Anna Maria Lawatsch (1712-1760)

The Personalia of our respected and much beloved
handmaid of the Lambs’ Anna Maria Lawatsch
(who departed in Bethlehem January 20, 1760).[1]
Our dr. Sr. Anna Maria Lawatschin was born
in Carlsdorf in Moravia the 17 of 1712.
Her fathers Tobias Demuth[2] and her mother Rosina
Tonnin.  Her father died when she was young
out of her own papers she writes as follows

In the year 1727 I was awakened by our dr Saviour
and began to speak with him of all the distreses
of my heart and he made my heart happy.
After I had felt my disobedience & prayd for
forgiveness I became a New Creature and I
was unspeakable happy.
In the Year 1728 When Br. Melchior Nitschman
visited Moravia & was put in prison in Eisen-
berg, our d.r Anna Maria’s mother & Eldest Sr. {Veronica}
was also put into prison, an account of which
She gives as follows:
I had the great happiness to serve my mother
and Geswister in prison & for his names sake
to suffer Stripes reproach & shame.  but my
heart was well and I felt his love & faith
fulness towards me.
In the year 1729 My Mother was set at liberty
and then we resolved she should go to Hernhut,
as she had a scruple to swear take an oath which She must have done if she staid in our
country.  and our dr. Savr. assur’d our hearts he
would not leave us but bring us safe to H.H.
In the year 1730 her uncle Cristopher Demuth came
to fetch her & her Sr.[3] & Two Brn.[4] and brought them
safe to H H the 1 of June ye same year.
1731[5] On New Years day she went the first time
to the holy C. and in the Same year she went
to visit some awaken Souls in Neukircken.[6]
1733 she was sent to Ebersdorf to care for Ignatius[7]
the present disciple of all ye single B.rn Choir as
his nurse and no doubt he had taken good notice
where she used to keep her hour of prayer &
he on his knees with her.
1734 she came back to H H. and had ye care of
Lenel and Maria Agnes Von Zinzendorf[8] with whom
she accompanied our dr. Mama to ye Roneberg
& Franckfort on the Mayne in y year 1736 & labourd
among ye single women there in blessing.
In the y. 1737 she was with the Disciples family
in Berlin at the time he preached y Sixteen
discourses their. & receivd a Vocation to be
Vice Eldress of the Single Srs in H H. and from
their she went to H. H. to enter upon her office.
In the year 1738 she went to Berlin & from thence to the Roneberg & Marienborn and
was married on the 14 of June by ye disciple to Br. Andreas Lawatsch and went ye same year to
Hernhuth where she was orphan mother and
afterwards Eldress of ye married Srs.
In the year 1740 the 7 of March she was Vice
Eldress of all congregations in ye room[9] of our
happy departed Sr. Leonhardin and went to
Marienborn and when ye discipless[10] was intending
/// for America she gave over to her ye office of General
Eldress of all our Congregations and went with
the pilgrim congregation to Geneva that not
to be forgotten blessed visit for Switzerland and
when the disciple went on his blessed journey to
America she had ye grace to go with them to
London and was present at that not to be forgoten
conference on y 16 of Sept. when the Lord became
our Elder.[11]
At the end of this month she returnd with our
dr departed Mama[12] to Holland and as General
Eldress resided in Herndyke and had y care
of our dr Mary Agnes Von Zinzendorf and other
Srs who lay particularly on her heart.
When ye disciples came from America in the year
1743 she with her husband followd them to the
Wetterau and to ye Synod at Hirshberg from whence
she visited Gnadec. Schlesin & Hernhuth &
then returnd to Marienborn.
In the year 1744 on the 17 of June she resign’d
ye office of General Eldress to ye disciples &
had the office of mother in all the Congregations and remaind in Marienborn & Hernhuth
untill y year of 1746 the 18 of Janary she deliverd over
ye office of mother to the disciples and from
thence to labour in ye married choir in Hernhut
and in the Year 1748 she was calld to Silesia from
thence in the year 1749 she went by way of Zeist
to y Convacation house in London.
In the year 1750 in July she followd the disciple
house to Germany & took on her ye care of the girls
/// Oconomy in Marienborn.  She was at the Synod at
Barby visited Ebersdorf and in the year 1751 she
went with her husband and other Geswister to
the disciple house at London.
In the year 1752 Month of March they were dispatchd
for Pensilvania & came to Bm. the 20 of May ye
same year.  Since that time she has lived mostly
in the Congregation had ye care of the Srs in general
and particular ye married Srs in Bm. & Nazareth
with great blessing has also made some short
visits in ye country Congregations.
In the year 1752 at the Synod in Oley.
In the year 1753 at the Synod in Lancaster and in the same year at y Synod in Heydelberg.
Anno 1755 in Jan. at the Synod at Bethel &
in ye month of August at the synod in Warwick
and in Novbr. she made her last visit in Gnadenhutten
and as we heard afterwards it was just at that
time ye Indians intended to destroy ye place as
they did a few days after & {but}  she returnd safe to us again in Bm.
Anno 1756 in June she was in Warwick when
Lititz was laid out for a town.
In the year 1757 before Easter she as in New York
and in the fall she went with a company of
married Geswister to Wachovia staid there
all winter and returnd in May 1758 to Bm.
Her last Pilgrimage was to Philadelphia last
September in Company of her husband Geswister
Böhlers & Anna Rosel.  There she staid several
days & was particularly chearful among ye
/// Srs. there among ye them she had a visit of one that
she knew in franckfort in the Year 1736 when single
as also in Germantown she spoke to one that was
in the single Srs. house in Hernhuth.  She was
married 21 years has had 4 Children one of which
viz Anna Mary in the children Oconomy at Hernhut.
Concerning her last hours the following things
are to be remarkd.
The last year in January she began to complain
and she seemd consumptive which gave us some
concerns but in Summer she grew better so
that in the fall she was quite brisk.  She visited
Nain & Nazareth in ye middle of Novbr. and was [with]
the harvest love feast well pleased.  in the begining
of Dec she got a bad cough and must take care
of getting more cold but about New Year acc???
ing to appearance quite well that none expected
she would go home so soon but she was not
without thoughts of going home & sometimes
spoke of it as when the festival on New Year
was Celebrated in the evening by the cup of
blessing[13] she servd the Srs. the next day a Sr. sd.
to her I was very glad to see you on the hall
again & to Serve to which she answerd It was
so in my heart once more as a handmaid of
the Lord to serve and as the Sr. sd. O you’l
serve yet many times She answered nothing
from that time she was particularly chearful
and kept all her bands with particular grace
/// as if she at last would make an eternal covenant
with her Srs.
On the 12 of January came our boys and youths
from Christiansbrun to Bm. to their festival which
was kept ye 13 and the labourers made those boys
that had Srs in Bm the pleasure to see each other.
She beheld with great satisfaction.  And in the
evening she was with ye Single Srs. at ye cup of thanks-
giving[14]to Anna Johanna’s birthday[15]  and was
much pleased with the Liturgy they kept of
ye bridegroom & his bride.
On the 13 about 4 o’Clock after dinner she was
taken with violent reaching so that She was
not able to be at the Liturgy.  Her first thought
were this sickness would take her home.
On the 14 she spoke to the Geswister about speaking
the Geswister to the Comunion in Bm. and Nazaº..º
and she continued sick & waiting to see what
our Savr. would do with her.
On ye 15 early she took opportunity to speak with
Sr. Bohler & to take leave.  She sd. it may be that
I shall quickly go away we have labourd a
long time together it went near to Sr. Böhler
and she sd. with concern You have desird of our
Savr. that he should take you home.  Our dr. Sr.
Anna Maria answerd No be asured I have not
but New Years day was a particular day to me.
He will soon appear to me but when I cannot
tell.  Sr. Böhler askd her with grief do you think
you can leave us at this time she sd. yes if it
/// pleases him and as Sr. Böhler could not speak for
weeping she sd. be quite satisfied He will do with
me as it pleases him  You must comfort that Srs.
and our Savr. will comfort You.
About noon she got up & spoke with her sick waiters
Sr. Smickin & Husseyin how she would things
orderd in her sickness and had thoughts of
writing her life but was hindred through
weakness.  In the afternoon Sr. Anna Rosel came
to see her  she sd. directly to Anna Rosel, you’l dress
me quite neat if I go home  Anna Rosel would
put it away and perswade her out of but she
sd. wont it be pretty if I should be ye first bride
dont you remember on Anna Johanna’s birth-
day and what pretty verses were sung I thought
then We are all going to meet him.  I dont know
certainly I shall go home but if I do then sing
for me When my mouth pallid grows etc.[16]  Br.
Schmick can play on the Zitter & you also how
pretty will it sound and also she spoke with her
sick waiters about ye care of her corpse.
In the evening Br. Petrus[17] visited her & sd. to her she
should not be so set on going home.  she knew
well that by reason of so many labours & so few
labourers we hardly could turn ourselves.
she answerd I cant say to our Savr. he shall not take
me but if he pleases to leave me here I shall also
be satisfied to help with you to carry on the work
of our Savr.  when Sr. Böhler came to her again
she was very loving to her kised her often & sd
you are quite satisfied with what our dr. Lord does
/// with me you know we are his & you must comfort
your good Petrus.

The 16 she spoke but little for {being}  weakness yet one could
percieve her longing to be with the Lord by the
converse[18] with him and the tears of love which
rolld down her cheeks.
The 17 early she sd. to Sr. Hussey O what a heavenly
musick have I heard this night as if a host
of musiciners had playd such music I never
heard before  about noon she took three times tender
farewell of her husband  In her very great pain
her comfort was the pain and sufferings of the
dr. Savr.  After dinner She sd. as her husband stood by,
I shall go home  In the night she sung many times,
Thy weakliness and Sickliness[19].  Bone of my bone my bone[20]
my Brother thou friendly countenance etc.
Sr. Smickin ask her dr. Anna Mary will you go
from us.  not before my Lord pleases.  He has num-
berd all my days in his book  He has ye door in
his hand when he opens it and calls me then
I’ll go with joy into his arms.  my heart is well
only my body is sick & weak.  O what is Man!
a piece of dust a worm yea nothing.  O how do I
thank my dr. Lord  and Savr. that I am his, since
his blood has overstreamd my heart I am quite
taken up with him.  She then Sung Thy hard pain
and agony O Lord Jesus comfort me[21] & Bone of
my bone my Brother etc. and repeated them
many times singing & praying.
/// After a while she calld loud my spouse, my
spouse.[22]  Smickin askd her who she meant She
sd our Savr. dont you see him how pleasant he
looks on me  there is but a small space between
him and me to go through but he knows how
to bring me to him  then she dosed a little &
waked up again.  She sd. Shant I see my dr. hearts
Spangenbergin, Hehlin, Grubin, & Yarrelin[23]
no more here so embrace them tenderly from
me & tell them from me We give each other
the hand and travel together to the heavenly
land, we have done it many times before now
but now we’ll renew it dont forget it  then
She slept a little and when she awoke She sd.
another thing remember Salute from me the
Indians in Nain & tell them I am glad that
I have seen them & spoke with them on their
festival  I love them and they love me tell
them <they> to go on in the grace of our Savr. and
then they’l go happy to him as I do dont
forget it she then sung Untill I expire in his arms etc.[24]
and sd. that parting O what a moment is that
If the heart is happy yet we then feel how much
we love each other  When I depart I go direct
to my Savrs. heart.
On the 18 It seems plain that her time here would
not be long and Br. Petrus took an opportunity
to speak with her and to take leave.  She was
quite chearful & happy and desired of him that
/// after her departure to Salute the disciple tenderly
from her and to acquaint them that she departed
chearful as a poor redeemd sinner heart.
She also desired of to salute from her the
disciples. Johannes & Benigna,[25] Anna Johanna,[26]
Joseph & Martha,[27] Mattheus & Anna Maria.[28]
Afterwards when Sr. Böhler came to her she sd.
Thy dr. Petrus, he has been here & wept much
but I cant help it our Savr comfort him &
askd if all were spoke with,  Sr. Böhler kissd
her hand in the name of all the Srs.  it went near
her & she sd.  The Savr. will be your comfort what
he does is well done, he’ll make all things
easy to you.
She ask what the watchword was and desired
they would keep ye Fryday liturgy.  O head so full
bruises[29] might be kept with her which was
done in the evening  She sung with them and sd.
O How sweet how sweet my Spouse my Savr. my only
heart I am thine and thou art mine.
She rememberd that tomorrow would be the holy
communion and sd. the great Sabbath O what a
Comunion how sweet will it tast to me  Br. Petrus
will administer it to me and you will partake
with me his body torn with many a Wound will
make us one after another quite well  she sd. to Sr.
Böhler come kiss me once more and love me much
and so she spent her time in thinking of and blessing
her plan and contemplating on ye people of the
/// Savr and the God of her Brn and Srs and of the coming
of her dr. bridegroom.
The 19 she had continual converse with her friend
comforted her self with his weakness and sickliness
Spoke with her[30] of several affairs alone and sd.
presently after God be praised I am comforted.  The
Lord will help his people and my bleeding heart
will have a beautiful daughter at the same
time was to be read in her countenance her attached
heart to her beloved Bridegroom.
Just before ye Comunion opportunities Br. Petrus
visited her and sd. they were going on the hall
to the Absolution.  She was very glad to hear it &
sd The Lord bless your comunion with a particular
feeling, She sd to her husband to morrow I shall
partake.  In the evening she would fain have slept
but by reason of her great pain she could not
she desired they would give her something to take
and when she took it she sd. I shan’t shut my eyes
much more here but in less than 24 hours I
shall open them in eternity.  While ye comunion
was she was so weak that they thought she
would soon go but she came to again and after
Br. Petrus came to her and discoursed & sung a
verse she went to sleep.  her husband staid with her
the whole night which she liked much.  Sr. Anna
Lena who sat up with her Saluted & sd. Dr. Anna
Mary will you go and leave us, she answerd yes with
a pleased countenance.
On the 20 early at 4 o’Clock Br. Lawatsch sent for
/// Geswister Böhlers expecting she would soon depart
when they came she knew them and spoke to them
and when Br. Petrus began to keep liturgy she sang
the verses with him in the first person what they
sung in the third person when Br. Petrus
saluted her from Nathaniel and Christian Henrich
and ye other Brn. and Srs. in Jamacai of whom
he had just recd. letters she answerd its well
I love them salute them from me again I have
nothing against any one I love every one but
my beloved above all.  He is the fairest among
the children of men.  then Br. Petrus continued
the liturgy with a heavenly feeling of grace the
Zittar was playd at ye Words that sure heart keeps
me ever untill his face I see[31]  she sd. O my friend
where dost thou tarry come quickly and anoint
me with the oil of joy with which thou hast
anointed me and thy people.  Come give me
the last kiss.
Towards day she askd if they were willing to let
her go and when her husband answerd her
she sd. to them farewell.  She knew them all and
missd Gottleib[32] and Anna Rosel and when they came
she sd. let me go to my dearest freind whom I love
above all.  Father & mother & dearest spouse
take ye honour of my plan  after a while she
desired something to drink which her husband
gave to her  she sd. it tasts good but its not the com-
munion by which one could see her longing
after the Comunion as she sd. yesterday and when
her husband sd. to her you shall enjoy it today
/// Will you partake with me now she answerd him
with a friendly yes which Br. Petrus gave them
with a particular liturgy and feeling of grace.
O with what eagerness did she eat his flesh &
drink his blood those that were with her had
the grace to partake with her and then she
took a tender farewell of them all and then she
took leave of her husband and desired him to give
her the parting blessing and Geswister Böhlers she
desired to impart the blessing of the Choir & congre-
gation tho she was not just departing yet Br.
Lawatsch did not deny her request while it seemd
as if she desired to be present with her understand-
ing at her blessing  Br. Peter sang Pale lips kiss
her on the heart, The honey from his mouth etc.[33]
After this she took leave of her nurses and thankd
them for all their love and care and blesd them.
She desired Geswister Böhlers in a {tender}  particular man-
ner to salute from her all the Brn. and Srs. & children
in Bm. & Nazareth in Wachau in the Country congre-
gations in Europe but particularly ye married
Choir in Bm. and Br. Gottlieb & Anna Rosel  she
desired to salute their Quires this her farewell
was very affecting to all about her that they
shed many tears but the unspeakable feeling
the nearness of her and our bridegroom and the
tender cleaving & desire soon to be with him
was a blessing to all about her and made an im-
presion not easy to be forgotten.  After the Post
Comunion several Brn. and Srs. desired to see her
/// They came to her bedside one after another she
knew them and reach out her hand and bid
them adieu or blesd them or desired the Srs.
to salute their husbands from her or some such
thing  this lasted till about one o’Clock from
then she lay still and Br. Petrus continued in
her departing liturgy with the following verses.
When my mouth shall pallid grow etc.[34] While
this bride heart in his due time expires in his arms etc.[35]
So go to him as Mary Magdalen etc.  Hush stir not
up the friend of christ wake not they happy bride etc.[36]  She knew every one almost to the last after she could see no more about 10 minutes before her
departure she made a token when he askd her if she
could hear the singing and if they should sing any
more, when Br. Petrus began the verse Ave my dearest
spouse[37] we percieved her departure drew near.  Br.
Petrus fulfild her desire and imparted the Quire &
Congregation blessing with unspeakable feeling
and sang Thou patient at the healing pond go now
into healths happy realms etc.  So greet from us
most tenderly the Savrs. happy bride etc.  Sleep dearest
heart, sleep happily thou bride in sweetest dreams etc
Go then reside within his joy blush at thy self eternaly etc.
Wait our coming into bliss etc.[38]  then was the churches
blessing and as he sang Friede ye last time she
was already with her bridegroom at home
about half an hour after 3 P.M.  So was the end of
this worthy handmaid of the Lord who with her
/// Broken countenance still witnessd that she believd
and a real impresion of the truths of God that
we are are created to sleep in his embraces that
she went to him with joy having been in this
dying life 47 years 2 months and 3 days
her memory is blessed. Amen.

[1] This is a transcription of the English memoir of Anna Maria Lawatsch.  A version in German is to be found in Bethlehem Diary 21, p. 63-106.  The version in the Bethlehem Diary appends appends a transcription of the funeral service and also includes the names of the people mentioned in her memoir.

[2] unrecovered cancelled matter

[3] Rosina Demuth, later Hinzin

[4] Joseph and Gottlieb Demuth

[5] 1732 in Bethlehem Diary

[6] Neukirchen, a Moravian preaching place in Upper Lusatia.

[7] ?

[8] Anna Theresa (1734-1738) and Maria Agnes (1735-?), Zinzendorf’s daughters.

[9]  German version reads “an der sel. Anna Leonhardin Stelle”

[10] German version gives “Jüngerin”, i.e. Anna Nitschmann

[11] Synodal conference held at Red Lion Street, London, September 11-23, 1741.  Ten prominent members of the Moravian church were selected to attend this conference:  Zinzendorf, his wife, Erdmuthe, their daughter Benigna, Leonhard Dober, Anna Maria Lawatsch, Friedrich de Watteville, Rosina Nitschmann , David Nitschmann (Syndicus), Spangenberg and his wife Maria.  It was at this meeting that Christ was elected Chiref Elder of the Church after frequent referrals to the lot.  01

[12] Erdmuthe Zinzendorf

[13] “Bundeskelch”

[14] “Lobekelch”

[15] Piesch, (later Seidel), born January 12, 1726, General Eldress of the Single Sisters.

[16] “Wenn mein Mund wird erbleichen…”

[17] Peter Boehler, Bishop

[18] “Umgang”

[19] “Dein Ohnmacht und Schwächlichkeit”

[20] “Ach, Bein von meinem Beine…”

[21] “Deine Marter, Angst u. Stich, o HErr Jesu, trösten mich…”

[22] “Ach mein Mann, mein Mann!”

[23] Maria Spangenberg; wife of Bishop Matthew Hehl; Ann Yarrell, wife of Thomas Yarrell, from England.

[24] “Bis ich zu einer guten Zeit in seiner Arm und Schoos verscheid,”

[25] de Watteville, Zinzendorf’s daughter and son-in-law.

[26] Piesch, later Seidel

[27] Spangenberg

[28] ?

[29] “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden”

[30] “Mann” (husband) omitted in the English

[31] “Das Herze, das Gewisse, erhält uns bis zum sehn”

[32] Anna’s brother Gottlieb Demuth.

[33] “Blasse Lippen, küßt sie aufs Herz.  Der Honigseim von seinem Mund, der Glieder leztes Oel..”

[34] “Wenn mein Mund wird erbleichen”

[35] “Weil dis Brautherz zur guten Zeit in ihres Bräutigams Arm verscheidt, Bewegt sie keine Himmelsschäu von seinen Wunden wegzusehn.  Drauf wirst du zu Ihm gehn, wie Marie Magdalene…”

[36] “So reget Christi Freundin nicht, Weckt nicht die edle Seel…”

[37] “Ave mein lieber Mann…”

[38] “Du Seine Kranke am Seichen Teich, kommst jezo ins gesunde Reich, uns aber läßest Du noch hier, in diesem untern Creuz-Revier.  So grüße ehrerbieterlich von uns desBräutgams Sin—von dem Theil, der noch hin.  Schlaf liebes Herz, Schlaf selig nu, du Braut im süßen Traum–Marter-Raum.  Nun gehe hin, in seine Freud u. schäm dich dein in Ewigkeit, u. je höher dein Mann dich hebt, etc.  Wart unser in der Seligkeit.”


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