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atestimonyto

churchcommunity
thelifeandwritingsof
eberhardarnold



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Contents
introduction..................................................................v
resong......................................................................vii
eberhardarnoldslife&work......................................................1
apersonalwordbyeberhardarnold .........................................16
fromlecturesandwritingsofeberhardarnold............................19
fromeberhardarnoldsletters....................................................35
lettersfromfriends....................................................................39
songsandpoems ......................................................................54
introduction
The little stable in Bethlehem was the place where Gods love broke in. And the mysterious
men who came from the land of the rising sun followed the star and discovered the place
where the secret of love was laid in the manger of the animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes,
in the helplessness of a human baby. They discovered the place where Gods love broke in.
This is the most important thing for every man, that in his time, at his hour, he discov-
ers the breaking in of Gods love, and that then he follows the star which has fallen into
his heart. Let King Herod come then, with his threats, and drive those who follow the star
and who come to the star of love, from the country, indeed drive the divine Child himself
out of the countryit means nothing for those who follow the star.
And the angel of the Lord will protect the revelation of love in the midst of times of the
greatest hatred and of the heaviest darkness which has spread over the earth.
E b e r h a r d A r n o l d
with this witness to the power of Gods love, we want to introduce this
littlevolume.WebringitoutontheeightiethanniversaryofEberhardsbirth,
gladtobeabletosharethesewordsbyhim,byhiswifeEmmy,andbyhis
friends.Eberhardisourbelovedbrother,andwehopethatthroughthisbook
manymorecanbecomeacquaintedwithhim.
Intheserecentyearsespecially,wehaveseenagainandagainhowwehinder
andopposethatverylovewelongtoserveandthatEberhardserved.Itisan
overwhelmingandtenderwitnesstothewonderfulmysteryofunity,thatin
justthisrecognitionthatweareahindrancetoGodslove,wehavefeltcloser
vi introduction
toEberhardhimselfandtothelifeandtheSpirittowhichhegavehislifeas
witness.Ashiswitnesscomealiveforus,welongtoshareitwithothers.
T h e b r o t h e r s a n d s i s t e r s o f t h e B r u d e r h o f C o m m u n i t i e s
C h r i s t m a s 1 9 6 3
atestimonytochurchcommunity
resong
Radiancedescend!Radiancedescend!
Thou,Sunofallloveeternal,
Leteveryimpulseinfernal
Sinktothegrave!Sinktothegrave!
Fireconsume!Fireconsume!
AllthattoDeathisgiven,
Allthatwithenvyisriven,
Fireconsume!Fireconsume!
LightoftheHeights!LightoftheHeights!
Sunofall-glowingraysandbrightness,
Starsinunnumbered,countlesslightness,
LightoftheHeights!LightoftheHeights!
Breaktousnow!Breaktousnow!
Powerofeternalradianceglowing,
Pourforthinamingoodoerowing,
Surrendernow!Surrendernow!
Radianceonhigh!Radianceonhigh!
Thouresurrectedlife,giving
Touseternalpowerliving.
Radianceonhigh!Radianceonhigh!
S t r a h l e h e r a b ! E b e r h a r d a n d E m m y A r n o l d
E a s t e r 1 9 2 6
eberhardarnoldslife&work
b y e m m y a r n o l d
eberhardArnoldwasborninKonigsbergonthe26thofJuly1883.Hewas
thethirdsonofCarlFranklinArnold,whowasahighschoolteacheratthe
time.Hismother,ElizabethArnold,neeVoigt,camefromanoldfamilyof
scholars.Hispaternalgrandfather,FranklinLutherArnold,wasamissionary
ofEnglishandAmericandescent,andpastorofaPresbyterianChurchinthe
UnitedStates.
Eberhardhadabrotherandthreesisters.Whenhewasve,thefamilyleft
Konigsberg,sincehisfatherhadbeencalledtoBreslauasprofessorofChurch
history.Eberhardwasfullofwildideasandboyishprankswhichlefthimlittle
time for school. Because of all his mischief, he was not always in the good
gracesofhisteachersandhisclassmatesparents.Evenasachildheobjected
to social inequality and made friends with the very poor and with tramps.
He found more warm-heartedness and genuine humanity in them than in
middle-classpeople.Onceonvacationhewasstayingathisunclescountry
parsonage.Hewasstronglyimpressedbytheinwardreligiouswarmthofthis
man,particularlybecausehetookthepartofthepoorandoppressed,which
aroused the hostility of the rich members of his congregation. It was in his
uncleshousethatherstmetamemberoftheSalvationArmy.Thebrotherly
wayinwhichhisunclespokewiththismanwhileEberhardwastherewasa
powerfulimpulsetohiminthedirectionofagenuineChristianlove,which
2 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
showsitsstrengthpreciselyinloveoftheverypoor.SoEberhard,thensixteen
yearsold,experiencedaradicalinnerchange.Hetoldhisparentsandteachers
thathislifewasgoingtotakeacompletelydifferentdirectionfromthenon,
buttheydidnotunderstandhim.
Inhissearchforpeopleofkindredspirit,Eberhardmadeconnectionwith
anumberofgroupsthathadbeenstirredbyChrist.Agroupofotherstudents
gatheredaroundhim,seekingthroughBiblestudytondadeeperrealization
ofthewayofJesus.TheSalvationArmyhadmadeagreatimpressiononhim.
HewentwiththesedevotedpeopleintothedarkesthauntsofBreslauinthe
urgetofreemenfromdrinkandlth.Hewentwithoneheavydrinkertoand
fromworkeverymorningandevening,becausethewaywentpastabar.Pro-
foundlyshockedbythemiseryofthepoorinBreslausEastEnd,hefoundthe
sociallifeofhismiddle-classparentsincreasinglyhardtoendure.Thinkingof
themiseryofthepoor,herefusedtoattendacertainsocialfunctionbecause
hefounditwrongtospendsomuchmoneyinoneeveningtoentertainthe
well-to-do,whereuponhisfatherconnedhimtohisroom.Hisparentsby
nomeansconsentedtohisnewactivities,andcertainlynottohisattitudeon
thesocialquestion.
WhenEberhardhadnishedschool,hisparentsinsistedthathestudythe-
ology,althoughhisownopinionwasthathecouldbeofmoreservicetomen
asadoctor.InBreslau,Halle,andErlangen,hestudiedtheology,philosophy,
andeducationalmethod,concludinghisyearsattheuniversitywithadoctoral
dissertationonEarly Christian and Antichristian Elements in the Development
of Friederich Nietzsche. WhilehewasinHallehebecameintimatelyconnected
withtheGermanStudentChristianMovement,andworkedforseveralyears
inclosecooperationwithLudwigvonGerdtell.Bothofthemworkedinthe
midstoftherevivalistmovementwhichwasstirringsomanyspiritualseekers
atthetime.
it was during this time, in 1907, that we met. After some profound and
earnesttalkstogetheraboutthenatureofChristiandiscipleship,wewereen-
atestimonytochurchcommunity
3 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
gaged,thoughwehadknowneachotherforonlyafewdays.Fromthenon,we
wentourwaytogether.Weweremarriedin1909.Duringtherstyearsofour
marriage,Eberhardwasmuchsought-afterasalecturer.Hespokeinvarious
Germancities,suchasHalle,Leipzig,Berlin,Dresden,andHamburgabout
thecrucialproblemsofthetime.SomeofhissubjectswereEarlyChristian-
ity in the Present Day, Social Distress, Freedom for Every Man, The
DistressandEnslavementoftheMasses,Present-DayReligiousStruggles,
JesusasHeReallyWas,andNietzschesCriticismofChristianity.
ItwasthenthatEberhardsconictwiththeStateChurchbegan,broughton
chieybythequestionofbaptism.EberhardsawthattheChurchwasonthe
wrongfoundationbecauseofitsconnectionswiththeStateandwithproperty.
Thisrealizationmadeadecisivedifferencetoourlives.Eberhardwasbaptized
andlefttheStateChurch.Heconsequentlycouldnotacceptapostinit.Stimu-
latedbythewritingsoftheSwissreligioussocialistpastorHermannKutter,he
increasinglytookthepartoftheproletariatandallotheroppressedclasses.His
declaredattitudetotheworkingclassandtotheStateChurchresultedinnu-
merousdisputeswithhisparentsandwiththeChurchauthorities.
In1913Eberhardcontractedaseriousillnessofthelungsandlarynx,and
thereforeourlittlefamilymovedtothesouthernTyrol,wherewewereable
torentacottagenearBozen.Thistimegaveustheopportunityforthorough
meditationwhichledtodeeperclarity.ItwasthenthatEberhardwrotethe
rst chapters of the book Innerland and a series of important essays, such
asLovetoChrist,LovetotheBrothers,andThePoweroftheLifeof
Prayer.HealsomadeathoroughstudyofAnabaptisthistory;andgureslike
HansDenck,BalthasarHubmaier,andThomasMunzermadeagreatimpres-
sion on us during these months. At this time, it became increasingly clear
tousthatourlifehadtotakearadicalandactivedirection.Fromthistime
onward, my sister Else von Hollander lived with us, and took a very lively
shareineverythingthatconcernedus.WhileIwasverymuchtakenupwith
Eberhardandcaringforthechildren,shehelpedhiminhisscholarlyworkas
atestimonytochurchcommunity
4 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
hissecretary.Shewasoneofthosewhobegantoliveincommunitywithus,
andafterthatwasofgreathelptoEberharduntilherdeathin1932.
The FirstWorldWar broke out in 1914, while we were in the midst of
these inner experiences. Eberhard was drafted into the army and served for
several weeks as a driver in the Service Corps in eastern Germany. He was
soondischargedbecauseofhispoorhealth.Fromthenonhewasconstantly
preoccupiedbythemilitaryquestion,thoughittooksometimeforhimto
arriveataclearsolution.
ThenwelivedinHalleforawhile,until1915,whenEberhardwascalled
toBerlinasliterarydirectoroftheFurche-Verlag (FurrowPublishingHouse).
OurfamilystayedinBerlinuntil1920.Besidesitsperiodical,Die Furche, the
publishinghouseissuedaseriesofbooksandart-foliosfortheuseofprisoners
ofwar.Eberhardwasseverelyshockedbyhisfrequentvisitstohospitals,and
hegrewincreasinglyopposedtothewarspirit.
after1919wefoundacurrentofnewlifecomingtousfromallsides.At
Whitsun that year Eberhard spoke in Marburg to members of the German
StudentChristianMovement.Jesuswordscamealiveforthepeopleatthis
meeting,showingusintheSermonontheMounttheperfectlyclearsolution
totheproblemsofwarandsocialinjustice.
ErwinWissman,inreportingonthisWhitsunconferencein Die Furche,
wrote:ThefocusofallthatwassaidandthoughtwasJesusSermononthe
Mount.EberhardArnoldburneditintoourheartswithpassionatespiritual-
ity, hammered it into our wills with prophetic power and the tremendous
mobile force of his whole personality.This was the Sermon on the Mount
inthefullforceofitsimpact,initsabsoluteandundiminishedrelevance,its
unconditionalabsoluteness.Heretherewasnocompromise.Whoeverwants
tobelongtothisKingdom,mustgivehimselfwhollyandgothroughwithit
tothelast!TobeaChristianmeanstolivethelifeofChrist.Weareobligated
byaburningchallenge:therousingsummonstolove,andtheominous,He
atestimonytochurchcommunity
5 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
thattakestheswordshallperishbythesword.Thebeginningsofadecisive
spiritualrevolutiondependuponusitisuptoustodothedeedsofJesus
in His Spirit, to help men in body, in soul and spirit.This is the only way
weChristianscanfollowtodayasenvoysoftheKingdomofGodandasthe
vanguard of the only politics that is possible and necessarythe politics of
Christocracy.
ThisMarburgconferencewasthebeginning.Itwasherethatwesawthe
visionoffuturethings.Thefruitsofthisexperiencebecamemoreandmore
apparent,untiloutofthevisionlifeitselfgraduallyassumedanewform.
It began with discussions, when we held open house in Berlin. Often as
manyaseightyorahundredcame,peoplefromthemostvariousgroupings
of opinionmembers of the Youth Movement, workers, students, atheists,
evangelicals,anarchists,Quakers.Thequestionburninginusallwas,What
shall we do? The discussion centered around the Sermon on the Mount.
Everyoneknewthatlifehadtobechanged.Therehadtobeactionatlast!No
morewords!Wewanttoseeaction!
ThisradicalattitudeledtocontroversywiththedirectorsofDie Furche and
theGermanStudentChristianMovement.Invariousconferenceslikethosein
BadOeyenhausenandatSaarow,thestrugglewentonovercrucialquestions
suchas:WhatistheChristiansattitudetowarandrevolution?and,Cana
Christianbeasoldier?EberhardsanswerwasanemphaticNo.
Areportontheseconferencessays:EberhardArnoldwasgladtoadmitthe
necessityofpersonalrebirth,butsaidthattheethicofJesusshouldbepartof
everyevangelization.JesusdidrecognizethepoweroftheState,butcharacter-
izedtheKingdomofGodassomethingentirelydifferent.TheChristianrep-
resentsacontinualcorrectivewithintheState,anarousingofconscienceand
astrengtheningofthewillofjustice,aleaven,thatis,aforeignbodyinthe
senseofahighervalue.ButinsofarastheStateusesforce,theChristianmust
refusetocooperate.Hencehecannotbeasoldier,executioner,orpoliceman.
ItisourdutytotestifyinwordandactionthatnothinginthewordsofJesus
atestimonytochurchcommunity
6 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
maybedistorted.Thedemandisalwaysabsolute:WemustobeyGodrather
thanmen.Wefeelweareintheworldasacorrectivetothenorm.
Nownewwayshadtobefoundandtaken.Weansweredthecalloffriends
oftheNewWork,agroupofreligioussocialists,andthesummonstothe
originalChurchthatreachedusfromSchluchtern.Firstweandsomeofour
friendsproposedaWhitsuntideconferenceinSchluchtern.Abouttwohun-
dredpeople,mostofthemyoung,camefromallpartsofGermanywithan
urgetondananswertotheburningquestion,Whatshallwedo?Howcan
wendtruehumanity,truefreedom,andagenuinelydedicatedlife?Under
thestimulusofavisittotheFreeGermanYouthsettlement,Habersthof,we
realizedthatourwaywouldhavetobeoneofbrotherlycommunitylife.We
regardedprivatepropertyandpossessionsasoneofthemostevilrootsofwar
andallthewrongnessofhumanlife.
Butwheretobegin?Inthecity,orinthecountry?Whatisthebestwayto
relievethemiseryofthemasses?Theanswerourworking-classfriendsgave
was,Gointothecountry.Fromthestart,itwascleartousthatcommunity
lifewouldhavetobealifeofunityinfaith,andofcommunityofproperty
andworkinvoluntarypoverty.ParticularlythewritingsofGustavLandauer
turnedusinthisdirection.
inthesummerof1920werentedthreesmallroomsatthebackofaninn
inthevillageofSannerz,KriesSchluchtern.Nobodywasthinkingofstart-
ingacommunitywithanewphilosophyoflife;weonlywantedtoputinto
practice,togetherwithallwhowantedtocomeandhelp,thethingsthathad
becomecleartous.Atthetimewewereonlysevenadultsandvechildren.
Fromtheveryoutsetthelittlegroupwassoughtoutbymanyguestswhoso
oftenarrivedunexpectedthatweusedtorepeatthelines,Tenwereinvited,
twentyhavecome.Pourwaterinthesoup,andbidthemallwelcome.
Wehadmanydiscussionswithourguests,strugglingforclarityaboutthe
questionsthatconcernedusandthem.Thesewentfarintothenight,butof-
atestimonytochurchcommunity
eberhardarnoldslifeandwork 7
tenafterlivelydebateapowerfulexperienceoffellowshipwasgrantedus.
SomeextractsfromatalkbyEberhardArnold,TheEssenceofourDe-
velopment,giveagoodideaofwhatwasbeguninthosedays,notbyhuman
beings,andnotwilledinhumanstrengthbyindividuals.Itwasbegunand
establishedbytheSpirit,andthisistheonlyreasonithaslasted.
Theimportantthinginthebeginningofsuchacommunallifeis
theinnersituation,theinneratmosphere.TherstperiodatSan-
nerzwassurroundedbyaoodofspiritualmovement.Therewas
acertaindirectioninthewindthatlledthesailsofthedeparting
shipsandblewthemtowardaspecicdestination.Itwasasthough
thestreamofeventshadrushedinuponusfromoutsideandwas
seeking its culmination and crystallization, its vortex of force, in
ourcommunitylife.Itwaspossibleforapersontospendaweek
withusatSannerzwithoutseeingthepointofitatall.Butwhoever
reallyhadthevisionthatsawintothedepthsandcouldlookdeep
intomenshearts,inevitablyrealizedthatheretherewasaspiritual
missionoftheGospelandtheChurchofJesusChrist,amission
stationrightinthemiddleofaGermany,acentralEurope,thatwas
paganandyetunderthevisitationofGod.Amongallofus,among
thosewhocametousandthosewhowerealreadythere,theHoly
Spiritbroughtaboutthemutualityofourmeetingbeforetheface
ofGod.TheroomsinSannerzandattheRhnBruderhofinthe
earlydayswerelledbyapowerthatdidnotcomefromuswho
livedthere,norfromthosewhocametovisitus:itwasapowerthat
camefromGodandvisitedus.Thispowerwasaninvisibleuid
surrounding us. So we could understand Pentecost as the rush-
ingoftheSpiritthatsurroundedthewaitingChurchcommunity
with its visitation. In this wonderful mystery, community came
intobeing,forherenowillorwordthatwasmerelyourowncould
assertitself,neitherthewordofaso-calledleadernorthewordof
aso-calledopposition.Thevoicecomesoutofthecloud,andman
isstill.Butthisdoesnotatallmeanthatonlythosewhoconfess
Christ,whodeclarethattheyareconvertedandrebornChristians,
atestimonytochurchcommunity
eberhardarnoldslifeandwork 8
aretouchedbythecloud.Quitethecontraryisthecase.Wehave
seenithappenagainandagainthatthehiddenChristisrevealedin
menwhoinsisttheyhavenofaith.Christvisitsallmen,longbefore
theyhavefoundunitywithHim.WesensethatthelightofChrist
comestoallmenwhoarebornintothisworld.
In 1922 there were many changes. Many of our friends turned back to
the old life.They were disillusioned: they said that people today were too
individualistictobeabletogivethemselvesuptotheextentofbeingcapable
ofcommunityliving.Wefeltthesameincapabilityinourselves,butwehad
heardthechallengeofcommunitylifesodistinctlythat,forallourapprehen-
sion,weweredeterminedtogothroughwithit.Onlysevenventuredtobegin
again;alltherestwentaway.Objectively,thechiefreasonfortheseparation
wastheissueoffaithversuspurelyeconomicreasoning.Inatalkwithsomeof
ourguestslateron,Eberhardsaidofthistimeofcrisisandnewbeginning:
When the call rst came to us, we felt that the Spirit of Jesus Christ had
drivenusandchargedustoliveinfullcommunity,incommunalsolidar-
ity,withanopendoorandalovingheartforallpeople.ItwastheWordof
JesusChrist,therealityofHislifeandthefactofHisSpirit,thatgaveusthe
strengthtostartrmlyandcertainlyonthiswayandtokeeponthoughour
stepswereshortandfeeble.Whenwehadtraveledonlyashortwayonthis
path,timescameuponusthatputthispowertothetest,hostiletimesoftri-
al,whenfriendsweknewwellandwhomwehadgrowntolovedeeply,sud-
denlyreversedtheirpositionandbecameenemiesoftheway,becausethey
hadturnedawayfromfreedomandunity,becausetheywantedtogoback
intoordinarymiddle-classlife,tonormalprivatelifeandtheirownpocket-
book.Atthattime,themovementwasledintobondageagainthroughthe
middle-classinuencesofcapitalismanditsbusinessandprofessionallife.
Butthoughmostofourfriendsleftus,thoughwholegroupshaddeserted
theagofunityandfreedom,thoughwell-meaningfriendsmightyearnestly
adviseusthatthewayoffreedomandunitywouldleadustoalonelyand
ineffectualend,thatcouldnotchangeanything.Withourownchildrenand
thosewehadadopted,wehadtopushthroughtowardthegoal.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
9 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
Materially speaking, the new beginning was just as hard as the original
start two years previously. Full of gratitude and courage, though somewhat
hesitant,wesettowork.NowwewerelivinginalargerhouseatSannerzand
thesizeandtasksofthecommunityweregrowingslowly.Animportantpart
ofourworkduringtheseyearswaspublishing,togetherwiththeeducationof
underprivilegedchildren,whogrewupwithourownchildren.Thefarmand
gardenworkdevelopedgradually.
theplaceatSannerzwassoontoosmallandwelookedaroundforsomething
else. In 1926, with very little capital, we bought the Sparhof in the Fulda
district, a very poor and worked-out farm. It took some time to complete
themoveuntilwewerealltogetheragaintherein1927andcouldproceedto
buildupourcommunallife.Itwasquitedifferentwhenwehadaplacethat
belongedtothecommunityentirely.Wewantedeverythingwedidtosymbol-
izethedivineandtheevolvingChurch.Thechildrenscommunityasaninte-
gralpartofthewhole,thegardenandfarm,thebuilding,thecraftworkand
publishing,aswellasourworkwithguestsandwiththepoor,couldnowbe
reestablishedandexpanded,asfaraswehadtheabilityandstrengthtodoit.
Thefullresponsibilityforallpracticalandspiritualactivitywasborneby
thebrotherhoodwhichassignedtovariousmemberscertainspecicaspects
ofthework.Eberhardschieftaskduringthoseyearswastostimulate,deepen,
andclarifythelifeofthissocio-educationalcommunityofwork,asitwas
called,particularlyinthinkingthroughtheproblemsofthevariousdepart-
ments of work. Meanwhile the community was constantly growing. Young
peoplecameanddevotedthemselvesandalltheirenergiestothecauseand
thetasksfacingthewholecommunity.Itwasnotlongbeforetheycouldtake
overtheresponsibilityofdirectingcertainbranchesofthework.
DuringtheseyearswespentatSannerzandattheRhnBruderhof,Eber-
hardwasalsogivinglecturesinvariouscitiesinGermany,Austria,andSwit-
zerland,andtookanactivepartinconferencesoftheYouthMovementand
atestimonytochurchcommunity
10 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
ofpacistandothergroups.HisbookDie ersten Christen nach dem Tode der
Apostel (The Early Christians After the Death of the Apostles) appearedin1926.
ItwasanattempttoexpressthepoweroftheSpiritwhichhadanimatedthe
earlyChristianChurchandwhichhadplayedafundamentalpartinthebe-
ginningoftheBruderhofcommunity.Hededicatedthebooktohisparents,
grateful, in spite of the many disagreements and struggles he had had with
them,fortheinuencesofhishomeandforthegrowingunderstandingthey
showedastimewentonforthelifewehadchosen.
Eberhardtookaspecialinterestinthecareandeducationofthechildren,
havingaprofoundreverenceforthemandarealizationthatadultshavemuch
tolearnfromthem.Asateacher,heknewhowtoarousealivelyinterestin
thechildrenforthepastandpresenthistoryofmankindandinmanshopes
forthefuture.Botholdandyoungtookpartintheworkontheland,par-
ticularlyinsowingandharvesttime.Therewasplentyofworktodoandthe
times when the whole household worked together were an important part
of the communal experience, for us and for our guests.The day was spent
inworkandtheeveningindiscussionsinwhicheitherthewholehousehold
oronlythebrotherhoodtookpart.Wewentonhikestogetherandtriedto
ndcontactwithneighboringpeasant-farmers.Weusedtositunderthevil-
lagelimetree,singingandplayingfolksongs.Eberhardwouldreadastoryor
legend, the peasants brought us something to eat and were drawn into our
commonexperience.Occasionallywegaveplaysintheneighboringvillages
andtriedtopresentasimplemessage.Orelsewetooklongwalksbystarlight
andgatheredinthevaultedcellaroftheSteckelsburg,theancestralcastleof
UlrichvonHutten,andsataroundaroaringrewhileEberhardtoldusof
Huttenstimes:Itisadelighttobealive,thespiritsareawaking!Then
homeagaininthedarkness.
Sincethegroupkeptgrowingwewerealwaysbusybuilding,andmostly
without enough funds. Eberhard was extremely interested in the planning
of the houses. We wanted them to express the spirit that inspired us, with
atestimonytochurchcommunity
11 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
its characteristic simplicity. All took part in determining the way we built.
Modestyandsimplicity,butbrightcolors,likeGodscreationinallitsdiver-
sitythatwaswhatwewantedinourhouses.
Anotherthingwealwayslaidgreatstressonwascraftwork,especiallyartis-
ticcrafts.Thedesignforeverycandlestickorbowlthatourwoodturningshop
intendedtomakewascommunallyappraisedanddecided.Eberhardalways
saidthatpreciselythiskindofwork,initssimplicityofform,shouldtestifyto
thewaywefeltasacommunity.
Welateraddedaprintingshoptoourpublishinghouse.Eberhardempha-
sizedthebeautyoftheprintedpageandtheneatexecutionofsetting,print-
ing,andbinding.Theproducingofeachbookorarticle,evenofsomeletters,
wasamatterthatconcernedthewholecommunity.Duringcommunalwork,
forinstancesortingoutthepotatoes,manuscriptswerediscussedandproof
sheetsread.Inthiswaythemembersofthecommunitygainedathorough
knowledgeofthebooksofourSourceseries,suchasThe Early Christians,
Francis of Assisi, Novalis, Zinzendorf, andofotherpublicationslikethebook
Innenland whichwerevised.
Inthemorningswemetforasilentmeeting.Ourcommonmealtimeswere
asymbolforusofthecomingKingdomofjustice,love,andpeace.Ourfood
wasalwayssimple,oftenpoor,butweateitfromourearthenwarebowlsin
anatmosphereofdevotionalfellowshipinthewell-litdiningroomwithits
paneledwalls,itsgreentablescoveredwithredlinoleum,anditsseven-armed
candlestickinthecenter.
Onsummereveningsweoftengatheredunderthebigbeechtreeonthe
hilloverlookingthecommunity.Here,withourguestsandthosewhowere
working with us, we sought for the true inner liberation of the individual
fromhimself,fortruepeaceandthejustsociety.Thisoftendevelopedintoan
earnestdiscussionofthekindoflifethatrisesfromthepoweroftheloveof
Jesus.Werepeatedlywonthroughtoagenuineexperienceoffellowshipwhich
ledmanywhoweretheretoacommitmentoftheirwholelives.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
12 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
InourmeetingsEberhardstrovetogiveusavitalappreciationofthemost
importantspiritualmovementsofhistory.Forexample,weallstudiedtherise
ofQuakerismandtheAnabaptistmovementofthesixteenthcentury,giving
special attention to the origins of the Hutterian communities in Moravia.
Wesensedthatthesamespiritthathadledustogetherhadbeenatworkin
thismovement.Knowledgeofthethousandsofmartyrs,whohadsealedwith
theirdeathsthelivestheyhaddevotedtofollowingChrist,strengthenedour
faith,consciousaswewerethatwehadnotyetperseveredtotheend.When
welearnedthattherewerestillHutterianBruderhofcommunitiesinAmerica,
wecontactedthemandalivelycorrespondencefollowed.Wehadneverhad
anydesiretobeagrouponourownandhadalwayssoughtunitywithother
movementsandcommunitieswhichwereledbytheSpirit.In1930Eberhard
went to America and stayed almost a year with the Hutterians, visiting all
theircommunities.
InspiteofthefactthattheBrothers,whohadlivedincommunityforfour
hundredyears,haddifferentviewsaboutsomethings,whichwerethenand
stillareamatterofdiscussionbetweenus,wedecidedtojoinwiththem,since
theywereclosertotheearlyChristianChurchthananyothergroupsknown
tousatthattime.
WhenEberhardcamebackfromAmerica,anintensivetimeofspiritualand
numericalgrowthwasgiventous.ManynewpeoplefromSwitzerland,Eng-
land,Sweden,andGermanyjoinedus,includingsomefromvariousgroups
whichwereseekingunityjustaswewere.Duringthistimepeoplefromthe
WerkhofnearZurichandfromacommunitynotfarfromEisenachcameto
us.Duringtheyearsthatfollowed,othersimilargroupsjoinedus.
we had some sharp disputes in our discussions with the guests in those
days,becausethespiritofNationalSocialismhadbeguntospreadthrough
Germany.WhenHitlercametopowerin1933theprogressofourworkwas
stoppedandwesawallthemoreclearlyhowhostilethespiritofNationalSo-
atestimonytochurchcommunity
13 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
cialismwastoours.Thegovernmentissuedrestrictionswhichmadeourwork
inGermanyincreasinglydifcult.InNovember1933theBruderhofwastak-
enoverbytheGestapo,theS.S.,andthepolice,andourschoolwasclosed.
Wewererefusedpermissiontoreceiveguestsandoursocialworkandthesale
ofourbookswasmadepracticallyimpossible.Duringtheraideverymember,
inparticularEberhard,whowasinbedwithabrokenleg,wasexhaustively
questioned.Whenthedetachmentleft,theytookwiththemawholecarfull
ofbooksandpaperswhichtheyconscated.
WehadbeentoldthataStateschoolwithaNaziteacherwouldbesetup
at the Bruderhof.We decided, therefore, to take the school children, about
twentyinnumber,toSwitzerlandwithoutdelay.Whentheteachercamethere
werenochildrentobefound.Theyoungpeopleoverschoolagealsowentto
Switzerland.
EberhardandIwenttolookforanewplace,whichwefoundinthelittle
principality of Liechtenstein next to Switzerland. Here we rented an empty
summerhotelatSilumintheAlpsatanelevationofnearlyvethousandfeet.
Thiswasaventureinfaithsincewehadnomoneyatallwithwhichtotout
anewcommunity.Helpcamethough,justwhenweneededitmost.InMarch
1934thechildrenandyoungpeoplereachedLiechtensteinbyvariousroutes.
AfterseveralfamilieshadalsocomefromtheRhnBruderhof,wefounded
theAlmBruderhof.Duringthemonthsthatfollowed,EberhardandImade
frequenttripsbackandforthbetweenthetwosettlements,eachtimenever
knowingifwewouldreturn.Thoseweretimesofdangerwhenmanypeople
werebeingarrestedandthrownintoconcentrationcamps.
Germanywasarming.Inthespringof1935wewerefacedwiththedifcult
questionofwhethertheyoungmenofthecommunitywhowereeligible for
militaryserviceshouldstayinGermanyandwitnessagainstwarandthespirit
ofmilitarism,orapplytheirenergiestobuildingupthenewcommunityin
Liechtenstein.AftersomeprofoundconsiderationbythewholeBrotherhood
wesawthatourwitnessisnotmerelytherejectionofwarandinjustice,butto
atestimonytochurchcommunity
14 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
agreaterextentourlifesworkistobuildforpeace.Sotheyoungmenwent
totheAlmBruderhofwhichsoonhadgrowntoahundredpeople,children
andadults.Thenumbersoonincreasedbyaninuxofnewmembersfrom
England.EberhardhadmadeatriptoHollandandEnglandinthespringof
1935,givingtalks,and,incidentally,investigatingthepossibilityofabetter
locationforsettlementinEnglandincasetheAlmshouldturnouttobeonly
atemporaryhome.
OnlytheSwiss,English,andSwedishmembers,withveryfewGermans,
stayedinGermanyafterthat,anddifcultiesmultiplied.
inthemidstofthissituation,whenthecommunitywaslivinginastateof
inorganicseparationimposedfromwithoutbypoliticalconditions,Eberhard
hadtosubmittoasurgicaloperationontheadviceofamedicalfriend.Itwas
hopedthattheoperationwouldhelphisbrokenlegtoheal.Afterthisopera-
tionhediedquitesuddenlyintheElizabethHospitalinDarmstadtonNo-
vember22,1935.Tothelastheborewitnesstothewayanddirectionwhich
mustbedemonstratedtothewholeworld,todayasthen:thebrotherlylifein
peaceandjustice.
Afewdaysbeforehisdeath,EberhardArnoldwrotethefollowing:
AllBruderhofmembersmustbewonforthegreatnessofourcause.Wehave
stillnotarrivedatarealmissionaryactivity;itisbecomingevermoreurgent
toaskforit.
The most important thing of all is the faith in Gods greatness, in the
supercosmicsignicanceofJesusandthefutureoftheuniversalKingdom
oftheSpirit.Thisisthecontextinwhichrepentance,forgiveness,faith,cer-
tainty,personaldedication,andalltherestbelong,andnowhereelse.
From the standpoint of this greatness, we should always answer move-
mentsofthetimeswithoutbeinginfectedbythem.
MyheartfeltwishforourfutureisthattheBruderhofcommunitiesnever
grow narrow and intolerant toward young people but should always help
themndtoajoyfulnewbeginningoftruelife.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
15 eberhardarnoldslifeandwork
GodandHisKingdomarethemostsignicantfactsforeverythingthat
hassignicance.GodandHiswillhavesuchgreatmeaningforeverything
thatnothingelse,nomatterhowgreatitssignicance,canstandcomparison
withit,andyeteverythingelsendsitstruemeaningforthersttimeinthis
light.Howsmallisthelifeoftheindividualinitself;howsmall[is]thefam-
ilylifeaman,hiswife,andtheirchildren;howsmallisthecircleoffriends
bound to us by personal sympathy; and nally, how small [is] the whole
Sparhof[formernameoftheRhnBruderhof ]withallitslittlepeople.But
howgreatareGodandHisKingdom!Howgreatisthishistoricalhourof
worldcrisis,worlddistressandworldcatastrophe;howmuchgreaterstillis
GodshourofjudgmentoftheworldandtheChrist-hourofliberationthat
iscoming!Howburningourdesireshouldbetoknowallthesethingsmore
andmoredeeplyandtoshareinthem;howferventlyweshouldexpectand
longforthedayitself,thecomingdaythatwillbringfreedomandunity!
atestimonytochurchcommunity
apersonalwordby
eberhardarnold
s p o k e n o n t h e o c c a s i o n o f h i s f i f t i e t h b i r t h d a y
J u l y 2 6 , 1 9 3 3
onthisdayIhavebeenespeciallyconsciousofmylackofabilityandofhow
unsuitedmyownnatureistotheworkIhavebeengiven,rememberinghow
GodcalledmewhenIwasonlysixteenyearsoldandhowIhavestoodinHis
way,withtheresultthatsomuchofwhatGodmusthavewantedtodobyHis
instrumentshasnotbeenpossible.ItremainsamiraclethatHisworkofthe
ChurchcommunityandtheHolySpiritisneverthelessrevealedandmightily
testiedto,inusfeeblehumanbeingsnotthroughourmerits,butbecause
weareacceptedtimeandtimeagainthroughthegraceofJesusChristandthe
forgivenessofsins.
IhavehadtothinkoftheShepherdofHermas,howhedescribesthebuild-
ingofthegreatandmightytempleofmarble,andhowhekeepsreferringto
themanystonesthatmustbethrownaway.Theattemptismadetotthem
into the building, but if they cannot be used, even after their corners are
chippedawaybystern,sharpstrokesofthechisel,thentheymustbethrown
awayasfarawayaspossible.Buteventhestonesthatareusedmustbechis-
eledverysharplybeforetheytandcanbesetintothewall.Whenwelook
apersonalwordbyeberhardarnold 17
back on the years that Emmy and I have been seeking, so that the Church
communitymightbegathereditisamiraclethatwemaystilltakepartinit;
thisisonlypossiblethroughaninnitePowerthenwebecomeveryserious,
thinkingofthemanypeoplewhoforyearshavebeenintendingtoseekthis
way.Ihavereceivedalistofallthefriendswhofeltcalledtojoinusorbelieved
inthenecessityofenteringintotheworkofourcommonlife.Alotofthese
stonesthatseemedforawhiletobepossibilitieshavebeenthrownawayagain.
Thatisverypainful.Ittroublesandpainsmetothinkofallthesestonesthat
havebeenthrownawayandIwishthedaymightcomewhenoneoranother
ofthemwouldbetakenuponcemoretobechiseled.
Another thing concerns me very much: the powerlessness of man, even
ofmanwhohasbeenentrustedwithsometask.OnlyGodismighty;weare
completelypowerless.Evenfortheworkthathasbeengivenus,wearewholly
without power. We cannot t even one single stone into the Church com-
munity.Wecanprovidenoprotectionwhatsoeverforthecommunitywhenit
hasbeenbuiltup.Wecannotevendevoteanythingtothecausebyourown
power.We are completely without power. But I believe that just this is the
onlyreasonwhyGodhascalledusforthisservice:weknowwearepowerless.
Itisveryhardtogiveanaccountofortellhowithascomeaboutthatallofus,
especiallyweoldermembersoftheBrotherhood,knowwearesocompletely
powerless.Itishardtodescribehowallourownpowerisstrippedoffus,how
our own power has been dropped, dismantled, torn down, and put away.
WhatIshouldwishforouryoungerBrotherhoodmemberstooisthatthis
dismantlingoftheirownpowermightbecarriedouttoitsfullextent.Thatis
notattainedsoeasilyanddoesnothappenthroughasingleheroicdecision.
ItmustbedoneinusbyGod.Thisistherootofgrace:thedismantlingof
ourownpower.Onlytothedegreethatallourownpowerisdismantledwill
GodgooneffectingtheresultsofHisSpiritandtheconstructionofHiscause
throughus,inusandamongusnototherwise.Ifalittlepowerofourown
weretoriseupamongus,theSpiritandauthorityofGodwouldretreatinthe
atestimonytochurchcommunity
apersonalwordbyeberhardarnold 18
samemomentandtothecorrespondingdegree.Inmyestimationthatisthe
singlemostimportantinsightwithregardtotheKingdomofGod.Howit
actuallyhappensishardtosay.Itisashardtospeakofthisasitistospeakof
themysticSourceofallthings.TheonlythingthatcanbesaidisthattheHoly
Spiritproduceseffectsthataredeadlyfortheoldlifeandthatatthesametime
haveawakeningandrousingpowerforthenewlifewhichcomesfromChrist
andHisHolySpiritalone.
Let us use this day to give glory to God. Let us pledge to Him that all
ourownpowerwillremaindismantled,andwillkeeponbeingdismantled
amongus.Letuspledgethattheonlythingthatwillcountamonguswillbe
thepowerandauthorityofGodinJesusChristthroughtheHolySpirit;that
itwillneveragainbewethatcount,butthatGodalonewillruleandgovern
inChristandtheHolySpirit.Thatmeanswedeclareourdependenceupon
grace.Thisisthetestimonywearerequiredtogive.Everythingwehaveisthe
unmerited gift of God. God can give this unmerited gift only to people in
whomtheirownclaimsandspecialrightshavebeendismantled.Andforthis
reasonweacknowledgeandaskforthegracethatappearedinJesusChristand
thatcomestousintheHolySpirit.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
fromlecturesandwritingsof
eberhardarnold
thecharacteroflove
godsloveiseternalandimperishable.Itisthegreatestandnalrevelation
on our earth of Gods universe. Greed and vanity, possession and property
mustperishbecausetheyareworthlessfortheeternal.Eventhehighestgifts
oflanguage,knowledge,andprophecybelongtotimeandwillperishwithit.
Love,however,issimplylifeitself,lifeineverysense,fullandeverlastinglife.
HencethelovethatisAgape, incontrasttotheintrinsicallysickEros, bears
thecharacterofHimwholiterallypoursitoutoverus.Itknowsnoboundsof
spaceandtime.Itdestroysnothing.Itisthestrengthofunconquerableperse-
verance.Itissteadfastfaithfulnessandthereforeisequaltoeverytask.
Agape,asgenuinekindness,aloneknowswhatisrightforeachpersonin
everysituationbecauseitisfreeofthepassionatestirringofnakedEros,which
seeksbyallthewilesofjealousytowinortoholdwhatitsupposedlyloves.It
clothestheenergyofourloveinthedivinelightofinexpressiblepurity,which
canneverbeunseemlyoruglyandcanneverinjurethemodestyorsensitivity
ofthesoul.BeingGodslove,itisfreefromallinatedarrogance,fromall
pretense,fromallpresumptionforitsownadvantage.
Agape seeks and demands nothing for itself because it lives completely in
theobjectofitslove.Itknowsnothingofrights,foritsnatureistoabandon
andforgetthestandpointofrights,tonditshappinessingiving.Vanityand
20 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
envyarebeneathit,thereforeitcanneverbemadeharsh,neverbethrowninto
excitement,neverbeprovokedtobitterness.Agapeseestheessentialnatureand
potentialitiesoftheotherone;thusitdoesnottakeintoaccountwhatmaystill
beevilinhim.Yetithasnothingtodowithinjustice.Itconcentratesitsjoy
completelyonthereal,thegenuine,thetrueinthesouloftheotherperson.
Agapeseesthrougheverythingwhichstilldelaystheholycallingofasoul.
Ithasthestrengthtobeaprotection,toendureandwardoffalldangersthat
threaten to obstruct a persons destiny. It can do this because it is one with
faithandhope,becauseitiscompletelyinGod,becauseitlivesinthenal
fulllmentofmansfuture.Forthisreasonalone,itisabletostandrmevery-
whereandtoendureeverything.
J u l y 1 5 , 1 9 2 1
theoldcreationandthenew
thecreation,overpoweringlymightytothehumaneye,isthesublimespec-
tacleinwhichGodcomestomeetthelittleheartofman.Thechildlikeheart
oftheancientsneverconfusesGodwithnature.Butthechildlikemandoes
notexperiencethemightandgreatnessofGodapartfromnature.Hecannot
disregardthecreationwhenhestandsbeforetheCreator.Inthemysterious
interconnectionsofthecreatedworlds,thebelievingcreaturesensesthemight
of the Creator who gives greatness, life, coherence, and unity to everything
created.Themanwithasenseofawefeelsanultimatemysteryineverything
thatlives.HegrowsawarethatthelivingcreativeSpiritmustbegreaterthan
allcreatedlife.Manstandsamazedandawedbeforethetreeinthemightof
itslife,beforetheliving,bubblingspring,beneaththelife-givingraysofsun
andstars,andamidthefertilityoftheearthanditslife.Intoaheartshaken
andmovedbyallthistherefallsthedemandthataboveallthismightylife,the
greatGodofcreationmustruleinundisputedpower.
I n n e n l a n d , p . 1 8 4
atestimonytochurchcommunity
21 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
Whoever receives the Spirit of the new creation, which hastens on the end
ofalltime,receivestheeternalpowersoftheoneGod,whoformedtherst
creationinthesamespirit.ThefuturestrengthofGod,initsall-transform-
ingexpectationoftheend,livesastheSpiritofstrengthinthepresentaging
creation.Thenewdawnhasbeguninitalready.Everyonemustseeanew
creationisarising!ItsGospelismeantforeverycreature.
I n n e n l a n d , p . 3 8 3
ThismaterialworldisacreationoftheSpirit.Thecosmosisdestinedforthe
unityofspiritandmatter.Thedivisionthatmakesthespiritstruggleagainst
matterandmatteragainstthespiritiscontrarytonatureandopposedtothe
actualcharacterofthecreation.Forthisreasonthetimemustcomewhenthe
wholeofmatterstandsintheserviceofGodwithoutthepoisoningoflife,
withoutdeaththedestroyer.
ItwasJesuswhoassertedthisultimateandnalafrmationoflifeinHis
mission.HeproclaimedthatHeavenandearthmustbecomeone.Withthis
proclamation Jesus brings the true divine life down into practical, everyday
existence.Hisconcerniswithdailyandhourlylife.Hisconcernisthesoul
andhencethebodyaswell.
Theappointedtaskofman,sincetheprimevaloriginofhislife,wascon-
sideredtobethecultivationandkeepingofthegardenwhichhadbeengiven
tohim.ButeventhebelievingmanoftheOldTestamentsawthegarden
hasnotbeenkept;itscultivationhasbeendisturbedbytheEnemywhohas
sown weeds in it.The vigorous believer must rise all the higher out of the
depthofthisdisappointment.ThegardenmustbewonbackforGod.God
himselfwillconquerandruleit.Butmenmustbereadytoacceptthisruleof
God.TheKingdomofGodhasthesameearthlysound,thesameearth-color,
asthevanishedParadise.Sin,thedestroyer,whichhaskeptusfromrejoicing
fully in the earth, must be overcome. Not man, renewed by God, but the
EnemyofGodmustleavetheearth.
J e s u s u n d d e r Z u k u n f t s s t a a t , 1 9 1 9
atestimonytochurchcommunity
22 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
Let us pray fervently to God that our hearts, so moved now, might always
keepndingnewstimulationinthegoodthoughtsthatareGodsinthegreat-
estfacts;thatwemightthinkalongthegreatestlines,notintermsofconti-
nentsorplanetsonly,butintermsofthegreateststellarexpanses;notmerely
intermsofthecycleofyears,butintens,hundreds,andthousandsofyears;
inthedimensionsofGodsthoughts,inthegreatcurvesofGod.Thatshould
be our prayer, such an earnest one, because the events of recent times have
presenteduswiththisspecialchallenge.
Letusnotbeapettygenerationundertheimpactofgreatthings!Letus
growworthyofthefactthatwehavebeenentrustedwithagreattimeanda
greatvocation.
A d v e n t 1 9 3 4
theruleofthespirit
christ in you is the secret of life in unity with God for him who is led
throughlovefromthedeathofisolationintothelifeofcommunity.When
GodsSpiritdwellsinuswearereleasedfromalifecenteredinandaround
ourselves,andbornintoanewlifecenteredinandaroundGod.
Freedomisredemptionofthespirit,acallsummoningamanawayfrom
hisownlowlyanduglypath,tobereleasedandliftedupandawayfromthe
unspeakablyhardstruggleoftheheart,thestrugglebetweengoodandevil,
spiritandesh.Werealizeimmediatelythatthisfreedomcanneverbepro-
ducedbyexternalmeasures.Itcanbebroughtintobeingonlybythelawof
theSpiritandonlywhentheSpiritoftheLordrulesonthewholeearth.Since
Jesuscametotheearth,sinceHediedontheCrossandroseagainfromthe
grave,wenttotheFatherandsentusHisSpiritsincethattime,theKing-
domoftheSpirithasbeenpresenthereinthemidstofthecountryofman.
Weliveinthecountryofman,andwedonotwanttoleavethiscountryof
manaslongasGodwouldhaveushere.Butatthesametime,weknowweare
atestimonytochurchcommunity
23 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
citizensofaforeignKingdom,aKingdomoftheSpirit,and,inthemidstof
thecountryofman,werepresenttheholyinterestofourKingdom,towhich
webelonginbody,soulandspirit.
Thebeastinusmustbegoverned,andthebeastinusghtsagainsttherule
oftheSpirit.Thebeastinusisnotournaldestiny.Wecansensethatour
higherdestinypointstowardtheKingdomoftheSpiritandlongsfortherule
oftheSpirit.WemuststopandturnoureyesinwardsothattheinnerKing-
domcanbebuilt.Wemustrecognizethefactthatfreedomisnotthearbitrary
whimoftheisolatedsoul.Onlyloveisunitywitheternalfreedom.
Thoughtsmustbecomeactions!Itistimewerealizedatlastthatthoughts
arethegiants,andactionsaretheiroffspring.Fateisdecidedintheworldof
ourthoughts.Inouraspirationsandreectionswedecidemattersoftimeand
eternity.Thosethatareintheeshthinkofthingsoftheesh,butthosewho
areintheSpiritthinkofthethingsoftheSpirit.
As long as our mental life revolves about the axis of our own ego, the
magneticattractionofthisegodrawsusandholdsussothatwecannotbere-
leased;aslongasweareboundtoourownegotismwecannotbefreed.Only
whenthesoulcansuccessfullybereleasedfromthisthinkingandbrooding
about itself is there freedom, freedom of the Spirit. You have been dearly
bought,theSpiritcallstous,Donotbecometheslavesofmen.IfIwanted
topleasemenIwouldnotbeaservantofChrist.Themorewethinkabout
ourselves,themorewearecommittedtoothers.Thereisonlyonewaytoget
free from slavery and that is the liberation from self. Freedom in the Spirit
meansfreedomfromoneself.ThisfreedomhasitslifeinGod,inChrist.The
mindoftheSpiritisfreedom,becauseitsreectionsareonGod.
F r o m l e c t u r e s o n t h e e i g h t h c h a p t e r o f t h e E p i s t l e t o t h e
R o m a n s . 1 9 1 8
atestimonytochurchcommunity
24 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
peaceandjustice
thegraveguiltofthosewhohavecalledthemselvesChristiansisthattheyhave
restrictedChristianitytothesubjectivequestionofthesolitaryredemptionof
theindividual.ThatisthegrandiosemisunderstandingofthehistoricalJesus.
1 9 2 1
There is no reconciliation with God without reconciliation with all men.
ThereisnosubjectiveChristianityinthesenseofexclusiveattentiontoones
ownlittleindividualityinitsisolatedrelationshiptoitspersonalGod,because
thereisnosuchthingasanisolatedindividuality,andGoddoesnotseeaman
outofthecontextofhisrelationshiptoothermen.TobecomeaChristian,to
seeGod,toshareintheKingdomofGodthereforemeansatthesametime
mercytoall;itmeanshunger,unquenchablethirstforajusticethatincludes
everyone,forlovethatservesandfornonviolentdedication.
1 9 2 1
WhenJesussays,LoveGodaboveallthings,andaddsthattheothersay-
ing,Loveyourneighborasyourself,isequaltoit,heexpressesthefactthat
thesocialelementisequaltothereligious,andthatthereligiouselement,as
peoplecallit,isonlythengenuineifitisactiveinthesocialelement.
O c t o b e r 1 8 , 1 9 3 3
Withoutjusticethereisnopeace.Unlesstheearthslandisgivenbacktothe
poor,justiceremainslostonthestolenearth.
Peace belongs to all who do only good, in that they dedicate their all to
love,anditbelongstothemonly.
I n n e n l a n d , p . 2 1 9
Weknowthateventhediscardingofarmamentsstillcouldnotmeanareal
stateofpeaceintheworld.Weknowthatthiswouldnotmeantheovercoming
and abolition of hostility among men on this earth. Peace can mean only
onething:thatallhostilityisovercome,allhostilefeelingsstopped,allgaps
atestimonytochurchcommunity
25 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
bridged,allobstaclespushedaside,andallrestrictionsbrokendown.Where
cansuchhostilitybeovercome?Wherecanthestruggleofcompetitionand
theenviousstrifeofbusiness,andallhatredandenvy,beovercome?Wetestify
thatthesethingscanbeovercomeonlyinChrist.
1 9 1 7
When we speak of peace, we mean more than is commonly understood by
peaceofmindandtheinnercontentandsatisfactionoftheindividual.We
certainly do believe that community with Christ also puts a man in unity
withhimselfandwithinhimself,whereasbeforehehadbeenfullofconict.
ThewillofGodrevealsitselfasunity,downintothetiniestofworlds;butthe
peace we mean goes further. It is Gods will to unity, which, from spiritual
unity,bringsallrelationships,allmaterialthingsandallactionsintotheunity
oftheKingdomofGod.
J a n u a r y 1 3 , 1 9 3 3
InallareasofpersonalandpubliclifetheChurchcommunitymustofneces-
sityradiatethepeacemakingpoweroflove,thepowerofChristwhoisalive
withinit.
1 9 2 1
Uncleanspiritsarethereallymurderousspiritsthatgovernintheair.Andifall
warsweredoneawaywith,pacistswouldbeforcedtorealizethatthespirit
ofmurderisnotdoneawaywithsolongastheatmosphereinwhichmillions
liveislledwithimpurity.ThesamethingappliestoMammon.
J a n u a r y 8 , 1 9 3 5
BecauseJesushimselfradiatedinHisnaturetheorganicunityofallthechar-
acteristicsofthecomingKingdom,noonecantrytotearoneoftheprinciples
Heannouncedoutofitsorganicframeworkandsetitupasalawinitself.
Whoeversetsuppacistworkforpeace,orpurityofheart,oranysinglemoral
orpoliticaldemandforitselfalone,anddemandsandsetsupthenewcause
atestimonytochurchcommunity
26 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
from this standpoint, is on the wrong path.To be sure, without purity of
heart,withoutactivepeacemaking,therecanbenosharingintheKingdomof
God,butifthegoodtreeisnotplantedthegoodfruitcannotbegathered.If
thechangedoesnotextendtoallareas,itisalostcausetotrytofollowChrists
leadferventlyinone principle.
1 9 2 0
fromprivatepropertytocommunity
thepoisonousrootofprivatepropertyisdisintegration,deathandcorrup-
tion.Privatepropertyarisesthroughself-isolation,throughtheself-seekingof
thecovetouswill.Privatepropertybringsacursewithit:thereisalackofre-
lationshipofindividualsonetoanotherandoftheindividualwithGod,who
istherootofalllifeandbeing.Humanityliesinagony,onthevergeofdeath,
andthemostobvioussignofitsmortalsicknessisprivateproperty.
Privatepropertyistherootofmurder,thecauseofwarandthecutthroat
competitionofbusinesslife.Prostitutionandmarryingformoney,whichis
nodifferent,feedonit.Itisthecauseofdishonestyinbusinessandofevery
kindoflieinhumanrelationships.
Businessisbusiness,mensay,butwhenbusinessisfreetoformacodeof
conductpeculiartoitselfitmeansinfactthategotismandprivatepropertyare
framinganindependentcode.Ourentireeconomyisbasedongreed,onthe
protmotive,ortheindividualsurgetoself-preservationandhiscravingfor
greaterpower.Jesusoncesaid:IfthekingdomofSatanweredividedagainst
itself, it would have fallen long ago. For this reason our highly developed
capitalisteconomydoesnotfall,becausethedemonicforcesletloosebygreed
andtheprotmotiveworkhandinglovewitheachother.Theyallfollowthe
sameline.Thepossessorsthusbecomethepossessedpossessedofdemons.
Whenonesphereofmansactivityispermittedtoframeitsownlawsirrespec-
tiveofallotheraspectsoflife,itbecomesanidol,andmanisruledbydemons.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold 27
Lifeisrentapartandtornintoshreds.Thatisthecurseofourcentury,andwe
allfalldownandworshipsuchidols,especiallywheremoneyandeconomics
areconcerned.Defendingtheircollectiveegotism,mensay:Idontwantmy
property for myself, I want it for my wife and children. I dont in the least
wanttogotowartoprotectmyownpersonalproperty,butImgoingtoght
forall.Amanwholoveswifeandchildrenloveshisownesh.Notonlylove
foronesownfamily,butpreservationoftheclan,loyaltyoftribesmenorset-
tlersonetoanother,defenseofnationorstate,andstillmorecivilwarandwar
foronesowncasteorclass,iscollectiveegotism.
Letmespeakfrankly:Iopposenationalismandpatriotism;Iopposethe
classwaroftheproletariat;Iopposetheclassruleofthepropertyowners;and
inadditionIopposethelawsofinheritance.Iassertthategotismrearsitshead
whereverthereisanyquestionofprotectingcommoninterests.Iopposethe
partysystem.Thewholeofourpubliclifehasfallenunderthiscurse.Why
aretherearmedforces?Whyaretherelawcourts?Whyisthereamilitia?Un-
doubtedlytheyexistsimplyforthesakeofproperty,thatisolatedthingwhich
has become detached from all the rest, and which is doomed to death.We
mustbreakthroughthisatmosphereofimpendingdisaster.Wearelostaslong
asthemainfactorsinlifearemanscovetouswill,hisstruggleforexistence,
his selsh claims and his selsh rights and privileges.We have fallen into a
stateofdisintegration;wehavefallenfromGod.Thiscursethatliesoverus,
thisruinedlife,hasbecomeacommonplacefactthatwetakeforgranted.We
mustwakeupandheartheGospelwhichwillfreeusfromthecurseofthis
lifewithoutspiritandwithoutGod.
Letuslookatnatureasarelieffromtheseterrifyingpictures.Whatmain-
tainslifeinus,ournaturallife?Wearekeptalivebythesun,byair,bywater,
bytheearthanditsresources,byourownpowertodostrenuousphysicaland
intellectualworkandtotakeadvantageofnaturespotentialities.
Towhomwasthesungiven?Toeveryone.Itwasgiventoeveryone. Ifthere
isanyonethingthatmendohaveincommon,itisthisgiftofsunlight.But
atestimonytochurchcommunity
fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold 28
therearemenwholivetheirlifeintheshadows.Theymustbebroughtout
intothesunlight.
TheoldHutterianssayintheirwritings,Ifthesunwerenothungsohigh,
itwouldlongagohavebeenclaimedbyafewpeopleastheirprivateproperty,
tothedetrimentoftherestwhowouldthenseenothingofitatall.Thedesire
to own property, which takes for itself things which in no way belong to it,
wouldnotstopshortatthesun.Howisitwiththeair?Theairisalreadyinpart
acommercialproposition.Healthresortsdemandspecialcharges,andsotheair
isboughtandsold.Andwhatofwater?Whatofwaterpower?Whatoftheearth?
Isthereanyreasonwhytheearthshouldbeparceledoutintoprivatehands?Is
theearthessentiallydifferentfromthesun?No.Neithershouldtheearthbe
privateandpersonalproperty.Theearthbelongstothemenwholiveonit.God
intendeditforthem,buttodayitisheldbyprivateindividuals.
Whatisprivate?Whatdoesprivatemean?Aprivatebusiness,private
car, private property, private road? Privare means to steal. Stolen property,
then.Stolenfromwhom?FromGodandmankind,takenawayfromGods
creation!Theindividualhastakenholdofitforhimselforhasinheritedit,
whichisthesamething,andeachoneholdsfasttowhathehas.Thefactthat
propertyisacurseoughttobeplaintopeopleonnaturalgroundsalone,but
therehavetobepropheticspiritswhoputthefactsquiteclearlybeforemens
eyes.Godhasalwayssentsuchprophetstomen.Jesusisthefriendofman
andthereforetheenemyofprivateproperty.Jesuswantsmentohavetruelife.
Heattackstheurgetoself-preservationaspartandparcelofegotism.Oneof
PaulsletterstellsusthateverymanshouldbeofthesamemindasJesus.He
didnotclingtoprivilege.Hegaveupeverything.Hetookthelowestplace
amongmen.Hebecamenotonlythepoorestbutalsothelowestofmen,for
Hewasclassedasacriminal.HekeptnothingbackforHimself.Hehadno
moneyofHisown:Hiswanderingcommunityhadacommonpurse.Hesaid
quiteplainly:thosewhoobeytheurgetoself-preservationarelosttolife.He
whowouldkeephislifeshallloseit.Hewhodoesnotleaveallthathehasis
atestimonytochurchcommunity
29 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
notinharmonywithme.Noonewhostillholdsontopropertyisinharmony
withJesus.Sellallthatyouhaveandgiveitaway.Whoeverhasmorethanone
coatshouldgiveitaway;andifamanasksonehourofworkfromyou,give
twogiveyoursecondhouraway.Thesecondhourofworkisotherwisethe
sourceofprivateproperty.Ifallgoodgiftsshallonedaybelongtothewhole,to
GodandHisrule,justasthesundoesnowandtheearthwilldointhefuture,
thenassuredlyyourextrahoursworkbelongstoGodandtoallpeople.Donot
gatherpossessions.Letyourselfbefreedfromallrightsandprivileges.
EvenNietzschesaidthatJesusconfrontsthefalselifewithareallife.What
isthetruelifethatweshouldlead?Whatislife?Abodyisalivewhenallthe
organsfunctionasaconsciousunit,cooperatingwitheachotherandenabling
thebodytodoitswork.Lifeiscoherentunityinmovement.Lifepropagated
bylife,andonlyalivingthingcangivebirthtonewlife.Butlifeisinseparable
from unity, unity of will, of feeling and of thought, and cannot exist apart
fromit.Thelivingforcewithintheindividualdependsontheextenttowhich
humanityisunited;andhumanityisunitedonlytotheextentthatitisled
anddirectedbyacollectivesoul,bythespiritofcommunity,throughwhich
allsupportandworkforall.
If we want community we must want the spirit of community. For this
reasonIrejecttheso-calledCommunistsociety.Myfaithrestssolelyinthat
societyandcommunethathasfaithintheSpirit.InthisSpirittheChurch
community is unanimous and united, is rich in gifts and powers and nds
manywaysofexpressingthelifethatinspiresit.Wemustremember,however,
thatjustastheunityofthebodycannotbemaintainedwithoutsacrice,so
theunityofsuchafellowshipdemandssacriceifitistobemaintained.Ifthis
communitycouldendurewithoutanysacriceonthepartofitsmembers,it
wouldafterallbenothingbutthegraticationofself-will.Everyindividual
inthecommunitymustbepreparedtosacricehimselfandallhispowers,to
dedicatehiswholelife.
Thisistruelove:thatamanlaydownhislifeforhisbrothers.Ifwewant
atestimonytochurchcommunity
30 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
tosettoworkintheChurchcommunity,wemusthavefree,ready,andopen
hands.Thatistheonlywaytocomeintothefellowship,theonlywaytobe-
longtothespiritoftheChurchcommunity.Ifwegraspthismystery,wewill
understandthatthismessageistheafrmationoflife.Itisnorenunciationfor
thesakeofrenunciation,butliberationforthesakeofnewbirth:liberation
fromillusiontowinreality,anuprootingfromthenon-essentialtoreachthe
essential.Fireshallcomeuponthisearth,thereofholytorches,ofbeacon
resuponthehills,anetworkoforganiclivingcells.Allshallbeunitedatthe
communaltable,asguestsattheweddingfeast.
F r o m a l e c t u r e i n V i e n n a , 1 9 2 9
thewaytounity
usuallywhenpeoplespeakofinterpersonalrelationshipstheyspeakinterms
ofemotions,willandthought.Communityisfoundinanemotionalexperi-
ence,orinexertionofthewilltowardthesameobjective,or,nally,inintel-
lectualagreement.
Weshouldliketopointoutanentirelydifferentway,withoutmeaningto
depreciateordespisethethreewaysmentioned.Aslongaswearehumanbe-
ingswewillhavetouseallthreeofthem.
Wesaythereisacompletelydifferentwaythatcompriseseverythingreal
andessentialintheotherthreeandyethasanentirelydifferentcharacter.
Ifourdealingswithoneanotherinourgrouparelimitedtorelationships
onthehorizontalplane,ifweseekonlytheunitythatispossibleonourlevel,
thatisifwetrytondunityandunderstandingonlydirectlyfrommanto
manwecanspendbeautifulandinspiringhourstogether,thereisnoques-
tionofthat.Buttheexperiencecannotleaveuswithanythingfundamental
because,likecloudsthatdriftabouttheearth,weareleftsuspended.Wenei-
ther penetrate into the ultimate depth, nor are we really visited out of the
ultimate height.The bond between us may not continue to be merely one
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31 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
from man to man. So long as we know each other only in this way we re-
mainsuspended:wedonottakerootandcannotreallygrow.Butifthebond
between us arises in the vertical plane, from the depth up into the height,
thenthewholethingsuddenlybecomesdifferent.Thenwewillseeandknow,
tasteandlearnhowtheseendeavorsofwill,theseemotionalexperiencesare
subjectedtotheeffectsofalightandpowerthatburnseverythingwhichcan-
notendureinthereofeternaltruth,andigniteseverythingthatlongstobe
ameandlight.Prayerandinwardopennessfortruecommunityrisesupward
likeaame.Ourheartshavehandsandarmsofamestretchedupwardto
askthatthisaltarameofsacricialre,thisameofyearningandlonging
befullledbythelightningfromabove,bytherethatcomesfromheaven.
Theameoflongingfrombelowtowardtheheightjoinswiththedescending
lightningofthehighestame,andthuseverythingthatissooty,smoky,and
darkinourameispuried.Becausewendourrstrealfulllmentinthe
amefromtheotherworld,wecansaythatitisnotenoughforustond
intellectual agreement in our opinions, it is not enough to realize that our
willsaredirectedtowardthesameobjective,nortorealizeacommon,mutual
emotionalexperienceinthecurrentsofourfeelings.Butwesenseratherthat
somethingelsemustcomeovertoustoliftusoffthispurelyhumanlevel,to
llthishumansphere,thishumanlevel,withthepowersofanentirelydiffer-
entworld.Justastheraysofthesunconstantlystreamontoourearth,asthe
lightningbringslightandredownfromthecloudsabove,anelementmust
burstintoourmidstwhichdoesnotoriginatefromus.Itdoesnotcomeeven
fromourhighestthoughts,endeavors,andfeelings,notevenfromtheholiest
partofourbeingnorfromournoblestspecialtraits.Itreallycomesoverus
andcannotcomefromus.
OnlythroughtheHolySpiritthatcomesoverusisitpossibletocreateaunit
ofconsciousnessthatbringsaboutatotalagreementofallourthoughts,powers
ofwill,andemotionalexperiences.Justasapersonisaunitofconsciousnessin
himself,thedescentofthisSpiritcreatesaunitofconsciousnessbetweenthose
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32 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
whoreceiveit.Theindividualpersonmeansnomorethanacellwhichbelongs
tothewholelivingorganismofthisoneconsciousunitoftheSpirit.
M a r c h 1 8 , 1 9 3 2
thechurchcommunity
theChurchcommunityisalivingbuilding.Thepeopleinitaretheliving
stones.Theselivingstoneshavenothingperfectinthemselves:theymustbe
hewnandtrimmedtotbetterandbetterintothebuilding.Yetthebuilding
isperfect.Thatisinfactthemysteryofthisbuilding,thatitslifedoesnotcon-
sistofitspartsbutoftheliving,all-comprehendingHolySpirit.Itisnotthat
thepartswhichhavebeencollectedrepresenttheunityofthebuildingnot
theagreementofopinions.Throughthettingtogetherofthesestones,spiri-
tuallydeadbynature,newlifeisarousedinthem,notoutofthevariousparts,
butoutoftheall-comprehending,unitingelement,theHolySpirit.
J u l y 3 0 , 1 9 3 3
Community can be compared with a loaf of bread. Seeds are scattered over
manyeldsandfarmlands.Thentheharvesttimecomes.Thegrainbrought
togetherintothegranaryisnotalwaysfromoneeldalone.Oftengrainfrom
manyeldsandfarmsisbakedtogetherinoneloafofbread.Inthesameway,
theChurchcommunityisgatheredtogetherfrommanynations,manydifferent
strataofsociety,fromdiverseoutlooksuponlife,andisbakedintooneloaf.
M a y 1 9 3 4
WhereChristrules,allpolitical,social,andeducationalproblems,allprob-
lemsinvolvingmankindasawholearereallysolved.Thisrealismoftheorigi-
nalChristiansissomethingthatveryfewpeopletodaycancomprehend.For
thisreasonthewordsofChristmustbegivenbodyintheChurchcommunity.
BecausemerewordsaboutGodsfuturegetnofartherthanpeoplesearsthese
days,someactionmustbetaken,somethingmustbecreatedandshapedthat
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33 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
noonecansimplypassby.Thisisembodimentandphysicalreality.Thepri-
mary element of this mystery is Christ. As Christ was in Mary, so He is in
thosewhohavefaithandwholove.Thecharacteroftheirattitudetolifeisthe
characterofGodsfuture.ThroughChrist,theKingdomofthefuturetakes
shape now in the Church community.That is the reason why this Church
livesincompletepeaceandjustice.Thisiswhyitcanshednobloodandtol-
eratenoprivateproperty.Thisiswhyiscannotlieortakeoaths.Thisiswhy
itcannottoleratethedestructionofvirginalpurity,orofthemarriagebond
betweentwopeopleinthecommunity.Thisisalsowhyitmustbefreeofall
conductdesignedtomagnifyman.
A u g u s t 3 , 1 9 3 4
ThevariousnationsmaintainembassiesinParis,Rome,Berlin,andelsewhere.
Thegroundonwhichtheembassybuildingstandsisinviolate.Therenoone
canbesubjectedtothelawsoftheStateinwhichtheambassadorisliving;
ontheembassygrounds,theonlyvalidlawisthelawofthecountrywhich
hasdispatchedtheembassy.ItispreciselythesamewiththeembassyofJesus
ChristthroughtheHolySpiritofHisChurchcommunity.Theonlyvalidlaw
hereisthelawoflifeofthenalKingdom.SincetheChurchcommunityof
Christhasbeenchargedwithsuchagreatembassy,itscommissionincludesall
men,withoutexception.Itmustreachallpeople.Allmenmustcomeunder
theinuenceofthetestimonytothetruththatisthenalgoalofhumanhis-
tory,thissameunityofChristwhichisshownintheembassyoftheChurch
ofChrist.
M a y 3 1 , 1 9 3 4
ThereisnolordinthisChurchcommunitybutChristandChristalone;there
isnoleaderbuttheonesingleHead,whoisJesusChrist.Weareallbroth-
erstogether.Weareallmembers,andweallserve.Wearelivingcells.What
governs in this Body through the power of the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ,
theSonoftheLivingGod.TheSonistheheartofGod,andsoJesusChrist
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34 fromlectures&writingsofeberhardarnold
brings the most intimate element of the Omnipotent God. Where there is
realChurchcommunity,Hebringstoexpressiontheall-inclusivenatureof
AlmightyGod.
J u l y 3 0 , 1 9 3 3
God does not work by only one method, paint in only one color, play in
onlyonekey,nordoesHemakeonlyonestartoshineontotheearth.Gods
mysteryistherichspectrumofcolorthatisgatheredtogetherinthepurityof
thesunswhitelight.Thesymphonicharmonyofallthestarsisbuiltupon
preciselytheirmanifoldvariety.Butallthisisgatheredtogetherandwillbe
gatheredtogetherattheendoftimeintheunityoftheKingdomofGod.
M a y 1 9 3 5
Ifcommunityceasestobehereforallmen,ifitisnolongercapableofconcern
forthedistressofthewholeworld,thenitslifehaslostitsreasonforexisting.
Nomanwhoputsuparealghtforpurity,forcommunityinhispeople,for
pacism,fortherevivalofthespecialcharacterofhisnation,orforanypoliti-
calidealorsocialreformcandosomerelyfromhisownmotivation.
M a y 1 9 3 5
The mission of spreading the truth and gathering those who have been
arousedisthetaskwhichhasbeengiventotheChurchcommunityfromthe
verybeginning.Groupsmustbesentouttoworkinhomesandinthestreets,
togivebrotherlyhelptoallinneedoffood,clothes,andhousing,toproclaim
thecomingEternalSociety.Webelievethatthroughourhavingbeenmoved
andshakenbyforcesoutoftheultimatedepths,theremustcometheinner
authoritywithoutwhichouractivityismeaninglessandineffective.
1 9 2 9
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fromeberhardarnolds
letters
youknowfromthehistoryofGodsChurchthattherehaveoftenbeensuch
communitiesasours,amongtheMoravianBrethren,intheKorntal,inthe
Baptizer communities and in those founded by Jean de Labadie, in Russia,
Palestine,andotherplaces.Theessentialconsiderationisnottheeconomic
form which the community idea has assumed. We are lled with the faith
thatthelivingSpiritofChristisoncemorepressingtowardtheformationin
ourtimeofnumeroussmallfocalpoints,wherethereisnotonlytheedify-
ingcommunityofacongregation,butrealcommunityoflife,ofproductive
workandvocation.Itistobetakenforgrantedthatthedecisivequestionis
theoneofthepeoplewhoformsuchacommunity.Certainlyweshallhave
toenduremanyhardexperiences.Andcertainlynotallwhocometouswill
wanttostaypermanently.Butwearecertainthatamongthosemembersof
theFreeGermanYouthMovementwhohavebeengrippedbyChrist,among
working-classpeoplewhofeelattractedbyHim,andamongthoseintheGer-
man Student Christian Movement and the Treubund whom Christ has set
free,wehavepeopleinwhomloveandthecommunityspiritwillovercome
alldisturbingandhinderinginstincts.
A p r i l 2 7 , 1 9 2 0
36 fromeberhardarnoldsletters
You know that we envisage the structure of our settlement in three work
groups.The rst and actually basic cell of the settlement is the agricultural
group.The second group is comprised of the skilled trades of masons, car-
penters,andartisans.Thethirdgroupconsistsofpeopleengagedinteaching,
writing,andpublishing,andotherintellectualactivity.Itgoeswithoutsaying
that the trade workers and those in the publishing house and educational
workwillwanttoworkintheeldstoo,asmuchaspossible.Intimeswhen
everybody is needed we shall lay everything aside and put ourselves com-
pletelyatthedisposalofthefarmasextrahands.Andviceversa,inslacktimes
forthefarmworkthewholegroupcanshareinthecurrentofourintellectual
exchange.Manycanbeprovidedwithasatisfyingactivityorapart-timeoc-
cupationinthiseld.
J u n e 9 , 1 9 2 0
Alargepartofthereligiousenergythathasawakenedingreatsectionsofour
youthiscertainlytobeattributedtoChristsworkinginsecret.ThereforeI
regardthisgrowthanddevelopmentwithjoyandthankfulness.Butanother
portion of it shows the work of demonic and pagan forces as well, and we
mustbeonourguard.Henceitisalwaysdecisivelysignicanttoustolivefor
andtestifyopenlytotheunadulteratedlivingChrist.
J u n e 4 , 1 9 2 0
Thetaskandmissionofourperiodicalandourpublishinghouseistopro-
claimlivingrenewal,tosummonpeopletotheactionsoftheSpiritofChrist,
tospreadthemindthatwasinJesusinthenationalandsocialdistressofthe
present day, to apply Christianity publicly, to testify to Gods action in the
history of our days. It is not a Church questionit is a religious question.
WhatwemustdoistogetdowntothedeepestlifeforcesofChristianityand
todemonstratethattheyareindispensableinthesolutionofcrucialproblems
incontemporaryculture.Withbreadthofvision,withenergeticdaring,our
publishing house must steer its course right into the torrent of present-day
atestimonytochurchcommunity
fromeberhardarnoldsletters 37
thought.Itsworkineldsthatareapparentlyreligiouslyneutralisthevery
thingwhichwillgainforusthoserelationshipsthatwillopennewgatesfor
ourgreatesttasksinlife.
O c t o b e r 1 9 2 0
Takecourage!Wemustnolongerseethelittlethings.Whatisgreatmustpos-
sessussomuchthatitengulfsandchangesthesmallthings.
Ihavecourageandjoyagainforourlife,thoughinthecertaintythatitwill
costagreatstruggle,butagloriousone.TheSpiritwillbevictoriousoverthe
esh.TheSpiritisstronger.Itoverpowersme,you,oneaftertheother.This
Spiritiscompassionandindependence,exibility.
Our life will not grow narrower, but broader; not more conned, but
boundless; not highly organized, but more uid; not pedantic, but bolder;
notmoresober,butenthusiastic;nottimid,butmoredaring;notmorehu-
man,butmorelledbyGod;notsadder,buthappier;notmoreincapable,
butmorecreative.AllthisisJesusandHisSpiritoffreedom.Hecomestous.
Soletusnotbeaggrievedbyanythingthathashappened,butforgetwherever
othershaveoffendedusjustasouroffencesneedtobeforgottenandletus
gointothefutureradiantwithjoy.Stayandwaituntilyouareenduedwith
powerfromonhigh.
W r i t t e n f r o m H o l l a n d a f t e r s o m e h a d f o r s a k e n t h e w a y o f
c o m m u n i t y l i f e , J u l y 2 0 , 1 9 2 2
How wonderfully the spirit of unity and the love of Christ and the power
oftheHolySpirithavecometousagain!MaytheFather,theSon,andthe
Spirit keep you and us in the unity of the Godhead. May His unchanging
lifeandworkingleadyouandustosteadinessandconstancy,sothatwere-
maininHimbecauseHeremainsinus!Howjoyfulandgratefulwearefor
thewonderfulleadingandguidanceoftheSpiritinthesepastweeks!Now,
through us, few and insignicant though we are, God holds two places for
His testimony in active and factual proof of His mission.We have suffered
defeatsintheclosingoftheschool,thediscontinuingoftheorphanshome,
atestimonytochurchcommunity
fromeberhardarnoldsletters 38
the closing of the community to guests, as well as our seriously threatened
economy.Butinspiteofthelossofthechildrenwelovedsomuch,inspite
ofunsettledeconomicquestions,thesedefeatsarenownotonlymadegood,
butasfaraswecanseewillbeleftfarbehindusafterafewmonthsthrough
anewspreadingoftheholycause.Itisofcoursetruethatwemustbeready
for more intense struggles. Our new beginning in Liechtenstein, involving
the necessity of seeking help for our very existence, will have its inevitable
consequences. Some effect must come from the fact that growing circles in
England,Holland,America,Austria,andSwitzerlandarebecomingawareof
thesignicanceoftrueChurchcommunitylife.Menproposedtocutusoff
sothatweshouldhavepracticallynoinuenceontheworldaroundus,but
throughtheseeventsGodhasdisposedthatthewiderworldtakesmorenotice
thaneverbeforeofwhatishappeningamongusthroughGod,andwillgoon
happening.Itlooksasthoughweareabouttoenteraperiodwhenthecom-
munitywillincreasesomuchastomakeallpreviousperiodsofgrowthsmall
incomparison.Morethanthis,adevelopmentofevengreatersignicancefor
thehistoryofourBrotherhoodseemstobecommencing,whenthepossibil-
ityandrealityoftruecommunitylifewillndinmanycountriesmuchmore
ofthestrongattentionitdeserves.Ithasbeenshownonceagainthatitisnot
ourcareandanxiety,howeverloyallyintended,thatcanprovidethebasisand
continuanceofourlife,butonlyfaith.Thismeans,ofcourse,thatwemust
beallthemorefaithfulinourstewardshipandremainfaithfulstewardsatall
times.
A f t e r t h e f o u n d i n g o f t h e A l m B r u d e r h o f , E a s t e r 1 9 3 4
atestimonytochurchcommunity
lettersfromfriends
recollectionsofeberhardarnold
ithasbeensaidofHudsonTaylor,thegreatmissionaryoftheChinaInland
Mission,thatasachildhewasasensitivelittleboywithalovingheart.The
sameappliestoEberhardArnoldschildhood.Ourfathercalledhimfondly
hisDavid,DavidbeingdescribedintheBibleasbeingruddy,aladwith
ne eyes, and a handsome appearance. We other four were all blond and
blue-eyed.Itwashisbigshiningeyesthatcaptivatedhismother.Hewasan
extremelycourageouslittlefellow,staunchinenduringpain,withagreatsense
ofhumorandahappyenterprisingspiritinourgamesoutsideinthegarden
orinthehouseinwintertime.Ofcourse,Icannotsaywhatwasgoingonin
thedepthsofhisheartduringtheseyearsofchildhood.Inourhouse,inwhich
astrongandlivingfearofGodruled,itwasjustnotthecustomtospeakof
onesreligiouslife.Icannotrecallthatourparentsevergaveusreligiousex-
hortations,andyeteveninchildhoodthesenseofbeingresponsibletoGod
forallouractionswasdeeplyimplantedinus.Thisweowetotheexampleof
ourfather,whosewholebeingwasactivelyinfusedbyaprofoundfearofGod
andaholyreverenceoftheBibleasGodsrevelation.
ButdidnottheveryfactthatGodandHisWordweretakensoseriously
leadinevitablytomuchunsatisedlonging?
PreconrmationlessonsandconrmationbroughtEberhardnothingthat
couldstillthehungerofhisspirit.ButhehadnotlongtowaituntilGodmet
40 lettersfromfriends
him in a way that surpassed all expectations.This was around the turn of
thecentury.GermanywasvisitedbyGodinarevivalmovementthatbrought
streamsofnewlife.Eberhard,whowasjustsixteen,spenthissummervacation
in the country parsonage of his uncle Ernst Ferdinand Klein. Here, through
thepersonalityofhisuncleandthroughsomemembersofhiscongregation,
whowereBrandenburgpeasants,hebecameacquaintedwithsomethingquite
newajoyfulvictoriousChristianitywhichhaditsrootsinthecertaintyofthe
forgivenessofsinsandofacceptancebyGod,apeacewhichremainedinviolate
throughexternalsufferingandstrugglebecauseitwassimplyagiftfromabove,
andajoyinserviceofHimwhohadgivenHisholy,pure,divinelifeforaman-
kindthathadfallenintoguiltandhadconstantlyfollowedthewrongpath.
Now came the great revolution in Eberhards life. He had already recog-
nizedthesinfulnessofhisheart,whichwasnobetterthanthatofhiscom-
rades. Coming back to Breslau after his vacation, he arrived at a total and
consciousdedicationtohisbelovedJesusChristintheservicewhichhewas
giventhereintheY.M.C.A.andlaterinthecommunity.Hiswholelifewas
immediatelychangedintoajoyfulserviceforHim.Hetoldhisteachersand
classmatesquitecandidlyabouthisconversionandardentlytriedtowinthem
forhisMaster.Therewasnoonewhowassafefromhim,whomhewould
nothaveconfrontedwiththedecisionforJesus.Hestruggled,aloneandwith
otherfollowersofJesus,forsoulsthathadstillfoundnopeace.Manyyears
later,whenthetwoofusmetataconferenceoftheStudentChristianMove-
ment,heassecretary,Iasstudent,hetoldmeoftheholyimperativewhich
drovehimfromwithintotestifyforChrist.Thathiswholeheartwaslled
withtheinnerretoserveintheloveofChristwasalreadyapparent,although
notyetfullyinhisattitudetowardpossessions.Withgreatloyaltytothewill
ofGodashehadrecognizedit,heboreallthedifcultiesandtroublesthat
grew up in his way. Even in those days he never forgot the meekness and
readinesstosufferwhichChristdemandsintheSermonontheMount.From
the very beginning of his discipleship his driving motive was to take all of
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41 lettersfromfriends
Jesusdemandstotallyandseriously,andtrulytocontinuethelifeoftherst
ChurchasdescribedintheActsoftheApostles.
H a m b u r g , H a n n a h A r n o l d
My memories of Eberhard Arnold probably go back farther than those of
mostpeoplenowalive.Ourfatherswereacquainted,andwekneweachother
asschoolboysinBreslauduringtheeighteen-nineties.ImetEberhardArnold
againasauniversitystudentinBreslauinthewinterof1903-1904andonce
moreinHallein1905-1906.Ifmymemoryiscorrect,itwasinthesummer
term of 1906 that Eberhard Arnold took over the leadership of the Halle
groupoftheGermanStudentChristianMovement.Inthisperiod,asapupil
ofLudwigvonGerdtell,EberhardArnoldwasclearandrminhisdevoutness
inrepentance,evenaggressivetowardtheotherstudents.Butatthetimeof
theFirstWorldWarhegainedincreasingunderstandingforsocialproblems.
SoitwasthatattheendofthewarIfelthehadanextremelyclosekinshipto
theSocialWork-CommunitywhichIhadfoundedin1911.EberhardArnold
visitedmefrequentlyintheEastEndofBerlinandinanexecutivecommit-
teemeetingoftheGermanStudentChristianMovementInominatedhimas
editorofDie Furche (TheFurrow),whichDr.NeidermayerandIhadedited
up to that time. Soon afterwards, Eberhard Arnold determined to found a
community at Sannerz near Schluchtern similar to our Social Work-Com-
munity.Thebasisofthiscommunitysettlementhadthefullsympathyofthe
friends of the Social Work-Community. From then on his work developed
furtherinthedirectionoftheBruderhofcommunities.Afterthis,although
ImethimmanytimesandkeptuprelationshipswithhiminLiechtenstein
duringtheyearsofmyexileinSwitzerland,inlateryearsIsawverylittleof
him. But we kept up a friendly correspondence till the last. I shared in his
concerns and sensed profound joy in the fact that the Bruderhof cause was
ledthroughalltroublestoagoodgoal.Icanstillseetheworthygureofmy
friendbeforeme.
D o r t m u n d , F . S i e g m u n d - S c h u l t z e
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42 lettersfromfriends
WhenIwaselectedtotheexecutivecommitteeoftheGermanStudentChris-
tianMovementin1917,whileex-ChancellorGeorgMichaeliswaspresident
oftheorganization,ImetDr.EberhardArnold,thenoneoftheS.C.M.sec-
retaries,andworkedinclosecontactwithhimespeciallyintheliteraryeld
intheFurche-Verlag.Itwashewhostartedthispublishinghousewhichde-
veloped with great rapidity in connection with the prisoner of war service
intheGermanStudentChristianMovement.Eventhenhewasthefocusof
livelydiscussionbecausehebroughtoutpublicationsinamuchmoremodern
form than that of similar Christian literature in Germany up to that time.
DiscussionsbecamemorevigorousandprofoundintheyearsaftertheFirst
World War, with the appearance, among student groups and in the whole
YouthMovement,ofpoliticalcurrentstendingtoastrongseparationtothe
rightandtotheleft.Theposition,whichhesharedwithsomeothersinthose
days,ledtoaninternalcrisisintheGermanS.C.M.atthestudentconference
inOeynhausenin1920.Inthediscussions,EberhardArnoldtookoneside
andDr.Berg,theevangelistoflateryears,theother,withHermannSchafft
mediatingskillfullybetweenthem.Itmusthavebeenshortlyafterthisthat
EberhardArnoldleftthestaffoftheGermanStudentChristianMovement
todevotehimselfentirelytotheworkinSannerzandattheBruderhofcom-
munities, in the course of which he found connections with the Hutterian
BrothersinCanada.Fromthattimeon,Imethimlessoften.ButIremem-
bervividlyourlasttalktogetherduringanexcursioninWilhelmshohe;my
memoryretainstheindelibleimageofamaninwhomtheameofprimitive
Christianityburned,whosoughtinkindlyhumilityandprofoundinwardness
awaythatcutacrossthemostvariedChristiandirections.
K a s s e l - W i l h e l m s h o h e , D . E r i c h S t a n g e
IrstmetEberhardArnoldattheChristianstudentconferenceatOeynhau-
senimmediatelyaftertheFirstWorldWar.Thewavesofexciteddebatewere
dashinghigh.Youngex-soldiersfromMarburgspokepassionatelyagainstwar
andthecapitaliststate.
atestimonytochurchcommunity
43 lettersfromfriends
Wewanttolive.Wehaveseenorganizedevilinaction.Wewanttobethe
saltoftheearthandlettheethicsofJesusowundistortedintothisconfused
age.Hencenoforce,nokilling,notakingofoaths,noservingasjudgeor
policemanbutanembassyofJesustothesinfulworld.Theradicalethic
arisesfromexperienceofthegraceoftheCross.
Itookpartinthisconferencemoreasaspectatoruntil,throughnointen-
tionofmine,Iwasdrawnintothedebate,whichnallybecameanexchange
betweenEberhardArnoldandme.
Irefusedtoacceptthecondemnationofthestateandsocialorderasor-
ganizedevil,anddesignatedthesestructuresastheresultofthestrugglebe-
tweentheinvisibleKingdomofGodandtheequallyinvisiblerealmofevil.I
maintainedthatthetaskoftheChristianinthisworldofconictbetweenthe
tworealms,wastostruggletogiveamoreChristianformtoexistinginstitu-
tions.But,Isaid,animmediaterealizationwouldnotbepossibleforpeople
activeinpolitics.
AtthattimeArnoldalsodidnotadvocatetheabsolutepracticeoftheSer-
monontheMountintheliteral,casuisticsense.ThewordsoftheSermon
ontheMount,hesaid,weretobeunderstoodasinterpretationsofthefunda-
mentallawsoftheKingdomofGodandofthefurtheringofalifeintheholy
loveofGod.ButEberhardArnoldheldtothepositionthatcertainconcrete
actswereimpossibleforhimbecausetheywereobvioussymptomsofsin.At
thispointthedemandslistedabovecameupagainonebyone.
EventhenitbecameapparentthatEberhardArnoldasnottryingtomake
a religious or ethical judgment of Christians whose professions lie in politi-
calorgovernmentallifeforinstance,chiefofpolice.Ratherhebelievedthat
hisparticularrolewastopoint,throughprotestofthesespecicpoints,tothe
KingdomofGodforwhichwewait.ThediscussioninOeynhausen,whichwas
latercontinuedinSaarow,Berlin,whereProfessorHeimenteredintoit,became
rathercomplicatedandcannotpossiblyberecountedhereinbrief.Aslongago
asthat,thefundamentaldifferenceembodiedinthedifferentcoursestakenby
atestimonytochurchcommunity
44 lettersfromfriends
theHabersthofandSannerzwasalreadyclearlyapparent.
These are two approaches to Christian existence which grant each other
duerecognitionandwhicharedistinctintheirrelationshiptotheStateand
tosociety.BothapproachesrefusetofollowSpenglerorNaumannandletthe
antithesisoftheKingdomofGodandthekingdomofthisworldcontinueto
coexistunrelated.WecannotchangetheworldasitisdirectlyintotheBody
ofChrist.Nowhere,noteveninsettlementsofregeneratedpeople,doesthe
KingdomofGodalreadyexist;andthesesettlementsofsuchpeoplecangoon
livingundisturbedonlybecausethepoweroftheStateprotectsthembyforce,
police,andlawfromdestructiveonslaughts.Still,theexperimentofalifelike
thatdevelopedbyEberhardArnoldortheQuakersissignicantasareference
tosomethingbeyonditself.Thesymbolicman,aswetermedhiminlater
discussionsbetweenHabertshofandSannerz,issignicantbecausehepoints
outthetemporarynatureoftheexistingsocialandpoliticalsystem.Hencehis
rejectionofoaths,ofmilitaryservice,andsoon.Thepoliticalmanonthe
otherhandentersintotheexistingfabricoflife,intotheexistingsystemof
stateandsociety,andtriestostruggleandconducthimselfwithinthissystem
fromthestandpointoftheSpiritofChrist.Inmostcasesperhapsthismeans
achoicebetweentwoevils.Butinnosensedoesitmeangivinguptheinward
focusofendeavortowardstheperfectionoftheKingdomofGod.
EachmodeofChristianexperiencesuchwasthenalunderstandingwe
reachedrecognizestheotherandeachisawareofitsparticulardanger.The
politicalmanisindangerofgrowingwearyinhisstruggletotransformthe
worldandofactingfromtacticalexpediencyratherthanconscience.Thesym-
bolicmanisindangerofalegalandpharisaicalmisunderstandingofhisown
distinctivenessastheuncompromisingChristianexistence,andofregarding
thepoliticalmanasasecondrateChristian.Eachshouldrealizethattheother
isamemberoftheChurch,engagedinthesamestruggle,andstayclearofthe
dangerofconsideringpoliticallyactiveChristiansasdishonestcompromisers,
oraccusingsymbolicmenofpharisaism.
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45 lettersfromfriends
Spacedoesnotpermitthefurtherillustrationofthisfundamentaldiffer-
ence,sayinthedevelopmentoftherespectivelegalshapesoftheHabertshof
andSannerz,theformerleadingtoamutual-benetcooperative,thelatterto
theBruderhof.Butweoughttobereadytocontinuethediscussionatany
timeifeitherfeelsittobenecessaryorlikelytobefruitful.
K a s s e l , H e r m a n n S c h a f f t
AdecisivepreludetoEberhardArnoldsactivityaspublisherandwriterwas
undoubtedlythoseyearsofhislifewhichsawhimactingassecretaryofthe
German Student Christian Movement, and after 1916 as literary business
manageroftheFurche-VerlagwhichwasfoundedinBerlininthatyear.This
wastheworkinwhichI,assalesmanagerandoneofthefoundersofthispub-
lishinghouse,rstmetEberhard.ItiswithespecialpleasurethatIrecallthose
yearsinwhichhehelpedtolaythefoundationsoftheFurche-Verlag,which
laterdevelopedintosuchalargeconcern,andIamgratefulforeverythingthat
EberhardArnoldwastomeatthattime.
Therstyearsoftheworkofthispublishinghousewerestillunderthesign
oftheFirstWorldWar,andhencedidnotallowthetrueaspectofthisnew
venture to be recognized.There was a change in the year and a half which
remainedforourworktogetherafterthewar.Apartfromhisactivitiesaschief
editorofthemonthly,Die Furche (TheFurrow),inwhichhissister-in-law
ElsevonHollanderwasaloyalandvaluablehelper,andapartfromallhislec-
tureshegaveinBerlinandonjourneys,healsotookanactivepartinshaping
thenewpublishinghouse.Manyoftheapproximatelythreehundredpublica-
tions,whichappearedundertheimprintoftheFurche-Verlaguptothetime
heleft,owetheirorigintohisinitiative,andtheirexecutiontohishelp.His
directionseemedtogivetheauthorswings.Therearetoomanytitlestore-
countthemhere.Acircleofauthorswhichwasmentallyalertandoftenvery
radical,especiallyinthepost-waryears,gatheredaroundthenewpublishing
workatthattime.Itwasonlylater,whenhewasabletotakeuphisownway
unhinderedintheworkoftheBruderhofcommunities,thatthethinghehad
atestimonytochurchcommunity
46 lettersfromfriends
conceivedastheactualgoalofhiswritingandpublishingbecamereality.
MyworkandfriendshipwithEberhardArnoldwillremainwithmeasa
spiritualpossession,nottobelostaslongasIlive.
B e r l i n - S p a n d a , u H e i n r i c h R e n n e b a c h
D i r e c t o r o f t h e F u r c h e - V e r l a g
Intheyears1919and1920,afterthecollapseofGermany,theYouthMove-
ment,withitsidealsofself-determination,individualresponsibilityandin-
nertruthfulness,wasthegatheringpointformanyyoungpeople.Theywere
thosewhobelievedinarenewalfromwithin,andtheycamefromeverykind
ofpoliticalandreligiouspersuasion.AmongthemwasEberhardArnold,who
appearedinmylifeforthersttimewhen,earlyin1920,hecalledmembers
oftheMovementtoameetingontheInselberginThuringen,withthepur-
poseofmakingChristiansourcesfruitfulforthismovementofrenewal.He
succeededingatheringgroupsoffriendswiththedesiretogodeeperthanthe
Wandervogel, whorestrictedthemselvestotheareaofculture.Thisgroupcon-
solidatedunderthenameNeuwerk. WehadcelebratedWhitsunmanytimes
inthecourseofourlives.Butthatweshouldevercelebrateitwithsuchardor
aswedidduringtheWhitsuntideconferenceofSchluchterner (astheNeuwerk
groupwascalledfromthenameoftheplacewhereitmet)thatwassome-
thingwewouldneverhavebelievedpossible.WerealizedthatourChristianity
wasnothingcomparedwiththatoftheprimitiveChurch.
Whatweallfelt,EberhardArnoldputintopractice,givinguphissecure
position in Berlin to create a focal point of brotherly life with communal
propertyatthelittlefarmatSannerz.Inhisworkamongstudents,hehadseen
howmanypeopledidnotndthewaytotheChurch.Hissettlement,where
hewentwithhiswifeandvechildren,wastobeaneveropendoorforthe
manypeoplewhowereseekingaspiritualhomeatthattime.
Ifoundoutjusthowdifferentthepeoplewerewhomadetheirwaythere.
Formostofthem,itwasonlyastationonthewaytosomewhereelse.Yeteven
theseguestshadtheopportunitytoknowwhatpowersofloveanddiscipline
atestimonytochurchcommunity
lettersfromfriends 47
radiatefromacommunitywhosemembersaretotallydedicatedtoChristasthe
centeroftheirlives,andwhodevotethemselvestoeachotherandtoallpeople.
EberhardArnolddidnotthinkthatalltheNeuwerk peoplenecessarilyhadto
followhimingivinguppropertyandmiddleclassexistence,buthewascon-
vincedthathisvocationinourmaterialisticworldwas,withothers,togivean
exampleofsuchacommunallifeonthepatternoftheearlyChristians.
InspiteofthehighidealsoftheYouthMovementtherewasagreatdealof
moralconfusioninitinthosedays.Forinstance,asectionofopinionideal-
izingtheinnerbondoftwopeopleinlovethoughtitrighttodispensewith
allexternalbondsofmarriageceremony.Ononeoccasion,ayoungmansat
besidemewhenIwasatSannerz.IsensedhisdepressionandaskedEberhard
Arnoldwhatwasthematterwithhim.Eberhardtoldmehehadhadtogive
himatalking-toforholdingsuchviews,andadded,Whereshouldweend
upinSannerzifwedidnttakeourguidancefromtheHolyScripture?After-
wards,Ireadthisyoungmansentryintheguestbook:
IcameashappyJohnny
AndleftassorryJohn.
Ihopehethoughtitover!
AnothertimewewerewaitedonattablebyKarlchen,anelderlyman.
He wore a white apron with a cooks cap on his heada curiously rened
serviceconsideringthatthefoodwasonlystewinabowldishedoutwitha
tinspoon.Eberhardwhisperedtome,Karlchenisaverywillingandadroit
gentlemanoftheroadwhoalwayscomestousinthewinter.Thewhiteuni-
formhashelpedhimtogetridofthedirtofhisvagrantlife.Karlchenwas
alsotheonewhoalwaysurgedthegueststoleavepunctuallywhentheyhad
decidedtogootherwiseaweakpointatSannerz.
Whathappenedwithanotherwanderer,whoarrivedoneSundayafternoon
inaverydecrepitcondition,showedushoweachonewhocamewasreceived
andttedintothecommunitylifeaccordingtohisgifts.AftersupperEberhard
atestimonytochurchcommunity
lettersfromfriends 48
Arnoldbegan,WehaveacourtsingerfromBerlinwithustonight,andhave
theprivilegeofhearinghim.Beforeourastonishedeyesthetrampstoodup,
washedandcombedandwearinganewshirt,toldussomeofhisexperiences
andsangandsangforalmosttwohours.Nobodywouldhaveleftordaredto
interrupthim,Eberhardleastofall.Ahomelessmanfelthewasathome.
AtaconferenceweaskedEberhardArnoldhowhecouldbesotolerantto-
wardallthevariousopinions,persuasionsandreligions,consideringhisradi-
calafrmationoftheSermonontheMountandtheteachingsofJesus.What
heansweredhasstayedwithmeforlifeandhelpedmemanytimes.
He said: You have only to go back far enough. In the ultimate depths,
everythinggoodandtruethatmenhaveeverknown,thought,orlived,comes
fromtheonesourceoflight.Ourvocationistomakethewayfreeforit.
S t u t t g a r t , H e i d i D e n z e l
EberhardArnoldcameintomydistrictadministrationofceinFuldaoneday
andtoldmeofthewishofhimselfandsomeofhisfriendsfromtheSannerz
settlementtoacquireaneglectedfarmintheRhnnearFulda.Inanswerto
myinquiryhegavemesomeinformationabouttheNeuwerk movement.He
saidtherehadbeenaseparationbecauseofafundamentaldifferenceofopin-
iontheothersrefusedtorecognizemiraclesasabasisofeconomicexistence.
Thatmademelistenwithlivelyinterestandsympathy.Iwantedtohelphim.
Itwasnotpossibletoobtainaloanfromthesavingsbankimmediately.But
whenhecameagainhetoldmehehadreceivedfromafriendthesumneeded
forthepurchase.Throughamortgagethedistrictsavingsbankthenprovided
thenecessarymeansfordevelopingtheplace.
TheRhnBruderhofgrewandourishedthroughthediligentworkofits
members.Therewerehardtimes,ofcourse.EberhardArnoldstrustinGod
wasneverdisappointed.
IhaveoftenadmiredtheconsistencyoftheBruderhofpeoplesChristian
attitudetolife.Ononeoccasion,twoofthemoneofwhomwasagiantwith
thestrengthofabearwerecomingthroughthewoodswiththeweekswages
atestimonytochurchcommunity
49 lettersfromfriends
fortheirworkers,whentheyweresetuponbymaskedgures.Remembering
Jesusteaching,theydidnotdefendthemselves,butletthemselvesberobbed.
AnyonecouldndrefugeattheBruderhof.Oftenshadycharacterscame
fromthebigcities.Theconstableshadahardtimeestablishingatleastsome
kind of registration with the local police station. No one was turned away.
WhentheprovincialgovernorfromKasselhadcomeforavisitandwasleav-
ing,EberhardArnoldsaidtohim,Youwereheretodayasagovernmentof-
cial.Ihopeyouwillcomeagainsoonasabrother.
EventhoughtheBruderhofwasratherlikeaforeignbodyintheten-cen-
tury-oldreligiousunityofCatholicFulda,nevertheless,inthedeepestsense,
therewasacloserelationshipwiththeChristianspiritwhichEberhardArnold
embodied,asthereiseverywherewherepeopletrytobetrueChristians.
TheNational-SocialistrevolutiondestroyedEberhardArnoldsworkatthe
RhnBruderhof.Butitgoesongrowinginotherplaces,tothejoyandbless-
ingofmany.EberhardArnoldsunreservedtrustinGodandhisfaithinthe
miracleofdivinegoodnesshasledtovictory,eveninthehardesttimesover
thestoniestroads.
S c h l o s s N e u e n b u r g , H e i n r i c h B a r o n v o n G a g e r n
D i s t r i c t A d m i n i s t r a t o r , r e t i r e d
ThepictureofEberhardArnoldremainsinmymemoryasthatoffewother
men.IcanimaginehisfacebeforemeasifIhadseenhimforthelasttime
onlyyesterday.Theremusthavebeensomethingextraordinaryabouthimfor
Ihaveknownmanythousandsofpeopleduringmylifetime.Thismonastic,
retiringman,withhisfamilyontheirlonelyisland,hadbecomeadearfriend
tostrictCatholics.ThiswasnotonlybecauseofhisgreatlovefortheYouth
Movement,wherehefoundfrankness,honesty,andgenuineness,itwasalso
themakeupofhischaracter,hisdeepfaithinthesubstanceoftheChristian
revelation as he saw it, his absolute radicalism in the very best sense of the
word.Onemighttendtodespiseamanwhowouldnottakeuptheswordto
bringaboutorderintheworld,butwithEberhardArnolditwashisFrancis-
atestimonytochurchcommunity
50 lettersfromfriends
canattitudewhichurgedhimtotakethisstand;hisfollowerstooktheconse-
quencesuponthemselvesatthetimewhenHitlerreintroducedconscription.
ItwasthelegacywhichEberhardArnoldleftbehind,livingintheirhearts.He
alsoleftittome,theCatholic,andpointedoutcertainthingswhichalways,
oralmostalways,cameshortorwereoverlookedbythoserepresentativesof
theChurchwhomIhadmetuptothattime.Hecountedmeasoneofhis
own,andIreckonedhimasoneofmine,asbelongingtotheChurchthatI
love,theChurchthatknowsnoboundaries,wherehereallybelongs,evenif
legallyhehasnorightthere.
V e l b e r t / R h e i n l a n d , N i k o l a u s E h l e n
OurfriendswillbesurprisedthatinthisletterItalkwithyouasifyouwere
notbeyondorbeneath,butrightinthemidstofus.Iseeyoulaugh,mydear!
Whatdoesthedayknowoftheyonderandthebeneathandofthepres-
ent?Whatisknownofhowallthisisoneandthatnothingdiesthathasever
lived?YoubelongtothefewIhavemetwhoaregenuinelyalive,anoriginal
spontaneous individual. I amthankful for this.Youare dead?Oh,my dear
friend,theydonotknowtheothersideoflife,workingmoremightilythan
thepresenceofthemany,whichwhenfullledshinesintothefuture.Atthis
lightmoreandmorelifeiskindledasitburnsoutofeternallife.Youareno
poorsoulintimidanguish.WhenIthinkofyou,youarepresent,closeto
me,becausewearenotjustyouandI;no,wearealivefromoneSpirit,even
ifwemaycallHimbydifferentnames.Youknow,InmyFathershouseare
manyrooms(John14:2),butitisonlyone Fatherandonlyone house.
Sonowwearetogetheragain,mydear,atSannerz,ontheBruderhofin
theRhn,inmystudyonthebanksoftheNeckar.Togetherwelookatthe
world, at the people around us and at what urges or hinders them. As if it
hadonlybeentodayIstillrememberhow,inthetimeofourperiodicalDer
Rufer zur Wende (TheCallertoChange),whichisnownearly30yearsago,I
wrotetoyouwhomIatthattimedidnotknow,fromBinauontheNeckarto
Sannerz,postofceSterbfritz.Sterbfritz!Thisnamemakesmehappy.How
atestimonytochurchcommunity
51 lettersfromfriends
oftenonthewaytoyouatSannerzIpassedthroughthisSterbfritz,aquiet
villagesurroundedbymeadows.Weunderstoodoneanotherveryquicklyand
whenafteryearsmysonTilmannwasborn,Iaskedyouif,beingyourgodson,
hemightalsobearthenameofEberhard.
Whenweweretogether,oftenlongandbyourselves,atSannerzandlater
ontheBruderhofnearNeuhofintheRhn,thepeoplecameandwent,young
andolderones,many,oftenstrange,justasthosetimesbroughtthemtoyou.
They looked for a refuge in their need which they could not master.They
werewrappedupinthemselves,unnatural,crampedandstiffened,exagger-
ated,withoutabindingtask,andwithoutthegoalthatpointsbeyondoneself.
Theywerewithoutthegoalthatcouldunitethemwiththewholeandwith
menwhoknowitandloveit.Yourhousehadanopendoorandnoonewas
rstaskedwhohewas.Theanswerswouldoftenhavebeenstrange.
YouwerepublishingatthattimeaseriesofSourceBooks,testimoniesto
theSpiritthroughoutthecenturies.Inourtalksandgatheringsweconcerned
ourselveswiththeexpectationoftheMessiahinreligiouswritingsoutsidethe
Bible,withtheearlyChurch,withStaupitz,Bhme,andKierkagaard,with
themysteryofhistory,withGoethe,andwesangtogetherthesongsofthe
YouthMovementandyourSonnenlieder.
A great deal was being done in the elds and in the house.Together we
toiledforarightunderstandingofpeopleandthingsaroundus.MydearEb-
erhard,Ishallneverforgetthetwinkleinyourbrighteyes,youramusedsmile
withthecunninglittlebeard,yourcheerfullaughter,whenstrangethingsor
fartoohumanthingstriedtopressonus.Whenwewerefedupwiththedry-
nessofitallwewouldmeetitwithhumor,evenwithirony,nottodespise,
no,buttostimulateandtowaken.
Thatwasyouruniqueness,mydear.Yourwitnesswaspithy,manly,freeof
thepoisonouslookofhypocrisy.Youhadnoloveforstufness,sweetness,or
twaddle.There was no penetrating smell of Christianity, no cliquishness,
orsentimentalityaboutyou.Toseekouthereticswasjustasforeigntoyouas
atestimonytochurchcommunity
52 lettersfromfriends
wastheaddictiontostraightenouteverybodyaccordingtoyourownway.You
valuedotherpeopleaslongastheywereearnest,andyoucametotermswith
theinsincere.Youalsofoundawaywiththemostpigheadedpeasantandwith
the most stubborn man of God.You were a man and a brother to them,
theirneighbor,whentheyneededyou.Yourmannerwasatalltimescheerful,
genuinelyanimatedbythetrustthatcarriesevenintothenights.Howoften
didwelaughheartilytogether,yes,wefreedourselvesbylaughingwithatruly
Homericlaughter.Icanstillremember,mydear,whenyoutoldmehow
yourfather,atheologyprofessorattheuniversity,audiblyrecitedaHebrew
text to himself applying the correct throat sounds and you children quietly
listenedandimitatedhim,aboutwhichhewasntespeciallyhappy.
Youlivedliferightfromthecenterandoutofthedepths,comprehensive
andfree.YoudidnotinheritChristfromothersasonetowhomyougotac-
customednorasoneinwhomyouexcelled,butoutofyourowninnerexperi-
enceandencounter.YouweretrulyonewhoisfreedbyChrist,whohasbeen
changedbyHim.Youwerefreeofanxiety.Yourfaithwasnomereacceptance
oftruths,noightoffear.Itwascertainty.Itwasonaworld-widefounda-
tion. And therefore there was nothing of conventional Christianity in you,
whicheconomicallysupportsamanandbringshimadvantages.Youwerenot
impressed by men of pretentious faith. You knew precisely that Christ was
noChristian.Youdidnotthinkmuchofthepuffed-upmanifestationsand
messagesofadoubtfulChristianitynorwereyouseekinginitthesalvation
oftheOccident.Yousawrightthroughitanditsimpossibilityofchanging
man,becauseyoulivedthepurekernelofthegoodtidingswhichishard
tolive.Youopposedallappearanceandposeandallself-righteousness.You
were not concerned with the dogmas about which theologians quarrel and
whichbroughtaboutthefallofjustsomeofthemostearnestamongthem.
Youwentalongwithyournamesake,GottfriedArnold,andwithhisimpar-
tial Church and Heretics History. But, no, you were concerned wholly with
the life of Christ, with the community of the brothers and sisters renewed
atestimonytochurchcommunity
53 lettersfromfriends
andchangedthroughHiminthesenseoftheprimitiveChurch.Whatyou
wantedhadgrownintheclearconsciousnessoftheknowledgeofalllearning.
Youtookmanasheis.Youwereasdistantfromillusionasfrommisunder-
standing.Youknewthedemonicpowers,theweightoftheageandwhich
agewouldnotbefullofburdenandneed?Thisdidnotcometoyouasan
isolatedrecognition,butasabindingcalltohelpyourbrothers.Youknewthe
bindingpowerofthesmallChurchcommunity,especiallyinthegreatcur-
rentofacompletelydifferentworld.Youneverrecruited.Whoeverwascalled,
heard,andthustheycametoyou;sometolivewithyouandyourfriendsin
community;others,touchedbytheinsightthatsomethingcouldhappenthat
turnstheneed,wereinharmonywithyouthoughtheydidnotstandfully
inthecommunalwork.Thereareringsandcirclesthatstandcloselyormore
distantlyaroundyou,asthekernel,aguardandhelptoyou.
Howoften,mydearEberhard,wasallofthis,wereyou,presentinmeasI
wrotethepoetryDer Menschensohn (TheSonofMan).You,asonlyfewdid,
understoodthistestimonyofmyexperienceintheencounterwiththeSonof
Man,withJesus.ItisJesuswhoappearsasthebringerofgoodtidingsfrom
eternallifetothehereandtoday,oftheeternallifenotonlyyonder,no,but
here and today because He overcame the world, through being reborn in
thelightoftheFather.HereIknowourselvestobeone.OnceIwasnotable
torevealmyselfinpoetry.ButyouwouldcertainlyhavelikedmyHymnen an
der Gotter Greichenlands (HymnstotheGreekGods),forIwrotethemclose
toyou,asIwrotetheSonofMan.HischaracterasGodisalsoenlightened
fromHellasinauniqueway.
Letmeembraceyou,mydear!Thebloodofourloverevivesyou.Youare
present.YouareawitnessofthenewlifeapparentinChrist:amanofkind-
ness,butalsoofsuchdecisivenessthatspiritsarediscernedandseparated.A
friendoffreedom,abrotherofknowinglove.
H e i d e l b e r g - Z i e g e l h a u s e n , H e r m a n n B u d d e n s i e g
atestimonytochurchcommunity
songsandpoems
GodisBond.
Takethehand!
UntoGodmakermyourvow,
Makeitnow.
Closethering!
Joyfulsing.
Garlandsofowerstakeforthedance.
Radiance!
Spirit-gripped.
Moveasone.
Circleround,circleround,
Centerbound!
Starsindance!
Lightadvance!
Hearthemusicofthespheres,
Heaventoourears!
Godissong,
LightSeaThrong:
Hearandsee,hearandsee
Harmony!
G o t t i s t B a n d , S a n n e r z , 1 9 2 3
55 songs&poems
Twilightdeepening,hopedisappearing,
Templescrumbling,nothingbinding:
Thedaydeparts.
Broodingclouds,heatoppressive,
Darkpowersslinginglightningashes:
Thenightawakes.
Glitteringhollowness,grotesquevanity,
Envy,strife,andpoisoneddullness:
TheSerpentrules.
Hard,coldmankind!Bittermisery!
Throughgreatburdensprayerspierceupwards.
Themorningcomes.
GlowingLightshinesoerthechaos,
AndthatLightredeemsinjudgment:
TheSunisrisn.
Peacenowsmiles,joypuries,
Spiritheals,Truthunites:
Thedayishere.
Poisonyields,harshchainsfall,
Freedombindingjubilation!
TheLordnowreigns!
D a m m r u n g f l u t e t , S a n n e r z , 1 9 2 3
atestimonytochurchcommunity
56 songs&poems
Thou,Thou!SpiritofChrist,whateerIvedone,
ItrustinThee.
Thou,Thou,RisenOne,arteverhere,
IseeThee.
Thou,Thou,WhatamI?WhateerIvebeen,
IrestinThee!
Thou,Thou,PoweroftheWorld,Thougivestlife.
IgiveTheemine.
Thou,Thou,seestthosewhohavebetrayedThee,
IloveThee.
Thou,Thou,ComingOne!ThyKingdomcome:
IwaitforThee.
D u , D u ! J e s u s G e i s t , S a n n e r z , 1 9 2 2
atestimonytochurchcommunity
songs&poems 57
Insilencesurrounded,
Aloneinthedawning,
Newsparksjoinedtogether
Insharedjoyareforming.
Fullwideareheartsopened,
Thecirclescompleted,
Menndoneanother
Innewwayunited.
Themembersinrhythm
Swing,handsreachingout.For
Thesongsarenowringing
Renewalforallthings.
Nowheartsndeachother
Inpurityholy.
Thegarlandsarewoven
Inunityradiant.
I n S t i l l e v e r s u n k e n , S a n n e r z , M a y 1 9 2 3
atestimonytochurchcommunity
songs&poems 58
TheWordanewrevealed
Shinesoutwithtruthandlight.
Weviewindeepestwonder
TheSpiritsnew-builthouse.
Totruthawakenednewly,
WewaittohearGodscall:
AndstepbystepHeleadsus
ThewayHelongsforall.
HisWayisnewlyopened,
HisKingdomcomessonear.
HisMessageisallpowerful:
OurStrengthenerishere.
D a s W o r t u n s n e u g e o f f n e t , M a r k 3 : 1 3 1 5 , S a n n e r z , 1 9 2 1
atestimonytochurchcommunity
59 songs&poems
Wepledgethebondnow.
Thebrothershearken
Ourwatchword:
Thatpeaceprevailand
Theearthshallbein
Godspossession!
Thateveryheartshall
Frompangsofhell
Findfreedom,
Insteadfastunity,
InSpiritspurity,
Bebrothers!
Injoyfullabor
Thetaskglowsbrightly:
Work-oneness!
Theworldbeholdsit,
Thebondwillbuildit:
Spirit-Communion.
D e r B u n d b e s c h w o r e , S a n n e r z , 1 9 2 2
atestimonytochurchcommunity
60 songs&poems
GodistheUnity
Inholypurity;
ChrististheLove,
Allheartstomove!
Hisisthemission,
Fulllmentgiving
Thosewhoasbrothers
Unitedareliving.
Wearethemessengers
AsHehascommanded.
Eachoneabrother
Toloveoneanother.
Solivestheunity
Inholycommunity:
Hislovethepower
Toworkinthishour.
G o t t i s t d i e E i n h e i t , A b o u t 1 9 2 9
Ontheoriginaliswritten:Outofaheartfullofthankfulnessfortherenewed
experiencewithyoufaithfulones.
atestimonytochurchcommunity