we closed with prayer.
Monday, the 17th of July. During the proceedings with N. [Grimmiger] yesterday a man remembered a certain injustice he had committed in his youth, for which reason he came to me today and confessed and paid four shillings for the poor as restitution. Another who was present remembered a similar sin and also paid four shillings, which money was sent as aid to the poor carpenter who had received the worst cow along with a sick calf that soon died.174 This will doubtless awaken him to much praise of God for His fatherly care. He lives in the fear of the Lord and works diligently, even though he is very weak physically. [The schoolmaster, Ortmann, has been conducting himself very well for some time, and it appears that the dear Lord has again begun His work of mercy mightily in his soul. He follows God’s word diligently, prays seriously, and tends to his duty loyally in the school. His wife has been dragging herself around for some time now with bodily weakness, which probably contributes to the fact that she is more orderly, for in previous times the schoolmaster was incited against us by her and much evil was committed. She speaks good words, but she gives no indication that she regrets in her heart the sins of her youth and the vexations she has caused among us.]
Tuesday, the 18th of July. For several days we have been having many but not lasting rains, which, however, is not too much because of the drought we have had for so long. A Salzburger told me with much praise of the Lord that his corn and beans are growing so beautifully that he promises himself a rich harvest, provided the Lord continues His apparent blessing. He had not wished to trust the alien corn but had preferred to plant our native corn, which he thought would turn out best.
The parents in Purysburg who have their children in our orphanage and school are so poor that they cannot send them any clothes, as was stipulated; and therefore we will look out for them too in this matter. The physical want among the people in that place is very great; and their spiritual want, which is the chief want, they recognize much less [not at all. We hear no good reports at all from there.]
Wednesday, the 19th of July. The soldier175 of whom mention has once been made wrote to me from Fort Prince George and asked whether he could rely on the fact that he would be permitted to settle among us. In that case he would like to find someone who would build a hut for him and fence in his lot. Our Salzburgers still have much confidence in him; and therefore I would like to report to him that he can come when his service is over. He is a tailor and will have enough work among us if he will work for a fair price. The alien corn is already so ripe in some gardens that it must be picked. The native corn is now in its finest growth, and our dear people promise themselves a good harvest under divine blessing.
Thursday, the 20th of July. I had a conversation with a Salzburger woman that was edifying for myself. She was full of love and praise of God for the rich grace of God in Christ. She remembered the beginning of her conversion and said that one can well know whether [and at what time] God works a true change and reform of heart in a person. She can well remember, she said, the circumstances of her conversion and will never forget it. While the persecution of the pious people was taking place in Salzburg, she felt a yearning in herself to learn who had the true faith, the Catholics or the Protestants; and therefore she sighed diligently to God. However, she was prevented by her /arch-/ Catholic father from becoming acquainted with honest people, and she herself and others of her family could not read. At the same time, she said, a great deal of voluptuousness was committed at a wedding in her neighborhood that she heard from far away; and she had been so troubled by this worldly joy, by which the dear Lord was so greatly insulted, that she fell into a very serious sickness and lost her consciousness from worrying about her own sins. With all this, as other people could tell by looking at her, she had great pains; but she herself did not feel anything except that it seemed to her that a very pleasant change had occurred in her, which she could observe very clearly when she had regained consciousness.
Ever since that time, she said, her senses and spiritual strength had always been directed at matters above this world and temporal things had been a burden for her. She had also felt such zealousness for the truth that she would not let herself be held back from being better instructed in it; and in this a man in the neighborhood had done excellent, although secret, service. And after he had been expelled, God had sent her another friend who read to her and others from the Bible and Arndt’s Christianity in the forest on Sundays while other people were in church. She would never have found any rest until she herself had emigrated; only when she came to the gospel did she realize how much she was still lacking. But through God’s grace things were getting better with the state of her soul the longer she lived. The gospel of Christ is becoming so dear to her that it seems to her that an entirely new and sweet gospel is now being proclaimed, which she had never heard before, even though it is surely the old one. She knows how to snuggle with all her frailties into Christ so that she is still a poor deeply bowed sinner, to be sure; yet she is full of comfort in Christ and full of God’s praise.
Friday, the 21st of July. [Mr. Thilo has been almost bedridden for about four weeks with quotidian fever. He does not cure according to the method of the late Dr. Richter, which, as I have been able to tell him, has until now always succeeded for us with divine blessing.] So far this year the congregation has been almost spared from the fever, with the exception of a few people. May God be praised for it!
N. [Grimmiger] is very humble and obedient now that God has brought him to recognition and confession of his grievous sins. Good people are also working on his thorough conversion. He has returned most of what he took and does not refuse to guard the community’s cattle until Christmas as a punishment, for which he will receive clothing and provisions but no money. In this way, provided he shows loyalty in his herding, he can regain his credit in the community and in the future be regularly appointed as a herdsman.
N. [Ernst] may also have many injustices on his conscience but will not admit it. Today, when he picked up some meat, I asked him to think it over with his wife and unburden himself; because this is God’s serious wish. However, he remained silent. Mrs. N. [Rheinlaender] also has much muck on her conscience which she has confessed to my dear colleague; yet she persists in using excuses and is full of tricks. She was at [a count’s] court for a long time and learned and carries many court sins, for which she has never done penance. Nevertheless, she claims that she has been converted at our place, but she has never won our approbation in this. During all the time that she and her husband have been with us God has often knocked mightily at their door.
Saturday, the 22nd of July. For a few days now, sunshine has replaced the blessed rain, and the weather is good for the growth in the fields. The nights are cool, and there is a heavy dew.
N.’s [Hans Floerel’s] wife is among those who run forward with all earnestness to the jewel that God holds forth to them in His dear Son; and it is an uncommon sorrow to her that she has spent so many years without seriously aspiring to the kingdom of God and that she now finds so many obstacles in her body and in many external matters. The patience and forbearance that God is showing to her daily as a great sinner let her grow every day, and she is very careful not to misuse them the least bit for security or indolence. During her service she took a little piece of cloth for her own use, more from simplicity than wickedness, and this is now lying on her heart like a millstone because it is unjustly owned wealth. I spoke and prayed with her according to her condition and finally referred her to the two first chapters of Johann Arndt’s second book to read later on, which suit her circumstances very well.
[Sunday, the 23rd of July. Spielbiegler and his mother are surely incorrigible in every way. Both of them are mired in the most miserable blindness and yet do not use the means of salvation in order to be saved from it. Both of them are seldom seen at church; and, when they are there, they listen to the word without any application, as we well realize during our visitation. Barbara Maurer is also just such an ignorant and at the same time wicked person. To be sure she is often present at divine service, but because of her frivolity she notes nothing or does not apply it to her spiritual needs. Recently, through malicious stupidity, she had someone tell me that she did not mind that I had not wished to let her go to Holy Communion the last time, and that she was not sorry that she had had the letter written to P. Zittrauer (it was a disgraceful and abusive letter, in which she had even misused my name.) She has played even more silly and annoying tricks among us so that she is scorned in the community, and there is probably no one among us who will desire her as a wife. We must bear with her and chastise her as long as God suffers her. To be sure, God can easily create sweet fruit from a bitter root. Who knows but that He may someday succeed with her.]
Monday, the 24th of July. This afternoon our land had another fruitful rain. The thunderstorms this year are quite bearable in comparison with those of other times. The heat of the day is so tempered that our dear people could not wish for better climate for their work, now that they have gradually become accustomed to it. They can work in the fields both summer and winter and they can graze their cattle the whole year through in the forest. These are two very fine advantages.
To be sure, the Frenchman in our neighborhood in Carolina has taken some of his brandy to Purysburg because of his debts; yet he is still selling such things, as we learned today. One of the two millwrights who built the saw mill in Old Ebenezer176 requested our boat in order to go to this man; and since he had to admit at our questioning that he wanted to fetch rum, the boat was refused him along with good and adequate reasons, which, however, he did not recognize as adequate. Instead, he used very daring expressions against the regulations concerning this strong drink that were made by the Lord Trustees, in whose service he earns much money, more through indolence than through work.
[The Englishmen in Old Ebenezer, who are in charge of the Lord Trustees’ sawmill and cattle, live right brutishly; and the previously mentioned millwright is said to run around entirely naked like a drunk Indian with only a piece of cloth hanging in front. Col. Stephens saw some of the brutish disorder there himself and has, I hope, submitted a report. Rum is the ruination of the people.]
[Thursday, the 25th of July. Quite early this morning] A few days ago a man from the congregation asked me to come to him; and he confessed to me on his sickbed many sins of injustice that lay on his conscience like a hundred-weight, yea, like the weight of the whole world. The treatment given to N. [Grimmiger] has given the right emphasis to the previous warnings against remaining in such muck so that he had become ill through disquiet and worry. He has been in my hut once in order to confess everything on his heart, but he was prevented from it by other people who were there. In the last few days he has experienced well enough what David confessed about himself in Psalms 32:3, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.” During the previous night he had passed hours of fear because of his misdeeds as if he were lying in hell, because he had gone to Holy Communion with them several times against his conscience although he knew better.
[In the presence of his wife, who also had some part in it], he confessed everything he had done here and in his homeland against the seventh and sixth commandment;177 and he declared himself ready to make a complete and superabundant restitution, in which the poor carpenter, who has lost his cow and calf, shall again participate. He will gladly be disgraced before the entire congregation, if I find it good to do so. However, this is not necessary, because no one has been scandalized by him, but rather they have been edified so far by his diligent use of the means of salvation and his present pious Christian behavior. No one would have looked in him for such misdeeds, to which the deception of sin has led him; and therefore the righteous nature of Christianity would be greatly blasphemed by its enemies if these sins should be revealed.
He is truly penitent and right contrite, so that I believe God will separate him completely from his sin in this crucible and make of him a pure vessel to His glory. I demonstrated to him the horror of his sins, especially his having gone to Communion several times with a burdened conscience, since he surely knew better than others what God requires of a man for a worthy use of Holy Communion and for salvation. I also assured him, from Holy Writ, that God would nevertheless not reject him because of such deeds and disloyalty but would show him mercy for the sake of Christ, who had completely paid for his sins. For this purpose I quoted several verses such as Ezekiel 33:15, “If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.” 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” At the same time I admonished him to lay himself, with all his pangs of conscience, into the wounds of the Lord Jesus and to give more rest to his body, which has been entirely weakened from sighs, fear, and sleepless nights. I prayed with him and promised to visit him soon again.
This example confirmed in me what I had admonished publicly to the congregation just last Sunday, namely, that there are still many in the congregation who have muck on their poor consciences which hinders them in their fundamental conversion to God, on which we always insist. Because of fear of disgrace and loss they do not wish to confess and give back until finally our dear Lord, who loves their souls, so attacks them that they cannot dodge Him but will entangle themselves in all sorts of pretenses and excuses; and this, as this man well recognizes, is a boundless and superabundant mercy of God.
Wednesday, the 26th of July. I called on several Salzburger families to encourage myself with them, in the Lord Jesus, to apply diligence so that we might someday be able to complete with joy both the course of our Christianity and our external profession. I found an honest spirit in all of these; and it is their daily concern to withdraw more and more from themselves and the world with the help of the Holy Ghost and to live only for the glory of their Savior. They not only recognize what they are lacking and what obstacles lie in the way of their forceful penetration into the Kingdom of God,178 but they direct their prayer and struggle toward breaking their way through even better and to become quite familiar with their Lord Jesus.
A woman complained bitterly and with tears about the dreadful fantasies she has at night, even though she sincerely implores the Lord Jesus to guard her from them and to fill her mind and heart with His love. Such fantasies and dreams drive her all the more zealously to her prayer in the morning, and she learns more and more to recognize what a chaos is lying in her heart and stirs when she is not even thinking about it. Today she told me that several times it seemed to her in her sleep that she could hear the voice: “Just come to me. I am Joseph, your brother, etc.,” which had been very comforting to her spirit after all the previous difficult struggle. This woman goes to bed with an ardent yearning to experience the grace of God in Christ; and she gets up with the very same yearning and does her chores, but tears herself away several times during the day to pour forth her troubled heart in prayer. Oh how she longs for grace and for the gracious forgiveness of her sins!
Thursday, the 27th of July. It is a great sorrow for some people that they cannot achieve certainty of their state of grace despite all their struggle. In the case of some of them, their own disloyalty is probably to blame; because they do not fight vigorously and constantly the struggle to which the Lord has once awakened them but become comfortable and lax whenever there are difficulties or obstacles or if they must suffer somewhat. In general these people well recognize that they are to blame and are pleased if we admonish them and pray with them. Others continue in the loyalty that God has given them and take their struggles right seriously; and they are already actually crowned with grace, as experienced Christians easily recognize for their own edification and to the praise of God. Yet our marvelous God has His salutary reasons for not letting them taste the grace they have won but lets them dig deeper and deeper in the recognition of their corrupted hearts. In their case, in order to strengthen them in their faith, we must apply all diligence in raising them up with the gospel and in revealing to them the grace that they cannot see in themselves. God is doing the best thing for those souls on whom He is especially working; and He often lets the rays of His sun of grace and of His father-heart that loves them so dearly shine forth on them so sweetly from among the clouds that they at last observe how far they will finally come through God’s boundless mercy, according to which He will fail no man. So far one verse has been a refreshing and strengthening balm for a struggling soul, namely Isaiah 27:5–6: “He may make peace with me, and He shall make peace with me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”
In addition to these souls, in whom God blesses our office in His fatherly mercy, there are various obviously lazy people who see their Christianity in the use of the means of salvation and in external probity and at the same time let themselves believe, for their worldly comfort, that one cannot go so far as to be sure of one’s state of grace or salvation but must believe from the gospel that God will save us through His great mercy and for the sake of Christ’s merit. We seek in all ways to cut through these dangerous snares of Satan with the sword of the spirit and to convince our listeners of the contrary from the unambiguous word of God and also from Biblical and other [edifying] exempla.
In some prayer meetings I have had an opportunity to say one thing or the other on the occasion of the lovely story in Numbers 27, which also made an impression through the grace of God. As soon as this exemplum is finished, I shall read the very impressive exemplum from the thirty-fourth Contribution to the Building of the Kingdom of God179 in order to clarify and confirm the truths that have been presented.
Friday, the 28th of July. The man who was mentioned above [on the 25th of this month] has, ever since that time, confessed away from his heart still more things that he had wrongfully taken both here and in Germany, and I must marvel at the deception of sin that has revealed itself especially in this case. As long as he has been among us he has conducted himself right exemplarily and equaled the honest people among us in his serious use of the means of salvation; yet all that time he had borne such a dreadful muck on his poor conscience and had even increased it. After his confession and restitution he attested that his heart had become lighter. However, it did not last long before he fell again into the greatest quandary and kept complaining that not the least bit of divine comfort would stay with him.
We have visited him diligently these last few days, and he has sent for me various times both by day and by night to complain of the great fear in his heart and to ask me to read him a verse from the gospel. In his fear he prays constantly and grasps strength-giving gospel verses with his spirit, but they will not remain there. However, he still has some hope that the Lord Jesus will have mercy on him and will not entirely reject him because of his great sins. Also, he always keeps in mind the verse: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Likewise, “Mine hour is not yet come.”
A few days ago N. N. [the old Rieser] was admonished by my dear colleague to prepare his salvation seriously and to test himself well to see whether he knew anything about conversion and rebirth, without which no one can enter the kingdom of God. Instead of accepting this with love, he contradicted him in a bad temper and committed no little sin. I called on him several times in his hut and, since I did not find him at home, I spoke with his wife and children as necessary to avert vexation. His wife has also scolded him about such sinful contradiction and resistance but just made the bad in him worse.
This morning he called to me on the street that he could neither eat nor sleep nor work until he had spoken with me, for he did not know how he stood in regard to his salvation. I made an appointment with him for noon; and, when he came, I showed him, at his sincere insistence and in all gentleness and simplicity, the way in which he would be able to escape future wrath and be saved in his old age. What pleased me about him was that he was already convinced from God’s word that 1) there must be a true change in a man if our holy and glorious God is to be united with him both here and there, and 2) that such a change was still lacking in him, even though until now he had prayed and read, heard, and done much good.
I read to him, with ample clarification, the first six rules that the late Collin had taken from God’s word and put into the hands of those who wished to be converted and that are to be found in the Contribution to the Building of the Kingdom of God.180 I also gave him, to read later at home, the late Professor Francke’s sermon about the righteous nature of Christianity concerning the gospel John 3:1 ff. and Pastor Freylinghausen’s penitential sermon “God’s Counsel concerning a Godless Sinner.” 181 God grant that the Truth shall someday be in this man. If he fights his way through and becomes a true new-born Christian, it will more easily be possible to accomplish something with his children. What the mother builds up the father often tears down, as she told me with many tears while giving examples of his bad disposition, but with the request that I keep them to myself.
Saturday, the 29th of July. Three soldiers called on me and said that they, along with two others, had roamed through our forest as well as other regions in order to find three men who had broken out of the jail in Savannah and run away. They had shot cows and pigs and had caused much damage and were therefore going to be hanged.182
An old Swiss from Appenzell Canton, who is now staying in Purysburg, came to us yesterday with his little son, partly to inspect our place and partly to ask to be accepted by us. He is faring very miserably in Purysburg and must suffer much hunger; and he has no opportunity to earn anything even though he wishes to work. He is a carpenter and can do all sorts of cabinet making and barrel making. He brought about 600 florins cash with him but lost it all in one year, and he also lost two married daughters with their husbands through death. His wife and six children are still back in Switzerland in good condition, and he would like to return to them if he could raise the money. I pitied the miserable man and therefore wished to serve him in any way possible. Because he is not satisfied with food and clothing /but wishes to have money/, he will not fit in our orphanage. We could well use him in our work, yet he is fifty-seven years old and rather debilitated from his recent hunger and other difficult circumstances.
[Mrs. Helfenstein is his compatriot and good friend; and we are afraid that he might let her turn him against the Salzburgers, since she is not at all satisfied with them, although she and her children should have good reason to thank God for the good that she has so far enjoyed among and from them. The two Zueblys adhere greatly to her; and, if this man joined up, her following would become even larger and many troubles could result. The tailor Metzscher of Purysburg is also requesting to be accepted at our place. He is faring very miserably there, and he and his family have to live in the woods without divine services. He has two children in our school and is very pleased with that. I told him 1) that he should deliberate with good friends whether or not he could subsist and earn his living on the poor soil that is all that remains here, since our people have already divided up the good land among themselves, and 2) that it is the order of the Lord Trustees that anyone who wishes land in this colony may not have any in Carolina, and therefore he would have to sell his land if he wished to move to us, and 3) that he could not be accepted here without the consent of the congregation, for I accept here none but those in whom we have confidence that they can harmonize with the members of the congregation.]
Sunday, the 30th of July. Last night we began the 28th chapter of Numbers; and I showed, to the profit of myself and the congregation, the relationship between this chapter and the two previous ones, which also apply well to our circumstances. Earlier we have learned that God let the people be counted and made arrangements for the land of Canaan to be divided among those who were counted. Also, Joshua was chosen to fight the Lord’s wars and to bring Israel into possession of the Promised Land. Now, instead of prescribing rules of war for His people and making arrangements for their campaigns, the dear Lord has them instructed in the methods of divine service and how they should bring their daily, weekly, and yearly sacrifice to their God of the Covenant in order to indicate that their divine service and care for the Kingdom of God should be their chief concern during all their military difficulties and in the occupation and cultivation of their land. From the prophet Haggai I explained what damage is done by the neglect of such things and how a curse, instead of a blessing, is brought down upon a land and people.
Our people are now talking a great deal about their desire to move to their plantations and live there, as necessity demands. For many plantations lie at a distance of four to six English miles from our place, and it will not be possible to come here every evening. They will have to take all their live-stock and their entire households out there with them. However, since they emigrated from their homeland not for the sake of land but for the sake of the word of God, they should well deliberate together as to how they could arrange to retain the diligent public practice of God’s word and prayer without hindrance from their external occupations. My dear colleague and I would be most happy to adjust ourselves to anything so that such a purpose might be realized. The only way to work with God’s blessing is to consider first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Monday, the 31st of July. [Now that she probably wishes to move away soon, Mrs. Rheinlaender is making every effort, after all her gossip, lies, and slander, to set people against each other from time to time and cause trouble; at the same time she wishes to appear in the right and to keep up good appearances. She has been practicing her wickedness, and sometimes her hypocrisy, long enough among us; and the Lord will not suffer this for ever.]
Our people are now hastening to harvest their ripe corn, because it matures and spoils in the rainy weather that we are now having. This occurs more easily to the foreign corn, which they have planted in considerable quantity, than to the local variety. A man who planted only such corn assures me that he has lost at least twelve bushels. Some Salzburgers who have planted only or mostly the native corn see the advantage clearly. This will ripen only after two months and now has the best growing weather.
[Tuesday, the 1st of August. Rauner has now been with the word of God for a long time, but he is not becoming any better but remains the Old Adam. I reminded him today of several wicked deeds that he did not care to contradict, nor does he wish to improve himself seriously. He is hand and glove with the Frenchman on the Carolina side and is said to commit all sorts of disorder; but I cannot accuse him of this, because I must first inform myself better about it. It is certain that he likes to drink and lets himself be used for all sorts of things for a small gain. When he has plunged into disorderly conduct and it becomes known, he weeps, to be sure, and again promises much; yet no change results from it. He shall not come to any good end if he continues, as it appears in his disloyalty toward the signs of God’s mercy.
[Of just such a kind is Ruprecht Zittrauer, both in regard to his Christianity and in regard to his housekeeping and external work. Along with his wife, Anna Leihofer, who came to us with the third transport, he is lazy and indolent in all physical and spiritual occupations. At the same time they like to drink and eat well, make private debts, and are a burden to other people. We admonish, implore, and chastise them as often as we have an opportunity; and therefore they will have no excuse if things turn out badly for them.]
Wednesday, the 2nd of August. A woman had something to do with me because of her husband, at which time she revealed, with many tears, things that she had been too bashful to mention before. So far the word of God has penetrated so deeply into her that she is full of disquiet and worry and cannot come to the preparation for the coming service of Holy Communion until she has relieved herself of everything through confession. These were various sins against the seventh commandment.183 Her masters had trusted her too much and let her have charge of everything; and, because she had otherwise been treated too strictly, she took various things that she now wishes to restore. Indeed, she wishes to restore everything in excess and give it in the form of money to a needy pious person.
We have learned from several examples how true is the proverb: “Opportunity makes thieves,” and likewise: objecta movent sensus. This has taught me to keep a constant eye on all people whom we employ in the house and not to give them a sure opportunity for sinning by putting too much trust in their honesty. Often something is considered very trivial; yet, because it is stolen, it causes great disquiet when the conscience is awakened. Last week a man complained to me that the wine cellar had been left at his disposal, and as a result he had taken many drinks furtively, whereas he had previously had carefully measured drinks [measured by himself], with which he could have been satisfied. When many such petty things, as they seem, are collected in one register or debit book, the facit and summa will finally be rather large. We like to warn against the deception of sin.
Thursday, the 3rd of August. One of the former friends of Baron von Reck, a young German man, called on me as he was travelling past us from the Indian nations on his way to Savannah.184 For the purpose of trading he has roamed many hundreds of English miles among the Indians, both the Creeks and Chickasaws and also the Cherokees;185 and I learned from what he told me that the Indians up there have the same life style as the local ones and that they drink themselves full and cause disturbance just as often as they can get strong drink, which, however, it is difficult to take to them on pack horses. The French import much spirits among them wherever they can go. The air is said to be very good, and no other diseases prevail among the Europeans or Indians but venereal diseases, which they contract through their dreadful libertine life.186 The Indians there have always waged wars among themselves, one nation against the other, and they cannot live long without war; and therefore many hostile Indian slaves are brought and sold to the Europeans. Negro slaves do not come there. This year the drought is. said to have been very great, and this must be the reason that the Savannah River has become as small as the oldest inhabitants of the country can remember it.
Friday, the 4th of August. Now that the wood and boards for my dear colleague’s house are dried out enough, the carpenters will begin in earnest to raise it, and they will not undertake anything else until it is completely built. There is one difficulty in this matter, namely that we do not know at exactly what spot the house should be erected; the surveyor from Savannah who surveyed our town187 should indicate it to us, as we have already asked him to several times. But everything goes very slowly with these people. Our plantations are not completed either, and we have neither heard nor seen anything of the surveyor who was engaged for them.188 God willing, my dear colleague will go to Savannah tomorrow for the sake of the German people in order to preach the gospel to them, and I shall mention these points in a letter to Mr. Causton. I shall also report to him the disorders that the Frenchman in our neighborhood wishes to cause by secretly selling rum among us [with Rauner’s aid], now that I have gotten to the bottom of this wicked business.
[Mrs. Rheinlaender has departed in the boat belonging to the man who was with us yesterday and has left her children behind. She does not wish to improve but causes much vexation here through her gossip and intrigues, so everyone would be very happy if she would leave with all her belongings. Shortly before her departure she was resolved to leave a stench behind her, but she did not succeed in this. God will gradually free us of all these wicked people.
[Mrs. Helfenstein has been very close with her during the last months; and because, as her custom has been from the very beginning, Mrs. Rheinlaender has often uttered lies and calumnies in her hut against the Salzburgers, Mrs. Helfenstein has come into discredit with them and they have little affection for her, and this gives her an opportunity to sin with even more such judgments against the Salzburgers. Her credit with us has also dropped very low ever since she began trying to marry off her oldest daughter to Mr. Thilo, who would like to marry her if there were not one obstacle in the way.189 She190 is Reformed, but so far she has attended our services diligently. Nevertheless, we have perceived, both while Mr. Spangenberg was here as well as on another occasion, that she may have absorbed much from her numerous associations with all sorts of erring and disorderly people who had their assembly in her house in Heidelberg; thus, she approves of everyone who has love and good appearances. Her children, of whom she has two in the orphanage, are naughty. The oldest daughter191 is beginning to fear God. They all must have had a poor education in their external life; because they cannot cope with their work well, and they are lazy. Their mother is very indulgent with them. Because she is a widow and also very poor, we give her much help and also are having a good hut built for her; yet we cannot help but bring her to order when we see her committing excesses because of her lax principles, even if she will later consider it persecution.]
Saturday, the 5th of August. An old Indian with his wife and son followed me into the orphanage, to which he gave a piece of venison in return for some bread, [beer],192 and rice. I led them to the orphans’ dormitory, which was so clean and orderly that they were amazed. I have already let several Indian parents know that they should leave one of their children with me, but they only laugh at this. Their love for their children is very great, and therefore they allow them every freedom. There are now several families of such heathens here, who conduct themselves very quietly and respectably. They bring meat and honey here, for which they receive all sorts of provisions.
I have had several attacks of fever, and I also note many other kinds of weakness, which are preventing me from going to Savannah this time, for which reason my dear colleague undertook the journey this morning. May the Lord accompany him with much blessing in his affairs. So far I cannot say that I have even made a good start with the German people. Whether any good has been accomplished here or there secretly is known only to the Lord. They cause much trouble for the authorities and for their masters; and, when we come to Savannah, we hear many complaints about their disobedience, defiance, waste of supplies, laziness, etc.
Sunday, the 6th of August. Our song-hour, which is held on Sundays after the afternoon service, is proceeding well; and God grants his blessing to it for our edification. The people come very regularly and are all the more encouraged in their acquisition of songs when they notice that it is possible to learn one melody after the other; for we have already sung several newly learned songs publicly in church without error and with much pleasure, for example: “Where is my little Lamb?”, “My Father, beget me,” “How well for me, oh Friend of Souls,” etc.193 Some female persons among both adults and children have bright and well ordered voices and express the melodies very well and clearly; and they sing to the remainder, who learn more slowly, until they too have gradually learned them. The charm of the melodies and the lovely content of the songs gives joy and pleasure to the attentive spirits. There will be few unfamiliar songs and melodies in our hymnal that can be sung by public congregations that we do not already sing in our congregation. This is a major advantage in edifying the entire congregation. God be praised for that! Today we learned the beautiful song “Here lies my soul before Thee,”194 which the people quickly mastered. Finally I read to them “May my soul flow in the Blood and Wounds of Jesus”195 and showed how these two songs are associated in the experience of a Christian. Whoever first learns to sing the former in spirit and in truth will be able to say the latter, which we will learn next week, with equal truth.
When we have finished with the songs of the first part, we plan, if God grants life and strength, to undertake the songs in the Extract, which have been taken from the second part. Some of them are truly incomparably beautiful, such as “Thou, the Light of my Eyes,” “Mary chose the Better Part,” and “Jesus, Lord of Splendor.”196 We would like to have the melodies that were printed separately in Halle so that we can remove the mistakes that have crept into even the well known songs whose melodies appear in this little book, for this could be easily done in our congregation. We ourselves have formerly learned many melodies wrongly in various passages, which we only realized when we had the music in our hands. The old songs are equally dear to us; and many that were nearly forgotten are again sung here, e.g. “Awake, oh Man,” “In the Midst of Life,” and “Worldly Honor and Temporal Wealth.”197
Monday, the 7th of August. I was given a couple of peaches that could not find their equal in Germany for size and delicious flavor. Here in this country there are many kinds of peaches, which differ in size, color, and taste. The trees grow up very quickly and some bear fruit in the second year but most of them in the third year. We had already supplied ourselves with a number of such trees in Old Ebenezer, which we have brought to our new place; and from these we enjoyed some fruit already last year. In the spring of this year all the trees blossomed exceptionally beautifully, but then several severe night frosts and cold winds came so that only a few remained. However, because we have many trees, we are getting as many peaches as we and our families need for our refreshment. God provides us in this wilderness with all sorts of good things that we could not have imagined when we first arrived. Everything comes, my Lord, from Thee!
We have again received rainy weather, which is good for the rice and sweet potatoes. God is giving us the weather we wish; and our dear people would have a beautiful harvest despite the long drought if only they had not planted the foreign corn. The orphanage itself has lost from thirty to forty bushels. The said corn has small ears and grains; and it begins to spoil and go to seed before it is ripe. A few people have planted only local corn, which, in places where adequate work was done, is more beautiful this year than we have ever seen it. May God preserve for us the blessing He has shown, and may we enjoy it to His glory and with hearty gratitude.
Tuesday, the 8th of August. This morning we laid the foundation for my dear colleague’s house, after having spoken and prayed with the workers on the building site. Shortly before that, in the regular lesson in the orphanage prayer meeting, I had spoken the words from Matthew 8:20, “The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head;” and I used this verse at the laying of the foundation to the benefit of myself and the others. For we must thank the voluntary poverty of this loving Son of Man, our Savior, that our heavenly Father grants us so much good from His rich treasures from His kingdoms of nature and grace, and it is a great benefaction as well that He now wishes to grant my dear colleague a regular comfortable dwelling, from which He will receive much praise and thanks for this and other benefactions and in which much other good will be accomplished to His glory and for the good of the congregation. Since autumn is coming, I have had my hut repaired once more and will spend enough on it to have glass windows set into the open holes, because my weak constitution suffers much from the air, moisture, and variable weather. If it is the will of the Father that a house be built for me, then these glass windows can always be used again.
At about noon my dear colleague returned to us safe and sound. Mr. Causton has given a favorable answer to the letter I sent him; and, at my request, he has also sent large and small nails to Mrs. Arnsdorf and Mrs. Helfenstein for building their huts.
Wednesday, the 9th of August. [Mr. Thilo is still sick with fever. We would like to serve him in every possible way, and we often offer ourselves for that purpose. We have put at his service everything God has granted in the way of foodstuffs, medicines, and other refreshing remedies; and we refuse nothing that he asks for or send for if it is at all possible to do it. We cannot approve of his diet and therapeutic method, because they do not concur with the methods of the late Dr. Richter or of Prof. Juncker, whose cures, as I know, have had good results for me and others through divine care.]
We are planning to go to the Lord’s Table next Sunday; and therefore I take every possible opportunity to talk, according to their condition, with those who registered for it last Sunday. The prayer meetings are also aimed at this undertaking. A man asked me whether I would let him go to Communion. I told him he should know himself how he stood with his Savior and whether he was seriously resolved to prepare himself with His mercy for this important undertaking. He gave as his answer that he felt sick and needed a physician and medicine,198 and that he hoped the Lord would accept him too. He was well able to tell me what he was lacking and what he had to do, and wished to do, to achieve salvation in Christ. The song “Here lies my Soul,”199 from which I clarified and applied verses seven and eight last Sunday, were most impressive for him because they suited him very well.
The condition of the housekeeping and of the children in the orphanage requires that one thing and another be investigated, put in order, and solved at a given time; and for this purpose I have assigned an hour after dinner on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Sometimes my dear colleague is also present. A book is kept in which the good or bad behavior of each and every child is written under his name; and, if he has deserved punishment, the nature of the punishment is also added. We hope that some good will be accomplished through this method and that misbehavior can be prevented. May the dear Lord grant His blessing to this, as He is asked to do at this conference at both the beginning and end of the hour.
Thursday, the 10th of August. A woman had wrongfully acquired a couple of strings of black coral in Germany, which she brought to me. They must have cost very little; and, because I did not know what to do with them, I gave them to an Indian, who soon thereafter sent his wife to me with a beautiful piece of venison, which was given to the orphans. This was better than if we had given the useless necklace to a poor child.
Friday, the 11th of August. A man complained greatly because of his lack of faith, in which the dear Lord has now put him to shame. Because the drought lasted so long, it seemed to him that he would have an even poorer harvest this time than last year, and in his distrust he said this to my dear colleague; but now God is granting him so much corn and beans that he can be very content. I reminded him of what we had read from the Gospel of St. Luke 5:1 ff. concerning the very dry weather at that time and the apparent crop failure, namely, that the dear Lord continues to treat His children as He did Peter and his friends: He let their net tear, as if he wished to take back the blessing He had given, yet He could also preserve him in the face of all danger, if it served for His glory and man’s salvation. He had done this with Peter, and now He is doing it with us; and this should strengthen us in our belief and faith in our almighty and at the same time abundantly good God.
Another young man complained to me that he recognizes all too little his miserable state of sin, for which he can shed no tears even though he hears that others do so. Likewise, he often goes to his neighbor to edify himself with him by reading and praying; but he finds that the other, who cannot read, receives no edification from his reading, because he occupies himself with other things, speaks frivolously, etc. He wished to tell me this so that I would know whether or not he and the others were following the advice I had given them about this. I gave him the necessary instruction and prayed with him. God began His work in him some time ago, and he shows sincerity in well applying the grace he has received.
Saturday, the 12th of August. A Salzburger sent his wife to us with a plate full of virgin honey, which he had taken in great quantity from his beehive in his garden. More than a year ago he had set a swarm of wild bees into a hive, and it had remained with him. This honey is more beautiful than that which the Indians and our people sometimes take from the trees in the forest. They usually find it in the tallest trees, which, in addition, stand in swampy areas; and the bees die because they must cut down the trees to get the honey.
[Because of his disorderly behavior, of which some mention was made on the 4th of August, Rauner has been rather disgraced in the community after we got to the bottom of the matter seriously and made some references to it in the prayer meeting. He promises to break entirely with the Frenchman and send him back his old boat that he had lent him (Rauner) for evil purposes. And, whereas he and his wife have sold bread here for this man for several weeks, he will have nothing more to do with it but, at my discretion, will himself bake—and, to be sure, with larger loaves and more conscientiously, than this man does. For which purpose we will make the necessary arrangements, because sick people and some others occasionally need bread, and someone in the community might as well have profit from it, especially this Rauner, who accomplishes very little with his farming even so and therefore hits upon all sorts of schemes. This is better than for the hostile and shameful Frenchman to make money here and cause disorder secretly.]
An unfriendly altercation occurred between two men because of external matters, but I had been prevented from settling it and calming their angry tempers. When I wished to investigate and settle the matter today, they had already reconciled themselves and recognized their rashness on both sides. It is easy for anger and misunderstanding to arise between neighbors because of chickens, pigs, and other livestock, since the people have to live too close beside and behind each other. A house lot given according to the arrangements of the Lord Trustees to each family for its house, stalls, and yard is not more than the eighth part of an acre and is ninety feet long and sixty feet wide. A quarter of an acre would be very convenient for a family and its housekeeping, but this will probably be difficult to change.
Sunday, the 13th of August. Yesterday evening two families of Evangelical Lutheran people came to us to go to the Table of the Lord with our congregation.200 They arrived only after our penitential and confessional service, so my dear colleague undertook such a service with them this morning. This time thirty-one people in all took Holy Communion. Our loving God has granted us much edification from His gospel all day long. In the morning the listeners were asked, in the name of Christ, to let themselves be reconciled with God; and in the repetition hour I read them an edifying exemplum, in which they could be reminded even more emphatically of the excellent and salutary dogma of the necessity and possibility of reconciliation.
Monday, the 14th of August. The surveyor, who has surveyed our gardens and plantations but has not yet completely finished them, came to us on Saturday, because Mr. Causton had sent him a letter about it. This morning I came to terms with him about a matter that means a great deal to me and am now letting him go, because he claims unavoidable business on his own plantation in Purysburg. He promises to come back within four weeks and to put everything in order for the good of the community, according to our judgment. It is probably too hot for him now to survey; besides he fears the snakes, which are now very dangerous.
Tuesday, the 15th of August. Mrs. N. [Spielbiegler] had me called to her yesterday evening and asked for private Communion, because she thinks herself near death. She complained bitterly about herself and her corrupted heart and evinced remorse and shame for her so numerous sins she committed against all the Lord’s commandments since her youth. I admonished her to ask God zealously to reveal to her the dreadful corruption which is found in her too because of man’s fall, and through which she has so often offended her benevolent God and Savior, also to bring her to a sincere remorse and suffering because of it, and to bring her to a true faith in her Redeemer. If she would prepare herself in this way, I said, then I would administer Holy Communion to her early this morning. This I did, and she showed herself very humble and desirous of salvation both during the confession and absolution and also while partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament. May God help her to prepare herself in time for blessed eternity, for otherwise things will look bad for her and her son. She wished to take Communion with other people last Sunday, but her physical weakness did not allow her to do so. She has been sick and weak for a long time, yet she has been able to walk around for a few hours of the day.
As time goes on, our dear Lord is further helping the man who recently freed himself through confession and restitution from the muck that God has gradually revealed to him in his conscience, with the result that his heart is coming closer and closer to a reconciliation and peace with God in the blood of Jesus Christ. He has suffered difficult struggles; and for a long time his wounded heart could not seize the least comfort from the gospel, even though he listened to the most significant Biblical passages with constant sighs and prayers. Nevertheless, his trust in divine truth and mercy remained constantly firm, and he believed that our loyal God, who is a lover of life, would still let the hour come in which He would assure him of His grace, even if no comfort at all would take hold in his heart now. He well knew how very defiled his poor heart and conscience were and that they would have to be scoured and burnished if they were to become a vessel in which God could lay His mercy and the treasures of His salvation. And, because God has assaulted him so hard both inwardly and outwardly, yet not as hard as he thought he deserved, he considered it a gracious sign that He had not yet rejected him but rather was working on him in this very way so that things might fare better with him.
Whenever edifying gospel verses [that were well known to him] were recited to him, he was very pleased with them despite all his pangs of conscience and his despairing condition; and he repeated them out loud very often and presented them to his dear God as his true thought. He also asked his family and the people who were helping him to remind him of such verses again if he should forget them because of his very weakened memory (because he had not been able to sleep during his entire sickness). He had received much splendid profit from the verse: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” along with the story of the fiery serpent.201 Because of his very weak memory I was accustomed to explain the verses through exempla and stories from the Old and New Testaments. To be sure, he has not entirely recovered; yet God is showing a marked improvement in his body and mind and he is actually feeling a few comforting rays from the sun of mercy. In his miserable physical condition and much suffering God is giving him great patience and an untiring desire for his salvation in Christ. At the same time he is grateful from his heart for every drop of water or anything else that is given him, and he considers himself entirely unworthy of any benefaction. Who could fail to perceive from this frame of mind that the new Creature202 is appearing in him and that, if he remains loyal, he will finally come to a blessed end? If the Lord helps him through, then he will guard himself all his life long from such affliction of soul and never forget to warn others against the deception of sin and to tell them what the Lord has done for his soul.
Wednesday, the 16th of August. The surveyor from Savannah203 came to us at our repeated request in order to see whether my dear colleague’s house is being built on the right spot. He found no fault with what the carpenters had measured out; rather he was amazed and delighted that such a pleasant region had been made, in so short a time and through the people’s industry and God’s blessing, out of the wilderness that he himself had surveyed for our town. He gave me hope that Mr. Oglethorpe, who is now expected hourly in Savannah with several ships, will gladly advance the means for building me a house; and he promised to put in a word for us if the occasion arose.
Last night a Salzburger slaughtered a fattened ox and sold the meat in the community, which was very welcome to the people who were not well. Several people have raised young oxen that are now more than three years old and are therefore right for slaughter. They earn their money in this way just as well as if they sold them away in Savannah or to the Lord Trustees, and in addition the fresh meat is a great service to the community. It would be most advantageous if they could exchange such oxen for cows, but there is no opportunity for this since Mr. Causton will not let go of a single head of the Trustees’ cattle in Old Ebenezer.
Thursday, the 17th of August. Our cattle herds, of which there are two, are now so large that they cannot find enough food; and therefore the community has decided to keep the calves, of which there are many, separate; and for this reason today and tomorrow they are building a hut for the herdsman and a pen for the calves. The cattle cost the people much to be sure, but they receive much advantage from them that should gradually increase. To help the community we do what we can with the benefactions that come into our hands, otherwise our people would not be able to afford to supply four herdsmen with clothes, provisions, and some money.
We have already received the sad news from Savannah several times that two men of the German indentured servants there have lost their lives miserably. The Reformed schoolmaster, who however has had no opportunity to run a school, has been killed by a tree in the forest; and another man has been shot to death by his comrade, with whom he wished to shoot a deer.204 We hear nothing but unpleasant things about these people; and Mr. Causton and others in whose service they are suffer thousandfold annoyance from them. Of those who belong to our Evangelical Lutheran confession there are very few, and these we expect to be able to keep in order through God’s grace and aid. We also work as much as possible on the others with all sincerity. [Most of them are Reformed and some of them are Catholic; but, because they are all German and most of them come to hear the word of the Lord, people in Savannah consider them to be our congregation and co-religionists, even though, whenever necessary, I have revealed to Mr. Causton and others the great difference in religion that is found among these people.]
Friday, the 18th of August. Because we have no carpenter and cabinet maker in our community, the clockmaker Mueller is applying himself to such work and makes everything very neatly and industriously. He has a large family, is very poor, and can accomplish little with his family in farming, especially since a very poor piece of land was alloted to him; and therefore I am pleased that we can give him an opportunity to earn something in this way. He can make almost anything that he sees; and he works not only in wood but also in bone, iron, and other tractable things. It is also easy to get along with him, since he and his family observe the Lord’s word diligently and are pleased with what is good. His father may have been a very honest man with whom the late Mr. Elers [Oelers] had many dealings in the paper business. This clockmaker is actually a papermaker, who additionally learned to make wooden clocks and has also practiced other kinds of mechanics. Since he is very poor, I shall recommend him to Mr. Causton as a useful man so that he will grant him some assistance, as he is accustomed to do for such people. We are very pleased when we can have our work done by people in the community; for letting others do it causes too much difficulty and expense. If we had a shoemaker and smith, then we would be more or less supplied with artisans.
Saturday, the 19th of August. This afternoon word was brought to me from Old Ebenezer that a courier had ridden through there and hurried to Savannah to announce there that a troop of hostile Spaniards are gathered higher up in the country and that not much good was expected of them. However, we hardly believe that they would dare go so far into the country, which is full of forests and without beaten trails, since their retreat, as well as all provisions, might be cut off by the Indians, who are friends of this colony. People all over the country are congratulating themselves about the many soldiers and warships Mr. Oglethorpe is bringing with him, and as a result one may believe oneself safe here.
Sunday, the 20th of August. Since the Holy Communion service a certain person [old Mrs. Spielbiegler] has somewhat regained her physical strength and shows herself very joyful for the dear gift of Christ’s body and blood that she received in the sacrament. In spite of that, the foundation of her Christianity is very weak, since she knows no more about conversion and rebirth than what she reads about it in the Bible and hears in our sermons and conversation/yet all this without experience/. She complains so violently about her youthful sins and attests so much remorse about them that, if we did not understand her language, we would think that she is penitent. When she tells something about her past life, we well hear that she makes nothing of various and even punishable deeds and injustices; or even worse, she laughs and is frivolous about this or that deed by which she has surely offended God. For example, in her homeland she broke the authorities’ severe laws by receiving game and fish from the local poachers and hunters and selling them outside the country, whereby she earned much money. Likewise, much disorder and fraud took place in her other buying and selling [distilling and selling brandy], which she will recognize as a sin and ask God’s forgiveness for, only as a favor to me. She well knew the verse “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake,” and also that you should obey even the “forward” masters, provided their orders are not contrary to one’s conscience or the word of God.205 Yet she does not think that she has actually committed a mortal sin in such deeds. How much we would like this poor person to be saved, since she [as good as walks on her grave and] is no longer far from eternity and the judgment. God give us wisdom! She admits much when we speak with her; but, once she begins contradicting and excusing herself, there is no end of it and it causes in her [in her son] more bitterness than edification.
Monday, the 21st of August. Yesterday Mr. Causton sent me a letter in which he requested our boat, with which four Salzburgers are to bring a family of indentured German servants up to the sawmill in Old Ebenezer, for which he wishes to pay. The Lord Trustees are spending a lot of money for the mill there, but it is still in a bad condition. If they obtain loyal people for this work, some day as many boards should be cut as they will need for the highway that is to lead from Old Ebenezer to Savannah, and also in the reverse direction to Palachocolas. For I hear that they will also use boards for it, perhaps in order to build bridges over various small rivers and the many swamps that are found all around. We would not and could not buy boards there and bring them here by land (for it is not possible by water) even if we received them almost as gifts. If a passage should be opened by land or on Ebenezer Creek, this would cause great expense, since, after the passage was made, large boats or horses and wagons would be required. At our place two Salzburgers cut a hundred feet for six shillings sterling. Perhaps more of them would apply themselves to board cutting if something were being constructed among us.
This evening in the prayer hour we had the 36th chapter of Numbers and thereby, God be praised, finished the entire Book of Numbers. I am looking forward eagerly to the beautiful Book of Deuteronomy, in which so much glory and splendor is to be found. And since our dear God has so far granted us much edification from our previous contemplation of the stories and from His statutes, for which His name has been greatly praised, we now promise ourselves His further aid and blessing, provided we are all sincerely concerned with the truth in them. During my first meditation concerning the Book of Deuteronomy I was much impressed by the fact that, in beginning His teaching office and in struggling against demonic attack (Matthew 4), the Lord Jesus first of all held up this book and three verses from it (v. 4, 7, 10), and used them as the sword of the spirit to overcome the enemy. If the Savior respected this book so highly, how much more should we cherish it? There must certainly be much in it.
Tuesday, the 22nd of August. N. N. [the younger Zuebly] was violently attacked about a week ago by a fever, for which our wise Lord must have a salutary purpose. His unvirtuous acts, which are sometimes intermixed with hastiness, are now clearly revealed to him and have almost melted away; and now he seems much more honest to me than he used to be. His new resolution is most sincere. He has acquired a new and very great love for His word, and recognizes with humility and hearty gratitude the blessing that our loving God has granted to our place above others in this country and its neighborhood.
[If he corrects his fault of polylogy206 and and lets himself be brought to greater firmness in what is good and to discretion in his speech and general behavior, then he can become a useful tool among us.
[The old Zuebly is honest at heart; but, because of his weak understanding and natural simplicity, he is unable to test everything that is said to him, and therefore he was formerly misled by his brother along with others to transgress through premature judgments. I hope that God will turn both of them into the kind of people who not only behave honorably and honestly but will also be useful to their neighbors in spiritual matters and will be a joy for us. Since they are extremely poor and were rejected and abandoned by their rich brother in Purysburg, we help them as much as we can. Our poor box is now entirely exhausted, but the river of God is still flowing and will surely reach us in its own good time.]
The heat of the day has been very great yesterday and today; while the dog days were quite bearable the weather now seems to be making up for it intensely. We hope it will not last long, the nights are cool and very pleasant. Some people in the community are being attacked by fever, but they are soon free of it again. This summer God has graciously spared our congregation from the violent and longlasting fever which we have had to suffer for two years in a row in New Ebenezer; and this is a kind benefaction which is recognized by all honest people with heartfelt gratitude.
Wednesday, the 23rd of August. The conference hour, which I hold on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the orphanage, is very useful in promoting good order in the housekeeping and among the children. [Today we made an example of Mrs. Helfenstein’s oldest boy207 and of a girl from Purysburg, with a real punishment; and this made a great impression. The housemaster208 has a great deal of work, and his wife is more often sick than well with her female complaints; and therefore the children sometimes lack supervision and misbehave. We are in great need of a supervisor for the children, but one cannot be found at the present time, nor can we hope for one, since we would have to pay him with money for his efforts. God gives one thing at a time; and we wish to recommend this important matter to His providence also.
[We likewise greatly need a maid in the housekeeping, since the girls are still very weak and must go to school. One of the oldest and most orderly of the girls helps Mr. Thilo outside of school hours and is sent by him on errands. Catherine Holtzer, who can almost do a full maid’s housework, begged us insistently to let her move into the house of the Austrian Schmidt. The housemaster has always treated her as a father, yet she did not wish to recognize this but made many bitter complaints until we agreed to her moving out. However, she was scarcely out of the orphanage before she regretted it; and she has already begged me several times with tears to take her back again, because she now sees the difference in the work and other things. Nevertheless, I do not see that she is suffering any harm, rather she is made to observe order in all physical and spiritual ways; and therefore I will hardly let myself be persuaded to take her back into the orphanage, especially since, through her lies and calumny, she has caused trouble between Kalcher and Schmidt, who had acted quite a bit too hastily. Since then he has recognized and admitted his mistake several times, after having gotten to know the girl more closely.]
I was unable to get any clear idea of the surveyed plantations because I lacked a map made by the surveyor. Now that I have received it from the surveyor, I am astonished to see that he has extended our plantations more than half an English mile beyond Old Ebenezer [which surely is not a sensible thing]. As Mr. Causton has mentioned several times, the Lord Trustees intend to settle this Old Ebenezer; and for that purpose a sawmill has already been built at great expense. Moreover, the Trustees have a large herd of cows and calves there, from which all pasture would be cut off, and all land would be taken away from future inhabitants, if our plantations were to reach so far. Moreover, who would be able to keep his possessions in his field? The man probably did this in his own interest, because it is ten times easier for him to survey our land in such pine forests than on good soil that is covered with many trees, bushes, thorns, and reeds.209
On the left side of our village there is an island that doubtless is much, if not all, good soil, and on which our plantations would not come too close to Abercorn or any other place. In order to get some reliable information about this, I plan to send some knowledgeable people there as soon as possible to inspect the region for a few days; and then I shall urge the surveyor to survey here and to drop the four miles that he has surveyed in the area of Old Ebenezer. When I explained this to him, I noticed that he did not wish to undertake the work because he did not expect any pay from Mr. Oglethorpe; but we would rather pay the costs ourselves than do without the good land in our neighborhood. We had already told him several times that he should also survey a piece of land across Abercorn Creek, and therefore on this island, for the community; but at the time he excused himself by saying that he was not permitted to go across this creek as long as he could find enough land between Ebenezer Creek and Abercorn Creek. But now we can well see that that was only a [miserable] excuse. He has not yet surveyed the land for the ministers, which is to amount to 600 acres, or for the schoolmaster, or the gentleman-lots /lots for people of high rank/; and I do not know where he will turn. [Such dishonest and selfish people do much harm, as is also the complaint in Purysburg.,]
Thursday, the 24th of August. [The Austrian Schmidt] the sick man on whose soul our dear Lord has been working so successfully for a fundamental conversion, and whom we have mentioned several times, God has now helped through in Truth; and God has let him experience what we could have assured him in advance from God’s infallible promises: namely, “For peace I had great bitterness: /but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”/ He now clearly recognizes how well God means it with that soul which He attacks severely and allows to feel what great pain and sorrow it causes if one deserts the Lord God. Corruption lies deep, and therefore God must strike deeply. Someone had already told him of yesterday’s prayer meeting; and I added to it today and showed him that the ancient Jews had not (alone) been kept from possessing the promised Canaan by transgressing against divine law and had also incurred God’s wrath and punishment by the grave sin of worshiping the golden calf, and especially by unbelief, /which is the source of all sin/ (Hebrews IV). Likewise in the New Testament, those who reject the Physician Christ and His medicine through unbelief cannot possibly be saved, even though God in Christ is able and willing to save the greatest sinners. I read him the last page of the Treasure Chest,210 which was incomparably dear to both me and him. The words are worth being read often to souls that are dumb and deeply bent with the feeling of their sins.
With our boat I received a letter from Savannah that requested me to come down and baptize the child of a German family. My dear colleague undertook the journey and hopes to be here again by Sunday. We like to serve the people if anything can be done for their souls. Our boat brought four of the German indentured servants, who comprise a family. They too are coming to the sawmill at Old Ebenezer and to the Lord Trustees’ cattle. The women are free to do some planting for their own use, as those who arrived some time ago are doing loyally and diligently; but, because of the thin soil, they are accomplishing little without manure.
Friday, the 25th of August. The heat in the daytime is still very great, greater than at any other time this year. This weather is good for the rice and corn, which are now ripening; also, the beans and sweet potatoes are suffering no harm, because we had enough rain before this heat spell. It is burdensome for the working people. Until now six men have been working on my colleague’s house and have not let themselves be held up by this very hot weather. They work most loyally and without any self-interest, otherwise they would spare themselves a bit more. The entire house is now fully finished, except that the floors are yet to be laid and the stairs, windows, and doors must be installed. To be sure, it has amounted to more than we first expected, but then it is a solid and well built structure. If the members of the congregation had not contributed much work without pay, if the carpenters had not exerted themselves exceptionally, and if the lumber had not been so near, then the costs would have easily come to 50 £ sterling, whereas they now remain between 30 and 40 £ sterling. However, it still lacks a kitchen, stables, and other necessary structures, which will demand new expenditures. Praise be to God, who has let it come so far with His fatherly providence that at least one of us already has a house; for the other He will also provide in due time. It was the same in Old Ebenezer; one had to wait for the other, and finally we were both provided for.
Because Senior Urlsperger and Court Chaplain Ziegenhagen are giving 14 £ sterling and the Lord Trustees have allowed 10 £ for a house, this house has been built on one of the lots destined for the ministers; and the other lot will remain empty until Mr. Oglethorpe has something built for me. There will probably be no lack of intercessions in this regard, since Mr. Causton, Col. Stephens, and others are affectionately inclined toward me and well recognize the need of a regular and well built dwelling because of my office and my physical and domestic circumstances. For good reasons I do not begrudge my dear colleague for coming first, for the hand of the Lord is certainly in this. If our heavenly Father should allow me to receive some temporal wealth that I did not need for my maintenance, I would like to build, on a private lot that would remain the property of my family after my departure, a durable house that would be only a few steps from my dear colleague’s house. Meanwhile, may the Lord Trustees be moved to have a parsonage built. But nothing through my own will and self-interest.
[Mrs. Helfenstein’s oldest son is not behaving well and passes his time in idleness and perhaps in many secret sins too. Therefore I spoke with his mother, who asserted that she was unable to keep him in order and therefore felt great sorrow that her warnings and admonitions from the word of God were having no effect on him. She let us understand very clearly that he had been corrupted among the Herrnhuters in Savannah, where he was to learn the shoemaker’s trade.211 However, we have long known him to be a good-for-nothing. I informed him212 that we would gladly lend a hand to disciplining him and would take every precaution if she wished to send him to school, since he was idle most of the time anyway. This pleased her very much. I also spoke to the boy, who is already sixteen years old; and he declared himself willing to go to school and to the preparation for Holy Communion. Some time ago Mrs. Helfenstein and Mrs. Rheinlaender became very familiar; and since then their boys have been running around together to hunt and fish, and the Helfenstein boy has become even more disorderly.]
Saturday, the 26th of August. This morning my dear colleague returned from Savannah and brought the news that the preacher there [Mr. Whitefield] has just returned home from Frederica and is now resolved to travel next Monday morning to Charleston and from there to London on a ship that is lying ready. Some important circumstance must be pressing his voyage, since it had been set for a later date. I hastily wrote a letter to Court Preacher Ziegenhagen and the praiseworthy Society. [I also found time to write to Senior Urlsperger and Prof. Francke, if only hurriedly and briefly; may they forgive me for this in their paternal affection.] Mr. Oglethorpe is expected any day, and many more ships, at which time we hope to receive some letters. Because many ships loaded with rice return in the autumn, we plan to write in more detail then, if the Lord gives us life and health [strength]. My dear colleague has also written an inspirational letter to the last three missionaries in Tranquebar.213 May the Lord bless all this to His glory!
Sunday, the 27th of August. We must praise the Lord and our Savior in that He has again blessed this day in us and some of our listeners. How the Lord fulfills His promise to bless richly the Sabbath in those who will but bring a heart hungry for mercy; this we see by the dumbest souls in our congregation. Therefore, those who remain without blessing in the glorious, blessed time of the New Testament, and thus on the days of the Lord, will one day have to blame themselves when they have to give an accounting.
Monday and Tuesday, the 28th and 29th of August. On these two days I had to go to Savannah because of the letters and diary. [Mr. Whitefield again received me with much tender brotherly love, inasmuch as he is as kindly disposed toward both of us as if we were his special colleagues.] The minister in Savannah told me how mightily the dear Lord had awakened the spirits of the people in Frederica through the Word of Truth, which he had preached there several times, how he had made many more listeners thirst for it, and how his pending departure had [therefore] saddened them and caused many tears. In Savannah, too, almost everyone showed respect for him, and he was accompanied by many wishes of godspeed and by requests that he return soon. In Darien, a town situated not far from Frederica, he had become well acquainted with the [Presbyterian] minister there.214 He attested gladly that the spirit of Jesus Christ dwells in that minister and showed me a letter he had written [to Mr. Whitefield] from which I too could recognize [the beautiful foundation of his heart and] his [honest] intent to advance true godliness in his people and others.
This minister [Mr. Whitefield] left a note behind in which he instructed the schoolmaster there215 (a likewise honest man [who is bound to us in love]) to give our Salzburgers various items from the things that would come with the next ship. He also promised voluntarily to remember our congregation like his own both before God and men. In addition to the ordination that he desires, the only reason for his present hurried return to England is that he wishes to recommend the poor inhabitants of this colony highly to the honest and charitable people there in sermons and otherwise. In this he promises himself divine blessing and good success, since he knows how willingly many Englishmen will contribute once they know for what purpose their money is being spent. In the meanwhile the schoolmaster is holding public morning and evening prayer hours until he [Mr. Whitefield] returns, which he will do as soon as possible.
Wednesday, the 30th of August. [Mrs. Rheinlaender has returned from her trip. During her absence things were very tranquil here; but now that she is here again, we are justifiably worried, from past experience, that she will again cause disturbance and worry. Nevertheless, she will probably not do this for long; for the Lord will take her from us when her measure is full. She and her family have enjoyed much good among us but have not showed the least trace of true gratitude toward God or man. Because her annoyances are so apparent and are not followed by any remorse, we no longer consider her a member of the congregation; and we shall no longer let her partake of anything that our dear benefactors in Europe might send here for the good of the Salzburgers. Mr. Causton is so disgusted with her that he would like to see her move away from this colony as soon as possible, since she, like her renegade husband, has caused only harm by her lying and calumny.]
The recent very hot weather has abated, and it is now cool and pleasant because of the rain that has fallen. Our people’s rice is very beautiful everywhere, except that the birds216 are doing much damage because the work elsewhere prevents the people from keeping watch over it. So far we have lacked a rice mill, and because our carpenters have never built one and it would cost much time and money if they did, I inspected a compendious rice mill in Savannah. In Purysburg I found a man who knows how to make such mills; and soon he will come to us to build one for the orphanage, which will serve as a model for others in the community.
Thursday, the 31st of August. I called on N. N. [Bartholomew Rieser] at his hut in order to awaken his family to earnestness in their Christianity and to remind them of what has been told them in recent days from God’s word. The husband was not at home. The wife told me that her husband has been praying much more diligently for some time and that things were beginning to go better with him. The three children are sluggish with regard to what is good, even if they are now more orderly in external matters and in their work than they used to be in former times. The mother told me with many tears of a frightful dream, which gave me an opportunity to warn her children about the danger of their souls.
Four of our men have inspected the land across Abercorn Creek, which lies right in our neighborhood; they find it so low, to be sure, that it may be inundated every year by high water. However, it is so fertile and pleasant that one could ask for nothing better. We shall do our best to persuade the surveyor to take up here the four miles that now extend beyond Old Ebenezer. Also, the land that belongs to the church and the school for the ministers and the schoolmaster should be surveyed in this region.
Friday, the 1st of September. Schoolmaster Ortmann has harvested a good supply of corn on the four acres that he has received from the congregation as two gardens, and in addition he can expect some beans and rice. He told me that he would have harvested about a hundred bushels had he not planted the alien yellow corn.217 That is a general complaint that cannot be helped this time, but it may make people more cautious next time.
A woman who suffers many pains because of a certain severe physical injury told me that she could ignore all these pains if only she might reach certainty of her state of grace. The pangs of conscience that she feels because of her sins surpass all physical pains, etc. In her struggling prayer today, our dear Lord had granted her a glimpse of His mercy, and by this her depressed spirit was somewhat comforted. Some time ago God let her and her husband receive about 6 £ sterling from someone, which she would like to donate to the poor box as restitution for an injustice she committed several years ago. However, she had not had the heart to tell her husband and to ask for his consent, but had presented the matter to the dear Lord for so long in her prayers that He finally granted her a joyful heart and an opportunity to do it; and she found her husband fully ready and willing to do so. However, for good reason I hesitate to accept this offer right off: it must first receive more prayer and deliberation.
Saturday, the 2nd of September. My dear colleague journeyed to Savannah this morning, again to preach the word of the Lord to the Germans there. May God grant him to accomplish much good for His glory and the salvation of the souls there. I gave him a note for the English schoolmaster, which the latter is to forward if possible to the minister [Mr. White-field] who is departing. The clockmaster Mueller asked me to procure for him [through Mr. Whitefield] a mold for pouring pewter spoons and also strong wire for hackling flax (for which he also needs white lead). Both are very necessary, he said. Perhaps Court Preacher Ziegenhagen will help us in this if the English minister [Mr. Whitefield] has already left Charleston before the letter reaches him. It is a great advantage for the community when things that we need can be made at our place. It is cheaper in this way, and one person can support himself from the other. The shoemakers take much money from our place; and a Christian man could support himself very well here so that he would not have to work in the field at all during the entire year. He should also understand the preparation of leather; for then the advantage would be all the greater for him, and the people would be better provided for. An oxhide here costs only 2 sh. sterling, and such hides are easy to obtain.
Toward evening I received word that some of the cows that had run away from our herd a year or more ago had been brought to Old Ebenezer, and those who know them are urgently ordered to fetch them. This will cause them disturbance and inconvenience tomorrow;218 but it cannot be avoided, since other cattle are going to be driven to Savannah. Mr. Causton had given orders that all cattle between Savannah and Palachocolas must be sought out and rounded up. Then those that belong to the Lord Trustees will be marked with a branding iron, at which occasion the cattle that belong here will turn up again.219 We are still missing several head, and this gives us hope. To be sure, it will cause our people new expenses, since they will have to pay 3 sh. sterling for each cow or ox; yet it is a benefaction for them to recover their cattle.
Sunday, the 3rd of September. This morning we treated the regular gospel Luke 17:11 ff. concerning belief in the Lord Jesus; and we repeated this exceedingly necessary, salutary, and blessed material in the afternoon. In the actual repetition hour we read the beautiful and fundamental examination as to whether one believes in Jesus or not, which is found at the end of the precious little booklet: Dogma of the Commencement of Christian Life;220 and we impressed this upon them with necessary application. Contrary to my expectations our dear Lord strengthened me very noticeably for holding the repetition hour; and He soon let me know the reason for this by blessing it most of all, as I learned this very evening.
A young Salzburger accosted me and attested that God is pulling on him mightily but that so far he has been so frivolous that the grace proffered by God could not take root. He had not, he said, been able to tear himself away properly from his comrades, whose material and worldly conversations always deprived him of what was good. I told him how loyal it was of God to allow him to recognize these obstacles to his penetrating into the Kingdom of God;221 and I told him this and that about the possibility and salvation of true Christianity, and then I prayed with him. He requested a sheet of paper and ink in order to write down some of the verses and impress them on his mind. Our dear Lord reminds many souls through His Word that there is no lack of good resolutions and promises, as was the case with the Israelites in Deuteronomy 5:28; where it is also said from the mouth of the Lord, who trieth the hearts and reins:222 “Oh that there were such a heart in them” (v. 29). This verse should be presented to the listeners at tomorrow’s evening prayer meeting in its whole context, in that they should not be satisfied with resolutions and promises but should be concerned with a new heart and a solid foundation.