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September 10, 1742

English Translation

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On Monday, August 30/September 10.

Friedrich, who until now has been our hired hand, was dismissed today for adequate reasons and returned to Germantown.

At 9 o'clock in the morning the congregation council was held. Of the items which had been postponed in the congregation council yesterday these were taken up:

1. The one dealing with the congregation in Nazareth. Regarding it, the following was agreed upon:

In all likelihood Nazareth would become the real congregational center, with Bethlehem continuing for the sake of the boarding school, this because the English brethren were unable to subsist independently as a separate congregation. It would not be practicable to establish a congregation based on national lines.

Bro. Yarrel and his wife, therefore, were to replace Bro. Jos. Shaw at the Schulkill. The Turners and the Owen Rices would be located in Philadelphia, and the Husseys employed here.

Since Bethlehem itself has no jurisdiction of its own and under the English laws that are current here a congregation may not exist haphazardly, our congregation in Nazareth will have to create its own regulations patterned on those of our congregations. They must be agreed to by all those who would wish to come from areas in this neighborhood to us on our landed property. For it is quite impossible under our church regulations to concede to them the Pennsylvania liberties, which are so readily abused; for in general, exceptional caution is required under such circumstances. Matthew 10: 16.

2. The other item concerned the hinge. The hinge is the mainspring of the unobserved vital force of the Church. The office of hinge locally in each congregation is distinct from the general one, which embraces all our congregations and which since the synod in London has been assigned by lot to Bro. Ludwig and Sr. Anna. This calls for exact knowledge of all the privileges which each congregation enjoys in the locality in which it exists, or how far it may and may not go, or [to what] it is obligated. Generally speaking such persons are suited for this who are not too wellknown to the public, who have neither too eminent friends nor foes who cherish hatred for them personally. In a congregation no one is more naturally suited for this than the elder for the men and the eldress for the women. In places where the general hinge is operative, this activity is subordinate to that of the elder. But with that exception his authority embraces all, including the episcopate.

Bro. David Bischof and his wife received it [i.e. this office] for the Bethlehem congregation under the guidance of the lot. They must now familiarize themselves with the several hundred church regulations, which Bro. Ludwig will communicate to them.

This afternoon Bro. Hayne came from Falkner's Swamp and brought us word that our dear Bro. [Johann Georg] Heydecker, who had been confined among our brethren there for several weeks by a high fever, had fallen asleep at 6 o'clock this morning, happy in the assurance of Jesus' merit. Bro. Matthias Seybold and Georg Kaske were sent there with the wagon to fetch his earthly tenement to our God's acre here, provided there were no obstacles.

During the Singstunde Bro. Ludwig announced to those present that in future each morning immediately after our arising the elder would conduct a quarter-of-an-hour service (morning prayers). At such times those in the dormitory or elsewhere who would not attend must carefully avoid any disturbance and noise.

In the regular early prayer service those texts taken from The Discourses of the Saviour should be considered which had been the church's watchwords in 1736.

At dusk in the evening the Singstunde was to be held, then supper eaten, and after the meal the classes were to be held.


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