9

The Place Of The Lord’s Care

Standing tall above the refugee’s cabins south-west of Berthelsdorf, the Hutberg (Watch Hill) greeted the first rays of the morning sun. Once reconciled to their new home, the Neissers, Michael Jäschke, and Susanne Dürlich found its familiar presence a constant reminder of Psalm 121:1—Ich hebe meine Augen auf zu den Bergen, von welchen mir Hülfe kommt—and in a play on the name, called their new settlement “Herrnhut” (the Lord’s watch, or place of his care).

How meaningful that name would become, they could not imagine.

Not long after the first group of refugees settled at Herrnhut and the men were nailing down a new cabin floor, Christian David suddenly felt the Lord calling him back to Moravia to invite others. The call came to him so forcefully he jumped up and ran, even forgetting his hat. A month later, in August 1723, he returned to Herrnhut with Judith Jäschke Neisser, her sons Georg, Johann, and Wenzel, with their wives Susanne, Rosine, and Marianne, two little boys Georg Jr. and Augustin Neisser, Judith Holaschke (a sister of Anna Neisser) and old Georg Jäschke’s widow.

Word of their safe arrival spread. More and more “secret believers” in Moravia took courage and packed their bags to flee. In December Christian and Julianne Jäschke with their children Rosina, Nikolaus, Andreas, and Dorothea suddenly appeared, and told of yet more making plans to come.

Dreams Unite

Ludwig von Zinzendorf did not grasp the import of the Moravians’ flight at once. He felt kindly disposed to them and certainly wished them the best. But his mind was elsewhere, full of dreams of his own. With Friedrich von Wattewille, Johann Andreas Rothe (Lutheran pastor at Berthelsdorf), and Melchior Schäffer of the cloister church in Görlitz, he entertained serious thoughts of founding a Christian community.

Ever since his surrender to Christ, Ludwig knew he could not live like the ordinary Reichsgraf (count of the Holy Roman Empire) he was. He had given his wealth, talents, and position to Christ, and expected Christ to use them. The first idea of how that might happen came after his marriage and return to Grosz Hennersdorf in 1721.

Seeing the needs of seekers throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, Ludwig and his friends planned a publishing and correspondence work, a school where young people of all walks of life could be trained in godly living, an orphanage, an itinerant evangelisation ministry, and a retreat for those seeking new life in the church—all in the context of a “home” or “base” community. To that end, Ludwig offered the estate of Berthelsdorf and proposed that Moravian refugees already living there could help with the building projects.

At first things went as expected. By 1723 the publishing house, under the direction of Abraham Gottlieb Ludwig, began to send out its first newsletters (although not from Berthelsdorf). The school opened its doors. The orphanage became a reality, and Ludwig—besides writing continually and visiting seekers here and there—translated the works of Johann Arndt to publish in French.

But the scene kept changing—fast. Instead of an idyllic “retreat” for the spiritually inclined, the estate of Berthelsdorf and surrounding area, lying as it did near the borders of Silesia and Bohemia, became a raw refugee camp. In 1724 thirty poor families converged on Görlitz from Silesia. They were Schwenkfelders, the little known remnant of a Reformation-era revival group in the east. A year later, the Nitschman, Hickel, Quitt, Weber, Fischer, and Berger families from Moravia arrived at Herrnhut, ninety people all told, of ancient Waldensian and Unity background. And the end, Ludwig and his friends suddenly realised, was nowhere in sight.

Not only did the settlers at Herrnhut report to Moravia how the Lord had blessed them in Germany. They, and exiles in other places, sent Bibles, forbidden writings of the Unity, and the works of Johann Arndt to seekers in Czech lands. Even though it might cost their lives, both ethnic Germans and Czechs snatched what came with the desperation of the spiritually starving. With tears, and stirrings of heart, they returned to Christ and the way their ancestors had lived suddenly became of greatest interest to them.

Not only at Fulnek and surrounding areas in Moravia, but at Kunvald and Lanškroun, even in the old “Mount of Olives” at Litomyšl in Bohemia, love for Christ sprang from the rubble of what had been the Unity of Brothers. Christian David risked a visit to Bohemia in 1726. Melchior Nitschmann followed two years later to discover faith in full bloom, and besides an approximate thousand three hundred refugees from Moravia, another six hundred fifty from Bohemia found their way safely to Herrnhut in the 1720s and 30s.

This was not all.

Herrnhut, instead of continuing as a curious “sideline” to the planned Christian community at Berthelsdorf, fast became that community itself. Christian David’s dream of finding a refuge for the Moravians in Germany merged—by circumstance, not by choice—with Ludwig’s dream of founding a refuge for spiritual seekers. The two became ever more related until those looking on lost track which was which, and came to see the whole strange scene as one: a young count trying to follow Christ, a fast-growing settlement of foreigners in rude cabins among animals on the loose, muddy trails, brush to be cleared, new workshops of all descriptions, a school, an orphanage, an old German village (Berthelsdorf) with a Lutheran church, and an ever greater variety of visitors, eccentrics, sectarians, and adventurers.

Dreams Divide

Local authorities, watching what happened at Herrnhut, began to grow alarmed. Ludwig’s family and many former friends looked on in bewilderment, or dismay. But people kept coming—Moravian refugees, Schwenkfelders, Protestants of both persuasions (Lutheran and Reformed), Catholics, Anabaptists, Separatists, peasants and nobililty, educated and ignorant, rich and poor—until the general Durcheinander (mix-up), both in material and spiritual things, threatened to become the ruin of all. Some loved Ludwig and his friends and worked closely with them. Others grew disillusioned and made trouble.

No one could live at Herrnhut long without seeing that besides simple personality problems, major doctrinal rifts stood in the way of it becoming a functional community. Skilled defenders of every viewpoint abounded. Everyone had his own dreams for the future and his own set of aversions. Ludwig did what he could to keep peace—to the point of inviting all men in the settlement to his house for Bible study, twenty hours a day, three days in a row, to find out whether God predestined men to salvation or whether grace was free to all. They decided on free grace. But even with this contention cleared up, the people were not happy. From the least to the greatest, even prominent brothers among them like Christian David, plunged into fresh disputes with zeal.

One man went so far as to march up and down Herrnhut announcing to all that Ludwig von Zinzendorf was the beast of Revelation 13, and Johann Andreas Rothe the false prophet. Christian David, for a time, found life in Herrnhut so upsetting he built himself a hut outside the settlement and dug his own well, sitting to wait like Jonah for God’s judgement to fall.

In all this, however, Ludwig did not lose heart. Intent on seeking fellowship with Christ, he managed through thick and thin to pray for hours every day, and challenged others to the same. Out of this circle of prayer the question arose: “Why not turn from facing issues and one another, to face Jesus Christ? Will he not save us from confusion?”

Timidly at first, but with ever growing conviction, Ludwig and his friends stopped discussing religion to focus on Christ. To behold him, smitten in their hearts, worshipping him with indescribable silence and joy, they began to comprehend him as Heiland (the Healing One, the Saviour)—not only of individuals, but of Church and society, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

Fixing their eyes on him, their lives and outlook became reflections of what they saw.

Early in 1727 Ludwig and his young wife—like him of noble birth—moved from the manor house at Grosz Hennersdorf to live among the refugees at Herrnhut. Taking part at once in the refugees’ lives, Ludwig spent every day visiting families, praying with them and setting for them an example in serving others. Under Christ’s benign influence an air of goodwill began to move through the settlement again. Damaged relationships healed. Arguments died down, and the anticipation of blessings to come brought new life to Herrnhut.

From Dreams to Reality

Promptly, after moving to Herrnhut, Ludwig and his wife invited all the settlers to join “bands” for interpersonal responsibility, confession, and prayer. Several times a week, members of the bands—usually from three to half a dozen, voluntarily associated—met to tell each other what they thought. They shared their temptations, pointed out faults, and opened themselves up one to another in the presence of God.

Miracles happened, but more were to come.

With the help of the settlers from Moravia, Ludwig drew up a plan of “brotherly agreement” in May, 1727. Following their ancient custom the people at Herrnhut then chose four men, Christian David, Georg and Melchior Nitschmann, and Christoph Hoffman, to be their overseers. All shook hands and promised to keep the rules in Christ’s peace.

Two months later, on July 16, a great young people’s gathering on the Hutberg turned into an all-night prayer meeting. The next week a group of men—including Christian David, Melchior Nitschmann, Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Leonhard Dober (a potter who had come to Herrnhut from southern Germany) and others—gathered at the same place and their prayers turned into a joyful time of praise and commitment. The day following Ludwig left to visit an older relative. With him, he took a book from the nearby Zittauer library. It was a church order of the Unity of Brothers, the Ratio Disciplinae, written by Jan Ámos Komenský fifty years earlier.

The more he read of Jan Amos’s work, the more excited Ludwig grew. “This sounds just like our Brotherly Agreement,” he told himself, and could not wait to return to Herrnhut to read it, in German translation, to the rest.

Everyone, but in particular the Moravians, at Herrnhut rejoiced to hear what Jan Amos had written. Yes, they recognised this teaching! And deep within them, it stirred their longing to revive the Unity of Brothers and live in the way their grandparents—those of Jan Amos’s generation—only dimly remembered.

Ludwig and his friends began to see the Moravians among them in a new light. Did they perhaps carry clues to an ancient, purer, Christian belief? Could their history and traditions become valuable for the present church? The possibility intrigued Ludwig as much as the refugees and together they began to study the Gospel of John in evening meetings.

The meeting on August 5 did not end when the women put the little ones to bed. Fifteen men sat on the lower slopes of the Hutberg discussing Christ and his Gospel until long after the fireflies came out and the day’s heat gave way to a balmy summer night. As at other times, they prayed and sang. But instead of dwindling off into village homes as the night wore on, the group began to grow. More and more brothers, and eventually sisters, appeared. No one had to explain. The Lamb was there. Prayers, confessions, tears and songs continued until nearly the whole settlement, standing at the burial ground on the slopes of the Hutberg greeted the morning sun with David’s words: “He is the sun of righteousness that arises with resplendant grace!”

Five days later, nearly the same thing happened at an evening service in the village church at Berthelsdorf, a kilometre away. Johann Andreas Rothe, who as a Lutheran pastor had quarrelled much with the Herrnhut settlers—at times standing on speaking terms with only two or three—suddenly beheld the Lamb. Regardless of his office, never mind his reputation or creed, he fell on his face before the people and spoke to Christ as he never had before. So did the congregation. Amid tears and confessions and pledges to live in peace everyone continued in herrliche Gemeinschaft (glorious fellowship) until midnight.

Then came the communion service of August 13, 1727.

Walking in little groups from Herrnhut to Berthelsdorf, everyone felt humbled and “an awareness of personal sin, need, and helplessness brought them to think less of themselves and kindly of one another.” Johann Andreas Rothe introduced the communion service by pointing everyone, with a broken heart and conviction, to Christ. The congregation knelt. Ludwig von Zinzendorf led in a prayer of confession. Then someone began to sing, “Hier legt mein Sinn sich vor dir Nieder, mein Geist sucht seinen Ursprung wieder. . . .” In translation:

Here I lay my will before you, my spirit seeks its source again. May your joy-inspiring face, be turned toward me in my need. Look! I feel my sin, let me die with you! May my stubborn self, in your pain, be killed as well. Fill my motives with surrender [meinen Willen mit der Gelassenheit erfüllen]. Break nature’s power and set my inner longings free! I do not know what I should do. Human works mean nothing here, for who could wash his heart from sin? You must do it. Therefore take the worries of my soul and impress me deeply with the fact that I in you, am already blessed [daß ich in dir schon selig bin]!

Loud weeping and cries to heaven nearly drowned out the singing. The service did not end until, as Ludwig described it later, true Herzensgemeinschaft (communion of the heart) had descended upon them all. “Where they had been one body before, now they were one in spirit, the Spirit of Christ. . . . Those who had seriously annoyed each other, now embraced and promised to serve one another in peace, so the whole congregation came back to Herrnhut as newborn children.”

A Transformed Community

During the summer and fall of 1727 Herrnhut became exactly what Ludwig had wanted his community to be: “a visible habitation of God among men.” It became, within the wider Church, a sign for Christ and his Kingdom. But far beyond the pietistic idea of “little churches within the church” Herrnhut, after its renewal, awoke to its spiritual heritage.

Numerous brothers at Herrnhut—among them Augustin Neisser, Martin Dober, David and Melchior Nitschmann, Johann Gottlob Klemm, and Martin Rohleder—began to exercise their teaching gifts. Not only that, they began in simplicity and freedom to teach from the New Testament as they understood it.

For the first time since the Little Group “disappeared” in Moravia, two hundred years earlier, the teachings of Christ they had stood for resurfaced. Řehoř and Petr Chelčicky’s love of peace, their refusal to swear oaths or bear arms, their conviction to serve Christ in simplicity, all believers sharing their things as in a family—everything came back (to the alarm of their Protestant neighbours) and more!

Peace and order came to Herrnhut. Even though opposition to their activities mounted—not the least of which came from Johann Andreas Rothe who feared their “sectarianism”—the Moravian settlers went on to enjoy transformed . . .

Relationships

David Nitschmann and Christian David sat at my table today,” Ludwig reported some time after the awakening in 1727. “We took stock of ourselves and told each other what still remained to mar the image of Christ in us. First I let them say what was the matter with me, then I said what was still the matter with them.”

The new birth—the new man created in the image of God through the blood of Christ in perfect righteousness and holiness in thought and action—is often a mystery for a long time, between the Saviour and the soul,” reads a statement from a brother’s meeting at Herrnhut. “But in personal relationships, in the fellowship of believers, and in the everyday round of life it becomes totally obvious to all.”1

Complete openness, along with the responsibility they felt for one another, led the believers at Herrnhut into a total restructuring of their community. It started with the young men in 1728. A good many of them lived with families other than their own, where the husband was not always around. To avoid suspicion, and at the same time to live in greater accountability among themselves, twenty-six of them moved into a wing of the orphanage with Christian David and Melchior Nitschmann as “choir leaders.” (Because they sang and practised music together, everyone knew them simply as the “Young Brothers Choir.”) Every day they prayed and studied the Scriptures together. They planned and distributed their work among themselves and pooled their resources.

In 1730, under the leadership of Anna Nitschmann, a “Young Sister’s Choir” moved into another building at Herrnhut, and separate choirs for boys and girls, young married and older married couples, widows, and widowers followed. Children moved from their parents’ quarters into their respective choir houses at an early age, and from there into the single brothers and sisters choirs at maturity (around fourteen). This arrangement came from the belief that Christ looks different and means different things to various groups of people. Young men, for instance, see him as an example of endurance and model of wisdom, while older widows may value him as a friend and helper. Every group, the Moravians believed, gets the most out of fellowship with Christ if among others of their kind.

Every choir house at Herrnhut came to have its own chapel, kitchen, and communal dining room. Choir leaders led in feetwashing and communion services, and held joyful funerals for its members that “went home.” Only on the Sabbath and on the Lord’s day (the first and last days of the week) did all worship and, on occasion, eat together.

With time—after the church at Herrnhut branched out to other places in Europe—all members came to belong as well to a Haus or Pilgergemeine (“home” or “pilgrim” congregations). Those of the Hausgemeine took care of the children, the land, livestock, handcrafts, and trade. Those of the Pilgergemeine travelled continually from place to place to tell others of Christ. But all separations of distance and “band” or “choir” groupings notwithstanding, the Moravians were a close knit and joyful fellowship in Christ. Young and old remembered one another’s special days with Scriptures or words of greeting on carefully illuminated pieces of stiff paper—the source of today’s “greeting card” tradition. And in their prayers, they “remembered one another in name before the Lamb.”

Time

The awakening at Herrnhut in 1727 not only restructured its society. It revolutionised its members’ use of time.

Two weeks after the memorable communion in Berthelsdorf another prayer meeting on the Hutberg lasted all night. In fact, it lasted and lasted. Those gathered pledged themselves to keep on praying by turns, twenty-four men and twenty-four women selecting their hours by lot, every day. From Herrnhut the custom passed to Moravian settlements around the world and for more than a hundred years following the brothers and sisters kept it, like the fire in the Lord’s temple, aflame.

Mornings at Herrnhut began with devotions in the Saal (the meeting room) at five. Those not able to attend observed a quiet time and prayed elsewhere. Then, after breakfast came the Viertelstunde, a fifteen-minute prayer time during which someone read the Losung (the Scripture of the day, selected by lot, popularised later as the “Watchword”), and other devotions followed throughout the day. Evening meetings were either Gebet or Singstunden (prayer or song hours). Every Thursday evening the brothers met to discuss the community’s general needs. Watchmen, on duty around the clock, announced the hours, and at night sang cheerful songs to mark the time for those who could not sleep.

When the question of keeping the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath came up, the Moravians decided to keep both, but to be legalistic on neither. On either day, the believers’ celebration was Christ.

After 1728 a Gemeintag (community day) became the custom at Herrnhut, one Saturday a month. Between choral selections, common meals they came to call love feasts, and the public reading of letters or trip reports, this became the day to celebrate weddings, receive new members, and dispatch pilgrims to all parts of the world. More often than not the Gemeintag ended with feetwashing and communion—“festivals of the Lamb” that could continue well past midnight.

The Lord’s Day began with a morning blessing at five and meetings in the choir houses at six. A children’s meeting came at ten, followed by preaching in the Saal, for the whole congregation, at eleven. Those who spoke prepared nothing beforehand but shared as the Spirit led. In the afternoon special meetings focused on the needs of the aged and sick, and those visiting. A “blessed warriors’ meal” (communion in bread and wine) sometimes preceded the preaching or song hour after supper and the Lord’s day ended with an evening blessing at every choir house.

From beginning to end, every week at Herrnhut became a sweet adventure in Christ.

Work

With their time and fellowship revolving around Christ, the work of the Moravian settlers at Herrnhut naturally did the same. Soon after their awakening, they formed a general diaconate to oversee the land, buildings and industries of the community. Every able person among them became responsible to work and contribute to the welfare of all.

In the late 1720s, forty-five houses stood at Herrnhut. But as the community grew, its choir houses and adjoining buildings, around a sheltered “Hof” (central yard), needed constant enlargement. Its workshops multiplied and among its buildings the believers planted flowers and fruit trees. Everyone at Herrnhut learned a trade or practised what he already knew. Friedrich Kühnel set up a linen weaving shop. The Dober brothers, Martin and Leonhard, manufactured fine ceramics. Some of the Neissers made knives, and others hand crafted furniture, woollen blankets, shoes, saddles, or raised livestock. The community set everyone at liberty to work how they best could, and restricted nothing but wastefulness or greed. But no one could build at Herrnhut without permission. In 1727 the believers decided:

The one desiring to build a house shall first bring the matter before the brotherhood. He shall wait to begin until a place has been designated for him. Then he shall not build it one foot further forward, or one foot further back, nor any bigger or higher than the instructions given to him. He shall follow the proscribed plan exactly.2

Working like bees, in co-operation and subjection to Christ, the believers at Herrnhut transformed their settlement into “a haven of peace, with two hundred houses built on rising ground, evergreen woods on two sides, gardens on the others, and high hills at a short distance—a haven of faith in a world of infidelity, of unity in a world of strife.”3

Communal work projects, such as the preparation of apple “Schnitz”4 on long winter evenings, became a time of joyful fellowship in the Hausgemeine.

Business

Careful to do nothing that would hinder their fellowship with Christ, the believers at Herrnhut took no interest on loans, and if they borrowed money, made sure they paid it back. An early statute of the community calls for loans to be paid back “on the hour, or else to make other arrangements.”

Community statutes also forbade believers to visit markets on the Lord’s Day, or go shopping if they did not need anything. Overcharging was declared sinful, and the butcher at Herrnhut could not take part in communion after he took one Thaler too much in a sale of meat.

In weekly meetings of the brothers, business matters received prompt attention. The baker was told to make larger buns, and the shoe fixer to finish his work on time. Two women who had brought plums across the border from Bohemia without paying duty were admonished to repent, go back to correct the matter, and apologise. Another woman, for cooking extravagantly (and wasting in that way the resources of the Lord’s Gemein), was held back from communion.

The believers tried continually to waste less and give more. In 1730 they decided to bake no more cakes for special events, but to serve “milk bread” instead. They served love feasts of nothing but bread, salt, and water, and ruled out coffee in favour of garden tea.

A competitive spirit among brothers was handled as sin, and to help one another became everyone’s business. Brothers going to town (Löbau, Zittau, or Görlitz) were to announce it beforehand so the rest could order what they needed. A community statute called for brothers to willingly loan out their possessions. But the same statute also admonished those who borrowed to return things promptly (not making their owner come to fetch them back), and to avoid making a practice of borrowing objects in continual use, such as an axe.

After the forming of “choirs” in Herrnhut, brothers and sisters took weekly collections among themselves. Every Tuesday evening their choir leaders met to report how much money they had and how much they needed, sharing among themselves if necessary—for all food and maintenance money in the choir houses came from these free-will offerings.

Above this level, the community at Herrnhut had a general fund toward which all contributed. The brothers and sisters helped decide how this money was spent and a catechism prepared as a “Manual for Doctrine” put its guiding principles to words:

Q. What expedient was found out in time of persecution for the maintenance of the members?

A. None said that ought of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things common.

Q. When that did not suffice?

A. Then a collection was made for the saints.

Q. In what manner?

A. Each was accepted according to that he had, not according to that he had not.

Q. How did the first Christians act who had something of their own?

A. They laboured, working with their hands that they might have to give to them that needed.-

Q. How did they give?

A. Not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Q. What maxim did they go by in this matter?

A. They remembered the words of the Lord: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”5

Money from the general fund provided for the travel expenses of pilgrims sent out and, in the case of those going to Greenland (Sister Stach and her daughters in 1736), to buy them adequate linen and furs. Money from the fund also bought trombones for the Young Brothers’ Choir, and lead pipes to lead water into the community. The school, orphanage, and public buildings at Herrnhut had their needs supplied from it, but no leaders used the community’s money for personal expense.

Of special concern to the believers at Herrnhut were the poor, and unfortunate. When Friedrich Kühnel’s horse stumbled and broke its leg, they bought him another one. Of frequent mention in the records are shoes purchased for needy families, firewood for the elderly, coffins for those who could not afford them, and small gifts of cash to beggars or wandering prophets to “dismiss them kindly.”

Larger amounts from the general fund allowed a brother to buy his sister out of debt bondage and a converted soldier his way out of the army (sixty-seven Thaler). Families asked to leave the community at Herrnhut received a gift to help them find a home or start a business elsewhere—all in the spirit of a community statute that read:

The Almosenpfleger (stewards of alms) are not to bother themselves about anything except to see to the condition of the homes and people in the community. They shall decide on the best way to help in every case, whether it is to loan, to give, or to refrain from giving. They shall promote a willing and mild spirit in the whole Gemein—one that knows how much better it is to give than receive.

Health and Hygiene

The Moravians who settled at Herrnhut came from simple homes. Some of them, in fact, from homes where “simplicity” had degenerated into untidiness. At first this bothered their new neighbours in Germany, but when the Spirit of Christ transformed Herrnhut, everything changed.

Undisciplined children, little boys that had run around in nothing but shirts, suddenly appeared properly dressed, in order, and content. Parents stopped having their little boys and girls sleeping together and passed a community statute against it. Those responsible for community upkeep made regular inspections to ensure that houses smelled fresh and that no one threw garbage out of the windows. When the Josef Neisser family continued with a schweinische Haushaltung (piggish housekeeping) they received a public admonition and matters improved.

Muddy trails in Herrnhut gave way, after the renewal, to plastered walk ways. Families put flat stones in front of their doors and kept their geese and chickens penned up. A community statute specified how ashes and chimneys should be taken care of and prohibited the smoking of tobacco.

Also finding direction in community statutes were the Krankenwärtern (attendants of the sick):

Krankenwärtern shall be chosen from those of a hearty, fresh, and cheerful disposition, and who take to medical things by nature. Their duty is to visit the sick every day to monitor their progress, to give medicines as needed and instructions on how they shall be used. They shall help the sick in anything that needs to be done around the place, and above all, speak to them about the condition of their souls. They shall read to the sick and pray with them, discovering what their needs really are, so that they can be shared with the rest of the brothers. . . . The Krankenwärter must be constantly cheerful and attentive to people’s needs. He or she must be healthy, humble, merciful, tireless, calm in every crisis, and more concerned about prayer and faith than with medical credentials. . . . Brothers and sisters shall be attended by nurses of the same sex, exclusively.

After the renewal, Johann Christian Gutbier became Gemeinarzt (community physician) at Herrnhut. Everyone on his sick list got special food and care. A corps of young people worked under him (Dr. Gutbier always present when younger men attended women) and the entire region felt the blessing of their labour in Christ. Alongside the orphanage, the Herrnhut community also set up an apothecary known far and wide for its supply of medicines, sugar, tea, dried currants, spices, paper, goose quills, wax, ink, and with time a great variety of articles sent back from Herrnhut’s foreign outreaches.

Dress

No sooner did the Moravians’ hearts become renewed in Christ, than they rediscovered the value of the plain dress their ancestors had taught them to wear. As in Moravia, the brothers at Herrnhut dressed in simple, dark, peasant clothes. They wore home-made shoes (of a pattern that fit either foot and had to be changed every so often), knee-buckled trousers, and broad-brimmed black hats. The sisters wore ankle-length dresses with white muslin capes and aprons, and three piece white caps that amply covered all their hair.6

Early on in the separation of the choirs, the strings with which the sisters’ tied the caps under their chins took on special significance. Little girls wore scarlet strings. Once converted and part of the Young Sisters’ Choir, they changed to crimson. Older single sisters wore pink. After marriage the strings turned light blue, and when widowed, white.

Concerning women’s apparel, the “Manual of Doctrine” stated:

Q. What general rule did the apostles give concerning dress?

A. That the women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, but as becometh a woman professing godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:3-4)

Q. What regulation was made at Corinth?

A. Paul writes: “That a man ought not to cover his head when he prayeth or prophesieth, but the woman ought to be covered. That it is a shame for a man to have long hair, but a glory to the woman.

For those at Herrnhut that did not come from Moravia, the conviction to wear plain clothes did not come overnight. In 1731 the leadership spoke with the Countess von Zinzendorf (Ludwig’s wife) about making simpler dresses for herself and the women of her household. She willingly complied. The following year, at a congregational meeting the dresses of both single and married women were declared too short. All sisters were encouraged to keep to the old way of dressing, as in Moravia, and the brothers likewise. The congregation decided that Georg Wäschke, who had purchased material to make himself a purple shirt, should not do so, and young girls should stick to sober, subdued colours for their dresses. (Someone at the meeting reported having watched a group of girls walk through the Hof at Herrnhut, “as gaily coloured as a flock of parrots.”)

Not in the quality of clothing, but in its cut and colour, the believers felt, would pride most likely show. And when it became clear to them that “it is a miserable thing when the children of God have to worry about constantly changing styles,” they decided to make a Kleiderordnung (clothing regulation) “so the brothers and sisters would not have to make thoughts about how to dress themselves.”

After prayer and deliberation, the community assembled on December 31, 1734, at Herrnhut. Among other things they agreed and wrote:

Because it is not fitting that a Gemein of the Lord should be dressed improperly, we have been trying over the years to give guidelines about dress that are known by all. But a certain amount of confusion remained, and offences still occurred. . . . Therefore we have decided upon a new clothing standard for our tailors, seamstresses, and shoemakers to follow in exact detail.

1. The brothers shall not wear any fresh colours, lay-down collars or lapels, double-breasted coats, unnecessary pleats, or starched garments. But the one who still has clothes like this is allowed to wear them out.

2. The sisters shall not wear any type of lace or embroidery on their dresses, nor lacy veils. They shall not use sheer materials, fancy headbands, buttons, or ribbons, nor shall they use white yarn to decorate their clothes. They shall not wear white gloves, nor white or coloured stockings, colourful caps, or any fresh or bright colours whatsoever. They shall use no colourful ribbons in their bonnets, but only black or blue ones. Red striped or blue printed aprons are to be dyed solid blue on both sides. No printed cotton shall be worn, except for winter head coverings where plain brown is allowed, but no multicoloured prints.

3. Pointed shoes and slippers shall no longer be worn, nor shoes with high heels. Form fitting or short-sleeved jackets shall not be worn, nor ruffled clothing, nor straw hats that cost more than two Groschen. Hat bands shall be of uncoloured, rough linen only. Cloth printed on a white background shall only have black patterns and no big-flowered or flashy designs. . . .

The one who does not follow this prescribed manner of dressing, exactly, shall be excluded from the Gemeine, and should not be surprised if in his stubborness he does not get included in future activities.

On the voice of the congregation, Michael Linner became responsible to approve the clothing of the men, Anna Rosina Knesch and August Leopold’s wife, that of the women, Heinrich Nitschmann that of the boys, and Rosina Anders the girls’s clothing. They took their calling seriously. Many garments, in particular those of the women and girls, did not meet their approval. Some found it hard to understand or accept. But in the end their efforts brought peace and unity, and the Moravians’ witness as a “plain church” became clearly established in the world.

In England people sometimes mistook Moravians for Friends (Quakers), and in America for Mennonites or Dunkards, but whoever spoke with them promptly learned they dressed not to please this group or that. They refused to conform to the world in order to “know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

Visitors

So many visitors thronged Herrnhut after the awakening that the brothers began to hold special services for them, the Fremdenstunde (visitor’s hour), every Lord’s Day afternoon. Not only that, but within a year’s time a great correspondence had developed with seekers throughout Europe and abroad. Even though postage travelled slowly and many did not yet use the mail in the 1720s, sometimes as many as fifty letters arrived in a day at Herrnhut, and a hundred or more sat waiting on answers.

In the Spirit of Christ, those who answered the letters tried to write as clearly and simply as possible, what they believed. Through their contact, hundreds came to the congregation from afar and found their place among the believers.

Not all visits, however, were encouraged or even tolerated. A community statute forbade the entry of quack doctors, clowns, bear dancers, and magicians to Herrnhut. Night watchmen could give food to beggars, but money gifts only on Tuesdays, and only to those the brothers approved. No money was to be given to immoral wasters or drunkards unless they repented of their ways.

To accommodate their visitors, the brothers built a large guest-house at Herrnhut, and elected suitable couples to care for it. In the summer, according to a community statute, men could not sit at its tables after nine, and in the winter not after eight o’clock in the evening.

Order

Only those who felt inner unity with the believers at Herrnhut could live there. Others they gently but firmly helped to find new homes. Even then, living at Herrnhut and co-operating with its communal order did not guarantee full fellowship with the believers. Nor did baptism—a “washing in the blood of the Lamb”—assure communion privileges. Ludwig von Zinzendorf correctly stated the brotherhood’s feeling when he wrote:

It is a real satisfaction to a brother or sister to be looked upon by his or her fellow members as the truth is, and no better. When a person comes into the congregation and says, “I have lived so and so and involved myself in such and such” he is welcome. But he must not press to be received, confirmed as a member of the congregation, or admitted to Holy Communion. Nor is this any punishment. It is only what common sense dictates.7

Before permitting them to take part in communion, the brothers at Herrnhut instructed new converts carefully. “Only those who have come to love the wounds of the Saviour—those who have begun to understand how much has been forgiven them—may be admitted to holy communion,” they agreed. “And to be slow in admitting people to communion is a great advantage for everyone on both sides.”8

Even after formal acceptance into the brotherhood, all members—the old and the new, those in authority and those without—passed through a period of self-examination and private interviews, brothers with brothers and sisters with sisters, before communion. If a question remained about partaking in the sacrament (which to do unworthily might bring damnation) the congregation discerned the Saviour’s will with the use of the lot. “The Saviour was severe today,” reads an entry in the community diary, “and did not allow twenty to partake.” This, considering how seriously the believers at Herrnhut took communion, is not surprising. The “Manual of Doctrine” states:

Q. Is this supper appointed for people who are yet in their sins?

A. One cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils (1 Cor. 10:21)

Q. Are the members of a church liable here to a great danger?

A. He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Q. What then is to be done?

A. Let a man examine himself.

Q. What harm is it if one should go, without being so approved?

A. He is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord

Settlers at Herrnhut only received a welcome to take part in communion after promising to obey the community’s rules and conforming to them in every area of life. In a community statute of 1734, the brothers wrote:

One must promptly obey the Saviour in little as well as in big things. To be faithful in little things is something everyone can do. . . . In the same way, minor transgressions of detail must be dealt with just as severely as major ones, for with time they can lead to greater ruin than if someone commits an outstanding offence. It is not without reason that God has chose to root unconcerned carelessness out from among us with standards, limits, and means of correction (Ordnungen, Schranken, und Zucht).9

In a letter to seekers at Nürnberg, Christian David explained the Moravian position:

The keys of binding and loosing are given to the congregation by Jesus. This is a spiritual power. To have it, the congregation must be in Christ Jesus. It must stand in his spirit, mind and will, and use his Word in the right way. It must let the Word do what it wants in all honesty, without respect of persons. The Word must be its guiding star. The congregation must keep the Word in faithful obedience, in humility and sincerity, and present it to all in purity and truth.

If the congregation wants to bind and loose, it must make its rules, use its gifts and powers of faith, pronounce its blessings or threats, and decide whether a soul deserves punishment or mercy, for the honour of God and the sake of its members’ salvation. It may not discipline anyone except in the name of Jesus. Then it must persevere in prayer until that soul feels the binding or loosing of the congregation both in the inner and outer man, either painfully or beneficially. Only then will the disciplined soul give honour to God and confess before God and the congregation that it has sinned. Then the congregation can either show mercy to it and can ask God to forgive it, or it can deal sternly with it, and save it with fear. Happy the congregation when it abides in the mind and spirit of Jesus so that he does the binding and loosing among them.10

Even though the believers at Herrnhut held the “binding and loosing” of the Lord’s congregation in high esteem, the danger of making static rules and of maintaining them long after they lost their function, did not escape them. A statement of belief, from the records of a meeting in 1740, describes how they felt:

The Brothers’ Church neither makes nor defends unchangeable rules. The Spirit of Christ is the highest authority among us. . . . In the schools of the world one studies things out and hopes to become perfect in knowledge, but in the school of the Spirit one learns piece by piece, and one must always recognise that there are still details we do not understand.11

In subsequent meetings they added:

In our sacred rites such as baptism and communion we as a congregation of Jesus cannot follow an accepted, established, and permanent usage or form like the state churches (Religionen). Changes in our congregational order and in the practice of its sacred functions may always be anticipated. But they must be introduced and regulated according to the circumstances and state of mind prevailing in each instance.12

Rules dare not be made for the congregation until everyone, from the least to the greatest, has voiced his opinion and consent, or until all have come to a place of rest with them. Rules must be made specifically for every congregation, in light of its own characteristics and needs. They are made to avoid situations that could lead to sin. But after rules are made they must be strictly adhered to. They must first be accepted inwardly, and one can only ask brothers and sisters to be obedient to what they have confessed and approved of themselves.13

The Saviour did not speak much about church discipline,” the believers at Herrnhut decided, “because he wanted his followers’ hearts to keep them in line. We must remember that wherever a church standard is written out, it is an incomplete and imperfect affair.”14 In another meeting they declared:

The one who makes laws of the good instructions of the New Testament is foolish and deceptive. Doing good, for the believer, is not a command, but the desire of his new nature. Our duty to live holy lives, to be honest, etc, is nothing more than our duty to eat, or to keep ourselves from falling out the window. If we are believers it is our nature, our inclination, and a result of our natural aversion. As soon as we make love a command, because the Bible says, “You shall love your God,” we make it an unnatural affair. The one who has tasted of grace loves automatically. The one who comprehends his Creator’s sacrificial life and death would do nothing rather than love himself to death!15

Ludwig von Zinzendorf further described the feeling of the brothers:

Now this ought to be the basis of our whole spiritual building, for it is the only firm one. If keeping our souls for the Saviour, depended on rules and daily admonitions, all would be lost. These indeed are good, so far as they prove that we have a sharp eye, that guards against wickedness creeping in under the pretext of liberty. But only a man’s own heart is able to judge its own disposition towards the eternal bridegroom, and either to condemn or comfort him.

If we will be a happy people we must be so true to him that we would live right, even if there were no discipline. And those who have directly to do with souls, must take care neither to terrify or attract them with their influence, causing them to behave well for a time without coming to the Saviour. No, the Saviour must be all in all. Every believer must settle affairs with him daily before all things. . . . From the Saviour we learn to distinguish good from bad. Not only this, every one of us must learn from him how to practice virtue and avoid vice. In short, our example in everything is to be found in his humanity.16

Church discipline, the more complete it is, the more refined the hypocrites it is likely to make,” Ludwig wrote. And in his discourses given at Berlin he said:

Of our Saviour and his death and merits we are to remind one another continually, so that our awareness of him may remain acute. But of what is right or not, fitting or not fitting to do, we should not have to speak to one another. . . . We have long wondered exactly how to discern whether a soul has totally or only partially given itself to the Saviour. Because my great aversion for rigid church discipline is founded on how I see this matter, we would do well to search it to the bottom.17

Further statements from brothers’ meetings confirm the Moravians’ commitment to depend on Christ, not on their own rules and discipline:

True church discipline depends on the invisible working of the Holy Spirit in the heart. What people ordinarily call church discipline has little to do with reality.18

The Holy Spirit is our head theologian, and we are merely his assistants. It is good that we have established order and methods, but we must take care lest we use them to tie the Holy Spirit’s hands.19

All reforms, whether they begin at the head, the hands, the feet, or other members of the body, are useless until the heart is truly changed. . . . We aim at nothing other than to apply the desires of our Saviour in a practical way.20

We have no self-constructed system and do not want one. Rather, we are all taught by the rule given to us by God. He enlightens us step by step.21

We must teach what the Saviour taught and clothe ourselves with the Scriptures. . . . Against our teaching no sect should be able to raise valid arguments. Also, we must strictly refrain from establishing a firm opinion on matters that have two sides. . . . We dare not insist that what we want to see is necessarily what the Saviour wants to see. . . . Our theology dare not become cast in iron.22

That differences of opinion should arise among them, even after their spiritual renewal, did not surprise the believers at Herrnhut. For this reason they wrote:

Among us we have a fundamental rule: A man shall not be told what to think or what he shall say. The only think we ask is that he does not force others to accept his ideas.23

No brother shall do anything against his convictions, but in matters beyond that, all should learn obedience.24

Only when a person withstood their congregational order in a rebellious spirit did the believers at Herrnhut put him out from among them. And if he repented they gladly received him back after public confession of sin. Their Manual of Discipline stated:

Q. In what order did [the early Christians’] church discipline proceed?

A. If a man was overtaken in a fault they restored him in the spirit of meekness.

Q: He that would not be reproved?

A. They would have no company with him that he might be ashamed.

Q. But one that sinned?

A. Him they rebuked before all that others also might fear.

Q. Was this done so as to be unsupportable?

A. They counted him not as an enemy, but admonished him as a brother.

Q. When, after all there was no amendment?

A. They put away such an one from among them, or they withdrew themselves from him.

Q. And if any one at the same time gave great scandal and persisted in it?

A. Him they delivered unto Satan , for the destructioin of the flesh.

Q. What people particularly did they deliver up to Satan’s chastisement?

A. False teachers (1 Timothy 1:20, etc.)

Q. To what end?

A. That they might learn not to blaspheme.

Q. Who did the excommunicating?

A. The teachers with their and the church’s spirit.

Q. But when the very worst truly humbled himself?

A. Then they forgave him and comforted him and confirmed their love toward him.

On handling sin and repentance, the Moravians wrote:

Among us it is said, “Confess your sins one to another,” not in order for sins to be publicised, but so we can pray one for another and be healed. We become involved in another person’s failings only to the extent that we can be helpful to him. . . . We must listen to our brothers’ and sisters’ accounts of failure with compassion and understanding, bearing in mind that we are well capable of failing in the same way. . . . In the world, when a person sins he becomes a marked man. But in the Gemein, the one who sins and repents can be restored to usefulness again. . . . One dare not judge a brother for what he does out of a mistaken understanding or in a time of confusion. . . . A critical or judgmental spirit should not remain in any brother’s heart.25

No quarrel shall be allowed to continue for more than a week,” stated a community agreement at Herrnhut. “If it cannot be settled, call the congregation together and make disposition of the matter in an hour, or at least before the sun goes down.” And, depending on Christ to settle their disputes, those who lived there took nothing to worldly courts of law.

The Lamb and The Light

The peace that came to Herrnhut in the awakening in 1727 shone through everything they did. It transformed the chaos of a refugee camp into a model of communal order and efficiency. It turned lions of law and justice into lambs of mercy and grace. But nowhere, and in nothing, did it bring about a greater miracle than in the mood of Herrnhut itself.

From harshness and suspicion, the Lord Christ changed the atmosphere at Herrnhut into one of holy delight. Brothers and sisters saw one another as if for the first time. Love abounded. Innocence reigned. And as from heaven a wonderful gift of song came to the congregation.

Every evening the choirs at Herrnhut sang and played before the Lamb. Singing perfected, powerful hymns moved the congregation to its feet time after time in joint services. Every day hymn writers and composers added to an infinite variety of arrangements. Brothers and sisters rising in the congregation began singing any verse of any song and the rest joined in, full volume, from the heart, sometimes continuing in incredible medleys that lasted for hours—organists learning to glide from tune to tune between more than four hundred melodies without a hitch.

In the years immediately following the awakening at Herrnhut its people—believing that singing is the truest expression of the heart—wrote over seventy thousand German hymns.

Intimately part of Herrnhut’s atmosphere of song was its worship and celebration. Anyone could, and did, call meetings anytime. Love feasts for a few or for many became a preferred way of celebrating special occasions—anything from a babies’ festival (“Quite charming to observe, the babies being as attentive as if they understood everything that was said!”) to a birthday, to the beginning of the wheat harvest. But celebrations at Herrnhut, in the presence of the Lamb, did not lose the high grace of holiness. Weeping, in times of celebration, was as common as open expressions of joy. “Brothers and sisters should sing from the heart, or else be quiet,” the community agreed in 1746.

The congregation at Herrnhut, thanks to Ludwig von Zinzendorf and his friends, made full use of the Christian liturgical tradition and the chanting of litanies became a favourite form of worship among them.

With antiphonal choirs, a liturgist, and the participation of the whole church, the believers sang the Te Abba, the Song of the Bride, the Great Paschal Litany, the Agape, the Prayer to the Holy Ghost, and the Hymn of The Wounds, to name a few. Special litanies—written by Moravians—accompanied the practice of ordinances like the Pedilavium (feet washing), the Kiss of Peace, and baptism.

On the day of the Lord’s Resurrection the entire congregation, awakened before daybreak by the young brothers’ trombone choir, met in the Saal to sing the Great Paschal Litany based on the Apostles’ Creed. Half ways through they rose to walk, a stream of people to the burial ground on the Hutberg. There standing in a great circle around the graves, they lifted their voices at sunrise to sing the rest of the litany, in which they mentioned the names of all who had gone home the previous year:

Lord have mercy on us!

Christ have mercy on us!

Lord have mercy on us!

Christ hear us when we pray! . . .

(chorus) The Spirit and the Bride say, come!

(liturgist) And whoever hears, say come!

(congregation) Amen! Yes, Lord Jesus come! Do not tarry! We wait and long for you!

(sisters) Come!

(brothers) Yes, come!

(everyone) Come!

(liturgist) And he will come with a warrior’s shout, the voice of the angel, the trumpet of God, From heaven he will come!

(chorus) To judge the living and the dead. . . .

(liturgist) I believe that our brothers, (names of the deceased), and our sisters (names of the deceased) have joined the upper church, going in to the joy of the Lord, and that only their bodies lie here.

(brothers and sisters) In his earth, and the time shall quickly come when they shall rise with our risen Lord.

(chorus) The right this earth, our mother-place has to their bodies, their souls have to the refuge in his side.

(congregation) We, poor sinners pray, “Hear us Lord!”

(liturgist) And keep us with your church complete . . . in eternal fellowship where we may rest forever in your wounds. . . .

Another favourite litany of the congregation at Herrnhut, beautifully lyrical in German, was the Te Agnum (Song of the Lamb):

First choir: Second Choir

Lord, God we praise you! Little Lamb, we thank you!

You, Son of God from eternity Honoured throughout the earth

Son of Man in time Your people bow to honour you,

All angels and hosts of heaven All who honour Jehovah

Cherubim and Seraphim And those who sing with gladness

Both Choirs

Innocent Lamb of God!

Holy Bridegroom!

Who descended from the throne to accept humanity!

Your heavenly power and glory Extends over heaven and earth!

Your twelve holy disciples All the beloved prophets,

And all the martyrs Praise you Lord, with great joy!

All Christianity Honours you on earth!

The four beasts who never rest Attend you constantly,

Twenty-four elders Throw their crowns before you.

The Father on his fatherly throne You the right and only Son,

The Holy Ghost and comforter, In you, the Lamb, have all become one.

King of Honours, Jesus Christ! Only begotten Son of God,

You did not scorn the virgin’s body Through whom you came to free us!

You robbed death of its power And brought your church to earth,

You sit on the right hand of God Honoured in the Father’s kingdom

You will judge the earth You will judge all things dead and alive.

Everyone

All things dead and alive!

Alles was todt und lebend ist!

Now help, your servants, Lord! We whom you bought with your blood

Allow a place in your heavenly reign With blessed ones in eternal wellbeing!

Help your people, Lord Jesus Christ And bless your inheritance

Watch over us. Care for us, And lift us up in eternity.

Protect us, faithful Lord From wrong inclinations and sinful acts.

Have mercy on us! Have mercy on us in our need!

Show us your kindness As we hope in you!

Dear Lord, we trust you Do not let us be ashamed

Daily we praise you And we honour you with trembling

You, who take the book from the Father To open its seven seals

May our names be found in it, Among the names of those you know

Seal us against all sin And against the woes of the earth

Give us the garment of righteousness Cleansed in your blood.

Everyone

That you may be the Lamb and Light and Temple of your community forever!

Daß du wirst ewig der Gemein,

Ihr Lamm und Licht und Tempel sein!

Pay Day In a New World

Believing that nothing happened by accident, but that all choices freely made by men and women have eternal consequences, the believers at Herrnhut early began to record events. Every choir house kept a journal. The congregation itself kept one, and individuals wrote their own Lebensläufe, the story of their lives (focusing on how they came to Christ and their walk with him) to be finished at death by their choir leaders and read out loud at their “home going” beside the grave.

Home goings (funerals) at Herrnhut, developed into serious but ever more joyful celebrations, to the astonishment of all looking on. Love for Christ, in a dark age of war and disease, overcame the sting of death. The sadness of separation gave way to triumphant joy at sending people on to the Lamb.26 “The more passing over the better,” Ludwig wrote, “For in this way we maintain constant postal connection with regions above, carrying with it our greetings and kisses.”

A hymn sung at home goings expressed the believers’ feelings well:

Come and help, come with your innermost being to praise our wise and loving Jesus! If nothing separates us from our head he will help us to complete our work until we have believed our way through. Invisible Bridegroom, we will not forget you through it all, until we come to see you on the new way. Loyalty in battle will be what counts until pay day in a new world. Sweat and dust for Canaan land!

Life at Herrnhut, the place of the Lord’s care, was no longer ordinary European life. It no longer revolved around Germany, Moravia, Protestants, Catholics, money, marriage, lands, or earthly things. It was life in the light of eternity, wide open before Jesus Christ, where everything not possessing heavenly worth became passing trivia.

In its earliest years, Ludwig von Zinzendorf had written a song about Herrnhut:

Where are you together, you my beloved, my heart, with your flock for which you suffered terrible pain? Where do you live? (We know that the places where love for one another burns, the paths aglow with your covenant of blood, are known only to you, the Lamb, alone.) You live in seventeen little houses, where the trails open up in Herrnhut, the place of the Lord’s watch—a free settlement that will not go on unless the Lord goes with it, and unless he does in it what he wants to do.27

In the mid-1700s the Lord did what he wanted to do at Herrnhut, and eternity alone will reveal the outcome of it.


1 Barbyzche Sammlungen, note from a Dienerkonferenz of 1753

2 From the Brüderliche Vereinigung of 1727

3 From John Wesley’s description of Herrnhut in the 1730s.

4 Dried apples, taken along to eat on trips, or sent to Pilgrims abroad.

5 From Manual of Doctrine, published in English at London, in 1742.

6 In 1857, Abraham Ritter, a Moravian minister of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, described what had been the custom of his church in earlier times: “That the Moravians were a plain, unassuming people, is evident from the still existing relics of their simplicity, a cardinal virtue, obnoxious to fashion, forbidding to vain show, but fraternising with economy, and harmonising with their Christian profession. Their apparel, therefore, was unstudied, except in cleanliness, and their taste chastened by disciplined judgement. The strait unlapelled dark brown coat, the broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat, the knee-buckled small clothes, the broad round-toed shoe, were consistent characteristics of a Moravian brother; whilst the plain drab or black silk bonnet, the three-cornered white kerchief, the plain silk Sunday dress, the comfortable hood-finished cloak, the “stuff” shoe, for comfort and convenience, were the sisters’ concession to St. Peter’s advice, “whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel.”

7 Berliner Reden, 1738 (see Bibliography: Des Grafens von Zinzendorff Inhalt dererjenigen Reden welche zu Berlin . . . gehalten worden)

8 Barbyzche Sammlungen, note from a Dienerkonferenz of 1753

9 Note from a meeting of the brothers, October 20, 1734.

10 ca. 1730

11 Note from Dienerkonferenz of 1740.

12 From a record of Gemeintag proceedings in 1742.

13 Dienerkonferenz, 1753

14 ibid.

15 ibid. 1740

16 Berliner Reden, 1738

17 ibid.

18 Dienerkonferenz, 1745

19 ibid. 1747

20 ibid.

21 ibid. 1748

22 ibid. 1749

23 ibid. 1746

24 ibid. 1753

25 ibid.

26 Abraham Ritter, describing Moravian custom, wrote: “‘Rend your hearts, and not your garments,’ was the well-observed manner in cases of death. It was a privilege and a principle of the church to eschew outward mourning for a deceased relative, of any grade, and the sable halliment was never offered to deepen the shade of a sorrowing heart. . . . Grief, of course, could not be forbidden nor suppressed, but it might be chastened. The community was instructed first, to believe that the departed had gone home, and therefore ‘not to grieve as they that are without hope.’”

27 Gesangbuch, 1900