The New Leader.—Such was the material God had gathered at Herrnhut to build a house for Himself. Let us turn for a moment to the man whom He had prepared, as a wise master-builder, to superintend the work. Count Zinzendorf was born, May 1700, of godly parents. His father had on his dying bed taken the child, then only six weeks old, in his arms, and consecrated him to the service of Christ.
“Already in my childhood,” wrote Zinzendorf, “I loved the Saviour, and had abundant intercourse with Him. In my fourth year I began to seek God earnestly, and determined to become a true servant of Jesus Christ.”
At Franke’s school at Halle, at the age of twelve, he often met missionaries, and his heart was touched with the thought of work for Christ among the heathen.
Among the boys at school he founded the
“Order of the Mustard Seed.”
They bound themselves:
1, to be kind to all men;
2, to seek their welfare;
3, to seek to lead them to God and to Christ.
As an emblem they had a small shield, with an Ecce Homo, and the motto,
“His wounds our healing.”
Each member wore a ring, on which was inscribed,
“No man liveth unto himself.”
Before leaving Halle he entered with an intimate friend into a covenant for the conversion of the heathen, especially such as would not be cared for by others. From Halle he went to Wittenberg, where he held prayer-meetings for the other students, and often spent whole nights in prayer and study of the Bible.
It was about this time that he visited the picture gallery in Düsseldorf. There he saw the Ecce Homo of Sternberg, with the words underneath—
“All this I did for thee,
What hast thou done for Me?”
His heart was touched. He felt as if he could not answer the question. He turned away more determined than ever to spend his life in the service of his Lord. The vision of that Face never left him. Christ’s love became the constraining power of his life.
“I have,” he exclaimed,” but one passion—‘tis He, and He only.“
It was His dying love that fitted Christ for the work God had given Him as the Saviour of men. It was the dying love of Christ mastering his life that fitted Zinzendorf for the work he had to do.