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A Harmony of the SpiritsTranslation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania$

Patrick M. Erben

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835579

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838198_erben

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Reversing the Heritage of Babel: Visions of Religious and Linguistic Renewal in Seventeenth–Century Europe

Reversing the Heritage of Babel: Visions of Religious and Linguistic Renewal in Seventeenth–Century Europe

(p.17) Chapter One Reversing the Heritage of Babel: Visions of Religious and Linguistic Renewal in Seventeenth–Century Europe
A Harmony of the Spirits

Patrick M. Erben

University of North Carolina Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter probes the spiritual and linguistic meanings of Babel. The account of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages is primarily designated a spiritual event. Linguistic and spiritual confusion resulted from the inability of human beings to comprehend and communicate divine truth.

Keywords:   Tower of Babel, languages, divine truth

The early modern age was marked by an intense occupation with a variety of linguistic reform movements, such as the search for a perfect, universal, or original tongue. Most endeavors to change the religious and spiritual disposition of European society during this period were tied to designs to reform human communication, especially the problems of linguistic multiplicity and the declivity between human languages and divine truth. Ranging from the universal language championed by Jan Amos Comenius to the Quaker insistence on plain speech, religious reformers perceived human language as a corruption from a divinely inspired tongue. The division of human languages—purportedly caused by the events at Babel—appeared to be one of the foremost impediments to the reformation of religious and social affairs. Facing the upheavals of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) on the Continent and the Civil War in England (1642–1651), religious visionaries across Europe hoped that unifying human languages with the divine Word and with one another would bring peace and social harmony.1

The Spiritual and Linguistic Meanings of Babel

Even before this early modern fascination, linguists, philosophers, and theo-logians had probed the relationship between thought, language, and reality as well as the ability of humanity to communicate spiritual or divine ideas. They asked to what extent human language represented the language of the soul and, in turn, the workings of God's spirit. Did the constituent parts of language—words, grammar, inflection—have any essential connection to the world, or were they merely arbitrary constructs? Seventeenth-century (p.18) philosophical and theological positions on the origin of human language can be roughly divided into two camps that follow either the Aristotelian or Platonic traditions. In the Aristotelian line of thought, “language was a distinctively social creation that found no correspondent echo in the world of things; human speech was a conventional and arbitrary construct, differ-entiated by an unbridgeable gulf from the world it represented.” Platonic linguists held to a “necessary or ‘motivated’ (usually magical) connection between words and the things they signified.” These two theories of the re-lationship between human language and the world are often known as the conventionalist and the naturalist approaches.2

Most Neoplatonist thinkers tempered a purely naturalist position by distinguishing between inner and outer speech. The Hellenic philosopher Plotinus traced a gradation from the unified and ineffable divine Being, to the internal speech of the soul, to the outward, inadequate human word; true communication only existed directly from soul to soul. Building on Plotinus, the so-called church father Augustine formulated a distinction between inner and outer speech. According to Augustine's De Trinitate, human speech is anticipated by words uttered inside ourselves. This locutio cordis (inner speech or language of the heart) contains notions acquired through human culture, but it also retains vestiges of divine meanings. This inner speech allows humans to see the Word of God as “through a glass,” revealed in the mental images accompanying our thoughts in any language. For Augustine, silently reciting poems, rhythms, and melodies was particu-larly conducive to unifying the inner, human language with the Word of God.3

Augustine also believed that the linguistic miracle of Pentecost practi-cally continued within the Christian church. Preached to in their own lan-guages, the “heathens” would unite with Christians not necessarily in one idiom but rather in a single faith. No language should be rejected as “bar-barian”; that epithet applied only to human beings who could or would not praise God. The linguistic unity at Pentecost thus reflects one of the most persistent dreams of Western culture: to unify humankind in language (p.19) and spirit. Within this intellectual and religious tradition, Augustine repre-sents a crucial transition from a philosophical occupation with the origin of human languages in antiquity to an ethical motivation for the unification of all people. According to Umberto Eco, the story of the confusio linguarum evolved from an allegorical account of linguistic multiplicity into “the story of how a real wound had been inflicted on humanity, a wound that might, in some way, be healed once more.”4

For seventeenth-century Neoplatonists such as the popular German mystic Jacob Boehme, the account of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages primarily designated a spiritual event and only secondarily a change in the linguistic makeup of humankind. At Babel, God had dis-rupted the original unity between human language and the divine essence of all things as a punishment for human pride. Most concepts of the origi-nal language—whether favoring Hebrew or some type of Ur-language—claimed an original isomorphism of the Adamic tongue (that is, the language spoken in Eden) with the created world. This original language purportedly contained an iconic link between referents or signifiers and concrete things or objects in the physical world. Adam, in other words, spoke a divinely inspired language that perfectly expressed the divine essence of all things. With language and the world of things unified, communication between God and humanity as well as among humans was inspired to the same de-gree. Adam's linguistic act of naming all living creatures mirrored God's original act of creation. Mingled with human pride, this unified language, however, enabled people to challenge God's sovereignty. God thus created linguistic differences in order to confuse this “iconic bond” between lan-guage and creation. The idea that the events at Babel marked the separation of human language from its divine origins usually tied the linguistic fall to the first fall into sin: both were caused by human wickedness. Accordingly, the Babel of Genesis (a place of linguistic confusion) was already the Baby-lon of Revelation (a place of moral aberration). Linguistic and spiritual con-fusion were of one piece; both resulted from the inability of human beings to comprehend and communicate divine truth.5

(p.20) The presumed disjunction between human languages and the divine logos also constituted the central problem in debates over Bible transla-tion. Discussions about the translation of scriptures reverberated with fears of linguistic and spiritual corruption because the books of the Bible were regarded as the unmediated Word of God. The most iconic moment of biblical translation was the production of the Septuagint, the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. The circumstances of the Sep-tuagint's creation are captured in two different accounts that highlight com-peting traditions in the history of biblical translation. One account empha-sizes that diligent biblical and philological scholarship provided the best humanly possible approximation of the divinely inspired original, whereas the other account alleges that divine inspiration continued to occur during the translation process. In the first account, six Jewish elders and scholars in Hebrew law were gathered by the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philadelphus in the third century BC to translate the Jewish books; impressed with the results, the elders of Israel “ordered that ‘it should remain in its present form and that no revision of any sort take place.’” Accuracy, therefore, was ensured by the supreme knowledge of these scholars, and consequently further changes were barred, resulting in a veritable original in the Greek language. In the second and more widely acknowledged account, seventy-two translators gathered in seclusion and were guided by divine raptures or prophetic spirit to endow the translation with the very same divine essence presumably contained in the Hebrew. The Septuagint represented a trans-lation of the Hebrew into the koiné, the Greek lingua franca spread by the conquests of Alexander the Great throughout the entire Mediterranean. Thus, the Septuagint mythically and practically fulfilled both approaches to reversing Babel: reuniting human language with the logos of the divine and uniting human languages with one another.6

Yet the distinction between scholarly accuracy and divine inspiration misses a crucial connection between both approaches: in both versions, translation was the product of a communal effort. Similar to the Pennsyl-vanian translation of the Dutch Martyrs' Mirror discussed below in Chap-ter 6, the Septuagint was produced with the cooperation of a number of (p.21) experts and elders who endowed the translation with both scholarly and spiritual authority. Importantly, tradition holds that seventy-two transla-tors assembled the Septuagint (seventy being the closest round number) in seventy-two days. Why the emphasis on the number seventy-two? Here, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek symbolically provides a remedy against Babel, where, according to most traditions, a single human tongue was divided into seventy-two languages.7

The symbolism of seventy-two scholars reversing the heritage of Babel thus emphasizes an important dialectic in the history and practice of Bible translation and, more generally, in the translation of religious or spiritual writings—between division and wholeness, individual and community. Translations dealing with communal transplantation and formation in colo-nial Pennsylvania registered that the process of translation forever struggled with the division of meaning resulting from the separation of human lan-guage from the divine Word. For religious translations to carry spiritual essences from one language to another, it was not enough to grasp an indi-vidual vision. Rather, translation always had to unite the community with the divine spirit. This expectation placed a special burden on translators as well as community builders: translation needed to carry the spirit of one community into a language accessible to the spirit of another; community builders, in turn, needed to find a language that could unite the spiritual foundations of its disparate parts. Bible translation in the radical Protestant traditions that shaped early Pennsylvania was an emblem for spiritual com-munication overall.

Linguistic Enthusiasm in Seventeenth-Century Europe

In the early seventeenth century, Neoplatonic and mystical occupations with language culminated in the work of the German shoemaker, mys-tic, and philosopher Jacob Boehme (1575–1624). Boehme's emphasis on the practice of piety, personal renewal, and the individual experience of and union with the divine became one of the driving forces of the Pietist movement in Germany and profoundly influenced radical Protestants in seventeenth-century England. Scholars have traced Boehme's intellectual roots among earlier mystics, especially Paracelsus (1493–1541), yet Boehme avowed direct revelation as the source of all knowledge of the divine. His (p.22) first biographer, Abraham von Franckenberg (1593–1652), initiated the story that Boehme's first revelation occurred in the form of sunlight reflected off a pewter dish, opening in him a vision of the divine and triggering his volu-minous writings. Boehme's work stood at the center of speculations on lan-guage, especially the nature and possible restitution of the Adamic tongue.8

Boehme distinguished between two original uses of language. Following John 1:1 and Genesis 1, the divine Word created the world, and Adam's act of naming all animals and plants (Genesis 2:19–20) mirrored this linguis-tic act of creation. Boehme called this first human use of language Natur-sprache (language of nature), assuming that Adam recognized the divine essence of each part of creation and expressed this essence in language. The letters and syllables constituting this Natursprache were not chosen randomly, but they expressed through their sound the original quality and harmony of creation. To put it differently, Boehme believed that in paradise all language was musical because it resonated with the divine essence of things.9

Boehme considered the linguistic confusion of Babel responsible for man's loss of the Natursprache. Like Plotinus, he regarded linguistic di-versity as a secondary outcome of the loss of man's implicit knowledge of the divine essences of language. Rather than the multiplicity of languages, Boehme considered as the most painful effect of Babel the continuous ar-guing over “dead letters” or doctrine, which he identified as the hallmark of all institutionalized churches. In Mysterium Magnum, he writes: “Dear Brothers, if you did not wear the cloak of the language of contention, one might show you much more in this place; but you are all still caught in (p.23) BABEL, and you are quarrelers over the spirit of the letters.” Boehme thus fueled the period's widespread Babel criticism among radical Pietism in Germany and the Philadelphian Society in England. Drawing heavily from Boehme's ideals, the notion of “Philadelphia” promised an apocalyptic end to the rule of the orthodox churches and an “unpartisan brotherly love that vanquishes all denominational doctrines and characterizes the conduct of true Christians.” Resting on Boehme's theories, the Babel criticism of the seventeenth century pursued the tandem reform of human faith and lan-guage.10

Boehme's influence on linguistic theory and radical Protestant projects of religious reform was threefold. At their first publication, Boehme's writ-ings were widely received among religious visionaries such as Jan Amos Comenius, the Czech linguist, educator, and last bishop of the Old Uni-tas Fratrum (the precursor of the Moravian Church, or Renewed Unitas Fratrum), as well as the mystic and theologian Johann Valentin Andreae, the probable author of the “Rosicrucian Manifestos.” Boehme's work spread in various English translations during the Interregnum (1649–1660), when it became particularly influential among so-called Behemenists and the Phila-delphians. Johann Georg Gichtel's first comprehensive German edition of Boehme's works (1682) exerted a tremendous influence on radical German Pietism in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.11

Almost simultaneously with Boehme's first publications appeared in Germany several anonymous writings known as the Rosicrucian Mani-festos—Fama (1614), Confessio (1615), and Chymische Hochzeit (1616)—which (p.24) started a furor of linguistic, alchemical, and religious speculations across the Continent and in England. The Manifestos were allegedly pub-lished by a secretive society, the followers of the fourteenth-century Ger-man traveler and mystic Christian Rosenkreuz, who had supposedly gained insights into the divine secrets of the universe during his sojourn in the Middle East. Asserting that the society had already communicated with European heads of state and requesting that learned readers make con-tact with the “Fraternity,” the Manifestos kicked off hysterical speculations about the identity of these “brothers” and widespread attempts to earn ini-tiation into the society. Though Andreae eventually disclaimed the Mani-festos as an elaborate hoax, they had appealed to the utopian desires of the time by claiming to have forged a “new language” that offered insights into the divine essences of nature.12

The title page of the first printed edition of the Fama foregrounds the utopian goals of the Rosicrucian Manifestos—the “Universal and General Reformation of the Whole Wide World.” Although this call for a global transformation seems to contradict the secrecy of the Fraternity, the strategy was to communicate the Fraternity's wisdom and mystical insights to “all the scholars and heads of state in Europe” and consecutively educate future rulers in everything that “God allowed human beings to know.” These rulers would, in turn, implement this wisdom throughout the world. At the end of the Fama, the writer claims to have sent out the manuscript “in five lan-guages”—which are not named—along with the Latin text of the Confessio to all learned people of Europe, asking them to examine them diligently and to communicate their response either in a closed correspondence or to pub-lish their opinions in print (the latter resulting in a veritable flood of publi-cations by individuals trying to contact the Fraternity).13

Although the presumably multilingual dissemination of the Manifestos (p.25) already signals the goal of overcoming linguistic divisions, the primary tool for reaching this end was the construction of a new language. Beginning with the account of Christian Rosenkreuz's travels, the Fama takes him on a journey of language acquisition; in learning Greek, Latin, and eventually Arabic (although Hebrew was surprisingly absent), Rosenkreuz epitomizes the Renaissance retrieval of ancient knowledge. Upon his return to Ger-many, he gathers three confidants (forming the original “Fraternity R.C.”) to whom he dictates the entire account of his learning and insights. At this crucial juncture, Rosenkreuz makes the transition from learning from others in known, human languages to revealing his knowledge in a system of magical or divine signification. The Fama reports: “Thus began the Fra-ternity R.C. first and exclusively among these four persons and was consti-tuted through these words, a magical language and system of writing with an extensive vocabulary, which we still use today to the honor and glory of God, and we find great wisdom in it.” The subject of Rosenkreuz's revela-tions in this “magical language” was the “Book M.,” a little-veiled allusion to the “liber mundi,” that is, the entirety of the known world or creation.14

Not surprisingly, the three original members of the Fraternity were soon overwhelmed by the scope of this work and “decided to draw others into their society and fraternity,” emphasizing the dialectical relationship be-tween secrecy and communalism in the Rosicrucian ideology. Rosenkreuz's teachings are distilled into a mystical language that—like Adam's language in paradise—is expressive of the creation, thus enabling the members of the Fraternity to “translate” the actual “Book of Nature” (which was, of course, only metaphorically a “book,” as its “letters” or “characters” were all parts of creation) into an actual, written text. Fixed into a written sys-tem by a small group of initiates, Rosenkreuz's knowledge is to be shared with “posterity” through a “special revelation.” The writings also serve to protect his wisdom against any falsification, which could happen simply by changing “a single syllable or letter.” Of course, the implication is that anyone changing a text of the “Book of Nature” was meddling with God's work. The Rosicrucian Fama, therefore, claimed nothing less than restor-ing the original isomorphism between creation and language and thus doing (p.26) away with the fallibility of human language, which was believed to obstruct human progress.15

Finally, the Fama relates the mystical transmission of Rosenkreuz's reve-lations to the seventeenth century. The elaborate trope of the discovery and unlocking of Rosenkreuz's grave “typifies the opening of a door in Europe which is greatly desired by many.” The Rosicrucian brothers claimed to have discovered a door to a crypt, where they found an “altar” under which rested the body of Christian Rosenkreuz, holding in his hand a “little book written in parchment with gold, entitled T. [Testament or Thesaurus], which is now, after the Bible, our most precious treasure, and it shall not easily be submitted to the censure of the world.” The comparison of Rosen-kreuz's “little book” to the Bible is instructive; the Fama here claims for Rosenkreuz's writings the same status of divine revelation as was presumed for the scriptures. The reference to his corpse as “the beautiful and admi-rable body, unblemished and without any decay,” links, as a double en-tendre, the body and word of Christian Rosenkreuz to the paradigmatic account of the incarnation in John 1:1, in which Jesus Christ is seen as the “word made flesh.”16

The Fraternity also published the Confessio Fraternitatis, which prom-ises initiates universal knowledge: “Wouldn't it be a precious thing if you could find, read, understand, and remember in one book everything con-tained in all the books that have ever been or will be written and published?” The Confessio surmised that God had placed secret characters and letters in the scriptures and in creation. Fulfilling the dream of rediscovering the full signification of the Adamic tongue, the Fraternity claimed to have taken their

magical writing from these letters and invented for ourselves a new language, in which simultaneously the nature of all things is being ex-pressed and explained, which makes it less surprising that we are not so interested in other languages, because we know that they cannot be compared to our first father's, Adam, or Enoch's language, but are obscured through the confusion at Babel.

(p.27) The “new language” of the Rosicrucians expresses all things in nature; thus, it restores the original isomorphism between language and creation. It en-ables perfect communication among all initiates and makes the knowledge of other languages obsolete.17

The third of the Rosicrucian Manifestos, the Chymische Hochzeit (Chymi-cal Wedding), begins with a vision (apparently the first-hand account of Christian Rosenkreuz) that could easily serve as a metaphor for the multi-lingual promotion of early Pennsylvania. The purported author describes a vision of a beautiful woman dressed in blue, with golden stars all over, appearing to him in his study or hermit's cell on “an evening before the Easter day.” The woman carried in one hand a golden trumpet with a name engraved that the author was not allowed to reveal and in the other “a large bundle of letters in all kinds of languages, which (as I found out later), she had to carry into all countries.” He received a small letter that contained an invitation to a wedding—a trope for the Second Coming of Christ or the final reunion of the Church (the bride) with Christ (the heavenly bride-groom). Radical immigrant groups in early Pennsylvania felt they had re-ceived a similar vision that commanded them to aggregate for such a “wed-ding” in the wilderness of Pennsylvania, and promotional tracts were sent across Europe in “all kinds of languages.” On an eschatological level, the Chymische Hochzeit represents the hope that Christ's coming would not only reunite all believers in a single faith but, significantly, unite the speakers of all languages, in “all countries,” thus overcoming the heritage of Babel.18

Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670)—the last bishop of the “Old” Unitas Fratrum and reformer of pedagogy and linguistics—probably shared more than any other seventeenth-century individual the Rosicrucians' utopian hope for a universal restoration of divine knowledge and an end to religious (p.28) strife. Yet Comenius turned away from Rosicrucianism after the responses to the Manifestos reenacted the religious and linguistic confusion of the time. In his early work The Labyrinth of the World, Comenius allegorically described how the Rosicrucian phenomenon abused people's longings and led them ever deeper into spiritual darkness.19

Unlike the Rosicrucians, Comenius promoted the construction of an actual universal language (panglottia) and the acquisition of multiple human languages. Specifically, Comenius deployed language learning to facilitate universal education (pampaedia) and universal knowledge (pansophia). He understood his panglottia as a “way to end the confusion of languages.” Like Boehme, the Rosicrucians, and other mystical language reformers, Comenius subscribed to the Neoplatonist notion that human language had lost its original connection to the divine signified. Broken ties between man, language, and God resulted in a virtual contamination of the whole “body” of human society and human affairs. Since Babel, human languages had been affected by “worms … [that] may be religious, political, economic or philosophical…. If they could only be eliminated (so that there would be one common spirit for the whole body), there would be real hope of a return to healthy living.” Comenius targeted not so much the multiplicity of lan-guages but the separation of human language from divine or spiritual truth. That Comenius regarded his universal language as a global missionary tool is revealed in the preface to Panglottia, written as a “Letter from the Conti-nent of Europe to Peoples and Nations of Every Tongue Dispersed All over the World!” He describes his addressees as “Honoured Friends, Fellow-Dwellers on Earth, Beloved Kinsmen” and wishes “Peace and Salvation to You All.” The eschatological motivation of his linguistic endeavors stands out even more clearly in the dating of the “Letter”: “We are presenting our proposals six thousand years after the Creation in the Garden of Eden, 4344 years after the world was destroyed in the Flood, 4220 years after the Tower of Babel and the dispersal of the nations, and 1666 years after the advent of our Redeemer.” The Panglottia thus distills Comenius's ideas about the nature and specific purpose of his universal language, which he requires to be “pleasing to the ear like harmony in music, associating things with ideas (p.29) and ideas with words so closely that things are obviously conceived as they really are and are expressed in conversation exactly as they are conceived, without fault or omission or discord or error.” He thus retained the mystical idea that human language—in conjunction with music—could recapture its original harmony with the divine essence of the universe.20

Throughout his life, Comenius conceived a number of innovative peda-gogical projects and tools designed to simplify and generalize language learning. He tried to accomplish this goal by illustrating the common gram-matical principles of different European languages and by linking linguistic study to concrete images. One of Comenius's most widely known publi-cations was Janua Linguarum Reserata (also issued as a trilingual edition titled Porta Linguarum Trilinguis Reserata), published in England in 1631 as The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened, or Else a Seminarie or Seed-Plot of All Tongues and Sciences. The Janua Linguarum Reserata was origi-nally published in Czech and Latin and was designed to facilitate the learn-ing of Latin as a European lingua franca. Janua Linguarum Reserata hoped to harness Latin for facilitating universal knowledge and to promote peace-ful understanding among contending religious and political forces. Thus, it needs to be primarily understood in the context of the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War and in Comenius's forced exile from his native Bohemia after the Habsburg proclamation declaring Catholicism the state religion in 1627. The appeal of Comenius's textbook in a Europe shaken by warfare is at-tested by the eighty editions—in various European languages—published during Comenius's lifetime. In its various translations, the Janua became so widely used in many European schools that its dialogic arrangement of languages influenced foreign-language instruction for centuries.21

Comenius's Janua Linguarum Reserata and Porta Linguarum Tri-linguis Reserata are practical linguistic handbooks built upon (p.30) Neopla-tonic principles. Two or three languages—in this case Latin, English, and French—are usually presented in parallel columns (Figure 1). This design was supposed to accelerate the learning of several languages; one English edition hyperbolically advertised the organization and method as “a short way of teaching and thorowly learning within a yeare and a halfe at the far-thest, The Latin, English, French, (and any other) tongue, together with the ground and foundation of Arts and Sciences.” Comenius's main struc-tural innovation was the conversational presentation of words and concepts within a material, social, or religious context. Thus, the presentation of vo-cabulary was not alphabetical but followed the nomenclator principle, that is, the ordering of words according to thematic areas. The progression of topics or categories reveals that the Porta Linguarum was guided by meta-physical as much as pedagogical principles. Following a belief in a “sepa-rate creation of all the species” and Adam's subsequent naming of all ani-mals and plants in paradise, Comenius chose subject areas and section titles following the account of the creation in Genesis: “Of the beginning of the World,” “Of the Elements,” “Of the Firmament,” and so forth. In explain-ing this structure, Comenius writes: “I planned a book in which all things, the properties of things, and the actions and passions of things should be represented, and to each should be assigned its proper work, believing that in one and the same book the whole connected series of things might be surveyed historically, and the whole fabric of things and words reduced to one continuous context.”22

Like Boehme, Comenius maintained that the power of naming presup-posed the knowledge of the essential or divine meanings of the universe. In the first unit of the Porta Linguarum, the teacher tells the student or “Reader”: “Hee hath laid the grounds and foundation of all learning, that hath throughly [sic] learned the nomenclature or surname of things.” The parallel arrangement of three different languages signaled that a hidden con-cordance between words and the objects they designate existed equally in these three tongues. Following the mystical notion of “openings,” the Porta Linguarum served as the key that would unlock the gates barring human-kind from true knowledge. Comenius's method of spiritual and linguistic integration was twofold: horizontally, words, phrases, sentences, and ideas were integrated among the three languages on the page; vertically, the lan-guages and their parts agreed with the divine meanings that Babel had (p.31)

Reversing the Heritage of Babel: Visions of Religious and Linguistic Renewal in Seventeenth–Century Europe

Figure 1. Trilingual Page from Jan Amos Comenius, The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened … (London, 1631). This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California

(p.32) obscured but that might be reilluminated with Comenius's pansophist ap-proach to language learning.23

Comenius's other popular linguistic textbook was the Orbis Sensualium Pictus. The book was designed to teach children Latin by coupling it with a vernacular language as well as iconographic illustrations (Figure 2). The images expanded the idea of contextual learning begun in the Porta Lingua-rum by appealing to sensory perception. In keeping with Comenius's Neo-platonist ideas, this textbook recalls Adam's original act of naming in Eden. The epigraph to Orbis Sensualium Pictus—taken directly from Genesis—makes the spiritual or metaphysical significance of the material images ex-plicit: “The Lord God brought unto Adam every Beast of the Field, and every Fowl of the air, to see what he would call them. And Adam gave names to all Cattell, and to the Fowl of the air, and to every beast of the Field.” Children beholding the images and pronouncing their names in English and Latin restaged the original moment of naming and concomitantly erased the disjunction between language and divine essences caused by Babel. The onomatopoeic transcriptions of the sound of the respective ani-mals or actions, moreover, boiled language down to the basic emulation of natural sounds by the human voice. Structurally, images and their respec-tive names are not organized alphabetically following their first letter; rather, they are illustrated by an animal whose voice or sound resembles the pho-netic quality of the letter A (“The Crow cryeth”), B (“The Lamb blaiteth”), C (“The grashopper chirpeth”), and so forth. In resembling the sounds of nature, the phonetic qualities of the alphabet are—putatively—universal. Language is once more redeemed through its direct association with cre-ation and the recovery of the Adamic tongue.24

While inserting words and their pictoral representation into the religious scheme of biblical creation, Comenius evokes grammar as the metaphysical and universal element governing language. Material images teaching nouns (p.33)

Reversing the Heritage of Babel: Visions of Religious and Linguistic Renewal in Seventeenth–Century Europe

Figure 2. Page from Joh. Amos Comenii, Orbis Sensualium Pictus … (London, 1659). © The British Library Board

(p.34) appear within short phrases coupled with a verb. Students would presum-ably process not only a static connection between word and thing but a dynamic relationship between representation and object, between thought and action. By joining the material images of the animals, their presumably universal sounds, their names, and grammatically simple phrases express-ing the animals' verbalization, Comenius hopes to recapture Augustine's as-sociation of the voice (human and nonhuman) and the material images that accompany our inner language or silent speech. The simplest grammatical construction—a noun/subject coupled with a verb/predicate—is linked directly to nature and thus to the divine order of the universe. If grammar expresses the structures of the universe, then speech once more reflects the Word of God that called creation into being.

Comenius's Neoplatonist linguistics put a concrete foundation under the utopian visions proposed by Rosicrucians, Christian alchemists, and Beh-menists. His proposals “envisioned the creation of a publicly acknowledged, collaborative network of Christian natural philosophers who would take on the mission of improving the world for the coming of Christ.” Samuel Hart-lib, a German educational reformer living in England, corresponded with Comenius and eventually invited him to England to create a universal col-lege. Comenius arrived in England in September 1641, where he wrote his Via Lucis, a “detailed account of the overall pansophic program.” Although Comenius's plans and visit to England were interrupted by the beginning of the English Revolution in 1642 (and he accepted an invitation to reform the Swedish school system), his impact on English thought on education, lan-guage reform, and an overall restructuring of human affairs was immense. His pansophist plans met with great enthusiasm among philosophers, theo-logians, and reformers ranging from John Gauden, future bishop of Worces-ter, to the mathematician John Pell. Comenius's influence was also reflected in the English book market, with a total of sixty-one separate titles and edi-tions appearing under his name until 1700 and forty-four titles during and after his stay in England. His works for practical language instruction—such as the Janua Linguarum Reserata, The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened, and the Orbis Sensualium Pictus—enjoyed the greatest popu-larity, with forty-six titles and editions published between 1631 and 1700. Comenius's linguistic works and theories, in other words, found acceptance far beyond a small circle of esoteric reformers and Christian alchemists.25

(p.35) Continental mysticism had influenced English speculations about language and religious reform even before the widespread reception of Comenius, Boehme, and the Rosicrucian Manifestos in the mid-seventeenth century. The medieval German tradition of the Theologia Germanica, often attributed to Johannes Tauler (circa 1300–1361), received renewed interest in Civil War and Interregnum England owing to its emphasis on an interior experience of faith. Puritan theologian John Everard (1575–1650), for in-stance, distinguished between letters made by human beings and a spiritual language that expresses the mind of God. In creating theories of divine sig-nification, English radical Protestants absorbed German ideas and trans-lated German writers proliferously. Translation became the primary means by which English religious radicals imbibed German mystical notions about language. Eventually, the interpenetration of linguistic and spiritual reform efforts advanced by Boehme, Comenius, and the Rosicrucians impacted the mutual vocabulary of those German and English radical Protestants who conceived Pennsylvania as a holy experiment.26

In the radical religious environment of the English Civil War and Inter-regnum, the works of Jacob Boehme—along with the Rosicrucian Mani-festos—became some of the most frequently translated texts of German spiritualism, and they exerted a definitive impact on English radical Prot-estantism. Translated in 1652 by the alchemist Thomas Vaughan, the En-glish version of the Rosicrucian Manifestos continued the pretense of a hidden society that had reached mystical insights into the divine secrets of the universe. The fictive publisher of the translation, Eugenius Philale-thes, positioned the tracts in the widespread speculations over the nature of the Adamic language and its supposed isomorphism with divine cre-ation: “After God had brought before him [Adam] all the Creatures of the Field, and the Fowls under Heaven, he gave to every one of them their proper names, according to their nature.” The preface then followed (p.36) balistic and esoteric language philosophy, especially in its reference to hid-den divine meanings underlying “words,” “dark sentences,” and “Signs and Wonders”—all of which the “Wisdom” presumably offered by the Rosicru-cian society would penetrate.27

The first Behmenist tract to appear in English translation was Abraham von Franckenberg's Life of One Jacob Boehmen, published in 1644. Be-tween 1644 and 1662, thirty-two separate translations of certain portions of Boehme's overall work appeared in England, but manuscript extracts circu-lated as early as the 1630s. Accounts of Boehme's reception and dissemina-tion nevertheless vary. According to literary scholar Nigel Smith, “Boehme had a significant influence upon a handful of important sectarians who each gave their own forms of expression and shapes to Boehme's ideas, making Boehme's unique statements part of a wider knowledge.” Many influen-tial religious reformers and radicals—such as George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends—might have sounded like Boehme without having read Boehme directly.28

Theories of language, scriptural interpretation, and spiritual communi-cation among the Society of Friends mirrored German mystical hopes for a reuniting of human language with its divine referents. The Quaker insis-tence that the spirit or Inward Light was the wellspring of all religious testi-mony recognized as truth closely resembled the Behmenist and Rosicrucian claims for a Natursprache or new language. The transformation of Quaker speechways in the mid-seventeenth century was driven by the desire to strip away the dead letters of orthodox Christianity and speak with the knowl-edge of the divine essences of the world. Most important for the transmis-sion of such ideas to Pennsylvania, Quaker theories of language reform always had profoundly communal dimensions. Indeed, Quakers attempted to build a community, a Society of Friends, in which Augustine's inner and outer speech—the silent language of the soul and outward language of human speech—would be virtually the same. Friends would be filled with mutual love, because they were united by such a language of the spirit. (p.37) Language that was not filled with the spirit destroyed mutual cohesion and should thus be supplanted with silence.29

Fox and the Quakers rehearsed German language mysticism by believ-ing in the fallenness of all human languages resulting from the moral and spiritual confusion of Babel. Friends conflated the Old Testament Babel and the New Testament Babylon to emphasize that the corruption of lan-guage and faith went hand in hand. Babel prefigured Babylon in the Quaker imagination, because the spirit had become divorced from the divine Word, necessitating the creation of human languages through convention. Human tongues, in turn, had been corrupted by pagan influences and the power structures of church and state. The Quakers' plain language was not only an attempt to expurgate signifiers of church and state authority and the effu-sions of human pride; it was also the construction of a new language filled with the knowledge of the divine. Thus, Fox's accounts of his divine open-ings and his vituperative attacks on the languages of Babel go together; im-mediate revelations provided access to a spiritual language that could re-place the language of Babylon and undo the confusion of Babel.

Fox's most direct invective against the language of Babel/Babylon ap-pears in his brief pamphlet A Battle-Door for Teachers and Professors to Learn Singular and Plural, which he authored in collaboration with Quaker leaders John Stubs and Benjamin Furly. On one level, the Battle-Door propounds the Quakers' idiosyncratic pronoun usage, designating “You to Many, and Thou to One: Singular One, Thou; Plural Many, You.” By replacing the “you” used in early modern English society as a show of subservience toward power and status, the Quaker “thee” and “thou” rep-resented an attack on “vain customs and fashions” in language. Beyond an attack on secular and sacred institutions of power, language was to be a (p.38) reflection of an inner state; along with dress codes and simplicity, language reform contributed to the eschatological fulfillment of millenarian hopes here and now.30

But Fox also responded tersely to the linguistic theories and specula-tions of the age. Ultimately, humans should not quarrel at all about lan-guages but aspire exclusively to a life of the spirit. Fox associated language with the mortal state of the human flesh; almost Christlike, human beings come into human form—and into human languages—only temporarily, to be redeemed by the ultimate “word made flesh,” Jesus Christ: “All Lan-guages are to me no more than dust, who was before Languages were, and am come'd before Languages were, and am redeemed out of Languages into the power where men shall agree.” Yet Fox switched from the undifferenti-ated dismissal of “languages” to a distinction between “word” and “Word” reminiscent of standard Neoplatonist theory:

But this is a whip, and a rod to all such who have degenerated through the pride, and ambition, from their natural tongue, and Languages, and all Languages upon the earth is but Naturall, and makes none divine, but that which makes divine is the Word, which was before Languages, and Tongues were.

Men, crying up Tongues to be the Original, and they have degener-ated from the Tongues which they call the Originall, which is not the Originall, which be the Naturals, I look upon the natural Languages no more than men to learn to dress a horse, or women to sweep a house, as to divine things; For in the beginning was the word, which was before Natural Languages were.

Admittedly, Fox struggles with the arcane definitions and terms tossed about in the confusion of language theories at the time, thus creating a syn-tactically and semantically confusing passage. Yet he tries to drive home his point about the difference between fallen, human languages and an ulti-mate, spiritual “Word.” Somewhere, he says, they are connected. Although human language is fallen, it nevertheless does matter. His tract is a “whip” or “rod” insofar as it tries to purge the English language of its degenerate (p.39) ele-ments caused by “pride” and “ambition”—the key elements of the Tower of Babel. If the currently spoken language is degenerate, there has to be a more ideal state that has been left behind.31

Fox here comes close to asserting that human beings once spoke a per-fect language, which he calls the “natural tongue.” But Fox does not mean Boehme's Natursprache, and much less an “Originall” tongue supposedly spoken in Eden. Instead, Fox finds that normal folk speak a language—a plain English—that is then marred by “the Teachers of the world, and Schollars” who “are them which corrupts the Languages, and are exalted, taking glory to themselves, and have the Plural put upon them, for the sin-gular, which is vulgar.” Still, Fox insists that no human language—not even a pure Quaker speech free of pride and pagan influences—can help bring about salvation, for “all Languages upon the earth is but Naturall, and makes none divine.” Salvation, Fox asserts (and here he finally meets the theolinguistic hopes of contemporary mystics in England and the Conti-nent), will finally be achieved when the words of human language collapse into the ultimate signifier, “the Word,” “that which makes divine” and “was before Natural Languages were.” In spite of his folksy pragmatism and anti-intellectualism, Fox was also gripped by the recurring question whether human language could ever approximate the divine Word glimpsed through immediate revelation.32

Indeed, Fox's journal described divine openings that allowed him to tap into the script in which the universe was written and thus bridge the gap between human language and the divine Word. In the most paradigmatic passage, Fox wrote:

Now was I come up in spirit through the flaming sword into the para-dise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew noth-ing but pureness, and innocency, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus, so that I say I was come up to the state of Adam which he was in before he fell…. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into sub-jection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the Word of wisdom, that opens all things, (p.40) and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being…. These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter, though they are written in the letter, but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate Spirit and power, as did the holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written. Yet I had no slight esteem of the Holy Scriptures, but they were very precious to me, for I was in that spirit by which they were given forth, and what the Lord opened in me I afterwards found was agreeable to them.

Fox's belief in openings into the divine script in which the universe was written provided intriguing possibilities for building the foundation of a radical Protestant theory of translation and a common spiritual language. Translation is always concerned with the loss of meaning (in other words, the spirit of the text) from one language into the other. Depending on the nature of the material to be translated, such a loss of meaning could be spiritual, cultural, philosophical, or intellectual. The task of the translator, therefore, is the carrying over of this spiritual or cultural content from one system of linguistic signification to the next. Even if the translator was able to partake in the cultural contexts and spiritual states in which the original text was written, the readers of the translation presumably would not. To put it in clerical terms, the translator of religious or spiritual texts functions as a minister who attempts to interpret and translate the spirit in which the scriptures were written into a language that is ultimately incapable of con-taining the same spiritual meaning. Some Protestant denominations—such as the New England Puritans—attempted to solve the problem of the in-cumbent loss of meaning (or spirit) by increasing the spiritual and schol-arly competency of the clergy; ministers had to be both regenerate (that is, converted, and thus filled with the assurance of salvation) and univer-sity trained. Radical Protestant groups such as German radical Pietists and Quakers, however, believed not just in the regeneration of the translator (the person interpreting the divine text or will) but also in the prerequi-site transformation of the readers receiving the translated version. Much more, all the faithful had to be translators themselves, that is, they had to be equally capable of partaking in the spirit of the original.33

Fox claimed this status of being an ideal translator of the divine when (p.41) he says that he viewed all mysteries of the universe “as did the holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written.” Fox did not have to rely on a secondhand or thirdhand interpretation of the scriptures because he could read them with the same degree of divine inspiration as the original writers. And, if the writers of the Gospels were still alive, Fox could presum-ably converse with them about the divine meaning of the universe and the scriptures without a loss of meaning, for they would all partake equally in this spirit. As a Quaker, Fox does not claim such a status for himself alone; his Journal (and other writings and preaching) invites others to ascend to the same position. In the ideal case, all those individuals sharing with Fox a state of opening to the divine mysteries would no longer need a trans-lation, for they would all partake in a spiritual language that precedes or supersedes any human utterance. If such a community were gathered, its language would in fact be identical with the spiritual language, for all would have access to the ultimate divine referents.

The repercussions of such a religious or spiritual theory of linguistic translation are immense. The text of the translated and the translating ver-sion would no longer be tied together merely through the tenuous and fallen bonds of human signifiers. Instead, the link between both textual versions would lie entirely outside the realm of language. These ties, there-fore, would not be ensured through the linguistic accuracy of the translation but rather in the spiritual ties to the divine referent or opening to the Holy Spirit presumably shared by members of both linguistic groups. To put it differently, because the writers and readers of the original text had access to the same spiritual plane as the writers and readers of the translated text, the loss of spiritual meaning would be negligible. For Fox and other radicals, the language of a true church had to partake fully of the divine spirit and, thus, resemble the language of the scriptures.

Yet there was a flipside to such claims: what counted as spiritual language for those claiming continued access to the divine was incomprehensible gibberish for outsiders. In trying to achieve this ideal state of language and community, one opened the doors to a perfect confusion. Many of those individuals and groups in early Pennsylvania who deployed translation and multilingualism as the means for achieving a spiritual language reflected on this central dilemma. Discussions about linguistic and spiritual com-patibility tempered a pure theory of spiritual language with two caveats: human language was still fallible, even if it reverberated with the spirit, and individuals may be deceived in their claims of having access to the spirit. To confront these conditions, translators and authors asked readers to (p.42) dis-regard linguistic incongruities and focus only on the spiritual foundation in which the original text was conceived. Nothing guaranteed the proper reception of the translation as much as ensuring that the translator and the readers partook in the same spirit as the writers and readers of the original. In turn, the frequent production and use of translations helped writers and readers on both sides (the original side and the translation side) to train one another in recognizing spiritual similarities in spite of linguistic dissimilari-ties. The relationship was, again, dialectical: spiritual community could be harnessed to ensure the proper reception of translations; translations could be deployed to create or bolster religious community.

Beside Fox, one of the most influential Quaker writers was Robert Bar-clay (1648–1690), the so-called Quaker apologist. Barclay's Apology for the True Christian Divinity shaped the reception of Quakerism inside and out-side the community throughout the late seventeenth and eighteenth cen-turies. Even more clearly than Fox, Barclay developed a theory of spiritual language that would be rehearsed by Quakers and other religious radicals in Pennsylvania and throughout the Atlantic world. Barclay's attempt to shift attention from outward rhetorical expressions—in spite of his own eloquence—to inward spiritual content (or truth) was echoed in most trans-lations discussed in this book. In his preface to the Apology, Barclay wrote:

For what I have written comes more from my heart than from my head; what I have heard with the Ears of my Soul and seen with my inward Eyes and my hands have handled of the Word of Life. And what hath been inwardly manifested to me of the things of God, that do I declare, not so much minding the Eloquence and Excellency of Speech as desiring to demonstrate the efficacy and operation of Truth, and if I err sometime in the former it is no great matter; for I act not here the Grammarian or the Orator, but the Christian; and therefore in this have followed the certain Rule of the Divine Light, and of the Holy Scriptures.

Barclay's juxtaposition of “the Grammarian or the Orator” with “the Chris-tian” reflects two types of translation evoked in the spiritual writings of European and American radical Protestantism. The first translation oc-curred when writers transferred “what hath been inwardly manifested” into spoken or written language. In fact, Quakers carefully mediated and often-times restricted the type or amount of testimony written or printed, trying to limit the attention to the human word instead of the truth or divine Word. Secondly, Barclay's concept held crucial implications for the actual (p.43) transla-tion of spiritual content from one human language into another. Translators and readers had the obligation to search for the spirit in which the original was conceived rather than splitting hairs over specific rhetorical expres-sions. Of course, the fear was that a change in wording could destroy or distort the very spiritual content to be transmitted. According to Barclay, both the translator and the readers of the translation had the responsibility of recapturing the spirit of the original, just as the church tried to reconsti-tute the spirit in which the Bible was conceived. Unlike orthodox churches, Quakers and other radical Protestants claimed that the process of creating community through spiritually endowed language was still continuing.34

In building on Fox, Barclay declared the authority of the Bible as coeval with the operations of the spirit within. Accused by many critics of de-valuing the scriptures, Barclay responded with an explanation that places the Holy Spirit in the position of ultimate authority, while conceiving any human, linguistic expressions, including the words of the Bible, as equally flawed. Like Neoplatonist and radical Protestant reformers before him, Bar-clay held Augustine's distinction between inner and outer speech as funda-mental to the development of a spiritual language: “‘It is the inward master (saith Augustin) that teacheth, it is Christ that teacheth, it is inspiration that teacheth: where this inspiration and unction is wanting, it is in vain that words from without are beaten in.’ And therefore: ‘for he that created us, and redeemed us, and called us by faith, and dwelleth in us by his Spirit, unless he speaketh unto us inwardly, it is needless for us to cry out.’” All language—whether in translation or original—needed to stand the test of divine inspiration. If it was not filled by the Holy Spirit, it was to cease and be replaced by the characteristic silence of Quaker worship.35

For translators and translations of writings considered to contain a divine authority, the same test had to be applied; rather than a simple carrying over of spiritual content from one version into another, translations had to become renewed outpourings of the spirit that “speaketh unto us in-wardly.” By the same token, they could then become equal purveyors of spiritual truth with the presumed originals. In fact, Barclay asserted, the spirit allowed any individuals—even the untutored or illiterate—the same authority in interpreting the scriptures. In his “Third Proposition; (p.44) Concerning the Scriptures,” Barclay argued at length that all translations of the Bible thus needed to be subjected to the guidance and correction of the spirit; knowledge of the “original languages” did not guarantee a knowledge of the spirit in which the scriptures were written.36

German and English radical Protestants usually condemned the sup-posed vanity of learning classical and even scriptural languages. In his Jour-nal, Fox recounted meeting a government representative, who was on his way to “to set up a college [in Durham] to make ministers of Christ.” Fox tried to make this official understand his folly and

let him see that this was not the way to make them Christ's minis-ters by Hebrew, Greek, Latin and the Seven Arts, which all were but teachings of the natural man. For the many languages began at Babel … and they set them atop Christ the Word when they crucified him. And John the Divine, who preached the Word that was in the be-ginning, said that the beast and the whore have power over tongues and languages … which are in mystery Babylon, for they began at Babel…. But [Christ] is risen over them all, who was before Babel was. And did he think to make ministers of Christ by these natural, confused languages, at Babel and in Babylon, set a-top Christ the Life by a persecutor? Oh no!

Fox conflated the linguistic corruption of Babel with the moral or spiri-tual corruption of Babylon, thus creating an eschatological arch from the beginning of human pride at the Tower to its apocalyptic end. Fox turned the languages purportedly placed above Christ on the cross as emblems for all human languages into the antithesis of the divinely inspired and cre-ative Word. In the resurrection, “Christ the Word” reversed this relation-ship and, according to the Book of Revelation, would return to rule earth for a thousand years before the final judgment. Christ's atonement thus un-did man's fall into sin and into linguistic confusion.37

Providing a somewhat more nuanced position on language learning, Barclay joined Augustine's pragmatic quest for a unification of human lan-guages and his differentiation between spiritually dead human language and inspired divine language. Barclay praised the efforts of Reformation lin-guists and translators for fostering the study of Hebrew and Greek, and thus (p.45) for correcting the Catholic error of treating the Bible like a “sealed book” in order to keep the people in a “Babylonish darkness.” Similar to Comenius, Barclay advocated the use of a “common language”—such as Latin—in order to improve communication among different nations. He even judged “it necessary and commendable, there be publick Schools, for the teaching and instructing youth, as are inclinable thereunto, in the languages.” Never-theless, Barclay rejoined that such a “knowledge can no ways make up the want of the Spirit in the most learned and eloquent. For all that, which man by his own industry, learning, and knowledge in the languages, can inter-pret of the Scriptures, or find out, is nothing without the Spirit.”38

August Hermann Francke (1663–1727), German Pietist pastor and founder of the orphanages and schools in Halle-Glaucha, developed a simi-lar system of biblical hermeneutics that differentiated between the promo-tion of language study to produce more accurate interpretations and the experience of the inner, spiritual meanings of the Bible. Using the meta-phor of shell and core, Francke defined the shell as the “historical, gram-matical, and analytical study of the Scriptures”; the core, however, is the “deeper, spiritual insight” one reaches by penetrating through linguistic, historical, and exegetic levels of reading. Francke stated his preference for inner, spiritual insights over the outward understanding of its content. As the “core” satisfies the needs of the heart, the deeper understanding of the scriptures proceeds on a sublinguistic level. Like Fox, Francke also differ-entiated between the “fallen and human word” and the divine Word that is God. Francke's argument is ontological: the divine Word is coeval with the creative power that is God; thus, it is both eternal and immune to the errors of human language. As the “word made flesh” of the Gospel, Christ is the “core of the Holy Scriptures.” Francke listed a total of seventy-five names or titles the Bible gives Christ, illustrating the relationship between language and the divine: the multiplicity of human signifiers is subsumed in Christ, the divine signified. The eschatological significance of the diversity of human language is its collapsing into the unity of the Word.39

Similar to Fox and Barclay, Francke also targeted the role of language learn-ing in the preparation for the ministry. At “schools and universities,” he wrote in “Observationes Biblicae,” he wished for a “consequential continuation of (p.46) the Reformation” by “making God's Word again the primary and not the sec-ondary focus.” Although praising the study of the biblical languages, which he calls “foundational languages,” Francke warns against making philological work the primary focus of religious training instead of the “substance itself, which is being presented to us in God's Word.” For this purpose, Bible schol-ars as well as readers of the Bible in general must ask for the “illumination of his Holy Spirit.” As in translation, understanding scriptural language was to penetrate beneath the level of linguistic and philological comprehension to gain a physical (“sweet”) and spiritual sense of its meaning.40

Barclay and Francke thus differentiated between a use of languages for practical human communication as well as biblical scholarship on the one hand and the supreme language of the spirit on the other hand. What united Barclay and Francke, as well as the Quaker and Pietist movements in early modern Europe, was the effort to escape Babel/Babylon and create a more perfect society through linguistic and spiritual reform. Their common logo-mystical beliefs were also at the center of the utopianism that created the idea of Pennsylvania as an antitype to the linguistic and spiritual separa-tion from the divine signified or Word. Unfortunately, the utopianism of Pennsylvania's founding has become such a cliché that its explanatory value has waned. One of the reasons is that few accounts search deeper into the causes and meanings of this utopianism. Indeed, during the decades pre-ceding the founding and settlement of Pennsylvania, the religious and lin-guistic undoing of the heritage of Babel and Babylon—along with the prin-ciple of Philadelphia—was one of the most widely exchanged ideals among English and German radical reformers, turning it into a transnationally and translingually recognized concept. The concept of Philadelphianism at the core of this experiment did not merely espouse vague notions of universal brotherhood but constructed Pennsylvania as the embodiment of theologi-cal and linguistic reform movements.41

Translating the Philadelphian Ideal

Although the Philadelphian ideal was most openly espoused by the Phila-delphian Society, it found broad acceptance in radical Protestant (p.47) commu-nities of late-seventeenth-century England and Germany. The key word “Philadelphia” thus evoked a host of eschatological and apocalyptical speculations. Philadelphians specifically interpreted and looked to the Book of Revelation (chapter 3), in which seven letters sent to seven churches presumably evoked periods in the history of the Christian church. During the time of Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7–13), the true children of God would be gathered and become the betrothed to the lamb or Christ. Eventually, the orthodox churches or “sects” would be eliminated as part of “Babel.” The end of human history would be followed by the restoration of all things (Apokatastasis panton). In the meantime, “Philadelphia” was to be under-stood and lived as the unpartisan, brotherly love that countermands doc-trinal wrangling and distinguishes true Christianity. Pennsylvania would be founded on this notion of “Philadelphia,” which was not merely the general espousal of brotherly love and religious tolerance but also a set of eschato-logical, radical Protestant ideals, most prominently the exit from and un-doing of Babel and Babylon.42

The activities of “Philadelphians” in late-seventeenth-century England and Germany demonstrate that a common interest in the “restoration of all things” as well as a concrete cooperation through translation did not for the first time develop in Pennsylvania. It was rather a continuation of practices based on linguistic and spiritual reform and, more specifically, the ideal of “Philadelphia.” Members of the English and German Philadelphian move-ments connected through an active correspondence and frequent, recipro-cal translation of theological and mystical writings, leading to “a certain unification of radical Pietist thought.” Indeed, translation and correspon-dence brought English and German radical Protestants so close together that they regarded themselves as “branches of the same tree.” Based on the practice first introduced by Philipp Jakob Spener, the “father” of Ger-man Pietism, Philadelphians and radical Pietists in England and Germany met in small groups called “conventicles,” which discussed a variety of reli-gious ideas, introduced writings in translation, and corresponded with like-minded meetings at home and abroad. In the 1680s and 1690s, such groups also became hubs for the dissemination of concrete news as well as more (p.48) esoteric speculations about emigration to Pennsylvania. For instance, the German immigrant leader and eventual founder of Germantown Francis Daniel Pastorius received his motivation for immigrating to Pennsylvania from the Frankfurt Pietists, the first of these radical Pietist and Philadel-phian groups to consider “emigration as an attractive possibility for a con-sequential exit from ‘Babel.’” Although the actual founding of Pennsylvania also emerged from a variety of complex political, imperial, and economical considerations, the spread of Philadelphian and radical Pietist hopes for leaving behind the linguistic and moral Babel/Babylon provided some of the most important theological and intellectual underpinnings. Religious radicals immigrating to Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth and early eigh-teenth centuries carried with them mystical ideals about the spiritual and communal significance of this experiment. Most certainly, they believed that their common search for a spiritual language was a direct means to counter the heritage of Babel.43

Translation was the driving force of the spread of Philadelphian ideals in England and Germany. Initially, the most prominent leaders of the Phila-delphian Society in England—Jane Leade, John Pordage, and Thomas Bromley—received their mystical stimulus from translations of Boehme's work. John Pordage was already known as one of the most prominent “Beh-menists” in England when he first met Jane Leade in the 1670s. Under the influence of Boehme's experiences, Leade recorded many “prophetic visions” in her spiritual diary, A Fountain of Gardens (published 1696–1701). Her visions of “God's Eternal Virgin, Wisdom” recalled Boehme's notion of the “Virgin Sophia.” Both presumed that the Holy Spirit was a female quality of God that inhabited the first humans but fled as a re-sult of the fall. Although Quaker beliefs in the indwelling spirit or Inward Light differed considerably from the radical Pietist idea of an aloof “Virgin Sophia,” both groups agreed in their assumption that the connection to this spirit or divine wisdom resulted in fundamental changes in the behavior and speech of individuals and entire communities.44

(p.49) In turn, Philadelphian writings found an enthusiastic audience in Ger-many, where the first complete publication of Boehme's writings by Gichtel was reenergizing the radical Pietist movement, such as the Pietist conven-ticle founded by Spener at the so-called Saalhof in Frankfurt. Particularly fruitful was Leade's exchange with two chiliastically inclined members of this group, Johann Wilhelm Petersen and his wife Johanna Eleonora Peter-sen (née Merlau). Leade and other members of the Philadelphian Society sent their manuscripts for commentary and translation to the Petersens; in turn, writings by the Frankfurt Pietists were translated and published by the Philadelphians in England. Besides outlining the mystical beliefs of the society, these publications promoted a communitarian and interde-nominational program, including the mandate to “prepare for that great and solemn Time [the Coming of Christ] by a good Life, universal Charity, and Union amongst the Protestant Churches.”45

Similar to Boehme, the Philadelphians also likened the spiritual illumina-tion received through unification with the “heavenly Sophia” to the divine music of the spheres. Published in the Theosophical Transactions, the short-lived journal of the Philadelphian Society, Francis Lee's tract “A New Theory of Music” (1697) explained the Philadelphians' mystical theory of music, which they regarded as a conduit to the hidden, divine mysteries of the uni-verse. Accordingly, the relation of musical notes to each other was a reflec-tion of the “Harmony of the Divine Powers and Properties in the Nature of God: who exists and manifest [sic] himself in infinite variety and multiplicity, all in perfect Concord and Unity.” Most important, Lee located this divine harmony not only in music but also in the sounds of spoken language:

The Ground on which we proceed, is a New Discovery arising from this Theory; Which is This: That the Natural Pronunciation, or the Tone, Accent, and Emphasis, which we use in speaking our Words; and that variety of it that appears in the Expression of our Passions; is nothing else but Musick; it is True and natural Harmony.

Lee's theories promised a soteriological effect of language perceived as music, but especially of language performed as music. In essence, Lee sug-gested an elevation of human expression through music to the level of an-gelic singing, which must have created nothing short of euphoria among (p.50) mystical Pietists trying to perfect their earthly existence in anticipation of Christ's Second Coming.46

The culmination of the Philadelphian and Neoplatonist visions of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries can be found in the thought and work of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. In founding the Renewed Unitas Fratrum or Moravian Church in 1727, Zinzendorf joined the mys-tical currents of radical Pietism with the heritage of the Bohemian Breth-ren, a pre-Lutheran Reformation church that originated in the teachings of Jan Hus (circa 1372–1415) and was carried on by a small group of Moravian refugees who settled on Zinzendorf's estate. Although the Moravians under Zinzendorf practiced a “heart religion” that placed the individual believer in an intensely personal and emotional relationship with Christ, especially through the complete immersion in the cult of Jesus's blood and wounds, it was within the communal expression and celebration of this individualistic faith that the full power of Moravian spirituality took shape. Concretely, love feasts and hymn singing galvanized a “community of the cross” through the joint experience and expression of Christ's love. Although recent scholar-ship has teased out the theological and communal underpinnings of Mora-vian beliefs and practices, it has neglected the impact of Zinzendorf's ideas concerning the linguistic multiplicity of the Moravian Church. Zinzendorf championed the earlier, seventeenth-century fervor about the reformation of human language, society, and religion represented by Jacob Boehme, Jan Amos Comenius, and the Philadelphians, and he applied their thought to the expansion of the Moravian Church—fostered through a dynamic mis-sions program—into a global, transnational, and translingual community.47

(p.51) Zinzendorf had grown up at a crossroads of Pietist and radical Protestant thought. He was raised by his grandmother Henriette Katharina von Gers-dorf (1648–1726), who was known for her language learning and indepen-dent thought on religious matters. She participated in a vigorous commu-nication with the most well-known figures in Lutheran Pietism, including Phillip Jacob Spener and August Hermann Francke, who visited her resi-dence when Zinzendorf was still a child. Henriette was also well read in the writings of radical Pietism and Philadelphianism, including Jacob Boehme, Jane Leade, and Johann Wilhelm Petersen. These Pietist and mystical in-fluences as well his experiences during his “Grand Tour” led the young Zinzendorf to embrace the idea of a “trans-denominational heart religion and a universal church, that is tied to the heart and suffering of Jesus.” His early travels apparently helped inspire the strongly ecumenical idealism that would drive Zinzendorf for the rest of his life; he claimed that “from this time on, I tried to discover the best in all religions … for I knew that the Lord wanted to have his own among all different peoples.” Motivated by a mystically oriented love of Christ, Zinzendorf increasingly developed the desire to join or form a community built according to Philadelphian princi-ples.48

Beyond the influence of Behmenist mysticism and Philadelphianism, Zinzendorf soon encountered another radical Protestant tradition through his meeting with the descendents of the Bohemian Brethren and their joint founding of the new Unitas Fratrum in 1727. As the last “bishop” of this pre-Lutheran reformation church, Jan Amos Comenius had written the history of the Bohemian Brethren, which Zinzendorf read in July 1727 on a journey to Silesia and, in part, translated from Latin to German. Zin-zendorf also modeled some of the rules of the Renewed Unitas Fratrum on Comenius's Historia Fratrum Bohemorum and was thus able to give (p.52) the new church a sense of continuity and respectability. Zinzendorf be-came Comenius's heir when Friedrich Wilhelm I recognized the Moravian Church and Bishop Daniel Ernst Jablonski (1660–1741) ordained Zinzen-dorf as bishop on May 20, 1737. Jablonski was not only a court preacher in Berlin and bishop of the Polish portion of the Unitas Fratrum but also the grandson of Jan Amos Comenius. Although no direct evidence exists for Zinzendorf's study and embrace of Comenius's linguistic thought and writings, he certainly embraced the principles of pacifism and a univer-sal reform of faith and language that Comenius had espoused. Comenius's writings on pansophism and his practical linguistic works were so widely received throughout the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that Zin-zendorf must have come into contact with the foundations of Comenius's projects. Zinzendorf's thought about the spiritual and linguistic renewal and unity driving the worldwide Moravian Church certainly reverberated with the spirit of Comenius's pansophism.49

During the 1730s and 1740s, Zinzendorf began to adapt Boehme's Neo-platonist language mysticism and Comenius's pansophism to the concrete, communal developments within a Moravian Church expanding across Europe and into the worldwide mission field. Zinzendorf built on Boehme's distinction between actual, spoken languages and a spiritual language con-tiguous to or inspired by the Holy Ghost, even adopting the concept of Na-tursprache. During a Moravian synod at Zeist, Holland, in May-June 1746, Zinzendorf delivered a sermon on language difference and unity within the Moravian Church. Reverberating with Boehme's Natursprache, Zinzendorf's speech evoked Augustine's Pentecostal global church as well as Comenius's linguistic universalism:

It has been said: unite all languages, etc. This is such a reality that, I believe, speaking in tongues does not mean one should babble (p.53) some-thing in a language that no one understands; but, first, that one unites the languages as we do in “Lamb, Lamb, oh Lamb etc.” [that is,] that everyone praises the lamb in his or her own language; secondly, that one brings to bear the force of a language onto the spiritual language. If in our language a word is clearer, it is used in German in another country; but if it is clearer in Dutch, one uses—in the middle of the German—the Dutch, or the Latin or the French or the Greek lan-guage. And to understand this, one does not have to do anything but ask “what does this part of a line mean?” There are at least one hun-dred brothers and sisters present who understand it just like that and for whom it is even clearer and more evocative; and, 20 years later no one will understand us, which will be right, for we won't speak un-clearly or absurdly, but instead we will speak a natural Language, a central language.

Following the dictum of linguistic unity given by a variety of Neoplato-nist philosophers and theologians before him, Zinzendorf defined how the Moravian Church addressed the dilemma of Babel. He distinguished his ideas of divinely inspired language from ultramystical forms of “speaking in tongues” and described a gradual approximation of the language spoken by the community to the ideal or spiritual language pervading all church members.50

Zinzendorf understood the development of linguistic unity among the Moravians as twofold. First was a parallel multilingualism anchored in the joined exultation of Christ. Zinzendorf mentioned the widespread practice of selecting a specific hymn that would be sung in all the vernaculars of the (p.54) members of the global Moravian Church present at a given time and place. The parallels to the scriptural Pentecost were obvious: speakers from dif-ferent nations did not lose their respective language; they “unite[d] all lan-guages.” Within a multilingual, global church community, Christ spawned a multiplicity of linguistic expressions; he was both signifier and signified in any national or ethnic community. In a speech given before his depar-ture to America in 1741, Zinzendorf said: “Everything is created by him and through him and toward him: from the smallest worm to the highest arch-angel, everything exists for his sake. Thus, the poor man Jesus has such su-perlative and infinitely excessive by-names, for he is the creator of all times and all beings.” The linguistic multiplication of representations of Christ's suffering and death confirmed the status of Christ as logos and thus the lin-guistic and spiritual unity of the Moravian Church.51

Secondly, Zinzendorf's speech to the synod at Zeist illustrated his ex-pectation that the Moravian Church would ultimately build a language that combined the spiritual elements of all languages represented in the commu-nity—such as German, Dutch, Latin, French, or Greek—in a single tongue spoken and understood by everyone within, but by nobody without, the Ge-meine (the term German Moravians used for spiritual or religious commu-nity). Zinzendorf followed to a certain degree the conventionalist approach to language formation: a prolonged exchange of words and meanings within a multilingual and multicultural community resulting in a language mosaic (which reverses Babel by validating language difference). On a more mysti-cal level, Zinzendorf relied on Boehme's Neoplatonist theory that existing languages retain traces of the spiritual language spoken by Adam in para-dise. After all, the measure for determining which linguistic expression is “clearer” in communicating a given thought or idea could only be found in the “spiritual language” presumably spoken or understood by those united in faith. Therefore, the Moravian language formation Zinzendorf described continued the search for insights into the divine “text” underlying lan-guage and being. Unlike seventeenth-century Neoplatonists, the Moravian community did not seek to recover an “original” language lost at Babel but rather hoped to create a new language; this language was “natural,” not pri-marily because it returned to childlike diminutives, but rather because it captured a spiritual connection between human language and the divine. It (p.55) was “central” because it expressed the spiritual and linguistic unity of the Moravian Church within its national or cultural diversity.52

Zinzendorf thus articulated a solution to the crucial paradox between spiritual unity and linguistic multiplicity that not only took stock of con-crete experiences with diversity but also predicated any future cohesion of the Gemeine on the embrace of its many parts. Although Zinzendorf ‘s idea of a Natursprache emerging from or through the diversity of the Moravian Church retained the earlier, Neoplatonist notion of a common spiritual lan-guage, it no longer followed the mystical hopes of either rediscovering an original lingua adamica or constructing a universal or perfect language. By inserting visions for linguistic and spiritual renewal into the communal context of the church, Zinzendorf and the Moravians developed a mature model of earlier language mysticism that allowed a universalist expansion of the church among the many peoples and languages of the world to be interpreted as a direct undoing of the spiritual and linguistic heritage of Babel. By experiencing spiritual cohesion in the community, Moravians could build a “spiritual language” that is natural because it expressed, not the essence of creation, but rather the essence of the Moravians’ joint ex-perience of faith. The “key” to the undoing of the heritage of Babel, in other words, did not lie in confronting linguistic multiplicity but in embracing it. On a communal level, the intense focus on Christ, “the Word made flesh,” made actual linguistic differences insignificant.

Linguistic Utopianism and the Founding of Pennsylvania

The interpenetration of religious and linguistic reform movements in Europe affected early Pennsylvanian attitudes toward the spiritual and com-munal life of the province indirectly and directly: the English Quakers, radi-cal German Pietists, and German and Dutch Anabaptists who dominated the earlier waves of immigration to Pennsylvania—and thus determined its spiritual and cultural makeup—condemned European society in gen-eral and the orthodox Protestant churches in particular as an outgrowth (p.56) of Babel and Babylon, two biblical types they conflated in their rhetoric. Although the members and the later descendants of this wave of religious immigration might not have directly studied and understood Philadel-phian, mystical, esoteric, and chiliastic theologies and linguistic theories, they nevertheless continued a spiritual and linguistic sensibility steeped in an earlier enthusiasm for religious and linguistic renewal. Moreover, many educated representatives of radical Pietist and sectarian groups—such as Francis Daniel Pastorius, Johannes Kelpius, Christopher Witt, Peter Miller, Anthony Benezet, David Zeisberger, and John Heckewelder—studied and disseminated seventeenth-century mystical, utopian, and esoteric ideas about religion and language. They tried to reconcile these traditions with the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious composition of early Pennsyl-vania.53

On the surface, linguistic and religious diversity in Pennsylvania re-sembled the confusion of languages and scattering of peoples at Babel. On a deeper, mystical level, Pennsylvania was regarded by many as a commu-nal experiment where outward, spoken languages and the inward, spiritual languages could be reunited. Most of the radical Protestant immigrants who shaped the early spiritual and cultural composition of the province consid-ered Pennsylvania a testing ground for the theories developed by reformers, mystics, linguists, and theologians in the seventeenth century. The “holy experiment” could only become a reality—and its members could only be united in “brotherly love”—if the different components of society could be joined in a common language of the spirit. Spiritual language was that which remained after linguistically or denominationally specific expressions of faith had been made interchangeable through translation. To translate was to find the language of the spirit.

In Pennsylvania, the texts, writers, and translators most concerned with the emergence of this spiritual language through translation frequently cited the scriptural tenet from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians that had been the motto of Johann Arndt and of radical Pietism: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). From Francis Daniel Pas-torius's multilingual “Bee-Hive” manuscript, to the first Mennonite trans-lation of the Dordrecht Confession of Faith published in America, to (p.57) Anthony Benezet's translation of Johannes Tauler's works, translations and translators directly evoked Paul's letter and Arndt's motto to emphasize the spiritual and communal significance of writing and reading in translation: translators and the readers of translations inherently tested the spiritual ve-racity of everything carried from one language to another, trying to establish linguistic and spiritual correspondences.54

Arriving in Pennsylvania as the vanguard of German immigration, the polymath, lawyer, and Lutheran Pietist Francis Daniel Pastorius (1651–1719) exemplified the continued study of the philosophical and theologi-cal questions on language characteristic of seventeenth-century Europe; in his extensive work in translation and multilingual composition, he also re-vealed the application of this thought to the linguistic and religious diver-sity of early Pennsylvania. Pastorius generally perceived his multilingual manuscript writings—especially the commonplace book and encyclope-dia known as the “Bee-Hive”—as an effort to collect European knowledge and grapple with its relevance in a New World society. In the encyclopedic section of the “Bee-Hive,” Pastorius assembled religious and secular ideas from a wide spectrum of authors. Several entries concerning language dem-onstrate his continued interest in seventeenth-century notions of religious and linguistic reformation, specifically the desire to overcome linguistic divisions as both symptoms of and impediments to spiritual unity.55

(p.58) Pastorius continued to invest in approximating human communication and the language of the spirit, which, he hoped, would result in greater har-mony in all human affairs. In the following encyclopedia entry, he touched upon the hallmarks of the seventeenth-century religious occupation with language:

456. Language, add Speech, Tongue, Original Tongue, English Tongue: linguae differentes (:expressa Babylonis vestigial:) numerantur ab audoribus septuaginta due, non connumerando diveras adjustu jury dialectos, true Canting. A linguist rather than a realist. Strange gibber-ish. State English, Court English, Secretary English, Plain English; the last the best. Whatsoever tongue will gain the race of perfection must run on these four wheels, Significancy, Easiness, Copiousness and Sweetness, so that we may express the meaning of our minds aptly, readily, fully and handsomly [sic]…. The language of Canaan for purity and verity…. Hebrew—Greek and Latin makes no minister (p.59) of God. G.F. Journal. The languages began at Babel; and the beast and whore have power over them. etc. Ad. P. 281, a linguist: In heaven all speak the L: of Canaan (: which some think is the Hebrew tongue:) if indeed they make any articulate sound…. We first learn to read our Native tongues, which [we] speak without teaching….

The dead and living Languages. Hebrew the ancientest, Greek the most Copious, and Latin the finest. Hebrew and Greek S. Augustine calls the precedent or Original Tongues…. L: by attention and use may be learned, all the L: of the world signify nothing to us, unless we learn also, God's language, thereby to converse with him, Ludolf, p. 51. 'tis the Speech of the heart only, which is acceptable to God, bare words are too outward, and the strength of the Spirit often loses by the great Care of fine language.

As an encyclopedist, Pastorius did not write an argument for or against a particular position toward language, but he surveyed various religious, lin-guistic, and popular notions. His entry demonstrates his fascination and identification with linguists, especially polyglot individuals like himself. Pastorius wrote predominantly in German, English, Latin, and Dutch, but he also knew French, Italian, and Greek. His “Bee-Hive” manuscript in-cluded a title page in seven languages and is interspersed with multilingual poetry.56

At the same time, Pastorius echoed the widespread notion that the multi-plicity of human languages originated at Babel and the spiritual fall asso-ciated with this scriptural event tainted linguistic diversity; the acquisition of classical languages was considered a particular symptom of spiritual cor-ruption. Paraphrasing the Quaker founder George Fox, “The languages began at Babel; and the beast and whore have power over them,” Pastorius highlighted the conflation of linguistic and religious degradation explicit in the Babel/Babylon complex that dominated seventeenth-century thought on both topics. He also revealed his own ambivalence about the intellectual (p.60) culture of elite European society and his complex allegiances to German Pietist and English Quaker sensibilities.

Pastorius's encyclopedia entry further traced the fascination with and speculation over two concomitant linguistic ideals—the identification of Hebrew as the original language purportedly spoken in Eden (and possibly in heaven) and the development of an ideal or artificial language possessing specific qualities such as “Significancy, Easiness, Copiousness and Sweet-ness.” That Pastorius and other seventeenth-century Protestants were not satisfied with finding a language that would merely present the best possible way of communicating among humans becomes obvious in his assertion that one must “learn also, God's language, thereby to converse with him.” Pastorius's maxim thus provides the linchpin for applying the European linguistic theories to the discourses on language and community in Penn-sylvania: language reform, for Pastorius and many others before and after him, was in vain if it did not bring human expression closer to the divine meaning or truth. Theologians, philosophers, and religious reformers evoked the ideal of a spiritual language in which human beings could, once more, communicate with God. Pastorius's statement that “'tis the Speech of the heart only, which is acceptable to God” epitomizes the focus of vir-tually all seventeenth-century Christian reform movements—from Pietism in Germany to Quakerism and later Methodism in England to Quietism in the Catholic countries. Almost uniformly, they emphasized that true faith could not come from the acceptance of religious doctrine—even the literal acceptance of the Bible—but had to spring from a deep, emotional con-viction. The projects of linguistic and spiritual reformation were so closely intertwined because they were believed to originate in a common locus. True faith spoke the language of the heart and soul. Colonial Pennsylvani-ans knew that the work of building an exemplary community distinguished by brotherly love and religious liberty required a constant attention to and negotiation of the language they used. Building community in early Penn-sylvania was always a religious and a linguistic enterprise.

The story of the influence of seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century theories of the confusio linguarum on the development of literature, cul-ture, religion, and especially the formation of communities in Pennsylva-nia has never been told. Scholarship has never analyzed how individuals and groups in Pennsylvania (or other British colonies in North America) adapted traditional and recent interpretations of Babel to the concrete problems of spiritual and linguistic difference in the New World. An ex-amination of discourses of community in the province, therefore, reveals (p.61) the story of the ultimate intertwining of the theory and reality of linguistic and spiritual confusion. Pennsylvanians sought to overcome the effects of Babel by communicating across linguistic divisions, while simultaneously developing or searching for a common spiritual language that could operate and build community regardless of linguistic diversification and religious denomination. (p.62)


(1) . Wolfgang Kayser, “Boehmes Natursprachenlehre und ihre Grundlagen,” Euphorion, XXXI (1930), 545.

(2) . Hugh Ormsby-Lennon, “Rosicrucian Linguistics: Twilight of a Renaissance Tradition,” in Ingrid Merkel and Allen G. Debus, eds., Hermeticism and the Renaissance: Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe (Washington, D.C., 1988), 312. Also see Lia Formigari, A History of Language Philosophies, trans. Gabriel Poole (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 2004), 15–38 (quotation on 38).

(3) . Formigari, A History, trans. Poole, 37–38; Augustine, The Trinity, in John Burnaby, ed., Augustine: Later Works (Philadelphia, 1955), 17–181.

(4) . Augustine, Concerning the City of God against the Pagans, trans. Henry Bettenson (New York, 1984), 861; Arno Borst, Der Turmbau von Babel: Geschichte der Meinungen über Urpsrung und Viel-falt der Sprachen und Völker, 6 vols. (Stuttgart, 1957–1963), II, 395–396; Formigari, A History, trans. Poole, 43; Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, trans. James Fentress (Oxford, 1995), 17.

(5) . Eco, Search, trans. Fentress, 17; Borst, Der Turmbau von Babel, II, esp. part 1 (“Ausbau”), 168–169, 210–211, 220–237, 385–404. Also see Russell Fraser, The Language of Adam: On the Limits and Systems of Discourse (New York, 1977); George Steiner, After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1992); Andrew Large, The Artificial Language Movement (Oxford, 1985), 19–42; Rhodri Lewis, Language, Mind, and Nature: Artificial Languages in England from Bacon to Locke (Cambridge, 2007), 112.

(6) . Jonathan Sheehan, The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton, N.J., 2005), esp. 1–25 (quotation on 5).

(7) . Willis Barnstone, The Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice (New Haven, Conn., 1993), 165–174.

(8) . On Jacob Boehme, see Martin Brecht, “Die deutschen Spiritualisten des 17. Jahrhunderts,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus vom siebzehnten bis zum frühen achtzehnten Jahrhundert, vol. I of Geschichte des Pietismus (Göttingen, 1993), 205–240; Peter Erb, “Introduction,” in Jacob Boehme, The Way to Christ, trans. Erb (New York, 1978), 1–26; Rufus M. Jones, Spiritual Reformers in the Six-teenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Boston, 1914), 151–234; Hans Lassen Martensen, Jacob Boehme: His Life and Teaching; or, Studies in Theosophy, trans. T. Rhys Evans (London, 1885); Andrew Weeks, Boehme: An Intellectual Biography of the Seventeenth-Century Philosopher and Mystic (Albany, N.Y., 1991); Weeks, “The Part and the Whole: Jacob Boehme and the Baroque Synthesis,” German Mysti-cism from Hildegard of Bingen to Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Literary and Intellectual History (Albany, N.Y., 1993), 169–192. On the notion of “signatures” or “Signaturbegriff” in Paracelsus and its influence on Boehme, see Ormsby-Lennon, “Rosicrucian Linguistics,” in Merkel and Debus, eds., Hermeticism and the Renaissance, 318; Kayser, “Boehmes Natursprachenlehre,” Euphorion, XXXI (1930), 541–543; Erb, “Introduction,” in Boehme, The Way to Christ, trans. Erb, 6.

(9) . Ernst Benz, “Zur metaphysischen Begründung der Sprache bei Jacob Boehme,” Dichtung und Volkstum, XXXVII (1936), 340–357; Jan Stryz, “The Alchemy of the Voice at Ephrata Cloister,” Esoterica, I (1999), 142, www.Esoteric.msu.edu/Alchemy.html.

(10) . Hans Schneider, “Der radikale Pietismus im 17. Jahrhundert,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 405; Jacob Boehme, Sämtliche Schriften (1730), ed. Will-Erich Peuckert, 11 vols. (Stuttgart, 1955–1960), VII, 261 (“[Ihr] Lieben Brüder, so ihr nicht das Röcklein der Streit-Sprachen an euch hättet, so dürfte man euch alhie ein mehrers weisen; aber ihr seyd noch alle in BABEL gefangen, und seyd Zäncker um den Geist der Buchstaben”). Also see Boehme, The Way to Christ, trans. Erb, 165. On Boehme's ideas about Babel, see Benz, “Zur metaphysischen Begründung,” Dichtung und Volkstum, XXXVII (1936), 348; Kayser, “Boehmes Natursprachenlehre,” Euphorion, XXXI (1930), 527.

(11) . Jacob Boehme, Des gottseeligen hocherleuchteten Jacob Böhmens teutonici Philosophi alle theosophische Wercken … Theils aus des Authoris eigenen Originalen, ed. Johann Georg Gichtel, 11 vols. (Amsterdam, 1682). For Boehme's influence on radical Pietism through Gichtel's edition, see Jeff Bach, Voices of the Turtledoves: The Sacred World of Ephrata (University Park, Pa., 2003). On Boehme's influence on Comenius, see Craig D. Atwood, The Theology of the Czech Brethren from Hus to Comenius (University Park, Pa., 2009). On Andreae, see Martin Brecht, “Das Aufkommen der neuen Frömmigkeitsbewegung in Deutschland,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 151–165; Brecht, “Johann Valentin Andreae: Weg und Programm eines Reformers zwischen Reformation und Mo-derne,” in Brecht, ed., Theologen und Theologie an der Universität Tübingen (Tübingen, 1977), 270–343.

(12) . Frances A. Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (London, 1972), 92; Richard von Dülmen, “Einleitung,” in Johann Valentin Andreae, Fama Fraternitatis (1614), Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), Chymische Hochzeit: Christiani Rosencreutz, Anno 1459 (1616), ed. Dülmen, Quellen und Forschungen zur Würrtembergischen Kirchengeschichte, eds. Martin Brecht und Gerhard Schäfer, VI (Stuttgart, 1973), 7–14; John Matthews et al., The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited (Hudson, N.Y., 1999); Christoper McIntosh, The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason: Eighteenth-Century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and Its Relationship to the Enlightenment (Leiden, 1992); McIntosh, The Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology, and Rituals of an Occult Order (Wellingborough, U.K., 1987); Benedict J. Williamson, ed., The Rosicrucian Manuscripts (Arlington, Va., 2002).

(13) . Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 16, 20, 29. In a later publication, Andreae himself likened the response to the Manifestos to the confusion at Babel. See Andreae, Turris Babel sive Judiciorum de Fraternitate Rosaceae Crucis Chaos (Strassburg, 1619).

(14) . Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 17–18, 21: “Also fieng an die Brüderschafft des R. C…. erstlich allein unter 4 Personen und durch diese Worte zugericht, die Magische Spraache und Schrifft mit einem weitleufftigen Vocabulario, weil wir uns deren noch heutiges Tages zu Gottes Ehr und Ruhms gebrauchen und grosse Weißheit darinnen finden.” For an elaboration on the history of the idea of the “liber mundi” or “Book of Nature,” see Peter Harrison, The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science (Cambridge, 1998).

(15) . Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 21: “Sie machten auch den ersten Theil des Buchs M. weil ihnen aber die Arbeit zu groß worden und der Krancken unglaublichen zulauff sie sehr hinderten, auch all-bereit sein newes Gebäw Sancti Spiritus genennet, vollendet war, beschlossen sie noch andere mehr in ihr Gesell: und Brüderschafft zu ziehen … damit die posteritet, so durch besondere Offenbarung künfftig sollen zugelassen warden, nicht mit einer Silben oder Buchstaben betrogen würde.”

(16) . Yates, Rosicrucian Enlightenment, 44; Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 26.

(17) . Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 35 (“Wehre es nicht ein köstlich Ding, daß du also lesen kündtest in einem Buch, daß du zugleich alles, was in allen Büchern, die jemals gewesen, noch seyn oder kom-men und außgehen werden, zu finden gewesen, noch gefunden wird und jemals mag gefunden werden, lesen, verstehen und behalten möchtest?”), 39 (emphasis added) (“… von welchen Buchstaben wir denn unsere Magische Schrifften entlehnet und uns ein newe Sprache erfunden und zuwege gebracht haben, in welcher zugleich die Natur aller dinge außgedrucket und erkläret wird, daß es daher kein Wunder, daß wir in andern Sprachen nicht so zierlich seyen, welche wir wissen, daß sie keines weges mit unsers ersten Vatters Adams oder Enochs Sprache sich vergleichen, sondern durch die Baby-… lonische Verwirrung gantz verdecket worden”).

(18) . Andreae, Fama, ed. Dülmen, 45–46 (emphasis added): “In der lincken Hand hatte sie ein grosses büschel Brieff von allerley sprachen, die sie (wie ich hernach erfahren) in alle Land tragen muste.” “Chymical” is an obsolete form of “chemical.” The Oxford English Dictionary lists “alchemi-cal” as the corresponding meaning from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

(19) . Howard Louthan and Andrea Sterk, “Introduction,” in John [Jan Amos] Comenius, The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, trans. Louthan and Sterk (New York, 1998), 7–54; also “Comenius, Johann Amos,” in Herbert Jaumann, Handbuch Gelehrtenkultur der frühen Neuzeit, I, Bio-bibliograpisches Repertorium (Berlin, 2004), 191–192; Yates, Rosicrucian Enlighten-ment, 167–168.

(20) . Jan Amos Comenius, Panglottia; or, Universal Language: Being Part Five of His Universal Deliberation on the Reform of Human Affairs …, trans. A.M.O. Dobbie (Shipston-on-Stour, U.K., 1989), 2–3, 12–13; John Edward Sadler, J. A. Comenius and the Concept of Universal Education (New York, 1966), 154–155; Sarah Rivett, “Empirical Desire: Conversion, Ethnography, and the New Sci-ence of the Praying Indian,” Early American Studies, IV (2006), 24.

(21) . Sadler, J. A. Comenius, 267–268. Sadler quotes a survey conducted for the duke of Württemberg, which found the Janua in use “in more than 250 German grammar schools” (268). See Jan Amos Comenius, Porta Linguarum Trilinguis Reserata et Aperta …/The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened … (London, 1631); Janua Linguarum Reserata; or, A Seed-Plot of All Languages and Sciences: I.E.A Compendious Method of Learning Latine (as Also Any Other) Tongue, Together with the Foundations of Sciences and Arts: Comprehended in an Hundred Titles, and a Thousand Periods (London, 1636). In Czech, the book was published as Brána jazyků otevřená (Leszno, Poland, 1631).

(22) . Comenius, Gate of Tongues, 3, 4, 5, 7; Sadler, J. A. Comenius, 65; Will S. Monroe, Comenius and the Beginnings of Educational Reform (New York, 1971), 125.

(23) . Comenius, Gate of Tongues, 1. On Comenius's possible influence on Roger Williams's Key into the Language of America (1643), see J. Patrick Cesarini, “The Ambivalent Uses of Roger Wil-liams's A Key into the Language of America,” Early American Literature, XXXVIII (2003), 469–494; Anne G. Myles, “Dissent and the Frontier of Translation: Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America,” in Robert Blair St. George, ed., Possible Pasts: Becoming Colonial in Early America (Ithaca, N.Y., 2000), 88–108.

(24) . Joh. Amos Comenii, Orbis Sensualium Pictus … (London, 1659), 4. According to Patricia Crain, the Orbis Pictus Sensualium went through 244 editions between 1658 and 1964. See Crain, The Story of A: The Alphabetization of America from “The New England Primer” to “The Scarlet Letter” (Stanford, Calif., 2000), 27–37.

(25) . Walt W. Woodward, Prospero's America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606–1676 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2010), 43–74 (esp. 57, 63, 72); Louthan and Kab-Sterk, “Introduction,” in Comenius, Labyrinth of the World, trans. Louthan and Sterk, 14; Rivett, “Empirical Desire,” Early American Studies, IV (2006), 24–25. For a collection of source documents on Comenius's visit to England, see Robert Fitzgibbon Young, Comenius in England (Oxford, 1932). Numbers are based on an author search for “Comenius” in Early English Books Online, Chadwyck-Healey, Feb. 20, 2009.

(26) . Nigel Smith, Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion, 1640–1660 (Oxford, 1989), 115–143, 265; Ormsby-Lennon, “Rosicrucian Linguistics,” in Merkel and Debus, eds., Hermeticism and the Renaissance, 318; Reiner Smolinski and Kathleen B. Freels, “‘Chymical Wedding’: Rosicrucian Alchemy and Eucharistic Conversion Process in Edward Taylor's Preparatory Meditations and in Seventeenth-century German Tracts,” in Udo J. Hebel and Karl Ort-seifen, eds., Transatlantic Encounters: Studies in European-American Relations (Trier, 1995), 40–61.

(27) . “To the Wise and Understanding Reader,” in Eugenius Philalethes [Thomas Vaughan], ed., The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R: C: Commonly, of the Rosie Cross; with a Praeface An-nexed Thereto, and a Short Declaration of Their Physicall Work (London, 1652), n.p.

(28) . Smith, Perfection Proclaimed, 185–186. Also see Jones, Spiritual Reformers, 190–234; Margaret Lewis Bailey, Milton and Jakob Boehme: A Study of German Mysticism in Seventeenth-Century England (New York, 1914); Wilhelm Struck, Der Einfluss Jakob Boehmes auf die englische Literature des 17. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1936); Nils Thune, The Behmenists and the Philadelphians: A Contribu-tion to the Study of English Mysticism in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Uppsala, 1948).

(29) . Richard Bauman, For the Reputation of Truth: Politics, Religion, and Conflict among the Pennsylvania Quakers, 1750–1800 (Baltimore, 1971); Bauman, Let Your Words Be Few: Symbolism of Speaking and Silence among Seventeenth-Century Quakers (Cambridge, 1983); Rosemary Moore, The Light in Their Consciences: Early Quakers in Britain, 1646–1666 (University Park, Pa., 2000); Hugh Ormsby-Lennon, “‘The Dialect of Those Fanatick Times’: Language Communities and English Poetry from 1580–1660” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1977), chap. 2; Ormsby-Lennon, “From Shibboleth to Apocalypse: Quaker Speechways during the Puritan Revolution,” in Peter Burke and Roy Porter, eds., Language, Self, and Society: A Social History of Language (Cambridge, 1991); Kate Peters, Print Culture and the Early Quakers (Cambridge, 2005); Nancy E. Rosenberg, “The Sub-Textual Religion: Quakers, the Book, and Public Education in Philadelphia, 1682–1800” (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1991); Hermann Wellenreuther, “The Quest for Harmony in a Turbulent World: The Principle of ‘Love and Unity’ in Colonial Pennsylvania Politics,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, CVII (1983), 537–576.

(30) . George Fox, John Stubs, and Benjamin Furley, A Battle-Door for Teachers and Professors to Learn Singular and Plural … (London, 1660), [i]. This publication uses the spelling “Furley,” but the most common spelling of the name, especially in his later translations of Penn's promotional tracts, is “Furly.” See also Ormsby-Lennon, “From Shibboleth to Apocalypse,” in Burke and Porter, eds., Language, Self, and Society, 91.

(31) . Fox, Stubs, and Furley, Battle-Door, [iii].

(32) . Ibid.

(33) . “The Journal of George Fox,” in Douglas V. Steere, ed., Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings (New York, 1984), 68–69 (emphasis added). On Fox's “openings,” also see William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism, 2d ed., rev. Henry J. Cadbury (Cambridge, 1961), 33–39.

(34) . Robert Barclay, An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, as the Same Is Held Forth, and Preached by the People, Called, in Scorn, Quakers … ([London?], 1678), “R.B. unto the Friendly Reader Wisheth Salvation,” B2.

(35) . Ibid., 5, 38.

(36) . Ibid., 38–57.

(37) . Fox quoted in Ormsby-Lennon, “From Shibboleth to Apocalypse,” in Burke and Porter, eds., Language, Self, and Society, 89.

(38) . Barclay, Apology, 207. Also see William Braithwaite, The Second Period of Quakerism, 2d ed., prepared by Henry J. Cadbury (Cambridge, 1961), 533.

(39) . Erhard Peschke, “Introduction,” in August Hermann Francke, Schriften zur biblischen Her-meneutik I, ed. Erhard Peschke (Berlin, 2003), xv; see also 229, 313–322.

(40) . Francke, Schriften, ed. Peschke, 484.

(41) . Melvin B. Endy, Jr., William Penn and Early Quakerism (Princeton, N.J., 1973), 349; Edwin B. Bronner, William Penn's “Holy Experiment”: The Founding of Pennsylvania, 1681–1701 (New York, 1962), 14.

(42) . Schneider, “Der radikale Pietismus,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 405. Mary K. Geiter cites three reasons William Penn chose to name the city “Philadelphia”: the word's Greek meaning, “City of Brotherly Love,” that the ancient city of Philadelphia was “the site of one of the seven churches in Asia Minor to which the Book of Revelation was dedicated by St. John,” and it was a “modern city with which merchants in the Levant Company, many of whom invested in Pennsylvania, currently traded” (William Penn [New York, 2000], 115).

(43) . Schneider, “Der radikale Pietismus,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 400, 405, 418–421.

(44) . Jones, Spiritual Reformers, 227–228; Thune, The Behmenists, 49, 64–65. Pordage's Theolo-gia Mystica; or, The Mystic Divinitie of the Eternal Invisibles (1683) is considered one of the constituting texts of the movement. For differences between Quakers and Pietists, see Klaus Deppermann, “Pennsylvanien als Asyl des frühen deutschen Pietismus,” Pietismus und Neuzeit: Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus, X (Göttingen, 1984), 190–226; Rüdiger Mack, “Franz Daniel Pastorius, sein Einsatz für die Quäker,” Pietismus und Neuzeit, XV (1989), 132–171.

(45) . Thune, The Behmenists, 81, 93–94, 100; Schneider, “Der radikale Pietismus,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 394, 405.

(46) . Francis Lee, “A New Theory of Musick,” Theosophical Transactions: Consisting of Memoirs, Conferences, Letters, Dissertations, Inquiries, etc. for the Advancement of Piety, and Divine Philosophy, I, no. 1 (March 1697), 65. For further background on Lee, see Jones, Spiritual Reformers, 231; Thune, The Behmenists, 82. Also see Arthur Versluis, “Mysticism and Spiritual Harmonics in Eighteenth-Century England,” Esoterica, IV (2002), 2, 6, 102, 103, www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeIV/Harmonic.htm.

(47) . Craig D. Atwood, Community of the Cross: Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem (Uni-versity Park, Pa., 2004). For other works on Moravian spirituality and communal formation, see Aaron Spencer Fogleman, Jesus Is Female: Moravians and the Challenge of Radical Religion in Early America (Philadelphia, 2007); Paul Peucker, “Inspired by Flames of Love”: Homosexuality, Mysticism, and Moravian Brothers around 1750,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, XV (2006), 30–64; Peucker, “The Songs of the Sifting: Understanding the Role of Bridal Mysticism in Moravian Piety during the Late 1740s,” Journal of Moravian History, III (2007), 51–87. For biographical scholarship on Zinzendorf, see Erich Beyreuther, Der junge Zinzendorf (Marburg, 1957); Beyreuther, Zinzendorf und die sich allhier beisammen finden (Marburg, 1959); Beyreuther, Zinzendorf und die Christen-heit, 1732–1760 (Marburg, 1961); Martin Brecht and Paul Peucker, eds., Neue Aspekte der Zinzendorf-Forschung (Göttingen, 2006); MariP. van Buijtenen, Cornelis Dekker, and Huib Leeuwenberg, eds., Unitas Fratrum: Herrnhuter Studien/Moravian Studies (Utrecht, 1975); Dietrich Meyer, “Zinzen-dorf und Herrnhut,” in Martin Brecht and Klaus Deppermann, eds., Der Pietismus im achtzehn-ten Jahrhundert, vol. II of Geschichte des Pietismus (Göttingen, 1995), 3–106; Peter Vogt, “Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700–1760),” in Carter Lindberg, ed., The Pietist Theologians: An Introduc-tion to Theology in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Malden, Mass., 2005), 207–223. Even in the most recent scholarship on the Moravian expansion across the Atlantic world, language contact and language difference has played virtually no role. See, for example, Michele Gillespie and Robert Beachy, Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World (New York, 2007).

(48) . Meyer, “Zinzendorf und Herrnhut,” in Brecht and Deppermann, eds., Der Pietismus, 6–7, 16, 18; Zinzendorf, quoted ibid., 17: “Von der Zeit an bemühte ich mich, daß beßte in allen Religionen zu entdecken … dann ich wußte, daß in allerley Volck der Herr die seinigen haben wolle.”

(49) . Beyreuther, Zinzendorf und die sich allhier besammen finden, 188; Meyer, “Zinzendorf und Herrnhut,” in Brecht and Deppermann, eds., Der Pietismus, 18, 21. For Comenius's church history, see Kurzgefaßte Kirchen-Historie der böhmischen Brüder, wie solche Johann Amos Comenius, Weyland letzter Bischoff der vereinigten Brüder-Gemeine in Böhmen, lateinisch beschrieben, dernach aber, um des erbaulichen Innhalts willen, Nebst einem Glaubens-Bekänntniß, Etlichen zur Erläuterung dien-lichen Briefen, und der fürtrefflichen Kirchen-Ordnung derselben (1739), in Alfred Eckert and Werner-Friedrich-Aloys Jakobsmeier, eds., Quellen zur Geschichtsschreibung der Böhmischen Brüder … (Hildesheim, 1980). On Jablonski, see Joachim Heubach, “Jablonski, Daniel Ernst,” Biographische-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, II (1990), columns 1395–1396. Along with G. W. Leibniz, Jablonski founded the Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin Academy of Sciences) in 1700. The name is also sometimes spelled “Jablonsky.”

(50) . “Protokoll der Synode in Zeist, Mai–Juni 1746,” Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pa., 90, copy of the original at the Moravian Archives, Herrnhut (underline in the original, italics added): “Daher heißts: bringt alle Sprachen zusammen etc. das ist eine solche realitaet, daß ich glaube, das mit Zungen redden heißt nicht daß man soll was hinplappern in einer Sprache, die niemand versteht, sondern erstens, daß man die Sprachen zusammen bringt wie wir in Lamm, Lamm, o Lamm etc. daß ein jeder in seiner Sprache das Lamm lobet; zweitens, daß man der Sprache ihre Force auch mit in die Geistes Sprache hin einbringe. Ist in unserer Sprache ein Wort deutlicher, so sagt mans in einem andern Lande teutsch ists aber im Holländischen deutlicher so sagt mans mitten im teutschen Holländisch oder lateinisch oder Französisch oder griechisch, und das zu verstehen, braucht nichts mehr als daß man einmal frage, was heißt die halbe Zeile? Es sind ohne dem hundert Geschwister da, die es so verstehen und denen ists gleich noch einmal so deutlich und eindrücklich und in 20 Jahren hernach versteht uns gar kein Mensch, und das ist recht, nicht als ob wir undeutlich oder absurd redten, son-dern wir reden eine naturSprache, eine centralsprache.” I am indebted to Paul Peucker, archivist of the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, for pointing out this passage to me and providing several other references on Zinzendorf's thought on language.

(51) . Zinzendorf quoted in Helmut Bintz, Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf: Texte zur Mission (Hamburg, 1979), 22.

(52) . On Zinzendorf's concepts of language, see Wilhelm Bettermann, Theologie und Sprache bei Zinzendorf (Gotha, 1935); Meyer, “Zinzendorf und Herrnhut,” in Brecht and Deppermann, eds., Der Pietismus, 49; Jörn Reichel, Dichtungstheorie und Sprache bei Zinzendorf: Der 12. Anhang zum herrnhuter Gesangbuch (Bad Homburg v.d.H., 1969); Carola Wessel, “‘Es ist also des Heilands sein Predigtstuhl so weit und groß als die ganze Welt’: Zinzendorfs Überlegungen zur Mission,” in Martin Brecht and Paul Peucker, eds., Neue Aspekte der Zinzendorf-Forschung (Göttingen, 2006), 172.

(53) . For the successive waves of German immigration, see Aaron Spencer Fogleman, Hopeful Journeys: German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America, 1717–1775 (Phila-delphia, 1996), 4–6.

(54) . Schneider, “Der radikale Pietismus,” in Brecht, ed., Der Pietismus, 394.

(55) . Francis Daniel Pastorius was born on September 26, 1751, in Sommerhausen, Germany, and he spent most of his youth in the imperial city of Windsheim (Franconia), where his father, Melchior Adam Pastorius, held prominent public offices. After several years in the Latin school in Windsheim, Pastorius studied at various European universities, including Altdorf, Strassburg, Basel, Jena, and Regensburg. He graduated with a doctorate in law from Altdorf in 1676. Pastorius briefly practiced law in his hometown before moving to Frankfurt am Main and becoming closely associated with Pietist circles. From 1680 to 1682, Pastorius accompanied a German nobleman on a grand tour and visited various European countries. Returning to Frankfurt, Pastorius learned about the Pietists' plans to purchase land in Pennsylvania, and he enthusiastically agreed to function as their agent. He left Frankfurt in April 1683, and, on his way to Rotterdam, he visited the group of Krefeld Quakers who later that year joined him in Pennsylvania. Pastorius arrived in Philadelphia in August 1683, and he immediately negotiated the location and size of the German settlement with William Penn. While he became increasingly alienated from the Frankfurt Pietists (who failed to join him in Pennsylvania), Pastorius assumed a central position in the life of the Germantown community, and he forged a num-ber of friendships with English Quakers. He married Anna Klostermann in 1688, and the couple had two sons, Johann Samuel and Heinrich. Pastorius died in Germantown sometime between Decem-ber 26, 1719, and January 13, 1720.

For biographical details in Pastorius's own work, see Circumstantial Geographical Description of Pennsylvania, trans. Gertrude Selwyn Kimball, in Albert Cook Myers, Narratives of Early Penn-sylvania, West New Jersey, and Delaware (New York, 1912) (translation of Umständige geographische Beschreibung der zu allerletzt erfundenen Provintz Pensylvaniae, in denen End-Gräntzen Americae in der West-Welt gelegen … [Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1700]); and two sketches in manuscript, “Kurtzer Lebens Lauff” in his inventory “Res Propriae,” 5–12, Pastorius Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and “Genealogia Pastoriana,” in “Bee-Hive,” MS Codex 726, 221–226, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania. The most comprehensive biographical works on Pastorius are Margo M. Lambert, “Francis Daniel Pastorius: An American in Early Penn-sylvania, 1683–1719/20” (Ph.D. diss., Georgetown University, 2007); Marion Dexter Learned, The Life of Francis Daniel Pastorius, the Founder of Germantown (Philadelphia, 1908); John David Weaver, “Franz Daniel Pastorius (1651–c. 1720): Early Life in Germany with Glimpses of His Removal to Pennsylvania” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Davis, 1985); DeElla Victoria Toms, “The Intel-lectual and Literary Background of Francis Daniel Pastorius” (Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1953). For brief biographical sketches, see Alfred L. Brophy, “Bee-Hive, 1696, Francis Daniel Pas-torius,” in Marc Shell and Werner Sollors, eds., The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature: A Reader of Original Texts with English Translations (New York, 2000), 12–15; Rosamund Rosenmeier, “Francis Daniel Pastorius,” in Emory Elliott, ed., American Colonial Writers, 1606–1709, Dictionary of Literary Biography, XXIV (Detroit, 1984), 245–247; Marianne S. Wokeck, “Francis Daniel Pastorius,” Craig Horle et al., eds., Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictio-nary, I, 1682–1709 (Philadelphia, 1991), 586–590.

On the “Bee-Hive,” see Alfred Brophy, “The Quaker Bibliographic World of Francis Daniel Pastorius's Bee-Hive,” PMHB, CXXII (1998), 241–291; Patrick M. Erben, “‘Honey-Combs’ and ‘Paper-Hives’: Positioning Francis Daniel Pastorius's Manuscript Writings in Early Pennsylvania,” EAL, XXXVII (2002), 157–194; Brooke Palmieri, “‘What the Bees Have Taken Pains For’: Francis Daniel Pastorius, The Beehive, and Commonplacing in Colonial Pennsylvania,” 2008–2009 Penn Humanities Forum on Change, University of Pennsylvania, April 2009, http://repository.upenn.edu/uhf_2009/7/; Lyman W. Riley, “Books from the ‘Beehive’ Manuscript of Francis Daniel Pastorius,” Quaker History, LXXXIII (1994), 116–129.

(56) . Translation of the Latin: “The different languages (expressions of the remainders [vestiges] of Babel) are numbered by the authors as seventy-two, not counting any adjustments for many others judged to be dialects.” “Ludolf” probably refers to Hiob Ludolf, a German jurist and linguist, who dedicated the latter part of his life to the study of African languages. He moved to Frankfurt am Main in 1678, where Pastorius could have met him or at least heard of his work. See Jürgen Tubach, “Hiob Ludolf,” Biographisch-bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, V (1993), columns 317–325, http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/l/ludolf_h.shtml.