Tag Archives: Moravianism

Zinzendorf’s lecture #s 8 (no comment) and 9–That which, Properly Speaking, can Secure Us from all Fear, Danger, and Harm


Here is a brief summary and commentary on the eighth (actually no comment there) and ninth lectures of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, 1994-1995, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Lecture VIII—Concerning the Blessed Happiness of Sincere and Upright Hearts

‘The eighth, that it is true in sano sensu that from the human side nothing more is requied for salvation than an upright heart.’ (xxxii)

Text:  Psalm 32:2.  ‘Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.’

No Comment.

Lecture IX—That which, Properly Speaking, can Secure Us from all Fear, Danger, and Harm

‘The ninth concludes with a frank confession that the object of their faith, although invisible, is nevertheless, in the most real sense, nearer to Christians than the shirt on their backs.’ (xxxii) Continue reading

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Zinzendorf’s lecture #7–On the Essential Character and Circumstances of the Life of a Christian


Here is a brief summary and commentary on the seventh lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, 1994-1995, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Lecture VII—On the Essential Character and Circumstances of the Life of a Christian

‘The seventh gives the essentials of a Christian inwardly and outwardly.’ (xxxii)

Text:  John 21:16.  “Do you love me?”

From the bit ‘Not of Paul, Cephas, Apollos, Christ’ (I Cor 1:12) Zinzendorf comes to the conclusion that a true Christian is ‘neither Lutheran nor Calvinist, neither this nor the other religious denomination, not even Christian.’ (He adds, ‘Paul excludes Christ himself . . . ‘) (Erb 311) [Note: it looks like the edition I was using for all of these lectures is found in the Paulist Press Classics of Spirituality series, the Pietist volume edited by Peter Erb] Continue reading

Zinzendorf’s lecture #6–That It Is Blessedness and Happiness to Be a Human Soul


Here is a brief summary and commentary on the sixth lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, 1994-1995, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Lecture VI–That It Is Blessedness and Happiness to Be a Human Soul

‘In the sixth it is clearly proved that being a human soul is in and of itself a blessing for which one can never thank his Creator enough.’ (xxxii)

Text:  John 1:11-12 ‘He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.  But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.’

[NOTE:  are we here to find that stress on adoption that Packer finds so woefully missing from much of historical theology?  In a non-theologian?  Perhaps this is not so surprising, if it is true.  Certainly, Zinzendorf appears to dwell on the fringes of, if not within, a lively sense of the overmastering wonder of adoption!] Continue reading

Zinzendorf’s lecture #5–That Aspect of Faith Which Actually Makes One So Blessedly Happy


Here is a brief summary and commentary on the fifth lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, from 94-95, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Lecture V–That Aspect of Faith Which Actually Makes One So Blessedly Happy

‘In the fifth, I have spoken of the main point which makes a believer blessedly happy [selig].’ (xxxii)

Text:  I Cor 13:2 alt [Last phrase is end of 3rd verse.] ‘And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I gain nothing.’ Continue reading

Zinzendorf’s lecture #4–Saving faith is faith-in-distress and faith-in-love, NOT cognitive assent to propositional truths


Here is a brief summary and commentary on the fourth lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, from 94-95, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Lecture IV–Concerning Saving Faith

‘In the fourth, I have described the saving faith of the human soul and that this may certainly be understood under the general heading of love, may even be perceived as a property of a heart in love with the object of faith. (xxxii)

Briefly, Z here identifies faith entirely with love:  “…there is no saving faith which is not simultaneously love for him who laid down his life for us, for him who has created us, without whom we cannot live and exist for one moment.” (Erb, 304)

There is an internal and an external faith, says Z.  Only the former is necessary, and it may be quite invisible to those around the quieter sort of Christian.  Fiducia implicita itself is divided further into faith-in-distress and faith-in-love.  The first is the beginning of faith, when “we see our corruption on all sides and are really anxious because of it.” (305) Continue reading

Zinzendorf’s lecture #3–“Concerning the Proper Purpose of the Preaching of the Gospel”


Here is a summary and commentary on the third lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, from 94-95, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The second lecture may be found here.

Lecture III–Concerning the Proper Purpose of the Preaching of the Gospel

‘In the third lecture, I have said that the preaching of the Gospel is not necessary, properly speaking, for the sake of the elect bride of Jesus Christ and of those who belong to her.  Rather, the preaching is necessary for those whom we are to regard as guests and who, without such a call, either would not think of any marriage of the Lamb or would certainly not guess by themselves that they were also invited to it as guests.  And this is an idea which brings to its full light the difference (looked upon as essential by Dr. Luther) between the homilies addressed to a church of Jesus and the sermons to the multitude in general.’ (xxxii) Continue reading

Zinzendorf’s lecture #2–”Concerning the Simple Meaning and the Great Idea of the Lord’s Prayer”


Here is a summary and commentary on the second lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746.  Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.

Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, from 94-95, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The first lecture may be found here.

Lecture II–Concerning the Simple meaning and the Great Idea of the Lord’s Prayer

‘In the second lecture, I have explained the basic meaning and purpose of this prayer and what a treasure of material these few lines contain.  The English have a special interest in the text of the Lord’s Prayer, for a Pope of their own nation once sent them the finest version of this prayer ever seen.’ (xxxi) Continue reading