Boehler, Peter

Boehler, Peter, an eminent Moravian minister, was born Dec. 31, 1712, at Frankfort-on- the-Main, and was educated at Jena. On the 16th of December, 1737, Boehler received ordination as a minister from the hands of Count Zinzendorf, with whose benedictions and instructions he was dispatched, via London, on a mission to the negro population of Carolina and Georgia. On reaching London he met John Wesley, and .here began an intimacy which had great results in fixing Wesley's religious experience. SEE WESLEY. Boehler's mission was not very successful in Georgia; and the colonists, under his direction, removed to Pennsylvania about 1740. At the forks of the Delaware he was joined by Count Zinzendorf, Bishop Nitzschmann, David Nitzschmann, and his daughter Anna, who were engaged in the visitation of the North American churches, and whom he accompanied in their perilous enterprise. In the toils and privations peculiar to the earliest missionary settlements among the savages of North America, Boehler took his full share. His most peaceful labors were those in Bethlehem, where he labored as pastor with great diligence and success. Returning to England, he received ordination as a bishop. He had already been recognised as one of the superintendents of the North American congregations, and at the time of his death he was a director of the Brethren's "Unity" offices of no ordinary trust and responsibility. His episcopal visitations were extensive, including the oversight of the Brethren's congregations in England, Ireland, and Wales. He also attended, officially, several foreign synods, and took part in their important deliberations. The archives of several settlements contain affectionate mention of the holy influence by which his public ministrations and pastoral counsels were attended. The March and April of the year in which he died were spent in the visitation of the settlement at Fulneck. A stone in the Moravian cemetery at Chelsea bears the following inscription: "Petrus Boehler, a Bishop of the Unitas Fratrum, departed April 27th, 1775, in the sixty-third year of his age." Wesleyan Magazine, Aug. 1854; Stevens, History of Methodism, i, 100; Wesley, Works, 3:61, 62, etc.; Moravian (newspaper), Nov. and Dec. 1861; Stevens, Hist. of M. E. Church, i, 34.

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