bullet Peter Rose (1733-1814)

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Lebenslauf, Br. Peter Rose

May 9, 1814

     Our blessed Brother Peter Rose was born on February 22, 1733 in Hasselberg, Franken , and was raised in the Lutheran religion to which his parents adhered.  In this religion, he was prepared for and admitted to Holy Communion.  Since the days of his youth he had often heard tell of North America as a very beautiful land, and therefore often asked his father to move there.  His father, however, postponed the fulfillment of his wish to a future time.  After his father, whom he dearly loved, left this world, he could no longer resist his inclination to go to America.  He left his mother and set out on his journey, coming into Baltimore in 1758.  He worked with a farmer in Conegocheague, Maryland for two years in order to pay for his passage.  In 1755 he was recruited as a soldier and served in the war against the French that was then being fought.  He was in the vanguard of a cavalry unit, and on July 8, when it fell into a battle, a bullet hit him that in his estimation was intended for the heart, but it went into his left shoulder.  His captain, who was a very affable man and had also been wounded, advised [Rose] to do what he could to save his life.  After the conclusion of the battle they were followed by the enemy and had to run for two days and two nights—without anything to eat or drink and without being able to remove the bullet or bind his wound.  In the following year he tired of the soldier's life and deserted.  He escaped successfully, although he was immediately and intensely pursued.  Considering everything that he had experienced up to that time aroused in him the thought that he must have been kept safe by God for something.  After that he worked six years in Sopus, not far from Rheinbech,  by the father of our blessed Brother Valentin Führer.  It was here that he felt the first merciful tugs of the Savior on his heart: once it seemed to him as if the Savior stood on the cross before him, but at that time he did not yet understand the Savior's design for him.  Yet, he was uneasy over the sinful life that he had led, and he wished that it might become different with him. 
     When he heard about the Brethren's Gemeine in Bethlehem, he went there and requested permission to remain, but it was not allowed of him at that time.  After a stay of seven weeks, he returned to Sopus with the resolution to go again to Bethlehem after a short time.  The uneasiness of his heart soon became so strong that it had an influence on his body; he went to Philadelphia and looked for help from various doctors.  Although nothing was achieved by this, he soon looked upon this [failure] as his good fortune, and understood the Savior as the best doctor for a sinner who is lost and deserved of damnation; he sought for mercy and forgiveness for his sins, which he found.  Thereafter it was such with him that he could be allowed to belong to the Brüder-Gemeine, and when he came to Bethlehem this permission was granted to him to his joy and humility.  He was assigned to go to Lititz for one year and to serve on the farm there.  In September 1763, he was taken into the Gemeine.  After a one-year stay in Lititz he returned to Bethlehem and served in the farm here, alongside his future father-in-law, the blessed Br. Friedrich Böckel.  On April 4, 1765 he achieved, for the first time, the pleasure of the holy Abendmahl with the Gemeine.  It was on Good Friday, and what he experienced from the Savior always remained unforgettable to him.  In 1772 he came to Salem, North Carolina, where at first he served in the Single Brethren's brewery.  On April 21, 1773 he was married to Single Sister Anna Rosina Böckel.  The care of a small plantation near Salem was assigned to them.  In 1776 they moved to Bethabara to care for the farm there.  In the seven years that they stayed there, during the war, they had some special experiences of the oversight and protection of the Savior.  It was their wish now to live again in an Ortsgemeine; it seemed impossible to them to live there longer, no matter how unwillingly one was to let them go.  They went to Pennsylvania with the intention of leaving the decision of in which community they should live to the Savior and the Gemeine; Bethlehem was determined as their place of residence.  The blessed Brother took over the post of night watchman and the care of God's Acre.  In 1801 he became the toll-taker on the bridge over the Lehigh, which business he pursued with faithfulness and diligence until his end.  In January 1803 he survived a bilious fever, before which time he had always enjoyed good health.  In recent years he had attacks of Podagra  from time to time.  He had one such attack two months ago.  One hoped that he would recover this time as well.  At the beginning of this month (May), he often felt a tightness in his chest.  On the seventh he had a hemorrhage.  Upon the application of means that were to ease his pain, he still felt that this sickness would bring on his homeward journey [death].  He still enjoyed friendly conversation who those who visited him.  On the morning of the ninth, after an uneasy night in which he prayed much to the Savior, he put his earthly affairs in order and told to a Brother the majority of the life story that is here written.  He broke out at last in feeling praise and thanks for the Savior who had taken him to himself, not out of worthiness or merit, but out of mercy and grace.  This he repeated with emphasis, and he now knew with certainty that he belonged to Him because of Jesus' blood and death, that his many sins were forgiven and covered up, and that nothing should separate him from his God and Savior, if he should also suffer a terrible death.  With this praise he soon concluded his course here on Earth, when, at eleven o'clock in the morning, while the blessing of the Lord and the Gemeine was conferred on him, he gently slipped away into Jesus' arms and lap, where he will now join in with the perfect praise of the saved for their blessings, and bring glory and praise to the Lamb that was slaughtered. 
     His pilgrimage here below lasted eighty-one years, two months, and seventeen days.
     The widow whom he has left behind witnessed by her pain, and also by her gratitude to the Savior that the oft-repeated wish of now-blessed husband to be called home out of his worldly cares was fulfilled, and that he passed away so gently—since in the forty-one years of their marriage, which were blessed with one son who passed away in Philadelphia, and from which they had lived to see two grandchildren—his assistance was richly experienced, and he had held them together in love.

Transcription and translation by Katherine E. Carté

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