Lehigh University
Lehigh Universiy

You are here

Christian Gottfried

1731-1756.From Bethlehem's Death Register (http://bdhp.moravian.edu/community_records/register/deaths/gottfried/gottfried.html)Christian Gottfried, Negro, also called London, was born in Guinea, and was brought from there to the West Indies as a slave on an English ship, and from there was brought to London by Captain Gladmann. In 1749, he was given by Mr. Jones, an English member of the society, to our beloved Jünger, to whom [Christian] was particularly pleasing, and who therefore put him in the Single Brethren’s House in Hutton Garden. At that time, one put his age at about eighteen years. From there he came, in June 1750, with Brother Jorde and some eighty Single Brethren, to Pennsylvania. In the beginning, Bethlehem was not at all to his liking, and his savage and malicious spirit was felt everywhere very openly. This lasted until, in the spring of 1751, he became so sick with a ravaging fever that one thought he would die. He returned to health, however, and one noticed that a great change had come over him. He began to recognize his forlorn state and to feel his misery. He received a longing for the Savior and asked for the holy baptism, which mercy he was granted when he was baptized into the Death of Jesus on December 23 of the same year by Br. Nathanael among a blessed gathering of God’s family. After his baptism, his spiritual course progressed like that of a child, pleasant and devoted to the Savior, and he worked in the tannery. In 1753, he came to Christiansbrunn, and had the blessing, on his ardent desire, of becoming a joyful participant in the sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord for the first time, with the Gemeine in Nazareth. Since then the bloody mercy worked with exceptional strength on his heart; one found that a complete inner and outer change was evident in him after he had partaken of the Body of the Lamb and he was daily more eager to enjoy it. He had a near and tender communion with the Savior, and was immediately embarrassed—could not be contented even—if he deviated in some way and was not truly sensible of His bloodied wounds. As a result, he held a special daily Band with Br. Gottlob Hoffman and brought the small and great things that were in his heart before him. With [Br. Hoffman], he was always openhearted and sincere, as a good child. He was tenderly beloved by every man, and his child-like, easy, and pleasing spirit was apparent to everyone. He loved his Master (as he called the dear Jünger) very dearly, and wrote to him often. He strongly wished to see him here once more, and was more than a little pleased when Brother Gottlieb brought a small present from [the Jünger] last year. He carried out his earthly work with great diligence, faithfulness, and neatness, so that in this area he was a joy and good example to all others. Br. Gottlieb Hoffmann’s departure for Wachovia, in October of last year, touched his heart deeply, because he was accustomed to him as a child would be. Soon after, he caught a chest fever, and because there was not sufficient care for him in Christiansbrunn, he was brought here on January 2 of this year, and then felt quite well again. In the afternoon of the 4th, however, he was struck with a hemorrhage, and began to spew blood. This immediately led to the desertion of his mortal home, which quickly and unexpectedly followed in the afternoon between two and three o’clock, under the blessing of Br. Gottlieb and with the verse: "The Little Lamb and his pain remain as long as the heart, and when the heart beats no longer…" It was then that his soul went over to its Savior’s Side, with whose blood he had here been washed, to whom his daily devotion had been given, and who now would remain his goal and inexhaustible spring of salvation for eternity. His lifeless body was buried in our God’s Acre on January 6 by Brother Gottlieb Pezold.
Birth Year: 
Arrival Year: 
Death Year: