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In Their Own Words

February 27, 1750

Difficulties with Salzburger Congregation

Salzburger minister Johann Martin Boltzius wrote in his diary of the difficulties he was having with a member of his congregation:

“N.N. has been excluded from Holy Communion and other privileges of Christians because of his vexing life (he is very given to drink); but last week he came to me and asked me to accept him again and let him go to Holy Communion with his wife and other members of the congregation. I admonished him sincerely to a true repentance and conversion of his life and let him go this time. He hears God’s word regularly and also has a good literal recognition; indeed, he would be a useful man in many ways and prosper well in his household if only he wished to desist from his vice of drunkeness… . I considered it advisable to be lenient with him this time, too, and to reserve severity for the future (if it becomes necessary with this man … ). It appears God has mightily seized this N. in his conscience again, for eight days ago he was in extreme danger of crushing his head in the millwheel. Recently he heard the sad example of one of his drinking buddies, who moved from Purrysburg to Savannah Town and drank himself full, as was his custom, and died in the snow during a cold night… .”

Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Eva Pulgram, Magdalena Hoffman-Loerzer, George Fenwick Jones (trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger Volume Fourteen, 1750 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980), pp. 35-36.