Andrew Schout (1700-1763)
In the afternoon, in the fifth hour, Andreas Schout of the Widowers Choir, was removed to the healthful realm, with the beautiful gathering of today's text: "We die here and live there, etc." I was (he wrote himself) born on May 12, 1700, in Copenhagen, raised in the Lutheran church, and urged diligently to the fear of God by my parents. My mother in particular, a pious woman, praised the dear God very often, which was also not without blessing for my heart. As the plague raged in Copenhagen, I was made a merchant there, but my runaway soul and my great appetite to see foreign lands kept me from staying long. I resolved to go to sea and to advance quickly to captain. I began, in company with my brother, as a merchant. In 1728, 1 undertook a trip to Amsterdam, in order to clear the way for long joqmeys. My mother, who received notice of this beforehand, tried, upon my homecoming, to discourage me in every way, but she acted in vain. I completely dissolved my business connections with my brother in 173 1, and went again to Holland. I thought: "I am a free man," but I fell immediately into such a company, which made me so poor in so short a time, that I saw it as necessary to accept service as a sailor on a Dutch warship. The Dutch were tangled in war at that time, and that ship was assigned to intersect with the enemy. She engaged in a battle with another ship, which was driven into the ground. I promised the dear God never again to go on such dangerous journeys. But, I was hardly on land before I had forgotten the danger, and went, after a few months, as an officer on another warship, which was ordered to the Mediterranean Sea. We visited various seaports on that trip, such as Gibraltar, Cadiz, Genoa, Lisbon, Algiers, etc. Everywhere I heard and saw nothing but such things that militated against human nature. "Ach! " I thought, "would that I had stayed at home!"On a sea journey during the years 1736 and 1737, 1 came to know the famed King Theodor,' and entered into his service in 1738, 1 received command of a forty-cannon ship loaded with Ammunition for Corsica, first as Chief-Helmsman and thereafter as Captain. The expedition came to nothing, however, and I came back to Holland with an uneasy heart, convinced of the necessity of my conversion. I pushed these worries out of my head, and went in 1740 with a Dutch escadrille' of four warships to escort an East-Indian fleet on her return journey. On this expedition, the merciful Savior came so to my heart that I felt and saw myself as a lost and damned child. Because of uneasiness and fear, I often came to the thought of taking my own life. I remained in this indescribable tumult through the entire summer and autumn, until December 18 of that year, when I received such a Godly comfort in my heart that I was as newly born, and my comrades wondered over my easy spirit. In September 1741, we came back to Amsterdam. As helmsmen for Russia were being advertised for in Amsterdam just then, I went into the Russian service for two years as a Chief-Helmsman. I arrived in Russia in October of the same year, and eight days later, the ship on which I served was ordered against the Swedes. We took two beautiful Swedish ships, to which capture I contributed the most. By this opportunity I came to serve as Chief-Helmsman on the Admiral's Ship. The fleet stayed in Reval' that winter, and I was assigned to quarters In the city in the home of a merchant named Carl Dehn. As I entered into the room, I asked them, without knowing that the Brethren lived there, whether they would like to take in a poor sinner among them. They were amazed, and one of them answered: "The Savior died for poor sinners." Now what a loving fire arose in me for the Brethren, and what a great joy it was for me to come across children of God in such a great city, I cannot describe. I was brought thereafter to the Single Brethren Rubusch, Benzien, and Saalwachter, who warmly took me on. Here, in 1744, 1 entered into marriage with Sister Elisabeth Jungblut, who, however, was fetched home by her eternal Husband during her confinement, and was followed shortly afterwards by my little daughter. I received my discharge, unexpectedly, in May 1746. 1 informed Br. Johannes Nitschmann, who was staying in Reval in cognito, of my plans to go to the Gemeine, for which he gave me his blessing. Thus, I made myjourney via Amsterdam to Hermhaag, where I happily and with great pleasure arrived in September of the same year. So far his own writing.
In Herrnhaag, one had doubts about keeping him this time, so Brother Garrison took him along as Helmsman to Greenland in 1747. That same year he returned to Herrnhaag, where our dear Brother was taken into the Gemeine. In March 1748, he attained the Holy AbendMahl for the first time, with the Sea Congregation that was coming here from Europe. From then on, he made various trips with Br. Garrison on the Irene, and each time performed his service with great faithfulness and care. He requested permission to move to Bethlehem in 1754, and received the same. Nevertheless, in 1757 he again left from New York with the Irene, It was to be the last time. While they were underway they were captured by the French, and he was brought to Louisburg along with Brothers Jacobsen, Schmalling, and others. There he suffered much, as can be seen in his own diary, which he afterwards communicated with the Gemeine. When that place finally fell into the hands of the English he was freed, after a nine-month imprisonment. In September 1758, very unexpectedly and to the joy of all the Brethren, he returned here to Bethlehem. In 1759, he made a trip to Wachovia and returned here the following year with Brother Joseph. He went there once again by sea: in 1762, in the company of Brother and Sister Graff and their party. He returned in October of the same year, and soon after he was taken by a very fierce sickness. He recovered from it, but was never again strong. And yet, he performed his duties as Fremden-Diener and Plaz-Major 4 with the greatest faithfulness, and was beloved and respected not only by the Brethren, but by non-Moravians, who regretted his passing very much. He was very tenderly attached to the Savior and the Gemeine, and several times had the honor of being the disciple of his choir and a member of the priestly community. November 2 he fell sick, and in the certain expectation of being taken home soon, expressed this blessed hope to every man who visited him; this hope was fulfilled in the fifth hour, under the blessing of his Choir, in the sixty-fourth year of his life.
1 Theodor von Neuhof, (1694-1756),
a German nobleman and adventurer, Theodor was a soldier and diplomat in
service of France, Bavaria, Sweden, and Spain. He championed the Corsican
cause against the Genoese and was briefly crowned King of the Corsicans.
After being ousted in 1736, he attempted unsuccessfully to take Corsica
in 1738 and 1743.
Transcription and translation by Katherine E. Carté