„Translation of a Letter from / Professor Young, in Mar- / bourgh, dated Feb. 27, 1803, / to the Directors of the. Reli- / gious Tract Society. / Honoured Brethren, / and dearly beloved in our adorable / Redeemer Jesus Christ !
Your favour of the 30th of / September, 1802, together with the / valuable books which accompanied / it, has been duly received ; and I / beg leave to assure you, that, for a / long time, nothing has given me / such a lively and sincere pleasure as / that letter and those books. Bless- / ed be the Lord, who causeth his / vivifying Spirit to move round / the globe, from Kentucky to Ota- / heite, and from Greenland to the / Cape of Good Hope ! and praised / be his holy name, that, in many / places, he raises up men who exert / themselves with zeal and fidelity / in the cause of the kingdom of God, / and unite together for his service ! / His name be likewise extolled for / this, that his providence has di- / rected you to me, and me to you ! / May our union resemble a grain of / mustard - seed, growing up to a / spreading and salutary plant ! – / “ Hallowed be his name ! ”
As to myself, it is my earnest / wish to devote myself, with un- / wearied activity, to the advance- / ment of the kingdom of God ; but, / alas ! my hands are tied in a variety / of ways. From my very infancy / I have felt a strong impulse to live / and labour only tor the Lord ; but / hitherto it has not pleased him to / release me from those duties upon / which both I and a numerous fa- / mily have to depend for support.
My dear, brother Steinkopfft [sic; Steinkopf] can / inform you of the wonderful deal- / ings of Providence with me ; and I / have reason to think, that my life, / which I have published under the / title of “ Henry Stilling’s Youth, / Travels, and Domestic Life;” as / also other publications of mine, if / they were translated into English, / would produce very good effects in / England, as they have done in Ger- / many ; and would fully convince many of the particular providence / of God.
I was born in the year 1740, in a / solitary village of the principality / of Nassausiegen. My forefathers / were poor, but pious peasants, and / colliers. My father, who was a / tailor and schoolmaster, gave me / a careful and strict education ; and / devoted me from my infancy to the / Lord. I followed the employments / of my father till my twenty-third / year ; and had already then many / heavy trials to endure. The ta- / lents which God had given me, / soon urged me on to improve my- / self; so that during that time, I / made considerable progress in ma- / thematics, history, geography, the / Latin language, &c. At length, / I could hold out no longer in my / native country, but took up my / staff and went into the duchy of / Berg ; where, after having spent a / twelvemonth under very trying cir- / cumstances, I obtained a situation / with a rich ironmonger, as teacher / to his family, and assistant in his / business. During the seven years / I spent there, I learned the mercan- / tile business, the French, Greek, / and Hebrew languages ; and, I may / say, ransacked every corner of Phi- / losophy, Ascetics, and Poetry : / I perused the English works on / Ascetics and Theology ; and made / myself also acquainted with French / literature. At last, through the / providence of God, it so happened, / that a renowned oculist left me, by / will, his arcana (private recipes). / Upon this, I began to practise as / an oculist; and went, in the year / 1770, in the thirtieth year of my / age, without money, and without / tlve least prospect of getting any, / to Strasburgh, in order to study Phy- / sic. Here I must refer you to Stil- / ling’s Life, for the remarkable and / wonderful interpositions of God in / my behalf.
In 1772, I returned to the duchy / of Berg, as Doctor of Physic. / There I married, in a very singu- / lar manner, the sickly daughter of / a pious tradesman, who had no / more fortune than I had ; but re- / lied, with the same confidence, on / the assistance of God. We then / moved to Elberfeld, where I prac- / tised as a physician ; but as it would / be too tedious for my present pur- / pose to enumerate the variety of / heavy trials which I again expe- / perienced there for seven years, and / the extraordinary help and repeated / deliverance vouchsafed me by my / heavenly Conductor, I must again / refer you to Stilling’s Life.
In 1778, the Lord was pleased to / deliver me out of this fiery furnace; / and I received a call as Professor of / Husbandry, Manufactures, and / Commerce in the newly-established / College at Kaiserslautern, in the / Palatinate. Here my annual salary / was about 6ol. sterling ; but I had / contracted a debt of 400l. at Elber- / feld, and my heavenly Refiner con- / tinued to try me still more ; so that / I was under the necessity of going / still deeper into debt. After spend- / ing nine years in the married state, / under very trying circumstances, it / pleased God to deprive me of my / dear and pious partner, who left / me with two young children ; so / that after a suitable time, I was / obliged to marry again. My second / wife had likewise no fortune ; but / she possessed remarkable talents for / housekeeping : so that now I could / every year pay off some part of my / debt ; and my sufferings began to / diminish.
In 1784, the college was removed / from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg ; / whither I of course moved likewise. / At length the Landgrave of Hesse / Cassel called me hither to Mar- / burg, as Professor of Politics, with / a salary of 1200 dollars (equal to / 200l.)
In 1787 I came hither; and in / 1790 my second wife died ; and my / children being still young, I was / constrained to marry a third time ; / and am now very happy in my mar- / riage.
I have published a great number / of treatises on Political Economy, / and several moral romances; but / since the year 1792, a great change / has taken place in my sphere of / action. The French Revolution, / with its consequences, and the suc- / ceeding war in Germany, made a / deep impression on my mind. I / thought there was reason to con- / clude from the Scriptures, that the / last great contest was commencing, / and the comming of the Lord to his / church at no great distance ; and / now that desire to devote myself / wholly to the service of the Lord / and his kingdom, and to live and / die for him, which had laindormant / within me from my youth, was / roused into activity. In the follow- / ing years I published a work in / five volumes, entitled, Heimweh / (Longing to be at Home). This / book excited uncommon attention : / many hundred copies found their / way to America ; many to Den- / mark, Sweden, and Russia ; and / it was generally read throughout all / the provinces of Germany. Being / now called upon from all quarters / to devote myself and my talents to- / the service of religion, I began / from that time to publish a periodi- / cal work, entitled, Der Graue / Mann (The Hoary Man) ; which / comes out every half-year. Soon / after, I wrote an explanation of / the Revelation of St. John, en- / titled, “ The History of the Tri- / umph of the Christian Religion,” / which had likewise an unexpected / sale; so that in the first year a se- / cond edition was called for. This / book is also much read in America, / where “ The Hoary Man” is now / printing, from time to time, in a / German newspaper. To this I / must add, the remarkable blessing / which the Lord lays on my prac- / tice as oculist; and particularly / on my operations for the cataract, / having already operated on 1300 / blind patients ; and, in the vaca- / tions, I am always called upon to / travel into distant parts to attend / the blind. Next Easter-vacation, / I am engaged to travel into Saxony / and Upper Lusatia. These jour- / nies make me more known, and af- / ford me opportunities to edify my- / self, and to strengthen the hands / of others.
But all these various circum- / stances occasion a severe conflict in / my mind. The Lord has brought / me, without my seeking it, into a / sphere of religious activity, and / blessed my services in an abundant / measure; but my extensive corres- / pondence and labours as an author, / take up so much of my time, that / it is with difficulty I can fulfil the / duties of my professorship ; which, / however, ought to be my first ob- / ject, as I receive a salary for it. / On the other hand, I cannot relax / in my religious labours; not only / because they are continually de- / manded of me, but because I feel a / strong impulse in my own heart to / labour in that line. Moreover, all / the leadings of Providence with me, / from my youth, seem evidently to / mark me out as a witness of the / truth in these last times; and in / particular, to direct my labours for / the promotion of union among the / awakened of every denomination, / that when the Lord comes, he may / find only one flock. On this ac- / count I belong to no party ; but / cultivate a brotherly fellowship / with all. As to my external pro- / fession, it is that of thie Reformed / Church ; which, in England, is / called the Presbyterian; but my / principles approach nearest to those / of the late Mr. Wesley.
I might, indeed, at once get rid / of the difficulties under which I / struggle, by resigning my office ; / but prudence forbids that, as I / should thereby put both myself and / family out of bread ; besides that, / my wife would then be unprovided / for, in case of her outliving me. / There is, therefore, nothing left for / me to do, but patiently to hold out / till the Lord himself shall help / me ; and this I am persuaded he / will do, and not leave me just when / his views toward me are unfolded.
You may, perhaps, think that I / might live by my practice as an / oculist ; but that is out of the / question, as I lie under an oblige- / tion to serve the poor gratis with / this talent ; and likewise to demand / nothing from the rich, but to be / contented with what they give me / of their own accord. – Amidst all, / I trust, with unshaken confidence / in the Lord ; and firmly believe that / he will support and help me.
Excuse me, dearly beloved bre- / thren, that I trouble you with so / circumstantial a letter; but it ap- / peared to me absolutely necessary / that you should have a thorough / knowledge of my situation, if you / and I are to join hand in hand in / labouring for the Lord and his / kingdom.
To conclude, I must request you / not to interpret any thing that I / have said in this letter concerning / myself, as proceeding from pride or / vanity ;– God forbid ! Roasting in / least becoming me of all men ; for / the Lord chuses the weakest, the / most wretched and abandoned / among men for his instruments, / that he alone may have all the / honour and glory. I dare not de- / scribe to you how wretched I feel / myself, lest I should appear to / make a shew of humility.
From all the above, you will / form an idea of my principles and / situation. As soon as it shall please / the Lord to release me from my / post in the college, so as to enable / me to spend all my time and strength / for him alone, I shall most gladly / join hands with you, to labour for / the great prize. Nevertheless, I / shall still continue to publish “ The / Hoary Man,” of which I have just / finished the thirteenth Number, / wherein the venerable Tract So- / ciety, with its great and glorious / object, is strongly and earnestly / recommended to all German Chri- / tians.
Year kind offer, dear brethren, / to assist us, in case of need, with / money, deserves our warmest / thanks ; but we will first endeavour / to do what we can ourselves, before / we have recourse to your assist- / ance, and become burdensome to / you. Meanwhile, we beg the sup- / port of your prayers and blessings.
Germany is the principal seat of / Christendom. Here the greatest / Christian Prince resides ; here it is / that the chief parties, both in phi- / losophy and religion, arose ; and / here, on the other hand, is likewise / the chief seat of Infidelity and / Apostacy from Christ. You would / scarcely believe, to what lengths / people have proceeded. In the / Prussian and Saxon states, they / preach boldly from the pulpits, / that to worship Christ is idolatry ; / and that the redemption of sinners, / by his sufferings and death, is no- / thing but old superstition. Dread- / ful indeed ! Here and there a mi- / nister is still to be met with who / reaches the truth ; but their num- / ber decrease’s more and more ; and / the apostacy so plainly foretold by / the apostle Paul, rushes in like a / torrent, breaking through all the / banks; but God will protect his / little flock, and will deliver and / preserve us. Here, in Germany, / the beast will soon arise out of the / earth, and make common cause / with the Man of Sin (the beast out / of the bottomless pit). – May the / I.ord help us ! that we may be / found faithful, boldly testifying of / the truth, and patiently enduring / unto death, that so we may obtain / the crown of life. It would, doubt- / less, be a great advantage, if true / Christians, in England and Ger- / many, would join hand in hand and / labour in fellowship ; and if the / German Tracts for edification were / extensively circulated in England, / and the English Tracts in Gcr- / many ; by this means, our prayers, / in behalf of each other, would be / more extended and more effectual, / and the work of God be powerfully / promoted.
May the Spirit of our Lord Jesus / Christ transform you, beloved bre- / thren, more and more into his / image, from glory to glory ! May / he work mightily in you and thro* / you, to the salvation of many souls / and to eternal life ! In him and / through him, I am to eternity,
your affectionate Brother,
Johan Heinrich Jung, M. D. / (English, Young) / Counsellor of Court and Professor / “