Page:A memoir of Lewis David von Schweinitz.djvu/14

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
5
LEWIS D. VON SCHWEINITZ.

the age of twenty-one he became Count of Berthelsdorf in Lusatia by purchasing the estate appendant to that title and soon after established there the village of Herrnhut whence the Moravians are sometimes called Herrnhutters. In prosecution of his favourite scheme, he, in connexion with his new colony, many of whom were natives of Moravia, commenced the sending of missionaries to instruct the heathen; and at the end of nine years, though their numbers did not, when they first made the attempt, exceed 600, had actually formed establishments in Greenland, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Surinam, Rio de Berbice, among the Indians of North America, and the Negroes of Carolina, in Lapland, Tartary, Algiers, Guinea, in the Island of Ceylon and at the Cape of Good Hope. In his ardour for attaining this favourite object, Zinzendorf made various journies through Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, England and America. In 1742 he held frequent religious discourses at Germantown, in this vicinity, and in the same year, in a Latin speech delivered in Philadelphia, formally renounced his title of Count, resumed his original family name of Von Thumsteen, and became familiarly known to the Quakers of that period under the designation of "friend Lewis."

It was under his immediate agency that the colony at Bethlehem was founded. He did not, however, attain all his successes without undergoing both in Europe and America several bitter persecutions: but these probably served, as usual, only to bind his followers in a firmer union, and more effectually to insure their prosperity. After having established his plan in all the four quarters of the