September 15th, 1863
Some time has elapsed since I received your letter of April 4th requesting that I reimburse your money*, and I have not responded. I hope you will bear with me and accept my sincere apologies. Let me explain this further.
On Easter Sunday morning we were blessed with twins, which almost cost my dear wife’s life. The twins were girls, one of them resembling the father and the other, the mother. My wife was bedridden for many weeks, suffering from kidney and spleen infection. The little ones demand much attention, and since the mother was unable to do so, I had to pay special attention to them and postpone much of my work. That is why I could not answer your letter sooner.
The twins, although they did not receive much nourishment from the mother, thrived exeptionally well. We were overjoyed over having two thriving infants in one bed. Several months after birth, we noticed that the older one, Augusta, did not keep up with her sister, Carolina. She had developed a fever, with constant vomiting and diarrhea, and in a short time her suffering came to an end.
Sooner than we had anticipated, the tender rose was broken, and we stood shocked and mourning over her little corpse. Under tears we were praising the Lord that He took the little lamb to himself in heaven. She passed away on Monday, August 17th, around nine o’clock in the morning. Before she died, we had hoped to receive a friendly smile from her little face, but in vain, although here beautiful blue eyes were always open.
Three days later we followed her casket for burial. Pastor Guenther from Saginaw had a very rousing and consoling sermon from Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 3: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
Both father and mother are in need of mutual consolation. I think that I am getting carried away with my own sorrows, as well as joys. I would not have carried on so long if I wouldn’t know what a good-natured and kind person you are. You were blessed with a happy marriage also, until the Lord took your wife to Himself. I have many fond memories of dear Mrs. Loehe.
I cannot report too much about my colonies today. I am waiting for a chart that a local skillful German man has promised to sign. Hope that he keeps his word.
Thank you for sharing the interesting news concerning your family.
Our land over here is in a miserable condition due to the war. The North American states arrived at a point where all piety, devoutness and honesty are cast aside. Bribery, covetousness and greediness are running rampant. The political parties all try to rule the land and make money, even if the country would go down in destruction. Horrible times are ahead of us. May the Lord be merciful to His Church. Our hope is in Heaven.
I have to come to a close with this letter. What shall I say to the remarks of the doctrinal differences that exist between us? You do not understand us, and we don’t understand you, who once preached the Lutheran doctrine so explicitly that we obtain salvation by grace and faith on our Lord Jesus Christ, now are ready through outlandish teachings to admit there is an alternative to salvation, and you submit yourself to these teachings. I cannot honor you as a brother in the faith any longer, without denying my own faith. The Lord give to you and me the true understanding as well as the true love to the Truth.**
* Money loaned to Rev. Sievers to buy land for settlements, which are to be repaid by the settlers.
** The last paragraph speaks the dissolution that began around 1853 between Rev. Sievers’ and Rev. Loehe regarding the interpretations of the Holy Scriptures and Lutherine doctrine.