July 11, 2010

Fruit That Abides

A traveler of that period wrote this striking testimony, "In all my journeys I have found only three objects that exceeded my expectations, viz.: the ocean, Count Zinzendorf and the Herrnhut congregation." Herrnhut had become a spiritual centre visited by people from all parts of Europe seeking to be saved or to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and with fire.

John Wesley's visit to Herrnhut was typical of thousands of others. "God has given me at length," he wrote to his brother Samuel, "the desire of my heart. I am with a Church whose conversation is in Heaven; in whom is the mind that was in Christ, and who so walk as He walked." In his journal he wrote, "I would gladly have spent my life here; but my Master called me to labour in another part of His vineyard. O, when shall this Christianity cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea?"

At the end of his life, Count Zinzendorf could triumphantly say: I am going to my Saviour, I am ready. There is nothing to hinder me now. I cannot say how much I love you all. Who would have believed that the prayer of Christ, "that they all may be one," could have been so strikingly fulfilled among us! I only asked for firstfruits among the heathen, and thousands have been given me. Are we not as in Heaven! Do we not live together like the angels! The Lord and His servants understand each other. I am ready.

Over four thousand people followed his body to its resting place on the Hutberg, including Maravian ministers from Holland, England, Ireland, North America and Greenland. His tombstone bore this inscription:

Here lie the remains of the immortal man of God, Nicholas Lewis, Count and Lord of Zinzendorf and Pattendorf; who through the grace of God and his own unwearied service, became the ordinary of the Brethren's Church, renewed in this eighteenth century. He was born in Dresden on May 26, 1700, and entered into the joy of his Lord at Herrnhut on May 9, 1760. He was appointed to bring forth fruit, that his fruit should abide.

In 1927, 200 years after the revival in of the Moravian Church, the editor of The Biblical Review, New York, wrote:

No matter whether one is sympathetic toward the idea of revivals or not, if he wants to study the question thoroughly, he cannot afford to overlook the history and teachings of the Moravians. Theirs has been from the beginning a great Revival Church, and its service to the general cause of Christianity, and to foreign missions in particular, is deserving of wide recognition. The story of their spiritual development and its influence is one of the most inspiring in the annals of Christianity.