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BOHEMIAN


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BOHEMIAN


sin, faith in Jesus, and pureness in heart. (5) The doctrine of the fruits of faith: that faith must CNn- dence itself by wilUng obedience to the command- ments of God, from love and gratitude.

Faith in the Redemption and entire surrender of self to Christ (with Whom in 1741 a spiritual cove- nant was made) are held to be the very essence of religion. The will of Christ was ascertained by casting of lots as the final sanction in case of mar- riage (until 1820), in the election of superiors (until 1889), etc. Zinzendorf ruled as bishop over all the communities, both in Europe and America, but since his death the episcopal office has remained a mere title. In 1857 the British and American Unity be- came independent; the only bond of union being now the General SjTiod held once every ten years.

The Mor.\vi.\n's in England. — The beginnings of the Brethren's Church in England are an interesting chapter in the commerce of thought between Ger- many and that country. The German dynasty on the Enghsh throne had attracted a strong colony of their countrjTnen; towards the middle of the eigh- teenth century London alone nimibered from 4000 to 5000 Germans among its inhabitants. These would naturally be in sympathy with the Brethren. But the "Religious Societies" founded by Doctor Smithies, curate of St. Giles, and Dr. Horneck, of the Lower Palatinate, together with the WTitings of William Law — the father of the religious revival of the eighteenth century — had prepared the minds of many Englislimen for stronger spiritual food than that offered by the established religion. Horneck was a German Pietist, and William Law, in his "Serious Call", sets up a standard of perfection little short of Catholic monasticism. John Wesley, who confesses that he was stimulated into activity by William Law, at first sought satisfaction of his spiritual cravings in the Moravian Brotherhood. He, with three other Oxford Methodists, met the Mo- ravian Bishop Nitschmann and twenty Brethren at Gravesend, where they were waiting for the vessel that was to carry them all to Georgia (1736). The Englishmen were favourably impressed with the re- ligious fervour of the Germans, and a fruitful friend- ship sprang up between them. As early as 1728 Zinzendorf had sent to England a deputation headed by the Moravian Johannn Toltschig "to tell such as were not blinded by their lusts, but whose eyes God had opened, what God had wrought". Countess Sophia von Schaumburg-Lippe, Lady-in-Waiting at the English Court, used her influence in their behalf, but was unable to counteract the opposition of the Lutheran court-chaplain Ziegenhagen. The em- bassy had little or no result. Other visits followed at intervals, most of them by missionaries and emi- grants on their way to America. On the occasion of such a visit Zinzendorf himself induced some young people to form a society for the reading of the BilMe, mutual edification, abstention from theological con- troversy, brotherly love, etc. It was the first step towards realizing his ideals in England. The next step was Peter Boehler's zealous preaching to the "religious societies" and the working classes.

It was Boehler who founded the religious society in Fetter Lane of which John Wesley became a mem- ber, and for which he framed most of the rules; it seems also due to the influence of Boehler that John and Charles Wesley "found conver.sion" (June, 1738), yet not a conversion exactly of the Mora\nan type. A visit of John Wesley to the German centres made it clear that the Brotherhood had no room for two men like Zinzendorf and Wesley, both being born leaders of men, but ha\-ing little else in common. Little by little Wesley became estranged from the Brethren, and his former friend.ship turned to open hostility (12 November, 1741, according to Wesley's journal). At a meeting in Fetter Lane Wesley ac-


cused the Brethren of holding false doctrines and left the hall exclaiming; "Let those who agree with me follow me." Some eighteen or nineteen of the members went out after him, the rest called upon the Brethren to be their leaders. Thus a religious so- ciety of the Church of England became a society of the Brethren. After their rupture with Wesley the Brethren began to work on their own account in England. Professor Spangenberg organized the young church with rare talent, and its activity spread far and wide in the provinces, even to Scot- land and Ireland, but their success was greatest in Yorkshire. They also came in for some persecution from people who still confused them with the Metho- dists. The legal status of the Brotherhood was now to be determined. They did not wish to be classed as Dissenters, which would at once have severed them from the Anglican Church, and, on the other hand, the Anglican Church disowned them because they neither had Anglican orders nor did they use the Book of Common Prayer. Archbishop Potter would grant them no more than the toleration ac- corded to foreign Protestants. To obtain a license from a Justice of the Peace they had to adopt a name, and Spangenberg decided on "Moravian Brethren, formerly of the Anglican Communion". This name implied a new denomination and led to the immediate formation of the first congregation of Brethren of Eng- lish nationality (1742). Zinzendorf greatly objected to the name of Moravians being given to his Brethren whom he considered as an ecclesiola in ecclesid, a se- lect small church within a greater one, which might exist in almost any denomination. The proposed designation, "Old Lutheran Protestants", was dis- tasteful to English members. They resolutely clung to the names "United Brethren" and "Moravians" as their official and popular designations, and the "Bill for encouraging the people known by the name of Unitas Fratrum or L'nited Brethren to settle in His JIajesty's colonies", passed in 1749, gives official sanction to the old name, recognizes that the Breth- ren belonged to an "ancient protestant and episcopal Church", and maintains their connexion with Ger- many.

Beginnings of the Moravian Church in Amer- ica. — In 1734 Zinzendorf obtained for thirty fam- ilies of banished Schwenkfelders (adherents of Kaspar von Schwenkfeld) a home in Georgia which had just been carved out; of the Carolina grant "to serve as an asylum for insolvent debtors and for persons fleeing from religious persecution". These exiles, however, found it preferable to join an older colony in Pennsylvania. The Brethren now con- ceived the plan of securing for themselves in Georgia a home of refuge in time of persecution. The gov- ernor general, Oglethorpe, granted them 500 acres, and Spangenberg, the negotiator, received a present of 50 acres for himself, a part of the site on which the city of Savannah now stands. The first eleven immi- grants reached Savannah 17 April, 1734, led by Span- genberg. Bi.shop Nitschmann brought over another twenty, 7 February, 1736. The work of evange- lizing and colonizing was at once vigorously taken in hand and carried on with more courage than suc- cess. The climate, wars, enmities from within and without, checked the growtli and cramped the organization of the Brotherhood.

Present Condition op the Moravian Body. — The outcome of their faithful struggles during 175 years is shown in the subjoined statistics, and may be read in detail in the " Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society," Vol VI: —

Statistics for America (from "The Moravian," 13 March, 1907).— On the 1st of January, 1907, there were in the five northern districts of America 96 con- gregations with 13,859 communicants, 1,194 noncom- municants, and 5,316 children; a total membership