My Zeal Has Not Cooled . . .

by Nicolaus von Zinzendorf

Zinzendorf's remembrances as he prepares to take his ordination exam.

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue 1 in 1982 ]

IN PREPARATION FOR HIS EXAMINATION by the faculty of Tubingen on being ordained a Lutheran minister, Count Zinzendorf made the following statement, “one of the finest confessions of his career,” says his biographer Weinlick.

I was but ten years old when I began to direct my companions to Jesus, as their Redeemer. My deficiency in knowledge was compensated by sincerity. Now I am thirty-four; and though I have made various experiences; yet in the main my mind has undergone no change. My zeal has not cooled. I reserve to myself liberty of conscience; it agrees with my internal call to the ministry. Yet, I am not a free thinker. I love and honor the (established) church, and shall frequently seek her counsels. I will continue as heretofore, to win souls for my precious Savior, to gather His sheep, bid guests, and hire servants for Him. More especially I shall continue, if the Lord please, to devote myself to the service of that congregation whose servant I became in 1727. Agreeably to her orders, under her protection, enjoying her care, and influenced by her spirit, I shall go to distant nations, who are ignorant of Jesus and of redemption in His blood. I shall endeavor to imitate the labors of my brethren, who have the honor of being the first messengers to the heathen. I will prove all things by the only criterion of evangelical doctrine, the Holy Scriptures. Among the brethren at Herrnhut and elsewhere I shall endeavor to maintain their ancient church discipline. The love of Christ shall constrain me, and His cross refresh me. I will cheerfully be subject to the higher powers, and a sincere friend to my enemies . . . I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me. He shall deliver the poor and needy.

On the following day December 19, 1734, he was recognized as a minister of the Lutheran Church.

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