LA CENSE DU BAS LACHAMP
La vie de « Peter Binkley » par lui-même
(récit dicté à « Sister Cramer », Peter ne sachant pas écrire; cette pluralité d’auteurs explique peut-être les substantielles erreurs de dates, dont la plus grave concerne le décès des parents de Peter, survenu au Ban de la Roche et non en Suisse et alors que Peter était adulte; la rédaction de tels mémoires était une coutume instituée par Zindendorf)
_From The Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Volume 4, page 1824:
July 11, 1782 - Brother Binckele came to have his memoir written, which was done on the twelfth by Sister Cramer.
(A copy of the translation of the original German memoir, found in the archives of the Moravian Brethren at the Home Church, Salem, North Carolina. Translated by Dr. Adelaide Fries, archivist; copy secured from her by Ruth Carver Gardner, June 25, 1934.)
MEMOIR OF BROTHER PETER BINCKLEY
who departed this life August 20, 1793. He was born March 2, 1704, in the village of Guckensberg in Canton Berne...
(note: probablement Guggisberg ; MF)
... in Switzerland. His parents were Christian Binckley and Elizabeth, maiden name Burg. In his ninth year his father passed out of Time; on account of their poverty our departed brother had been obliged to seek his support from outsiders already in his sixth year.
In his thirteenth year his mother moved into Alsace and the following year his brother came for him, and he lived with him for three years herding his cattle. Then he served another farmer for two years. The latter advised him to learn the trade of shoemaker; he had been in that work only fourteen days when he engaged himself for two years to an innkeeper as driver. The large size of the farm and many opportunities for doing evil...
(note: les parents de Peter étant décédés à Bellefosse, c’est dans ce village que nous chercherons cette ferme dont la grande taille était, selon lui, une permanente incitation au mal; la seule ferme de grande taille à Bellefosse était la cense du Bas-Lachamp... cense qu’il est un peu surprenant de voir décrire comme un lieu de perdition qu’on bon chrétien doit fuir s’il se soucie de son âme... MF)
... led him to concern about the salvation of his soul. In order to get away from that place he married Anna Maria Werly and remained in the neighborhood, that is, in the Steinthal District...
(= Le Ban de la Roche. Monique François),
... for twelve years, supporting his family by cutting wood in the forest and burning charcoal.
In the eighth year after his marriage, he and another man with whom he was cutting grass were struck by lightning as they had taken shelter under a beech tree from the rain, and he was so badly burned that for several weeks he was confined to his bed. This occurrence delayed for four years his plan of going to America, but meanwhile he associated himself with the Awakened People of the neighborhood.
(note: cette mention des « awakened people » du voisinage est bien interessante; il semblerait donc qu’il y ait eu, au Ban de la Roche, des réunions religieuses, en dehors du cadre des Eglises institutionnelles, ayant pour participants des personnes qui estimaient avoir été éveillées par une expérience spirituelle personnelle; il est bien dommage que ce texte de Peter Binkley soit la seule source sur ce sujet à ma connaissance; on aimerait bien en savoir plus, mais il faudra rester sur sa faim)
In the year 1736 he and several other Awakened families emigrated to America, reaching Philadelphia toward the end of September. The same fall he went to Warwick...
(note: now Lititz: Dr. Fries)
... and remained there two years. From there he moved to Catores, nine miles above Yorktown. Here he was associated with the Separatists...
(note: il s’agit d’un mouvement anglais refusant d’adhérer à l’Eglise anglicane; cette adhésion à un mouvement purement anglais est bien interessante, car il est évident qu’au Ban de la Roche, on ne connaît pas spécialement l’Eglise anglicane, [église nationale anglaise, de dogme catholique mais obéissant au roi d’Angletrerre au lieu du Pape]; et moins encore le mouvement des « separastists » [c’est à dire des Anglais qui refusent d’adhérer à cette église]; manifestement, ce n’est pas pour rejoindre les « separatists », dont il ignorait en principe l’existence, que Binckley a quitté le Ban de la Roche; l’impression générale est que certains des migrants cherchent à échapper à leur hiérarchie religieuse quelle quelle soit, et sont ravis de pouvoir faire, en consommateurs avisés, leur marché dans ce grand « supermarché des sectes » qu’est la Pennsylvanie d’alors)
... and heard for the first time of pious count Zinzendorf...
(note: Nicolas Louis, Comte de Zinzerdorf; 1700-1765; il recueille sur ses terres des persécutés, de façon plus ou moins volontaire, fondant la communauté de Herrnhut et refondant l’Eglise Morave, originellement celle de Jean Huss; tout au moins c’était son intention; en fait, le temps a passé depuis Jean Huss, si bien que l’Eglise Morave du Comte de Zinzendorf a peu à voir ave l’Eglise Morave originelle)
... who however had already returned to Europe. Soon after, for the first time he heard a Brother give free witness to the full atonement for sin made by Jesus, which was very comforting to our departed Brother, who hitherto had not so listened with open ears and heart to the doctrine of the sufferings and death of Jesus which alone could make men holy. He quietly sought every opportunity to attend services of the Brethren, where he frequently heard Brother Spangenberg...
(note: August Gottlieb Spangenberg; 1704-1792; bras droit du Comte de Zinzendorf; grand talent d’organisateur; fondateur d’implantations moraves en Amérique)
... preach, whereby he received some blessing.
In 1748 his wife died after a married life of about twenty-four years, blessed with fourteen children of whom six are still living. In 1749 he married widow Maria Margaretha, maiden name Geiger, and in the second marriage God gave him nine children of whom six are living. In the year 1750 he was received into Unity, and in 1752 he attended holy communion for the first time...
(note: ce long processus d’adhésion était une caractéristique de l’Eglise Morave telle que l’avait réorganisée Zindendorf; la générosité matérielle du Comte envers « ses fidèles » était bien entendu de nature à attirer dans son orbite des personnes peu désintéréssées matériellement; il le savait et en tenait compte, en particulier par un système de filtrage à l’adhésion).
... In 1763 he moved to Manakasy
(note: d’après Sara Binkley-Tarpley: il s’agit de Monocacy, Frederick County, Maryland)
to be nearer a schoolhouse, but as there he could get only one hundred acres of land and had no water, he sold that farm and in 1772 moved with his family to Wachovia...
(note: implantation Morave en Caroline du Nord; lieu nommé par référence aux terres du Comte de Zinzendorf)
... and established himself three miles from Bethania.
(note: Bethania est le principal village de « Wachovia »; à proximité, l’on trouvait aussi Bethabara, à l’origine un fort à palissade, puis un village; aujourd’hui englobé à l’intérieur de la ville de Winston-Salem)
So far his own story.
From his life here it can be said according to his own testimony that he loved the Saviour and in spite of failings and errors it was his intention to rejoice His heart; that his joy was in the Word of God and in the services of the church was manifest, for when because of advanced age he could no longer ride a horse he constantly walked three miles from home in order to attend services. In the midst of all the difficulties which surrounded him he permitted nothing to dissolve association with the Congregation, and he often said that the Saviour was his One and his All, his only comfort and Support, and how constantly he longed to be at home with Him. All who knew him honored him as an upright and peace-loving man.
As late as the eleventh of this month he came to Services and as usual he was happy and affectionate. The same evening he had a hard fall which apparently revived an injury which he had received in a fall last spring and from which he seemed to have recovered. The same evening he must go to bed, and it soon became evident that this was to be the cause of his release. The pain which he suffered was much increased by a severe cough; yet, he was bright and content when the blessedness of being with Jesus was pointed out to him. He said he did not know what the plan of the Saviour was, but he was entirely ready to submit to His will , and that he could gladly say that nothing disturbed his mind.
On the day before his home-going, he was visited by several Brethren from here; he was quite cheerful and affectionate, and he appeared much pleased by verses sung for him, during which he folded his hands together. He remained conscious to the end and passed away gently and peacefully toward evening on the twentieth of this month.
His age was eighty-nine years, five months, eighteen days. He is now in peace. Of his twenty-three children by his first and second marriages, eleven are still living. He left sixty-two grandchildren and fifty-six great-grandchildren. So that as far as we can learn the entire number of his still living children and children’s children is 129.
(Sauf mention contraire, les notes sont de Monique-Marie François)