bullet Otto Krogstrup (1714-1785)

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Our late Br. Otto Christoph Krogstrup also went home in Bethlehem Oct. 10th 1785 has wrote the following concerning his life: I was born in Denmark in the Island F_hen(?) Aug. 18th 1714. My father was a devout and pious man, who had conexion with God, and who endeavoured to train up his children in his ways. In my childrens years I had many gracious visits from our dr. Savr. In my 5th and 6th year he was so near to me in the Christmas night, that my heart was filled with joy on account of his birth bringing salvation and retained such an impression of it, that I always would preach of it. I often begin to speak with the people in our house concerning God, so that they wondered, not knowing what to think of me. Growing older I lost at last this tender feeling and coming into the ladin(?) school in a town, I grew indifferent about our dr. Savr. and came with the young people into a lightminded course. Yet I was always uneasy, and often reproved in my heart by the Holy Ghost. Coming to the University in Copenhagen and hearing the Revd. Mr. Edewald preach in the Orphan House, who spoke beautifully of our Savr. my conscience awakened again, and during his preaching I grew so uneasy in my heart, that I did not know where to turn. From that time I reckon my awakening. I would act and do no more as before but kept to the people call Pietists, and there being no people from the Brns. Congrn. In Copenhagen, I was also brought into a legal course, at which I found no rest for my heart! Returning home from Copenhagen, I was directly put to the test, and came into temptation to deviate from the work of grace begun in my heart. A certain Count who held me at my baptism, and after whose name I was called, requested my father to let me go to him for the education of his son, he would care for me. But my father declined it and I was glad, that it went to naught. I went afterwards to my brother in J_ttland who was minister there and awakened in his heart. I stayed with him several years and helped him in his office. But I got a call from my father, that I should come home, because Count Reventlau would have me for his House Chaplain. I was frightened at this proposal, and would not resole upon it, seeing before hand, that the point of my view would be removed. Mean while my father departed this time happily and there came again nothing out of the affair. These were already 2 temptations which our Savr. averted graciously. At last Bishop Bradersen in Aaalburg who was a pretty and pious man made a proposal to me to be the 2nd minister with our late Br. Langaard in 3 parishes. I considered the affair before our Savr. and resolved upon it with the condition, that our Savr. should have a free hand, that with me he may do what’s pleasing in his sight. I then got a royal vocation for this office, and Bishop Bradersen ordained me for it. I continued here 7 years and became acquainted in that time with the Brn. and particularly Christ[ian] David who visited the awakened people in Denmar. Afterwards came still more Brn. and Srs. particularly proved the Revd. Br. Grasman a great blessing to me, he stayed in Steppingen for some time and frequently visited the awakened ministers. In this time a real uneasiness about my soul begun with me. I learned to know my unbelieving heart, and became much concerned about our Savr. In this concern I went on for some time, and prayed our Savr. heartily to manifest himself to my heart in his cross’s figure, for I could not believe it, that he had died for me. I got at last thro’ his grace such a look into his wounds, that it was to me as if I saw him on the cross. What a joy this occasioned in me I can not describe nor shall I ever forget it. He was afterwards particularly near to me for some time, and I could not refrain to relate what our Savr. had done on my soul. From that time I reckon my spiritual birth. I begun now to preach publicly with a tender feeling and grace concerning his love, suffering and death, so that it was a blessing to me and others. But it became directly clear to me that I belonged to the Congrn. And that I should not stay here. I got also in my heart a call to the Congrn. And I begged our savr. that he would direct matters so, that it might come to pass. I asked for leave but got an answer by Br. Johannes, that I should not go away as long as our Savr. would have me to stay there. With which I also was satisfied, but believed certainty that would once come to pass and that our Savr. himself would open the way. I continued yet several years in office. May people were awakened by the gospel, and became concerned about their salvation, most of whom came also to the Congrn.but many opposed the gospel and sought for a course to lodge complaints against me with the Bishop, and not being able to find anything reprehensible in the doctrine, they sought an occasion to attack me on account t of the Confession. I could from the beginning never impart the absolution to them otherwise, than with the condition, if they repented on account of their sins, and were believing in their hearts. Now the Danish church rites containing an absolute Absolution, they got from them and opportunity to accuse me. Once at the confession many people pressed upon me in the confessions chair wanting to force me to absolve them according to the ritual, but I declared to them before the face of Jesus Christ, that I could not act otherwise, than I had done hitherto, whereupon may of them went away without absolution. Their complaints came before the King, who declared, that if I would not keep strictly to the ritual in the confessions chair I must lay down my office. There was now no other way, but to take my dismission which also the King granted to me graciously. I mentioned these circumstances to Br. Grasman who gave me now leave to go to the Congrn. Thus our Savr. has heard my prayer, and brought to bear my call to the Congrn. For which I shall thank him eternally. In Jan. 1748 I went to Herrnhutt. O how happy was I, seeing myself now in that city of God and in the Congrn. In June the same year I went to Marienborn. In July I was received into the Congrn. In Herrnhaag and in Sept admitted to the H. Comn. Here I had a new school, when I learned to know myself better, but found also comfort and grae in the wounds of Jesus for my poor heart, so that with all my misery I could keep childlikely to him who atoned for me, and had shown so much love to me from my tenderest infancy. In Sept. 1749 I went with 23 seminarists to Barby where I had a blessed time for my heart till 1753 when I went with some Brn. to America. Midst all the grace and merry which he has shown to me, I am a poor being in myself full of faults and wants, but I am glad that I am his. I poor one am not worth of the least of all his mercies which he has bestowed upon me. Thus far in his own words. By this description our late Br. has given of his own life, the character of his heart which our Savr. has preserved to him till to his happy departure shines forth plainly. He was a vessel of grace in which dwelled divine simplicity and childlikeness on unfeigned faith and tender love to his dearest Saviour, and which influenced all his words and actions; he was a jewel among the faithful laboureress which our Savr. has granted to his Brns. Congrns. Tho’ he had also his failings, yet on account of his faithful heart, they were gladly overlooked. His testimony concerning the love of Jesus flowed simply and without all affectation out of his heart and mouth, and therefore had a heart captivating power with all who believed it. His converse with souls was exceedingly loving, and always directed to subjects of the heart, because he sought for nothing, but to gain them for our Savr. and to preserve them with him. Therein he lived, and he would forget himself and his convenience about it, and was satisfied whether he had it good or bad outwardly. His service has therefore been blest everywhere in this country, and where he has been it will not easily be forgotten. Having been joined in h.[oly] matrimony Apr. 20th 1757 with Anna Burnet, who departed happily last year Oct. 5th in Lancaster, of which marriage 2 daughters are still alive and in the Choir House here, he served with her as labourer in several of our town-country and place congrns. viz. In Philadelphia, Litiz in the Manakesy in Maryland now called Graceham, Yorktown, and lastly and the longest in Lancaster, and on many of these places at 2 different times. The Congrn. In Lancaster will particularly call to mind with gratitude his last service to her and her children which lasted 11 years. In the year 1784 he was several times so sick and grew so weakly that it was thought necessary to relive him. But before this could be brought about our Savr. took his dr. wife a faithful and blessed handmaid of the Lord from his side, after which he was soon relieved in Lancaster by our dr. Br. and Sr. Rusmeyer, and he came hither to Bethlehem to rest as a weak and sick servant. His countryman and Br. Jast Jansen took him into his house, and nursed him out of old acquaintance and love. He recovered here soon, and even now in his advanced age he wished to spend the remainder of his decreasing strength in the service of our Savr. Therefore the care of the little Congrn. In Gnadenthal near Nazareth was committed to him. He did it with joy, but had there the misfortune to fall down a pair of stairs in the dark, which probably was the occasion to a hurt in his breast and of his sickness following, tho’ he did not much complain about it. His eyes also growing so weak, that he could no more keep the meeting, he was relieved in Gnadenthal by our dr. Br. and Sr. Busse, and ten again hither to Bethlehem, to be nursed the better which he stood much in need of Br. & Sr. Bshler took him willingly into their house, and have shown much faithfulness and love to him till to his end. Both his dr. daughters were also glad to have an opportunity to assist in nursing their dr. father in his old age. He was not long here, when the concealed conclusion in his breast broke open by a packing of blood, his right side was also lamed by a parapetic and we say plainly that he had only some hither for his completion. He himself said: "I have spoken about it with our Savr. and he has made it clear and sure to me that my time here is at an end. I am quite ready and in a good understanding with my dr. Lord. I go to him with joy out of free grace. He has preserved me from an unfaithful heart. He will also keep my 2 dr. daughters to himself and his wounds." The packing of blood connected with cramps on his breast and in the arm continued day and night and the mans made sue of gave him but little and short ease. Oct. 5th being the day of the departure of his late wife a year ago, he would gladly have followed her; but it pleased our Savr. to let him stay here a few days longer. But his pains increased daily more, so that his prayer, that our Savr. might soon come and take him became more fervent. On Sunday evening he desired with great longing to be blessed for his departure, and said: my heart is already broke; naught but Jesus grace and merit, brought(?) but that procured for me, that I sinner can inherit bliss eternal sanctity. Thereupon the blessing for his departure was imparted to him, at which he joined in singing the verses and praying. In the midst of all his pains, he was quite sensible to the very last, listened to all that was spoken or sang, and joined in singing the verses which were sweet to his heart. On Monday morning Oct. 10th between 6 & 7 o’clock he still desired, that some verses might be sung and the daily word read, which suited will to his desire to depart. It was: He spoke and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast. We’re committing to thee our affairs. The prayer of all present joined with his for the speedy accomplishment of it, and a few minutes after he stretched out his hands towards his children as if he would bless them, breathed the last time, and departed in an age of 71 years, 1 month 3 weeks and 1 day.

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