84. Minutes of 1807, etc. -- To the minutes of 1807 a formula for burial, furnished by Henkel, is added for the use of schoolteachers in the absence of a minister. At the meeting in the schoolhouse at Winchester, 1808, it was resolved that the congregations elect devout men to conduct reading-services and give catechetical instruction to the children on Sundays when ministers are absent. It was furthermore resolved that ministers should conduct, as often as possible, private meetings in their congregations in order to edify the members by prayer, song, and instruction. The admonition, written by Paul Henkel and Streit, and added to the minutes, in a simple and earnest manner urges the congregations to introduce the reading-services, the instruction of the young, and to attend the private meetings. "Coldness and indifference in religion," they say, "is so universal that we must employ all possible means to awaken men to a true and living Christianity." A special and fervent appeal is added not to abuse, but to keep, the Sabbath, the Day of the Lord, "the good, useful, holy day, which God especially has reserved for Himself for the furtherance of His honor and the welfare of our immortal souls." The appeal concludes: "Do you love your country? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love civic rest? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your neighbors? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your children? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your parents? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you love your preachers, your Savior, and your souls? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you desire to escape hell? Then sanctify the Sabbath. Do you desire some day to celebrate the eternal Sabbath with the saints and the perfected just before the throne of God? Then sanctify the Sabbath here on earth, whereby you may be best prepared for those blissful occupations." At the meeting of the Special Conference in the school of Solomon's Church, Shenandoah County, 1809, it was resolved that the admonition to be added to the minutes of this year should take "special reference to the furtherance of the German language and schools." The admonition, written by Paul Henkel and Carpenter, complains that the ministers were not able to do their mission-duty, partly because they were rich and unable to undergo the hardships connected with traveling, partly because the congregations supporting them refused to let them go. They admonish the congregations to show their brotherly love in permitting their ministers to serve their forsaken and needy brethren. Respecting the cultivation of the German language, the admonition remarks, in part: "In the first place, we know that the English language is not as easily understood as the German. Even when the Germans are able to read and write it, they understand very little of it aright. Their parents, themselves not knowing the language, can hear their children read, and see them write, but cannot show them where they err, nor correct them. And just as little are they able to explain to them the contents of what they read; for [even] the English understand very little of what they read in some useful books, until they learn to understand it from their dictionaries." "If parents were really concerned about training their children for the general weal of the country, they would see to it that their sons be taught the Christian religion in their mother-tongue as well as be instructed in the English language to read, write, figure, etc. Then they might become truly useful men for the general welfare of their country. All the most useful men that one can point out in our country are, as a rule, of this class. It cannot be expected that men who, for reasons of selfishness and pride, despise their language and church will stand for the welfare of their country." The admonition concludes: "We know how much good and wholesome instruction for the edification of our souls and for the comfort of our hearts we have derived from our German books, which are so easily understood, and which so plainly describe the simple way of life. From what we learned from them ever since our youth, we have obtained our only hope of salvation hereafter; why, then, should we, for any reason whatsoever, deprive our children of it?" According to the statistical appendix of the minutes of the Special Conference in 1809, there were, at that time, no less than 49 organized congregations in Virginia. It does not, however, appear that the interest in the German language and the consciousness of true Lutheranism made any marked progress in the following years. In 1817, at Culpeper, Pastors G. Riemenschneider, A Reck, Nicholas and Peter Schmucker, and Michael Meyerhoeffer, and five lay delegates were present. Four German and three English sermons were delivered. Among the resolutions is the following: "that only pious and, if possible, only converted men be chosen as elders of the congregations, and that they live piously both in their homes with family prayer in the evening and morning, and before the world respectably and honorably, receive the Lord's Supper frequently," etc. Instead of any reference to the tercentenary of the Reformation we find in the minutes of 1817 a resolution to the effect "that the proceedings of this year, together with a Letter of a Traveling Jew appended, be printed."