July 27, 2008

It has been rightly observed, that when God visits men in general, or when the Lord grants special seasons of grace to His Church, in consequence of which new traces of spiritual life show themselves among adults, the hearts of the children are like­wise at such times particularly roused and affected. This was the case at the awakening which took place among the descendants of the ancient Brethren in Moravia, in the year 1724 (see 12th of May), and the same is to be said concerning the first great awakening at Herrnhut in the year 1727. No sooner had the fire of the love of Jesus been fully kindled in the Congregation there than the hearts of the children caught the flame; and this was the commencement of a blessed visitation of grace with which the Lord favored them, and which has been productive of such excellent fruit that it merits an annual commemoration. Following the August 13th Pentecost experience at Herrnhut, there followed a powerful awakening among the children at Herrnhut on August 17th 1727.

Count Zinzendorf had bestowed the most faithful and unwearied care upon the Congregation at Herrnhut during the sad confusion which had arisen soon after its first formation, in consequence of separatistical errors. He was now favored to see that his labor was not in vain in the Lord, but that he was pleased to bless and seal it in a most extraordinary manner by a means of a distinguished outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the adult part of the Congre­gation, at the celebration of the Lord's Supper in the Church at Berthelsdorf, August 13th, 1727. During the whole time of these his faithful exertions for the welfare of the whole Congregation, the children were special objects of his care. He commenced his labors among them by going every other day to Berthelsdorf, to visit the pupils that were placed in the Girl's Boarding School which had been estab­lished in the so-called Watteville House, and to hold special meetings for their edification.

On the 26th of May, 1727, it being his birthday, he was led to speak to them on the words of the verse: “Jesus, Lord of the Creation. No heart is so obdurate—But Thy Spirit's operation—Can within it life create." He spoke from the fullness of his heart, and the Lord caused his words to be a blessing to the hearts of the children, so that they became uneasy about their state and called on Him with one accord "to have mercy on them."

We cannot ascribe the cause of the great awakening of the children at Herrnhut on August 17, 1727, to anything but the wonderful outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the Communicant Con­gregation assembled on that occasion. The breezes of the Spirit pervaded at that time equally on both young and old. And in like manner as Christian David and Melchior Nitschman felt, in that very hour while at Sablat, a powerful impulse to retire to a secret place with a view to mingle their prayers with those of the Congregation. This was a sure proof that the spirit of grace poured out on August the 13th had exerted His blessed influence on the whole Congregation, both young and old alike.  (With help from the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)