Monday, February 9, 1789
I asked him [Mr. Spangenberg] many questions, both concerning himself and the church at Hernhuth. The substance of his answers was this: - "At eighteen years old, I was sent to the university of Jena, where I spent some years in learning languages, and the vain philosophy, which I have now long been laboring to forget. Here it pleased God, by some that preached his word with power, to overturn my heart.
I immediately threw aside all my learning, but what tended to save my soul. I shunned all company, and retired into a solitary place, resolving to spend my life there. For three days I had much comfort here; but on the fourth it was all gone. I was amazed, and went for advice to an experienced Christian. When I came to him, I could not speak. But he saw my heart, and advised me to go back to my house, and follow the business Providence called me to. I went back, but was fit for nothing. I could neither do business, nor join in any conversation. All I could say to any one, was Yes, or No. Many times I could not say that, nor understand the plainest thing that was said to me. My friends and acquaintance looked upon me as dead, came no more to me, nor spoke about me.
"When I grew better, I began teaching some poor children. Others joining with me, we taught more and more, till there were above thirty teachers, and above two hundred scholars. I had now invitations to other universities. But I could not accept of any; desiring only, if it were the will of God, to be little and unknown. I had spent some years thus, when Professor Breithaupt, of Halle, died: Being then pressed to remove thither, I believed it was the call of God, and went. I had not been long, there, before many faults were found, both with my behavior and preaching; and offenses increased more and more, till, after half a year, a petition against me was sent to the King of Prussia, who sent an order to the commander at Halle; in pursuance whereof I was warned to leave the city in forty-eight hours. I did so, and retired to Hernhuth to Count Zinzendorf."
"The village of Hernhuth contains about a thousand souls, gathered out of many nations. They hold fast the discipline, as well as the faith and practice, of the apostolical Church. I was desired by the brethren there last year, to conduct sixteen of them to Georgia, where two lots of ground are assigned us; and with them I have staid ever since."
I asked, "Whither he was to go next?" He said, "I have thoughts of going to Pennsylvania. But what God will do with me I know not. I am blind. I am a child. My Father knows; and I am ready to go wherever He calls."
Labels: Journal of John Wesley