Search billions of records on

From “Chronicum Ephratense; A History of the Community of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata, Lancaster County, Penn’a” by “Lamech and Agrippa”.  Translated from the original German by J. Max Hark, D.D., Lancaster, Pa., Published by S. H. Zahn & Co. 1889


Pgs 242-262

Transcribed by Cheryll Reed, May 2003






This awakening took place during the above-mentioned war, arid may have commenced about the year 1757. The members of this awakening. as well as their teacher. George Adam Martin, before this belonged to the Baptists, but left that congregation, induced by circumstances which had their first start with the said George Adam Martin. The causes of this separation are too outrageous to call for a special investigation here, and besides it is not permitted to trouble the reader with the like of it at this place. But because the said George Adam Martin handed in a writing, in which he minutely described how he was awakened, and how he had lived for a time with the Baptists but at last united himself with the Community at Ephrata, we will give an extract: from it, and then leave it to the consideration of the reader. This document is the answer to the question of a friend, why he had separated from the Baptists and gone over to the Seventh Day Saints. He speaks thus of his conversion:


In the year 1733 I was strongly moved to repentance and a change of life, and all without any man's intervention, which confused me so that I did not know what to do.  For my heart was troubled. Wherever I went or was my conscience was so disturbed that I avoided all company and felt grieved at any vanity I met with. I was constantly frightened and alarmed, for my conscience smote me everywhere; besides I was young, bashful and timid. I therefore went about like a lost sheep. I had thought all people better than myself, which opinion indeed I still have. I never looked for much from men, and if I occasionally listened to some one preaching, I  was not frightened by it, because I felt .myself .more .damned than any preacher could .damn me; nevertheless some little hope remained and I though perchance I might yet be saved.  Being in such a condition I was baptized on my faith in: the year 1735. This I did to honor God in Christ Jesus and intended to follow him; but had no further thought about the piety of a Community because my inner troubled state did not permit me to think about other things. All my thinking and striving .were only as to how I might enter the kingdom of God.


After my baptism, when alone in the woods, I knelt down behind a tree and prayed. After I had finished it came in my mind to open the New Testament, and whatever I found under my right thumb that should be my precept during life. Then I turned up: "Study to show, thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II TIMOTHY, II, 15). This troubled my mind excessively; sometimes I took it to be a temptation; then again, as if I had tempted God; and again that the Spirit had mocked me. Taking all together, I did not know what to make of it. To become a workman in the church of God, that I dared not harbor in my mind. Soon after I was led into such temptation for about sixteen weeks that I incessantly heard nothing but: "You are damned! You are damned!”  This frightened me so that I enjoyed neither sleep, nor eating or drinking. My' father asked me what was the matter with me, but I dared not tell him, for I thought that never before had a person lived on earth in such a damnable state. At last I was delivered out of this bondage, received pardon, and became a recipient of the gracious visitation of my God in Christ Jesus, and of the power .of regeneration, of which before I had known nothing.  Thus by grace and compassion alone I became one of the redeem ed of the Lord. After this I became cheerful and joyous in my Savior, Jesus Christ, diligently read the Bible, exercised myself in prayer, took pleasure in divine things, and meddled with nothing but what concerned my salvation; besides I held the Brethren in high esteem and had a sacred regard for everything good.


It happened in the year 1737 that my Superintendent was called upon to go to the great Swamp, in order to baptize several persons. When he announced this at the meeting and asked who was wiling to go with him, I was willing to go.  After our arrival, when the meeting ,vas over, the persons to be baptized were introduced, and a passage from Luke XIV was read to them, about the building of towers and waging war, which also was customary among them even in Germany; for when I was baptized this surprised me, and I did not know what to think of it. It was done as often as persons were to be baptized; so that you did not know whether you were to build or not, to go to war or not, or whether God had 10,000 and the devil 20,000 men. As soon as you came to the water the hymn was usually sung:  “Count the cost says Jesus Christ, when the foundation Thou wouldst lay," etc, which A. M. (1) had composed already in Germany. When these confused transactions were now also enacted here, as was customary, it suddenly seized me so that my limbs trembled, and it flashed like a flame through my whole being, and before I knew it t heard myself speaking in an overloud voice. I was frightened at myself, for I thought of nothing less than of speaking. I said that it was not the Lord Jesus' intention to bring such things before candidates for baptism, for their purpose was to enter into their covenant with God by baptism, and to build upon the rock Jesus Christ; those who wished to build a tower besides the temple of God might have such things brought before them. This speech frightened everybody. and all were silent and dumb. At last our Superintendent, M. U.(2) of blessed In memory, said, “What shall we do then, for something must be said to the people."  Without taking thought I answered: “The 18th Chapter of Matthew, about exhortation and punishment, might be read;” which proposal was adopted from that hour, and is still customary with them to this day.


This was the first stumbling block I found in their doctrine. . But because they adopted my suggestion throughout the whole country, and no person moved against me, but all were surprised and thought that this movement on the part of a young man which they saw and heard was the work of the Spirit of God, I greatly honored them, since they in so childlike a way gave all the honor to God. Moreover they now noticed me more, especially did my Superintendent love me until he died, and he was much grieved when he had to lose me. But I did not respect the household of the Congregation, and nothing of the kind touched me; but I was earnest in my calling to gain favor before God by my life and behavior. I took no offence at any person, nor did I seek their esteem; I only endeavored to follow the dictates of my conscience. But it happened by and by that they, contrary to my wish, chose me as their Superintendent, after I had already obediently moved across the waters of the Susquehanna. Before this occurred, it happened that Count Zinzendorf and many of his Brethren came into the country and occasioned a great stir, especially by his conferences. And because all denominations were invited to them, I too was deputed by my Superintendent to attend them. When I arrived at the conference, which was held at Oley, I found there some of our Baptists, Seventh Day men, Mennonites and Separatists. The Count himself was president, and for three days I heard queer and wonderful things there. After my return home I went to my Superintendent and said that I looked upon the Count's conferences as snares, for the purpose of bringing simple-minded and inexperienced converts back to infant baptism and church-going, and of erecting the old Babel again. We consulted with each other what to do, and agreed to get ahead of the danger, as some Baptists had already been smitten with this vain doctrine, and to hold a yearly Conference, or as we called it, a Great Assembly, and fixed at once the time and place. This is the beginning and foundation of the Great Assemblies of the Baptists.


After this general meeting had been established, the opportunity was offered to speak of various matters ,whenever we met, and since most of the Baptists ,who had laid the foundation of their Congregation in Schwarzenau, were uneducated arch-idiots and ignoramuses, their followers, of course, brought their absurd notions also to this meeting, always appealing to their predecessors, saying the old Brethren in Germany did so, and we must not depart from their ways.


When I heard this I contradicted them which occasionally gave rise to disputes, in which I always had P.B. and M.U. (3) and most of the common people on my side.  But among other things something once occurred which appeared to me to be heretical, for when A. D.,(4)  who still was one of the first, once said that our old Brother A.M. had believed the same, I was at once aflame and boldly contradicted it.  But another Brother, M. F. (5), took the affair out of my hands and said "If it had not been for this I should not have joined the Brethren." To this I answered: “Then you have a poor reason for your change of religion.”  Meanwhile ears were pricked up and the matter was talked about, and I said I did not know how Christ Jesus could call himself a son of man if had not taken upon himself something from the Virgin consecrated for this purpose, for it was evident that  she had never known a man. Then M. F. answered that he had not received more from the Virgin than a wanderer who passes through a town receives from the town; or than a ball which passes through a gun, or the water which runs through a pipe.  I was frightened at such an expression.  M. U. sat alongside of me and said: "May God protect us against this!”  But he whispered into my ear: "Speak out against this, it is heretical; do not spare it." I then said that it were as they said it would have been all the same whether the Virgin was holy or not; a wanton might then as well have given birth to him since he received nothing from her, which is blasphemous to think and far more to say. This frightened them so that they left off defending this thing; the dispute, nevertheless, lasted two days before this Mohammedan Goliath was slain.  It may be thought that I have deviated too far from my reasons why I left the Baptists; but no, these are the very reasons, for I took offence at the foundation and origin, because the originators deviated from their aim and basis, which in my opinion is the love of God towards all men, and formed a sect, like the Inspired, out of the great awakening, which had taken hold of them in Germany, and aroused strife and hatred by their disputes. This George Graben told them to their faces, and especially to A. M., at a public meeting in Holland, being inspired to it, saying: "You and all of you are dead, and have died to the life of God;" all which was listened to by W. K., (6) who had just been liberated out of the prison in Gulch, where he had been incarcerated for the sake of the truth; he told me all this. At the very commencement they adopted needless restrictions. in that they did not allow anyone  who was not baptized to partake with them of the Holy, Sacrament.  Had they not been so sectarian in. this matter, and been more given to impartial love, they would have found entrance to more souls in their great awakening and largely promoted the glory of God.  But, instead, sectarianism, quarrelsomeness and discord spread through their whole awakening in Germany as far as to Switzerland. Therefore. also, the incomparable teacher, J. N. (7), separated from them, and stood alone. until he went to America and arrived in Philadelphia, to which place A. M. went to meet him, and entreated him for God's sake to forget and forgive what had happened in Europe; to which the same agreed. A. M. by his diligence also prevented the above mentioned J. N. from coming to Ephrata at the time of the awakening, otherwise he would have been a victim of it too, for his testimony concerning the renunciation of the world was as similar to the testimony in Ephrata as one drop of water is to another. He afterwards moved to Amwell, in New Jersey, and superintended the Community there. I visited him there several times. and was much edified by his conversation, and pleased and surprised at his great and sound mind and the gifts which God had bestowed on him. I might here mention many things

which he made known to me. He told me that A. M. had been an honest and faithful man but that he lacked enlightenment. Perhaps this was because they had fallen out with each other about the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  He said to my face, “You will not agree with these people.” meaning the Baptists; “either they wiII reject you, or you them, for a truly converted man cannot Iive with them; and I,” he added, "should I live another year, shall again withdraw from them.” But he died within that very year, and is buried in Amwell, among twenty children, all of whom lie buried around him.


With Christian Libe, who also was a preacher among them, strange things likewise happened. He was taken prisoner in Basle, where he was engaged in divine affairs, and was sold into the galleys, but ransomed after two years. At last he settled in Creyfeld, where he and the above-mentioned J. N. superintended the Community, until they at last had a fallout, because J. N. called him a pill-monger publicly before the whole Congregation, and then left.  But Christian Libe tried to continue the Congregation, although everything wasted under their hands; the Brethren who had been prisoners withdrew the whole Congregation was given up, and everything went to ruin. He himself became a merchant, and even at last a wine merchant, and married out of the Congregation, against their own rules, and not a branch is left of their Baptist business in all Europe. Such matters, and many others not mentioned, prove to me that their fundamental principles cannot endure before God and the world; for they neither know, nor are they able to conduct the office of the new covenant, because they have no true knowledge of salvation, nor of the righteousness which avails before God, and is reckoned to us as faith; but they want to force and perfect everything through righteousness, by punishing, condemning and avoiding, which is not according to the new covenant, but the letter of the law, consisting of commandments and laws


If God had not spared a branch of the root of Hochmann from Hochenau, the whole brood would ha\'e died at birth, like the Baptists of Munster. This innocent branch 'was P. B., who was a spiritual son of Hochmann, but was baptized, and came to live at Creyfeld, where he energetically exercised the gifts he had received from God, in singing and fervent praying, to the benefit of the Congregation; although he was otherwise no orator, but led a quiet life. Soon after he had to experience what he had not expected, for his spiritual Father had taught him peace and love; but here he heard much quarreling and strife, which soon deeply grieved him. It happened that a young Brother, Hacker by name, who had studied, and who was full of love and an intimate friend of the said P. B., wanted to marry the daughter of a merchant, who also had been baptized into the Congregation, but still served the Mennonites as preacher, because they did not wish to lose him, and gave him a yearly salary of 800 Gulden. This man was glad for such a son-in-law, and married them with great pleasure, not thinking that it would produce such a great excitement in the Congregation. But when the affair became known the tumult in the Congregation became so great that Christian Libe, the second teacher, and with him four single Brethren, rose up against it and excommunicated said Hacker, though J. N .and the Congregation wished only to suspend him from bread-breaking. This godless excommunication ruined the whole Congregation in the town of Creyfeld. I heard the blessed teacher, J. N. say that more than 100 persons in Creyfeld had been convinced in favor of the new baptism, but on account of this ban everything was ruined and killed. And since no Moses was there, who might have sent Aaron with the censer, the fire of the ban burned on and consumed  the whole Congregation, which still pains my heart whenever I think of it. But it touched poor Hacker most, who took all the blame on himself. The spirits took possession of him so that he fell sick and died of consumption; as they were converted people they were able to accomplish something.  His good friend P. N., however, was with him in his utmost need, up to his death.


After this P. B. concluded to move to Pennsylvania, and when this became known several others moved with him; but the spirit of discord and ban also moved with them, and so wounded and corrupted them on the other side of the ocean, that they could hardly be cured in America. But God, nevertheless, took care of this branch, that it should bear fruit from the root, and brought it about that the German ban-branches were broken off, in order that this branch might have room to grow, and at last it blossomed and bore fruit in America, as in a garden of God. But the dear soul, P. B., could not attain his object, for the wild Baptist ban-branches always tried to paint a European shadow before his eyes; so that he died having fellowship with hardly anyone, for none of them understood his nature. Now I return to our yearly meeting, at which the European ban-branch continually became a topic of conversation, so that you always had to contend with these quarrels. until A. D. and M. F. at last died. Then other and thinner branches came forth with which it was still more difficult to deal. until at last they put me out. Then I thought the affair would end but it only commenced in earnest; for as quiet as ever I kept they let me have no peace. I was heartily tired of their affairs. Some, however, still adhered to me and could not leave me. They also were suspected and were avoided on my account, for whoever would not ban me himself had to be banned.


Now I became puzzled, for the wild European ban-branches threw such a shade, mist, darkness and gloom over the eyes of my mind that I could not see the light of the sun in the Gospel, I still Iay buried tinder the hellish ban-doctrine and my conflict was very great, for I was even afraid to doubt the ban-doctrine. In Germany, I should willingly have entered the highest classes of the high schools, but here I had to attend high school against will had to learn the language of Canaan, and to begin with A.  This, indeed, appeared very strange to me. because nearly; everybody who knew me considered me a great doctor of Holy Writ. There I Iay under a heavy rod, severely beaten both by God and men, for the treacherous dealt treacherously with me and I was so lean. (ISAIAH XXIV,I6.) For the justice of God pursued me and all the good in me was turned into eviI, because I had taken it as my own. Here my earnestness was turned into hypocrisy; my singing and praying into boastfulness my preaching into vanity, my journeying and visiting into an outrunning of God before He had sent me. My friendliness was dissimulation, my weeping and my tears a sectarian longing, my conversation with men on religious subjects a fraud, my piety a mere show. my reading arid my studies a prying art, my desire to convert men a rebellion against God. For the cursers cursed me (namely, the old Baptists); and those who are ready to awaken the Leviathan (JOB 111,8); for whose banneth he curseth. Here I had to learn the language of Canaan, willing or not willing, like Balaam, who, whether he wished or not, was compelled to bless and could not help it, however much he wished to curse. (NUM. XXIII, 20.) Here, then God severed all fellowship of my conscience with the European ban-teachers and showed me how their foundation was laid in cursing and blessing. For, if a person does not wish to be blessed by them, they curse him like those who curse and .awaken the Leviathan, and they rejoice in the ruin of such people and say that that is the judgment of God (see A. M.'s little book, pages 107, 108, I09; also the answer to Gruber's twenty-second question), at which talk anyone instructed by God should verily grieve in his heart. May God preserve mine and everybody's heart from such a doctrine, because it is so far removed from the doctrine of Christ, which teaches: "Love your enemies; bless them that curse you!" May God, the Almighty, have mercy.


Therefore I believe that the European Baptists have no business in America, but that they escaped hither as fugitives from the Spirit of God which would not allow them to build their nest in Germany, because they were corrupt in their principles; for without knowing it they had been cheated by the spirit of Balaam, who rode and struck the she-ass before he was sent. (NUM. XXII.) I further believe that it would have been better for the American awakenings if they had never come to America; but flight is permitted in the Old and New Testaments. However, had they fought out there fight in Europe since they were there awakened, it would have been more to their honor. For although I disagree with their fundamental principles in time and eternity (except baptism, the Lord's Supper and the rite of feet-washing), I nevertheless respect them before God, but especially A. M., a man who suffered much for God, ill spite of the great and grave errors which he had, like many of the saints; for a man who with his congregation leaves his inherited religion, leaves Babel and Egypt, experiences what one who is no leader cannot experience, as did Moses, John Huss, Martin Luther,. Ulric Zwingli, Menno Simon, Count Zinzendorf, Conrad Beissel, etc.


There never was a false prophet, who had not also some truth.


There never was a godless person, who had not before been converted.


There never has been an accuser of his brother, or a despiser of his mother's son, who has not had the covenant of God on his lips and proclaimed the laws of God.


There never was a calumniator, who had not before known the truth.


There never was one who cursed, who had not before known how to bless.


There never went a person astray, who had not before been on the right way.


There never was a liar, who did not before fall from the truth.


There never was a bitter envier, who was not before in the bonds of love.


There never was an enemy, who was not a friend before.


There never was one who recognized the truth, before he recognized the lies in himself.


Now I will briefly answer a second question: How and why I might have joined the Seventh Day Baptists? AIthough you might as weIl have asked: How and why I might have joined the children of God? For my Congregation is the largest of all, since I am at one with all who belong to the kingdom of God. (MATTH. XII, 50). But I must begin my narrative at the beginning. On my account nearly sixty souls were banished (a likeness to JOHN, IX, 2.2), because they would not believe in lies, nor follow the envy of their preachers; therefore we formed a Congregation. However I continued to preach as before, and there was great commotion throughout almost the whole land, so that I was in demand at Conestoga, Philadelphia, Germantown, Conewago, Monocacy, as far as Virginia. And although I kept up fellowship with all unsectarian souls, I, nevertheless, was most intimate with my own trusty Brethren and Sisters. About this time Brother Frederick Fuhrman held a love-feast, to which all this little flock gathered and some were baptized; this was the first love-feast. But the Congregation increased in membership by baptism, so that during a journey of four weeks twenty-six were baptized and twelve love-feasts held. But as the affair progressed it happened that I was expected at Conestoga. I, therefore, got ready, and three Brethren with me. I long before had intended to see the Brethren at Ephrata. When we arrived at Lititz I sent two of my Brethren by another way to those who expected me, to announce to tem that I was there, and if they wished to have a meeting held the said Brethren should come to Ephrata before the meeting and notify us. I and my Brother, John Horn, however, with staff in hand, went direct towards Ephrata. Following the road we first arrived at the Sisters' household, though we did not know who lived there. We went to a worthy matron and asked where Friedsam lived. She showed us the way. We went straight to it and knocked, when old Nagele came out and asked where these men came from. I answered that we came from far, for I did not wish them at once to know who we were, for they knew my name but not my person. Then he said:  “Come in then," and opened the door. The old Father reverently rose and received us with a kiss, and the others did the same, for he had visitors at the time. Then he made us sit behind the table, he sitting before it, and said:  “Where do these dear men come from?"  I answered:  “We come from far" (for I restrained myself). He asked:  “But from where?" I said:  “From Canecotschicken." (8) He said: " Then you know George Adam?" I answered:  "Yes, we know him well." He spoke: "Ah, how is he?"  I said:  “As you see," for I could no longer hold back.  “Ah," he said to this, "are you George Adam? here lies the letter which you wrote;  we were just speaking about when you knocked." We continued the conversation, and nothing was said on either side to which we both did not agree. 


While conversing thus animatedly, a Sister entered, brought a tub of water and an apron, put them down and silently left; who she was, and who had ordered her to do so, I do not know yet to this very hour. The old Father rose and  said: “Come Brethren, sit down here, I will wash your feet. “  So he washed our feet, and Brother Nagele, dried them for us. Then I said: "You have washed our feet, now let us also wash yours," .to which they consented; so I washed their feet, and Brother Horn dried them. When this was done, he .said, “Let us go into the. Sisters' house.," .1 said I should like also to visit my oId pastor M .and. Brother Obed. He said that could also be done, but desired that .we first should go to the Sisters' house. . We went: there, and they prepared a splendid meal for us, during which we .all the time continued our conversation; but nothing was said on which we did not agree. After this we ascended the hill where Brother Obed lived. On the way up he said to me,  “God has done this, that you had to come to us, for with us everything lies prostrate, and we have for years been unable to hold any meetings; I hope you have come to raise .up again the fallen down hut." I was surprised at this candor, and thought perhaps there was some trick behind it. But I afterwards learned that it was sincerity and through all my life until his death, I never heard of unfaithfulness in him,


When we arrived there, and. had welcomed each other, he said “How do you do, Brother Obed? How about Heaven?”  Such speech continued and all was harmony, which pleased my Brother Horn so much that he afterwards remarked: “You will not bring me away from these people again, do what you  please;" which I heard with pleasure. At the close of the visit the old Father asked whether we would not like to visit the Sisters? I said we had no time now, we expected two other Brethren who had left us at Lititz, who were to inform us where and when the meeting was to be held. "Why do you know what,” he said, "I will make them assemble in their prayer-hall, so that you can see them all; it is also desired that you should make an address to them;" and this it was resolved to do. After this we visited our old pastor Miller, who reverently received us, and met us with aIl the modesty becoming an honorable man. In the course of conversation I asked him whether he did not still owe something to the R (9) He said, “I no longer have a drop of blood in me that is R------d." I said, "That is not what I ask;" “Oh!” he said, “I understand; not only to the R-----d but to all men, whatever I have and can;" which pleased me.


.Meanwhile it was some I time before our two Brethren arrived, and reported how it was to be. At the same time news arrived that the old Father and the Sisters had assembled in their prayer-hall, and were waiting for us. Since our number of visitors was now again complete, we were all conducted thither by the old Brother Eleazar, and were shown to our seats. Ail inward emotion here seized me; my spirit felt the presence of a divine majesty; the veil was removed, in which all the nations are enveloped. I saw the pathway of the .saints into the holy of holies; the spirits kissed each other in stillness, and a divine, holy mutual, and profound unity was entered into without a word, voice, utterance, or speech, for there reigned silence for a long time as if no person were there. Smell, taste, feeling, even seeing and hearing, all were one, just as I have seen two small flocks of sheep unite in which there were no rams


At last my spirit was called back again. My eyes were full of tears, when the Sisters began to sing a hymn, as well as I remember: “The streets of Zion are desolate;" which brought tears to many eyes. After this was finished, I spoke: " You sang a hymn for us, let us now also sing for you."  Then we sang the: “Song of the Lilies," (10) but as it had escaped m memory, I asked Brother Horn for the words, and he told them to me; then we sang it to the end, which simplicity astonished the Sisters. After quiet was restored, I made a short address, although I felt no particular inclination to speak. I had various impressions from the spirit of prophecy, but since our time was limited we had to accommodate ourselves to it. Thus everything passed most pleasantly. A fellowship was formed, and the unity of spirits concluded without a word, without conditions, without questioning as to how or when, without care, without labor, without fear, without distrust, without consideration; in love, with love, through love, out of love, and for eternal love; and neither world nor time, neither flesh nor blood, neither friend nor foe, neither the present nor the future, neither fear nor death, neither devil nor hell can break it, for Two became One, and were One before they knew it. And thus it is with all who are truly born again; for they are children, sons and daughters of God Almighty. So far the record.


Such are the particulars of this important union, related by the Brother himself. It must be known, however, that in spite of his banishment he still had a strong following among the Baptists, who were honest people and began to think that he had been unjustly treated; and who. therefore, were disposed to stake their lives on his innocence. The most prominent of these were John Steiner. John Horn, Peter and Abraham Knipper, Frederick Fuhrman, George Scheitler, Peter Zug. Flinck, etc. But the reception of these two Brethren brought about great changes; for, in the first place, these two visiting Brethren were seized , with holy wonder when they saw that the union was made in the spirit without any words, as they had thought that articles of agreement would be laid before them.  Afterwards the old hatred between the two Communities was again revived on this account, for the reception of Brother G, A., nullified the ban which the former Brethren had laid on him; all of which happened in the prayer-hall of the Sisters. as above mentioned; for there the holy Mother came down from above with the oil of anointing, and healed his wounds; wherefore he was often heard to say: "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost." It appears that the Superintendent had received, as a trust from God, a blessing for the B---------- Community of which they would have become partakers had they humbled themselves; for he was the greatest stumbling-stone which their Community ever encountered.  But because they failed to endure the test, the choice fell upon another. For we must concede to this Brother the honor that he was the first among them, who arrived at a holy harmony and yet remained a Baptist, For all of this people who had joined the Community before him, sent their letters of withdrawal to their people, but Brother G. A. above spoken of was faithful to their statutes and neither a second baptism, nor the Sabbath, nor any of the various other ordinances of the Community were urged upon him, therefore it was ordained by God that Brother G. A. was to earn the blessing, which their whole Community might have had; and the Superintendent once addressed the following impressive \\'ords to him: "You shall he blessed, and also remain blessed." When, shortly before his death, he once more visited the Superintendent, the latter said to him: “My salvation is in your hands," .All this created an extraordinary esteem for the Superintendent in this good Brother, and all the letters he wrote to him were full of special expressions of love, while the superscription sometimes contained the title: Pontifex Maximus,


Some of the Baptists who saw a little further, expected that the Superintendent's bearing towards this man would subdue him sooner than all their bans; but in the Community in and around Ephrata he occasioned great excitement, especially in the households.  For up to this time the priestly office had been in the hands of one of the Solitary, but now the domestic househo1d also wished to have part in it, which brought with it such temptations, that one housefather, J, S. (11) declared on his death-bed that this Brother would be the cause of the Community's destruction. But because the Superintendent was the first to condescend to him, there was no help, everybody had to follow suit; and if any one had not done so, judgment would have come upon him, so that he would not have dared to lift up his hands towards God. AII this was not unknown to the said Brother, therefore he once declared that all the good in Ephrata rested in his hands. After the visit was now concluded with blessing, the Superintendent dismissed them with letters of recommendation to the Brethren at the Bermudian. Soon after, moreover, he sent two of the oldest Brethren, Jehoiada and Lamech, to the Brethren at the Bermudian, and expressed himself in the following manner, namely, that they should receive Brother G. A. as if it were himself. This was saying as much as that they should take him as their priest, which greatly troubled them, so that they protested that their priests lived in Ephrata. ..A venerable house-sister was even seized with a fatal sickness on that account, of which she died; it happened to her like to the wife of the son of the priest Eli, who, when in labor, was more concerned for the glory of God than for her own child and said: “The glory of Israel is taken captive," (I SAM. IV, 19.) But after

they had learned to submit to God's wonderful guidance they became one Community for before this they law under suspicion, because most of those who had moved away from the Community. at Ephrata had done so for improper reasons.  If you wish to build churches you must lay the foundation on the lowliness of Christ, else you build in the air.


Through this movement a door was opened for a new church-period, during which much important spiritual work was transacted.  The Superintendent called the awakening at Antietum from this period on, the Eagle church, after the fourth beast in the Apocalypse; although these good people considered themselves too lowly and unworthy of such a high title; but there was another secret connected with it. The Superintendent, who, during his whole awakened condition, stood in the service of the four beasts, about this time came under the dominion of the Eagle, wherefore the renewal of the Eagle's youth showed itself so much in him that he was entirely pervaded by it during his old age. During his first journey from the Settlement to Antietum he carried all his ecclesiastical vestments with him, because not only the oldest Brethren from Bethany, and the house-fathers, but also the oldest Sisters of Sharon, with their Mother, were his companions. They who beheld the glory of these two flocks of lambs when they united into one at Antietum (and many who saw it must still be alive), will well remember that then their mountains leaped for joy like sheep, and their hills like Iambs, at the generation of the celestial Mother, which shall at last take possession of the Kingdom, when the adulterous seed is destroyed from the earth. The Superintendent made this whole journey on foot, except when they forced him to make use of a horse, and then he said: "In this way I cannot be edifying to anyone.”  In this lively spirit he was seen to travel over mountains and valleys, and no hut was too poor for him to enter with his company.  And now the fire of the awakening spread over the whole region of Antietum.  Many secretly stole away from their houses and ran after this wonder, for the former Brethren of Brother G. A., in order to put a stop to this awakening, sent two of their Brethren, John Mack and Staub, to aIl their houses to warn them against being seduced.


During the whole journey the Superintendent gave strange evidence of his humility and obedience. He never sat down in a house until the father of the house showed him a seat, which some observed and remarked: "He is more strictly led than we."  But the circumstances 1orced him to this, for he was hired in a vineyard which already had its husbandmen with whom he might easily have interfered; on which point also a law was made in the Jure Canonico:  Quod unins ecclesiae unus debeat esse Sacerdos: that each church should have but one priest.  When it was resolved to hold a bread-baking, and a priest was required for it, his humility taught him to make room for Brother G. A., who, in consequence presided, though their love-feasts were at the time still held in Corinthian fashion, and not in the manner in which they were held at Ephrata.  Soon after another breaking of bread was held, the administration of which they conferred on the Superintendent, which he promised to undertake on condition that they would permit him to break in the manner in which he had been taught.  To this they would not agree.  They said:  “It is strange that you make such a difference in such small matters;" to which he answered: "It is also strange that you to whom I yield in all points, cannot yield to me in this one point, which my conscience demands." Then they gave him the permission, and from that time they celebrated all their love-feasts in the same way that is customary with the Brethren at Ephrata.  The reason why the Superintendent took offence at their way of breaking bread was because they were of opinion that all must be equals; and, therefore, they did not wish to allow any prerogative or privilege to any one person among them.  On this account some of them were not pleased when the

Superintendent at a large meeting, held in tile house of a Brother named Joseph Greybuhl, while the whole congregation were on their knees, consecrated this Brother by laying on of hands and thus confirmed him in his office, After the Brethren of Antietum had dismissed the Superintendent and the other visitors in peace, they went on their homeward journey.   The spirit of awakening about this same time caused so much work between Ephrata, Bermudian and Antietum that visitors were continually on the march to and fro, which nourished the mutual love.  For the Superintendent had scarcely settled down in his seclusion again, when a new visit to Antietum was prepared for, which started six weeks after the first.  The Superintendent charged another Brother with it, and ordered some Brethren and Sisters of the Settlement and some of the oldest house-fathers to accompany him.  The Superintendent himself was at Antietum three times and this in his old age, when his task was fast approaching its end.  But those at Antietum reciprocated by many a fatiguing journey to Ephrata.  For at that time the fire burnt in the Philadelphian church, which each and everyone at Antietum tried to keep up, even at the risk of his earthly possessions.  At this time the before-mentioned Brethren, G. A. and H., paid a new visit to the Settlement, in order to see the Superintendent once more, for they expected that he would soon leave his earthly tabernacle. The Superintendent received them with open arms and held a love-feast in their honor.  After this the said Brother G. A., accompanied by some of the Fathers and some Sisters from Sharon, paid a visit to Philadelphia, but his companion meanwhile remained quietIy in the Settlement; and after their visit was ended in blessing they gave the last kiss of peace to the Superintendent, for they did not see him again after this.  Thus they returned in peace to their home. And with this we wilI conclude the chapter.







(1)   Alexander Mack

(2)   Martin Urner

(3)   Peter Becker and Martin Urner

(4)   Abraham Dilboy (D’ubois?)

(5)   Michael Frantz

(6)   Will. Kebinger

(7)   John Naas

(8)   Conococheague

(9)   Reformed

(10) We will here communicate this song to the reader on account of its

strange expressions.

1. The heavenly drama, the perfume of lilies,

     Awakened anew the spirit's desire;

    The roses of Sharon, though low on the ground,

     Bring heavens to spirits for the covenant bound.

    The apple tree's shade bends forward in pleasure

     And seeks in the field of the lilies its treasure.

2. The color of lilies, their figure so fine,

    Aroused all the love in this bosom of mine..

    The roses of Sharon that bloom in the field

     Are kindred to me, 'neath God's holy shield.

    So away with your crowns and treasures so rare,

    With lilies do beauteous you cannot compare.

3. Oh heaven, how rich and how happy am I,

    For the beauty of lilies you showed to mine eye.

    She groweth as straight as the smoke on the plain

    And love-like she clings to me, now and again.

    I stay with her always, because she so charms,

   As long as I breathe she’ll rest in my arms.

4. Thine odor divine, thy heavenly form

    My poor sinful heart did wondrously warm.

    My heart how it longeth to join in the hymn

    That swells from the throngs of Mahanaim.

    Oh might I, low bowing, without any fear,

    Pluck off all the roses so plentiful here.

5. My life I would give it forever to thee,

    With heart and with soul; yea so it should be!

    For thou art the lily, else nothing can clothe

    My poor naked form in peace to repose.

    If Prince I were called, I'd wish nothing more,

    Nor care for aught else that. I wanted before.

6. Enraptured I am by this beauty of thine,

    I sway like one drunken and vanquished by wine.

    The apple tree casteth its shadow so still

     Where the lilies abound by God’s holy will.

     The carpets of Solomon ever so fine

     Are nothing compared to these beauties of mine.

7.  Melchizedek's altar, here also it stands,

.    As master it guardeth this purest of bands;

     As oft as he thinks of them in his abode

     The manna of Paradise falls to their lot, .

     The strength of the lilies, like secret-kept fire,

     Springs forth with new force in the virginal choir,

8.  Come dearest! oh come! And make me thine own.

      To test on thy heart and have there my home,

      Oh give me the juice of the lilies so mild,

       The balsam of love and heaven's strong child,

       Baal-Hamon, my vineyard, brings splendid new wine,

       It robbed thee of life, oh beloved .of mine.

9.    Let, therefore, the virgin by aIl be extolled

       As long as of crown and of scepter we're told.

       Although she despised the hot and the smaII,

       Through shame she high honor hath brought to them all,

       The little ones feed in the dale with the rose,

        For brides and espousal the Lamb did them choose,

I0,   The flowers of Sharon are counted no dross,

        Because they’re bethrothed to the Lamb on the cross;

        And follow his footsteps through danger and chance,

        Drawn closer to him through the love of his name.

        Yet they are the virgins Christ chose for his brides,

         He made them his own and set others aside.

(11) John Senseman