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DETROIT IN 1838

BY HENRY A. FORD

It illustrates grandly the devotion, courage, endurance, and missionary enterprise of the Moravian brethren, who, next to the indefatigable "black robes" were the first emissaries for Christ among the savages of the new world. The Unitas Fratnim, otherwise called the Moravian or Bohemian brethren, trace their origin back of the Reformation to the time of John Huss. Early in the last century his disciples were expelled from Bohemia, and Moravia by their fierce persecutors. Among their sympathizers in the neighboring state of Saxony was the noble Nicholaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf, the youthful son of a Saxon minister of state, and already eminent for his piety. He admitted a small party of the Hussites to reside upon his estate, organized them and the refugees and converts who joined them in considerable numbers into a church, and so became the founder of the Moravian brotherhood. Beginning to preach the gospel he presently devoted his entire property and energies to the propagation of the faith. In 1736 he was banished from Saxony, and five years later came to America and established the Moravian church at Bethlehem, Pa., where its chief seat in this country still remains. After nearly twenty years' service among the savages and the people of his native land, to which he was allowed to return, he died upon his ancestral estate, May 9, 1760. He left more than 100 works of his authorship in prose and verse, some of which, used as hymn books by the pious Moravians, are said to be characterized remarkably by indecent figures and allusions. No Christian church, not even the Roman Catholic, has been more distinguished for zealous missionary spirit in the face of tremendous difficulties than the Moravian.

DETROIT MICHIGAN


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