Some have heard about the Moravians, but even less have heard about Count Zinzendorf. He was a man of prayer, a man of passion for the "Martermann," the Man of Sorrows. He could preach all day without tiring. During a sermon he could talk himself into such exhilaration about his Savior that frequently, in rhythmic staccato, he would spontaneously break into impromptu rhyming lyrics, somewhat like the oral poets of ancient Greek and modern rappers. He was an itinerant vagabond for Christ. He urged the Moravians to pray unceasingly, and they prayed unremittingly for over a hundred years. In worship services men and women were separated, but he was instrumental in infusing such a Christian love among the Brethren that he had to advise them not to kiss so loudly that it "schmatzt," made a loud smacking sound, when they exchanged the kiss of peace. He entreated the Moravians without coercing to have a burden for lost souls. He wrote that he himself was not so much a God-fearing, but a God-joyful person. Yet he knew suffering. He was harassed as a boy in a boarding school; called a beast by a friend he protected; greeted by a jester in the royal court of Berlin, because the king thought he was a fool; exiled from his beloved homeland; accused of gross misconduct by newspapers in Pennsylvania; and lost nine of his twelve children prematurely. But Zinzendorf knew where to get his strength. Even in his early youth he developed an intimacy with the Lamb of God through prayer. This is a story of persecution, of dissension, of Spirit-filled boldness, of daring enterprises, of dying on mission fields and of congenial relations among the Brethren. The story of the Moravians in the eighteenth century reminds us perhaps of the chronicle of the early Christians in Acts.
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