St. Peter's Lutheran Church Chester Springs History

St. Peter's Lutheran Church Chester Springs

Henry Muhlenberg's Journal Entry November 9th

NOVEMBER 9, Monday. The most gracious God again vouchsafed us pleasant weather and a day of salvation for the sake of our Redeemer and Advocate. About nine o'clock we went to the church, where a small group of Germans and English had assembled. We sang "Auf Christen Mensch, auf, auf zum Streit," etc. I first preached in German on the beginning of yesterday's Epistle, Ephesians 6, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," etc., and then said farewell for this time. Immediately afterwards I delivered an English sermon on Luke 24:29, "But they constrained him saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." After this we sang Psalm 1 in English.

A God-fearing housewife who loved Jesus dearly and had an industrious husband and nine living children, and was nearing the time of her delivery of the tenth, had imitated Martha, despite her difficult circumstances, and prepared a friendly repast for us. When we went to her house after the service, many friends went along with us, but she was not at all embarrassed by the number, but rather was more happy. Despite her heavy burden, it was impossible to persuade her to sit down. She served the dinner and looked upon the day as a day of salvation, wherein salvation had come to her house. She refreshed about forty-five persons with the material blessings which the Lord had vouchsafed her amid hard toil, labor, and prayer on her farm, and she also edified the guests with heart-strengthening expressions from the Word, which is spirit and life. I can say quite truthfully that I have not in a long time enjoyed a meal wherein I tasted and saw more vividly how good the Lord is. She wished, among other things, to have her prayer answered and see the day when an upright, faithful pastor would come to dwell in this neighborhood... a pastor who would take an interest especially in the numerous children and nurture them as lambs, out of constraining love for the Lord who purchased them with his blood. Though money was scarce, she would be all the more ready to come to the aid of a faithful servant of Christ with generous gifts of white and yellow turnips, lettuce, peas, beans, cabbage, dried apples, chickens, home-baked bread, butter, cheese, and the like.

After prayer and a hymn of praise our coach was again hitched up and we had to visit several leading families on their farms before evening if we were not to be the cause of sadness and weeping. We took our Martha with us in the coach, and all who could walk followed; the adults mounted on horseback and did not remain behind. First we viewed the mineral spring, called the yellow spring, which is tinctured by ironstone, etc., and is visited and used by many people every year. From there we were able to visit only two more places, where we were welcomed with joy and spent the time not unprofitably.

In the evening we arrived safely at our lodging where, again, there gathered unexpectedly a group of about forty people who desired one more farewell devotional session. Among them was the above-mentioned pregnant mother who was approaching the time of her delivery. She had walked a mile and a half to get there. I pitied her and feared that it might hurt her, but she said that when her soul was refreshed she felt no bodily discomfort and that she did not want to miss this good opportunity even though it might be ever so toilsome for the flesh. What is done for love's sake is not hard. First we sang several powerful stanzas from the Freylinghausen hymnbook and then took several pointed passages, applied the divine truths to our hearts, and discussed them together in child likeness and simplicity until ten o'clock, when we closed with a hymn and prayer and said farewell. The elders and deacons stayed for a while to ask my advice as to how and in what way this and other small congregations might be assisted in securing a pastor. I was unable to give them any adequate advice, but promised that as soon as I got back home I would take the first opportunity to report the circumstances to The Reverend Directors and Fathers in London and Halle and then await God's gracious guidance through their good offices. My traveling companion, Pastor Goransson, who had been present at all the discussions and devotional sessions and who understands most of what was said in German, seemed to be greatly pleased with the stirring of souls.