Born: 1714, Insheim, Elsatia
Died: 1780, Bedford

Learn more about the life of Phillip Henry Molther

Life of brotherPhilip Henry Mol-
who departed at BedfordSeptr 9. 1780.
extracted from his own manuscripts.
I was born in the year 1714 Dec the 28th at
Imsheim in the vicinity of Bussweiler in Elsa-
where my father was the parish minister.
Being 8 years old, I was sent to the school
at Bussweiler with a view to lay the first
foundation for studying divinity. I felt
already in my infancy that the friend and
Redeemer of my soul was drawing me
by his grace. Tho’ I had many bad
examples before me, I remained in inocent
simplicity till in my 14th year, when I
was seduced into sin by one of my school
fellows. Sin begat death, and my conscience
was repeatedly alarmed with this dreadful
sentence: “Thou art doomed to death”, which
caused me to feel unceasing anxietyof heart,
& imbittered the sinful pleasures of life to me,

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serving, through the kind care of the lover of my
soul, as a barrier, which prevented me from
rushing into misery. In the year 1734
I was sent by my parents to Metz in
France in order to learn the french language
Our Saviour pursued me also here by his
Grace in many ways. Being once in
company with my french master, I accom
panied him at night to his lodgings seeming
ly in good health. The next morning I was
thunderstruck at hearing that he was dead,
as my conscience forced immediatly this
question upon me: what would have be-
come of you if this had been your case?
I hastened to my room trembling, and
throwing myself on the ground, and prayed
to an unknown God for Grace and conver-
sion of heart from sin. But sometime
after I fell again into a dilatory track.
In the year 1735 I went to the university

at Jena, on which occasion I prayed to God with
a concernedheart to preserve me from seduction
and convert me. This prayer I repeated very
often as I knew how hurtful bad the time
was spent by the major part of the students,
being afraid of falling into the same trade
Soon after my arrival the late brotherDaer-
went with me to the meetings of
edification, held by the Revd MrBrumhards
Here I heard for the first time of Jesus
readiness to receive the poorest and most
miserable sinners which proved to me, a
word worthy of acceptation. After the meeting
I went to my lodgings and cast myself
at the feet of the friend of sinners, entrea-
ting Him with many tears to have mercy
upon me, and to assure me of my being
accepted of him by delivering me from
the dominions of sin in soul and body which
had been on for some time a most grievous
burthen to me. He caused me to look in

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that moment believingly to Him, in a manner
as I had never been able to do, and I
felt that sin had been laimed maimed
and lost its force. Declining the propo-
sal of my Father, to return home and
to accept of a living, he withdrew his
asistance, which on the one hand obliged
me to find my support by teaching frensh
but set me on the other hand at liberty
from accepting my father’s proposal con
trary to the dictates of my heart. Christian
Renatus de Zinzendorf
coming in the year 1737
under the care of John Nitchman, to
Jena, I had the pleasureto be his teacher
in music and the frensh language. About easterthe same year the late ordinar
travelling through Jena, he had an enteview
with all those who were employed to teach
his son, and asked every one, after he had
first spoke with each of us separately:
Wether we were willing to devote ourselves

to our Saviour and the Congregation, and
were desirous to be prepared for serving our Saviour
Every one said yes. But the question being
put to me, I answered: “I am convinced
that I ought to devote myself to our
Saviour, and to be converted to him with
my whole heart, for not doing it will
render me an unfortunate man. But to
be devoted to the Congregation I do not
understand.” He replied: “It is very well,
this matter is only for such as understand
it, meanwhile you may continue to instruct
my son”. In June of the same year our
Saviour was pleased to convince me, in
a most striking manner of my call
of to the brethren’s church, which time I
never shall forget. Till now I thought
as is common in my circumstances, that
I was bound in duty to serve my native
country, which had prevented me from to

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see or attend to our Saviour’s views with me.
Previous to my going to doctorHamburgers
lectures upon natural philosophy, I
meditated about myself and prayed to
our Saviour, who was pleased to speak
to my heart and to lead me into a serious
consideration concerning my past and
future course. The following questions
were brought home to my heart: “What will
become of you at last and in what manner
will your studies terminate? You can’t stay
always at the university. If you become
a minister in your native country what
benefit will it be of to you on others;
for if you go without being sent by me, you
will be an unprofitable servant, and it
may terminate with you as with other awa-
kened students who did not prosper.” If
you will save your soul take refuge to
the brethrenscongregation” &c. These and

others considerations came with such clearness
into my heartas if our Saviour was pre-
sent and speaking to me, and I was en-
abled to acquiesce and say amen to all,
with my whole heart. Now I knew
what I was about, heard and saw every
thing in another light, and my eye being
single the whole body was light, so that
I could not help wondering at the change
wrought in me. I moved with the consent
of John Nitchman in the month of July
into the house of of the young count, and which was
exceedingly happy in the company of the
brethren. John Nitchman was beloved
and respected as a father among us, and
cared for the good of our souls with
much love and faithfulness. Our main
view was to become like little children, and
such a spirit of love and zeal prevailed
among us, that we sat many a night

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till one a clock together, speaking of the
state of our souls and singing praises to
him, who had chosen us from before the
foundation of the world, and called us
from among the confusion of the learned
world to his people, and to whom we
now wished to devote ourselves, with heart-
feltjoy as living sacrifices. In the year
we went with the young count to Berlin
where his father resided, having about 70 pil
grims with him. This was a blessed time
for me. The singing of the brethren and
Sisters and the discourses of the late ordinary
were attended with unction and the demons-
tration of the spirit of God. Feby the 8th
I was received into the congn and the 22d
I was admitted to the Lord’s supper.

Tho our lord had givin given me striking
proofs of his Grace, I was yet subject
to many changes. This true foundation

was laid in my heart, and I was delivered
from sin. But being ignorant of the previ-
ledges our Saviour’s patients are intitled
to, I perplexed myself often at feeling
my innate depravity and did not know
how to look upon it. But now it pleased
the friend of my soul to remove this by gran-
ting me the favor to cast a believing look
upon Him as my all sufficient Saviour; for
being at the comn Liturgy in deep and grate-
ful meditation concerning the great favor I
had enjoyed in eating and drinking the flesh
and blood of the son of man sacramentally,
and sighing to him, to make me quite happy;
he appeared insuch a most striking manner
to my heart as my bleeding and suffering
Redeemer, that I melted into tears like
wax before the fire. From that time I
proceeded from grace to grace and the
connexion with Him my belovedLord whose

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love had captivated my heart became
daily more confident, and my gracious
callof Grace to belong to the congn more impor-
tant and precious. Having stayed 5 months
at Berlin we returned to Jena where the
testimony of Jesu’s Blood approved itself
as the power of God to salvation upon many
students and others. In the year 1739 we
were called to Wetteravia, which proved a
means to bring me to the Congn at Marien-
. July the 1st the late Ordinary arrived
from St Thomas in the Westindies. As soon
as he had saluted me he said: “My brother
I have spoken to our Saviour concerning
you, whilst I was at sea. He has ordered
me to mention to you in his name, that
you are to go to Pensylvania to preach
the gospel in the whole country.” I replied:
“Here I am may he do with me what is
wellpleasing to him.” Soon after I was ordai

dained a Minister of the brethren’s Church,
and went in company with the late ordinary
to a Synodal confce held at Ebersdorf. Short-
ly before my setting out on my intended
post, he put me to a very severe but blessed
trial by saying before all present “Our brotherMolter is
now going to Pensylvania, there he’ll perhaps
meet with books wrote against us, or hear
many bad things concerning the congregation;
which will confuse his mind and then he
will go from us” & I answered: “I can not
boast of myself and make fair pro-
misses; but one thing>this I can assertain, that
before I prove unfaithful to the Congn,
I must first loose sight, and entirely for-
get our Saviour, nothing else can seperate
me from the congregation”, At this declara-
tion I could not refrain from tears. My
answer removed his thoughtfulness concer-
ning me, and he dismissed me with the a
kiss of love and many blessings. I now

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went to Herrnhut, where I was much struck
with the primitive simplicity of the place
and the singing of all the single brethren
who were just going in procession through
the place when I arrived. Having enjoy-
ed many blessings during my abode there
I returned to Marrienborn, where every
thing relative to my future plan was settled
and I was married to Johanna de Seydewir
on the 5th of septr. As circumstances
required my setting out without her, she it
was resolved that she should follow me, with
the next company that was to go to America.
Septr the 23d I sat out and arrived at
LondonOct. the 18th. As no ship was to
sail to Pensylvaniatill the middle of Jany I endeavoured
to spend my time as useful as I could, and kept meetings to a member of Germans
who had been awakened by means of the
testimony of brotherRichter, who washad de-
parted this life at Algier. to the english

brethren and Sisters. I kept meetings in the
Latin language, having some body who inter-
preted what I said into english, till I
after sometime ventured to deliver discour-
ses in the E. language. There was at
that time a Society at Fetterlane which
was begun by br. Peter Boehler and
was then cared for by the RevdJohn &
charles Wesly. As these people did not
rightly know what they were at they were
come into a strangefanatical way, so
that I did not know what to think when
I came for the first time into their mee-
tings and heard them sighgrown and howl
in a very strange manner, which they cal-
led the demonstration of the spirit and the
power of God. at speaking with the indi-
viduals of this society, I found many
deeply concerned for their souls. As
deficient as I was in expressing myself
in the E. Language, they pressed me so

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Seeing that he could not obtain his aim
he declined all further fellowship with the
Society, and stoodrisingfrom his seat with
He walked out with the words: “To me, all
that are the Lord’s”. Some few followed
him. Some brethrenwho gave me an account
of what had happened, I advised to be
still, and to leave the isue to our Saviour.
In August, I had the joy to welcome
my wife here in London, on her way to
America. It was left to me to let her
proceed or keep her with me; but being
convinced in my heart that it was the
will of our Lord that she should go thither,
and finding her willing to go, I accom-
panied her on board, where we prostrated
in prayer before our Saviour and cove-
nanted with each other to be and remain
his, after which we took an affectionate
leave. In September I was recalled

from London to Marrienborn, where having
stayed for some time, I was commissioned to
travel into francein order to look for such
as were awakened. In Paris I found
some godly persons who were mysticks and
valued the writings of Mrs. Bourignon and
Mrs Ladyde Guion. I also learned that there
were a great many more of the same
people who did not venture to make them-
selves known. From thence I went to Lyon
Geneve by way of Lyon, here I stayed with
the late Ordinary till May and enjoyed
many blessings. On my road from thence
to HollandI fell sick, which necessitated
me to stay 10 weeks with my mother. I
had no patience to wait till I was recovered,
and before I reached Holland the fever
had left me. In Septr I arrived at London,
full of hopes and joy to pursue my destina-
tion to Pensylvania, but I was again seized

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with another illness, so that my fellow travel-
lers entered upon their voyage without me.
 Tho’ it did not appear as if I should
recover, I was informed by a letter that
in case of my recovering I was to go
against to Genevato serve the awakened souls
in that place. After 9 weeks illness I
sat out for Geneva, where I arrived after an
agreeable stay of some days at Marien-
, in Feb of the year 1742. I had
not been there above a fortnight when
I was ordered by the magistrates, who
were dissatisfied with my stay there, to
quit my private lodgings, and to move
to an inn. Taking a journey in the coun-
try I fell sick again & was received and
treated as a servant of Christ at the house
of Mr. Elie Prendhomme, to whom I was
 recommended by his brother. It proved a
great joy to me to see afterwards him and 

his whole family, to whom I was is much 
indebted, to become children of God our Saviour.
This was also the casewith the family of old
father Pindent, who at another time served
me in the same kind manner. About this
time I ventured, in reliance upon the help
of our Lord, to translate our Hymns into
the frensh language and in about a years
time I got 70 of them printed. In April
I returned to Marienborn, where I
  found my wife, who was arrived from Ame-
a few days before me. I received her
as if she was given me quite anew by our
Saviour. After some time we travelled toge-
ther to the Synod, which was held at Hirsch-
. there we were appointed to visit the
awakened souls in Switzerland. This jour-
ney proved very agreeable to us both. When
we were tired of walking we sat down in
a lonely spot and sung a verse, feeling excee

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dingly well thereat. In a town called Speyer
where the whole frensh armee was quartered,
we had a narrow escape of being killed,
being nearly trodden under foot, by the
horsemen who came from both sides upon us
when we were just under the gate. In
the critical moment, when nothing seemed
to offer for our relief, I espied a little
space between the horses, and snatching my
wife into my arms I slipped through,
wondering at and thanking our Lord for his
kind protection. Nov 13th I settled the in-
habitants of Montmirail-house into a congn
but after some time it was broke up again,
as we met with opposition in Switzerland
and were even forbid to reside any more
at Geneva. We now returned again in July
to Marienborn. In about the time of
a year
we went again into Switzerland, andwhere besides my former office I had also to care for the housekeeping, besides

this and the journies into the country I was
employed in translating the Congn accounts
into the frensh language, as also with revi-
sing the hymns I had translated sometime
ago and adding more hymns to them, which
labour proved a refreshmentto my heart.
As circumstances required again our remo-
val from Montmirail, we met in the hall
for the last time to thank our Saviour for
all the grace he had given us to enjoy in
this place. I arrived at Herrnhaag (in
company of the frensh brethren and Sisters
from Montmirail) in the last days of septr
of the year 1748
. My stay here was not
agreeable to me, as I did not like the then

course of that congn. I therefore kept retired
and in stillness. These circumstances caused
me to search my own heart thoroughly, the
conclusion of which was, that our Lord was pleased
to give me a renewed impression of my

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election of grace. In 1749 we were in
Holland and England with the late ordinary,
in whose house we spent the time very blessedly
In 1750 we went to Barby, in hopes that
the frensh brethren and sisters who were
obliged to emigrate with the rest of the brn
and srs from Herrnhaag, would find it prac-
ticable to settle there. Meanwhile the
Count of Neuwied altered to receive them
in his Dominions and to grant them liberty
of conscience. The late Ordinary having
had an interview with the count of Neu-
, previous to his arival at Barby,
he acquainted me, that he had found a place
for the frensh brn & srs and viz: Neuwied,
and told me to prepare for my journey
thither. In septr I went to Herrnhaag
and from thence with some of the frensh
brethren and sisters to Neuwied, where we

arrived Oct the 16th. Soon after the remain

der of them frenshbrethren & Sisters arrived
with us, after which we all partook of the holy
Comn at which our Savioursgrace was power-
ful among us. We lived at first together
in one house as one family. Love, simplicity,
and grace and truth ruled among us, and
He who regardeth the ready and poor, walked
in our midst and the peace of God rested
upon this congn. What trials of faith and
patience we had to experience during the
first 4 years is only known to our Saviour,
but his faithfulness and support was our
only dependence. These trials were the conse-
quence of our moving to Neuwied before
matters had been finally settled with the
count of Neuwied, for a deportation which
treated afterwards with him in behalf of
the unity returned after a stay of 3 weeks
without being able to conclude upon anything,
and we were left upon a very uncertain lasting

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meanwhile occurred the wellknown hard trials
in England, so that the brethren had no time
to think of our settling here upon a sure footing,
and upon all the letters we wrote during
the space of 18 months, we received no answer
All the newspapers were filled with the
most bitter speeches against us, which were
often repeated at our windows by persons who
were evil inclined. We laid our heavy cir-
cumstances before our Congn who formed the
unanimous resolution to hold out with cou-
rage and patience as long as possible.
In the spring of 1753 the late ordinary sent
a letter to the count of Neuwied importing,
that his present circumstances made it im-
practicable for him, to assist the establish-
ment of a frensh Congn at Neuwied, and
thatthe people who had moved thither with
that intent would probably be obliged to
return to Switzerland. The Count expressed

his compassionforwith us and encouraged us
by saying: “God can still give this matter
a favourable turn and bring it to bear.”
In Nov. It was resolved in a Congn Council
to send a deputy to London, who was to procure
a final resolution wether we were to stay
here or to move away; but our deputy falling
very ill at Zeist we were obliged to be
patient. In July 1754 we received the long
wished for message, wich put an end to all
our concern that the Congn was to stay at
Neuwied, to build proper habitations and
was to be augmented. The word of the day
when I received this account form London
(viz. July the 22d) was: “The glory of the Lord
shall be revealed, and all flesh shall ice it
together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken
it.” It is not possible to describe what joy
this account occassioned in the Congn.  All
praised and adored the Lord for his kindness
towards us. Our concession being drawn, up

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and signed in 1755, we began to prepare for
building and in 3 years time the hall and
2 Choir houses for the srbrn & srs were fini-
shed and sundry houses and gardens bought.
The congregation encreased so fast that the
number of souls amounted at the
end of 1760 to 202. December the 10th 1758.
the congn was settled by brotherJohannes,
& the meeting hall concecrated. and In April
having been releas’d from my office
by brotherRisler, we sat out for Herrnhut
where wearrived after a difficult journey.
Thus far our late brother.

He stayed with his wife about a year in
Herrnhut from whence he was called to have
the care of the Congn at Dublin, where they
arrived in the som summer of of 1762, previous
to which they had brought their 3 sons to Cath-
, to be educated in the childrens Oecy.
In 1767 he was called to Bedford to be
the Minister and Congn helper in that Congn
It is sufficiently known from the reports of

that Congn with wat what unction and grace he
served it. In 1775 he was called to the Synod
at Barby and consecrated a Bishop
of the brethren’s Church. Before he returned
to Bedford he visited his children in Uper-
and Silivia and the Congn at Neu-
(where his former services are still remembe-
red with gratitude). He returned from thence
by way of Zeist to Bedford, where he arrived
dec the 12th. From that time his strength de-
cayed and he grew mostly blind. In 1779
he got a stroke of the palsy which lamed his
right side. about a year after he had another
attack of the same disorder which showed
plainly that he was mean his end. He
behaved himself under all these afflictions
as a servant of Christ and expressed his
joy at the prospect of being soon at home
with the Lord, in short he was in his
last illness an edificiation and blessing to

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all around him till he fell asleep in the
Lordseptr the 9th 1780 in the 66th year of
his age.

He lived 41 years in the married state and
has had 7 children, of which 2 sons and
one daughter are still alive.

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