|Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was from a noble German family.While on his “Grand Tour,” in which young aristocrats were introduced to royal courts around Europe, Nikolausviewed in the Dusseldorf museum a painting by Domenico Feti depicting Christ’s suffering.
Titled “Ecce Homo” (“Behold the Man”), the painting had a caption underneath, “This have I done for you-Now what will you do for me?”Young Count Zinzendorf was moved in a profound way.
Convicted, he came to an intensely personal faith in Christ, an experience which was part of a revival movement labeled “pietism.”
In 1722, Zinzendorfopened up his estate at Berthelsdorf, Saxony, for persecuted Christians of Europe to come and live together.
People arrived from Moravia, Bohemia (Czech Republic) and other areas, and built a village on his estate called Herrnhut.
When they started disagreeing amongst themselves, 27-year-oldCount Zinzendorf began a prayer meeting, August 13, 1727, which went on24 hours a day, seven days a week, and, with believers taking turns, the prayer meeting went on uninterrupted for over 100 years.
“I have one passion: it is Jesus, Jesus only.”
The Moravians sent out more missionaries in the next 20 years than all Christendom had in the previous 200 years.
to the West Indies,
to American Indians,
to the northern shores of the Baltic,
to the slaves of South Carolina,
to slaves in South America,
to Tranquebar and Nicobar Islands in the East Indies,
to the Copts in Egypt,
to the Inuit of Labrador, and
to the west coast of South Africa.
Through the Wesleys, the Moravian influence was felt byGeorge Whitefield, who helped lead the Great Awakening Revival in the American colonies.
In 1741, Count Zinzendorf visited America, hoping to unify the various German Protestants churches in Pennsylvania.
On Christmas Eve, 1741, Count Zinzendorffounded Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
There his daughter, Benigna, organized a school which becameMoravian College.
Count Zinzendorf traveled with the German Indian agent and interpreterConrad Weiser into the wilderness to share his faith with Iroquois Indian chieftains, making Zinzendorf one of the few European noblemen to meet with Indians in their villages.
Henry Muhlenberg became pastor of fifty German families at the Old Trappe Church in Pennsylvania, December 12, 1742.
In 1751, he founded Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Henry Muhlenberg was influenced by the Pietist movement within Lutheranism which stressed that ‘personal’ belief in Christ was more than just adhering to an orthodox doctrine but also involved an individual change of heart.
Pietism had an unintended political consequence.
Whereas Calvinist Puritansbelieved God had a will for everything including government and that Christians had a duty to participate, in contrast Pietistsbelieved that government was worldly and should be avoided the same as bars, theater and brothels.
It was therefore a major step forHenry Muhlenberg‘s son, John Peter Muhlenberg, pastor of Emanuel Church in Woodstock, Virginia, to join General George Washington‘s army as a colonel, with 300 members of his church forming the 8th Virginia Regiment.
John Peter Muhlenberg was promoted to Major-General in the Continental Army, then elected to the U.S. Congress and Senate.
Another of Henry Muhlenberg‘s sons, Frederick, was pastor of a Lutheran congregation in New York.
Frederick Muhlenberg became active during the Revolution and afterwards was elected to the U.S. Congress, being the first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Both John Peter and Frederickwere members of the First Session of U.S. Congress which passed the First Amendment.
As Speaker of the House,Frederick Muhlenberg was the first signer of the Bill of Rights which limited the power of the Federal Government.
Pastor Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who died OCTOBER 7, 1787, wrote ofGeneral George Washington‘s personal faith at Valley Forge in The Notebook of a Colonial Clergyman:
“I heard a fine example today, namely that His ExcellencyGeneral Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each to fear God, to put away wickedness…and to practice Christian virtues.”
Rev. Muhlenberg continued:
“From all appearancesGeneral Washington does not belong to the so-called world of society, for he respects God’s Word, believes in the atonement through Christ, and bears himself in humility and gentleness.
Therefore, the Lord God has also singularly, yea, marvelously preserved him from harm in the midst of countless perils, ambuscades, fatigues, etc., and has hitherto graciously held him in his hand as a chosen vessel.”
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“Await us in your residence city of Vienna so that we can decapitate you.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Quaker Christian leader William Penn made a peace treaty with the Delaware Indians on JUNE 23, 1683.
Along the Delaware River, Indians called themselves ‘Lenape,’ meaning in Algonquin ‘the people’, and consisted of three clans: Turkey, Wolf and Turtle.
Lenape ‘Turtle’ clan Chief Tamanend met with William Penn, who they called ‘Miquon’ meaning quill, under an elm tree in what became Philadelphia and made a peace treaty which lasted over 70 years.
In 1697, Tamanend’s last message before he died was:
“We and Christians of this river have always had a free roadway to one another, and though sometimes a tree has fallen cross the road, yet we have removed it again and kept the path clear.”
Chief Tammanend was a native American held in such high respect that patriotic Americans in Philadelphia formed Tammany Societies, which later became the namesake of Tammany Hall, the New York Democrat political machine founded in 1786.
Unfortunately pulled into larger conflicts, the Lenape ‘Turkey’ clan sided with the French during the French & Indian War, 1754-1763, and attacked English settlers.
During the Revolutionary War, ‘Turtle’ clan Chief Gelelemend signed the first written Indian treaty ever with the U.S. Government in 1778, the Treaty of Fort Pitt, present-day Pittsburgh.
Chief Gelelemend later converted to Christianity through the ministry of German Moravian missionaries.
Moravian missionaries came from Monrovia, Saxony and Bohemia, present day Czech Republic, growing out of the followers of John Hus.
In 1722, from the estate of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, the small Moravian congregation sent out hundreds of Christian missionaries around the world: to the Arctic, Africa, the Far East, South America and North America, the Caribbean, being the first Protestant denomination to minister to slaves.
Moravian missionaries first settled in Savannah, Georgia, in 1735.
They settled Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1740, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1752.
Moravians founded missions with the Mohican Indians in New York, the Cherokee in Georgia and the Lenape in Pennsylvania.
The Lenape ‘Wolf’ clan converted to Christianity, being called Christian Munsee, but were mistaken for hostile Indians and many were tragically killed by vigilantes in 1782.
The Lenape fled to Canada, then some moved to Kansas and finally to Oklahoma.
In 1861, the great-grandson of Chief Gelelemend was born, being named John Henry Killbuck.
John Henry Killbuck attended the Moravian Seminary and in 1884 became one of the first Christian missionaries to the Yupik Indians in Alaska.
Jamaica was too far from England to defend, so the inhabitants turned to privateers, pirates and buccaneers for protection.
The likes of Blackbeard, Calico Jack and Captain Henry Morgan, namesake of the rum, attacked Spanish ships and settlements, then returned to Jamaica with their booty.
On the island’s sandy southeast coast, the city of Port Royal grew to surpass Boston as England’s most prosperous New World settlement.
Many of the Caribbean’s thousand pirates and smugglers operated from there, with half of the 200 ships a year passing through the harbor transporting slaves, liquor, and other contraband trade to Spanish America.
Drinking, gaming houses, slave trading, brothels, taverns and grog shops, attracted “pirates, cutthroats, whores and some of the vilest persons in the whole of the world.”
Port Royal was called “the richest and wickedest city in the world” or“the Sodom of the New World.”
Suddenly, JUNE 7, 1692, an earthquake and tsunami sank it under the sea, followed by violent aftershocks.
Over 2,000 drowned. Graves were opened and bodies washed about.
The sea inundated the town’s wharf, “with all those goodly brick houses upon it…and two entire streets beyond that.”
Enormous waves tossed ships from the harbor into buildings, and in many places the ground opened up and “swallow’d up multitudes of people together.”
Members of the Jamaica Council declared:
“We are become…an instance of God Almighty’s severe judgment,” therefore every future “seventh of June…be kept and observed by all the inhabitants of this Island, as an anniversary day of fasting and humiliation,” in hopes that acknowledging “manifold sins and wickednesses committed against his Divine Majesty,” may “appease God’s imminent wrath and prevent heavier judgements.”
A Quaker resident, John Pike, wrote June 19, 1691:
“Ah brother! If thou didst see those great persons that are now dead upon the water thou couldst never forget it. Great men who were so swallowed up with pride, that a man could not be admitted to speak with them, and women whose top-knots seemed to reach the clouds, now lie stinking upon the water, and are made meat for fish and fowls of the air.”
Eye-witness Rev. Emmanuel Heath, the Anglican rector for Port Royal, had finished his morning prayer service at St Paul’s Church and was meeting with John White, president of the island’s council, when the floor began “rowling and moving” and they “heard the church and tower fall.”
Rev. Heath wrote:
“Port Royal was terribly destroyed by an earthquake and breaking in of the sea upon it. The destruction was sudden…in four minutes multitudes were killed by the falling houses…
I believe God I never in my life saw such a terror…the earth opened and swallowed up people before my face…
The sea swallowed up the greatest part of that wretched sinful place…They are so wicked, I fear God…will utterly destroy all by this dreadful Judgment…
By this terrible judgment, God will make them reform their lives, for there was not a more ungodly people on the face of the earth.”
A resident, Samuel Bernard, wrote:
“We shall be unworthy of God’s mercies if we be not by His judgments taught to learn righteousness.”
Rev. John Shower wrote in his Practical Reflections on the late Earthquakes in Jamaica, 1693:
“It is dreadful to think…how Atheism, and Infidelity prevails, and barefac’d Deism, with the Rejection of Christianity, and all Revealed Religion…
If you do not truly Repent, so as to hate Sin, and leave it, and turn to the Lord; if you do not unfeignedly give up Yourselves to God in Christ, as your Saviour, and Sovereign, your Judgment is near, your Destruction is at hand, you must Perish; and that more dreadfully, than most others in the World.”
In September of 1860, Jamaica was visited with a tremendous revival, as documented in Dr. J. Edwin Orr’s book, The Event of the Century: The 1857-1858 Awakening.
Moravian missionary Rev. Theodor Sonderman recorded that the revival began in St. Elizabeth Parish and spread to Montego Bay, Bethel Town, Spanish Town and Kingston.
Fervency in prayer was accompanied by trembling, crying out to the Lord, weeping, and repentance.
One morning prayer meeting drew 500 people.
Baptists reported over 6,000 baptized.
United Presbyterian Church reported 4,000 new members, calling it “the most remarkable and encouraging (news) that have ever come from Jamaica.”
The Wesleyan Methodist Churches reported thousands of new members with sinners wailing “strong crying with tears.”
Congregationalist considered the Island completely evangelized.
Churches in Clarendon, Kingston, Montego Bay, and Spanish Town were crowded to overflowing with membership roles exploding.
Crime subsided, gambling houses closed, superstitions were abandoned, and cohabiting couples were married.
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The Holy Spirit: Wild-eyed Fanatics
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, “Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!”
That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God‘s cornfield, and warns, “Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.” The Counselor, 63.
“Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can’t afford the loss. Amen.”
When Noah Webster wrote this public letter to the dissenting members of the Convention of Pennsylvania, published in the Daily Advertiser of New York on the 31 of December, 1787, he could not foresee a time when land owners in the United States of America would be even more restricted in many ways that what they faced at the time in Europe. With the EPA and many other government agencies, we have gone far beyond the restrictions that they faced then. Now we have to have the government approve what we build, what we till and plant, how much dust we are allowed to stir up, and even how we use any water on our property. They can declare it a wetland and fine you or forbid you from using it even if it has no water on it and is surrounded by a subdivision. I wonder what he would say today?
I wonder at his thought at the Constitution that he helped to establish would be perverted in the ways that it has been to become instead of an acclamation of our freedom and rights to a tool being used to limit us from those freedoms and rights? I wonder what he would say to those currently trying to limit our rights to bear arms?
“America” [Noah Webster]
To the DISSENTING MEMBERS of the late Convention Of Pennsylvania.
But to complete the list of unalienable rights, you would insert a clause in your declaration, that every body shall, in good weather, hunt on his own land, and catch fish in rivers that are public property. Here, Gentlemen, you must have exerted the whole force of your genius! Not even the all-important subject of legislating for a worldcan restrain my laughter at this clause! As a supplement to that article of your bill of rights, I would suggest the following restriction:—“That Congress shall never restrain any inhabitant of America from eating and drinking, at seasonable times, or prevent his lying on his left side, in a long winter’s night, or even on his back, when he is fatigued by lying on his right.”—This article is of just as much consequence as the 8th clause of your proposed bill of rights.
But to be more serious, Gentlemen, you must have had in idea the forest-laws in Europe, when you inserted that article; for no circumstance that ever took place in America, could have suggested the thought of a declaration in favor of hunting and fishing. Will you forever persist in error? Do you not reflect that the state of property in America, is directly the reverse of what it is in Europe? Do you not consider, that the forest-laws in Europe originated in feudal tyranny, of which not a trace is to be found in America? Do you not know that in this country almost every farmer is Lord of his own soil? That instead of suffering under the oppression of a Monarch and Nobles, a class of haughty masters, totally independent of the people, almost every man in America is a Lord himself—enjoying his property in fee? Where then the necessity of laws to secure hunting and fishing? You may just as well ask for a clause, giving licence for every man to till his own land, or milk his own cows. The Barons in Europe procured forest-laws to secure the right of hunting on their own land, from the intrusion of those who had no property in lands. But the distribution of land in America, not only supersedes the necessity of any laws upon this subject, but renders them absolutely trifling. The same laws which secure the property in land, secure to the owner the right of using it as he pleases. Read more at the Online Library of Liberty!
The Federal Convention, 17 September 1787
In the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over the need for a bill of rights, Anti-Federalists generally believed that the absence of a written declaration was a major defect of the proposed Constitution. Without a bill of rights, they claimed, the government may become one of unlimited powers and trample on the rights and liberties of the people. Most Federalists argued that a written declaration of rights was unnecessary in theory and ineffectual in practice. In practical terms, Federalists claimed that the people’s rights and liberties are protected by the numerous constitutional safeguards that provide for mutual checks among the departments of government. Further, they insisted, the real security for the people’s rights is achieved by connecting the interests of the rulers with the interests of the people so that the rulers will have no motive to invade the rights of the people; or they argued that the true security for rights and the preservation of liberty can only be achieved by the ongoing perseverance of a freedom-loving people of sound sense and honest hearts. In theoretical terms, many Federalists claimed that the very idea of a constitution of enumerated and limited powers removes the need for a bill of rights. Elaborating on the notion of constitutionalism, they maintained that because the people delegate power to the government, and not vice versa, all powers that are not delegated are necessarily reserved to them as men or as citizens. The enumeration of the rights of the people carries with it the potential for abuse, for in the future it may be presumed that only those rights listed belong to the people. And it would be sheer folly, they said, to attempt to enumerate all the rights of mankind Online Library of Liberty
My passion for protecting and preserving freedom is a gift that comes to me from my grandfather, an immigrant who brought my father to this country and whose well-weathered hands mined coal in Southwestern Pennsylvania until he was 72. He left the totalitarian regime of Mussolini‘s Italy to bring his family to freedom.
He worked hard and committed himself to creating a better life for his children and grandchildren. He taught me how to treasure the gift of freedom, to have faith in God’s grace, to achieve what American liberty offers to those who work hard and to love and support a family. The Pennsylvania town my grandfather called home is just a few miles down the road from the field where Flight 93 crashed on that beautiful, blue-sky September day; a day when radical jihadists declared war on America, in America, on our own soil. The passengers and crew bravely stood up for freedom. Read the rest at Real Clear World…..
American Minute with Bill Federer
Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Portland Chase, reported that September 1862, President Lincoln commented to his Cabinet after the Confederate Army lost the Battle of Antietam: “The time for the annunciation of the emancipation policy can no longer be delayed. Public sentiment will sustain it, many of my warmest friends and supporters demand it, and I have promised God that I will do it.” When asked about the last statement, Lincoln replied: “I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves.” The Emancipation Proclamation stated: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief…do, on the FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three…publicly proclaim…that all persons held as slaves..are, and henceforward shall be, free… And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence… and… recommend.. they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.” Lincoln concluded: “And upon this act…I invoke…the gracious favor of Almighty God.”
Driven into Pennsylvania by the British, the Continental Army set up camp at Valley Forge, DECEMBER 19, 1777, just 25 miles from British occupied Philadelphia. Lacking food and supplies, soldiers died at the rate of twelve per day. Of 11,000 soldiers, 2,500 died of cold, hunger and disease. A Committee from Congress reported “feet and legs froze till they became black, and it was often necessary to amputate them.” Soldiers were there from every State in the new union, some as young as 12, others as old as 60, and though most were white, some were African American and American Indians. Quaker farmer Isaac Potts reported seeing General Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow. Hessian Major Carl Leopold Baurmeister noted the only thing that kept the American army from disintegrating was their “spirit of liberty.” In a letter written to John Banister, Washington recorded: “To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lay on, without shoes, by which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet…and at Christmas taking up their…quarters within a day’s march of the enemy…is a mark of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled.”
The Protect Life Act — expected to come up for a vote Friday — is sponsored by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Joe Pitts with 145 co-sponsors. It would also protect the rights of health care providers and insurance companies to not cover abortions if it conflicts with their beliefs.
The Office of Management and Budget announced Wednesday that the president’s senior advisors will recommend that he veto the legislation should it reach his desk.
“During the debate over Obamacare, the president promised that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for abortions under the bill. Unfortunately, this is not the way things have played out,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said at the Values Voter Summit last week.
“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”
“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended,” spoke President Bush, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, after Islamic terrorists hijacked passenger jets, flying two into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and one which crashed in Pennsylvania. That evening President Bush stated: “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. Pictures of planes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.” President Bush continued: “America was targeted…because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world…I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve…I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.’” On September 13, 2001, President Bush stated: “Scripture says: ‘Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’ I call on every American…to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance…In the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, ‘One Nation Under God.’”
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