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Giving an account of this event himself in later years, he made these additional remarks—“From the day on which I left the brethren in Holland till I arrived in Georgia, our Saviour has mercifully screened me against all bodily or spiritual harm. I might easily have been drawn into wicked practices; yet this was not the case; for He held his hand over me. At that time, indeed, I did not rightly understand it; but I have since been led to reflect what might have become of me, if our Saviour had not guarded me. Many a time, also, have I thanked him for it. On the whole, I recognize the hand of Divine Providence in this affair, and am on that account the more inclined cordially to forgive those injuries wherewith some brethren in Holland have wronged me.
Our late brother had been but a few weeks in Georgia, when he experienced a remarkable preservation of bis life. Having heard the brethren complain of the great damage done in the night by the deer, to their rice fields, he secretly took a loaded gun and repaired to the spot where the deer used to enter the fenced field. Their entrance was under a fallen tree, which rested upon another. He climbed up the former about 15 feet high, and had not sat long before two deer approached the spot. As they were passing under the tree, he fired upon them; but the gun, which had been largely charged, gave him such a shock when firing it that he fell backwards from his seat to the ground. How long he laid there, in a swoon, he did not know himself. Having recovered his senses again, and wiped the blood from his face for his head had been severely hurt by the fall-he discovered the deer lying dead near him; but the fowlingpiece he could not find. He then went home; the brethren were terrified at his appearance, and bound up his wounds then went into the field and brought home the deer and the gun.
His stay among the brethren in Georgia proved, in many respects, a blessing, and of service to him, particularly as the brethren Peter Bohler and Schulius bestowed a peculiar attention upon him, and a reciprocal confidence was kept alive between them. Even in his later years, he was wont to remember these times with pleasure. The colony, which had been designed as a settlement from which to send the gospel among the Indians in the vicinity, breaking up for Pennsylvania about 1740, because they were desired to take up arms against the Spaniards, who threatened an invasion, Zeisberger likewise accompanied them, and assisted at the building of Bethlehem and Nazareth wherever he could.
At that time, (as himself related) he was not yet converted, but still was not without serious convictions, and it was his sincere desire that his heart might be changed, and that thoroughly and for ever. He once replied to a brother, who asked him whether he had no notion for being converted" that will take place in due time, and then will every body perceive that I am truly converted."
In 1743, Count Zinzendorf being on the eve of his departure from America to Europe, this was thought to be the most suitable opportunity for Z. to return to his native country. Contrary to his inclination, and out of mere obedience, he complied, and went with the Count's suite to New York, in order to sail from thence. All things were in readiness, and the cable was just about to be loosed, when brother David Nitschman asked him " whether he went to Europe willingly." Replying to this question in the negative, and alleging, as the reason for it, that his conversion was his first concern, brother Nitschman said to him-"If I were in your place, I would immediately return to Bethlehem.” He instantly left the ship and went back to Bethlehem. Soon after, the friendly address of brother Gottlob Büttner, a missionary among the Indians, proved a great blessing to him; and again, that verse which was sung as a prayer at nieals-
« Whom dost thou love?--Sinners the vilest race!
Whom dost thou bless ? --Children who scorn'd thy grace !" Made such a deep impression on his heart, that he burst out into tears, and pondered on it, weeping and praying all that afternoon. His determination to devote himself to the Saviour was now ful. filled, and he found what he sought with Him--a friendly reception, and a comforting assurance of the forgiveness of his sins. He likewise soon felt an impulse to serve Him, and his particular wish was, to be accounted worthy to labour for the extension of the kingdom of Jesus, among the heathen nations of North America. At that time brother Pyrlaeus instructed several young men in the Maquay, or Mohawk language: Zeisberger left his fellow scholars far behind him, and on every occasion endeavoured to turn what he had learned to account. He also sought to have intercourse with the Iroquois, who visited or travelled through Bethlehem, that he might learn their language too. It soon became customary for the Indians that repaired 10 Bethlehem, to go in quest of him, and if they were still strangers to him, they were introduced to him. ». By this means he soon became such a master of the Iroquois tongue, that he was able to serve the government, as an interpreter of Indian languages, in the following years.
In 1745 he travelled with brother Spangenberg, for the first time, to Onondago, the seat of the great council of the Iroquois, or the so called Six Nations; and although this journey was the most troublesome of all that he afterwards undertook, (for he and his companions often suffered great want of the necessaries of life,) yet it was very agreeable to him. One circumstance which happened at that time, left a lasting impression on his and his companion Schebosch's mind. On their return from Onondago, , their stock of provisions once failed them.-A green grass plat afforded them a comfortable resting place, but nothing to satisfy the cravings of hunger. Having oft eyed each other with pitiful looks, brother Spangenberg arose, and in a friendly tone said to Zeisberger, "Come David, make haste and get your fishing tackle ready, and catch us a mess of fish.” He replied, “I would readily go and fish, if there was the least prospect of catching any ; in such shallow clear water as we have here along side of us, the fish do not stay, particularly at this season of the year at present they are all in deep water." Schebosch confirmed this assertion. However brother Spangenburg replied, “But if, notwithstanding, I say, David, go and fish!-you will this time comply from mere obedience. “ Well, I'll do it," was his answer. Spangenberg then said, “Go a little fufther out into the water, that I inay have the pleasure of seeing, from my couch, how expert you are at fishing." While Zeisberger and Schebosch were going to the water, they said to each other, “Our dear brother knows little about fishing; however that is something foreign to his line too.” Filled with surprise, they were soon ready to retract their declaration, for Schebosch had enough to do, merely to watch the large fish that Zeisberger caught. Being returned to their resting place, brother Spangenberg, smiling, observed, " Ab! my brethren! have we not a kind Heavenly Father ?i Not only were they enabled for the present to satisfy the cravings of hunger, but they also had some left, which, according to the Indian mode, they dried at the fire and took along with them, to serve them on their further journey. On this occasion, Zeisberger received such a powerful impression of the gracious providence of God; and his faith in the same was strengthened to such a degree, that afterwards, during the whole of his ministry, he ventured every thing upon the help and assistance of his Lord, and never suffered himself to be dissuaded from his purpose.
On another occasion, when they were nearly starved, because their provisions had been consumed for several days already, they found a bear's quarter, which an Indian, it being out of his power to take it along, had suspended at the road's side, that such as might happen to travel that way might use it.
The same year, (1745) when Zeisberger and Christian Frederick Post were going to travel by way of Albany into the Indian country, in order to learn the Maquay language, they were taken up at this place as suspicious characters, who instigated the Indians to hostile measures; and were confined in the prison at New-York. But after repeated trials, being found innocent of all the charges preferred against them, they were again set at large, after a captivity of seven weeks, and then returned to Bethlehem.
In 1741 Zeisberger again visited the Indians living on Long Island and Great Island, in the western branch of the Susque. hannah, in brother Martin Macks' company. They found many
sick there, but dared not venture to give them any of their medicines; for if such patients had died, even a great while afterwards, the Indians would certainly have charged the brethren with the cause of their death. The great distress of these poor people, who were sunk into all manner of heathenish abominations, and now visited by famine and disease, deeply affected the brethren. They sought to recommend to them the love of Jesus, for the salvation of their souls; but they found the ears of very few among them opened. They therefore returned home dejected, after they had again been several times in danger of losing their lives on this troublesome pilgrimage, from some intoxicated Indians.
In 1750, Zeisberger once more had the pleasure of taking a journey to Onondago, in company with Bishop Cammerhof. The account he used to give of this journey was delightful. Both the brethren lived in cordial love and familiarity, and shared each other's weal and wo. So much the more trying it was for Zeisberger, that in the following year his intimate friend was called home by our Lord. He ever cherished a grateful remembrance of the advantages he had reaped from the society of the brethren Spangenberg and Cammerhof.
In regard to his journey with the latter, the following circumstances are deserving of notice. They performed their journey to Tiaogu, about 160 miles, among many difficulties, by water up the Susquehannah, laying by in the evening and building a hut of bark for themselves. From Tiaogu they proceeded by land, and had to encounter fresh obstacles almost daily. After a journey of five weeks, they reached Onondago, the capital of the Iroquois, which lay in a most pleasant and fertile country, and consisted of five small towns or villages. The object of this journey was to pay that visit to the great council of the Iroquois, which had been promised to them at Philadelphia in 1749, and at the same time to ask leave for several brethren to live in the Iroquois territory, in order to learn the language of this nation, and then to preach the gospel among them. Cammerhof addressed the great council in English, and Zeisberger acted the part of an interpreter. Their request was granted, and the assurance given them, that the Iroquois would consider the brethren on this side of the great water, and on the other, as their brethren ; and that the covenant with them should never be dissolved nor torn asunder. Filled with joy and gratitude for the assistance of the Lord which they had experienced, the brethren immediately set out upon their journey homewards, and again reached Bethlehem in safety, having travelled upwards of 1500 miles among none but Indians.
Towards the close of this year, (1750) Zeisberger went on a visit to Europe, with brother Nathaniel Seidel, and in October of the following year, they arrived again at Bethlehem. At Herrn. huth Count Zinzendorf had a long conversation with them con.
cerning their labours among the Indians; and with Zeisberger, whom he acknowledged to be a chosen vessel of God for the good of this nation, he absolutely spoke of nothing else. He confirmed his call to this station, and with this view, recommended him in a particular manner to the divine blessing. Thus having his province marked out before him-on his return to America he was enabled to resume his favourite labours with the greater confidence.
In the summer of 1752, Zeisberger journeyed once more, in company with the brethren Martin Mack and Godfrey Rundt, to Onondago, where they intended to reside for some time. But before they arrived there, they were met by a company of about 20 chiefs of the Oneidas, who also belong to the Iroquois-tribe. These violently opposed the further prosecution of their journey; the brethren, however, would not be deterred from their purpose, but requested them to call a council meeting. In this meeting, Zeisberger addressed them in so convincing a manner, that they changed their minds, and readily suffered them to prosecute their journey. At Onondago, they were quartered into the hut of a chief, and enjoyed so much love, assistance, and so many favours from them, as quite surprised them. Brother Mack being returned to Bethlehem, the brethren Zeisberger and Rundt, visited the Tuscaroras and Cajugas; but they could not obtain a proper conference with the chiefs of the latter, nor stay more than one day among them, because a white rum trader would on no account suffer them to be in the village, for fear their negotiations with the Indians would ruin his trade. This man at first endeavoured to drive brother Zeisberger off by invectives and curses; but finding this unavailing, he flew into such a rage, that he struck him with a stick, then with a firebrand-kicked him with his feet, and even made an attempt to stab him. The Indians, indeed, checked his rage by force; still the brethren found it most advisable to withdraw. On their return to Onondago, they found that the men were preparing for the winter chase, and that few, except the women, would remain at home; they therefore concluded to terminate their stay in this place for the present, and to return to Bethlehem, where they arrived on the 15th of December.
In April of the year following, (1753) Zeisberger again went to Onondago, and this time took with him, as a companion, brother Henry Frey. Both these brethren again enjoyed universal love and friendship, and likewise the most cordial hospitality, so long as the poor Indians themselves had any thing left. Nothing disturbed them here, except the war betwixt the English and the French; when the great council advised them, in case the seat of war should be transferred into their neighbourhood, nr. longer to remain at Onondago. Zeisberger having this tim also, embraced every opportunity to publish Jesus, and his s vation, besides acquiring a further knowledge of the langua