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Title: A History of the Moravian Church
Author: Hutton, Joseph Edmund, 1868-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of the Moravian Church" ***


by J. E. Hutton

(Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged.)


Transcriber's Note: I have inserted a few notes of my own regarding
spelling (one Greek word) and the rearranging of dates that were
originally shown in the margins of the book; any of my own adjustments
or notes have been enclosed in these brackets: {} to separate them from
the original text. As well, I have renumbered all the footnotes from
their corresponding pages and set them at the end of this document.

     BOOK ONE.

     The Bohemian Brethren. 1457-1673

     CHAPTER I.--The Rising Storm
        "   II.--The Burning of Hus. July 6th, 1415
        "  III.--The Welter. 1415-1434
        "   IV.--Peter of Chelcic. 1419-1450
        "    V.--Gregory the Patriarch and the Society at Kunwald.
        "   VI.--Luke of Prague and the High Church Reaction. 1473-1530
        "  VII.--The Brethren at Home.
        " VIII.--John Augusta and His Policy. 1531-1548
        "   IX.--The Brethren in Poland. 1548-1570
        "    X.--The Martyr Bishop. 1548-1560
        "   XI.--The Last Days of Augusta. 1560-1572
        "  XII.--The Golden Age. 1572-1603
        " XIII.--The Letter of Majesty. 1603-1609
        "  XIV.--The Downfall. 1609-1621
        "   XV.--The Day of Blood at Prague. June 21st, 1621
        "  XVI.--Comenius and the Hidden Seed. 1621-1673

     BOOK TWO.

     The Revival under Zinzendorf. 1700-1760.

     CHAPTER I.--The Youth of Count Zinzendorf. 1700-1722
        "   II.--Christian David. 1690-1722
        "  III.--The Founding of Herrnhut. 1722-1727
        "   IV.--Life at Herrnhut
        "    V.--The Edict of Banishment. 1727-1736
        "   VI.--The Foreign Missions and their Influence. 1732-1760
        "  VII.--The Pilgrim Band. 1736-1743
        " VIII.--The Sifting Time. 1743-1750
        "   IX.--Moravians and Methodists. 1735-1742
        "    X.--Yorkshire and the Settlement System. 1742-1755
        "   XI.--The Labours of John Cennick. 1739-1755
        "  XII.--The Appeal to Parliament. 1742-1749
        " XIII.--The Battle of the Books. 1749-1755
        "  XIV.--The American Experiments. 1734-1762
        "   XV.--The Last Days of Zinzendorf. 1755-1760


     The Rule of the Germans. 1760-1857.

     CHAPTER I.--The Church and Her Mission; or The Three Constitutional
                 Synods. 1760-1775
        "   II.--The Fight for the Gospel; or, Moravians and
                 Rationalists. 1775-1800
        "  III.--A Fall and a Recovery. 1800-1857
        "   IV.--The British Collapse. 1760-1800
        "    V.--The British Advance. 1800-1857
        "   VI.--The Struggle in America. 1762-1857
        "  VII.--The Separation of the Provinces 1857-1899


     The Modern Moravians. 1857-1908.

     CHAPTER I.--Moravian Principles
        "   II.--The Moravians in Germany
        "  III.--The Moravians in Great Britain
        "   IV.--The Moravians in North America
        "    V.--Bonds of Union


For assistance in the preparation of this second edition, I desire
herewith to express my obligations to several friends:--To the late Rev.
L. G. Hassé, B.D., whose knowledge of Moravian history was profound, and
who guided me safely in many matters of detail; to the Rev. N. Libbey,
M.A., Principal of the Moravian Theological College, Fairfield, for the
loan of valuable books; to the Rev. J. T. Müller, D.D., Archivist
at Herrnhut, for revising part of the MS., and for many helpful
suggestions; to Mr. W. T. Waugh, M.A., for assistance in correcting the
proof-sheets, and for much valuable criticism; to the members of the
Moravian Governing Board, not only for the loan of books and documents
from the Fetter Lane archives, but also for carefully reading through
the MS.; to the ministers who kindly supplied my pulpit for three
months; and last, but not least, to the members of my own congregation,
who relieved me from some pastoral duties to enable me to make good
speed with my task.





When an ordinary Englishman, in the course of his reading, sees mention
made of Moravians, he thinks forthwith of a foreign land, a foreign
people and a foreign Church. He wonders who these Moravians may be,
and wonders, as a rule, in vain. We have all heard of the Protestant
Reformation; we know its principles and admire its heroes; and the
famous names of Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, Latimer, Cranmer, Knox and
other great men are familiar in our ears as household words. But few
people in this country are aware of the fact that long before Luther had
burned the Pope's bull, and long before Cranmer died at the stake, there
had begun an earlier Reformation, and flourished a Reforming Church. It
is to tell the story of that Church--the Church of the Brethren--that
this little book is written.

For her cradle and her earliest home we turn to the distressful land
of Bohemia, and the people called Bohemians, or Czechs. To us English
readers Bohemia has many charms. As we call to mind our days at school,
we remember, in a dim and hazy way, how famous Bohemians in days of yore
have played some part in our national story. We have sung the praises at
Christmas time of the Bohemian Monarch, "Good King Wenceslaus." We have
read how John, the blind King of Bohemia, fell mortally wounded at the
Battle of Crecy, how he died in the tent of King Edward III., and how
his generous conqueror exclaimed: "The crown of chivalry has fallen
today; never was the like of this King of Bohemia." We have all read,
too, how Richard II. married Princess Anne of Bohemia; how the Princess,
so the story goes, brought a Bohemian Bible to England; how Bohemian
scholars, a few years later, came to study at Oxford; how there they
read the writings of Wycliffe, the "Morning Star of the Reformation";
and how, finally, copies of Wycliffe's books were carried to Bohemia,
and there gave rise to a religious revival of world-wide importance.
We have struck the trail of our journey. For one person that Wycliffe
stirred in England, he stirred hundreds in Bohemia. In England his
influence was fleeting; in Bohemia it was deep and abiding. In England
his followers were speedily suppressed by law; in Bohemia they became
a great national force, and prepared the way for the foundation of the
Church of the Brethren.

For this startling fact there was a very powerful reason. In many ways
the history of Bohemia is very like the history of Ireland, and the best
way to understand the character of the people is to think of our Irish
friends as we know them to-day. They sprang from the old Slavonic stock,
and the Slavonic is very like the Keltic in nature. They had fiery
Slavonic blood in their veins, and Slavonic hearts beat high with hope
in their bosoms. They had all the delightful Slavonic zeal, the Slavonic
dash, the Slavonic imagination. They were easy to stir, they were swift
in action, they were witty in speech, they were mystic and poetic in
soul, and, like the Irish of the present day, they revelled in the joy
of party politics, and discussed religious questions with the keenest
zest. With them religion came first and foremost. All their poetry was
religious; all their legends were religious; and thus the message of
Wycliffe fell on hearts prepared to give it a kindly welcome.

Again, Bohemia, like Ireland, was the home of two rival populations. The
one was the native Czech, the other was the intruding German; and the
two had not yet learned to love each other. From all sides except one
these German invaders had come. If the reader will consult a map of
Europe he will see that, except on the south-east frontier, where the
sister country, Moravia, lies, Bohemia is surrounded by German-speaking
States. On the north-east is Silesia, on the north-west Saxony, on the
west Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate, and thus Bohemia was flooded
with Germans from three sides at once. For years these Germans had
been increasing in power, and the whole early history of Bohemia is
one dreary succession of bloody wars against German Emperors and Kings.
Sometimes the land had been ravaged by German soldiers, sometimes a
German King had sat on the Bohemian throne. But now the German settlers
in Bohemia had become more powerful than ever. They had settled in large
numbers in the city of Prague, and had there obtained special privileges
for themselves. They had introduced hundreds of German clergymen, who
preached in the German language. They had married their daughters into
noble Bohemian families. They had tried to make German the language of
the court, had spoken with contempt of the Bohemian language, and had
said that it was only fit for slaves. They had introduced German laws
into many a town, and German customs into family life; and, worse than
all, they had overwhelming power in that pride of the country, the
University of Prague. For these Germans the hatred of the people was
intense. "It is better," said one of their popular writers, "for the
land to be a desert than to be held by Germans; it is better to marry a
Bohemian peasant girl than to marry a German queen." And Judas Iscariot
himself, said a popular poet, was in all probability a German.

Again, as in Ireland, these national feuds were mixed up with religious
differences. The seeds of future strife were early sown. Christianity
came from two opposite sources. On the one hand, two preachers, Cyril
and Methodius, had come from the Greek Church in Constantinople, had
received the blessing of the Pope, and had preached to the people in the
Bohemian language; on the other, the German Archbishop of Salzburg had
brought in hosts of German priests, and had tried in vain to persuade
the Pope to condemn the two preachers as heretics. And the people loved
the Bohemian preachers, and hated the German priests. The old feud was
raging still. If the preacher spoke in German, he was hated; if he spoke
in Bohemian, he was beloved; and Gregory VII. had made matters worse by
forbidding preaching in the language of the people.

The result can be imagined. It is admitted now by all
historians--Catholic and Protestant alike--that about the time when our
story opens the Church in Bohemia had lost her hold upon the affections
of the people. It is admitted that sermons the people could understand
were rare. It is admitted that the Bible was known to few, that the
services held in the parish churches had become mere senseless shows,
and that most of the clergy never preached at all. No longer were
the clergy examples to their flocks. They hunted, they gambled, they
caroused, they committed adultery, and the suggestion was actually
solemnly made that they should be provided with concubines.

For some years a number of pious teachers had made gallant but vain
attempts to cleanse the stables. The first was Conrad of Waldhausen,
an Augustinian Friar (1364-9). As this man was a German and spoke in
German, it is not likely that he had much effect on the common people,
but he created quite a sensation in Prague, denounced alike the vices of
the clergy and the idle habits of the rich, persuaded the ladies of high
degree to give up their fine dresses and jewels, and even caused certain
well-known sinners to come and do penance in public.

The next was Milic of Kremsir (1363-74). He was a Bohemian, and
preached in the Bohemian language. His whole life was one of noble
self-sacrifice. For the sake of the poor he renounced his position as
Canon, and devoted himself entirely to good works. He rescued thousands
of fallen women, and built them a number of homes. He was so disgusted
with the evils of his days that he thought the end of the world was
close at hand, declared that the Emperor, Charles IV., was Anti-Christ,
went to Rome to expound his views to the Pope, and posted up a notice on
the door of St. Peter's, declaring that Anti-Christ had come.

The next was that beautiful writer, Thomas of Stitny (1370-1401). He
exalted the Holy Scriptures as the standard of faith, wrote several
beautiful devotional books, and denounced the immorality of the monks.
"They have fallen away from love," he said; "they have not the peace of
God in their hearts; they quarrel, condemn and fight each other; they
have forsaken God for money."

In some ways these three Reformers were all alike. They were all men
of lofty character; they all attacked the vices of the clergy and the
luxury of the rich; and they were all loyal to the Church of Rome, and
looked to the Pope to carry out the needed reform.

But the next Reformer, Matthew of Janow, carried the movement further
(1381-93). The cause was the famous schism in the Papacy. For the long
period of nearly forty years (1378-1415) the whole Catholic world was
shocked by the scandal of two, and sometimes three, rival Popes, who
spent their time abusing and fighting each other. As long as this schism
lasted it was hard for men to look up to the Pope as a true spiritual
guide. How could men call the Pope the Head of the Church when no one
knew which was the true Pope? How could men respect the Popes when
some of the Popes were men of bad moral character? Pope Urban VI. was
a ferocious brute, who had five of his enemies secretly murdered; Pope
Clement VII., his clever rival, was a scheming politician; and Pope John
XXIII. was a man whose character will scarcely bear describing in print.
Of all the scandals in the Catholic Church, this disgraceful quarrel
between rival Popes did most to upset the minds of good men and to
prepare the way for the Reformation. It aroused the scorn of John
Wycliffe in England, and of Matthew of Janow in Bohemia. "This schism,"
he wrote, "has not arisen because the priests loved Jesus Christ and His
Church, but rather because they loved themselves and the world."

But Matthew went even further than this. As he did not attack any
Catholic dogma--except the worship of pictures and images--it has been
contended by some writers that he was not so very radical in his views
after all; but the whole tone of his writings shows that he had lost
his confidence in the Catholic Church, and desired to revive the simple
Christianity of Christ and the Apostles. "I consider it essential," he
wrote, "to root out all weeds, to restore the word of God on earth,
to bring back the Church of Christ to its original, healthy, condensed
condition, and to keep only such regulations as date from the time of
the Apostles." "All the works of men," he added, "their ceremonies and
traditions, shall soon be totally destroyed; the Lord Jesus shall alone
be exalted, and His Word shall stand for ever." Back to Christ! Back to
the Apostles! Such was the message of Matthew of Janow.

At this point, when the minds of men were stirred, the writings of
Wycliffe were brought to Bohemia, and added fuel to the fire. He had
asserted that the Pope was capable of committing a sin. He had
declared that the Pope was not to be obeyed unless his commands were
in accordance with Scripture, and thus had placed the authority of the
Bible above the authority of the Pope. He had attacked the Doctrine of
Transubstantiation, and had thus denied the power of the priests "to
make the Body of Christ." Above all, in his volume, "De Ecclesia," he
had denounced the whole Catholic sacerdotal system, and had laid down
the Protestant doctrine that men could come into contact with God
without the aid of priests. Thus step by step the way was prepared for
the coming revolution in Bohemia. There was strong patriotic national
feeling; there was hatred of the German priests; there was a growing
love for the Bible; there was lack of respect for the immoral clergy,
and lack of belief in the Popes; there was a vague desire to return to
Primitive Christianity; and all that was needed now was a man to gather
these straggling beams together, and focus them all in one white burning


On Saturday, July 6th, 1415, there was great excitement in the city of
Constance. For the last half-year the city had presented a brilliant and
gorgeous scene. The great Catholic Council of Constance had met at last.
From all parts of the Western World distinguished men had come. The
streets were a blaze of colour. The Cardinals rode by in their scarlet
hats; the monks in their cowls were telling their beads; the revellers
sipped their wine and sang; and the rumbling carts from the country-side
bore bottles of wine, cheeses, butter, honey, venison, cakes and fine
confections. King Sigismund was there in all his pride, his flaxen hair
falling in curls about his shoulders; there were a thousand Bishops,
over two thousand Doctors and Masters, about two thousand Counts, Barons
and Knights, vast hosts of Dukes, Princes and Ambassadors--in all over
50,000 strangers.

And now, after months of hot debate, the Council met in the great
Cathedral to settle once for all the question, What to do with John Hus?
King Sigismund sat on the throne, Princes flanking him on either side.
In the middle of the Cathedral floor was a scaffold; on the scaffold a
table and a block of wood; on the block of wood some priestly robes. The
Mass was said. John Hus was led in. He mounted the scaffold. He breathed
a prayer. The awful proceedings began.

But why was John Hus there? What had he done to offend both Pope
and Emperor? For the last twelve years John Hus had been the boldest
reformer, the finest preacher, the most fiery patriot, the most powerful
writer, and the most popular hero in Bohemia. At first he was nothing
more than a child of his times. He was born on July 6th, 1369, in a
humble cottage at Husinec, in South Bohemia; earned coppers in his
youth, like Luther, by chanting hymns; studied at Prague University; and
entered the ministry, not because he wanted to do good, but because
he wanted to enjoy a comfortable living. He began, of course, as an
orthodox Catholic. He was Rector first of Prague University, and then
of the Bethlehem Chapel, which had been built by John of Milheim for
services in the Bohemian language. For some years he confined himself
almost entirely, like Milic and Stitny before him, to preaching of an
almost purely moral character. He attacked the sins and vices of all
classes; he spoke in the Bohemian language, and the Bethlehem Chapel was
packed. He began by attacking the vices of the idle rich. A noble lady
complained to the King. The King told the Archbishop of Prague that he
must warn Hus to be more cautious in his language.

"No, your Majesty," replied the Archbishop, "Hus is bound by his
ordination oath to speak the truth without respect of persons."

John Hus went on to attack the vices of the clergy. The Archbishop now
complained to the King. He admitted that the clergy were in need of
improvement, but he thought that Hus's language was rash, and would do
more harm than good. "Nay," said the King, "that will not do. Hus is
bound by his ordination oath to speak the truth without respect of

And Hus continued his attacks. His preaching had two results. It fanned
the people's desire for reform, and it taught them to despise the clergy
more than ever.

At the same time, when opportunity offered, John Hus made a practice of
preaching on the burning topics of the day; and the most popular topic
then was the detested power of Germans in Bohemia. German soldiers
ravaged the land; German nobles held offices of state; and German
scholars, in Prague University, had three-fourths of the voting power.
The Bohemian people were furious. John Hus fanned the flame. "We
Bohemians," he declared in a fiery sermon, "are more wretched than dogs
or snakes. A dog defends the couch on which he lies. If another dog
tries to drive him off, he fights him. A snake does the same. But us the
Germans oppress. They seize the offices of state, and we are dumb. In
France the French are foremost. In Germany the Germans are foremost.
What use would a Bohemian bishop or priest, who did not know the German
language, be in Germany? He would be as useful as a dumb dog, who cannot
bark, to a flock of sheep. Of exactly the same use are German priests
to us. It is against the law of God! I pronounce it illegal." At last a
regulation was made by King Wenceslaus that the Bohemians should be more
fairly represented at Prague University. They had now three votes out
of four. John Hus was credited by the people with bringing about the
change. He became more popular than ever.

If Hus had only halted here, it is probable that he would have been
allowed to die in peace in his bed in a good old age, and his name would
be found enrolled to-day in the long list of Catholic saints. However
wicked the clergy may have been, they could hardly call a man a heretic
for telling them plainly about the blots in their lives. But Hus soon
stepped outside these narrow bounds. The more closely he studied the
works of Wycliffe, the more convinced he became that, on the whole,
the great English Reformer was right; and before long, in the boldest
possible way, he began to preach Wycliffe's doctrines in his sermons,
and to publish them in his books. He knew precisely what he was doing.
He knew that Wycliffe's doctrines had been condemned by the English
Church Council at Black-Friars. He knew that these very same doctrines
had been condemned at a meeting of the Prague University Masters. He
knew that no fewer than two hundred volumes of Wycliffe's works had been
publicly burned at Prague, in the courtyard of the Archbishop's Palace.
He knew, in a word, that Wycliffe was regarded as a heretic; and yet he
deliberately defended Wycliffe's teaching. It is this that justifies us
in calling him a Protestant, and this that caused the Catholics to call
him a heretic.

John Hus, moreover, knew what the end would be. If he stood to his guns
they would burn him, and burned he longed to be. The Archbishop forbade
him to preach in the Bethlehem Chapel. John Hus, defiant, went on
preaching. At one service he actually read to the people a letter he had
received from Richard Wyche, one of Wycliffe's followers. As the years
rolled on he became more "heterodox" than ever. At this period there
were still two rival Popes, and the great question arose in Bohemia
which Pope the clergy there were to recognise. John Hus refused to
recognise either. At last one of the rival Popes, the immoral John
XXIII., sent a number of preachers to Prague on a very remarkable
errand. He wanted money to raise an army to go to war with the King of
Naples; the King of Naples had supported the other Pope, Gregory XII.,
and now Pope John sent his preachers to Prague to sell indulgences at
popular prices. They entered the city preceded by drummers, and posted
themselves in the market place. They had a curious message to deliver.
If the good people, said they, would buy these indulgences, they would
be doing two good things: they would obtain the full forgiveness of
their sins, and support the one lawful Pope in his holy campaign. John
Hus was hot with anger. What vulgar traffic in holy things was this? He
believed neither in Pope John nor in his indulgences.

"Let who will," he thundered, "proclaim the contrary; let the Pope, or a
Bishop, or a Priest say, 'I forgive thee thy sins; I free thee from the
pains of Hell.' It is all vain, and helps thee nothing. God alone, I
repeat, can forgive sins through Christ."

The excitement in Prague was furious. From this moment onwards Hus
became the leader of a national religious movement. The preachers went
on selling indulgences {1409.}. At one and the same time, in three
different churches, three young artisans sang out: "Priest, thou liest!
The indulgences are a fraud." For this crime the three young men were
beheaded in a corner near Green Street. Fond women--sentimental, as
usual--dipped their handkerchiefs in the blood of the martyrs, and a
noble lady spread fine linen over their corpses. The University students
picked up the gauntlet. They seized the bodies of the three young men,
and carried them to be buried in the Bethlehem Chapel. At the head of
the procession was Hus himself, and Hus conducted the funeral. The whole
city was in an uproar.

As the life of Hus was now in danger, and his presence in the city
might lead to riots, he retired for a while from Prague to the castle of
Kradonec, in the country; and there, besides preaching to vast crowds
in the fields, he wrote the two books which did the most to bring him to
the stake. The first was his treatise "On Traffic in Holy Things";
the second his great, elaborate work, "The Church."[1] In the first he
denounced the sale of indulgences, and declared that even the Pope
himself could be guilty of the sin of simony. In the second, following
Wycliffe's lead, he criticised the whole orthodox conception of the day
of the "Holy Catholic Church." What was, asked Hus, the true Church of
Christ? According to the popular ideas of the day, the true Church of
Christ was a visible body of men on this earth. Its head was the Pope;
its officers were the cardinals, the bishops, the priests, and other
ecclesiastics; and its members were those who had been baptized and
who kept true to the orthodox faith. The idea of Hus was different. His
conception of the nature of the true Church was very similar to that
held by many Non-conformists of to-day. He was a great believer in
predestination. All men, he said, from Adam onwards, were divided into
two classes: first, those predestined by God to eternal bliss; second,
those fore-doomed to eternal damnation. The true Church of Christ
consisted of those predestined to eternal bliss, and no one but God
Himself knew to which class any man belonged. From this position a
remarkable consequence followed. For anything the Pope knew to the
contrary, he might belong himself to the number of the damned. He could
not, therefore, be the true Head of the Church; he could not be the
Vicar of Christ; and the only Head of the Church was Christ Himself. The
same argument applied to Cardinals, Bishops and Priests. For anything he
knew to the contrary, any Cardinal, Bishop or Priest in the Church
might belong to the number of the damned; he might be a servant, not
of Christ, but of Anti-Christ; and, therefore, said Hus, it was utterly
absurd to look to men of such doubtful character as infallible spiritual
guides. What right, asked Hus, had the Pope to claim the "power of
the keys?" What right had the Pope to say who might be admitted to
the Church? He had no right, as Pope, at all. Some of the Popes were
heretics; some of the clergy were villains, foredoomed to torment in
Hell; and, therefore, all in search of the truth must turn, not to the
Pope and the clergy, but to the Bible and the law of Christ. God alone
had the power of the keys; God alone must be obeyed; and the Holy
Catholic Church consisted, not of the Pope, the Cardinals, the Priests,
and so many baptized members, but "of all those that had been chosen
by God." It is hard to imagine a doctrine more Protestant than this.
It struck at the root of the whole Papal conception. It undermined the
authority of the Catholic Church, and no one could say to what, ere
long, it might lead. It was time, said many, to take decisive action.

For this purpose Sigismund, King of the Romans and of Hungary, persuaded
Pope John XXIII. to summon a general Church Council at Constance; and at
the same time he invited Hus to attend the Council in person, and there
expound his views. John Hus set out for Constance. As soon as he arrived
in the city, he received from Sigismund that famous letter of "safe
conduct" on which whole volumes have been written. The King's promise
was as clear as day. He promised Hus, in the plainest terms, three
things: first, that he should come unharmed to the city; second, that he
should have a free hearing; and third, that if he did not submit to
the decision of the Council he should be allowed to go home. Of those
promises only the first was ever fulfilled. John Hus soon found himself
caught in a trap. He was imprisoned by order of the Pope. He was placed
in a dungeon on an island in the Rhine, and lay next to a sewer; and
Sigismund either would not or could not lift a finger to help him. For
three and a-half mouths he lay in his dungeon; and then he was removed
to the draughty tower of a castle on Lake Geneva. His opinions were
examined and condemned by the Council; and at last, when he was called
to appear in person, he found that he had been condemned as a heretic
already. As soon as he opened his month to speak he was interrupted; and
when he closed it they roared, "He has admitted his guilt." He had
one chance of life, and one chance only. He must recant his heretical
Wycliffite opinions, especially those set forth in his treatise on the
"Church." What need, said the Council, could there be of any further
trial? The man was a heretic. His own books convicted him, and justice
must be done.

And now, on the last day of the trial, John Hus stood before the great
Council. The scene was appalling. For some weeks this gallant son of the
morning had been tormented by neuralgia. The marks of suffering were on
his brow. His face was pale; his cheeks were sunken; his limbs were weak
and trembling. But his eye flashed with a holy fire, and his words rang
clear and true. Around him gleamed the purple and gold and the scarlet
robes. Before him sat King Sigismund on the throne. The two men looked
each other in the face. As the articles were rapidly read out against
him, John Hus endeavoured to speak in his own defence. He was told to
hold his tongue. Let him answer the charges all at once at the close.

"How can I do that," said Hus, "when I cannot even bear them all in

He made another attempt.

"Hold your tongue," said Cardinal Zabarella; "we have already given you
a sufficient hearing."

With clasped hands, and in ringing tones, Hus begged in vain for a
hearing. Again he was told to hold his peace, and silently he raised
his eyes to heaven in prayer. He was accused of denying the Catholic
doctrine of transubstantiation. He sprang to his feet in anger.
Zabarella tried to shout him down. The voice of Hus rang out above the

"I have never held, taught or preached," he cried, "that in the
sacrament of the altar material bread remains after consecration."

The trial was short and sharp. The verdict had been given beforehand.
He was now accused of another horrible crime. He had actually described
himself as the fourth person in the Godhead! The charge was monstrous.

"Let that doctor be named," said Hus, "who has given this evidence
against me."

But the name of his false accuser was never given. He was now accused
of a still more dangerous error. He had appealed to God instead of
appealing to the Church.

"O Lord God," he exclaimed, "this Council now condemns Thy action and
law as an error! I affirm that there is no safer appeal than that to the
Lord Jesus Christ."

With those brave words he signed his own death warrant. For all his
orthodoxy on certain points, he made it clearer now than ever that
he set the authority of his own conscience above the authority of the
Council; and, therefore, according to the standard of the day, he had to
be treated as a heretic.

"Moreover," he said, with his eye on the King, "I came here freely to
this Council, with a safe-conduct from my Lord the King here present,
with the desire to prove my innocence and to explain my beliefs."

At those words, said the story in later years, King Sigismund blushed.
If he did, the blush is the most famous in the annals of history; if he
did not, some think he ought to have done. For Hus the last ordeal had
now arrived; and the Bishop of Concordia, in solemn tones, read out the
dreadful articles of condemnation. For heretics the Church had then but
little mercy. His books were all to be burned; his priestly office must
be taken from him; and he himself, expelled from the Church, must be
handed over to the civil power. In vain, with a last appeal for justice,
he protested that he had never been obstinate in error. In vain he
contended that his proud accusers had not even taken the trouble to read
some of his books. As the sentence against himself was read, and the
vision of death rose up before him, he fell once more on his knees and
prayed, not for himself, but for his enemies.

"Lord Jesus Christ," he said, "pardon all my enemies, I pray thee, for
the sake of Thy great mercy! Thou knowest that they have falsely accused
me, brought forward false witnesses and false articles against me. O!
pardon them for Thine infinite mercies' sake."

At this beautiful prayer the priests and bishops jeered. He was ordered
now to mount the scaffold, to put on the priestly garments, and to
recant his heretical opinions. The first two commands he obeyed; the
third he treated with scorn. As he drew the alb over his shoulders, he
appealed once more to Christ.

"My Lord Jesus Christ," he said, "was mocked in a white robe, when led
from Herod to Pilate."

There on the scaffold he stood, with his long white robe upon him and
the Communion Cup in his hand; and there, in immortal burning words, he
refused to recant a single word that he had written.

"Behold," he cried, "these Bishops demand that I recant and abjure. I
dare not do it. If I did, I should be false to God, and sin against my
conscience and Divine truth."

The Bishops were furious. They swarmed around him. They snatched the Cup
from his hand.

"Thou cursed Judas!" they roared. "Thou hast forsaken the council of
peace. Thou hast become one of the Jews. We take from thee this Cup of

"But I trust," replied Hus, "in God Almighty, and shall drink this Cup
this day in His Kingdom."

The ceremony of degradation now took place. As soon as his robes had
been taken from him, the Bishops began a hot discussion about the proper
way of cutting his hair. Some clamoured for a razor, others were all for

"See," said Hus to the King, "these Bishops cannot agree in their

At last the scissors won the victory. His tonsure was cut in four
directions, and a fool's cap, a yard high, with a picture of devils
tearing his soul, was placed upon that hero's head.

"So," said the Bishops, "we deliver your soul to the devil."

"Most joyfully," said Hus, "will I wear this crown of shame for thy
sake, O Jesus! who for me didst wear a crown of thorns."

"Go, take him," said the King. And Hus was led to his death. As he
passed along he saw the bonfire in which his books were being burned. He
smiled. Along the streets of the city he strode, with fetters clanking
on his feet, a thousand soldiers for his escort, and crowds of admirers
surging on every hand. Full soon the fatal spot was reached. It was a
quiet meadow among the gardens, outside the city gates. At the stake he
knelt once more in prayer, and the fool's cap fell from his head. Again
he smiled. It ought to be burned along with him, said a watcher, that he
and the devils might be together. He was bound to the stake with seven
moist thongs and an old rusty chain, and faggots of wood and straw were
piled round him to the chin. For the last time the Marshal approached to
give him a fair chance of abjuring.

"What errors," he retorted, "shall I renounce? I know myself guilty of
none. I call God to witness that all that I have written and preached
has been with the view of rescuing souls from sin and perdition, and
therefore most joyfully will I confirm with my blood the truth I have
written and preached."

As the flame arose and the wood crackled, he chanted the Catholic burial
prayer, "Jesu, Son of David, have mercy upon me." From the west a gentle
breeze was blowing, and a gust dashed the smoke and sparks in his face.
At the words "Who was born of the Virgin Mary" he ceased; his lips moved
faintly in silent prayer; and a few moments later the martyr breathed
no more. At last the cruel fire died down, and the soldiers wrenched his
remains from the post, hacked his skull in pieces, and ground his bones
to powder. As they prodded about among the glowing embers to see how
much of Hus was left, they found, to their surprise, that his heart was
still unburned. One fixed it on the point of his spear, thrust it
back into the fire, and watched it frizzle away; and finally, by the
Marshal's orders, they gathered all the ashes together, and tossed them
into the Rhine.

He had died, says a Catholic writer, for the noblest of all causes. He
had died for the faith which he believed to be true.

CHAPTER III. -- THE WELTER, 1415-1434.

The excitement in Bohemia was intense. As the ashes of Hus floated down
the Rhine, the news of his death spread over the civilized world, and in
every Bohemian town and hamlet the people felt that their greatest man
had been unjustly murdered. He had become the national hero and the
national saint, and now the people swore to avenge his death. A Hussite
League was formed by his followers, a Catholic League was formed by his
enemies. The Hussite Wars began. It is important to note with exactness
what took place. As we study the history of men and nations, we are apt
to fancy that the rank and file of a country can easily be united in
one by common adherence to a common cause. It is not so. For one man who
will steadily follow a principle, there are hundreds who would rather
follow a leader. As long as Hus was alive in the flesh, he was able to
command the loyalty of the people; but now that his tongue was silent
for ever, his followers split into many contending factions. For all his
eloquence he had never been able to strike one clear commanding note. In
some of his views he was a Catholic, in others a Protestant. To some he
was merely the fiery patriot, to others the champion of Church Reform,
to others the high-souled moral teacher, to others the enemy of the
Pope. If the people had only been united they might now have gained
their long-lost freedom. But unity was the very quality they lacked the
most. They had no clear notion of what they wanted; they had no definite
scheme of church reform; they had no great leader to show them the way
through the jungle, and thus, instead of closing their ranks against the
common foe, they split up into jangling sects and parties, and made the
confusion worse confounded.

First in rank and first in power came the Utraquists or Calixtines.[2] For
some reason these men laid all the stress on a doctrine taught by Hus in
his later years. As he lay in his gloomy dungeon near Constance, he had
written letters contending that laymen should be permitted to take the
wine at the Communion. For this doctrine the Utraquists now fought
tooth and nail. They emblazoned the Cup on their banners. They were the
aristocrats of the movement; they were led by the University dons; they
were political rather than religious in their aims; they regarded Hus
as a patriot; and, on the whole, they did not care much for moral and
spiritual reforms.

Next came the Taborites, the red-hot Radicals, with Socialist ideas of
property and loose ideals of morals. They built themselves a fort on
Mount Tabor, and held great open-air meetings. They rejected purgatory,
masses and the worship of saints. They condemned incense, images, bells,
relics and fasting. They declared that priests were an unnecessary
nuisance. They celebrated the Holy Communion in barns, and baptized
their babies in ponds and brooks. They held that every man had the right
to his own interpretation of the Bible; they despised learning and art;
and they revelled in pulling churches down and burning monks to death.

Next came the Chiliasts, who fondly believed that the end of all things
was at hand, that the millennial reign of Christ would soon begin, and
that all the righteous--that is, they themselves--would have to hold the
world at bay in Five Cities of Refuge. For some years these mad fanatics
regarded themselves as the chosen instruments of the Divine displeasure,
and only awaited a signal from heaven to commence a general massacre
of their fellow men. As that signal never came, however, they were
grievously disappointed.

Next in folly came the Adamites, so called because, in shameless
wise, they dressed like Adam and Eve before the fall. They made their
head-quarters on an island on the River Nesarka, and survived even after
Ziska had destroyed their camp.

But of all the heretical bodies in Bohemia the most influential were the
Waldenses. As the history of the Waldenses is still obscure, we cannot
say for certain what views they held when they first came from Italy
some fifty or sixty years before. At first they seem to have been almost
Catholics, but as the Hussite Wars went on they fell, it is said,
under the influence of the Taborites, and adopted many radical Taborite
opinions. They held that prayer should be addressed, not to the Virgin
Mary and the Saints, but to God alone, and spoke with scorn of the
popular doctrine that the Virgin in heaven showed her breast when
interceding for sinners. As they did not wish to create a disturbance,
they attended the public services of the Church of Rome; but they did
not believe in those services themselves, and are said to have employed
their time at Church in picking holes in the logic of the speaker. They
believed neither in building churches, nor in saying masses, nor in the
adoration of pictures, nor in the singing of hymns at public worship.
For all practical intents and purposes they rejected entirely the
orthodox Catholic distinction between things secular and things sacred,
and held that a man could worship God just as well in a field as in a
church, and that it did not matter in the least whether a man's body
was buried in consecrated or unconsecrated ground. What use, they asked,
were holy water, holy oil, holy palms, roots, crosses, holy splinters
from the Cross of Christ? They rejected the doctrine of purgatory, and
said that all men must go either to heaven or to hell. They rejected
the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and said that the wine and bread
remained wine and bread. For us, however, the chief point of interest
lies in the attitude they adopted towards the priests of the Church of
Rome. At that time there was spread all over Europe a legend that the
Emperor, Constantine the Great, had made a so-called "Donation" to
Pope Sylvester; and the Waldenses held that the Church of Rome, by thus
consenting to be endowed by the State, had become morally corrupt, and
no longer possessed the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. For this reason
they utterly despised the Roman priests; and contended that, being
worldly men of bad character, they were qualified neither to administer
the sacraments nor to hear confessions. At this point we lay our finger
on the principle which led to the foundation of the Moravian Church.
What ideal, we ask, did the Waldenses now set before them? We can answer
the question in a sentence. The whole object the Waldenses had now in
view was to return to the simple teaching of Christ and the Apostles.
They wished to revive what they regarded as true primitive Christianity.
For this reason they brushed aside with scorn the bulls of Popes and the
decrees of Councils, and appealed to the command of the New Testament
Scriptures. For them the law of Christ was supreme and final; and,
appealing to His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, they declared that
oaths were wicked, and that war was no better than murder. If the law of
Christ were obeyed, said they, what need would there be of government?
How long they had held these views we do not know. Some think they had
held them for centuries; some think they had learned them recently from
the Taborites. If scholars insist on this latter view, we are forced
back on the further question: Where did the Taborites get their
advanced opinions? If the Taborites taught the Waldenses, who taught the
Taborites? We do not know. For the present all we call say is that
the Waldenses in a quiet way were fast becoming a mighty force in the
country. They addressed each other as brother and sister; they are said
to have had their own translations of the Bible; they claimed a descent
from the Apostles; and they are even held by some (though here we tread
on very thin ice) to have possessed their own episcopal succession.

But the method of the Taborites was different. If the Kingdom of God
was to come at all, it must come, they held, by force, by fire, by
the sword, by pillage and by famine. What need to tell here the
blood-curdling story of the Hussite Wars? What need to tell here how
Pope Martin V. summoned the whole Catholic world to a grand crusade
against the Bohemian people? What need to tell how the people of Prague
attacked the Town Hall, and pitched the burgomaster and several aldermen
out of the windows? For twenty years the whole land was one boiling
welter of confusion; and John Ziska, the famous blind general, took the
lead of the Taborite army, and, standing on a wagon, with the banner
above him emblazoned with the Hussite Cup, he swept the country from end
to end like a devouring prairie fire. It is held now by military experts
that Ziska was the greatest military genius of the age. If military
genius could have saved Bohemia, Bohemia would now have been saved. For
some years he managed to hold at bay the finest chivalry of Europe; and
he certainly saved the Hussite cause from being crushed in its birth.
For faith and freedom he fought--the faith of Hus and the freedom of
Bohemia. He formed the rough Bohemian peasantry into a disciplined army.
He armed his men with lances, slings, iron-pointed flails and clubs. He
formed his barricades of iron-clad wagons, and whirled them in murderous
mazes round the field. He made a special study of gunpowder, and taught
his men the art of shooting straight. He has often been compared to
Oliver Cromwell, and like our Oliver he was in many ways. He was stern
in dealing with his enemies, and once had fifty Adamites burned to
death. He was sure that God was on his side in the war. "Be it known,"
he wrote to his supporters, "that we are collecting men from all parts
of the country against these enemies of God and devastators of our
Bohemian land." He composed a stirring battle song, and taught his men
to sing it in chorus when they marched to meet the foe.

   Therefore, manfully cry out:
   "At them! rush at them."
   Wield bravely your arms!
   Pray to your Lord God.
   Strike and kill! spare none!

What a combination of piety and fury! It was all in vain. The great
general died of a fever. The thunderbolt fell. At a meeting in Prague
the Utraquists and Catholics at last came to terms, and drew up a
compromise known as the "Compactata of Basle" (1433). For nearly two
hundred years after this these "Compactata" were regarded as the law
of the land; and the Utraquist Church was recognised by the Pope as the
national self-governing Church of Bohemia. The terms of the Compactata
were four in number. The Communion was to be given to laymen in both
kinds; all mortal sins were to be punished by the proper authorities;
the Word of God was to be freely preached by faithful priests and
deacons; and no priests were to have any worldly possessions. For
practical purposes this agreement meant the defeat of the advanced
reforming movement. One point the Utraquists had gained, and one alone;
they were allowed to take the wine at the Communion. For the rest these
Utraquist followers of Hus were as Catholic as the Pope himself. They
adored the Host, read the masses, kept the fasts, and said the prayers
as their fathers had done before them. From that moment the fate of the
Taborite party was sealed. At the battle of Lipan they were defeated,
routed, crushed out of existence. {1434}. The battle became a massacre.
The slaughter continued all the night and part of the following day, and
hundreds were burned to death in their huts.

Was this to be the end of Hus's strivings? What was it in Hus that was
destined to survive? What was it that worked like a silent leaven amid
the clamours of war? We shall see. Amid these charred and smoking ruins
the Moravian Church arose.


Meanwhile a mighty prophet had arisen, with a clear and startling
message. His name was Peter, and he lived down south, in the little
village of Chelcic.[3] As the historian rummages among the ancient
records, he discovers to his sorrow that scarcely anything is known of
the life of this great man; but, on the other hand, it is a joy to
know that while his story is wrapped in mystery, his teaching has been
preserved, and that some of the wonderful books he wrote are treasured
still in his native land as gems of Bohemian literature. In later years
it was commonly said that he began life as a cobbler; but that story,
at least, may be dismissed as a legend. He enlisted, we are told, in
the army. He then discovered that a soldier's life was wicked; he then
thought of entering a monastery, but was shocked by what he heard of the
immoralities committed within the holy walls; and finally, having some
means of his own, retired to his little estate at Chelcic, and spent
his time in writing pamphlets about the troubles of his country. He
had picked up a smattering of education in Prague. He had studied the
writings of Wycliffe and of Hus, and often appealed to Wycliffe in his
works. He could quote, when he liked, from the great Church Fathers. He
had a fair working knowledge of the Bible; and, above all, he had the
teaching of Christ and the Apostles engraved upon his conscience and his
heart. As he was not a priest, he could afford to be independent; as he
knew but little Latin, he wrote in Bohemian; and thus, like Stitny and
Hus before him, he appealed to the people in language they could all
understand. Of all the leaders of men in Bohemia, this Peter was the
most original and daring. As he pondered on the woes of his native land,
he came to the firm but sad conclusion that the whole system of religion
and politics was rotten to the core. Not one of the jangling sects was
in the right. Not one was true to the spirit of Christ. Not one was
free from the dark red stain of murder. His chief works were his Net
of Faith, his Reply to Nicholas of Pilgram, his Reply to Rockycana, his
Image of the Beast, his theological treatise On the Body of Christ,
his tract The Foundation of Worldly Laws, his devotional commentary,
Exposition of the Passion according to St. John, and, last, though not
least, his volume of discourses on the Gospel lessons for the year,
entitled Postillia. Of these works the most famous was his masterly Net
of Faith. He explained the title himself. "Through His disciples," said
Peter, "Christ caught the world in the net of His faith, but the bigger
fishes, breaking the net, escaped. Then others followed through these
same holes made by the big fishes, and the net was left almost empty."
His meaning was clear to all. The net was the true Church of Christ; the
two whales who broke it were the Emperor and the Pope; the big fishes
were the mighty "learned persons, heretics and offenders"; and the
little fishes were the true followers of Christ.

He opened his bold campaign in dramatic style. When John Ziska and
Nicholas of Husinec declared at Prague that the time had come for the
faithful to take up arms in their own defence, Peter was present at the
debate, and contended that for Christians war was a crime. {1419.}

"What is war?" he asked. "It is a breach of the laws of God! All
soldiers are violent men, murderers, a godless mob!"

He hated war like a Quaker, and soldiers like Tolstoy himself. He
regarded the terrible Hussite Wars as a disgrace to both sides. As the
fiery Ziska swept the land with his waggons, this Apostle of peace was
sick with horror. "Where," he asked, in his Reply to Rockycana, "has God
recalled His commands, 'Thou shalt not kill,' 'Thou shalt not steal,'
'Thou shalt not take thy neighbour's goods'? If God has not repealed
these commands, they ought still to be obeyed to-day in Prague and
Tabor. I have learned from Christ, and by Christ I stand; and if the
Apostle Peter himself were to come down from Heaven and say that it was
right for us to take up arms to defend the truth, I should not believe

For Peter the teaching of Christ and the Apostles was enough. It was
supreme, final, perfect. If a king made a new law, he was spoiling
the teaching of Christ. If the Pope issued a bull, he was spoiling the
teaching of Christ. If a Council of Bishops drew up a decree, they were
spoiling the teaching of Christ. As God, said Peter, had revealed His
will to full perfection in Jesus Christ, there was no need for laws made
by men. "Is the law of God sufficient, without worldly laws, to
guide and direct us in the path of the true Christian religion? With
trembling, I answer, it is. It was sufficient for Christ Himself, and it
was sufficient for His disciples." And, therefore, the duty of all
true Christians was as clear as the noon-day sun. He never said that
Christian people should break the law of the land. He admitted that
God might use the law for good purposes; and therefore, as Christ had
submitted to Pilate, so Christians must submit to Government. But there
their connection with Government must end. For heathens the State was
a necessary evil; for Christians it was an unclean thing, and the less
they had to do with it the better. They must never allow the State to
interfere in matters within the Church. They must never drag each other
before the law courts. They must never act as judges or magistrates.
They must never take any part whatever in municipal or national
government. They must never, if possible, live in a town at all. If
Christians, said Peter, lived in a town, and paid the usual rates and
taxes, they were simply helping to support a system which existed for
the protection of robbers. He regarded towns as the abodes of vice, and
citizens as rogues and knaves. The first town, he said, was built by the
murderer, Cain. He first murdered his brother Abel; he then gathered his
followers together; he then built a city, surrounded by walls; and thus,
by robbery and violence, he became a well-to-do man. And modern towns,
said Peter, were no whit better. At that time the citizens of some towns
in Bohemia enjoyed certain special rights and privileges; and this, to
Peter, seemed grossly unfair. He condemned those citizens as thieves.
"They are," he said, "the strength of Anti-Christ; they are adversaries
to Christ; they are an evil rabble; they are bold in wickedness; and
though they pretend to follow the truth, they will sit at tables with
wicked people and knavish followers of Judas." For true Christians,
therefore, there was only one course open. Instead of living in godless
towns, they should try to settle in country places, earn their living as
farmers or gardeners, and thus keep as clear of the State as possible.
They were not to try to support the law at all. If they did, they were
supporting a wicked thing, which never tried to make men better, but
only crushed them with cruel and useless punishments. They must never
try to make big profits in business. If they did, they were simply
robbing and cheating their neighbours. They must never take an oath, for
oaths were invented by the devil. They must never, in a word, have any
connection with that unchristian institution called the State.

And here Peter waxed vigorous and eloquent. He objected, like Wycliffe,
to the union of Church and State. Of all the bargains ever struck,
the most wicked, ruinous and pernicious was the bargain struck between
Church and State, when Constantine the Great first took the Christians
under the shadow of his wing. For three hundred years, said Peter,
the Church of Christ had remained true to her Master; and then this
disgusting heathen Emperor, who had not repented of a single sin, came
in with his vile "Donation," and poisoned all the springs of her life.
If the Emperor, said Peter, wanted to be a Christian, he ought first to
have laid down his crown. He was a ravenous beast; he was a wolf in the
fold; he was a lion squatting at the table; and at that fatal moment in
history, when he gave his "Donation" to the Pope, an angel in heaven
had spoken the words: "This day has poison entered the blood of the
"Since that time," said Peter, "these two powers, Imperial and Papal,
have clung together. They have turned everything to account in Church
and in Christendom for their own impious purposes. Theologians,
professors, and priests are the satraps of the Emperor. They ask the
Emperor to protect them, so that they may sleep as long as possible, and
they create war so that they may have everything under their thumb."

If Peter lashed the Church with whips, he lashed her priests with
scorpions. He accused them of various vices. They were immoral; they
were superstitious; they were vain, ignorant and empty-headed; and,
instead of feeding the Church of God, they had almost starved her to
death. He loathed these "honourable men, who sit in great houses, these
purple men, with their beautiful mantles, their high caps, their fat
stomachs." He accused them of fawning on the rich and despising the
poor. "As for love of pleasure," he said, "immorality, laziness,
greediness, uncharitableness and cruelty--as for these things, the
priests do not hold them as sins when committed by princes, nobles and
rich commoners. They do not tell them plainly, "You will go to hell if
you live on the fat of the poor, and live a bestial life," although they
know that the rich are condemned to eternal death by such behaviour.
Oh, no! They prefer to give them a grand funeral. A crowd of priests,
clergy, and other folk make a long procession. The bells are rung. There
are masses, singings, candles and offerings. The virtues of the dead
man are proclaimed from the pulpit. They enter his soul in the books of
their cloisters and churches to be continually prayed for, and if what
they say be true, that soul cannot possibly perish, for he has been so
kind to the Church, and must, indeed, be well cared for."

He accused them, further, of laziness and gluttony. "They pretend to
follow Christ," he said, "and have plenty to eat every day. They have
fish, spices, brawn, herrings, figs, almonds, Greek wine and other
luxuries. They generally drink good wine and rich beer in large
quantities, and so they go to sleep. When they cannot get luxuries they
fill themselves with vulgar puddings till they nearly burst. And this is
the way the priests fast." He wrote in a similar strain of the mendicant
friars. He had no belief in their profession of poverty, and accused
them of gathering as much money as they could. They pocketed more money
by begging, he declared, than honest folk could earn by working; they
despised plain beef, fat bacon and peas, and they wagged their tails
with joy when they sat down to game and other luxuries. "Many citizens,"
said Peter, "would readily welcome this kind of poverty."

He accused the priests of loose teaching and shameless winking at sin.
"They prepare Jesus," he said, "as a sweet sauce for the world, so that
the world may not have to shape its course after Jesus and His heavy
Cross, but that Jesus may conform to the world; and they make Him softer
than oil, so that every wound may be soothed, and the violent, thieves,
murderers and adulterers may have an easy entrance into heaven."

He accused them of degrading the Seven Sacraments. They baptized
sinners, young and old, without demanding repentance. They sold the
Communion to rascals and rogues, like a huckstress offering her wares.
They abused Confession by pardoning men who never intended to amend
their evil ways. They allowed men of the vilest character to be ordained
as priests. They degraded marriage by preaching the doctrine that it was
less holy than celibacy. They distorted the original design of Extreme
Unction, for instead of using it to heal the sick they used it to line
their own pockets. And all these blasphemies, sins and follies were the
offspring of that adulterous union between the Church and the State,
which began in the days of Constantine the Great. For of all the evils
under Heaven, the greatest, said Peter, was that contradiction in
terms--a State Church.

He attacked the great theologians and scholars. Instead of using their
mental powers in the search for truth, these college men, said Peter,
had done their best to suppress the truth; and at the two great Councils
of Constance and Basle, they had actually obtained the help of the
temporal power to crush all who dared to hold different views from
theirs. What use, asked Peter, were these learned pundits? They were no
use at all. They never instructed anybody. "I do not know," he said,
"a single person whom they have helped with their learning." Had they
instructed Hus? No. Hus had the faith in himself; Hus was instructed by
God; and all that these ravens did for Hus was to flock together against

Again, Peter denounced the Bohemian nobles. As we read his biting,
satirical phrases we can see that he was no respecter of persons and
no believer in artificial distinctions of rank. For him the only
distinction worth anything was the moral distinction between those who
followed the crucified Jesus and those who rioted in selfish pleasures.

He had no belief in blue blood and noble birth. He was almost, though
not quite, a Socialist. He had no definite, constructive social policy.
He was rather a champion of the rights of the poor, and an apostle of
the simple life. "The whole value of noble birth," he said, "is founded
on a wicked invention of the heathen, who obtained coats of arms from
emperors or kings as a reward for some deed of valour." If a man could
only buy a coat of arms--a stag, a gate, a wolf's head, or a sausage--he
became thereby a nobleman, boasted of his high descent, and was regarded
by the public as a saint. For such "nobility" Peter had a withering
contempt. He declared that nobles of this stamp had no right to belong
to the Christian Church. They lived, he said, in flat opposition to the
spirit of Jesus Christ. They devoured the poor. They were a burden to
the country. They did harm to all men. They set their minds on worldly
glory, and spent their money on extravagant dress. "The men," said he,
"wear capes reaching down to the ground, and their long hair falls down
to their shoulders; and the women wear so many petticoats that they
can hardly drag themselves along, and strut about like the Pope's
courtezans, to the surprise and disgust of the whole world." What right
had these selfish fops to call themselves Christians? They did more harm
to the cause of Christ than all the Turks and heathens in the world.

Thus Peter, belonging to none of the sects, found grievous faults in
them all. As he always mentions the Waldenses with respect, it has been
suggested that he was a Waldensian himself. But of that there is no real
proof. He had, apparently, no organizing skill; he never attempted to
form a new sect or party, and his mission in the world was to throw
out hints and leave it to others to carry these hints into practice.
He condemned the Utraquists because they used the sword. "If a man," he
said, "eats a black pudding on Friday, you blame him; but if he sheds
his brother's blood on the scaffold or on the field of battle you
praise him." He condemned the Taborites because they made light of the
Sacraments. "You have called the Holy Bread," he said, "a butterfly, a
bat, an idol. You have even told the people that it is better to kneel
to the devil than to kneel at the altar; and thus you have taught them
to despise religion and wallow in unholy lusts." He condemned the King
for being a King at all; for no intelligent man, said Peter, could
possibly be a King and a Christian at the same time. And finally he
condemned the Pope as Antichrist and the enemy of God.

Yet Peter was something more than a caustic critic. For the terrible
ills of his age and country he had one plain and homely remedy, and that
for all true Christians to leave the Church of Rome and return to the
simple teaching of Christ and His Apostles. If the reader goes to Peter
for systematic theology, he will be grievously disappointed; but if he
goes for moral vigour, he will find a well-spread table.

He did not reason his positions out like Wycliffe; he was a suggestive
essayist rather than a constructive philosopher; and, radical though
he was in some of his views, he held firm to what he regarded as
the fundamental articles of the Christian faith. He believed in the
redemptive value of the death of Christ. He believed that man must build
his hopes, not so much on his own good works, but rather on the grace
of God. He believed, all the same, that good works were needed and
would receive their due reward. He believed, further, in the real
bodily presence of Christ in the Sacrament; and on this topic he held
a doctrine very similar to Luther's doctrine of Consubstantiation. But,
over and above all these beliefs, he insisted, in season and out of
season, that men could partake of spiritual blessings without the aid
of Roman priests. Some fruit of his labours he saw. As the fire of
the Hussite Wars died down, a few men in different parts of the
country--especially at Chelcic, Wilenow and Divischau--began to take
Peter as their spiritual guide. They read his pamphlets with delight,
became known as the "Brethren of Chelcic," and wore a distinctive dress,
a grey cloak with a cord tied round the waist. The movement spread, the
societies multiplied, and thus, in a way no records tell, were laid the
foundations of the Church of the Brethren. Did Peter see that Church? We
do not know. No one knows when Peter was born, and no one knows when
he died. He delivered his message; he showed the way; he flashed his
lantern in the darkness; and thus, whether he knew it or not, he was the
literary founder of the Brethren's Church. He fired the hope. He drew
the plans. It was left to another man to erect the building.


A brilliant idea is an excellent thing. A man to work it out is still
better. At the very time when Peter's followers were marshalling their
forces, John Rockycana,[5] Archbishop-elect of Prague (since 1448), was
making a mighty stir in that drunken city. What Peter had done with his
pen, Rockycana was doing with his tongue. He preached Peter's doctrines
in the great Thein Church; he corresponded with him on the burning
topics of the day; he went to see him at his estate; he recommended his
works to his hearers; and week by week, in fiery language, he denounced
the Church of Rome as Babylon, and the Pope as Antichrist himself. His
style was vivid and picturesque, his language cutting and clear. One day
he compared the Church of Rome to a burned and ruined city, wherein the
beasts of the forests made their lairs; and, again, he compared her to
a storm-tossed ship, which sank beneath the howling waves because the
sailors were fighting each other. "It is better," he said, "to tie a dog
to a pulpit than allow a priest to defile it. It is better, oh, women!
for your sons to be hangmen than to be priests; for the hangman only
kills the body, while the priest kills the soul. Look there," he
suddenly exclaimed one Sunday, pointing to a picture of St. Peter on the
wall, "there is as much difference between the priests of to-day and the
twelve apostles as there is between that old painting and the living St.
Peter in heaven.[6] For the priests have put the devil into the sacraments
themselves, and are leading you straight to the fires of Hell."

If an eloquent speaker attacks the clergy, he is sure to draw a crowd.
No wonder the Thein Church was crammed. No wonder the people listened
with delight as he backed up his hot attack with texts from the prophet
Jeremiah. No wonder they cried in their simple zeal: "Behold, a second
John Hus has arisen."

But John Rockycana was no second John Hus. For all his fire in the
pulpit, he was only a craven at heart. "If a true Christian," said he
to a friend, "were to turn up now in Prague, he would be gaped at like
a stag with golden horns." But he was not a stag with golden horns
himself. As he thundered against the Church of Rome, he was seeking,
not the Kingdom of God, but his own fame and glory. His followers soon
discovered his weakness. Among those who thronged to hear his sermons
were certain quiet men of action, who were not content to paw the ground
for ever. They were followers of Peter of Chelcic; they passed
his pamphlets in secret from hand to hand; they took down notes of
Rockycana's sermons; and now they resolved to practise what they heard.
If Peter had taught them nothing else, he had at least convinced them
all that the first duty of Christian men was to quit the Church of Rome.
Again and again they appealed to Rockycana to be their head, to act
up to his words, and to lead them out to the promised land. The great
orator hemmed and hawed, put them off with excuses, and told them, after
the manner of cowards, that they were too hasty and reckless. "I know
you are right," said he, "but if I joined your ranks I should be reviled
on every hand."[7] But these listeners were not to be cowed. The more
they studied Peter's writings, the more they lost faith in Rockycana.
As Rockycana refused to lead them, they left his church in a body, and
found a braver leader among themselves. His name was Gregory; he was
known as Gregory the Patriarch; and in due time, as we shall see, he
became the founder of the Church of the Brethren. He was already a
middle-aged man. He was the son of a Bohemian knight, and was nephew
to Rockycana himself. He had spent his youth in the Slaven cloister at
Prague as a bare-footed monk, had found the cloister not so moral as he
had expected, had left it in disgust, and was now well known in Bohemia
as a man of sterling character, pious and sensible, humble and strict,
active and spirited, a good writer and a good speaker. He was a personal
friend of Peter, had studied his works with care, and is said to have
been particularly fond of a little essay entitled "The Image of the
Beast," which he had borrowed from a blacksmith in Wachovia. As time
went on he lost patience with Rockycana, came into touch with the little
societies at Wilenow and Divischau, visited Peter on his estate, and
gradually formed the plan of founding an independent society, and thus
doing himself what Rockycana was afraid to do. As soldiers desert a
cowardly general and rally round the standard of a brave one, so these
listeners in the old Thein Church fell away from halting Rockycana, and
rallied round Gregory the Patriarch. From all parts of Bohemia, from all
ranks of society, from all whom Peter's writings had touched, from all
who were disgusted with the Church of Rome, and who wished to see the
True Church of the Apostles bloom in purity and beauty again, from
all especially who desired the ministration of priests of moral
character--from all these was his little band recruited. How it all
happened we know not; but slowly the numbers swelled. At last the
terrible question arose: How and where must they live? The question
was one of life and death. Not always could they worship in secret; not
always be scattered in little groups. It was time, they said, to close
their ranks and form an army that should last. "After us," Rockycana had
said in a sermon, "shall a people come well-pleasing unto God and right
healthy for men; they shall follow the Scriptures, and the example of
Christ and the footsteps of the Apostles." And these stern men felt
called to the holy task.

In the year 1457, Uladislaus Postumus, King of Bohemia, died, and George
Podiebrad reigned in his stead; and about the same time it came to the
ears of Gregory the Patriarch that in the barony of Senftenberg, on the
north-east border of Bohemia, there lay a village that would serve as
a home for him and his trusty followers. And the village was called
Kunwald, and the old castle hard by was called Lititz. The village
was almost deserted, and only a few simple folk, of the same mind as
Gregory, lived there now. What better refuge could be found? Gregory
the Patriarch laid the scheme before his uncle Rockycana; Rockycana, who
sympathized with their views and wished to help them, brought the matter
before King George; the King, who owned the estate, gave his gracious
permission; and Gregory and his faithful friends wended their way to
Kunwald, and there began to form the first settlement of the Church of
the Brethren. And now many others from far and wide came to make Kunwald
their home. Some came from the Thein Church in Prague, some across the
Glatz Hills from Moravia, some from Wilenow, Divischau and Chelcic, some
from the Utraquist Church at Königgratz,[8] some, clothed and in their
right minds, from those queer folk, the Adamites, and some from little
Waldensian groups that lay dotted here and there about the land. There
were citizens from Prague and other cities. There were bachelors and
masters from the great University. There were peasants and nobles,
learned and simple, rich and poor, with their wives and children; and
thus did many, who longed to be pure and follow the Master and Him
alone, find a Bethany of Peace in the smiling little valley of Kunwald.

Here, then, in the valley of Kunwald, did these pioneers lay the
foundation stones of the Moravian Church {1457 or 1458.}.[9] They were
all of one heart and one mind. They honoured Christ alone as King;
they confessed His laws alone as binding. They were not driven from the
Church of Rome; they left of their own free will. They were men of deep
religious experience. As they mustered their forces in that quiet dale,
they knew that they were parting company from Church and State alike.
They had sought the guidance of God in prayer, and declared that their
prayers were answered. They had met to seek the truth of God, not from
priests, but from God Himself. "As we knew not where to turn," they
wrote to Rockycana, "we turned in prayer to God Himself, and besought
Him to reveal to us His gracious will in all things. We wanted to walk
in His ways; we wanted instruction in His wisdom; and in His mercy He
answered our prayers." They would rather, they said, spend weeks in gaol
than take the oath as councillors. They built cottages, tilled the land,
opened workshops, and passed their time in peace and quietness. For
a law and a testimony they had the Bible and the writings of Peter of
Chelcic. In Michael Bradacius, a Utraquist priest, they found a faithful
pastor. They made their own laws and appointed a body of twenty-eight
elders to enforce them. They divided themselves into three classes, the
Beginners, the Learners and the Perfect;[10] and the Perfect gave up their
private property for the good of the common cause. They had overseers to
care for the poor. They had priests to administer the sacraments, They
had godly laymen to teach the Scriptures. They had visitors to see to
the purity of family life. They were shut off from the madding crowd by
a narrow gorge, with the Glatz Mountains towering on the one side and
the hoary old castle of Lititz, a few miles off, on the other; and there
in that fruitful valley, where orchards smiled and gardens bloomed,
and neat little cottages peeped out from the woodland, they plied their
trades and read their Bibles, and kept themselves pure and unspotted
from the world under the eye of God Almighty.[11]
But it was not long before these Brethren had to show of what metal they
were made. With each other they were at peace, but in Bohemia the sea
still rolled from the storm. It is curious how people reasoned in those
days. As the Brethren used bread instead of wafer at the Holy Communion,
a rumour reached the ears of the King that they were dangerous
conspirators, and held secret meetings of a mysterious and unholy
nature. And King George held himself an orthodox King, and had sworn to
allow no heretics in his kingdom. As soon therefore, as he heard that
Gregory the Patriarch had come on a visit to Prague, and was actually
holding a meeting of University students in the New Town, he came down
upon them like a wolf on the fold, and gave orders to arrest them on the
spot. He was sure they were hatching a villainous plot of some kind. In
vain some friends sent warning to the students. They resolved, with a
few exceptions, to await their fate and stand to their guns. "Come what
may," said they, in their fiery zeal, "let the rack be our breakfast
and the funeral pile our dinner!" The door of the room flew open. The
magistrate and his bailiffs appeared. "All," said the magistrate, as
he stood at the threshold, "who wish to live godly in Christ Jesus must
suffer persecution. Follow me to prison." They followed him, and were at
once stretched upon the rack. As soon as the students felt the pain of
torture their courage melted like April snow. After they had tasted the
breakfast they had no appetite for the dinner. They went in a body to
the Thein Church, mounted the pulpit one by one, pleaded guilty to the
charges brought against them, and confessed, before an admiring crowd,
their full belief in all the dogmas of the Holy Church of Rome. But for
Gregory the Patriarch, who was now growing old, the pain was too severe.
His wrists cracked; he swooned, and was thought to be dead, and in his
swoon he dreamed a dream which seemed to him like the dreams of the
prophets of old. He saw, in a lovely meadow, a tree laden with fruit;
the fruit was being plucked by birds; the flights of the birds were
guided by a youth of heavenly beauty, and the tree was guarded by three
men whose faces he seemed to know. What meant that dream to Gregory and
his Brethren? It was a vision of the good time coming. The tree was the
Church of the Brethren. The fruit was her Bible teaching. The birds were
her ministers and helpers. The youth of radiant beauty was the Divine
Master Himself. And the three men who stood on guard were the three men
who were afterwards chosen as the first three Elders of the Brethren's

While Gregory lay in his swoon, his old teacher, his uncle, his sometime
friend, John Rockycana, hearing that he was dying, came to see him.
His conscience was stricken, his heart bled, and, wringing his hands in
agony, he moaned: "Oh, my Gregory, my Gregory, would I were where thou
art." When Gregory recovered, Rockycana pleaded for him, and the King
allowed the good old Patriarch to return in peace to Kunwald.

Meanwhile, the first persecution of the Brethren had begun in deadly
earnest {1461.}. King George Podiebrad was furious. He issued an order
that all his subjects were to join either the Utraquist or the Roman
Catholic Church. He issued another order that all priests who conducted
the Communion in the blasphemous manner of the Brethren should forthwith
be put to death. The priest, old Michael, was cast into a dungeon; four
leading Brethren were burned alive; the peaceful home in Kunwald was
broken; and the Brethren fled to the woods and mountains. For two full
years they lived the life of hunted deer in the forest. As they durst
not light a fire by day, they cooked their meals by night; and then,
while the enemy dreamed and slept, they read their Bibles by the
watch-fires' glare, and prayed till the blood was dripping from their
knees. If provisions ran short, they formed a procession, and marched in
single file to the nearest village; and when the snow lay on the ground
they trailed behind them a pine-tree branch, so that folk would think a
wild beast had been prowling around. We can see them gathering in those
Bohemian glades. As the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky, and
the night wind kissed the pine trees, they read to each other the golden
promise that where two or three were gathered together in His name He
would be in the midst of them;[12] and rejoiced that they, the chosen of
God, had been called to suffer for the truth and the Church that was yet
to be.

In vain they appealed to Rockycana; he had done with them for ever.
"Thou art of the world," they wrote, "and wilt perish with the world."
They were said to have made a covenant with the devil, and were commonly
dubbed "Pitmen" because they lived in pits and caves. Yet not for a
moment did they lose hope. At the very time when the king in his
folly thought they were crushed beneath his foot, they were in reality
increasing in numbers every day. As their watch-fires shone in the
darkness of the forests, so their pure lives shone among a darkened
people. No weapon did they use except the pen. They never retaliated,
never rebelled, never took up arms in their own defence, never even
appealed to the arm of justice. When smitten on one cheek, they turned
the other; and from ill-report they went to good report, till the King
for very shame had to let them be. Well aware was he that brutal force
could never stamp out spiritual life. "I advise you," said a
certain Bishop, "to shed no more blood. Martyrdom is somewhat like a
half-roasted joint of meat, apt to breed maggots."

And now the time drew near for Gregory's dream to come true. When the
Brethren settled in the valley of Kunwald they had only done half their
work. They had quitted the "benighted" Church of Rome; they had not
yet put a better Church in her place. They had settled on a Utraquist
estate; they were under the protection of a Utraquist King;
they attended services conducted by Utraquist priests. But this
black-and-white policy could not last for ever. If they wished to be
godly men themselves, they must have godly men in the pulpits. What
right had they, the chosen of God (as they called themselves) to listen
to sermons from men in league with the State? What right had they
to take the Holy Bread and Wine from the tainted hands of Utraquist
priests? What right had they to confess their sins to men with the brand
of Rome upon their foreheads? If they were to have any priests at all,
those priests, like Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion. They must be
pastors after God's own heart, who should feed the people with knowledge
and understanding (Jer. iii. 15). They must be clear of any connection
with the State. They must be descended from the twelve Apostles. They
must be innocent of the crime of simony. They must work with their hands
for their living, and be willing to spend their money on the poor. But
where could such clean vessels of the Lord be found? For a while
the Brethren were almost in despair; for a while they were even half
inclined to do without priests at all. In vain they searched the country
round; in vain they inquired about priests in foreign lands. When they
asked about the pure Nestorian Church supposed to exist in India, they
received the answer that that Church was now as corrupt as the Romish.
When they asked about the Greek Church in Russia, they received the
answer that the Russian Bishops were willing to consecrate any man, good
or bad, so long as he paid the fees. The question was pressing. If they
did without good priests much longer, they would lose their standing in
the country. "You must," said Brother Martin Lupac, a Utraquist priest,
who had joined their ranks, "you must establish a proper order of
priests from among yourselves. If you don't, the whole cause will be
ruined. To do without priests is no sin against God; but it is a sin
against your fellow-men." As they pondered on the fateful question, the
very light of Heaven itself seemed to flash upon their souls. It was
they who possessed the unity of the spirit; and therefore it was they
who were called to renew the Church of the Apostles. They had now become
a powerful body; they were founding settlements all over the land; they
stood, they said, for the truth as it was in Jesus; they had all one
faith, one hope, one aim, one sense of the Spirit leading them onward;
and they perceived that if they were to weather the gale in those stormy
times they must cut the chains that bound them to Rome, and fly their
own colours in the breeze.

And so, in 1467, about ten years after the foundation of Kunwald, there
met at Lhota a Synod of the Brethren to settle the momentous question
{1467.}, "Is it God's will that we separate entirely from the power
of the Papacy, and hence from its priesthood? Is it God's will that we
institute, according to the model of the Primitive Church, a ministerial
order of our own?" For weeks they had prayed and fasted day and night.
About sixty Brethren arrived. The Synod was held in a tanner's cottage,
under a cedar tree; and the guiding spirit Gregory the Patriarch, for
his dream was haunting him still. The cottage has long since gone; but
the tree is living yet.

The fateful day arrived. As the morning broke, those sixty men were
all on their knees in prayer. If that prayer had been omitted the whole
proceedings would have been invalid. As the Master, said they, had
prayed on the Mount before he chose His twelve disciples, so they must
spend the night in prayer before they chose the elders of the Church.
And strange, indeed, their manner of choosing was. First the Synod
nominated by ballot nine men of blameless life, from whom were to be
chosen, should God so will, the first Pastors of the New Church. Next
twelve slips of paper were folded and put into a vase. Of these slips
nine were blank, and three were marked "Jest," the Bohemian for "is."
Then a boy named Procop entered the room, drew out nine slips, and
handed them round to the nine nominated Brethren.

There was a hush, a deep hush, in that humble room. All waited for God
to speak. The fate of the infant Church seemed to hang in the balance.
For the moment the whole great issue at stake depended on the three
papers left in the vase. It had been agreed that the three Brethren who
received the three inscribed papers should be ordained to the ministry.
The situation was curious. As the Brethren rose from their knees that
morning they were all as sure as men could be that God desired them to
have Pastors of their own; and yet they deliberately ran the risk that
the lot might decide against them.[13] What slips were those now lying in
the vase? Perhaps the three inscribed ones. But it turned out otherwise.
All three were drawn, and Matthias of Kunwald, Thomas of Prelouic, and
Elias of Chrenouic, are known to history as the first three ministers of
the Brethren's Church. And then Gregory the Patriarch stepped forward,
and announced with trembling voice that these three men were the very
three that he had seen in his trance in the torture-chamber at Prague.
Not a man in the room was surprised; not a man doubted that here again
their prayers had been plainly answered. Together the members of the
Synod arose and saluted the chosen three. Together, next day, they sang
in a hymn written for the occasion:--

   We needed faithful men, and He
   Granted us such.  Most earnestly,
   We Pray, Lord, let Thy gifts descend,
   That blessing may Thy work attend.[14]
But the battle was not won even yet. If these three good men, now chosen
by Christ, were to be acknowledged as priests in Bohemia, they must
be ordained in the orthodox way by a Bishop of pure descent from the
Apostles. For this purpose they applied to Stephen, a Bishop of the
Waldenses. He was just the man they needed. He was a man of noble
character. He was a man whose word could be trusted. He had often given
them information about the Waldensian line of Bishops. He had told them
how that line ran back to the days of the early Church. He had told them
how the Waldensian Bishops had kept the ancient faith unsullied, and had
never broken the law of Christ by uniting with the wicked State. To
that line of Bishops he himself belonged. He had no connection with the
Church of Rome, and no connection with the State. What purer orders,
thought the Brethren, could they desire? They believed his statements;
they trusted his honour; they admired his personal character; and now
they sent old Michael Bradacius to see him in South Moravia and to lay
their case before him. The old Bishop shed tears of joy. "He laid his
hand on my head," says Michael, "and consecrated me a Bishop." Forthwith
the new Bishop returned to Lhota, ordained the chosen three as Priests,
and consecrated Matthias of Kunwald a Bishop. And thus arose those
Episcopal Orders which have been maintained in the Church of the
Brethren down to the present day.

The goal was reached; the Church was founded; the work of Gregory was
done. For twenty years he had taught his Brethren to study the mind
of Christ in the Scriptures and to seek the guidance of God in united
prayer, and now he saw them joined as one to face the rising storm.

"Henceforth," he wrote gladly to King George Podiebrad, "we have done
with the Church of Rome." As he saw the evening of life draw near, he
urged his Brethren more and more to hold fast the teaching of Peter of
Chelcic, and to regulate their daily conduct by the law of Christ; and
by that law of Christ he probably meant the "Six Commandments" of
the Sermon on the Mount.[15] He took these Commandments literally,
and enforced them with a rod of iron. No Brother could be a judge or
magistrate or councillor. No Brother could take an oath or keep an inn,
or trade beyond the barest needs of life. No noble, unless he laid
down his rank, could become a Brother at all. No peasant could render
military service or act as a bailiff on a farm. No Brother could ever
divorce his wife or take an action at law. As long as Gregory remained
in their midst, the Brethren held true to him as their leader. He had
not, says Gindely, a single trace of personal ambition in his nature;
and, though he might have become a Bishop, he remained a layman to the
end. Full of years he died, and his bones repose in a cleft where tufts
of forget-me-not grow, at Brandeis-on-the-Adler, hard by the Moravian
frontier {Sept.13th, 1473.}.


Of the Brethren who settled in the valley of Kunwald the greater number
were country peasants and tradesmen of humble rank. But already the
noble and mighty were pressing in. As the eyes of Gregory closed in
death, a new party was rising to power. Already the Brethren were strong
in numbers, and already they were longing to snap the fetters that
Gregory had placed upon their feet. From Neustadt in the North to Skutch
in the South, and from Chlumec in the West to Kunwald in the East,
they now lay thickly sprinkled; and in all the principal towns of that
district, an area of nine hundred square miles, they were winning
rich and influential members. In came the University dons; in came the
aldermen and knights. In came, above all, a large colony of Waldenses,
who had immigrated from the Margravate of Brandenburg {1480.}. Some
settled at Fulneck, in Moravia, others at Landskron, in Bohemia;
and now, by their own request, they were admitted to the Brethren's
Church.[16] For a while the Brethren held to the rule that if a nobleman
joined their Church he must first lay down his rank. But now that rule
was beginning to gall and chafe. They were winning golden opinions on
every hand; they were becoming known as the best men for positions of
trust in the State; they were just the men to make the best magistrates
and aldermen; and thus they felt forced by their very virtues to
renounce the narrow ideas of Peter and to play their part in national
and city life.

At this moment, when new ideas were budding, there entered the service
of the Church a young man who is known as Luke of Prague. He was
born about 1460, was a Bachelor of Prague University, was a well-read
theological scholar, and for fifty years was the trusted leader of the
Brethren. Forthwith he read the signs of the times, and took the tide
at the flood. In Procop of Neuhaus, another graduate, he found a
warm supporter. The two scholars led the van of the new movement. The
struggle was fierce. On the one side was the "great party" of culture,
led by Luke of Prague and Procop of Neuhaus; on the other the so-called
"little party," the old-fashioned rigid Radicals, led by two farmers,
Amos and Jacob. "Ah, Matthias," said Gregory the Patriarch, on his
death-bed, "beware of the educated Brethren!" But, despite this warning,
the educated Brethren won the day. For once and for ever the Brethren
resolved that the writings of Peter and Gregory should no longer be
regarded as binding. At a Synod held at Reichenau they rejected the
authority of Peter entirely {1494.}. They agreed that nobles might join
the Church without laying down their rank; they agreed that if a man's
business were honest he might make profits therein; they agreed that
Brethren might enter the service of the State; and they even agreed that
oaths might be taken in cases of special need.[17] And then, next year,
they made their position still clearer {1495.}. Instead of taking Peter
as their guide, they now took the Bible and the Bible alone. "We content
ourselves," they solemnly declared, at another Synod held at Reichenau,
"with those sacred books which have been accepted from of old by all
Christians, and are found in the Bible"; and thus, forty years before
John Calvin, and eighty years before the Lutherans, they declared that
the words of Holy Scripture, apart from any disputed interpretation,
should be their only standard of faith and practice. No longer did they
honour the memory of Peter; no longer did they appeal to him in their
writings; no longer, in a word, can we call the Brethren the true
followers of Peter of Chelcic. Instead, henceforward, of regarding Peter
as the founder of their Church, they began now to regard themselves
as the disciples of Hus. In days gone by they had spoken of Hus as a
"causer of war." Now they held his name and memory sacred; and from this
time onward the real followers of Peter were, not the Brethren, but the
"little party" led by Amos and Jacob.[18]
But the scholars led the Brethren further still. If the reader will
kindly refer to the chapter on Peter, he will see that that racy
pamphleteer had far more to say about good works than about the merits
of saving faith; but now, after years of keen discussion, Procop of
Neuhaus put to the Council of Elders the momentous question: "By what
is a man justified?" The answer given was clear: "By the merits of Jesus
Christ." The great doctrine of justification by grace was taught;
the old doctrine of justification by works was modified; and thus the
Brethren's Church became the first organized Evangelical Church in
And Luke designed to make her the strongest, too. His energy never
seemed to flag. As he wished to establish the ministry more firmly,
he had the number of Bishops enlarged, and became a Bishop himself. He
enlarged the governing Council, with his friend Procop of Neuhaus as
Ecclesiastical Judge. He beautified the Church Services, and made the
ritual more ornate. He introduced golden communion cups and delicately
embroidered corporals, and some of the Brethren actually thought that
he was leading them back to Rome. He gave an impulse to Church music,
encouraged reading both in Priests and in people, and made a use of the
printing press which in those days was astounding. Of the five printing
presses in all Bohemia, three belonged to the Brethren; of sixty printed
works that appeared between 1500 and 1510, no fewer than fifty were
published by the Brethren; and of all the scribes of the sixteenth
century, Luke was the most prolific. He wrote a "Catechism for
Children." He edited the first Brethren's hymn book (1501), the first
Church hymnal in history. He published a commentary on the Psalms,
another on the Gospel of St. John, and another on the eleventh chapter
of 1 Corinthians; he drew up "Confessions of Faith," and sent them to
the King; and thus, for the first time in the history of Bohemia, he
made the newly invented press a mighty power in the land.

And even with this the good Bishop was not content {1491.}. If the
Brethren, thought he, were true to their name, they must surely long for
fellowship with others of like mind with themselves. For this purpose
Luke and his friends set off to search for Brethren in other lands. Away
went one to find the pure Nestorian Church that was said to exist in
India, got as far as Antioch, Jerusalem and Egypt, and, being misled
somehow by a Jew, returned home with the wonderful notion that the River
Nile flowed from the Garden of Eden, but with no more knowledge of the
Church in India than when he first set out. Another explored the South
of Russia, and the third sought Christians in Turkey. And Luke himself
had little more success. He explored a number of Monasteries in Greece,
came on to Rome {1498.}, saw the streets of the city littered with
corpses of men murdered by Cæsar Borgia, picked up some useful
information about the private character of the Pope, saw Savonarola put
to death in Florence, fell in with a few Waldenses in the Savoy, and
then, having sought for pearls in vain, returned home in a state of
disgust, and convinced that, besides the Brethren, there was not to be
found a true Christian Church on the face of God's fair earth. He even
found fault with the Waldenses.

It was time, indeed, for Luke to return, for trouble was brewing
at home. For some years there dwelt in the town of Jungbunzlau, the
headquarters of the Brethren's Church, a smart young man, by name John
Lezek. He began life as a brewer's apprentice; he then entered the
service of a Brother, and learned a good deal of the Brethren's manners
and customs; and now he saw the chance of turning his knowledge to good
account. If only he told a good tale against the Brethren, he would
be sure to be a popular hero. For this purpose he visited the parish
priest, and confessed to a number of abominations committed by him while
among the wicked Brethren. The parish priest was delighted; the penitent
was taken to the Church; and there he told the assembled crowd the story
of his guilty past. Of all the bad men in the country, he said, these
Brethren were the worst. He had even robbed his own father with their
consent and approval. They blasphemed. They took the Communion bread to
their houses, and there hacked it in pieces. They were thieves, and he
himself had committed many a burglary for them. They murdered men and
kidnapped their wives. They had tried to blow up Rockycana in the Thein
Church with gunpowder. They swarmed naked up pillars like Adam and Eve,
and handed each other apples. They prepared poisonous drinks, and
put poisonous smelling powders in their letters. They were skilled in
witchcraft, worshipped Beelzebub, and were wont irreverently to say that
the way to Hell was paved with the bald heads of priests. As this story
was both alarming and lively, the parish priest had it taken down,
sealed and signed by witnesses, copied out, and scattered broadcast
through the land. In vain John Lezek confessed soon after, when brought
by the Brethren before a Magistrate, that his whole story was a vile
invention. If a man tells a falsehood and then denies it, he does not
thereby prevent the falsehood from spreading.

For now a more powerful foe than Lezek made himself felt in the land. Of
all the Popes that ever donned the tiara, Alexander VI. is said to have
presented the most successful image of the devil.[20] He was the father of
the prince of poisoners, Caesar Borgia; he was greedy, immoral, fond
of ease and pleasure; he was even said to be a poisoner himself. If
a well-known man died suddenly in Rome, the common people took it for
granted that the Pope had poisoned his supper. For all that he was pious
enough in a way of his own; and now, in his zeal for the Catholic cause,
he took stern measures against the Church of the Brethren. He had heard
some terrible tales about them. He heard that Peter's pamphlet, "The
Antichrist,"[21] was read all over the country. He heard that the number
of the Brethren now was over 100,000. He resolved to crush them to
powder {Papal Bull, Feb. 4th, 1500.}. He sent an agent, the Dominican,
Dr. Henry Institoris, as censor of the press. As soon as Institoris
arrived on the scene, he heard, to his horror, that most of the Brethren
could read; and thereupon he informed the Pope that they had learned
this art from the devil. He revived the stories of Lezek, the popular
feeling was fanned to fury, and wire-pullers worked on the tender heart
of the King.

"Hunt out and destroy these shameless vagabonds," wrote Dr. Augustin
Käsebrot to King Uladislaus, "they are not even good enough to be burnt
at the stake. They ought to have their bodies torn by wild beasts and
their blood licked up by dogs." For the last five years there had grown
in the land a small sect known as Amosites. They were followers of old
Farmer Amos; they had once belonged to the Brethren; they had broken off
when the scholars had won the day, and now they sent word to the King
to say that the Brethren were planning to defend their cause with the
sword. "What!" said the King, "do they mean to play Ziska? Well, well!
We know how to stop that!" They were worse than Turks, he declared; they
believed neither in God nor in the Communion; they were a set of lazy
vagabonds. He would soon pay them out for their devilish craft, and
sweep them off the face of the earth. And to this end he summoned the
Diet, and, by the consent of all three Estates, issued the famous Edict
of St. James {July 25th, 1508.}.[22] The decree was sweeping and thorough.
The meetings of the Brethren, public and private, were forbidden. The
books and writings of the Brethren must be burnt. All in Bohemia who
refused to join the Utraquist or Roman Catholic Church were to be
expelled from the country; all nobles harbouring Brethren were to be
fined, and all their priests and teachers were to be imprisoned.

The persecution began. In the village of Kuttenburg lived a brother, by
name Andrew Poliwka. As Kuttenburg was a Romanist village, he fled
for refuge to the Brethren's settlement at Leitomischl. But his wife
betrayed him. He returned to the village, and, desiring to please her,
he attended the parish Church.

The occasion was an installation service. As the sermon ended and the
host was raised, he could hold his tongue no longer. "Silence, Parson
Jacob," he cried to the priest, "you have babbled enough! Mine hour is
come; I will speak. Dear friends," he continued, turning to the people,
"what are you doing? What are you adoring? An idol made of bread! Oh!
Adore the living God in heaven! He is blessed for evermore!" The priest
ordered him to hold his peace. He only shrieked the louder. He was
seized, his head was dashed against the pillar, and he was dragged
bleeding to prison. Next day he was tried, and asked to explain why he
had interrupted the service.

"Who caused Abram," he answered, "to forsake his idolatry and adore
the living God? Who induced Daniel to flee from idols?" In vain was he
stretched upon the rack. No further answer would he give. He was burnt
to death at the stake. As the flames began to lick his face, he prayed
aloud: "Jesus, Thou Son of the living God, have mercy upon me, miserable

At Strakonic dwelt the Brother George Wolinsky, a dependent of Baron
John of Rosenberg {1509.}. The Baron was a mighty man. He was Grand
Prior of the Knights of Malta; he was an orthodox subject of the King,
and he determined that on his estate no villainous Picards[23] should
live. "See," he said one day to George, "I have made you a servant in
the Church. You must go to Church. You are a Picard, and I have received
instructions from Prague that all men on my estate must be either
Utraquists or Catholics."

The Brother refused; the Baron insisted; and the Prior of Strakonic was
brought to convert the heretic. "No one," said the Prior, "should ever
be tortured into faith. The right method is reasonable instruction,
and innocent blood always cries to Heaven, 'Lord, Lord, when wilt Thou
avenge me.'"

But this common sense was lost on the furious Baron. As Brother George
refused to yield, the Baron cast him into the deepest dungeon of his
castle. The bread and meat he had secreted in his pockets were removed.
The door of the dungeon was barred, and all that was left for the
comfort of his soul was a heap of straw whereon to die and a comb to do
his hair. For five days he lay in the dark, and then the Baron came to
see him. The prisoner was almost dead. His teeth were closed; his mouth
was rigid; the last spark of life was feebly glimmering. The Baron was
aghast. The mouth was forced open, hot soup was poured in, the prisoner
revived, and the Baron burst into tears.

"Ah," he exclaimed, "I am glad he is living"; and allowed George to
return to his Brethren.

Amid scenes like this, Bishop Luke was a tower of strength to his
Brethren. For six years the manses were closed, the Churches empty, the
Pastors homeless, the people scattered; and the Bishop hurried from
glen to glen, held services in the woods and gorges, sent letters to the
parishes he could not visit, and pleaded the cause of his Brethren in
woe in letter after letter to the King. As the storm of persecution
raged, he found time to write a stirring treatise, entitled, "The
Renewal of the Church," and thus by pen and by cheery word he revived
the flagging hope of all.

For a while the Brethren were robbed of this morsel of comfort. As the
Bishop was hastening on a pastoral visit, he was captured by Peter von
Suda, the brigand, "the prince and master of all thieves," was loaded
with chains, cast into a dungeon, and threatened with torture and the
stake. At that moment destruction complete and final seemed to threaten
the Brethren. Never had the billows rolled so high; never had the
breakers roared so loud; and bitterly the hiding Brethren complained
that their leaders had steered them on the rocks.

Yet sunshine gleamed amid the gathering clouds. For some time there had
been spreading among the common people a conviction that the Brethren
were under the special protection of God, and that any man who tried
to harm them would come to a tragic end. It was just while the Brethren
were sunk in despair that several of their enemies suddenly died,
and people said that God Himself had struck a blow for the persecuted
"Pitmen." The great Dr. Augustin, their fiercest foe, fell dead from his
chair at dinner. Baron Colditz, the Chancellor, fell ill of a carbuncle
in his foot, and died. Baron Henry von Neuhaus, who had boasted to the
King how many Brethren he had starved to death, went driving in his
sleigh, was upset, and was skewered on his own hunting knife. Baron Puta
von Swihow was found dead in his cellar. Bishop John of Grosswardein
fell from his carriage, was caught on a sharp nail, had his bowels torn
out, and miserably perished. And the people, struck with awe, exclaimed:
"Let him that is tired of life persecute the Brethren, for he is sure
not to live another year."

Thus the Brethren possessed their souls in patience till the persecution
ended. The King of Bohemia, Uladislaus II., died {March 13th, 1516.}.
His successor was only a boy. The Utraquists and Catholics began to
quarrel with each other. The robber, von Suda, set Luke at liberty. The
great Bishop became chief Elder of the Church. The whole land was soon
in a state of disorder. The barons and knights were fighting each other,
and, in the general stress and storm, the quiet Brethren were almost
forgotten and allowed to live in peace.

And just at this juncture came news from afar that seemed to the
Brethren like glad tidings from Heaven {1517.}. No longer were the
Brethren to be alone, no longer to be a solitary voice crying in the
wilderness. As the Brethren returned from the woods and mountains, and
worshipped once again by the light of day, they heard, with amazement
and joy, how Martin Luther, on Hallows Eve, had pinned his famous
ninety-five Theses to the Church door at Wittenberg. The excitement in
Bohemia was intense. For a while it seemed as though Martin Luther would
wield as great an influence there as ever he had in Germany. For a while
the Utraquist priests themselves, like Rockycana of yore, thundered in
a hundred pulpits against the Church of Rome; and Luther, taking the
keenest interest in the growing movement, wrote a letter to the Bohemian
Diet, and urged the ecclesiastical leaders in Prague to break the last
fetters that bound them to Rome.

For a while his agent, Gallus Cahera, a butcher's son, who had studied
at Wittenberg, was actually pastor of the Thein Church {1523-9.},
referred in his sermons to the "celebrated Dr. Martin Luther," and
openly urged the people to pray for that "great man of God." For a while
even a preacher of the Brethren, named Martin, was allowed to stand
where Hus had stood, and preach in the Bethlehem Church. For a while, in
a word, it seemed to the Brethren that the Reformation now spreading in
Germany would conquer Bohemia at a rush. The great Luther was loved by
many classes. He was loved by the Utraquists because he had burned the
Pope's Bull. He was loved by the young because he favoured learning. He
was loved by the Brethren because he upheld the Bible as the standard
of faith {1522.}. As soon as Luther had left the Wartburg, the Brethren
boldly held out to him the right hand of fellowship; sent two German
Brethren, John Horn and Michael Weiss, to see him; presented him with a
copy of their Confession and Catechism; began a friendly correspondence
on various points of doctrine and discipline, and thus opened their
hearts to hear with respect what the great Reformer had to say.

Amid these bright prospects Luke of Prague breathed his last {Dec. 11th,
1528.}. As Gregory the Patriarch had gone to his rest when a new party
was rising among the Brethren, so Luke of Prague crossed the cold river
of death when new ideas from Germany were stirring the hearts of his
friends. He was never quite easy in his mind about Martin Luther.
He still believed in the Seven Sacraments. He still believed in the
Brethren's system of stern moral discipline. He still believed, for
practical reasons, in the celibacy of the clergy. "This eating," he
wrote, "this drinking, this self-indulgence, this marrying, this living
to the world--what a poor preparation it is for men who are leaving
Babylon. If a man does this he is yoking himself with strangers.
Marriage never made anyone holy yet. It is a hindrance to the higher
life, and causes endless trouble." Above all, he objected to Luther's
way of teaching the great doctrine of justification by faith.

"Never, never," he said, in a letter to Luther, "can you ascribe a man's
salvation to faith alone. The Scriptures are against you. You think that
in this you are doing a good work, but you are really fighting against
Christ Himself and clinging to an error." He regarded Luther's teaching
as extreme and one-sided. He was shocked by what he heard of the jovial
life led by Luther's students at Wittenberg, and could never understand
how a rollicking youth could be a preparation for a holy ministry.
As Gregory the Patriarch had warned Matthias against "the learned
Brethren," so Luke, in his turn, now warned the Brethren against
the loose lives of Luther's merry-hearted students; and, in order
to preserve the Brethren's discipline, he now issued a comprehensive
treatise, divided into two parts--the first entitled "Instructions
for Priests," and the second "Instructions and Admonitions for all
occupations, all ages in life, all ranks and all sorts of characters."
As he lay on his death-bed at Jungbunzlau, his heart was stirred by
mingled feelings. There was land in sight--ah, yes!--but what grew upon
the enchanting island? He would rather see his Church alone and pure
than swept away in the Protestant current. Happy was he in the day of
his death. So far he had steered the Church safely. He must now resign
his post to another pilot who knew well the coming waters.


As we have now arrived at that bend in the lane, when the Brethren, no
longer marching alone, became a regiment in the conquering Protestant
army, it will be convenient to halt in our story and look at the
Brethren a little more closely--at their homes, their trades, their
principles, their doctrines, their forms of service, and their life from
day to day. After all, what were these Brethren, and how did they live?

They called themselves Jednota Bratrska--i.e., the Church of the
Brethren. As this word "Jednota" means union, and is used in this sense
in Bohemia at the present day, it is possible that the reader may think
that instead of calling the Brethren a Church, we ought rather to call
them the Union or Unity of the Brethren. If he does, however, he will
be mistaken. We have no right to call the Brethren a mere Brotherhood
or Unity. They regarded themselves as a true apostolic Church. They
believed that their episcopal orders were valid. They called the Church
of Rome a Jednota;[24] they called the Lutheran Church a Jednota;[25] they
called themselves a Jednota; and, therefore, if the word Jednota means
Church when applied to Lutherans and Roman Catholics, it must also mean
Church when applied to the Bohemian Brethren. It is not correct to
call them the Unitas Fratrum. The term is misleading. It suggests a
Brotherhood rather than an organized Church. We have no right to call
them a sect; the term is a needless insult to their memory.[26] As the
Brethren settled in the Valley of Kunwald, the great object which they
set before them was to recall to vigorous life the true Catholic Church
of the Apostles; and as soon as they were challenged by their enemies to
justify their existence, they replied in good set terms.

"Above all things," declared the Brethren, at a Synod held in 1464, "we
are one in this purpose. We hold fast the faith of the Lord Christ. We
will abide in the righteousness and love of God. We will trust in the
living God. We will do good works. We will serve each other in the
spirit of love. We will lead a virtuous, humble, gentle, sober, patient
and pure life; and thereby shall we know that we hold the faith in
truth, and that a home is prepared for us in heaven. We will show
obedience to one another, as the Holy Scriptures command. We will take
from each other instruction, reproof and punishment, and thus shall we
keep the covenant established by God through the Lord Christ."[27] To
this purpose the Brethren held firm. In every detail of their lives--in
business, in pleasure, in civil duties--they took the Sermon on the
Mount as the lamp unto their feet. From the child to the old man, from
the serf to the lord, from the acoluth to the bishop, the same strict
law held good. What made the Brethren's Church shine so brightly in
Bohemia before Luther's days was not their doctrine, but their lives;
not their theory, but their practice; not their opinions, but their
discipline. Without that discipline they would have been a shell without
a kernel. It called forth the admiration of Calvin, and drove Luther to
despair. It was, in truth, the jewel of the Church, her charm against
foes within and without; and so great a part did it play in their lives
that in later years they were known to some as "Brethren of the Law of

No portion of the Church was more carefully watched than the ministers.
As the chief object which the Brethren set before them was obedience
to the Law of Christ, it followed, as the night the day, that the
chief quality required in a minister was not theological learning,
but personal character. When a man came forward as a candidate for
the ministry he knew that he would have to stand a most searching
examination. His character and conduct were thoroughly sifted. He must
have a working knowledge of the Bible, a blameless record, and a
living faith in God. For classical learning the Brethren had an honest
contempt. It smacked too much of Rome and monkery. As long as the
candidate was a holy man, and could teach the people the plain truths of
the Christian faith, they felt that nothing more was required, and did
not expect him to know Greek and Hebrew. In vain Luther, in a friendly
letter, urged them to cultivate more knowledge. "We have no need," they
replied, "of teachers who understand other tongues, such as Greek and
Hebrew. It is not our custom to appoint ministers who have been trained
at advanced schools in languages and fine arts. We prefer Bohemians
and Germans who have come to a knowledge of the truth through personal
experience and practical service, and who are therefore qualified to
impart to others the piety they have first acquired themselves. And here
we are true to the law of God and the practice of the early Church."[28] Instead of regarding learning as an aid to faith, they regarded it as
an hindrance and a snare. It led, they declared, to wordy battles, to
quarrels, to splits, to uncertainties, to doubts, to corruptions. As
long, they said, as the ministers of the Church of Christ were simple
and unlettered men, so long was the Church a united body of believers;
but as soon as the parsons began to be scholars, all sorts of evils
arose. What good, they argued, had learning done in the past? It had
caused the translation of the Bible into Latin, and had thus hidden
its truths from the common people. "And therefore," they insisted, "we
despise the learning of tongues."

For this narrow attitude they had also another reason. In order to be
true to the practice of the early Christian Church, they laid down
the strict rule that all ministers should earn their living by manual
labour; and the result was that even if a minister wished to study
he could not find time to do so. For his work as a minister he never
received a penny. If a man among the Brethren entered the ministry, he
did so for the pure love of the work. He had no chance of becoming
rich. He was not allowed to engage in a business that brought in large
profits. If he earned any more in the sweat of his brow than he needed
to make ends meet, he was compelled to hand the surplus over to the
general funds of the Church; and if some one kindly left him some money,
that money was treated in the same way. He was to be as moderate as
possible in eating and drinking; he was to avoid all gaudy show in dress
and house; he was not to go to fairs and banquets; and, above all, he
was not to marry except with the consent and approval of the Elders. Of
marriage the Brethren had rather a poor opinion. They clung still to
the old Catholic view that it was less holy than celibacy. "It is," they
said, "a good thing if two people find that they cannot live continent
without it." If a minister married he was not regarded with favour; he
was supposed to have been guilty of a fleshly weakness; and it is rather
sarcastically recorded in the old "Book of the Dead" that in every
case in which a minister failed in his duties, or was convicted of
immorality, the culprit was a married man.

And yet, for all his humble style, the minister was held in honour.
As the solemn time of ordination drew near there were consultations of
ministers with closed doors, and days set apart for fasting and prayer
throughout the whole Church. His duties were many and various. He was
commonly spoken of, not as a priest, but as the "servant" of the
Church. He was not a priest in the Romish sense of the word. He had no
distinctive sacerdotal powers. He had no more power to consecrate the
Sacrament than any godly layman. Of priests as a separate class the
Brethren knew nothing. All true believers in Christ, said they, were
priests. We can see this from one of their regulations. As the times
were stormy, and persecution might break out at any moment, the Brethren
(at a Synod in 1504) laid down the rule that when their meetings at
Church were forbidden they should be held in private houses, and then,
if a minister was not available, any godly layman was authorised to
conduct the Holy Communion.[29] And thus the minister was simply a
useful "servant." He gave instruction in Christian doctrine. He heard
confessions. He expelled sinners. He welcomed penitents. He administered
the Sacraments. He trained theological students. If he had the needful
gift, he preached; if not, he read printed sermons. He was not a ruler
lording it over the flock; he was rather a "servant" bound by rigid
rules. He was not allowed to select his own topics for sermons; he had
to preach from the Scripture lesson appointed for the day. He was bound
to visit every member of his congregation at least once a quarter; he
was bound to undertake any journey or mission, however dangerous, at the
command of the Elders; and he was bound, for a fairly obvious reason, to
take a companion with him when he called at the houses of the sick. If
he went alone he might practise as a doctor, and give dangerous medical
advice; and that, said the Brethren, was not his proper business. He was
not allowed to visit single women or widows. If he did, there might be
scandals about him, as there were about the Catholic priests. For
the spiritual needs of all unmarried women the Brethren made special
provision. They were visited by a special "Committee of Women," and the
minister was not allowed to interfere.

The good man did not even possess a home of his own. Instead of living
in a private manse he occupied a set of rooms in a large building known
as the Brethren's House; and the minister, as the name implies, was
not the only Brother in it. "As Eli had trained Samuel, as Elijah had
trained Elisha, as Christ had trained His disciples, as St. Paul trained
Timothy and Titus," so a minister of the Brethren had young men under
his charge. There, under the minister's eye, the candidates for service
in the Church were trained. Neither now nor at any period of their
history had the Bohemian Brethren any theological colleges. If a boy
desired to become a minister he entered the Brethren's House at an early
age, and was there taught a useful trade. Let us look at the inmates of
the House.

First in order, next to the Priest himself, were the Deacons. They
occupied a double position. They were in the first stage of priesthood,
and in the last stage of preparation for it. Their duties were manifold.
They supplied the out-preaching places. They repeated the pastor's
sermon to those who had not been able to attend the Sunday service.
They assisted at the Holy Communion in the distribution of the bread
and wine. They preached now and then in the village Church to give their
superior an opportunity for criticism and correction. They managed
the domestic affairs of the house. They acted as sacristans or
churchwardens. They assisted in the distribution of alms, and took their
share with the minister in manual labour; and then, in the intervals
between these trifling duties, they devoted their time to Bible study
and preparation for the ministry proper. No wonder they never became
very scholarly pundits; and no wonder that when they went off to preach
their sermons had first to be submitted to the head of the house for

Next to the Deacons came the Acoluths, young men or boys living in the
same building and preparing to be Deacons. They were trained by the
minister, very often from childhood upwards. They rang the bell and
lighted the candles in the Church, helped the Deacons in household
arrangements, and took turns in conducting the household worship.
Occasionally they were allowed to deliver a short address in the Church,
and the congregation "listened with kindly forbearance." When they were
accepted by the Synod as Acoluths they generally received some Biblical
name, which was intended to express some feature in the character. It is
thus that we account for such names as Jacob Bilek and Amos Comenius.

Inside this busy industrial hive the rules were rigid. The whole place
was like a boarding-school or college. At the sound of a bell all rose,
and then came united prayer and Scripture reading; an hour later a
service, and then morning study. As the afternoon was not considered
a good time for brain work, the Brethren employed it in manual labour,
such as weaving, gardening and tailoring. In the evening there was
sacred music and singing. At meal times the Acoluths recited passages of
Scripture, or read discourses, or took part in theological discussions.

No one could leave the house without the pastor's permission, and
the pastor himself could not leave his parish without the Bishop's
permission. If he travelled at all he did so on official business, and
then he lodged at other Brethren's Houses, when the Acoluths washed his
feet and attended to his personal comforts.

The Brethren's rules struck deeper still. As the Brethren despised
University education, it is natural to draw the plain conclusion that
among them the common people were the most benighted and ignorant in the
land. The very opposite was the case. Among them the common people were
the most enlightened in the country. Of the Bohemian people, in those
days, there were few who could read or write; of the Brethren there was
scarcely one who could not. If the Brethren taught the people nothing
else, they at least taught them to read their native tongue; and their
object in this was to spread the knowledge of the Bible, and thus make
the people good Protestants. But in those days a man who could read was
regarded as a prodigy of learning. The result was widespread alarm. As
the report gained ground that among the Brethren the humblest people
could read as well as the priest, the good folk in Bohemia felt
compelled to concoct some explanation, and the only explanation they
could imagine was that the Brethren had the special assistance of the
devil.[30] If a man, said they, joined the ranks of the Brethren, the
devil immediately taught him the art of reading, and if, on the other
hand, he deserted the Brethren, the devil promptly robbed him of the
power, and reduced him again to a wholesome benighted condition. "Is
it really true," said Baron Rosenberg to his dependant George Wolinsky,
"that the devil teaches all who become Picards to read, and that if a
peasant leaves the Brethren he is able to read no longer?"

In this instance, however, the devil was innocent. The real culprit was
Bishop Luke of Prague. Of all the services rendered by Luke to the cause
of popular education and moral and spiritual instruction, the greatest
was his publication of his "Catechism for Children," commonly known
as "The Children's Questions." It was a masterly and comprehensive
treatise. It was published first, of course, in the Bohemian language
{1502.}. It was published again in a German edition for the benefit of
the German members of the Church {1522.}. It was published again, with
some alterations, by a Lutheran at Magdeburg {1524.}. It was published
again, with more alterations, by another Lutheran, at Wittenberg
{1525.}. It was published again, in abridged form, at Zürich, and was
recommended as a manual of instruction for the children at St. Gallen
{1527.}. And thus it exercised a profound influence on the whole course
of the Reformation, both in Germany and in Switzerland. For us, however,
the point of interest is its influence in Bohemia and Moravia. It was
not a book for the priests. It was a book for the fathers of families.
It was a book found in every Brother's home. It was the children's
"Reader." As the boys and girls grew up in the Brethren's Church, they
learned to read, not in national schools, but in their own homes; and
thus the Brethren did for the children what ought to have been done by
the State. Among them the duties of a father were clearly defined. He
was both a schoolmaster and a religious instructor. He was the priest in
his own family. He was to bring his children up in the Christian faith.
He was not to allow them to roam at pleasure, or play with the wicked
children of the world. He was to see that they were devout at prayers,
respectful in speech, and noble and upright in conduct. He was not to
allow brothers and sisters to sleep in the same room, or boys and girls
to roam the daisied fields together. He was not to strike his children
with a stick or with his fists. If he struck them at all, he must do so
with a cane. Above all, he had to teach his children the Catechism. They
were taught by their parents until they were twelve years old; they were
then taken in hand by their sponsors; and thus they were prepared for
Confirmation, not as in the Anglican Church, by a clergyman only, but
partly by their own parents and friends.

The Brethren's rules struck deeper still. For law and order the Brethren
had a passion. Each congregation was divided into three classes:
the Beginners, those who were learning the "Questions" and the first
elements of religion; the Proficients, the steady members of the Church;
and the Perfect, those so established in faith, hope and love as to
be able to enlighten others. For each class a separate Catechism was
prepared. At the head, too, of each congregation was a body of civil
Elders. They were elected by the congregation from the Perfect. They
assisted the pastor in his parochial duties. They looked after his
support in case he were in special need. They acted as poor-law
guardians, lawyers, magistrates and umpires, and thus they tried to
keep the people at peace and prevent them from going to law. Every three
months they visited the houses of the Brethren, and inquired whether
business were honestly conducted, whether family worship were held,
whether the children were properly trained. For example, it was one
of the duties of a father to talk with his children at the Sunday
dinner-table on what they had heard at the morning service; and when
the Elder paid his quarterly visit he soon discovered, by examining the
children, how far this duty had been fulfilled.

The Brethren's rules struck deeper still. For the labourer in the field,
for the artizan in the workshop, for the tradesman with his wares, for
the baron and his tenants, for the master and his servants, there were
laws and codes to suit each case, and make every trade and walk in life
serve in some way to the glory of God. Among the Brethren all work was
sacred. If a man was not able to show that his trade was according to
the law of Christ and of direct service to His holy cause, he was not
allowed to carry it on at all. He must either change his calling or
leave the Church. In the Brethren's Church there were no dice makers, no
actors, no painters, no professional musicians, no wizards or seers, no
alchemists, no astrologers, no courtezans or panderers. The whole
tone was stern and puritanic. For art, for music, for letters and for
pleasure the Brethren had only contempt, and the fathers were warned
against staying out at night and frequenting the card-room and the
liquor-saloon. And yet, withal, these stern Brethren were kind and
tender-hearted. If the accounts handed down are to be believed, the
villages where the Brethren settled were the homes of happiness and
peace. As the Brethren had no definite social policy, they did not, of
course, make any attempt to break down the distinctions of rank; and
yet, in their own way, they endeavoured to teach all classes to respect
each other. They enjoined the barons to allow their servants to worship
with them round the family altar. They urged the rich to spend their
money on the poor instead of on dainties and fine clothes. They
forbade the poor to wear silk, urged them to be patient, cheerful and
industrious, and reminded them that in the better land their troubles
would vanish like dew before the rising sun. For the poorest of all,
those in actual need, they had special collections several times a year.
The fund was called the Korbona, and was managed by three officials. The
first kept the box, the second the key, the third the accounts. And the
rich and poor had all to bow to the same system of discipline. There
were three degrees of punishment. For the first offence the sinner was
privately admonished. For the second he was rebuked before the Elders,
and excluded from the Holy Communion until he repented. For the third he
was denounced in the Church before the whole congregation, and the
loud "Amen" of the assembled members proclaimed his banishment from the
Brethren's Church.

The system of government was Presbyterian. At the head of the whole
Brethren's Church was a board, called the "Inner Council," elected by
the Synod. Next came the Bishops, elected also by the Synod. The supreme
authority was this General Synod. It consisted of all the ministers. As
long as the Inner Council held office they were, of course, empowered to
enforce their will; but the final court of appeal was the Synod, and by
the Synod all questions of doctrine and policy were settled.

The doctrine was simple and broad. As the Brethren never had a formal
creed, and never used their "Confessions of Faith" as tests, it may seem
a rather vain endeavour to inquire too closely into their theological
beliefs. And yet, on the other hand, we know enough to enable the
historian to paint a life-like picture. For us the important question
is, what did the Brethren teach their children? If we know what the
Brethren taught their children we know what they valued most; and this
we have set before us in the Catechism drawn up by Luke of Prague and
used as an authorised manual of instruction in the private homes of the
Brethren. It contained no fewer than seventy-six questions. The answers
are remarkably full, and therefore we may safely conclude that, though
it was not an exhaustive treatise, it gives us a wonderfully clear idea
of the doctrines which the Brethren prized most highly. It is remarkable
both for what it contains and for what it does not contain. It has no
distinct and definite reference to St. Paul's doctrine of justification
by faith. It is Johannine rather than Pauline in its tone. It contains
a great deal of the teaching of Christ and a very little of the teaching
of St. Paul. It has more to say about the Sermon on the Mount than about
any system of dogmatic theology. For one sentence out of St. Paul's
Epistles it has ten out of the Gospel of St. Matthew. As we read the
answers in this popular treatise, we are able to see in what way
the Brethren differed from the Lutheran Protestants in Germany. They
approached the whole subject of Christian life from a different point
of view. They were less dogmatic, less theological, less concerned about
accurate definition, and they used their theological terms in a broader
and freer way. For example, take their definition of faith. We all know
the definition given by Luther. "There are," said Luther, "two kinds of
believing: first, a believing about God which means that I believe that
what is said of God is true. This faith is rather a form of knowledge
than a faith. There is, secondly, a believing in God which means that I
put my trust in Him, give myself up to thinking that I can have dealings
with Him, and believe without any doubt that He will be and do to me
according to the things said of Him. Such faith, which throws itself
upon God, whether in life or in death, alone makes a Christian man." But
the Brethren gave the word faith a richer meaning. They made it signify
more than trust in God. They made it include both hope and love. They
made it include obedience to the Law of Christ.

"What is faith in the Lord God?" was one question in the Catechism.

"It is to know God, to know His word; above all, to love Him, to do His
commandments, and to submit to His will."

"What is faith in Christ?"

"It is to listen to His word, to know Him, to honour Him, to love Him
and to join the company of His followers."[31]
And this is the tone all through the Catechism and in all the early
writings of the Brethren. As a ship, said Luke, is not made of one
plank, so a Christian cannot live on one religious doctrine. The
Brethren had no pet doctrines whatever. They had none of the distinctive
marks of a sect. They taught their children the Apostles' Creed, the
Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Eight Beatitudes, and the
"Six Commandments" of the Sermon on the Mount. They taught the orthodox
Catholic doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Birth. They held,
they said, the universal Christian faith. They enjoined the children to
honour, but not worship, the Virgin Mary and the Saints, and they
warned them against the adoration of pictures. If the Brethren had any
peculiarity at all, it was not any distinctive doctrine, but rather
their insistence on the practical duties of the believer. With Luther,
St. Paul's theology was foremost; with the Brethren (though not denied)
it fell into the background. With Luther the favourite court of appeal
was St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians; with the Brethren it was rather
the Sermon on the Mount and the tender Epistles of St. John.

Again the Brethren differed from Luther in their doctrine of the Lord's
Supper. As this subject was then the fruitful source of much discussion
and bloodshed, the Brethren at first endeavoured to avoid the issue at
stake by siding with neither of the two great parties and falling back
on the simple words of Scripture. "Some say," they said, "it is only a
memorial feast, that Christ simply gave the bread as a memorial. Others
say that the bread is really the body of Christ, who is seated at the
right hand of God. We reject both these views; they were not taught
by Christ Himself. And if anyone asks us to say in what way Christ is
present in the sacrament, we reply that we have nothing to say on the
subject. We simply believe what He Himself said, and enjoy what He has
But this attitude could not last for ever. As the storms of persecution
raged against them, the Brethren grew more and more radical in their
views. They denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation; they denied also
the Lutheran doctrine of Consubstantiation; they denied that the words
in St. John's Gospel about eating the flesh and drinking the blood
of Christ had any reference to the Lord's Supper. They took the whole
passage in a purely spiritual sense. If those words, said Bishop Luke,
referred to the Sacrament, then all Catholics, except the priests, would
be lost; for Catholics only ate the flesh and did not drink the blood,
and could, therefore, not possess eternal life. They denied, in a
word, that the Holy Communion had any value apart from the faith of the
believer; they denounced the adoration of the host as idolatry; and thus
they adopted much the same position as Wycliffe in England nearly two
hundred years before. The Lord Christ, they said, had three modes
of existence. He was present bodily at the right hand of God; He was
present spiritually in the heart of every believer; He was present
sacramentally, but not personally, in the bread and wine; and,
therefore, when the believer knelt in prayer, he must kneel, not to the
bread and wine, but only to the exalted Lord in Heaven.

Again, the Brethren differed from Luther in their doctrine of Infant
Baptism. If a child, said Luther, was prayed for by the Church, he was
thereby cleansed from his unbelief, delivered from the power of the
devil, and endowed with faith; and therefore the child was baptised as a
believer.[33] The Brethren rejected this teaching. They called it Romish.
They held that no child could be a believer until he had been instructed
in the faith. They had no belief in baptismal regeneration. With them
Infant Baptism had quite a different meaning. It was simply the outward
and visible sign of admission to the Church. As soon as the child had
been baptised, he belonged to the class of the Beginners, and then, when
he was twelve years old, he was taken by his godfather to the minister,
examined in his "Questions," and asked if he would hold true to the
faith he had been taught. If he said "Yes!" the minister struck him
in the face, to teach him that he would have to suffer for Christ;
and then, after further instruction, he was confirmed by the minister,
admitted to the communion, and entered the ranks of the Proficient.

Such, then, was the life, and such were the views, of the Bohemian
Brethren. What sort of picture does all this bring before us? It is the
picture of a body of earnest men, united, not by a common creed, but
rather by a common devotion to Christ, a common reverence for Holy
Scripture, and a common desire to revive the customs of the early
Christian Church.[34] In some of their views they were narrow, in others
remarkably broad. In some points they had still much to learn; in others
they were far in advance of their times, and anticipated the charitable
teaching of the present day.


As the great Bishop Luke lay dying at Jungbunzlau, there was rising to
fame among the Brethren the most brilliant and powerful leader they had
ever known. Again we turn to the old Thein Church; again the preacher is
denouncing the priests; and again in the pew is an eager listener with
soul aflame with zeal. His name was John Augusta. He was born, in 1500,
at Prague. His father was a hatter, and in all probability he learned
the trade himself. He was brought up in the Utraquist Faith; he took
the sacrament every Sunday in the famous old Thein Church; and there he
heard the preacher declare that the priests in Prague cared for nothing
but comfort, and that the average Christians of the day were no better
than crack-brained heathen sprinkled with holy water. The young man was
staggered; he consulted other priests, and the others told him the same
dismal tale. One lent him a pamphlet, entitled "The Antichrist"; another
lent him a treatise by Hus; and a third said solemnly: "My son, I see
that God has more in store for you than I can understand." But the
strangest event of all was still to come. As he rode one day in a
covered waggon with two priests of high rank, it so happened that one of
them turned to Augusta and urged him to leave the Utraquist Church and
join the ranks of the Brethren at Jungbunzlau. Augusta was horrified.

Again he consulted the learned priest; again he received the same
strange counsel; and one day the priest ran after him, called him back,
and said: "Listen, dear brother! I beseech you, leave us. You will get
no good among us. Go to the Brethren at Bunzlau, and there your soul
will find rest." Augusta was shocked beyond measure. He hated the
Brethren, regarded them as beasts, and had often warned others against
them. But now he went to see them himself, and found to his joy that
they followed the Scriptures, obeyed the Gospel and enforced their
rules without respect of persons. For a while he was in a quandary.
His conscience drew him to the Brethren, his honour held him to the
Utraquists, and finally his own father confessor settled the question
for him.

"Dear friend," said the holy man, "entrust your soul to the Brethren.
Never mind if some of them are hypocrites, who do not obey their own
rules. It is your business to obey the rules yourself. What more do you
want? If you return to us in Prague, you will meet with none but sinners
and sodomites."

And so, by the advice of Utraquist priests, this ardent young man joined
the ranks of the Brethren, was probably trained in the Brethren's House
at Jungbunzlau, and was soon ordained as a minister. Forthwith he rose
to fame and power in the pulpit. His manner was dignified and noble.
His brow was lofty, his eye flashing, his bearing the bearing of a
commanding king. He was a splendid speaker, a ready debater, a ruler
of men, an inspirer of action; he was known ere long as the Bohemian
Luther; and he spread the fame of the Brethren's Church throughout the
Protestant world. Full soon, in truth, he began his great campaign. As
he entered on his work as a preacher of the Gospel, he found that among
the younger Brethren there were quite a number who did not feel at all
disposed to be bound by the warning words of Luke of Prague. They had
been to the great Wittenberg University; they had mingled with Luther's
students; they had listened to the talk of Michael Weiss, who had been
a monk at Breslau, and had brought Lutheran opinions with him; they
admired both Luther and Melancthon; and they now resolved, with one
consent, that if the candlestick of the Brethren's Church was not to
be moved from out its place, they must step shoulder to shoulder with
Luther, become a regiment in the conquering Protestant army, and march
with him to the goodly land where the flower of the glad free Gospel
bloomed in purity and sweet perfume. At the first opportunity
Augusta, their leader, brought forward their views. At a Synod held
at Brandeis-on-the-Adler, summoned by Augusta's friend, John Horn,
the senior Bishop of the Church, for the purpose of electing some new
Bishops, Augusta rose to address the assembly. He spoke in the name of
the younger clergy, and immediately commenced an attack upon the old
Executive Council. He accused them of listlessness and sloth; he said
that they could not understand the spirit of the age, and he ended his
speech by proposing himself and four other broad-minded men as members
of the Council. The old men were shocked; the young were entranced; and
Augusta was elected and consecrated a Bishop, and thus, at the age of
thirty-two, became the leader of the Brethren's Church. He had three
great schemes in view; first, friendly relations with Protestants in
other countries; second, legal recognition of the Brethren in Bohemia;
third, the union of all Bohemian Protestants.

First, then, with Augusta to lead them on, the Brethren enlisted in the
Protestant army, and held the banner of their faith aloft that all the
world might see. As the Protestants in Germany had issued the Confession
of Augsburg, and had it read in solemn style before the face of
the Emperor, Charles V., so now the Brethren issued a new and full
"Confession of Faith," to be sent first to George, Margrave of
Brandenburg, and then laid in due time before Ferdinand, King of
Bohemia. It was a characteristic Brethren's production.[35] It is
perfectly clear from this Confession that the Brethren had separated
from Rome for practical rather than dogmatic reasons. It is true
the Brethren realised the value of faith; it is true the Confession
contained the sentence, "He is the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the
world; and whosoever believeth in Him and calleth on His name shall be
saved"; but even now the Brethren did not, like Luther, lay stress on
the doctrine of justification by faith alone. And yet Luther had no
fault to find with this Confession. It was addressed to him, was printed
at Wittenberg, was issued with his consent and approval, and was praised
by him in a preface. It was read and approved by John Calvin, by
Martin Bucer, by Philip Melancthon, by pious old George, Margrave of
Brandenburg, and by John Frederick, Elector of Saxony. Again and again
the Brethren sent deputies to see the great Protestant leaders. At
Wittenberg, Augusta discussed good morals with Luther and Melancthon;
and at Strasburg, Cerwenka, the Brethren's historian, held friendly
counsel with Martin Bucer and Calvin. Never had the Brethren been so
widely known, and never had they received so many compliments. Formerly
Luther, who liked plain speech, had called the Brethren "sour-looking
hypocrites and self-grown saints, who believe in nothing but what they
themselves teach." But now he was all good humour. "There never have
been any Christians," he said, in a lecture to his students, "so like
the apostles in doctrine and constitution as these Bohemian Brethren."

"Tell your Brethren," he said to their deputies, "to hold fast what God
has given them, and never give up their constitution and discipline. Let
them take no heed of revilements. The world will behave foolishly. If
you in Bohemia were to live as we do, what is said of us would be said
of you, and if we were to live as you do, what is said of you would be
said of us." "We have never," he added, in a letter to the Brethren,
"attained to such a discipline and holy life as is found among you, but
in the future we shall make it our aim to attain it."

The other great Reformers were just as enthusiastic. "How shall I," said
Bucer, "instruct those whom God Himself has instructed! You alone, in
all the world, combine a wholesome discipline with a pure faith." "We,"
said Calvin, "have long since recognised the value of such a system,
but cannot, in any way, attain to it." "I am pleased," said Melancthon,
"with the strict discipline enforced in your congregations. I wish we
could have a stricter discipline in ours." It is clear what all this
means. It means that the Brethren, in their humble way, had taught the
famous Protestant leaders the value of a system of Church discipline and
the need of good works as the proper fruit of faith.

Meanwhile Augusta pushed his second plan. The task before him was
gigantic. A great event had taken place in Bohemia. At the battle of
Mohacz, in a war with the Turks, Louis, King of Bohemia, fell from his
horse when crossing a stream, and was drowned {1526.}. The old line of
Bohemian Kings had come to an end. The crown fell into the hands of the
Hapsburgs; the Hapsburgs were the mightiest supporters of the Church
of Rome; and the King of Bohemia, Ferdinand I., was likewise King of
Hungary, Archduke of Austria, King of the Romans, and brother of the
Emperor Charles V., the head of the Holy Roman Empire.

For the Brethren the situation was momentous. As Augusta scanned the
widening view, he saw that the time was coming fast when the Brethren,
whether they would or no, would be called to play their part like men in
a vast European conflict. Already the Emperor Charles V. had threatened
to crush the Reformation by force; already (1530) the Protestant princes
in Germany had formed the Smalkald League; and Augusta, scenting the
battle from afar, resolved to build a fortress for the Brethren. His
policy was clear and simple. If the King of Bohemia joined forces with
the Emperor, the days of the Brethren's Church would soon be over. He
would make the King of Bohemia their friend, and thus save the Brethren
from the horrors of war. For this purpose Augusta now instructed the
powerful Baron, Conrad Krajek, the richest member of the Brethren's
Church, to present the Brethren's Confession of Faith to King Ferdinand.
The Baron undertook the task. He was the leader of a group of Barons
who had recently joined the Church; he had built the great Zbor of the
Brethren in Jungbunzlau, known as "Mount Carmel"; he had been the first
to suggest a Confession of Faith, and now, having signed the Confession
himself, he sought out the King at Vienna, and was admitted to a private
interview {Nov. 11th, 1535.}. The scene was stormy. "We would like to
know," said the King, "how you Brethren came to adopt this faith. The
devil has persuaded you."

"Not the devil, gracious liege," replied the Baron, "but Christ the Lord
through the Holy Scriptures. If Christ was a Picard, then I am one too."

The King was beside himself with rage.

"What business," he shouted, "have you to meddle with such things? You
are neither Pope, nor Emperor, nor King. Believe what you will! We shall
not prevent you! If you really want to go to hell, go by all means!"

The Baron was silent. The King paused.

"Yes, yes," he continued, "you may believe what you like and we shall
not prevent you; but all the same, I give you warning that we shall put
a stop to your meetings, where you carry on your hocus-pocus."

The Baron was almost weeping.

"Your Majesty," he protested, "should not be so hard on me and my noble
friends. We are the most loyal subjects in your kingdom."

The King softened, spoke more gently, but still held to his point.

"I swore," he said, "at my coronation to give justice to the Utraquists
and Catholics, and I know what the statute says."

As the King spoke those ominous words, he was referring, as the Baron
knew full well, to the terrible Edict of St. James. The interview ended;
the Baron withdrew; the issue still hung doubtful.

And yet the Baron had not spoken in vain. For three days the King was
left undisturbed; and then two other Barons appeared and presented the
Confession, signed by twelve nobles and thirty-three knights, in due
form {Nov. 14th}.

"Do you really think," they humbly said, "that it helps the unity of the
kingdom when priests are allowed to say in the pulpit that it is less
sinful to kill a Picard than it is to kill a dog."

The King was touched; his anger was gone, and a week later he promised
the Barons that as long as the Brethren were loyal subjects he would
allow them to worship as they pleased. For some years the new policy
worked very well, and the King kept his promise. The Brethren were
extending on every hand. They had now at least four hundred churches and
two hundred thousand members. They printed and published translations
of Luther's works. They had a church in the city of Prague itself. They
enjoyed the favour of the leading nobles in the land; and Augusta, in a
famous sermon, expressed the hope that before very long the Brethren and
Utraquists would be united and form one National Protestant Church.[36]
At this point a beautiful incident occurred. As the Brethren were now so
friendly with Luther, there was a danger that they would abandon their
discipline, become ashamed of their own little Church, and try to
imitate the teaching and practice of their powerful Protestant friends.
For some years after Luke's death they actually gave way to this
temptation, and Luke's last treatise, "Regulations for Priests," was
scornfully cast aside. But the Brethren soon returned to their senses.
As John Augusta and John Horn travelled in Germany, they made the
strange and startling discovery that, after all, the Brethren's Church
was the best Church they knew. For a while they were dazzled by the
brilliance of the Lutheran preachers; but in the end they came to the
conclusion that though these preachers were clever men they had not
so firm a grip on Divine truth as the Brethren. At last, in 1546, the
Brethren met in a Synod at Jungbunzlau to discuss the whole situation.
With tears in his eyes John Horn addressed the assembly. "I have never
understood till now," he said, "what a costly treasure our Church is. I
have been blinded by the reading of German books! I have never found any
thing so good in those books as we have in the books of the Brethren.
You have no need, beloved Brethren, to seek for instruction from others.
You have enough at home. I exhort you to study what you have already;
you will find there all you need." Again the discipline was revived in
all its vigour; again, by Augusta's advice, the Catechism of Luke was
put into common use, and the Brethren began to open schools and teach
their principles to others.

But now their fondest hopes were doomed to be blasted. For the last
time Augusta went to Wittenberg to discuss the value of discipline with
Luther, and as his stay drew to a close he warned the great man that if
the German theologians spent so much time in spinning doctrines and
so little time in teaching morals, there was danger brewing ahead.
The warning soon came true. The Reformer died. The gathering clouds in
Germany burst, and the Smalkald War broke out. The storm swept on to
Bohemia. As the Emperor gathered his forces in Germany to crush the
Protestant Princes to powder, so Ferdinand in Bohemia summoned his
subjects to rally round his standard at Leitmeritz and defend the
kingdom and the throne against the Protestant rebels. For the first time
in their history the Bohemian Brethren were ordered to take sides in a
civil war. The situation was delicate. If they fought for Ferdinand they
would be untrue to their faith; if they fought against him they would be
disloyal to their country. In this dilemma they did the best they could.

As soon as they could possibly do so, the Elders issued a form of prayer
to be used in all their churches. It was a prayer for the kingdom
and the throne.[37] But meanwhile others were taking definite sides. At
Leitmeritz the Catholics and old-fashioned Utraquists mustered to fight
for the King; and at Prague the Protestant nobles met to defend the
cause of religious liberty. They met in secret at a Brother's House;
they formed a Committee of Safety of eight, and of those eight four were
Brethren; and they passed a resolution to defy the King, and send help
to the German Protestant leader, John Frederick, Elector of Saxony.

And then the retribution fell like a bolt from the blue. The great
battle of Mühlberg was fought {April 24th, 1547.}; the Protestant troops
were routed; the Elector of Saxony was captured; the Emperor was master
of Germany, and Ferdinand returned to Prague with vengeance written on
his brow. He called a council at Prague Castle, summoned the nobles and
knights before him, ordered them to deliver up their treasonable papers,
came down on many with heavy fines, and condemned the ringleaders to

At eight in the morning, August 22nd, four Barons were led out to
execution in Prague, and the scaffold was erected in a public place that
all the people might see and learn a lesson. Among the Barons was Wenzel
Petipesky, a member of the Brethren's Church. He was to be the first to
die. As he was led from his cell by the executioner, he called out in a
loud voice, which could be heard far and wide: "My dear Brethren, we go
happy in the name of the Lord, for we go in the narrow way." He walked
to the scaffold with his hands bound before him, and two boys played his
dead march on drums. As he reached the scaffold the drums ceased, and
the executioner announced that the prisoner was dying because he had
tried to dethrone King Ferdinand and put another King in his place.

"That," said Petipesky, "was never the case."

"Never mind, my Lord," roared the executioner, "it will not help you

"My God," said Petipesky, "I leave all to Thee;" and his head rolled on
the ground.

But the worst was still to come. As Ferdinand came out of the castle
church on Sunday morning, September 18th, he was met by a deputation of
Utraquists and Catholics, who besought him to protect them against the
cruelties inflicted on them by the Picards. The King soon eased their
minds. He had heard a rumour that John Augusta was the real leader of
the revolt; he regarded the Brethren as traitors; he no longer felt
bound by his promise to spare them; and, therefore, reviving the Edict
of St. James, he issued an order that all their meetings should be
suppressed, all their property be confiscated, all their churches be
purified and transformed into Romanist Chapels, and all their priests
be captured and brought to the castle in Prague {Oct. 8th, 1547.}. The
Brethren pleaded not guilty.[38] They had not, as a body, taken any part
in the conspiracy against the King. Instead of plotting against him, in
fact, they had prayed and fasted in every parish for the kingdom and the
throne. If the King, they protested, desired to punish the few guilty
Brethren, by all means let him do so; but let him not crush the innocent
many for the sake of a guilty few. "My word," replied the King, "is
final." The Brethren continued to protest. And the King retorted by
issuing an order that all Brethren who lived on Royal estates must
either accept the Catholic Faith or leave the country before six weeks
were over {May, 1548.}.

And never was King more astounded and staggered than Ferdinand at the
result of this decree.


It is easy to see what Ferdinand expected. He had no desire to shed more
blood; he wished to see Bohemia at peace; he knew that the Brethren,
with all their skill, could never sell out in six weeks; and therefore
he hoped that, like sensible men, they would abandon their Satanic
follies, consider the comfort of their wives and children, and nestle
snugly in the bosom of the Church of Rome. But the Brethren had never
learned the art of dancing to Ferdinand's piping. As the King would not
extend the time, they took him at his word. The rich came to the help
of the poor,[39] and before the six weeks had flown away a large band
of Brethren had bidden a sad farewell to their old familiar haunts and
homes, and started on their journey north across the pine-clad hills.
From Leitomischl, Chlumitz and Solnic, by way of Frankenstein and
Breslau, and from Turnau and Brandeis-on-the-Adler across the Giant
Mountains, they marched in two main bodies from Bohemia to Poland. The
time was the leafy month of June, and the first part of the journey was
pleasant. "We were borne," says one, "on eagles' wings." As they
tramped along the country roads, with wagons for the women, old men
and children, they made the air ring with the gladsome music of old
Brethren's hymns and their march was more like a triumphal procession
than the flight of persecuted refugees. They were nearly two thousand
in number. They had hundreds with them, both Catholic and Protestant, to
protect them against the mountain brigands. They had guards of infantry
and cavalry. They were freed from toll at the turn-pikes. They were
supplied with meat, bread, milk and eggs by the simple country peasants.
They were publicly welcomed and entertained by the Mayor and Council of
Glatz. As the news of their approach ran on before, the good folk in the
various towns and villages would sweep the streets and clear the road to
let them pass with speed and safety to their desired haven far away.
For two months they enjoyed themselves at Posen, and the Polish nobles
welcomed them as Brothers; but the Bishop regarded them as wolves in
the flock, and had them ordered away. From Posen they marched to Polish
Prussia, and were ordered away again; and not till the autumn leaves
had fallen and the dark long nights had come did they find a home in the
town of Königsberg, in the Lutheran Duchy of East Prussia.

And even there they were almost worried to death. As they settled down
as peaceful citizens in this Protestant land of light and liberty, they
found, to their horror and dismay, that Lutherans, when it suited their
purpose, could be as bigoted as Catholics. They were forced to accept
the Confession of Augsburg. They were forbidden to ordain their own
priests or practise their own peculiar customs. They were treated,
not as Protestant brothers, but as highly suspicious foreigners; and a
priest of the Brethren was not allowed to visit a member of his flock
unless he took a Lutheran pastor with him. "If you stay with us," said
Speratus, the Superintendent of the East Prussian Lutheran Church, "you
must accommodate yourselves to our ways. Nobody sent for you; nobody
asked you to come." If the Brethren, in a word, were to stay in East
Prussia, they must cease to be Brethren at all, and allow themselves to
be absorbed by the conquering Lutherans of the land.

Meanwhile, however, they had a Moses to lead them out of the desert.
George Israel is a type of the ancient Brethren. He was the son of
a blacksmith, was a close friend of Augusta, had been with him at
Wittenberg, and was now the second great leader of the Brethren.
When Ferdinand issued his decree, Israel, like many of the Brethren's
Ministers, was summoned to Prague to answer for his faith and conduct
on pain of a fine of one thousand ducats; and when some of his friends
advised him to disobey the summons, and even offered to pay the money,
he gave one of those sublime answers which light up the gloom of the
time. "No," he replied, "I have been purchased once and for all with the
blood of Christ, and will not consent to be ransomed with the gold and
silver of my people. Keep what you have, for you will need it in your
flight, and pray for me that I may be steadfast in suffering for Jesus."
He went to Prague, confessed his faith, and was thrown into the White
Tower. But he was loosely guarded, and one day, disguised as a clerk,
with a pen behind his ear, and paper and ink-horn in his hand, he walked
out of the Tower in broad daylight through the midst of his guards,
and joined the Brethren in Prussia. He was just the man to guide the
wandering band, and the Council appointed him leader of the emigrants.
He was energetic and brave. He could speak the Polish tongue. He had a
clear head and strong limbs. For him a cold lodging in Prussia was
not enough. He would lead his Brethren to a better land, and give them
nobler work to do.

As the Brethren had already been driven from Poland, the task which
Israel now undertook appeared an act of folly. But George Israel knew
better. For a hundred years the people of Poland had sympathised to some
extent with the reforming movement in Bohemia. There Jerome of Prague
had taught. There the teaching of Hus had spread. There the people hated
the Church of Rome. There the nobles sent their sons to study under
Luther at Wittenberg. There the works of Luther and Calvin had been
printed and spread in secret. There, above all, the Queen herself had
been privately taught the Protestant faith by her own father-confessor.
And there, thought Israel, the Brethren in time would find a hearty
welcome. And so, while still retaining the oversight of a few parishes
in East Prussia, George Israel, by commission of the Council, set out
to conduct a mission in Poland {1551.}. Alone and on horseback, by bad
roads and swollen streams, he went on his dangerous journey; and on the
fourth Sunday in Lent arrived at the town of Thorn, and rested for the
day. Here occurred the famous incident on the ice which made his name
remembered in Thorn for many a year to come. As he was walking on the
frozen river to try whether the ice was strong enough to bear his horse,
the ice broke up with a crash. George Israel was left on a solitary
lump, and was swept whirling down the river; and then, as the ice blocks
cracked and banged and splintered into thousands of fragments, he sprang
like a deer from block to block, and sang with loud exulting voice:
"Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps; fire and
hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind fulfilling his word." There was a
great crowd on the bank. The people watched the thrilling sight with
awe, and when at last he reached firm ground they welcomed him with
shouts of joy. We marvel not that such a man was like the sword of
Gideon in the conflict. He rode on to Posen, the capital of Great
Poland, began holding secret meetings, and established the first
evangelical church in the country. The Roman Catholic Bishop heard of
his arrival, and put forty assassins on his track. But Israel was a man
of many wiles as well as a man of God. He assumed disguises, and changed
his clothes so as to baffle pursuit, appearing now as an officer, now
as a coachman, now as a cook. He presented himself at the castle of the
noble family of the Ostrorogs, was warmly welcomed by the Countess, and
held a service in her rooms. The Count was absent, heard the news, and
came in a state of fury. He seized a whip. "I will drag my wife out
of this conventicle," he exclaimed; and burst into the room while the
service was proceeding, his eyes flashing fire and the whip swinging in
his hand. The preacher, Cerwenka, calmly went on preaching. "Sir," said
George Israel, pointing to an empty seat "sit down there." The Count
of Ostrorog meekly obeyed, listened quietly to the discourse, became
a convert that very day, turned out his own Lutheran Court Chaplain,
installed George Israel in his place, and made a present to the Brethren
of his great estate on the outskirts of the town.

For the Brethren the gain was enormous. As the news of the Count's
conversion spread, other nobles quickly followed suit. The town of
Ostrorog became the centre of a swiftly growing movement; the poor
Brethren in Prussia returned to Poland, and found churches ready for
their use; and before seven years had passed away the Brethren had
founded forty congregations in this their first land of exile.

They had, however, another great mission to fulfil. As the Brethren
spread from town to town, they discovered that the other Protestant
bodies--the Lutherans, Zwinglians and Calvinists--were almost as fond
of fighting with each other as of denouncing the Church of Rome; and
therefore the people, longing for peace, were disgusted more or less
with them all. But the Brethren stood on a rather different footing.
They were cousins to the Poles in blood; they had no fixed and definite
creed; they thought far more of brotherly love than of orthodoxy in
doctrine; and therefore the idea was early broached that the Church of
the Brethren should be established as the National Church of Poland.
The idea grew. The Lutherans, Zwinglians, Calvinists and Brethren drew
closer and closer together. They exchanged confessions, discussed each
other's doctrines, met in learned consultations, and held united synods
again and again. For fifteen years the glorious vision of a union of all
the Protestants in Poland hung like glittering fruit just out of reach.
There were many walls in the way. Each church wanted to be the leading
church in Poland; each wanted its own confession to be the bond of
union; each wanted its own form of service, its own form of government,
to be accepted by all. But soon one and all began to see that the time
had come for wranglings to cease. The Jesuits were gaining ground in
Poland. The Protestant Kingdom must no longer be divided against itself.

At last the Brethren, the real movers of the scheme, persuaded all to
assemble in the great United Synod of Sendomir, and all Protestants in
Poland felt that the fate of the country depended on the issue of the
meeting {1570.}. It was the greatest Synod that had ever been held in
Poland. It was an attempt to start a new movement in the history of the
Reformation, an attempt to fling out the apple of discord and unite all
Protestants in one grand army which should carry the enemy's forts by
storm. At first the goal seemed further off than ever. As the Calvinists
were the strongest body, they confidently demanded that their Confession
should be accepted, and put forward the telling argument that it was
already in use in the country. As the Lutherans were the next strongest
body, they offered the Augsburg Confession, and both parties turned
round upon the Brethren, and accused them of having so many Confessions
that no one knew which to take. And then young Turnovius, the
representative of the Brethren, rose to speak. The Brethren, he said,
had only one Confession in Poland. They had presented that Confession to
the King; they believed that it was suited best to the special needs
of the country, and yet they would accept the Calvinists' Confession as
long as they might keep their own as well.

There was a deadlock. What was to be done? The Brethren's work seemed
about to come to nought. Debates and speeches were in vain. Each party
remained firm as a rock. And then, in wondrous mystic wise, the tone of
the gathering softened.

"For God's sake, for God's sake," said the Palatine of Sendomir in his
speech, "remember what depends upon the result of our deliberations,
and incline your hearts to that harmony and love which the Lord has
commanded us to follow above all things."

As the Palatine ended his speech he burst into tears. His friend, the
Palatine of Cracow, sobbed aloud. Forthwith the angry clouds disparted
and revealed the bow of peace, the obstacles to union vanished, and the
members of the Synod agreed to draw up a new Confession, which should
give expression to the united faith of all. The Confession was prepared
{April 14th.}. It is needless to trouble about the doctrinal details.
For us the important point to notice is the spirit of union displayed.
For the first, but not for the last, time in the history of Poland the
Evangelical Protestants agreed to sink their differences on points of
dispute, and unite their forces in common action against alike the power
of Rome and the Unitarian[40] sects of the day. The joy was universal. The
scene in the hall at Sendomir was inspiring. When the Committee laid the
Confession before the Synod all the members arose and sang the Ambrosian
Te Deum. With outstretched hands the Lutherans advanced to meet the
Brethren, and with outstretched hands the Brethren advanced to meet the
Lutherans. The next step was to make the union public. For this purpose
the Brethren, a few weeks later, formed a procession one Sunday morning
and attended service at the Lutheran Church; and then, in the afternoon,
the Lutherans attended service in the Church of the Brethren {May 28th,
1570.}. It is hard to believe that all this was empty show. And yet the
truth must be confessed that this "Union of Sendomir" was by no means
the beautiful thing that some writers have imagined. It was the result,
to a very large extent, not of any true desire for unity, but rather of
an attempt on the part of the Polish nobles to undermine the influence
and power of the clergy. It led to no permanent union of the Protestants
in Poland. Its interest is sentimental rather than historic. For the
time--but for a very short time only--the Brethren had succeeded in
teaching others a little charity of spirit, and had thus shown their
desire to hasten the day when the Churches of Christ, no longer asunder,
shall know "how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell
together in unity."

And all this--this attempt at unity, this second home for the Brethren,
this new Evangelical movement in Poland--was the strange result of the
edict issued by Ferdinand, King of Bohemia.


Meanwhile, John Augusta, the great leader of the Brethren, was passing
through the furnace of affliction.

Of all the tools employed by Ferdinand, the most crafty, active and
ambitious was a certain officer named Sebastian Schöneich, who, in the
words of the great historian, Gindely, was one of those men fitted by
nature for the post of hangman.

For some months this man had distinguished himself by his zeal in the
cause of the King. He had seized sixteen heads of families for singing
hymns at a baker's funeral, had thrown them into the drain-vaults of the
White Tower at Prague, and had left them there to mend their ways in
the midst of filth and horrible stenches. And now he occupied the proud
position of town-captain of Leitomischl. Never yet had he known such a
golden chance of covering himself with glory. For some time Augusta, who
was now First Senior of the Church, had been hiding in the neighbouring
woods, and only two or three Brethren knew his exact abode. But already
persecution had done her work, and treachery now did hers.

Among the inhabitants of Leitomischl were certain renegade Brethren,
and these now said to the Royal Commissioners: "If the King could only
capture and torture Augusta, he could unearth the whole conspiracy."

"Where is Augusta?" asked the Commissioners.

"He is not at home," replied the traitors, "but if you will ask his
friend, Jacob Bilek, he will tell you all you want to know."

The wily Schöneich laid his plot. If only he could capture Augusta, he
would win the favour of the King and fill his own pockets with money. As
he strolled one day through the streets of Leitomischl he met a certain
innocent Brother Henry, and there and then began his deadly work.

"If you know," he said, "where Augusta is, tell him I desire an
interview with him. I will meet him wherever he likes. I have something
special to say to him, something good, not only for him, but for the
whole Brethren's Church. But breathe not a word of this to anyone else.
Not a soul--not even yourself--must know about the matter."

The message to Augusta was sent. He replied that he would grant the
interview on condition that Schöneich would guarantee his personal

"That," replied Schöneich, "is quite impossible. I cannot give any
security whatever. The whole business must be perfectly secret. Not a
soul must be present but Augusta and myself. I wouldn't have the King
know about this for a thousand groschen. Tell Augusta not to be afraid
of me. I have no instructions concerning him. He can come with an easy
mind to Leitomischl. If he will not trust me as far as that, let him
name the place himself, and I will go though it be a dozen miles away."

But Augusta still returned the same answer, and Schöneich had to
strengthen his plea. Again he met the guileless Brother Henry, and again
he stormed him with his eloquent tongue.

"Have you no better answer from Augusta?" he asked.

"No," replied Brother Henry.

"My dear, my only Henry," pleaded Schöneich, "I do so long for a little
chat with Augusta. My heart bleeds with sympathy for you. I am expecting
the King's Commissioners. They may be here any moment. It will go hard
with you poor folk when they come. If only I could have a talk with
Augusta, it would be so much better for you all. But do tell him not to
be afraid of me. I have no instructions concerning him. I will wager my
neck for that," he said, putting his finger to his throat. "I am willing
to give my life for you poor Brethren."

The shot went home. As Augusta lay in his safe retreat he had written
stirring letters to the Brethren urging them to be true to their
colours; and now, he heard from his friends in Leitomischl that
Schöneich was an evangelical saint, and that if he would only confer
with the saint he might render his Brethren signal service, and deliver
them from their distresses. He responded nobly to the appeal. For the
sake of the Church he had led so long, he would risk his liberty and his
life. In vain the voice of prudence said "Stay!"; the voice of love said
"Go!"; and Augusta agreed to meet the Captain in a wood three miles
from the town. The Captain chuckled. The time was fixed, and, the night
before, the artful plotter sent three of his trusty friends to lie
in wait. As the morning broke of the fateful day {April 25th, 1548.},
Augusta, still suspecting a trap, sent his secretary, Jacob Bilek, in
advance to spy the land; and the three brave men sprang out upon him and
carried him off to Schöneich. And then, at the appointed hour, came John
Augusta himself. He had dressed himself as a country peasant, carried a
hoe in is hand, and strolled in the woodland whistling a merry tune. For
the moment the hirelings were baffled. They seized him and let him go;
they seized him again and let him go again; they seized him, for the
third time, searched him, and found a fine handkerchief in his bosom.

"Ah," said one of them, "a country peasant does not use a handkerchief
like this."

The game was up. Augusta stood revealed, and Schöneich, hearing the
glorious news, came prancing up on his horse.

"My lord," said Augusta, "is this what you call faith?"

"Did you never hear," said Schöneich, "that promises made in the night
are never binding? Did you never hear of a certain Jew with his red
beard and yellow bag? Did you never hear of the mighty power of money?
And where have you come from this morning? I hear you have plenty of
money in your possession. Where is that money now?"

As they rode next day in a covered waggon on their way to the city of
Prague, the Captain pestered Augusta with many questions.

"My dear Johannes," said the jovial wag, "where have you been? With
whom? Where are your letters and your clothes? Whose is this cap? Where
did you get it? Who lent it to you? What do they call him? Where does
he live? Where is your horse? Where is your money? Where are your

"Why do you ask so many questions?" asked Augusta.

"Because," replied Schöneich, letting out the murder, "I want to be able
to give information about you. I don't want to be called a donkey or a

And now began for John Augusta a time of terrible testing. As the
Captain rapped his questions out he was playing his part in a deadly
game that involved the fate, not only of the Brethren's Church, but of
all evangelicals in the land.

For months King Ferdinand had longed to capture Augusta. He regarded him
as the author of the Smalkald League; he regarded him as the deadliest
foe of the Catholic faith in Europe; he regarded the peaceful Brethren
as rebels of the vilest kind; and now that he had Augusta in his power
he determined to make him confess the plot, and then, with the proof he
desired in his hands, he would stamp out the Brethren's Church for once
and all.

For this purpose Augusta was now imprisoned in the White Tower at
Prague. He was placed in the wine vaults below the castle, had heavy
fetters on his hands and feet, and sat for days in a crunched position.
The historic contest began. For two hours at a stretch the King's
examiners riddled Augusta with questions. "Who sent the letter to the
King?"[41] they asked. "Where do the Brethren keep their papers and money?
To whom did the Brethren turn for help when the King called on his
subjects to support him? Who went with you to Wittenberg? For what and
for whom did the Brethren pray."

"They prayed," said Augusta, "that God would incline the heart of the
King to be gracious to us."

"By what means did the Brethren defend themselves?"

"By patience," replied Augusta.

"To whom did they apply for help?"

Augusta pointed to heaven.

As Augusta's answers to all these questions were not considered
satisfactory, they next endeavoured to sharpen his wits by torturing a
German coiner in his presence; and when this mode of persuasion failed,
they tortured Augusta himself. They stripped him naked. They stretched
him face downwards on a ladder. They smeared his hips with boiling
pitch. They set the spluttering mess on fire, and drew it off, skin and
all, with a pair of tongs. They screwed him tightly in the stocks. They
hung him up to the ceiling by a hook, with the point run through his
flesh. They laid him flat upon his back and pressed great stones on his
stomach. It was all in vain. Again they urged him to confess the part
that he and the Brethren had played in the great revolt, and again
Augusta bravely replied that the Brethren had taken no such part at all.

At this the King himself intervened. For some months he had been busy
enough at Augsburg, assisting the Emperor in his work; but now he sent
a letter to Prague, with full instructions how to deal with Augusta. If
gentle measures did not succeed, then sterner measures, said he, must
be employed. He had three new tortures to suggest. First, he said, let
Augusta be watched and deprived of sleep for five or six days. Next, he
must be strapped to a shutter, with his head hanging over one end;
he must have vinegar rubbed into his nostrils; he must have a beetle
fastened on to his stomach; and in this position, with his neck aching,
his nostrils smarting, and the beetle working its way to his vitals, he
must be kept for two days and two nights. And, third, if these measures
did not act, he must be fed with highly seasoned food and allowed
nothing to drink.

But these suggestions were never carried out. As the messenger hastened
with the King's billet-doux, and the Brethren on the northern frontier
were setting out for Poland, Augusta and Bilek were on their way to the
famous old castle of Pürglitz. For ages that castle, built on a rock,
and hidden away in darkling woods, had been renowned in Bohemian lore.
There the mother of Charles IV. had heard the nightingales sing; there
the faithful, ran the story, had held John Ziska at bay; there had many
a rebel suffered in the terrible "torture-tower"; and there Augusta and
his faithful friend were to lie for many a long and weary day.

They were taken to Pürglitz in two separate waggons. They travelled by
night and arrived about mid-day; they were placed in two separate
cells, and for sixteen years the fortunes of the Brethren centred round
Pürglitz Castle.

If the Bishop had been the vilest criminal, he could not have been more
grossly insulted. For two years he had to share his cell with a vulgar
German coiner; and the coiner, in facetious pastime, often smote him on
the head.

His cell was almost pitch-dark. The window was shuttered within and
without, and the merest glimmer from the cell next door struggled in
through a chink four inches broad. At meals alone he was permitted half
a candle. For bedding he had a leather bolster, a coverlet and what
Germans call a "bed-sack." For food he was allowed two rations of meat,
two hunches of bread, and two jugs of barley-beer a day. His shirt was
washed about once a fortnight, his face and hands twice a week, his head
twice a year, and the rest of his body never. He was not allowed the
use of a knife and fork. He was not allowed to speak to the prison
attendants. He had no books, no papers, no ink, no news of the world
without; and there for three years he sat in the dark, as lonely as
the famous prisoner of Chillon. Again, by the King's command, he was
tortured, with a gag in his mouth to stifle his screams and a threat
that if he would not confess he should have an interview with the
hangman; and again he refused to deny his Brethren, and was flung back
into his corner.

The delivering angel came in humble guise. Among the warders who guarded
his cell was a daring youth who had lived at Leitomischl. He had been
brought up among the Brethren. He regarded the Bishop as a martyr. His
wife lived in a cottage near the castle; and now, drunken rascal though
he was, he risked his life for Augusta's sake, used his cottage as
a secret post office, and handed in to the suffering Bishop letters,
books, ink, paper, pens, money and candles.

The Brethren stationed a priest in Pürglitz village. The great Bishop
was soon as bright and active as ever. By day he buried his tools in the
ground; by night he plugged every chink and cranny, and applied himself
to his labours. Not yet was his spirit broken; not yet was his mind
unhinged. As his candle burned in that gloomy dungeon in the silent
watches of the night, so the fire of his genius shone anew in those
darksome days of trial and persecution; and still he urged his afflicted
Brethren to be true to the faith of their fathers, to hold fast the
Apostles' Creed, and to look onward to the brighter day when once again
their pathway would shine as the wings of a dove that are covered with
silver and her feathers with yellow gold. He comforted Bilek in his
affliction; he published a volume of sermons for the elders to read in
secret; he composed a number of stirring and triumphant hymns; and there
he penned the noble words still sung in the Brethren's Church:--

   Praise God for ever.
   Boundless is his favour,
   To his Church and chosen flock,
   Founded on Christ the Rock.

As he lay in his cell he pondered much on the sad fate of his Brethren.
At one time he heard a rumour that the Church was almost extinct. Some,
he knew, had fled to Poland. Some had settled in Moravia. Some, robbed
of lands and houses, were roaming the country as pedlars or earning a
scanty living as farm labourers. And some, alas! had lowered the flag
and joined the Church of Rome.

And yet Augusta had never abandoned hope. For ten years, despite a few
interruptions, he kept in almost constant touch, not only with his own
Brethren, but also with the Protestant world at large. He was still,
he thought, the loved and honoured leader; he was still the mightiest
religious force in the land; and now, in his dungeon, he sketched a plan
to heal his country's woes and form the true disciples of Christ into
one grand national Protestant army against which both Pope and Emperor
would for ever contend in vain.


To Augusta the prospect seemed hopeful. Great changes had taken place
in the Protestant world. The Lutherans in Germany had triumphed. The
religious peace of Augsburg had been consummated, The German Protestants
had now a legal standing. The great Emperor, Charles V., had resigned
his throne. His successor was his brother Ferdinand, the late King of
Bohemia. The new King of Bohemia was Ferdinand's eldest son, Maximilian
I. Maximilian was well disposed towards Protestants, and persecution in
Bohemia died away.

And now the Brethren plucked up heart again. They rebuilt their chapel
at their headquarters, Jungbunzlau. They presented a copy of
their Hymn-book to the King. They divided the Church into three
provinces--Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. They appointed George Israel
First Senior in Poland, John Czerny First Senior in Bohemia and Moravia,
and Cerwenka secretary to the whole Church.

But the Brethren had gone further still. As Augusta was the sole
surviving Bishop in the Church, the Brethren were in a difficulty. They
must not be without Bishops. But what were they to do? Were they to
wait till Augusta was set at liberty, or were they to elect new Bishops
without his authority? They chose the latter course, and Augusta was
deeply offended. They elected Czerny and Cerwenka to the office of
Bishops; they had them consecrated as Bishops by two Brethren in
priests' orders; and they actually allowed the two new Bishops to
consecrate two further Bishops, George Israel and Blahoslaw, the Church

And even this was not the worst of the story. As he lay in his dungeon
forming plans for the Church he loved so well, it slowly dawned upon
Augusta that his Brethren were ceasing to trust him, and that the sun
of his power, which had shone so brightly, was now sloping slowly to its
setting. He heard of one change after another taking place without his
consent. He heard that the Council had condemned his sermons as too
learned and dry for the common people, and that they had altered them to
suit their own opinions. He heard that his hymns, which he had desired
to see in the new Hymn-book, had been mangled in a similar manner. His
Brethren did not even tell him what they were doing. They simply left
him out in the cold. What he himself heard he heard by chance, and that
was the "most unkind cut of all." His authority was gone; his
position was lost; his hopes were blasted; and his early guidance, his
entreaties, his services, his sufferings were all, he thought, forgotten
by an ungrateful Church.

As Augusta heard of all these changes, a glorious vision rose before
his mind. At first he was offended, quarrelled with the Brethren, and
declared the new Bishops invalid. But at last his better feelings gained
the mastery. He would not sulk like a petted child; he would render his
Brethren the greatest service in his power. He would fight his way to
liberty; he would resume his place on the bridge, and before long he
would make the Church the national Church of Bohemia.

The door was opened by a duke. The Archduke Ferdinand, brother of the
King, came to reside at Pürglitz {1560.}. Augusta appealed for liberty
to Ferdinand; the Archduke referred the matter to the King; the King
referred the matter to the clergy; and the clergy drew up for Augusta's
benefit a form of recantation. The issue before him was now perfectly
clear. There was one road to freedom and one only. He must sign the form
of recantation in full. The form was drastic. He must renounce all
his previous religious opinions. He must acknowledge the Holy Catholic
Church and submit to her in all things. He must eschew the gatherings of
Waldenses, Picards and all other apostates, denounce their teaching as
depraved, and recognise the Church of Rome as the one true Church of
Christ. He must labour for the unity of the Church and endeavour to
bring his Brethren into the fold. He must never again interpret the
Scriptures according to his own understanding, but submit rather to the
exposition and authority of the Holy Roman Church, which alone was fit
to decide on questions of doctrine. He must do his duty by the King,
obey him and serve him with zeal as a loyal subject. And finally he must
write out the whole recantation with his own hand, take a public oath
to keep it, and have it signed and sealed by witnesses. Augusta refused
point blank. His hopes of liberty vanished. His heart sank in despair.
"They might as well," said Bilek, his friend, "have asked him to walk on
his head."

But here Lord Sternberg, Governor of the Castle, suggested another path.
If Augusta, said he, would not join the Church of Rome, perhaps he would
at least join the Utraquists. He had been a Utraquist in his youth; the
Brethren were Utraquists under another name; and all that Augusta had to
do was to give himself his proper name, and his dungeon door would fly
open. Of all the devices to entrap Augusta, this well-meant trick was
the most enticing. The argument was a shameless logical juggle.
The Utraquists celebrated the communion in both kinds; the Brethren
celebrated the communion in both kinds; therefore the Brethren were
Utraquists.[42] At first Augusta himself appeared to be caught.

"I, John Augusta," he wrote, "confess myself a member of the whole
Evangelical Church, which, wherever it may be, receives the body and
blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in both kinds. I swear that, along with
the Holy Catholic Church, I will maintain true submission and obedience
to her chief Head, Jesus Christ. I will order my life according to God's
holy word and the truth of his pure Gospel. I will be led by Him, obey
Him alone, and by no other human thoughts and inventions. I renounce
all erroneous and wicked opinions against the holy universal Christian
apostolic faith. I will never take any part in the meetings of Picards
or other heretics."

If Augusta thought that by language like this he would catch his
examiners napping, he was falling into a very grievous error. He
had chosen his words with care. He never said what he meant by the
Utraquists. He never said whether he would include the Brethren among
the Utraquists or among the Picards and heretics. And he had never made
any reference to the Pope.

His examiners were far too clever to be deceived. Instead of
recommending that Augusta be now set at liberty, they contended that his
recantation was no recantation at all. He had shown no inclination, they
said, towards either Rome or Utraquism. His principles were remarkably
like those of Martin Luther. He had not acknowledged the supremacy of
the Pope, and when he said he would not be led by any human inventions
he was plainly repudiating the Church of Rome. What is the good, they
asked, of Augusta's promising to resist heretics when he does not
acknowledge the Brethren to be heretics? "It is," they said, "as
clear as day that John Augusta has no real intention of renouncing his
errors." Let the man say straight out to which party he belonged.

Again Augusta tried to fence, and again he met his match. Instead of
saying in plain language to which party he belonged, he persisted in
his first assertion that he belonged to the Catholic Evangelical Church,
which was now split into various sects. But as the old man warmed to his
work he threw caution aside.

"I have never," he said, "had anything to do with Waldenses or Picards.
I belong to the general Evangelical Church, which enjoys the Communion
in both kinds. I renounce entirely the Popish sect known as the Holy
Roman Church. I deny that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. I deny that
the Church of Rome alone has authority to interpret the Scriptures. If
the Church of Rome claims such authority, she must first show that
she is free from the spirit of the world, and possesses the spirit of
charity, and until that is done I refuse to bow to her decrees."

He defended the Church of the Brethren with all his might. It was,
he said, truly evangelical. It was Catholic. It was apostolic. It was
recognised and praised by Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, Bucer, Bullinger
and other saints. As long as the moral life of the Church of Rome
remained at such a low ebb, so long would there be need for the
Brethren's Church.

"If the Church of Rome will mend her ways, the Brethren," said he, "will
return to her fold; but till that blessed change takes place they will
remain where they are."

He denied being a traitor. "If any one says that I have been disloyal to
the Emperor, I denounce that person as a liar. If his Majesty knew how
loyal I have been, he would not keep me here another hour. I know why I
am suffering. I am suffering, not as an evil-doer, but as a Christian."

The first skirmish was over. The clergy were firm, and Augusta sank back
exhausted in his cell. But the kindly Governor was still resolved to
smooth the way for his prisoners. "I will not rest," he said, "till I
see them at liberty." He suggested that Augusta should have an interview
with the Jesuits!

"What would be the good of that?" said Augusta. "I should be like
a little dog in the midst of a pack of lions. I pray you, let these
negotiations cease. I would rather stay where I am. It is clear there
is no escape for me unless I am false to my honour and my conscience. I
will never recant nor act against my conscience. May God help me to keep
true till death."

At last, however, Augusta gave way, attended Mass, with Bilek, in
the castle chapel, and consented to an interview with the Jesuits, on
condition that Bilek should go with him, and that he should also be
allowed another interview with the Utraquists {1561.}. The day for the
duel arrived. The chosen spot was the new Jesuit College at Prague. As
they drove to the city both Augusta and Bilek were allowed to stretch
their limbs and even get out of sight of their guards. At Prague they
were allowed a dip in the Royal Bath. It was the first bath they had had
for fourteen years, and the people came from far and near to gaze upon
their scars.

And now, being fresh and clean in body, Augusta, the stubborn heretical
Picard, was to be made clean in soul. As the Jesuits were determined to
do their work well, they laid down the strict condition that no one but
themselves must be allowed to speak with the prisoners. For the rest the
prisoners were treated kindly. The bedroom was neat; the food was
good; the large, bright dining-room had seven windows. They had wine to
dinner, and were waited on by a discreet and silent butler. Not a word
did that solemn functionary utter. If the Brethren made a remark to him,
he laid his fingers on his lips like the witches in Macbeth.

The great debate began. The Jesuit spokesman was Dr. Henry Blissem. He
opened by making a clean breast of the whole purpose of the interview.

"It is well known to you both," said he, "for what purpose you have been
handed over to our care, that we, if possible, may help you to a right
understanding of the Christian faith."

If the Jesuits could have had their way, they would have had Augusta's
answers set down in writing. But here Augusta stood firm as a rock. He
knew the game the Jesuits were playing. The interview was of national
importance. If his answers were considered satisfactory, the Jesuits
would have them printed, sow them broadcast, and boast of his
conversion; and if, on the other hand, they were unsatisfactory, they
would send them to the Emperor as proof that Augusta was a rebel, demand
his instant execution, and start another persecution of the Brethren.

Dr. Henry, made the first pass.

"The Holy Universal Church," he said, "is the true bride of Christ and
the true mother of all Christians."

Augusta politely agreed.

"On this is question," he said, "our own party thinks and believes
exactly as you do."

"No one," continued the doctor suavely, "can believe in God who does not
think correctly of the Holy Church, and regard her as his mother; and
without the Church there is no salvation."

Again Augusta politely agreed, and again the learned Jesuit beamed with
pleasure. Now came the tug of war.

"This Holy Christian Church," said Blissem, "has never erred and cannot

Augusta met this with a flat denial. If he surrendered here he
surrendered all, and would be untrue to his Brethren. If he once agreed
that the Church was infallible he was swallowing the whole Roman pill.
In vain the doctor argued. Augusta held his ground. The Jesuits reported
him hard in the head, and had him sent back to his cell.

For two more years he waited in despair, and then he was brought to the
White Tower again, and visited by two Utraquist Priests, Mystopol and
Martin. His last chance, they told him, had now arrived. They had come
as messengers from the Archduke Ferdinand and from the Emperor himself.

"I know," said one of them, "on what you are relying and how you console
yourself, but I warn you it will avail you nothing."

"You know no secrets," said Augusta.

"What secrets?" queried Mystopol.

"Neither divine nor mine. My dear administrators, your visit is quite a
surprise! With regard to the recantation, however, let me say at once,
I shall not sign it! I have never been guilty of any errors, and have
nothing to recant. I made my public confession of faith before the
lords and knights of Bohemia twenty-eight years ago. It was shown to the
Emperor at Vienna, and no one has ever found anything wrong with it."

"How is it," said Mystopol, "you cannot see your error? You know it says
in our confession, 'I believe in the Holy Catholic Church.' You Brethren
have fallen away from that Church. You are not true members of the
body. You are an ulcer. You are a scab. You have no sacraments. You have
written bloodthirsty pamphlets against us. We have a whole box full of
your productions."

"We never wrote any tracts," said Augusta, "except to show why we
separated from you, but you urged on the Government against us. You
likened me to a bastard and to Goliath the Philistine. Your petition
read as if it had been written in a brothel."

And now the character of John Augusta shone forth in all its grandeur.
The old man was on his mettle.

"Of all Christians known to me," he said, "the Brethren stick closest
to Holy Writ. Next to them come the Lutherans; next to the Lutherans the
Utraquists; and next to the Utraquists the---!"

But there in common honesty he had to stop. And then he turned the
tables on Mystopol, and came out boldly with his scheme. It was no new
idea of his. He had already, in 1547, advocated a National Protestant
Church composed of Utraquists and Brethren. Instead of the Brethren
joining the Utraquists, it was, said Augusta, the plain duty of the
Utraquists to break from the Church of Rome and join the Brethren. For
the last forty years the Utraquists had been really Lutherans at heart.
He wanted them now to be true to their own convictions. He wanted them
to carry out in practice the teaching of most of their preachers. He
wanted them to run the risk of offending the Emperor and the Pope. He
wanted them to ally themselves with the Brethren; and he believed that
if they would only do so nearly every soul in Bohemia would join the
new Evangelical movement. De Schweinitz says that Augusta betrayed his
Brethren, and that when he called himself a Utraquist he was playing
with words. I cannot accept this verdict. He explained clearly and
precisely what he meant; he was a Utraquist in the same sense as Luther;
and the castle he had built in the air was nothing less than a grand
international union of all the Evangelical Christians in Europe.

"My lords," he pleaded in golden words, "let us cease this mutual
accusation of each other. Let us cease our destructive quarrelling. Let
us join in seeking those higher objects which we both have in common,
and let us remember that we are both of one origin, one nation, one
blood and one spirit. Think of it, dear lords, and try to find some way
to union."

The appeal was pathetic and sincere. It fell on adders' ears. His scheme
found favour neither with Brethren nor with Utraquists. To the Brethren
Augusta was a Jesuitical juggler. To the Utraquists he was a supple
athlete trying to dodge his way out of prison.

"You shift about," wrote the Brethren, "in a most remarkable manner. You
make out the Utraquist Church to be different from what it really is, in
order to keep a door open through which you may go." In their judgment
he was nothing less than an ambitious schemer. If his scheme were
carried out, they said, he would not only be First Elder of the
Brethren's Church, but administrator of the whole united Church.

At last, however, King Maximilian interceded with the Emperor in his
favour, and Augusta was set free on the one condition that he would not
preach in public {1564.}. His hair was white; his beard was long; his
brow was furrowed; his health was shattered; and he spent his last days
amongst the Brethren, a defeated and broken-hearted man. He was
restored to his old position as First Elder; he settled down again at
Jungbunzlau; and yet somehow the old confidence was never completely
restored. In vain he upheld his daring scheme of union. John Blahoslaw
opposed him to the teeth. For the time, at least, John Blahoslaw was
in the right. Augusta throughout had made one fatal blunder. As the
Utraquists were now more Protestant in doctrine he thought that they
had begun to love the Brethren. The very contrary was the case. If two
people agree in nine points out of ten, and only differ in one, they
will often quarrel more fiercely with each other than if they disagreed
in all the ten. And that was just what happened in Bohemia. The more
Protestant the Utraquists became in doctrine, the more jealous they
were of the Brethren. And thus Augusta was honoured by neither party.
Despised by friend and foe alike, the old white-haired Bishop tottered
to the silent tomb. "He kept out of our way," says the sad old record,
"as long as he could; he had been among us long enough." As we think
of the noble life he lived, and the bitter gall of his eventide, we may
liken him to one of those majestic mountains which tower in grandeur
under the noontide sun, but round whose brows the vapours gather as
night settles down on the earth. In the whole gallery of Bohemian
portraits there is none, says Gindely, so noble in expression as his;
and as we gaze on those grand features we see dignity blended with
sorrow, and pride with heroic fire.[43]


As the Emperor Maximilian II. set out from the Royal Castle in Prague
for a drive he met a baron famous in all the land {1575.}. The baron was
John von Zerotin, the richest member of the Brethren's Church. He had
come to Prague on very important business. His home lay at Namiest,
in Moravia. He lived in a stately castle, built on two huge crags, and
surrounded by the houses of his retainers and domestics. His estate was
twenty-five miles square. He had a lovely park of beeches, pines and old
oaks. He held his court in kingly style. He had gentlemen of the chamber
of noble birth. He had pages and secretaries, equerries and masters
of the chase. He had valets, lackeys, grooms, stable-boys, huntsmen,
barbers, watchmen, cooks, tailors, shoemakers, and saddlers. He had sat
at the feet of Blahoslaw, the learned Church historian: he kept a Court
Chaplain, who was, of course, a pastor of the Brethren's Church; and now
he had come to talk things over with the head of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Emperor offered the Baron a seat in his carriage. The Brother and
the Emperor drove on side by side.

"I hear," said the Emperor, "that the Picards are giving up their
religion and going over to the Utraquists."

The Baron was astounded. He had never, he said, heard the slightest
whisper that the Brethren intended to abandon their own Confessions.

"I have heard it," said the Emperor, "as positive fact from Baron
Hassenstein himself."

"It is not true," replied Zerotin.

"What, then," said the Emperor, "do the Utraquists mean when they say
that they are the true Hussites, and wish me to protect them in their

"Your gracious Majesty," replied Zerotin, "the Brethren, called Picards,
are the true Hussites: they have kept their faith unsullied, as you may
see yourself from the Confession they presented to you."[44]
The Emperor looked puzzled. He was waxing old and feeble, and his memory
was failing.

"What!" he said, "have the Picards got a Confession?"

He was soon to hear the real truth of the matter. For some months there
had sat in Prague a committee of learned divines, who had met for the
purpose of drawing up a National Protestant Bohemian Confession. The
dream of Augusta seemed to be coming true. The Brethren took their
part in the proceedings. "We are striving," said Slawata, one of their
deputies, "for peace, love and unity. We have no desire to be censors of
dogmas. We leave such matters to theological experts." The Confession[45] was prepared, read out at the Diet, and presented to the Emperor. It
was a compromise between the teaching of Luther and the teaching of
the Brethren. In its doctrine of justification by faith it followed the
teaching of Luther: in its doctrine of the Lord's Supper it inclined to
the broader evangelical view of the Brethren. The Emperor attended the
Diet in person, and made a notable speech.

"I promise," he said, "on my honour as an Emperor, that I will never
oppress or hinder you in the exercise of your religion; and I pledge my
word in my own name and also in the name of my successors."

Let us try to grasp the meaning of this performance. As the Edict of
St. James was still in force, the Brethren, in the eyes of the law, were
still heretics and rebels; they had no legal standing in the country;
and at any moment the King in his fury might order them to quit the
land once more. But the truth is that the King of Bohemia was now a mere
figurehead. The real power lay in the hands of the barons. The barons
were Protestant almost to a man.

As the Emperor lay dying a few months later in the castle of Regensburg,
he was heard to murmur the words, "The happy time is come." For the
Brethren the happy time had come indeed. They knew that the so-called
Utraquist Church was Utraquist only in name; they knew that the Bible
was read in every village; they knew that Lutheran doctrines were
preached in hundreds of Utraquist Churches; they knew that in their own
country they had now more friends than foes; and thus, free from the
terrors of the law they trod the primrose path of peace and power. We
have come to the golden age of the Brethren's Church.

It was the age of material prosperity. As the sun of freedom shone
upon their way, the Brethren drifted further still from the old Puritan
ascetic ideas of Peter and Gregory the Patriarch. They had now all
classes in their ranks. They had seventeen rich and powerful barons, of
the stamp of John Zerotin; they had over a hundred and forty knights;
they had capitalists, flourishing tradesmen, mayors, and even generals
in the Army, and the Lord High Chamberlain now complained that
two-thirds of the people in Bohemia were Brethren.[46] Nor was this all.
For many years the Brethren had been renowned as the most industrious
and prosperous people in the country; and were specially famous for
their manufacture of knives. They were noted for their integrity of
character, and were able to obtain good situations as managers of
estates, houses, wine cellars and mills; and in many of the large
settlements, such as Jungbunzlau and Leitomischl, they conducted
flourishing business concerns for the benefit of the Church at large.
They made their settlements the most prosperous places in the country;
they built hospitals; they had a fund for the poor called the Korbona;
and on many estates they made themselves so useful that the barons, in
their gratitude, set them free from the usual tolls and taxes. To the
Brethren business was now a sacred duty. They had seen the evils of
poverty, and they did their best to end them. They made no hard and fast
distinction between secular and sacred; and the cooks and housemaids in
the Brethren's Houses were appointed by the Church, and called from
one sphere of service to another, just as much as the presbyters and
deacons. The clergy, though still doing manual labour, were now rather
better off: the gardens and fields attached to the manses helped to
swell their income; and, therefore, we are not surprised to hear that
some of them were married.

Again, the Brethren were champions of education. They had seen the evil
of their ways. As the exiles banished by Ferdinand I. came into contact
with Lutherans in Prussia they heard, rather to their disgust, that they
were commonly regarded by the German Protestants as a narrow-minded and
benighted set of men; and, therefore, at the special invitation of the
Lutheran Bishop Speratus, they began the practice of sending some of
their students to foreign universities. It is pathetic to read how
the first two students were sent {1549.}. "We granted them," says the
record, "their means of support. We gave them £7 10s. a-piece, and sent
them off to Basle." We are not informed how long the money was to last.
For some years the new policy was fiercely opposed; and the leader
of the opposition was John Augusta. He regarded this new policy with
horror, condemned it as a falling away from the old simplicity
and piety, and predicted that it would bring about the ruin of the
Brethren's Church. At the head of the progressive party was John
Blahoslaw, the historian. He had been to Wittenberg and Basle himself;
he was a master of Greek and Latin; and now he wrote a brilliant
philippic, pouring scorn on the fears of the conservative party. "For
my part," he said, "I have no fear that learned and pious men will ever
ruin the Church. I am far more afraid of the action of those high-minded
and stupid schemers, who think more highly of themselves than they ought
to think." It is clear to whom these stinging words refer. They are a
plain hit at Augusta. "It is absurd," he continued, "to be afraid of
learning and culture. As long as our leaders are guided by the Spirit
of Christ, all will be well; but when craft and cunning, and worldly
prudence creep in, then woe to the Brethren's Church! Let us rather be
careful whom we admit to the ministry, and then the Lord will preserve
us from destruction." As we read these biting words, we can understand
how it came to pass that Augusta, during his last few years, was held
in such little honour. The old man was behind the times. The progressive
party triumphed. Before long there were forty students at foreign
Universities. The whole attitude of the Brethren changed. As the
Humanist movement spread in Bohemia, the Brethren began to take an
interest in popular education; and now, aided by friendly nobles, they
opened a number of free elementary schools. At Eibenschütz, in Moravia,
they had a school for the sons of the nobility, with Esrom Rüdinger as
headmaster; both Hebrew and Greek were taught; and the school became
so famous that many of the pupils came from Germany. At Holleschau,
Leitomischl, Landskron, Gross-Bitesch, Austerlitz, Fulneck, Meseretoch,
Chropin, Leipnik, Kaunic, Trebitzch, Paskau, Ungarisch-Brod,
Jungbunzlau, and Prerau, they had free schools supported by Protestant
nobles and manned with Brethren's teachers. As there is no direct
evidence to the contrary, we may take it for granted that in these
schools the syllabus was much the same as in the other schools of the
country. In most the Latin language was taught, and in some dialectics,
rhetoric, physics, astronomy and geometry. The education was largely
practical. At most of the Bohemian schools in those days the children
were taught, by means of conversation books, how to look after a horse,
how to reckon with a landlord, how to buy cloth, how to sell a garment,
how to write a letter, how to make terms with a pedlar, how, in a
word, to get on in the world. But the Brethren laid the chief stress
on religion. Instead of separating the secular and the sacred, they
combined the two in a wonderful way, and taught both at the same time.
For this purpose, they published, in the first place, a school edition
of their Catechism in three languages, Bohemian, German, and Latin; and
thus the Catechism became the scholar's chief means of instruction. He
learned to read from his Catechism; he learned Latin from his Catechism;
he learned German from his Catechism; and thus, while mastering foreign
tongues, he was being grounded at the same time in the articles of
the Christian faith. He lived, in a word, from morning to night in a
Christian atmosphere. For the same purpose a Brother named Matthias
Martinus prepared a book containing extracts from the Gospels and
Epistles. It was printed in six parallel columns. In the first were
grammatical notes; in the second the text in Greek; in the third a
translation in Bohemian; in the fourth in German; in the fifth in Latin;
and in the sixth a brief exposition.

Second, the Brethren used another text-book called the "Book of Morals."
It was based, apparently, on Erasmus's "Civilitas Morum." It was a
simple, practical guide to daily conduct. It was written in rhyme, and
the children learned it by heart. It was divided into three parts. In
the first, the child was taught how to behave from morning to night; in
the second, how to treat his elders and masters; in the third, how to be
polite at table.

Third, the Brethren, in all their schools, made regular use of
hymn-books; and the scholar learnt to sing by singing hymns. Sometimes
the hymns were in a separate volume; sometimes a selection was bound up
with the Catechism. But in either case the grand result was the same.
As we follow the later fortunes of the Brethren we shall find ourselves
face to face with a difficult problem. How was it, we ask, that in later
years, when their little Church was crushed to powder, these Brethren
held the faith for a hundred years? How was it that the "Hidden Seed"
had such vitality? How was it that, though forbidden by law, they held
the fort till the times of revival came? For answer we turn to their
Catechism. They had learned it first in their own homes; they had
learned it later at school; they had made it the very marrow of their
life; they taught it in turn to their children; and thus in the darkest
hours of trial they handed on the torch of faith from one generation to

We come now to another secret of their strength. Of all the Protestants
in Europe the Bohemian Brethren were the first to publish a Hymn-book;
and by this time they had published ten editions. The first three were
in Bohemian, and were edited by Luke of Prague, 1501, 1505, 1519; the
fourth in German, edited by Michael Weiss, 1531; the fifth in Bohemian,
edited by John Horn, 1541; the sixth in German, edited by John Horn,
1544; the seventh in Polish, edited by George Israel, 1554; the eighth
in Bohemian, edited by John Blahoslaw, 1561; the ninth in German, 1566;
the tenth in Polish, 1569. As they wished here to appeal to all classes,
they published hymns both ancient and modern, and tunes both grave and
gay. Among the hymn-writers were John Hus, Rockycana, Luke of Prague,
Augusta, and Martin Luther; and among the tunes were Gregorian Chants
and popular rondels of the day. The hymns and tunes were published
in one volume. The chief purpose of the hymns was clear religious
instruction. The Brethren had nothing to conceal. They had no mysterious
secret doctrines; and no mysterious secret practices. They published
their hymn-books, not for themselves only, but for all the people in the
country, and for Evangelical Christians in other lands. "It has been
our chief aim," they said, "to let everyone fully and clearly understand
what our views are with regard to the articles of the Christian faith."
And here the hymns were powerful preachers of the faith. They spread
the Brethren's creed in all directions. They were clear, orderly,
systematic, and Scriptural; and thus they were sung in the family
circle, by bands of young men in the Brethren's Houses, by shepherds
watching their flocks by night, by sturdy peasants as they trudged to
market. And then, on Sunday, in an age when congregational singing was
as yet but little known, the Brethren made the rafters ring with
the sound of united praise. "Your churches," wrote the learned Esrom
Rüdinger, "surpass all others in singing. For where else are songs of
praise, of thanksgiving, of prayer and instruction so often heard? Where
is there better singing? The newest edition of the Bohemian Hymn-book,
with its seven hundred and forty-three hymns, is an evidence of
the multitude of your songs. Three hundred and forty-six have been
translated into German. In your churches the people can all sing and
take part in the worship of God."

But of all the services rendered by the Brethren to the cause of the
evangelical faith in Bohemia the noblest and the most enduring was their
translation of the Bible into the Bohemian tongue. In the archives of
the Brethren's Church at Herrnhut are now to be seen six musty
volumes known as the Kralitz Bible (1579-93). The idea was broached by
Blahoslaw, the Church historian. The expense was born by Baron John
von Zerotin. The actual printing was executed at Zerotin's Castle at
Kralitz. The translation was based, not on the Vulgate, but on the
original Hebrew and Greek. The work of translating the Old Testament
was entrusted to six Hebrew scholars, Aeneas, Cepollo, Streic, Ephraim,
Jessen, and Capito. The New Testament was translated by Blahoslaw
himself (1565). The work was of national interest. For the first time
the Bohemian people possessed the Bible in a translation from the
original tongue, with the chapters subdivided into verses, and the
Apocrypha separated from the Canonical Books. The work appeared at first
in cumbersome form. It was issued in six bulky volumes, with only eight
or nine verses to a page, and a running commentary in the margin. The
paper was strong, the binding dark brown, the page quarto, the type
Latin, the style chaste and idiomatic, and the commentary fairly rich in
broad practical theology. But all this was no use to the poor. For the
benefit, therefore, of the common people the Brethren published a small
thin paper edition in a plain calf binding. It contained an index of
quotations from the Old Testament in the New, an index of proper names
with their meanings, a lectionary for the Christian Year, references
in the margin, and a vignette including the famous Brethren's episcopal
seal, "The Lamb and the Flag." The size of the page was only five inches
by seven and a half; the number of pages was eleven hundred and sixty;
the paper was so remarkably thin that the book was only an inch and a
quarter thick;[47] and thus it was suited in every way to hold the same
place in the affections of the people that the Geneva Bible held in
England in the days of our Puritan fathers. The Kralitz Bible was
a masterpiece. It helped to fix and purify the language, and thus
completed what Stitny and Hus had begun. It became the model of a chaste
and simple style; and its beauty of language was praised by the Jesuits.
It is a relic that can never be forgotten, a treasure that can never
lose its value. It is issued now, word for word, by the British and
Foreign Bible Society; it is read by the people in their own homes,
and is used in the Protestant Churches of the country; and thus, as the
Catholic, Gindely, says, it will probably endure as long as the Bohemian
tongue is spoken.

But even this was not the end of the Brethren's labours. We come to
the most amazing fact in their history. On the one hand they were the
greatest literary force in the country;[48] on the other they took the
smallest part in her theological controversies. For example, take the
case of John Blahoslaw. He was one of the most brilliant scholars of his
day. He was master of a beautiful literary style. He was a member of
the Brethren's Inner Council. He wrote a "History of the Brethren."
He translated the New Testament into Bohemian. He prepared a standard
Bohemian Grammar. He wrote also a treatise on Music, and other works too
many to mention here. And yet, learned Bishop though he was, he wrote
only one theological treatise, "Election through Grace," and even here
he handled his subject from a practical rather than a theological point
of view.

Again, take the case of Jacob Bilek, Augusta's companion in prison. If
ever a man had just cause to hate the Church of Rome it was surely this
humble friend of the great Augusta; and yet he wrote a full account of
their dreary years in prison without saying one bitter word against
his persecutors and tormentors.[49] From this point of view his book is
delightful. It is full of piety, of trust in God, of vivid dramatic
description; it has not a bitter word from cover to cover; and thus it
is a beautiful and precious example of the broad and charitable spirit
of the Brethren.

Again, it is surely instructive to note what subject most attracted the
Brethren's attention. For religious debate they cared but little; for
history they had a consuming passion; and now their leading scholars
produced the greatest historical works in the language. Brother Jaffet
wrote a work on the Brethren's Episcopal Orders, entitled, "The Sword
of Goliath." Wenzel Brezan wrote a history of the "House of Rosenberg,"
containing much interesting information about Bohemian social life.
Baron Charles von Zerotin wrote several volumes of memoirs. The whole
interest of the Brethren now was broad and national in character. The
more learned they grew the less part they took in theological disputes.
They regarded such disputes as waste of time; they had no pet doctrines
to defend; they were now in line with the other Protestants of the
country; and they held that the soul was greater than the mind and good
conduct best of all. No longer did they issue "Confessions of Faith"
of their own; no longer did they lay much stress on their points of
difference with Luther. We come here to a point of great importance. It
has been asserted by some historians that the Brethren never taught the
doctrine of Justification by Faith. For answer we turn to their later
Catechism prepared (1554) by Jirek Gyrck.

"In what way," ran one question, "can a sinful man obtain salvation?"

"By the pure Grace of God alone, through Faith in Jesus Christ our Lord
who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification
and redemption."

What sort of picture does all this bring before us? It is the picture
of a body of men who had made remarkable progress. No longer did they
despise education; they fostered it more than any men in the country. No
longer did they speak with contempt of marriage; they spoke of it as
a symbol of holier things. It was time, thought some, for these
broad-minded men to have their due reward. It was time to amend the
insulting law, and tear the musty Edict of St. James to tatters.


Of all the members of the Brethren's Church, the most powerful and the
most discontented was Baron Wenzel von Budowa. He was now fifty-six
years of age. He had travelled in Germany, Denmark, Holland, England,
France and Italy. He had studied at several famous universities. He had
made the acquaintance of many learned men. He had entered the Imperial
service, and served as ambassador at Constantinople. He had mastered
Turkish and Arabic, had studied the Mohammedan religion, had published
the Alcoran in Bohemian, and had written a treatise denouncing the creed
and practice of Islam as Satanic in origin and character. He belonged to
the Emperor's Privy Council, and also to the Imperial Court of Appeal.
He took part in theological controversies, and preached sermons to
his tenants. He was the bosom friend of Baron Charles von Zerotin, the
leading Brother of Moravia. He corresponded, from time to time, with
the struggling Protestants in Hungary, and had now become the recognised
leader, not only of the Brethren, but of all evangelicals in Bohemia.

He had one great purpose to attain. As the Brethren had rendered such
signal service to the moral welfare of the land, it seemed to him absurd
and unfair that they should still be under the ban of the law and still
be denounced in Catholic pulpits as children of the devil. He resolved
to remedy the evil. The Emperor, Rudolph II., paved the way. He was just
the man that Budowa required. He was weak in body and in mind. He had
ruined his health, said popular scandal, by indulging in dissolute
pleasures. His face was shrivelled, his hair bleached, his back bent,
his step tottering. He was too much interested in astrology, gems,
pictures, horses, antique relics and similar curiosities to take much
interest in government; he suffered from religious mania, and was
constantly afraid of being murdered; and his daily hope and prayer was
that he might be spared all needless trouble in this vexatious world and
have absolutely nothing to do. And now he committed an act of astounding
folly. He first revived the Edict of St. James, ordered the nobles
throughout the land to turn out all Protestant pastors {1602-3.}, and
sent a body of armed men to close the Brethren's Houses at Jungbunzlau;
and then, having disgusted two-thirds of his loyal subjects, he summoned
a Diet, and asked for money for a crusade against the Turks. But this
was more than Wenzel could endure. He attended the Diet, and made a
brilliant speech. He had nothing, he said, to say against the Emperor.
He would not blame him for reviving the musty Edict. For that he blamed
some secret disturbers of the peace. If the Emperor needed money and
men, the loyal knights and nobles of Bohemia would support him. But that
support would be given on certain conditions. If the Emperor wished his
subjects to be loyal, he must first obey the law of the land himself.
"We stand," he said, "one and all by the Confession of 1575, and we do
not know a single person who is prepared to submit to the Consistory at
Prague." He finished, wept, prepared a petition, and sent it in to the
poor invisible Rudolph. And Rudolph replied as Emperors sometimes do. He
replied by closing the Diet.

Again, however, six years later, Budowa returned to the attack {1609.}.
He was acting, not merely on behalf of the Brethren, but on behalf
of all Protestants in the country. And this fact is the key to the
situation. As we follow the dramatic story to its sad and tragic close,
we must remember that from this time onward the Brethren, for all
intents and purposes, had almost abandoned their position as a separate
Church, and had cast in their lot, for good or evil, with the other
Protestants in Bohemia. They were striving now for the recognition, not
of their own Confession of Faith, but of the general Bohemian Protestant
Confession presented to the Emperor, Maximilian II. And thus Budowa
became a national hero. He called a meeting of Lutherans and Brethren
in the historic "Green Saloon," prepared a resolution demanding that the
Protestant Confession be inscribed in the Statute Book, and, followed
by a crowd of nobles and knights, was admitted to the sacred presence of
the Emperor.

Again the Diet was summoned. The hall was crammed, and knights and
nobles jostled each other in the corridors and in the square outside
{Jan. 28th, 1609.}. For some weeks the Emperor, secluded in his cabinet,
held to his point like a hero. The debate was conducted in somewhat
marvellous fashion. There, in the Green Saloon, sat the Protestants,
preparing proposals and petitions. There, in the Archbishop's palace,
sat the Catholics, rather few in number, and wondering what to do.
And there, in his chamber, sat the grizzly, rickety, imperial Lion,
consulting with his councillors, Martinic and Slawata, and dictating his
replies. And then, when the king had his answer ready, the Diet met in
the Council Chamber to hear it read aloud. His first reply was now as
sharp as ever. He declared that the faith of the Church of Rome was
the only lawful faith in Bohemia. "And as for these Brethren," he
said, "whose teaching has been so often forbidden by royal decrees and
decisions of the Diet, I order them, like my predecessors, to fall in
with the Utraquists or Catholics, and declare that their meetings shall
not be permitted on any pretence whatever."

In vain the Protestants, by way of reply, drew up a monster petition,
and set forth their grievances in detail. They suffered, they said, not
from actual persecution, but from nasty insults and petty annoyances.
They were still described in Catholic pulpits as heretics and children
of the devil. They were still forbidden to honour the memory of Hus.
They were still forbidden to print books without the consent of the
Archbishop. But the King snapped them short. He told the estates to end
their babble, and again closed the Diet {March 31st.}.

The blood of Budowa was up. The debate, thought he, was fast becoming
a farce. The King was fooling his subjects. The King must be taught a
lesson. As the Diet broke up, he stood at the door, and shouted out in
ringing tones: "Let all who love the King and the land, let all who care
for unity and love, let all who remember the zeal of our fathers, meet
here at six to-morrow morn."

He spent the night with some trusty allies, prepared another
declaration, met his friends in the morning, and informed the King, in
language clear, that the Protestants had now determined to win their
rights by force. And Budowa was soon true to his word. He sent envoys
asking for help to the King's brother Matthias, to the Elector of
Saxony, to the Duke of Brunswick, and to other Protestant leaders. He
called a meeting of nobles and knights in the courtyard of the castle,
and there, with heads bared and right hands upraised, they swore to be
true to each other and to win their liberty at any price, even at the
price of blood. He arranged for an independent meeting in the town
hall of the New Town. The King forbade the meeting. What better place,
replied Budowa, would His Majesty like to suggest? As he led his
men across the long Prague bridge, he was followed by thousands of
supporters. He arrived in due time at the square in front of the hall.
The Royal Captain appeared and ordered him off. The crowd jeered and
whistled the Captain away.

And yet Budowa was no vulgar rebel. He insisted that every session in
the hall should be begun and ended with prayer. He informed the
King, again and again, that all he wished was liberty of worship for
Protestants. He did his best to put an end to the street rows, the
drunken brawls, that now disgraced the city.

For the third time the King summoned the Diet {May 25th.}. The last
round in the terrible combat now began. He ordered the estates to appear
in civilian's dress. They arrived armed to the teeth. He ordered them to
open the proceedings by attending Mass in the Cathedral. The Catholics
alone obeyed; the Protestants held a service of their own; and yet,
despite these danger signals, the King was as stubborn as ever, and
again he sent a message to say that he held to his first decision. The
Diet was thunderstruck, furious, desperate.

"We have had enough of useless talk," said Count Matthias Thurn; "it is
time to take to arms." The long fight was drawing to a finish. As the
King refused to listen to reason, the members of the Diet, one and all,
Protestants and Catholics alike, prepared an ultimatum demanding that
all evangelical nobles, knights, citizens and peasants should have
full and perfect liberty to worship God in their own way, and to build
schools and churches on all Royal estates; and, in order that the King
might realise the facts of the case, Budowa formed a Board of thirty
directors, of whom fourteen were Brethren, raised an army in Prague, and
sent the nobles flying through the land to levy money and troops. The
country, in fact, was now in open revolt. And thus, at length compelled
by brute force, the poor old King gave way, and made his name famous
in history by signing the Letter of Majesty and granting full religious
liberty to all adherents of the Bohemian National Protestant Confession.
All adherents of the Confession could worship as they pleased, and all
classes, except the peasantry, could build schools and churches on Royal
estates {July 9th.}. "No decree of any kind," ran one sweeping clause,
"shall be issued either by us or by our heirs and succeeding kings
against the above established religious peace."

The delight in Prague was boundless. The Letter of Majesty was carried
through the streets in grand triumphal procession. The walls were
adorned with flaming posters. The bells of the churches were rung. The
people met in the Church of the Holy Cross, and there sang jubilant
psalms of thanksgiving and praise. The King's couriers posted through
the land to tell the gladsome news; the letter was hailed as the
heavenly herald of peace and goodwill to men; and Budowa was adored as a
national hero, and the redresser of his people's wrongs.

But the work of the Diet was not yet complete. As the Brethren, led by
the brave Budowa, had borne the brunt of the battle, we naturally expect
to find that now the victory was won, they would have the lion's share
of the spoils. But they really occupied a rather modest position. The
next duty of the Diet was to make quite sure that the Letter of
Majesty would not be broken. For this purpose they elected a Board of
Twenty-four Defenders, and of these Defenders only eight were Brethren.
Again, the Brethren had now to submit to the rule of a New National
Protestant Consistory. Of that Consistory the Administrator was a
Utraquist Priest; the next in rank was a Brethren's Bishop; the total
number of members was twelve; and of these twelve only three were
Brethren. If the Brethren, therefore, were fairly represented, they
must have constituted at this time about one-quarter or one-third of the
Protestants in Bohemia.[50] They were now a part, in the eyes of the
law, of the National Protestant Church. They were known as Utraquist
Christians. They accepted the National Confession as their own standard
of faith, and though they could still ordain their own priests, their
candidates for the priesthood had first to be examined by the national

And, further, the Brethren had now weakened their union with the
Moravian and Polish branches. No longer did the three parts of the
Church stand upon the same footing. In Poland the Brethren were still
the leading body; in Moravia they were still independent; in Bohemia
alone they bowed to the rule of others. And yet, in some important
respects, they were still as independent as ever. They could still hold
their own Synods and practise their own ceremonies; they still retained
their own Confession of faith; they could still conduct their own
schools and teach their Catechism; and they could still, above all,
enforce as of old their system of moral discipline. And this they
guarded as the apple of their eye.

As soon as the above arrangements were complete they addressed
themselves to the important task of defining their own position. And
for this purpose they met at a General Synod at Zerawic, and prepared
a comprehensive descriptive work, entitled "Ratio Disciplinæ"--i.e.,
Account of Discipline.[51] It was a thorough, exhaustive, orderly code
of rules and regulations. It was meant as a guide and a manifesto. It
proved to be an epitaph. In the second place, the Brethren now issued
(1615) a new edition of their Catechism, with the questions and answers
in four parallel columns--Greek, Bohemian, German and Latin;[52] and
thus, once more, they shewed their desire to play their part in national

Thus, at last, had the Brethren gained their freedom. They had crossed
the Red Sea, had traversed the wilderness, had smitten the Midianites
hip and thigh, and could now settle down in the land of freedom flowing
with milk and honey.


The dream of bliss became a nightmare. As the tide of Protestantism
ebbed and flowed in various parts of the Holy Roman Empire, so the
fortunes of the Brethren ebbed and flowed in the old home of their
fathers. We have seen how the Brethren rose to prosperity and power.
We have now to see what brought about their ruin. It was nothing in the
moral character of the Brethren themselves. It was purely and simply
their geographical position. If Bohemia had only been an island, as
Shakespeare seems to have thought it was, it is more than likely that
the Church of the Brethren would have flourished there down to the
present day. But Bohemia lay in the very heart of European politics; the
King was always a member of the House of Austria; the House of Austria
was the champion of the Catholic faith, and the Brethren now were
crushed to powder in the midst of that mighty European conflict known as
the Thirty Years' War. We note briefly the main stages of the process.

The first cause was the rising power of the Jesuits. For the last fifty
years these zealous men had been quietly extending their influence in
the country. They had built a magnificent college in Prague. They had
established a number of schools for the common people. They had obtained
positions as tutors in noble families. They went about from village to
village, preaching, sometimes in the village churches and sometimes
in the open air; and one of their number, Wenzel Sturm, had written an
exhaustive treatise denouncing the doctrines of the Brethren. But now
these Jesuits used more violent measures. They attacked the Brethren
in hot, abusive language. They declared that the wives of Protestant
ministers were whores. They denounced their children as bastards.
They declared that it was better to have the devil in the house than a
Protestant woman. And the more they preached, and the more they wrote,
the keener the party feeling in Bohemia grew.

The next cause was the Letter of Majesty itself. As soon as that Letter
was closely examined, a flaw was found in the crystal. We come to
what has been called the "Church Building Difficulty." It was clearly
provided in one clause of the Letter of Majesty that the Protestants
should have perfect liberty to build churches on all Royal estates. But
now arose the difficult question, what were Royal estates? What about
Roman Catholic Church estates? What about estates held by Catholic
officials as tenants of the King? Were these Royal estates or were
they not? There were two opinions on the subject. According to the
Protestants they were; according to the Jesuits they were not; and now
the Jesuits used this argument to influence the action of Matthias, the
next King of Bohemia. The dispute soon came to blows. At Klostergrab
the land belonged to the Catholic Archbishop of Prague; at Brunau it
belonged to the Abbot of Brunau; and yet, on each of these estates, the
Protestants had churches. They believed, of course, that they were in
the right. They regarded those estates as Royal estates. They had no
desire to break the law of the land. But now the Catholics began
to force the pace. At Brunau the Abbot interfered and turned the
Protestants out of the church. At Klostergrab the church was pulled
down, and the wood of which it was built was used as firewood; and in
each case the new King, Matthias, took the Catholic side. The truth
is, Matthias openly broke the Letter. He broke it on unquestioned Royal
estates. He expelled Protestant ministers from their pulpits, and put
Catholics in their place. His officers burst into Protestant churches
and interrupted the services; and, in open defiance of the law of the
land, the priests drove Protestants with dogs and scourges to the
Mass, and thrust the wafer down their mouths. What right, said the
Protestants, had the Catholics to do these things? The Jesuits had an
amazing answer ready. For two reasons, they held, the Letter of Majesty
was invalid. It was invalid because it had been obtained by force, and
invalid because it had not been sanctioned by the Pope. What peace could
there be with these conflicting views? It is clear that a storm was

The third cause was the famous dispute about the Kingship. As Matthias
was growing old and feeble, it was time to choose his successor; and
Matthias, therefore, summoned a Diet, and informed the Estates, to their
great surprise, that all they had to do now was to accept as King
his adopted son, Ferdinand Archduke of Styria. At first the Diet was
thunderstruck. They had met to choose their own King. They intended
to choose a Protestant, and now they were commanded to choose this
Ferdinand, the most zealous Catholic in Europe. And yet, for some
mysterious reason, the Diet actually yielded. They surrendered their
elective rights; they accepted Ferdinand as King, and thus, at the most
critical and dangerous point in the whole history of the country, they
allowed a Catholic devotee to become the ruler of a Protestant people.
For that fatal mistake they had soon to pay in full. Some say they were
frightened by threats; some say that the Diet was summoned in a hurry,
and that only a few attended. The truth is, they were completely
outwitted. At this point the Protestant nobles of Bohemia showed that
fatal lack of prompt and united action which was soon to fill the whole
land with all the horrors of war. In vain Budowa raised a vehement
protest. He found but few to support him. If the Protestants desired
peace and good order in Bohemia, they ought to have insisted upon their
rights and elected a Protestant King; and now, in Ferdinand, they had
accepted a man who was pledged to fight for the Church of Rome with
every breath of his body. He was a man of fervent piety. He was a pupil
of the Jesuits. He regarded himself as the divinely appointed champion
of the Catholic faith. He had already stamped out the Protestants in
Styria. He had a strong will and a clear conception of what he regarded
as his duty. He would rather, he declared, beg his bread from door to
door, with his family clinging affectionately around him, than allow
a single Protestant in his dominions. "I would rather," he said, "rule
over a wilderness than over heretics." But what about his oath to
observe the Letter of Majesty? Should he take the oath or not? If he
took it he would be untrue to his conscience; if he refused he could
never be crowned King of Bohemia. He consulted his friends the Jesuits.
They soon eased his conscience. It was wicked, they said, of Rudolph
II. to sign such a monstrous document; but it was not wicked for the
new King to take the oath to keep it. And, therefore, Ferdinand took the
oath, and was crowned King of Bohemia. "We shall now see," said a lady
at the ceremony, "whether the Protestants are to rule the Catholics or
the Catholics the Protestants."

She was right. Forthwith the Protestants realised their blunder, and
made desperate efforts to recover the ground they had lost. Now was the
time for the Twenty-four Defenders to arise and do their duty; now was
the time, now or never, to make the Letter no longer a grinning mockery.
They began by acting strictly according to law. They had been empowered
to summon representatives of the Protestant Estates. They summoned their
assembly, prepared a petition, and sent it off to Matthias. He replied
that their assembly was illegal. He refused to remedy their grievances.
The Defenders were goaded to fury. At their head was a violent man,
Henry Thurn. He resolved on open rebellion. He would have the new King
Ferdinand dethroned and have his two councillors, Martinic and Slawata,
put to death. It was the 23rd of May, 1618. At an early hour on that
fatal day, the Protestant Convention met in the Hradschin, and then,
a little later, the fiery Thurn sallied out with a body of armed
supporters, arrived at the Royal Castle, and forced his way into the
Regent's Chamber, where the King's Councillors were assembled. There, in
a corner, by the stove sat Martinic and Slawata. There, in that Regent's
Chamber, began the cause of all the woe that followed. There was struck
the first blow of the Thirty Years' War. As Thurn and his henchmen stood
in the presence of the two men, who, in their opinion, had done the most
to poison the mind of Matthias, they felt that the decisive moment
had come. The interview was stormy. Voices rang in wild confusion. The
Protestant spokesman was Paul von Rican. He accused Martinic and Slawata
of two great crimes. They had openly broken the Letter of Majesty, and
had dictated King Matthias's last reply. He appealed to his supporters
crowded into the corridor outside.

"Aye, aye," shouted the crowd.

"Into the Black Tower with them," said some.

"Nay, nay," said Rupow, a member of the Brethren's Church, "out of the
window with them, in the good old Bohemian fashion."

At this signal, agreed upon before, Martinic was dragged to the window.
He begged for a father confessor.

"Commend thy soul to God," said someone. "Are we to allow any Jesuit
scoundrels here?"

"Jesus! Mary!" he screamed.

He was flung headlong from the window. He clutched at the window-sill.
A blow came down on his hands. He had to leave go, and down he fell,
seventy feet, into the moat below.

"Let us see," said someone, "whether his Mary will help him."

He fell on a heap of soft rubbish. He scrambled away with only a wound
in the head.

"By God," said one of the speakers, "his Mary has helped him."

At this point the conspirators appear to have lost their heads. As
Martinic had not been killed by his fall, it was absurd to treat Slawata
in the same way; and yet they now flung him out of the window, and his
secretary Fabricius after him. Not one of the three was killed, not one
was even maimed for life, and through the country the rumour spread that
all three had been delivered by the Virgin Mary.

>From that moment war was inevitable. As the details of the struggle do
not concern us, it will be enough to state here that the Defenders now,
in slipshod fashion, began to take a variety of measures to maintain the
Protestant cause. They formed a national Board of Thirty Directors. They
assessed new taxes to maintain the war, but never took the trouble to
collect them. They relied more on outside help than on their own united
action. They deposed Ferdinand II.; they elected Frederick, Elector
Palatine, and son-in-law of James I. of England, as King of Bohemia; and
they ordered the Jesuits out of the kingdom. There was a strange scene
in Prague when these Jesuits departed. They formed in procession in
the streets, and, clad in black, marched off with bowed heads and loud
wailings; and when their houses were examined they were found full of
gunpowder and arms. For the moment the Protestants of Prague were wild
with joy. In the great Cathedral they pulled off the ornaments and
destroyed costly pictures. What part did the Brethren play in these
abominations? We do not know. At this tragic point in their fateful
story our evidence is so lamentably scanty that it is absolutely
impossible to say what part they played in the revolution. But one thing
at least we know without a doubt. We know that the Catholics were now
united and the Protestants quarrelling with each other; we know that
Ferdinand was prompt and vigorous, and the new King Frederick stupid and
slack; and we know, finally, that the Catholic army, commanded by the
famous general Tilly, was far superior to the Protestant army under
Christian of Anhalt. At last the Catholic army appeared before the walls
of Prague. The battle of the White Hill was fought (November 8th, 1620).
The new King, in the city, was entertaining some ambassadors to dinner.
The Protestant army was routed, the new King fled from the country, and
once again Bohemia lay crushed under the heel of the conqueror.

At this time the heel of the conqueror consisted in a certain Prince
Lichtenstein. He was made regent of Prague, and was entrusted with the
duty of restoring the country to order. He set about his work in a cool
and methodical manner. He cleared the rabble out of the streets. He
recalled the Jesuits. He ordered the Brethren out of the kingdom. He put
a Roman Catholic Priest into every church in Prague; and then he made
the strange announcement that all the rebels, as they were called, would
be freely pardoned, and invited the leading Protestant nobles to appear
before him at Prague. They walked into the trap like flies into a
cobweb. If the nobles had only cared to do so, they might all have
escaped after the battle of the White Hill; for Tilly, the victorious
general, had purposely given them time to do so. But for some reason
they nearly all preferred to stay. And now Lichtenstein had them in his
grasp. He had forty-seven leaders arrested in one night. He imprisoned
them in the castle tower, had them tried and condemned, obtained the
approval of Ferdinand, and then, while some were pardoned, informed the
remaining twenty-seven that they had two days in which to prepare for
death. They were to die on June 21st. Among those leaders about a dozen
were Brethren. We have arrived at the last act of the tragedy. We have
seen the grim drama develop, and when the curtain falls the stage will
be covered with corpses and blood.


The City of Prague was divided into two parts, the Old Town and the New
Town. In the middle of the Old Town was a large open space, called the
Great Square. On the west side of the Great Square stood the Council
House, on the east the old Thein Church. The condemned prisoners, half
of whom were Brethren, were in the Council House: in front of their
window was the scaffold, draped in black cloth, twenty feet high,
and twenty-two yards square; from the window they stepped out on to
a balcony, and from the balcony to the scaffold ran a short flight of
steps. In that Great Square, and on that scaffold, we find the scene of
our story.

When early in the morning of Monday, June 21st, the assembled prisoners
looked out of the windows of their rooms to take their last view of
earth, they saw a splendid, a brilliant, a gorgeous, but to them a
terrible scene {1621.}. They saw God's sun just rising in the east and
reddening the sky and shining in each other's faces; they saw the dark
black scaffold bathed in light, and the squares of infantry and cavalry
ranged around it; they saw the eager, excited throng, surging and
swaying in the Square below and crowding on the house-tops to right and
left; and they saw on the further side of the square the lovely twin
towers of the old Thein Church, where Gregory had knelt and Rockycana
had preached in the brave days of old. As the church clocks chimed
the hour of five a gun was fired from the castle; the prisoners were
informed that their hour had come, and were ordered to prepare for
their doom; and Lichtenstein and the magistrates stepped out on to the
balcony, an awning above them to screen them from the rising sun. The
last act of the tragedy opened.

As there was now a long morning's work to be done, that work was begun
at once; and as the heads of the martyrs fell off the block in quick
succession the trumpets brayed and the drums beat an accompaniment. Grim
and ghastly was the scene in that Great Square in Prague, on that bright
June morning well nigh three hundred years ago. There fell the flower of
the Bohemian nobility; and there was heard the swan song of the Bohemian
Brethren. As the sun rose higher in the eastern sky and shone on the
windows of the Council House, the sun of the Brethren's pride and power
was setting in a sea of blood; and clear athwart the lingering light
stood out, for all mankind to see, the figures of the last defenders of
their freedom and their faith. Among the number not one had shown the
white feather in prospect of death. Not a cheek was blanched, not
a voice faltered as the dread hour drew near. One and all they had
fortified themselves to look the waiting angel of death in the face.
As they sat in their rooms the evening before--a sabbath evening it
was--they had all, in one way or another, drawn nigh to God in prayer.
In one room the prisoners had taken the Communion together, in another
they joined in singing psalms and hymns; in another they had feasted
in a last feast of love. Among these were various shades of
faith--Lutherans, Calvinists, Utraquists, Brethren; but now all
differences were laid aside, for all was nearly over now. One laid the
cloth, and another the plates; a third brought water and a fourth said
the simple grace. As the night wore on they lay down on tables and
benches to snatch a few hours of that troubled sleep which gives no
rest. At two they were all broad awake again, and again the sound of
psalms and hymns was heard; and as the first gleams of light appeared
each dressed himself as though for a wedding, and carefully turned down
the ruffle of his collar so as to give the executioner no extra trouble.

Swiftly, in order, and without much cruelty the gory work was done. The
morning's programme had all been carefully arranged. At each corner of
the square was a squad of soldiers to hold the people in awe, and
to prevent an attempt at rescue. One man, named Mydlar, was the
executioner; and, being a Protestant, he performed his duties with as
much decency and humanity as possible. He used four different swords,
and was paid about £100 for his morning's work. With his first sword he
beheaded eleven; with his second, five; with his two last, eight. The
first of these swords is still to be seen at Prague, and has the names
of its eleven victims engraven upon it. Among these names is the name of
Wenzel von Budowa. In every instance Mydlar seems to have done his
duty at one blow. At his side stood an assistant, and six masked men in
black. As soon as Mydlar had severed the neck, the assistant placed
the dead man's right hand on the block; the sword fell again; the hand
dropped at the wrist; and the men in black, as silent as night, gathered
up the bleeding members, wrapped them in clean black cloth, and swiftly
bore them away.

The name of Budowa was second on the list. As many of the records of the
time were destroyed by fire, we are not able to tell in full what part
Budowa had played in the great revolt. He had, however, been a leader
on the conquered side. He had fought, as we know, for the Letter of
Majesty; he had bearded Rudolph II. in his den; he had openly opposed
the election of Ferdinand II.; he had welcomed Frederick, the Protestant
Winter King, at the city gates; and, therefore, he was justly regarded
by Ferdinand as a champion of the Protestant national faith and an enemy
of the Catholic Church and throne. As he was now over seventy years of
age it is hardly likely that he had fought on the field of battle. After
the battle of the White Mountain he had retired with his family to his
country estate. He had then, strange to say, been one of those entrapped
into Prague by Lichtenstein, and had been imprisoned in the White Tower.
There he was tried and condemned as a rebel, and there, as even Gindely
admits, he bore himself like a hero to the last. At first, along with
some other nobles, he signed a petition to the Elector of Saxony,
imploring him to intercede with the Emperor on their behalf. The
petition received no answer. He resigned himself to his fate. He was
asked why he had walked into the lion's den. For some reason that I fail
to understand Gindely says that what we are told about the conduct of
the prisoners has only a literary interest. To my mind the last words of
Wenzel of Budowa are of the highest historical importance. They show how
the fate of the Brethren's Church was involved in the fate of Bohemia.
He had come to Prague as a patriot and as a Brother. He was dying both
for his country and for his Church.

"My heart impelled me to come," he said; "to forsake my country and its
cause would have been sinning against my conscience. Here am I, my God,
do unto Thy servant as seemeth good unto Thee. I would rather die myself
than see my country die."

As he sat in his room on the Saturday evening--two days before the
execution--he was visited by two Capuchin monks. He was amazed at their
boldness. As they did not understand Bohemian, the conversation was
conducted in Latin. They informed him that their visit was one of pity.

"Of pity?" asked the white-haired old Baron, "How so?"

"We wish to show your lordship the way to heaven." He assured them that
he knew the way and stood on firm ground.

"My Lord only imagines," they rejoined, "that he knows the way of
salvation. He is mistaken. Not being a member of the Holy Church, he has
no share in the Church's salvation."

But Budowa placed his trust in Christ alone.

"I have this excellent promise," he said, "Whosoever believeth in Him
shall not perish but have everlasting life. Therefore, until my last
moment, will I abide by our true Church."

Thus did Budowa declare the faith of the Brethren. The Capuchin monks
were horrified. They smote their breasts, declared that so hardened a
heretic they had never seen, crossed themselves repeatedly, and left him
sadly to his fate.

For the last time, on the Monday morning, he was given another chance to
deny his faith. Two Jesuits came to see him.

"We have come to save my lord's soul," they said, "and to perform a work
of mercy."

"Dear fathers," replied Budowa, "I thank my God that His Holy Spirit
has given me the assurance that I will be saved through the blood of
the Lamb." He appealed to the words of St. Paul: "I know whom I have
believed: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."

"But," said the Jesuits, "Paul there speaks of himself, not of others."

"You lie," said Budowa, "for does he not expressly add: 'and not to me
only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.'"

And after a little more argumentation, the Jesuits left in disgust.

The last moment in Budowa's life now arrived. The messenger came and
told him it was his turn to die. He bade his friends farewell.

"I go," he declared, "in the garment of righteousness; thus arrayed
shall I appear before God."

Alone, with firm step he strode to the scaffold, stroking proudly his
silver hair and beard.

"Thou old grey head of mine," said he, "thou art highly honoured; thou
shalt be adorned with the Martyr-Crown."

As he knelt and prayed he was watched by the pitying eyes of the two
kind-hearted Jesuits who had come to see him that morning. He prayed for
his country, for his Church, for his enemies, and committed his soul
to Christ; the sword flashed brightly in the sun; and one strong
blow closed the restless life of Wenzel von Budowa, the "Last of the

And with his death there came the death of the Ancient Church of the
Brethren. From the moment when Budowa's hoary head fell from the block
the destruction of the Church was only a question of time. As Budowa
died, so died the others after him. We have no space to tell here in
detail how his bright example was followed; how nearly all departed with
the words upon their lips, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit"; how the
drums beat louder each time before the sword fell, that the people might
not hear the last words of triumphant confidence in God; how Caspar
Kaplir, an old man of eighty-six, staggered up to the scaffold arrayed
in a white robe, which he called his wedding garment, but was so weak
that he could not hold his head to the block; how Otto von Los looked
up and said, "Behold I see the heavens opened"; how Dr. Jessen, the
theologian, had his tongue seized with a pair of tongs, cut off at the
roots with a knife, and died with the blood gushing from his mouth; how
three others were hanged on a gallows in the Square; how the fearful
work went steadily on till the last head had fallen, and the black
scaffold sweated blood; and how the bodies of the chiefs were flung
into unconsecrated ground, and their heads spitted on poles in the
city, there to grin for full ten years as a warning to all who held the
Protestant faith. In all the story of the Brethren's Church there has
been no other day like that. It was the day when the furies seemed to
ride triumphant in the air, when the God of their fathers seemed to
mock at the trial of the innocent, and when the little Church that had
battled so bravely and so long was at last stamped down by the heel of
the conqueror, till the life-blood flowed no longer in her veins.

Not, indeed, till the last breath of Church life had gone did the
fearful stamping cease. The zeal of Ferdinand knew no bounds. He was
determined, not only to crush the Brethren, but to wipe their memory
from off the face of the earth. He regarded the Brethren as a noisome
pest. Not a stone did he and his servants leave unturned to destroy
them. They began with the churches. Instead of razing them to the
ground, which would, of course, have been wanton waste, they turned them
into Roman Catholic Chapels by the customary methods of purification and
rededication. They rubbed out the inscriptions on the walls, and put
new ones in their places, lashed the pulpits with whips, beat the altars
with sticks, sprinkled holy water to cleanse the buildings of heresy,
opened the graves and dishonoured the bones of the dead. Where once was
the cup for Communion was now the image of the Virgin. Where once
the Brethren had sung their hymns and read their Bibles were now the
Confessional and the Mass.

Meanwhile the Brethren had been expelled from Bohemia. It is a striking
proof of the influence of the Brethren that Ferdinand turned his
attention to them before he troubled about the other Protestants. They
had been the first in moral power; they had done the most to spread the
knowledge of the Bible; they had produced the greatest literary men
of the country; and, therefore, now they must be the first to go. What
actually happened to many of the Brethren during the next few years
no tongue can tell. But we know enough. We know that Ferdinand cut the
Letter of Majesty in two with his scissors. We know that thirty-six
thousand families left Bohemia and Moravia, and that the population of
Bohemia dwindled from three millions to one. We know that about one-half
of the property--lands, houses, castles, churches--passed over into the
hands of the King. We know that the University of Prague was handed over
to the Jesuits. We know that the scandalous order was issued that all
Protestant married ministers who consented to join the Church of Rome
might keep their wives by passing them off as cooks. We know that
villages were sacked; that Kralitz Bibles, Hymn-books, Confessions,
Catechisms, and historical works of priceless value--among others
Blahoslaw's "History of the Brethren"--were burned in thousand; and that
thus nearly every trace of the Brethren was swept out of the land. We
know that some of the Brethren were hacked in pieces, that some were
tortured, that some were burned alive, that some swung on gibbets at the
city gates and at the country cross-roads among the carrion crows. For
six years Bohemia was a field of blood, and Spanish soldiers, drunk and
raging, slashed and pillaged on every hand. "Oh, to what torments," says
a clergyman of that day, "were the promoters of the Gospel exposed!
How they were tortured and massacred! How many virgins were violated to
death! How many respectable women abused! How many children torn from
their mothers' breasts and cut in pieces in their presence! How many
dragged from their beds and thrown naked from the windows! Good God!
What cries of woe we were forced to hear from those who lay upon the
rack, and what groans and terrible outcries from those who besought the
robbers to spare them for God's sake." It was thus that the Brethren, at
the point of the sword, were driven from hearth and home: thus that
they fled before the blast and took refuge in foreign lands; thus,
amid bloodshed, and crime, and cruelty, and nameless torture, that the
Ancient Church of the Bohemian Brethren bade a sad farewell to the land
of its birth, and disappeared from the eyes of mankind.

Let us review the story of that wonderful Church. What a marvellous
change had come upon it! It began in the quiet little valley of Kunwald:
it ended in the noisy streets of Prague. It began in peace and brotherly
love: it ended amid the tramp of horses, the clank of armour, the swish
of swords, the growl of artillery, the whistle of bullets, the blare of
trumpets, the roll of drums, and the moans of the wounded and the dying.
It began in the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount: it ended amid the
ghastly horrors of war. What was it that caused the destruction of
that Church? At this point some historians, being short of facts, have
thought fit to indulge in philosophical reflections; and, following
the stale philosophy of Bildad--that all suffering is the punishment of
sin--have informed us that the Brethren were now the victims of internal
moral decay. They had lost, we are told, their sense of unity; they had
relaxed their discipline; they had become morally weak; and the day of
their external prosperity was the day of their internal decline. For
this pious and utterly unfounded opinion the evidence usually summoned
is the fact that Bishop Amos Comenius, in a sermon entitled "Haggai
Redivivus," had some rather severe remarks to make about the sins of his
Brethren. But Bishops' sermons are dangerous historical evidence. It is
not the business of a preacher to tell the whole truth in one discourse.
He is not a witness in the box; he is a prophet aiming at some special
moral reform. If a Bishop is lecturing his Brethren for their failings
he is sure to indulge, not exactly in exaggeration, but in one-sided
statements of the facts. He will talk at length about the sins, and
say nothing about the virtues. It is, of course, within the bounds of
possibility that when the Brethren became more prosperous they were not
so strict in some of their rules as they had been in earlier days; and
it is also true that when Wenzel von Budowa summoned his followers to
arms, the deed was enough, as one writer remarks, to make Gregory the
Patriarch groan in his grave. But of any serious moral decline there
is no solid proof. It is absurd to blame the Brethren for mixing in
politics, and absurd to say that this mixing was the cause of their
ruin. At that time in Bohemia religion and politics were inseparable. If
a man took a definite stand in religion he took thereby a definite stand
in politics. To be a Protestant was to be a rebel. If Budowa had never
lifted a finger, the destruction of the Brethren would have been no less
complete. The case of Baron Charles von Zerotin proves the point. He
took no part in the rebellion; he sided, in the war, with the House of
Hapsburg; he endeavoured, that is, to remain a Protestant and yet at
the same time a staunch supporter of Ferdinand; and yet, loyal subject
though he was, he was not allowed, except for a few years, to shelter
Protestant ministers in his castle, and had finally to sell his estates
and to leave the country. At heart, Comenius had a high opinion of his
Brethren. For nearly fifty weary years--as we shall see in the next
chapter--this genius and scholar longed and strove for the revival
of the Brethren's Church, and in many of his books he described the
Brethren, not as men who had disgraced their profession, but as heroes
holding the faith in purity. He described his Brethren as broad-minded
men, who took no part in religious quarrels, but looked towards heaven,
and bore themselves affably to all; he said to the exiles in one of his
letters, "You have endured to the end"; he described them again, in
a touching appeal addressed to the Church of England, as a model of
Christian simplicity; and he attributed their downfall in Bohemia,
not to any moral weakness, but to their neglect of education. If the
Brethren, he argued, had paid more attention to learning, they would
have gained the support of powerful friends, who would not have allowed
them to perish. I admit, of course, that Comenius was naturally partial,
and that when he speaks in praise of the Brethren we must receive his
evidence with caution; but, on the other hand, I hold that the theory of
a serious moral decline, so popular with certain German historians,
is not supported by evidence. If the Brethren had shown much sign
of corruption we should expect to find full proof of the fact in the
Catholic writers of the day. But such proof is not to hand. Not even
the Jesuit historian, Balbin, had anything serious to say against the
Brethren. The only Catholic writer, as far as I know, who attacked their
character was the famous Papal Nuncio, Carlo Caraffa. He says that the
Brethren in Moravia had become a little ambitious and avaricious, "with
some degree of luxury in their habits of life";[53] but he has no remarks
of a similar nature to make about the Brethren in Bohemia. The real
cause of the fall of the Brethren was utterly different. They fell,
not because they were morally weak, but because they were killed by the
sword or forcibly robbed of their property. They fell because Bohemia
fell; and Bohemia fell for a variety of reasons; partly because her
peasants were serfs and had no fight left in them; partly because
her nobles blundered in their choice of a Protestant King; and partly
because, when all is said, she was only a little country in the grip
of a mightier power. In some countries the Catholic reaction was due
to genuine religious fervour; in Bohemia it was brought about by brute
force; and even with all his money and his men King Ferdinand found
the destruction of the Brethren no easy task. He had the whole house of
Hapsburg on his side; he had thousands of mercenary soldiers from Spain;
he was restrained by no scruples of conscience; and yet it took him six
full years to drive the Brethren from the country. And even then he had
not completed his work. In spite of his efforts, many thousands of
the people still remained Brethren at heart; and as late as 1781,
when Joseph II. issued his Edict of Toleration, 100,000 in Bohemia and
Moravia declared themselves Brethren. We have here a genuine proof of
the Brethren's vigour. It had been handed on from father to son through
five generations. For the Brethren there was still no legal recognition
in Bohemia and Moravia; the Edict applied to Lutherans and Calvinists
only; and if the Brethren had been weak men they might now have called
themselves Lutherans or Calvinists. But this, of course, carries us
beyond the limits of this chapter. For the present King Ferdinand had
triumphed; and word was sent to the Pope at Rome that the Church of the
Brethren was no more.


But the cause of the Brethren's Church was not yet lost. As the Brethren
fled before the blast, it befell, in the wonderful providence of God,
that all their best and noblest qualities--their broadness of view,
their care for the young, their patience in suffering, their undaunted
faith--shone forth in undying splendour in the life and character of one
great man; and that man was the famous John Amos Comenius, the pioneer
of modern education and the last Bishop of the Bohemian Brethren. He was
born on March 18th, 1592, at Trivnitz, a little market town in Moravia.
He was only six years old when he lost his parents through the plague.
He was taken in hand by his sister, and was educated at the Brethren's
School at Ungarisch-Brod. As he soon resolved to become a minister,
he was sent by the Brethren to study theology, first at the Calvinist
University of Herborn in Nassau, and then at the Calvinist University
of Heidelberg. For two years (1614-1616) he then acted as master in
the Brethren's Higher School at Prerau, and then became minister of
the congregation at Fulneck. There, too, the Brethren had a school; and
there, both as minister and teacher, Comenius, with his young wife and
family, was as happy as the livelong day. But his happiness was speedily
turned to misery. The Thirty Years' War broke out. What part he took
in the Bohemian Revolution we have no means of knowing. He certainly
favoured the election of Frederick, and helped his cause in some way. "I
contributed a nail or two," he says,[54] "to strengthen the new throne."
What sort of nail he means we do not know. The new throne did not stand
very long. The troops of Ferdinand appeared at Fulneck. The village was
sacked. Comenius reeled with horror. He saw the weapons for stabbing,
for chopping, for cutting, for pricking, for hacking, for tearing and
for burning. He saw the savage hacking of limbs, the spurting of blood,
the flash of fire.

"Almighty God," he wrote in one of his books, "what is happening? Must
the whole world perish?"

His house was pillaged and gutted; his books and his manuscripts were
burned; and he himself, with his wife and children, had now to flee in
hot haste from Fulneck and to take refuge for a while on the estate
of Baron Charles von Zerotin at Brandeis-on-the-Adler. To the Brethren
Brandeis had long been a sacred spot. There Gregory the Patriarch
had breathed his last, and there his bones lay buried; there many an
historic Brethren's Synod had been held; and there Comenius took up his
abode in a little wood cottage outside the town which tradition said
had been built by Gregory himself. He had lost his wife and one of his
children on the way from Fulneck; he had lost his post as teacher and
minister; and now, for the sake of his suffering Brethren, he wrote
his beautiful classical allegory, "The Labyrinth of the World and
the Paradise of the Heart."[55] For historical purposes this book is
of surpassing value. It is a revelation. It is a picture both of the
horrors of the time and of the deep religious life of the Brethren. As
Comenius fled from Fulneck to Brandeis he saw sights that harrowed his
soul, and now in his cottage at the foot of the hills he described
what he had seen. The whole land, said Comenius, was now in a state
of disorder. The reign of justice had ended. The reign of pillage had
begun. The plot of the book is simple. From scene to scene the pilgrim
goes, and everything fills him with disgust. The pilgrim, of course, is
Comenius himself; the "Labyrinth" is Bohemia; and the time is the early
years of the Thirty Years' War. He had studied the social conditions of
Bohemia; he had seen men of all ranks and all occupations; and now, in
witty, satirical language, he held the mirror up to nature. What sort
of men were employed by Ferdinand to administer justice in Bohemia?
Comenius gave them fine sarcastic names. He called the judges Nogod,
Lovestrife, Hearsay, Partial, Loveself, Lovegold, Takegift, Ignorant,
Knowlittle, Hasty and Slovenly; he called the witnesses Calumny, Lie and
Suspicion; and, in obvious allusion to Ferdinand's seizure of property,
he named the statute-book "The Rapacious Defraudment of the Land." He
saw the lords oppressing the poor, sitting long at table, and discussing
lewd and obscene matters. He saw the rich idlers with bloated faces,
with bleary eyes, with swollen limbs, with bodies covered with sores.
He saw the moral world turned upside down. No longer, said Comenius,
did men in Bohemia call things by their right names. They called
drunkenness, merriment; greed, economy; usury, interest; lust, love;
pride, dignity; cruelty, severity; and laziness, good nature. He saw his
Brethren maltreated in the vilest fashion. Some were cast into the fire;
some were hanged, beheaded, crucified;[56] some were pierced, chopped,
tortured with pincers, and roasted to death on grid-irons. He studied
the lives of professing Christians, and found that those who claimed the
greatest piety were the sorriest scoundrels in the land. "They drink
and vomit," he said, "quarrel and fight, rob and pillage one another
by cunning and by violence, neigh and skip from wantonness, shout and
whistle, and commit fornication and adultery worse than any of the
others." He watched the priests, and found them no better than the
people. Some snored, wallowing in feather beds; some feasted till they
became speechless; some performed dances and leaps; some passed their
time in love-making and wantonness.

For these evils Comenius saw one remedy only, and that remedy was the
cultivation of the simple and beautiful religion of the Brethren. The
last part of his book, "The Paradise of the Heart," is delightful.
Comenius was a marvellous writer. He combined the biting satire of Swift
with the devotional tenderness of Thomas à Kempis. As we linger over
the closing sections of his book, we can see that he then regarded the
Brethren as almost ideal Christians. Among them he found no priests
in gaudy attire, no flaunting wealth, no grinding poverty; and passing
their time in peace and quietness, they cherished Christ in their
hearts. "All," he says, "were in simple attire, and their ways were
gentle and kind. I approached one of their preachers, wishing to speak
to him. When, as is our custom, I wished to address him according to his
rank, he permitted it not, calling such things worldly fooling." To them
ceremonies were matters of little importance. "Thy religion," said the
Master to the Pilgrim--i.e., to the Brethren's Church--"shall be to
serve me in quiet, and not to bind thyself to any ceremonies, for I do
not bind thee by them."

But Comenius did not stay long at Brandeis-on-the-Adler {1628.}. As
Zerotin had sided with the House of Hapsburg, he had been allowed, for a
few years, to give shelter to about forty Brethren's ministers; but
now commissioners appeared at his Castle, and ordered him to send these
ministers away. The last band of exiles now set out for Poland. The
leader was Comenius himself. As they bade farewell to their native land
they did so in the firm conviction that they themselves should see
the day when the Church of the Brethren should stand once more in her
ancient home; and as they stood on a spur of the Giant Mountains, and
saw the old loved hills and dales, the towns and hamlets, the nestling
churches, Comenius raised his eyes to heaven and uttered that historic
prayer which was to have so marvellous an answer. He prayed that in the
old home God would preserve a "Hidden Seed," which would one day grow to
a tree; and then the whole band struck up a hymn and set out for Poland.
Pathetic was the marching song they sang:--

   Nought have we taken with us,
   All to destruction is hurled,
   We have only our Kralitz Bibles,
   And our Labyrinth of the World.

Comenius led the Brethren to Lissa, in Poland, and Lissa became the
metropolis of the exiles.

What happened to many of the exiles no tongue can tell. We know that
some Brethren went to Hungary and held together for thirty or forty
years; that some were welcomed by the Elector of Saxony and became
Lutherans; that some found their way to Holland and became Reformed
Protestants; that some settled in Lusatia, Saxony; that a few, such as
the Cennicks, crossed the silver streak and found a home in England; and
that, finally, a number remained in Bohemia and Moravia, and gathered in
the neighbourhood of Landskron, Leitomischl, Kunewalde and Fulneck. What
became of these last, the "Hidden Seed," we shall see before very long.
For the present they buried their Bibles in their gardens, held midnight
meetings in garrets and stables, preserved their records in dovecotes
and in the thatched roofs of their cottages, and, feasting on the
glorious promises of the Book of Revelation--a book which many of them
knew by heart--awaited the time when their troubles should blow by and
the call to arise should sound.

Meanwhile Comenius had never abandoned hope. He was sure that the
Brethren's Church would revive, and equally sure of the means of her
revival. For some years there had flourished in the town of Lissa a
famous Grammar School. It was founded by Count Raphael IV. Leszczynski;
it had recently become a Higher School, or what Germans call a
gymnasium, and now it was entirely in the hands of the Brethren. The
patron, Count Raphael V. Leszczynski, was a Brother;[57] the director
was John Rybinski, a Brethren's minister; the co-director was another
Brethren's minister, Michael Henrici; and Comenius accepted the post
of teacher, and entered on the greatest task of his life. He had two
objects before him. He designed to revive the Church of the Brethren
and to uplift the whole human race; and for each of these purposes
he employed the very same method. The method was education. If the
Brethren, said Comenius, were to flourish again, they must pay more
attention to the training of the young than ever they had done in days
gone by. He issued detailed instructions to his Brethren. They must
begin, he said, by teaching the children the pure word of God in their
homes. They must bring their children up in habits of piety. They must
maintain the ancient discipline of the Brethren. They must live in
peace with other Christians, and avoid theological bickerings. They must
publish good books in the Bohemian language. They must build new schools
wherever possible, and endeavour to obtain the assistance of godly
nobles. We have here the key to the whole of Comenius's career. It is
the fashion now with many scholars to divide his life into two distinct
parts. On the one hand, they say, he was a Bishop of the Brethren's
Church; on the other hand he was an educational reformer. The
distinction is false and artificial. His whole life was of a piece.
He never distinguished between his work as a Bishop and his work as
an educational reformer. He drew no line between the secular and the
sacred. He loved the Brethren's Church to the end of his days; he
regarded her teaching as ideal; he laboured and longed for her revival;
and he believed with all the sincerity of his noble and beautiful soul
that God would surely enable him to revive that Church by means of
education and uplift the world by means of that regenerated Church.

And now for thirteen years, in the Grammar School at Lissa, Comenius
devoted the powers of his mind to this tremendous task. What was it,
he asked, that had caused the downfall of the Brethren in Bohemia and
Moravia? It was their cruel and senseless system of education. He had
been to a Brethren's School himself, and had come to the conclusion that
in point of method the schools of the Brethren were no better than the
other schools of Europe. "They are," he declared, "the terror of boys
and the slaughter-houses of minds; places where a hatred of literature
and books is contracted, where two or more years are spent in learning
what might be acquired in one, where what ought to be poured in gently
is violently forced and beaten in, and where what ought to be put
clearly is presented in a confused and intricate way as if it were
a collection of puzzles." The poor boys, he declared, were almost
frightened to death. They needed skins of tin; they were beaten with
fists, with canes and with birch-rods till the blood streamed forth;
they were covered with scars, stripes, spots and weals; and thus they
had learned to hate the schools and all that was taught therein.

He had already tried to introduce a reform. He had learned his new
ideas about education, not from the Brethren, but at the University of
Herborn. He had studied there the theories of Wolfgang Ratich; he had
tried to carry out these theories in the Brethren's schools at Prerau
and Fulneck; and now at Lissa, where he soon became director, he
introduced reforms which spread his fame throughout the civilized world.
His scheme was grand and comprehensive. He held that if only right
methods were employed all things might be taught to all men. "There is,"
he said, "nothing in heaven or earth or in the waters, nothing in the
abyss under the earth, nothing in the human body, nothing in the soul,
nothing in Holy Writ, nothing in the arts, nothing in politics, nothing
in the Church, of which the little candidates for wisdom shall be wholly
ignorant." His faith in the power of education was enormous. It was the
road, he said, to knowledge, to character, to fellowship with God, to
eternal life. He divided the educational course into four stages--the
"mother school," the popular school, the Latin school and the
University; and on each of these stages he had something original to

For mothers Comenius wrote a book, entitled the "School of Infancy." In
England this book is scarcely known at all: in Bohemia it is a household
treasure. Comenius regarded it as a work of first-rate importance. What
use, he asked, were schemes of education if a good foundation were not
first laid by the mother? For the first six years of his life, said
Comenius, the child must be taught by his mother. If she did her work
properly she could teach him many marvellous things. He would learn some
physics by handling things; some optics by naming colours, light and
darkness; some astronomy by studying the twinkling stars; some geography
by trudging the neighbouring streets and hills; some chronology by
learning the hours, the days and the months; some history by a chat
on local events; some geometry by measuring things for himself; some
statics by trying to balance his top; some mechanics by building his
little toy-house; some dialectics by asking questions; some economics by
observing his mother's skill as a housekeeper; and some music and
poetry by singing psalms and hymns. As Comenius penned these ideal
instructions, he must surely have known that nine mothers out of ten
had neither the patience nor the skill to follow his method; and yet he
insisted that, in some things, the mother had a clear course before her.
His advice was remarkably sound. At what age, ask mothers, should the
education of a child begin? It should begin, said Comenius, before the
child is born. At that period in her life the expectant mother must be
busy and cheerful, be moderate in her food, avoid all worry, and keep in
constant touch with God by prayer; and thus the child will come into the
world well equipped for the battle of life. She must, of course, nurse
the child herself. She must feed him, when weaned, on plain and simple
food. She must provide him with picture books; and, above all, she
must teach him to be clean in his habits, to obey his superiors, to be
truthful and polite, to bend the knee and fold his hands in prayer, and
to remember that the God revealed in Christ was ever near at hand.

Again, Comenius has been justly called the "Father of the Elementary
School." It was here that his ideas had the greatest practical value.
His first fundamental principle was that in all elementary schools
the scholars must learn in their native language only. He called these
schools "Mother tongue schools." For six or eight years, said Comenius,
the scholar must hear no language but his own; and his whole attention
must be concentrated, not on learning words like a parrot, but on
the direct study of nature. Comenius has been called the great
Sense-Realist. He had no belief in learning second-hand. He illustrated
his books with pictures. He gave his scholars object lessons. He taught
them, not about words, but about things. "The foundation of all learning
consists," he said, "in representing clearly to the senses sensible
objects." He insisted that no boy or girl should ever have to learn
by heart anything which he did not understand. He insisted that nature
should be studied, not out of books, but by direct contact with nature
herself. "Do we not dwell in the garden of nature," he asked, "as well
as the ancients? Why should we not use our eyes, ears and noses as
well as they? Why should we not lay open the living book of nature?" He
applied these ideas to the teaching of religion and morals. In order
to show his scholars the meaning of faith, he wrote a play entitled
"Abraham the Patriarch," and then taught them to act it; and, in order
to warn them against shallow views of life, he wrote a comedy, "Diogenes
the Cynic, Revived." He was no vulgar materialist. His whole object was
moral and religious. If Comenius had lived in the twentieth century, he
would certainly have been disgusted and shocked by the modern demand for
a purely secular education. He would have regarded the suggestion as an
insult to human nature. All men, he said, were made in the image of God;
all men had in them the roots of eternal wisdom; all men were capable of
understanding something of the nature of God; and, therefore, the
whole object of education was to develop, not only the physical and
intellectual, but also the moral and spiritual powers, and thus fit men
and women to be, first, useful citizens in the State, and then saints in
the Kingdom of Heaven beyond the tomb. From court to court he would lead
the students onward, from the first court dealing with nature to the
last court dealing with God. "It is," he said, "our bounden duty to
consider the means whereby the whole body of Christian youth may be
stirred to vigour of mind and the love of heavenly things." He believed
in caring for the body, because the body was the temple of the Holy
Ghost; and, in order to keep the body fit, he laid down the rule that
four hours of study a day was as much as any boy or girl could stand.
For the same reason he objected to corporal punishment; it was a
degrading insult to God's fair abode. For the same reason he held that
at all severe punishment should be reserved for moral offences only.
"The whole object of discipline," he said, "is to form in those
committed to our charge a disposition worthy of the children of God."
He believed, in a word, in the teaching of religion in day-schools; he
believed in opening school with morning prayers, and he held that all
scholars should be taught to say passages of Scripture by heart, to sing
psalms, to learn a Catechism and to place their trust in the salvation
offered through Jesus Christ. And yet Comenius did not insist on the
teaching of any definite religious creed. He belonged himself to a
Church that had no creed; he took a broader view of religion than either
the Lutherans or the Calvinists; he believed that Christianity could be
taught without a formal dogmatic statement; and thus, if I understand
him aright, he suggested a solution of a difficult problem which baffles
our cleverest politicians to-day.

Again Comenius introduced a new way of learning languages. His great
work on this subject was entitled "Janua Linguarum Reserata"--i.e., The
Gate of Languages Unlocked. Of all his works this was the most popular.
It spread his fame all over Europe. It was translated into fifteen
different languages. It became, next to the Bible, the most widely
known book on the Continent. For one person who read his delightful
"Labyrinth," there were thousands who nearly knew the "Janua" by heart.
The reason was obvious. The "Labyrinth" was a religious book, and was
suppressed as dangerous by Catholic authorities; but the "Janua" was
only a harmless grammar, and could be admitted with safety anywhere. It
is not the works of richest genius that have the largest sale; it is
the books that enable men to get on in life; and the "Janua" was popular
because, in truth, "it supplied a long-felt want." It was a Latin
grammar of a novel and original kind. For all boys desiring to enter a
profession a thorough knowledge of Latin was then an absolute necessity.
It was the language in which the learned conversed, the language spoken
at all Universities, the language of diplomatists and statesmen, the
language of scientific treatises. If a man could make the learning of
Latin easier, he was adored as a public benefactor. Comenius's Grammar
was hailed with delight, as a boon and a blessing to men. For years
all patient students of Latin had writhed in agonies untold. They
had learned long lists of Latin words, with their meanings; they had
wrestled in their teens with gerunds, supines, ablative absolutes and
distracting rules about the subjunctive mood, and they had tried in vain
to take an interest in stately authors far above their understanding.
Comenius reversed the whole process. What is the use, he asked, of
learning lists of words that have no connection with each other? What is
the use of teaching a lad grammar before he has a working knowledge of
the language? What is the use of expecting a boy to take an interest in
the political arguments of Cicero or the dinner table wisdom of
Horace? His method was the conversational. For beginners he prepared an
elementary Latin Grammar, containing, besides a few necessary rules, a
number of sentences dealing with events and scenes of everyday life.
It was divided into seven parts. In the first were nouns and adjectives
together; in the second nouns and verbs; in the third adverbs, pronouns,
numerals and prepositions; in the fourth remarks about things in the
school; in the fifth about things in the house; in the sixth about
things in the town; in the seventh some moral maxims. And the scholar
went through this book ten times before he passed on to the "Janua"
proper. The result can be imagined. At the end of a year the boy's
knowledge of Latin would be of a peculiar kind. Of grammar he would know
but little; of words and phrases he would have a goodly store; and thus
he was learning to talk the language before he had even heard of its
perplexing rules. One example must suffice to illustrate the method. The
beginner did not even learn the names of the cases. In a modern English
Latin Grammar, the charming sight that meets our gaze is as follows:--

   Nom. Mensa.--A table.
   Voc. Mensa.--Oh, table!
   Acc. Mensam.--A table.
   Gen. Mensæ.--Of a table.
   Dat. Mensæ.--To or for a table.
   Abl. Mensa.--By, with or from a table.

The method of Comenius was different. Instead of mentioning the names of
the cases, he showed how the cases were actually used, as follows:--

   Ecce, tabula nigra.--Look there, a black board.
   O tu tabula nigra.--Oh, you black board!
   Video tabulam nigram.--I see a black board.
   Pars tabulæ nigræ.--Part of a black board.
   Addo partem tabulæ nigræ.--I add a part to a black board.
   Vides aliquid in tabula nigra.--I see something on a black board.

With us the method is theory first, practice afterwards; with Comenius
the method was practice first, theory afterwards; and the method of
Comenius, with modifications, is likely to be the method of the future.

But Comenius's greatest educational work was undoubtedly his "Great
Didactic," or the "Art of Teaching All Things to All Men." It was a
thorough and comprehensive treatise on the whole science, method, scope
and purpose of universal education. As this book has been recently
translated into English, I need not here attempt the task of giving an
outline of its contents. His ideas were far too grand and noble to put
in summary form. For us the point of interest is the fact that while the
Thirty Years' War was raging, and warriors like Wallenstein and Gustavus
Adolphus were turning Europe into a desert, this scholar, banished from
his native land, was devising sublime and broad-minded schemes for the
elevation of the whole human race. It is this that makes Comenius great.
He played no part in the disgraceful quarrels of the age; he breathed no
complaint against his persecutors. "Comenius," said the Jesuit historian
Balbin, "wrote many works, but none that were directed against the
Catholic Church." As he looked around upon the learned world he saw the
great monster Confusion still unslain, and intended to found a Grand
Universal College, which would consist of all the learned in Europe,
would devote its attention to the pursuit of knowledge in every
conceivable branch, and would arrange that knowledge in beautiful order
and make the garden of wisdom a trim parterre. He was so sure that his
system was right that he compared it to a great clock or mill, which had
only to be set going to bring about the desired result. If his scheme
could only be carried out, what a change there would be in this dreary
earth! What a speedy end to wars and rumours of wars! What a blessed
cessation of religious disputes! What a glorious union of all men of all
nations about the feet of God!

At last Comenius became so famous that his friend, Samuel Hartlib,
invited him to England; and Comenius found upon his arrival that our
English Parliament was interested in his scheme {1641.}. His hopes now
rose higher than ever. At last, he thought, he had found a spot where
he could actually carry out his grand designs. He had a high opinion of
English piety. "The ardour," he wrote, "with which the people crowd to
the Churches is incredible. Almost all bring a copy of the Bible with
them. Of the youths and men a large number take down the sermons word by
word with their pens. Their thirst for the word of God is so great that
many of the nobles, citizens also, and matrons study Greek and Hebrew
to be able more safely and more sweetly to drink from the very spring
of life." Of all countries England seemed to him the best suited for the
accomplishment of his designs. He discussed the project with John Dury,
with Samuel Hartlib, with John Evelyn, with the Bishop of Lincoln,
and probably with John Milton. He wanted to establish an "Academy of
Pansophy" at Chelsea; and there all the wisest men in the world would
meet, draw up a new universal language, like the framers of Esperanto
to-day, and devise a scheme to keep all the nations at peace. His castle
in the air collapsed. At the very time when Comenius was resident in
London this country was on the eve of a revolution. The Irish Rebellion
broke out, the Civil War trod on its heels, and Comenius left England
for ever.

From this moment his life was a series of bitter and cruel
disappointments. As the Thirty Years' War flickered out to its close,
Comenius began to look forward to the day when the Brethren would be
allowed to return to Bohemia and Moravia {1648.}. But the Peace of
Westphalia broke his heart. What provision was made in that famous Peace
for the poor exiled Brethren? Absolutely none. Comenius was angry and
disgusted. He had spent his life in the service of humanity; he had
spent six years preparing school books for the Swedish Government; and
now he complained-- perhaps unjustly--that Oxenstierna, the Swedish
Chancellor, had never lifted a finger on behalf of the Brethren.

And yet Comenius continued to hope against hope. The more basely the
Brethren were deserted by men, the more certain he was that they would
be defended by God. He wrote to Oxenstierna on the subject. "If there is
no help from man," he said, "there will be from God, whose aid is wont
to commence when that of man ceases."

For eight years the Brethren, undaunted still, held on together as best
they could at Lissa; and Comenius, now their chosen leader, made a brave
attempt to revive their schools in Hungary. And then came the final,
awful crash. The flames of war burst out afresh. When Charles X. became
King of Sweden, John Casimir, King of Poland, set up a claim to the
Swedish throne. The two monarchs went to war. Charles X. invaded Poland;
John Casimir fled from Lissa; Charles X. occupied the town. What part,
it may be asked, did the Brethren play in this war? We do not know. As
Charles X. was, of course, a Protestant, it is natural to assume that
the Brethren sympathised with his cause and hailed him as a deliverer
sent by God; but it is one of the strangest features of their history
that we never can tell what part they took in these political conflicts.
Comenius was now in Lissa. It is said that he openly sided with Charles
X., and urged the Brethren to hold out to the bitter end. I doubt it.
For a while the Swedish army triumphed. In that army was an old Bohemian
general, who swore to avenge the "Day of Blood"; and the churches and
convents were plundered, and monks and priests were murdered. For a
moment the Day of Blood was avenged, but for a moment only. As the arm
of flesh had failed the Brethren in the days of Budowa, so the arm of
flesh failed them now.

The Polish army surrounded the walls of Lissa {1656.}. A panic broke out
among the citizens. The Swedish garrison gave way. The Polish soldiers
pressed in. Again Comenius's library was burned, and the grammar school
where he had taught was reduced to ashes. The whole town was soon in
flames. The fire spread for miles in the surrounding country. As the
Brethren fled from their last fond home, with the women and children
huddled in waggons, they saw barns and windmills flaring around them,
and heard the tramp of the Polish army in hot pursuit. As Pastor John
Jacobides and two Acoluths were on their way to Karmin, they were
seized, cut down with spades and thrown into a pit to perish. For Samuel
Kardus, the last martyr of the fluttering fragment, a more ingenious
torture was reserved. He was placed with his head between a door and the
door-post, and as the door was gently but firmly closed, his head was
slowly crushed to pieces.

And so the hopes of Comenius were blasted. As the aged Bishop drew near
to his end, he witnessed the failure of all his schemes. Where now was
his beloved Church of the Brethren? It was scattered like autumn leaves
before the blast. And yet Comenius hoped on to the bitter end. The news
of his sufferings reached the ears of Oliver Cromwell. He offered to
find a home for the Brethren in Ireland. If Comenius had only accepted
that offer it is certain that Oliver would have been as good as his
word. He longed to make Ireland a Protestant country; and the whole
modern history of Ireland might have been altered. But Comenius had
now become an unpractical dreamer. For all his learning he was
very simple-minded; and for all his piety he had a weak side to his
character. He had listened in his youth to the prophecies of Christopher
Kotter; he had listened also to the ravings of Christina Poniatowski;
and now he fell completely under the influence of the vile impostor,
Drabik, who pretended to have a revelation from heaven, and predicted
that before very long the House of Austria would be destroyed and the
Brethren be enabled to return to their native home. Instead, therefore,
of accepting Cromwell's offer, Comenius spent his last few years in
collecting money for the Brethren; and pleasant it is to record the
fact that much of that money came from England. Some was sent by Prince
Rupert, and some by officials of the Church of England; and Comenius was
able to spend the money in printing helpful, devotional works for the
Brethren. His loyalty now to the Brethren was beautiful. It is easy to
be faithful to a prosperous Church; Comenius was faithful when the whirl
was at the worst. Faster than ever the ship was sinking, but still
the brave old white-haired Captain held to his post on the bridge.
Few things are more pathetic in history than the way in which Comenius
commended the Brethren to the care of the Church of England. "To you,
dear friends," he wrote in hope, "we commit our dear mother, the Church
herself. Even in her death, which seems approaching, you ought to love
her, because in her life she has gone before you for more than two
centuries with examples of faith and patience." Of all the links between
the old Church of the Brethren and the new, Comenius was the strongest.
He handed on the Brethren's Episcopal Orders. He consecrated his
son-in-law, Peter Jablonsky; this Peter consecrated his own son, Daniel
Ernest; and this Daniel Ernest Jablonsky consecrated David Nitschmann,
the first Bishop of the Renewed Church of the Brethren.

He handed on, secondly, the Brethren's system of discipline. He
published an edition of the "Ratio Disciplinæ," and this it was that
fired Zinzendorf's soul with love for the Brethren's Church.

But, thirdly, and most important of all, Comenius kept the old faith
burning in the hearts of the "Hidden Seed." For the benefit of those
still worshipping in secret in Bohemia and Moravia, he prepared a
Catechism, entitled "The Old Catholic Christian Religion in Short
Questions and Answers"; and by this Catholic Religion he meant the
broad and simple faith of the Bohemian Brethren. "Perish sects," said
Comenius; "perish the founders of sects. I have consecrated myself to
Christ alone." But the purpose of the Catechism had to be kept a secret.
"It is meant," said Comenius, in the preface, "for all the pious and
scattered sheep of Christ, especially those at F., G., G., K., K., S.,
S. and Z." These letters can be easily explained. They stood for
the villages of Fulneck, Gersdorf, Gestersdorf, Kunewalde, Klandorf,
Stechwalde, Seitendorf and Zauchtenthal; and these are the places from
which the first exiles came to renew the Brethren's Church at Herrnhut.

Fifty years before his prayers were answered, Comenius lay silent in
the grave (1672). Yet never did bread cast upon the waters more richly



As the relations of the Brethren with England were only of a very
occasional nature, it is not easy to weave them into the narrative. But
the following particulars will be of special interest; they show the
opinion held of the Brethren by officials of the Church of England:--

1. The case of John Bernard.--At some period in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth a number of scholarships were founded at Oxford for the
benefit of Bohemian students; and in 1583 John Bernard, a Moravian
student, took his B.D. degree at Oxford. The record in the University
Register is as follows: "Bernardus, John, a Moravian, was allowed
to supply B.D. He had studied theology for ten years at German
Universities, and was now going to the Universities of Scotland." This
proves that the University of Oxford recognised Bernard as a man in holy
orders; for none but men in holy orders could take the B.D. degree.

2. The case of Paul Hartmann.--In 1652 (October 15th) Paul Hartmann was
ordained a Deacon at a Synod of the Moravian Church at Lissa. In 1657 he
came to England, along with his brother, Adam Samuel Hartmann, to raise
funds for the exiles. In 1660 he was ordained a Presbyter by Bishop
Robert Skinner, of Oxford, in Christ Church; in 1671 he was admitted
Chaplain or Petty Canon of Oxford Cathedral; and in 1676 he became
Rector of Shillingford, Berkshire. This proves that Bishop Skinner,
of Oxford, recognised Paul Hartmann's status as a Deacon; and that
recognition, so far as we know, was never questioned by any Anglican
authorities. But that is not the end of the story. At this period
a considerable number of Brethren had found a home in England; the
Continental Brethren wished to provide for their spiritual needs,
and, therefore, in 1675 they wrote a letter to the Anglican Bishops
requesting them to consecrate Hartmann a Bishop. Of that letter a
copy has been preserved in the Johannis-Kirche at Lissa. "It is no
superstition," they wrote, "that fills us with this desire. It is simply
our love of order and piety; and the Church of England is the only
Protestant Church beside our own that possesses this treasure, and can,
therefore, come to our help." For some reason, however, this pathetic
request was not carried out. What answer did the Anglican Bishops give?
We do not know; no answer has been discovered; and Hartmann remained a
Presbyter to the end.

3. The case of Adam Samuel Hartmann.--He was first a minister of the
Moravian Church at Lissa (1652-56). In 1657 he came to England to
collect money; in 1673 he was consecrated a Moravian Bishop at Lissa;
and in 1680 he received the degree of D.D. at Oxford. His diploma refers
to him as a Bishop. This suggests, if it does not actually prove, that
the University of Oxford recognised him as a valid Bishop.

4. The case of Bishop Amos Comenius.--Of all the Bishops of the Bohemian
Brethren Comenius did most to stir up sympathy on their behalf in
England. In 1657 he sent the two Hartmanns and Paul Cyrill to the
Archbishop of Canterbury with a MS. entitled, "Ultimus in Protestantes
Bohemiæ confessionis ecclesias Antichristi furor"; in 1660 he dedicated
his "Ratio Disciplinæ" to the Church of England; and in 1661 he
published his "Exhortation of the Churches of Bohemia to the Church of
England." In this book Comenius took a remarkable stand. He declared
that the Slavonian Churches had been planted by the Apostles; that
these Churches had "run up to a head and ripened" in the Unity of the
Brethren; and that he himself was now the only surviving Bishop of the
remnants of these Churches. In other words, he represented himself
as the Bishop of a Church of Apostolic origin. In what way, it may be
asked, was this claim received by Anglican authorities? The next case
will supply the answer.

5. The case of Archbishop Sancroft.--In 1683 King Charles II. issued a
Cabinet Order on behalf of the Brethren; the order was accompanied by
an account of their distresses; the account was "recommended under the
hands" of William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry Compton,
Bishop of London; and in that account the statement was deliberately
made that the Brethren deserved the assistance of Anglicans, not only
because they had "renounced the growing errors of Popery," but also
because they had "preserved the Succession of Episcopal Orders." The
last words can only bear one meaning; and that meaning obviously is that
both the Primate and the Bishop of London regarded Moravian Episcopal
Orders as valid. The next case tells a similar story.

6. The case of Archbishop Wake.--We have now to step over a period
of thirty-three years. As soon as James II. came to the throne, the
interest of English Churchmen in the Brethren appears to have waned, and
neither William III. nor Queen Anne took any steps on their behalf. And
yet the connection of the Brethren with England was not entirely broken.
The bond of union was Daniel Ernest Jablonsky. He was Amos Comenius's
grandson. In 1680 he came to England; he studied three years at Oxford,
and finally received the degree of D.D. In 1693 he was appointed Court
Preacher at Berlin; in 1699 he was consecrated a Moravian Bishop; and in
1709 he was elected corresponding secretary of the S.P.C.K. Meanwhile,
however, fresh disasters had overtaken the Brethren. As the sun was
rising on July 29th, 1707, a troop of Russians rode into the town of
Lissa, and threw around them balls of burning pitch. The town went up
in flames; the last home of the Brethren was destroyed, and the Brethren
were in greater distress than ever. At this point Jablonsky nobly came
to their aid. He began by publishing an account of their distresses; he
tried to raise a fund on their behalf; and finally (1715) he sent
his friend, Bishop Sitkovius, to England, to lay their case before
Archbishop Wake. Again, as in the case of Archbishop Sancroft, this
appeal to the Church of England was successful. The Archbishop brought
the case before George I., the King consulted the Privy Council, the
Privy Council gave consent; the King issued Letters Patent to all
the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales, and Wake and John
Robinson, Bishop of London, issued a special appeal, which was read in
all the London churches. The result was twofold. On the one hand money
was collected for the Brethren; on the other, some person or persons
unknown denounced them as Hussites, declared that their Bishops
could not be distinguished from Presbyters, and contended that, being
followers of Wycliffe, they must surely, like Wycliffe, be enemies of
all episcopal government. Again Jablonsky came to the Brethren's rescue.
He believed, himself, in the Brethren's Episcopal Orders; he prepared a
treatise on the subject, entitled, "De Ordine et Successione Episcopali
in Unitate Fratrum Bohemorum conservato"; he sent a copy of that
treatise to Wake, and Wake, in reply, declared himself perfectly

To what conclusion do the foregoing details point? It is needful here
to speak with caution and precision. As the claims of the Brethren were
never brought before Convocation, we cannot say that the Anglican Church
as a body officially recognised the Brethren as a sister Episcopal
Church. But, on the other hand, we can also say that the Brethren's
orders were never doubted by any Anglican authorities. They were
recognised by two Archbishops of Canterbury; they were recognised by
Bishop Skinner, of Oxford; they were recognised by the University of
Oxford. They were recognised, in a word, by every Anglican authority
before whose notice they happened to be brought.



If the kindly reader will take the trouble to consult a map of Europe he
will see that that part of the Kingdom of Saxony known as Upper Lusatia
runs down to the Bohemian frontier. About ten miles from the frontier
line there stand to-day the mouldering remains of the old castle of
Gross-Hennersdorf. The grey old walls are streaked with slime. The
wooden floors are rotten, shaky and unsafe. The rafters are worm-eaten.
The windows are broken. The damp wall-papers are running to a sickly
green. Of roof there is almost none. For the lover of beauty or the
landscape painter these ruins have little charm. But to us these
tottering walls are of matchless interest, for within these walls Count
Zinzendorf, the Renewer of the Brethren's Church, spent the years of his

He was born at six o'clock in the evening, Wednesday, May 26th, 1700, in
the picturesque city of Dresden {1700.}; the house is pointed out to the
visitor; and "Zinzendorf Street" reminds us still of the noble family
that has now died out. He was only six weeks old when his father burst
a blood-vessel and died; he was only four years when his mother married
again; and the young Count--Nicholas Lewis, Count of Zinzendorf and
Pottendorf--was handed over to the tender care of his grandmother,
Catherine von Gersdorf, who lived at Gross-Hennersdorf Castle. And now,
even in childhood's days, little Lutz, as his grandmother loved to call
him, began to show signs of his coming greatness. As his father lay on
his dying bed, he had taken the child in his feeble arm, and consecrated
him to the service of Christ; and now in his grandmother's noble home he
sat at the feet of the learned, the pious, and the refined. Never was a
child less petted and pampered; never was a child more strictly trained;
never was a child made more familiar with the person and teaching of
Jesus Christ. Dr. Spener,[58] the famous Pietist leader, watched his
growth with fatherly interest. The old lady was a leader in Pietist
circles, was a writer of beautiful religious poetry, and guarded him as
the apple of her eye. He read the Bible every day. He doted on Luther's
Catechism. He had the Gospel story at his finger-ends. His aunt
Henrietta, who was rather an oddity, prayed with him morning and night.
His tutor, Edeling, was an earnest young Pietist from Franke's school at
Halle; and the story of Zinzendorf's early days reads like a mediaeval
tale. "Already in my childhood," he says, {1704.} "I loved the Saviour,
and had abundant communion with Him. In my fourth year I began to seek
God earnestly, and determined to become a true servant of Jesus Christ."
At the age of six he regarded Christ as his Brother, would talk with Him
for hours together as with a familiar friend and was often found rapt in
thought {1706.}, like Socrates in the market-place at Athens. As other
children love and trust their parents, so this bright lad with the
golden hair loved and trusted Christ. "A thousand times," he said, "I
heard Him speak in my heart, and saw Him with the eye of faith." Already
the keynote of his life was struck; already the fire of zeal burned in
his bosom. "Of all the qualities of Christ," said He, "the greatest is
His nobility; and of all the noble ideas in the world, the noblest is
the idea that the Creator should die for His children. If the Lord were
forsaken by all the world, I still would cling to Him and love Him."
He held prayer-meetings in his private room. He was sure that Christ
Himself was present there. He preached sermons to companies of friends.
If hearers failed, he arranged the chairs as an audience; and still is
shown the little window from which he threw letters addressed to Christ,
not doubting that Christ would receive them. As the child was engaged
one day in prayer, the rude soldiers of Charles XII. burst into his
room. Forthwith the lad began to speak of Christ; and away the soldiers
fled in awe and terror. At the age of eight he lay awake at night
tormented with atheistic doubts {1708.}. But the doubts did not last
long. However much he doubted with the head he never doubted with the
heart; and the charm that drove the doubts away was the figure of the
living Christ.

And here we touch the springs of the boy's religion. It is easy to call
all this a hot-house process; it is easy to dub the child a precocious
prig. But at bottom his religion was healthy and sound. It was not
morbid; it was joyful. It was not based on dreamy imagination; it was
based on the historic person of Christ. It was not the result of mystic
exaltation; it was the result of a study of the Gospels. It was not,
above all, self-centred; it led him to seek for fellowship with others.
As the boy devoured the Gospel story, he was impressed first by the
drama of the Crucifixion; and often pondered on the words of Gerhardt's

   O Head so full of bruises,
   So full of pain and scorn,
   'Midst other sore abuses,
   Mocked with a crown of thorn.

For this his tutor, Edeling, was partly responsible. "He spoke to me,"
says Zinzendorf, "of Jesus and His wounds."

But the boy did not linger in Holy Week for ever. He began by laying
stress on the suffering Christ; he went on to lay stress on the whole
life of Christ; and on that life, from the cradle to the grave, his own
strong faith was based. "I was," he said, "as certain that the Son of
God was my Lord as of the existence of my five fingers." To him the
existence of Jesus was a proof of the existence of God; and he felt all
his limbs ablaze, to use his own expression, with the desire to preach
the eternal Godhead of Christ. "If it were possible," he said, "that
there should be another God than Christ I would rather be damned
with Christ than happy with another. I have," he exclaimed, "but one
passion--'tis He, 'tis only He."

But the next stage in his journey was not so pleasing {1710.}. At the
age of ten he was taken by his mother to Professor Franke's school at
Halle; and by mistake he overheard a conversation between her and the
pious professor. She described him as a lad of parts, but full of pride,
and in need of the curbing rein. He was soon to find how much these
words implied. If a boy has been trained by gentle ladies he is
hardly well equipped, as a rule, to stand the rough horseplay of a
boarding-school; and if, in addition, he boasts blue blood, he is sure
to come in for blows. And the Count was a delicate aristocrat, with
weak legs and a cough. He was proud of his noble birth; he was rather
officious in his manner; he had his meals at Franke's private table; he
had private lodgings a few minutes' walk from the school; he had plenty
of money in his purse; and, therefore, on the whole, he was as well
detested as the son of a lord can be. "With a few exceptions," he sadly
says, "my schoolfellows hated me throughout."

But this was not the bitterest part of the pill. If there was any
wholesome feeling missing in his heart hitherto, it was what theologians
call the sense of sin. He had no sense of sin whatever, and no sense of
any need of pardon. His masters soon proceeded to humble his pride.
He was introduced as a smug little Pharisee, and they treated him as a
viper. Of all systems of school discipline, the most revolting is the
system of employing spies; and that was the system used by the staff
at Halle. They placed the young Count under boyish police supervision,
encouraged the lads to tell tales about him, rebuked him for his
misconduct in the measles, lectured him before the whole school on his
rank disgusting offences, and treated him as half a rogue and half an
idiot. If he pleaded not guilty, they called him a liar, and gave him
an extra thrashing. The thrashing was a public school entertainment, and
was advertised on the school notice-board. "Next week," ran the notice
on one occasion, "the Count is to have the stick." For two years he
lived in a moral purgatory. The masters gave him the fire of their
wrath, and the boys the cold shoulder of contempt. The masters called
him a malicious rebel, and the boys called him a snob. As the little
fellow set off for morning school, with his pile of books upon his arm,
the others waylaid him, jostled him to and fro, knocked him into the
gutter, scattered his books on the street, and then officiously reported
him late for school. He was clever, and, therefore, the masters called
him idle; and when he did not know his lesson they made him stand in the
street, with a pair of ass's ears on his head, and a placard on his back
proclaiming to the public that the culprit was a "lazy donkey."

His private tutor, Daniel Crisenius, was a bully, who had made his
way into Franke's school by varnishing himself with a shiny coating of
piety. If the Count's relations came to see him, Crisenius made him beg
for money, and then took the money himself. If his grandmother sent
him a ducat Crisenius pocketed a florin. If he wrote a letter home,
Crisenius read it. If he drank a cup of coffee, Crisenius would
say, "You have me to thank for that, let me hear you sing a song of
thanksgiving." If he tried to pour out his soul in prayer, Crisenius
mocked him, interrupted him, and introduced disgusting topics of
conversation. He even made the lad appear a sneak. "My tutor," says
Zinzendorf, "often persuaded me to write letters to my guardian
complaining of my hard treatment, and then showed the letters to the

In vain little Lutz laid his case before his mother. Crisenius thrashed
him to such good purpose that he never dared to complain again; and his
mother still held that he needed drastic medicine. "I beseech you," she
wrote to Franke, "be severe with the lad; if talking will not cure him
of lying, then let him feel it."

At last the muddy lane broadened into a highway. One day Crisenius
pestered Franke with one of his whining complaints. The headmaster
snapped him short.

"I am sick," he said, "of your growlings; you must manage the matter

As the months rolled on, the Count breathed purer air. He became more
manly and bold. He astonished the masters by his progress. He was
learning Greek, could speak in French and dash off letters in Latin.
He was confirmed, attended the Communion, and wrote a beautiful hymn[59] recording his feelings; and already in his modest way he launched out on
that ocean of evangelical toil on which he was to sail all the days of
his life.

As the child grew up in Hennersdorf Castle he saw and heard a good
deal of those drawing-room meetings[60] which Philip Spener, the Pietist
leader, had established in the houses of several noble Lutheran
families, and which came in time to be known in Germany as "Churches
within the Church."[61] He knew that Spener had been his father's friend.
He had met the great leader at the Castle. He sympathised with the
purpose of his meetings. He had often longed for fellowship himself, and
had chatted freely on religious topics with his Aunt Henrietta. He had
always maintained his private habit of personal communion with Christ;
and now he wished to share his religion with others. The time was ripe.
The moral state of Franke's school was low; the boys were given to
vicious habits, and tried to corrupt his soul; and the Count, who was a
healthy minded boy, and shrank with disgust from fleshly sins, retorted
by forming a number of religious clubs for mutual encouragement and
help. "I established little societies," he says, "in which we spoke of
the grace of Christ, and encouraged each other in diligence and good
works." He became a healthy moral force in the school. He rescued his
friend, Count Frederick de Watteville, from the hands of fifty seducers;
he persuaded three others to join in the work of rescue; and the five
lads established a club which became a "Church within the Church" for
boys. They called themselves first "The Slaves of Virtue," next the
"Confessors of Christ," and finally the "Honourable Order of the Mustard
Seed"; and they took a pledge to be true to Christ, to be upright and
moral, and to do good to their fellow-men. Of all the school clubs
established by Zinzendorf this "Order of the Mustard Seed" was the most
famous and the most enduring. As the boys grew up to man's estate they
invited others to join their ranks; the doctrinal basis was broad;
and among the members in later years were John Potter, Archbishop of
Canterbury, Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, Cardinal Noailles,
the broad-minded Catholic, and General Oglethorpe, Governor of Georgia.
For an emblem they had a small shield, with an "Ecce Homo," and the
motto, "His wounds our healing"; and each member of the Order wore a
gold ring, inscribed with the words, "No man liveth unto himself."
The Grand Master of the Order was Zinzendorf himself. He wore a golden
cross; the cross had an oval green front; and on that front was painted
a mustard tree, with the words beneath, "Quod fuit ante nihil," i.e.,
what was formerly nothing.[62]
But already the boy had wider conceptions still. As he sat at Franke's
dinner table, he listened one day to the conversation of the Danish
missionary, Ziegenbalg, who was now home on furlough, and he even
saw some dusky converts whom the missionary had brought from Malabar
{1715.}. His missionary zeal was aroused. As his guardian had already
settled that Zinzendorf should enter the service of the State, he had,
of course, no idea of becoming a missionary himself;[63] but, as that was
out of the question, he formed a solemn league and covenant with his
young friend Watteville that when God would show them suitable men they
would send them out to heathen tribes for whom no one else seemed to
care. Nor was this mere playing at religion. As the Count looked back
on his Halle days he saw in these early clubs and covenants the germs
of his later work; and when he left for the University the delighted
Professor Franke said, "This youth will some day become a great light in
the world."

As the Count, however, in his uncle's opinion was growing rather too
Pietistic, he was now sent to the University at Wittenberg, to study
the science of jurisprudence, and prepare for high service in the State
{April, 1716.}. His father had been a Secretary of State, and the son
was to follow in his footsteps. His uncle had a contempt for Pietist
religion; and sent the lad to Wittenberg "to drive the nonsense out of
him." He had certainly chosen the right place. For two hundred years
the great University had been regarded as the stronghold of the orthodox
Lutheran faith; the bi-centenary Luther Jubilee was fast approaching;
the theological professors were models of orthodox belief; and the Count
was enjoined to be regular at church, and to listen with due attention
and reverence to the sermons of those infallible divines. It was like
sending a boy to Oxford to cure him of a taste for dissent. His tutor,
Crisenius, went with him, to guard his morals, read his letters, and rob
him of money at cards. He had also to master the useful arts of riding,
fencing, and dancing. The cards gave him twinges of conscience. If he
took a hand, he laid down the condition that any money he might win
should be given to the poor. He prayed for skill in his dancing lessons,
because he wanted to have more time for more serious studies. He was
more devout in his daily life than ever, prayed to Christ with the foil
in his hand, studied the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, spent whole nights
in prayer, fasted the livelong day on Sundays, and was, in a word, so
Methodistic in his habits that he could truly describe himself as a
"rigid Pietist." He interfered in many a duel, and rebuked his fellow
students for drinking hard; and for this he was not beloved. As he
had come to Wittenberg to study law, he was not, of course, allowed to
attend the regular theological lectures; but, all the same, he spent his
leisure in studying the works of Luther and Spener, and cultivated the
personal friendship of many of the theological professors. And here he
made a most delightful discovery. As he came to know these professors
better, he found that a man could be orthodox without being
narrow-minded; and they, for their part, also found that a man could be
a rigid Pietist without being a sectarian prig. It was time, he thought,
to put an end to the quarrel. He would make peace between Wittenberg and
Halle. He would reconcile the Lutherans and Pietists. He consulted with
leading professors on both sides; he convinced them of the need for
peace; and the rival teachers actually agreed to accept this student of
nineteen summers as the agent of the longed-for truce. But here Count
Zinzendorf's mother intervened. "You must not meddle," she wrote,
"in such weighty matters; they are above your understanding and your
powers." And Zinzendorf, being a dutiful son, obeyed. "I think," he
said, "a visit to Halle might have been of use, but, of course, I must
obey the fourth commandment."[64]
And now, as befitted a nobleman born, he was sent on the grand tour, to
give the final polish to his education {1719.}. He regarded the prospect
with horror. He had heard of more than one fine lord whose virtues had
been polished away. For him the dazzling sights of Utrecht and Paris had
no bewitching charm. He feared the glitter, the glamour, and the glare.
The one passion, love to Christ, still ruled his heart. "Ah!" he wrote
to a friend, "What a poor, miserable thing is the grandeur of the
great ones of the earth! What splendid misery!" As John Milton, on
his continental tour, had sought the company of musicians and men of
letters, so this young budding Christian poet, with the figure of the
Divine Redeemer ever present to his mind, sought out the company of men
and women who, whatever their sect or creed, maintained communion with
the living Son of God. He went first to Frankfurt-on-the-Main, where
Spener had toiled so long, came down the Rhine to Düsseldorf, spent half
a year at Utrecht, was introduced to William, Prince of Orange, paid
flying calls at Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and ended
the tour by a six months' stay amid the gaieties of Paris. At Düsseldorf
a famous incident occurred. There, in the picture gallery, he saw and
admired the beautiful Ecce Homo of Domenico Feti; there, beneath the
picture he read the thrilling appeal: "All this I did for thee; what
doest thou for Me?"; and there, in response to that appeal, he resolved
anew to live for Him who had worn the cruel crown of thorns for all.[65]
At Paris he attended the Court levée, and was presented to the Duke of
Orleans, the Regent, and his mother, the Dowager Duchess.

"Sir Count," said the Duchess, "have you been to the opera to-day?"

"Your Highness," he replied, "I have no time for the opera." He would
not spend a golden moment except for the golden crown.

"I hear," said the Duchess, "that you know the Bible by heart."

"Ah," said he, "I only wish I did."

At Paris, too, he made the acquaintance of the Catholic Archbishop,
Cardinal Noailles. It is marvellous how broad in his views the young man
was. As he discussed the nature of true religion with the Cardinal,
who tried in vain to win him for the Church of Rome, he came to the
conclusion that the true Church of Jesus Christ consisted of many sects
and many forms of belief. He held that the Church was still an invisible
body; he held that it transcended the bounds of all denominations; he
had found good Christians among Protestants and Catholics alike; and he
believed, with all his heart and soul, that God had called him to
the holy task of enlisting the faithful in all the sects in one grand
Christian army, and thus realizing, in visible form, the promise of
Christ that all His disciples should be one. He was no bigoted Lutheran.
For him the cloak of creed or sect was only of minor moment. He desired
to break down all sectarian barriers. He desired to draw men from
all the churches into one grand fellowship with Christ. He saw, and
lamented, the bigotry of all the sects. "We Protestants," he said, "are
very fond of the word liberty; but in practice we often try to throttle
the conscience." He was asked if he thought a Catholic could be saved.
"Yes," he replied, "and the man who doubts that, cannot have looked far
beyond his own small cottage."

"What, then," asked the Duchess of Luynes, "is the real difference
between a Lutheran and a Catholic?"

"It is," he replied, "the false idea that the Bible is so hard to
understand that only the Church can explain it." He had, in a word,
discovered his vocation.

His religion purified his love. As he made his way home, at the close
of the tour, he called to see his aunt, the Countess of Castell, and her
daughter Theodora {1720.}; and during his stay he fell ill of a fever,
and so remained much longer than he had at first intended. He helped the
Countess to put in order the affairs of her estate, took a leading part
in the religious services of the castle, and was soon regarded as almost
one of the family. At first, according to his usual custom, he would
talk about nothing but religion. But gradually his manner changed. He
opened out, grew less reserved, and would gossip and chat like a woman.
He asked himself the reason of this alteration. He discovered it. He was
in love with his young cousin, Theodora. For a while the gentle stream
of love ran smooth. His mother and the Countess Castell smiled approval;
Theodora, though rather icy in manner, presented him with her portrait;
and the Count, who accepted the dainty gift as a pledge of blossoming
love, was rejoicing at finding so sweet a wife and so charming a helper
in his work, when an unforeseen event turned the current of the stream.
Being belated one evening on a journey, he paid a visit to his friend
Count Reuss, and during conversation made the disquieting discovery that
his friend wished to marry Theodora. A beautiful contest followed. Each
of the claimants to the hand of Theodora expressed his desire to retire
in favour of the other; and, not being able to settle the dispute, the
two young men set out for Castell to see what Theodora herself would
say. Young Zinzendorf's mode of reasoning was certainly original. If his
own love for Theodora was pure--i.e., if it was a pure desire to do
her good, and not a vulgar sensual passion like that with which many
love-sick swains were afflicted--he could, he said, fulfil his purpose
just as well by handing her over to the care of his Christian friend.
"Even if it cost me my life to surrender her," he said, "if it is more
acceptable to my Saviour, I ought to sacrifice the dearest object in the
world." The two friends arrived at Castell and soon saw which way the
wind was blowing; and Zinzendorf found, to his great relief, that what
had been a painful struggle to him was as easy as changing a dress
to Theodora. The young lady gave Count Reuss her heart and hand. The
rejected suitor bore the blow like a stoic. He would conquer, he said,
such disturbing earthly emotions; why should they be a thicket in the
way of his work for Christ? The betrothal was sealed in a religious
ceremony. Young Zinzendorf composed a cantata for the occasion {March
9th, 1721.}; the cantata was sung, with orchestral accompaniment, in
the presence of the whole house of Castell; and at the conclusion of
the festive scene the young composer offered up on behalf of the happy
couple a prayer so tender that all were moved to tears. His self-denial
was well rewarded. If the Count had married Theodora, he would only
have had a graceful drawing-room queen. About eighteen months later he
married Count Reuss's sister, Erdmuth Dorothea {Sept. 7th, 1722.}; and
in her he found a friend so true that the good folk at Herrnhut called
her a princess of God, and the "foster-mother of the Brethren's Church
in the eighteenth century."[66]
If the Count could now have had his way he would have entered the
service of the State Church; but in those days the clerical calling was
considered to be beneath the dignity of a noble, and his grandmother,
pious though she was, insisted that he should stick to jurisprudence. He
yielded, and took a post as King's Councillor at Dresden, at the Court
of Augustus the Strong, King of Saxony. But no man can fly from his
shadow, and Zinzendorf could not fly from his hopes of becoming a
preacher of the Gospel. If he could not preach in the orthodox pulpit,
he would teach in some other way; and, therefore, he invited the public
to a weekly meeting in his own rooms on Sunday afternoons from three to
seven. He had no desire to found a sect, and no desire to interfere
with the regular work of the Church. He was acting, he said, in strict
accordance with ecclesiastical law; and he justified his bold conduct by
appealing to a clause in Luther's Smalkald Articles.[67] He contended that
there provision was made for the kind of meeting that he was conducting;
and, therefore, he invited men of all classes to meet him on Sunday
afternoons, read a passage of Scripture together, and talk in a
free-and-easy fashion on spiritual topics. He became known as rather
a curiosity; and Valentine Löscher, the popular Lutheran preacher,
mentioned him by name in his sermons, and held him up before the people
as an example they would all do well to follow.

But Zinzendorf had not yet reached his goal. He was not content with the
work accomplished by Spener, Franke, and other leading Pietists. He was
not content with drawing-room meetings for people of rank and money.
If fellowship, said he, was good for lords, it must also be good for
peasants. He wished to apply the ideas of Spener to folk in humbler
life. For this purpose he now bought from his grandmother the little
estate of Berthelsdorf, which lay about three miles from Hennersdorf
{April, 1722.}; installed his friend, John Andrew Rothe, as pastor of
the village church; and resolved that he and the pastor together would
endeavour to convert the village into a pleasant garden of God. "I
bought this estate," he said, "because I wanted to spend my life among
peasants, and win their souls for Christ."

"Go, Rothe," he said, "to the vineyard of the Lord. You will find in me
a brother and helper rather than a patron."

And here let us note precisely the aim this pious Count had in view. He
was a loyal and devoted member of the national Lutheran Church; he was
well versed in Luther's theology and in Luther's practical schemes;
and now at Berthelsdorf he was making an effort to carry into practical
effect the fondest dreams of Luther himself. For this, the fellowship
of true believers, the great Reformer had sighed in vain;[68] and to this
great purpose the Count would now devote his money and his life.

He introduced the new pastor to the people; the induction sermon was
preached by Schäfer, the Pietist pastor at Görlitz; and the preacher
used the prophetic words, "God will light a candle on these hills which
will illuminate the whole land."

We have now to see how far these words came true. We have now to see
how the Lutheran Count applied his ideas to the needs of exiles from a
foreign land, and learned to take a vital interest in a Church of which
as yet he had never heard.


It is recorded in John Wesley's "Journal,"[69] that when he paid his
memorable visit to Herrnhut he was much impressed by the powerful
sermons of a certain godly carpenter, who had preached in his day to the
Eskimos in Greenland, and who showed a remarkable knowledge of divinity.
It was Christian David, known to his friends as the "Servant of the

He was born on December 31st, 1690, at Senftleben, in Moravia; he was
brought up in that old home of the Brethren; and yet, as far as records
tell, he never heard in his youthful days of the Brethren who still held
the fort in the old home of their fathers. He came of a Roman Catholic
family, and was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. He sat at the
feet of the parish priest, was devout at Mass, invoked his patron saint,
St. Anthony, knelt down in awe before every image and picture of the
Virgin, regarded Protestants as children of the devil, and grew up to
man's estate burning with Romish zeal, as he says, "like a baking oven."
He began life as a shepherd; and his religion was tender and deep. As he
tended his sheep in the lonesome fields, and rescued one from the jaws
of a wolf, he thought how Christ, the Good Shepherd, had given His life
for men; and as he sought his wandering sheep in the woods by night he
thought how Christ sought sinners till he found them. And yet somehow
he was not quite easy in his mind. For all his zeal and all his piety
he was not sure that he himself had escaped the snare of the fowler.
He turned first for guidance to some quiet Protestants, and was told by
them, to his horror, that the Pope was Antichrist, that the worship of
saints was a delusion, and that only through faith in Christ could his
sins be forgiven. He was puzzled. As these Protestants were ready to
suffer for their faith, he felt they must be sincere; and when some of
them were cast into prison, he crept to the window of their cell and
heard them sing in the gloaming. He read Lutheran books against the
Papists, and Papist books against the Lutherans. He was now dissatisfied
with both. He could see, he said, that the Papists were wrong, but that
did not prove that the Lutherans were right; he could not understand
what the Lutherans meant when they said that a man was justified
by faith alone; and at last he lost his way so far in this famous
theological fog that he hated and loathed the very name of Christ.
He turned next for instruction to some Jews; and the Jews, of course,
confirmed his doubts, threw scorn upon the whole New Testament, and
endeavoured to convince him that they alone were the true Israel of God.

He turned next to the Bible, and the fog lifted a little {1710.}. He
read the Old Testament carefully through, to see if the prophecies there
had been fulfilled; and, thereby, he arrived at the firm belief that
Jesus was the promised Messiah. He then mastered the New Testament, and
came to the equally firm conclusion that the Bible was the Word of God.

And even yet he was not content. As long as he stayed in Catholic
Moravia he would have to keep his new convictions a secret; and, longing
to renounce the Church of Rome in public, he left Moravia, passed
through Hungary and Silesia, and finally became a member of a Lutheran
congregation at Berlin.

But the Lutherans seemed to him very stiff and cold. He was seeking
for a pearl of great price, and so far he had failed to find it. He
had failed to find it in the Church of Rome, failed to find it in the
Scriptures, and failed to find it in the orthodox Protestants of Berlin.
He had hoped to find himself in a goodly land, where men were godly and
true; and he found that even the orthodox Protestants made mock of
his pious endeavours. He left Berlin in disgust, and enlisted in the
Prussian Army. He did not find much piety there. He served in the war
against Charles XII. of Sweden {1715.}, was present at the siege of
Stralsund, thought soldiers no better than civilians, accepted his
discharge with joy, and wandered around from town to town, like the old
philosopher seeking an honest man. At last, however, he made his way to
the town of Görlitz, in Silesia {1717.}; and there he came into personal
contact with two Pietist clergymen, Schäfer and Schwedler. For the first
time in his weary pilgrimage he met a pastor who was also a man. He fell
ill of a dangerous disease; he could not stir hand or foot for twenty
weeks; he was visited by Schwedler every day; and thus, through the
gateway of human sympathy, he entered the kingdom of peace, and
felt assured that all his sins were forgiven. He married a member of
Schwedler's Church, was admitted to the Church himself, and thus found,
in Pietist circles, that very spirit of fellowship and help which
Zinzendorf himself regarded as the greatest need of the Church.

But now Christian David must show to others the treasure he had found
for himself. For the next five years he made his home at Görlitz; but,
every now and then, at the risk of his life, he would take a trip to
Moravia, and there tell his old Protestant friends the story of his
new-found joy. He preached in a homely style; he had a great command of
Scriptural language; he was addressing men who for many years had conned
their Bibles in secret; and thus his preaching was like unto oil on
a smouldering fire, and stirred to vigorous life once more what had
slumbered for a hundred years since the fatal Day of Blood. He tramped
the valleys of Moravia; he was known as the Bush Preacher, and was
talked of in every market-place; the shepherds sang old Brethren's hymns
on the mountains; a new spirit breathed upon the old dead bones; and
thus, through the message of this simple man, there began in Moravia
a hot revival of Protestant zeal and hope. It was soon to lead to
marvellous results.

For the last three hundred and forty years there had been established
in the neighbourhood of Fulneck, in Moravia, a colony of Germans.[70] They
still spoke the German language; they lived in places bearing German
names and bore German names themselves; they had used a German version
of the Bible and a German edition of the Brethren's Hymns; and thus,
when David's trumpet sounded, they were able to quit their long-loved
homes and settle down in comfort on German soil. At Kunewalde[71] dwelt the Schneiders and Nitschmanns; at Zauchtenthal the Stachs and
Zeisbergers; at Sehlen the Jaeschkes and Neissers; and at Senftleben,
David's old home, the Grassmanns. For such men there was now no peace in
their ancient home. Some were imprisoned; some were loaded with chains;
some were yoked to the plough and made to work like horses; and some
had to stand in wells of water until nearly frozen to death. And yet the
star of hope still shone upon them. As the grand old patriarch, George
Jaeschke, saw the angel of death draw near, he gathered his son and
grandsons round his bed, and spoke in thrilling, prophetic words of the
remnant that should yet be saved.

"It is true," said he, "that our liberties are gone, and that our
descendants are giving way to a worldly spirit, so that the Papacy is
devouring them. It may seem as though the final end of the Brethren's
Church had come. But, my beloved children, you will see a great
deliverance. The remnant will be saved. How, I cannot say; but something
tells me that an exodus will take place; and that a refuge will be
offered in a country and on a spot where you will be able, without fear,
to serve the Lord according to His holy Word."

The time of deliverance had come. As Christian David heard of the
sufferings which these men had now to endure, his blood boiled with
anger. He resolved to go to their rescue. The path lay open. He had
made many friends in Saxony. His friend Schäfer introduced him to Rothe;
Rothe introduced him to Zinzendorf; and Christian David asked the Count
for permission to bring some persecuted Protestants from Moravia to find
a refuge in Berthelsdorf. The conversation was momentous. The heart of
the Count was touched. If these men, said he, were genuine martyrs, he
would do his best to help them; and he promised David that if they came
he would find them a place of abode. The joyful carpenter returned to
Moravia, and told the news to the Neisser family at Sehlen. "This," said
they, "is God's doing; this is a call from the Lord."

And so, at ten o'clock one night, there met at the house of Jacob
Neisser, in Sehlen, a small band of emigrants {May 27th, 1722.}. At the
head of the band was Christian David; and the rest of the little group
consisted of Augustin and Jacob Neisser, their wives and children,
Martha Neisser, and Michael Jaeschke, a cousin of the family.[72] We know
but little about these humble folk; and we cannot be sure that they were
all descendants of the old Church of the Brethren. Across the mountains
they came, by winding and unknown paths. For the sake of their faith
they left their goods and chattels behind; long and weary was the march;
and at length, worn out and footsore, they arrived, with Christian David
at their head, at Zinzendorf's estate at Berthelsdorf {June 8th, 1722.}.

The streams had met: the new river was formed; and thus the course of
Renewed Brethren's History had begun.


As these wanderers from a foreign land had not been able to bring
in their pockets certificates of orthodoxy, and might, after all, be
dangerous heretics, it occurred to Zinzendorf's canny steward, Heitz,
that on the whole it would be more fitting if they settled, not in the
village itself, but at a safe and convenient distance. The Count was
away; the steward was in charge; and the orthodox parish must not be
exposed to infection. As the Neissers, further, were cutlers by trade,
there was no need for them in the quiet village. If they wished to earn
an honest living they could do it better upon the broad high road.

For these reasons, therefore, he led the exiles to a dismal, swampy
stretch of ground about a mile from the village; and told them for the
present to rest their bones in an old unfinished farmhouse {June 8th,
1722.}. The spot itself was dreary and bleak, but the neighbouring woods
of pines and beeches relieved the bareness of the scene. It was part of
Zinzendorf's estate, and lay at the top of a gentle slope, up which a
long avenue now leads. It was a piece of common pasture ground, and was
therefore known as the Hutberg,[73] or Watch-Hill. It was on the high road
from Löbau to Zittau; it was often used as a camping ground by gypsies
and other pedlars; and the road was in such a disgusting state that
wagons sometimes sank axle deep in the mud. For the moment the refugees
were sick at heart.

"Where," said Mrs. Augustin Neisser, "shall we find bread in this

"If you believe," said Godfrey Marche, tutor to Lady Gersdorf's
granddaughters, "you shall see the glory of God."

The steward was quite concerned for the refugees. As he strolled around
inspecting the land he noticed one particular spot where a thick mist
was rising; and concluding that there a spring was sure to be found, he
offered a prayer on their behalf, and registered the solemn vow, "Upon
this spot, in Thy name, I will build for them the first house." He laid
their needs before Lady Gersdorf, and the good old poetess kindly sent
them a cow; he inspected the site with Christian David, and marked the
trees he might fell; and thus encouraged, Christian David seized his
axe, struck it into a tree, and, as he did so, exclaimed, "Yea, the
sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself."[74] {June
17th, 1722.}

The first step in the building of Herrnhut had been taken. For some
weeks the settlers had still to eat the bread of bitterness and scorn.
It was long before they could find a spring of water. The food was poor,
the children fell ill; the folk in the neighbourhood laughed; and
even when the first house was built they remarked that it would not be
standing long.

But already Christian David had wider plans. Already in vivid
imagination he saw a goodly city rise, mapped out the courts and streets
in his mind, and explained his glowing schemes to the friendly Heitz.
The steward himself was carried away with zeal. The very name of the
hill was hailed as a promising omen. "May God grant," wrote Heitz to the
Count, "that your excellency may be able to build on the hill called the
Hutberg a town which may not only itself abide under the Lord's Watch
(Herrnhut), but all the inhabitants of which may also continue on the
Lord's Watch, so that no silence may be there by day or night." It was
thus that Herrnhut received the name which was soon to be famous in
the land; and thus that the exiles, cheered anew, resolved to build a
glorious City of God.

"We fear," they wrote to the Count himself, "that our settling here may
be a burden to you; and therefore we most humbly entreat you to grant
us your protection, to continue to help us further still, and to show
kindness and love to us poor distressed and simple-minded petitioners."

As the building of the first house proceeded the pious Heitz grew more
and more excited. He drove in the first nail; he helped to fix the first
pillar; and, finally, when the house was ready, he opened it in solemn
religious style, and preached a sort of prophetic sermon about the holy
city, the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. The Count
himself soon blessed the undertaking. As he drove along, one winter
night, on the road from Strahwalde to Hennersdorf, he saw a strange
light shining through the trees {Dec. 2nd.}. He asked what the light
could mean. There, he was told, the Moravian refugees had built the
first house on his estate. He stopped the carriage, entered the house,
assured the inmates of his hearty goodwill, fell down on his knees, and
commended the enterprise to the care of God.

Again the restless David was on the move. As he knelt one day to fix
a plank in the new manor-house which Zinzendorf was building in the
village, it suddenly flashed on his busy brain that he ought to do
something out of the common to show his gratitude to God {1723.}. His
wife had just passed through a dangerous illness; he had vowed to God
that if she recovered he would go to Moravia again; and, throwing down
his tools on the spot, he darted off in his working clothes, and without
a hat on his head, and made his way once more to Sehlen, the old home
of the Neissers. He brought a letter from the Neissers in his pocket;
he urged the rest of the family to cross the border; and the result was
that before many days were gone a band of eighteen more emigrants were
on their way to Herrnhut.

His next step had still more momentous results. As he made his way from
town to town, and urged his friends to come to "David's City," he had
no further aim than to find a home where Protestants could live in peace
and comfort. He knew but little, if anything at all, of the old Church
of the Brethren; he had never been a member of that Church himself; he
had no special interest in her welfare; and the emigrants whom he had
brought to Herrnhut were mostly evangelical folk who had been awakened
by the preaching of the Pietist pastor, Steinmetz, of Teschen. But now,
in the village of Zauchtenthal, he found a band of five young men
whose bosoms glowed with zeal for the ancient Church. They were David
Nitschmann I., the Martyr; David Nitschmann II., the first Bishop of the
Renewed Church; David Nitschmann III., the Syndic; Melchior Zeisberger,
the father of the apostle to the Indians; and John Toeltschig, one of
the first Moravian preachers in Yorkshire. They were genuine sons of the
Brethren; they used the Catechism of Comenius; they sang the Brethren's
hymns in their homes; and now they were looking wistfully forward to the
time when the Church would renew her strength like the eagle's. For some
months they had made their native village the centre of an evangelical
revival. At last events in the village came to a crisis; the young men
were summoned before the village judge; and the judge, no other than
Toeltschig's father, commanded them to close their meetings, and to take
their share, like decent fellows, in the drunken jollifications at the
public-house. For the brave "Five Churchmen" there was now no way
but one. Forthwith they resolved to quit Moravia, and seek for other
Brethren at Lissa, in Poland {May 2nd, 1724.}; and the very next night
they set out on their journey, singing the Moravian Emigrants' song:--

   Blessed be the day when I must roam,
   Far from my country, friends and home,
     An exile poor and mean;
   My father's God will be my guide,
   Will angel guards for me provide,
     My soul in dangers screen.
   Himself will lead me to a spot
   Where, all my cares and griefs forgot,
     I shall enjoy sweet rest.
   As pants for cooling streams the hart,
   I languish for my heavenly part,
     For God, my refuge blest.

For them the chosen haven of rest was Lissa. There the great Comenius
had taught; and there, they imagined, Brethren lingered still. As they
had, however, heard a good deal from David of the "town" being built
at Herrnhut, they resolved to pay a passing call on their way. At Lower
Wiese they called on Pastor Schwedler. He renewed their zeal for the
Church in glowing terms.

"My children," he said, "do you know whose descendants you are? It is a
hundred years since the persecutions began against your fathers. You are
now to enjoy among us that liberty of conscience for the sake of which
they shed their blood. We shall see you blossom and flourish in our

It was a memorable day when they arrived at Herrnhut {May 12th, 1724.}.
The first sight of the holy city did not impress them. The excited David
had painted a rosy picture. They expected to find a flourishing town,
and all they saw was three small houses, of which only one was finished.

"If three houses make a city," said David Nitschmann, "there are worse
places than Herrnhut."

And yet there was something to look at after all. At a little distance
from the three small houses, sat Friedrich de Watteville on a log of
wood; Christian David was working away at another building; in the
afternoon the Count and Countess appeared; and the Count then laid the
foundation stone of a college for noblemen's sons. They stayed to see
the ceremony. They heard the Count deliver an impressive speech. They
heard de Watteville offer a touching prayer. They saw him place his
jewels under the stone. They were touched; they stayed; and became the
firmest pillars of the rising temple.

And now the stream from Moravia increased in force and volume. Again and
again, ten times in all, did the roving David journey to the Moravian
dales; and again and again did the loud blast of the trombones in the
square announce that yet another band of refugees had arrived. Full
many a stirring and thrilling tale had the refugees to tell; how another
David Nitschmann, imprisoned in a castle, found a rope at his window and
escaped; how David Schneider and another David Nitschmann found their
prison doors open; how David Hickel, who had been nearly starved in a
dungeon, walked out between his guards in broad daylight, when their
backs were turned; how Andrew Beier and David Fritsch had stumbled
against their prison door and found that the bolt was loose; how Hans
Nitschmann, concealed in a ditch, heard his pursuers, a foot off, say,
"This is the place, here he must be," and yet was not discovered after
all. No wonder these wanderers felt that angels had screened them on
their way. For the sake of their faith they had been imprisoned, beaten,
thrust into filthy dungeons. For the sake of their faith they had left
behind their goods, their friends, their worldly prospects, had tramped
the unknown mountain paths, had slept under hedges, had been attacked
by robbers. And now, for the sake of this same faith, these men, though
sons of well-to-do people, settled down to lives of manual toil in
Herrnhut. And the numbers swelled; the houses rose; and Herrnhut assumed
the shape of a hollow square.

At this point, however, a difficulty arose. As the rumour spread in the
surrounding country that the Count had offered his estate as an asylum
for persecuted Protestants all sorts of religious malcontents came to
make Herrnhut their home. Some had a touch of Calvinism, and were fond
of discussing free will and predestination; some were disciples of the
sixteenth century Anabaptist mystic, Casper Schwenkfeld; some were vague
evangelicals from Swabia; some were Lutheran Pietists from near at
hand; and some, such as the "Five Churchmen," were descendants of the
Brethren's Church, and wished to see her revived on German soil. The
result was dissension in the camp. As the settlement grew larger things
grew worse. As the settlers learned to know each other better they
learned to love each other less. As poverty crept in at the door love
flew out of the window. Instead of trying to help each other, men
actually tried to cut each other out in business, just like the rest
of the world. As the first flush of joy died away, men pointed out each
other's motes, and sarcasm pushed charity from her throne; and, worse
than all, there now appeared that demon of discord, theological dispute.
The chief leader was a religious crank, named Krüger. He was, of
course, no descendant of the Brethren's Church. He had quarrelled with a
Lutheran minister at Ebersdorf, had been promptly excluded from the Holy
Communion, and now came whimpering to Herrnhut, and lifted up his
voice against the Lutheran Church. He did not possess the garment of
righteousness, he decked himself out with sham excitement and rhetoric;
and, as these are cheap ribbons and make a fine show, he soon gained a
reputation as a saint. He announced that he had been commissioned by God
with the special task of reforming Count Zinzendorf; described Rothe as
the "False Prophet" and Zinzendorf as "The Beast"; denounced the whole
Lutheran Church as a Babylon, and summoned all in Herrnhut to leave it;
and altogether made such a show of piety and holy devotion to God that
his freaks and crotchets and fancies and vagaries were welcomed by the
best of men, and poisoned the purest blood. His success was marvellous.
As the simple settlers listened to his rapt orations they became
convinced that the Lutheran Church was no better than a den of thieves;
and the greater number now refused to attend the Parish Church, and
prepared to form a new sect. Christian David himself was led away. He
walked about like a shadow; he was sure that Krüger had a special Divine
revelation; he dug a private well for himself, and built himself a new
house a few yards from the settlement, so that he might not be smirched
by the pitch of Lutheran Christianity. Worse and ever worse waxed the
confusion. More "horrible"[75] became the new notions. The eloquent Krüger
went out of his mind; and was removed to the lunatic asylum at Berlin.
But the evil that he had done lived after him. The whole city on the
hill was now a nest of fanatics. It was time for the Count himself to

For the last five years, while Herrnhut was growing, the Count had
almost ignored the refugees; and had quietly devoted his leisure time to
his darling scheme of establishing a village "Church within the Church"
at Berthelsdorf. He had still his official State duties to perform. He
was still a King's Councillor at Dresden. He spent the winter months in
the city and the summer at his country-seat; and as long as the settlers
behaved themselves as loyal sons of the Lutheran Church he saw no
reason to meddle in their affairs. He had, moreover, taken two wise
precautions. He had first issued a public notice that no refugee should
settle at Herrnhut unless compelled by persecution; and secondly, he
had called a meeting of the refugees themselves, and persuaded them
to promise that in all their gatherings they would remain loyal to the
Augsburg Confession.

Meanwhile, in the village itself, he had pushed his scheme with vigour.
He named his house Bethel; his estate was his parish; and his tenants
were his congregation. He had never forgotten his boyish vow to do all
in his power to extend the Kingdom of Christ; and now he formed another
society like the old Order of the Mustard Seed. It was called the
"League of the Four Brethren"; it consisted of Zinzendorf, Friedrich
de Watteville, and Pastors Rothe and Schäfer; and its object was to
proclaim to the world, by means of a league of men devoted to
Christ, "that mystery and charm of the Incarnation which was not yet
sufficiently recognized in the Church." He had several methods of work.
As he wished to reach the young folk of noble rank, he had a school
for noblemen's sons built on the Hutberg, and a school for noblemen's
daughters down in the village; and the members of the League all signed
an agreement to subscribe the needful funds for the undertaking. As he
wished, further, to appeal to men in various parts of the country, he
established a printing-office at Ebersdorf, and from that office sent
books, pamphlets, letters, and cheap editions of the Bible in all
directions. As he longed, thirdly, for personal contact with leading
men in the Church, he instituted a system of journeys to Halle and
other centres of learning and piety. But his best work was done in
Berthelsdorf. His steward, Heitz, gave the rustics Bible lessons; Pastor
Rothe preached awakening sermons in the parish church, and his preaching
was, as the Count declared, "as though it rained flames from heaven";
and he himself, in the summer season, held daily singing meetings and
prayer meetings in his own house. Hand in hand did he and Rothe work
hard for the flock at Berthelsdorf. On a Sunday morning the pastor would
preach a telling sermon in a crowded church; in the afternoon the squire
would gather his tenants in his house and expound to them the morning's
discourse. The whole village was stirred; the Church was enlarged; and
the Count himself was so in earnest that if the slightest hitch occurred
in a service he would burst into tears. While things in Herrnhut were
growing worse things in Berthelsdorf were growing better; while stormy
winds blew on the hill there was peace and fellowship down in the
valley. How closely the Count and the pastor were linked may be seen
from the following fact. The Count's family pew in the Church was a
small gallery or raised box over the vestry; the box had a trap-door
in the floor; the pastor, according to Lutheran custom, retired to the
vestry at certain points in the service; and the Count, by opening the
aforesaid door, could communicate his wishes to the pastor.

He had now to apply his principles to Herrnhut. As long as the settlers
had behaved themselves well, and kept their promise to be loyal to the
National Church, he had left them alone to follow their own devices;
and even if they sang old Brethren's hymns at their meetings, he had no
insuperable objection. But now the time had come to take stern measures.
He had taken them in out of charity; he had invited them to the meetings
in his house; and now they had turned the place into a nest of scheming
dissenters. There was war in the camp. On the one hand, Christian
David called Rothe a narrow-minded churchman. On the other hand, Rothe
thundered from his pulpit against the "mad fanatics" on the hill. As Jew
and Samaritan in days of old, so now were Berthelsdorf and Herrnhut.

At this critical point the Count intervened, and changed the duel into
a duet {1727.}. He would have no makers of sects on his estate. With all
their faults, he believed that the settlers were at bottom broad-minded
people. Only clear away the rubbish and the gold would be found

"Although our dear Christian David," he said, "was calling me the
Beast and Mr. Rothe the False Prophet, we could see his honest heart
nevertheless, and knew we could lead him right. It is not a bad maxim,"
he added, "when honest men are going wrong to put them into office,
and they will learn from experience what they will never learn from

He acted on that maxim now. He would teach the exiles to obey the law of
the land, to bow to his authority as lord of the manor, and to live in
Christian fellowship with each other. For this purpose, he summoned them
all to a mass meeting in the Great House on the Hutberg {May 12th.},
lectured them for over three hours on the sin of schism, read out the
"Manorial Injunctions and Prohibitions,"[76] which all inhabitants of
Herrnhut must promise to obey, and then submitted a number of "Statutes"
as the basis of a voluntary religious society. The effect was sudden
and swift. At one bound the settlers changed from a group of quarrelling
schismatics to an organized body of orderly Christian tenants; and
forthwith the assembled settlers shook hands, and promised to obey the
Injunctions and Prohibitions.

As soon as the Count had secured good law and order he obtained leave of
absence from Dresden, took up his residence at Herrnhut, and proceeded
to organize all who wished into a systematic Church within the Church.
For this purpose he prepared another agreement {July 4th.}, entitled
the "Brotherly Union and Compact," signed the agreement first himself,
persuaded Christian David, Pastor Schäfer and another neighbouring
clergyman to do the same, and then invited all the rest to follow suit.
Again, the goodwill was practically universal. As the settlers had
promised on May 12th to obey the Manorial Injunctions and Prohibitions,
so now, of their own free will, they signed a promise to end their
sectarian quarrels, to obey the "Statutes," and to live in fellowship
with Christians of all beliefs and denominations. Thus had the Count
accomplished a double purpose. As lord of the manor he had crushed
the design to form a separate sect; and as Spener's disciple he had
persuaded the descendants of the Bohemian Brethren to form another
"Church within the Church."

Nor was this all. As the Brethren looked back in later years to those
memorable days in Herrnhut, they came to regard the summer months of
1727 as a holy, calm, sabbatic season, when one and all were quickened
and stirred by the power of the Spirit Divine. "The whole place," said
Zinzendorf himself, "represented a visible tabernacle of God among men."
For the next four months the city on the hill was the home of ineffable
joy; and the very men who had lately quarrelled with each other now
formed little groups for prayer and praise. As the evening shadows
lengthened across the square the whole settlement met to pray and
praise, and talk with each other, like brothers and sisters of one home.
The fancies and vagaries fled. The Count held meetings every day. The
Church at Berthelsdorf was crowded out. The good David, now appointed
Chief Elder, persuaded all to study the art of love Divine by going
through the First Epistle of St. John. The very children were stirred
and awakened. The whole movement was calm, strong, deep and abiding.
Of vulgar excitement there was none; no noisy meetings, no extravagant
babble, no religious tricks to work on the emotions. For mawkish,
sentimental religion the Count had an honest contempt. "It is," he said,
"as easy to create religious excitement as it is to stir up the sensual
passions; and the former often leads to the latter." As the Brethren met
in each other's homes, or on the Hutberg when the stars were shining,
they listened, with reverence and holy awe, to the still voice of that
Good Shepherd who was leading them gently, step by step, to the green
pastures of peace.

Amid the fervour the Count made an announcement which caused every cheek
to flush with new delight. He had made a strange discovery. At Zittau,
not far away, was a reference library; and there, one day, he found
a copy of Comenius's Latin version of the old Brethren's "Account of
Discipline." {July.} His eyes were opened at last. For the first time in
his busy life he read authentic information about the old Church of the
Brethren; and discovered, to his amazement and joy, that so far from
being disturbers of the peace, with a Unitarian taint in their blood,
they were pure upholders of the very faith so dear to his own heart.

His soul was stirred to its depths. "I could not," he said, "read
the lamentations of old Comenius, addressed to the Church of England,
lamentations called forth by the idea that the Church of the Brethren
had come to an end, and that he was locking its door--I could not read
his mournful prayer, 'Turn Thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be
turned; renew our days as of old,' without resolving there and then:
I, as far as I can, will help to bring about this renewal. And though
I have to sacrifice my earthly possessions, my honours and my life, as
long as I live I will do my utmost to see to it that this little flock
of the Lord shall be preserved for Him until He come."

And even this was not the strangest part of the story. As the Count
devoured the ancient treatise, he noticed that the rules laid down
therein were almost the same as the rules which he had just drawn up for
the refugees at Herrnhut. He returned to Herrnhut, reported his find,
and read the good people extracts from the book {Aug. 4th.}. The
sensation was profound. If this was like new milk to the Count it was
like old wine to the Brethren; and again the fire of their fathers
burned in their veins.

And now the coping stone was set on the temple {Aug. 13th.}. As the
Brethren were learning, step by step, to love each other in true
sincerity, Pastor Rothe now invited them all to set the seal to the work
by coming in a body to Berthelsdorf Church, and there joining, with one
accord, in the celebration of the Holy Communion. The Brethren accepted
the invitation with joy. The date fixed was Monday, August 13th. The
sense of awe was overpowering. As the Brethren walked down the slope to
the church all felt that the supreme occasion had arrived; and all who
had quarrelled in the days gone by made a covenant of loyalty and love.
At the door of the church the strange sense of awe was thrilling. They
entered the building; the service began; the "Confession" was offered
by the Count; and then, at one and the same moment, all present, rapt
in deep devotion, were stirred by the mystic wondrous touch of a power
which none could define or understand. There, in Berthelsdorf Parish
Church, they attained at last the firm conviction that they were one in
Christ; and there, above all, they believed and felt that on them, as on
the twelve disciples on the Day of Pentecost, had rested the purifying
fire of the Holy Ghost.

"We learned," said the Brethren, "to love." "From that time onward,"
said David Nitschmann, "Herrnhut was a living Church of Jesus Christ. We
thank the Lord that we ever came to Herrnhut, instead of pressing on, as
we intended, to Poland."

And there the humble Brother spoke the truth. As the Brethren returned
that evening to Herrnhut, they felt within them a strength and joy they
had never known before. They had realised their calling in Christ. They
had won the Divine gift of Christian union. They had won that spirit of
brotherly love which only the great Good Spirit could give. They had won
that sense of fellowship with Christ, and fellowship with one another,
which had been the costliest gem in the days of their fathers; and
therefore, in future, they honoured the day as the true spiritual
birthday of the Renewed Church of the Brethren. It is useless trying to
express their feelings in prose. Let us listen to the moving words of
the Moravian poet, James Montgomery:--

   They walked with God in peace and love,
     But failed with one another;
   While sternly for the faith they strove,
     Brother fell out with brother;
   But He in Whom they put their trust,
   Who knew their frames, that they were dust,
     Pitied and healed their weakness.

   He found them in His house of prayer,
     With one accord assembled,
   And so revealed His presence there,
     They wept for joy and trembled;
   One cup they drank, one bread they brake,
   One baptism shared, one language spake,
     Forgiving and forgiven.

   Then forth they went, with tongues of flame,
     In one blest theme delighting,
   The love of Jesus and His Name,
     God's children all uniting!
   That love, our theme and watchword still;
   That law of love may we fulfil,
     And love as we are loved.

The next step was to see that the blessing was not lost {Aug. 27th.}.
For this purpose the Brethren, a few days later, arranged a system of
Hourly Intercession. As the fire on the altar in the Jewish Temple
was never allowed to go out, so the Brethren resolved that in this
new temple of the Lord the incense of intercessory prayer should rise
continually day and night. Henceforth, Herrnhut in very truth should
be the "Watch of the Lord." The whole day was carefully mapped out, and
each Brother or Sister took his or her turn. Of all the prayer unions
ever organized surely this was one of the most remarkable. It is said to
have lasted without interruption for over a hundred years.


As we study the social and religious system which now developed at
Herrnhut, it is well to bear in mind the fact that when the Count, as
lord of the manor, first issued his "Injunctions and Prohibitions," he
was not aware that, in so doing, he was calling back to life once more
the discipline of the old Bohemian Brethren. He had not yet read the
history of the Brethren, and he had not yet studied Comenius's "Account
of Discipline." He knew but little of the Brethren's past, and the
little that he knew was wrong; and, having no other plan to guide him,
he took as his model the constitution lying ready to hand in the average
German village of the day, and adapted that simple constitution to
the special needs of the exiles.[77] He had no desire to make Herrnhut
independent. It was still to be a part of his estate, and conform to
the laws of the land; and still to be the home of a "Church within the
Church," as planned by Luther long ago in his famous German Mass.

First, then the Count laid down the rule that all male adults in
Herrnhut, no matter to what sect they might belong, should have a voice
in the election of twelve Elders; and henceforward these twelve Elders,
like those in the neighbouring estates of Silesia, had control over
every department of life, and enforced the Injunctions and Prohibitions
with an iron hand. They levied the usual rates and taxes to keep the
streets and wells in order. They undertook the care of widows and
orphans. They watched the relations of single young men and women. They
kept a sharp eye on the doings at the inn. They called to order the
tellers of evil tales; and they banished from Herrnhut all who disobeyed
the laws, or conducted themselves in an unbecoming, frivolous or
offensive manner.

The power of the Elders was enormous. If a new refugee desired to settle
in Herrnhut, he must first obtain permission from the Elders. If a
settler desired to go on a journey, he must first obtain permission from
the Elders. If a man desired to build a house; if a trader desired to
change his calling; if an apprentice desired to leave his master; if a
visitor desired to stay the night, he must first obtain permission from
the Elders. If a man fell in love and desired to marry, he must first
obtain the approval of the Elders; and until that approval had been
obtained, he was not allowed to propose to the choice of his heart. Let
us see the reason for this remarkable strictness.

As the Brethren settled down in Herrnhut, they endeavoured, under the
Count's direction, to realize the dignity of labour. For rich and poor,
for Catholic and Protestant, for all able-bodied men and women, the same
stern rule held good. If a man desired to settle at Herrnhut, the one
supreme condition was that he earned his bread by honest toil, and lived
a godly, righteous and sober life. For industrious Catholics there was a
hearty welcome; for vagabonds, tramps and whining beggars there was
not a bed to spare. If a man would work he might stay, and worship God
according to his conscience; but if he was lazy, he was ordered off the
premises. As the Brethren met on Sunday morning for early worship in the
public hall, they joined with one accord in the prayer, "Bless the sweat
of the brow and faithfulness in business"; and the only business they
allowed was business which they could ask the Lord to bless. To them
work was a sacred duty, a delight and a means for the common good. If
a man is blessed who has found his work, then blessed were the folk at
Herrnhut. "We do not work to live," said the Count; "we live to work."
The whole aim was the good of each and the good of all. As the grocer
stood behind his counter, or the weaver plied his flying shuttle, he was
toiling, not for himself alone, but for all his Brethren and Sisters.
If a man desired to set up in business, he had first to obtain the
permission of the Elders; and the Elders refused to grant the permission
unless they thought that the business in question was needed by the rest
of the people. "No brother," ran the law at Herrnhut, "shall compete
with his brother in trade." No man was allowed to lend money on interest
without the consent of the Elders. If two men had any dispute in
business, they must come to terms within a week; and if they did not,
or went to law, they were expelled. If a man could buy an article in
Herrnhut, he was not allowed to buy it anywhere else.

It is easy to see the purpose of these regulations. They were an
attempt to solve the social problem, to banish competition, and to put
co-operation in its place. For some years the scheme was crowned with
glorious success. The settlement grew; the trade flourished; the great
firm of Dürninger obtained a world-wide reputation; the women were
skilled in weaving and spinning; and the whole system worked so well
that in 1747 the Saxon Government besought the Count to establish a
similar settlement at Barby. At Herrnhut, in a word, if nowhere else,
the social problem was solved. There, at least, the aged and ill could
live in peace and comfort; there grim poverty was unknown; there the
widow and orphan were free from carking care; and there men and women of
humble rank had learned the truth that when men toil for the common good
there is a perennial nobleness in work.[78]
For pleasure the Brethren had neither time nor taste. They worked, on
the average, sixteen hours a day, allowed only five hours for sleep,
and spent the remaining three at meals and meetings. The Count was as
Puritanic as Oliver Cromwell himself. For some reason he had come to the
conclusion that the less the settlers knew of pleasure the better, and
therefore he laid down the law that all strolling popular entertainers
should be forbidden to enter the holy city. No public buffoon ever
cracked his jokes at Herrnhut. No tight-rope dancer poised on giddy
height. No barrel-dancer rolled his empty barrel. No tout for lotteries
swindled the simple. No juggler mystified the children. No cheap-jack
cheated the innocent maidens. No quack-doctor sold his nasty pills. No
melancholy bear made his feeble attempt to dance. For the social joys
of private life the laws were stricter still. At Herrnhut, ran one
comprehensive clause, there were to be no dances whatever, no wedding
breakfasts, no christening bumpers, no drinking parties, no funeral
feasts, and no games like those played in the surrounding villages. No
bride at Herrnhut ever carried a bouquet. No sponsor ever gave the new
arrival a mug or a silver spoon.

For sins of the coarse and vulgar kind there was no mercy. If a man got
drunk, or cursed, or stole, or used his fists, or committed adultery or
fornication, he was expelled, and not permitted to return till he
had given infallible proofs of true repentance. No guilty couple were
allowed to "cheat the parson." No man was allowed to strike his wife,
and no wife was allowed to henpeck her husband; and any woman found
guilty of the latter crime was summoned before the board of Elders and
reprimanded in public.

Again, the Count insisted on civil order. He appointed a number of other
officials. Some, called servants, had to clean the wells, to sweep the
streets, to repair the houses, and to trim the gardens. For the sick
there was a board of sick waiters; for the poor a board of almoners;
for the wicked a board of monitors; for the ignorant a board of
schoolmasters; and each board held a conference every week. Once a week,
on Saturday nights, the Elders met in Council; once a week, on Monday
mornings, they announced any new decrees; and all inhabitants vowed
obedience to them as Elders, to the Count as Warden, and finally to the
law of the land. Thus had the Count, as lord of the manor, drawn up a
code of civil laws to be binding on all. We have finished the Manorial
Injunctions and Prohibitions. We come to the free religious life of the

Let us first clear a difficulty out of the way. As the Count was a loyal
son of the Lutheran Church, and regarded the Augsburg Confession as
inspired,[79] it seems, at first sight, a marvellous fact that here at
Herrnhut he allowed the Brethren to take steps which led ere long to the
renewal of their Church. He allowed them to sing Brethren's Hymns; he
allowed them to revive old Brethren's customs; he allowed them to hold
independent meetings; and he even resolved to do his best to revive the
old Church himself. His conduct certainly looked very inconsistent. If
a man in England were to call himself a loyal member of the Anglican
Church, and yet at the same time do his very best to found an
independent denomination, he would soon be denounced as a traitor to the
Church and a breeder of schism and dissent. But the Count's conduct can
be easily explained. It was all due to his ignorance of history. He had
no idea that the Bohemian Brethren had ever been an independent Church.
He regarded them as a branch of the Reformed persuasion. He regarded
them as a "Church within the Church," of the kind for which Luther had
longed, and which Spener had already established. He held his delusion
down to the end of his days; and, therefore, as Lutheran and Pietist
alike, he felt at liberty to help the Brethren in all their religious

For this purpose, therefore, he asked the settlers at Herrnhut to sign
their names to a voluntary "Brotherly Union"; and the chief condition of
the "Union" was that all the members agreed to live in friendship with
Christians of other denominations, and also to regard themselves as
members of the Lutheran Church. They attended the regular service at the
Parish Church. There they took the Holy Communion; there they had their
children baptized; and there the young people were confirmed.

Meanwhile the movement at Herrnhut was growing fast. The great point was
to guard against religious poison. As the Count had a healthy horror of
works of darkness, he insisted that no meetings should be held without
a light; and the Brethren set their faces against superstition. They
forbade ghost-stories; they condemned the popular old-wives' tales about
tokens, omens and death-birds; they insisted that, in case of illness,
no meddling busybody should interfere with the doctor; and thus, as
homely, practical folk, they aimed at health of body and of mind.

But the chief object of their ambition was health of soul. As the
revival deepened, the number of meetings increased. Not a day passed
without three meetings for the whole congregation. At five in the
morning they met in the hall, and joined in a chorus of praise. At the
dinner hour they met again, and then, about nine o'clock, after supper,
they sang themselves to rest. At an early period the whole congregation
was divided into ninety unions for prayer, and each band met two
or three times a week. The night was as sacred as the day. As the
night-watchman went his rounds, he sang a verse at the hour, as

   The clock is eight! to Herrnhut all is told,
   How Noah and his seven were saved of old,
   Hear, Brethren, hear! the hour of nine is come!
   Keep pure each heart, and chasten every home!
   Hear, Brethren, hear! now ten the hour-hand shows;
   They only rest who long for night's repose.
   The clock's eleven, and ye have heard it all,
   How in that hour the mighty God did call.
   It's midnight now, and at that hour you know,
   With lamp to meet the bridegroom we must go.
   The hour is one; through darkness steals the day;
   Shines in your hearts the morning star's first ray?
   The clock is two! who comes to meet the day,
   And to the Lord of days his homage pay?
   The clock is three! the Three in One above
   Let body, soul and spirit truly love.
   The clock is four! where'er on earth are three,
   The Lord has promised He the fourth will be.
   The clock is five! while five away were sent,
   Five other virgins to the marriage went!
   The clock is six, and from the watch I'm free,
   And every one may his own watchman be!

At this task all male inhabitants, over sixteen and under sixty, took
their turn. The watchman, in the intervals between the hours, sang other
snatches of sacred song; and thus anyone who happened to be lying awake
was continually reminded of the presence of God.

On Sunday nearly every hour of the day was occupied by services. At five
there was a short meeting, known as the "morning blessing." From six
to nine there were meetings for the several "choirs." At ten there was a
special service for children. At eleven there was morning worship in
the Parish Church. At one the Chief Elder gave a general exhortation.
At three, or thereabouts, there was a meeting, called the "strangers'
service," for those who had not been able to go to Church; and then the
Count or some other layman repeated the morning sermon. At four there
was another service at Berthelsdorf; at eight another service at
Herrnhut; at nine the young men marched round the settlement singing
hymns; and on Monday morning these wonderful folk returned to their
labour like giants refreshed with new wine. Their powers of endurance
were miraculous. The more meetings they had the more they seemed able to
stand. Sometimes the good Pastor Schwedler, of Görlitz, would give
them a sermon three hours long; and sometimes, commencing at six in
the morning, he held his congregation enthralled till three in the

Again, the Brethren listened day by day to a special message from God.
We come now to the origin of the Moravian Text-book. As the Count was
a great believer in variety, he very soon started the practice, at the
regular evening singing meeting, of giving the people a short address on
some Scriptural text or some verse from a hymn. As soon as the singing
meeting was over he read out to the company the chosen passage,
recommended it as a suitable subject for meditation the following day,
and next morning had the text passed round by the Elders to every house
in Herrnhut. Next year (1728) the practice was better organized. Instead
of waiting for the Count to choose, the Elders selected in advance a
number of texts and verses, and put them all together into a box; and
then, each evening, one of the Elders put his hand into the box and
drew the text for the following day. The idea was that of a special
Providence. If Christ, said the Count, took a special interest in every
one of His children, He would also take the same kindly interest in
every company of believers; and, therefore, He might be safely trusted
to guide the hand of the Elder aright and provide the "watchword" needed
for the day. Again and again he exhorted the Brethren to regard the text
for the day as God's special message to them; and finally, in 1731, he
had the texts for the whole year printed, and thus began that Brethren's
Text-book which now appears regularly every year, is issued in several
tongues, and circulates, in every quarter of the globe, among Christians
of all denominations.[80]
In order, next, to keep in touch with their fellow-Christians the
Brethren instituted a monthly Saturday meeting, and that Saturday came
to be known as "Congregation Day." {Feb. 10th, 1728.} At this meeting
the Brethren listened to reports of evangelical work in other districts.
Sometimes there would be a letter from a travelling Brother; sometimes a
visitor from some far-distant strand. The meeting was a genuine sign of
moral health. It fostered broadness of mind, and put an end to spiritual
pride. Instead of regarding themselves as Pietists, superior to the
average professing Christians, the Brethren now rejoiced to hear of the
good done by others. They prayed not for their own narrow circle alone,
but for all rulers, all churches, and all people that on earth do dwell;
and delighted to sing old Brethren's hymns, treating of the Church
Universal, such as John Augusta's "Praise God for ever" and "How amiable
Thy tabernacles are." At this monthly meeting the Count was in his
element. He would keep his audience enthralled for hours together. He
would read them first a piece of news in vivid, dramatic style; then he
would suddenly strike up a missionary hymn; then he would give them a
little more information; and thus he taught them to take an interest in
lands beyond the sea.

Another sign of moral health was the "Love-feast." As the Brethren met
in each other's houses, they attempted, in quite an unofficial way, to
revive the Agape of Apostolic times; and to this end they provided a
simple meal of rye-bread and water, wished each other the wish, "Long
live the Lord Jesus in our hearts," and talked in a free-and-easy
fashion about the Kingdom of God. And here the Brethren were on their
guard. In the days of the Apostles there had been scandals. The rich
had brought their costly food, and the poor had been left to pine. At
Herrnhut this scandal was avoided. For rich and poor the diet was the
same, and came from a common fund; in later years it was white bread and
tea; and in due time the Love-feast took the form of a meeting for the
whole congregation.

Again, the Brethren were wonderfully simple-minded. As we read about
their various meetings, it is clear that in their childlike way they
were trying to revive the institutions of Apostolic times. For this
purpose they even practised the ceremony of foot-washing, as described
in the Gospel of St. John. To the Count the clear command of Christ was
decisive. "If I then, your Lord and Master," said Jesus, "have washed
your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet." What words, said
the Count, could be more binding than these? "No man," he declared, "can
read John xiii. without being convinced that this should be done." He
revived the custom, and made it both popular and useful. The ceremony
was generally performed by the young, before some special festival. It
spread in time to England and Ireland, and was not abandoned till the
early years of the nineteenth century[81] (1818).

We come now to the origin of the "choirs." As Zinzendorf studied the
Gospel story, he came to the conclusion that in the life of Jesus Christ
there was something specially suitable to each estate in life. For
the married people there was Christ, the Bridegroom of His Bride, the
Church; for the single Brethren, the "man about thirty years of age";
for the single Sisters, the Virgin Mary; for the children, the boy in
the temple asking questions. The idea took root. The more rapidly the
settlement grew, the more need there was for division and organization.
For each class the Master had a special message, and, therefore, each
class must have its special meetings and study its special duties. For
this purpose a band of single men--led by the ascetic Martin Linner, who
slept on bare boards--agreed to live in one house, spent the evenings
in united study, and thus laid the basis of the Single Brethren's Choir
{Aug. 29th, 1728.}. For the same purpose the single young women, led by
Anna Nitschmann, agreed to live in a "Single Sisters' House," and made
a covenant with one another that henceforward they would not make
matrimony the highest aim in life, but would rather, like Mary of
Bethany, sit at the feet of Christ and learn of Him {May 4th, 1730.}.
For the same purpose the married people met at a love-feast, formed the
"married choir," and promised to lead a pure and holy life {Sept. 7th,
1733.}, "so that their children might be plants of righteousness."
For the same purpose the children, in due time, were formed into a
"children's choir." The whole aim was efficiency and order. At first the
unions were voluntary; in time they became official.

As the years rolled on the whole congregation was systematically divided
into ten "choirs," as follows:--The married choir, the widowers, the
widows, the Single Brethren, the Single Sisters, the youths, the great
girls, the little boys, the little girls, the infants in arms. Each
choir had its own president, its own special services, its own festival
day, its own love-feasts. Of these choirs the most important were those
of the Single Brethren and Single Sisters. As the Brethren at Herrnhut
were soon to be busy in evangelistic labours, they found it convenient
to have in their ranks a number of men and women who were not bound down
by family ties; and though the young people took no celibate vows, they
often kept single through life for the sake of the growing cause.

The system invaded the sanctity of family life. As the Count was a
family man himself, he very properly took the deepest interest in
the training of little children; and, in season and out of season, he
insisted that the children of Christian parents should be screened from
the seductions of the world, the flesh and the devil. "It is nothing
less than a scandal," he said, "that people think so little of the
fact that their children are dedicated to the Lord. Children are little
kings; their baptism is their anointing; and as kings they ought to be
treated from the first." For this purpose he laid down the rule that
all infants should be baptized in the hall, in the presence of the whole
congregation; and as soon as the children were old enough to learn, he
had them taken from their homes, and put the little boys in one school
and the little girls in another. And thus the burden of their education
fell not on the parents, but on the congregation.

Again, the Count carried out his ideas in the "vasty halls of death."
Of all the sacred spots in Herrnhut there were none more sacred and more
awe-inspiring than the "God's Acre" which the Brethren laid out on the
Hutberg. There, in the bosom of Mother Earth, the same division into
choirs was preserved. To the Count the tomb was a holy place. If a
visitor ever came to Herrnhut, he was sure to take him to the
God's Acre, and tell him the story of those whose bones awaited
the resurrection of the just. The God's Acre became the scene of an
impressive service {1733.}. At an early hour on Easter Sunday the
Brethren assembled in the sacred presence of the dead, and waited for
the sun to rise. As the golden rim appeared on the horizon, the minister
spoke the first words of the service. "The Lord is risen," said the
minister. "He is risen indeed!" responded the waiting throng. And then,
in the beautiful language of Scripture, the Brethren joined in a solemn
confession of faith. The trombones that woke the morning echoes led the
anthem of praise, and one and all, in simple faith, looked onward to
the glorious time when those who lay in the silent tomb should hear the
voice of the Son of God, and be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord
in the air. To the Brethren the tomb was no abode of dread. In a tomb
the Lord Himself had lain; in a tomb His humble disciples lay "asleep";
and therefore, when a brother departed this life, the mourners never
spoke of him as dead. "He is gone home," they said; and so death lost
his sting.

Again, the Brethren had a strong belief in direct answers to prayer.
It was this that led them to make such use of the "Lot." As soon as
the first twelve Elders were elected, the Brethren chose from among the
twelve a committee of four by Lot; and in course of time the Lot was
used for a great variety of purposes. By the Lot, as we shall see later
on, the most serious ecclesiastical problems were settled. By the Lot a
sister determined her answer to an offer of marriage. By the Lot a call
to service was given, and by the Lot it was accepted or rejected. If
once the Lot had been consulted, the decision was absolute and binding.
The prayer had been answered, the Lord had spoken, and the servant must
now obey.[82]
We have now to mention but one more custom, dating from those great
days. It is one peculiar to the Brethren's Church, and is known as the
"Cup of Covenant." It was established by the Single Brethren, {1729.}
and was based on the act of Christ Himself, as recorded in the Gospel of
St. Luke. As the Master sat with His twelve disciples in the Upper Room
at Jerusalem, we are told that just before the institution of the Lord's
Supper,[83] "He took the Cup and gave thanks, and said, 'Take this and
divide it among yourselves'"; and now, in obedience to this command,
this ardent band of young disciples made a covenant to be true to
Christ, and passed the Cup from hand to hand. Whenever a young brother
was called out to the mission field, the whole choir would meet and
entrust him to Christ in this simple and scriptural way. It was the
pledge at once of united service and united trust. It spread, in course
of time, to the other choirs; it is practised still at the annual
choir festivals; and its meaning is best expressed in the words of the
Brethren's Covenant Hymn:--

   Assembling here, a humble band,
     Our covenantal pledge to take,
   We pass the cup from hand to hand,
     From heart to heart, for His dear sake.

It remains to answer two important questions. As we study the life of
the Herrnhut Brethren, we cannot possibly fail to notice how closely
their institutions resembled the old institutions of the Bohemian
Brethren. We have the same care for the poor, the same ascetic ideal of
life, the same adherence to the word of Scripture, the same endeavour to
revive Apostolic practice, the same semi-socialistic tendency, the
same aspiration after brotherly unity, the same title, "Elder," for the
leading officials, and the same, or almost the same, method of electing
some of these officials by Lot. And, therefore, we naturally ask the
question, how far were these Brethren guided by the example of their
fathers? The reply is, not at all. At this early stage in their history
the Moravian refugees at Herrnhut knew absolutely nothing of the
institutions of the Bohemian Brethren.[84] They had no historical records
in their possession; they had not preserved any copies of the ancient
laws; they brought no books but hymn-books across the border; and they
framed their rules and organized their society before they had even
heard of the existence of Comenius's "Account of Discipline." The whole
movement at Herrnhut was free, spontaneous, original. It was not an
imitation of the past. It was not an attempt to revive the Church of the
Brethren. It was simply the result of Zinzendorf's attempt to apply the
ideals of the Pietist Spener to the needs of the settlers on his estate.

The second question is, what was the ecclesiastical standing of the
Brethren at this time? They were not a new church or sect. They had
no separate ministry of their own. They were members of the Lutheran
Church, regarded Rothe still as their Pastor, attended the Parish
Church on Sundays, and took the Communion there once a month; and what
distinguished them from the average orthodox Lutheran of the day was,
not any peculiarity of doctrine, but rather their vivid perception of a
doctrine common to all the Churches. As the Methodists in England a few
years later exalted the doctrine of "conversion," so these Brethren at
Herrnhut exalted the doctrine of the spiritual presence of Christ. To
them the ascended Christ was all in all. He had preserved the "Hidden
Seed." He had led them out from Moravia. He had brought them to a
watch-tower. He had delivered them from the secret foe. He had banished
the devouring demon of discord, had poured out His Holy Spirit upon them
at their memorable service in the Parish Church, and had taught them
to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. He was the
"Bridegroom of the Soul," the "Blood Relation of His People," the
"King's Son seeking for His Bride, the Church," the "Chief Elder
pleading for the Church before God." And this thought of the living and
reigning Christ was, therefore, the ruling thought among the Brethren.
He had done three marvellous things for the sons of men. He had given
His life as a "ransom" for sin, and had thereby reconciled them to God;
He had set the perfect example for them to follow; He was present with
them now as Head of the Church; and thus, when the Brethren went out to
preach, they made His Sacrificial Death, His Holy Life, and His abiding
presence the main substance of their Gospel message.


But Zinzendorf was not long allowed to tread the primrose path of
peace. As the news of his proceedings spread in Germany, many orthodox
Lutherans began to regard him as a nuisance, a heretic, and a disturber
of the peace; and one critic made the elegant remark: "When Count
Zinzendorf flies up into the air, anyone who pulls him down by the legs
will do him a great service." He was accused of many crimes, and had
many charges to answer. He was accused of founding a new sect, a society
for laziness; he was accused of holding strange opinions, opposed to
the teaching of the Lutheran Church; he was accused of being a sham
Christian, a sort of religious freak; and now he undertook the task
of proving that these accusations were false, and of showing all
fair-minded men in Germany that the Brethren at Herrnhut were as
orthodox as Luther, as respected as the King, and as pious as good old
Dr. Spener himself. His methods were bold and straightforward.

He began by issuing a manifesto {Aug. 12th, 1729.}, entitled the
"Notariats-Instrument." As this document was signed by all the Herrnhut
Brethren, they must have agreed to its statements; but, on the other
hand, it is fairly certain that it was drawn up by Zinzendorf himself.
It throws a flood of light on his state of mind. He had begun to think
more highly of the Moravian Church. He regarded the Moravians as the
kernel of the Herrnhut colony, and now he deliberately informed
the public that, so far from being a new sect, these Moravians were
descendants of an ancient Church. They were, he declared, true heirs of
the Church of the Brethren; and that Church, in days gone by, had been
recognized by Luther, Calvin and others as a true Church of Christ. In
doctrine that Church was as orthodox as the Lutheran; in discipline it
was far superior. As long, therefore, as the Brethren were allowed to do
so, they would maintain their old constitution and discipline; and yet,
on the other hand, they would not be Dissenters. They were not Hussites;
they were not Waldenses; they were not Fraticelli; they honoured the
Augsburg Confession; they would still attend the Berthelsdorf
Parish Church; and, desirous of cultivating fellowship with all true
Christians, they announced their broad position in the sentence: "We
acknowledge no public Church of God except where the pure Word of God
is preached, and where the members live as holy children of God." Thus
Zinzendorf made his policy fairly clear. He wanted to preserve the
Moravian Church inside the Lutheran Church![85]
His next move was still more daring. He was a man of fine missionary
zeal. As the woman who found the lost piece of silver invited her
friends and neighbours to share in her joy, so Zinzendorf wished all
Christians to share in the treasure which he had discovered at Herrnhut.
He believed that the Brethren there were called to a world-wide mission.
He wanted Herrnhut to be a city set on a hill. "I have no sympathy," he
said, "with those comfortable people who sit warming themselves before
the fire of the future life." He did not sit long before the fire
himself. He visited the University of Jena, founded a society among
the students, and so impressed the learned Spangenberg that that great
theological scholar soon became a Brother at Herrnhut himself. He
visited the University of Halle, and founded another society of students
there. He visited Elmsdorf in Vogtland, and founded a society consisting
of members of the family of Count Reuss. He visited Berleburg in
Westphalia, made the acquaintance of John Conrad Dippel, and tried to
lead that straying sheep back to the Lutheran fold. He visited Budingen
in Hesse, discoursed on Christian fellowship to the "French Prophets,"
or "Inspired Ones," and tried to teach their hysterical leader, Rock,
a little wisdom, sobriety and charity. He attended the coronation of
Christian VI., King of Denmark, at Copenhagen, was warmly welcomed
by His Majesty, received the Order of the Danebrog, saw Eskimos from
Greenland and a negro from St. Thomas, and thus opened the door, as we
shall see later on, for the great work of foreign missions. Meanwhile,
he was sending messengers in all directions. He sent two Brethren to
Copenhagen, with a short historical account of Herrnhut. He sent two
others to London to see the Queen, and to open up negotiations with the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He sent another to Sweden;
others to Hungary and Austria; others to Switzerland; others to Moravia;
others to the Baltic Provinces, Livonia and Esthonia. And everywhere his
object was the same--the formation of societies for Christian fellowship
within the National Church.

At this point, however, he acted like a fanatic, and manifested the
first symptoms of that weak trait in his character which nearly wrecked
his career. As he pondered one day on the state of affairs at Herrnhut,
it suddenly flashed upon his mind that the Brethren would do far better
without their ancient constitution. He first consulted the Elders and
Helpers {Jan. 7th, 1731.}; he then summoned the whole congregation; and
there and then he deliberately proposed that the Brethren should abolish
their regulations, abandon their constitution, cease to be Moravians and
become pure Lutherans. At that moment Zinzendorf was calmly attempting
to destroy the Moravian Church. He did not want to see that Church
revive. For some reason of his own, which he never explained in print,
he had come to the conclusion that the Brethren would serve Christ far
better without any special regulations of their own. But the Brethren
were not disposed to meek surrender. The question was keenly debated. At
length, however, both sides agreed to appeal to a strange tribunal. For
the first time in the history of Herrnhut a critical question of Church
policy was submitted to the Lot.[86] The Brethren took two slips of paper
and put them into a box. On the first were the words, "To them that are
without law, as without law, that I might gain them that are without
law," 1 Cor. ix. 21; on the second the words, "Therefore, Brethren,
stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught," 2 Thess.
ii. 15. At that moment the fate of the Church hung in the balance; the
question at issue was one of life and death; and the Brethren spent a
long time in anxious prayer. If the first slip of paper was drawn, the
Church would cease to exist; if the second, she might still live by the
blessing of God. Young Christel, Zinzendorf's son, now entered the room.
He drew the second slip of paper, and the Moravian Church was saved. To
Zinzendorf this was an event of momentous importance. As soon as
that second slip of paper was drawn, he felt convinced that God had
sanctioned the renewal of the Moravian Church.

Next year an event occurred to strengthen his convictions. A body of
commissioners from Dresden appeared at Herrnhut {Jan. 19-22, 1732.}.
They attended all the Sunday services, had private interviews with the
Brethren, and sent in their report to the Saxon Government. The Count's
conduct had excited public alarm. He had welcomed not only Moravians at
Herrnhut, but Schwenkfelders at Berthelsdorf; and, therefore, he was now
suspected of harbouring dangerous fanatics. For a long time the issue
hung doubtful; but finally the Government issued a decree that while the
Schwenkfelders must quit the land, the Moravians should be allowed to
stay as long as they behaved themselves quietly {April 4th, 1733.}.

But Zinzendorf was not yet satisfied. He regarded the edict as an
insult. The words about "behaving quietly" looked like a threat. As long
as the Brethren were merely "tolerated," their peace was in constant
danger; and a King who had driven out the Schwenkfelders might soon
drive out the Herrnhuters. He was disgusted. At the time when the edict
was issued, he himself was returning from a visit to Tübingen. He had
laid the whole case of the Brethren before the Tübingen Theological
Faculty. He had asked these theological experts to say whether the
Brethren could keep their discipline and yet be considered good
Lutherans; and the experts, in reply, had declared their opinion that
the Herrnhut Brethren were as loyal Lutherans as any in the land.
Thus the Brethren were standing now on a shaky floor. According to the
Tübingen Theological Faculty they were good members of the National
Church; according to the Government they were a "sect" to be tolerated!

Next year he adopted three defensive measures {1734.}. First, he divided
the congregation at Herrnhut into two parts, the Moravian and the purely
Lutheran; next, he had himself ordained as a Lutheran clergyman; and
third, he despatched a few Moravians to found a colony in Georgia. He
was now, he imagined, prepared for the worst. If the King commanded the
Moravians to go, the Count had his answer ready. As he himself was
a Lutheran clergyman, he would stay at Herrnhut and minister to the
Herrnhut Lutherans; and the Moravians could all sail away to Georgia,
and live in perfect peace in the land of the free.

Next year he made his position stronger still {1735.}. As the Moravians
in Georgia would require their own ministers, he now had David
Nitschmann consecrated a Bishop by Bishop Daniel Ernest Jablonsky (March
13th). The new Bishop was not to exercise his functions in Germany. He
was a Bishop for the foreign field only; he sailed with the second batch
of colonists for Georgia; and thus Zinzendorf maintained the Moravian
Episcopal Succession, not from any sectarian motives, but because he
wished to help the Brethren when the storm burst over their heads.

For what really happened, however, Zinzendorf was unprepared {1736.}.
As he made these various arrangements for the Brethren, he entirely
overlooked the fact that he himself was in greater danger than they.
He was far more widely hated than he imagined. He was condemned by the
Pietists because he had never experienced their sudden and spasmodic
method of conversion. He offended his own relatives when he became a
clergyman; he was accused of having disgraced his rank as a Count; he
disgusted a number of other noblemen at Dresden; and the result of this
strong feeling was that Augustus III., King of Saxony, issued an edict
banishing Zinzendorf from his kingdom. He was accused in this Royal
edict of three great crimes. He had introduced religious novelties;
he had founded conventicles; and he had taught false doctrine. Thus
Zinzendorf was banished from Saxony as a heretic. As soon, however, as
the Government had dealt with Zinzendorf, they sent a second Commission
to Herrnhut; and the second Commission came to the conclusion that the
Brethren were most desirable Lutherans, and might be allowed to
stay. Dr. Löscher, one of the commissioners, burst into tears. "Your
doctrine," he said, "is as pure as ours, but we do not possess your
discipline." At first sight this certainly looks like a contradiction,
but the explanation is not far to seek. We find it in the report issued
by the Commission. It was a shameless confession of mercenary motives.
In that report the commissioners deliberately stated that if good
workmen like the Brethren were banished from Herrnhut the Government
would lose so much in taxes; and, therefore, the Brethren were allowed
to stay because they brought grist to the mill. At the same time, they
were forbidden to make any proselytes; and thus it was hoped that the
Herrnhut heresy would die a natural death.

When Zinzendorf heard of his banishment, he was not amazed. "What
matter!" he said. "Even had I been allowed by law, I could not have
remained in Herrnhut at all during the next ten years." He had plans
further afield. "We must now," he added, "gather together the Pilgrim
Congregation and proclaim the Saviour to the World." It is true that the
edict of banishment was repealed {1737.}; it is true that he was allowed
to return to Herrnhut; but a year later a new edict was issued, and the
Count was sternly expelled from his native land {1738.}.


As young Leonard Dober lay tossing on his couch, his soul was disquieted
within him {1731.}. He had heard strange news that afternoon, and sleep
forsook his eyes. As Count Zinzendorf was on a visit to the court of
Christian VI., King of Denmark, he met a West Indian negro slave, by
name Antony Ulrich. And Antony was an interesting man. He had been
baptized; he had been taught the rudiments of the Christian faith; he
had met two other Brethren at the court; his tongue was glib and
his imagination lively; and now he poured into Zinzendorf's ears a
heartrending tale of the benighted condition of the slaves on the Danish
island of St. Thomas. He spoke pathetically of his sister Anna, of his
brother Abraham, and of their fervent desire to hear the Gospel.

"If only some missionaries would come," said he, "they would certainly
be heartily welcomed. Many an evening have I sat on the shore and sighed
my soul toward Christian Europe; and I have a brother and sister in
bondage who long to know the living God."

The effect on Zinzendorf was electric. His mind was full of missionary
visions. The story of Antony fired his zeal. The door to the heathen
world stood open. The golden day had dawned. He returned to the Brethren
at Herrnhut, arrived at two o'clock in the morning, and found that the
Single Brethren were still on their knees in prayer. Nothing could be
more encouraging. At the first opportunity he told the Brethren Antony's
touching tale.

Again the effect was electric. As the Brethren met for their monthly
service on "Congregation Day" they had often listened to reports of
work in various parts of the Continent; already the Count had suggested
foreign work; and already a band of Single Brethren (Feb. 11th, 1728)
had made a covenant with each other to respond to the first clear sound
of the trumpet call. As soon as their daily work was over, these men
plunged deep into the study of medicine, geography, and languages. They
wished to be ready "when the blessed time should come"; they were on the
tiptoe of expectation; and now they were looking forward to the day when
they should be summoned to cross the seas to heathen lands. The summons
had sounded at last. To Leonard Dober the crisis of his life had come.
As he tossed to and fro that summer night he could think about nothing
but the poor neglected negroes, and seemed to hear a voice Divine urging
him to arise and preach deliverance to the captives. Whence came, he
asked, that still, small voice? Was it his own excited fancy, or was it
the voice of God? As the morning broke, he was still unsettled in his
mind. But already the Count had taught the Brethren to regard the daily
Watch-Word as a special message from God. He consulted his text-book.
The very answer he sought was there. "It is not a vain thing for you,"
ran the message, "because it is your life; and through this thing ye
shall prolong your days."

And yet Dober was not quite convinced. If God desired him to go abroad
He would give a still clearer call. He determined to consult his friend
Tobias Leupold, and abide the issue of the colloquy; and in the evening
the two young men took their usual stroll together among the brushwood
clustering round the settlement. And then Leonard Dober laid bare his
heart, and learned to his amazement that all the while Tobias had been
in the same perplexing pass. What Dober had been longing to tell him,
he had been longing to tell Dober. Each had heard the same still small
voice; each had fought the same doubts; each had feared to speak his
mind; and now, in the summer gloaming, they knelt down side by side
and prayed to be guided aright. Forthwith the answer was ready. As they
joined the other Single Brethren, and marched in solemn procession past
Zinzendorf's house, they heard the Count remark to a friend, "Sir,
among these young men there are missionaries to St. Thomas, Greenland,
Lapland, and many other countries."

The words were inspiring. Forthwith the young fellows wrote to the Count
and offered to serve in St. Thomas. The Count read the letter to the
congregation, but kept their names a secret. The Brethren were critical
and cold. As the settlers were mostly simple people, with little
knowledge of the world beyond the seas, it was natural that they should
shrink from a task which the powerful Protestant Churches of Europe had
not yet dared to attempt. Some held the offer reckless; some dubbed it
a youthful bid for fame and the pretty imagination of young officious
minds. Antony Ulrich came to Herrnhut, addressed the congregation in
Dutch, and told them that no one could be a missionary in St. Thomas
without first becoming a slave. As the people knew no better they
believed him. For a year the issue hung in the scales of doubt. The
young men were resolute, confident and undismayed. If they had to be
slaves to preach the Gospel, then slaves they would willingly be![87] At
last Dober wrote in person to the congregation and repeated his resolve.
The Brethren yielded. The Count still doubted. For the second time a
momentous issue was submitted to the decision of the Lot.

"Are you willing," he asked Dober, "to consult the Saviour by means of
the Lot?"

"For myself," replied Dober, "I am already sure enough; but I will do so
for the sake of the Brethren."

A meeting was held; a box of mottoes was brought in; and Dober drew a
slip of paper bearing the words: "Let the lad go, for the Lord is with
him." The voice of the Lot was decisive. Of all the meetings held
in Herrnhut, this meeting to hear the voice of the Lot was the most
momentous in its world-wide importance. The young men were all on fire.
If the Lot had only given the word they would now have gone to the
foreign field in dozens. For the first time in the history of Protestant
Europe a congregation of orthodox Christians had deliberately resolved
to undertake the task of preaching the Gospel to the heathen. As the
Lot which decided that Dober should go had also decided that his friend
Leupold should stay, he now chose as his travelling companion the
carpenter, David Nitschmann. The birthday of Moravian Missions now drew
near. At three o'clock on the morning of August 21st, 1732, the two men
stood waiting in front of Zinzendorf's house. The Count had spent the
whole night in prayer. He drove them in his carriage as far as Bautzen.
They alighted outside the little town, knelt down on the quiet roadside,
engaged in prayer, received the Count's blessing by imposition of hands,
bade him farewell, and set out Westward Ho!

As they trudged on foot on their way to Copenhagen, they had no idea
that in so doing they were clearing the way for the great modern
missionary movement; and, on the whole, they looked more like pedlars
than pioneers of a new campaign. They wore brown coats and quaint
three-cornered hats. They carried bundles on their backs. They had only
about thirty shillings in their pockets. They had received no clear
instructions from the Count, except "to do all in the Spirit of Jesus
Christ." They knew but little of the social condition of St. Thomas.
They had no example to follow; they had no "Society" to supply their
needs; and now they were going to a part of the world where, as yet, a
missionary's foot had never trod.

At Copenhagen, where they called at the court, they created quite a
sensation. For some years there had existed there a National Missionary
College. It was the first Reformed Missionary College in Europe. Founded
by King Frederick IV., it was regarded as a regular department of the
State. It had already sent Hans Egede to Greenland and Ziegenbalg
to Tranquebar, on the Coromandel Coast; and it sent its men as State
officials, to undertake the work of evangelisation as a useful part
of the national colonial policy. But Dober and Nitschmann were on a
different footing. If they had been the paid agents of the State they
would have been regarded with favour; but as they were only the heralds
of a Church they were laughed at as a brace of fools. For a while they
met with violent opposition. Von Plesz, the King's Chamberlain, asked
them how they would live.

"We shall work," replied Nitschmann, "as slaves among the slaves."

"But," said Von Plesz, "that is impossible. It will not be allowed. No
white man ever works as a slave."

"Very well," replied Nitschmann, "I am a carpenter, and will ply my

"But what will the potter do?"

"He will help me in my work."

"If you go on like that," exclaimed the Chamberlain, "you will stand
your ground the wide world over."

The first thing was to stand their ground at Copenhagen. As the
directors of the Danish West Indian Company refused to grant them a
passage out they had now to wait for any vessel that might be sailing.
The whole Court was soon on their side. The Queen expressed her good
wishes. The Princess Amalie gave them some money and a Dutch Bible.
The Chamberlain slipped some coins into Nitschmann's pocket. The Court
Physician gave them a spring lancet, and showed them how to open a vein.
The Court Chaplain espoused their cause, and the Royal Cupbearer found
them a ship on the point of sailing for St. Thomas.

As the ship cast anchor in St. Thomas Harbour the Brethren realized for
the first time the greatness of their task. There lay the quaint little
town of Tappus, its scarlet roofs agleam in the noontide sun; there,
along the silver beach, they saw the yellowing rocks; and there, beyond,
the soft green hills were limned against the azure sky. There, in a
word, lay the favoured isle, the "First Love of Moravian Missions."
Again the text for the day was prophetic: "The Lord of Hosts," ran
the gladdening watchword, "mustereth the host of the battle." As the
Brethren stepped ashore next day they opened a new chapter in the
history of modern Christianity. They were the founders of Christian work
among the slaves. For fifty years the Moravian Brethren laboured in the
West Indies without any aid from any other religious denomination. They
established churches in St. Thomas, in St. Croix, in St. John's, in
Jamaica, in Antigua, in Barbados, and in St. Kitts. They had 13,000
baptized converts before a missionary from any other Church arrived on
the scene.

We pass to another field. As the Count was on his visit to the Court in
Copenhagen, he saw two little Greenland boys who had been baptized by
the Danish missionary, Hans Egede; and as the story of Antony Ulrich
fired the zeal of Leonard Dober, so the story of Egede's patient labours
aroused the zeal of Matthew Stach and the redoubtable Christian David
{1733.}. In Greenland Egede had failed. In Greenland the Brethren
succeeded. As they settled down among the people they resolved at first
to be very systematic in their method of preaching the Gospel; and to
this end, like Egede before them, they expounded to the simple Eskimo
folk the whole scheme of dogmatic theology, from the fall of man to the
glorification of the saint. The result was dismal failure. At last the
Brethren struck the golden trail. The story is a classic in the history
of missions. As John Beck, one balmy evening in June, was discoursing on
things Divine to a group of Eskimos, it suddenly flashed upon his mind
that, instead of preaching dogmatic theology he would read them an
extract from the translation of the Gospels he was now preparing. He
seized his manuscript. "And being in an agony," read John Beck, "He
prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood
falling down to the ground." At this Kajarnak, the brightest in the
group, sprang forward to the table and exclaimed, "How was that? Tell me
that again, for I, too, would be saved." The first Eskimo was touched.
The power was the story of the Cross. From that moment the Brethren
altered the whole style of their preaching. Instead of expounding
dogmatic theology, they told the vivid human story of the Via Dolorosa,
the Crown of Thorns, the Scourging, and the Wounded Side. The result was
brilliant success. The more the Brethren spoke of Christ the more eager
the Eskimos were to listen.

In this good work the leader was Matthew Stach. He was ordained a
Presbyter of the Brethren's Church. He was officially appointed leader
of the Greenland Mission. He was recognized by the Danish College
of Missions. He was authorized by the King of Denmark to baptize and
perform all sacerdotal functions. His work was methodical and thorough.
In order to teach the roving Eskimos the virtues of a settled life, he
actually took a number of them on a Continental tour, brought them to
London, presented them, at Leicester House, to King George II., the
Prince of Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family, and thus imbued them
with a love of civilisation. At New Herrnhut, in Greenland, he founded
a settlement, as thoroughly organised as Herrnhut in Saxony. He built
a church, adorned with pictures depicting the sufferings of Christ. He
taught the people to play the violin. He divided the congregation into
"choirs." He showed them how to cultivate a garden of cabbages, leeks,
lettuces, radishes and turnips. He taught them to care for all widows
and orphans. He erected a "Brethren's House" for the "Single Brethren"
and a "Sisters' House" for the "Single Sisters." He taught them to join
in worship every day. At six o'clock every morning there was a meeting
for the baptized; at eight a public service for all the settlers; at
nine the children repeated their catechism and then proceeded to morning
school; and then, in the evening, when the men had returned with their
bag of seals, there was a public preaching service in the church. And at
Lichtenfels and Lichtenau the same sort of work was done.

We pass on to other scenes, to Dutch Guinea or Surinam. As the Dutch
were still a great colonial power, they had plenty of opportunity to
spread the Gospel; and yet, except in India, they had hitherto not
lifted a finger in the cause of foreign missions. For the most part the
Dutch clergy took not the slightest interest in the subject. They held
bigoted views about predestination. They thought that Christ had died
for them, but not for Indians and negroes. As the Brethren, however,
were good workmen, it was thought that they might prove useful in the
Colonies; and so Bishop Spangenberg found it easy to make an arrangement
with the Dutch Trading Company, whereby the Brethren were granted a
free passage, full liberty in religion, and exemption from the oath and
military service {1734.}. But all this was little more than pious talk.
As soon as the Brethren set to work the Dutch pastors opposed them to
the teeth. At home and abroad it was just the same. At Amsterdam
the clergy met in Synod, and prepared a cutting "Pastoral Letter,"
condemning the Brethren's theology; and at Paramaribo the Brethren were
forbidden to hold any meetings at all. But the Brethren did not stay
very long in Paramaribo. Through three hundred miles of jungle and swamp
they pressed their way, and came to the homes of the Indian tribes; to
the Accawois, who earned their living as professional assassins; to the
Warrows, who wallowed in the marshes; to the Arawaks, or "Flour People,"
who prepared tapioca; to the Caribs, who sought them that had familiar
spirits and wizards that peep and mutter. "It seems very dark," they
wrote to the Count, "but we will testify of the grace of the Saviour
till He lets the light shine in this dark waste." For twenty years they
laboured among these Indian tribes; and Salomo Schumann, the leader of
the band, prepared an Indian dictionary and grammar. One story flashes
light upon their labours. As Christopher Dähne, who had built himself
a hut in the forest, was retiring to rest a snake suddenly glided down
upon him from the roof, bit him twice or thrice, and coiled itself round
his body. At that moment, the gallant herald of the Cross, with death
staring him in the face, thought, not of himself, but of the people whom
he had come to serve. If he died as he lay the rumour might spread that
some of the natives had killed him; and, therefore, he seized a piece
of chalk and wrote on the table, "A serpent has killed me." But lo! the
text flashed suddenly upon him: "They shall take up serpents; and if
they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them." He seized the
serpent, flung it from him, lay down to sleep in perfect peace, and next
morning went about his labours.

We pass now to South Africa, the land of the Boers. For the last hundred
years South Africa had been under the rule of the Dutch East India
Company; and the result was that the Hottentots and Kaffirs were
still as heathen as ever. For their spiritual welfare the Boers cared
absolutely nothing. They were strong believers in predestination; they
believed that they were elected to grace and the Hottentots elected to
damnation; and, therefore, they held it to be their duty to wipe the
Hottentots off the face of the earth. "The Hottentots," they said, "have
no souls; they belong to the race of baboons." They called them children
of the devil; they called them "black wares," "black beasts," and "black
cattle"; and over one church door they painted the notice "Dogs and
Hottentots not admitted." They ruined them, body and soul, with rum and
brandy; they first made them merry with drink, and then cajoled them
into unjust bargains; they shot them down in hundreds, and then boasted
over their liquor how many Hottentots they had "potted." "With one
hundred and fifty men," wrote the Governor, Van Ruibeck, in his journal,
"11,000 head of black cattle might be obtained without danger of losing
one man; and many savages might be taken without resistance to be
sent as slaves to India, as they will always come to us unarmed. If no
further trade is to be expected with them, what should it matter much to
take six or eight thousand beasts from them." But the most delightful
of all Boer customs was the custom of flogging by pipes. If a Hottentot
proved a trifle unruly, he was thrashed, while his master, looking on
with a gluttonous eye, smoked a fixed number of pipes; and the wreathing
smoke and the writhing Hottentot brought balm unto his soul.

And now to this hell of hypocrisy and villainy came the first apostle to
the natives. As the famous Halle missionary, Ziegenbalg, was on his way
to the Malabar Coast he touched at Cape Town, heard something of the
abominations practised, was stirred to pity, and wrote laying the case
before two pastors in Holland. The two pastors wrote to Herrnhut; the
Herrnhut Brethren chose their man; and in less than a week the man was
on his way. George Schmidt was a typical Herrnhut brother. He had come
from Kunewalde, in Moravia, had lain six years in prison, had seen his
friend, Melchior Nitschmann, die in his arms, and watched his own flesh
fall away in flakes from his bones. For twelve months he had now to stay
in Amsterdam, first to learn the Dutch language, and secondly to pass an
examination in orthodox theology. He passed the examination with flying
colours. He received permission from the "Chamber of Seventeen" to sail
in one of the Dutch East India Company's ships. He landed at Cape Town.
His arrival created a sensation. As he sat in the public room of an inn
he listened to the conversation of the assembled farmers {1737.}.

"I hear," said one, "that a parson has come here to convert the

"What! a parson!" quoth another. "Why, the poor fool must have lost his

They argued the case; they mocked; they laughed; they found the subject
intensely amusing.

"And what, sir, do you think?" said a waiter to Schmidt, who was sitting
quietly in the corner.

"I am the very man," replied Schmidt; and the farmers began to talk
about their crops.

For six years George Schmidt laboured all alone among the benighted
Hottentots. He began his labours at a military outpost in the Sweet-Milk
Valley, about fifty miles east of Cape Town; but finding the company
of soldiers dangerous to the morals of his congregation, he moved to a
place called Bavian's Kloof, where the town of Genadendal stands to-day.
He planted the pear-tree so famous in missionary annals, taught the
Hottentots the art of gardening, held public service every evening, had
fifty pupils in his day-school, and began to baptize his converts. As he
and William, one of his scholars, were returning one day from a visit to
Cape Town, they came upon a brook, and Schmidt asked William if he had a
mind to be baptized there and then. He answered "Yes." And there, by
the stream in a quiet spot, the first fruit of African Missions made his
confession of faith in Christ.

"Dost thou believe," asked Schmidt solemnly, "that the Son of God died
on the cross for the sins of all mankind? Dost thou believe that thou
art by nature a lost and undone creature? Wilt thou renounce the devil
and all his works? Art thou willing, in dependence on God's grace, to
endure reproach and persecution, to confess Christ before all men, and
to remain faithful to him unto death?"

As soon, however, as Schmidt began to baptize his converts the Cape Town
clergy denounced him as a heretic, and summoned him to answer for his
sins. The great charge against him was that he had not been properly
ordained. He had been ordained, not by actual imposition of hands, but
by a certificate of ordination, sent out to him by Zinzendorf. To the
Dutch clergy this was no ordination at all. What right, said they, had
a man to baptize who had been ordained in this irregular manner? He
returned to Holland to fight his battle there. And he never set foot on
African soil again! The whole argument about the irregular ordination
turned out to be a mere excuse. If that argument had been genuine the
Dutch clergy could now have had Schimdt ordained in the usual way. But
the truth is they had no faith in his mission; they had begun to regard
the Brethren as dangerous heretics; and, therefore, for another fifty
years they forbade all further mission work in the Dutch Colony of South

We pass on to other scenes. We go to the Gold Coast in the Dutch Colony
of Guinea, where Huckoff, another German Moravian, and Protten, a
mulatto theological scholar, attempted to found a school for slaves
{1737.}, and where, again, the work was opposed by the Governor. We pass
to another Dutch Colony in Ceylon; and there find David Nitschmann III.
and Dr. Eller establishing a society in Colombo, and labouring further
inland for the conversion of the Cingalese; and again we find that the
Dutch clergy, inflamed by the "Pastoral Letter," were bitterly opposed
to the Brethren and compelled them to return to Herrnhut. We take our
journey to Constantinople, and find Arvid Gradin, the learned Swede,
engaged in an attempt to come to terms with the Greek Church {1740.},
and thus open the way for the Brethren's Gospel to Asia. We step north
to Wallachia, and find two Brethren consulting about a settlement there
with the Haspodar of Bucharest. We arrive at St. Petersburg, and find
three Brethren there before us, commissioned to preach the Gospel to the
heathen Calmucks. We pass on to Persia and find two doctors, Hocker and
Rüffer, stripped naked by robbers on the highway, and then starting a
practice at Ispahan (1747). We cross the sandy plains to the city of
Bagdad, and find two Brethren in its narrow streets; we find Hocker
expounding the Gospel to the Copts in Cairo!

And even this was not the end of the Brethren's missionary labours
{1738-42.}. For some years the Brethren conducted a mission to the Jews.
For Jews the Count had special sympathy. He had vowed in his youth to
do all he could for their conversion; he had met a good many Jews at
Herrnhut and at Frankfurt-on-the-Main; he made a practice of speaking
about them in public on the Great Day of Atonement; and in their Sunday
morning litany the Brethren uttered the prayer, "Deliver Thy people
Israel from their blindness; bring many of them to know Thee, till the
fulness of the Gentiles is come and all Israel is saved." The chief
seat of this work was Amsterdam, and the chief workers Leonard Dober and
Samuel Leiberkühn. The last man was a model missionary. He had studied
theology at Jena and Halle; he was a master of the Hebrew tongue; he
was expert in all customs of the Jews; he was offered a professorship
at Königsberg; and yet, instead of winning his laurels as an Oriental
scholar, he preferred to settle down in humble style in the Jewish
quarter of Amsterdam, and there talk to his friends the Jews about the
Christ he loved so deeply. His method of work was instructive. He never
dazed his Jewish friends with dogmatic theology. He never tried to prove
that Christ was the Messiah of the prophecies. He simply told them, in
a kindly way, how Jesus had risen from the dead, and how much this
risen Jesus had done in the world; he shared their hope of a national
gathering in Palestine; and, though he could never boast of making
converts, he was so beloved by his Jewish friends that they called him
"Rabbi Schmuel."

Let us try to estimate the value of all this work. Of all the
enterprises undertaken by the Brethren this heroic advance on heathen
soil had the greatest influence on other Protestant Churches; and some
writers have called the Moravians the pioneers of Protestant Foreign
Missions. But this statement is only true in a special sense. They
were not the first to preach the Gospel to the heathen. If the reader
consults any history of Christian Missions[88] he will see that long
before Leonard Dober set out for St. Thomas other men had preached the
Gospel in heathen lands.

But in all these efforts there is one feature missing. There is no sign
of any united Church action. At the time when Leonard Dober set out from
Herrnhut not a single other Protestant Church in the world had attacked
the task of foreign missions, or even regarded that task as a Divinely
appointed duty. In England the work was undertaken, not by the Church as
such, but by two voluntary associations, the S.P.C.K. and the S.P.G.; in
Germany, not by the Lutheran Church, but by a few earnest Pietists; in
Denmark, not by the Church, but by the State; in Holland, not by the
Church, but by one or two pious Colonial Governors; and in Scotland,
neither by the Church nor by anyone else. At that time the whole work of
foreign missions was regarded as the duty, not of the Churches, but of
"Kings, Princes, and States." In England, Anglicans, Independents and
Baptists were all more or less indifferent. In Scotland the subject was
never mentioned; and even sixty years later a resolution to inquire into
the matter was rejected by the General Assembly {1796.}. In Germany the
Lutherans were either indifferent or hostile. In Denmark and Holland the
whole subject was treated with contempt. And the only Protestant Church
to recognize the duty was this little, struggling Renewed Church of the
Brethren. In this sense, therefore, and in this sense only, can we
call the Moravians the pioneers of modern missions. They were the first
Protestant Church in Christendom to undertake the conversion of the
heathen. They sent out their missionaries as authorised agents of the
Church. They prayed for the cause of missions in their Sunday Litany.
They had several missionary hymns in their Hymn-Book. They had regular
meetings to listen to the reading of missionaries' diaries and letters.
They discussed missionary problems at their Synods. They appointed
a Church Financial Committee to see to ways and means. They sent
out officially appointed "visitors" to inspect the work in various
countries. They were, in a word, the first Protestant Missionary Church
in history; and thus they set an inspiring example to all their stronger

Again, this work of the Brethren was important because it was thorough
and systematic. At first the missionaries were compelled to go out with
very vague ideas of their duties. But in 1734 the Brethren published
"Instructions for the Colony in Georgia"; in 1737 "Instructions for
Missionaries to the East"; in 1738 "Instructions for all Missionaries";
and in 1740 "The Right Way to Convert the Heathen." Thus even during
those early years the Moravian missionaries were trained in missionary
work. They were told what Gospel to preach and how to preach it. "You
are not," said Zinzendorf, in his "Instructions," "to allow yourselves
to be blinded by the notion that the heathen must be taught first to
believe in God, and then afterwards in Jesus Christ. It is false. They
know already that there is a God. You must preach to them about the Son.
You must be like Paul, who knew nothing but Jesus and Him crucified. You
must speak constantly, in season, and out of season, of Jesus, the Lamb,
the Saviour; and you must tell them that the way to salvation is belief
in this Jesus, the Eternal Son of God." Instead of discussing doctrinal
questions the missionaries laid the whole stress on the person and
sacrifice of Christ. They avoided dogmatic language. They used the
language, not of the theological world, but of the Gospels. They
preached, not a theory of the Atonement, but the story of the Cross. "We
must," said Spangenberg, "hold to the fact that the blood and death of
Jesus are the diamond in the golden ring of the Gospel."

But alongside this Gospel message the Brethren introduced as far as
possible the stern system of moral discipline which already existed
at Herrnhut. They lived in daily personal touch with the people. They
taught them to be honest, obedient, industrious, and loyal to the
Government. They opened schools, taught reading and writing, and
instructed the girls in sewing and needlework. They divided their
congregations, not only into "Choirs," but also into "Classes." They
laid the stress, not on public preaching, but on the individual "cure of
souls." For this purpose they practised what was called "The Speaking."
At certain fixed seasons, i.e., the missionary, or one of his helpers,
had a private interview with each member of the congregation. The old
system of the Bohemian Brethren was here revived.[89] At these private
interviews there was no possibility of any moral danger. At the head of
the men was the missionary, at the head of the women his wife; for the
men there were male "Helpers," for the women female "Helpers"; and thus
all "speakings" took place between persons of the same sex only. There
were three degrees of discipline. For the first offence the punishment
was reproof; for the second, suspension from the Communion; for the
third, expulsion from the congregation. And thus the Brethren proved up
to the hilt that Christian work among the heathen was not mere waste of

Again, this work was important because it was public. It was not done in
a corner. It was acted on the open stage of history. As these Brethren
laboured among the heathen, they were constantly coming into close
contact with Governors, with trading companies, and with Boards of
Control. In Greenland they were under Danish rule; in Surinam, under
Dutch; in North America, under English; in the West Indies, under
English, French, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese; and thus
they were teaching a moral lesson to the whole Western European world.
At that time the West Indian Islands were the gathering ground for all
the powers on the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. There, and there alone
in the world, they all had possessions; and there, in the midst of all
these nationalities, the Brethren accomplished their most successful
work. And the striking fact is that in each of these islands they gained
the approval of the Governor. They were the agents of an international
Church; they were free from all political complications; they could
never be suspected of treachery; they were law-abiding citizens
themselves, and taught their converts to be the same; and thus they
enjoyed the esteem and support of every great Power in Europe.

And this in turn had another grand result. It prepared the way for
Negro Emancipation. We must not, however, give the missionaries too much
credit. As Zinzendorf himself was a firm believer in slavery, we
need not be surprised to find that the Brethren never came forward as
champions of liberty. They never pleaded for emancipation. They never
encouraged their converts to expect it. They never talked about
the horrors of slavery. They never appealed, like Wilberforce, to
Parliament. And yet it was just these modest Brethren who did the
most to make emancipation possible. Instead of delivering inflamatory
speeches, and stirring up the hot-blooded negroes to rebellion, they
taught them rather to be industrious, orderly, and loyal, and thus show
that they were fit for liberty. If a slave disobeyed his master
they punished him. They acted wisely. If the Brethren had preached
emancipation they would simply have made their converts restive; and
these converts, by rebelling, would only have cut their own throats.
Again and again, in Jamaica and Antigua, the negroes rose in revolt; and
again and again the Governors noticed that the Moravian converts took no
part in the rebellion.

At last the news of these triumphs arrived in England; and the Privy
Council appointed a Committee to inquire into the state of the slave
trade in our West Indian possessions {1787.}. The Committee appealed
to the Brethren for information. The reply was drafted by Christian
Ignatius La Trobe. As La Trobe was then the English Secretary for
the Brethren's missions, he was well qualified to give the required
information. He described the Brethren's methods of work, pointed out
its results in the conduct of the negroes, and declared that all the
Brethren desired was liberty to preach the Gospel. "The Brethren," he
said, "never wish to interfere between masters and slaves." The ball
was now set fairly rolling. Dr. Porteous, Bishop of London, replied on
behalf of the Committee. He was an ardent champion of emancipation. He
thanked the Brethren for their information. He informed them how pleased
the Committee were with the Brethren's methods of work. At this very
time Wilberforce formed his resolution to devote his life to the
emancipation of the slaves. He opened his campaign in Parliament two
years later. He was a personal friend of La Trobe; he read his report;
and he backed up his arguments in Parliament by describing the good
results of Moravian work among the slaves. And thus the part played by
the Brethren was alike modest and effective. They taught the slaves to
be good; they taught them to be genuine lovers of law and order; they
made them fit for the great gift of liberty; and thus, by destroying
the stale old argument that emancipation was dangerous they removed the
greatest obstacle in Wilberforce's way.[90]
Again, this work of the Brethren was important in its influence on
several great English missionary pioneers. At missionary gatherings held
in England the statement is often made to-day that the first Englishman
to go out as a foreign missionary was William Carey, the leader of the
immortal "Serampore Three." It is time to explode that fiction. For some
years before William Carey was heard of a number of English Moravian
Brethren had gone out from these shores as foreign missionaries. In
Antigua laboured Samuel Isles, Joseph Newby, and Samuel Watson; in
Jamaica, George Caries and John Bowen; in St. Kitts and St. Croix, James
Birkby; in Barbados, Benjamin Brookshaw; in Labrador, William Turner,
James Rhodes, and Lister; and in Tobago, John Montgomery, the father of
James Montgomery, the well-known Moravian hymn-writer and poet. With
the single exception of George Caries, who seems to have had some Irish
blood in his veins, these early missionaries were as English as Carey
himself; and the greater number, as we can see from the names, were
natives of Yorkshire. Moreover, William Carey knew of their work. He
owed his inspiration partly to them; he referred to their work in his
famous pamphlet, "Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use
Means for the Conversion of the Heathens"; and finally, at the house
of Mrs. Beely Wallis, in Kettering, he threw down upon the table some
numbers of the first English missionary magazine,[91] "Periodical Accounts
relating to the Missions of the Church of the United Brethren," and,
addressing his fellow Baptist ministers, exclaimed: "See what the
Moravians have done! Can we not follow their example, and in obedience
to our heavenly Master go out into the world and preach the Gospel to
the heathen." The result was the foundation of the Baptist Missionary

His companion, Marshman, also confessed his obligations to the Brethren

"Thank you! Moravians," he said, "you have done me good. If I am ever a
missionary worth a straw I shall, under our Saviour, owe it to you."

We have next the case of the London Missionary Society. Of that Society
one of the founders was Rowland Hill. He was well informed about the
labours of the Moravians; he corresponded with Peter Braun, the Moravian
missionary in Antigua; and to that correspondence he owed in part his
interest in missionary work. But that was not the end of the Brethren's
influence. At all meetings addressed by the founders of the proposed
Society, the speaker repeatedly enforced his arguments by quotations
from the Periodical Accounts; and finally, when the Society was
established, the founders submitted to La Trobe, the editor, the
following series of questions:--"1. How do you obtain your missionaries?
2. What is the true calling of a missionary? 3. What qualifications do
you demand in a missionary? 4. Do you demand scientific and theological
learning? 5. Do you consider previous instruction in Divine things an
essential? 6. How do you employ your missionaries from the time when
they are first called to the time when they set out? 7. Have you found
by experience that the cleverest and best educated men make the best
missionaries? 8. What do you do when you establish a missionary station?
Do you send men with their wives, or single people, or both? 9. What
have you found the most effective way of accomplishing the conversion of
the heathen? 10. Can you tell us the easiest way of learning a language?
11. How much does your missionary ship[92] cost you?" In reply, La Trobe
answered in detail, and gave a full description of the Brethren's
methods; and the first heralds of the London Missionary Society went out
with Moravian instructions in their pockets and Moravian experience to
guide them on their way.

We have next the case of Robert Moffatt, the missionary to Bechuanaland.
What was it that first aroused his missionary zeal? It was, he tells us,
the stories told him by his mother about the exploits of the Moravians!

In Germany the influence of the Brethren was equally great. At the
present time the greatest missionary forces in Germany are the Basel
and Leipzig Societies; and the interesting point to notice is that if
we only go far enough back in the story we find that each of these
societies owed its origin to Moravian influence.[93] From what did the
Basel Missionary Society spring? (1819). It sprang from an earlier
"Society for Christian Fellowship (1780)," and one object of that
earlier society was the support of Moravian Missions. But the influence
did not end here. At the meeting when the Basel Missionary Society was
formed, three Moravians--Burghardt, Götze, and Lörschke--were present,
the influence of the Brethren was specially mentioned, the work of
the Brethren was described, and the text for the day from the Moravian
textbook was read. In a similar way the Leipzig Missionary Society
sprang from a series of meetings held in Dresden, and in those
meetings several Moravians took a prominent part. By whom was the first
missionary college in history established? It was established at Berlin
by Jänicke {1800.}, and Jänicke had first been a teacher in the Moravian
Pædagogium at Niesky. By whom was the first Norwegian Missionary
Magazine--the Norsk Missionsblad--edited? By the Moravian minister,
Holm. From such facts as these we may draw one broad conclusion; and
that broad conclusion is that the Brethren's labours paved the way for
some of the greatest missionary institutions of modern times.


As soon as Zinzendorf was banished from Saxony, he sought another sphere
of work. About thirty miles northeast of Frankfurt-on-the-Main there lay
a quaint and charming district known as the Wetterau, wherein stood two
old ruined castles, called Ronneburg and Marienborn. The owners of the
estate, the Counts of Isenberg, had fallen on hard times. They were deep
in debt; their estates were running to decay; the Ronneburg walls were
crumbling to pieces, and the out-houses, farms and stables were let out
to fifty-six dirty families of Jews, tramps, vagabonds and a mongrel
throng of scoundrels of the lowest class. As soon as the Counts heard
that Zinzendorf had been banished from Saxony, they kindly offered him
their estates on lease. They had two objects in view. As the Brethren
were pious, they would improve the people's morals; and as they were
good workers, they would raise the value of the land. The Count sent
Christian David to reconnoitre. Christian David brought back an evil
report. It was a filthy place, he said, unfit for respectable people.
But Zinzendorf felt that, filthy or not, it was the very spot which God
had chosen for his new work. It suited his high ideas. The more squalid
the people, the more reason there was for going.

"I will make this nest of vagabonds," he said, "the centre for the
universal religion of the Saviour. Christian," he asked, "haven't you
been in Greenland?"

"Ah, yes," replied Christian, who had been with the two Stachs, "if it
were only as good as it was in Greenland! But at Ronneburg Castle we
shall only die."

But the Count would not hear another word, went to see the place for
himself, closed with the terms of the Counts of Isenberg, and thus
commenced that romantic chapter in the Brethren's History called by some
German historians the Wetterau Time.

It was a time of many adventures. As the Count took up his quarters in
Ronneburg Castle, he brought with him a body of Brethren and Sisters
whom he called the "Pilgrim Band"; and there, on June 17th, 1736, he
preached his first sermon in the castle. It was now exactly fourteen
years since Christian David had felled the first tree at Herrnhut; and
now for another fourteen years these crumbling walls were to be the home
of Moravian life. What the members of the Pilgrim Band were we may know
from the very name. They were a travelling Church. They were a body of
Christians called to the task, in Zinzendorf's own words, "to proclaim
the Saviour to the world"; and the Count's noble motto was: "The earth
is the Lord's; all souls are His; I am debtor to all." There was a dash
of romance in that Pilgrim Band, and more than a dash of heroism. They
lived in a wild and eerie district. They slept on straw. They heard the
rats and mice hold revels on the worm-eaten staircases, and heard the
night wind howl and sough between the broken windows; and from those
ruined walls they went out to preach the tidings of the love of Christ
in the wigwams of the Indians and the snow-made huts of the Eskimos.

As charity, however, begins at home, the Count and his Brethren began
their new labours among the degraded rabble that lived in filth and
poverty round the castle. They conducted free schools for the children.
They held meetings for men and women in the vaults of the castle. They
visited the miserable gipsies in their dirty homes. They invited the
dirty little ragamuffins to tea, and the gipsies' children sat down at
table with the sons and daughters of the Count. They issued an order
forbidding begging, and twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, they
distributed food and clothing to the poor. One picture will illustrate
this strange campaign. Among the motley medley that lived about the
castle was an old grey-haired Jew, named Rabbi Abraham. One bright June
evening, Zinzendorf met him, stretched out his hand, and said: "Grey
hairs are a crown of glory. I can see from your head and the expression
of your eyes that you have had much experience both of heart and life.
In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, let us be friends."

The old man was struck dumb with wonder. Such a greeting from a
Christian he had never heard before. He had usually been saluted with
the words, "Begone, Jew!" "His lips trembled; his voice failed; and big
tears rolled down his wrinkled cheeks upon his flowing beard.

"Enough, father," said the Count; "we understand each other." And from
that moment the two were friends. The Count went to see him in his dirty
home, and ate black bread at his table. One morning, before dawn, as the
two walked out, the old patriarch opened his heart.

"My heart," said he, "is longing for the dawn. I am sick, yet know not
what is the matter with me. I am looking for something, yet know not
what I seek. I am like one who is chased, yet I see no enemy, except the
one within me, my old evil heart."

The Count opened his lips, and preached the Gospel of Christ. He painted
Love on the Cross. He described that Love coming down from holiness
and heaven. He told the old Jew, in burning words, how Christ had met
corrupted mankind, that man might become like God. As the old man wept
and wrung his hands, the two ascended a hill, whereon stood a lonely
church. And the sun rose, and its rays fell on the golden cross on the
church spire, and the cross glittered brightly in the light of heaven.

"See there, Abraham," said Zinzendorf, "a sign from heaven for you.
The God of your fathers has placed the cross in your sight, and now the
rising sun from on high has tinged it with heavenly splendour. Believe
on Him whose blood was shed by your fathers, that God's purpose of mercy
might be fulfilled, that you might be free from all sin, and find in Him
all your salvation."

"So be it," said the Jew, as a new light flashed on his soul. "Blessed
be the Lord who has had mercy upon me."

We have now to notice, step by step, how Zinzendorf, despite his
theories, restored the Moravian Church to vigorous life. His first move
was dramatic. As he strolled one day on the shore of the Baltic Sea, he
bethought him that the time had come to revive the Brethren's Episcopal
Orders in Germany. He wished to give his Brethren a legal standing.
In Saxony he had been condemned as a heretic; in Prussia he would be
recognized as orthodox; and to this intent he wrote to the King of
Prussia, Frederick William I., and asked to be examined in doctrine by
qualified Divines of the State Church. The King responded gladly. He had
been informed that the Count was a fool, and was, therefore, anxious to
see him; and now he sent him a messenger to say that he would be highly
pleased if Zinzendorf would come and dine with him at Wusterhausen.

"What did he say?" asked His Majesty of the messenger when that
functionary returned.

"Nothing," replied the messenger.

"Then," said the King, "he is no fool."

The Count arrived, and stayed three days. The first day the King was
cold; the second he was friendly; the third he was enthusiastic.

"The devil himself," he said to his courtiers, "could not have told
me more lies than I have been told about this Count. He is neither
a heretic nor a disturber of the peace. His only sin is that he, a
well-to-do Count, has devoted himself to the spread of the Gospel. I
will not believe another word against him. I will do all I can to help

From that time Frederick William I. was Zinzendorf's fast friend. He
encouraged him to become a Bishop of the Brethren. The Count was still
in doubt. For some months he was terribly puzzled by the question
whether he could become a Moravian Bishop, and yet at the same time
be loyal to the Lutheran Church; and, in order to come to a right
conclusion, he actually came over to England and discussed the whole
thorny subject of Moravian Episcopal Orders with John Potter, Archbishop
of Canterbury. The Archbishop soon relieved his mind. He informed the
Count, first, that in his judgment the Moravian Episcopal Orders were
apostolic; and he informed him, secondly, that as the Brethren were
true to the teaching of the Augsburg Confession in Germany and the
Thirty-nine Articles in England, the Count could honestly become a
Bishop without being guilty of founding a new sect. The Count returned
to Germany. He was examined in the faith, by the King's command, by
two Berlin Divines. He came through the ordeal with flying colours, and
finally, on May 20th, he was ordained a Bishop of the Brethren's Church
by Bishop Daniel Ernest Jablonsky, Court Preacher at Berlin, and Bishop
David Nitschmann {1737.}.

The situation was now remarkable. As soon as Zinzendorf became a Bishop,
he occupied, in theory, a double position. He was a "Lutheran Bishop of
the Brethren's Church." On the one hand, like Jablonsky himself, he was
still a clergyman of the Lutheran Church; on the other, he was qualified
to ordain ministers in the Church of the Brethren. And the Brethren, of
course, laid stress on the latter point. They had now episcopal orders
of their own; they realized their standing as an independent church;
they objected to mere toleration as a sect; they demanded recognition as
an orthodox church. "We design," they wrote to the Counts of Isenberg,
"to establish a home for thirty or forty families from Herrnhut. We
demand full liberty in all our meetings; we demand full liberty
to practise our discipline and to have the sacraments, baptism and
communion administered by our own ministers, ordained by our own
Bohemo-Moravian Bishops." As the Counts agreed to these conditions the
Brethren now laid out near the castle a settlement after the Herrnhut
model, named it Herrnhaag, and made it a regular training-ground for the
future ministers of the Church. At Herrnhut the Brethren were under a
Lutheran Pastor; at Herrnhaag they were independent, and ordained their
own men for the work. They erected a theological training college,
with Spangenberg as head. They had a pædagogium for boys, with Polycarp
Müller as Rector. They had also a flourishing school for girls. For
ten years this new settlement at Herrnhaag was the busiest centre of
evangelistic zeal in the world. At the theological college there were
students from every university in Germany. At the schools there were
over 600 children, and the Brethren had to issue a notice that they
had no room for more. The whole place was a smithy. There the spiritual
weapons were forged for service in the foreign field. "Up, up,"
Spangenberg would say to the young men at sunrise, "we have no time for
dawdling. Why sleep ye still? Arise, young lions!"

And now the Count had a strange adventure, which spurred him to another
step forward. As there were certain sarcastic people in Germany who
said that Zinzendorf, though willing enough to send out others to die
of fever in foreign climes, was content to bask in comfort at home, he
determined now to give the charge the lie. He had travelled already
on many a Gospel journey. He had preached to crowds in Berlin; he
had preached in the Cathedral at Reval, in Livonia, and had made
arrangements for the publication of an Esthonian Bible; and now he
thought he must go to St. Thomas, where Friedrich Martin, the apostle
to the negroes, had built up the strongest congregation in the Mission
Field. He consulted the Lot; the Lot said "Yes," and off he set on his
journey. The ship flew as though on eagle's wings. As they neared the
island, the Count turned to his companion, and said: "What if we find no
one there? What if the missionaries are all dead?"

"Then we are there," replied Weber.

"Gens aeterna, these Moravians," exclaimed the Count.

He landed on the island {Jan. 29th, 1739.}.

"Where are the Brethren?" said he to a negro.

"They are all in prison," was the startling answer.

"How long?" asked the Count.

"Over three months."

"What are the negroes doing in the meantime?"

"They are making good progress, and a great revival is going on. The
very imprisonment of the teachers is a sermon."

For three months the Count was busy in St. Thomas. He burst into the
Governor's castle "like thunder," and nearly frightened him out of his
wits. He had brought with him a document signed by the King of Denmark,
in which the Brethren were authorized to preach in the Danish West
Indies. He had the prisoners released. He had the whole work in the
Danish West Indies placed on a legal basis. He made the acquaintance
of six hundred and seventy negroes. He was amazed and charmed by all he
saw. "St. Thomas," he wrote, "is a greater marvel than Herrnhut." For
the last three years that master missionary, Friedrich Martin, the
"Apostle to the Negroes," had been continuing the noble work begun by
Leonard Dober; and, in spite of the fierce opposition of the planters
and also of the Dutch Reformed Church, had established a number of
native congregations. He had opened a school for negro boys, and had
thus taken the first step in the education of West Indian slaves. He had
taught his people to form societies for Bible study and prayer; and
now the Count put the finishing touch to the work. He introduced the
Herrnhut system of discipline. He appointed one "Peter" chief Elder of
the Brethren, and "Magdalene" chief Elder of the Sisters. He gave some
to be helpers, some to be advisers, and some to be distributors of alms;
and he even introduced the system of incessant hourly prayer. And then,
before he took his leave, he made a notable speech. He had no such
conception as "Negro emancipation." He regarded slavery as a Divinely
appointed system. "Do your work for your masters," he said, "as though
you were working for yourselves. Remember that Christ has given every
man his work. The Lord has made kings, masters, servants and slaves. It
is the duty of each of us to be content with the station in which God
has placed him. God punished the first negroes by making them slaves."

For the work in St. Thomas this visit was important; for the work at
home it was still more so. As the Count returned from his visit in St.
Thomas, he saw more clearly than ever that if the Brethren were to do
their work aright, they must justify their conduct and position in the
eyes of the law. His views had broadened; he had grander conceptions of
their mission; he began the practice of summoning them to Synods, and
thus laid the foundations of modern Moravian Church life.

At the first Synod, held at Ebersdorf (June, 1739), the Count expounded
his views at length {1739.}. He informed the Brethren, in a series of
brilliant and rather mystifying speeches, that there were now three
"religions" in Germany--the Lutheran, the Reformed and the Moravian;
but that their duty and mission in the world was, not to restore the old
Church of the Brethren, but rather to gather the children of God into a
mystical, visionary, ideal fellowship which he called the "Community of
Jesus." For the present, he said, the home of this ideal "Gemeine" would
be the Moravian Church. At Herrnhut and other places in Saxony it would
be a home for Lutherans; at Herrnhaag it would be a home for Calvinists;
and then, when it had done its work and united all the children of God,
it could be conveniently exploded. He gave the Moravian Church a rather
short life. "For the present," he said, "the Saviour is manifesting His
Gemeine to the world in the outward form of the Moravian Church; but in
fifty years that Church will be forgotten." It is doubtful how far his
Brethren understood him. They listened, admired, wondered, gasped and
quietly went their own way.

At the second Synod, held at the Moor Hotel in Gotha, the Count
explained his projects still more clearly {1740.}, and made the most
astounding speech that had yet fallen from his lips. "It is," he
declared, "the duty of our Bishops to defend the rights of the
Protestant Moravian Church, and the duty of all the congregation to
be loyal to that Church. It is absolutely necessary, for the sake of
Christ's work, that our Church be recognized as a true Church. She is a
true Church of God; she is in the world to further the Saviour's cause;
and people can belong to her just as much as to any other." If these
words meant anything at all, they meant, of course, that Zinzendorf,
like the Moravians themselves, insisted on the independent existence of
the Moravian Church; and, to prove that he really did mean this, he had
Polycarp Müller consecrated a Bishop. And yet, at the same time, the
Count insisted that the Brethren were not to value their Church for her
own sake. They were not to try to extend the Church as such; they were
not to proselytize from other Churches; they were to regard her rather
as a house of call for the "scattered" in all the churches;[94] and, above
all, they must ever remember that as soon as they had done their work
their Church would cease to exist. If this puzzles the reader he must
not be distressed. It was equally puzzling to some of Zinzendorf's
followers. Bishop Polycarp Müller confessed that he could never
understand it. At bottom, however, the Count's idea was clear. He
still had a healthy horror of sects and splits; he still regarded the
Brethren's Church as a "Church within the Church"; he still insisted,
with perfect truth, that as they had no distinctive doctrine they could
not be condemned as a nonconforming sect; and the goal for which he was
straining was that wheresoever the Brethren went they should endeavour
not to extend their own borders, but rather to serve as a bond of union
evangelical Christians of all denominations.

Next year, at a Synod at Marienborn, the Count explained how this
wonderful work was to be done {1740.}. What was the bond of union to be?
It was certainly not a doctrine. Instead of making the bond of union a
doctrine, as so many Churches have done, the Brethren made it personal
experience. Where creeds had failed experience would succeed. If men,
they said, were to be united in one grand evangelical Church, it would
be, not by a common creed, but by a common threefold experience--a
common experience of their own misery and sin; a common experience of
the redeeming grace of Christ; and a common experience of the religious
value of the Bible. To them this personal experience was the one
essential. They had no rigid doctrine to impose. They did not regard any
of the standard creeds as final. They did not demand subscription to a
creed as a test. They had no rigid doctrine of the Atonement or of the
Divinity of Christ; they had no special process of conversion; and, most
striking of all, they had no rigid doctrine of the inspiration of the
Bible. They did not believe either in verbal inspiration or in Biblical
infallibility. They declared that the famous words, "all Scripture is
given by inspiration of God," must be taken in a free and broad way.
They held that, though the Bible was inspired, it contained mistakes in
detail; that the teaching of St. James was in flat contradiction to the
teaching of St. Paul; and that even the Apostles sometimes made a wrong
application of the prophecies. To them the value of the Bible consisted,
not in its supposed infallibility, but in its appeal to their hearts.
"The Bible," they declared, "is a never-failing spring for the heart;
and the one thing that authenticates the truth of its message is the
fact that what is said in the book is confirmed by the experience of the
heart." How modern this sounds.

But how was this universal experience to be attained? The Count had
his answer ready. He had studied the philosophical works of Spinoza and
Bayle. He was familiar with the trend of the rationalistic movement. He
was aware that to thousands, both inside and outside the Church, the
God whom Jesus called "Our Father" was no more than a cold philosophical
abstraction; and that many pastors in the Lutheran Church, instead
of trying to make God a reality, were wasting their time in spinning
abstruse speculations, and discussing how many legions of angels could
stand on the point of a needle. As this sort of philosophy rather
disgusted Zinzendorf, he determined to frame a theology of his own; and
thereby he arrived at the conclusion that the only way to teach men to
love God was "to preach the Creator of the World under no other shape
than that of a wounded and dying Lamb." He held that the Suffering
Christ on the Cross was the one perfect expression and revelation of the
love of God; he held that the title "Lamb of God" was the favourite name
for Christ in the New Testament; he held that the central doctrine of
the faith was the "Ransom" paid by Christ in His sufferings and death;
and, therefore, he began to preach himself, and taught his Brethren to
preach as well, the famous "Blood and Wounds Theology."

And now, at a Synod held in London, the Brethren cleared the decks
for action, and took their stand on the stage of history as a free,
independent Church of Christ {1741.}. The situation was alarming. Of all
the Protestant Churches in Europe, the Church of the Brethren was the
broadest in doctrine and the most independent in action; and yet, during
the last few years, the Brethren were actually in danger of bending the
knee to a Pope. The Pope in question was Leonard Dober. At the time
when Herrnhut was founded, the Brethren had elected a governing board of
twelve Elders. Of these twelve Elders, four Over-Elders were set apart
for spiritual purposes; and of these four Over-Elders, one was specially
chosen as Chief Elder. The first Chief Elder was Augustin Neisser, and
the second Martin Linner. As long as the office lay in Linner's hands,
there was no danger of the Chief Elder becoming a Pope. He was poor; he
was humble; he was weak in health; and he spent his time in praying for
the Church and attending to the spiritual needs of the Single Brethren.
But gradually the situation altered. For the last six years the office
had been held by Leonard Dober. He had been elected by Lot, and was,
therefore, supposed to possess Divine authority. He was General Elder
of the whole Brethren's Church. He had become the supreme authority in
spiritual matters. He had authority over Zinzendorf himself, over all
the Bishops, over all the members of the Pilgrim Band, over all Moravian
Brethren at Herrnhut, over the pioneers in England and North America,
over the missionaries in Greenland, the West Indies, South Africa and
Surinam. He had become a spiritual referee. As the work extended, his
duties and powers increased. He was Elder, not merely of the Brethren's
Church, but of that ideal "Community of Jesus" which ever swam before
the vision of the Count. He was becoming a court of appeal in cases
of dispute. Already disagreements were rising among the Brethren. At
Herrnhut dwelt the old-fashioned, sober, strict Moravians. At Herrnhaag
the Brethren, with their freer notions, were already showing dangerous
signs of fanaticism. At Pilgerruh, in Holstein, another body were being
tempted to break from the Count altogether. And above these disagreeing
parties the General Elder sat supreme. His position had become
impossible. He was supposed to be above all party disputes; he was the
friend of all, the intercessor for all, the broad-minded ideal Brother;
and yet, if an actual dispute arose, he would be expected to give a
binding decision. For these manifold duties Dober felt unfit; he had no
desire to become a Protestant Pope; and, therefore, being a modest man,
he wrote to the Conference at Marienborn, and asked for leave to lay
down his office. The question was submitted to the Lot. The Lot allowed
Dober to resign. The situation was now more dangerous than ever. The
Brethren were in a quandary. They could never do without a General
Elder. If they did they would cease to be a true "Community of Jesus,"
and degenerate into a mere party-sect. At last, at a house in Red Lion
Street, London, they met to thrash out the question. For the third time
a critical question was submitted to the decision of the Lot {Sept.
16th, 1741.}. "As we began to think about the Eldership," says
Zinzendorf himself, in telling the story, "it occurred to us to accept
the Saviour as Elder. At the beginning of our deliberations we opened
the Textbook. On the one page stood the words, 'Let us open the door to
Christ'; on the other, 'Thus saith the Lord, etc.; your Master, etc.;
show me to my children and to the work of my hands. Away to Jesus! Away!
etc.' Forthwith and with one consent we resolved to have no other than
Him as our General Elder. He sanctioned it.[95] It was just Congregation
Day. We looked at the Watchword for the day. It ran: 'The glory of the
Lord filled the house. We bow before the Lamb's face, etc.' We asked
permission.[96] We obtained it. We sang with unequalled emotion: 'Come,
then, for we belong to Thee, and bless us inexpressibly.'" As the story
just quoted was written by the poetic Count, it has been supposed that
in recording this famous event he added a spiritual flavour of his own.
But in this case he was telling the literal truth. At that Conference
the Brethren deliberately resolved to ask Christ to undertake the office
which had hitherto been held by Leonard Dober; and, to put the matter
beyond all doubt, they inscribed on their minutes the resolution: "That
the office of General Elder be abolished, and be transferred to the
Saviour."[97] At first sight that resolution savours both of blasphemy and
of pride; and Ritschl, the great theologian, declares that the Brethren
put themselves on a pedestal above all other Churches. For that judgment
Moravian writers have largely been to blame. It has been asserted
again and again that on that famous "Memorial Day" the Brethren made a
"special covenant" with Christ. For that legend Bishop Spangenberg was
partly responsible. As that godly writer, some thirty years later,
was writing the story of these transactions, he allowed his pious
imagination to cast a halo over the facts; and, therefore, he penned
the misleading sentence that the chief concern of the Brethren was that
Christ "would condescend to enter into a special covenant with His
poor Brethren's people, and take us as his peculiar property." For that
statement there is not a shadow of evidence. The whole story of the
"special covenant" is a myth. In consulting the Lot the Brethren showed
their faith; in passing their resolution they showed their wisdom; and
the meaning of the resolution was that henceforth the Brethren rejected
all human authority in spiritual matters, recognized Christ alone as the
Head of the Church, and thereby became the first free Church in Europe.
Instead of bowing to any human authority they proceeded now to manage
their own affairs; they elected by Lot a Conference of Twelve, and
thus laid the foundations of that democratic system of government which
exists at the present day. They were thrilled with the joy of their
experience; they felt that now, at length, they were free indeed;
they resolved that the joyful news should be published in all the
congregations on the same day (November 13th); and henceforward that day
was held in honour as the day when the Brethren gained their freedom and
bowed to the will and law of Christ alone.

And now there was only one more step to take. As soon as the Synod in
London was over, Count Zinzendorf set off for America in pursuit of a
scheme to be mentioned in its proper place; and as soon as he was safely
out of the way, the Brethren at home set about the task of obtaining
recognition by the State. They had an easy task before them. For the
last ninety-four years--ever since the Peace of Westphalia (1648)--the
ruling principle in German had been that each little king and each
little prince should settle what the religion should be in his own
particular dominions. If the King was a Lutheran, his people must be
Lutheran; if the King was Catholic, his people must be Catholic. But now
this principle was suddenly thrown overboard. The new King of Prussia,
Frederick the Great, was a scoffer. For religion Frederick the Great
cared nothing; for the material welfare of his people he cared a good
deal. He had recently conquered Silesia; he desired to see his land
well tilled, and his people happy and good; and, therefore, he readily
granted the Brethren a "Concession," allowing them to settle in Prussia
and Silesia {Dec. 25th, 1742.}. His attitude was that of the practical
business man. As long as the Brethren obeyed the law, and fostered
trade, they could worship as they pleased. For all he cared, they might
have prayed to Beelzebub. He granted them perfect liberty of conscience;
he allowed them to ordain their own ministers; he informed them that
they would not be subject to the Lutheran consistory; and thus, though
not in so many words, he practically recognized the Brethren as a free
and independent Church. For the future history of the Brethren's Church,
this "Concession" was of vast importance. In one sense it aided their
progress; in another it was a fatal barrier. As the Brethren came to
be known as good workmen, other magnates speedily followed the king's
example; for particular places particular "concessions" were prepared;
and thus the Brethren were encouraged to extend their "settlement
system." Instead, therefore, of advancing from town to town, the
Brethren concentrated their attention on the cultivation of settlement
life; and before many years had passed away they had founded settlements
at Niesky, Gnadenberg, Gnadenfrei, and Neusalz-on-the-Oder.

Thus, then, had the Brethren sketched the plan of all their future work.
They had regained their episcopal orders. They had defined their mission
in the world. They had chosen their Gospel message. They had asserted
their freedom of thought. They had won the goodwill of the State. They
had adopted the "settlement system." They had begun their Diaspora work
for the scattered, and their mission work for the heathen; and thus
they had revived the old Church of the Brethren, and laid down those
fundamental principles which have been maintained down to the present

Meanwhile their patriotic instincts had been confirmed. As Christian
David had brought Brethren from Moravia, so Jan Gilek brought Brethren
from Bohemia; and the story of his romantic adventures aroused fresh
zeal for the ancient Church. He had fled from Bohemia to Saxony, and had
often returned, like Christian David, to fetch bands of Brethren. He had
been captured in a hay-loft by Jesuits. He had been imprisoned for two
years at Leitomischl. He had been kept in a dungeon swarming with frogs,
mice and other vermin. He had been fed with hot bread that he
might suffer from colic. He had been employed as street sweeper in
Leitomischl, with his left hand chained to his right foot. At length,
however, he made his escape (1735), fled to Gerlachseim, in Silesia,
and finally, along with other Bohemian exiles, helped to form a new
congregation at Rixdorf, near Berlin. As the Brethren listened to
Gilek's story their zeal for the Church of their fathers was greater
than ever; and now the critical question was, what would Zinzendorf say
to all this when he returned from America?


As the Count advanced towards middle age, he grew more domineering in
tone, more noble in his dreams, and more foolish in much of his conduct.
He was soon to shine in each of these three lights. He returned from
America in a fury. For two years he had been busy in Pennsylvania in
a brave, but not very successful, attempt to establish a grand
"Congregation of God in the Spirit"; and now he heard, to his deep
disgust, that his Brethren in Europe had lowered the ideal of the
Church, and made vulgar business bargains with worldly powers. What
right, he asked, had the Brethren to make terms with an Atheist King?
What right had they to obtain these degrading "concessions?" The whole
business, he argued, smacked of simony. If the Brethren made terms
with kings at all, they should take their stand, not, forsooth, as good
workmen who would help to fatten the soil, but rather as loyal adherents
of the Augsburg Confession. At Herrnhaag they had turned the Church into
a business concern! Instead of paying rent to the Counts of Isenburg,
they now had the Counts in their power. They had lent them large sums of
money; they held their estates as security; and now, in return for these
financial favours, the Counts had kindly recognized the Brethren as "the
orthodox Episcopal Moravian Church." The more Zinzendorf heard of these
business transactions, the more disgusted he was. He stormed and rated
like an absolute monarch, and an absolute monarch he soon became. He
forgot that before he went away he had entrusted the management of
home affairs to a Board of Twelve. He now promptly dissolved the Board,
summoned the Brethren to a Synod at Hirschberg, lectured them angrily
for their sins, reduced them to a state of meek submission, and was ere
long officially appointed to the office of "Advocate and Steward of
all the Brethren's Churches." He had now the reins of government in his
hands {1743.}. "Without your foreknowledge," ran this document, "nothing
new respecting the foundation shall come up in our congregations, nor
any conclusion of importance to the whole shall be valid; and no further
story shall be built upon your fundamental plan of the Protestant
doctrine of the Augsburg Confession, and that truthing(sp.)it in love
with all Christians, without consulting you."

He proceeded now to use these kingly powers. He accused the Brethren of
two fundamental errors. Instead of trying to gather Christians into one
ideal "Community of Jesus," they had aimed at the recognition of the
independent Moravian Church; and instead of following the guidance of
God, they had followed the dictates of vulgar worldly wisdom. He would
cure them of each of these complaints. He would cure them of their
narrow sectarian views, and cure them of their reliance on worldly

For the first complaint he offered the remedy known as his "Tropus
Idea." The whole policy of Zinzendorf lies in those two words. He
expounded it fully at a Synod in Marienborn. The more he studied Church
history in general, the more convinced he became that over and above all
the Christian Churches there was one ideal universal Christian Church;
that that ideal Church represented the original religion of Christ; and
that now the true mission of the Brethren was to make that ideal Church
a reality on God's fair earth. He did not regard any of the Churches of
Christ as Churches in this higher sense of the term. He regarded them
rather as religious training grounds. He called them, not Churches,
but tropuses. He called the Lutheran Church a tropus; he called the
Calvinistic Church a tropus; he called the Moravian Church a tropus; he
called the Pilgrim Band a tropus; he called the Memnonites a tropus; and
by this word "tropus" he meant a religious school in which Christians
were trained for membership in the one true Church of Christ. He would
not have one of these tropuses destroyed. He regarded them all as
essential. He honoured them all as means to a higher end. He would never
try to draw a man from his tropus. And now he set a grand task before
the Brethren. As the Brethren had no distinctive creed, and taught the
original religion of Christ, they must now, he said, regard it as their
Divine mission to find room within their broad bosom for men from all
the tropuses. They were not merely to restore the Moravian Church; they
were to establish a broader, comprehensive Church, to be known as the
"Church of the Brethren"; and that Church would be composed of men from
every tropus under heaven. Some would be Lutherans, some Reformed, some
Anglicans, some Moravians, some Memnonites, some Pilgrims in the foreign
field. For this purpose, and for this purpose only, he now revived the
old Brethren's ministerial orders of Presbyter, Deacon and Acoluth; and
when these men entered on their duties he informed them that they
were the servants, not merely of the Moravian Church, but of the wider
"Church of the Brethren." If the Count could now have carried out his
scheme, he would have had men from various Churches at the head of each
tropus in the Church of the Brethren. For the present he did the best he
could, and divided the Brethren into three leading tropuses. At the head
of the Moravian tropus was Bishop Polycarp Müller; at the head of the
Lutheran, first he himself, and then, later, Dr. Hermann, Court Preacher
at Dresden; and finally, at the head of the Reformed, first his old
friend Bishop Friedrich de Watteville, and then, later, Thomas Wilson,
Bishop of Sodor and Man.[98] His scheme was now fairly clear. "In future,"
he said, "we are all to be Brethren, and our Bishops must be Brethren's
Bishops; and, therefore, in this Church of the Brethren there will
henceforth be, not only Moravians, but also Lutherans and Calvinists,
who cannot find peace in their own Churches on account of brutal

His second remedy was worse than the disease. The great fault in
Zinzendorf's character was lack of ballast. For the last few years
he had given way to the habit of despising his own common sense; and
instead of using his own judgment he now used the Lot. He had probably
learned this habit from the Halle Pietists. He carried his Lot apparatus
in his pocket;[99] he consulted it on all sorts of topics; he regarded
it as the infallible voice of God. "To me," said he, in a letter to
Spangenberg, "the Lot and the Will of God are simply one and the same
thing. I am not wise enough to seek God's will by my own mental efforts.
I would rather trust an innocent piece of paper than my own feelings."
He now endeavoured to teach this faith to his Brethren. He founded a
society called "The Order of the Little Fools," {June 2nd, 1743.} and
before very long they were nearly all "little fools." His argument
here was astounding. He appealed to the well-known words of Christ
Himself.[100] As God, he contended, had revealed His will, not to wise
men, but to babes, it followed that the more like babes the Brethren
became, the more clearly they would understand the mysteries of grace.
They were not to use their own brains; they were to wish that they had
no brains; they were to be like children in arms; and thus they would
overcome all their doubts and banish all their cares. The result was
disastrous. It led to the period known as the "Sifting Time." It is the
saddest period in the history of the Brethren's Church. For seven years
these Brethren took leave of their senses, and allowed their feelings
to lead them on in the paths of insensate folly. They began by taking
Zinzendorf at his word. They used diminutives for nearly everything.
They addressed the Count as "Papa" and "Little Papa"; they spoke of
Christ as "Brother Lambkin";[101] and they described themselves as
little wound-parsons, cross-wood little splinters, a blessed troop of
cross-air[102] birds, cross-air little atoms, cross-air little sponges,
and cross-air little pigeons.

The chief sinner was the Count himself. Having thrown his common
sense overboard, he gave free rein to his fancy, and came out with an
exposition of the Holy Trinity which offended the rules of good taste.
He compared the Holy Trinity to a family. The father, said he, was God;
the mother was the Holy Ghost; their son was Jesus; and the Church of
Christ, the Son's fair bride, was born in the Saviour's Side-wound,
was betrothed to Christ on the Cross, was married to Christ in the Holy
Communion, and was thus the daughter-in-law of the Father and the Holy
Ghost. We can all see the dangers of this. As soon as human images
of spiritual truths are pressed beyond decent limits, they lead to
frivolity and folly; and that was just the effect at Herrnhaag. The more
freely the Brethren used these phrases, the more childish they became.
They called the Communion the "Embracing of the Man"; and thus they lost
their reverence for things Divine.

But the next move of the Count was even worse. For its origin we must go
back a few years in his story. As the Count one day was burning a pile
of papers he saw one slip flutter down to the ground untouched by the
fire {1734.}. He picked it up, looked at it, and found that it contained
the words:--

   "Oh, let us in Thy nail-prints see
   Our pardon and election free."

At first the effect on Zinzendorf was healthy enough. He regarded the
words as a direct message from God. He began to think more of the value
of the death of Christ. He altered the style of his preaching; he became
more definitely evangelical; and henceforth he taught the doctrine that
all happiness and all virtue must centre in the atoning death of Christ.
"Since the year 1734," he said, "the atoning sacrifice of Jesus became
our only testimony and our one means of salvation." But now he carried
this doctrine to excess. Again the cause was his use of the Lot. As long
as Zinzendorf used his own mental powers, he was able to make his "Blood
and Wounds Theology" a power for good; but as soon as he bade good-bye
to his intellect he made his doctrine a laughing-stock and a scandal.
Instead of concentrating his attention on the moral and spiritual value
of the cross, he now began to lay all the stress on the mere physical
details. He composed a "Litany of the Wounds"; and the Brethren could
now talk and sing of nothing else {1743.}. "We stick," they said, "to
the Blood and Wounds Theology. We will preach nothing but Jesus the
Crucified. We will look for nothing else in the Bible but the Lamb and
His Wounds, and again Wounds, and Blood and Blood." Above all they began
to worship the Side-wound. "We stick," they declared, "to the Lambkin
and His little Side-wound. It is useless to call this folly. We dote
upon it. We are in love with it. We shall stay for ever in the little
side-hole, where we are so unspeakably blessed."

Still worse, these men now forgot the main moral principle of the
Christian religion. Instead of living for others they lived for
themselves. Instead of working hard for their living they were now
enjoying themselves at the Count's expense; instead of plain living
and high thinking they had high living and low thinking; and instead
of spending their money on the poor they spent it now on grand
illuminations, transparent pictures, and gorgeous musical festivals.
No longer was their religion a discipline. It was a luxury, an orgy,
a pastime. At Herrnhut the ruling principle was law; at Herrnhaag the
ruling principle was liberty. At Herrnhut their religion was legal;
at Herrnhaag it was supposed to be evangelical. The walls of their
meeting-house were daubed with flaming pictures. In the centre of the
ceiling was a picture of the Ascension; in one corner, Mary Magdalene
meeting Jesus on the Resurrection morning; in another, our Lord
making himself known to the two disciples at Emmaus; in a third Thomas
thrusting his hand in the Saviour's side; in a fourth, Peter leaping
from a boat to greet the Risen Master on the shores of the Lake of
Tiberias. The four walls were equally gorgeous. At one end of the hall
was a picture of the Jew's Passover, some Hebrews sprinkling blood on
the door-posts, and the destroying angel passing. At the opposite end
was a picture of the Last Supper; on another wall Moses lifting up the
brazen serpent; on the fourth the Crucifixion. We can easily see the
purpose of these pictures. They were all meant to teach the same great
lesson. They were appeals through the eye to the heart. They were
sermons in paint. If the Brethren had halted here they had done well.
But again they rode their horse to death. For them pictures and hymns
were not enough. At Marienborn Castle they now held a series of birthday
festivals in honour of Zinzendorf, Anna Nitschmann and other Moravian
worthies; and these festivals must have cost thousands of pounds. At
such times the old castle gleamed with a thousand lights. At night,
says a visitor, the building seemed on fire. The walls were hung with
festoons. The hall was ornamented with boughs. The pillars were decked
with lights, spirally disposed, and the seats were covered with fine
linen, set off with sightly ribbons.

But the worst feature of this riotous life is still to be mentioned.
If there is any topic requiring delicate treatment, it is surely the
question of sexual morality; and now the Count made the great mistake
of throwing aside the cloak of modesty and speaking out on sins of
the flesh in the plainest possible language. He delivered a series of
discourses on moral purity; and in those discourses he used expressions
which would hardly be permitted now except in a medical treatise. His
purpose was certainly good. He contended that he had the Bible on his
side; that the morals of the age were bad; and that the time for
plain speaking had come. "At that time," he said, "when the Brethren's
congregations appeared afresh on the horizon of the Church, he found,
on the one hand, the lust of concupiscence carried to the utmost pitch
possible, and the youth almost totally ruined; and on the other hand
some few thoughtful persons who proposed a spirituality like the
angels." But again the Brethren rode their horse to death. They were
not immoral, they were only silly. They talked too freely about these
delicate topics; they sang about them in their hymns; they had these
hymns published in a volume known as the "Twelfth Appendix" to their
Hymn-book; and thus they innocently gave the public the impression that
they revelled, for its own sake, in coarse and filthy language.

What judgment are we to pass on all these follies? For the Brethren
we may fairly enter the plea that most of them were humble and
simple-minded men; that, on the whole, they meant well; and that, in
their zeal for the Gospel of Christ, they allowed their feelings to
carry them away. And further, let us bear in mind that, despite their
foolish style of speech, they were still heroes of the Cross. They
had still a burning love for Christ; they were still willing to serve
abroad; and they still went out to foreign lands, and laid down their
lives for the sake of Him who had laid down His for them. As John
Cennick was on his visit to Herrnhaag (1746), he was amazed by the
splendid spirit of devotion shown. He found himself at the hub of the
missionary world. He saw portraits of missionaries on every hand. He
heard a hymn sung in twenty-two different languages. He heard sermons in
German, Esthonian, French, Spanish, Swedish, Lettish, Bohemian, Dutch,
Hebrew, Danish, and Eskimo. He heard letters read from missionaries in
every quarter of the globe.

"Are you ready," said Zinzendorf to John Soerensen, "to serve the
Saviour in Greenland?"

"Here am I, send me," said Soerensen. He had never thought of such a
thing before.

"But the matter is pressing; we want someone to go at once."

"Well!" replied Soerensen, "that's no difficulty. If you will only get
me a new pair of boots I will set off this very day. My old ones are
quite worn out, and I have not another pair to call my own."

And the next day the man was off, and served in Greenland forty-six

But the grandest case is that of Bishop Cammerhof. He was a fanatic
of the fanatics. He revelled in sickly sentimental language. He called
himself a "Little Fool" and a "Little Cross-air Bird." He addressed the
Count as his "heart's Papa," and Anna Nitschmann as his "Motherkin."
He said he would kiss them a thousand times, and vowed he could never
fondle them enough! And yet this man had the soul of a hero, and killed
himself by overwork among the North American Indians![103] It is easy to
sneer at saints like this as fools; but if fools they were, they were
fools for their Master's sake.

But for Zinzendorf it is hard to find any excuse. He had received a
splendid education, had moved in refined and cultured circles, and had
enjoyed the friendship of learned bishops, of eloquent preachers, of
university professors, of philosophers, of men of letters. He had read
the history of the Christian Church, knew the dangers of excess, and had
spoken against excess in his earlier years.[104] He knew that the Wetterau
swarmed with mad fanatics; had read the works of Dippel, of Rock, and of
other unhealthy writers; and had, therefore, every reason to be on his
guard. He knew the weak points in his own character. "I have," he said,
"a genius for extravagance." He had deliberately, of his own free will,
accepted the office of "Advocate and Steward" of the Brethren's Church.
He was the head of an ancient episcopal Church, with a high reputation
to sustain. He had set the Brethren a high and holy task. He was a
public and well-known character. As he travelled about from country to
country he spread the fame of the Brethren's labours in every great city
in Germany, in England, in Switzerland, in North America, and in the
West Indies; and by this time he was known personally to the King
of Denmark, to Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury, to John and Charles
Wesley, to Bengel, the famous commentator, and to many other leaders in
the Lutheran Church. And, therefore, by all the laws of honour, he was
bound to lead the Brethren upward and keep their record clean. But his
conduct now was unworthy of a trusted leader. It is the darkest blot on
his saintly character, and the chief reason why his brilliant schemes
met with so little favour. At the very time when he placed before the
Brethren the noblest and loftiest ideals, he himself had done the most
to cause the enemy to blaspheme. No wonder his Tropus idea was laughed
to scorn. What sort of home was this, said his critics, that he had
prepared for all the Tropuses? What grand ideal "Church of the Brethren"
was this, with its childish nonsense, its blasphemous language, its
objectionable hymns? As the rumours of the Brethren's excesses spread,
all sorts of wild tales were told about them. Some said they were
worshippers of the devil; some said they were conspirators against the
State; some accused them falsely of immorality, of gluttony, of robbing
the poor; and the chief cause of all the trouble was this beautiful
poet, this original thinker, this eloquent preacher, this noble
descendant of a noble line, this learned Bishop of the Brethren's
Church. There is only one explanation of his conduct. He had committed
mental suicide, and he paid the penalty.[105]
He had now to retrieve his fallen honour, and to make amends for his
guilt. At last he awoke to the stern facts of the case. His position now
was terrible. What right had he to lecture the Brethren for sins which
he himself had taught them to commit? He shrank from the dreadful task.
But the voice of duty was not to be silenced. He had not altogether
neglected the Brethren's cause. At the very time when the excesses were
at their height he had been endeavouring to obtain for the Brethren full
legal recognition in Germany, England, and North America. He won his
first victory in Germany. He was allowed (Oct., 1747) to return to
Saxony, summoned the Brethren to a Synod at Gross-Krausche in Silesia
(1748), and persuaded them to promise fidelity to the Augsburg
Confession. He had the Brethren's doctrine and practice examined by a
Saxon Royal Commission, and the King of Saxony issued a decree (1749) by
which the Brethren were granted religious liberty in his kingdom. Thus
the Brethren were now fully recognized by law in Prussia, Silesia, and
Saxony. He had obtained these legal privileges just in time, and could
now deal with the poor fanatics at Herrnhaag. The situation there
had come to a crisis. The old Count of Isenberg died. His successor,
Gustavus Friedrich, was a weak-minded man; the agent, Brauer, detested
the Brethren; and now Brauer laid down the condition that the settlers
at Herrnhaag must either break off their connection with Zinzendorf or
else abandon the premises. They chose the latter course. At one blow the
gorgeous settlement was shivered to atoms. It had cost many thousands
of pounds to build, and now the money was gone for ever. As the Brethren
scattered in all directions, the Count saw at last the damage he had
done {Feb., 1750.}. He had led them on in reckless expense, and now he
must rush to their rescue. He addressed them all in a solemn circular
letter. He visited the various congregations, and urged them to true
repentance. He suppressed the disgraceful "Twelfth Appendix," and cut
out the offensive passages in his own discourses. He issued treatise
after treatise defending the Brethren against the coarse libels of their
enemies. And, best of all, and noblest of all, he not only took upon his
own shoulders the burden of their financial troubles, but confessed like
a man that he himself had steered them on to the rocks. He summoned his
Brethren to a Synod. He rose to address the assembly. His eyes were red,
his cheeks stained with tears.

"Ah! my beloved Brethren," he said, "I am guilty! I am the cause of all
these troubles!"

And thus at length this "Sifting-Time" came to a happy end. The whole
episode was like an attack of pneumonia. The attack was sudden; the
crisis dangerous; the recovery swift; and the lesson wholesome. For some
years after this the Brethren continued to show some signs of weakness;
and even in the next edition of their Hymn-book they still made use of
some rather crude expressions. But on the whole they had learned some
useful lessons. On this subject the historians have mostly been in the
wrong. Some have suppressed the facts. This is dishonest. Others have
exaggerated, and spoken as if the excesses lasted for two or three
generations. This is wicked.[106] The sober truth is exactly as described
in these pages. The best judgment was passed by the godly Bishop
Spangenherg. "At that time," he said, "the spirit of Christ did not rule
in our hearts; and that was the real cause of all our foolery." Full
well the Brethren realized their mistake, and honestly they took its
lessons to heart. They learned to place more trust in the Bible, and
less in their own unbridled feelings. They learned afresh the value of
discipline, and of an organised system of government. They became more
guarded in their language, more Scriptural in their doctrine, and more
practical in their preaching. Nor was this all. Meanwhile the same
battle had been fought and won in England and North America.


For the origin of the Moravian Church in England we turn our eyes to
a bookseller's shop in London. It was known as "The Bible and Sun"; it
stood a few yards west of Temple Bar; and James Hutton, the man behind
the counter, became in time the first English member of the Brethren's
Church. But James Hutton was a man of high importance for the whole
course of English history. He was the connecting link between Moravians
and Methodists; and thus he played a vital part, entirely ignored by our
great historians, in the whole Evangelical Revival.

He was born on September 14th, 1715. He was the son of a High-Church
clergyman. His father was a non-juror. He had refused, that is, to take
the oath of loyalty to the Hanoverian succession, had been compelled
to resign his living, and now kept a boarding-house in College Street,
Westminster, for boys attending the famous Westminster School. At that
school little James himself was educated; and one of his teachers was
Samuel Wesley, the elder brother of John and Charles. He had no idea to
what this would lead. As the lad grew up in his father's home he had, of
course, not the least suspicion that such a body as the Moravian Church
existed. He had never heard of Zinzendorf or of Herrnhut. He was brought
up a son of the Church of England; he loved her services and doctrine;
and all that he desired to see was a revival within her borders of true
spiritual life.

The revival was close at hand. For some years a number of pious
people--some clergy, and others laymen--had been endeavouring to rouse
the Church to new and vigorous life; and to this end they established
a number of "Religious Societies." There were thirty or forty of these
Societies in London. They consisted of members of the Church of
England. They met, once a week, in private houses to pray, to read
the Scriptures, and to edify each other. They drew up rules for their
spiritual guidance, had special days for fasting and prayer, and
attended early Communion once a month. At church they kept a sharp
look-out for others "religiously disposed," and invited such to join
their Societies. In the morning they would go to their own parish
church; in the afternoon they would go where they could hear a
"spiritual sermon." Of these Societies one met at the house of Hutton's
father. If James, however, is to be believed, the Societies had now lost
a good deal of their moral power. He was not content with the one in his
own home. He was not pleased with the members of it. They were, he
tells us, slumbering or dead souls; they cared for nothing but their own
comfort in this world; and all they did when they met on Sunday evenings
was to enjoy themselves at small expense, and fancy themselves more holy
than other people. He was soon to meet with men of greater zeal.

As James was now apprenticed to a bookseller he thought he could do a
good stroke of business by visiting some of his old school-mates at the
University of Oxford. He went to Oxford to see them; they introduced him
to John and Charles Wesley; and thus he formed an acquaintance that was
soon to change the current of his life. What had happened at Oxford is
famous in English history. For the last six years both John and Charles
had been conducting a noble work. They met, with others, on Sunday
evenings, to read the classics and the Greek Testament; they attended
Communion at St. Mary's every Sunday. They visited the poor and the
prisoners in the gaol. They fasted at regular intervals. For all this
they were openly laughed to scorn, and were considered mad fanatics.
They were called the Reforming Club, the Holy Club, the Godly Club,
the Sacramentarians, the Bible Moths, the Supererogation Men, the
Enthusiasts, and, finally, the Methodists.

But Hutton was stirred to the very depths of his soul. He was still
living in College Street with his father; next door lived Samuel Wesley,
his old schoolmaster; and Hutton, therefore, asked John and Charles to
call and see him when next they came up to town. The invitation led to
great results. At this time John Wesley received a request from
General Oglethorpe, Governor of Georgia, to go out to that colony as
a missionary. He accepted the offer with joy; his brother Charles was
appointed the Governor's Secretary; and the two young men came up
to London and spent a couple of days at Hutton's house. The plot was
thickening. Young James was more in love with the Wesleys than ever.
If he had not been a bound apprentice he would have sailed with them to
Georgia himself {1735.}. He went down with them to Gravesend; he spent
some time with them on board the ship; and there, on that sailing
vessel, the Simmonds, he saw, for the first time in his life, a number
of Moravian Brethren. They, too, were on their way to Georgia. For the
future history of religion in England that meeting on the Simmonds was
momentous. Among the passengers were General Oglethorpe, Bishop David
Nitschmann, and twenty-three other Brethren, and thus Moravians and
Methodists were brought together by their common interest in missionary

James Hutton was thrilled. As soon as his apprenticeship was over he set
up in business for himself at the "Bible and Sun," founded a new
Society in his own back parlour, and made that parlour the centre of the
Evangelical Revival {1736.}. There he conducted weekly meetings; there
he established a Poor-box Society, the members paying in a penny a week;
there met the men who before long were to turn England upside down; and
there he and others were to hear still more of the life and work of the

For this he had to thank his friend John Wesley. As John Wesley set out
on his voyage to Georgia he began to keep that delightful Journal which
has now become an English classic; and before having his Journal printed
he sent private copies to Hutton, and Hutton read them out at his
weekly meetings. John Wesley had a stirring tale to tell. He admired the
Brethren from the first. They were, he wrote, the gentlest, bravest folk
he had ever met. They helped without pay in the working of the ship;
they could take a blow without losing their tempers; and when the ship
was tossed in the storm they were braver than the sailors themselves.
One Sunday the gale was terrific. The sea poured in between the decks.
The main sail was torn to tatters. The English passengers screamed with
terror. The Brethren calmly sang a hymn.

"Was not you afraid?" said Wesley.

"I thank God, no," replied the Brother.

"But were not your women and children afraid?"

"No; our women and children are not afraid to die."

John Wesley was deeply stirred. For all his piety he still lacked
something which these Brethren possessed. He lacked their triumphant
confidence in God. He was still afraid to die. "How is it thou hast no
faith?" he said to himself.

For the present his question remained unanswered; but before he had been
very long in Georgia he laid his spiritual troubles before the learned
Moravian teacher, Spangenberg. He could hardly have gone to a better
spiritual guide. Of all the Brethren this modest Spangenberg was in many
ways the best. He was the son of a Lutheran minister. He was Wesley's
equal in learning and practical piety. He had been assistant lecturer in
theology at Halle University. He was a man of deep spiritual experience;
he was only one year younger than Wesley himself; and, therefore, he
was thoroughly qualified to help the young English pilgrim over the
"My brother," he said, "I must first ask you one or two questions. Have
you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness
with your spirit that you are a child of God?"

John Wesley was so staggered that he could not answer.

"Do you know Jesus Christ?" continued Spangenberg.

"I know he is the Saviour of the world."

"True; but do you know he has saved you?"

"I hope," replied Wesley, "he has died to save me."

"Do you know yourself?"

"I do," said Wesley; but he only half meant what he said.

Again, three weeks later, Wesley was present at a Moravian ordination
service. For the moment he forgot the seventeen centuries that had
rolled by since the great days of the apostles; and almost thought that
Paul the tentmaker or Peter the fisherman was presiding at the ceremony.
"God," he said, "has opened me a door into a whole Church."

As James Hutton read these glowing reports to his little Society at
the "Bible and Sun" he began to take a still deeper interest in the
Brethren. He had made the acquaintance, not only of the Wesleys, but of
Benjamin Ingham, of William Delamotte, and of George Whitefield. He was
the first to welcome Whitefield to London. He found him openings in
the churches. He supplied him with money for the poor. He published his
sermons. He founded another Society in Aldersgate Street. He was now to
meet with Zinzendorf himself. Once more the connecting link was foreign
missionary work. For some years the Count had been making attempts to
obtain the goodwill of English Churchmen for the Brethren's labours in
North America. He had first sent three Brethren--Wenzel Neisser, John
Toeltschig, and David Nitschmann, the Syndic--to open up negotiations
with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and very
disappointed he was when these negotiations came to nothing. He had then
sent Spangenberg to London to make arrangements for the first batch of
colonists for Georgia. He had then sent the second batch under Bishop
David Nitschmann. And now he came to London himself, took rooms at
Lindsey House {1737.}, Chelsea, and stayed about six weeks. He had two
purposes to serve. He wished first to talk with Archbishop Potter about
Moravian Episcopal Orders. He was just thinking of becoming a Bishop
himself. He wanted Potter's opinion on the subject. What position, he
asked, would a Moravian Bishop occupy in an English colony? Would it be
right for a Moravian Bishop to exercise his functions in Georgia? At the
same time, however, he wished to consult with the Board of Trustees
for Georgia. He had several talks with the Secretary. The Secretary was
Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley was lodging now at old John Hutton's in
College Street. He attended a service in Zinzendorf's rooms; he thought
himself in a choir of angels; he introduced James Hutton to the Count;
and thus another link in the chain was forged.

And now there arrived in England a man who was destined to give a
new tone to the rising revival {Jan. 27th, 1738.}. His name was Peter
Boehler; he had just been ordained by Zinzendorf; he was on his way to
South Carolina; and he happened to arrive in London five days before
John Wesley landed from his visit to America. We have come to a critical
point in English history. At the house of Weinantz, a Dutch merchant,
John Wesley and Peter Boehler met (Feb. 7th); John Wesley then found
Boehler lodgings, and introduced him to Hutton; and ten days later
Wesley and Boehler set out together for Oxford {Feb. 17th.}. The
immortal discourse began.

As John Wesley returned to England from his three years' stay in
America, he found himself in a sorrowful state of mind. He had gone
with all the ardour of youth; he returned a spiritual bankrupt. On this
subject the historians have differed. According to High-Church Anglican
writers, John Wesley was a Christian saint before he ever set eyes on
Boehler's face;[108] according to Methodists he had only a legal religion
and was lacking in genuine, saving faith in Christ. His own evidence on
the questions seems conflicting. At the time he was sure he was not yet
converted; in later years he inclined to think he was. At the time he
sadly wrote in his Journal, "I who went to America to convert others
was never myself converted to God"; and then, years later, he added the
footnote, "I am not sure of this." It is easy, however, to explain
this contradiction. The question turns on the meaning of the word
"converted." If a man is truly converted to God when his heart throbs
with love for his fellows, with a zeal for souls, and with a desire to
do God's holy will, then John Wesley, when he returned from America,
was just as truly a "converted" man as ever he was in later life. He was
devout in prayer; he loved the Scriptures; he longed to be holy; he was
pure in thought, in deed, and in speech; he was self-denying; he had
fed his soul on the noble teaching of Law's "Serious Call"; and thus, in
many ways, he was a beautiful model of what a Christian should be. And
yet, after all, he lacked one thing which Peter Boehler possessed. If
John Wesley was converted then he did not know it himself. He had no
firm, unflinching trust in God. He was not sure that his sins were
forgiven. He lacked what Methodists call "assurance," and what St. Paul
called "peace with God." He had the faith, to use his own distinction,
not of a son, but only of a servant. He was good but he was not happy;
he feared God, but he did not dare to love Him; he had not yet attained
the conviction that he himself had been redeemed by Christ; and if this
conviction is essential to conversion, then John Wesley, before he met
Boehler, was not yet a converted man. For practical purposes the matter
was of first importance. As long as Wesley was racked by doubts he could
never be a persuasive preacher of the Gospel. He was so distracted about
himself that he could not yet, with an easy mind, rush out to the rescue
of others. He had not "a heart at leisure from itself to soothe and
sympathize." The influence of Boehler was enormous. He saw where
Wesley's trouble lay, and led him into the calm waters of rest.

"My brother, my brother," he said, "that philosophy of yours must be
purged away."[109]
John Wesley did not understand. For three weeks the two men discussed
the fateful question; and the more Wesley examined himself the more sure
he was he did not possess "the faith whereby we are saved." One day he
felt certain of his salvation; the next the doubts besieged his door

"If what stands in the Bible is true," he said, "then I am saved"; but
that was as far as he could go.

"He knew," said Boehler in a letter to Zinzendorf, "that he did not
properly believe in the Saviour."

At last Boehler made a fine practical suggestion {March 5th.}. He urged
Wesley to preach the Gospel to others. John Wesley was thunderstruck. He
thought it rather his duty to leave off preaching. What right had he to
preach to others a faith he did not yet possess himself? Should he leave
off preaching or not?

"By no means," replied Boehler.

"But what can I preach?" asked Wesley.

"Preach faith till you have it," was the classic answer, "and then,
because you have it, you will preach faith."

Again he consulted Boehler on the point; and again Boehler, broad-minded
man, gave the same wholesome advice.

"No," he insisted, "do not hide in the earth the talent God has given

The advice was sound. If John Wesley had left off preaching now, he
might never have preached again; and if Boehler had been a narrow-minded
bigot, he would certainly have informed his pupil that unless he
possessed full assurance of faith he was unfit to remain in holy orders.
But Boehler was a scholar and a gentleman, and acted throughout with
tact. For some weeks John Wesley continued to be puzzled by Boehler's
doctrine of the holiness and happiness which spring from living faith;
but at last he came to the firm conclusion that what Boehler said on the
subject was precisely what was taught in the Church of England. He had
read already in his own Church homilies that faith "is a sure trust and
confidence which a man hath in God that through the merits of Christ
his sins are forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God"; and
yet, clergyman though he was, he had not yet that trust and confidence
himself. Instead, therefore, of teaching Wesley new doctrine, Peter
Boehler simply informed him that some men, though of course not all,
were suddenly converted, that faith might be given in a moment, and that
thus a man might pass at once from darkness to light and from sin and
misery to righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost. He had had that very
experience himself at Jena; he had known it as a solid fact in the case
of others; and, therefore, speaking from his own personal knowledge,
he informed Wesley that when a man obtained true faith he acquired
forthwith "dominion over sin and constant peace from a sense of

At this Wesley was staggered. He called it a new Gospel. He would not
believe that the sense of forgiveness could be given in a moment.

For answer Boehler appealed to the New Testament; and Wesley, looking to
see for himself, found that nearly all the cases of conversion mentioned
there were instantaneous. He contended, however, that such miracles did
not happen in the eighteenth century. Boehler brought four friends to
prove that they did. Four examples, said Wesley, were not enough to
prove a principle. Boehler promised to bring eight more. For some days
Wesley continued to wander in the valley of indecision, and consulted
Boehler at every turn of the road. He persuaded Boehler to pray with
him; he joined him in singing Richter's hymn, "My soul before Thee
prostrate lies"; and finally, he preached a sermon to four thousand
hearers in London, enforcing that very faith in Christ which he himself
did not yet possess. But Boehler had now to leave for South Carolina.
From Southampton he wrote a farewell letter to Wesley. "Beware of the
sin of unbelief," he wrote, "and if you have not conquered it yet, see
that you conquer it this very day, through the blood of Jesus Christ."

The letter produced its effect. The turning-point in John Wesley's
career arrived. He was able to give, not only the day, but the hour,
and almost the minute. As he was still under the influence of Boehler's
teaching, many writers have here assumed that his conversion took place
in a Moravian society.[110] The assumption is false. "In the evening,"
says Wesley, "I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street
{May 24th.}, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to
the Romans." At that time the society in Aldersgate Street had no more
connection with the Moravian Church than any other religious society in
England. It was founded by James Hutton; it was an ordinary religious
society; it consisted entirely of members of the Anglican Church; and
there, in an Anglican religious society, Wesley's conversion took place.
"About a quarter to nine," he says, "while he was describing the change
which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart
strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for
salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins,
even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

From that moment, despite some recurring doubts, John Wesley was a
changed man. If he had not exactly learned any new doctrine, he had
certainly passed through a new experience. He had peace in his heart; he
was sure of his salvation; and henceforth, as all readers know, he was
able to forget himself, to leave his soul in the hands of God, and to
spend his life in the salvation of his fellow-men.

Meanwhile Peter Boehler had done another good work. If his influence
over John Wesley was great, his influence over Charles Wesley was
almost greater. For some weeks the two men appear to have been in daily
communication; Charles Wesley taught Boehler English; and when Wesley
was taken ill Boehler on several occasions, both at Oxford and at James
Hutton's house in London, sat up with him during the night, prayed for
his recovery, and impressed upon him the value of faith and prayer.
The faith of Boehler was amazing. As soon as he had prayed for Wesley's
recovery, he turned to the sufferer and calmly said, "You will not die
now." The patient felt he could not endure the pain much longer.

"Do you hope to be saved?" said Boehler.


"For what reason do you hope it?"

"Because I have used my best endeavours to serve God."

Boehler shook his head, and said no more. As soon as Charles was
restored to health, he passed through the same experience as his brother
John; and gladly ascribed both recovery and conversion to the faith and
prayer of Boehler.

But this was not the end of Boehler's influence. As soon as he was able
to speak English intelligibly, he began to give addresses on saving
faith to the good folk who met at James Hutton's house; and before long
he changed the whole character of the Society. It had been a society of
seekers; it became a society of believers. It had been a group of
High Churchmen; it became a group of Evangelicals. It had been a
free-and-easy gathering; it became a society with definite regulations.
For two years the Society was nothing less than the headquarters of the
growing evangelical revival; and the rules drawn up by Peter Boehler
(May 1st, 1738), just before he left for America, were the means of
making it a vital power. In these rules the members were introducing,
though they knew it not, a new principle into English Church life.
It was the principle of democratic government. The Society was now a
self-governing body; and all the members, lay and clerical, stood upon
the same footing. They met once a week to confess their faults to each
other and to pray for each other; they divided the Society into "bands,"
with a leader at the head of each; and they laid down the definite rule
that "every one, without distinction, submit to the determination of his
Brethren."[111] The Society increased; the room at Hutton's house became
too small; and Hutton therefore hired first a large room, and then a
Baptist Hall, known as the Great Meeting House, in Fetter Lane.[112]
From this time the Society was known as the Fetter Lane Society, and
the leading spirits were James Hutton and Charles Wesley. For a while
the hall was the home of happiness and peace. As the months rolled
on, various Moravians paid passing calls on their way to America; and
Hutton, the Wesleys, Delamotte and others became still more impressed
with the Brethren's teaching. Charles Wesley was delighted. As he walked
across the fields from his house at Islington to the Sunday evening
love-feast in Fetter Lane, he would sing for very joy. John Wesley was
equally charmed. He had visited the Brethren at Marienborn and Herrnhut
(August, 1738). He had listened with delight to the preaching of
Christian David. He had had long chats about spiritual matters with
Martin Linner, the Chief Elder, with David Nitschmann, with Albin Feder,
with Augustin Neisser, with Wenzel Neisser, with Hans Neisser, with
David Schneider, and with Arvid Gradin, the historian; he felt he would
like to spend his life at Herrnhut; and in his Journal he wrote the
words, "Oh, when shall this Christianity cover the earth as the waters
cover the sea." At a Watch-Night service in Fetter Lane (Dec. 31st,
1738) the fervour reached its height. At that service both the Wesleys,
George Whitefield, Benjamin Ingham, Kinchin and other Oxford Methodists
were present, and the meeting lasted till the small hours of the
morning. "About three in the morning," says John Wesley, "as we were
continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us,
insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the

And yet all the while there was a worm within the bud. John Wesley soon
found serious faults in the Brethren. As he journeyed to Herrnhut, he
had called at Marienborn, and there they had given him what seemed to
him an unnecessary snub. For some reason which has never been fully
explained, they refused to admit him to the Holy Communion; and the
only reason they gave him was that he was a "homo perturbatus," i.e., a
restless man.[113] For the life of him Wesley could not understand why
a "restless man" of good Christian character should not kneel at the
Lord's Table with the Brethren; and to make the insult more stinging
still, they actually admitted his companion, Benjamin Ingham. But the
real trouble lay at Fetter Lane. It is easy to put our finger on the
cause. As long as people hold true to the faith and practice of their
fathers they find it easy to live at peace with each other; but as soon
as they begin to think for themselves they are sure to differ sooner or
later. And that was exactly what happened at Fetter Lane. The members
came from various stations in life. Some, like the Wesleys, were
university men; some, like Hutton, were middle-class tradesmen, of
moderate education; some, like Bray, the brazier, were artizans; and
all stood on the same footing, and discussed theology with the zeal of
novices and the confidence of experts. John Wesley found himself in a
strange country. He had been brought up in the realm of authority; he
found himself in the realm of free discussion. Some said that saying
faith was one thing, and some said that it was another. Some said that
a man could receive the forgiveness of his sins without knowing it, and
some argued that if a man had any doubts he was not a true Christian
at all. As Wesley listened to these discussions he grew impatient and
disgusted. The whole tone of the Society was distasteful to his mind.
If ever a man was born to rule it was Wesley; and here, at Fetter Lane,
instead of being captain, he was merely one of the crew, and could not
even undertake a journey without the consent of the Society. The fetters
were beginning to gall.

At this point there arrived from Germany a strange young man on his way
to America, who soon added fuel to the fire {Oct. 18th, 1739.}. His
name was Philip Henry Molther. He was only twenty-five years old; he had
belonged to the Brethren's Church about a year; he had spent some months
as tutor in Zinzendorf's family; he had picked up only the weak side
of the Brethren's teaching; and now, with all the zeal of youth, he set
forth his views in extravagant language, which soon filled Wesley with
horror. His power in the Society was immense, and four times a week, in
broken English, he preached to growing crowds. At first he was utterly
shocked by what he saw. "The first time I entered the meeting," he says,
"I was alarmed and almost terror-stricken at hearing their sighing and
groaning, their whining and howling, which strange proceeding they call
the demonstration of the Spirit and of power." For these follies Molther
had a cure of his own. He called it "stillness." As long as men were
sinners, he said, they were not to try to obtain saving faith by any
efforts of their own. They were not to go to church. They were not to
communicate. They were not to fast. They were not to use so much private
prayer. They were not to read the Scriptures. They were not to do either
temporal or spiritual good. Instead of seeking Christ in these ways,
said Molther, the sinner should rather sit still and wait for Christ to
give him the Divine revelation. If this doctrine had no other merit
it had at least the charm of novelty. The dispute at Fetter Lane grew
keener than ever. On the one hand Hutton, James Bell, John Bray, and
other simple-minded men regarded Molther as a preacher of the
pure Gospel. He had, said Hutton, drawn men away from many a false
foundation, and had led them to the only true foundation, Christ. "No
soul," said another, "can be washed in the blood of Christ unless it
first be brought to one in whom Christ is fully formed. But there are
only two such men in London, Bell and Molther." John Bray, the brazier,
went further.

"It is impossible," he said, "for anyone to be a true Christian outside
the Moravian Church."

As the man was outside that Church himself, and remained outside it all
his life, his statement is rather bewildering.[114]
John Wesley was disgusted. He regarded Molther as a teacher of
dangerous errors. The two men were poles asunder. The one was a quietist
evangelical; the other a staunch High Churchman. According to Molther
the correct order was, through Christ to the ordinances of the Church;
according to Wesley, through the ordinances to Christ. According to
Molther, a man ought to be a believer in Christ before he reads the
Bible, or attends Communion, or even does good works; according to
Wesley, a man should read his Bible, go to Communion, and do good works
in order to become a believer. According to Molther the Sacrament was a
privilege, meant for believers only; according to Wesley it was a duty,
and a means of grace for all men. According to Molther, the only means
of grace was Christ; according to Wesley, there were many means of
grace, all leading the soul to Christ. According to Molther there were
no degrees in faith; according to Wesley there were. No longer was the
Fetter Lane Society a calm abode of peace. Instead of trying to help
each other the members would sometimes sit for an hour without speaking
a word; and sometimes they only reported themselves without having a
proper meeting at all. John Wesley spoke his mind. He declared that
Satan was beginning to rule in the Society. He heard that Molther was
taken ill, and regarded the illness as a judgment from heaven. At last
the wranglings came to an open rupture. At an evening meeting in Fetter
Lane {July 16th, 1740.}, John Wesley, resolved to clear the air, read
out from a book supposed to be prized by the Brethren the following
astounding doctrine: "The Scriptures are good; prayer is good;
communicating is good; relieving our neighbour is good; but to one who
is not born of God, none of these is good, but all very evil. For him to
read the Scriptures, or to pray, or to communicate, or to do any outward
work is deadly poison. First, let him be born of God. Till then, let him
not do any of these things. For if he does, he destroys himself."

He read the passage aloud two or three times. "My brethren," he asked,
"is this right, or is this wrong?"

"It is right," said Richard Bell, the watchcase maker, "it is all right.
It is the truth. To this we must all come, or we never can come to

"I believe," broke in Bray, the brazier, "our brother Bell did not hear
what you read, or did not rightly understand."

"Yes! I heard every word," said Bell, "and I understand it well. I say
it is the truth; it is the very truth; it is the inward truth."

"I used the ordinances twenty years," said George Bowers, the Dissenter,
of George Yard, Little Britain, "yet I found not Christ. But I left them
off for only a few weeks and I found Him then. And I am now as close
united to Him as my arm is to my body."

The dispute was coming to a crisis. The discussion lasted till eleven
o'clock. Some said that Wesley might preach in Fetter Lane.

"No," said others, "this place is taken for the Germans."

Some argued that Wesley had often put an end to confusions in the

"Confusion!" snapped others, "What do you mean? We never were in any
confusion at all."

Next Sunday evening Wesley appeared again {July 20th, 1740.}. He was
resolved what to do.

"I find you," he said, "more and more confirmed in the error of your
ways. Nothing now remains but that I should give you up to God. You that
are of the same opinion follow me."

As some wicked joker had hidden his hat, he was not able to leave the
room with the dignity befitting the occasion; but eighteen supporters
answered to his call; and the face of John Wesley was seen in the Fetter
Lane Society no more. The breach was final; the wound remained open;
and Moravians and Methodists went their several ways. For some years the
dispute continued to rage with unabated fury. The causes were various.
The damage done by Molther was immense. The more Wesley studied the
writings of the Brethren the more convinced he became that in many ways
they were dangerous teachers. They thought, he said, too highly of their
own Church. They would never acknowledge themselves to be in the wrong.
They submitted too much to the authority of Zinzendorf, and actually
addressed him as Rabbi. They were dark and secret in their behaviour,
and practised guile and dissimulation. They taught the doctrine of
universal salvation. Above all, however, John Wesley held that the
Brethren, like Molther, laid a one-sided stress on the doctrine of
justification by faith alone. They were, he contended, Antinomians; they
followed too closely the teaching of Luther; they despised the law, the
commandments, good works, and all forms of self-denial.

"You have lost your first joy," said one, "therefore you pray: that is
the devil. You read the Bible: that is the devil. You communicate: that
is the devil."

In vain Count Zinzendorf, longing for peace, endeavoured to pour oil on
the raging waters. The two leaders met in Gray's Inn Gardens and made
an attempt to come to a common understanding {Sept. 3rd, 1741.}. The
attempt was useless. The more keenly they argued the question out the
further they drifted from each other. For Zinzendorf Wesley had never
much respect, and he certainly never managed to understand him. If
a poet and a botanist talk about roses they are hardly likely to
understand each other; and that was just how the matter stood between
Zinzendorf and Wesley. The Count was a poet, and used poetic, language.
John Wesley was a level-headed Briton, with a mind as exact as a
calculating machine.

"Why have you left the Church of England?"[115] began the Count.

"I was not aware that I had left the Church of England," replied Wesley.

And then the two men began to discuss theology.

"I acknowledge no inherent perfection in this life," said the Count.
"This is the error of errors. I pursue it through the world with fire
and sword. I trample it under foot. I exterminate it. Christ is our only
perfection. Whoever follows after inherent perfection denies Christ."

"But I believe," replied Wesley, "that the Spirit of Christ works
perfection in true Christians."

"Not at all," replied Zinzendorf, "All our perfection is in Christ. The
whole of Christian perfection is imputed, not inherent. We are perfect
in Christ--in ourselves, never."

"What," asked Wesley, in blank amazement, after Zinzendorf had hammered
out his point. "Does not a believer, while he increases in love,
increase equally in holiness?"

"By no means," said the Count; "the moment he is justified he is
sanctified wholly. From that time, even unto death, he is neither more
nor less holy. A babe in Christ is as pure in heart as a father in
Christ. There is no difference."

At the close of the discussion the Count spoke a sentence which seemed
to Wesley as bad as the teaching of Molther.

"We spurn all self-denial," he said, "we trample it under foot. Being
believers, we do whatever we will and nothing more. We ridicule all
mortification. No purification precedes perfect love."

And thus the Count, by extravagant language, drove Wesley further away
from the Brethren than ever.

Meanwhile, at Fetter Lane events were moving fast. As soon as Wesley
was out of the way, James Hutton came to the front; a good many
Moravians--Bishop Nitschmann, Anna Nitschmann, John Toeltschig,
Gussenbauer, and others--began to arrive on the scene; and step by step
the Society became more Moravian in character. For this Hutton himself
was chiefly responsible. He maintained a correspondence with Zinzendorf,
and was the first to introduce Moravian literature to English readers.
He published a collection of Moravian hymns, a Moravian Manual of
Doctrine, and a volume in English of Zinzendorf's Berlin discourses.
He was fond of the Moravian type of teaching, and asked for Moravian
teachers. His wish was speedily gratified. The foolish Molther departed.
The sober Spangenberg arrived. The whole movement now was raised to a
higher level. As soon as Spangenberg had hold of the reins the members,
instead of quarrelling with each other, began to apply themselves to the
spread of the Gospel; and to this end they now established the "Society
for the Furtherance of the Gospel." Its object was the support of
foreign missions {1741.}. At its head was a committee of four, of whom
James Hutton was one. For many years the "Society" supported the foreign
work of the Brethren in English colonies; and in later years it supplied
the funds for the work in Labrador. The next step was to license the
Chapel in Fetter Lane. The need was pressing. As long as the members met
without a licence they might be accused, at any time, of breaking the
Conventicle Act. They wished now to have the law on their side. Already
the windows had been broken by a mob. The services now were open to the
public. The chapel was becoming an evangelistic hall. The licence was
taken (Sept.). The members took upon themselves the name "Moravian
Brethren, formerly of the Anglican Communion." But the members at Fetter
Lane were not yet satisfied. For all their loyalty to the Church
of England, they longed for closer communion with the Church of the
Brethren; and William Holland openly asked the question, "Can a man join
the Moravian Church and yet remain a member of the Anglican Church?"

"Yes," was the answer, "for they are sister Churches."

For this reason, therefore, and without any desire to become Dissenters,
a number of the members of the Fetter Lane Society applied to
Spangenberg to establish a congregation of the Moravian Church in
England. The cautious Spangenberg paused. For the fourth time a
momentous question was put to the decision of the Lot. The Lot
sanctioned the move. The London congregation was established (November
10th, 1742). It consisted of seventy-two members of the Fetter Lane
Society. Of those members the greater number were Anglicans, and
considered themselves Anglicans still. And yet they were Brethren in the
fullest sense and at least half of them took office. The congregation
was organized on the Herrnhut model. It was divided into "Choirs."
At the head of each choir was an Elder; and further there were two
Congregation Elders, two Wardens, two Admonitors, two Censors,
five Servants, and eight Sick-Waiters. Thus was the first Moravian
congregation established in England. For many years this Church in
Fetter Lane was the headquarters of Moravian work in Great Britain.
Already a new campaign had been started in Yorkshire; and a few years
later Boehler declared that this one congregation alone had sent out two
hundred preachers of the Gospel.[116]


As we follow the strange and eventful story of the renewal of the
Brethren's Church, we can hardly fail to be struck by the fact that
wherever new congregations were planted the way was first prepared by
a man who did not originally belong to that Church himself. At Herrnhut
the leader was the Lutheran, Christian David; at Fetter Lane, James
Hutton, the Anglican clergyman's son; and in Yorkshire, the clergyman,
Benjamin Ingham, who never joined the Moravian Church at all. He had,
like the Wesleys and Whitefield, taken part in the Evangelical Revival.
He was one of the Oxford Methodists, and had belonged to the Holy Club.
He had sailed with John Wesley on his voyage to America, had met the
Brethren on board the Simmonds, and had learned to know them more
thoroughly in Georgia. He had been with John Wesley to Marienborn, had
been admitted to the Communion there, had then travelled on to Herrnhut,
and had been "exceedingly strengthened and comforted by the Christian
conversation of the Brethren." He had often been at James Hutton's
house, had attended services in Fetter Lane, was present at the famous
Watch-Night Love-feast, and had thus learned to know the Brethren as
thoroughly as Wesley himself. From first to last he held them in high
esteem. "They are," he wrote, "more like the Primitive Christians than
any other Church now in the world, for they retain both the faith,
practice and discipline delivered by the Apostles. They live together
in perfect love and peace. They are more ready to serve their neighbours
than themselves. In their business they are diligent and industrious, in
all their dealings strictly just and conscientious. In everything they
behave themselves with great meekness, sweetness and simplicity."

His good opinion stood the test of time. He contradicted Wesley's
evidence flatly. "I cannot but observe," he wrote to his friend Jacob
Rogers, curate at St. Paul's, Bedford, "what a slur you cast upon the
Moravians about stillness. Do you think, my brother, that they don't
pray? I wish you prayed as much, and as well. They do not neglect
prayers, either in public or in private; but they do not perform them
merely as things that must be done; they are inwardly moved to pray
by the Spirit. What they have said about stillness has either been
strangely misunderstood or strangely misrepresented. They mean by it
that we should endeavour to keep our minds calm, composed and collected,
free from hurry and dissipation. And is not this right? They are neither
despisers nor neglecters of ordinances."

The position of Ingham was peculiar. He was a clergyman without a
charge; he resided at Aberford, in Yorkshire; he appears to have been
a man of considerable means; and now he devoted all his powers to the
moral and spiritual upliftment of the working-classes in the West Riding
of Yorkshire. His sphere was the district between Leeds and Halifax. For
ignorance and brutality these Yorkshire people were then supposed to be
unmatched in England. The parish churches were few and far between. The
people were sunk in heathen darkness. Young Ingham began pure missionary
work. He visited the people in their homes; he formed societies for
Bible Reading and Prayer; he preached the doctrine of saving faith in
Christ; and before long he was able to say that he had fifty societies
under his care, two thousand hearers, three hundred inquirers, and a
hundred genuine converts. For numbers, however, Ingham cared but little.
His object was to bring men into personal touch with Christ. "I had
rather," he said, "see ten souls truly converted than ten thousand
only stirred up to follow." His work was opposed both by clergy and by
laymen. At Colne, in Lancashire, he was attacked by a raging mob. At the
head of the mob was the Vicar of Colne himself. The Vicar took Ingham
into a house and asked him to sign a paper promising not to preach
again. Ingham tore the paper in pieces.

"Bring him out and we'll make him," yelled the mob.

The Vicar went out; the mob pressed in; and clubs were flourished in the
air "as thick as a man's leg."

Some wanted to kill him on the spot; others wished to throw him into the

"Nay, nay," said others, "we will heave him into the bog, then he will
be glad to go into the river and wash and sweeten himself."

A stone "as big as a man's fist," hit him in the hollow of the neck. His
coat-tails were bespattered with mud.

"See," said a wit, "he has got wings." At last the Vicar relented, took
him into the Vicarage, and thus saved him from an early death.

But Ingham had soon more irons in the fire than he could conveniently
manage. If these Yorkshire folk whom he had formed into societies were
to make true progress in the spiritual life they must, he held, be
placed under the care of evangelical teachers. He could not look
after them himself; he was beginning new work further north, in the
neighbourhood of Settle; and the best men he knew for his purpose were
the Moravians whom he had learned to admire in Georgia, London and
Herrnhut. For one Brother, John Toeltschig, Ingham had a special
affection, and while he was on his visit to Herrnhut he begged that
Toeltschig might be allowed to come with him to England. "B. Ingham,"
he wrote, "sends greeting, and bids grace and peace to the most Reverend
Bishops, Lord Count Zinzendorf and David Nitschmann, and to the other
esteemed Brethren in Christ. I shall be greatly pleased if, with your
consent, my beloved brother, John Toeltschig, be permitted to stay with
me in England as long as our Lord and Saviour shall so approve. I am
heartily united with you all in the bonds of love. Farewell. Herrnhut,
Sept. 29, 1738."[117] For our purpose this letter is surely of the deepest
interest. It proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the Moravians
started their evangelistic campaign in England, not from sectarian
motives, but because they were invited by English Churchmen who valued
the Gospel message they had to deliver. As Hutton had begged for
Boehler, so Ingham begged for Toeltschig; and Toeltschig paid a brief
visit to Yorkshire (November, 1739), helped Ingham in his work, and so
delighted the simple people that they begged that he might come to them
again. For a while the request was refused. At last Ingham took resolute
action himself, called a mass meeting of Society members, and put to
them the critical question: "Will you have the Moravians to work among
you?" Loud shouts of approval rang out from every part of the building.
As Spangenberg was now in London the request was forwarded to him;
he laid it before the Fetter Lane Society; the members organized the
"Yorkshire Congregation"; and the "Yorkshire Congregation" set out to
commence evangelistic work in earnest {May 26th, 1742.}. At the head of
the band was Spangenberg himself. As soon as he arrived in Yorkshire he
had a business interview with Ingham. For Spangenberg shouts of approval
were not enough. He wanted everything down in black and white. A
document was prepared; the Societies were summoned again; the document
was laid before them; and twelve hundred Yorkshire Britons signed their
names to a request that the Brethren should work among them. From that
moment Moravian work in Yorkshire began. At one stroke--by a written
agreement--the Societies founded by Benjamin Ingham were handed over to
the care of the Moravian Church. The Brethren entered upon the task with
zeal. For some months, with Spangenberg as general manager, they made
their head-quarters at Smith House, a farm building near Halifax {July,
1742.}; and there, on Saturday afternoons, they met for united prayer,
and had their meals together in one large room. At first they had a
mixed reception. On the one hand a mob smashed the windows of Smith
House; on the other, the serious Society members "flocked to Smith House
like hungry bees." The whole neighbourhood was soon mapped out, and the
workers stationed at their posts. At Pudsey were Gussenbauer and his
wife; at Great Horton, near Bradford, Toeltschig and Piesch; at Holbeck,
near Leeds, the Browns; and other workers were busy soon at Lightcliffe,
Wyke, Halifax, Mirfield, Hightown, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Leeds, Wortley,
Farnley, Cleckheaton, Great Gomersal, and Baildon. The Moravian
system of discipline was introduced. At the head of the men were John
Toeltschig and Richard Viney; at the head of the women Mrs. Pietch
and Mrs. Gussenbauer; and Monitors, Servants, and Sick Waiters were
appointed just as in Herrnhut. Here was a glorious field of labour; here
was a chance of Church extension; and the interesting question was, what
use the Brethren would make of it.

At this point Count Zinzendorf arrived in Yorkshire {Feb., 1743.}, went
to see Ingham at Aberford, and soon organized the work in a way of
his own which effectually prevented it from spreading. His method was
centralization. At that time he held firmly to his pet idea that the
Brethren, instead of forming new congregations, should rather be content
with "diaspora" work, and at the same time, whenever possible, build a
settlement on the Herrnhut or Herrnhaag model, for the cultivation
of social religious life. At this time it so happened that the
Gussenbauers, stationed at Pudsey, were in trouble; their child was
seriously ill; the Count rode over to see them; and while there he
noticed the splendid site on which Fulneck stands to-day. If the visitor
goes to Fulneck now he can hardly fail to be struck by its beauty. He is
sure to admire its long gravel terrace, its neat parterres, its orchards
and gardens, and, above all, its long line of plain stately buildings
facing the southern sun. But then the slope was wild and unkempt,
covered over with briars and brambles. Along the crown were a few small
cottages. At one end, called Bankhouse, resided the Gussenbauers. From
there the view across the valley was splendid. The estate was known as
Falneck. The idea of a settlement rose before Zinzendorf's mind. The
spirit of prophecy came upon him, and he named the place "Lamb's Hill."
For the next few days the Count and his friends enjoyed the hospitality
of Ingham at Aberford; and a few months later Ingham heard that the
land and houses at Falneck were on the market. He showed himself a true
friend of the Brethren. He bought the estate, gave them part of it for
building, let out the cottages to them as tenants, and thus paved the
way for the introduction of the Moravian settlement system into England.

For good or for evil that settlement system was soon the leading feature
of the English work. The building of Fulneck began. First the Brethren
called the place Lamb's Hill, then Gracehall, and then Fulneck, in
memory of Fulneck in Moravia. From friends in Germany they received
gifts in money, from friends in Norway a load of timber. The Single
Brethren were all aglow with zeal; and on one occasion they spent the
whole night in saying prayers and singing hymns upon the chosen sites.
First rose the Chapel (1746), then the Minister's House and the rooms
beneath and just to the east of the Chapel (1748), then the Brethren's
and Sisters' Houses (1752), then the Widows' House (1763), then the
Shop and Inn (1771), then the Cupola (1779), and then the Boys' Boarding
School (1784-5). Thus, step by step, the long line of buildings arose, a
sight unlike any other in the United Kingdom.

As the Brethren settled down in that rough Yorkshire country, they had
a noble purpose, which was a rebuke to the godless and cynical spirit
of the age. "Is a Christian republic possible?" asked the French
philosopher, Bayle. According to the world it was not; according to the
Brethren it was; and here at Fulneck they bravely resolved to put the
matter to the proof. As long as that settlement existed, said they,
there would be a kingdom where the law of Christ would reign supreme,
where Single Brethren, Single Sisters, and Widows, would be screened
from the temptations of the wicked world, where candidates would
be trained for the service of the Church and her Master, where
missionaries, on their way to British Colonies, could rest awhile, and
learn the English language, where children, in an age when schools were
scarce, could be brought up in the fear of God, and where trade would
be conducted, not for private profit, but for the benefit of all. At
Fulneck, in a word, the principles of Christ would be applied to the
whole round of Moravian life. There dishonesty would be unknown; cruel
oppression would be impossible; doubtful amusements would be forbidden;
and thus, like their German Brethren in Herrnhut, these keen and hardy
Yorkshire folk were to learn by practical experience that it is more
blessed to give than to receive, and more delightful to work for a
common cause than for a private balance at the bank.

For this purpose the Brethren established what were then known as
diaconies; and a diacony was simply an ordinary business conducted,
not by a private individual for his own personal profit, but by some
official of the congregation for the benefit of the congregation as a
whole. For example, James Charlesworth, a Single Brother, was appointed
manager of a cloth-weaving factory, which for some years did a splendid
trade with Portugal and Russia, kept the Single Brethren in regular
employment, and supplied funds for general Church objects. As the
years rolled on, the Brethren established a whole series of
congregation-diaconies: a congregation general dealer's shop, a
congregation farm, a congregation bakery, a congregation glove factory,
and, finally, a congregation boarding-house or inn. At each diacony the
manager and his assistants received a fixed salary, and the profits of
the business helped to swell the congregation funds. The ideal was
as noble as possible. At Fulneck daily labour was sanctified, and men
toiled in the sweat of their brows, not because they wanted to line
their pockets, but because they wanted to help the cause of Christ. For
the sake of the Church the baker kneaded, the weaver plied his shuttle,
the Single Sisters did needlework of marvellous beauty and manufactured
their famous marble-paper. For many years, too, these Brethren
at Fulneck employed a congregation doctor; and the object of this
gentleman's existence was not to build up a flourishing practice, but to
preserve the good health of his beloved Brethren and Sisters.

We must not, however, regard the Brethren as communists. James Hutton
was questioned on this by the Earl of Shelburne.

"Does everything which is earned among you," said the Earl, "belong to
the community?"

"No," replied Hutton, "but people contribute occasionally out of what
they earn."

And yet this system, so beautiful to look at, was beset by serious
dangers. It required more skill than the Brethren possessed, and more
supervision than was humanly possible. As long as a business flourished
and paid the congregation reaped the benefit; but if, on the other hand,
the business failed, the congregation suffered, not only in money, but
in reputation. At one time James Charlesworth, in an excess of zeal,
mortgaged the manufacturing business, speculated with the money, and
lost it; and thus caused others to accuse the Brethren of wholesale
robbery and fraud. Again, the system was opposed in a measure to the
English spirit of self-help and independence. As long as a man was
engaged in a diacony, he was in the service of the Church; he did not
receive a sufficient salary to enable him to provide for old age; he
looked to the Church to provide his pension and to take care of him when
he was ill; and thus he lost that self-reliance which is said to be the
backbone of English character. But the most disastrous effect of
these diaconies was on the settlement as a whole. They interfered with
voluntary giving; they came to be regarded as Church endowments; and
the people, instead of opening their purses, relied on the diaconies
to supply a large proportion of the funds for the current expenses of
congregation life. And here we cannot help but notice the difference
between the Moravian diacony system and the well-known system of
free-will offerings enforced by John Wesley in his Methodist societies.
At first sight, the Moravian system might look more Christian; at
bottom, Wesley's system proved the sounder; and thus, while Methodism
spread, the Moravian river was choked at the fountain head.

Another feature of settlement life was its tendency to encourage
isolation. For many years the rule was enforced at Fulneck that none but
Moravians should be allowed to live in that sacred spot; and the laws
were so strict that the wonder is that Britons submitted at all. For
example, there was actually a rule that no member should spend a night
outside the settlement without the consent of the Elders' Conference.
If this rule had been confined to young men and maidens, there would
not have been very much to say against it; but when it was enforced on
business men, who might often want to travel at a moment's notice, it
became an absurdity, and occasioned some vehement kicking against the
pricks. The Choir-houses, too, were homes of the strictest discipline.
At the west end stood the Single Brethren's House, where the young men
lived together. They all slept in one large dormitory; they all rose
at the same hour, and met for prayers before breakfast; they were all
expected to attend certain services, designed for their special benefit;
and they had all to turn in at a comparatively early hour. At the east
end--two hundred yards away--stood the Single Sisters' House; and there
similar rules were in full force. For all Sisters there were dress
regulations, which many must have felt as a grievous burden. At Fulneck
there was nothing in the ladies' dress to show who was rich and who was
poor. They all wore the same kind of material; they had all to submit
to black, grey, or brown; they all wore the same kind of three-cornered
white shawl; and the only dress distinction was the ribbon in the cap,
which showed to which estate in life the wearer belonged. For married
women the colour was blue; for widows, white; for young women, pink; and
for girls under eighteen, red. At the services in church the audience
sat in Choirs, the women and girls on one side, the men and boys on the
other. The relations between the sexes were strictly guarded. If a young
man desired to marry, he was not even allowed to speak to his choice
without the consent of the Elders' Conference; the Conference generally
submitted the question to the Lot; and if the Lot gave a stern refusal,
he was told that his choice was disapproved by God, and enjoined to fix
his affections on someone else. The system had a twofold effect. It led,
on the one hand, to purity and peace; on the other, to spiritual pride.

Another feature of this settlement life was the presence of officials.
At Fulneck the number of Church officials was enormous. The place of
honour was held by the Elders' Conference. It consisted of all the
ministers of the Yorkshire District, the Fulneck Single Brethren's
Labourer, the Single Sisters' Labouress, and the Widows' Labouress. It
met at Fulneck once a month, had the general oversight of the Yorkshire
work, and was supposed to watch the personal conduct of every individual
member. Next came the Choir Elders' Conference. It consisted of a number
of lay assistants, called Choir Helpers, had no independent powers of
action, and acted as advisory board to the Elders' Conference. Next came
the Congregation Committee. It was elected by the voting members of the
congregation, had charge of the premises and finances, and acted as
a board of arbitration in cases of legal dispute. Next came the
Large Helpers' Conference. It consisted of the Committee, the Elders'
Conference, and certain others elected by the congregation. Next
came the Congregation Council, a still larger body elected by the
Congregation. At first sight these institutions look democratic enough.
In reality, they were not democratic at all. The mode of election was
peculiar. As soon as the votes had been collected the names of those at
the top of the poll were submitted to the Lot; and only those confirmed
by the Lot were held to be duly elected. The real power lay in the hands
of the Elders' Conference. They were the supreme court of appeal; they
were members, by virtue of their office, of the Committee; and they
alone had the final decision as to who should be received as members
and who should not. The whole system was German rather than English
in conception. It was the system, not of popular control, but of
ecclesiastical official authority.

But the most striking feature of the settlement system is still to
be mentioned. It was the road, not to Church extension, but to Church
extinction. If the chief object which the Brethren set before them was
to keep that Church as small as possible, they could hardly have adopted
a more successful method. We may express that method in the one word
"centralization." For years the centre of the Yorkshire work was
Fulneck. At Fulneck met the Elders' Conference. At Fulneck all Choir
Festivals were held; at these Festivals the members from the other
congregations were expected to be present; and when John de Watteville
arrived upon the scene (1754) he laid down the regulation that although
in future there were to be "as many congregations as chapels in
Yorkshire," yet all were still to be one body, and all members must
appear at Fulneck at least once a quarter! At Fulneck alone--in these
earlier years--did the Brethren lay out a cemetery; and in that cemetery
all funerals were to be conducted. The result was inevitable. As long as
the other congregations were tied to the apron strings of Fulneck they
could never attain to independent growth. I give one instance to show
how the system worked. At Mirfield a young Moravian couple lost a child
by death. As the season was winter, and the snow lay two feet deep, they
could not possibly convey the coffin to Fulneck; and therefore they had
the funeral conducted by the Vicar at Mirfield. For this sin they were
both expelled from the Moravian Church. At heart, in fact, these early
Brethren had no desire for Moravian Church extension whatever. They
never asked anyone to attend their meetings, and never asked anyone to
join their ranks. If any person expressed a desire to become a member
of the Moravian Church, he was generally told in the first instance "to
abide in the Church of England"; and only when he persisted and begged
was his application even considered. And even then they threw obstacles
in his way. They first submitted his application to the Lot. If the Lot
said "No," he was rejected, and informed that the Lord did not wish him
to join the Brethren's Church. If the Lot said "Yes," he had still a
deep river to cross. The "Yes" did not mean that he was admitted; it
only meant that his case would be considered. He was now presented with
a document called a "testimonial," informing him that his application
was receiving attention. He had then to wait two years; his name was
submitted to the Elders' Conference; the Conference inquired into all
his motives, and put him through a searching examination; and at the end
of the two years he was as likely to be rejected as accepted. For these
rules the Brethren had one powerful reason of their own. They had no
desire to steal sheep from the Church of England. At the very outset
of their campaign they did their best to make their position clear. "We
wish for nothing more," they declared, in a public notice in the Daily
Advertiser, August 2nd, 1745, "than that some time or other there might
be some bishop or parish minister found of the English Church, to whom,
with convenience and to the good liking of all sides, we could
deliver the care of those persons of the English Church who have given
themselves to our care."

Thus did the Brethren, with Fulneck as a centre, commence their work in
Yorkshire. At three other villages--Wyke, Gomersal, and Mirfield--they
established so-called "country congregations" with chapel and minister's
house. The work caused a great sensation. At one time a mob came out
from Leeds threatening to burn Fulneck to the ground. At another time a
neighbouring landlord sent his men to destroy all the linen hung out
to dry. At the first Easter Morning Service in Fulneck four thousand
spectators assembled to witness the solemn service. And the result of
the Brethren's labours was that while their own numbers were always
small they contributed richly to the revival of evangelical piety in the
West Riding of Yorkshire.

In the Midlands the system had just the same results. At the village of
Ockbrook, five miles from Derby, the Brethren built another beautiful
settlement. For some years, with Ockbrook as a centre, they had a clear
field for work in the surrounding district; they had preaching places
at Eaton, Belper, Codnor, Matlock, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Dale, and
other towns and villages; and yet not a single one of these places ever
developed into a congregation.

In Bedfordshire the result was equally fatal. At first the Brethren
had a golden chance in Bedford. There, in 1738, there was a terrible
epidemic of small-pox; in one week sixty or seventy persons died; nearly
all the clergy had fled from the town in terror; and then Jacob Rogers,
the curate of St. Paul's, sent for Ingham and Delamotte to come to the
rescue. The two clergymen came; some Moravians followed; a Moravian
congregation at Bedford was organized; and before long the Brethren had
twenty societies round Bunyan's charming home. And yet not one of these
societies became a new congregation. As Fulneck was the centre for
Yorkshire, so Bedford was the centre for Bedfordshire; and the system
that checked expansion in the North strangled it at its birth in the


Once more an Anglican paved the way for the Brethren. At the terrible
period of the Day of Blood one Brother, named Cennick, fled from Bohemia
to England; and now, about a hundred years later, his descendant, John
Cennick, was to play a great part in the revival of the Brethren's
Church. For all that, John Cennick, in the days of his youth, does not
appear to have known very much about his ecclesiastical descent. He was
born (1718) and brought up at Reading, and was nursed from first to last
in the Anglican fold. He was baptized at St. Lawrence Church; attended
service twice a day with his mother; was confirmed and took the
Communion; and, finally, at a service in the Church, while the psalms
were being read, he passed through that critical experience in life to
which we commonly give the name "conversion." For us, therefore, the
point to notice is that John Cennick was truly converted to God, and was
fully assured of his own salvation before he had met either Moravians
or Methodists, and before he even knew, in all probability, that such
people as the Moravians existed. We must not ascribe his conversion to
Moravian influence. If we seek for human influence at all let us give
the honour to his mother; but the real truth appears to be that what
John Wesley learned from Boehler, John Cennick learned by direct
communion with God. His spiritual experience was as deep and true as
Wesley's. He had been, like Wesley, in the castle of Giant Despair, and
had sought, like Wesley, to attain salvation by attending the ordinances
of the Church. He had knelt in prayer nine times a day; he had watched;
he had fasted; he had given money to the poor; he had almost gone mad in
his terror of death and of the judgment day; and, finally, without any
human aid, in his pew at St. Lawrence Church, he heard, he tells us,
the voice of Jesus saying, "I am thy salvation," and there and then his
heart danced for joy and his dying soul revived.

At that time, as far as I can discover, he had not even heard of the
Oxford Methodists; but a few months later he heard strange news of
Wesley's Oxford comrade, Charles Kinchin. The occasion was a private
card party at Reading. John Cennick was asked to take a hand, and
refused. For this he was regarded as a prig, and a young fellow in
the company remarked, "There is just such a stupid religious fellow
at Oxford, one Kinchin." Forthwith, at the earliest opportunity, John
Cennick set off on foot for Oxford, to seek out the "stupid religious
fellow"; found him sallying out of his room to breakfast; was introduced
by Kinchin to the Wesleys; ran up to London, called at James Hutton's,
and there met George Whitefield; fell on the great preacher's neck
and kissed him; and was thus drawn into the stream of the Evangelical
Revival at the very period in English history when Wesley and Whitefield
first began preaching in the open air. He was soon a Methodist preacher
himself {1739.}. At Kingswood, near Bristol, John Wesley opened a
charity school for the children of colliers; and now he gave Cennick the
post of head master, and authorized him also to visit the sick and to
expound the Scriptures in public. The preacher's mantle soon fell
on Cennick's shoulders. At a service held under a sycamore tree, the
appointed preacher, Sammy Wather, was late; the crowd asked Cennick
to take his place; and Cennick, after consulting the Lot, preached his
first sermon in the open air. For the next eighteen months he now acted,
like Maxfield and Humphreys, as one of Wesley's first lay assistant
preachers; and as long as he was under Wesley's influence he preached
in Wesley's sensational style, with strange sensational results. At the
services the people conducted themselves like maniacs. Some foamed at
the mouth and tore themselves in hellish agonies. Some suffered from
swollen tongues and swollen necks. Some sweated enormously, and broke
out in blasphemous language. At one service, held in the Kingswood
schoolroom, the place became a pandemonium; and Cennick himself
confessed with horror that the room was like the habitation of lost
spirits. Outside a thunderstorm was raging; inside a storm of yells
and roars. One woman declared that her name was Satan; another was
Beelzebub; and a third was Legion. And certainly they were all behaving
now like folk possessed with demons. From end to end of the room they
raced, bawling and roaring at the top of their voices.

"The devil will have me," shrieked one. "I am his servant. I am damned."

"My sins can never be pardoned," said another. "I am gone, gone for

"That fearful thunder," moaned a third, "is raised by the devil; in this
storm he will bear me to hell."

A young man, named Sommers, roared like a dragon, and seven strong men
could hardly hold him down.

"Ten thousand devils," he roared, "millions, millions of devils are
about me."

"Bring Mr. Cennick! Bring Mr. Cennick!" was heard on every side; and
when Mr. Cennick was brought they wanted to tear him in pieces.

At this early stage in the great Revival exhibitions of this frantic
nature were fairly common in England; and John Wesley, so far from being
shocked, regarded the kicks and groans of the people as signs that
the Holy Spirit was convicting sinners of their sin. At first Cennick
himself had the same opinion; but before very long his common sense came
to his rescue. He differed with Wesley on the point; he differed with
him also on the doctrine of predestination; he differed with him,
thirdly, on the doctrine of Christian perfection; and the upshot of the
quarrel that Wesley dismissed John Cennick from his service.

As soon, however, as Cennick was free, he joined forces, first
with Howell Harris, and then with Whitefield; and entered on that
evangelistic campaign which was soon to bring him into close touch
with the Brethren. For five years he was now engaged in preaching
in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire {1740-5.}; and wherever he went he
addressed great crowds and was attacked by furious mobs. At Upton-Cheyny
the villagers armed themselves with a horn, a drum, and a few brass
pans, made the echoes ring with their horrible din, and knocked the
preachers on the head with the pans; a genius put a cat in a cage, and
brought some dogs to bark at it; and others hit Cennick on the nose
and hurled dead dogs at his head. At Swindon--where Cennick and Harris
preached in a place called the Grove--some rascals fired muskets over
their heads, held the muzzles close up to their faces, and made them as
black as tinkers; and others brought the local fire-engine and drenched
them with dirty water from the ditches. At Exeter a huge mob stormed
the building, stripped some of the women of their clothing, stamped upon
them in the open street, and rolled them naked in the gutters.[118] At
Stratton, a village not far from Swindon, the mob--an army two miles in
length--hacked at the horses' legs, trampled the Cennickers under their
feet, and battered Cennick till his shoulders were black and blue. At
Langley the farmers ducked him in the village pond. At Foxham, Farmer
Lee opposed him; and immediately, so the story ran, a mad dog bit all
the farmer's pigs. At Broadstock Abbey an ingenious shepherd dressed
up his dog as a preacher, called it Cennick, and speedily sickened and
died; and the Squire of Broadstock, who had sworn in his wrath to cut
off the legs of all Cennickers who walked through his fields of green
peas, fell down and broke his neck. If these vulgar incidents did not
teach a lesson they would hardly be worth recording; but the real lesson
they teach us is that in those days the people of Wiltshire were in a
benighted condition, and that Cennick was the man who led the revival
there. As he rode on his mission from village to village, and from town
to town, he was acting, not as a wild free-lance, but as the assistant
of George Whitefield; and if it is fair to judge of his style by the
sermons that have been preserved, he never said a word in those sermons
that would not pass muster in most evangelical pulpits to-day. He never
attacked the doctrines of the Church of England; he spoke of the Church
as "our Church"; and he constantly backed up his arguments by appeals
to passages in the Book of Common Prayer. In spite of his lack of
University training he was no illiterate ignoramus. The more he knew
of the Wiltshire villagers the more convinced he became that what they
required was religious education. For their benefit, therefore, he now
prepared some simple manuals of instruction: a "Treatise on the Holy
Ghost," an "Exhortation to Steadfastness," a "Short Catechism for the
Instruction of Youth," a volume of hymns entitled "A New Hymnbook,"
a second entitled "Sacred Hymns for the Children of God in the Day of
their Pilgrimage," and a third entitled "Sacred Hymns for the Use of
Religious Societies." What sort of manuals, it may be asked, did Cennick
provide? I have read them carefully; and have come to the conclusion
that though Cennick was neither a learned theologian nor an original
religious thinker, he was fairly well up in his subject. For example,
in his "Short Catechism" he shows a ready knowledge of the Bible and a
clear understanding of the evangelical position; and in his "Treatise
on the Holy Ghost" he quotes at length, not only from the Scriptures
and the Prayer-book, but also from Augustine, Athanasius, Tertullian,
Chrysostom, Calvin, Luther, Ridley, Hooper, and other Church Fathers
and Protestant Divines. He was more than a popular preacher. He was a
thorough and competent teacher. He made his head-quarters at the
village of Tytherton, near Chippenham (Oct. 25, 1742); there, along with
Whitefield, Howell Harris and others, he met his exhorters and stewards
in conference; and meanwhile he established also religious societies at
Bath, Brinkworth, Foxham, Malmesbury, and many other villages.

At last, exactly like Ingham in Yorkshire, he found that he had too many
irons in the fire, and determined to hand his societies over to the
care of the Moravian Church. He had met James Hutton, Zinzendorf,
Spangenberg, Boehler, and other Moravians in London, and the more he
knew of these men the more profoundly convinced he became that the
picture of the Brethren painted by John Wesley in his Journal was no
better than a malicious falsehood. At every point in his evidence, which
lies before me in his private diary and letters, John Cennick, to
put the matter bluntly, gives John Wesley the lie. He denied that the
Brethren practised guile; he found them uncommonly open and sincere.
He denied that they were Antinomians, who despised good works; he
found them excellent characters. He denied that they were narrow-minded
bigots, who would never acknowledge themselves to be in the wrong; he
found them remarkably tolerant and broad-minded. At this period, in
fact, he had so high an opinion of the Brethren that he thought they
alone were fitted to reconcile Wesley and Whitefield; and on one
occasion he persuaded some Moravians, Wesleyans and Calvinists to join
in a united love-feast at Whitefield's Tabernacle, and sing a common
confession of faith {Nov. 4th, 1744.}.[119] John Cennick was a man of the
Moravian type. The very qualities in the Brethren that offended Wesley
won the love of Cennick. He loved the way they spoke of Christ; he loved
their "Blood and Wounds Theology"; and when he read the "Litany of the
Wounds of Jesus," he actually, instead of being disgusted, shed tears of
joy. For these reasons, therefore, Cennick went to London, consulted the
Brethren in Fetter Lane, and besought them to undertake the care of his
Wiltshire societies. The result was the same as in Yorkshire. As long as
the request came from Cennick alone the Brethren turned a deaf ear. But
the need in Wiltshire was increasing. The spirit of disorder was growing
rampant. At Bath and Bristol his converts were quarrelling; at Swindon a
young woman went into fits and described them as signs of the New Birth;
and a young man named Jonathan Wildboar, who had been burned in the hand
for stealing linen, paraded the country showing his wound as a proof of
his devotion to Christ. For these follies Cennick knew only one cure;
and that cure was the "apostolic discipline" of the Brethren. He called
his stewards together to a conference at Tytherton; the stewards drew
up a petition; the Brethren yielded; some workers came down {Dec. 18th,
1745.}; and thus, at the request of the people themselves, the Moravians
began their work in the West of England.

If the Brethren had now been desirous of Church extension, they would,
of course, have turned Cennick's societies into Moravian congregations.
But the policy they now pursued in the West was a repetition of their
suicidal policy in Yorkshire. Instead of forming a number of independent
congregations, they centralized the work at Tytherton, and compelled the
other societies to wait in patience. At Bristol, then the second town in
the kingdom, the good people had to wait ten years (1755); at Kingswood,
twelve years (1757); at Bath, twenty years (1765); at Malmesbury,
twenty-five years (1770); at Devonport, twenty-six years (1771); and
the other societies had to wait so long that finally they lost their
patience, and died of exhaustion and neglect.

As soon as Cennick, however, had left his societies in the care of the
Brethren {1746.}, he set off on a tour to Germany, spent three months
at Herrnhaag, was received as a member, returned a Moravian, and then
entered on his great campaign in Ireland. He began in Dublin, and took
the city by storm. For a year or so some pious people, led by Benjamin
La Trobe, a Baptist student, had been in the habit of meeting for
singing and prayer; and now, with these as a nucleus, Cennick began
preaching in a Baptist Hall at Skinner's Alley. It was John Cennick, and
not John Wesley, who began the Evangelical Revival in Ireland. He was
working in Dublin for more than a year before Wesley arrived on the
scene. The city was the hunting ground for many sects; the Bradilonians
and Muggletonians were in full force; the Unitarians exerted a
widespread influence; and the bold way in which Cennick exalted the
Divinity of Christ was welcomed like a pulse of fresh air. The first
Sunday the people were turned away in hundreds. The hall in Skinner's
Alley was crowded out. The majority of his hearers were Catholics. The
windows of the hall had to be removed, and the people were in their
places day after day three hours before the time. On Sundays the roofs
of the surrounding houses were black with the waiting throng; every
window and wall became a sitting; and Cennick himself had to climb
through a window and crawl on the heads of the people to the pulpit. "If
you make any stay in this town," wrote a Carmelite priest, in his Irish
zeal, "you will make as many conversions as St. Francis Xavier among the
wild Pagans. God preserve you!" At Christmas Cennick forgot his manners,
attacked the Church of Rome in offensive language, and aroused the just
indignation of the Catholic priests.

"I curse and blaspheme," he said, "all the gods in heaven, but the Babe
that lay in Mary's lap, the Babe that lay in swaddling clothes."

The quick-witted Irish jumped with joy at the phrase. From that moment
Cennick was known as "Swaddling John";[120] and his name was introduced
into comic songs at the music-halls. As he walked through the streets
he had now to be guarded by an escort of friendly soldiers; and the
mob, ten or fifteen thousand in number, pelted him with dirt, stones and
bricks. At one service, says the local diary, "near 2,000 stones were
thrown against Brothers Cennick and La Trobe, of which, however, not one
did hit them." Father Duggan denounced him in a pamphlet entitled "The
Lady's Letter to Mr. Cennick"; Father Lyons assured his flock that
Cennick was the devil in human form; and others passed from hand to
hand a pamphlet, written by Gilbert Tennent, denouncing the Moravians as
dangerous and immoral teachers.

At this interesting point, when Cennick's name was on every lip, John
Wesley paid his first visit to Dublin {August, 1747.}. For Cennick
Wesley entertained a thorough contempt. He called him in his Journal
"that weak man, John Cennick"; he accused him of having ruined the
society at Kingswood; he was disgusted when he heard that he had become
a Moravian; and now he turned him out of Skinner's Alley by the simple
process of negotiating privately with the owner of the property, and
buying the building over Cennick's head. At one stroke the cause in
Skinner's Alley passed over into Methodist hands; and the pulpit in
which Cennick had preached to thousands was now occupied by John Wesley
and his assistants. From that blow the Brethren's cause in Dublin
never fully recovered. For a long time they were unable to find another
building, and had to content themselves with meetings in private houses;
but at last they hired a smaller building in Big Booter Lane,[121] near
St. Patrick's Cathedral; two German Brethren, John Toeltschig and
Bryzelius, came over to organize the work; Peter Boehler, two years
later, "settled" the congregation; and thus was established, in a modest
way, that small community of Moravians whose descendants worship there
to the present day.

Meanwhile John Cennick was ploughing another field. For some years he
was busily engaged--first as an authorized lay evangelist and then as
an ordained Moravian minister--in preaching and founding religious
societies in Cos. Antrim, Down, Derry, Armagh, Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan,
and Donegal {1748-55.}; and his influence in Ulster was just as great as
the influence of Whitefield in England. He opened his Ulster campaign
at Ballymena. At first he was fiercely opposed. As the rebellion of the
young Pretender had been only recently quashed, the people were rather
suspicious of new comers. The Pretender himself was supposed to be
still at large, and the orthodox Presbyterians denounced Cennick as a
Covenanter, a rebel, a spy, a rogue, a Jesuit, a plotter, a supporter
of the Pretender, and a paid agent of the Pope. Again and again he was
accused of Popery; and one Doffin, "a vagabond and wicked fellow," swore
before the Ballymena magistrates that, seven years before, he had seen
Cennick in the Isle of Man, and that there the preacher had fled from
the arm of the law. As Cennick was pronouncing the benediction at the
close of a service in the market-place at Ballymena, he was publicly
assaulted by Captain Adair, the Lord of the Manor; and the Captain,
whose blood was inflamed with whisky, struck the preacher with his whip,
attempted to run him through with his sword, and then instructed
his footman to knock him down. At another service, in a field near
Ballymena, two captains of militia had provided a band of drummers,
and the drummers drummed as only Irishmen can. The young preacher was
summoned to take the oath of allegiance and abjuration. But Cennick,
like many Moravians, objected to taking an oath. The scene was the
bar-parlour of a Ballymena hotel. There sat the justices, Captain Adair
and O'Neil of Shane's Castle; and there sat Cennick, the meek Moravian,
with a few friends to support him. The more punch the two gentlemen put
away the more pious and patriotic they became. For the second time
Adair lost his self-control. He called Cennick a rascal, a rogue, and
a Jesuit; he drank damnation to all his principles; he asked him why
he would not swear and then get absolution from the Pope; and both
gentlemen informed our hero that if he refused to take the oath they
would clap him in Carrickfergus Gaol that very night. As Cennick,
however, still held to his point, they were compelled at last to let
him out on bail; and Cennick soon after appealed for protection to Dr.
Rider, Bishop of Down and Connor. The good Bishop was a broad-minded

"Mr. Cennick," he said, "you shall have fair play in my diocese."

In vain the clergy complained to the Bishop that Cennick was emptying
their pulpits. The Bishop had a stinging answer ready.

"Preach what Cennick preaches," he said, "preach Christ crucified, and
then the people will not have to go to Cennick to hear the Gospel."

The good Bishop's words are instructive. At that time the Gospel which
Cennick preached was still a strange thing in Ulster; and Cennick
was welcomed as a true revival preacher. At Ballee and Ballynahone he
addressed a crowd of ten thousand. At Moneymore the Presbyterians begged
him to be their minister. At Ballynahone the Catholics promised that if
he would only pitch his tent there they would never go to Mass again. At
Lisnamara, the rector invited him to preach in the parish church. At New
Mills the people rushed out from their cabins, barred his way, offered
him milk, and besought him, saying, "If you cannot stop to preach, at
least come into our houses to pray." At Glenavy the road was lined with
a cheering multitude for full two miles. At Castle Dawson, Mr. Justice
Downey, the local clergyman, and some other gentry, kissed him in public
in the barrack yard. As he galloped along the country roads, the farm
labourers in the fields would call out after him, "There goes Swaddling
Jack"; he was known all over Ulster as "the preacher"; his fame ran on
before him like a herald; Count Zinzendorf called him "Paul Revived";
and his memory lingers down to the present day.

For Cennick, of course, was more than a popular orator. As he was now a
minister of the Brethren's Church, he considered it his duty, wherever
possible, to build chapels, to organize congregations, and to introduce
Moravian books and customs; and in this work he had the assistance of
La Trobe, Symms, Caries, Cooke, Wade, Knight, Brampton, Pugh, Brown,
Thorne, Hill, Watson, and a host of other Brethren whose names need not
be mentioned. I have not mentioned the foregoing list for nothing. It
shows that most of Cennick's assistants were not Germans, but Englishmen
or Irishmen; and the people could not raise the objection that the
Brethren were suspicious foreigners. At this time, in fact, the strength
of the Brethren was enormous. At the close of his work, John Cennick
himself had built ten chapels, and established two hundred and twenty
religious societies. Around Lough Neagh the Brethren lay like locusts;
and the work here was divided into four districts. At the north-east
corner they had four societies, with chapels at Ballymena, Gloonen,
and Grogan, and a growing cause at Doagh; at the north-west corner, a
society at Lisnamara, established later as a congregation at Gracefield;
at the south-west corner, in Co. Armagh, three chapels were being built;
and at the south-east corner, they had several societies, and had built,
or were building, chapels at Ballinderry, Glenavy, and Kilwarlin.

At this distance of time the Brethren's work in Ulster has about it a
certain glamour of romance. But in reality the conditions were far from
attractive. It is hard for us to realize now how poor those Irish people
were. They lived in hovels made of loose sods, with no chimneys; they
shared their wretched rooms with hens and pigs; and toiling all day in
a damp atmosphere, they earned their bread by weaving and spinning. The
Brethren themselves were little better off. At Gloonen, a small village
near Gracehill, the Brethren of the first Lough Neagh district made
their headquarters in a cottage consisting of two rooms and two
small "closets"; and this modest abode of one story was known in the
neighbourhood as "The Great House at Gloonen." Again, at a Conference
held in Gracehill, the Brethren, being pinched for money, solemnly
passed a resolution never to drink tea more than once a day.

And yet there is little to show to-day for these heroic labours. If
the visitor goes to Ulster now and endeavours to trace the footsteps
of Cennick, he will find it almost impossible to realize how great
the power of the Brethren was in those palmy days. At Gracehill, near
Ballymena, he will find the remains of a settlement. At Ballymena
itself, now a growing town, he will find to his surprise that the
Brethren's cause has ceased to exist. At Gracefield, Ballinderry, and
Kilwarlin--where once Cennick preached to thousands--he will find but
feeble, struggling congregations. At Gloonen the people will show him
"Cennick's Well"; at Kilwarlin he may stand under "Cennick's Tree"; and
at Portmore, near Lough Beg, he will see the ruins of the old church,
where Jeremy Taylor wrote his "Holy Living and Holy Dying," and where
Cennick slept many a night. At Drumargan (Armagh), he will find a barn
that was once a Moravian Chapel, and a small farmhouse that was once
a Sisters' House; and at Arva (Co. Cavan), he may stand on a hillock,
still called "Mount Waugh," in memory of Joseph Waugh, a Moravian
minister. For the rest, however, the work has collapsed; and Cennick's
two hundred and twenty societies have left not a rack behind.

For this decline there were three causes. The first was financial. At
the very time when the Brethren in Ulster had obtained a firm hold upon
the affections of the people the Moravian Church was passing through
a financial crisis; and thus, when money would have been most useful,
money was not to be had. The second was the bad system of management.
Again, as in Yorkshire and Wiltshire, the Brethren pursued the system
of centralization; built a settlement at Gracehill, and made the
other congregations dependent on Gracehill, just as the Yorkshire
congregations were dependent on Fulneck. The third cause was the early
death of Cennick himself. At the height of his powers he broke down in
body and in mind; and, worn out with many labours, he became the victim
of mental depression. For some time the conviction had been stealing
upon him that his work in this world was over; and in a letter to John
de Watteville, who had twice inspected the Irish work, he said, "I think
I have finished with the North of Ireland. If I stay here much longer
I fear I shall damage His work." At length, as he rode from Holyhead
to London, he was taken seriously ill; and arrived at Fetter Lane in
a state of high fever and exhaustion. For a week he lay delirious and
rambling, in the room which is now used as the Vestry of the Moravian
Chapel; and there, at the early age of thirty-six, he died {July 4th,
1755.}. If the true success is to labour, Cennick was successful; but if
success is measured by visible results, he ended his brief and brilliant
career in tragedy, failure and gloom. Of all the great preachers of the
eighteenth century, not one was superior to him in beauty of character.
By the poor in Ireland he was almost worshipped. He was often attacked
and unjustly accused; but he never attacked in return. We search his
diary and letters in vain for one single trace of bitter feeling. He was
inferior to John Wesley in organizing skill, and inferior to Whitefield
in dramatic power; but in devotion, in simplicity, and in command over
his audience he was equal to either. At the present time he is chiefly
known in this country as the author of the well-known grace before
meat, "Be present at our table, Lord"; and some of his hymns, such as
"Children of the Heavenly King," and "Ere I sleep, for every favour,"
are now regarded as classics. His position in the Moravian Church was
peculiar. Of all the English Brethren he did the most to extend the
cause of the Moravian Church in the United Kingdom, and no fewer than
fifteen congregations owed their existence, directly or indirectly, to
his efforts; and yet, despite his shining gifts, he was never promoted
to any position of special responsibility or honour. He was never placed
in sole charge of a congregation; and he was not made superintendent of
the work in Ireland. As a soldier in the ranks he began; as a soldier in
the ranks he died. He had one blemish in his character. He was far too
fond, like most of the Brethren, of overdrawn sentimental language. If
a man could read Zinzendorf's "Litany of the Wounds of Jesus," and then
shed tears of joy, as Cennick tells us he did himself, there must have
been an unhealthy taint in his blood. He was present at Herrnhaag at
the Sifting-Time, and does not appear to have been shocked. In time
his sentimentalism made him morbid. As he had a wife and two children
dependent on him, he had no right to long for an early death; and yet he
wrote the words in his pocket-book:--

   Now, Lord, at peace with Thee and all below,
   Let me depart, and to Thy Kingdom go.

For this blemish, however, he was more to be pitied than blamed. It was
partly the result of ill-health and overwork; and, on the whole, it was
merely a trifle when set beside that winsome grace, that unselfish zeal,
that modest devotion, and that sunny piety, which charmed alike the
Wiltshire peasants, the Papist boys of Dublin, and the humble weavers
and spinners of the North of Ireland.[122]


Meanwhile, however, the Brethren in England had been bitterly opposed.
For this there were several reasons. First, the leading Brethren in
England were Germans; and that fact alone was quite enough to prejudice
the multitude against them {1742-3.}. For Germans our fathers had then
but little liking; they had a German King on the throne, and they did
not love him; and the general feeling in the country was that if a man
was a foreigner he was almost sure to be a conspirator or a traitor. Who
were these mysterious foreigners? asked the patriotic Briton. Who were
these "Moravians," these "Herrnhuters," these "Germans," these "Quiet in
the Land," these "Antinomians"? The very names of the Brethren aroused
the popular suspicion. If a man could prove that his name was John
Smith, the presumption was that John Smith was a loyal citizen; but if
he was known as Gussenbauer or Ockershausen, he was probably another Guy
Fawkes, and was forming a plot to blow up the House of Commons. At
the outset therefore the Brethren were accused of treachery. At Pudsey
Gussenbauer was arrested, tried at Wakefield, and imprisoned in York
Castle. At Broadoaks, in Essex, the Brethren had opened a school, and
were soon accused of being agents of the Young Pretender. They had, it
was said, stored up barrels of gunpowder; they had undermined the whole
neighbourhood, and intended to set the town of Thaxted on fire. At three
o'clock one afternoon a mob surrounded the building, and tried in vain
to force their way in. Among them were a sergeant and a corporal. The
warden, Metcalfe, admitted the officers, showed them round the house,
and finally led them to a room where a Bible and Prayer-book were lying
on the table. At this sight the officers collapsed in amazement.

"Aye," said the corporal, "this is proof enough that you are no Papists;
if you were, this book would not have lain here."

Another cause of opposition was the Brethren's quiet mode of work. In
North America lived a certain Gilbert Tennent; he had met Zinzendorf at
New Brunswick; he had read his Berlin discourses; and now, in order to
show the public what a dangerous teacher Zinzendorf was, he published
a book, entitled, "Some Account of the Principles of the Moravians."
{1743.} As this book was published at Boston, it did not at first do
much harm to the English Brethren; but, after a time, a copy found
its way to England; an English edition was published; and the English
editor, in a preface, accused the Brethren of many marvellous crimes.
They persistently refused, he declared, to reveal their real opinions.
They crept into houses and led captive silly women. They claimed that
all Moravians were perfect, and taught that the Moravian Church was
infallible. They practised an adventurous use of the Lot, had a curious
method of discovering and purging out the accursed thing, pledged each
other in liquor at their love-feasts, and had an "artful regulation
of their convents." Above all, said this writer, the Moravians were
tyrannical. As soon as any person joined the Moravian Church, he was
compelled to place himself, his family, and his estates entirely at the
Church's disposal; he was bound to believe what the Church believed,
and to do what the Church commanded; he handed his children over to the
Church's care; he could not enter into any civil contract without the
Church's consent; and his sons and daughters were given in marriage just
as the Church decreed.[123] Gilbert Tennent himself was equally severe.
He began by criticizing Zinzendorf's theology; and after remarking that
Zinzendorf was a liar, he said that the Brethren kept their disgusting
principles secret, that they despised good books, that they slighted
learning and reason, that they spoke lightly of Confessions of Faith,
that they insinuated themselves into people's affections by smiles and
soft discourses about the love of Christ, that they took special care to
apply to young persons, females and ignorant people. From all this the
conclusion was obvious. At heart the Brethren were Roman Catholics. "The
Moravians," said Gilbert, "by this method of proceeding, are propagating
another damnable doctrine of the Church of Rome, namely, that Ignorance
is the Mother of Devotion." We can imagine the effect of this in
Protestant England. At one time Zinzendorf was openly accused in
the columns of the Universal Spectator of kidnapping young women for
Moravian convents; and the alarming rumour spread on all sides that the
Brethren were Papists in disguise.

Another cause of trouble was the Moravian religious language. If the
Brethren did not preach novel doctrines they certainly preached old
doctrines in a novel way. They called Jesus the Man of Smart; talked a
great deal about Blood and Wounds; spoke of themselves as Poor Sinners;
and described their own condition as Sinnership and Sinnerlikeness. To
the orthodox Churchman this language seemed absurd. He did not know what
it meant; he did not find it in the Bible; and, therefore, he concluded
that the Brethren's doctrine was unscriptural and unsound.

Another cause of trouble was the Brethren's doctrine of justification
by faith alone. Of all the charges brought against them the most serious
and the most persistent was the charge that they despised good works.
They were denounced as Antinomians. Again and again, by the best of men,
this insulting term was thrown at their heads. They taught, it was said,
the immoral doctrine that Christ had done everything for the salvation
of mankind; that the believer had only to believe; that he need not
obey the commandments; and that such things as duties did not exist.
At Windsor lived a gentleman named Sir John Thorold. He was one of the
earliest friends of the Moravians; he had often attended meetings at
Hutton's house; he was an upright, conscientious, intelligent Christian;
and yet he accused the Brethren of teaching "that there were no duties
in the New Testament." Gilbert Tennent brought the very same accusation.
"The Moravian notion about the law," he said, "is a mystery of
detestable iniquity; and, indeed, this seems to be the mainspring of
their unreasonable, anti-evangelical, and licentious religion." But the
severest critic of the Brethren was John Wesley. He attacked them in
a "Letter to the Moravian Church," and had that letter printed in his
Journal. He attacked them again in his "Short View of the Difference
between the Moravian Brethren, lately in England, and the Rev. Mr. John
and Charles Wesley." He attacked them again in his "A Dialogue between
an Antinomian and his Friend"; and in each of these clever and
biting productions his chief charge against them was that they taught
Antinomian principles, despised good works, and taught that Christians
had nothing to do but believe.

"Do you coolly affirm," he asked, "that this is only imputed to a
Believer, and that he has none at all of this holiness in him? Is
temperance imputed only to him that is a drunkard still? or chastity to
her that goes on in whoredom?"

He accused the Brethren of carrying out their principles; he attacked
their personal character; and, boiling with righteous indignation, he
denounced them as "licentious spirits and men of careless lives."

As the Brethren, therefore, were now being fiercely attacked, the
question arose, what measures, if any, they should take in self-defence.
At first they contented themselves with gentle protests. As they had
been accused of disloyalty to the throne, James Hutton, Benjamin Ingham,
and William Bell, in the name of all the English societies connected
with the Brethren's Church, drew up an address to the King, went to see
him in person, and assured him that they were loyal subjects and hated
Popery and popish pretenders {April 27th, 1744.}. As they had been
accused of attacking the Anglican Church, two Brethren called on Gibson,
Bishop of London, and assured him that they had committed no such crime.
For the rest, however, the Brethren held their tongues. At a Conference
in London they consulted the Lot; and the Lot decided that they should
not reply to Gilbert Tennent. For the same reason, probably, they also
decided to give no reply to John Wesley.

Meanwhile, however, an event occurred which roused the Brethren to
action. At Shekomeko, in Dutchess County, New York, they had established
a flourishing Indian congregation; and now, the Assembly of New York,
stirred up by some liquor sellers who were losing their business, passed
an insulting Act, declaring that "all vagrant preachers, Moravians,
and disguised Papists," should not be allowed to preach to the Indians
unless they first took the oaths of allegiance and abjuration {1744.}.
James Hutton was boiling with fury. If this Act had applied to all
preachers of the Gospel he would not have minded so much; but the
other denominations--Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists and
Quakers--were all specially exempted; and the loyal Moravians were
bracketed together with vagrant preachers and Papists in disguise. He
regarded the Act as an insult. He wrote to Zinzendorf on the subject.
"This," he said, "is the work of Presbyterian firebrands." If an Act
like this could be passed in America, who knew what might not happen
soon in England? "We ought," he continued, "to utilize this or some
other favourable opportunity for bringing our cause publicly before

Now was the time, thought the fiery Hutton, to define the position
of the Brethren's Church in England. He went to Marienborn to see the
Count; a Synod met {1745.}; his proposal was discussed; and the Synod
appointed Abraham von Gersdorf, the official "Delegate to Kings," to
appeal to Lord Granville, and the Board of Trade and Plantations, for
protection in the Colonies. Lord Granville was gracious. He informed the
deputation that though the Act could not be repealed at once the Board
of Trade would recommend the repeal as soon as legally possible; and the
upshot of the matter was that the Act became a dead letter.

Next year Zinzendorf came to England, and began to do the best he could
to destroy the separate Moravian Church in this country {1746.}. If the
Count could only have had his way, he would now have made every Moravian
in England return to the Anglican Church. He was full of his "Tropus"
idea. He wished to work his idea out in England; he called the English
Brethren to a Synod (Sept. 13-16), and persuaded them to pass a scheme
whereby the English branch of the Brethren's Church would be taken
over entirely by the Church of England. It was one of the most
curious schemes he ever devised. At their Sunday services the Brethren
henceforward were to use the Book of Common Prayer; their ministers were
to be ordained by Anglican and Moravian Bishops conjointly; he himself
was to be the head of this Anglican-Moravian Church; and thus the
English Moravians would be grafted on to the Church of England. For the
second time, therefore, the Count was trying to destroy the Moravian
Church. But here, to his surprise, he met an unexpected obstacle. He had
forgotten that it takes two to make a marriage. He proposed the union in
form to Archbishop Potter; he pleaded the case with all the skill at
his command; and the Archbishop promptly rejected the proposal, and the
marriage never came off.

As Zinzendorf, therefore, was baffled in this endeavour, he had now to
come down from his pedestal and try a more practical plan {1747.}; and,
acting on the sage advice of Thomas Penn, proprietor of Pennsylvania,
and General Oglethorpe, Governor of Georgia, he resolved to appeal
direct to Parliament for protection in the Colonies. As Oglethorpe
himself was a member of the House of Commons, he was able to render the
Brethren signal service. He had no objection to fighting himself, and
even defended duelling,[124] but he championed the cause of the Brethren.
Already, by an Act in 1740, the Quakers had been freed from taking the
oath in all our American Colonies; already, further, by another Act
(1743), the privilege of affirming had been granted in Pennsylvania,
not only to Quakers, but to all foreign Protestants; and now Oglethorpe
moved in the House of Commons that the rule existing in Pennsylvania
should henceforth apply to all American Colonies. If the Moravians, he
argued, were only given a little more encouragement, instead of being
worried about oaths and military service, they would settle in larger
numbers in America and increase the prosperity of the colonies. He wrote
to the Board of Trade and Plantations; his friend, Thomas Penn, endorsed
his statements; and the result was that the new clause was passed,
and all foreign Protestants in American Colonies--the Moravians being
specially mentioned--were free to affirm instead of taking the oath.

But this Act was of no use to the English Brethren. The great question
at issue was, what standing were the Brethren to hold in England? On the
one hand, as members of a foreign Protestant Church they were entitled
to religious liberty; and yet, on the other hand, they were practically
treated as Dissenters, and had been compelled to have all their
buildings licensed. As they were still accused of holding secret
dangerous principles, they now drew up another "Declaration," had it
printed, sent it to the offices of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Lord Chancellor, and the Master of the Rolls, and inserted it in the
leading newspapers. At all costs, pleaded the Brethren, let us have a
public inquiry. "If any man of undoubted sense and candour," they said,
"will take the pains upon himself to fix the accusations against us
in their real point of view, hitherto unattainable by the Brethren and
perhaps the public too, then we will answer to the expectations of the
public, as free and directly as may be expected from honest subjects of
the constitution of these realms." The appeal led to nothing; the man
of sense and candour never appeared; and still the suffering Brethren
groaned under all sorts of vague accusation.

At last, however, Zinzendorf himself came to the rescue of his Brethren,
rented Northampton House in Bloomsbury Square,[125] and brought the whole
matter to a head. For the second time he took the advice of Oglethorpe
and Thomas Penn; and a deputation was now appointed to frame a petition
to Parliament that the Brethren in America be exempted, not merely from
the oath, but also from military service.

As General Oglethorpe was now in England, he gladly championed the
Brethren's cause, presented the petition in the House of Commons, and
opened the campaign by giving an account of the past history of the
Brethren {Feb. 20th, 1749.}. For practical purposes this information
was important. If the House knew nothing else about the Brethren it knew
that they were no sect of mushroom growth. And then Oglethorpe informed
the House how the Brethren, already, in bygone days had been kindly
treated by England; how Amos Comenius had appealed to the Anglican
Church; how Archbishop Sancroft and Bishop Compton had published a
pathetic account of their sufferings; and how George I., by the advice
of Archbishop Wake, had issued letters patent for their relief. But the
most effective part of his speech was the part in which he spoke from
personal knowledge. "In the year 1735," he said "they were disquieted
in Germany, and about twenty families went over with me to Georgia. They
were industrious, patient under the difficulties of a new settlement,
laborious beyond what could have been expected. They gave much of their
time to prayer, but that hindered not their industry. Prayer was to them
a diversion after labour. I mention this because a vulgar notion has
prevailed that they neglected labour for prayer." They had spent, he
said, £100,000 in various industries; they had withdrawn already in
large numbers from Georgia because they were compelled to bear arms; and
if that colony was to prosper again the Brethren should be granted the
privilege they requested, and thus be encouraged to return. For what
privilege, after all, did the Brethren ask? For the noble privilege of
paying money instead of fighting in battle. The more these Brethren were
encouraged, said he, the more the Colonies would prosper; he proposed
that the petition be referred to a Committee, and Velters Cornwall,
member for Herefordshire, seconded the motion.

As Zinzendorf listened to this speech, some curious feelings must have
surged in his bosom. At the Synod of Hirschberg, only six years
before, he had lectured the Brethren for making business bargains with
Governments; and now he was consenting to such a bargain himself.
The debate in the Commons was conducted on business lines; the whole
question at issue was, not whether the Moravians were orthodox, but
whether it would pay the Government to encourage them; and the British
Government took exactly the same attitude towards the Brethren that
Frederick the Great had done seven years before. The next speaker made
this point clearer than ever. We are not quite sure who it was. It was
probably Henry Pelham, the Prime Minister. At any rate, whoever it was,
he objected to the petition on practical grounds. He declared that the
Moravians were a very dangerous body; that they were really a new sect;
that, like the Papists, they had a Pope, and submitted to their Pope in
all things; that they made their Church supreme in temporal matters; and
that thus they destroyed the power of the civil magistrate. He suspected
that the Brethren were Papists in disguise.

"I am at a loss," he said, "whether I shall style the petitioners
Jesuits, Papists, or Moravians."

He intended, he declared, to move an amendment that the Moravians be
restrained from making converts, and that all who joined their ranks be
punished. The fate of England was at stake. If the Moravians converted
the whole nation to their superstition, and everyone objected to bearing
arms, what then would become of our Army and Navy, and how could we
resist invasion? The next speakers, however, soon toned down the alarm.
If Pelham's objections applied to the Moravians, they would apply, it
was argued, equally to the Quakers; and yet it was a notorious fact that
the Colonies where the Quakers settled were the most prosperous places
in the Empire. "What place," asked one, "is more flourishing than
Pennsylvania?" And if the Moravians objected to bearing arms, what did
that matter, so long as they were willing to pay?

For these practical reasons, therefore, the motion was easily carried;
a Parliamentary Committee was formed; General Oglethorpe was elected
chairman; and the whole history, doctrine and practice of the Brethren
were submitted to a thorough investigation. For this purpose Zinzendorf
had prepared a number of documents; the documents were laid before the
Committee; and, on the evidence of those documents, the Committee based
its report. From that evidence three conclusions followed.

In the first place, the Brethren were able to show, by documents of
incontestable authenticity, that they really were the true descendants
of the old Church of the Brethren. They could prove that Daniel Ernest
Jablonsky had been consecrated a Bishop at the Synod of Lissa (March
10th, 1699), that Jablonsky in turn had consecrated Zinzendorf a Bishop,
and that thus the Brethren had preserved the old Moravian episcopal
succession. They could prove, further, and prove they did, that
Archbishops Wake and Potter had both declared that the Moravian
episcopacy was genuine; that Potter had described the Moravian Brethren
as apostolical and episcopal; and that when Zinzendorf was made a
Bishop, Potter himself had written him a letter of congratulation.
With such evidence, therefore, as this before them, the Committee were
convinced of the genuineness of the Moravian episcopal succession; and
when they issued their report they gave due weight to the point.

In the second place, the Brethren were able to show that they had
no sectarian motives, and that though they believed in their own
episcopacy, they had no desire to compete with the Church of England.
"There are," they said, "no more than two episcopal Churches among
Protestants: the one known through all the world under the name of
Ecclesia Anglicana; the other characterised for at least three ages as
the Unitas Fratrum, comprehending generally all other Protestants who
choose episcopal constitution. The first is the only one which may
justly claim the title of a national church, because she has at her
head a Christian King of the same rite, which circumstance is absolutely
required to constitute a national church. The other episcopal one, known
by the name of Unitas Fratrum, is far from pretending to that title." In
that manifesto the Brethren assumed that their episcopal orders were
on a par with those of the Church of England; and that assumption was
accepted, without the slightest demur, not only by the Parliamentary
Committee, but by the bench of Bishops.

In the third place--and this was the crucial point--the Brethren were
able to show, by the written evidence of local residents, that wherever
they went they made honest, industrious citizens. They had settled
down in Pennsylvania; they had done good work at Bethlehem, Nazareth,
Gnadenhütten, Frederick's Town, German Town and Oley; they had won the
warm approval of Thomas Penn; and, so far from being traitors, they had
done their best to teach the Indians to be loyal to the British throne.
They had doubled the value of an estate in Lusatia, and had built two
flourishing settlements in Silesia; they had taught the negroes in the
West Indies to be sober, industrious and law-abiding; they had tried to
uplift the poor Hottentots in South Africa; they had begun a mission in
Ceylon, had toiled in plague-stricken Algiers, and had built settlements
for the Eskimos in Greenland. If these statements had been made by
Moravians, the Committee might have doubted their truth, but in every
instance the evidence came, not from Brethren themselves, but from
governors, kings and trading officials. The proof was overwhelming.
Wherever the Brethren went, they did good work. They promoted trade;
they enriched the soul; they taught the people to be both good and
loyal; and, therefore, the sooner they were encouraged in America, the
better for the British Empire.

As the Committee, therefore, were compelled by the evidence to bring
in a good report, the desired leave was granted to bring in a bill
"for encouraging the people known by the name of the Unitas Fratrum, or
United Brethren, to settle in His Majesty's Colonies in America." Its
real purpose, however, was to recognize the Brethren's Church as an
ancient Protestant Episcopal Church, not only in the American Colonies,
but also in the United Kingdom; and its provisions were to be in force
wherever the British flag might fly. The provisions were generous.
First, in the preamble, the Brethren were described as "an ancient
Protestant Episcopal Church and a sober and quiet industrious people,"
and, being such, were hereby encouraged to settle in the American
Colonies. Next, in response to their own request, they were allowed
to affirm instead of taking the oath. The form of affirmation was as
follows: "I, A. B., do declare in the presence of Almighty God the
witness of the truth of what I say." Next, they were allowed to pay a
fixed sum instead of rendering military service, and were also exempted
from serving on juries in criminal cases. Next, all members of the
Brethren's Church were to prove their claims by producing a certificate,
signed by a Moravian Bishop or pastor. Next, the advocate of the
Brethren was to supply the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations with
a complete list of Moravian bishops and pastors, together with their
handwriting and seal; and, finally, anyone who falsely claimed to belong
to the Brethren's Church was to be punished as a wilful perjurer.

The first reading was on March 28th, and the passage through the House
of Commons was smooth. At the second reading, on April 1st, General
Oglethorpe was asked to explain why the privilege of affirming should be
extended to Moravians in Great Britain and Ireland. Why not confine it
to the American colonies? His answer was convincing. If the privilege,
he said, were confined to America, it would be no privilege at all. At
that time all cases tried in America could be referred to an English
Court of Appeal. If the privilege, therefore, were confined to America,
the Brethren would be constantly hampered by vexatious appeals to
England; and an English Court might at any moment upset the decision of
an American Court. The explanation was accepted; the third reading came
on; and the Bill passed the House of Commons unaltered.

In the House of Lords there was a little more opposition. As the
Brethren were described as an "Episcopal Church," it was feared that the
Bishops might raise an objection; but the Bishops met at Lambeth Palace,
and resolved not to oppose. At first Dr. Sherlock, Bishop of London,
objected; but even he gave way in the end, and when the Bill came before
the Lords not a single Bishop raised his voice against it. The only
Bishop who spoke was Maddox, of Worcester, and he spoke in the name of
the rest.

"Our Moravian Brethren," he said, "are an ancient Episcopal Church. Of
all Protestants, they come the nearest to the Established Church in this
kingdom in their doctrine and constitution. And though the enemy has
persecuted them from several quarters, the soundness of their faith and
the purity of their morals have defended them from any imputation of
Popery and immorality."

The one dangerous opponent was Lord Chancellor Hardwicke. He objected
to the clause about the certificate. If a man wished to prove himself a
Moravian, let him do so by bringing witnesses. What use was a Bishop's
certificate? It would not be accepted by any judge in the country.

On the other hand, Lord Granville, in a genial speech, spoke highly of
the Brethren. As some members were still afraid that the whole country
might become Moravians, and refuse to defend our land against her foes,
he dismissed their fears by an anecdote about a Quaker. At one time,
he said, in the days of his youth, the late famous admiral, Sir Charles
Wager, had been mate on a ship commanded by a Quaker; and on one
occasion the ship was attacked by a French privateer. What, then, did
the Quaker captain do? Instead of fighting the privateer himself, he
gave over the command to Wager, captured the privateer, and made his
fortune. But the Brethren, he held, were even broader minded than the

"I may compare them," he said, "to a casting-net over all Christendom,
to enclose all denominations of Christians. If you like episcopacy, they
have it; if you choose the Presbytery of Luther or Calvin, they have
that also; and if you are pleased with Quakerism, they have something of

With this speech Zinzendorf was delighted. As the little difficulty
about the certificate had not yet been cleared away, he suggested that
the person bringing the certificate should bring witnesses as well; and
with this trifling amendment the Bill at last--on May 12th, the Moravian
Memorial Day--was carried without a division.

In one sense this Act was a triumph for the Brethren, and yet it
scarcely affected their fortunes in England. Its interest is national
rather than Moravian. It was a step in the history of religious
toleration, and the great principle it embodied was that a religious
body is entitled to freedom on the ground of its usefulness to the
State. The principle is one of the deepest importance. It is the
fundamental principle to-day of religious liberty in England. But the
Brethren themselves reaped very little benefit. With the exception
of their freedom from the oath and from military service, they still
occupied the same position as before the Act was passed. We come here to
one of those contradictions which are the glory of all legal systems.
On the one hand, by Act of Parliament, they were declared an Episcopal
Church, and could hardly, therefore, be regarded as Dissenters; on
the other, they were treated as Dissenters still, and still had their
churches licensed as "places of worship for the use of Protestant


As soon as the Act of Parliament was passed, and the settlement at
Herrnhaag had been broken up, the Count resolved that the headquarters
of the Brethren's Church should henceforward be in London; and to this
intent he now leased a block of buildings at Chelsea, known as Lindsey
House. The great house, in altered form, is standing still. It is at the
corner of Cheyne Walk and Beaufort Street, and is close to the Thames
Embankment. It had once belonged to Sir Thomas More, and also to the
ducal family of Ancaster. The designs of Zinzendorf were ambitious. He
leased the adjoining Beaufort grounds and gardens, spent £12,000 on the
property, had the house remodelled in grandiose style, erected, close
by, the "Clock" chapel and a minister's house, laid out a cemetery,
known to this day as "Sharon," and thus made preliminary arrangements
for the establishment in Chelsea of a Moravian settlement in full
working order. In those days Chelsea was a charming London suburb. From
the house to the river side lay a terrace, used as a grand parade; from
the bank to the water there ran a short flight of steps; and from there
the pleasure-boats, with banners flying, took trippers up and down the
shining river. For five years this Paradise was the headquarters of the
Brethren's Church. There, in grand style, lived the Count himself, with
the members of his Pilgrim Band; there the Brethren met in conference;
there the archives of the Church were preserved; and there letters and
reports were received from all parts of the rapidly extending mission

And now the Count led a new campaign in England. As debates in
Parliament were not then published in full, it was always open for an
enemy to say that the Brethren had obtained their privileges by means
of some underhand trick; and in order to give this charge the lie, the
Count now published a folio volume, entitled, "Acta Fratrum Unitatis in
Anglia." In this volume he took the bull by the horns. He issued it by
the advice of Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man. It was a thorough and
comprehensive treatise, and contained all about the Moravians that an
honest and inquiring Briton would need to know. The first part consisted
of the principal vouchers that had been examined by the Parliamentary
Committee. The next was an article, "The Whole System of the Twenty-one
Doctrinal Articles of the Confession of Augsburg"; and here the Brethren
set forth their doctrinal beliefs in detail. The next article was "The
Brethren's Method of Preaching the Gospel, according to the Synod of
Bern, 1532"; and here they explained why they preached so much about
the Person and sufferings of Christ. The next article was a series of
extracts from the minutes of German Synods; and here the Brethren showed
what they meant by such phrases as "Sinnership" and "Blood and Wounds
Theology." But the cream of the volume was Zinzendorf's treatise, "The
Rationale of the Brethren's Liturgies." He explained why the Brethren
spoke so freely on certain moral matters, and contended that while
they had sometimes used language which prudish people might condemn as
indecent, they had done so from the loftiest motives, and had always
maintained among themselves a high standard of purity. At the close
of the volume was the Brethren's "Church Litany," revised by Sherlock,
Bishop of London, a glossary of their religious terms, and a pathetic
request that if the reader was not satisfied yet he should ask for
further information. The volume was a challenge to the public. It was an
honest manifesto of the Brethren's principles, a declaration that they
had nothing to conceal, and a challenge to their enemies to do their

The next task of Zinzendorf was to comfort the Brethren's friends. At
this period, while Zinzendorf was resident in London, the whole cause
of the Brethren in England was growing at an amazing pace; and
in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Wiltshire,
Gloucestershire, Dublin, and the North of Ireland, the members of
the numerous societies and preaching places were clamouring for full
admission to the Moravian Church. They assumed a very natural attitude.
On the one hand, they wanted to become Moravians; on the other, they
objected to the system of discipline enforced so strictly in the
settlements, and contended that though it might suit in Germany, it
was not fit for independent Britons. But Zinzendorf gave a clear and
crushing answer. For the benefit of all good Britons who wished to join
the Moravian Church without accepting the Moravian discipline, he issued
what he called a "Consolatory Letter";[127] and the consolation that he
gave them was that he could not consider their arguments for a
moment. He informed them that the Brethren's rules were so strict that
candidates could only be received with caution; that the Brethren had
no desire to disturb those whose outward mode of religion was already
fixed; that they lived in a mystical communion with Christ which others
might not understand; and, finally, that they refused point-blank to
rob the other Churches of their members, and preferred to act "as a
seasonable assistant in an irreligious age, and as a most faithful
servant to the other Protestant Churches." Thus were the society members
blackballed; and thus did Zinzendorf prove in England that, with all his
faults, he was never a schismatic or a poacher on others' preserves.

Meanwhile, the battle of the books had begun. The first blow was struck
by John Wesley. For the last seven years--as his Journal shows--he had
seen but little of the Brethren, and was, therefore, not in a position
to pass a fair judgment on their conduct; but, on the other hand, he
had seen no reason to alter his old opinion, and still regarded them as
wicked Antinomians. The Act of Parliament aroused his anger. He obtained
a copy of Zinzendorf's Acta Fratrum, and published a pamphlet[128] summarizing its contents, with characteristic comments of his own
{1750.}. He signed himself "A Lover of the Light." His pamphlet was a
fierce attack upon the Brethren. The very evidence that had convinced
the Parliamentary Committee was a proof to Wesley that the Brethren
were heretics and deceivers. He accused them of having deceived the
Government and of having obtained their privileges by false pretences.
He asserted that they had brought forward documents which gave
an erroneous view of their principles and conduct. He hinted that
Zinzendorf, in one document, claimed for himself the power, which
belonged by right to the King and Parliament only, to transport his
Brethren beyond the seas, and that he had deceived the Committee
by using the milder word "transfer." He accused the Brethren of
hypocritical pretence, threw doubts upon their assumed reluctance to
steal sheep from other churches, and hinted that while they rejected the
poor they welcomed the rich with open arms. At the close of his pamphlet
he declared his conviction that the chief effect of the Brethren's
religion was to fill the mind with absurd ideas about the Side-Wound
of Christ, and rivers and seas of blood; and, therefore, he earnestly
besought all Methodists who had joined the Church of the Brethren to
quit their diabolical delusions, to flee from the borders of Sodom,
and to leave these Brethren, loved the darkness and rejected the Holy

The next attack was of a milder nature. At Melbourne, in Derbyshire,
the Brethren had a small society; and George Baddeley, the local curate,
being naturally shocked that so many of his parishioners had ceased to
attend the Parish Church, appealed to them in a pamphlet entitled, "A
Kind and Friendly Letter to the People called Moravians at Melbourne, in
Derbyshire." And kind and friendly the pamphlet certainly was. For the
Brethren, as he knew them by personal contact, George Baddeley professed
the highest respect; and all that he had to say against them was that
they had helped to empty the Parish Church, and had ignorantly taught
the people doctrines contrary to Holy Scripture. They made a sing-song,
he complained, of the doctrine of the cleansing blood of Christ; they
had driven the doctrine of imputation too far, and had spoken of Christ
as a personal sinner; they had taught that Christians were as holy as
God, and co-equal with Christ, that believers were not to pray, that
there were no degrees in faith, and that all who had not full assurance
of faith were children of the devil. The pamphlet is instructive. It was
not an accurate account of the Brethren's teaching; but it shows what
impression their teaching made on the mind of an evangelical country

Another writer, whose name is unknown, denounced the Brethren in his
pamphlet "Some Observations." He had read Zinzendorf's Acta Fratrum, was
convinced that the Brethren were Papists, and feared that now the Act
was passed they would spread their Popish doctrines in the colonies. For
this judgment the chief evidence he summoned was a passage in the volume
expounding the Brethren's doctrine of the Sacrament; and in his
opinion their doctrine was so close to Transubstantiation that ordinary
Protestants could not tell the difference between the two.

At Spondon, near Derby, lived Gregory Oldknow; and Gregory published a
pamphlet entitled, "Serious Objections to the Pernicious Doctrines of
the Moravians and Methodists." {1751.} As he did not explain his point
very clearly, it is hard to see what objection he had to the Brethren;
but as he called them cannibals and German pickpockets, he cannot have
had much respect for their personal character. At their love-feasts, he
said, their chief object was to squeeze money from the poor. At some of
their services they played the bass viol, and at others they did not,
which plainly showed that they were unsteady in their minds. And,
therefore, they were a danger to Church and State.

At Dublin, John Roche, a Churchman, published his treatise {1751.}, the
"Moravian Heresy." His book was published by private subscription, and
among the subscribers were the Archbishop of Armagh, the Bishops of
Meath, Raphoe, Waterford, Clogher, Kilmore, Kildare, Derry, and Down
and Connor, and several deans, archdeacons and other Irish clergymen. He
denounced the Brethren as Antinomians. It is worth while noting what he
meant by this term. "The moral acts of a believer," said the Brethren,
"are not acts of duty that are necessary to give him a share in the
merits of Christ, but acts of love which he is excited to pay the Lamb
for the salvation already secured to him, if he will but unfeignedly
believe it to be so. Thus every good act of a Moravian is not from a
sense of duty, but from a sense of gratitude." Thus Roche denounced as
Antinomian the very doctrine now commonly regarded as evangelical.
He said, further, that the Moravians suffered from hideous diseases
inflicted on them by the devil; but the chief interest of his book is
the proof it offers of the strength of the Brethren at that time. He
wrote when both Cennick and Wesley had been in Dublin; but Cennick to
him seemed the really dangerous man. At first he intended to expose both
Moravians and Methodists. "But," he added, "the Moravians being the
more dangerous, subtle and powerful sect, and I fear will be the more
obstinate, I shall treat of them first."

For the next attack the Brethren were themselves to blame. As the
Brethren had sunk some thousands of pounds at Herrnhaag, they should now
have endeavoured to husband their resources; and yet, at a Synod held in
London, 1749, they resolved to erect choir-houses in England. At Lindsey
House they sunk £12,000; at Fulneck, in Yorkshire they sunk thousands
more; at Bedford they sunk thousands more; and meanwhile they were
spending thousands more in the purchase and lease of building land,
and in the support of many preachers in the rapidly increasing country
congregations. And here they made an amazing business blunder. Instead
of cutting their coat according to their cloth, they relied on a
fictitious capital supposed to exist on the Continent. At one time John
Wesley paid a visit to Fulneck, saw the buildings in course of erection,
asked how the cost would be met, and received, he says, the astounding
answer that the money "would come from beyond the sea."

At this point, to make matters worse, Mrs. Stonehouse, a wealthy
Moravian, died; and one clause in her will was that, when her husband
followed her to the grave, her property should then be devoted to the
support of the Church Diaconies. Again the English Brethren made a
business blunder. Instead of waiting till Mr. Stonehouse died, and the
money was actually theirs, they relied upon it as prospective capital,
and indulged in speculations beyond their means; and, to cut a long
story short, the sad fact has to be recorded that, by the close of 1752,
the Moravian Church in England was about £30,000 in debt. As soon as
Zinzendorf heard the news, he rushed heroically to the rescue, gave
security for £10,000, dismissed the managers of the Diaconies, and
formed a new board of administration.

But the financial disease was too deep-seated to be so easily cured. The
managers of the English Diaconies had been extremely foolish. They had
invested £67,000 with one Gomez Serra, a Portuguese Jew. Gomez Serra
suddenly stopped payment, the £67,000 was lost, and thus the Brethren's
liabilities were now nearly £100,000 {1752.}. Again Zinzendorf, in
generous fashion, came to the rescue of his Brethren. He acted in
England exactly as he had acted at Herrnhaag. He discovered before long,
to his dismay, that many of the English Brethren had invested money
in the Diaconies, and that now they ran the serious danger of being
imprisoned for debt. He called a meeting of the creditors, pledged
himself for the whole sum, and suggested a plan whereby the debt
could be paid off in four years. We must not, of course, suppose that
Zinzendorf himself proposed to pay the whole £100,000 out of his own
estates. For the present he made himself responsible, but he confidently
relied on the Brethren to repay their debt to him as soon as possible.
At all events, the creditors accepted his offer; and all that the
Brethren needed now was time to weather the storm.

At this point George Whitefield interfered, and nearly sent the Moravian
ship to the bottom {1753.}. He appealed to the example of Moses and
Paul. As Moses, he said, had rebuked the Israelites when they made the
golden calf, and as Paul had resisted Peter and Barnabas when carried
away with the dissimulation of the Jews, so he, as a champion of the
Church of Christ, could hold his peace no longer. He attacked the
Count in a fiery pamphlet, entitled, "An Expostulatory Letter to Count
Zinzendorf." The pamphlet ran to a second edition, and was circulated in
Germany. He began by condemning Moravian customs as unscriptural. "Pray,
my lord," he said, "what instances have we of the first Christians
walking round the graves of their deceased friends on Easter-Day,
attended with haut-boys, trumpets, French horns, violins and other
kinds of musical instruments? Or where have we the least mention made
of pictures of particular persons being brought into the first Christian
assemblies, and of candles being placed behind them, in order to give
a transparent view of the figures? Where was it ever known that the
picture of the apostle Paul, representing him handing a gentleman
and lady up to the side of Jesus Christ, was ever introduced into the
primitive love-feasts? Again, my lord, I beg leave to inquire whether
we hear anything of eldresses or deaconesses of the apostolical churches
seating themselves before a table covered with artificial flowers,
against that a little altar surrounded with wax tapers, on which stood
a cross, composed either of mock or real diamonds, or other glittering
stones?" As the Brethren, therefore, practised customs which had no
sanction in the New Testament, George Whitefield concluded that they
were encouraging Popery. At this period the Brethren were certainly
fond of symbols; and on one occasion, as the London Diary records, Peter
Boehler entered Fetter Lane Chapel, arrayed in a white robe to symbolize
purity, and a red sash tied at the waist to symbolize the cleansing
blood of Christ. But the next point in Whitefield's "letter" was cruel.
At the very time when Zinzendorf was giving his money to save his
English Brethren from a debtor's prison, Whitefield accused him and his
Brethren alike of robbery and fraud. He declared that Zinzendorf was
£40,000 in debt; that there was little hope that he would ever pay; that
his allies were not much better; and that the Brethren had deceived the
Parliamentary Committee by representing themselves as men of means. At
the very time, said Whitefield, when the Moravian leaders were boasting
in Parliament of their great possessions, they were really binding down
their English members for thousands more than they could pay. They drew
bills on tradesmen without their consent; they compelled simple folk to
sell their estates, seized the money, and then sent the penniless owners
abroad; and they claimed authority to say to the rich, "Either give
us all thou hast, or get thee gone." For these falsehoods Whitefield
claimed, no doubt quite honestly, to have good evidence; and to prove
his point he quoted the case of a certain Thomas Rhodes. Poor Rhodes,
said Whitefield, was one of the Brethren's victims. They had first
persuaded him to sell a valuable estate; they had then seized part of
his money to pay their debts; and at last they drained his stores so dry
that he had to sell them his watch, bureau, horse and saddle, to fly to
France, and to leave his old mother to die of starvation in England.
For a while this ridiculous story was believed; and the Brethren's
creditors, in a state of panic, pressed hard for their money. The little
Church of the Brethren was now on the brink of ruin. At one moment
Zinzendorf himself expected to be thrown into prison, and was only
saved in the nick of time by the arrival of money from Germany. But the
English Brethren now showed their manhood. The very men whom Zinzendorf
was supposed to have robbed now rose in his defence. Instead of thanking
Whitefield for defending them in their supposed distresses, they formed
a committee, drew up a statement,[129] dedicated that statement to the
Archbishop of York, and declared that there was not a word of truth
in Whitefield's charges. They had not, they declared, been robbed by
Zinzendorf and the Moravian leaders; on the contrary, they had received
substantial benefits from them. Thomas Rhodes himself proved Whitefield
in the wrong. He wrote a letter to his own lawyer; James Hutton
published extracts from the letter, and in that letter Rhodes declared
that he had sold his estate of his own free will, that the Brethren had
paid a good price, and that he and his mother were living in perfect
comfort. Thus was Whitefield's fiction exploded, and the Brethren's
credit restored.

But the next attack was still more deadly. At the time when Whitefield
wrote his pamphlet there had already appeared a book entitled "A Candid
Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Herrnhuters"; and Whitefield
himself had read the book and had allowed it to poison his mind {1753.}.
The author was Henry Rimius.[130] He had been Aulic Councillor to the
King of Prussia, had met Moravians in Germany, and now lived in Oxenden
Street, London. For two years this scribbler devoted his energies to
an attempt to paint the Brethren in such revolting colours that
the Government would expel them from the country. His method was
unscrupulous and immoral. He admitted, as he had to admit, that such
English Brethren as he knew were excellent people; and yet he gave the
impression in his books that the whole Moravian Church was a sink of
iniquity. He directed his main attack against Zinzendorf and the old
fanatics at Herrnhaag; and thus he made the English Brethren suffer
for the past sins of their German cousins. He accused the Brethren of
deceiving the House of Commons. He would now show them up in their true
colours. "No Government," he said, "that harbours them can be secure
whilst their leaders go on at the rate they have done hitherto." He
accused them of holding immoral principles dangerous to Church and
State. They held, he said, that Christ could make the most villainous
act to be virtue, and the most exalted virtue to be vice. They spoke
with contempt of the Bible, and condemned Bible reading as dangerous.
They denounced the orthodox theology as fit only for dogs and swine, and
described the priests of other Churches as professors of the devil.
They called themselves the only true Church, the Church of the Lamb, the
Church of Blood and Wounds; and claimed that, on the Judgment Day, they
would shine forth in all their splendour and be the angels coming in
glory. At heart, however, they were not Protestants at all, but Atheists
in disguise; and the real object of all their plotting was to set up
a godless empire of their own. They claimed to be independent of
government. They employed a secret gang of informers. They had their own
magistrates, their own courts of justice, and their own secret laws. At
their head was Zinzendorf, their Lord Advocate, with the authority of a
Pope. As no one could join the Moravian Church without first promising
to abandon the use of his reason, and submit in all things to his
leaders, those leaders could guide them like little children into the
most horrid enterprizes. At Herrnhaag the Brethren had established an
independent state, and had robbed the Counts of Büdingen of vast sums
of money; and, if they were allowed to do so, they would commit similar
crimes in England. They had a fund called the Lamb's Chest, to which all
their members were bound to contribute. The power of their Elders was
enormous. At any moment they could marry a couple against their will,
divorce them when they thought fit, tear children from their parents,
and dispatch them to distant corners of the earth. But the great object
of the Moravians, said Rimius, was to secure liberty for themselves to
practise their sensual abominations. He supported his case by quoting
freely, not only from Zinzendorf's sermons, but also from certain German
hymn-books which had been published at Herrnhaag during the "Sifting
Time"; and as he gave chapter and verse for his statements, he succeeded
in covering the Brethren with ridicule. He accused them of blasphemy and
indecency. They spoke of Christ as a Tyburn bird, as digging for roots,
as vexed by an aunt, and as sitting in the beer-house among the scum of
society. They sang hymns to the devil. They revelled in the most hideous
and filthy expressions, chanted the praises of lust and sensuality,
and practised a number of sensual abominations too loathsome to be
described. At one service held in Fetter Lane, Count Zinzendorf, said
Rimius, had declared that the seventh commandment was not binding on
Christians, and had recommended immorality to his congregation.[131] It is
impossible to give the modern reader a true idea of the shocking picture
of the Brethren painted by Rimius. For malice, spite, indecency
and unfairness, his works would be hard to match even in the vilest
literature of the eighteenth century. As his books came out in rapid
succession, the picture he drew grew more and more disgusting. He wrote
in a racy, sometimes jocular style; and, knowing the dirty taste of the
age, he pleased his public by retailing anecdotes as coarse as any in
the "Decameron." His chief object was probably to line his own pockets.
His first book, "The Candid Narrative," sold well. But his attack was
mean and unjust. It is true that he quoted quite correctly from the
silly literature of the Sifting-Time; but he carefully omitted to state
the fact that that literature had now been condemned by the Brethren
themselves, and that only a few absurd stanzas had appeared in English.
At the same time, in the approved fashion of all scandal-mongers,
he constantly gave a false impression by tearing passages from their
original connection. As an attack on the English Brethren, his work was
dishonest. He had no solid evidence to bring against them. From first to
last he wrote almost entirely of the fanatics at Herrnhaag, and fathered
their sins upon the innocent Brethren in England.

Meanwhile, however, a genuine eye-witness was telling a terrible tale.
He named his book {1753.}, "The True and Authentic Account of Andrew
Frey." For four years, he said, he lived among the Brethren in
Germany, travelled about helping to form societies, and settled down at
Marienborn, when the fanaticism there was in full bloom. He was known
among the Brethren as Andrew the Great. As he wore a long beard, he was
considered rather eccentric. At Marienborn he saw strange sights and
heard strange doctrine. At their feasts the Brethren ate like gluttons
and drank till they were tipsy. "All godliness, all devotion, all
piety," said Rubusch, the general Elder of all the Single Brethren on
the Continent, "are no more than so many snares of the devil. Things
must be brought to this pass in the community, that nothing shall be
spoken of but wounds, wounds, wounds. All other discourse, however
Scriptural and pious, must be spued out and trampled under foot."
Another, Vieroth, a preacher in high repute among the Brethren, said, in
a sermon at Marienborn castle church: "Nothing gives the devil greater
joy than to decoy into good works, departing from evil, shalling and
willing, trying, watching and examining those souls who have experienced
anything of the Saviour's Grace in their hearts." Another, Calic, had
defended self-indulgence. "Anyone," he said, "having found lodging, bed
and board in the Lamb's wounds cannot but be merry and live according to
nature; so that when such a one plays any pranks that the godly ones cry
out against them as sins, the Saviour is so far from being displeased
therewith that he rejoices the more." In vain Frey endeavoured to
correct these cross-air birds; they denounced him as a rogue. He
appealed to Zinzendorf, and found to his dismay that the Count was as
depraved as the rest. "Do not suffer yourselves to be molested in your
merriment," said that trumpet of Satan; and others declared that the
Bible was dung, and only fit to be trampled under foot. At last Andrew,
disgusted beyond all measure, could restrain his soul no longer; and
telling the Brethren they were the wickedest sect that had appeared
since the days of the Apostles, and profoundly thankful that their
gilded poison had not killed his soul, he turned his back on them for
The next smiter of the Brethren was Lavington, Bishop of Exeter. He
called his book "The Moravians Compared and Detected." He had already
denounced the Methodists in his "Enthusiasm of Methodists and Papists
Compared" {1754.}; and now he described the Brethren as immoral
characters, fitted to enter a herd of swine. In a pompous introduction
he explained his purpose, and that purpose was the suppression of the
"Brethren's Church in England." "With respect to the settlement of
the Moravians in these kingdoms," he said, "it seems to have been
surreptitiously obtained, under the pretence of their being a peaceable
and innocent sort of people. And peaceable probably they will remain
while they are permitted, without control, to ruin families and riot in
their debaucheries." Of all the attacks upon the Brethren, this book
by Lavington was the most offensive and scurrilous; and the Brethren
themselves could hardly believe that it was written by a Bishop. It was
unfit for a decent person to read. The good Bishop knew nothing of his
subject. As he could not read the German language, he had to rely for
his information on the English editions of the works of Rimius and Frey;
and all he did was to collect in one volume the nastiest passages in
their indictments, compare the Brethren with certain queer sects of the
Middle Ages, and thus hold them up before the public as filthy dreamers
and debauchees of the vilest order.

And now, to give a finishing touch to the picture, John Wesley arose
once more {1755.}. He, too, had swallowed the poison of Rimius and Frey,
and a good deal of other poison as well. At Bedford a scandal-monger
informed him that the Brethren were the worst paymasters in the town;
and at Holbeck another avowed that the Brethren whom he had met in
Yorkshire were quite as bad as Rimius had stated. As Wesley printed
these statements in his journal they were soon read in every county in
England. But Wesley himself did not assert that these statements were
true. He wished, he said, to be quite fair to the Brethren; he wished
to give them a chance of clearing themselves; and, therefore, he now
published his pamphlet entitled "Queries to Count Zinzendorf." It
contained the whole case in a nutshell. For the sum of sixpence the
ordinary reader had now the case against the Brethren in a popular and
handy form.

Thus the Brethren, attacked from so many sides, were bound to bestir
themselves in self-defence. The burden of reply fell on Zinzendorf.
His life and conversation were described as scandalous; his hymns
were denounced as filthy abominations, and his discourses as pleas
for immorality; and the Brethren for whose sake he had sacrificed
his fortune were held up before the British public as political
conspirators, atheists, robbers of the poor, kidnappers of children,
ruiners of families, and lascivious lovers of pleasure. But the Count
was a busy man. James Hutton says that he worked on the average eighteen
hours a day. He was constantly preaching, writing, relieving the
distressed, paying other people's debts, and providing the necessaries
of life for a hundred ministers of the Gospel. He had dealt with similar
accusations in Germany, had published a volume containing a thousand
answers to a thousand questions, and was loth to go over the whole
ground again. For some time he clung to the hope that the verdict
of Parliament and the common sense of Englishmen would be sufficient
protection against abuse; and he gallantly defended the character of
Rimius, and spoke with generous enthusiasm of Whitefield. The best
friends of the Brethren, such as Lord Granville and the Bishops of
London and Worcester, advised them to treat Rimius with contemptuous
silence. But a reply became a necessity. As long as the Brethren
remained silent, their enemies asserted that this very silence was a
confession of guilt; and some mischievous scoundrel, in the name, but
without the consent, of the Brethren, inserted a notice in the General
Advertiser that they intended to reply to Rimius in detail. For these
reasons, therefore, Zinzendorf, James Hutton, Frederick Neisser, and
others who preferred to write anonymously, now issued a series of
defensive pamphlets.[133] The Count offered to lay before the public a
full statement of his financial affairs; and James Hutton, in a notice
in several newspapers, promised to answer any reasonable questions. It
is needless to give the Brethren's defence in detail. The plain facts of
the case were beyond all dispute. In two ways the accusations of Rimius
and Frey were out of court. First they accused the whole Church of the
Brethren of sins which had only been committed by a few fanatics at
Marienborn and Herrnhaag; and, secondly, that fanaticism had practically
ceased before the Act of Parliament was passed. The Count here stood
upon firm ground. He pointed out that the accusers of the Brethren had
nearly always taken care to go to the Wetterau for their material; and
he contended that it was a shame to blame innocent Englishmen for the
past sins, long ago abandoned, of a few foreign fanatics. He appealed
confidently to the public. "We are so well known to our neighbours," he
said, "that all our clearing ourselves of accusations appears to them
quite needless." In reply to the charge of using indecent language, he
contended that his purpose was good, and justified by the results; and
that, as soon as he found himself misunderstood, he had cut out all
doubtful phrases from his discourses.

James Hutton explained their use of childish language. At this period
the Brethren, in some of their hymns, used a number of endearing
epithets which would strike the modern reader as absurd. For example,
they spoke of the little Lamb, the little Jesus, the little Cross-air
Bird. But even here they were not so childish as their critics imagined.
The truth was, these phrases were Bohemian in origin. In the Bohemian
language diminutives abound. In Bohemia a servant girl is addressed as
"demercko"--i.e., little, little maid; and the literal translation of
"mug mily Bozicko"--a phrase often used in public worship--is "my dear,
little, little God."

But the Brethren had a better defence than writing pamphlets. Instead of
taking too much notice of their enemies, they began to set their English
house in order. For the first time they now published an authorized
collection of English Moravian hymns {1754.}; and in the preface they
clearly declared their purpose. The purpose was twofold: first,
the proclamation of the Gospel; second, the cultivation of personal
holiness. If we judge this book by modern standards, we shall certainly
find it faulty; but, on the other hand, it must be remembered that it
rendered a very noble service to the Christianity of the eighteenth
century. The chief burden of the hymns was Ecce Homo. If the Brethren
had never done anything else, they had at least placed the sufferings of
Christ in the forefront of their message. With rapturous enthusiasm the
Brethren depicted every detail of the Passion History; and thus they
reminded their hearers of events which ordinary Christians had almost
forgotten. At times the language they used was gruesome; and, lost in
mystic adoration, the Brethren, in imagination, trod the Via Dolorosa.
They nestled in the nail-prints; they kissed the spear; they gazed
with rapt and holy awe on the golden head, the raven locks, the pallid
cheeks, the foaming lips, the melting eyes, the green wreath of thorns,
the torn sinews, the great blue wounds, and the pierced palms, like
rings of gold, beset with rubies red. In one stanza they abhorred
themselves as worms; in the next they rejoiced as alabaster doves; and,
glorying in the constant presence of the Well-Beloved, they feared not
the King of Terrors, and calmly sang of death as "the last magnetic
kiss, to consummate their bliss." But, despite its crude and extravagant
language, this hymn-book was of historic importance. At that time
the number of hymn-books in England was small; the Anglicans had no
hymn-book at all, and never sang anything but Psalms; and thus the
Brethren were among the first to make the adoration of Christ in song
an essential part of public worship. It was here that the Brethren
excelled, and here that they helped to free English Christianity from
the chilling influence of Deism. The whole point was quaintly expressed
by Bishop John Gambold:--

   The Doctrine of the Unitas
     By Providence was meant,
   In Christendom's degenerate days,
     That cold lump to ferment,
   From Scripture Pearls to wipe the dust,
   Give blood-bought grace its compass just,
     In praxis, truth from shew to part,
      God's Power from Ethic Art.

But the last line must not be misunderstood. It did not mean that the
Brethren despised ethics. Of all the charges brought against them, the
charge that they were Antinomians was the most malicious and absurd.
At the very time when their enemies were accusing them of teaching that
good works were of no importance, they inserted in their Litany for
Sunday morning worship a number of petitions which were alone enough to
give that charge the lie. The petitions were as follows:--

   O! that we might never see a necessitous person go unrelieved!
   O! that we might see none suffer for want of clothing!
   O! that we might be eyes to the blind and feet to the lame!
   O! that we could refresh the heart of the Fatherless!
   O! that we could mitigate the burden of the labouring man, and be
   ourselves not ministered unto but minister!
   Feed its with that princely repast of solacing others!
   O! that the blessing of him who was ready to perish might come
   upon us!
   Yea! may our hearts rejoice to see it go well with our enemies.

Again, therefore, as in their hymns, the Brethren laid stress on the
humane element in Christianity.[134]
But their next retort to their enemies was the grandest of all. At a
Synod held in Lindsey House, they resolved that a Book of Statutes was
needed, and requested Zinzendorf to prepare one {1754.}. The Count was
in a quandary. He could see that a Book of Statutes was required, but he
could not decide what form it should take. If he framed the laws in
his own language, his critics would accuse him of departing from the
Scriptures; and if he used the language of Scripture, the same critics
would accuse him of hedging and of having some private interpretation of
the Bible. At length he decided to use the language of Scripture. He was
so afraid of causing offence that, Greek scholar though he was, he felt
bound to adhere to the Authorised Version. If Zinzendorf had used his
own translation his enemies would have accused him of tampering with
the Word of God. The book appeared. It was entitled, Statutes: or the
General Principles of Practical Christianity, extracted out of the New
Testament. It was designed for the use of all English Moravians, and was
sanctioned and adopted by the Synod on May 12th, 1755. It was thorough
and systematic. For fathers and mothers, for sons and daughters, for
masters and servants, for governors and governed, for business men, for
bishops and pastors, the appropriate commandments were selected from
the New Testament. In a printed notice on the title page, the Brethren
explained their own interpretation of those commandments. "Lest it
should be thought," they said, "that they seek, perhaps, some subterfuge
in the pretended indeterminate nature of Scripture-style, they know very
well that it becomes them to understand every precept and obligation in
the same manner as the generality of serious Christians understand the
same (and this is a thing, God be praised, pretty well fixed), or, if
at all differently, then always stricter." The purpose of the book was
clear. It was a handy guide to daily conduct. It was meant to be learned
by heart, and was issued in such size and form that it could be carried
about in the pocket. It was "a faithful monitor to souls who, having
been first washed through the blood of Jesus, do now live in the Spirit,
to walk also in the Spirit." To the Brethren this little Christian guide
was a treasure. As long as they ordered their daily conduct by these
"convenient rules for the house of their pilgrimage," they could smile
at the sneers of Rimius and his supporters. The Moravian influence in
England was now at high tide. At the very time when their enemies were
denouncing them as immoral Antinomians, they established their strongest
congregations at Fulneck, Gomersal, Wyke, Mirfield, Dukinfield, Bristol,
and Gracehill {1755.}; and in all their congregations the "Statutes"
were enforced with an iron hand.

Thus did the Brethren repel the attacks of their assailants. From this
chapter one certain conclusion follows. The very fact that the Brethren
were so fiercely attacked is a proof how strong they were. As the reader
wanders over England, he may see, if he knows where to look, memorials
of their bygone labours. In Northampton is an auction room that was once
a Moravian chapel. In Bullock Smithy is a row of cottages named "Chapel
Houses," where now the Brethren are forgotten. In a private house at
Bolton, Lancashire, will be found a cupboard that was once a Moravian
Pulpit. In Wiltshire stands the "two o'clock chapel," where Cennick used
to preach. We may learn much from such memorials as these. We may learn
that the Brethren played a far greater part in the Evangelical Revival
than most historians have recognised; that they worked more like the
unseen leaven than like the spreading mustard tree; that they hankered
not after earthly pomp, and despised what the world calls success; and
that, reviled, insulted, and misrepresented, they pursued their quiet
way, content with the reward which man cannot give.


In order to have a clear view of the events recorded in this chapter, we
must bear in mind that the Brethren worked according to a definite Plan;
they generally formed their "Plan" by means of the Lot; and this "Plan,"
speaking broadly, was of a threefold nature. The Brethren had three
ideals: First, they were not sectarians. Instead of trying to extend the
Moravian Church at the expense of other denominations, they consistently
endeavoured, wherever they went, to preach a broad and comprehensive
Gospel, to avoid theological disputes, to make peace between the sects,
and to unite Christians of all shades of belief in common devotion to a
common Lord. Secondly, by establishing settlements, they endeavoured to
unite the secular and the sacred. At these settlements they deliberately
adopted, for purely religious purposes, a form of voluntary religious
socialism. They were not, however, socialists or communists by
conviction; they had no desire to alter the laws of property; and they
established their communistic organization, not from any political
motives, but because they felt that, for the time at least, it would be
the most economical, would foster Christian fellowship, would sanctify
daily labour, and would enable them, poor men though they were, to find
ways and means for the spread of the Gospel. And thirdly, the Brethren
would preach that Gospel to all men, civilized or savage, who had not
heard it before. With these three ideals before us, we trace their
footsteps in North America.

The first impulse sprang from the kindness of Zinzendorf's heart. At
Görlitz, a town a few miles from Herrnhut, there dwelt a small body of
Schwenkfelders; and the King of Saxony issued an edict banishing
them from his dominions {1733.}. As soon as Zinzendorf heard of their
troubles he longed to find them a home. He opened negotiations with the
trustees of the Colony of Georgia. The negotiations were successful.
The Governor of Georgia, General Oglethorpe, was glad to welcome good
workmen; a parcel of land was offered, and the poor Schwenkfelders,
accompanied by Böhnisch, a Moravian Brother, set off for their American
home. For some reason, however, they changed their minds on the way,
and, instead of settling down in Georgia, went on to Pennsylvania. The
land in Georgia was now crying out for settlers. At Herrnhut trouble
was brewing. If the spirit of persecution continued raging, the Brethren
themselves might soon be in need of a home. The Count took time by the
forelock. As soon as the storm burst over Herrnhut, the Brethren might
have to fly; and, therefore, he now sent Spangenberg to arrange terms
with General Oglethorpe. Again the negotiations were successful; the
General offered the Brethren a hundred acres; and a few weeks later, led
by Spangenberg, the first batch of Moravian colonists arrived in Georgia
{1734.}. The next batch was the famous company on the Simmonds. The new
settlement was on the banks of the Savannah River. For some years,
with Spangenberg as general manager, the Brethren tried to found a
flourishing farm colony. The learned Spangenberg was a practical man. In
spite of the fact that he had been a University lecturer, he now put
his hand to the plough like a labourer to the manner born. He was the
business agent; he was the cashier; he was the spiritual leader; he was
the architect; and he was the medical adviser. As the climate of Georgia
was utterly different from the climate of Saxony, he perceived at once
that the Brethren would have to be careful in matters of diet, and
rather astonished the Sisters by giving them detailed instructions about
the cooking of rice and beef. The difference between him and Zinzendorf
was enormous. At St. Croix, a couple of years before, a band of Moravian
Missionaries had died of fever; and while Zinzendorf immortalized their
exploits in a hymn, the practical Spangenberg calmly considered how such
heroic tragedies could be prevented in the future. In political matters
he was equally far-seeing. As the Brethren were now in an English
colony, it was, he said, their plain duty to be naturalized as
Englishmen as soon as possible; and, therefore, in a letter to
Zinzendorf, he implored him to become a British subject himself, to
secure for the Brethren the rights of English citizens, and, above all,
if possible to obtain letters patent relieving the Brethren from the
obligation to render military service. But on Zinzendorf all this wisdom
was thrown away. Already the ruin of the colony was in sight. At the
very time when the Brethren's labours should have been crowned with
success, Captain Jenkins, at the bar of the House of Commons, was
telling how his ear had been cut off by Spaniards {1738.}. The great
war between England and Spain broke out. The chief aim of Spain was to
destroy our colonial supremacy in America. Spanish soldiers threatened
Georgia. The Brethren were summoned to take to arms and help to defend
the colony against the foe. But the Brethren objected to taking arms
at all. The farm colony was abandoned; and the scene shifts to

Meanwhile, the good Spangenberg had been busy in Pennsylvania, looking
after the interests of the Schwenkfelders. He attended their meetings,
wore their clothing--a green coat, without buttons or pockets--studied
the works of Schwenkfeld, and organized them into what he called an
"Economy." In other words, he taught them to help each other by joining
in common work on a communist basis. At the same time, he tried to teach
them to be a little more broad-minded, and not to quarrel so much with
other Christians. But the more he talked of brotherly love the more
bigoted the poor Schwenkfelders became. At this time the colony had
become a nest of fanatics. For some years, in response to the generous
offers of Thomas Penn, all sorts of persecuted refugees had fled
to Pennsylvania; and now the land was infested by a motley group of
Episcopalians, Quakers, Baptists, Separatists, Sabbatarians, Unitarians,
Lutherans, Calvinists, Memnonites, Presbyterians, Independents, Inspired
Prophets, Hermits, Newborn Ones, Dunckers, and Protestant Monks and
Nuns. Thus the land was filled with "religions" and almost empty of
religion. Instead of attending to the spiritual needs of the people,
each Church or sect was trying to prove itself in the right and all the
others in the wrong; and the only principle on which they agreed was the
principle of disagreeing with each other. The result was heathendom and
babel. Most of the people attended neither church nor chapel; most of
the parents were unbaptized, and brought up their children in ignorance;
and, according to a popular proverb of the day, to say that a man
professed the Pennsylvania religion was a polite way of calling him an

As soon, therefore, as Zinzendorf heard from Spangenberg of these
disgraceful quarrels a glorious vision rose before his mind; and the
conviction flashed upon him that Pennsylvania was the spot where the
Brethren's broad evangel was needed most. There, in the midst of the
quarrelling sects he would plant the lily of peace; there, where the
cause of unity seemed hopeless, he would realize the prayer of Christ,
"that they all may be one." For two reason, America seemed to him the
true home of the ideal Church of the Brethren. First, there was no State
Church; and, therefore, whatever line he took, he could not be accused
of causing a schism. Secondly, there was religious liberty; and,
therefore, he could work out his ideas without fear of being checked by
edicts. For these reasons he first sent out another batch of colonists,
led by Bishop Nitschmann; and then, in due time, he arrived on the scene
himself. The first move had the promise of good. At the spot the Lehigh
and the Monocany meet the Brethren had purchased a plot of ground
{1741}; they all lived together in one log-house; they proposed to build
a settlement like Herrnhut; and there, one immortal Christmas Eve, Count
Zinzendorf conducted a consecration service. Above them shone the keen,
cold stars, God's messengers of peace; around them ranged the babel of
strife; and the Count, remembering how the Prince of Peace had been born
in a humble wayside lodging, named the future settlement Bethlehem. The
name had a twofold meaning. It was a token of the Brethren's mission
of peace; and it reminded them that the future settlement was to be a
"House of Bread" for their evangelists.

The Count was now in his element. For two years he did his best to teach
the quarrelling sects in Pennsylvania to help and esteem each other;
and the bond of union he set before them was a common experience of the
redeeming grace of Christ. He had come to America, not as a Moravian
Bishop, but as a Lutheran clergyman; and he was so afraid of being
suspected of sectarian motives that, before he set out from London,
he had purposely laid his episcopal office aside. For some months,
therefore, he now acted as Lutheran clergyman to a Lutheran congregation
in Philadelphia; and meanwhile he issued a circular, inviting German
Christians of all denominations to meet in Conference. His purpose, to
use his own phrase, was to establish a grand "Congregation of God in the
Spirit." At first the outlook was hopeful. From all sects deputies came,
and a series of "Pennsylvanian Synods" was held. Again, however, the
Count was misled by his own ignorance of history. At this time he held
the erroneous view that the Union of Sendomir in Poland (1570) was
a beautiful union of churches brought about by the efforts of the
Brethren; he imagined also that the Bohemian Confession (1575) had been
drawn up by the Brethren; and, therefore, he very naturally concluded
that what the Brethren had accomplished in Poland and Bohemia they could
accomplish again in Pennsylvania. But the stern facts of the case were
all against him. At the very time when he was endeavouring to establish
a "Congregation of God in the Spirit" in Pennsylvania, he heard that his
own Brethren in Germany were departing from his ideals; and, therefore,
he had to return to Germany, and hand on his American work to
Spangenberg {1743.}.

For that task the broad-minded Spangenberg was admirably fitted, and now
he held a number of titles supposed to define his mission. First, he
was officially appointed "General Elder" in America; second, he was
consecrated a Bishop, and was thus head of the American Moravian Church;
and third, he was "Vicarius generalis episcoporum"; i.e., General Vicar
of the Bishops. For the next four years the Pennsylvania Synods, with
the broad-minded Spangenberg as President, continued to meet with more
or less regularity. In 1744 they met twice; in 1745 three times; in 1746
four times; in 1747 three times; and in 1748 twice. But gradually the
Synods altered in character. At first representatives attended from a
dozen different bodies; then only Lutherans, Calvinists and Moravians;
then only Moravians; and at length, when John de Watteville arrived upon
the scene, he found that for all intents and purposes the Pennsylvanian
Synod had become a Synod of the Moravian Church. He recognized the facts
of the case, abolished the "Congregation of the Spirit," and laid the
constitutional foundations of the Brethren's Church in North America
(1748). Thus Zinzendorf's scheme of union collapsed, and the first
American experiment was a failure.

Meanwhile, Bishop Spangenberg had been busy with the second. If this man
was inferior to Zinzendorf in genius he was far above him as a practical
politician. He now accomplished his "Masterpiece."[135] The task before
him was twofold. He had to find both men and money; and from the first
he bravely resolved to do without one penny of assistance from Germany.
He called his plan the "Economy," and an economical plan it certainly
was. His great principle was subdivision of labour. As the work in
America was mostly among poor people--some immigrants, others Red
Indians--he perceived that special measures must be taken to cover
expenses; and, therefore, he divided his army into two main bodies. The
one was the commissariat department; the other was the fighting line.
The one was engaged in manual labour; the other was preaching the
gospel. The one was stationed chiefly at Bethlehem; the other was
scattered in different parts of North America. About ten miles
north-west of Bethlehem the Brethren purchased a tract of land from
George Whitefield, gave it the name of Nazareth, and proposed to build
another settlement there. At first the two settlements were practically
worked as one. For eighteen years they bore between them almost the
whole financial burden of the Brethren's work in North America. There,
at the joint settlement of Bethlehem-Nazareth, the "Economy" was
established. There lay the general "camp"; there stood the home of "the
Pilgrim Band"; there was built the "School of the Prophets"; there, to
use Spangenberg's vivid phrase, was the "Saviour's Armoury." The great
purpose which the Brethren set before them was to preach the Gospel in
America without making the American people pay. Instead of having their
preachers supported by contributions from their congregations, they
would support these preachers themselves. For this task the only capital
that Spangenberg possessed was two uncultivated tracts of land, three
roomy dwelling-houses, two or three outhouses and barns, his own fertile
genius, and a body of Brethren and Sisters willing to work. His method
of work was remarkable. In order, first, to cut down the expenses of
living, he asked his workers then and there to surrender the comforts of
family life. At Bethlehem stood two large houses. In one lived all the
Single Brethren; in the other the families, all the husbands in one
part, all the wives in another, all the children (under guardians) in
the third. At Nazareth there was only one house; and there lived all the
Single Sisters. As the Sisters set off through the forest to their home
in Nazareth, they carried their spinning-wheels on their shoulders;
and two hours after their arrival in the house they were driving their
wheels with zeal. At Bethlehem the energy of all was amazing. Bishop
Spangenberg was commonly known as Brother Joseph; and Brother Joseph, in
a letter to Zinzendorf, explained the purpose of his scheme. "As Paul,"
he said, "worked with his own hands, so as to be able to preach the
Gospel without pay, so we, according to our ability, will do the same;
and thus even a child of four will be able, by plucking wool, to serve
the Gospel."

For patient devotion and heroic self-sacrifice these humble toilers at
the Bethlehem-Nazareth "Economy" are unsurpassed in the history of the
Brethren's Church. They built their own houses; they made their own
clothes and boots; they tilled the soil and provided their own meat,
vegetables, bread, milk, and eggs; they sawed their own wood, spun their
own yarn, and wove their own cloth; and then, selling at the regular
market price what was not required for their personal use, they spent
the profits in the support of preachers, teachers, and missionaries in
various parts of North America. For a motto they took the words: "In
commune oramus, in commune laboramus, in commune patimur, in commune
gaudeamus"; i.e., together we pray, together we labour, together we
suffer, together we rejoice. The motive, however, was not social, but
religious. "It is nothing," said Spangenberg himself, "but love to the
Lamb and His Church." For this cause the ploughman tilled the soil, the
women sewed, the joiner sawed, the blacksmith plied his hammer; for
this cause the fond mothers, with tears in their eyes, handed over their
children to the care of guardians, so that they themselves might be free
to toil for the Master. Thus every trade was sanctified; and thus did
all, both old and young, spend all their powers for the Gospel's sake.
If there is any distinction between secular and sacred, that distinction
was unknown at Bethlehem and Nazareth. At Bethlehem the Brethren
accounted it an honour to chop wood for the Master's sake; and the
fireman, said Spangenberg, felt his post as important "as if he were
guarding the Ark of the Covenant." For the members of each trade or
calling a special series of services was arranged; and thus every toiler
was constantly reminded that he was working not for himself but for God.
The number of lovefeasts was enormous. At the opening of the harvest
season the farm labourers held an early morning lovefeast; the discourse
was partly on spiritual topics and partly on rules of diet; then the
sickles were handed out; and the whole band, with hymns of praise on
their lips, set off for the harvest field. For days at a time the Single
Brethren would be in the forest felling trees; but before they set off
they had a lovefeast, and when they returned they had another. As soon
as the joiners had the oil-mill ready they celebrated the event in a
lovefeast. The spinners had a lovefeast once a week. The joiners, the
weavers, the cartwrights, the smiths, the hewers of wood, the milkers
of cows, the knitters, the sewers, the cooks, the washerwomen--all had
their special lovefeasts. At one time the joyful discovery was made
that a Brother had served a year in the kitchen, and was ready to serve
another; and thereupon the whole settlement held a general lovefeast
in his honour. For the mothers a special meeting was held, at which an
expert gave instructions on the art of bringing up children; and at this
meeting, while the lecturer discoursed or occasional hymns were sung,
the women were busy with their hands. One made shoes, another tailored,
another ground powder for the chemist's shop, another copied invoices
and letters, another sliced turnips, another knitted socks. For each
calling special hymns were composed and sung. If these hymns had been
published in a volume we should have had a Working-man's Hymnbook. Thus
every man and woman at Bethlehem-Nazareth had enlisted in the missionary
army. Never, surely, in the history of Protestant Christianity were
the secular and the sacred more happily wedded. "In our Economy," said
Spangenberg, "the spiritual and physical are as closely united as a
man's body and soul; and each has a marked effect upon the other." If
a man lost his touch with Christ it was noticed that he was careless in
his work; but as long as his heart was right with God his eye was clear
and his hand steady and firm. At the head of the whole concern stood
Spangenberg, a business man to the finger tips. If genius is a capacity
for taking pains, then Spangenberg was a genius of the finest order. He
drew up regulations dealing with every detail of the business, and at
his office he kept a strict account of every penny expended, every yard
of linen woven, every pound of butter made, and every egg consumed.
As long as Spangenberg was on the spot the business arrangements were
perfect; he was assisted by a Board of Directors, known as the Aufseher
Collegium; and so great was the enterprise shown that before the close
of his first period of administration the Brethren had several farms and
thirty-two industries in full working order. It was this which impressed
our House of Commons, and enabled them, in the Act of 1749, to recognize
the Brethren "as a sober and industrious people." For that Act the
credit must be given, not to the airy dreams of Zinzendorf, but to
the solid labours of Spangenberg. At the time when the Bill was under
discussion the chief stress was laid, in both Houses, on the results of
Spangenberg's labours; and so deeply was Earl Granville impressed that
he offered the Brethren a hundred thousand acres in North Carolina. At
length, accompanied by five other Brethren, Spangenberg himself set
off to view the land, selected a site, organized another "Economy,"
established two congregations, named Bethabara and Bethany, and thus
became the founder of the Southern Province of the Brethren's Church in

But his greatest success was in the Northern Province. For many years
the Brethren at Bethlehem-Nazareth maintained nearly all the preachers
in North America. In Pennsylvania they had preachers at Germantown,
Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Donegal, Heidelberg, Lebanon, Lititz,
Oley, Allemaengel, Emmaus, Salisbury, Falkner's Swamp, the Trappe,
Mahanatawny, Neshaminy, and Dansbury. In Maryland they had a station at
Graceham. In Jersey they had stations at Maurice River, Racoon, Penn's
Neck, Oldman's Creek, Pawlin's Hill, Walpack, and Brunswick; in Rhode
Island, at Newport; in Maine, at Broadbay; in New York, at Canajoharie;
and other stations at Staten Island and Long Island. They opened
fifteen schools for poor children; they paid the travelling expenses of
missionaries to Surinam and the West Indies; they maintained a number of
missionaries to the Red Indians. Thus did Spangenberg, by means of his
"Economy," establish the Moravian Church in North America. We must not
misunderstand his motives. He never made his system compulsory, and he
never intended it to last. If any Brother objected to working for the
"Economy," and preferred to trade on his own account, he was free to do
so; and as soon as the "Economy" had served its purpose it was abolished
by Spangenberg himself (1762). It is easy to object that his system
interfered with family life. It is easy to say that this Moravian Bishop
had no right to split families into sections, to herd the husbands in
one abode and the wives in another, to tear children from their mothers'
arms and place them under guardians. But Brother Joseph had his answer
to this objection. At Bethlehem, he declared, the members of the
"Economy" were as happy as birds in the sunshine; and, rejoicing in
their voluntary sacrifice, they vowed that they would rather die than
resign this chance of service. The whole arrangement was voluntary.
Not a man or woman was pressed into the service. If a man joins the
volunteers he is generally prepared, for the time being, to forego the
comforts of family life, and these gallant toilers of the "Economy" were
volunteers for God.

Another feature of Spangenberg's work was his loyalty as a British
citizen. As long as he was resident in a British Colony he considered it
his duty, German though he was, to stand by the British flag; and while
that famous war was raging which ended in the brilliant capture of
Quebec, and the conquest of Canada, Brother Joseph and the Moravian
Brethren upheld the British cause from first to last. The Red Indians
were nearly all on the side of France. As the Brethren, therefore,
preached to the Indians, they were at first suspected of treachery, and
were even accused of inciting the Indians to rebellion; but Spangenberg
proved their loyalty to the hilt. At Gnadenhütten, on the Mahony River,
the Brethren had established a Mission Station {1755.}; and there, one
night, as they sat at supper, they heard the farm dogs set up a warning

"It occurs to me," said Brother Senseman, "that the Congregation House
is still open; I will go and lock it; there may be stragglers from the
militia in the neighbourhood." And out he went.

At that moment, while Senseman was about his duty, the sound of
footsteps was heard; the Brethren opened the door; and there stood a
band of painted Indians, with rifles in their hands. The war-whoop was
raised. The first volley was fired. John Nitschmann fell dead on the
spot. As the firing continued, the Brethren and Sisters endeavoured
to take refuge in the attic; but before they could all clamber up
the stairs five others had fallen dead. The Indians set fire to the
building. The fate of the missionaries was sealed. As the flames arose,
one Brother managed to escape by a back door, another let himself down
from the window, another was captured, scalped alive, and left to die;
and the rest, huddled in the blazing garret, were roasted to death.

"Dear Saviour, it is well," said Mrs. Senseman, as the cruel flames
lapped round her; "it is well! It is what I expected."

No longer could the Brethren's loyalty be doubted; and Spangenberg
acted, on behalf of the British, with the skill of a military expert. As
he went about in his regimentals his critics remarked that he looked
far more like an army officer than an apostle of the Lord. For him the
problem to solve was, how to keep the Indians at bay; and he actually
advised the British authorities to construct a line of forts, pointed
out the strategic importance of Gnadenhütten, and offered the land for
military purposes. At Bethlehem and the other Brethren's settlements
he had sentinels appointed and barricades constructed; at all specially
vulnerable points he had blockhouses erected; and the result was that
the Brethren's settlements were among the safest places in the country.
At Bethlehem the Brethren sheltered six hundred fugitives. The plans of
Spangenberg were successful. Not a single settlement was attacked.
In spite of the war and the general unsettlement, the business of the
"Economy" went on as usual; the Brethren labouring in the harvest field
were protected by loyal Indians; and amid the panic the Brethren founded
another settlement at Lititz. Thus did Spangenberg, in a difficult
situation, act with consummate wisdom; and thus did he set an example of
loyalty for Moravian missionaries to follow in days to come.

And yet, despite his wisdom and zeal, the Moravian Church at this period
did not spread rapidly in America. For this, Zinzendorf was largely to
blame. If the Count had been a good business man, and if he had realized
the importance of the American work, he would have left the management
of that work entirely in Spangenberg's hands. But his treatment of
Spangenberg was peculiar. At first he almost ignored his existence, and
broke his heart by not answering his letters (1744-48); and then, when
he found himself in trouble, and affairs at Herrnhaag were coming to a
crisis, he sent John de Watteville in hot haste to Bethlehem, summoned
Spangenberg home, and kept him busy writing ponderous apologies. As
soon as Spangenberg had completed his task, and done his best to clear
Zinzendorf's character, he set off for Bethlehem again, and established
the Brethren's cause in North Carolina; but before he had been two years
at work the Count was in financial difficulties, and summoned him home
once more (1753). His last stay in America was his longest (1754-1762).
He was still there when Zinzendorf died. As soon as Zinzendorf was laid
in his grave the Brethren in Germany formed a Board of Management; but,
before long, they discovered that they could not do without Spangenberg.
He left America for ever. And thus Brother Joseph was lost to America
because he was indispensable in Germany.

The second cause of failure was the system of management. For the most
part the men who took Spangenberg's place in America--such as John de
Watteville and John Nitschmann--were obsessed with Zinzendorf's ideas
about settlements; and, instead of turning the numerous preaching places
into independent congregations they centralized the work round the four
chief settlements of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Lititz and Salem. We have seen
how the settlement system worked in England. It had precisely the same
result in America.

The third cause of failure was financial complications. As long as
Spangenberg was on the spot he kept the American finances independent;
but when he left for the last time the American Province was placed
under the direct control of the General Directing Board in Germany, the
American and German finances were mixed, the accounts became hopelessly
confused, and American affairs were mismanaged. It is obvious, on
the face of it, that a Directing Board with its seat in Germany was
incapable of managing efficiently a difficult work four thousand miles
away; and yet that was the system pursued for nearly a hundred years

We come now to the brightest part of our American story--the work among
the Red Indians. At this period almost the whole of North America
was the home of numerous Indian tribes. Along the upper valley of the
Tennessee River, and among the grand hills of Georgia, Alabama, and
Western Alabama were the Cherokees. In Mississippi were the Natchez;
near the town of Augusta the Uchies; between the Tennessee and the Ohio,
the Mobilians; in Central Carolina, the Catawbas; to the west of
the Mississippi the Dahcotas; in New England, New Jersey, Maryland,
Virginia, and the region stretching to the great lakes, the Delawares;
and finally, in New York, Pennsylvania, and the region enclosed by Lakes
Huron, Erie, and Ontario, the Iroquois. Thus, the Brethren in America
were surrounded by Indian tribes; and to those Indian tribes they
undertook to preach the Gospel.

The first step was taken by Christian Henry Rauch. As soon as he arrived
in Pennsylvania he offered himself for the Indian Mission, went to the
Indian town of Shekomeko {1740.}, and began to preach the Gospel in a
manner which became famous in Moravian history. First, at a Conference
in Bethlehem, the story was told by Tschoop, one of his earliest
converts; and then it was officially quoted by Spangenberg, as a typical
example of the Brethren's method of preaching. "Brethren," said Tschoop,
"I have been a heathen, and grown old among the heathen; therefore I
know how the heathen think. Once a preacher came and began to explain
that there was a God. We answered, 'Dost thou think us so ignorant as
not to know that? Go to the place whence thou camest!' Then, again,
another preacher came, and began to teach us, and to say, 'You must not
steal, nor lie, nor get drunk, and so forth.' We answered, 'Thou fool,
dost thou think that we do not know that? Learn first thyself, and then
teach the people to whom thou belongest to leave off these things. For
who steal, or lie, or who are more drunken than thine own people?' And
then we dismissed him."

But Rauch came with a very different message.

He told us of a Mighty One, the Lord of earth and sky, Who left His
glory in the Heavens, for men to bleed and die; Who loved poor Indian
sinners still, and longed to gain their love, And be their Saviour here
and in His Father's house above.

And when his tale was ended--"My friends," he gently said, "I am weary
with my journey, and would fain lay down my head; So beside our spears
and arrows he laid him down to rest, And slept as sweetly as the babe
upon its mother's breast.

Then we looked upon each other, and I whispered, "This is new; Yes, we
have heard glad tidings, and that sleeper knows them true; He knows he
has a Friend above, or would he slumber here, With men of war around
him, and the war-whoop in his ear.?"

So we told him on the morrow that he need not journey on, But stay and
tell us further of that loving, dying One; And thus we heard of Jesus
first, and felt the wondrous power, Which makes His people willing, in
His own accepted hour.

"Thus," added Tschoop, "through the grace of God an awakening took place
among us. I say, therefore, Brethren, preach Christ our Saviour, and His
sufferings and death, if you will have your words to gain entrance among
the heathen."

As soon, therefore, as Rauch had struck this note, the Brethren boldly
undertook the task of preaching to all the Red Indians in North America.
The Count himself set off to spy the land, and undertook three dangerous
missionary journeys. First, accompanied by his daughter Benigna, and
an escort of fourteen, he visited the Long Valley beyond the Blue
Mountains, met a delegation of the League of the Iroquois, and received
from them, in solemn style, a fathom made of one hundred and sixty-eight
strings of wampum {1742.}. The fathom was a sign of goodwill. If a
missionary could only show the fathom he was sure of a kindly welcome.
In his second journey Zinzendorf went to Shekomeko, organised the first
Indian Mission Church, and baptized three converts as Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob. In his third journey he visited the Wyoming Valley, and
interviewed the chiefs of the Shawanese and Mohicans. He was here in
deadly peril. As he sat one afternoon in his tent two hissing adders
darted across his body; and a few days later some suspicious Indians
plotted to take his life. But a government agent arrived on the scene,
and Zinzendorf's scalp was saved.

And now the Brethren began the campaign in earnest. At Bethlehem
Spangenberg had a Mission Conference and a Mission College. The great
hero of the work was David Zeisberger. He was, like most of these early
missionaries, a German. He was born at Zauchtenthal, in Moravia; had
come with his parents to Herrnhut; had followed them later to Georgia;
and was now a student at Spangenberg's College at Bethlehem. For
sixty-three years he lived among the Indians, and his life was one
continual series of thrilling adventures and escapes. He became almost
an Indian. He was admitted a member of the Six Nations, received an
Indian name, and became a member of an Indian family. He was an Iroquois
to the Iroquois, a Delaware to the Delawares. He understood the
hidden science of belts and strings of wampum; he could unriddle their
mysterious messages and make speeches in their bombastic style; and he
spoke in their speech and thought in their thoughts, and lived their
life in their wigwams. He loved their majestic prairies, stretching
beyond the Blue Mountains. He loved their mighty rivers and their deep
clear lakes. Above all, he loved the red-brown Indians themselves.
Full well he knew what trials awaited him. If the reader has formed
his conception of the Indians from Fenimore Cooper's novels, he will
probably think that Zeisberger spent his life among a race of gallant
heroes. The reality was rather different. For the most part the Indians
of North America were the reverse of heroic. They were bloodthirsty,
drunken, lewd and treacherous. They spent their time in hunting
buffaloes, smoking pipes, lolling in the sun, and scalping each other's
heads. They wasted their nights in tipsy revels and dances by the light
of the moon. They cowered in terror of evil spirits and vicious and
angry gods. But Zeisberger never feared and never despaired. As long as
he had such a grand Gospel to preach, he felt sure that he could make
these savages sober, pure, wise, kind and brave, and that God would
ever shield him with His wing. He has been called "The Apostle to the
Indians." As the missionaries of the early Christian Church came to our
rude fathers in England, and made us a Christian people, so Zeisberger
desired to be an Augustine to the Indians, and found a Christian Indian
kingdom stretching from Lake Michigan to the Ohio.

He began his work with the League of the Iroquois, commonly called
the Six Nations {1745.}. At Onondaga, their headquarters, where he and
Bishop Cammerhof had arranged to meet the Great Council, the meeting
had to be postponed till the members had recovered from a state of
intoxication. But Cammerhof addressed the chiefs, brought out the
soothing pipe of tobacco, watched it pass from mouth to mouth, and
received permission for two missionaries to come and settle down.
From there, still accompanied by Cammerhof, Zeisberger went on to the
Senecas. He was welcomed to a Pandemonium of revelry. The whole village
was drunk. As he lay in his tent he could hear fiendish yells rend the
air; he went out with a kettle, to get some water for Cammerhof, and the
savages knocked the kettle out of his hand; and later, when the shades
of evening fell, he had to defend himself with his fists against a bevy
of lascivious women, whose long hair streamed in the night wind, and
whose lips swelled with passion. For Cammerhof the journey was too much;
in the bloom of youth he died (1751).

But Zeisberger had a frame of steel. Passing on from tribe to tribe, he
strode through darkling woods, through tangled thickets, through miry
sloughs, through swarms of mosquitoes; and anon, plying his swift canoe,
he sped through primeval forests, by flowers of the tulip tree,
through roaring rapids, round beetling bluffs, past groups of mottled
rattlesnakes that lay basking in the sun. At the present time, in many
Moravian manses, may be seen an engraving of a picture by Schüssele,
of Philadelphia, representing Zeisberger preaching to the Indians. The
incident occurred at Goschgoschünk, on the Alleghany River (1767). In
the picture the service is represented as being held in the open air; in
reality it was held in the Council House. In the centre of the house was
the watch-fire. Around it squatted the Indians--the men on one side, the
women on the other; and among those men were murderers who had played
their part, twelve years before, in the massacre on the Mahony River.
As soon as Zeisberger rose to speak, every eye was fixed upon him; and
while he delivered his Gospel message, he knew that at any moment a
tomahawk might cleave his skull, and his scalp hang bleeding at the
murderer's girdle. "Never yet," he wrote, "did I see so clearly
painted on the faces of the Indians both the darkness of hell and the
world-subduing power of the Gospel."

As the years rolled on, this dauntless hero won completely the
confidence of these suspicious savages. He was known as "Friend of the
Indians," and was allowed to move among them at his ease. In vain the
sorcerers plotted against him. "Beware," they said to the simple people,
"of the man in the black coat." At times, in order to bring down the
vengeance of the spirits on Zeisberger's head, they sat up through the
night and gorged themselves with swine's flesh; and, when this mode of
enchantment failed, they baked themselves in hot ovens till they became
unconscious. Zeisberger still went boldly on. Wherever the Indians were
most debauched, there was he in the midst of them. Both the Six Nations
and the Delawares passed laws that he was to be uninterrupted in
his work. Before him the haughtiest chieftains bowed in awe. At
Lavunakhannek, on the Alleghany River, he met the great Delaware orator,
Glikkikan, who had baffled Jesuits and statesmen, and had prepared a
complicated speech with which he meant to crush Zeisberger for ever;
but when the two men came face to face, the orator fell an easy victim,
forgot his carefully prepared oration, murmured meekly: "I have nothing
to say; I believe your words," submitted to Zeisberger like a child,
and became one of his warmest friends and supporters. In like manner
Zeisberger won over White Eyes, the famous Delaware captain; and, hand
in hand, Zeisberger and White Eyes worked for the same great cause. "I
want my people," said White Eyes, "now that peace is established in the
country, to turn their attention to peace in their hearts. I want them
to embrace that religion which is taught by the white teachers. We shall
never be happy until we are Christians."

It seemed as though that time were drawing nigh {1765-81.}. Zeisberger
was a splendid organizer. As soon as the "Indian War" was over, he
founded a number of Christian settlements, and taught the Indians the
arts of industry and peace. For the Iroquois he founded the settlements
of Friedenshütten (Tents of Peace), on the Susquehanna, Goschgoschünk,
on the Alleghany, and Lavunakhannek and Friedenstadt (Town of Peace),
on the Beaver River; and for the Delawares he founded the settlements of
Schönbrunn (Beautiful Spring), Gnadenhütten (Tents of Grace), Lichtenau
(Meadow of Light), on the Tuscawaras, and Salem, on the Muskinghum. His
settlements were like diamonds flashing in the darkness. Instead of the
wildness of the desert were nut trees, plums, cherries, mulberries and
all manner of fruits; instead of scattered wigwams, orderly streets of
huts; instead of filth, neatness and cleanliness; instead of drunken
brawls and orgies, the voice of children at the village school, and the
voice of morning and evening prayer.

No longer were the Indians in these settlements wild hunters. They were
now steady business men. They conducted farms, cultivated gardens, grew
corn and sugar, made butter, and learned to manage their local affairs
as well as an English Urban District Council. At the head of each
settlement was a Governing Board, consisting of the Missionaries and the
native "helpers"; and all affairs of special importance were referred
to a general meeting of the inhabitants. The system filled the minds of
visitors with wonder. "The Indians in Zeisberger's settlements," said
Colonel Morgan, "are an example to civilized whites."

No longer, further, were the Indians ignorant savages. Zeisberger was a
great linguist. He mastered the Delaware and Iroquois languages. For the
benefit of the converts in his setlements, and with the assistance of
Indian sachems, he prepared and had printed a number of useful books:
first (1776), "A Delaware Indian and English Spelling-book," with
an appendix containing the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, some
Scripture passages and a Litany; next (1803), in the Delaware language,
"A Collection of Hymns for the use of the Christian Indians," translated
from the English and German Moravian Hymn-books, and including the
Easter, Baptismal and Burial Litanies; next, a volume of "Sermons
to Children," translated from the German; next, a translation of
Spangenberg's "Bodily Care of Children"; next, "A Harmony of the Four
Gospels," translated from the Harmony prepared by Samuel Leiberkühn;
and last, a grammatical treatise on the Delaware conjugations. Of
his services to philology, I need not speak in detail. He prepared a
lexicon, in seven volumes, of the German and Onondaga languages, an
Onondaga Grammar, a Delaware Grammar, a German-Delaware Dictionary, and
other works of a similar nature. As these contributions to science
were never published, they may not seem of much importance; but his
manuscripts have been carefully preserved, some in the library of the
Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, others at Harvard University.

Thus did Zeisberger, explorer and scholar, devote his powers to the
physical, moral and spiritual improvement of the Indians. For some
years his success was brilliant; and when, on Easter Sunday morning, his
converts gathered for the early service, they presented a scene unlike
any other in the world. As the sun rose red beyond the great Blue
Mountains, as the morning mists broke gently away, as the gemmed trees
whispered with the breath of spring, the Indians repeated in their
lonely cemetery the same solemn Easter Litany that the Brethren repeated
at Herrnhut, Zeisberger read the Confession of Faith, a trained choir
led the responses, the Easter hymn swelled out, and the final "Amen"
rang over the plateau and aroused the hosts of the woodland.

   Away in the forest, how fair to the sight
   Was the clear, placid lake as it sparkled in light,
   And kissed with low murmur the green shady shore,
   Whence a tribe had departed, whose traces it bore.
   Where the lone Indian hastened, and wondering hushed
   His awe as he trod o'er the mouldering dust!
   How bright were the waters--how cheerful the song,
   Which the wood-bird was chirping all the day long,
   And how welcome the refuge those solitudes gave
   To the pilgrims who toiled over mountain and wave;
   Here they rested--here gushed forth, salvation to bring,
   The fount of the Cross, by the "Beautiful Spring."

And yet the name of this wonderful man is almost unknown in England. We
are just coming to the reason. At the very time when his influence was
at its height the American War of Independence broke out, and Zeisberger
and his converts, as an Indian orator put it, were between two exceeding
mighty and wrathful gods, who stood opposed with extended jaws. Each
party wished the Indians to take up arms on its side. But Zeisberger
urged them to be neutral. When the English sent the hatchet of war to
the Delawares, the Delawares politely sent it back. When a letter came
to Zeisberger, requesting him to arouse his converts, to put himself
at their head, and to bring the scalps of all the rebels he could
slaughter, he threw the sheet into the flames. For this policy he was
suspected by both sides. At one time he was accused before an English
court of being in league with the Americans. At another time he was
accused by the Americans of being in league with the English. At length
the thunderbolt fell. As the Christian Indians of Gnadenhütten were
engaged one day in tilling the soil, the American troops of Colonel
Williamson appeared upon the scene, asked for quarters, were
comfortably, lodged, and then, disarming the innocent victims, accused
them of having sided with the British. For that accusation the only
ground was that the Indians had shown hospitality to all who demanded
it; but this defence was not accepted, and Colonel Williamson decided
to put the whole congregation to death {March 28th, 1782.}. The log huts
were turned into shambles; the settlers were allowed a few minutes for
prayer; then, in couples, they were summoned to their doom; and in cold
blood the soldiers, with tomahawks, mallets, clubs, spears and scalping
knives, began the work of butchery. At the end of the performance ninety
corpses lay dabbled with blood on the ground. Among the victims were
six National Assistants, a lady who could speak English and German,
twenty-four other women, eleven boys and eleven girls. The Blood-Bath of
Gnadenhütten was a hideous crime. It shattered the Indian Mission. The
grand plans of Zeisberger collapsed in ruin. As the war raged on, and
white men encroached more and more on Indian soil, he found himself and
his converts driven by brute force from one settlement after another.
Already, before the war broke out, this brutal process had commenced;
and altogether it continued for twenty years. In 1769 he had to abandon
Goschgoschünk; in 1770, Lavunakhannek; in 1772, Friedenshütten; in
1773, Friedenstadt; in 1780, Lichtenau; in 1781, Gnadenhütten, Salem
and Schönbrunn; in 1782, Sandusky; in 1786, New Gnadenhütten; in 1787,
Pilgerruh; in 1791, New Salem. As the old man drew near his end, he
endeavoured to stem the torrent of destruction by founding two new
settlements--Fairfield, in Canada, and Goshen, on the Tuscawaras; but
even these had to be abandoned a few years after his death. Amid
the Indians he had lived; amid the Indians, at Goshen, he lay on his
death-bed {1808.}. As the news of his approaching dissolution spread,
the chapel bell was tolled: his converts, knowing the signal, entered
the room; and then, uniting their voices in song, they sang him home in
triumphant hymns which he himself had translated from the hymns of the
Ancient Brethren's Church.


As Zinzendorf drew near to his end, he saw that his efforts in the cause
of Christ had not ended as he had hoped. His design was the union of
Christendom, his achievement the revival of the Church of the Brethren.
He had given the "Hidden Seed" a home at Herrnhut. He had discovered the
ancient laws of the Bohemian Brethren. He had maintained, first, for the
sake of the Missions, and, secondly, for the sake of his Brethren, the
Brethren's Episcopal Succession. He had founded the Pilgrim Band at
Marienborn, had begun the Diaspora work in the Baltic Provinces, had
gained for the Brethren legal recognition in Germany, England and North
America, and had given the stimulus to the work of foreign missions. At
the same time, he had continually impressed his own religious ideas upon
his followers; and thus the Renewed Church of the Brethren was a Church
of a twofold nature. The past and the present were dove-tailed. From
the Bohemian Brethren came the strict discipline, the ministerial
succession, and the martyr-spirit; from Zinzendorf the idea of
"Church within the Church," the stress laid on the great doctrine of
reconciliation through the blood of Christ, and the fiery missionary
enthusiasm. Without Zinzendorf the Bohemian Brethren would probably have
never returned to life; and without the fibre of the Bohemian Brethren,
German Pietism would have died a natural death.

We must, however, keep clear of one misconception. Whatever else the
Renewed Church of the Brethren was, it did not spring from a union of
races. It was not a fusion of German and Czech elements. As the first
settlers at Herrnhut came from Moravia, it is natural to regard them as
Moravian Czechs; but the truth is that they were Germans in blood, and
spoke the German language. It was, therefore, the German element of the
old Brethren's Church that formed the backbone of the Renewed Church. It
was Germans, not Czechs, who began the foreign missionary work; Germans
who came to England, and Germans who renewed the Brethren's Church
in America. In due time pure Czechs from Bohemia came and settled at
Rixdorf and Niesky; but, speaking broadly, the Renewed Church of the
Brethren was revived by German men with German ideas.

As the Church, therefore, was now established in the three provinces of
Germany, Great Britain and North America, one problem only still awaited
solution. The problem was the welding of the provinces. That welding was
brought about in a simple way. If the reader is of a thoughtful turn of
mind, he must have wondered more than once where the Brethren found
the money to carry on their enterprises. They had relied chiefly on
two sources of income: first, Zinzendorf's estates; second, a number
of business concerns known as Diaconies. As long as these Diaconies
prospered, the Brethren were able to keep their heads above water; but
the truth is, they had been mismanaged. The Church was now on the verge
of bankruptcy; and, therefore, the Brethren held at Taubenheim the
so-called "Economical Conference." {1755.}

In the time of need came the deliverer, Frederick Köber. His five
measures proved the salvation of the Church. First, he separated
the property of Zinzendorf from the general property of the Church.
Secondly, he put this general property under the care of a "College
of Directors." Thirdly, he made an arrangement whereby this "College"
should pay off all debts in fixed yearly sums. Fourthly, he proposed
that all members of the Church should pay a fixed annual sum to general
Church funds. And fifthly, on the sound principle that those who pay
are entitled to a vote, he suggested that in future all members of the
Church should have the right to send representatives to the General
Directing Board or Conference. In this way he drew the outlines of the
Moravian Church Constitution.

Meanwhile, Count Zinzendorf's end was drawing near. The evening of his
life he spent at Herrnhut, for where more fitly could he die?

"It will be better," he said, "when I go home; the Conferences will last
for ever."

He employed his last days in revising the Text-book, which was to be
daily food for the Pilgrim Church {1760.}; and when he wrote down the
final words, "And the King turned His face about, and blessed all the
congregation of Israel," his last message to the Brethren was delivered.
As his illness--a violent catarrhal fever--gained the mastery over him,
he was cheered by the sight of the numerous friends who gathered round
him. His band of workers watched by his couch in turn. On the last night
about a hundred Brethren and Sisters assembled in the death chamber.
John de Watteville sat by the bedside.

"Now, my dear friend," said the dying Count, "I am going to the Saviour.
I am ready. I bow to His will. He is satisfied with me. If He does not
want me here any more, I am ready to go to Him. There is nothing to
hinder me now."

He looked around upon his friends. "I cannot say," he said, "how much I
love you all. Who would have believed that the prayer of Christ, 'That
they may be one,' could have been so strikingly fulfilled among us. I
only asked for first-fruits among the heathen, and thousands have been
given me...Are we not as in Heaven? Do we not live together like the
angels? The Lord and His servants understand one another...I am ready."

As the night wore on towards morning, the scene, says one who was
present, was noble, charming, liturgical. At ten o'clock, his breathing
grew feebler {May 9th, 1760.}; and John de Watteville pronounced the Old
Testament Benediction, "The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make
His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His
countenance upon thee and give thee peace." As de Watteville spoke the
last words of the blessing, the Count lay back on his pillow and closed
his eyes; and a few seconds later he breathed no more.

At Herrnhut it is still the custom to announce the death of any member
of the congregation by a chorale played on trombones; and when the
trombones sounded that morning all knew that Zinzendorf's earthly
career had closed. The air was thick with mist. "It seemed," said John
Nitschmann, then minister at Herrnhut, "as though nature herself were
weeping." As the Count's body lay next day in the coffin, arrayed in the
robe he had worn so often when conducting the Holy Communion, the whole
congregation, choir by choir, came to gaze for the last time upon his
face. For a week after this the coffin remained closed; but on the
funeral day it was opened again, and hundreds from the neighbouring
towns and villages came crowding into the chamber. At the funeral all
the Sisters were dressed in white; and the number of mourners was over
four thousand. At this time there were present in Herrnhut Moravian
ministers from Holland, England, Ireland, North America and Greenland;
and these, along with the German ministers, took turns as pall-bearers.
The trombones sounded. John Nitschmann, as precentor, started the hymn;
the procession to the Hutberg began. As the coffin was lowered into the
grave some verses were sung, and then John Nitschmann spoke the words:
"With tears we sow this seed in the earth; but He, in his own good time,
will bring it to life, and will gather in His harvest with thanks and
praise! Let all who wish for this say, 'Amen.'"

"Amen," responded the vast, weeping throng. The inscription on the
grave-stone is as follows: "Here lie the remains of that immortal man of
God, Nicholas Lewis, Count and Lord of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf; who,
through the grace of God and his own unwearied service, became the
honoured Ordinary of the Brethren's Church, renewed in this eighteenth
century. He was born at Dresden on May 26th, 1700, and entered into the
joy of his Lord at Herrnhut on May 9th, 1760. He was appointed to bring
forth fruit, and that his fruit should remain."

Thus, in a halo of tearful glory, the Count-Bishop was laid to rest. For
many years the Brethren cherished his memory, not only with affection,
but with veneration; and even the sober Spangenberg described him as
"the great treasure of our times, a lovely diamond in the ring on the
hand of our Lord, a servant of the Lord without an equal, a pillar in
the house of the Lord, God's message to His people." But history hardly
justifies this generous eulogy; and Spangenberg afterwards admitted
himself that Zinzendorf had two sides to his character. "It may seem a
paradox," he wrote, "but it really does seem a fact that a man cannot
have great virtues without also having great faults." The case of
Zinzendorf is a case in point. At a Synod held a few years later (1764),
the Brethren commissioned Spangenberg to write a "Life of Zinzendorf."
As the Count, however, had been far from perfect, they had to face the
serious question whether Spangenberg should be allowed to expose his
faults to public gaze. They consulted the Lot: the Lot said "No"; and,
therefore, they solemnly warned Spangenberg that, in order to avoid
creating a false impression, he was "to leave out everything which
would not edify the public." The loyal Spangenberg obeyed. His "Life of
Zinzendorf" appeared in eight large volumes. He desired, of course, to
be honest; he was convinced, to use his own words, that "an historian is
responsible to God and men for the truth"; and yet, though he told
the truth, he did not tell the whole truth. The result was lamentable.
Instead of a life-like picture of Zinzendorf, the reader had only
a shaded portrait, in which both the beauties and the defects were
carefully toned down. The English abridged edition was still more
colourless.[136] For a hundred years the character of Zinzendorf lay
hidden beneath a pile of pious phrases, and only the recent researches
of scholars have enabled us to see him as he was. He was no mere
commonplace Pietist. He was no mere pious German nobleman, converted by
looking at a picture. His faults and his virtues stood out in glaring
relief. His very appearance told the dual tale. As he strolled the
streets of Berlin or London, the wayfarers instinctively moved to let
him pass, and all men admired his noble bearing, his lofty brow, his
fiery dark blue eye, and his firm set lips; and yet, on the other hand,
they could not fail to notice that he was untidy in his dress, that
he strode on, gazing at the stars, and that often, in his
absent-mindedness, he stumbled and staggered in his gait. In his
portraits we can read the same double story. In some the prevailing
tone is dignity; in others there is the faint suggestion of a smirk. His
faults were those often found in men of genius. He was nearly always in
a hurry, and was never in time for dinner. He was unsystematic in his
habits, and incompetent in money matters. He was rather imperious in
disposition, and sometimes overbearing in his conduct. He was impatient
at any opposition, and disposed to treat with contempt the advice of
others. For example, when the financial crisis arose at Herrnhaag,
Spangenberg advised him to raise funds by weekly collections; but
Zinzendorf brushed the advice aside, and retorted, "It is my affair." He
was rather short-tempered, and would stamp his foot like an angry child
if a bench in the church was not placed exactly as he desired. He
was superstitious in his use of the Lot, and damaged the cause of the
Brethren immensely by teaching them to trust implicitly to its guidance.
He was reckless in his use of extravagant language; and he forgot that
public men should consider, not only what they mean themselves, but also
what impression their words are likely to make upon others. He was
not always strictly truthful; and in one of his pamphlets he actually
asserted that he himself was in no way responsible for the scandals
at Herrnhaag. For these reasons the Count made many enemies. He was
criticized severely, and sometimes justly, by men of such exalted
character as Bengel, the famous German commentator, and honest John
Wesley in England; he was reviled by vulgar scribblers like Rimius; and
thus, like his great contemporary, Whitefield, he

   Stood pilloried on Infamy's high stage,
   And bore the pelting scorn of half an age;
   The very butt of slander and the blot
   For every dart that malice ever shot.

But serious though his failings were, they were far outshone by his
virtues. Of all the religious leaders of the eighteenth century, he
was the most original in genius and the most varied in talent; and,
therefore, he was the most misunderstood, the most fiercely hated, the
most foully libelled, the most shamefully attacked, and the most fondly
adored. In his love for Christ he was like St. Bernard, in his mystic
devotion like Madame Guyon; and Herder, the German poet, described him
as "a conqueror in the spiritual world." It was those who knew him best
who admired him most. By the world at large he was despised, by orthodox
critics abused, by the Brethren honoured, by his intimate friends almost
worshipped. According to many orthodox Lutherans he was an atheist;
but the Brethren commonly called him "the Lord's disciple." He was
abstemious in diet, cared little for wine, and drank chiefly tea and
lemonade. He was broad and Catholic in his views, refused to speak of
the Pope as Antichrist, and referred to members of the Church of Rome as
"Brethren"; and, while he remained a Lutheran to the end, he had friends
in every branch of the Church of Christ. He had not a drop of malice in
his blood. He never learned the art of bearing a grudge, and when he was
reviled, he never reviled again. He was free with his money, and could
never refuse a beggar. He was a thoughtful and suggestive theological
writer, and holds a high place in the history of dogma; and no thinker
expounded more beautifully than he the grand doctrine that the innermost
nature of God is revealed in all its glory to man in the Person of the
suffering Man Christ Jesus. He was a beautiful Christian poet; his
hymns are found to-day in every collection; his "Jesus, Thy blood and
righteousness" was translated into English by John Wesley; and his noble
"Jesus, still lead on!" is as popular in the cottage homes of Germany as
Newman's "Lead, kindly light" in England. Of the three great qualities
required in a poet, Zinzendorf, however, possessed only two. He had the
sensibility; he had the imagination; but he rarely had the patience to
take pains; and, therefore, nearly all his poetry is lacking in finish
and artistic beauty. He was an earnest social reformer; he endeavoured,
by means of his settlement system, to solve the social problem; and his
efforts to uplift the working classes were praised by the famous German
critic, Lessing. The historian and theologian, Albrecht Ritschl, has
accused him of sectarian motives and of wilfully creating a split in the
Lutheran Church. The accusation is absolutely false. There is nothing
more attractive in the character of Zinzendorf than his unselfish
devotion to one grand ideal. On one occasion, after preaching at Berlin,
he met a young lieutenant. The lieutenant was in spiritual trouble.

"Let me ask you," said Zinzendorf, "one question: Are you alone in your
religious troubles, or do you share them with others?"

The lieutenant replied that some friends and he were accustomed to pray

"That is right," said Zinzendorf. "I acknowledge no Christianity without

In those words he pointed to the loadstar of his life. For that holy
cause of Christian fellowship he spent every breath in his body and
every ducat in his possession. For that cause he laboured among the
peasants of Berthelsdorf, in the streets of Berlin, in the smiling
Wetterau, in the Baltic Provinces, on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the
wilds of Yorkshire, by the silver Thames, on West Indian plantations,
and in the wigwams of the Iroquois and the Delaware. It is not always
fair to judge of men by their conduct. We must try, when possible, to
find the ruling motive; and in motive Zinzendorf was always unselfish.
Sometimes he was guilty of reckless driving; but his wagon was hitched
to a star. No man did more to revive the Moravian Church, and no man did
more, by his very ideals, to retard her later expansion. It is here that
we can see most clearly the contrast between Zinzendorf and John Wesley.
In genius Zinzendorf easily bore the palm; in practical wisdom the
Englishman far excelled him. The one was a poet, a dreamer, a thinker, a
mystic; the other a practical statesman, who added nothing to religious
thought, and yet uplifted millions of his fellow men. At a Synod of the
Brethren held at Herrnhut (1818), John Albertini, the eloquent preacher,
described the key-note of Zinzendorf's life. "It was love to Christ,"
said Albertini, "that glowed in the heart of the child; the same
love that burned in the young man; the same love that thrilled his
middle-age; the same love that inspired his every endeavour." In action
faulty, in motive pure; in judgment erring, in ideals divine; in policy
wayward, in purpose unselfish and true; such was Zinzendorf, the Renewer
of the Church of the Brethren.[137]



As we enter on the closing stages of our journey, the character of the
landscape changes; and, leaving behind the wild land of romance and
adventure, we come out on the broad, high road of slow but steady
progress. The death of Zinzendorf was no crushing blow. At first some
enemies of the Brethren rejoiced, and one prophet triumphantly remarked:
"We shall now see an end of these Moravians." But that time the prophet
spoke without his mantle. Already the Brethren were sufficiently strong
to realize their calling in the world. In Saxony they had established
powerful congregations at Herrnhut and Kleinwelke; in Silesia, at
Niesky, Gnadenberg, Gnadenfrei and Neusalz; in Central Germany, at
Ebersdorf, Neudietendorf and Barby; in North Germany, at Rixdorf and
Berlin; in West Germany, at Neuwied-on-the-Rhine; in Holland, at Zeist,
near Utrecht. At first sight this list does not look very impressive;
but we must, of course, bear in mind that most of these congregations
were powerful settlements, that each settlement was engaged in Diaspora
work, and that the branches of that work had extended to Denmark,
Switzerland and Norway. In Great Britain a similar principle held good.
In England the Brethren had flourishing causes at Fulneck, Gomersal,
Mirfield, Wyke, Ockbrook, Bedford, Fetter Lane, Tytherton, Dukinfield,
Leominster; in Ireland, at Dublin, Gracehill, Gracefield, Ballinderry
and Kilwarlin; and around each of these congregations were numerous
societies and preaching places. In North America they had congregations
at Bethlehem, Emmaus, Graceham, Lancaster, Lititz, Nazareth, New Dorp,
New York, Philadelphia, Schoeneck and York (York Co.); and in
addition, a number of preaching places. In Greenland they had built the
settlements of New Herrnhut and Lichtenau. In the West Indies they had
established congregations in St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Jan, Jamaica
and Antigua. In Berbice and Surinam they had three main centres of
work. Among the Red Indians Zeisberger was busily engaged. As accurate
statistics are not available, I am not able to state exactly how
many Moravians there were then in the world; but we know that in the
mission-field alone they had over a thousand communicant members and
seven thousand adherents under their special care.

As soon, then, as the leading Brethren in Herrnhut--such as John de
Watteville, Leonard Dober, David Nitschmann, the Syndic, Frederick
Köber, and others--had recovered from the shock occasioned by
Zinzendorf's death, they set about the difficult task of organizing
the work of the whole Moravian Church. First, they formed a provisional
Board of Directors, known as the Inner Council; next, they despatched
two messengers to America, to summon the practical Spangenberg home
to take his place on the board; and then, at the earliest convenient
opportunity, they summoned their colleagues to Marienborn for the first
General Representative Synod of the Renewed Church of the Brethren.
As the Count had left the affairs of the Church in confusion, the
task before the Brethren was enormous {1764.}. They had their Church
constitution to frame; they had their finances to straighten out; they
had their mission in the world to define; they had, in a word, to bring
order out of chaos; and so difficult did they find the task that eleven
years passed away before it was accomplished to any satisfaction. For
thirty years they had been half blinded by the dazzling brilliance of
Zinzendorf; but now they began to see a little more clearly. As long
as Zinzendorf was in their midst, an orderly system of government was
impossible. It was now an absolute necessity. The reign of one man was
over; the period of constitutional government began. At all costs, said
the sensible Frederick Köber, the Count must have no successor. For the
first time the Synod was attended by duly elected congregation deputies:
those deputies came not only from Germany, but from Great Britain,
America and the mission-field; and thus the voice of the Synod was the
voice, not of one commanding genius, but of the whole Moravian Church.

The first question to settle was the Church's Mission. For what purpose
did the Moravian Church exist? To that question the Brethren gave a
threefold answer. First, they said, they must labour in the whole
world; second, their fundamental doctrine must be the doctrine of
reconciliation through the merits of the life and sufferings of Christ
as set forth in the Holy Scriptures and in the Augsburg Confession; and,
third, in their settlements they would continue to enforce that strict
discipline--including the separation of the sexes--without which the
Gospel message would be a mockery. Thus the world was their parish, the
cross their message, the system of discipline their method.

Secondly, the Brethren framed their constitution. Of all the laws ever
passed by the Brethren, those passed at the first General Synod had,
for nearly a hundred years (1764-1857), the greatest influence on the
progress of the Moravian Church. The keyword is "centralization." If
the Church was to be a united body, that Church, held the Brethren, must
have a central court of appeal, a central administrative board, and
a central legislative authority. At this first Constitutional
Synod, therefore, the Brethren laid down the following principles of
government: That all power to make rules and regulations touching the
faith and practice of the Church should be vested in the General Synod;
that this General Synod should consist of all bishops and ministers of
the Church and of duly elected congregation deputies; that no deputy
should be considered duly elected unless his election had been confirmed
by the Lot; and that during an inter-synodal period the supreme
management of Church affairs should be in the hands of three directing
boards, which should all be elected by the Synod, and be responsible to
the next Synod. The first board was the Supreme Board of Management. It
was called the Directory, and consisted of nine Brethren. The second was
the Brethren's ministry of foreign affairs. It was called the Board of
Syndics, and managed the Church's relations with governments. The third
was the Brethren's treasury. It was called the Unity's Warden's Board,
and managed the Church finances. For us English readers, however, the
chief point to notice is that, although these boards were elected by
the General Synod, and although, in theory, they were international
in character, in actual fact they consisted entirely of Germans;
and, therefore, we have the astounding situation that during the next
ninety-three years the whole work of the Moravian Church--in Germany,
in Holland, in Denmark, in Great Britain, in North America, and in
the rapidly extending mission-field--was managed by a board or boards
consisting of Germans and resident in Germany. There all General Synods
were held; there lay all supreme administrative and legislative power.

Of local self-government there was practically none. It is true that
so-called "Provincial Synods" were held; but these Synods had no power
to make laws. At this period the Moravian Church was divided, roughly,
into the six Provinces of Upper Lusatia, Silesia, Holland, England,
Ireland, and America; and in each of these Provinces Synods might be
held. But a Provincial Synod was a Synod only in name. "A Provincial
Synod," ran the law, "is an assembly of the ministers and deputies of
the congregations of a whole province or land who lay to heart the weal
or woe of their congregations, and lay the results of their conferences
before the General Synod or the Directory, which is constituted from one
General Synod to another. In other places and districts, indeed, that
name does not suit; but yet in every congregation and district a solemn
conference of that sort may every year be holden, and report be made out
of it to the Directory and General Synod."

In individual congregations the same principle applied. There, too,
self-government was almost unknown. At the head of each congregation
was a board known as the Elders' Conference; and that Elders' Conference
consisted, not of Brethren elected by the Church members, but of the
minister, the minister's wife, and the choir-labourers, all appointed
by the supreme Directing Board. It is true that the members of the
congregation had power to elect a committee, but the powers of that
committee were strictly limited. It dealt with business matters only,
and all members of the Elders' Conference were ex officio members of the
Committee. We can see, then, what this curious system meant. It meant
that a body of Moravian members in London, Dublin or Philadelphia were
under the authority of a Conference appointed by a Directing Board of
Germans resident in Germany.

The next question to settle was finance; and here again the word
"centralization" must be our guide through the jungle. At that time the
finances had sunk so low that at this first General Synod most of the
ministers and deputies had to sleep on straw, and now the great problem
to settle was, how to deal with Zinzendorf's property. As long as
Zinzendorf was in the flesh he had generously used the income from his
estates for all sorts of Church purposes. But now the situation was
rather delicate. On the one hand, Zinzendorf's landed property belonged
by law to his heirs, i.e., his three daughters, and his wife's nephew,
Count Reuss; on the other hand, he had verbally pledged it to the
Brethren to help them out of their financial troubles. The problem was
solved by purchase. In exchange for Zinzendorf's estates at Berthelsdorf
and Gross-Hennersdorf, the Brethren offered the heirs the sum of
£25,000. The heirs accepted the offer; the deeds of sale were prepared;
and thus Zinzendorf's landed property became the property of the
Moravian Church. We must not call this a smart business transaction.
When the Brethren purchased Zinzendorf's estates, they purchased his
debts as well; and those debts amounted now to over £150,000. The one
thing the Brethren gained was independence. They were no longer under an
obligation to the Zinzendorf family.

At the next General Synod, held again at Marienborn {1769.}, the
centralizing principle was still more emphatically enforced. As the
three separate boards of management had not worked very smoothly
together, the Brethren now abolished them, and resolved that henceforth
all supreme administrative authority should be vested in one grand
comprehensive board, to be known as the Unity's Elders' Conference.[138] The Conference was divided into three departments--the College of
Overseers, the College of Helpers, and the College of Servants. It is
hard for English readers to realize what absolute powers this board
possessed. The secret lies in the Brethren's use of the Lot. Hitherto
the use of the Lot had been haphazard; henceforth it was a recognized
principle of Church government. At this Synod the Brethren laid down the
law that all elections,[139] appointments and important decisions should
be ratified by the Lot. It was used, not only to confirm elections, but
often, though not always, to settle questions of Church policy. It
was often appealed to at Synods. If a difficult question came up for
discussion, the Brethren frequently consulted the Lot. The method was to
place three papers in a box, and then appoint someone to draw one out.
If the paper was positive, the resolution was carried; if the paper
was negative, the resolution was lost; if the paper was blank, the
resolution was laid on the table. The weightiest matters were settled in
this way. At one Synod the Lot decided that George Waiblinger should
be entrusted with the task of preparing an "Exposition of Christian
Doctrine"; and yet when Waiblinger fulfilled his duty, the Brethren
were not satisfied with his work. At another Synod the Lot decided that
Spangenberg should not be entrusted with that task, and yet the Brethren
were quite convinced that Spangenberg was the best man for the purpose.
But perhaps the greatest effect of the Lot was the power and dignity
which it conferred on officials. No man could be a member of the
U.E.C. unless his election had been confirmed by the Lot; and when that
confirmation had been obtained, he felt that he had been appointed, not
only by his Brethren, but also by God. Thus the U.E.C., appointed by
the Lot, employed the Lot to settle the most delicate questions. For
example, no Moravian minister might marry without the consent of the
U.E.C. The U.E.C. submitted his choice to the Lot; and if the Lot
decided in the negative, he accepted the decision as the voice of God.
In the congregations the same practice prevailed. All applications for
church membership and all proposals of marriage were submitted to the
Local Elders' Conference; and in each case the Conference arrived at its
decision by consulting the Lot. To some critics this practice appeared a
symptom of lunacy. It was not so regarded by the Brethren. It was their
way of seeking the guidance of God; and when they were challenged
to justify their conduct, they appealed to the example of the eleven
Apostles as recorded in Acts i. 26, and also to the promise of Christ,
"Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, I will do it."

At this Synod the financial problem came up afresh. The Brethren tried a
bold experiment. As the Church's debts could not be extinguished in any
other way, they determined to appeal to the generosity of the members;
and to this end they now resolved that the property of the Church should
be divided into as many sections as there were congregations, that each
congregation should have its own property and bear its own burden, and
that each congregation-committee should supply the needs of its own
minister. Of course, money for general Church purposes would still be
required: but the Brethren trusted that this would come readily from the
pockets of loving members.

But love, though a beautiful silken bond, is sometimes apt to snap. The
new arrangement was violently opposed. What right, asked grumblers, had
the Synod to saddle individual congregations with the debts of the whole
Church? The local managers of diaconies proved incompetent. At Neuwied
one Brother lost £6,000 of Church money in a lottery. The financial
pressure became harder than ever. James Skinner, a member of the London
congregation, suggested that the needful money should be raised by
weekly subscriptions. In England this proposal might have found favour;
in Germany it was rejected with contempt. The relief came from an
unexpected quarter. At Herrnhut the members were celebrating the
congregation Jubilee {1772.}; and twenty poor Single Sisters there,
inspired with patriotic zeal, concocted the following letter to the
U.E.C.: "After maturely weighing how we might be able, in proportion
to our slender means, to contribute something to lessen the debt on the
Unity--i.e., our own debt--we have cheerfully agreed to sacrifice and
dispose of all unnecessary articles, such as gold and silver plate,
watches, snuff-boxes, rings, trinkets and jewellery of every kind for
the purpose of establishing a Sinking Fund, on condition that not
only the congregation at Herrnhut, but all the members of the Church
everywhere, rich and poor, old and young, agree to this proposal. But
this agreement is not to be binding on those who can contribute in
other ways." The brave letter caused an immense sensation. The spirit
of generosity swept over the Church like a freshening breeze. For very
shame the other members felt compelled to dive into their pockets; and
the young men, not being possessed of trinkets, offered free labour in
their leisure hours. The good folk at Herrnhut vied with each other
in giving; and the Brethren at Philadelphia vied with the Brethren at
Herrnhut. The Sinking Fund was established. In less than twelve months
the Single Sisters at Herrnhut raised £1,300; the total contributions at
Herrnhut amounted to £3,500; and in three years the Sinking Fund had a
capital of £25,000. Thus did twenty Single Sisters earn a high place on
the Moravian roll of honour. At the same time, the U.E.C. were able to
sell the three estates of Marienborn, Herrnhaag and Lindsey House; and
in these ways the debt on the Church was gradually wiped off.

The third constitutional Synod was held at Barby, on the Elbe,
near Magdeburg {1775.}. At this Synod the power of the U.E.C. was
strengthened. In order to prevent financial crises in future, the
Brethren now laid down the law that each congregation, though having
its own property, should contribute a fixed annual quota to the
general fund; that all managers of local diaconies should be directly
responsible to the U.E.C.; and that each congregation should send in to
the U.E.C. an annual financial statement. In this way, therefore, all
Church property was, directly or indirectly, under the control of the
U.E.C. The weakness of this arrangement is manifest. As long as the
U.E.C. was resident in Germany, and as long as it consisted almost
exclusively of Germans, it could not be expected to understand financial
questions arising in England and America, or to fathom the mysteries of
English and American law; and yet this was the system in force for the
next eighty-two years. It is true that the Brethren devised a method
to overcome this difficulty. The method was the method of official
visitations. At certain periods a member of the U.E.C. would pay
official visitations to the chief congregations in Germany, England,
America and the Mission Field. For example, Bishop John Frederick
Reichel visited North America (1778-1781) and the East Indies; Bishop
John de Watteville (1778-1779) visited in England, Ireland, Scotland
and Wales; and John Henry Quandt (1798) visited Neuwied-on-the-Rhine.
In some ways the method was good, in others bad. It was good because it
fostered the unity of the Church, and emphasized its broad international
character. It was bad because it was cumbrous and expensive, because it
exalted too highly the official element, and because it checked local
independent growth.

Finally, at this third constitutional Synod, the Brethren struck a
clear note on doctrinal questions. The main doctrines of the Church were
defined as follows: (1) The doctrine of the universal depravity of man;
that there is no health in man, and that since the fall he has no power
whatever left to help himself. (2) The doctrine of the Divinity of
Christ; that God, the Creator of all things, was manifest in the flesh,
and reconciled us unto Himself; that He is before all things, and that
by Him all things consist. (3) The doctrine of the atonement and the
satisfaction made for us by Jesus Christ; that He was delivered for our
offences, and raised again for our justification; and that by His merits
alone we receive freely the forgiveness of sin and sanctification in
soul and body. (4) The doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the operations of
His grace; that it is He who worketh in us conviction of sin, faith in
Jesus, and pureness of heart. (5) The doctrine of the fruits of faith;
that faith must evidence itself by willing obedience to the commandments
of God, from love and gratitude to Him. In those doctrines there
was nothing striking or peculiar. They were the orthodox Protestant
doctrines of the day; they were the doctrines of the Lutheran Church,
of the Church of England, and the Church of Scotland; and they were,
and are, all to be found in the Augsburg Confession, in the Thirty-nine
Articles, and in the Westminster Confession.

Such, then, were the methods and doctrines laid down by the three
constitutional Synods. In methods the Brethren were distinctive; in
doctrine they were "orthodox evangelical." We may now sum up the results
of this chapter. We have a semi-democratic Church constitution. We
have a governing board, consisting mostly of Germans, and resident
in Germany. We have the systematic use of the Lot. We have a broad
evangelical doctrinal standpoint. We are now to see how these principles
and methods worked out in Germany, Great Britain and America.


If a man stands up for the old theology when new theology is in the
air, he is sure to be praised by some for his loyalty, and condemned
by others for his stupidity; and that was the fate of the Brethren
in Germany during the closing years of the eighteenth century. The
situation in Germany was swiftly changing. The whole country was in
a theological upheaval. As soon as the Brethren had framed their
constitution, they were summoned to the open field of battle. For fifty
years they had held their ground against a cold and lifeless orthodoxy,
and had, therefore, been regarded as heretics; and now, as though by
a sudden miracle, they became the boldest champions in Germany of the
orthodox Lutheran faith. Already a powerful enemy had entered the field.
The name of the enemy was Rationalism. As we enter the last quarter of
the eighteenth century, we hear the sound of tramping armies and the
first mutterings of a mighty storm. The spirit of free inquiry spread
like wildfire. In America it led to the War of Independence; in England
it led to Deism; in France it led to open atheism and all the horrors
of the French Revolution. In Germany, however, its effect was rather
different. If the reader knows anything of Germany history, he will
probably be aware of the fact that Germany is a land of many famous
universities, and that these universities have always played a leading
part in the national life. It is so to-day; it was so in the eighteenth
century. In England a Professor may easily become a fossil; in Germany
he often guides the thought of the age. For some years that scoffing
writer, Voltaire, had been openly petted at the court of Frederick the
Great; his sceptical spirit was rapidly becoming fashionable; and now
the professors at the Lutheran Universities, and many of the leading
Lutheran preachers, were expounding certain radical views, not only on
such vexed questions as Biblical inspiration and the credibility of the
Gospel narratives, but even on some of the orthodox doctrines set forth
in the Augsburg Confession. At Halle University, John Semler propounded
new views about the origin of the Bible; at Jena, Griesbach expounded
textual criticism; at Göttingen, Eichhorn was lecturing on Higher
Criticism; and the more the views of these scholars spread, the more the
average Church members feared that the old foundations were giving way.

Amid the alarm, the Brethren came to the rescue. It is needful to state
their position with some exactness. We must not regard them as blind
supporters of tradition, or as bigoted enemies of science and research.
In spite of their love of the Holy Scriptures, they never entered into
any controversy on mere questions of Biblical criticism. They had no
special theory of Biblical inspiration. At this time the official Church
theologian was Spangenberg. He was appointed to the position by the
U.E.C.; he was commissioned to prepare an Exposition of Doctrine; and,
therefore, the attitude adopted by Spangenberg may be taken as the
attitude of the Brethren. But Spangenberg himself did not believe that
the whole Bible was inspired by God. "I cannot assert," he wrote in one
passage, "that every word in the Holy Scriptures has been inspired by
the Holy Ghost and given thus to the writers. For example, the speeches
at the end of the book of Job, ascribed there to God, are of such a
nature that they cannot possibly have proceeded from the Holy Ghost."
He believed, of course, in the public reading of Scripture; but when the
Brethren were planning a lectionary, he urged them to make a distinction
between the Old and New Testaments. "Otherwise," he declared, "the
reading of the Old Testament may do more harm than good." He objected to
the public reading of Job and the Song of Songs.

But advanced views about the Bible were not the main feature of the
rationalistic movement. A large number of the German theologians were
teaching what we should call "New Theology." Instead of adhering to
the Augsburg Confession, a great many of the Lutheran professors and
preachers were attacking some of its leading doctrines. First, they
denied the doctrine of the Fall, whittled away the total depravity of
man, and asserted that God had created men, not with a natural bias to
sin, but perfectly free to choose between good and evil. Secondly,
they rejected the doctrine of reconciliation through the meritorious
sufferings of Christ. Thirdly, they suggested that the doctrine of the
Holy Trinity was an offence to reason. Around these three doctrines
the great battle was fought. To the Brethren those doctrines were all
fundamental, all essential to salvation, and all precious parts of
Christian experience; and, therefore, they defended them against the
Rationalists, not on intellectual, but on moral and spiritual grounds.
The whole question at issue, in their judgment, was a question of
Christian experience. The case of Spangenberg will make this clear. To
understand Spangenberg is to understand his Brethren. He defended the
doctrine of total depravity, not merely because he found it in the
Scriptures, but because he was as certain as a man can be that he had
once been totally depraved himself; and he defended the doctrine
of reconciliation because, as he wrote to that drinking old sinner,
Professor Basedow, he had found all grace and freedom from sin in the
atoning sacrifice of Jesus. He often spoke of himself in contemptuous
language; he called himself a mass of sins, a disgusting creature, an
offence to his own nostrils; and he recorded his own experience when
he said: "It has pleased Him to make out of me--a revolting creature--a
child of God, a temple of the Holy Ghost, a member of the body of
Christ, all heir of eternal life." There we have Spangenberg's theology
in a sentence; there shines the Brethren's experimental religion. The
doctrine of the Trinity stood upon the same basis. In God the Father
they had a protector; in God the Son an ever present friend; in God the
Holy Ghost a spiritual guide; and, therefore, they defended the doctrine
of the Trinity, not because it was in the Augsburg Confession, but
because, in their judgment, it fitted their personal experience.

And yet the Brethren were not controversialists. Instead of arguing with
the rationalist preachers, they employed more pleasing methods of their

The first method was the publication of useful literature. The most
striking book, and the most influential, was Spangenberg's Idea Fidei
Fratrum; i.e., Exposition of the Brethren's Doctrine {1778.}. For
many years this treatise was prized by the Brethren as a body of sound
divinity; and although it can no longer be regarded as a text-book for
theological students, it is still used and highly valued at some of the
Moravian Mission stations.[140] From the first the book sold well, and its
influence in Germany was great. It was translated into English, Danish,
French, Swedish, Dutch, Bohemian and Polish. Its strength was its
loyalty to Holy Scripture; its weakness its lack of original thought. If
every difficult theological question is to be solved by simply appealing
to passages of Scripture, it is obvious that little room is left for
profound and original reflection; and that, speaking broadly, was the
method adopted by Spangenberg in this volume. His object was twofold.
On the one hand, he wished to be true to the Augsburg Confession; on the
other hand, he would admit no doctrine that was not clearly supported
by Scripture. The book was almost entirely in Scriptural language. The
conventional phrases of theology were purposely omitted. In spite of his
adherence to the orthodox faith, the writer never used such phrases as
Trinity, Original Sin, Person, or Sacrament. He deliberately abandoned
the language of the creeds for the freer language of Scripture. It was
this that helped to make the book so popular. The more fiercely the
theological controversy raged, the more ready was the average working
pastor to flee from the dust and din of battle by appealing to the
testimony of the Bible.

"How evangelical! How purely Biblical!" wrote Spangenberg's friend,
Court Councillor Frederick Falke (June 10th, 1787). Christian David
Lenz, the Lutheran Superintendent at Riga, was charmed. "Nothing," he
wrote, "has so convinced me of the purity of the Brethren's evangelical
teaching as your Idea Fidei Fratrum. It appeared just when it was
needed. In the midst of the universal corruption, the Brethren are a
pillar of the truth." The Danish Minister of Religion, Adam Struensee,
who had been a fellow-student with Spangenberg at Jena, was eloquent
in his praises. "A great philosopher at our University," he wrote to
Spangenberg, "complained to me about our modern theologians; and then
added: 'I am just reading Spangenberg's Idea. It is certain that our
successors will have to recover their Christian theology from the
Moravian Brethren.'" But the keenest criticism was passed by Caspar
Lavater. His mixture of praise and blame was highly instructive. He
contrasted Spangenberg with Zinzendorf. In reading Zinzendorf, we
constantly need the lead pencil. One sentence we wish to cross out; the
next we wish to underline. In reading Spangenberg we do neither. "In
these recent works of the Brethren," said Lavater, "I find much less
to strike out as unscriptural, but also much less to underline as deep,
than in the soaring writings of Zinzendorf."

And thus the Brethren, under Spangenberg's guidance, entered on a new
phase. In originality they had lost; in sobriety they had gained; and
now they were honoured by the orthodox party in Germany as trusted
champions of the faith delivered once for all unto the saints.

The same lesson was taught by the new edition of the Hymn-book {1778.}.
It was prepared by Christian Gregor. The first Hymn-book, issued by the
Renewed Church of the Brethren, appeared in 1735. It consisted chiefly
of Brethren's hymns, written mostly by Zinzendorf; and during the
next fifteen years it was steadily enlarged by the addition of twelve
appendices. But in two ways these appendices were faulty. They were
far too bulky, and they contained some objectionable hymns. As
soon, however, as the Brethren had recovered from the errors of the
Sifting-Time, Count Zinzendorf published a revised Hymn-book in London
(1753-4); and then, a little later, an extract, entitled "Hymns of
Sharon." But even these editions were unsatisfactory. They contained too
many hymns by Brethren, too many relics of the Sifting-Time, and too few
hymns by writers of other Churches. But the edition published by Gregor
was a masterpiece. It contained the finest hymns of Christendom from
nearly every source. It was absolutely free from extravagant language;
and, therefore, it has not only been used by the Brethren from that day
to this, but is highly valued by Christians of other Churches. In
1784 Christian Gregor brought out a volume of "Chorales," where noble
thoughts and stately music were wedded.

The next class of literature issued was historical. The more fiercely
the orthodox Gospel was attacked, the more zealously the Brethren
brought out books to show the effect of that Gospel on the lives of
men. In 1765, David Cranz, the historian, published his "History of
Greenland." He had been for fourteen months in Greenland himself. He
had studied his subject at first hand; he was a careful, accurate,
conscientious writer; his book soon appeared in a second edition (1770),
and was translated into English, Dutch, Swedish and Danish; and
whatever objections philosophers might raise against the Gospel of
reconciliation, David Cranz was able to show that by the preaching
of that Gospel the Brethren in Greenland had taught the natives to
be sober, industrious and pure. In 1777 the Brethren published G.
A. Oldendorp's elaborate "History of the Mission in the Danish West
Indies," and, in 1789, G. H. Loskiel's "History of the Mission Among the
North American Indians." In each case the author had been on the spot
himself; and in each case the book was welcomed as a proof of the power
of the Gospel.

The second method was correspondence and visitation. In spite of their
opposition to rationalistic doctrine the Brethren kept in friendly touch
with the leading rationalist preachers. Above all, they kept in touch
with the Universities. The leader of this good work was Spangenberg.
Where Zinzendorf had failed, Spangenberg succeeded. It is a curious
feature of Zinzendorf's life that while he won the favour of kings and
governments, he could rarely win the favour of learned Churchmen. As
long as Zinzendorf reigned supreme, the Brethren were rather despised at
the Universities; but now they were treated with marked respect. At one
time the U.E.C. suggested that regular annual visits should be paid
to the Universities of Halle, Wittenberg and Leipzig; and in one
year Bishop Layritz, a member of the U.E.C., visited the Lutheran
Universities of Halle, Erlangen, Tübingen, Strasburg, Erfurt and
Leipzig, and the Calvinist Universities of Bern, Geneva and Basle. In
response to a request from Walch of Göttingen, Spangenberg wrote his
"Brief Historical Account of the Brethren" and his "Account of the
Brethren's Work Among the Heathen"; and, in response to a request from
Köster of Gieszen, he wrote a series of theological articles for that
scholar's "Encyclopædia." Meanwhile, he was in constant correspondence
with Schneider at Eisenach, Lenz at Riga, Reinhard at Dresden, Roos at
Anhausen, Tittman at Dresden, and other well-known Lutheran preachers.
For thirteen years (1771-1784) the seat of the U.E.C. was Barby; and
there they often received visits from leading German scholars. At one
time the notorious Professor Basedow begged, almost with tears in his
eyes, to be admitted to the Moravian Church; but the Brethren could
not admit a man, however learned he might be, who sought consolation
in drink and gambling. On other occasions the Brethren were visited
by Campe, the Minister of Education; by Salzmann, the founder of
Schnepfenthal; and by Becker, the future editor of the German Times.
But the most distinguished visitor at Barby was Semler, the famous
rationalist Professor at Halle. "He spent many hours with us," said
Spangenberg {1773.}. "He expounded his views, and we heard him to the
end. In reply we told him our convictions, and then we parted in
peace from each other." When Semler published his "Abstract of Church
History," he sent a copy to Spangenberg; and Spangenberg returned the
compliment by sending him the latest volume of his "Life of Zinzendorf."
At these friendly meetings with learned men the Brethren never argued.
Their method was different. It was the method of personal testimony. "It
is, I imagine, no small thing," said Spangenberg, in a letter to Dr. J.
G. Rosenmüller, "that a people exists among us who can testify both by
word and life that in the sacrifice of Jesus they have found all
grace and deliverance from sin." And thus the Brethren replied to the
Rationalists by appealing to personal experience.

The third method was the education of the young. For its origin we turn
to the case of Susannah Kühnel. At the time of the great revival in
Herrnhut {1727.}, the children had not been neglected; Susannah Kühnel,
a girl of eleven, became the leader of a revival. "We had then for our
master," said Jacob Liebich, "an upright and serious man, who had the
good of his pupils much at heart." The name of the master was Krumpe.
"He never failed," continued Liebich, "at the close of the school to
pray with us, and to commend us to the Lord Jesus and His Spirit during
the time of our amusements. At that time Susannah Kühnel was awakened,
and frequently withdrew into her father's garden, especially in the
evenings, to ask the grace of the Lord and to seek the salvation of her
soul with strong crying and tears. As this was next door to the house
where we lived (there was only a boarded partition between us), we could
hear her prayers as we were going to rest and as we lay upon our beds.
We were so much impressed that we could not fall asleep as carelessly as
formerly, and asked our teachers to go with us to pray. Instead of going
to sleep as usual, we went to the boundaries which separated the fields,
or among the bushes, to throw ourselves before the Lord and beg Him to
turn us to Himself. Our teachers often went with us, and when we had
done praying, and had to return, we went again, one to this place and
another to that, or in pairs, to cast ourselves upon our knees and pray
in secret." Amid the fervour occurred the events of August 13th. The
children at Herrnhut were stirred. For three days Susannah Kühnel was
so absorbed in thought and prayer that she forgot to take her food; and
then, on August 17th, having passed through a severe spiritual struggle,
she was able to say to her father: "Now I am become a child of God; now
I know how my mother felt and feels." We are not to pass this story
over as a mere pious anecdote. It illustrates an important Moravian
principle. For the next forty-two years the Brethren practised
the system of training the children of Church members in separate
institutions; the children, therefore, were boarded and educated by the
Church and at the Church's expense;[141] and the principle underlying
the system was that children from their earliest years should receive
systematic religious training. If the child, they held, was properly
trained and taught to love and obey Jesus Christ, he would not need
afterwards to be converted. He would be brought up as a member of the
Kingdom of God. As long as the Brethren could find the money, they
maintained this "Children's Economy." The date of Susannah's conversion
was remembered, and became the date of the annual Children's Festival;
and in every settlement and congregation special meetings for children
were regularly held. But the system was found too expensive. At the
Synod of 1769 it was abandoned. No longer could the Brethren maintain
and educate the children of all their members; thencefoward they could
maintain and educate only the children of those in church service.

For the sons of ministers they established a Pædagogium; for the
daughters of ministers a Girls' School at Kleinwelke, in Saxony; and
for candidates for ministerial service a Theological Seminary, situated
first at Barby, then at Niesky, and finally at Gnadenfeld, in Silesia.
At the same time, the Brethren laid down the rule that each congregation
should have its own elementary day school. At first these schools were
meant for Moravians only; but before long they were thrown open to the
public. The principle of serving the public steadily grew. It began in
the elementary schools; it led to the establishment of boarding-schools.
The first step was taken in Denmark. At Christiansfeld, in
Schleswig-Holstein, the Brethren had established a congregation by
the special request of the Danish Government; and there, in 1774, they
opened two boarding-schools for boys and girls. From that time the
Brethren became more practical in their methods. Instead of attempting
the hopeless task of providing free education, they now built a number
of boarding-schools; and at the Synod of 1782 they officially recognized
education as a definite part of their Church work. The chief schools
were those at Neuwied-on-the-Rhine; Gnadenfrei, in Silesia; Ebersdorf,
in Vogt-land; and Montmirail, in Switzerland. The style of architecture
adopted was the Mansard. As the standard of education was high, the
schools soon became famous; and as the religion taught was broad, the
pupils came from all Protestant denominations. On this subject the
well-known historian, Kurtz, has almost told the truth. He informs us
that during the dreary period of Rationalism, the schools established
by the Brethren were a "sanctuary for the old Gospel, with its blessed
promises and glorious hopes." It would be better, however, to speak
of these schools as barracks. If we think of the Brethren as retiring
hermits, we shall entirely misunderstand their character. They fought
the Rationalists with their own weapons; they gave a splendid classical,
literary and scientific education; they enforced their discipline on
the sons of barons and nobles; they staffed their schools with men of
learning and piety; and these men, by taking a personal interest in the
religious life of their pupils, trained up a band of fearless warriors
for the holy cause of the Gospel. It was this force of personal
influence and example that made the schools so famous; this that won
the confidence of the public; and this that caused the Brethren to be
so widely trusted as defenders of the faith and life of the Lutheran

The fourth method employed by the Brethren was the Diaspora. Here
again, as in the public schools, the Brethren never attempted to
make proselytes. At the Synod of 1782, and again at a Conference of
Diaspora-workers, held at Herrnhut (1785), the Brethren emphatically
laid down the rule that no worker in the Diaspora should ever attempt to
win converts for the Moravian Church. The Diaspora work was now at the
height of its glory. In Lusatia the Brethren had centres of work at
Herrnhut, Niesky and Kleinwelke; in Silesia, at Gnadenfrei, Gnadenberg,
Gnadenfeld and Neusalz; in Pomerania, at Rügen and Mecklenburg; in
East Prussia, at Danzig, Königsberg and Elbing; in Thuringia, at
Neudietendorf; in the Palatinate and the Wetterau; at Neuwied; in
Brandenburg, at Berlin and Potsdam; in Denmark, at Christiansfeld,
Schleswig, Fühnen, and Copenhagen; in Norway, at Christiana, Drammen
and Bergen; in Sweden, at Stockholm and Gothenburg; in Switzerland,
at Basel, Bern, Zürich and Montmirail; and finally, in Livonia and
Esthonia, they employed about a hundred preachers and ministered
to about six thousand souls. At this rate it would appear that the
Moravians in Germany were increasing by leaps and bounds; but in reality
they were doing nothing of the kind. At this time the Moravian influence
was felt in every part of Germany; and yet during this very period
they founded only the three congregations of Gnadenfeld, Gnadau, and

But the greatest proof of the Brethren's power was their influence over
Schleiermacher. Of all the religious leaders in Germany Schleiermacher
was the greatest since Luther; and Schleiermacher learned his religion,
both directly and indirectly, from the Brethren. It is sometimes stated
in lives of Schleiermacher that he received his earliest religious
impressions from his parents; but, on the other hand, it should be
remembered that both his parents, in their turn, had come under Moravian
influence. His father was a Calvinistic army chaplain, who had made
the acquaintance of Brethren at Gnadenfrei (1778). He there adopted the
Brethren's conception of religion; he became a Moravian in everything
but the name; his wife passed through the same spiritual experience;
he then settled down as Calvinist pastor in the colony of Anhalt; and
finally, for the sake of his children, he visited the Brethren again at
Gnadenfrei (1783). His famous son was now a lad of fifteen; and here,
among the Brethren at Gnadenfrei, the young seeker first saw the
heavenly vision. "It was here," he said, "that I first became aware of
man's connection with a higher world. It was here that I developed that
mystic faculty which I regard as essential, and which has often upheld
and saved me amid the storms of doubt."

But Schleiermacher's father was not content. He had visited the Brethren
both at Herrnhut and Niesky; he admired the Moravian type of teaching;
and now he requested the U.E.C. to admit both his sons as pupils to
the Pædagogium at Niesky. But the U.E.C. objected. The Pædagogium, they
said, was meant for Moravian students only. As the old man, however,
would take no refusal, the question was put to the Lot; the Lot gave
consent; and to Niesky Schleiermacher and his brother came. For two
years, therefore, Schleiermacher studied at the Brethren's Pædagogium at
Niesky; and here he learned some valuable lessons {1783-5.}. He learned
the value of hard work; he formed a friendship with Albertini, and
plunged with him into a passionate study of Greek and Latin literature;
and he learned by personal contact with bright young souls that
religion, when based on personal experience, is a thing of beauty and
joy. Above all, he learned from the Brethren the value of the historical
Christ. The great object of Schleiermacher's life was to reconcile
science and religion. He attempted for the Germans of the eighteenth
century what many theologians are attempting for us to-day. He
endeavoured to make a "lasting treaty between living Christian faith and
the spirit of free inquiry." He found that treaty existing already at
Niesky. As the solemn time of confirmation drew near, the young lad was
carried away by his feelings, and expected his spiritual instructor to
fan the flame. "But no!" says Schleiermacher, "he led me back to the
field of history. He urged me to inquire into the facts and quietly
think out conclusions for myself." Thus Schleiermacher acquired at
Niesky that scientific frame of mind, and also that passionate devotion
to Christ, which are seen in every line he wrote.

From Niesksy he passed to the Theological Seminary at Barby {1785-87.}.
But here the influence was of a different kind. Of the three theological
professors at Barby--Baumeister, Bossart, and Thomas Moore--not one was
intellectually fitted to deal with the religious difficulties of young
men. Instead of talking frankly with the students about the burning
problems of the day, they simply lectured on the old orthodox lines,
asserted that certain doctrines were true, informed the young seekers
that doubting was sinful, and closed every door and window of the
college against the entrance of modern ideas. But modern ideas streamed
in through the chinks. Young Schleiermacher was now like a golden eagle
in a cage. At Niesky he had learned to think for himself; at Barby he
was told that thinking for himself was wrong. He called the doctrines
taught by the professors "stupid orthodoxy." He rejected, on
intellectual grounds, their doctrine of the eternal Godhead of Christ;
and he rejected on moral and spiritual grounds their doctrines of
the total depravity of man, of eternal punishment, and of the
substitutionary sufferings of Christ. He wrote a pathetic letter to his
father. "I cannot accept these doctrines," he said. He begged his father
to allow him to leave the college; the old man reluctantly granted the
request; and Schleiermacher, therefore, left the Brethren and pursued
his independent career.

And yet, though he differed from the Brethren in theology, he felt
himself at one with them in religion. In one sense, he remained a
Moravian to the end. He called himself a "Moravian of the higher order";
and by that phrase he probably meant that he had the Brethren's faith
in Christ, but rejected their orthodox theology. He read their monthly
magazine, "Nachrichten." He maintained his friendship with Bishop
Albertini, and studied his sermons and poems. He kept in touch with the
Brethren at Berlin, where his sister, Charlotte, lived in one of
their establishments. He frequently stayed at Gnadenfrei, Barby, and
Ebersdorf. He chatted with Albertini at Berthelsdorf. He described
the Brethren's singing meetings as models. "They make a deep religious
impression," he said, "which is often of greater value than many
sermons." He loved their celebration of Passion Week, their triumphant
Easter Morning service, and their beautiful Holy Communion. "There is no
Communion to compare with theirs," he said; and many a non-Moravian has
said the same. He admired the Moravian Church because she was free; and
in one of his later writings he declared that if that Church could only
be reformed according to the spirit of the age, she would be one of
the grandest Churches in the world. "In fundamentals," he said, "the
Brethren are right; it is only their Christology and theology that are
bad, and these are only externals. What a pity they cannot separate the
surface from the solid rock beneath." To him the fundamental truth of
theology was the revelation of God in Jesus Christ; and that also was
the fundamental element in the teaching of Zinzendorf.[142]
Meanwhile the great leader of the Brethren had passed away from
earth. At the advanced age of eighty-eight, Bishop Spangenberg died
at Berthelsdorf {1792.}. In history Spangenberg has not received his
deserts. We have allowed him to be overshadowed by Zinzendorf. In
genius, he was Zinzendorf's inferior; in energy, his equal; in practical
wisdom, his superior. He had organized the first Moravian congregation
in England, i.e., the one at Fetter Lane; he superintended the first
campaign in Yorkshire; he led the vanguard in North America; he defended
the Brethren in many a pamphlet just after the Sifting-Time; he gave
their broad theology literary form; and for thirty years, by his wisdom,
his skill, and his patience, he guided them through many a dangerous
financial crisis. Amid all his labours he was modest, urbane and
cheerful. In appearance his admirers called him apostolic. "He looked,"
said one, "as Peter must have looked when he stood before Ananias, or
John, when he said, Little children, love each other."

"See there, Lavater," said another enthusiast, "that is what a Christian
looks like."

But the noblest testimony was given by Becker, the editor of the German
Times. In an article in that paper, Becker related how once he had an
interview with Spangenberg, and how Spangenberg recounted some of his
experiences during the War in North America. The face of the Bishop was
aglow. The great editor was struck with amazement. At length he stepped
nearer to the white-haired veteran, and said:--

"Happy man! reveal to me your secret! What is it that makes you so
strong and calm? What light is this that illumines your soul? What power
is this that makes you so content? Tell me, and make me happy for ever."

"For this," replied the simple Spangenberg, his eyes shining with joy,
"for this I must thank my Saviour."

There lay the secret of Spangenberg's power; and there the secret of
the services rendered by the Brethren when pious evangelicals in Germany
trembled at the onslaught of the new theologians. For these services the
Brethren have been both blamed and praised. According to that eminent
historian, Ritschl, such men as Spangenberg were the bane of the
Lutheran Church. According to Dorner, the evangelical theologian, the
Brethren helped to save the Protestant faith from ruin. "When other
Churches," says Dorner, "were sunk in sleep, when darkness was almost
everywhere, it was she, the humble priestess of the sanctuary, who fed
the sacred flame." Between two such doctors of divinity who shall judge?
But perhaps the philosopher, Kant, will be able to help us. He was
in the thick of the rationalist movement; and he lived in the town
of Königsberg, where the Brethren had a Society. One day a student
complained to Kant that his philosophy did not bring peace to the heart.

"Peace!" replied the great philosopher, "peace of heart you will never
find in my lecture room. If you want peace, you must go to that little
Moravian Church over the way. That is the place to find peace."[143]


As the Rationalist movement spread in Germany, it had two distinct
effects upon the Brethren. The first was wholesome; the second was
morbid. At first it aroused them to a sense of their duty, and made
them gallant soldiers of the Cross; and then, towards the close of the
eighteenth century, it filled them with a horror of all changes and
reforms and of all independence in thought and action. The chief cause
of this sad change was the French Revolution. At first sight it may seem
that the French Revolution has little to do with our story; and Carlyle
does not discuss this part of his subject. But no nation lives to
itself; and Robespierre, Mirabeau and Marat shook the civilized world.
In England the French Revolution caused a general panic. At first, of
course, it produced a few revolutionaries, of the stamp of Tom Paine;
but, on the whole, its general effect was to make our politicians afraid
of changes, to strengthen the forces of conservatism, and thus to
block the path of the social and political reformer. Its effect on the
Brethren was similar. As the news of its horrors spread through Europe,
good Christian people could not help feeling that all free thought
led straight to atheism, and all change to revolution and murder; and,
therefore, the leading Brethren in Germany opposed liberty because
they were afraid of license, and reform because they were afraid of

For the long period, therefore of eighteen years, the Moravian Church
in Germany remained at a standstill {1800-18.}. At Herrnhut the Brethren
met in a General Synod, and there the Conservatives won a signal
victory. Already the first shots in the battle had been fired, and
already the U.E.C. had taken stern measures. Instead of facing the
situation frankly, they first shut their own eyes and then tried to make
others as blind as themselves. At this Synod the deputy for Herrnhut
was a lawyer named Riegelmann; and, being desirous to do his duty
efficiently, he had asked for a copy of the "Synodal Results" of
1764 and 1769. His request was moderate and sensible. No deputy could
possibly do his duty unless he knew the existing laws of the Church.
But his request was sternly refused. He was informed that no private
individual was entitled to a copy of the "Results." Thus, at the opening
of the nineteenth century, a false note was struck; and the Synod
deliberately prevented honest inquiry. Of the members, all but two
were church officials. For all practical purposes the laymen were
unrepresented. At the head of the conservative party was Godfrey Cunow.
In vain some English ministers requested that the use of the Lot should
no longer be enforced in marriages. The arguments of Cunow prevailed.
"Our entire constitution demands," he said, "that in our settlements
no marriage shall be contracted without the Lot." But the Brethren laid
down a still more depressing principle. For some years the older
leaders had noticed, with feelings of mingled pain and horror, that
revolutionary ideas had found a home even in quiet Moravian settlements;
and in order to keep such ideas in check, the Synod now adopted the
principle that the true kernel of the Moravian Church consisted, not of
all the communicant members, but only of a "Faithful Few." We can hardly
call this encouraging. It tempted the "Faithful Few" to be Pharisees,
and banned the rest as black sheep. And the Pastoral Letter, drawn up
by the Synod, and addressed to all the congregations, was still more
disheartening. "It will be better," ran one fatal sentence, "for us to
decrease in numbers and increase in piety than to be a large multitude,
like a body without a spirit." We call easily see what such a sentence
means. It means that the Brethren were afraid of new ideas, and resolved
to stifle them in their birth.

The new policy produced strange results. At the Theological Seminary in
Niesky the professors found themselves in a strange position. If they
taught the old theology of Spangenberg, they would be untrue to their
convictions; if they taught their convictions, they would be untrue
to the Church; and, therefore, they solved the problem by teaching no
theology at all. Instead of lecturing on the Bible, they lectured now
on philosophy; instead of expounding the teaching of Christ and His
Apostles, they expounded the teaching of Kant, Fichte and Jacobi; and
when the students became ministers, they had little but philosophy to
offer the people. For ordinary people philosophy is as tasteless as
the white of an egg. As the preachers spoke far above the heads of the
people, they soon lost touch with their flocks; the hungry sheep looked
up, and were not fed; the sermons were tinkling brass and clanging
cymbal; and the ministers, instead of attending to their pastoral
duties, were hidden away in their studies in clouds of philosophical and
theological smoke, and employed their time composing discourses, which
neither they nor the people could understand. Thus the shepherds lived
in one world, and the wandering sheep in another; and thus the bond
of sympathy between pastor and people was broken. For this reason the
Moravian Church in Germany began now to show signs of decay in moral
and spiritual power; and the only encouraging signs of progress were the
establishment of the new settlement of Königsfeld in the Black Forest,
the Diaspora work in the Baltic Provinces, officially recognized by the
Czar, the growth of the boarding-schools, and the extension of foreign
missions. In the boarding-schools the Brethren were at their best. At
most of them the pupils were prepared for confirmation, and the children
of Catholics were admitted. But the life in the congregations was at
a low ebb. No longer were the Brethren's Houses homes of Christian
fellowship; they were now little better than lodging-houses, and
the young men had become sleepy, frivolous, and even in some cases
licentious. For a short time the U.E.C. tried to remedy this evil by
enforcing stricter rules; and when this vain proceeding failed, they
thought of abolishing Brethren's Houses altogether. At the services in
Church the Bible was little read, and the people were content to feed
their souls on the Hymn-book and the Catechism. The Diacony managers
were slothful in business, and the Diaconies ceased to pay. The
subscriptions to central funds dwindled. The fine property at Barby was
abandoned. The Diaspora work was curtailed.

Another cause of decay was the growing use of the Lot. For that growth
the obvious reason was that, when the Brethren saw men adrift on every
side, they felt that they themselves must have an anchor that would
hold. It was even used in the boarding-schools. No pupil could be
admitted to a school unless his application had been confirmed by the
Lot.[144] No man could be a member of a Conference, no election was valid,
no law was carried, no important business step was taken, without the
consent of the Lot. For example, it was by the decision of the Lot
that the Brethren abandoned their cause at Barby; and thus, afraid
of intellectual progress, they submitted affairs of importance to an
external artificial authority. Again and again the U.E.C. desired to
summon a Synod; and again and again the Lot rejected the proposal.

Meanwhile another destructive force was working. Napoleon Buonaparte was
scouring Europe, and the German settlements were constantly invaded by
soldiers. At Barby, Generals Murat and Bernadotte were lodged in the
castle, and entertained by the Warden. At Gnadau the French made the
chapel their headquarters, killed and ate the live stock, ransacked the
kitchens and cellars, cleared out the stores, and made barricades of the
casks, wheelbarrows and carts. At Neudietendorf the Prussians lay like
locusts. At Ebersdorf, Napoleon lodged in the Brethren's House, and
quartered twenty or thirty of his men in every private dwelling. At
Kleinwelke, where Napoleon settled with the whole staff of the Grand
Army, the Single Sisters had to nurse two thousand wounded warriors;
and the pupils in the boarding-school had to be removed to Uhyst. At
Gnadenberg the settlement was almost ruined. The furniture was smashed,
the beds were cut up, the tools of the tradesmen were spoiled, and the
soldiers took possession of the Sisters' House. But Napoleon afterwards
visited the settlement, declared that he knew the Brethren to be a quiet
and peaceable people, and promised to protect them in future. He did
not, however, offer them any compensation; his promise of protection was
not fulfilled; and a few months later his own soldiers gutted the place
again. At Herrnhut, on one occasion, when the French were there, the
chapel was illuminated, and a service was held to celebrate Napoleon's
birthday; and then a little later Blücher arrived on the scene, and
summoned the people to give thanks to God for a victory over the French.
At Niesky the whole settlement became a general infirmary. Amid scenes
such as this Church progress was impossible. The cost in money was
enormous. At Herrnhut alone the levies amounted to £3,000; to this must
be added the destruction of property and the feeding of thousands of
troops of both sides; and thus the Brethren's expenses were increased by
many thousands of pounds.

At length, however, at Waterloo Napoleon met his conqueror; the great
criminal was captured and sent to St. Helena; and then, while he was
playing chess and grumbling at the weather, the Brethren met again at
Herrnhut in another General Synod {1818.}. At this Synod some curious
regulations were made. For the purpose of cultivating personal holiness,
Bishop Cunow proposed that henceforward the members of the Moravian
Church should be divided into two classes. In the first class he placed
the ordinary members--i.e., those who had been confirmed or who had
been received from other Churches; and all belonging to this class
were allowed to attend Communion once a quarter. His second class was a
sacred "Inner Circle." It consisted of those, and only those, who made
a special religious profession. No one could be admitted to this "Inner
Circle" without the sanction of the Lot; and none but those belonging to
the "Circle" could be members of the Congregation Council or Committee.
All members belonging to this class attended the Communion once a month.
For a wonder this strange resolution was carried, and remained in force
for seven years; and at bottom its ruling principle was that only those
elected by the Lot had any real share in Church government. But the
question of the Lot was still causing trouble. Again there came a
request from abroad--this time from America--that it should no longer be
enforced in marriages. For seven years the question was keenly debated,
and the radicals had to fight very hard for victory. First the Synod
passed a resolution that the Lot need not be used for marriages
except in the regular settlements; then the members in the settlements
grumbled, and were granted the same privilege (1819), and only ministers
and missionaries were compelled to marry by Lot; then the ministers
begged for liberty, and received the same privilege as the laymen
(1825); and, finally, the missionaries found release (1836), and thus
the enforced use of the Lot in marriages passed out of Moravian history.

But the Brethren had better work on hand than to tinker with their
constitution. At the root of their troubles had been the neglect of the
Bible. In order, therefore, to restore the Bible to its proper position
in Church esteem, the Brethren now established the Theological College
at Gnadenfeld (1818). There John Plitt took the training of the students
in hand; there systematic lectures were given on Exegesis, Dogmatics,
Old Testament Introduction, Church History, and Brethren's History;
there, in a word, John Plitt succeeded in training a band of ministers
who combined a love for the Bible with love for the Brethren's Church.
At the same time, the Synod appointed an "Educational Department" in the
U.E.C.; the boarding-schools were now more efficiently managed; and the
number of pupils ran up to thirteen hundred.

Amid this new life the sun rose on the morning of the 17th of June,
1722, a hundred years after Christian David had felled the first tree
at Herrnhut. The Brethren glanced at the past. The blood of the martyrs
seemed dancing in their veins. At Herrnhut the archives of the Church
had been stored; Frederick Kölbing had ransacked the records; and only
a few months before he had produced his book, "Memorial Days of the
Renewed Brethren's Church." From hand to hand the volume passed, and was
read with eager delight. The spirit of patriotic zeal was revived. Never
surely was there such a gathering in Herrnhut as on that Centenary Day.
From all the congregations in Germany, from Denmark, from Sweden, from
Holland, from Switzerland, from England, the Brethren streamed to thank
the Great Shepherd for His never-failing kindnesses. There were Brethren
and friends of the Brethren, clergymen and laymen, poor peasants in
simple garb from the old homeland in Moravia, and high officials from
the Court of Saxony in purple and scarlet and gold. As the vast assembly
pressed into the Church, the trombones sounded forth, and the choir sang
the words of the Psalmist, so rich in historic associations: "Here the
sparrow hath found a home, and the swallow a nest for her young, even
thine altars, oh, Lord of Hosts!" It was a day of high jubilation and a
day of penitent mourning; a day of festive robes and a day of sack-cloth
and ashes. As the great throng, some thousands in number, and arranged
in choirs, four and four, stood round the spot on the roadside where
Christian David had raised his axe, and where a new memorial-stone now
stood, they rejoiced because during those hundred years the seed had
become a great tree, and they mourned because the branches had begun to
wither and the leaves begun to fall. The chief speaker was John Baptist
Albertini, the old friend of Schleiermacher. Stern and clear was the
message he gave; deep and full was the note it sounded. "We have lost
the old love," he said; "let us repent. Let us take a warning from
the past; let us return unto the Lord." With faces abashed, with heads
bowed, with hearts renewed, with tears of sorrow and of joy in their
eyes, the Brethren went thoughtfully homewards.

At the next General Synod (1825), however, they made an alarming
discovery. In spite of the revival of Church enthusiasm, they found that
during the last seven years they had lost no fewer than one thousand two
hundred members; and, searching about to find the cause, they found it
in Bishop Cunow's "Inner Circle." It was time to abolish that "Circle";
and abolished it therefore was.

At the next General Synod (1836), the Brethren took another step
forward. In order to encourage the general study of the Bible, they
arranged that in every congregation regular Bible readings should be
held; and, in order to deepen the interest in evangelistic work, they
decreed that a prayer meeting should be held the first Monday of every
month. At this meeting the topic of intercession was to be, not the mere
prosperity of the Brethren, but the cultivation of good relations with
other Churches and the extension of the Kingdom of God throughout the

The next sign of progress was the wonderful revival in the Pædagogium
at Niesky {1841.}. For nine years that important institution, where
ministerial candidates were trained before they entered the Theological
Seminary, had been under the management of Frederick Immanuel
Kleinschmidt; and yet, despite his sternness and piety, the boys had
shown but a meagre spirit of religion. If Kleinschmidt rebuked them,
they hated him; if he tried to admonish them privately, they told him
fibs. There, at the very heart of the young Church life, religion was
openly despised; and the Pædagogium had now become little better than
an ordinary private school. If a boy, for example, wished to read his
Bible, he had to do so in French, pretend that his purpose was simply
to learn a new language, and thus escape the mockery of his schoolmates.
The case was alarming. If piety was despised in the school of the
prophets, what pastors was Israel likely to have in the future?

The revival began very quietly. One boy, Prince Reuss, was summoned home
to be present at his father's death-bed; and when he returned to the
school a few days later found himself met by an amount of sympathy which
boys are not accustomed to show. A change of some kind had taken place
during his absence. The nightwatchman, Hager, had been heard praying in
his attic for the boys. A boy, in great trouble with a trigonometrical
problem which would not come right, had solved the difficulty by
linking work with prayer. The boys in the "First Room"--i.e., the elder
boys--made an agreement to speak with one another openly before the Holy

At length, on November 13th, when the Brethren in the other
congregations were celebrating the centenary of the Headship of Christ,
there occurred, at the evening Communion at Niesky, "something new,
something unusual, something mightily surprising." With shake of hand
and without a word those elder boys made a solemn covenant to serve
Christ. Among them were two who, fifty years later, were still famous
Moravian preachers; and when they recalled the events of that evening
they could give no explanation to each other. "It was," they said, in
fond recollection, "something unusual, but something great and holy,
that overcame us and moved us. It must have been the Spirit of Christ."
For those boys that wonderful Communion service had ever sacred
associations; and Bishop Wunderling, in telling the story, declared
his own convictions. "The Lord took possession of the house," he said,
"bound all to one another and to Himself, and over all was poured the
spirit of love and forgiveness, and a power from above was distributed
from the enjoyment of the Communion."

"What wonder was it," wrote one boy home, "that when we brothers united
to praise the Lord, He did not put to shame our longings and our faith,
but kindled others from our fire."

In this work the chief leaders were Kleinschmidt the headmaster, Gustave
Tietzen, Ferdinand Geller, and Ernest Reichel. At first, of course,
there was some danger that the boys would lose their balance; but the
masters, in true Moravian style, checked all signs of fanaticism. It is
hardly correct to call the movement a revival. It is better to call it
an awakening. It was fanned by historic memories, was very similar to
the first awakening at Herrnhut, and soon led to very similar results.
No groans, or tears, or morbid fancies marred the scene. In the
playground the games continued as usual. On every hand were radiant
faces, and groups in earnest chat. No one ever asked, "Is so-and-so
converted?" For those lads the burning question was, "In what way can
I be like Christ?" As the boys retired to rest at night, they would ask
the masters to remember them in prayer, and the masters asked the
same in return of the boys. The rule of force was over. Before, old
Kleinschmidt, like our English Dr. Temple, had been feared as a "just
beast." Now he was the lovable father. At revivals in schools it has
sometimes happened that while the boys have looked more pious, they have
not always been more diligent and truthful; but at Niesky the boys now
became fine models of industry, honesty and good manners. They confessed
their faults to one another, gave each other friendly warnings, formed
unions for prayer, applied the Bible to daily life, were conscientious
in the class-room and in the playground; and then, when these golden
days were over, went out with tongues of flame to spread the news
through the Church. The real test of a revival is its lasting effect on
character. If it leads to selfish dreaming, it is clay; if it leads to
life-long sacrifice, it is gold; and well the awakening at Niesky stood
the test.

At the next General Synod all present could see that the Moravian Church
was now restored to full life, and the American deputies, who had
come to see her decently interrred, were amazed at her hopefulness and
vigour. At that Synod the signs of vigorous life were many {1848.}. For
the first time the Brethren opened their meetings to the public, allowed
reporters to be present, and had the results of their proceedings
printed and sold. For the first time they now resolved that, instead of
shutting themselves up in settlements, they would try, where possible,
to establish town and country congregations. For the first time they
now agreed that, in the English and American congregations, new members
might be received without the sanction of the Lot. Meanwhile, the boys
awakened at Niesky were already in harness. Some had continued their
studies at Gnadenfeld, and were now powerful preachers. Some had become
teachers at Königsfeld, Kleinwelke, and Neuwied. Some were preaching the
Gospel in foreign lands. Along the Rhine, in South and West Germany, in
Metz and the Wartebruch, and in Russian Poland, the Brethren opened new
fields of Diaspora work; and away in the broadening mission field the
energy was greater than ever. In Greenland a new station was founded at
Friedrichstal; in Labrador, at Hebron; in Surinam, at Bambey; in South
Africa, at Siloh and Goshen; on the Moskito Coast, at Bluefields; in
Australia, at Ebenezer; and in British India, near Tibet, at Kyelang.

And thus our narrative brings us down to 1857. We may pause to sum
up results. If a church is described as making progress, most readers
generally wish to know how many new congregations she has founded, and
how many members she has gained. But progress of that kind was not what
the Brethren desired; and during the period covered by this chapter
they founded only one new congregation. They had still only seventeen
congregations in Germany, in the proper sense of that word; but, on the
other hand, they had fifty-nine Diaspora centres, and about one hundred
and fifty Diaspora workers. At the heart, therefore, of all their
endeavours we see the design, not to extend the Moravian Church, but to
hold true to the old ideals of Zinzendorf. In that sense, at least, they
had made good progress. They showed to the world a spirit of brotherly
union; they were on good terms with other Churches; they made their
schools and their Diaspora centres homes of Christian influence; and,
above all, like a diamond set in gold, there flashed still with its
ancient lustre the missionary spirit of the fathers.


Of all the problems raised by the history of the Brethren, the most
difficult to solve is the one we have now to face. In the days of John
Wesley, the Moravians in England were famous; in the days of Robertson,
of Brighton, they were almost unknown. For a hundred years the Moravians
in England played so obscure and modest a part in our national life that
our great historians, such as Green and Lecky, do not even notice their
existence, and the problem now before us is, what caused this swift and
mysterious decline?

As the companions of Zinzendorf--Boehler, Cennick, Rogers and
Okeley--passed one by one from the scenes of their labours, there
towered above the other English Brethren a figure of no small grandeur.
It was Benjamin La Trobe, once a famous preacher in England. He sprang
from a Huguenot family, and had first come forward in Dublin. He had
been among the first there to give a welcome to John Cennick, had held
to Cennick when others left him, had helped to form a number of his
hearers into the Dublin congregation, and had been with Cennick on his
romantic journey's among the bogs and cockpits of Ulster. As the years
rolled on, he came more and more to the front. At Dublin he had met a
teacher of music named Worthington, and a few years later La Trobe and
Worthington were famous men at Fulneck. When Fulneck chapel was being
built, La Trobe stood upon the roof of a house to preach. When the
chapel was finished, La Trobe became Brethren's labourer, and his friend
Worthington played the organ. In those days Fulneck Chapel was not large
enough to hold the crowds that came, and La Trobe had actually to stand
upon the roof to harangue the vast waiting throng. As Cennick had been
before in Ireland, so La Trobe was now in England. He was far above most
preachers of his day. "He enraptured his audience," says an old account,
"by his resistless eloquence. His language flowed like rippling streams,
and his ideas sparkled like diamonds. His taste was perfect, and his
illustrations were dazzling; and when he painted the blackness of the
human heart, when he depicted the matchless grace of Christ, when
he described the beauty of holiness, he spoke with an energy, with
a passion, with a dignified sweep of majestic power which probed the
heart, and pricked the conscience, and charmed the troubled breast." It
was he of whom it is so quaintly recorded in a congregation diary: "Br.
La Trobe spoke much on many things."

For twenty-one years this brilliant preacher was the chief manager of
the Brethren's work in England; and yet, though he was not a German
himself, his influence was entirely German in character {1765-86.}. He
was manager of the Brethren's English finances; he was appointed to
his office by the German U.E.C.; and thus, along with James Hutton as
Secretary, he acted as official representative of the Directing Board in

In many ways his influence was all for good. He helped to restore to
vigorous life the "Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel" (1768)
remained its President till his death, and did much to further its
work in Labrador. He was a diligent writer and translator. He wrote a
"Succinct View of the Missions" of the Brethren (1771), and thus brought
the subject of foreign missions before the Christian public; and in
order to let inquirers know what sort of people the Moravians really
were, he translated and published Spangenberg's "Idea of Faith,"
Spangenberg's "Concise Account of the Present Constitution of the Unitas
Fratrum," and David Cranz's "History of the Brethren." The result
was good. The more people read these works by La Trobe, the more they
respected the Brethren. "In a variety of publications," said the London
Chronicle, "he removed every aspersion against the Brethren, and firmly
established their reputation." He was well known in higher circles,
was the friend of Dr. Johnson, and worked in union with such well-known
Evangelical leaders as Rowland Hill, William Romaine, John Newton,
Charles Wesley, Hannah More, Howell Harris, and Bishop Porteous, the
famous advocate of negro emancipation. Above all, he cleansed the
Brethren's reputation from the last stains of the mud thrown by such men
as Rimius and Frey. He was a friend of the Bishop of Chester; he was a
popular preacher in Dissenting and Wesleyan Chapels; he addressed Howell
Harris's students at Trevecca; he explained the Brethren's doctrines
and customs to Lord Hillsborough, the First Commissioner of the Board
of Trade and Plantations; and thus by his pen, by his wisdom and by his
eloquence, he caused the Brethren to be honoured both by Anglicans and
by Dissenters. At this period James Hutton--now a deaf old man--was
a favourite at the Court of George III. No longer were the Brethren
denounced as immoral fanatics; no longer did John Wesley feel it his
duty to expose their errors. As John Wesley grew older and wiser, he
began to think more kindly of the Brethren. He renewed his friendship
with James Hutton, whom he had not seen for twenty-five years (Dec. 21,
1771); he visited Bishop John Gambold in London, and recorded the event
in his Journal with the characteristic remark, "Who but Count Zinzendorf
could have separated such friends as we are?" He called, along with his
brother Charles, on John de Watteville at Lindsey House; and, above all,
when Lord Lyttleton, in his book "Dialogues of the Dead," attacked the
character of the Brethren, John Wesley himself spoke out nobly in their
defence. "Could his lordship," he wrote in his Journal (August 30th,
1770), "show me in England many more sensible men than Mr. Gambold and
Mr. Okeley? And yet both of these were called Moravians...What sensible
Moravian, Methodist or Hutchinsonian did he ever calmly converse with?
What does he know of them but from the caricatures drawn by Bishop
Lavington or Bishop Warburton? And did he ever give himself the
trouble of reading the answers to these warm, lively men? Why should a
good-natured and a thinking man thus condemn whole bodies by the lump?"
But the pleasantest proof of Wesley's good feeling was still to come.
At the age of eighty he went over to Holland, visited the Brethren's
beautiful settlement at Zeist, met there his old friend, Bishop Anthony
Seifferth, and asked to hear some Moravian music and singing. The
day was Wesley's birthday. As it happened, however, to be "Children's
Prayer-Day" as well, the minister, being busy with many meetings, was
not able to ask Wesley to dinner; and, therefore, he invited him instead
to come to the children's love-feast. John Wesley went to the chapel,
took part in the love-feast, and heard the little children sing a
"Birth-Day Ode" in his honour {June 28th, 1783.}. The old feud between
Moravians and Methodists was over. It ended in the children's song.[145]
One instance will show La Trobe's reputation in England {1777.}. At that
time there lived in London a famous preacher, Dr. Dodd; and now, to
the horror of all pious people, Dr. Dodd was accused and convicted of
embezzlement, and condemned to death. Never was London more excited.
A petition with twenty-three thousand signatures was sent up in Dodd's
behalf. Frantic plots were made to rescue the criminal from prison. But
Dodd, in his trouble, was in need of spiritual aid; and the two men for
whom he sent were John Wesley and La Trobe. By Wesley he was visited
thrice; by La Trobe, at his own request, repeatedly; and La Trobe was
the one who brought comfort to his soul, stayed with him till the end,
and afterwards wrote an official account of his death.

And yet, on the other hand, the policy now pursued by La Trobe was
the very worst policy possible for the Moravians in England. For that
policy, however, we must lay the blame, not on the man, but on the
system under which he worked. As long as the Brethren's Church in
England was under the control of the U.E.C., it followed, as a matter
of course, that German ideas would be enforced on British soil; and
already, at the second General Synod, the Brethren had resolved that the
British work must be conducted on German lines. Never did the Brethren
make a greater blunder in tactics. In Germany the system had a measure
of success, and has flourished till the present day; in England it was
doomed to failure at the outset. La Trobe gave the system a beautiful
name. He called it the system of "United Flocks." On paper it was lovely
to behold; in practice it was the direct road to consumption. In name it
was English enough; in nature it was Zinzendorf's Diaspora. At no period
had the Brethren a grander opportunity of extending their borders in
England than during the last quarter of the eighteenth century.
In Yorkshire, with Fulneck as a centre, they had four flourishing
congregations, societies in Bradford and Leeds, and preaching places
as far away as Doncaster and Kirby Lonsdale, in Westmoreland. In
Lancashire, with Fairfield as a centre, they were opening work in
Manchester and Chowbent. In Cheshire, with Dukinfield as a centre, they
had a number of societies on the "Cheshire Plan," including a rising
cause at Bullock-Smithy, near Stockport. In the Midlands, with Ockbrook
as a centre, they had preaching places in a dozen surrounding villages.
In Bedfordshire, with Bedford as a centre, they had societies at
Riseley, Northampton, Eydon, Culworth and other places. In Wales, with
Haverfordwest as a centre, they had societies at Laughharne, Fishguard,
Carmarthen and Carnarvon. In Scotland, with Ayre[146] as a centre, they
had societies at Irvine and Tarbolton, and preaching-places at Annan,
Blackhall, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kilsyth, Kilmarnock, Ladyburn,
Prestwick, Westtown, and twenty smaller places. In the West of England,
with Bristol and Tytherton as centres, they had preaching-places at
Apperley, in Gloucestershire; Fome and Bideford, in Somerset; Plymouth
and Exeter, in Devon; and many villages in Wiitshire. In the North
of Ireland, with Gracehill as a centre, they had preaching-places at
Drumargan, Billies, Arva (Cavan), and many other places.

For the Brethren, therefore, the critical question was, what to do with
the societies and preaching-places? There lay the secret of success or
failure; and there they committed their great strategic blunder. They
had two alternatives before them. The one was to treat each society or
preaching-place as the nucleus of a future congregation; the other was
to keep it as a mere society. And the Brethren, in obedience to orders
from Germany, chose the latter course. At the Moravian congregations
proper the strictest rules were enforced; in most congregations there
were Brethren's and Sisters' Houses; and all full members of the
Moravian Church had to sign a document known as the "Brotherly
Agreement." {1771.} In that document the Brethren gave some remarkable
pledges. They swore fidelity to the Augsburg Confession. They promised
to do all in their power to help the Anglican Church, and to encourage
all her members to be loyal to her. They declared that they would never
proselytize from any other denomination. They promised that no marriage
should take place without the consent of the Elders; that all children
must be educated in one of the Brethren's schools; that they would help
to support the widows, old people and orphans; that no member should set
up in business without the consent of the Elders; that they would
never read any books of a harmful nature. At each congregation these
rules--and others too many to mention here--were read in public once
a year; each member had a printed copy, and any member who broke the
"Agreement" was liable to be expelled. Thus the English Brethren signed
their names to an "Agreement" made in Germany, and expressing German
ideals of religious life. If it never became very popular, we need
not wonder. But this "Agreement" was not binding on the societies and
preaching-places. As the Brethren in Germany founded societies without
turning them into settlements, so the Brethren in England conducted
preaching-places without turning them into congregations and without
asking their hearers to become members of the Moravian Church; and a
strict rule was laid down that only such hearers as had a "distinct call
to the Brethren's Church" should be allowed to join it. The
distinct call came through the Lot. At nearly all the societies and
preaching-places, therefore, the bulk of the members were flatly refused
admission to the Moravian Church; they remained, for the most part,
members of the Church of England; and once a quarter, with a Moravian
minister at their head, they marched in procession to the Communion in
the parish church. For unselfishness this policy was unmatched; but
it nearly ruined the Moravian Church in England. At three
places--Woodford,[147] Baildon and Devonport--the Brethren turned
societies into congregations; but most of the others were sooner or
later abandoned. In Yorkshire the Brethren closed their chapel at
Pudsey, and abandoned their societies at Holbeck, Halifax, Wibsey and
Doncaster. At Manchester they gave up their chapel in Fetter Lane.
In Cheshire they retreated from Bullock Smithy; in the Midlands from
Northampton; in London from Chelsea; in Somerset from Bideford and
Frome; in Devon from Exeter and Plymouth; in Gloucestershire from
Apperley; in Scotland from Irvine, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and
thirty or forty other places;[148] in Wales from Fishguard, Laugharn,
Carmarthen and Carnarvon; in Ireland from Arva, Billies, Drumargan,
Ballymena, Gloonen, Antrim, Dromore, Crosshill, Artrea, Armagh, and so
on. And the net result of this policy was that when Bishop Holmes, the
Brethren's Historian, published his "History of the Brethren" (1825),
he had to record the distressing fact that in England the Moravians
had only twenty congregations, in Ireland only six, and that the total
number of members was only four thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven.
The question is sometimes asked to-day: How is it that the Moravian
Church is so small? For that smallness more reasons than one may be
given; but one reason was certainly the singular policy expounded in the
present chapter.[149]


But our problem is not yet solved. As soon as the nineteenth century
opened, the Brethren began to look forward with hope to the future; and
their leading preachers still believed in the divine and holy calling
of the Moravian Church. Of those preachers the most famous was Christian
Frederick Ramftler. He was a typical Moravian minister. He was a type in
his character, in his doctrine, and in his fortunes. He came of an old
Moravian family, and had martyr's blood in his veins. He was born at
the Moravian settlement at Barby (1780). At the age of six he attended
a Good Friday service, and was deeply impressed by the words, "He bowed
his head and gave up the ghost"; and although he could never name the
date of his conversion, he was able to say that his religion was based
on the love of Christ and on the obligation to love Christ in return.
At the age of seven he was sent to the Moravian school at Kleinwelke;
he then entered the Pædagogium at Barby, and completed his education by
studying theology at Niesky. At that place he was so anxious to
preach the Gospel that, as he had no opportunity of preaching in the
congregation, he determined to preach to the neighbouring Wends; and,
as he knew not a word of their language, he borrowed one of their
minister's sermons, learned it by heart, ascended the pulpit, and
delivered the discourse with such telling energy that the delighted
people exclaimed: "Oh, that this young man might always preach to us
instead of our sleepy parson." For that freak he was gravely rebuked by
the U.E.C., and he behaved with more discretion in the future. For
two years he served the Church as a schoolmaster, first at
Neusalz-on-the-Oder, and then at Uhyst; and then, to his surprise,
he received a call to England. For the moment he was staggered. He
consulted the Lot; the Lot gave consent; and, therefore, to England
he came. For six years he now served as master in the Brethren's
boarding-school at Fairfield; and then, in due course, he was called as
minister to the Brethren's congregation at Bedford. As soon, however, as
he accepted the call, he was informed that he would have to marry; his
wife was found for him by the Church; the marriage turned out a happy
one; and thus, with her as an official helpmate, he commenced
his ministerial career (1810). At Bedford he joined with other
ministers--such as Legh Richmond and S. Hillyard--in founding Bible
associations. At Fulneck--where he was stationed twelve years--he was so
beloved by his congregation that one member actually said: "During seven
years your name has not once been omitted in our family prayers." At
Bristol he was noted for his missionary zeal, took an interest in the
conversion of the Jews, and often spoke at public meetings on behalf of
the Church Missionary Society; and in one year he travelled a thousand
miles on behalf of the "London Association in aid of Moravian Missions."
In manner he was rough and abrupt; at heart he was gentle as a woman.
He was a strict disciplinarian, a keen questioner, and an unflinching
demander of a Christian walk. Not one jot or tittle would he allow his
people to yield to the loose ways of the world. In his sermons he dealt
hard blows at cant; and in his private conversation he generally managed
to put his finger upon the sore spot. One day a collier came to see him,
and complained, in a rather whining tone, that the path of his life was

"H'm," growled Ramftler, who hated sniffling, "is it darker than it was
in the coal-pit?"

The words proved the collier's salvation.

In all his habits Ramftler was strictly methodical. He always rose
before six; he always finished his writing by eleven; and he kept a list
of the texts from which he preached. As that list has been preserved, we
are able to form some notion of his style; and the chief point to notice
is that his preaching was almost entirely from the New Testament.
At times, of course, he gave his people systematic lectures on the
Patriarchs, the Prophets and the Psalms; but, speaking, broadly, his
favourite topic was the Passion History. Above all, like most Moravian
ministers, he was an adept in dealing with children. At the close of the
Sunday morning service, he came down from the pulpit, took his seat at
the Communion table, put the children through their catechism, and then
asked all who wished to be Christians to come and take his hand.

At length, towards the close of his life, he was able to take some part
in pioneer work. Among his numerous friends at Bristol was a certain
Louis West.

"Have you never thought," said Ramftler, "of becoming a preacher of the

"I believe," replied West, "I shall die a Moravian minister yet."

"Die as a minister!" snapped Ramftler. "You ought to live as one!"

The words soon came true. In response to an invitation from some pious
people, Ramftler paid a visit to Brockweir, a little village on the
Wye, a few miles above Tintern. The village was a hell on earth. It was
without a church, and possessed seven public-houses. There was a field
of labour for the Brethren. As soon as Ramftler could collect the money,
he had a small church erected, laid the corner-stone himself, and had
the pleasure of seeing West the first minister of the new congregation.

And like Ramftler was many another of kindred blood. At Wyke, John
Steinhauer (1773-76), the children's friend, had a printing press,
wherewith he printed hymns and passages of Scripture in days when
children's books were almost unknown. At Fulneck the famous teacher, Job
Bradley, served for forty-five years (1765-1810), devoted his life to
the spiritual good of boys, and summed up the passion of his life in the
words he was often heard to sing:--

   Saviour, Saviour, love the children;
   Children, children, love the Saviour.

At Kimbolton, Bishop John King Martyn founded a new congregation. At
Kilwarlin, Basil Patras Zula revived a flagging cause. If the Moravian
Church was small in England, it was not because her ministers were idle,
or because they were lacking in moral and spiritual power.

And yet, fine characters though they were, these men could do little
for Church extension. They were still tied down by the "Brotherly
Agreement." They aimed at quality rather than quantity. As long as
the Brethren's work in England remained under German management, that
"Brotherly Agreement" remained their charter of faith and practice.
For power and place they had not the slightest desire. At their public
service on Sunday mornings they systematically joined in the prayer,
"From the unhappy desire of becoming great, preserve us, gracious Lord
and God." As long as they were true to the Agreement and the Bible, they
do not appear to have cared very much whether they increased in numbers
or not. For them the only thing that mattered was the cultivation of
personal holiness. As the preaching-places fell away they devoted their
attention more and more to the care of the individual. They had a deep
reverence for the authority of Scripture. No man could be a member
of the Moravian Church unless he promised to read his Bible and hold
regular family worship. "The Bible," ran one clause of the Agreement,
"shall be our constant study; we will read it daily in our families,
with prayer for the influence of the Holy Spirit of God." If that duty
was broken, the member was liable to expulsion. And the same held
good with the other clauses of the "Agreement." We often read in the
congregation diaries of members being struck off the rolls for various
sins. For cursing, for lying, for slandering, for evil-speaking, for
fraud, for deceit, for drunkenness, for sabbath breaking, for gambling
or any other immorality--for all these offences the member, if he
persisted in his sin, was summarily expelled. In some of their ideals
the Brethren were like the Puritans; in others like the Quakers. They
were modest in dress, never played cards, and condemned theatres and
dancing as worldly follies. As they still entertained a horror of war,
they preferred not to serve as soldiers; and any Moravian could obtain
a certificate from the magistrates exempting him from personal military
service.[150] At the same time, they were loyal to Church and State, had
a great love for the Church of England, regarded that Church as the
bulwark of Protestantism, detested Popery, and sometimes spoke of the
Pope as the Man of Sin. And yet, sturdy Protestants though they were,
they had a horror of religious strife. "We will abstain from religious
controversy," was another clause in the Agreement; and, therefore, they
never took any part in the religious squabbles of the age. For example,
the Brethren took no part in the fight for Catholic emancipation. As
they did not regard themselves as Dissenters, they declined to join the
rising movement for the separation of Church and State; and yet, on the
other hand, they lived on good terms with all Evangelical Christians,
and willingly exchanged pulpits with Methodists and Dissenters. At this
period their chief doctrine was redemption through the blood of Christ.
I have noticed, in reading the memoirs of the time, that although the
authors differed in character, they were all alike in their spiritual
experiences. They all spoke of themselves as "poor sinners"; they all
condemned their own self-righteousness; and they all traced what virtues
they possessed to the meritorious sufferings of the Redeemer. Thus the
Brethren stood for a Puritan standard, a Bible religion and a broad
Evangelical Faith. "Yon man," said Robert Burns's father in Ayr, "prays
to Christ as though he were God." But the best illustration of the
Brethren's attitude is the story of the poet himself. As Robert and
his brother Gilbert were on their way one Sunday morning to the parish
church at Tarbolton, they fell in with an old Moravian named William
Kirkland; and before long the poet and Kirkland began discussing
theology. Burns defended the New Lights, the Moravian the Old Lights.
At length Burns, finding his arguments of no avail, exclaimed: "Oh, I
suppose I've met with the Apostle Paul this morning."

"No," retorted the Moravian Evangelical, "you have not met the Apostle
Paul; but I think I have met one of those wild beasts which he says he
fought with at Ephesus."

Meanwhile, the Brethren showed other signs of vigour. The first, and one
of the most influential, was their system of public school education.
At the General Synod in 1782 a resolution had been passed that education
should be a recognized branch of Church work; and, therefore, following
the example set in Germany, the English Brethren now opened a number of
public boarding-schools. In 1782-1785 they began to admit non-Moravians
to the two schools already established at Fulneck. In 1792 they opened
girls' schools at Dukinfield and Gomersal; in 1794 a girls' school at
Wyke; in 1796 a girls' school at Fairfield; in 1798 a girls' school at
Gracehill; in 1799 a girls' school at Ockbrook; in 1801 a boys' school
at Fairfield, and a girls' school at Bedford; in 1805 a boys' school at
Gracehill; and, in 1813, a boys' school at Ockbrook. At these schools
the chief object of the Brethren was the formation of Christian
character. They were all established at settlements or at flourishing
congregations, and the pupils lived in the midst of Moravian life. For
some years the religion taught was unhealthy and mawkish, and both boys
and girls were far too strictly treated. They were not allowed to play
competitive games; they were under the constant supervision of teachers;
they had scarcely any exercise but walks; and they were often rather
encouraged in the notion that it was desirable to die young. At one time
the girls at Fulneck complained that not one of their number had died
for six months; and one of the Fulneck records runs: "By occasion of
the smallpox our Saviour held a rich harvest among the children, many of
whom departed in a very blessed manner." As long as such morbid ideas as
these were taught, both boys and girls became rather maudlin characters.
The case of the boys at Fulneck illustrates the point. They attended
services every night in the week; they heard a great deal of the
physical sufferings of Christ; they were encouraged to talk about their
spiritual experiences; and yet they were often found guilty of lying, of
stealing, and of other more serious offences. At first, too, a good many
of the masters were unlearned and ignorant men. They were drafted in
from the Brethren's Houses; they taught only the elementary subjects;
they had narrow ideas of life; and, instead of teaching the boys to be
manly and fight their own battles, they endeavoured rather to shield
them from the world. But as time went on this coddling system was
modified. The standard of education was raised; the masters were often
learned men preparing for the ministry; the laws against competitive
games were repealed; and the religious instruction became more sensible
and practical. If the parents desired it, their children, at a suitable
age, were prepared for confirmation, confirmed by the local Moravian
minister, and admitted to the Moravian Communion service. The pupils
came from all denominations. Sometimes even Catholics sent their
children, and allowed them to receive religious instruction.[151] But no
attempt was ever made to make proselytes. For many years these schools
enjoyed a high reputation as centres of high-class education and of
strict moral discipline. At all these schools the Brethren made much of
music; and the music was all of a solemn devotional character.

"The music taught," said Christian Ignatuis La Trobe, "is both vocal and
instrumental; the former is, however, confined to sacred compositions,
congregational, choral, and orchestral, the great object being to turn
this divine art to the best account for the service and edification of
the Church." At that time (about 1768) the dormitory of Fulneck Boys'
School was over the chapel; and La Trobe tells us how he would keep
himself awake at night to hear the congregation sing one of the
Liturgies to the Father, Son and Spirit.[152] Thus the Brethren, true to
their old ideal, endeavoured to teach the Christian religion without
adding to the numbers of the Moravian Church. It is hardly possible to
over-estimate the influence of these schools. In Ireland the schools
at Gracehill were famous. The pupils came from the highest ranks of
society. At one time it used to be said that the mere fact that a boy or
girl had been educated at Gracehill was a passport to the best society.
In Yorkshire the Brethren were educational pioneers. The most famous
pupil of the Brethren was Richard Oastler. At the age of eight (1797)
that great reformer--the Factory King--was sent by his parents to
Fulneck School; and years later, in an address to the boys, he reminded
them how great their privileges were. "Ah, boys," he said, "let me
exhort you to value your privileges. I know that the privileges of a
Fulneck schoolboy are rare."

But the greatest influence exercised by the Brethren was in the cause
of foreign missions. For that blessing we may partly thank Napoleon
Buonaparte. As that eminent philanthropist scoured the continent of
Europe, he had no intention of aiding the missionary cause; but one
result of his exploits was that when Christian people in England heard
how grievously the German Brethren had suffered at his hands their
hearts were filled with sympathy and the desire to help. At Edinburgh
a number of gentlemen founded the "Edinburgh Association in Aid of
Moravian Missions"; at Glasgow others founded the "Glasgow Auxiliary
Society"; at Bristol and London some ladies formed the "Ladies'
Association" (1813); in Yorkshire the Brethren themselves formed the
"Yorkshire Society for the Spread of the Gospel among the Heathen"
(1827); at Sheffield James Montgomery, the Moravian poet, appealed to
the public through his paper, the Iris; and the result was that in
one year subscriptions to Moravian Missions came in from the Church
Missionary Society, and from other missionary and Bible societies. In
Scotland money was collected annually at Edinburgh, Elgin, Dumfries,
Horndean, Haddington, Kincardine, Perth, Falkirk, Jedwater,
Calton, Bridgetown, Denny, Greenock, Stirling, Paisley, Anstruther,
Inverkeithing, Aberdeen, Lochwinnoch, Leith, Tranent, St. Ninian's,
Brechin, Montrose; in England at Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, Henley,
Berwick, St. Neots, Bedford, Northampton, Colchester, York, Cambridge;
in Ireland at Ballymena, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Lurgan, Cookstown,
Dublin. As the interest of Englishmen in Foreign Missions was still in
its infancy, a long list like this is remarkable. But the greatest proof
of the rising interest in missions was the foundation of the "London
Association in Aid of Moravian Missions" (1817). It was not a Moravian
Society. The founders were mostly Churchmen; but the basis was
undenominational, and membership was open to all who were willing to
subscribe. At first the amount raised by the Association was a little
over £1,000 a year; but as time went on the annual income increased,
and in recent years it has sometimes amounted to £17,000. It is hard to
mention a nobler instance of broad-minded charity. For some years the
secretary of this Association has generally been an Anglican clergyman;
he pleads for Moravian Missions in parish churches; the annual sermon is
preached in St. Paul's Cathedral; and thus the Brethren are indebted to
Anglican friends for many thousands of pounds. Another proof of interest
in Moravian Missions was the publication of books on the subject by
non-Moravian writers. At Edinburgh an anonymous writer published "The
Moravians in Greenland" (1830) and "The Moravians in Labrador" (1833).
Thus the Brethren had quickened missionary enthusiasm in every part of
the United Kingdom.

At home, meanwhile, the Brethren moved more slowly. As they did not wish
to interfere with the Church of England, they purposely confined their
forward movement almost entirely to villages and neglected country
districts. In 1806 they built a chapel in the little village of Priors
Marston, near Woodford; in 1808 they founded the congregation at
Baildon, Yorkshire; in 1818 they began holding services at Stow, near
Bedford; in 1823 they founded the congregation at Kimbolton; in
1827 they founded the congregation at Pertenhall; in 1833 at
Brockweir-on-the-Wye; in 1834 they started a cause at Stratford-on-Avon,
but abandoned it in 1839; in 1836 at Salem, Oldham. In 1829 they founded
the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Ireland; in 1839 they
began holding services at Tillbrook, near Bedford; and in 1839 they
endeavoured, though in vain, to establish a new congregation at Horton,
Bradford. In comparison with the number of societies abandoned, the
number of new congregations was infinitesimal. The same tale is told by
their statistical returns. In 1824 they had 2,596 communicant members;
in 1834, 2,698; in 1850, 2,838; and, in 1857, 2,978; and thus we have
the startling fact that, in spite of their efforts at church extension,
they had not gained four hundred members in thirty-three years. For
this slowness, however, the reasons were purely mechanical; and all the
obstacles sprang from the Brethren's connection with Germany.

First, we have the persistent use of the Lot. For some years the English
Brethren adhered to the custom of enforcing its use in marriages;
and even when it was abolished in marriages they still used it in
applications for membership. No man could be a member of the Moravian
Church without the consent of the Lot; and this rule was still enforced
at the Provincial Synod held at Fairfield in 1847. Sometimes this rule
worked out in a curious way. A man and his wife applied for admission to
the Church; the case of each was put separately to the Lot; the one was
accepted, the other was rejected; and both were disgusted and pained.

Another barrier to progress was the system of ministerial education. For
a few years (1809-27) there existed at Fulneck a high-class Theological
Seminary; but it speedily sickened and died; and henceforward all
candidates for the ministry who desired a good education were compelled
to go to Germany. Thus the Brethren now had two classes of ministers.
If the candidate was not able to go to Germany, he received but a poor
education; and if, on the other hand, he went to Germany, he stayed
there so long--first as a student, and then as a master--that when he
returned to England, he was full of German ideas of authority, and often
spoke with a German accent. And thus Englishmen naturally obtained the
impression that the Church was not only German in origin, but meant
chiefly for Germans.

Another cruel barrier was the poverty of the ministers. They were
overworked and underpaid. They had generally five or six services to
hold every Sunday; they had several meetings during the week; they were
expected to interview every member at least once in two months;
they were entirely without lay assistants; their wives held official
positions, and were expected to share in the work; and yet, despite his
manifold duties, there was scarcely a minister in the Province whose
salary was enough to enable him to make ends meet. At one time the
salary of the minister in London was only £50 a year; at Fulneck it was
only 8s. a week; in other places it was about the same. There was
no proper sustentation fund; and the result was that nearly all the
ministers had to add to their incomes in other ways. In most cases they
kept little schools for the sons and daughters of gentry in the country
districts; but as they were teaching five days a week, they could
not possibly pay proper attention to their ministerial duties. If the
minister had been a single man, he might easily have risen above his
troubles; but as he was compelled by church law to marry, his case
was often a hard one; and at the Provincial Synod held at Fulneck, the
Brethren openly confessed the fact that one of the chief hindrances to
progress was lack of time on the part of the ministers {1835.}.

Another barrier was the absolute power of officials and the limited
power of the laity. No Church can expect to make much progress unless
its institutions are in tune with the institutions of the country. For
good or for evil, England was growing democratic; and, therefore, the
Moravian Church should have been democratic too. But in those days
the Moravian Church was the reverse of democratic. In theory each
congregation had the power to elect its own committee; in fact,
no election was valid unless ratified by the Lot. In theory each
congregation had the power to send a deputy to the Provincial Synod; in
fact, only a few ever used the privilege. At the first Provincial Synod
of the nineteenth century (1824), only four deputies were present; at
the second (1835), only seven; at the third (1847), only nine; at the
fourth (1853), only twelve; at the fifth (1856), only sixteen; and thus,
when the deputies did appear, they could always be easily outvoted by
the ministers.

Another hindrance was the Brethren's peculiar conception of their duty
to their fellow-men in this country. In spite of their enthusiasm for
Foreign Missions, they had little enthusiasm for Home Missions; and
clinging still to the old Pietist notion of a "Church within the
Church," they had not yet opened their eyes to the fact that godless
Englishmen were quite as plentiful as godless Red Indians or Hottentots.
For proof let us turn to the "Pastoral Letter" drawn up by commission
of the Synod at Fulneck {1835.}. At that Synod, the Brethren prepared a
revised edition of the "Brotherly Agreement"; and then, to enforce
the principles of the "Agreement," they commissioned the P.E.C.[153] to
address the whole Church in a "Pastoral Letter." But neither in the
Agreement nor in the Letter did the Brethren recommend Home Mission
work. They urged their flocks to hold prayer meetings, to distribute
tracts, to visit the sick, to invite outsiders to the House of God;
they warned them against the corruption of business life; and they even
besought them not to meddle in politics or to wear party colours. In
Ireland they were not to join Orange Lodges; and in England they were
not to join trade unions. Thus the Brethren distinctly recommended their
people not to take too prominent a part in the social and political life
of the nation.

Again, twelve years later, at the next Synod, held at Fairfield {1847.},
the Brethren issued another "Pastoral Letter." In this letter the
members of the P.E.C. complained that some were denying the doctrine
of eternal punishment, that the parents were neglecting the religious
education of their children, that the Bible was not systematically read,
that the "speaking" before the Holy Communion was neglected, that the
old custom of shaking hands at the close of the Sacrament was dying
out, that the members' contributions were not regularly paid, and that
private prayer meetings were not held as of old; and, therefore, the
Brethren pleaded earnestly for the revival of all these good customs.
And yet, even at this late stage, there was no definite reference in the
"Letter" to Home Mission Work.

Another cause of paralysis was the lack of periodical literature.
We come here to an astounding fact. For one hundred and eight years
(1742-1850), the Moravians struggled on in England without either an
official or an unofficial Church magazine; and the only periodical
literature they possessed was the quarterly missionary report,
"Periodical Accounts." Thus the Church members had no means of airing
their opinions. If a member conceived some scheme of reform, and wished
to expound it in public, he had to wait till the next Provincial Synod;
and as only five Synods were held in fifty years, his opportunity did
not come very often. Further, the Brethren were bound by a rule that
no member should publish a book or pamphlet dealing with Church affairs
without the consent of the U.E.C. or of a Synod.

At length, however, this muzzling order was repealed; and the first
Briton to speak his mind in print was an Irishman, John Carey. For some
time this man, after first reviving a dying cause at Cootehill, in Co.
Cavan, had been making vain endeavours to arouse the Irish Moravians
to a sense of their duty {1850.}; but all he had received in return was
official rebukes. He had tried to start a new cause in Belfast; he had
gathered together a hundred and fifty hearers; he had rented a hall for
worship in King Street; and then the Irish Elders' Conference, in solemn
assembly at Gracehill, strangled the movement at its birth. Instead
of encouraging and helping Carey, they informed him that his work was
irregular, forbade him to form a Society, and even issued a notice
in the Guardian disowning his meetings. But Carey was not to be
disheartened; and now, at his own risk, he issued his monthly magazine,
The Fraternal Messenger. The magazine was a racy production. As John
Carey held no official position, he was able to aim his bullets wherever
he pleased; and, glowing with patriotic zeal, he first gave a concise
epitome of the "History of the Brethren," and then dealt with burning
problems of the day. If the magazine did nothing else, it at least
caused men to think. Among the contributors was Bishop Alexander
Hassé. He had visited certain places in Ireland--Arva, Billies, and
Drumargan--where once the Brethren had been strong; he gave an account
of these visits; and thus those who read the magazine could not fail to
see what glorious opportunities had been thrown away in the past.

At the next Synod, held in Fulneck, all present could see that a
new influence was at work {1853.}. For the first time the Brethren
deliberately resolved that, in their efforts for the Kingdom of God,
they should "aim at the enlargement of the Brethren's Church." They
sanctioned the employment of lay preachers; they established the
Moravian Magazine, edited by John England; and they even encouraged a
modest attempt to rekindle the dying embers at such places as Arva and

At the next Synod, held again at Fulneck, the Brethren showed a still
clearer conception of their duties {1856.}. The Synodal sermon was
preached by William Edwards. He was a member of the Directing Board, and
must have spoken with a sense of responsibility; and in that sermon
he deliberately declared that, instead of following the German plan of
concentrating their energy on settlements, the Brethren ought to pay
more attention to town and country congregations. "It is here," he
said, "that we lie most open to the charge of omitting opportunities of
usefulness." And the members of the Synod were equally emphatic.
They made arrangements for a Training Institution; they rejected the
principle, which had ruled so long, of a "Church within the Church";
and, thirdly,--most important point of all--they resolved that a society
be formed, called the Moravian Home Mission, and that the object of
that society should be, not only to evangelize in dark and neglected
districts, but also to establish, wherever possible, Moravian
congregations. The chief leader in this new movement was Charles E.
Sutcliffe. He had pleaded the cause of Home Missions for years; and now
he was made the general secretary of the new Home Mission society.

In one way, however, the conduct of the Brethren was surprising. As we
have now arrived at that point in our story when the Moravian Church,
no longer under the rule of the U.E.C., was to be divided into three
independent provinces, it is natural to ask what part the British
Moravians played in this Home Rule movement; what part they played,
i.e., in the agitation that each Province should have its own property,
hold its own Provincial Synods, and manage its own local affairs. They
played a very modest part, indeed! At this Synod they passed three
resolutions: first, that the British P.E.C. should be empowered to
summon a Provincial Synod with the consent of the U.E.C.; second, that
the Synod should be empowered to elect its own P.E.C.; and third, that
"any measure affecting our own province, carried by a satisfactory
majority, shall at once pass into law for the province, with the
sanction of the Unity's Elders' Conference, without waiting for a
General Synod." But in other respects the British Moravians were in
favour of the old constitution. They were not the true leaders of the
Home Rule movement. They made no demand for a separation of property;
they were still willing to bow to the authority of the German Directing
Board; they still declared their belief in the use of the Lot in
appointments to office; and the agitation in favour of Home Rule came,
not from Great Britain, but from North America. To North America,
therefore, we must now turn our attention.


For nearly a century the Moravians in America had felt as uncomfortable
as David in Saul's armour; and the armour in this particular instance
was made of certain iron rules forged at the General Synods held in
Germany. As soon as Spangenberg had left his American friends, the work
was placed, for the time being, under the able management of Bishop
Seidal, Bishop Hehl, and Frederick William von Marschall; and then, in
due course, the American Brethren were informed that a General Synod had
been held at Marienborn (1764), that certain Church principles had there
been laid down, and that henceforward their duty, as loyal Moravians,
was to obey the laws enacted at the General Synods, and also to submit,
without asking questions, to the ruling of the German Directing Board.
The Americans meekly obeyed. The system of Government adopted was
peculiar. At all costs, said the Brethren in Germany, the unity of the
Moravian Church must be maintained; and, therefore, in order to maintain
that unity the Directing Board, from time to time, sent high officials
across the Atlantic on visitations to America. In 1765 they sent old
David Nitschmann; in 1770 they sent Christian Gregor, John Lorentz,
and Alexander von Schweinitz; in 1779 they sent Bishop John Frederick
Reichel; in 1783 they sent Bishop John de Watteville; in 1806 they
sent John Verbeck and John Charles Forester; and thus they respectfully
reminded the American Brethren that although they lived some thousands
of miles away, they were still under the fatherly eye of the German
Directing Board. For this policy the German Brethren had a noble reason.
As the resolutions passed at the General Synods were nearly always
confirmed by the Lot, they could not help feeling that those resolutions
had some Divine authority; and, therefore, what God called good in
Germany must be equally good in America. For this reason they enforced
the settlement system in America just as strictly as in Germany. Instead
of aiming at church extension they centralized the work round the four
settlements of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Salem and Lititz. There, in the
settlements, they enforced the Brotherly Agreement; there they insisted
on the use of the Lot; there they fostered diaconies, choirs, Brethren's
Houses and Sisters' Houses, and all the features of settlement life; and
there alone they endeavoured to cultivate the Moravian Quietist type
of gentle piety. Thus the Brethren in America were soon in a queer
position. As there was no State Church in America, and as, therefore, no
one could accuse them of being schismatics, they had just as much right
to push their cause as any other denomination; and yet they were just as
much restricted as if they had been dangerous heretics. Around them lay
an open country, with a fair field and no favour; within their bosoms
glowed a fine missionary zeal; and behind them, far away at Herrnhut,
sat the Directing Board, with their hands upon the curbing rein.

If this system of government favoured unity, it also prevented growth.
It was opposed to American principles, and out of place on American
soil. What those American principles were we all know. At that famous
period in American history, when the War of Independence broke out, and
the Declaration of Independence was framed, nearly all the people were
resolute champions of democratic government. They had revolted against
the rule of King George III.; they stood for the principle, "no taxation
without representation"; they erected democratic institutions in every
State and County; they believed in the rights of free speech and free
assembly; and, therefore, being democratic in politics, they naturally
wished to be democratic in religion. But the Moravians were on the horns
of a dilemma. As they were not supposed to meddle with politics, they
did not at first take definite sides in the war. They objected to
bearing arms; they objected to taking oaths; and, therefore, of course,
they objected also to swearing allegiance to the Test Act (1777).
But this attitude could not last for ever. As the war continued, the
American Moravians became genuine patriotic American citizens. For
some months the General Hospital of the American Army was stationed at
Bethlehem; at another time it was stationed at Lititz; and some of
the young Brethren joined the American Army, and fought under General
Washington's banner for the cause of Independence. For this natural
conduct they were, of course, rebuked; and in some cases they were even
expelled from the Church.

At this point, when national excitement was at its height, Bishop
Reichel arrived upon the scene from Germany, and soon instructed the
American Brethren how to manage their affairs {1779.}. He acted in
opposition to American ideals. Instead of summoning a Conference of
ministers and deputies, he summoned a Conference consisting of ministers
only; the American laymen had no chance of expressing their opinions;
and, therefore, acting under Reichel's influence, the Conference passed
the astounding resolution that "in no sense shall the societies of
awakened, affiliated as the fruit of the former extensive itinerations,
be regarded as preparatory to the organisation of congregations,
and that membership in these societies does not at all carry with it
communicant membership or preparation for it." There lay the cause
of the Brethren's failure in America. In spite of its rather stilted
language, we can easily see in that sentence the form of an old familiar
friend. It is really our German friend the Diaspora, and our English
friend the system of United Flocks. For the next sixty-four years that
one sentence in italics was as great a barrier to progress in America
as the system of United Flocks in England. As long as that resolution
remained in force, the American Moravians had no fair chance of
extending; and all the congregations except the four settlements were
treated, not as hopeful centres of work, but as mere societies and
preaching-places. Thus again, precisely as in Great Britain, did the
Brethren clip their own wings; thus again did they sternly refuse
admission to hundreds of applicants for Church membership. A few figures
will make this clear. At Graceham the Brethren had 90 adherents,
but only 60 members {1790.}; at Lancaster 258 adherents, but only
72 members; at Philadelphia 138 adherents, but only 38 members; at
Oldmanscreek 131 adherents, but only 37 members; at Staten Island 100
adherents, but only 20 members; at Gnadenhütten 41 adherents, but only
31 members; at Emmaus 93 adherents, but only 51 members; at Schoeneck
78 adherents, but only 66 members; at Hebron 72 adherents, but only 24
members; at York 117 adherents, but only 38 members; and at Bethel 87
adherents, but only 23 members. If these figures are dry, they are at
least instructive; and the grand point they prove is that the American
Moravians, still dazzled by Zinzendorf's "Church within the Church"
idea, compelled hundreds who longed to join their ranks as members to
remain outside the Church. In Germany this policy succeeded; in England,
where a State Church existed, it may have been excusable; but in
America, where a State Church was unknown, it was senseless and

And yet the American Moravians did not live entirely in vain. Amid the
fury of American politics, they cultivated the three Moravian fruits of
piety, education and missionary zeal. At Bethlehem they opened a Girls'
School; and so popular did that school become that one of the directors,
Jacob Van Vleck, had to issue a circular, stating that during the next
eighteen months no more applications from parents could be received.
It was one of the finest institutions in North America; and among the
thousands of scholars we find relatives of such famous American leaders
as Washington, Addison, Sumpter, Bayard, Livingstone and Roosevelt. At
Nazareth the Brethren had a school for boys, known as "Nazareth Hall."
If this school never served any other purpose, it certainly taught some
rising Americans the value of order and discipline. At meals the boys
had to sit in perfect silence; and when they wished to indicate their
wants, they did so, not by using their tongues, but by holding up the
hand or so many fingers. The school was divided into "rooms"; each
"room" contained only fifteen or eighteen pupils; these pupils were
under the constant supervision of a master; and this master, who was
generally a theological scholar, was the companion and spiritual adviser
of his charges. He joined in all their games, heard them sing their
hymns, and was with them when they swam in the "Deep Hole" in the
Bushkill River on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, when they gathered
nuts in the forests, and when they sledged in winter in the surrounding

For foreign missions these American Brethren were equally enthusiastic.
They established a missionary society known as the "Society for
Propagating the Gospel Among the Brethren" (1787); they had that society
enrolled as a corporate body; they were granted by Congress a tract
of 4,000 acres in the Tuscawaras Valley; and they conducted a splendid
mission to the Indians in Georgia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Canada, Kansas and Arkansas.

But work of this kind was not enough to satisfy the American Brethren.
As the population increased around them they could not help feeling
that they ought to do more in their native land; and the yoke of German
authority galled them more and more. In their case there was some
excuse for rebellious feelings. If there is anything a genuine American
detests, it is being compelled to obey laws which he himself has not
helped to make; and that was the very position of the American Brethren.
In theory they were able to attend the General Synods; in fact, very
few could undertake so long a journey. At one Synod (1782) not a single
American Brother was present; and yet the decisions of the Synod were of
full force in America.

At length the Americans took the first step in the direction of Home
Rule. For forty-eight years their Provincial Synods had been attended
by ministers only; but now by special permission of the U.E.C., they
summoned a Provincial Synod at Lititz consisting of ministers and
deputies {1817.}. At this Synod they framed a number of petitions to be
laid before the next General Synod in Germany. They requested that the
monthly "speaking" should be abolished; that Brethren should be allowed
to serve in the army; that the American Provincial Helpers' Conference
should be allowed to make appointments without consulting the German
U.E.C.; that the congregations should be allowed to elect their own
committees without using the Lot; that all adult communicant members
should be entitled to a vote; that the use of the Lot should be
abolished in marriages, in applications for membership, and in the
election of deputies to the General Synod; and, finally, that at least
one member of the U.E.C. should know something about American affairs.
Thus did the Americans clear the way for Church reform. In Germany they
were regarded as dangerous radicals. They were accused of an unwholesome
desire for change. They designed, it was said, to pull down everything
old and set up something new. At the General Synod (1818) most of their
requests were refused; and the only point they gained was that the Lot
need not be used in marriages in town and country congregations. At the
very time when the Americans were growing more radical, the Germans, as
we have seen already, were growing more conservative.[154]
But the American Brethren were not disheartened. In addition to being
leaders in the cause of reform, they now became the leaders in the Home
Mission movement; and here they were twenty years before their British
Brethren. In 1835, in North Carolina, they founded a "Home Missionary
Society"; in 1844 they abolished the settlement system; in 1849 they
founded a general "Home Missionary Society"; in 1850 they founded a
monthly magazine, the Moravian Church Miscellany; in 1855 they founded
their weekly paper the Moravian, and placed all their Home Mission work
under a general Home Mission Board. Meanwhile, they had established
new congregations at Colored Church, in North Carolina (1822); Hope, in
Indiana (1830); Hopedale, in Pennsylvania (1837); Canal Dover, in Ohio
(1840); West Salem, in Illinois 1844; Enon, in Indiana (1846); West
Salem for Germans, in Edwards County (1848); Green Bay, in Wisconsin
(1850); Mount Bethell, in Caroll County (1851); New York (1851);
Ebenezer, in Wisconsin (1853); Brooklyn (1854); Utica, in Oneida County
(1854); Watertown, in Wisconsin (1854); and Lake Mills, in Wisconsin
(1856). At the very time when the British Moravians were forming their
first Home Mission Society, the Americans had founded fourteen new
congregations; and thus they had become the pioneers in every Moravian
onward movement.

But their greatest contribution to progress is still to be mentioned. Of
all the Provincial Synods held in America, the most important was that
which met at Bethlehem on May 2nd, 1855. As their Home Mission work had
extended so rapidly they now felt more keenly than ever how absurd it
was the American work should still be managed by a Directing Board in
Germany; and, therefore, they now laid down the proposal that American
affairs should be managed by an American Board, elected by an American
Provincial Synod {1855.}. In other words, the Americans demanded
independence in all American affairs. They wished, in future, to manage
their own concerns; they wished to make their own regulations at their
own Provincial Synods; they established an independent "Sustentation
Fund," and desired to have their own property; and therefore they
requested the U.E.C. to summon a General Synod at the first convenient
opportunity to consider their resolutions. Thus, step by step, the
American Moravians prepared the way for great changes. If these changes
are to be regarded as reforms, the American Moravians must have the
chief praise and glory. They were the pioneers in the Home Mission
movement; they were the staunchest advocates of democratic government;
they had long been the stoutest opponents of the Lot; and now they led
the way in the movement which ended in the separation of the Provinces.
In England their demand for Home Rule awakened a partial response; in
Germany it excited anger and alarm; and now Moravians all over the world
were waiting with some anxiety to see what verdict would be passed by
the next General Synod.[155]


As soon as the American demands became known in Germany, the German
Brethren were much disturbed in their minds; they feared that if
these demands were granted the unity of the Moravian Church would
be destroyed; and next year they met in a German Provincial Synod,
condemned the American proposals as unsound, and pathetically requested
the American Brethren to reconsider their position {1856.}. And now,
to make the excitement still keener, an anonymous writer, who called
himself "Forscher" (Inquirer), issued a pamphlet hotly attacking some
of the time-honoured institutions of the Church. He called his pamphlet,
"Die Brüderkirche: Was ist Wahrheit?" i.e., The Truth about the
Brethren's Church, and in his endeavour to tell the truth he penned some
stinging words. He asserted that far too much stress had been laid on
the "Chief Eldership of Christ"; he denounced the abuse of the Lot;
he declared that the Brethren's settlements were too exclusive; he
criticized Zinzendorf's "Church within the Church" idea; he condemned
the old "Diacony" system as an unholy alliance of the secular and the
sacred; and thus he described as sources of evil the very customs which
many Germans regarded as precious treasures. As this man was really John
Henry Buchner, he was, of course, a German in blood; but Buchner was
then a missionary in Jamaica, and thus his attack, like the American
demands, came from across the Atlantic. No wonder the German Brethren
were excited. No wonder they felt that a crisis in the Church had
arrived. For all loyal Moravians the question now was whether the
Moravian Church could stand the strain; and, in order to preserve the
true spirit of unity, some Brethren at Gnadenfeld prepared and issued
an "Appeal for United Prayer." "At this very time," they declared, "when
the Church is favoured with an unusual degree of outward prosperity,
the enemy of souls is striving to deal a blow at our spiritual union by
sowing among us the seeds of discord and confusion"; and therefore they
besought their Brethren--German, English and American alike--to banish
all feelings of irritation, and to join in prayer every Wednesday
evening for the unity and prosperity of the Brethren's Church.

At length, June 8th, 1857, the General Synod met at Herrnhut {1857.}.
In his opening sermon Bishop John Nitschmann struck the right note. He
reminded his Brethren of the rock from which they were hewn; he appealed
to the testimony of history; and he asserted that the testimony of
history was that the Moravian Church had been created, not by man, but
by God. "A word," he said, "never uttered before at a Brethren's Synod
has lately been heard among us--the word 'separation.' Separation
among Brethren! The very sound sends a pang to the heart of every true
Brother!" With that appeal ringing in their ears, the Brethren addressed
themselves to their difficult task; a committee was formed to examine
the American proposals; the spirit of love triumphed over the spirit of
discord; and finally, after much discussion, the new constitution was

If the unity of the Church was to be maintained, there must, of course,
still be one supreme authority; and, therefore the Brethren now decided
that henceforward the General Synod should be the supreme legislative,
and the U.E.C. the supreme administrative, body. But the constitution of
the General Synod was changed. It was partly an official and partly an
elected body. On the one hand, there were still a number of ex-officio
members; on the other a large majority of elected deputies. Thus the
General Synod was now composed of: (1) Ex-officio members: i.e., the
twelve members of the U.E.C.; all Bishops of the Church; one member of
the English and one of the American P.E.C.; the Secretarius Unitatis
Fratrum in Anglia; the administrators of the Church's estates
in Pennsylvania and North Carolina; the Director of the Warden's
Department; the Director of the Missions Department; the Unity's
Librarian. (2) Elected members: i.e., nine deputies from each of the
three Provinces, elected by the Synods of these Provinces. As these
twenty-seven deputies could be either ministers or laymen, it is clear
that the democratic principle was now given some encouragement; but, on
the other hand, the number of officials was still nearly as great as the
number of deputies. The functions of the General Synod were defined as
follows: (a) To determine the doctrines of the Church, i.e., to decide
all questions which may arise upon this subject. (b) To decide as to all
essential points of Liturgy. (c) To prescribe the fundamental rules of
order and discipline. (d) To determine what is required for membership
in the Church. (e) To nominate and appoint Bishops. (f) To manage the
Church's Foreign Missions and Educational Work. (g) To inspect the
Church's general finances. (h) To elect the U.E.C. (i) To form and
constitute General Synods, to fix the time and place of their meetings,
and establish the basis of their representation. (j) To settle
everything concerning the interests of the Moravian Church as a whole.

As the U.E.C. were elected by the General Synod, it was natural that
they should still possess a large share of administrative power; and
therefore they were now authorized to manage all concerns of a general
nature, to represent the Church in her dealings with the State, and with
other religious bodies, and to see that the principles and regulations
established by the General Synod were carried out in every department
of Church work. For the sake of efficiency the U.E.C. were divided into
three boards, the Educational, Financial, and Missionary; they managed,
in this way, the schools in Germany, the general finances, and the whole
of the foreign missions; and meanwhile, for legal reasons, they also
acted as P.E.C. for the German Province of the Church. Thus the first
part of the problem was solved, and the unity of the Moravian Church was

The next task was to satisfy the American demand for Home Rule. For
this purpose the Brethren now resolved that each Province of the Church
should have its own property; that each Province should hold its own
Provincial Synod; and that each of the three Provincial Synods should
have power to make laws, provided these laws did not conflict with the
laws laid down by a General Synod. As the U.E.C. superintended the work
in Germany, there was no further need for a new arrangement there; but
in Great Britain and North America the Provincial Synod in each case was
empowered to elect its own P.E.C., and the P.E.C., when duly elected,
managed the affairs of the Province. They had the control of all
provincial property. They appointed ministers to their several posts;
they summoned Provincial Synods when they thought needful; and thus each
Province possessed Home Rule in all local affairs.

For the next twenty-two years this constitution--so skilfully
drawn--remained unimpaired. At best, however, it was only a compromise;
and in 1879 an alteration was made {1879.}. As Mission work was the only
work in which the whole Church took part as such, it was decided that
only the Mission Department of the U.E.C. should be elected by the
General Synod; the two other departments, the Educational and Financial,
were to be nominated by the German Provincial Synod; and in order that
the British and American Provinces should have a court of appeal, a new
board, called the Unity Department, was created. It consisted of six
members, i.e., the four members of the Missions Department, one from the
Educational Department, and one from the Finance Department. At the same
time the U.E.C., divided still into its three departments, remained the
supreme Board of Management.

But this arrangement was obviously doomed to failure {1890.}. In the
first place it was so complex that few could understand it, and only
a person of subtle intellect could define the difference between the
functions of the U.E.C. and the functions of the Unity Department; and,
in the second place, it was quite unfair to the German Brethren. In
Germany the U.E.C. still acted as German P.E.C.; of its twelve members
four were elected, not by a German Provincial Synod, but by the General
Synod; and, therefore, the Germans were ruled by a board of whom only
eight members were elected by the Germans themselves. At the next
General Synod, therefore (1889), the U.E.C. was divided into two
departments: first, the Foreign Mission Department, consisting of
four members, elected by the General Synod; second, the German P.E.C.,
consisting of eight members, elected by the German Provincial Synod.
Thus, at last, thirty-two years after the British and American
Provinces, did the German Province attain Provincial independence.

But even this arrangement proved unsatisfactory. As we thread our
way through these constitutional changes, we can easily see where the
trouble lay. At each General Synod the problem was, how to reconcile the
unity of the Church with the rights of its respective Provinces; and so
far the problem had not been solved. The flaw in the last arrangement is
fairly obvious. If the U.E.C. was still the supreme managing board, it
was unfair to the Americans and Britons that eight of its twelve members
should be really the German P.E.C., elected by the German Provincial

The last change in the constitution was of British origin {1898.}. At a
Provincial Synod held in Mirfield, the British Moravians sketched a plan
whereby the U.E.C. and the Unity Department would both cease to
exist; and when the next General Synod met at Herrnhut, this plan was
practically carried into effect. At present, therefore, the Moravian
Church is constituted as follows {1899.}: First, the supreme legislative
body is still the General Synod; second, the Church is divided into four
Provinces, the German, the British, the American North, and the American
South; third, each of these four Provinces holds its own Provincial
Synods, makes its own laws, and elects its own P.E.C.; fourth, the
foreign mission work is managed by a Mission Board, elected by the
General Synod; and last, the supreme U.E.C., no longer a body seated in
Germany and capable of holding frequent meetings, is now composed of
the Mission Board and the four governing boards of the four independent
Provinces. In one sense, the old U.E.C. is abolished; in another, it
still exists. It is abolished as a constantly active Directing Board;
it exists as the manager of certain Church property,[156] as the Church's
representative in the eyes of the law, and as the supreme court of
appeal during the period between General Synods. As some of the members
of this composite board live thousands of miles from each other, they
are never able to meet all together. And yet the Board is no mere
fiction. In theory, its seat is still at Berthelsdorf; and, in fact, it
is still the supreme administrative authority, and as such is empowered
to see that the principles laid down at a General Synod are carried out
in every branch of the Moravian Church.[157]
And yet, though the Moravian Church is still one united ecclesiastical
body, each Province is independent in the management of its own
affairs. For example, let us take the case of the British Province. The
legislative body is the Provincial Synod. It is composed of, first, all
ordained ministers of the Church in active congregation service; second,
the Advocatus Fratrum in Angliâ and the Secretarius Fratrum in Angliâ;
third, lay deputies elected by the congregations. At a recent British
Provincial Synod (1907) the rule was laid down that every congregation
possessing more than one hundred and fifty members shall be entitled
to send two deputies to the Synod; and thus there is a tendency in the
British Province for the lay element to increase in power. In all local
British matters the power of the Provincial Synod is supreme. It has
power to settle the time and place of its own meetings, to supervise
the administration of finances, to establish new congregations, to
superintend all official Church publications, to nominate Bishops, and
to elect the Provincial Elders' Conference. As the U.E.C. act in the
name and by the authority of a General Synod, so the P.E.C. act in
the name and by the authority of a Provincial Synod. They see to
the execution of the laws of the Church, appoint and superintend all
ministers, pay official visits once in three years to inspect the state
of the congregations, examine candidates for the ministry, administer
the finances of the Province, and act as a Court of Appeal in cases of

The same principles apply in individual congregations.

As each Province manages its own affairs subject to the general laws of
the Church, so each congregation manages its own affairs subject to the
general laws of the Province. As far as its own affairs are concerned,
each congregation is self-ruling. All members over eighteen years who
have paid their dues are entitled to a vote. They are empowered to elect
a deputy for the Provincial Synod; they elect also, once in three years,
the congregation committee; and the committee, in co-operation with the
minister, is expected to maintain good conduct, honesty and propriety
among the members of the congregation, to administer due discipline and
reproof, to consider applications for membership, to keep in order
the church, Sunday-school, minister's house, and other congregation
property, and to be responsible for all temporal and financial concerns.

Thus the constitution of the Moravian Church may be described as
democratic. It is ruled by committees, conferences and synods; and these
committees, conferences and synods all consist, to a large extent, of
elected deputies. As the Moravians have Bishops, the question may be
asked, what special part the Bishops play in the government of the
Church? The reply may be given in the words of the Moravians themselves.
At the last General Synod the old principle was reasserted, that "the
office of a Bishop imparts in and by itself no manner of claim to the
control of the whole Church or of any part of it; the administration
of particular dioceses does therefore not belong to the Bishops." Thus
Moravian Bishops are far from being prelates. They are authorized to
ordain the presbyters and deacons; they examine the spiritual
condition of the ordinands; and, above all, they are called to act as
"intercessors in the Church of God." But they have no more ruling power
as such than any other minister of the Church.

Finally, a word must be said about the use of the Lot. As long as the
Lot was used at all, it interfered to some extent with the democratic
principle; but during the last twenty or thirty years it had gradually
fallen into disuse, and in 1889 all reference to the Lot was struck out
of the Church regulations; and while the Brethren still acknowledge the
living Christ as the only Lord and Elder of the Church, they seek His
guidance, not in any mechanical way, but through prayer, and reliance on
the illumination of the Holy Spirit.


When the Brethren made their maiden speech in the Valley of Kunwald four
hundred and fifty years ago, they little thought that they were founding
a Church that would spread into every quarter of the civilized globe. If
this narrative, however, has been written to any purpose, it has surely
taught a lesson of great moral value; and that lesson is that the
smallest bodies sometimes accomplish the greatest results. At no period
have the Brethren been very strong in numbers; and yet, at every stage
of their story, we find them in the forefront of the battle. Of all the
Protestant Churches in England, the Moravian Church is the oldest; and
wherever the Brethren have raised their standard, they have acted as
pioneers. They were Reformers sixty years before Martin Luther. They
were the first to adopt the principle that the Bible is the only
standard of faith and practice. They were among the first to issue a
translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into the
language of the people. They led the way, in the Protestant movement, in
the catechetical instruction of children. They published the first Hymn
Book known to history. They produced in Comenius the great pioneer of
modern education. They saved the Pietist movement in Germany from an
early grave; they prepared the way for the English Evangelical Revival;
and, above all, by example rather than by precept, they aroused in the
Protestant Churches of Christendom that zeal for the cause of foreign
missions which some writers have described as the crowning glory of the
nineteenth century. And now we have only one further land to explore. As
the Moravians are still among the least of the tribes of Israel, it
is natural to ask why, despite their smallness, they maintain their
separate existence, what part they are playing in the world, what share
they are taking in the fight against the Canaanite, for what principles
they stand, what methods they employ, what attitude they adopt towards
other Churches, and what solution they offer of the social and religious
problems that confront us at the opening of the twentieth century.

Section I.--MORAVIAN PRINCIPLES--If the Moravians have any
distinguishing principle at all, that principle is one which goes
back to the beginnings of their history. For some years they have been
accustomed to use as a motto the famous words of Rupertus Meldenius:
"In necessariis unitas; in non-necessariis libertas; in utrisque
caritas"--in essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in both,
charity. But the distinction between essentials and non-essentials goes
far behind Rupertus Meldenius. If he was the first to pen the saying, he
was certainly not the first to lay down the principle. For four hundred
and fifty years this distinction between essentials and non-essentials
has been a fundamental principle of the Brethren. From whom, if from any
one, they learned it we do not know. It is found in no mediæval writer,
and was taught neither by Wycliffe nor by Hus. But the Brethren held it
at the outset, and hold it still. It is found in the works of Peter
of Chelcic;[158] it was fully expounded by Gregory the Patriarch; it was
taught by the Bohemian Brethren in their catechisms; it is implied in
all Moravian teaching to-day. To Moravians this word "essentials" has a
definite meaning. At every stage in their history we find that in their
judgment the essentials on which all Christians should agree to unite
are certain spiritual truths. It was so with the Bohemian Brethren; it
is so with the modern Moravians. In the early writings of Gregory
the Patriarch, and in the catechisms of the Bohemian Brethren, the
"essentials" are such things, and such things only, as faith, hope,
love and the doctrines taught in the Apostles' Creed; and the
"non-essentials," on the other hand, are such visible and concrete
things as the church on earth, the ministry, the sacraments, and the
other means of grace. In essentials they could allow no compromise; in
non-essentials they gladly agreed to differ. For essentials they often
shed their blood; but non-essentials they described as merely "useful"
or "accidental."

The modern Moravians hold very similar views. For them the only
"essentials" in religion are the fundamental truths of the Gospel as
revealed in Holy Scripture. In these days the question is sometimes
asked, What is the Moravian creed? The answer is, that they have no
creed, apart from Holy Scripture. For the creeds of other churches
they have the deepest respect. Thy have declared their adherence to the
Apostles' Creed. They confess that in the Augsburg Confession the chief
doctrines of Scripture are plainly and simply set forth; they have never
attacked the Westminster Confession or the Articles of the Church of
England; and yet they have never had a creed of their own, and have
always declined to bind the consciences of their ministers and members
by any creed whatever. Instead of binding men by a creed, they are
content with the broader language of Holy Scripture. At the General
Synod of 1857 they laid down the principle that the "Holy Scriptures of
the Old and New Testament are, and shall remain, the only rule of our
faith and practice"; and that principle has been repeatedly reaffirmed.
They revere the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God; they acknowledge
no other canon or rule of doctrine; they regard every human system
of doctrine as imperfect; and, therefore, they stand to-day for the
position that Christians should agree to unite on a broad Scriptural
basis. Thus the Moravians claim to be an Union Church. At the Synod of
1744 they declared that they had room within their borders for three
leading tropuses, the Moravian, the Lutheran and the Reformed; and
now, within their own ranks, they allow great difference of opinion on
doctrinal questions.

Meanwhile, of course, they agree on certain points. If the reader
consults their own official statements--e.g., those laid down in the
"Moravian Church Book"--he will notice two features of importance.
First, he will observe that (speaking broadly) the Moravians are
Evangelicals; second, he will notice that they state their doctrines in
very general terms. In that volume it is stated that the Brethren hold
the doctrines of the Fall and the total depravity of human nature, of
the love of God the Father, of the real Godhead and the real Humanity
of Jesus Christ, of justification by faith, of the Holy Ghost and the
operations of His grace, of good works as the fruit of faith, of the
fellowship of all believers with Christ and with each other, and,
finally, of the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead
to condemnation or to life. But none of these doctrines are defined in
dogmatic language, and none of them are imposed as creeds. As long as a
man holds true to the broad principles of the Christian faith, he may,
whether he is a minister or a layman, think much as he pleases on many
other vexed questions. He may be either a Calvinist or an Arminian,
either a Higher Critic or a defender of plenary inspiration, and either
High Church or Methodistic in his tastes. He may have his own theory of
the Atonement, his own conception of the meaning of the Sacraments,
his own views on Apostolical Succession, and his own belief about
the infallibility of the Gospel records. In their judgment, the main
essential in a minister is not his orthodox adherence to a creed, but
his personal relationship to Jesus Christ. For this reason they are not
afraid to allow their candidates for the ministry to sit at the feet of
professors belonging to other denominations. At their German Theological
College in Gnadenfeld, the professors systematically instruct the
students in the most advanced results of critical research; sometimes
the students are sent to German Universities; and the German quarterly
magazine--Religion und Geisteskultur--a periodical similar to our
English "Hibbert Journal," is edited by a Moravian theological
professor. At one time an alarming rumour arose that the Gnadenfeld
professors were leading the students astray; the case was tried at a
German Provincial Synod, and the professors proved their innocence by
showing that, although they held advanced views on critical questions,
they still taught the Moravian central doctrine of redemption through
Jesus Christ. In England a similar spirit of liberty prevails. For some
years the British Moravians have had their own Theological College; it
is situated at Fairfield, near Manchester; and although the students
attend lectures delivered by a Moravian teacher, they receive the
greater part of their education, first at Manchester University, and
then either at the Manchester University Divinity School, or at the Free
Church College in Glasgow or Edinburgh, or at any other suitable home
of learning. Thus do the Moravians of the twentieth century tread in the
footsteps of the later Bohemian Brethren; and thus do they uphold the
principle that when the heart is right with Christ, the reasoning powers
may be allowed free play.

In all other "non-essentials" they are equally broad. As they have never
quarrelled with the Church of England, they rather resent being called
Dissenters; as they happen to possess Episcopal Orders, they regard
themselves as a true Episcopal Church; and yet, at the same time, they
live on good terms with all Evangelical Dissenters, exchange pulpits
with Nonconformist ministers, and admit to their Communion service
members of all Evangelical denominations. They celebrate the Holy
Communion once a month; they sing hymns describing the bread and wine as
the Body and Blood of Christ; and yet they have no definite doctrine of
the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They practise Infant Baptism;
but they do not hold any rigid view about Baptismal Regeneration. They
practise Confirmation;[159] and yet they do not insist on confirmation
as an absolute condition, in all cases, of church membership. If the
candidate, for example, is advanced in years, and shrinks from the
ordeal of confirmation, he may be admitted to the Moravian Church by
reception; and members coming from other churches are admitted in the
same way. They practise episcopal ordination, but do not condemn all
other ordinations as invalid; and a minister of another Protestant
Church may be accepted as a Moravian minister without being episcopally
ordained. At the Sacraments, at weddings and at ordinations, the
Moravian minister generally wears a surplice; and yet there is no
reference to vestments in the regulations of the Church. In some
congregations they use the wafer at the Sacrament, in others ordinary
bread; and this fact alone is enough to show that they have no ruling
on the subject. Again, the Moravians observe what is called the Church
year. They observe, that is, the seasons of Advent, Lent, Easter,
Whitsuntide, and Trinity; and yet they do not condemn as heretics those
who differ from them on this point. If there is any season specially
sacred to Moravians, it is Holy Week. To them it is generally known
as Passion Week. On Palm Sunday they sing a "Hosannah" composed by
Christian Gregor; at other services during the week they read the
Passion History together, from a Harmony of the Four Gospels; on
the Wednesday evening there is generally a "Confirmation"; on Maundy
Thursday they celebrate the Holy Communion; on Good Friday, where
possible, they have a series of special services; and on Easter Sunday
they celebrate the Resurrection by an early morning service, held in
England about six o'clock, but on the Continent at sunrise. Thus the
Brethren are like High Churchmen in some of their observances, and very
unlike them in their ecclesiastical principles. As the customs they
practise are hallowed by tradition, and have often been found helpful to
the spiritual life, they do not lightly toss them overboard; but, on
the other hand, they do not regard those customs as "essential." In
spiritual "essentials" they are one united body; in "non-essentials,"
such as ceremony and orders, they gladly agree to differ; and, small
though they are in numbers, they believe that here they stand for a
noble principle, and that some day that principle will be adopted by
every branch of the militant Church of Christ. According to Romanists
the true bond of union among Christians is obedience to the Pope as Head
of the Church; according to some Anglicans, the "Historic Episcopate";
according to Moravians, a common loyalty to Scripture and a common faith
in Christ; and only the future can show which, if any, of these bases of
union will be accepted by the whole visible Church of Christ. Meanwhile,
the Brethren are spreading their principles in a variety of ways.

Section II.--THE MORAVIANS IN GERMANY.--In Germany, and on the Continent
generally, they still adhere in the main to the ideal set up by
Zinzendorf. We may divide their work into five departments.

First, there is the ordinary pastoral work in the settlements and
congregations. In Germany the settlement system still flourishes. Of the
twenty-six Moravian congregations on the Continent, no fewer than
twelve are settlements. In most cases these settlements are quiet
little Moravian towns, inhabited almost exclusively by Moravians; the
Brethren's Houses and Sisters' Houses are still in full working order;
the very hotel is under direct church control; and the settlements,
therefore, are models of order, sobriety, industry and piety. There the
visitor will still find neither poverty nor wealth; there, far from
the madding crowd, the angel of peace reigns supreme. We all know how
Carlyle once visited Herrnhut, and how deeply impressed he was. At all
the settlements and congregations the chief object of the Brethren is
the cultivation of personal piety and Christian fellowship. We can see
this from the number of services held. At the settlements there are more
services in a week than many a pious Briton would attend in a month.
In addition to the public worship on Sunday, there is a meeting of some
kind every week-night. One evening there will be a Bible exposition;
the next, reports of church work; the next, a prayer meeting; the next
a liturgy meeting; the next, another Bible exposition; the next, an
extract from the autobiography of some famous Moravian; the next, a
singing meeting. At these meetings the chief thing that strikes an
English visitor is the fact that no one but the minister takes any
prominent part. The minister gives the Bible exposition; the minister
reads the report or the autobiography; the minister offers the prayer;
and the only way in which the people take part is by singing
the liturgies and hymns. Thus the German Moravians have nothing
corresponding to the "prayer meetings" held in England in Nonconformist
churches. In some congregations there are "prayer unions," in which
laymen take part; but these are of a private and unofficial character.

Meanwhile, a good many of the old stern rules are still strictly
enforced, and the Brethren are still cautious in welcoming new recruits.
If a person not born in a Moravian family desires to join the Moravian
Church, he has generally to exercise a considerable amount of patience.
He must first have lived some time in the congregation; he must have a
good knowledge of Moravian doctrines and customs; he must then submit to
an examination on the part of the congregation-committee; he must
then, if he passes, wait about six months; his name is announced to the
congregation, and all the members know that he is on probation; and,
therefore, when he is finally admitted, he is a Moravian in the fullest
sense of the term. He becomes not only a member of the congregation, but
a member of his particular "choir." The choir system is still in force;
for each choir there are special services and special labourers; and
though the Single Brethren and Single Sisters are now allowed to live in
their own homes, the choir houses are still occupied, and still serve a
useful purpose.

Second, there is the "Inner Mission." In this way each congregation
cares for the poor and neglected living near at hand. There are Bible
and tract distributors, free day schools, Sunday schools, work schools,
technical schools, rescue homes, reformatories, orphanages and young
men's and young women's Christian associations. In spite of the
exclusiveness of settlement life, it is utterly untrue to say that
the members of the settlements live for themselves alone. They form
evangelistic societies; they take a special interest in navvies, road
menders, pedlars, railwaymen and others cut off from regular church
connection; they open lodging-houses and temperance restaurants; and
thus they endeavour to rescue the fallen, to fight the drink evil, and
to care for the bodies and souls of beggars and tramps, of unemployed
workmen, and of starving and ragged children.

Third, there is the work of Christian education. In every Moravian
congregation there are two kinds of day schools. For those children who
are not yet old enough to attend the elementary schools, the Brethren
provide an "Infant School"; and here, having a free hand, they are able
to instil the first principles of Christianity; and, secondly, for the
older children, they have what we should call Voluntary Schools, manned
by Moravian teachers, but under Government inspection and control.
At these schools the Brethren give Bible teaching three hours a week;
special services for the scholars are held; and as the schools are
open to the public, the scholars are instructed to be loyal to whatever
Church they happen to belong. In England such broadness would be
regarded as a miracle; to the German Moravians it is second nature. In
their boarding-schools they pursue the same broad principle. At present
they have nine girls' schools and five boys' boarding-schools; the
headmaster is always a Moravian minister; the teachers in the boys'
schools are generally candidates for the ministry; and, although in
consequence of Government requirements the Brethren have now to
devote most of their energy to purely secular subjects, they are still
permitted and still endeavour to keep the religious influence to the
fore. For more advanced students they have a Pædagogium at Niesky;
and the classical education there corresponds to that imparted at our
Universities. At Gnadenfeld they have a Theological Seminary, open to
students from other churches.

Fourth, there is the Brethren's medical work, conducted by a
Diakonissen-Verband, or Nurses' Union. It was begun in 1866 by Dr.
Hermann Plitt. At Gnadenfeld the Brethren have a small hospital, known
as the Heinrichstift; at Emmaus, near Niesky, are the headquarters of
the Union; the work is managed by a special committee, and is supported
by Church funds; and on the average about fifty nurses are employed in
ministering to the poor in twenty-five different places. Some act as
managers of small sick-houses; others are engaged in teaching poor
children; and others have gone to tend the lepers in Jerusalem and

Fifth, there is the Brethren's Diaspora work, which now extends all over
Germany. There is nothing to be compared to this work in England. It is
not only peculiar to the Moravians, but peculiar to the Moravians on the
Continent; and the whole principle on which it is based is one which
the average clear-headed Briton finds it hard to understand. If the
Moravians in England held services in parish churches--supposing such
an arrangement possible--formed their hearers into little societies,
visited them in their homes, and then urged them to become good members
of the Anglican Church, their conduct would probably arouse considerable
amazement. And yet that is exactly the kind of work done by the
Moravians in Germany to-day. In this work the Brethren in Germany make
no attempt to extend their own borders. The Moravians supply the men;
the Moravians supply the money; and the National Lutheran Church
reaps the benefit. Sometimes the Brethren preach in Lutheran Churches;
sometimes, by permission of the Lutheran authorities, they even
administer the Communion; and wherever they go they urge their hearers
to be true to the National Church. In England Zinzendorf's "Church
within the Church" idea has never found much favour; in Germany it is
valued both by Moravians and by Lutherans. At present the Brethren have
Diaspora centres in Austrian Silesia, in Wartebruch, in Neumark, in
Moravia, in Pomerania, in the Bavarian Palatinate, in Würtemburg, along
the Rhine from Karlsruhe to Düsseldorf, in Switzerland, in Norway and
Sweden, in Russian Poland, and in the Baltic Provinces. We are not, of
course, to imagine for a moment that all ecclesiastical authorities on
the Continent regard this Diaspora work with favour. In spite of its
unselfish purpose, the Brethren have occasionally been suspected of
sectarian motives. At one time the Russian General Consistory forbade
the Brethren's Diaspora work in Livonia {1859.}; at another time the
Russian Government forbade the Brethren's work in Volhynia; and the
result of this intolerance was that some of the Brethren fled to South
America, and founded the colony of Brüderthal in Brazil (1885), while
others made their way to Canada, appealed for aid to the American
P.E.C., and thus founded in Alberta the congregations of Brüderfeld and
Brüderheim. Thus, even in recent years, persecution has favoured the
extension of the Moravian Church; but, generally speaking, the Brethren
pursue their Diaspora work in peace and quietness. They have now about
sixty or seventy stations; they employ about 120 Diaspora workers, and
minister thus to about 70,000 souls; and yet, during the last fifty
years, they have founded only six new congregations--Goldberg (1858),
Hansdorf (1873), Breslau (1892), and Locle and Montmirail in Switzerland
(1873). Thus do the German Moravians uphold the Pietist ideals of

Section III.--THE MORAVIANS IN GREAT BRITAIN.--For the last fifty years
the most striking feature about the British Moravians is the fact that
they have steadily become more British in all their ways, and more
practical and enthusiastic in their work in this country. We can see it
in every department of their work.

They began with the training of their ministers. As soon as the British
Moravians became independent, they opened their own Theological Training
Institution; and then step by step they allowed their students to
come more and more under English influences. At first the home of the
Training College was Fulneck; and, as long as the students lived in that
placid abode, they saw but little of the outside world. But in 1874
the College was removed to Fairfield; then the junior students began to
attend lectures at the Owens College; then (1886) they began to study
for a degree in the Victoria University; then (1890) the theological
students were allowed to study at Edinburgh or Glasgow; and the final
result of this broadening process is that the average modern Moravian
minister is as typical an Englishman as any one would care to meet. He
has English blood in his veins; he bears an English name; he has been
trained at an English University; he has learned his theology from
English or Scotch Professors; he has English practical ideas of
Christianity; and even when he has spent a few years in Germany--as
still happens in exceptional cases--he has no more foreign flavour about
him than the Lord Mayor of London.

Again, the influence of English ideas has affected their public worship.
At the Provincial Synods of 1878 and 1883, the Brethren appointed
Committees to revise their Hymn-book; and the result was that when the
next edition of the Hymn-book appeared (1886), it was found to contain
a large number of hymns by popular English writers. And this, of course,
involved another change. As these popular English hymns were wedded to
popular English tunes, those tunes had perforce to be admitted into the
next edition of the Tune-book (1887); and thus the Moravians, like other
Englishmen, began now to sing hymns by Toplady, Charles Wesley, George
Rawson and Henry Francis Lyte to such well-known melodies as Sir Arthur
Sullivan's "Coena Domini," Sebastian Wesley's "Aurelia," and Hopkins's
"Ellers." But the change in this respect was only partial. In music the
Moravians have always maintained a high standard. With them the popular
type of tune was the chorale; and here they refused to give way to
popular clamour. At this period the objection was raised by some that
the old chorales were too difficult for Englishmen to sing; but to this
objection Peter La Trobe had given a crushing answer.[160] At St. Thomas,
he said, Zinzendorf had heard the negroes sing Luther's fine "Gelobet
seiest"; at Gnadenthal, in South Africa, Ignatius La Trobe had heard
the Hottentots sing Grummer's "Jesu, der du meine Seele"; in Antigua the
negroes could sing Hassler's "O Head so full of bruises"; and therefore,
he said, he naturally concluded that chorales which were not above
the level of Negroes and Hottentots could easily be sung, if they only
tried, by Englishmen, Scotchmen and Irishmen of the nineteenth century.
And yet, despite this official attitude, certain standard chorales fell
into disuse, and were replaced by flimsier English airs.

Another proof of the influence of English ideas is found in the decline
of peculiar Moravian customs. At present the British congregations
may be roughly divided into two classes. In some, such as Fulneck,
Fairfield, Ockbrook, Bristol, and other older congregations, the old
customs are retained; in others they are quite unknown. In some we still
find such things as Love-feasts, the division into choirs, the regular
choir festivals, the observance of Moravian Memorial Days; in others,
especially in those only recently established, these things are absent;
and the consequence is that in the new congregations the visitor of
to-day will find but little of a specific Moravian stamp. At the morning
service he will hear the Moravian Litany; in the Hymn-book he will find
some hymns not found in other collections; but in other respects he
would see nothing specially distinctive.

Meanwhile, the Brethren have adopted new institutions. As the old
methods of church-work fell into disuse, new methods gradually took
their place; and here the Brethren followed the example of their
Anglican and Nonconformist friends. Instead of the special meetings for
Single Brethren and Single Sisters, we now find the Christian Endeavour,
and Men's and Women's Guilds; instead of the Boys' Economy, the Boys'
Brigade; instead of the Brethren's House, the Men's Institute; instead
of the Diacony, the weekly offering, the sale of work, and the bazaar;
and instead of the old Memorial Days, the Harvest Festival and the
Church and Sunday-school Anniversary.

But the most important change of all is the altered conception of the
Church's mission. At the Provincial Synod held in Bedford the Brethren
devoted much of their time to the Home Mission problem {1863.}; and
John England, who had been commissioned to write a paper on "Our Aim and
Calling," defined the Church's mission in the words: "Such, then, I
take to be our peculiar calling. As a Church to preach Christ and Him
crucified, every minister and every member. As a Church to evangelize,
every minister and every member." From that moment those words were
accepted as a kind of motto; and soon a great change was seen in the
character of the Home Mission Work. In the first half of the nineteenth
century nearly all the new causes begun were in quiet country villages;
in the second half, with two exceptions, they were all in growing
towns and populous districts. In 1859 new work was commenced at
Baltonsborough, in Somerset, and Crook, in Durham; in 1862 at Priors
Marston, Northamptonshire; in 1867 at Horton, Bradford; in 1869 at
Westwood, in Oldham; in 1871 at University Road, Belfast; in 1874 at
Heckmondwike, Yorkshire; in 1888 at Wellfield, near Shipley; in 1890
at Perth Street, Belfast; in 1896 at Queen's Park, Bedford; in 1899 at
Openshaw, near Manchester, and at Swindon, the home of the Great Western
Railway Works; in 1907 at Twerton, a growing suburb of Bath; and in
1908 in Hornsey, London. Of the places in this list, all except
Baltonsborough and Priors Marston are in thickly populated districts;
and thus during the last fifty years the Moravians have been brought
more into touch with the British working man.

Meanwhile there has been a growing freedom of speech. The new movement
began in the College at Fairfield. For the first time in the history of
the British Province a number of radical Moravians combined to express
their opinions in print; and, led and inspired by Maurice O'Connor,
they now (1890) issued a breezy pamphlet, entitled Defects of Modern
Moravianism. In this pamphlet they were both critical and constructive.
Among other reforms, they suggested: (a) That the Theological Students
should be allowed to study at some other Theological College; (b) that
a Moravian Educational Profession be created; (c) that all British
Moravian Boarding Schools be systematically inspected; (d) that the
monthly magazine, The Messenger, be improved, enlarged, and changed into
a weekly paper; (e) that in the future the energies of the Church be
concentrated on work in large towns and cities; (f) and that all defects
in the work of the Church be openly stated and discussed.

The success of the pamphlet was both immediate and lasting. Of all the
Provincial Synods held in England the most important in many ways was
that which met at Ockbrook a few months after the publication of this
pamphlet. It marks the beginning of a new and brighter era in the
history of the Moravian Church in England. For thirty years the Brethren
had been content to hold Provincial Synods every four or five years
{1890.}; but now, in accordance with a fine suggestion brought forward
at Bedford two years before, and ardently supported by John Taylor, the
Advocatus Fratrum in Angliâ, they began the practice of holding Annual
Synods. In the second place, the Brethren altered the character of their
official church magazine. For twenty-seven years it had been a monthly
of very modest dimensions. It was known as The Messenger; it was founded
at the Bedford Synod (1863); and for some years it was well edited by
Bishop Sutcliffe. But now this magazine became a fortnightly, known
as The Moravian Messenger. As soon as the magazine changed its form it
increased both in influence and in circulation. It was less official,
and more democratic, in tone; it became the recognised vehicle for the
expression of public opinion; and its columns have often been filled
with articles of the most outspoken nature. And thirdly, the Brethren
now resolved that henceforth their Theological Students should be
allowed to study at some other Theological College.

But the influence of the pamphlet did not end here. At the Horton
Synod (1904) arrangements were made for the establishment of a teaching
profession, and at Baildon (1906) for the inspection of the Boarding
Schools; and thus nearly all the suggestions of the pamphlet have now
been carried out.

Finally, the various changes mentioned have all contributed, more or
less, to alter the tone of the Moravian pulpit. As long as the work was
mostly in country villages the preaching was naturally of the Pietistic
type. But the Moravian preachers of the present day are more in touch
with the problems of city life. They belong to a democratic Church; they
are brought into constant contact with the working classes; they are
interested in modern social problems; they believe that at bottom all
social problems are religious; and, therefore, they not only foster such
institutions as touch the daily life of the masses, but also in their
sermons speak out more freely on the great questions of the day. In
other words, the Moravian Church in Great Britain is now as British as
Britain herself.

Section IV.--THE MORAVIANS IN AMERICA.--In America the progress was of
a similar kind. As soon as the American Brethren had gained Home Rule,
they organized their forces in a masterly manner; arranged that their
Provincial Synod should meet once in three years; set apart £5,000 for
their Theological College at Bethlehem; and, casting aside the Diaspora
ideas of Zinzendorf, devoted their powers to the systematic extension
of their Home Mission work. It is well to note the exact nature of their
policy. With them Home Mission work meant systematic Church extension.
At each new Home Mission station they generally placed a fully ordained
minister; that minister was granted the same privileges as the minister
of any other congregation; the new cause was encouraged to strive for
self support; and, as soon as possible, it was allowed to send a deputy
to the Synod. At Synod after Synod Church extension was the main topic
of discussion; and the discussion nearly always ended in some practical
proposal. For example, at the Synod of 1876 the Brethren formed a Church
Extension Board; and that Board was entrusted with the task of raising
£10,000 in the next three years. Again, in 1885, they resolved to build
a new Theological College, elected a Building Committee to collect the
money, and raised the sum required so rapidly that in 1892 they were
able to open Comenius Hall at Bethlehem, free of debt. Meanwhile the
number of new congregations was increasing with some rapidity. At the
end of fifty years of Home Rule the Moravians in North America had one
hundred and two congregations; and of these no fewer than sixty-four
were established since the separation of the Provinces. The moral is
obvious. As soon as the Americans obtained Home Rule they more than
doubled their speed; and in fifty years they founded more congregations
than they had founded during the previous century. In 1857 they began
new work at Fry's Valley, in Ohio; in 1859 at Egg Harbour City; in 1862
at South Bethlehem; in 1863 at Palmyra; in 1865 at Riverside; in 1866
at Elizabeth, Freedom, Gracehill, and Bethany; in 1867 at Hebron and
Kernersville; in 1869 at Northfield, Philadelphia and Harmony; in 1870
at Mamre and Unionville; in 1871 at Philadelphia; in 1872 at
Sturgeon Bay; in 1873 at Zoar and Gerah; in 1874 at Berea; in 1877 at
Philadelphia and East Salem; in 1880 at Providence; in 1881 at Canaan
and Goshen; in 1882 at Port Washington, Oakland, and Elim; in 1886 at
Hector and Windsor; in 1887 at Macedonia, Centre Ville, and Oakgrove;
in 1888 at Grand Rapids and London; in 1889 at Stapleton and Calvary; in
1890 at Spring Grove and Clemmons; in 1891 at Bethel, Eden and Bethesda;
in 1893 at Fulp and Wachovia Harbour; in 1894 at Moravia and Alpha; in
1895 at Bruederfeld and Bruederheim; in 1896 at Heimthal, Mayodon and
Christ Church; in 1898 at Willow Hill; in 1901 at New York; in 1902 at
York; in 1904 at New Sarepta; and in 1905 at Strathcona. For Moravians
this was an exhilarating speed; and the list, though forbidding in
appearance, is highly instructive. In Germany Church extension is
almost unknown; in England it is still in its infancy; in America it is
practically an annual event; and thus there are now more Moravians in
America than in England and Germany combined. In Germany the number of
Moravians is about 8,000; in Great Britain about 6,000; in North America
about 20,000.

From this fact a curious conclusion has been drawn. As the American
Moravians have spread so rapidly, the suspicion has arisen in certain
quarters that they are not so loyal as the Germans and British to the
best ideals of the Moravian Church; and one German Moravian writer
has asserted, in a standard work, that the American congregations are
lacking in cohesion, in brotherly character, and in sympathy with true
Moravian principles.[161] But to this criticism several answers may be
given. In the first place, it is well to note what we mean by Moravian
ideals. If Moravian ideals are Zinzendorf's ideals, the criticism is
true. In Germany, the Brethren still pursue Zinzendorf's policy; in
England and America that policy has been rejected. In Germany the
Moravians still act as a "Church within the Church"; in England and
America such work has been found impossible. But Zinzendorf's "Church
within the Church" idea is no Moravian "essential." It was never one of
the ideals of the Bohemian Brethren; it sprang, not from the Moravian
Church, but from German Pietism; and, therefore, if the American
Brethren reject it they cannot justly be accused of disloyalty to
original Moravian principles.

For those principles they are as zealous as any other Moravians. They
have a deep reverence for the past. At their Theological Seminary in
Bethlehem systematic instruction in Moravian history is given; and the
American Brethren have their own Historical Society. For twenty years
Bishop Edmund de Schweinitz lectured to the students on Moravian
history; and, finally, in his "History of the Unitas Fratrum," he
gave to the public the fullest account of the Bohemian Brethren in the
English language; and in recent years Dr. Hamilton, his succesor, has
narrated in detail the history of the Renewed Church of the Brethren.
Second, the Americans, when put to the test, showed practical sympathy
with German Brethren in distress. As soon as the German refugees
arrived from Volhynia, the American Moravians took up their cause with
enthusiasm, provided them with ministers, helped them with money, and
thus founded the new Moravian congregations in Alberta. And third,
the Americans have their share of Missionary zeal. They have their own
"Society for Propagating the Gospel"; they have their own Missionary
magazines; and during the last quarter of a century they have borne
nearly the whole burden, both in money and in men, of the new mission
in Alaska. And thus the three branches of the Moravian Church, though
differing from each other in methods, are all united in their loyalty to
the great essentials.

Section V.--BONDS OF UNION.--But these essentials are not the only bonds
of union. At present Moravians all over the world are united in three
great tasks.

First, they are united in their noble work among the lepers at
Jerusalem. It is one of the scandals of modern Christianity that leprosy
is still the curse of Palestine; and the only Christians who are trying
to remove that curse are the Moravians. At the request of a kind-hearted
German lady, Baroness von Keffenbrink-Ascheraden, the first Moravian
Missionary went out to Palestine forty years ago (1867). There, outside
the walls of Jerusalem, the first hospital for lepers, named Jesus
Hilfe, was built; there, for some years, Mr. and Mrs. Tappe laboured
almost alone; and then, when the old hospital became too small, the new
hospital, which is standing still, was built, at a cost of £4,000,
on the Jaffa Road. In this work, the Moravians have a twofold object.
First, they desire to exterminate leprosy in Palestine; second, as
opportunity offers, they speak of Christ to the patients. But the
hospital, of course, is managed on the broadest lines. It is open to
men of all creeds; there is no religious test of any kind; and if the
patient objects to the Gospel it is not forced upon him. At present the
hospital has accommodation for about fifty patients; the annual
expense is about £4,000; the Managing Committee has its headquarters in
Berthelsdorf; each Province of the Moravian Church has a Secretary and
Treasurer; the staff consists of a Moravian Missionary, his wife, and
five assistant nurses; and all true Moravians are expected to support
this holy cause. At this hospital, of course, the Missionary and his
assistants come into the closest personal contact with the lepers.
They dress their sores; they wash their clothes; they run every risk
of infection; and yet not one of the attendants has ever contracted the
disease. When Father Damien took the leprosy all England thrilled at the
news; and yet if England rose to her duty the black plague of leprosy
might soon be a thing of the past.

Again, the Moravian Church is united in her work in Bohemia and Moravia.
At the General Synod of 1869 a strange coincidence occurred; and that
strange coincidence was that both from Great Britain and from North
America memorials were handed in suggesting that an attempt be made to
revive the Moravian Church in her ancient home. In England the leader of
the movement was Bishop Seifferth. In North America the enthusiasm was
universal, and the petition was signed by every one of the ministers.
And thus, once more, the Americans were the leaders in a forward
movement. The Brethren agreed to the proposal. At Pottenstein (1870),
not far from Reichenau, the first new congregation in Bohemia was
founded. For ten years the Brethren in Bohemia were treated by the
Austrian Government as heretics; but in 1880, by an Imperial edict, they
were officially recognized as the "Brethren's Church in Austria." Thus
is the prayer of Comenius being answered at last; thus has the Hidden
Seed begun to grow; thus are the Brethren preaching once more within the
walls of Prague; and now, in the land where in days of old their fathers
were slain by the sword, they have a dozen growing congregations, a
monthly Moravian magazine ("Bratrske Litsz"), and a thousand adherents
of the Church of the Brethren. Again, as in the case of the Leper
Home, the Managing Committee meets at Herrnhut; each Province has its
corresponding members; and all Moravians are expected to share in the

Above all, the Moravian Church is united in the work of Foreign
Missions. For their missions to the heathen the Moravians have long been
famous; and, in proportion to their resources, they are ten times as
active as any other Protestant Church. But in this book the story of
Moravian foreign missions has not been told. It is a story of romance
and thrilling adventure, of dauntless heroism and marvellous patience;
it is a theme worthy of a Froude or a Macaulay; and some day a master of
English prose may arise to do it justice. If that master historian ever
appears, he will have an inspiring task. He will tell of some of the
finest heroes that the Christian Church has ever produced. He will
tell of Matthew Stach, the Greenland pioneer, of Friedrich Martin,
the "Apostle to the Negroes," of David Zeisberger, the "Apostle to
the Indians," of Erasmus Schmidt, in Surinam, of Jaeschke, the famous
Tibetan linguist, of Leitner and the lepers on Robben Island, of Henry
Schmidt in South Africa, of James Ward in North Queensland, of Meyer and
Richard in German East Africa, and of many another grand herald of the
Cross whose name is emblazoned in letters of gold upon the Moravian
roll of honour. In no part of their work have the Brethren made grander
progress. In 1760 they had eight fields of labour, 1,000 communicants,
and 7,000 heathen under their care; in 1834, thirteen fields of labour,
15,000 communicants, and 46,000 under their care; in 1901, twenty fields
of labour, 32,000 communicants, and 96,000 under their care. As the
historian traces the history of the Moravian Church, he often finds
much to criticize and sometimes much to blame; but here, on the foreign
mission field, the voice of the critic is dumb. Here the Moravians have
ever been at their best; here they have done their finest redemptive
work; here they have shown the noblest self-sacrifice; and here, as the
sternest critic must admit, they have always raised from degradation to
glory the social, moral, and spiritual condition of the people. In
these days the remark is sometimes made by superior critics that foreign
missionaries in the olden days had a narrow view of the Gospel, that
their only object was to save the heathen from hell, and that they
never made any attempt to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. If that
statement refers to other missionaries, it may or may not be true;
but if it refers to Moravians it is false. At all their stations the
Moravian Missionaries looked after the social welfare of the people.
They built schools, founded settlements, encouraged industry, fought
the drink traffic, healed the sick, and cast out the devils of robbery,
adultery and murder; and the same principles and methods are still in
force to-day.

At the last General Synod held in Herrnhut the foreign mission work was
placed under the management of a General Mission Board; the Board was
elected by the Synod; and thus every voting member of the Church has
his share in the control of the work. In each Province there are
several societies for raising funds. In the German Province are the
North-Scheswig Mission Association, the Zeist Mission Society, and the
Fünf-pfennig Verein or Halfpenny Union. In the British Province are
the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, which owns that famous
missionary ship, the "Harmony"; the Juvenile Missionary Association,
chiefly supported by pupils of the boarding schools; the Mite
Association; and that powerful non-Moravian Society, the London
Association in aid of Moravian Missions. In North America is the Society
for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen. In each Province, too,
we find periodical missionary literature: in Germany two monthlies, the
Missions-Blatt and Aus Nord und Süd; in Holland the Berichten uit de
Heidenwereld; in Denmark the Evangelisk Missionstidende; in England the
quarterly Periodical Accounts and the monthly Moravian Missions; and
in North America two monthlies, Der Missions Freund and the Little
Missionary. In Germany the missionary training College is situated at
Niesky; in England at Bristol. In England there is also a special fund
for the training of medical missionaries. Of the communicant members
of the Moravian Church one in every sixty goes out as a missionary; and
from this fact the conclusion has often been drawn that if the members
of other churches went out in the same proportion the heathen world
might be won for Christ in ten years. At present the Mission field
contains about 100,000 members; the number of missionaries employed is
about 300; the annual expenses of the work are about £90,000; and of
that sum two-thirds is raised by the native converts.

There are now fourteen Provinces in the Mission field, and attractive is
the scene that lies before us. We sail on the "Harmony" to Labrador,
and see the neatly built settlements, the fur-clad Missionary in his
dog-drawn sledge, the hardy Eskimos, the squat little children at the
village schools, the fathers and mothers at worship in the pointed
church, the patients waiting their turn in the surgery in the hospital
at Okak. We pass on to Alaska, and steam with the Brethren up the
Kuskokwim River. We visit the islands of the West Indies, where
Froude, the historian, admired the Moravian Schools, and where his only
complaint about these schools was that there were not enough of them.
We pass on to California, where the Brethren have a modern Mission among
the Red Indians; to the Moskito Coast, once the scene of a wonderful
revival; to Paramaribo in Surinam, the city where the proportion of
Christians is probably greater than in any other city in the world; to
South Africa, where it is commonly reported that a Hottentot or Kaffir
Moravian convert can always be trusted to be honest; to German East
Africa, where the Brethren took over the work at Urambo at the request
of the London Missionary Society; to North Queensland, where the natives
were once so degraded that Anthony Trollope declared that the "game
was not worth the candle," where Moravians now supply the men and
Presbyterians the money, and where the visitor gazes in amazement at
the "Miracle of Mapoon"; and last to British India, near Tibet, where,
perched among the Himalaya Mountains, the Brethren in the city of Leh
have the highest Missionary station in the world.

As the Moravians, therefore, review the wonderful past, they see the
guiding hand of God at every stage of the story. They believe that their
Church was born of God in Bohemia, that God restored her to the light
of day when only the stars were shining, that God has opened the door
in the past to many a field of labour, and that God has preserved her to
the present day for some great purpose of his own. Among her ranks are
men of many races and many shades of opinion; and yet, from Tibet to
San Francisco, they are still one united body. As long as Christendom is
still divided, they stand for the great essentials as the bond of union.
As long as lepers in Palestine cry "unclean," they have still their
mission in the land where the Master taught. As long as Bohemia sighs
for their Gospel, and the heathen know not the Son of Man, they feel
that they must obey the Missionary mandate; and, convinced that in
following these ideals they are not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
they emblazon still upon their banner the motto encircling their old
episcopal seal:--

     "Vicit Agnus noster: Eum sequamur."
   (Our Lamb has conquered: Him let its follow.)




A. H. Wratislaw: John Hus (S.P.C.K. 1882).

H. B. Workman: The Letters of Hus (Hodder and Stoughton).

Johann Loserth: Wyclif and Hus.

Anton Gindely: Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder. For the external
fortunes of the Brethren, Gindely's narrative is excellent; but his
account of their inner life is poor and inaccurate.

Anton Gindely: Quellen zur Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder. A
collection of documents, dealing chiefly with the Brethren's relations
with Luther.

Anton Gindely: Geschichte des dreiszig-jährigen Krieges. (Vol. IV.)

Jaroslav Goll: Quellen und Untersuchung zur Geschichte der Böhmischen
Brüder (1882). Specially useful for Peter of Chelcic.

Bishop Edmund de Schweinitz: History of the Unitas Fratrum (Bethlehem,
Pa. 1885). This is the standard English work on the Bohemian Brethren.
It must, however, be used with caution. The author occasionally betrays
a tendency to make out the Brethren more evangelical than they
really were. Further, since Gindely and de Schweinitz wrote, many new
discoveries have been made; their conclusions must be tested by the
recent researches of J. T. Müller, the Brethren's Archivar at Herrnhut.

J. T. Müller: Die deutschen Katechismen der Böhmischen Brüder (Berlin:
A. Hofmann and Comp., 1887). Absolutely indispensable. No book ever
written gives so full a description of the Brethren's principles and
methods, or so true an estimate of the great part they played in the

J. T. Müller: Die Gefangenschaft des Johann Augusta (Leipzig, Friedrich
Jansa. 1895). A translation, with introduction and notes, of Jacob
Bilek's narrative. It throws quite a new light on Augusta's policy and

J. T. Müller: Das Bischoftum der Brüder-Unität (Herrnhut. 1889).

J. T. Müller: "Gemeindeverfassung der Böhmischen Brüder," in Monatshefte
der Comenius-Gesellschaft, 1896.

L. G. Hassé and E. Walder: "Report of the Committee appointed by
the Synod of the Moravian Church in Great Britain for the purpose of
inquiring into the possibility of more friendly relations on the part of
this Church with the Anglican Church" (Moravian Publication Office, 32,
Fetter Lane, E.C.). Complete statement of the evidence on the Brethren's
Episcopal Orders.

Eugen Borgius: Aus Posens und Polens kirchlicher Vergangenheit (Berlin,
1898. Wiegandt und Grieben). Contains a discussion (pp. 46-51) of
Müller's Das Bischoftum.

Lützow, Count: History of Bohemian Literature (William Heinemann; new
edition, 1907). Contains useful information on the Brethren's literary

Benjamin Seifferth (Moravian Bishop): Church Constitution of the
Bohemian and Moravian Brethren (W. Mallalieu and Co., 97, Hatton Garden.
1866). Translation of the Ratio Disciplinae, with original text and

Walther E. Schmidt: Das religiöse Leben in den ersten Zeiten der
Brüderunität, in the Zeitschrift für Brüder-Geschichte (Herrnhut, NO. 1,

J. T. Müller: Ueber eine Inquisition gegen die Waldenser in der
Gegend von Altenburg und Zwichau, in the Zeitschrift für Brüd. Gesch.
(Herrnhut. 1908).

Zeitschrift für Brüder-Geschichte. An historical half-yearly magazine,
edited by J. T. Müller and Gerhard Reichel. Scientific and scholarly;
complete guide to the most recent works on Brethren's History.


S. S. Laurie: John Amos Comenius, his Life and Educational Works
(Cambridge, Pitt Press Series. 1895).

M. W. Keatinge: The Great Didactic (Edinburgh, A. and C. Black). The
introduction contains a good life of Comenius, perhaps the fullest in
the English language.

Daniel Benham: The School of Infancy.

Count Lützow: The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart
(Dent's Temple Classics. 1907). Translation, with brief memoir.

Monatshefle der Comenius-Gesellschaft (Berlin, R. Gaertner's
Verlagsbuchandlung). Founded 1892. See especially Vol. VII. (1898), Nos.
3 and 4, for articles on the Gymnasium at Lissa and on "Comenius und die


Albrecht Ritschl: Geschichte des Pietismus (Vol. III. 1889). By English
historians Ritschl's great work is generally regarded as a classic. But
his account of Zinzendorf and the Brethren is one of the most inaccurate
narratives ever written. It is bigoted in tone, careless in details, and
based on second-hand evidence; and absolutely misleading in the general
impression that it gives. It is not serious history; it is rather a
theological romance. (For examples, see notes passim.)

J. T. Müller: Zinzendorf als Erneuerer der alten Brüder-Kirche (Leipzig,
Friedrich Jansa. 1900). The only complete exposition of Zinzendorf's
policy. His exposure of Ritschl's fictions is admirable.

Bernhard Becker: Zinzendorf und sein Christentum im Verhältnis zum
kirchlichen und religiösen Leben seiner Zeit (Leipzig, Friedrich Jansa,
1886; second edition, 1900). A profound treatise; shows Zinzendorf's
greatness and originality as a theologian.

Theodor G. Schmidt: Zinzendorfs soziale Stellung (Basel, Adolf Geering.
1900). Deals with Zinzendorf's social policy.

Guido Burkhardt: Zinzendorf und die Brüdergemeine (Leipzig, Friedrich
Jansa. 1865 and 1901).

Guido Burkhardt: Die Brüdergemeine, Erster Theil (Gnadau,
Unitäts-Buchhandlung, 1889).

Gneomar Ernst von Natzmer: Die Jugend Zinzendorfs (Eisenach, M.
Wilckens. 1894).

Hermann Römer: Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf (Gnadau,
Unitäts-Buchhandlung. 1900).

E. W. Croeger: Geschichte der erneuerten Brüder-Kirche (Gnadau,
Unitäts-Buchhandlung. 1852-1854).

David Cranz: Ancient and Modern History of the Brethren (translated
by Benjamin La Trobe. 1780). By no means out of date for Zinzendorf's

John Beck Holmes: History of the Protestant Church of the United
Brethren (Vol. II. 1830).

J. Taylor Hamilton: History of the Moravian Church during the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries (Bethlehem, Pa. Times Publishing Co. 1900).

Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg: Life of Zinzendorf (English translation
by Samuel Jackson. 1836).

Gerhard Reichel: August Gottlieb Spangenberg, Bischof der Brüderkirche
(Tübingen, J. C. B. Mohr, 1906. Of exceptional value and delightfully

Original Sources: For lack of space these cannot be enumerated here,
but the student may find them all referred to in the foregoing works by
Becker, Müller, Schmidt, Cranz, and Reichel.


Gerhard Wauer: Beginnings of the Brethren's Church in England.
Translated by John Elliott. (32, Fetter Lane, E.C. 1901.)

Bishop A. C. Hassé: The United Brethren in England (32, Fetter Lane,

Daniel Benham: Memoirs of James Hutton (Hamilton, Adams and Co. 1856).

J. P. Lockwood: Life of Peter Boehler (Wesleyan Conference Office.

Daniel Benham: Life of Rev. John Gambold (Mallalieu and Co., 97, Hatton
Garden. 1865).

John Wesley's Journal.

Charles Wesley's Journal.

Of the sources in the Moravian Archives at Fetter Lane, those that
I have found most useful are the following: (1) A miscellaneous
collection, entitled "Pamphlets"; (2) MS. and Note-books, containing
congregation diaries, copied out by the late Bishop A. C. Hassé; (3)
Minutes of British Provincial Synods.

For other sources see: (1) The above work by Gerhard Wauer, (2) My
own article, "The Moravian Contribution to the Evangelical Revival
in England," in the Owens College "Historical Essays" (Manchester
University Press. 1907). (3) My own John Cennick; a sketch (32, Fetter
Lane, E.C. 1906). (4) Catalogue of the Moravian Archives at 32, Fetter
Lane, E.C. (5) L. Tyerman: Life and Times of John Wesley. (6) L.
Tyerman: The Oxford Methodists.


W. C. Reichel: Memorials of the Moravian Church (Philadelphia,
Lippincott and Co. 1870).

L. T. Reichel: Moravians in North Carolina (Salem, N. C. O. A. Keehln.

L. T. Reichel: Early History of United Brethren in North America
(Nazareth, Pa. 1888).

Abraham Ritter: Moravian Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, C.
Sherman. 1857).

Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society (Nazareth, Pa. 1859 to


J. T. Hamilton: History of the Missions of the Moravian Church during
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Moravian Publishing Office, 32,
Fetter Lane, E.C. 1900).

Adolf Schulze: Abrisz einer Geschichte der Brüder-Mission (Herrnhut,
Missionsbuchhandlung. 1901). This is the standard work on the subject.
It contains an elaborate bibliography.


[Footnote 1: De Ecclesiâ.]

[Footnote 2: Calixtine = Cup-ite, from the Latin, calix, a cup.  Utraquist = in both kinds, from the Latin, utraque.]

[Footnote 3: Pronounced: Kelchits. The ch is a guttural like the Hebrew kaph, or
like ch in the word loch.]

[Footnote 4: A common saying in Peter's day.]

[Footnote 5: Pronounced Rockitsanna.]

[Footnote 6: This outbreak made a great sensation, and was frequently quoted by the
Brethren in their writings.]

[Footnote 7: Rockycana's character is rather hard to judge. Some of his sermons
have been preserved, and they have the ring of sincerity. Perhaps, like
Erasmus in later years, he wished to avoid a schism, and thought that
the Church could be reformed from within.]

[Footnote 8: These settled, not at Kunwald, but close by.]

[Footnote 9: For many years there has been a tradition that the Moravian Church was
founded on March 1st, 1457; but this date is only a pious imagination.
We are not quite sure of the year, not to speak of the day of the month.
If the Moravian Church must have a birthday, March 1st, 1457, will do as
well as any other; but the truth is that on this point precise evidence
has not yet been discovered.]

[Footnote 10: This division into three classes is first found in a letter to
Rockycana, written in 1464.]

[Footnote 11: De Schweinitz (p. 107) says that the Brethren now took the title of
"Fratres Legis Christi," i.e., Brethren of the Law of Christ. This is a
mistake. This title is not found till towards the close of the sixteenth
century, and was never in general use; see Müller's "Böhmische-Brueder"
in Hauck's Real-Encyclopædie.]

[Footnote 12: The best way to understand the Brethren's attitude is to string
together their favourite passages of Scripture. I note, in particular,
the following: Matthew xviii. 19, 20; Jeremiah iii. 15; John xx. 23;
Revelation xviii. 4, 5; Luke vi. 12-16; Acts iv. 32.]

[Footnote 13: And this raises an interesting question: If the lot had decided
against the Brethren, what would they have done? They have given us the
answer themselves. If the inscribed slips had remained in the vase, the
Brethren would have waited a year and then tried again. The final issue,
in fact, did not depend on the use of the lot at all. They used it, not
to find out God's will, but simply to confirm that faith in their cause
which had already been gained in prayer.]

[Footnote 14: It is here stated by De Schweinitz (p. 137), on Gindely's authority,
that the members of the Synod were now re-baptized. The statement is
not correct. It is based on a letter written by Rockycana; but it is
unsupported by any other evidence, and must, therefore be rejected. As
the Brethren have often been confounded with Anabaptists (especially by
Ritschl, in his Geschichte des Pietismus), I will here give the plain
facts of the case. For a number of years the Brethren held that all who
joined their ranks from the Church of Rome should be re-baptized; and
the reason why they did so was that in their judgment the Romanist
baptism had been administered by men of bad moral character, and was,
therefore, invalid. But in 1534 they abandoned this position, recognised
the Catholic Baptism as valid, and henceforth showed not a trace of
Anabaptist views either in theory or in practice.]

[Footnote 15: 1. The "Six Commandments" are as follows:--

  (1) Matthew v. 22: Thou shalt not be angry with thy brother.
  (2) Matthew v. 28: Thou shalt not look upon a woman to lust after
  (3) Matthew v. 32: Thou shalt not commit adultery, or divorce thy
  (4) Matthew v. 34: Thou shalt not take an oath.
  (5) Matthew v. 39, 40: Thou shalt not go to law.
  (6) Matthew v. 44: Thou shalt love thine enemy.

2. Moravian Episcopal Orders.--For the benefit of those, if such there
be, who like a abstruse historical problems, and who, therefore, are
hungering for further information about the origin, maintenance and
validity of Moravian Episcopal Orders, I here append a brief statement
of the case:--

(1) Origin.--On this point three opinions have been held: (a) For
many years it was stoutly maintained by Palacky, the famous Bohemian
historian, by Anton Gindely, the Roman Catholic author of the
"Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder," and also Bishop Edmund de Schweinitz
in his "History of the Unitas Fratrum," that Stephen, the Waldensian,
was made a Bishop at the Catholic Council of Basle, and that thus
Moravian Episcopal Orders have a Roman Catholic origin. But this view is
now generally abandoned. It is not supported by adequate evidence,
and is, on the face of it, entirely improbable. If Stephen had been a
Romanist or Utraquist Bishop the Brethren would never have gone near
him. (b) In recent years it has been contended by J. Müller and J.
Koestlin that Stephen was consecrated by the Taborite Bishop, Nicholas
von Pilgram. But this view is as improbable as the first. For Nicholas
von Pilgram and his rough disciples the Brethren had little more respect
than they had for the Church of Rome. Is it likely that they would take
their orders from a source which they regarded as corrupt? (c) The
third view--the oldest and the latest--is that held by the Brethren
themselves. They did not believe that Bishop Stephen had any connection,
direct or indirect, with the Church of Rome. They believed that he
represented an episcopate which had come down as an office of the Church
from the earliest Christian days. They could not prove, of course, up
to the hilt, that the Waldensian succession was unbroken; but, as far
as they understood such questions, they believed the succession to be at
least as good as that which came through Rome. And to that extent they
were probably right. There is no such thing on the field of history as
a proved Apostolic succession; but if any line of mediæval Bishops has
high claims to historical validity it is, as Dr. Döllinger has shown (in
his Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters), the line to which
Waldensian Stephen belonged.

(2) Maintenance.--We now come to another question: Has the Church of
the Brethren maintained the succession from the time of Stephen to the
present day? Here again the historian has a very tight knot to untie. At
one point (if not two) in the history of the Brethren's Church, 1500 and
1554, there is certainly the possibility that her Episcopal succession
was broken. For the long period of eleven years the Brethren had only
one Bishop, John Augusta; and Augusta was a prisoner in Purglitz Castle,
and could not, therefore, consecrate a successor. What, then, were
the Brethren to do? If John Augusta were to die in prison the line of
Bishops would end. Meanwhile the Brethren did the best they could. As
they did not wish the office to cease, they elected Bishops to perform
Episcopal functions for the time being. Now comes the critical question:
Did John August, some years later, consecrate these elected Bishops or
did he not? There is no direct evidence either way. But we know enough
to show us the probabilities. It is certain that in 1564 John Augusta
came out of prison; it is certain that in 1571 two Bishops-elect, Israel
and Blahoslav, consecrated three successors; it is certain that Augusta
was a stickler for his own authority as a Bishop; it is not certain
that he raised an objection to the conduct of Israel and Blahoslav; and,
therefore, it is possible that he had consecrated them himself. If
he did, the Moravian succession is unbroken; and, at any rate, it is
without a flaw from that day to this.

(3) Validity.--Is the Moravian Episcopacy valid? The answer depends on
the meaning of the word "Validity." If the only valid Bishops in the
Church of Christ are those who can prove an unbroken descent from the
Apostles, then the Brethren's Bishops are no more valid than the Bishops
of any other Church; and all historians must honestly admit that, in
this sense of the word "Valid," there is no such thing as a valid Bishop
in existence. But the word "Validity" may have a broader meaning. It may
mean the desire to adhere to New Testament sanctions; it may mean the
honest and loyal endeavour to preserve the "intention" of the Christian
ministry as instituted by Christ; and if this is what "Validity" means
the Moravian Episcopate is just as valid as that of any other communion.
Meanwhile, at any rate, the reader may rest content with the following

  (1) That Gregory the Patriarch and his fellow Brethren were
      satisfied with Bishop Stephen's statement.
  (2) That they acted honestly according to their light, and desired
      to be true successors of the Primitive Church.
  (3) That the Waldensian Episcopate was of ancient order.
  (4) That no break in the Brethren's Episcopal succession has ever
      been absolutely proved.
  (5) That, during the whole course of their history the Brethren
      have always endeavoured to preserve the Episcopal office

For a further discussion of the whole question see "The Report of the
Committee appointed by the Synod of the Moravian Church in Great Britain
for the purpose of inquiring into the possibility of more friendly
relations on the part of this Church with the Anglican Church"; see
also, in German, Müller's "Bischoftum," where the whole evidence is
critically handled.]

[Footnote 16: For the later history of the Brethren's Church this entrance of
German-speaking Waldenses was of fundamental importance; of far
greater importance, in fact, than is recognised either by Gindely or
de Schweinitz. As these men spoke the German language, the Brethren,
naturally, for their benefit, prepared German editions of their
Confessions, Catechisms, and Hymn-books; and through these German
editions of their works they were able, a few years later, to enter into
closer contact with the Reformation in Germany. But that is not the end
of the story. It was descendants of this German branch of the Church
that first made their way to Herrnhut in 1722, and thus laid the
foundations of the Renewed Church of the Brethren.]

[Footnote 17: A Brother, e.g., might take the oath to save another Brother's life.]

[Footnote 18: We are, therefore, justified in regarding the year 1495 as a
turning-point in the history of the Brethren. The revolution was
thorough and complete. It is a striking fact that Luke of Prague,
whose busy pen was hardly ever dry, did not back up a single passage by
appealing to Peter's authority; and, in one passage, he even attacked
his character and accused him of not forgiving an enemy.]

[Footnote 19: And here I beseech the reader to be on his guard. It is utterly
incorrect to state, with de Schweinitz, that at this period the Brethren
held the famous doctrine of justification by faith, as expounded
by Martin Luther. Of Luther's doctrine, Luke himself was a vigorous
opponent (see p. 69).]

[Footnote 20: Taine, History of English Literature, Book II. cap. V. For a good
defence of Alexander's character, see Cambridge Modern History, Vol I.
p. 241.]

[Footnote 21: This tract, however, was probably a later Waldensian production.]

[Footnote 22: So called because the Diet opened on St. James's day (July 25th,

[Footnote 23: A corruption of Beghard. The term, however, appears to have been
used very loosely. It was simply a vulgar term of abuse for all who had
quarrelled with the Church of Rome. John Wycliffe was called a Picard.]

[Footnote 24: Jednota Rimska.]

[Footnote 25: Jednota Lutherianska. For the Church Universal they used another
word: Cirkey, meaning thereby all those elected by God.]

[Footnote 26: I desire to be explicit on this point. It is, of course, true enough
that when the Brethren in later years began to use the Latin language
they used the term "Unitas Fratrum" as the equivalent of Jednota
Bratrska, but in so doing they made an excusable blunder. The
translation "Unitas Fratrum" is misleading. It is etymologically
correct, and historically false. If a Latin term is to be used at all,
it would be better to say, as J. Müller suggests, "Societas Fratrum,"
or, better still, in my judgment, "Ecclesia Fratrum." But of all
terms to describe the Brethren the most offensive is "sect." It is
inconsistent for the same writer to speak of the "sect" of the Bohemian
Brethren and of the "Church" of Rome. If the Roman Communion is to be
described as a "Church," the same term, in common courtesy, should be
applied to the Brethren.]

[Footnote 27: De Schweinitz. (p. 126) actually sees in this passage the doctrine of
justification by faith. I confess that I do not.]

[Footnote 28: This letter was probably written by Luke of Prague.]

[Footnote 29: Müller's Katechismen, page 231.]

[Footnote 30: This was actually reported to the Pope as a fact by his agent, Henry
Institoris. See Müller's Katechismen, p. 319.]

[Footnote 31: From the German edition of 1522; printed in full in Müller's "Die
deutschen Katechismen der Böhmischen Brüder."]

[Footnote 32: Compare our Queen Elizabeth's view:--

     Christ was the Word that spake it,
     He took the bread and brake it,
     And what that Word did make it,
     That I believe, and take it.]

[Footnote 33: Letter to the Brethren, 1523.]

[Footnote 34: There is no doubt whatever on this last point. If the student will
consult any standard work on the history of the early Christian Church,
he will see how closely the institutions of the Brethren were modelled
on the institutions of the first three centuries as pourtrayed, not only
in the New Testament, but also in such documents as the Didache, the
Canons of Hippolytus, and the Apostolic Constitutions. For English
readers the best guide is T. M. Lindsay's The Church and the Ministry
in the Early Centuries; and the following references will be of special
interest: (1) For the Brethren's conception of priesthood, see p. 35;
(2) for their rule that the clergy should learn a trade, p. 203; (3) for
their ministry of women, p. 181; (4) for their contempt of learning, p.
182; (5) for their preference for unmarried ministers, p. 179; (6) for
the term "Brotherhood" (Jednota) a synonym for "Church," p. 21; (7) for
Acoluths and their duties, p. 355; (8) for their system of discipline,
Matthew xviii. 15-17; (9) for Beginners, Proficients, and Perfect--(a)
Heb. v. 13, (b) Heb. v. 14, vi. 1, (c) 1 Cor. ii. 6, 2 Cor. vii. 1, Rom.
xv. 14, Philipp iii. 15.]

[Footnote 35: There is a beautiful copy of this "Confession" in the Moravian
Theological College at Fairfield, near Manchester.]

[Footnote 36: An important point. It shows that the scheme which Augusta afterwards
sketched in prison was a long-cherished design, and not a new trick to
regain his liberty. (See Chapter XI.)]

[Footnote 37: It is perfectly clear from this prayer that the Brethren tried to
reconcile their loyalty to Ferdinand with loyalty to their faith. The
prayer is printed in full in J. Müller's "Gefangenshaft des Johann

[Footnote 38: Gindely's narrative here is quite misleading. For no reason whatever
he endeavours to make out that the Brethren were the chief authors of
the conspiracy against Ferdinand. For this statement there is not a
scrap of evidence, and Gindely produces none. It is not often that
Gindely romances, but he certainly romances here, and his biting remarks
about the Brethren are unworthy of so great an historian! (See Vol I.,
p. 293.)]

[Footnote 39: Gindely's naïve remark here is too delightful to be lost. He says
that the rich Brethren had not been corrupted by their contact with
Luther's teaching, and that, therefore, they still possessed a little of
the milk of human kindness for the refreshment of the poor. (See Vol. I.
p. 330.)]

[Footnote 40: The Unitarians were specially strong in Poland.]

[Footnote 41: The letter, that is, in which the Brethren had pleaded not guilty to
the charge of treason.]

[Footnote 42: The fallacy underlying this argument is well known to logicians, and
a simple illustration will make it clear to the reader:--

   All Hottentots have black hair.
   Mr. Jones has black hair.
   Therefore, Mr. Jones is a Hottentot.]

[Footnote 43: I must add a brief word in honour of Jacob Bilek. As that faithful
secretary was thirteen years in prison (1548-61), and endured many
tortures rather than deny his faith, it is rather a pity that two
historians have branded him as a traitor. It is asserted both by Gindely
(Vol. I., p. 452) and by de Schweinitz (p. 327) that Bilek obtained his
liberty by promising, in a written bond, to renounce the Brethren
and adhere to the Utraquist Church. But how Gindely could make such
a statement is more than I can understand. He professes to base his
statement on Bilek's narrative; and Bilek himself flatly denies the
charge. He admits that a bond was prepared, but says that it was handed
to the authorities without his knowledge and consent. For my part, I see
no reason to doubt Bilek's statement; and he certainly spent his last
days among the Brethren as minister of the congregation at Napajedl.]

[Footnote 44: It had been presented in 1564.]

[Footnote 45: Confessio Bohemica; there is a copy in the archives at 32 Fetter
Lane, E.C.]

[Footnote 46: This was doubtless an exaggeration, but it shows that the Brethren
were more powerful than the reader would gather from most histories of
the Reformation.]

[Footnote 47: A copy of this may be seen in the College at Fairfield. The copy is a
second edition, dated 1596. There are two columns to a page. The "title
page," "preface," and "contents" are missing in this copy.]

[Footnote 48: This point is ignored by most English historians, but is fully
recognised by Count Lutzow. "It can be generally stated," he says,
in his "History of Bohemian Literature," p. 201, "that with a
few exceptions all the men who during the last years of Bohemian
independence were most prominent in literature and in politics belonged
to the Unity."]

[Footnote 49: "The Imprisonment of John Augusta," translated into German by Dr. J.
T. Müller. An English translation has not yet appeared.]

[Footnote 50: J. Müller puts the estimate still higher. He thinks that at this time
at least half of the Protestants in Bohemia were Brethren; and that in
Moravia their strength was even greater.]

[Footnote 51: Prepared 1609; published 1616; republished in Latin, 1633; and
translated and published in England in 1866, by Bishop Seifferth. There
is one point in this treatise to which special attention may be
drawn. It contains no allusion to the fact that among the Brethren
the ministers had to earn their living by manual labour. The reason
is obvious. The practice ceased in 1609, as soon as the Charter was
granted, and from that time the Brethren's ministers in Bohemia (though
not in Moravia and Poland) stood on the same footing as the other
evangelical clergy.]

[Footnote 52: Printed in full in J. Müller's "Katechismen."]

[Footnote 53: Ranke, "History of the Popes." Book VII. cap. II., sect. 3 note.]

[Footnote 54: In his "Labyrinth of the World."]

[Footnote 55: I commend this book to the reader. It has recently been translated
into English by Count Lützow, and is included now in Dent's "Temple

[Footnote 56: Surely a poetic exaggeration.]

[Footnote 57: Succeeded in 1629 by Andreas Wengierski; known commonly to historical
students as Regenvolscius, the author of an admirable "History of the
Slavonic Churches."]

[Footnote 58: It is stated in most biographies of Zinzendorf that Spener stood
sponsor at his baptism; but Gerhard Wauer, in his recent work,
Beginnings of the Moravian Church in England, says that Spener's name is
not to be found in the baptismal register. And this, I imagine, should
settle the question.]

[Footnote 59: Hymn No. 851 in the present German Hymn-book.]

[Footnote 60: Collegia pietatis.]

[Footnote 61: Ecclesiolæ in ecclesia.]

[Footnote 62: Ante is to be construed as an adverb.]

[Footnote 63: In his classic Geschichte des Pietismus (Vol. III. p. 203), Albrecht
Ritschl says that Zinzendorf's unwillingness to be a missionary was due
to his pride of rank. The statement has not a shadow of foundation. In
fact, it is contradicted by Zinzendorf himself, who says: "ihre Idee war
eigentlich nicht, dieses und dergleichen selbst zu bewerkstelligen,
denn sie waren beide von den Ihrigen in die grosse Welt destiniert und
wussten von nichts als gehorsam sein." I should like here to warn
the student against paying much attention to what Ritschl says about
Zinzendorf's theology and ecclesiastical policy. His statements are
based on ignorance and theological prejudice: and his blunders have been
amply corrected, first by Bernhard Becker in his Zinzendorf und sein
Christentum im Verhältnis zum kirchlichen und religiösen Leben seiner
Zeit, and secondly by Joseph Müller in his Zinzendorf als Erneuerer der
alten Brüderkirche (1900).]

[Footnote 64: For further details of Zinzendorf's stay at Wittenberg I must refer
to his interesting Diary, which is now in course of publication in the
Zeitschrift für Brüdergeschichte. It is written in an alarming mixture
of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, and French; but the editors have kindly
added full explanatory notes, and all the student requires to understand
it is a working knowledge of German.]

[Footnote 65: This picture is now in the Pinakothek at Münich. It is wonderful how
this well-known incident has been misrepresented and misapplied. It is
constantly referred to now in tracts, sermons, and popular religious
magazines as if it was the means of Zinzendorf's "conversion"; and even
a scholar like the late Canon Liddon tells us how this German nobleman
was now "converted from a life of careless indifference." (Vide
Passiontide Sermons. No. VII., pp. 117, 118.) But all that the picture
really accomplished was to strengthen convictions already held and plans
already formed. It is absurd to talk about the "conversion" of a youth
who had loved and followed Christ for years.]

[Footnote 66: The phrase inscribed upon her tombstone at Herrnhut.]

[Footnote 67: The Smalkald Articles were drawn up in 1537; and the clause to which
Zinzendorf appealed runs as follows: "In many ways the Gospel offers
counsel and help to the sinner; first through the preaching of the
Word, second, through Baptism, third, through the Holy Communion, fourth
through the power of the keys, and, lastly, through brotherly discussion
and mutual encouragement, according to Matthew xviii., 'Where two or
three are gathered together.'" The Count, of course, appealed to the
last of these methods. For some reason, however, unknown to me, this
particular clause in the Articles was always printed in Latin, and was,
therefore, unknown to the general public.]

[Footnote 68: In his treatise, "The German Mass," published in 1526 (see Köstlin's
"Life of Luther," p. 295; Longmans' Silver Library).]

[Footnote 69: August, 1738.]

[Footnote 70: See page 58.]

[Footnote 71: Not to be confounded with Kunwald in Bohemia.]

[Footnote 72: It is probable that the Neissers were descendants of the Brethren's
Church, but we cannot be quite certain about it. About the third band,
that arrived in 1724, there is no doubt whatever. (See the next chapter,
p. 200.)]

[Footnote 73: "Hutberg"; i.e., the hill where cattle and sheep were kept secure.
The name "Hutberg" was common in Germany, and was applied, of course,
to many other hills. For the payment of a small rent the landlords often
let out "Hutbergs" to the villagers on their estates.]

[Footnote 74: Ps. lxxxiv. 3. The spot where David felled the first tree is now
marked by a monument, inscribed with the date and the text; and the date
itself is one of the Brethren's so-called "Memorial Days."]

[Footnote 75: Zinzendorf's expression.]

[Footnote 76: These "Injunctions and Prohibitions" are now printed for the
first time by J. Müller, in his Zizendorf als Erneuerer der alten
Bruder-Kirche (1900). They must not be confounded with the "Statutes"
printed in the Memorial Days of the Brethren's Church.]

[Footnote 77: Here again Ritschl is wrong. He assumes (Geschichte des Pietismus,
III. 243) that when Zinzendorf drew up his "Injunctions and
Prohibitions" and "Statutes" he was already acquainted with the Ratio
Disciplinæ. But the "Injunctions" and "Statutes" were read out on May
12th, and the "Ratio" was not discovered till July.]

[Footnote 78: There was, however, no community of goods.]

[Footnote 79: I am not exaggerating. In one of his discourses he says: "I regard
the Augsburg Confession as inspired, and assert that it will be the
creed of the Philadelphian Church till Christ comes again." See Müller,
Zinzendorf als Erneuerer, p. 90, and Becker, p. 335.]

[Footnote 80: As I write these words a copy of the first Text-book lies before me.
It has only one text for each day, and all the texts are taken from the
New Testament.]

[Footnote 81: It is often referred to in the English Congregation Diaries. It was
abandoned simply because it was no longer valued; and no one was willing
to take part.]

[Footnote 82: For striking examples see pages 230, 236, 266, 302, 394.]

[Footnote 83: Luke xxii. 17.]

[Footnote 84: The whole question is thoroughly discussed by J. Müller in his
"Zinzendorf als Erneuerer der alten Brüder-Kirche."]

[Footnote 85: Was this true to Luther, or was it not? According to Ritschl it was
not (Geschichte des Pietismus, III. 248); according to J. T. Müller, it
was (Zinzendorf als Erneuerer, p. 40). I agree with the latter writer.]

[Footnote 86: It is not clear from the evidence who suggested the use of the Lot.
According to Zinzendorf's diary it was the Brethren; but I suspect
that he himself was the first to suggest it. There is no proof that the
Brethren were already fond of the Lot; but there is plenty of proof that
the Pietists were, and Zinzendorf had probably learned it from them.
(See Ritschl II., 434, etc.)]

[Footnote 87: And here I correct a popular misconception. It has often been stated
in recent years that the first Moravian missionaries actually became
slaves. The statement is incorrect. As a matter of fact, white slavery
was not allowed in any of the West Indian islands.]

[Footnote 88: E.g., Dr. George Smith's Short History of Christian Missions, Chapter

[Footnote 89: See Book I., pp. 74-5.]

[Footnote 90: For details about this interesting point, see La Trobe's Letters to
My Children, pp. 13-25.]

[Footnote 91: The first number appeared in 1790, and the first editor was Christian
Ignatius La Trobe.]

[Footnote 92: The vessel referred to was the Harmony. It belonged to the Brethren's
"Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel," and carried their
missionaries and goods to and from Labrador.]

[Footnote 93: For proof see Th. Bechler's pamphlet: Vor hundert Jahren und heut
(pp. 40-47).]

[Footnote 94: See 1 Peter i. 1: "Peter to the strangers scattered." The Greek word
is diaspora; this is the origin of the Moravian phrase, "Diaspora Work."]

[Footnote 95: i.e. By the Lot.]

[Footnote 96: i.e. By the Lot. This is what Zinzendorf's language really means.]

[Footnote 97: But this applied to Europe only. In America Bishop Spangenberg was
still Chief Elder; and Christ was not recognized as Chief Elder there
till 1748. What caused this strange incongruity? How could the Brethren
recognize a man as Chief Elder in America and the Lord Christ as Chief
Elder in Europe? The explanation is that in each case the question was
settled by the Lot; and the Brethren themselves asked in bewilderment
why our Lord would not at first consent to be Chief Elder in America.]

[Footnote 98: See Benham's Memoirs of James Hutton, p. 245, where the papers
referring to Bishop Wilson's appointment are printed in full.]

[Footnote 99: It was a little green book, with detachable leaves; each leaf
contained some motto or text; and when the Count was in a difficulty, he
pulled out one of these leaves at random.]

[Footnote 100: Matthew xi. 25. "Little Fools" (Närrchen) was Zinzendorf's rendering
of naypeeoee {spelled in greek: nu, eta, pi, iota (stressed), omicron,

[Footnote 101: For want of a better, I use this word to translate the German
"Lämmlein"; but, in common justice, it must be explained that "Lämmlein"
in German does not sound so foolish as "Lambkin" in English. In German,
diminutives are freely used to express endearment. (See James Hutton's
sensible remarks in Benham's Memoirs, p. 563.)]

[Footnote 102: Cross-air--soaring in the atmosphere of the Cross.]

[Footnote 103: See Chapter XIV., p. 384.]

[Footnote 104: See Chapter III., p. 208.]

[Footnote 105: It has often been urged, in Zinzendorf's defence, that he did not
know what was happening at Herrnhaag. But this defence will not hold
good. He was present, in 1747, when some of the excesses were at their
height; and during the summer of that year he delivered there a series
of thirty-four homilies on his "Litany of the Wounds."]

[Footnote 106: See, e.g., Kurtz's Church History. Dr. Kurtz entirely ignores the
fact that the worst features of the "Sifting Time" were only of short
duration, and that no one condemned its excesses more severely than the
Brethren themselves.]

[Footnote 107: Canon Overton's sarcastic observations here are quite beside the
point. He says (Life of John Wesley, p. 55) that Spangenberg subjected
Wesley to "a cross-examination which, considering the position and
attainments of the respective parties, seems to an outsider, in
plain words, rather impertinent." I should like to know where this
impertinence comes in. What were "the position and attainments of the
respective parties?" Was Spangenberg Wesley's intellectual inferior? No.
Did Spangenberg seek the conversation? No. "I asked his advice," says
Wesley, "with regard to my own conduct."]

[Footnote 108: Thus Overton, e.g., writes: "If John Wesley was not a true Christian
in Georgia, God help millions of those who profess and call themselves
Christians." Life of John Wesley, p. 58.]

[Footnote 109: "And forthwith commenced the process of purging," adds Overton.
Witty, but untrue. Boehler did nothing of the kind.]

[Footnote 110: See, e.g., Overton, Evangelical Revival p. 15; Fisher, History of
the Church, p. 516; Wakeman, History of the Church of England, p. 438.]

[Footnote 111: This clause is omitted by John Wesley in his Journal! He gives the
fundamental rules of the Society, but omits the clause that interfered
most with his own liberty. See Journal, May 1st, 1738.]

[Footnote 112: Precise date uncertain.]

[Footnote 113: What did the Brethren mean by this? We are left largely to
conjecture. My own personal impression is, however, that the Brethren
feared that if Wesley took Communion with them he might be tempted to
leave the Church of England and join the Moravian Church.]

[Footnote 114: Mr. Lecky's narrative here (History of England, Vol. II., p. 67,
Cabinet Edition) is incorrect. He attributes the above two speeches
to Moravian "teachers." No Moravian "teacher," so far as I know, ever
talked such nonsense. John Bray was not a Moravian at all. I
have carefully examined the list of members of the first Moravian
congregation in London; and Bray's name does not occur in the list.
He was an Anglican and an intimate friend of Charles Wesley, and is
frequently mentioned in the latter's Journal. It is easy to see how
Lecky went wrong. Instead of consulting the evidence for himself, he
followed the guidance of Tyerman's Life of John Wesley, Vol. I., p.

[Footnote 115: Cur religionem tuam mutasti? Generally, but wrongly, translated Why
have you changed your religion? But religio does not mean religion; it
means Church or denomination.]

[Footnote 116: I believe I am correct in stating that the Watch-Night Service
described in this chapter was the first held in England. As such
services were held already at Herrnhut, where the first took place in
1733, it was probably a Moravian who suggested the service at Fetter
Lane; and thus Moravians have the honour of introducing Watch-Night
Services in this country. From them the custom passed to the Methodist;
and from the Methodist to other Churches.]

[Footnote 117: This letter was first discovered and printed by the late Rev. L. G.
Hassé, B.D., in 1896. See Moravian Messenger, June 6th, 1896.]

[Footnote 118: Cennick described these incidents fully in his book, Riots at

[Footnote 119: See Moravian Hymn-book, No. 846.]

[Footnote 120: A nickname afterwards applied to John Wesley.]

[Footnote 121: Now called Bishop Street.]

[Footnote 122: The congregations which owe their existence to the labours
of Cennick are as follows:--In England: Bristol, Kingswood, Bath,
Devonport, Malmesbury, Tytherton, Leominster; in Wales: Haverfordwest;
in Ireland:--Dublin, Gracehill, Gracefield, Ballinderry, Kilwarlin,
Kilkeel, Cootehill.]

[Footnote 123: There was no real truth in these allegations.]

[Footnote 124: See Boswell's "Johnson," April 10, 1772; April 29, 1773; and April
10, 1775.]

[Footnote 125: Regarded then as one of the wonders of England. (See Macaulay's
History of England, Chapter III., Sect. Fashionable part of the

[Footnote 126: The case of Gomersal may serve as an example. The certificate of
registration runs as follows: "14th June, 1754. These are to certify
that the New Chapel and House adjoining in Little Gumersall, in the
Parish of Birstall, in the County and Diocese of York, the property of
James Charlesworth, was this day Registered in the Registry of his Grace
the Lord Archbishop of York, for a place for Protestant Dissenters for
the public worship of Almighty God. "ROB. JUBB, "Deputy Registrar."]

[Footnote 127: Consolatory Letter to the Members of the Societies that are in some
connection with the Brethren's Congregations, 1752. I owe my knowledge
of this rare pamphlet to the kindness of the late Rev. L. G. Hassé.]

[Footnote 128: Contents of a Folio History, 1750.]

[Footnote 129: The Representation of the Committee of the English Congregations in
Union with the Moravian Church, 1754.]

[Footnote 130: His other works were: (a) A Solemn Call on Count Zinzendorf (1754);
(b) Supplement to the Candid Narrative (1755); (c) A Second Solemn Call
on Mr. Zinzendorf (1757); (d) Animadversions on Sundry Flagrant Untruths
advanced by Mr. Zinzendorf (no date).]

[Footnote 131: Indignantly denied by James Hutton, who was present at the service
in question.]

[Footnote 132: At one time I could not resist the conviction that Frey had
overdrawn his picture (see Owens College Historical Essays, p. 446); but
recently I have come to the conclusion that his story was substantially
true. My reason for this change of view is as follows:--As soon as the
settlement at Herrnhaag was abandoned a number of Single Brethren went
to Pennsylvania, and there confessed to Spangenberg that the scandals
at Herrnhaag were "ten times as bad" as described by Frey. See Reichel's
Spangenberg, p. 179. Frey's book had then appeared in German.]

[Footnote 133: Their chief apologetic works were the following: (1) Peremptorischen
Bedencken: or, The Ordinary of the Brethren's Churches. Short and
Peremptory Remarks on the Way and Manner wherein he has been hitherto
treated in Controversies (1753), by Zinzendorf. (2) A Modest Plea for
the Church of the Brethren (1754), anonymous. (3) The Plain Case of the
Representatives of the Unitas Fratrum (1754), anonymous. (4) A Letter
from a Minister of the Moravian Branch of the Unitas Fratrum to the
Author of the "Moravians Compared and Detected," (1755), probably by
Frederick Neisser. (5) An Exposition, or True State of the Matters
objected in England to the People known by the name of Unitas Fratrum
(1755), by Zinzendorf. (6) Additions, by James Hutton. (7) An Essay
towards giving some Just Ideas of the Personal Character of Count
Zinzendorf (1755), by James Hutton. (8) A Short Answer to Mr. Rimius's
Long Uncandid Narrative (1753), anonymous.]

[Footnote 134: And yet Tyerman says that in 1752 the Moravian Church was "a
luscious morsel of Antinomian poison." Life of John Wesley, II., 96.]

[Footnote 135: See Gerhard Reichel's admirable Life of Spangenberg, Chapter X.
(1906. J. C. B. Mohr, Tübingen.)]

[Footnote 136: Translated by Samuel Jackson, 1838.]

[Footnote 137: Zinzendorf's Robe.--At a conference at Friedberg Zinzendorf
suggested (Nov. 17th, 1747) that a white robe should be worn on special
occasions, to remind the Brethren of Rev. vii. 9, 13; and, therefore,
the surplice was worn for the first time at a Holy Communion, at
Herrnhaag, on May 2nd, 1748, by Zinzendorf himself, his son Renatus, two
John Nitschmanns, and Rubusch, the Elder of the Single Brethren. This is
the origin of the use of the surplice by the modern Moravians.]

[Footnote 138: Referred to hereafter as U.E.C.]

[Footnote 139: A rule repeatedly broken by the rebellious British. It is frequently
recorded in the Synodal Minutes, "the British deputies turned up without
having had their election ratified by the Lot."]

[Footnote 140: E.g., in Labrador, where it is regularly read at week-night

[Footnote 141: But this was not the case in England. Only a few children were
educated at Broadoaks, Buttermere, and Fulneck; and the parents of the
children at Fulneck were expected to pay for them if they could. I am
indebted to Mr. W. T. Waugh for this information.]

[Footnote 142: For a fuller discussion of this fascinating subject see Bernhard
Becker's article in the Monatshefte der Comenius Gesellschaft, 1894,
p. 45; Prof. H. Roy's articles in the Evangelisches Kirchenblatt für
Schlesien, 1905, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6; and Meyer, Schleiermachers und C. G.
v. Brinkmanns Gang durch die Brüdergemeine, 1905.]

[Footnote 143: For the poet Goethe's opinion of the Brethren, see Wilhelm Meister
(Carlyle's translation), Book VI., "Confessions of a Fair Saint."]

[Footnote 144: At the special request of the Fulneck Conference an exception was
made in the case of Fulneck School, in Yorkshire.]

[Footnote 145: John Wesley, in his Journal, does not tell the story properly. He
makes no mention of the Love-feast, and says it was not the Moravian
custom to invite friends to eat and drink. The facts are given by Hegner
in his Fortsetzung of Cranz's Brüdergeschichte, part III., p. 6.]

[Footnote 146: The cause in Ayr was started in 1765 by the preaching of John
Caldwell, one of John Cennick's converts. It was not till 1778 that Ayr
was organized as a congregation; and no attempt was ever made to convert
the other societies into congregations.]

[Footnote 147: At the special invitation of William Hunt, a farmer.]

[Footnote 148: For complete list of the Brethren's societies in Scotland, see the
little pamphlet, The Moravian Church in Ayrshire, reprinted from the
Kilmarnock Standard, June 27th, 1903; and for further details about
abandoned Societies, see Moravian Chapels and Preaching Places (J.
England, 2, Edith Road, Seacombe, near Liverpool).]

[Footnote 149: In all this, the object of the Brethren was to be true to the Church
of England, and, to place their motives beyond all doubt, I add a minute
from the London Congregation Council. It refers to United Flocks, and
runs as follows: "April 11th, 1774. Our Society Brethren and Sisters
must not expect to have their children baptized by us. It would be
against all good order to baptize their children. The increase of this
United Flock is to be promoted by all proper means, that the members of
it may be a good salt to the Church of England."]

[Footnote 150: The certificate was as follows: "This is to certify, that the
Bearer, ----, of ----, in the Parish of ----, in the County of ----, is
a Member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, known by the name of Unitas
Fratrum or United Brethren, and such is entitled to the Privileges
granted by an Act of Parliament [22 Geo. II. cap. 120: in the year 1749;
and also by an Act of Parliament [43 Geo. III. cap 120: in the year
1803, exempting the members of the said Church from personal Military
Services. Witness my Hand and Seal this ---- day of ---- One Thousand
Eight Hundred ----."]

[Footnote 151: See History of Fulneck School, by W. T. Waugh, M.A.]

[Footnote 152: For a fine appreciation of the Brethren's music, see La Trobe,
Letters to my Children, pp. 26-45.]

[Footnote 153: P.E.C.=Provincial Elders' Conference--i.e., the Governing Board
appointed by the U.E.C.; known till 1856 as Provincial Helpers'

[Footnote 154: P. 431. See the transactions of the Synod of 1818.]

[Footnote 155: N.B.--The Moravians in America are not to be confounded with another
denomination known as the "United Brethren," founded in 1752 by Philip
William Otterbein (see Fisher's "Church History," p. 579). It is,
therefore, quite misleading to call the Moravians the "United Brethren."
The term is not only historically false, but also leads to confusion.]

[Footnote 156: This is necessary in order to fulfil the requirements of German Law.]

[Footnote 157: It was also settled in 1899 that the Advocatus Fratrum in Angliâ and
the Secretarius Fratrum in Angliâ should no longer be ex-officio members
of the General Synod.]

[Footnote 158: See Goll, Quellen und Untersuchungen, II., pp. 78 and 85, and
Müller, Die deutschen Katechismen der Böhmischen Brüder, p. 112.]

[Footnote 159: In the Moravian Church the rite of Confirmation is generally
performed, not by a Bishop, but by the resident minister; and herein, I
believe, they are true to the practice of the early Christian Church.]

[Footnote 160: See preface to Moravian Tune Book, large edition.]

[Footnote 161: Burkhardt: Die Brüdergemeine, Erster Theil, p. 189.]

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