In preparation for his examination by the faculty of Tubingen on being ordained a Lutheran minister, Count Zinzendorf made the following statement, “one of the finest confessions of his career,” says his biographer Weinlick.


I was but ten years old when I began to direct my companions to Jesus, as their Redeemer. My deficiency in knowledge was compensated by sincerity. Now I am thirty-four; and though I have made various experiences; yet in the main my mind has undergone no change. My zeal has not cooled. I reserve to myself liberty of conscience; it agrees with my internal call to the ministry. Yet, I am not a free thinker. I love and honor the (established) church, and shall frequently seek her counsels. I will continue as heretofore, to win souls for my precious Savior, to gather His sheep, bid guests, and hire servants for Him. More especially I shall continue, if the Lord please, to devote myself to the service of that congregation whose servant I became in 1727. Agreeably to her orders, under her protection, enjoying her care, and influenced by her spirit, I shall go to distant nations, who are ignorant of Jesus and of redemption in His blood. I shall endeavor to imitate the labors of my brethren, who have the honor of being the first messengers to the heathen. I will prove all things by the only criterion of evangelical doctrine, the Holy Scriptures. Among the brethren at Herrnhut and elsewhere I shall endeavor to maintain their ancient church discipline. The love of Christ shall constrain me, and His cross refresh me. I will cheerfully be subject to the higher powers, and a sincere friend to my enemies … I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me. He shall deliver the poor and needy.

On the following day December ...

Subscriber Access OnlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.