Ecclesiastic Informatorium

Continued in the Unchanged Profession of the Lutheran Church of the Prussian Congregation, which immigrated between 1839 and 1843

"Fear not, little flock

Published by order of the Evangelical-Lutheran Synod of Buffalo. Under the editorship of
Pastor H. v. Rohr

June 1, 1867, pages 26 & 27
Taken from continuing series The Origin, Emigration, Settlement and History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church founded by the Prussians, who emigrated to North America between the Years 1839 and 1843, now known as the Buffalo Synod by Pastor Heinrich von Rohr.

Starting at the bottom of page 26:

This indifference was again demonstrated in the following conversation between Captain von Rohr and Bishop Dräseke, which the Captain had to attend under orders from his Division Commander. The purpose of the conversation was to give the Captain instruction, which he transcribes here word for word.

The Bishop asked: Are you disquieted and seeking comfort?

v. Rohr: No! Since I have turned away from the false United Church and joined the true Evangelical-Lutheran church I have a clear conscience and peace of mind.

Bishop: On what grounds do you declare the United Church false and therefore believe that you have to separate from it?

v. Rohr: Because it considers it possible, contrary to scripture, that there is more than one interpretation to sacred teaching. Two different professions of faith and sacraments are recognized in the Agenda and this is contrary to Ephesians 4, 5: One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Bishop: The United Church also takes only one true interpreation from the holy scriptures. The lack of a specific profession, as was practiced by the earlier orthodoxies, rests on the fact that the United Church is too humble to assign a specific standard of faith in order to look into the mysteries and determine what the sacraments are. In this imperfect world we don't know anything for certain, there is only partially enlightened recognition. It is our hope and our duty that with the help of science we will find unifying profession but until then we must allow room for conjecture.

v. Rohr: In the United Church you have this uncertainty, obscureness and lack of real faith and profession in one specific, God-given word as instilled by the Holy Spirit. You ponder over mysteries and sacraments, which each faithful Christian, and even more so, the true church must have. This does not allow me to be unfaithful to my Lutheran church, which has everything.

Continued on page 36 of the July issue:

For myself and my children I need a specific and certain profession of faith, as it has been deemed necessary for the past 1800 years, yet is no longer deemed necessary by this new church, so that I might withstand the temptations of Satan and maintain myself against the weaknesses of the flesh, the worldly and false teaching. I only find this in the Evangelical-Lutheran church, which is the one true Christian church and her irrefutable, scripture-based articles of faith.

Bishop: Then we are finished; I have nothing further to say to you. (With a curt dismissal and gesture of the hand.)

February 1, 1868, pages 148 & 149

Captain von Rohr was also commissioned to enter into negotiations with Pastor Krause and the deputies of his 500 member-strong emigrating congregation, which had been in Hamburg since the end of 1838, to see if it was possible to effect a union with two pastors. Pastor Krause was agreeable to this but the difficulty rested in the fact that transactions had already been set in place with the negotiations president, Angus, in London to go to Australia.

At the same time von Rohr was supposed to secure a unification agreement with the 700 Saxons, who were emigrating from Bremen to America under Stephan and his 5 to 7 pastors and just as many pastoral candidates. He attempted this orally and in writing but was frustrated by Stephan's arrogance. Stephan did not consider the Prussian pastors fully vested and insisted that they be ordained again. Von Rohr was also taken aback by the apparently erroneous and confused opinions expressed against him by the 5 pastors, Brothers Walther, Keyl, Loeber and Bürger when he conferred with them for a few days in Bremen and on the steamship at Bremen Harbor.

They were so blinded that they protected Pastor Stephan not only from all police and judicial charges filed against him for his conduct, they also chose him for their Esra, to be their archbishop and their judge and even made him the administrator of their communal funds.

Astonished by their blindness, von Rohr told them that they had delivered themselves into the hands of a seducer and a false prophet, who desired from them the blending of the physical and spiritual regimes in contradiction of the 28th Article of the Augsburg Confession. It is his hope that God the Lord will soon expose this seducer through a mighty fall so that the righteous among them will open their eyes.

Pastor Krause traveled to New York and Buffalo, therefore those about the emigrate could rely on on Pastor Grabau.

In February 1839 the 4 deputies met in Berlin. The Pomeranians elected sailor Martin Krüger and farmer David Helm; the Saxons and Berliners elected Captain von Rohr and the Thuringians elected Oboist Wilhelm Bortfeld.

They laid their plans and decisions, accomplished with prayers and requests for the wisdom and guidance of God according to His word and will, before Pastor Grabau and the participating congregations. Everything was unanimously accepted. The following protocol was adopted:

Berlin, February 15, 1839

The deputies of the emigrating, united congregations of Pastor J. A. A. Grabau, after beseeching the grace of God and Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit, are unanimous in the following:

I. Concerning the Ordering and Principles under which we shall unite ourselves for the purpose of emigration and travel.

1) We do not consider it to be in accordance with Holy Scripture that we make it our purpose and goal to build a separate and secular community.

2) We consider it sinful to impose the establishment of communal property. May the Lord direct our hearts, that the establishment of communal property be done out of voluntary charity as a means of grace and that each individual may find it to be a measure of faith. As a condition for joining let it not be imposed that each should turn over his entire fortune or a certain portion of it to the community coffers, for as the apostle Peter says to Ananias in Acts 5, 4: "Weren't you able to keep your land?" Thus one may keep his property without sinning.

3) From the at hand resources of the community coffers in accordance with the principle of voluntary contributions, the money shall be considered a loan to the entire congregation, through the grace of our merciful Lord, who has heard our prayers. The fund will be used to pay for the passage to New York and the per-person fee for the assembled members, which to this point total 778 souls (and later rose to about 1000).

A small sum remains surplus, some of which will be used to transport some poor families. The rest of this sum will serve to continue the journey inland, or to a place where work can be found. However we consider it a duty that everything be done to help our poor brothers, who for the sake of conscience flee with us, so they may reach the further interior of New York, for this is asked of us and desired by the Lord in faith.