Nicholaus Ludwig,
Count von Zinzendorf
Nicolaus Ludwig,
Count von
Here is what he wrote in his diary at age 15: This week
I began the plan of spending a whole hour, from six to
seven in the morning, as well as in the evening from
eight to nine, and for fifteen minutes at a quarter of ten,
in prayer. Also I resolved to pursue the study of civil law
with all my energy. . . .
Examinations with Mencken. At ten o’clock I fenced. At
eleven I studied the pandects [the laws of a country]. At
twelve I dined. At one I played badminton. At two I
drew. At three I attended a lecture in the history of the
Reich. At four I danced. At five Bardin (French tutor)
was here. At six I studied civil law. At seven I dined. At
eight I prayed. At nine I studied Hoppi’s examination.
He wrote many hymns, and some are in our hymnal. His
most famous one is sung in 90 languages and has 33
stanzas. It is in our 1941 hymnal as #676 and only uses
4 stanzas:
Jesus, still lead on
Till our rest be won,
And although the way be cheerless,
We will follow, calm and fearless. . . .
In our new hymnal is another of his hymns, #177, “Jesus,
Your Blood and Righteousness.” The tune to this one is
more familiar to us.
Because he was born a nobleman, when his
school was over at home, he was sent on a
grand tour of Europe to polish his education.
While at Dusseldorf, he viewed the portrait by
Domenico Feti of Jesus crowned with thorns
and beneath it he read, “All this I did for thee;
what doest thou for me?”
This spoke to his heart and changed his life.
He wondered what he was doing for Jesus,
and from then on he resolved to live
completely for Jesus. He was only a young
adult at the time.
Christians in Moravia were being persecuted-some imprisoned, some loaded with chains,
some yoked to the plough to work as horses,
and some forced to stand in wells of water until
nearly frozen. A Protestant Moravian named
Christian David asked Zinzendorf if some
persecuted Protestants in Moravia could find
refuge at his estate.
The heart of the Count was touched by their
plight, and he promised David that if they would
come, he would provide a place of abode for
And across the mountains, by winding and
unknown paths, they came, a little band of
emigrants. For the sake of their faith, they left
their goods and personal possessions behind.
Their march was long and wearisome and
when they arrived at the estate of Count
Zinzendorf, they were worn out and footsore.
They came as wanderers from a foreign land
and were not able to bring with them any
certificates of orthodoxy.
Count Zinzendorf was not at home. His
steward was in charge, and he realized these
strangers could be dangerous heretics, but his
master would not want them turned away, so
he led the little group to a stretch of ground
that belonged to the Count, about a mile away
from the village, and told them to rest in an
unfinished farm house. Soon they were
building their own homes, and this was the
beginning of Herrnhut.
100 houses built on rising ground
Evergreen woods on two sides and gardens and
cornfields on the other two sides
High hills in the background
One long street, in the middle of which was the
At one end was the chapel, which could hold 600-700
At the other end was Zinzendorf’s home.
Another row of houses went in the opposite direction,
dividing Herrnhut into two squares.
After his troubled crossing on the Simmonds,
John Wesley visited Herrnhut and said it was a
place where he would have loved to spend his
life. The people’s conversation, he noted, was in
heaven, and they had the mind of Christ and
walked as he walked, with the spirit of
meekness and love. He found them almost
peculiar. Their burials, for example, were simple.
At one time he tried to console a father as he
buried his infant child but soon realized the man
did not need his words of comfort, for he had
found a higher consolation in his Saviour.
In the evening all the young men marched
around the town singing praises and playing
instruments and then gathered in a circle on
a hill for evening prayer. They returned to
their homes singing more hymns and
wishing every one a good night.
This was Herrnhut.
Herrnhut was based upon the plan of reforming
the established church of its bad practices by
forming little churches within them. The Wesleys
followed this plan when they started Methodism.
Herrnhut is also known
for the missionaries that
left their midst.
In 1732, Zinzendorf and the Herrnhut
congregation sent Leonard Dober and
David Nitschmann as missionaries to the
slaves on the sugar plantations on St.
Thomas Island in the Caribbean.
Missionary to St. Thomas
Duber was only 19 years
old when he left Herrnhut
as a missionary.
Missionary to St. Thomas
David was an older
gentleman, but he only
stayed with Leonard for a
few months.
Sugar Cane Field Work
Sugar Cane Field Work
Zinzendorf as
Pilgrims on Mayflower
On October 14, 1735, both Wesley brothers left England for America.
After settling in, there is their schedule:
4-5 a.m. private prayers
5-7 a.m. Bible reading together with their group
7 a.m. breakfast
8 a.m. public prayers
9 a.m.-12 noon German/Greek study, write sermons
12 meet together to give an account of the morning
1 p.m. dinner
Following dinner until 4 p.m. reading to those they had taken in charge
4 p.m. evening prayers/Bible instruction
5-6 p.m. private prayers
6-7 p.m. read to other passengers (about 80 English were on board)
7 p.m. joined the Germans (the Moravians) in their public prayers
8 p.m. group meeting
9-10 p.m. bedtime
Their days were uneventful unless storms
brewed, of which there were at least four on
this trip.
The fourth one was particularly severe. John
Wesley described it in his journal:
In the midst of the psalm wherewith their [the
Moravians’] service began, the sea broke over,
split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship,
and poured in between the decks, as if the
great deep had already swallowed us up. A
terrible screaming began among the English.
The Germans calmly sung on. I asked one of
them afterwards, “Were you not afraid?” He
answered, “I thank God, no.” I asked, “But were
not your women and children afraid?” He
replied, mildly, “No; our women and children
are not afraid to die.”
On February 5, the Simmonds cast anchor
in the Savannah River, and February 6 the
Wesleys set foot on American soil for the
first time.
John Wesley
Slide 2, Skara kommun
Slides 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 27: United States Public Domain
Slide 26: David Muir
Slide 28: Pete Reed

Nicholaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf